The Fix

Selling Gibson's new flick. Marie Claire fakes Vargas breast-feeding photo. Plus: Judge postpones ruling on Madonna.

Published November 14, 2006 2:30PM (EST)

Morning Briefing:
Peddling "Apocalypto": The Los Angeles Times wrote on Monday about the campaign behind Mel Gibson's upcoming end-of-days/obscure-language thriller "Apocalypto." Just as Gibson networked with Christian groups to make his "The Passion of the Christ" into one of the highest-grossing films ever, the Times writes that "with 'Apocalypto' -- his visually sumptuous retelling of the fall of the Maya civilization -- Gibson is hoping to strike box-office gold once again by wooing Latinos and Native Americans." Actor Edward James Olmos has seen the film and says he was "blown away" by it. "I was totally caught off guard," he says. "It's arguably the best movie I've seen in years." (Los Angeles Times)

The fake Vargas? A Q&A with ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas in the December issue of Marie Claire is accompanied by a photo of Vargas sitting at a news desk, breast-feeding her baby -- only the baby and the body aren't hers. A source tells Drudge: "Elizabeth was more than happy to sit for the interview but was disturbed that the magazine would set aside basic journalistic standards to photoshop her head onto a fake image. Vargas joked that her real baby is cuter, that she is proud to breast-feed her newborn but wouldn't do it at the anchor desk and that she wouldn't be caught dead in that ugly gold blouse!" A spokesperson for the magazine responded, "We do not believe anyone seriously thought she would nurse and report the news [at] the same time! This is an image illustration and is stated so with the byline of this story. We only want to make the point that women choosing between their career and being a parent is a tough decision that we are very sensitive to." (Drudge)

More Mills allegations: The man accused of hiring Heather Mills McCartney when she allegedly once worked as a call girl won't confirm or deny that she worked for him. In a recent sitdown, celeb interviewer Daphne Barak asks Adnan Khashoggi point-blank, "Was Heather Mills paid for sex -- or wasn't she?" Khashoggi answers "Who cares?" and reaches out to Barak for a high-five. He later says, "How does she know names, places, if she wasn't one of the girls?" referring to the fact Mills has admitted meeting him at one of his events. Watch the awkward interview footage here. (Page Six, the Bosh,

A judge in Malawi has announced he'll rule next Monday on whether a human rights group's case against Madonna's recent adoption will be allowed to go forward. (E Online) ... Janet Arvizo, the mother of the boy who accused Michael Jackson of child abuse, has pleaded no contest to charges of welfare fraud in Los Angeles. (BBC News) ... Tom Cruise touched down in Rome on Monday with an entourage of 10 -- including his mom and his three kids -- ahead of his wedding to Katie Holmes this weekend. (Associated Press) ... Nicholas Sparks' "Dear John" tops this week's New York Times bestsellers list for hardcover fiction, while "The Audacity of Hope," by Barack Obama, sits atop the nonfiction list. (N.Y. Times)

Money Quote:
Actress Rachel Weisz, who recently gave birth to her first child, on whether she feels drinking wine during pregnancy is all right: "Personally I do. They say not in the first three months though, but I think that after that it's fine. I mean in Europe they drink it." (Faded Youth)

Turn On:
On Tuesday, "3 Lbs." (CBS, 10 p.m. EST), with Stanley Tucci as a prickly neurosurgeon, and "Show Me the Money" (ABC, 9:30 p.m. EST), a game show hosted by William Shatner, both premiere. HBO presents the Lauren Greenfield doc about eating disorders, "Thin" (9 p.m. EST), and Frontline presents "A Hidden Life" (PBS, check local listings), about the controversy surrounding the 2005 outing of Spokane, Wash., Mayor Jim West.

On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EST): Roseanne Barr
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Former Sen. John Edwards
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EST): Jack Black, Fred Travalena, Tenacious D
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EST): Rachel Weisz, Nick Cannon, Il Divo
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EST): Robin Williams, Christian Slater, Panic! at the Disco
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EST): Steven Weber, Emily Deschanel, Phil Rosenthal
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EST): Tracy Morgan, Jerry Springer, Akon
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EST): Former Sen. John Edwards
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EST): Jeff Swartz

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By Scott Lamb

Scott Lamb is a senior editor at

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