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Archives: December 2008

Osnos in Defense of The New York Times

img-bs-top---osnos-front-pages-174_144117532420.jpgThere is a certain irony involved in the former head of (the currently very troubled) Random House penning a defense of the New York Times. Nevertheless that’s what Peter Osnos is up to over at The Daily Beast. However, perhaps just as interesting is the fact that a collection of NYT front pages made the best-seller list — perhaps less a measure of the relevance of newspapers than a further sign they are considered by many to be some sort of collectable item. Anyway, here’s a bit of what Osnos, also a former editor at WaPo had to say about The Grey Lady.

Until the rest of the economy went into a tailspin, turning a serious problem for the newspaper industry into a catastrophe, it was fashionable in some financial and journalistic circles to belittle the Times‘ senior management for mistakes.

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Bacon/Sedgwick The Latest Madoff Victims

baconsedg.jpgKevin Bacon and wife Kyra Sedgwick (who is now with “The Closer” definitely the bread-winner in that household) were taken by Bernie Madoff and his $50 billion Wall Street swindle, New York mag reports.

They join an illustrious list of such Hollywood royalty as Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

But FBLA can’t figure out how much BacWick might have lost. Maybe “The Closer” is taking off. We know it’s not $50 billion. “The Closer” ratings aren’t that good.

Eisner To End His CNBC Show, Of His Own Accord

eisner2.jpgFormer Disney chieftain Michael Eisner has terminated his talk show on CNBC of his own volition, the New York Post’s Peter Lauria discloses.

The show only drew about 100,000 viewers (not great, by even CNBC standards).

But Eisner seems to be able to call the shots, even though he was deposed as Disney king years ago.

Clint For Best Actor: Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya, Punk?

clint3.jpgAs the Oscar ballots were just sent out to hungry voters for those pesky gold statuettes, the pressing question hovers around Dirty Harry and whether he’ll get the acting nod, the L.A. Times predicts.

The critics, well faux critics or columnists or whatever you want to call them, are in disarray as to whether Clint can cull an acting statue. Michael Musto of the Village Voice (who is not a critic), Anne Thompson of Variety (who also is not a critic) and blogger Jeff Wells of (who, surprise, is also not a critic) all like Clint for best actor. They seem to think he does feel lucky, punk.

But competition is pretty stiff this year. Frank Langella is likely to get nominated for “Frost/Nixon,” Sean Penn looks like lock for “Milk,” Brad Pitt for “Benjamin Button” and dark horse Mickey ‘They took my fuckin’ thumb’ Rourke for “The Wrestler.

Now remember, the noms haven’t even been announced yet, so these could all be false conjecture.

But Clint is definitely a special case. He’s won for directing and producing but acting has always been a non-starter. Not that Clint couldn’t pull off a decent “Hamlet,” if needed (or maybe “Lear”), but he’s worth voting for because he’s Clint.

And because we here at FBLA aren’t quite sure whether he shot five times or was it six and we don’t want to be the sixth.

Foreign Film Nominees Available Courtesy of HFPA

globepic.jpgThe five documentary nominees for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be available to schmooze and discuss their work the day before the Globes are given out.


Each director will be available at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10 at the Egyptian Theater. So if you like docs, especially foreign ones, it’s an open house. Here’s the invite.

Animaniacs Take on ‘Variety Speak’

“In Hollywood they have a different language that they speak. It’s spoken by these folks that went to school for just one week.”

Thanks to Milk and Cookies for this clip.

Morning Media Menu: December 30

Today on the Morning Media Menu: politicians prefer the late night couch in 2008, which TV news story do you prefer this year (you can still vote here) and advertisers prefer to spend their marketing dollars on the broadcast networks. Today, Matt Van Hoven of AgencySpy fills in as guest host for us because we were in the air, en route home Canada.

Boston Redesigns

boston12.30.08.jpgOur favorite Beantown publication got a Big Dig-sized face lift with a new design overseen by Patrick Mitchell, the man behind Fast Company‘s new look.

Starting with the January issue — on newsstands today — Boston replaces City Journal with Forecast, a front-of-book section that sounds a lot like New York‘s Intelligencer. Connoisseur combines the City Style and Food and Drink sections, while Examiner details the comings and goings of bigshots in the Boston metro area. The Menu consists of better restaurant listings, changed every month.

Boston‘s always been in the vanguard of city magazines,” editor James Burnett said in a statement. “We think with this redesign, we’ve broken new ground yet again.” Luckily, this new ground didn’t cost $22 billion.

Some images of the new sections after the jump.

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Mayor V Answers His Critics in – Wait For It – The Daily News

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,antonio.jpgPatrick Range McDonald wrote a blistering expose about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the LA Weekly back in September of this year. The article was scathing yet never once mentioned the Mayor’s love of the ladies…especially those that are members of the press.

Villaraigosa defended himself to the LA Daily News last Friday:

His active campaigning across the country for Clinton and, after her loss, Obama drew the most criticism this past year as he combined those events with his own fundraising. One newspaper, the L.A. Weekly, charted a period of his work then and concluded he only spent 11 percent of his time working on city business.

It’s a story that still rankles.

“It didn’t really go anywhere because it wasn’t true,” Villaraigosa said. “They were upset because we only gave them my public calendar. They didn’t get to see what I was doing privately, with meetings here (at City Hall) or in other places.

“Everyone who knows me, knows I work hard. That’s why both Sen. Clinton and Obama wanted me to campaign for them.

“And, I did most of that on weekends. I took a lot of red-eyes to make sure I was here.”

The answer to charges that the mayor is lazy? Red-eyes.

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Was the 2008 Election Won on Late-night TV?

page3_blog_entry414_1.jpgProbably not, but that didn’t stop candidates from getting the most out of post-prime time shows. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, presidential candidates set a record for number of appearances on late-night shows. The hopefuls appeared 110 times, more than four times the number in 2004. Fifty of these appearances came before the primaries even kicked off. (Of course there was no Republican primary in 2004.)

Ironically, although John McCain led the field with 17 appearances, it was the one he didn’t make that will ultimately be remembered the most. The Republican challenger canceled an interview with David Letterman, claiming that he was suspending his campaign although later that night he submitted to a Q&A with Katie Couric. The Late Show host ripped into his friend, inciting a national controversy.

Bill Clinton started the trend with his saxophone appearance on Arsenio Hall‘s show in 1992.