Thursday, May 31, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: "We're Going Out with a Bang"

Geeks, squids, pseudovirgins, conches and neo-maxie-sum-Dweebies worldwide will be higher-strung than usual tomorrow when Sci-Fi Channel announces that this upcoming season will be the Sci-Fi hits last. So, we ask you -- we plead with you -- take it easy on the IT guys on Friday. They will be edgy. Their panties -- or, rather, their Boba Fett Underoos -- might get into a twist.

Commiserate with them by the water cooler. Remind them of their glory days as Mathletes. Buy them a Malted. Light their Benson and Hedges cigarette. This is a big thing for them. Hug them out, Bitch. They need "Big Geek Love." Supply that love with a reference to the Kessel Run and you'll have won the good karma lottery. From HollywoodReporter:

"The upcoming fourth season of Sci Fi Channel's 'Battlestar Galactica' will be its final one after all.

After months of speculation, the show's producers will make the announcement at a press conference Friday.

"Ending 'Battlestar' with the upcoming 22-episode fourth season was a creative decision made by the show's executive producers Ronald Moore and David Eick.

"'This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and finally, an end,' Eick and Moore said in a statement Thursday. 'Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end and we've decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms. And while we know our fans will be saddened to know the end is coming, they should brace themselves for a wild ride getting there - we're going out with a bang.'"

It's like School on Saturday ..
Hillary Clinton Goes Hollywood

(image via nysd)

Those Clintons sure know how to throw a Hollywood party. The former First Family has lost none of the glitz that Tina Brown used to sell copies of both VF and the now-defunt Talk; the peculiar Clintonian combination of political heavyweight star wattage combined with what can only be properly construed as a sort of "Coolest Baby Boomer Chic (For further reference see: Bill Gates, Paul McCartney)" remains essentially intact. Hillary Clinton's Hollywood fundraiser brought in an eclectic Left Coast bunch, everyone from Pauly Shore to Kevin Smith. From Variety:

"Hillary Clinton drew a mix of politicos and paparazzi in a series of events through Hollywood circles, showing continuing strength as she competes aggressively with Barack Obama and John Edwards for entertainment industry support.

"At the same time she was raising money on Wednesday night, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was doing the same at a fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton that featured comedian Dennis Miller."

Has it come to this, Dennis Miller? How the mighty have fallen. When last we heard of Miller, he had taken his hair plugs and hitched those badboys onto the Ross Perot wagon (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). (Sotto voce: "Loser")

"With Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joining her, Clinton raised $850,000 at an event at the home of News Corp. prexy Peter Chernin, and another $250,000 at the home of Brett Ratner, according to sources.

"The latter fund-raiser was the media highlight of this visit. With a minimum ticket price of $250, Ratner's event was aimed at 'young Hollywood,' but the crowd would more accurately be described as 'young-ish,' as it drew a mix of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, hardly the hardcore tabloid-bred nightclub crowd of the Sunset Boulevard. Nevertheless, paparazzi was in full force as web site captured donors as they crossed Benedict Canyon Road to Ratner's home, called Hilhaven. Inside, it was a bit more staid than when Ratner allowed 'Entourage' to shoot a scene in which bikini clad women wandered around his property, a riff on his image as the consummate party host. He did, however, open up his basement disco, installed when Allan Carr lived there in the 1970s." (VARIETY)

Why is it that these days whenever we hear the name Brett Ratner said aloud casually we want to shout out -- a propos of nothing -- "Does it burn when you pee?" (NYDailyNews)
Media-Whore D'oevres

"Best Week Ever’s large and loyal web community (we believe the term “sticky” could be used here) is in uproar over Star transplant David Caplan, who, we told you, was hired by VH1 to bring exclusive gossip reports to their network of web properties. Except it isn’t going over well, if you’re to read the comments." (Jossip)

"Yet another Huffington Post hire of note: The impossibly-named Willow Bay, former CNN, ABC and MSNBC anchor and wife of Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger, has signed up with Arianna Huffington's tribe as editor-at-large." (FishbowlNY)

"The family that controls Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal and one of the great names in American journalism, announced yesterday that it would consider selling the company. The announcement came after the family, the Bancrofts, said that it was willing to meet with Rupert Murdoch, just weeks after the family rejected an initial $5 billion takeover offer from Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation.The decision, which represents a remarkable turnaround for both the company and for Mr. Murdoch’s bid, could end more than a century of family control over the company. For much of that time, The Wall Street Journal has been the gold standard in financial journalism." (NYTimes)

"Just like President Eisenhower did with highways, we need a leader who will commit to getting the job done and lead us back to the top position in the distribution of broadband and technology.It’s time we ask our candidates for president what they will do to insure that everyone is fully connected to the Internet and how this public resource can be used to make our country more competitive, more democratic, healthier, better educated, more secure and financially sound. With the help of our friend David Weinberger, we recently published a list of suggested policy goals for the candidates to consider. (See: Maybe some of them will realize that technology is not just a slice of the pie, it is actually the pan, capable of being a tool for change, innovation, and hope. Hopefully our next president will in fact be the first TechPresident." (Politico)
What's so Goddam Buzzy About Post War Contemporary Art Anyway?

(image via sadiecoles)

At the risk of sounding like a vinegary old buzzard not unlike Hilton Kramer (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), allow The Corsair to, for a minute, go all "Conservative" on the Contemporary Art scene's Cubist ass. (Sotto voce) Bludgeon/curmudgeon-style. And, since the aforementioned Ass is Cubist, we will make sure to kick all multiple perspectives of said Fractitious Tushy.

Recently -- across the globe -- the newly-monied are going gonzo with an insatiable appetite after post war contemporary art. Why? Is such "clever" and sufacish work more accessible to the contemporary Attention-Deficit-Addled viewer than, say, a Titian to a educated man a hundred years ago (And, Does anyone read Novels for fun anymore?)? Or, a mysterious El Greco? A ravishing Raphael? A sumnptuous Caravaggio?

An awful but clever Andy Warhol recently went for -- no joke, this -- $71 million. Those intrepid Page Sixxies inform us that George Michaels, "has spent $20 million on pieces by controversial shark-pickler Damien Hirst, among others." What gives?

Let's blame the rise in prices of Dubious Art -- pickled shark, anyone (Averted Gaze)? -- to the influx of asshole hedge fund and Russian oligarch dollars presently flooding the market (The Corsair sips on a Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1978 Grand Pauillac). As we all know, money doesn't account for Taste, which takes years of patient study to acquire.

The patience required to unlock the sepia-colored secrets of a Mannerist painting is lost entirely on those hyper-aggressive Wall Streeters who hanker, greasily, after something "Shocking," or "Contempo" -- the larger sized the better -- such as the works of Damien Hirst, to hang in their storied McMansions in the McHamptons.

