Guy Lawson was all over the morning shows today, talking about his article in the next issue of GQ about President George W. Bush's semicovert born-again status. He says the artwork (showing Bush as Jesus) was meant to draw attention to the thesis of the article -- that the American public isn't as aware as it should be of the president's evangelical ties. Lawson said he thinks the prez talks "in code" to the evangelical community so they'll know he's one of them -- and that Bush had a spiritual reawakening with a cross-toting crusader at a motel in Texas back when he was trading booze for Jesus.
Gov. Gray Davis seems to be joining the run to religion. On Wednesday the embattled gov began a series of "Conversations With Californians" around the state. He told a gathering in Los Angeles that "I have faith in God. I carry a little card around with me that says, 'Nothing will happen to me today that the Lord and I can't handle together.'" That card was obviously printed before Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the race. (S.F. Gate)
"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" might be in trouble. This week they pulled a Village People stunt while doing a makeover on John Verdi, a Port Authority cop. During the festivities, Fab Fivers Carson Kressley (the fashionista) and Thom Filicia (the interiors expert) donned John's uni. Port Authority authorities reportedly were not amused. But plenty of others were -- the ratings of close to 3 million broke all records for Bravo. (TV Guide)
The next "Catwoman" movie looks like it will pit Sharon Stone, as an evil mastermind, against Halle Berry in the title role. Sharon should be fine with cats as costars, but keep the Komodo dragons away -- they'd bring back bad memories. (Movies.com)
The idea of Kate Moss pole dancing sounds confusing at first, since it might be hard to tell the pole from the gal. But a new video of the White Stripes' cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "I Don't Know What to Do With Myself," directed by Sofia Coppola, featuring the aforementioned dance, is a talent mix too intriguing to miss. (Ananova)
-- Karen Croft
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And you thought the talking Chihuahua was stupid. Matt Drudge is reporting that Taco Bell is conducting its own California gubernatorial election. "If you go into any of the 1000 Taco Bell restaurants in California and buy a 'Beef Crunchy Taco' it's a vote for Arnold," Drudge writes. "If you buy a 'Chicken Soft Taco' it's a vote for Davis. If you buy a 'Grilled Stuft Taco' it's a vote for any of the other candidates."
Speaking of food you recall ... Ads for products containing olestra no longer have to warn of certain unfortunate digestive effects. "The Food & Drug Administration has said it will no longer require companies that sell snacks and other foods containing the controversial fat substitute olestra to disclose possible digestive problems, including the now-unforgettable TV phrase 'oily discharge,'" reports the New York Post.
And if that's not enough to make you ill, Elizabeth Smart, the made-for-TV movie, is headed your way. CBS has announced it will air "The Elizabeth Smart Story," about the young Utah girl who was allegedly kidnapped by a man bent on making her one of his wives, during November sweeps. Smart's parents collaborated on the film, which will star Amber Marshall. (N.Y. Post)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Sony Music chairman Andy Lack said to have ordered underlings to switch offices because one of them played their music too loud; Kelly Osbourne's "very unattractive" new boyfriend turns out to be Rob "Skinhead Rob" Aston of the punk band the Transplants; Colin Farrell records a cover of "I Fought the Law" and contemplates playing Ozzy Osbourne in a biopic of the Prince of Bleeping Darkness; Neptune Pharrell Williams among those barred from entry at door of Neptunes album release party; Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland says, "[If] you ask for stupid stuff, you're a bad diva. When you ask somebody to dig the blue M&Ms out of the rest of the colors, then something is wrong with you."
Rush and Molloy: Stephen Glass said to despise TV movie based on his journalistic downfall, "Shattered Glass," also said to have written letters of apology to the editors he misled and to be writing article for Rolling Stone; Rachel and Joey said to "definitely hook up" in final season of "Friends"; Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly refuse to face off against Salon's own Joe Conason; Barbra Streisand recovers from cosmetic surgery described as "a small procedure tightening the jaw line."
Jeannette Walls' Scoop: Johnny Depp said to be "boycotting" TV's "Entertainment Tonight" because of the way the show portrayed his declaration that if his kids wanted to try pot, he'd buy it for them, because otherwise, "you never know what you're getting. Suddenly two days later, you're beating yourself in the head with a tennis racquet, wearing a towel, quoting Poe"; rumors persist that Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz may be "cruising apart"; Jared Leto said to be greatly amused by reports linking him with Britney Spears; British mag Heat claims that J.Lo is "crying on P. Diddy's shoulder" after Affleck stripper "scandal" broke.
-- Amy Reiter