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Conservatives Claim TV Show Helps Hillary; Proposed Bill Could Designate Some Films Pornographic; Freddie Prinze Stars In, Produces New Show
Aired October 12, 2005 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson.
DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CO-HOST: And I`m David Haffenreffer. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
ANDERSON (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hillary goes on Hollywood. Tinseltown fund-raisers, strategy sessions and public appearances. Will the former first lady be the next commander in chief? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tests the waters in the west wing.
HAFFENREFFER: Also tonight, puppy love or forbidden lust? Indecent proposal at the movies. How Congress may turn even the tamest moves into pornography. Tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a sex showdown over a proposed law that has Hollywood hot under the collar.
ANDERSON: And the Katrina convoy rolls in. John Tesh`s extraordinary plan to bring relief to the gulf coast. Tonight, John Tesh live on the scene with the video and interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ALICIA KEYES, MUSICIAN: Hey, I`m Alicia Keyes, and if it happened today it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson.
HAFFENREFFER: And I`m David Haffenreffer.
Tonight Hillary Clinton and the Hollywood conspiracy theory. She was the first lady, is a New York senator, and now there`s some big buzz that she could be the first woman president of the United States.
ANDERSON: Yes. People have been talking about that possibility for a while, but tonight startling claims that a new primetime drama is really part of a secret plot to make Hillary commander in chief.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas live tonight with the story in Hollywood.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, guys. Well, this week, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton begins a fund-raising tour through Hollywood. That comes as theories abound in conservative circles that Hollywood is helping Clinton`s possible presidential campaign, not with donations, but with a hit TV show.
GEENA DAVIS, ACTRESS: What do we need to do to go to a higher def con? Especially in our hot spots?
VARGAS: Hollywood has just put a woman in the White House, Mackenzie Allen, played by Geena Davis, in the new show "Commander in Chief." But is Hollywood using this show as part of an overall effort to make a certain woman the real life commander in chief?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
VARGAS: The charge that the show "Commander in Chief" is really a subliminal infomercial for a Hillary 2008 campaign is alive and well among conservative bloggers, who fear the show is priming the American public for a female president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe they`re sending out little radioactive waves, lights, subliminal messages. I`m not sure, but somehow this is supposed to get all unsuspecting people to vote for Hillary in 2008.
VARGAS: A conservative web site went so far as to send an e-mail to its supporters noting that Hillary Clinton`s name is a poetic match to Geena Davis` character, Mackenzie Allen.
MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: I think it`s ridiculous to suggest that "Commander in Chief" is the product of some sort of conspiracy cooked up in the upper reaches of the Clinton brain trust.
VARGAS: Not all conservatives see a conspiracy, but some do believe that the show does not exist in a political vacuum.
MEDVED: I do think that one of the reasons that it`s been green lighted and supported and that many people agreed to participate in it and to work for it is because most of the people associated with the show are people who would look very, very favorably on a Hillary Clinton campaign. And there`s no question that the idea of tuning in week after week after week to show -- to see a female president in action will help get people used to, climatized to, the idea of a female president.
VARGAS: Conspiracy or no conspiracy, there`s no question that Senator Clinton is one of the most prominent females on the real life political scene and that she enjoys a large support in Hollywood.
This week she begins a fund-raising swing through Hollywood. It`s officially for her upcoming New York Senate reelection campaign, but some say it could be a big first step for a presidential run.
GABRIEL SNYDER, "VARIETY": They are mainly going to be power players that probably don`t make the pages of "Us Weekly," but Marisa Tomei, I know, is one of the hosts of one of these events. You also have producers like Frank Marshal and Kathleen Kennedy, who are the producing partners with Steven Spielberg on a lot of hit films. And you are probably going see a lot of the donors that have already given to her.
MEDVED: Most people in Hollywood are longing for a return of a Clinton, any Clinton. If -- if Chelsea was available -- were available, she`s too young, or if Buddy the dog were still alive, I think that would be acceptable for most Hollywood folks, too.
