The Fix

How Rock kept it clean -- and Blanchett didn't. Plus: Ellen and Portia's exes bond, and Rather gets dissed.

By Salon Staff
Published February 28, 2005 9:00PM (EST)

Turn On:
Will Jen pick Jerry or John Paul? ABC's "The Bachelorette" wraps up its season with a family visit and a final choice on Monday night at 8 p.m. EST. And at 7:30 p.m. EST, BET premieres a new urban-issues-focused documentary series, "The Cousin Jeff Chronicles," hosted by Jeff Johnson.

Morning Briefing:
And the award goes to ... Chris Rock, at least in some sense. Critics were divided over Rock's Oscar emcee performace last night, but producer Gil Cates' gamble that Rock would generate new interest in the awards appears to have paid off. Last night's broadcast on ABC got a 30.1 rating, making it the highest-rated Academy Awards show since 2000. Sit your asses down, indeed. (Drudge)

Meanwhile, backstage ... Chris Rock explained how he managed to keep his onstage riffing relatively clean. "I don't curse in front of my mother, and my mother was front and center, in my view," he said. "So if I could never curse in front of Rose Rock, why would I do it on television?" Supporting actress winner Cate Blanchett, during her backstage turn before reporters, however, picked up where Rock left off, quipping, "Will the Oscar change me? Absolutely, asshole!" And while Rock joked that his post-Oscar plans included "doing various drugs," "Sideways" co-writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor revealed tamer plans, though not so tame as a simple toast with a glass of vino. "We're having some tequila," said Taylor. Payne explained that pinot noir was simply "not efficient enough, if you know what I mean." (Variety)

Misery loves company: And if Jamie Foxx's heartwarming acceptance speech left you a bit cold, having heard most of it from him in the myriad award acceptance speeches he's given these past couple of months, here's a heartwarming Oscar moment to make up for it. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's unceremoniously ditched exes bonding at Barry Diller's pre-Oscar luncheon. According to Page Six, "Alexandra Hedison, who was axed by Ellen, and Francesca Gregorini, who got the boot from Portia, bonded with each other over the shabby treatments meted out by their more famous ex-lovers. The two spent most of the afternoon together consoling one another." (Page Six)

Ice-T's refreshing honesty: Ice-T on why he and his girlfriend, Coco, went to Entertainment Weekly's New York Oscar party at Elaine's: "We only came for the gift bag." (Page Six)

<a target="new" href="And in non-Oscar news: Dan Rather's not exactly being held aloft on the shoulders of his CBS colleagues as he makes his way for the exit. "Rather is a superb reporter, and dead honest, but he's not as easy to watch as [ABC's Peter] Jennings or [NBC's Tom] Brokaw," Mike Wallace tells the New Yorker this week. Walter Cronkite said he, too, preferred Brokaw because Rather was more prone to "showboating." But Peter Jennings says Rather's right up on top in his book -- well, just under Barbara Walters, that is. "If I got in trouble anywhere in the world, and I had twenty-five cents, I would call Barbara," Jennings says, "Then I'd call Dan." (The New Yorker via N.Y. Post and Drudge)

Also: The Michael Jackson trial kicks off with opening statements today. And the Smoking Gun reports that the pop star's accuser cheekily claimed in a deposition that he knew more about sex than Jackson did. (The Smoking Gun) ... "Sideways" stacked up six wins at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, including best feature, director, screenplay and male lead. (Reuters) ... And Halle Berry showed up in person on Saturday night to accept her Golden Raspberry Award (aka Razzie) for worst actress -- for her role in "Catwoman." (Associated Press)

Money Quote:
Donald Trump on Martha Stewart, who's expected to get out of prison on Friday: "That she should be in jail and O. J. Simpson is playing golf in Florida is ridiculous. But she took it standing up. There were no tears. No dropping to the ground. I've seen very strong men who can't handle that." (Newsweek)

-- Amy Reiter

Bookmark The Fix here. To send a hot tip to The Fix, click here.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------