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Friday, June 10, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Anthony Weiner’s former boss and longtime mentor, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is perhaps the only New York politician who could persuade the embattled congressman to resign. But even as House and Senate Democrats from around the country are lining up to call for Weiner’s head in the wake of revelations that he’s been promiscuously lying about his rampant sexting, the seven-term congressman is clinging to his seat in New York’s 9th congressional district and Schumer has shown no inclination to give his protégé the push. 'The feeling seems to be that the only way Weiner will resign is Schumer telling him to leave,' says a well-connected New York Democratic political consultant, who asked for anonymity because of the delicacy of the situation. 'That’s the only circumstance people can imagine because their relationship is so close—and it will only happen if Weiner’s mentor abandons him.' The consultant noted that even though the notoriously arrogant Weiner is widely disliked among members of the New York delegation, they are keeping their powder dry. Only one of them, Brooklyn Rep. Edolphus Towns—who suffered his own ordeal in the scandal machine in 1992 with his 408 overdrawn checks on the House bank—actually issued a statement of support on Tuesday, bizarrely praising Weiner’s 'honesty and integrity.' The 60-year-old Schumer, to whom the 46-year-old Weiner lied about trolling for women on the web when the scandal broke in late May, initially offered his ex-aide public support and pointedly didn’t demand Weiner’s resignation on Monday after conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart published damning new photographs and messages that forced the married congressman to admit wrongdoing at a humiliating press conference." (TheDailybeast)


"Which aging royal was recently totally transfixed by Jennifer Aniston's cleavage as she dined with Justin Theroux at the Sunset Tower Hotel's Tower Bar? He was sitting with a group at a nearby table and so obviously staring at Aniston's breasts that other diners worried he would spill his soup. Aniston, meanwhile, stayed totally focused on her date . . .Which socially connected New York artist began his career as cocaine dealer for his high-flying pals? Even the vials of coke he provided were artfully offered with mini-spoons, but he gets very tetchy if anyone mentions the dusty old days now." (PageSix)


"A new video from al Qaeda’s media arm, As-Sahab, became available on the Internet on June 2. The video was 100 minutes long, distributed in two parts and titled 'Responsible Only for Yourself.' As the name suggests, this video was the al Qaeda core’s latest attempt to encourage grassroots jihadists to undertake lone-wolf operations in the West, a recurrent theme in jihadist messages since late 2009. The video, which was well-produced and contained a number of graphics and special effects, features historical footage of a number of militant Islamist personalities, including Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abdullah Azzam and Abu Yahya al-Libi.  In addition to al-Libi, who is considered a prominent al Qaeda ideological authority, the video also features an extensive discourse from another Libyan theologian, Sheikh Jamal Ibrahim Shtaiwi al-Misrati. Al-Misrati (who is from Misurata, as one can surmise from his name) was also featured in a March 25 As-Sahab message encouraging jihadists in Libya to assume control of the country and place it under Shariah once the Gadhafi regime is overthrown. The still photo used over the March message featuring al-Misrati was taken from the video used in the June 2 message, indicating that the recently released video of al-Misrati was shot prior to March 25. The video also contains a short excerpt of a previously released Arabic language Al-Malahim media video by Anwar al-Awlaki and an English-language statement by Adam Gadahn that is broken up into small segments and appears periodically throughout the video. Despite the fact that many of the video segments used to produce this product are quite dated, there is a reference to bin Laden as a shaheed, or martyr, so this video was obviously produced after his death." (STRATFOR)


"The confusion started at around 5:15 p.m. last night, when NY1's Pat Kiernan tweeted that the Black Eyed Peas show in Central Park—an hours-long, sponsor-spangled extravaganza benefiting the Robin Hood Foundation that was to be preceded by appearances by the likes of Zach Braff and Tony Bennett, and was rumored to feature a Taylor Swift cameo—had been delayed because of the thunderstorms rumbling into the New York metropolitan area. It was like a bizarro snow-day announcement, with the wry Canadian newscaster breaking the news that things were too wet and wild out there in the early evening on the Internet instead of in the early morning on TV, and coming as it did on a day when the mercury was causing people to drop Do The Right Thing references instead of complaints about how their radiators weren't working. Twitpics of people being herded out of the park and told to come back later started percolating out, and eventually things became official: The gates would open at 7:30 and the show would start at 8:30, because the worst of the storms would have passed by then. I showed up to the press gate at 7:30 on the dot (after hitting the Upper East Side's Shake Shack outpost, which played host to quite a few people looking to kill time/fill up before the gates reopened) to pick up my lanyard identifying me as media and was eventually led to an area to the right of the stage where there were risers and a bench. (Hooray, a bench!) The park looked gorgeous in the gloom, the green of the trees and plants popping against the gray dusk, and I made a mental note to leave the house on days when the weather seemed lousy more often. The music started pumping from the speakers at approximately 7:50—'Smooth Criminal' was first, which seemed appropriate given that Michael Jackson is one of the artists whose broad-stroke popularity the Peas continually aspire to with their corporate synergies and willingness to recast songs entirely in order to make their hit probability more likely." (Maura Johnston)


