The Fix

Bush back on the sauce? The Kate Moss skinny gets worse. Plus: Vote Paglia!

Published September 22, 2005 1:05PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
"Stop, George!" What with the ever-mounting trouble in Iraq and a catastrophic disaster at home and record-low approval ratings and all, who could blame George W. Bush for going back to the sauce? It makes for one of the great all-time tabloid leads: "Faced with the biggest crisis of his political life, President Bush has hit the bottle again, The National Enquirer can reveal." Revealing a brewing crisis in the White House, the Enquirer describes the president as a closet drinker who has been sneaking drinks for weeks, worn down by the bad news surrounding his second term: "The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope." He was finally busted by the first lady, though, after Katrina put him over the edge: "When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: 'Stop, George!'" (National Enquirer)

Moss' ship continues to sink: Following in the footsteps of H&M, first Chanel and then Burberry have announced they're dropping Kate Moss in the wake of her drug abuse (non-) scandal. The newest chilling press release from Burberry: "At the current time we had one project scheduled with Kate for this autumn and in the circumstances both Kate and Burberry have mutually agreed that it is inappropriate to go ahead." And now yet another London cosmetics firm has announced it will be "reviewing her contract." Add to that the unstable presence of Pete Doherty, whom Moss may or may not have just broken up with and who's been acting, well, he's been acting pretty much like he always does: "Doherty went 'beserk,' smashing up a $20,000 vintage guitar onstage and then threatening a reporter with a broken bottle." If that weren't enough, the Scientologists are now snapping at her heels (or "reaching out") by trying to get Moss to attend their rehab program, Narconon. A source tells the Scoop, "Kate is a woman who needs help and Scientology feels that they can steer her in the right direction." (AP, N.Y. Post, MSNBC)

Vote Paglia! Foreign Policy magazine and Britain's Prospect magazine have created a list of the world's top 100 intellectuals, and will be compiling a list of the Top Five after its online readers vote. Among the hopefuls are Pope Benedict XVI, novelists Ha Jin and J.M. Coetzee, activist Naomi Klein, Bush guru Paul Wolfowitz -- and Salon contributor, academic and modern-day culture oracle Camille Paglia. You can vote here (you get five votes). (Foreign Policy)

Goodbye and that's it? The buildup to the debut of "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" was based almost entirely on giddy speculation about what dismissive catchphrase she would use to get rid of the contestant who didn't make the cut at the end of each episode. Trump's "You're fired!" nearly spawned an industry, so naturally the pressure to come up with something good for the new show was high. When the moment came last night to send Jeff, a New York creative director, packing, Martha let loose with, "So, Jeffrey, you just don't fit. Goodbye." No exclamation points necessary. Showing her famous excellent manners, though, she followed up with a tasteful but direct note: "Dear Jeffrey: I'm sorry that you are the first to go. Not to fail, but rather not to fully succeed." (AP)

They haven't been seen much in public recently, but that's because potential über-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have taken a page from the Michael Jackson playbook and headed to Dubai. Along with Maddox and Zahara, the pair are on vacation at the posh Burj al-Arab Hotel and have been seen at the Wild Wadi Waterpark, where Jackson appeared in a full-body spandex suit just last week ... Despite Lindsay Lohan's recent attempts to extend an olive branch, her feud with Hilary Duff hasn't lost any of its icy edge. The newest front was at the Vogue Young Hollywood party, where the two young women and their rival armies exchanged volleys of nasty looks throughout the night. It seems the fight was a draw, with one witness to the carnage saying, "There was a lot of tension, a lot of evil looks. Nobody went into the other's territory." Peace was on its way a few weeks ago when Lohan tried to call off the fighting -- which all began long ago over Aaron Carter -- but her attempts were rebuffed. A source tells Lloyd Grove, "Lindsay called Hilary and was like, 'Enough?' And Hilary just said, 'No f-ing way,' and hung up on her. Hilary's a wolf in sheep's clothing, so Linds is done" ... Tyra Banks really, really wants you to know her breasts aren't fake. After performing a "touch test" and then a sonogram on her talk show this week, fake breast expert/Brook Burke-ex Dr. Garth Fisher offered his medical opinion: "Tyra Banks has natural breasts; there are no implants" ... Britney Spears is at the very top of a new music list compiled in the U.K.: She's cited as the most annoying singer to have to listen to by retail employees who have no control of what music they have to listen to. Coming in second and third are Usher and Kylie Minogue ... Rapper Beanie Sigel is back in court for the retrial of his attempted-murder charge in Philadelphia -- he's accused of shooting and almost killing a man two years ago. Last year's trial -- which was attended at times by Jay-Z and Beyoncé -- ended in a deadlocked jury.

Money Quote:
Jessica Simpson on how sometimes the words just don't come easily: "I am not good on the phone, with words. You know, I have to think about what I am going to say." (Boldface)

"Lost" cast member Jorge Garcia on the things he has received from fans: "I sent one lady an autograph, and she sent me back religious brochures and a coupon for Slim-Fast." (Contactmusic)

Turn On:
More new shows tonight: Chris Rock narrates a comedy based on his formative years in Brooklyn, "Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN, 8 p.m. EDT). And Donald Trump returns to TV with the season opener of "The Apprentice" (NBC, 9 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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By Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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