Thursday, November 30, 2006

FHM magazine features Basketball Man

Frozen Pictures' documentary feature, Basketball Man, is the subject of a feature article in the latest issue of FHM magazine.

The two-page feature spread, entitled The Laws of The Ball, includes a link to the Basketball Man website.

With sexy model Vida Guerra gracing the cover, a 2007 pin-up calendar thrown in for good measure, and everything sealed in metallic wrap, the Jan/Feb 2007 magazine is sure to be a top-seller. And it will spread the word about the superstar-studded documentary film about the inventor of basketball and his legacy, due out on DVD February 20th.

Light a candle for World AIDS Day

Now that we have your attention...

Our man Ross The Boss from the House of Ross sends us this email:

December 1st is World AIDS Day.

Do a good deed and light this candle ...

Bristol-Myers is donating a dollar to the National AIDS Fund every time someone goes to their website and moves the match to the candle and lights it.

Please forward this to your friends to spread.

It takes one second to raise a dollar.

Add this web address to yours... or if you're in the media talk it up... let's get this party started right...and it wont cost you a thing except a sec of your time.

Good idea, Ross! Click here. It's fun and will force those corporate fat cats to put up more dough for a good cause.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Boy band beats Oasis to #1

Westlife, the Irish boy band, have beaten Oasis and The Beatles in a battle to the top of the British album chart.

What had shaped up as a battle between the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band and rock's greatest group was expected to be the greatest chart fight since Oasis took on Blur for chart domination in the heyday of Britpop. But Westlife's Love Album took #1. The Oasis best-of, Stop The Clocks, took second place. The Beatles' troublesome Love came in at three, and a U2 compilation was Number 4.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Breakfast with The Beatles is back

Chris Carter and America's longest-running Sunday morning Beatles show roared back to the radio this morning and into the afternoon, as its found a new home just in time for us to have some car radio listening to get the Love soundtrack out of our heads.

Breakfast with The Beatles is back as expected after being kicked off the crappy talk radio station that replaced Howard Stern with the moronic lummox Adam Carolla and his nails-on-a-blackboard team of dullards back in August. As we reported exclusively back then, talks were immediately underway to get the show onto the classic rock station KLOS (95.5), where it made its way today and where it's a better fit than the paid informercials and cynical sexist "talk" shows that fill the rest of that talk station schedule.

Carter was surely enthused as he came back with a six-hour marathon that included Love (which, sorry, doesn't stand alone apart from the Las Vegas dance spectacle) but also an ass-kicking set that included Rock and Roll Music-Bad Boy-Long Tall Sally/Roll Over Beethoven set and right about now a salute to george, who died five years ago this Wednesday in the house of Love-- a Beverly Hills mansion once owned by Courtney Love. The show moves into its new regular slot-- 9 a.m. to noon-- next Sunday.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tat's all, folks: Tiger's wife sues over nudes

Tiger Woods’s wife is suing the Dublin newspaper that included “fake" nude photos of her in an article that claimed she appears on Internet porn sites.

The photos were real; it’s just that the woman wasn’t Tiger’s Nordic wife Elin Nordgren, but Playboy cyber model Kimberly Hiott. Elin was first misidentified as Kim back in 2003 before she and the golf genius were married-- and we at Tabloid Baby set the record straight in March, after a new nude attack flared through the Internet on the eve of Tiger’s interview with Ed Bradley.

Alert readers identified Kim by the tattoo on the small of her back.

That’s why The Dubliner newspaper’s mistake is so bizarre. We exposed this back in March. Any Internet search would have brought up our recent investigation and its findings. The article appeared on the ever of golf’s Ryder Cup, describing the wives and girlfriends of the US team as “Ryder Cup filth” and claiming that Elin “can be found in a variety of sweaty poses on porn sites across the web.” (Tiger was forced to respond in a news conference and admit that the former nanny had modeled for “bikini photos”). The article is now being described as “satiric.” Which can be the only excuse.

But the “psych” worked. Team USA lost to Europe.

Kim is on the left. Elin on the right.

See more of the real NSFW Kim here and here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Sugar Tit Thanksgiving

Mel Gibson, for all his faults, has brought us new friends for the holidays. Over the summer, in wake of his drunken Jew-bashing rantings, we investigated the source of his comment to a female sheriff’s sergeant: "What do you think you're looking at, Sugar Tits?" With the help of Our Man Elli in Israel, we found there was a character named Sugar Tit in the 1976 Gordon Parks film, Leadbelly. We also found out about a sleepy burg called Sugar Tit, South Carolina.

All these months later, we’ve received a note from one of its residents. Happy Thanksgiving!

I grew up in Sugar Tit, and my parents still live there. Not much goes on there, but I remember when some developer first proposed a trailer park, some of our neighbors got together and proposed a pig farm right next door. They eventually built the trailer park, and we chickened out on the pig farm.

Oh, you might be interested in getting a sparkling Sugar Tit vanity plate for your car. I'm not sure if they still make them, but my mom had one, and it embarrassed the heck out of me and my sisters.

