Friday, March 30, 2007


Well, another week over for American Idol, and that Sanjaya Malakar guy is not only still around, but he's threatening to be a real factor in the competition.

What happened this week is that Sanjaya showed up on the show with some crazy hairstyle and his usual bad singing, and not only did he survive the week but he escaped the "bottom three". So he's not only safe, but comfortably safe. Instead, some other guy got the boot. Who cares who he was, apparently he was pretty bad anyway. But Sanjaya is still around.

Meanwhile Sanjayamania keeps on building. It's pretty remarkable. People are jamming the phones trying to get him to win. This guy is literally building a path to victory with the support of various wide-ranging, fanatical constituencies, some of them pretty dubious.

(1) Apparently a lot of teenyboppers and teenage girls love this guy and think he's cute, and are ringing the phones for him. Most notable was the presence of one teary-eyed girl in the audience who was shown crying during one of Sanjaya's performances--- a sure sign that certain people take this American Idol contest way too seriously.

(2) The South Asian community is said to be behind Sanjaya bigtime and are ringing the phones so that one of their own can win--- no matter how bad a singer he really is.

(3) The Votefortheworst people have not only backed Sanjaya bigtime, but they are getting tons of free press from all the people reporting on their efforts to get Sanjaya elected. Moreover, the interest in the site is so widespread now that the site is getting hit with web attacks. In fact the site actually crashed this week because it couldn't deal with all the denial-of-service attacks it was getting--- from people who actually thought Sanjaya was a good singer and who were offended by his endorsement from the Votefortheworst website!!! Sanjaya's own supporters were the ones trying to get this site pulled! The site is now back up again.

(4) Not to be outdone, Howard Stern has endorsed Sanjaya and is a big fan and supporter of the Votefortheworst website. Whoever they vote for, he'll vote for, and so will the legions of no-lives type people who are fans of his show.

(5) The impact of bloggers-- both supporters and enemies. For instance, me. All of us are making him the most talked-about Idol contestant in history and are helping him win.

This is pretty remarkable. You have these fools out there who are genuinely taken by this guy and want him to win, and then you have everyone who is hoping this guy will win so that he will destroy the credibility of American Idol as a singing competition. As someone who understands politics and elections I can tell you this is a strategy designed to win an election. You need to mobilize the various constituencies and get out the vote in order to get elected and Sanjaya is doing that. He's got a cross-section of people from different racial, ethnic and cultural groups backing him, for widely differing reasons. But that's how you win an election.

And the Idol-haters are a powerful constituency to have in your corner. Face it, lots of people hate this show and hate the widespread impact this show is having on the music industry and popular culture in general. This show seems to promote the most bland talent imaginable while the edgy and the truly gifted musicians routinely get the shaft. TV fans hate the fact that so many shows are being cancelled or moved to make room for this crud. I am sure there are a lot of music industry-type people, these musical artists and so on, who want to see this show cut down a notch. So all these folks who hate this show and its power are trying to get it sabotaged by voting for Sanjaya.

To them, Sanjaya is the anti-establishment contestant. A vote for him is a vote against Idol and everyone associated with that show. Never underestimate the power of protest voters bent on sending a message to the powers that be. Sanjaya's Idol campaign has turned into a steamroller.

It's working to the point where Sanjaya is now being targeted by people who badly want him to be defeated. There's apparently some website up called, urging people to get Sanjaya ousted. And there is some Myspace blogger who has gone on a hunger strike and who vowed to continue the hunger strike until Sanjaya was kicked off, and after she failed to update her blog a wild rumor spread that she might have died. But the blogger announced she's still alive.

When you have people targeting you with negative campaigning against you, and hunger strikes in protest of you, that's a sure sign you're a threat. And keep in mind, this is a singing competition we are talking about.
Maybe these anti-Sanjaya efforts will eventually bear fruit. But not for a while. Sanjaya's voters are too strong and too many right now. In fact, the anti-Sanjaya crowd may need to call on Oprah and her fanatics for help before long if they have any hope of seeing Sanjaya defeated. This American Idol show has set itself up for a big fall, folks; friends and enemies of this shows are latching on to this utterly mediocre singer with a passion that I haven't seen before, ever. It's insane, what's going on.

The credibility of the Idol show is taking a deserved hit. I watched Showbiz Tonight on CNN last night and they ran a piece that basically asserted that American Idol was turning into a "big joke". Actually, this show has been a joke since it premiered. Simon's crankiness, Paula's loopiness, Ryan Seacrest's unknown sexual preferences, the various controversies surrounding these contestants who were disqualified, the weird success of William Hung---- all this nonsense has been the target of ridicule from TV fans and comedians from coast to coast.

I read the Jump the Shark website and an overwhelming number of people there say American Idol "jumped the shark" on Day One. That's pretty bad-- usually they point to something else that happened in the second or third season, like someone leaving the cast or something else happening. But you know, if Sanjaya does win, whatever credibility this show has left as an arbitrer of talent will be up in smoke. Which is why I wouldn't put it past the producers to try and pull some stunt where people get to "vote against the worst singer" one of these weeks, in order to get Sanjaya booted from the show. It might backfire, though, if they tried to do something like that. What might happen instead is that Votefortheworst might target a genuinely good singer and give that person the boot. Of course, fans who love Sanjaya will get upset and claim he was made to be a fall guy, and will quit watching the show. They might even protest the show and scream about Sanjaya's unfair treatment. It will be yet another Idol controversy. American Idol just cannot win.

Maybe they'll disqualify him, or get rid of the audience vote and have the judges alone select who moves on one of these weeks. If they can't find some way to get rid of Sanjaya, this show risks going right off the cliff. A Sanjaya victory on American Idol would be the greatest jump the shark moment of all time--- ahead of Fonzie himself.

Maybe during one of these next Idol shows the cameras will pan around and show Ted McGinley in the studio audience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Ahem. Here's a lesson for all of you folks in newsrooms everywhere. When it is a close election, as it was in Quebec last night, you have to exercise restraint in making election calls in close races. At the very least, you should contact people in the local riding's campaign offices and find out directly from them what polls are still outstanding. Heck, it's not unusual for entire sections of one riding to vote one way and for the other parts to vote another way. If you actually get off your rear ends to find out that simple information, then you might decide to hold off until all the results come flooding in before you call a riding, and mistakes like what happened last night wouldn't happen.

Congratulations to the CBC/Radio-Canada, then, for calling Premier Jean Charest defeated in the riding of Sherbrooke, only to see him roar back to win his own seat. This isn't the first time these CBC fools have gotten it wrong, either. I remember when they declared Conservative bigwig John Reynolds defeated in 2004 in the federal election (and of course he eventually won). Or how about the time when the CBC jumped the gun and projected an NDP Majority Government in Saskatchewan in 1999, only to have to recant and say they only got a minority. Nice going covering the election, you guys at the CBC. You all deserve a one-way trip to Florida.

Monday, March 26, 2007


The coroner has ruled that Anna Nicole Smith died because of an accidental drug overdose. She was on nine prescription drug medications and that the suicide was an accident. They say chloral hydrate was a major factor in the death--- it's used to treat insomnia and alcohol withdrawal.

I wonder what these wild legal analysts are going to say about this news. I'm sure a few people will want to string the coroner up now, and want to accuse people of murder. This should also make a good episode of Crossing Jordan--- I'm sure they'll want to get on the Anna Nicole bandwagon, too.

Anyway, a big part of this sad story appears to be over. Only thing left to determine is who the father of Dannielynn is.

In other important news the Quebec election is tonight and you can tune in to the live coverage at my political blog, Cairns on Politics. What? You thought this was my political blog? Well, it used to be--- a long time ago.


Six year deal to keep the Ron and Don Show. Plus the CBC is going to get into Internet coverage some more and stream games over the Web.

TSN is still negotiating their deal, but they stand to pick up some more playoff games. CBC's coverage will be much the same as its been before, though, so hockey fans won't notice too much of a difference.

Needless to say, this is great news for all Canadian hockey fans. I'm sure there will be some complainers out there, but they don't watch this show every week like the rest of us fans do. The thumbs-up picture says it all.
UPDATE: Stephen Brunt also gives this a thumb's up.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I thought today I would link you to the CTV website for the legal show The Verdict, which also features a link to the broadband stream of the show. They are continuing to go hog wild over the Conrad Black case, which of course is going on right now in the United States, and they flew in their people to Chicago to cover it.

In fact that CTV show is about the only place where people are able to get anywhere approaching full coverage of this trial, what with American-style legal analysts and the full commentary----- because nobody on American TV seems to want to cover it!!! It's funny that Canadian legal TV shows are very interested in a trial happening in Chicago, while these Americans seem more interested in a case that involves the Bahamas!! Nancy and Greta and the rest of them are still going nuts covering Anna Nicole Smith, and even ET is still at it. When is ET going to stop? This Anna Nicole story is still the top story on that freaking show, long past the point of anyone still caring.

Speaking of which, the Anna Nicole case is slated to take a new turn tomorrow when it is expected that they will reveal the autopsy results. Big rumor out there now is that they're going to find there was a big overdose of sleeping pills or something like that. Wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, tomorrow is going to be a big tabloid news day if that happens, that's for sure. We can't get away from Anna Nicole Smith--- even in death. And how long has she been dead now, several weeks?!

Also, a reminder to myself again to check out the coverage of the Quebec election tomorrow night on TV, it's expected to be a horserace.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Well, it is going to be a big night for fans of gorgeous babes, as the Miss USA pageant goes tonight. That's right, Tara Conner (pictured) has actually made it through her reign in one piece without having to resign or be fired. Thank God.

Ratings are expected to be big, thanks to the recent controversies surrounding Conner's comical, alcohol-filled reign as Miss USA. There's only one tiny problem. Some total idiot scheduled tonight's NBC telecast (9PM EST, 8 Central) opposite NCAA Sweet 16 March Madness basketball on the other channel, CBS.

I know lots of feminists and other boring people criticize beauty contests and call them sexist, but in fact very few guys will be tuning in to this babe-fest tonight. Instead of staring at bikini-clad girls, males across America will instead be riveted to the screens watching tall black guys (and white guys, too) shoot hoops on TV. I know this sounds strange, but it's the truth. Basketball is going to kill Miss USA in the ratings tonight. Way to go, Donald Trump. Someone ought to be fired for that.

Get a load of the judges tonight. Jerry Springer will be a judge tonight! Also, Lakers owner Jerry Buss will be there judging, which is strange-- wouldn't he rather be at home watching basketball on TV?! Giuliana de Pandi of the E! channel will be judging and no doubt her man Bill Rancic put in a good word for her and got some strings pulled to get her on the panel. Nancy O'Dell will be there hosting again.

Me, I'll probably watch the pageant and see who wins, in between hoops. I've watched the Miss USA pageant forever so I might as well. And check out the special coverage over at Global, the site that follows these beauty pageants worldwide.

I've been thinking about who my favorite Miss USA of all time is. Of course I've found Tara Conner to be lovable and amusing and a great source of material for my blog. And she is a great source of embarrassment for Donald Trump so I like her for that reason as well. But there are a couple of women who are probably ahead of her as my personal favorites and I can't decide which one I like better.

There's Shanna Moakler, who went on to become an actress and got booted off Dancing With the Stars, and these days is in the tabloids again because of her romance with Travis Barker. Apparently those two are back together again. And she's really popular with guys thanks to her Playmate of the Month stint, which was bound to get the Miss USA officials all wound in a knot. Anyway, I like Shanna a lot, she comes across as being absolutely a fun individual. But she didn't actually win the pageant. She was first-runner-up and only took the Miss USA crown when the winner went on to win Miss Universe. Shanna really lucked out.


So I guess of the actual Miss USAs who actually won the pageant in the first place, that leaves Laura Elena Harring (pictured) as my favorite. She was the first of a string of five winners in a row from the state of Texas in the eighties, and you can watch a clip of her winning the title here. And here is her website.

I just think she's a hottie, and about as close as this pageant has ever come to having a real princess as its winner. Just feast your eyes on this lady: she just has "star" written all over her. I notice she's had quite the love life, dating these rich guys (Paul Allen, etc.). And she once married a German count and became a countess. She actually became a countess.

Man, she is really out of my league. Out of most guys' leagues, actually. Too bad. In fact, I think Laura might be married now. Rats.

Also, I really like the fact that Laura's had some really scandalous movie roles that are bound to embarrass these uptight pageant officials. Not only did she go on to a good career in these horror movies as a famous naked movie actress ---well, famously naked in Mulholland Dr. anyway--- but she got to share some delicious on-screen kisses in that film with two terrific blonde actresses, Naomi Watts (pictured) and Melissa George.

