The Fix

Publisher calls O.J. book his "confession." Michael Jackson booed off stage. Plus: Smut magnate offering $100 million for Spears sex tape.

Topics: Michael Jackson,

Morning Briefing:
Thursday morning O.J.: The publisher of O.J. Simpson’s forthcoming hypothetical-double-murder manuscript “If I Did It,” Judith Regan of ReganBooks, labeled the book “his confession” on Wednesday, while family members of victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman called for a boycott of the book and the two-part interview about the book that will air on Fox. On “Larry King Live” Wednesday night, Goldman’s father said people should “shun the book, shun the show, send a message loud and clear.” The book, which doesn’t come out until Nov. 30, also showed up on Amazon.com for the first time sometime late Wednesday, and as of Thursday morning was already ranked No. 72 in the Web site’s book sales. A number of other outlets, including Barbara Walters, turned down the chance to interview Simpson. (Associated Press, Huffington Post, the Scoop)

The Amazing Kreskin wants O.J.’s thoughts: Reactions to the O.J. news took many forms on Wednesday, and mentalist/mind-reader the Amazing Kreskin dealt with it the only way he knows how: offering to use his mind powers for the greater good. “If he is so damn innocent, I’m going to challenge him to allow me to read his thoughts,” he told Salon on Wednesday. Kreskin explained that he and Simpson have a history, sort of: “When the trial took place a few years ago, I offered then to take a walk with him around the crime scene and then express publicly the impressions I got from his thoughts.” (Jay Leno mocked the idea in a “Tonight Show” monologue at the time, saying, “You mean that Kreskin was the only one who didn’t know whether he was guilty or not?”) Now Kreskin, who contends he has done criminal investigative work before (“I’ve been called on 84 crime cases”), says he would still want to take a walk with Simpson and “listen to the thoughts I perceive.”



Nonthriller: Michael Jackson defied expectations at Wednesday night’s World Music Awards — first by actually showing up to perform (he’s notorious for no-shows), and then by turning in a halting, awkward performance of “We Are the World” instead of performing “Thriller” as planned. According to reviews, he managed to sing only a few lines of the song — and struggled with high notes — before being booed off stage by a disappointed audience. (NME, Monsters and Critics)

The actual Sacha Baron Cohen speaks: Rolling Stone has the first post-”Borat” interview in which creator Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t talk in a fake accent or utter the word “niiice.” Among other things (only an excerpt is available online), Cohen discusses his Orthodox Judaism — he keeps kosher and tries to observe the Sabbath — and addresses the anti-Semitism in the movie: “‘Throw the Jew Down the Well’ was a very controversial sketch, and some members of the Jewish community thought that it was actually going to encourage anti-Semitism. But to me it revealed something about that bar in Tucson. And the question is: Did it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.” (Rolling Stone)

Also:
Celeb porn mogul David Hans Schmidt says he has an appointment in Los Angeles next week to “view an explicit sex tape that I have been told features Ms. Britney Spears,” and has upped his offer for a copy of the alleged sex tape to $100 million. (Rush & Molloy, final item) … On Wednesday night’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” Jaime Pressly confirmed rumors that she’s pregnant, saying she denied earlier reports only because she was worried about a miscarriage: “I lied and lied and lied!” (Us Online) … Richard Powers’ “The Echo Maker” has been named this year’s winner of the National Book Award for fiction. (Associated Press) … The compilation disc “Now That’s What I Call Music 23″ opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this week, selling 337,000 copies in the U.S. (411mania.com) … David Lynch says he plans to self-release and distribute his latest film, “Inland Empire,” and will take the movie on a 10-city theater tour in January: “A conventional distributor is a heartache, and I’m finished with that. With self-distribution I’m able to shape the outcome of the film so much more.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Money Quote:
Larry King, after admitting he has never used the Internet: “What, do you punch little buttons and things?” (Think Progress via Drudge)

Turn On:
On Thursday, two branches of Dunder Mifflin merge in an extra-long version of “The Office” (NBC, 8:30 p.m. EST), followed by “30 Rock” (NBC, 9:20 p.m. EST) on a new night, plus Barbara Walters gets her own bloopers special in “30 Mistakes in 30 Years” (ABC, 10 p.m. EST) and “Freak Show” (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. EST) has its season finale.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): Part 2 of the positive-thinking series
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Daniel Craig, Alex Trebek
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Christopher Guest, Frank Caliendo, the Game
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Emilio Estevez, D.L. Hughley, Josh Groban
Conan O’Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Elijah Wood, Jon Lovitz, Jud Hale
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Maura Tierney, Scott Turow, Lindsey Buckingham
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Emmitt Smith, Greg Kinnear, Marla Sokoloff, Sherrod Small
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Mohammad Yunus
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Richard Linklater

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Scott Lamb is a senior editor at BuzzFeed.com.

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