The sign in the picture has been replaced numerous times, but not for a while. People kept stealing it.


USC Columbia
First year MLS student

We don't love Love

We're old. We ran out this week and got that Beatles CD, Love, the “mash-up” soundtrack to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show that’s been hailed as a sonic and artistic breakthrough by the Beatles’ producer George Martin and his son.

Sorry. Love may be a wild sonic experience when you're in a surround-sound seat in a Vegas showroom, but on an Ipod or a stereo, but it's old, just an old man’s version of a “mash-up,” not far removed from the Beatles "Stars-on 45” medley of 25 years ago, in which snippets of Beatles songs play out along the same rhythm track, and not much more than a souvenir that contains a number of nipped and tucked dance numbers linked by short sonic bits to give time for applause and set changes. What’s missing is the dancer shaped like an egg with a bowler hat and umbrella. The music, chopped up, remixed and overlapped, often crashes into noise that must work when there are people flying around and bending into pretzel shapes. But on its own, it’s more frustrating than listenable (though the driving version of the Beatles' best song, I Am the Walrus, is almost as good as Oasis’ version).

The main problem: They let 80-year-old George Martin get his hands on it. And George Martin's the one responsible for the 20 minute mono-only CDs of the early LPs, and he’s the one behind the “outfakes’ of the Anthology series-- songs created from multiple takes rather than letting us hear the original alternative versions of songs we’d already collected on bootleg LPs. The Twotles and EMI should have done the right thing and handed the project over to Danger Mouse or some kid with imagination.

And instead of dumping stunt packages like anniversary White Albums and CD versions of the inferior early American elpees, they ought to clean up and remaster the original albums for state-of-the-art modern CDs before they get too deep into Elvis RCA country.

Meanwhile, the brothers of Oasis, with a greatest hits album that’s fighting ‘Love’ for the Number 1 spot on the UK charts, have slagged off their idols’ new product.

Said Noel Gallagher: "It's a pointless exercise. I turned it off after five songs."

Liam added: "It's rubbish! If you haven't got The Beatles by now you're not going to get it. I'm all Beatled-up!"

As of this morning… Oasis is neck-and-neck on the charts… with the Irish boy band, Westlife.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving with a Jew-hater

Hey! What better way to cap off a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family than to invite an anti-Semitic drunk into your living room to show off his pictures of blood-soaked violence? That's what the good folks at ABC (brought to us by Disney!) are doing with a one-hour, prime time special dedicated to promoting Apocalypto, Mel Gibson's controversial new movie about the fall of Mayan civilization (we think tequila may have been involved).

While it's not exactly the Here's How I Killed My Wife special that Fox yanked from the Sweeps schedule earlier this week, the informercial does raise its ethical questions-- not because of Mel's drunken anti-Semitic screed-- but because it's hosted by newsgal Diane Sawyer, who this week is rumoured to be in line to host either ABC's flagship evening news show or Nightline. ABC says the show will also focus on Mel's "personal struggles and his primal fears" (that last one is easy: Jews--is there room at the table for Borat?).

And did you catch Mel on TV last night? With all of Disney's show-offy public handwringing about how hard it will be to sell Mel's movie-- which features no stars or English language dialogue-- with an anti-Semitic nutjob as the frontman-- it was a bit of shock last night to see an ad for Apocalypto during NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent, narrated by Mel Gibson, and featuring Mel on camera!

Did Disney's focus groups tell them something about the American audience they're not letting on? Or did they just check the latest box office for Borat?

(Mel Gibson will also star in a similar prime-time special on Univision a week later, and the night before Apocalypto hits theatres, he's scheduled as a guest on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, where he'll apologize again, look sheepish, act crazy, make us all feel better-- and carry on.)

You can find more Tabloid Baby TV pieces--featuring Michael Richards and more-- over at TVgasm.com.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't worry. OJ will probably get a "kill fee."

Rupert Murdoch is a very forgiving boss. He'll shrug off scandal, he'll laugh off journalistic crimes, he'll ignore breaches in social etiquette, he considers "ethics" to be a county outside London. But he does not like to be embarrassed in front of his friends or become a mockery to his colleagues on that Mister Burnsian level of power. The fact that he gave up all those ratings and all those book sales from Judith Regan’s brainstorm, If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened, means that Regan embarrassed him greatly with her scheme to have OJ Simpson “confess” to the hypothetical murders of his children’s mother and her friend.

Her disturbed and disturbingly cynical screed in the Drudge Report in which the very savvy woman claimed she was on the side of Righteousness and that she did not pay OJ Simpson for the work was a laughable embarrassment. Yesterday’s supposition that she may indeed have concocted the book with her ex-lover the “ghostwriter” may also have led to Murdoch’s decision to yank the book and proposed two-night television specials.

We’re sure OJ Simpson will get his “kill fee.”

