blog advertising is good for you

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





Embedded image permalink     


"Long before the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, which have brought with them countless images of heavily armored local authorities pointing guns at and firing tear gas and other nonlethal weapons at unarmed protesters, some were disturbed by what Washington Post journalist Radley Balko calls “the rise of the warrior cop” — that is, the increasing tendency of some local police forces to rely on military-style gear and tactics, even in situations that appear devoid of any real threat to officers’ safety. The story of how this happened and the oftentimes tragic results has been well-told by Balko, the American Civil Liberties Union, and others — in short, there’s been a flood of drug-war and post-9/11 money that has helped outfit police departments, even those in towns where a single murder is an incredibly rare event, with gear that could help repel seasoned paramilitaries. What’s less clear is how this gear changes the psychological dynamics of policing and crowd control. Is it true, as many people are arguing online, that 'When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail' — that is, that simply having military gear will make police more likely to act in an aggressive manner toward civilians? How does this change the relationship between police and civilians?" (NYMag)


Robin Williams with "some friends."


"It was Wednesday; it was Michael’s. Like the weather, it was pleasant and mild and no doubt there were a lot of the heavy hitters now out-of-town for the duration – be it two weeks, a month, the day after Labor Day, which is what we’re looking toward now. But, it was busy. It wasn’t the regular Michael’s Wednesday celebrity-fest, or one of those parties at a star studded long table in the center of the front or back room that Peggy Siegal throws to promote a new film or director. On yesterday’s NYSD, Liz Smith ran a photograph of a lunch with Robin Williams that included President Clinton, Ann Richards, Diane Sawyer, Joe Armstrong, Billy Crystal and Angela Williams (Robin’s previous wife). And Liz. That was a pretty good table but not unusual in Michael’s and especially, for some reason, on Wednesday. It gets everybody looking and listening, or just plain ramped up by the atmosphere. It’s a distinctly New York phenomenon and the reason why so many of us living and working here come here in the first place. Life as entertainment (as well as the rest of the stuff). Steve Millington, Michael’s GM was telling me about the times that Robin Williams came in. One time, he decided he’d play “greeter” to all the guests coming in. A riot for everyone. What amazed Millington about Williams was how empathic and kind and sensitive he was with everyone, and how easily he endeared himself to everyone. Great regret shared all around." (NYSD)





"New economic data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics on Aug. 13 shows the supply of credit to the Chinese economy expanded by only $44.3 billion in July, the slowest pace in almost six years. To be precise, credit expanded at the slowest pace since October 2008, the month after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and the month before the Chinese government launched an economic stimulus program that sheltered China's economy from the worst effects of the global financial crisis. That program also locked China into a growth model grounded in the intimate bond between government-led credit expansion and housing and infrastructure construction -- one that the Chinese government is now struggling, against time and at the risk of crisis, to escape. The dramatic and widely unexpected drop in Chinese credit supply in July has raised concerns that the economic 'recovery' China seemed poised to make starting in June -- when aggregate financing in China hit a whopping $320 billion, which was more than seven times greater than July's figure -- has been nipped in the bud. There are also concerns that the coming months will bring even worse news from the world's second-largest economy. These concerns are aggravated by anecdotal reports repeated in mainstream news media saying July's decline is the result of the policy-driven credit tightening by the government and also reflects a drop in Chinese enterprises' demand for new loans. If the latter is the case, it raises important questions about the underlying health and trajectory of China's economy." (STRATFOR)




"Meanwhile, back in the swim, last night there were two receptions bringing out the friends and fans. Jeanne and Herb Siegel gave a book party for Ed Klein and his #1 New York Times Bestseller 'Blood Feud; The Clintons Vs. The Obamas' at the Four Seasons restaurant. A book reception at the Four Seasons, incidentally, is its own crowning literary moment in New York.Mr. Klein has garnered a great deal of editorial as well as critical coverage on this book, besides far outselling the recently published memoir of Hillary Clinton who is the hot topic with much of mainstream media these days, at least here in New York. The main subject continues to be 'will she run…?' It sure looks like she is seriously considering it, to put it mildly. Also according to an interview she gave to Jeffrey Goldberg on MSNBC,she lobbed a couple of political opinions into Mr. Obama’s sphere of interest (conducting a Presidency) which is being reported with some gravity and being read as part of the campaign to separate herself from the President’s current reputation in the polls. Although, Mr. Obama is so frequently attacked by so many different people in the know (or those who think they are) that by now, anything from anybody’s mouth must be for him, like the din of traffic on the freeways of Southern California – distant, inevitable, unending and one long dull roar. That last sentence, incidentally is not an opinion or judgment in favor of, for, or about either the President, the former Secretary of State or anybody else. Rather, it’s a realistic assessment of the situation in national and international politics. However, Mr. Klein’s suggestion -- of a 'feud' between the two couples – has now been made more credible, perhaps affirmed, by Mrs. Clinton ... Meanwhile, back in little ole Manhattan last night, at the same hour, up at the D&D Building 7 blocks north and 2 blocks east of the Four Seasons restaurant, in the Stark Carpets showroom, Stark and Iris Apfel held a 100th birthday party for their friend, her husband Carl Apfel, the man behind his wife, the contemporary fashion legend." (NYSD)





"The 2014 Senate elections are not shaping up to be particularly favorable for the Democrats. While there are still scenarios where they could walk away breaking even, or even gaining a seat or two, those scenarios are pretty far-fetched. Current predictions vary somewhat, but seem to center around Republicans picking up somewhere between five and seven seats, with the overall range of possibilities a bit wider. The nonpartisan explanations for this state of affairs have centered around three different factors: the president is unpopular, the president’s party always loses seats in midterm elections, and the Democrats overperformed in 2008, setting them up for a rough year in 2014 (you can see Bill Schneider making all three arguments here). In this article, I’ll briefly discuss all three explanations, and then add a fourth. Very little needs to be said about the first factor: The relationship between presidential approval and electoral outcomes has been thoroughly explored, and I have little to add. Likewise, the tendency of the president’s party to fare poorly in midterm elections is so well-known as to require only an asterisk here: While the president’s party has lost House seats in all but two post-World War II midterm elections (1998 and 2002), it has gained or broken even in Senate seats in five (1962, 1970, 1982, 1998, and 2002). That’s somewhere between a third and a quarter of the postwar midterms, so our rule here is not really as “real” as it is for House elections." (SabatosCrystalBall)







"'Skinemax' was struggling. In 2010, subscriber numbers at the US cable channel Cinemax, which earned that derisive nickname with its reputation for late-night soft-core pornography, were flat and starting to trend downward. The channel’s action movies and porn were still performing pretty well, but the brand was in dire need of reinvigoration. + That’s when Michael Lombardo, the head of programming at Cinemax’s parent company, HBO, went to the head of HBO’s miniseries division, Kary Antholis, to say that he was concerned for the long-term future of Cinemax. Lombardo and Antholis decided that the only way to put HBO’s sister channel on the map was to get into the original content game—as other channels had been doing in recent years. + Four years and four original shows later, Cinemax has shown that it can produce. The Aug. 8 premiere of Cinemax’s new and most ambitious series to date, The Knick, drew a modest but respectable 354,000 viewers. Starring Clive Owen as a drug-addicted experimental surgeon in 1900s New York, The Knick is by far the most hyped series Cinemax has had since it started making original shows." (Quartz)

No comments: