Gabby Douglas: Racism claims rebutted by Virginia Beach gym

CREDIT: File photo

Today’s session on the pop-culture bars finds a disgruntled gold medalist charging unpleasant things, people lining up to talk to Katie, other things, and the mystery music video.

GABBY GROUSES: Just the facts, per Us Weekly, “Two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas followed up her London Games success during a Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey, candidly opening up about her gymnastics beginnings in Virginia Beach, Va. -- including painful memories of teammates who allegedly bullied her, even using racial slurs. But now representatives from that gym, Excalibur, are denying Douglas' allegations.”

TO THAT POINT: A scratching of heads in Hampton Roads, per the Virginian Pilot, “Excalibur owner Dena Walker (says) since Excalibur opened in 1998, her gym has coached many African American national team members. Walker said she and other coaches Monday morning were naming their former black gymnasts - Morgan Evans, Britney Ranzy, Marcia Newby and Jami McDonald. The walls at Excalibur, which is on Arrowhead Drive near the Norfolk-Virginia Beach line, are covered with pictures of gymnasts of all nationalities, Walker said. . . "We just don't understand where any of this is coming from."

KATIE: She’s bringing in the big guns, per the Wrap, “Couric's first month of guests will include a who's who of female stars, including Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Sheryl Crow, Jessica Simpson, Susan Sarandon, Heidi Klum, Chelsea Handler, Demi Lovato and Wendy Williams, the show announced. But not everyone on the show will be a celebrity. After the Sept. 10 premiere episode, with Simpson and Crow, the second episode will feature 24-year-old Aimee Copeland, a Georgia graduate student who this summer lost parts of all her limbs to a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Other guests will discuss recent crime-related news stories. Also in September, Couric will interview EL James, author of the "50 Shades of Grey" trilogy.”

SPACING: Timing is everything, per the Los Angeles Times, “Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox are taking a page out of the successful 1997 re-release of the original "Star Wars" trilogy as they prepare for a 3-D launch of two more movies from the space saga next year. "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," the fifth and sixth movies in George Lucas' science-fiction franchise -- but the second and third chronologically -- will be released in 3-D on Sept. 20, 2013 and Oct. 11, 2013, respectively. Lucasfilm announced the news on its Facebook page Monday.”

PRODUCERS’ NIGHTMARE: Of the RNC coverage and rain and awkward TV shots, per the New York Times, “MSNBC nevertheless managed to split its screen between the just-emptied stage at the Tampa convention and the anchor Tamron Hall, in a denim work shirt on a New Orleans waterfront. . . Fox News focused on bad news about President Obama. But even Fox News could not ignore the looming clash between the storm and the Republican convention. A few Fox News reporters like Shepard Smith, a Katrina alumnus, seemed delighted to be back in New Orleans, bracing for the worst. He said it was “almost comical” that as many as 15,000 journalists were signed up to cover the convention, describing it as little more than a “staged infomercial.”

OPIE: And Jay-Z, per The Hollywood Reporter, “Imagine Entertainment's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have inked a deal to film Jay-Z’s Budweiser Made in America music festival, which runs Sept. 1-2 in Philadelphia. Howard will direct the film, which Grazer will produce alongside Translation founder and CEO Steve Stoute and Jay-Z, who is headlining and curating the festival, will exec produce with Anheuser–Busch vp marketing Paul Chibe.”

FACT CHECK: Dinesh gets a diss about “2016: Obama’s America,” per the AP, “In Kenya, D'Souza interviews Philip Ochieng, a lifelong friend of the president's father, who claims the elder Obama was "totally anti-colonial." Ochieng also discloses some of his own political views, complaining about U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Iraq and saying the U.S. refuses to "tame" Israel, which he calls a "Trojan horse in the Middle East." D'Souza seems to suggest that if a onetime friend of Obama's late father holds those opinions, so too must the president himself. D'Souza then goes through a list of actions Obama has taken as president to support his thesis. Many of them don't hold water.”

BLAME GAME: Of the rich and apparently idle, per TMZ, “Lindsay Lohan claims she's been framed in the theft of $100,000 of watches and sunglasses, telling friends the real culprit is a man claiming to be Suge Knight's son. Problem is ... cops aren't buying what she's selling. We broke the story ... Lindsay is now officially a suspect in the theft, which occurred at the lavish home of Sam Magid, a good friend of LiLo's.”

I WANT MY MTV: Remember that? Anyway, per People, “Rihanna is spicing up the MTV Video Music Awards.The multiple-nominee is set to perform on the Sept. 6 show (live from L.A.'s Staples Center), along with One Direction and Taylor Swift, who is slated to perform her latest single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," for the first time live.”

PRINCE HARRY: More to show, per Radar, “Forget about Hollywood blockbusters, Prince Harry is about to star in what is certain to be the most unforgettable movie of the year! The Party Prince’s naked romp in Las Vegas was caught on video, a source tells exclusively, plunging the royal scandal to unprecedented depths.”

OPRAH: Weep not for her, per Entertainment Weekly, “Oprah Winfrey is the highest paid celebrity in the world. Again. Despite a seismic $125 million earnings loss, the media mogul topped Forbes’ annual list of the 20 highest-earning celebs for the fourth year in a row. Winfrey ended her 25-year reign as talk-show queen last year and her network OWN has been struggling financially, but she still made an estimated $165 million.”

TOM HANKS: A cool guy no matter how you look at it, per E!, “But his reputation as one of the nicest movie stars around has kicked into overdrive after a friend of a guy who had an incredibly close encounter with the actor posted evidence of their interaction on the photo sharing site Imgur. Random dude, meet the greatest guy to pretend to be drunk with: two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video.

--Skip Wood (Follow me on Twitter @DaybreakSkip)