Dueling Jacksons: No sooner did Janet Jackson have the chance to deny the rumors about having a secret, 18-year-old baby -- "I do not have a child and all allegations saying so are false" -- than there is fresh talk about her being pregnant with Jermaine Dupri's child (second item). All this on top of her recently passed-around-the-Internet butt bongo video -- it's enough to make an older brother jealous. So Michael has been trying to make headlines any way he can. On Thursday, that meant responding to a $3 million lawsuit by blaming the author of the suit for making off with $250,000 of Jackson's sculptures and paintings. (Ananova, New York Daily News, The Scoop, AP)
Stinky, nasty liberalses, my preciousss: Page Six is covering a shocking fresh scandal uncovered by Bush biographer Peter Schweizer in a new book: Sometimes, liberals can be hypocritical. Schweizer's "Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" takes on the not-so-saintly Michael Moore, charging, among other things, that Moore trades in Halliburton and Big Pharma stock, rarely hires blacks, is personally anti-union and has "had several clashes with the Writers Guild." Other hypocrites outed: Page Six gushes that "Hillary Clinton is depicted as a 'corporate shill and petty tax avoider' while ultra-liberal Barbra Streisand is exposed as a 'civil liberties violator, outsourcer and war profiteer.'" (Page Six)
Shakeup at CBS: CBS head Leslie Moonves announced on Wednesday that CBS News President Andrew Heyward was stepping down from the position after nearly a decade, to be replaced by Sean McManus, head of the network's sports division. The move comes at a time when CBS is still trying to reinvent the "CBS Evening News" in the wake of Dan Rather's departure -- a mission that Heyward apparently failed at. "Clearly there's a need for a different vision for CBS News," Moonves told the Times. "Obviously the evening news is one issue that has sort of been on hold for a while." (New York Times)
Spooktacular celebrity costume ideas: So you've waited until the last minute to come up with this year's Halloween costume? Never fear, the New York Post has some great, quick, practical suggestions. Grab a pair of black-framed librarian glasses, get some makeup to create weird sores around your mouth, pick up a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's classic "Dianetics," and -- voilà! -- you're midsummer Katie Holmes! The paper also gives you tips on putting together your out-and-proud Cynthia Nixon -- "This Cynthia and soulmate Christine Marinoni ensemble is simple to execute and will surely send shivers down the spines of the nonblind everywhere" -- or post-NYU Mary-Kate Olsen: "Combine one waif, the entire contents of one thrift shop, one pair of large sunglasses, one Starbucks beverage (venti), one iPod, one BlackBerry, one eating disorder and a pinch of nicotine." (New York Post)
Angelina Jolie wants more babies, and she knows just where to get them. Following a benefit for an orphans charity in Manhattan this week, the socially conscious, serial-adopting half of Brangelina said, "Most of the night I just thought about how quickly I want to adopt again. It's a very special thing. There's something about making a choice, waking up and traveling somewhere and finding your family There are so many wonderful places. There are many parts of Asia, Africa, South America" ... Kylie Minogue is still battling cancer, but has been keeping her friends in Oz up-to-date on her progress. Stefan Dennis, an actor who appeared with Kylie in the Australian soap "Neighbours," says, "I've heard from Kylie. She's contacted me in Australia to tell me she is fine and she's going to be OK. It's all great news" ... If this is a sign of how things are going at home, we worry for Sean Preston: In Touch reports on Kevin Federline's nascent musical aspirations, which he recorded and brought home to share with Britney, only to be "greeted with hurtful laughter from his superstar wife, who was unimpressed," the magazine reports. "She said his debut CD might sell 'a hundred, maybe a thousand' copies if he was lucky. Kevin looked really hurt" This story about budget problems on the upcoming "King Kong" is a little confusing: Is the New York Times trying to call Peter Jackson a "big gorilla"? "This time around, the picture depends upon another oversize talent in the person of Mr. Jackson" ... Never afraid of asking the tough questions, People magazine wonders: Do male celebrities look hotter in hats? "Desperate Housewives" actress Nicollette Sheridan has split up with her fiancé, Swedish actor Niklas Soderblom. We refuse to make any puns involving the title of the show and Sheridan's newly single status ... The fact that Ashlee Simpson's new album, "I Am Me," went straight to No. 1 this week sent Fox celebrity columnist Roger Friedman into the pre-apocalypse blues: "This is proof, I feel, that the Earth is about to experience some terrible event worse than the Indonesian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina or the Kashmir earthquake" ... 50 Cent has gotten so adept at controversy, even the billboards for his movie are stirring people up: Protesters in Los Angeles held a rally calling on Paramount to take the billboards -- which show 50 carrying a mike in one hand and a gun in the other -- down immediately. Ex-Crip turned community activist Najee Ali said, "We're calling upon Paramount Pictures to remove these billboards Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death for young black males in South-Central Los Angeles and across urban America."
Lindsay Lohan on seeing her "near death" experience as just a normal part of growing up: "I was going through a lot of stuff and overworking and not thinking of my body. I was going through that phase that everyone goes through. I lost, like, 20-25 lbs. I was on IV drips. I nearly died!" (Ananova)
Compiled from news reports and his own previously unseen footage, "In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina" (Sundance, 8 p.m. EDT) is the NBC news anchor's very personal, very timely account of how Katrina developed from a natural disaster into the human tragedy it became. Also tonight: the Iraq video diary documentary "Gunner Palace" (Military Channel, 8 p.m. EDT) and a Halloween-flavored episode of "Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN, 8 p.m. EDT).
-- Scott Lamb