The thundering "Death of God" pronouncement of Nietzsche echoed through the eerie, twisted monochromatic forest of Guernica, then, through the various experiments in pre-War Art -- and their multiple manifestoes, political and mystical -- exhausting itself, finally, in the all-style-and-no-substance works of Andy Warhol. The "Death of God" was, beyond Deicide, the Death of all Absolutes -- Love, Harmony, Proportion -- all those swishy concepts upon which Classical Art and its remarkably quaint ideal of Beauty (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) relies. Who wants Beauty in Art, right? Not that one would expect a culturally-ambitious Hedge Funder to be able to notice these themes at work on the compositions of the past half century; Johnny Wallstreet and Boris Silverdollar their knowledge Now, Shnell! not after a decade of inquiry into the History of Art. It is no coincidence that Warhol leeched himself onto genuinely talented artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. If Warhol were alive today he would be astonished that his paintings are more valued by the market than the supremely talented Basquiat, or, say, John Singer Sargent.

Which is not to say that all Contemporary Art is Bad. Quite the contrary. That's the sort of cultural hack criticism that comes out of that louche hotel on the margin of propriety known as The Hilton-Kramer (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). For every imposter like John Currin or Christo (And his partner, "Jean-Fraud") or Damien Hirst or a shitty little Botero, there is something approximating the real-deal, like Jackson Pollock.

Was that altogether too Hilton Kramerish?
Mike Volpi, New CEO of Joost

(im age via cisco)

Paidcontent's indefatigable Staci D. Kramer today scooped everyone the new CEO of Joost. Joost, as you'll remember, is the "YouTube" killer founded by the duo who gave us Skype. Viacom, particularly, is banking on Joost's fetching some of YouTube's eyeball-share.From Paidcontent:

"We knew several weeks ago that Joost was getting a new CEO but held the info until we could confirm the identity ... multiple sources have now confirmed that Mike Volpi, who left Cisco earlier this year, is the choice for CEO."

The full story: (Paidcontent)
Media-Whore's D'Oevres

(image via nysocialdiary)

"Back out on 72nd Street, some Ralph Lauren staff were embracing some male mannequins (all business of course) and transporting them from there to ... there. I headed up the avenue to Tom and Diahn McGrath’s where they were hosting a dinner party for the new Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Dr. Asha Rose Migiro from Tanzania ..There were fourteen or sixteen (I’m guessing here) at last night’s table, some of whom I knew (or knew of) and others whom I met for the first time, including writer/editor Lewis Lapham who has started a new quarterly; George Soros, Georgette Mosbacher, former Clinton Ambassador to Tanzania Charles Stith and his wife Deborah, former Clinton Ambassador Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, former Ambassador Donald Blinken and Vera Blinken, Phylicia Rashad, Bartle Bull, former Ambassador Robin Duke, as well as those I’d met so quickly I didn’t get their names." (NYSocialdiary)

"The only audience segment to increase for CBS' newscast was women aged 18 to 49, a slice of the audience that has grown 6% over the previous year during Couric's tenure." (NYDailyNews via TVNewser)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Woody Allen & The Weinsteins Ride Again

(image via indiewire)

Harvey Weinstein may be a vulgarian and a bit of a thug (Averted Gaze); and Harvey Weinstein may be sleazy and a tad creepy; but -- dammit! -- does he or does he not know how to surround himself with the right kind of cultural superheavyweights, offsetting his own fleshy Cro-Magnon brow and dragging knuckles.

Apparently this desire to be perceived by the world-at-large as having "kul-cha" has to do in a sort of Echt-Freudian way of wanting to impress his parents -- Mira+Max -- who, unlike Big Harv the Greasy, were actually intellectual. This is not entirely uncute, however. We almost forgive "Big Harv" for providing starring vehicles for Gwyneth Paltrow back-in-the-day (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). You do your thug-thing, Harvey Weinstein, you do that thug-thing. From Variety:

"The Weinstein Co. has acquired U.S., Australian, and New Zealand rights to Woody Allen's suspense drama 'Cassandra's Dream,' starring Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Tom Wilkinson .. Allen turned down a Cannes closing-night berth for the pic, which will likely make its debut at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

"While heading Miramax Films, Bob and Harvey Weinstein distributed Allen's 'Everyone Says I Love You,' 'Mighty Aphrodite,' 'Bullets Over Broadway' and 'Celebrity.' 'Cassandra's Dream' marks Allen's third pic to be set in London, after 'Scoop,' which Focus Features released to a $10.5 million Stateside gross, and DreamWorks' 'Match Point,' which topped out at $23 million in North America. 'Cassandra's Dream's' tragic tale of two brothers and their entangled relationships marks a return to a darker palette for the filmmaker.

"Harvey Weinstein is 'one of the only producers-distributors around who actually can see beyond the grosses and gets real pleasure out of presenting fine movies,' Allen said.'Woody Allen has once again poured his tremendous passion and talent into creating a very powerful and compelling drama,' Weinstein said."

We're not sure what happened next, but telling from the trajectory of those cinematical sweet nothings, it was probably a robust reach-around. (Variety)
Media-Whore's D'Oevres

(image via achievement)

"Carl Bernstein is a rarity in the American electorate: He’s ambivalent about Hillary Clinton. Recent polls show as little as 3 percent of Americans have no opinion of the former First Lady, and the 97 percent that do split almost evenly between favorable and unfavorable. So what to make of a book that exhaustively (over 600 pages of exhaust) plumbs the depths of the known Hillary record—we learn about her prom dress, her religious beliefs, her endometritis, her fears of indictment—only to conclude, lamely, that she 'is neither the demon of the right’s perception, nor a feminist saint, nor is she particularly emblematic of her time,' and, shockingly, 'the jury remains out.' (Ana Marie Cox via BenSmith)

Where the fuck was OUR invite? "Following a kick-off party at the Tribeca Grand back in April, the Life Ball’s obsession with New York City continued over Memorial Day weekend as Heatherette’s Richie Rich and a slew of editors, celebs, and club kids boarded Austrian Airlines’ specially chartered plane to Vienna. This year, the event—Europe’s largest charity fundraiser supporting the fight against AIDS—celebrated 15 years of bringing together people from all walks of life to boost awareness for the ongoing struggle against the disease. Among the celebs who ran rampant drinking champagne and reveling in the jaunt were Alan Cumming, Adam Brody, Mya, Jenna Jameson, and former *NSYNCers Lance Bass and and JC Chasez—truly a diverse set of talent. Mixed in with the famous faces and dining on delicious dishes like prawns Louis Armstrong on tomato avocado carpaccio and truffled linguine were 12 members of the press, including Blackbook’s Bryan Levandowski, Nylon’s Sarah Haight, Paper’s Mickey Boardman, and Fashion Television producer Christopher Sherman, along with infamous shutterbug Patrick McMullan, who serenaded the plane with impromptu songs about risqué air travel and the impending party." (Fashionweekdaily)

For The Michaelsologists: "(Table) 1. The Early shift: Charlie Rose and Neal Shapiro; late shift: Cheri Kaufman of Kaufman Astoria Studios ... (Table) 2. Nightline's Cynthia McFadden (sporting a great tan), Silda Spitzer (Blackberry at the ready) and another unidentified gal.(Table) 10. Bob Pittman and Gerry Inzerillo." (FishbowlNY)

