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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Media-Whore D'oeuvres














A FRESH START Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng aboard his yacht Morning Glory in New York Harbor, June 22, 1999, three days before their wedding. He was 68, and she was 30.




"The passionate note surfaced amid the flotsam of a shipwrecked marriage. It was written in broken English by a woman to herself, pouring out her love for a man called Tony. 'Oh, shit, oh, shit,' she wrote. 'Whatever why I’m so so missing Tony. Because he is so so charming and his clothes are so good. He has such good body and he has really really good legs Butt . . . And he is slim tall and good skin. Pierce blue eyes which I love. Love his eyes. Also I love his power on the stage . . . and what else and what else and what else . . . ' The woman was Wendi Deng Murdoch, the Chinese wife of the Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The note, not revealed until now, could have been one of the few pieces of evidence in their surprise divorce last year, had the case come to trial. 'Tony' was the former prime minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair. Later, some would claim that Rupert felt betrayed by the close relationship between Wendi and Tony, who was his trusted companion and powerful political ally. Others would insist that Wendi and Tony were just friends, and that the handsome statesman was merely comforting the lonely wife of an absent and distant older husband.
Rupert Murdoch is one of the wealthiest individuals in America. His empire includes newspapers around the globe, the 21st Century Fox movie studio, the Fox TV network, and the publishing house Harper­Collins. In the years between the Murdochs’ marriage, in 1999, and their divorce, 14 years later, a story emerged that could have come right off the pages of one of the tabloids produced by News Corporation, Murdoch’s media conglomerate, complete with all the usual lurid ingredients: sex, lies, power, money, charges of infidelity. The dénouement began with the backstairs rumblings of servants. Murdoch, 82, had long heard rumors that his 45-year-old wife was involved in extramarital affairs. But when those rumors grew to include too familiar a relationship with Blair, according to a former News Corp. employee in the U.K., 'that was something that really took him aback.' After all, through the power of The Sun, and his other London newspapers, the Times and News of the World, Murdoch had virtually put Blair into office, and Blair had become not only a valued friend but also the godfather of Grace, the older of Rupert and Wendi’s two daughters. (Through a representative, Tony Blair declined to be interviewed. After the announcement of the divorce last June, The Hollywood Reporter published a categorical denial from Blair’s office.)
‘She got careless,' the source continues. 'And for whatever reason, these affairs . . . they started to multiply and be amplified over the last year. In particular, the two relationships that have been commented on [in the press]: Eric Schmidt [the executive chairman of Google] and Tony Blair. Really shocking. Because when you look at the Blair piece, she would make up an excuse to be somewhere. She would say she’s going up to the ranch in Carmel with a girlfriend. And the girlfriend would leave, and Mr. Blair would turn up, and they would have a day or night. . . . There was staff around, and when you’re dealing with Tony Blair, there’s secret service, and arrangements need to be made.'" (VanityFair)





"Regarding Rachel, I have to consider my readers comments. You make good points. Why did I always feel so tolerant and understanding toward Rachel, no matter her appalling sometimes criminal behavior. Perhaps I thought of her as an obscenely naughty sister who one would always cherish, despite a certain exasperation. When Rachel and her twin brother were infants their biological mother dropped the... defenseless duo at an orphanage. Rachel would not learn the identity of this ‘mother’ for many years, and by the time she did she no longer cared what her reasons were. As a kid all she knew was that a Mrs Wood, a wealthy Westchester widow had taken her and her brother home to a mansion with lawns and a lake. 'They are a pair! I love symmetry!'  Mrs Wood was fond of repeating, after too many sherries. Mrs Wood adored babies, but soon after Rachel and her brother began to talk she grew disinterested of these tiresomely needy children. If Rachel or her brother exhaled too loudly, Mrs Wood would sigh, 'All this noise!' and dismiss them to their bedrooms. Before long Mrs Wood purchased a pair of Yorkshire Terriers and the twins were handed to nannies. The twins were not abused, they were not maltreated, in fact, they were not paid much mind at all, and they felt it acutely. With each other they never verbalized their troubles, but some nights they slept in the same bed, falling asleep holding hands. The twins lived in cocoons of ice thick like winter lakes, emotionally frozen like bright orange fish in blue ice." (Christina Oxenberg)













"I went down to Michael’s for lunch with Dr. Mary Pulido and Dr. Penny Grant. Dr. Pulido is the Executive Director of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Regular NYSD readers are familiar with our coverage of some of the NYSPCC’s fundraising efforts. Dr. Grant is a pediatrician who works entirely in the field of assisting abused and neglected children.I did not suffer child abuse growing up, although I did have a father who had a violent temper which was an embedded part of the fabric of family life. He exercised it enough that it was fearsome to this child. Although in retrospect, aside from that 'temper,' he was never cruel or unkind or abusive toward me with his words or actions. I was never in danger, although the implied threat (violent anger) was never distant in my thoughts. Neither was he demonstratively affectionate, although he kept a framed verse about his 'sweet son' on his bureau. As a child I was struck by the irony when I read it because otherwise I never would have known. It is significant that both my mother and father experienced abuse at an early age. They were children at the beginning of the 20th century --  my father in New York City, and my mother in Massachusetts. My mother was orphaned (along with five siblings) when her young mother died during the great Flu Epidemic of 1918.  My mother was 10 or eleven and the second oldest." (NYSD)






Pussy Riot Attacked by Whip-Wielding Cossacks in Sochi






"Cossack militiamen attacked Pussy Riot in downtown Sochi on Wednesday, setting upon the feminist punk group with whips when several members—including Masha Alyokhina, in the pink mask—emerged from a restaurant clad in brightly colored clothing and balaclavas.
A guitar was smashed, but no serious injuries were immediately apparent. Alyokhina and her bandmate Nadya Tolokonnikova, who just finished a tour of the U.S. after being released from Russian prison, were briefly detained by authorities yesterday." (Gawker)

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