But it doesn’t look good for Judith Regan. And on the surface, it doesn’t look good for Geraldo Rivera, whose syndicated television show is hanging on by a thread or two, and whose loud preenings of outrage about the book and infomercial certainly embarrassed his Boss and exposed a hypocrisy that only begins with his (Geraldo's) blood-spattered exploitation of the Simpson murders and survivors that kept him in mustache wax for so long (Bill O'Reilly, the other loudmouth within Fox, is a success; as in his perverted sex scandal, he gets a pass).

We say on the surface, because Fox insiders tell us to look at Roger Ailes-- who leads the Fox News and Fox TV stations, but does not run the Fox Network (not yet)-- as the one stirring up rebellion within the organization (some of his Fox stations were refusing to air the murder specials) and may have given Geraldo and O'Reilly the greenlight to attack their own corporation and very understanding Boss.

Those Courtney Love photos we've heard about

Courtney Love's been getting a lot of publicity for more than a week now with word she'd stripped down on a whim for a British magazine no one's heard of. Unfortunately, the story's been disconnected from the fact that she's promoting a new bum-bearing crack house coffee table book of "diaries" that stylistically looks a lot like the one compiled from her late husband and meal ticket's scratchings in his journal.

Now we've found the photos here.

They're NSFW, and the latest documentation of her march toward orphaning little (now teenage) Frances Bean, but they at least demonstrate the extreme physical ups-and-downs of the gal that place her, at 42, in the celeb spectrum somewhere between Madonna and Kirstie Alley.

The raw material is here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is OJ book a hoax cooked up by Regan & ex-lover?

Is the OJ Simpson If I Did It book a scam cooked up by Judith Regan and her lover from her days in the tabloid business?

Back in March, we passed on The New York Post's Page Six report that writer Pablo Fenjves had written a parody of James Frey's phony memoir, A Million Little Pieces, for Judith Regan’s imprint at Harper Collins.

We’d mentioned that Fenjves was Nicole Simpson’s neighbor in 1994, and that he testified on February 7, 1995, in the OJ Simpson murder trial about hearing the “plaintive wail” of Nicole’s Akita dog… Kato… the night Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered. We also passed on the tidbit that Fenjves and Regan were thisclose (romantically involved) back in the Seventies, when they worked together at The National Enquirer.

Now it turns out that Fenjves has been unmasked as OJ Simpson’s “ghostwriter” for the book in which Simpson allegedly “confesses" to the murders— “if” he had committed them. It's obvious Simpson didn't sit at a word processor and write his own book. But Fenjves is obviously a very creative sort and has written many thriller TV movie scripts in the past decade.

Could If I Did It have been another “parody” or fiction written by Fenjves, bought up by his close friend and ex-lover Judith Regan?

Consider the "evidence":

Fenjves has made a living by using his imagination and, he was involved in the Simpson case, he works in the imaginary crime genre, he conjures crime scenes for the small screen, and he writes in other people's voices. This sounds to be right up his alley. And Regan, the genius packager, could have seen this as a way to right all those wrongs she wrote about in her own very disturbing Drudge Report "confession."

What came first? OJ Simpson or the manuscript?

If I Did It could turn out to be a literary hoax right up there with James Frey's work.

Friday, November 17, 2006

'Extra' says it's got Heather Mills to say nothing

Hey, we've got to hand it to the tabloid television successors at the syndicated infotainment show, Extra. They got an interview with Heather Mills, the woman who's in the middle of the dirtiest divorce of this new century, a woman who accuses Paul McCartney of abuse, who's slandered the beloved aging Beatle, who allegedly bugged and recorded him-- and who allegedly has a past as a high-end prostitute.

We can't wait to hear-- oh, wait, this just in: Extra says the one-legged hardballer will discuss her vegan diet, her health-and-fitness regime — but not the divorce.

We don't believe it. This is a woman who spills her guts to Larry King! What's Extra doing, taking lessons from Entertainment Tonight? After its apparent complicity in the Patrick McDermott disappearance cover-up on behalf of Olivia-Newton John, the show would surely risk whatever credibility it has by agreeing to ignore the most obvious elephant in the room. No, the tabloid television vets behind the scenes would never allow themselves to be so blatantly inconsequential.

The interview airs next week. We'll see.

Flashback: Eva's the raunchiest Bond Girl yet

Casino Royale opens to good reviews today, and as we predicted back in February, Daniel Craig has brought new life, good chops and some of the original rough edges to the role of 007. It also brings to mind the uproar back in Feburary, when we reminded everyone that Eva Green, who portrays Vesper Lynd, would be the Bond Girl with the nudiest cinematic past (most Bond Girls hit the girlie mags after the movie).

Her role actually led someone to start up a Tabloid Baby tribute/parody site, to which we lead you as we head out to the cinema.

Why She Did It? Judith Regan takes us for fools

Celebrity editor and media personality Judith Regan gave the following statement to The Drudge Report to explain why she's publishing OJ Simpson's "If I Did It" book, and why she's starring with Simpson in a two-night Fox infomercial for the book. Her defense is a romance novel diatribe in which she actually claims, "I didn’t pay him. I contracted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children." Read Tabloid Baby to understand how that old ploy works-- and, for the record, here's the amazing statement that, according to one of our readers, is "the kind of rant that would make me very nervous as an owner!" Now, until we find out whether OJ describes how he got his pal Kardashian to dump the bag-- enjoy:
Full Statement From Publisher Judith Regan:
Why I Did It

I was sitting with Howard Stern, of all people, when the verdict came down. Many of you probably remember where you were at that moment. It was a moment I, like so many others, was dreading.