"Memorial Day weekend started early for guests at El Museo del Barrio's annual gala. Cipriani's cavernous 42nd Street space was in full-on fiesta mode on Thursday night, with mariachis bellowing canciones, waiters passing out Bellinis by the trayful, and, in keeping with the masquerade theme, partygoers such as Isabel Toledo, Fabiola Beracasa, and Yaz Hernández parading around in custom-made disguises by Lambertson Truex, Badgley Mischka, and Mexican jeweler Mercedes Werner, respectively. In all, nearly 50 designers, including Narciso Rodriguez, Francisco Costa, and the evening's honorary chair, Carolina Herrera, created headpieces for the occasion, helping to raise close to a million dollars for the Harlem-based institution .. Simon Doonan danced solo. 'Where's my husband?' he wondered aloud about his partner, Jonathan Adler. 'I hope I didn't lose him to the Latins.'" (Style)

"Fox News Channel had 13 of the top 15 shows on cable news in May, and 9 of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo, the program ranker shows. Larry King and Lou Dobbs are CNN's only shows in the top 15." ( TVNewser)
Drinking with Christopher Hitchens

(image via inductivist)

In The Corsair's life he has engaged in ... a few adult beverages. O.K.: More than a few. But never, Never, have we ever got as blind drunk as the time we went drinking with Christopher Hitchens, then our "mentor" at The Nation intern program. Good times. We were reminded of the experience this morning. Those intrepid Page Sixxies today write:

"CHRISTOPHER 'Hellbound' Hitchens admits drinking 'enough every day to kill or stun the average mule,' but insists the rampant boozing hasn't affected his career. 'Many great writers did some of their finest work when blotto, smashed, polluted, [bleep]faced, squiffy, whiffled and three sheets to the wind,' the 'God Is Not Great' author tells the Times of London. 'I have never been late for an appointment, never had to cancel a speaking arrangement. I do radio and TV, and I don't slur. I've never missed a deadline . . . So it can't be the case I'm a fall-about drunk.'"

First off: A mule is too small. It's liver would be decimated. A yak would be more appropriate and to scale. From my own experiences:

"I don't really remember what happened afterwards, except for the fact that we three downed two bottles of a very good wine and did colossal damage to some Johnny Walker Black. All in the space of an hour or so. Not good. I think I had the chicken. Or fish. Or some such meat product of similar texture. Christopher had to shoot a BBC documentary on capital punishment afterwards. I remember this really fucking sexy woman with an was sent by the BBC to fetch him. Really just mind blowingly sexy. Her name was ... Sophie or something (I still remember the name, so you know she was hott).

"Had I possessed the power of speech I would have let her know what I thought of her. As it was, I had lost the acquisition of upright posture gained by the labors of our common ancestors. Hitchens said goodbye politely, left with the sex goddess, and I, unfortunately, was left to my own devices as to getting to home."

(Drinking with Christopher Hitchens)
Byron Pitts Buzz

Byron Pitts, who was inspired by Ed Bradley, may assume his mantle at CBS, according to Cindy Adams. And who is Byron Pitts? From Katie Couric on

"The other day the Washington Post had a wonderful profile of a wonderful guy: our own Byron Pitts.

In the piece, Byron talked about his own upbringing, including the surprising news that when he was 12 years old, he was illiterate. Incredibly, he could barely read. 'It was humiliating. It was awful,' Byron told Howard Kurtz. 'You sort of live your life in disguise. . . . When you live in the 'hood, you have to wear a mask.'

"Those who work with Byron know he is one of the most artful and eloquent writers in the newsroom – as well as a genuinely good and giving man. That’s no surprise. But most of us had no idea of the struggles he had to face. To realize what he overcame, and how much pain and embarrassment he had to contend with, is heartbreaking -- and inspiring."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Media-Whore's D'oevres

(image via msnbc)

"That little game of political chicken Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton played during the Senate vote on the Iraq spending bill Thursday night would not have surprised you if you had read Her Way, the new book by New York Times investigative reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta, Jr. which I've just finished. Neither Clinton nor Obama were on the Senate floor when the voting began. Sources tell me that Obama was holding off to see if Hillary would go first. When it was clear she wouldn't, and time was running out on the vote, he headed into the chamber and voted no. Less than a minute later, Clinton barreled in and did the same." (Arianna)

The Almost Mrs. Seinfeld: "Josh and Shoshanna Gruss celebrated the latter’s birthday (which is today) with an intimate clambake dinner at couple’s new East Hampton manse Saturday night, attended by friends Dani Stahl, Jane Lauder, Eleanor and Jon Ylvisaker, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Charlotte Ronson, and Topper Mortimer." (Fashionweekdaily)

"ABC is hoping to reinvent the newsmagazine for the YouTube generation with a show produced by ABC News but based on user-generated video. Hourlong skein 'i-Caught' will get a six-week run on the network starting Aug. 6 at 10pm on Mondays with an eye toward a midseason return if it performs as well as the network hopes. Amateur video will form the basis of the show's segments, but ABC News correspondents will build news stories and features around video captured on cell phones or digicams and uploaded to a companion Web site. Much will depend on what rolls in, but Sloan said ABC News journalists also will shoot segments on video getting viral play on other sites." (Variety)

"'Hey, what’s Snow doing here?' Rove said one recent afternoon. 'Must be important, if he’s visiting us.' Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, stood in Rove’s outer office, bent over in conversation with one of several assistants. 'Uh-oh, here’s the big gun,' Rove said as Peter Wehner, the White House director of strategic initiatives, came into the office. Wehner, an evangelical Christian, is known in Washington for a relentless stream of e-mails that praise George W. Bush’s allies ('The Remarkable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair,' 'The Remarkable Joseph Lieberman'); that glean from the Internet any cheerful news from Iraq; and that provide links to articles by writers like the Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami and the untiring neoconservative Norman Podhoretz." (NewYorker)
Russia's Darkening Future

It is not inconceivable that historians of the future will look backwards at the Bush the Younger's Presidency and surmise that after the tumultuous Iraq War, the greatest foreign policy blunder of The Republic was the Cheney-Rumsfeldian robust bitchslaps against Russia's rosy Slavic cheeks. We had defeated The Slavs soundly; America bestrided the globe as the last standing Superpower. There was no need to rub it in. The preppies, thank heaven, defeated the KGBeasts. The Soviet Empire had disintegrated, and --as even Brent Scowroft will attest -- the Bush the Elder Administration did a piss-poor job in bringing The Russian Bear around under the eagle-wing of The West. So why didn't Bush the Younger take advantage of the second chance History had offered his family and do what Daddy didn't?

We may never know.

