Tha Rap Critic

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gotti Defense Short Lived, Closing Arguments Begin

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In the federal money laundering case against The Inc. (Formerly Murder Inc.), it took the Gotti defense team of criminal lawyers Gerald Lefcourt and Gerald Shargel one witness and a little over two hours to present their case. The lone witness in the defenses' case was former IRS special agent, and forensic accountant John Ryan.

Ryan was hired by the Gotti defense team to examine the Gottis' financial records and bank statements for their personal and business accounts. However, Carolyn Pokorny, the prosecutor in this case, countered Ryan's examinations, and accused Ryan of just examining the records provided by the Gotti defense team. "The bottom line is you did not analyze every single deposit of cash," Pokorny said, before asking Ryan whether he noticed strange patterns in Chris' account deposits.

"Did you not see notations in their own books to the effect that Chris was cashing checks?" she asked Ryan. He said he had; over the course of three years, Pokorny said Chris cashed, on average, more than $100,000 in third-party checks, using his accounts.

The case is expected to be handed over to the jury today, November 16, 2005 after both sides give their closing arguments.

Simon Cowell to Return to American Idol

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What turned out to be a boost for Fox Television to justify charging between $600,000 and $705,000 for 30 second ads running during American Idol this season, Simon Cowell, the hard nosed British judge, has decided to return to the show. Cowell has been embedded in a legal battle with longtime friend, and Idol creator Simon Fuller, which was a threat to jeopardize his return to the hit reality series. Cowell and Fuller subsequently reached an out of court settlement that led to Cowell's decision to return.

"It is a personal thrill for me to play a role in giving the best young singers in America a shot at realizing their dreams," Cowell said in a statement Tuesday. "I'm also happy to be working with my good friend Simon Fuller for the foreseeable future and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Fox network and the phenomenal success that is American Idol."

"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with FremantleMedia, Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment on television's number-one series," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said in a statement. "And that news is only bettered by knowing Simon Cowell will bring his unique talents to American Idol for years to come."

Last year, American Idol's Tuesday-Wednesday schedule averaged 27 million viewers a week. This year, Fox is contemplating a Wednesday-Thursday schedule in an effort to draw more viewers.

Rolling Stones Will Headline Superbowl Halftime Show

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Superbowl XL (40), which will be held on Sunday February 5, 2006, will feature legendary Rock n Roll band The Rolling Stones for the highly anticipated halftime show. The NFL came under some harsh scrutiny after an incident with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Superbowl, which caused for time delays and stiffer FCC regulations.

"We are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events of the year," the band says in a statement.

"We are excited to welcome one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands in history to the Super Bowl," says Steve Bornstein, the NFL's executive vice president of media, and the man in charge of the event. "As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl this season, it is fitting we work with the Rolling Stones whose music has thrilled audiences around the world for years."

The Superbowl performance will cap a season long cross promotional campaign between the NFL, ABC, and The Stones. Mick and the boys have created several intros and segments for this entire 2005-2006 season of Monday Night Football. This marks the second year in a row that an act from the UK will headline the halftime show for America's unofficial holiday, Superbowl Sunday. Last year it was Paul McCartney.

Donald Trump and The Apprentice Move to L.A.

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The recently added sixth season of the hit reality series "The Apprentice" will be shot in Los Angeles rather than New York City. In a recent statement, Donald Trump said, "While I love shooting in New York City, I look forward to filming season six in Los Angeles."

"Donald has so many recent West Coast projects that it made perfect sense to change locations and along with it changes the flavor of the weekly tasks," Mark Burnett said, the show's creator. "Seeing Donald operate in Southern California will provide yet more insight into his remarkable world."

In a recent interview with ABC radio, Trump also addressed concerns about Martha Stewart's Apprentice having an ill affect on his show. "I think there was confusion between Martha's Apprentice and mine," he told ABC Radio in October. "And mine continues to do well and, as you know, the other one has struggled very severely." It was reported recently by NBC that they will not be picking up Martha's version of "The Apprentice" for a second season.