VARGAS: But still the question persists: is Hollywood longing for a Hillary presidency so badly that it`s trying to use a TV show to make that happen? Some think "Commander in Chief" definitely mirrors a real-life political figure that isn`t Hillary Clinton, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
MEDVED: Geena Davis` character is a university official, which Condoleezza Rice was. She is an independent not a partisan Republican or Democrat. Condoleezza Rice, of course, projects more of an independent aura. So a lot of people have said that actually the character might echo Condi a little bit more than the character echoes Hillary.
VARGAS: And wouldn`t you know it? Rice is already being floated around as a possible Republican opponent for Hillary Clinton in a head to head presidential match. Now that would be a dramatic battle that would dwarf any TV show.
VARGAS: It`s still Hillary Clinton who enjoys the fund-raising advantages in Hollywood. Stars who have donated to her past campaigns include Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro and director Rob Reiner. Good company to have, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Thank you, Sibila. Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
And I`ve been hearing good things about "Commander in Chief," positive reviews.
And it`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. We want to hear from you. Hillary in Hollywood. Will Hillary Clinton be the next commander in chief? Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight and send us an e-mail at showbiztonight@CNN.com. We`ll read some of your thoughts later on in the show.
HAFFENREFFER: Tonight, in our "SHOWBIZ In-Depth," Hollywood`s heavyweights are bracing themselves. A bill in Congress designed to track sex offenders and prevent children from being victimized by sex crimes may put some of your favorite Hollywood movies and TV shows in the same category as, get this, hard core pornography.
If approved, a provision of the Children`s Safety Act could mean mainstream movies and TV shows could be technically defined as pornographic.
Live tonight in Washington, D.C., is Brooks Boliek, national correspondent for "The Hollywood Reporter." And live tonight in San Francisco, Marc Klaas, president of BeyondMissing.com.
Brooks, we`ll begin with you. You wrote about this in today`s "Hollywood Reporter," the lead story. The provision itself written by Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence to crack down on so-called home pornographers that use the Internet to download and create pornographic films. How exactly could this make mainstream films into pornography?
BROOKS BOLIEK, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": Well, right now if you make a pornographic film that has real sex you`re required to file a 2257, which basically is an affidavit that says nobody is underaged in this film and the records are kept in a certain place and that there`s a custodian of the record.
And the bill -- the provision in this bigger child -- this bigger Child Safety Act would require simulated sex. So a Hollywood love scene, you`d have to file the same papers, and basically what a 2257 does is it alerts the federal government and says, "Hey, we`re making a pornographic film."
HAFFENREFFER: But not even necessarily a nude scene, we understand.
BOLIEK: No, there are other case logs and other things that the 2257 triggers that would, you know -- I mean, if you had, like, frontal nudity, you wouldn`t even have to show the genitalia. If you just did it in a lascivious manner you could trigger this requirement. And if you don`t do the 2257 you face five years in jail.
HAFFENREFFER: All right. Marc, of course, your daughter Polly was murdered by a child predator. Do you think this particular provision belongs in something called the Children`s Safety Act?
MARC KLAAS, BEYONDMISSING.COM: No. I really don`t. I think that we have to understand that child pornography is already illegal, that most of the content in child pornography is developed for, on and around the Internet.
There are plenty of laws in Hollywood already protecting children, both as performers and as viewers, and society at large from any kind of -- any kind of overt sexual conduct. And quite frankly, more rules and regulations have never served anybody. And we`re seeing that as government gets larger and larger it really becomes much more ineffective.
HAFFENREFFER: Brooks, let`s bring this home for some of our viewers here. We`re talking about films that were made in 1995 and after. TV shows that would be included include something like even "Desperate Housewives," we understand; big moves like "Monster`s Ball," Halle Berry, of course, winning the Oscar for her role in that particular film. Also the film, Oscar winning film -- rather, the film "Sideways."
Is this going to have a chilling effect on the types of movies that are made and will moviemakers exclude scenes that may or may not trigger this provision?
