Gotta hand it to old Arnold Schwarzenegger -- or should I say Gov. Schwarzenegger, since he's just been sworn in. He quoted both John F. Kennedy ("I'm an idealist without illusions") and Ronald Reagan ("California is a shining city on a hill"). And then he came up with his own image, calling the state "the golden dream by the sea." That image won't do much for him in Sacramento, but maybe they can take some field trips to the beach. (Sacramento Bee)
Alec Baldwin plays an obnoxious neighbor in "The Cat in the Hat" and he told Katie Couric this morning that as part of his role he had to be doused with blue, snotlike gunk made from the stuff used to thicken milkshakes at fast-food restaurants. Good sport, that Alec, but better to be doused by it than to drink it ...
Speaking of harsh things in movies, Drudge is reporting that Disney's panties are in a bunch over their subsidiary Miramax's new film called "Bad Santa." Billy Bob Thornton, fresh from his turn as the American president in "Love Actually" (where he plays a rough version of Bill Clinton, who makes a pass at a Monica lookalike who works for the P.M.), is now playing a drinking, womanizing, criminal version of Old Saint Nick. Seems the Mouse isn't happy with scenes that show Santa doing a barmaid on the hood of a car. Hey, if Mrs. Claus doesn't mind, why should Disney?
More people are interested in saving Martha Stewart than Rosie O'Donnell, according to the editor of both SaveRosie.com and SaveMartha.com. John Small says he's got 5,000 unread e-mails to sort through about Martha and only a few hundred about Rosie. He added, "I have about 1,000 orders for 'Save Martha' T-shirts and BBQ aprons since the Barbara Walters interview on Nov. 7. Thankfully, Rosie is saved. One down and one to go." Small did add that he thinks more mail came in about Stewart because the stakes are higher -- if she is convicted it could mean up to 30 years in jail. Get your aprons now, folks. (I Want Media)
Heidi Fleiss on Paris Hilton (no, not literally): "God bless her. She's responsible for more breakups than anyone since Marilyn Monroe. My problem is that she should be charging. I see her and I think, Oh, I'd be making an awful lot of money." (New York magazine)
"Safe" sex?: Jack Nicholson on the AIDS crisis and why he was never too worried about it himself: "Most people who investigated this knew that if you were not shooting up or getting [bleeped] in the heinie, you were as likely to get AIDS as you were to have a safe fall on your head while walking down Wilshire Boulevard ... But you could not proselytize this view. The facts were almost useless. You couldn't give a woman the facts and have her respond, 'Oh, all right.' " (Playboy magazine via Page Six)
Don't try this at home: Halle Berry on being her own shrink: "Every time I take on a new character, I use whatever's present in my life, good, bad or indifferent. So I'm sort of administering therapy to myself through my work." (N.Y. Daily News)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Paris Hilton has scene cut from "The Simple Life" because, source says, "she didn't want to embarrass her parents"; Sean "Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs buys big house in Atlanta; Alec Baldwin says his unreleased directorial debut "The Devil and Daniel Webster" likely to stay unreleased because some of the investors have been accused of bank fraud, adds that the experience "taught me a valuable lesson"; Gil Scott-Heron reportedly in jail on drug charges; author of Tom Cruise biography calls actor "a slightly dysfunctional guy who had a very tough childhood"; Penny Marshall said to have "screamed obscenities" at reporter who asked her what she thought of her buddy Rosie O'Donnell's Broadway show "Taboo" after she saw it.
Lloyd Grove's Lowdown: Teen surf champ and shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton sets off network news feeding frenzy; Parker Posey and boyfriend Ryan Adams admit to having sex in Interview magazine interview; Washington Post obit editor Richard Pearson, now dead himself, remembered for sending needling note to Richard Nixon in 1974; Belgian choreographer Anne Terese De Keersmaeker gets Brooklyn Academy of Music's 2003 Friendship Award, tells Marisa Tomei, John Turturro and others to "shut up"; Paul Newman fails to give standing O to Jason Patric after checking out his portrayal of Brick in the Broadway revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," a role Newman famously played on-screen.