The Fix

"Weeds" marketers launch aromatic P.R. push. Jackson's people unearth "one of the biggest conspiracies in entertainment history." Plus: Gibson's kids, little demons?


Salon Staff
August 8, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
Just saying no to "Weeds" campaign: The marketing campaign for Showtime's "Weeds," which launches a new season next week, includes marketers passing out "Weeds"-branded brownies at mass transit hubs, a traveling "munchie mobile" and scent strips emitting a certain herbal aroma in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone. The Showtime marketing people may be pleased with their P.R. push, but the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy is decidedly displeased. "Unless they're going for the over-50 demographic, it sounds like their marketing department might be a little out of touch," said Tom Riley, the agency's director of public affairs. "Maybe some baby boomers still find this kind of thing edgy, but young people don't." As TV Week writes: "That's right, because nobody knows what's cool better than the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy." (TV Week)

The grand Jackson conspiracy? In what could be one of the most overblown statements in P.R. history, a Michael Jackson flack yesterday announced that the King of Pop had uncovered a plot to trick him into going to bankruptcy court. (His financial travails are long and complex -- in April, he secured $200 million in loans to pay off creditors by leveraging his stake in the Beatles catalog.) Spokeswoman Raymone Bain said, "In what could be one of the biggest conspiracies in entertainment history, documents have been sent to Michael Jackson and his representatives which reveal a deliberate plan by some former attorneys as well as associates and advisers to force Mr. Jackson into involuntary bankruptcy." She wouldn't elaborate on how the conspiracy was uncovered or why anyone would try to push Jackson into bankruptcy. "That's what we'd like to find out," Bain said. "But Michael Jackson was neither shocked nor surprised. He's always been suspicious that some of those whom he entrusted to act on his behalf ... may not have acted in his best interests." (Reuters)

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The Gibsons hold Malibu under a reign of terror? The lead item in today's Page Six paints a grisly picture of life in Malibu (aka Melibu): The seven children of the Gibson brood, ages 7 to 26, keep local residents in fear, at least according to totally unsubstantiated rumors. The kids "are the holy terrors of Malibu," one resident says. "They do whatever they want." Local legend has Gibson's high-school-age sons going into a local surf shop and demanding to get two kayaks on credit. After being told the store couldn't accommodate them, they tried a familiar refrain: "They got very angry and started shouting, 'Don't you know who we are?'" says the source. (N.Y. Post)

Also:
A spokesman for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes insists we'll see photos of baby Suri soon. Arnold Robinson tells the Scoop, "They will be making a decision to release the photographs [of Suri] shortly." (The Scoop) ... Pamela Anderson, just married (twice!) to Kid Rock, sparked pregnancy rumors after appearing on Ryan Seacrest's radio show last Friday -- when asked about her plans for having children with Rock, Anderson giggled and said, "There might be one in there now." (Daily Dish) ... Police were called to Paul McCartney's London home on Monday after his estranged wife, Heather Mills McCartney, arrived unannounced with her bodyguard to find the locks had been changed, and the guard reportedly scaled a fence to get in. (BBC News) ... Fred Savage and his wife, Jennifer Lynn Stone, have had their first child together, an as-yet unnamed boy born on Saturday in Los Angeles. (People) ... Roger Ebert had additional minor surgery over the weekend in his ongoing cancer treatment, and his doctors "remain optimistic" about his full recovery. (Associated Press) ... Album sales across the U.S. continue to just barely plod along: Sales for the second quarter are down 10 percent from last year. (Hollywood Reporter) ... Jessica Simpson says that with exception of one song, her new album, "A Public Affair," actually has nothing whatsoever to do with her divorce from Nick Lachey. "'A Public Affair' is a play on words," Simpson spelled it out for MTV News. "It's not about what you think it's going to be about." (People)

Money Quote:
Photographer Amy Arbus, who went to the same gym as Madonna in the early '80s, thinks back: "I remembered her as the girl who sat around the longest in the locker room naked." (City Magazine via Page Six)

Michael Jackson, in a voice mail to a former business manager that was uncovered in November 2005, has his own Mel Gibson moment: "They suck. They're like leeches. I'm so tired of it ... It is a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose." (ADL.org)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
It's the season finale of "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" (Oxygen, 10 p.m. EDT), and A&E presents a two-hour special of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" (9 p.m. EDT). Also, IFC airs indie hits "Amelie" (9 p.m. EDT) and "Boys Don't Cry" (11:05 p.m. EDT).

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On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Can a cease-fire save the Middle East?
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Dwayne Wade, Amy Sedaris, Morningwood (repeat)
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Bill Maher, Floyd Landis, Stone Sour
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Christina Milian, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Aaron Eckhart, Cheyenne Kimball, Fran Solomita
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Ed Burns, Dwayne Wade, Flyleaf (repeat)
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Brian Williams
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Bill Rhoden

-- Lamar Clarkson

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