blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"It has been more than 13 years since a Chinese president has been the guest of honor at the most lavish party any White House can give, a state dinner. As host of such an affair Wednesday night for his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, President Obama is walking into a danger zone of protocol and international diplomacy. Visits by Chinese leaders have often turned into protocol nightmares. When President Hu visited President George W. Bush in 2006, a heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual sect interrupted his White House arrival ceremony — a major embarrassment for Mr. Bush that was compounded when the official announcer mistakenly confused the official name of China with that of Taiwan, which China claims as part of its sovereign territory. When President Bill Clinton hosted a state dinner for President Jiang Zemin in 1997, his administration was besieged with specific protocol requests from the Chinese. The Clinton White House proposed putting up a huge tent on the South Lawn, big enough for 400. Mr. Jiang’s advance crew insisted on a more intimate affair in the elegant East Room, just like the one President Jimmy Carter had hosted for Deng Xiaoping. Perhaps mindful of that complicated history, the Obama White House is keeping the details of its dinner under tight wraps." (NYT)


"Sundance is looking to be a hip-hop affair between the movies and the live entertainment booked for the 10-day film festival. Aside from performances by Snoop Dogg, the Roots and Lauryn Hill at Park City venue Harry O's, 50 Cent is hosting a dinner with Floyd Mayweather where they'll announce a partnership for film projects through 50 Cent and Randall Emmett's production company, Cheetah Vision Films. Cheetah has $200 million in financing and has already produced six movies, including 'Setup' with Jackson, Ryan Phillippe and Bruce Willis. Fitty's rumored gal pal, Chelsea Handler, is also expected to be with him at Sundance. Another film drawing pre-festival buzz is music documentary 'Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,' directed by Michael Rapaport. The '90s rap group will also be attending the premiere. But what we really want to see is Snoop Dogg on skis." (PageSix)



"This season, private-jet owners in New York and other points in the Northeast are encountering frustration as they attempt their usual weekend departures to Florida and the Bahamas. Evidently, airspace along the designated route to these vacation destinations is in such high demand on Friday afternoons that travelers are typically required to wait on the taxiway at the airport, often for several hours, before their planes can be cleared for takeoff. The delays, traditionally thought to be an inconvenience suffered only by passengers on commercial airlines, are causing both surprise and confusion among elite jet-setters. Just a few days ago, I was catching a ride to Palm Beach for the long weekend when the captain of the aircraft announced to everyone on board that excessive traffic would hold us on the ground for a minimum of one hour. Reactions to these delays vary, naturally. What I find to be an amusingly ironic reminder of the drawbacks of placing too much value on luxury, others see as a genuine disappointment. Not surprisingly, people who spend between $10 million and $50 million on a jet don’t expect to be plagued by the same issues that beleaguer regular airlines. And when the realization hits, the response usually is one of bewilderment." (VanityFair)


" One of my celebrity obsessions is Hillary ... I’ve met her a few times, I think maybe four, or five. Albeit briefly; handshake and a few words. I don’t know her at all outside of the impressions from those moments and what I read and hear. We had brief conversations. She once asked me when she was first running for Senator what I thought was the most important issue facing us. I immediately said: 'The environment' ... She understood where I was coming from but didn’t think it was the most important. I disagreed with her but I liked her telling me that she wasn’t in total agreement. It meant there was at least a kernel of truth there ... I was told recently that “it’s a given” that she will not be Obama’s Secretary of State if he has a second term. Changes occur. Someone else told me that actually she’d like to be Secretary of Defense. Think about it: student, lawyer, wife, mother, First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and first woman Secretary of Defense. What’s left after that?" (NYSocialDiary)


"Chloë Sevigny was standing a few feet from the DJ booth, swaying in a polka-dot dress and a black beret. Sometime around midnight she had started drinking Patrón against her will. 'It’s not my favorite,' she told The Observer Saturday night, talking not two centimeters from our nose. The Human League was wailing on the sound system, and the leather-and-denim-clad crowd was singing along. She pointed to the red vinyl couch behind her, where some shaggy-haired boys and blondes in T-shirts were swiftly dispatching the offending bottle of tequila. This, The Observer told her, was simply unacceptable. If anyone deserved her precise drink of choice, it was Ms. Sevigny. She’s been beloved of the downtown crowd since she played the tragic teenage waif in the ever-more-legendary Kids. Hollywood adores her, too. In The Last Days of Disco she bopped from one polyester-fueled night to the next, sashaying with a revolving cast of New York party boys and ambling through Whit Stillman’s nimble dialogue. She nabbed an Oscar nomination for her stunning role in Boys Don’t Cry, then entered into TV polygamy. Her smile still beguiles. And Saturday it was her party. Earlier in the day, Opening Ceremony debuted Ms. Sevigny’s new collection, and to celebrate she invited her friends to the bash at Don Hill’s. Where else? Her brother, Paul, hot-spot impresario par excellence, owns the place with Nur Khan, and it has endured in the months since the bombast of its opening week—Iggy Pop bled and spat and all the pretty faces of Fashion’s Night Out were going to hell." (TheObserver)


