The Fix

Disney suggests Michael Moore pulled publicity stunt for film. Is Rocco losing his "Flavor"? Plus: FCC flooded with Oprah complaints.

By Salon Staff

Published May 6, 2004 8:00PM (EDT)

Turn On:
So, there's this show called "Friends" (9 p.m. ET; NBC), and it's having its final episode or something tonight. Maybe you stopped watching "Friends" a while ago: check out a special "Nova" (PBS; check local listings) on "Life and Death in the War Zone," about the 21st Combat Support Hospital near Baghdad.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
More photos: The Washington Post has published more photos documenting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. The new shots include one of a U.S. soldier holding a leash that's looped around the neck of a naked prisoner on the floor, more shots of forced simulation of sex acts, several of a cow being skinned and gutted and of a cat's severed head. There's also one of a smiling soldier standing over a corpse and giving a thumbs-up sign. (Washington Post) Guess that's more for Bush to be "annoyed" at Rumsfeld about. (Reuters) Meanwhile across the pond, doubt is being cast on the veracity of photos allegedly documenting abuse by British soldiers in Iraq published recently in the U.K. Mirror. (U.K. Independent)

Going, going ... Pablo Picasso's "Boy With the Pipe" sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York yesterday for more than $104 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, a record previously held by Vincent van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet," which sold for $82.5 million in 1990. (Reuters)

Publicity stunt? A Disney spokeswoman is suggesting that Michael Moore was a little opportunistic in timing his announcement that the company had blocked its Miramax division from distributing his new Bush-bashing film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," for this week. Company rep Zenia Mucha released a statement yesterday saying that Moore has known since May 2003 that Miramax would not release his film, which makes its world premiere next week at the Cannes Film Festival. (Associated Press)

The court has spoken: Bobby Brown has been ordered to stand trial on charges of domestic battery; he's to turn himself in to authorities on July 10 or 11, when he will be fingerprinted and released on $2,000 bond. Brown and his alleged batteree, wife Whitney Houston, smiled at each other during the 5-minute hearing and left the courtroom walking arm-in-arm. (Associated Press)

Quizlet: True or false? "During an appearance on David Letterman's show, George W. Bush found that his eyeglasses needed cleaning. As the show's producer, Maria Pope, leaned over the desk to confer with Letterman during a commercial break, Bush leaned forward in his chair, grabbed a corner of Pope's jacket, and wiped his filthy specs with it." True! That's just one of the questions in Paul Slansky's "The George W. Bush Quiz Book," which is being feted in New York tonight. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Lion of Zion? Donald Trump will be the grand marshal of New York's Israeli Day Parade on May 23. Commented Trump, "Israel has gone through a lot, and it's my honor." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Fatherless child? Supermodel Heidi Klum has had her baby, a daughter named Leni. Boyfriend Seal rushed to her bedside, but not so the man she says is her baby's father, Flavio Briatore, who has reportedly told friends that he wants a paternity test. (Rush and Molloy)

Getting political: JonBenet Ramsey's father, John Ramsey, is reportedly thinking of running for a House seat in Michigan as a Republican. His manager says Ramsey would address his daughter's murder in his campaign. (Rush and Molloy)

O my! The FCC has apparently been swamped with more than 1,600 letters demanding that Oprah Winfrey be cited for indecency for a show in which she discussed "getting one's salad tossed." Many written at the urging of Howard Stern and Jimmy Kimmel, the letters, some of which have been compiled here, are particularly amusing. (The Smoking Gun)

How quickly they fall: Rocco DiSpirito's first book, "Flavor," apparently didn't sell as well as expected, and his next, "Rocco's Recipes," due out this fall, is not pre-selling very well. Consequently, no one wants to touch his third book, which he's shopping around to publishers right now. (Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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Salon Staff

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