- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Silence is golden

Shock-doc filmmaker Martin Bashir wants no part of the upcoming Michael Jackson circus.

Mr. Bashir, who now works for ABC News, has asked a judge to deny a request by prosecutors to have him testify March 1 at Mr. Jackson’s child-molestation trial.

According to E! Online, prosecutors want Mr. Bashir, who was granted eight months’ access to the Gloved One’s world for the 2003 documentary “Living with Michael Jackson,” to testify about things Mr. Jackson said that didn’t make the final cut.

In a motion filed this week, Mr. Bashir said his documentary “speaks for itself” and that under California’s shield law, journalists can’t be forced to testify about observations they make while reporting a story. The motion will be considered later this month.

Where’s Johnny?

Do you miss Johnny Carson’s comic monologues on “The Tonight Show”?

Mr. Carson sure does.

“When he reads the paper in the morning, he can think of five jokes right off the bat that he wishes he had an outlet for,” Peter Lassally, one of his former producers, told Associated Press.

Sometimes the 79-year-old Mr. Carson, who keeps up with the late-night shows from his California home, can’t stand to keep them to himself.

He’ll send a joke every now and then to CBS “Late Show” host David Letterman, who occasionally makes use of them, Mr. Lassally said.

“Johnny gets a big kick out of that.”

Simon says

“American Idol” judge Simon Cowell — leave it to him — isn’t crazy about “Crazy in Love” singer Beyonce Knowles.

“I find the whole Beyonce thing really mystifying,” Mr. Cowell says in Esquire magazine, on newsstands tomorrow. “She’s not sexy, she hasn’t got a great body, and she’s not a great singer.”

Mr. Cowell also defends a far-less-liked singer, “Saturday Night Live” lip-syncer Ashlee Simpson.

“Why should you have to do something substandard just for the sake of being real? If it sounds better with the vocal you recorded, why shouldn’t people listen to that? There’s almost a witch-hunt mentality about people miming,” he says.

All that jazz

A treasure trove of jazz memorabilia — including saxophones that belonged to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet, and a gown that Peggy Lee wore when she sang “Fever” — is headed for the auction block next month.

“It’s the first truly major auction focusing on jazz,” Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s, which is holding the Feb. 20 auction, told AP this week.

Most of the nearly 400 lots were consigned by the families of the jazz legends to whom they belonged, Mr. Ettinger said. Some of the proceeds will go to foundations that promote jazz and provide scholarships to young musicians, he added.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports

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