Thursday, October 30, 2008

Corsair Classic

Corsair Classic

Obama Is Bill Clinton's Phone Call Pal

(image via boston)

Now that we have broken out of the kung-fu grip of The Clintons (and we don't blame them, it is the nature of Power that once you have it, you believe it belongs to you), we kind of miss them. Remember when Bill Clinton was like a big old teddy bear -- one that loved Sylvia's and McDonald fillet-o-fish sandwiches -- that gave us budget surpluses? Good times.

And Senator Clinton ran an incendiary campaign that forever smashed the glass ceiling at the Presidential level (and also smashed stupid stereotypes that women weren't as tough as men). But their time in Presidential Power, like time of the House of Bush, is done. How does one smooth over the ill-feelings that are sure to rankle as the next administration -- probably Obama's -- prepares to assume the mantle that less than six months ago the Clinton's believed was all theirs? By a phone call, apparently. From Craig Crawford of CQ:

"In the end, a phone call helped finally mend things between Obama and Clinton. Friends of the former president had long told Obama that to ease relations he should make a point of frequently calling Clinton. He loves to chat day or night, they said, even if it's a ten-minute call and even if you don't talk about anything very serious.

"It was one of their more serious calls that made a lasting impression on Clinton and paved the way for their first joint appearance on Wednesday. It was telling that during the most personal and persuasive part of Clinton's Orlando talk he mentioned that Obama had called him when trying to decide how to handle last month's economic crisis. Clinton went on to lavish praise on Obama's deliberation and wisdom in handling his campaign's response to the crisis.

"Making Clinton his phone pal helped Obama relieve the tensions from taking the power that the Clintons had refused to concede without a fight."

We couldn't stay mad at them forever either.
Paul Mooney: Barbara Walters Has A "Preference For Brothers"

(image via threebrothersandasister)

Comedian Paul Mooney was a writer on the old Richard Pryor Show. He hung out with the legendary comedian, the two shared confidences. One of those confidences, which Mooney recently shared on the Howard Stern Show, was that Richard Pryor had a fling with studious control-freak Barbara Walters (Mooney said that "(Richard) told him not to talk about the Walters affair until he was gone)."

For some reason Walters is furiously denying this fling. So it comes down to Paul Mooneys word-versus-Barbara Walters' word (Um, we'll go with Mooney on this one). Why? Pryor is considered the greatest comedian that ever lived. Women generally like guys who make them laugh. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, image-wise, Ms. Walters.

Walters -- and this is pure speculation on The Corsair's part -- tends to associate with U.S. Senators and billionaire captains of industry, and it is not inconceivable that a romantic link with a former coke-head comedian with MS might not fit her pompous self-image. Mooney continues to counter Walters' denials about the liaison with Pryor on the Howard Stern Show. From HowardStern:

"Paul Mooney referenced the time he told the show that Barbara Walters had slept with Richard Pryor, saying her latest book (in which she confessed to an affair with another black man, former US Senator Edward Brooke) proved her preference for 'brothers.'"

Somewhere Barbara Walters is probably hurling furniture and smashing windows wishing Paul Mooney would just go away ..
Obama On The Daily Show

Michael Jackson Surfaces For Halloween (How Fitting!)

Welcome to the wonderful world of Michael Jackson, where the time is, as always, stuck at Arrested Development. Halloween, in Michael Jackson Time, is half past forestalled childhood. Life is only limited by the imagination of a Rodeo Drive plastic surgeons scalpel. The routine in this dream-like world involves "sleepovers," "Jesus Juices," one tricky monkey, personal magicians, hush monies, sham marriages and perpetual holidays (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). It's a small world after all!

Was ancient Rome, we wonder, ever this profoundly decadent? From Thisislondon:

"Michael Jackson kitted out his children in Halloween masks while shopping for trick-or-treat goodies - but decided he didn't need one himself.

"The singer took his three children out in Los Angeles last night, with Michael Joseph, 11, in a V For Vendetta mask, 10-year-old Paris wearing one of turquoise blue and Prince Michael, six, in a Scream mask. After stopping at a friend's house in Bel Air for dinner, Jackson took his children, whose faces he always covers in public because of kidnap fears, to a party store for Halloween decorations."

Is This The End Of Ben Silverman?

Last week Nielsen told us that only 2 of the Top 20 shows were from NBC -- and one, "Heroes," is widely regarded as being in decline. Even in an age of 1,000 digital channels this is an astonishing feat of spectacular incompetence. Ben Silverman's wet-behind-the-ears arrogance -- and his ingratitude to Kevin Reilly -- only adds to the growing sense of schadenfreude that presently hovers over his supine torso like a growing nimbus of "loser dust." From DeadlinHollyWoodDaily:

"For months now, I've been asking my sources when is NBC going to hire a real programmer since salesman Ben Silverman isn't. So this morning Paul Telegdy suddenly and unexpectedly resigned from BBC Worldwide America. Now I'm told that NBC wants him to become EVP over both unscripted and scripted entertainment. And my sources inform that it would be Telegdy's decision whether to fire or keep NBC's current reality czar Craig Plestis who only has months left on his contract. Now get this: the negotiations call for Telegdy to be given a bigger job like NBC Entertainment President in a year or to get paid off. This could solve NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker's primary problem right now: how not to look like he made a mistake hiring Ben Silverman and still get the programming that the network needs to start succeeding."

In other words, the corporate way: Cover. Your. Ass.
Tina Brown: "I've Finally Found A Medium That's Commensurate To My Impatience"

(image via michellerafter)

Tina Brown, Lady Evans, was on On Point with Andrew Sullivan and Columbia Journalism Dean Nick Lehmann on the subject "Can Bloggers Save Journalism." The founder and editor in chief of The Daily Beast said of old school journalism, "somehow reporting will find its way online and will be financed .. there may need to be a new financial structure." Brown, who has edited many a reporter seemed deeply sympathetic that that form of journalism may simply not translate into the blogosphere, and that vocation could be lost.

