Thursday, June 30, 2005

Happy 4th of July. The 4th is my 2nd favorite holiday after New Year's. Picnics with friends in the park of cold chicken, salad, some fine wine, good bread and -- always -- Handel's Water music. Be back Tuesday. Be well.
Larry Kramer Watch: TV and Blogs?


(image via sfgate)

The Corsair vigilantly continues The Larry Kramer Watch (AKA, "benevolent cyberstalking"). Kramer, the President of CBS Digital, has been making bold moves of late that include blogging in the CBS News division. This, even as organizations like NBC considers exiling their news division to the ghetto of (Said with disgust) "Jersey" (Averted Gaze); this, even as organizations like ABC's Nightline is -- allegedly -- being transformed into another arm of the many-tentacled Entertainment division. (Exaggerating cough suggesting feigned detachment)

CBS Digital has also just hired Jonathan Sobel, former General Counsel at Yahoo!, as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. Total power move. Finally, on the Kramer Watch, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Larry Kramer, president of the digital-media arm of Viacom's CBS, believes the new options work best when they are closely tied to the thing that gave them a spark in the first place: traditional TV programs. CBS is considering, for instance, giving a computer and video camera to a participant in one of its reality shows so that the person could operate a blog. That would provide product-placement opportunities for a computer manufacturer and video camera maker, both on the Web and on TV, he says.

"CBS also might be able to get an advertiser to sponsor the blog. 'If you use several things in concert you get a much stronger lift,' he says.

"'There are a lot of advertisers looking for creative answers. It reminds me of the early days of the Web,' says Mr. Kramer. 'Everyone wants to do it, and they are not exactly sure how to do it yet.'"
A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via piratehaus)

In: Pirates! Ahoy! The Corsair is a benevolent Pirate. We chase after "booty" within the well-defined precincts of international law. But all pirates are not so virtuous. Quite the contrary. According to the AP, pirates hijacked a UN-chartered vessel. Look for hundreds of pounds of bureaucratic documents to be filed in every conceivable language accomplishing nothing. Ah, that impotent United Nations (Averted Gaze): They really know how to make and enforce those Laws of the Sea, no?

"A UN-chartered vessel carrying aid for Somali tsunami victims has been hijacked off the coast of Somalia amid a flurry of new piracy warnings for the area, the World Food Programme (WFP) said.

"The freighter hauling 850 tonnes of Japanese and German food aid was seized by unidentified pirates on Monday between Haradhere and Hobyo, about 300 kilometers (185 miles) northeast of Mogadishu, it said in a statement.

"'It is against international humanitarian law to hinder the passage of humanitarian assistance and there is no justification for hijacking,' the WFP said."

We are sure that with the pirates are duly shaking in their boots.


(image via

Out: Liz Hurley's Dog. Euro-grifter Liz Hurley's dog is missing. And we're not talking about "Serving Sara," either wiseguy. But we can understand how anyone could make that mistake. We won't entertain the possibility that Jemima Goldsmith put a hit out on the old pooch. We simply won't. But you can, if you so desire. According to ThisisLondon:

"Liz Hurley was distraught today over the disappearance of her eight-month-old black labrador.

"... The 40-year-old actress called police after puppy Emily vanished close to her home in South Kensington.

"Hurley's lover Arun Nayer, 41, stopped people in the street as the couple searched for the pet.

"Passer-by Helen Elliot, 28, said: 'Arun came running over. He was sweating badly."

The Corsair allows this to pass in bemused silence. Too easy.

"'He asked if I had seen his black labrador and begged me to let him know if I saw it.

"'He was stopping lots of passers-by. Liz was sitting in a Mercedes looking fed-up.'"

(The Corsair makes whipping sound)


(image via nichemediallc)

In: Young Hannibal. The Weinstein Company is coiled, like the cobra, ready to pounce! The Weinstein Company is kind of like Ben Affleck's penis on a movie set that way. Anyhoo: according to Liz Smith:

"THE WEINSTEIN Company (we just have to get used to the fact that Harvey and Bob are no longer Miramax!) have acquired Tom Harris' coming book, 'Behind the Mask.' This is the prequel to the author's famous Hannibal Lecter series �? the tender formative years of the serial killer. The movie is to be directed by Peter Webber. It will be called �? what else? �? 'Young Hannibal.' This could make for an interesting casting search. What 20-ish actor out there has what it takes to convince us he'll eventually turn into the charismatic killer so famously portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins? And who has such chilling blue eyes?"



(image via harvard)

Out: Congresswoman Katherine Harris. One of the more interesting stories coming out of the hill is that the White House is opposing the astonishingly ambitious Katherine Harris' flirtation with a Senate run. It is interesting because, a) Harriresplendentant in Krump-style makeup, was instrumental in Bush's first Administration getting into office in the first place, and: b) Harris stepped aside in 2004, showing her loyalty to the party, allowing Rove to successfully run Mel Martinez to a Senate seat she had a fairly good chance at winning. According to TheHill:

"Frustrated with the White House and a key Republican, supporters of Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-Fla.) 2006 Senate campaign lashed out at the administration yesterday for seeking to convince another prominent GOP official to enter the race.

"'It's unimaginable that the White House folks and the National Republican Senatorial Committee would be so disloyal to Katherine Harris, especially after all she has done for the Bush family and the Republican Party,' a Florida political operative who supports Harris said.

"'It's unconscionable and a stab in the back.'Harris backers are irritated that State House Speaker Allan Bense met with White House chief of staff Karl Rove and NRSC Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) this week to discuss challenging Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) next year. The operative added, 'If it is true, they should be ashamed and embarrassed, considering she stepped aside at their request for the president and Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) in 2004. It's her turn.'"


(image via explayboybunny)

In: Roberto Cavalli Updates the Bunny. According to British Vogue:

"ROBERTO CAVALLI has been picked to update the Playboy Bunny Costume for the first time in 25 years. The sexy new uniform, which will be granted a trademark registration by the United States Patent Office, will be launched to celebrate the new Playboy tower at the Palms Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas which is expected to open next year. Cavalli will unveil his new interpretation of the iconic look later this year and it will subsequently be worn by select Bunnies alongside their traditional costume. Worn by 25,000 Playboy Bunnies and celebrities including Lauren Hutton and Deborah Harry since its inception in 1960, the costume began simply as a one-piece swimsuit with a collar and cuffs, ears and cottontail.

"... Today, both the Chicago Historical Society and The Smithsonian boast one of the costumes in their permanent collections. 'The Bunny Costume has undergone only modest changes over the years, so as to maintain its identity and special character,' said Playboy's chairman and ceo, Christie Hefner. 'Roberto Cavalli is the perfect designer to reinterpret the magic of the original design as he too embraces the good life, inspires an aspirational lifestyle for a jet-set crowd and of course celebrates beautiful women.'"

