Tuesday, February 28, 2006
You may want to liberally slather your computer screen with penicillin before you actually view this picture of Heatherette's Richie Rich. Just as a precaution. (image via
I never said I was going to retire. I just said I was "real tired." You cats just weren't flowing with my ebonics. Yeah .. that's the ticket. (image via wireimage)
Donna Summer's "She Works Hard For Her Money" builds to a feverish crescendo and the common man begin to follow her on the final leg of her Passion as Anna Nicole Smith prepares to ask Justice Scalia, in her raspiest Baby Doll voice, for the outstanding balance of her whorepay. (image via wizbang)
The overly-available Jamie-Lynn Siegler attends the opening of ... an envelope! (image via wireimage)
Thuggish literati Stanley "Knuckles" Crouch periodically feels a jazzy arpeggio of bitchslap welling up in his fingers. This time, luckily for his tablemates, he resists the Byronic urge. (image via NYSocialDiary)
Priscilla Presley: Triumph of the Plastic Surgeon's Art. (image via wireimage)
Don't make this man angry; you wouldn't like him when he's angry. (image via ejeanlive)
Oh, it's on: It's on like Gray Poupon! If you listen closely you can clearly hear the cloying, cloven-hoof-against-marble sound of Vanity Fair and New York Magazine writers hauling ass to pursue the Moonves-Stern lawsuit for an upcoming issue. Be sure, though, to give a shout out to Page Six, who broke this story.
It all seemed so neat -- too neat -- in the closing days of Howard Stern on terrestial radio. (The Corsair sparks up a Cubano Robusto). Even Les Moonves managed to show up on-air in those last days (remember, always: Les is a grat Actor; Les is More), complimenting Howard, wishing him luck in his future media endeavors. Sure, there were those ubiquitous Roth ads running during the last month of Stern on KRock; and, yes, there was that disasterous lunch-shoutfest with Joel Hollander; the bewildering suspension; but, still, it all seemed like water under the corporate media bridge.
That was then, this is now. Roth has turned out to be a corporate embarrasment (The Corsair could have told you that). He is unlistenable radio. The fucking worst. And, worse, apparently Les Moonves turned to Joel Hollander, who heads the radio division, and -- in front of Howard Stern -- told him he doesn't know how to pick a Morning show.
Ouch. Stern made the Infinity Radio division boatloads of cash which no doubt Les Moonves misses. Seeing that legacy pass and the Roth radio legacy about to evaporate, things have gotten intense. According to those intrepid Page Sixxies:
"CBS/Infinity chairman Les Moonves is about to launch a $500 million lawsuit against his departed superstar Howard Stern, claiming Stern breached his contract by failing to disclose the details of his new deal with Sirius Satellite Radio while still employed by Infinity. 'When you mention the name Howard Stern to Les, his face turns red and his rage becomes uncontrollable,' said a CBS insider."
"'And Les has a bunch of Washington, D.C., lawyers who hate Howard almost as much as he does.'
"Three years ago, Stern called Moonves 'a snake in the grass and a guy you can't trust. You could just see it with the fake capped teeth and the phony hairdo and everything else.' Yesterday, on his Sirius show, Stern said, 'I showed them a way to make money . . . I syndicated the show . . . I set record high profits for them. I did everything in this world that they never could have accomplished on their own . . . But me they obsess on. And me they go after . . . So when somebody tells you that it's not personal, it's personal. All hell is breaking loose over there.'"
The hell would be: 1) the Giselle Bundchen nudie photo that David Lee Roth has hung up has become a flashpoint at the station. Other on-air talent regard it as, at the very least, sexist to hang something like that up in the workplace. "It's just low-rent ... tacky .. classless," is how Chris Booker described it.
And, 2) David Lee Roth's quixotic vacation. He's only been on since January 2 and he needs a break? WTF! Roth is upset that the station is programming orginal shows in his place. What does he expect? Repeats of his abysmal first few months on the air? But, of course, it looks -- to him, and to me -- as if the foundation is being set for a replacement.
According to Marksfriggin:
"Howard said that Joel Hollander and Les Moonves are preparing to sue him for talking about SIRIUS while he was on the air. He said that it's so ridiculous because they allowed him to do that ... He said he had a meeting with Les and Joel the other day but he won't talk about that yet. This is so unbelievable to him because Joel and Les came on the air and congratulated him for his move to SIRIUS. They even said that they had both purchased SIRIUS radios!
"Howard said that Mel Karmazin went to Les and asked him why he let him talk about it on the air the whole time. Les allegedly told Mel that he knew that he could sue Howard afterward so he let him go on the air and do it. Howard said that Les has never gone after anyone except for Dan Rather and another reporter for screwing up something about the President.
"Howard said that Les is doing this to get the attention off of himself because he's going to screw up the radio division. He said that his lawyer has told him that this case is ridiculous and won't go anywhere. Howard said that Les once told him that he had to learn about his move to satellite on his birthday. He also said that this case will just bring him even more publicity so it will probably be good for him. He said that this whole case is laughable.
"Howard said that he got teary at the meeting he had with Joel and Les but it's because he spent so many years there and they let him go on the air and refer to SIRIUS as ''Eh, eh, ehhh.'' He said that Joel even said that he liked it when he referred to it as that. He thought it was funny. Howard said that all of that stuff drove up the ratings and also the revenue for the company. He did the opposite of screwing them over, he brought them even more money than they would have made if he didn't talk about that stuff.
"Howard said that Les wouldn't defend his show against the FCC or sue Clear Channel when they canceled his show and didn't pay off his contracts... but they will sue him for talking about his future job. Howard said that Les even put him on ''60 Minutes'' and David Letterman's show because he brings in the ratings.
"Howard said that the meeting he had with Les told him that he has damage because they're not making money now. Howard said that's not his fault, he's allowed to leave the company. Les also said that Howard got a bonus payment for selling radios. Howard said that his deal was in the papers so he didn't need to talk about it on the air. He also said that they sold record amounts of advertising on his radio show and made a lot of money in that last year there.
