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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"How, one wonders, could Dominique Strauss-Kahn have thought that he might be able to get away with rape—if that’s in fact what he did? Jonathan Tobin points to the differing norms regarding sexual conduct by politicians in Europe as opposed to the U.S. Also worth mentioning is the culture of impunity which for too long has prevailed in international institutions like the IMF and UN toward misconduct within their own ranks.The United Nations, for instance, has been embarrassed by its mishandling of sexual harassment cases. The Wall Street Journal reported a couple of years ago: 'Many U.N. workers who have made or faced accusations of sexual harassment say the current system for handling complaints is arbitrary, unfair and mired in bureaucracy. One employee’s complaint that she was sexually harassed for years by her supervisor in Gaza, for example, was investigated by one of her boss’s colleagues, who cleared him.' Even worse has been the fact that UN has not done nearly enough to end the plague of rape and child abuse which apparently has been perpetrated by its peacekeepers in Africa. A typical report a few years ago noted that 'Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers. . . . A 13-year-old girl, ‘Elizabeth’ described to the BBC how 10 UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home.' That such crimes can occur with scant hope of punishment is no surprise because international institutions are often shielded by diplomatic immunity and not adequately supervised by any law enforcement agency or judicial body. That must change; working for an international organization is a privilege that should not be abused, as it too often is." (Max Boot)



"In keeping with their very public — and political — lives, two distinctly different portraits of the marriage and its status have emerged in the days since the breakup became public. Schwarzenegger, 63, suggested that the split was temporary and the couple were working toward reconciliation. 'We both love each other very much,' the former governor said at an appearance last week at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. 'We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children and we're taking one day at a time.' Friends of Shriver, 55, offered a grimmer assessment, saying she had been unhappy for years but made no move until after her parents died and Schwarzenegger finished his term as governor. Her father, Sargent Shriver, died Jan. 18, nearly a year and a half after the death of her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The marriage between Shriver and Schwarzenegger — pairing one of Hollywood's top box office draws and a member of one of America's most storied Democratic political clans — has long been a subject of public interest. As an actor, Schwarzenegger reveled in his macho image. But his behavior became an issue during his first campaign for governor, in the 2003 recall election, when more than a dozen women said he had groped them over a period of many years. Schwarzenegger at first denied the allegations, then apologized. Shriver offered a timely and politically crucial defense of her husband, vouching for his personal integrity." (LATimes)


"Six months after the death of its legendary proprietor, Elaine’s restaurant will close its doors next week. On Tuesday, Elaine’s longtime manager, who inherited the restaurant from Elaine Kaufman, said that the business was no longer viable. She said that Elaine’s last night would be May 26. The last last call will come around 4 a.m. the following morning. 'The truth is, there is no Elaine’s without Elaine,' the manager, Diane Becker, said. She added, 'The business is just not there without Elaine.' A spokeswoman for Ms. Becker said she would put the two buildings on Second Avenue that the restaurant occupies on the market." (CityRoom)


"There are 3.1 million New Yorkers who are either illiterate or cannot read and write beyond the fifth grade level. If you think that’s shocking, get this: There are 90,000,00 Americans who are in that category. 90 million of us. Last night Literacy Partners held their annual Gala Evening of Readings at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. They 'saluted' Louise and Leonard Riggio – Mr. Riggio. Mr. Riggio is one of those great American stories that my parents’ generation called 'Horatio Alger stories.'... Last night Liz Smith, who emceed the evening, announced that the Riggios had donated $250,000 to Literacy Partners ...In its 27 years of existence, Literacy Partners has helped provide free high-quality education to more than 35,000 adult New Yorkers ... At the dinner, Hugh Hildesley of Sotheby’s conducted an auction with nothing to sell but funds to raise. An anonymous guest had committed $100,000 in matching funds to Literacy and Mr. Hildesley with his basso profondo tones urged enough of us to donate – beginning in increments of $10,000, then five, then one, then $500 – and matched it, and then some. The funds will all go to hiring more teachers to assist the students at Literacy." (NYSocialDiary)


"Harvey Weinstein is eyeing The Artist, a French, black-and-white, silent period piece, as an Oscar contender. He hosted a luncheon with Len Blavatnik on Saturday in Cannes on the Russian mogul's yacht. Guests included Ron Burkle, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Jane Fonda, Naomi Campbell and Sarah Jessica Parker. Weinstein is planning to release The Artist later this year, and sources say he'll push it at Oscar time. The film has gotten a sunny reception on the Riviera."(PageSix)
 
