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Monday, April 18, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Here's what America's worst enemies like Iran and North Korea are spouting on the international circuit about Libya: If the vaunted and mighty NATO and the U.S. can't humble that weirdo Col. Gaddafi and his pint-size army, 'what do we have to worry about?' To be sure, NATO and the U.S. haven't hit Gaddafi with all they have for fear of killing civilians. But they have hit him hard and on the open desert—presumably ideal terrain to show off the West's devastating air power, as opposed to the muck-like guerrilla war in Afghanistan. And while the West's enemies know well NATO's self-imposed restrictions on air attacks, they assume that NATO and the U.S. would put such limitations on themselves no matter where they fought. Thus, to Tehran and Pyongyang, the lesson of Libya is that the West can't do decisive harm to them. NATO leaders are well aware that their credibility and power are on the line. That's what drove President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday to say: '[S]o long as Gaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds.' In other words, they still intend to get rid of the Q-ball. Yet, they also recognize that their hands are tied by the U.N. mandate, which in their own words is 'to protect civilians… not to remove Gaddafi by force' Western leaders fully appreciate the box they're in, and often ask their staffs to examine if and how they can do more to incite rebellion in Gaddafi's ranks. Have no doubt, however, that though NATO's use of force is limited, it is significant and sustained." (Les Gelb)



"It's minutes before noon. Wait staff in pink dress shirts, khaki pants and white aprons gathered in the garden room at the back of Michael's restaurant on West 55th Street. There, general manager Steve Millington took the staff through the day's guest list. 'We have Paul Bierne on 27. Fourteen is Cathie Black, a long-time regular client who's had a little bit of a bumpy ride as of late so let's give her some special attention. Appreciate that. She's an iced tea and a double espresso to finish. Twenty-four is Ed Bleier.' And so goes the day's laundry list of luminaries, complete with drink preferences and table assignments. It's part of the preparation for the power lunch crowd. At Michael's, the dining room looks like a fish-bowl with bowed windows that curve out onto the street giving onlookers and the occasional paparazzi a glimpse of the diners and their Cobb Salads. But it's not necessary to be in the restaurant to know who's eating there. Just follow Michael's on Twitter. For years, these gatherings of celebrities, politicians and entertainers were once the denizen of Page Six. But in the age of new media, some restaurants are using everything from Twitter to Tumblr to attract online voyeurs – and potentially more customers. 'We've never ever publicized who our clients are. It's always been a word of mouth thing historically,' said Michael McCarty, a notable name in his own right and as well as the restaurant's gregarious purveyor and namesake. "But with the advent of Twitter we thought it would be a scream to just say who's here, so that's what we do. We do the famous 'in the house' program.'" (WNYC)


"Friday I was a little under the weather and missed what was probably one of the best parties of Just Friends in New York in a long time. Taki Theodoracopulos hosted a 70th birthday party for his good friend Chuck Pfeifer at Elaine's. I've known Chuck for quite some time, although not well, but to know him is to know about him instinctively. His professional image has been that of a real macho sort of American guy – Park Avenue kid, Dartmouth, West Point Green Beret in Viet Nam, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Winston cigarette image in the 70s, rancher, bon vivant, actor (his friend Oliver Stone put him in Wall Street), businessman; He's had an amazing life and career, basically a portrait of his American generation.  And he's one of the nicest people you could meet in New York, or anywhere.Spencer Morgan interviewed him a couple of years ago in the Observer, and I'll share it with you because it captures the man who has a lot of admiring friends. A lot of them were there this past Friday night, (Elaine would have loved it), and I could see from Patrick McMullan's pictures that it was a real Elaine's night – pals everywhere, camaraderie, stories, jokes, music and good fun." (NYSocialDiary)

 

"After some initial uncertainty, this was indeed the comeback weekend that finally ended Hollywood's extended 2011 slump at the North American box office. Because after a weak Friday, most of these pics grossed stronger on Saturday. The overall total is around $134 million, 11.7% ahead of last year's $119M. Meanwhile, this weekend Twentieth Century Fox's Rio 3D posted the best G-rated family pic opening since Toy Story 3, The Weinstein Co's Scream 4 whimpered, Warner Bros' Arthur slipped still more, FilmDistrict's Insidious and Soul Surfer stayed strong, and Robert Redford's The Conspirator debuted #9 in the Top 10 despite playing in only 707 theaters .." (Deadline)


"'No dictatorships,' Abdullah Alsaidi said firmly the other day. 'That was the policy.' You’d have been forgiven for thinking he was holding forth on his treatment of various despots throughout the Arab world. Alsaidi, who resigned last month as Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations, was so horrified by the strong-arm turn taken of late by the Yemeni government—ignoring a populist groundswell for political reform, deploying security forces to shoot massing protesters—that he abruptly broke ranks with the president whose administration he had served since 1984. At the moment, though, just two weeks later, Alsaidi was talking about his thoroughly democratic approach to home décor, with a certain amount of wistfulness. In 2005, he and his family finally moved into the majestic limestone townhouse on 71st and Park (five bedrooms; eight fireplaces, two of brecciated peach marble; a narrow sixteen feet across, 'but the depth is what makes this house'), after he convinced the Yemeni foreign ministry that there was value in laying down nearly $7 million so that its U.N. representative would have a New York dwelling fit for an ambassador. The Alsaidis’ search for it had lasted through his first three years on the job at the U.N., during which time they endured a Trump rental on First Avenue. He declared in no uncertain terms that in their new home, each vote would count equally. 'Everyone got to choose how to do their own room,' he recalled. 'I said, ‘There are no dictatorships here,’ and my wife and children selected what they desired.'" (NYMag)


"Kanye West closed out Coachella 2011 in the only way he knows how, in a grand fashion and dedicated to his mama. We'll have more pictures and recaps from Sunday later, but in the meantime, check out more of what Kanye brought to the Indio stage .."  (Brooklynvegan)

1 comment:

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Grrr. Git some followers.