The Fix

Court turns deaf ear to Limbaugh's plea. "Idol" finalist has drug rap. Jayson Blair is back.

Published April 29, 2005 6:31PM (EDT)

Turn On:
The CBS show "JAG" wraps up once and for all after 10 seasons on Friday night at 9 p.m. EDT. On Saturday, HBO brings you Cynthia Nixon and Kenneth Branagh as Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Warm Springs" (8 p.m. EDT). And don't forget to watch Rosie O'Donnell star alongside Andie MacDowell as a developmentally disabled woman who rides the bus all day long in the CBS special "Riding the Bus With My Sister" on Sunday night at 9 p.m. EDT; the New York Times calls it a "deeply -- even thrillingly -- embarrassing movie."

Morning Briefing:
Rush to judgment: Florida Supreme Court has refused to hear Rush Limbaugh's case about the seizure of his medical records from four of his doctors' offices in 2003. Palm Beach County prosecutors seized the records in their efforts to investigate Limbaugh for "doctor shopping," or illegally trying to get duplicate painkiller prescriptions from his various doctors, though they never charged him with any crime. Limbaugh, who has admitted to struggling with an addiction to Oxycontin, has not yet commented on the court's snub (he was not broadcasting on Thursday because he had a doctor's appointment), but his lawyer did offer the following statement: "I have said from the start that there was no violation of the doctor shopping statute, but that Rush Limbaugh should not have to give up his right to privacy in order to prove his innocence. Mr. Limbaugh appropriately sought treatment for severe back pain and for pain from an operation to restore his hearing. He has not been charged with a crime, and he should not be charged. His medical records will show that he received legitimate medical treatment for legitimate medical reasons. Only those who have suffered the long-term agony of chronic, severe pain will understand what Mr. Limbaugh was going through and why the appropriate medical treatment for his pain was so important." (Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel via Drudge)

Fallen "Idol"? According to records posted on the Smoking Gun, Harold "Bo" Bice, one of five finalists still competing on "American Idol," was arrested in Huntsville, Ala., in 2001 for felony cocaine possession. Charges stemming from that case -- and a subsequent marijuana possession case -- were dismissed after he completed a drug "diversion" program. The site reports, "Bice was arrested on the cocaine charge after scoring about 1/2 a gram of the drug from an acquaintance at Huntsville's Silver Dollar strip club, according to a source. If convicted of the felony coke charge, Bice would have faced a maximum of 10 years in jail, though a probationary term would have been more likely." (The Smoking Gun)

The trouble with Blair: Jayson Blair is back. Or at least he's writing again anyway. Folio magazine reports that the dissembling former New York Times reporter is now writing a first-person column in bp magazine, a quarterly for people living with bipolar disorder and the mental health professionals who help them. In it, Blair says that he has been diagnosed with the disease, but has now recovered thanks to a combination of medication and speaking engagements. "Like Icarus, I soared like an eagle, but fell with a shattered wing," Blair writes of his time at the New York broadsheet. "Trying to accomplish my job while I was sick without letting anyone know [what] was wrong with me," he says, led to "the dangerous territory of mania -- high-risk behavior in the form of fabricating and plagiarizing stories." (Folio via Gawker)

Jackson trial update: Things got even worse for the prosecution in the Michael Jackson trial on Thursday when Jackson ex-wife Debbie Rowe, during her second day of testimony, got so carried away praising the defendant that she teared up, directly addressed him in front of the jury and even at one point had Jackson dabbing at his eyes. Asked by Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau to describe her ex-husband, Rowe said, "Generous to a fault. Giving and kind. A good father. Great with kids. Puts other people ahead of him. Things like that," adding, "brilliant businessman. And there's a different Michael -- there's my Michael. And a Michael everyone else sees. Michael the entertainer." What's more, Rowe said, though Jackson has fought to prevent her from regaining parental rights over the two children they share, she still continues to consider him a friend. Or would, she said, "If he'd talk to me." Sad, sad, sad. And very bad for the D.A., who had expected Rowe to give testimony unfavorable to Jackson. Instead she painted him as a hapless victim of his inner circle, saying, "I think they're opportunist vultures . . . all of them." (N.Y. Post)

Also: President-shmesident. NBC, CBS and Fox all cut away from President Bush's press conference Thursday night before it was finished in order to get back to their originally scheduled prime-time programming: "The Apprentice," "Survivor: Palau" and "The Simple Life," respectively. (Drudge)  "Saturday Night Live" funnywoman Tina Fey -- married to "SNL" composer Jeff Richmond -- is pregnant with her first child, due in September. (E! Online)  A rep for NBC is denying that the "Today" show producers have been deliberately obscuring the view of Katie Couric's legs (by having her wear pants and photographing her behind plants) in light of recent criticism of its Couric gam-fixation in the New York Times: "While I haven't had the time to research pant-to-skirt ratio in the past, I assure you that these allegations regarding Katie's legs are completely absurd. This is completely false." (Page Six)  Jeff Gannon/James Guckert is sad that no one has invited him to the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night. "It seems to me to be odd to exclude the one person who has brought more attention to the White House press corps than anyone else in years," the notorious fellow told Page Six, adding, "Probably many who would want to extend such an invitation already assume I will be in attendance." Yes, that must be it. (Page Six)  Star Jones, hubby Al Reynolds and their entourage reportedly plunked down in seats reserved for another ticket-holder's family at the Tribeca Film Festival's "Muppets' Wizard of Oz" screening the other night, and refused to give them up. (Page Six)

Money Quote:
Katie Holmes to Seventeen magazine last October, presumably well before she started dating Tom Cruise: "I think every little girl dreams about [her wedding]. I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise." (Seventeen via IMDB)

-- Amy Reiter

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