"Howard said that Les is now saying that he basically hijacked his radio stations for a year. Now it's going to show how this guy is going to run that company right into the ground. He's not a CEO and it will show.
"Howard said that there's an article in Talkers Magazine that shows he's the number one radio guy in the country even though eh's no longer on terrestrial radio. Howard went on to say that he's going to unleash on CBS radio now that they're suing him. He said he was keeping his mouth shut until this lawsuit came down. He said there has been some questionable practices over the years with those guys and he's going to investigate and expose that stuff to his fans.
"Howard said that Les probably won't be running the radio division much longer and Tom Freston will probably take over once Sumner Redstone realizes what's going on. Howard also said that Joel is no Mel Karmazin and that's very obvious. He said that someone should take a look at what Jack FM is doing and how Les is running that company right into the ground.
"Howard claims that Les turned to Joel during their meeting and told him he doesn't know how to pick a morning show. He did that right in front of Howard."
(image via indiewire)
In: Jonathan Sehring. The IFC President Jonathan Sehring has joined the upstart "Cubaning" trend -- think: Dogme95 for the executive class -- and not, we believe, a moment too soon. (The Corsair pours himself a glass of the black wine of Cahors, elixir of Popes) As film recipts decline and the Oscars "Indiefy" (every nominee in the Best Picture category could be construed as having an Indie sensibility with a mid-range budget), this is the perfect opportunity for independent film to branch out and experiment with new business models. According to Marketwatch:
"The film industry seeks to adapt to a climate of declining receipts at the box office, more sophisticated home entertainment systems, and the growing popularity of video-on-demand on cable television systems across the nation.
"Toward this end, movie studios are starting to show a willingness to shorten the period between a movie's theatrical debut and its first appearance on video-on-demand or DVD.
"Comcast and IFC said their on-demand offering, called 'IFC in Theaters,' will make certain films available on Comcast's VOD movie section for $5.99 each. Comcast subscribers will be able to choose from a selection of four to five independently produced films a month.
"Among the titles are 'CSA: The Confederate States of America,' produced by Spike Lee; 'American Gun,' starring Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden; and 'Russian Dolls,' featuring Audrey Tautou.
"'This agreement isn't about simply collapsing distribution windows,' said Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Entertainment, in a statement. 'IFC in Theaters is enabling independent filmmakers to reach a wider audience in a much more economical manner. The local cinema will always be the first home for film to many film lovers ... Now IFC and Comcast will provide independent films with a unique opportunity to extend and expand beyond traditional distribution means.'"
Cinematicals take here.
(image via Michael Kamber/NYTimes)
Out: The Darfur Genocide. How many years has it been since former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the crisis in Sudan for what it is: Genocide. And yet, still, we do nothing. The inertia of the planet regarding the government sponsored eradication of black Africans in Sudan is utterly disgusting. In times like these, the late Susan Sontag's presentation of "Waiting for Godot" as Europe dithered over the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia seem particularly apt. Sudan is the new Theater of the Absurd: and The West is the unmoved audience. And yet, still, we do nothing. From the NYTimes:
"The chaos in Darfur, the war-ravaged region in Sudan where more than 200,000 civilians have been killed, has spread across the border into Chad, deepening one of the world's worst refugee crises.
"Arab gunmen from Darfur have pushed across the desert and entered Chad, stealing cattle, burning crops and killing anyone who resists. The lawlessness has driven at least 20,000 Chadians from their homes, making them refugees in their own country.
"Hundreds of thousands more people in this area, along with 200,000 Sudanese who fled here for safety, find themselves caught up in a growing conflict between Chad and Sudan, which have a long history of violence and meddling in each other's affairs.
"'You may have thought the terrible situation in Darfur couldn't get worse, but it has,' Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch, said in a recent statement. 'Sudan's policy of arming militias and letting them loose is spilling over the border, and civilians have no protection from their attacks, in Darfur or in Chad.'"
And yet, still, we do nothing.
(image via crispwireless)
In: NBCOlympics.com. Dick Ebersole need not mourn; the proper Machiavellian Master of the Universe response -- AKA "the Pimp move" -- to this lackluster thusness would be to downplay the bad television ratings publicly, and tout as well as build upon the digital ratings for the next round of Olympic games.
Although the Olympic games on network television were a bit of a disappointment, they did well online. Very well. Then again, with an international audience, this is a no-brainer.
It seems NBC's isn't "saddled" with a dying franchise. Rather, it is on the cusp of something really, really digital. According to Staci Kramer of Paidcontent:
"NBCOlympic.com Serves Up 9. 1 Million Video Streams, 125,000-plus Hours : The stats are in for the Torino Olympics ... during the official span, NBCOlympics.com served 9.1 million video streams, more than 125,000 hours.
"Just imagine what the numbers would have been had more than one hockey game streamed live. Other site metrics:
"-- 361 million page views, more than double Salt Lake City in 2002 and 44 percent higher than Athens in 2004. (That total likely would have been smaller with fewer steps for some actions.)
"-- 15.1 million uniques. -- 988,058 games played for an average in-game time of 32.5 minutes."
Not bad. NBCUniversal press release here.
c'est chic; c'est freak. (image via thefashionspot via style)
Out: Carine Roitfeld. Was Carine Roitfeld misquoted by the NYTimes' Guy Trebay? When she said that new Madison Avenue shopowner Tom Ford was "finished" we nearly launched our adult beverage into the air. Now, unfortunately, she's backtracking -- did Ford get to her? -- and blaming, alas, her Frenchness for the 'error.' (A considerable pause; Averted Gaze) According to Fashionweekdaily:
"Carine Roitfeld wants you to know she was misquoted. In Guy Trebay�s article about the evolution of sex appeal in fashion last Thursday, the New York Times scribe quoted the French Vogue editor in chief as saying, 'You know, I love Tom Ford, and I love what he has done. But Tom is finished, in a way. We have to find a new way to interpret sex.'
