blog advertising is good for you

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for intentional moments of humiliation and a cash prize at stake while watching CNN, you may be in luck. The New York Post reports that the cable news network is planning a massive makeover and has begun soliciting ideas for reality shows from producers who have worked with Discovery, History, and, most disconcertingly, Bravo. (The latter being the cable channel that most recently contributed to the great American decline by showing Sonja Morgan, ex-wife of J.P. Morgan great-grandson and John Adams descendent John Adams Morgan, nonchalantly icing her face in a bidet.) CNN, which has been metaphorically icing its face in a bidet full of its worst ratings in 20 years, is reportedly planning to air five new reality series on Saturday and Sunday nights. In other disturbing CNN developments, the channel is reportedly planning a late-night talk show horrifically described as an '11 p.m. version of The View.' It would be one of several shows in the potential programming overhaul, which was likened to the 'moment when MTV decided to stop playing music videos, because it wasn’t working any more' by a producer who has attended meetings with network execs." (VanityFair)


"Crises are normally short, sharp and intense affairs. Israel's predicament has developed on a different time frame, is more diffuse than most crises and has not reached a decisive and intense moment. But it is still a crisis. It is not a crisis solely about Iran, although the Israeli government focuses on that issue. Rather, it is over Israel's strategic reality since 1978, when it signed the Camp David accords with Egypt. Perhaps the deepest aspect of the crisis is that Israel has no internal consensus on whether it is in fact a crisis, or if so, what the crisis is about. The Israeli government speaks of an existential threat from Iranian nuclear weapons. I would argue that the existential threat is broader and deeper, part of it very new, and part of it embedded in the founding of Israel. Israel now finds itself in a long-term crisis in which it is struggling to develop a strategy and foreign policy to deal with a new reality. This is causing substantial internal stress, since the domestic consensus on Israeli policy is fragmenting at the same time that the strategic reality is shifting. Though this happens periodically to nations, Israel sees itself in a weak position in the long run due to its size and population, despite its current military superiority. More precisely, it sees the evolution of events over time potentially undermining that military reality, and it therefore feels pressured to act to preserve it. How to preserve its superiority in the context of the emerging strategic reality is the core of the Israeli crisis." (STRATFOR)



"After their meeting in early August, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni didn't say that the United States and Uganda are the only two countries -- working together -- that have the best chance of bringing an end to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). But that is the stark reality. After all the global attention heaped on Joseph Kony, the LRA warlord wreaking havoc throughout a handful of central African countries, it turns out that the existing plan for bringing him to justice isn't going to work. U.S. Special Forces deployed 10 months ago to support the mission are sitting on their hands because they are not tasked with directly accompanying Ugandan forces in their pursuit of Kony and the LRA. And Uganda, the only country whose army is undertaking offensive operations against the LRA, is rapidly pulling its forces out of the war theater as it redeploys its forces to Somalia. If the United States and Uganda don't change the plan quickly, it will fail.All available intelligence shows that the largest LRA concentrations are in the northeastern corner of the Central African Republic (CAR). Reportedly, some forces are crossing the border into southwestern Darfur, Sudan, possibly to get resupplied. That is where Kony himself is thought to be. Other LRA units are carrying out frequent attacks in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The one thing those locations have in common is that they are all currently inaccessible to Ugandan and U.S. forces. The Ugandans are concentrated far south of where Kony and his commanders are thought to be hiding in CAR, and they are not allowed sustained access into Congo or Sudan.
A shadow of its former self, the LRA consists of perhaps 300 hard-core fighters, served by hundreds more abducted children. This is down from its heyday a decade earlier, when LRA troop strength was in the thousands and the regime in Khartoum, Sudan, was providing sanctuary, weapons, and funding. Given their weakened state today, this is a winnable war." (ForeignPolicy)


