Let the holiday party begin! Oh wait … News Corp., Hearst, Viacom, ABC News and Newsweek have already canceled holiday shindigs (and we’ve noticed our Big Cheese editor has been particularly slow to bring in his special homemade Yorkshire pudding!), and Goldman Sachs execs—well, let’s just say they’re too busy crying over those chivalrously relinquished bonuses (what, you didn’t get the press release?) to care about pedestrian traditions like holiday cookies—but the surest sign of the apocalypse around here is S. I. Newhouse canceling on the Four Seasons. What will the media columnists write about for December? At least there’s some good to come out of this: In honor of today’s World AIDS Day, Hearst funnels savings from that banished holiday party into a dinner for the Diamond Empowerment Fund and A Diamond Is Forever (DeBeers, you can’t hide from us!) at the Hearst Tower with Russell Simmons, Kim Kardashian (classy!), Oprah “BFF” Gayle King and 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden, all turning up to support education initiatives in Africa (an untapped market for magazine ads, is perhaps their thinking?). Later, the Aid for AIDS International “My Hero Gala” toasts photographer Mario Testino at Guastavino’s, attracting socialites Fabiola Beracasa and Yaz Hernandez, grand dame Carolina Herrera, Michelle Obama clothier Narciso Rodriguez (last year’s honoree) and Colombian businessman Alejandro Santo Domingo (one wonders if he’s single …). Finally, the fight against AIDS having been hard-fought on the red carpet, let’s fete Tibet! Uma’s pop’s perch—Tibet House—stages a benefit auction at Christie’s chaired by Uma Thurman, model Petra Nemcova, curiously diversified socialite Arden Wohl, PETA target Donna Karan and lately ubiquitous filmmaker daughter Stella Schnabel. Among the silent auction items are the pleasure of lunching with Ms. Thurman herself.
[Empowerment for Africa Dinner, Hearst Tower, 300 West 57th Street, 44th Floor, 6 p.m., invite only; My Hero Gala 2008, Guastavinos, 409 East 59th Street, 7 p.m., 212-337-8043; Tibet House U.S. Benefit Auction, Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-631-3531]