"Roitfeld, as the fashion community is well aware, is a close friend and confidante of Ford�s on his many projects (it is known that Ford seeks Roitfeld�s advice on each of his endeavors), a fact she reiterated at the Versace show, when explaining her argument about the misquotes. 'If I say Tom is finished, then I am finished, too,' Roitfeld stated firmly. 'My English is sometimes not so good, so maybe he misinterpreted.'
"Over the weekend, Roitfeld�who said Ford had not called her about the comments and would deal with it privately and personally�was in better spirits but still wanted to state her case for the record."
Roitfeld has only been in this country for how many years? (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) Full story here.
(image via transalt)
In: Michael Musto. We readily admit that we worship at the temple of Musto (don't ever cross us in a dark alleyway: JC Chasez, assboy!). Musto, Nabokov, Richard Pryor, Spy Magazine, Gore Vidal, and Elizabeth Spiers have all, to some degree, influenced the tone and style of this blog. So, let's give a little love to Musto. (The Corsair raises a toast) According to TheStar:
"Michael Musto is the sultan of snark.
"For his acerbic La Dolce Musto column in The Village Voice alternative newspaper, he gets to troll New York City's bars and celeb salt licks and revel in the drag queen/go-go boys scene.
"... He has been described rapturously as 'one of the wittiest stylists in the English language, master of the Oscar Wildesque segue.'
"... Musto is still a freelancer after 20 years with The Voice. He works from home and writes his notes in longhand � in cramped, spidery handwriting � on single-spaced foolscap. He pulled out his notes from a beat-up yellow envelope that could have contained Winston Churchill's D-Day invasion plans.
"'I've never misquoted anyone,' he said.
"The questions in the seminar from wannabe journos concentrated mainly on Jessica Simpson and how to get Musto's job. But he's not giving it away.
"He's not finished with it yet.
"'Free food, they let me write what I want and I'm well paid,' he explained, ordering Bistro's fabled Meg Ryan chicken."
Meg Ryan chicken? Is that another name for a Russell Crowe? (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). The Musto influence liveth on ...
(image via heralis)
Out: Barack Obama. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was, until this week, the Golden Boy of the Democratic Party. He is attractive; he won a landslide; he is new to the Senate (the most aristocratic club in the world outside of the Princes at the Vatican, thank you very much), and thus untained by the corrosive stench of Washington's lobbying scandals; Obama is also seen as a future Presidential -- or, Vice Presidential -- candidate.
A funny thing happened on the way to Lobbying reform, though. Few really want it to go down. Let's face it: The only big money in DC is the lobbysists and lawyers (and, fewer and far between, the inherited Old Money). Lobbyist Wealth buttresses the low government wages, providing consolation and sweet solace to the pecuniary perils of Power. There is something of a Madisonian symmetry to it (James' power to Dolly's wealth, namely); it has a perfectly crisp "Kerry-Heinz" vibe, if you know what we are hinting at. It is a beautiful -- if Dark -- combination. That, dear reader, is Washington. (Averted Gaze)
Obama is the prefect, good looking, untainted Democratic face to serve as point-man on lobbying reform but -- and this, dear reader, is the pisser -- the Senator is supposed to be, essentially cosmetic. Face. That's all. Nothing substantial with regards to lobbyist reform must be allowed to fuck-up the sweet thing, this thing of ours, they've got going on in DC. Obama wasn't supposed to really advocate lobbying reform. Heaven forfend; how naive could he be? From TheHill:
"Senate Democrats have declined to support legislation proposed by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to reform lobbying, even though he is their point man on the issue.
"Good-government groups have made enforcement of the ethics and lobbying rules their top priority, and they consider Obama�s proposal the strongest means of enforcement. But lawmakers appear to view the medicine as too strong.
"On Feb. 8, nearly three weeks ago, Obama introduced legislation that would create an independent commission to enforce lobbying rules. Despite reaching out aggressively to Democratic colleagues and a few Republicans, according to good-government groups working with him, only one senator, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), has co-sponsored his proposal."
Cold blooded. More here.
In: The Elton Party Versus the Vanity Fair Party. As the countdown to Oscar heats up, Elizabeth Saltzman and the Vanity Fair Gang -- who throw the party -- are putting on their finishing touches. They must have missed The Corsair's invitation, though. (Averted Gaze). Sir Elton, apparently, is kicking things up a notch. Says the 3AMGirls:
"Our insider tells us: 'Vanity Fair and Elton always throw the hottest parties but this year the competition is stiffer than ever.
"'Vanity Fair's party is incredibly prestigious and always gets a good turn-out, but Elton's party is just as stylish and a lot more fun. Guests really get to let their hair down and hosts don't get much better than Elton when it comes to working the room.'
"... Our insider goes on: 'Elton's going all-out to make this one of the parties of the year
".. Both bashes will be battling to tempt Oscar nominees including Keira Knightley, Reese Witherspoon, Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix, left, to celebrate wins or drown their sorrows.
"Guests at Elton's shindig, which is held to raise money for the Peachtree Road singer's Aids Foundation, are expected to include the event's co-organisers Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Donatella Versace.
"Previous parties have raised �55m for the charity, and this year sponsors include top jewellers Chopard - which designed Elton and David's bling-tastic wedding rings, Audi and music channel VH1."
Kim Hastreiter of the Paper Blog has an interesting post -- with which we agree -- about the extreme materialism of the swag and how, perhaps, we may witness a media backlash here.
Monday, February 27, 2006
(image via neweb)
We always thought that investing a reported $4 million in David Lee Roth was a gigantic fuck-up for Infitnity Radio. As volatile as she is, Courtney Love would have been a far better choice (and, at the very least, infused with a far better brand of Hollywood gossip). Because of the negativity surrounding his departure -- re: Infinity keeping the masters of his radioshow tapes -- Howard Stern is getting involved on-air in the behind-the-scenes meltdown at 923FreeFm.
There's no secret that David Lee Roth is a disruptive presence on Infinity Radio's 92.3FreeFM. His nude studio poster of Gisele Bundchen -- covered only, reportedly, by a strip of tape -- has been called, by 92.3FM's Chris Booker as "low rent."
