The Fix

Fox gets spanked for topless strippers scene; Ryan calls Tatum allegations "malicious lies"; and Paris' people "scoff" at latest porn reports.

By Salon Staff
Published October 13, 2004 8:00PM (EDT)

Turn On:
The third and final presidential debate -- this one focusing on domestic and economic issues -- takes place on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET (networks and cable news channels). And if you start to feel queasy, you can always click over to A&E, which is airing a documentary on professional face-stuffing, "Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating," also at 9 p.m. ET.

Morning Briefing:
Move over, Janet: CBS -- home of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl boob flash -- no longer holds the record for having the largest indecency fine proposed against it by the Federal Communications Commission. Nope. That record is now held by Fox TV, against whom yesterday the FCC proposed a $1.2 million fine. The offending broadcast? A segment of "Married by America" depicting a group of topless, whipped-cream-smeared strippers plying their trade. True, the nudity was "pixelated," but the FCC said that "does little to obscure the overtly sexual and gratuitous nature of the bachelor/bachelorette party scenes ... even a child would have known that the strippers were topless and that sexual activity was being shown." Sexual activity that included, for instance, a guy in his skivvies down on all fours getting his booty whupped by two topless women. But one unnamed Hollywood executive has stepped up to defend Fox, saying, "It's a Fox show, and people should know what they're getting themselves into." (Washington Post)

She says, he says: Ryan O'Neal has issued a statement denying the allegations made by his daughter, Tatum, in her new book, "A Paper Life": "It is a sad day when malicious lies are told in order to become a 'best-seller,'" the actor said, likely referring to Tatum's claims that he hit her and kept a drug dealer on his payroll even after the guy molested her. "It is my hope that this book was written to serve as her therapy ... If this is what she needed to do to wake each day and live with herself, then I can only support her healing process -- good, bad and ugly." Then he lashed out a little bit himself, saying, "It is now my hope that she gets sober so that her perception of the future is nothing like her clouded memories of the past." (New York Daily News)

Also: Mel Gibson's alleged stalker has been arrested for allegedly stalking Gibson the day after the actor had gotten the court to issue a restraining order against him (Guardian) ... Paris Hilton's rep has "scoffed" at London tabloid reports that there is a third pornographic tape starring Hilton in circulation, this one including a ménage à trois and lesbian sex (Page Six) ... The video for Prince's new song, "Cinnamon Girl," features 14-year-old actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Whale Rider," as an Arab-American girl "who is fed up with the anti-Arab sentiments she encounters in everyday life," and who dreams of blowing up an airport terminal (MTV News) ... Star Jones raised eyebrows on Tuesday when she referred to a talk-show guest as a "'ho" (New York Post) ... And Rocco DiSpirito has traded in the whole restaurant thing for a career in radio, hosting a food show in New York: "I love, love, love the talk show format," DiSpirito said, "because I can talk to people unfiltered and unedited" (N.Y. Post)

Money Quote
Dixie Chick Natalie Maines on the way she dealt with the backlash over that whole "ashamed [that] the President of the United States is from Texas" thing: "People have asked me [if she felt bad for not apologizing to George W. Bush] in every city on the tour. But, you know, if I changed my mind ... President Bush might just call me a flip-flopper, and we wouldn't want that!" (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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