The Fix

Would-be Hitler assassin's family doesn't want Cruise cast. Burger King goes "cage-free." Plus: Reese and Jake an item?

Published March 28, 2007 1:30PM (EDT)

First Word

Cruise worries von Stauffenberg clan: The family of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the Nazi colonel behind the failed suitcase-bomb plot to assassinate Hitler, is concerned about the news that Tom Cruise may be playing von Stauffenberg for an upcoming film. "I have nothing against him [Cruise] and can even separate his work from his beliefs in Scientology," von Stauffenberg's grandson, Count Caspar Schenk, told reporters. "But I and other family members are worried that the picture will be financed by the sect and be used to get across its propaganda." (Guardian)

Plot to steal Pax? Angelina Jolie reportedly escaped a plot to kidnap her newly adopted son upon his arrival in the United States. As Life & Style Weekly reports this week, a gang of kidnappers hatched a "credible and serious" plan to abduct Pax Thien and then ransom him for $100 million. A source close to Jolie describes the plotters as "highly skilled operatives with little regard for human life." Jolie and Brad Pitt have also reportedly installed a $500,000 security system in their New Orleans home, which is just a block away from a police station. (TMZ, Life & Style Weekly via TMZ)

Bad news in magazine land: Following Tuesday's news that Life magazine has ceased publication, two more titles are facing cuts. Meredith publishing has announced that it's closing down Child magazine after the June/July issue, though it will continue to have an online presence. Meredith has cut 30 staffers from the magazine and 30 more across other parts of the company. Meanwhile, American Media has laid off 20 people, 12 of them from Star magazine, including executive editor Jon Auerbach. (Media Week, Keith Kelly)


It's a wonderful town: "For Wal-Mart, New York City has long loomed as a tantalizing prize -- the home of more than eight million consumers and attention-grabbing stores for just about every major retailer in the country," writes the New York Times today, which makes Wal-Mart chief executive H. Lee Scott Jr.'s admission yesterday that Wal-Mart is giving up on trying to gain a foothold in New York City all the more surprising. "I don't care if we are ever here," he told reporters on Tuesday. "I don't think it's worth the effort." In the face of union resistance and community pressure, Wal-Mart says it's forgoing any further plans to open an outlet in Manhattan, and says it has faced similar troubles in major cities from Los Angeles to Cleveland. ("Wal-Mart Chief Writes Off New York," New York Times)

Pun Times: Elsewhere, the Times can't stop with the wordplay. Here's the lead from "From Rabbi, the Eclectic Shul Aid Matzo Test," a story about a rabbi in upstate New York who makes matzo in a retrofitted school bus: "Call it a bus mitzvah. Or maybe 'bus matzo.'" (New York Times)

Burger King going toward cage-free: After talks with the Humane Society and PETA, Burger King has announced it's going to start buying free-range eggs and pork. Its goal over the next few months, writes the New York Times, is "for 2 percent of its eggs to be 'cage free,' and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates." Animal welfare advocates are calling the move a "historic advance" -- Burger King is the world's second-largest hamburger chain. In addition to the move toward cage-free products, the Times says that Burger King will "favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or 'controlled-atmospheric stunning,' rather than electric shocks to knock birds unconscious before slaughter." ("Burger King Shifts Policy on Animals," New York Times)

White noise ... Sources tell Perez Hilton that Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are a couple. "They are 100 percent dating," says an insider. "Reese and Jake are being smart about things and keeping their relationship very discrete [sic] and out of the public eye." (Perez Hilton) ... Wynonna Judd (right) has filed for divorce from her estranged husband, D.R. Roach, after he was arrested last week on three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a minor. (People) ... Fresh on the heels of rumors he's dating Lindsay Lohan, a source close to British crooner James Blunt tells People that he and model Petra Nemcova split up in February after dating for just over a year. (People) ... Allegra Versace, 20, has entered a hospital in Los Angeles to get treatment for anorexia -- her mother, Donatella, released a statement saying that Allegra has been struggling with the "very serious disease for many years," but is now "receiving the best medical care possible to help overcome this illness and is responding well." (Page Six) ... O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" could be a step closer to hitting the shelves -- a court in Sacramento, Calif., has set April 17 as the date for an auction of the book's rights. (Reuters) ... Jack Valenti, 85, the former Motion Picture Association of America president who devised the movie ratings system, was hospitalized following a stroke; he is recovering at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore. (Associated Press)

Buzz Index

"I do think one should have clean feet. I clip, clip, clip and buff, buff, buff and really, anyone can spend time with some pumice stone. Maintenance is terribly important."

-- Manolo Blahnik on foot upkeep. (Page Six)


Last week's top TV:
1. "American Idol," Tuesday (Fox), 29.96 million viewers
2. "American Idol," Wednesday (Fox), 27.08 million viewers
3. "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC), 22.3 million viewers
4. "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC), 21.8 million viewers
5. "C.S.I.: Miami" (CBS), 17.66 million viewers

(Nielsen ratings from Zap2It)

Turn On

This Wednesday, Gwen Stefani performs for the castoffs of "American Idol" (Fox, 9 p.m. EDT), "What Not to Wear" (BBC America, 10 p.m. EDT) kicks off a new season, the gross-out farce "Halfway Home" (Comedy Central, 10 p.m. EDT) follows up last week's debut, and gerontologist Ken Dychtwald asks what makes baby boomers so special on "Boomer Century" (PBS, check local listings).


Regis and Kelly (ABC, 9 a.m. EDT) Will Ferrell, David James Elliott (repeat)
The View (ABC, 11 a.m. EDT) Patricia Arquette, Macy Gray, guest co-host Jacque Reid
Ellen (Syndicated, check local listings) Oprah Winfrey (repeat)
Oprah (Syndicated, check local listings) Sidney Poitier
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings) Exploring the science of living longer
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT) TBA
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT) Gov. Bill Richardson
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Jabari Asim
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT) Al Franken, Isla Fisher
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT) Hilary Swank, Carlos Mencia, Gym Class Heroes
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT) Heather Mills, Laura Prepon, Young Buck
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Will Ferrell, Tom Everett Scott, Death Cab for Cutie (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT) Sigourney Weaver, Kal Penn, the Ataris


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