Howard Stern Goes for Simon Cowell's 'Idol' Job?

Tuesday, 09 Feb 2010 09:52 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

A Newsmax Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Howard Stern Goes for Simon Cowell’s ‘Idol’ Job?
2. Asian Woman Wants a 'Jessica Alba' Surgery Makeover
3. Rupert Murdock, James Cameron and ‘Avatar 2’
4. Court Orders John Edwards’ Former Aide to Relinquish Sex Tape
5. New Michael Jackson Trial on Its Way

1. Howard Stern Goes for Simon Cowell’s ‘Idol’ Job?

“American Idol” is a phenomenon.

It has experienced unprecedented success and remains one of the few family oriented programs on the small screen.

All this may be about to change.

Howard Stern, the shock jock who has racked up the most fines in FCC history as a result of his consistently coarse and indecent radio broadcasts, has purportedly been offered Simon Cowell's judge seat on “American Idol.”

The New York Post reports that Stern is in talks to step into Cowell’s shoes starting in 2011, when his Sirius XM radio contract ends.

“It's one of the few shows that could compete with Stern's $100-million-a-year Sirius contract, and 'Idol' bosses think he'd be even nastier than Simon,” an “Idol” source told the newspaper. “They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants. ‘Idol’ will do what it takes to sign him."

Stern has alluded to the “Idol” idea several times on his radio show. He revealed the following: “I was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year -- and I did turn it down. . . I'm not even sure if I want to be working. I'm waiting to see what happens."

It is possible that the story is a negotiation tactic from the Stern camp.

Another source indicated, “This is a ploy to make Sirius pay up and keep him on his huge contract. But if Sirius can't pay him the money he wants, he may negotiate to film 'Idol' on the side.”

Even if it is a side job, if Stern gets the gig it’s likely that the most successful show on TV will kiss its sweet ratings good-bye.


2. Asian Woman Wants a 'Jessica Alba' Surgery Makeover

Hollywood’s influence has gone global.

In all corners of the world, folks are hoisting movie stars up onto the proverbial pedestal.

For instance, in Shanghai, China, 21-year-old Xiaoqing has been dreaming about having a major makeover that will transform her into a Jessica Alba double.

Xiaoqing says she was feeling down after breaking up with her 28-year-old boyfriend, who was a devoted fan of Jessica.

Evidently, Xiaoqing ‘s old beau had put pictures of Alba all over their apartment and talked nonstop about the actress.

It wasn’t just that, though. According to Xiaoqing, her ex wanted her to have a similar appearance to the “Fantastic Four” star and had purchased a blonde wig for her to wear.

It wasn’t long before her boyfriend’s Alba addiction became too much for Xiaoqing to bear, and she ditched the guy.

Now she’s hoping to win him back — after she becomes Jessica’s twin sister.

“When I broke up with my boyfriend, I was very sad,” she told Reuters.

"My friends. . . kept consoling me but it did not work, so they suggested I do plastic surgery to look like her [Jessica Alba]."

The Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital has agreed to help Xiaoqing fulfill her wishes.

The facility will perform multiple surgeries to alter the woman’s eyes and nose so that her face will resemble Alba's, and it has agreed to do the work for free to showcase its surgery skills.

Xiaoqing plans to speak to her mom before making a final decision.

Maybe before she talks to her mom she should have a conversation with the Octomom.


3. Rupert Murdock, James Cameron and ‘Avatar 2’

It’s no secret that Hollywood is sequel happy.

With the gobs of cash “Avatar” keeps hauling in, it would come as no surprise if Fox execs were chomping at the bit to nail down a schedule for an “Avatar” follow-up.

And the suits just may be.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox's parent company, News Corp., let investors know in a recent conference call that the company is in “very early talks” with James Cameron. It was also mentioned that “Avatar”’s director “has ideas” for a sequel.

Cameron is likely to get whatever he wants. With his track record, if he chooses to direct, produce and star in an “Avatar” sequel, it would be crazy for Fox execs to do anything but smile and nod.

There’s one thorny issue that’s looming, though. Audiences would love to see a sequel now.

But Cameron took about 15 years to bring the tall blue aliens to the big screen. And if he follows suit with the follow-up flick, we’ll be in the 2020s before the film is released.

By then 3-D will be old hat and holographic imagery, hypno-cinema or who knows what kind of techno sci-fi will have taken its place.


4. Court Orders John Edwards’ Former Aide to Relinquish Sex Tape

A North Carolina judge has ordered Andrew Young, John Edwards’ former aide, to turn over a “very private and personal” videotape, which reportedly features Edwards and his then-mistress Rielle Hunter.

To encourage quick compliance with the order, the judge placed Young in contempt of court. So far, though, the actual arrest of Young has not been ordered.

If Young complies and hands over the tape, the contempt citation will be removed. The deadline for him to do so is February 10.

Hunter, former mistress of ex-senator and Dem presidential candidate John Edwards, sought the court's help in returning what was described in court filings as a "very private and personal" videotape.

Court papers indicate that the video is in the possession of a campaign aide who wrote a tell-all book about Edwards and his affair.

Hunter, a Hollywood videographer, was originally granted a temporary restraining order against Young by the court. The restraining order also contains papers that specify the return of photos and videos, including a tape made approximately four years ago while she was working for Edwards.

“In or about September 2006, using my video camera, I authored a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature,” Hunter's affidavit reads. In the affidavit Hunter also acknowledges “having an intimate relationship with Edwards.”

“The decision was made that the Video be destroyed,” Hunter wrote. She stated that she pulled out the tape from the cassette and stored it in a box with personal belongings.

In his book, Young describes viewing a sex tape that showed Edwards and a woman he assumed was Hunter. Young indicated that some videotapes were inside a “box of trash” that Hunter left behind at a home he rented for her. He also indicated that the tape had been pulled out of its cassette casing, but that he was able to fix it.

Young wrote in his book that the naked woman depicted in the video was pregnant.

Hunter had her child with Edwards in 2008, more than a year after the affidavit indicates her “private” video was made.

Hunter has also filed a lawsuit against Young and his wife, seeking damages for invasion of privacy.

Edwards' political action committee reportedly paid Hunter's production company $100,000 in 2006 for her work as a videographer during his second White House run.


5. New Michael Jackson Trial on Its Way

After an eight-month police investigation into Michael Jackson's death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office finally filed a criminal case against Jackson's former live-in physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

Because of the intense media interest in the case, the D.A. took the unusual step of announcing charges in advance in a press release last Friday, although the statement left out the specific crimes that would be lodged against Murray.

The cardiologist has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter for administering the combination of sedatives and anesthetic that the L.A. Coroner determined to be the cause of the singer's June 2009 death.

Murray administered the powerful anesthetic Propofol to the singer and took a nearly 50-minute break during which he called his girlfriend.

The doctor acknowledged to police that he gave Jackson an intravenous dose of the drug shortly before his death, according to court documents. The drug is intended for use in operating rooms by trained anesthesiologists.

Murray's prosecution will be one of the most high profile criminal cases since Jackson himself faced child molestation charges in a Santa Barbara courtroom in 2005.

Prosecutors will have the edge in the media battle that inevitably accompanies these kinds of cases. They will have the Jackson family, the majority of the print, television and radio coverage and the public on their side.

The key issue in the case is whether Murray was criminally negligent in administering the operating room sedative Propofol. Expert anesthesiologists are already being lined up by the D.A., who will condemn the use of the drug and the lack of proper precautions and personnel in the Jackson home when the powerful sedative was administered by Murray.

If the case makes it to the trial stage, Murray’s lawyers will have a laundry list of measures (change of venue, gag orders, jury sequestration, etc.) that they will ask the court for in order to protect their client from the intense media exposure the case will undoubtedly generate.

The defense team will try to poke holes in the causation argument and attempt to portray Murray as a well-intentioned physician who was trying to help his celebrity client.

Murray had told police that Jackson had a long history of using Propofol to fall asleep. He also claimed to investigators that he was attempting to wean Jackson off of the substance the week that he died.

It is therefore likely that we will see the defense portray Murray as a doctor who was valiantly trying to help a drug addicted celebrity break free from his habit.

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