Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oh yeah. That wasn't really Lennon & McCartney.

We almost forgot to follow up. This week, we'd posted purported "lost video" of John Lennon and Paul McCartney jamming on The Ballad of John & Yoko. Well, eagle-eyed readers immediately sussed out at least one as a member of Fab Forever, the best Beatles tribute group in the world.

The news is that the Lennon is none other than Gary Gibson, who's joined the act to replace Peter George, the top Lennon player who bowed out for family reasons.

Yes, Fab Forever is on the ride back to the toppermost of the tribute-worldermost. The group is playing in Hallendale, Florida tonight, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper with the launch of an international tour.

And what's great about the Fabs is that they're not just a topnotch combo (they leave Vegas's foodcourt Fab Four in the dust)-- they're part of a real Broadway-quality stage production that takes the audience along on the Beatles trajectory from The Ed Sullivan Show to their final concert on the roof of Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row.

Fab Forever's award-winning producer and manager Jerry Peluso ("The Brian Epstein of the tribute world!"-- Tabloid Baby) says “I’ve been waiting for a show like this my whole life. Fab Forever not only looks and sounds exactly like the original lads from Liverpool, but they truly capture the spirit of The Beatles in concert.”

Fab Forever was Tabloid Baby's pick hit last summer. There's more to come this year. Welcome back, lads.

And stay tuned here for more explosive Beatle-related entertainment news!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Spice Girls reunion is good news!

We can't fail to mention the return of the Spice Girls, who announced today they're reuniting for 11 concerts around the world in December and January. The shows will be their first concerts since breaking up in 2001, and the first with all five of the original group since Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell quit to pursue a solo career in 1998. In recent years, the misadventures of various members of the group have led to good tabloid laughs-- but it can't be denied: The Spice Girls made two really good albums and a movie that made Tabloid Baby's list of the Top 50 movies of all time before they called it a day (and with Emma Bunton leading the pack, they made some solid solo Europop singles that blast from our iPod).

Back in the mid 90s when Wannabe first hit the charts, the Spice Girls were a breath of comic book fresh air for Britain and pop music together. The producers behind them made them into one of the greatest pop groups of all time (check out their music video compilations).

The Spice Girls ruled! They're up there with Oasis and The Great Escape Blur. And we're glad they're back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We told you the OJ Simpson book was a hoax

We told you back in November that it was pretty obvious that a ghostwriter had written the so-called OJ Simpson confessional, "If I Did It," and that former ReganBooks publisher Judith Regan paid the acquitted double murderer to put his name to it.

But the mainstream new media, chasing their own tails and sniffing each other's butts in pursuit of consensus, never followed up-- until today, as our pals at The New York Post's Page Six today quote a Simpson buddy saying: "O.J. told me Judith Regan approached him and said to him, 'Do you mind if we write a book and put your name on it?' I said, 'I don't care. You can write anything you want, as long as you pay me.'"

Promoter Norm Pardo adds: "O.J. would laugh, 'Can you believe they'd pay me to say I wrote something I didn't actually write?' A ghostwriter largely based the book on court transcripts from Simpson's trial."

We knew it was scam as soon as word leaked that Regan's former lover from her National Enquirer days, TV mystery writer Pablo Fenjes, had been hired to "help" Simpson with the book. Fenjves was a neightbor of murder victim Nicole Simpson-- and testified at Simpson's trial.

And as we wrote in November 2006:

Fenjves has made a living by using his imagination, 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.

The book was pulled before publication and Regan lost her job shortly after the fiasco.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Exclusive! Lost Lennon McCartney footage?

On the morning of the Beatles survivors and widows gathering around the microphone of Larry King, this rare footage shows up courtsey of impressario Jerry Peluso.

Details to follow...

Now on to the post-prison sex

In the most anticipated prison release since the day Nelson Mandela walked out of Pollsmoor Prison in South Africa, Paris Hilton left the Century Regional Detentional Center just after midnight, after a three week incarceration for traffic-related offenses. Like Mandela, she says she will dedicate the rest of her life to making the world a better place.

The celebutard heiress was dressed tastefully as she delivered a brief inspirational speech to the crowd outside the prison: "Hi."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Our Man Elli has an article in the NY Times

Tabloid Baby's man in the Mideast, Our Man Elli In Israel, has an article in tomorrow's New York Times. Buy six copies!

The New York Times
June 24, 2007

Israeli League Is Ready to Play Ball


JERUSALEM, June 23 — In the land of milk and honey, it is time for peanuts and hot dogs — the Israel Baseball League makes its debut Sunday night when the Petach Tikva Pioneers play host to the Modi’in Miracle. A high demand for tickets has moved organizers to double the seating capacity at the Yarkon Sports Complex to accommodate a projected 2,000 spectators expected to attend.

The game will be televised live in Israel by the local sports channel, whose broadcasters will handle the play-by-play in Hebrew. The game will also be broadcast in English in the United States next Sunday on PBS affiliates in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, Fla.

The league’s six teams will share three fields: in Tel Aviv; in Petach Tikva about 10 miles northeast of Tel Aviv; and in Kibbutz Gezer, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The teams will play an eight-week, 45-game season, with an all-star game July 29 and a one-game championship Aug. 19. The league will honor the Jewish faith — there will be no games on Saturdays or on July 24, the Tisha B’Av fast day.