Lucky girl.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Well, you boring folks out there in middle America have done it again, you got another strong singer (so people say) booted from American Idol. Not that I know whether she was a good singer or not, because I quit watching the show after the road tour of the cities ended. But that's what happened again.

Stephanie Edwards got the boot. Meanwhile, that notoriously bad Sanjaya Malakar is still around, haunting the competition. Simon Cowell has said before that he will quit Idol if Sanjaya happens to win. Well, get ready to quit and go back to England, Simon, because he's messing this competition right up.

It's obvious who's to blame for him still being here: it's these votefortheworst people, trying to once again sabotage and bring down the Idol show. And so far they are doing a nice job. They are backing Sanjaya 100% and trying to ring those phones and get him over the top, and so far they are winning. If Sanjaya actually wins this freaking show believe you me, that will be the ultimate Jump the Shark moment of all time.

It really is more interesting following the news stories about Idol than it is to actually watch that train wreck of a show--- and thanks to the voting results, it is definitely a train wreck.


You know, when I said there would be no Canadian election I spoke too soon. Seems to me after reading these various blogs and news sources that the Stephen Harper government could end up falling on some other manufactured matter other than the budget--- for example, on the Kyoto issue. The opposition parties and the government do not see eye to eye on the Clean Air Act at all and this could trigger an election soon.

And all I will say is I don't want to see an election. I am fed up with elections and totally fed up with politics. Besides, I think there's a lot of risk for the Tories in having an election. They're the government already, darnet! Why risk a good thing with an election!? Yet these political fools in Ottawa want to foist another campaign on the Canadian public and all the nonsense that goes with it--- the negative ads, all of it. And people don't want it, they are fed up.

Anyway, watch the manueverings on Parliament Hill, we could still be in for yet another election.


I saw a few links to this article elsewhere, but here are some more options for you lawyers seeking to get the heck out. Here's an article in the New York Post that profiles people who left the rat race to do what they want to do. Among them is this profile of a former corporate attorney at Torys who quit her $200,000 a year gig to begin a jewellry business. That profile was written by Melissa Lafsky of Opinionistas fame, and of course she's very interested in stories about people who have the courage to chuck that horrible career path to do other things-- because she did it herself. She chucked being a lawyer to become a writer.

I thought I would link to it, because lots of people have linked to this story and it might be interesting to you law folks who are fed up and want to switch careers. I guess there are options available; problem is that a lot of them seem to involve starting your own business and that sort of thing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I have nothing to say about the Anna Nicole Smith case which is winding its way through the courts in the Bahamas right now. I notice ET is still going hog wild covering this case, too, even though it seems like everyone is fed up with it. I notice Access Hollywood isn't giving this story nearly the coverage that ET is. Maybe Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell want nothing to do with it. Who cares. Anyway, here is the latest.

A court today ordered a paternity test to determine who the father is for Anna Nicole's baby. Finally! Common sense finally prevails. Larry Birkhead seemed quite pleased with this turn of events.

But he's going forward in his legal battles without Debra Opri--- the two have parted ways. Dunno why. I don't think she's licensed in the Bahamas so maybe that has something to do with it. Who knows.

And they are still trying to figure out what went on with Anna Nicole in the last few days leading up to her death. The autopsy results have been delayed and delayed, and now all the usual people on TV are screaming that there might have been foul play, that it could have been murder! So now everyone is being accused of murder.

A lot of fingers are getting pointed at these people who supplied Anna Nicole with all her drugs. These supermarket tabloids are screaming about the level of drugs Anna Nicole had in her system, claiming it's something like ten times what was originally reported! So now everyone is going crazy while we wait for something definitive to come from the chief medical inspector or whatever the guy's title is. All I gotta say is do the autopsy and get it right, and get it done so we don't have to listen to these foolish commentators ranting and raving on TV about this case! I don't want to hear these people making their libelous and slanderous accusations all the time.

There is supposed to be a big inquest into Daniel Smith, too. That should be good for a lot of coverage.

And here's a funny story about one of these judges involved in one of these Anna Nicole cases. Turns out he was into marijuana. Anyway, he's in trouble.

This just keeps on getting stranger and stranger. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 19, 2007


And the freak show factor is back again as well, with the speculation about whether Heather Mills' phony leg will hold on during her dance routines. That is bound to be a big ratings grab.

I guess they needed to do something to top Jerry Springer's appearance on the show last year. Springer is going to be replacing Regis Philbin on America's Got Talent--- Regis is out of commission due to his recent heart surgery.

And a reminder (to myself, mainly) that the Miss USA pageant is on Friday on NBC, so that's bound to be good for a few laughs.


Well, Jim Flaherty presented the Conservative budget today and loaded it with spending to please the Bloc Quebecois. And it worked, because it looks as if the Bloc will support the budget and spare all Canadians an election.

I think this budget has more to do with this wild Quebec election going on. I'm convinced we'll see a minority government if things continue to go the way they are going.

Here are the details of the budget.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Well, I have found an interesting article on the Web, from Peter Bart at Variety, about movie critics.

Specifically, the article goes on about how out of touch these film critics are when it comes to these popular, hit movies. For instance, he talks about how so many movies have been big hits lately. Bart cites the big business for 300, raking in 70 million dollars in its opening weekend even though the "critical consensus" (his words) was that it was a dud. He goes on to mention how Ghost Rider, Wild Hogs, Norbit and Night at the Museum were all hits that were panned by critics.

In fact, this has been going on for a long time. Last summer it seemed every movie at the theater was getting the thumbs-down, whether it was Da Vinci Code or The Break-Up, or Miami Vice or these other flicks. I could go on and on. Yet the box office was through the roof.

Anyway Bart says that the success of 300 and other movies "underscores yet again the disconnect between the cinematic appetites of critics vs. those of the popcorn crowd." He asks, "if the established media want to stay relevant, should their critics make a passing attempt to tune in to pop culture?"

First of all, Peter Bart should get it right. 300 was not a dud with the critics-- not all of them, anyway. Rotten Tomatoes rates 300 at 61%, which is considered "Fresh". People like Lisa Schwarzbaum and Richard Roeper were giving this movie positive reviews, so it's not as if the entire mainstream media hated this freaking movie! In fact, this movie had plenty of supporters out there, so there really wasn't as great a disconnect as he would have you believe. There was no negative "consensus". The only "consensus" I can see is that everyone thought 300 was a big gorefest, but that was it.

