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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"When exactly does sequestration start? It’s a bit of a technicality, but one that makes a big difference, especially for the hundreds of thousands of federal workers waiting on furlough notices. The law requiring $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts is a bit vague on when the budget cuts begin. It only says March 1. So, the White House Office of Management and Budget has until 11:59 p.m. Friday to actually issue the official sequestration notice that starts the entire process. That’s when OMB will simultaneously transmit a report to Congress detailing cuts in every affected agency’s budget account. President Barack Obama must actually issue an order to trigger OMB’s actions. That means that technically, the sequestration will not have started when Obama meets with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday about possible sequester solutions.Spokesmen for all four Capitol Hill leaders — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — acknowledged in emails Friday that it’s their understanding that OMB does have until 11:59 p.m. to issue the sequestration order. But Boehner’s office also noted that Obama could choose to implement the sequester at any point during the day too." (Politico)


"I went down to Michael’s. It was Wednesday; what else? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it busier. I was lunching with the crew from Quest – publisher/proprietor Chris Meigher; Jim Stoffel the Creative Director, and Exec Editor Lily Hoagland. At Table One doing their Wednesday lunch was the Hollywood.com crew – Bonnie Fuller, Editor-in-Chief/President, Gerry Byrne, Vice Chair of Penske Media which owns it; Carlos Lamadrid, the Exec Veep and publisher, and their guests: Jim Fallon, Editor of WWD; Jenn Rogien, costume designer for 'Girls'; USA Digital’s Sandra Hors, Nana Meriwether, Miss USA; Ted Fine of Bloomberg television, Matt Rich, PR Guru, Rachel DiCarlo of American Eagle, and Mike Indursky, president of Bliss ... Around the room: Josiah Bunting; Wednesday Martin; Pamela Keogh; Hugh Freund; Maryann Banikarim and Pattie Seller; media and music PR consultant Susan Blond with Susan Toepfer the Features/Entertainment Editor of More Magazine. More is owned by Meredith Corporation, another magazine publisher with multiple well-known titles such as Family Circle, Parents, Every Day with Rachel Ray. I’d never met Susan Toepfer before, but I had heard recently that Meredith is about to merge or acquire Time Magazine, so I was curious to discuss it with her. I am old enough to remember when Time was the most important news magazine in the world for decades. Brit Hadden and Henry Luce who were classmates at Yale came up with the concept of a news magazine fresh out of college in the early 1920s. Six years later Hadden suddenly became ill with something that brought on septicemia, and three months later he was dead of heart failure. He was 30. Within two weeks, his partner Henry Luce removed Haddon’s name from the masthead and Luce became Numero Uno and retained that title until he retired in 1964. By the 1940s Time had only imitators (although some were fairly close competitors such as Newsweek.) Time was the centerpiece of the most famous and possibly richest publishing empire in the country, if not the world. Time, Life Fortune, Sports Illustrated, People.When I came to New York out of college, one of the plummiest jobs for an aspiring journalist was a job at Time. They started wherever they could get a slot – mailroom, research, it didn’t matter; you were in the door." (NYSocialDiary)


"Disgraced Astor heir and New York social pariah Anthony Marshall turned high society heads this week when he turned up at a black-tie celebration for a new Titanic-like cruise ship wearing John Jacob Astor IV’s ancestral watch — and told guests he hopes to sell it for a fortune. Astor was the wealthiest passenger aboard the Titanic when it sank in 1912, and he died in the Atlantic wearing the valuable watch. Personal effects recovered when his body was found included the gold watch, cuff links and a ring. Marshall — who was convicted in 2009 of defrauding his mother, the late Brooke Astor, out of more than $60 million — was spotted at the lavish bash thrown by Aussie millionaire Clive Palmer at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to celebrate construction of the Titanic II, which Palmer unveiled in New York this week. Marshall, 88, who’s kept a low profile since being sentenced to jail, was showing off the heirloom at the party. 'He said the watch had belonged to his stepfather [Vincent Astor],' said a spy. 'And that it had John Jacob’s initials on the back, which had been used to identify the body.' The source added that Marshall, who’s appealing his conviction, told guests he wants to sell the Titanic treasure, which could fetch more than $1 million. Meanwhile, Marshall’s wife, Charlene — who was famously dubbed 'Miss Piggy' by Brooke’s nurse, and 'that bitch' by Brooke herself — was wearing Brooke’s jewels at the Titanic fete. 'Charlene was wearing a thick diamond-and-ruby bracelet which she said her mother-in-law gave her. It was a major piece,' said a source. But, 'It was tight on her wrist, like a clamp. On Brooke, it hung gracefully. Brooke must have been rolling in her grave.'" (PageSix)


"Bob Woodward has suggested that the White House threatened him. Many of his colleagues in the press corps aren't buying it. By the standards of this White House, a statement like the one senior White House official Gene Sperling wrote to Woodward last week -- 'I think you will regret staking out that claim' -- is both mild and familiar, reporters who have dealt with the Obama administration say. 'It's not a big deal. You've been yelled at by people in the White House, I've been yelled at by people in the White House -- I'm sure this has happened to a thousand people in Washington,' Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, who deals with the White House frequently, told POLITICO.'The whole thing seems like a tempest in a teapot.' 'I get emails like this almost every hour, whether it's from the White House or Capitol Hill,' said Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and senior White House correspondent. 'For better or worse, flacks get paid to push back.'Since POLITICO published the full email exchange between Woodward and Sperling, journalists from across the political spectrum have voiced skepticism over Woodward's decision to paint himself as the victim of White House pressure. 'If this is it, I think many reporters — and I covered the White House for four years — received emails like this,' Fox News host Bret Baier said on Andrea Tantaro's radio show today. 'It was a cordial exchange for the most part, and Sperling is actually apologizing for a heated telephone conversation they had earlier in the day.' 'I’m not saying the White House doesn’t pressure reporters all the time and put the heat on reporters covering the White House. I’ve heard many, many stories that they do,' Baier continued. 'But this particular incident and this particular email, I’m not sure that characterizing it as a threat -- I think Bob Woodward has a little bit of explaining to do about that characterization.' Harold Maass, the online executive editor of The Week, likewise noted on Twitter that 'the email that scared [Woodward] was sort of cordial.' Outside the Beltway, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget even wrote a post titled, 'Oh, Please, The White House Didn't 'Threaten' Bob Woodward.'" (Politico)



"Maybe it was today’s dreadful weather (Will this winter from hell ever end?) or perhaps some boldface names can’t bring themselves to leave the sunny West Coast after the Oscars, but the scene at Michael’s today was pretty much a celebrity-free zone unless you count the random sighting of Stephen Baldwin. The more low-key Baldwin made a curiously brief appearance in the dining room (he didn’t even sit down) before leaving, so we never got the chance to ask him what he thinks about brother Alec Baldwin‘s war with The New York Post, but we did try ... I was joined today by Woman’s Day editor-in-chief Susan Spencer and Hearst executive director of public relations Mimi Crume Sterling. Having never met these smart, savvy gals before, we bonded over a talk about our daughters. Susan, like me, is mother to an elementary-school-aged daughter adopted from China ..." (Diane Clehane/FishbowlNY)

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