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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"On Dick Cheney: Condoleezza Rice's relationship with the former vice president was strained, to say the least. As national security advisor and then secretary of state, Rice and Cheney battled for President George W. Bush's ear. And the fighting hasn't stopped. Cheney's recent book has Rice 'tearfully' admitting to him that she was wrong. Rice fires back, noting that Cheney was utterly convinced of the spurious intelligence on the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, and says that she was "stunned" when it seemed the vice president negotiated behind her back to let Israel prolong the war in Lebanon in 2006. The vice president's staff, she notes, was 'very much of one ultra-hawkish mind ... determined to act as a power center of its own' ... On Donald Rumsfeld: Rice's relationship with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was full of what she characterizes as animosity. She argues that Rumsfeld resented her role as national security advisor and recounts his infamous 'snowflake' memo in which he told her to back off his turf, or else he'd take the matter to the president: 'I found the tirade amusing if slightly condescending....'" (ForeignPolicy)



"The divorce of Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner and his estranged wife Jane, has been resolved amicably -- and with a secret multimillion dollar settlement -- 16 years after they split.
Post columnist Keith J. Kelly reports Jann and Jane settled on Oct. 12, dissolving a 43-year marriage in which the couple have lived separately for nearly two decades. Jann, said to be worth over $500 million, and Jane had been estranged since 1995, when it was revealed that he was involved with former Calvin Klein model and designer Matt Nye. At the time there was speculation that the split would force the breakup of their lucrative publishing empire, which also included Us Weekly, Men’s Journal and Family Life, which was later sold ... Jane had borrowed money from her father to help launch Rolling Stone in 1967 and has remained a company vice president. The new speculation is that Jann agreed to give her a multimillion settlement -- and that he might be looking to tie the knot with Nye now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York. Jann and Nye have three children born via surrogate." (PageSix)

"I joined (The London Spectator) as a columnist back in 1976, when it sold around 8,000 copies per week but it seemed that everyone you knew read it. Everyone, that is, at Oxford and Cambridge, in Westminster, in Kensington and Belgravia, as well as in London’s St. James’s clubland. Now at 85,000 copies, owned by the Daily Telegraph group, and a big moneymaker, the Speccie’s sometimes reactionary ethos is not as profound as it once was—who can forget its early support of the postage stamp and its prophetic thoughts on the motor carriage? 'Its writers continue to believe they are communicating with a smallish and highly educated and sophisticated audience.' Back in 1976, the Speccie’s headquarters were a Georgian house on a leafy Bloomsbury street next to the house of Charles Dickens. We have since moved to yet another grand house in a quiet street fifty yards from Parliament. There is a large garden in the back where our annual summer party takes place on the first Thursday of July. These parties are notorious for the scrum they produce, an overflow of every writer, hack, politician, and London characters imaginable. All prime ministers, at least since I’ve been there, attend regularly, although royals are never invited. Except for lunch. The Spectator’s lunches used to be notorious for the mix they produced. They are held in the elegant dining room and such diverse characters as Spiro Agnew, Prince Charles, Dame Edna Everage, Alger Hiss, Albert Speer, Dame Maggie Smith (whom I sat next to a couple of years ago and her first words to me were, 'What in heavens is that pink thing you’re eating?') join in the frivolity. Drink flows uninterruptedly, and when the legendary editor Clay Felker came over for lunch—he was looking for writers as he had just taken over Esquire—he asked me how was it possible for anyone to produce the magazine after all the drinking." (TakiThedoracopoulos)

"Conventional wisdom has it that the eurozone cannot have a monetary union without also having a fiscal union. Euro-enthusiasts see the single currency as the first steppingstone toward a broader economic union, which is their dream. Euroskeptics do, too, but they see that endgame as hell -- and would prefer the single currency to be dismantled. The euro crisis has, for many observers, validated these notions. Both camps argue that the eurozone countries’ lopsided efforts to construct a monetary union without a fiscal counterpart explain why the union has become such a mess. Many of the enthusiasts say that the way forward is for the 17 eurozone countries to issue euro bonds, which they would all guarantee (one of several variations on the fiscal-union theme). Even the German government, which is reluctant to bail out economies weaker than its own, thinks that some sort of pooling of budgets may be needed once the current debt problems have been solved. A fiscal union would not come anytime soon, and certainly not soon enough to solve the current crisis. It would require a new treaty, and that would require unanimous approval. It is difficult to imagine how such an agreement could be reached quickly given the fierce opposition from politicians and the public in the eurozone’s relatively healthy economies (led by Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands) to repeated bailouts of their weaker brethren (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain). Moreover, once the crisis is solved, the enthusiasm for a fiscal union may wane." (ForeignPolicy)


