DENVER — The opening of the Democratic National Convention has been like the main stop on the book tour of every left-wing pundit who has done battle on a crossfire television show.
Though the celebrities were scheduled to begin making appearances Monday night at parties thrown by magazines such as GQ and Slate, the main stars so far have been Eric Alterman, Arianna Huffington, Jonathan Alter, Samantha Power, et al.
As could perhaps be predicted, they have been ubiquitous, as easy to find on the circuit as the overheated bomb-sniffing dogs and Panasonic flat-screen televisions populating the Pepsi Center.
You’d think most of the pundit class would be elated, or at least optimistic, right now. Thanks to an Iraq war that has gone disastrously (at least until the last few months) and an economy that is in the dumps, the country has turned on its Republican president in a way that is virtually unprecedented in modern American politics.
And yet, at a slew of panels Monday hosted by the Progressive Book Club, there seemed to be as much ambivalence as ever about the direction of the Democratic Party. For all Sen. Barack Obama’s talk of “change we can believe in,” one thing that remains the same is that the Democrats are the party of self-doubt, and that means that change we can believe in changes depending on whom you ask.
Why isn’t the Democratic Party fighting more like the Republicans?
Why, conversely, does it talk so much about this? Does it even need to?
Does the party need to be more corporate friendly or does it need to begin really talking about the small number of companies that control the airwaves?
Jane Mayer is a New Yorker writer and terrorism expert whose book, “The Dark Side,”argues that in, addition to the moral dilemma posed by torture, coercive techniques against alleged terrorists have proven time and again to be less effective than a carrot-and-stick approach. Yet Monday, at a lunch cohosted with Media Matters, she was saying that “liberals are afraid to make an opening on national security issues.”
The author and media critic Alterman was criticizing the left’s failure to forge alliances with military personnel who have criticized the war in Iraq.
David Sirota, author of the “The Uprising,” was incensed that the left talks more of winning than of forging a real progressive agenda.
Huffington was cautioning against a move to the center in an effort to appeal to swing voters. “Do you want a repeat of 2002 and 2004?” she asked. “Equivocating and triangulating? We had John Kerry putting on his hunting outfit to show people he was one of them. Those ways of campaigning will not win the election in 2008. The thing that will win is appealing to unlikely progressive voters.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye