The Fix

Colin Powell raps about "bling," Stevie Wonder rips Eminem a new one, and Streisand has little sympathy for impotence sufferers.


Salon Staff
December 6, 2004 3:00PM (UTC)

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Morning Briefing:
An honor indeed: President and Mrs. Bush, Dick and Lynne Cheney, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards and their wives were all on hand to watch Elton John, opera singer Joan Sutherland, conductor John Williams, and actors Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee be feted for their ongoing contributions to the performing arts at Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors in Washington. President Bush and Beatty exchanged meaningful glances across the audience when Jack Nicholson quipped from the stage, "For years, Warren has dreamed of attending these awards. Unfortunately, not as a Kennedy honoree but as president of the United States." Powell saluted Beatty with a "Bulworth"-esque rap: "I'm Colin Luther Powell/ Public service is my thing/ Don't do it for the fame/ Don't do it for the bling." Robert Downey Jr. and Billy Joel were on hand to pay tribute to John, as was Kid Rock, who reportedly had the president and vice president on their feet rocking out to his rendition of John's "Rocket Man." Also on hand to pay tribute to the honorees: Audra McDonald, Steven Spielberg, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Marilyn Horne, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. And offstage? Beatty and his wife, Annette Bening, shared a special hug with Sen. Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry -- and Faye Dunaway reportedly chased down Sen. Edwards to voice her support. Awww. (Associated Press, USA Today, Washington Post)

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Dysfunction this: People who need Viagra and Cialis may not be the luckiest people in the world, but neither are those of us who are subjected to the TV commercials for the impotence drugs, according to Barbra Streisand. Streisand contends that such commercials are immoral. "You know, I resent this thing about Hollywood and moral values," Streisand told Time magazine. "I just can't stand it. What movies are out now that have questionable moral values? You know what I think has questionable moral values? The Cialis commercials." (N.Y. Daily News)

Critics call him mahvelous: The raves have rolled in for Billy Crystal's one-man show about his Long Island childhood, "700 Sundays," which opened on Broadway Sunday night at the Broadhurst Theater. But don't think you can just run out and snag a ticket now. As New York Times critic Ben Brantley notes in his own overwhelmingly positive review, "700 Sundays" tickets, priced as high as $100 a pop, are scarcer than an empty seat at the Oscars. The show, which is scheduled to run through March 6, has already tallied $10 million in advance sales. (N.Y. Times)

Stevie's not pleased: Look out, Eminem. Stevie Wonder is "really disappointed" in you for making fun of Michael Jackson in the video for your song "Just Lose It." "Kicking someone when he's down is not a good thing," Wonder tells Billboard magazine. "I have much respect for his work, though I don't think he's as good as [late rapper] Tupac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level ... He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of color. So for him to come out like that is bull----." (Reuters)

The people have spoken: Best movie nominees for this year's People's Choice Awards are "Shrek 2," "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Spider-Man 2," "The Incredibles" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Winners will be announced Jan. 9. (BBC News)

Also: The authorities have swabbed Michael Jackson's mouth to collect a sample of his DNA, prompting speculation as to whether they have something incriminating to test it against (Associated Press) ... Publishers Weekly has named Jon Stewart's "America (the Book), a Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction" as its Book of the Year (Reuters) ... ODB's widow Icelene Jones was finally able to furnish evidence that she was legally married to the rapper and has been awarded control of his estate, raising concerns that she'll fail to share with his numerous children born out of wedlock (Rush and Molloy) ... Word is that when Usher arrived at the GQ Men of the Year awards party in L.A. last week he insisted that no one else share the red carpet with him -- and that Dustin Hoffman was compelled to make his entrance through a rear door (Page Six) ...

Money Quote
Style guru B. Smith, sometimes called the "black Martha Stewart," on Stewart's jail stint, to AOL's Black Voices columnist Karu F. Daniels: "If you and I did the crime, we would have been in there a long time ago. They wouldn't have had that whole circus thing going on if it had been the two of us." (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

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-- Amy Reiter

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