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Archives: June 2005

POTUS: Doesn’t even know us, as it turns out

POTUS they don't even know us.jpg…because the thrust of his speech was “Iraq is worth the sacrifice” and according to polls and reports more and more Americans are thinking “no, it’s not.”

The big criticism seems to be his stubborn linking of Iraq and 9/11, continuing to use the language of terror to refer to the present-day situation in Iraq (“Our mission in Iraq is clear. We are hunting down the terrorists.”) Apparently even the handpicked audience of soldiers a Fort Bragg gave the speech a muted reception; even the one smattering of applause was apparently started by a Bush staffer trying to pump up the crowd (Fox’s Brit Hume called it “respectful” and later reported that the crowd was ordered not to cheer).

But beyond that none of this was really new, or news per se, which is probably why the networks waffled about carrying it (they all did — it was a presidential address, after all). What is news: new FNC talking head General Wesley Clark responds to the speech on Brit Hume, who doesn’t interrupt. He lauds the troops, leads with the Cheney insurgency-is-over non sequitur and says that “the President chose to have America fight this war” but, now that we’re in, we’ve gotta finish it right. He’s gentler to the administration here than he is here. New voice on Fox; interesting to see how much airplay they give him.

Text of Bush’s Speech at Fort Bragg [NYT]

Ah, the power of free-association

Robert Novak’s column in the Chicago Sun-Times from Monday begins with this revealing lede:

“It was not merely a leak from the normally leak-proof Bush White House.”

No, it wasn’t. Someone picked up the phone and called you to leak the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame as an act of politicaal vengeance against her husband. They wanted you to print it and out Plame. Which you did. Now, almost two years later to the day, two other reporters may be going to jail for refusing to disclose the same source who leaked to you. No one knows if you named that source. Now, finally, will the truth be told?

Maybe one day, but not by Novak, at least not in this article. Here he’s writing about Alberto Gonzales as a possible Supreme Court nominee. But boy that lede sure seemed appropriate, given recent circumstances.

(“What recent circumstances?” asks Novak. “I haven’t discussed, written about, acknowledged or otherwise gone remotely on the record about anything recently circumstantial. But sure, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have by referring you to a certain eight pages in a certain recent judicial decision…”)

The newest media mystery blogger: “Jolie in NYC”

JolieNYC.jpgFollowing in the quasi-anonymous footsteps of the Washingtonienne, Gawkerist and TMFTML is bloggerista Jolie In NYC, a “pop culture-obsessed beauty editor in the big city.” Jolie writes mostly about celebrities (she has a Nick-and-Jessica breakup blog on the side that is both amusing and informative), but she also dishes on her life as a beauty editor, reminding us that the stiletto-happy halls of fashion & beauty mags are lined with swag:

Beauty is even more decadent than fashion, since beauty companies have so much more money to throw around on press trips, free products, and gratuitous gifts… My boss (and sometimes even I, only a mid-level editor) regularly gets Marc Jacobs wallets and coats, plane ticket vouchers, iPods, overnight stays at the Mandarin Oriental, year-long gym memberships, and — of course — all the free highlights and haircuts your poor dyed, straightened and styled hair can stand. It’s almost embarassing.

In addition to blogging about freebies and the daily grind (like sipping iced tea and spritzing perfume with Cynthia Rowley) she has ruminated on the beauty mag pecking order (Assistant: “Despite having likely graduated from an Ivy League college, not to be trusted with anything other than fetching coffee, opening beauty products, or telephoning junior PR people for prices”; Beauty Director: “Has hundreds of dollars in gifted credit at Barneys”). She’s no Washingonienne, but her insider-gabbery has started to get attention, promting Fashion Week Daily to ask peevishly: “Who is this editor?” It’s odd that they don’t know, given the clubbishness of beauty-land:

It’s an incestuous little world, because everybody has either worked with, press-tripped with, or interviewed with everybody else. We see each other about six times a week, at various lunches, appointments and events put together by the PR companies, which means our industry is basically akin to a sorority. With even better hair.

