The Fix

Mass exodus at "The Practice," but Oprah stays put. Plus: New York Times fabulist Blair looks to cash in -- and laugh at his former bosses.

Published May 21, 2003 4:25PM (EDT)

The 27-year-old who disgraced the mighty New York Times, Jayson Blair, sees comparisons between himself and renowned fabulist (and author of "The Fabulist") Stephen Glass as half-empty. "I don't understand why I am the bumbling affirmative-action hire when Stephen Glass is this brilliant whiz kid," Blair told the Observer's Sridhar Pappu in a remarkable interview. "I fooled some of the most brilliant people in journalism ... I was sitting right under their nose fooling them."

According to the Observer, Blair finds many of his transgressions -- and the Times' reaction to them -- "funny."

Almost as funny as his landlord's description of the reporter's disgustingly dirty bathroom in Newsweek. Then again, what do you expect from someone who flushed his whole career down the terlet?

Or has he? Like Glass, the Observer confirms that he's shopping around both book and movie proposals. But while Glass, who shamed the New Republic as Blair has shamed the Times, pulled in a sum reported to be merely in the low six figures for his recent book, Blair's agent, David Vigliano, says reports of a possible advance in the six or seven figures for his client "don't seem unreasonable to me."

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Rudy Giuliani might wanna hang onto his comb-over at his upcoming wedding. His latest bride, Judith Nathan, is planning to bring in Placido Domingo to perform an aria from one of Rudy's favorite operas. "I'm having him flown in as my gift," Nathan tells columnist Cindy Adams. So I guess it's not a surprise then. (N.Y. Post)

And speaking of bad hair calls, Christopher Reeve has gotten his head shaved in order to emulate his 10-year-old son's heroes, Mark Messier and Michael Jordan. "He gets a lot of head pats," says Reeve's wife, Dana. (N.Y. Daily News)

Attention, Dixie Chicks. Elvis Costello's got your back. "We all live in fairly dangerous times in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of expression," Costello told a black-tie audience of music industry bigwigs in Beverly Hills Tuesday night. "A lot of the songwriters that I've admired and learned from ... are people who spoke in matters of conscience as well as matters of the heart. I think that it's essential that we defend that right." (Reuters)

Gone: Six cast members from "The Practice" -- Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Marla Sokoloff and Chyler Leigh -- in response to what show creator David E. Kelley calls the "economic and creative realities" of our time. And you thought layoffs were bad at your job. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Still here: Oprah. The daytime talk-show queen, who recently hinted that she was ready to pull a Rosie and ditch the airwaves, has decided to extend her contract and keep her show on TV until 2008. That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief from housewives and unemployed folk throughout the land. (E! Online)

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By Amy Reiter

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