blog advertising is good for you

Monday, April 30, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The Chinese government is so terrified of Chen Guangcheng that, when rumors spread on Sunday that he had boarded United Airlines flight 898 from Beijing to Washington, state censors almost immediately blocked Weibo users from sending any messages with the word "UA898." Chen, a lawyer who campaigned against state-forced sterilizations and abortions meant to enforce China's one-child policy, is blind; the words "blind man" were also blocked online. Though Chinese police often bend over backwards to avoid harming Westerners, especially high-profile ones, they roughed up Christian Bale and a CNN crew for trying to visit the building where he is kept under house arrest. This is how seriously the Chinese government takes Chen Guangcheng. Now, Chen has escaped house arrest and reportedly fled to the American embassy in Beijing. In immediate human terms, the U.S. response would be easy and automatic: grant him legal asylum and fly him back to the United States. But foreign policy is more complicated than that. If China knocked around Christian Bale just for trying to shake Chen's hand, what would the country to do the American foreign policy agenda if Obama grants Chen his freedom to continue raising awareness about Communist Party abuses, embarrassing the leaders of that party in the process?" (TheAtlantic)


"At the same time in Israel, the conservative government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been rocked by a series of public comments from current and former Israeli military and intelligence officials questioning the wisdom of attacking Iran. The latest comments came from Yuval Diskin, the former chief of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, who on Friday said Mr. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak should not be trusted to determine policy on Iran. He said the judgments of both men have been clouded by 'messianic feelings.' Mr. Diskin, who was chief of Shin Bet until last year, said an attack against Iran might cause it to speed up its nuclear program.  Just days before, Israel’s army chief of staff suggested in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the the Iranian threat was not quite as imminent as Mr. Netanyahu has portrayed it. In his comments, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz suggested that he agreed with the intelligence assessments of the United States that Iran has not yet decided whether to build a nuclear bomb.Iran 'is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn’t yet decided whether to go the extra mile,' General Gantz told Haaretz. He suggested that the crisis may not come to a head this year. But he said, 'Clearly, the more the Iranians progress, the worse the situation is.' Last month, Meir Dagan, the former chief of the Israeli spy agency Mossad, said he did not advocate a pre-emptive Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program anytime soon. In an interview with CBS’s '60 Minutes,' Mr. Dagan said the Iranian government was 'a very rational one,' and that Iranian officials were 'considering all the implications of their actions.'" (Jamie Rizn via ForeignPolicy)


"President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton teamed up for a fundraiser in Virginia on Sunday, taking shots at presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. While neither mentioned him by name during the event at the home of former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, the two presidents delivered harsh criticisms of Obama's likely November opponent. "This is crazy, he's got an opponent who basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids, which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids," said Clinton. The two presidents once had a frosty relationship, as Clinton was a strong advocate for his wife then Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as she battled Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination. At Sunday's event, however, President Clinton was full of praise for Obama, defending his record and saying that the current president needed more time to address the problems left behind by the Bush administration. 'He's beating the clock, not behind it.  Don't listen to those Republicans.  We are beating the clock,' Clinton said. 'I think he is beating the historical standard for coming out of a financial collapse and a mortgage collapse.  I think the last thing you want to do is to turn around and embrace the policies that got us into trouble in the first place,' he added. In his remarks at the fundraiser, Obama linked Romney's foreign policy to the Bush administration." (TheHill)


"Last week I had lunch with Pat Schoenfeld who has been very busy lately out at booksignings and promoting the memoir of her late husband Gerald Schoenfeld. Mr. Broadway is the title and That Man on the cover is the immortal Al Hirschfeld’s portrait of him.In the last twenty years I’ve got to know Jerry Schoenfeld, getting around as I do, and also because he frequently lunched at Michael’s. He was a very friendly fellow, droll and mensch-y, although I knew he was a very shrewd lawyer and businessman who with a man named Bernie Jacobs, ran the Shubert  Organization for almost forty years (not counting his years when he worked for JJ Shubert and then Lawrence Shubert Lawrence. I first knew of Jerry when I was a kid aspiring (wrong word/right idea) actor and working at Sardi’s restaurant in a part time job – 11 to 2 on matinee days (Wednesday and Saturday) and 5 to 8 Monday through Fridays. Sardi’s was then, as it had been for decades, the center of the world of Broadway. Everybody who was anybody came through its door -- every star, aspiring, headlining, former, future; playwrights, writers, tycoons interested in shows (or actresses or actors); lawyers, agents, their girls, their wives, their secret boyfriends; press agents, movie stars, movie producers, movie directors, journalists (the New York Times was next door). It was a hub of the theatre world." (NYSocialDiary)


"Like marathoners heading into their 26th and final mile, the slate of party-goers who had been bouncing around White House Correspondents’ Association dinner events for the past four days turned into the Georgetown home of POLITICO owner Robert Allbritton and his wife, Elena, to recap the weekend, swap stories, and, for some, to say farewell until we do it all again next year. Roughly 250 attendees showed off pictures of George Clooney on their iPhones and wondered whether he’d ever run for office ('He’s really such a pro at these events,' said one), weighed in on Lindsay Lohan ('When you talk to her, she sounds like a 90-year-old woman,' noted another guest) and generally bemoaned their lack of shut-eye over the weekend (although Arianna Huffington — who’s written extensively about the importance of sleep — boasted that she got at least seven hours both Friday and Saturday night) ... But the big topic of conversation, of course, centered on the comedic stylings of President Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel at the Saturday night gala. Obama received rave reviews." (Politico)



"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these partiers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Twas a damp, cloudy, humid night in our nation’s capital, and at the residence of the French ambassador, guests of the Vanity Fair and Bloomberg party completed their post–White House Correspondents Dinner rounds under white tents, aided and abetted by space heaters, liquor, and overcoats. The air was chilly; the mood, warm ...VF.com personally saw Uggie embraced by Reese Witherspoon and Colin Powell. (Is Uggle the first dog and/or human to be able to make such a claim? We’d like to think so.) Running a close second in the night’s most-popular category: the impossibly charming couple Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, who chatted with George Clooney, Rashida Jones, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Rachel Zoe, Rodger Berman, and Martin Short. Elsewhere: Harvey Weinstein and a stunning Georgina Chapman, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, White House speechwriter Cody Keenan, Arianna Huffington, Claire Danes, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Jay Carney, David Axelrod, Chris Matthews, a pregnant and glowing Samantha Power and Cass Sunstein, Salman Rushdie, Colin Powell, and Andrew Sullivan. Braving the inclement weather on the back porch: Woody Harrelson talking with New York Times reporter Ashley Parker, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Wright, and longtime New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier. Back inside, Aziz Ansari posed for pictures with a stunning, cream-silk-clad Kate Upton, whose stature in Washington has already far outmatched that of her congressman uncle, Fred Upton (R-MI) VF.com’s official vote for most charming attendees: an effortless Goldie Hawn and a casual and silly Elizabeth Banks. Cutest couple: Bo Derek and John Corbett, who showed up before most guests and danced to oldies by the coffee bar." (VanityFair)

No comments: