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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

media-Whore D'Oeuvres







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"At the annual City University Journalism School dinner, on Monday, Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the New York Times, was seated with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the paper’s publisher. At the time, I did not give a moment’s thought to why Jill Abramson, the paper’s executive editor, was not at their table. Then, at 2:36 P.M. on Wednesday, an announcement from the Times hit my e-mail, saying that Baquet would replace Abramson, less than three years after she was appointed the first woman in the top job. Baquet will be the first African-American to lead the Times. Fellow-journalists and others scrambled to find out what had happened. Sulzberger had fired Abramson, and he did not try to hide that. In a speech to the newsroom on Wednesday afternoon, he said, 'I chose to appoint a new leader of our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects …' Abramson chose not to attend the announcement, and not to pretend that she had volunteered to step down.As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. 'She confronted the top brass,' one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was 'pushy,' a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. Sulzberger is known to believe that the Times, as a financially beleaguered newspaper, needed to retreat on some of its generous pay and pension benefits; Abramson, who spent much of her career at the Wall Street Journal, had been at the Times for far fewer years than Keller, which accounted for some of the pension disparity. Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said that Jill Abramson’s total compensation as executive editor 'was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s'—though it was not actually the same. I was also told by another friend of Abramson’s that the pay gap with Keller was only closed after she complained. But, to women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories. Whether Abramson was right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy." (TheNewYorker)




JH couldn't help but capture Blair Sabol in all her green


"Michael’s was its Wednesday self: jammed and happening. On one side of us was documentarian Perri Peltz with Susan Mercandetti, Vice President of Business Development and Partnership for ABC News. Next to them: Diane Clehane with Carlos Falchi and his daughter Kate Falchi and luxury retail guru Mickey Ateyeh. On the other side of us was Nikki Haskell with Judy Price and Saundra Whitney. Next to them in the bay at table one was Glenn Horowitz, Rare book seller and archivist/dealer in 19th and 20th century manuscripts, correspondence. He was with artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, who are represented by the Marlborough Chelsea Gallery. Mr. Lowe is the brother of the famous actor with the same last name.Moving along: Real estate broker Eva Mohr was hosting a table with Diana Feldman. In the corner were actress Vanessa Williams with agent Sam Haskell. Next to them, Herb Siegel (Blair’s uncle) and Frank Gifford, and next to them: international architect Norman, Lord Foster and Lady Foster, next door to mega-literary agent Esther Newberg and former Senator Chris Dodd; and next to them, Pat (Mrs. Gerald) Schoenfeld and two friends. More: Star Jones was lunching with EJ Johnson (son of Magic); investor Steve Ratner; Peter Price; Andrew Stein; PR consultant Jim Mitchell; Susan Duffy of Stewart Weitzman; Nick Verbitsky of United Stations; Judy Twersky celebrating Victoria Shafer’s birthday; Tom Schumacher, the Disney Executive Vice President in charge of the highly success theatrical group ('Lion King,' 'Aladdin,' etc.; PR guru Susan Magrino with Roger Myers, proprietor of Sugar Beach in St. Lucia, who is developing the Glenconner Estates on Glenconner Beach that belonged for years to the late Colin Tennant, the 3rd Baron Glenconner. For years his property on Mustique was a favorite tropical getaway for the British royals including Princess Margaret and her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and others just like ‘em. When Lord Glenconner died three years ago, he left $48 million to his valet and carer of 30 years, Kent Adonai, cutting out his wife of 55 years and family." (NYSD)


Billionaire: Heiress ex is faux-poor


"Annabelle Bond may be crying poverty, but she could be the most pampered, high-maintenance heiress in the world, according to court papers filed on behalf of her ex-boyfriend, Warren Lichtenstein. Annabelle’s father, Sir John Bond, who built HSBC into a banking colossus, is a billionaire. Her boyfriend, Andrew Cader, co-owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, has hundreds of millions of dollars. And Lichtenstein, who runs the Steel Partners hedge fund, is also a billionaire.
Lichtenstein, repped by lawyer Stanley Arkin, is seeking in Manhattan Supreme Court to prevent the enforcement of a one-time $600,000 child-support judgment that Bond, 44, obtained in Hong Kong.
That’s where she lives with Isabella, her 6-year-old daughter with Lichtenstein — who had already been paying $180,000 a year in child support according to the papers. The court papers state, 'At the same time that she is crying poverty in this case, she nonetheless lives in the most expensive section of Hong Kong, has two full-time maids, is driven about in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover . . . and lavished herself with fur coats and horses.' The document says Bond globe-trots about 100 days a year." (Richard Johnson)





