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Hollyweird: Why dump K-Fed now?

"Scarborough Country" producer Kellyanne Dignan blogs:  "Why end it today? My first thought was the news cycle... But then someone pointed out it was Tuesday, also known in the tabloid world as the day "People Magazine" closes its weekly issue."
/ Source: Scarborough

Why dump K-Fed now?

In Washington, DC November 7, 2006 may be the date of the midterm elections but in Hollyweird it will be forever known as the date Britney Spears dumped Kevin Federline. Now it didn’t take a political science degree to see this coming. Tabloids have speculated about these two kids since the day they tied the knot.

But I have to ask, why end it today? My first thought was the news cycle. After all, most of the mainstream media is busy talking about who won what congressional district.  It’s a great time to sneak a divorce on us. But then someone pointed out it was Tuesday, also known in the tabloid world as the day "People Magazine" closes its weekly issue. This might seem like a small detail, but it is interesting to professional Britney watchers. While all the other celebrity magazines are already busy printing ("US Weekly," "Life & Style," "In Touch" and "OK! Magazine" all close on Monday night) "People" has time to squeeze in a Britney divorce story or a cover or whatever they choose.

The pop tart has always had a good relationship with "People." She debuted her wedding photos and the pictures of her first son, Sean Preston, on its cover. In comparison Brit’s relationship with "People's" rival, "US Weekly," has not always been so good. Just yesterday, a judge threw out her recent lawsuit against the tabloid.  While this week’s issue of “US” may be at the printer, their publicist assures me it will have Britney coverage. 

While I’m sure plenty of editors are disappointed actually broke the news to the world, never fear. "Sources close to the couple" are already out talking. Apparently, today’s bombshell wasn’t news to the Federline family. Sources tell me K-Fed broke the news to his family on Saturday while he was here in New York promoting his new album, and Federline’s friends are quick to say this was a mutual decision.

I guess this explains Britney’s Letterman appearance as well as her no show at K-Fed’s New York City debut on Saturday Night.  K-Fed got his usual less-than-spectacular welcome, but as I warned K-Fed just last month, you never know when the free ride will come to an end. I guess it’s time to add “the Ex-Mr. Britney Spears” to his impressive resume of back-up dancer, rapper, actor, paid party guest and model.

Lets hope he took his own advice and saved those pennies.  Despite the pre-nup, or maybe because of it, he’s going to need an expensive divorce attorney. And Britney says she’s not paying for it.

Nov. 7, 2006| 10:24 a.m. ET

A glance at women scorned
(Joe Scarborough)

This morning the President and First Lady cast their votes in Crawford, Texas. Laura Bush's smile was unusually tight, fixed. The look of a woman scorned.

Mary Matalin had that same frozen smile on her face on the morning before her boss, George Bush Sr., got swept out of office in 1992, as did Rosalyn Carter the day before her husband got crushed by the Reagan Revolution in 1980. 

Two years ago, exit polling showed George Bush going down to defeat. On election day, he told his daughters they needed to fake a smile while walking past reporters before they entered the White House to brace for defeat. The world could not read the election results on their faces. Once inside, the twins broke down in tears. 

They were all women scorned. You could read it in their faces. They knew their man was about to lose. 

Of course, the Bush women had the last laugh in 2004, but they won't be so lucky tonight. George Bush has become the issue in the 2006 campaign, just as Bill Clinton was when I first got elected to Congress in 1994. Voter anger toward Mr. Clinton was go great that by the end of the campaign all voters wanted to hear was how I would stop Bill Clinton. 

Unfortunately for Bush Republicans, Bill Clinton's approval ratings were 12 points higher in my first election than Bush's today. 

Yesterday, the world got a peek at just how much of a drag George Bush has become for the GOP.

The president was in my hometown of Pensacola, Fla., where he is always treated like a rock star. But when the White House announced Mr. Bush was coming to Northwest Florida to help Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign, the Crist camp left the White House hanging in the wind. In the end, it all came down to numbers. Standing next to the President of the United States would hurt the GOP candidate more than staying away.

It was a stinging rebuke, but one that Florida Senate candidate Katherine Harris also felt yesterday in Pensacola. Republican operatives knew that Harris would probably take the opposite tact of Charlie Crist by trying to elbow her way onto the stage. One last moment in the spotlight with the president. One last trip down memory lane to a more simple time when the man she helped put in the Oval Office didn't treat her like a leper.

But it was not to be.

Harris demanded to be on stage with the president but the White House refused. When she got angry, GOP officials told her that if she didn't like it, she could stay away. Please. But Harris showed up anyway, gave a speech and was rushed backstage, safely quarantined behind a curtain while the President strode on stage to inspire 10,000 adoring fans.

It was the final insult for a woman who had sacrificed her political career for this man who was now ashamed to be seen on the same stage with her. So much for Bush loyalty.

I am told that Katherine Harris milled around for a while after the president's motorcade zoomed away from the Pensacola Civic Center. But friends could read it on her face. She was a woman scorned.

Judging by the faces flickering across my TV screen this morning, she will have plenty of company tonight.


Dems losing ground
(Joe Scarborough)

James Carville said it best. If Democrats can’t beat the GOP this year, they might as well get into another line of work.

The political environment Republicans find themselves in could not be worse.

Iraq is spiraling out of control. Runaway spending has deflated conservatives. And the same Republicans who promised to clean up Washington in 1994 have become the party of Foley, Abramoff and DeLay.

By the end of last week, it looked like body bags, IOU’s and indictments would destroy the Republican majority. Most analysts (including myself) were predicting the GOP would lose as many as 30 seats in the House and six in the Senate—handing control of both chambers to Howard Dean’s Democrats.

But that was before John Kerry tried to tell a joke.

By Sunday, the hemorrhaging had begun.


