The Fix

Joe Wilson names names, Ben Affleck bonds with Ted Kennedy, and The Donald gets his own radio show.


Salon Staff
April 29, 2004 1:40PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Coming your way: Former ambassador Joe Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies That Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity," is due out tomorrow. In it, Wilson reveals the government official who fingered his wife as a CIA operative in apparent payback for Wilson's revelations about the White House's false claims about nuclear weapons in Iraq. "If this [book] becomes a movie I am happy with that," Wilson says. "This is a story that people should be told." (Independent U.K.)

Big Brother is listening: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has cracked down again, suing another 477 people for illegally distributing copyrighted material. The "John Doe" litigation identifies people in the lawsuit by Web addresses only. The RIAA has sued more than 2,000 people since January. (EurWeb)

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The Ben and Ted show: Ben Affleck is hanging with Sen. Ted Kennedy these days, working on a campaign to raise the minimum wage. Ben, who has worked as a dishwasher, says he's "very proud of his working-class roots" and is in favor of the proposal to raise the wage from $5.15 to $7 an hour. (IMDb)

Everyone loves The Donald: Not only is Donald Trump engaged to his girlfriend Melania Knauss (she'll be his third wife) but Clear Channel has also offered Trump his own radio show. The weekday show, which will cover business, politics, media and entertainment, will be called "Trumped" and starts June 15. (Hollywood Reporter via Reuters)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Tonight's season finale of "Will and Grace (9 p.m. ET; NBC) is thick with guest stars: John Cleese, Harry Connick Jr., Tim Curry and the inimitable J.Lo, appearing as herself. And "Primetime Thursday" (10 p.m. ET; ABC) investigates the increasingly sophisticated ways today's students are cheating in school.

-- Scott Lamb

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Morning Briefing:
No P.R. virgin she: Madonna is lashing out at Warner Music Group, with whom she and two other investors co-own Maverick Records and whom she is now both suing and being sued by. She's released the following statement to the press: "I find myself in the ludicrous position of being sued by my own record company, whom I have been loyal, industrious and reliable to for over 20 years. For them to behave this way is nothing short of treason." A Warner rep responded that the legal scuffle is "not about Madonna, an artist with whom we have a long-standing and very successful relationship." To which Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, quipped: "It's like serving somebody divorce papers and then asking them when they want to go to dinner." (N.Y. Times)

And while we're on the subject ... of stars who are big in the U.K., George Michael has just been named "the most played artist on British radio over the past 20 years." He's as shocked as the rest of you, sputtering, as he picked up his award, "I can't believe it. I've only made six albums in 22 years so I don't know how this happened." Also in the top 10: Elton John, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Bryan Adams, Madonna, Phil Collins, Cliff Richard, Mick Hucknall and Paul McCartney, in that order. (BBC)

"Idol" talk: "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell is dismissing Elton John's claim that the voting for talent on the show is "incredibly racist." Cowell says the departure of John favorite Jennifer Hudson -- and John's subsequent allegations will -- "shake up" the voting from here on out. "I think it will change ... my gut feeling is we are going to attract 5-6 million new voters and the better singers now have a chance." Cowell predicts that La Toya London will be one of the show's two finalists. (BBC)

Too-full disclosure: Jennifer Aniston has told People magazine, which features her on the cover of its annual "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue, that she and Brad Pitt are "absolutely in the process" of having kids. "It's where we're headed." She also says she and Courtney Cox pluck each other's eyebrows. (Rush and Molloy)

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Adding insult to injury: After abruptly canceling "Living It Up! With Ali and Jack," starring Ali Wentworth (wife of George Stephanopoulos) and Jack Ford, yesterday, King World Productions boss Roger King apparently got on the speakerphone to tell staffers that the show had been "disastrous." "There will be no thanks," he reportedly informed the newly unemployed throng. "I want to tell you how I really feel. This has been the most painful and expensive experience that the company has ever been through." (Rush and Molloy)

More bad news for Spencers: Princess Diana's stepbrother Adam Shand Kydd has been found dead in a dingy red-light district hotel room in Phnom Penh. Cambodian cops say he was covered with "blue bruises" and is assumed to have died of an overdose. (N.Y. Daily News)

New Times scandal? New York Times Magazine editor-at-large Lynn Hirschberg has come under fire for throwing a dinner party for Sofia Coppola -- about whom she recently wrote a story -- and Quentin Tarantino. Bill Murray and magazine editor Gerald Marzorati were also in attendance. But a Times spokesperson says allegations of conflict of interest are wholly unfounded, commenting that a "significant part" of Hirschberg's job "is to mingle with people in the Hollywood and fashion worlds, to bring us ideas and stories." (Page Six)

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Michael Kinsley has a new job: The former Slate editor is set to become the editorial and opinion editor of the Los Angeles Times. Janet Clayton, who was the opinion editor, will head back to the newsroom as the assistant managing editor for state and local news. "One of the things that appealed to me about Mike is that his political philosophy is more or less in keeping with our editorial page," Times editor John S. Carroll said. "There may be a few different wrinkles, but essentially the spirit of the page will remain the same." Kinsley will split his time between Los Angeles and his home in Seattle. (L.A. Times)

Oh, and also? Barbara Walters has apologized for an ABC News promo for a "20/20" show on adoption, which said five couples would "compete" to adopt the baby of a teenage mom. "You know what the bad word was? 'Compete,'" Walters said on "The View." Yeah, that must have been it. (USA Today)

-- Amy Reiter

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