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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"I am opposed to the Palestinian effort at the United Nations because I think that it is going to get them nowhere. This is not the time for romantic gestures. This is the time for them to do something that will actually help them get a Palestinian state - a goal that I support. What is the likely outcome at the U.N.? The likely outcome is that the push is going to go nowhere in the Security Council. It may get to the General Assembly and they may get a symbolic vote, but the result of that symbolic vote may well be that they will lose funds - financial support from Israel, the U.S. and potentially from some European countries –and it will make the Israelis feel that the Palestinians have gone in a unilateral direction when the only viable strategy is a bilateral one. At the end of the day, there is only one way you’re going to get a Palestinian state. And that’s if the Israelis agree to it. They have the land; they have the guns; they have the money. Palestinians may regard it as deeply unfair, and I understand that, but it is the world that we live in. The only way they’re going to get a Palestinian state is to engage directly with the Israelis. Now, the Israelis have not been willing to be a productive partner in recent years, though it is worth remembering that the Israeli government under Ehud Barak did make a very serious effort, and the Israeli government under Ehud Olmert made a very serious offer to the Palestinians. So, let’s not confuse Benjamin Netanyahu’s intransigence with all Israeli governments in recent years. The current government in Israel is clearly motivated by domestic politics, a fear of a fragile coalition that will fall apart, and, perhaps by some other ideological reasons, is not in any way being a constructive partner." (Fareed Zakaria)



"There is an emergency session underway within the writers’ room of CBS’s critically acclaimed drama, The Good Wife, which returns for its third season on Sunday, Sept. 25. With 48 hours to go, the writers—overseen by husband-and-wife creators Robert and Michelle King—must rewrite the latest script and untangle a Gordian knot to come up with a new procedural case for hotshot lawyer Alicia Florrick (recent Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies) and the firm to tackle. In the second season of the critical and ratings hit, the personal loomed large for all of the show’s characters. Alicia gave into temptation and slept with her boss, Will (Josh Charles), after years of having bad timing. Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) went to great lengths to conceal a long-buried secret—that she had, years before, slept with Alicia’s husband, Peter (Chris Noth)—in a storyline that involved baseball bats, smashed-out windows, and assaulting rival investigator Blake (Scott Porter). With its deft plotting and character-driven storytelling, The Good Wife—this season moving to a new night and time (Sundays at 9 p.m.)—is hard-hitting drama at its best. So it’s all the more surprising that the writers’ room appears almost serene, even as the clock ticks away. This is not your typical writers’ room, a litter-strewn battlefield where exhausted scribes butt heads, argue, and quaff vast quantities of coffee." (Televisionary)



 
"Now, the focus on lone operatives and small independent cells is well founded. We have seen the jihadist threat devolve from one based primarily on the hierarchical al Qaeda core organization to a threat emanating from a broader array of grassroots actors operating alone or in small groups. Indeed, at present, there is a far greater likelihood of a successful jihadist attack being conducted in the West by a lone-wolf attacker or small cell inspired by al Qaeda than by a member of the al Qaeda core or one of the franchise groups. But the lone-wolf threat can be generated by a broad array of ideologies, not just jihadism. A recent reminder of this was the July 22 attack in Oslo, Norway, conducted by lone wolf Anders Breivik. The lone-wolf threat is nothing new, but it has received a great deal of press coverage in recent months, and with that press coverage has come a certain degree of hype based on the threat’s mystique. However, when one looks closely at the history of solitary terrorists, it becomes apparent that there is a significant gap between lone-wolf theory and lone-wolf practice. An examination of this gap is very helpful in placing the lone-wolf threat in the proper context." (STRATFOR)



"The Michael’s Wednesday lunch was a mob scene. They had to put up extra tables to accommodate the madding crowds. A sampling of the cool and cucumbers. Such as: Literary Luke Janklow and Richard Heller; Time Inc.’s John Huey with Martha Nelson and Sid Evans; Michael J. Wolf and Deborah Fine. Da boyz: Dr. Gerry Ember, Jerry Della Femina, Andy Bergman minus Greenfield and Kramer (same time next week); Jann Wenner; Cathie Black with Ken Lowe; Jon Meacham of Random House, formerly of Newsweek BT (Before Tina); Jason Binn, Stephen Swid with Marshall Cogan, Jill Sackler; David Sanford; Peggy Siegel, Nick Verbitsky, Jeffrey Silverman, (all separate tables); Kate White of Cosmo, who has just published a mystery called 'The Sixes.' Moving along: Desiree Gruber and Tammi Haddad, the Washington horse-whisperer (the high horses up on the Hill, that is); also in from Washington, Liz Wood who grabbed some grub at the bar, the chicest spot in the room if you wanna catch a glimpse of that world coming and going." (NYSocialDiary)