Because, I knew that the “killer,” as Kim Goldman so eloquently named him, would be acquitted. I knew it from my own experience.

Conviction is what I wanted—and not just in the legal sense.

I wanted it because I had once been that young woman who loved with all of her heart and believed in the goodness of man, the trusting girl who fell for the guy, who believed in the beauty of romance, the power of love, the joy of family and the miracle of motherhood. Like Nicole Brown, I believed with all my heart . . . and then got punched in the face.


On that day, October 3, 1995, as Howard and I sat watching the television with a conference room full of people, I said, “He’ll be acquitted.” I said it out loud, and the others in the room looked at me in a way I’d been looked at before: “Oh, God. She’s crazy.”

But I knew it, because I’d been there. I’d listened to the lies (“She hit herself’), watched him charm the police (“Sir, I don’t know why she’s saying this”), endured the ignorance of one cop who looked at me with disdain and said “You must like it,” and couldn’t understand why they didn’t believe me.

That man was tall, dark, and handsome. A great athlete. A brilliant mind. He was even a doctor, with an M.D. after his name and a degree that came with an oath: “First, do no harm.” He was one of the brightest men I’d ever met. And he could charm anyone. He charmed me. We had a child. And then he knocked me out, with a blow to my head, and sent me to the hospital.

He manipulated, lied, and broke my heart.

And then, after all but leaving me for dead in a hospital, where his daughter died a few days later, he left for good.

So as I watched this new scene play itself out, I knew that this man—the killer, as Kim calls him—would be acquitted. I’d seen it before: The men in court, dressed in their designer suits, blaming the women they attacked. I’d seen, firsthand, the “criminal injustice system,” as I called it in my twenties—the system that let him go one night after assaulting me so he could come right back and do it again.

I had my witnesses, thank God, or no one would have believed me. But he, too, had his fans, the ones who could not believe that a man that smart, that good-looking, and that successful “would ever do anything like that.”

“Why,” one of my own family members said in one of the many denials I’d heard, “would someone like him do that to you? Why? And if he did, you must have done something to provoke him.” I’d heard it all.

So when the verdict came down, I watched the faces in the room freeze in shock.

“I told you,” I said, and left the room.

The Trial of the Century, as it was called, was not just a moment for me, it was a seminal moment in American history. The curtain was pulled back on the issues of domestic violence, police corruption, and racism—on both sides. And when the final curtain fell, it fell on the killer, as he is known, providing a protective shield from the consequences of his grievous act.

Conviction, or lack thereof, is the story of the trial of the century. Where was that sense of conviction when racist police officers abused and battered their victims? Where was that sense of conviction when Nicole Brown was being battered and people stood by and let him get away with it time and time again? Where was it when NBC kept him on the air when they were sure to know? Where was it when the Browns lost custody of the children, who were sent to be raised by the narcissist who killed their mother? Where was it when Fred Goldman, who lost his beautiful son, won a civil judgment, but was unable to collect it?

Where was it?

I never lost my desire for his conviction. And if Marcia Clark couldn’t do it. I sure wanted to try.

In the past few days, since the announcement of the forthcoming book and televised interview If I Did It, it has been strange watching the media spin the story. They have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him. A death, I might add, not called for when Katie Couric interviewed him; not called for when Barbara Walters had an exclusive with the Menendez brothers, who killed their parents in cold blood, nor when she conducted her celebrated interviews with dictator Fidel Castro or Muammar al-Gaddafi; not called for when 60 Minutes interviewed Timothy McVeigh who murdered hundreds in Oklahoma City, not called for when the U.S. government released tapes of Osama bin Laden; not called for when Geraldo Rivera interviewed his dozens of murderers, miscreants, and deviants.

Nor should it be.

“To publish” does not mean “to endorse”; it means “to make public.” If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf in print to this day. They are likely to say that there is a historical value in publishing such material, so that the public can read, and judge for themselves, the thoughts and attempted defenses of an indefensible man. There is historical value in such work; there is value for law enforcement, for students of psychology, for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath.

But that is not why I did it. That is not why I wanted to face the killer. That is not why I wanted to publish his story.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess. I didn’t know what would happen. But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act.

For me, it was personal.

My son is now twenty-five years old, my daughter fifteen. I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts. That the consequences of pain and suffering will ultimately be brought upon its perpetrators. And I wanted, as so many victims do, to hear him say “I did it and I am sorry.”

I didn’t know if he would. But I wanted to try. I wanted his confession.

I wanted the acknowledgment, not for me but for my son, so I could turn to him and say, “I’m sorry that he was not a father to you. I’m sorry that he could not teach you what it means to be a man. And, finally, he’s sorry too.”

