That gal Madonna has moxie. Not daunted by her feature film flops, she plans to make an animated movie from her children's book "The English Roses" in which she'll do the voice of one of the characters. (3amGirls)
"Survivor" survivor Elisabeth Filarski Hasselbeck will take over Lisa Ling's chair on the chat show "The View." She will also continue to host Style Network's "The Look for Less." And on top of all that, according to TV Guide, she's "plotting a 'View' sweeps stunt that should bring smiles to the faces of ABC execs. She wants to start making babies with her husband, Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. "If [we] can stay in the same city long enough to conceive," she says, "I swear it will happen." If they do that on air, they're sure to get great ratings! (TV Guide)
Hey, Mr. President, along with "nuclear," put this word on your practice list: "Nevada." According to the state's archivist, the state's name is pronounced with the second syllable rhyming with "gamble." Instead, when George W. Bush visited there yesterday he persisted in pronouncing it "Ne-vah-da" instead. Said state archivist Guy Rocha, "Mispronouncing the state's name sets people's teeth on edge. He's the president, and he ought to get it right. Nothing personal." (AP via Las Vegas Sun)
It's time to reveal the results of the reader poll on who you'd most like to have dinner with -- inspired by the Parade Magazine poll that had George W. Bush the favorite of men and Oprah Winfrey the choice of women. As expected, more than 100 Salon readers came up with slightly more eclectic choices. There were about 50 different people chosen by men -- including Jesus, Julia Child, Beethoven, John Coltrane, Bill Murray, Cleopatra, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry Rollins, Thomas Jefferson, Keith Richards and Leonard Cohen. Salon's own TV writer Heather Havrilesky and former columnist Camille Paglia were on the list.
One gentleman wanted to sit down with the Dalai Lama and Susan Sarandon at the same time and another asked, "Could one have dinner with Osama bin Laden, then stab him with a fork while he's enjoying his cheesecake and collect the reward money?" But the only two people who got more than two votes from guys were John Lennon and Leonardo da Vinci, with three votes each.
The women voted for more than 50 different people as well, including Albert Einstein, James Carville, Colin Farrell, Mary Magdalene, Marcel Duchamp, Kevin Spacey, Gore Vidal, Amelia Earhart, Bono, John Lennon, Peter O'Toole, Camille Paglia, Shirley Maclaine and our own Cary Tennis and Joe Conason. But the top three winners for the women were Jon Stewart and Hillary Clinton with four votes each; and the grand prize winner: Bill Clinton with six votes.
So congrats to John, Leo and Bill for being the most wanted by our discerning readers and thanks to everyone who wrote. Happy Thanksgiving!
Pity party time. Michael Jackson and his young accuser are vying for our sympathy, and it's truly hard to know who to feel sorrier for in this whole sorry mess. On the one hand, Jackson's attorney's contention that the allegations are "about cash, and anyone who believes differently is living in their own Neverland" seems at least moderately bolstered by revelations that his young sleepover buddy's family has been involved in legal wrangles before, including one in which the family collected a $137,500 settlement after allegedly being roughly handled by security officers chasing them down after they stole clothing from a J.C. Penney's back in 1998. (The mother -- whose ex-husband's divorce lawyer says has a "Svengali-like" ability to make her children repeat her lies -- also alleged that she was sexually assaulted during the incident.)
And the alarming -- though not, ultimately, surprising -- move by XtraJet, the company that Jackson hired to charter him back and forth from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara to turn himself in to police, to surreptitiously tape him meeting with his attorney and attempt to sell it to the highest bidder in the media seems a little over-the-top, too. Then again, so was this reaction by Jackson's attorney, Mark Geragos: "We will be absolutely relentless in our pursuit of any and all extortionists regardless of how they try to gift wrap their lies in the cloak of justice. Michael is not going to be a piñata for every money-hungry publicity seeker to strike in the hopes of hitting it rich."
Meanwhile, supporters of Jackson's cancer-stricken young accuser have added a few strings to their violins. Jamie Masada, the Hollywood comedy club owner who introduced Jackson to the boy in question, says the kid "has one kidney and it's failing him, and part of his face is swollen up. His cancer's in remission, but he worries if the cancer comes back, what's going to happen." Masada adds that the kid's mother, for her part, has been clinging to her Bible and is "very upset" by the gold-digger allegations being leveled against her. "She keeps saying, 'God will help us,'" he told the New York Daily News. "It's a sad situation." Indeed.
Phoenix cop Bill Niles, whom Glen Campbell allegedly kneed in the thigh during his arrest for drunk driving, on Campbell, who was also heard to be singing "Rhinestone Cowboy" in his cell: "There was a lot of, 'Do you know who I am? I'm Glen Campbell. ... I shouldn't be locked up like this.'" (The Associated Press)
David Blaine on how he is these days: "When I came out of the box it was Oct. 19, so that was 36 days ago. So if you think about 36 days ago, which is when I came out, when I think about that span of time, I was in that box with no food and nothing and cold weather and hot temperatures, completely alone there for that entire span, so when I look back on it, it seems surreal. Because when I think about everything I've done in the last 36 days -- from being in the hospital to recovering to starting to eat again to talking to my friends again to bathing, showering, and memories are so overwhelming -- that when I look back on it, it makes the whole thing surreal." (Boldface Names)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Sean "Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs said to have demanded -- and received -- award at VH1's "Big in '03"; Mexican moviegoers fail to be fooled into seeing renamed "Gigli"; Farrah Fawcett says she had to swig Jack Daniel's to understand her "Bobbi Boland" character, says she asked the director, "What do you do with your mouth? Is this how you do it?"; Hearst Magazine president Cathleen Black says she did not sleep her way to the top; Queen Elizabeth said to be "furious" at President Bush for ripping up her garden during Buckingham Palace visit; Ewan McGregor on the snipping of a scene in "Young Adam" in which his private parts are on display: "If you want to see my penis, you'll have to fly to Britain. If I'd blown away 5,000 people with a semiautomatic machine gun, that would be fine. But I showed my penis. It does amuse me, the horrific violence that comes out of American cinema. But someone's [bleep] is too much."
Rush and Molloy: The Source magazine people are pissed at Russell Simmons for supporting Eminem; Jessica Simpson says Jeannie in "I Dream of Jeannie" is her "dream role," adds that she thinks she comes "across with more air in the head than is really there"; friends of Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz suspect couple may be close to announcing engagement; Stella McCartney says that if her clothing design business tanks, she'll start a second career as a singer; Sean Penn won't be writing about Iraq for the San Francisco Chronicle anytime soon, despite Phil Bronstein's offer of credentials; Meat Loaf recovering from heart surgery; P. Diddy recovering from plunking down more than $20 million for Tommy Mottola's Miami mansion.
-- Amy Reiter