The Fix

Nude Jude photos make rounds. Diddy drops the "P." Plus: Friends prepare to honor Hunter.

By Scott Lamb
August 17, 2005 5:05PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing:
Big F-ing Deal: A number of media heavyweights gathered at Michael's in New York on Tuesday to discuss Judith Miller, including Time editor in chief Norman Pearlstine, Miller's lawyer Floyd Abrams, Columbia University Journalism School dean Nicholas Lemann, Vanity Fair writer Michael Wolff and the Washington Post's Richard Cohen. Pearlstine, who decided to hand over writer Matt Cooper's notes to spare him being jailed, said the information Cooper gathered didn't deserve the promise of confidentiality: "A 90-second conversation with the president's spin doctor, who was trying to undermine a whistle-blower, probably didn't deserve confidential source status." Things also got heated between Wolff and Cohen. "The President said, 'If anyone is involved in this in my administration, they're going to get fired,'" said Wolff. "If Karl Rove were out of business, that's a fucking big story." Cohen later shot back, "This is a crappy little crime, and it may not be a crime at all." (N.Y. Daily News, AP via Drudge)

Diddy change his name or didn't he?: Tired of all the confusion over his multiple name changes, Sean Combs -- aka Puff Daddy, Puffy and P. Diddy -- has decided to change his name again. The new, streamlined handle is simply Diddy. "I'd notice that people were uncomfortable when I'd meet them for the first time, and then they'd ask me what they should call me," says Diddy, referring to the confusion after his last name change in 2003. "I even started to get confused myself -- and when I'd called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long." (N.Y. Post)


Insert "horsing around" pun: Madonna's 47th birthday on Tuesday didn't turn out to be quite so happy after all. While on a ride on the grounds of her estate in the English countryside outside London, the pop queen fell from her horse and broke her collarbone, her hand and cracked three of her ribs. Madonna's only been riding for a few months, and the horse that threw her was apparently a new one. She's now recovering at home, but spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg says, "I don't know if she's going to be hanging from a disco ball anytime soon." (BBC, AccessHollywood)

A fitting tribute: The memorial party for Hunter S. Thompson -- which will culminate in blasting the man's ashes out of a 150-foot-tall monument/cannon -- isn't until Saturday, but Thompson's widow, Anita, says there will be "no crying, no tears, only celebration" at the ranch near Aspen. "He envisioned it to be a beautiful party. The most amazing people would be there. His friends would celebrate his life. And he was even specific that there would be clinking of ice and whisky." Among those clinking will be Sean Penn and longtime friend Johnny Depp, who helped cover most of the cost for both the party and the monument. The plans for the monument post-party are uncertain, but Anita says there's chance the sculpture, depicting Thompson's gonzo logo of a double-thumbed fist, might be erected elsewhere. (AP)

Katie Holmes continues to stick by her man, and is still trying to defend Tom Cruise's wildly enthusiastic display of adoration for her on "The Oprah Winfrey" show back in May. "I find it hard to know why people wouldn't want to believe that he was just so happy that day and didn't want to act cool and hide his feelings," she says, adding that she's proud "he was willing to let his guard down." ... Nude pictures of Jude Law being shopped around to tabloids have left viewers feeling mostly underwhelmed. One New York publicist who saw them could only say, "He's no Tommy Lee, that's for sure." ... Charles Gibson still looks to be the leading candidate to replacing Peter Jennings on ABC's "World News Tonight." Gibson has been anchoring the show since before Jennings' death on Aug. 7, and has apparently expressed interest in the job, though ABC has made it clear it is in no rush to fill the spot ... Suffering from exhaustion "complicated by other medical issues," Eminem has canceled his entire European tour. The rapper's "Anger Management" tour finished in the U.S. last week. His publicist wouldn't go into exactly what "other medical issues" the rapper was dealing with.


Money Quote:
Samuel L. Jackson being interviewed about his upcoming film "Pacific Air Flight 121": One of those films that you're working on right now is ... well, it's called "Pacific Air 121" --
Jackson: "Snakes on a Plane," man! Exactly.
Jackson: We're totally changing that back. That's the only reason I took the job: I read the title ... You either want to see that, or you don't. And how are those snakes? Besides being on a plane?
Jackson: Some of them are aggressive, some of them are cool. They're interesting to watch, and interesting to interact with. It depends on what kind of snake it is. One day, it took, like, four guys to bring in this 350 lb. Burmese Python. We were all like, "Where's that goin'?" And I watched an Albino Cobra strike airplane seats the other day. I watched it from another studio. It's actually been a fun show. But we're taking the name back! (

Turn On:
In a sugary combination bringing together both reality TV crossbreeding and '70s nostalgia (for the original series), Bravo presents "Battle of the Network Reality Stars" at 9 p.m. EDT. With its second season still a month away, you can watch the first four episodes of "The Office" (NBC, 8 p.m. EDT) in a marathon hosted by star/clueless manager Steve Carrel (and star of the upcoming "The 40-Year-Old Virgin").

-- Scott Lamb


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Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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