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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Goes to Congress








In an address Tuesday to a joint meeting of Congress, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres














"In March of 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu, then in his final days as leader of the Israeli opposition, met with me in his Knesset office to discuss an issue that was at the forefront of his mind. He had just won election (for a second time) as prime minister, and he was busy packing, but his thoughts were on Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—and on the new American president, Barack Obama. 'The Obama presidency has two great missions: fixing the economy, and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,' Netanyahu told me. He described the Iranian nuclear threat as a 'hinge of history' and said that the future of 'Western civilization' itself depended on stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He used memorable language—language he would later deploy constantly as prime minister—to describe the threat Iran posed to Israel, to its Arab adversaries, and to the West: 'You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.' Netanyahu has come to Washington as part of his re-election campaign, but his main challenge is not to convince voters on the Israeli right to stick with him on March 17th, when they go to the polls. Nor is his main challenge to give an eloquent speech—he knows how to do this. His main challenge is to provide an alternative vision to President Obama's plan for Iran. Yesterday, Susan Rice, President Obama's national security adviser, went before 16,000 people at the annual AIPAC convention and said, ' We cannot let an unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal.' The question for Netanyahu is: Is there anything short of carpet-bombing Iran's nuclear facilities that would constitute, for you, a good deal? I mentioned Netanyahu's characterization of Iran's leadership as a 'messianic apocalyptic cult' at the top of this post for a reason. The prime minister's position is that Iran should be allowed no uranium enrichment capability whatsoever, and that relentless sanctions—even more crippling than those currently in place—should be applied until Iran's leaders see the light. But the question is, why would a group of apocalyptic messianists ever fully succumb to sanctions pressure? This question struck me in 2009 as well ... Many of Netanyahu's arguments about the deal currently taking shape, and about the desires of the Iranian regime, are credible—even President Obama doesn't appear to be convinced that Iran's leaders are on the cusp of a breakthrough—and I'm sure we'll hear those arguments today. I'm also reasonably sure Netanyahu will talk about the need for ever-more crippling sanctions, sanctions that would further concentrate the attention of the regime in Tehran. But I've spoken with Netanyahu several times since the 2009 interview, and I'm convinced he believes, more than ever, that sanctions will not force the Iranians to agree to the sort of deal he could support, or do anything at all to break their will. What we are left with, then, is military action. If Netanyahu believes that the only solution to this problem is airstrikes, he should say so plainly. He won't, of course, because he understands that the U.S. is not interested in opening up another Middle Eastern front, and also—I'd like to think—because he knows, intellectually, if not viscerally, that airstrikes present no permanent fix to this problem. It is true that airstrikes could set back the Iranian nuclear program by a number of years. It is also true, however, that airstrikes would give Iran the justification to race ahead toward nuclear breakout, as well as providing it with the means to do so, because airstrikes would lead to, among other things, the almost total collapse of international sanctions. And airstrikes cannot eradicate nuclear knowledge, and Iran possesses that in abundance." (Jeffrey Goldberg)












Tom Gold with co-chairs Fe Fendi, Gillian Miniter, and Elyse Newhouse in "metallic."


"A quiet Monday in New York. Although last night at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on East 68th Street (between Park and Lex) was the opening performance of Tom Gold Dance 2015Tom Gold the man is a very popular figure in the New York dance world. He was member of the New York City Ballet for 21 years – between 1987 and  2008 – although he still doesn’t look like he’s old enough to cover those dates.At the NYCB he rose to rank of soloist, where her performed leading roles in works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and William Forsythe. He’s also performed with THARP!, the New York City Opera, Donald Byrd/The Group and other companies across the United States. Since leaving the NYCB he’s in demand internationally as a dancer, choreographer and instructor. In 2002, Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman created the ballet Double Feature  for him. As a choreographer he’s created more than a dozen works for his own company as well as for Vassar College, the Bermuda Arts Festival, Oregon Ballet Theater, the NYCB Choreographic Institute, as well as many other companies, festivals and special events and even for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and much much more." (NYSD)

