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Posted at 7:40 AM ET, 08/28/2007

Morning Mix: Britney Spears Parenting Skills Scrutinized

By Liz Kelly

Headlines: Owen Wilson asks for privacy following hospitalization... Bill Clinton to be interviewed by Oprah... Oliver Hudson and wife welcome a baby boy... Newly shorn Paris Hilton parties with Kid Rock... Charlie Sheen says Denise Richards ruined his "quality time" with kids... Hulk Hogan's son released from hospital... Phil Spector's lead attorney leaving defense team... John Singleton cleared in fatal car accident... Former manager sues Matt LeBlanc for "Friends" pay off... "Spider-Man" fan arrested for breaking into Kirsten Dunst's hotel room... Renee Zellweger, too thin?

Rumor Mill: Britney Spears cleared in dog abuse investigation, but here comes the Department of Children and Family Services... Kate Hudson dating actor/comedian Dax Shepard... Amy Winehouse leaves the U.K... Former employees say Siegfried and Roy secretly buried elephant under housing development (second item).

Say What?
"I didn't do anything wrong. I wasn't expecting [the question]. I lost my train of thought." -- Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen USA, who totally flubbed her response to a pageant question (Update: Upton on 'Today')

By Liz Kelly  | August 28, 2007; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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That Siegfried and Roy could secretly bury an elephant is only slightly less believable than the idea that they are covering up flamboyant Ethan Hawke-like swinging hetero swordsman lifestyles.

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Lauren Caitlin Upton, you make me wish I was deaf.


Pompous Magnus

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | August 28, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Lauren Caitlin Upton, but you make me glad I'm not blind.



Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

-Paris looks better w/o the extensions. No way, I believe Paris dumps Adrian for Kid Rock...ew.

-Renee Z. does look so much better with 10lbs on her.

Posted by: lisa1 | August 28, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Renee is, her face looks odd anyway, but when she loses weight, her cheeks don't, so she looks like a big-headed, pursed-lipped, skinny chipmunk instead of just a chipmunk-like person.

Posted by: LE | August 28, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

isn't renee z. always skinny? i mean, except when she is playing bridget jones. she is always, always waif thin.

Posted by: wats | August 28, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't Paris be charmed by a guy with tatts and a physique like Kid Rocks?

Posted by: Stick | August 28, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

just because you dont understand Ms Upton's answer doesnt mean you should make fun of her.... perhaps the questioner in the referenced poll was using a Beatine map to perform the survey (america is moving in that direction afterall) or perhaps an Austronesian projection. And if she'd given the simple answer '1 in 5 americans cant read maps because we're a nation of morons - as evidenced by the last 2 presidential elections' i doubt she'd have won many votes.

dont make me explain the rest of her answer... i'll do it if i must...

Posted by: Quintilus Varus | August 28, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS - Lauren Caitlin Upton's train of thought has derailed and crashed...there were no survivors.

Posted by: Geist | August 28, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Surely the train was empty when it left the station, no?

Posted by: byoolin | August 28, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

C'mon folks, Ms. Teen SC is a secret genius. She knew that this "flub" would make her a YouTube star, and guarantee the inevitable "Today Show" clarification tour. It isn't like the actual winner of the pageant (quick, name her) is appearing on network TV, un-kay.

Further proof -- the deft way she started to invoke "Osama", but then quickly changed it to "o-some-a people" -- that's clear proof that her mastery of the art of spin is ingrained. She knew she had to hit "the terrrorists" button, but somehow intrinsically knew it wasn't the right time. Pure genius.

Of course, it's all kinda' moot, seeing as her pop culture star is already fading and they're'll be a new fat kid with a lightsaber or a zombie-turtle-boy to distract us in about 72 hours. And that, my friends, is why 80% of U.S. Americans can't find the United States on a map.

Posted by: VoR | August 28, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Lauren Upton should have said, "Maybe people can't find the USA on a map because, apparently, our education system needs some work, especially concerning world geography. Say yes to tests! Thank you!"

*nod, smile, pose, smile, walk back, pose, smile*

I'm saying, she might've had a chance at least...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Specifically, she was asked why one-fifth of Americans can't find the United States on a map.

'I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps,' she ventured."

C'mon, she understood the question just fine. She is just super dumb. No way in the world I'm buying that she has a 3.5 GPA. I call foul. Unless she's giving up some goodies...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Miss SC it did not help that she came from the south, always on the low end with regards to education, but the fact that she's blond, for me, that's what made this too funny not to foward to every dark-haired person I know.

Posted by: st.louis | August 28, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Renee looks tough and chewy, like stale beef jerky.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Stick, you must be kidding.

Adrian's amazing blue eyes place him soooo above Kid Rock and his mini beer belly; for Paris to even pary Kid Rock is a major downgrade.

PS:Kid Rock isn't even hot enough for Cameron Diaz.

Posted by: Lisa1 | August 28, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

if she'd stopped at the 'people have no maps' response - that would be one thing - but it continues...

'and i believe that our education, "such as" in South Africa and Iraq - everywhere - [implied 'should be'] like "such as" - and i believe that they should...'

