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Friday, October 07, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In February, Steven P. Jobs had learned that, after years of fighting cancer, his time was becoming shorter. He quietly told a few acquaintances, and they, in turn, whispered to others. And so a pilgrimage began. The calls trickled in at first. Just a few, then dozens, and in recent weeks, a nearly endless stream of people who wanted a few moments to say goodbye, according to people close to Mr. Jobs. Most were intercepted by his wife, Laurene. She would apologetically explain that he was too tired to receive many visitors. In his final weeks, he became so weak that it was hard for him to walk up the stairs of his own home anymore, she confided to one caller. Some asked if they might try again tomorrow. Sorry, she replied. He had only so much energy for farewells." (NYTimes)


"The structure of Romney's national security brain trust doesn't match the NSC structure exactly. Romney has set up a team of 'senior advisors' at the top of the org. chart, which includes many of the advisors who were with him in his 2008 campaign, including Mitchell Reiss, Pierre Prosper, Cofer Black, and Dan Senor. Other members of the senior advisory team include former senators Norm Coleman and Jim Talent, former officials Michael Chertoff, John Lehman, Eric Edelman, Dov Zakheim, and Robert Joseph. Former Pawlenty foreign policy advisor Vin Weber is also on the list.Lehman and Roger Zakheim (Dov's son) head up Romney's defense working group. The Afghanistan working group is led by James Shinn, a former Pentagon Asia official, and Ashley Tellis, an India expert. Overall, the team is significantly larger and more organized than the national security policy team of any other GOP presidential campaign. His intention is to build a big tent to attract as many GOP foreign policy professionals as possible. The Democratic foreign policy community is taking Romney's Friday speech seriously. The Center for American Progress Action Fund and the National Security Network will hold a conference call to rebut Romney's speech Friday, with experts Neera Tanden, Heather Hurlburt, Ken Gude, and Lawrence Korb." (ForeignPolicy)


"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will criticize President Obama on military policy in a major foreign policy address Friday, while promoting his idea of an 'American century.' The former Massachusetts governor will give what his campaign has been billing as a major foreign policy speech in South Carolina, an early voting state. In his remarks, Romney will argue that as president, he will rebuild U.S. military strength around the world, drawing a comparison between his position and that of Obama's, who he will suggest has essentially surrendered America’s exceptionalism and sovereignty by 'assert[ing] America’s moment has passed.' 'I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today,' Romney will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by his campaign. He will use his remarks to argue for increased defense spending, which will appeal to conservatives, and reaffirm the country's relationship with Israel. Jewish voters have been unhappy with Obama since his May speech, where he outlined his position on Israel-Palestinian borders. Those points will be among the eight actions Romney will propose to implement within his first 100 days in office." (TheHill)


"Last night, the arty set who attended the Whitney Museum's annual gala (held at Hudson River Park) were treated to a lovely after-party, dubbed the 'Studio Party,' conveniently located just down the hall from the gala. As the party began, all eyes (and cameras) zoomed in on John Legend, as he entered the room with the stunning Chrissy Teigen. Although John wasn't willing to stop and speak, the singer did seem happy as a clam to have the supermodel by his side. It wasn't long after Legend's flashbulb-inducing entrance that some of our favorite downtown dignitaries began to join the packed party -- Brazilian babe Lorenzo Martone arrived alongside model Heide Lindgren, Charlotte Ronson posed for pics before heading into the crowd, Nate Lowman (looking very dapper in a suit!) happily hob-knobbed with friends and fans, and Andrew Andrew worked the room in perfect synchronization. As The Roots' ?uestlovebegan his Michael Jackson-heavy DJ set, we hoped everyone was as ready as us to get their groove on. What would it take to get Studio Party chair Amanda Hearston the dance floor? 'What's that song by 50 Cent?,' Hearst asked us. 'Go party like it's your birthday?'  You mean 'In Da Club'? 'Yes!' the heiress answered with a smile. 'Once I hear that, I'm done.'  We told Amanda we'd put in a good word with the DJ." (Paper)


"So the Top 5 order now for all time box office worldwide grosses (but not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices or 3D premium) is: 1. Avatar 2D (Fox – 2009) $2.7B 2. Titanic 2D (Fox/Paramount – 1997) $1.8B 3. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 3D (Warner Bros – 2011) $1.3B 4. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon 3D (Paramount – 2011) $1,119.1 5. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (New Line/Warner Bros – 2003) $1.1B
" (Nikki Finke)


"Bar Refaeli was the belle of the ball at the Whitney Studio Party in a backless nude Marchesa gown. The supermodel was swarmed by meerkat-like male admirers at the JP Morgan-sponsored bash, but seemed engrossed in her phone, perhaps texting boyfriend David Fisher, who wasn’t present.
 Also there: Georgina Chapman, Keren Craig and Michelle Monaghan, all resplendent in Marchesa, Tamara Mellon, Yigal Azrouel and Lorenzo Martone." (PageSix)

"That’s Nicholas Guido Anthony to You, Bitch Felix Salmon showed up with a Reuters camera crew last night to record Nick Denton handing over the check to me. As Nick wrote it out on my back, I reminded Felix that he also thought I would lose, but now I am a Benjamin richer. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Nick was gracious in defeat, but he was a good sport. But as I see it, the new soft Nick is easy to exploit! So I casually mentioned I would make another bet. 'What terms?' he asked. I said 700MM pvs in a year. 'That’s 40% growth,' he grimaced. 'Yep,' I said. 'Take it or leave it.' He took the bait." (Rex Sorgatz)



"Last night was the Park Avenue Armory Gala. This is Elihu Rose’s production. I know it’s the production of many but Mr. Rose who is known affectionately as Ellie to his many friends and acquaintances, is the man behind it ... Last year they held this benefit dinner in the Ward Thompson Drill Hall (which covers almost an entire Manhattan block). At the time, the room had been set up for the Carnival space that was being featured. Last night you walked into an enormous, cavernous four stories high in its center, and dark, with columns of small spots lighting the way ... The guests looked like people from the Upper East Side. Men in suits and ties, women dressed nicely but conservatively for a comfortable dinner in a nice home. The conventional, more than the artistic (in terms of the way the crowd looks). There were a lot of artists there too among the several hundred guests. David Byrne, as well as Philip Glass who was being honored and who performed." (NYSocialDiary)


"NPR’s Morning edition had self-publishing advocate turned Amazon publishing advocate Barry Eisler on for an interview today. He talked about his decision to walk away from a six-figure book deal with St. Martin’s Press earlier this year and to publish his book with Amazon’s thriller imprint Thomas & Mercer instead.  Mr. Eisler said that publishing was like most bureaucracies: 'they start out serving the wider good and end up serving their own interests' and that they care mostly about “preserving their own position, perks and profit.' (Apparently a realization Mr. Eisler arrived at somewhat belatedly, after putting everybody through the hassle of lining up a book deal for him. Also we should note here that the digital version of The Detachment is not available for the Nook or Kobo.)" (Observer)

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