The Fix

Ron Reagan calls Bush administration "a lie," and P.Diddy gets bling-napped during Larry King interview. Plus: Which singer's finger is now all weighed down with an 11-plus carat engagement ring?

Published July 29, 2004 9:15AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
Rip-roarin' Ron: Ron Reagan has written a 4,100-word essay for next month's Esquire tearing into President Bush -- and this time he doesn't stop at the stem cell debate. According to excerpts posted on the Drudge Report, Reagan hits hard, with statements about the Bush administration such as, "They traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on." (Drudge)

Jack on Marlon: Jack Nicholson writes a final tribute to his idol Marlon Brando in the latest Rolling Stone, saying that it was unfair for everyone to focus on Brando's weight instead of his hefty talent. Jack compares Brando to Picasso and says, "He had this extraordinary physical beauty and a power that was hard to define but completely undeniable." (IMDB)

Bling-bling sting: While P. Diddy was being interviewed by Larry King at the Democratic Convention, someone got into his jewelry stash at his Bad Boy Records offices and made off with millions in gold and diamonds. Police haven't made any arrests but suspect it's an inside job. (Launch)

Speaking of bling: NBA star Quentin Richardson popped a huge diamond -- 11-plus carats! -- on Brandy's finger the other evening and the two are now engaged. (E! Online)

Skewing young: Former Veep Al Gore and former Stanford Biz prof/entrepreneur Joel Hyatt are in the hiring stage for their new 24/7 cable-news venture, which aims to get the 18-to-34 demographic to care about news. Hyatt says the venture, to be based in San Francisco, will employ documentary and comedy formats and try for a tone that is "irreverent" and "bold." (SF Weekly)

--Karen Croft

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Turn On:
It's the final night of the "Democratic National Convention" (multiple channels; check local listings) on Thursday, and John Kerry will be giving his acceptance speech. And if you enjoyed seeing Clinton speak on Monday night, relive the heady days of the late '90s with "The E! True Hollywood Story: Bill Clinton: All the President's Women" (8 p.m. ET; E!).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Jacko trial pushed backo: Michael Jackson's child molestation trial has been postponed until Jan. 31. It had been scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, but California Judge Rodney Melville said, "It is apparent from discovery problems and the huge amount of material that the trial that I set was overly optimistic." (AFP)

Not burning Bush after all: Or at least not getting him where he lives. Michael Moore has canceled his plan to attend a screening of "Fahrenheit 9/11" in Crawford, Texas, a small town (pop. 705) just a few miles from where President Bush has his ranch. Moore had been invited to bring a copy of his film to the one-stoplight town by "Peace House," a gathering place for a group of local antiwar activists. His expected visit had touched off controversy in the small town. And though Moore did not give the group a reason for canceling, organizers aren't bothered. "We're going ahead with the movie," said one activist who organized the screening. "That was the plan anyway." (AFP)

Double ... make that triple dribbling: The name of the 20-year-old woman who has accused Kobe Bryant of rape was inadvertently disclosed for a third time by Colorado court officials on Thursday. The woman's last name was posted on the official court Web site in a two-page court order that was supposed to be sealed. The judge in the case has been considering a motion filed by the woman's lawyer -- after the second inadvertent disclosure of his client's name -- requesting a halt to the online posting of documents related to the case. (The Smoking Gun)

Coupling and uncoupling at the convention: Alexandra Kerry and John Cusack reportedly "kissed on the lips between puffs" while sharing a smoke outside the GQ party for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the convention earlier this week. But rumors that her sister, Vanessa, is an item with Ben Affleck are being hotly denied by Affleck cronies who say, "I assure you they're just friends." Which is not to say that Affleck is not available: His relationship with regular girl Enza Sambataro is apparently a thing of the past. "It's difficult. I meet people, but I feel like I'm this walking nightmare. You get photographed with me once at a baseball game, and The Enquirer will find out every dirty little thing that ever happened in your family's history," says the actor. "It's too much. Who wants that? If I saw me, I would turn the other way." (Rush and Molloy)

Oh, and also ... Donald Trump says he and NBC may try to milk the popularity of "The Apprentice" with a three-hour live finale to "The Apprentice 2," possibly filming in Radio City Music Hall or Lincoln Center (N.Y. Daily News) ... Rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, jailed for a 1999 shooting incident involving his former mentor, Sean "Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs, is giving interviews blaming Combs for letting him take the rap (Page Six) ... And rumors are circulating that Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow may be engaged (Page Six)

Money Quote:
Bono, at a tribute to Teddy Kennedy, joking about the F-word that got him into trouble with the FCC: "I met [Vice President] Dick Cheney at the Golden Globes and then I used an expletive." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

-- Amy Reiter

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