Now, David Lee Roth's tumultuous tenure at Infinity Radio is getting more complicated by a screaming match with his boss. According to Marksfriggin:
"Howard said that he has moved on but Infinity Broadcasting hasn't. He said that they're giving him a hard time but he can't talk about that right now. He said he will talk about it in the future though. Howard went on to talk about how his show helped make Viacom/Infinity Broadcasting what they became. He said he wants them to leave him the F alone but they're still doing stuff to him that seems pretty personal to him.
"He said that all hell is breaking loose over at the company from what his guys hear. He said that David Lee Roth and Mark Chernoff were screaming at each other chest to chest from what he heard. Mark is a little guy from what Howard said. The whole new format of the old station, FreeFM, is like Howard Stern knock-offs and he feels he gave them enough in return over the years.
"Howard said that David Lee Roth was upset that they're putting someone else on in place of him while he's on vacation. Howard said that the guy has only been there about a month and he's already taking a weeks vacation. Howard said he's so into this new job of his that he's not taking a week long vacation this month like he could have."
The putting of an untested David Lee Roth on a number one market in the morning to replace Howard Stern may end up as the all-time worst radio programming decision ever. EVER.
That having been said, we absolutely love -- and recommend -- the new Jake and Jackie Show (podcast here)
Buzzmachine on Roth
Frankly, we've seen Paris Hilton's ass. This is false advertising. (image via ohnotheydidnt)
The obnoxious Jamie Foxx, in the 14th minute of milking that fucking "Ray" Oscar, hijacks the fuck out of yet another otherwise decent party. (image via thecobrasnake)
RIP, Don Knotts: Who goes off, magestically, to that Regal Beagle in the sky: where the drinks are half-off and the older women are always saucy. (image via wallsoffame)
So, the X going around is all the way live tonight, huh? (image via thecobrasnake)
This picture suggests to us not so much cornrows as ... cornhole. (image via justjared)
(image via utexas)
In: Jordan Levin. The explosion of the "cellphone entertainment" industry has already spawned its own talent agency -- Generate -- targeting the perfect cellphone demographic: tech savvy youths. This will offer the astonishingly brilliant and hard-toiling bloggers and podcasters and content creators out there in the digital wilderness -- the creative gang that get scandalously overlooked by the traditional gatekeepers -- a chance at the brass ring. Fina-fucking-lly! Says Mediaweek:
"Jordan Levin, former CEO and entertainment president of the WB network, has formed a new content development and talent management company with a group of partners, which has signed its first content deal with MTV Networks.
"Generate, Levin�s new company, will develop content and then pitch it to specific MTV cable properties MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV and CMT, among others. The content will either be for cable, or for broadband or mobile distribution channels within MTV Networks.
"Levin�s partners in the new company include Pete Aronson, former president of Regency Television LLC; Mike Karz, a movie and TV programming developer; and talent managers Dave Rath and Kara Walker.
"Levin said there are a few projects already in the works for MTV Nets, based on the partners� input, and that staffing up of the new company will begin this week."
If the brilliant Carolyn Castiglia doesn't get signed as a result of this, then there is no justice in this world. More here.
(image via NYTimes)
Out: La Rondinaia. We reported, recently, that Gore Vidal's 20-level rambling masterpiece of a villa La Rondinaia was up for sale (and, no-- no reader bought it for The Corsair as a present, as, tongue-in-cheek, was practically begged). Local hotelier Vincenzo Palumbo -- already the name strikes us the wrong way -- plans to turn La Rondinaia into a -- gasp! -- "niche hotel"! (Averted Gaze)
Please: Don't let this happen. For the sake of beauty in the world. According to Hillary Clarke of TheAge:
"THE Italian cliff-top villa that was Gore Vidal's home for 30 years has been sold to a local hotelier for more than $A23.6 million.
"Perched above medieval Ravello on the Amalfi coast with views to Capri, La Rondinaia (Swallow's Nest) has been on the market since the American writer returned to California in 2003. Approachable only by foot, it had become too much for Vidal, now 80, and his life-long partner, Howard Austen, who died more than two years ago after a long illness.
"Built into the cliff over 2.4 hectares, it has 20 levels. The house where Vidal entertained world leaders and Hollywood stars is so famous that the writer's peace was disturbed daily by tour boats 150 metres below his balcony.
"Ravello's Mayor, Secondo Amalfitano, failed to persuade the regional government to buy the property and turn it into a writers' retreat. Now the villa has been sold to local hotel owner Vincenzo Palumbo, who studied there as a boy before it was sold to Vidal.
"Mr Palumbo plans to have the building listed before he turns it into a 'niche' hotel for the wealthy and a museum dedicated to the life and works of the writer and political provocateur.
"Exhibits will include mementoes of his guests, among them Princess Margaret, Graham Greene and Sting. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton left a photo signed: 'Thanks for letting us trespass.'
"There will be other unusual exhibits, including the chair used in the epic movie Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton."
Sting once expressed interest in buying the crib. He supposedly sulked during a Gore Vidal party and, when approached, wondered aloud if he could throw Vidal off the cliff edge to acquire the propery. We hope he once again expresses interest in earnest to save La Rondinaia from the fate of gauziness. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)
(image via keebler.net)
In: ScarJo. Do you remember, like, when Scarlett Johansson was this starlet doing "unsanitary things" with Benicio del Toro in the Chateau Marmont elevator (eew), and trolling Europe after some Old World status? She was, back then, the Sir Edmund Hillary of social climbers.
Forget those days. We like her now.
In the course of a year, Scarlett Johansson has transformed herself into a serious actress -- Tom Ford VF cover notwithstanding; we all make mistakes -- and now, she's metamorphosed into something of a humanitarian. According to BritishVogue:
"SCARLETT JOHANSSON is the face of Bono's new project, RED; a brand that will invite other companies to contribute products to it and donates a significant percentage of profits to the Global Fund which fights TB, Aids and malaria in Africa. 'It really works,' the actress told Style. 'I mean, I'm a Red American Express cardholder, and I'm putting everything on it now. And the clothing brands involved are so available to everyone: Gap, Converse, Armani � brands that people buy all the time.'"
