Dateline: Week Of December 22, 2003 In News, Pop, Celebrity, Entertainment, Music, Tech & Fascinating Facts
In The News -
John F. Kerry rips into Howard Dean – questioning his judgment, temperament and political values at a speech in New Hampshire.
Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge raises the nation’s terror threat level from yellow to orange (high). This based on reports of a planned attack on the U.S. “equal or greater than 9/11/”
Mudslides in S. California have claimed at least seven lives with more missing.
An earthquake strike the central coast of California – centered near Paso Robles. Two are dead.
An explosion at a natural gas field in southwestern China kills at least 191 people.
At a menorah-lighting ceremony to mark Hanukkah, President Bush prayed for Americans serving in the U.S. armed forces and expressed his hope that all people who live under oppression would one day be free.
The Pentagon has suspended compulsory vaccination of U.S. troops against anthrax. A military judge ordered the stoppage, saying it is treating its personnel like “guinea pigs.”
The Bush administration says it would ban Ephedra – the herbal derivative used for weight loss.
Homeland Security says foreign airlines are now required to deploy armed air marshals on selected flights to the U.S.
First Lady Laura Bush says Americans are walking a tightrope of staying vigilant against a new terrorist attack while comforting their children during a time of heightened terrorism fears.
Roadside bombs in Iraq kill two American troops.
Health News – December 22, 2003
The Agriculture Department says that a cow has tested positive for “Mad Cow” here in the U.S. – the first such case. They say the illness came through tainted feed.
Fascinating Facts – December 22, 2003
Popular this Christmas – Bratz dolls.
Gov George Pataki of NY pardons “posthumously” Lenny Bruce. The comedian – way ahead of his time – poked fun at sacred cow subjects – just about anything was game – punctuated by four-letter worlds.
Brawny updates the man on its paper towels. Out is the guy with the ‘70’s hair. Brawny is down in sales – from 14% to 11% of the paper towel business.
Some bestselling books – December 22, 2003
The Five people You Meat in Heaven – Mitch Albom
Trojan Odyssey – Clive Cussier
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Murder Room – P.D. James
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – Al Franken
Dude: Where’s My Country? Michael Moore
Who’s Looking Out For You – Bill O’Reilly
The World According to Mister Rogers – Fred Rogers
Sports News – December 22, 2003
Yankee owner George Steinbrenner is listed in stable condition at a Florida hospital after he fainted during memorial services for hall of Fame football player Otto Graham.
Entertainment News – December 22, 2003
Passing – Actress Hope Lange. She was 70.
Passing – Actor Alan Bates. He was 69.
Music News – December 22, 2003
Michael Jackson denied the charges against him during an interview with “60 Minutes” this week. He told Ed Bradley – “Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists.”
Tom Jones, Sarah Brightman and Dionne Warwick in “A Musical Christmas From The Vatican” a holiday special on PBS.
Ozzie Osbourne is moved out intensive care and he recovers from his all-terrain crash.
Passing – Country singer Dave Dudley (75).
Passing – Dick St. John – pop singer and songwriter of the 1960’s. From complications of falling off his roof. He was 63.
$115.9 million - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are 2003’s top concert attraction according to Pollstar. The rest are the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Cher, Simon & Garfunkel, Aerosmith/Kiss tour, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel.
Rivals - In the December issue of Blender magazine – Christian Aguilera and Britney Spears were apparently “distant” during rehearsals for the MTV Video Music Awards back in August. Said Aguilers – “Every time I tried to start a conversation with her – well, let’s just say she seemed nervous the whole time… She seems to me like a lost little girl, someone who desperately needs guidance.”
Coming to VH1 next month “Bands Reunited.” Groups profiled include – “Flock of Seagulls.”
Some top albums – week of December 22, 2003
Diary of Alicia Keys
Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol. 14
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – Outkast
Metamorphosis – Hilary Duff
Closer – Josh Groban
The Singles 1992-2003 – No Doubt
Television News – December 22, 2003
Don’t miss “World Idol” on Fox-TV Christmas night. It’ll feature idols of 11 nations – including Kelly Clarkson from the U.S. Other Idols include Ryan Malcolm of Canada and Will Young – United Kingdom.
A Harris Poll rates Oprah Winfrey as America’s favorite TV personality in 2003. She’s followed by David Letterman, Bill O’Reilly, Ray Romano and Jay Leno.
MSNBC is hiring Deborah Norville to do an interview show against CNN’s Larry King.
Passing – Actor Earl Hindman (61) – best known for playing a neighbor was face was forever obscured by a fence on “Home Improvement.’
Top TV Shows/Ratings/TV Guide – December 22, 2003
60 Minutes (Michael Jackson Interview) – 18.78
NFL Today Post Game – 18.52
Monday Night Football – 17.16
CSI: Miami – 13.64
NFL Monday Showcase – 13.60
Everybody Loves Raymond – 13.39
Two and a Half Men – 12.63
CSI – 12.37
Without a Trace – 12.15
Law & Order: SVU – 11.90
Kennedy Center Honors – 11.19
Law & Order: Criminal Intent – 10.69
One True Thing – 10.67
Dateline NBC (Sun.) – 10.49
Yes, Dear – 10.11
2003 New Years Eve Television –
On CNN – Anderson Cooper hosting “365” – The Year Comes Full Circle.
ABC - Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2004. Features highlights of 2003 concerts by Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. Later – see Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey co-host!
Fox – “America’s Party” – Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie host. Music acts – Ashanti and Metallica.
Top Movies – December 22, 2003
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Something’s Gotta Give
Mona Lisa Smile
The Last Samurai
Stuck on You
The Haunted Mansion
Love Don’t Cost A Thing