A moment of silence for David Brinkley, who died yesterday at age 82 after a career in journalism of more than 50 years. Anyone old enough to remember his duet with Chet Huntley each night on NBC in the 1950s and 1960s knows that those two patrician fellows -- along with Walter Cronkite on CBS -- acted as anchors for the country, especially in times of anxiety. Each night Chet and David served us well, with an understated style that has been all but drowned out in broadcast journalism today. Said Brinkley, "I don't try to put a show on the air, be bright and vivacious, because it's just not my nature." (Washington Post)
Another moment for another icon who has left us: Gregory Peck died last night at age 87. Just last week the American Film Institute named Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" as the No. 1 movie hero of all time. He was also a gentleman in real life. When Audrey Hepburn made her film debut with Peck in "Roman Holiday" in 1953 he demanded she get above-the-title billing, knowing it would jump-start her career. She won an Oscar and proved him prescient. (Associated Press via N.Y. Daily News)
On a lighter noter, Dennis Miller, who moves around a lot -- from HBO to "Monday Night Football" and various film roles -- has now made a full right turn. The small-handed iconoclastic ranter will join the Fox News Channel as a regular next month on the "Hannity & Colmes" show. (N.Y. Daily News)
Speaking of iconoclasts, John Lydon is confirming that the Sex Pistols will tour North America this summer. But don't expect any new Pistols numbers. Mr. Rotten says, "I think one album (1977's 'Never Mind The Bollocks') is all we ever needed. There's no point after that." Sid Vicious is somewhere, smiling. (NME)
-- Karen Croft
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Now Bill Clinton's feeling Sammy Sosa's pain. The former POTUS dialed up the corked batter to tell him to hang tough in the face of worldwide ridicule. "He told me to stay strong and don't give up," Sosa said. "It's something that happens to people. It'll go away." (Chicago Sun-Times)
Je-rry! Je-rry! Sen. Je-rry? Jerry Springer has taken the next step in a possible bid for a seat in U.S. Senate. The trash TV icon and former Cincinnati mayor announced Tuesday that he's forming an exploratory campaign committee -- and launching a Web site -- to look into a run against Republican Ohio Sen. George Voinovich in 2004. Says the possible Democratic candidate: "As mayor of Cincinnati I learned that a political victory gets you the microphone, and with that you can mobilize regular people to put pressure on other elected officials." Let's hope he also learned not to write checks to prostitutes.
James Gandolfini has made his fellow "Sopranos" stars an offer they can't refuse: $500,000. Gandolfini divvied up that six-figure sum between more than a dozen of his fellow cast members, handing around checks to series regulars including Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese and Tony Sirico. Gandolfini recently received his first share of the show's profits, which he'd won in contract negotiations earlier this year. (What, you thought the moolah fell off a truck?) "It was always part of his plan (during the renegotiations) to share some of the wealth with the other actors," a source close to the actor told the Hollywood Reporter.
Chris Noth has revealed his "Sex and the City" character's first name: Fred. Fred Big?
And speaking of big ... Tina Sinatra says her father's schlong wasn't all that. Frank's daughter disputes the claim in her father's valet's memoir that Ol' Blue Eyes was so well-endowed he had to have his underwear custom made. She and her siblings "used to shower" with their pops as kids, she tells the New York Daily News, and "he looked normal to me."
Start spreading the news. Harrison Ford on Calista Flockhart: "I'm in love. I'm. In. Love." Flockhart on Ford: She likes the way he looks "first thing in the morning. It's not handsome. It's more cute ... kind of puffy and rumpled." (People magazine via Liz Smith)
-- Amy Reiter