The Fix

Carter blasts Bush, Blair. No big house for "Pee-wee." Plus, on TV: Gibson on Leno, and ex-White House counterterrorism chief makes the rounds.

By Salon Staff
Published March 22, 2004 3:12PM (EST)

Turn On
Watch Mel Gibson on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (11:30 p.m. EST; NBC) to see if he turns in another odd TV performance, or whether he elaborates on reports that he's having "doubts" about George W. Bush ... If you missed Richard A. Clarke, ex-counterterrorism coordinator for both Bill Clinton and Bush, last night on "60 Minutes" accusing Bush of undermining our national security, you can catch him tonight for a prolonged chat on "The Charlie Rose Show" (PBS; check local listings) where he talks about his new book, "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," which hits bookstores today.

Morning Briefing:

Resurrected vs. resurrected: "Dawn of the Dead" has knocked "The Passion of the Christ" out of the No. 1 spot at the box office where the Mel Gibson film had reigned for the past three weeks. The zombie flick took in an estimated $27.3 million over the weekend, compared to a $19.2 million take for "The Passion," which nevertheless has passed "The Matrix Reloaded" to become the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. (USA Today)

Playhouse, not jailhouse: Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens has been sentenced to three years probation (during which he is forbidden to have unsupervised contact with minors), slapped (gently) with a $100 fine and ordered to attend counseling for a year after he pled guilty to obscenity charges for certain photos in his erotica collection. Reubens told the press that pleading guilty "seemed like the sanest way" to end the scandal over his collection. His lawyer maintained that "a black-and-white tintype from 1901 with a young man of indeterminate, 17- to 19-year-old age, laying on the beach after having gone skinny-dipping" was art, not child pornography. (Associated Press)

Carter takes aim: Ex-POTUS Jimmy Carter has blasted Bush and Blair in an interview with a British newspaper: "There was no reason for us to become involved in Iraq recently. That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. And I think that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair probably knew that many of the allegations were based on uncertain intelligence ... a decision was made to go to war [then people said] 'Let's find a reason to do so.'" (The Independent) Plus: Read what ex-White House advisor Richard Clarke has to say about Bush's terrifying tactics on dealing with terrorism. (CBS News)

Breasts, yes, but soul, too: Janet Jackson was presented with the Quincy Jones Award for outstanding career achievement (female) at Saturday's Soul Train awards. Famous assets well covered in a demure white gown, Jackson told the audience she was "amazed" to have stuck around in showbiz for 30 years. R. Kelly won the male equivalent of Jackson's award. OutKast was the evening's big winner, collecting awards for R&B/soul/rap album of the year ("Speakerboxxx/The Love Below") and best video ("Hey Ya!"). (Reuters)

On the Injured List:
Paris Hilton, who was thrown from a horse during the filming of "The Simple Life 2" and airlifted to a hospital in western Florida. "We're hoping she's fine," Chris Alexander, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Television, told the press, adding, "Whenever you're dealing with talent, you always want to be extra careful." (Reuters)
Britney Spears, who suffered a knee injury during a concert in Illinois on Thursday night. She came out in a bathrobe to apologize to fans for not being able to perform two encores as planned. (Associated Press)
Yet another attendee at a Courtney Love concert? Now a photographer is reportedly contending that she was injured on Thursday night when Love leaped off the stage and bodysurfed through the crowd. (London Free Press)

Off the Injured List:
Julie Andrews, who after years of not being able to, is expected to sing again. (BBC News)

-- Amy Reiter

Salon Staff

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