blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"A long-brewing power struggle recently burst into public view over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's decision last month to dismiss Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi. The ensuing power struggle between Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has left the Iranian president deeply weakened and revealed many useful lessons about the closed and convoluted political workings of the Islamic Republic. On the surface, the battle appeared to be over when Ahmadinejad backed down. But there are deeper issues at stake which remain far from resolved. When Khamenei gave the president an ultimatum to reinstate the minister or resign, the supreme leader was not only preserving his own power -- the supreme leader has final say over government affairs -- but that of the entire clerical establishment. The real fight was not about cabinet ministers. It was part of a test of wills between the Ahmadinejad loyalists, especially those in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and the ruling clerical establishment over ideology, religion, the survivability of the Islamic Republic, and Iran's influence in Arab states now in transition. Khamenei appeared to believe that the cocky, alarmist Ahmadinejad, who in recent months had been boldly advancing an Iran with minimal clerical influence run by the IRGC and inspired by Iranian nationalism, not Iranian revolutionary Islamism, had to be slapped down. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic, as it has existed since the 1979 revolution, risked extinction. It might seem counterintuitive, but Khamenei's survival and that of the clerical system is in the West's interest." (ForeignPolicy)


"LAWYER Darnay Hoffman, Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows' husband until a quiet divorce some years back. I knew both. They just grew apart. His career wasn't hot. Money was tight. Health not good. Still friends, he'd stay at times in her west side apartment, where he just killed himself. Darnay, 63, Cardozo grad, student of the Nazi war criminals' chief prosecutor, descended from a revolutionary war hero, began phone calls with: 'It's Sydney's husband.' They married exactly this week in 1994. An Episcopal ceremony at Cathedral of St. John the Divine's high altar. A month honeymoon in Europe. Her first marriage. His third. Rich he wasn't. They didn't know one another long. Her blueblood mom didn't understand the hurry. Sydney told me: 'You know when it feels right. He's caring. Kind. Loving. Sympathetic. Secure enough to handle attention that comes with my background.' I guess not." (Cindy Adams)


"Michael’s was jumping. At table one, the dynamic ladies’ lunch. This group meets regularly although not quite as frequently as the Della Femina/ Imber/Greenfield/ Bergman/Kramer boys: Ellen Futter, Anna Quindlen, Faye Wattleton, Linda Fairstein, Jurate Kazickas, Esther Newberg among others. At the table next to them, Mike Ovitz with guest. Across from him: Alexandra Trower, EVP of Global Communication of the Lauder Companies with Geraldine Fabrikant. Around the room: Stan Shuman and guest, Jimmy Finkelstein with Jason Binn; Alice Mayhew with David Gergen; Herb Siegel with Frank Gifford. Ghislaine Maxwell with guest; Joe Armstrong with Chris Meigher; Jonathan Capehart, Joe Versace, and many more just like ‘em." (NYSocialDiary)


"Now that speakeasy-style lounges have become something of a cliché, bartenders are pushing boundaries by borrowing from the kitchen.'Drinks have definitely become more culinary,' notes master mixologist Dale DeGroff, author of 'The Craft of the Cocktail' and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. Still, he concedes, 'Some of it is downright silly.' As an example, DeGroff cites 'fat washing' — a process in which fat from some sort of meat, usually bacon, is added to a spirit, then the drink is frozen, skimmed of its fat and used as a cocktail ingredient. Other newly fashionable bar terms include 'bespoke cocktails' — as if the drinks were custom-tailored on Savile Row — and 'emotions in a glass.' 'We see emotions everywhere: in the media, and now even in a cocktail glass,' says Duane Fernandez — who’s created drinks for lounges such as Chelsea’s new DBar and Theater Bar — in a recent press release for Russian Standard Vodka. The release continues, 'I challenged the limitations of the classic cocktail and thought, ‘What Would Surprise Taste Like? How about Happiness?'" (NYPost)


