Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

The Daily Breeze newsroom celebrates Pulitzer Prize win by Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci for Centinela Valley School District corruption. 
Photo by Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze
Robert Casillas

"'Oh shit!' Rob Kuznia shouted at his desk on Monday afternoon, startling his colleagues in the public relations department of the Shoah Foundation. Kuznia, the son of a middle school teacher-dad and a medical technician-mom, grew up in the quiet farming community of Grand Forks, North Dakota, on the banks of the Red River, steeped in the sort of prairie values of non-histrionics and personal modesty celebrated in the movie Fargo. So it was very much out of character for the low-key, polite and soft-spoken Kuznia to be shrieking into his cell phone at his cubicle, and then rushing crazily out of the cramped office space that he shares with five co-workers. ;I sit right next him,' said Josh Grossberg, Kuznia’s boss at the foundation office on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. 'He did scream, and all of a sudden he ran out of the room, I think to call his girlfriend. We all started Googling, and there it was. When he came back he was just glowing—and in a bit of a daze.'Eight months earlier, Kuznia, 38, had left journalism, probably for good, giving up his reporting job at The Daily Breeze in nearby Torrance for the much better-paying PR job, writing press releases and pitching stories on behalf of the educational foundation started by Steven Spielberg and dedicated to memorializing the Holocaust and other episodes of genocide. Kuznia and his longtime girlfriend, freelance web designer Alta Peterson, could barely make ends meet in expensive LA on their combined incomes, let alone his mid-five figure salary at the financially struggling newspaper. 'I could pay the rent, but I really couldn’t do much more than that,' Kuznia told The Daily Beast. 'Savings was kind of non-existent, and buying a house was a pipe dream.' He was pushing 40, working extreme hours at a very demanding job, and living paycheck to paycheck. “I could make my rent, but it was difficult,” he said. 'It was getting to the point of being scary.' Now, suddenly, Kuznia learned that he, Daily Breeze reporter Rebecca Kimitch and editor Frank Suraci had won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest award." (TheDailyBeast)

The Same Old New Republic

"Sunday evening, The New Republic published its latest cover story, 'The Ghost of Cornel West.' Written by Black Public Intellectual™ Michael Eric Dyson, the 5,000-word essay thoroughly castigates Cornel West, the well-known Princeton professor and social critic who believes himself to be a prophet. Dyson, who is also a prominent professor with a penchant for performative affectations, was once a disciple of West’s teachings. Dyson will be the first to tell you that he has love for West; early on he refers to him as 'the most exciting black American scholar ever.' But that was a long time ago, and despite both men becoming star intellectuals, it appears to be time for Dyson to take his once mentor and friend to task. Publicly. In The New Republic. (It’s like when a young James Baldwin, not yet the “conscience of America” and star author he would later transform into, attempted to take down Richard Wright—the man he once called 'the greatest black writer in the world'—in his review of Native Son, Wright’s most famous novel.) If you are wondering why such an essay—though, really, “essay” is too nice; this is an attempt to fully ether West’s legacy—appears in the pages of the New New Republic, it is because The 100-Year-Old Magazine of Things White People Think is doing what it has done many times throughout its storied past: treating blackness as a thing to be picked apart. Only this time, they had another black man do the bidding.Here is Ta-Nehisi Coates, in December, on the magazine’s complicated history with race coverage ." (Gawker)

More Mailer

"One of those self important, so called pundits once asked Norman Mailer if fascism was coming to America. The pompous one had once worked for Time magazine, so Norman answered him with a pun. 'It’s going to be a Luce sort of fascism.' Mailer was always unpredictable and hard to pin down where ideology was concerned. I once introduced him to a beautiful Israeli woman who immediately asked him why he had never visited Israel. 'Because they don’t all look like you,' said a smiling Norman. Although Jewish, Mailer was not a fan of right wing Israel. He particularly disliked Israeli extremists and was poignant when discussing the plight of the Palestinians. He referred to his politics as being of the radical conservative persuasion, but kept an open mind, something quite rare in the lofty intellectual circles in which he mixed. He was a good friend of William Buckley and had all sorts of nicknames for Pat Buckley, whom he adored and teased mercilessly.Dinners at the Mailer house in Brooklyn were terrific affairs because of the mix. Sometimes it was just Norris and Norman, my wife and I, and Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show and other memorable works of small town America. One time Abe Rosenthal, then executive editor of the Times, complained to Norman that he couldn’t sit at the same dinner table with me because of the rude things I had written about him. (I only said that if he made love as badly as he wrote, I felt awfully sorry for his wife.) Norman moved me from Abe’s table and placed me next to him. If anything, it was a lesson in manners for Abie baby. Mailer’s feuds, of course, were Homeric in scope and intensity. He famously punched Gore Vidal in Kay Graham’s house in Washington, and had crazed feminists shouting their heads off during televised debates. I always thought he made fools out of female polemicists like Germaine Greer and Betty Friedan, but then I never followed the debates. Anyone who had paid most of his hard earned money to alimony for five wives could not possibly have been a male chauvinist.
" (Taki)

Brooke Garber Neidich and Laurie Tisch

"This past Tuesday night, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted its Inaugural Dinner and First Look, a black tie gala for 400 of the museum’s top donors and permanent collection artists to fĂȘte its new home, designed by architect Renzo Piano, in the Meatpacking District. The evening heralded the Museum’s public opening on May 1, 2015. Upon arrival to this historic event, which was sponsored by Sotheby’s and designed by Bronson Van Wyck, guests were treated to wines and spirits by Dom PĂ©rignon and Moet Hennessy USAas well as a special preview of the museum’s first exhibition in its new home, America Is Hard to See. With over 600 works by some 400 artists spanning from 1900s to current day, the exhibition presents an unprecedented selection of works from the Whitney’s renowned permanent collection." (NYSD)

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