For Russia is, if marginally, a part of the West. Somewhat. Or, better put, Russia is more a European nation than an "Eastern" despotism. At least we could tell them that, right? Of course, Russia will never entirely assimilate into Europe (Nor, unfortunately, will Turkey; even an extremely Eurocentric Pope knows that) -- although it really, really wants to -- and so it was American finesse from Foggy Bottom, and not the robust backhand of the silver-haired Cold Warriors at the Defense Department that the former Soviet Union needed. And a little romance. Some flowers. Candy. A slow Mazurka, maybe?

But the Defense Department's usurping of the State Department's traditional position -- at the right hand of the President -- was one of many unfortunate restructurings of Power precipitated by the horrific attacks of September 11th. Colin Powell may have spent a career fighting wars, but he never knew what hit him with Rumsfeld, one of the most skilled -- and perverse -- bureaucratic infighters ever. Emphasis on Perverse (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Beyond reforming the military against asymetrical warfare (And, quixotically, away from the reliance on army boots-on-theground), Rummy was still trapped in the labyrinthine narrative of Watergate, Ford, and regaining Executive Powers from the Congress (Averted Gaze).

And then there was George Soros (Cue: Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccatta in D Minor). While we deeply admire what Soros did with his own little "unilateralist" funding of the tastefully-colored revolutions across Eastern Europe (The Corsair sips a gracefully-aged Chateau D'Yquem), they only served to show the impotence of Colin Powell, who was largely on the sidelines cleaning up the messy diplomatic aftermath of Russia's growing intolerance at the shortening of their buffer zone. George Soros was, to be sure, on the side of the angels; Soros was, of course, governed by the Nazi-horrors in Europe of his childhood and a congenital hatred of totalitarian regimes. We, however, are astounded by the timing. Of everything. The unilateralism of Bush, and the unilateralism of Soros operated in the overheated theater of post 9/11 political action.

And now -- the consequences. Russia, responding to Estonia's own unilateral lack of diplomatic patience, has launched the world's first Cyber War. And, like the Crimean and American Civil Wars in ages past -- heralds of a new form of warfare -- foreign powers have dispached observers ("Computer security experts from NATO, the European Union, the United States and Israel have since converged on Tallinn to offer help and to learn what they can about cyberwar in the digital age."). And America's Polish missile system -- primarily as a foil to a potentially nuclearized Iran -- has met with intense Tolstoyish sabre-rattling from Russia (And now, it appears, a new ICBM system).

One wonders what might have been if not Cheney, but say the Machiavellian James Addison Baker were Vice President. The pause that refreshes. How would they have handled Russia. probably with flowers, candy and some empty rhetoric, slowly, patiently, bringing Russia into the orbit of The West and the rule of Law and a more responsible citizenship in the community of nations. But .. no. We didn't. And now Russia -- whose potential is always either teetering upon the brink of the yawning abyss of the darkest of Nihilisms and the greatest degree of Humanitiarianism possible -- presently edges into the lair of a bitter, lawless Thug-ocracy scorned by the West and looked down upon by China. What happens when the Russian Bear awakens from its slumber and realizes it is neither West nor East but "surrounded" on all sides -- beseiged, in the psychology of Nations -- by hostile powers?

Russia's future is not pretty.
Media-Whore's D'oevres

(image via nysocialdiary)

"Two weeks ago, the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC), generated a record-breaking $1.2 million in philanthropic contributions at its annual Leadership Breakfast .. Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, Pastor of The Abyssinian Baptist Church and ADC Chairman, hosted the leadership breakfast .. Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off the festivities .. The event was chaired by Senior Managing Director of Lazard Freres & Co., Vernon Jordan, Jr., Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra L. Lee, President of ING Foundation, Rhonda Mims, and honorary chairs Spike and Tonya Lee." (NYSocialDiary)

"Vanessa Redgrave will headline 'The Year of Magical Thinking' on Broadway for only four more months, but HBO is aiming to preserve her performance in the one-woman show.The pay web is negotiating a deal to film the David Hare-directed play for broadcast. No airdate has yet been set." (Variety)

"I'm in Davenport, Iowa, where Barack Obama gave a Memorial Day speech last night to a group of local veterans. The candidate and the speech were fairly flat, due at least in part to the fact that he had just flown in from a full day of campaigning before big crowds in New Hampshire, including a rally at Dartmouth that drew an estimated 5,000. However, the man who introduced Obama had a remarkable story to tell. 'All my life I voted Republican,' Bob Konrardy opened by saying. 'I was very proud of that.' But after meeting Obama at a local veterans center, he said, he was so taken by him that he has changed his registration so that he can work for the Illinois Senator in next year's Democratic caucuses." (Time)

(image via observer)

The aftermath of Bob "Loser" Shrum's memoir continues in DC -- aka, "Hollywood for Ugly People" land -- as The Chattering Classes excavate it's arid pages in search of something juicy. But what juiciness can be wrung from the dirty, sweaty towel of a political wrestler with an abysmal 0-8 political record in the gladiatorial fundament in The Arena. From BenSmith:

"Here's Shrum on the public consideration of Bill Richardson for the Vice Presidency, something he has subsequently used as a credential:

"Richardson's prospects were shadowed by alleged womanizing. Publicly reluctant, he coveted the publicity of being considered, but withdrew before the process was finished."

That's hurtful. And, quite frankly, we really don't give a damn about Shrum's odd values-driven campaigns which, incidentally, froze out Bill Clinton from campaigning for Gore in 2000, where the former Vice President might have won Arkansas or Kentucky with the former President's help. Shrumbag.

Governor and former Ambassador Bill Richardson is the most goddam qualified man to run for President since John Quincy Adams, and would make a fine Vice -- no pun intended -- President, with Al Gore, running on a "Competence" ticket touting their combined years of public service as opposed to, say, a lukewarm McCain-Lieberman character-driven Republican pro-war campaign. The salmon-colored weekly on the Shrumbag:

"Mr. Shrum, who now teaches at New York University, has in the last two years become one of the favorite punching bags of frustrated Democrats. And reading his litany of accurate but self-serving explanations early on in the book’s (non-index) 494 pages, one can almost hear the seething contempt of the liberal netroots, among whom he is regarded as the preeminent symbol of the D.C. cocktail-party class of corporatized Democratic consultants who myopically equip their candidates with tired slogans, rehashed rhetoric and neutered messages: Of course the election was stolen from Gore in 2000. But he was only in position to have it stolen from him because of the lousy campaign he--and you!--ran! And any fool could have predicted that George W. Bush would exploit 9/11 in ’04. But why were you so afraid to rough him up at your convention, when the G.O.P. all but called Mr. Kerry a traitor at theirs?"

Kylie Minogue: "I've Got a Great Black Girls Butt ... Forget These Skinny Girls"

Kylie Minogue pontificated at length on the splendiferous bounty of African-American booty while staying at, ironically, Cannes (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). We cannot help but agree. That whole Paris-Hilton-concave-Ass thing leaves us quite literally limp; a man needs a little arroz-con-pollo in the buttcheek, nah mean? Let the Long Island contractors have their Hilton-shaped strippers, to each his own (Averted Gaze). Minogue speaks out for the body-type of well-over over 50 percent of the planets ladies. From 3AMGirls:

"Looking gorgeous in a floorlength silvery gown she squealed with laughter as she compared her famous derriere to Beyonce's.