(image via cspanarchives)
On Chris Matthews' "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment he made the intriguing prediction that former Senator John Breaux, currently a wealthy lobbyist, may be drafted to run for Governor of Louisiana in the 2007 Democratic primary, against the embattled Katherine Blanco. According to BayouBuzz:
"With U.S. Senator David Vitter�s withdrawal from the 2007 Governor�s race, the stage is set for Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-Kenner) to take on Kathleen Blanco in a rematch of the 2003 contest. In the last race, the Democrat Blanco dispatched Jindal in a 52-48% vote. Much has been made of the fact that Jindal�s Indian heritage likely cost him votes in certain conservative areas of the state.
"... A few years are an eternity in politics and if the race were held today, Jindal would be the overwhelming favorite. He has performed admirably since Katrina and Rita, working hard for his state, traveling across Louisiana, and visiting with victims of the hurricanes. Jindal has been pushing a conservative agenda in Congress, but one that is decidedly pro-Louisiana. He has worked tirelessly for more recovery funding for the state and is sponsoring legislation to give Louisiana a larger share of offshore oil and gas revenues. He has not hesitated to criticize the Bush administration when warranted, most recently in the controversy over a United Arab Emirates owned company controlling port operations in cities like New Orleans.
"In contrast, Blanco has been extremely lackluster since Katrina. Her leadership has been uninspiring, and her agenda has been flawed. Her relations with the Bush White House have never been good, harming Louisiana�s chances for strong administration support. In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Blanco has only a 32% approval rating, the third lowest among the country�s governors."
The demographics of Louisiana, as any politics geek will tell you, have changed radically as a result of Hurricane Katrina. A huge segment of the African-American middle class has left Louisiana. So have New Orleans' poor population that, ostensibly, also voted Democrat. The close margins of Blanco's 52-48 victory may be a thing of the past, as may be any future Democratic Party victories in the Bayou. Enter: John Breaux:
"Right now, leading Democrats are desperately searching for another candidate. Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Odom is trying to convince former Senator John Breaux to make the race. But why would Breaux and his wife want to give up their comfortable lifestyle in Washington D.C. to return to hurricane ravaged Louisiana and deal with plenty of difficult problems? Breaux is a high priced lobbyist who has lived in the nation�s capital for decades. Would he be willing to return home to face a mountain of troubles during such a challenging time? Since leaving his Senate position, Breaux has been practically invisible, not taking a leading role in the recovery efforts from the hurricanes. He would indeed be a stronger candidate than Blanco, but not a sure bet in a state that is tending more Republican since the Katrina evacuation."
(image via bbc.uk)
Whe last we heard of ex-Wham! star George Michaels -- nee Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou -- he was ill-advisedly flashing an undercover cop at a public restroom in Beverly Hills. According to TheSun:
"SINGER George Michael was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs yesterday after being found slumped in his car.The dazed star, 42, was seen at London�s Hyde Park Corner at 1.50am."
An online plea to "wake him up before he go-goes" joke would qualify as low hanging comedic fruit, right? Forget we said anything:
"Police and an ambulance raced to the scene after a Good Samaritan spotted the semi-conscious singer and raised the alarm.
"After ensuring the millionaire star had no obvious injury, officers breath-tested and searched him.
"The B-test proved negative but police allegedly found cannabis and GHB � a Class C drug known as Liquid Ecstasy that is popular with clubbers.
"In the boot of the car, thought to be a dark Range Rover, cops are also said to have found a cache of pornographic material including sex toys and masks."
"... One witness said: 'George was completely out of it � he was all over the place.
�... 'No one could rouse him. He was virtually unconscious. When the police came he could hardly speak.� The ex�Wham! star was taken to London�s West End Central police station and kept in a cell overnight."
(image via yale)
Senator Hillary Clinton is front-and-center on Karl Rove's radar for 2008. According to Drudgie-Poo:
"President Bush and his top strategist, Karl Rove, say Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be tough to beat in the Democratic presidential primaries of 2008 -- but not in the general election!
"Reporter Bill Sammon, who joins the WASHINGTON EXAMINER as Senior White House Correspondent, is set to launch his new book, STRATEGERY. In the Book, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, Rove is quoted on the-record and is unleashed on Hillary: ... Rove added that the 'hard-driving' Clinton will easily vanquish Democratic primary rivals like New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who are merely 'preening for the vice presidential slot.'
�'I think Hillary Clinton will be a formidable candidate,' Bush said. 'And I don�t know the inner workings of the Democrat primary that much, but she will be a formidable candidate in the Democrat primary, is what I meant.'
"... Rove agreed in a question-and-answer session in his West Wing office for STRATEGERY, which is based on exclusive, lengthy interviews with Bush, Cheney and their top advisers. The third in a series of NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers chronicling this unlikely yet historic presidency, STRATEGERY is the most comprehensive, behind-the-scenes account of Bush�s narrow reelection and the tumultuous 14 months that followed. 'She is the dominant player on their side of the slate,' Rove said of Clinton. 'Anybody who thinks that she�s not going to be the candidate is kidding themselves.'"
Perhaps we are kidding ourselves, but we still believe Al Gore will enter the race, position himself leftward, and win the Democratic Primary in 2008. The interview with Rove, though, was probably before his fiery Martin Luther King Day speech in New Hampshire, and, proximate to that, the subsequent lovefest at Sundance. Events change rapidly on the political scene and we cannot believe that Rove could miss the Gore-as-Environmentalist trial balloons floating all about the DC atmosphere.
Mud as metaphor. (image via getlippy)
On the kaleidescopic conveyor-belt of manwhores that Kate Moss frequents, Pete Doherty is a frequent pit stop. Perhaps the crack he has been known to imbibe has cleverly infused itself onto his own unique biochemistry, thus making him pheromonally addictive to the delicate supermodel known as Coacaine Kate. According to the extremely downmarket Newsoftheworld:
"At Thursday's NME Awards Doherty blurted out to the News of the World: 'Yes, I have seen Kate again.'
