Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: Prince William and Kate Middleton don't want you to know what they're calling their dog, Fox News is trying to be nicer to Politico, and it's Donald Trump endorsement day.
Yes, Prince William and Kate Middleton are the owners of a black cocker spaniel puppy, and, yes, he is adorable. But don't expect to be learning his name anytime soon. It seems that William and Kate have "given palace aides strict instructions not to publicly reveal the name of their pet, arguing that it is a ‘private’ matter." A spokesman at St. James's Palace hilariously confirmed this policy, explaining that the royal pup -- who sources say was part of a litter bred by Kate's mom -- is "a private pet," entitled to a private life. [The Daily Mail]
Ooh, it sounds like MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Tamron Hall have been "quietly dating" If that's true, it would be the first inter-office romance in human history to be kept a secret. And while they don't flaunt their item-ness at 30 Rock, the duo has been "spotted canoodling at downtown haunts." MSNBC had no comment. [Page Six]
Politico's relationship with Fox News has been less than copacetic of late, but higher-ups at the cable channel want to change that, and have reportedly ordered the network's media relations department to "soften up" and start booking more Politico writers. (As of November, a Politico writer hadn't appeared on the network in 18 months.) [FishbowlDC]
According to a source, Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin are already griping and have "expressed frustation about the schizophrenic nature" of Early Start, CNN's newly-launched, newly-titled morning show. A different source blames Banfield and Sambolin's lack of chemistry for the 5 a.m. show's disjointed feel, arguing that Banfield talks too much, while Sambolin doesn't say enough. Meanwhile, CNN is still trying to lock down a regular group of panelists for Soldedad O'Brien's morning show Starting Point and has apparently "expressed an interest" in landing Will Cain and Roland Martin. [Page Six]
It looks like Russell Crowe is Daren Aronofsky's new top choice to play the lead in Noah, the Black Swan director's $130 million post-apocalyptic ark movie. Christian Bale was Aronofsky's first choice, but he opted instead to do two Terence Malick movies. Considering all the built-in problems facing Noah, that may have been a prudent decision. Aronofsky is also said to want Liam Neeson for an unknown role, which is bound to enrage the ark's grey wolf population. [Deadline]
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing were among the major Democratic donors to attend a Michelle Obama-hosted fundraiser for her husband's reelection campaign at the home of Netflix content officer Ted Sarandos. A source says Obama talked Oscar contenders with Weinstein, revealing that both she and the president were big fans of The Artist and had just seen The Iron Lady. Both happen to be Weinstein Co. productions. [Page Six]
Phil Mickelson "I have no bastard son." [TMZ Sports]