The Fix

Diddy in hot water with the FEC? Jennifer Aniston, GQ Man of the Year? Plus: The Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection Act of 2005!

Published November 16, 2005 2:10PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Diddy breaks election laws?: The National Legal and Policy Center is hoping to get Sean "Diddy" Combs in trouble with the Federal Election Commission: The conservative watchdog group says he violated election law with his notorious 2004 "Vote or Die" campaign. "The Vote or Die! campaign was little more than a way for Combs to call attention to himself," said the NLPC's president, Peter Flaherty. "In terms of effectiveness, it was a joke." His group also alleges that Citizen Change, the organization behind Diddy's campaign, "purported to promote voter mobilization, consistent with the activities of a nonprofit organization, but engaged in prohibited electioneering activities" by pushing for John Kerry to defeat George W. Bush. No word yet from Diddy. (Associated Press)

Jen breaks the gender barrier: Jennifer Aniston is appearing on the cover of next month's GQ, its annual "Men of the Year" issue. Aniston shares the "of the year" honors with 50 Cent and her rumored significant other, Vince Vaughn -- each appearing on a separate cover. It's the first time GQ has handed out a "Woman of the Year" award, and according to GQ articles editor Mark Healy, Aniston deserved it for exhibiting "a lot of poise, unbelievable amount of grace and good humor this year." And, of course, the big win has nothing to do with Aniston posing topless for her cover shot. As her spokesman Stephen Huvane says, "Jennifer has always been interested in creating images that are inspired and different from what you may have seen before." (USA Today)

Breaking the law at PBS: The internal investigation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting released its report on the efforts of former board chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson to influence the programming at PBS, and determined that he did, indeed, break the law in doing so. The conservative Tomlinson sought to push PBS content toward the right; among other things, he reportedly told CPB staff to threaten withholding PBS' funds "if they didn't balance their programming." The news may have a big effect on the way public broadcasting works in the future. "The report shows that Mr. Tomlinson was willing to ride roughshod over the law to impose his political mind-set on PBS programming," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis. "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting needs significant reform and vigorous oversight." (Washington Post)

Lest we forget Tupac: It's a piece of legislation with a name for the ages: The Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection Act of 2005. Brought to you by Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., the bill's aim is to immediately release all government records pertaining to the life and death of the rapper, the creation of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection at the National Archives, and other Tupac-documenting efforts. Sadly, as Radar online notes, McKinney doesn't carry much weight in the House -- she once suggested George W. Bush knew all about the 9/11 attacks far in advance and purposely failed to prevent them. (Radar Online, Federation of American Scientists)

After last week's leak, it's not surprising that naked-bongo enthusiast Matthew McConaughey has been chosen as People's Sexiest Man Alive for 2005. Oddly, though, you can still vote for the award over on the People Web site -- with enough votes, maybe Patrick Dempsey can come from behind! ... Country music's big event, the CMA Awards, went off without a hitch in New York last night -- though the N.Y. Post called them "more honky tonk than haute couture." The night's big winner was Lee Ann Womack, who took home awards for album of the year, with "There's More Where That Came From," single of the year, for "I May Hate Myself In the Morning," and best musical event for her duet with George Strait, "Good News, Bad News" ... Arriving in plenty of time for Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa, it's the Mariah Carey doll, including a "diamante replica of her signature bling butterfly ring" ... Proving that taped drug use hurts your career only if you're a model, "Jackass" star (if there is such a thing) Steve O was caught on tape flashing a bag of weed in front of some of L.A.'s finest, but walked away without incident (see the video here). In fact, the only people who are likely to lose work over the tape are the two officers -- the LAPD has instigated an "internal investigation" ... Tyra Banks is clearing her show's studio -- "I couldn't have done this in front of people," she says -- for her Friday "showdown" with supermodel Naomi Campbell. Will it be the end of the 14-year, media-fueled feud? "The press had cast Naomi and [me] as rivals before we ever met each other," Banks said in a statement. "Back then there were 10 top models ... but there was an unwritten rule that only one of them could be black. And Naomi was that one black girl."

Money Quote:
Madonna defending Tom Cruise's religious devotion: " I don't really know what Scientology is. But I don't think anybody else knows, either. [People] need to shut the [bleep] up." (N.Y. Daily News)

Turn On:
In a nice bit of crossover marketing, "I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash" (CBS, 8 p.m. EDT) brings singers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson and Dwight Yoakam together to perform the Man in Black's songs. Also, Bruce Willis guest stars (alongside his kids' new stepdad, series regular Ashton Kutcher) on "That '70s Show" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT).

-- Scott Lamb

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