"The pair were also spotted looking cosy together at the Westbourne pub in London's trendy Notting Hill.
"One onlooker told us: 'Kate and Pete were there together. They looked like an ordinary, happy couple. They were laughing and joking and whispering in each other's ears.
"'There were some friends of Kate with them, but she was only really talking to Pete.
"'She was drinking vodka and tonic and he was drinking bottles of beer.'
"The pub is 32-year-old Kate's local while she is staying with actress pal Davinia Taylor. A source close to the couple said: 'They've met up a few times but have been very careful not to get spotted. They decided to go to that pub because it's the last place anyone would look for them.
"'It's not exactly the trendiest pub around there and they have managed to get away with it ...until now.'"
Saturday, February 25, 2006
First rule of hair club is y'all don't talk about hair club. (image via wireimage)
I'll show you a real "Weasley"! (image via wireimage)
Have you ever known a musician who remained retired after their Farewell tour? (image via wireimage)
I want Thandie /I want Thandie. (image via wireimage)
Russell Simmons, Tommy Hilfiger and Jason Binn: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666." (image via wireimage)
(image via mikelynaugh)
This certainly sounds like scalping, although, technically, it escapes prosecution. According to the perfect Dickensian villain Robert Novak:
"Rep. Thomas Reynolds, a key member of the House Republican leadership, is soliciting political contributions by in effect scalping tickets for NCAA 'Sweet Sixteen' games at Washington's sold-out MCI Center for more than 30 times face value.
"Reynolds is soliciting $2,000 a person to provide tickets for the March 24 tournament session that are sold by the NCAA for $65 apiece. 'Tickets are very limited,' says the letter of invitation, 'so please RSVP as soon as possible.'
"Although Reynolds is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the basketball money will fund TOMPAC, Reynolds's leadership political action committee that he uses to make contributions to selected candidates."
Psst. Hey: Congressman Reynolds. Could you score me some sweet tickets to the Sixers-Bullsgame tonight? Gee, that'd be swell. (Averted Gaze)
More Novak here.
(image via nytimes)
In: Stacey Snider. Will she or won't she? When the patron saint of Hollywood Steven Spielberg courts you -- woos you -- to do something in the entertainment business, well, it is hard to say no. Former Peter Guber protoge Stacey Snider is rumored to be in talks to head up Dreamworks. According to Sharon Waxman of the NYTimes:
" Universal Pictures teetered on the brink of a top executive change on Friday as Stacey Snider was given the weekend to decide whether to remain as studio chairwoman or to accept an offer to run DreamWorks, which was recently acquired by Paramount Pictures.
"In an interview, Ms. Snider said that she was agonizing between the two choices, and that her superiors were pressing her for a decision 'sooner than is fair to me.'
"Ms. Snider, whose contract expires at the end of the year, has headed Universal since 1999. She guided the studio to profitability with hits including "The Mummy," "Meet the Parents" and its sequel, "Meet the Fockers," and had Oscar-winning films in "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind" in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
"But since the company's acquisition in 2004 by G.E., with its tight financial controls and a much more rigorous corporate review policy than Vivendi's, Ms. Snider has said she has found the job more difficult.
"'As good as they are to me, there's only so much latitude' in the job, she said on Friday, referring to the 'wear and tear' of dealing with G.E.'s strictures. 'This is fundamentally true of the media business,' she added, noting 'the rigmarole you go through while trying to make 25 movies, while not seeing your kids.' Ms. Snider has two daughters, ages 9 and 7.
"In running DreamWorks, Ms. Snider would preside over 4 to 6 movies a year, instead of the 16 to 18 she now oversees at Universal."
The embattled Brad Grey and Gail Berman. (image via movies.yahoo)
Out: Gail Berman. Of course, in the tightly knit food chain that is Hollywood, the an alpha-predator's gain means, generally, a net-loss to the metaphorical herbivore, namely: Gail Berman. Let's face it: Brad Grey's brief tenure at Paramount has been ... tumultuous. The good will he garnered until only recently has dried up with Black Wednesday. And, it seems, Gail Berman is on the firing line, so to speak. According to the LATimes:
"When Brad Grey got on the phone Friday, the chairman of Paramount Pictures had a pretty good idea what I was going to ask. Did Gail Berman, his embattled production chief, still have his backing? 'Gail has my full confidence and support,' he said. 'Our plan is for our films to speak for themselves instead of being swayed by the Hollywood rumor mill.' Whether you're a baseball manager, a studio executive or the head of Homeland Security, someone is always wondering if you'll still have your job next week. For the past few months, Topic A during lunchtime conversation in Hollywood has been the question � what on Earth is going on at Paramount? If you believe the buzz, since Grey arrived last March, the studio has been in constant turmoil.
"There is good reason for such scrutiny. After years of sedate stability under Sherry Lansing, Paramount has been rebuilt pretty much from the ground up. In less than a year, virtually every division chief has been replaced, some without warning, as happened to production chief Donald DeLine, who found out from friends that he was being replaced when he was in London on a business trip. Countless staffers have been let go after the studio paid $1.6 billion to acquire DreamWorks last December in a selection process that one staffer described as a 'human bake sale.' And Berman, hired last spring to replace DeLine, is now seen as a lame duck herself, having endured a stream of criticism for the studio's pokey production pace and her dealings with producers and talent agents. Her perceived shaky status at the studio took another hit Friday after The Times reported that Universal Pictures Chairman Stacey Snider was considering moving to DreamWorks after her contract expires at year's end."
(image via hollywood)
In: Ice Cube. What an interesting career Ice Cube has had thus far. As one of the founders of the gansta-infused West Coast hip-hop style, he has branched out into movies and now, cleverly, the digital cosmos ("Race Card" MP3 here). In addition to an album and tour in the works Ice Cube is hoping MySpace can do for his curious new project what it did for Dane Cook's comedy. From Mediaweek:
"FX is exploring a number of marketing gray areas with its promotional effort for its documentary series Black. White., seeding a new music video by the show's executive producer, Ice Cube, across a number of non-linear media platforms.