'Sex' coming back to the City?
(Kellyanne Dignan, “Scarborough Country” producer)

OK! magazine reports the infamous "Sex and The City" movie is back on. Could it be true? After my wishing and hoping and praying, could Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte be returning to my life?

Upon hearing this news I had to shoot off a round of e-mails and calls to try and get confirmation before calling my mother, best friend, and college roommates. After all I wouldn't want to get their hopes up only to crush them in three days. So far, no denials. I'm still waiting for HBO to get back to me but Sarah Jessica Parker's rep had "no comment."

It's been more than 2 years since Carrie and Co. took their final curtain call on HBO. The four ladies who put Manolo Blahnik and cosmopolitans on the New York City map have moved on to other projects and repeatedly denied rumors of a big screen reunion. But OK! magazine claims to have studio sources saying negotiations are in the works.

The girls have always cited individual projects and scheduling conflicts keeping them too busy for a reunion flick. So I decided to check into what the ladies are up to.

Sarah Jessica Parker had a very busy Halloween. She was this year's trick or treat for UNICEF's goodwill ambassador. She is also set to start filming a new movie called Smart People next week. But I'm optimistic she could squeeze in a little "Sex and The City" afterwards. After all what's a few smart people next too four sexy ladies.

I'm sure Parker's husband, Matthew Broderick has reminded her just how much fun it is to work with Kristin Davis. The two just filmed "Deck The Halls" together.

Cynthia Nixon is in New York City busy on the theatre scene but, really just a short cab ride away to Miranda's life.

And then there is Kim Cattrall. When original plans for a movie fell through the actress took most of the blame. But with her post-Samantha career not exactly on fire a return to the character that made her a household name may not sound so bad.

As for the guys, despite this Kansas City Star article's claims that the Sex and The City men are the big winners, I think they could carve out a little time to make some "Big" cameos!

Come on ladies! The time is right. TV isn't what is use to be and your fans will be running to theatres as fast as their Manolos and podiatrists will let them.


What's wrong with John Kerry?

What is wrong with John Kerry? What is missing from the Massachusetts senator’s makeup that will not allow him to admit that he’s human? And why did he wait so long to clean up a political mess that hurt his party in the short run and damaged his own long-term presidential prospects?



Who will replace Bob Barker?
(Kellyanne Dignan, “Scarborough Country” producer)

I guess the price is no longer right because the unthinkable has happened. Bob Barker announced he will retire in June.  I admit in recent years I haven't been the most loyal "Price is Right" watcher (working really gets in the way of daytime TV) but knowing I had a standing date at 11 a.m. made staying home sick a whole lot easier.

But never fear fellow couch potatoes, Barker says, The show's producers have been hard at work for the last two or three years looking for a replacement. CBS tells me no replacement has been picked. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it is possible to find someone as committed to controlling the animal population. I humbly offer the show's producers this list of suggestions:

Regis Philbin
Yes, he's a busy guy, but he's got a proven track record with game shows. He also mentioned some interest in the job on "Live with Regis and Kelly" this morning, so who knows, his agent may be calling you!

Kevin Federline
If you're looking to bring the show to a whole new generation, this self-appointed "most underrated" performer might be your man. Given the reaction to K-Fed's rapping at his CD release party last night, he may be looking for a new gig.

Tom Cruise
Think about how excited this guy can get. Put a couch on the set and I see ratings gold.

Sacha Baron Cohen
Kazakhstan recently misspelled the word "bank" on their money.  Imagine Borat's jokes -- daytime TV could be the new late night!


Katherine Harris: Always the last to know

I remember talking to Katherine Harris late in the afternoon of George W. Bush’s first presidential inauguration. For Harris, the ceremony should have been bittersweet. While she had played a historic role in assuring victory for the 43rd president, it had come at a terrible political price to herself. By guaranteeing George Bush’s political future she had destroyed her own.

But Harris was the last to know then, and now.


Oct. 31, 2006|

"The Bachelor's" Pope connections

Another Monday night, another elimination on "The Bachelor." Which girl went when, where, and how is really not that important. After nine seasons the show follows a fairly predictable pattern ending with public declarations of love on the cover of every tabloid, and a blurb in the same tabloid, six months later, announcing both parties have gone their separate ways -- but remain good friends. This year the good people over at ABC moved the show to Rome and threw in an Italian prince of sorts to spice things up, but that's neither here nor there.

With all that in mind, imagine my shock when I read in The New York Post
the show's producers wanted the Pope to give his blessing to their bachelor prince.

Now, Pope Benedict is a surprising friend to pop culture. Newsweek has reported on his love of designer fashion and The Pontiff has an iPod. That said, I'm not sure his Holiness is as big a fan of "The Bachelor" as I am.

So, I have to ask, what is ABC thinking?

I called over to ABC and it seems they aren't too happy with this story. Their publicist told me executive producer Mike Fleiss was joking when he said they asked the Pope to be an extra on Hollyweird's favorite relationship show. They did however, acknowledge requests were made to film at the Vatican since bachelor Prince Lorenzo Borghese's family tree includes a cardinal and Pope.

The woman I spoke with wasn't sure if the crew ever got permission to film at the Vatican. She referred me to another publicist at Warner Brothers Television, who has yet to get back to me.
So, no final word on a "Bachelor" blessing in the finale. I guess I'll have to set my TIVO.

Oct. 30, 2006|

Hoff, we want to jump in your car
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Why does everyone in Hollyweird think they can rap? The most obvious example of a celebrity type who thinks he has the street credibility to get into hip hop is Kevin Federline. In fact,  Britney Spear's husband thinks he is the most underrated performer out there. Despite K-Fed's illusions of grandeur, I wasn't shocked to read in The New York Post that K-Fed's New York City concert tickets aren't selling well.

I guess Mr. Britney Spears has made that leap from fun to funny. He has all the traits that should make us love to hate him. So why do we just not like him? It's got to be more than the rapping. 'Popozao' is not exactly this decade's greatest gift to music, but we've forgiven and embraced performers with a lot less talent. Perhaps K-Fed's problem isn't so much his musical styling as his inability to laugh at himself.

Another wannabe rapper he could take a few pointers from -- David Hasselhoff. A

According to Britain's Life Style Extra, "The Hoff" wants to record a hip hop song with Jay-Z and Diddy. While such an announcement from K-Fed would make me smirk, the idea of jamming to a Diddy/Hoff rap makes me smile.

A lot of people ask me why we in Scarborough Country like the Hoff so much. The answer is simple and it's a lesson other Hollyweird types could learn from. The Hoff doesn't take himself too seriously, and he puts out catchy tunes with videos that we love.

If that's not a reason to jump in your car I don't know what is.


Warning: 'Sesame Street' not for children
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

I admit I’m a couple of decades behind on my “Sesame Street” watching -- blamemiddle school, my parent’s getting cable, and TIVO -- but I do fondly remember the program that took me on my first tour of the crayon factory and taught me (despite my high school Spanish teacher’s best efforts) the only 20 Spanish words I still know. So imagine my surprise when I read in The Pittsburgh Post Gazette the new “Sesame Street: Old School” DVD comes with a disclaimer warning parents it may not be for children. I know, Sesame Street not for children? I was confused too.

But it seems the good people over at “Sesame Street” are concerned the early episodes (1969-1974)  aren’t right for today’s tots. I guess when you’re growing up in a world where Cookie Monster gobbles up carrots and wheatgrass shakes the early years of “Sesame Street” may be a bit much to handle.

I was curious about this disclaimer, which I have not seen, so I called over to “Sesame Street” to get to the bottom of it! The official line is the changes over the years may be confusing to children. In early episodes Oscar is orange not green and apparently there is a different actor playing Gordon. Now I can see how a few cast changes might confuse a young child so I did a little research.

What did I discover on “Sesame Street’s” website?  The actor currently playing Gordon’s TV credits include “Sex and The City.”  I love “Sex and The City,” but I would probably call it one of the least child-friendly shows ever. So I have to ask, what’s more confusing? Explaining the process of re-casting or explaining why Gordon is serving Carrie and Samantha martinis on a train.

I guess my point is the times do change. But I would remind Hollyweird that there are lessons for everyone in the past. Give today’s kids a little credit. I bet they can handle the news, when Mommy and Daddy watched “Sesame Street” Oscar the Grouch was orange. Just don’t tell the kids there was no Nickelodeon. Best to break news like that slowly.


Madonna holds her own
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Talk about taking one for the Hollyweird team. Madonna held her own on Oprah yesterday.  Defending her controversial adoption and taking the media to task for all the negative spin. Madonna also shot down reports that Brangelina were behind her decision to adopt.

When that story surfaced last week it was easy to believe. After all, Angie and Brad are perhaps Hollyweird's most famous adoptive parents to Maddox and Zahara. And, both have made it known they want a large international family. 

Now, The Daily Mail reports that the Jolie-Pitts want to add a new baby from India to their growing brood. The couple is in India filming a movie and forget postcards this couple seems to bring a new son or daughter home from each trip.

But I would remind Angie she is already a mother to three and with reports she is fainting on the set. I'm not sure another baby is the way to go right now. My advice, head to Italy for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding! Imagine the price you could get for pictures of a Shiloh/ Suri play date. Forget helping one child, I bet the tabloids would pay enough to save a whole country.

Maybe Brangelina can talk Tom and Katie into adding to their own family. A TomKat kitten adopted in Italy? Now that's a bambino I would like to write about.


Is Kazakhstan the new Hollyweird?
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Forget Hollywood, these days it seems the hottest names in showbiz come from Kazakhstan. Traditionally, the former Soviet Republic's connection to Tinseltown was an occasional Oscar nomination for best foreign picture. But it seems 2006 is the year the wall between Hollyweird and Kazakhstan comes down. And with no David Hasselhoff performance.

The most famous Kazakh star, "Borat"  is actually a character played by British Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. While HBO fans are familiar with the bumbling Kazakh journalist from " Da Ali G Show" the rest of America will get their first taste of Borat's antics when the film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," opens on November 3rd.

Officials in Kazakhstan probably won't be sharing Twizzlers and a Diet Coke on opening night. They recently took out print and TV ads to refute the movie's claims that Kazakhstan isn't the most forward thinking place. But Kazakh officials have learned to take a joke. They embraced the old saying "If you can't beat 'em join 'em." They've invited Cohen to visit his adopted country.

Borat is clearly making a Hollyweird splash, but he's not the only Kazakh on the showbiz scene. Britain's Sun has a huge spread today on Madu, a thirteen-year-old Kazakh pop singer.  The paper went so far as to call her the next Madonna, minus the African baby adoption.

Madu is a pretty brunette, speaks great English and can sing. She's not exactly the Kazakh woman Borat presents to the world, but I think her government might find they would be better off spending their misprinted banknotes promoting Madu instead of refuting Borat.


Cruise's career options
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Could it be? Could the TomKat super special secret wedding be just around the corner? Tom and Katie are laying low. This leads professional TomKat watchers to speculate Hollyweird's favorite residents are preparing to tie the knot.

TMZ points to TomKat's no show at Tom's daughter, Isabella's soccer game last weekend. But I see another sign -- Tom is ready to make movies again.

Variety reports  the actor is looking at three major projects. While another Paramount Picture seems unlikely, Cruise is considering two films backed by major studios, Warner Brothers and Fox.

The other option, an indie flick, "Lions for Lambs." It's a political drama about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Cruise would play a congressman. Robert Redford is likely to direct and possibly co-star. Meryl Streep is also tied to the project. That would not be a bad comeback for Tom if he can land it.

Now I don't want to be cynical, I'm sure all the wedding talk and movie speculation is just a coincidence. But I do have a suggestion for the happy couple. Since George Clooney's people  say his Italian villa will not host the TomKat wedding, why not head for Washington, D.C.? A beltway wedding is sure to create a publicity storm the likes of which Washington has never seen. Imagine a wedding photo on the cover of The Washington Post. What could be better publicity for a political thriller than that?


A Hollywood rite of passage: Oprah’s couch
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Madonna is a pop star under siege. Harassed by the tabloids and under fire from aid groups accusing her of not following the rules in her ongoing African baby adoption saga. So who does she call for help? America’s conscience and the owner of the most spiffy couch in Chicago—Oprah Winfrey. That’s right, the Material Mom will spill her guts and presumably all the adoption details to the queen of talk on Wednesday.

I’m not surprised Madonna turned to Oprah. It seems celebrities view a visit to Oprah’s Chicago studios as a kind of right of passage to say nothing of the free therapy. For the Hollyweird elite an hour spent with Oprah talking about your love life, children, or latest movie is the ultimate status symbol.

Just look at Jennifer Aniston. Forget about Brangelina’s trip to India, Jen made headlines going on Oprah to defend her relationship with Vince Vaughn. Interesting, since she never actually confirmed she and Vaughn were dating in the first place. But it seems once you sit down on the famous couch minor details like privacy go right out the studio window.

Sometimes I wish celebrities would keep more of the private details to themselves. The most obvious example of too much information: Tom Cruise’s infamous Oprah couch jump a year and a half ago. But Tom’s very public and enthusiastic declaration of love for Katie Holmes did become part of the cultural dialogue and set the tone for their relationship moving forward.

One can only hope that Star Magazine’s report last month that Tom will return to Oprah’s couch is true! Tom, Katie, Suri and Oprah? Now that’s must see TV.


Clinton can't woo conservatives

Elvis has entered the arena.

That’s right. The King of Pols has swiveled his way into the national spotlight once again and made Democratic groupies swoon with delight.

In Bill Clinton Democrats see a rock star who slayed the Republican dragon, a Southern cracker who thumbed his nose at a million church ladies, a 60’s survivor who beat the rap.

The King’s presence usually translates into a gazillion dollars for Democrats nationwide.

But conservatives outside the Democratic base still view Clinton as a menacing figure.


Paris turns a new leaf
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Who knew Paris Hilton had standards? A source tells The New York Post that the heir-head, turned actress, turned wannabe pop star thinks her movie "Pledge This!" is so bad -- she won't promote it.

Now I don't pretend to know what goes on in Paris Hilton's head, but my theory is this might be the start of a whole new "Paris Inc."

It's been a rough fall for Paris, with the DUI charge, her CD not exactly flying off the shelves, the bar fight with Shanna Moakler, oh and don't forget she was denied access to some of New York and London's hottest clubs. But good news -- this simple girl has realized Hollyweird is just more fun with your friends, and appears to be heading back to her roots.

First, we had the "caught on camera" make-up with Nicole Richie. Seeing these two reunited gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. And I'm sure the good people at E! are just licking their chops thinking about the ratings for the next season of "The Simple Life."

Next, we hear reports Paris and Lindsay Lohan are back to their partying ways in Las Vegas. After all what's a little alleged cell phone hacking and profanity-laced name calling between friends?

Now that her posse is back intact all she needs is Tinkerbell and I'm sure the "A List" parties will be begging for "her kind" again.

Oct. 19, 2006 |

Britney Spears wants to adopt?
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Pop tart Britney Spears has yet to introduce son number two, Sutton Pierce, to the world. So imagine my surprise at a report from Britain's Life and Style Extra that Brit wants to follow in Madonna's footsteps and adopt an African baby. Britney's publicist has yet to get back to me with a comment, but it seems unlikely that Mr. and Mrs. Britney Spears have the time to head over to Malawi and adopt a baby. While celebrities seem to get speedy treatment, K-Fed has an album to promote.

Speaking of Mr. Britney Spears and self promotion...

For those of you who didn't catch K-Fed's smackdown on WWE this Monday I recommend taking a look at the video below for some expert analysis. I'm not sure this stunt is one for Federline's resume but we're talking about it so I would say "mission accomplished."

Britney is hard at work on what could be "Mission Impossible." No, she isn't trying to steal Tom Cruise's job, rather sell a few copies of her husband's debut rap album.

K-Fed's Playing With Fire album officially drops on Halloween. While it won't include the much anticipated PoPoZao we are expecting to hear the first Spears/ Federline musical production. One can only hope it is as successful as their short lived UPN reality show.

Britney is lending more than her pipes to K-Fed's album. She is sponsoring a CD selling contest

The fan who can sell the most CDs gets to party with the happy couple on Halloween. Is that a trick or treat?


Bail, boys, bail!

How do you know when a Republican candidate is in big trouble?

When he spends the closing stages of his campaign convincing the most conservative radio talk show hosts in America that he is right. That's exactly what George W. Bush was forced to do when he convened a communications' summit with the radio's top radio talkers last month.

It has long been said that the White House is the best home field advantage in the world. Most first-time visitors to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue go weak-kneed when they pass through the gates that open up to the President's mansion. As much as I like to play the part of a worldly, wise hipster, I admit that the first time I walked on the grounds where Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR lived was an awe inspiring experience.

The President's DJ Summit seemed to similarly inspire the flock. Sean Hannity swooned at the president's sight, telling listeners that if all Americans had an audience with the president, his approval rating would be at 80%. A debatable point to be sure.

But one thing is not open to debate.

This president and his Republican Party are in their greatest political peril since the closing days of the 1992 campaign. Polls are plummeting, fundraising is down and some in the White House are already kissing the House of Representatives goodbye. With the GOP's ship in danger of sinking, it is dreadful news that the captain is being forced to give pep talks to his crew instead of figuring out a way to save his ship.

Bail boys, bail! It's going to be an ugly three weeks.


Happy Hollyweird Halloween
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Halloween is right around the corner. This year I’m looking for a little costume inspiration in Hollyweird. So if you’re also thinking about dressing up like your favorite celebrity, here are a few ideas:

Paris Hilton: This costume appears easy... really all you need is a few blonde hair extensions and a margarita. But true Paris fans know this costume can be a lot more complicated. This year I am suggesting “Oktoberfest” Paris.  Yes, the dirndl will set you back a few dollars but you can always reuse it next year and go as Heidi!

Dressing up as the heir-head also gets bonus points because you can include your friends as Paris’s entourage, dubbed Paris-ites by the Los Angeles Times.

TomKat: Last year this costume was so easy—Get your craziest friend, put a pillow under your "I heart Scientology and Tom Cruise" shirt, and you were good to go as Katie Holmes. With this year’s arrival of the blessed child things are a little more complicated. If you don’t have your own Suri I recommend investing in a Cabbage Patch Kid and a small wig. A little glue and you’ve got instant Suri. Just add Daddy Tom in a Redskins jersey and Mommy Katie is Paris Couture and you’ve got a couch jumping party.

Sienna Miller: The perfect last minute costume! All you need is a wallet with no ID and a I hate Pittsburgh T-shirt.

Madonna: While I prefer the material girl era (who knew that eighties prom dress would ever come in handy again!) this year, mother earth mom is probably more accurate. My only question... is it possible to get the baby sling over the cone shaped bra?

Brangelina: This costume works a lot better if you have a gaggle of kids. But if you’re flying solo, a UNICEF t-shirt and a mandolin seems to be all you need.

Lindsay Lohan: This could not be easier, a red wig and a wedding dress. The young actress and party girl just told In Style Magazine she wants to get married.

The Hoff: Some red swim trunks and a “Don’t Hassle The Hoff” shirt. There is nothing scary about that!


New York Times won't review O'Reilly

Stop the presses. Bill O’Reilly is lashing out at the New York Times.

But this time the King of Cable News is not going after the Newspaper of Record for slanted news coverage on Iraq, Republican scandals or culture wars. This time O’Reilly’s angst is reserved for the Times’ book review staff.

The man who built Fox News primetime into a ratings juggernaut is a hard guy to ignore. O’Reilly is everywhere.


Important imaginary celebrities
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Call it the best people that Hollyweird could dream up. A new book 'The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived' ranks the most important imaginary people of all time. My imaginary friend didn't make the list of book, movie, TV, and advertising icons, but I find it comforting to know King Arthur (#3) and Robin Hood (#12) might actually be more important than Paris Hilton.

Celebrities weren't eligible for the list but it doesn't take Nancy Drew (#62) to see Hollywood's fingerprints all over it:

Without John Wayne and Clint Eastwood would "The American Cowboy" have come in at number 19? And, Disney built a very large house based on Mickey Mouse (#18) and its interpretation of fairy tales brought the art of "Prince Charming" (#20) to a whole new level. The great characters of Shakespeare: Hamlet (#5) and Romeo and Juliet (#9) both made the top ten. How many times has a Hollywood studio turned to them for inspiration?

The list is a lot of fun but I was surprised that "The Marlboro Man" took the top spot on the list. I guess the cigarette advertising icon has influenced more lives than Barbie (#43) and James Bond (#51). Anti-smoking groups are constantly after Hollywood to stop smoking on screen. There are dozens of studies proving or disproving the theory that celebrity smoking encourages teens to light up.

I'm not going to argue the facts. But, what does it say when "The Marlboro Man (#1) is more influential than Santa Claus (#4)?


Six degrees of Clooney
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Forget about Kevin Bacon, I’m beginning to think all the Hollyweird stars are six degrees from George Clooney.

While he continues to deny reports he is interested in playing politics.  Britain’s Daily Mail reports he might be playing cupid. The paper is reporting the long awaited and much speculated about TomKat wedding is taking place at Clooney’s Italian villa.

I had no idea Clooney was such good friends with the happy couple. Maybe he is a secret Dawson’s Creek fan?

George isn’t keeping it a secret that he is a fan of Johnny Depp. Life Style Extra reports Clooney has even written Depp fan letters. While fan mail is a little intense for my taste, it is good to know major celebrities can still get a little star struck.

Most of Clooney’s Hollyweird fans turned out Friday night when he accepted the American Cinematheque Award. While I’m not quite sure what he did to get this award, his former ER co-star Julianna Margulies did hint at a possible ER movie reunion for her and Clooney’s characters. Talk about vintage Clooney.  I would happily pay $10 for Dr. Ross!


A "Spicy" reunion?
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

After a very bland five years, I think the Spice Girls might be back. How's that for a late nineties flashback? I'm not sure if it's "Posh Spice" Victoria Beckham's relationship with Tom Cruise or just the wishful thinking of a fan but it seems like after a five year break, the Spice Girls are everywhere.

The Daily Mirror  is reporting Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton is working on getting the girls together to sing at her wedding. I guess it would save her a few bucks on a wedding band.

If Emma's wedding reunion doesn't work out, there is always "Scary Spice's" bachelorette party. The Daily Mail reports  Melanie Brown wants to get all the girls together for a pre-wedding party. Could this mean a walk down the aisle for Mel B and Eddie Murphy? The couple are reportedly madly in love.

