The Fix

Bravo set to launch "Queer Eye for the Straight Girl," Rome afraid of holy terror, and Garry Trudeau imagines Bush calling Condi "Brown Sugar."

Salon Staff
April 7, 2004 5:22PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

What's in a nickname? Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury cartoon strip Wednesday has the prez calling Condi Rice "Brown Sugar." (Washington Post)

Page turner: In Wednesday's New York Observer, Robert Sam Anson gives 10 of the best reasons to read Richard Clarke's book "Against All Enemies: American's War on Terror." He says it's better written than "The Bourne Identity," that you'll want to have read it when Oliver Stone announces the movie version and that there is great personal detail about Clinton and Gore. (New York Observer)


The pat-down of the Pilgrims: Easter week in Rome is going to be one of the highest-security areas in the world -- not only because of the huge numbers of people who will flock to be blessed by the pope but because Italy is in the U.S.-led coalition and Good Friday is the anniversary of Saddam Hussein's overthrow. Pilgrims will be searched and St. Peter's Square will have airport-style electronic security gates. But senior Vatican spokesmen have pointed out that Pope John Paul II was against the invasion of Iraq, seeing it as an inevitable and unfortunate war between Christianity and Islam. (AFP)

Straight women get some help: The inevitable has happened. Bravo is announcing that it will launch a new series next year called "Queer Eye for the Straight Girl" using the same format as its successful show for lame straight guys. No word on the gender of the makeover crew. (Variety via CNN)

-- Karen Croft


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Turn On
Fox debuts its reality show hybrid, "The Swan" (9 p.m. ET; Fox), Wednesday. Combining elements of "Extreme Makeover," "America's Next Top Model" and "Miss America," the show will take 18 women -- who all consider themselves ugly ducklings -- through a three-month regimen of cosmetic surgery, therapy, diet and exercise. They won't be allowed to see themselves in the mirror until the end; each week one will be eliminated. In the finale, finalists will compete in a pageant. Juror No. 4 (see below) explains herself to Dan Rather on "60 Minutes II" (9 p.m. ET; CBS).

-- Scott Lamb


Morning Briefing:

No love lost: Courtney Love is ripping into the authors of "Love & Death," the new book that suggests she may have been involved in the death of her husband, Kurt Cobain, a decade ago. Writers Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, Love says, "opportunistically used the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death to promote their ongoing campaign of greed and exploitation of what remains an unbearable tragedy for us all," noting the Seattle police department's findings that Cobain's death was a suicide. (Rush and Molloy)


Juror No. 4 speaks: She does deny ever making the "OK" sign to the defense team during the trial against Dennis Kozlowski, 57, ex-Tyco CEO, and Mark Swartz, 43, the ex-CFO, who were accused of absconding with $600 million from the company. But Ruth Jordan, the infamous Juror No. 4, did tell Dan Rather, in an interview appearing tonight on "60 Minutes II," that "I don't think I would have voted guilty on any count." Which means the case that ended in a mistrial after Jordan's identity and alleged pro-defense views were reported in the press was probably headed for a hung jury, anyway. ("60 Minutes II" via New York Post)

"The Passion" rages on: Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has now made more than $100 million outside North America, taking in $36.2 million in Latin America alone and bringing its worldwide total take to $431 million. "The Passion" has yet to open in Italy and Japan. (Though it has started to make waves in the Middle East.) (Variety)

Bessette's father upset: William Bessette, father of the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, has taken issue with Michael Bergin's "The Other Man," in which Bergin claims he carried on an affair with Bessette Kennedy even after she was married to JFK Jr. "I haven't read the book -- and I won't be reading it," Bessette tells Star magazine. "I have no idea why someone would write something like that." Side note: Turns out that Bergin's dust jacket, at the very least, contains inaccuracies, referring to makeup artist Joy Tilk as his wife, when in fact they are just engaged. (The Star via Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)


Hopping mad: Stephen King has voiced his supreme irritation at ABC for moving his "Kingdom Hospital" to Thursday nights. "We don't know what they're doing," said the author, who is also a co-executive producer of the show. "It was originally on Wednesday nights, and now, starting this week, it's on Thursday night at 9 p.m. That's a tough time slot -- against 'CSI' on CBS and 'The Apprentice' on NBC. It's kind of like where shows go to die." Added King: "ABC is the Detroit Tigers of networks. They don't have a lot going for them." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Catching up with Heinz? Conservative radio host and former Nixon foreign policy assistant Monica Crowley is crusading for the world to see more Teresa Heinz Kerry, the outspoken wife of Sen. John Kerry. "This is a very smart, opinionated and outspoken woman, which is a good thing -- unless your husband is running for president of the United States," Crowley said, alleging that Heinz Kerry is essentially being kept "under house arrest." "The Kerry campaign is afraid Teresa will turn into Martha Mitchell," Crowley said. (Page Six)

Sole man: Uma Thurman says she suspects that Quentin Tarantino has a foot fetish. "He rather coyly likes to deny it," she says. "But he shot everybody's feet [in 'Kill Bill'], not just mine. Every scene had coverage on feet." (Rolling Stone via Page Six)


-- Amy Reiter and Kerry Lauerman

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