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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"This month Britain dispatched a delegation of smooth-talking spokesmen -- including Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William -- to Zurich, where the FIFA executive committee was in the process of deciding which country would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Making one final pitch to the international soccer organization, the Brits argued that they didn't just deserve to host the tournament -- they were genetically destined to get it. 'We are a country where football runs through our DNA,' soccer star David Beckham said. The United States, though far from a soccer superpower, also sent an all-star cast including Bill Clinton (who was president when the country hosted the 1994 World Cup) and actor Morgan Freeman to make its own case. In any case, FIFA was unmoved, and Britain and the United States walked away from Zurich empty-handed. Instead, the soccer body gave hosting privileges to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. The Anglophone transatlantic allies were undoubtedly top contenders for the 2018 and 2022 bids, respectively, on the quantifiable technical merits: They have the stadiums, hotels, and airports to accommodate millions of visiting soccer fans from around the world. But they lost out to more imaginative proposals from Russia and Qatar that played on FIFA's amorphous criteria of 'legacy' effects: the long-term benefits of elevating soccer's profile in unheralded parts of the world." (ForeignPolicy)


"On Monday past, JH and I hosted a luncheon at Swifty’s which has become an annual affair. It is for those who contribute to the NYSD. We are always pleasantly amazed to see just how many there are who make up the NYSD family. Monday’s luncheon was attended by Alexandra Lebenthal, Mary Hilliard, Jesse Kornbluth, Pax Quigley, Jeanne Lawrence, Wendy Lerman, Jamee Gregory, Jill Lynne, Lesley Hauge, Gail Karr, Ann Watt, Amanda Gordon, Anita Sarko and me and JH. For reasons of distance of previous plans, other contributors could not attend including Sian Ballen, Carol Joynt, Jill Krementz, Augustus Mayhew, Hilary Geary Ross, Ned Brown, Michael Grace, Hugo Vickers, Charlie Scheips and Blair Sabol. JH and I launched the NYSD ten years ago this past September, already a quarter of the way through our eleventh year. For a long time it was just the two of us. Now, to varying degrees of input there are two dozen of us." (NYSocialDiary)


"There was little change at the top of the basic cable rankings for 2010, with USA, Disney Channel, ESPN, TNT and Fox News Channel once again ranking as the most watched networks. In 18-49, USA, ESPN, TBS and TNT returned as No.1-4, with History rounding out the Top 5. USA was the top cable network for a fifth consecutive year, ranking as No.1 in total viewers as well as adults 18-49 and 25-54 on the strength of its original series, including Burn Notice and Royal Pains, as well as WWE Monday Night Raw. It was down 4% in total viewers and 10% in 18-49 from last year. The network's newest series, Covert Affairs, was the summer's No.1 freshman cable series in 18-49. History has come a long ways from its days as 'the Hitler channel.'"  (Deadline)


"While many of New York's iconic leaders still hold sway, check their rankings. Names like Henry Kravis and S.I. Newhouse and Leonard Lauder are still there, but they're nowhere near as high on our list as they would have been even a year ago. Others, like Barry Diller and Sumner Redstone, are off entirely. In their place is a new crop of big shots who have moved in with breathtaking speed. Fred Wilson is the undisputed king of Silicon Alley. Mikhail Prokhorov is a surging sports presence. Preet Bharara is our next Eliot Ness. In media, people like Hugo Lindgren and Josh Tyrangiel and Emily Smith are the new standard-bearers. Culture is now led by Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Franco. And an astonishingly creative new class of tech leaders, like Dennis Crowley and John Borthwick, are making Manhattan a legit contender. Things haven't been in this much flux in our lifetimes. Given all of this, our top choice, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, could be considered an anomaly—an old-style business leader, the second-richest guy in town. But in his way, Mr. Bloomberg is, too, representative of the new New York: post-partisan, new media, anti-patronage. We don't expect much argument for choosing him as our No. 1." (Observer)


"Rahm Emanuel's effort to prove his Chicago residency has taken a turn in his favor. A candidate for mayor must have 'resided' in the city for a year prior to the election, and though Emanuel owned a Chicago home (with a crawl space full of his family's junk), kept his Chicago driver's license, and voted from Chicago, he lived in Washington, D.C., in 2009 and 2010 and only moved back in October to run for mayor. But a hearing officer, Joseph Morris, who has presided over the challenges to Emanuel's residency by his opponents, has suggested to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners that it's okay that Emanuel wasn't actually physically in Chicago." (NYMag)

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