Activist actor Alec Baldwin's latest cause is animals. He's narrated a documentary short produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about the animals that go into your hamburger. In a press release Baldwin wrote: "Animals on factory farms are never allowed to do anything that is natural to them -- breathe fresh air or feel the grass beneath their feet or the sun on their faces. Any kind person would be appalled at their current living and dying conditions." You're right, Alec, but if we let the cows have some spa days can we still have our T-bones? (Washington Post)
There's a new designation out there -- PAC (Pre-Achievement Celebrity). A perfect example is Paris Hilton, professional party gal, who is starring in a show called "The Simple Life" where she and fellow PAC Nicole Richie (daughter of Lionel Richie) pull a reverse "Beverly Hillbillies" and try to survive on a farm -- with Hilton's Chihuahua as protection. At a recent news conference Paris tried to dispel the rap on her that she is "just a party girl" by explaining: "Actually, I'm recording an album right now and I'm doing films and I have a jewelry line and a purse line. So I do a lot." Perfect PAC patter. (CNN)
A European ad agency took a poll of about a thousand Americans and found that two-thirds of 18-24-year-olds consider rapper Eminem "more truthful" than President Bush. And 55 percent of 35-44-year-olds agree with them. But now they have to ask, Who is more truthful -- Dr. Dre or Dick Cheney? (WENN)
Colin Farrell's latest act might be called "changing girls mid-screening." He showed up at the L.A. premiere of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" this week with his cute sister, then left with an unidentified but beauteous blonde. If dating were an Olympic sport, he'd go home with gold. (Teen Hollywood)
The latest bad idea out of Washington is more facial hair for Democrats to set them apart from the crowd. A Washingtonian column, using Al Sharpton as an example of being ahead of the curve (?), recommends that John Kerry try sporting an Abe Lincoln-like beard, Joe Lieberman a Taftian handlebar and that Dick Gephardt should sport muttonchops. No guys -- no.
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The word on the new Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck flick "Gigli" is that it's a "total disaster." Affleck is said to be utterly miscast as the hit man who seduces the lesbian assassin played by Lopez. Lopez herself is said to be "just awful." But the major complaint is the lack of on-screen chemistry between the two off-screen squeezes, part of which is being blamed on suck-o dialogue. In one laughably unsteamy scene, Lopez lies on a bed with her legs spread and announces, "It's turkey time!" "What?" asks Affleck. She replies with what one critic has called "possibly the worst line ever said in a movie": "Come on, gobble, gobble." Pass the stuffing. (U.K. Sun)
Total recall in California, but will Arnold Schwarzenegger run? The official word is he's discussing a run against Gov. Gray Davis (who says he'll "fight like a Bengal tiger" to retain his post) with his family, "weighing the pros and cons of a candidacy," and hasn't made a final decision yet. Matt Drudge reports that "sources close to the actor" say he's definitely decided not to run "citing family concerns." (Drudge Report)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Dave Eggers opposed story in own magazine, the Believer, on the Underground Literary Alliance, which has lambasted him as an elitist literary insider, but was overruled by staff; search is on for gay country musicians to compete in a reality TV show; Dick Morris and Ron Kuby lock horns over Middle East; Joaquin Phoenix shocks "Buffalo Soldiers" premiere onlookers by making out with a woman who looks just like his sister Rain: "Everyone was grossed out and thought he was pulling an Angelina Jolie."
Rush and Molloy: "Kennedy Curse" author Edward Klein accused Caroline Kennedy of trying to derail his book deal; Phoebe Cates, Nora Ephron, Mel Brooks, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Susan Sarandon, Janeane Garofalo and Alec Baldwin among those who've donated to the campaign of presidential hopeful Howard Dean; Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs said to be hard-working family man; David Beckham buys $1 million Italian villa, $1,500 crystal whip.
The Reliable Source: Sherry Lansing, Michael Dell and Alma Powell on list of possible replacements for departing Kennedy Center chairman Jim Johnson; George Foreman credits Job Corps with getting him interested in boxing career, says he named his five sons George because "I might suffer from memory loss"; House Republican Deputy Whip Eric Cantor gives Styx tour of the Capitol, says he's a fan of the band; "The Exorcist" author William Peter Blatty says Mel Gibson's film is a "tremendous depiction of love" not evil.
Liz Smith: Tara Reid wants to be seen as more than just a party girl, but she doesn't want to stop partying; former Bond girl Shannon Ledbetter ("Tomorrow Never Dies") ordained a priest of the Anglican Communion.
-- Amy Reiter