" Last night I went over to Roosevelt House, the Public Policy Institute at Hunter College on East 65th Street for an evening with Elizabeth Warren, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). I’d seen a video of a lecture by Ms. Warren several years ago. It was given at Berkeley and it was about the economic decline of the great American Middle Class beginning in 1970. Ms. Warren looks like a farm girl from the Midwest who went off to University because she was very brainy and later moved on up the ladder. Her manner of speaking is reasonable and gentle. Even her barbs are gentle, and they are barbs. Googled her and saw that she is very well known to millions of Americans because her expertise is their interests. She’s been on many television interviews and made many appearances before Congress. What impressed me about her when I saw the lecture on YouTube was the clarity of her thought and the fairness of judgments. Her style is that homespun integrity, except you are immediately aware of a brilliant woman who is also a good teacher. Last night in her talk she mentioned that she grew up in Oklahoma, that they were ‘poor.’ She went to public schools all the way through college, because that was what she could afford. In those days – the late 60s – tuition at the state school (Univ. Houston) was $54 a semester. From there she went on to Rutgers for law school, and now she is a professor at Harvard, among her other hats." (NYSocialDiary)



"The 2012 GOP field is harder to pin down than Sarah Palin's favorite magazine. News yesterday that Newt Gingrich's campaign staff has resigned en masse is less significant in what it means for Newt's chances — he wasn't going to be the nominee even had he a trained army of thousands at his beck and call — but rather in how it shifts the power balance of the field. One top Gingrich staffer, Sonny Perdue, joined the Tim Pawlenty campaign. Meanwhile, two others departing are Rick Perry loyalists, adding to speculation that the Texas governor might be a late entrant to the contest, despite his previous denials. But now that a particularly tough, budget-balancing session of his state's legislature is winding down, Perry might suddenly be less consumed by his current day job. As Perry flirts with a White House run, Mitt Romney — the man who would be most threatened by a Perry candidacy — is making the tactical decisions of a front-runner. Romney announced that he'll skip the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa this summer. Iowa's a place for candidates to build early momentum, and a place for surprises. Romney's taken a look at the poll numbers — which currently have him as the only GOP candidate who could beat Barack Obama but also aren't so great in Iowa — and decided it's probably not worth the effort. In the last election, he campaigned hard to win the 2007 straw poll — and still ended up losing Iowa's caucuses. Perry shares many of Romney's major selling points: He's a smart, fiscally prudent pro-business guy with gubernatorial experience. Plus, he was in the Air Force, worked on the family cotton-farming business, and is a personal cheapskate — the campaign ads write themselves. He holds the powerful perch of chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. And he's good at creating jobs, which is what Americans want regardless of party affiliation right now: The L.A. Times points out that 'Perry's state has created more new American jobs in the last four years alone than all the other 49 states combined,' a soundbite-ready stat." (NYMag)


"Days after NBCUniversal successfully won U.S. television rights to the Olympics until 2020, top company executives are holed up in Santa Barbara for the first strategy-planning retreat under the new Comcast ownership, according to sources. At the three-day sojourn are more than a dozen senior executives, including CEO Steve Burke, CFO Lynn Calpeter, NBC Broadcasting chairman Ted Harbert, Universal Studios COO Ron Meyer, international chairman Jeff Shell, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, cable entertainment/cable studios chairman Bonnie Hammer, entertainment, digital and integrated media chairman Lauren Zalaznick, distribution executive vp Matt Bond, NBC News president Steve Capus, CNBC president Mark Hoffman, executive vp Patricia Fili-Krushel, general counsel Richard Cotton, NBC Sports president Mark Lazarus and corporate affairs executive vp Adam Miller. Sources say that topics of discussion include the successful cross-promotion of Universal Pictures animation-live-action hybrid Hop and NBC's The Voice, as well as the recent acquisition of the rest of Universal theme parks from Blackstone. And of course, the company’s $4.38 billion four-Olympic package is cause for many high fives" (THR)



"With NBC’s 'Meet the Press' pre-empted due to NBC’s coverage of the French Open, CBS’ 'Face the Nation' took the top slot among the Sunday morning public affairs shows in both total and demo viewers. ABC’s 'This Week' took the second slot in both categories, with Fox’s 'Fox News Sunday' bringing up the rear. All three programs were down year-to-year in both total and demo viewers, with 'MTP' also having been pre-empted last year. And without 'MTP,' the three shows were up week-to-week in both categories. Cable replays of FOX News Sunday averaged a combined 2,206,000 total viewers and 507,000 A25-54 viewers." (TVNewser)

1 comment:

Dad Of The Day said...

I took the dude for OJ.