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Monday, October 08, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In November 1929, days after a stock market crash in New York sent shock waves through the global financial system, the Economistoptimistically assured its British readers, 'The material prosperity of the United States is too firmly based, in our opinion, for a revival in industrial activity -- even if we have to face an immediate recession of some magnitude -- to be long delayed.' That caveat was the first known use of the 'r' word to describe a temporary slowdown of industrial activity -- and not the last time it would feel hopelessly inadequate to describe the event taking place. In the United States, that 'recession of some magnitude' would plunge the country into economic distress for a decade, obliterate the livelihoods of millions of Americans, and eventually lead to the creation of the modern American welfare state. Its effects abroad would be even more profound: the rise of fascism, another catastrophic world war, the fundamental reordering of global politics. The optimists were a little more reserved this time around. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. recession technically began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, though it certainly doesn't feel over for the more than 8 percent of American workers who are still unemployed. But of course, the 'Great Recession' has long since gone beyond its technical definition to become a shorthand for the era -- one in which millions around the world are out of work and long-dominant institutions and ideas may never recover their credibility." (ForeignPolicy)


"Vice presidential debates typically matter as much as vice presidential picks — which is to say not a lot — but a convergence of factors is raising the stakes on this week’s faceoff between Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden. Looming most heavy over the clash in Kentucky is President Barack Obama’s remarkably weak debate performance last week, a showing that has given Republicans their first sense of hope in weeks and increased the pressure on Biden to get Democrats back on course.Obama’s Denver dud, and specifically his refusal to go after Mitt Romney on some of the GOP nominee’s most glaring vulnerabilities, has officials in both parties anticipating an aggressive, hard-hitting Biden showing up to try to put Democrats back on the offensive. If 'Gentleman Joe' took the stage four years ago, determined not to come off as patronizing or bullying Sarah Palin, it seems almost certain that Thursday will bring the appearance of 'Scranton Joe,' the scrappy pol who’s never been afraid to throw a punch.'There’s no sympathetic character up there with him this time,' said Steve Schmidt, who helped prep Palin four years ago for her Biden debate. 'So he’ll be bringing his proverbial nunchucks and brass knuckles.'  Biden aides don’t exactly deny that their guy will come out swinging." (Politico)


"The words 'put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans' have never sounded classier than when sung by Katy Perry at the 10th anniversary Gala in the Garden at the Hammer Museum on Saturday night. An elegant affair situated in the Los Angeles museum's lantern-lit courtyard, the event was attended by over 600 artists, gallerists, collectors, and creative enthusiasts including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Steve Martin, Will Ferrell, Tom Ford, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and Linda and Bob Gersh. But it wasn't Katy Perry—in a champagne-colored, sequin-dripping gown—who had drawn the charitable assembly and the $2 million in donations; it was the evening's honorees, conceptual artist Barbara Kruger and photographer Cindy Sherman. After an introduction from Armie Hammer—the handsome Social Network actor and grandson of the Hammer Museum's founder, Dr. Armand Hammer—guests dined on a three-course meal catered by Lucques while Steve Martin and Rachel Maddow toasted the world-renowned artists." (VanityFair)



"Nick Denton’s boyfriend, the actor Derrence Washington, had a new off-off Broadway play open last Friday. But apparently, the theatre didn’t provide enough drama for Mr. Washington’s ex, who has been harassing the couple. The love triangle has escalated to the point where the cops have been called, reports the Post. While Mr. Denton is doing all the things that people in new relationships do–changing his Facebook status, introducing his new boyfriend to his friends, hosting parties to celebrate his new boyfriend’s play, the jealous ex is doing all the things that jealous exes do (in movies at least). The caricature of an angry ex-boyfriend recently threw a brick through the window of the Gawker mogul’s Soho loft. Ah, will the course of true love ever run smooth?When the Post reached out to Mr. Denton for a comment on the situation, he used the opportunity to gin up some publicity and pageviews. 'After that Hulk Hogan sex tape on Gawker, I can hardly complain about intrusion into my private life!' he said in an email to the Post." (Observer)


"Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz were spotted celebrating Naomi Campbell’s new series 'The Face' at the Darby on Friday night. DiCaprio arrived with a posse of guy friends, and we hear Campbell “had a playful catwalk dance-off with designer Zac Posen and legendary runway model Pat Cleveland” on the dance floor. The supermodel hostess Campbell also partied with her 'Face' co-stars Nigel Barker, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha. 'Everyone was in really good spirits, dancing around and singing,' said a spy, noting Campbell and Posen 'tore up the dance floor.' The show airs in February on Oxygen." (PageSix)


"ON THURSDAY, the Lighthouse International (it specializes in treatment for those losing their sight) was getting 'the social' treatment with a famous fund-raising lunch in the name of the late great Time editor Henry Grunwald. Our friends on the New York Social Diary did a big write-up of this event last Friday and as I was the emcee of the whole 'shebang,' I just want to add a comment.We gathered at 12 noon in the Metropolitan Club on East 60th Street off 5th Avenue. There was a moment when people greeted, air-kissed and looked at cell phones to see what they were missing back at the office, the board room or the keyboard. (Or the bedroom.) Then, we trooped in to lunch. This fund-raiser honored Bob Pittman, head of Clear Channel, and Linda Fairstein, novelist and former D.A. vs. sexual violence. Believe me, all the people in New York and other cosmopolitan cities trying to fundraise, could take a tip from this successful SRO lunch. Louise Grunwald, the creator-host, believes that intelligent, generous people can get together and give money and still be able to both listen and eat at the same time. So while other charities dawdle through long courses, boredom, harried waiters before dessert, this particular one serves lunch and keeps its program — tiny minute-long speeches and the honorees appearing and doing their stuff — while the guests eat. The reality? Your money goes a long way when given to the Lighthouse and you have a bang-up time because it’s all done and over by 2 p.m." (Liz Smith/NYSocialDiary)



"As bidding for Lena Dunham’s first book reportedly climbed to $3.7 million, the budding author was seen Saturday night with a literary lot. The creator of HBO’s 'Girls' hit a party thrown by New Yorker editor David Remnick, with guests including Gay Talese, Malcolm Gladwell and Andy Borowitz. But she spent the night huddled with Carrie Brownstein, the indie rocker who has her own cult cable-TV comedy series, 'Portlandia,' and short hipster hairdo. 'The Brooklyn Bridge is closed today. How will anyone get into Manhattan to fulfill their big city dreams!?' Dunham, 26, tweeted before she appeared Saturday, along with Ben Stiller, Lisa Kudrow and Patti Smith, at the New Yorker Festival. Also spotted at Remnick’s bash were Sarah Silverman, 'Cloud Atlas' director Lana Wachowski and 'School of Rock' screenwriter Mike White. Dunham’s proposed book — 'Not That Kind of Girl: Advice by Lena Dunham' — reportedly has five publishers chasing after it. “SNL” veteran Tina Fey got $5 million for her 2011 book, “Bossypants.'" (PageSix)


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