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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Obama’s over-the-top defense of Rice was surprising, particularly in contrast to the president’s relative indifference in accepting the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus, one of the most capable public servants. And it was disappointing, because McCain, even if wrong on the particulars, is right about Rice. She is ill-equipped to be the nation’s top diplomat for reasons that have little to do with Libya. Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies — on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. Particularly in comparison with the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely aren’t enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her. Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses. Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults. Among those she has insulted is the woman she would replace at State. Rice was one of the first former Clinton administration officials to defect to Obama’s primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. Rice condemned Clinton’s Iraq and Iran positions, asking for an 'explanation of how and why she got those critical judgments wrong.'Clinton got a measure of revenge in 2010 after she worked out a deal with the Russian foreign minister on a package of Iran sanctions to be adopted by the U.N. Security Council. The White House wanted Rice to make the announcement (part of a campaign to increase her profile that included high-visibility foreign trips and TV appearances), but a Clinton aide got Kerry to ask Clinton about the matter during an unrelated Senate hearing. Rice’s put-down of Clinton was tame compared with her portrayal of McCain during 2008, which no doubt contributes to McCain’s hostility toward her today." (Dana Millbank)


"Nanette Vonnegut, daughter of Slaughterhouse Five author Kurt, wrote a letter to Harper’s to correct a parenthetical assertion in the October New Books column that she was once married to mustachioed talk show host Geraldo Rivera. She was not, but her sister was. 'I HAVE NEVER, EVER REMOTELY BEEN MARRIED TO GERALDO RIVERA!' writes Ms. Vonnegut, who has been married to Scott Prior for thirty years. However, it is easy to see the source of the confusion. Ms. Vonnegut’s sister Edith was once married to Mr. Rivera 'for about one minute.' So it is easy to see how book reviewer Joshua Cohen could have gotten confused. At any rate, Harper’s notes that Ms. Vonnegut is correct. She was never married to Mr. Rivera. They regret the error." (Observer)



"Last night at the British Consulate-General on East 51st Street, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent attended a reception for the NGO Sightsavers, to launch its new $1 million River Blindness Elimination Appeal for Africa. More than 50 guests attended, including many prominent business people. The funds raised will be used to prevent more than 7 million people in West Africa from going blind from the Neglected Tropical Disease river blindness. 120 million are at risk of river blindness, which robs individuals of their sight and causes a lifetime of disability and suffering. Adrian Poffley, President of Sightsavers (USA) said that 'This disease of neglected people could – and should – be consigned to medical history.' Princess Alexandra, who is a first cousin of The Queen, is President of Sightsavers, delivered the best wishes for The Appeal from Her Majesty who has been Patron of Sightsavers for more than six decades. There are 39 million blind people in the world. Eighty percent of all blindness can be prevented or cured. Since its founding, Sightsavers has supported 216 million treatments for blinding and potentially blinding conditions, and have carried out more than 7.8 million operations to restore sight. River blindness (Onchocerciasis) is endemic in 37 countries, 30 of which are in Africa and account for more than 99 per cent of cases. 37 million people are infected. More than 300,000 have gone blind." (NYSocialDiary)


"Friday evening was spent going back in time as yet another camera crew sat me comfortably and asked me about the Club Kid era and specifically the murder of Angel Melendez by Michael Alig in 1996. An hour turned into three as the story of that very bad thing that happened back in the good old days continues to be a hot topic. One thing that I tried to get across was that although Michael and his cohorts were indeed a colorful cult that jumped in front of every lens and went out of their way to be seen and heard, there were many other players succeeding in creating wondrous nights at all the Gatien venues outside of Michael’s scope. Disco 2000, the insane Wednesday party that everyone refers to and remembers, was only one night a week at the Limelight. Michael’s influence on the other nights at Limelight was limited. There were four clubs running simultaneously in that empire: Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel, and USA. And although Michael deserves a great deal of credit for mucking things up at the end, he certainly had a run of brilliance that could have and should have been remembered for creativity and fashion and a good time had by all. His Times Square design executed by Eric Goode at Club USA was iconic. The mixing of his club kids with the ravers, the model crowd, the art crowd, and the hipsters at Tunnel and Palladium looked easy at the time, but is rarely duplicated today. Michael remains locked up. He continues to fuck up in jail and continues to delay his inevitable return to the street. I think he is afraid to join the living." (Blackbookmag)



"Director Martin Scorsese celebrated his 70th birthday with just about everyone he’s ever worked with at The Monkey Bar on Saturday night. A four-course dinner, highlighted with videos displayed on flat-screens throughout the trendy West Village restaurant, ended with a champagne toast and chocolate cake. Well-wishers included 'The Wolf of Wall Street' stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, 'Gangs of New York' star Daniel Day-Lewis, 'Taxi Driver' star Harvey Keitel, 'Boardwalk Empire' stars Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt, as well as Steven Spielberg, Patricia Clarkson, Fran Lebowitz, Elvis Costello, Emily Mortimer and Michael J. Fox." (P6)



"Katie Couric has sought advice from power lawyers including Allen Grubman after her executive producer Jeff Zucker’s name repeatedly came up as a candidate to head up CNN, sources exclusively tell Page Six. Zucker, former head of NBC Universal, has been in the frame to take up the position as head of CNN Worldwide after Jim Walton announced he was stepping down. Zucker owns a large portion of Couric’s new daytime show, creating huge complications should he leave. However, last week Mark Shapiro, formerly Dick Clark Productions chief executive, listed as a CNN front-runner. A source said, 'When Jeff’s name was first touted, Katie met with Grubman to look over her contract. This happened about three months ago. She wanted a second opinion on how to proceed if Jeff leaves.' But sources said Couric didn’t end up hiring Grubman and sought advice from other lawyers. Despite rumors of friction with Zucker over the possibility of him leaving so soon after the debut of her show, the source argued, 'There is no bad blood. Katie understands he wants a big job and will eventually leave. This isn’t about suing him, this is about her getting the best overall deal for herself, and if in the event he does leave, she has proper counsel ready.' Couric’s rep said, 'Syndication is complicated, so I’m sure Katie has consulted lawyers. Katie and Jeff are excited about the show’s success and are having a great time working together.' Zucker didn’t get back to us." (P6)

1 comment:

NYC by Eddie P said...

Very interesting position on Susan Rice. This is soap opera that keeps on giving.