Newsmakers: 1: Britney Spears's Ranking in a Forbes List of the World's Most Powerful Celebrities. Tiger Woods Is No. 2

Newsweek, July 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Newsmakers: 1: Britney Spears's Ranking in a Forbes List of the World's Most Powerful Celebrities. Tiger Woods Is No. 2


The Foot in the Mouth of the South

CNN founder Ted Turner, notorious for putting his foot in his mouth, gave a big boost to the network's archrival, the Fox News Channel, last week when he equated Israel's military activities with terrorism. His comments, published on Tuesday in London, were greeted with outrage in the Israeli press, and the three major Israeli cable operators threatened to pull the plug on CNN for 24 hours in protest.

Turner, once dubbed "The Mouth of the South" for his ill-considered quips, quickly issued a clarification saying he regretted "any implication that I believe the actions taken by Israel to protect its people are equal to terrorism." CNN's corporate parent, AOL Time Warner, tried to distance itself, claiming, once again, that Turner's views were his own. And top executives from CNN--which has also come under fire from Palestinians who complained the network is too pro-Israel--flew to the Middle East to assure both sides that their coverage would be balanced.

But FNC has been going all out to court conservative Israelis; recently FNC correspondents were instructed to refer to Palestinian suicide bombers as "homicide bombers." And last Thursday Israel's YES Network, which had already been in negotiations to offer FNC as part of its basic cable package, abruptly launched the Murdoch-owned network. "Yes, we were surprised that they launched so quickly," said Fox's Doug Murphy. "Ted Turner's comments certainly didn't hurt." -Peg Tyre

Steven Tyler

Who would have thought that in 2002 Aerosmith would be alive and kicking, let alone have cause to celebrate. Their "Spider-Man" theme song plays in thousands of theaters, they're the subject of VH1's first two-hour-long "Behind the Music" and they've released yet another greatest hits CD (stay tuned for the tour in August). And for kicks, the Super Bowl-friendly band even came up with a few new singles for the record. Singer Steven Tyler talks with NEWSWEEK's Lorraine Ali about how, after 30 years, the group has not killed each other or themselves. …

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