The Fix

Hilton sister gets hitched in quickie Vegas wedding, Jacko invites Sunday school kids to Neverland, and the Times whips Tom Wolfe's a-- into shape.

By Salon Staff
Published August 16, 2004 9:37AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Why did the TV-watching public never get a chance to see Dennis Franz straddling a steed in the network series "NYPD Mounted"? Now we'll get a chance to find out. On Monday night, ABC brings us a compilation of clips from that show and others that never made it onto the air, "The Best TV Shows That Never Were" (8 p.m. ET). Plus, Sacha Baron Cohen is on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (midnight, ABC).

Morning Briefing:
Not going for the gold: Pity poor Venus Williams and Andy Roddick, who on Sunday had to volley in front of sparse crowds at the Olympics. Apparently tennis simply isn't a big draw in Greece -- and ticket sales in general at the Athens Games aren't anything to write home about (2.9 million sold out of a target of 5 million), though a spokesman for the Olympic Committee says he's convinced things will pick up as the Games continue. Nevertheless, in an effort to ensure that the cameras don't pan over empty stadiums for the duration of the competition, the committee is reportedly considering giving away some tickets for free. (Agence France-Presse)

Always a bridesmaid: Paris Hilton's little sister, Nicky, all of 20 years old, wed her 33-year-old boyfriend, money manager Todd Andrew Meister, in a 3 a.m. ceremony at the Las Vegas Wedding Bureau and Vegas Chapel, which offers the cheapest weddings in town. "He's a longtime friend of the family," Couri Hay, a close friend of Nicky's parents, Kathy and Rick Hilton, told the New York Daily News. "I've seen him at Christmases and birthdays in Southampton, New York and Aspen. I know that Kathy and Rick really like him ... [It was] not an unreasonable Britney Spears moment." Yes, Paris was on hand to witness the nuptials, as was the sisters' party pal Bijou Phillips. (New York Daily News)

Jacko takes a break with the kiddies: Michael Jackson is expected at court today for a hearing related to the child molestation case brought against him in Santa Barbara, Calif. Though he is not required to attend the hearing, close friends say he wants "to keep on top of the case." Yesterday, to shore up his faith, he visited about 35 children at their Sunday school at the First AME Church in Los Angeles. Asked by one little girl if she and her fellow students could visit his Neverland ranch, Jackson replied, "You're welcome to come anytime." (N.Y. Daily News)

In case you wondered ... Paris Hilton -- before her sister's wedding -- paid a visit to a sleep-away camp in Roscoe, N.Y., to give campers a taste of the fabulous life. (She was paid for the visit, of course.) Asked by campers what it was like to be Paris Hilton, she replied, "It's so great." (Rush and Molloy)

Prudish Gray Lady: When the New York Times Book Review excerpts Tom Wolfe's upcoming novel about college life, "I Am Charlotte Simmons," it will delete the following phrases: "need some ass," "get some ass" and "get laid." In their place, the paper will substitute the demure words "sexual activity" in brackets. The book will also be excerpted, sans prim deletions, in Rolling Stone. (Page Six)

Heinz off: The world has heard plenty about John Kerry's stepsons Andre and Chris Heinz and his daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry, but what about his third stepson, H. John Heinz IV, the eldest of Teresa Heinz Kerry's boys? The Associated Press reports that the 37-year-old blacksmith, who lives with his wife and child in Bucks County, Pa., would prefer to be left alone by the curious media. "He operates a small Buddhist high school for troubled teens nearby, and makes reproduction ironwork in a studio on his secluded property, land he has conserved so it can never be developed," the AP reports, adding that he has asked friends not to talk to the press about him. (Associated Press)

Money Quote:
Golan Cipel, whose alleged pursuit of $50 million in hush money after an affair with New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey resulted in McGreevey's resignation from office: "It doesn't bother me that it is said I am gay, but I really am not. I'm straight. On the other hand, to accuse me of being an extortionist? Someone here has lost his mind." (Yediot Ahronot via AP)

-- Amy Reiter

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