Bode Call: After earning the disgust of commentators before he even competed in these Olympics, and performing less than perfectly during his first two events, Bode Miller didn't finish the Super G on Saturday and came in sixth in the giant slalom on Monday. Were he just any American skier, he would be treated gingerly, if a bit negatively, by the press; yet his lack of gold has sparked no less than fury in sports commentators everywhere. To make matters worse, Bode injured his right ankle on Tuesday while playing basketball (though a spokesman for the U.S. team said it shouldn't affect Bode's next and final shot at a medal at this Saturday's slalom). And now even Stephen Colbert is cracking jokes at Bode's expense: "It's embarrassing. The U.S. Olympic team has dropped the ball. And not just on America, on something far more important -- American corporations. Take Bode Miller, skiing's bad boy. He's got endorsement deals with Nike, Visa, Barilla and Charles Schwab. Because I thought he was a winner, I bought running shoes on credit while investing in pasta." Other commentators were a little more dour:
"From my Winter Olympics couch potato position, I find myself doing something very un-American. I can't bring myself to root for one of our own. Arrivederci, Bode [He] exudes an offensive, lofty detachment from these Games that insults other athletes and disrespects the founding spirit of the Olympics."
-- Jon Saraceno, USA Today, Feb. 20
"Who needs a podium? Bode Miller is on a pedestal of ego There's nothing wrong with being an individualist -- much of what we call 'progress' is attributable to free thinkers. But one can be an individual in style without becoming a quasi-barbarian."
-- Fredericksburg Free Lance Star, Editorial, Feb. 21
Bode Miller is "arguably the biggest flop of these Olympics -- maybe one of the worst ever."
-- Stephen Harris, Boston Herald, Feb. 21
-- Joe DiMento
Kid Rock sues to spare humanity: In a ruling on Wednesday, a District Court judge granted Kid Rock an injunction barring World Wide Red Light District from showing the clip of his shudder-inducing sex tape involving a tour bus, four strippers and ex-Creed singer Scott Stapp. The order is only against the 40-second clip that appeared on the Web last week, and the judge will rule on Friday on whether to extend it to the sale and distribution of the full tape. "We don't deny the authenticity of the tape," Rock's lawyer, William Horton, said to the Detroit Free Press. "But they're using this without his permission to drive the sales of their other products." The Detroit paper also reports that Rock has just been dumped by his British girlfriend, Tamara Mellon, though she says it's not because of the porn tape but because their relationship was "ridiculous." (People, Detroit Free Press)
Trump continues hatin' on Martha: The latest salvo in the war of words between Martha Stewart and Donald Trump over the fate of "The Apprentice" is this bomb from Trump: "What moron would think you're going to fire the guy with the No. 1 show on television?" (N.Y. Daily News, Newsweek)
Life & Style, in its new issue, continues to insist that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are on the outs; meanwhile, the magazine's sister celebrity weekly at Bauer Publishing, In Touch Weekly, is trumpeting that "Kate still supports Tom!" (Gawker) ... The eBay auction for the "Brokeback Mountain" shirts -- key props worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie -- has come to an end: One lucky winner paid $101,100.51 for the pair, with the money going to a California children's charity. (Associated Press) ... James Frey's publishing deal with Riverhead -- which was reportedly a seven-figure deal for two books, including a novel -- has been voided. (Page Six) ... The divorce between billionaire Ron Perelman and Ellen Barkin was finalized on Valentine's Day -- the case was sealed, so the news has only just come out -- but sources say that Barkin ended up with a lot more from the settlement than was called for in the couple's prenuptial agreement. (N.Y. Daily News) ... To fill the space that will be left when UPN merges with the WB later this year, Fox has announced it's launching a new channel, to be called My Network TV. (Hollywood Reporter)
Madonna on managing her career and her marriage to Guy Ritchie: "I must admit, I have to pat myself on the back. It's not easy to be married, to have a successful career, to have children, to be with someone who is as strong-willed and ambitious as I am. Guy's not a househusband and I'm not a typical wife." (Hello! via Perez Hilton)
Oprah Winfrey, talking to Harvard business school students studying her business model about making lots of money and what's really important in life: "In the beginning, the money is to get nice things. And once you've gotten those nice things, I think some of the most unhappy people I know are the people who've acquired all the things and now they feel like, 'What else is there?' What else is there? What else is there? And that feeling of 'what else is there' is the calling -- is the calling trying to say to you [that] there is more than this. There is more than this." (Working Knowledge via Gawker)
The History Channel brings you the inside scoop on "Giganto: The Real King Kong" (9 p.m. EST), a giant ape thought to have lived some 5 to 9 million years ago, while Rachel Weisz, Robin Wright Penn and Catherine Keener all sit down with "Charlie Rose" (PBS, check local listings). And at the "Winter Olympic Games" (NBC, 8 p.m. EST), the night's big event is the women's free skate -- the final event in the figure-skating competition. Later, watch women's parallel giant slalom skiing and men's aerials.
-- Scott Lamb