The Fix

Jacko clan wears white to court, Oprah wears sarcasm on her sleeve, and the Kobe case may be all worn out. Plus: Is J.K. Rowling set to kill off Harry?

By Salon Staff
Published August 17, 2004 9:18AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Beach volleyball and the finals in women's team gymnastics are among the games to watch on Tuesday night's Olympics (8 p.m. ET, NBC). And "Summerland" has its season finale (9 p.m. ET, WB).

Morning Briefing:
Kobe off the hook? Speculation is growing that prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault trial may be looking for a way to drop the charges against the NBA star and bow out gracefully before bringing the case to trial. No one connected with the case is allowed to talk to the press about it, but Larry Pozner, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, tells the Associated Press, "We have too many things happening in this case that we just don't normally have. The big picture? None of this bodes well for the prosecution." (Associated Press)

Here comes the defendant, all dressed in white: Michael Jackson and his siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Randy and Jackie showed up at a court hearing related to the child molestation charges brought against him in Santa Barbara, Calif., dressed in white outfits, presumably as a sign of unified belief in his innocence. Jacko, who flashed peace signs to the crowd of 200 fans gathered outside the courthouse, accessorized his snowy attire with a gold armband, a lapel stickpin and a string of charms. Jackson's parents, Joe and Katherine, also attended, although they declined to don all-white attire. The entire clan retired to a double-decker bus to dine on the finest a nearby McDonald's had to offer during the hearing's lunch break. (N.Y. Post)

Trial by Oprah: Oprah Winfrey, who turned up for jury duty on Monday, was picked to serve on the jury in a murder trial, despite the fact that she and various courthouse veterans interviewed by the press predicted that she would not be selected. "If I were [a lawyer], I wouldn't pick me," Winfrey told reporters early in the day. "I can have an open mind, but I'm really too opinionated." After learning that she had been selected as a juror, Winfrey was heard to mutter sarcastically, "Oh, happy day." The trial is scheduled to last three days. (Chicago Sun-Times)

The death of Harry? J.K. Rowling is hinting that Harry Potter may die in the seventh -- and final -- book in the popular series. Says Rowling, Harry "will survive to book seven, mainly because I don't want to be strangled by you lot, but I don't want to say whether he grows any older than that." (

Also: Millicent Burton, the maid who has accused Naomi Campbell of assault, has been charged with using a forged Social Security card to get a driving permit (Rush and Molloy) ... Gay actors on Broadway may call in sick to protest Bush administration policies on the day delegates from the Republic National Convention have been given tickets to see eight shows (Shut It Down) ... Vince Gallo and the Village Voice are mad at each other after the "Brown Bunny" director pulled a three-page essay from the paper at the last minute, asserting the paper reneged on its promise to run a particular photo on its cover (Page Six) ... And Diane Lane and Josh Brolin have tied the knot. (Reuters)

Money Quote:
Walter Cronkite on the limitations of TV news, writing in his final syndicated newspaper column: "We're talking about covering one of the most complicated and important nations of the world ... and it's patently impossible to do an adequate job of covering the major stories of the day, around the world, in 17 minutes." (Reuters)

-- Amy Reiter

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