The quietest of all the girls has been Melanie "Sporty Spice" Chisholm. She did however recently play London's Hard Rock Cafe. So we know she still has her stage clothes.

Any true Spice Girl reunion would have to include Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell. But, Geri was the first to leave the band and the girls might have a tough time getting her out of the nursery and into her platform shoes. She tells Britain's Mail she isn't interested in getting back on stage and is busy being a mum!

Another "spicy" mum, Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham is currently in Paris with her new best friend Katie Holmes. If Posh can't leave her new friend I'm not opposed to a new spice... Katie could round out the group as Suri Spice of Scientology Spice. That's a concert I would pay good money to see.


Sienna makes more headlines in Pittsburgh
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

It seems celebrities are constantly looking for and getting special treatment. I mean come on, these people are already famous, what more do they want?

Apparently actress Sienna Miller thinks she shouldn’t have to show ID at bars. The twenty four-year-old actress denies it but a Pittsburgh bar owner claims Miller threw a fit when they wouldn’t serve her without ID. Sienna, some advice, you’ve already made way too many headlines in Pittsburgh.  It might be time to stay in your hotel room and order room service.

Another Hollyweird indulgence I just don’t get is the celebrity fragrance. Model Kate Moss is just the latest Hollyweird resident to launch her own scent.  Earlier this week we reported on David Hasselhoff’s plans for an Eau De Hoff. The Hoff is quoted as saying “what better way to start your day than to spray yourself with me.” Now I love The Hoff, and would jump in his car anytime but smelling like him? I think I’ll pass.


Witnessing the chaos
(Joe Scarborough)

New York’s Upper East Side has long been home to  Manhattan’s most exclusive neighborhoods. The Roosevelts and generations of New York elites have long roamed the quiet streets that today were transformed into a chaotic crime scene.

City blocks surrounding the plane crash were encircled by police tape, a crush of cameraman, battalions of New York police officers screaming at said cameramen and firefighters walking in long, single file lines toward the burning apartment building

I made it to the scene about 30 minutes after the single engine plane crashed into the 40th floor of the Belaire apartment building.  As I walked down 72 St. toward York Ave, police were furiously  spreading barricades across Third Avenue.  A fleet of ambulances screamed past and New York cops guarded the 72nd and York intersection with assault weapons and angry glares.

I looked up at the sky. Gray but good visibility. Whoever crashed this plane was making a political statement or was a terrible pilot. Most on the scene assumed the latter.

A doctor approached and asked if I would be talking about the crash on Scarborough Country. Aftertelling him I would, he reported that while inside the emergency room he saw doctors treating a woman for cuts and burns.  Other than being dazed and nicked, the doctor said she would be fine.

Soon enough the flames would die out and the smoke billowing up 10 stores high would also dissipate. For reporters, the only bit of news coming from the scene came when a resident of the trashed apartment tried to break through the police lines.

“I have a right to go back to my f-ing home,” the man screamed. 

The six police offers carrying him off apparently disagreed.

After hoards of cameramen chased the police officers and the roughed up resident, it became clear that staring up at a 50 story high rise would yield little additional breaking news. I did a hit on The Most, Tucker and then headed to the studio.


Reports: Maddona's adoption official
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

After weeks of speculation, Britain’s Sun is reporting Madonna adopted a baby boy in Africa.   Madonna already plays mom to her two kids, 9-year-old Lourdes and 5-year-old Rocco. The newest member of Madge’s family is reportedly David, a 13-month-old from Malawi.

If you’re looking for a “rockin” baby gift to send the material girl consider ‘Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana.” The album features remixes Nirvana songs into lullabies for young children. Now I get that parents can only stomach so much Baby Einstein, but I’m not sure a person who hasn’t celebrated his or her first birthday is ready for teen spirit.

One Hollyweird Mom who thinks she still has teen spirit: Dina Lohan. Dina is frequently seen out partying with her daughter so I was surprised to see Lindsay quoted as saying her mom will let her know when she is partying too much.

One thought for Lindsay. Mom seems a little busy between chasing after George Clooney and the whole talk show idea. I’m not sure she has the best handle on your nightlife.

One Hollyweird Mom who is trying to get a handle on her public relations: Britney Spears. It seems the pop tart is so jealous of TomKat’s Vanity Fair spread that she wants Annie Liebowitz to snap some Spears-Federline family photos.

Being a parent in Hollyweird isn’t an easy task. Yes, you have the nannies, thousand dollar strollers, and baby cashmere but imagine the extra stress of baby’s first magazine cover?


Hollyweird's shiniest, most overexposed stars
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Which star shines the brightest in the Hollyweird sky? Well at least according to a new survey the answer is model Kate Moss. The British experts who developed the list claim Moss is the most influential celebrity in the world. I’m not buying it. Moss may be able to sell Burberry on Madison Avenue but in most of America she’s just “that really skinny model.”

Speaking of skinny, super slender Nicole Richie seems to have kissed and made up with Paris Hilton. Just last year the famous “Simple Life” friends even changed production on their reality show so they wouldn’t have to speak. Now video has surfaced of the two out for a nice steak dinner.

It’s nice to see Paris has her friends around her during these trying times. She’s still facing charges stemming from her DUI arrest and now a picture has surfaced showing a substance that looks like marijuana in her purse. Paris’s people claims it’s just tobacco. I feel for Paris' publicist, Elliot Mintz. Despite all his late night press conferences his client still isn’t Forbes most over exposed celebrity. This year that honor goes to Jessica Simpson. Paris, however, did manage to top market research firm E-Poll's most overexposed celebrity list.

Simpson's movie, “Employee of The Month,” bombed at the box office but the blonde bombshell does have a new friend, singer Sheryl Crow.  Be sure to check out "Scarborough Country" tonight. We’ll have an interview with Sheryl. Hey, in Hollyweird you’ve got to have friends.


