The Fix

Tina Brown predicts Martha's future, Gov. Arnold flexes his editorial muscles, and Jane Fonda discusses the shameful secrets of her marriages. Plus: Bush brothers miss Neil's wedding.

By Salon Staff
Published March 8, 2004 9:53PM (EST)

Afternoon Briefing:

Editor Schwarzenegger? The California governor's spokesman says that Arnold is going to add the title "executive editor" to his résumé and will spend a "nominal amount of time" in that job for Muscle and Fitness magazine and its sibling publication, Flex. Both magazines are owned by American Media Inc., which also runs the National Enquirer. (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Martha Stewart will rise again: Tina Brown says that Martha will probably "connect with" other women in the slammer and come away from her jail time with "a new, winning idea." The writers at "Saturday Night Live" are no doubt working on that already. (I Want Media)

Bombay Jane: To celebrate International Women's Day, Jane Fonda joined the "Vagina Monologues" cast in India along with other stars including Marisa Tomei. Fonda was candid about losing her identity to each of her three husbands: "Behind the closed doors of my marriage, I would give up all my power. I would silence my own voice to be accepted." (BBC)

Christ's pain, Mel Gibson's gain. According to one industry estimate, Mel's made back his $30 million production and $15 million marketing budgets for "The Passion of the Christ" many times over. After only 11 days the movie has raked in $213,750,000. (Box Office Memo)

Talk about baggage: David Crosby, who claims to have overcome his addiction problems while in prison, was arrested on Saturday at a hotel in Manhattan when he went back to get a suitcase he'd left behind. In it: marijuana, a gun and two knives. Crosby made bail and will be in court in May. (NME)

No "Sex" movie? Word is that Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) are holding out for big bucks ($14 million and change instead of $5 million and change) for the film version of "Sex and the City." Come on. How many pairs of Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos do you need? (IMDB)

Money Quote:

Ken Auletta on the fact that Katie Couric and Larry King have done interviews with Jayson Blair: "It's Joey Buttafuoco all over again. They're not putting [Blair] on to discuss journalistic ethics. It's a freak show." (U.S. News and World Report)

-- Karen Croft

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Rrrrrrrrrrrrip: How has the New York Times decided to handle its reporter-turned-nemesis Jayson Blair's memoir "Burning Down My Master's House"? By handing the hot potato to Slate's Jack Shafer, who digs in to find a steaming pile o' mash. "Should you believe anything written by a serial liar?" Shafer begins in alleged excerpts of the upcoming Times review published on the Drudge Report. Apparently, you should not. "The Times is a flawed, human institution that deserved every brick tossed at it except this one," writes Shafer. "Jayson Blair is a confessed con man, and 'Burning Down My Master's House' is just another installment in his ongoing con." (Drudge)

Speaking of tossing bricks at the Times: There's a rumor afoot that a member of the Nation of Islam is threatening to take out New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. onaccounta all those recent Times reports about NOI leader Leonard Muhammad's influence on Michael Jackson. A "well-placed source" characterized the Times' reaction thusly: "'Death threats? Get in line.'" (Rush and Molloy)

Cheney of fools? Speeches at the annual Gridiron dinner are supposed to be off the record. But the Weekly Standard has gotten its hands on Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks and published them on its Web site anyway. Among his quips, an admission that he finds Sen. John Edwards "cute as a button." (The Daily Standard via Drudge)

Who wears short shorts? Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson are said to be duking it out for the role of hot-pants-wearing Daisy Duke in a big-screen version of "The Dukes of Hazzard." Though Spears has been reported to be interested in the role for some time, Simpson recently met with the film's producer and told the press, "I would love to be Daisy Duke. I think that would be so much fun, just to wear the shorts. I would get to have my own car. I think it would be a blast." (MTV News)

Oprah, Tyrah. Tyrah, Oprah: "America's Next Top Model" host Tyra Banks says she wants to be the next Oprah Winfrey. "I want to be successful across the board. I want an empire like Oprah's. I may do it with a little more cleavage, but I plan to get there." (Newsweek via N.Y. Daily News)

Not fired: Donald Trump is set to return to his seat in the "Apprentice" boardroom for at least one more season. NBC would like him to do two more, but it's really a matter of Trumpian scheduling. (N.Y. Daily News)

Where were the brothers Bush? President Bush's scandal-plagued brother Neil got remarried in Houston over the weekend, but neither George W. nor Gov. Jeb were in attendance. Neil's model daughter Lauren sat out the nuptials, too. However, his parents, George and Barbara, did manage to show. (N.Y. Post)

Money Quote:

"Sopranos" daughter Jamie-Lynn DiScala revealing that Fidel Castro is a fan of the HBO mob show: "He requested it on DVD." (FHM via Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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