The Fix

Kucinich wins date with Tilly; Bowie has given up all his vices. Plus: Is the FCC exaggerating the Jackson boobhaha?


Salon Staff
February 13, 2004 7:23PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

Kucinich wins date with Tilly! Dennis Kucinich may not have won any primaries, but he got the gal last night on "The Tonight Show" when he played a version of "The Dating Game" and questioned Cybill Shepherd, talk show host Kim Serafin and actress Jennifer Tilly. Dennis asked what she'd say in his place if he had won the Democratic presidential nomination but couldn't speak because of laryngitis. Jennifer said, "Good evening, delegates, my husband, Dennis, thought he was going to lose so he didn't write a victory speech. And now he's pretending like he has laryngitis." (ABC News)

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Ch-ch-ch-changes: World-class glam rocker David Bowie says he has no vices left, now that he's quit smoking. Instead of nicotine, he's now relying on caffeine: "I don't drink, do drugs or smoke. I do coffee -- gallons of it, still." (Ananova)

Tough Love from Stern: The idea of calling Howard Stern for an "intervention" is an intriguing one, but Courtney Love did it this morning for the second time in two days to discuss her court hearings and custody of her daughter. "Losing your kid is your fault," Stern said. "I know you don't want to hear this." Love said that being a single rock-star mom makes her a target: "So I guess I'm going to quit being a rock star. What do you want from me? An apron and an apple pie? I stayed home for five years. I haven't done heroin since 1996. I'm a good mother. I've done a good job." Maybe she should talk to David Bowie instead of Howard next time. (MTV)

Tom the calmer: Speaking of therapy, it seems Tom Cruise has a history of hanging with nervous nellies. First wife Nicole Kidman always wanted him by her side at big events and his current girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, is so nerve wracked when it comes to red-carpet events and seeing herself on-screen that she's thinking of skipping the Oscars this year. Maybe Tom will have to get his mom to come with him again, like he did at the Golden Globes. She's not afraid of the cameras! (IMDB)

You talkin' to me? Could anything be more embarrassing than Karaoke? The answer is now a resounding yes, since there is something in New York called Movieoke. Every week at a space below an East Village pizza parlor people act along with their fave films while friends and strangers look on. Anastasia Fite, who came up with the idea, says, "As long as you're not afraid to make a fool of yourself, it becomes a really communal experience." (Reuters)

Happy Valentine's Day:

Keep love alive: In case you needed another reason to go out and find the perfect flowers or luscious chocolates for your lovey dovey, think of it as protection against death! A British research project has shown that when we lose love our immune system falters, stress hormones take control and real illness can set it. Says one of the researchers, "It seems that a heart that is broken by love can kill." Kiss someone, quick. (AGI)

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-- Karen Croft

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Has the Federal Communication Commission exaggerated the number of complaints -- claimed to be more than 200,000 -- it received over Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash? One Salon reader, Samuel Thompson, wrote in Thursday after reading a story about the congressional hearings into Tittygate, with his own suggestive evidence that that might be the case:

"I'd just like to point out that I am one of the vocal 200,000 that chose to complain to the FCC, but not by choice. I sent the FCC a note supporting Ms. Jackson's breast, so to speak, and here is the response I got from [FCC commissioner] Michael Copps:

'Thank you so much for your e-mail regarding the Super Bowl halftime show. I share your concern about this outrageous stunt. I have been pushing the FCC to tackle indecency on the airwaves since I joined the Commission two and a half years ago. Because I've received so many e-mails on this issue, I am not able to reply to each one individually. For your information, I've attached below my comments about the Super Bowl halftime show on February 2, 2004.

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'Thank you again for sending your e-mail.'

As you can see, no one is even reading the mail that's coming in. If they see a subject line that relates to the Super Bowl they just chalk it up to another outraged citizen. I'd be really curious to know how many of these 200,000 people were really outraged by the show, as opposed to how many were just outraged by the FCC reaction."

-- Kerry Lauerman

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Morning Briefing:
Intern scandal? What intern scandal? Despite Matt Drudge's best efforts, none of the major U.S. newspapers appear to have picked up his "exclusive" report accusing front-running Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of a "recent alleged infidelity." (Joe Conason parses the matter in Salon's cover story today.) No, not even the juicy-scandal-lovin' New York Post seems to have wanted to touch this baby, though its sibling tabloid across the pond, the U.K. Sun, is one of a few British papers to have picked it up, interviewing the father of a Pennsylvania woman who Kerry had allegedly -- gasp! -- invited to work on his campaign. (She decided against it.) "There is no evidence the pair had an affair," the paper notes before quoting the young woman's father as saying he thinks Kerry is a "sleazeball," though it is unclear from the report if he ever met the candidate. And what of Drudge's contention that news sources like the Associated Press (for whom the woman in question supposedly once worked), the Washington Post, Time magazine and ABC were all over the Kerry rumor? Reached by reporters for Editor and Publisher magazine, the Associated Press refused to comment, but Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of the Washington Post, said that, though his staff had been sniffing around Kerry's past, they had not to his knowledge turned up anything about an alleged infidelity.

Doing not-so-hard time: How rough is Diana Ross' time in jail for DUI? "The chief of the Greenwich police ... put on a female guard so she could serve her time at her leisure," said one source of Ross' two-day sentence, which she's serving in Greenwich, Conn. "Four hours here, six hours there. She ordered her own meals, and police officers went to get them!" She's also said to be bringing her own comforter with her to keep her snuggly warm during her stay. (Rush and Molloy)

Jacko out of smacko? Some reports contend that the child molestation charges brought against Michael Jackson are driving him to the poor house. Others say that, financially speaking, he's doing just fine, thanks. (E! Online)

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-- Amy Reiter

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