The Fix

George Clooney needs a date, Pamela Anderson doesn't eat at buffets and Barbara Walters is fascinated by Gen. Franks. Plus: Will Janet Jackson sing at the Super Bowl?

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The suave one is single again. Seems George Clooney broke up with his latest squeeze, Krista Allen (who had a small part in Clooney’s directorial debut “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”) A friend of Allen’s was quoted as saying “Krista is really unhappy. It looks like George broke her heart.” It would be worth a heartbreaking interlude with Giorgio for a trip to his villa in Italy … (IMDB)

What is this obsession with celebrity we Americans have? A USA Today story quotes many of the famous about fame and what it does to them. Donald Trump says he can’t go out alone anymore because people touch him thinking “luck will rub off and they’ll make a lot of money.” Poor Pamela Anderson has a problem with her grammy: “My poor grandmother believes everything she reads about me,” says Anderson. Noting that one tabloid had a story about Pammy gorging on a Queen Mary ocean-liner buffet, she says, “I can’t convince her that I didn’t eat at a buffet — nor had I been to the Queen Mary.” The celebrity shrink has it figured out. Dr. Joyce Brothers says our fascination with famous people is an indication our basic needs are taken care of, “So we have time to fritter away on less important things.” What could be more important than Pam Anderson’s eating habits? (USA Today)

But how can we help ourselves when even the news organizations are driven by celebrity publicity engines? Barbara Walters and ABC News have declared the most fascinating people of 2003 to be retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks, The Fab Five from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Beyoncé Knowles, Martha Stewart, Siegfried Fischbacher, Nicole Kidman, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James and “Bennifer”. Now if Babs could get them all together to cook and redecorate a house it would be the hottest reality show of all. (ABC News)

This just in: Janet Jackson is scheduled to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, Feb. 1 in Houston. The show will be produced by MTV and sponsored by AOL. And what wasn’t in the AP story is that the lineup may be changed depending on whether Janet’s surreal sibling is considered bad for business. (AP via ABC News)

Far more shocking than the fact that Michael Jackson has been charged by the Santa Barbara County district attorney’s office with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to a minor? The small print on the bottom of the D.A.’s criminal complaint, which notes that “Michael Joe Jackson” is 5-foot-11 — and weighs a mere 120 lbs. (Note: It also lists his race as “Blk” and his sex as “M.”) As Jackson’s brother Jermaine told Barbara Walters in an interview set to air on ABC this evening, “I mean, you can blow at him and break him.”

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Incidentally, various rumors about Jackson are proving to be equally fragile. The pop star’s flack, Stuart Backerman, says that yesterday’s reports that his client, a longtime Jehovah’s Witness, had become a follower of the Nation of Islam are “not true.” The same can apparently be said of that talk that Johnnie Cochran was set to take over Michael’s case from lawyer Mark Geragos. (N.Y. Daily News)

Money Quote
Nothing like a rush of pleasure in the morning: Jack Black on being awoken with the news of his Golden Globe nomination for best comic actor: “At first I was a little disoriented but then I got a rush of pleasure to my brain stem, and when I was told who else got nominated [Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson and Billy Bob Thornton] it really got surreal … Now you can’t hang out with me, I’m just so huge.” (Page Six)

Best of the Rest
Page Six: Charlize Theron escorted out of premiere party for her new film, “Monster,” after member of her entourage gets into brawl with female paparazzo; former GQ publisher Ron Galotti confesses to walking backward through Central Park at insistence of 4-year-old daughter; Michael Douglas’ ex-wife Diandra Douglas and her fiancé are expecting twins carried by a surrogate mother; Donald Trump, Sean “Puffy/P.Diddy” Combs and their model girlfriends weigh cooperation in Harper’s Bazaar photo spread requiring them to swap partners for a day.

Rush and Molloy: Tara Reid and Cindy Margolis get into hair-pulling, fist-throwing, ass-kicking brawl over Margolis’ husband (Reid’s ex-beau), Guy Starkman, in Atlantic City bar; Oprah told Time writer that Letterman was “brilliant” in section of interview that got cut from mag; Time Warner rep insists Steve Case wasn’t dissed at TNT’s “Christmas in Washington”; Ben Affleck screening his new film, “Paycheck,” to soldiers in the Persian Gulf; Gerald Posner says he’s “furious at the government” for not releasing JFK-assassination-related files; John Cullum said to have ripped into Neil Simon and director Lynne Meadow at rehearsal of Simon’s new play, “Rose’s Dilemma,” which Mary Tyler Moore, who was to star, recently ditched; Kate Moss steps out with Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney; Cynthia Nixon shops for charity.

Amy Reiter

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Karen Croft is the editor of Salon Sex.

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