Today's News: Our Take


NBC newsman David Bloom, who was one of 600 journalists embedded with U.S. and British forces in Iraq, died over the weekend while covering the war. He was 39. Bloom's death was not combat-related; he died after suffering a blood clot. On Sunday's weekend edition of Today, where Bloom served as co-anchor opposite Soledad O'Brien, a solemn Matt Lauer and Katie Couric joined O'Brien in paying tribute to their fallen colleague. "He was a dedicated, tenacious and talented reporter," said O'Brien. "He died doing what he loved, and doing what he did best." Bloom is survived by his wife, Melanie, and three daughters. read more


CNN's embedded correspondent, neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was called on to perform emergency surgery Thursday on a 2-year-old Iraqi boy wounded at a U.S. Marine checkpoint south of Baghdad. Sadly, the boy later died. read more


Comedian Rosie O'Donnell is demanding the National Enquirer retract a recent story that claimed she and girlfriend Kelli Carpenter were thisclose to breaking up. "Printing that I am 310 pounds is one thing," O'Donnell said. "Printing that my partner and our newborn daughter have left is another. I will not tolerate such a hurtful and slanderous lie. We are a happy family with two mothers and four children." The ex-talk show host is also considering filing a lawsuit. read more


Miramax will re-release George Clooney's little-seen directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind on Aug. 1. This time around, studio execs will try a new marketing approach: They'll pay people to see it. read more


Believe it or not, one of the first people Nicole Kidman called after winning her Oscar last month was ex-hubby Tom Cruise. "It was so important for me to talk to [our son] Connor and yes, to Tom," she tells People. "We have very different lives now, but as I've said to Tom, I will be there for him for the rest of his life." Or as long as she keeps winning more awards than him. read more


Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for American Idol's Julia DeMato. If you missed the Q&A, click here. Also, if you haven't already done so, please read my Seven Silly Questions for Cookie Monster, which was posted today. In my opinion, there's no better way to start a weekend than with a little Cookie! read more


ESPN is launching an hour-long drama series set in the world of professional football. The show — titled Playmakers — is being produced and written by Alias exec John Eisendrath. It debuts Aug. 26. read more


Motown star Edwin Starr, best known for his 1970 hit "War," died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in England. He was 61. read more

Eddie Griffin: Tap Dancing Action Hero?

In Eddie Griffin's concert film Dysfunktional Family (opening Friday), he recalls how an unconventional upbringing in Kansas City, Mo., inspired his career in comedy. As for the rest of his development as an entertainer, this Undercover Brother credits the black men who paved the way before him. That's why he was eager to fill Sammy Davis Jr.'s shoes for the upcoming biopic Yes I Can.

"The reason the story of Sammy Davis Jr. has to be told is that he was the cat who knocked down the doors," Griffin says, mimicking the Rat Packer's suave tone. "If there wasn't a Sammy, there would be no Michael Jackson. There would be no read more


Lord of the Rings actress Liv Tyler, daughter of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, married Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon on March 25 in a private ceremony in the Caribbean. This is the first marriage for both. read more

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