It was a day of tearful goodbyes when White House press secretary/ replicant Ari Fleischer (your standard pleasure model created by the Tyrell Corporation) announced today he was stepping down from his post. Fleischer told the President on Friday that he wanted to leave, and claims the meeting ended with Bush kissing him on the forehead (which is a totally weird and gross thing for a boss to do, don't you think?). The press secretary then announced his decision to the press itself, saying, "I want to do something more relaxing--like dismantle live nuclear weapons." Though not funny on many levels, this feeble attempt at a joke spotlighted Fleischer's main disadvantage when it came to being a press secretary--reporters hate his stinking guts. Often regarded as an administration lackey, Fleischer was all too happy to maintain Bush's vow of silence, and clam up when reporters would ask tough questions. And while it could be said he was merely doing his job (and doing it well from the Bush perspective), Tom Rosenthiel, director of the Project for Excellence in journalism, disagrees, saying Fleischer had "lousy relations with the White House press. He's antagonistic. He sticks to the company line in an unyielding way." Maybe dismantling nuclear weapons wouldn't be such a bad career choice after all MEANWHILE! In the emotionally chilly country of Denmark, a Danish art museum director was acquitted today of goldfish murder in the first degree! Museum director Peter Meyer refused to pay a $315 fine for installing an art exhibit consisting of 10 blenders containing live goldfish--along with an invitation to blend the fish if the viewer wanted to. Naturally, since this is Denmark, someone did, and Meyer was charged with animal cruelty. However, thanks to the expert testimony of a zoologist and blender manufacturer (!), the judge concluded the fish were killed "instantly" and "humanely." Meyer went free, proving once again that, at least in the world of art, "museum directors don't kill goldfish--blenders do."


It's always funny when someone gets an eye poked out. No, wait. It's always funny until someone gets an eye poked out. Especially when the eye-poker-outter is the decidedly unfunny Joan Rivers. A New York rental car company clerk is suing the strident comedian for an incredible $16 million after Rivers allegedly poked her in the eye with a marker pen during an argument. According to the victim, Rivers got infuriated after the clerk refused to add her name as an additional driver to a rental agreement and "intentionally, wantonly, brutally and maliciously assaulted, battered and attacked" the clerk by sticking a felt pen in her eye. Meanwhile! In what has got to be a first in the entertainment world, an American filmmaker has apologized for making a movie that was a complete piece of shit. Indie director Vincent Gallo (Buffalo '66) has publicly offered mea culpas to financiers and audiences for his film The Brown Bunny. "I accept what the critics say," said Gallo about his stinker, which was loudly booed after its screening at the Cannes film fest. "If no one wants to see it, they're right--it's a disaster of a film and it was a waste of time but I assure you it was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film." In a closely related story, Jim Carrey has still stubbornly refused to apologize for his newest comedy, Bruce Almighty.


And though we know many of you could not give a flying chipmunk about anything having to do with American Idol, we sincerely don't care about your feelings and we're going to talk about it anyway. Today marked the show's final episode of the season, and the all-out, knockdown vocal cord fight to the finish between Ruben "Ruuuuuben" Studdard and Clay "What, Me Worry?" Aiken. And while the right person definitely won (Ruben, of course!), Clay had gained a considerable amount of ground during the last few episodes, and out of the 24 million votes cast, there was only a slim 130,000 vote difference between the two. Naturally, this information led to speculation by leading Democrats that Ruben unfairly won the competition in the same way a certain President Bush "stole" the 2000 election--until everyone realized that Clay Aiken (hell, Nikki McKibben) would've been a better candidate than Al Gore.


Today brought disturbing news to all those trenchcoat-wearing Matrix geeks; Reloaded director Larry Wachowski has been accused of being (gasp!) a cross-dresser! The trouble started when Wachowski attended the Reloaded premiere with Karin Winslow, a 36-year-old married dominatrix. Now the cuckolded husband of the dom, Jake Miller, is screaming to high heaven over the canoodling pair, spilling alleged kinky secrets! Miller, who says he is a transsexual and ran an S&M parlor in LA called The Dungeon, yowled to the London Mail, "He stole my wife from me and he crossed over the boundaries. Larry is living a lie. He has been cross-dressing for years and everybody knows it." He also says that he has witnessed Wachowski and his whip-cracking wifey in slave/mistress mode, claiming the director likes to wear a blonde wig, pink dresses, stiletto heels, and be punished as Marilyn Monroe. Oh, for the love of GOD. Hasn't poor Marilyn been punished enough? Wachowski had better be careful Elton John may write a song about him!


The Associated Press reported today that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is teetering near bankruptcy! A lawsuit, set for trial June 18, claims Jackson's extravagant spending has created "a ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode at any moment." (Hubby Kip's been saying the same thing about us for years.) Union Finance and Investment Corp. of South Korea (don't they sound legit?) filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming Jackson owes the firm $12 million in fees and expenses, plus interest. Pierce O'Donnell, a leading entertainment finance lawyer, was quoted by the AP as saying, "The day of reckoning is near." The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages--because corporations have feelings too.


We TOLD you not to go to Canada! The United States issued a new travel alert for Toronto, which thought it had shaken SARS and launched a campaign to lure American tourists back to Canada's largest city in an effort to kill us ONE BY ONE. Don't fall for it! Canada is struggling with a new rash of infections that have been traced to four hospitals in the business center of Toronto. Around 800 people are now in quarantine. And all they're allowed to do is watch Canadian TV for hours on end. This, after officials identified North America's first case of mad cow disease in a decade this week. Where? In CANADA! These people are clearly out for us. Do you know any Canadians? Stab them in the throats and burn their bodies! No one will blame you.


Hometown boy made good Gus Van Sant won the Palme d'Or award today at the Cannes Film Festival for his new film Elephant, which is NOT about an elephant, but rather an American high school shooting. Doesn't THAT sound funny! The director cast real live high school students, not professional actors, to star in the film, and asked them to improvise their lines. Though we showed up at the casting call and stood in line in our Candies for FOUR HOURS, we were told that we looked too "mature" to play a sophomore, which is to say our complexion was too CLEAR. Gus swears his next film is going to be a humorous romp about a perky gal on the go, who looks fabulous in just about everything, and that WE are going to star in it. Or at least have a supporting role, or maybe a walk-on, or at least play an extremely well dressed extra.