The Fix

Britney Spears' mom accused of running over a photographer, petition for Springsteen concert rakes in the signatures, and Christopher Hitchens rips into Michael Moore.

Salon Staff
June 22, 2004 1:37PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Snap, crash! Britney Spears' mom has been accused of running over a photographer the other day in Santa Monica, Calif. Britney and her mother were reportedly driving away from a pet shop when a photographer jostling to get a picture of the singer says he got hit by their car and went down. Police were called to the scene. The photographer did not break any bones, and Spears' management issued the following statement: "If anyone was injured by accident, it was caused by the paparazzi's own conduct." (The Sun via WENN)

Catch them if you can: In a plan to save what the film industry estimates is billions a year in lost revenue, studios and movie theater owners are offering theater employees $500 if they report people using recording devices to tape movies. (WJAC)


Don't sugarcoat it: Christopher Hitchens has let loose on Michael Moore's movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," saying it is an example of how the left goes wrong -- both in production values and substantive argument. Besides comparing Moore to Leni Riefenstahl, he says the film is "a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of 'dissenting' bravery." (Slate)

Lollapaloser? Is it the end of an era when you can't sell tickets to a summer music festival headlined by Sonic Youth, Morrissey, P.J. Harvey and the Flaming Lips? That's what happened, and the concert -- which was supposed to travel to 16 U.S. cities starting July 14, as of now is a no-go. (The Gate)

Draft Bruce: A New York concert promoter is not giving up on his dream of producing a show with Bruce Springsteen on Sept. 1 as counter-programming to the Republican National Convention, which should be nominating President Bush that day in the Big Apple. Andrew Rasiej, founder of Irving Plaza in NYC, is gathering signatures (he has 50,000 so far since he started his Web site 10 days ago) on a petition to draft the Boss as well as REM, the Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana and others. (Sky News)


-- Karen Croft

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Turn On:
The plastic-surgery-enhanced, over-the-top, soap-opera tackiness of "Nip/Tuck'" (10 p.m. ET; FX) returns for its second season on Tuesday night. Blurring the line between documentary and police drama -- helped along with narration by über-cop Dennis Franz -- "NYPD 24/7" (10 p.m. ET; ABC) is a true-life series that follows a few members of New York's police force over a period of 16 months.


-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
And you thought that New York Times review was bad: The Associated Press has published an early review of Bill Clinton's "My Life." And? Um ... reviewer Jerry Schwartz didn't really like it too much. Of the "multitudes" of "completely irrelevant" FOBs mentioned in the book, Schwartz writes, "None of them comes alive, not even the main characters of this badly conceived, flatly written, poorly edited book. Not Hillary Rodham Clinton, who comes off as a cardboard saint who is said to be smart and tough and good. Not special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the book's villain, who comes off as pure evil -- not really a human being at all, more of an incubus. And not even Bill Clinton himself." Schwartz continues, "Part of the problem is that 'My Life' is relentlessly chronological, especially the second half of the book, which is devoted to his presidency. Almost every paragraph describes another meeting with a foreign leader or the signing of another bill or delivery of another speech. The effect is mind-numbing. It's like being locked in a small room with a very gregarious man who insists on reading his entire appointment book, day by day, beginning in 1946." Ouch. (Associated Press)


Speaking of people reviewing Clinton's life ... Monica Lewinsky declined to do so this past weekend. In Little Rock, Ark., for a wedding, the former White House intern was invited to tour the unfinished Clinton Presidential Library along with other out-of-town wedding guests. "They went. She didn't," Lewinsky's publicist said. (Page Six)

FOBs flock to Met fete: Who showed up to Clinton's big book gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Monday night? Well, Clinton, Hillary, Chelsea and her fella, Ian Klaus, of course, and also Barbara Walters, Star Jones, Andy Rooney, Don Hewitt, Charlie Rose, Ken Burns, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Judy Collins, Phoebe Snow, Maurice Tempelsman, Toni Morrison, Lauren Bacall, Natalie Portman (in shorts and high heels), George Stepanopoulos, Al Franken, Winona Ryder, Larry King, Paula Zahn, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Anna Wintour, Walter Mosley, Anna Deavere Smith, Fran Lebowitz, Pete Hamill and Calvin Trillin. Oh, and about 970 other people, too. (Page Six)

Lesson of the day: If you're planning to run for public office, you might not want to marry a famous actress, take her to S&M clubs and try to get her to perform sex acts on you while other people watch, and then get a messy divorce from her. Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan, of Illinois, may have learned that lesson the hard way. Court documents the couple has fought to keep private contain allegations by his ex, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan ("Boston Public," "Star Trek: Voyager") -- made during a hearing about the custody of the couple's young son -- that Ryan demanded that she accompany him to sex clubs in New Orleans, New York and Paris. The New York club, she said, had "cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling." Ryan admitted only that he did take his wife to "one avant-garde nightclub in Paris which was more than either one of us felt comfortable with. We left and vowed never to return." Despite controversy over the allegations, Ryan says he'll continue his run for Senate. (Associated Press)


Who doesn't have a bun in the oven? Jennifer Lopez, according to her friends. "Jennifer is not pregnant," said a "close friend" of the actress. Who does? Liv Tyler, according to People magazine, and Claudia Schiffer. Both babies are due this winter. (Rush and Molloy)

Money Quote:
Martha Stewart, sharing her feelings with a group of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia shareholders at a meeting on Monday: "I miss my old job terribly." (N.Y. Daily News)

-- Amy Reiter


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