The Fix

The MTV Video Music Award nominees are announced, and Ben Affleck hints at run for office. Plus: Did Michael Moore drop the F-bomb and C-word on the convention floor?

Published July 27, 2004 9:48AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
Missy in Miami: The MTV Video Music Award nominations were announced today in Miami by Missy Elliott and Usher. Jay-Z got six, OutKast, No Doubt and Beyoncé got five each and everyone started wondering what P.R. stunt would be pulled at the Aug. 29 ceremony to try and outdo last year's Britney-Madonna smooch. (Local 10)

Fair, balanced? Fox News didn't stop "The O'Reilly Factor" while "The Star Spangled Banner" was being sung, gospel-style, Monday night by Bebe Winans. Drudge quotes a CNN executive as quipping, "I guess they were too busy putting on their flag pins to stop for the anthem." (Drudge)

More Floridian flotsam: John Stubbings finally won the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest after having tried seven times before at the annual Key West festival in honor of the writer who lived in that city in the 1930s. The festival events include a running of the bulls without bulls, an arm-wrestling contest and a key lime pie-eating contest. (CNN)

Bennifer again? Rumors abound that Ben Affleck is hot and heavy with Jennifer Garner, but their people are saying no way. Meanwhile, Affleck was coy but intriguingly positive when Katie Couric asked him if he'd ever run for office. The two were having a burger during a tour of Boston Affleck gave Couric as part of the "Today" show's Tuesday morning convention coverage. As he munched his meat, Ben said that politics had always been an interest and that he didn't want to be an actor forever. (TV Guide)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
On Tuesday night's "Things I Hate About You" (9 p.m. ET; Bravo), Mo Rocca mocks Melissa and Dan as the couple takes their grievances public. Also: Before becoming a filmmaker, Steve James (who made "Hoop Dreams") was a "Big Brother" to an 11-year-old named Stevie Fielding; "Stevie" (8 p.m. ET; Cinemax) is James' documentary about coming back into the adult Stevie's troubled life.

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Teresa, Teresa, Teresa ...: For ongoing coverage of the would-be first lady's controversial comments, check out Salon's War Room '04.

So just what did Ann Coulter say in her column banned by USA Today? "Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do," Coulter begins ... and goes on from there. You can read the whole column on Coulter's Web site -- or read it with the USA Today editor's comments here. Also, USA Today has confirmed that Jonah Goldberg will replace Coulter in commenting on the Democratic convention and, yes, Michael Moore will be penning a daily column for the paper from the Republican convention next month. The paper says it will hold Moore to the same standards it held Coulter and its other columnists to. "My guess is they will 'get' his humor," sniped Coulter. (Human Events Online,, USA Today)

Whose big idea was the Coulter thing? USA Today's 36-year-old Op-Ed page editor, John Siniff, who said: "I've had this job two months and this was my first big idea." (N.Y. Observer)

He said, they said: Several sources at CNN say that Michael Moore refused to hand in his floor credential after a testy interview on CNN's "American Morning" at the convention on Monday. They also say he dropped the F-bomb and uttered the C-word when a booker for the show tried to get the pass back. Moore, for his part says, "Oh, my God, I never use that kind of language. It's a complete lie." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Why is Whoopi Goldberg not at the convention? One "well-placed source" says it's because the Kerry camp is worried that she might bash Bush, as she did recently at the Radio City fundraiser for the campaign. But Goldberg's people say she's just on vacation. "She has never really attended the conventions," says her spokesman. "She didn't go when Bill Clinton was nominated." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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