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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres








"The release of a sweeping report from the Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA’s actions after 9/11–immediately dubbed the “torture report”–dominated Tuesday evening’s network newscasts, with the “CBS Evening News” devoting more than 11 minutes to the story. CBS’ coverage included packages from Nancy Cordes and Bob Orr, and an extended clip of a 2007 “60 Minutes” interview Scott Pelley did with ex-CIA director George Tenet, where he firmly denied–repeatedly–that the U.S. engaged in torture. “NBC Nightly News” spent seven and a half minutes on the story, beginning with Andrea Mitchell. ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with just over six minutes on torture, including packages from Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl.Overseas, the U.K.’s Channel 4 (left) had extensive coverage on the torture report–more than fifteen minutes–including a live report from Washington, and a story on what role, if any, Britain played in the CIA’s torture of detainees. Al Jazeera America, by comparison, gave the story twelve minutes of coverage in the network’s flagship U.S. newscast, “America Tonight.” (TVNewser)




"A cold, very rainy Tuesday, yesterday in New York.  By late afternoon, the rain let up, it wasn’t quite as cold, and by nightfall the streets were dry.  I was glad for that because I was going over to the Metropolitan Museum where HRH, Prince William and Princess Catherine (Wills and Kate to us), the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were going to attend the dinner the University of St Andrews was holding a 600th Anniversary Gala Benefit. The Royal couple, as you may know, were students and met there. This was quietly the hottest ticket in town this week. I say quietly because several people mentioned it to me over the past few days, and always with the question: 'Are you going to meet the royal couple?' Many were surprised they hadn’t been invited. Then word was going around that it was $50,000 a table, Period. Few seemed to realize that this was a university fund-raising dinner, not unlike the dozens or thousands that go on every year everywhere in this country and elsewhere. The difference of course was the presence of the Royal Couple, the most glamorous royal couple of the House of Windsor The invitation for the black tie dinner asked that you be at the Met at 6:30, and with personal ID and a ticket that was sent to each guest. I was a guest of Olivia and Adam Flatto who are supporters of the University. I arrived amazingly promptly at 6:30, in my black tie and with my camera. Guests congregated in the Main Gallery for cocktails, everyone anxious to see the couple. I figured they’d be the last to arrive. They were. About 7:10, a group of women who looked like they were either alumni or part of the event staff, along with security men in business suits,  created a path with red ribbon which they held  every several feet, from the entrance to the gallery, and around the gallery’s center information hexagon, to the other side of the gallery.  When that happened everyone was getting their cameras (phones) out. With the ribbon-borders set up completed, we waited some more. A few minutes later I could see the photographers were out on the museum’s steps and their cameras were flashing. In the distance I saw Prince William’s head and familiar countenance, although I couldn’t catch a glimpse of her. I wasn’t close enough to the door and the light wasn’t very good but I tried to catch sight of them through the camera’s zoom lens. Nope. " (NYSD)






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"For years, the Russian media has been presenting members of the US Congress as a bunch of old, corrupt millionaires who are nothing but Russophobes and poodles on the leash held by the global corporations. Senator John McCain, for example, deploying famous phrases like 'Today we all are Georgians' and 'now we all are Ukrainians,' never misses the opportunity to attach the KGB label when he pronounces the word 'Putin.' He has become a household name in Russia and a symbol of a Russian-American 'reset' that was never meant to be. According to the Russian media, most congressmen are crazy to the point that one has to be mentally ill even to listen to them. But there is one good egg, a positive exception. Never mind that he is a former congressman. His name is Ron Paul and he has become a rising political star in Russia. Mr. Paul became a darling of the Russians back in March when in his interview to the USA Today he declared 'Crimea secedes – so what?' In arguing that 'self-determination is a centerpiece of international law,' Mr. Paul seemed to hit upon language that rang true to many Russians, writing in his op-ed, 'What’s the big deal?'" (Observer)


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"For the third year running, we're thrilled to present A Very Papermag Holiday Q&A with John Waters. The gloriously trashy filmmaker, artist, writer, performer and PAPER Original Gangster is currently touring his Christmas show, which stops New York on the 14th, but he graciously took our call in Portland, Oregon. Even with a grueling road schedule and an ear infection, Waters was full of his usual warmth and wit. If anyone south of the North Pole can save Christmas in these turbulent times, it's him. How's the tour going so far? John Waters: So far, pretty well. I have an ear infection, but I just pretend I'm Johnnie Ray.
  Christ, how did that happen? I don't know. Original sin. I noticed that the routing is really just West and East Coast... I think last year I played Chicago, Atlanta -- I played a lot of the middle last year. So a lot of times, unless it's a really big city, always wait a year before you go back. Although last night in Portland it was sold out and I was there the year before, so you never can tell. But it's going great. I have 17 cities, that's enough! Have you encountered any demonstrations in the last week?
 I went past -- where was I? I think it was L.A. -- and I saw maybe 20 people with signs saying, "I can't breathe," and I thought, Wow, this is a far cry from the demonstrations I remember. I have not seen a big one, but I haven't been in Baltimore and I know there were some there. And you don't expect to see big demonstrations in San Diego, to be honest." (Paper)

GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Lena Dunham is a guest on "Good Morning America," 9/30/14 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images)ROBIN ROBERTS, LENA DUNHAM            


"After news broke about another Lena Dunham book kerfuffle, the author penned a lengthy response to all of the journalists, readers, and conservatives who picked apart her sexual-assault story. Her claim that she was raped by a Republican Oberlin student almost a decade ago prompted one blog to investigate her story and many other outlets and online commenters to question its validity. The essay is featured in her book Not That Kind of Girl but hadn't made anyone bristle until recently, when another former Oberlin student said he'd been mistaken for her attacker. In her BuzzFeed piece, Dunham underlines that the book's name for her rapist, 'Barry,' is a pseudonym, apologizes to the Oberlin alum of the same name, and encourages readers to be more empathetic toward rape survivors. 'Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation,' she writes. "I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget.' An emboldened Dunham says she was initially scared of sharing her story, citing that 'survivors are so often re-victimized,' that 'they are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable,' and that 'their most intimate experiences are made public property.' Knowing her essay would be met with ire and skepticism, she says she still underestimated the amount of misogyny and insensitivity her story would ultimately accrue .." (NYMag)

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