The Fix

Julianne Moore knocks face-tweaking peers and Updike wins PEN award. Plus: An underwear model exposes Kennedy tryst.

By Salon Staff
Published March 29, 2004 4:10PM (EST)

Afternoon Briefing:

"The Passion" will play: Despite the attempts of three Jewish brothers to have Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" banned in France, the movie will open on Wednesday. The Benlolo brothers argued that the film would incite anti-Semitism but a judge said that fear stemmed from "a narrow view" of the work. (BBC) Far from inciting hatred, the film has apparently inspired a man to confess to a crime. Dan Leach, a Texas man, told police that the film moved him to confess to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. (The Guardian)

Beauty myth: Julianne Moore is criticizing actresses for having facelifts because she says it is "promoting this idea of a face that doesn't look like a person, and that becomes the standard of beauty, and the people think, 'What's wrong with my face?' ... There are things that are more important than how we look." (IMDB)

Olympic jitters: The first American athlete to voice concerns about safety at this summer's games was Serena Williams, who says she may stay away from Greece for fear of terrorism. The tennis champion said her life was a "little bit more important than tennis." (Ananova)

Updike honored: John Updike today won the 2004 PEN/ Faulkner award for fiction for his collection "The Early Stories." The 72-year-old writer has already won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Fellow finalist Ron Carlson called Updike's collection of short stories "an astonishing display of what prose should be and what it can do. While there is no single galvanizing historical event, nevertheless Updike tells us what we were like as the 20th century bumped along." (Reuters)

Brunette ambition: Britney, like the ur-diva she often tries to emulate, has become a brunette. Stay tuned for up to the minute color news. (Sky News)

Larger than life lingerie: Tom Jones may be 63 but he still gets the ladies all excited. At a show in Canada last night a group of gals came dressed as a huge pair of white panties, complete with black lace trim. (Calgary Sun)

--Karen Croft

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Morning Briefing
"Baywatch" star readies for his big shot: If you thought Richard Clarke had penned "the most explosive book of the year," well then you must not have been reading the New York Post. Today, it runs an excerpt of former "Baywatch" star/Calvin Klein underwear model Michael Bergin's "explosive" claims about his affair with Carolyn Bessette both before and after her marriage to JFK Jr. The charges are not new, of course, for those who read (or read about) the controversial Ed Klein book that came out last year, was excerpted in Vanity Fair, and first detailed the alleged relationship. So what's so "explosive"? Today's Post details Bergin's claims that Bessette "got pregnant while dating JFK Jr. but lost the baby -- and then cheated on her famed fiancé with hunky ex Michael Bergin just a week later ... Bergin also says that an emotionally devastated Bessette underwent two abortions while dating him -- although he had his doubts about whether one of the babies was his, hinting that it could have been Kennedy's." The chivalrous Bergin can be seen crying about the affair while shilling his book on television tonight (A&E, 9 p.m.). (NYP)

Chomsky blogs: Leftist academic and longtime media critic Noam Chomsky, long a critic of censorious U.S. mainstream media, takes his message directly to the people with his own Web log -- just be prepared for postings with such titles as "Modalities of Withdrawal." (via Drudge)

Peers warned about journalist: USA Today star reporter/serial fabulist Jack Kelley had raised suspicions among staffers -- just not his bosses. "Six journalists at the paper, in telephone interviews, said they or their colleagues had approached editors with suspicions about the accuracy of four articles by Mr. Kelley in recent years ... But their concerns, they said, were often dismissed by editors." (NYT)

"Partisan"? : Bill O'Reilly goes out on a limb: "So, you as a news consumer should know American journalism is becoming increasingly partisan, and ideologues on both the right and the left have infiltrated the news business at very high levels." (NYDN via Romenesko)

Turn On
The first installment of a three-part documentary, "The New Americans" (PBS; check local listings), airs tonight. The series is Steve James' ("Hoop Dreams") investigation into the lives of five immigrant groups -- Nigerian refugees, a Palestinian bride, Dominican baseball players, a Mexican laborer and an Indian couple -- facing the challenges of living in 21-century America ... and Bergin (see above) tries to convince us he's not just trying to make a huge buck off the Kennedy name (A&E, 9 p.m.).

Money Quote
Dennis Publishing's international licensing director Kerin O'Connor, on Maxim's plans to begin publishing a Chinese version of the magazine: "Guys are very similar worldwide. They have the same kind of aspirations for the way they want to live their lives, and they have the same kind of interests." (Reuters)

-- Scott Lamb and Kerry Lauerman

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------