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New Republic

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Lawyers Advocate an Oscar for 'Michael Clayton' — That George Clooney Makes Them Look So Good!

LEGAL • Lawyers everywhere are crossing their fingers for a Michael Clayton Oscar win. "In 80 years, only 10 legal movies or actors playing members of the legal community have taken home gold," a columnist sighs. Awwwwww. Wait a second. We didn't do the math, but isn't that more than like, every other profession? How many people playing bloggers have won Oscars, for instance? Slickster lawyers. Always trying to trick us with their fancy talk. [Law.com] • Could John Edwards be our next attorney general? [The American] • The Sean Bell "50-shot" case is set to go to trial on Monday. [NYT]

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Lies and the Lying Arabs Who Tell Them

MEDIAThe New Republic pulled back on its long-embattled "Baghdad Diarist" series, admitting they could no longer stand behind the author, an army private serving in Iraq. Meanwhile, The National Review suffered its own Middle Eastern credibility scandal and struck back in a novel way: "As one of our sources put it: 'The Arab tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro-American Lebanese Christians as much as it is with the likes of Hamas.'" Yikes. [NYT Mixed Media/Portfolio] • Big layoffs ahead at NBC News? "There are going to be firings very soon — everybody is terrified," according to a "former network insider," who claims tens of millions in cuts will happen in the next two weeks. [Jossip] • New NBC programming honcho Ben Silverman is looking to clear up a conflict of interest and cash in on his old production company, which Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter to Rupe, is buying for around $200 million. Not bad for a guy who built his career on stealing foreign shows like The Office and Ugly Betty and then repackaging them for the U.S. [NYP]

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Brit Bares It in Meatpacking Bar

Britney Spears changed out of her dress and into a bikini at One Little West 12th. Beyoncé is jealous of Jennifer Hudson. The New Republic is going bi-weekly but is not cutting any staff. Chelsea club BED was set to be closed for renovation, and the fatal brawl there earlier this month isn't helping matters. Ian Schrager's Chinese restaurant at the Gramercy Park Hotel is back on but will be helmed by a Japanese chef. Zac Posen kicked socialite Arden Wohl out of his Fashion Week after-party because she didn't come to his show or wear his clothes to the after-party. Paris Hilton is jealous of fellow sex-tape star Kim Kardashian.

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