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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Mitt Romney is getting the full John Kerry treatment on national security — and some top Republicans are alarmed by what they see as his ham-handed response to it. Romney — whose convention speech didn’t include a salute to the troops or a reference to Afghanistan, where about 75,000 Americans are still at war — is getting hit almost daily now by Democratic attacks that he is wobbly and therefore untrustworthy on national security. It’s the same critique Republicans used to undermine Kerry to devastating effect eight years ago — and the Obama campaign plans to use the run-up to the presidential debates to make a major issue of Romney’s surprising convention stumble. Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, an Obama surrogate, said Monday that the GOP nominee’s approach has been 'unbecoming of someone who wants to become commander in chief.' Clark was building on a very personal critique of Romney that started with Kerry himself at last week’s Democratic convention and was quickly followed by Vice President Joe Biden and then President Barack Obama. Romney, who aides say has downplayed national security in speeches and in the campaign to focus on the economy, will seek to repair any damage on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, when he speaks to a crowd of 4,000 at the annual conference of the National Guard Association in Reno, Nev. What might have been a standard patriotic speech has become a more urgent mission to reset the national security debate for the last nine weeks of the campaign, aides said." (Politico)


"Olivier Zahm was looking awfully spiffy at the Purple magazine dinner last night. 'Do you think I'm overdressed?' he asked, pulling on his bow tie. 'Or is it OK, because tonight is special for me?' Even a top hat and tails might've been appropriate, given that this season, Zahm is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Purple. The celebratory dinner was modest, in its way—co-host Johan Lindeberg stuck to his usual uniform of BLK DNM jeans, and guests tucked into meals served family-style. But size-wise, this was a blowout, with a number of notables turning out to pay Purple their respects. Angela Lindvall, Jamie Bochert, and Lindsey Wixson comprised the model contingent; Natasha Lyonne and Chloë Sevigny brought the indie cred, along with Heidi Bivens, just back from the Venice Film Festival, where the Harmony Korine flick that she costumed, Spring Breakers, had premiered. 'It got an unbelievable reaction,' she said. Bivens wasn't the only attendee with new projects to boast about: Along with growing an impressive beard, Jared Leto has—rather unbelievably—transformed himself into a tech guru, with a Fast Company-approved digital marketing concern among his start-ups. Jeepers, who knew? Meanwhile, Zahm worked the room with his camera and a perma-grin. Around midnight, as revelers began to head upstairs to the Boom Boom for more partying, he ditched the bow tie. 'I got tired of it,' he explained with a shrug, casting glances at his guests from behind his aviators. 'Look at this,' Zahm said, eyes darting. 'You know, 20 years ago, when I started Purple with my girlfriend—who's not my girlfriend anymore, she lives in the countryside and grows vegetables now—20 years ago, Purple was a thing I made with friends." (Style)


"'The clothing’s just the sprinkles on top.' So said tattoo artist Ami James, and it could have been the motto for the evening, especially when the chocolate-sprinkled cupcakes appeared later on, one last treat for a collection of self-proclaimed oddballs, from Michael Stipe to Bono’s wife, Irish business woman Ali Hewson, to a late entry looking like the boy next door, Josh Hartnett. They were gathered last night for the launch of the 'Eccentrics Issue' of Vs. Magazine, which coincided with the official opening—or, anyway, the celebrity opening—of Paul Gerard’s Exchange Alley, the two events hosted by brunette beauties Liv Tyler, whose face in close-up stares from the cover of the new Vs., and Helena Christensen, who took the photo. Mid-Fashion Week, and celebrating a high-end fashion magazine for the fashion-forward and runway-ready, the event was still somehow an escape from the frenzy, a respite. Yes, fashionistas and models mingled with artists, designers and rock stars, but the party was low key compared with the Marc Jacobs soirée on the same night. The atmosphere at Exchange Alley, a restaurant that already feels local and loved, was one of nonchalant chic. The décor chimed with the night’s theme, black-and-white Hollywood studio shots matching the grayscale (splashed with pink) magazine cover. Mr. Gerard’s cooking, myriad different dishes with an Ottolenghi palette, also fit. The chef confessed to a Jack Kerouac fetish and modestly described himself as a potential eccentric, 'more than your average Joe.'" (Style)


"The Democratic euphoria, and Republican gloom, that spread in the wake of President Obama’s convention bounce abated a bit after ABC News and the Washington Post released a new poll showing Obama leading Romney by just a point among likely voters. Given that Obama’s convention bounce is certain to fade, this seems like really good news for Romney. It sort of is, but not in the way it seems. The thing I’ve been harping on for months is racial composition. Obama has held very steady support among non-white voters, so the key factor is his share of the white vote. Where polls have tended to differ is how many white people will turn up at the polls. The ABC/Post poll shows Obama leading by six points among registered voters — a nice bounce, in line with what other polls show — but only a single point among likely voters. Why is that? Because the Post’s likely voter screen produces an electorate that’s about (according to political scientist Alan Abramowitz, via email) 80 perecent white — even whiter than the 2010 off-year elections, and off-year elections are always whiter than presidential elections. The fact that the Post’s likely voter screen is screening out massive numbers of non-white voters suggests that Obama may have work to do to turn them out, but it isn’t showing us a very plausible portrait of the electorate." (JonathanChait)


"Total rager alert! Alexander Wang held his afterparty, always a must on the September NYFW calendar, showed up in a bank-robbing nun getup in a cavernous former bank Beaux Arts-Art Nouveau space, done up with a trippy lighting treatment for the occasion. On the docket: a hip set turned out along the lines of Solange Knowles, Lindsay Ellingson, Kate Bosworth, and Jared Leto. The biggest news, especially for nineties rap freaks, was probably Busta Rhymes taking to the stage. There was also a rousing performance by Die Antwoord, the rap-rave group from South Africa, who'd caused a total scene in the front row of Wang’s show hours earlier. Your Daily could've sworn there were small pieces of ceiling drifting down during the bass-crazy numbers, but it could have been fashion week delirium just as easily, right? Though Belvedere cocktails were cashed few hours into the bash, but plan B drink option was on the ready for the hard-partying situation: The teller windows reinvented as genius minibars started dispensing petite cups of beer when the vodka ran dry. Beer it was!" (Fasionweekdily)


"Howard (Stern) said he doesn't get what's going on with The Tonight Show. Howard said Jay (Leno) took a 50 percent pay cut. Howard said they're the number one late night show. Howard said Dave has never taken a pay cut like that. Howard said he's not sure why Jay would go along with that. He said that it doesn't make any sense. Tommy said he read in the Enquirer that he's ready to quit. Howard said he read that he was willing to work for free. Howard said even NBC thought that was nuts. Howard said he's always bragged that he doesn't need that show to make money because he does so well with his stand-up. Robin said NBC has put out a statement and they say that his show budget was blown up when they went to prime time and now they're moving it back to that out of prime time number. Howard said he's not sure why they'd let that story out. He said it makes Jay look loserish. Howard said they make like 100 million a year in advertising. Howard said they do well in the ratings and it's a great lead in for Jimmy Fallon. He said the whole thing doesn't make sense. Robin said that they renewed Leno's contract for a couple of years so this doesn't look good for Jimmy Fallon. Howard said it's very strange and they treat Jay in a peculiar way. They keep him around and it seems they do that because he's willing to work so cheap. Howard said that he might be the biggest star at NBC." (Marksfriggin)




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