Armory Week Opening: Launch of Salon Arts Society








Last night at Phillips on Park Avenue Author, Artist,Serial Entrpreneur Tracy Stern threw a party for the launch of Salon Arts Society to open Armory Week. Surrounded by works from Matthew Barney and Diane Arbus, the glamorous crowd included: Brana Dane, David Barish, Indira Cesarine,  Montgomery Frazier, Renee Vara, Randy Palumbo, Rodolfo de Rothschild, Geoffery Bradfield, Lauren Lawrence, Angeline Loo, Spencer Drate, Amber De Vos, Andrea Karambelas, Lilliana Cavendish, Robin Cofer and Nicolette Ramirez.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres








"Speaker John A. Boehner’s unilateral invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to address Congress on Tuesday has turned a foreign policy issue that has had near unanimous support in both parties — Israel — into a bruising political showdown. And nowhere has that transformation been more wrenching than among Jewish members of Congress — all but one of them Democratic — who seem to reflect the dismay of the nation’s larger Jewish community over the House speaker’s action.'I went out to play golf — I never play golf — with three of my Jewish buddies,' recalled Representative Alan Lowenthal, a Jewish Democrat from Southern California who only this weekend decided he will attend Mr. Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress. 'One said, ‘You must go,’ one said, ‘You definitely should not go,’ and one said, ‘I’m in the middle.’ That literally reflects the American Jewish community.' Through foreign policy trials as difficult as the wars in Gaza and Lebanon, Israeli settlement policies, Arab terrorism, and the repeated failures of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Jews in Congress — and to a large extent, Jews in the United States — have spoken in a near-monolithic voice, always in support of the government of Israel. But the Boehner-Netanyahu alliance has done something that larger foreign policy crises have not: It has led to the open distinction between support for the State of Israel and allegiance to politicians who lead it. 'It’s a tipping-point moment,' said Rabbi John Rosove, an outspoken liberal and head of Temple Israel of Hollywood. 'It’s no longer the Israeli government, right or wrong. The highest form of patriotism and loyalty is to criticize from a place of love.' Representative John Yarmuth, a Jewish Democrat from Kentucky, foresees the prime minister castigating the foreign policy of President Obama, playing to a raucous, supportive audience that he will not be part of." (NYT)


James Dolan exploring purchase of New York Daily News


"MSG and Cablevision boss James Dolan wants to buy the New York Daily News and has a team of bankers exploring the possibility, Page Six has exclusively learned. A source tells us Dolan’s interest in the tabloid is a natural extension of Cablevision’s current ownership of Newsday. But Dolan and MSG have been locked in a 10-year feud with the News, which could put some of the paper’s editorial staff in a precarious position if he becomes the buyer.The feud between Dolan and the News dates back to ’05, when the paper backed a plan by former mayor Mike Bloomberg to build the West Side Stadium. Cablevision, with Dolan as CEO, opposed the move, as the new sports venue would have competed directly with MSG. The paper’s relationship with Dolan further soured, and in 2012, Dolan issued a statement saying the paper smeared him after he refused an approach from owner Mort Zuckerman to merge Newsday’s printing presses and other operations with theirs. The release reads, 'Mr. Zuckerman has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News . . . This proposal was rejected multiple times.' It adds, 'At a Four Seasons lunch meeting on March 6, Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that ‘the bad press would end if we became joint owners’ (a direct quote).' Shortly thereafter, the Daily News ran a full front page with Mr. Dolan’s picture as the centerpiece for a skull-and-crossbones graphic that included the word 'toxic' in bold print." (P6)








Araud welcomes guests in the main hall. 


