The Fix

David Foster Wallace feels lobsters' pain, Peggy Noonan takes leave to work for Bush campaign, and Robert De Niro becomes an honorary Italian citizen.


Salon Staff
August 5, 2004 1:03PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Bruce does more than sing: Not only did Bruce Springsteen go on "Nightline" Wednesday to announce the concert tour he's joining in October to help get out the vote against Bush, he also wrote an editorial for the New York Times endorsing John Kerry for president. Noting that no one has all the answers, Springsteen said that at least Kerry and John Edwards are "sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions." Noting that the Bush tax cuts favor "well-to-do guitar players" like himself, he said the increasing division of wealth was threatening to destroy America's "social contract." (AFP via Yahoo)

David will have a salad: In a 6,000-word story in the August Gourmet, David Foster Wallace waxes scientific, passionate and philosophically bioethical about the boiling of lobsters for the pleasure of people. He concludes, "The lobster, in other words, behaves very much as you or I would behave if we were plunged into boiling water." Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl said that she was a tad surprised to get such a piece but says in her editor's note that it is "hilarious, thought-provoking, very uncomfortable." (Boston Globe)

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Noonan signs on: Peggy Noonan is taking "three months' unpaid leave" from the Wall Street Journal column she writes to -- guess what? -- work for Bush's campaign! She decided that this was the most important election in recent memory and that she would take a break to see what she could do to help. She writes in her farewell-for-now column: "Since peace was wrenched off the tracks on 9/11, deep in my heart I have pulled for President Bush, Vice President Cheney, members of the current administration, and Republicans in the Senate and the House. With the decline of the Democratic Party I have become convinced there is a greater chance we will win the war if the Republican Party wins the election." (WSJ)

Bravo, Roberto! Robert De Niro will get a special prize at this year's Venice Film Festival, and it has nothing to do with movies. The organizers of the fest are working with officials in Italy and the United States to grant De Niro honorary Italian citizenship, explaining, "He has grounds for a claim through his great-grandparents who emigrated to America a hundred years ago." (IMDb)

Speaking of De Niro: George Clooney is pulling a De Niro -- not by becoming an honorary Italian citizen (even though he owns a villa there). He's following in Bob's "Raging Bull" footsteps and gaining 40 pounds for his next role, CIA agent Robert Baer in the movie "Syriana," about the Middle East after the Cold War. (Sky News)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
Everything you wanted to know about the Crystal family but were afraid to ask: Billy Crystal's daughter, Lindsay Crystal, brings you a documentary about her 88-year-old great-uncle, artist Bernhardt Crystal: "My Uncle Berns" (7:30 p.m. ET, HBO). Also on Thursday, Pamela Anderson hosts the finale of the weeklong miniseries "The Ultimate Hollywood Blonde" (10 p.m. ET, E!) and, in a similar vein, Marilyn Chambers, Larry Flynt, Ron Jeremy and Annie Sprinkle discuss porn's heyday back in the '70s in "When Rated X Ruled the World" (11 p.m. ET, VH1).

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-- Amy Reiter

Morning Briefing:
Fouled out? The name leaks and revealed allegations about her sexual history may be affecting the resolve of the 20-year-old Colorado woman who has accused Kobe Bryant of rape. The trial is slated to begin in three weeks, but this week her lawyers appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to discuss her predicament. "She's obviously got to rethink what she's going to do," her lawyer L. Lin Wood said. "This young girl for over a year has stood up with resolve and with courage, despite the fact that her reputation has been smeared, her privacy has been invaded." Another of her lawyers, John Clune, indicated that his client may opt for a civil case instead of --- or in addition to -- the criminal trial. "Whether it proceeds criminally or civilly or both, justice is going to be had for this young woman," said Clune. (N.Y. Post)

He who must not be named, named: Ralph Fiennes has been cast as Voldemort in the fourth Harry Potter flick, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which will be directed by Mike Newell and hit theaters in November 2005. Also in the cast: Miranda Richardson as a gossip columnist and Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody. (The Guardian)

Just another brick in the ... Pink Floyd's concept album/movie "The Wall" is headed to Broadway, courtesy of Harvey Weinstein and a few of his closest friends. "I am thrilled to be involved with bringing 'The Wall' to Broadway and to give new generations the opportunity to see this legendary show," Weinstein said at a press conference on Wednesday. "I am also delighted to be working with music geniuses [and co-producers] Tommy Mottola and Roger Waters, who are sure to make the music rock again." The show will likely open in late 2005. (Empire Online)

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Oh and also ... When Natalie Portman showed up in a "Vote for John Kerry" T-shirt to discuss "Garden State" on "The Charlie Rose Show," "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show," only Rose allowed her message to be seen on the air (Page Six) ... Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" -- infamous for its oral sex scene featuring Gallo and Chloe Sevigny -- will be released in theaters on August 27 (Page Six) ... And Laura Bush says she feels Teresa Heinz Kerry's pain in the whole "Shove it" debacle: "It's hard when your husband's running for president. It's hard to be scrutinized and to hear the criticisms, and I think that's really what the fact of the matter is in what she said." (CNN)

-- Amy Reiter

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