The Fix

Richard Clarke's book to hit the big screen, The Donald doubles his salary, and the Onion hits its mark.


Salon Staff
April 12, 2004 2:18PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

Options, options: Sony Pictures has optioned former terrorism czar Richard Clarke's book "Against All Enemies" for a film to be produced by John Calley -- a former Sony exec. (Forbes)

From one kind of crime to another: Peter Bogdanovich, who directed last night's episode of "The Sopranos," will next helm a film about baseball's bad boy Pete Rose and his gambling adventures. The movie will be made for cable by ESPN. (Hollywood Reporter via Reuters)

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Firing people pays off: The Donald got $50,000 an episode for "The Apprentice" this season, but reports are that his salary will "at least" double for the next go-around. And that doesn't count Trump's cut of merchandising profits. (Reuters)

Bond, Jimmy Bond: A British television writer has been hired by Penguin Books to write several prequels to the James Bond series. The stories will fill in the pre-martini history of the most famous fictional spy, from his boyhood adventures in a Scottish castle to his days at Eton. The first book is due in March 2005. (BBC)

Oops: A group of British parents opposed to a school initiative to protect gay and lesbian students apparently mistook for real a satirical photo of a teacher instructing students about the finer points of homosexuality -- with chalkboard images of men having sex. The group used the photo in a 300-page "pamphlet" on the dangers of the "safe schools program." Told of the apparent mix-up, Onion president Sean Mills said, "The motto the writers have is we're not going after the right or the left; we're just going after people who are dumb." (London Free Press via Maud Newton)

-- Karen Croft

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Last week, after she failed to impress key members of Donald Trump's staff in a series of interviews on "The Apprentice" (one reported back that she resembled a "Stepford wife"), Amy Henry, who had seemed to be a virtual shoo-in to win, was sent packing, along with Nick, the teammate with whom she had become romantically linked. Two days after the airing of her shocking ouster, Salon caught Amy on her cellphone, in Los Angeles and groggy from her day-after press blitz. She's no longer with Nick, though she says that she remains close friends with him, as well as with Kristi, Kwame, Ereka and Bill. She says that since the show, she's been working with a local Austin, Texas, nonprofit, and plans an eventual move to New York, but that "This is my little 15 minutes of fame, and I want to make sure I have time to enjoy all of it."

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Was there ever a time on the show when you just wanted to slug someone?

The only time was -- and it was not aired in the original episode; it was aired during the recap of all episodes -- in the second episode, when I was nominated to be the project manager, there was so much conflict between all the women and Omarosa. I sat down with Omarosa, and I said, "Look, I know that you don't get along with many of the women here, but I wish that for the sake of the productivity of our team, you could change your attitude."

She laughed. Then she said, "Amy, you may be concerned about me but you should really be concerned about yourself, because everyone is laughing at you behind your back."

While I may have wanted to slug someone at that moment, I bit my lip. I said to Omarosa, "Point noted, but we're not talking about me here. We're talking about you, and you need to change your behavior." And then I just got up and left.

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What was the deal with Omarosa, anyway?

Omarosa had a strategy: It was to pick at people to make them look unprofessional.

Did Ereka really call her the "N-word"?

No, Ereka never called her the "N-word," and there were no racial terms ever verbalized.

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It's really a ridiculous accusation. Multiple times during the competition, Omarosa came up to me and said, "I don't know why Ereka thinks I call her a racist, because I never did." Then she got off the show and changed her story. It was a comment that was made to get a rise out of Ereka, and thus keep Omarosa's name in the news.

What's the most misleading thing about how the show was edited?

I do think that Katrina comes across more emotional on the show than she really is. They make her out to be this emotional sex kitten, but she is actually a very smart young woman. You didn't see that. She gave them a few great scenes that helped them to craft her character.

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Kwame comes off as the boring Harvard MBA, but he's really a charming, funny guy. He loves to party; he loves to flirt with all of the woman on the show. He is a social monster, always out on the town! But Kwame was smart enough to stay under the radar, and he was very aware of giving the cameras that which he wanted them to see.

So ... what happened in those final interviews, anyway?

You know, those interviews were very tough. My downfall was that I come from a very fast-paced organization in an industry -- technology --that is always changing. The culture that I'm used to working in is very upbeat, very young, always moving and shaking. I think that the energy and enthusiasm that I brought to the table was not really a good fit for the Trump organization.