"It’s official: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on their honeymoon. The newlyweds reportedly landed in the Seychelles Tuesday morning following sightings of Prince William and a police car full of luggage leaving the couple’s home in Anglesey Monday. For the sake of privacy, the couple reportedly chose the lush, private expanse of Fregate Island Private. The resort can accommodate a maximum of 40 people, with 16 villas that cost between $3,880 and $5,700 per night, as well as a presidential villa that comes with a price tag of $14,400 per night. Each villa is outfitted with a private pool, Jacuzzi, and personal buggy for transport around the island, as well as a butler and chef who will pick organic produce from the island garden based on guests’ desired tastes. Guests can choose to eat in the resort’s two restaurants, from a 60-foot perch in a banyan tree house, or in the comfort of their villa. For fun, Will and Kate are free to kayak, hike, windsurf, scuba dive, bike or take a guided nature walk around the island. Neither the royals nor the Seychelles will comment on whether anyone else will be allowed on the island, but presumably, they didn’t choose such a secluded spot just to share their honeymoon with random couples from Australia and New Jersey." (TheDailyBeast)


"In the press conference following the Midnight in Paris screening (at Cannes), Woody Allen kept up his recent self-effacing form. 'I've never considered myself an artist,' he said. 'I've aspired to be an artist, but I never had the depth or the substance or the gift to be an artist. If you think that Kurosawa was an artist, and Bergman was an artist and Buñuel was an artist and Fellini, then it's clear as a bell that I'm not an artist.'" (Guardian)


"HBO’s best production this year may not be a program. I had a few doubts at times with the browser version but HBO Go as an app is everything Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes promised with TV Everywhere and then some. Premium programming that might start to look like it costs too much when it’s locked in a TV looks like a much better deal when it’s available anywhere you are in a way that’s worth watching. Trying to break some of my usual clicker patterns, the other night I downloaded the iPad version. In a matter of minutes I went from download to authentication through my DirecTV log in and into the first episode of Treme‘s second season. I stopped a couple of times, opened the app again and was right back in. It’s not magic (sorry, Steve) but it is the kind of elegant solution users expect, especially for premium programs. Because it is SVOD, not linear, it also offers library programming on demand—more than 1,400 titles overall with full seasons of many series." (Stacy Kramer/ Paidcontent)



"President Barack Obama’s campaign is heeding the political siren song of Texas, telling supporters he hopes to make a real effort in a state where the growing Hispanic electorate has long raised — then dashed — Democratic hopes.Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, speaking to big-money Lone Star State Democrats at closed-door meetings in Austin and Dallas in March, predicted Obama could make a 'serious play' in the cornerstone of GOP presidential politics, according to people in attendance ... On the surface, their rationale seems compelling. The state’s population is about 35 percent Hispanic, almost identical to California’s proportion. The voting-age population in Texas is growing faster than almost anywhere else in the U.S. — with an estimated 1.2 million eligible minority voters, most of them Spanish speakers, added to the state’s population between 2008 and 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those trends have been emerging for a decade, but Democrats have, by and large, been unable to capitalize on them, owing to the state’s geography and abysmal voter registration and turnout patterns among Latinos ... California-based consultant Ace Smith, who managed Hillary Clinton’s March 2008 Texas primary victory over Obama, said the logistics of the state — with the Latino population scattered throughout almost every county — make it far more expensive to organize there than in other states with high Latino populations. 'It’s a long shot, but it’s by no means impossible,' he told POLITICO." (Politico)


"The effort by Fox News chief Roger Ailes and his wife, Elizabeth, to transform their bucolic weekend retreat in upstate New York into the sort of paranoid swamp they're more at home in continues apace: Spy on reporters for the charming small-town newspapers they own? Check. Compulsively call the local cops because you're convinced people are out to get you? Check. Start physical confrontations with the aging owner of a competing tiny newspaper and threaten to sue him? Check. The Aileses own two of the three main local papers in their adopted home of Putnam County, New York: The Putnam County News and Recorder and the Putnam County Courier. Elizabeth Ailes runs their day-to-day operations. The third, the weekly Putnam County Press, has been owned by local publisher Don Hall for 53 years. And since Ailes can't really function without an enemy to destroy—even in his mountain retreat—he's set his sights on Hall and his paper." (Gawker)

No comments: