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With the War of the Worlds publicity tour's instant transformation into the Tom, Katie, and L. Ron Roadshow, we quickly forgot that eerily precocious master thespian Dakota Fanning was even in the film. This morning, however, Page Six cites a W magazine interview in which former E! red carpet attack dog Kathy Griffin reveals that WoTW director Steven Spielberg threatened Griffin with inclusion on his official, career-devouring shit list if she refused to apologize for a joke she made on the Golden Globes carpet about the A-list moppet going to rehab. Griffin, realizing that she was in far greater danger of losing the opportunity to dust Spielberg's antiques than one to star in his movies, laughed off the strong-arm tactic:

"I get a call from the lawyers, and they're, like, 'DreamWorks . . . is furious about the whole Dakota Fanning thing, and they're livid, and Spielberg is personally furious, and DreamWorks is putting you on a list, and they demand an apology,' " Griffin said.

"And I'm, like, 'A list?' I'm on the s- list? Who gives a s-? . . . Put me on your list. And Spielberg? Oh, what's the matter? I'm not going to star in any more Steven Spielberg movies? Oh, no! What'll I do with my time?

"Oh, and E! Channel called me: 'We demand an apology.' And I go, 'OK, here's your apology: You'd have to be a [bleep]ing idiot to not know I was kidding.' And they're, like, 'Well, we can't print that' . . . It's a joke. It's a joke. I'm not going to apologize for jokes. Ten years old. It's a joke.

Indeed, we can think of nothing quite so ridiculous as the notion of the preternaturally talented and centered Fanning recovering at Promises while her handlers search for the perfect comeback vehicle. It seems obvious that the careful genetic engineering that produced such a perfectly balanced child actor screened out the Drew Barrymore Preteen Addiction Gene, and that the only dilemma the Fannings will encounter in the rearing of their daughter is whether to build their fourth weekend home on Carbon Beach or on an orbiting space station made of gold.