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Monday, April 09, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"It's impossible to say if (Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika) would be alive today if he could have made it to a properly supplied hospital, but as BBC Kampala correspondent Joshua Mmali put it on Twitter last night, 'Lessons outta 4 : You can't go to the UK or Germany to treat a heart attack. Improve your health systems' It has indeed become a depressingly common occurence for leaders to head abroad for major medical treatment -- an option Mutharika didn't have. In recent years, we've seen Venezuela's Hugo Chavez travel to Cuba for cancer treatment, Saudi King Abdullah come to New York for tests, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travel to Saudi Arabia to treat injuries sustained in an attack, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari go to Dubai for undisclosed medical treatment, and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani head to Jordan for treatment of exhaustion and dehydration. There are plenty of other examples from Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare. It's always a bit surprising that this isn't more politically embarrassing." (Foreignpolicy)
"President Clinton is willing to do whatever he can to get President Obama reelected, according to his former aides. It’s just a matter of whether Obama wants the help. Bringing Clinton on the campaign trail could do wonders for Obama’s appeal among disenfranchised blue-collar voters and reluctant donors, strategists say. But it could also pose risks for Obama, who could be overshadowed by the effusive former president. 'President Obama would be wise [to use him], and I’m sure he would welcome President Clinton as one of the great campaigners alive today, and still one of the most popular Democrats in the country,' said Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Clinton and a columnist for The Hill. The two Democratic presidents have a complicated relationship dating back to the epic primary battle between Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). An outspoken advocate for his wife, Clinton defended her against Obama and criticized him for launching personal attacks. The hatchet has long since been buried, advisers said, pointing to the visibly close relationship between Obama and his secretary of State. Hillary Clinton does not plan to join Obama on the campaign trail this year because she doesn’t want to risk politicizing her role as the nation’s top diplomat, senior administration officials said last week. But the former first lady has dipped her toe into the political sphere on occasion, including calling out Rush Limbaugh during the contraception battle in early April for what she called a 'verbal assault' on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke." (TheHill)
"LEFT LEANING: Arianna Huffington and Wendi Murdoch packed the house — Huffington’s house to be precise — Thursday night to toast Kathy Freston for her new book 'The Lean.' Crowded as the Huffington Post-er’s downtown pad was, the guest of honor stood out in a magenta cashmere sweater and a Barbie-pink sequined column skirt. Commendable as the author’s vegan-minded, healthy-living ways are, Huffington had a few other reasons for a public note of thanks — Freston had given her an iPod with all of Tom Freston’s music — 11,000 songs — and had introduced her to her HuffPo partner, Kenneth Lerer. Murdoch chimed in, telling the room how she and her husband Rupert have been following all of Freston’s pointers and have dropped a few pounds ... (Freston) reminded Diane Sawyer, Tina Brown, Martha Stewart, Charlie Rose, Tory Burch, Dr. Oz, Jamie Tisch, Joel Klein, Katie Lee Joel, Lynn Forester and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Nanette Lepore and the rest of the guests to drink eight cups of water and to have an apple a day. Freston said, 'I’m all about everything. I’m not about suffering and a hard-core life. I want to enjoy life.' Afterwards, Huffington appeared to be enjoying life. Asked how she feels about having more control now that she has taken on several of AOL’s business functions, she said, 'I don’t see it that way. Changes are necessary because of the growth of the Huffington Post. Being able to integrate technology and marketing with editorial is going to make it easier for us to grow much stronger.'" (WWD)


"Liz Smith’s column last week about the new Lillian Hellman biography, 'A Difficult Woman,' reminded me that I met Hellman when I lived in Los Angeles; and although I was never in her company more than two or three times, it was entirely memorable. The first time was a Sunday when Lady Sarah Churchill invited me to join her at a brunch that Marti Stevens was having at her house in the Palisades. The lure for me was that Lillian Hellman would be there. Marti's father, Nick Schenck, ran Loew’s, Inc. which owned MGM, and her uncle Joe Schenck founded what became 20th Century-Fox with LB Mayer for Darryl Zanuck and Mayer’s son-in-law Bill Goetz. Marti was a real child of Hollywood. " (NySocialDiary)
"Was it really 19 years ago that architect John Pawson designed the Calvin Klein Collection flagship on Madison Avenue? Indeed. All these years later, the space feels as fresh and forward as ever, as evidenced at a Wednesday night cocktail celebrating Pawson's new book, A Visual Inventory. The tome is a collection of snapshots Pawson has taken over the years of everything from views from an airplane window to abstract landscapes. The crowd at his book party was equally eclectic: Tonne Goodman, Amanda Brooks, Fred Wilson, Guy Trebay, Nora Zehetner, Matt Tyrnauer, Harold Koda, and Hal Rubenstein, for starters. Italo Zucchelli was sporting some serious new glasses (noir and square, very nice), while Francisco Costa explained his most recent project. 'So we've done a capsule for Macy's...' he explained politely, like anyone could have missed the news." (Fashionweekdaly)
"Ralph Lauren celebrated Passover and Easter weekend in style at Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The designer was spotted at the resort with wife Ricky and their kids Dylan, Andrew, David and his wife, Lauren Bush Lauren, as well as Ralph’s brother, Jerry, spies said. According to sources, the Lauren clan spent time in the two homes they own at Round Hill for the holiday, including a 'magnificent beach house that was built by [socialite] Babe and [CBS founder] Bill Paley.' Also spotted at Round Hill over the holiday weekend were MTV founder Robert Pittman and his wife, Veronique. Billionaire Donald Newhouse and wife Susan were at their Round Hill home last month with their grandchildren, but left before the holiday weekend kicked off." (PageSix)

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