Is Bill Maher really "jet set," Christie Heffner? Judging the Miss Hawaiian Tropic beauty contest (Averted Gaze) ... does not automatically entitle anyone to an invitation to the best parties on Mustique. Not to be cruel -- okay, maybe to be vaguely cruel -- but, can the Playboy Mansion be construed as anything other than a secure location the quick hump-n-dump? I'm just saying ..


(image via hermeticabooks)

Out: Terry McMillan and Jonathan Plummer. Author Terry McMillan and her toyboy Jonathan Plummer are divorcing after 61/2 years. There's more to the story, of course. According to CNN (link via Socialitelife):

"Author Terry McMillan has filed for divorce from the man who inspired the 1996 novel 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back,' which chronicled the romantic adventures of a 40-something woman who falls for a guy half her age.

"In papers filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, McMillan, 53, says she decided to end her 6 1/2-year marriage to Jonathan Plummer, 30, after learning he is gay. The revelation led her to conclude Plummer married only to get his U.S. citizenship, she said. McMillan met Plummer at a Jamaican resort a decade ago.

"'It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on deceit,' she said in court papers. 'I was humiliated.'

"In response, Plummer maintained McMillan treated him with 'homophobic' scorn bordering on harassment since he came out to her as gay just before Christmas."

Wow, talk about dedication to your craft. (The Corsair claps hands and strikes a flamboyant pose) This man is, like, an intense performance artist. He's like fucking Brando.

Give this man a goddam Screen Actor's Guild membership! Let's recap: His "craft" inspired a bestseller and a hit movie. Terry shouldn't be mad, she should be buying adspace in Variety, offering her husband up, "For Your Consideration." Seriously, Academy-- you better recognize.
Faye Dunaway and Prince Azim: May-December Romance?


(image via horrordvds)

How many times does 22 go into 64? According to our favorite gossip-crimefighting duo, Rush and Molloy:

"Faye Dunaway, 64, went to dinner at London's Nobu with the Sultan of Brunei's 22-year-old son, Prince Azim. They left the restaurant holding hands ..."

Did she weigh her food beforehand? Still, its charming to know that Laura Mars still packs enough juice-in-the-caboose (don't ask) to marshall the finicky interests of a 22 year old Oxford reject set to inherit $47 billion and a small kingdom. Contactmusic adds:

"Pals insist their relationship is strictly business-based - budding film-maker Prince Azim is hoping to persuade Dunaway to appear in a new movie he is making.

"But the young lothario has a history with older women - he once sent SIR MICK JAGGER's ex-wife JERRY HALL a bouquet of flowers so large two men had to deliver it, reports the London Evening Standard."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Britney Spears in Talks To Go Nekkid in VF


(image via sky)

Vanity Fair is rapidly becoming a sort of tasteful Playboy Magazine for the lactating fetishist set, no? (Averted Gaze) So ... (weighty silence) another pregnant pop cultural figure. Who can blame them, The Corsair supposes, for going after the tried-and-true shocking pregnant cover photo formula? They've tried the blond bikini models, and even that didn't work out. Neither did Becks, the hot guy cover. And Graydon hasn't had an African-American on the cover since ... The Corsair cannot even remember. Call us crazy, but: Wouldn't an Oprah cover story and interview drive newsstand sales through the roof? Is The Corsair off on that assessment?

Anyhoo, Keith J. Kelly informs us that the latest issue isn't exactly flying off the newsstands. ("Said one rival in the celebrity field, 'Nicole Kidman is death on a cover'") .


(image via pdngallery)

Desperate times (Especially after the Desperate Housewives debacle, and attendant anemic newsstand sales) call for "pregnant" measures. Trot out the pregger celeb once again, Old Graydo, Old Sport. According to Allheadlinenews:

"According to a Life & Style magazine source, Britney Spears is reportedly in talks with Vanity Fair to pose naked just weeks before she is due to give birth to her first child. A source claims, 'The negotiations are in motion. Britney desperately wants to do it and knows she has to stay in good shape.'

"Vanity Fair editors have tentatively scheduled the shoot in Britney's seventh month of pregnancy so the issue can hit newsstands before she gives birth in the fall.

"The magazine controversially photographed Demi Moore while she was pregnant with her second child in 1991."

How original. Cheetos detritus will be tastefully smeared over her "saucy bits."
A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via usher-rising)

In: Superhead. The Corsair has been following the torrid media advance of Karrine Steffans, AKA "Superhead," with a certain suave mischiviousness. Today, our favorite superhero gossip duo, Rush and Molloy excerpt some of the choicer morsels of her sex life pre-Bill Maher (Eew), who, BTW, prefers "dark meat" in his chickenheads:

"After inviting her to his home at 4 a.m., Sean (P. Diddy) Combs kicked his manservant Fonzworth Bentley out of a guest bedroom so he and Steffans could spend 15 minutes making love. 'You're one of the best,' she says P. Diddy told her. Steffans writes: 'I said the same to him, when, in actuality, he was average.' Ouch."

15 minutes making love? 15 minutes doesn't even make a decent blog post. But, hey, time is money to Diddy, all things told. Still, if can run a marathon, but can't satisfy a "superhead," he might want to cut back on those Junior's cheesecakes. I'm just saying ...

"... Steffans says she got around to Whitney Houston's husband, Bobby Brown, in late 2002. Steffans says she never saw him do drugs. But she worried for his mental health during a frantic encounter where 'he told me he was a member of Al Qaeda and that President Bush was looking for him."

So, maybe Brown was going in for the dangerous-man-with-a-past pickup line angle with Superhead. Or something. Who knows? We won't entertain the possibility of the insidious influence of the "cracks." And, anyhow, what would an Al Qaeda member be doing with Sharon in the Holy Land? More.


(image via chadmuska)

Out: Paris Colonizes the Loo. The Corsair doesn't know why, but sometime during emergence of the Paris Hilton celebrity phenomenon, ladies in clubs across the country silently allowed Paris Hilton to skip to the head of the bathroom line. No one else could do this, but Paris had the assent of clubgoing women everywhere. A Bad idea. ApPEEsement never works, it only emboldens the authoritarian personality. Now, it appears, Paris has amped up her game -- steroidally -- taking it to a whole new level, according to the 3AM Girls:

"IS Paris Hilton loos-ing the plot? We only ask because she has been going to extraordinary lengths to make sure that she is treated like a queen in the, erm, throne room.

"The 24-year-old hotel heiress spent Monday night boozing it up at swish West End club Kabaret's Prophecy. But whenever she went to powder her nose she insisted that the little girls' room was cleared of other revellers first.

"One clubber tells us: 'Paris was putting away the vodka and Red Bulls and seemed to be having a really good time. But whenever she needed the loo, security were dispatched to clear the ladies for her arrival.

"'Then she and her friends would go in together while her flunkies guarded the door.'"


