The Fix

Madonna's spaceflight grounded. Bobby shacks up with video vixen. Plus: Clooney addresses the U.N.

Published September 15, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Madonna grounded: Russia's Duma has voted against a proposal to send Madonna into space -- as a tourist aboard a Russian mission to the International Space Station. Earlier this week, member Alexei Mitrofanov suggested booking her a $20 million seat on a flight in 2008, but even though that possibility has been denied, there is still some hope Madonna can find a spot on a future rocket. A space agency spokesman, avoiding the use of the pop star's potentially blasphemous first name, said, "Taking into account her good physical preparedness and financial capabilities, the dream of Louise Ciccone on a space flight could be realized in 2009." Meanwhile, the singer has other space-related missions to accomplish, according to her rep: "Madonna's work is not finished here. She will continue her quest to reinstate Pluto as a full planet." (Associated Press, Rush & Molloy)

Where do broken hearts go? Kicked to the curb by Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown has been seeking solace, or at least lodging, with "Confessions of a Video Vixen" author Karrine Steffans in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sources tell Rush & Molloy there's no romance there, and Steffans, who made her name first as a sexual-favor-bestowing hip-hop video fixture (her nickname was Superhead) and then as a writer, says she's just helping out a friend. "I'm not a home-wrecker. I got dragged into this," she said. "I can't break up a 16-year marriage in a few months." While Brown's nursing the wounds of his split, Steffans is focused on reviving her relationship with Bill Maher: "Bill and I have discussed Bobby, but Bobby is not an issue in my relationship. I still love Bill." (Rush & Molloy)

The numbered days of radio? Faced with the triple threat of Internet radio, iPods and satellite radio, traditional radio stations are having a hard time of it, according to the New York Times. With listener time declining 14 percent in the past 10 years, the huge conglomerates that rushed into radio in the '90s are now looking to get out: CBS has been selling off some of its stations, Clear Channel is looking to do the same, and Disney closed a deal over the summer to pull out of radio entirely. The Times writes: "Amid so much uncertainty, it is little wonder that sessions at next week's National Association of Broadcasters radio convention in Dallas advertise things like: 'Learn to steal money from your local newspaper' and 'Harnessing the power of blogging.' It is also a sign of the times that the convention's opening reception does not have a broadcaster as a host. Instead, Google will be buying the drinks." (N.Y. Times)

George Clooney addressed the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, speaking out about the ongoing killings in Darfur, Sudan. "The United States has called it genocide," Clooney said. "For you it's called ethnic cleansing. But make no mistake, it is the first genocide of the 21st century. And if it continues unchecked, it will not be the last." (People) ... Fans in Australia snapped up the 3,000 free tickets available for Steve Irwin's public memorial in 15 minutes on Friday. The service will be held next Wednesday at the Australia Zoo's "Crocoseum" in Queensland. (BBC News) ... Jay-Z's so-called retirement from rap has been tenuous from the start -- he has toured, produced albums and dropped in to perform on a host of other artists' records -- but he now says fans can expect a new album, "Kingdom Come," to arrive in stores sometime this fall. (Associated Press) ... "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey and his wife, Jillian, have announced they're expecting their second child together. (E! Online) ... Bodyguard turned reality TV star Duane "Dog" Chapman, he of A&E's "Dog the Bounty Hunter," was arrested on Thursday at his home in Hawaii by U.S. marshals for extradition to Mexico on kidnapping charges relating to his capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in 2003 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (TV Squad)

Money Quote:
Margaret Cho on the untimely death of Steve Irwin: "I thought he was an amazing person, who brought millions of people to a new understanding of nature. At least he died doing something that he loved, tracking wild animals out in the open sea. When it is my time to go, hopefully I will be online shopping." (Margaret Cho's blog via Page Six)

Turn On:
Friday night, it's the season premiere of the British spy show "MI-5 (A&E, 11 p.m. EDT). At midnight on Saturday, the brand-new "Talkshow With Spike Feresten (Fox, 12 a.m. EDT) -- a longtime comedy writer who penned "Seinfeld's" "Soup Nazi" episode -- kicks off. On Sunday, the 10th season of "The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT) debuts, and the White Stripes make a cameo appearance on "The Simpsons" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT).

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): CBS head Les Moonves
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Johnny Knoxville, Rachael Ray
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Howie Mandel, Clay Aiken
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Matthew Perry, Xzibit, the Rapture
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Mia Kirshner, Method Man
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Sarah Silverman, Lionel Richie

-- Scott Lamb

Get more of the Fix here.
To send a hot tip to the Fix, click here.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------