The Fix

Lindsay Lohan, lousy lip-syncer? "The Simpsons" tweaks Fox News. Princess Diana's "biggest blow."


Salon Staff
December 7, 2004 4:04PM (UTC)

Turn On:
Forget all those TV shows about the holidays and spend your TV-watching energy on "The First Amendment Project" (premiering Tuesday on Sundance at 9 p.m. ET and Court TV at 10 p.m. ET), four half-hour films about efforts to preserve freedom of speech, including the Al Franken/Fox News dust-up over Franken's most recent book and the controversy surrounding outspoken poet and playwright Amiri Baraka.

Morning Briefing:
Lindsay's lips sync ships? Did Lindsay Lohan pull an Ashlee Simpson on "Good Morning America" Monday? Viewers say that, at least at one point, Lohan appeared on camera with her mouth closed while, on the show's soundtrack, her voice continued to belt out the words to songs from her new album, "Speak." A spokeswoman for Lohan's label insisted that "Lindsay sang completely live, the band was live and the background singers were live," but added that "the first song had some background. It's a little more rock and roll and needed it there. It's about how you make the song sound exactly like the record." A "GMA" spokeswoman commented, "All musical acts that perform on 'Good Morning America' are required to perform live. On occasion, artists will have backing tracks to support their live vocals." An unidentified insider tells Page Six that it would have been "dicey to use [Lohan's] straight vocals." (Page Six)

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Culture watch: You know how Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell told Congress earlier this year that the number of complaints his department had received in 2003 had soared to 240,000 from a mere 14,000 in 2002 and that the increase reflected "a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes"? Well, Mediaweek.com reports that the FCC has now determined that 99.8 percent of those complaints came from members of a single organization, the Parents Television Council, which cites among its current goals the organization of a "massive, coordinated and determined campaign" to make the FCC ramp up its fight against broadcast indecency. According to the group's annual report, it has "delivered on that promise." I'd say ... (Mediaweek)

A real killer: Whether or not Barry Mannakee, the bodyguard with whom Princess Diana had an affair, was actually "bumped off" as she claimed in tapes she recorded for her voice coach in 1992, broadcast Monday night on "Dateline NBC," one thing is sure: She had it bad for him -- and even said she'd be "quite happy to give it all up ... just to go off and live with him." "He was the greatest fellow I have ever had," she said of her lover, who died in a motorcycle crash in 1987. "I was only happy when he was around." And when, years after the affair ended, Prince Charles informed her of the death of the man he suspected had been her lover, she says, he did it with little ceremony during a limo ride to the Cannes Film Festival, mere moments before Diana was to face the public. "That was the biggest blow of my life, I must say. That was a real killer," she said. "Charles thought he knew but he never, never had any proof. And he just jumped it on me like that and I wasn't able to do anything ... Of course it wasn't supposed to mean as much as it did." (This Is London)

Tweaked on its own turf: How does "fair and balanced" Fox News feel about the way it was portrayed on its entertainment-division sibling "The Simpsons" on Sunday night? The animated show featured a Fox News truck tricked out with a whopping Bush-Cheney bumper sticker, an image underscored with the song "We Are the Champions" by Queen. "We're flattered by the attention," said a Fox News spokeswoman. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: 50 Cent has decided to cut short his tour through Nigeria after his posse got into a scuffle with a Nigerian rapper who tried to muscle in on their first-class seats on a chartered jet (Agence France-Presse) ... Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are the highest-paid actresses of 2004, according to the Hollywood Reporter, each commanding $20 million a picture (Hollywood Reporter via N.Y. Daily News) ... Nick Lachey is getting his own MTV reality show (sans wife Jessica Simpson), "Nick Lachey Project," which will focus on the serious business of his singing career (N.Y. Daily News) ... Word is Martha Stewart may get $8 million to star in that "Apprentice"-esque reality show produced by Mark Burnett -- and that the show may bump Jane Pauley from the daytime lineup on NBC (N.Y. Post)

Money Quote:
Sean "Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs to President and Laura Bush after they gave him a tour of the White House: "You have a nice house." (Page Six)

Paris Hilton to Barbara Walters, who has named her one of the most fascinating people of 2004, on the sex tape that made her more famous than ever: "I was in love with him [Rick Salomon, her partner on the tape] and people, I think, do that sometimes. I never thought that it would get out and that I'd be hurt like that." (7Online.com)

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-- Amy Reiter

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