The Fix

What does Janet Jackson's exposed breast have to do with Iraq? Jewish groups worried some won't get "Da Ali G Show" joke. Plus: Schwarzenegger's hair guy dismisses weekly touch-up talk and Julia Roberts holds forth on pregnancy.

By Salon Staff
Published August 23, 2004 9:23AM (EDT)

Turn On:
If you're in the mood to take a break from all that Olympics watching (8 p.m. ET, NBC; Monday night highlights include the beginning of the decathlon competition and the finals in track and field, individual-event gymnastics and weightlifting -- and more beach volleyball, of course), you can click over to the History Channel, which is airing "Targeted: Osama Bin Laden" (8 p.m. ET), about the U.S. government's thus far ill-fated pursuit of the man behind the 9/11 attacks.

Morning Briefing:
Sounds plausible: Janet Jackson has given an interview to Genre magazine in which, according to managing editor Mike Slezak, she expresses the belief that the Bush administration used her Super Bowl breast brouhaha to shift the public's focus away from the going's-on in Iraq. (Genre via Drudge Report)

Bush vote, DOA: On Sunday's episode of HBO's "Six Fee Under," David Fisher, the gay youngest son of the show's nuclear, and undertaking, family, argues for marriage with his partner Keith, "So we can say all those 'forevers' and 'no-matter-whats.'" Keith counters: "You're in my will, I'm in yours. We basically are married, even if the law refuses to recognize it. Then again, I refuse to recognize most of the Bush administration, so I guess it all evens out." (HBO)

Don't get it dept.:According to the New York Post, the British government and the U.K.'s Jewish Board of Deputies are "investigating" comic Sacha Baron Cohen for a recent performance on another HBO Sunday show, "Da Ali G Show." In this particular episode, Cohen portrays one of his three main characters, Borat, a TV reporter from Kazakhstan, who pretends to be trying to become a country western singer. In the process, he manages to dupe an audience at a rural bar in Arizona into singing along with him -- enthusiastically -- to a phony song called "Throw the Jew Down the Well." (Sample lyrics: "Throw the Jew down the well/ So my country can be free/ You must grab him by his horns/ Then we have a big party.") What could happen after all this "investigating" of Cohen (who, by the way, is Jewish) is unclear -- but the Anti-Defamation League is also bothered by the show. "While we understand this scene was an attempt to show how easily a group of ordinary people can be encouraged to join in an anti-Semitic chorus, we are concerned that the irony may have been lost on some of the audience, or worse still that they simply accepted Borat's statements about Jews at face value," the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman is quoted telling the Post. Accepted Borat's statements about Jews at face value? (New York Post, HBO Forums)

The devil made them do it: Horror fans lined up at multiplexes across the land for "Exorcist: The Beginning," the long-anticipated prequel to "The Exorcist," pushing it to the No. 1 spot in weekend box office, with an estimated $18.2 million take. "You can always count on horror films to do well," Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks box-office results, told the Associated Press. "There's just this built-in audience base that loves this genre." In second place this weekend: "Without a Paddle," the canoe-trip buddy flick starring Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard, which took in $13.7 million and proved surprisingly popular with young women. (AP via N.Y. Times)

And another thing: Lil' Kim is still going on about her breast implants. She's issued the following statement: "Media reports that I have considered having my breast implants reduced are completely untrue, and a figment of the media's imagination. I am very comfortable with my look, and feel quite sexy and happy exactly how I am. I love my breasts." (Page Six)

The truth about Miles? Miles Davis' eldest son, Gregory Davis, a jazz musician himself, is writing a book -- working title: "Kind of Blue" -- revealing his late father's "brilliant Dr. Jekyll and dark Mr. Hyde personality," as the book's co-author, Les Sussman, terms it. At least one of Gregory's sisters is profoundly displeased with the move, but, Davis says, "Me and my younger brother have not received one penny from my dad's estate because my sister has all these accountants and lawyers guarding it ... We've made it on our own all these years without any financial assistance from my family. They're arrogant about the book project because they're already millionaires and don't need a book, while I'm interested in writing it to continue my father's legacy." (Page Six)

Hair today: Arnold Schwarzenegger's hair stylist, Giuseppe Franco, is denying rumors that the California governor gets his hair dyed and styled weekly -- and gets a manicure-pedicure to boot. "We've known each other for 20 years and he just stops by to say hello and maybe have a cappuccino," says Franco. "How could anyone have their hair cut once a week? Maybe once a month he might have some work done." (Page Six)

Brace yourself: Julia Roberts has begun giving interviews about life as a woman pregnant with twins. (She's 4 1/2 months along.) "It does kind of happen overnight," Roberts said of her new, rounder physique in a chat with Newsweek . "You wake up and go, 'Omigod!'" (N.Y. Daily News)

-- Amy Reiter and Kerry Lauerman

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