Tearing Up Late-Night Tv

When singer Sinead O'Connor ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," her bald attack drew stunned silence from the studio audience. But not from the viewers. So far, NBC has received more than 3,000 complaints (and only 600 approvals), a record for the satirical show. O'Connor also triggered a response from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, a New York-based umbrella group dedicated to eliminating bias, which promises to give $10 to a charity of choice on behalf of anyone who sends it an O'Connor CD, cassette or album. "We're going to hit her hard in the pocketbook," says NECO chairman Bill Fugazy.

The Dublin-born musician, who has had two abortions, regards the pope as "the real enemy" because of his vigorous opposition to abortion. She also closes her recent album, "Am I Not Your Girl," with a harangue against the Roman Catholic clergy of her youth. So far, the Vatican has turned the other cheek. But last week, a papal look-alike dressed in white showed up on Arsenio Hall's show. And, yup, he shredded a photo of Sinead the sinner. So there.