Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2003 / 12 Elul, 5763

Keith Olbermann

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As the Western World churns | The unabashed joy and shameless wallowing in the shallow end of the news pool.

* For Johnny Depp, it wasn’t just a misquote, but “an insanely twisted deformation of my words and intent.” Got to step out of that Shakespeare class now and again, Jon. Depp was reacting to an article in the German magazine “Stern,” which quoted him as saying “America is like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you.” He says he was trying to explain, metaphorically, that, compared to Europe “America is a very young country and we are still growing.” Depp has apologized now, saying: “I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country. And for this, I am eternally grateful.”

* There’s another Britney Spears controversy. This one involves her grandfather and a bodyguard. The “Washington Post” reporter Reilly Capps was covering Spears’ performance as part of happened upon Spears’ grandfather, June, and had just asked him controversan underwhelming football promotion last night. Backstage, he ial questions about fishing and football when one of the singers’ bodyguards came over and demanded that Capps turn over his notes of that interview. “Give me those notes you just wrote,” Capps quotes the guard as saying. When Capps refused, he says the guard spun him around, ripped the notebook out of his hand and tore the notes up, thus, as Capps writes, “destroying all historical record of the elder Spears’ recent decision to give up smoking.”

* And news from one of the parent companies of MSNBC. Microsoft will help design a $46 million school of the future in Philadelphia. And most importantly, it won’t have to spend a dime. Mr. Gates’ geniuses plan to embed computer technology everywhere in the new facility. It will be in the classroom, in the offices, in the football coach’s desk, even in built-in technology that will alert 42 different police forces whenever a nerd gets stuffed into a locker.

* Meantime, George Clooney has been married in the holy church of the Italian TV camera crew. At a Venice news conference promoting his new film, “Intolerable Cruelty,” a reporter wearing a white veil came up and asked Clooney to marry him. He said, all right, come here. Her cameraman, dressed as a priest, then produced two rings. Clooney added, “My fear is that he really is a priest.”

* And American bicycling legend Lance Armstrong and his wife of five years, Kristin, are separated and will be divorcing, so Armstrong tells the newspaper “The Austin American-Statesman.” He adds, the couple will be dissolving their marriage through mediation. So to paraphrase the title of his book, it is not about the bike, and nor is it about the $25 million in endorsement deals.

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The writer hosts MSNBC's “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” The news program, dedicated to all of the day’s top stories, telecasts weeknights, 8-9 p.m. ET. Comment by clicking here.

08/25/03: As the Western World churns
07/30/03: Nike, lawyer, almost canceling on Kobe?
06/20/03: The parenting files
06/19/03: As the world churns
06/13/03: The No. 1 story is No. 2: The poop on America and its bathrooms
06/04/03: Terror attack preparation: Too much or too little?
06/02/03: Bush vs. Clinton?
05/29/03: Ticket blitz in New York City? Hey, at least pregnant women won't be blocking stairwells
05/21/03: ‘Barney’ as torture
05/08/03: Because you just can't take the news too seriously
04/30/03: Should we be more scared of SCARS, or a government that will readily deny you your freedom on the suspicion that you may have it?
04/29/03: Man bites dog --- really!
04/28/03: Because you just can't take the news too seriously ...
04/25/03: The panic over SARS
04/22/03: Playing —and greeting cards in a changed world
04/21/03: Reading your own obituary ... and other 'oops' moments
04/15/03: Saddam Hussein and the Sorcerer's Stone: The secret to Saddam's immortality

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