President George W. Bush giving a press conference -- as he did this morning -- is like seeing an unprepared opening act in a seedy Vegas club. He is so uncomfortable that he acts overly aggressive to hide his queasiness. And he looks at his watch. He stuck around in the Rose Garden for about an hour, and managed to get off a few head-scratchers. A reporter asked, "As someone who has spoken out in strongly moral terms, what's your view on homosexuality?" Bush's answer started with: "Yes, I am mindful that we're all sinners. And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own." You've got to wonder how that is translated for our friends in France. (N.Y. Times)
Every week a new guest star is rumored for the final, final season of "Sex and the City" in January (after the previously "final" summer season now running). But if this latest news is true, it's the only thing that could make Big lovers shake in their ballet slippers. It's being reported that none other than Mikhail Baryshnikov will play Sarah Jessica Parker's new love in the finale and that he'll make Chris Noth's Mr. Big "look like a high school sweetheart." Sounds intriguing, but Carrie may have to eschew her 3-inch Jimmy Choo heels if she dates Misha. That would be a sign of true love. (TV Guide)
Sorry, but when you see the headline "J.Lo and Affleck: We Will Never Work Together Again," you just have to be thinking, "Promise?" Sure, their film "Gigli" is getting bad reviews. But who are they comparing themselves to, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall? Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn? Liz Taylor and Richard Burton? Maybe they should watch "Vanilla Sky" to make themselves feel better. (IMDB)
Did president John F. Kennedy have a clue that he'd be so famous that his underwear would carry on in his absence? A pair of Navy-issue boxers with his name stitched in were bought at auction by an Irish businessman who loaned them to Louis Copeland, owner of a menswear shop in Dublin. He displayed the shorts in his window and they've drawn a crowd. They'll leave Ireland soon, for a visit to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. Maybe mothers all over America will now start saying "Wear clean underwear in case you become president." (N.Y. Daily News)
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Stephen King, going for the cheap gag? The horror king has been tapped to write a monthly opinion column about pop culture for the back page of Entertainment Weekly magazine for a reported salary of only about $5,000 a column, or $60,000 a year. "I think I'd like to be funny," King told the New York Post. "In a short period of time, [humor] grabs people more than anything else."
Is Ron Reagan ready to go out there and win one for the Gipper? The ex-POTUS's son is hoping to trade in his current "Animal Planet" dog-show hosting gig for a show about politics. Sitting in this week for vacationing Bill Press on MSNBC's "Buchanan & Press," Reagan says he's "talking to some other people" about hosting his own show, which would have a liberal bent. "I think the bar is set higher for liberals," he told the New York Observer. "It's easy to be Ann Coulter."
Ben Affleck's handlers are calling a report in the National Enquirer alleging that the actor was caught on a Vancouver strip club security camera partying with the strippers -- as well as Christian Slater, Ryan Haddon and Tara Reid -- when J.Lo wasn't looking "total garbage." The actor is said to be examining "all his legal options" to combat the story, which also alleges that he handed each dud-doffing gal a batch of cash with the following request: "Keep this quiet. Keep this between just us." (Rush and Molloy)
Jennifer Coolidge, who plays Stifler's mom in the "American Pie" flicks, in the New York Daily News: "I do like sleeping with younger guys. It's a lot of fun."
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Sharon Osbourne's talk show is still looking for a "formula that works," stress level so high two of its staffers have been taken away in ambulances; Dior designer John Galliano recovers, plays tennis, after St. Tropez swoon; Jude Law celebrates singlehood with a vengeance, talks to pretty girls; Jay McInerney and fiancée Jeanine Plepler set wedding date: May 29, 2004; Sean Penn pissed that Colin Farrell's getting all his roles; Carson Daly cuts line at Kennedy airport.
Rush and Molloy: Diane Lane sues Intermedia Films for $2.7 million over Bruce Willis flick, boasts of chemistry "perfection" with fiancé Josh Brolin; are Harvey Weinstein and Tommy Mottola teaming up?; Liz Taylor's former groundskeeper sues Taylor's "house manager" for sexual assault after advising him to take Viagra; Jennifer Aniston snaps back at paparazzi, tries to block publication of beach photos, though her rep says, "She wasn't topless or anything"; entertainment reporter Nikki Finke pushes forward on her libel suit against the Walt Disney Company; Katie Couric insists she's still with beau Tom Werner, despite snaps of her with another man.
-- Amy Reiter