Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via blognewschannel)

In: Google Video. As if, at this point in their ascent, they need a dubious "In" from a cute Ugandan-born blogger. Still, from Paidcontent:

" The speculation looks like it is true: Google, which has publicly said that it will offer premium videos sometime soon, will begin allowing consumers to buy and download videos from content partners. Among the media companies expected to be part of the service: CBS and NBA, the story says. Larry Page is expected to announce the details at CES keynote tomorrow."


(image via

Out: Tom Ford. Tom Ford is tripping. First there was word that he was going the "shocking" route at his Vanity Fair stint, tarting up the poor Dakota Fanning. Then, the Adobe House. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) Let's not even go there (Zen Quote: "Our goal is to make the house seem of the hill and not on the hill�). Third: the French-kissing the mannequins. Now, this from those intrepid Page Sixxies:

"TOM Ford is taking heat from all sides. A week after spies sniped he was making life difficult for Vanity Fair staffers during his stint as creative director for the Hollywood issue, word comes that the former Gucci boss is equally imperious around Est�e Lauder folks. Ford teamed up with Lauder to create a luxe line of makeup that launched in November. A new line hits shelves in a couple of months. Insiders say Ford is so demanding, he's even told Lauder staffers what to wear when they have a meeting with him. Our source reports, 'He doesn't return calls or e-mails. And he has a thing against colored socks. He insists that we have to wear black socks while in a meeting with him.'"

From Kim Hastreiter of Paper Blog: "Speaking of Tom Ford. What is UP with him? Is he losing it or what? He seems to be more and more obsessed with pornography as time passes. He collaborated with artist Jeff Burton on a shoot for a piece on his new eyewear collection in the next GQ. Burton, who has photographed Gucci ads in the past for Ford is an artist who actually works doing stills on porn sets. For the GQ piece, Ford chose a porn star named Luca (who he claims was not 'waxed or shaved') to model nude, of course, for the eyewear shot."

Tom Ford: Turning Conde Nast into a porn empire, one magazine at a time.


(image via fishbowlny)

In: Lunch at Michael's. Laurel Touby of FishbowlNY renders the swell crowd at Michael's today in festive digital watercolors. A lot of big-ass media power going on in that room, doing media power hugs and alpha male chest butts, if you go in for that sort of thing (Averted Gaze). And we do:

"Table 1: A very attractive bronzed gent, who we didn't recognize at first waited patiently for a fashionably late Barry Diller. When Diller arrived, the deeply tanned commercial manager of Fiat, Lapo Elkan (practically Italian royalty!), rose from his seat as any well-bred Euro-scion should. Before joining his guest, Diller padded over to hail Paula Zahn and Joe Armstrong, as well as John Huey.

"2: Time's editor in chief John Huey with a guy who looked like John Waters. (Incidentally, Huey has named Martha Nelson editor of the PEOPLE Group and Larry Hackett managing editor of PEOPLE. So, everyone's happy!)

"3: Paula Zahn and Joe Armstrong, the 'Mayor of Michael's.'

"4: Leonard Lauder with someone else (who?)

"5: Stan Jaffe, who produced Kramer v. Kramer and has done other amazing things too numerous to go into right now.

"6: Dominick ('Nick' to his friends) Dunne in a pin-stripe suit, with Konrad Kessee (sp?) and Cathy? Liz Smith made a point of hugging Dunne when she arrived. So did Schleiff, who said 'We should catch up.'

"...8: New York Social Diary's genteel David Patrick Columbia at his regular table, with the executive editor of Quest Magazine, Sian Ballen. David Patrick Columbia is the Editor in Chief of same.

"... 12: We were at Table 12 with the hilarious Michael Gross, author of 740 Park, or was it 450 Park? Well, it was Park, that's for sure. We like him very much. He's got a quip for everything and everyone. We want to stay on his good side, that's for sure. Many people came to our table to say hello to Michael.

