The Fix

Paris crashes, Diana does time, and Wesley Clark blanks on "bling-bling." Plus: Janet doesn't show, but she dominates Grammy talk anyway.

By Amy Reiter
Published February 9, 2004 7:19PM (UTC)
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Afternoon Briefing:

A boon for TiVo: The effects of a single exposed breast continue to be felt throughout the broadcasting world. The latest shift is that MTV has decided to air its "edgier" videos between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (Baltimore Sun)

She's with the band: Paris Hilton just keeps winning new friends wherever she goes. Rumor is that she begged to get on music mogul Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party guest list, to no avail, then jammed in with Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. (Davis reportedly said, "That girl has been calling me nonstop. Why can't she leave me alone? I don't even know her.") And is there really a publisher who offered Paris hundreds of thousands of dollars for a book called "Tongue in Chic: Confessions of an Heiress"? (3 am Girls)

Diana to do time: Diana Ross, who was charged with driving under the influence in Arizona in December, was sentenced today to two days in jail and a year of "unsupervised probation." (AP)

The candidates speak out on the really important subjects: VH1 put some tough questions to the presidential hopefuls and found out that John Kerry has met Ben Affleck and knows that "The Boss" is Bruce Springsteen -- and Wesley Clark thinks the best film depiction of the military is HBO's "Band of Brothers" but doesn't know what bling-bling is. Tune in tomorrow night to find out if they were asked about underwear preferences. (PRNewswire)

--Karen Croft

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It was a slow night for breast exposure, but a big night for discussing it. Janet Jackson, as you likely know by now, was disinvited by CBS from the Grammys and then reinvited -- on Saturday -- only on the condition that she apologize for her infamous Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction." She declined.

Justin Timberlake, meanwhile, took CBS up on its offer, winning two Grammys and issuing his requisite mea culpa: "I know it's been a rough week on everybody. What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys are offended."

What's more, the 5-minute-delay-aided censors at CBS apparently took pains to make sure that Christina Aguilera would not be the next one to issue an apology for a televised mammary moment, pasting a graphic over her chest as she fussed with the low-cut dress she'd changed into to accept the award for best female vocal performance. (Though the dress was, of course, far less shocking than the buttoned-up suit the finger-emoting singer wore while she performed "Beautiful.")

"I don't want to have the same thing happen that Janet had done ... if I can keep it together," said a gown-clutching Aguilera.

The censors did, however, keep their mitts off Patti LaBelle's defiant mention of Janet Jackson during the introduction of a salute to Luther Vandross. (Likewise left intact were 50 Cent's rather frightening run for the stage after he failed to win the award for best new artist, Celine Dion's sound problems, and Coldplay frontman Chris "Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow" Martin's dedication of his album of the year award to Johnny Cash and John Kerry, "who I hope will be your president someday.")

But much of the boob talk happened before the show on the green (not red, thanks to Heineken's sponsorship) carpet and backstage.

Grammy-winning producer Pharrell Williams blamed the media for the ruckus over Janet's bared boob: "You wouldn't have gotten half of those complaints if the news wouldn't keep it plastered on TV all day," he griped.

Dave Matthews said, "I'm surprised that it's shocking that a boob might be seen somewhere outside National Geographic Explorer. That was surprising, that such a big stink could be made over such a little [thing]."

Christina Aguilera waxed philosophical: "What is too raunchy? Everybody has a different opinion of what is too much or too little. Music itself is an expression, so who are we to say what is too raunchy and what is not? Who are we to be the judge of that? It's a state of mind, and it's whatever you think it should be."

Yoko Ono, who was occasionally photographed naked with her late husband, related: "We were attacked, too. I think it's just an interesting dialogue that is going to upset some people. I'm sure that [Jackson] is ready for it."

T-shirt-clad "Joan of Arcadia" star Amber Tamblyn did not relate, saying, "As you can see, that's not going to be my problem tonight."

Jennifer Love Hewitt took pains not to relate: "I am so taped in I can barely breathe."

Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs relates more than one might like: "I have three sons, and I'm very happy for them that they were able to see one of Janet Jackson's breasts in their lifetime -- I don't think they'll be scarred for life. I think there's bigger things going on than to try and lynch Janet Jackson; she doesn't hurt nobody. I just want to say to America that you should be happy with that because if I would've known about it -- if I would've known that she was going to steal the thunder -- then I would've whipped out something you'd still be explaining to your kids."

Non-breast-related Grammys money quote:

Richard Marx, who won the Grammy for song of the year for his collaboration with Luther Vandross, "Dance With My Father": "Rolling Stone voted me worst male singer of 1988, and now look at this." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Morning Briefing:

Fab Four-ever: Tonight, David Letterman, who of course tapes the "Late Show" in the Ed Sullivan Theater, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" by playing a clip of John, Paul, George and Ringo from that historic show. (N.Y. Daily News)

Big-screen "Sex"? Word is that a movie version of "Sex and the City" is in the works and that "Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon will all be in it." (Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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