"The video for the series' title-song, 'Race Card,' will be available to MySpace.com members beginning Feb. 20, running on the community portal exclusively through Feb. 26. After that window closes, "Race Card" can be accessed throughout the following week online at MySpace, Yahoo!, AOL, TVGuide.com and BlackAmericaWeb.com and also will be available to Sprint Nextel and Boost Mobile customers with video-enabled handsets.
"Stephanie Gibbons, executive vp of marketing for FX, said the multiplatform push will deliver some 135 million impressions for the series and the network, although that number doesn't factor in the mobile element of the campaign.
Socialite in repose. (image via timeinc)
The Kid Rock jailhouse montage. (image via thesmokinggun)
Out: Kid Rock and Tamara Mellon. When we first heard of this coupling we thought: What-the-fuck? Could there be two more different people? One: a socialite; the other: a porn-loving, stripper anthem writing rock star-cum-felon. As expected, the novelty wore off. According to BritishVogue:
"TAMARA MELLON has apparently called her halt to her romance with Kid Rock. 'She went to visit him on tour in America and had a moment of clarity," her friend Tamara Beckwith told reporters. "She realised how mad the relationship was and called the whole thing off.'"
Former Congressman Thomas Downey. (image via carlcoxphoto)
Out: Thomas Downey and Carol Browner. If Jack Abramoff is lobbyist excess, then the Washington powercouple consisting of former Congressman Thomas Downey of Downey-McGrath and former EPA Commissioner Carol Browner are lobbyist excess multiplied by a factor of two. According to the Old Gray Lady:
"Carol M. Browner and Thomas J. Downey, a classic Washington power couple, are not used to being rebuffed. But that is what happened when those two Democratic advisers approached Senator Charles E. Schumer last week about their client, Dubai Ports World.
"... On Feb. 14, after Mr. Schumer's initial protest, Ms. Browner and her colleagues at the lobbying business, the Albright Group, began to conduct outreach for Dubai Ports World, which they were already advising on questions involving China.
"Ms. Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton years, naturally turned for help to Mr. Downey, a former Democratic congressman who is her companion and a major New York supporter of Mr. Schumer.
"Mr. Schumer would not budge. Refusing to meet the two in person, he made public objections.
Soon a confluence of forces, including a lack of preparation by the administration, little major news and the fact that members of Congress, who had not been briefed on the questions, were at home in their districts, helped the controversy explode.
"The ordeal, tamped down somewhat by the announcement late Thursday that the company would not take control of the ports immediately, has offered a case study in crisis management.
"'They couldn't have botched this any worse if they had tried,' said Rich Masters, a managing director at Qorvis, a business that has worked on crisis communications for Arab countries. "
We heartily concur. Anne E. Kornblut's excellent article here.
(image via papermag)
What the fuck is up with hooking up at the NME Awards? First, Mischa Barton got Jake Gyllenhaal's digits with an option to future fucky (Soory Cisco), now word Kelly Osbourne got her groove on. According to the 3AMGirls:
"Ozzy's daughter was smitten when she met Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan after the NME awards at Hammersmith Palais on Thursday
"... Our source says: 'Kelly was besotted and went all out to get him. Soon they were snogging in a corner and couldn't keep their hands off each other.'
"Things got so heated that 24-year-old Tom decided he and Kelly needed a bit more space. He started pushing partygoers out of their seats and trampling over their coats to make more room.
"But while he may have thought it was funny, the bouncers didn't. They kept a close eye on Tom and bundled him off after he clashed with the DJ - with Kelly in hot pursuit.
"Luckily, her pleas for them not to chuck out Tom worked, and the pair headed off upstairs, where they were soon canoodling in a corner. At one point, our spy says, 'Kelly had her legs wrapped around him.'"
(A considerable pause) Continue:
"But after a few more drinks, the singer went off the rails again. He leapt on the couch, took down a lampshade and smashed it on the ground. 'Security rushed towards him but Kel was there to calm him down,' adds our spy. 'She promised to take him downstairs and leave - but not before their party got in a few shots.'"
(image via trulybadfilms)
Check out this blind item from the awesometastic Gatecrasher:
"Which actor who credited a miracle product with regrowing his chestnut mane is the butt of Hollywood jokes after a recent, less-than-stunningly successful visit to the hair-plug doctor?"
Hmm. Wonder who that could be?
(You do your think Matthew, we still have blog love for you)
Friday, February 24, 2006
When duly deprived of bashable gizmos, Naomi Campbell can be a perfectly charming dinner companion. (image via style.com)
As if the ladies needed any more convincing that this right here is USDA prime grade-A Beefacke. (image via thecobrasnake)
He's faking. (image via thecobrasnake)
Former -- ? -- crackhead and NME's Sexiest Man Pete Doherty celebrates his win by stumbling in the gutter with some assorted lowlives. (image via wireimage)
K-holes are a bitch, huh guys? (image via thecobrasnake)
(image via acslaw)
We predicted a month ago that Al Gore would run in 2008 from Hillary Clinton's left and win the Democratic nomination. At a recent Tim Russert taping, Democratic master-strategist James Carville all but guaranteed that Al Gore would run. Amazingly, Dick Morris is in agreement. According to TheHill:
"The Democratic base�s anger at Gore�s defeat in 2000 was assuaged by the worse Kerry defeat of 2004. The idea that he was an incompetent candidate has been replaced in Democratic iconography by the idea that he was cheated out of the presidency. The hiatus has healed his reputation with the base in much the same way that the negative rap on Nixon for losing in 1960 was ameliorated by the Goldwater wipeout of 1964.
"History indicates that candidates who won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College have all come back to win revenge in subsequent elections. Andrew Jackson, cheated in 1824, won in 1828. Grover Cleveland, cheated in 1888, triumphed in 1892. Samuel Tilden, who won the popular vote in 1876, never ran again, but he dealt away the White House in a deal for the withdrawal for federal troops from the South, allowing the Ku Klux Klan to take over.
"... For those who ponder the disloyalty of Gore�s taking on the wife of the man who plucked him from the ashes of his 1988 defeat to make him vice president, please recall Harry Truman�s line that if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.