The oldest of the league’s 120 players — who represent eight countries — is Pioneers pitcher Scott Cantor, 51, of Nyack, N.Y. The youngest is Miracle pitcher Nate Rosenberg, 17, who lives on Kibbutz Gezer.

Another teenager from Gezer is Alon Leichman, who started playing at 4. His father, David, initiated the construction of a field at Gezer in 1982.

“I said 25 years ago that the field is for our children, and now my 18-year-old son is to play pro ball on the field,” said David Leichman, who, like many at Gezer, emigrated from the United States.

The league is run by an advisory board of donors and investors who will try to eventually make a profit. For the players, who are being paid $2,000 each for the season, the league is an opportunity to continue doing what they love.

“To me, it’s a reward for all of my hard work in the gym and on the field, and it’s the ultimate Jewish-American dream,” said Josh Eichenstein, 23, a middle infielder from Los Angeles. “Being able to play baseball as a job in Israel blows my mind.”

Eichenstein said he hoped to put on a good show for all the people watching baseball for the first time.

“I want to help Israelis understand the game of baseball,” he said. “Once the game is understood, they will fall in love with it.”

That is what organizers are hoping will happen. In this soccer- and basketball-crazed country, baseball may be a hard sell. The game has been tweaked — some say corrupted — to make it more palatable for a foreign audience. Games will be seven innings instead of nine, and ties will be broken by home-run-hitting contests instead of extra innings.

The league has assembled some former major league players and executives. Art Shamsky, Ken Holtzman and Ron Blomberg are among the managers. Dan Duquette, a former general manager of the Boston Red Sox and the Montreal Expos, is the league’s director of player development. The head of public relations is Marty Appel, who once held that position with the Yankees.

Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former United States ambassador to Israel, is the league’s commissioner. Now retired from diplomatic service, Kurtzer will spend the next two months in Israel, on vacation from his day job as a professor at Princeton.

“My role basically is to establish the character of the league,” Kurtzer, a professor of Middle East policy studies at Princeton, said this week in a telephone interview. “So we’ve developed the rules and a code of conduct. My job is largely to give advice and do some public relations, give speeches and things like that. I don’t know that I’ll be at every game, but I’ll be there the entire summer.”

Once accustomed to negotiating disputes between Israel and its neighbors, Kurtzer is still working on how to mediate arguments on the field.

“We’ll see if it’s a punch, if it’s a brawl, if it’s a melee — we’ll make decisions on the spot,” he said. “I assume that issues will come up about discipline and other kinds of issues that end up in the commissioner’s office. I have done a pretty good study of how the commissioner’s office in Major League baseball works, and in other sports. So you never know — each situation is going to be different.”

The games will also be announced in Hebrew at the ballparks, and the Web site israelbaseballleague.com features the rules and a glossary of terms in Hebrew. Still, the league has been pitched to Jews in the United States, urging Jewish organizations to send tour groups to games and establishing support chapters in Chicago and Phoenix.

Some Israelis, including those born in the United States, are wondering whether such a marketing strategy will help the league establish traction among natives.

“Baseball is the greatest game ever invented, and I hope the league is a rousing success,” said Eli Groner, a one-time Maccabiah Games bronze medalist in softball, who works as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Tel Aviv office.

“But the key to generating popularity here is in successful clinics at the grass-roots level.”

He added, “ ‘If you build it, they will come’ is nice for a movie and to create a tourist destination in Iowa; inculcating a culture requires much, much more.”

The league has a long-range plan for building a fan base. It has run youth camps and clinics, and has promotions scheduled throughout the season. Players will teach children the rudiments of the game and leave behind baseball equipment for them.

“Our real objective this summer is to build some degree of interest on the part of Israelis,” said Kurtzer, who acknowledged having doubts about whether Israelis would make a quintessential American sport their own.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I know there’s a Little League that’s functional, that includes not only American Israelis but Israeli Israelis. We won’t know until we test it. We’ve talked to people about it and we think there’s room in Israel for a third sport beyond basketball and soccer. Baseball is a little complicated, it’s a little bit different from what Israelis know, but we’ll have a little fun teaching them.”

As soon as she gets out, Paris will do Larry King

It looks like Paris Hilton's first interview after getting out of jail will take place with Larry King on CNN. The flatulent old lizard gets the exclusive, apparently for free, after the geniuses at ABC and NBC network bungled the negotiations and walked away amid publicity over the big money figures that were being offered. Both networks are trying to maintain the charade that they don't pay for interviews or exclusives -- when anyone who has worked for a network morning, magazine or news show knows that is a big fat lie. (CBS was left out of the picture, probably because they spent all their mad money on Katie Couric.)

Paris is expected to be sprung on Tuesday from jail in Los Angeles, where she's been cooped up since June 3 on traffic charges. The King interview is set to be an in-studio affair Wednesday night, which will allow King to question Paris about her first post-prison sex, but also allow someone with a checkbook to slip in for the spoiler the day before.

In any case, Paris released a statement this afternoon:

"I am thrilled that Larry King has asked me to appear on his program to discuss my experience in jail, what I have learned, how I have grown and anything else he wants to talk about. Larry King is not only a world-renown journalist, but a true American Icon. It will be an honor to do his show."