"If there were a French ambassador in 'Mad Men,' Gerard Araud could easily play the part, leading his own rat pack, giving Don Draper and Roger Sterling serious competition. Watch him at a party and you’ll agree: when measured on Washington’s diplomatic landscape, he qualifies as the city’s hipster ambassador. And that’s a compliment, if you need to be told. He exudes natural cool, fueled by intellect, and style. Araud’s snappy exuberance was put to good use on Friday evening as he reopened his country’s official Washington residence after a two-year renovation.  We got an early first look. While the structural architecture remains essentially the same – the renovation work was focused behind-the-scenes on troubles prompted by leaks, mold and asbestos – the décor, like the ambassador, represents a country that is both passionately old world and ultra contemporary. In the moments before the reopening party began, Araud strolled through every public room of the mansion, making sure the details were just right. Servers in black-tie, some who hadn’t worked together since the closure, shook hands with each other or embraced, having their own reunion. They like being back in the old place, its fresh look, they said, and especially the fresh style of the 'new guy.' Amid appropriate hustle and bustle, the Champagne flutes were in place, silver trays were filled with neat rows of mini croque monsieur aux champignons, and canapés with foie gras and caviar. When the hands on the clock hit 6:30 it was showtime and everyone hit their marks, eager to launch a new era of entertaining at 4101 Kalorama Road." (NYSD)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres








Jeremy Bird, a former Obama campaign organizer, who is advising an effort to oust Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit Melina Mara/Getty Images 
       


"Jeremy Bird, the architect of the grass-roots and online organizing efforts that powered President Obama’s presidential campaigns from Chicago, is advising a similar operation in Tel Aviv. But this time it is focused on ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. His consulting work for the group V15 — an independent Israeli organization that does not support specific candidates but is campaigning to replace Israel’s current government — has added yet another political layer to the diplomatic mess surrounding Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to address a joint meeting of Congress next week on Iran. The White House has argued that Mr. Netanyahu’s plan to deliver the speech on March 3, two weeks before the Israeli elections, is harming the United States-Israel relationship by injecting partisanship. Republicans contend it is Mr. Obama who is playing politics and cite the work of Mr. Bird as proof that the president is quietly rooting for the defeat of his Israeli counterpart. American strategists have for decades signed on to work in Israeli political campaigns, with Democrats usually aligned with the Labor Party and Republicans often backing Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party. There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Obama or any of his senior aides had anything to do with the move by his former top campaign official, who has never worked at the White House, to join the effort to defeat Mr. Netanyahu. But Mr. Bird’s involvement in the elections is drawing attention when tensions between the two countries are so acute that what is usually considered standard practice for American political consultants in Israel is now seen as a provocation. 'It’s clearly a data point that people are looking to that indicates how the relationship has deteriorated,' said Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He added that Mr. Bird reflects 'the hypocrisy of this White House, which wants to stand on the notion that they’re not playing politics when in fact their fingerprints are all over this.' The White House has repeatedly said its highest priority is keeping partisanship out of the relationship between the United States and Israel, citing that principle as Mr. Obama’s rationale for refusing to meet with Mr. Netanyahu during his visit." (NYT)




Say It in Style



"Oh! for the days when the worst offense was asking a foreign dignitary’s wife if she 'Likey soupy?' as the great Sir Denis Thatcher once did. Now it’s immediately the F-word and threats of physical violence by the heavy next to the newly rich pig. (And I apologize to our porcine friends, who would be appalled by the comparison if they could read.) But as I’ve said time and again, such are the joys of living in resorts visited by such people. Many of us remember the time when care, courtesy, and respect were part of everyday life. Now the culture is one motivated by spite, envy, greed, and gloating, not to mention bragging and showing off muscle, mostly that of others you pay to come to your rescue. Not that the state does not interfere. The omnipotent state has replaced the ethos of the landed aristocracy and that of the Church, with one that ensures no one’s self-esteem ever takes a dive. It has codified behavior and how we speak and think, and we have to think in the lowest common denominator. Back in the cities everyone’s into care and therapy, but up here in the Alps they’re into hedge funds and other such gadgets. Mind you, I’ve been taking a few lumps about Greece, a country my family has served loyally for generations, but one I’ve given up on until a political party like Golden Dawn is elected. The trouble with Greeks is they’re so predictable. That clown that had his picture all over the newspapers and on television for ten days, Yanis Varoufakis, was all show, no substance. As is Tsipras: Fidel without the beard. Wearing an untucked shirt and one’s collar up might impress the cheap women in Syntagma Square, but it does not get one relief from the hated bailout conditions. Sure, the French and Germans and the Brits smiled politely when the Greek show-off arrived dressed like Marlon Brando in The Wild One—instead of telling him that the dignity of their office required him to dress appropriately – but where did his sartorial defiance get him? NOWHERE. All he got was a permission to change the shape of Greece’s obligations, not reduce them. Varoufakis is a third-rate academic posing as Mussolini, and I apologize to the Duce’s memory. The Greek government had not a leg to stand on, had its day in the sun showing off like peacocks, then bowed to the German wishes as the great economist Taki predicted three weeks ago it would. So what else is new? Election promises in general and in Greece’s case in particular are like swearing eternal love to a woman you met in a low-life nightclub after you’ve had much too much firewater. A run on Greek banks was gathering pace, and capital controls were needed unless Syriza gave in, and they caved quicker than the Lebanese army does whenever it is called upon to fight. Once upon a time I was very proud to be Greek. That was long ago." (Taki)









