Tina Time! Tantrums and Takedowns at Women in the World Conference

0827tina 2 Tina Time! Tantrums and Takedowns at Women in the World ConferenceAt Tina Brown’s girl-power extravaganza last night, Women in the World 2011, hosted by Newsweek and The Daily Beast, Diane Von Furstenberg named her female role model as Rebecca Lolosoli, a woman credited with creating a girls-only village in Kenya.

“I met Rebecca two years ago,” said Ms. Von Furstenburg. “She came to visit me. She told me all about her. She told me how she had to flee her village. So I told her, I have a village too, on the fourth floor.”

Evidently, the designer invited Ms. Lolosoli for some fun in the studio, making jewelery that would later be shown on the spring catwalk and sold in stores. Lolosoli, who was in attendance at the conference, didn’t seem to be having that much fun on the night. The Observer later overheard her throwing a tantrum to her staff-minder, saying she wanted to skip dinner and conversation with Bill Clinton in favor of a night in her hotel room with the remote control.

Elsewhere, air kisses and smoke-blowing abounded. Fresh off the Newsweek-Daily Beast merger, Ms. Brown was all smiles and adjectives: “We’ve assembled so many free-thinking firebrands, social revolutionaries, outside agitators, dangerous rabble-rousers in this theatre tonight that I think we have to take out a whole different insurance policy.”

Substance arrived in the form of Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider, Saudi journalist, and Dalia Ziada, Egyptian author, who talked up a storm on women’s issues in the Middle East.

“Tomorrow is a big day for Saudi Arabia, ” said Ms. Al-Huwaider. “For tomorrow’s protests, they told women to come in the front row because Saudis don’t attack women. We are to protect the men in the back.”

“We never thought it would turn into something so big,” said Ms. Ziada of the Egyptian revolution. “We just decided to go to the streets on Jan. 25 to give the police a hard day.” When they had won, “Our colleagues, the men who had stood beside us the day before, told us ‘go back to your home’; it’s not right to talk about women’s rights now.”

Ms. Brown managed to fit in a gibe at MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who recently pieced together a documentary on Bill Clinton, entitled President of the World. Calling it a “puff piece,” she asked the former president: “Where was he when you needed him?”

Perhaps her sour grapes are the result of being scooped. The release of her book, “The Clinton Chronicles” has been delayed indefinitely while she saves the world one major media take-over at a time.

kclarke [at] observer.com

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President