The Fix

Dave Matthews accused of dumping human waste on tourists, and Blair, from "Facts of Life," wants to tell you how to punish your children. Plus: Did Russell Crowe bite another guy's ear during a scuffle?

By Salon Staff
Published August 25, 2004 9:56AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Olympics watch, Wednesday night: Women's springboard diving and the super heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling finals. Or you can take a break with "The Hidden Art of Hollywood," a PBS special (check local listings for times) on the production designers who give films their distinctive looks.

Morning Briefing:
Eeeeeeeew! The Dave Matthews Band Inc. and its tour bus driver Stefan A. Wohl have been accused by the Illinois attorney general of dumping 800 pounds of human waste over Chicago's Kinzie Street bridge, some of which landed on the heads and in the mouths and eyes of tourists on an architectural tour boat. The driver denies flicking a switch and dumping the waste, but video footage places the bus on the bridge at the time of the incident, and the attorney general is seeking $60,000 in damages. And the 100 people in the boat? All they got was a refund of the $25 they paid for their ticket, though some of them have reached the company seeking reimbursement for damaged clothing and possessions. Holly Agra, president of boat operator Mercury Yacht Charters, commented, "Certainly in 61 years . . . we never could have dreamed to have that in our training program. It was awful.'' To put it mildly. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Different strokes: Those of you lying awake at night wondering what ever happened to Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair in the '80s show "Facts of Life," will be interested to learn that Whelchel is back in the media spotlight ... as an advocate for disciplining children by "hot saucing." The method, placing a drop of hot sauce on the tip of an errant child's tongue, has proven controversial. But Whelchel, a home-schooling mom who is peddling a book on punishment, "Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline," is making the talk-show rounds to tell the world how well the method has worked with her three kids. "It does sting and the memory stays with them so that the next time they may actually have some self-control and stop before they lie or bite or something like that," Whelchel said on ABC News' "Good Morning America." (ABC News)

Partying with the Bush twins: In its upcoming Republican Convention issue, New York magazine reveals the party predilections of the president's 22-year-old daughters, Jenna and Barbara -- or "Twinkle" and "Turquoise," as they are known to the Secret Service agents who follow them around. The duo has been taking the NYC nightclub scene by storm. The article is apparently filled with funny anecdotes. Such as? At one late-night party at an apartment, a Secret Service agent came to the door and asked the guest who opened it, "We're checking on Barbara. Do you know if she will be spending the night?" A witness reported, "The guest came back in the living room and asked, 'Is there someone named Barbara here? Your dad's at the door.'" Young people today. (New York magazine via N.Y. Daily News) Also in New York's convention special: Eric Wippo of MTV's "Boiling Points" poses as a booker for the Republicans and tries to get Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lionel Richie, Joan and Melissa Rivers, and others to participate in the convention. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: Russell Crowe has been accused of biting the ear of his friend and bodyguard Mark "Spud" Carroll during a brawl on the set of "The Cinderella Man" in Toronto after Carroll suggested mid-drink that it was time for Crowe to go home to his wife and child (Rush and Molloy) ... The long-awaited first installment in Bob Dylan's autobiography, "Chronicles: Volume One," originally due out in 2002, will finally hit stores on Oct. 12 (N.Y. Daily News) ... And PETA is ripping into Cindy Crawford, who once appeared in an antifur ad, for taking a gig as the new face of Blackgama furs by protesting outside bars owned by her husband, Rande Gerber (Page Six) ... Rumor has it that Kate and Andy Spade have separated and that Andy has already left his CEO post at the couple's handbag company and moved in with his brother, David Spade (Page Six) ... And an answer for anyone wondering how Sacha Baron Cohen, as Ali G, wrangles his way into those interviews with biggish-name news guys (like Andy Rooney, who could be seen throwing Ali G out of his office in the credits of last week's "Da Ali G Show" on HBO): He has his assistants call their assistants, bypassing the network vetting system, and then bursts in at the last minute and doesn't say a word until the cameras are rolling (N.Y. Post).

Money Quote:
John Kerry on the hazards of running for president, to Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" last night: "You'd be amazed at the number of people who want to introduce themselves to you in the men's room. It's the most bizarre part of this entire thing." ("The Daily Show" via the Associated Press)

-- Amy Reiter

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