 
"The arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn may cause some delays to an EU/IMF bailout plan but will not affect Greece's resolve to implement reform, a senior Greek government official told Reuters on Sunday.IMF chief and possible French presidential contender Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged on Sunday with sexual assault, including an attempted rape, in New York City. He was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and attend a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday to discuss the euro zone debt crisis and how to handle Greece's bailout as the country struggles to meet targets. 'This might definitely cause some delays in the short term,' the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, referring to meetings planned for Sunday and Monday. 'Strauss-Kahn had a very good knowledge of Greece's situation,' he said." (Reuters)
 
 
"Jane Pratt, founding editor of Sassy, was social media before social media existed. Today she’s launching xoJane.com, her answer to Sassy for a constantly connected generation. Sassy, the cool girl’s anti-glossy--whose winking, edgy-for-a-teen-mag coverlines (Long-Distance Romance: Sucky Or Not?; Do You Need Armpit Hair To Be a Feminist?) could easily be Twitterbait 20 years later--created the voice that informed a thousand snark-filled blogs. It put readers on a first-name basis with editors (who didn’t use surnames in their bylines), and writers crafted features and advice based on personal experience rather than the ruling of 'experts' in beauty, fashion, or sex. For Pratt, the personal and the social were intuitive well before the technology was there to implement those ideas fully. 'I was always trying to include the readers in what we were doing back before the technology was there to make it as easy as it is now, with reader-produced issues and all that cumbersome stuff,' says Pratt. 'Now I want to take the whole community thing to another level.'" (Fast Company via Media ReDEFined))


"Advertisers like NBC's and Fox's decisions to add comedies to their fall lineups but say the clips shown to them today don't show enough to suggest whether any will become hits. 'Comedies are the hardest thing to do,' says Gary Carr of Targetcast. Even 30 Rock, a survivor on the NBC schedule, 'goes over most people's heads. It's not doing that well.' One advertiser says that 'what you see today (at the upfront presentations) is not necessarily going to be there (on the shows) in the fall.' Still, comedies are big this year because Modern Family demonstrated that they can get young people, and they repeat well. The two shows getting the most attention are NBC's musical Smash and the network's remake of the British hit Prime Suspect. 'It made a star out of Helen Mirren,' Horizon Media's Brad Adgate says. At Fox, advertisers wonder whether there'll be talent-contest overkill by airing Simon Cowell's new The X Factor in the fall, followed by American Idol in the winter. 'At some point it's too much,' says Lyle Schwartz of GroupM." (Deadline)


"A handful of models of Asian origin have been celebrated in the west before, such as Tina Chow. More recently, Du Juan became the first Asian model on the cover of French Vogue and has walked for Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. Yet New York magazine described Sui He's Ralph Lauren appearance as 'the most surprising casting of the season', saying more about the persistent whiteness of the fashion industry than about its new-found diversity. Cheung is proud to say that Vogue China played a part in the rise of Chinese models by flying in big-name international photographers for fashion spreads: 'We pretty much launched [Du Juan's] career by having Patrick Demarchelier shoot her,' she said. But, she concedes, there is another reason why Chinese models are in fashion: money. 'Because of the economic problems elsewhere, China became the only shining spot. As a consumer market it has grown and grown,' she said. Consultancy firm Bain & Co reported recently that China would this year become the world's second largest luxury-goods market, with 25% growth taking it to $17bn-worth of sales. McKinsey predicts that by 2015 it will be worth $27bn. Louis Vuitton's decision to hire Godfrey Gao was not only a testament to his razor-like cheekbones, but to the increasing clout of Chinese luxury consumers, more than half of whom are male. Similarly, Estée Lauder's decision to hire Liu Wen is less surprising given China's multi-billion-pound skincare and cosmetics industry. This gives some encouragement to those who hope east Asian models will continue to be used, despite the industry's history of showing a fleeting interest in, say, larger models or black women." (Guardian)


"Howard (Stern) said Arnold (Schwarzenegger) is a trip. He said he used to do the show a lot but not since he became Governor. Howard said his mother in law was in town once and Arnold came by and said hi to her. He said he was a lovely guy to him and he's not married to him so he's fine. Howard said Arnold was really cool to them over the years. Robin said that he called her once and apologized for her not enjoying one of his movies. Howard said Arnold was really nice but he'd walk into a room with an entourage and it was a lot of effort to go through your day like that. He had a whole set up like he was the President. Robin (Quivers) said they had a whole schedule and they'd squeeze in the room to meet with him and his mother in law. Howard said it was a precision schedule that he was on. Howard said when it comes down to it Arnold gets home and looks at the maid. It's kind of sad. Gary told Howard that there's an article and it says that the maid was married as well." (Marksfriggin)

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