"According to The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, nearly 50 percent of married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage. When you consider that these statistics are nearly double what they were a short 10 years ago, clearly this is beyond an issue; it is now commonplace. But it’s far from a surprise; it was predicted. Futurist Alvin Toffler wrote the best-seller Future Shock in 1970, and with matter-of-fact conviction he wrote of 'trial' or 'temporary marriages'—young people’s first marriages, lasting three months to three years—and of 'serial marriages' that would take place after the dissolution of the 'trial marriage' at specific turning points in people’s lives. So, does this mean marriage has 'jumped the shark' and become obsolete? Hardly. Marriage is not the issue. Commitment and loyalty or the lack thereof are at the crux of this. After all, marriage is a legal and/or spiritual binding of two people, but if commitment isn’t there and loyalty becomes a matter of subjectivity or convenience, the marriage is already nonexistent. Cheating then becomes a symptom of a secretly failed marriage. But is it really so black and white, with no grey and no room for mistakes, missteps, or moments of weakness? Do people who cheat want to leave their current marriage? Are they secretly trying to get caught so they’ll have an excuse to get out? I needed answers to these questions (and many others), so I headed where any high-tech junkie looking to cheat on his wife would go: online. The advent of the Internet has made having an illicit affair easier than ever before. Meeting Mr. or Ms. Right, The Sequel, is a mere mouse-click for anyone with a credit card. If you’re looking to hit-it-and-quit-it, there’s AdultFriendFinder.com, Craigslist’s Casual Encounters or Fling.com (among many others). But sex-only semi-anonymous hookups wasn’t where my investigation was headed, as women looking to merely have sex can meet a man anywhere—nightclubs, coffee shops, Facebook, wherever.My hypothesis was simple: women who were looking for an extramarital affair with another married man were looking to connect in some way. If both parties were married, they not only started on even ground, but they had something in common—they were missing something from their current relationship. I needed to uncover the motivations behind starting and maintaining an affair." (DailyDot)


Map 1: Crystal Ball Senate ratings



"It’s become clear over the past few months that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), despite the increasing Republican lean of his state, has been holding his own, or better, against Rep. Tom Cotton (R, AR-4). Several positive polls for the incumbent, including a too-optimistic 11-point lead from NBC/Marist earlier this week, moved the HuffPost Pollster average in the race to 45.2% Pryor, 42.7% Cotton.Democrats are defending seven Senate seats in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012. In three of these races — Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia — we perceive a clear Republican edge, and have for months. Meanwhile, there are three others — Alaska, Louisiana and North Carolina — that we have seen as Toss-ups for months, and close polls in all three states confirm that view. With a Leans Republican rating, we had Arkansas lumped in with the first group, but it really belongs with the second group." (CenterforPolitics)












"Once in a great while, a heavy academic tome dominates for a time the policy debate and, despite bristling with footnotes, shows up on the best-seller list. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is such a volume. As with Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which came out at the end of the Reagan Administration and hit a nerve by arguing the case against imperial overreach through an extensive examination of European history, Piketty’s treatment of inequality is perfectly matched to its moment. Like Kennedy a generation ago, Piketty has emerged as a rock star of the policy-intellectual world. His book was for a time Amazon’s bestseller. Every pundit has expressed a view on his argument, almost always wildly favorable if the pundit is progressive and harshly critical if the pundit is conservative. Piketty’s tome seems to be drawn on a dozen times for every time it is read. This should not be surprising. At a moment when our politics seem to be defined by a surly middle class and the President has made inequality his central economic issue, how could a book documenting the pervasive and increasing concentration of wealth and income among the top 1, .1, and .01 percent of households not attract great attention? Especially when it exudes erudition from each of its nearly 700 pages, drips with literary references, and goes on to propose easily understood laws of capitalism that suggest that the trend toward greater concentration is inherent in the market system and will persist absent the adoption of radical new tax policies.  Piketty’s timing may be impeccable, and his easily understandable but slightly exotic accent perfectly suited to today’s media; but make no mistake, his work richly deserves all the attention it is receiving." (Larry Summers)










"My lunch had been canceled, which is always a kind of relief. Although I have the residual 'guilt,' if you want to call it that, of  feeling like I’m not doing my job. I think it’s part of the New York energy where you feel you should be doing something all the time. Later in the afternoon I gave a video interview to a filmmaker doing a project on a prominent New York woman who is no longer with us. I  can’t reveal the name now only because the man with the project hadn’t granted me permission. I hadn’t asked either; but it’s a great story and I’ll get it out there when the time comes (and everybody else is getting it out there too). Speaking of New York women, we got a lot of mail about the HOUSE piece with Betty Sherrill which we first published in 2003. One reader also sent along an interview Betty gave to (the late) great journalist Charles Gandee, 22 years ago in 1992 for the (also late, and great) HG (originally House & Garden). What I found most interesting about it  -- after being entertained  reading Betty’s comments about various subjects and people – was how she was the ultimate New York pro when it came to business, or rather, her business. This always to-the-manner-born perfect lady (and she was) had a real knack for out-and-out good ole marketing.  Gandee’s piece is full of her comments about people, places and things, and she didn’t disappoint by throwing in some barbs and sallies other people, places and things. She had a way of doing in in which you might thing she didn’t realize what she was saying at the time. Ah, but she did." (NYSD)

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