"'Look at my butt,' she giggled. 'I've got a great black girl's butt, kinda like Beyonce and J-Lo. I may be from Australia but I think I must have some blackness in me.

"'You'll never hear me wishing I had a smaller butt. The bigger the better.'

"..She gushed: 'I love having curves - forget these skinny girls. I love feeling feminine and womanly - being curvy in all the right places is part of that.'

"She then threw her words into actions as she hitched up the hem of her sparkly frock and demanded someone teach her how to do the Jamaican 'Dutty Wind' dance - which involves sexily jiggling your bottom to the ground. And revellers including Jay-Z and Jamelia were amazed at her moves."

Gigi Levangie Grazer, Starter Wife?

(image via z.about)

We are almost cynical enough to believe that the on-again, off-again marriage of Hollywood mega-producer Brian Grazer and his hottie-author wife, Gigi, is an elaborate publicity stunt designed to coincide with USA's over-hyped premiere on Thursday of "The Stater Wife." Almost, but not quite. Then, the sassy Liz Smith comes by to confuse us even more:

"SIZZLING producer Brian Grazer is keeping mum as to whether or not he and his wife Gigi's divorce is now final and their prenup has kicked in after 16 years. She seems to think they have reconciled and are back together. Others say that a certain Eurasian woman is still in the picture. Well, this guy has four kids with Gigi, so there's a lot for him to think about. He may not want to rock the boat, and Gigi definitely believes in staying friendly."


Monday, May 28, 2007

Media-Whore's D'Oevres

(image via download-by)

Maxim's Hottest chick, Lindsay Lohan, crashed her convertible, then ran away from the scene, possibly drugged up on blowcaine. Crazy chicks on the run are burning hott, yo. (TheMerc)

Blowcaine -- it's a Hell of a Drug, right, LiLo?: "Which Hollywood mother's idea of managing her daughter's drug addiction is that she now carries the cocaine for her?" (Gatecrasher)

"Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a loyal supporter of President Bush, indicated Sunday that Republicans will be ready by September to look at bipartisan efforts to draw down the troops that were part of the surge to help secure Baghdad. 'We have to be realistic,' Sessions said on CBS’s Face the Nation. 'We have to know that we can’t achieve everything we’d like to achieve. We have a limited number of men and women we can send to Iraq, and we can’t overburden them.' The senator added that, when General David Petraeus is reporting back on the progress of the surge in September, 'I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down.'" (TheHill)

"(Judd) Apatow followed up 'Virgin' by producing 'Talladega Nights,' which earned $150 million at the box office. The perks began to multiply. At the Deauville Film Festival in September 2005, Apatow and Rogen stalked the director Harold Ramis, one of Apatow’s boyhood heroes. They all became fast friends, and Ramis agreed to be in his next movie. (He plays Rogen’s father in 'Knocked Up.') Tom Cruise wanted a meeting. Apatow happily trudged to Cruise’s Malibu digs, the remnants of a craft-services burrito smeared across his shirt. Suddenly, Judd Apatow had become one of Hollywood’s most bankable commodities." (SundayTimesMagazine)

"Gore is a deep-dyed Democrat; the real question is whether he will be a late entrant for the party nomination. He is '50-50,' according to one of his closest friends and financial backers. On the one hand, Gore inquires about Manhattan office space for his business and charity ("It has to be a 'green' building," said this source, who didn't want to be named discussing Gore's affairs). On the other hand, he keeps his face in front of big donors, as he did at a recent dinner in Miami. Gore is all the rage among corporate executives, who see wisdom—and profits—in going green, and who appreciate Gore's prescience. "Al has set this up so he can jump either way in the fall," said the close friend. 'If there is an opening, I say he goes.'" (HowardFineman)

"Big changes are reportedly coming in the NBC TV programming team here in LA, which will have implications on its digital strategy as well: it is finalizing a management overhaul that will include the departure of its top programming executive, Kevin Reilly, reports WSJ. It is also negotiating with 'The Office' and 'Ugly Betty' producer Ben Silverman be the next entertainment chief, says the story, which was first reported by Nikke Finke on Friday. Silverman has been among the most digital savvy TV executives, and has a big digital deal with MSN through his company Reville. The story says Silverman may be given control over both NBC and its in-house TV production studio, and would potentially speed the progress of scripts to screen." (Paidcontent)
Spike Lee Biopic: Wesley Snipes as James Brown

(image via photobucket)

What do James Brown and Wesley Snipes have in common? Both men have, to be sure, elaborate escape mechanisms -- interstate, international -- when dealing with "Johnny Law." (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) Aside from the fact that they both had one-shot roles on "Miamia Vice (Wes played "Silk" in "Streetwise"; James Brown played the creepy Lou de Long in "Missing Hours")," they will both star in the new Spike Lee flic. According to Liz Smith:

"Spike Lee is a happy guy and not because he is in those ready-made-ingredient food commercials where the delivery guy mistakes him for a Chinese cook. Spike and Paramount have nabbed Wesley Snipes to play the movie role of the late great James Brown."

Well, Namibian tax evasions notwithstanding -- if you go in for that sort of thing(Averted Gaze) -- we are rather impressed with Snipes' ability to take a Tysonpunch(tm), back in the day when a "Tysonpunch(tm)" was worth a damn. (LizSmith)


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Media-Whores D'Oevres

It's all so incestuous: "SURVIVORS of the Cannes Film Festival report the best party of the star-studded, 12-day bacchanal so far was the bash Kid Rock threw on his yacht that featured a jam with Bono and James Blunt ..At the V.I.P. club on the Croisette, Petra Nemcova was spotted 'making out with Stavros Niarchos and dancing more sexily than the hired dancers.' Insiders say she’s trying to get revenge on ex-boyfriend Blunt, who supposedly had flings with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, women Stavros has also had the pleasure of knowing." (PageSix)

"BUSH administration officials, stung by complaints from Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that National Guard heavy equipment needed by tornado-stricken Greensburg, Kan., is in Iraq, are putting out word that she was two days late at the disaster scene because she was attending a jazz festival in New Orleans." (NYPost)

"Ms. Hilton, said Jamie Barton, 10, of Mobile, Ala.: 'spends all this time acting like everyone else doesn’t mean anything. It’s just me, me, me.' Said Diamond Martin, 12, of Parlin, N.J.: 'I don’t see her as a role model. I’m not sure what she’s really ever done, actually.'" (SundayStyles)

"The dervishes, distinguished by their green and red robes, eclectic prayer beads, charms and Rastafarian-style dreadlocks, represent a kinder, gentler picture of Sudanese society than the one world focuses on in the horrors of Darfur. While Sudan's Islamist government foments war there and disdainfully drags its heels over the implementation of a peace plan, the dervishes follow a mystical Sufi Muslim tradition that seeks harmony and 'oneness' with the universe. 'While the Islamists see only one right path, the Sufis see a house on the top of a hill, and understand that there are many different paths to reach the house,' says my host, Al-haj Warrag, a liberal Sudanese journalist whose white djellabiah sweeps behind him as we cross the dusty graveyard, approaching the mosque. 'There is nothing fanatical about them.'" (Time)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Obama, In The Hour of the Wolf

It is not inconceivable that we overestimate the formidable political powers of Senator John McCain -- he, of the "Gang of 14" -- or perhaps we underestimate the thus-far-flawless campaign of the ultra-charismatic Barack Obama -- the new JFK-- but we think, seriously, that this new phase in the "Methed-up" campaign cycle that has brought these two Titans toe-to-toe against each other could .. seriously .. damage .. someone. But who? From HuffPo:

"As we write this, a fresh, still-steaming smear has been dumped on Barack Obama over at The Drudge Report.