"Anything else he wants to talk about?"

Ask her about that first sex, Larry!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Why are Mark & Brian still on the radio?

Adam Carolla isn't doing himself any favors by running a week's worth of weak repeat segments and labelling it The Best of The Adam Carolla Show. Stripped of the extraneous chatter of morning radio and laid bare in all their thinness, his monotonal improvised "rants" and sophomoric "bits" don't play out well at all, and he's especially exposed when he tries to parody a professional AM deejay (a switch that Howard Stern would do with frightening skill when he was still on the radio) or strip club announcer (in a recurring segment), showing that despite his years as second banana on the "Loveline" program, Carolla's never mastered the vocal techniques or quick-witted improvisational skills that a radio pro relies on. We await the elevation of "sidekick" Danny Bonaduce.

But forget Carolla. Here's the question: What are Mark & Brian still doing on morning drive radio in Los Angeles?

The pair have obviously thrown in the towel. For more than a year now, they've wasted hours of valuable airtime, killing time by playing question-and-answer games with people on the phone and the studio crew. Hours.

Question: What links Lake Erie and The Hudson River?
Answer: The Erie Canal.

This goes on every morning: hours spent playing Trivial Pursuit with outdated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire sound effects, as if they're in a prison cell or bus station-- anywhere but a radio studio connected to a powerful transmitter. And this morning, they upped the time-killing ante, announcing they'll soon waste even more airtime with a version of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader!

This pair of insincere old-school jocks from the Deep South got a mention in Tabloid Baby as the type of soft maudlin morning radio that was swept aside by Stern's arrival in the LA market. But now, with Stern in obscurity, M&B, like a two-headed version of Inside Edition, linger on toward their 20 year anniversary on 95.5 KLOS Radio, obviously sitting out til the end of their contract.

We haven't even mentioned that the final hour of each morning's show is often taken up by a replay of an interview they did in the Nineties (including a recent talk with dead man Don Knotts)!

Who's allowing them to kill time like a couple of retirees on a park bench?

Give the slot to Johnny Wendell. Let him go up against Bonaduce. That would make LA a morning radio town again.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Her millionaire husband married his daughter!

Back in September, we turned you on to the story of a multimillionaire who married his daughter. The story of Bruce and Linda McMahan, that we called "Chinatown meets Miami Vice on the corner of Wall Street, a sordid, diamond-encrusted scandal," was written by Kelly Cramer and published against great odds by our pal Tony Ortega, the intrepid renegade editor of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

Thanks to work like that, Tony is now editor of the Village Voice (which gets a mention in the prologue to Tabloid Baby), and he's got an update to the story in New York City: McMahan's fifth wife-- the one he was married to while he was incestuously romancing and seducing his daughter and taking her off to the ungodly nuptials, is talking for the first time.

Kelly's first story was called Daddy's Girl. This update is titled Daddy's Dog. And that's how Elena, a Ukranian who met McMahan when she was a cruise ship bartender and he was on vacation with wife #4, says she's been treated by the big dog.

Elena is the one who uncovered the sleazy relationship and used it when McMahan tried to divorce her in 2005. After a brief reconcilaition, he's living in Dubai and Elena's living in his big house n Westchester while the divorce proceedings go on.

This story has unpeeled like a steamy dark Florida noir novel, and with Elena moving forward, now we can say it's got the elements of a Russian novel. Read the latest installment here.

Way to go, Tony O, giving people a reason to read the Voice beside sthe club listings.

NBC News sells what's left of its soul to Paris Hilton

We knew Paris Hilton's jailhouse stint would pay off in the long run, but according to the New York Post this morning, the poor little bitch girl won't only pass "go" when she walks out sometime next week-- she'll collect one million dollars. From NBC.

The Post says the suits have agreed to pay that much for Paris' exclusive jailhouse exit interview, which would appear on the Today show the day after she gets out. Meredith Vieira gets the honors, and that's got everyone at ABC steaming because they figured that Barbara Walters, with her friendship with Paris' mother, and the "Paris found God" PR work she did, would get them the interview for free.

Don't let anyone tell you the "mainstream" news networks don't pay for stories, or that there was ever any serious hand-wringing over the attention paid to Paris Hilton and her jailterm fiascos. NBC will deny paying Paris, they'll funnel the money to some secondary corporation or couch it as expenses and traveling fees, but don't buy it. If Paris' bony ass winds up on the Today, rest assured that serious lucre has passed hands. TV news is a business. They like to have their cake and eat it too, and despite those laws about criminals profiting from their crimes, the Paris interview will rate up the ass.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New documentary blows open REAL DaVinci Code

This is the documentary we'd told you about earlier today. The one that gets to the real story behind The DaVinci Code book and movie that caused lots of controversy and made billions of dollars with a blend of fact and fiction about the life of Jesus Christ. Bloodline is from our pals Rene Barnett and Bruce Burgess at Bluebook Films, who've been tracking the story for the past five years or so and are about to unleash it in an explosive, dangerous documentary film.

Burgess, who made his bones as an outre investigator of UFOs, Bigfoot and the Ark of The Covenant, among others, sets out to find the mysterious secret society, The Priory of Sion and its claims to protect the "Holy Bloodline": the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. As he's followed, has his hotel phone tapped and bothered just liek Tom Hanks' character in DaVinci, he and his crew break some major news, including the discovery of a burial chamber in which might be, or be connected to, the tomb of Mary Magdalene. And relics like these:

"Whether what I have discovered and been shown is of great historical importance, or whether as my critics say, it is all a hoax that I’ve fallen for, we shall see," Burgess writes on the film's website. "I know what I’ve done, what I’ve seen and been shown, and how hard I and my team have worked to do it all. It has been the most enlightening, uplifting, at times frustrating, continually exhausting, but always incredible, journey."

Watch this space for more on Bloodline.

Is this the tomb of Mary Magdalene?

Forget Sicko. There's an astonishing new documentary film that's about to blow open the real story behind The DaVinci Code.

Stay tuned for more...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lindsay reads Tabloid Baby-- cancels party!

Less than 24 hours after Tabloid Baby's report that it's still a go, Lindsay Lohan's people say they've canceled her 21st birthday party scheduled at the Pure, the wild Las Vegas nightclub.

Yesterday, we questioned the wisdom of the once bash (originally sponsored by a vodka company), in light of the fact that Lindsay is still in drug and alcohol rehab (above)!

Lohan's rep took the response to the celeb-friendly US Weekly this morning, stating: "The party was canceled officially over two weeks ago." Yet on Friday, the people at Pure responded to our question, saying via email:

"The party is still scheduled. We can put you on the guest list which allows you to bypass the main line but still pay the cover of $20 for ladies and $30 for gentlemen."

"We were confused why Pure was even still promoting it," Lindsay's person claims. "But Lindsay will not be having the birthday party at PURE and is focusing on her recovery 100%.”

Smart. And a good, though belated, gift for Fathers Day.

Now, here's another piece of free advice: Get Lindsay away from Hollywood and bad influences. Sign her to a remake of Ice Station Zebra or a live-action movie with penguins.

And let her see her father.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lindsay Lohan's vodka birthday party is still on

With Lindsay Lohan in rehab for alcohol and drug abuse, her birthday party at a Caesars Palace nightclub can't possibly still be a go, right? We emailed the folks at th Pure nightclub. This is their response:

As of right now, the party is still scheduled.

We do offer a guest list. We can put you on the guest list which allows you to bypass the main line but still pay the cover of $20 for ladies and $30 for gentlemen. We recommend arriving before 11pm. The guest list is not a guaranteed method of entry. I would need your first and last name, the number of people in your party, and what night you would like to come in.

This is the party that was sponsored by a vodka company before the sponsor "dropped out." We don't know what Lindsay's mother thinks about this, but her father Michael, working as a drug and alcohol counselor in Long Island, is incredulous. He and we know that whether she's being paid or not, Lindsay's and her minders' decision about appearing at this bash is a good indicator of how serious they all are about her recovery.

The party on July 2, you'll notice, celebrates Lindsay's 21st birthday-- the day she's finally old enough to drink legally.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dr. Ruehl's corpse role leads to best week ever

Earlier this week, we let the cat out of the bag and revealed that E!'s Sunset Tan reality show faked a scene in which a pair of tanners called the Olly Girls were sent to apply bronzer to an embalmed corpse (see it here).

The "corpse" was not only alive-and-kicking-- he was none other than the liveliest man on television, Tabloid Baby contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl!

Dr. Ruehl emails us his reaction to the exposure:
THANK YOU! Your posting of my portrayal of a cadaver on Sunset Tan elicited a call from VH1's Best Week Ever. They sent a limo over yesterday for me and interviewed me on the corpse role and other subjects. The clip (probably significantly abbreviated) will be on several times, beginning at 9 PM Friday.
That's tonight.

VH1's lively cadaver episode of Best Week Ever also airs:

Fri 11 PM
Sat 1:30 AM 11AM 10 PM
Sun 12:30 AM 10 AM 1 PM
Mon 2 AM 1:30 PM
Tue 1:30 AM

For you newbies, Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. is a veteran TV personality: a real-life nuclear physicist, cryptozoologist and supercool pop culture genius best known for his legendary and long-running public access cable show, Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion, guest shots on shows like Identity and Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, roles as a real life Bigfoot hunter on A Current Affair and one of the USA network's "characters," a regular spot on Tom Green's Internet show, and his signature line, "May the power of the cosmos be with you! Yes! Yes!"

He's also the future host of Dr. Ruehl's Dance Party (he'll be in the Clay Cole role, with an B-movie amazon sidekick and a white Yeti dancing in a cage).

Welcome Back, Hegyes!

TV Sweathog Juan Epstein made good last night as Robert Hegyes launched his new webisode serial The Venice Walk last night with a big bash at the famed Denny's Deli in Venice. LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl gave Hegyes a special city commendation (above) for his work and for the series, which paints a not always flattering but real picture of the fabled locale as it follows the work of a probation officer and the drugged-up, sexed-up troubled kids on his Venice watch.

Check out the first episode here and look over at the right side of this page to watch a video trailer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Steve Powers makes the Daily News

Steve Powers taught us the television news business. Blame him.

