Everyone was buzzing this morning about the Brit Hume love fest with George W. Bush last night on Fox. There were hard-hitting questions about where, when and how often the prez prays, plays golf, talks to his dad and talks to his brother Jeb (all the time, once or twice a week, once a week and once a month). And in the sit-down portion of the chat, the two men looked like they were playing footsie, their four skinny ankles crossing, uncrossing and almost touching in a way that may have distracted viewers from the tough talk about terrorism. (He's still against it.)
Speaking of odd-couple interviews, Heather Mills McCartney was chatting it up with Larry King last night, passionately telling the story of her campaign to eradicate land mines from the earth. She had kind words for Vladimir Putin for being so cooperative: "He's really, really working towards a land mine treaty ban, whereas we don't get that response from Bush at all. It's like, 'We will try not to hurt noncombatants.'" Mills went on to say that only Colin Powell was onboard to stop the use of land mines but "He's not the top dog, you know. He can't make the final decision." We know. (CNN)
I love Liz Smith because she tells me stuff about old people who are still interesting. Today we learn that Martin Scorsese is directing a television jam session in London with greats like Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Considering what he did with "The Last Waltz" this could be something dazzling. And Liz is so nice to Liza Minnelli whom all of us older gals will ever adore if only because of memories of her mom singing her heart out in the '50s and '60s. Liza is the new face of MAC cosmetics, which is a great deal for all involved.
Switching to the younger crowd, it seems supermodel Naomi Campbell needs to keep her day job as a runway queen. Her forays into perfume, singing and writing didn't turn to gold and now her latest venture -- a P.R./marketing/branding/party-planning company called NC Connect is hitting some rocky shores. They got the contract to launch rap mogul Damon Dash's clothing line in the U.K. using Victoria and David Beckham as hot faces and bods to sell the duds. Dash wasn't happy with the launch results and now he's with Halpern Associates, who are trying to make his Rocawear into a household name like their other clients, Dolce & Gabbana and Dior. (3 a.m.)
-- Karen Croft
- - - - - - - - - - - -
What were Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez doing strolling hand-in-hand into a Georgia courthouse yesterday? Depends who you ask. But one thing everyone agrees on: They weren't there to get hitched.
Affleck, with Lopez -- who flew to Savannah for a postmortem on their relationship -- in tow, was "registering for a gun license at the Savannah courthouse to fulfill his love for skeet shooting," reports the New York Post.
The New York Daily News, meanwhile, quotes Sheriff Don Martin, whose office is in the courthouse, as saying, "Ben came by with Jennifer to thank the Sheriff's Department and tell them how happy they were for helping out with protecting them and securing his property over the weekend," though the sheriff says Affleck did inquire about a gun license while he was there.
The New York Times -- what, you thought the paper of record didn't give a rat's ass about Jen and Ben? How wrong you were! -- reports that Affleck showed more than a skeeting interest in that "pistol-toter's" permit. "There have been several episodes lately that probably would have made him think about" owning a gun for protection, country clerk F. Barry Wilkes told the Times. "A couple of weeks ago, someone was caught trespassing." Oh, and Wilkes had this to say about the "fully made up" Lopez at Affleck's side: "What impressed me was that she was a lot shorter in real life than I thought she would be."
Gwyneth Paltrow on spending so much time in London: "I do miss home. I feel very connected to American girlishness." (Associated Press)
Money Quote II
Jon Bon Jovi on his recent decision to become a co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul, an expansion Arena Football League team: "I'm not going to be the halftime entertainment. I'm going to sit in the owners' box." (Associated Press)
Sad laundry day: Gordon Jump, who played the radio station manager on "WKRP in Cincinnati" and was perhaps best known as the ever lonely Maytag repairman, died of pulmonary fibrosis on Monday at age 71.
Best of the Rest
Page Six: "Fear Factor" host Joe Rogan accuses Denis Leary and Robin Williams of stealing jokes from other comedians; Donald Trump hangs out with a bunch of models, may have modeling agency named after him; British barrister John Beveridge shops book about Harrods head Mohamed Al-Fayed in U.S., says Al-Fayed once "worked as a procurer of blondes, particularly from Finland, for Arabs in London"; "Queer Eye" fellas heard bellyaching loudly about low pay (each makes $3,000 per show) at industry party; Dave Grohl flashed, doesn't flinch; Megan Mullaly and new husband surprise friends, get hitched in private ceremony at home; Al Franken cancels appearance on Laura Ingraham's radio show at the last minute, saying he's "really booked up."
Rush and Molloy: Dave Matthews says negative thoughts sometimes get the best of him and "I lose my grip a lot"; TV show about Russell Crowe's biggest brawls is in the works; Gen. Wesley Clark tells Maxim magazine, "I did not inhale"; Jason Biggs on kissing Seann William Scott in "American Wedding": "It was definitely different from kissing a girl. He had a bunch of stray hairs on his lip. The worst part was that we had to do 30 takes."
Boldface Names: Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants, says, "One of my great disappointments was that we tried to get Jerry Lewis on as SpongeBob's uncle or something and he passed. Because the character and the voice of SpongeBob just owe such a debt to him ... He knew about the cartoon. But it's all about the green. You know you talk to their people, and Jerry doesn't leave the house for less than $50,000." Also says, "Dr. Phil put in a request if I could do his son's outgoing phone message, which was very weird. I did it."
-- Amy Reiter