Jewish World Review Feb. 11, 2004 / 19 Shevat, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

HE FEELS BAD!; Dick Cheney, still not dead; more | NEW YORK — James Brown's marital woes lumbered down the runway Monday morning and took flight for Puerto Rico.

Passengers in the first-class cabin of American Airlines Flight 699, leaving for San Juan from John F. Kennedy Airport, were treated to the less-than-dulcet tones of 33-year-old Tomi Rae, Brown's fourth wife, savagely berating the Godfather of Soul.

"I'm just here for damage control! You are in more trouble than you realize!" the fuchsia-haired former backup singer screamed at her 70-year-old husband. "So what if I was married to another man?"

An eyewitness said: "She was causing a total scene, not trying to hide it at all."

Recently, Brown announced that he wanted to annul the marriage because Tomi Rae was supposedly still hitched to another husband. Last summer, the Godfather bought a full-page ad in Variety announcing their separation.

The Godfather has been attempting to clean up his image since he was arrested Jan. 28 on criminal domestic violence charges for allegedly beating and threatening Tomi Rae with an iron chair at their Beech Island, S.C., home.

Tomi Rae Brown was treated at a local hospital for bruises and scratches. Her husband was released from jail the following day and denied any wrongdoing.

The couple — who've been married for over two years and have a 2-year-old son, James Brown II — have reconciled, according to their publicist.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown are very much in love," said Susan Blond. "Perhaps she said that in jest. She has a very dry sense of humor. They've reconciled, and the charges have been dropped."

How sweet. Just don't make us go on vacation with them.


One of this column's eagle-eyed spies, while browsing the Web for Halliburton Co. news, came upon the following shocking item on "Cheney dead at age 62."

"Dick Cheney, the stalwart conservative and unflappable Washington insider picked by George W. Bush to be his vice president, died DAY TK in PLACE TK." ("TK" is journalistic shorthand for "to come.")

My source told me: "This obit for Dick Cheney popped up as a hit. Apparently it was uploaded May 23, 2003. . . . When I clicked on the headline, it said 'article not found.' Still, kind of a dopey thing to have your obit file anywhere near the live Web site. I wonder, though, did they think the veep was near death on May 23? That was the day Cheney cast the deciding Senate vote for Bush's $35 billion tax cut."

An embarrassed spokeswoman confirmed that the Cheney obit was accidentally posted on the site a few weeks ago, and said his May 23 Senate vote wasn't a factor. "It was caught within an hour and taken down," she said. "Obviously, we're not happy."

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An adviser to Vice President Cheney, who wears a state-of-the-art pacemaker after suffering several heart attacks, declined my invitation to make light of's boo-boo: "You're asking me to say something witty and memorable about a false obituary? OK then, I have three words for you: Wouldn't be prudent."


SOUR GRAPES?: Fortune magazine, which names Jay Leno the "MVP of Late Night" in its latest issue, reports that "The Tonight Show" earns $100 million in annual profits for NBC — $1 billion since Leno took over the show a decade ago.

Leno, meanwhile, gets a mere $16 million a year from the hit show — compared with $31 million for CBS' less-watched David Letterman (6.1 million viewers for Jay, 4.3 million for Dave). "How am I getting screwed?" the workaholic Leno muses. "I've got a house in Beverly Hills."

But Letterman producer Rob Burnett is not impressed.

"Jay runs 'The Tonight Show' like a political campaign," he sniffs. "Dave is an artist."

DOMESTIC ISSUES: Who's the U.S. president "most likely to personally shop for his wife's Valentine's Day gift"? It's Jimmy Carter, according to a survey of 1,400 readers of Smithsonian magazine. Carter got 63 percent, far ahead of Ronald Reagan (14 percent), Gerald Ford (7 percent) and both George Bushes (6 percent). Isn't it romantic?

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02/06/04: Glittering Grammys; a laurel for Janet; Haryl's heart
02/04/04: Shriver quits NBC; "Marshmallow" Mike Tyson?; Super Bowl propriety?; MTV's next production?; more
01/30/04: The political forehead front; Alies meets Franken; the art of the hype; arrested career development?
01/28/04: Eyebrow-raising politics; call him indescribable; Woods vs. Williams; more
01/23/04: Eyebrow-raising mystery; who's punk'd anyway?; don't curb your enthusiasm; more
01/21/04: Ridiculous lives of the self-important stars; long arm of the law; all's fair in love and literature
01/16/04: Global warming at a glacial pace; targeting pop culture; Is 'the price of loyalty' too high?
01/14/04: Busting on the "cult buster"; Sarsgaard thinks globally; one angry woman; more
01/08/04: Sitcom star won't be excused from Blake murder trial; fierstein on fire; Drudge & Blumenthal, together again
01/07/04: Bono hits a brick wall; Britney, before the nuttiness; the Arianna primary; more
01/02/04: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio!?; "Bachelor" bruises; Returning to the scene of the crime?
12/31/03: Disaster for the defense; no-war Omar; the shoe must go on; more
12/19/03: Bob Shapiro's free commercial?; Are sophisticated and hip New Yawkers easily duped?; Positive Saddam fallout?; Ratty insult?
12/17/03: Magic Mystery Tour?; Russell Simmons battles ink by the barrel; Would it have killed her to say 'get well soon'?; no Gest room
12/12/03: Karenna defends her dad; now she tells us!; say it ain't so, Mo!; more
12/10/03: Man & wife, interruptus; pepperoni has feelings, too; more
12/05/03: The knives are out; Who's sorry now?; JWR in the news
12/04/03: The war of the gest-minnellis; something borrowed, something cashmere; fashion trendsetter, nailed!
12/03/03: Colombian grace under pressure; Lord of the Screwups; more
12/02/03: Curb your anti-Semitism?; fame fatigue?; bowing to pressure?; more
12/01/03: Dennis the Menace strikes again; first literary feud of the holiday season; Norma Jean & Hef in heaven?; the fog of McNamara; more
11/26/03: Catherine Crier raps Jacko's TV defender, refuses on-air hint of racism; At 50, Tina's in full cry; STAY OUT OF HER WAY!; more
11/25/03: The mogul strikes back?; go ahead, make Harvey's day; more
11/24/03: Georgette's pilfered baubles; prosecutor of pop?; absent but not missed?; Norman Mailer's prescription for education reform; more
11/20/03: Is a movie career in store for Maria Bartiromo?; People for the Unethical Treatment of Humans?; more
11/19/03: Scientologists on Razor's edge?; picking a winner?; source on a hot tin roof?; more
11/18/03: Clay Aiken neuters PETA?; THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS!; a mural for Joe
11/17/03: When networks attack!; leaky Fawcett; forget the Paris Hilton video!; more
11/13/03: Publicity hounds; Prophetic priest; Dumb and Dumber
11/12/03: Not so Rosie; do you believe in miracles?; catalogue of sins; My Heart Belongs to Koppel
11/10/03: Gen. clark on the Subway diet; life of the party; MTV's Dumb and Dumber?; the hug issue; but does the $6,000 shower curtain convey?; red faces at Buckingham palace?
11/06/03: Let them eat pita?; verbal jousting; pretenders to the throne?
11/05/03: Will Harvey Weinstein and Gregg Easterbrook now be pals?; crazed Quentin; more
11/04/03: Herding off the hipsters; more
11/03/03: Dean's tell-all on himself?; Lisaraye vs. Mya?; the odd couple; no need to panic; just don't call him "Scooter"!; Rosie scenarios
10/30/03: Autumn of the editor?; Cynthia Nixon's split may be costly; 'Burning' questions
10/29/03: Ah-nold, unauthorized!; a dilemma for Melissa Gilbert? not even Frank Gifford can help him now!; nobody wanted Elizabeth Hurley
10/28/03: It's Cher calling!; Brown Alert
10/27/03: Paparazzi uncensored!; where's Aaron Brown?; postcards from the middle; invasion of the party snatchers?; House flooded when not afire?; suspenders of disbelief?
10/23/03: Ace up Howard Dean's sleeve; Woody's ordeal; Paul Simon's kid makes good; the non-beginning of a beautiful friendship?
10/22/03: Showing the flag; Joe Frazier, smokin'!; see Carville bruised-up — sort of
10/21/03: Morris & Jaci's charm offensive; Hell hath no fury; Wintertime for Hitler
10/20/03: Isn't it rich?; men (and the occasional woman) behaving badly; peacenik John Lennon supporting the U.S. military?; courageous Connie
10/16/03: George Clooney and intolerable Drudgery; Cameron goes native; and you thought the war in Iraq was nasty?; now it can be revealed; star wars?
10/15/03: Kerik into the breach?; holiday pander?; "the Dink" corrects the record; more
10/14/03: Madge gets mad, lips are sealed; the candidates who listen; he who hesitates is Beatty
10/13/03: Clothes, but no cigar; New Yorkers put a Sox in it; mad at Matalin?; more
10/09/03: Gray Davis goes to the movies; Ali Wentworth, working blue; Law & Order?; pot of gold at the end of the rainbow room?
10/08/03: Art-time for Hitler; the actress who hates movies; lying "Liam"
10/07/03: Pond scum of the rich and famous
07/24/03: Ali and George, living it up; Mel Gibson's Washington power play
07/21/03: White House smear?
07/17/03: Yet another intern scandal; it's her party and she can pay if she wants to
07/14/03: On the auction block: JFK'S boxer shorts; love bytes the maestro
07/10/03: A hairy situation at Homeland Security; Van Susteren v. Orth
06/30/03: Rep. Patrick Kennedy: I've never worked a (bleeping) day in my life; Drudge's dressing down; Ken Lay's Kerry connection
06/26/03: Rapping the beat
06/23/03: Another Watergate scandal?; AL GORE TV!
06/19/03: Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate
06/16/03: Missing dog, ransom demand, Hollywood ending
06/12/03: Giving both parties the needle
06/05/03: Incoming from Barbara Bush?
06/02/03: Bob Dole's plan for fighting unemployment
05/29/03: Newt's new novel
05/27/03: Hitchens & Blumenthal, together again; He still believes in a man called Hope
05/09/03: Close, but no cigar; Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending?; Geraldo to help Heebs?
05/05/03: So Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw walk into a coffee bar . . .; hotel hell; more

© 2003, Creators Syndicate