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Monday, January 02, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Even before the final results are known, there are more than a few indicators of how the evening will go on caucus night. Performance in key counties is revealing, and turnout, weather, and energy all play a role, too. As the evening progresses, there will also be signs of who has the endurance and support to go beyond Iowa once the voting is over — and who doesn’t. Below is POLITICO’s list of five things to watch on caucus night. 1) How high can Mitt go? This is the most important question of the evening, after months of a primary season that has been, in one way or another, all about Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is, by all accounts, within striking distance of a win in Iowa. His crowds have been big and, just as important, energetic. Romney has seemed relaxed and confidence about his chances." (Politico)


"With the decline of America's global preeminence, weaker countries will be more susceptible to the assertive influence of major regional powers. India and China are rising, Russia is increasingly imperially minded, and the Middle East is growing ever more unstable. The potential for regional conflict in the absence of an internationally active America is real. Get ready for a global reality characterized by the survival of the strongest." (Zbigniew Brzeznski)


"I memorized close to 1,000 words—a word per kilometer—on how one can spot an Englishman in a European nightclub. (They scrutinize the bill and argue about it with the waiters, never have the right currency, wear thick tweeds that smell of horses and dogs, dance without rhythm, and scare the Arabs with their red complexions.) When I eventually got to London I rang The Spectator’s then-editor Alexander Chancellor and proposed the piece. For any of you unfamiliar with The Spectator, it is one of the English-speaking world’s oldest magazines, running close to 200 years and over nine thousand issues. Graham Greene has called it the world’s best written and most elegant weekly ... About 15 years ago, I wrote how Osama bin Laden, known as Harry Laden to his friends, was a very popular member of White’s Club, held court at the bar daily, and had been made a member by the Duke of Beaufort and Churchill’s grandson Nicholas Soames. Neither the Duke nor Soames, both good friends of mine, said a word. American newspapers went wild and Vanity Fair sent its best reporters to interview me. I had made the whole thing up but told them I was too scared to give any more details. After September 11, 2001, some Americans stopped speaking to me, calling me a traitor for fraternizing with a mass murderer. A member of White’s, insurance broker David Metcalfe, sued me because I had included him in my group with Harry. I had to give him an apology and took the opportunity to reveal that this story, too, was a hoax. The Spectator’s staff enjoyed it greatly despite the hate letters we received." (Takimag)


"Things I Hate: ... Arianna Huffington And Her Huffington Post. Shut the fuck up. You were a Republican and then you were a Democrat and now you're a classic American, only in it for the money. Your site is a worthless collection of headlines imploring us to click on non-stories. Once upon a time you had a chance to impact the debate, by being a clearinghouse for left wing news. Now you're just a rallying point for yourself. I wish they'd put a gag on you and get you to stop talking because what you say is only about yourself and is not worth listening to ... Ryan Seacrest. You're a perfect emblem of network television. Bland and playing to everyone. People who think you're a star have never used the Internet. Where having a personality and an edge is key to success ... The New York Times. Because you do such a shitty job of making people aware of what you do. You've got video stories better than most news organizations but you don't let anybody know and keep complaining that no one's buying your newspaper. Didn't Steve Jobs teach you that the Internet era is all about dominance? Stop fighting with one hand behind your back. Stop making your home page look like a newspaper. Start becoming the site for all news. Huffington Post's got the look but no content. You've got the content but no look ... President Obama. Because he refuses to lead. If he were the quarterback of a football team he'd ask the defense if they approved of his plays. Meanwhile, despite gaining a bit of a backbone recently it's still all about winning. You can whine all day about Congress or take your story to the public and change the debate. But that would involve risk, and you're risk averse." (Bob Lefsetz)


"In the latest issue of The New York Review of Books, Russell Baker, the distinguished former New York Times reporter and op-ed columnist, has a review of the new Leonardo diCaprio film directed by Clint Eastwood, “J. Edgar,” about the longtime legendary head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. Baker in his review points out that the film goes easy on the founding Director who ruled fearsomely like a dictator over it from 1935 to his death in 1972. Most Americans, including children of that era, were very aware of his presence on the national scene, often seeing him speaking directly to the camera in movie newsreels. He was America’s Top Cop. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was his lair. He was assumed (by children at least) to be pure and perfect, and of course everyone believed it because that was The American Way for most of us. Those who thought otherwise kept their mouths shut for obvious reasons. After Hoover’s death, it came out that he had an active homosexual social life. This was the kind of secret he kept on others which would threaten and even destroy marriages, careers both professional and political and private lives. The irony still flattens some people’s disbelief." (NYSocialDiary)


"Harvey Weinstein was not going to miss the New York Giants’ victory over the Dallas Cowboys while spending New Year’s in St. Barts.The movie mogul rented French bistro Bagatelle in Gustavia, installed big TV screens, and threw a Caribbean viewing party for his famous friends vacationing on the island, including Martha Stewart, Wyclef Jean and Larry Gagosian. Others at the Jan. 1 bash, also arranged by the Cinema Society’s Andrew Saffir and Rachel Zoe’s husband, Rodger Berman, were Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, Vivi Nevo, Russell Simmons and Melissa George, Dasha Zhukova, Georgina Chapman, Brian Grazer and Brett Ratner." (PageSix)


"This is not just a list of media people we don't like. Nor is it just a list of media people who had a bad year. This is a list of media people who—abundant evidence shows—should not be in the media, any more. Give it up. Try something else. (We'll even make a suggestion.) You've given it a shot. It's not working any more. The media is not for you ... Barbara Walters You're too old, too rich, and too out of touch to come up with any stories that are actually worthwhile. That makes you the same as the vast majority of other network news stars. But you take much more objectionable vacations. Retirement is your calling now. Suggested new career: Party attendee. Piers Morgan Besides being a ruddy-faced shameless starfucker who is uninteresting except when you're trying to avoid jail time, you also should have been drummed out of journalism long ago for having the same ethical standards as... well, as a slimeball British tabloid editor, which you were. You, sir, are no Larry King. (Who was not a good journalist either.) Suggested new career: Twinkie filler ... Dave Zinczenko This guy is pretty much an actor who plays a 'magazine editor' on the Today Show, while talking about his abs and plagiarizing his own writers. Dave, are you really giving the readers of Men's Health the high level of journalistic dedication they've come to expect? As well as giving your abs the level of dedication they expect? Something's got to give. Suggested new career: Abercrombie &Fitch junior retail associate" (Gawker)

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