Friday, November 30, 2007

The Luther Vandross Auction

The Corsair would like to take this late opportunity thank Luther Vandross for getting us laid on several occasions in our misspent youth (And special kudos to Boone's Farm wine). Something tells us that we are not alone in getting laid with the aid of "Luther (Or, Boone's Farm)." His death at such an early age was a particularly crushing loss to African-Americans of a certain generation growing up. And, less often mentioned, Vandross was an antidote to anti-gay bigotry; everyone knew about Luther, but no one said anything -- Luther was just Luthor.

This auction, we cannot fail to note, is being vastly underestimated by the press. It will almost certainly be regarded as a social event of great import (Who wouldn't want a Picasso charcoal from Luther's collection, hello?!). From the AP:

"From a Picasso charcoal drawing to diamond watches, mink coats and crystal vases, Luther Vandross lived large.

"Fans of the legendary singer, who died in 2005 at 54, will have a chance to bid on more than 1,000 items that offer a glimpse into his superstar existence.

"On Dec. 5-6, his estate will auction just about everything: his handwritten lyrics to 'Love Forgot'; the army green thermoses from which he sipped hot tea during his concerts; designer loafers and boots; Lalique crystal vases, glasses and doorknobs.

"The items come from his former homes in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Greenwich, Conn.; and New York City; and from his tours."
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"PAUL McCartney can't buy love, but he can buy lots of fancy lingerie and pricey perfume. The aging ex-Beatle has gifted both Nancy Shevell and his newest flame, Rosanna Arquette, with a bottle of a fragrance he enjoys and a few lacy underthings. 'He has a ritual. He buys the same thing. He's been buying a bottle of perfume and lingerie for so long, it's predictable,' said our insider. 'He gives it to them even before they get dinner. He's done it with everyone he's been with.'" (NYPost)

"JUSTIN Timberlake bought his cur rent and probably temporary love Jessica Biel a surfboard. Nice, right? But, then, he'd also previously bought his previous and definitely temporary love Cameron Diaz a surfboard." (CindyAdams)

"Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSM—al-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: 'You are a friend of his, are you not?'" (WayneBarrett/VV)

"Congressional Democrats are reporting a striking change in districts across the country: Voters are shifting their attention away from the Iraq war. Rep. Jim Cooper, a moderate Democrat from Tennessee, said not a single constituent has asked about the war during his nearly two-week long Thanksgiving recess. Rep. Michael E. Capuano, an anti-war Democrat from Massachusetts, said only three of 64 callers on a town hall teleconference asked about Iraq, a reflection that the war may be losing power as a hot-button issue in his strongly Democratic district." (Politico)

"Alice (Dellal) was running around with the scrumptious Pierre Casiraghi and now she seems to be snuggling up to James Jagger (son of Mick & Jerry!), an actor who made his debut on stage this year in London and has the film Gangster Kittens coming out this year. Alice is all of 19 and the daughter of an English Mr. Moneybags and a Brazilian former model." (Mr.Mickey)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On The YouTube/Republican Debate

Did you catch the YouTube/Republican debate last night? How ugly was it all filled with crypto-bigotry with regards to illegal Mexican immigration. No mention of education or health care ... just disgusting blasts against illegal immigrants. As if Mexican busboys in our finer restaurants were global-level threats as dangerous as Ahmadinejad or Al Quaeda North Africa. Nice way to win the soccer mom vote, fuckheads.

Anderson "Dying Apollo" Cooper was moderating. Our favorite moment was when he sandbagged Rudy Giuliani with the Politico report of his misconduct with NYC finances and his tryst-trips.

Giuliani is really a loathsome political entity, entirely unqualified to become President. If the Republican Party woke up from it's collective miasma it would realize that a former urban Mayor with an unconcealed contempt for African-Americans does not the leader of the free world make. Other observations:

--Will someone fetch a mortician? Molasses-mouthed Fred Thompson's corpse is starting to stink up the world stage.

--What the fu-u-ck was Mitt Romney thinking about when he attacked John McCain on the subject of torture? One of the greatest weaknesses of hyperaggressive businessmen is their inability to concede that someone in the fucking world has greater knowledge than they do. And they make asses of themselves.

-Can McCain pull out New Hampshire one last time? His strategy of taking on the surging Ron Paul last night seems risky. If he antagonizes Paulites too much -- and they are a frisky, persnickety bunch -- he risks not getting their NH votes. Also: McCain's odd embrace-attack of George Bush, what's up with that. Clearly McCain wants to draw a distinction between himself and Bush but it comes across as being ... vague, especially compared to Ron Paul, the new "maverick," who easily lets drop incendiary words like "empire."

--This Ron Paul momentum. Paul's surging libertarian popularity suggests that Libertarian Republicans have had enough with the neocon crowd. Can Ron Paul win NH? Possibly. It will be either him or John McCain. Even if he wins, though, he will not get the nomination. He is too ... fringe. Now is not the Libertarian moment. Yet. Gen X, the friendliest generation to the libertarian philosophy (all that Ayn Rand in private moments in high school), is still aging.

--Will someone get Duncan "Kucinich" Hunter the fuck off the Republican debate stage? Please?
Introducing: The Savages

The Corsair cannot wait to see The Savages, because both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are in our top 10 favorite actors. Either Hoffman or Linney in a movie is enough to make it a noteworthy detour. From Papermag:

"Opening this week is The Savages, the corrosively funny dark comedy about a brother, Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and sister, Wendy (Laura Linney), dealing with their estranged ailing father (Philip Bosco) whom they have to put in a nursing home when he begins to exhibit signs of dementia. Despite the bleak subject matter, director Tamara Jenkins has fashioned a keenly observed, amusing portrait of two self-absorbed souls who work in the arts -- Jon’s a professor working on a book about Brecht, Wendy’s an aspiring playwright. But their personal lives are in shambles. As they deal with their dad, it becomes quite apparent they are also dealing with the psychological damage this man has inflicted on their present lives.

"Hoffman and Linney are just sensational ..."

Laura Linney plus Philip Seymour Hoffman equals cinematic brilliance.
Media Whore D'Oevres

"Maverick Republican senator Chuck Hagel raised his criticisms of the Bush White House to a new level in New York yesterday, holding open the possibility that he could serve in a future Democratic administration or even run on a presidential ticket headed by a Democrat. Mr. Hagel, who has become increasingly estranged from his party over the Iraq war, said that he would give the current administration 'the lowest grade' in 'almost every area.' He added: 'I have to say that this is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I’ve ever seen.'" (Observer)

"Each piece of clothing from Billionaire Boys Club, the streetwear outfit owned by mega-producer Pharrell Williams and Japanese designer Nigo bears the tagline 'Wealth is of the heart and mind, not the pocket.' ... The after-party resembled something out of a hip-hop video. Snoop Dogg and his posse chain-smoked blunts on the balcony, while Jermaine Dupri, who would have difficulty passing the height requirements of most amusement park roller coasters, danced with a number of women of loose moral fiber." (Radar)

"Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have been best friends – and occasionally the best of enemies – for years. Now that Richie is pregnant, Hilton says she's hoping their offspring will be second-generation BFFs. 'Nicole and I have been playing together since we were two years old,' she told PEOPLE at the Nissan Live Sets One Year Anniversary Party. 'I was just telling her, 'I want a baby so that our babies can play together.'" (People)

"Calvin Klein gave new meaning to the term 'foot traffic' Wednesday night when it set the Bowery ablaze with its sponsored-First Look bash, a grand opening celebration heralding the debut of the New Museum ...While Lance Armstrong (who quietly avoided rumored flame Ashley Olsen), Pharrell Williams, Piper Perabo, Sean Avery, Martha Stewart, Helen Schifter (who capped her Chanel dress and L.A.M.B. bag with a artsy Proenza Schouler cloche), and Margherita Missoni, who eschewed her familial zigzag prints for a sleek white Calvin Klein dress she accessorized with a beaded African belt she picked up in Kenya, opted to stay out of the lounge (which at one point had ushers refusing entry to guests due to overcrowding), others camped out on cushions in the basement to listen to live 15 minute interval performances by Raven O of The Box fame ... Back up in the lounge, co-hosts Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal compared notes. 'It's all very transgressive,' said Moore, before quipping, 'but this is not fashion lighting.'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"The evening at this club where Tina Brown was speaking raised money for the cause through the sale of tickets. And they got a pretty good crowd. I’d say about 250. I was asked to introduce her for reasons that are unclear to me. I do know Ms. Brown, although not well. I’ve followed her career since she first started getting attention in the media. She is famous in certain circles, namely the ones that are the most famous, where fame resides by the bushel – the media, the world of entertainment, politics and publishing." (NYSD)

"U.S. oil surged more than $4 a barrel early Thursday before easing back later as Midwest refiners scrambled to find alternate supplies on concerns about a prolonged crimp in Canadian crude flows ... Enbridge Inc said it expects to quickly restart its huge pipeline system following a deadly blast in Minnesota that killed two workers and briefly choked off 10 percent of oil imports to the world's top consumer." (NYTimes)

"Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on 'She used the PD as her personal taxi service,' said one former city official who worked for Giuliani. New York papers reported in 2000 that the city had provided a security detail for Nathan, who became Giuliani's third wife after his divorce from Donna Hanover, who also had her own police security detail at the same time. The former city officials said Giuliani expanded the budget for his security detail at the time. reported yesterday that many of the security expenses were initially billed to obscure city agencies, effectively hiding them from oversight." (ABCNews)

" In the publishing world, it's not Black Friday or the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting that officially kicks off the holiday season, but rather Condé Nast Chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr.'s annual bash at the Four Seasons Restaurant for his top editors, publishers and executives ... Anna Wintour, the Vogue editrix, was smiling this year without her trademark sunglasses as she left the restaurant ..." (NYPost)
Do Harvard, Princeton, Yale and The NYT Love Elliot Spitzer?

Pity preppy Governor Elliot Spitzer, who won his seat by a whopping 69 percent on a mandate of spanking the fuck out of the all-boys club in Albany. *sigh* Buoyed by those historic numbers he, like our thumoeideutic President, went it alone. Without allies he attempted to strong arm the mandarins and found out that the the cigar smoke-filled corridors and the culture of Albany is even more thuggish and leathery than he imagined.

That, and his immigration-drivers licence proposal was deftly turned against him by talk radio and the editorial pages. They beat Spitzer like a red-headed stepchild. From a Vanity Fair:

"'[Spitzer] wants to do a good job,' says Hank Sheinkopf, a New York political consultant who worked on Spitzer’s first two campaigns. 'But ultimately what he really gives a shit about is whether Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and The New York Times love him, because, in the back of his brain, if they don’t love him, he’s nobody.'"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Media Whore-D'Oevres

"I just got a copy of Rayo Casablanca's new novel 6 Sick Hipsters, out in April, that follows a group of hipsters dubbed 'Williamsburg's reigning elite.' According the press release, 'Collectively, they're the arbiters of taste for every vinyl-loving Gap-spurning, thrift store regular in town, but lately someone has been laying waste to Brooklyn's uber-hipsters, dispatching them in gruesome fashion.' It continues... 'Before the week is over, they'll be up to their skinny-jean waists in mayhem, manipulataion, contract killers, raw sewage, and murderous monkeys. Something is rotten in the state of Billyburg, and the last hipsters standing will discover just how rotten it really is.' We did a quick skim-through, and spotted references to Barcade, a WWJJD (What Would Joan Jett Do?) T-shirt and a hat with the words 'sick hipster' embroidered on it. I say, kill 'em all!" (Papermag)
Scenes From The Writer's Strike

From Washington Square Park (Yesterday's writers strike solidarity rally):

(images via wgaeast)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Independent Spirit Award Nominations

This year was a particularly good year for independent film. Could this be a foreshadowing of what is deemed Oscarworthy? Clearly, on the Indie-side, Todd Haynes is the darling. Will he -- and, more importantly: Cate Blanchett's best supporting-Oscar-worthy Dylan -- be remembered come the Oscars? From Variety:

"'I’m Not There' squeaked ahead of the pack for this year’s Spirit Award kudos with four nominations plus receiving the inaugural Robert Altman award.
Also receiving four nominations each (including best feature and director) are 'Juno,' 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' and 'The Savages.'

"Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff announced the nominations Tuesday morning at the Sofitel Hotel in West Hollywood. The lighthearted duo set the tone for the day, with darker fare such as 'A Mighty Heart' and 'Lust Caution' earning three nominations each. 'Rocket Science' also landed three nods."

