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Friday, July 08, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"James Murdoch made a symbolic sacrifice when he announced the closure of the News of the World, the News Corp. Sunday tabloid that has been publishing for 168 years and is among the world’s largest newspapers. Just last week the company said it was going to combine elements of the News of the World and its sister tabloid, the Sun, which is published on weekdays. Shutting down the Sunday paper is a good way to create the appearance that the company is taking phone-hacking seriously, without really putting anything at the top of the company at risk. Murdoch bought time for Rebekah Brooks, the C.E.O. of News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper group, and maybe even for News Corp.’s deal for BSkyB. Rupert Murdoch's proposed acquisition of 100 percent of huge satellite operator BSkyB, in which News Corp. already holds a stake, has been waiting for nearly a year to get approval from regulators. The phone-hacking scandal has dogged the proposed takeover, as U.K. politicians and News Corp. rivals have argued that Murdoch should not be able to amass more power in Britain while the criminal investigations are ongoing. A decision was expected this week, but given new phone-hacking revelations earlier this week, Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, is reportedly expected to delay until September his final decision to approve the deal. But James Murdoch obliterated the newspaper that gave his father his start as the scourge of the British upper classes. As with all things News Corp., there are a lot of 'daddy issues' at play." (VanityFair)


"Republicans have loudly proclaimed they won’t budge on even minor tax increases, citing fears they’d hurt the economic recovery. But some are more worried about being targeted for defeat by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and have been searching for semantic detours around his no-new-taxes pledge, which many of them signed. And while Obama’s party has spent months accusing the GOP of trying to gut Medicare, a Democratic congressman offered a plan behind closed doors to slice $480 billion from federal health programs—if Republicans would swallow some tax hikes in the process.
Politicians have always postured in public and played poker in private, but as both sides dithered over the debt ceiling, even grizzled veterans grew disgusted. 'My side’s just as guilty. I think we’re going to have a crisis because politics is going to trump the good of the country,' says Republican Sen. Tom Coburn. 'It doesn’t sound like there are any real adults any more, including in the White House.'
This time may be different as Americans, beaten down by a painful recession, are hungering for leaders who can rise above the media frenzies about financial Armageddon and get them on a common-sense road to recovery. Even as each party stubbornly stuck to its talking points, strong signs of compromise emerged this week -- raising hopes for a $2 trillion-to-$4 trillion deficit-cutting package that would spread the pain around. Much work still needs to be done, and the cautiously good feelings that emerged from a bargaining session Thursday at the White House could dissipate anew into partisan bickering. The next big moment comes Sunday when the two sides return to the bargaining table, hoping to settle on an exact size of spending cuts. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich once managed to close down the government back in the mid-1990s, but they eventually suspended their sniping and passed a balanced budget. But that was in an era before Web warfare." (Howie Kurtz)


"New couple Cheryl Hines and Bobby Kennedy Jr. stayed close all night during the screening of the season premiere of HBO's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' at Time Warner Center and later at dinner at Porter House on the building's fourth floor. The two -- who insist they're  'friends' -- celebrated with series star Larry David, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, cable TV vet Henry Schleiff, Regis and Joy Philbin, Ana Gasteyer, Ari Emanuel, Kenneth Cole and HBO co-president Richard Plepler. The hit comedy's eighth season premieres on Sunday." (PageSix)



"James Murdoch’s decision to close the News of the World is seen here as the biggest gesture News Corp can make to try and save its takeover of BSkyB. Jeremy Hunt, the UK culture secretary in charge of approving the BSkyB deal, has saved face by announcing that any decision over the deal will be delayed until the fall. Hunt was due to finally approve the deal tomorrow. Owning BSkyB outright would mean News Corp getting its hands on its swelling £5.7 billion ($9 billion) revenues. It would also cement Rupert Murdoch’s position as the most powerful media magnate in Britain.
The decision to close the News of the World tabloid at the center of the deepening phone-hacking scandal has stunned media over here. One insider at News International -- Murdoch’s newspaper arm -- has told the BBC that 'Rupert Murdoch is losing his judgement' in deciding to close the paper rather than fire CEO Rebekah Brooks, who was editing the News of the World at the time of the alleged phone hacking of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler and the families of the London bombing victims. Questions are being asked as to why around 200 journalists on the News of the World should lose their jobs when those at the top of News International such as Brooks or indeed James Murdoch himself are still in place after self-admitted management failure." (Deadline)



"Nat Rothschild, the banking dynasty scion who's been linked to Natalie Portman, is throwing himself a lavish 40th birthday bash this weekend for 400 guests in sumptuous locations overlooking the Adriatic in Montenegro. Blackstone billionaire Steve Schwarzman, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Jimmy Choo's Tamara Mellon and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen are on the guest list, sources said. Rothschild has been friends with the son of Libya's Moammar Khadafy, Saif al-Islam, who had his own Montenegro birthday at the Splendid Hotel in 2009, and with Britain's Prince Andrew, but it's unclear whether either will be there this weekend. Guests will stay at the Splendid as well as the Aman Sveti Stefan resort. The festivities began yesterday with an arrival dinner. The rowdier-sounding 'Nat's Disco Soiree' is tonight at the Lido Mar Pool in Porto Montenegro, with a 'disco chic' dress code, followed by brunch tomorrow and then a nighttime marina party." (PageSix)


"They were all there ... British Royalty, Hollywood A-Listers, legendary athletes, beauty queens, NYC socialites and top business executives. They all came together to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and Young Americans’ Challenge at the Pierre Hotel ... The event benefited the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and Young Americans’ Challenge, an award program started by HRH Prince Philip in 1956. Since its introduction, the self- development initiative has been implemented in more than 130 countries. Seven million young people have taken the Award Challenge. The Award is dedicated to the personal development of people aged 14-25 from all backgrounds ... Sam Haskell, President of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Young Americans’ Challenge introduced HRH The Prince Edward to speak. When His Royal Highness’s microphone abruptly cut out, he joked, 'You can’t get rid of me that quickly!' creating a roar of laughter amongst guests. BILLY ELLIOT performers Jacob Clemente and Liz Pearce wowed the crowd with numbers Electricity and Shine from the Tony Award winning Broadway musical. Guests included Kirstie Alley, Ed Westwick, Lucie Arnaz, Laurence Luckinbill, Rob Gilbert, Marilu Henner, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, Bruce Levingston and Stephen Baer. After spending much of the evening at an event with President Obama and stuck in a frozen zone, Whoopi Goldberg made her way across town for friendly hellos and photographs with some lucky guests." (NYSocialDiary)

1 comment:

NadePaulKuciGravMcKi said...

Insurance Policy
the 7/7 cover story
the 9/11 cover story