The Fix

Olbermann voted Playgirl's "Sexiest Newscaster," says he won't pose nude; marketing experts debate the merits of Oprah's free car giveaway; and Weinstein considers Khadafy biopic. Plus: Jessica Simpson to don short shorts.


Salon Staff
September 14, 2004 1:55PM (UTC)

Turn On:
On Tuesday night, AMC looks at the rise of the conservative movement in largely liberal Hollywood in "Rated R: Republicans in Hollywood" (10 p.m. ET, AMC TV), a documentary examining, among other things, the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the success of Mel Gibson's "The Passion" and celebrity debates over the war in Iraq. And Discovery Health TV gets into the B-list reality-TV show thing with "Body Challenge: Hollywood," in which six "stars," including Charlene Tilton, Erik Estrada, Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen will compete to lose weight and win a Hawaiian vacation (8 p.m. ET, Discovery Health).

Morning Briefing:
Car talk: Was donating 276 cars to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for Winfrey to give away to each member of her audience during the premiere of the show's 19th season yesterday a brilliant marketing stunt or a foolish waste of money? Most experts agree that GM's move to offer up the lot full of red-bow-wrapped Pontiac G6s -- the keys to which were presented in gift boxes as Winfrey jumped up and down onstage, yelling, "Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!" -- was probably a pretty good use of the estimated $7.8 million it cost them, given the tremendous marketing value of the show and its attending press coverage. But one media buyer sniffed, "I'm not sure 'Oprah' reaches core car buyers." Right, because everyone knows that women never buy cars. (Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, N.Y. Daily News)

Advertisement:

Naked news: And the winner of Playgirl's "Sexiest Newscaster" election is ... MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, edging out Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity by a body part that might be a nose. CNN's Anderson Cooper came in third. Olbermann, once a Salon columnist, apparently lobbied visitors to his Web site to click over to Playgirl's site and cast their votes; he will be able to select a charity to which the magazine will donate $2,500. But don't expect to see him dropping trou in an upcoming issue or anything. Olbermann tells the New York Daily News that he'll refrain from posing nude "for the sake of humankind and the continued healthy vision of the world." (Playgirl, N.Y. Daily News)

Oops of the week ... buried in Page Six's "We Hear ... We Hear ..." section: "THAT it wasn't Jam Master Jay the other night at Crobar. It was loud and dark and our intrepid reporter has trouble distinguishing among Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Fab Five Freddy and Ol' Dirty Bastard. Jam Master was murdered two years ago, and we apologize to his family ..." (Page Six)

Also: Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy's son Saadi Khadafy is lobbying Miramax's Harvey Weinstein to make a movie about his father's life. Weinstein says he'll do it if the elder Khadafy "publicly recognizes the State of Israel" (London Daily Telegraph via Rush and Molloy) ... "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller is suing his former collaborators, including Simon Cowell, for ripping off his concept with a similar show, "The X Factor," which has just premiered in the U.K. (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter) ... And it's official: Jessica Simpson will play Daisy Duke in a big-screen remake of "The Dukes of Hazzard" (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter)

-- Amy Reiter

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