And on the subject of her famous wanderlust, quipped, "I've finally found a medium commensurate to my impatience."

Finally, on the old school journos who are probably dispirited right about now at cost-cutting (and foldings) at print publications across the board, "we need to keep after those news sources that have those kinds of finances and not let them off the hook."
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via cinemamasterpieces)

"In his memoir, 'My Word Is My Bond,' due out next week, (Roger) Moore stirs - never shakes - a delightful cocktail of stories from his seven Bond flicks and other big-screen efforts. For instance, he tells how, on 'A View to a Kill,' co-star Grace Jones so often ignored his pleas to turn down the dreadful music in her trailer that 'I marched into her room, pulled the plug out and then went back to my room, picked up a chair and flung it at the wall.' Sir Moore lightened the mood for their sex scene with help from a long black sex toy that 'I slipped between the sheets. ... I'm glad she thought it was funny.'" (NyDailyNews)

"MARK Ronson learned to watch what he eats at P. Diddy's famed White Parties. 'I hadn't eaten all day, and I was starving. They were coming around with this bowl of brownies, and I grabbed three of them and just started scarfing them down,' the deejay tells Paper. After that, 'every lyric sounded like it was the Cookie Monster yelling in my ear, and I started feeling really [bleep]y, but I had to play through the set. I couldn't just go up to Puffy and say, 'Sorry, I ate a [bleep]-load of hash brownies, I can't do your White Party.'" (NYPost)

"Sometimes, when a political campaign has run out of ideas and senses that the prize is slipping through its fingers, it rolls up a sleeve and plunges an arm, shoulder deep, right down to the bottom of the barrel. The problem for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party is that the bottom was scraped clean long before it dropped out. Back when the polls were nip and tuck and the leaves had not yet begun to turn, Barack Obama had already been accused of betraying the troops, wanting to teach kindergartners all about sex, favoring infanticide, and being a friend of terrorists and terrorism. What was left? The anticlimactic answer came as the long Presidential march of 2008 staggered toward its final week: Senator Obama is a socialist." (Rik Hertzberg/TheNewYorker)

Sexy Gemma Atherton via themirror)

"But Gemma Arterton - who arrived in a stunning purple dress slashed to the thigh - said Daniel Craig was the lucky one to have a sex scene with her. The new Bond girl, 22, said: 'There are not many people I would strip off for. Daniel was a very lucky boy to see me naked.'" (3AMGirls)

"A (Howard Stern Show) caller asked if a recent tabloid report about Tracy (Morgan's) behavior at Prince's house was true, and Tracy said it was: 'I woke up on the couch and he and his wife were at the door telling me, 'You got to go'...I grabbed him by the shoulders and told him, 'My father loved "When Doves Cry'...then I smoked a blunt in his driveway while the sun came up.'" (Marksfriggin)

"Barack Obama is shaking up the South by greatly expanding the black vote and forcing Republicans to confront splits in the same white conservative base that has long fortified the GOP in Congress. Georgia’s U.S. Senate race is Exhibit 1, as a record turnout by African-Americans in early voting has lifted the candidacy of Democrat Jim Martin against Saxby Chambliss, the Republican incumbent. At the same time, Wall Street’s meltdown — punctuated by the state’s own fiscal woes — has soured the mood for Republicans, and Chambliss must win back conservatives, angered by his vote for Treasury’s $700 billion financial rescue plan." (Politico)

"Last spring, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center sent Wall Street firms its annual pitch for a major donor to underwrite the group's fall gala and quickly began receiving rejections. By April, a few weeks after the collapse and fire sale of Bear Stearns Cos., 'it was clear that we were not getting the kind of responses we needed,' said Norma Hurlburt, executive director. The gala was canceled and now she is poring over the society's $6 million budget 'to see what we can do for less.' U.S. nonprofit organizations are slashing budgets, freezing salaries and postponing programs as a turbulent economy forces donors to rethink their giving. The worst credit crisis in seven decades, which began with the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market in early 2007, has cost the global banking industry $680.5 billion in writedowns and losses." (Bloomberg)

"Are you ready for this? Next Tuesday, at CNN's Election Center in New York, an Obama campaign strategist will be in the studio to comment on the incoming voting results. Only he'll be... (wait for it) in 3-D! As a hologram! Instead of the normal flat-screen version of talking heads, the Obama spokesperson's image will be projected from Chicago and into the New York studio -- in a 360 view. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer will essentially be talking to the strategist just like when Princess Leia sent Obi-Wan Kenobi a hologram message that he was her only hope. Only there will be talk about Ohio, rather than Alderaan." (Observer)

(image via Caroline Torem-Craig/Papermag)

"Last Night, PAPERMAG headed to the Lower Eastside Girls Club Willow Awards and Benefit Gala, hosted by former PAPER cover girl Rosario Dawson. The event was held at Jing Fong, which, if you Google it, is described by reviewers as a second floor gargantuan dining hall decorated in blood red for the 'chicken-feet-eating crowd.' The restaurant also features one of the tallest escalators in New York! Musical giant (also a former PAPER cover star) Moby DJ-ed and told us that he hopes all goes well on Election Day! Ana Matronic and her Scissor-Sister-in-law Aimee Phillips were present, and tucked away in another corner was Piper Perabo." (Papermag)

"Last night, rains stopped, very cool, more overcoat, I went down to the 57th Street aerie of Carolyne Roehm who was having a cocktail party reception to celebrate her new book 'A Passion for Blue and White' ..I saw Pauline Boardman and her constant companion, Jerry Seay, Sharon Hoge, John Dobkin, Suzanne Cochran, Felicia Taylor .." (NYSocialDiary)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama Confuses Weezy Jefferson And Sanford And Son's Elizabeth

No one is perfect, not even Senator Barack Obama. He can't bowl. And though a Men's Vogue coverboy, his fashion sense is decidedly not metrosexual (Averted Gaze). And now, apparently, his knowledge of pop-culture is not as tight as it should be. From Lynn Sweet of The Chicago-Sun Times:

"Barack Obama seemed to mix up black television sitcoms Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons in a speech Wednesday, where he was making the point that if Social Security had ever been privatized--as Republicans tried to do a few years ago, folks invested in the stock market would have been whacked with giant losses because of the economic meltdown.

