The Fix

O'Reilly says he'll "never speak" of loofah scandal again; Rip Torn is cut loose; and are Bush and Kerry both related to Dracula?

By Salon Staff
Published October 29, 2004 9:44AM (EDT)

Turn On:
On Friday night, A&E airs a biography of John Kerry at 9 p.m. ET, and the History Channel brings you "Making History With Roger Mudd: A Conversation With Walter Cronkite" (8 p.m. ET), in honor of the legendary CBS News anchor's 88th birthday next week. And that's the way it was ...

Morning Briefing:
Never say loofah: Don't ask Bill O'Reilly to talk about the loofah/falafel/phone-sex brouhaha now that the whole thing's been settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. (The settlement amount has been estimated to be somewhere between $2 million and $10 million, and Fox News' sister publication, the New York Post, reports that "it's believed O'Reilly -- and O'Reilly alone -- paid multimillions of dollars.") Noting that the suit had made him an "object of media scorn," O'Reilly said on his show Thursday night, "This matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family and I did. Some of the media hammered me relentlessly because, as you know, I am a huge target, as is Fox News." Thanking viewers for their support and pleading with them to "not believe everything you hear and read," O'Reilly said, "This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again." The "brutal ordeal," incidentally, caused a 30 percent spike in viewership for O'Reilly's show. (Washington Post, N.Y. Post, Fox News)

Rip Torn, cut loose: So what if he knocked over chairs and fell down while in police custody, cursed out a couple of coppers, and made fun of a sobriety test by repeating the sound "boop! boop! boop!"? Actor Rip Torn is a free man after a jury found insufficient evidence to convict him of drunk driving in a January incident in which his car collided with a taxi in New York. Represented in court by the son and stepson of Judge Judy Sheindlin, Torn reportedly wept when the not-guilty verdict was read. Had he been found guilty, he could have been sentenced to up to one year in jail. (N.Y. Post, N.Y. Daily News)

Also: RuPaul is circulating a testy e-mail in which he alleges that everyone from the editors of Us Weekly to Ellen DeGeneres (!) have refused to cover his new album, "RuPaul Red Hot," because he's gay (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... Down and out former Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein just got downer and outer: He lost his job as a greeter at New York's Second Avenue Deli for sleeping in the restaurant. Now he's sleeping in a city homeless shelter (Page Six) ... After pleading no contest to a drunk driving charge in L.A., David Hasselhoff has been ordered to undergo alcohol treatment for six months (Reuters) ... Weird Halloween factoid (insert your own "bloodsucking politician" joke here): George W. Bush and John Kerry are ninth cousins twice removed and can each trace their lineage back to Vlad II Dracul, the 15th century Transylvanian warlord who inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (, via Rush and Molloy) .

-- Amy Reiter

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