Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Japanese Voyeurs "Milk Teeth"

This is what I'm listening to now, incessantly ...
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Ukraine is on the edge again today, trying to find space. It is on the edge of Russia and on the edge of Europe, its old position. What makes this position unique is that Ukraine is independent and has been so for 18 years. This is the longest period of Ukrainian independence in centuries. What is most striking about the Ukrainians is that, while they appear to value their independence, the internal debate seems to focus in part on what foreign entity they should be aligned with. People in the west want to be part of the European Union. People in the east want to be closer to the Russians. The Ukrainians want to remain independent but not simply independent. It makes for an asymmetric relationship. Many Ukrainians want to join the European Union, which as a whole is ambivalent at best about Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukraine matters as much to the Russians as it does to Ukrainians, just as it always has. Ukraine is as important to Russian national security as Scotland is to England or Texas is to the United States. In the hands of an enemy, these places would pose an existential threat to all three countries. Therefore, rumors to the contrary, neither Scotland nor Texas is going anywhere. Nor is Ukraine, if Russia has anything to do with it." (STRATFOR)

"One funny New York memory I have is meeting Peter Beard for the first time at his apartment. I’ll never forget the occasion because I had only recently moved to Manhattan to begin my freshman year at NYU, and the city was still a relatively unknown universe to me. I was with my uncle, Dirk Wittenborn, who is an old friend of Peter’s. As soon as we walked in the door, Peter poured a round of vodka and OJs, insisting that we accept the freshly cut cubes of ice he was dropping into our glasses. I felt mature for having been offered a genuine cocktail, so I drank every last sip from the bottom of my glass, including the final traces of water that had accumulated from the slow-melting ice. But no more than two minutes after I had handily polished off the beverage, Peter’s wife came marching into the room with the special ice tray in her hand. 'Peter,' she said in a state of bewilderment, 'why did you put the cat’s water bowl in the freezer?' Water bowl, I thought, there must be some misunderstanding. But there wasn’t any misunderstanding. We truly had been drinking the cat’s backwash. To this day, I’m not sure what inspired the peculiar bartending maneuver." (Jamie Johnson)

"Furthering this point, (Rex) Sorgatz explained the common creation story of a mid-2000 online celebrity. 'It was a right of passage, particularly in early New York history,' he told us all, 'To have an anonymous blog that got outed, and then the New York Times wrote about you, and then you got a job at Gawker Media'. Panel moderator Joanne McNeil picked up the opposite end of this story, 'At that time there blogs made just for your friends to look at' she explained, pointing out that only five years ago, there were bloggers who became very upset if their traffic spiked over their regular 20 visitors a day. The days where anyone thinks any area of the web is private now seem like a distant memory." (ArtCity)

"Last night the subject was definitely music. From Leviev, I ventured a few blocks south and west over to Steinway piano’s showroom on West 57th Street where another great piano virtuoso Byron Janis was having a book signing for his memoir 'Chopin and Beyond; My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal.' The Steinway showroom is a large gallery-like space with a grand piano. The last time I was there was also for a reception for Byron to celebrate his 80th birthday. Called for 6, there was a large crowd of friends and fans as well as a long line of people waiting to have their book signed. Byron was accompanied by his beautiful wife Maria." (NYSocialDiary)

"New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s growing powers in the Democratic leadership may have given him an upper hand in an eventual race for majority leader — creating new tensions with the No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois. And while neither Durbin nor Schumer — who are also Capitol Hill roommates — will talk about the power maneuvering within the Democratic Caucus, many Senate observers believe Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hand over of policy and messaging authority to Schumer was a sign that he is well-positioned to leapfrog Durbin in the race to succeed Reid. The issue is clearly a sensitive one in the upper echelons of the Democratic Caucus. 'I’m not going to get into that at all,' Durbin told POLITICO when asked whether Schumer’s stature could be enhanced by his new role. Schumer declined to comment for this story. But while Reid has publicly said that he’ll continue as majority leader for his new six-year Senate term, some of his closest allies privately question whether he’ll step aside sooner and allow Durbin and Schumer to battle it out for the top spot." (Politico)

"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is causing his own diplomatic drama at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where the 86 year-old monarch has commandeered an entire wing as he recovers from back surgery on the VIP floor. King Abdullah -- who repeatedly exhorted the US to 'cut the head off the snake' by launching military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear program, according to leaked diplomatic cables -- has forced other patients out by block-booking the hospital's top treatment and recovery rooms. A family member of one patient told us, 'The king has taken the entire luxury treatment wing and booked out all the rooms, even though they are empty and he doesn't need them, to protect his privacy. Patients are grumbling that they have been moved out to other areas of the hospital, and that despite there being a number of unused VIP treatment rooms, they can't be moved into them because they are all reserved for the king of Saudi Arabia.' The king underwent surgery for a blood clot and a slipped disc last week. Witnesses told us his security army is a visible presence both outside and inside the hospital. One law enforcement source told us that Abdullah -- who was visited in Saudi Arabia by four Cornell doctors who advised him he had to have the surgery in New York -- is a generous donor to the hospital and visited a month prior to his surgery. Abdullah arrived in town on Monday of last week with an enormous entourage. He chartered three flights to JFK, arrived with a massive security team and a film crew, and left the airport in a convoy of 40 vehicles, including 20 for luggage alone." (PageSix)

"'Meeting her and getting to know her was a real pleasant surprise,' Johnny Depp tells rock legend Patti Smith, writing for Vanity Fair, of working with Angelina Jolie on their upcoming film, The Tourist. 'You don’t know what she might be like—if she has any sense of humor at all. I was so pleased to find that she is incredibly normal, and has a wonderfully kind of dark, perverse sense of humor.' Depp tells Smith of the challenges he and his co-star faced with constant media scrutiny on set. 'Poor thing, dogged by paparazzi, her and her husband, Brad…all their kids,' Depp says of Angelina and her famous brood. 'There are times when you see how ridiculous is this life, how ludicrous it is, you know, leaving your house every morning and being followed by paparazzi.' Depp tells Smith about the difficulties that arose while filming together—having to be discreet to avoid unwarranted speculation—which included 'having to hide, sometimes not even being able to talk to each other in public because someone will take a photograph and it will be misconstrued and turned into some other shit.' Depp compares Angelina to another famous leading lady. 'I’ve had the honor and the pleasure and gift of having known Elizabeth Taylor for a number of years,' he says. 'You know, you sit down with her, she slings hash, she sits there and cusses like a sailor, and she’s hilarious. Angie’s got the same kind of thing, you know, the same approach.' On the set of the upcoming installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Smith asks Depp what it’s like to play the iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. 'Somebody once asked [Hunter S. Thompson], “What is the sound of one hand clapping, Hunter?,' and he smacked him." (VanityFair)
Former President Jimmy Carter on WikiLeaks Dump

