Today's News: Our Take


Jon Stewart has inked a new four-year deal with Comedy Central to remain as host of The Daily Show at least through the 2008 presidential elections. "A lot of people like to get out when their show's still going well," Stewart said. "This gives me the opportunity to beat this thing into the ground." read more


Early MTV veejay John "J.J." Jackson died of an apparent heart attack Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 62. "He was a big part of the channel's success and we are sure he is in the music section of heaven, with lots of his friends and heroes," MTV said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed." After leaving the music network in 1986, Jackson returned to his radio roots, hosting a nationally syndicated show on the Westwood One Radio Network. Most recently, he hosted an afternoon slot on Los Angeles' KTWV. read more


A seven-week investigation has led USA Today to conclude that one of its own — ex-reporter Jack Kelly — pulled a Jayson Blair by fabricating "substantial portions" of at least eight major stories. "As an institution, we failed our readers," says publisher Craig Moon. "For that I apologize." The full story appears in Friday's USA Today right next to a fun little chart about lead poisoning. read more


Janet Jackson will make her first post-Super Bowl TV appearance on the very network she shamed — CBS. Jackson will visit the Late Show With David Letterman on Monday, March 29, to promote her new album and chat about Boobygate. As previously reported, Jackson is also slated to guest on Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live and On Air With Ryan Seacrest. read more


Donald Trump is seeking to trademark his Apprentice phrase "You're Fired" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to The Smoking Gun. If he gets the OK, the hair-challenged mogul will be able to slap those words on clothing, games and playthings. In related news, rumor has it Omarosa is trying to trademark her signature phrases, "Ouch — my head!" and "Can we take a break?" read more


Ben Affleck will sit in for a vacationing Kelly Ripa on Monday's Live With Regis and Kelly. During the show, which was pre-taped, Affleck will compete in a "Reege-off" with Saturday Night Live's Darrell Hammond to see who does the best Philbin impression. read more


Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett has nabbed a supporting role in the Disney flick The Pacifier. It stars Vin Diesel as an undercover agent hired to protect a government scientist and his family, and I'm pretty sure it's a comedy. read more


Some news is just too good to make up, folks: Disgraced New York Times plagiarist Jayson Blair's new book is tanking. Despite an avalanche of press coverage and a first printing of 250,000, Burning Down My Master's House has sold an anemic 1,400 copies in its first nine days of publication. In related news... read more


Speaking of The Apprentice, an estimated 2,000 aspiring moguls showed up Thursday in New York for a casting call to appear on the show's second season. Open auditions are also scheduled in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Miami; Cleveland; San Francisco; Austin, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; Little Rock, Arkansas; Portland, Oregon and New Orleans. read more


Bravo has enlisted NewsRadio's Dave Foley, currently seen as Jack's beau on Will & Grace, to host the second season of Celebrity Poker Showdown this spring... Fox is moving The Bernie Mac Show from Sunday to Monday nights beginning March 22. read more

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