Also nominated (and particularly noteworthy): :2 Days in Paris' - Director: Julie Delpy (For "First Feature"); Julian Schnabel ("Director") - "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"' Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Male Lead")- "The Savages"; Don Cheadle ("Male Lead")- "Talk To Me"; Sienna Miller - ("Female Lead") "Interview", Jennifer Jason Leigh - ("Supporting Female") "Margot at the Wedding", Marisa Tomei - ("Supporting Female") "Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead"; Adrienne Shelly - ("Screenplay") "Waitress", Kelly Masterson - ("First Screenplay") "Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead"; Crazy Love" - ("Documantary") Director: Dan Klores.

Some amazing performances and films.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Ted Kennedy sold his memoir to Grand Central Publishing for $8 million, but the deal first has to be cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee. Something tells us the chapter on Chappaquiddick won't be too long." (NYMag/ NYTimes)

"Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are tied in Iowa; Mitt Romney, at 26 percent, barely leads Huckabee, who has 24 percent of the vote." [Observer/ Strategic Vision]

"My eyes were a-poppin' at the Radio City Christmas show, which is 90 minutes of hedonistic glitz followed by the serene birth of Jesus. Shouldn't it be the other way around? No way—this show's got it right, from Santa's 3-D sleigh ride through the landmarks of New York (you know, like a North Fork Bank billboard) to the eye-popping Rockettes numbers (a candy-cane dance-off, with whistles blowing) to the myrrh-laden emergence of the Christ child, complete with talented sheep. Yes, there was one gayish dwarf who was overacting a bit, but as Santa himself said, 'What would Christmas be without a little holiday ham?'" (Musto)
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"In recent years, King Juan Carlos I of Spain has emerged as a respected arbitrator of diplomatic disputes in Latin America. It was therefore entirely out of character when, during the Ibero-American summit on 10 November, he jabbed a finger at Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, invited him to 'shut up' and stormed out of the debating chamber. The king's outburst was matched for shock value by the response of his Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Irritated by Chávez' repeated references to the conservative former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar as a 'fascist', the socialist Zapatero asked Chávez to show more respect. In the space of two minutes, Chávez had managed not only to enrage a taciturn constitutional monarch but also to temporarily reconcile two of the most strident adversaries in European politics." (janes)

"WHICH paranoid billionaire always travels with heavy security and doesn't like any employees with him on the elevator - but also doesn't want to be seen as racist, so black staffers are allowed to share the lift?" (PageSix)

"Which singing heartthrob currently tied to an actress is really single and living out his sex fetish dreams with different girls all over the country?" (Gatecrasher)

"Which A-list pop star snaps her fingers angrily when clubgoers spill drinks on her, causing her burly bodyguard to immediately run for napkins? She doesn't even bother to thank him when he hands them to her." (RushandMolloy)

"Johnny Depp has given girlfriend long-term Vanessa Paradis a vineyard to say well done for finishing recording her new album. He bought her the plot in Provence close to the villa in France that the couple live in with their two children, Lily-Rose, eight, and Jack, five." (3AMGirls)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"With the Iowa caucuses a little more than a month away, Sen. Barack Obama has been turning up the heat, going on the offensive and making sure Iowa voters know how he differs from his main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. His most poignant efforts at distinguishing himself from Sen. Hillary Clinton have been on the topic of experience. In one of Clinton's most aggressive jabs yet, she made a comment last week implying that Obama's foreign policy experience was limited to the four years he spent living in Indonesia as a child. Obama countered, downplaying the New York senator's much touted experience as first lady, equating her role in the White House as similar to that of any politician's spouse. 'There is no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with Michelle, if there were issues," the Illinois senator told 'Nightline' co-anchor Terry Moran. 'On the other hand, I don't think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a U.S. senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work I've done,' he said." (Nightline)

"There's been a sharp shift in the campaign, as Hillary -- who ignored her opponents sniping for weeks -- is now hitting Obama with the same directness that Edwards has been hitting her. The campaign sent out a release just now headlined, 'Clinton Campaign Responds To New Revelations About Obama Campaign Finance Practices,' and referring to a Washington Post story today that reports that Obama has been using his own PAC to spread money around in the early states. The Post reports that it's a practice that's probably against the rules, but not uncommon (Biden appears to have done the same on a much smaller scale) and rarely enforced (like everything else) by the FEC. Still, it's on a pretty large scale, and muddies up Obama's image as a reformer, which he's buffed with technical campaign finance legislation." (Politico)

"Which supposedly sober country queen seems to have tumbled off the wagon? The much-liked Southern singer had to be helped from the stage to her dressing room after a recent live appearance." (Gatecrasher)

"WHICH Latina pop star's boyfriend is said to have quickly approached a photo agency to buy up all the pictures of himself with an African-American hottie snapped at Tenjune?" (PageSix)

"... In Annapolis, for example, the Bush Administration is attempting to display its power by convening Israel and the Palestinians with the support of the Arab League, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Teheran-Damascus axis proves its strength in other arenas: The destabilized Lebanon, the burning Iraq, and unstable Gaza Strip. Time and again, Iran proves the strength of its grip in the 'Shiite crescent,' from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon, all the way to the Palestinian territories. Syria fully admits to it." (Ynetnews)

"An Islamist Web site often used by al Qaeda says Osama bin Laden will address Europe in a new audiotape to be released soon. A banner headline on the site says the 'Lion Imman who defeated the American tyrants' will address the European people. Bin Laden and his followers have repeatedly threatened massive attacks on European cities although none have been carried out." (BrianRossReports)
Trent Lott to Quit Senate

How odd that Senator Trent Lott, who seemed poised to reclaim the Minority Leadership (someday soon), is resigning. His excuse is he wants to pursue other avenues (read: make more money). Hurricane Katrina, you'll remember, totalled his house.

Lott famously was bounced as Senate Majority Leader by Bush for making a racially insensitive joke (that ultimately revealed a racially insensitive past), but has since worked quite hard to make it up to African-American constituents in Mississippi. From the salmon-colored weekly:

"Trent Lott's abrupt decision to resign from the Senate is baffling, but -- unlike some of the other G.O.P. retirement announcements this year -- it won't offer Democrats a chance to bolster their majority.

"His maneuver actually maximizes the odds, which are strong in the first place, of his party holding onto the seat. By quitting now, Lott allows Haley Barbour, Mississippi's Republican Governor and the former G.O.P. national chairman, to choose an interim successor -- presumably Chip Pickering, a 44-year-old congressman who has eyed Lott's seat for years and who earlier this year declined to seek a seventh term in 2008 (presumably figuring Lott would be sticking around for a while).''

