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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The Libyan uprising has given French President Nicolas Sarkozy an opportunity he has long coveted: to lead a risky international mission that holds out promise of ultimate glory. For Gen. Charles de Gaulle, the founder of the Fifth Republic, the pursuit of what the French call la grandeur was the primary raison d'être of a head of state. His successors have by and large shared the general's view, tenaciously defending French national interests and independence. Sarkozy's idea of grandeur differs from de Gaulle's or Mitterrand's, however. The two former presidents saw themselves as students of history, men with long views of the national interest. Sarkozy is a creature of the moment who has always lived by the daily news cycle. Risk quickens his pulse and whets his appetite. He first came to prominence as mayor of the Paris suburb of Neuilly, when a madman with a bomb held a preschool classroom hostage. Sarkozy entered the room, talked the bomber into surrendering, and emerged to waiting cameras with a child in his arms. Crisis is his element. In the crisis that followed Russia's invasion of South Ossetia in 2008, for example, Sarkozy, who then occupied the rotating presidency of the European Union, inserted himself into the center of the conflict and, in a whirlwind of shuttle diplomacy, persuaded the Russians not to make good on their threat to overthrow the Georgian government. His penchant for taking risks has not always paid off, however." (ForeignPolicy)


"A couple of weeks ago there was a lot of talk around town about writer Michael Wolff’s 'nasty' piece in British GQ on Elaine Kaufman, the recently deceased owner of the legendary Elaine’s. Many were up in arms over Wolff’s characterization of Elaine as, among other things, a 'loud and stupid, uncomprehending woman,' 'grotesque, a freak show,' an 'odd amusement,' and 'gross' ... Elaine liked to be charmed just as much as the next person, but she had a bullshit-o-meter that was always working super-efficiently. Hers was a tough business for anyone and five times as tough for a woman alone. And she aced it. It wouldn’t have surprised her for one second to hear that Michael Wolff called her a bunch of names in the British GQ. It would have surprised her if he’d shown up at her joint some night after that. Although she knew damned well he wouldn’t have. She knew how to bully a bully. With her own two hands if need be. Elaine’s was full of writers because Elaine was one of those people who just loved writers. The way some people love painters or dancers or opera singers." (NYSocialDiary)


"In a few weeks, Warner Bros. will release the latest remake of Arthur, an outrageous comedy about an endearing drunk with piles of money and the audacity to spend it. The appeal hinges on the notion that no real-life person could rival Arthur’s oddly charming extravagance. In fact, the movie’s tagline claims that Arthur is 'the world’s only lovable billionaire.' Maybe so, but here are five actual billionaires who have out-partied Arthur ... Malcolm Forbes ... Paul Allen ... Sean Parker ... Mikhail Prokhorov ... Mark Cuban." (Jamie Johnson/ VanityFair)


"What are the ethics, if there are any, of photographing a dead-drunk starlet? Try running that question by Larry Fink. A successful photographer of boxers, jazz musicians and the 1970s Studio 54 scene, he has had retrospectives at MoMA and the Whitney, and a breakthrough well into his career. In 1999, he was lured by Graydon Carter to photograph Vanity Fair's annual Oscar party. (He was put under contract to keep him from joining Tina Brown's Talk, he said.) He didn't know who anybody was, but that was to change. His high-contrast, brutally honest photos of celebrities like Anjelica Huston, Dennis Hopper and Adrien Brody, taken documentary style with a hand-held flash, have became well known. Touring the Park Avenue Armory last weekend, where he spoke at the Aipad Photography Fair, he talked to The Observer about politics, celebrity, and about becoming, as he calls himself, Hollywood's 'court jester.'"( Observer)


"Howard said he was reading an interview that Paris Hilton did with Neil Strauss at 18 and in the article she was talking about how she got implants at 14 and her mother made her get them removed. He said this was pretty shocking stuff. She talked about some other wild stuff in that article. At one point she said she can't stand black guys and she's grossed out by them. Howard said someone told him that she denied doing the interview. Robin asked why Neil would risk his career and write a fake article. Howard said he had two tape recorders rolling on him so maybe he has those tapes of Paris too. Howard said he'd love to hear those tapes. Howard said this world is fucked up. He said they treat Paris like a goddess." (Marksfriggin)


"Tavi Gevinson just finished a plate of spaghetti with her parents at home in the leafy Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill., on Monday night when the 14-year-old blogger got on the phone to talk about the Web site and magazine she’s launching with Jane Pratt. Gevinson said the project started when she got an e-mail from the former Sassy and Jane editor in chief after she posted photographs from Sassy on her blog, Style Rookie, 11 months ago. 'I had been talking about this magazine that I wanted to start, and she told me that she was starting this Web site and that the magazine could be kind of a branch under the JanePratt.com umbrella for teenaged people — girls,' Gevinson said. “It was kind of perfect.' And, like that, the young fan became a business partner. 'It’s obviously such an honor to work with her,' said Gevinson of Pratt. 'When we actually sit down and discuss the projects and everything, it doesn’t feel like she’s talking down to me or like I should be so honored to be working with her, even though I am. The moment we sit down and start sharing ideas, it becomes a partnership.' An intriguing one." (WWD)


"At Monday night's Asia Society benefit gala on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the likes of Dr. Henry Kissinger, honorary chair Renée Fleming, and Amy Fine Collins found themselves on the Silk Road, complete with sitar player, spice market, and platters of Indian delicacies. Naeem Khan, the evening's other honorary chair, contributed to the opulent decor by designing a dinner table, along with designers Waris Ahluwalia—whose fluorescent pyramid added a modern touch—Doo-Ri Chung, and John Hardy." (Style)

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