Maybe Bart is thinking only about the New York Times and these eastern newspapers. Now, that crowd is DEFINITELY a bunch of uptights and sourpusses as far as I'm concerned. He mentions A.O. Scott in particular who was quoted as calling 300 "as violent as 'Apocalypto' and twice as stupid." I have more to say about these elitist eastern critics later, but suffice it to say that these folks were outnumbered.

Second, Bart mentioned that the public made hits out of a lot of movies that got trashed by the critics. He seemed to suggest that people actually liked these movies. In fact, it wasn't just the film critics that hated these hit movies. EVERYONE hated them --- including the customers. I've heard so much vitriol about Wild Hogs from ordinary people and non-film critics that it is a joke. Norbit was so awful that it's legendary by now--- it was so bad that it cost Eddie Murphy an Oscar, for a different movie! Just because people went to these movies doesn't mean they were any good. In fact, I think people are starved for entertainment! So many of the movies being dumped into the theaters around this time of year are just so awful, but these studios want to save their best stuff for summer and the fall. So people see some trailer for some flick, or some ad for it on TV, and if the movie looks anywhere near half-decent they will go see it, cross their fingers, and hope that these critics are wrong! They want to see popcorn movies, that's all it means.

Still, so many movies have done such good business in the last few months. That's a ton of people going to the cinemas, hoping the critics are wrong. I think the larger question being posed here is: why are people ignoring the film critics in such big numbers? Why are people making hits out of critically-panned pieces of junk?

I think this is where the "disconnect" that Peter Bart talks about becomes relevant. My main beef is with the newspaper writers. I happen to think there are A LOT OF CRITICS at these major newspapers who have an elitist, cynical approach to the movies. You definitely see a snobbery eminating from these writers, particularly these Eastern ones. They get excited when these high-brow "art" movies and Oscar contenders come out. But if it's a popcorn movie of any kind, those folks definitely sharpen their fangs. If it's a flick that has a lot of special effects in it, or a lot of violence, you can tell these folks aren't that interested. And comedy? Forget it. You get the impression some of these folks would have panned Caddyshack given the chance. You get the idea.

I remember a lot of these film critics at these papers in Toronto were trashing King Kong when it came out a couple of years ago, and of course I loved that movie and it ended up getting great reviews from most people. There were people out there who trashed Snakes on a Plane, and even Wedding Crashers, and of course I liked those movies, too. It drives me nuts and it destroys the credibility most of these movie critics have if they trash genuinely good movies that are popular with ordinary folks out there.

It gets to the point where you are so fed up seeing these critics praise these boring art-house movies, while trashing and berating these fun action movies and other populist entertainment, that ordinary people start tuning out! People come to think that these critics don't care about the kind of movies they want to see--- so why should anyone trust them to know what they are talking about? Why bother listening to them if all they will do is trash every movie Ben Stiller is in, or every movie that the Wayans Brothers and Chris Rock are in. And what about Adam Sandler? Has Adam Sandler ever been in a big-time movie that received positive reviews? Anywhere? I know Roger Ebert has hated just about every movie Sandler has ever been in; in fact he even wrote an article about it one time.

Now, not all critics are uptight-elitist individuals. There are a lot of fairly populist movie critics out there-- like those guys on that TV show out of Chicago. And the online critics tend to be much more clued in to pop culture and all that, too. But man, there are a lot of newspaper critics who need to spend more time at the concession stands at the cinemas!! They definitely need to drink more soda pop and eat more jumbo-sized popcorn, because they don't know how to have a good time at the movies.

So yeah, Peter Bart has a valid point to make when he says these film critics are out to lunch when it comes to pop culture. Too many of them just don't get it. I think they definitely lack credibility with a large segment of the movie-going public. If these critics don't care about the movie genres people like the most, why should we ever rely on their opinions about which movies are good or bad? Good question.

The bigger question, though, is what to do about it?

Frankly, I don't think the answer is for these film critics to go around saying what great masterpieces these mainstream pieces of junk are at the theaters all the time! Just because a movie gets a lot of customers doesn't mean it's any good. All it means is that a lot of people got conned out of their money.

Film critics can't just go around saying this rubbish is brilliant! They need to have standards, you know. They have to keep their credibility without looking like a bunch of sour, out-of-touch snobs who hate all popcorn movies.

I think what critics need to do is be a little bit more populist when it comes to the movies out there. If the movie is a good popcorn movie, then say it's a good popcorn movie!! If it's a good buddy action movie, say it's a good buddy action movie!! It wouldn't hurt to give a positive review to lowbrow entertainment or a flick loaded with senseless violence occasionally, if the movie was first-rate. And it wouldn't hurt to actually eat some candy bars at the theater and try to have a good time, occasionally! If critics do that, they'll have more credibility with the general public.

And then when they do rip apart a movie like Norbit, people will actually listen.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


The NCAA Tournament is on--- hence my non-appearances around here.

By the way, I dunno why they call it March Madness, because most of the games on Thursday and Friday were spine-tingling blowouts. Not too many Cinderellas, either.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Here's an article about the Law and Order series on NBC and what may be happening to the franchise. Rumor is that the "mothership" on Fridays, as well as the spinoff Law and Order: Criminal Intent, are on the bubble and that one of them could get the axe.

The problem for the original series is cost. Apparently it costs a fortune to shoot in New York and the salaries of the actors are through the roof. And its audience is getting older and older. The ratings this season have been terrible, dipping as low as 60th place on Fridays. But producer Dick Wolf doesn't want to see this show cancelled. It's his big dream to see the original Law and Order show go 21 seasons and beat Gunsmoke's record. But Gunsmoke got saved because it was shifted to a new night and rebounded. Here, Law and Order has shifted to Fridays and it is sinking. Criminal Intent is doing a little better, but that brand is the weakest of the three series.

The one thing going for these series is that the audience is upscale. Still, ratings are down.

What do I think? I think we could see Law and Order: Criminal Intent getting the boot and cast members of that series migrating to the original Law and Order show, so that Dick Wolf's dream of beating Gunsmoke can still happen. And I see the original shifting nights again, and also some more cast changes. We have rumors of Fred Thompson running for President. And maybe Sam Waterston could end up leaving- his salary is likely through the roof.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Today was jury selection day at the Conrad Black trial down in Chicago.