Monday, November 29, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"On Thanksgiving Day this year, I went to two dinners. I started out at a family dinner at the home of friends. There were sixteen at table: host, hostess, children, in-laws, mates, aunts, uncles, grandparents/great-grandparents – a real old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner.  My hostess is a brilliant chef, and non-pro, too. She started two days before, preparing three turkeys, making the stuffing, the pecan pies. Dinner was called for one. We sat down at one long table in the dining room about two, and by 3:30 people were finishing up. I went from there down to the Four Seasons restaurant where for the past several Thanksgivings, including last year, I had dinner with David and Helen Gurley Brown. David died earlier this year in his 94th year, and although he had been in robust health and professionally active almost to the end of his life, he had been ailing for about a year before he died. Helen had always arranged these dinner dates months in advance in the past. Because she hadn’t done so this year, I assumed her plans had changed and so I accepted the aforementioned dinner invite. However, Helen called me only a week ago, inviting me to join her for a date at 5 in the afternoon at the Four Seasons. I knew I wouldn’t be hungry but it was more important to be Helen’s guest under the circumstances." (NYSocialDiary)

"The documents promise to complicate U.S. diplomatic relationships worldwide - and also embarrass foreign leaders who are not used to having their candid views aired so publicly. The cables document Arab leaders' views toward Iran, which are generally more hawkish than their public statements. Saudi King Abdullah in April 2008, for example, told diplomats that the United States must 'cut off the head of the snake' to stop Iran's nuclear program. Such aggressive statements were echoed by other Gulf monarchs, including the leaders of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Other cables reveal U.S. officials' unvarnished view of domestic politics in countries throughout the world. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told French Defense Minister Herve Morin in Feb. 8, for example, that 'Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.' Other cables reportedly reveal the U.S. diplomats' deep concern with the Turkish government, characterizing the foreign minister as an 'exceptionally dangerous' figure with Islamist inclinations." (ForeignPolicy)
Errol Lewis To Begin Hosting NY1's Inside City Hall Tonight

Just as Michael Musto is taking a one week vacation! Empire state political junkies will be glad to know that former print journalist Errol Lewis -- long a fixture covering city and state politics -- will start as host of NY1's Inside City Hall, the most comprehensive daily wrap up of the goings on at City Hall and in Albany, tonight. Though the announcement was made last month that Lewis, a radio host and NY Daily News columnist, would take the job vacated by the disgraced Dominic Carter, Lewis spent the time prepping for the new role as well as -- according to what he said on an appearance this morning on labor activist Mark Riley's radio show "looking to get the best first guest."

Wonder if he'll be able to nab Governor elect Andrew Cuonmo, who has thus far declined invitations to be a guest on NY1's City Hall for an almost obnoxious 1,426 days. Will the "Cuomo Clock" at NY1 stop ticking tonight for realsies? We cannot fail to note that Lewis' wife, Juanita Scarlett, was a senior aide to Cuomo in the state attorney generals office.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Libyan President Mumammar al-Qadhafi apparently keeps a 'voluptuous blonde' Ukranian nurse named Galyna Kolotnytska at his side at all times. According to one cable: 'the Libyan Government sent a private jet to ferry her from Libya to Portugal to meet up with the Leader during his rest-stop. Some embassy contacts have claimed that Qadhafi and the 38 year-old Kolotnytska have a romantic relationship. While he did not comment on such rumors, a Ukrainian political officer recently confirmed that the Ukrainian nurses 'travel everywhere with the Leader.' The cable says Kolotnytska is always with Qadhafi because 'she alone knows his routine.' Imagining this routine is the mental equivalent of the nuclear bomb Libya was trying to build in the early 2000s." (Gawker via NYT)

"Beijing has recoiled at reining in its unruly neighbor to the east, as the Obama administration implored it to do last week, because it doesn’t want to destabilize North Korea’s secretive, hermit regime to an extent that could lead to the government’s collapse and the North’s eventual reunification with South Korea. 'China isn’t 100 percent on board with U.S. efforts,' said Andrew L. Oros, an Asia expert at Washington College, in Chestertown, Md., because Beijing is 'concerned with the idea of a unified Korea with U.S. troops stationed there.' That concern has left a succession of American governments attempting the impossible. 'Basically, the U.S. wants China to do what the U.S. wants it to do,' said Rodger Baker, vice president for strategic intelligence at Stratfor, a geopolitical risk analysis company. 'We want to make sure that the world stays as the United States would like to see the world. Which means making China subservient to us in some cases. In the case of North Korea, the Chinese see it as the United States pushing its policy on China and not allowing the Chinese to make their own policy, while removing from China one of the tools that it has decided it needs for its own interests.'" (HeleneCooper)

"Why anybody bothered to make Burlesque or give it such a wide release might be a mystery. Until it's revealed that Screen Gems chief Clint Culpepper greenlighted his boyfriend's $55+ million passion project. (Their on-set strife over budget, schedule, and creative decisions resulted in the most expensive film in Screen Gems history, and word is they're now broken up after 20 years. Awkward.) But novice director Steven Antin deserves at least some credit for bringing back Cher to the big screen: they both dated David Geffen, and the mogul urged Cher to take the role. She hasn't had a major film since 1999's Tea With Mussolini and is a bonafide national treasure. But am I the only one who can't stand Christina Aguilera's hammy vocal stylings or Steven's sister Robin Antin 'Pussycat Dolls' slutty dance gyrations? " (NikkiFinke)

"When the rescue package of Ireland—or was it of the British and German banks?—was announced, the headline in one of Ireland's main newspapers was 'Declaration of Dependence.' As the centenary of the Easter Uprising is fast approaching, this headline is not without some ironic resonance. Angela Merkel has in effect become the new ruler of Ireland, a kind of 21st-century Henry II, using clout of the financial rather than the medieval kind. I phoned a friend in Dublin in the way that one phones a friend in a city of 11 million people when there has been a serious accident in which 17 people have been injured, to find out whether he was all right. 'Everything's fine,' he said. 'Just give us time, and we'll get out of this mess. About two millennia.' It's hard to imagine Irish wit cutting much ice with Frau Angela. Assuming a zero rate of interest and no population growth, every man, woman, child and baby in Ireland would have to pay back $250 a year for 2,000 years to clear the debt (the precise figure, by my calculation, is 1,936 years, based on one estimate of Ireland's total external debt, but what is 64 years among friends, or creditors?)." (WSJ)

