Bradley’s Jacko interview sullied by Times

GOOD MORNING: No greater fury hath a news media than a news media scorned by another. “60 Minutes” is crying foul on the New York Times story citing Ed Bradley’s quotes by “a source” in the payment of $1 million to get Michael Jackson to give Bradley the interview that aired Dec. 28. “They libeled Ed,” Don Hewitt tells me. “They quoted Ed on something he never said — to someone (unidentified) who was trying to get even with Michael Jackson. The New York Times sunk to a new low when they trashed Ed Bradley.” Hewitt says he demanded a correction, but the NYT claimed it never received his letter. “So I sent them (editorial page editor Gail Collins) another one today,” Hewitt said Monday. As for the $1 million CBS entertainment division paid Jackson to air the special, Hewitt said “there were no pre-set ground rules” for the news division on the Ed Bradley-Jackson interview. “Doesn’t the New York Times have enough problems of their own — to quote an unidentifiable source?,” Hewitt asked, citing the fake reporting of Jayson Blair. “The New York Times used to be a paper people could swear by — now it’s one people are swearing at.” Bradley refused further questioning by the Times following the first story in which Hewitt said he was misquoted. Bradley is recuperating from quintuple heart bypass surgery, Hewitt reports. He also wonders why the Times “is trashing one of their own” — the Times owns four CBS affiliates.

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED “Seabiscuit” was an inspiration for LSU to beat Oklahoma in Sunday’s Sugar Bowl. But there it was — a DVD of “Seabiscuit” held aloft by LSU coach Nick Saban at the conclusion of the underdog team’s victory. Saban admitted he’d shown the film to the entire team and gave ’em a pep talk about being the underdog that everyone had ruled out of the running. Gary Ross, who had brought “Seabiscuit” to film life from print, said he’s been getting calls all day. And, of course, Monday morning’s announcement of its nomination by the Producers Guild added to the underdog’s garlands. Of course, “Seabiscuit’s” already in the winner’s circle with a domestic box office of more than $120 million — and heading eventually to a quarter billion and a DVD sale already topping $100 million. “Pretty good for a horse with knobby knees,” Ross laughed.

NEW YORK THEATER OWNERS are coming out this week to ogle “Like Jazz” at the Mark Taper Forum. I caught it Sunday and found the house SRO with jazz lovers hand-clapping throughout and joining in the finale sing-along (“Makin’ Music) with the cast of singers and the amazing orchestra of top jazz instrumentalists. The list of those celebs who’ve already caught the show include jazz lovers Clint Eastwood, Cuba Gooding Jr., Karl Malden, Betty Buckley, Jeff Goldblum, Marge Champion, Ginny Mancini, Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, Anne and Kirk Douglas, Angie Dickinson. Gordon Davidson, swinging into his finale as artistic director of the Center Theater Group, has Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” next at the Ahmanson Jan. 18 and then “A Royal Family” March 31. Angela Lansbury, who had been mentioned as possible for the latter, will not be returning to the stage — too soon since the death of husband Peter Shaw, said Davidson … Hollywood returned en masse from favorite holiday haunts like Hawaii and Sun Valley. Up in the snow country, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver hosted more than 100 of the showbiz crowd up there. They included Rita and Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand and Jim Brolin, Cynthia and Bud Yorkin, Clint Eastwood, Nancy and Richard Riordan, Maine and Gary Smith, Shirley and Saul Turteltaub … Barbara and Warren Cowan hosted a screening of “Lost In Translation” at the Magic Lantern Theater … And Ava and Chuck Fries hosted their annual New Year’s all-day party at home in Bel Air where many guests watched the Rose Bowl game in the Fries’ lavish theater — conveniently near their wine cellar … And the Desert season starts in full swing. Tony Curtis and wife Jill drove down from their Las Vegas ranch accompanied by their ranch truck carrying the life-size fiberglass Bighorn. Curtis has painted and designed it to become part of a forthcoming celeb exhibit of plastic sheep, also-painted — all for the “Path of the Bighorn” endangered species benefit headed by Sidney Sheldon. He enlisted Curtis to launch the campaign to continue at the Lodge at Rancho Mirage. Curtis’ work will be unveiled Wednesday . He told me his creation “has golden blonde hair — looks a little like Marilynn Monroe.” And he’s named it Sugar — like the character in “Some Like It Hot.” Other creations to follow for auction at the Lodge on Jan. 17 include those by Anjelica Huston, Cher, Phyllis Diller, Chevy Chase and Sheldon himself … Among the new filmmakers in the Palm Springs Film Fesival bowing this weekend are Anika (30) and Sydney (29) Poitier’s ‘The Devil Cats” on Sunday. The daughters of Joanna and Sidney Poitier call their first film, “a mockumentary female version of ‘Spinal Tap’.” Anika scripted, directs and stars with Sydney as producer of the film about an all-girl band that doesn’t play any instruments — but manages to be discovered by a record company! The Poitier sisters financed the 78-minute, digitally lensed pic themselves. Sure, their parents like it, but are not involved. Papa Sidney’s busy writing his latest book and mother Joanna (Shuimkus) is decorating the new home of the Sumner Redstones and Verna Harris’ new N.Y. apartment … Friends of the late Ethel Winant are invited to dedicate the Ethel Winant Memorial Bench at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Motion Picture and TV Fund Country House in Woodland Hills. An RSVP is required: (818) 876-1909 … “Once There Was a Way: Photographs of the Beatles” (Abrams), Harry Benson’s great book, is the star of Apex Fine Gallery, L.A,. bowing Jan. 16. Benson will also speak at Photo L.A. in Santa Monica, Jan.17 …And no-holds barred humorist Andy Borowitz bows his “Governor Arnold — A Photodiary of His First 100 Days in Office” (Simon & Schuster, bows Tuesday. It is a no holds-barred — and I mean NONE! Photocollection of pix from Arnold’s life with Borowitz’s slashing captions to fit the just-elected Guv. Look behind you, Borowitz!

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