"'Can you imagine if you had your Social Security invested in the stock market these last two weeks, these last two months.

"'You wouldn't need Social Security. You'd be having a, ya know like Sanford and Sons, 'I'm coming Weezy."

"One of George Sanford's signature lines was 'I'm coming Elizabeth."

"Weezy was the nickname for Louise Jefferson."

Let's hope this doesn't lead to more questions of "Is Barack obama black enough?"
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via radaronline)

"MSNBC market infobabe trumpets full-point Fed cut, but it's only 1/2-point. If your job is to report one # and you blow it, you're a doofus." (Howard Kurtz/Twitter)

"A rumor that Lionsgate is approaching various agencies in search of a Mad Men showrunner to replace a too-rich-for-their-blood Matthew Weiner was shot down by an insider, who told Defamer the negotiations had just begun, and that while he asked high, they were absolutely 'not looking to replace him. He IS the show.'" (Defamer)

"The streets of London could be a little quieter after notorious caner Lily Allen told us she's giving the booze a rest. The singer completed a DJ set at a club last night without touching a drop, and told The Eye she's taking it easy for a while. Lil, 23, has come a cropper on the sauce more than a few times this year. She had an infamous spat on stage with Sir Elton John at the GQ Man Of The Year Awards last month after a few too many glasses of fizz." (Thisislondon)

"The McCain camp has pushed back hard on the notion that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is operating independently from the senator’s campaign — or, in the colorful parlance of a typically unnamed staffer, 'gone rogue.' Having observed the McCain campaign for almost two years, I’m inclined to believe Palin’s less-scripted moments are, in fact, less a result of active disobedience than in the governor’s own somewhat McCain-like unwillingness to stick to a script. Here, in Toledo, where she just gave a speech on energy independence, Palin’s own independence took a literal turn: If there is any one place she has gone rogue, it is against her teleprompter." (Ana Marie Cox/WashingtonIndependent)

"Two whole years have hurried their way by since last we saw 'scandalous' images of Rose Kennedy Schlossberg, daughter of Caroline Kennedy and granddaughter of John Fitzgerald. Back in 2006, our former sister site Wonkette posted wine 'n hookah partaking photos of the then-18, Obama-supporting Harvard student .. Now, in the still of the afternoon, someone has sent us more photos, from sources unknown! In which the heiress to the great mantle of the American Democratic Party gets jiggy in various poses!" (Gawker)

"Five suicide car bomb attacks rocked a presidential palace, government security posts, United Nations offices and an Ethiopian consular unit in two regions of northern Somalia on Wednesday, killing or wounding dozens of people, according to officials and witnesses." (NYTimes)

"There are two kinds of gossip: the puerile kind, which is time-wasting by half-wits, and the other, which informs and helps to define the age. Anything to do with Paris Hilton, Elizabeth Hurley, and their ilk is obviously a total waste of time, and it is also demeaning. The idea of writing about something la Hilton did or said should be anathema to anyone with the slightest sense of dignity .. Reporting on something that took place on a private yacht or house in Corfu would have finished the career of the reporter one hundred years ago. But back then, people did not deal openly with gangsters like Deripaska, which the Rothschilds are dealing with--they are partners in the building of a large marina in Montenegro--and Mandelson has been spreading the dirt about political opponents since he was wearing short trousers, the poor little dear." (Takimag)

"On Wednesday afternoon, countless people of all kinds poured out of Goma, a strategic Congolese city on the border of Rwanda, fleeing the advancing rebel forces massing on the outskirts of town .. The enemy they are facing is a relatively well-armed, cohesive force, led by Laurent Nkunda, a renegade Congolese general with impressive military acumen and a taste for crisp uniforms, dark sunglasses and power. He calls himself a protector of the Tutsi people. Many people here call him a warlord." (NYTimes)
Senator Casey: Whoever Wins Pennsylvania Wins The Presidency

(image via theelectoralmap)

Senator Bob Casey is enjoying a second wind. After endorsing Senator Obama in the Democratic primary, he was disappointed when his political nemesis Governor Ed Rendell's gritty machine helped Senator Clinton score a double digit victory in the state. Obama, ultimately, won the nomination, but the perception of Casey's weakness in Pennsylvania will endure.

But the growing importance of Pennsylvania on the electoral map is breathing new life into Casey's political corpse. "Whoever wins Pennsylvania will win the Presidential map this year," the Senator told The Ed Schultz Show this afternoon. And regarding the polls which show Obama with a double digit lead, Casey is more measured. "I don't think it will be (a ten point margin), but I think we'll win the state."

The gritty Governor Ed Rendell, not to be outdone, quipped on the show later, "(McCain and Palin have) been here so often I'm thinking of charging them income tax ... it would be good for our economy"
Obama To Do The Daily Show; McCain To Do .. Larry King?

(image via broadcastingandcable)

Strategically, it was a dud. Over before it started. Senator McCain needed to do something dramatic, mighty even, in order to suck away some of the pure media oxygen that will go to Obama's dramatic infomercial unveiling tonight. So what is his maneuver to stall the inevitable procession of Obama's media engine?

Larry King (Insert: sound of crickets).