I was actually really surprised at the comments made by Norma [Foerderer, Trump's V.P. of Media Relations & Human Resources]. I felt like I had a great interview with her! But I don't take offense at the comments. I just think it was a difference in culture. I want to feel empowered to change the organization the way I see fit. An organization like that is more conservative and wants to stay status quo.

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-- Corrie Pikul

Turn On
America's oldest reality TV show goes head to head with its newest: Choose between "Miss USA" (9 p.m. ET; NBC) and a new episode of "The Swan" (9 p.m. ET: Fox) -- and if that's not enough for you, "Fear Factor" (8 p.m. ET; NBC) will air a very special all-Miss USA episode just before the pageant begins. If you missed it in the theater, tonight Oxygen is showing the Maori flick "Whale Rider" (9 p.m. ET; Oxygen), featuring the Oscar-nominated performance by Keisha Castle-Hughes. Plus, Chris Rock will be on tonight's "Charlie Rose Show" (PBS; check local listings).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Victoria's Secret, nipped: The televised lingerie fashion show falls victim to the culture wars: "The decision not to go forward with the yearly televised program was made after one of Janet Jackson's breast's was exposed during the Super Bowl half-time show, Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for Limited, told the [Wall Street] Journal." (Reuters)

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Live from New York, it was Janet Jackson's breast again: Only it was clad in a pink bra and well pixelated by NBC. Kicking off her hosting duties on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, Jackson appeared as Condoleezza Rice in a skit in which Darrell Hammond, as Dick Cheney, suggested that, while being questioned by the 9/11 commission, she "flash a boob ... just one headlight, real quick. It does two things. You win over the liberals, plus, it's a distraction for the press. I guarantee that's going to be the headline, not the bin Laden thing." Though Jackson's Rice initially refuses, she eventually unbuttons under questioning, revealing what appeared to be a blurry breast. "She was definitely wearing a bra," an NBC spokesman insists. "We want to make that very clear." (Associated Press and the N.Y. Daily News)

Not pixelated: Shaquille O'Neal's profanity during a post-game interview on live TV. "Not impressed, not impressed," he said of his opponents' play after the Lakers lost to the Kings. "Not (expletive) impressed, you know what I mean?" O'Neal's last foul outburst -- he swore twice during an interview in February -- got him suspended without pay from one game, costing him about $295,000. (Associated Press)

She's back: Paula Jones is flogging an autobiography, "I Said 'No!': A Case File of Sexual Harassment," in which she says she'll tell potential harassees "what to expect if their harasser is a powerful man. The legal journey may be long and difficult, and their lives will change forever, but in the end they will have their self-esteem and honesty" and dispute allegations that she's trailer trash: "I ain't never lived in a trailer in my life." Publisher Judith Regan on book's market appeal: "I think now, it's worthless. There are no secrets left." (Page Six)

Shabbat shalom for Madonna: Cabala devotee Madonna says she will no longer perform on Friday nights. "She is observing Shabbat on Friday evenings," her publicist Liz Rosenberg tells New York magazine. (Page Six)

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Rrrrrip: Tom Hanks allegedly said the following to "Access Hollywood's" Billy Bush at the premiere of "The Ladykillers": "How does it feel to be famous for being so obnoxious? People in this town have long memories." An "Access Hollywood" rep denies the conversation ever took place; a rep for Hanks does not, but says no "malice" was intended. (Page Six)

Blair in the Boondocks? "Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder credits disgraced N.Y. Times reporter Jayson Blair with giving him his start. In 1996, when Blair was editor of the University of Maryland's campus paper, the Diamondback, he was apparently the first to publish McGruder's work. "We weren't friends, but he seemed like the brother who had figured out the system," McGruder tells the New Yorker of his relationship with Blair. "It was like, 'You don't seem one hundred per cent down, but you're definitely not a Tom. Somehow you're making it work.'" Two years later, McGruder signed a whopping deal with "Doonesbury" publisher Universal Press Syndicate. (The New Yorker via Romenesko)

Money Quotes:
Point: "Black Hawk Down" and "Top Gun" producer Jerry Bruckheimer on Bush and Iraq: "We've gone through tough times. But eventually we'll realize that we did the right thing by removing a brutal dictator. I know I'm in the minority, but I like Bush." Counterpoint: Rob Reiner on Bush and Iraq: "I think this is worse than Vietnam. Because in Vietnam you could pull out. In Iraq, we're stuck in a situation we've created." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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