John Fairchild, shown with covers of W magazine in 1976.



"John Fairchild, the witty and irascible publisher and editor who transformed his family’s fusty trade publication, Women’s Wear Daily, into the lively bible of the fashion industry, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87. Women’s Wear Daily announced his death without specifying the cause. For more than three decades, from 1960 to 1997, Mr. Fairchild was one of the most powerful, and mercurial, people in the fashion business. From his perch atop Women’s Wear Daily — and later at W magazine, which he founded — he helped make kings out of designers like Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent and Bill Blass and whacked down those who did not meet his exacting standards. And before Gawker and Spy magazine and Page Six in The New York Post became must-reads, Mr. Fairchild was already encamped at the intersection of fashion, celebrity and high society, turning socialites like C. Z. Guest, Mercedes Bass and Pat Buckley into personalities, stationing photographers outside fancy restaurants as they came and went. Everyone who crossed his path knew to beware of the newspaper’s saucy headlines and withering asides in capital letters. He even gave designer collections letter grades, as if Carolina Herrera and Donna Karan were back in high school. 'Everybody got graded,' Ms. Herrera said on Friday. Calvin Klein, another loyal subscriber, said, 'He made WWD into a paper that the media as well as socials and celebrities and everyone else read to find out what was going on.' Not that Mr. Fairchild liked to take credit for mussing the industry’s hair and bruising feelings. 'On the whole, I think the fashion press’s power — and WWD’s in particular — is greatly overrated,” he wrote in his 1989 memoir, 'Chic Savages.' 'We don’t make or break a designer. Any designer who is good gets ahead. We write what the buyers are saying.'" (NYT)



EMINENCE TEASE John Fairchild in the living room of his chalet in Gstaad, 2011.


"Donna Karan still remembers feeling absolutely terrified when fashion arbiter John Fairchild, the tyrannical editor of Women’s Wear Daily, visited her showroom to see one of her early collections. 'I thought I was going to faint, I was so scared,' she says. 'John was larger than life—he intimidated me.” With good reason. The Citizen Kane of the fashion press delighted in making mischief, anointing winners and losers, and encouraging his writers to tweak the powerful with witty and often mean-spirited barbs. 'He made the paper very exciting,' says Oscar de la Renta. Adds his wife, Annette, 'And naughty!' Oscar laughs and continues, 'If the story was about you, you hated it, and if the story was about somebody else, you enjoyed it.' The Princeton-educated Fairchild, who transformed the sleepy publication that his grandfather had founded in 1910 into a lively must-read, trained his critical eye not just on the designers but also on the society women who wore their clothing. He popularized the phrase 'fashion victim' and created the capricious and much-copied 'In and Out” list. As Diane von Furstenberg puts it, 'John took a trade publication that belonged to his family and turned it into a fashion publication that is incredibly influential—it really made people, and destroyed people.' Chairing a Council of Fashion Designers of America (C.F.D.A.) gala several years ago, she spotted Fairchild and announced his presence to the crowd, saying from the microphone, “Even though you are retired, we are still afraid of you.' It’s been 15 years since John Fair­child left his office at Fairchild Publications, on his 70th birthday, March 6, 1997, vowing that he would never return to the workplace or go to another fashion show. And he’s been true to his word, insisting that he is following the example that his own father set upon retiring from the company, at age 65. 'My new life is being with my wife without any interference, and the children come see us every once in a while. I’m very happy,' he says. 'I think when you’re out of something, you should stay out. Don’t you?' These days he and his spouse of 62 years, Jill Fairchild, have become expatriates—holding on to their two-bedroom Sutton Place apartment, in New York, and their sun-dappled Nantucket house but spending seven months a year in luxurious exile overseas. Initially, they split their time between London and a chalet in Klosters, Switzerland. But the Fairchilds have now sold both of those homes and five years ago built a large, three-story wooden chalet, which sleeps 14, on a steep hill just a few blocks from the main street of the tiny alpine town of Gstaad." (VanityFair)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





How to stop the ISIS genocide campaign


"As the world marked last month’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, I was in northern Iraq viewing the threat to that nation’s imperiled religious and ethnic minorities — especially the Christians and Yezidis. The parallels are sobering — for genocide looms for these vulnerable communities. Happily, there’s an obvious way America can see to their protection. At the Auschwitz ceremonies, Holocaust survivor Halina Birenbaum recalled the hatred that animated the anti-Semitism of that era and warned of an evil that 'lingers' still, indeed is 'reborn' in the form of 'people being decapitated with the whole world watching.' She was, of course, describing the Islamic State, a k a ISIS, which takes pains to globally broadcast its wanton acts of evil, as with its depraved beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians. Further from the media glare are the horrors inflicted daily on the ancient faith communities of Iraq. Last summer, ISIS drove thousands of Christians from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries. Largely professional men and women with cars, homes and bank accounts, they often fled with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. ISIS then declared a caliphate in the cradle of Christianity ... Enter the Kurds and their fighting force, the peshmerga. They’re not boy scouts: I heard troubling reports in Iraq that, as ISIS advanced, they abandoned Christian and Yezidi villages they’d pledged to protect. But the Kurds are unique in their pro-American sentiments and they’re prepared to battle the Islamic State, at least in historically Kurdish areas. Roughly 1,000 peshmerga have already given their lives in that fight. In meeting after meeting, leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government lamented to me the lack of direct support from Washington. Touring a peshmerga outpost 1.5 miles from the front, we heard that they are desperate for modern weapons and training to adequately confront ISIS (which is equipped to the hilt with state-of-the-art US weaponry captured in the Iraqi Army’s retreat). If such weapons came with conditions — including Kurdish support for a Nineveh province for Iraq’s religious minorities — it could advance both US national-security imperatives and our values. With the specter of genocide looming and the Islamic State on the march, we must do more than say, 'Never again.'" (Frank Wolf)






"In the olden days, and indeed they are/were, it was the Oscars and that was it. Now award shows are a dime a dozen and even the emcees move around  from show to show like Neil Patrick Harris. It’s all about brand and product, and Zzzzzz. The Oscars had Bob Hope and he was a major draw because the audience knew he was in the thick of it and he was funny (Ha Ha) and upbeat. Those were the times. Hope was a tradition for years – maybe fifteen or twenty, so there was a homey-ness to it all. Hope was our anointed leader of the festivities. It was like old home week in America. Viet Nam ended that for Hope and for the Oscars, but that’s another story. The Oscars are now preceded by the Globes which has become part of the Oscar game (will she/won’t she,etc.), it’s all Ed Sullivan – the old familiar score – without the performances to keep you interested. However, the Oscars do provide rich memories. Maria Cooper Janis sent me the clip from last Friday’s Wall Street Journal by Bob Greene called 'An Oscar Moment Before the Selfie Age.' It’s the Academy Awards on April 17, 1961, 54 years ago. I remember the night and I’ll bet many others of us who were around then remember. Jimmy Stewart came out to present the Oscar to his beloved friend Gary Cooper (Maria’s father) who was very ill in the hospital at the time." (NYSD)




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



On the Death of a Friend



"I hate to start with a cliché, but Count Arnaud de Borchgrave d’Altena, who died in Washington, D.C., last week aged 88, was the last of the great foreign correspondents, with trench coat, suntan, title, and 17 wars under his belt included. One accomplishment none of his obituaries comprised—mind you, this is perfectly understandable—was the introduction to journalism and subsequent mentoring of the greatest Greek writer since Homer, yours truly, a fact Arnaud kept quiet about throughout our 48-year-close friendship. Here’s how it began: It was May 1967. The Greek junta had just taken over the government in April, and Arnaud had flown in to interview the Greek strongman, Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos. A Greek mystery man, Niko Farmakis, who may or may not have been a CIA agent or a Greek secret service man, or even just a well connected enabler, had invited me to dinner at the Starlight Roof of the Hilton Hotel. 'You’ll meet the greatest foreign correspondent ever,' he told me. My beautiful first wife was the only lady present at the dinner. Arnaud was suntanned, well dressed, and spoke beautiful French and English. He looked far more elegant than most people in the room, with the exception of the reigning King Constantine, dining near us with the pregnant Queen Anne-Marie. Arnaud held court, regaling us with stories about the wars in Indochina and Algeria, including the siege of Dien Bien Phu, one he had covered with distinction. I was going nuts throughout. My tennis career was a flop, I was not happy being married to the prettiest girl in Paris, my father was threatening to cut me off unless I went to work for him, and the future looked bleak for a poor little Greek boy who had just turned 30. Three days later, very early in the morning, I drove to the airport, bought a ticket to Rome, and sat next to Arnaud, flying first class, naturally. I told him I only had a toothbrush and was heading for Turin to see Gianni Agnelli of Fiat fame. He asked for an introduction and I guaranteed him one. We then connected with a flight to Torino. Two weeks later, Gianni’s handsome face was on the cover of Newsweek, Arnaud had convinced the editor of the weekly that I could open doors galore, and I had been given a Newsweek press credential as a photographer. The rest, as they say, is non-history." (Taki)





Arnaud de Borchgrave in the newsroom of The Washington Times, where he was the editor.


"Arnaud de Borchgrave, a Belgian count’s son and storied foreign correspondent who cabled back bell-ringing scoops throughout the Cold War decades, often from the battlefield, died on Sunday in Washington. He was 88. His wife, Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave, said the cause was bladder cancer. Twice a best-selling novelist, Mr. de Borchgrave led a life that rivaled fiction. A teenager when he enlisted in the British Navy, he was shot on D-Day. He was wounded again, as a Newsweek reporter, in Vietnam (where he lobbed a grenade at North Vietnamese soldiers). He covered, by his estimate, at least 18 wars. At 58, he was named editor in chief of a daily newspaper, though he had never worked for one before. A correspondent and editor at Newsweek for decades, Mr. de Borchgrave was fired by the magazine in 1980, after his increasingly conservative political bent found its way into his dispatches, ending in his likening the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Hitler’s pre-World War II grab of Czechoslovakia. He found a more hospitable place to work in 1985. He was hired to direct the news coverage and the editorials of The Washington Times, the daily newspaper started with the financial support of the Unification Church and its founder, the Rev. Sun MyungMoon, the conservative South Korean evangelist who led a worldwide spiritual movement.
For conservatives in the nation’s capital, Mr. de Borchgrave fashioned The Times into a must-read, if money-losing, alternative to what he viewed as the biased liberal news media, even if the paper was branded a mouthpiece for Mr. Moon. Mr. de Borchgrave insisted that he was no saffron-robed Moonie, as the movement’s followers were derisively known. As editor, he said, 'I have never received a single editorial suggestion, let alone a directive, from any representative of the owners.'
As a foreign correspondent, he told Esquire magazine in 1981, he kept “the starched combat fatigues of 12 different nations' in a closet of his pied-à-terre, conveniently located near the Geneva airport.Wearing an Egyptian general’s camouflage suit and facing six Israeli tanks during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, he cabled his Newsweek editors: 'I burrowed my head into the sand like a mole — a little deeper with each shell until my mouth was full of sand.' Arnaud de Borchgrave (pronounced AH-no deh-BOAR-grahv) was born in Brussels on Oct. 26, 1926. His father, Count Baudouin de Borchgrave d’Altena, was head of military intelligence for Belgium’s government in exile in Britain during World War II. His mother, Audrey Townshend, was the daughter of a British general." (NYT)





