The Fix

Paris punched in the face? Madonna adopts a boy? Plus: "The Daily Show" is "as substantive as network news."

Published October 5, 2006 1:50PM (EDT)

Morning Briefing:
Heiress socked: Paris Hilton says she got a solid right to the jaw at Los Angeles' Hyde Club Wednesday night from Shanna Moakler, whose ex-husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, has been spotted making out with Hilton in recent weeks. Hilton and Moakler, a former Miss USA, got into a nasty argument at the club, but Moakler says she never punched Paris. Instead, she claims that Hilton's ex, Stavros Niarchos, poured a drink on her and pushed her down some stairs after she and Paris started arguing. In either case, both women left the club after their tiff and went to the nearby Hollywood police station, where Hilton accused Moakler of assault -- and Moakler, in turn, filed a complaint against Niarchos. (New York Daily News)

More on Madonna's possible adoption: Either Madonna has adopted an orphan from Malawi or the press has been had. Reuters and the Associated Press are running stories on Thursday that Madonna indeed adopted a young boy in Malawi on Wednesday, quoting government spokeswoman Adrina Michiela as saying, "She asked us to identify boys only, which we have done after visiting four orphanages in Lilongwe." At the same time, her rep Liz Rosenberg denies the story, saying, "She has not adopted a baby despite reports that she has." (Los Angeles Times, Us Weekly)

Faux news not so faux: A study on "The Daily Show" by Indiana University assistant professor Julia R. Fox -- who calls her paper the "first scholarly effort to systematically examine how the comedy program compares to traditional television news as sources of political information" -- has determined that Jon Stewart's news-mocking show is actually a "legitimate source of news." Fox writes: "Interestingly, the average amounts of video and audio substance in the broadcast network news stories were not significantly different than the average amounts of visual and audio substance in 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' stories about the presidential election." (Indiana University via Romenesko)

Kim Basinger is being arraigned on 12 charges of contempt of court for violating the child custody agreement set up with ex-husband Alec Baldwin -- Baldwin alleges she denied him visitation and telephone rights with their 10-year-old daughter, Ireland. (TMZ) ... Nicole Richie, responding to rumors that she and Brody Jenner have broken up, says on her blog, "The truth is, we were never really together. We hung out, and he's a nice guy, but my heart was never in it." (MySpace) ... Ludacris' new album, "Release Therapy," has gone straight to No. 1 on this week's Billboard charts, making it the rapper's third album in a row to open at the top spot. (Variety) ... NBC has announced it's pulling the plug on its new series "Kidnapped" -- the show, which had disappointing ratings, will end after its original 13 episodes finish airing. (Reuters via Yahoo) ... George Lucas has announced that his production company, Lucasfilm, is getting out of the movie business: "We don't want to make movies. We're about to get into television. As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, we've moved away from the feature film thing because it's too expensive and it's too risky." (Variety)

Money Quote:
Ryan Phillippe on how he gets through awards shows: "At the Golden Globes I was plastered! Shirley MacLaine and I drank like crazy, just putting away bottles of wine and making fun of everyone." (Rolling Stone via Lowdown)

Matt Stone explains how he and "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker ended up in drag on the red carpet of the 2000 Oscars: "We took acid and tripped. It seemed like the right day -- drop acid and get on the red carpet in a dress." (FHM via Page Six)

Turn On:
For those not watching the Dodgers play the Mets in the second game of the "Major League Baseball Division Playoffs" (Fox, 8 p.m. EDT), "Joan Cusack's Local Flavor" (Travel Channel, 9 p.m. EDT) premieres, "Drawn Together" (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. EDT) has its third season debut, and "Pimp My Ride" (MTV, 10:30 p.m. EDT) has its fourth season finale.

On the Talk Shows:
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Mark Halperin, John Harris, John Danforth
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Frank Caliendo, Xzibit
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): Bob Newhart, Kristin Chenoweth, Camp Freddy
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Jaime Pressly, Jerome Bettis, Jerry Lee Lewis
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Brooke Shields, Michael Ian Black, Diana Krall
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Jessica Simpson, Carlos Mencia, the Killers
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): David Rakoff
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Amy Goodman

-- Scott Lamb

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