When I was a girl, a young, innocent, and believing girl, my parents made me go to confession. I didn’t always like to go. It was spooky going into the dark confessional booths, where I was told to say my penance for my sins and to recite The Act of Contrition.

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. And I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I offend thee my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

To confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

I was seven or eight years old at the time, and I had no idea what I was saying or doing. But I do now.

I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives.


I have not spent a lifetime in the study of deception detection, but ex-CIA specialist Phil Houston has. “When killers confess,” he told me, “the way they often do it is by creating a hypothetical”—and then they spill their guts.

For many of them, it is the only way to tell the truth.

I thought of this and the many books I’ve published over the years on the subject of sociopaths and their lack of empathy (Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits). And I thought about The Mind & The Brain, a book about the power of the human will. Is such behavior the result of a genetic flaw? Could it be caused by a head injury? Is it the result of a weak and damaged human will? Was this man suffering from a sort of emotional autism?

How did it happen? How could a man with so much have so little? And how could we, as a society, continue to protect him and others from the consequences of his wrong-doing?

I don’t know why he did it—why he did the book, and sat for the interview. Was it his own disturbed need for attention? Did he have remorse? Was he ready to come clean and make amends and do his penance? I wouldn’t know until I sat down in a chair across from him.

What I do know is I didn’t pay him. I contracted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children. That much I could live with.

What I wanted was closure, not money.

I had never met him and never spoken with him until the day I interviewed him. And I was ready. Fifty-three years prepared me for this conversation.

The men who lied and cheated and beat me—they were all there in the room. And the people who denied it, they were there too. And though it might sound a little strange, Nicole and Ron were in my heart. And for them I wanted him to confess his sins, to do penance and to amend his life. Amen.

We live in a world right now where hatred and vengeance is a way of life.

And as the killer sat before me I was not filled with vengeance or hatred. I thought of the man who had beaten me so many years ago, who left me in a hospital, the man who broke my child’s heart. And I listened carefully.

And what went through my mind surprised me. Mental illness. Thought process disorder. No empathy. Malignant narcissism.

In the years to come, I hope we will have a better understanding of this type of disordered personality. Are certain people simply born that way? If not, what goes wrong that changes them? How does this happen? And why?

I took on this project with the belief that his life must be a constant torture, a kind of hell. And I wondered: In his confession, however he chose to state it, would he do his penance, could he amend his life? Could he say he was sorry?

I thought back to Christmas Eve, a few years ago. The man who broke my heart was now standing on my doorstep, shaking. He talked about my son, now in his twenties, and told me I’d done a great job raising him alone.

During the years that I was running from work to homework, from my office to every school play, assembly, swim meet or parent conference, he never showed up for a single thing. While I was raising my son, he had lived a high life and then lost everything. He ended up in prison, lost his medical license, lost many of his worldly possessions, lost his looks and now, most of the women who once cared had gone, too.

And he was losing his mind. His hand was shaking violently. He had Parkinson’s disease, and was a broken man. He looked at me. The girl he’d left in the gutter had raised two children alone, had built a successful company, and was now a happy woman.

“I guess you think I’m getting my comeuppance,” he said.

And strangely I didn’t. That a man who had so much could throw it all away and fall so low—it gave me no pleasure.

I was sad for my son, sad for the women he’d left behind, sad for the mother and siblings he’d disappointed and I was sad for him that he’d missed the opportunity to live a beautiful life.

When I sat face to face with the killer, I wanted him to confess, to release us all from the wound of the conviction that was lost on that fall day in October of 1995.

For the girl who was left in the gutter, I wanted to make it right.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Our Man Elli finally reports on his US tour

Our Man Elli in Israel, our correspondent in the Mideast, came to America last month from his home base in Jerusalem, where he's been working as a TV news reporter for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. The native New Yorker and subject of the documentary project Sex & Baseball was on a lecture tour in which he explained the reality of the war-torn region and took questions on any number of subjects. He checked in with his adventures in New York City, but had to shame him into sending a report on his travels. But he did, and here it is:

back home in jerusalem, and a still thinking how grand a trip it was to america. the highlight was driving 822 miles in 48 hours through oklahoma, kansas and missouri. there's nothing like a road trip through the heartland to reconnect with your american roots. and what could be more american than visiting spavinaw, oklahoma, the birthplace of mickey mantle. talk about a small town - i couldn't call anyone from my cell phone because there was no reception.

what struck me most while listening to the radio - and i was flipping stations throughout all 48 hours - was the vitriolic tone to the political commercials. it is clear that the democratic/republican divide is way beyond partisan politics. it was all negative slant, how the other guy - or gal - sucks, and forget about why i'm good and what i stand for. to tell you the truth, it reminds me a lot of israeli politics, and that's a bad thing.

oh yes, i also got to take in a baseball playoff game, game 1 nlcs, mets-cards. as usual, just stood outside shea and begged for a ticket, scored one an hour before game time, paid $25 for a $75 seat. forget about america, it's moments like that that bring me back to my new york roots.

thanks to all the loyal readers of tabloidbaby for keeping those cards and letters coming. not.

