Bacharach on Baghdad: He has won Oscars and Grammys, and had over 50 hit songs, but he's never written a word -- until now. Burt Bacharach's new album, "At This Time," will showcase the hit maker's own lyrics for the first time in his nearly 50-year career, and they're about Iraq. "You could say 'how does a guy who has written love songs his entire life suddenly decide to rock the boat?'" Bacharach said. "I thought that was very important because I couldn't have somebody else write these lyrics." The guy who helped write songs like "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" and "What the World Needs Now Is Love" says the war has finally pushed him over the edge. "I never was a political person in my life. I wrote songs during Vietnam, not about Vietnam. I was just writing love songs. Leading my own life in my own insulated world." The other surprise is how edgy he tried to make the record -- Dr. Dre pops up to provide some beats. "It's very streety, as streety as I can make it," Bacharach said. (BBC)
People faux pas: Fresh on the heels of Us Weekly's embarrassing fake (or merely ahead of its time?) report on the Lachey-Simpson spilt, People is suffering gossip-mag humiliation over a big mistake in this week's cover story. The main photo spread (see the picture here) shows Vince Vaughn with his arm around someone who looks very much like Jennifer Aniston, with the caption: "On the Set. Filming 'The Break Up' in August, 'they had great chemistry,' says costar Jon Favreau." As it happens, the woman is actually Aniston's movie double. The New York Daily News says People tried to stop its press run Wednesday to switch captions. "What is there to say?" says Aniston's P.R. person. "It is just another example of the overanxious media and their desperation to exploit the privacy of Jennifer." (N.Y. Daily News, Gawker)
Sean Preston is no sellout: People lost out in another way this week when Britney Spears backed out of letting the paper have exclusive pictures of her with her new baby, as she belatedly realized that it might be kinda opportunistic. A source tells Page Six that the day after she'd posed with baby Sean Preston Spears Federline and hubby Kevin, she "started freaking out." "She started crying that she was selling out her baby and couldn't give up the pictures." A spokesperson for People said, "We have not purchased nor paid for any photos of Britney this week." Some of the pictures, though tiny, have been leaked anyway, showing Britney with what appears -- surprise -- to be a small baby. (Page Six)
Brangelina, the wedding registry: All the hyped-up fake reports about a Pitt-Jolie wedding are running a bit thin, so this refreshing bit by some jokester is a nice change of pace. It's difficult to say which faux gift would thrill the real couple most: the extensive collection of DVDs featuring, well, them; this "Legends of the Fall" T-shirt (size extra-large); a copy of "Tickle His Pickle: Your Hands-On Guide to Penis Pleasing"; or a copy of the nightmarish (in many senses) four-leaf-clover-themed horror movie "Leprechaun," starring wee Jennifer Aniston. (Amazon via Perez Hilton)
Pregnant Katie Holmes made her first public appearance at a fashion show in Los Angeles for Victoria Beckham's Rock & Republic. Keeping up the all-smiles theme of the TomKat union, she told ET Online (see the video) she hasn't had "one bit of morning sickness" ... When Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., hit the lucky D.C. Powerball numbers on Thursday -- fetching him a nice $853,492 -- his colleagues all had the same request: "They want drinks; they all want drinks" The real police are looking for Village People policeman -- and "Macho Man" co-writer -- Victor Willis after he didn't bother showing up for sentencing in a drug case in California. His excuse, as relayed through his lawyer: "He is scheduled for surgery. That's really as much as I know" ... Police have made an arrest in the murder of Pamela Vitale, wife of attorney and cable channel legal pundit Daniel Horowitz. Police in Lafayette, Calif., say they've taken a 16-year-old boy into custody.
Joan Rivers, in reference to her on-air tiff with Darcus Howe over race, on being colorblind: "I don't know what the hell this wacko was talking about. In my youth I slept with everybody. It's a miracle that [my daughter] Melissa is white." (Page Six)
Madonna alert: The pop diva debuts her new tour documentary, "Madonna: I'm Going to Tell You a Secret" (MTV, 10 p.m. EDT). Also, find out what Spike Lee and Tucker Carlson could possibly have to say to each other on "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO, 11 p.m. EDT).
-- Scott Lamb