"Linsanity" has faded and some semblance of normalcy has returned to Madison Square in Times Square where the NY Knicks (18-23) are coming off a 5-game losing streak.

Yesterday, the division leading Philadelphia 76ers routed the NY Knickerbockers 106-94 at the Garden. But the chants of "Fire D'Antoni" began even before the final minute ticked off the clock. In a controversial move, the Knicks embattled coach Mike D'Antoni benched his superstars, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire for the entire 4th quarter in favor of his 2nd unit led by his struggling starting point guard Jeremy Lin and the problem child J.R. Smith.

The baby faced Asian-American Harvard grad was hailed as the Knicks savior when he came off the bench to spark a 7-game winning streak back in February. But even as the gullible NY media went into a feeding frenzy of biblical proportions -- cooler heads realized that Lin was simply a flash-in-the pan.

The media was looking for a ratings boost, and they hoped that non-sports fans wouldn't notice that Lin and the rejuvenated Knicks were playing against mediocre sub .500 teams.

The only worthy opponent the Knicks faced during that 7-game win streak was the Los Angeles Lakers, who had an off night because their self-centered superstar Kobe Bryant is less concerned with winning and more concerned with chasing NBA records.

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Funeral home owner Carolyn Whigham says she knows who took the photo of the late singer Whitney Houston that was displayed on the cover of the National Enquirer. But, she says, it's up to Houston's family members to reveal the name, reports The Star Ledger.

The photo showed Houston wearing a purple dress and resting in an open casket. It ran under the headline “Whitney: The Last Photo!” The issues captions declared Whitney was buried in $500,000 worth of her favorite jewels. The gossip rag sold out quickly, and some say the photo may have earned the photographer a quick $500K.

Whigham, who has known the Houston family for decades, held a press conference on Thursday in Newark, NJ, to clear her name.

"I want to clear my name and my funeral home," said Whigham, who said she had received dozens of threatening emails and was also spit on following what Slaughter called “false and unsubstantiated rumors.”

“The Whigham Funeral Home is not responsible and had no role in this shameful betrayal,” said the Rev. Jethro James, pastor of Paradise Baptist Church.

Whigham was the flamboyant figure, in gold jacket and white pants, seen directing Whitney's opulent funeral in the live video feed from New Hope Baptist Church on Feb. 18.

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Someone within Whitney Houston's camp sold her out to the National Enquirer. The national gossip rag displays a photo of the pop icon lying in an open coffin wearing a purple dress on the cover of this week's issue. The photo is believed to have been taken inside the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, where her family attended a private wake last Friday.

No word on how much the magazine paid the insider for the photo.

See the photo after the break. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT!

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A racist ESPN headline has basketball fans outraged this morning. It's little consolation to sports fans that ESPN issued an apology for last night's "Chink in the Armor" Jeremy Lin headline -- what matters is that the headline went up in the first place.

Rob King, ESPN.com's editor-in-chief, tweeted a message about the slip-up.

There's no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate.

But sports fans want heads to roll. ESPN radio sports reporter Nubyjas Wilborn, who is no stranger to controversy himself, tweeted:

"Whomever posted it and the editor who didn't catch it sooner probably will get fired. I hope it's nobody I know."

ESPN has yet to comment on an anchor's use of the same phrase during a segment on the Knicks' loss on SportsCenter last night.


The Chicago Tribune reports that the ESPN employee who wrote the headline has been fired.

Outraged Catholics are calling for a boycott of CBS network following rapper Nicki Minaj's bizarre Grammy Awards performance last night.

The talentless Minaj, 29, arrived at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards dressed in a red satin Versace cape with a Caucasian man dressed as the Pope on her arm. Later in the telecast, Minaj acted like a woman possessed -- performing her single "Roman's Holiday" with bizarre satanic rituals which included levitation and an exorcism onstage before a shocked Grammy audience.

"Nicki’s disturbing performance at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards was a blatant attack on the Catholic church," wrote one outraged blogger.

If the stage was set as a Jewish Holocaust, or a black slavery set or some kind of mockery of Muhammad and Islam glorifying slave owners, there would be outrage. But because its the Catholic church that Minaj is mocking, somehow it’s allowed.

Other blogs are calling for the boycott of CBS and its sponsors, saying the Grammy's are increasingly relying on shock and vulgarity to attract more viewers to the show.

