blog advertising is good for you

Monday, May 13, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The only thing that worried Michael Douglas about playing Liberace, the flamboyant Las Vegas superstar, was the fourteen-inch penis. 'It may not have been fourteen inches,' Douglas explained to me on a cold spring afternoon, 'but it was huge.' He was sitting in a plush, forest-green velvet club chair in the study of his Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park West. Douglas’s gray hair was combed straight back from his face in a kind of lion’s mane, and he was dressed in head-to-toe black. The brightness of the day was streaming in from the windows, which had the effect of backlighting: Between the silver hair, the dark clothes, and the naturally cinematic setting, Douglas looked like someone accustomed to the spotlight. 'Liberace loved sex,' Douglas continued, 'and I didn’t have a problem with that. But, at one point, Steven Soderbergh [the director of Behind the Candelabra, which airs on HBO on May 26] wanted to show Lee [as ­Liberace was known] watching a gay porno. I said, ­‘Steven—you can’t do this!’ He said, ‘It’s HBO—it’s all right!’ I said, ‘It’s not that: I’d like my kids to see this R-rated movie, but I don’t want to show them a fourteen-inch dick!’ It was the only thing I objected to, so we cut to different parts of the apartment during the porno.” Douglas paused. “You know, Lee also loved to decorate. He had his passions: his career, his homes, which were over the top, and his private life as a gay man.' Although it was only a few decades ago, Behind the Candelabra takes place in another world, a place where being openly gay and famous was viewed as an impossibility. For Liberace, who sued a London newspaper and won when it insinuated about his sexuality, revealing his lust for men would have been, in his mind, career suicide. The movie, which isn’t really a biography, is the story of Liberace’s life with Scott Thorson, a na├»ve 18-year-old (perfectly played by Matt Damon with wide-eyed innocence mixed with the entitlement of youth) who was Liberace’s live-in boyfriend for five years. Their relationship—Liberace was 57 when they met backstage at one of Lee’s sold-out Vegas extravaganzas—was intense, bizarre, and, despite the glitz and glamour, remarkably like that of any married couple." (NYMag)


" A European friend sent me an email correcting my reference to LuAnn de Lesseps as The Countess de Lesseps in my Thursday Diary. According to Debretts, that is not the proper way to address the divorced wife of a titled count. I knew that, but as an American, it makes no difference to me what’s proper in that department since it’s a national (and political) salutation that is distinctly foreign. The de Lesseps family title is French. It's 19th century fame harkens back to a forebear, Ferdinand de Lesseps who, in the late 19th century, built the Suez Canal, and got a Thank You Very Much from the Powers That Were, via a title, although Ferdinand's father was made a count by Napoleon when he was Emperor of dear old France. Its use in the 21st century is really anachronism with a Capital A but still happily employed whenever necessary. People rank and rag-on the business of titles but like the sound of them anyway, for it separates the riff from the raff, as well as other human endeavors in the making and getting. Honorary titles are all over the place in Europe, and many are now centuries old, along with the 'notable' and ancestral ones. It’s a brand of score-keeping for some observers and players. You can even buy one if you know the right people." (NYSocialDiary)


"For one of my oldest friends, Manuela, who lives in England here’s what happened at the book parties: The first party was held at my friend Vanessa Noel’s shoe store which happens to be the ground floor of her sandstone townhouse on the upper east side of Manhattan. Extremely nice. Vanessa is a talented artist in her own right and shoes are lucky to have her attention. I say this with certainty because I have seen her paintings and I know how good she is. Miserably, I forgot to have my photo taken with Vanessa! And the reason I forgot was the instant overwhelm of old and new friends ... ps: Particularly extraordinary was meeting longtime FB pal Ron (Mwangaguhunga). So that was the New York party! Forgive the blurry shots but I had to heist them (long story). Anyway, as perhaps is evident from the glee on my face in these shots I immediately forgot the plot. All my plans of whom exactly I wanted shots with, and whom I wished to introduce to whom, well, I remembered not one of these artful plans until days later. Such was the abundance of good cheer that my mind was erased and all I could do was savor the moment and revel in it." (Christina Oxenberg)