"Having arranged to meet for lunch, I am told to wait in front of a central landmark at a certain time. The time passes; I am about to call when a car detaches itself from the traffic and shoots towards me. A man gets out, the bulge of his pistol beneath his short coat, says 'Lloyd?', apologises for the delay and opens the back door of the car. His colleague drives as we race back into the traffic and through the city to a hotel ... One of the police escorts waits with me: he says he decided to join the Carabinieri in his native Sicily 'because there’s nothing for the young there: some of my friends joined the black economy'. Once he had passed a check done on his parents and grandparents – they were apparently untouched by crime or Mafia – he was sent to the mainland, spent some time in uniform, then volunteered for escort training ('though I knew it was more dangerous') and was detailed to guard Roberto Saviano. It is four years since the publication of Gomorrah, the Naples-born writer’s description of life under the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime syndicate. Part journalism, part reportage in the first person, part autobiography, the book is a hybrid. Vivid flashes of observation are juxtaposed with bitter denunciations of cruelty and indifference. Federico Varese, professor of criminology at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s foremost scholars of organised crime, says Saviano makes clear not just the brutality of the Camorra, but also the way they have their claws dug so deep into Neapolitan society (and far beyond). What made the book especially valuable, he says, is the way 'he showed how they are useful to a section of the people: they provide credit, they allow investments in their drugs and other businesses and then pay interest; they will stamp on competition. And he didn’t just write about them as a local phenomenon: he showed how they are tied into global networks: he showed that they affect you and me.'" (FT)

"A few blocks from Istanbul’s most fashionable district, you’ll find a filthy bus station. The waiting crowds have just visited the bustling city, but not as tourists. They came to sell their own body parts. Welcome to the growing world of organ trafficking. 'Brokers travel to poor villages in countries like Moldova and ask who wants to donate a kidney,' explains Riccardo Neri. whose recent documentary, HOT, investigates the practice. 'Then they put them all on a bus to Istanbul, take the kidney out and send them back without any follow-up care. The doctors don’t care if the donor dies on his way home' ... Criminal groups pay poor Moldovans, Nepalis, Filipinos, South Africans, Egyptians, Brazilians and others for their organs. 'Donors are sometimes brought to a neighboring country,' says Nadey Hakim, a London transplant surgeon. 'But because you can’t transport organs very far, the recipients usually go to where the donors live. That’s why there are world-class hospitals in desperately poor cities.' The trade function is thanks to dirty surgeons, who are able to make a fortune on the deals. While a broker may get $500 per organ, the doctor gets most of the recipient’s fee of some $50,000. 'And the recipient may die anyway,' notes Hakim." (Metro)

"America preys on its pop stars. Kanye West is a perennial victim. He has been scorned by two American presidents, not to mention the rest of the nation. He was asked by Jay Leno—in the midst of an apology to Taylor Swift—what his dead mother would have thought of his infamous insult to her at MTV's Video Music Awards. He was forced to apologize to Matt Lauer for saying, five years ago, that George W. Bush was a racist. The more Mr. West apologizes, the less likely we are to leave him alone. He speaks to this in 'Power,' a blistering commentary on fame from his new record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. 'I just needed time alone with my own thoughts,' he says. 'Reality is catchin' up with me.' He sounds delirious with frustration. The music behind him, all fire and brimstone, starts with violent battle drumming, follows with the pierce of a prison siren and moves into the song's hook, a sample of King Crimson's '21st Century Schizoid Man.' The song is, in other words, the sound of reality attempting to catch up with Mr. West and failing. 'No one man should have all that power,' he declares before finally concluding-joyously-'This will be a beautiful death.'" (Observer)

"Choreographer Benjamin Millepied became so obsessed with Natalie Portman on the set of 'Black Swan' that he paid less attention to other dancers on set, a source says. "They would go to do their shots and wouldn't know any of the choreography because he was so involved with helping 'Natalie, Natalie, Natalie,' all the time,' an insider tells Page Six Magazine, out on Thursday. 'There was a lot of drama.' The source also suggested New York City Ballet principal dancer Millepied dumped his ballerina girlfriend Isabella Boylston for Portman to social-climb. 'Maybe they have a great relationship . . . But knowing Benjamin, I don't think that's how it is,' the source said." (PageSix)

"Newspapers are the business Rupert Murdoch loves most—and now he’s betting their future on an app. Early next year, he will launch The Daily, the first newspaper produced exclusively for the iPad. So far, we’ve heard a lot about one specific aspect of that bet: the talent Murdoch has recruited to produce it, which includes New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones as culture editor and “Page Six” ’s Richard Johnson is overseeing entertainment coverage. There’s also been a lot of discussion of the business plan by media reporters and bloggers wondering whether The Daily will sell enough of its $.99-per-week subscriptions, and ads, to cover News Corp.’s investment. But a third, potentially more significant aspect has gone largely unexplored, and that’s The Daily’s politics. With The Daily, Murdoch is doing something rare in his long career: building a media property from the ground up rather than reinventing an existing paper, as he did with the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal. He’s using the opportunity to try to craft a major new editorial voice for the marketplace. In stark contrast to those of Murdoch’s existing American papers, The Daily’s politics will be centrist and pragmatic—Bloobergian, if you prefer—according to people close to the project." (NYMag)

"Agyness Deyn doesn’t look like a media entrepreneur. She’s tall and very slender (she is a model, after-all) with signature short bleached blond hair. She’s 26 years old, but in the right light she looks considerably younger—like a 21-year-old NYU student, but with better clothes. All in all, she’s an unlikely aspiring media mogul. Last July, Deyn and Fiona Byrne, a close friend from Dublin, quietly started a new site—half blog, half online magazine—called NAAG—the name comes from the combination of the two founders’ names—the 'NA' in Fiona and ‘AG’ in Agyness. The concept, they say, was to create a publication that reflected their interests and downtown lifestyles. 'The idea is that these are places and things that we like, things that we like to do, things that we like to wear, things that we listen to—all of that stuff,' Byrne says, over coffee with Deyn at the Bowery Hotel on an unusually warm Saturday in mid-November. As such, the site features short stories about fashion, music, and culture, featuring everything from reviews of chic hotels and hip restaurants and beauty products to interviews with cultural figures. As NAAG’s Creative Director, Deyn oversees 'the broader picture' of the site, and scouts for interesting models to work with and brainstorms ideas. 'We discover content when we’re out hanging out,' she says. It’s unclear how much time Deyn spends day to day on the project, though she points out that it is very much a serious venture for her. 'This is not just a hobby,' she says." (TheDailybeast)

Friday, November 26, 2010

No posts today

Hope everyone had a cool Thanksgiving. Resting today, but will be back on Monday,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


PULP ART BOOK COMMERCIAL from Neil Krug on Vimeo.