(image via NYTCO)

In: Discoveryx7. The New York Times Discovery Channel actually has an interesting show on. Alert the media! We know, we know: DTimes tends to focus on chaotic African war zones, CIA technology and behind the sces at the military academies. All the serial killers out there presently enjoying DTimes will be discouraged by the programming of the highly original "Discovery Times 7." According to their site:

"Times Seven is an intersection of the best journalism, reportage, analysis and thinking from two great news organizations: The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"Times Seven features innovative first-person reporting and a wide range of stories presented in five distinct categories:

"� THE LEAD - A key story of the week, told in a unique and 'multi-layered' approach.

"� ENTERPRISE - A feature report or investigation that draws upon the journalistic strength of The New York Times and CBC News.

"� SCIENCE TIMES - Breakthroughs and developments in science and medicine.

"� ARTS & TRENDS - The latest trends in arts and culture.

"� COMMENT - The final word, a place for intelligent and provocative commentary from The New York Times columnists and public figures.

"At Times Seven, we tell the untold stories - we come at situations from fresh angles, with pace, wit, action, dynamism. We treat the world as our neighborhood, and mankind as our business."

Indeed they do.


(image via screenselect)

Out: How High 2. Does our culture really need another dumb pothead comedy? They are making a "How High 2." The Corsair doesn't know why, but they are. We suppose, logically, that the sequel is happening because a) "How High" was so cheap to produce and -- we guess -- b) it did boffo box office and DVD sales.

According to Moviehole: "Rapper turned actor Method Man is set to build a couple more bridges into the acting world this year. "Talking to, the dawg says he's set to not only do a guest shot on money-spinning series 'C.S.I,' but star in a sequel to cult fave 'How High.' 'We're working on How High part 2 right now,' Method Man says, 'My mans writing it, the same guy that plugged me into those CSI episodes, Dustin [Abraham], he's writing the second How High, he wrote the first one.'"

And for those of you who, like me, wisely abstained, Flathat says:

"Method Man plays Silas, a scientifically advanced pot dealer (a veritable pharmacist with weed for any circumstantial ailment) and Redman is Jamal, a man still living at home after attending his two-year college for six years, when they meet at the 'THC' college entrance exams. Both try to 'relax their nerves' with a pre-test smoke and naturally become friends.

"When they smoke 'Ivory,' the plant that sprung from soil mixed with Silas's dead friend's ashes, they can see his ghost. Ivory (only visible to those who smoke him) assists the two on their exams, helping them make perfect scores that get them into Harvard."

Sounds like a movie we'll strenuously avoid.
Unleash Japan


(humiliating image via Hello!Magazine)

Do you remember the Chinese spy plane incident? That seems so long ago, so pre-September 11th. It was, arguably, the first foreign policy crisis of the Bush Administration. Even with the formidable and universally respected then-Secretary of State Colin Powell at the front of negotiations, our spy plane was returned to us, humiliatingly dismantled, and the crew was released, after a disturbingly lengthy stay of detention. Charmed, I'm sure. (Averted gaze)

Rich Lowry makes a compelling case in the latest issue of National Review to unleash Japan of their post-World War II military restrictions. And, why not? A "Pacifist" Japan in Asia does not suit the interests of the United States. It's actually rather silly. The American-imposed Article 9 of the Constitution presupposes perpetual Japanese aggression. Presently, however, Japan is in a state of romantic love with American popular culture. There, we have utilized our soft-power with impressive results. Japan is, for all intents and purposes, our strongest ally in Asia at the moment.

We are engaged in a War on Terror, and -- predictably -- China is taking full stealth advantage of our Middle Eastern distractedness to build itself up into a massive superpower. Every day is more evidence that China is creeping up on America's hegemony. The two-pronged offensive is economic as well as military. Even our ally Australia is reeling under the economic dynamo that is China. We are losing influence in the region to an authoritarian regime. Perhaps a reinvigorated SEATO is in order? The Corsair is sure South Korea wouldn't be against that idea.
Do we want such an authoritarian regime as China in such a position? Definitely not. Should the United States intervene in Syria or Iran, you can imagine that a Chinese invasion of that "renegade province" Taiwan would not be far behind. That slurping sound you presently hear is China salivating over the prospect of absorbing Taiwan, which it increasingly dominates economically.

The essay by Lowry is magnificent and timely. The Mandarins of Beijing have gotten off, of late, with humiliating Japan. It is fine sport for the population to bring up perceived historical wrongs. The mandarins allow a minimum of youth rage to bubble up, just to scare the Japanese, then, abruptly, cork it all back up. A very deadly game.

Japan is terrified, and the tensions of the Chinese populace at their authoritarian domination are manageably redirected by bringing up those perceived wrongs. Its all very ducky if you are a mandarin. Alas over a billion people are not. Poor once-mighty Japan, however, is straightjacketed as the Beijing rattles its gleaming sabers.

The red-hot Chinese economy is rapidly becoming an aggressive competitor. Think: Unocal oil deal. It is in the interests of United States to do everything it can to thwart the leadership in Beijing from achieving those ambitions. An unrestricted Japan, acting within the purview of its own self-interest, restrains Chinese aggression. And that is in the self-interest of the United States.

Let the land of the Rising Sun rise once more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bo Derek: Policy Wonk


(image via skynet)

You laugh at the idea that Bo Derek, a woman primarily known for being at one point in time a "Perfect 10," with cold, wet t-shirt action going on, might know the nuanced intricacies of defense policy and weapons systems, but it is true. The Corsair knows.

We've seen her poring over Jane's Defense News briefs on her PDA. And, quite frankly, she's positively rhapsodic on the subject of CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Don't get her started on that topic. No shit. According to our favorite social chronicler:

"One of the most humorous sideshows was a table full of Washington insiders including the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife Calista, Kennedy Center Life Trustee Kenneth Duberstein, Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan, and his wife Jackie who is a producer with Charlie Rose; Washington Post Roxanne Roberts; Barry and Tracey Mansaur from Chicago, and Mandy and Mary Ourisman.

"Mary, a recent presidential-appointed board member, just finished chairing a marathon 3-day Smithsonian event that began at the White House and ended with a black tie dinner at the new National Museum of the American Indian.'Off the record' comments dominated the conversation, but one 'on the record' remark that can be shared was 'I came because it's Sunday and I've already watched Desperate Housewives,' from a chuckling Newt. Do you think Laura Bush got the idea for her speech from him? After dinner, the guests filed into the Concert Hall.

"One could not help but observe the charming side of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as he chatted with board member and actress Bo Derek. One can only imagine what they discussed."

A Corsair guestimation of the chatter:

Bo Derek: Mr. Secretary, with landmines largely off the table, cluster munitions are widely considered to be the most threatening of the remaining ERW categories.

Secretary Rumsfeld: Yes, the Mine Ban Treaty that arose from the Ottawa Process was quite effective.

Bo Derek: Now that we are a world empire in a War on Terror, has the Department of Defense supplanted the number one cabinet position previously held by State? By that I mean, we needed a top diplomat-foreign minister when America was an emerging power, and most certainly during the Cold War against the Soviet Union. But now that we bestride the globe as a colossus, doesn't the Department of Defense trump the olive branch wavers at Foggy Bottom?

Secretary Rumsfeld: (Serious) That's a very, very astute question. Ask Colin Powell.

(both chuckle darkly)

Bo Derek: Have you read Rothkopf's "Running The World"? I can't put it down. Last night I read until 5AM. He's definitely hiding his motives. It reads as an "objective history of the National Security Council," but -- really -- his biases in favor of Brent Scowcroft and the Internationalists over and against the neocons are there if you look. Then again, you aren't really a neocon, are you Mr. Secretary. You are a Rumsfeldian.

Secretary Rumsfeld: (Charmed, intrigued) Say, what are you affiliated with? Kissinger Associates? Rand Corporation?

Bo Derek: Playboy.

Secretary Rumsfeld: (Averted Gaze) Hello, I must be going. (Exits, promptly, stage Far Right)
A Little of the Old In and Out


In: Bubba and Poppy's Excellent Adventure. In this age of partisan rancor and bitchery, the surprising friendship that has sprouted between "Bubba" and "Poppy" (the 41st and 42nd Presidents of the United States, respectively) -- former political enemies -- is refreshing. We even hear that Bush 41 actually calls him "Bubba" in private. Says The AP (link via DrudgiePoo):

"Bill Clinton joined his one-time political foe, former President George H.W. Bush, for a boat ride on the Atlantic Ocean after attending a book-signing Monday.

"Clinton was seen kneeling to pet a dog when he arrived at Walker's Point, the summer home of George and Barbara Bush on Maine's rocky coast. Later, Clinton and Bush waved to onlookers as they boated up and down a river before roaring into the ocean for a short ride in Bush's three-engine boat.

"The 1992 election rivals became good friends when they led fund-raising as part of the relief effort for victims of the Asian tsunami. Bush extended the invitation after learning that Clinton would be in Maine for a book signing."

Is The Corsair the only one who thinks this is -- dare I say this of former leaders of the free world? -- "cute"?


(image via Lauraholder)

Out: John Currin, Sham. One would think that Vogue would embody the highest standards of aesthetic taste, no? The percentage of Conde Nasties on the Vogue masthead with private liberal arts degrees in Art History from excellent and frosty New England campuses must be formidable indeed. Then, why -- with all those resources at the ready -- does Anna Wintour err so catastrophically with regards to matters of taste? (Averted Gaze)

To wit, Faran Krentcil in Fashionweekdaily:

"British supermodel Lily Cole studied art history in school, and now the 17 year-old is living her lessons in this month�s Vogue. Her centerfold for DeBeers Diamonds features the dreamy-eyed redhead posing in three Renaissance paintings: Diana the Huntress, The Seduction of Eve, and The Birth of Venus, all embellished with scores of DeBeers diamonds.

"Flip 20 pages to Anna Wintour�s 'letter from the editor' for her comparison of Lily�s photographs to 'something resembling a John Currin.'�

John Fucking Currin?! That contemporary scam? John Currin is awful. John Currin's "artwork" is so bad it makes The Corsair want to flail his fists. Now, if Anna had compared the photographs immodestly to, say, the ethereal Sandro Botticelli, a sharp Vermeer, or even the delicate forms of Luca Penni. But, no. Anna wanted to be "hip," and "au courante," and, in the process, overlooked the immortal Old Masters in favor of a busty Young Mistress. For shame. Vogue should have had better taste in the matter. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)


(image via wanadoo)

Out: Liz Hurley, Temptress. What the fuck is wrong with Liz Hurley? Though her own oily quest to marry a multi-millionaire appears to exist in a nebulous, galactic stalled zone (Arun Nayer isn't divorced yet and his wife is fighting), that doesn't mean Liz has proprietary rights to fuck up her fellow seedy Euro-grifter Hugh Grant's chances at spending a leisurely, if wasted, life sipping fizzy drinks on the Riviera. Why does she have to fuck up Hugh Grant's shit? You see (The Corsair arches an eyebrow, getting gossipy), according to the 3AM Girls:

"HUGH Grant and girlfriend Jemima Khan had an amazing bust-up after his ex Liz Hurley grabbed his hand and started sucking his finger at a party.

"Guests were gobsmacked as Liz, 40, performed her saucy mock seduction during Sir Elton John's White Tie and Tiara bash at his Windsor mansion last Thursday.

"And her late-night horseplay did not go down well with 31-year-old millionaire Jemima, who was disgusted by the display and stormed off cursing Hugh.

"Our spy says: 'Jemima was furious. Liz was flirting with Hugh all night. Her boyfriend Arun Nayer was there but was oblivious to it.

"We couldn't believe it when she grabbed Hugh's hand and started sucking his finger suggestively. Even if it was just a laugh you could see how uncomfortable Jemima was.

"'Everyone was stunned by Liz's behaviour. Jemima just turned on her heel and stalked off.'
Hugh, 44 - who has been dating Jem for a year since the mum-of-two split from her husband, Pakistani cricket hero Imran Khan - tried to beg forgiveness but she was having none of it.

"'He raced after her but Jemima was not in a forgiving mood.

"'She kept shouting at him: 'F*** off'. He kept coming back for more and she ended up telling him three times to 'f*** off'.

"'He was looking dead sheepish. He must have had a hell of a lot of crawling to do.'"

Poor fucking Hugh Grant. By our scientific reckoning he has spent 60 percent of the past decade groveling before his women. P.S: Liz Hurley's a Jinx!


(image via todaysseniorsnetwork)

In: Lott Versus Santorum. Hott damn, this is going to be better than Dynasty. Apparently, Senator Trent Lott -- a man who has never lost a Republican leadership election in Congress -- is keen on taking on his former ally Rick Santorum for the number 2 spot in the party. Nothing personal, Rick, it's just bidness. According to TheHill:

"Sen. Trent Lott is considering a return to the GOP leadership � the culmination of a multiyear effort to rehabilitate his image after being forced to resign his post as majority leader. Lott has set his sights on the job of party whip � the No. 2 job in the GOP leadership � a position expected to be won without opposition by GOP Conference Chairman Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) if Santorum wins reelection.

" ... Asked whether he would seek the whip�s job, Lott told The Hill last week, 'I might, but I hope it�s Rick.'

