Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Kiss photo prompts apology

Atlanta -- A small front-page photo of Britney Spears and Madonna sharing an open-mouth kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards caused the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to apologize to readers Monday.

The picture, not much bigger than a postage stamp, was near the top of Friday's front page on the morning after the televised show. A larger version of the picture was in the paper's Living section.

The kiss picture elicited a deluge of complaints to the newspaper. In Monday's editions, managing editor Hank Klibanoff apologized, saying the picture should have been inside but not on the front page.

Klibanoff compared the picture to graphic images from the war in Iraq.

"We ran images we otherwise might not have run. But that was war, and war was news. The photo we ran Friday was neither, and I wish I had limited its display," Klibanoff wrote in a response to letters on the opinions page.

Paintball appeals to Shatner

New Milford, Pa. -- Daring to go where few actors have gone before, William Shatner headlined a paintball tournament to raise money for an annual show for disabled children.

"Well, why not paintball?" Shatner said at the contest that drew at least 2,000 participants. "This is fun, so people will come, and it's for charity."

Shatner, 72, who starred as Captain Kirk in the "Star Trek" TV series and films, said proceeds of Sunday's tournament would go toward his Hollywood Charity Horse Show, an annual event.

Stars honor Harley birthday

Milwaukee -- Harley-Davidson Inc. topped off its 100th birthday celebration with a concert featuring Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, country star Tim McGraw, rocker Kid Rock and pop star Elton John.

McGraw rode onto the stage Sunday on a Harley motorcycle and went straight into a set. Kid Rock later joined him in a song and did more songs with McGraw's band.

After McGraw completed the set, a large gospel choir filled the stage and sang as dozens of spotlights swirled their beams over the audience, forming a cone or wheel shape.

John later took his seat at the piano, getting a mixed reaction from the biker crowd.

Evelyn Hickey, of Austin, Texas, said she liked John but didn't think he was the best choice for the Harley event. She and her group were leaving after his first song rather than waiting for a closing fireworks show. "We all just are tired," she said. "It's been a long day."

Peepers focus on 'Creepers 2'

Los Angeles -- Horror held sway at theaters again as "Jeepers Creepers 2" sunk its claws into audiences, opening over the long Labor Day weekend as the top movie with $18.5 million at the box office.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Tuesday.

1. "Jeepers Creepers 2," $18.5 million.

2. "Freaky Friday," $11.7 million.

3. "S.W.A.T." $10.5 million.

4 (tie). "Open Range," $10.2 million.

4 (tie). "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," $10.2 million.

6. "Seabiscuit," $8.2 million.

7. "Freddy vs. Jason," $8.1 million.

8. "The Medallion," $5.7 million.

9. "Uptown Girls," $5.2 million.

10. "My Boss's Daughter," $4.5 million.