The Fix

Oliver Stone turns far-right poster boy. George Michael faces the fallout from latest sexcapade. Plus: Madonna's weird toilet-seat thing!


Salon Staff
July 26, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Dear "Jeopardy": Ken Jennings, the "Jeopardy!" wonder who won $2.5 million on the show during his 74-game winning streak in 2004, recently wrote some words of advice for the show on his blog: "Maybe when Art Fleming was alive, America just couldn't get enough clues about 'Botany' and 'Ballet' and 'The Renaissance,' but come on. Does every freaking category have to be some effete left-coast crap nobody's heard of, like 'Opera,' or, um, 'U.S. History' or whatever? I mean wake me up when you come up with something that middle America actually cares about. I think it would rule if, just one time, Alex had to read off a board like:

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The over-the-top post was obviously meant to be taken as a joke, but that didn't stop the New York Post's Michael Starr from getting on his high horse, saying the note was "bashing" the show, which prompted Jennings to make a statement: "For the record: I've loved 'Jeopardy!' since I was a kid, as anyone who talks to me for about five minutes knows. Making goofy jokes about TV shows isn't 'bashing.' I believe it's the whole reason Al Gore invented the Internet." (TMZ, Ken-Jennings.com, N.Y. Post)

Oliver Stone, right-wing heartthrob: There was a time in the not-so-distant past that Oliver Stone's directorial antics were anathema to a wide swath of the political spectrum, but particularly the right -- think "Natural Born Killer," "JFK," that Castro documentary. Apparently, though, all it takes is one non-Bush-bashing 9/11 movie to make things all right. Stone's "World Trade Center" has already come in for a lot of conservative love: "It is one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-male, flag-waving, God Bless America films you will ever see," writes Fox News' Cal Thomas, who can't believe his eyes. "What? Oliver Stone, who indulges in conspiracy theories and is a dues-paying member of the Hollywood left?" Thomas asked. "Yes, THAT Oliver Stone." Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, writes on Townhall.com that he expected a "tiresome, loathsome, Bush-lied-thousands-died production designed to titillate the Michael Moore left-wing fringe," but the movie changed his mind: "Let me be unequivocal. Stone has delivered a masterpiece." (N.Y. Daily News, Fox, Townhall)

George's wedding postponed? After he was caught in the bushes following what London papers describe as "a sexual encounter with a pot-bellied, jobless van driver," George Michael's wedding to his boyfriend of 10 years, Kenny Goss, has apparently been put on hold. "They are reassessing their relationship at the moment so there are no immediate plans. Things are very much up in the air," a source tells the London Evening Standard. (This Is London)

Also:
Almost two weeks after Christie Brinkley announced her separation from husband Peter Cook, Cook publicly apologized on Wednesday to his wife, via his lawyer, via the New York Post's Cindy Adams: "I love my wife. I have loved her since the day I met her. Please ... I love her" was his message. "For a lifetime, I've tried to prove how much I love her. This is an aberration. I'm sorry. I'm contrite. I'm stupid. Foolish. No excuse." (People) ... The wax likeness of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt -- the first baby Madame Tussauds has ever seen fit to make -- will be unveiled on Wednesday in Manhattan. Showing off what Madame Tussauds describes as her mom's "signature pouty lips and delicate features," the lil' baby will be displayed in an "African-themed nursery." (E! Online) ... Nicolas Cage is slated to play Liberace in an upcoming biopic, with a screenplay written by the team behind "Scary Movie" and "Date Movie." (TMZ) ... Teen People announced Tuesday that it is folding its print edition after eight years, though the magazine's Web site will live on; the New York Times' take is: "Celebrity news is available more immediately than a monthly magazine can offer, and young people increasingly are getting their information, including celebrity news, online." (New York Times) ... Someone's been keeping count: Wednesday marks 100 days since Suri Cruise-Holmes was born in Los Angeles, with still nary a sighting. (3 a.m. Girls)

Money Quote:
Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, after confirming that the singer requires a brand-new toilet seat -- to be sealed in plastic beforehand and thrown away afterward -- at every venue she plays: "I don't know if anyone helps her wipe, but there are probably people who would volunteer." (Rush & Molloy)

-- Scott Lamb

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On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): King discusses the Israel-Hezbollah conflict
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): author Thomas Ricks
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Scarlett Johannson, Paul Teutul Jr. and Sr.
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): John C. Reilly, Christina Milian, Pharrell
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Emma Thompson, Jason Priestly, Norah Vincent (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Cuba Gooding Jr., Carrie Ann Inaba, Jurassic 5
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Jon Cryer, the Dudesons, Los Lonely Boys
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Sharon Weinberger
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Neal Katyal

-- Lamar Clarkson

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