Libby guilty: A spectrum of headlines from Tuesday's big news out of Washington. Can you tell which of these doesn't belong?
Web radio hit: The days of the niche Internet radio station may be numbered. An increase in the rates that Web broadcasters will be charged per song made recently by the Copyright Royalty Board, a federal agency, could put many Web radio stations out of business, writes the Wall Street Journal. Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora.com, tells the paper, "With these rates, there's no Pandora." The new rates, retroactive to 2006, also erase an old rule that allowed smaller stations, including NPR affiliates, to pay a flat percentage of their overall revenue in royalty fees -- "because the smaller stations paid a percentage of revenue, they never faced a situation where their royalty bills exceeded their operating revenue, as many will now." (Wall Street Journal)
White noise ... Katie Holmes will start shooting her next film, a comedy called "Mad Money," soon in Shreveport, La., and Page Six reports hubby Tom Cruise will never be far away: "Tom has called producers and told them he will be on set every day. He wants to observe what's going on and will probably help Katie out," a source tells the paper. (Page Six) ... Nancy Grace has landed an acting gig -- she'll appear as a legal pundit in an upcoming episode of "Law & Order: SVU." (Associated Press) ... Ralph Fiennes -- recently linked to a mile-high fling with a flight attendant -- continues to bolster his naughty-boy image: He was spotted at a hotel pool in Belgium frolicking, nude, with four women. (Rush & Molloy) ... Yoko Ono has blocked the screening of a documentary about her husband -- the film, "3 Days in the Life," used snippets of film of John Lennon, and Ono says it violates copyright. (BBC News)
Fox's favorite gay porn star? Is Columbia University student, ex-Marine and Fox News/right-wing darling Matt Sanchez also Peter the Tree, a former gay porn star and escort? Speculation grew all day Tuesday on gay blogs, particularly by blogger Joe.My.God, who was first up with the most detailed account of the alleged past of Sanchez, who, as a 36-year-old Columbia junior, recently spoke out about the university's anti-military bias, writing in the New York Post and appearing on "Hannity and Colmes" and "The O'Reilly Factor." But Sanchez's repeated appearances -- and his award at last week's CPAC conference, where Ann Coulter infamously referred to John Edwards as a "faggot" -- "tinkled a few gay bells out there in fairyland," alleged Joe.My.God, who said it was leaked to him that Sanchez previously worked under the stage names "Rod Majors" and "Pierre LaBranche" and starred in "such art films as 'Jawbreaker,' 'Donkey Dick' and 'Glory Holes of Fame 3,' where his '11-inch uncut monster cock' earned him a devoted following." Soon, Andy Towle, of Towleroad, followed with a personal anecdote: "I was shocked to see this story this morning, for the main reason that Matthew Sanchez and I met at a gay bar in San Jose, California, and went on a few dates in 1989 when I was a graduate student at Stanford. I haven't seen him since." Soon, Datalounge claimed to have unearthed an old escort ad (not safe for work) alleged to belong to Sanchez. Later in the day, Joe.My.God returned with a final post saying he "had a 35-minute phone call with Matt Sanchez, in which he was very candid and friendly. We spoke about a wide range of topics: freedom of speech at Columbia, the Marine Corps, the gay porn industry, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Chi Chi Larue, his upcoming book and the CPAC conference." Sanchez, meanwhile, promised on his personal blog, "I'm going to be writing a piece ... You'll forgive me for the delay, but between this week's midterms, my full-time job and working out at the gym, there's just not enough time in the day." Check back with Salon later in the day for more.
Pop: Healthy! Dairy product: Deadly! That's the message in two bizarre food stories in the New York Times Wednesday. The front-page story follows soft-drink goliaths PepsiCo and Coca-Cola's efforts to distance their products from the obesity epidemic sweeping the country by claiming their diet drinks are "healthy" and, going one better, planning on fortifying their sodas with vitamins so they can be considered health drinks. In another section, a story explains how bakers are now avoiding butter in favor of something heinously unhealthy-sounding called "trans-fat-free margarine" so that they can label their baked goods "trans-fat free" and comply with new laws and ordinances banning trans fat -- even though "some researchers believe that the trans fat that occurs naturally in butter, meat, milk and cheese might actually be healthy."
- Most viewed on Yahoo News: "Scientists Study Earth's Missing Crust," Associated Press
- Top link on Reddit: "Just Another Beautiful Sunday for Church ... Oh Wait" (image)
- Top news on Tailrank: "Democrats to Bush: Don't Pardon Libby," CNN
- Most e-mailed story from the New York Times: "Darwin's God"
Not Bilbao lite: Frank Gehry muses about his work on the upcoming Abu Dhabi Guggenheim for the Guardian, writing that "I've just turned 78, but I hope I'm not stuck in a groove like some old long-playing record." The new museum won't just be "Bilbao lite," he says. Hoping to get beyond both his own legacy and the basic conceptions of what a modern museum is, he promises "this won't be a hermetic building" -- as opposed to the new Museum of Modern Art in New York, which he calls "a big, shiny department store" -- and says the experience will be "an adventure, a kind of walk through a town with art along the way." He writes, though, that building a modern art museum in the Middle East presents its own set of challenges: "I don't think we'll be allowed to display nudes, and there are all sorts of concerns about the way women are allowed to be shown. But, I think this an interesting moment in doing something to bridge the cultures of the U.S. and the Middle East with real dialogue." ("My Abu Dhabi Adventure," Guardian Arts Blog)
-- O.J. Simpson, reportedly airing the theory that he may be the father of the late Anna Nicole Smith's baby. (Page Six)
Last week's top TV:
1. "American Idol," Tuesday (Fox), 30.65 million viewers
2. "American Idol," Wednesday (Fox), 29.78 million viewers
3. "American Idol," Thursday (Fox), 27.39 million viewers
4. "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" Tuesday (Fox), 26.48 million viewers
5. "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" Thursday (Fox), 23.46 million viewers
(San Jose Mercury News)
Fox launches its new (nonreality) series about marriage, "The Wedding Bells" (Fox, 9 p.m. EST), on Wednesday night, plus it's the 11th-season premiere of "South Park" (Comedy Central, 10 p.m. EST), followed by the season finale of "The Sarah Silverman Program" (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. EST).
|Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 a.m. EST)||John Walsh, Oliver Hudson|
|The View (ABC, 11 a.m. EST)||TBD|
|Ellen (Syndicated, check local listings)||Barbara Walters, Gym Class Heroes, Serena Williams (repeat)|
|Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings)||Moms who can't say no|
|Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings)||Brian Schweitzer, Martha Raddatz|
|Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST)||TBD|
|Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST)||Wynton Marsalis|
|Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST)||Michael Specter|
|David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST)||Dr. Phil McGraw, Fall Out Boy (repeat)|
|Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST)||Matt Lauer, elderly crime-fighting duo John and Margaret Ragonese, the All-American Rejects (repeat)|
|Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST)||Tenacious D, Guillermo Del Toro (repeat)|
|Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST)||Matthew Perry, Xzibit, the Rapture (repeat)|
|Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST)||Andy Garcia, Rob Corddry|
Fix contributors: Heather Havrilesky, Scott Lamb, Kerry Lauerman, David Marchese, Laura Miller, Andrew O'Hehir, Amy Reiter, Stephanie Zacharek
Fix logo by Rhonda Rubinstein