The Fix

Republican heat moves from CBS to Showtime, Martha and Rosie lose some of their brand power, and Liz Taylor shows real class. Plus: Michael Stipe is being John Malkovich.

Published November 5, 2003 3:07PM (EST)

So, now that CBS has backed out of showing the Reagan miniseries and has batted the controversial ball to sister-station Showtime, that cable network is on the receiving end of Republican mail. RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, who seems to think he's a television producer, wrote a letter to Matthew Blank, CEO at Showtime, telling him what to do with the program. According to the letter posted on Drudge today, Gillespie says: "I respectfully request that Showtime allow a panel of historians and people who know the Reagans to review the program for accuracy before it airs.

"If you are unwilling to correct this acknowledged imbalance and review the program for historical accuracy, Showtime should inform its viewers through a crawl every ten minutes that the program is a fictional portrayal of the Reagans and the Reagan Presidency, and is not intended to be historically accurate." What a great idea. Showtime probably would have come up with that crawl thing themselves ... (Drudge)

If anyone should have a beef over a negative miniseries portrayal it's poor Martha Stewart. She tells Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview (airing on Friday) that since the infamous appearance on the CBS "Early Show" (the one where she refused to talk about the scandal brewing and chopped cabbage for a salad instead), "I have not been able to chop a cabbage since. No more coleslaw for me." (ABC News) and (MSNBC)

Speaking of Martha and other branded babes, she and Rosie O'Donnell are bringing down the market for products tightly tied to celeb images. Says columnist Simon Dumenco: "At this point, I think the only celebrities that stand any chance of getting their own magazines are Colonel Sanders, Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth." (I Want Media)

Move over, Spike Jonze -- Michael Stipe really is being John Malkovich, at least to some fans of the thespian who have approached Stipe and congratulated him on his acting. Think they look alike?

Class act of the week: Elizabeth Taylor, who won acclaim for her role in the film of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in 1958, sent flowers to Ashley Judd on her opening night as Cat on Broadway this week. Judd reported that the note on Cartier stationery said, "Darling Ashley, I know you'll be a wonderful Cat. Have fun with it, love Elizabeth." (Teen Hollywood)

Money Quotes
Late-night baby: David Letterman on his brand-new baby boy, Harry Joseph Letterman, born at 11:58 Monday night and named for Letterman's late father: "Maybe I shouldn't have done this [but] first thing I took him home and dangled him over the balcony." ("Late Show with David Letterman" via N.Y. Newsday)

No, actually, we don't know what you mean: An unidentified source on the amateur porn video of hotel heiress Paris Hilton and ex-boyfriend Rick Solomon (who happens to be Shannen Doherty's estranged husband) that may soon be released for public sale, though a Hilton rep says it "was intended for [Hilton and Solomon's] own personal use": "[Paris] keeps staring into the camera and trying to show her best side. She knows she is being taped and [Solomon] keeps trying to get her into sex positions that are better for taping, if you know what I mean." (N.Y. Post)

Best of the Rest
Page Six: Women's rights groups lambaste Kennedy Center for giving James Brown a lifetime achievement award onaccounta he's been accused of beating his wife and has also settled sexual harassment suits brought against him by other women; wife of Bruce Colley, the other man in Kerry Kennedy-Andrew Cuomo marital split, said to be seeking divorce; Heidi Klum steps out with singer Seal; Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton bounced from primo seat at Democratic Policy Committee meeting; P.Diddy said to have peed into zip-lock bag moments before marathon; Martha Stewart wears Martha Stewart mask for Halloween.

Rush and Molloy: More on Paris Hilton/Rick Solomon skin flick: It was made about three years ago, when Paris was 19, it's said to be "hard-core," Solomon's people say he's "not profiting from this tape," and Hilton's people say "her lawyers are definitely involved"; Riley Keough, Lisa Marie Presley's 14-year-old daughter, lands modeling contract; Liza Minnelli forgets words to "Liza With a Z"; Britney Spears backs out of MTV Europe Music Awards appearance because she's either exhausted or suffering from a throat infection, depending on who you ask; Minnie Driver goes to Cambodia to make point about sweatshops; Mariah Carey is "in negotiations" to star in "The Sleeping Prince" in London.

Boldface Names: At N.Y. premiere of "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," a beefy-looking Russell Crowe says, "I try to use my body every day when I'm acting. I don't go to work and leave my body behind and only act with my, whatever's left, my friend. Yes, there's a lot of physical acting in each part, each and every role." New father Paul Bettany says, "I'm only 2 1/2 months into the whole dad thing. The truth of the matter is, it makes you absolutely imbecilic because you celebrate when they pooh. He poohed in the limo and I was like, 'He poohed. My son, he poohs. Mazel tov!' "

--Amy Reiter

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By Karen Croft

Karen Croft is the editor of Salon Sex.

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