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Gately fans complain

October 20, 2009

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Britain’s press watchdog said yesterday it had received 21,000 complaints about a newspaper column on the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately after critics used Twitter to brand the article homophobic and insensitive. Gately, 33, died Oct. 10 while vacationing on the Spanish island of Majorca. An autopsy found he had died from pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs. Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir wrote Friday that Gately’s death was “not, by any yardstick, a natural one’’ and said he died in “sleazy’’ circumstances. She noted that Gately had been to a bar and invited a young man back to his apartment the night before he died. Anger at the column swept social networking site Twitter soon after Moir’s piece appeared on the paper’s website. Actor Stephen Fry urged his 860,000 Twitter followers to contact the Press Complaints Commission. Other prominent Tweeters followed suit. (AP)

What will Rod say?
Prosecutors said yesterday they are worried about what ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich might say on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice’’ TV show. The show is likely to air just as jurors are being qualified for his corruption trial, which is scheduled to start June 3, and anything Blagojevich (inset) might say about the evidence could cause complications, prosecutors told US District Judge James B. Zagel. Blagojevich has “repeatedly commented on the evidence’’ on TV and radio shows in the months since he was indicted on charges of scheming to trade or sell President Obama’s former US Senate seat, Assistant US Attorney Reid Schar told Zagel. Prosecutors did not ask Zagel to bar Blagojevich from going on the show. The judge told Blagojevich’s attorneys to work out an agreement with prosecutors that would allow Blagojevich to appear on the show but prevent the sort of remarks that might cause concern. (AP)

CBS honors newsman
A month after a public memorial service for CBS newscaster Walter Cronkite, the network brought back many of its old-timers yesterday to pay tribute to Don Hewitt, a CBS News lifer who created “60 Minutes.’’ Hewitt, who ran TV’s first newsmagazine from 1968 to 2004, died in August of pancreatic cancer at age 86. Joan Ganz Cooney, a friend who helped create “Sesame Street,’’ said Hewitt ranked with Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, and ABC executive Roone Arledge as the four most important men in the development of TV news. “They’re the ones who showed what television news could be,’’ Cooney said. “They’re the ones that others followed.’’ (AP)

‘Good Hair’ gets nod
A judge has refused to halt the release of the Chris Rock film “Good Hair.’’ Rock and the film’s producers were sued by Regina Kimbell, who claimed the comedian stole several ideas for his film from her work. Kimbell, who produced the documentary “My Nappy Roots,’’ said she screened her film for Rock in 2007. US District Judge Dale S. Fischer watched both films and says she didn’t see substantial similarities. “Good Hair’’ has been in limited release and will open nationwide Friday. (AP)

Wanna be smellin’ somethin’
‘He had this amazing fragrance.’ Mekia Cox, a backup dancer for Michael Jackson, saying the King of Pop’s natural musk triggered a positive response in those around him.

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