Thanks, Elli! Great punctuation. Not. Now, what did you think of Borat?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

OJ Simpson to star in killer Sweeps specials for Fox

When the tabloids reported a couple of weeks ago that OJ Simpson was getting $3.5 million to put his name to a book called If I Did it, Here's How It Happened, many people shrugged off the notion as being too distasteful and outrageous to be anything more than fabrication from the National Enquirer. Ah, but they forgot about Rupert Murdoch! As it turns out, the book, in which Simpson supposedly describes how he might have gone about slaughtering his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman back in 1994-- if he did it-- is the real thing, and it's about to turn into a two-night sweeps special on Fox.

One night for each victim?

The book is being published by none other than Murdoch's editrix Judith Regan, who has her own division within his Harper Collins publishing company, and has starred in more than one failed Fox television project.

The lady described as the "angriest woman in the media" will now costar with OJ Simpson in what should be the most notorious of Fox programming gambit since they had Maury Povich host Michael Jackson's rebuttal to the damning ABC Primetime exposé-- or at least since they aired When Good Pets Go Bad 2.

Fox calls the interview "wide-ranging and no-holds-barred." But don't count on that. The special airs Monday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m, then skips Tuesday night-- why pre-empt an episode of House when it could be as gruesome as Simpson's "imagination"?-- and concludes Wednesday, Nov. 29. Then, the book goes on sale November 30. How's that for synergy?

Regan left New York City and set up shop in Los Angeles last year. It was shortly after she received national attention when former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik withdrew his acceptance as Secretary of Homeland Security, amid allegations that he and Regan had carried on an extramarital affair in a lower Manhattan apartment reserved for World Trade Center cleanup workers. Simpson, as you may know, was acquitted of the murders (read a definitive account of the crime and trial in Tabloid Baby), but later was found "responsible" for both in a civil suit. He was ordered to pay $33.5 million in restitution to the families of the victims. The families say he hasn't paid anyone a penny. Don't expect them to get any of the money Fox forks over.


We read the news today and were shocked to see the following item from Norm Clarke in the Las Vegas Review Journal, just days after the Fab Forever's debut at the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip:

Singer performs despite bad news

The show business credo "the show must go on" was put to a severe test Sunday.

Shortly before going on stage at the Riviera, Peter George, the John Lennon impersonator in the "Fab Forever" tribute group, received some devastating news.

His wife, Maureen, and 8-year-old son, Peter Jr., were badly injured in an automobile accident in Los Angeles.

George's wife suffered a broken jaw, and his son had compound fractures of his legs and internal bleeding.

His colleagues pleaded with George not to go on stage, but he chose to go ahead with the performance.

"He almost lost it when he sang 'Help,' said "Fab Forever" producer Jerry Peluso. "'Help' is his son's favorite song, and he had to choke back the tears during a heart-wrenching performance."

"The show will remain dark until further notice," Peluso said. "All of our prayers go out to Peter and his family."

And so do ours...

LATE UPDATE: We spoke to Jerry Peluso this evening:

“They're both okay," he told us.

"It happened in Long Beach. An eighty year-old woman pulled out in front of them. and they collided. It was her fault. She was eighty. She shouldn't be driving. The cars were totalled.

"His wife got out of the hospital yesterday. She has a broken jaw. She'll be okay. His son has multiple fractures in his leg. The CAT scans and they came up negative. He was released from the hospital early this morning.

"And the old lady's all right, too.

“Imagine being in a different city and getting that news right before you’re about to go onstage. Peter found out like ten minutes before he was to go on for the second show, and he broke down. We all said, ‘Go, we’ll cancel the show,’ and he said, ‘No, I’m going to go on. It was amazing. He turned it off. As soon as he came offstage, he collapsed. He was in tears. We all were.”

Stay tuned here for the latest on the Fab Forever's return to Las Vegas.

CBS News' Katiecast cuts free speech

CBS News is cutting back on free speech. The “Free Speech” segment on the Katie Couric Evening News—oh, sorry it’s written cool-- ”freeSpeech”-- that was destined to be killed from the beginning is being cut from five to one or two nights a week. What? There aren’t enough Americans who’d like to slide into the chair and read a prepared “This I Believe” speeches off the TelePrompter? Or did they figure the Rush Limbaughs and Howard Deans of the world already get enough free airtime? The sheltered news elite on New York City’s Upper West Side actually thought they were being innovative when they decided to give over 90 seconds of the very tight news broadcast to “talking heads.” Real innovative. Real closed circuit high school TV. Real 1966. Actually, it’s real Wilton-North Report, circa 1987, and we warned Les Moonves to dump it thirty-three days before the show premiered.