"A giant headline - almost as big as our computers' monitors - screams, 'MCCAIN AIDE: 'OBAMA WOULDN'T KNOW DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN RPG AND A BONG',' linking (as Drudge so often does) to a post at Politico.

"(Obama's spokesman replied, 'America doesn't need juvenile name-calling from Washington, we need a commitment to end this war and bring our brave troops home.'...)

So they're going to try out the old 'conservatives are strong on national security' nonsense narrative, even after pushing George Bush on the American public?" (HuffPo)
Media-Whore's D'oevres

(image via ica)

"'Persepolis,' the animated Cannes competition entry from France, has stirred awards talk here since the film's debut earlier this week. On Thursday, leading French actress Catherine Deneuve joined her daughter Chiara Mastroianni and the film's writer/directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud at the Carlton Beach restaurant on Thursday for a Sony Pictures Classics lunch. Deneuve, who voiced a character for the animated, French-language adaptation of Satrapi's succesful books, will also perform the role in English for an alternative version of the film." (Indiewire)

"The fate of NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly is once again up in the air—just months after the exec inked a new deal with the network. Despite one Internet report, reality mogul Ben Silverman is not expected to directly replace Reilly, according to two people familiar situation. Nonetheless, Silverman may be key to what's going on at the company right now. NBC U is in discussions with Silverman about buying his successful Reveille shingle, which produces skeins such as 'The Office,' 'Ugly Betty' and 'The Biggest Loser.' Peacock already has a stake in Reveille, but this deal could make it the outright owner. It might have competition: Barry Diller and Endemol USA have also been mentioned as potential bidders." (Variety)

Follow the particularly bitchy McCain-Obama feud this week. Highlights -- McCain: "While Senator Obama's two years in the U.S. Senate certainly entitle him to vote against funding our troops, my service and experience combined with conversations with military leaders on the ground in Iraq lead me to believe that we must give this new strategy a chance to succeed because the consequences of failure would be catastrophic to our nation's security."; Obama Spokesperson Bill Burton: "America doesn’t need juvenile name-calling from Washington, we need a commitment to end this war and bring our brave troops home." The bitchiest two alpha males in politics. (Politico)

"Surprise! A plurality of viewers in America watch American Idol, then lather, rinse, repeat. See the entire list of primetime ratings here ... Some slight oddities. Shark (No. 24) outranked 24 (No. 27), and LaToya Jackson's foray into law enforcement — axed after only four episodes — tied with Friday Night Lights (and four other shows) at No. 95." (Popwatch)

"Al Gore was interviewed by Charlie Rose last night at the 92nd Street Y. I stopped by. And so did about a thousand people in the audience, who gave Gore a standing ovation when he walked on stage, as well as an organized handful of enthusiasts who are actively trying to draft him into the presidential race. In a routine that's becoming as predictable as the melting polar ice caps, Gore made a statement leaving the door open for a possible presidential run without acknowledging any specific plans to do so." (Observer)

"NYSD: One of the unexpected things that I find with many of the people I interview for NYSD is a kind of detachment they frequently have, as if periodically viewing their own amazing lifestyles from afar.

"Plum Sykes: Oh yeah! That’s why I’m saying they’re very self-aware, and at the same time they’re very savvy. Because their life-slash-social life is their career. And all these girls, whom I rather admire, like Tory Burch and Tinsley Mortimer, have turned themselves into an industry, and that’s from having that detachment." (NewYorkSocialDiary)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mischa to Victoria: "We're Not Going To The Same Place"

(image via allposters)

Random acts of of carbolic wit at the expense of a fool are served cold when delivered in a British accent. It must have been mucho frosty when Mischa Barton threw down on conventionally beautiful but tragically stupid Victoria Silvstedt at Cannes. Mischa harsdhed on Victoria's duncy mellow. According to the 3AMGirls:

"IT was handbags at dawn at the Cannes Film Festival, when so-called pals Mischa Barton and model Victoria Silvstedt had a spectacular hissy-fit.

"Both blondes had been happily knocking back cocktails together at the exclusive De Grisogono party, at the Hotel du Cap's Eden Roc nightclub, on Tuesday night.

"But then Mischa, 21, got fed up with the former Playboy Playmate following her around everywhere and kept trying to shake her off. A star-studded crowd - including Naomi Campbell, Eva Mendes, David Furnish and Kid Rock - looked on stunned as Victoria, 32, yelled: 'Where the hell are you going now? Why do you keep walking away from me?'

"Mischa just spat back: 'We're not even going in the same direction. We're not going to the same place.'"

Harsh, but True. If their pasts are any indication of future behavior, Mischa is most likely headed straight to Showbiz Purgatory, namely: The C-List (tm); while Victoria, farther down the showbiz food chain, will end up being on the wrong end of an "I-did-not-have-relations-with-that-woman" from some mid-level band's bass player in the tabloids several days after the fact.

There's no business like show business .. (3AMGirls)
Media-Whore's D'Oevres

"... Ron Mwangagahunga of The Corsair blog thinks the photo agencies are taking the wrong approach. 'Couldn't they have settled for a highly visible link, which, in terms of personal advertising, might even be to their advantage professionally?' he told The Showbuzz. 'I believe that the daily blogs are the best friends of the paparazzi, whether by captioning their photos with snarky commentary or simply displaying them prominently across the blogosphere, thus enlarging their value to the weekly tabloids.

"'I just don't see why the automatic recourse is to the courts when, in many ways, celebrity bloggers and the paparazzi have enough in common that they could complement one another against the true and common enemy: the PR people who want to control the images of celebrities,' he added." (CBSShowbuzz)

"Artie (Lang) said that he probably will be leaving (The Howard Stern Show) in January. he said that he has to dry out and go hide in Europe or something. He said that this has nothing to do with the FOX deal or anything. He said he went to the doctor and he scared the shit out of him. HE said that he's totally burned out and needs to take a break. Howard asked him what was up with that and Artie said that he might go to rehab even though he's not abusing anything right now. He said that he's burnt out and needs a break. He might have to take 6 months off and just take a break from everything.

