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Monday, November 14, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"President Barack Obama arrived in office determined to make a sharp break with George W. Bush's policy on nuclear nonproliferation. Obama and his team believed that the only way they could get allies to support a tough line against countries like Iran or North Korea that were seeking to acquire nuclear weapons was to comply with the United States' own obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to reduce its nuclear stockpile. One of Obama's leading nonproliferation experts admitted to me in the early days of the administration that this sounded very much like 'an article of faith' adopted by untested idealists. 'These are propositions that have to be demonstrated,' he said. 'The administration will be going to these countries to say, 'We're doing our part; now you have to do your part.' You could read the reporton Iran's nuclear program released this week by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to say, 'Proposition refuted.' Certainly Obama's critics have. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Mitt Romney writes that thanks to 'the administration's extraordinary record of failure,' Iran is "making rapid headway toward its goal of obtaining nuclear weapons." In fact, the report dwells almost entirely on events that happened long before Obama took office and essentially offers an official imprimatur to the widespread view that Iran has been seeking for years to develop a nuclear warhead and is continuing to do so. Neither Bush nor Obama has stopped Iran from pursuing a goal to which Iranian leaders are single-mindedly dedicated -- nor could they have. But Obama's strategy has thrown a spanner into Iran's nuclear works. On balance, the proposition survives." (James Traub)


"Evelyn Lauder died this past Saturday, at home. She had been suffering from a nongenetic ovarian cancer. She celebrated her 75th birthday last August. I first met Evelyn in the early 90s when I had started the Social Diary, and she was gaining notice beginning to make big strides with her Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The issue came to my attention when in a two-year period, I knew 7 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. (All of whom, incidentally, were successfully treated and are still leading active lives today.) By then the Breast Cancer Research Foundation had raised many millions for research grants and were holding two major annual fundraising events. One was the Pink Party where they inaugurated the now famous Pink Ribbon lapel pin. The choice of the color was an idea of Evelyn's because the color traditionally symbolized feminine. The other was the annual Symposium and luncheon when the grants would be awarded and the recipients would be introduced to the guests as well ... In 1989 when Evelyn was 53, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don't believe this matter has ever been publicized up until the time of her death. It was assumed so only because she was so passionately committed to finding a cure. Her own treatment was successful. I don't know when the historic 'aha!' moment came that inspired Evelyn Lauder to 'do something' about it. But by the time she started the BCRF in 1993, she was famous amongst her friends for assisting them when the call came. Yesterday, after her death was announced, I got an email from a woman friend in Santa Barbara telling me how when she contracted a strain of leukemia a number of years ago, she called Evelyn asking for advice. Evelyn referred her to one of the best doctors in New York. My friend still has her blood checked by the same doctor. My friend never received a bill." (NYSocialDiary)


"James Wolcott is a carefully absent presence in his memoir of writing his way through the ’70s, despite the trademark right-in-your-ear chattiness of his writing style. The acerbic critic—now best known as a blogger for Graydon Carter’s luxe Vanity Fair—reports in his recollections of New York when it was allegedly fun that he always seemed underdressed for the uptown ballet, overdressed for downtown at CBGB. He was half wanderer-in, half walker-on, and sometimes the guy on the wall watching everyone dirtying the pretty things. In his reconstruction of the vaguely dangerous ’70s heyday of the East Village, he’s surrounded by people who’ve toked and snorted more illegal substances than he has, and usually done their hair more outrageously. He doesn’t even get laid much. Not only did he fail to take the obvious down-and-out ’70s East Village career path and become a hooker himself, he never even hired one. It all begins with an account of Wolcott’s arrival at the Village Voice in 1972—something that will probably be of genuine interest only to an incredibly small circle of media historians. He was a boy from the sticks of Maryland, a third-rate student at a fourth-rate college, and deeply enamored of Norman Mailer. He arrived at the mother of all alt-weeklies with the endorsement of Mailer (Wolcott had written praise to the literary pugilist, and flattery always works). Jill Johnston, Richard Goldstein, and lovers-turned-enemies Robert Christgau and Ellen Willis were the 'sixties scene-bursters' who were supposed to 'inherit or hijack in slow motion the intellectual-journalistic establishment. . . . Yet it didn’t happen, they never assumed command.' And all the rest: Ron Rosenbaum, Andrew Sarris, Deborah Jowitt—bold writers, little giants. (Some of them even good people! Some less so, as Wolcott recalls: 'Nobody at the Voice ever told you anything for your own good unless they were up to no good.')" (Choire Sicha)



"Even the most difficult to impress regulars on the social circuit had reason to pause on Thursday night upon entering a certain tent erected at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The occasion? The Central Park Conservancy's inaugural Autumn in New York gala, an alternative to the usual Halloween affair that, blessedly, did not require one to don a mask. The theme? Trees, all 24,000 of them that are currently preening at their most opulent all around the Park.A stunning coterie of Japanese maples, Kwanzan cherries, red oaks, cherry oaks, sycamore maples, and more were temporary implanted in the cocktail room, practically begging for adoption by the well-heeled donors. (Co-chairs Kitty and Tom Kemper, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, and Suzanne and Woody Johnson ensured that there were plenty of those in the room.) After a lively hour or so of mingling, the likes of Alexandra Lebenthal, Star Jones, David Patrick Columbia, and Arie and Coco Kopelman eventually made their way into the main ballroom, which Bronson van Wyck had transformed into the most breathtaking event space this city has seen all season, if not longer." (Fashionweekdaily)


"Nomura Equity Research analyst Michael Nathanson has been one of the Street’s more vocal enthusiasts for U.S. media stocks, so you can bet a lot of investors will be surprised this morning by his report downgrading the sector in general — and CBS in particular — to 'neutral' from 'buy.' Although he says 2012 will be a strong year, in part because of the influx of political ads, growing industry-wide problems could cause earnings to 'decelerate sharply' afterward. He’s concerned that television scatter market pricing is starting to soften, which portends 'slower local and national TV ad growth ahead for all.' That’s happening as pay TV subscriptions decline, turning the programming business into a zero-sum game where a show can only build its audience by taking viewers from someone else." (Deadline)
"The final full week of supercommittee talks has become a chess match in which the goal is political survival in 2012. Lawmakers say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have taken a major role in the talks, with all three worried a bad deal could ruin their election strategies while angering key constituencies. Democrats are relying on what they think is an advantage in leverage just nine days before the panel’s Nov. 23 deadline to submit a deal to Congress with at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts.While both parties are worried about the automatic spending cuts that would be triggered by a supercommittee failure, senior Republicans are especially fearful of those that would hit the military ... The standing offers are unacceptable to many lawmakers on both sides, with the two parties under increasing pressure from their political bases. While Democrats rejected last week’s GOP offer, Republicans ignored a $2.3 trillion Democratic savings plan because it would raise $1 trillion in new taxes. Even with no deal in sight, sources said it remains possible lawmakers will agree to the minimum $1.2 trillion deal or something as large as $4 trillion. Regardless of the package’s size, both sides would face political repercussions: Republicans by giving in on tax hikes and Democrats by agreeing to entitlement cuts. One union strategist said Democrats would 'kiss the senior vote goodbye' if they agree to cut Medicare and Social Security and receive little in return on taxes." (TheHill)


"Latest Top 10 grosses show better North American box office than previously thought thanks to the Veterans Day holiday weekend when school is out in 60% of the country. The good news is a break from slumping attendance with a $137M total moviegoing weekend, up +18% from last year. But the bad news is that these movies are still way underperforming what they should have done on a holiday weekend. That’s because these major studio pics were definitely not crowd-pleasers. Just check out their Rotten Tomatoes scores. But the real question is why Hollywood released two young male-skewing movies the weekend right after two major video games were released. Anecdotal evidence is that the guys were otherwise engaged ... Immortals 3D (Relativity) NEW [3,112 Theaters]Friday $14M, Saturday $10M, Weekend $32M// Richard Branson didn’t waste any time blogging to his peeps today: 'Congratulations to Jason and the whole team at Virgin Produced for Immortals, their follow up film to Limitless, going straight to number one at the box office this weekend. Jammy bastards!!' He’s as good at spinning underwhelming box office as Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh. ... Jack And Jill (Sony Pictures) NEW [3,438 Theaters] Friday $9.8M, Saturday $9.6M, Weekend $26M// Sony Pictures’ Jack And Jill starring Adam Sandler was hard-pressed to equal his usual $30+M opening comedies. (Maybe moviegoers aren’t as moronic as Hollywood thinks they are.) Rotten Tomatoes gave this turkey only a 3% positive score." (Deadline)

1 comment:

Serena Thomson said...

This is all Political view ....!!





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