Steve's the guy who took the time to show us how to write news copy, how to write the way people talk. And along the way he's been a great pal. Dr. Steve Powers, Ph.D, co-author of the book How To Watch TV News, even wrote some nice words for the book jacket copy of Tabloid Baby. He's not only one of the best newsmen in New York City, he's a true renaissance man and musician who's quitting his day job after a career that went from radio to the top of the television news business as reporter and anchorman at WNEW's legendary 10 O'Clock News, to a catbird's seat in the New York Times newsroom as the formerly Gray Lady's voice on WQXR Radio in Times Square-- with a stop in tabloid television along the way.

Steve left WQXR to get back to his book writing and so he got an article in the NY Daily News today:

From JFK to 'QXR: Powers signs off

Steve Powers, who just retired after 45 years as a New York radio and TV newsman, has seen a whole lot of changes in the news game since he was a young reporter meeting President John F. Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden.

Nor does he think they're finished.

"I went into TV [in 1980] because after I'd gotten to know Roger Grimsby, I was convinced TV was the future," he says. "When I look at the future now, I think TV news as we've known it will disappear."

He doesn't mean people won't want information, or won't turn to TV to get it. He means scheduled evening newscasts, for instance, will be supplanted by cable networks, cell phones and other means of getting stories in a more timely fashion.
He's already seen traditional radio news shrink to a fraction of its old size.

"My first New York job was at WMCA, and when I got there, we had a news staff of 13," he says. "WNEW and others had huge staffs then, and there was this tremendous competition in covering every story."

Then WINS went all-news, and the FCC loosened news requirements for local radio. Today, most stations pay only cursory attention to news.

But Powers, who spent his most recent years as a newsman at WQXR (96.3 FM) after leaving Ch. 5 in 1993, doesn't see the situation as all bleak.

"At my first radio job, in Ansonia, Conn., the news we covered was all local," he says. "If someone fainted in the mall, we reported it. I think today we're getting back to that - covering the community."

One thing he didn't foresee was the rise of talk radio, even though he was an early practitioner of that craft at WMCA.
"If I'd seen where it would go," he says with a laugh, "I might never have left it."

But he moved on to an eventful career. His Ch. 5 crew was chased by a mob during the Crown Heights riots, and he played onstage at the Blue Note with Dizzy Gillespie, which he rightly calls "as big a thrill as anyone could have in a lifetime."

"I always loved music," he says. "But I had to put it on the shelf because the news profession demands so much time."

One perk of retirement is more music time, he says, and he's also finishing a revision of "How to Watch TV News," a book he wrote with Neil Postman. He also continues doing health reports for WQXR.

He has an idea for another book, on the history of news, but he admits he still hasn't quite gotten into the rhythm of retirement. He follows newscasts, he says, "less to get information than to see what choices they made about playing stories."

He also finds he is still aware of the deadline cycles that govern life in the news biz.

"My immediate goal," he says, "is to get to the point where I'm not always aware of exactly what time it is."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

TMZ Roundup: Another day, another sleaze slate

TMZ.com., the AOL/Time Warner celebrity gossip website that buys up legal documents, sends kids with cameras to harass celebs outside restaurants and helps market porn DVDs, sure isn't cleaning up its act as it heads toward its debut as a mainstream syndicated television show. And we're not talking about TMZ frontman Harvey Levin's unsavory appearances on various news programs during the Paris Hilton escapades.

We're pointing to the often disgusting stories and headlines the website blasts out each day. And today's collection, for some reason, stands out. Whether it's Harvey at the keyboard or some low-paid kid trying to write "tabloid," it's pornalism at its most amateurish.

A sample:

Who Wants to Go Down ... Under?
Take a look at the glistening, golden, ripped, hairless abs, bis and pecs of the men from Australia's Thunder From Down Under all male Las Vegas revue. Hello? Are you listening?

Britney -- Victim of Pap Smear?
The vagina effect. Simple. Shocking. Effective. But is it intentional? As you may undoubtedly recall, Britney Spears has had a few "oopsies" over the last year -- oopsies that left her no-no special parts "accidentally" exposed. But who's to blame? Oversmellous paps?

The Tush Is a Pussycat!
Tush-a-luscious Kim Kardashian will soon be showing off her asstasticness in a new forum ...
with the Pussycat Dolls at
Caesars Palace! Et tu, Tushy!

Cool Dat Ass
Finally, someone is addressing the productivity-killing affliction of ... hot butt. Japanese website Rare Mono Shop is selling a USB powered cushion cooler... allowing fans to blow gently on your bottom... erasing all the troubles of your life -- or just a fan on your ass.

Pam Turns 40, Breasts Still Underage!
With the big 4-0 just two weeks away, Pamela Anderson started the festivities early when PETA threw her a boobieful birthday bash in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. Look at those puppies! America's favorite middle-aged Canadian blonde bombshell can still rock a nipple-icious off-the-shoulder boulder-holder gown -- and her breasteses don't look a day over 18! Hmmm, wonder what her secret is?!

Robbie Williams Fancies the Finger
British pop star Robbie Williams cheerily flipped cameras the bird in the Hollywood Hills on Tuesday. Love you too, mate!

The clock is ticking toward TMZ's moment of truth. The Celebrity Justice idea already tanked once. Harvey's about as telegenic as The National Enquirer's Mike Walker, and the infusion of "mainstream" news veterans into the TMZ TV staff won't give it the style and finesse a show like this needs. But first top has to be classing up the site. This might play after midnight on West Hollywood Cablevision. But mainstream America? It's a 3,000 mile zone out there.

New blow in Phil Spector trial

LA County Sheriff's criminalist Steve Renteria testified in the Phil Spector murder trial that DNA matching genetic markers of victim Lana Clarkson was found in Spector's groin area. The DNA matching both Clarkson's profile most likely was from saliva, although Renteria said experts could not be sure.

Renteria also said he detected the presence of DNA, again most likely saliva, from someone other than Spector or Clarkson in a different part of Spector's genitalia.

A small amount of genetic material (also probably saliva) matching Spector's DNA profile was found on Lana Clarkson's left breast. But, according to Renteria, his genetic profile was not detected on the revolver used to shoot the actress.

Carolla muzzles Bonaduce

We'll go out on a limb and say that Danny Bonaduce isn't long for the Adam Carolla radio show.

The volatile former child actor and reality TV subject was added into the broadcast earlier this year after Carolla had spent 2006 droning and wasting hours of formerly valuable airtime formerly ruled by Howard Stern in Los Angeles and a few other cities. Bonaduce, for all his steroidal and chemical-testosterone-enhanced aggression, brought an unexpected blast of reality, comedy and professionalism to the sho w, which had previously been filled with Carolla's monotonal and repetitive rants, misogynist tirades and long dead-air skits with "characters" like the notoriously unfunny "Deaf Frat Guy.'

And after the announcing that his wife would be filing for divorce in April, Bonaduce began to run rampant, causing real human sparks with third wheel Theresa Strasser, and effectively stealing the show from Carolla. Bonaduce was so unexpectedly good that we were led to write last month:

Strange but true and you read it here first: Danny Bonaduce is on the verge of becoming the new Howard Stern.

Well wouldn't you know it.

Carolla and his people have obviously lowered the boom on Bonaduce. In the days after our Stern comparison spread across the internet, Carolla began filling the show with comedian pals, and Bonaduce slid back into a supporting role. In the past days, Bonaduce has been announcing the fact that he is a "sidekick," repeating that he's a suppporting player, part of the Adam Carolla Show team, and not the star of the show.

Carolla, meanwhile, has amped up his stream-of-consciousness observational drones. Now it's about him again. His insecurity is pathetic. His talent is negligible. He's bringing down his own show.

Bonaduce's talent, his combination of macho dumbness, bookreading knowledge and quick-witted middlebrow wit makes him ripe for a show of his own.

(And by the way, whatever did happen to Howard Stern? He's not part of the public discussion any more, is he?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NBC marks 9/11 with 'The Biggest Loser.' Nice.

NBC is commemorating the sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks with The Biggest Loser! Didn't we already see that gag on 30 Rock? Guess not, because it's true. Though the stunt sounds like some kind of wiseguy liberal Hollywood statement, NBC's new programming boss and legendary party animal Ben Silverman is running a two hour fourth-season premiere (what do you bet they do triage with a "very special" Dateline at 10?) at 8 pm on that most solemn of evenings-- even though it hits a few days before the Nielsen-approved official start of the fall season.

NBC also plans a "Where Are They Now?" special for September 4th. No, it's not about the whereabouts of bin Laden and his gang. It features past contestants and how they've done since their time on the show.

Loser, by the way, is produced by Revielle, the company Ben Silverman ran before taking the NBC gig.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Deeper inside Anna Nicole

Paris Hilton may be this week's famous-for-being famous celebutard tragedy, and Lindsay Lohan was last week's movie star trainwreck-- but when it comes to absolute staying power, real bombshell status and saturation coverage, no one in decades has topped Anna Nicole Smith.

So what's another three hours?

E! isn't kidding when it brags it's unleashing "the most in-depth documentary ever" on Anna Nicole-- ever! -- with a three-hour special event premiering tonight at 8 pm. The Life & Death of Anna Nicole rounds up more than 25 family members, friends, colleagues and lovers to take us through the troubled tabloid sex siren's life one mo' time, stopping along the way at liaisons, centerfolds, buffets, orgies and reality TV cameras--but lingering longest in that final year and final hours in that Everglades hotel room.

Even if you've had your fill of Anna Nicole, tune in or record this one if only to see how real long-form tabloid television documentaries are supposed to look. Producer Michael Lynn, who helmed this behemoth, is the top producer in the field. The E! True Hollywood Babylon bio king of television has focused his unblinking noirish lens on the secrets of everyone from Kathie Lee Gifford to Bill Clinton to Andy of Mayberry to Halle Berry-- and Olivia Newton-John. Anna Nicole is his epic subject. We'd say Moby Dick but that's not quite right.

He'll at least put the mainstream slugs at 20/20 and Dateline in their place. And it's almost enough to forgive E! for killing Dr. Ruehl in Sunset Tan!

Dead man walking! That's Dr. Ruehl on Sunset Tan!

The E! "reality" series Sunset Tan got some attention over the weekend with a video tease showing its "Olly Girls" tanning salon managers being sent out to a mortuary to bronze a corpse (see the entire clip here).

Except that "dead man" is actually our good friend, contributor, one-time Man of The Year, and cable television legend Dr. Franklin Ruehl.