Sofia Coppola, left, and Anjelica Huston, third-generation Academy Award winners, at lunch above Central Park. Credit Malin Fezehai for The New York Times


"No matter who takes home Academy Awards this weekend, Sofia Coppola and Anjelica Huston will remain an exclusive club of two: the only third-generation winners in Oscar history. Ms. Coppola, 43, the writer and director of films such as 'The Virgin Suicides,' 'Somewhere' and 'The Bling Ring,' won an Academy Award for best original screenplay for her 2003 film 'Lost in Translation.' Her father, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, has won five Academy Awards, three of them for 'The Godfather, Part II.' And her grandfather, the composer Carmine Coppola, won for best score, for that film.Ms. Huston, 63, an actress and writer, won the best supporting actress prize for her breakthrough role as Maerose Prizzi in 1985’s 'Prizzi’s Honor,' directed by her father, John Huston, who was also a screenwriter and actor. He received 15 Academy Award nominations and won twice. Ms. Huston went on to star in 'The Grifters,' 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' and 'The Addams Family.' Her grandfather Walter Huston won the Oscar for best supporting actor for 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' in 1948, directed by his son. The second volume of Ms. Huston’s memoir, 'Watch Me,' was published last year." (NYT)


My favorite bootie of all time from Madison Brentwood: Officine Creative handmade.


"It seemed the perfect time to go to L.A. It was pre-Awards season! I needed a laugh. As Uma Thurman begins to follow Renée Zellweger with lasering her face off, and Bruce Jenner continues to broaden his transgender brand for reality show purposes, his own 'Keeping up with the Kardashians.' L.A. is the home of 'morphing ... Maybe I needed that in my own way. What L.A. brings up for me is the subject of aging, since this town is the land of 'forever young.' In the last year I have decided that all a woman over 65 years old needs to feel fashionably safe and secure is a good haircut. Bill Blass once said after age 60, 'a woman must get her hair cut to chin level; anything longer and she looks like a Basset Hound' — plus sensible shoes, a great scarf and/or decent jewelry, and a wonderful pair of eyeglass frames. Clearly aging gracefully is in the details — not the clothes!The scarf and jewelry everyone can do, but the shoes — that’s a serious problem. I don’t understand Louboutin spikes after 60 — or even after 50 for that matter. And if you don’t get what I am talking about, look at Madonna at the recent Grammy’s. She might be an extreme example, but not really: 56 years old, dressed in a matador costume, fishnets, a thong, and a 'butt bra.' As the saying goes: 'Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.' She can’t, and she shouldn’t. Ever. Her spike heels prevented her from doing a decent dance routine. She teetered from step to step. Her entire presentation was shaky and moldy. A bad sign of irrelevancy and desperation. But back to shoes for the advanced agers, and I don’t mean 'space shoes' or Neutralizers or Aerosoles. Actually the Queen of England and Margaret Thatcher choose Ferragamo pumps (even Meryl Streep admitted that she got into playing Thatcher instantly just by wearing the Ferragamos). The only shoe that doesn’t look like Dame Edna! 'Sensible shoes' they call it, but Ferragamo is the original in taste and class. They have done the same cut and low stack heel for years; choose your color and leather. But boots present a problem. Too clunky and you look like an aging Mammy Yokum biker. Too high and you look like you are appearing in Bravo Housewives or a member of an escort service." (NYSD)