The Fix

Jessica Lange wows 'em at college, James Gandolfini sings with Kate Winslet, and Egypt looks for its own Pamela Anderson. Plus: Is Bill Gates cheap?

Published May 19, 2003 7:30PM (EDT)

Everyone and his brother and sister did the commencement speech thing this weekend and politics was definitely in the air. Former prez Bill Clinton blasted prez George Bush's opposition to affirmative action in a speech at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, V.P. Dick Cheney told University of Missouri graduates to "look for the unexpected opportunities" in life, and Sen. Rick Santorum spoke to seven-eighths of the graduating class of St. Joseph's University (the rest walked out on him) about loving one another, even when we disagree (we assume no mention of man-dog love was made). (Washington Post)

Talk-show host Phil Donahue got some North Carolina State University grads to walk out when he reminded them that only Congress could start a war, not the president and then listed "what liberals believe" (always a crowd pleaser) and urged them to "take a Dixie Chick to lunch." Actress Jessica Lange also criticized Bush in a speech to her daughter's class at Marlboro College, likening the war in Iraq to Nixon's bombing of Vietnam, but no one walked out on Jessie. Maybe 'cause she's cuter than Phil. (Times Argus)

Microsoft mogul Bill Gates did an interview with NBC superanchor Tom Brokaw when they were both in South Dakota last week. They talked over cappuccinos at the Past Times Cafe, then were escorted out and no one paid the bill. Afterward, Gates' office called asking if they owed money and were told the coffees were "on the house." Brokaw, showing that he truly is a member of the greatest generation, didn't ask and didn't call. He just sent the cafe two $20 bills, saying in a note that one was for the coffee, the other for the wall. Take notes, Billy. (USA Today)

Can Soprano sing? We'll see, when James Gandolfini stars in a movie with Kate Winslet produced by the Coen brothers and directed by John Turturro. Get this: It's billed as an "all singing, all dancing, savage, passionate and darkly comic" story of one man's infidelity and redemption. The title is "Romance and Cigarettes." We love all the talent involved but are worried that the movie's name will be changed for politically correct reasons ("Romance and Nicorette"?) and we hope that this will end the mad dash all actors are making to sing and dance their little hearts out. Enough, already. "Chicago" wasn't that good, folks. (WENN)

We hear Paul McCartney may now be eligible for the PETA award for strangest behavior in an ex-Beatle. McCartney is paying the airfare for a chimp to be flown home to Africa after being "abused" by a Chilean circus that forced him to "smoke, drink and act like a boxer." We can understand that having to act like a boxer is pretty abusive, but what if the little guy wanted a cocktail and a puff or two? Sorry, Paul says no! (Ananova)

Finally, Egypt will get its own version of "Baywatch." The producer, Yousef Mansour, who will also star in the show, says he's searching for a cast who will wear swimsuits and play lifeguards in the show, "Action in Hurghada." He says he's looking for good-looking people, of course, but mostly "They have to be charming, they have to be a certain height and they have to have a sportive attitude," he says, probably thinking of former Bay Babe Pamela Anderson, who was nothing if not sportive. And don't worry, there won't be any raw sex. Mansour assures the world that the show will instead show "just tender kissing and people in love." Just like the original ... (BBC)

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By Karen Croft

Karen Croft is the editor of Salon Sex.

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Bill Clinton Coen Brothers Rick Santorum