"Juan Williams will speak at this year’s New York Press Club Journalism conference next Saturday. This year’s theme is 'Crisis and Change.' Williams will talk about being dismissed by NPR last October for remarks he made on 'The O’Reilly Factor' about passengers boarding planes wearing Muslim attire. The day after he was fired, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes gave Williams a fat new contract. We’ve also learned today that Ellen Weiss, who fired Williams and was later let go in the wake of the controversy, has been named executive editor at The Center for Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit investigative news organizations." (TVNewser)


"For the first time in a decade, Fox can say that it has a live-action half-hour comedy hit on its hands with New Girl, which blew past all ratings projections to open with a big 4.8/12 in adults 18-49 (10.3 million viewers overall). New Girl‘s great ratings performance caught everyone by surprise, including Fox’s head of marketing Joe Earley. While he is elated today, just a couple of days ago he was very worried as the network’s risky promo stint of putting the New Girl pilot on iTunes, VOD, hotels, airplanes and Hulu for 2 weeks ahead of the premiere had started to get out of hand. Fox had made the deal to raise awareness for the series starring Zooey Deschanel as the show’s intent to view levels had been consistently high but its awareness numbers were still lagging. In exchange for getting the pilot for free streaming, the distributors committed to promote the show across their platforms, including a prominent placement on the homepage of iTunes, which was taking a pre-premiere window on a show for the first time." (Deadline)



"The expensive Swiss franc is another problem altogether. When I first came to Gstaad and moved into the Palace hotel, one dollar got you 4.3 francs. Living at the best hotel in town cost me around ten dollars a day, tips included. The most expensive chalet was worth around 100,000 francs; you do the math. A season ticket for all the mountains in the region was less than 100 dollars. My season began on December 22nd and ended around Easter. The place was full of Americans, many of them pilots who had bailed out over Switzerland while bombing the industrial Ruhr ...Now chalets in Gstaad go for 25 to 50 to 100 million francs. One franc is worth about 80 American cents; again, you do the math. There are no Jimmy types around, and the ones that can afford such chalets do not ski, yours truly being an exception. I have 'catastrophic arthritis' on both ankles according to my very nice doctor. I limp all over the place but still kick the bag and punch the makiwara. It’s called refusing to accept the inevitable ..." (Taki Theodoracopoulos)


"'Zack Morris' is still landing roles and making a handsome rate as a working actor, we see. A performance agreement for Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who’s best known for his character on the 1990s NBC sitcom 'Saved by the Bell,' was accidentally e-mailed wide to television executives with details on the upcoming TNT thriller 'Hide' with Carla Gugino by a legal assistant at Turner. The contract, which was even sent to executives at rival networks, states that Gosselaar will make $90,000 for filming a two-hour show. It also includes details about his dressing room, which it specifies 'shall be one half of a double banger trailer' and 'no less favorable than any other lead performer on the picture.' Turner network reps didn’t get back to Page Six about the misfire." (PageSix)
Glenn and Oscar Obrien

"Glenn Obrien: What is it you don't like about Harry Potter? Oscar Obrien: He's a nerd! He's a pure nerd. And the idea is stupid, to wave your wand around. What is your parenting style? GO: Don't talk down to kids, don't treat them like babies, treat them like they're adults, don't do baby talk. We always treated you like you were pretty mature, and here you are, you're pretty mature, so it worked. Maybe it was the way you were, but we always took you everywhere, but you've traveled. You traveled like an adult.  OO: Yeah, I always did. GO: Kids can understand almost as much as adults, don't you think? OO: Except why militias in the Middle East attack civilians, I can't get that. GO: Well we can't get that either. OO: Do you think you gained your style gradually? GO: Yeah, but I think a lot of it is instinctive. The more you sample things the more you find out what you like, what you think is funny, what you think is beautiful. Who's your new favorite actor? Bill Murray? OO: I love Bill Murray" (Papermag)



"It was a society event last night at Geoffrey Bradfield’s 'Big Five' exhibition. Mr. Bradfield, known for his keen interior design eye, designed a series of handwoven tapestries inspired by the wildlife of South Africa. Socialites and would-be preservationists flocked to the scene, assessing the woven rhinos, leopards and water buffalo. Guests included Sharon Bush, Paul Morrisey, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Chiu-Ti Jansen .." (Observer)

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