THE PUBLICIST: As intrigue in Iraq abates, eyes turn to Hollywood happenings

Now that interest in Iraq is waning, as are our limited attention spans, it's time to titillate with the real news. The good stuff. Like Hollywood gossip. A payload of delectable dish was still being served in Tinseltown while bombs fell on Baghdad, but I've got you covered. As most watched Ted Koppel run around Mesopotamia in the most ridiculous hat you've ever seen, yours truly was carefully compiling choice showbiz tidbits.

Now that interest in Iraq is waning, as are our limited attention spans, it's time to titillate with the real news. The good stuff. Like Hollywood gossip. A payload of delectable dish was still being served in Tinseltown while bombs fell on Baghdad, but I've got you covered. As most watched Ted Koppel run around Mesopotamia in the most ridiculous hat you've ever seen, yours truly was carefully compiling choice showbiz tidbits.

Let others struggle to create a democratic oasis in the parched desert of tribal autocracy. I'm content just to let you know that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones won their lawsuit against a British publication that ran unauthorized photos of their wedding. The authorized ones, of course, had already been sold by the glamour couple to a different magazine. The duo had already established this media pay-to-play precedent with photos of their newborn child, which went for a cool million. How would you like to be that kid? "Hey, son, hand over your bib. Let's see what we can fetch for it on eBay." Meanwhile, Sharon Osbourne and a talent agent got into a brawl at a swanky West Hollywood restaurant. Osbourne's publicist had to dutifully deny eyewitness accounts, citing her client's impaired health as proof of innocence. Those who saw the spat, however, say the avalanche of her wrath earned Sharon the nickname "Blizzard of Oz." Next up is baseball's Hall of Fame, which backed out of plans for a 15th anniversary screening of Bull Durham due to fears that its stars, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, might say something controversial at the event. The outfit's managers obviously failed to include freedom of speech amongst the American values it espouses. Swing and a miss. And here's my favorite. In an effort to painlessly distance itself from the notorious history and ongoing negative publicity of its South Central district, LA's city council opted to rename the beleaguered area "South Los Angeles." "There now," they congratulated themselves, "with that pesky word 'central' gone, our problems are over." Not quite. Apparently unaware of the name change, and its accompanying expectations of lawful obedience, some 300 high school students in "South LA" engaged the following day in a spirited campus melee, wielding bats, pipes, chairs, and stale hot dog buns. The embarrassed city council is now considering renaming the area "Orange Country adjacent."
  • Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

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