The folks at Toronto Life have a trial blog going. You can find it at this link. And since the Wall Street Journal Law Blog usually mentions this case here's the link to that. But I notice they are concentrating on other things, like those firings of all those U.S. prosecutors by the government.

I have a question. Why is it that the United States gets all the most interesting trials? I mean, there are certainly people who will call this Canada's trial of the century. But it isn't Canada's trial of the century at all, because the whole thing is in Chicago! But you can bet a lot of Canadians are going to be there, cheering the prosecution on and hoping Black gets his comeuppance. Anyway, there are definitely no cameras--- we are getting sketch artists showing drawings of what is happening in court.

Personally, I think Black is doomed. Rich people are on a big losing streak these days when it comes to fraud cases and the like. Look at the crowd from Enron, look at Martha Stewart, look at all those people. Although that Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn got off today. But most of these folks have had the book thrown at them. We shall see.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Some news about lawyers in TV news to pass along to you frustrated attorneys stuck reading my blog in your dull office buildings late at night:

There's a new show on CTV Newsnet coming tomorrow. It's called The Verdict and it's hosted by Paula Todd, formerly of TVO. She used to co-anchor Studio 2 with Steve Paikin. But then Studio 2 was cancelled, Steve Paikin got The Agenda all to himself, and Todd looked for another job.

Of course Todd is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and so is eminently qualified to cover legal stuff. Well, at least that's better than seeing her attempt to cover politics. Whenever she was on TVO she was repeating all the Liberals' lame talking points. She was just a big shill for the Liberals. I was heavily into politics at the time and it always drove me nuts. Anyway, it's good she's covering the legal beat now, it will keep her out of trouble.

And it's about time we had a legal show on the air in Canada. They're all the rage in the USA, and there's lots of law stuff going on in Canada--- like that grizzly Robert Pickton trial and of course, Tubby Black.

The show premieres just as the big Conrad Black trial gets under way in Chicago. And you can bet that all the Canadian networks will provide saturation coverage of that--- not to mention WGN in Chicago and these other places. Notice that "Fast Eddie" Greenspan is Black's attorney (one of them) and he hosts that movie show on Court TV on weekends. In fact I noticed he got mentioned in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

Other stuff: I found the website of Jennifer Santiago, a lawyer-turned-TV journalist who has been working in Miami for the CBS station WFOR for many years. I saw her on the CBS4 live stream, reporting the news during the hurricanes down there--- she was getting all wet from these storms. And she actually started her career as a weathercaster in Tucson, Arizona. In fact there's a rumor she may be leaving Miami. I read she could be going to LA, soon. We'll see.

She's quite an amazing individual-- her ethnic background is Jewish-Latino (which is the same as that other lawyer-journalist Geraldo), plus-- she's a vegan who is into animal rights, she's into yoga, once produced an independent feature film, travels the world... and she even did modeling. In fact, Jennifer once posed for Playboy. All I gotta say is holy s#!t! No wonder she quit law. This woman is way too interesting a person for the legal profession (and for television news for that matter)! Jennifer Santiago is definitely the Angelina Jolie of television news.

I also notice that Bob Woodruff is still on his book tour, with his wife Lee. And did I mention he has a law degree, too, from Michigan? In fact he practised for several years. Now, here is a perfect example, unfortunately, of why you should stay in law, folks. That is one fellow who probably should have stayed in the legal profession no matter how dull and boring it turned out to be. Here's his interview with Larry King.

I always find it interesting that someone with a law degree chucked a law career to pursue TV News, or blogging/writing (ie. David Lat, Melissa Lafsky, Rachel Sklar) , or screenwriting (David E. Kelley) or something cool like that. In fact I hear that Mr. Michelle Pfeiffer has a new show on. Something called Wedding Bells, about wedding planners. Maybe they want to get on the Wedding Crashers bandwagon. (I notice Teri Polo, of Meet the Fockers fame is in the cast.)

And you have former Sen. Fred Thompson, who went into acting. You know what he's thinking of doing? He's thinking of quitting Law and Order to run for President of the United States! I guess a lot of Republicans can't stand John McCain or Rudy Giuliani. Personally, I hope he doesn't run, because if he leaves it could be the end of Law and Order. In fact, this news could get this show cancelled. The ratings this season have been terrible. We'll see.

That's it for now.


Well Court TV will soon be no more, they are going to ditch their name and rebrand, and add more "action-packed reality programming" in prime time by January 2008. Or should we say, true-life shows, which is better than most of the "reality" junk out there that bears no resemblance to reality at all. I don't have much problem with true-life shows, or "real reality" as I call it. It's this fake reality wannabe-actor stuff that I really can't stomach. I don't want to see half-way fiction on my TV screens!

Apparently the gang in charge commissioned some survey that indicated that the boring people in middle America wanted this reality stuff. Well, at least they didn't do what MyNetworkTV did, which was throw on the air revamped telenovelas on the cheap. And boy, that flopped.

Anyway, Court TV prime time is going to go the "real" route. And the reason they are doing it is because their reality series in prime time are all doing so well! Daytime programming is going to be overhauled as well, but they still plan to cover trials.

They had better. I don't want to see trial coverage cut! Then again, look at most of the boring trials this channel has to cover, all these murders. Where is Court TV going to be when the sensational Conrad Black trial gets under way in Chicago? Probably out on the street like everyone else. Let's face it, Mr. O.J. Simpson and his case has ruined televised trials for all time. Now every judge in America wants to kick cameras out of the courtroom. It's only these starstruck TV judge wannabes like Judge Larry that like these things. Anyway, sounds like a lot of trial coverage at that channel will shift to broadband in late afternoons and that they will hand over the TV channel to talk shows hosted by Nancy Grace, Star Jones and the usual suspects.

Thought I'd let you know-- reality TV is still taking over the world.


I gotta say I've been tuning in to a lot of these movies lately on cable. I have turned into a big movie junkie and have been devouring the flicks shown on AMC, TCM, TBS and of course the Movie Central and Encore Avenue channels.

Of course, the reason I became such a big movie junkie in the first place was because of the NHL and its stupid, freaking lockout, the repercussions of which are still being felt. The NHL union is in total chaos and the chief Ted Saskin is in big trouble for spying on player emails. Wow, that's pretty bad.

