Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out


In: MarthaMarthaMartha! Ankle-braceleted, Our Martha persists. A wild stallion cannot be contained. (The Corsair sparks up a Kahlua Cigar Delicioso) According to the AP:

"Six weeks after being released from a U.S. federal prison, Martha Stewart has reached a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to create a 24-hour channel featuring cooking, gardening and entertaining programming for women.

"Coming on the heels of separate deals to create a version of The Apprentice and a daily cooking show, the four-year agreement announced Monday with Sirius marks Stewart's latest move to rebuild her business after serving time for lying to the government about a stock sale.

"'I don't know about you, but I was raised on the radio,' Stewart said, smiling broadly during a news conference in New York. "

You go, girl.

Out: The Witherspoon Stalkers. Nothing like the photo of a petite woman at wits end whose marriage is in trouble, eh? The value of the "Reese Witherspoon-in-distress" moneyshot must be astronomical indeed, because thumos-infused stalkerazzi have lost any sense of moral proportion, and taken to acting like ferral beasts. According to the Daily News:
"The actress' nightmare began as she exited her gym and was swarmed by photographers.

"'Her trainer came out and had to help her get past them so she could get into her car,' a source told the Daily News. 'Then they boxed her in on all four sides.'

"'When she finally pulled out, they jumped in their cars and took off after her. They almost ran her off the road,' the source said.

"'They chased her all the way home to where she lives in a gated community. The security guards jumped out and had to assist her to get away from them.'"

In: The Romenesko Blog. It took this Slate article (link via iwantmedia) to remind us just how brimming with zesty excellence is the Romenesko blog. Sometimes, unfortunately, we just take this resource for granted. Jack Shafer writes:

"... Thanks to Romenesko's influential readership, every journalistic sin?venal or cardinal?that's published and gets billboarded on his Web page becomes a national story. Everybody from news aides to media moguls reads the site, which is hosted by the Poynter Institute, a gold-plated nonprofit that specializes in remedial education for journalists. A big splash on Romenesko obliges the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz to write about it in his column and examine it on his television show, the New York Times to digest it, and columnists everywhere to riff on it."

And, speaking of journalistic sin ...

Out: James Oppenheim, Dickhead. The Today Show, despite its spectacular lowest-common-denominator vapidness, is actually a part of NBC's News division, so, in that spirit, despite the smiley, good natured on-air ribbing on Matt Lauer's retreating hairline and Al Roker's retreating waist, the following particular story rankled us galactically. According to the Wall Street Journal (link via Romenesko):

"Mr. Oppenheim went on NBC's 'Today' show, the U.S.'s biggest national morning news program, which is part of NBC's news division. 'Kodak came out with a great idea,' he said to host Ann Curry, before proceeding to talk about the same product he'd been paid to discuss on KVUE. Ms. Curry called it a 'nice gift for a little child.' Kodak says it didn't pay for the 'Today' show mention. But neither Mr. Oppenheim nor NBC disclosed (his) prior arrangement to tout the product on local TV.

"In the 'Today' segment, Mr. Oppenheim talked about products made or sold by 15 companies. Nine were former clients and eight of those had paid him for product placement on local TV during the preceding year."


Above: Indie director Todd Solondz positions himself strategically between the cameras and Ellen Barkin's noteworthy "breast-sweat."

In: Todd Solondz. Granted, The Corsair will be the first to admit that after seeing Welcome to the Dollhouse, the first words out of our mouth were, "naught else but simple shit." A lot can change in ten years. We get Solondz now; we dig his shit. It took us a while, but we came around. His work is rich, and his thoughts are interesting. In an Indiewire interview:

"iW: 'Palindromes,' like much of your work, seems engaged with the idea that people never change.

"Todd Solondz: Of course it's indisputable we change, but there is a part of ourselves that is immutable. There can be a kind of struggle. Some people are troubled by the age-old philosophical question presented here. Certainly, if you are religious you must believe in free will, otherwise you cannot make a leap of faith. Those of the atheistic turn of mind will look at things differently.

"Obviously our genetic code, our life experience, the randomness of it all combines to present our lives in such a way that we imagine that we have a choice between Bush and Kerry. But of course it is the illusion, the vanity of the choice that we cannot but choose the one because we are so determined and shaped by our whole life experience. In fact, if one can embrace one's limitations it can be a very freeing thing and does not in any sense disallow the possibility of social improvement. Of course, the whole culture is hinged on this notion that self-improvement is the key to happiness and success and that the denial of this would be a kind of nihilistic, even cynical attitude. And yet, that's all provided one is someone who is capable of improvement.

"Provided one is capable, one can improve. But as a species we certainly are no more advanced than we were 5,000 years ago, morally speaking. Read the newspaper every day. I can't see how we're an improved species. My movies can't compete with what's on TV. It's the age of 24/7 Terri Schiavo. What could be a greater obscenity or grotesquery? It's there in the paper every day, much harsher than anything I do."

Yeah. What he said


Above: The moment of Truth. A hush falls across the crowded room. In muted tones, Natalie Pray announces that all the Peruvian Peasants have been freshly bled into the cocktails.

Out: Peruvian Peasant Juice. Terrible. Just terrible, this rummy business of" juicing Peruvians." And for what? Eternal Life? The discreet charm of owning their souls in the Afterworld?

For shame.

According to Our favorite social chronicler with a good sense of humor, David Patrick Columbia, in NYSocialDiary:

"Geoffrey Bradfield, the international interior designer who chaired the event, also held a cocktail party, called for 8 p.m. at his new townhouse on East 61st. There were about a hundred or so congregated on the white on white ground floor reception room and the tented garden with its Elsie de Wolfe green lattice. Champagne and giant strawberries served on silver trays."

"Champagne"? Is that what they call it nowadays?

In: Michael Musto. Why hasn't this man been on Topic: A With Tina Brown? A media program that values wit and excluded Michael Musto? Preposterous! (The Corsair fumes) And, while we are on the subject, Why hasn't The Corsair been a "Hot Pick"? What is the meaning of this thusness? We are thoroughly confused. Says Musto:

"Apparently, TINA BROWN thinks Desperate Housewives is already post-peak?you know, it's not necessarily her hot pick of the week anymore. I learned this at an event for the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room from a gung ho producer for Tina's struggling cable program, who insisted, "You should write about how great the show is. We have an amazing audience. JOHN MCCAIN, WARREN BEATTY, and the CLINTONS watch it!'

"'Are you daft? You've booked every media person on earth except me,' I snarled. 'And they won't write about it!' she said."

So, book Michael Musto already.

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