"Artie said that if he got his head straightened out, he thinks he could be happy working in a deli or something. Artie said that he's not really leaving the show, he's leaving show business. He said he feels like he's dying now." (Marksfriggin)

This was a strange day in Radio (Sun in Gemini?), fer realsies. First, FreeFM changed formats, then Artie Lang announces he leaves -- then: “'I have had a gun in my mouth 2 times in my life.' - Howard Stern, May 24th 2007" (SaveBabyGorilla)

"Julian Schnabel's 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) has been acquired by Miramax Films, in a deal for all North American rights to the Cannes '07 competition film. Adapted by Ronald Harwood, the film is the story of former editor-in-chief of Elle Magazine in France, Jean-Dominique Bauby. Mathieu Amalric portrays Bauby, who, after suffering a debilitating stroke, was forced compose his autobiography entirely by dictation through a series of blinks, grunts and movements. He died in France three days after the book was published. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Kilik, the film also stars Emmanuelle Seigner and Max Von Sydow. (Indiewire)

"This has been percolating for weeks ... another batch announcement from CBS Interactive to show movement on a key front with its new CBS Audience Network-- this time, social media in the form of embedding. CBS will allow clips to be used in a variety of ways. In exchange, as the release carefully points out, CBS gets promotional value “while learning about its audience.” Expanded deals to allow embedding have been signed with initial distribution partners AOL, Brightcove, Netvibes and Veoh." (Paidcontent)

"'I feel like an impostor tonight,' said Laurie Anderson, the guest of honor at The Kitchen's spring gala at the Puck Building on Wednesday. 'Every day I wake up wondering who am I to call myself an 'artist,' so it's a humbling honor to be celebrated like this." Among those doing the humbling were her main man, Lou Reed, as well as David Byrne, Lily Cole, Paz de la Huerta, and Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainwright. Guests got a chance to view some of Anderson's work on TV screens during cocktail hour, after which they were serenaded by Antony from Antony and the Johnsons, pianist Nico Muhly, and downtown rock quartet the Virgins. "I'm glad the party is still going," said Anderson, who turns 60 next month." (Style)

"All the Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate, save Joe Biden, are among the 14 Senators voting 'no' on the supplemental. And if you're really watching closely, Clinton votes 'no' after Obama votes 'no.' (BenSmith)

FreeFM's quixotic decision to replace the departing Howard Stern with David Lee "The Rothmare" Roth may go down as one of the stupidest maneuvers in the history of the media in the United States. CBS' dark overlord Les Moonves actually said that Joel Hollander didn't know how to pick a morning show.

The abysmal failure of David "Weave" Roth led to the firing of Hollander, who once, amazingly, suspended Howard Stern for a day. Once Hollander was gone, it was only a matter of time before the format itself went. It is much more profitable and hassle-free to do contemporary rock. The JV and Elvis episode (And, might I add, Imus) cemented it.

With an infinitude of choices, though, of interesting celebrities who might have leapt at the chance of reaching Howard's 12 million strong listener fan base and taking home a Stern-sized paycheck, the fact that they chose an aging rock star with attention deficit disorder is bewildering. We have always maintained that they should have chosen the always interesting Courtney Love. They didn't; now, the entire station format may be kaput. From NYDailyNews:

"Starting as early as today, 92.3 FM may no longer be the land of the Free.

"Several well-placed radio sources say CBS Radio is dropping the edgy 'hot talk' Free-FM format at WFNY (92.3 FM) and switching back to contemporary rock music.

"If this happens, it will mark the end of a brief and troubled life marked by low ratings, the embarrassing David Lee Roth morning show and most recently the removal of hosts JV and Elvis over a prank phone call.

"Defenders have noted that, perhaps ironically, the format was designed to be risky, open and controversial. They have also argued that it wasn't being given enough time or support.

"But CBS Radio President Dan Mason, who replaced Joel Hollander last month, may feel it's more trouble than it's worth. Tom Taylor, editor of, notes Mason has made it clear Free-FM isn't his favorite format."

We can't help but wonder why Sumner Redstone didn't back Stern against the FCC charges during the thick of things. Is there any merit to the frequent charges that Viacom -- Redstone, in particular -- throws his "talent" under the bus, no matter how important, as soon as they fall into bad odor? If he had, he would probably still have Stern, and a very profitable radio franchise.

The website for FreeFM is down, touting some sort of special announcement for 5pm. Looks like David Lee Roth was the ruin of FreeFM-- nee K-Rock's -- hot talk format. RIP, FreeFM(NYDailyNews)
Media-Whore's D'oevres

Yesterday's Lunch at Michael's: Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Lesley Stahl, Al Roker and Peggy Siegel ("who seemed bit miffed that reporters and an E! camera crew hovered near her table while waiting their turn to chat with White and the extremely popular Kim Cattrall.") (FishbowlNY)

Ted Danson is, apparently, some kind of freak. (Jossip)

"Those handsome 'Ocean's Thirteen' con artists - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle - scored a cool $9.2 million on the French Riviera Tuesday night. But nobody's calling the gendarmes ..Guests paid as much as $25,000 a ticket for the Audi-sponsored cruise. Steven Spielberg personally chipped in $1 million" (RushMolloy)

"Call him fat, call him a tubby genius—whatever—we love ourselves some Al Gore, and still hope against hope that he’s going to get on the treadmill of life and take Hillary out of the 2008 race (if Bill’s jolly John Thomas doesn’t take her out first!). Tonight, Mr. Gore pops up (boi-ingggg!) at the 92nd Street Y for a little chat with dark prince Charlie Rose about his new book, The Assault on Reason." (Observer)
Novak on Immigration

His Spaniel-like fidelity to repealing the Estate Tax make us think of him as a Cabernet sipping Beltway cad (The Corsair sips a Mas Daumas de Gassac "Millesime 2002"). Quite the contrary. But just when we thought we had our favorite Dickensian villain, Robert Novak pegged as a heartless, CIA operative-outing dastard, he goes and flips the script on us. As the ardent Supply-Sider retells the story of his immigrant father, his "Grinch-Heart" grew THREE SIZES THAT DAY!! From the NYPost:

"Many Republicans reach for an anti-immigration lifeline because of the party's plight. Burdened with an unpopular president and an unpopular war, the GOP cannot claim to be the party of limited government and controlled spending. But immigrant-bashing divides rather than unites Republicans as the South Carolina and Georgia conventions showed.

"In a recent closed-door meeting of the House's conservative Republican Study Committee, Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina raised the danger of resembling South Africa's National Party advocating apartheid.

"Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, while probing for the compromise's weak spots in Senate debate Tuesday, warned of 'cultural' change resulting from a flood of low- income immigrants. That recalls the 1911 report of the U.S. Immigration Commission (headed by an old-fashioned Republican conservative, Sen. William P. Dillingham of Vermont) asserting that the 'proportion of the more serious crimes of homicide, blackmail and robbery . . . is greater among the foreign born,' who also refuse to learn the English language.