And also, fans in the USA have really turned the sport right off. No wonder. The way I see it, in the USA there are three "seasons", if you will. There's baseball season, and then there is football season. And now, between football and baseball season is of course basketball season! So that is what is happening right now. People are tuning into college basketball and betting on the NCAAs, and nobody cares anymore about hockey. Out of sight, out of mind, that's what the NHL did to itself. And let's not even get into Chris Simon and his goon tactics.

Me, it's nights like last night and tonight, when there's really not much to tune into sporting-wise on TV, when I hit the TV looking for some movies.

The other day I tuned into the very funny Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle on TBS. A hilarious movie about these two stoners looking for munchies, with an amusing cameo by Neil Patrick Harris and some other good bits.

You know, I gotta say, for a movie set in New Jersey the place sure looked a lot like Mississauga.

And in fact, it turns out (according to Wikipedia) this movie was mostly shot in the greater Toronto area, in Mississauga, Markham, Etobicoke, Toronto, and Caledon. The actual climactic scene at the White Castle restaurant was actually shot at a Swift Burger fast food joint in Caledon! No wonder the whole movie looked like it was set in Peel Region. Incidentally, I've actually been to New Jersey and I can tell you, there's not much difference between New Jersey and greater Toronto. No difference at all, really. New Jersey is essentially one big boring suburb. The whole place looks like Hamilton, basically.

The next portion of the Harold and Kumar saga is a trip to Amsterdam. That is a sequel I'd go see.

And tonight on AMC (Canada) they showed a really campy 1966 movie called Modesty Blaise. This is why I like AMC, they show these old movies that they rescue from the vault, and you get to see them and it's as if they are brand new.

This movie was based on a old comic book character and was sort of a James Bond-ish spoof-type of movie, except the lead was female. The movie starred Monica Vitti, an Italian actress I had never heard of. Turned out that this Modesty Blaise movie was her one big shot at stardom in Hollywood, because it was released by 20th Century Fox. But the movie was a big flop and the critics hated it, and everyone thinks it was a total piece of junk. So poor Monica went back to doing movies in Italy and was never heard from again.

About the only thing going for this flick was that it was a 60s-era spy movie with neat-looking cars and a cool theme song. Check out the trailer for the movie at YouTube.

Anyway I'm a sucker for 60s-era spy spoof flicks and will watch them, even if they end up being garbage. Usually they are fun to watch and have a few interesting fight scenes in them, and cool cars and gadgets. Strange, though, that Canada got to see this movie while Americans got some other flick--- I think it was Splash that they got. I guess maybe AMC doesn't have the rights to show certain movies in Canada or something like that, so they have to show different flicks up here.

I must say I am glad that AMC finally got allowed into Canada. Lots of people say this channel isn't what it used to be, but I still think it's pretty watchable and good stuff. It's also great that Turner Classic Movies is here, too--- we can see all these Tyrone Power movies now.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Well, one less financial news babe for Roger Ailes to go after, I guess, for his startup financial news channel.

Noticed today the long-rumored departure of Trish Regan from CBS News came true-- she's left for CNBC where she'll be doing reporting on business news. By the way, I think this woman is gorgeous! Trish will fit right in with all the other financial news babes over there at CNBC--- Erin, Becky, Melissa, Liz, and all these other hotties.

So look out Maria Bartiromo. More "money honey" competition for you.

(Oh, and by the way I read somewhere that Rita Cosby over at MSNBC is leaving the building. But that's different, she's a tabloid artist.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Well, Report on Business Television is changing its name. Come Monday, Canada's answer to CNBC and Bloomberg TV will be known simply as the Business News Network.

Why they are making this change, I have no idea. The old name did the job just fine. It had a brand identity and people could associate it with the Report on Business section of the Globe and Mail. And it was all part of "convergence" and all that nonsense that has been going on. Renaming it BNN doesn't exactly do much for "convergence" or cross-promotion.

I think the geniuses in charge could be preparing to put this "BNN" channel on the block. After all, they have to get rid of a lot of TV properties with that CTVGlobemedia/CHUM deal. Maybe "BNN" is going to be part of the A-Channel selloff and this could be a way to make such a deal more attractive. Then again, maybe CTV won't get rid of "BNN" at all--- maybe they're going to put the Globe on the block instead! The Report on Business name belongs to the paper anyway. I know there's been some talk about it out there. Why not get rid of the newspaper? Newspapers are dying off.

Someone ought to ask these guys at CTV some very interesting questions about this strange renaming decision, folks. It's pretty curious if you ask me.

Friday, March 09, 2007


First, here's a big positive writeup in the Toronto Sun about Mike Bullard's successful comeback as an on-air comedian, hosting his morning show on XM Satellite Radio after so many years on TV with the successful Mike Bullard Show.

Now, here's the big writeup the next day, where the writer revealed----oops!--- that Mike got the can. And apparently they ran that positive piece the other day without knowing that Mike had gotten the can. The bad news was confirmed at Budget cuts are supposed to be the reason why the show's over. I think maybe this XM/Sirius merger business might have something to do with it.

Either way, the headline is correct. Mike Bullard is back... on the street.

Here's the rant by Paul Romanuk about Bullard's departure and the whole state of the radio industry and all that. Romanuk said the radio industry was notorious for sackings and for stations going under. Actually, Romanuk has some bitter personal experience. He was part of the big bloodbath at CHUM 1050 when they dropped the all-sports Team format and shut down the national network that they had going at the time. I know that he ended up suing CHUM and there were a lot of hard feelings. Anyway Romanuk says radio is notorious for dumping people on the street and changing formats on a whim.

Sometimes it can't be helped. Lots of AM stations dumped music and switched to talk radio when FM took off, so stations had to change formats just to survive. Sometimes it leads to a better product. But when CHUM dropped sports it went the El Cheapo route, playing cheap oldies--- the same format they dumped to go all sports to begin with.

It reminds me of the scene in that movie Private Parts, where Howard Stern was on the air at that rock station in Detroit, and it suddenly went country and Stern was left looking for a new job. That scene wasn't an act, that's pretty much what happened to him in Detroit. Format changes are a fact of life in the radio business and it isn't pretty sometimes. Lots of name personalities can be booted at the drop of a hat. In Toronto, personalities get canned all the time. Folks like Humble and Fred, and Carla Collins, and even Erin Davis, can go from prominent hosting gigs to the street in no time.

Some stations have a lot of stability-- ie. Fan 590, 680 News, and CFRB 1010. And of course the CBC. But even they deal with personnel changes a lot. I know CFRB had a bit of a shakeup in December of last year.