"Senate GOP aides say Lott has already begun gauging his level of support in the conference, although several declined to comment because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"Although successful runs for leadership often involve years of advance planning, Lott�s willingness to discuss his ambition openly is an unusual breach of Senate protocol, since it could undermine Santorum by suggesting that he is vulnerable. Santorum helped provide a soft landing for Lott when Lott had to give up his leadership post, agreeing to relinquish the chairmanship of the Rules Committee, which he would have chaired by seniority."

Treachery among friends? Or, good, old fashioned competition-as-arbiter-of-the-best-result?
Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...


Washingtonian Mandy Ourisman: His pimp hand, though arthritic, is strong ... (image via NYSocialDiary)


Stephen Schwarzman signals to the crowd in the cheap seats just what he "intends to tap" after the dance. (image via NYSocialDiary)


Karl Rove, Michael Powell, wine, easy conversation: Be afraid Howard Stern. Be very afraid. (image via WashingtonLife)


Even though the sailor in this picture has been adrift on a storm-tossed sea for months, and Elaine Stritch is offering him a shot at some free "sweet ass" (tm) ... he cannot ... quite ... bring himself ... to partake. He just can't. (image via NYSocialDiary)
Hewitt and Graydo: A Love Story


(image via sptimes)

A Don Hewitt-Graydon Carter collabo? According to our favorite gossip crimefighting duo:

"Former '60 Minutes' producer Don Hewitt won't be goofing off in his retirement - if Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has anything to say about it. Carter is talking with the 83-year-old Hewitt about joining his magazine 'so he can bounce ideas off him,' a source tells us. A VF rep confirms, 'Graydon and Don had a conversation about Don becoming a consultant.' Stay tuned."

"from: Don Hewitt
to: Graydo
subject: Expose

Idea for VF: An expose on magazines that cover the African-American heavy entertainment industry, but, now get this: They do not put African-Americans on the cover. Red hott. What do you think?"

"from: Graydon Carter
to: Don
subject: pass

I think we'll pass on this idea.


"from: Don Hewitt
to: Graydo
subject: Conflicts of Interest

Idea for VF: How about a story on journo taste arbiters in Hollywood demanding consultation fees from the studios they cover. How do you like them apples?"

"from: Graydon Carter
to: Don subject:

"Don: Are you fucking with me?"

"Best, Graydo"
Mailer: The Blog


(image via Page Six via AP)

Jay Rosen of PressThink (link via Poynter) brings up the curious proposition of a Norman Mailer blog. If Mailer was one of the progenitors of The New Journalism, why not have at the New, New Journalism, namely: blogs? We are duly intrigued by the possibilities. Says Rosen:

"Mailer wrote that at the Huffington Post May 17th. He also said: 'I'm beginning to see why one would want to write a blog.' This was a change of heart. In a December, 2002 interview he was asked if he 'did' the Internet. 'I don�t,' Mailer said. 'That would use up what I have left.'"

Quite the contrary, Normie. Who is more Pan-passionate than The Mailman? Mailer is suffused with "lifeforce." Why, he has been married 6 times and has 9 children! Norm's sentences have an arch-epic quality about them.

Lifeforce is not a zero sum game, especially in someone as energetic as Mailer. But what would a Norman Mailer blog look like, per se? Hmmm:

Ancient Bloggings! posted by 'Norm' on Mon June 27 2005 at 09:00 PDT

Crude thoughts and fierce forces are my state. If only that Michiko Kakutani would get off my pockmarked, writerly ass about that "threefer" remark. I was being glib. Now, as if by magic, PEN America is threatening censure. And, to my consternation, I am one of the last people living who presently actually gives a zipless fuck what PEN thinks. Critics! Extinctus Amabitur Idem!

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Polymorphous Perversity Posted by Normie on Mon June 28 2005 at 14:22 PDT

Angelina Jolie is positively fucky. Just thought I'd throw that out there and let it marinate. I wonder if some sucker American publisher would allow me to do a 6-figure book on her, a la the book/blowjob I did on Marilyn? No. No one's that clueless. Is Harold Evans still at Random House? I wonder.

Ever since my ex wife Adele revealed that I once made passionate love to an African-American transsexual, I have felt liberated to the nth degree. I no longer require that my wives learn to make my eggs and the odd afternoon tuna fish sandwich from my Mother.

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First Lady Posted by Normie on Mon May 9 2005 at 14:22 PDT

Bill Clinton and I both shared my wife, Norris Church. That makes us, I believe the term is: "Eskimo Brothers," after a fashion. I was the better lay. But then, she'd have to say that, no? Just thought I'd share.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

The Insolent Face of Louis Rukeyser


Above: The insolent face of Louie Fucking Rukeyser. (image via lvrh)

The Corsair has always been fascinated by the media (Gemini), especially with television, and, as a child, with PBS during the 1970s in particular. Part of this has to do with our being the child of a diplomat -- a "diplo-brat," if you will -- and thus wanting to learn as much as possible about the latest cultural melee we have been thrown in, by the decree of the Ugandan embassy.

Sometimes, we would come across the insolent face of Louis Rukeyser of "Wall $treet Week." The "S" in "Street" was converted to the oh-so-clever dollar sign, see? And you thought the Ayn Rand's dollar sign cigarette lighters that Objectivists sport is the height of laissez-faire chic?

Needless to say, the bad puns kept a-coming a-plenty, let me tell you; Rukeyser was one funky capitalist monkey. After the credits rolled, and the sound of a ticker blasted (simulating, no doubt, robust economic activity; that, or two bodies draped in expensive jewelry, fucking), Sun King Louis would trot out, silvery feathered locks streaming, manicured like a bitch, and take his seat at the head of the table with his most wry, insolent, constipated smile, only afterwards to deliver bad capitalist puns about "liquidity" and "fixed rate mortgages" and the like (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) You can imagine how roughly his bon mots stunk. His court of corporate lackeys -- la gloire, to be sure -- chuckled synthetically at his every utterance.

It was enough to drive a child Communist.

Those were trying moments, dear sweet Jesus, as we were nearly compelled -- every time -- as if by some unstoppable inner force, to wipe the "rosy outlook" right off his "bull market" with extreme prejudice. We resisted, however. Louis Rukeyser's "Wall $street Week" was, perhaps, the most fucking boring show in the history of television. Ever. Even people who lived money -- i.e investment bankers -- would eschew this "program," regarding it as naught else but simple shit. And it was.

For years, though, it was carried by PBS, like flotsam on the ocean adrift, proving, ironically: ipso facto, the need for more capitalist competition on public television. Surely there were more compelling representations of the importance of an ownership society?

Anyhoo: We thought we'd smelled the last of Rukeyser. (Averted Gaze) Then, Medialife sent this to our inbox, tossing salt in nearly healed wounds:

"Jaws dropped three years ago when Maryland Public Television unceremoniously bumped Louis Rukeyser from his longtime hosting job of 'Wall $treet Week,' one of public television's biggest draws.

