Dr. Drew Pinsky may say that America's obsession with vanity is waning, but for some women the lure of cosmetic transformation is impossible to resist: so much so, in fact, that a beautification-related crime wave has broken out! In one daring stunt, a 24-year-old British woman conned a makeover show into paying $50,000 for laser skin treatments, new teeth, clothes, and hair-styling, then disappeared before they could finish filming. We know: It's upsetting to see this most classy and wholesome of TV genres, the only purpose of which is to help people, be exploited so heartlessly.
Take two deeply unfortunate but unrelated situations—the recession is making people spend less on cosmetic surgery and Dr. Drew Pinsky has a book to plug—and you have the basic ingredients for the Daily News' marginally convincing state-of-the-nation argument today: that America has abandoned its obsession with beauty, glamour, and celebrities in favor of "what's important."
Barack Obama has offered the job of Surgeon General to CNN's Sanjay Gupta, and he may accept the position in the next few days, "according to people familiar with the situation at the television network and in the Obama transition." As far as we know, Dr. Drew Pinsky has not yet been tapped to serve as drug czar, but the position is still open, so here's hoping! [NYT]
After months of open canoodling with celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson, Lindsay Lohan has stopped playing coy about whether the two of them are in a relationship, finally confirming the news on (of all places) last night's episode of the radio show Loveline. And she wasn't even prompted by the harsh interrogation techniques of Dr. Drew, either! No, Lohan — who had the phone passed to her after Ronson called in to discuss her hospitalized friend DJ AM — was caught flat-footed after an innocent question by Dr. Drew's cohost, Stryker.Asked, "You and Samantha have been going out for how long now?" Lohan giggled and demurred, but Stryker pressed on. "Like two years?" he asked. "One year? Five months? Two months?" Finally, Lohan allowed, "A very long time." The MySpace pundit then accepted compliments on her relationship, eventually signing off in a bit of Italian that stumps the hosts (is that how lesbians talk?). Our congratulations go out to the newly confirmed couple. Stryker, you'd better prepare for tonight's inevitable Michael Lohan call-in. [Loveline]
♦ Vanity Fair's Dominick Dunne was taken to a Las Vegas hospital today after he fell ill while watching the O.J. Simpson trial. [AP]
♦ People.com passed TMZ last month for the first time with 11.5 million visitors, thanks to pics of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's newborns. [WWD]
♦ Hard to believe it if you've been watching the news this past week, but financial journalists say they're "parsing their words with unusual care." [NYT]
♦ MTV has given the greenlight to a "sex-themed series for teens and their parents" featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky. [THR]
Drew Pinsky is downright respectable, at least by TV doctor standards. Unlike "Dr. Phil," he has an actual medical degree, practices medicine and even teaches psychiatry. His reality show, Celebrity Rehab, is both more gripping and responsible than other celebrity "reality" vehicles. But Tom Cruise has allowed his lawyer to compare "Dr. Drew" to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, because the doctor told Playboy the following about movie star Cruise's fevered devotion to the Church of Scientology:
- Britney Spears is in a padded room, deemed by a court-appointed lawyer too crazy to understand her own case, but the judge wants to check with a doctor to be extra sure she's mentally unfit because apparently he doesn't have access to television, print media, the Internet, radio or anyone who has consumed any news whatsoever at any point in the past two years.
If there's any question as to why we've been eagerly anticipating Celebrity Rehab, the latest offering from VH1's Reality Department/ Non-Skank-Romance Division, since first being teased by footage of Jeff Conaway blowing a rail of fauxcaine, one need only take a look at this ABC News headline, which practically bullet-points every stage of Dr. Drew Pinsky's clinically-proven-to-induce-ratings 4-step program. (Mop-wielding orderlies are typically on high alert prior to Step 3.) Distancing himself from University of the Web-accredited quacks like Dr. Phil and other exploitative reality fare covering the same ground, Actual Medical Doctor Pinsky explains how his show is far more than just Celebrity Apprentice with piles of blow and a stocked bar (which, now that we mention it, would make Trump's show a lot more interesting):