"From Jill Sackler’s, I hurried on down to the Waldorf where the 28th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, themed "Hollywood Glamour," was taking place to raise funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. With the continued support of our generous family of donors, the Alzheimer's Association works tirelessly to enhance research, care and support efforts and move toward a brighter future.  Led by Founder and General Chair Princess Yasmin Aga Khan along with Gala Chairs Jay and Anne Hearst McInerney; the evening honored individuals who combat Alzheimer’s disease through their fundraising, care and volunteer efforts. For her outstanding contribution to help end Alzheimer’s Somers Farkas received the Rita Hayworth Award. Since its inception, the New York Rita Hayworth Gala has raised more than $31 million for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Much of the credit can be given to Princess Yasmin (or Yazzy as she is known to her many friends who are always there for her, assisting, working, pushing, pulling, selling tables, arranging and meeting to get it together year after year). This is an example of the durability of New York friendships where there is a higher purpose involved. Then when the big day arrives, it becomes what was intended: a big fun party. That was the vibe in the room during the cocktail reception as the hundreds of guests were arriving. Last night’s total funds raised was well over $1 million." (NYSocialDiary)


"With President Barack Obama as a guest, last night’s Tonight Show With Jay Leno posted a 4.1 meter-market household rating, the highest for a Tuesday telecast since March 2, 2010, night two of Leno’s first week back as host of NBC’s late-night show. Compared with The Tonight Show‘s season-to-date average, last night’s telecast was up 52%. And that was with no help from NBC’s primetime lineup as the network averaged 2.9 million viewers in the 10 PM hour with a Prime Suspect rerun vs. 11.3 million for CBS and 9.6 million for ABC. CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman averaged a 2.7/7 household rating last night; ABC’s Nightline posted a 3.6/9, followed by Jimmy Kimmel Live! with a 1.8/6." (Deadline)

"For years cable networks showed their strongest shows during the summer, when they faced minimal broadcast competition. It was their time to shine, and shine they did. Now cable is challenging broadcast in that time of year when the Big Four networks long monopolized viewers' attention, the fall. The best example of that is AMC's 'The Walking Dead,' the second-year zombie drama that is drawing such strong ratings opposite strong broadcast competition that it was renewed for season three yesterday. 'Dead' was the No. 1 scripted show on both broadcast and cable Sunday at 9 p.m., averaging 4.5 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen, some 800,000 more than ABC's timeslot competitor "Desperate Housewives" and 2 million more than CBS's 'The Good Wife.' 'Dead' is on pace to set a record for most-watched original basic cable show ever in 18-49s, despite airing opposite one of broadcast's highest-rated programs, NBC's 'Sunday Night Football.'" (Medlilifemagazine)


"So apparently, Lindsay Lohan was offered a sweet $1 million to pose for Playboy. With nudity on the brain, we decided to do a quick office poll to see who else the dirty minds of Paper would like to see nekked in Playboy and (because there are very few straight men here on staff) Playgirl. Mickey Boardman, editorial director 'Kelly Cutrone, because it would just be such a curve ball and a surprise. Mayor Bloomberg, because I have a fetish for old Jewish men. I would have said Barry Diller, but wouldn't want to make my girlfriend Diane von Furstenberg mad.' Hunter Hill, associate publisher 'Jennifer Hudson because I'd like to see what her new body looks like. George H. W. Bush, because I like a big bush. And Andy Cohen, of course. Though I could just as easily see that in person.'" (Papermag)



"'Have you seen the pilates and yoga room?' Christian Cota asked Monique Péan last night at Donna Karan's apartment. The designer's Central Park West pad played host to the CFDA's annual new members party. Prabal Gurung, Eddie Borgo, Olivier Theyskens, and Cota were among the 33 designers who made this year's cut. Outside on the balcony 16 floors above the park, Rebecca Minkoff, who became a member last year, said, 'I wonder how the tanning is up here; I bet it's pretty good.' The CFDA's freshman and sophomore classes weren't the only ones fixated on Donna's digs. 'This party was at my house three years ago—I have to say this place is pretty nice,' remarked Elie Tahari, who was arm in arm with Catherine Malandrino, in whose company he just invested. "Too bad Donna's not here to join us." With Karan on a sudden trip to Australia, her daughter Gaby Karan de Felice played stand-in. Speaking of real estate envy, Cota told Style.com that he has his eyes on a particular office in the CFDA Incubator when he moves in next May. 'I really hope I can get Bibhu Mohapatra's spot because it's the biggest. All the other ones are the same size, but his is much bigger.'" (Style)

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