The Fix

Morning show aims to reinvent Christian radio. Sizing up Moscow's new mall. Plus: Sedaris a fibber?

Published March 15, 2007 1:58PM (EDT)

First Word

It's a boy! The rumors have proved true: Angelina Jolie has adopted another little boy, a Vietnamese 3-year-old who was abandoned by his parents as an infant. On Thursday, the actress and her 5-year-old son, Maddox, picked up the boy, Pham Quang Sang (whom Jolie plans to rename Pax Thien, combining the Latin word for "peace" and a Vietnamese word meaning "heaven"), from the orphanage he called home in Ho Chi Minh City. The child cried when he saw his future mother and brother "because for him, they are strangers," Nguyen Van Trung, the director of the Tam Binh center for orphans and abandoned children, told Agence France-Presse. But Jolie, who adopted Sang as a single parent, rather than with partner Brad Pitt, since adoption by unmarried couples is not legal in Vietnam, reportedly tried to comfort the child by repeating the Vietnamese phrase "khong sao dau," which means "no problem." Ultimately, the orphanage staff calmed the boy by promising him a "fun excursion." However, Us Weekly reports that the boy hid and cried through the subsequent adoption ceremony as well. (AFP, Us Weekly)

Better not "Better Know"? Those of you wondering why politicians agree to go on "The Colbert Report" are not alone. Democratic Caucus chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., is reportedly warning the new batch of Democratic congressmen to keep their bottoms out of Colbert's very silly "Better Know a District" hot seat. "He said don't do it ... it's a risk and it's probably safer not to do it," Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen told the Hill. Cohen nevertheless appeared on Colbert's show last week, and was gently prodded into declaring that he is not a black woman. (The Hill)

White noise ... If O.J. Simpson's shelved faux confessional, "If I Did It," ever hits the auction block, it will have at least one bidder: "We would bid," Herbert Becker, CEO of the Montreal company that owns Lifetime Books, tells the New York Daily News. "It's an interesting fiction novel ... I think people will buy it, read it and enjoy it." (N.Y. Daily News) ... Chris Rock thinks the country may be ready for Barack Obama (right) to move into the Oval Office, telling Life magazine, "It's ready for a retarded president, why wouldn't it be ready for an African American president?" (Life via Drudge) ... CBS News has announced that when Simon Cowell appears on "60 Minutes" this Sunday, he will have "the tables turned on him when a group of judges critique him doing something he is passionate about." (CBS News) ... The New Republic reports that some of the things in David Sedaris' allegedly nonfiction writing about his life have actually been exaggerated for effect. (TNR via Gawker) ... Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael Lohan, is out of prison and hoping for a reunion with his famous estranged daughter, telling Newsday, "I'm going to wait, and when she sees I'm walking the walk, I'm hopeful she'll open the door." (Associated Press) ... A source tells Star magazine that Britney Spears has been drinking "24 cans of Coca-Cola a day" in rehab and that she has a "seriously bad attitude problem" -- making demands, throwing tantrums and refusing to pick up after herself. (Star via the Scoop) ... According to the U.K. Sun, Spears may be leaving rehab two days earlier than planned in order to attend Kevin Federline's 29th birthday bash. (Entertainmentwise) ... And speaking of Britney and Lindsay, "Vagina Monologues" author Eve Ensler has shared these thoughts: "I think [Britney's] in really big trouble, and Lindsay seems to be in trouble. I think that all women need to surround these women and support them and help them to find a way through." (Rush and Molloy)


God-talk radio: "Johnny Stone in the Morning," a morning radio show on the evangelical-owned station Star 99.1 in New Jersey, may sound like another typical example of the format -- sidekicks cracking jokes, liberal use of sound effects -- but "Opie and Anthony" it is not. As the Washington Post writes, it's the only Christian morning show in the country, and it is attempting to change the face of Christian radio. "Entertainment used to be a bad word in Christian radio," John Frost, a consultant for religious broadcasters, tells the paper. "It was designed to appeal not merely to a small percent of people, but a small percent of Christians." Host Stone -- who used to do secular radio and says he had to do "a lot of things that I really don't want to relive" -- says the high jinks of the morning show format fit in with the goals of evangelism. "We look at it as a way of reaching people," says Stone. "Yeah, of course we want to make money, we want to be good stewards of this facility. But we also want to be real people who let other people know about the joys of Jesus Christ." ("A Signal From Above," Washington Post)

Buzz Index

; )

"Conspiracy Theorists Insist Barbaro Still Alive" (The Onion)


Mall of Moscow: Norman Foster's design for what New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff calls a "glorified mall" for Russia's capital is "the largest single development in the historic core of Moscow since the Soviet empire collapsed 15 years ago." Unfortunately, Ouroussoff writes, "this is clearly not one of his better designs." The new complex is on the banks of the Moscow River with a view of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. In the setting, "its strange blend of classical and modern elements edges dangerously close to parody," says Ouroussoff, and "its bland slickness is disturbing." Still, "Mr. Foster's megacomplex could be viewed as a step toward enlightenment, a tentative, somewhat mediocre design that at least tackles the challenge of serious planning in one of the world's most intriguing cities. What we're still waiting for is the architecture." ("The Malling of Moscow: Imperial in Size and a View of the Kremlin," N.Y. Times)

"I've got no idea. It's like getting blood from a stone. It could take a year, I've got no idea. It's not down to me, it's all down to me hubby."

-- Heather Mills on how long it will take for her divorce from Paul McCartney to be finalized. (Yahoo News)


Billboard album charts:
1. "Greatest Hits," Notorious B.I.G. (99,000 copies)
2. "Neon Bible," Arcade Fire (92,000 copies)
3. "Daughtry," Daughtry (82,000 copies)
4. "Konvicted," Akon (76,000)
5. "Greatest Hits," Gary Allan (70,000)

Turn On

Thursday night brings the premiere of Andy Richter's "Andy Barker, P.I." (NBC, 9:30 p.m. EDT), the debut of "Raines" (NBC, 10 p.m. EDT), starring Jeff Goldblum as a detective who has the victims of homicides he's investigating as his imaginary friends, and HBO's "Addiction" (9 p.m. EDT), a documentary that is actually a series of short films tackling the perils of addiction and several new methods that are being used to treat it (read Heather Havrilesky's review).


Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 a.m. EDT) Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, guest co-host Damien Fahey
The View (ABC, 11 a.m. EDT) Julian McMahon, Rich Little
Ellen (Syndicated, check local listings) Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Augustana
Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings) Moms around the world
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings) TBA
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT) Mitt Romney
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT) Sandra Bullock
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Ayaan Hirsi Ali
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Peyton Manning, Dan Horn and Orson, the Cat Empire (repeat)
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT) Dan Rather, chef Andrew Zimmern, Lloyd
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT) Rick Schroder, Amber Valletta, Omarion
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Harland Williams, Neil deGrasse Tyson
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, "Miami Ink's" Ami James, Patrick Keane (repeat)


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