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Monday, December 20, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Since the euro's founding, the common currency has rested on two central pillars: The European Central Bank would provide price stability for the entire euro zone, and each member state would be responsible for looking after its own budgetary and borrowing needs. This week, after a year in which the EU bailed out Greece and Ireland, and Portugal and Spain seem to be teetering on the edge of insolvency, Europe's leaders yanked away that second pillar and replaced it with a permanent mechanism for rescuing member states that can't meet their obligations. Going forward, the euro zone's members will stand as guarantors of each others' national debts. Officially, the EU's heads of government are calling this a 'limited treaty change,' one that does not require the consent of Europe's citizens ... First, of course, the treaty change approved in principle Thursday has to be ratified by every member state. Given that the Lisbon Treaty, which started life as the stillborn European Constitution, took eight years to come into force, some caution would seem warranted. But Ms. Lagarde is unconcerned. 'The wording that was approved yesterday,' she says, 'was straightforward and simple enough so that the approval of the change, in my view, won't be a major issue. I might be proven wrong,' she allows. 'We might have a bet. . . . But no, I'm confident.' At one point she even invokes the history of the United States both as a contrast and a model for where Europe needs to go: 'When you start in 1789 with the principles of a federation, the principles all laid out by the wonderful founding fathers of the U.S., you start from scratch. . . . We start from 27 different bases with different histories, different rules, and we decide to converge.' For this to work, as she puts it, 'We cannot have the schizophrenia of deciding something in Brussels when we are among ourselves as ministers of finance and then coming back to parliament and saying It's a real pity, but Brussels decided'—an all too popular game in European capitals. 'No,' she says. 'Brussels is us. So that needs to change.' This is a high-stakes gamble." (WSJ)
 

(image via NYDN)

"Only a generation and a half ago, for all time leading up to it, we spent money only if we had it. The smart boys spent money that they borrowed but the rest of us had no access to that privilege. Then came the credit card. Forty years later, a drop in the bucket of the history of civilization, we borrow money everyday and spend it as if it is ours, although it is not. Many of us never borrow more than we already have (so we can pay our bills). Many others among us live from loan to mouth, day in, day out. Not unlike Bernie (Madoff), although he was way ahead of us plastic users in terms of the numbers. I know several people personally who played the Madoff game and gladly, and without a thought of its implications or manifestations. This is not uncommon either. I know others who did not but are just as dumb about their assets and trusts funds. WE are the dummies. WE are the ones who when offered a ticket to a golden ring said yes, like some teenager Saturday night parked in car by the woods, after a few beers and whatever. Absurd but same idea. 'I couldn’t help it' ends up as the explanation, when all others have been refuted by Common Sense. Common Dense. The devil made me do it." (NYSocialDiary)


(image via NYSD)

"It's hard for journalist Taki Theodoracopulos to keep track of the locals in New York when he spends most of the year in London, Gstaad and on his yacht in St. Tropez. At George Farias, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney's Christmas party at '21' Thursday, the Greek aristocrat arrived late with Michael Mailer and tried to push through the throng at the upstairs lounge. 'One man in particular wouldn't move after Taki twice yelled, Excuse me. Finally, Taki pushed him and he almost fell over,' a spy reports. Then, an other guest informed the author of 'Princes, Playboys and High-Class Tarts': 'Nice going, you just pushed the governor of New York.' Taki went over to apologize to David Paterson, who said: 'It's OK. People have been pushing me all my life.' Later, a man stared intently at Taki's unlit cigarette. 'So what are you looking at?' he asked. 'Nothing at all,' said the man. 'Weren't you once the Vice President of the United States?' Taki asked. 'Yes, I was,' said Dan Quayle." (PageSix)


(image via baw)

"Sherri Shepherd finally got her wish to spend the night with Prince - but she had to share him with a few other celebrities, including Spike Lee, Naomi Campbell, Jamie Foxx and her View co-host Whoopi Goldberg.  Prince called Shepherd and a host of other stars onto the stage Saturday night at his sold-out Madison Square Garden concert, The Associated Press reports. Lee played the tambourine as Alicia Keys, Foxx, Cornel West, talk-show host Tavis Smiley and others danced onstage with Prince and Sheila E. to the hit 'A Love Bizarre.' Prince recently made a surprise appearance on The View that left Shepherd swooning. Prince pretended to bolt from the stage Saturday when he mentioned Shepherd's name, but then slyly told her: 'Come on, Sherri. Dance with me, please. I wanna see what you really do.'" (Newsday)



"Genre series are all the rage in cable with the success of AMC's The Walking Dead and HBO's True Blood, which have been breaking series records to rank as their network's top-rated series and become pop culture staples. A genre series, The Vampire Diaries, also is the highest-rated series on the CW, which has had continuous success in the sci-fi arena with veterans Smallville and Supernatural. But, with the exception of ABC's Lost, sci-fi, vampire, zombie and comic book-based series have struggled to attract sizable audiences on the major broadcast networks. That has not deterred the nets to heavily pursue such projects this development season. The 2 drama pilots ordered so far by Fox are both in the genre category: Locke & Key is based on Joe Hill's comic, and Alcatraz features missing Alcatraz prisoners who reappear in present day. Genre projects have also attracted some of the biggest writer-producers in town: Lost's J.J. Abrams is behind Fox's series Fringe and Alcatraz, David E. Kelley, who dabbled into sci-fi with Life on Mars, is developing a series adaptation of comic book icon Wonder Woman, Greg Berlanti co-created and is executive producing ABC's freshman superhero family drama No Ordinary Family, Fringe co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are executive producing Locke & Key, and Battlestar Galactica's David Eick is involved in a series adaptation of The Hulk for ABC and Marvel." (Deadline)


"Possible replacements for (Carine) Roitfeld include French Vogue fashion director Emmanuelle Alt, though she might not want to give up her current gig to shoulder editor-in-chief responsibilities; ex–Russian Vogue editor Aliona Doletskaya, who hasn't had a job since leaving that magazine over the summer; television personality Alexandra Golovanoff; and Virginie Mouzat, fashion editor of French newspaper Le Figaro. Other names that have been tossed into the pool include Love editor Katie Grand and Japanese Vogue fashion director Anna Dello Russo. The 56-year-old Roitfeld maintains that she has no job lined up yet." (NYMag)

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