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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres










"Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Friday that he would not attend the speech to Congress by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel next month, further escalating a diplomatic flap that has already soured relations between the Obama administration and one of America’s closest allies. Mr. Biden, who as president of the Senate would normally be seated next to the House speaker during such a speech, plans to be overseas when Mr. Netanyahu visits, his office announced. President Obama had already decided that he would not meet with Mr. Netanyahu, citing a policy of not getting together with foreign leaders shortly before elections in their countries.There have been deepening strains between the Israeli leader and the administration since Representative John A. Boehner, the House speaker, arranged for Mr. Netanyahu to address Congress about Iran without informing the White House. Mr. Netanyahu is deeply worried about Mr. Obama’s efforts to negotiate a nuclear pact with Iran, and Republicans want to give him a forum to express those concerns. It has driven a partisan wedge into what has traditionally been bipartisan support for Israel. Democrats in Congress have expressed anger over the speaking invitation, and some have talked about skipping the speech. Israeli officials were on Capitol Hill this week to try to calm Democrats, and some said they thought most would still attend. But Mr. Biden’s decision could encourage others to boycott.A Jewish-American leader, Abraham Foxman, meanwhile, has called on Mr. Netanyahu to cancel the speech. Mr. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said it would be counterproductive because angry recriminations had 'turned the whole thing into a circus.' 'It needs a mature, adult statement that this was not what we intended,' Mr. Foxman told the newspaper Forward. 'It has been hijacked by politics. Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new problem and new timing to take away the distractions.'A member of the Israeli Parliament from Mr. Netanyahu’s party, Tzachi Hanegbi, questioned on Friday whether the prime minister had fully understood that the invitation had originated solely from the Republicans." (NYT)






Fashion, art crowd flocks to Gagosian’s Kappo Masa


"Fashionistas, artists and aristocrats came out to Larry Gagosian’s Kappo Masa on Madison Avenue Thursday night, where the gallerist was meeting with megacollector Eli Broad.Spies said chef Masayoshi Takayama greeted his partner in the restaurant with Broad before moving on to a table including Vogue’s Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis — just back from her first Super Bowl after haute couture week in Paris — Olympia Scarry, Johnson & Johnson heir Jamie Johnson, Jen Brill, Proenza Schouler designer Lazaro Hernandez, Vanessa Traina and her photographer husband Max Snow, W contributor Giovanna Battaglia and BeyoncĂ© stylist Jenke-Ahmed Tailly." (P6)


Melanie Lazenby and David Hallberg


"Wednesday night, a week ago, Peter Lyden and Leslie Ziff gave a dinner at Il Posto Accanto at 190 East 2nd Street to celebrate 'the unparalleled artistry of David Hallberg,' of the American Ballet Theatre and the first American to become a Premier Danseur with the Bolshoi Ballet. The guestlist was made up of Sarah Jessica Parker, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Isaac Mizrahi, Julia Koch, Prince Dimitri, Prince Dushan Kargeorgevitch, Vanessa Noel, Bettina Zilhka, Melanie Lazenby, Bronson Van Wyck, Tonne Goodman, Wendy Goodman, Stacy Goodman, Leslie Ziff, Peter Lyden, Carol and Daniel Strone." (NYSD)







Judith Regan at lunch with writers and colleagues at the Odeon restaurant in Manhattan in December. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times


"In Judith Regan’s corner office on the eighth floor of an office building on Bleecker Street is a picture frame with a quote inside it that reads, 'Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense: The creative act.' It comes from Kenneth Rexroth’s essay “Disengagement: The Art of the Beat Generation” and it is a philosophy Ms. Regan has held on to with unwavering conviction over the years, peering over at it again and again and repeating it to herself like a mantra, an indicator to get back up and just keep going. One afternoon this fall, Ms. Regan was dressed in a dark, custom-made double-breasted suit and a pair of sky-high Stella McCartney platform boots. Though she is 61 — old enough to have had to have a hip replacement last year and old enough not to bring every conversation about sex back to herself, as she was known to do back in the day when she was a rising star in the media world — her swagger remained undiminished.
She still flipped her long brown mane about as much as ever, she still spoke less in conversation than in monologue, and she still invoked the spirits of the evil demons who at one point or another have tried to undo her, though she did so without any obvious sign of rancor. 'I’m not bitter,' she said, discussing her contentious and well-publicized exit from the News Corporation eight years ago, which eventually won her a reported settlement of more than $10 million. 'Strangely, I have no hostility. I carry grudges when things are unresolved, not when they’re resolved. I don’t relish other people’s suffering.' And why should she? Thanks to a generous but undisclosed sum of money from the billionaire Leon Black, Ms. Regan has re-entered the book business with a new shingle, Regan Arts. She has signed a distribution deal with Simon & Schuster. She has hired Lucas Wittmann, a well-known industry figure, as executive editor and associate publisher. And she has a slew of new authors to play with, many producing books that are in one way or another personal to her. They have strong female characters, tell David/Goliath narratives and are full of sex and mayhem and backstabbing: the main ingredients — essentially — from Ms. Regan’s very own, very full, life. (Not for nothing did Ms. Regan almost write a book called 'The Art of War for Women.') She says she’s even mulling a collaboration with the one other person whose expulsion from the News Corporation kingdom was perhaps as memorable as her own: Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch’s former wife." (NYT)
“Wendi was in the other day,” Ms. Regan said, giving a little smile, as if to indicate yet another way in which she’s gotten one over on her former boss, adding that the two were talking about the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. “We may be working on something together.' There was a time, not too long ago, when Judith Regan was among the most famous, and most polarizing, people in publishing. For years, she was the book industry’s very own P. T. Barnum riding dishy tell-alls by Howard Stern (“Private Parts”) and Jose Canseco (“Juiced”) to the top of the best-seller list. By 2000, New York magazine had written that she was the “most successful editor in the book business.' Her own story began in the suburbs of Boston and then Bay Shore, N.Y., where she moved when she was 10. Her parents were schoolteachers, bright people who had their children young and never really got to fulfill their dreams. “They did the best they could,” said Ms. Regan, who after high school went to Vassar.
There, she spent a year living in a house earmarked for financial aid students, earned her degree in English and art history, then went to work at The National Enquirer, chasing stories about con artists, arms dealers and corrupt Hollywood movie producers.

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