The Fix

Stewart book banned from Wal-Mart; Olsen twin rumors labeled "hurtful"; Shriver withheld sex from Schwarzenegger after RNC speech.


Salon Staff
October 21, 2004 12:00AM (UTC)

Turn On:
You could tune in to the season premieres of two old favorites on Wednesday night -- "The West Wing" (9 p.m. ET, NBC) or "The King of Queens" (9 p.m. ET, CBS). Or you could try something new, "Center of the Universe" (9:30 p.m., CBS), a sitcom starring John Goodman and Jean Smart.

Morning Briefing:
The O'Reilly watch: A few new developments in the sexual harrassment case brought against Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly -- and in O'Reilly's extortion case against his accuser: O'Reilly's lawyers are seeking a court order for the release of any recordings Fox associate producer Andrea Mackris might have made of conversations between her and O'Reilly. "If there are tapes, we want to see them and listen to them, and if not, we just want to get on with this case," Fox News lawyer Ronald Green told Reuters. (Reuters) ... Mackris has filed new accusations against Fox and O'Reilly claiming that executives at the company and the commentator himself mistreated her and tried to retaliate against her for airing complaints that O'Reilly had harassed her. In addition, her lawyer says that Fox has started a pr blitz against Mackris, publishing unfavorable stories about her in its sibling the New York Post. (Associated Press) ... Sources at Fox have told the New York Daily News that Mackris turned down a $2 million offer from Fox to stay quiet about her sexual harassment allegations, but neither Mackris's or Fox's lawyers will confirm that. Reports that Mackris was writing a tell-all about her experiences at Fox are also being shot down. Mackris did write a book, but it has been described as "a fictional story, similar to 'Bridget Jones's Diary,' about a young woman who just split up with her boyfriend and who is making her way in the city." (N.Y. Daily News) ... And when publisher Judith Regan read the following O'Reilly quote from "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade's book "The Games Do Count" before a party that included Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes -- "I wouldn't look for the fight. But if the fight came to me, then I'd settle it, either by winning or losing it" -- she was met with only awkward silence. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

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Supremely offensive? Wal-Mart has struck again. The discount giant is refusing to stock Jon Stewart's best-selling book "America (The Book)" because it contains an image of nine naked people with the heads of the members of the Supreme Court affixed atop them. The retailer will, however, offer the book for sale on its Web site. "We felt a majority of our customers may not be comfortable with the image in our stores," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk said. "But we still wanted to give them the option of buying it from Walmart.com." Warner Books publisher Jamie Raab said the company was "disappointed" by the decision. The book is nevertheless selling like hotcakes and has been No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller for the past three weeks. (N.Y. Daily News)

Never count an Olsen out: Mary-Kate Olsen's spokesman is vehemently denying that the troubled twin is dropping out of NYU and that she has suffered a debilitating eating-disorder relapse, calling the widespread rumors "flatout" wrong and "incredibly hurtful." "Reports or suggestions that Mary-Kate is leaving NYU are totally false. She is in Los Angeles primarily on business for about a week and then she is returning to New York and to school," publicist Michael Pagnotta said. "She's working very hard at staying well under intense scrutiny. It's not true that she's had a relapse. For people to say she is dropping out after all she has been through is incredibly hurtful and flat out wrong, Does Mary-Kate undergo after-care treatment? She absolutely does. She's had good periods and she's had bad periods and she will continue to, probably for the rest of her life." (Reuters)

Also: Billy Bob Thornton's rep is denying rumors that Thornton -- new father to a baby girl, Bella, just born to his girlfriend, Connie Angland -- and Angelina Jolie are back together, saying the rumor is " unequivocally, absolutely not true. They're friends." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... Vogue editor Anna Wintour's former nanny accepted at $2.2 million payment to settle her claim that she's been permanently disabled after breathing in fumes from a toxic paint thinnner used to remove red paint thrown by anti-fur activists onto the front steps of Wintour's New York townhouse. (Reuters) ... Arnold Schwarzenegger says Maria Shriver cut him off in the sack after his Bush-backing Republican National Convention speech. "There was no sex for 14 days," Schwarzenegger said Monday. "Everything comes with side effects." (The Reliable Source) ... Hunter S. Thompson was reportedly so drunk at a book signing in West Hollywood the other night, he was yelling out weird obscenities and had to be held up by Benicio del Toro -- and may even have thrown up outside the store, aptly named Book Soup. (Page Six)

Money Quotes:
Matt Damon, at the Berlin premiere of "The Bourne Supremacy": "I would pay $1 million to have Kerry in the White House.'' (The Boston Herald)

Sting, to a German newspaper this week: "[I'd] rather vote for a chimpanzee than Bush." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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