The Fix

A CNN reporter gets engaged to a prince, and an artist films David Beckham sleeping. Plus: Kurt Andersen's response to people who think he's crazy.


Salon Staff
April 27, 2004 1:58PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Royal reporter: Reporter Rym Brahimi has confirmed that she resigned her post at CNN due to a conflict of interest -- she's engaged to Jordan's Prince Ali -- but that she'll continue to work as a journalist after she marries. (AFP)

A sleeper hit? Artist Sam Taylor-Wood has made a Warholian film of soccer star David Beckham sleeping that is showing at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The 67-minute video is described by Taylor-Wood as "a direct, closely observed study" that "produces a different view from the many familiar, public images." (BBC)

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Money Quotes: Spy magazine founder Kurt Andersen on his gig as editorial director of Benetton's Colors magazine: "I suppose a certain kind of traditional, highly serious journalist would say 'Kurt, are you out of your mind?' but if I had listened to them, I would have never started Spy, either. " (N.Y. Times)

Veteran TV producer and boundary pusher Steven Bochco on the recent FCC crackdowns on "inappropriate" language: "Every election cycle, this issue rears its head. But right now, it's as scary as it's ever been." (Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo! News)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
"Spymaster" (10 p.m. ET; TLC), the reality TV show that would be the most fun to appear on, is serving up its final mission tonight: Contestants must infiltrate and complete an objective in a foreign country. "Independent Lens: The Weather Underground" (PBS; check local listings) takes a look at the '70s protest group, its effect on history and where its key members are now; for example, Bernardine Dohrn, who spent years hiding out, is today an associate professor and director at Northwestern University's Children and Justice Center.

-- Scott Lamb

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Morning Briefing:
Raisin, hell? Sean "Puffy/P. Diddy" Combs made his Broadway debut last night as Walter Lee in Lorraine Hansberry's kitchen-sink drama "A Raisin in the Sun." And? Ben Brantley's review in the New York Times pretty much sums up the critical consensus: "Though the production features sterling work from Ms. [Audra] McDonald and Ms.[ Phylicia] Rashad, who plays Walter Lee's formidable mother, it lacks the fully developed central performance from Mr. Combs that would hold the show together. This Walter Lee never appears to change, in big ways or small. Happy or sad, drunk or sober, angry or placating, his evenly measured words and debating team captain's gestures remain pretty much the same. This is a significant problem, since Walter Lee is meant to represent a new generational spirit among African-Americans in a time of social transition." Then again, writes Brantley, "Mr. Combs is not the wholesale embarrassment that connoisseurs of schadenfreude were hoping for. The Donald Trump-like confidence that has made him the success he is keeps him from dissolving into a spotlighted puddle. But he comes across as smaller than you might expect, as Madonna did when she made her Broadway debut in 'Speed the Plow.'" (N.Y. Times)

Speaking of big names on Broadway: "Jerry Springer -- The Opera," a hit in London, is headed to New York in October 2005, after a six-week run at San Francisco's Orpheum Theater starting in either February or March 2005. Yes, Springer the man has seen the musical, in which Springer the character is shot at the end of Act I and turns up in hell. "It's a persona, and they did it remarkably well," he said. "As an opera, it's perfect." (Associated Press)

NOI nixed too? Though Michael Jackson is insisting that he "personally" made the decision to dump lawyers Benjamin Brafman and Mark Geragos and replace them with Thomas Mesereau Jr., Fox News says the legal switcheroo was overseen by Jackson's brother Randy and Randy's advisor Brian Oxman. Fox also contends that the hiring of Mesereau indicates Michael's intention of ridding himself, too, of his "business manager" Leonard Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan's son-in-law, which was something Mesereau is said to have insisted on before accepting the job. (Fox 411)

More Hilton reality TV: Paris Hilton's mother, Kathy, has signed on to host her own reality show on NBC. "The Good Life," brought to you by Endemol Entertainment, the people behind "Big Brother," has been described as a "real-life 'My Fair Lady,' in which Hilton, heir to the hotel chain empire, will coach 10 women on how to mix and mingle with the rich and famous" -- and reward the winner with a year's stay at the Waldorf-Astoria. (TV Week via N.Y. Daily News) It has also been described a sort of "Beverly Hillbillies," in which "a family from the boondocks would be plopped down in New York, live with the Hiltons at the Waldorf and be taught how to make it in high society. (Page Six)

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Big run, but no Rush? Bill Clinton's memoir, "My Life," due out in late June, will have an initial print run of 1.5 million copies. That's 500,000 more than Hillary Clinton's "Living History" had -- though the book went on to sell 1.5 million. But it's 500,000 fewer than Rush Limbaugh's "See, I Told You So" and Jack Welch's "Jack: Straight From the Gut," whose 2 million first printings are believed to be the biggest initial print runs for nonfiction books. Clinton says he will actively promote the book. (N.Y. Daily News)

Meanwhile ... Monica Lewinsky was spotted over the weekend selling her old jewelry, nesting chairs and other crud at New York's Chelsea flea market. She and a friend had "cleaned out their closets," explained Lewinsky's spokeswoman, Barbara Huttson, and do not intend to make a career in the junk biz. (Page Six)

Oh, and also? There's a new celebrity sex tape making the rounds. In it, former "Baywatch" babe Gina Lee Nolin is seen romping with her husband, Greg Fahlman, showing off her new breast implants and "performing a sex act." A spokeswoman for Nolin, who apparently suspects Fahlman's ex-wife of swiping the tape, says the actress is "not really bothered by the sex tape much." (London's News of the World via Page Six)

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-- Amy Reiter

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