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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"It's been called the Gig Economy, Freelance Nation, the Rise of the Creative Class, and the e-conomy, with the "e" standing for electronic, entrepreneurial, or perhaps eclectic. Everywhere we look, we can see the U.S. workforce undergoing a massive change. No longer do we work at the same company for 25 years, waiting for the gold watch, expecting the benefits and security that come with full-time employment. We're no longer simply lawyers, or photographers, or writers. Instead, we're part-time lawyers-cum- amateur photographers who write on the side. Today, careers consist of piecing together various types of work, juggling multiple clients, learning to be marketing and accounting experts, and creating offices in bedrooms/coffee shops/coworking spaces. Independent workers abound. We call them freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, consultants, temps, and the self-employed. And, perhaps most surprisingly, many of them love it." (TheAtlantic)

"In crisis mode, U.S. foreign policy deals more in fears than facts, more in rhymes than reason. After ten years, it’s hard to still cloak 9/11 in its early patriotic garb. It’s been a decade of needless and prolonged wars, of exaggerated expenditures on national security bureaucracies, of being mesmerized by a world America believed it could dominate, and of neglecting an America drowning in debt and political irresponsibility. There was 9/11, and then Afghanistan, Iraq, Afghanistan again, and yes, even Libya. This is part of an American historical pattern. Calling it the arrogance of ignorance doesn’t quite capture its complexities, nor does labeling it fatal overreaction. Responses to attack or threat or crises usually begin well, in a shower of patriotism and unity. Then, with the help of revenge seekers, the country flies into a political and policy rage, followed by rash actions in and toward countries about which our leaders and experts know little. Inevitably, the wrong lessons are learned." (Leslie Gelb)

"The long war provoked by the attacks of Sept. 11 is over. The congressional resolutions authorizing combat in Afghanistan and Iraq no longer justify military operations in either country -- or anywhere else. U.S. President Barack Obama gained office by denouncing his predecessor’s assertion of unilateral power to commit the nation to an endless war against terror. Yet, despite the absence of legislative authorization, Obama is moving down George W. Bush’s path to unilateral warfare. This is the real existential threat to American democracy. And it’s why the best way to honor the victims of 9/11 is for Americans to rededicate themselves to the Constitution, which requires the president and Congress to hammer out a new resolution defining war aims for a new decade." (ForeignPolicy)

"I was heading over to the David Koch Theater where its Promenade was set for 600 for the Museum of FIT’s annual Couture Council luncheon. This is a fundraiser for the museum and in the past few years it has also established itself as the official beginning of Fashion Week in New York, which itself has become a major commercial and social tradition over the past decade ...  Valentino’s presence brought out record numbers. More than 600 attended and they raised $700,000 for the museum. The reception before the luncheon was called for 11:30, with seating at noon, with the delicious menu provided by Sean Driscoll’s Glorious Foods. I was surprised to learn that it ran on time. Last year’s, when Karl Lagerfeld was the honoree, it got under way later, presumably because Mr. Lagerfeld appeared just a bit later making his entrance. Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti were there on the dot, along with Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg and Daphne Guinness, all of whom were seated with Valentino and Giancarlo, along with several others." (NYSocialDiary)


"Part of the fun of following the GOP field this summer has been the sheer abundance of candidates. But tonight it was really a two-man race. On the meaty questions, the camera and the conversation inevitably gravitated toward the two candidates who are way ahead in the polls: Mitt and Rick.
The pair took jabs at each other on the issues that will define the election: jobs and spending on programs like Social Security. Of the latter, Romney — clearly looking forward to the general election — promised, 'I"ll keep it working for millions of Americans,' and nodded to the question of electability. "Our nominee has to be committed to saving it, not abolishing it.' Perry, for his part, stoked the fears of those worried that the program will inevitably run dry before they benefit: 'If younger people expect that program to be around, they are wrong," he said, referring once again to the program as a 'Ponzi scheme.' The Michigander and Texan clashed even more directly on the question of jobs creation, throwing in some loaded historical references for good measure. 'Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt,' said Perry. 'As a matter of fact,' replied Romney, 'George Bush created jobs three times faster than you did, Governor.'" (NYMag)


"Anderson Cooper is sparing no expense for the debut of his syndicated daytime talk show, 'Anderson,' on Monday. Sources say Cooper landed his first interview with the parents of the late Amy Winehouse by offering up to a six-figure payment for the Amy Winehouse Foundation. A program insider insists the figure was closer to $30,000 for the charity set up by Mitch and Janis Winehouse in memory of their daughter, who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and died in July. The charity will launch Sept. 14 on her birthday, two days after Cooper’s show. 'It was one of several charitable causes that we hope to help in the year ahead,' a show rep said." (PageSix)


"Europeans seem to be resisting the cord-cutting trend, or maybe they just haven’t gotten around to it. The European cable market continued to expand in 2010, with revenue throughout the E.U. rising by nearly 8% for the year on the strength of double-digit growth in digital TV, broadband and telephony subscribers, according to a new study from IHS. Guy Bisson, TV research director for IHS, said that the results show “that cord cutting doesn’t mean the end of the world. Strong increases in E.U. cable, Internet and telephony subscribers are more than compensating for increasing competition in the cable television business.” The number of individual subscribers rose above the 100 million level for the first time, reaching 101.1 million in 2010." (Deadline)

"Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell is going into business with ABC. The network, is adapting Bushnell’s 2008 book One Fifth Avenue, with Gossip Girl executive producer Josh Safran attached to pen the adaption. Grey’s Anatomy's Mark Gordon will produce. Titled One Fifth, the project is being described as Sex and the City meets The Good Wife and follows columnist Cassie Bingham as she moves back to her downtown apartment located at One Fifth Avenue to reassess her life after her husband asks for a separation." (THR)


"It’s still the economy, stupid. So if Obama wants to keep his job – and we must assume he does, though he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself much — he must boost the economy and get the jobless back to work. No president since 1948 has been elected with a jobless figure higher than 7.2 per cent, so with unemployment currently running at 9.1 per cent, he looks headed for certain defeat.
Add the pivotal fact that two of his core groups of supporters, blacks and hispanics, suffer disproportionately from joblessness, at 16.2 per cent and 11.6 per cent respectively, and the president’s prospects look even dimmer. With the White House admitting there is little chance unemployment will fall before the election next year, the president needs some good advice on how to get people back to work, and fast. What would John Maynard Keynes tell Obama?" (Reuters)

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