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Friday, July 29, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"'The US borrows money regularly. It’s how we fund our country. It’s how we pay federal workers, social security checks, make Medicare payments, and give federal grants. It’s also how we pay the interest on the debt we have outstanding. In fact, all this money has already been approved by Congress. They just haven’t authorized the payment yet.' 'Really?' Ellen said. 'That sounds like a strange way of doing things.' 'Well it’s the way things are done. But listen, if we don’t make any of those payments, people don’t get paid. Imagine you’re some elderly person, living from social security check to social security check. You wait for that money so you can go to CVS for your monthly Lipitor or whatever, Stop & Shop for the cheapest food you can buy, or to pay your electric bill and keep the lights going. The US government doesn’t send you your check, and you can’t spend it, which -- I might add -- keeps the economy going. You know, that same economy that’s barely out of one of the worst recessions ever?' 'Geez,' Ellen said. 'I didn’t think about that.'" (NYSocialDiary)


"There is nothing like the feeling of being on a truly beautiful sailing boat, hoisting the sails, and silently swishing through the waves, listening to the straining of the rigging, watching the bow plunge, and then staring at the sky. All the sanding and varnishing, the Sisyphus-like job which a boat such as Bushido requires, is forgotten; the only thing that matters is the magical sweep of a sheer or the awesome cut of a mainsail leech extending over a perfect counter. And the way a boat sits on the water. Like a woman, a boat is judged by her grace when lying still. Tolstoy was no sailor, but he got it right about conveying feelings being an art form. I only wish I could convey what I feel. At the island of Koronis, where George and Lita Livanos receive like no others, Willy and Olga Shawcross came onboard Bushido and showered me with compliments. They know about boats, Willy’s father having owned a great Fife, and it was like hearing compliments about my children. Boats are like mistresses—expensive, temperamental, and volatile, but one feels for them as one feels for one’s child. But back to reality. And Greece. Pouring money in will not make Greek industry competitive. Pouring money in is the problem, not the solution. All that the summit in Brussels accomplished was giving Greece breathing space. It will not work." (Taki)

"The Forbes family was devastated by yesterday's disclosures in rival Fortune about just how poorly Forbes Media LLC performed in recent years after it sold a minority chunk to Elevation Partners in 2006 and then was forced to bring in a restructuring adviser after it went into technical default on its loans. The restructuring is what forced Steve Forbes to relinquish the CEO job and Tim Forbes to hand off the chief operating officer title. An outside CEO, Mike Perlis, was brought on board. Fortune's article on Forbes Media also reveals that the family put $107.4 million into its own pocket in 2006, after selling a 45 percent minority stake to Elevation, the investment firm controlled by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Roger McNamee and U2 frontman Bono ... Forbes had its first inkling that the Fortune article was in progress late last week and has been searching to find how such detailed financial information could have leaked out. The story was posted online yesterday, just as the Forbes board was meeting. 'They've been blown out of the water by this,' said one insider, of the Forbes family. Aside from the detailed financial information that had never before been revealed, the article also chronicled the company's well-publicized selloffs of prized assets, such as its sprawling ranch in Colorado, bought by a Forbes 400 billionaire Louis Bacon, a Fiji island sold to Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, a palace in Tangiers, its corporate 727 emblazoned with the  'Capitalist Tool' slogan and the dry docking of its yacht, The Highlander, which was formerly owned by Steve's dad, Malcolm. Fortune also says that JPMorgan and six other lenders agreed to amend the loan to the company in 2010. Steve Forbes unleashed a blistering memo to staffers in which he said the Fortune story was published 'with the clear intention of disrupting the business of its most formidable competitor.'" (Keith Kelly)


"Chalk up two more gut- punches for Oprah Winfrey and her staggering OWN cable network.
Following news that Jenny McCarthy has taken her planned Harpo-produced talk show elsewhere -- possibly to NBC -- comes word that oprah.com, Winfrey's main contribution to OWN, has lost half its readership since  'Oprah' left the air in May. Oprah.com, which Winfrey gave to Discovery Communications as her half of their partnership in starting OWN, was down nearly 50 percent in site visits last month, according to siteanalytics.compete.com. That reflects the period following Winfrey's departure from broadcast TV after the May 25 finale of 'Oprah' -- which apparently is no longer driving the show's millions of viewers to Winfrey's Web site. Oprah Winfrey is now the CEO of her network, OWN.Hitting closer to home is McCarthy's defection from the Winfrey camp. McCarthy, one of Winfrey's close pals, was developing a syndicated talk show for Harpo but has pulled up stakes and is now shopping the show around, according to foxnews.com. 'Jenny finally decided to embrace Oprah's philosophy, which is to 'follow your bliss,' ' a source told foxnews.com. 'Well, Jenny followed her bliss and walked right off the project.'" (MichaelStarr)
"Fashionistas, socials and even a convicted media baron came to Le Cirque Tuesday for the wedding of Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, who have been together 50 years. Guests including Martha Stewart, Tory Burch, Mica Ertegun, Alfred and Judy Taubman, Arlene Dahl, Marc Rosen, Iris Love and First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris were given postcards depicting the couple a half-century ago in Capri. But the real eye-turner was Conrad Black, who's due back in federal prison in September to complete his sentence for fraud. Bill Cunningham and Patrick McMullan photographed the cocktail party and a smaller dinner for 20." (PageSix)


"Friends old and new turned up at Le Cirque Tuesday night to raise a glass to Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd, who had made their 50-year union official earlier in the day. Conrad Black, Barbara Walters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Liz Smith, Tory Burch, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Mica Ertegun, Gillis Addison and Stan Herman were among the well-wishers. Scaasi said he had never really given much thought to marriage until New York State made it legal for same-sex couples to wed. Nevertheless, the guests of honor have worn for years gold bands of his design that were made in Capri. Ladd said, “This room is full of the history of our friendships and relationships. We are very grateful that you showed up and it turned out to be an amanuensis. We won’t say we’ll see you in another 50, but maybe in one.' Smith recalled vacationing with them in Capri years ago. Much to Scaasi’s chagrin, one night out on the town she asked a cigar-smoking man to exhale elsewhere. The designer was so peeved with her behavior that he gave her the cold shoulder for three days — out on the open water. 'I like to call Arnold ‘The Man Who Must Be Obeyed,’ she said. 'We finally made up and I love him.'" (WWD)

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