Next suggestion: Dump that segment with the reporter who looks like kd lang. His cutesey phony Americana segments (with an "Assignment America" tag, after all these years still treating 99.9.% of the nation as flyover country, though that could be because they're getting their marching orders from Hollywood now) make us long for the days when Charles Kuralt was chortling wholesomely while waddling off to bang his Idaho mistress in the back of his Winnebego (they all waited til he was dead to let that cat out of the bag. And CBS leakers: Please be nice to Ed Bradley. He used to date Maureen O’Boyle back when she hosted A Current Affair. Ed knew the real deal when it came to the intersection and overlap of "mainstream" and tabloid). If this new guy’s got a double life, the second one surely involves heels. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there really aren’t enough cappuccino yuppies out there in Neilsenland to give a hoot about “voting” on which story Mr. Botoxed Dimpleface will report on the following week (aah, but there are more than enough yuppies on the Upper West Side and in Georgetown, and that’s still the problem at CBS). Whether its another local news feature on a cat hotel or the fifty millionth story on a sheriff who makes inmates dress in pink, why don’t you make your choice, guy? Most everyone else is off watching real news.

(Hey-- wait a minute! Did we just write a freeSpeech script? Rome, we're ready to read it off the TelePrompter. You can reach us here! Cool!)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Exclusive! Hegyes is back with the "anti-O.C."

If you were on the Venice Walk in sunny Los Angeles over the weekend, you might have noticed a Seventies TV idol and group of young actors shooting scenes for a new youth-oriented dramedy series that, against all odds, is not headed to television.

At least not as a first stop.

Robert Hegyes, the veteran actor, writer and director still best known for his role as Juan Epstein in Welcome Back, Kotter, was running and gunning along the beach with a new group of sweathogs—only the gang of teenage misfits is whole lot tougher to deal with in The Venice Walk.

Hegyes created and wrote the Internet series with Craig Titley (who’s also writing 20 Thousand Leagues Under The Sea for Sam Raimi), centering on a probation officer and his caseload of Venetian juvenile delinquents.

“It’s the anti O.C.,” says Hegyes, sporting a head of ringlets that only accentuates his resemblance to Harpo Marx, “The flipside. Real lives of kids in Venice.

“I play Paco Santana, a probation officer who was a gang cop out of Brooklyn. He got shot up, retired, and his old girlfriend in L.A. said, 'Why don’t you come out here, and instead of capping kids, try and fix em?' It’s not going very well. It’s going very badly. These kids are more fucked up than I am.

"The Venice Walk plays out in webisodes. This is a story told in five minute segments. It adds up to an entire season. But this is for the Internet. There’s no room on TV for this.”

No room on TV for one of its classic stars? Hegyes, a favorite not only for Kotter but series like Cagney & Lacey and Diagnosis Murder, says this in all seriousness. The actor who still gets bags of fan mail each week tells us he’s simply looking to the future and the direction his industry is headed. Besides, his work as a real-life college professor and teacher at Venice High School keeps him in touch with what kids are into—and looking for.

And just as Kotter launched John Travolta, Walk promises more than a few break-out stars among a young and pretty ensemble that plays the grafitti artists, shoplifters, druggies, hackers, killer and and skateboard pimps that make Venice Beach so entertaining, including Brea Grant, Preston Davis, Garrett Plotkin, Max Van Ville, Priscilla Medina, Brittny Lane Stewart, Richie Blair and as Paco’s love interest, Tiffany Moretti (above left).

And of course, more than couple of old buddies will make appearances. Lawrence Hilton Jacobs from Kotter and Cagney & Lacey’s Martin Kove will be showing up, playing grown-ups (executive producers from Frozen Pictures include another Seventies TV idol: Brett Hudson of the Hudson Brothers.)

Look for The Venice Walk to make a splash Thursday night at LA’s Vanguard club, as castmembers will be on the red carpet—and on the runway— at the 15th Anniversary party for the Beastie Boys-connected hip hop and skater clothing line, X-Large.

Great theme for Olivia Newton-John's concert tour

The Buffalo News
Concert Review

Olivia Newton-John
Friday night in Avalon Ballroom
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
Another performance at 8:30 tonight

By Benjamin Siegel

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - Let's get it out of the way here.

It was on the mind of every concertgoer at Friday night's first of two appearances by Olivia Newton-John - the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend in 2005, which has plagued her in the press as well as in the hearts of fans worldwide.

The Australian-born singer who made a name for herself stateside with the hits "I Honestly Love You" and "Xanadu," and of course that little film starring John Travolta - "Grease" - has filled her career with soaring ballads of broken hearts, prevailing resurgence and heartfelt sisterhood. Whether it was her successful triumph over breast cancer or this latest tragedy, it has been an uphill climb - something audiences can surely relate to in their own ways.

Such was the feeling during the show, onstage and off. Subdued and almost too calm to be performing a sold-out show in the Niagara Fallsview Casino and resort, Newton-John was everything we know her to be on film: Petite and withheld, yet sexy and ferocious when unleashed.

Her latest release, "Grace and Gratitude," a disc full of the kind of inspirational melodies that have connected her to so many fans in every corner of the planet, opened and closed the show… It is full of fun, offers memories from eras past - and very pertinently - the life today of this very human star.

