The Fix

Judge suggests that Lil' Kim could be the next Roman Polanski, the Who top list of rock excess, and why Tina Brown prefers New York to London.

Salon Staff
June 21, 2004 1:04PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Tina hearts New York: In a quirky Gothamist interview, Tina Brown chats about why she is doing TV (because there isn't a magazine she'd want to edit right now) and why she loves New York more than her native London (because the English "have rain in their voices" and New Yorkers have "money, gusto, competition" in theirs). She also admits to having splurged on a Carolina Herrera pink leather jacket and says she would like to have been cast as Lily Bart in the film "House of Mirth." (Gothamist)

I don't want my MTV: George Lois, the designer who made Esquire covers into works of art in the 1960s and who created the "I Want My MTV" campaign for the music network in 1982, now says that he thinks MTV is "total garbage." He also notes that magazine covers today are all the same and instead should be "vicsceral, emotional, intellectual ... and you can't get that looking at a picture of Tom Cruise." (I Want Media)


Too much is not enough: A BBC radio station has just announced a Who's Who of rock excess and the Who top the list, due to their long history of drug use and the rumors that they drove a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool. Other bands who made the cut include dance band KLF, for burning money as an art statement, and Ozzy Osbourne, for urinating on an Alamo memorial -- among other memorable acts. (Sky News)

Lil' Kim can't leave: A judge has ruled that rap starlet Lil' Kim can't perform a concert in the Caribbean that's scheduled for later this month because she would be a flight risk. She is facing federal perjury charges related to testimony she gave about a gang shootout in New York in 2001. Lil' Kim's lawyer argued that the star wouldn't run because "she's a well-known performer" but the judge wasn't having it, replying, "Tell that to Roman Polanski." (E! Online)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
You know you loved her in "Angels in America." Or was it "The Hours," "Adaptation" or "One True Thing"? See Meryl Streep honored with the "2004 AFI Life Achievement Award" (9 p.m. ET; USA). There's just something refreshingly innocent and cornball about the almost ironically named reality show "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?" (10 p.m. ET; NBC), which has its season premiere on Monday.

-- Scott Lamb


Morning Briefing:
Clinton clash: Those of you wishing that Dan Rather's interview with Bill Clinton last night on "60 Minutes" had been just a touch more confrontational and combative might want to find a friend across the pond to tape an interview the best-selling ex-POTUS did with the BBC, to air in the U.K. on Tuesday night. According to the London Telegragh, Clinton became "visibly angry and rattled" after interviewer David Dimbleby suggested that his contrition about the Monica Lewinsky affair might be less than genuine. "As outbursts go, it is not just some flash that is over in an instant. It is something substantial and sustained," a BBC executive said. "It ... will give the public a different insight into the president's character. It will leave them wondering whether he is as contrite as he says he is about past events." (London Telegraph)

Speaking of less-than-genuine denials ... It turns out that Sen. Hillary Clinton did consider running for president this year after all, but decided against it because she "wanted to honor her commitment to the people of New York" and complete her Senate term, her husband tells London's Guardian newspaper. But, he says, "We have no idea what the future holds. If, you know, eight years from now or sometime in the future she got a chance to serve, I have no doubt about her skills. She is the ablest person I've ever known in public life. And she does some things better than I do, better than I ever do. She is very well organized, she is very strong ... I have no doubt she could do it ... Who knows what will happen in the future?" (The Guardian)


Perhaps Mrs. C is also a better writer: In a front-page review of Clinton's "My Life" in Sunday's New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called the book "sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull -- the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history." Kakutani says the memoir "reads like a messy pastiche of everything that Mr. Clinton ever remembered and wanted to set down in print; he even describes the time he got up at 4 a.m. to watch the inaugural ceremonies for Nigeria's new president on TV. There are endless litanies of meals eaten, speeches delivered, voters greeted and turkeys pardoned." In fact, she writes, "In many ways, the book is a mirror of Mr. Clinton's presidency: lack of discipline leading to squandered opportunities; high expectations, undermined by self-indulgence and scattered concentration." Not a rave. (N.Y. Times)

A true underdog story: Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn's "Dodgeball" pummeled Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' "The Terminal" at the box office over the weekend, pulling in $30 million to "The Terminal's" $18.7 million. Jackie Chan's "Around the World in 80 Days," meanwhile, took in a paltry $6.8 million. One industry exec explained the "Dodgeball" dunk thus: "People were ready to laugh." (Reuters)

Attention, Michael Moore: Ray Bradbury wants his title back. The author of "Fahrenheit 451" says he'd like Moore to rename his documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- and he wouldn't mind an apology, either. "He didn't ask my permission," Bradbury told the Associated Press. "That's not his novel, that's not his title, so he shouldn't have done it." The author says he'd rather not take Moore to court over the title heist and would prefer "to settle this as two gentlemen, if he'll shake hands with me and give me back my book and title." (Associated Press)


Good news for Winona: The California judge presiding over Winona Ryder's shoplifting case reduced the actress's felony convictions to misdemeanors and is no longer requiring her probation to be supervised, allowing her greater ease in working as an actress. According to Ryder's lawyer, the judge "didn't want to do anything to damage her career ... Eventually, this case will be expunged. There will be nothing on her record." To pay society back for her ... um ... misdemeanors, Ryder has completed 480 hours of community service at the City of Hope Medical Center. (Associated Press)

If the Hiltons can do it: Denise Rich -- songwriting wife of Clinton pardonee Marc Rich -- says she's thinking of starring in her own reality TV show. "People keep coming over to me and saying, 'When are you going to do a reality show?' It's many different people from all walks of life," she says. "A show would, first of all, be a lot of fun, and it could help me with my G&P Foundation and my philanthropic endeavors and also help me with my music career -- that kind of exposure is always good. I just need to develop a concept." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Gasping for air: The Wall Street Journal reports that liberal radio station Air America was running out of money even before it ever hit the airwaves. Though some investors and executives, as well as on-air talent, had been told that the company had raised upwards of $30 million, in truth the company's owners, Evan M. Cohen and Rex Sorensen, had raised only $6 million -- and had blown through it and racked up $2 million in debt within six weeks of the station's launch. Investors were also told that TV producer Norman Lear had coughed up $2 million and had pledged another $2 million and that Laurie David, wife of Larry, had handed over $2 million with the promise of $4 million more. In fact, though each had been approached, neither had invested. Adding to the station's money troubles were the big bucks it had promised to star talker Al Franken. "As the network's star, Mr. Franken had negotiated a pay package valued at more than $1 million a year, according to a copy of the contract viewed by The Wall Street Journal," the paper reports. But when Franken asked for proof of payment, "[acting chief operating officer David] Goodfriend went to Mr. Franken's Manhattan apartment to meet Mr. Franken's wife, who manages her husband's finances. Over the Frankens' kitchen table, the two tore open an envelope sent over by Mr. Cohen that they thought was going to contain proof of the payment. All they found was a stack of irrelevant documents." Franken, whose show is actually doing quite well in the markets in which it airs, says, however, he bears Cohen no ill will, adding, he "somehow got us on the air. For that, I guess I owe him some gratitude." (Wall Street Journal)


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-- Amy Reiter

Salon Staff

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