Because of the events in Iraq over the weekend, bloviator Bill O'Reilly, on the "Today Show" this morning to promote his new book "Who's Looking Out for You," got the chance to rant on the capture of Saddam Hussein. When Matt Lauer asked what should be done with Saddam, Bill yelled, "We should give him sodium pentathol, deprive him of sleep and play rap music!" Then he added, "If we can't break him, we can offer him life at Guantánamo!" Sounds like a plan.
Is Tim Russert psychic? He chatted with CIA director George Tenet at a party Saturday night and said he had dreamt Saddam Hussein had been captured. Tenet, who probably knew what would become public about nine hours later, just smiled and said, "Have a nice holiday." Maybe those quirky Russert eyebrows are antennae, pulling in information the rest of us miss. (USA Today)
In related news, Nicole Kidman (who has very nice eyebrows) says she covets a butt and boobs like J.Lo's or Sophia Loren's but has had to settle for her "ballerina's body." "I can't get them and I'm not going to have surgery, so there it is, guys," she said. (Ananova)
Will Peter Jackson direct "The Hobbit"? The world hopes so, but he's not sure. He told the AP recently, "I'd be happy to. It would be strange for somebody else to do it. And I also think to do justice to 'The Hobbit' it would be great to bring some of the same actors back. (Like Ian McKellen for the wizard Gandalf and Andy Serkis for the ghoulish Gollum.) I think it would be a cool thing to have the continuity of the design and the look and feel of the world and use whatever actors we're able to repeat in the story." But when asked if there were any plans to do the project Jackson said, "New Line hasn't talked to me about it yet. I can only assume they're motivated to do it now, but the rights are kind of complicated." Meanwhile, he'll be concentrating on a character a tad larger than a hobbit. His next film is a remake of "King Kong." (AP via CNN)
When you go see "Something's Gotta Give," keep your seat through the closing credits if you want a treat -- Jack Nicholson singing "La Vie en Rose." Edith Piaf would approve ...
When in Rome ...? The miseducation of Lauryn Hill apparently did not include lessons in how to be polite to your hosts. On the other hand, she did manage to learn how to make a point in such an effective way that it echoes throughout the world. Invited by the Roman Catholic Church to perform before 7,500 people -- including some church bigwigs -- at a Christmas concert at the Vatican, Hill read a surprise statement blasting the religious hierarchy -- presumably, though not explicitly, for its slow reaction to allegations of pedophilia within the priesthood. "God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses ... by the clergy," Hill read to an audience that did not include the pope, but did include some of his closest aides. "I realize some of you may be offended by what I'm saying, but what do you say to the families who were betrayed by the people in whom they believed?" (Italy's La Repubblica newspaper via the New York Daily News)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: "Something's Gotta Give" director/writer/producer accused of serial plagiarism, slapped with multimillion-dollar lawsuit; Naomi Campbell denies romance with wealthy Chechen businessman (and alleged mafioso) Umar Dzhabrailov, says they're just "old friends"; things get very, very ugly in divorce between parents of Aaron and Nick Carter; Paris Hilton's porn videotape costar Rick Solomon and his ex-wife Shannen Doherty rumored to have reconciled; Louis Vuitton head designer Marc Jacobs insists that Jennifer Lopez did not swipe designer swag from photo shoot, says she was given it in gratitude; Michael Palin says John Cleese is thinking of running for mayor of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Tina Fey and her husband look for posher digs, put Upper West Side walkup duplex apartment up for sale for $1.3 million.
Rush and Molloy: Sony confirms that there was some strife over brief decision to have movie division chief Amy Pascal report to new Sony Entertainment chairman Michael Lynton and that Pascal has been made co-chairman, reporting to top dog Howard Stringer, but denies that Pascal rage influenced revision in plan; Smoking Gun to release celebrity mug shots as deck of cards; Katie Couric courting Karenna Gore Schiff, either as "Today Show" reporter or broker of interview with Al Gore, depending on whom you ask; Mark Kostabi may sue over film based on memoir of former employee who forged works by him; Grace Hightower and son Elliot on hand to help Robert De Niro recover from prostate cancer surgery; Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs is throwing big birthday bash for girlfriend Kim Porter.
Lloyd Grove's Lowdown: Matt Lauer and "Today Show" get blasted for softball interview with celeb lawyer Robert Shapiro, deny that interview was meant to grease the wheels for exclusive with Shapiro client Phil Spector; fake "It Girl" said to be making the society party rounds for upcoming Learning Channel show, "Faking It"; Pink sends letter to Siegfried and Roy requesting release of 55-year-old elephant Gildah, neglects to wish Roy a speedy recovery; Christiane Amanpour laughs at David Gest's request to appear on "60 Minutes."