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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"BERNARD-HENRI LÉVY, 62, is such an inescapable figure in France — of mockery, admiration, amusement, envy — that he is by now unembarrassable. Making his mark young as a philosopher, he was satirized neatly by a critic with the words: 'God is dead, but my hair is perfect.' But in the space of roughly two weeks, Mr. Lévy managed to get a fledgling Libyan opposition group a hearing from the president of France and the American secretary of state, a process that has led both countries and NATO into waging war against the forces of the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. It was Mr. Lévy, by his own still undisputed account, who brought top members of the Libyan opposition — the Interim Transitional National Council — from Benghazi to Paris to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy on March 10, who suggested the unprecedented French recognition of the council as the legitimate government of Libya and who warned Mr. Sarkozy that unless he acted, 'there will be a massacre in Benghazi, a bloodbath, and the blood of the people of Benghazi will stain the flag of France.'  Mr. Lévy, a celebrated philosopher, journalist and public intellectual, gives Mr. Sarkozy sole credit for persuading London, Washington and others to support intervention in Libya." (NyTimes)

"I’m from Old Hollywood; I’ve been around this town for 50 years. My friends were Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas. That’s who used to hang at my house. That became Clooney and Pitt and Damon and Stallone and Willis. It went from Eva Gardner to Julia Roberts. I don’t know what Hollywood is anymore. The entrepreneurs are gone—there’s some left. The studios and networks are all owned by big corporate. You don’t have the General Sarnoffs, the Bill Paleys, and the Leonard Goldensons, the Jack Warners and the Louis Mayers. It’s a different breed now. When someone spends money now to do a movie with special effects, they spend $150 to $200 million, and another $100 million on prints and advertising. But it’s not their money; it’s the stockholders’ money. It’s a different game." (Jerry Weintraub/ Vanity Fair)




"On the evening of December 2nd, 2010, a handful of America's media and entertainment elite—including TV anchors Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos, comedienne Chelsea Handler, and director Woody Allen—convened around the dinner table of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It wasn't just any dining room, but part of a sprawling nine-story townhouse that once housed an entire preparatory school. And it wasn't just any sex offender, but an enigmatic billionaire who had flown the likes of former President Bill Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak around the world on his own Boeing 727. Last spring, Epstein completed a 13-month sentence for soliciting prostitution from a minor in Palm Beach. Now he was hosting a party for his close friend, Britain's Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne. When a photo later surfaced of the two men walking in Central Park that weekend, the British press seized on the story, spinning out weeks of headlines about the 16-year relationship between Epstein and Andrew, with salacious details of underage 'masseuses' and even a cozy weekend in Balmoral. Members of parliament began calling for Prince Andrew's resignation as Britain's trade envoy, and when another photo surfaced of Andrew and a 17-year-old concubine Epstein had allegedly 'loaned' him splashed across the London tabs, even Britain's business secretary wouldn't confirm the royal could keep his role. But the uproar over 'The Prince and The Perv'—as the British headlines screamed—mysteriously drowned in the Mid-Atlantic." (TheDailyBeast)


"Barolo is one of the few wines that can inspire the kind of fanaticism that animates Burgundy lovers, and last weekend more than a hundred fans of Italy’s greatest red gathered at Del Posto in New York to celebrate their passion. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the first annual Festa del Barolo was the announcement by Roberto Conterno of Giacomo Conterno that there would be no 2007 Conterno Barolo Monfortino. Monfortino is considered by many connoisseurs to be the first wine of Piedmont, the ultimate Barolo. Conterno was the last speaker of fifteen top Barolo producers who attended the first time event, organized by Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advocate, and modeled, one suspects, on La Paulee New York, Daniel Johnnes’ ten-year-old event dedicated to Burgundy." (Jay McInerney/WSJ)





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