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January 31, 2002|Elaine Dutka


Sophia Loren Sits Down to a Plate of Polish Pasta


Poland's second-largest pasta-maker is hoping an endorsement from Italian superstar Sophia Loren will propel it to the No. 1 spot.

"Sophia Loren is a symbol of great Italian taste, and she has repeatedly said she owes her great looks to pasta," said Robert Mrozinski, general manager of Danuta SA, maker of the Malma brand of macaroni.

Loren's endorsement of a Polish pasta hasn't gone over well in the Italian media, where some reports say she should be endorsing a home-grown product. Last week, the Italian daily Il Mattino urged Loren to rethink her decision.

"More than a dish, a plate of spaghetti is a worldview," it commented. "Sophia, how does one say 'al dente' in Polish? One just can't."

Mrozinski argues that the commercial would promote Italy's national cuisine, regardless of who makes the pasta.



Poet Sues the FCC

Over Radio Fine

New York poet Sarah Jones is suing the Federal Communications Commission, claiming the agency violated her 1st Amendment rights when it deemed one of her songs indecent and fined a radio station for playing it.

Though the 1999 song "Your Revolution" didn't include any of the seven words prohibited by the FCC, it contained vivid sexual imagery. Jones said she was surprised by the ruling because she wrote the song as a criticism of the degradation of women in hip-hop.

Her lawsuit, filed in federal court on Tuesday, asks the court to overturn the FCC ruling and seeks an injunction against a $7,000 fine the FCC imposed on Portland, Ore., radio station KBOO-FM for airing the song. The station contested the fine in July, but no action has been taken, said Jones' lawyer.

The FCC declined to comment on the case. In the past year, the agency has come under scrutiny for what some say is inconsistent enforcement of its policies.


Study Documents

NYC's Arts Losses

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged the public to get out and support cultural institutions in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. But according to an insider, an upcoming report from the New York State Council on the Arts shows that arts groups in the five boroughs lost nearly $30 million between Sept. 11 and Oct. 31.

The study, based on 419 responses, documented both lost income and physical damage, the Village Voice reports.

Box office alone was down $11.6 million, and foundation money from recession-plagued corporations was $3 million less than anticipated. Arts groups received less money from state government agencies, where budgets were cut by 10%. And nonprofit groups were told to tighten their belts so that city funds could be diverted downtown.

Last week, the Andy Warhol Foundation provided $600,000 to assist small and mid-size arts organizations in lower Manhattan, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given $50 million to cultural groups. But arts institutions are anxiously awaiting the new city budget to get a true reality check.


Eddie Murphy and his wife, Nicole, became the parents of a baby girl, Bella Zahra, Wednesday. They have four other children.... VH1 has named comedian Zach Galifianakis as host of a new talk show to launch in March.

Elaine Dutka

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