"The move seemed to make no sense. MPT claimed it wanted to attract a younger audience to the show. Yet messing with a proven formula in search of a crowd with no strong history of watching personal finance shows seemed misguided. "It turns out it was. The revamped 'Week' never recovered from Rukeyser's very public and angry exit. So it came as no surprise when on Friday night the show aired for the last time, signing off for good."

Good riddance!
A Little of the Old In and Out


In: Kate and Pete, 4evR? The Brit press often play a bit fast and loose with the truth. That having been said, take the following news with a grain of crack. We mean: salt. According to the astonishingly downmarket NewsoftheWorld:

"KATE MOSS reckons she'll be Mrs PETE DOHERTY by the end of the year.

"The supermodel has told pals that crackhead Pete is the 'love of her life.'

"And now she's waiting for him to pop the question ... which will be the first time he's popped anything that doesn't come with its own classification.

"Kate, 31, let the cat out of the bag as she partied backstage at Glastonbury's Lost Vagueness area on Friday night.

"As she knocked back the booze she told pals it was only a matter of time until she got hitched to the Babyshambles frontman.

"She gushed: 'I love him very much. He's a really great guy and we get on so well. Everything is just perfect. I'm really happy with everything and I want to be with him.'

"In recent days, the showbiz rumour mill has been a-buzz with talk that Kate would be flashing a wedding band at Glastonbury. But the only thing Pete was flashing was his crown jewels after taking to the stage with his flies undone."

Nice. Note to Kate, Babygirl: 1) Be sure the rock on your ring is not smokable. And, like, honey, 2):If you see him sucking on a "glass dick" -- no matter how inconsequenrial in size, regard that as cheating, cause you can't compete with that kind of loving, and dump his nutritionally challenged-concave crack smokers' ass.

Out: The Steve Florio Book. Whiskey-voiced newspaperman David Carr informs us that Florio's Prince is just not going to happen. All the chatter of the chattering classes just fucked the whole shit up. According to the Old Gray Lady:

"As proposed, the book sounded like a new kind of C.E.O. tell-all: one part management treatise, one part braggadocio and one part score settling, as he offered his assessments, many negative and some vicious, of the people he worked with.

"In a phone call last Friday afternoon, Mr. Florio said that the proposal was culled from a series of business lectures he gave at New York University and written by someone else, but approved by him. He added that he was horrified when subsequent coverage suggested that he was writing a tell-all about his days of running Conde Nast.

"'I would never sacrifice my integrity to write a book,' he said. 'Because of what was said and how it was taken, there will be no book.'"



Kip Kroeger, Ryan Gosling, Charlie Ebersol, and Willie Ebersol(image via NYSocialDiary)

In: Ithuteng. Ithuteng, David Patrick Columbia informs us, means "never stop learning" in Xosha. It is also the name of a wellreceivedd film that was screened recently. Our favorite social chronicler reviews it thusly:

"The film is about a school in a poverty-stricken township (Pimville) in Soweto, South Africa. Soweto, which was designed for a quarter million inhabitants a century ago, is now home to more than 3 million, most of whom live in abject, hopeless poverty. It is Johannesburg�?s largest suburban township and a cauldron of post-apartheid unemployment, crime, drug trafficking and rape among the country's youth. Poverty; all roads lead to despair and Soweto is a capitol of that destination. And as it always is when poverty dominates, the children suffer the most.

"Ithuteng is a gut-wrenching story about that suffering. The films director, sixteen year-old, Willie Ebersol paints the vivid portrait of three students among the almost 3000 who are attending a remarkable school started in 1997 by a woman named Jackey Maarohanye and affectionately known by all as Mama Jackey, who runs the Ithuteng Trust in Soweto.

"The film focuses on three powerful stories, told in the first person by Dineo (age 14) an orphaned rape victim who has just arrived at the school, Lebo (22) an HIV/AIDS infected rape victim who is one of Mama's original six students, and Victor(26) a notorious reformed criminal who helps Mama run the school with his infectious charisma."

More here.


Out: Jack Nicholson's Black Phallus. According to Twitch (link via Defamer) ... I ... I just don't know. I (The Corsair looks distraught) ... just don't know.


(image via PBS)

In: Campaign Mode Versus Governing. There is precious little time between a President's election to a second term, and the point at which he (or she) becomes a political dead duck. This usually occurs right before the midterm elections after a President has squandered all political capital and the members of the House attend to saving their own political backsides.

Political capital must not be squandered in a second term. It is a finite commodity. And yet -- quixotically -- the President is fighting Congress over John Bolton (The President could simply make him a recess appointment, an ignominy which wouldn't entirely extinguish a Bolton-UN mandate). The Old Gray Lady gets unnamed sourced -- cough, coughCentristscough -- to warn the Administration against faltering.
Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...


Al Roker, AKA Pimp Beaujolias, AKA Sweet Dick Willie, offers up his latest, specially-priced "recruits," Al "Rock Your World" Franken, and Bob "Assless Chaps" Costas. 2-for-1 special today. (image via NYSocialDiary)
Tish Baldridge on DC: 'Women here cannot be chic'


(image via TimeInc)

Washington, PJ O'Rourke once mused, is "Hollywood for the ugly." Zing. DC, by the way, is not unamused at said unkind remark, hosting, tongue in cheek (no pun intended), a contest for the "Hottest U.S. Senator" (link via Wonkette). While we will remain silent on the quality of "USDA prime beefs" among the men rattling sabers in our hallowed nation's capitol (Averted Gaze), DC is not without its share of "saucy hotties" among the fairer sex. Think: Lynda Carter, AKA Wonder Woman.

Why this conscious lack of chic -- especially among women -- in the capitol city of the world's greatest Empire? Even Rome had Livia Drusa Augusta, whom the aristocratic historian Tacitus regarded as something of a hot tomato (although, we imagine, not in those exact words). DC has a huge percentage of Southern debs, trophy wives, Hollywood starlets with a pet policy issue and ambitious hotties on the rise.

Even Alexandra Jacobs, in the New York Times Book Review, by way of a positive review, said of Jessica Cutler's The Washingtonienne, "The chicks that flock to the seat of the federal government are generally in search of career advancement, not Christian Louboutin-clad fun. So perhaps the Beltway bunch should be grateful for this lewd, unpretentious valentine to their city."

Stephanie Mansfield of the Washington Post digresses from an article on Bo Derek's recent visit to DC to muse on the state of women's dress in the nation's capitol:

"Now comes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"With her Oscar de la Renta scarlet silk gown, her knee-high boots and long jacket, her pastel Akris suits and jaunty flip, she's making women in Washington watch with a mixture of envy, awe and inspiration.

"... Suddenly, people are asking: Why can't Washington women dress, well, more like women?"

