Rapper Fat Joe: Women Are Hos. Uh, and Smart, Beautiful Mothers.

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, July 13, 2006

One way to break the ice with a bunch of earnest young liberals . . . Rapper Fat Joe , speaking on a panel yesterday at the Campus Progress National Student Conference in D.C., took the inevitable question on how he feels about the representation of women in hip-hop.

"Y'all might as well throw spears at me now," he said. "Y'all are going to throw me out, but I think they're bitches and hos."

Awkward silence.

"But I also think they're intelligent, beautiful mothers," he added, noting how men can be dogs as well.

Warm applause.

The forum on hip-hop culture lured about 200 from other afternoon panel options ("Making Truth Convenient," "Shrinking Access/Growing Debt") at the second annual convention at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Sitting alongside youth-outreach and minority-vote advocacy types, the 35-year-old Bronx native declined to pick a fight with the rap-averse Oprah . "Just because she's black doesn't mean she has to like hip-hop. She's keeping it real."

And he cheerfully punctured his own myth-building. "I'm real in every which way," he said, his massive watch and blingy earrings shooting glare around the room. "But if I did some of the things in person that I say in my music, I would be in jail for a million years." (From "Lean Back," his massive '04 hit with Terror Squad : "Why you think [folks] nicknamed me 'Cook Coke'? Should've been called armed robbery, extortion or maybe grand larceny. I did it all . . .")

Just before he took the dais, the artist born Joseph Cartagena was chowing down on a grilled-chicken salad. Dieting? "I'm trying to be the healthiest fat guy you know." Will we see more of him in politics? "I don't know," he laughed. "I have strong opinions about certain things, but I like to party too much."

A Certain Logic Behind Gore's 'Truth'?

The publicity juggernaut for Al Gore and his new global-warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" moves into top gear this week with his (first ever!) appearance on the cover of Entertainment Weekly .

Al Gore and everybody's favorite Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy.
Al Gore, left, on the cover of Entertainment Weekly and everybody's favorite Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy.
Inside, the former veep predictably self-deprecates about the whole movie-star label. (" Rin Tin Tin was a movie star. Not me.") But then, whoa!, there's this startling cover shot by photog Jeff Riedel that put us in mind of a marquee's worth of silver screen greats -- Yul Brynner , Bela Lugosi , "Seven Samurai" star Takashi Shimura , Christopher Lee as the evil Dr. Fu Manchu . . . but perhaps no one as much as everybody's favorite Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy .

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

· Karl Rove , sitting pretty on a flight to Washington Tuesday night. After speaking at the National Council of La Raza in L.A., Rove boarded a return flight that took off more than an hour late. Ten minutes after takeoff, he hustled back to his coach seat after the pilot announced that the "fasten seat belts" sign was still on and everyone should be seated. (That means you, Karl!) The flight didn't get back to D.C. until after 1 a.m.; Rove was spotted schlepping his own bags.

· Archbishop Desmond Tutu dining at B. Smith's Tuesday night. The Nobel Peace Prize winner and two daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren walked into the Union Station restaurant without a reservation (but got a table anyway) and ate barbecue ribs, rockfish, chicken and B.'s famous "Swamp Thing" -- shrimp, scallops and crawfish over greens.

LOVE, ETC.

· AWOL : Where's Suri ? "Back at the house," Katie Holmes tells Us Weekly, which snapped her fetching coffee in Telluride, Colo., Monday night-- with no Tom Cruise or baby in sight. "Suri's doing great!" Holmes said of her never-seen offspring, fueling yet more gossip about the mystery celebaby. The magazine helpfully offers an online clock for days without a Suri Sighting: 86 and counting.

· Separating : Supermodel Christie Brinkley is splitting from hubby No. 4, architect Peter Cook , after 10 years of marriage, according to her publicist. No details as to why the couple, who have an 8-year-old daughter, split. The 52-year-old "Uptown Girl" has two older children from her previous marriages to artist Jean-Francois Allaux , singer Billy Joel and developer Richard Taubman .

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