blog advertising is good for you

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Media-Whore D'oeuvres



"Like almost all conflicts that have occurred in Israel, this latest war in Gaza has provoked a furious debate. Was Israel’s ground and air assault on the Gaza Strip justified by Hamas’s rocket attacks? Or were Hamas’s rocket attacks a justifiable response to Israel’s arrest of hundreds of Hamas supporters and officials? I am not going to defend Hamas’s charter, which describes Israel and the occupied territories as an 'Islamic Waqf,' nor its strategy of hurling rockets at Israel, but I am also not going to defend Israel’s response. What matters to me, and what is often ignored, is the overall moral and political context in which this and past conflicts have occurred. Israel is one of the world’s last colonial powers, and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are its unruly subjects. Like many past anti-colonial movements, Hamas and Fatah are deeply flawed and have sometimes poorly represented their peoples, and sometimes unnecessarily provoked the Israelis and used tactics that violate the rules of war. But the Israeli government has continued to expand settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to rule harshly over its subjects, while maintaining a ruinous blockade on Gaza. That’s the historical backdrop to the events now taking place." (John L. Judis)


illustration of Niall FitzGerald by James Ferguson

"Montpeliano, in Knightsbridge, is just as proper Italian restaurants used to be: framed monochrome photos of silver-era movie stars; a terrace with vines; widely spaced tables; a sense of quiet. Regular place, regular table. And when it comes to the food, it’s clear that looking at the menu is a mere formality for him, as both he and the waiter know perfectly well what his choice will be: mozzarella di bufala and tomato salad, followed by risotto primavera. I decide on the same starter and a steamed sea bass. A glass of white wine to accompany the main course. Minimal fuss. This description may give completely the wrong impression of Niall FitzGerald, whose range of interests and activities is anything but circumscribed. Yes, his business career showed a consistency that is becoming unusual these days: he joined Unilever in Ireland as an accountant in 1968 and spent more than 30 years with the multinational, culminating in an eight-year stint as chairman and chief executive. This was followed, in 2004, by three years as chairman of Reuters, then three more as deputy chairman of Thomson Reuters. But the rest would take some time to list.
Anyway, we are here to talk about these other interests – even if business and culture intersect significantly in his life. FitzGerald (I would call him Sir Niall if, as an Irish citizen, he could use the knighthood conferred on him in 2002 in a more than an honorary capacity) stepped down earlier this month from the chairmanship of the trustees of the British Museum after an eight-year term." (FT)







"The summer box office downward spiral continues, with another big drop. The Top Ten grossed $130 million compared to $174 million last year; 2014 is down 6% from 2013. What gives? More new films of uneven strength are lagging behind comparable efforts amid a plethora of sequels and a lack of top-draw films. A few tentpoles worthy of the name are in fact holding up the overall box office. Long-term word of mouth successes include '22 Jump Street' (down 28%), at $180 million the biggest live-action comedy since 'Ted' (and within $40 million of its total), and in its eighth weekend in the Top Ten, 'Maleficent' (down only 22%), at a total $228 million. Even films that had mixed initial reactions are holding on due to the weakness of the newer films. The below-average percentage drops for holdovers has been a positive development this summer. Of the holdovers in the Top Ten, only the disappointing 50% drop for 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' in its second week seems more than expected. " (IndieWire)





"The youngest generation of the Stroh family — whose brewery empire was once valued at $9 billion — has almost no money left to fight over, so now they are bickering over the family‘s reputation. The Stroh heirs are furious with fifth-generation family member Frances Stroh, of San Francisco, for cooperating with a Forbes magazine story headlined, 'How To Blow $9 Billion: The Fallen Stroh Family.' In the July 21 issue, Frances talks about snorting cocaine while the family was having Christmas dinner and said, 'My life with my father felt like being inside a gilded bubble.' One Stroh recently told a friend, 'My family is now the laughingstock of the entire American family trust community.'  Frances’ father Eric quit the company — which owned the Schaefer, Schlitz and Old Milwaukee brands, as well as Stroh’s — after a fight with his brother in 1985. After taking on debt to expand into the nation’s third-largest brewer, the company collapsed and was sold in 1999. The heirs received their last checks in 2008. A friend of the family told me, 'Frances fed the story to Forbes because she is preparing a legal battle. She is alienating her mother from the rest of the family, and trying to get her mother to disinherit her two brothers.'" (Richard Johnson)


Liz with Mr. Meigher.


"I HAD lunch this week at the one and only Michael's with a group of Time, Inc. veterans, including myself (counting my 1960s days writing for Sports Illustrated.) Chris Meigher, the guy who now runs Quest Media, hosted and we were Life magazine's former head Charles Whittingham and Fortune's acclaimed Carol Loomis, who retired recently at age 85 after winning praise from the New York Times' Business front page. We were pleased and honored to have Marian Heiskell with us. She is the widow of Andrew Heiskell, a Time, Inc. famous name from the good old days! (Together, Marian and Andrew became "Living Landmarks” of NYC's Conservancy. They are credited with cleaning up 42nd Street, saving Bryant Park and helping the New York Public Library.)
ANYWAY, we were all long-timers and when PR experts Peggy Siegal and Leslee Dart and publishing's Boaty Boatwright tried to join our center window table, we waved them off as "too old" for our crowd." (Liz Smith)







No comments: