News, Sept. 24: E-Mail Campaign Builds to Oust Dan Rather, Sinead O’Connor Pleads To Be Left Alone, Creditors Want Part of Brando’s Pie, More..

E-mails call for Rather’s resignation

Station managers at several CBS affiliates told The Associated Press Thursday there is a national e-mail campaign building to oust Dan Rather as anchor of the CBS Evening News over his nebulous report on President Bush’s military record on 60 Minutes. Bob Lee, president and general manager of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., and head of the CBS affiliate board, said many e-mailers offer the same message: I will not watch CBS News again until Rather is gone. “To be honest, I’m most concerned when the e-mail is coming from a local viewer,” said Gary Gardner, vice president and general manager of WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Fla. Rather and CBS News have apologized for reporting on documents critical of Bush’s service, now widely assumed as fakes, and appointed a panel to investigate what went wrong in the report.

O’Connor wants her privacy

Singer Sinead O’Connor took out a full-page ad in the Irish Examiner newspaper asking the media to leave her alone, Reuters reports. The singer, best known for her hit song “Nothing Compares to U,” was responding to an article written earlier this week about her “latest wacky” campaign to rid the country of head lice. “I have been the whipping post of Ireland’s media for 20 years,” wrote O’Connor, who stirred controversy by ripping up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1990. “Please, I just want to be a little old lady now, and not be all controversial and not be bashed and called crazy and laughed at when I open my mouth to sing or speak.”

Creditors after part of Brando’s estate

Would-be creditors are lining up to make claims on the late Marlon Brando‘s estate, Reuters reports. Brando‘s estate attorney David Seeley said at least five or six potential creditors intend to file claims on the estate, equaling about $21.6 million worth of assets, including Tahitian-based Air Moorea, who flew guests to his private Tahitian island and Joan “Toni” Petrone, a longtime friend and personal assistant who lost a diamond ring down the actor’s drain. Brando‘s will lists 10 surviving children, ages 46 to 10, and names all as beneficiaries except for his adopted daughter Petra Brando-Corval. It also provides monthly payments for two friends of Brando‘s, Reuters reports.

John stands by his comments to Taiwanese media

Elton John ended his whirlwind tour of Taiwan unapologetic about calling the local media “rude, vile pigs,” Reuters reports. John targeted his ire at the reporters after they caught him unprepared at Taipei airport Thursday when he emerged from an elevator before passing immigration. Many countries do not allow media into restricted areas, but Taiwan reporters, notorious for aggressively chasing celebrities, can obtain special passes for the Taipei airport, Reuters reports. “The television and photographers at the airport were the rudest people that I’ve ever met and I’ve been to 60 countries,” John, 57, told fans at a concert on Thursday. “They are a disgrace to your country. They shouldn’t be allowed access to people just getting off planes like that.”

The View‘s Hasselbeck pregnant

The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck is expecting her first child with her husband, Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, AP reports. The former Survivor: The Australian Outback contestant revealed the news Thursday during the ABC daytime chat segment “Hot Topics.” “I’m nauseous,” Hasselbeck said, “but I’m fine with that because it’s all for a good cause.” Hasselbeck said she is due sometime in March.

NBC gears up for Seinfeld special

They’re baaaaak! Jerry Seinfeld is returning to NBC, along with TV pals Elaine, George and Kramer, for a special Thanksgiving Day retrospective on the smash hit “show about nothing,” the network told Reuters Thursday. The planned Nov. 25 broadcast, highlighting the origins of Seinfeld and the early years of the mega-hit comedy, is timed for two days after the DVD release of the series.

Gates named the richest man in America

Big surprise. For the 11th consecutive year, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates took first place on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the United States. Others on the list include Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder; Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Inc and Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corp. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner dropped off the list this year. Forbes magazine will publish its annual list in its Oct. 11 issue.