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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres
















"In the last seven weeks, intercepted phone conversations between Western and Ukrainian officials have mysteriously surfaced on the Internet. U.S. intelligence officials tell The Daily Beast these phone recordings are part of a deliberate Russian strategy to collect and publicize the private conversations of their adversaries. It started in the first week of February. As Ukraine’s political elites were scrambling to form a new government, a recording of a cellphone call emerged between Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The intercept featured Nuland privately saying, 'Fuck the EU,' and disclosed the preferences of two senior U.S. diplomats for who should serve in Ukraine’s interim government. A month later, a phone call between European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Estonia’s foreign minister Urmas Paet appeared on the Internet. In the conversation, Paet discussed a theory that the snipers who fired on demonstrators in Ukraine may have been anti-Russian provocateurs.This Monday, a third private phone call suddenly appeared on the Web. This time it was Yulia Tymeshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister, saying, 'It’s about time we grabbed our guns and killed those damned Russians together with their leader.' All three intercepted phone calls were invaluable to reinforcing Russia’s desired narrative: depicting the West as meddling in Ukrainian affairs and Ukraine’s new leadership as implacably hostile to Moscow. Not coincidentally, all three calls received major play on the Kremlin-funded Russian propaganda station known as RT. And all three are almost certainly the handiwork of Russia’s intelligence services.At least this is the assessment of current and former U.S. intelligence officials interviewed by The Daily Beast." (DailyBeast)














A photo of the author. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Peck)




A photo of the author from 2004. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Peck)













"Four years ago, I wrote a firsthand account of my dealings with fashion photographer Terry Richardson in an attempt to clarify an ongoing debate about whether he’d been abusing his position of power to coerce sexual favors from young models. By writing my story, I hoped to move on from the experience and remove any benefit of the doubt people might be giving him about how he obtained his most explicit images: at least in my experience, not with prior informed consent from all parties involved, but via manipulative bait-and-switch tactics he’d seemingly been honing for years. By signing my name to my story, I hoped to legitimize it as something weightier than anonymous Internet hearsay. Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to warn other girls about how he operates, because his modus operandi was not yet common knowledge. Since then, I’ve been called a liar, a famewhore and a malicious writer of 'revisionist history.' I’ve come to the unpleasant realization, via photos, that there are things that happened that day that my brain won’t let me remember. I’ve had numerous Richardson-related nightmares. I’ve lost at least one steady-ish (albeit low-paying) freelance gig. I’ve had colleagues I once looked up to—people whose job it is to speak truth to power—tell me I had no right to tell that story or blame anyone but myself for what had happened. Meanwhile, Mr. Richardson has continued on his merry way, shooting pictures of Beyonce and Lady Gaga, garnering a lighthearted profile in The New York Times, and nailing a succession of young, reluctant-but-not-technically-raped girls with impunity.And yet, the story hasn’t gone away. It seems like every year around its anniversary, someone’s asking me to comment on some newly surfaced nastiness. Others who’ve signed their names to firsthand accounts of his poor on-the-job behavior include Liskula Cohen, Sarah Hilker, Coco Rocha, Sara Ziff and, most recently, former art student/nude model Charlotte Waters, whose story resembles my own to an eerie degree despite having happened five years later. Lena Dunham has said she regrets shooting with him." (Observer)




















Everyone knew L’Wren Scott’s troubles, but didn’t offer to help


















"The L’Wren consensus from those close and verbose: Professionally, her fashions were not Armani, Chanel, Oscar or Carolina. Personally, this rear end of Mick’s chorus line was not piercing his steel ring of daughters. Financially, she was a drain. Romantically, he was drained. As Mick Jagger’s go-to, she couldn’t survive in that rarefied air. Savvy financially, Mick knows where every farthing of Rolling Stones money goes. He had to know her business was $2.1 mil in the hole by 2009; 2010 it was $3.6; in 2012 — $5.89 million; this year over $7 million.He had expertise and wherewithal to help. Even if only to advise that her cost-benefit ratio was not favorable so, as have others, she should stop designing. Then the question was, and do what? She wasn’t 22. Couldn’t take a startup job. She wasn’t anonymous. Couldn’t take a simple job. Her world was VIP/celebrity. Couldn’t retire into marriage. He wasn’t offering. Came his Australian tour. He was wrapped up in it. He didn’t insist she accompany him." (Cindy Adams)






















