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Monday, October 24, 2011

Media-Wore D'Oeuvres

"Muammar Qaddafi’s crush on Condoleezza Rice is one of the strangest things about him that is not a part of his face. When Libyans raided Qaddafi’s Bab al Azizia palace, they discovered a homemade scrapbook filled with photos of the former U.S. secretary of state. 'Yes, Leezza, Leezza, Leezza... I love her very much,' he told Al Jazeera in 2007, like some sort of despotic Nabokov. Now we get to hear the other side of the greatest love story of this blog post. Tina Brown’s digital concern, the Daily Beast, published an excerpt from Rice’s forthcoming memoir, No Higher Honor, in which Rice reveals that Qaddafi “had a slightly eerie fascination with me personally, asking visitors why his ‘African princess’ wouldn’t visit him.' And it gets worse, by which we mean better: 'It was Ramadan at the time of my visit, and after sundown the ‘Brother Leader‘ insisted that I join him for dinner in his private kitchen. ... At the end of dinner, Qaddafi told me that he’d made a videotape for me. Uh oh, I thought, what is this going to be? It was a quite innocent collection of photos of me with world leaders—President Bush, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, and so on—set to the music of a song called ‘Black Flower in the White House,’ written for me by a Libyan composer. It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy.'" (VanityFair)


"Afghan President Hamid Karzai told Pakistan's Geo Television in an interview aired on Saturday that Afghanistan would support Pakistan if it were to go to war with the United States, or any other nation, calling Afghanistan 'a brother' to Pakistan (Reuters, NYT,AP, WSJ, Guardian). The interview sparked a wave of criticism from many Afghans, particularly in the north if the country, who believe that Pakistan is responsible for much of their ongoing struggle with militancy. It is unclear when the interview was recorded, but its broadcast came just after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Pakistan, where she pushed the government to facilitate reconciliation in Afghanistan, while at the same time pressing Pakistan to take more action against insurgents." (ForeignPolicy)


"Gayle King may be Charlie Rose’s angel on CBS’s revamped 'The Early Show.' Sources say network honcho Chris Licht, creator of MSNBC’s 'Morning Joe,' plans to re-tool the low-rated “Early Show” into a more politically focused program. 'Gayle was a regular on ‘Morning Joe,’ ' a source said. '[Licht] sees Gayle as a Mika [Brzezinski] for Charlie who would be the Joe [Scarborough].' Sources say CBS is close to a deal with Rose to lead the morning show that lags far behind ABC’s 'Good Morning America' and NBC’s 'Today Show.' CBS hosts Marysol Castro, Chris Wragge, Erica Hill and Jeff Glor will likely be dropped. Sources say a dealbreaker for Rose would be losing his interview show on PBS, while others worry about his lifestyle. 'Charlie’s never woken up before 10 a.m.,' a source said. 'He’s one of New York’s great night owls.'" (PageSix)



"On the official morning of its release, Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs is #1 on the Kindle bestseller list, #1 in Apple’s iBookstore and #2 on the Nook bestseller list. It is not yet showing up on the Kobo or Google (NSDQ: GOOG) bestseller lists, possibly since those sites don’t offer pre-orders.Pre-orders for e-books (and other products) give retailers a way to capitalize on pre-release hype and lock in orders early. Kindle, Apple and Nook all have special pre-order sections of their stores. Those books also show up in the stores’ bestseller lists prior to their release, giving them a little added promotion for users who might be browsing the lists. People who had pre-ordered Steve Jobs through Kindle or the iBookstore also had an advantage: While the book was officially supposed to be released today, it hit both stores early and showed up on the Kindles of users who’d pre-ordered it last night before midnight, according to accounts on Apple Insider and various other blogs." (PaidContent)


"Way back in January, I railed against the seemingly off-kilter power balance of their alleged love, but Calvin Klein and ex porn player Nick Gruber are still an item, having lasted longer than any relationship I've ever had. In fact, at a recent talk Calvin gave, he spoke admiringly of Nick, who sat beaming in the front row. Calvin said he unexpectedly fell in love with a young man, who he explained is a total jock and who he's even gone hang gliding with. (I guess they love sharing daredevil stunts against nature.) The ex designer added that it's interesting to see things through Nick's eyes since Nick hasn't experienced nearly as much as he himself has (though for his age, Nick seems quite experienced, thank you). As a diehard cynic, I have to at least bite the designer bullet and give them credit for keeping their thing going, whatever that may be." (Michael Musto)



