The Fix

Bruce Springsteen quotes Al Gore, Tina Brown says she owes it all to Ronald Reagan, and why J.Lo's marriage to Marc Anthony might not be legal. Plus: Is there a major mistake in "The Stepford Wives"?

Published June 10, 2004 9:00AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
Stepford imperfection? Critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper are claiming to have found a "contradiction" in new remake of "The Stepford Wives," out Friday. The wives have been "implanted with these chips that make them these sort of robotic, obedient, 1950s stereotype housewives," notes Roeper. "I want to know why there's a moment in this movie when a character sees a robot that's been designed to take her place. If they're implanted with those chips, what are the robots for?" (

Bruce rising: The Boss is using his official Web site for an unusual burst of political fervor. Springsteen has posted the entire text of former V.P. Al Gore's talk last month at New York University in which he harshly criticized the current Bush administration. Bruce says of the speech: "The issues it raises need to be considered by every American concerned with the direction our country is headed in. It's my pleasure to reprint it here for my fans." (Billboard via Yahoo)

The perfect photo op: Tina Brown waxes nostalgic about how then-president Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy "saved Vanity Fair" when Brown was editor and had been given six months to give the flailing publication an identity. Through contacts at the magazine she and photographer Harry Benson got the Reagans to dress up and dance to Sinatra's "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)" as Benson snapped away. The photos were just the shot in the arm Brown's magazine needed. Brown sums up the president's appeal: "Reagan was never afraid of the obvious. And he loved happy endings. In our Age of Anxiety, those are the endings we long for." (Washington Post)

Got an extra $125,000? If you do, you can call former POTUS Clinton and maybe he'll speak to your book club! In February he got that sum to speak at the Women's International Zionist Organization in Miami as well as the Long Island Association in Woodbury, N.Y. He also received $150,000 to speak to the Vivendi/Universal Group in Sundance, Utah. (CNN Money)

It couldn't be simple, could it? Of course not. The latest twist in the ongoing melodrama that is J.Lo's love life includes the possibility that Marc Anthony's quickie divorce from Dayanara Torres could be invalid in the United States. Anthony went to the Dominican Republic and got the divorce in three days, but a document from the embassy there says there is a 60-day buffer period to allow either party to appeal. The newly remarried singer is waiting for the U.S. State Department to weigh in. (IMDb)

Bardot slapped with fine: Brigitte Bardot was fined 5,000 euros (about $6,000) for a passage in her book "A Cry in the Silence" that declares her disgust with France's tolerance of Islam. The passage in question included the following: "I am against the Islamisation of France! This obligatory allegiance, this forced submission disgusts me ... Our ancestors, the elderly, our grandfathers, our fathers have for centuries given their lives to push out successive invaders." The former sex goddess said in court last month that she may have been too direct in her book but that "it's my overall view of a society becoming completely decadent, where it's like mediocrity has become more important than beauty and greatness, where there are more dirty, badly kept people invading the world." (AFP)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
It's that time once again: The "MTV Movie Awards" (9 p.m. ET; MTV) are back on Thursday, hosted this year by Lindsay Lohan -- who will hopefully be more fun to watch than last year's duo, Seann William Scott and Justin Timberlake. The 1993 documentary "It's All True" (8 p.m. ET; Trio) tells the story surrounding an unfinished and long-lost Orson Welles docu-ganda film of the same title, shot by Welles during WWII to boost U.S.-Latin American relations.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Disney vs. Disney: How much did Disney chief executive Michael Eisner make last year? That's for Roy Disney and Stanley Gold to know and, they hope, you to find out. Disney and Gold have asked a Delaware judge to let them release the details of Michael Eisner's pay package to shareholders. "We obviously thought this was information shareholders should have, and we brought it to court," said an attorney for Disney, the man. "It is the ability of shareholders to test claims with respect to transparency and good governance that the company has made." Countered a spokesman for Disney, the company, "At stake is preserving the confidentiality of private board deliberations to facilitate open internal discussions that are critical to the interests of all stockholders." (Reuters)

