blog advertising is good for you

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"The sudden barometric change in Washington has arrived so rapidly that it is hard to comprehend. 'The town is turning on President Obama,' announced Politico honchos and custodians of the conventional wisdom Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, and they’re right. Republicans are gleefully unleashing a vast investigative apparatus; erstwhile supporters like Jon Stewart are mortified. The black clouds may dissipate within a few days or weeks, or they may hover over the White House for the rest of Obama’s term. In the meantime, it is dizzying enough that, even in such a short period of time, we ought to step back and ask, what the hell just happened here? Scandal is a powerful, yet weirdly amorphous term of art in politics. Conceptually, the division between a scandal and a mere controversy or flub or policy dispute is hard to define. It required a peculiar sequencing of events to transform what would on their own have been normal political controversies into the nebulous, all-encompassing Obama Scandals. The episode began at dawn last Friday, when ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl broke explosive news about Benghazi. Until that point, the Benghazi story had been confined almost entirely to the right-wing fever swamps, where it lingered as a symbol of Obama’s desire to appease radical Islamists. Karl changed that by reporting that he had obtained the administration’s e-mails, and they showed, in contrast to its claims, a one-sided intervention on behalf of the State Department. Karl’s report produced among mainstream and liberal reporters a sense of embarrassment at having dismissed the story as a weird partisan obsession. 'For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession,' wrote Alex Koppelman in a scathing and widely circulated online commentary for The New Yorker, 'But now there is something to it.'" (Jonathan Chait)


"Gawker media overlord Nick Denton is engaged, reports Confidenti@alThe Daily News gossip page. Mr. Denton proposed to his actor boyfriend, Derrence Washington, over the weekend and they are planning on a wedding next May in upstate New York. The Gawker owner also updated his Facebook page this morning to reflect his new relationship status. 'This is the one event even I wouldn’t gossip about,' Mr. Denton told the gossip page Confident@l. 'Nobody else compares. You know how guys wrestle with marriage, with all the possibilities they’re giving up. I’m not giving up anything.'" (Observer)


"The Wintour of Our Disconnect. There was a funny piece in yesterday’s Daily Mail Online about how Anna Wintour allegedly wouldn’t allow the Kardashians’ mother, Kris Jenner, to attend the Met Costume Ball. Because – as reported in the Mail – Wintour is alleged to have said: 'One Kardashian is enough!' (And one more than was allowed entry in 2012.) ...Last night I went over to Roosevelt House to hear a lecture by David Stockman who wrote the current bestseller 'The Great Deformation; The Corruption of Capitalism in America' ... I am familiar with the Stockman book, and you may be too. Although I haven’t read it yet, I will because its subject is, in my opinion, as pertinent to the health of our society as ecology is to our planet. The book and Mr. Stockman have had a lot of media exposure including many of the financial blogs including the non-mainstream financial media. So I was curious to see what he would talk about. He’s a very good speech-giver. I hadn’t known that he had been a Congressman (from Michigan) before he joined the Reagan Administration at its beginning. He learned well. He began his adult life in Divinity School. His path that led to politics and finances seems entirely coincidental in the telling. Although in retrospect he must have had a proactive attitude about what interested him. His story on how he became involved with Ronald Reagan and Reagan’s first Director of the OMB is a fascinating political anecdote, and an accidentally rewarding story (and a story of political reward) ... It was an engaging and enlightening talk. He communicates on a learned but nevertheless understandable level. He would have been a very good teacher. Because that is basically what his book is. When pressed for a thought on what he thinks this is all leading to, like a consummate politician, he avoided a direct answer but provided other substantive thoughts to consider. You can tell I was impressed? As I said, it’s a tome, 'The Great Deformation.' But I’m not so afraid of tomes anymore, if I think I’m going to learn something. I have a strong feeling this is one of those books. I also came away from the evening with a much altered personal opinion of this man whose public image and political/economic history was familiar to me. He’s very reliable in telling us about ourselves, which is ultimately what politics and finance are: us and how we respond to the mechanism of corruption in the human condition." (NYSocialDiary)



"Ashton Kutcher’s contentious divorce with Demi Moore has now spiraled into a $10 million battle over his venture capital fund with Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary and billionaire Ron Burkle, Page Six can exclusively reveal. Kutcher and Oseary earlier this month announced their fund A-Grade investments, set up to invest in tech start-ups, was valued at $100 million and they were raising money from outside investors. But a source familiar with the proceedings between Kutcher and Moore, who split in November 2011, told us, 'Ashton and Demi are still not divorced, and no settlement has been agreed, even though they have been in negotiations for over a year. Ashton made a lot of money after they married, but he doesn’t believe he owes her as much as she is asking for.'
Our source continued, “Ashton set up A-Grade with Oseary and Burkle in 2010, when he and Demi were still together, but he recently told her lawyers the fund had not made substantial money. In fact, he claimed he had only put about $1 million into it. 'Now it seems Ashton and Oseary were working towards a private offering based on a valuation of $100 million. Ashton owns 20 percent of the fund, under California law, Demi should be entitled to half of his share — $10 million.'" (PageSix)


"Angelina Jolie has received more support after publicizing her preventative double mastectomy in a New York Times editorial that was published this morning. Following her son Brad Pitt’s statement earlier today, Jane Pitt has issued her well wishes about the surgery, which was performed over the course of three months this spring. 'We’re so very proud of Angie,' she said in a statement. '[T]his means so much to our family especially our grandchildren. We love her dearly.' The sentiment was echoed by Jolie’s brother, James Haven, who adds in a separate statement, 'My sister like our mother always put her children first. . . I am so grateful to be her brother.' Jolie opted to have the surgery after her doctors determined that she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and carries a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which spikes her chances of developing the disease. Jolie’s doctors also determined that the actress has a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, which her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of in 2007. In his statement to The Evening Standard this morning, Brad Pitt said, 'All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.'" (VanityFair)


"Leonardo DiCaprio pulled off a record-breaking art auction for charity with Christie’s on Monday that raked in $38.8 million. 'The Great Gatsby' star had personally asked 33 artists — including Banksy, Julian Schnabel, Urs Fischer and Peter Beard — to donate or create new works for the auction, dubbed The 11th Hour. DiCaprio also donated a painting by Andreas Gursky from his own collection, and spent time at Christie’s phoning bidders to entice them in advance of the auction, sources said. Spotted at the sale (to benefit wildlife conservation through DiCaprio’s foundation) were Bradley Cooper, Mark Ruffalo, Tobey Maguire, Salma Hayek and Fran├žois-Henri Pinault, whose family owns the auction house. The night’s biggest sale came after gallerist Larry Gagosian was locked in a bidding war with billionaire Vladimir Doronin, and spent $6.5 million for an abstract work by Mark Grotjahn, whom Gagosian represents. Pharmaceutical mogul Stewart Rahr — who we exclusively reported yesterday reached a $250 million divorce deal with his wife of 43 years — splashed out on works including a Robert Longo tiger drawing for $1.6 million and a portrait of his pal DiCaprio by Elizabeth Peyton for more than $1 million. The auction — which had been expected to bring in about $18 million — wound up setting record highs for 13 of the artists, and a source said it was “the biggest auction to benefit the environment ever.” DiCaprio bought a Takashi Murakami work for himself for $735,000. His 'Gatsby' co-star Maguire shelled out $262,500 for a Sergej Jensen work. Anonymous donors kicked in $5.5 million to the overall tally. DiCaprio’s foundation has set its sights on saving tigers, sharks and rainforests, and many of the works for sale were animal or nature-themed." (PageSix)

No comments: