THE GREAT THING about writing a daily column is the immediate feedback you get when you write something with which people disagree. (Hardly anyone writes when agreeing with you.)
A few years ago, Tattle couldn't write a negative word about Britney Spears without the In box getting full of poorly spelled hate mail. Today, no one cares.
Say anything - good or bad, doesn't matter - about Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Clay Aiken, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and you can count on your morning being spent replying to the angered.
Sometimes, it's expected. Sometimes it's not.
Friday's story on Don Imus' racially insensitive rant about the Rutgers women's basketball team generated various comments. One reader wrote that Imus had "the best program on radio." That was typical of the expected e-mail, people sticking up for their guy.
The unexpected e-mails came from readers who criticized Tattle for censoring the news as part of the left-wing media conspiracy that tears apart the Limbaughs for making insensitive remarks but lets big-time "Liberals" like Imus go unscathed.
* Uh, we led the column with the
item and ridiculed the comment.
* Mainstream media have been
all over the story, with critics and pundits all weekend calling for Imus to be fired.
* Imus isn't a liberal. He's a cranky radio-yakker, a shock jock before the term was invented, who basically hates everyone. It's been his shtick since he was a coked-up music DJ in the '70s making fun of evangelical ministers with his character Rev. Billy Sol Hargus.
Now he's apologized - at least as much as a guy who gets paid for outlandish, stereotypical blather can apologize.
He is to appear on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show today, but Sharpton said his position was unchanged: "I accept his apology, just as I want his bosses to accept his resignation."
"What he has said has deeply hurt too many people - black and white, male and female," said Bryan Monroe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists. "His so-called apology comes two days after the fact, and it is too little, too late."
Angela Burt Murray, of Essence magazine, called on Imus' bosses to take a harder stance: "It needs to be made clear that this type of behavior is offensive and will not be tolerated without severe consequences."
Said Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio: "That Imus is in trouble for being politically incorrect is certainly not new. He's lived his life in and out of trouble . . . This is something CBS will be watching very carefully."
To see if his ratings go up.
Britain's News of the World reports Nicole Kidman is pregnant.
An unidentified source said Nicole and husband Keith Urban have been trying for a child since they married last year - except for when he was in rehab.
Now, says the source, "They've managed it. They are both absolutely delighted. Little Urban Junior is on the way."
Orchestra's greatest hits
How does the Philadelphia Orchestra lure newbies into hearing its famed sound? Daily News classical-music writer Tom Di Nardo says that this June, it'll be trying a scheme that has worked on CD - three "Best of" experiments celebrating Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
The Mozart concert June 20 features the four movements of Symphony No. 40, interspersed with operatic overtures and chunks from other works. The next evening, one movement from each of the nine Beethoven symphonies will be performed, and, on June 22, a program of ballet excerpts from "Romeo and Juliet" and the powerhouse "War of 1812" Overture will spotlight Tchaikovsky.
The orchestra's associate conductor, Rossen Milanov, will lead all three, and emcee as well, before the start of the Mann Music Center season. Regulars won't be interested, but people curious about an unthreatening musical evening designed for them just might take the plunge.
* Taryn Manning ("Hustle &
Flow") tells Stuff magazine the movie wasn't the great break everybody thinks it was.
"The one thing that sucked was that our contracts weren't really honored by John Singleton, who was a producer," she says. "He hired actors who were willing to work for scale and take their back-end points. The the movie sold at Sundance for all this money, and we really just got nothing. Everyone thinks I'm so loaded from 'Hustle & Flow,' and it's such a joke because the guy completely d----- us over."
"He made a comment: 'They all have careers now because of me.' Yeah, Terrence Howard has an incredible career now because of you, but the rest of us? We were kind of looking forward to that paycheck!"
* Sean Lennon was a little boy
when his father, John, was killed in New York. He recently told AP Radio, "When I was 15, a cabdriver asked me if I was Paul McCartney's daughter.
"That really blew my mind."
* Most men will take Kate
Beckinsale just as she is, but the "Underworld" actress is self-conscious about her, uh, "Vacancy" (opening Friday) up top.
Asked by Glamour magazine whose body she would like to switch with, Kate said, "Someone with gigantic real breasts, like Queen Latifah. I am so fascinated by breasts because my mother didn't have them either. If I had them, I'd run up and down flights of stairs!" That sounds like a much better movie than "Vacancy." *
Daily News wire services and Baird Jones contributed to this report.