Tell us again, Wise Senator, of the difference between a tactic and a strategy. And, while you are at it: Can virtue be taught (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)?

As if that isn't bad enough, Obama will appear on vim-and-vigorous The Daily Show. Counterpoint: Obama; superior military firepower achieved.
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert To Co-Anchor Election Night On MTV's 44½ JumboTron

(image via robinandr)

Times Square is going to be crazy on election night. Not to be outdone by ABC's "Outdoor Global Viewing Event," Comedy Central will also have an outdoor viewing event. FNC's Times Square News Astrovision screen will also run the election results. From the press release:

"For the first time ever, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will co-anchor from the same desk when 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' and 'The Colbert Report' present 'Indecision 2008: America's Choice,' a LIVE Election Night primetime special, airing from 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PT). 'Indecision 2008: America 's Choice' will originate from "The Daily Show's" New York-based studio which will be transformed for the momentous night into COMEDY CENTRAL's Election Center with a specially designed set for the primetime special. In addition, 'Indecision 2008: America's Choice' will also be simulcast on MTV's 44½ JumboTron in the heart of Times Square on Broadway between West 44th Street and West 45th Street."

The MTV Jumbotron was last used in Nick Cannon's marriage proposal to Selita Ebanks.
Missing Teacher Leah Walsh Was A Howard Stern Show Intern

(image via nydailynews)

We hope that the unidentified body just found on the Long Island Expressway is not that of missing special education teacher Leah Walsh. Howard Stern made a special appeal this morning for anyone with information on the missing woman. From the Long Island Press:

"Sirius Radio’s shock jock, Howard Stern made a plea Wednesday morning, Oct. 29 on behalf of the family of Rockville Centre teacher Leah Walsh, 29, who disappeared early Monday from the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway. Stern noted that Walsh was an intern at the radio show in 1999. The car of the special-education teacher at the School for Language and Communication Development in Glen Cove was found on the side of the road, with its doors locked, and her purse was found in the woods nearby."
Norman Pearlstine: Bloomberg's Consumer Media Properties Have Not Always Had The Bottom Line In Mind

(image via redroom)

Media superheavyweight Norman Pearlstine, the chief content officer of Bloomberg, was the spotlight speaker at the second annual Future of Business Media Conference. The former editor-in-chief of Time Inc. spoke of his mandate in the newly-created position at Bloomberg, which is vying become a powerhouse in business news. From Paidcontent:

"Pearlstine, who has only been at Bloomberg since June, said: 'I asked the Chairman what the goal was, and like a good former Carlyle person, I asked whether it was to increase cash flow, or to be the most respected source of business and financial information, and they said yes. It’s part of the mandate to be the most trusted source of information—for both business and financial. I think our consumer media properties have not always been run necessarily with a bottom line in mind—they were branding exercises—and we see opportunities to run them as businesses.'"

And of Bloomberg TV, which reaches 57 million viewers but, miraculously, garners little to no buzz outside of the occasional mention of Al Hunt's "Political Capital," Pearlstine said:

"I’m happy with some parts of it. A couple of my colleagues from Bloomberg Television are here, and they’ve done some terrific work in building the size of the domestic audience… A lot of focus has been on speed and automation, but there was a feeling that it was a similar business as a terminal business, not a recognition that personalities matter, that programming pacing can matter. That’s where we can do a lot of focus. Last week, we announced a new CEO of our multimedia division, and I think his decision to join us suggests that we are making some significant changes."

More here.
Senator Lieberman Will Probably Lose His Homeland Security Gavel In Next Senate

(image via backinasecond)

If the Obama/Biden ticket wins, there will be chairs a-shuffled in the United States Senate. Both Obama and Biden are sitting Senators, so the character of that august body, keeping in mind all the likely pickups, should be markedly different. Depending on how many seats change hands -- will there be a filibuster-proof Democrat majority? -- those changes could be massive, starting with the *possible* replacement of Biden at the prestigious Foreign Relations Committee, by Chris Dodd of Connecticut. And what of Robert Byrd, of the powerful Appropriations Committee, who has been known to take sweet naps on the Senate floor: will he keep his seat (Or, as a little Byrdie tells me, will he too be ousted)? From TheHill:

"Democratic leaders are discussing a major reshuffling of Senate committee chairmanships, according to multiple sources, and the proposed changes include ousting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) from his coveted chairmanship.

".. One Democratic source said Lieberman is not likely to lose his position in the Democratic caucus, even if the party picks up several seats in next week’s election. While Democrats could approach or exceed the filibuster-proof threshold of 60 votes, they may still need Lieberman’s vote often.

"'There’s no sense in cutting off our nose to spite our face,' one source said.

"The proposed shakeup is hardly final, but it has begun to be sketched out on paper. It depends largely on a victory by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the presidential election, which would result in Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Obama’s running mate, giving up his chairmanship on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The shift also hinges on Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) stepping down as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, which aides say is included in the proposed changes. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) would replace him. Byrd, who turns 91 in November, has been hospitalized three times this year and some have questioned if he is capable of leading the committee.

"Other moves include Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) taking over the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) taking over the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) moving to the helm of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee."

In other Senate news, brocialite Bob Kerry, a lion of the Senate in the 80s, was on The Don Imus show this morning. He said of an Obama Presidency that the best advice he could give the Senator from Illinois is to make things right with John McCain immediately after the election is over. Kerry, presently the President of the New School, said that any existing acrimony -- and considering McCain's temper, there may be quite a bit -- should be quashed by the time of the inauguration. It would be in the best interests of the country if a comprehensive Health Care bill in an Obama administration were shepherded through the Senate by McCain as a co-sponsor, said Kerry.

