The Fix

Madonna and other celebs go to Israel for kabbala retreat, tabloids follow Kitty Kelley's Bush stories, and Martha prepares for the big house.

By Salon Staff
Published September 16, 2004 2:37PM (EDT)

Turn On
The season premiere of Survivor: Vanatu -- Islands of Fire launches tonight, (8 p.m., CBS), and "Will & Grace" waste no time trotting out the very special guests, as J. Lo and Harry Connick Jr. make appearances (8:30 p.m., NBC).

Morning Briefing
Just like a prayer, Ill take you  to Israel Madonna, with husband Guy Ritchie, arrived in Israel yesterday for a five-day spiritual pilgrimage to explore her interest in kabbala mysticism. Madonna  who has adopted the Hebrew name Esther and wears a red kabbala string on her wrist  is joining 2,000 other kabbala students from 22 countries, including Marla Maples and Donna Karan, at a religious conference, according to the Los Angeles Kabbala Center. Israeli radio reported fellow kabbala poster child Britney Spears will be joining the group, but that was denied by organizers of the trip. (New York Post/Post Wire Services)

Its not done-done, its just done: Method & Red," the summer comedy starring rapper Method Man, will not be coming back this fall. Fox has picked up only three episodes of the six that were filmed over the summer. Initially it was believed that the network wanted an additional nine for this fall. "It's not done-done. It was not canceled, but they're putting it on a long hiatus," Method Man says. Among industry insiders, that's TV talk for likely to get axed because no network ever uses the word "canceled" anymore due to contractual obligations. (New York Post)

Kelley: 1, Lauer: 0: In discussing Kitty Kelleys appearance on the "Today" show earlier this week, Tina Brown claims that Matt Lauer made kooky Kelley come across as a poised pro. She fought off his attempt to impugn her journalistic creds with a smiling, stony, honeyed defense of her sources. Brown also discloses that Sharon Bushs proposed tell all was actually just a self-help book. Says Brown, Now Sharon has the worst of all worlds: no big fat book advance of her own and all the wrath of the Bush family and its many retainers. (The Washington Post)

Martha Stewart ships off  to Danbury, Conn.: Martha Stewart held a news conference Wednesday to announce that she will ask to begin serving her five-month prison sentence as soon as possible. Stewart is expected to surrender to prison officials within the next few days. There has been no word yet which prison the government will choose for her confinement, though it's likely to be a minimum-security federal facility such as the one in Danbury, Conn. The homemaking maven noted that she asked to be sent there because it's "nearest to my home and close enough so my 90-year-old mother will be able to visit me." Not to mention the Trader Joes nearby offers an excellent selection of cheeses. (E! Online)

The Enquirer will get to the bottom of this! Following up on Kitty Kelleys allegations that George Bush used cocaine, the National Enquirer is publishing a report headlined "More Proof Bush Used Cocaine." The issue, hitting streets today, quotes Bush detractor Toby Rogers concerning an April 1998 Houston lunch he allegedly had with Bush family friend Michael C. Dannenhauer. Rogers tells the tabloid that Dannenhauer confided, "There was cocaine use, lots of women, but the drinking was the worst.' According to Dannenhauer, Bush's use of cocaine started sometime before 1977, and his father told Dannenhauer that Junior even experienced some 'lost weekends in Mexico.'"(Lloyd Groves Lowdown)

Fatal Attraction II?: An American woman accused of stalking Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones has been ordered to stand trial. Los Angeles Judge Patricia Schnegg found there was enough evidence for Dawnette Knight, 33, to be tried. Knight is to face 25 charges stemming from a series of letters and phone calls that Catherine Zeta-Jones received over an 18-month period. The letters allegedly accused the Welsh-born actress of being a gold digger and contained threats to kill her. Her lawyer says that she had what he called a "girlish crush" on Zeta-Jones' husband, Michael Douglas. Catherine, keep an eye on the pets. (BBC News)

-- Corrie Pikul

Salon Staff

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