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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





Coming to a bookseller near you on
September 30th, 2014.


"Meanwhile, it was Wednesday and it was Michael’s, and it was busy. PR executive Jim Abernathy with Davidson Goldin, journalist Diane Clehane with TV producer Joan Gelman and tv political commentator and pr consultant Robert Zimmerman, Greg Lawrence, Sanford of the WSJ and Stein; the girls from New Jersey who come in and partake of the menu at the bar every month (you’ve read about them here), and people watch: Kira Semler with Vi Huse; Steven Stolman; Hollywood Life.com’s Bonnie Fuller with Penske Media Vice Chair Gerry Byrne holding their weekly round table of guests including: Dean Henley, Justin Fadgen, Sukanya Krishnan, Kimberly Berhardt, Smita Reddy, Jay Margolis, Elena Kim, Allyn Seidman, Abby Raphael; next door to them: Betsy Perry with Catherine Rosin; and next door to them: Tom Brokaw.Moving around the room:  Alexandre Chemia, Michael Claes with Fraser Seitel, Barry Frey with Adam Platzner; PR executive Elizabeth Harrison; Martha Kramer and Annabelle Begelman in from Los Angeles; Lisa Linden with Peter Neger, Jamie MacGuire; Alice Mayhew; Stanley Mohr with Frank Gifford; Nick Verbitsky; Joan Kron; Andrew Stein; Andrew Blauner; Roger Friedman celebrating Jill Brooke’s birthday (she turned 30, big day); Ron Insana; Jerery Inzerillo; Marc Rosen; William Lauder with his daughter Danielle; Bonnie Timmerman; Spencer Wang; Vaughn  Williams; Joyce Mishel, Stan Shuman. I was so busy talking to Simon & Schuster editor Tim Duggan, that that is all I remember.Last night I had dinner at Sette Mezzo with Margo Howard, in from Cambridge/Boston for a publicity and advertising luncheon at Le Bernardin for her new memoir 'at, Drink & Remarry; Confessions of a Serial Wife,'which is coming out in October. I’ll tell you more about it when you can buy it." (NYSD)


91-year-old Sumner Redstone caught in catfight


"Sumner Redstone’s live-in girlfriend, Sydney Holland, is a control freak who forced the staff at his LA mansion to take polygraph tests after her laptop went missing and then had most of them fired, according to court documents filed on Friday. Redstone, the majority owner of CBS and Viacom, is being dragged into a bitter court battle between Holland and his former protégée Heather Naylor. Holland, 43, is suing Naylor, 33, for $1 million — claiming the star of the short-lived MTV show 'The Electric Barbarellas'stole her laptop computer containing 'private and confidential'photographs. That usually means X-rated. aylor countersued, charging that Holland used her influence, as she took control of Redstone’s life, to get the show canceled. Redstone is 91 and worth $6.2 billion. Redstone reportedly pushed MTV execs to air the show — about a girl group described as a cross between the Pussycat Dolls and the Spice Girls, but raunchier — and gave Naylor $157,000 worth of Viacom stock." (RichardJohnson)







"I knew a handful of rich kids at college, but save for the obvious tells (BMWs, breaks spent in Gstaad, Clarins beauty products in the dorm shower), they were indistinguishable from the merely well-off. This job was my first hands-on experience with real wealth: the massive, beautiful home, the glorious food shops, the extra apartments for nannies, the home gym. Oh, and the high-end hoarding: I had to make sure there were 12 extra pairs of Wolford stockings, say, or 8 bottles of organic fat-free tomato sauce.I started carrying hundreds of dollars of (their) cash in my wallet; when I was pick-pocketed, my employers replaced the stolen money without a thought. I started to feel that I, too, was wealthy, and began to indulge in dinners and taxis and expensive haircuts and new hardcover books and stupid clothes, like a $150 Prada bra that offered zero support. I gave not a single thought to saving money.Once, I got to cook my employers and some business associates a regular, full-fat dinner: seared salmon with sun-dried tomatoes, cheesy potato gratins, little pound cakes with whipped cream. The looks on their faces when they tasted that food, made with oil and butter and sugar, after years of Snackwells and plain chicken, were heartbreaking.With my dad’s help, I took out a loan and did a 6-month professional course at the French Culinary Institute, while continuing to work part-time for the family for a few months. I soon learned that I was poorly-equipped to be restaurant cook. I’m rather lazy, I loathe noise, heat, and teamwork, bore easily, and crack under pressure. Months before starting school, I’d read that chefs could make up to $85,000 a year, but it became clear that I’d be lucky to make $25,000, working miserable 60-hour weeks. Having taken on a $24,000 debt (plus interest) on this professional training I suddenly didn’t want, while getting cash advances on my credit card to pay my rent, was stressful. I started breaking out in what I thought were hives, but later turned out to be bedbug bites.Maybe I’d become a food writer."TheAwl)


Illustration by James Ferguson of Clive Palmer


"It’s been a hectic week for one of Australia’s newest politicians. As well as juggling the responsibilities of the party he founded and named after himself, Palmer United Party (PUP), the 60-year-old mining tycoon has been fighting a legal battle with his Chinese business partners over royalties and has been engaged in a public slanging match with Rupert Murdoch’s powerful media empire. he hostilities with News Corp are over coverage of two of Palmer’s quirkier investments – the recently opened Palmersaurus dinosaur theme park in his home state of Queensland, and his plan to build Titanic II, a life-size replica of the doomed liner that would run transatlantic cruises for tourists. 'Clive Palmer’s ambitious Titanic II is about as likely to sail its maiden voyage on time as its namesake is to ever sail again,'opined the Murdoch-owned Courier-Mail. Palmer’s response to the journalist was curt. “I don’t talk to the Courier-Mail. I don’t like them. See you, bye.' After a quick dash across Canberra, Australia’s capital, I’m ushered through the cavernous halls of Parliament House – boomerang-shaped and said to be the world’s most expensive building when completed in 1988 – to a near-deserted dining room. There are fantastic views over the city but the atmosphere is sterile, more hospital café than upmarket restaurant. almer, a huge man with a mop of white hair, greets me with a wide smile and, when he hears I’m from Belfast, small talk about his own heritage (his great-grandmother comes from Ireland). He is also keen to put my mind at rest about the future of Titanic II.(FT)

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