WCCO-TV anchor Amelia Santaniello is apologizing for wearing a fur-trimmed hat on TV.

“I did get a few complaints, and I’m sorry to all who were offended,” Santaniello told me. “I knew it would be cold, and I wanted a hat with flaps to cover my ears.”

Timothy Shields, who identified himself as the administrator and general counsel for the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies, was among those offended by the hat Santaniello wore while reporting about the American Birkebeiner event in Wisconsin.

Santaniello and meteorological anchor Chris Shaffer were in Hayward as part of WCCO’s “Goin’ to the Lake” series that recently showcased how Minnesotans don’t let frigid weather get in the way of enjoying winter. Shaffer has also done lake road trips, summer and winter with Santaniello’s co-anchor and husband, Frank Vascellaro.

Shields posted his objections to the hat on WCCO-TV’s Facebook page, and, when he didn’t get a response, he contacted me, claiming Santaniello was sporting “a $1295.00 Burberry merino wool hat, accented by an odd leather belt portion, and trimmed prominently in red and silver fox fur. The same hat is now on sale on eBay for a steal at $995.00+$13.95 shipping!”

I’m going to spare you the graphic imagery about how fur is separated from animals, as conveyed by Shields, and instead share some of his lengthy missives.

“We wonder, did Frank buy this for her at Burberry, Saks or Nordstrom, who used to carry it?” Shields wrote me. “Or did she chose it herself?”

Said Santaniello, “I certainly didn’t spend $1,200 on a hat. I got it on sale last winter. My husband would have a fit if I spent $1,200 or $900 on a hat.”

Word around the WCCO newsroom is that Santaniello got a few calls from viewers who wanted to know where they could buy the hat.

“I got e-mails about that, too,” Santaniello said when asked if some wanted to know where they could get the hat. For the record, she ordered the hat from Saks Fifth Avenue’s website.

Doing more with Baby Hank

A few quotes from Kendra Wilkinson, who can’t resist reminding us of her Mother of the Year attributes:

“I need my friends. I need to go out and, you know, get drunk and have crazy nights. Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I’m dead. People might think it’s selfish, but it makes me happy. How much laundry do eight kids have? I don’t like touching dirty clothes [with no poop or vomit on them, I must note]. Hank is a very different kind of guy. He cooks. He runs me the bath. He sets up girls’ night for me. He does it all. Every woman dreams of a Hank, and I got him.”

Yes, you did, as reality cable show watchers know and viewers of ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap” heard Tuesday.The former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner switched lives for a week with Kate Gosselin, mother of 12-year-old twins and 8-year-old sextuplets. And what an easy life Wilkinson has with Hank Baskett Jr., the former NFLer who last played for the Vikings.

Baskett contributes way more than 50 percent to his marriage and the rearing of their 3-year-old, who also has a nanny! But Baskett is not complaining. He told Wilkinson not to change.

By the end of the show, Gosselin, who runs a tight ship, seemed to embrace the idea of a little more spontaneity for her brood, while Wilkinson appeared open to Gosselin’s suggestion that Kendra do more with Baby Hank.

My tardy Valentine?

Former KSTP-TV anchor Gus Rosendale is keeping the flirty fires going between us via Twitter.

“Prince plays down the hall from my office on @fallon on Friday. Any chance @StarTribune will send you to cover? Late VDay for us?”

I like a man who believes in saving money through off-peak Valentine’s purchases. I told my imaginary boyfriend (at least I’ve met him a couple times, Manti) that I didn’t even bother to go see Prince when he was at the Dakota, so I’m not interested in going to NYC — though it would be fun to see where Gus now works at WNBC.

However, if my boyfriend should see Prince entering or exiting “The Jimmy Fallon Show,” I asked Gus to blow Symbolina a kiss from me.

Speaking of His Purpleness, my Sunday Q&A is with a man who tells me Prince is his best friend.


C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com.