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Michael Phelps Is Gold for NBC

Plus, lawyers make criminals sing (to 'Don Giovanni'), another spectacular apartment you can't afford hits the market, and more, in our daily industry roundup.

Bush to Economy: ‘Hey, Did You Get a Haircut? Something's Different.’

FINANCE • Bush acknowledges slower economy, but he stops short of warning about recession. Still, will he go for another round of tax cuts? [NYT, NYT] • Financial titans Warren Buffett and Maurice Greenberg came under attack in the Gen Re trial. Neither stands as a defendant, but both were accused of being intimately involved in a fraudulent transaction worth $500 million. [NYT] • Now that Jimmy Cayne's out of the picture, which hedge fund will step in to buy Bear Stearns? [Deal Journal/WSJ]

Stephen Colbert Backlash: The Fall's Hottest Trend

MEDIA • The American version of the Guardian hits our shores! [Guardian via Gawker] • Stephen Colbert is leading Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel in national polls; the media backlash has already begun. [WP, HuffPo, Gawker] • ASME announced the finalists for the 2007 best magazine cover. They must have missed the backlash memo: Colbert is featured three times, more than any other star. [ASME]

Even Iraq Can't Save Katie

MEDIA • Jon Stewart will get another chance to piss off Old Hollywood — the Academy just decided to let him host the Oscars again. [NYT] • If you thought Katie Couric's Iraq trip was nothing but a ratings stunt, you might want to check the numbers: The week-long tour tied her previous record for the lowest CBS viewership in over two decades. [AP] • The Wall Street Journal's softball team celebrates its last season as an "independently" owned team by printing up a cute little fake story. No mention whether Murdoch plans to fire the lot of them and bring in juiced replacements. [Radar Online]

Clarence Thomas, Porn Addict?

FINANCE • Henry Kravis supposedly gave a big concession when he let the banks place restrictions on the debt offering for the all-important First Data deal, but banks are now complaining the concession is less an olive branch than a fig leaf. [DealBook/NYT] • Hits on hedge-fund bonuses may not be as bad as we all thought: While they won't set any records, they're still set to grow 1 to 9 percent from last year, and general compensation is still climbing. [Globe & Mail via DealBook/NYT] • Jordan Belfort, the former broker who swindled investors out of $100 million, didn't discover Jesus in prison, but he did chance upon Tom Wolfe. His new book, The Wolf of Wall Street, looks back on the good times selling bogus stocks while tripping on quaaludes. [NYT]