"... 21: Dapper Jonathan Wald, of MSNBC, former executive producer at the Today Show.

"... 23: Albie Hecht, formerly of Spike TV, with Tim Arango of the Post and two other guys. What were they meeting about? Did anyone happen to overhear?"

Okay, you get the point. Wall-to-wall establishmentarians. Want more? Here.

Shrine Auditorium

Kaput. (image via yahoo.movies via Kevin Mazur/

Out: Denise and Charlie, Splitsville. Okay, so Barbados was not Charlie's first choice for a reconcilliation. Does that mean he has to get sour? One could do worse in life than having one's hot wife in Barbados without the papoose in tow. Was it too hard for Charlie Sheen to go out of his way to give Denise Richards a little romance and attentiveness on Barbados? Then again (Averted Gaze), we're talking about Charlie Sheen, a cosmos whose idea of romance includes an extra, crumpled c-note on the dresser, post-prostititional coitus. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) -- According to our favorite superhero duo, Rush and Molloy:

"Did CHARLIE Sheen do something wrong over the holidays? The actor's wife, Denise Richards, announced last March she wanted out of their marriage. Lately, however, they seemed to be patching things up. They just spent a vacation together in Barbados with their daughters Sam, 1, and Lola, who was born in June. But now Richards is moving forward with a divorce."

At this news, throughout the San Fernando Valley, porn stars and high-end call girls alike prepare, gingerly, to move up to a higher tax bracket.


(image via oldenberg)

In: Elton and David. Not all marriages are collapsing, mind you. Some are in the nascent blush of life. Congratulations -- warmly -- to Sir Elton and David Furnish. According to Liz Smith:

"THE VENETIAN honeymoon of Elton John and David Furnish has been blissfully extended. They are enjoying the romantic canals .."

(A considerable pause) Oh, I'll bet they are enjoying those "canals," but we are rather surprised that Liz Smith could be sink -- no pun intended -- so salaciously in her column. Really, Liz: Let's leave some mystery in the honeymoon! We do not need to gondola down those "canals" ..

"... and gondolas and staying at the Hotel Danieli. (Newlyweds love the sexy mystery of Venice!) It is reported the happy couple were spotted at Harry's Bar with their dog, Arthur. A waiter tied a napkin around Arthur's neck, and he was allowed to eat at the table."


For his cooperation, prosecutors will not place Abramoff in a cell with a lonely 300 pound weightlifter in "Gen-Pop." (link via NyTimes Magazine)


... Separated at Birth?

Out: Corruption. The Abramoff scandal and the problem with Lobbying-usual today only highlights how prescient a thinker Senator John McCain is (Excepting, of course, Gay Marriage and Intelligent Design) on the subject of campaign reform. David Brooks' "tough love" Op-Ed to the Republicans is also cautionary reading. Go "Brooksie." Even Newt Gingrich, clearly in full-on Presidential campaign mode, is back to throwing grenades, carving himself a slice of the thoughtspace. According to Bloomberg:

"`The Abramoff scandal has to be seen as part of a much larger and deeper problem,'' Gingrich said. `It's not about lobbyist corruption. You can't have a corrupt lobbyist without a corrupt member or corrupt staff. This was a team effort.''

"Democrats are seizing on the Abramoff scandal as the latest example of what they call the `culture of corruption' in Washington under Republicans. Former California Representative Randy 'Duke' Cunningham resigned in November after admitting to taking $2.4 million in bribes, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is facing an insider-trading investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"One of the biggest issues is the growing power of incumbents and their dependence on contributions from lobbyists, Gingrich said. He proposed changes including a ban on fund raising in Washington and allowing citizens to make unlimited donations to politicians in their own districts. Gingrich also would make lobbyists and U.S. officials disclose their meetings each week. "
McCain for Senate Majority Leader? (I know, I know; theoretically impossible.)

The Diane Rehm Show (Abramoff Investigation)

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