"Helen Gurley Brown died at the New York Presbyterian Hospital sometime during the early part of the day. She was 90 on her last birthday, February 18. Many of us who knew Helen hadn’t seen her in a couple of years. In the previous decade and more, I spent Thanksgiving dinner with Helen and her husband David Brown as their guest at the Four Seasons restaurant. Always at the same table, for four, in the Pool Room, always at 4 pm. We had met in the mid-90s at one of Judy Green’s cocktail parties, or at Alice Mason’s dinner parties.I think it was Alice who, also sharing several Thanksgivings with David and Helen, first suggested they invite me as a fourth when another guest couldn’t make it. It became an excellent – and for me a fortunate – habit. Helen always called in May to make the date. 'Hello Pussycat,' she’d purr (well really, almost, in that soft gentle voice), greeting me on the other end of the line, 'we’re hoping you will join us for Thanksgiving this year.' I was always happy to accept. 'Now don’t back out on us Pussycat,' she’d say in her dulcet tone, before saying good-bye. A couple of weeks before, I’d get another call in the morning. 'Good morning Pussycat,' and of course I knew whose voice I was listening to: 'David and I are looking forward to seeing you on Thanksgiving at 4 at the Four Seasons.' How could I forget? That was a partnership, 'David and I.' A partnership to remember. A tribute to Love and Marriage. Anyone who was ever around them knew that. A complete partnership. There never were children, and – I don’t think – not even a pet. (David had a son Bruce, from a previous marriage,) It was Helen and David/David and Helen. He was the 'he' and she was the 'she,' and she/they lived out their marriage together, very often together, very often planning together business, dinners, trips. When Helen had to travel for business, David, who had a long and very successful career as a film and theater producer, was by her side, or standing behind her. When at the end of her career they’d moved her upstairs and sent her out to open the Cosmos across the world, David went with her, always taking the backseat, the Mr. Helen Gurley Brown, and delighted to do it. It amused him because of course he was attending with his teammate. He was the story of her life." (NYSocialDiary)


"A few days after Whitney Houston died, a friend sent me a link to a story by Cat Marnell. 'What do you think of this writer?' she asked. I’d heard of Marnell, the bad-girl beauty director at xoJane, a Web site for women run by Jane Pratt, the founding editor of Sassy and Jane magazines. Mostly I knew of Marnell because I’d heard people complain about her. She was the blogosphere’s version of a reality-TV villain, an unapologetic abuser of both drugs and all-caps. With her online persona, she proudly situated herself in a tradition of female train wrecks that runs from Edie Sedgwick to Lindsay Lohan to Courtney Love ... 'Why can’t we acknowledge that lots and lots of women abuse drugs?' Marnell wrote in one of those passages in which you can practically hear the frantic clatter of the keyboard as she typed. 'Why does a person have to have resolved their drug issues in order to be allowed to write about them? Can’t a writer be conflicted?' When I read her essay, it had been 18 months since alcohol last lighted a match in my veins, but I had to admit she had a point.
So, what did I think of this writer? In the following months, I thought a lot of things about her. I thought she was a gifted memoirist and a self-mythologizing poser. I thought she was an addict in love with her own damage and a deeply troubled soul. But mostly what I thought after clicking the link in that e-mail was: Damn, her Whitney Houston piece was better than mine." (NYTimes)


"So what do American Jews vote on? The economy, of course. According to the AJC poll, it registered almost five times the number of first-place votes as did Israel. Second, with more than three times the number, was health care. Indeed, while among Americans as a whole health care has far less salience than does the economy, among Jews the margin between the two is smaller. One reason may be that Jews are simply older. As the University of Miami’s Ira Sheskin points out, 16 percent of American Jews are above the age of 65 compared with 13 percent of Americans as a whole. When it comes to health care, Jews are also big fans of government spending. According 'Jewish Distinctiveness in America,' a detailed 2005 study for the AJC, Jews were more supportive than any other religious group of government health-care spending and more supportive than any ethnic or racial group except African-Americans. Another driver of the Jewish vote is fear of the Christian right. Although the percentage of American Jews who cite abortion or separation of church and state as their top voting issue is low—a combined 7 percent, according to the AJC poll—those Jews who do care about cultural issues lean massively to the left. According to the 2005 'Jewish distinctiveness,' study, Jews are the most pro-choice ethnic or religious group in America, by far. Almost 80 percent of American Jews think it’s fine for a woman to have an abortion for any reason, which is close to twice the percentage for Americans as a whole. Jews are also the religious and ethnic group most supportive of giving birth control to teenagers and most hostile to school prayer." (Peter Beinart)