Sweltering: A collaboration between supermodel Joni Harbeck and photographer Neil Krug for upcoming PULP BOOK.
Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The North Korean attack comes as South Korea’s annual Hoguk military exercises are under way. The exercises — set to last nine days and including as many as 70,000 personnel from all branches of the South Korean military — span from sites in the Yellow Sea including Yeonpyeongdo to Seoul and other areas on the peninsula itself. The drills have focused in particular on cross-service coordination and cooperation in recent years. Low-level border skirmishes across the demilitarized zone and particularly the NLL are not uncommon even at the scale of artillery fire. In March, the South Korean naval corvette ChonAn was sunk in the area by what is broadly suspected to have been a North Korean torpedo, taking tensions to a peak in recent years. Nov. 22 also saw South Korean rhetoric about accepting the return of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula, though the United States said it has no plans at present to support such a redeployment.  While the South Korean reprisals — both artillery fire in response by self-propelled K-9 artillery and the scrambling of aircraft — thus far appear perfectly consistent with South Korean standard operating procedures, the sustained shelling of a populated island by North Korea would mark a deliberate and noteworthy escalation." (STRATFOR)

"Saudi King Abdullah, in town for surgery, flew in an enormous entourage. The king, 86, who landed at JFK on Monday, chartered three flights to bring in members of his family, security and staff. A source told us, 'An area at the airport was sealed off for his arrival, and the king left in a convoy of more than 40 vehicles. They probably needed 20 cars for his luggage.' He's reportedly seeking treatment for a herniated disc and has taken over a whole wing of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. A source at the Saudi consulate general confirmed he's here for surgery and referred us to the Saudi embassy in DC, which declined to comment." (PageSix)

"The iPad is more like a thing a child would play with. To me it's neither manly nor female. It's childish. It looks like a thing for a kid. Because we now live in a world where everyone wants to be seven years old. Except people who are seven, who want to be four." (Fran Lebowitz/Observer)

(Lee Radziwell and Pres. of Prosper Assouline via Caroline Torem Craig)

"WHAT: Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook (Assouline)by James Danziger launch party and signing WHEN: Monday, November 22 WHERE: The Pierre Hotel, NYC WHO: Heiko Kuenstle, Hamish Bowles, James Danziger, Prosper & Martine Assouline, Antoinette Botarelli, Hamish Bowles, Meredith Melling-Burke, Linda Fargo, Brooke Geahan and Catherine Malandrino." (Papermag)

"To give a little context here, by my measure New York bars are a breed apart; there are no others like ‘em anywhere on the planet ... But Clarke’s. Oh my.  ... My first visit was in a small group from CBS News that included Dan Rather, then a star White House correspondent, enough of a known face to get us through the crush at the bar and into the back room where Frankie, the famed maitre’d, sat us at the prized table. Memories: every table packed, red checked table cloths, chalk board menus, open kitchen, everyone smoking, busy waiters, a fantastic din matched only by the buzz of being there. It was some wee hour after midnight and the burger tasted just right. It always did, every post-midnight visit thereafter for two decades. In 2002 P.J. Clarke’s changed hands--and eras--as it passed from the Levezzo’s to new owners, who cleaned the place up, gave it a makeover and expanded it to other parts of Manhattan, as well as Chicago, Las Vegas and now Washington, DC, where it opened this fall. The Washington P.J. Clarke’s is on 16th Street, a block and a half from the White House, and barely a block from hotels like the Capital Hilton, the St. Regis and the Hay Adams." (NYSocialDiary)

"Journalists around the world threatened by imprisonment and murder were in focus here Tuesday night at the 20th annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner benefiting the Committee to Protect Journalists. But the pending acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast and the continued cost cuts at news divisions also came up in early speeches, and they actually added somewhat of a lighter note to the event. NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw filled in as host for NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who had to leave town for assignment. Sony Corp. chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, who chaired the benefit at the Waldorf Astoria, mentioned that he had been nervous about the original plan to have Williams as host given that he recently saw the anchor roast outgoing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker. 'I thought, my god, I hope I still have a job when I [get to] the stage -- because I haven't seen Jeff Zucker since,' Stringer quipped. He then accidentally referred to Brian Williams as Brian Roberts -- the chairman of Comcast -- causing a round of unintended laughs. But Stringer got right back to business, saying Williams can be very funny, even though he didn't find it funny to see Williams leave for NBC during Stringer's time at CBS News. Brokaw later briefly picked up on Stringer's slip of the tongue, though, saying that NBC staff have a different name for Comcast boss Roberts now. 'We call him his majesty,' he said to laughs." (HollywoodReporter)

"It’s a time-honored custom of the aristocratic class to belittle popular social trends and accessible commercial luxuries. For centuries, starting with the earliest days of court society, members of the elite have tried to assert their superiority by condemning predictable displays of extravagance. Such criticisms almost always have been hypocritical. The same people who bash the fads usually become part of them. Today, this cycle of blatant feigning continues among Manhattan’s smart set. It’s practically a requirement for representatives of the fashionable party crowd to denounce the city’s Meatpacking District as a bourgeois tourist trap and bridge-and-tunnel hell hole. In truth, the neighborhood simply is an epicenter for nightlife, filled with restaurants and bars that tend to attract large numbers of enthusiastic revelers. And, as much as posh tastemakers would hesitate to admit it, they themselves have been turning up there in ever increasing numbers. When the Standard Hotel opened the Boom Boom Room, an architecturally inspiring full-floor penthouse bar with nearly 360-degree views, A-list powerbrokers of all varieties suddenly began to appear on the scene. Outward prejudices never disappeared, at least when people were discussing the location out loud, but that hasn’t affected attendance at one swanky event after another. The clientele, it seems, is happy to dis the turf but still likes to play the field. Most recently, the ultra-discerning party crowd has been feting the arrival of a new nightclub called Bunker. It’s an underground vaulted-ceiling den of Bacchanalian activity constructed by the creators of the old Beatrice Inn." (Jamie Johnson/Vanity Fair)

"The above image was flashed on a large screen at the Out 100 party last week at the IAC Building as thousands cheered. It's me, filmmaker Kimberly Reed, and VH1's Laverne Cox, all striped and strobed and repeated as if Andy Warhol was still alive and kissing my ass. I'm just afraid that even with four of me, people are still going to only focus on Laverne's cleavage." (Musto)

"David LaChapelle strolled into the Metropolitan Pavillion with the always stunning Amanda LePore on one arm and on the other one of the most hypnotizing and riveting beauties of the day Daphne Guinness. As he accepted the 2010 OUT in ART AWARD with a poignant and personal speech about growing up with daily harrassment for being 'different' from a visibly moved Daphne … We all paused to reflect on the need for tolerance and acceptence!" (HotelFashionLand)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Media-Whore D'oeuvres

