The Fix

Ann Coulter, spurned by USA Today? Michael Jackson, spurned by Nicole Kidman? Plus: The reality show "Amish in the City" is headed your way -- and the critics love it!


Salon Staff
July 26, 2004 1:04PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Blogging is democratic: Mike McCurry, who was President Clinton's press secretary, was heard at a media party in Boston saying that "Internet blogging is becoming for the Democrats what talk radio was for the Republicans." (Media Nation)

Ann canned? Drudge is reporting that USA Today killed Ann Coulter's first daily column from the Democratic Convention, which she filed Sunday night, because it was "unusable" and "not funny." (Drudge)

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Gay TV: TV programming is coming out this fall, with MTV's LOGO and NBC-Universal's Trio announcing their lineups. NBC's OUTzone will feature a Dame Edna marathon as well as films and specials. LOGO is working with Cher and daughter Chastity on a show called "Family Outing" and Kathy Griffin will play a cruise director in "Fantastic Voyage" -- a real-life "Love Boat" in the Caribbean. And another reality show for LOGO is called "Do I?" -- which will put gay and lesbian couples together with a "relationship expert." (365gay.com)

Beyond "The Beverly Hillbillies": "Amish in the City" sounds like the punch line to a joke about the newest reality show, but the 10-parter that brings 11 young Amish people to Hollywood was screened for critics and they liked it! After being denounced -- sight unseen -- by some, the show is now being touted as the first in a new wave of kinder, gentler reality fare. The show premieres Wednesday on UPN. (Christian Science Monitor)

Life is like high school: Michael Jackson needed a date to the MTV Music Awards, so his people called Nicole Kidman's people to ask if she would go with him. Said Nicole, "I keep thinking of those photograhs of Michael in a shocking wig at Disneyland looking ridiculous. So call me crazy, but it just didn't tempt me to want to accept." (IMDB)

Mary-Kate goes home: After six weeks in a facility being treated for an eating disorder, Mary-Kate Olsen is home and feeling fine, according to her spokesman, who said she would be getting ready for her freshman year at NYU this fall. (CNN)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Chances are good you'll want to watch some of the Democratic National Convention coverage Monday night, but who will you choose to watch it with: Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer and Jim Axelrod (10 p.m. ET; CBS); Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert and Brian Williams (10 p.m. ET; NBC); or Peter Jennings (10 p.m. ET; ABC)? Or, there's the Discovery Health Channel's special on "When Anesthesia Fails" (9 p.m. ET; DHC), featuring stories about anesthesia wearing off during surgery.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Moore Money! "Fahrenheit 9/11" has just crossed the $100 million mark in box-office take-in -- the first document ever to earn that much money. The movie cost $6 million to produce and less than $15 million to promote. "If you had told me when we were going through all the pre-distribution problems with Disney that this film would gross more than any other Disney film this year," Moore said in a Sunday morning conference call. "I don't even know how to respond to that." How about ... ka-ching? (Variety)

Nader on Moore: Michael Moore may be fat and happy, but a certain presidential candidate thinks the emphasis may be a little too strongly on the former. "I've been at him for years, saying, 'You've got to lose weight,'" Nader said of the "Fahrenheit 9/11" director, who supported his presidential campaign in the last election. "Now he's doubled. Private exhortations aren't working. It's extremely serious. He's over 300 pounds. He's like a giant beach ball." (Washington Post via Page Six)

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Sneak preview: What will Ron Reagan have to say in his speech about stem cell research at the Democratic Convention this week? "It's not sucking fetuses out of wombs," Reagan tells the New York Daily News. "Did you know you can harvest stem cells from your arm? And it's not because my father had Alzheimer's disease. That's not something that seems very amenable to a cure from stem cell research, in any case. But this is something that will revolutionize medicine." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Bond, old Bond: Is Pierce Brosnan too old to play 007? After the actor griped that the Bond flicks were getting too "formulaic" -- and began stumping for more plot-centric and less special-effects-laden material -- Bond producers are said to have come around to his way of thinking. But word is they're also thinking Bond, younger Bond, and may replace the 51-year-old Brosnan with Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Colin Firth, Clive Owen, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Gerard Butler or Cuba Gooding Jr. (Rush and Molloy)

Another rumor quashed: Rush Limbaugh and Peggy Noonan are, alas, not a couple, despite the fact that people spotted them giving each other a big hug at the Four Seasons the other night. Noonan says she's "flattered" that people would think she and Limbaugh were dating, and Limbaugh's people say the two are just "old friends." (Rush and Molloy)

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Love's latest: Fresh from her stay at an East Coast hospital for undisclosed reasons, Courtney Love turned herself in to the L.A.P.D. on Friday, where she had a warrant against her for skipping court dates. She was released after posting $150,000 bail. (Aversion.com)

Money Quote:
Variety staff writer Brian Lowry on how to make the conventions more prime-time-worthy: "Reality shows might light the path toward how to transform the conventions into a ready-for-primetime player ... For starters, each convention could pick some loudmouth -- say, Pat Buchanan or James Carville -- and vote them out of the hall. Catering to local TV, organizers then could stage a high-speed chase outside the venue, or maybe through it. Introducing a game element, NBC could unleash obnoxious 'Access Hollywood' anchor Billy Bush (a George W. Bush cousin) on the convention floors, seeing how long attendees can endure talking to him as a clock runs in the screen's corner. Perhaps even fix up delegates from different states and send them out on a dinner date, returning the next night to see whether they hit it off. (Preferably said delegates will be single, but with the Democrats, you never know.)" Now there's an idea. (Variety)

-- Amy Reiter

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