Much, much more here.
Lionsgate Looking To Replace Matthew Weiner On Mad Men

(image via daylife)

Nikki Finke of DeadlineHollywoodDaily has an incredible exclusive in that Lionsgate is looking for a Matt Weiner replacement at "Mad Men." Apparently "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin is one of the names being mentioned.

How can you replace Matt Weiner? Not since David Chase has the vision of the creator been such an integral part of the show's patina. At the end of the second season, with an incredible season's finale under his belt, it would be a perfect time to ask for the world from Lionsgate. One would think. But then again, this is AMCTV. From DeadlineHollywoodDaily:

It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to Hollywood business. But this is lunacy. Lionsgate execs are calling Hollywood agencies looking for a showrunner to replace Matthew Weiner, the brilliant creator of Mad Men. The reason is that they think Weiner's agents at CAA are asking for too much money for him. I hear CAA wants a multi-year deal that pays Weiner $10 million a year. Plus he wants control over promotion and advertising. Now that's consistent with a big hit on pay cable and what Darren Star or David Chase made on HBO. But it's way, way rich for a Lionsgate show on AMC, and execs are telling CAA it can't pay that. "The 'ask' was insanity," one insider tells me. "It's preposterous. AMC is a basic cable network. The economics don't support this. It's why Lionsgate is throwing their arms up in the air. And, remember, they got a two-year pickup for the show with or without Matt Weiner."

The full, incredible story here.

And more Corsair here.
Bob Shrum: The Bin Laden Tape Cost Kerry The 2004 Election

(image via observer)

Robert Shrum, who was the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry- Edwards campaign, was on NPR's Brian Lehrer Show this morning. He spoke about the state of this election, but also looked backwards, to 2004. "I think (the Osama Bin-Laden video) cost John Kerry the (2004) election ... I think if something like that happened again, people would draw back and say 'hold up, we're not going down that path' .."

This is actually a pretty scary thought. he chief strategist of the Democrats campaign for the 2004 election is actually blaming a terrorist, Public Enemy #1, for swaying the 2004 election.


More Corsair blog discussion on culture and politics here.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via JT/NYSocialDiary)

"HANNAH Bronfman celebrated her coming of legal drinking age over the weekend. Saturday night, the daughter of Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. partied at Citrine on West 21st Street with her brother, Ben Brewer, lead guitar/vocalist of the Exit, and his pregnant fiancée, Sri Lankan pop star M.I.A. - who was 'cuddling with Ben all night, rubbing her belly and dancing.' Bronfman's publicist told us '300 BFFs' (best friends forever) attended, and the after-party continued at Bronfman's suite at the Hotel on Rivington." (NYPost)

"Yesterday was a rainy day in New York and when it wasn’t raining, it was getting colder. Down at Michael’s a group of women were celebrating Kathy Lacey Hoge’s 39th birthday at the round table in the bay. At the table right next to them was the beautiful Jane Fonda looking like the glamorous movie star she always will be .. Right next to them Liz Smith was lunching with Ellen Levine, the editorial director of Hearst .. Liz Smith is one of the leading philanthropists in New York today, personally without wealth, she raises millions and millions and millions every year for causes benefiting mainly the children and the citizens in need of New York (and the world)." (NYSocialDiary)

"The global financial crisis will reduce the hedge-fund industry to as little as a third of its current size, billionaire investor George Soros said yesterday. 'The hedge-fund industry is going to move through a shakeout,' Soros, one of the world's first hedge-fund managers and still among the best known, said yesterday in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 'In my estimation (the industry) will be reduced in size by anywhere between half and two thirds,' he said. He did not specify if he was talking about the number of funds or the amount of money invested in them. Many of the ultra-wealthy investors who fueled a doubling in hedge-fund industry assets to about $1.9 trillion across roughly 10,000 of the loosely regulated funds worldwide in the last three years have been pulling their money out, fearful of hedge-fund failures." (NYPost)

"Grace Jones is what we call a proper diva. Apart from having nightly caviar facials and manicures on her Hurricane tour starting January 19 in Birmingham, just like at the Mobos she'll get driven right up to the stage." (The3AMGirls)

"On the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 23, around 1 p.m., Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. Mr. Griffin was sitting at a table at the Sea Grill restaurant, overlooking the ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza, the nerve center of NBC. From the wallet, he pulled out a tattered CNN work ID from the early ’80s, a memento, he said, from his first job in TV. He always kept the CNN badge on him. 'Not sure why,' he said." (Observer)

"The opening of a new waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is akin in historic significance to the opening of the Suez Canal, in 1869, or is Panamanian cousin, in 1914. With this sea change will come the rise and fall of international seaports, newfound access to nearly a quarter of the world's remaining undiscovered oil and gas reserves, and a recalibration of geo-strategic power." (TheAtlantic)

"In the opening panel at ContentNext Media’s EconSports conference, moderator Will Leitch, founder of Gawker-owned sports news blog Deadspin, remembered the reaction among sports executives when they first saw his approach to covering sports. 'They were surprised at how quickly we posted and the interaction with readers.' Now, he added, 'leagues can’t be stupid [about social media] anymore.'" (Paidcontent)

(image via foreignpolicy)

"Prince Charles seems to like visiting Tokyo in times of crisis. The heir to the British throne last visited in November 1990 as Japan's economic bubble was exploding. He's here again this week as the bursting of another bubble -- this one in global credit markets -- drags down the Asian nation's economy. A coincidence, perhaps, yet the trip hasn't been without an economic dust-up of its own. Public scrutiny prompted Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, to bring a smaller-than-usual entourage amid dimming growth prospects. In the spirit of thrift, he is paying for Camilla's return flight himself, as the Duchess of Cornwall is heading back early." (Bloomberg)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ivanka Trump Likes Nerds

(image via fashionweekdaily via patrickmcmullen)

Donald Trump's greatest "construction," the leggy Ivanka, likes Nerds. But lest you get your hopes up (hey, ours were), she means, unfortunately, the sugary confection and not earnest artistic intellectual types. Aww. From Fashionweekdaily:

"Guests entering Dylan's Candy Bar last night could very well have been stepping into the factory of Willy Wonka himself. After an extensive redesign and expansion, Dylan Lauren's sweet shop is now the world's largest candy store, and guests at the launch party couldn't have been happier to indulge.

