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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres






"'The Interview' is an outstanding example of Hollywood's most popular genre: Movies That Should Never Have Been Made. That said, theaters that are pulling the film due to threats of terrorism should stiffen their spines. The movie, from Sony Corp., features Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists who assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. From the start, it was an obviously bad idea. North Korea, with predictable belligerence, said it constituted an 'act of war.' Sony executives and distributors around the world found the film vulgar, dimwitted and 'desperately unfunny,' which in today's Hollywood is really saying something. Yet Sony pressed ahead, and now it's suffering arguably the worst cyberattack in corporate history, which hardly seems like a coincidence. Although the perpetrators haven't been identified, plenty of signs point to North Korea -- not least that the hackers have expressed an improbably vehement hatred of 'The Interview.' This week, they even threatened violence against theaters that show the movie. Two companies, Carmike Cinemas and Landmark Theatres, have already caved and pulled the movie. Others may soon follow. They're setting an awful precedent. Giving in to such threats only increases the likelihood of more intimidation. And what if, next time, the film in question isn't a dopey buddy comedy but something more serious -- a movie, say, that criticizes another autocratic regime with an enthusiasm for cyberattacks? That's a dangerous road to travel, especially in response to a threat that experts consider deeply farfetched. If the theater companies can't summon the marginal bravery required to show this film, then Sony should stand behind its work. It should release 'The Interview' online, and offer it to the world as a gesture of defiance and artistic liberty. That might serve as a useful experiment in distribution methods." (Bloomberg)












"'CBS Evening News' anchor Scott Pelley and executive producer Steve Capus were among the tvnewsers at last night’s White House media holiday party. Also spotted, Chris Licht, VP of Programming for CBS News, morning anchors Norah O’Donnell from 'CBS This Morning,' 'Morning Joe’s' Joe Scarborough, CNN 'New Day' anchor Chris Cuomo and 'Good Morning America’s' George Stephanopoulos. CNN anchors Candy Crowley and Wolf Blitzer were there, as were Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, and Greta’s husband John Coale. CNN executives Jeff Zucker and Andrew Morse, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, MSNBC anchor Joy Ann Reid (with her eldest son in tow), Haddad Media’s Tammy Haddad, and DC correspondents including FNC’s Shannon Bream, CBS’s Bill Plante, CNN’s Joe Johns, and NBC’s Chris Jansing and Kelly O’Donnell." (TvNewser)









Click to order "Manners That Matter Most."







"Last night I had dinner with Mai Harrison at Swifty’s. Mai had just come from a book signing at Nancy and Joe Misset’s for Susan Rudin and Louise Maniscalco and their book, 'The Trade Off.' Swifty’s was packed and there was a party in the back for  another book: 'Manners That Matter Most; The Easy Guide to Etiquette At Home and In the World.'  Researched and written by June Eding, it’s an excellent little book. It’s small enough that it could be a good stocking-stuffer. It’s about exactly what you think. Manners and Etiquette sound old fashioned nowadays. And in a way, they are, it is. Because we’re a mess now. The lack thereof  is epidemic and the result is we aren’t relating to each other as easily as strangers might/should/could/would. I know a book isn’t going to make the difference. I don’t know what will. But it is clear to me at this late age that I’ve only got along in this life with the basics that we call Manners and Etiquette. It’s the only way we can all get along. Eding’s book is comprehensive, serious, easy to read, and actually inspiring on a certain level. She begins each chapter with a 'quote' that is reaffirming of her point. For example: Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance. — Henry Ward Beecher. Or: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others ... — Marcus Tullius Cicero. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu. Meanwhile, for more inspiration, here are the windows down at Bergdorf’s. Fabulous, fascinating and more fabulous." (NYSD)

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