The Fix

Whitney's separation accidental? Oprah battles gas pump, loses -- and Rosie pees all over her couch.

Published September 20, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Whitney's accidental breakup? Poor Whitney Houston can't catch a break -- consensus is her split from Bobby Brown is the best move she has made in years, but now she's not even getting credit for it. Rumors in the new issue of Star say the papers she filed for legal separation were meant to be a wake-up call to Brown and that she never intended to really end it with him. "Houston filed the papers mostly to get her friends off her back and to get Brown's attention, but her plans reportedly backfired," writes the Scoop, while a source tells Star the obvious: "Whitney has had an irrational commitment to Bobby that borders on obsessive. Whitney has convinced herself that she can't survive without him." (Star via the Scoop)

Oprah will not be pressured into candidacy: Patrick Crowe, a 69-year-old retired Kansas City teacher, has a dream -- he wants Oprah Winfrey in the White House. In a seemingly unironic one-man P.R. campaign -- he claims to have spent about $65,000 of his own so far -- Crowe is pushing for Oprah in '08, with the usual trappings of buttons, bumper stickers and a Web site, Winfrey's response? Her lawyers are threatening to sue Crowe for copyright infringement over his use of the name Oprah, which holds the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration numbers 1726373 and 2521889. (The Smoking Gun)

Also, can't pump gas: Oprah Winfrey kicked off her 21st season on Monday with a video diary of her cross-country trip with Gayle King, and we all learned that the talk show queen hasn't filled up her own tank in so long she has forgotten how to pump gas (a skill that even Paris Hilton seems to have mastered). The segment was played for yuks, and certainly got at least one viewer chuckling -- Rosie O'Donnell graphically explained her own reaction during Tuesday's broadcast of "The View": "It was so funny to me! It was a Depends moment. I needed an undergarment to catch all of the urine. I had to put a towel on my couch, because I was laughing so hard." (TMZ, X17, Lowdown)

Bobby Brown, speaking for the first time about his separation from Whitney Houston, says he's "really saddened by the whole situation." (People) ... Thousands showed up for Steve Irwin's memorial service on Wednesday in Australia, which included filmed tributes from Cameron Diaz, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe, who intoned: "It was way too soon for all of us. We have lost a friend, a champion." (Associated Press) ... Disney has sold $1 million worth of movies online through the iTunes music store, a service launched a week ago Tuesday. (Hollywood Reporter) ... The producers of "Lost" have banned the cast from skinny-dipping in between shoots in Hawaii. (ContactMusic) ... Sources tell Radar that Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter has chosen a nonstarlet for November's cover: Borat. (Radar)

Turn On:
Premiere madness continues: The brand-new shows "Jericho" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT) and "Kidnapped" (NBC, 10 p.m. EDT) launch, while "America's Next Top Model 7" (CW, 8 p.m. EDT), "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 9 p.m. EDT) and "CSI: NY" (CBS, 10 p.m. EDT) all begin new seasons. The PBS American Masters series airs "Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film" (check local listings), and "Biography" (Biography, 8 p.m. EDT) looks back at the life of George Reeves.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): former President Bill Clinton
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Frank Rich and Terry Semel
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Marg Helgenberger, ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and Scorch, Diana Krall
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Steve Carell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joan Jett
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Bob Newhart, Elle Macpherson, Jimmy Carr
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): James Woods, George Eads, Heartland
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Dwayne Johnson, Bam Margera, Lupe Fiasco
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Johnny Knoxville
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): James Carville

-- Scott Lamb

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By Salon Staff

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