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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





James Dolan gets Weinstein-ed and dined


"James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein had a lot to talk about on Monday night as they dined together at Waverly Inn. The two had just attended a fund-raiser in the restaurant’s back room ('the conservatory') for Alison Grimes of Kentucky, the Democratic candidate hoping to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Anna Wintour was spotted making her exit and jumping into a limousine. Dolan, the Cablevision CEO, is partners with Weinstein in backing a new PR company that will be helmed by Weinstein’s publicist Leslie Sloane, who left BWR in April. (Clients Chris Rock, Blake Lively and Katie Holmes are reportedly going with her.) And Dolan is one of the backers of Weinstein’s upcoming Broadway show based on the movie 'Finding Neverland.' " (Richard Johnson)



ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES
Chen Guangbiao sings “We Are the World” at his bizarre lunch for homeless New Yorkers.


"Wednesday afternoon, I stood outside room 1607 in the Waldorf Astoria. I wanted to speak with Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese tycoon who has made millions in recycling and is famous for a failed attempt to invest in The New York Times. I’d just seen him at Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse, where he presided over a much-publicized lunch for a couple of hundred homeless New Yorkers. He’d left the event quickly and (in an odd move for a man who loves the press) took no questions. So, for want of anything better to do, I tagged along with a few Chinese volunteers who wanted an audience with Chen. They didn’t want money, they said, but simply a show of gratitude from the man for whom they’d worked so hard. I, on the other hand, wanted to know why he’d just promised publicly to give a thousand homeless people $300 each and then, abruptly, didn’t. The (expensive!) advertisement for the lunch, which ran in the Times and The Wall Street Journal, is not ambiguous. Above a photo of Chen, who is flanked by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, is the announcement of a 'charity luncheon for 1000 poor and destitute Americans,' where 'Each will receive 300 dollars.' Attendees to the event, which was to benefit, and was co-hosted by, the famed New York City Rescue Mission, were encouraged to R.S.V.P. to a Hotmail address. It was an exceedingly strange lunch. Chen regaled attendees with his own live version of 'We Are the World.' He does this frequently, apparently. There was also a short film that testified to Chen’s greatness (The narrator: 'He is benevolent and joyous. His name: Chen Guangbiao, the number one philanthropist in China.'). It was looped so I saw it at least a dozen times. The non-credentialed guests were fed tuna tartare and filet mignon. It looked delicious. The media, which turned out in numbers that appeared to equal the attendees they were there to cover, was (delightfully) given nothing.Everyone seemed to be having a nice time until just after the second course. Word got around that, contrary to the ad’s promise, the attendees would not get a dime. Instead, the equivalent, about $90,000, would be given directly to the Rescue Mission. This was received just as you’d expect. 'We are being abused,' an attendee told a bunch of reporters; he felt, he said, like a prop. (The planned $300 giveaway, noted New York, 'was quickly nixed by the city's homeless shelters, on the grounds that many of their residents have addictions and a sudden influx of cash would not be helpful to them.')" (VF)

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