TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘President Bush’

Lunch: Special Post-Inauguration Edition

homepage_graphic04_large.jpg

— DIANE CLEHANE

The mood was festive at Michael’s today, with plenty of Obama buttons on display and lots of talk about the president’s stirring inaugural address. Jack Kliger told me, “I thought the whole thing was inspiring. His speech was terrific.” Jack had a good laugh about Barack Obama‘s heartfelt thanks to George W. Bush for his “years of service,” only to then turn around and basically rip the departing administration to shreds — in the nicest possible way. A speech for the ages, indeed.

While everyone agreed the president was near perfection in every possible way, the verdict was somewhat mixed on the First Lady’s fashion sense. A few media mavens told me they were less than thrilled with Michelle Obama‘s Isabel Toledo dress and coat (“A little dowdy,” sniped one stylista), but gave her higher marks for her Jason Wu ivory gown. I admit, I didn’t love the “lemongrass” lace daytime look at first, but by day’s end it had grown on me. I will say that Sasha and Malia looked darling in their custom J.Crew Crewcuts coats. When my good pal Fern Mallis, looking sleek and chic in her Tracy Reese Obama shirt, stopped at the bar for a chat, I asked her what she thought about Michelle’s fashion choices for the big day. “I’d give her a 10,” said Fern. “I could not think of a better ambassador for the fashion industry right now. She looked great.”

Today I was lunching with Lisa Silhanek and Justin Brown, CEO of First Global Xpress. Lisa, who knows everyone in the fashion biz, is working with Justin as his relationship manager, helping to broaden the business within the industry. Justin, whose clients include HBO, ICM and Conde Nast, has built an impressive business (that will be profiled in next month’s Business Week and the March issue of Inc.) by catering to companies that care about reducing their carbon footprint with smart shipping that lops off miles using direct flights. And, perhaps just as important, Justin says: “We deal with divas very well.” He’s shipped everything from a helicopter (New York to Eastern Europe) to Marilyn Monroe’s velvet headboard bought at auction by an adoring fan, so chances are he can handle whatever daunting task Seventh Avenue can serve up.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Imber Gang: Dr. Gerry Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Jerry Della Femina. I asked Jerry about the awful news about the demise of Full Frontal Fashion. His wife, the tireless Judy Licht, made the show a must-see for fashionistas and civilians alike with its wall-to-wall coverage of Fashion Week. (Truth be told, I’ve skipped a show or two knowing that I could watch the whole shebang from my living room without having to battle the crowds). “It’s true,” reports Jerry. “But Judy has a lot of things going and will be covering Fashion Week for The Huffington Post.” You heard it here first, folks. Smart move, Arianna.

2. Peggy Siegal dining with a mystery gal. Clever Peggy ordered her lunch in advance so as not to waste a minute.

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and uber-agent Ed Victor

4. Jack Kliger, Tom Donahue and a gent named Nick, so we’re told.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing

Personal Essay WritingStarting October 28, work with a published journalist to draft, edit, and sell your first-person essays! Jessica Olien will help you to workshop your writing so that it's ready to pitch to editors. You'll learn how to tell your personal story, self-edit you work to assess voice, style, and tone, and sell your essays for publication. Register now!

Foreigners Don’t Like U.S. — Studios Say ‘What Else Is New?’

bushmeeting.jpgWhile studio and network executives have given face time to President Bush and his White House loyalists with a number of closed-door meetings to discuss how the entertainment industry could play part in bolstering the U.S. image overseas, they don’t really want to help the cause.

They’re only interested in one thing: Money. As the New York Times makes clear, the government isn’t all that thrilled with the result of those meetings. But the studios and nets love the fact that the U.S. image is already soured, but pop culture — generally an American export — is booming.

As long as American movies and songs are playing in foreign theaters and nightclubs, the executive corps doesn’t give a hoot. Who cares about diplomacy or image-building, they just want to say “Ching, Ching” and ring up the profits.

The Dow Jones: Monday Morning Coming Down

soupkitchengg.png

That was a fun weekend. Lots of Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. Also bailout packages that navigated the tricky waters of Congress all the way to the Oval Office where it was lickety-split signed by President Bush. However! A Monday morning reality check may be in order courtesy of the home page of the New York Times, which is currently running yet another graph. That’s because the Dow has dipped below 10,000 for the first time in four years. The markets in Europe seem to be in some sort of free fall and Americans have stopped shopping. Not surprisingly there are some who believe this is all, at least in part, the media’s fault.

NBC and the Olympics: The Dow Jones of Sap?

saposlate.pngThe truth is that after Friday we mostly forgot to watch the Olympics (also known as Michael Phelps goes to Beijing, or alternately, President Bush gives new meaning to the term lame duck). Anyway, for those of you also missing the colorful (delayed) action the folks at Slate — who have obviously been suffering since the demise of the Hillary Death watch — are on the case. They’ve put together a “Olympics Sap-o-Meter: A scientific way to measure the sappiness of NBC’s Olympics coverage.”

After slogging through Olympic broadcasts of yore, we drew up a list of 33 syrupy words that NBC has chronically overused: adversity, battled, cancer, challenges, courage, cry, death, dedication, determination, dream, emotion, glory, golden, hardship, heart, hero, inspiration, inspire, journey, magic, memory, miracle, mom, mother, Olympic-sized, overcome, passion, proud, sacrifice, spirit, tears, tragedy, triumph. While these 33 words are by no means an unabridged collection of schmaltzy nouns, adjectives, and verbs, they’re a good sampling of NBC’s bathos. Think of them as the Dow Jones of sap.
Each time one of these words gets used the sap-o-meter gets bumped up a point. Want to contribute? They’re also taking suggestions for “Sappiest Line of the Day.” So have at it. The meter clocked-in at 29 last night.

How the U.S. Media Will Be Covering Beijing ’08

OTR2_0.jpgSo the big question ahead of the start of the Olympic Games this Friday is less who will take home all the medals than how will the Chinese deal with the media should anything “newsworthy” arise (read: protests, etc.). Thus far things are not looking so promising: On top of reports that China continues to censor Internet access, comes this week’s story that Chinese police had beaten and jailed two Japanese reporters for attempting to report on this week’s attack in the Xinjiang region (not to mention the arrest of two Americans and two Brits for unfurling a banner protesting Tibet).

To this end the Observer is reporting that there has been much talk inside the wall of both NBC — the sole American network covering the Games — and the NYT as to how they will deal with breaking news. NBC head Dick Ebersol has made it clear that NBC is there to cover sports first, however “in the major venues, we have our own cameras. So if something develops during the opening ceremony…we also have both news and sports people ready to comment on that.” For the NYT however it’s about “so much more than sports.” One of the biggest challenges, apart from negotiating the endless Chinese bureaucracy that has a tendency to change rules at the last point, will be how to cover the restrictions on coverage:

This is a particular problem for the rights holders. The ethical questions about working with the Chinese are complicated by a philosophical dimension: China is repressive toward journalists, and it is open-handed toward commerce. So which proposition is the truth about freedom in China? And which side are you on?
President Bush, may himself be setting a certain tone for future coverage. The President, who is traveling in the region on his way to Beijing has apparently decided to speak out again Chinese policy during a speech he will be giving tomorrow in South Korea. Let the Games begin, as they say.

Lunch: Hillary—Obama Smackdown!

homepage_graphic04_large.jpg

— 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.

Read more

Is Bill Moyers Unbalanced? No, Says Bill Moyers

moyers_072307.jpgAfter being blasted by PBS ombudsman Michael Getler for failing to provide an opposing view in his calls to oust Bush, Bill Moyers countered the attack with:

July 24, 2007

Dear Mr. Getler:

I respect your work and your role, but I disagree with you about “balance.” The journalist’s job is not to achieve some mythical state of equilibrium between two opposing opinions out of some misshapen respect — sometimes, alas, reverence — for the prevailing consensus among the powers-that-be. The journalist’s job is to seek out and offer the public the best thinking on an issue, event, or story. That’s what I did regarding the argument for impeachment.

Read more

Chappelle Performs Marathon Six-Hour Set At Laugh Factory With No Breaks

<img alt="blender_0406_large.jpg" src="/fishbowlny/files/original/blender_0406_large.jpg" width="296" height="402" /

Comedian Dave Chappelle walked onstage unannounced at 10:43PM Sunday at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory — where the infamous Michael Richards‘ n-word infused rant took place last fall — for an impromptu standup set.

It ended at 4:43AM Monday.

He took no breaks, and according to founder Jamie Masada, only about a dozen of the 150 people in the audience left.

Accordng to Variety, Chappelle covered “a multitude of topics during his megaset, tackling everything from President Bush‘s intelligence to Comedy Central’s decision to hype Carlos Mencia after Chappelle abandoned his show for the cabler.”

Chappelle’s record-setting set bested Dane Cook‘s April 10 set at the club, which lasted nearly four hours. (Cook was paying tribute to his father, who passed away the week before.) The previous record was a two-hour, 40 minute set by Richard Pryor in 1980.

EARLIER:

  • Chappelle, Angelou Differ On The N-Word, ‘Soulmates’ Otherwise
  • Video: Michael Richard’s Racist Tirade At The Laugh Factory
  • More of Olbermann’s Anti-Bush Commentary

    We missed Keith Olbermann‘s frothing over President Bush last week, but thanks to Mr. Media, we’ve taken a look. This time, he goes after the prez:

  • for “sacrificing” 3,003 American servicemen and women
  • for spouting “palpable nonsense”
  • for ignoring Americans
  • telling him “Mr. Bush, you do not own this country!”

    He also goes after “war profiteers,” John McCain, Republicans who haven’t yet turned on the president. And others.

  • Olbermann: Special Comment on “Sacrifice” [CrooksandLiars.com via Mr. Media]

    EARLIER:

  • Video: Olbermann Responds To New York Post Powder Story
  • Olbermann: Paris Hilton’s ‘Had Worse Things Happen To Her Face’ Than Being Punched
  • Olber the Line? Page Six Slams Olbermann Sex Life