"In the world of deluxe New York dining, the word was going around yesterday that Charles Masson, the longtime manager, director and family partner, 'abruptly' left La Grenouiille, New York’s chicest, most enduring French restaurant, last Saturday in a major shakeup involving his family – his younger brother Philippe and his mother who started the restaurant with Charles Masson Sr. in 1962.  Charles’ younger brother Philippe, who worked at the restaurant from 1993 until 2000, has come from Brittany where he and the senior Mme. Masson live, in order to 'fill his brother’s shoes.' 'Friday was his last night,' confirmed a maitre d' at the midtown restaurant. This comes as a shock to thousands of the restaurant’s devoted clientele, as Charles who took over the running of the restaurant when he was 19 after the death of his father in 1975, has been managing the highly successful restaurant for almost four decades. Although it is not as much of a shock to those who recall a family disagreement that occurred back in the 1990s when Charles departed, and Philippe took his place. 'My brother needs a break, he's taking some time off,' Philippe Masson told Grub Street, the New York magazine food and restaurant blog. Philippe had been out of the business and the country for the last decade. Most recently he has been in France where Mme. Masson lives.There had been rumors circulating in the past few weeks that there was a family dispute, and not a new one, that was coming to a head. I didn’t believe it when I heard it, thinking: why would anyone upset that perfect business model? But then again, perfect and family are two words rarely used together.However. Those who know the family and know the story have described it as Shakespearean in content. Two brothers and a mother who at this great age continues to wield a mother’s power." (NYSD)










Duchess of Cambridge, an ex pupil of Marlborough college










"Privilege and connections are under fire yet again. With MP Liz Truss tearing into the political dynasties epitomised by Labour’s 'Red Princes', and accusations that the old school tie is throttling social mobility, all eyes are again focused on the old boys’ club. But forget Etonians in the Cabinet – a head count needs to be taken of the Old Marlburian girls privy to the pillow talk of the rich and powerful. When you look through the alumnae of Marlborough College, the Wiltshire boarding school, a pattern soon becomes clear. Among the old boys of this 170-year-old school, founded for the sons of the clergy, can be found the expected botanists, bishops and back-bench MPs. 
But among the girls who have attended Marlborough, the first major independent school to go co-ed, starting with its 1968 sixth form – there is a more fascinating trend. For here, the brightest and best are listed remarkably often next to the words 'wife of'.  Most famous, of course, is the Duchess of Cambridge, 'wife of' our future king. But see also, Samantha Cameron, 'wife of' the Prime Minister. Frances Osborne, 'wife of' the Chancellor. Sally Bercow, 'wife of' the Speaker. Diana Fox, 'wife of' the Governor of the Bank of England." (Telegraph)






"The Telegraph issues the most delightful school news of all, if you're still catching up on 'how to live like it's the 1700s.' And best, Marlborough is a seven day a week boarding school, so you never have to see the kiddo until graduation. Fly free from your parents and into the arms of some wealthy man, little Croatia, Arugula and Persephone!" (Choire Sicha/TheAwl)






"It says something about our political culture that major magazines would (correctly) shy away from running defenses of communism or fascism, but seem to have no problem lauding imperialism. You might think that an ideology (or 'posture') that gave us the First World War, incalculable amounts of racism (and 'race theory'), ethnic cleansing, and endless examples of slavery would be shunned. And yet...A case in point is the latest piece from Robert D. Kaplan, the Atlantic writer, who has penned an article titled 'In Defense of Empire.' Kaplan has always served an important purpose in Washington, which is that his writing is so consistently bad and glib that he offers a handy way of determining one's own opinions. If Kaplan is for it, one must oppose it by definition. (I kid only slightly.) I have always thought that Henry Kissinger was rotten to the core, but this belief was confirmed when Kaplan pathetically drooled all over him. (For a longer take on Kaplan, the must-read takedown comes courtesy of Tim Bissell.)" (TNR)



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