"The U.S.-Russian 'reset,' meant to repair relations between the two former rivals, has been led by U.S. President Barack Obama and his counterpart, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The White House sees the reset, along with its key deliverable, the New START nuclear reductions treaty, as part of its effort to strengthen Medvedev's credibility within the Russian system, as opposed to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Vice President Joseph Biden spoke of how New START fits into the administration's drive to empower Medvedev at a small roundtable on Nov. 20 with a group of foreign affairs columnists, including your humble Cable guy. 'I do believe that there is a play here,' he said. 'Medvedev has rested everything on this notion of a reset. Who knows what Putin would do? My guess is he would not have gone there [in terms of committing to the reset], but maybe.'  Russia experts aren't so sure that passing New START would strengthen Medvedev's position vis a vis Putin. Most of them believe that Putin was, is, and will likely remain the more powerful of the two Russian leaders. Biden acknowledged that nobody in Washington, including himself, really knows what's going on inside the Kremlin between Medvedev and Putin, but he truly believes that a stronger 'reset' policy, which includes ratifying New START, is good for Medvedev -- and a stronger Medvedev is good for U.S.-Russia relations. 'The centerpiece of where Medvedev is, is this reset. And [START] is the crown jewel inside that reset, because it wasn't Putin pushing this, it was Medvedev,' Biden explained." (ForeignPolicy)

"For years, every hustler I know has been frantically wondering, 'What does the Pope feel about condom use? I think he's, like, against it, right? I will only do what he says. He's the one I turn to for sexual wisdom, after all.' As they've fucked, sucked, fisted, rimmed, and felched, many an escort has been known to look heavenward to try and fathom exactly what Pope Benedict might want them to do regarding scumbags. And now that his royal eminence concedes that condoms might be useful for these people, they're all flocking to church (while staying on their knees) to pick up the free condoms and the official blessing from their clients, the priests. Some are even forgetting about their hourly rates because they feel so sanctified by the pope's sage advice that they feel like enchanted creatures of God, spreading their butt cheeks for the lord and all his glory. It's 'ho-llelujah time. The Pope is so on top of 30-year-old trends!" (Musto)

"If Mr. Mittman was more beatific than usual, it was because he was having a very good day. That afternoon, the Wired advertising team had popped bottles to toast their 800 pages sold for the year, erasing the financial losses of 2009, when Wired was thinner than an iPhone. Now Mr. Mittman could boast that it was the fastest-growing monthly at Condé Nast, up 24 percent over 2009. 'I have to give Si [Newhouse] and Chuck [Townsend] some huge kudos, because it takes tremendous, you know, brass you-know-whats—you know?—to look at business units and believe in them and plan for investment at a time when not too many folks were thinking that way,' Mr. Mittman told The Observer.The 37-year-old is part of a new breed of less bombastic executives at the company after the humbling recessionary plummet in luxury advertising. As a publicist put it, he is 'big but not Mr. Big' (the ballsy Sex and the City character modeled after a Condé publisher)." (Observer)

"Last night at the New Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th), currently the home of Disney’s 'Mary Poppins,' there was a book signing for John Loring and his biography of Joseph Urban, titled aptly Joseph Urban (Abrams, publishers). Mr. Urban was one of the most influential designers of the first third of the 20th century and the breadth of his work is still apparent almost a century later right here in New York.Viennese by birth, upbringing and early education, Joseph Urban came to America in 1911 at age 39 to become the art director for the Boston Opera. Florenz Ziegfeld, the celebrated producer of Broadway musical revues known as The Follies, hired him in 1914 to design stage sets for him, and for more than a decade thereafter Urban’s designs dominated the Follies." (NYSocialDiary)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Media-Whore D'oeuvres

"In 1974, the military became all volunteer. In the 1980s, the Reagan tax cuts began a huge transfer of wealth to the already wealthy, top 1 percent of American society. Normally we don't connect these two events, but with the passage of time, I suspect we may come to see them together as the moment when the wealthy checked out of America and moved into physical and mental gated communities. I've already talked about how over the last 30 years, the proportion of wealth going to the top 1 percent has gone from 10 percent of annual national income to almost 25 percent, a greater share than in the Roaring '20s. And many of the readers of this blog have contributed thoughts about the All-Volunteer Force, especially how many American parents no longer have a sense of skin in the game ..." (Thomas Ricks/ForeignPolicy)

(Karen and Richard LeFrak via NYSD)

"There was a surprise 65th birthday party on Friday night for New York real estate mogul Richard LeFrak, orchestrated by his two sons Harrison and Jamie, and presented at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th and Seventh. Event planner/creator Bronson van Wyck designed the shindig and at least 300 or four or five attended. A lotta people. Mr. LeFrak’s wife Karen got him there by telling him they were going to see a ballet piece she was working on and that his mother would be there to join them. Oh com’on, on his sixty-fifth? He believed that 'ballet'? That was the best you could do Karen? Well. I would guess he might have been suspicious at least by the time they drove up to the Hammerstein with all the taxis and limousines double parked outside. It was easy to see this was somebody’s night. The company they keep. A great deal of the town’s wealth was present including New York’s two richest men (as far as anybody knows), Mayor Bloomberg and David Koch, who between the two of them are said to have the aggregate wealth of a hundred billionaires. Not that there weren’t quite a few other billionaires in the room, not to mention the most famous one, The Donald, who is now always backlit for any public occasion, thanks to the paparazzi trailing behind. These New Yorkers not only share business interests (when they do) but also see each other coming and going in the Hamptons and in Palm Beach" (NYSocialDiary)

"... (T)his is a potent list of Silvery Fox Men you've thrown down. I think I speak for all women and the 110th Congress when I ask: does it count as fisting if the dude only has four fingers? Even outside the parameters of this salt-n-pepper trifecta, Rahm ranks in single digits of my FUCK BUCKET LIST of all time. On looks alone he’s a hot piece of bone: hooded eyes, sharp cheek bones, and hands-on-hips Israeli paratrooper posture. It all just makes a girl like me (i.e. one who digs men of The Tribe) tingly. Though my unyielding sexual attraction to Rahm mainly stems from his persona: a totally Machiavellian, calculating, corrupt, real politik power broker. He’s a cad — villainous, even! He’s in part responsible for one of the most abhorrent strands of the modern political era: The Clinton Democrat." (Hairpin)