Hmmm. Sounds like blogging. But with worse hair.

In any case, if you know Jolie (or if you are Jolie) please drop us a note or a pair of Manolos at fishbowl AT mediabistro DOT com.

If You’re In the Market for a Used Car…

… the LAT Op-Ed page can help. In a piece about the Marlon Brando estate auction, economist Austan Goolsbee notes that much of the memorabilia is over-priced. However, there’s at least one exception:

Take Lot 198: Brando’s 1992 Lexus LS400 (“White with tan leather interior, just under 75,000 miles, with Nakamichi sound system, hard-wired cellphone, with tinted windows”). The Lexus is expected to sell for $4,000 to $6,000. But the blue book value for the same car is $6,255.

Of course, now that the LAT has pointed this out to the whole world, you can expect fierce bidding.

Gay Logo’s not-so-gay logo

LOGO logo.jpgLogo, the new gay channel from MTV networks, is set to debut on Thursday, so we thought we’d check out the website and see what they’ve got on tap. But when we got there, we were confused — was this the right site, or did we stumble across some boring corporate site for some random company who’d registered the URL first? Nope. The boring, un-flamboyant un-sparkling downright un-interesting website is actually the Logo website. Now, we know that Carson Kressley isn’t the network’s only constituent but surely the fabulosity of gay fashion and design sense could have been reflected in the logo, Logo?* With all the possibilities out there, it does seem a shame to settle for something so bland. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Related: Radar’s favorite gay logos [Radar]

*It’s a great day when you can pack two “Airplane!” references into one sentence. Yes, I speak jive.

Please Unextend That Metaphor, Arianna

huff629.jpgYahoo’s Scott Moore interviews Huff Daddy, and it gets pretty sexy:

Scott: I’ve been at Yahoo! a grand total of 8 weeks. Yahoo! today is literally at the intersection of Silicon Valley techno-culture and Hollywood media. Quite interesting, actually. Both camps are simultaneously intrigued and repelled. I expect we’ll produce beautiful children eventually, but the mating rituals can be awkward.

Arianna: My theory is that you should go ahead, hop into bed, follow that passion… then work out who does the dishes and who takes out the trash later! And speaking of mating rituals, I love that we are the first blog you’ve had on Yahoo! They say you never forget your first!

Um, that’s not a literal intersection. Anyway, given Huffington’s marriage history, I can only assume she knows from awkward mating rituals. And as for who takes out the trash and does the dishes in her household, my guess is it’s the help.

The interview even gets weirder:

Scott: As a new Angelino, what three things do I need to keep in mind to survive, thrive and achieve bliss on the beach? In Seattle there’s a coffee shop on every corner. Here, there are yoga studios. Is yoga the answer to life?

Arianna: Bliss on the Beach, is that a new cocktail? I personally think the answer to life in LA is doing yoga while watching Meet the Press, then posting your comments to our weekly Russert Watch blog. That’s how I spend my Sunday mornings. You should join me next week…


And since I hear you’re newly eligible, after you’ve settled in, I’ll set you up with someone. One hint for dating out here: never ask if they’re real. They’re probably not.

Paramount Pressured ‘Today’ to Edit Cruise-Lauer Spat

cruiselau.jpgMy second cousin by adoption TVNewser has this to say about Friday’s Cruise-Lauer ‘Today Show’ blow-out:

As Tom Cruise got all shook up with Matt Lauer on Thursday, the movie star’s publicists kicked into high gear, TVNewser hears. They lit into senior entertainment producer Tim Bruno, demanding that ‘Today’ only air portions of the interview that related to War of the Worlds. Then the handlers threatened to pull all future star bookings from the top-rated morning show. NBC eventually came to an agreement with the reps, but I wonder what Cruise said in the 20 minutes of the interview that didn’t air…

Meanwhile, will the inevitable anti-Cruise psychiatrist backlash hurt the WotW B.O.?

