The Fix

Jessica blasts Iraq whitewash -- and Christian critics. Judy Miller's husband takes a cruise. Plus: The "World's Sexiest Vegetarian."


Salon Staff
July 27, 2005 5:28PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Doonesbury disappears: A dozen newspapers refused to carry Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip yesterday, because it referred to Bush advisor Karl Rove by the moniker "Turd Blossom." It has been widely reported already that "Turd Blossom" is indeed the president's nickname for Mr. Rove. Some of the newspapers, which included the Rhode Island daily the Providence Journal, called the remarks "potty humor," and edited the offending language from the strip before publication. Others simply went without. Lee Salem, a representative of Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the comic to publications nationwide, defended Trudeau, saying, "Given the coverage of Karl Rove, we thought it was appropriate, especially given the history of the strip." The papers report they are prepared to take the same action today, should the language persist. But "as opposed to other times when editors have objected to Doonesbury content, the syndicate [will] not send out replacement strips." (AP, via Fox News)

Miller's Law-less affair: Jude Law may have been diddling the domestic help, but Sienna Miller's past may not have been squeaky clean either. It seems that throughout her engagement with Law, Miller remained in close contact with her ex -- the "Adonis-like" male model David Neville -- through frequent, intimate text messages. A friend of Neville's reveals, "[Sienna] would text David all the time ... saying things like, 'I'm on the beach with Jude but I'm heartbroken, I miss you and I can't stop thinking about you ... This feels wrong.'" In addition to their electronic trysts, Miller reportedly also allowed Neville to keep the pair's stash of nude photos in his Notting Hill apartment, but became hysterical when the building was burgled last spring and the shots went missing. "David was freaking out," a New York Post source reports. "He had to call and tell Sienna about it. She [got crazy] because her career was just taking off." Maybe she should give Cameron Diaz a call? (N.Y. Post, Page Six)

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Lonely in lockdown? While source-shielding journalist Judy Miller languishes in lockup, her husband of 12 years, editor Jason Epstein, has set sail on a luxury cruise of the Mediterranean, alongside the likes of Isabella Rosellini and J.K. Rowling. And what does Ms. Miller make of this rather raw deal? Her attorney, Robert Bennett, retorts, "We all serve our time in our own way." In today's N.Y. Daily News, Christopher Buckley, comic novelist and editor of Forbes FYI, speculates about what Epstein might have said to Miller before embarking. "'Darling, I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself even if it were a nice cruise. While I'm dining on foie gras, I will be thinking only of you, sitting behind bars in 110-degree heat, eating baloney and being brutalized by prison matrons.'" Is he far off? For now, Miller's camp is putting on a brave face. On the record, Bennett reports, "Judy wanted him to go very much. She insisted he go, because there was nothing he could do for her during that period of time." (N.Y. Daily News, Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Simpson shellshocked: Jessica Simpson is speaking out about the shocking conditions she witnessed in Iraq earlier this year, while producing an ABC variety special with her husband, Nick Lachey. Though crews filmed some "harrowing footage" and "controversial moments," the edited version of the ABC show retained little evidence of the harsh reality facing Iraqi citizens and soldiers. What is Simpson's response to the network's whitewashing? "It's unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. Somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced." Simpson is convinced seeing the missing tapes would do the American public some good. "[Witnessing that] put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice. I can't even fathom being out there right now. I was ready to come home." (Contact Music via Drudge Report)

Still more Simpson: After being scorned for dressing "like a stripper" in the "These Boots Were Made for Walking" video, Jessica Simpson is telling her Christian critics, "judge me not." Though she grew up as a pastor's daughter, Simpson claims that kind of attitude is what turned her away from a career in the faith. "It [doesn't] really surprise me because I grew up with a lot of that backlash," she says. "That's why I didn't end up going into the Christian music industry. I think that if they're really good Christians the judgment wouldn't be there." (MSNBC, The Scoop)

Also: Sidney Bristow will be battling bad guys for two on "Alias" this season. Jennifer Garner, who plays the role, is expecting her first child this December with hubby Ben Affleck, and producers have elected to integrate her pregnancy into the plot of the series ... Joss Stone, the teenage British singing sensation who last spring unseated Sarah Jessica Parker from her Gap spokesmodel throne, has been demoted to a "backup singer" in their new campaign. New ads have her sharing the spotlight with performers including Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child and Alanis Morissette ... Johnny Depp had a heart-to-heart lunch with bad-boy Babyshambles rocker Pete Doherty recently and urged him to tame his wild ways for the sake of his girlfriend, Kate Moss, and his young son, Estille. It's sweet to know Johnny cares -- he and Moss dated for four years in the mid 1990s, while he was still trashing hotel rooms ... Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have ruined their personal lives, so why not shoot for their professional lives too? The Siamese-twin Scientologists have announced plans to make a film together, saying only that it is "a 'laugh out loud' romantic comedy called 'Over to You.'" Career suicide? Pass the Kool-Aid ... Katie Holmes may not be returning to the new Christian Bale "Batman" franchise, but pop singer and Cameron Diaz boy-toy Justin Timberlake is apparently eager to join the team. Timberlake has reportedly auditioned for the villainous role of Two-Face in the upcoming sequel, but is facing stiff competition from Liev Schreiber ... Natalie Portman's forthcoming film, "Vendetta," will retain scenes that show the London tube system being bombed, despite the recent terrorist attacks. Says producer Joel Silver, "It's a controversial film and it's a controversial time" ... Animal rights group PETA has named Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay and husband of Gwyneth Paltrow, the "World's Sexiest Vegetarian." Other contenders for the crown included Tobey Maguire, Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Portman and Alec Baldwin ... Lollapa-losers? Perry Farrell and Co. got a slap in the face last weekend, courtesy of Chicago's W hotel. Each room contained a copy of a recent issue of Giant magazine that "trashed [Farrell] and accused him of turning the famed rock tour into a crassly commercial cash cow." The organizers were in Chicago to promte the concerts.

Turn On:

Get your groove on ... Cinemax presents Paul Thomas Anderson's porn and disco debut, "Boogie Nights," on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. EDT.

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-- Sarah Karnasiewicz

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