HITS Daily Double
Was it simply because the availability of Crash on DVD gave more people a chance to see (and discuss) it, creating the momentum that pushed it over the top of the Mountain?


The Highs and Lows of the Weekend In Small, Digestible Nuggets, Just to Get You Started
Crash won the Oscars, Jenny McCarthy swept the Razzies, the NFL faced a labor showdown, BlackBerry users can rest easy and Jermaine Jackson is telling all on kid brother Michael.

Those were some of the big stories to break over the weekend.

The N.Y. Daily News reported that Jermaine shopped a book on his brother to publishers just weeks after Michael’s arrest in Nov. 2003, describing him as a “sometimes out-of-control drug and booze abuser with a calculating mean streak” and "a thing for young children."
Among the book's other "revelations":

*He feared Michael might be guilty of child molestation, but backed him at trial because he thought the pop star would commit suicide in prison.

*During the Jackson 5 days, his brothers feared he was gay when he showed no interest in women. “We used to quietly say that we couldn't have a gay brother."

*Michael hates Jews because he thinks Hollywood moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen stole the idea for Dreamworks studio, including the boy-on-the moon logo, from him.

*Michael militated against the other brothers' attempts to forge solo careers of their own.

*Michael Jackson's two older children by ex-wife Debbie Rowe were fathered by a "sperm donor,” for which she was handsomely paid and sworn to secrecy about their origin

The NFL and its Player’s Union agreed to extend the deadline for free agency another 72 hours to try to reach an agreement on its Collective Bargaining pact. To that end, the Seattle Seahawks signed league MVP Shaun Alexander to a new eight-year $62 million deal, while the Jets restructured QB Chad Pennington’s one-year contract from $9 million to $3 million (with performance incentives) to remain under the cap.

Pundits are pontificating over what Crash’s victory over Brokeback Mountain means in this year’s Oscar race, one of the biggest upsets in the Academy’s history. Was it anti-gay backlash from the conservative voters? Unlikely, since the film won in several other categories, including Director. Could the continuing water-cooler buzz status of Crash—as well as all the attendant controversy swirling around it—have helped it on a “zeitgeist” level? Or was it simply because the availability of Crash on DVD gave more people a chance to see (and discuss) it, creating the momentum that pushed it over the top of the Mountain? My money’s on the latter.

On the other hand, pundits have nothing to say about Jenny McCarthy’s sweep of the Razzies, only to note, when does Dirty Love come out on DVD and how bad a film could it be if it caused her to break up with her husband?

And now that BlackBerry has resolved its dispute, all you hopelessly addicted to the device can rest easy, knowing that you continue to be tethered to the annoying text messages and IMs of your colleagues. Manufacturer Research In Motion settled its long-running patent dispute with the small Virginia-based firm of NTP, averting a possible court-ordered shutdown of its system. RIM has paid NTP $612.5 million in a "full and final settlement of all claims," the companies said this weekend.

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion remained atop the weekend box office, with another $13 million for a two-week total of $48 million for the Lionsgate film, according to studio estimates Sunday. That was enough to beat back 16 Blocks, which trailed with $11.7 million in its first week. In a rare sidenote, not one of last night's nominated movies made the Top 10 this week.

The L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein writes in a page one edition of his "The Big Picture" column on Sunday that "Mass Event," "top-down" TV events like the Oscars, the Grammys, the Olympics, the World Series, etc., are no longer relevant in this age of "bottom-up," create-your-own, niche entertainments like American Idol, MySpace.com and the iPod. Read it here.

The N.Y. Times' Robert Levine examines indie label Razor & Tie's incredible chart success with the Kidz Bop series here.

The N.Y. Post reports Les Moonves allowed Howard Stern to remain on the air for 15 months promoting his move to satellite radio, for which Moonves is now suing him, because CBS planned to launch an IPO the first week of the new year, just before the talk titan's celebrated debut on Sirius Jan. 9. Read about it here.