The Fix

Stars to turn out for benefit, but will Kanye strike again? Plus: "Survivor" Hatch indicted.

Published September 9, 2005 10:27AM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Will Kanye strike again?: After Kanye West's outburst during NBC's live "Concert for Hurricane Relief," politics has become an issue for Hurricane Katrina benefits in a way it never has been before for such shows. But producer Joel Gallen feels pretty confident there won't be any repeats of Kanye-gate during Friday night's live multistar, multichannel concert. "Everybody is in the same spirit of what this evening is about, which is to raise as much money as possible," he said. "They're going to channel their feelings into inspiring people to donate, and leave the politicizing at home." At the same time, Gallen made it clear that even if someone did go ahead and air an opinion, it wouldn't be censored in the way Kanye's comments were on the West Coast's later broadcast, saying, "The only precautions we have right now are for language." Which means, given the reactions we've seen from celebrities and journalists over the last two weeks, that anything could happen. (Washington Post)

Hunter's last words? In a dispatch on Hunter S. Thompson's star-studded, surreal memorial service, Rolling Stone has published what appears to be the journalist's suicide note. The short note, written in black magic marker on Feb. 16 -- four days before his suicide -- and titled "Football Season Is Over," reads as follows:

"No More Games. No More bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun -- for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax -- This won't hurt."

The article, written by Douglas Brinkley, Thompson's biographer and literary executor, says, "although he left the grim missive for Anita, his young wife, Hunter was really talking to himself." (Rolling Stone)

"Survivor," tax prison edition: Original "Survivor" winner/enthusiastic nudist Richard Hatch has been indicted for tax evasion, fraud and charity swindle. It seems he forgot to report his $1 million winnings for the nationally televised, highly successful show to the IRS, and donations Hatch made to a charity he set up after winning the show, Horizon Bound, may actually just have gone back into his very own pocket. In addition, he faces one count of filing a false return, four counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of bank fraud. He made a deal to cop to just the tax evasion charges in January, but then backed out, which prompted the grand jury investigation that led to the indictment. (The Smoking Gun)

Geraldo Rivera's rage has found a new focus: Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley, who wrote that he pushed an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so cameras could catch him rescuing an elderly woman in New Orleans. "I'm with the 'out' crowd and don't have the social cachet she considers vital to life," said Rivera. "I just want them to admit they told an intentional lie or made a mistake." A Times spokeswoman said, "Several editors here have reviewed the tape and we feel comfortable that Alessandra described the scene accurately." ... Paris Hilton has a new shtick: happy housewife. In an interview in the new Vanity Fair, she talks about her aspirations to stay home and cook, have a baby, and maybe, you know, also get a new $2 million engagement ring. "I like it," Hilton said of the first ring, "but it's yellow, and I'm like, I didn't want yellow for my engagement ring." ... "White Teeth" author Zadie Smith's new book, "On Beauty," has made it onto the shortlist for the Booker Prize for Fiction, with bookmakers giving her 5/1 odds to win. In an interview with New York magazine, Smith gave herself "no chance" of making the list -- but then she also said, "Writing a novel is quite stupid work," and added this about her homeland: "When I talk about England now I just think about the England that I loved, and it's just gone. It's the way people look at each other on the train; just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere. It's just a disgusting place. It's terrifying. Maybe I'm just getting old."

Money Quote:
Bret Easton Ellis on his being interviewed by Katie Couric: "When I was on the 'Today' show last week, I wanted to tell Katie Couric, 'Katie, you know nothing about publishing. Nothing about publishing. I know about publishing. You're being very glib.' She was such a bitch to me, I couldn't believe it. She didn't like me, anyway -- we all thought that Matt Lauer was going to do the interview, but then he went to Iraq. So she was really pissed that she had to do the interview, and she was fidgeting -- she actually took her glasses off while I was answering a question and said, 'Oh, my glasses are so dirty! What's going on?' And I was thinking, 'Ugh. Let's just get this over with.'" (Willamette Week via Page Six)

Turn On:
If you're watching TV Friday night, you'll have a hard time missing "Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast" (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, WB, UPN, various cable channels, 8 p.m. EDT) -- the live benefit concert will feature performances by U2, Dixie Chicks, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Randy Newman, Alicia Keys, and Neil Young and appearances by Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Nicholson, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Sela Ward. MTV's benefit concert, "ReAct Now: Music and Relief," is on Saturday (8 p.m. EDT), and is so far set to feature Usher, Green Day, Ludacris, Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, Gretchen Wilson, Paul McCartney, John Mellencamp, Alicia Keys and the Rolling Stones. And if you need a change of pace on Saturday, catch either the "U.S. Open: Women's Final" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT) or Bruce Campbell in "Man With the Screaming Brain" (SCI FI, 9 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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