The Fix

The Grazergate flap. The Jolie-Pitts donate. Plus: Bernhard blames bad parenting for Britney.

Published March 23, 2007 1:30PM (EDT)

First Word

Britney gets an injunction: It all sounds very dramatic: Britney Spears' lawyers won an "emergency injunction" against publications in the U.K. in London's High Court yesterday, barring them from any further discussion of her time in rehab. Spears' lawyers also are asking the court to demand that the various (and maddeningly unnamed) media outlets give up the source who has been feeding them info on Britney, so that, according to her legal spokesman, "action can be taken against him/her." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Stern brings his suit: It's been almost a year since the Page Six scandal involving reporter Jared Paul Stern and supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle first broke -- Stern was alleged to have offered Burkle good coverage in the gossip column in exchange for a $220,000 payoff. Charges were never filed against Stern, but now he's bringing a lawsuit against Burkle, Post rival the New York Daily News, and (why not?) Bill and Hillary Clinton. Stern claims in the suit that the meeting he had in March 2006 with Burkle -- where the billionaire secretly taped their conversation -- was a setup, and that the Clintons, who are close to Burkle, were involved in the conspiracy: "This was intended as a prelude to Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency in 2008 as Page Six and the New York Post, owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch, were perceived as significant impediments to a successful candidacy and the Clintons' return to the White House." Stern is seeking unspecified damages for defamations and emotional distress. (International Herald Tribune, Fishbowl New York)


Welcome to Grazergate: Hollywood producer Brian Grazer was set to guest edit the Currents section in this weekend's Los Angeles Times, but on Thursday publisher David Hiller decided to pull the section at the last minute because, as it turns out, L.A. Times editorial page editor Andres Martinez is romantically involved with a woman who runs P.R. for Grazer's Imagine Entertainment. Hiller said he wanted to "avoid the appearance" of a conflict of interest because of the liaison. In the wake of the scandal, Martinez has decided to step down, writing that "David Hiller's decision to kill the Brian Grazer section this Sunday makes my continued tenure as Los Angeles Times editorial page editor untenable. The person in this job needs to have an unimpeachable integrity, and Hiller's decision amounts to a vote of no confidence in my continued leadership."

White noise . . . Two of Anna Nicole Smith's handwritten diaries sold on eBay on Thursday for over $500,000 -- the auction winner was an anonymous buyer from Germany. (TMZ) ... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, after reportedly selling pictures of their newly adopted son for at least $1.75 million, have donated $100,000 to build a medical facility in the Sudan. (Just Jared) ... An arrest warrant was issued for hip-hop diva Foxy Brown in Florida on Thursday after she skipped out on a court date -- she's charged with battery and resisting arrest for a fight she allegedly got into at a beauty salon in Fort Lauderdale last month. (E! Online) ... Iran is continuing to protest the movie "300." The country's U.N. mission issued a statement on Thursday saying the "movie's distorted fabrications about the Persians cannot be isolated from the current concerted efforts by certain Western interest circles to systematically demonize the Iranian nation." (Associated Press) ... Katie Couric and on-again, off-again boyfriend Chris Botti seem to be in an on-again phase -- the couple has been spotted out in New York recently. (Page Six)


A light "Reign": "Reign Over Me" is hardly the first mainstream film to tackle 9/11, but it is the first one starring Adam Sandler. Alongside Don Cheadle, Sandler plays a man who lost his family in the attacks, and is having a difficult time reconnecting with life. "In 'Reign Over Me,' 9/11 victimhood is for everyone," Stephanie Zacharek writes in Salon today. "You can feel the exhilaration of recovery without going to the trouble of suffering the pain that necessitates it in the first place." She says the film is "so gentle that it lacks any discernible energy; sometimes it seems there's barely enough tension in the story to keep the images from sliding off the screen." A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, says that while there are nice moments between Cheadle and Sandler, it's still "rare to see so many moments of grace followed by so many stumbles and fumbles, or to see intelligence and discretion undone so thoroughly by glibness and grossness." The New Yorker's Anthony Lane, who seems to like the film, still only calls it "a movie that might be worth your time."

Straight "Shooter": This weekend's blockbuster hopeful is "Shooter," in which Mark Wahlberg plays an ex-Marine sniper named Bob Lee Swagger. You need to know more? While writing that "the picture might be entertaining if it didn't take itself so seriously," Stephanie Zacharek also thinks that Wahlberg plays his role with "so much straight-arrow conviction that you can't help rooting for him. No matter how wobbly the movie around him gets, his aim is true." The N.Y. Times' Manohla Dargis deems "Shooter" "a thoroughly reprehensible, satisfyingly violent entertainment about men and guns and things that go boom (heads, mostly). Did I mention the exploding heads?"

Buzz Index

"It's not completely her fault that she's flipping out. Having an 8-year-old kid myself, and knowing the vulnerability of a child and being thrown into that disgusting, slimy world of Disney. I mean, I can't think of a more horrible thing to do to your child."

-- Sandra Bernhard on the responsibility Britney Spears' parents bear for the mess she's become. (ContactMusic)

Turn On

On Friday, Tara Connor passes on her crown to the next "Miss USA" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT), "Six Degrees" (ABC, 9 p.m. EDT) returns after a long break, "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS, 1:30 p.m. EDT) celebrates its 20th anniversary and Jack Black's "Acceptable TV" (VH1, 10:00 p.m. EDT) -- a show whose content is voted on by the public -- debuts. On Sunday, Discovery's fascinating nature series "Planet Earth" (8 p.m. EDT) has its premiere, while "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (NBC, 8 p.m. EDT), "Rome" (HBO, 9 p.m. EDT) and "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi, 10 p.m. EDT) all have their season finales.


Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 a.m. EDT) Liv Tyler, Poppy Montgomery, "American Idol" castoff Stephanie Edwards, guest co-host Neil Patrick Harris
The View (ABC, 11 a.m. EDT) Tim McGraw, guest co-host Joely Fisher
Ellen (Syndicated, check local listings) Mark Wahlberg, Rainn Wilson
Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings) Oprah and Gayle's Big Adventure part 5
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings) TBA
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT) Bill Cosby, Toni Braxton
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Chris Elliott, Hugh Jackman, Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (repeat)
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT) Nick Nolte, bug expert Rudd Kleinpaste, Guster
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT) Don Cheadle, Joe and Gavin Maloof, Paolo Nutini
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Liv Tyler, Gerard Butler, the Fratellis
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Jennifer Hudson, Gerard Butler, Anberlin (repeat)


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