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Did United Artists Shelve "Pinkville" Because of ''Lions For Lambs''' Stinkville?

It is hard to imagine Robert "Mr.Sundance" Redford actually concocting a stinky fucking movie. He embodies art house film and rib-busting cinematic integrity. But that's precisely what he did in the shitty and preachy Iraqi war film "Lions for Lambs."

Maybe he's peaked? The Corsair's favorite filmmaker Ingmar Bergman quit making films when he felt he had nothing more to say ("Fanny Ohs Alexander" was the summation) and went in for the theater and novels. Wouldn't it be cool if Redford ran for the Senate -- as he has always hinted at -- in the state of Utah? From the NYTimes:

"Of course, not every movie that has been delayed supposedly because of the writers’ strike necessarily was a casualty of the strike. 'Pinkville,' the Oliver Stone project about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, was supposed to have begun filming in Thailand in early December, and United Artists announced last weekend that it had pulled the project because of problems with the script.

"But while Bruce Willis, who had been set to star, did take issue with the script, people briefed on the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid angering the powerful industry players involved, said that the reason a replacement was not quickly found was that United Artists, badly burned on Robert Redford’s 'Lions for Lambs,' was loath to set in motion another costly war movie even as it awaits 'Valkyrie,' starring Tom Cruise as a World War II German colonel, next summer.

"Dennis Rice, United Artists’ president of marketing and publicity, said there was 'zero connection' between the decision on 'Pinkville' and the box office results of 'Lions for Lambs.' A spokesman for Mr. Willis declined to comment."

Perhaps the hyper-political Robert Redford should stop fucking preaching about the war and do something ... like run for the Senate.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"I am SO SO UPSET to hear that JONES apparel will be shutting down the ANNE KLEIN label designed by one of America's best designers Isabel Toledo. What a fucking drag that they did not even give Isabel a chance. I'll try to figure out (as I am sure Isabel is sitting there trying to do) what the lesson is in all this, but it's such a shock to me. BUMMER. BIGTIME." (Kim Hastreiter/Papermag)

"Obama has begun to embrace positions that a generation of Democrats have been advised to avoid. The political 'textbook' calls for a relatively inexperienced first-term senator to run hawkishly. Obama, whom Clinton criticized when he said that he would negotiate directly and without preconditions with America’s adversaries, now makes it a point to mention that he would sit down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s President. On the question of torture, which Obama unequivocally opposes, the political temptation is to signal a willingness to show no mercy to our worst enemies, in much the way that Governor Bill Clinton, in his first campaign for President, returned to Arkansas for the execution of Rickey Ray Rector, a mentally disabled death-row inmate. On the increasingly perilous subject of illegal immigration, Obama favors issuing state driver’s licenses to undocumented workers, and tells voters, 'We are not going to send twelve million people back home.' When discussing his energy plan, Obama says, 'You can’t deal with global warming without, at least, on the front end, initially, seeing probably some spike in electricity prices,' and on Social Security he proposes what is, in effect, a large tax hike. These issues all have one thing in common: Hillary Clinton’s positions are artfully vague—aimed at surviving the general election—while Obama insists that it is more important to be forthcoming." (NewYorker)

"Johnny Borrell is secretly dating Camilla Al Fayed, we can reveal. The Razorlight singer has been out a handful of times with Camilla, 22, the daughter of Harrods owner Mohammed. A source close to the couple told us: 'It's early days but they're very keen on each other.'" (3AMGirls)

"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been receiving foreign policy briefing sessions on a wide variety of topics, providing the strongest indication yet that he is considering a run for the White House, the Huffington Post has learned. The sessions, which were confirmed by multiple sources, have been conducted with Nancy Soderberg, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a Clinton Administration foreign policy adviser. One source described her as 'Bloomberg's Condi.'" (HuffPo)

"Can Hillary turn it around? She will increase her advertising and personal campaigning in Iowa, but so will her rivals now that they smell blood. The poll’s field dates were Nov. 14-18. The last national debate, in which Hillary had something of a comeback, was on Nov. 15, right in the middle of the sampling. It is possible that her stronger performance might tip some more votes her way, and she does have one more debate before the voting. But consultant David Garth once said that the hardest thing to do in politics is change direction, and Obama’s and Edwards’s upward momentum, as well as Hillary’s slide, have gone on for three weeks now. If Hillary loses Iowa, she will not be knocked out of the race. You can’t knock a long-term front-runner out with one punch. John Kerry did knock out Howard Dea n in Iowa, but the Vermont governor was a recent front-runner with limited national recognition and a limited funding base. The more likely model is Reagan versus Ford in 1976, Bush versus McCain in 2000, Mondale versus Hart in 1984 or even Bill Clinton versus Tsongas in 1992. In these cases, you have to beat a front-runner state by state. A one-punch or one-state win doesn’t spell the end of the race, only its beginning. (And remember, in all four examples, the front-runner came from behind to win.) Hillary is strong in New Hampshire." (TheHill)

"Studios hire (Peggy Siegal) to attract Gotham glitterati and literati to screenings, cocktails and dinner parties. She's a one-woman marketing department, the queen of New York buzz, especially for small, serious films that need it most. She's been at it for three decades, but this year, there are subtle changes. Despite her hyper-sniper reputation, this is a kinder, gentler Siegal, who gives much credit for the change to her soft-spoken business partner of two years, Bryan Bantry, a Gotham entrepreneur and sometime Broadway producer who runs a thriving agency repping models, photographers, hair and makeup artists, and stylists." (Variety)

"The Nigerian government has said it will not allow the US to establish its African Command (AFRICOM) in the country, or in the wider West African region, directly opposing the opinion of senior Nigerian military officials. AFRICOM formally came into being on 1 October. However, following a meeting in Abuja on 19 November, the country's highest presidential advisory committee, the National Council of State, declared its disapproval of the command." (Janes)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Spike Jonze's portrait of 1999-era Al Gore, Alexander Payne's student film, and a four-minute piece directed by Steven Soderbergh simply titled 'Building No. 7,' these are just a few of the shorts to be found on Wholphin, a DVD series created by Brent Hoff and Dave Eggers of McSweeney's. With the fifth issue scheduled to be released in January 2008, Wholphin programmers are holding the first ever Los Angeles live screening on November 27, 2007. In addition to reviving Chris Waitt's "Heavy Metal Jr." from Issue No. 4 and previewing shorts off the upcoming Issue No. 5, the event promises to be a grand celebration of the McSweeney's imprint named after the offspring of a whale and a dolphin." (Indiewire)