"China has escalated a campaign of pressure against the U.N.'s chief sanctions enforcers, blocking the reappointment this month of a U.N. arms investigator who discovered Chinese bullet shells in Darfur, Sudan, in violation of a 6 year-old U.N. arms embargo. Beijing's action could undermine the independence of numerous panels of U.N. experts responsible for enforcing U.N. sanctions and arms embargos, according to former U.N. arms experts and diplomats. One top council diplomat called China's behavior 'deplorable,' saying it sends a troubling message that any U.N. expert who delves into China's role in the illicit arms trade may lose his job. The dispute places another harsh spotlight on Chinese diplomacy at a time when President Hu Jintao is preparing to hold his final high-level summit at the White House Wednesday with President Barack Obama. It also highlighted how China's expanding global interests, including a burgeoning small arms trade in Africa, are colliding with some of the United States priorities at the United Nations. Since 2001, China has supplied Khartoum with 72 percent of its imports of small arms and light weapons, according to Sudanese customs data cited by the Small Arms Survey. Investigations into arms trafficking have increasingly focused on China, rather than countries in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, whose nationals sold massive numbers of surplus weapons to African clients in the 1990s. While Beijing has worked constructively with Washington on many high priority U.N. issues, striking agreements on tough U.N. sanctions resolutions against North Korea and Iran, it has sometimes impeded efforts to ensure those very same measures are actually enforced. And it is only one of many countries that have resisted the U.N.'s requests for help in tracing the illicit import of weapons into Africa's conflict zones." (ForeignPolicy)



"Ben Affleck, whose sophomore directing effort The Town has made him one of the hottest directors in town, has added another possible next directing project to his roster. And this one must be good, it’s #8 on the Black List. The project’s titled American Bullshit, an Eric Warren Singer-script. According to the Black List description, the drama's described as 'the true story of Abscam, the FBI's 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress to root out corruption which was the brainchild of the world's greatest con man.'" (Deadline)


"New York City has the biggest income disparity of any big city in America. In completely unrelated news: guess how much Goldman Sachs pays it partners? Just try to guess! The New York Times and Footnoted did a little review of Goldman's financial disclosures. This completely public information still holds the amazing ability to shock and amaze! Current Goldman partners: 475. Total current and former partners: 860. Amount of Goldman stock cashed out by that group in the past 12 years: $20 billion +. Approximate average cashed out per year per partner: $1.94 million. Amount of Goldman stock still held by that group: $10 billion +. Percentage of current partners who are male: 87. Approximate value of Goldman stock held by CEO Lloyd Blankfein and family: $355 million." (Gawker)


"Sen. Kent Conrad’s decision to retire makes the 2012 Senate map a little easier for Republicans aiming to retake the Senate majority, and it shines a spotlight on Democrats who haven’t yet said whether they plan to seek re-election in what could be a tough cycle for the party. Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday is widely expected to say he has decided against a re-election bid, opening a seat in Connecticut that Democrats are likely to retain. But Conrad’s move changes the 2012 landscape and won’t help the party stave off a likely loss in North Dakota. Conrad is the lone Democrat in North Dakota’s delegation, and Republican Sen. John Hoeven’s landslide victory following Sen. Byron Dorgan’s retirement last year may have scared away Democrats on the bench from seeking Conrad’s seat next year. Roll Call Politics has moved the North Dakota race from Leans Democratic to Leans Republican. With Conrad out and no clear Democratic successor in place, a less competitive race would allow the GOP, just four seats shy of the majority, to focus on other pickup opportunities." (RollCall)


"The retirement of Joe Lieberman is the culmination of a series of domestic repercussions of the Iraq war. The war estranged Lieberman from his party base, which gave rise to a liberal primary challenge in 2006. National Democrats supported Lieberman, but when he lost the primary, they lined up behind the fully-nominated Democrat, infuriating Lieberman and driving him away from his party. Lieberman's final departure from the party became inevitable when he supported, and enthusiastically campaigned for, John McCain in 2008. It's one thing for a Dixecrat in a Southern state to do that fifty years ago, but Connecticut is one of the more liberal states in the country. After that, Lieberman had no plausible path to return to the Senate. The most interesting question may be why Lieberman took this suicidal path." (TNR)


"Sometimes getting into trouble does pay. Model Jessica White -- arrested in October after a catfight outside a Chelsea club -- has landed a reality show on the Oxygen Network. Cameras will start filming the beauty, who split with Sean Penn last year, as early as Friday and through Fashion Week.Her lawyer, Mark Jay Heller,said, 'The show is based on her life and some of her colorful friends, almost like 'Entourage.' ' Oxygen didn't get back to us, but sources said White's arrest hasn't hurt her modeling career -- 'in fact, she seems to be getting more work,' one said. White claims she's not guilty and was provoked." (PageSix)

No comments: