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Friday, December 16, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"We were friends for more than thirty years, which is a long time but, now that he is gone, seems not nearly long enough. I was rather nervous when I first met him, one night in London in 1977, along with his great friend Martin Amis. I had read his journalism and was already in awe of his brilliance and wit and couldn’t think what on earth I could bring to his table. I don’t know if he sensed the diffidence on my part—no, of course he did; he never missed anything—but he set me instantly at ease, and so began one of the great friendships and benisons of my life. It occurs to me that 'benison' is a word I first learned from Christopher, along with so much else. A few years later, we found ourselves living in the same city, Washington. I had come to work in an Administration; he had come to undo that Administration. Thirty years later, I was voting for Obama and Christopher had become one of the most forceful, and persuasive, advocates for George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. How did that happen?" (Christopher Buckley)


"Republicans in Congress are headed for the same kind of cataclysmic washout that the Democrats faced in the 2010 election, according to Democracy Corps co-founder Stan Greenberg, who presented findings from the group’s latest polls at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Friday morning.The liberal think tank surveyed the most competitive Republican House battleground districts for 2012, and said that even in districts where President Obama is 'dead,' that the numbers for Congressional Republicans shows 'weakening support' and 'vulnerability to attack.' In 2008, Obama carried 48 of the 60 districts the group polled, which then went to Republicans in the landslide 2010 midterm elections.However, according to Greenberg, the Republicans face 'numbers virtually identical to those of Democratic incumbents leading into the 2010 disaster.'" (TheHill)


"(I)n case Russians hadn't been offended by years of brazen maneuvers and bland television tailor-made for the lobotomized; in case they hadn't been insulted by the glib switcheroo of Sept.24, when Putin and his handpicked successor as president, Dmitri Medvedev, announced they would simply swap positions; in case the crudely falsified elections and the baton-happy police hadn't angered enough people; Putin compared their symbol of peaceful protest, those white ribbons neatly pinned on lapels, to an unwrapped and doubled-up condom. On live TV.The Russian Internet, not surprisingly, was quick to fire back. First to circulate was a diaphanous condom in the shape of a folded ribbon; then came Putin standing stuffily in front of a Kremlin nightscape, an unraveled condom photoshopped onto his coat. ('Happy holidays, friends!' the postcard said.) Another web parody offered a prediction: a deficit of condoms in the city on the eve of Dec. 24, the day of the next scheduled protest. Sergei Parkhomenko, a journalist and one of the organizers of the upcoming demonstration, even proposed a new slogan for the rally: 'You're the gondon.' In Russian, gondonis slang for condom -- or asshole. Putin hardly stopped with his condom remark. Over nearly five hours in a TV studio taking questions from his public as part of an annual ritual, he often returned to his favorite theme: Western conspiracies to weaken Russia, to 'push it to the side,' or, as he characterized the wave of protests now unfolding around him, 'a well-tuned scheme to destabilize societies' that 'doesn't come out of nowhere' -- like Ukraine's Orange Revolution. As for the protesters, Russia's once and would-be future president pointed out that "there are, of course, people who have the passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation, but act in the interests of a foreign government using foreign money." (ForeignPolicy)



"It’s a holiday miracle considering how badly domestic box office has been slumping for the past five months. But now pent-up moviegoer demand for the big Christmas blockbusters — even though this weekend’s are three sequels — is looking to send grosses soaring. I’m told that, playing on just 425 screens in 425 locations from Thursday evening through midnight shows, the new Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opened with a huge $1.1 million. As reference, M:I3 did $1.1M of midnight business on over 2,000 screens. 'This is a great start,' a Paramount exec gushed. Of course, Paramount’s M:I4 grosses were goosed by none other than Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises preview footage in IMAX theaters alongside the Tom Cruise-Jeremy Renner starrer. 'It’s a pretty compelling package,' Paramount tells me." (Nikki Finke)


"Last Thursday night, a week, Child Mind Institute held its second annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner and raised $5.3 million for providing children’s mental health care, as well as supporting scientific breakthroughs, and expanding education and outreach efforts. Matt Lauer was host for the evening. Jane and Jimmy Buffett were honored with the 2011 Child Advocacy Award. Actress Amy Poehler (star of NBC’s Parks & Recreation) and actor Will Arnett (star of NBC’s Up All Night) offered a video roast of the honorees, and Brooke Garber Neidich, co-founder and board chair of the Child Mind Institute, presented the award. Afterwards Jimmy Buffett surprised attendees by performing 'Song for the Little Children' and 'Volcano' to the delight of all – including 'Parrothead' Lauer ... Among those attending: Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower, Chuck Close, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, John McEnroe, Desiree Gruber and Kyle MacLachlan, Nicole Miller, Arthur Altschul, Jr., Laura Blankfein, Linda and Arthur Carter, Ron Delsener, Vanessa Cornell, Paul Goldberger, Erica Jong, Molly Jong-Fast" (NYSocialDiary)


"Lovecat's founders Prince Chenoa and Jacob Dekat had a holiday party last nigh at Pulqueria in collaboration with Kanon Organic Vodka. Heide Lindgren and Nicole Trunfio hosted the party that also celebrated the launch of Lovecat's third issue ." (Papermag)

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