The Fix

Stewart squares off with O'Reilly. Nick and Jess, not together again. Plus: Who ranked first among intellectuals?

Published October 19, 2005 1:05PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
The Daily Factor with O'Stewart: Bill O'Reilly was on "The Daily Show" last night, this time to plug his "O'Reilly Factor for Kids" and defend his ongoing boycott of all things French. The results were predictably hilarious, from Stewart's opening question, "Why so grumpy?" to O'Reilly calling Stewart a "pinhead" for defending the French. Some excerpts:

O'Reilly: There are a lot of wrongs we have to right. We have to take on a lot of bad people.

Stewart: And when are you going to start doing that? 

Stewart: I will say this: We do add insult to injury --

O'Reilly: You do. See? He's an honest man.

Stewart: -- but you add injury.

Watch the video here (Windows Media). (Crooks and Liars)

World's bestest intellectual: The results of the Prospect/Foreign Policy global intellectuals poll are in, with more than 20,000 votes to help decide who's the planet's top public intellectual. Congratulations, first off, to Salon contributor and cultural thinker Camille Paglia for her very respectable spot at No. 20 (just one below neocon mastermind Paul Wolfowitz). The poll's overwhelming winner, with almost twice the votes of his nearest competitor, was Noam Chomsky. This "tells us something about the radically shifting nature of the public intellectual in the west," writes David Herman in an analysis of the results. "I said last month in my commentary on the original Prospect/Foreign Policy list of 100 names that it seemed to represent the death of that grand tradition of oppositional intellectuals. The overwhelming victory for Noam Chomsky suggests that we still yearn for such figures -- we just don't seem to be able to find any under the age of 70." (Prospect)

Nick and Jess watch: The swirling malaise of breakup rumors, which broke out into a full-blown (albeit premature) infection a few weeks ago, has followed Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey home from their OK magazine-sponsored Italian vacation. "Upon their return last Friday, Lachey ditched Simpson to party in Las Vegas," writes Page Six, "and 'Jackass' star Bam Margera -- who had a fling with Simpson earlier this year -- confirmed to Us Weekly that she had left Lachey. More evidence the two have split? Simpson, who now lives with her assistant Cacee Cobb, is spending her third wedding anniversary alone, in Africa." (Page Six)

No. 5 on the list of public intellectuals now has an angry Web site dedicated to (in its own words) "exposing the lies and distortions of the New Right's favourite ex-Marxist": It's HitchensWatch ... Who would know better than "Beowulf" costar Ray Winstone whether Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting married? He does claim to have the goods, saying, "She's getting married, isn't she? Yes she is" ... In what seems like a sensible move, Kate Moss has barred Pete Doherty from visiting her in rehab. As a friend said: "She really values her family's support at this difficult time and doesn't want anything or anyone to derail her recovery"  Tom Sizemore, you know you've hit rock bottom when Paris Hilton publicly denies ever having sex with you: "It's disappointing that Mr. Sizemore has to use my name to sell his DVDs," she told MSNBC's the Scoop in a statement. "He is not an acquaintance of mine nor have I ever had intimate relations with him" ... After using a theater at Fort Monmouth, N.J., to rehearse for their upcoming world tour, Bon Jovi just wants to give something back -- in the form of a private concert for the base. "It's not open to the public," said guitarist Richie Sambora. "We're just doing anything we can do. Really, it's just any time you can give back to those guys who are out there fighting for our freedom, for God's sakes" ... Who knew? Military gambling -- i.e., slot machines on American military bases abroad -- is apparently a $120 million-a-year business for the Army. Admitting that slot machines are "a very profitable operation," Peter Isaacs, chief operating officer of the Army's Community and Family Support Center, adds, "but we do not operate them strictly to extract profit. Our soldiers have told us they want access to the same games and gambling opportunities available to the civilians they are defending."

Money Quote:
Susie Essman, who plays Susie Greene, the wife of Larry David's agent on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," on the perks of her job: "Just to constantly tell Larry David to go fuck himself and that he's an asshole, take after take after take after take, is just so much fun." (N.Y. Daily News)

Turn On:
It's an animated-series season debut doubleheader on Comedy Central, with "South Park" at 10 p.m. EDT, followed by the reality TV spoof "Drawn Together" at 10:30. On PBS, Parts 1 and 2 of David Grubin's "Destination America" (check local listings), a documentary series about immigration to the U.S.

-- Scott Lamb

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