"Could Al beat Hillary? If Mrs. Clinton persists in her support of the Iraq war, he could."
(image via trumpetcom)
In: Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs revolutionized personal computing. He is in the process of revolutionizing how and where we watch tv. And, despite the music industry's dragging footsteps, he has tranformed the way we listen to music. Is there anyone anywhere even buying CDs anymore? It was quaint while it lasted. From SfGate:
"Since offering individual songs for 99 cents on its online store starting in April 2003, the Cupertino company has become dominant selling music on the Internet. And it shows no signs of slowing down. In October, Apple added TV shows, music videos and short films from Pixar to its iTunes Music Store.
"'Over 1 billion songs have now been legally purchased and downloaded around the globe, representing a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet,' Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said in a written statement.
"At last month's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Jobs said Apple was selling 3 million songs a day, a pace that translates to more than 1 billion songs a year. He also noted that the iTunes Music Store represents 83 percent of the downloadable music sold on the Internet."
(image via cbc)
Out: Kate Moss. Well, Kate Moss is back in social circulation. Without, of course, the booger sugar. (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) This time it was Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr who got the full Mossy. According to the 3AMGirls:
"KATE Moss knows how to pick a winner. She was cosying up to - just hours before his group won Best International Band at last night's NME Awards.
"Even her ex, junkie Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty, scooped the gong for Sexiest Man at the ceremony, nicknamed The Brats."
Because, no doubt, the fragrant medicinal musk of flopsweat commingled with cracksmoke is catnip to the ladies ...
"Kate, 32, made a beeline for 26- year-old Albert - a former model - when she turned up at London's private members' Cuckoo Club at midnight on Wednesday.
"The pair set tongues wagging by snuggling up in a corner and engaging in some marathon canoodling.
"Kate, Sadie Frost and their gang took over some tables at the back of the club and ordered bottles of vodka," says our spy. 'But Kate only had eyes for Albert. He was whispering in her ear and she was smiling and laughing at everything he said.
"'When someone interrupted to speak to Kate, she just batted them off to continue gazing at Albert.'
"Our source adds: 'When her friend asked if she'd been to see The Strokes recently, Kate said, 'Yeah, loads. They're amazing and such sweet guys'.
"At the end of the night, she and Albert jumped into a waiting Land Rover and disappeared into the night together.
But what, pray tell, would a Kate Moss story be without the astonishing O Henry ending:
"But she might not get her wicked way with the Strokes star after all. At the Brats, Albert told us: 'Being with Kate was drunken and friendly. She's a cool girl and I had a fun night, but I'm seeing someone.'"
Can't Kate ever catch a break?
(image via latina)
In: Elizabeth Vargas. Things were looking a bit dodgy for Elizabeth Vargas there for a second after ABC brass decided to have her share anchor duties with seasoned grown-ups Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson after her on-air partner was injured in Iraq. The decision had whiffs of "she's not yet ready to handle prime time alone" written all over it. This new development brightens Vargas' prospects significantly. According to FishbowlDC:
"Word out this morning that ABC's Elizabeth Vargas has scored an interview with President Bush for next Tuesday--the first major outlet to get one since Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting partner."
(image via theapplecollection)
Out: Ted Tunrer. The man who modeled himself after Alexander the Great, his childhood hero, is exiting the theater of his greatest campaign. According to CNNMoney (link via iwantmedia):
"Time Warner said Friday that Ted Turner, founder of the company's Turner cable networks its largest individual shareholder, will not seek re-election to the company's board of directors.
"'It is after much deliberation that I have decided not to stand for re-election at the annual meeting. I have enjoyed working with Dick Parsons as well as the other board members and the management team,' Turner said in a press release.
"Time Warner's chairman, Dick Parsons, described Turner in a statement as 'a visionary leader who has made an extraordinary contribution to this company and, indeed, to the world at large.'
"Turner, who held 105 million shares of Time Warner stock as recently as 2003, now owns only 33.5 million shares, or about 0.7 percent of shares outstanding, according to share tracking service LionShares.
"That still makes him the largest individual shareholder, just ahead of the 30.6 million shares held by financier Carl Icahn, who a week ago dropped his efforts to win control of the Time Warner board."
(image via hodsonphone)
In: Network TV. Who says the networks are dead? With 500-plus channels sometimes that seems like the inevitable conclusion. That would be premature. According to Medialifemagazine:
"Usually the broadcast networks step aside when the women�s figure skating finals come gliding onto the television every four years, scared of getting stomped by the sequined pixies and the huge ratings they generate.
"But this year CBS, Fox and ABC aired some of their most popular shows opposite NBC and its skaters, and the result was the most competitive night of the TV season so far, and perhaps of the last decade, as 62 percent of the nation�s 109 million TV-watching households tuned into the big four networks during the 8 p.m. hour.
"Fox�s 'American Idol,' NBC�s Olympics, ABC�s 'Dancing With the Stars' and CBS�s 'Survivor' combined for a 62 household share during the 8 p.m. hour last night, according to Nielsen overnight numbers, a 41 percent increase over the 44 share those networks have combined to average this season so far.
"Together the networks averaged 70.4 million total viewers that hour, 63 percent more than the 43.1 million the networks have averaged in primetime so far this season. Also, the Big Four combined for a 58 share among viewers 18-49, up 45 percent from the 40 they�ve averaged this season. Not surprisingly, Fox�s 'Idol,' the No. 1 show on television, paced everyone during that hour, averaging 23.1 million total viewers and a 9.7 rating among 18-49s."
A pitstop until something better comes along. And it did. (image via emmaria)
Out: Cisco Adler. Man, sucks to be that dude according to the 3AMGirls (link via egotastic):
"At the Baftas dinner The OC's Mischa Barton went out of her way to get an introduction to the fabulous Jake.
"Our spy tells us: 'They swapped numbers and when he walked away she did a little victory dance to her friend.'
"Don't suppose her fella Cisco Adler will be too pleased."
Nothing personal Cisco, it's show business.