Maybe it sounded like Paula Abdul was "chiding" Fox on her satellite radio show Monday, as the AP headline has it, but the charge was quite serious: That the network purposely gave Paula Godspeed a slot on American Idol to irritate singer/judge Abdul. In other words, Fox put Godspeed on the show, repeatedly, not because they were ignorant of her history as a mentally imbalanced stalker, but precisely because they knew this history. Godspeed's 18 years of letter to Abdul and her stint on the show were capped, infamously, with an apparent suicide near Abdul's home.

Abdul said "Idol" producers ignored her protests and brought Goodspeed on the show "for entertainment value."

"It's fun for them to cause me stress," Abdul said. "This was something that would make good television."

Abdul is selling her house, but the tragedy now threatens to snowball into a shameful fiasco for Fox. Idol relies on a hard-core fan base that takes the show quite seriously, participates in votes and lends the show its aura as a celebrity factory. By tormenting Abdul and, in their way, humiliating her stalker, Idol producers risk a furious backlash from those fans.