"On the night of the midterm elections earlier this month, Sarah Palin stayed up until 3 in the morning. From her hotel bedroom in Manhattan, she and her husband, Todd, followed the returns while she wrote e-mails on her iPad — congratulating winners, consoling losers — while reading others from people who wanted her to know that they had cast their vote for her daughter Bristol on 'Dancing With the Stars' the evening before. Like much of her recent life, Palin’s day had been replete with reminders of the clout she had rapidly acquired. She had spent most of her time ensconced at the Fox television studios, though she managed to squeeze in a jog in Central Park — which she promptly chronicled on Twitter: 'Beautiful!' ... It was indicative of the competing demands on her time that her participation in the campaign’s final days was weirdly anticlimactic. In the three weeks before the elections, Palin was bombarded with campaigning requests, many of them sent to her personal e-mail account. But her young son, Trig, was to have an operation — routine but still worrisome — on the Friday before Election Day, and so the mother was loath to commit to anything. Trig’s procedure went well. That evening, Palin’s political adviser, Andrew Davis, pulled an all-nighter arranging for her to make a Saturday drop-in on behalf of John Raese, the West Virginia senatorial candidate who was trailing the Democratic nominee, Joe Manchin, the popular governor. Raese’s wife, Elizabeth, had issued a personal plea to Palin to save the day." (NyTimesMagazine)

"Vincent Gallo is sick of Twitter impostors. Two faux Twitter accounts impersonating the actor-musician have amassed nearly 16,000 followers and caused him grief with crude and weird tweets. Fans have even bombarded Gallo with maple syrup at concerts because @vincentgallo promised it will get them backstage. 'At a farmers market, somebody was selling organic maple syrup and was all excited that I was there,' Gallo told us. 'I didn't know what this guy was saying about maple syrup.' Other tweets are nastier, with digs at Sarah Silverman, Kanye West and Milla Jovovich among others. 'Had a dream my agent tricked me into having sex with @sarahksilverman. Even in my dreams my agent is a [bleep]hole,' the poser tweeted. Gallo said, 'I have no agent, by the way.' He's worked tirelessly to have the account removed, but no luck. 'It is embarrassing having anyone believe I would sign up for and communicate with Twitter,' he said." (PageSix)

"In conjunction with this lecture’s academic character, I should like to draw attention to our scholarly conclave’s origin—the symposium. Plato gave us the symposium’s classical prototype. The Greek symposium was a booze-up. The word is derived from sympotein, meaning 'to drink together.' There you have it: Western civilization was born in the haze of a drunken Greek debauch. This, by the way, is quite an improvement over Greek culture’s origins in the Pelasgians’ unspeakable goat-and-satyr orgies. The relationship between culture and drink was nicely and succinctly put by William Faulkner: 'Civilization begins with distillation' ... The Ugandans, ranked as the world’s leading per-capita alcohol consumers, make a gin from bananas called waragi. So the Dark Continent has contributed its own ethereal stars to the spacious alcoholic firmament on high ... Let’s mop things up with some notes on after-dinner drinks of class. I’ve got no problem with port, but like wines, it’s a question of the vintner, year, and other variables that can disappoint. Forget Cognac; in France it’s a drink they give to Germans and other peasants. Your Froggy connoisseur drinks Armagnac. Grappa is an Italian firewater that tastes like lighter fluid. First they make wine, then distill it into Cinzano. A further distillation produces STP, the valve-treatment additive. Finally there’s some horrible dribble left in the distillation column; out of that they make Grappa. Always order the cheapest in the house. It’s total piss, anyway.("Bunky Mortimer")

"Big news for Lost fans: series co-star Jorge Garcia has joined another J.J. Abrams drama about an island. Garcia is set to play a lead on the Fox pilot Alcatraz, which is executive produced by Lost co-creator/executive producer Abrams. The project, described to be 'about secrets and the most infamous prison of all time,' centers on a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day. It chronicles the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance thirty years prior. Garcia will play the hippy geek Dr. Diego Soto, the world's foremost expert on Alcatraz. Actor-comedian Garcia, who landed his first TV series role on the CBS comedy Becker, rose to fame as one of the key cast members on ABC's hit drama Lost. He was the first actor cast in the Lost pilot, just like he is now on Alcatraz." (Deadline)

"A relative unknown has been tapped to provide the sex and drugs Lindsay Lohan can't. Malin Akerman, whose biggest roles to date were in 'Watchmen' and 'The Heartbreak Kid,' will take over the role of Linda Lovelace in the new biopic about the 'Deep Throat' porn star, according to Deadline Hollywood. As The Post reported Sunday, Lohan was booted from the film, 'Inferno,' because she was unreliable and uninsurable, director Matthew Wilder said."  (PageSix)

"Gallery show openings and Art Fairs are beautiful & inspiring but nothing beats getting to see your favorite artist in action on some abandoned street in Bushwick. After a dump of a day in the office, we fell off the work-week-wagon and headed straight to Factory Fresh for a sneak peak of the artwork going up for Saturday’s Bushwick Art Block Party with All City. A quite epic moment, we witnessed Faile & Bast stenciling together! This hasn’t happened in years!! That gate is now PRICELESS!! Totally unhinging the gate immediately after the block party.(Plaztikmag)

"Sup? To celebrate the new movie Burlesque, starring Cher and X-Tina, I thought i'd help y'all out by giving you a step by step guide to dress like this woman. What would happen if she could actually turn back time? Maybe she wouldn't have worn this. 1. The Hair - Some say it's a wig, some say it fell out of the sky, some say she was born with that exact length and frizz. Either way, this look can be created with half a pot of honey, and 3 cans of hairspray and a hot stick. 2. Nose - She's only slipped under the radar, because a certain MJ's was a lot more obvious, but let me tell you, shes had a lot of work done. Either big or small, you'll get away with it. 3. Jewellery - Jewellery from a flea market, the cheapest you can find is perfect. 4. Clothing - Im not sure if they're clothes of not. I believe she's wearing some sort of body tight, and i believe the darker bits are duct tape. Try and complete the duct tape procedure the best of your ability, and make sure you shave before hand. 5. Vajazzle ..." (TheBeatJuice)

"At age 64, Charlotte Rampling remains an icon of sex and decadence. Once described as being able to have any man she wanted, she maintains a powerfully carnal presence in films ranging from Never Let Me Go to StreetDance 3D. Born into a military family in Essex, England, the bilingual Rampling has long divided her time between London and Paris, where she is referred to as 'La Légende.' The last ten years have marked some of her most powerful and psychologically penetrating work, particularly in collaboration with the director François Ozon, but she’ll likely be remembered as the embodiment of a certain kind of twisted glamour, like the concentration camp victim entertaining Nazi officers bare-breasted in braces and a cap in the pervy 1974 film The Night Porter. Speaking over the phone from her home in Paris, it’s clear that she doesn’t suffer fools gladly—she keeps the conversation rattling along at a fair old pace, offering her thoughts on everything from aging gracefully to the state of style publications today. 'Fashion in magazines has to be sublime for me, it can’t be ordinary,' she decrees in a cut-glass English accent. One of cinema’s great beauties, Rampling knows how to wear her clothes. 'I’ll throw a few things on, but they’ll be good things—couture, Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander, usually quite masculine things. I don’t have to bother about it, I just put them on and think that’s who I am, as far as I know who I am,' she laughs. Rampling seems at ease with her age. Her face is proudly untouched by the surgeon’s knife—she once said that the idea of waking up with a younger face was monstrous—and she speaks warmly about her grandchildren, though an inquiry about whether she spoils them gets a sharp retort: “I wasn’t spoiled, so I wouldn’t know how to spoil them.'" (VMagazine)

