The Fix

Schwarzenegger makes play for prime-time convention slot, Barbara Walters bemoans ubiquity of Paris Hilton, and Ron Reagan's not letting up on Bush.

Published June 24, 2004 9:00AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
Star power: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he'll campaign for President Bush in California, but won't travel to do so. "If I start flying around and not spending time here, it could backfire big time," he says, adding that he does expect to be invited to speak at this summer's Republican National Convention in New York City. "If they're smart, they'll have me obviously in prime time," he says. (AFP)

The passion of the father: One of Mel Gibson's new projects is directing the pilot for a TV show called "Savages" about a single dad raising five sons. The story is loosely based on Gibson's own brood of seven, but the father will be played by David Carradine. (Ananova)

The shows must go on: The fundraising concerts for John Kerry that had been scheduled for early June but postponed because of Ronald Reagan's death are to go on starting tonight. Thursday's concert in Los Angeles will be headlined by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, with Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro in attendance. Then, on July 8 in New York the show will feature Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band and Mary J Blige. Ticket prices reportedly range from $250 to $25,000. (BBC)

Barbara's view: In an interview about the state of news and celebrity journalism Barbara Walters let it all hang out recently, saying journalists don't ask enough follow-up questions of politicians, America has "lost respect" for political figures and that when she steps down in September as co-anchor of "20/20" she won't miss going after the "big get." She added, "Even with the hideousness of the other parts of the world, we still seem to be in the throes of [celebrity culture]. People would still like to see Paris Hilton rather than Paris, France." (Hollywood Reporter)

Reagan on Bush: Ron Reagan, son of the Ronald, let it all hang out as well, in an interview with Larry King. He said our entry into Iraq was a "terrible foreign policy error" that we "lied our way into" and that his father would have concentrated on going after Osama bin Laden. He also said that President Bush's emphasis on religion worries him and the fact that this administration restricts federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is "profoundly anti-intellectual and inhumane." (AFP)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Bill Clinton's been busy these days, and while there's little chance that he'll go off on "Larry King Live" (9 p.m. ET; CNN) like he did with a recent BBC interviewer, it's worth checking in just to be sure. If you've already seen "Fahrenheit 9/11" but you need more Moore, IFC is running his film "The Big One" (8 p.m. ET; IFC) followed by a "Fahrenheit 9/11 Special" (9:30 p.m. ET; IFC).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Second opinion: The New York Times has seen fit to publish a second review of Bill Clinton's "My Life" -- this one by novelist Larry McMurtry and considerably more favorable than Michiko Kakutani's front-page rip last Sunday. "William Jefferson Clinton's 'My Life' is, by a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography -- no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight years," writes the Pulitzer Prize-winning author in a review running on the Times' Web site under the headline "Confessions of a Policy Wonk" (it will not appear in the New York Times Book Review until July 4). McMurtry also calls the book a "big puffy plum cake of an autobiography" -- and he means that in a good way -- and writes of those who've criticized the former POTUS, "The very press that wanted to discredit him and perhaps even run him out of town instead made him a celebrity, a far more expensive thing than a mere president. Clinton's now up there with Madonna." Take that, Michiko? (N.Y. Times)

Meanwhile ... Not only is Clinton's book selling like hotcakes, it's also boosted sales of Hillary Clinton's "Living History." The paperback edition of the senator's book is now back up to No. 5 on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list. The hardcover edition is lurking at No. 20. (N.Y. Daily News)

Also looking for a little P.R. bounce: Paula Jones says she wants to debate Bill Clinton. "You know, this man -- something's wrong with him, I'm telling you," Jones said during a radio interview with Sean Hannity this week. "If we could just have a public forum somewhere, I would just like to meet him face-to-face on national TV ... He was guilty [of sexual harassment] -- he knows he was." (Hannity via Page Six)

Speaking of sexual harassment allegations ... Two recently dismissed editors of Billboard magazine -- former editor in chief Keith Girard and senior editor Samantha Chang -- have filed a $29 million lawsuit against the magazine's publisher John J. Kilcullen, executive editor Ken Schlager and VNU Business Media chief operating officer Howard Lander, among others, alleging that "gender and race-based discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliatory firings, intra-office sabotage, and other wrongdoing ... took place in the offices of the music industry's leading trade publication." Girard and Chang contend that they "found themselves in a newsroom culture in which corporate management readily sacrificed editorial integrity for the sake of financial interests, [and] sexual philandering among senior and junior-level staff members was not only condoned but encouraged." What's more, Schlager, they say, "maintained a green phallic vibrator, of the type normally intended for sexual use, in full view on a shelf in his office" and periodically took it down to demonstrate its functionality. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Dr. Zimmerman, we presume: Bob Dylan accepted an honorary doctorate of music degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland's oldest university, on Wednesday. He was honored for his "outstanding contribution to musical and literary culture." (Associated Press)

Moore headaches: The Federal Election Commission may block Michael Moore from advertising "Fahrenheit 9/11" on TV or radio after July 30. The commission's general counsel contends that it may violate the new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, which prohibits corporate-funded ads that refer to a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election. The FEC will consider the matter when it meets today, and its ruling may also affect the promotion of other political documentaries set for release, such as "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War," "The Corporation" and John Sayles' "Silver City," as well as the recently released "The Hunting of the President." (The Hill)

Money Quote:
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a gay pride party he hosted this week: "People ask me if I'm L, G, B or T. I tell them that I am 'S&M' -- straight and mayor." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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