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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Edwards Off Short List for VP: Enquirer?

John Edwards got his hand stuck in somebody’s cookie jar and the result may mean no VP slot for Obama. The L.A. Times, of all places, picked up the story that no one would touch because it originated at, yikes!, the National Enquirer. But then in true tabloid fashion, the paper couldn’t produce any quotes, photos or eyewitness accounts.

Still, ripe material for bloggers like us.

As for the L.A. Times, which refused to do the story, but did the story about the Enquirer doing the story, the paper only wrote that “Barack Obama’s VP shortlist may have gotten a little shorter.”

Them’s good eats for a hungry beast like the L.A. Times.

Covering Barack: The New Yorker Depicts Terrorist Fist-Jabbing Couple in Oval Office

goriginal.jpgIronic or just nuts? The cover of this week’s New Yorker is sure to make some waves when it hits newsstands and mailboxes. It depicts the Obama’s in the Oval Office revealing their “true” selves: Michelle is a revolutionary feminist(?) sporting an afro, Obama is a Osama-worshiping Muslim who burns American flags.

We have to assume that The New Yorker, not one to shy away from political controversy where its covers are concerned (especially under David Remnick‘s reign) is trying to be ironic. And that seems to be what one of the staff there told the Obama campaign. But considering that it comes after a week of complaints from the Left that Obama is pushing too far and fast to the center (22,000 people logged on to his website to protest his recent approval of Bush’s wiretapping bill) one has to wonder if perhaps there is not a little bit of a jab in there aimed at Barack himself. Regardless, the Obama campaign is not laughing. Says spokesperson Bill Burton: “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.” Either way, we think the honeymoon is officially over.

Obama Smear Emailer Tries to do Maureen Dowd’s Job For Her

dowd-tsgg190.jpgSo by this point it’s no secret how we feel about Maureen Dowd and her gender-twisting habits, but even though we are quick to point out her shortcomings we were also quick to realize that the Obama smear email making the rounds right now that purports to be a June 29 Dowd column (complete with her byline, and the Times’ font — as if these things are hard to fake) accusing Obama of accepting online funds from “Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries” was not actually by Dowd. And that’s not just because we recall reading her June 29 column! Nope, what immediately clued us in is that fact that the real MoDo rarely talks money (a point she makes herself), rarely breaks news (she’s an opinion columnist, not a reporter!) and rarely misses an opportunity to describe Obama as being effeminate, or Hillary as a ball-buster, or for that matter, tie it all in in some way to Bill’s ego or W’s daddy complex.

To her credit, Dowd herself didn’t seem too fazed by the whole thing: “The line about it being the ‘most shocking revelation,’ I don’t think I’ve ever said those words, except in a satire. Also, it is about money, which I never write about…Sometimes you try and protest things you hear about, but sometimes it’s just not worth it… It is hard to track down and control these things, and anyone who reads my column knows that this wasn’t me. I got to the second line and I knew it wasn’t me.” [Yep, emphasis added.]

Lunch: Football, Fashionistas & Laila Ali

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was a tasty tossed summer salad of movers, shakers — and football players at Michael’s today. Now that the power set has to cram in five days of plotting into a truncated work week — Why miss out on a Friday afternoon in the Hamptons if you don’t have to? — the dining room was buzzing. We noticed diners were opting for deep conversation over table-hopping today so there must be plenty of big doings afoot.

I was lunching today with my new friend, Denise Cobb, who just arrived from Naples, Florida for a few days of fun. This weekend she celebrated with her good pal Desiree Gruber at her baby shower at the rooftop garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel and is planning to go to Judge Judy‘s housewarming for the mega-mansion she had built — in just four months! — in Greenwich. “She’s really proud that she could get the builder to work so fast,” reports Denise. Fear is a great motivator, I suppose. Who would dare incur the wrath of Judge Judy? I love to watch her cut delinquent dads off at the knees on her television show, don’t you? After our lunch, Denise was off to visit with our mutual pal Carol Brodie, who is newly installed at Faberge and has big things in store for the iconic house. Denise and I are collaborating on a top secret project for Gulf Shore Life with editor-in-chief David Sendler. You’ll be the first to know all the details, I promise.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. New York Jets D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Leon Washington and Nick Mangold with some handlers and managers we didn’t recognize.

2. Peggy Siegal channeling Jackie O in a stunning white sheath, great earrings and her new ‘do with a dark-haired young power gal “in training” so we’re told…

3. Susan Zirinksy, whose show 48 Hours Mystery on Saturday nights on CBS is one of my favorite guilty pleasures with Mattea Gold.

4. John Huey and a bespectacled gent whose face we recognized but whose name escapes us…

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Jim Rainey Upbraids Political Reporters, Invents A Word

brainshot.jpgLAT reporter James Rainey coins the term “discordulum,” an invented region of the brain of any presidential campaign reporter which is devoted to recognizing conflict.

“From this hyper-developed brain center come stories about the certain demise of some politicians (John McCain), the inevitable success of others (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and the extreme probability that hostilities, once started, will never end.”

Rainey takes political reporters and their discordulums to task for “often firing on the same overheated synapses, even when conflict is waning.”

“For discord-centric members of the media, it’s not so easy to give up the last story line. So expect another moment of cognitive dissonance on the near horizon: It will come when Clinton concedes, embraces Obama and begins working furiously for her onetime rival.

It’s what Clinton has promised all along. It just didn’t register in the media discordula.”

