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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The scathing manuscript draft of former Sarah Palin aide Frank Bailey's In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, leaked to The Daily Beast, spares not a single embarrassing email or angry campaign trail moment. Among more juicy allegations in the book, which is filled with catty asides, including a description of Palin's skin as being 'tanning-bed bronze': 1) Todd and Sarah Palin Had Marital Problems, Neglected the Kids. Sarah Palin appeared to trust Bailey and confided in him on all topics, including family matters. In an email, Palin told him that Todd was working behind her back on the Troopergate affair, writing to Bailey: 'We're not like normal couples, Frank. We don't talk.' Bailey writes that the Palins had marital problems and that Todd would even steal his wife's BlackBerry 'in order to read her emails for emotional clues' before emailing campaign headquarters during the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial campaign to 'relay his wife's demeanor,' good or bad, to the team. Bailey also alleges that Todd even accessed Palin's email without her knowledge, and if he saw something that worried him, he would call Bailey with his concerns." (TheDailyBeast)


"Strike up the Brahms, put down your bowling pin, and pick up your milkshake, because the 2011 Oscar race has closed. Academy members’ ballots are in—except those still using theirs as a bookmark—and the Oscar-bloggerati almost unanimously agree that The Weinstein’s Speech—pardon, The King’s Speech—will win best picture over The Social Network. Despite the latter’s carpet-bombing of critics’ awards, the life-affirming themes of royal self-help appear to rule the roost of Academy hearts over the cold, hard reality of Silicon Valley’s greatest e-screwing. Academy to Social Network: “You’re going to go through life thinking Oscar doesn’t like you because you didn’t run a good campaign or Academy members love British accents. We want you to know from the bottom of our hearts that’s not true. It’s because you’re an asshole.” So, what surprises are left for Sunday night? Probably none. The Social Network does have a chance at an upset and it won’t be left out in the cold entirely. Aaron Sorkin’s had a lock on best adapted screenplay for so long that if he doesn’t win, you can expect to see the sun rise in the West on Monday. Also, despite the fact best director almost always dovetails with best picture, David Fincher is favored to win for The Social Network." (VanityFair)


(image via abcnews)

"Michael’s was busy, as usual, but quiet for a Wednesday. It was the vibe; muted. Michael McCarty told me it was the school vacations – both public and private coinciding with the long holiday weekend, with families off to the slopes for their final time of the season. Nightimes they see lots of the in-town people. In session, many regulars as well as occasional guests including: Stan Shuman, Dave Zinczenko, Keith Kelly, Jean Doumanian, George Malkemus, Barbara Liberman, Michael Gross and Jessica Aufiero; Fern Mallis and Jack Kliger, Judy Price and Libby Kabler, Betty Liu, Jaqui Lividini, Jack Myers, Ed Pressman, Malcolm Morley, Marcy Bloom, Eric Korman. Last night in New York, friends invited me to dine at Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud, in the Surrey Hotel on 76th Street between Madison and Fifth. The café is not a secret, but rarely talked about and always busy." (NYSocialDiary)

"As George Friedman noted in his geopolitical weekly 'Revolution and the Muslim World,' one aspect of the recent wave of revolutions we have been carefully monitoring is the involvement of militant Islamists, and their reaction to these events .... As we watch the situation unfold in Libya, there are concerns that unlike Tunisia and Egypt, the uprising in Libya might result not only in a change of ruler but also in a change of regime and perhaps even a collapse of the state. In Egypt and Tunisia, strong military regimes were able to ensure stability after the departure of a long-reigning president. By contrast, in Libya, longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi has deliberately kept his military and security forces fractured and weak and thereby dependent on him. Consequently, there may not be an institution to step in and replace Gadhafi should he fall. This means energy-rich Libya could spiral into chaos, the ideal environment for jihadists to flourish, as demonstrated by Somalia and Afghanistan. Because of this, it seems an appropriate time to once again examine the dynamic of jihadism in Libya." (STRATFOR)


"It was a frosty standoff between designers Tom Ford and Valentino over 'The King's Speech' star Colin Firth at the Sunset Tower Hotel's Tower Bar on Tuesday night. Spies say Ford was dining with Firth when Valentino, retired from fashion but now the subject of a documentary, waltzed in, 'looked at Tom's table and was noticeably upset to see him with the celebrity of Oscar season. Valentino kept staring at Tom's table with daggers, like he was jealous that Tom had the best celebrity accessory in town. Finally, he went over to introduce himself.'" (PageSix)


"Let's say that Libya's entire oil production shuts down, a process that currently seems under way. Would Saudi Arabia genuinely make up the difference, as its energy minister, Ali al-Naimi (pictured above), has said in Riyadh? The answer is crucial -- everyone from the presidents of the world's leading industrial nations to the CEOs of the Fortune 500 to Wall Street expects Naimi to step up to the plate with Saudi's 4 million barrels a day of excess production capacity should there be an oil shortage. It's not an exaggeration to say that the global economy relies on this presumption. Yet, not everyone thinks the answer is as pat as the conventional wisdom suggests." (ForeignPolicy)


"Jim Murphy has been named an executive producer of Anderson, Anderson Cooper's new one-hour syndicated daily talk show for Telepictures Prods. set to launch on September 12, 2011. Murphy, who will exec produce alongside Cooper, has worked on such morning and magazine shows as Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, 48 Hours and CBS Evening News." (Deadline)


"There have been moments in history where revolution spread in a region or around the world as if it were a wildfire. These moments do not come often. Those that come to mind include 1848, where a rising in France engulfed Europe. There was also 1968, where the demonstrations of what we might call the New Left swept the world: Mexico City, Paris, New York and hundreds of other towns saw anti-war revolutions staged by Marxists and other radicals. Prague saw the Soviets smash a New Leftist government. Even China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution could, by a stretch, be included. In 1989, a wave of unrest, triggered by East Germans wanting to get to the West, generated an uprising in Eastern Europe that overthrew Soviet rule. Each had a basic theme. The 1848 uprisings attempted to establish liberal democracies in nations that had been submerged in the reaction to Napoleon. 1968 was about radical reform in capitalist society. 1989 was about the overthrow of communism. They were all more complex than that, varying from country to country. But in the end, the reasons behind them could reasonably be condensed into a sentence or two. Some of these revolutions had great impact. 1989 changed the global balance of power." (George Friedman)


"It's Oscars week, and Hollywood is suiting up. Last night at Eveleigh, a rustic-looking new restaurant on the Sunset Strip, those suits were by Brioni—the label joined Vanity Fair in sponsoring a cocktail party for Artists for Peace and Justice and outfitted the evening's host, Pierce Brosnan. The former 007 opted to linger coolly by the bar, leaving the Haiti charity's main mover, Paul Haggis, to do the heavy schmoozing. The Fighter has much longer odds than The Social Network. "We are for sure the underdog," the film's director, David O. Russell, admitted at the dinner Interview magazine and Hugo Boss threw for him a few blocks down the Strip at the Mondrian. 'But how can you lose? You got to be part of this thing.' It's also hard to be much of a pessimist when the Moët is flowing and you've got Milla Jovovich and Paz de la Huerta tugging at you from both sides." (Style)

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