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Friday, February 11, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In a reportedly tense phone call between King Abdullah and Barack Obama, the Saudi ruler admonished the American president for being too quick to urge Hosni Mubarak to step down from office, the Times of London reports. Worried that the West was pulling the rug out from under the Egyptian autocrat and thereby 'humiliating' him, Abdullah warned against the United States pulling its aid from Egypt in order to force Mubarak's exit. The U.S. currently gives $1.5 billion in yearly aid to Egypt, one of our sole close allies in the Middle East. Abdullah, one of the wealthiest men in the world and ruler of one of the most oil-rich nations (for now at least), said he would match that if it meant giving his longtime friend a leisurely and dignified break from power. 'Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated,' said a government source in Riyadh." (NYMag)


"... Later in the evening Katie Schecter and I went to The opening of Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld and Andy Valmorbida's 'RETNA: The Hallelujah World Tour' exhibit. I must say it was an impressive crowd for a not so impressive show. The after-party at Indochine, however, was so fun! The bartenders were cute, DJ Nick Cohen aka Chicky was playing great tunes while little yummies were passed around. It was nice running into both Jamie Johnson and Jaime Johnson and the effortlessly chic Antonia Thompson. We should have stayed there but instead we went to Bunker, which was kind of a snooze fest. Then Le Bain, which was fun but no one seemed in the mood to dance. And next thing I knew I was in bed by 2 a.m!!" (Hannah Bronfman)


"There's a lone genius—possibly evil and certainly entrepreneurial—behind Ashley Madison. His name is Noel Biderman, and he's the chief executive officer of Avid Life Media, based in Toronto. 'Monogamy, in my opinion, is a failed experiment," he declares. It's unclear if Biderman actually believes this—he's married and has two young kids—but like Hugh Hefner before him the business he has created pretty much requires that he say it. Behind his desk, in an office so lacking in embellishment it almost looks like a hastily assembled low-budget film set, is a large flat-screen monitor promoting his company's flagship brand. It reads: 'Life is short. Have an affair.' Adultery has been good to Biderman, but defending his product is a full-time job." (BusinessWeek)


"EUROPEANS have learned to let their attention drift when Brussels starts droning on about 'process'. But every so often, a change in the mechanics of the European Union really does matter. Just such a moment looms next month, at the first summit meeting of the euro zone ever to be held, when Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy will press for agreement to a 'pact of competitiveness'—part of a grand bargain under which more money will be made available to bail out troubled euro-zone economies, with perhaps more flexibility in its use. The pact sounds technical, but it foreshadows something much bigger: a closer integration of the euro zone that could hold threats for the entire EU." (TheEconomist)

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