I sure didn't expect Bullard to be out of a job so quickly, especially when it appeared a lot of people were starting to discover that he was on XM and were buying radios so they could listen to him. Anyway, maybe some station will take pity on him and give him a new gig--- and maybe stick with him, for a change.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Well, another shakeup. TVNewser reports Rome Hartman is out as executive producer of the CBS Katie Couric Evening News. I read over at TVSpy on the forums several unconfirmed reports that the guy coming in to replace him is none other than former CNN/MSNBC boss Rick Kaplan.

This comes after NBC Nightly News replaced its EP a week ago. TV news; a nice stable business.


Well this has been a big week of bad news for entertainment journalists.

First, a whole bunch of jobs are lost at Premiere because that publication is going out of business. And this week comes word of defections from the Hollywood Reporter to Variety. HR editor Cynthia Littleton has bolted to Variety. Also deputy film editor Anne Thompson of the RiskyBiz blog fame has also defected and will write a similarly-themed blog for Variety.

And here's a second piece by Nikki Finke about the stunned reaction of the journos at the Hollywood Reporter--- those that are left. "Everybody feels like the sky is falling," she quotes someone saying. Time to brush off the old resumes, eh?

Ouch. This is pretty bad news. I am reading a lot of speculation that this is the "end of the Hollywood Reporter" and that this rag will be out of business pretty soon. They've already gone through layoffs over there-- they canned ten people last year. David Poland suggests on his video blog that the Reporter ought to partner up with MovieCityNews and get in on all the web action in a big way. I think doing something web-based is definitely the way to go, not just for the Hollywood Reporter but for every single one of these print publications out there today.

There's speculation now about who the next editor is going to be and Nikki Finke suggests it will be a big name, possibly from the entertainment industry. Anyway, they gotta do something. This is a big blow to that publication, losing those two folks to the archrivals. That's sort of an open admission that the Hollywood Reporter is a sinking ship.

Personally, I don't want to see the Hollywood Reporter go out of business. Where will we get any information on the "40 under 40" and all that?! I guess there's the Premiere Power List---- wait a minute, they're out of business, now.

Maybe Nikki Finke will do up a list of people --- or something.


Well, on the heels of the brilliant coverage by Court TV of the proceedings down in Judge Larry's courtroom in Florida comes word that Star Jones Reynolds has just been signed on by the network!

Star should fit right in with Nancy Grace and all these other "divas" at that place. Well, that's it, Court TV is finished, and it's too bad because I like that channel. Who the heck are they going to hire next, Rosie O'Donnell?!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


You know, there's lot of other important stuff going on in the world. Scooter Libby got convicted, Vice-President Dick Cheney has a blood clot in his leg, and idiots like Ann Coulter are hurling homophobic slurs at politicians. People in Alabama are still cleaning up from all those tornadoes that killed a lot of people. The stock market has been in the tank. And there's that whole mess at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. All this, and we haven't even gotten around to mentioning Iraq yet.

So it's not as if we are in a slow news cycle. Still, we are getting hit with more coverage of Anna Nicole Smith on ET, even though the funeral is over and this poor woman has been dead for weeks. There's absolutely no new news on this woman, but I can't get away from this nonsense. ET in particular won't let go of this crummy, awful story.

Here's a rant by Mike Straka of Fox News, doing his Grrr! routine about all this coverage. All these reporters say they hate covering this story. Well, why are you there, then? That's what he is asking.

I think they are there for one reason: because their bosses tell them to be there, because the boring people who watch ET are expecting the latest coverage of this l0ser Anna Nicole and all her feuding friends and relatives, going after her money. And that leaves the interesting people who tune in to ET all angry and upset, because we have to sit through this lousy coverage. Not to mention the interesting people who tune in to news shows hoping to see serious issues discussed instead of this lousy Anna Nicole nonsense.

Anyway, I am definitely done with this story unless something important breaks-- like they announce the DNA on the kid, or finally determine why she died, or something important like that.


Check out this hilarious rant in the Premiere blog about the movie Wild Hogs which takes Americans to task for handing over 38 million dollars to this Number One piece of crap. The headline is "$38 million worth of idiots" and the writer writes: "What the f*&k is wrong with America?"

It's not just moviegoers, either, it's these morons who have made hits out of certain TV shows that are total pieces of crap, like that fifth-grader show last week. American Idol I can understand-- people are hooked on Simon, Randy and Paula as if they are hooked on drugs. But that Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader show boggles my mind.

And these movies offer no relief from the junk on TV. For the last two months it's been the "junk" movie season with all the throwaway garbage and crap being served up in theaters. You would think some people would offer us some good movies to go see, to get us away from all the junk we usually get at this time of year. You might think that such a movie might make money. But fat chance are we ever going to see any of those if the boring people of the United States make hits out of movies that are, quoting Premiere, " the cinematic equivalent of the thin brown gruel that would leak from the trash bags I used to drag to the Dumpster after my shifts at a coffee shop in college."

I'll say it too. What the f*&k is wrong with America?!

(On a similar vein, Jeffrey Wells says in his piece that the "consistency in supporting and back-slapping low- brow entertainments straight out of the gate (i.e., as long as they feel familiar and amiable-friendly) is what sets Americans proudly apart from other cultures.")


Incidentally, speaking of Premiere, I read that this magazine is being shut down. That is really too bad. The magazine was on the block for about a month and they couldn't find a buyer, so the publication is toast. They say they are going to take this magazine web-only but that is hardly a step forward, because they are planning to lay off tons of people. Any publication that has to go web-only, and has to lay off people to do it, is totally finished in the eyes of the public.

And this coming on the heels of the closure of Shock, and the closure of the US edition of FHM. But who will miss FHM, really? The last edition of FHM had Leeann Tweeden on the cover, again. Figures.

I notice that the once-dominant American editions of MAXIM and Stuff are finally on the block, too. I wonder if there are going to be any takers. Possibly-- it might be a different situation because there are people out there who actually read those two magazines, unlike Premiere. But I think the situation is so bad for magazines in the USA that I wouldn't even be surprised if they have to close these two publications down-- or at the very least, sell them off at a bargain basement price. Which would be a shame.

Times are terrible for all media in the USA-- except the Internet, of course.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Been reading about the chaos at NBC News this week. Read on one of these sites that apparently not too long ago there was tension on the set of NBC Nightly News between the EP and Brian Williams. Who knows what really happened, but something must have been going on over there, because this week the EP got the boot. John Reiss left the broadcast on Friday.

