Cosby: Don't Pick on Fat Albert

After another of Bill Cosby's public tirades against what he sees as shortcomings in the black community, some of his critics are using one word to describe him: hypocrite.

They point out that, as creator of the 1970s cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," which included the characters Mushmouth and Dumb Donald, Cosby has no right to criticize today's black youths for bad grammar, as he did Thursday at the Rainbow/PUSH conference in Chicago.

But as Cosby told The Post's Hamil Harris, "I am not going to even answer these fools." Well, maybe just a little. "Fat Albert is good. Fat Albert's attitude toward women was good. Fat Albert and the gang, if they were living in a lower economic neighborhood, they would be working. Nobody in their right mind could look at some of these people and say the same thing. There is not even a close comparison."

Cosby then responded to those who say he should put his money where his mouth is and act rather than criticize. "I am not Jesus carrying a cross down the street. I gave the message and I may speak it again and again. They want someone to sit down and do the work for them. I am not Dr. King. I am not a leader. They know what to do because they come from the bloodline of people who got us this far."

At the very least, many of the younger generation that has been drawing Cosby's ire will get their first exposure to his well-intentioned creation when a live-action "Fat Albert" movie, which the Cos helped write, premieres this Christmas.

50 Cent, Drawing Some Fox Fire

Vivica A. Fox is mad. At the BET Awards on Tuesday night, the normally cool and composed actress didn't have the nicest things to say about an ex-flame, rapper 50 Cent, who has spoken about the details of their breakup. "What I didn't like about the whole situation was that he made it public and he pitted a sister and a brother against one other. And that was wrong."

But what really made the "Kill Bill" star lose her grammatical composure was her ex's claim that she used their relationship to get on a magazine cover. "My films have grossed over $1 billion worldwide. I ain't got to use nobody for no cover of no magazines. I've been on magazines forever. So he can put that where? Back there!"

End Notes

"Fahrenheit 9/11" won't be showing on the screens of Iowa-based Fridley Theaters anytime soon. Owner R.L. Fridley is refusing to show the film in any of his company's theaters, which are also in Nebraska, because of his belief that Michael Moore's latest "emboldens" terrorists and "divides our country even more." In an e-mail to company managers, he said the decision was simply following policy to not "play political propaganda films from either the right or the left" . . .

A spokesman for Michelle Branch recently confirmed that the young singer ("Everywhere") has, in classic rock-and-roll fashion, married her bass player. No other details about the nuptials were given, though it's reported that the groom, Teddy Landau, is 19 years older than the bride. With Branch celebrating her 21st birthday this past Friday, that would put Landau around 40 . . .

Janet Leding, matriarch of the Arkansas family that hosted two infamous socialites on the Fox series "The Simple Life," was angered by an interview with her former houseguest in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. Apparently Paris Hilton, heiress and amateur video actress, implied that phone calls from the Leding family were so incessant that, she says, she "changed my number." Rebutting the implication, Leding said, "Who's been calling her? We talked to them a couple of times right after they left. We weren't trying to call them all the time. We don't care one way or other." So there, Paris.

-- Compiled by Matt Kane

from staff and wire reports

The Reliable Source will return.

Cartoons say the darndest things: Bill Cosby in a 1972 promotion for his Saturday-morning show "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."Are you happy now? Pop singer Michelle Branch, 21, is a married woman.