"In 'The Smartest Guy in the Room,' published in the September issue of Vanity Fair, contributing editor William D. Cohan reported on the controversy surrounding the life of former 'car czar' and Democratic supporter Steve Rattner. On the heels of the lawsuits filed against Rattner yesterday, VF Daily checked in again with Cohan, who worked alongside Rattner at Lazard Frères and wrote about him extensively in The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. VF Daily: What did you think of the news? William Cohan: Part of me was not surprised. The reporting we did turned out to be kind of prescient and accurate and has been proven out by the events of the last few weeks, which included the rumors about the settlement with the S.E.C… and his failure to settle with Cuomo and the resulting two lawsuits. We heard that Rattner strenuously objected when he heard you were writing the story and told anybody who would listen that you were biased in your opinion of him. That’s right. I didn’t care whether Rattner cooperated or not. I’ve known Steve a long time and I was just going to let the facts speak for themselves." (VanityFair)

(Victor Vasquez via Papermag)

"There was no combination Taco Bell or Pizza Hut, just Das Racist, Tecate and fans at the Mishka Boutique Thursday for Victor Vazquez, Himanshu Suri and hype man Ashok Kondabolu (or Dap) last live New York show of 2010. It was no secret they were there to promote the brand Mishka, who outfitted the group, and co-presents Das Racist's latest mixtape 'Sit Down, Man' with Diplo, Mad Decent and Greedhead Entertainment. 'Buy these things! Buy these things!' they chanted to the crowd after joking about Drake's Sprite commercial, which they referenced throughout the show. 'Do you guys like Sprite?' The room's soft drink of choice was never determined, but it was clear that the crowd who turned out for the evening were very partial to Das Racist. 'Who's That? Brooown!' got things hype, then a few tracks were performed with guests Aleksey Weintraub and Alec Reisenstein for a short and sweet set. You have to hand it to Das Racist -- these guys are not rapping about struggles, they are exploiting the world they live in right now (Brooklyn!) without trying to be anyone else. It's been a big year for Das Racist, who released two free mixtapes ('Shut Up, Dude' in March and 'Sit Down, Man' in September) and are about to head off on a world tour." (Papermag)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Media-Whore D'oeuvres

"Yesterday, two unrelated stories showed yet again that in Washington, the best way to shout is to whisper. As revealed in today's Huffington Post ... George Soros spoke behind closed doors yesterday to the Democracy Alliance, a group of progressive donors, and apparently had a public fit of buyer's remorse over the important role he played helping to bankroll the candidacy of Barack Obama. 'We have just lost this election, we need to draw a line,' The HuffPost story quoted Soros, citing folks in attendance. 'And if this president can't do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else.'  While a Soros spokesperson contacted for the story said the financier was not in fact suggesting a primary challenge to Obama, that was probably little consolation to the White House. Because in the White House they know that Soros has been going around Washington recently and expressing his disappointment in Obama in his typical sharp and unvarnished style. He has even gone so far as to say to folks something to the effect of: 'If I had wanted to elect a traditional, mainstream Democrat, I could easily have supported Hillary Clinton,' and then going on to add that he actually had great admiration for the work that Clinton was doing in the State Department. In other words, the man who helped galvanize the fund-raising opposition to her was having doubts. The Democracy Alliance meeting was off the record. Conducting an off the record meeting is one of the surest ways of making sure that what is said is immediately leaked to the press and spread through the grapevine that supplies sustenance to all forms of Washington flora and fauna." (David Rothkopf)

"Those who recall my blind item in yesterday’s Diary about a 'May December' marriage that had just occurred and left the talkers talking bigtime: it was confirmed yesterday in Page Six. I did not reveal the names of the newlyweds because I hadn’t been able to confirm the 'rumor' that was passed to me, but Page Six did. They are: Prominent private residential real broker Lawrence (Larry to his friends) Kaiser IV, and Kipton Cronkite, whose name has always reminded me of the Superman comics. Others are reminded of Walter Cronkite to whom the groom is not related and never was. Page Six said the younger groom was 39 and the elder 69. Although I think the younger might be even younger, I believe it is the first marriage for both. In real life Kipton, who hails from out Oklahoma way but has been a Gothamite for at least a decade, looks like he could have been a perfect Jimmy Olson. Larry Kaiser notwithstanding. However, all-talk aside, Congratulations are in order." (NYSocialDiary)

"It’s a fact of American life that practically the entire nation is devoted to professional football. Each Sunday during the fall and winter months, millions of people from all across the country plant themselves in front of the television or travel in droves to local arenas to watch the latest NFL matchups. Many fans practice a devotion that is positively religious in its intensity. But the national mania for football seems not to spread among the ranks of the upper class. Rich people, for the most part, don’t follow every sweaty detail of the game with unwavering zeal. Unlike their fellow Americans, the white-shoe crowd isn’t tuning in on Sundays, listening to pregame commentaries, and wondering which of their favorite teams will rule the day. To be sure, there are among the rich a number of notable individuals who are exceptions to the rule. They are the wealthy entrepreneurs who love football enough to demonstrate their commitment to the sport by purchasing franchises and showering them with resources. (Case in point: my cousin Woody Johnson, who owns the New York Jets.) But these celebrated owners are the distinct minority—a very small fraction of the upper crust. The significant majority of affluent people follow only those professional sports they themselves can successfully play. Tennis is the most compelling example." (JamieJohnson)

"Rachel Uchitel lost out on a meeting with Simon Schuster after she gave an interview to the UK's Daily Mail for a story published Saturday. Uchitel moaned that the headline saying she 'breaks her silence on her affair with Tiger Woods' was misleading since she doesn't talk directly about Woods. But sources said Schuster dropped the meeting, set for after Thanksgiving, because she talked too much about her 9/11 conversation with fiancé Andrew O'Grady, who died at the World Trade Center -- which was the peg for her proposal. 'I'm disappointed. However, I believe in the book, and I will shop it to other publishers,' Uchitel told us. Our source calls her proposal 'suprisingly good.'" (PageSix)

