The Fix

Michael Moore gets sued for a million bucks -- and possibly disqualified from Oscar contention. Plus: Monica Lewinsky tackles the ethics of checkbook journalism.

By Salon Staff

Published August 3, 2004 9:04AM (EDT)

Afternoon Briefing:
Kissing and telling: Monica Lewinsky will be on a panel later this month at the Edinburgh TV Festival to talk about getting paid for a story. (In 1999 she was paid $400,000 for an exclusive with the U.K.'s Channel 4.) Another panelist will be Rebecca Loos, who cashed in on her story about an alleged affair with soccer star David Beckham. The discussion is being dubbed "Chequebook Versus Notebook" but there was no information on whether the panelists would be paid. (BBC)

Blame it on Castro: If Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" is disqualified from Oscar contention this year it may be because it showed on Cuban television within nine months of its theatrical release -- a no-no with the Academy. (TV Guide)

More Moore news: Michael Moore is being sued by the Bloomington, Ill., Pantagraph for allegedly "editing" a headline for use in "Fahrenheit 9/11." The paper says Moore used a headline from a letter to the editor, blew it up and portrayed it as a front-page headline proclaiming "Latest Florida Recount Shows Al Gore Won Election." The paper's reps are asking for $1 million in damages and say, "If Moore wants to 'edit' The Pantagraph, he should apply for a copy-editing job." (IMDB)

Ted, on a roll: Ted Turner told Charlie Rose Monday that when he said he was happy about the Time Warner-AOL merger (remember, he said he was as thrilled as he was the first time he had sex), he didn't mean it. He also writes a lengthy piece in this month's Washington Monthly called "My Beef with Big Media" in which he says, "The role of the government ought to be like the role of a referee in boxing, keeping the big guys from killing the little guys. If the little guy gets knocked down, the referee should send the big guy to his corner, count the little guy out, and then help him back up." (Washington Monthly)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Gear up for the Summer Olympics with a bit of history: "The Real Olympics" (9 p.m. ET, PBS), a two-part special, traces the evolution of the Games from their ancient origins. For serious "Six Feet Under" fans, "A Family Undertaking" (10 p.m. ET, P.O.V.) takes an in-depth look at the increasingly popular home-funeral trend. And for those who still haven't gotten enough of Bill Clinton can catch him on "The Late Show with David Letterman" (11:30 p.m. ET, CBS).

-- Amy Reiter

Morning Briefing:
Radio on TV: Al Franken has signed a deal with the Sundance TV channel to bring his Air America radio show to cable TV. On Sept. 7, Sundance will broadcast one hour of highlights from Franken's three-hour weekly show, "The Al Franken Show," three times in the 24 hours after the radio show is aired -- at least through the presidential election in November, and possibly beyond. No word on how the video element will be handled. (Reuters)

Post sees ghost Page Six reported over the weekend seeing NBC programming guru Brandon Tartikoff enjoying a meal at the L.A. eatery Mr. Chow with his wife, Lily, and a few others and being greeted by Sylvester Stallone. Trouble is, Tartikoff died of cancer in August 1997. Page Six today offers a "big thank-you to all the readers who called and e-mailed to point out" the mistake. Rival gossip Lloyd Grove, of the New York Daily News, took the opportunity to quip, "No word on whether Vice President Gephardt was at the next table." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown and Page Six)

Don't blame Nick? Paris Hilton, recently photographed with a big fat lip and bruises all over her arms, is declining to name ex-boyfriend Nick Carter as the source of all that black and blue. Backstreet Boy Carter, recently spotted with an arm bruise of his own, has denied any responsibility for Hilton's welts. (Rush and Molloy)

Bobble-head drops gun: Arnold Schwarzenegger has dropped his lawsuit against the Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Co. after it agreed to stop making a bobble-head doll of the California governor toting a massive "Terminator"-like gun. A new version of the doll, which the governor will not oppose, will be firearm-free. The company will also donate a portion of the profits of the Arnold bobble-head to charity. (N.Y. Daily News)

Mary-Kate's Star treatment: American Media, publisher of the Star and the National Enquirer, is backing away from its allegations that Mary-Kate Olsen was being treated for cocaine addiction, rather than anorexia. The tabloid publishers appear now to be playing nicely with Olsen's handlers, who recently provided the papers with flattering photos of Mary-Kate and her sister, Ashley, relaxing aboard a private plane. But AMI insists its wasn't wrong, exactly, "The cocaine story is still true, but it was old news," a company spokesman said. "She was always being treated for anorexia and cocaine." Ah. (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
Halle Berry on plastic surgery: "I see women in their 30s getting plastic surgery, pulling this up and tucking that back. It's like a slippery slope -- once you start you pull one thing one way and then you think, 'Oh my God, I've got to do the other side.'" (The Daily Mail via ANI)

The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir -- speaking to fans from the stage in Boston on Saturday, just before playing "Johnny B. Goode" -- on Ralph Nader: "Don't vote for Nader. I know him. He's an a--hole." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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