The Fix

Jayson Blair gets an assignment, Julia Child and Charlton Heston get awards and Woody Allen gets Winona. Plus: Playboy features "The Women of Starbucks"!

By Salon Staff
Published July 25, 2003 2:15PM (EDT)

In a story that belongs in some journalistic "Twilight Zone," former New York Times reporter and fabricator extraordinaire Jayson Blair has been hired by Esquire magazine to review the film "Shattered Glass" -- a movie about plagiarist Stephen Glass who resigned from the New Republic in 1998 after making up a few stories of his own. Esquire editor David Granger will run the review in the magazine's section titled "Man at His Best." (NY Post)

Now for a man truly at his best: Sir Mick Jagger is turning 60 tomorrow and he'll celebrate in Prague with the band, friends and groupies like Vaclav Havel. Then on Sunday he'll play a concert to 60,000 fans at the National Stadium. Bravo. (BBC)

The ever-elusive Woody Allen isn't saying what his next film is about, but word is that he's interested in hiring Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder to join the cast. (Internet Movie Database)

Mark your calendars: The Playboy "Women of Starbucks" issue goes on sale Tuesday. After a nationwide search for "coffee-making cuties" by the mag, about 300 applied to lose their tops and 10 made it to the final layout -- all from California and all counter help (or "partners" as Starbucks calls them). But the Seattle super company wasn't involved in the project, so the party -- with cover girl Signi Nordli -- for the issue will be held at the city's Tower Records. Bring your own coffee. (Seattle Times)

What do Julia Child, Dave Thomas and Charlton Heston have in common? They all probably make a mean hamburger (especially Thomas, since he started the Wendy's chain) but this week it was that they all were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Bush also honored Vaclav Havel (who was not in attendance, probably because he was busy with Mick Jagger in Prague), Roberto Clemente, pianist Van Cliburn and the late Byron White. Whoever chooses these people should be awarded their own prize for eclecticism. (CBS News)

-- Karen Croft

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Those of you out there who've been wondering what's up with President Clinton accuser Paula Jones lately may be pleased to know that she's doing just fine and pregnant with her third child. Due at the end of November, the baby will be Jones' first by her new husband, a former neighbor of hers named Steve McFadden. Jones is also doing her darnedest to collect $1 million from real estate mogul Abe Hirschfeld, who she says failed to pay her the sum he promised her if she dropped her sexual harassment suit against Clinton. (N.Y. Daily News)

Also expecting: Kate Winslet and director ("American Beauty") Sam Mendes. The couple, who wed in May, have confirmed that their first child is due in January. Winslet has a 2-year-old daughter, Mia, by her former husband, Jim Threapleton. (Rush and Molloy)

Joey Tribbiani, the next Frasier? NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker has announced that the network is planning a "Friends" spinoff called "Joey," starring Matt LeBlanc, which will take over the ensemble comedy's 8 p.m. time slot when that show goes off the air. "You probably would never have predicted this when it began, but over the evolution of that show ['Friends'], Joey has emerged as the character that America roots for and loves," Zucker told the Television Critics Association. In the new series, the character may leave New York for L.A. How you doin', Hollywood? (Associated Press)

Best of the Rest
Page Six: Restaurateur John McDonald ticked at rivals Rocco DiSpirito and Jeffrey Chodorow for making it look like his New York eatery Canteen was closed on their new TV show, "The Restaurant"; Springsteen sax man Clarence Clemons said to have found love with Geraldo Rivera's ex-wife, C.C. Dyer; Ben Affleck fibs about wedding plans to fake out junketing journos.

Rush and Molloy: Jacksons put feuds behind them, to reunite for family reunion at Neverland in honor of patriarch Joe's 75th birthday; modeling agency head Katie Ford and hotelier Andre Balazs split amicably; Denise Rich puts Southampton estate on the market for $30 million; Griffin Dunne pops question to dancer girlfriend Kelly Monks at the beach at sunset; "Midnight Cowboy" director John Schlesinger taken off life support; Muhammad Ali set to meet Dalai Lama in September.

The Reliable Source: Lloyd Grove bids readers adieu in final column before skipping town for the New York Daily News, calls writing gossip column "sometimes terrifying," recalls fave moments of last four years: getting threatened by actor Tim Robbins after quoting his mother-in-law and getting ex-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry to contribute his Oscar predictions.

Drudge Report: David Brooks tapped to write twice-weekly column for New York Times Op-Ed page; Jack Kemp said to be considering California governor bid.

U.K. Sun Bizarre: Eminem hires six former CIA men to guard him, never goes out without bulletproof vest, said to be afraid of Ja Rule.

Cindy Adams: Kevin Costner said to have bought his new fiancée, Christine Baumgartner, a teensy diamond engagement ring. Says one observer, "We're talking small. Like a chip, darling. I mean, if Lil' Kim had lost that at the airport she'd never have bothered to report it."

-- Amy Reiter

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