The Fix

Jon Stewart says he'll vote for Kerry; "Team America" under fire from fundraising group called Team America; Franken weighs in on O'Reilly troubles.

By Salon Staff
Published October 15, 2004 8:00PM (EDT)

Turn On:
Friday night is a good night to watch TV if you're feeling extreme or extremely strange: ESPN2 offers "Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament" (8 p.m. ET), which captures the action in the shark-fishing contest held for the 18th time on Martha's Vineyard this summer. And USA Film offers "Thoughtcrimes" (9 p.m. ET), a flick about a telepathic woman and a government researcher starring Peter Horton and Navi Rawat; it's actually supposed to be good.

Morning Briefing:
Stewart throws weight behind Kerry: Jon Stewart says he's gonna vote for John Kerry in the upcoming election. "It looks like Kerry," Stewart announced to a panel organized by the New Yorker magazine."I'd be stunned if something happened to change my mind." Then again, he said, like most people, he thought President Bush was better in the final debate than he'd been in the other two. As he put it, "he wasn't 'angry Bush' from the second debate or 'retarded Bush' from the first debate." Overall, Stewart allowed as how he thought Bush was basically a "decent" man (and poked at Kerry for his pop-culture references, saying he kept waiting for the candidate to ask "Did anybody see 'The O.C.' last night?"), but said that the president's assertion that he had the stuff to correct the situation in Iraq was "as if a guy drove me into a ditch and said, 'Don't worry, I know how to drive us out of this.'" (CBS Marketwatch, Rush and Molloy)

More surreal yet: Thrilling news for those of you who didn't get enough of has-beens-in-love Flavor Flav and Brigette Nielsen on "The Surreal Life": They're getting their very own series on VH1. "Strange Love" picks up where that other reality show left off, following the couple's trips to each of their homes to introduce the other to their friends and families. MTV Networks programming chief Brian Graden commented, "Brigitte and Flav have captured people's imaginations for a number of reasons." Also on the VH1 lineup in the next several months: "Kept," in which Jerry Hall looks for a young stud, whom she will pay an allowance in return for his ... um ... company; "Remaking," which follows faded rock stars as they attempt to restart their careers; "Celebrity Fit Club," in which tubby stars (including Wendy the Snapple Lady) try to get back in shape; and perhaps most exciting, "Motormouth," in which hidden-cameras sneak-record people singing in their cars. (N.Y. Post, Hollywood Reporter)

Unexpected "Team America" controversy: A fundraising group based in Philadelphia named Team America is taking action against Paramount, which is distributing the Matt Stone and Trey Parker film "Team America: World Police." The group says it has the rights to the name, and there will a hearing in Phildelphia today to determine whether their claim has merit. Paramount isn't commenting, but an insider on the film says of the group's claim, "It's hilarious." (Page Six)

Also: Sandra Bullock has been awarded $7 million in damages in a lawsuit she brought against a building contractor who did shoddy work at inflated prices on her Austin, Texas, home (Associated Press) ... Sad Hilton-sister news: Nicky Hilton and her husband of six weeks, Todd Meister, appear to be headed for splitsville. Happy Hilton-sister news: Paris Hilton and her friend and "Simple Life" co-star, Nicole Richie, with whom she was said to be feuding, are expected to be in the same room at the same time to fete Nicky on the occasion of her 21st birthday (Page Six) ... "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller is planning to bring a version of the popular British soap opera, "EastEnders," to the U.S. The American version will revolve around the members of a blue-collar Chicago family (N.Y. Post) ... Canadian-born Jim Carrey has become a U.S. citizen ( ... And Eric Clapton has had his British driver's license suspended in France for driving his Porsche 911 Turbo 134 miles per hour on a highway in Dijon (Associated Press)

Money Quotes, the Bill O'Reilly lawsuit edition:
Bill O'Reilly on what his wife thinks of the sexual harassment allegations brought against him this week by an associate producer on his show: "We don't talk about any of this. It's nothing to do with me -- it's with the lawyers." (N.Y. Daily News)

His accuser's lawyer, Benedict Morelli, on the evidence: "We have concrete and unrefutable evidence that [O'Reilly] did it." (N.Y. Daily News)

Al Franken on his nemesis's fate: "No comment -- we're taking the high road here at 'The O'Franken Factor' ... The man is entitled to his day in court. That's what I'm going to say. It seems like a sad thing ... [But] if this is true, there'll be enough schadenfreude to fuel ... uh, no comment, no comment!" (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

-- Amy Reiter

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