The Fix

Maher's accused of abuse, Moore's making "Fahrenheit" sequel, and "Apprentice" loser may pose for Playboy.


Salon Staff
November 12, 2004 4:56PM (UTC)

Turn On:
You could stay up late Friday night and watch the debut of HBO's six-part documentary about the porn industry, "A Real Sex Xtra: Pornucopia," at 11 p.m. ET. Or you could save your energy for Sunday night, when CBS airs part one of its two-part made-for-TV movie about clouds that collide over Chicago to create "the worst super-storm in the nation's history," "Category 6: Day of Destruction," (9 p.m.). (Part two airs Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.) Also on Sunday night, the Bob Odenkirk cartoon "Tom Goes to the Mayor" kicks off at 11:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.

Morning Briefing:
Time to blame the tailor again: President Bush is apparently not the only Executive Branch member with a mysterious bulge. It seems that Vice President Dick Cheney has one, too -- only it won't take a NASA scientist to determine what's straining against the fabric of his tailored suit in an image captured by a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer during a campaign stop the vice president made to sample some frozen custard in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "Lets just say the snugness of Cheney's pants left little to the imagination, and we're not talking about his waistline," snarks writer Peter Robinson in Milwaukee Magazine, of the photo, which the Journal Sentinel ran on page one of its Metro section on September 11. The photo provided fodder for local radio chat show hosts Dave Luczak, Carole Caine and Kevin Brandt, of WKLH-FM --"It's nice to have someone of that magnitude in the White House"; "He's got a porn career right there"; "Now we know where his unmitigated confidence comes from" -- but alas, despite a surge in interest from readers and reporters, the paper is declining to offer the photo for sale, as it generally does, and has even removed the image from its Web site. (Milwaukee Magazine via Romenesko)

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Coffee, tea or a whopping lawsuit? Hell hath no fury like a model/flight attendant spurned, it seems. Bill Maher has been hit with a $9 million palimony suit from Nancy "Coco" Johnson, who claims that during her 17 months with the HBO star he made promises to her he failed to keep -- and subjected her to verbal and physical abuse, including "insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments," though she failed to specify just what those were. Johnson claims that she quit her job as a flight attendant and also stopped modeling in order to go to parties with Maher and support his career because he wanted them to be a "power couple." She also contends that he promised to buy her a home formerly owned by Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, or its equivalent, to marry her and have children with her, and to financially support her. And what of her claims of physical abuse? According to Johnson, he once grabbed her arm at a party, causing "injuries to her back and neck," and threatened to hit her with a hammer should she ever cheat on him. Maher's lawyer calls the suit "completely frivolous" and "filled with false allegations." (The Smoking Gun, N.Y. Daily News)

"Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2"? Michael Moore says he's planning to make a sequel to "Fahrenheit 9/11" and is hoping to have it ready for release in about two or three years. "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them," Moore told Daily Variety. "They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now." Like the first film, the sequel will focus on President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and terrorism. But at the same time, Moore's trying to see the political glass as half full. "The official mourning period is over today," he said, "and there is a silver lining: George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again." (Variety via Reuters)

Oy: Madonna (a.k.a. Esther) has been listed as No. 51 on The Forward's annual survey of the 50 most powerful and influential Jewish Americans, even though, as her rep tried to make perfectly clear to the Jewish weekly, she is not Jewish. The paper's editor, J.J. Goldberg contends that the voguing kabbala enthusiast is, nevertheless, "probably the world's best-known practitioner of Judaism right now." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: The head of British Army's elite Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, Major General Andrew Ritchie, says that notorious party boy Prince Harry will get no special treatment during his training there, which will begin next year. "Some find it quite a struggle" to adjust to military life, the major general admits (AFP) ... "Apprentice" reject Jen Crisafulli was recently overheard telling friends that she's considering posing for Playboy (Rush and Molloy) ... George Michael was set to be honored at Out magazine's "Out 100" bash in New York tonight, but he dropped out once he found out that the place would be swarming with entertainment reporters (Page Six) ... Julie Newmar is trying to smooth over her feud with her neighbor Jim Belushi, who has filed a lawsuit against her, going on "Entertainment Tonight" (clad in a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "Have No Enemies") to apologize to Belushi and "send him my love" (Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter

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