The Fix

Michael Moore's film blocked by Disney. . . which may soon be headed by Mel Gibson? Cheney and Powell bad blood exposed. Plus: Gore TV's a go, but won't be "partisan channel."

By Salon Staff

Published May 5, 2004 9:49AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Tonight's "Live From Lincoln Center" (PBS; check local listings) brings a diverse artistic crowd together to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of choreographer George Balanchine. Also, it's the cliff-hanging, Jem-singing, nuptial-making season finale of "The O.C." (9 p.m. ET; FOX).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:

-- Amy Reiter

Powell play: GQ Magazine has released excerpts from an article in an upcoming issue in which intimates of Secretary of State Colin Powell claim that it's very unlikely he'll stick around in President Bush's cabinet, should Bush win a second term. Powell has grown "exhausted, frustrated and bitter, uncomfortable with President George W. Bush's agenda, and fatigued from his battles with the Pentagon," the article, by writer-at-large Wil S. Hylton, contends. And Powell mentor Harlan Ullman says it's not just Bush with whom the Secretary of State is uncomfortable. Says Ullman of Powell's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney: "I can tell you firsthand that there is a tremendous barrier between Cheney and Powell, and there has been for a long time ... It's like McCain saying that his relations with the president are 'congenial,' meaning McCain doesn't tell the president to go f*ck himself every time." And Ullman on National Security Advisor's Condoleeza Rice's comments that Powell and Cheney are "on more than speaking terms," and that they're "very friendly"? "Condi's a jerk." (PR Newswire via Drudge)

The mouse ... chicken? The Walt Disney Company is trying to stop Miramax, which it owns, from distributing Michael Moore's new film, "Farenheit 911," which links President Bush to prominent Saudis, including members of Osama bin Laden's family. Moore's agent claims that Disney is concerned about the effect distributing the movie might have on tax breaks it enjoys for its theme park and hotels in Florida, where Jeb Bush is governor. Disney says it's rather concerned about alienating the public by involving itself in what a senior executive calls a "highly charged partisan political battle." (N.Y. Times) In a note on his Web site, Moore says, "All I can say is, thank God for Harvey Weinstein and Miramax, who have stood by me during the entire production of this movie." (

Meanwhile ... There are rumors afoot that Mel Gibson may be up for Disney head Michael Eisner's job. . "He hasn't said yes, and he hasn't said no," said one source. Another source close to Gibson said, "The discussions have not gone anywhere . . . yet." (Page Six)

Talking after all: John F. Kennedy Jr.'s Brown classmate Robert T. Littell, who railed against Richard Blow for writing his book about JFK Jr., has now written his own book: "The Men We Became." In it, he tattles that JFK Jr. and Madonna "managed to entertain themselves" in a hotel room in Chicago but never actually had intercourse because they had no contraception on hand. He also says that Sarah Jessica Parker once greeted Kennedy at the airport wearing only a mink coat "and nothing else" -- and that JFK Jr. was irritated at Hilary Clinton for running for U.S. Senate in New York, saying, "What, am I supposed to move to Arkansas?" (Rush and Molloy)

Onstage meltdown: While performing at a music festival in Atlanta on Sunday, Courtney Love told the crowd, "I'd like to thank the Academy of Hell and the Devil for [messing] up my life." According to one witness, "She started crying and was saying, 'Give me back my kid and my money.' Everyone thought that it was very disturbing." They also thought it was a little disturbing, the witness says, when Love "undressed on stage and pulled out her boobs, then barely could get her bra back up." Musta been that Devil again. (Rush and Molloy)

Hitched? A rep for Demi Moore is denying a report in In Touch magazine that Moore and Ashton Kutcher got married in secret during a New York Kabbalah Centre spiritual retreat in Florida last month. "It's not true. They went down there for Passover holiday," the spokesman insists. (Rush and Molloy)

Presidential lies? In former Bush aide Karen Hughes' book, "Ten Minutes From Normal," she quotes Bush refuting her claim that he played rugby for only one semester in college. "I played for a year, and it was the varsity," she says Bush told her. But according to a Yale spokeswoman, there is no varsity rugby at Yale -- and there wasn't any when Bush was an undergrad there in the '60s, either. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Peachy skill: "The Art of the Steal: Inside the Sotheby's-Christie's Auction House Scandal," a new book about former Sotheby's chairman Al Taubman and his wife, Judy, reveals that Judy, a former Miss Israel, can peel a peach by massaging it with one hand, leaving society types to wonder, "Lord knows what else she could do with those hands." (Page Six)

It's a go: Al Gore's TV network for viewers in the twenties is a go. "Were not going to be political channel, were not going to be a partisan channel," Gore insisted. (N.Y. Observer)

Money Quote:
Rush Limbaugh on how soldiers stacking up naked prisoners is, as one caller put it, "like a college fraternity prank": "Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the skull and bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?" (Rush Limbaugh's show via Wonkette)

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