Ulrich Durney gives a nice, pithy rundown of the nepotism / conflict of interest scandal at the sleazebag NYTimes Book Review. Well worth checking out:
Ouch. That hurts. New cast member Jenny Slate‘s first night on SNL. Season premiere. She’s co-starring in a skit about a biker chicks’ talk show. The word “freaking” was used a lot. And guess what: she freaking said the F-Word.
As commenter DahlELama put it: “Serves Lorne right—Michaela Watkins would never have done that.” Entirely possible! But also: maybe not? Not sure. Either way, it’s surely going to generate a nice amount of publicity for the new season, which we’ll get into tomorrow morning. In the mean time, enjoy the blowfish face of “oh, shit, Lorne’s going to have my ass on the fryer in about twenty minutes.” Let’s see if she’s in any skits next week. Or the week after. Or the week after that.
Be nice to her, Lorne. It’s the kid’s first night.
Randy Quaid and his wife Evi were just arrested in Marfa, Texas, TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us they were picked up by Presidio County Sheriff’s deputies. We’re told there was a struggle and deputies had to wrestle Evi to the ground as she screamed loudly.
Felony arrest warrants had been issued for the Quaids in Santa Barbara, CA for burglary, defrauding an innkeeper and conspiracy. They’re accused of stiffing the San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara out of thousands of bucks.
UPDATE: Presidio County Sheriff’s deputies tell us Randy assaulted them both physically and verbally and resisted arrest, but they will not file charges. We’re also told the Sheriff’s office is in touch with officials in Santa Barbara County, who want Randy and Evi extradited.
Secret police videos have captured the alleged extortionists in the John Travolta case in deep conflict … with one defendant accusing the other of trying to settle way too cheap — this according to law enforcement sources.
As we first reported yesterday, authorities have at least two videos of paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and attorney Pleasant Bridgewater demanding millions of dollars from John Travolta’s lawyers, in return for not making a document public.
Our sources say Bridgewater is caught on tape demanding many millions of dollars, but another video shows Lightbourne outraged that Bridgewater demanded what he considered such a paltry sum. His demand was exponentially higher than hers, law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
We’re told the videos show them haggling over money — and although it’s been reported the pair allegedly demanded $25 million, we’re told they finally agreed to $15 mil.
We’re also told lawyers for Bridgewater and Lightbourne will make a motion today to suppress the videos, on grounds they were illegally recorded.
And there’s a sticky problem — we’re told one of the key Bahamian cops in the video sting was seriously injured “under suspicious circumstances” and is unable to testify.
Travolta has not finished testifying. We’re told he has left the Bahamas and will return next week to complete his testimony.
TMZ has confirmed John Travolta will testify next week at the extortion trial involving the death of his son, Jett.
Travolta will travel to the Bahamas to testify on behalf of the prosecution. Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former politician Pleasant Bridgewater allegedly demanded $25 million in return for not going public with a document which authorized paramedics to take 16-year-old Jett to a hospital via ambulance after suffering a massive seizure.
We’re told Travolta and wife Kelly Preston are outraged by the alleged extortion plot which authorities say was concocted shortly after Jett’s death.
La Toya Jackson, sister of deceased superstar Michael Jackson, has told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that the King of Pop was the victim of foul play, or so she believes.
“I believe Michael was murdered, I felt that from the start,” the newspaper quotes LaToya Jackson as saying. “Not just one person was involved, rather it was a conspiracy of people.”
Jackson cited no evidence to substantiate her story, but did indicate that the “shadowy entourage” surrounding her brother was responsible for his death.
Quoting the Daily Mail:
She believes her brother was fed addictive drugs by handlers who wanted to control his moods. She says they regarded him as a ‘cash cow’ and exploited him at every turn. It was this, she believes, that led directly to his death.
La Toya summed up the situation saying, “”Michael was a very meek, quiet, loving person. People took advantage of that. People fought to be close to him, people who weren’t always on his side.”
The New York Observer reports that Rupert Murdoch is planning to add a lavish weekend culture section to his new American flagship paper, The Wall Street Journal, focused mostly on the New York arts scene.
Has Murdoch – whose cultural commentary until now was limited to New York Post headlines like “Wacko Jacko Backo,” on the occasion of Michael Jackson first comeback tour – suddenly developed a taste for opera, ballet, or experimental video art?
Nah. He just wants to fuck the New York Times into the ground by spending money (which the Times no longer has) on a smarter alternative to the Times’ Arts & Leisure section, outdoing the Gray Lady in an area where she once excelled but where Murdoch now thinks she sucks dick.
The Observer got a couple Journal insiders to fill them in on one of Murdoch’s closed-door strategy sessions:
[Murdoch] said that The Times’ coverage was lightweight and uninteresting, according to two people present. Mr. Murdoch said if The Journal could strengthen its culture coverage, it would be easy to pluck off Times readers and advertisers.
Maybe so. But, come to think of it, how many people will still be advertising in newspapers, or even reading them, ten years from now? Not a lot.
Our bet is that Murdoch doesn’t care. If he has to siphon profits from NewsCorp’s mega-lucrative TV, cable, and internet ventures in order to put the Times out of business, he’ll do it.
Anyway, do you think he’ll cover the trans-sexual cabaret scene? If so, I could give him a few leads…