We love the New York Times and we love journalism even more, so the news that the paper of record is going to convene a committee of 20 staffers and two outsiders "to review newsroom policies after the Jayson Blair scandal" is a tad depressing. When is the last time a committee came up with anything useful? Perhaps something good will come of it, but why do we think we hear Jayson chuckling? (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Neil Young's hot under the collar and the reason is George Bush. The rocker has had it with Georgie playing around with the country, saying, "This big deal about Bush landing on an aircraft carrier? Talk about a 6-year-old kid with a Tonka toy -- we got it here." And Young was also frank about the culture wars he sees waging: "Bush has polarized the country and is creating this breeding ground for an opposition. In the next couple of months, they'll probably make it unpatriotic to be Democrat." Neil's in England right now, so he probably didn't hear that that's already happened. (Guardian)
Breaking News: Prince is into kinky sex! A former girlfriend is suing the diminutive one for emotional distress during the two years she was with him. Not to take these matters lightly, but in the woman's statement she complains, "Prince informed me he took sexual relations very seriously. He believed he was the Messiah and if you engaged in sex with him, you became one with him." So, what was her first clue that this would be a strange relationship? (WENN)
Terror alerts are bad enough for just plain folks, who become bewildered about crossing bridges, but for movie studios it's an expensive thing. Last month the Brad Pitt vehicle "Troy" was moved from Morocco to Malta, Mexico and London. After the suicide bombings in Casablanca last week, the latest Leonardo DiCaprio biopic, "Alexander the Great," has moved shooting from Morocco to Australia. Producer Dino De Laurentiis said, "Unless the situation changes in five or six months, any important American actor could be a target. That's a risk I cannot take." We didn't know that terrorists were targeting actors, but maybe Dino knows something Tom Ridge doesn't. (CNN)
So, rumors abound that Val Kilmer is not only portraying porn star John Holmes in the new flick "Wonderland" but that the star is publishing a coffee table book, with pictures of himself in character, called "24 Days in Wonderland." We wonder if Val is going to be "in costume" too. If he's built like Holmes, it should move some copies! (MSNBC)
-- Karen Croft
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Is it Florida all over again? Responding to rampant confusion caused by conflicting "American Idol" vote tallies last night, Fox says it will undertake an internal review of the numbers.
The network insists that the winner, Ruben Studdard, is not in doubt, but does admit to "bad math," according to Matt Drudge.
In the meantime, go ahead and celebrate if you wish for Studdard, the 24-year-old, 350-pound "Round Mound of Sound" who emerged the ultimate victor on "American Idol" last night. But spare a thought -- won't you? -- for Studdard's fallen competitor, Clay Aiken.
His friends are crushed.
"It was a big shock to me," Aiken's friend Angela Coachman told the losing contestant's local news station, News 14 Carolina. "It was a real big shock."
"I just felt kind of sad inside," said fan Suzanne Koerber.
But Aiken's grandmother Amaryllis McGhee takes a brighter view.
"He did come in the top two," she chirped, "so we are very proud that he has gone that far."
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Michael Jackson was hospitalized in Indianapolis yesterday because, according to his attorney, he was "not feeling well."
Two weeks ago, Jackson reportedly slipped into a California congressman's field office in a quaint town near Santa Barbara, whipped off the Spider-Man mask he was wearing and demanded to know why the town had no fast-food restaurants.
"I love Taco Bell," Jackson declared to the congressman's startled staff.
He was later spotted at the drive-through window of a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut in a nearby town ordering two cheese pizzas, breadsticks, water and three chicken soft tacos.
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Also hospitalized: Britney Spears' mom. Lynne Spears was rushed to New York's Beth Israel hospital last week after she and her daughter ate at "a nondescript Mexican restaurant in Midtown by the Theater District." Alas, probably not a Taco Bell. (N.Y. Post)
Reason the rest of us might feel a little ill: Roseanne's pulling an Anna Nicole Smith. The corpulent comedian has signed a deal with ABC for a 13-episode reality TV show that the network suits promise will show you "Roseanne -- the good, the bad, the ugly, the pretty, the everything." The cameras will follow her everywhere "almost to the bathroom, but she draws the line there." I'm sure you'll get over your disappointment. (Reuters)
Eminem's got another defamation suit to defend himself in. DeAngelo Bailey, a 32-year-old sanitation worker, claims the lyrics in the rapper's song "Brain Damage," in which Eminem alleges that he was once beaten up in a bathroom by a "fat kid named DeAngelo Bailey," are false and have ruined his life. "He was never a bully," insists Bailey's mother, Rochelle, defending her son. "He was a good boy." (N.Y. Daily News)
-- Amy Reiter