The Kennedy Center honors are always a curious mishmash of talent and celebrity that come together like a themeless variety show booked by a drunk person. This year's roster of honorees included Carol Burnett, Mike Nichols, Loretta Lynn, Itzhak Perlman and James Brown -- all in the same room with Presidents Bush and wives. Caroline Kennedy stood in for ailing Walter Cronkite as emcee. Sounds like the reason to tune in to the broadcast of last night's events (Dec. 26) -- or to keep the TV off as the case may be -- is the following description from the Washington Post: "The most exuberant moment came when Anastacia demanded the audience rise from their seats and move to 'Sex Machine.' On the line 'Shake your moneymaker,' even Laura Bush could be seen shaking." (Washington Post)
As for the first lady, does she have some kind of warm and fuzzy agreement with CNN? Check out its banner ad for Lary King tonight. I didn't know Laura was down-filled. (CNN)
It's the feisty lady vs. the rappers and the Supremes made the final decision. Rosa Parks is still fighting but this time it's not about civil rights, it's about the rights to her name. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that she can go ahead and sue Outkast and their record company for using her name as the title of a song on their 1998 album "Aquemini." Parks claims defamation and interference with a business deal (she approved a collection of gospel recordings in 1995 called "A Tribute to Mrs. Rosa Parks"). Maybe one of the lyrics also had something to do with her suit: "Ah, ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus." (Reuters via My Way)
Ben Affleck is not following the rules of how to be a cool guy. Rule No. 1 is "don't whine" and Rule No. 2 is "don't blame your girlfriend for stuff." The actor supposedly told a British Web site, "My relationship with Jennifer has absolutely been bad for my career. The over-exposure this year has been really damaging." No, your acting has been damaging to your career, Benny babe. (Ananova)
Rumors are that David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey are out of sorts with each other. Dave keeps asking, on air, for a date with the big O, but she complains that every time she's been on his show she feels like he makes her the butt of his jokes. Let's put them together for a celebrity mud-wrestling special for Christmas and maybe they can get their frustrations out once and for all and we can enjoy it. Dr. Phil could officiate. (TV Guide)
"Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" no longer, Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter have wed in a ceremony -- at the Lodge resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif. -- produced and paid for by ABC TV, which will air it on Wednesday night. The wedding, which reportedly took place before 300 guests and featured 30,000 roses flown in from Ecuador and food imported from 14 different countries, cost $1 million -- in addition to the $1 million paid to the couple for the TV rights. According to Lodge spokesman Herbert Spiegel, the resort intends to offer "Trista & Ryan" wedding packages, patterned after the reality TV couple's affair, to other interested brides and grooms, because, he says, "Everyone wants a wedding just like Trista and Ryan." Said packages include "the same presidential suite used by the TV couple, caviar and Dom Perignon champagne upon arrival, 'Trista & Ryan' commemorative champagne flutes and a signature wedding album, a private dinner under the stars at gazebo, where Rehn-Sutter were married, breakfast or brunch prepared by a private chef, use of a Jaguar or Mercedes and a rose petal turndown service on the wedding night." That presidential suite, by the way, is the Pres. Gerald R. Ford room, which, when you come right down to it, doesn't really inspire honeymoon confidence. (Lodge press release via Yahoo News)
PETA-ful humor: Joan Rivers on daughter Melissa's appearance on an anti-fur billboard in Times Square: "When I said to Melissa 'Fake it' when she was growing up, I meant sex, not fur!" (Intelligencer)
Speaking out on behalf of ordinary people everywhere: Robert Redford on President Bush and co.: "I've never known an administration more narrow, more limited and more mean; the lack of respect and the meanness is beyond me." (Associated Press)
He swears he didn't know: Sen. John Kerry on the mean admin and his own vote for the Iraq war resolution: "I voted for what I thought was best for the country ... Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did." (Rolling Stone via the N.Y. Post)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Graydon Carter's rally against the N.Y. anti-smoking laws seem to be puffing out after he was busted for the third time for smoking in his Condé Nast office; he claims he's being personally harassed by Mayor Mike Bloomberg; Michael Douglas's ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, said to be writing her autobiography; Gene Simmons leaves fans in the lurch at book signing, heads to the mall; Lenny Kravitz said to be dating someone who is not Nicole Kidman; Howard Stern threatens to "reveal sordid secrets of radio rival Don Imus' daughter, Donna" if Imus fails to apologize for saying nasty things about Stern's girlfriend, Beth Ostrosky; Billy Crudup said to have gone hiking with Claire Danes, for whom he is said to have left Mary-Louise Parker; Alicia Keys waxes nostalgic about "the warm smell of urine and beer on the subway"; Ethan Hawke said to have split with Uma Thurman again, headed back to Chelsea Hotel; Rosie O'Donnell auctions off "Taboo '03" jacket for charity, says "I have a feeling it'll be a collector's item."
Rush and Molloy: Bill Maher shocks Hollywood elite by making Bill Clinton blow job jokes at benefit honoring Sen. Hillary Clinton; bloggers launch successful effort to make White House Web site the result of Google search for words "miserable failure"; Billy Crudup fails to face reporters at premiere of "Big Fish" presumably onaccounta he didn't want to answer questions about leaving Mary-Louise Parker when she was eight months pregnant with his child; asked if she's a Republican, Cher says, "I'd rather stick needles in my eyes."
-- Amy Reiter