Yes: Why? (The Corsair sits rapt by his computer monitor)

"...'I think that's the number one thing to go for: appropriateness,' said Letitia Baldridge, White House social secretary to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. 'This is a very serious city. People look very much alike in their neat pants and tops and handbags and designer sunglasses.' Washington women, simply put, are afraid. 'Women here cannot be chic,' she says. And retailers understand the paranoia.

"'You can't even buy a decent ball gown here,' said Mrs. Baldridge. 'You have to go to New York.'"

Truth be told, the idea of George Washington-in-drag lookalike Laetitia Baldridge in a ballgown does not sit well with our yogurt and granola breakfast. Still:

"... In the annals of Washington fashion flops, none can match Joan Kennedy's mini-skirt outfit, worn to a State dinner. 'She wore her skirts way up to the top of her thighs,' Mrs. Baldridge said. Then there were Nancy Reagan's toreador pants (Ole!). More recently, Martha Stewart elicited Inside the Beltway boos when she arrived at a White House State dinner wearing pink silk Shantung Capri pants and a white shirt stained with makeup. 'People just blanched,' one guest said.

"And what about Jane Fonda's velvet Scarlett O'Hara ball gown, also worn to the White House on a steamy, summer 90-degree eve, with her decollette proudly exposed. It's not only cleavage that Washington women disdain -- it's color.

"Fitness guru Denise Austin, who was born and raised in California and now lives in Alexandria, wore a coral-colored Carolina Herrera gown to an inaugural ball. 'I was the only one in orange,' she laughed. 'Everyone else wore black.'"

Well, we hear in his heyday, Jack Abramoff wore orange. Oh, no, we forgot: that was his "mantan." Continue:

"Hollywood stars even know to tone down the glitz for a Washington visit. When testifying on the Hill, actress Julia Roberts looked uncharacteristically frumpy in a baggy black pantsuit and glasses. Actress Angelina Jolie looked as if she was showing up for jury duty, even wearing a dark navy-blue covered-up sheath to a black-tie event at the Kuwaiti Embassy.

"... One reason Miss Rice may have more freedom to express herself is that she's single. She doesn't have to answer to a spouse who gets the jitters over his wife's Inner Bimbo. 'In Washington,' said Mrs. Baldridge, 'if you show a little skin, women think they'll be criticized. And their husbands will be ridiculed. You know, Look at that trollop he's married to."

Unleash the Inner Bimbo, Washington. Go on.

article here.
New Face of Versace: Fembot Demi Moore


42-year old Demi Moore. Actress. A woman barely alive. We can rebuild her. We have the technology. We can make her better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster. According to Hello!Magazine:

"While the Material Girl starred in the Italian label's last campaign, 42-year-old Demi shows off her toned and tanned bod for autumn/winter in print advertisments which will be unveiled in August. 'I have known Demi Moore for many years and never has she been as beautiful as she is now,' said designer Donatella Versace. 'Her presence is magnetic because it is entirely natural and never forced. Her personality comes shining through.' And there was plenty of star wattage shining through as Donatella showed off her latest menswear collection at Milan Fashion Week at the weekend. While a parade of scantily-clad male models, wearing Versace's sizzling swimwear, prowled the catwalk, stars such as R&B heart-throb Usher and actress Brooke Shields took in the action from the front row."

As Demi is perhaps the greatest living example of body augmentation, we cannot fail to note what is said on a Geocities "Deadly Fembots" site, namely:

"The show entitled 'Kill Oscar' from The Bionic Woman series is without a doubt one of the best shows ever produced! The word EXCITEMENT is an understatement! This is a show in which our fearless heroine encounters an army of female super-robots! All with one purpose in mind: KILL OSCAR (head of O.S.I.) and Jamie Sommers!

"The stunt coordination on the set of 'The Bionic Woman' was PERFECT!. This coupled with Lindsay's incomparable ability for acting brought each fight-scene a feeling of desperation within oneself that was just so thrilling! It felt as though you were right there with her and you found yourself yelling at the screen from frustration!

"This show ('Kill Oscar') contains one scene which I honestly and truly thought I was going to have a heart attack right in front of the screen while watching! Jamie goes to her best friend's apartment (Oscar's secretary) who has been replaced by the bad-guys with a FEMBOT!. The Fembots were just as powerful as Jamie! Here, Jamie is forced to fight with not one, but TWO Fembots! She came very close to dying in this scene! If you think the moving animation ... is fun to watch, you haven't seen the real thing then!"

Fight scene here.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Friday, June 24, 2005

Maureen Orth on the Jacko Trial


(Koons via thinkquest)

Maureen "Mo Money" Orth gives us a highly idiosyncratic exposition of the Jacko trial at, along with the requisite graphic representation of Simian evacuation:

"I have been chronicling Jackson's downward spiral for 12 years and have sat in the courtroom for most of the trial. Even though the case is constantly in the press even re-enacted daily on E! Entertainment Television there are sinister parts of it that were designed to influence the jury without their knowledge. A host of sleazy characters have surrounded the tarnished icon, and his world is full of dark undercurrents. We saw 135 witnesses from stand-up comics to a maid who had to scrub the feces of Bubbles, the pet chimpanzee, off Jackson's bedroom walls."

(A considerable and maudlinlin pause followed by the sound of a low whistle) Yes, well, abuse of immigrant labor is a compelling story angle and all, if you go in for that sort of thing (Averted Gaze), but Sex sells, Mo, not tales of animal feces tossed at great velocity. You see, we would've went after the "Joe Jackson shot Bubbles because he found him in bed with his son" angle. Sex -- bestiality, to be precise -- and animal cruelty. It's a twofer, as Norman Mailer might say.

Article here.
A Little of the Old In and Out


(link via Donshewy)

In: James Wolcott. Vanity Fair scribe James Wolcott has an inexhaustible supply of well crafted bile to foist upon us today, tucking in on the subject of Fox News. Fox News and James Wolcott do not get along, and we don't quite know the backstory. Wolcott's been on a tear of late on his blog. To wit:

"Over the years I've often found myself wondering if certain members of the devil's party inhale insecticide to psyche themselves up for the evil they do. Tom DeLay is a logical candidate, given his professional background, and Ann Coulter often has the bug eyes characteristic of bug-juice abuse. Watching Fox News, I figured they might keep a industrial-sized bug inhaler in the offices for their producers and hosts to take an invigorating hit from before pushing the Bush agenda.

"As is so often the case, my suspicions have been creepily confirmed. According to the ongoing reports at Media Bistro's TV Newser, production and tech workers in the NY offices of Fox News Channel in NY may have been exposed to diazinon, 'a neurotoxin class insecticide.' This is quite dangerous.