"'I just really love candy,' affirmed Lauren, as she flitted around greeting guests like Tyson Beckford, Katie Lee Joel, and David Neville and Marcus Wainwright.

"... Ivanka Trump's choice snacks? 'I would say Nerds, as embarrassing as that is,' she confessed. 'I'm a big fan of Twizzlers, I'm a big fan of Twix. [Dylan] is the best. I'm a huge fan of this place.'"

-- And, we cannot fail to note (Averted Gaze), Woody Allen loves candy, and much younger women. Greeeat.(image via fashionweekdaily via patrickmcmullen)

More here.
Russell Crowe Vouches For Snoop Dogg With New Zealand Immigration Authorities

(image via pyroradio)

Snoop Dogg, apparently, had been banned from Australia for failing a "character test (Wasn't Australia founded on convicts?)." But he gets by with a little help from his movie-star friends. From Australia's News.Com.Au:

"SNOOP Dogg is almost in da house - cue a collective sigh of relief from concert promoter Andrew McManus and thousands of fans yesterday, as the controversial hip-hopper arrived in New Zealand to kick off his Australasian tour.

"While McManus has spent weeks sweating over immigration issues for the US star, the rapper told music editor Kathy McCabe he never feared being banned from the country.

Snoop's application was held up for months while Department of Immigration officials considered his criminal convictions, with Russell Crowe and Eddie McGuire offering testimonials as to the rapper's good character.

"'I am happy to be here. I didn't worry 'cuz I never done anything wrong over here, except rock the mic,' Snoop said."

So -- let's get this straight: Russell Crowe, who was nearly convicted for violent phone-throwing, had to vouch for Snoop Dogg, who was convicted in 1990 for possession of blowcaine, to get into Australia, which has a dubious history with convicts.

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(LAPD Police Chief William Bratton via latimes)

"Will Osama Bin Laden have anything to say about the U.S. presidential race? Does our economic implosion make us an even more tempting target? Al Qaeda has a history of trying to influence elections, most notably with the 2004 train attacks in Madrid. Just three days before Spain's prime ministerial elections, 10 bombs left 191 dead- and Al Qaeda affiliates swung the election away from the incumbent, who supported the coalition wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and toward the challenger, a vociferous critic of U.S. foreign policy. Seven months later, Bin Laden attempted to disrupt the presidential race between George W. Bush and John Kerry. His videotaped statement, released just days before the elections, seemed to support Kerry - driving some voters toward Bush. According to 2006 reporting by Ron Suskind, CIA analysts concluded that Bin Laden knew that voters would react in this way and his message was 'clearly designed to assist the President's reelection.' If Bin Laden wants to engineer a late-October surprise in 2008, an attack on a significant American economic target may be one of the most tempting opportunities he has had in recent years." (William Bratton & R.P. Eddy/NYDailyNews)

"I just heard the buzz in film financing circles that The Weinstein Company had to writedown $50 million of Goldman Sachs' money this week. It's taking the loss because of those four films it dumped into next year, Crossing Over, Killshot, Fanboys and Shanghai, plus The Road... (And let's face it: who in their right mind thinks even one of those pics is going to make a dime of profit in 2009?) So Harvey will just sit tight between this weekend's Zack And Miri fromKevin Smith .." (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)

"I celebrated being on the 2008-2009 Junior Committee of ACRIA with fellow members like Scott Buchheit and Gillian Hearst-Simonds at The Eldridge, the members-only club famous for rejecting people at the door. Dancing to DJ Angelos Styliano (love that last name) were Sarah Basile, Naeem Delbridge, Rachelle Hruska, Eli Mizrahi, Diana Papanove and Liam McMullan -- who just turned the big 2-1!" (Papermag)

"MOVE over John McCain and David Letterman - it looks like Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman are going to reconcile this week. On Kimmel's show. Silverman, the stand-up comic who stars in her own Comedy Central series, and Kimmel broke up last July after five years together. Now comes word - buried in a network press release - that Silverman is set to be a guest on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Thursday night." (NYPost)
Could A President Obama Heal The Russo-American Rift?

(image via russiablog)

Did Putin fuck up Russia? Clearly, Putin's ill-considered decision to invade Georgia hurt him among investors at precisely the wrong moment. At present the Russian stock Index is down over 60% for the year. And price correctives in the oil and nickel markets is not helping things.

Why did Putin do what he did when he did? It is not inconceivable that Putin, flush with petrodollars, seeing China's coming out party in the Beijing Olympics, wanted to assert Russia's relevance. The Georgia invasion coincided eerily with China's elaborate celebration of their rising power status.

Could a President Barack Obama heal the Russo-American rift? Will Putin "Test" -- Biden's terminology -- the new President? Might Barack Obama, if he wins the US Presidential election, reach out his hand and offer a new partnership? All are open questions, but we cannot fail to note Alexis de Toqueville's famous statement/prediction on the relationship between the two nations:

"There are at the present time two great nations in the world, which started from different points, but seem to tend towards the same end. I allude to the Russians and the Americans. Both of them have grown up unnoticed; and while the attention of mankind was directed elsewhere, they have suddenly placed themselves in the front rank among the nations, and the world learned their existence and their greatness at almost the same time.

All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles that nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats the wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained by the plowshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centers all the authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting point is different and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe."

Democracy in America, Vol. 1, 434
Sarah Palin In 2012?