Itching for a TomKat wedding
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Okay I have to ask... where is the TomKat wedding? I just got back from a wedding so I have nuptials on the brain but really, isn't enough enough? Speculating when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will tie the knot is the new Suri search. First it was a summer wedding then it was fall, then it was in the next six weeks. Now maybe November?  I can only hope Katie's trip to Paris with her new best friend Victoria Beckham is to pick out a wedding dress.

Come on Tom and Katie this really isn't that hard. A little rice, some champagne, a few friends down at the Scientology Center. You could have the whole thing done by lunch and I'll even babysit Suri for you.

So, why are we still waiting for the TomKat union? Maybe Tom and Katie just wanted to make sure Katie lost her baby weight and looked good in her dress. After all white is a tough color to pull off.

Maybe Katie wants to wear a strapless dress and her tan lines are causing trouble
Or could it be Katie is having some second thoughts? After all dating Tom wasn't exactly a boost to Penelope Cruz's career.

Perhaps I am reading just a little too much into it. Maybe Katie's more of a 2007 bride. After all, Tom doesn't have a movie to promote anytime soon.

Oct. 3, 2006 |

Another reason to vote Democrat
(Joe Scarborough)

Today we learned that Mark Foley engaged in Internet sex with minors to kill time in between congressional votes. And to think I wasted all that down time reading Greek history. What a misspent youth!

I suppose I should have seen this coming a long time ago. After all, Mark always bragged to his congressional colleagues about being able to type 85 words a minute with one hand. It was an odd talent to possess, I thought at the time. But now it seems so damn practical.

Anyway, I digress.

Mark Foley's slimy little sex scandal has done more than gross out friends and foes alike. It has also created a colossal mess for the Republican Party that Mark left behind when he entered that swanky rehab clinic.

House Speaker Denny Hastert is looking more like Peoria's version of Louis XVI, with teeming masses of conservatives calling for the affable old Speaker's head. They claim the ex-wrestling coach was asleep at the switch while a member of his team preyed on young boys.

Now they are calling for his head, and GOP members are demanding dramatic changes.

They may get their wish in the form of Speaker Nancy Pelosi—a San Francisco Democrat whose politics could not be more removed from Denny Hastert's. But the 2006 election is not shaping up to be about ideology. Instead, it seems destined to become a referendum on the Republican scandals.

Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley have all been driven from power over the past year because of ethical and legal challenges. Only DeLay's arose from political battles.  The others were busted in various sexual, financial and ethical scandals that will haunt all Republicans this fall.

It is impossible for voters to get a clear picture of the quagmire in Iraq. With Shiite death squads killing Sunni citizens and Sunni insurgents blowing up Shiite children, it is hard to find good guys in that war. It is also difficult to get a read on America's economic outlook. Gas prices are down, interest rates are steady but the deficit and debt are at all time highs.

With Republican and Democratic spokesmen spinning every issue at warp speed, scandals like Mark Foley's are easiest to grasp.

A Republican congressman preyed on young boys. His leaders knew about inappropriate emails. They did next to nothing. And when it hit the fan a month before the election, Republican leaders spent the first days of the scandal pointing fingers at each other. One more scandal.

One more indictment. One more reason to vote Democratic.

For those of us who were once proud to be Reagan Republicans, these are dark political days. Most conservatives find themselves asking how things could get any worse in the Republican Congress. If history is a guide, I'm confident our GOP leaders will find an answer to that question soon enough.


George Clooney's confusing love life
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

George Clooney is a man with a plan! He is sick and tired of the Paparazzi making up stories about his love life so he is going to date everyone in Hollywood in an attempt to confuse the public.  I hate to break it to George but I care about his love life almost as much as I cared about his lack of political ambition.

His comments did get me wondering if any other celebrities have pulled this stunt. Maybe Brad Pitt didn't so much fall in love with Angelina Jolie but fell out of love with Jennifer Aniston. Could Brangelina be a stunt cooked up to keep the press and public from focusing on his divorce? It's a fun conspiracy theory but probably just that.

It seems Brad and Angie are so committed to having a normal family they've signed young Maddox up for soccer. They have even hired the most famous soccer player in the world, David Beckham, to give the 5-year-old a few pointers.
Wait, I thought Becks and his lovely wife the former "Posh Spice" Victoria are best friends with Tom and Katie?

Plus Tom and Katie spend so much time kicking around at the Cruise kids' soccer games!

Could Beckham be giving us the George Clooney treatment or is he just playing the Hollyweird field? Either way it looks like Tom and Katie have a little competition!


"The Bachelor" goes to Hollyweird
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

“The Bachelor” is back! Yes, the reality TV train wreck that makes everyone feel better about their own love life returns tonight. This time around the bachelor of choice is a prince of sorts. Prince Lorenzo Borghese is the scion of a minor Italian royal family. So what better place to woo the bachelorettes than Rome?

Now I hope things work out Lorenzo, I really do. But given the show’s less than stellar record in matchmaking, and this preview of one of the bachelorettes, I’m thinking he may find himself looking for love again in the very near future. Where better to look than Hollyweird! So here are a few of my bachelorette nominees:

Jessica Simpson: We already know she has no problem speaking her mind on TV and she’s gone on countless televised dates with former hubby Nick Lachey. Lets just hope tuna’s not on the menu!

Jennifer Aniston: Jen loves her dogs: The bachelor’s family makes doggie cosmetics. I think it’s a match made in Hollyweird.

Paris Hilton: The heir-head and the prince. This one is almost too obvious.

Anne Hathaway: Not a real princess but she plays one in the movies. And thanks to “The Devil Wears Prada” she has quite the wardrobe.

Scarlet Johansen: Esquire’s sexiest woman and she doesn’t believe in monogamy. She’s pretty and doesn’t care if her boyfriend cheats? I’d say she’s ready for “The Bachelor.”


'Jesus Camp' plays to prejudices

I had some reservations about running the “Jesus Camp” segment we taped earlier this week. The reasons had nothing to do with the film’s quality or the guests booked. In fact, one of those guests was a former law partner and a voice of dissent in the movie.

My problem with “Jesus Camp” had to do with “Scarborough Country” giving time to yet another movie that showed an extreme side of Christianity.

Read more


"Real life" Grey's Anatomy
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

I have to say I love Grey's Anatomy.  It just makes Thursday a little brighter. There are a lot of theories as to why the show is so popular. I don't pretend to be an expert but I think people relate to the show. At it's core it's not so much a medical drama as a work place drama-dy.

Since it is Friday and we have six whole days until "Grey's" returns, I thought it might be fun to take a look at Hollyweird's "Grey Anatomy."

Meredith: I've thought long and hard on this and this week I have to say Lindsay Lohan wins this plum role. Not only is she as skinny as Ellen Pompeo, her love life would give Dr. Grey a run for her money. Most of the week's celebrity couples news swirled around rumors she and Harry Morton were on the rocks. And then came a report she was out with Paris Hilton's ex Stavros Niarchos.  Lindsay, take a page from Meredith and learn to knit.

McDreamy: Oh McDreamy. He is so late to the party. I am thrilled to see behavior this season I would have liked to see last season, and I guess better late than never. He's just that bad boy you want to see succeed. Kind of like Charlie Sheen. After a summer of nasty divorce allegations, he and Denise Richards are on decent terms and he is the highest paid guy on TV.  Looks like a good season ahead.

Addison: I love Addison, and she definitely gets picked on. This week I have to join the pack and nominate Paris Hilton. McDreamy's soon-to-be ex spent most of last night's episode drinking, and our girl Paris spent it at Oktoberfest. Oh, and of course there was that pesky DUI charge.

George and Callie: I am just hoping and praying this couple can make it. It's sort of how I feel about Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody.  They are just so cute. Sadly, jealousy may sink both.

The Chief: It's that moment where your whole life changes. It's something lots of people in Hollyweird understand. I think Chief Webber is just praying for a miracle -- kind of like our man... The Hoff.

Izzy: I honestly feel very sad for Izzy, and I think watching her make a comeback is going to be a fantastic plot line for "Grey's." This week I also found myself a little sad for Jessica Simpson. Everyone's favorite blonde is definitely off her game and just seems a little lost.

Alex: He is back and volatile as ever. It's very Russell Crowe.  I'm sure Alex doesn't do "charity work" either.

Bailey: I think it is safe to say Bailey is back in business. After going "soft" she's right back to the tough Bailey we know and love. I'm nominating Janet Jackson. After a spectacular Today Show concert and an interview on Oprah it seems Ms. Jackson is back and the Super bowl is a distant memory.

Cristina and Burke: No matter how much I love them, I see rocky times ahead for these two. Brangelina may have had a quiet week but Angie's plans for a sexy new photo spread and constant rumors the couple is in trouble makes me think we may never see a wedding.


"Idol" Thoughts
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

With all the new fall shows my TiVo's been hard at work. Now that ratings are in, one thing is clear -- FOX is missing American Idol.

I'm sure the powers that be at FOX don't love being in 4th place but with Idol commanding top dollar from advertisers I'm not weeping too hard for them.  Fans of the show may not be so lucky, the new season doesn't start for four months and even the Idol tour has come to an end.

When Idol does return in January expect to see a lot of contestants treating us to tunes from the musical, "Grease." Sandy herself, Olivia Newton John has signed on as a guest judge for the show.  Now I love Olivia but I must warn you I could have a "physical" reaction if I hear "Summer Nights" more than six times.

One thing to look forward too, Simon's reaction to the first person who sings Xanadu! Interestingly enough Simon says he prefers to be behind the scenes. Yeah Simon... you seem like such a shy guy!  I'm sure it was hard for you to call Clay Aiken an idiot!  But don't worry, I doubt Aiken is crying into his pillow at night. After all he has Elton John on his side!


Who will make the TomKat wedding guest list?
(Kellyanne Dignan, "Scarborough Country" producer)

Hollyweird -- and all the planets of Scientology -- are breathlessly waiting the wedding of the century. US Magazine reports Tom  Cruise and the lovely Katie Holmes will walk down the aisle within the next six weeks. I’m not sure if TomKat keeps a copy of Emily Post on the coffee table, but according to the rules of etiquette their wedding invitations should be in mailboxes across Hollyweird by now. Mine seems to have gone missing... but I thought it might be fun to predict who might be on the list.

A Possible TomKat Wedding Guest List:

The Cruise and Holmes Families: Rumors swirled for months that Tom and Katie’s families were on the outs but these days everyone seems to be in love.

Celebrity Scientologists: They were the first to see the baby and seem likely to make the final cut.

The Beckhams: TomKat’s new best friends will “spice up” the wedding.

Editors at Vanity Fair: You’ve seen the pictures, need I say anything else.

Oprah: You have to invite anyone who lets you jump on their furniture.

The Ex’s: Chris Klein told E! he was thrilled for Katie and Penelope Cruz was one of the first to see Suri.

Brooke Shields: What better way to say I’m really sorry then with an invitation.

Brangelina: Now that Brad says he’s not interested in Tom’s “Mission Impossible,” Hollyweird’s other favorite couple might find a invitation in their mailbox.

Three people I’m pretty sure won’t make the list: Viacom’s Sumner Redstone and South Park creator’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker. I guess they’ll just have to read about it like the rest of us.