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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, passed away today after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Apple released a statement hailing him as 'a visionary and creative genius' whose spirit will continue to guide the company, and remembrancespouredinfrom all corners of the Internet -- an example of the instant, global connectivity that Jobs himself did so much to create. Here at Foreign Policy, perhaps we're most indebted to Jobs for the way that he changed how we read and relate to the news. We placed him at #17 on our 2010 Global Thinkers list, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 'for reinventing reading' -- and that's no exaggeration. His portable, personable devices helped spawn an industry of digitized books and magazines -- including an iPad version of Foreign Policy that we launched earlier this year. He also helped make easily available books that had been difficult to find, prohibitively expensive, or prohibitively heavy to carry around: Now, you can read Edward Gibbons's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or Tarif Khalidi's Images of Muhammad on your e-reader.Jobs also changed how we read the news. It's hard to remember but, a generation ago, laptops regularly cost up to $6,000 and weighed around 7 pounds. And yet, even then, it was a little bit of magic -- no cords, no tower. Today, though, a Macbook Air starts at $1,000 and weighs less than 2.5 pounds. That evolution has both democratized technology, and made it possible to stay connected anywhere." (ForeignPolicy)


"George Clooney had plenty of opinions on the presidential race at Time magazine’s '10 Questions' interview with editor Rick Stengel yesterday, but said he had no interest in running for office himself. Clooney directed, co-wrote and plays the role of a presidential candidate in the new movie, 'The Ides of March.' But when asked if he would consider a political run himself, he said, 'No -- I’d run from [it].” By staying out of politics, “I don’t have to compromise. I get to say that ‘I think that what’s going on in the North-South is bad,’ and I don’t have to worry that the Chinese would be upset or the Russians will be upset. My job is much more fun.' The star told the audience that he asked President Obama at a recent fund-raiser what kept him up at night, to which Obama responded: 'Well, look, everything that gets to my desk is critical mass -- if it gets to me, nobody else can handle it but the president. And it’s a big deal.' But Clooney added that when he asked Obama to pinpoint just one thing, the president confided, “Pakistan. That worries me.' (PageSix)



"Taken by 26-year-old Will Counts, himself a Central graduate, the resulting photograph fast became one of the most indelible images of the civil-rights era. Where documentaries on the Nine usually end is where David Margolick’s forthcoming book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, begins. Starting with that photograph, the book’s scope grows larger and larger until it settles on the complicated relationship that grew between Elizabeth and Hazel. Though they are no longer speaking to each other, VF Daily catches up with Margolick to discuss the friendship that developed against all odds." (VanityFair)



"The Michael’s lunch. They were packing them in yesterday with a lot of the likely suspects and some newer faces too. Such as Chris March, the designer who was a finalist on Project Runway and now has a show of his own (Mad Fashion). At his table: Jennifer Geisser, senior veep of communications at Bravo TV, and publicist Alana McElroy. Around the room: Peter Brown with Judith Miller; Joe Armstrong with Paul Beirne. Today, he is hosting a private lunch (by invitation only) over at Alliance Capital for Laura Ingraham, who has a new book. Moving on: Tracey Jackson; Harold Ford with Robert Zimmerman and Susie Essman of Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Zimmermand is a political analyst on TV and a public relations man; Ford is vice-chair of Merrill Lynch and Ms. Essman ... Is the former Congressman going to go the TV route? Elsewhere, John Sykes with Michael Bloom. Suzanne Johnson with Muffie Potter Aston. This was Mrs. Aston’s second day in a row at Michael’s. My lunch guest, producer Mark Freden, an old friend in from Los Angeles, recognized her from NYSD as if she were one of the TV celebrities. Barbara Walters was lunching with Marie Josee Kravis; Chris Meigher, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance; Joe Kernen of Squawkbox with Marc Lasry ..." (NYSocialDiary)



"Trophy wives are now a cliché, proof that men are insecure and prefer taut skin. I take a backseat to no one where beautiful young girls are concerned, but veterans are known to sparkle in bed. And I don’t believe a word about the Duchess of Windsor and all the oriental tricks she supposedly used on the poor Duke, who is rumored to be hung like a nine-month-old baby. Although an expert on going down, all she needed to capture him was to talk down to him. I haven’t enough space to list the great courtesans—because that’s what they really are—who nowadays pose as ladies of society, and there’s also the monster that goes by the name of libel that seems to lurk over my shoulder when I write about such touchy subjects. But in my long life among the rich and infamous, the ratio of rich men landing glorified hookers is about fifty-fifty; in the ex-Soviet Union’s case, it’s 99 to 1 in favor of the hookers." (Taki Theodoracopoulos)



"Here at GalleristNY we initially resisted the idea of creating a Power List (anyone who reads The Observer will know that they are treasured here), until we realized we could use one to make a point.
There has been a lot of press about women in the art world recently, but for some reason this talk has been for the most part limited to women who work in galleries. Vogue profiled Gagosian’s female employees (the “Gagosiennes), New York magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, recently looked at the sartorial choices of gallery assistants and a piece in the The New Yorker questioned their very existence. And of course there is the upcoming Bravo reality series Paint The Town, which, according to advance promotion, will follow the trials, tribulations and, presumably, the night life of a bunch of young gallery assistants. What gets left out in the current discussion is the fact that women hold positions of real power in the art world. Many may have started out as the women who work the front desk, but now they are the ones who decide whether or not you get to buy that painting, or have that museum show. They raise money for museums, source pictures and write reviews. Attesting to the power of women in the art world, this was an excruciatingly difficult list to narrow down." (Gallerist)


