The Fix

Laura Bush turns blue. Pat O'Brien meets Dr. Phil. Hasselhoff responsible for world peace?


Salon Staff
May 2, 2005 3:41PM (UTC)

Turn On:
The season finale of ABC's "Supernanny" airs Monday night at 10 p.m. EDT. And Bravo offers up a close and personal look at the fiercely competitive Pillsbury Bake-Off, "The Million Dollar Recipe," at 8 p.m. EDT.

Morning Briefing:
Mustache meets mustache: It's official. "Insider" host Pat O'Brien, fresh from rehab and still struggling to live down those randy audiotapes of phone calls he allegedly made to a mistress, will have his mea culpa moment on, yes, "The Dr. Phil Show." In a CBS/Viacom cross-promotional coup, O'Brien will appear in an hour-long (sweeps week) special, "Behind the Headlines" on Wednesday night, and then again on Thursday on Dr. Phil's syndicated daytime show. Then on Thursday night, having undergone this special reemergence ritual, O'Brien will return to his hosting chair at "The Insider." (N.Y. Times)

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Ba-dum-bump: Laura Bush is the talk of the Washington journalist set after taking the podium to give a surprise stand-up routine during the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday night. Her wise-crackin' speech, written by veteran D.C. speechwriter Landon Parvin, included the following jibes, widely noted in newspapers across the land this morning:

"George always says he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now. I'm not kidding. I said to him the other day, 'George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later.' "

"George and I are complete opposites -- I'm quiet, he's talkative; I'm introverted, he's extroverted; I can pronounce 'nuclear' ..."

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"I am married to the president of the United States, and here's our typical evening: Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I'm watching 'Desperate Housewives' -- with Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife. I mean, if those women on that show think they're desperate, they ought to be with George. One night, after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales. I wouldn't even mention it except Ruth Ginsberg and Sandra Day O'Connor saw us there. I won't tell you what happened, but Lynne's Secret Service code name is now 'Dollar Bill.' "

"[George has] learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse."

"Kennebunkport ... is like Crawford, but without the nightlife. People ask me what it's like to be up there with the whole Bush clan. Let me put it this way: First prize -- three-day vacation with the Bush family. Second prize -- 10 days."

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"People often wonder what my mother-in-law's really like. People think she's a sweet, grandmotherly, Aunt Bea type. She's actually more like, mmm, Don Corleone."

"George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chain saw -- which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well."

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"It's always very interesting to see how the ranch air invigorates people when they come down from Washington. Recently, when Vice President Cheney was down, he got up early one morning, he put on his hiking boots, and he went on a brisk 20- to 30-foot walk."

Side notes: The New York Times reports that the first lady has never actually watched "Desperate Housewives," though her daughters are said to be fans. Among those attending the dinner were Richard Gere, Kelly Preston, Mary Tyler Moore, Jane Fonda, Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell, recent "American Idol" reject Constantine Maroulis, Serena and Venus Williams, Al Sharpton, Bill Maher, Dennis Hopper, Arianna Huffington and Supreme Court justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia, among others. And not all the attendees were completely tickled with the first lady's blue humor. The Nation's David Corn told Fox News that he found the speech "very risqué. I was wondering what the social conservatives and James Dobson had to say about all these jokes that were laced with sexual innuendo. Not a very family-values-type speech. I'm not sure I want to explain a lot of those jokes to my 4-year-old."

<N.Y. Times, Washington Times, N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post)

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Also: Fox has decided not to respond to questions from ABC, which is set to run a takedown of "American Idol" on "Primetime Live" on Wednesday, as to whether Paula Abdul secretly coached a contestant on the show. (Drudge) ... "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" landed atop the box office over the weekend, taking in $21.7 million and besting by a wide margin the weekend's other big release, "XXX: State of the Union," which took in a mere $13.7 million. (N.Y. Post) ... Rumors are afoot that Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake are set to wed in France this weekend. (London's News of the World via N.Y. Post)

Money Quotes:
Val Kilmer, currently performing in a London stage production of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," on how British audiences compare to American audiences: "They're smarter. They read books." (Page Six)

Paris Hilton (who charges upward of $150,000 just to show up at a party) on where she's drawing the inspiration for her next career move: parlaying her name into multiple businesses -- perfume, jewelry, makeup, clothing, music, hotels that are "pink and hot": "Puffy is a genius. He does everything. Music. Clothing. I totally look up to him and Donald Trump because he's built this whole empire -- hotels, casinos, resorts, a television show." (N.Y. Times)

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Oprah Winfrey on the difference between black and white ... hair: "Don't go into it, because there ain't no telling. It's a strong cultural thing. We're all alike in our veins, except for our hair." (Associated Press)

David Hasselhoff, after accepting the Bollywood Movie Award for international star of the year in a ceremony in Atlantic City over the weekend: "I'm proud of shows like 'Baywatch' and 'Knight Rider' because it's about saving lives, not taking lives. It's entertainment, it's tongue in cheek, it brings the world together. I think it's responsible for a lot of world peace." (Reuters)

Bonus Money Quote:

He was so sure: Fox's Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteren discuss "runaway bride" Jennifer Wilbanks' disappearance Friday -- the day before authorities learned she had skipped town before her wedding because of cold feet:

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O'Reilly: It's got to be a crime. A woman like that with a long history of responsibility. She had a steady job. As you said, good friends who traveled to be with her on her wedding day. A fiancé who looks like, you know, he's an ordinary, regular kind of guy. She just wouldn't bolt and not tell anybody. That's cruel.

Susteren: Except ...

O'Reilly: Go ahead.

Susteren: Except for one thing, Bill ... You know, two years ago, I would have given probably a different answer than I'm going to give you tonight. Two years ago, Elizabeth Smart. You know, who would have dreamed she would return home? That was bizarre. Audrey Seiler, the college student in Madison who took off for a few days and vanished and everybody was looking for her. That was weird.

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It's -- you know, in the minds of all her friends and her family, it would be bizarre to think that she got cold feet, but it is not -- you know, it's not something that the police aren't looking at. It's a possibility.

Crime scene's more likely ...

O'Reilly: Yes, but here's the problem with that.

Susteren: ... but at this point with no clues.

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O'Reilly: Here's the problem with that, Greta. In order for a person to do that to this extent, with the national media there, hearts are broken, fear, all that, you'd have to be extremely disturbed. The woman in North Carolina who you referenced had a history of being -- of loopy behavior.

Elizabeth Smart actually was just lucky she wasn't killed. All right, that was just luck that that nut who took her didn't do her harm.

See, almost 100 percent of crimes, there's some element in the crime that's logical. This would defy any kind of logic. So I do believe, I hate to say it, I do believe that it's a crime.

("The O'Reilly Factor")

-- Amy Reiter

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