The initial funding for the “1 for All” campaign came from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Newseum, McCormick Foundation, American Society of News Editors, First Amendment Center and Gannett Foundation. Now over “1000 new organizations, religious groups and educational institutions” are supporting the campaign to educate the public about the First Amendment.
Posts Tagged ‘Ellen DeGeneres’
— DIANE CLEHANE
You just never know who’s going to turn up at Michael’s, and I’ve learned to expect the unexpected during my weekly lunches. That’s just what I got when U.S Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and his agent Tara Modlin showed up to join Rob Weisbach, uber agent and former president and CEO of Miramax Books, at Table One. I loved every minute of the drama on and off the ice at this year’s games, so I just had to go over and introduce myself to Johnny.
The usually flamboyant and outspoken star, who was wearing a red ruffled sweater, black pants and flat boots, was downright subdued as I offered my congratulations on his Olympic performance but perked up when I asked if the trio might be discussing a possible book. “Yes, I want to do a book. I write a blog for my Web site and I’d like to write about a lot of the things that happen behind the scenes in figure skating,” Johnny told me. “I’ve got a cool background. I’d like people to know I’m not from Mars.” I also asked the sixth place finisher to weigh in on silver medalist Yevgeny Plushenko‘s controversial remarks about Evan Lysacek winning the gold medal without doing a quadruple jump. “I’m good friends with Yevgeny and his comments were taken out of context,” says Johnny. “He’s Russian. English is his second language.” So there you have it; it was all just a simple misunderstanding.
Speaking of books, I was joined today by literary agent Fredi Friedman who helms her own agency and has an impressively diverse list of clients including hedge fund king (and former Morgan Stanley honcho) Barton Biggs, Pat Buchanan, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, and her Republican counterpart Kellyanne Conway. “I go from one side of the aisle to the other!” says Fredi.
We were deep in conversation when Today show producer Marc Victor stopped by to introduce us to Oprah‘s favorite design guru, Nate Berkus. His new syndicated show, Nate Berkus (catchy title!) is set to premiere in September on NBC. Nate tells me he’s branching out from home makeovers. The show will air as a lead-in to Ellen DeGeneres‘ chatfest and will include a variety of different segments. “I’ll be doing some design, but I’ll also be doing interviews and focusing on the idea of transformations.” You might recall Oprah has sent Nate to several viewers’ homes for missions that go beyond a bathroom gone bad. One of my favorite recent episodes had Nate making over a woman who wanted him to glam her up and take her to her 25th high school reunion. “It’s tricky terrain when you’re picking out clothes for someone,” says Nate, who will also “have a presence” on Oprah’s OWN network when it launches. But he came through with flying colors and is now confident enough to give it a go on his own show. “We’re going to be focusing on transformations.”
Fredi, who is always thinking about new book ideas, told Nate he really had something there. “You should do a book!” she said. “Maybe I will,” Nate replied with a smile as he said his good-byes. “Thanks for the feedback!” At Michael’s, lunch is never just about lunch. But you knew that, didn’t you?
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
To put it in perspective, he was around to call David Frost‘s interview with Richard Nixon a program that raised “serious questions about the contemporary crafts of marketing and communication.” He was around to say that the television mini-series “Roots” was a giant step forward for popular entertainment. He debated the merits between the Simpson and Cosby families, and one of his last pieces for The Times involved Ellen DeGeneres‘ coming out on national television, which O’Connor had mixed feelings about, calling it “a promotional tool” for what was once a “a delicate, if not traumatic, rite of passage” for gay men and women.
He died last night in his home, at age 76 of lung cancer, survived by his partner Seymour Barofsky. O’Connor may have left The Times in 1997, but as we discovered while searching for examples of his work, many of his reviews can still be found on the paper’s Web site, so you can take a moment to read back through some of his best works.
(Photo courtesy of The New York Times)
We love Ellen DeGeneres. We just love her. However, American Idol is not comedian friendly. The last comic on that show was Brian Dunkleman, if anyone remembers. The first season had two hosts. One was the unknown local Star 98.7 chatty cathy Ryan Seacrest and the other was comedian Dunkleman who was (ahem) voted off. Never to be heard from again. No he didn’t go Jennifer Hudson and go on to better things. Nothing.
So American Idol has a horrible comedic track record and Ellen has a perfect one. Could be interesting. More likely not…
Today, the business magazine’s sister publication, ForbesWoman has put out its list of the 30 most influential women in the media world.
Not surprisingly, Oprah Winfrey tops the list, earning an unmatched $275 million last year. But earnings alone don’t translate to power, as the top five can contest. Joining Oprah are Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ellen DeGeneres (the number two earner with $35 million last year) and Tyra Banks — the third top earner on the list with $23 million banked (ha) last year. Television journalists Sawyer and Walters pushed ahead of the top-earning talk show hosts thanks to the massive audiences they reach with their regular hosting gigs and primetime specials.
The whole list is a nice mix of traditional media and online media personalities and bloggers, like Arianna Huffington (number 12), Tina Brown (25) and mommy blogger and dooce.com founder Heather Armstrong (26).
(Photo via Oprah.com)
Forbes released their Most Influential Women In Media list.
The whole list is here.
Spoiler alert: We are not on the list at all. Send booze quick!
Arianna Huffington is number 12 and Tina Brown ranks in at 25 this year. But a comic who never went to college, Ellen DeGeneres is number three. Think of that when your student loans are due. Suckers.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) released an ad about storms and being afraid of the gays. You can watch it here. The kind of stuff that may have resonated back before Melissa Etheridge came out – before Ellen Degeneres was a day-time icon, before gay marriage was legal in four states. Anyway, the point is – you don’t want to compete with the gays for wit – they win every time, people. There are about a zillion spoofs of the NOM video and this seems to be the best one we’ve seen…today.
We just got word from our person on the inside that the new Microsoft commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates was most likely directed by Bryan Buckly. The same commercial director that did the American Express Ellen Degeneres spots. The one with the animals that won an Emmy and the other one with Beyonce and the Village People.
For people with TiVo, we sure watch a lot of commercials…