Lunch: Hillary—Obama Smackdown!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Bill Clinton isn’t the only one who is getting a little testy about the endlessly long and increasingly tabloid-y battle for the democratic nomination. At today’s lunch, politics were on the menu as supporters of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took sides over their Cobb Salads. Our unofficial dining room poll finds Obama holding a commanding lead. Producer Joan Gelman — between commuting from Canada where her show Triple Sensation is going great guns — has taken to handing out her very own campaign buttons. “I do one for every election,” she told us. Her latest creation got lots of attention at a party at Tina Brown‘s recently when ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong arrived wearing one. It boasts a picture of President George Bush and John McCain in an embrace and is emblazoned with the words — Four More Years. Here’s the punch line: There’s a question mark at the end of the phrase. Joan was handing them out today (thanks!) and people were gobbling them up like mad. A few tables down, the exchange at David Patrick Columbia ‘s regular perch between David (a Hillary booster — “I just don’t know why she is the subject of so much hate”), Charlie Scheips and Terry Allen Kramer (decidedly not a fan) rivaled the dust ups on Sunday morning on The McLaughlin Group. But it was all in good fun. Isn’t it always?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. One big happy family: Michael’s wife Kim McCarty and kids Clancy and Chas with Martin von Haselberg and daughter Sophie. The families’ friendship goes back 30 years, says Michael. To wit: a painting of Martin (done by Kim) hangs in the reception area of the restaurant. There was plenty to celebrate all around: Clancy just graduated from NYU last week, Chas is starting his first year at Bard and Sophie is at Yale. Impressive! We were hoping that Martin’s wife — none other than Bette Midler — would join the party but, said Michael, she was rehearsing for her eagerly anticipated Las Vegas show (the family leaves for the desert tomorrow). Knock ‘em dead, Bette!

2. Peter Brown.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and yours truly. The Mayor was the subject of a glowing New York Times piece last week which bore more than a passing resemblance to this column. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it?

4. Phil Smith and agent extraordinaire Ron Konecky.

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HuffPo: Stars Align for Democratic Candidates

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In case you’re a Philly transplant with a mail-in ballot and only three working brain cells, HuffPo helps you decide whom to vote for with this handy-dandy guide to which stars are endorsing which candidates.

Obama is supported by Jennifer Aniston, Sam Jackson and Chris Rock.

Clinton has Natalie Portman. And a lot of old people.

Larry Sinclair’s Wild Ride with Obama–MSM Cover-up?

Larry Sinclair claimed to have performed oral sex on Barack Obama in the back of a limo, and later in a hotel room while smoking crack cocaine. Oddly, the New York Times has ignored this important story.

He’s now suing Obama, David Axlerod, the DNC, and FBLA. (Okay, we made that up. But if he knew of our secret plans for world domination, he would have sued us.)

Sinclair had been claiming to be a big-spending drug dealer, all the while living in Duluth on welfare. He’s been sparring with Dear Murray, the dean of LA River bloggers.

FBLA Goes to the Party: Weisberg Book Party

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Slate’s Jacob Weisberg read from his new book The Bush Tragedy at a Domino-sponored shindig in Brentwood. 300 guests stormed Arianna Huffington’s mansion house. (Or home, as the invitations read.)

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Adrian Grenier, sporting a beard that would have been a bushy tragedy on anyone else, Tracey Ullman, who does a wicked Arianna herself, and Christine Lahti represented SAG; Dale Launer and Stephen Gaghan were the WGA/DGA guys, and producers were thick on the ground with Lawrence Bender, Mike Medavoy, Irina Medavoy, Sam Goldwyn and George Stevens. Matt Groening had the animation arena all to himself.

Jim Ledbetter gave Arianna a copy of his new collection for Penguin–Karl Marx’s Dispatches for the New York Tribune, stopping her as she was enroute to her office. Gabe Snyder got the story behind her distracted expression: book deadline! (Who else was in the study, anyway?)

Usual coterie of LA media types–Mickey Kaus, Carla Hall, Kevin Roderick, Nick Goldberg, Kim Serafin, Ruth Shalit, Rob Barrett, Roman Genn–let’s move on, shall we?

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Weisberg’s clever wife, Deborah Needleman (she edits Domino) brought her Conde Nast cohorts along–Clemmy Closson and Beth Brenner.

Oscars were discussed perfunctorily, Obama enthusiastically (Rachel Sklar’s cries of plagiarism! were dismissed as business as usual which means those dissing her didn’t read very closely. Or else they were drunk.) Plenty of food and drink, which is unusual for book parties–and lots of copies of the book which looks like a fast read. No need to send it out for coverage.

(photos by Stefanie Keenan for Patrick McMullan)

LAT In 90 Seconds

30306858.jpgPolitics-As-High-School: We’ve been loving the Top of the Ticket political blog for all the tasty morsels of minutiae it serves up. This Don Frederick post is especially fun: Replace the words “Clinton,” “Obama” and “Podesta” with “Rosie,” “Kim” and “Hugo,” and you’ve pretty much got the plot of Bye Bye Birdie.

35861256-20091157.jpgThat’s … Show Biz? There is a very interesting story on the LAT’s site about a British intelligence agency denying responsibility for death of Princess Di. One question: Why is this on the Entertainment section of the site? Is this part of some LAT policy to help Hollywood find stories to turn into screenplays?

sam_smOn.jpgNBC Tones It Down: It’s the austerity. NBC cancels its fancy upfronts in favor of small presentations in three cities. But don’t fret, Sam Waterson, you and other NBC stars will still get to rub elbows with advertisers at a big party on May. 12.

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