Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via chron)

In: Howard Stern. Stern, who will be profiled by Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes this Sunday (No spraying of hot tears, but there were misty eyes when Ed took him back to Roosevelt, Long Island), is not only changing the landscape of radio, but Video InDemand as well. According to Reuters:

"There was a time when Howard Stern fans could hear -- but not see -- a naked porn star giving a hot-oil massage on TV uncensored.

"But that was before Stern began offering his work on video-on-demand November 18 with new TV partner In Demand Networks. Stern has dug up never-before-viewed moments that were too raunchy for his previous TV home, E! Entertainment.

"The freedom of subscription-based cable and satellite might keep Stern from testing the FCC's patience. But something else will be put to the test as Stern provides In Demand fresh product not only from his vault, but his new Sirius Satellite Radio program next year: Can Stern help redefine VOD as a home for original programing and In Demand as a leading source of that content?

"'I think he can for In Demand and I think he can for video-on-demand as well,' In Demand president and CEO Rob Jacobson said. 'Both of us are really going to benefit from a personality of his caliber.'"

Drudge behind the scenes on Stern's 60 Minutes here.


Oof! (image via caglecartoons via slate)

Out: What will Eisner do Next? Who gives a fuck? Well, Tinseltown, apparently; it's the new parlor game. The word "Broadway," quixotically, keeps coming up in connection to the name Eisner (The Broadway play was the pimp move in, like, 1957, Michael). According to the LA Times (link via iwantmedia):

"How does a media mogul who has run a world-famous corporation for two decades suddenly transform himself into an entrepreneur? If you are Michael Eisner, you turn to people you know and trust � the ones who previously worked for you.

"Since retiring as chief executive of Walt Disney Co. Sept. 30, Eisner has reached out to two senior executives who still work at the Burbank entertainment giant. Although he has stopped short of offering them jobs, he has broached the subject of working together in the future.

"The overtures � to studio production chief Nina Jacobson and former head of strategic planning Peter Murphy � underscore just how bound to Disney Eisner remains.By putting out feelers to former colleagues, Eisner, 63, has provided the first real clues about his budding post-Disney plans. In Hollywood, where information is power, his schmoozing has also enlivened what was already a favorite parlor game."


(image via israelnewsradio)

In: Gay Weddings. George Michaels announced in, we guess, a careless whisper that he is marrying his partner Kenny Goss next year. Next, South Africa's highest court affirmed the right of gay marriage. The 3AMGirls, who are casing the Elton John-David Furnish beat, posting daily updates, such as:

"Rod Stewart is prising open his wallet to hire a private jet to fly in for the big day from Belgium where he will be playing... Elton is torn between orchids and tulips for the wedding breakfast table centrepieces... David is eyeing up rings... there are problems over the ceremony's lighting - too harsh."

Gay marriage is the new black.


(image via CBSNews)

Out: Vladimir Putin. When last we left Putin, the Bush administration, stretched thin by the Iraq War, outsourced Iranian nuclear overight to Russia. This elegant diplomatic solution gave Russia what it has always wanted -- a little respect in the global theater. Putin got his groove back.

Before the international goodwill could even begin to manifest itself, however, Putin worked himself some wiggle room, restricting NGOs on the grounds of fear of Western corruption a la the rose and orange revolutions.

"Dictatorial paranoia, is the more likely culprit. (Averted Gaze)

Now, Putin is in rare autocratic form, letting his freak flag fly; this, from an editorial in today's Boston Globe:

" HARSH law on nongovernmental organizations that Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin coterie are pushing through a docile Duma shows Putin's true colors. This is the move of an antidemocratic ruler acting on the paranoid belief of his security services that foreign human rights, educational, and medical organizations are disguised tools of Western intelligence agencies plotting to orchestrate a popular uprising in Russia like those that toppled corrupt regimes in Georgia and Ukraine.

Russian liberals are opposing Putin's crackdown on the NGOs. Former US senators Jack Kemp and John Edwards, co-chairmen of a Council on Foreign Relations task force on Russia, signed a cogent letter to President Bush last month warning that Putin's proposed legislation ''would roll back pluralism in Russia and curtail contact between our societies,' enabling the Kremlin 'to close down public organizations simply because it finds their views and activities inconvenient.'

"If the Kremlin is to be deflected from its effort to take control over the last remaining spheres of freedom for Russian civil society, Bush and other leaders of democratic nations will have to tell Putin that he cannot assume the chairmanship of the Group of Eight developed democracies in January while at the same time asphyxiating independent NGOs.

"The first reading of the proposed legislation, which was approved by a parliamentary vote of 370 to 18 last week, would extend to the 400,000 NGOs in Russia the sort of centralized control that Putin's inner circle has already imposed on the media, the judiciary, the major energy companies, and the regional governors, who are appointed by Putin."


(image via fishbowlny)

In: Lunch at Michael's. It looks like everyone whose everyone is back from their Thanksgiving excursions (The place was rather dead on Monday when we went) and Michael's -- once again -- is the power-center of the Chattering Classes, the place where a hungry media mogul can go to get a bowl of the greatest goddamned crab bisque in the entire cosmos. Our favorite Canadian, Rachel Sklar, assesses the talent in the room for FishbowlNY:

"Today was a busy, bustling day at Michael's under the brand-new Holiday decorations -- the place is festooned with wreaths, poinsettias, jaunty sprigs of pine and big happy red bows. All that is missing is mistletoe, which would probably make our 'Lunch at Michael's' posts even more exciting. Even so, today was pretty hopping. So without further ado, the lineup:

"... Table 6 - Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg celebrated her birthday with ICM superagent Esther Newberg, and three or four other equally stylish women. Lots of presents and a birthday cake but no singing. Aw.

"... Table 18 - We're jumping a few tables ahead because this one's a biggie: Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State (and Christopher Hitchens BFF).

"... Table 4 - Owen Laster, head of the literary department at the William Morris Agency.

"Table 11 - MTV president Judy McGrath, sweeping in to dine with a chic woman (looked like an anchor).

"Table 8 - New York Social Diarist David Patrick Columbia, with a woman in a mink fur hat... Real estate agent Alice Mason.

"Table 12 - A fresh-faced and glamorous Ivanka Trump. No biggie unless you're into that whole rich, fabulous supermodel thing.

"... Table 14 - Big-shot editor Alice Mayhew, rumored to be working with Judith Miller on her rumored upcoming book. Remember Judith Miller?

"... Table 26 - Neal Shapiro, former president of NBC News, dining with Anne Curry of 'The Today Show,' chatting amiably. Wonder if they discussed the whole 'Will-Katie-Couric-go-to-CBS?' flap."

The full post here.

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