Come on, dude, he’s nine

Someone’s a whiny baby-pants at the New Yorker, but it isn’t Adam Gopnik, it’s the jerk who sent Gawker the email complaining about Adam Gopnik’s 9-year old son joining the New Yorker softball team:

You would be doing mankind a favor, not to mention the majority of the staff of The New Yorker, if you would try to drive a nail or two into a coffin built for Adam Gopnik… His over-the-top presumption du jour is having insinuated his 9-year-old son Luke (a.k.a. “Luca” — because, well, the Gopniks are Eurotrash wannabes) into a role on The New Yorker’s softball team. No one invited him to play. Gopnik just showed up and took advantage of the agreeable disposition of the team’s coach. (We play in the Publishers Softball League. No one takes any of this seriously, of course, or didn’t, until Gopnik came along and, with his relentless narcissism, appropriated it as his own.) The kid’s a slightly whiny pain in the ass but it should be said in his defense that he’s far more capable on the field than his father, who is inept beyond belief, a parody of the wuss everybody made fun of in the locker room.

The best part? “No one takes any of this seriously, of course” — except for you, complaining about the performance of a nine-year old on the baseball field. On the internet. Shame on you. You suck.

p.s. This post has nothing to do with the fact that Adam Gopnik is kind of Canadian. We just like kids and hate whiny vituperative grudgemongering petty evil mean jerks.

Morons Everywhere

mccourts.jpgI haven’t read the much-discussed article on the Morons social club in the new issue of Distinction, which is apparently not stocked at any newsstand east of La Cienega. But LAT sportswriter T.J. Simers took a look at the magazine, which also includes a feature on the Dodgers-owning McCourts. Does he riff on it? Of course he riffs:

THE McCOURTS were smiling, which struck me as odd. If someone called me a “moron,” I wouldn’t be smiling. In fact, I can speak from experience on that.

Frank was holding a baseball in one hand and the Screaming Meanie in the other, because you never know when she’s going to pop off. Across them the magazine had superimposed another headline: “Is This The Hottest Team In Town?”

I’d like to meet the morons who dreamed that one up, so I looked inside and discovered that it’s a “Tribune publication” and located in the Times building. That leads me to believe the same people who own The Times might own this magazine, which would of course exclude them from being morons. Please, don’t press me further on this subject.

Fortunately, the Tribune Co. has a legendary sense of humor.

Media Minutiae*

  • Auf Wiedersehn, Mein Herr: A spokesman for Time Magazine today confirmed that Berlin Bureau Chief Charles Wallace will be leaving his post and the magazine at the end of the month. Time‘s man in Vienna, Andrew Purvis, will be stepping into the role, consolidating the two bureaus. The spokesman could not confirm the rumor we’d heard that Wallace had been let go.
  • “Howie, Howie, Howie…” Our bro down at FishbowlDC has some hilarious Cruise Fan Fiction: what would happen if Tom Cruise went on Reliable Sources?
  • “Howie, Howie, Howie…” Part II: Said bro should know, he just wrote a big ol’ feature on Kurtz for The Washingtonian, not to be confused with The Washingtonienne, but don’t worry, it’s still a very spicy read, especially if you picture Kurtz in that lacy pink push-up bra while you peruse it.
  • I want my OTV (II):
  • With the help of some liberally-popped Ritalin, the liberally-downloaded “Today” show video star Tom Cruise is steadily ascending the Scientology ladder toward heaven, according to Salon, who says that Cruise may have already attained the coveted OT-VII designation in the church. Well, “coveted” by Scientologists. We were kidding, lawyers for Tom Cruise, he’d never take Ritalin. Word on the street is he hates the stuff.

  • Judith Regan, salonista for your ears: NY-to-Cali publishing doyenne Judith Regan joins Sirius radio as the host of her own weekly 2-hour talk show. We are open to reader fan fiction imagining Tom Cruise as a guest. We’re guessing Regan would be a mite less patient than Matt Lauer.
  • *Once again, completely different than Media Miscellany