Hate to break it to you (actually, we're happy to)-- he's not dead!

This, unfortunately, is the kind of ruse that gives reality TV a bad name. Why can't everything be on the up-and-up like The Simple Life and Pirate Master?


Michael Lohan starts a trend

Paris Hilton tells Barbara Walters she found God in jail: "I'm not the same person I was. I used to act dumb. It was an act. I am 26 years old, and that act is no longer cute. It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person for the young girls who looked up to me. I know now that I can make a difference, that I have the power to do that. I have been thinking that I want to do different things when I am out of here. I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance.

"God has released me."

Paris has obviously been influenced by the experience and preachings of Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael, who turned his life around while serving a two-year prison sentence and now works as a minister with the Teen Challenge organization.

Now if only Lindsay will come around...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stop believing.

No, your cable didn't go out at two minutes after the hour. That was the ending of The Sopranos.

Tony Soprano had a number of songs to pick from the jukebox. He chose Don't Stop Believin', the classic from Journey. And then...

Read an appreciation from the "official" Sopranos newspaper critic here. And while critics praise the counterintuitive show creator David Chase who wrote and directed the show's finale (for the first time since the pilot), viewers around the country are shouting Rip-off!, especially with the door all too obviously open for a Sopranos movie... and worse... reports that he's saving the real ending for the DVD.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

"More important things": Paris Hilton echoes us

Paris Hilton's people released a statement this afternoon saying she'd drop her appeal and serve her time without further screaming and whining-- and giving her ghostwriter the material for a proper book when she gets out-- but at the end of the statement were words that suggest Paris' people have been reading Tabloid Baby, and our reminder that there's a war going on. Who'd expect Paris to be the first to follow our new guest columnist, Kings Farmer, in sticking it to the hypocritical "mainstream" media:

"...I must also say that I was shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I would spend in jail for what I had done by the media, public and city officials. I would hope going forward that the public and the media will focus on more important things, like the men and women serving our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world."

--Accent on the word media, as in hypocritical "mainstream" media, who keep us distracted while the war goes on...

Guest Columnist: Paris & her Tabloid Baby twin

We in the Tabloid Baby office have been at this game too long to give a fiddler's f-ck about Paris Hilton, except to believe she should be doing community service and remembering the days when it was a flaky, flighty tabloid heiress' duty to drive tipsy, get in fender benders and then ignore traffic school. The judge is an asshole. The Sheriff is a flower child. And the "mainstream" media, as usual, are happy hypocrites, thumbing their noses at the throng while following their lead into the muck. Our new contributor, Kings Farmer from the island of Manhattan, says it best. Give him a nicer welcome than the comment crowd gave us over at TVgasm:

Tabloid Baby came to mind this morning as I watched an MSNBC (NBC's Cable Baby) reporter standing in front of Paris Hilton's home blaming the "Paparazzi" for the Media Circus. A DingBat in Denial.

Network Hypocrisy was running wild, which is what that cupie-doll MSNBC (on Friday, the Paris Hilton Network) reporter was accusing the "Paparazzi" of doing on Paris's street. "Oh those wacky, irresponsible Paparazzi!" was the gist of her schtick. As if the networks with their numerous camera crews, producers, and reporters were there on a mission from God and not really covering this "event."

The same old arrogance.

And there was the shallow and doltish "anchor" (she SHOULD work on a ship), Contessa Brewer, a pretty-face news reader with the depth of a New York City pizza pan, mocking her peer, Paris, as she lamely emoted, all charged up with phony, exaggerated (the control-room producer in her ear: "More energy, Contessa! More Outrage at the paparazzi that are the currency we use to buy our legitimacy!! We'll get more make-up and hair to you on the break-- IF we take one!"), reaction to these goings-on, that she-- a serious JOOOOOOUUURRNALIST--has never seen before.

She's shocked. SHOCKED!

Contessa, get it straight, baby: You and Paris are sisters, CREATED by the same Mommy and Daddy-- TELEVISION.

Contessa and Paris--TABLOID BABY TWINS.

A tip of the Tabloid Baby hat to Kings Farmer, reporting from the island of Manhattan. Stay tuned for more.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cruel & definitely unusual

How far do we have to go to keep our minds off the important things? It's time for that pardon from the Governator.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Yeah, but who killed Sonny Bono?

There's something wacky in the TV world. HBO says there wasn't a conspiracy to kill JFK, while Lifetime says Princess Diana was murdered.

The networks both announced projects that will put unique spins on history for different financial reasons.

HBO is wrapping up a deal with All American everyman hero and Sixties enthusiast Tom Hanks and his Playtone company to produce a 10-part miniseries based on Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's bulky new book, "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy." The book supposedly debunks every JFK conspiracy theory you can think of, laying out the case that Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone gunman who acted alone.

Lifetime, meanwhile, earns a spot on Oliver Stone's TiVo list with a movie set to air in August, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Diana's mysterious death in in Paris. This one's a "fictionalized" version called The Murder of Princess Diana. Katherine Morrison from House will play an American reporter who starts her own investigation when she decides the official version is fishy.

