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The New York Post is reporting that the… how shall we put it… less-than-polished appearance / performance by Britney Spears on Dateline NBC (right) was the result of the pregnant pop princess being left to her own devices.

“Neither of her publicists showed up,” a source, who said Spears insisted on doing her own hair and makeup, told the publication. “When [the NBC crew] got there, they thought they had the wrong day. No one was there to rein things in.”

A member of Spears’ PR team explained the solo act by saying that Britney is “country,” and a “grown-up” who “makes her own decisions.”

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Really? Britney’s all grown up? Seriously? She’s capable of handling her own life? Apparently no one has told her this. And we here at the Gossip thought that George W. Bush was the official Decider. Whatever. In any case, more absurdity is sure to come as Brit’s marriage to K-Fed deterioriates.

In other Spears news, a Namibian tourism official has backed off his claim Friday that Brit was following in the footsteps of Brangelina and eyeing an African childbirth. The official now admits it is “really possible” that he has been duped by a prank caller.

Guess we couldn’t fool an entire country after all. Plus we are gonna get hit with a $120 phone bill in a few weeks. Crap.