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Friday, February 04, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"When Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney's political action committee released its 2010 fundraising numbers on Monday, the totals impressed party officials. But buried beneath the $6.3 million 12-month total are maneuvers that while intended to stay within the letter of existing federal election law threaten to stray outside the spirit. Romney's filings provide rich details on the five state political action committees that allow the former Massachusetts' governor to maintain the core of a presidential campaign—more than 15 former staffers, campaign consultants, and policy advisers, including 2008 campaign manager Beth Myers—without the constraints that come with an official announcement. The former Massachusetts governor's use of state PACs emblemizes the strange kabuki dance that has become a presidential election tradition under current election laws. Specifically, the distinction of what a candidate can do before he officially "declares"—and what that even means in a political world of perpetual campaigning. And Romney, far more than the dozen or so others eyeing the nomination, seems to be more aggressive and creative in terms of capitalizing on his non-candidate candidate status." (TheDailyBeast)


"'Enough we say, the decision belongs to the people of the brotherly Egyptian and Tunisian nations... Turkey shares the grief of these nations as well as their hopes.' So-declared a self-confident Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday in his prime-time speech on recent events in the Middle East that received broad coverage regionally. While commentators point to the protests and revolutions in the Arab world as being the most recent example of the crumbling vestiges of the Cold War, the more significant long-term global trend is strangely familiar to the Turks. Protests in Tunisia have already overthrown the rule of a 23 year-old regime and inspired a similar uprising in the form of Egypt's ongoing protest movement. Lebanon's continuing instability and threats of Tunisian-inspired revolutions in Yemen and even Jordan further add to the significance of the moment we are witnessing in the Arab world. The unprecedented levels and inter-linkages of the protests against the traditional authoritarian regimes represented most starkly by President Mubarak, has brought the Middle East back to a period more reminiscent of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Arab nationalism than anything seen in recent memory." (ForeignPolicy)


"(Rupert) Murdoch, as often happens, is in the news for various nefarious doings. The driving force behind a media empire that includes Fox News, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal has been ducking reporters seeking comments on the growing scandal in England, where a former Murdoch employee as News of the World editor recently resigned his post as Press Secretary to PM David Cameron to defend himself against charges of condoning illegal wiretaps. Otherwise, Murdoch could be found yesterday presiding over a press conference announcing the launch of his iPad-only newspaper. I'm comparing Al Jazeera and The Daily because one is delivering vital news and the other is primarily a vanity publication of a billionaire in a late life crisis." (David Hershkovits/ Papermag)


"A packed party of interior design and indie fashion darlings toasted the debut of Matchbook Magazine, an online 'field guide to a charmed life,' at the Coach store in SoHo. Co-hosted by southern belle designer Lela Rose, John Derian of dark and irreverant decoupage fame and Vogue contrib Rita Konig, the fete looked like a lively tableau of the publication's motto. Rose, cover girl of the first issue, dished on her childhood below the Mason-Dixon line. 'I know the girls, Katie and Jane, are not Southern, but it sort of has that feel,' Rose said of the cheeky description of a matchbook girl. Besides a rosy-hued approach to life and a penchant for red velvet cake, the proverbial Matchbook girl shares her last piece of gum. 'I was never allowed to chew gum growing up. I would've been grounded if I did, but I was grounded for everything anyway' ... Matchbook co-founder and creative director Jane Lilly Warren, a former graphic designer for JP Morgan, counts the Spades and Lilly Pulitzer as inspiration for her closet, and aspirations for future profile subjects. As for aesthetic inspirations, Warren is particularly tickled by Town & Country. 'I'd like Matchbook to be for the younger Town & Country set,' Warren said. "But without the society page.'" (Fashionweekdaily)



"As Fashion Week approaches, not only do designers feel the pressure as deadlines loom but their dogs do, too. Thakoon Panichgul, whose colorful printed dresses have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rachel Bilson, is prepping his latest collection, to be unveiled Feb. 13, at his Lafayette Street studio. Staffers there were overheard grumbling that Stevie, the designer's Yorkshire terrier-Chihuahua mix, has become quite snappy of late. There was even an unverified rumor that the dog bit one of the brand's interns on the backside. Stevie is affectionately named after singer Stevie Nicks, and sources say the pooch is the apple of Panichgul's eye. At one recent Fashion Week presentation, staffers working backstage even wore buttons with Stevie's picture. A rep for Thakoon said the story was 'totally untrue.'" (PageSix)

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