- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

Money talks

It took almost a week for NBC to respond to comedian Jon Stewart’s hammering of CNBC’s coverage of financial news and also the network’s Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli, but NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker finally addressed the matter on Wednesday. He was not happy.

Mr. Zucker said Mr. Stewart’s criticism on his Comedy Central program March 12 was “unfair” and “absurd.” “Everybody wants to find a scapegoat. That’s human nature,” Mr. Zucker said during a keynote address at a media industry conference, Reuters news agency reports. “But to suggest that the business media or CNBC was responsible for what is going on now is absurd.

“Just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn’t make it so.” Mr. Zucker also said Mr. Stewart’s comments were “completely out of line.”

Oh, dear, dear, dear.

Job snatchers

Tyson Beckford has gone from model to actor and host of Bravo’s “Make Me a Supermodel.” Now he complains that celebrities who do product ads or grace the cover of fashion magazines are taking jobs away from models.

“It takes a lot of tweaking and airbrushing to get the same from a celebrity that you would get from a model,” says Mr. Beckford, according to Associated Press.

Mr. Beckford, 38, also says fashion is cyclical, and he thinks celeb magazine covers will go out of style one day. Meanwhile, look for Beyonce on the cover of the April Vogue and Drew Barrymore on W magazine’s cover.

Elsewhere

• Two-time Academy Award winner Jessica Lange, 59, “was on vacation at her home in Minnesota [Tuesday] when she took a short fall from her steps. She bruised her ribs, broke her collarbone and received a small cut on her forehead,” her spokesperson said Wednesday. Agence France-Presse quotes the spokesperson as saying Miss Lange “will be completely fine and expects to be released from the hospital imminently.”

• Anne Wiggins Brown, 96, the soprano who starred as the original Bess in George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” died Friday in Oslo, where she had lived since 1948 after complaining of racial discrimination in the United States. She was acknowledged as the inspiration that caused Gershwin to keep adding songs for her character in a process that turned “Porgy” into “Porgy and Bess.”

• The Britney Spears saga drags on. After a brief hearing Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb signed a restraining order to keep Miss Spears’ ex-boyfriend, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, away from the singer, her parents and her two young sons, AP reports.

• Compiled by Richard Slusser from wire and Web reports

TV’s Thursday best

Modern Marvels: Salt (8 p.m., History Channel). It’s the only rock we eat, has more than 14,000 known uses [-] and we need it to live. This documentary explores the kitchen staple in all its glory through a visit to a salt mine 1,800 feet below Lake Erie, where workers blast salt from a massive deposit spanning four states. Also featured: a tour of an evaporation facility near San Francisco, where machines harvest salt from the briny ocean, and a trip to a Florida restaurant with 40 varieties of salt.#

• Robyn Denise Yourse

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