Grrr! Paula Abdul's a Brave Soul; Tom Cruise

Paula Abdul | Tom Cruise | Runaway Bride: Radio Star | Mother's Day Grrr! | Your Grrrs

You've got to hand it to Paula Abdul. (search)

Whether you think Abdul should exit "American Idol" — as I do — or not, after allegations she had a conflict-of-interest affair with a season-two reject, you still have to admire her guts.

Over the weekend, she appeared in a sketch on "Saturday Night Live," and although it was quite lame, she is still very brave to have done so.

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It was either that or check in to rehab for "painkiller addiction," or whatever other "disease" some adviser no doubt told her to use as a scapegoat for her poor judgment.

God knows there has been plenty of speculation this season on "AI" about how Abdul appeared to be at least slightly intoxicated during the show. After her apparent poor taste in men has been so unceremoniously exposed, one would think Abdul was definitely not herself when she allegedly hooked up with the likes of Corey Clark (search).

However, in lieu of going the rehab route, as Pat O'Brien and countless others have done, it looks like Abdul is going to tough out the allegations and stay the course, and I have to admire that.

No matter what I think, she'll get through this.

I have four major Grrrs about the whole alleged Abdul/Clark affair.

1. Grrr! on ABC's "Primetime Live" for airing this so-called "expose" on the "scandal" behind the scenes at a rival network's No. 1 rated show.

What's next in TV news? Will "60 Minutes" be doing a story about Botox use on "Desperate Housewives"? Or should all network news divisions run with one local story about "hard-partying" Disney-character employees on the eve of Disneyland's 50th anniversary?

Surely, Disney-owned ABC News could have reported Clark's claims without promoting his CD or his family's band, and they could have taken these allegations with a grain of salt.

Instead, they opened the hour-long "report" with Clark singing a tune from his CD. Moreover, they brushed over Clark's arrests for assault and passing bad checks, taking Clark's word that he was wrongfully arrested but never airing an interview with one of the four arresting officers or the prosecutor in the case.

They showed phone records but never reported that they verified that the calls indeed came from Abdul's number, or that Abdul was on the other end of the calls.

They talk about a Sprint employee who witnessed Abdul buying a cell phone for Clark, but never interviewed said employee. They produced a cash receipt for clothes, taking Clark's word that Abdul paid for them, and the only corroborating witnesses who saw Abdul and Clark together were Clark's buddies.

Hardly the stuff of investigative reporting.

2. Grrr! on Paula Abdul for joking about the incident on "SNL," and for staying silent.

We know "AI" is not saving lives here, but it is a worldwide phenomenon that should adhere to the utmost integrity, and should at least be taken seriously by the people profiting the most from it, especially Abdul. If all of the above is so untrue, how come she hasn't come out and stated that fact firmly herself, instead of issuing weak statements through her personal attorneys?

Now she owes another apology to all of her "AI" colleagues for that ill-advised and poorly acted "SNL" appearance.

3. Grrr! on "SNL" for brushing over the allegations and letting Abdul off the hook.

Can you imagine if Simon Cowell (search) were in a similar predicament?

I'm sure "Weekend Update" co-anchor Tina Fey would be "reporting" on the fake news show over and over again about how horrible a person Cowell is, like she does with most other men accused of sexual harassment. But when a famous woman is caught red-handed, it's OK.

4. If Clark is telling the truth, Grrr! to him for using Abdul's lack of judgment for his own personal gain.

He keeps saying he doesn't want to hurt her, then goes on Howard Stern (search) and airs all the lurid details about how he remembers the alleged affair — and he didn't spare anything, folks.

On top of all the kissing and telling on Stern, this ignoramus went on to say that "a credible source, an AP story," was reporting that Abdul's and his phone calls were being monitored by the FBI under The Patriot Act because Abdul's name is the same as a wanted terrorist.

The credible story this idiot was referring to was a satire written by Deanna Swift of The Swift Report Blogs, which is truly a funny piece of satire, but hardly a credible source.

It only shows just what kind of fool we're dealing with here.

Corey, I may believe something happened between you and Abdul, and I think she should be fired or resign because of it, but I also hope your CD and "memoir" earn about $20. If you're such a good singer, you could have made it without all of this. If you were a man, you would have. In my book, you're nothing but a little opportunist.

I guess we'll all find out Tuesday night, when "American Idol" airs, if Abdul faces up the allegations and tells her side of the story. I predict that no matter what, this will be the last season for Abdul.

As one Grrr! reader wrote me, someone like Cyndi Lauper (search) would make for a great replacement.

I, for one, am over it, and that's the last I'm writing about it.

Tom Cruise's Love Life

So 42-year-old Tom Cruise (search) is dating 26-year-old Katie Holmes. Well, good for him, but who really cares?

I'm a huge Cruise fan, ranking most of his films right up there with some of my all-time favorites, but for the first time in his long career I feel like the biggest movie star in the world is coming dangerously close to overexposure.

Ever since the lights went down on his marriage to Nicole Kidman, Cruise has engaged in very conspicuous relationships with various starlets, Penelope Cruz among them. Now with Holmes, friends are telling the tabloids that Cruise is head over heels in love with the young leading lady of the upcoming "Batman Begins."

Cruise's own "War of the Worlds," directed by Steven Spielberg, also comes out this summer.

While I don't believe Cruise would use women to promote his movies, he certainly knows how the Hollywood media world works, and if he's truly in love, I'm sure he knows how to avoid that same press.

Grrr! on Tom for making headlines. And don't tell me it's not his fault. He knows exactly what he's doing.

Jennifer Wilbanks: Radio Star

Oh boy, here we go again. A local talk radio station in New Mexico has offered Flee-ance Jennifer Wilbanks a job as a commentator.

It was reported over the weekend that this isn't the first time Wilbanks left a fiance at the altar, and now she's been offered a $30,000-a-year job on the radio. Hey, if she's not available, I'm sure you can hire Corey Clark, since your broadcast standards are so high.

Grrr! to stunt casting, whether it be in TV, radio, film or Broadway.

Mother's Day Grrr!

Bought two Mother's Day cards, one from me and the other from baby Maxine, for Mrs. Grrr!

The cost: $9.80 for two measly cards. And they weren't even that special. So, for next Mother's Day, I share with you the handwritten insert that I wrote in the overpriced card, and it's yours to use next year, absolutely free.

"You know how I feel about the way you are with Maxine. You've risen to the challenge of motherhood, and are doing a great job. Maxine is so smart, so gentle, and so good, and I can't imagine any other woman in the world who would be as good a mom as you are. Happy Mother's Day."

There you go. Save yourself the $10. Of course, insert your own children's names.

By the way, just one week until Grrr! T-Shirts! Stay tuned.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine."

"American Idol" airs on FOX, a property of News Corp. News Corp. is the parent company of FOX News Channel, which operates

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