"The London Olympics drew 219.4 million U.S. viewers, overtaking the 2008 games in Beijing to become the nation’s most watched television event ever, as gold-medal performances by Americans bolstered ratings. Total viewership topped the 215 million that tuned in to the Beijing broadcast, according to a statement yesterday fromComcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC Universal division, which cited Nielsen ratings. NBC sold about $1.25 billion in advertising, beating the $850 million for the 2008 Olympics. Though NBC drew criticism for not airing more of the games live, showcasing taped events in prime time “undeniably”helped ratings, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said. He said he wondered if NBC should have tape-delayed more events, such as the U.S. men’s gold-medal basketball game and the men’s tennis finals between Andy Murray and Roger Federer, which were live. 'It’s undeniable we hurt our ratings by doing that,/' Lazarus said in a phone interview. 'We have to balance what we’re trying to do for viewers across the country and our business model.'  The performances of American athletes -- who won a world-best 104 medals, including 46 gold -- also helped drive ratings, said Andy Donchin, director of media investments for Carat North America, an advertising firm." (Bloomberg)


"Last Thursday night, a bevy of cool kids (from magician David Blaine to actor Michael Pitt to Chairlift's Caroline Polachek) headed to the W Hotel Downtown to celebrate the launch of the Four Stories Film Series, a contest spearheaded by W Hotels, Intel and director Roman Coppola. (Aspiring filmmakers take note: write a screenplay for a short film which is set in a W Hotel and features Intel's newest computer, the Ultrabook, then upload it here and hope that your script is one of three selected by a panel of judges that includes Roman Coppola, Chloe Sevigny, and Michael Pitt. Coppola's production company, The Director's Bureau, will make the winning screenplays into ten-minute shorts to be played alongside one of Coppola's own.) At the party, we took Coppola aside for a moment to chat about his new movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (which stars Charlie Sheen), how he feels about Westerns, and which breakup movies he thinks really get it right." (Papermag)


"Everyone loves a great sequel, right? A screening of 2 Days In New York last night was rendered all the more relevant by the locales of the Cinema Society, Grey Goose, and MCM-sponsored affair. First up, the chic set ducked out of the swamplike temps and into Landmark Sunshine Cinemas to watch the Julie Delpy-propelled flick (the woman wrote, directed, and stars in it! #toomuchtalent), alongside castmates Chris Rock, Alex Nagon, Alexia Landeau, and Owen Shipman. Also hitting the LES for the occasion: Tyra Banks, turning heads with a turned-around, derriere-flaunting choice of a step-and-repeat pose, plus Reverend Al Sharpton, Aaron Carter, Russell Simmons, Marisa Tomei, and Heather Graham. Arriving fashionably late, parking their shiny white ride around the corner, and still stopping for an iPhone-d photo opp with a few young fans? Ice-T and Coco (yes, a victory dance ensued for the wee ones). Post-film, the crowd trickled south to DL off Delancey for some requisite afterparty action. As one Girls star departed—Zosia Mamet—another arrived (Alex Kopelman)." (Fashionweekdaily)


"Check Amy Schumer's Wikipedia page: http://bit.ly/ctr59b Only in music and movies do people become famous overnight. Without chops. Sailing by on their punims. In comedy, you've got to earn your stripes. As you do in computer programming, law, medicine and the rest of the professions. If you see nitwits doing it, it's probably not worth paying attention to. Because greatness takes time. And reveals itself slowly. So you think you just want to be on (The Rosanne Barr Comedy central Roast). And close it. Here Amy just about opened. After her, everybody was an afterthought. Because she wasn't worried about being liked by the panel. She didn't play it safe, she immediately went for the jugular and SQUEEZED! Everybody's always playing nice, kissing ass. But what made Amy's performance triumphant was she was doing the act without winking, she was up on the high wire, not looking down, but performing tricks, we could only sit at home and marvel. So you've got to pay your dues. And you've got to wait for your chance. And when you get it, you can't be good, you've got to be GREAT! And I didn't see Amy on the front page of today's 'New York Times.' She's nowhere where you can quantify success. No Nielsen, no SoundScan. Because success is not something you count, but feel. If you were watching last night, you witnessed a groundbreaking, historical appearance, Amy Schumer pulling herself up into the big leagues all by lonesome." (LefsetzList)

No comments: