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Posts Tagged ‘Rana Foroohar’

Bill Maher Conservative Panelist: ‘I Made the Mistake of Replying with Facts’

What’s it like being the “token Conservative” on that raucous Friday free-for-all known as HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher? After last week’s show, San Diego radio host and columnist Roger Hedgecock has shared his experience.

Hedgecock was joined on the panel by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and TIME magazine reporter Rana Foroohar. Anyone with right leanings who agrees to do Maher’s program is to be commended, and this latest brave soul admits he knew what he was in for. But he still takes Matthews to task:

“I didn’t expect Matthews to falsely claim that President Obama inherited unemployment over 10%. Unemployment in January 2009 was actually 7.8% and has not been that low since. Then Matthews really lost it, bellowing you people are just racists who hated Obama from the first day. I haven’t heard the “you people” phrase since Ross Perot used it in front of an African-American audience in 1992.”

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Dan Rather, Steve Kroft and An Encore Appearance by John Legend

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I got several emails last week when I was on vacation alerting me to John Legend‘s presence in the dining room. “You’re missing him!” texted one faithful “Lunch” reader. “Oh well,” I thought, “next time.” Imagine my surprise when the singer magically appeared in the dining room today and even shot me a big smile on the way to his corner table. How thoughtful of him to schedule a return engagement on a Wednesday!

I was joined today by uber publicist Judy Twersky and her agency’s account supervisor, Jennifer Bristol, who I met in this very dining room through our mutual friend, Diane Dimond. A little birdie told me that Judy knows just about everybody and has represented a very interesting mix of famous folks so I knew lunch would be fun. I wasn’t disappointed.

Judy, who once toiled as media director for Ogilvy & Mather, started her own firm in 1992 and has had an impressive roster of clients, including Maury Povich, Dr. Andrew Weil and none other than actor James Earl Jones. (No word on how he felt being banished to the bleachers at the Oscars while Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy took to the stage). Judy, who tells me she gets most of her clients through word of mouth, specializes in authors but also handles her fair share of celebrities. Her current client list includes former CIA agent-turned-photographer Hank O’Neal, who has traveled the world chronicling street art. His new book, aptly titled XCIA’s Street Art Project (Siman Media Works), will debut in March along with a mobile app. None other than Tony Bennett praises Hank’s work as “one of the greatest contemporary works of art I have ever experienced.”

Jennifer Bristol, Diane Clehane, Judy Twersky
Jennifer Bristol, Diane Clehane and Judy Twersky

Judy also reps pianist Richard Glazier, whose PBS special, “From Ragtime to Reel Time: Richard Glazier in Concert” premieres on stations around the country next week. Judy first met Richard on a TCM cruise and was enthralled by his skills as a raconteur as he regaled the audience (who stayed up way past their bedtimes) with the stories behind the “Great American Songbook” and tales of his childhood friendship with Ira Gershwin. Richard is coming to New York next month to be feted by violinist Joshua Bell.

Speaking of great parties, Judy’s 60th birthday bash made “Page Six” recently with the news that Paul Shaffer wrote a song especially for her to mark the occasion. (Paul’s wife Cathy is Judy’s best friend, and Judy is now managing the couple’s 19-year-old daughter Victoria Shaffer who has aspirations to host her own talk show). Her good pals also arranged for The Naked Cowboy to come in and sweep her off her feet (literally). “You can book him for 15-minute sessions,” Judy told me with a laugh. “I couldn’t believe it.” Who needs birthday cake when you can be serenaded by a man in his underwear?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Dan Rather and another important looking gent we didn’t recognize

2. Peter Brown

3. 60 MinutesSteve Kroft and  journo Jackie Leo, engrossed in some important looking papers

4. John Legend (in jeans) and Warner Music Group CEO  Lyor Cohen

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Time.com Launches Business Vertical

Time.com has expanded once again, this time launching Time Business. The vertical will be overseen by Moneyland founding Scott Medintz and cover Wall Street, trends, breaking news, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies and much more.

Other names you’ll see popping up on Time Business include Sam GustinChristopher Matthews, Stephen Gandel, Roya Wolverson, Michael Schuman, Bill Saporito and Rana Foroohar.

Time’com’s new Managing Editor, Catherine Sharick, said in an internal memo announcing the site, “Time Business is just the latest launch in Time.com’s successful vertical strategy. The growing array of compelling subject specific mini-sites, including Ideas, Entertainment, Newsfeed and Lightbox, helped drive double digit traffic growth in 2011.”