Here's your award; now shut the hell up

Rudy Giuliani gets Muzzled; Jennifer Lopez's new career; Ripley's longs for Pamela's erstwhile breasts.

By Amy Reiter

Published April 19, 1999 9:37AM (EDT)

Rudy Giuliani's big mouth and bullying ways have earned him recognition far south of the city over which he oh-so-impolitely presides. Last week, the New York mayor was honored with the first-ever Lifetime Muzzle Award, bestowed by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Charlottesville, Va. The Jefferson Muzzles, presented every year on Jefferson's birthday, dubiously distinguish public figures who, in the group's estimation, should be stifled for stifling freedom of speech.

Last year, the Center gave Giuliani a Muzzle for ordering the New York City Transit Authority to remove advertisements poking fun at him from city buses. The ads pictured a copy of New York magazine atop the caption "Possibly the only good thing Rudy hasn't taken credit for" and infuriated Hizzoner to such a degree his very attractive Grecian Formula comb-over practically stood straight up. Ultimately, however, the courts determined Giuliani's order to be in violation of the First Amendment.

This year, the mayor's daily tap dance on free speech inspired the Jefferson Center to create a special honor just for him: the Lifetime Muzzle Award (something the motion picture academy might have contemplated for Elia Kazan). "He has stifled speech and press to so unprecedented a degree, and in so many and varied forms," wrote the Muzzle judges, "that simply keeping up with the city's censorious activity has proved a challenge for defenders of free expression." Giuliani's response? "Rorummphijjip!"

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The celebrity crossover shuffle: It's the latest craze!

Larry Thomas, the actor who terrorized Jerry and his whiny friends as the "Soup Nazi" on "Seinfeld," has a new career as a real-life soup peddler. Thomas (not to be confused with Al Yeganeh, the highly temperamental New York soup seller on whom the character was based) will lend his image and "No soup for you!" talent to "The Soup Maestro," a fancy new line of chowders and bisques that will be sold in airports and shopping malls. Just don't ask if it comes with bread.

Booty-ful Jennifer Lopez longs for song and plans to release her first CD, "On the 6," on June 22. The album will contain three songs she wrote her very own self; the first single, "If You Had My Love," will hit radio waves May 4. Lopez, who had a little help producing the album from friends Puff Daddy and Emilio Estefan, is said to possess the voice of "a Latin-flavored Janet Jackson." The "Selena" star says acting is OK, but "music is who I am." No doubt a lot of fans will get behind her no matter what she does.

Dramatic designer Isaac Mizrahi now has designs on the theater. The fabulous fashion guru, who folded his unprofitable clothing line in October, is set to unzip his one-man show in New York next season. It's a musical. Mizrahi, who once described himself as "the biggest drama queen this side of the New World," is furiously trying to finish the script, but a spokesman recently told the press it will be "an entertainment with stories and songs for the stage." Oi.

Writer Michael Crichton, who inflicted "Jurassic Park" on the world, has a new game. He's starting a 3-D computer game company, Timeline Studios, with his "JP" and "Rising Sun" collaborator Michael Backes, set to rid the world of gaming dinosaurs. "As a computer gamer for the past 20 years, I've noticed a lot of 3-D games have featured large environments -- big worlds, a few monsters, some puzzles -- but limited interaction," Crichton said. "Timeline is going to change this standard through fast-paced gameplay in a tight, complex and highly interactive world." The bright side: Maybe he'll be too busy to write any more books or movies.

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No accounting for taste ...

"She was hot. All thin and scrawny ..."

-- Singer Chris Isaak, in Egg magazine, confessing his secret lust for Ms. Hathaway, the singularly unsexy secretary on "The Beverly Hillbillies."

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The Linda McCartneys: Breaking away

They call themselves "the world's first all-vegetarian professional squad," but everyone else calls them "The Linda McCartneys." They are a 14-man pro cycling team working to qualify for the Tour de France in the next three years while eschewing all fleshy food, as does the famous animal-lovin' family that sponsors them. "If any one of the riders is caught eating meat, he's off the team," the team's PR guy, John Deering, recently told Sports Illustrated.

But how did they get their name? It happened, as so many fortuitous things do, in a supermarket. Team member Julian Clark was foraging through the frozen foods. "I saw some Linda McCartney vegetarian frozen dinners, and it just seemed right," he told the sports magazine.

The lovely Lindas, launched a month before Linda's death in April 1998, are not only sponsored (to the tune of $3.2 million) by Linda McCartney Foods, but also sport uniforms designed by Linda and Sir Paul's daughter Stella McCartney and ride bikes branded "Clean Machine" -- a reference to the Beatles' "Penny Lane." The band of bikes has been on the run internationally, but will -- with a little luck -- coast through the States in June.

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A lightsaber at the end of the tunnel

"I heard about people who were really worried they might die, they were taking precautions so they wouldn't get run over by a truck before 'Episode I' came out. It's this huge motivating factor to stay alive."

-- "Star Wars" fan Eric Cline in New Times Los Angeles. Cline has written a screenplay, "Fanboys," about a group of young Midwesterners who road-trip to Skywalker Ranch so their terminally ill buddy can see the film before he dies. The film has yet to secure financing.

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Rather not believe it ...

It's too horrible to talk about. But ... you ... must ... know ...

Ripley's Believe It or Not! -- that highly intelligent museum for the lowest common denominator, wants newly natural Pamela Anderson Lee's recently removed breast implants to display in an exhibit on the vileness of vanity at its Hollywood museum. Ripley's curator, Christine Barnes, says the used implants would be shown alongside corsets, body-piercing paraphernalia and ancient Chinese foot-binding instruments.

Pamela's protectors are not amused, calling the Ripley hype a publicity stunt. "She is not considering donating her implants," Lee's spokeswoman, Marleah Leslie, told the Associated Press. "She is not considering selling them."


Amy Reiter

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