The Fix

Wallace vs. Rather! Bono vs. Eminem! Plus: The unbearably racy fiction of Scooter Libby.

Published October 31, 2005 2:12PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Guess who's not coming to dinner: Sharon Osbourne is picky about whom she shares her table with, apparently, and named her top three nightmare dinner guests in an upcoming feature in British GQ -- Madonna, Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry. Madonna she especially seems to dislike: "I would like to punch her," Osbourne says. "She is so full of [bleep]. She's into Kabbalah one minute, she's a Catholic the next. She'll be a Hindu soon, no doubt." (The Scoop)

Crimes against good taste: Lloyd Grove at the New York Daily News has a quick overview of Laura Collins' New Yorker summary of Scooter Libby's fiction debut, the 1996 novel "The Apprentice." The story is a thriller set in turn-of-the-century Japan, but Collins writes that "certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum." For instance: "The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the 'mound' of a little girl," and the "brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter." Collins says that "other sex scenes are less conventional," and quotes one longer passage: "At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest." A suspiciously enthusiastic reader review on Amazon writes: "Libby's story builds and builds and builds until it reaches a crescendo of sexual and political tension. What a great read! Hope he is working on something new." (Also worth quoting is the opening image in the Daily News item: "The last time I saw Scooter Libby, he was trying to persuade Maureen Dowd to join him in doing tequila shots at the celebstudded Bloomberg party after the 2003 White House Correspondents Association Dinner.") (Lowdown, Amazon)

Meeting in the boys room: In an interview running Monday morning on "The Today Show," Mike Wallace tells Katie Couric he thinks Dan Rather should have resigned over the "Memogate" scandal, if for no other reason than solidarity with his co-workers who were canned. The interview is old news to Rather (who turns 74 today), as Wallace had apparently told him about it just after the segment was filmed -- when the two ran into each other at the men's urinals at the CBS headquarters in New York. "They were both standing at the urinals when Wallace casually mentioned what he had told Katie," a source tells Radar magazine. "There proceeded a twenty-minute shouting match in the bathroom." Wallace's account of the incident, of course, differs slightly: "I said to Dan -- and I told him that I said this to Katie -- 'Did it never occur to you after the people who worked with you were fired that you might have resigned in sympathy with them?'" Wallace said. "And he replied, 'Yes, it did occur to me.' And we had a very pleasant, straightforward conversation about it." (Radar)

Pure comedy gold: Sir Elton John is writing the pilot of a sitcom for ABC, centered around the travails of an aging pop star, sort of an "Entourage" meets "Curb Your Enthusiasm" meets "Behind the Music." To be called "Him and Us" -- a title taken from a song off Elton's most recent album -- the project already has some big names attached: "Desperate Housewives" executive producer Michael Edelstein and Emmy-winning former "Sex and the City" scriptwriter Cindy Chupack ... Sir Bob Geldof says Eminem made Bono sad by ignoring pleas to take part in the Live 8 concert this summer: "Bono called me while I was in Africa and said, 'He's not calling me back. I've got these pictures of kids wearing Eminem and D-12 t-shirts and we got them sent off to Eminem's office but did we hear anything? It's sad'" ... Sylvester Stallone is on a comeback spree -- first he announced he'd be resurrecting the "Rocky" series with a new movie next year; now he plans to bring John Rambo back to the big screen as well. "Rambo IV" hasn't been written yet, but "the story calls for the reclusive Vietnam veteran to return to his vigilante ways when a young girl is kidnapped," according to the AP. The film's producers promise it will return to the rawness of the original, whatever that means ... Gerard Depardieu, however, won't be making a sequel to "Green Card." The French actor says he's ending his career as an actor. "I have made 170 films. I have nothing left to prove." His agent put it another way: "It doesn't amuse him any more. He wants to do deals, he wants to do other things than act" ... Rapper the Game was arrested at a mall in North Carolina over the weekend for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after refusing to take off a Halloween mask -- or as he told a local radio station: "They thought I was Rodney King, man. It was a case of mistaken identity."

Money Quotes:
Madonna on the flak she's gotten over her interest in Kabbalah: "It would be less controversial if I joined the Nazi Party." (N.Y. Daily News)

Kenny Chesney searching for an appropriate metaphor to describe his divorce from Renée Zellweger: "It was like opening the door to our house and having someone come in and take your big-screen TV off the wall during the big game, and there's nothing you can do about it." (The Scoop)

Turn On:
Halloween-related watching -- first, the classic haunted-house movie, "Poltergeist" (TCM, 8 p.m. EDT); the former reality TV contestant cast of "Kill Reality" gets together for a feature film in "The Scorned" (E! 9 p.m. EDT); "Ghost Hunters Halloween Special" (Sci Fi, 10 p.m. EDT) heads to Savannah's cemeteries; then, at midnight, the restrained but deeply creepy 1963 version of "The Haunting" (TCM).

-- Scott Lamb

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