The Fix

Eminem "undecided"; New Yorker endorses for first time; Kravitz commode causes contretemps; and is Usher the latest home-video star?

By Salon Staff
Published October 25, 2004 10:55AM (EDT)

Turn On:
On Monday night, A&E is airing the Christopher Reeve-directed telefilm "The Brooke Ellison Story" (8 p.m.) about a girl who is paralyzed from the neck down and then goes on to graduate from Harvard. Or you could watch Destiny's Child, Elton John and Tim McGraw perform live at the "2004 Radio Music Awards" (9 p.m. ET, NBC), hosted by Carson Daily.

Morning Briefing:
Coulter can shift ass: It's no surprise that the video of Ann Coulter dodging pies thrown her way during a speaking engagement in Arizona made it online -- fast (you can watch it at iFilm here, by watching a brief ad). But the footage offers some surprises, and they are expressed well by Vanity Fair crit/blogger James Wolcott: "Ann Coulter may be a travesty of humanity, as unacceptable a hank of flesh draped on a hanger ever to be foisted upon an ignorant populace hungry for more ignorance. Her racism, her character slurs, her whirlwind talent for rewriting history, her ability to leave a glossy coat of slime on any issue she discusses (when she licks a stamp, it curls up and dies), these are condemnable. But credit where credit is due. The skank can shift ass on a dime." (iFilm, James Wolcott)

Box office upset: Who would have expected "The Grudge" starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, the Hollywood remake of a 2003 Japanese thriller, to rake in $40 million on its opening weekend and force "Shark Tales," which has dominated at the multiplex for the last three weeks, to nibble on its box-office leavings? Not the film's distributors, apparently. "It's absolutely incredible," Rory Bruer, president of distribution for Sony Pictures, which released "The Grudge," commented to USA Today of the man bites shark moment. According to Bruer, Sony had expected the film, which cost only about $10 million to make, to gross only "in the high teens." (USA Today)

Read their lips: The official word from "Saturday Night Live" on the unmasking of Ashlee Simpson as a lip syncer? Everyone does it ... or, well, sort of. "She told us it was only a backup," a spokesman for the show said. "It's not unusual, a lot of people use backup tracks when performing." (Sky News)

They feel really crappy about what happened: Though it's not yet clear whether the driver of their bus was, in fact, responsible for dumping a tank full of human waste into the Chicago River -- and onto the upturned faces of a group of tourists in a boat below -- the Dave Matthews Band is offering to donate $100,000 to two groups that protect the river and is trying to track down the tourists who got splattered. "We know we cannot erase what happened that day, but we hope by reaching out and helping now this will help demonstrate our commitment to step up if we are found to be the responsible party," the band said in a statement. "As a first step, if we were the responsible party, we offer our deepest apologies to the passengers on the boat, the City of Chicago, our fans and those who have worked so hard to clean up the Chicago River." The state is still continuing to investigate and says the matter is not yet resolved. (BBC News)

In related news: Lenny Kravitz is being sued by a neighbor who is accusing him of letting his toilet get backed up and allowing it to cause $333,849 damage to the neighbor's apartment. According to the suit, a "catastrophic" degree of damage was caused "solely by the negligence and carelessness" of Kravitz, who allowed "a commode to become blocked, clogged and congested with various materials." (The New York Times)

I've seen the face of the undecided voter and it is ... Eminem? The rapper is apparently no fan of President Bush, telling Rolling Stone magazine, "I think he started a mess. America is the best country there is, the best country to live in. But he's f**kin' that up and could run our country into the ground. He jumped the gun, and he f**ked up so bad he doesn't know what to do right now. He's in a tailspin, running around like a dog chasing its tail. And we got young people over there dyin', kids in their teens, early twenties that should have futures ahead of them. And for what? It seems like a Vietnam 2. Bin Laden attacked us and we attacked Saddam. We ain't heard from Saddam for ten years, but we go attack Saddam. Explain why that is." But don't take that as a full-on endorsement of John Kerry. "Bush is definitely not my homie, but I'm still undecided," says the first-time voter. "Kerry has been known to say some things that's caught my attention, made a few statements I've liked, but I don't know. Whatever my decision is, I would like to see Bush out of office." (Rolling Stone via the Drudge Report)

Also: Madonna will provide the voice of Princess Selenia in Luc Besson's animated movie version of his children's book series "Arthur" (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter) ... Harrison Ford has refused to allow elk hunting on his Jackson, Wyo., property, defying efforts by local authorities to reduce the elk population to control the spread of disease (BBC News) ... William Shatner apparently had the crowd eating out of his hand when he appeared onstage to do his idiosyncratic spoken-word performance thing with Ben Folds in L.A. last week (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter) ... A videotape of Usher getting it on with two women while his ex-girlfriend's music plays in the background is reportedly making the tabloid rounds (Rush and Molloy) ... Also making the rounds, a book proposal by Nicole Richie that has been described as "kinda like a big sister's guide to life. How to deal with peer pressure and things like that, for girls" (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Money Quotes:
New Yorker editor David Remnick on why his magazine is endorsing Kerry for president, though it has never endorsed a candidate for president before: "The magazine's not a museum; it's a living thing that evolves ... I have no idea who Si Newhouse is voting for." (Washington Post)

Billy Bob Thornton on the animal within: "I can't live without sex; I'm like a full-on jungle animal." (Men's Health via Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter and Kerry Lauerman

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