"Bill and Hillary Clinton will not support Anthony Weiner in his dream of becoming mayor even though they love his wife, Huma Abedin, sources say. 'The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it’s a reminder of Bill’s scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and it isn’t helpful to Hillary’s hopes for 2016,' one Democrat told Page Six. Abedin has worked for the former US senator and secretary of state for many years, and traveled with her as her 'body woman,' her closest aide. It is believed that Abedin is still on the Clintons’ payroll although she isn’t working at the Clinton Foundation. Abedin will no doubt be one of Hillary’s first hires for her presidential campaign team. 'The Clintons love Huma. She has a job for life, no matter how much of an embarrassment her husband is,' said our source. 'Hillary considers her to be another daughter.' Bill flew to Los Angeles last month to campaign for Wendy Greuel, who is up against Eric Garcetti in the May 21 election for mayor. But he is not expected to endorse any of the New York mayoral candidates." (PageSix)


"As expected, ABC’s Barbara Walters announced her retirement on 'The View' today. The show kicked off with Walters introducing a brief career retrospective, followed by her formal announcement: 'I have been on television–continuously–for over 50 years,' Walters said. 'But in the Summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all. It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am perfectly healthy, this is my decision and I have been thinking about it for a long time. This is what I want to do.' The audience in 'The View' studio was filled with executives, including ABC News president Ben Sherwood ('Not only the best president of a news division but also the tallest,' Walters quipped), ABC executive VP Vicki Dummer, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee, Disney-ABC TV group president Anne Sweeney and Disney CEO Bob Iger, who shared the story of when he first met Walters back in 1976." (TVNewser)


"The Washington Post’s financials provide a good glance at the current status of legacy media struggling with the shift to digital. Unlike others large dailies, the components of the Post’s P&L clearly appear in its statements, they are not buried under layers of other activities. Product-wise, the Post remains a great news machine, collecting Pulitzer Prizes with clockwork regularity and fighting hard for scoops. The Post also epitomizes an old media under siege from specialized, more agile outlets such as Politico, ones that break down the once-unified coverage provided by traditional large media houses ... The iconic newspaper has been slow to adapt to the digital era. Its transformation really started around 2008. Since then, it has checked all the required boxes: integration of print and digital productions; editors are now involved on both sides of the news production and all relentlessly push the newsroom to write more for the digital version; many blogs covering a wide array of topics have been launched; and the Post now has a good mobile application. The 'quant' culture also set in, with editors now taking into account all the usual metrics and ratios associated with digital operations, including a live update of Google’s most relevant keywords prominently displayed in the newsroom. All this helped the Post collect 25.6 million unique visitors per month, vs. 4 to 5 million for Politico, and 35 million for the New York Times that historically enjoys a more global audience.
Overall, the Washington Post Company still relies heavily on its education business..." (MondayNote)


"The affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson has been one of Hollywood’s favorite tales — in films from Oscar-winning 'The King’s Speech' to Madonna’s 'W.E.' — but a new book exposes the story of Edward’s affair with a Parisian prostitute before he met Wallis. In 1917, Prince Edward, 23, was holed up at the Hotel Meurice (where Kanye West just recorded an album) and became smitten with Marguerite Alibert, a high-class demimondaine. 'It was, of course, the lady’s performance in bed which was the most desirable and significant feature of the prince’s stay in Paris,' writes Andrew Rose in 'The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Paris Courtesan and the Perfect Murder.' Edward broke things off, and Alibert years later married Egyptian playboy Prince Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey. But in an argument at the Savoy in London, Alibert murdered her new husband with a handgun. 'Marguerite’s arrest posed some awkward questions for the prince’s people' about the couple’s involvement, says the book, out from Picador. The book further reveals that the prosecutor in the case approached the prince’s personal secretaries to 'help keep the prince’s name out of the media.' Since trials at the time rarely lasted longer than a week, the royals were tipped off as to when the court date would take place so that, 'the royal household could safely announce that the prince would visit his ranch in Alberta' for six weeks." (PageSix)

No comments: