The Fix

Page Six scribe not to be charged. Anna Nicole Smith's instant messages -- revealed? Plus: John Waters' Valentine's Day tips.

Published January 24, 2007 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
No charges for Stern: If you've found yourself wondering lately what ever happened to Ron Burkle's claims that gossip writer Jared Paul Stern was blackmailing him for good coverage in Page Six, wonder no more: The U.S. attorney's office has announced that no charges will be filed against Stern. Last April, Burkle released video of several conversations he'd secretly taped with Stern, in which the writer appeared to be asking for $220,000 to ensure favorable mentions in the New York Post gossip column. (Stern was let go as a freelancer for the paper after the allegations surfaced.) Joe Tacopina, Stern's lawyer, told the New York Observer yesterday: "We have said from day one that this was a campaign to spread lies based on false accusations fueled by Burkle's personal vendetta against the New York Post, and that there was never any evidence of wrongdoing on Mr. Stern's part." Today, Stern tells the paper, "Obviously, it's a weight off. Ding-dong, the witch is dead," but also says, "I'm still unemployed and all that." (N.Y. Observer)

LOL, Anna Nicole: Today's the deadline for Anna Nicole Smith to submit her baby daughter to DNA testing in a paternity spat with ex Larry Birkhead. There's no word that she's actually planning to go through with the test, which a California judge ordered earlier this month. Instead, TMZ brings us what it claims is a partial transcript of an angry IM chat between Birkhead and Smith, in all its stupid, slightly confusing glory (the following is all sic):

Smith: quit trash me at the casino
Birkhead: not at a casino
Smith: go fuck my mom
Birkhead: show up for the test with the baby
Smith: don't think so
Smith: u wish
Birkhead: everybody just want u to do right thing is all
Smith: in your dreams


Murdoch enters Tribune bidding: Rupert Murdoch has entered the bidding fray for the Tribune Co., joining the Chandler family -- who owned the Los Angeles Times for decades -- as a minor stakeholder in the event the Chandlers are successful in acquiring the media company. (Ron Burkle and Eli Broad have also submitted an offer.) The Financial Times reports that Murdoch's interest is chiefly in Newsday, the Long Island newspaper owned by Tribune, which he would reportedly like to partially combine with the News Corp.-owned New York Post. (Financial Times via MSNBC)

Also:, which launched yesterday, is a subscription-based Web site founded on the dubious idea that there are parts of Paris Hilton's life not thoroughly well-known to the public. For a monthly fee, subscribers get to look through images of all the items seized from Hilton's storage facility back in 2005, when she supposedly failed to pay her rental fee. (E Online) ... Christina Haag, an ex-girlfriend of the late John F. Kennedy Jr., has reportedly snagged a $1.2 million advance for a tell-all memoir about her former boyfriend. "They knew each other from Brown, so the book is going to cover 'the party years,'" a source says. (Gatecrasher) ... Sunday's Indianapolis Colts/New England Patriots AFC Championship game was last week's highest-rated TV show, drawing an average of 46.7 million viewers, easily beating second-place "American Idol" (37.4 million viewers). It was the largest AFC Championship audience in 21 years, and the biggest non-Super Bowl TV audience since the "Friends" finale. (Bloomberg) ... Isaac Hayes says the reason he decided to quit his gig as the voice of Chef on "South Park" has more to do with pay than the show's Scientology-ridiculing episode: "They didn't pay me enough," he told the New York Post. "They weren't that nice." (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
Suzanne Somers on starting over after a fire destroyed her Malibu, Calif., home: "I'm just adjusting to not having any stuff. I don't have any diamonds to wear -- they all burned." (Contact Music)

John Waters on his Valentine's Day traditions: "The only thing I ever used to do was send a gift-wrapped chicken heart from a butcher to people I was in love with." (Radar)

Turn On:
On Wednesday night, it's the sixth-season premiere of "George Lopez" (ABC, 8 p.m. EST), the series debut of the adventure cooking show "Dinner: Impossible" (Food Network, 10 p.m. EST) and Part 1 of the "Top Chef" (Bravo, 10 p.m. EST) season ender.

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): John F. Burns
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Frank Caliendo, Mandy Moore
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Sienna Miller, Phyllis Diller, Branford Marsalis
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Mario Lopez, NeYo, Shawn Colvin (repeat)
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Andy Garcia, John Mellencamp
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Scott McClellan
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Lou Dobbs

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By Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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