"In reading part of Dillingham's report into the Senate record, Graham declared that these immigrants who were 'ruining America' fathered the 'greatest generation.' That immigrant wave included my grandfather, a Russian Imperial army veteran working on the John Deere tractor assembly line in Moline, Ill., as an unskilled, undocumented alien who could not speak English. Refuting Dillingham, he was an American patriot proud of a son who fought with the U.S. infantry through Africa and Italy in World War II."

That sounds ... almost ... liberal? We couldn't have said it better ourselves. (NYPost)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dr. Drew Versus Dr. Phil: Oh, It's On; It's On Like Gray Poupon!

That "Dr. Phil" is -- besides being a fatuous gasbag -- naught else but simple shit is conventional wisdom (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). But now a real Doctor, namely, CBS Radio's hard-working and lovable Dr. Drew Pinsky is calling Phil out on his Southwestern-styled horse puckey. According to the salmon-colored weekly:

"On Wednesday, May 16, over a thousand people, many of them scantily clad women, braved pouring rain to attend Maxim magazine’s eighth annual “Hot 100” party at the Hotel Gansevoort in the meatpacking district.

"Apparently, Lindsay Lohan, Rebecca Romijn and Avril Lavigne were all in the crowd—but somehow a babe-bleary Transom found itself homing in on Dr. Drew Pinsky, best known as Dr. Drew, co-host with Adam Carolla of the popular call-in show Love Line.

"'I’m kind of surprised by the amount of alcohol,' said the good doctor. 'I’m from L.A., so I’m not used to this. But that’s the first thing that jumps out at me—everybody’s loaded. Poor Lindsay just got out of treatment, didn’t she?'

"... On the way out, The Transom ran into Dr. Drew again, and accidentally called him Dr. Phil, causing visible irritation. 'He’s not a physician—he had a psychology degree but never really practiced,' Dr. Pinsky said, who was also considerably thinner and hipper-looking than Oprah’s mustachioed protégé, in black blazer and gray jeans. 'The term ‘doctor’ has been so abused lately! I didn’t live in a hospital for 10 years so that term could be bastardized.'"

Media-Whore's D'oevres

"Nicolas Cage bought a castle in Bavaria." He ought to have baught one in transylvania, cause "Ghost Rider" sucked. (CindyAdams)

"In an indication of how the shifting calendar is forcing the presidential candidates to rethink their strategies, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign considered — and rejected — a plan to stop competing in Iowa, the traditional kickoff state in the nominating process, and to concentrate instead on later states including the 20 that will vote on a single day in early February. The recommendation to pull out of Iowa was contained in a memo written by Mike Henry, Mrs. Clinton’s deputy campaign manager. He made a case that Iowa would consume too much time and money that could be better invested elsewhere." (NYTimes; The Memo)

"Of the many afternoon and evening beach parties that fill festivalgoers' schedules in Cannes, the annual Fortissimo Films bash (usually held at the Majestic Beach near the Palais) always draws a high-profile mix of folks ... Also spotted at the Fortissimo bash on the beach were Robert Rodriguez with Rose Macgowan (in town with Tarantino's 'Death Proof'), Jim Jarmusch, and Cannes festival opening night director, Wong Kar Wai. Harvey Weinstein also made an appearance, but didn't stay long. The mogul swiftly made his way through the bash to the dock, chatted up Jarmusch and quickly stepped onto a small tender boat that presumably whisked him away to a yacht." (IndieWire)

"Speaking in New York Wednesday morning, Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore dismissed talks of a spin-off or sale; complained that the division was undervalued; once again offered up SI as a poster child (maybe we should say swimsuit model) for digital success; and suggested everyone needs to 'stay calm.'" (Paidcontent)

"Natalie Portman is dating Andy Samberg, the 'Saturday Night Live' star who has been linked with Kirsten Dunst, reports Us" (MSNBC via Radar)

"This is more like 'About Many Nights Last Week...' PAPER's incorrigible Carlo McCormick and (Carol Lee) had a raunchy date last Tuesday at Headquarters strip club where they were having a book signing party for Filthy, Funny and Totally Offensive. A few cocktails, an egg roll, a lap dance and an awkward encounter with a co-worker later, we headed down to -- you guessed it -- Max Fish where I ran into more people including my friends Simon and Sophie. They were both wearing fun sunglasses (pictured above). Then I cruised on over to see Jennifer Herrema's band RTX at Club Midway where I ran into an old friend Jess Holzworth who's been holed up on Sonoran Desert out in Arizona for the past few years." (Papermag)

"Another beautiful sunny day in May in New York. Lunch with Liz Smith talking about the internet where Broadway and Hollywood’s premiere columnist is heading in the autumn. We’ll be able to read the lady all over the world. Finally." (NYSD)
Media-Whores D'oevres

The Corsair just saw Ivanka Trump in a navy blue business suit walking down 58th and 5th in NYC. Hate to say it, but she is fucking gorgeous. All goddam legs. Damn you, Trump.

Bud Bundy is busted; is too. (Paidcontent)

Is Nicole Ritchie back in Rehab? (TMZ)

"Golden-haired gambling heir Luke Weil, best known for his unflattering appearance in Jamie Johnson’s documentary Born Rich, has been missing from the nightlife scene since late last year. 'I heard he was in a spa,' said the artist Alexandre Charriol, son of luxury watchmaker Philippe Charriol. It turns out Mr. Weil has been holed up in Tribeca—at the detention center at 125 White Street, according to a spokesman for the New York Corrections Department. 'He’s been telling all his friends he’s in rehab,' said another source in Mr. Weil’s social circle. 'He’s really been in jail.'" (Observer)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On The GOP and the Latino Vote

Hyper-intelligent political strategist and Triangulator Dick Morris today veers mightily from his usual bloggins that feed his Obsessive-Compulsive Clinton Disorder to tackle -- ehr, no pun intended -- the Immigration Bill. Morris is insightful, of course, once he breaks the repetetive chains of his Clintonian compulsions and fixes a level gaze at other issues confronting our Democracy turned Empire. Says Morris in TheHill:

"The Republican Party can decide whether it lives or dies by whether or not it blocks the immigration compromise from passing this year. If the GOP prevents it from going through and a Democratic president pushes it through a Democratic Congress in 2009, the GOP will suffer as much among Hispanic voters as it did among black voters after Barry Goldwater crusaded agianst the Civil Rights Bill in his 1964 election campaign. Until Goldwater did that, blacks usually voted Republican. Kennedy won over about 60 percent of them when he called Coretta Scott King while her husband was in jail. But LBJ got the 90 percent of the black vote that has since become his party’s expected share as a direct result of Goldwater’s campaign."

And one wonders what a ticket with, say, Bill Richardson on the ticket -- as, say, Veep for Gore, running on "Competence" -- might do to reverse the Karl Rove gains on the Latino vote. (TheHill)