"Jon Kyl has spoken. The Senate minority whip, emboldened by his party's midterm election gains, said Tuesday that the Senate shouldn't vote on the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty this year, likely sealing the fate of what would have been the signature foreign-policy accomplishment of U.S. President Barack Obama's first two years in the White House. If the Senate doesn't attempt a vote before the end of the year, the treaty's odds of passing will be even longer come January, with a thinner Democratic majority and a Republican minority that mostly agrees with Kyl; the prospect is now very real that New START will be consigned to the diplomatic scrap heap. If this looks bad from Washington, it looks worse from Moscow. Kyl isn't just imperiling Obama's arms-reduction ambitions -- he's also diminishing the American president's credibility abroad. And in the eyes of Russia's leaders, he's casting into doubt the United States' commitment to fixing its relationship with Russia. To the Kremlin, New START's apparent demise may well mean the end of an arms-control agenda that seemed on the verge of resuscitation by Obama after suffering clinical death at the hands of George W. Bush. Arms-control agreements gave Russia a sense of security in the post-Cold War era, when the former superpower was struggling to define itself in the shadow of a militarily superior United States. The agreements allowed Russian leaders to claim strategic equality with the United States, holding on to a small measure of great-power status. That came to an end in 2002, when Bush pulled out of the 30-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. That the Bush-era policy of zero arms control is suddenly poised to make a comeback is definitely bad news -- not just for arms control, but for the entire U.S.-Russia relationship." (ForeignPolicy)

"Some of us count sheep, but Rupert Murdoch spends his sleepless nights dreaming up media properties. It was late May, around 2 a.m., and Murdoch was in his New York penthouse on Fifth Avenue having a tough time falling asleep when a vision came to him: publishing a daily news report that would be exclusively made for the iPad and other tablet devices. There would be no print product. Murdoch had done his homework, so he already knew that readers spend more time fully immersed with the iPad than they do with the Web. He believes that within a few years, tablet devices will be like cell phones or laptops — consumers will go into Wal-Mart and buy the things at reasonably cheap prices (far more diminished than the $499 for an iPad now). In his mind, in the not-too-distant future, every member of the family will have one. The morning after his brainstorm, Murdoch dialed one of his chief lieutenants — Jesse Angelo, the managing editor of The New York Post. Come summer, Angelo left the Post and began working full-time for the budding outfit, which is named The Daily. (The folks at DC Comics weren’t very interested in handing over The Daily Planet, the first idea.) News Corp. has spent the last three months assembling a newsroom that will soon be about 100 staffers strong. The Daily will launch in beta mode sometime around Christmas, and will be introduced to the public on the iPad and other tablet devices in early 2011. It is expected to cost 99 cents a week, or about $4.25 a month. It will come out — as the name suggests — seven days a week. The operation is currently working out of the 26th floor of the News Corp. Building on Sixth Avenue in a space that looks like a veritable construction zone. The staff’s permanent home will be on the ninth floor, and they’ll move down once it’s ready." (WWD)

"For years, Steven Spielberg has been trying to mount a biopic of Abraham Lincoln, but with intended star Liam Neeson aging out of the role, many assumed that the project would never get off the ground. Today, though, Spielberg announced that he will begin shooting Lincoln (based on the Doris Kearns Goodwin book Team of Rivals) in the fall of next year, and what's more, he's landed Daniel Day-Lewis to play the sixteenth U.S. president. 'Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema's distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with Lincoln,' said Spielberg." (Vulture)

"It was a funny crowd at last night's American Museum of Natural History gala. That was because board member Lorne Michaels had wrangled a bunch of his current and former Saturday Night Live cast members, including Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon, to add a little comic pizzazz to the evening—although with Sir Elton John performing and some unconventional lots (including a private stay with the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and dinner and stargazing with a world-renowned astrophysicist) on the auction block, the official program had more than a few points of interest." (Style)

"Ted Turner is a powerful man. It is not advisable for anyone to enter into a party parley with the media mogul. Deutsche Bank's Christopher Burnham defied that admonishment last night. The mustachioed Turner was at The Waldorf Astoria for the Annual Global Leadership Dinner celebrating the alliance of the United Nations Foundation and the U.N. Association of the U.S.A. He wore a flag-spangled tie. Turner was in high spirits and spent much of the cocktail portion of the evening with lady friend Catherine Crier on his arm as he posed for photos with dignitaries and philanthropists ... Turner, America's largest private landowner, has about two million acres of land--more than the combined land areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. Burnham took issue with Turner's reintroduction of wolves on his properties. I stood behind Turner and listened to the squabble. 'I'll call it worth it,' Turner said mid-conversation. 'How can you have an...I've got habitats without any wolves. Listen, but I don't want you to be really upset about...' 'Well, I'm not upset about...' Burnham started. 'The wolf?' Turned asked. 'Yes,' Burnham said. 'I'm upset that you're doing something that's affecting the ecosystems as we know it.' Turner did not back down from his belief that an absence of wolves would be detrimental to the environment; he sees the predation as essential to keeping animal populations in check. 'We took it out,' Turner said of the wolf. 'That's where we made the mistake. We took it out of the system, that's...that was a major mistake.' 'How many wolves were on your property...' Burnham began. 'Twenty,' Turner barked. '100, no 200 years ago?' Burnham said. 'I wasn't there,' Turner said. 'Neither was anybody else.'" (Guestofaguest)

"Howard (Stern) asked Billy (Joel) if he's close to other rock and roll guys. Billy said they're friends but they don't sit down and talk about music in a deep way. Howard asked Billy if he has ever gotten together with other guys and jammed with them. Billy said that he got together with Paul McCartney once and they were both dabbling in classical music. He said Paul was going to come over to his house and he kind of knew him from seeing him over the years. He said Paul is the reason he got into music. Billy said that Paul was going to come over and he was excited about that. He said he wondered if he'd want something cold to drink. He had some cold cuts in the fridge and Paul doesn't eat meat. He said he had turkey breast and things like that in there. He said it was like Jeffrey Dahmer's fridge. Billy said he was going to hide the meat somewhere so he was hiding it in drawers in the house. He said he had to put it somewhere so he just threw it all over the place. Billy said they had a nice day talking about music and things like that. Billy said that they didn't really have any awkward silences or anything. Howard asked if they talked about girls they banged and stuff. He said they didn't do that. He said Paul is a good family man and just a nice guy. Howard said he thinks that he had a great relationship with Linda. Billy said he really is a great guy and a good dad. Howard asked if he whipped out the instruments. Billy said that Paul played some tapes and he played some for him. He said they'd talk about how to change things. He said Paul left a few hours later and he never did ask for a drink or go into the fridge. Billy said they got closer from that.  Billy said that he called people to tell them what happened. Then he was walking around his house wondering what the smell was. He said he had the meats in the drawers and pantry so he had to go on a meat hunt to find it all." (Marksfriggin)