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Monday, September 26, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Governing is about choosing. And a much-diminished American president has made his choice. Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking isn't and shouldn't be Barack Obama's top priority. Getting reelected is. And that means carefully husbanding his eroding political currency and expending it on matters domestic and economic. Despite all the kerfuffle at the United Nations this week, the last thing he needs to do is pick an unproductive fight with Israel or the Republicans on an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has been dead for some time now.The 'sky is falling' crowd bemoaning the loss of American influence on the peace process ought to stop whining. There's no deal now that anyone can broker. The president is right to protect his political flanks. This isn't cheap or dirty politics; it's smart. If Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas presents a bid for U.N. membership in the Security Council this week or next month, Obama should veto it and sleep well that night." (ForeignPolicy)


"More than 40 years after helping to elect Richard Nixon, (Roger) Ailes is more in demand than ever as the man to see for Republicans with designs on the White House. Perry stopped by his midtown Manhattan office a few months back, Newsweek has learned, when he was still weighing whether to make a run, and confided that he was worried about being able to raise the big bucks. 'Money will find you if people believe in your message,' Ailes assured him. Afterward, Ailes concluded that Perry had a look that “if he tells people he’s gonna kick their ass, he might actually do it, which is useful for a president.' Three weeks after dropping out of the race, Tim Pawlenty showed up to ask for a gig at Fox. But there was a complication: Pawlenty was on the verge of endorsing Romney. 'I’m not sure I want to sign you as a paid spokesman for Romney,' Ailes said. When Romney himself sought out Ailes for a pasta dinner, the Fox chief was struck by a sense of humor rarely displayed in public. 'You ought to be looser on the air,' he said while dropping off the former Massachusetts governor at his hotel." (TheDailyBeast)



"Other points in the new oral history that stuck were Jackie’s remarks about the great Charles de Gaulle, calling him 'that egomaniac.' De Gaulle had Jackie’s number from the start. Just after JFK’s funeral he told his Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux that Jackie would end up on an oilman’s yacht in two to three years’ time. Onassis owned tankers, de Gaulle’s secret services had spied on her during her Greek sojourn, and le Grand Charles was off only by a year. She married Onassis four years after JFK was buried. Jackie suspected Clare Boothe Luce of having lesbian tendencies, but I beg to differ. She also called President Abboud of the Sudan one of the smartest leaders she had ever met. Again, I beg to differ. I knew the general quite well, as I visited him regularly in the presidential palace in Khartoum and dispensed gifts in the form of British pounds from my father, who owned Africa’s largest textile plant and employed more than 5,000 Sudanese workers. Abboud was a nice man but extremely limited intellectually. Jackie loved him because following a state visit to Washington he had showered her with expensive gifts." (Takimag)


"A date is set for Spain’s scandalous wedding between the fabulously wealthy Duchess of Alba, 85, to civil servant Alfonso Diez, 61. The duchess -- or Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart -- is the most titled aristocrat in the world and a descendant of King James II of England. Headlines in Spain this summer said that she signed away up to $5 billion in order to marry Diez after her six children tried to block the union. They’ll wed on Oct. 5, sources say, at the duchess’ Palacio de las Duefias in Seville. (She also has palaces in Madrid, Salamanca and San Sebastián, if you’re counting.) A source says the wedding will be 'small, for close friends and family only.' The dress is being designed by Victorio and Lucchino. But don’t feel too badly for the octogenarian royal. Despite reports, sources said the duchess only agreed to make her will public to her kids in order to convince them that Diez was marrying for love and not dinero. Other reports said she agreed to give her kids their inheritance early to get their blessing. She’ll still live in the manner to which she’s grown accustomed till death." (PageSix)



"The exceptional and not very well-known works of 'wearable sculpture' by a variety of artists ranging from Picasso to Koons is on display at the MAD Museum. Among the 135 artists on display are Louise Nevelson, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Max Ernst, John Chamberlain, Donald Sultan, Arman, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, George Rickey, Jaume Plensa, Nam June Paik, and Andy Warhol. There are pendants, brooches, cuff links, belts, headpieces, rings, and even a wristwatch by Mr. Warhol. The exhibition was put together by Diane Venet, a former radio and television journalist from France." (NYSocialDiary)



"Anna Wintour is still quietly but persuasively campaigning to land the new Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, for the cover of US Vogue. Sources tell us that Wintour has been appealing to famed photographer Mario Testino, a close friend of the British royals, to reach out to the elegant newlywed to shoot her for the fashion bible. There has been huge competition to land the first big cover shoot with Kate, who married Prince William in April. A source tells us, 'Anna has been speaking to Mario about winning over Kate. She is really pressing him to shoot Kate for the cover.' Peruvian-born Testino is famed for his iconic photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales, and has remained a close family friend, photographing William, his brother, Prince Harry, and Prince Charles. Testino also took William and Kate’s official engagement photo. Another source said, 'Every magazine has been trying to get Kate, and many assume it will eventually be Vogue. But even with the Mario Testino relationship, it is not clear when this will happen. The Palace must approve it, and they are very protective of Kate.'" (PageSix)

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