"Howard doesn’t want to be on TV. Last week I found myself sitting in my car long past midnight listening to Howard Stern interview celebrities, everyone from Chevy Chase to T.I. Did you know T.I. was smart? All we hear about is the arrests, but after ten minutes on Howard I was a fan. And last night, worried about running down my car battery, I heard Howard’s interview with Perez Hilton. Who is also intelligent. Guess you’ve got to be smart to make it. But you don’t pull teeth with Perez, he coughs up anything and everything, like meeting men on Grinder (it’s an iPhone app which plots the location of other gay men). ...And Howard said he wanted to be on the radio since he was five, it was all he ever wanted to do. He was happy. He didn’t need a TV talk show. He looked forward to coming to work. It’s so hard to make it. Listen to Stern enough and he’ll talk about starting out in Hartford, all the markets he endured, working under those who didn’t get him, admitting he wasn’t always so good. But he kept on keeping on because of desire, because of the dream. It wasn’t about money, it was about being on the radio. Now I wonder if Howard could be as good as Barbara Walters on television. I think he’d blow her away. Then again, his 10,000 hours are in radio, it’s a different medium, it’s intimate, you hear it instead of see it, there’s a whole theatre in your mind ...What skill do you want to have? Who do you want to be? I’m not saying you’ve got to start right after you’re born, but so many of our elite practitioners had a dream, a desire from a very young age. They were not pushed by their parents, although they may have been influenced by them. They just wanted to be this one thing. Howard knew the call letters of every radio station in America. He memorized them from books his dad brought home. Not because he deemed it necessary to become the King of All Media, but because he was just that interested, he couldn’t get enough.The pros make it look easy. But don’t believe it is." (Bob Lefsetz)


"When you're filling Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers with over 600 brilliant minds at the forefront of design, from landscape architects to typographers, the stakes are considerably higher when it comes to a decor scheme . Well, the planning powers behind the Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Awards didn't disappoint. A profusion of giant zingy numbers marked each table in shades of teal, lime, and mustard, and the whimsical, industrially chic place settings consisted of large spools of tape with guests’ names scrawled in Sharpie. Categories for the creative crowd spanned the gamut from interior to interaction design, and corporate & institutional achievement to communication design—but the fashion flock turned out to fete Gilles Mendel, who beat out Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung for this year’s fashion design honors. As guests dismantled the caramelized onion, potato, and blue cheese tartlets accompanied by yam pear bisque shooters and tangles of walnut-studded frisee, presenter Linda Fargo recalled Mendel as the 'elegant Frenchman that appeared in the Bergdorf Goodman coat department,' who went on to revamp the fur landscape by treating luxuriant pelts 'with the light ease of fabric' ... But back to the museum chatter—everyone has a humiliating or harrowing museum tale or two, non? 'Searching desperately for bathrooms' tops Mendel’s list of museum woes, Paper’s Kim Hastreiter recalled an Ann Magnuson elevator performance in the Whitney Biennial during the ‘80s as 'the most fun I’ve ever had in a museum' .." (Fashionweekdaily)


"Ian Schrager is finally ready to do his definitive Studio 54 book. The hotelier, who ran the legendary disco with Steve Rubell from 1977-1991, has largely stayed quiet on its notorious celebrity-laden party scene. Now he’s getting ready to do two books to 'set the record straight.' Schrager told us, 'I’m doing a coffee table book of never before seen photographs, and a biography which will have the real story of what happened at Studio 54. Of course there will be stories about the famous people who were there, but I won’t be giving away any secrets about my friends.' He said he was still looking for a co-author and a publisher, adding, 'A lot of people have tried to take credit for what happened at Studio. I’ve been quiet for a long time, but now’s the time to do the real story.'" (PageSix)



"Last Thursday night the The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) hosted the 23rd Annual Preview Party for The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show at the Park Avenue Armory. The show features many of the world’s most influential art and antique dealers from the United States and Europe. This is the 23rd year that the Society has had the good fortune to be the beneficiary of the Preview Party, which was launched in 1989. The party itself has become one of New York’s important fall events. It’s also a bit like a homecoming where so many friends and neighbors and supporters gather. And, it attracts more than a thousand high profile guests from the worlds of fashion, art, philanthropy, and interior design. A real New York night ... This year’s co-chairs who are always crucial to the Preview Night’s success were: Noreen Buckfire, Elizabeth Miller, Daisy Soros, and Michel Cox Witmer." (NYSocialDiary)



"In just six weeks, nearly 200 companies and special interests have reported that they’re lobbying the 12-member supercommittee. It’s a stunning ratio of lobbyists to lawmakers but makes sense when you consider the high stakes faced by interests ranging from the health care industry to Native American tribes. The groups fear the supercommittee will find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction before Thanksgiving by cutting their funding or raising their taxes. Lobbyists have blitzed Washington, blanketing Capitol Hill with phone calls to lawmakers’ offices, launching multiplatform advertising campaigns and working to activate grass-roots bases. The scale of the effort, tabulated by POLITICO in a review of recent federal filings, suggests that companies are taking the committee seriously and hoping to blunt whatever comes their way, even as hopes fade on Capitol Hill for a major deal." (Politico)

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