"Mitt Romney may have just gotten an early Thanksgiving present.
In a 4-3 decision, the Michigan Supreme Court today struck down a lower court ruling and paved the way for a GOP primary in the state on Jan. 15.'[It's] good for the state, good for the process and good for the party,' Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis said in an e-mail. 'We still hope the Democrats pass the 'fix' legislation and put all the Democrats on the ballot. State Democrats are split over whether they'll hold a convention or a primary." (pOLITICO)

"He's one of the most feared men in the world - and fiercely proud of his normally knock-out dress sense. So it would have taken a brave man to comment on macho Mike Tyson's bizarre attire yesterday. The ex-heavyweight boxing champ looked less than chuffed as he headed off to jail - in pink socks and matching pink handcuffs.It turns out grumpy Tyson, 41, was even forced to wear regulation pink prison underpants for his one day sentence behind bars.
Oprah to Campaign for Obama

Expect the Hillary-Obama rhetoric to get even more poisonous in the final stretch leading to Iowa. From ChicagoSunTimes:

"Oprah Winfrey is poised to campaign for White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Obama made the disclosure while working a crowd at Central High School here, after delivering an education policy speech. A man, Ralph Hoagland, asked Obama—who was mingling and shaking hands-- if Oprah was going to stump for Obama in New Hampshire.

"'First she’s coming to Iowa,' Obama told Hoagland, who in 1963 was a co-founder of what is now the giant CVS pharmacy chain. 'But we’ll talk about it. We’ll get her up here.'

"A woman piped up. 'We need her here.'

"'Is she thinking of not coming up to New Hampshire?' Hoagland asked?

"Obama replied, 'No, no no. We’re just doing it one state at a time.'"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Andre Leon Talley "Mentors" Venus Williams

(image via fashionweekdaily)

When Mariah needed guidance ... who you gonna call? Andre-Leon Talley! Enter: Venus Williams. From Style:

"Venus Williams might have ended her tennis season prematurely due to a 'dizziness' condition, but she sure didn’t feel it here in New York thanks to the mentorship of André Leon Talley. Vogue’s imperial sugar daddy dressed Venus for 7th on Sale and taught her the fine art of luxurious bargaining. 'This is not a familiar position for me to be in. I’m kind of shocked right now,' the current Wimbledon champion confessed to Chic Report. 'I feel like I’ve been mentored already, just having gone through this process!'"
Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead!

From The Guardian:

"Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian prime minister who unilaterally declared independence from British rule, has died aged 88.

"Smith ruled the country for 15 years from 1964 to 1979, in an ultimately futile effort to prolong white minority rule. During that turbulent time he fought a guerilla war against fighters from the majority black population."

The Corsair does a little happydance on Iam Smith's grave.
GQ Men of the Year

Dick Morris in ...Kenya?

Dick Morris is the man who fucked up a career as the nation's top political strategist because he felt the need to impress a hooker with a heart of tin. That, and he is unhinged when it comes to the Clinton fam (Bill did give him a slapdown). He's taking on some international freelance work. in Kenya. From

"Political consultant Dick Morris, who rose to prominence as a key adviser for President Bill Clinton and then fell from grace after a scandal involving a prostitute, has surfaced as a political consultant in an unlikely place -- Kenya.

"Leading presidential candidate Raila Odinga has brought Morris on as a consultant to help him beat incumbent President Mwai Kibaki in next month's elections. Last week Morris arrived in Kenya on a tourist visa and held a press conference saying he believed Odinga was poised to win the election.

"'I think the reason is he has a clear reputation for courage and for integrity and for change,' Morris said. 'I am delighted to be here in Kenya and to help you get rid of the corrupt government.'"

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"You can subtract Catherine Zeta-Jones from 'Nine.' The strong-willed actress won't be in the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical - allegedly because director Rob Marshall wouldn't give in to her demand to beef up her role." (RushMolloy)

"Speaking of murder, an informal panel of publishers, editors and public relations pawns voted recently on who the most impossible persons are in show business. This probably won't be printed anywhere but here, as these pros all have to stay in business. But Numero Uno, at the top of the list, is the rather newish star Vince Vaughn, he of the current 'Fred Claus.' (This so-called comedy is about as funny as a lump of coal in one's stocking.) Insiders call the guy who emerged triumphant from 'Wedding Crashers' and from a failed romance with Jennifer Aniston 'the most egotistical, the most difficult, the kind of person who calls at 3 a.m. to demand different things.'" (LizSmith)

"With the growing possibility that Romney and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will finish one and two in Iowa, Giuliani could benefit from a split among Evangelical Conservatives between the two in New Hampshire. Such a strategy requires Giuliani to finish a close third in Iowa and a Romney / Huckabee split to win New Hampshire in a multi-candidate field. New Hampshire has a moderate Republican tradition and a large number of Catholics, both potential booms to Giuliani. The Mayor could then finish in the top two in South Carolina but win Florida and surge into February's contests with a head of steam and clinch the nomination there. Given Romney's extensive use of television advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire where he has essentially been running in the clear, it's actually surprising that his lead in both states is not greater. It is important to recognize the ephemeral nature of his poll numbers which can shift dramatically after the first contest and when other candidates begin their television advertising." (StoneZone)

"Thursday night is Obama Time at the Apollo, as the Democratic presidential contender plans to make a highly anticipated visit to legendary Harlem theater in the heart of Clinton Country on 125th Street. The grassroots organizations, Harlem4Obama and Generation Obama, will host the U.S. Senator from Illinois for a $50-per-person fundraiser at the world famous Apollo Theater, which seats just under 1,500." (VV)
Jean-Claude Van Dam Is Not An Ass

uhm, okay, so maybe he is ...

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Hampshire: John McCain's Last Stand

On Meet The Press' 60th Anniversary show political superheavyweight Chuck Todd expressed his skepticism about Senator John McCain's last stand approach in New Hampshire. Pulling out of Iowa -- where McCain might not inconceiveably finish in the top 3 -- was a mistake, according to Todd. As a result, McCain is putting everything into New Hampshire, where he has histrically had a lot of love (In 2000 he beat the frontrunner then-Governor George Bush), but may just be beaten back.

But McCain's NH gamble depends almost entirely upon the failure of Senator Barack Obama in Iowa. New Hampshire, which actually has more independents than Republicans or Democrats, is an odd fig of a state. In the primary, anyone can vote in any which primary once. Since an Obama win -- or close second -- in Iowa would clearly attract many Independents into the Democrat primary (and away from McCain in the republican primary), McCain almost needs Hillary Clinton to clean house in Iowa. Look for McCain to mention Hillary at every turn in the last 45 days to the Iowa caucus (Hillary-Hillary-Hillary).

From TheHill:

"Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) berated Democrats for espousing what he believes is a defeatist mindset on the war in Iraq this weekend as he swung through this pivotal battleground for the nomination.

"'The progress in Iraq is real and it’s a shame some media outlets haven’t recognized that,' McCain said as he greeted voters at the Littleton Diner in Littleton, N.H. Sunday. 'Democrats want to surrender; they want to set a date for withdraw.'''
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"In the days before a much anticipated Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Thursday night, political observers and pundits asked if Barack Obama could capitalize on weeks of bad news and missteps by Hillary Clinton, whose veneer of inevitability had begun showing fractures. Instead, after an initial attack by Obama, Ms. Clinton fought back and handed Mr. Obama and other Democratic rivals a thrashing. Then Ms. Clinton spent the next few days in Nevada on something of a streak, hitting Mr. Obama again and again and again. After going on the offensive in Thursday night’s debate, she celebrated with champagne and a big dinner at the Four Seasons with her aides." (Observer)

"That's what her campaign's calling a pair of huge fundraisers in New York City on December 13 and 14, also known as the 'Winter Summit.' If you raise $10,000, you can attend 'the Board Room Luncheon' with Clinton on the 14th." (BenSmith)

"Two literary adaptations, both starring Spanish actor Javier Bardem, entered the top 10. Miramax Films' 'No Country For Old Men,' Joel and Ethan Coen's version of the thriller by Cormac McCarthy, jumped eight places to No. 7 with $3.1 million after boosting its theatre count in its second weekend. Currently playing in just 148 theaters, it will expand to 800 next weekend." (Reuters)

"Beverly Hills may not have snow, but it sure has ice. And now that includes the 20 Baccarat chandeliers that will light up Rodeo Drive through the New Year. Sharon Stone, clad in a tight black Gucci dress and black satin trenchcoat, and accompanied by her brother Michael and sister Kelly, flipped the switch to illuminate this year's UNICEF snowflake, a larger-than-life Baccarat sculpture that boasts 12,000 crystals and sits above the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. 'I guess shopping season has officially begun!' the actress later laughed at a private party at Gucci's Rodeo Drive store, where she eyed various stilettos and handbags, not to mention her first love: fine jewelry. 'Now I just need to find someone to buy me some of these things.'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"SHARON Stone cuddling up to a 'young hot model-type guy' in a booth at the Waverly Inn ..." (PageSix)

"This could be a big, even defining week in terms of the primary calendar.There is intense pressure to get this issue resolved quickly in Michigan because election officials need to prepare absentee ballots if there is ultimately a primary on January 15th. If the primary falls through and Michigan Republicans instead hold a convention, it could have serious ramifications on the race. First, Rudy will almost certainly not compete. At least at any serious level. Nor will Huckabee, who is already looking past the state and down to South Carolina (which goes on the 19th). It's uncertain what Fred would do in a convention scenario, but most Michiganders think a convention would pit backers of McCain and Romney. They're the only two candidates with any extensive grassroots operation there." (politico)

"Nicole Kidman told a judge today how she feared for her life as she was pursued by a paparazzo in a high-speed car chase. Giving evidence in a packed courtroom in the New South Wales Supreme Court, Kidman said she crouched down in the back seat as she was driven to her parents' house in Greenwich, north Sydney ... A lighter moment today came when Kidman was asked to read her police statement, and she began reading it out aloud until the judge told her just to read it by herself. The actress smiled and tapped her forehead in the style of cartoon character Homer Simpson." (Thisislondon)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

DreamWorks in Talks to Join NBC

Isn't this what Steven Spielberg wanted all along (Even Universal's Ron Meyer said they moved too slow)? And what Steven wants ... From NYTimes:

"Seeking a way out of an acrimonious relationship at Paramount, the DreamWorks principals — two Hollywood heavyweights, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg — have been negotiating to move their operation to NBC Universal, according to people close to the talks. But negotiations have hit a wall over financing.

"Discussions have been going on since late summer, according to these people, who asked not to be identified because of the delicate nature of the negotiations."
Separated at Birth?

... She likes her men like she likes her coffee Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker (image via

And, she likes her assistants like she likes her steaks ... bloody. (image via eonline)
What Does The Hillary Camp Know About Obama?

(image via bet)

Barack Obama has already admitted that early on in his life he tried cocaine (big fucking deal; did anyone growing up in the 1970s with potential not sniff the Bolivian marching powder?). Are we so prudish and Puritanical a nation -- still -- that drug use decades ago in the 1970s is a disqualifying factor for public office. Still, rumors are flying that the Hillary camp -- which should know better than to throw stones at glass houses -- is essentially inviting reporters to sniff around. Hillary Clinton is officially a disgusting politics-as-usual campaigner, as far as The Corsair is concerned. All it took was slipping poll numbers for Camp Hillary to reveal that a real strategic filthiness underlies Dynastic politics. From our favorite Dickensian villain, Robert Novack:

"AGENTS of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.

"This word-of-mouth among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton look prudent. It comes during a dip for the front-running Clinton after she refused to take a stand on New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's now discarded plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

"Experienced Democratic political operatives believe Clinton wants to avoid a repetition of 2004, when attacks on each other by presidential candidates Howard Dean and Richard Gephardt were mutually destructive and facilitated John Kerry's nomination."

Sure, the Senator wants to avoid it, but not so much that she wouldn't have her minions leak this shit out on a weekend so that all the talking head shows can speculate. Nice.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

(CFDA/Vogue image via style)

"'Budget? I don't want to cry when I get in the car, that's my budget,' said Mary-Louise Parker on Thursday night at what is billed as the world’s biggest sample sale, the Seventh on Sale Gala that coincides with the annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards dinner. Kitted out like the courtyard of a medieval castle complete with fake torches, the 69th Regiment Armory was filled to bursting with deeply discounted designer merchandise and eager shoppers in the form of Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Giambattista Valli, Iman, Eve, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen—all of whom were doing their part to raise money for the fight against HIV and AIDS. Kate Moss bought a pair of sunglasses and a Fendi fur. 'It's so me,' she said ... The CFDA's executive director, Steven Kolb, revealed that later this weekend, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, and Proenza Schouler's Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough will all be among those working the sales floor." (Style)

"... Hundreds of fashion's deep-pocketed crème de la crème gathered to shop to fight HIV and AIDS at the 69th Regiment Armory, which was transformed into a nearly 22,000-square-foot courtyard of a medieval castle, complete with a bazaar bursting elegantly at the seams with designer merchandise.Naomi Campbell, meanwhile, surprised some reporters when she agreed to be interviewed. 'I remember coming to the first one of these if I am not mistaken,' the supermodel, also in McQueen, managed to say, until she was snatched away by Kate Moss for a cigarette break outside." (Fashionweekdaily)

"Check out MIXER, a new night of live experimental video and audio at Eyebeam, 540 West 21st St. The quarterly event premieres Saturday, November 17th, at 9 p.m.. This week: 'Brother Islands (Places to Lose People)', a multimedia theater, audio and video piece followed by an afterparty with the Jesse Stiles 3000." (Paper)

"It’s been a tough autumn for US chief executives. The bosses of two of Wall Street’s behemoths have been toppled and canny Dick Parsons at Time Warner had the good sense to formalise his long-flagged departure. Other, once imperial, titans are hanging on by their finger-tips. The fall of the US’s corporate princes makes riveting drama for the rest of us. But, over the past few weeks, I’ve also had several reminders of another transformation afoot in many of the country’s executive suites. Among the chiefs who still have their jobs, many seem to be rethinking what it means to be a boss and coming up with a model that moves a lot of power a lot further down their organisations." (FT)

Friday, November 16, 2007

What The --?

(image via politico)
Corsair Classic

peaches via stereogum:

Harvey Weinstein to Marry December 15 in Wesport, CT

A kinder, gentler Harvey? We're talking about the hot-tempered mogul formerly known as "The Emperor Miramaximus." Do you think the institution of marriage can calm the savage heart that beats beneath his -- eew -- pasty, veal-like breast? From Hamptons:

"Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has finally popped the question to his girlfriend of two years, gorgeous British fashion designer Georgina Chapman of Marchesa fame, and she said yes. The Oscar winning producer will exchange vows with his soon to be Mrs. W on Dec. 15 in Westport, CT. Friends say Georgina is responsible for the emergence of a kinder, gentler Weinstein, and for his growing interest in fashion, which led him to acquire the Halston fashion line last year. Insiders remember what a terror he could be in the pre-Georgina era and are thrilled.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"At the weekly box office, the Coen Brothers 'No Country For Old Men' made some $43,000 per screen from 28 screens in its opening weekend and has earned an estimated $1.8 million so far. It will add 120 screen this weekend." (Indiewire)

"A lawyer for a gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six-months in jail says the punishment contravenes Islamic law. The woman was initially punished for violating laws on segregation of the sexes - she was in an unrelated man's car at the time of the attack. When she appealed, judges doubled her sentence, saying she had been trying to use the media to influence them." (BBC)
Is McCain Push Polling?

We would like to think that if the Dark Art of push-polling is actually going on in Senator John McCain's Presidential campaign, he is not aware of it. McCain, you'll remember, was "swift boated" during racist push polls in the 2000 South Carolina primary that were widely thought to be the devisings of Karl Rove. Bush, then the Governor of Texas, denied any campaign involvement (as did Rove). Now this, from Politico:

"In an apparent push poll, a research firm has called Iowa Republicans this week praising John McCain and critcizing Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith.

"An individual in Manchester, Iowa, contacted me on Wednesday night saying he received a call with information about McCain's military service and anti-spending record.

"Then there were 'lots of negatives on Romney,' said the recepient of the call in an e-mail, including mentions of his 'flip-flops,' hiring illegal immigrants as landscapers and extensive discussion of Mormonism.

"'Statements were on baptizing the dead, the Book of Mormon being on the level of the Bible, and one about equating it to a cult,' said the Iowan, deeming them 'common criticisms of Mormonism.'

"'I think they asked twice if being a Mormon would be an issue,' this person added."

More here.
The Amy Winehouse Meltdown, Take Three

Yesterday we said that we had reached the saturation point for Amy Winehouse-related arcana. We jumped the gun. All sorts of crazy is going on in the self-indulgent Blue-Lagoonish lives of her and her husband-in-the-pokey. From Thisislondon:

"Troubled Amy Winehouse has been dealt another blow today after her tour manager quit amid drugs accusations. Thom Stone walked out on the singer just a day after she had a meltdown during a gig in Birmingham, swearing at fans and falling over on stage. Mr Stone confirmed he had quit after it was said that he found working with Winehouse and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil who is currently behind bars, was harming his health."

And then this, from the 3AM Girls:

"Amy Winehouse went into meltdown minutes before she was due to kick off her British tour, sparking fresh fears for her fragile state of mind.

"The troubled singer locked herself in a toilet before her shambolic performance at Birmingham's NIA on Wednesday.

"She was overheard wailing in despair for her husband Blake Fielder-Civil - who is banged up in London's Pentonville prison - and refused to come out for 30 minutes.

"She kept screaming: 'I can't go on without Blake. How can I live without him? I need him. I need my baby.'"

Winehouse's father-in-law is calling for fans to boycott her and stop rewarding her behavior until she goes to rehab.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"So, it turns out some good -- nay, wonderful, but disappointing at the same time -- things are coming from this writers' strike: Since their shows won't be airing on TV, the casts of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live are putting on stage versions of these television gems at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater this coming Saturday and Monday! OMGOMGOMG. According to this NY Post article, the 30 Rock 'play' is sold out (with limited tickets available at the door) but it's unclear what the ticket process will be for this this Saturday's SNL performance, with Michael Cera slated to host." (Papermag)

Lunch at Michaels: "(Table 4) Early shift: Al Roker and Today's senior producer Marc Victor. Second shift: Terry Allen Kramer and two folks who started lunch with a champagne toast ... (Table 7) Vogue's Andre Leon Talley sporting a smashing grey suit — sans socks — and a Princess (really!) of some exotic locale ... (Table 8) Kathie Lee Gifford (loved the hipster outfit!) and a gal pal ... (Table 11) Dave Zinczenko, looking tanned and camera ready, with Today show producer Noah Oppenheimer. The prolific Men's Health honcho gave me a preview of his new book Eat this, Not That out December 10. I'm pretty sure young Dave will be talking about it soon on The Today Show couch." (FishbowlNY)

"Senate Republicans are in trouble, and last week’s Democratic victories in Kentucky and Virginia suggest their challenges may be steeper than even they thought. The day after Republican Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher was tossed out of office, one of his biggest political patrons launched ads to protect himself from the fallout. Who was he? No less than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)."