(This Tabloidbaby.com newsite debuted online on November 11, 2005. Our second post read: "Scandal: No justice for Patrick McDermott: Here we have a Hollywood mystery with more twists and clues than a Michael Connelly novel, all in plain sight. So why did the media drop the story?")

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Waiting for Our Man Elli

Our Man Elli In Israel checks in to turn us on to a recent article in the New York Daily News:

Former Red Sox and Expos general manager Dan Duquette believes the land of Abraham and David will become the next nation to embrace the game of Ruth and Aaron. Duquette is the personnel director for the Israel Baseball League, a new professional circuit scheduled to begin play in June…Six IBL teams will play 48-game schedules, and Duquette says Israeli baseball will be comparable to Single-A ball… U.S. and Israeli companies have signed on as sponsors and Israeli municipal governments are providing stadiums… "There's a lot of interest in fielding an Israeli team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic," Duquette says. "Jewish players from Major League Baseball-- guys like Shawn Green and Mike Lieberthal-- could play, just like Mike Piazza played for Italy in this year's WBC."

And then Our Man Elli forwards us a clip from the TV series Weeds in which a father gives his son masturbation tips.

What Our Man Elli in Israel has not done is give us a report on his recent lecture tour through the American Heartland. We heard from Elli as he stood by the wreckage of the small plane that smashed into a building in Manhattan (piloted by a NY Yankee. Small world), but nothing since.

So. Our Man Elli. Your public awaits. Fill us in.

Monday, November 06, 2006

From The Rich List to The Shit List

Pity poor Éamonn Holmes. The Irishman is a fixture on British television, a colorful presenter and personality who's moved from the news desk to quiz shows, and been splashed across the tabloids because of tiffs with his morning show co-host and romantic traumas as he waits for his marriage to be annulled. He's so popular in the UK, he's even published his autobiography and been parodied in Viz, because he's fat and likes to eat pies (that's a British thing).

This season was supposed to be Éamonn Holmes' greatest yet. He would host his own game show in the USA. In prime time! Éamonn Holmes had dreams of becoming the next Anne Robinson. Or Gordon Elliott. Or Johnny Vaughan. Or... Ross King!

His show, The Rich List, debuted on Fox last Wednesday night. Alas, it did a miserable 1.5 rating, pulling in only about four million viewers and dropping three share points from its lead-in, Bones. Now Fox has yanked The Rich List after only one airing. They'll fill Wednesday's spot with another original episode of The O.C. (and there's speculation that Fox wants to return The O.C. to Wednesdays and give Thursdays over to comedy).

But don't feel too bad for Éamonn. He's got a BBC game show slated for later this year-- with the apt title, Reversal of Fortune. But it's not quite Simon Cowell, is it? Meanwhile, those guys at Fox should have known better when they broke the golden rule of imitation with this take-off on Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100. The Rich List needed a washed-up Baby Boomer TV comedian as host!

Jimmie J.J. Walker! Opportunity knocks!

(Read more of what passes for Tabloid Baby's TV wit over at Tvgasm.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Battle of the Beatles bands on the Las Vegas Strip

The Brian Epstein of tribute groups is back in a big way, as Jerry Peluso's Beatles experience, Fab Forever, premieres tomorrow night on the Las Vegas Strip with what will surely be the #1 Beatles tribute show in all of Vegas, and most likely-- the world.

Fab Forever, managed and produced by impresario and Paul McCartney lookalike Peluso, will be playing two shows a night at the historic Riviera Hotel & Casino at 5 and 7 pm, Saturdays through Wednesdays. The multimedia event is a magical history tour that puts the creators’ faces on the music that’s packing the house at the Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles Love show at the Mirage.

“We picked the early spots because we’re not out to compete with Elton, Prince or the Love show,” says Peluso. “This gives fans a chance to get even more entertainment, seeing the greatest Beatles tribute and then going out to see a big expensive show.”

And while the Fab Forever are not competing with the Celine Dions, they are going head-to-head with another Beatles-inspired act—one that gives Peluso extra incentive to have his lads succeed.

“No, no, I wish them only the best,” Peluso says, taking the high road when recalling the low blow he received when his original Beatles imitator creation, the Fab Four, tossed him like an Old Brown Shoe after he coached and booked them to international acclaim and a regular gig at the Las Vegas Hilton (home to Elvis, Wayne and Engelbert). The Fab musicians complained of the workload and they bowed out. And after dumping their faithful and tireless manager, they actually booked a tribute to themselves in the Food Court at the Aladdin. Yes, the Fab Four that’s playing in the Aladdin, isn’t even a Beatles tribute, but a tribute to a tribute band!

After the group pulled the Pete Best on him, Peluso went around the world and found the greatest individual Beatles performers and formed the new group. With a new drummer on board, the group is ready to head to the toppermost of the poppermost on the Vegas Strip. And with the rock 'n’ roll crowd claiming Vegas as its new home—and Prince setting up residency not far away at the Rio, expect celebs to be dropping in-- and sitting in.

So check it out:

Fab Forever
Riviera Hotel & Casino
5 pm & 7 pm

We're also told an Atlantic City announcement is near. Stay tuned...