Olbermann pressing on Hannity waterboard offer
New York — The debate over torture is getting personal for two of cable TV’s prime-time hosts.
After Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity made a seemingly impromptu offer last week to undergo waterboarding as a benefit for charity, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann leapt at it. He offered $1,000 to the families of U.S. troops for every second Hannity withstood the technique.
Olbermann repeated the offer on Monday’s show and said in an interview Tuesday that he’s heard no response. He said he’ll continue to pursue it.
“I don’t think he has the courage to even respond to this — let alone do it,” Olbermann said.
Fox News Channel representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
The two men are on opposite poles of a debate that has preoccupied the worlds of talk TV and radio. Hannity says waterboarding is a fair and necessary interrogation technique for suspected terrorists; Olbermann calls it torture, says it’s ineffective and should not be done by Americans.
Star couple expecting twins by surrogate
Los Angeles — Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick will be taking on new roles: parents of twin girls.
The “Sex and the City” star and her actor-husband are expecting twins through a surrogate pregnancy, representatives for the couple said Tuesday.
Parker, 44, and Broderick, 47, “are happily anticipating the birth of their twin daughters later this summer with the generous help of a surrogate. The entire family is overjoyed,” said a statement from the publicists.
The couple has a 6-year-old son, James Wilkie Broderick, and will mark their 12th wedding anniversary next month.
Details about the surrogate or her pregnancy were unavailable, the publicists said.
Parker starred in the “Sex and the City” TV series and the hit movie of the same name. Broderick’s credits include the films “Glory” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and the Broadway musical “The Producers.”
Douglas, Stone head back to ‘Wall Street’
Los Angeles — Michael Douglas and Oliver Stone may try to tell us that greed is still good with a sequel to their 1987 hit “Wall Street.”
Douglas is reprising his role as Gordon Gekko and Stone is on board again to direct the sequel, which for now has the working title “Wall Street 2,” said 20th Century Fox spokesman Gregg Brilliant.
Brilliant said the project is timely and relevant given the state of the world.
“We need to keep the story line under wraps, but it’s literally ripped from today’s headlines,” Brilliant said. “It’s going to be very big and very cool.”
With the economy and financial markets in a tailspin, it will be different times for Douglas’ Gekko. In the original film, corporate raider Gekko was a symbol of Wall Street greed and corruption during the boom era of the 1980s.
Restraining order issued in Spears case
Los Angeles — A judge has ordered Britney Spears’ former manager and an attorney to stay away from the pop singer for the next three years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb issued her ruling Tuesday after hearing testimony and arguments in recent weeks from the men and lawyers for Spears’ father, Jamie.
Bobb ordered Osama “Sam” Lutfi and attorney Jon Eardley to stay away from the 27-year-old pop singer and to not contact, threaten or try to act on her or her sons’ behalf for the next three years.
Bobb refused to extend the same protection to Spears’ parents.
The singer’s court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, endorsed issuing the orders during a hearing last week, saying they were in Spears’ “best interests.”
Lawyers for Lutfi and Eardley promised to appeal the ruling, saying the lengthy hearing didn’t prove the singer suffered substantial emotional distress as a result of the men’s actions.
Lutfi’s attorney, Bryan J. Freedman, said evidence instead pointed to Spears asking his client for help.
“Never before in the history of the world has a restraining order been issued against someone who merely responded to cries for help,” Freedman said.
Mr. T called, dismissed for jury duty
Chicago — Pity the prospective juror named Mr. T.
He showed up for jury duty, then was dismissed after hours of down time — which he used to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Mr. T was called for jury duty at Cook County Circuit Court on Monday. The Chicago native said he enjoyed fulfilling his civic responsibilities, even though he found — like countless others — that hours can pass before a judge decides to dismiss you.
He showed up for jury duty in camouflage pants, a T-shirt and a longer version of his usual Mohawk haircut.
Mr. T is best remembered for the 1980s TV series “The A-Team” and as Clubber Lang in “Rocky III,” which his catch phrase come from: “I pity the fool.”