"As a fifth anniversary 'gift' to hubby Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar has officially changed her name to 'Sarah Michelle Prinze.'" (Gawker)

"Breathtaking Karen Elson is soon to be making a very big, post- second child comeback. After giving birth to Henry Lee White in August, the stunning redhead has signed on as the face for BCBG’s acclaimed Spring/Summer ‘08 campaign ... Patrick Demarchelier, the house’s faithful collaborator, shot the anticipated series of ads." (Fashionweekdaily)
Natalie Portman Does Something Called ''The Soulja Boy Dance''

To be sure, the dark side of the farce (But she still looks good doing it):

Kanye Pulls Out of Victoria's Secret Concert

From AP:

"Kanye West pulled out of a performance at the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show following the death of his mother last weekend. Gabe Tesoriero, publicist for the 29-year-old rapper, declined further comment Thursday."
Media Whore-D'Oevres

"Cocky cokehead Pete Doherty snorts line after line of the class A drug just days after promising he would check back into rehab. We've obtained exclusive film of the Babyshambles frontman getting wrecked on cocaine after issuing a statement saying he was going to seek help. In our pictures the tracksuit-clad addict calmly chops up five massive lines of the drug on a silver tray perched on a kitchen counter, snorts them through a rolled-up piece of paper then stares glassily at the camera." (3AMGirls)

"China has again called on the United States to cancel immediately plans to sell military equipment to Taiwan. The US Defense Security Co-operation Agency notified Congress late last week of a possible sale to Taiwan of Patriot 2 upgrade systems and associated equipment worth up to $939 million. Speaking through China's state-run media on 13 November, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said that China 'firmly opposes' the potential deal, adding that Beijing had already communicated its "strong objection" to Washington." (Janes)

"Lionsgate has announced its acquisition of two of writer/actor/director Tyler Perry's upcoming projects, 'The Family That Preys Together' and 'Madea Goes To Jail'. This is coming off the Perry franchise's third #1 box office success, October's 'Why Did I Get Married'. Both acquired films are scheduled to begin production in Spring of 2008. Perry's next release, 'Meet The Browns,' stars Angela Bassett and will be released on March 21, 2008." (Indiewire)

"Top Hollywood union officials traveled to Washington this week to lobby lawmakers amid a high-profile writers’ strike against the big studios. The heads of two of Hollywood’s major artists’ guilds made the rounds on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, meeting with several California Democrats, including Sen. Barbara Boxer. They also visited three members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Alan Rosenberg, the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and Patric Verrone, the head of the western branch of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), said they aren’t seeking any intervention from Congress on the strike, which began on Nov. 5 after contentious talks for a new contract between 12,000 WGA members and six major studios collapsed." (TheHill)
Amy Winehouse Strikes Out

Are we tired of Amy Winehouse yet? The Corsair most certainly is; but at the risk of giving her and the hubby more attention than they deserve for their louche deviance. From Thisislondon:

"Amy Winehouse was booed and jeered by hundreds of fans after ranting on stage about her husband in jail.

"The singer stumbled into the venue half an hour late, slurred her words, walked into a guitar stand and dropped her microphone at the opening date of her British tour.

"She then dedicated a song to her husband Blake Fielder-Civil, drawing more boos and a mass walkout at the NIA in Birmingham.

"The band had to support Winehouse as she almost collapsed in tears."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ryan Phillippe: "After the divorce I wanted to die. I was ready to kill myself"

Ryan Phillippe, who was all kinds of kind of rough with Reese Witherspoon when she won the Golden Globe back in the day (Didn't she say something like 'that kind of hurt' when she got up on stage?).

Where's Ryan been? Aside from doing busywork at his little vanity studio (and throwing meat), he's been granting Bergmanesque interviews filled with melancholy. From Thisislondon:

''The couple met a decade ago and were thought to have one of the most rock solid marriages in showbusiness - but shocked Hollywood with their split last year.

''Now Philippe, 33, has said the breakdown of his relationship with the Legally Blonde actress left him 'a physical wreck.'

"The couple met a decade ago and were thought to have one of the most rock solid marriages in showbusiness -- but shocked Hollywood with their split last year.

''Now Philippe, 33, has said the breakdown of his relationship with the Legally Blonde actress left him 'a physical wreck.'

''In a surprisingly candid confession he told UK magazine Man About Town: 'After the divorce I wanted to die. I was ready to kill myself. I was not taking care of myself at all. I would wake up and cry and vomit.'

''The pair met at Miss Witherspoon's 21st birthday bash and went on to work together on the 1999 film Cruel Intentions. They married in June that year.

''Although neither has spoken openly about the reason for the split, there was speculation at the time that Philippe was unable to cope with his wife's success."
Corsair Classic

Fellini summons pure Italian paganism. Incandescent Genius:

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Distressed Amy Winehouse went to prison yesterday... but stopped off first for cigarettes and snacks. The bleary-eyed babe was stocking up for her husband Blake Fielder-Civil, who is currently being held in custody at HMP Pentonville. Blake faces up to life imprisonment if found guilty of trying to pervert the course of justice. He is also accused of assaulting barman James King in June last year. An insider says: 'It is a real struggle for Amy, it is taking so much out of her. But she is relying on intimate phone calls to Blake to get her through. He has been crying himself to sleep at night, and Amy just can't bear it.'" (3AMGirls)

"The camp of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hoped to capitalize Wednesday on what it says was a biased report on CNN about a campaign event at which a McCain supporter referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as 'the bitch.' Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said in an e-mail to supporters that CNN owes the Arizona Republican an apology for its reporting of the story. The campaign laments that CNN portrayed the event as though McCain did not defend Clinton forcefully enough. The senator, in the short video clip, expressed his respect for the former first lady." (TheHill)

"Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has television ads and mailings on standby to attack Rudy Giuliani but so far has not used them because of an internal dispute about the risks of a backlash in going negative on the Republican front-runner, according to numerous sources in and close to the Romney campaign." (Politico)