"The hottest biopic in Hollywood right now has to be based on former Time magazine top editor Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs being published by Simon & Schuster on November 21st. Given the TV and movie industry’s past and present penchant for making entertainment out of people’s lives, it won’t be long before the book is made into a film. The 448-page profile is based on over 40 interviews with the Apple co-founder and over 100 conversations with friends, family members, colleagues and competitors. And it’s a compelling story: the building of the world’s most valuable technology company by creating the devices that changed how people use electronics and revolutionized the computer, music, and mobile phone industries. Jobs gave his full cooperation but had not read it as of mid-August, the date of the Barnes and Noble overview. At first titled iSteve: the Book Of Jobs, Isaacson had second thoughts about what was appropriate for the first biography to get Jobs’ blessing and cooperation. Even when it wasn’t even finished, it made it (briefly) into the top 50 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Isaacson eventually persuaded his publisher Simon & Schuster to go with the simple title of Steve Jobs. First planned for 2012, the book’s release date was moved up. Jobs reportedly fought off a long list of would-be biographers over the years then chose Isaacson who’s written about Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein." (Deadline)


"Over at ThinkProgress, critic Alyssa Rosenberg (whom you should be reading if you aren't already), has a thought-provoking post on all the new fall shows with female stars, and whether or not those shows are actually speaking to a female audience. "This was supposed to be a great fall for women on television, but several weeks in, it feels like it may be better at the cause of getting women acting jobs than at providing entertainment aimed at women viewers," she writes. And she wonders whether a show like Up All Night--with a female and male lead splitting child-care--may say more to women than 2 Broke Girls, featuring, well, two broke girls. Well, what makes a TV show 'aimed at women' depends on what you mean by 'aimed at women."'Maybe you mean 'aimed at right-thinking women' or 'aimed at reflecting women's lives and concerns' or 'aimed at presenting well-drawn, realistic female characters.' For the purposes of this post, however, I'm going to assume that it means 'aimed at attracting, and made in the assumption that it will get, a majority female audience.' (And vice versa for men.) If that's our definition, here's the number one clue that a new TV show is aimed at women: It is on primetime broadcast network television. Women watch TV: they have been the majority of the big mainstream-network audience for a long time now and that is only becoming truer as men—especially young men—are peeled off from the audience by things that are not TV." (James Poniewozik/Time)



"Here at the Washington Ideas Forum, the heads of ABC, NBC, and CBS took to the stage for a panel moderated by our James Fallows. Alongside the discussions of international reportage and the politicization of news, ABC president Ben Sherwood provided an interesting rationale for his outfits expanded partnership with Yahoo. Here's the thing. As explained by Sherwood, the deal was not an effort to reach (large) Yahoo's audience per se. Yahoo, he said, was the largest provider of news items that were shared on Twitter and Facebook. Ergo, 'If we are the primary news provider to Yahoo, we'll be the primary news provider on Facebook and Twitter,' Sherwood said. When the deal was announced, I tweeted that I didn't have anything interesting to say about it. But if you look at what Sherwood is saying, they didn't buy an audience, but a distribution platform that was formerly called the audience. That's a fascinating idea. You don't buy passive eyeballs, you buy active sharers." (TheAtlantic)


"'It’s ridiculous,' Mayor Bloomberg was overheard saying to a fellow guest at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment and the Powers That Be cocktail party Tuesday night when Hizzoner was asked about the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Bloomberg recently told radio host John Gambling the marchers are blaming “the wrong people.” Across the room at Graydon Carter’s Monkey Bar, former Facebook president Sean Parker -- who’s just joined Twitter after vowing he’d never sign up -- was chatting with its founder Jack Dorsey. The party was also dedicated to “New York’s Booming Technology Industry,” according to its invite, and Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts praised tech entrepreneurs Cyrus Massoumi of ZocDoc and Kickstarter’s Yancey Strickler. Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman hobnobbed with J.Crew chief Mickey Drexler. Also on the scene were HBO’s Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo, Ronald Perelman, Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan and Lorne Michaels." (PageSix)




"Former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric still doesn’t get why former Gov. Sarah Palin answered the infamous 'What do you read?' question in a deer in headlights manner. This morning at The Atlantic/Aspen Institute Ideas Forum her interviewer, The Week’s Washington Editor Margaret Carlson, asked Couric to reflect on that interview with Palin. 'It does kind of bug me when people only remember that question,' she said. (Carlson chimed in, saying she didn’t mean to 'bug' her.) Couric went on, 'I spent 45 minutes talking to Palin about foreign policy issues. We talked about nation building, Iran, a surge and how it might be effective. It was at the height of the fiscal crisis. It’s funny to me that that one question got so much attention. She was so annoyed with me at that point and just wanted me to be gone. What can I say?' Couric reasoned at that point Palin hadn’t done much press. 'Charles Gibson got to go to Wasilla,' she said. 'I was terribly jealous.' FNC’s Sean Hannity snagged the second interview and Couric the third. “When I asked the question about what do you read, I was curious. It was just kind of a spontaneous question. I thought, gee I’m interested. She has such strong political views. Her ideology is so [dramatic pregnant pause] specific. I wanted to know what she read on a regular basis that helped shape her world view.'" (TVNewser)

1 comment:

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