The Catholic League was also not amused by Minaj's performance.

“Perhaps the most vulgar was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League told CBS New York.

“None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved [by] The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. [Whether] Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam,” Donohue said.

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Channel 2 Action News reports that Duone Clark, a Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputy, has been arrested for having sex with a male inmate in full view of other inmates.

Gwinnett sheriff's officials are trying to determine if any Gwinnett County employees also witnessed the lewd act between the deputy and the inmate, who is serving time for financial identity fraud, theft by deception and probation violations.

The inmate, whose identity is being protected, reported the sexual encounter to jail officials after the Jan. 13 incident.

"The witnesses included definitely other inmates. I'm not sure about other deputies," Gwinnett County Sheriff's Lt. Sean Smith told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

According to Channel 2 Action News, Clark is being held without bond at the Oconee County Jail on charges of violation of oath by a public officer and sexual assault.

A loyal reader writes:

Please do not include me info but he is engaged to be married (2nd marriage) and doing this. How many of our men are on the DL? None of his close friends (one of whom is my cousin) had a clue! They are shocked

Remember the furor caused by 'Basketball Wife' Royce Reed after she tweeted a pic of her man sleeping with her son? Well, Ice T's wife, Co Co, has joined the ranks of the tasteless and the foolish by tweeting a pic of herself completely naked resting her oversized melons on top of her sleeping nephew.

Co Co's nephew is her sister Kristy Williams' son.

The 32-year-old sometime model deleted the picture after her furious Twitter.com followers complained about the vulgarity of the pic. Amid the horrific stories of sexual abuse of schoolchildren coming out of California, this is not the time for attention seeking celebs to display inappropriate photos involving children.

Coincidentally, the 2nd season of E! TV's reality show Ice-T Loves Coco premieres on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 11PM ET. Click here to watch a sneak preview.

See the obscene pic after the break. CAUTION: Not Safe For Work!!

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That's what everyone is saying this morning after the BY Giants upended the hapless New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI 21-17. The 53-year-old pop icon rode into the arena on a chariot worthy of the gods. She launched into a performance of her hit single "Vogue" before performing her current single "Give Me All Your Lovin'" with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Madonna didn't miss a step as the athletic superstar danced her heart out and threw in a couple of cartwheels onstage. But it was M.I.A.'s flip of a finger that caused most of the buzz from last night's performance. Some are comparing M.I.A's middle finger flip to Janet Jackson's intentional disrobing in 2004's Super Bowl.

That may be a bit of a stretch when you consider that M.I.A. flipped the bird so quickly that most of America missed it. Still, M.I.A.'s obscene gesture may have stolen the show from Madge. Watch the video after the break.

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In tonight's dramatic episode of WEtv's Braxton Family Values, Trina Braxton and her estranged husband, Gabe Solis, tackle his infidelities during an emotional therapy session with TV Dr. Sherry.

"I caught Gabe red handedly acting inappropriately on a social network site with a female that he knew," explained Trina.

Gabe's cheating ways came to light on Twitter.com when a woman tweeted photos of him exposing himself on Skype.

But when it was Gabe's turn to speak, he avoided the issue of exposing himself online.

In typical canine behavior, Gabe blamed the other woman for tempting him with a bone. "I took the bait," he said. Gabe has since deleted his Twitter page.

Although he remains in denial about his voyeuristic behavior, Gabe did admit to Dr. Sherry that he didn't do what a married man should have done.

In an interview last month, Trina, who has children from a previous relationship, revealed that she and Gabe separated a year ago. Their Johns Creek, GA home is still on the market.

Watch the sneak peek of tonight's episode after the break.

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Some of you may recall that disgraced preacher Eddie Long stepped down from his position as spiritual leader of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church late last year. His stated goal was to focus on his family -- in particular, his long-suffering wife who is divorcing him.

Well, Bishop Long is back in the pulpit. And he returned in typical dramatic fashion.

New Birth brought in a controversial "Rabbi" to crown Long as King in an elaborate Jewish ceremony using 300-year-old sacred scrolls that were found discarded outside a concentration camp in Germany in the 1940s.

I wonder how the Jews feel about this?

Update I, 4:45 pm ET: according to this blog, the "Rabbi" isn't even Jewish and the 300-year-old "Jewish scrolls" are fake:

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