But it is gassbag Susie Estrich, the former national campaign manager during that lamentable Dukakis episode (Averted Gaze), who get the full "Wolcottian Gasface":

"... Enriched as he is with a tainted-mushroom imagination, probably even David Lynch couldn't envision a sight as sordid and debasing as that of Susan Estrich spit-shining the brass at Fox News in the otherwise pristine pages of the Christian Science Monitor, an exhibitionistic act of self-mortification brought to my attention by DCMediagirl, who inflicts a righteous whupping on Estrich, who doesn't need Dennis Hopper's inhaler to get autotoxicated--listening to her own loudmouth bullshit is enough to get her high."


(image via diu.zapato)

Out: Bette. At the risk of having all my future reservations turned down to the chic Chelsea eaterie "Bette," Amy Sacco's a ... 'lil bit wacko. Sacco's idea is to break off some of the Bette buzz with a line of designer jeans. Yeah. Cue to the Twilight Zone music any time now. According to fashionweekdaily:

"Waiters at the West 23rd Street eatery have been given unwashed, rigid jeans to wear for the next three to six months, as part of a wash development. They�ve been instructed to live in the prototypes like they would their own jeans. 'This way, they create their own whiskers and distresses, a hole here, a hole there,' said Eleanor Ylvisaker, a company spokeswoman. 'Then we give them new ones and take theirs back.' The jeans then go to the company�s laundry center in Kentucky where they�re replicated and officially christened the 'Bette Jean.' The good news is that Earnest Sewn plans on having the Bette Jean available by Christmas at their Meatpacking District store; other retailers are expected to stock the denim next summer. The only way to get them quicker would be to work at the restaurant.

�'We�re anticipating grease and oil and ketchup stains,' Ylvisaker said. 'But we�re looking most forward to them.'"



In: Lunch at Michael's. For Lunch at Michael's the prognosis today is: Bookish. FishbowlNY takes us through the floor plan, briskly, letting drop:

"Back room: Dick Parsons, of Time Warner, with blonde woman.

"Leslee Dart and Cynthia Schwartz, both of the Dart Group, with 20/20's editorial producer Susan Miller and Anchor Elizabeth Vargas.

"Near the front door: David Patrick Columbia, New York Social Diaries, with Allison Mason, real estate guru.

"Table 16: Evan Strome and Jason Ressler, filmmakers working on a Sid Bernstein documentary, with Time's Ali Zelenko and Lisa Dallos.

"Jim Hoge, formerly of Foreign Affairs (and now an author), with an unknown guest; Later at the same table, Don Epstein of the Greater Talent Network with the Head of Caroline's Comedy club."

Jim Hogue ... with an ... "unknown guest"? (Through clenched teeth, archly) At Michael's? (Averted Gaze) "Our" Michael's? Waiter (icily), please show that traitor to his class the door. And make sure the "unknown" (sniffs haughtily) doesn't abscond with the silverware.
Picture Pages, Picture Pages ...


Amanda Moffat to Tom Wolfe: "Tom, just between us girls, did Balzac infuse in his works as much drunken animal frat boy rutting as you did in 'I am Charlotte Simmons?'" (image via NYSocialDiary)
Jerry Hall's The Lottery


She's wined and dined with Kings and Queens, but now her career's laying in the gutter eating pork and beans. Despite the fact that Jerry Hall *allegedly* didn't take a red cent in alimony from the priapic Mick Jagger (does jewelry count?), VH1's resident celebreality star is serving as a sort of living, breathing lottery advertisent. Z-List activity, to be sure; you can't always get what you want. According to Hello!Magazine:

"Texas model Jerry Hall put her legendary pins to good use this week � as the living canvas for a lottery number. The statuesque blonde was helping publicise an unclaimed Lotto prize worth almost �4 million. Posing on a classic Le Corbusier chaise longue, with her long, golden legs painted with the numbers 4, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 40, Mick Jagger's former wife was guaranteed to get lottery players around the country hunting for unchecked tickets."

--Or pausing in astonished bewilderment. We would have thought, though, that the feline Jerry Hall would go in for the scratch lottery games. She could at least sport a 666 at the forehead and palm, in a show of sympathy for the devil.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

CBS: "The Web is Going to be our Cable News Network"


Above: CBS Digital's Larry Kramer "gets it."(image via sfgate)

Has someone at CBS Digital been reading this blog? If so, good boy. Continue to do so, and feel free to email us if you need further advice. On the brouhaha over the decline of Evening News and their anchor-palosaurs, The Corsair wrote: "The industrious among us who want 'the real news' can make their way to the 24 hour news channels, each with their own particular biases, and, for the more ambitious, those of us interested after that tragically unhip concept 'Ultimate Reality' -- Or, for liberals who eschew the use of a Final Vocabulary 'The Approximation of Ultimate Reality' -- can chase the varying multiple perspectives of real events from international news sources on the web and public radio and respected global broadcast agencies."

And, more to the point, The Corsair wrote on June 3rd: "What is with CBS News' experimenting with multiple anchors? Is this some sort of homage to postmodernism? Is CBS News "evolving" like Governor Mitt Romney's position on abortion? Of course it will fail. How could it not? Just put on Jon Stewart already. Or a show with rotating bloggers discussing the days news. The Corsair is free, coincidentally, between 6 and 6:30."

Today, Mediacenterblog reports (link via iwantmedia) that CBS Digital has an ambitious idea involving blogs that incorporates many of my arguments:

" founder Larry Kramer, barely two months into his new job as president of CBS Digital, is rapidly implementing major changes to turn CBS News into what sounds like one of the most ambitious experiments in mass media journalism transparency.

"Kramer says CBS News will soon provide coverage of its internal decision-making processes and meetings, including video and interviews wth reporters and producers, along with online access to video interviews cut from television broadcasts.

"CBS will also launch an online edition of its fabled (and recently tarnished) television news magazine, 60 Minutes, and incorporate feedback and video from bloggers."

Nice. (The Corsair tips his tricorn Pirate hat to Larry Kramer)

"... Kramer didn't say when the new services would be launched. He's still breaking the news to CBS News staffers.

"Kramer revealed the plans during a presentation today at The Media Center's Cross Media Teams conference in Reston, Va."

"'You'll see us morph our news business into a web-centric one. We're doing what we call the cable bypass. The web is going to be our cable news network,' Kramer said.

"The move to embrace bloggers and open up the news gathering process would be in stark contrast to how CBS handled a report last fall by anchor Dan Rather on President George Bush's military service records. The report, which came to be known as Rathergate, was quickly challenged by bloggers and eventually retracted by CBS.

"'A lot of people at CBS learned the word blog during the Dan Rather fiasco,' Kramer said."

Bravo, Larry Kramer. Don Hewitt will no doubt poo-poo this forward thinking idea from his retirement nest on Martha's Vinyard, but stick with it. This idea is a keeper. Hewitt will naturally regard it as an attempt to alter the alchemy of his baby. The more responsible blogs -- me, me -- and 60 Minutes are a natural fit. Cheers.

new posts here.