We're more concerned about the Bugliosi project, though Hanks and Playtone did slip in a nice tribute to the fake moon landing theories in the Magnificent Desolation Imax moon landing project.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Martin & Lewis, explained

As Paramount Home Video releases the second volume of its “Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection,” containing of five films from the last years of their partnership: “Living It Up,” “You’re Never Too Young” and “Pardners” (directed by Norman Taurog, 1954 & 1955 & 1956); and the two films that Martin and Lewis made under the direction of Frank Tashlin, "perhaps the most creative comic stylist of the 1950s," “Artists and Models” (1955) and “Hollywood or Bust” (1956), Dave Kehr of the New York Times gets to the heart of the Martin & Lewis dynamic and appeal:

The contrast between Martin and Lewis is usually described in sexual terms: the sleek womanizer versus the gawky adolescent — the original 25- (if not 40-) year-old virgin. But to borrow some terminology from Claude Levi-Strauss (one of the few French intellectuals, it seems, not known to have written about Mr. Lewis), their pairing reflects that cultural division Levi-Strauss hypothesized between the “raw” and the “cooked,” with Mr. Lewis representing natural man with all his animal instincts and complete lack of self-consciousness, and Martin representing the end product of civilization and socialization, polished and upholstered, distant and cool, self-possessed and vaguely duplicitous.

Well put.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sneak preview! Disneyland's Finding Nemo ride

Jon Crowley, aka LA Dodger Jon, the authoritative mind that conjures Hollywood Thoughts, the definitive pop culture website for all things Dodgers, Hollywood, NASA and Disney, wangled his way into an employees-only try-out of the new Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland. Though there's a press preview Wednesday, the submarine ride doesn't open to the general public (that's you and us) next Monday afternoon.

For some reason, Crowley didn't post the info on Thoughts but tucked it away in the forums of the Mouse Planet (another Tabloid Baby Top Link), so here it is-- and, as he warns the Mouse Planet folks:

***Spoiler Alert!!!***

Don't read any further if you don't want to know what'ss contained in the ride!

I'm writing this for a couple of reasons:

1). For the land-locked folks unable to make the trip to the DLR...

and, 2). To start the discussion of the various effects found on the new attraction.

Let me start by saying what a weird -- yet familiar -- feeling it was to find myself in line to ride the subs! I know it's only been nine years since I made that winding trip down the sub's stairs, but it sure did feel like I was revisiting my childhood...

Because of my work in television, we were able to attend the preview tonight and ride the subs twice. Don't hold me to this, but I think the ride took about 12 minutes.

Frankly, I don't think my addled brain will allow to give a FULL account, but I'll try hard to be thorough.

Yes, you still sail through a curtain of bubbles to "dive." First stop? The film's dentist's little neice (daughter?) as a scuba diver A fun underwater AA as she's bagging some poor little fish. Then we move to a story (our narrator is the skipper and his female first mate-- both with Aussie accents) about undersea vents... volcanoes... and ancient "lost" civilizations.

Both times through this section we had slow downs. I later spoke to a CM who confided that the boat drivers still "needed practice"-- hence the unscheduled stop.

In truth, this is the weakest portion of the trip-- the art direction is thin.

Pretty soon, though, the ride picks-up, and would clearly earn itself an "E Ticket" valuation on sheer imagination and technical know-how.

The new animation techniques are nothing new-- but they are employed incredibly well. This is one of the few attractions (aside from Star Tours) that REALLY has a true storyline with dense dialogue that easily "tracks."

To be specific, Nemo and all the familiar characters from the film, track alongside the subs portholes as our sub encounters explosions... sub eating whales... snaggly-toothed sharks... shipwrecks... and deadly undersea explosive mines.

It's a heckuva fun ride!

While I am not certain of how the technology is emplyed, I can make some fairly good educated guesses:

Yes, there are several "old school" underwater AA figures (remember the mermaids? I don't see any of them-- but there are scubadivers, chomping eels, and swinning sea turtles that go about their rote movements like their predecessors). The new ANIMATED figures really only come into play when the subs enter the covered "cave."

I believe that in the center of the cave is a dry, "control room" where Nemo is projected onto glass to appear as though he is swimming alongside the sub's portholes. The "animated" Nemo is actually separated from the sub by a wall of plexiglass.

Pay attention to the "lava flow" scene. GREAT STUFF! The lava is actually high-def video being (rear?) projected into the lava troughs. The entire lava scene is actually in a DRY room-- again, separated from the sub by an invisible wall of plexiglass. The scene is layered with swimming fish-- all being projected onto separate pieces of glass that are devided from the sub by the water we're floating through.

It's late-- I hope I'm making sense!

Some of the stand-out scenes:

We get our best, first, glimpse of Nemo as the "class" of school-aged fishies arrive on the back of their mantaray teacher.

We meet the shark on a GREAT set of a shipwreck.

Lots of fun watching Dorrie tray to communicate with a pod of whales (yes, we get swallowed by one).

Fun interation with Dorrie and Nemo among a deep sea field of explosive mines.

Did I mention that the effect of lights and bubbles makes for a super cool explosion?

Also, look for an homage to the old sea monster-- he's towards the end... and is now part of a corral reef.

I'd love to hear other thoughts on the effects.

Enjoy the ride!

(Crowley adds in a later post that he believes that the voices Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks were actually soundalike imitators...)

UPDATE: Crowley's posted at Hollywood Thoughts. Check it out here.)