Peterson's burnt chicken: Laci Peterson's mother's cousin's husband Harvey Kemple testified at Scott Peterson's trial yesterday. Kemple said he found Peterson's behavior in the days after Laci's murder to be very strange and suspicious. Twice Kemple says he followed Peterson, once to a mall parking lot, where Peterson just sat in his car for 45 minutes, and once to a Modesto golf course. Kemple also said Peterson told him he'd been golfing the morning his wife went missing, but told Kemple's wife that he'd been fishing. As for Peterson's mood after Laci's disappearance, Kemple said he seemed far less upset than he'd seemed after burning some barbecue chicken on the grill at a family gathering a few months prior. (Associated Press)

Dude, where's my seat? Just who were the Hollywood types hopping to their feet to applaud Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" at its West Coast premiere the other night? At the first screening: Jodie Foster, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Wahlberg, Marisa Tomei, Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman, David Duchovny and Téa Leoni, Josh Brolin and Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Larry David, Rob Reiner, Aaron Sorkin, Larry Gelbart, Brett Ratner, Tom Hayden and son Troy Garity, Arianna Huffington, Spike Jonze, Kelly Lynch, Camryn Manheim, and Jack, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne. And at the second: Leo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Matthew Perry, Billy Crystal, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Sharon Stone and Bernie Cahill, Bill Maher, Jack Black and Wes Anderson. Barbra Streisand couldn't make it and therefore missed Harvey Weinstein's expression of sorrow for the Reagan family. Moore himself later commented that he felt sad for the Reagans. "I think our hearts go out to all of them," he said. (Rush and Molloy)

A man jumps out of an airplane: And that man will be former POTUS George H.W. Bush, this Sunday, in celebration of his 80th birthday, which is actually on Saturday. "People say, 'Why are you doing this, you nutty old man?'" Bush told the Associated Press. One: "It feels good." Two: "Just because you're 80 doesn't mean you're finished." (Rush and Molloy)

The road to...? Oleg Cassini says his old friend Bob Hope used to bed the starlets he traveled with on those USO tours. "Bob Hope had a real great formula," Cassini tells Avenue magazine. "He would go on those tours entertaining the troops, and at a patriotic moment many of the women he was with surrendered -- not to the enemy, but to him." (Page Six)

Vidal gored: An "insider" at Thunder's Mouth Press, the publisher of Gore Vidal's new book, "Imperial America," says that Vidal has suddenly decided not to do much to promote the tome. "He's very prickly," griped the source. "He won't even talk to us directly. We have to go through his editor at the Nation." (Page Six)

Unexpected fisticuffs: Playboy model Nicole Lenz is lashing back at Bijou Phillips and Casey Johnson for saying she attacked them at a party over the weekend. Says Lenz, "Bijou jumped me! I was just standing there and this girl punches me in the face and starts dragging me by the hair. Matthew Perry had to take her off me and she got thrown out of the club, kicking and screaming profanity at me all the way. I don't even know Bijou Phillips." After the brawl, Lenz took out a restraining order against Phillips and Johnson. (Page Six)

Presidential aspirations: Among the 10 candidates selected to compete in a fake presidential race on Showtime's reality show "American Candidate," created by documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler: Chrissy Gephardt, 31-year-old daughter of Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt, a Democrat who has twice run for the real presidency. Gephardt says her father "loved" her "campaign announcement," which she made in D.C. on Tuesday night. "He ... thought it was a great idea," she said. (Reliable Source)

Kennedy's dog days: The Boston Herald is reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy is shopping around a children's book written from the perspective of his dog, Splash. (Reliable Source)

Knee troubles: Britney Spears hurt her leg during a video shoot with Snoop Dogg in Queens and was rushed to a hospital, where an MRI scan revealed that she had cartilage floating around in her knee. It is hoped that arthroscopic surgery will alleviate the problem. (Associated Press)

The Lohan lowdown? Lindsay Lohan's father says he did not hit his brother-in-law with a shoe during their driveway scuffle the other night and that he'd only taken off his shoes in case he had to kick during their fight. (Lohan is a karate brown belt.) "He came up to me and swung with his right and missed. ... I punched him with my right hand. I had my ring on and that's what cut him," Michael Lohan explained. (N.Y. Daily News)

Money Quote:
A roommate of Enza Sambataro on Sambataro's new boyfriend, Ben Affleck: "[His] hairy stomach was all over my couch, and he has gross back hair." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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By Salon Staff

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