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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment -- diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise -- in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific has become a key driver of global politics. Stretching from the Indian subcontinent to the western shores of the Americas, the region spans two oceans -- the Pacific and the Indian -- that are increasingly linked by shipping and strategy. It boasts almost half the world's population. It includes many of the key engines of the global economy, as well as the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. It is home to several of our key allies and important emerging powers like China, India, and Indonesia. At a time when the region is building a more mature security and economic architecture to promote stability and prosperity, U.S. commitment there is essential." (Hillary Clinton)


"A Harvard law professor, one of the nation’s leading bankruptcy experts and consumer advocates, the 62-year-old (Elizabeth) Warren had come up with the idea for the agency in 2007. She had advised the Obama administration on its creation in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse and helped to push it through Congress. Warren had also spent the last 10 months working tirelessly to build the agency from scratch—hiring its staff of 500, including Richard Cordray, organizing its management structure, and getting the C.F.P.B. up and running for its opening on July 21. As she crisscrossed the country, spreading the word about the C.F.P.B., Warren became a familiar face to many, especially to those who had seen her on television—on CNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She had gained millions of supporters. With her passionate defense of America’s beleaguered middle class, under assault today from seemingly every direction, she had become like a modern-day Mr. Smith, giving voice to regular citizens astonished at the failure of Washington to protect Main Street—and what increasingly appeared to be its abandonment of middle-class America" (Vanity Fair)


"Elizabeth Warren's $3.1 million haul over a swift six week period immediately cements her as one of the top fundraisers of the cycle -- and a financial force to be reckoned with. It's also a shot across the bow to Republican Sen. Scott Brown that she'll be able to harness the resources for a protracted, expensive fight for Massachusetts' Senate seat. Warren's campaign account tweeted Monday afternoon that the consumer advocate had raised $3.15 million during the third quarter. But for her, that only began in mid-August, when she formally filed her exploratory committee. She also relayed that 96 percent of her donations came in increments of $100 or less, including 11,000 from Bay Staters. A campaign aide said the bulk of her donations came in following the formal announcement on Sept. 14. Republicans will likely jump on the number of out of state contributors to try to deflate her financial largess and portray her as a candidate of liberal interests and Washington insiders. Warren's closest rival on the Democratic side, Alan Khazei, put up just $365,000 during the last three months, leaving him with $750,000 on hand to spend. No other Senate candidate in the country this cycle has reached the $3 million mark so fast." (Politico)


"New York City Ballet star dancer Charles Askegard was feted with a series of after-parties following a 15-minute ovation for his final performance Sunday. Friends gathered to toast him at a party at Landmarc hosted by his wife, Candace Bushnell. Guests wishing him well on his next leap into the not-quite unknown, which will see him forming his own company Ballet Next, included Mary Boone, David Kuhn, Will Cotton, Wendy Whelan, Norman Pearlstine, Patricia Duff and Nicole Miller. Longtime friend Jay McInerney said at the party, 'The fierceness of his dedication to his art is something that has impressed me over and over again. The other thing that impressed me tonight was that curtain call.' Friends then moved onto an after-after-party at Askegard and Bushnell’s apartment, where they were joined by Chris Noth." (PageSix)


"Last night’s Season 4 finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad drew 1.9 million viewers in its original airing. That was up 19% from the series’ third-season finale last year. For the night, including encores, Breaking Bad averaged 2.9 million viewers, 1.8 million of them in 18-49. This was Breaking Bad‘s highest-rated season ever in 18-49, up 24% from Season 3." (Deadline)


"President Obama’s attempt to strike a balance between firing up his liberal base and reaching out to business is leaving him in an awkward place. Both efforts are designed to help Obama win a second term as president. The problem is that as Obama makes an appeal to one group, he risks losing the other, something that will be highlighted this week in a series of congressional votes. Obama needs fired-up liberals to rally to his defense in 2012, but he also needs money from Wall Street and businesses to fund his campaign. Obama also needs to win a large share of independent voters, who were critical to his 2008 victory but shifted to Republicans in the 2010 midterms. The outreach to business is thought to appeal to these voters. White House officials have repeatedly rebutted the popular notion that Obama is at odds with big business." (TheHill)

"I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t cherish Rosamond Bernier. That would include me. Olivier Bernier hosted a party to celebrate his stepmother’s 95th birthday, which coincided with the publication of her magical memoir, Some of My Lives. One might assume that the birthday girl was the oldest one in the room, but she wasn’t. Composer Elliot Carter beat her by seven years.Rosamond Bernier’s childhood was filled with riding lessons on a pony named Teddy and schoolwork with a French governess, who was imported to teach her at home until Rosamond was ten years old. She was then shipped off, to her dismay, to an English boarding school, the Shelborne School for Girls. Then it was off to Sarah Lawrence, where Professor Jacques Barzun was her don. Bernier was brought up 'in a bath of music.'  She studied the harp for several years, graduating to study with the number-one harp teacher in America, a Frenchman from the Basque Country, Carlos Salzedo—a compatriot of Ravel’s. Her friends would later include Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, and Ned Rorem. We’re not even getting started!" (NYSocialDiary)


"Friday night, End of Century hosted the opening of 'Wind & Still-Life,' an exhibition of paintings by artist Lauren Luloff. Band Open Ocean performed and guests included designer Samantha Pleet, designer duo Upstate, hat designer Heidi Lee and fashion photographer David Schulze. The concept space closed its doors in August and store owners Chantal Chadwick and Lara Hodulick (a former Paper intern!) re-opened the space with this bash." (Papermag)

"What's it like being Marilyn Monroe? For one thing, according to Michelle Williams, 'You get a lot of attention.' But Williams, who plays the superstar in My Week With Marilyn, knows as well as anyone that there's more to the American icon than meets the eye. 'The breathy quality that she had in her voice was a device that she used to cover up a stutter,' the actress explained last night at the Hudson Hotel's Private Park, at a Dior-sponsored party preceding a screening of the movie at the New York Film Festival." (Style)


"Of course, Morgan is now the host of Piers Morgan Tonight, the nightly hourlong show that replaced Larry King Live on CNN in January, and in some ways is further from Murdoch’s reach than he’s ever been. Though a notorious tabloid editor in England for more than a decade—first at NotW, then at the Daily Mirror—until recently Morgan was a relative unknown on these shores. He was familiar chiefly to reality-TV aficionados, as the chain-mail-wearing, ­Omarosa-thrashing winner of Celebrity Apprentice and as a panelist on America’s Got Talent, where for all six seasons he has been the buzzer-happy hanging judge at ease crushing the dreams of angel-faced 6-year-olds. To those who knew him only as a pantomime villain, or not at all, it seemed inexplicable when he was handed Larry King’s nine-o’clock hour on CNN, one of the fattest plums in cable news. It was as if 60 Minutes had hired Gordon Ramsay as its newest correspondent. Morgan might have an unconventional résumé for “The Worldwide Leader in News,” but then again, maybe it was inevitable, given the populist drift of media, that a Fleet Street commoner would eventually ascend to King’s cable-news throne. And the appointment has turned out to be a smart move by CNN. Piers Morgan Tonight is doing better than many had expected, and its host has proved a more rigorous interviewer than his predecessor." (NYMag)

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