Top Story: Clear Channel Dumps Howard Stern
Many listeners who regularly listen to shock jock Howard Stern‘s nationally syndicated show were in for a surprise this morning. Radio giant Clear Channel Communications, Inc., said Wednesday it was dumping Stern from its six radio outlets that carry his show (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; San Diego, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Louisville, Ky.) under a new “zero tolerance” policy toward indecency, Reuters reports. Stern‘s Tuesday interview with Rick Salomon–hotel heiress Paris Hilton‘s partner in the infamous sex tape–is the reason why. According to a transcript of the show released by Clear Channel, Stern asked Salomon if he engaged in anal sex and referred to the size of his penis. Then, using a racist term, a caller asked Salomon if he had ever had sex with any famous black women. “Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content, and Howard Stern‘s show blew right through it,” Clear Channel Radio president John Hogan said in a statement. “It was vulgar, offensive and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency.”
Jackson Documentary Wins Journalism Prize
Martin Bashir’s 90-minute documentary Living With Michael Jackson, in which the self-proclaimed King of Pop said he sometimes lets children sleep in his bed, has been named program of the year in the Royal Television Society’s TV journalism awards. The industry group said Tuesday the interview showed “great journalistic enterprise,” The Associated Press reports. “To get the interview was remarkable enough, but to turn it into such riveting television with serious revelations that have stood the test of fierce reaction marked this out as the outstanding program of the year,” the society said. Jackson is currently facing charges of child molestation in California.
Woman Alleges Martin Lawrence Hit Her
A woman sued Martin Lawrence Monday in Superior Court, accusing the comedian of hitting her in the jaw at a party after she asked him if he’d be interested in attending another party at the Playboy mansion. According to the lawsuit, when Jennifer Palmer approached Lawrence at a Jan. 18 party, he responded by “wildly waving his hands around, slurring and mumbling in a manner suggesting that he was intoxicated or otherwise disoriented, using very foul language.” Palmer alleges she tried to push him away and he struck her in the jaw. Lawrence‘s publicist called the accusations false and “financially motivated.” Palmer is seeking more than $25,000 for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the AP reports. A hearing is scheduled for June 7.
Wedding Scene Cut From Jersey Girl
Director Kevin Smith said he cut a wedding scene with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez from his upcoming Jersey Girl. “I didn’t know if [it was right] to leave it in,” Smith is quoted as saying in the March 8 issue Us Weekly magazine. “People might forget they’re watching a picture, like, ‘Wait, didn’t these two NOT get married?'” Affleck and Lopez abruptly postponed their September 2003 nuptials because of the excessive media attention surrounding the ceremony. They have since ended their engagement. Jersey Girl is set for release March 26.
Elvis’ Granddaughter Makes Modeling Debut
The late Elvis Presley‘s 14-year-old granddaughter made her modeling debut at a fashion show in Milan, Italy, for designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Reuters reports. Riley Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and her first husband, musician Danny Keough, did her turn on the catwalk Wednesday, dressed in a tiny denim miniskirt and T-shirt. “I was really nervous before, I was shaking,” Riley said after the show. “But it was fun. I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Puddle of Mudd Singer Arrested
Puddle of Mudd lead singer Wesley Scantlin was arrested Sunday, after throwing a bottle and spitting at fans during a concert in Toledo, Ohio, AP reports. “We thought we were going to have a riot based on this guy’s conduct,” Earl Mack,an undercover state liquor agent with the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s investigative unit, told the AP. “It could have been a lot worse.” Scantlin was charged with disorderly conduct, intoxication, misconduct involving a public transportation system and criminal mischief. He was released Monday after posting $150 bond.
Doonesbury Wants Proof Bush Served
The Doonesbury comic strip is offering $10,000 to anyone who can prove President Bush served in the Alabama Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, Reuters reports. “That’s right–we’re offering $10,000 cash to anyone who can prove George W. Bush fulfilled his Guard duty in Alabama,” Wednesday’s strip said. “So if you served with Mr. Bush–even if only in the officers’ club–we want to hear from you right now!” Readers are referred to the Web site doonesbury.com, where a Witness Registration Form asks for online testimony, Reuters reports. The winner, however, will not actually receive the reward but instead the Web site says the cash will be donated in the winner’s name to the United Service Organization (USO), which entertains American troops.
Role Call: Rodriguez To Commit Sin
Director Robert Rodriguez will direct Sin City, an adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic noir crime novel series. According to Variety, the story is set in Las Vegas and interconnects storylines that involve unsavory inhabitants of the town. Rodriguez has already shot the film’s opening with Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton, and Variety reports he’s now casting the remaining roles as the rest of the film gets under way in March.
Reported by Guylaine Cadorette and Kit Bowen