Meanwhile people at NBC News are worried. They have gotten beat three weeks in a row in the ratings by Charlie Gibson and World News over on ABC. This week they got absolutely killed. This was the big Bob Woodruff comeback week, so Woodruff got to appear on World News again and they ran his stories. So that was no help to NBC News.

I have also been reading people starting to trash Williams and his on-air style, saying he looks like he talks down to people, and looks like an old fogey up there, and is so stiff, and so on and so forth. But people were saying the same thing about Charlie Gibson a few months ago, and now he's Number One. I dunno, maybe it would help if Williams loosened up on air and showed his NASCAR good-ol'-boy personality a little bit. Might help with the ratings in the Red States--- the ones remaining, that is, after last fall's election.

But anyway, that's what happens when the ratings slip--- people start calling you a bum when you were a hero three months before. And they tell you to change your style, change your hair, etc.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Brian Williams and the gang are therefore off to Iraq where they plan to do some reporting for next week's show.

Didn't these fools bother to watch ABC last week or any of Bob Woodruff's reports?! Going to Iraq is a good way to get yourself killed. I sure hope Williams stays in a well-fortified hotel. I don't want to see Brian Williams doing a documentary on how he cheated death in Iraq, too.


Really, though, the real reason why NBC News is tanking has nothing to do with the newscast or with Brian Williams. Let's face reality people, the reason the ratings stink is because NBC sucks! Their whole lineup of shows is totally in the tank ratings-wise (except maybe Heroes and a few other shows) and it has spilled over to affect every show on the air, including the ones from the news division. The changes aren't working, at least not immediately. On Monday they premiered The Black Donnellys, a gritty show which was supposed to help NBC get out of its ratings funk, and apparently the premiere just bled viewers all night to other channels. And it's too bad, because this is yet another NBC attempt to try and put a good quality show on the air instead of the usual dreck. But the idiots at home are dumber than fifth graders. So now the game shows are coming back at NBC. Very soon they bring back Identity, and they have been shuffling shows like Deal or No Deal around, too, to prop the rest of the lineup up. Like I say, these ratings problems have affected viewership across the board at NBC and I'm sure the news division is feeling it as well.

Tonight, Howie and the suitcase babes take over the 9PM slot normally reserved for The Apprentice, and are shifting the Donald to 10PM ET after several weeks of stinking ratings up against Desperate Housewives. In fact, tonight's Apprentice effort is supposed to be quite a show. Apparently two people are getting fired tonight. Here's a suggestion: why don't they simply fire everyone and shut the show down? It would be better than this boring season. "Tent City" is a joke.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Found an interesting article recently over at Variety. It's about these sitcom writers who have left the world of sitcoms to write for dramas on TV.

It mentioned a guy by the name of Joe Keenan who used to be executive producer for Frasier. Anyway he lost his job when Out of Practice was cancelled--- that was that show on the Monday night CBS lineup that starred Henry Winkler. It wasn't a bad show but nobody watched it and well, anyway, it got the can. So Keenan had to find another show and he figured the writing was on the wall for sitcoms; there was nothing being developed. So he threw in the towel and went to work for Desperate Housewives.

They also profiled someone named Pang-ni Landrum who worked on Six Degrees after working for comedies like Malcolm in the Middle. Anyway, she "saw the writing on the wall" for herself as far as comedy was concerned and wrote a Without a Trace spec to get a job on the dramatic side. There are just too few of these comedies out there.

Maybe these are just serious times and nobody wants to laugh anymore; too many people are worried about terrorists or about that war going on in Iraq. Actually, it's really too bad this comedy drain is happening, because personally, if I were ever to go write for TV I'd prefer to work in comedy. I'm just a big fan of comedy in general. But I guess you go where the work is.

Hopefully these dramas will stay on the air. The sad thing is these networks keep on programming this cheap junk against it, and the boring idiots who live in middle America keep on ruining the lives of these ex-comedy writers in Hollywood by making hits out of these junk shows---thus putting them out of work. That lousy American Idol show is so big a hit that it is starting to tick people off. Among other things people are mad that this show is killing all the good drama shows on the other stations. Furthermore, the gang at FOX are able to program absolute pieces of junk right after Idol is over, and these shows automatically get watched by the dumbbells at home! That moronic and boring Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader show was a HIT on FOX this week. And that show had on there the dumbest adults ever-- one of them managed to get every question wrong! What's a show like this doing on in prime time?! It should be relegated to weekend syndicated duty, this junk!

All I will say is that I am definitely smarter than all these chumps who are watching that awful show--- because I'm not watching!!

Friday, March 02, 2007


Anna Nicole Smith had her big funeral today, and right to the end the circus continued. Virgie Arthur was appealing to the Bahamas Supreme Court trying to get the funeral stopped. She actually tried to get the funeral stopped! And the last-ditch attempt failed. Anyway here is the story on the funeral.

And it sounds as if this funeral was totally over the top. People there were saying it was worthy of a queen, but that was overblown. In fact only about 100 people showed up for it. Compared to these royal funerals this was a small crowd. Princess Di's funeral was way bigger than this one. And how many funerals did Gerald Ford have? Seven or eight? It sure seemed like a lot. Still, as far as funerals go, this one still looked pretty decent. And of course all the lawyers were in there, too, mourning.

I understand Howard K. Stern went up there and trashed the "so-called relatives" as he called them, saying only he knows the truth about Anna.

Also, can you believe that Entertainment Tonight negotiated exclusive coverage of the funeral? They showed exclusive video from inside the Baptist church on a thoroughly-unwatchable ET show tonight. The whole show was about this funeral. Apparently Carlos Diaz of Extra! was claiming tonight on Nancy Grace that the church was paid off by Entertainment Tonight; they received a "large contribution". Well, that would explain why ET got an "exclusive", but I don't honestly know for sure if that's what happened or not.

Now what? The custody of Dannielynn remains a big issue, though it looks like maybe Howard and Larry Birkhead may have buried the hatchet somewhat and are negotiating a deal. And Virgie is supposedly trying to get Anna Nicole exhumed and shipped to Texas now, from what we hear. That issue is still tied up in court. You can bet that these folks at Court TV are going to keep on enjoying covering this Anna Nicole mess at the expense of coverage of Scooter Libby and all these other more important cases.