(image via politico)

Inside the beltway, as the McCain campaign implodes (or reiterates itself erratically), there is talk of a "rogue" Governor Palin, not following orders from the top of the ticket. That, of course, has led to chatter that Sarah Palin, already writing off the campaign, is eyeing 2012. If she were to run, Governor Palin would have a firm grasp of the Evangelicals and the Pat Buchananite wing of the Republican Party.

Governor Palin is, to be sure, a "tough gal," a part of the "tough guy temperament" continuum that has brought America to the brink of fiscal and political ruin. Unilateralism; the financialization of America; anti-intellectualism; religious disdain; drill, baby, drill; the studious disdain of multilateralism. But Palin's rise -- like that of Pat Buchanan's improbable and ultimately unsuccessful ascent in '92 which depended upon the early 1990s recession -- probably depends on continuing financial instability by the 2012 election. While we would still gamble on former Governor Mitt Romney in 2012, Palin would be formidable.

As the Republican Party is a hierarchical party, it would be her turn. And provided Governor Palin uses these four years in the wilderness to surmount the foreign policy learning curve, she probably has a slight edge over Romney (Although we still predict Romney/ Jeb Bush as the Republican ticket in 2012, you heard it here first). From Politico:

"Sarah Palin may soon be free. Soon, she may not have the millstone of John McCain around her neck. And she can begin her race for president in 2012.

"Some are already talking about it. In careful terms. If John McCain loses next week, Sarah Palin 'has absolutely earned a right to run in 2012,' says Greg Mueller, who was a senior aide in the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes. Mueller says Palin has given conservatives 'hope' and 'something to believe in.'

And even if the McCain-Palin ticket does win on Nov. 4 — and Mueller says it could — 'if McCain decides to serve for just one term, Sarah Palin as the economic populist and traditional American values candidates will be very appealing by the time we get to 2012.'

"It is clear that while trying to bond with voters, John McCain and Sarah Palin have not managed to bond with each other.

"... The discomfort between the two can be palpable. Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director, was in the room when Brian Williams interviewed Palin and McCain recently. 'There was a tenseness,' Todd said later. 'When you see the two of them together, the chemistry is just not there. You do wonder, is John McCain starting to blame her for things? Blaming himself? Is she blaming him?”

"I am guessing one and three. John McCain is blaming Palin for demonstrating her inexperience and lack of knowledge. And Palin is blaming McCain for running what she views as a bad campaign — a campaign that did not go after Barack Obama over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and did not exploit Obama’s statement about how small-town people “cling” to guns and religion — and for never picking a clear message that had any traction with voters.

"But here’s the difference: If McCain loses, he doesn’t get to run again, and Palin does."

More here.
Is Kim Jong-il Being Treated By A French Surgeon?

Under tyrannical regimes the free flow of information is often thwarted. Here's more on the rumors of Kim Jong-il's health. From BBC:

"North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is probably still in hospital, but capable of making decisions, according to Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

"... Mr Aso did not reveal where the intelligence reports came from, saying: "In this era, we get information from many sectors."

But he told the foreign policy committee that Japan had 'information that Mr Kim is probably in hospital.'

"'His condition isn't good. But we don't think that he's in a state where he's incapable of making any decisions at all,' Mr Aso said.

"The Japanese leader also appeared to confirm Japanese television reports that Mr Kim was receiving treatment from a French brain surgeon.

"Earlier this week, Fuji TV broadcast footage of what it claimed was Mr Kim's eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, entering a Paris clinic for a discussion about his father's health."

More on the Beeb.
Barack Obama Will Appear On The Daily Show On Cusp Of Election

Just got the following in the inbox. Senator Barack Obama clearly wants to rev up the youth vote just before the election (Obama/Biden's also been hitting college campuses in swing states of late). And, as we all -- and John Kerry especially -- know, the proportion of youth vote did not increase in 2004. From the press release:

"Senator Barack Obama will make his fourth appearance as a guest on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' on Wednesday, October 29 at 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Obama’s last appearance on 'The Daily Show' was on April 21, the eve of the Pennsylvania Primary. The Democratic nominee for President of the United States also appeared on August 22, 2007 and November 7, 2005. Obama will appear via satellite from Florida where he continues his campaign with less than one week until Election Day."

Clever media strategy as the online discussion afterwards -- Thursday, Friday -- will probably carry on online. More Corsair here.
NewsCorp's Dow Jones Grows .. In Asia

(image via paidcontent)

You have to hand it to Rupert Murdoch. As newspapers like The New York Times (and magazines as well) struggle through this recession, he has managed to eke out the ever-elusive growth from Asia. Robert Thomson, the editor-in-chief of the Dow Jones & Company and the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, spoke at the second annual Future of Business Media Conference. From Paidcontent:

"'The problem with the Journal was that as a company, it was under invested in. If you asked which financial company would be best positioned to take advantage of globalization, you’d have to say Dow Jones. Clearly we wanted to create a framework where we could expand globally and digitally.' In China, he said they are growing 400 percent a year, and they are hiring 60 news wire journalists in India. 'I think there’s a reason why we are being successful at this time.'"

More comments here.
Padma Lakshmi, At Allison Sarofim's Halloween Party

This picture makes The Corsair want to lick her sexy armscar:

(image via style)
Madonna's Former Lover "Designs" Long Island City Office

(image via people)

Carlos Leon met Madonna, the story goes, while running in Central Park years ago. He was, obliviously beautiful, riding his bike; fairly soon after he was riding the Material Girl. A C-section later, the beautiful boytoy's fortunes were made. Still, career success did not follow. Sure, he got a sort-of-nice recurring role on Oz, But aside from his being Madonna's Babydaddy, his resume is thin.