As the great Albert Einstein once said "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means." 'Such As' - the use of Exempli Gratia - is a critical method of educating people. In this example - she is simply and eloquently making the case that the lack of contextual relationships in our education system is no different than the lack of boundary divisions in maps. South Africa and Iraq are quite simply the perfect examples - for each of these nations may well be termed 'nations' in our limited western hegemonistic sense - but with longstanding ethnic divisions such as the Bantustan or Lesotho situation in South Africa or the Marsh Arab and Kurdistan groups in Iraq (take a crack at Prince of the Marshes for a terrific take on that particular quagmire) - a national 'border drawing' identity that is at odds with its own regional and ethnic drives creates a difficulty in applying quick and easy border definitions. A nation of broad divisional generalizations, such as blue states and red states, cannot long stand -- and teaching said approach should neither be encouraged nor tolerated. If we are ever to understand and treat the deep underlying causes of social outgrouping and the sorts of pointless hatreds they engender - one must begin with the sense of arbitrary borders as implied in maps should be approached with this broader sense of inclusiveness in mind.

I'm sure she meant something like that...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

it continues... 'our education over here in the US should help the US or should help south africa - it should help Iraq and the asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our ch(ildren).'

Simply stated - education is universal - and by drawing the question of borders and maps into the forefront - she is emphasizing that our insistence on arbitrary demarkation only impedes our ability to pursue an ever expanding economy - a pursuit that is already a goal that should be questioned as a unreasonable. Her awareness that our education must take into account the coming cultural and economic dominance of the asian nations is not something one would necessarily expect from a teen from South Carolina - but as that would be implying some sort of regional discrimination based on an arbitrary border - which flies in the face of her answer to begin with - I'll refrain from such a supposition out of respect to her answer.

Posted by: Quintilus Varus | August 28, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Not to be picky, but Iraq IS an Asian country.

Posted by: st.louis | August 28, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

ummmm....what was the question?

anybody who's had a brain fart can appreciate what happened to that poor child....the things I've heard come out of my mouth during job interviews still baffle and disturb me.

Posted by: b | August 28, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

QV...You have thoroughly clarified Lauren's succinct answer and in such a way that has allowed me to see the error of my earlier ROFL. We should applaud this young lady for her unusual, and refreshingly un-southern, appreciation for the world community and what it has to offer.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

i've never heard of this "funnyman" dax shepherd that kate hudson is kissing in the grocery store's campbell soup aisle. she's not divorced yet and she's on her second public romance? she's really dropped in my estimation.

Posted by: methinks | August 28, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Like Amy Winehouse and her husband can't get drugs wherever they are! Pulleeze. It really looks like the husband is a major part of the problem. They have a really sick, abusive/codependent dynamic between them. He doesn't want to get better and she can't think for herself anymore, she's so addicted to him and drugs. A known history of self-abuse, of course she's going to let him abuse her and desperately defend him so she can continue the self-destructive pattern ...

Posted by: C. | August 28, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Doughnuts, beer and pizza is not a healthy way to pack on the pounds. Perhaps if Renee Zellweger's weight gain was done in a healthy way, she wouldn't become so frighteningly skeletal every time she's done filming a Bridget Jones movie.

It's amazing that she doesn't see how much better and va-va-voom sexier she looks when she's curvy. Sigh.

Posted by: Californian | August 28, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, my favorite part of the whole Renee Z. weight thing is when they keep talking about how FAT she was for Bridget Jones. Umm, she went up to a 12 or 14? Those are the average size of American women. AVERAGE people -- she wasn't hugely fat, she was normal.
It's NOT normal to be a size zero, that's for sure.

Posted by: Athens reader | August 28, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

When will these gals realize that veins are not meant to pop out of your legs and arms like snakes. Renee and Madonna are both going to break a hip and end up in the old people's home in about 5 years. And what's the point of eating some crappy macrobiotic diet? Where's the cheese and ice cream? What's the point in living?

Posted by: POS | August 28, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Looking back at actresses, they used to be curvy -- and probably were a size 12 or 14. Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, etc. were quite va-va-voomy and sexy, not skeletal. Having a little extra used to be womanly, a sign of health and vitality (and fertility).

Posted by: Californian | August 28, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, but that was when size 12 was much much smaller. The size 12 from Marilyn's day is equivalent to today's size 4 or so. If you like Marilyn's curves, then you are saying size 4 is "curvy." That makes size 12, what? super super curvy? The recent statistics on obesity in the US suggest that the "average" American is probably overweight.

Posted by: another californian | August 28, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

one problem with renee z. (and others) looking the way she does is the fact that the camera really does add pounds. as waifish (okay, starved) as she looks in that photo, she probably looks 5-10% more hungry in person.

Posted by: methinks | August 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

generally - if people are unhappy with their weight they should eat more or less appropriately and shut up already. it's not rocket science people - why does everyone treat it like it is. you dont get fat by LOOKING at food...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Skeletal dress racks like RZ, have it all over us "normal" people since their diest are healthier and more moral; they have that "suffering asthete" thiness that indicates true suffering and thus, insight. We envy them and project our own debased dynamic when we criticize. IMHO.

Posted by: Stick | August 28, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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