The Fix

Jackson declined to donate royalties of "charity single." Lohan, Madonna's latest disciple. Plus: Olbermann apologizes for e-mails.


Salon Staff
June 15, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Michael Jackson redefines charity: During a deposition for his upcoming trial for the lawsuit brought against him by former associate Marc Schaffel, Michael Jackson revealed that his idea of recording a "charity single" doesn't extend to actually donating the royalties from the song. Paraphrasing from the deposition transcript, Fox 411 reports Jackson as saying: "I don't know songwriters who give their royalties to charity. To give the royalty rights, that's a lot of money to give away." If his 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina singles had ever been released, he would have retained the songwriting credit, just as he did for "We Are the World," for which he still receives royalties. Lest you think his broad definition of charity is actually part of some sort of savvy plan on Jackson's part, the gossip site also notes that during the trial, "according to accounts, he didn't know the meaning of the word 'savvy,' and asked to have it rephrased during questioning." (Fox 411)

Madonna mentoring Lohan? With Britney Spears having left the Kabbalah fold to pursue her own version of motherhood, it looks as if Madonna has been shopping around for a new pop apprentice, and she's settled on Lindsay Lohan, according to In Touch Weekly. Lohan recently said she was "looking into Kabbalah," and has been growing closer to Madonna as well. "Madonna's giving Lindsay advice on her music career, and she wants to work on a film with Madonna, too!" a source told In Touch. The two are also reportedly planning a "spiritual journey" as soon as Madonna's current "Confessions" tour ends. "They're going to visit the Holy Land," said the source. (In Touch via the Scoop)

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More Olbermann e-mails see the light of day: Someone's got it in for Keith Olbermann -- over the past few days, he or she has been sending New York Daily News gossip column Lowdown e-mails that Olbermann apparently sent off to viewers who'd angrily written to him about his MSNBC talk show, "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." On Wednesday, the column ran an item about Olbermann calling MSNBC colleague Rita Cosby "nice, but dumber than a suitcase of rocks." On Thursday, Lowdown printed a few choice though context-free quotes from other Olbermann e-mails to viewers: "Hey, save the oxygen for somebody whose brain can use it. Kill yourself"; "Given how far you are from knowing your a-- from your elbow about my industry, you couldn't be stupider, wronger, or dumber"; "Go ---- your mother." Olbermann sent out this response: "I apologize to anyone who might take offense at my part of this correspondence. It goes without saying that I should not have replied to these abusive and hateful E-mails, but I wonder how many of us could receive literally hundreds of them questioning our patriotism, religion and ethnic origin, without succumbing to the natural wish to confront such hate?" (Lowdown)

Also:
Star magazine thinks Nicole Kidman looks pregnant after seeing photos of her coming out of a yoga class recently. Judge for yourself. (Star) ... It was Donald Trump's birthday on Wednesday, and as a gift, TMZ offers a photographic account of Trump cheating at golf (TMZ) ... Prosecutors in London have announced that Kate Moss will not be brought up on any drug charges stemming from the infamous pictures of her snorting white powder at a London recording studio. Despite what prosecutors say was the "absolutely clear indication" she was using drugs, they couldn't prove what type of drug it was and had to drop the case. (Daily Mirror) ... Are Jessica Simpson and Jared Leto an item? A source for People seems to thinks so, and it apparently has Lindsay Lohan -- who has dated Leto in the recent past -- in a rage: "She's telling friends she's furious," another source tells the magazine. "She feels betrayed by Jared." (People) ... Gary Glitter has lost his appeal to a Vietnamese court to reduce his three-year jail term on charges of child molestation. (BBC News) ... In bizarre celebrity activism news, Michael Madsen is doing what he can to stop the disappearance of those huge rotating orange balls from Union 76 gas stations across the Western U.S. -- many of them in Los Angeles -- prompting the BBC to write the headline "Actor Fights for Hollywood Balls." (BBC News) ... As many readers wrote in to point out, Wednesday's Lowdown item about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie escaping in Tom Cruise's plane couldn't possibly have been right because tail number N800TC -- which Lowdown reported as standing for Tom Cruise -- belongs to a little propeller-drive Piper 7 owned by some guy in Georgia. (Airliners.net)

Money Quote:
President Bush addressing sunglass-wearing Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten -- who is legally blind -- during a press conference on Wednesday: "Are you going to ask that question with shades on? I'm interested in the shade look. Seriously. For the viewers, there's no sun." (Rush & Molloy)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
MTV premieres new seasons of "Making the Band" (9 p.m. EDT), "Run's House" (9:30 p.m. EDT) and "Pimp My Ride" (10 p.m. EDT), while BBC America debuts "Waterloo Road" (9 p.m. EDT). Also, ABC presents Game 4 of the NBA Finals (8:30 p.m. EDT).

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): G.E. CEO Rick Wagoner
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Sandra Bullock, Widespread Panic
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Kate Beckinsale, Jim Norton, She Wants Revenge
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Dane Cook, Shaun White, Dr. John
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Tony Shalhoub, Lucy Davis, Echo and the Bunnymen
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Louis C.K.
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Michael Pollan

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-- Lamar Clarkson

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