We speak too soon. If boytoy Brad Pitt can fancy himself an architect, Leon can fancy himself a designer. But while Brad Pitt is working at Frank Gehry's architectural firm in LA, Carlos Leon is in Long Island City. Vive la difference! From Cindy Adams:

"SO what pure soul will be hosting a Halloween party this year? Carlos Leon, former Madonna lover .. and trainer and maker of their 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes. It's in Long Island City. Thursday, 6-9 p.m. The Crescent Club Sales Office on Queens Plaza North. And why's a sales office having a Halloween party? Who the Halloween knows? I only know he designed this new condo's fitness center. He now makes a buck designing such places for developers."

Further evidence that Madonna -- and, ancillary to that, association with Madonna -- has jumped the shark.
Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

(image via ning)

"SADLY for Kate Hudson, the men dressed in police uniforms who arrived at her pre-Halloween party around 1 a.m. Sunday morning were real LAPD officers. The cops came to Hudson's Brentwood home to move her party indoors and keep the noise down for the neighbors. A source told us that the single mom 'was dressed as a '60s flight attendant' and her son, Ryder Robinson, 'was nowhere in sight.' Among the guests: Courteney Cox went dressed as a witch with husband David Arquette as a warlock, Winona Ryder was a mouse .." (NYPost)

"Howard (Stern) laughed that he endured an uncomfortable elevator ride with Clay Aiken on the way to the Friar's Club's Matt Lauer Roast last week. Howard also complained about the long roasts from Martha Stewart, Joy Behar and several others: 'I just wanted to have a nap...I put my head down on the table for a while...I was gonna leave in the middle, but I didn't want to insult Matt' .. Toward the end, Gilbert (Godfried) almost killed with a curse-heavy set: 'Tim Russert's widow looked like she was gonna leave.'" (HowardStern)

"A boundary runs just west of Dulles International Airport in Virginia that you won't find on any map. It's a line that may mark the political divide that determines whether Barack Obama or John McCain wins the White House. The airport straddles Loudoun and Fairfax counties, suburbs and exurbs of Washington where a surge of working professionals and Asian and Hispanic immigrants have transformed the area's once predictably Republican politics. That transformation is replaying itself across the country: the ring around Columbus, Ohio; the outskirts of Denver; Reno and Clark County, Nevada; Jefferson County, near St. Louis; Tampa, Florida. In every case, the trend is working to Democratic nominee Obama's benefit, helping explain his commanding lead over Republican McCain in estimates of electoral votes less than a week from the Nov. 4 election. 'In many ways, these two candidates are the bookends of the demographic, racial transformation that's going on in the United States,' Bill Frey, a senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said at a forum last week." (Bloomberg)

"Quantum Of Solace came online for tracking and I'm told the good news has Sony doing somersaults .. That said, Sony is trying to ignore rival studio chatter that this may be the costliest film ever made minute by minute: $261 million for a 105-minute movie, which comes out to almost $2.5 million per minute. (As opposed to, say, the $300M pricetag for 165-minute-long Pirates Of The Caribbean 3.)" (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)

(image via style)

"Hello Kitty pouf seats, a basement bondage installation, a McDonald's Happy Meal stand, topless male-model cater waiters—it must be Allison Sarofim's annual Halloween party. As usual, the hostess left no detail undone, from her costume—a green-streaked wig, silver breastplate, and unitard that she sketched and designed herself—to the decorations, which she said she envisioned as the love child of Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons. The theme, in case it's not apparent yet, was 'Evening of Anime.'" (Style)

"At yesterday's (New York) Times State of the Newsroom meeting, a staffer asked executive editor Bill Keller if the paper was running out of money. Mr. Keller handed the mic over to Times Company President and General Manager Scott Heekin-Canedy who said, definitively, no." (Observer)

"Last night I went down to the Pierre where the New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children was holding their annual Gala. They were honoring Gerald Storch, the Chairman and CEO of Toys 'R' Us, and Liz Smith, the syndicated columnist who is featured in the New York Post ..Deborah Norville was last night’s emcee .. They raised more than $400,000 for the cause of helping children living in abusive situations and in need of rescue and restoration of heart." (NYSocialDiary)

"As Ronnie Wood flouted his new love at a Mayfair restaurant last night, his long-suffering wife Jo was across town — still wearing her wedding ring. The Rolling Stone took Ekaterina Ivanova, 20, to Scott's, where fellow diners say they put on a public show of affection between courses. While Ronnie, 61, was busy snogging like a teenager, Jo, 53, was at a catwalk event at the London College of Fashion." (Thisislondon)

"At the end of last week, the European Parliament found itself in a tight spot. Having made the courageous gesture of naming Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia this year's receipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the E.U. had to wonder how receptive would China be at the 43 country Asia-Europe Meeting over the weekend .. Saving face is important for China. But while the government clearly finds foreign criticism humiliating, it doesn't want to put a blight on its future in the global economy, of which it aspires to be a heavyweight player. It's also possible that China is just tallying up its resentments for the right moment." (ForeignPolicy)

"Speculation about post-election appointments for the FCC and other key policy posts reached fever pitch in Washington media circles this week. Should Democrat Barack Obama be elected, his chief kingmaker on showbiz-related policy issues is likely to be his old friend and Harvard Law School classmate Julius Genachowski .. Former FCC chairman Michael Powell has McCain’s ear on media policy and would undoubtedly play a big role in guiding a McCain administration’s pick for FCC chief ..The two names most buzzed about as possible McCain appointments to the FCC are Bill Bailey, a former telecom adviser to McCain who now lobbies for Disney, and Mark Busey, the GOP candidate’s chief of staff." (Variety)

"President Bush paid a visit to the Republican National Committee’s headquarters Tuesday morning to thank aides for their hard work and also to rally them for the last week of campaigning .. Bush has largely been absent from McCain’s campaign efforts, and the Arizona senator has run harder against the president in recent days, intensifying his criticism of Bush’s policies." (TheHill)