BOLIEK: Well, this is the fear, that instead of having the federal government stick its nose in your tent, that you will avoid a scene like the scene in "Sideways" or the scene in "Desperate Housewives," where, you know, one of the characters has sex with the gardener.
HAFFENREFFER: So it may cause them to leave some scenes simply out, as opposed to having to take care of this government provision?
BOLIEK: Well, I think that`s the fear, yes.
HAFFENREFFER: OK. Marc, in your opinion has Hollywood done a bad job in protecting children from graphic images? This has been your crusade, of course.
KLAAS: No, I think Hollywood has done an absolutely marvelous job. I mean, there are -- there`s the v-chip on television sets. There are heavy restrictions on broadcast television. Certainly, there`s the rating provisions in films, and all of these things are designed to protect children from explicit sexuality.
So, you know, I think Hollywood has done a very good job. I think the federal government is trying to do a very good job, and I don`t think they should be mixing this up at all.
HAFFENREFFER: And Brooks, real quick. If this likely to, if it`s passed, lead retailers like Wal-Mart or Blockbuster to simply not carry films with such scenes in them?
BOLIEK: It could. It`s unclear how far down the distribution chain the provision would affect.
There`s one other little thing. There are a lot of production incentives that states have and the federal government has to bring your film to, like, Arkansas or wherever, and one of the requirements is you can`t make the film if you file a 2257.
HAFFENREFFER: Very good. Gentlemen, thank you both very much. Brooks Boliek and Marc Klaas.
ANDERSON: Well it appears Hollywood was not punked by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. The couple won`t confirm their recent wedding, but tonight they`re opening up the good old photo album.
The British magazine, "OK!" paid an unknown sum for pictures of the bride and groom. There they are. The happy couple, pictured at a Kabbalah ceremony at their Beverly Hills home. Kutcher wore a cream suit and fedora, Moore a white gown. And here`s what was on the menu: wasabi caviar with creme fraiche on purple potatoes, rib eye roast with red wine shallot sauce and grilled halibut. Sounds pretty good to me.
HAFFENREFFER: Sounds just divine.
ANDERSON: I haven`t had dinner yet.
HAFFENREFFER: Are those wedding bells ridging for Jude Law and Sienna Miller? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the next step for the troubled couple coming up.
ANDERSON: And move over Pierce Brosnan. It`s blond, James Blond. Will another, blonder actor be cast to be the sixth man to fill 007`s shoes? We`ll tell you the latest leading man to take it shaken and not stirred.
HAFFENREFFER: And he was almost a chef. Now he just plays one on television. Actor Freddie Prinze, Jr., is starring in, writing and producing his own family comedy. The actor joins us live for the interview you`ll see only here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: But first we go to tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Burgess Meredith was which "Batman" villain on the `60s-era television serious? The Riddler, The Joker, The Penguin or Mr. Freeze? We`ll be right back with your answer.
HAFFENREFFER: So again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Burgess Meredith was which "Batman" villain on the `60s-era TV serious? A, The Riddler; B, The Joker; C, The Penguin; D, Mr. Freeze? The answer, C, The Penguin.
ANDERSON: Love that, David.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.
Well, it`s apparently over for beleaguered Brits Jude Law and Sienna Miller. Tonight the pair has reportedly ended their engagement. A rep for Law says he doesn`t comment on his clients` personal lives, but according to "People" magazine plans to head down the aisle were called off. Law and Miller tried to reconcile after the actor apologized for having an affair with his children`s nanny.
HAFFENREFFER: All right. Tonight, the new James Bond, who will be the next actor to put on 007`s tuxedo? Well, the word is out and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the latest on the top pick for the new Bond and why he`s being called James Blond.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is live once again tonight from Hollywood with the latest -- Sibila.
VARGAS: Hey, David.
Well, the word is that for the first time ever the new Bond is a blond. British actor Daniel Craig is emerging as the most likely choice for the role of 007. He`s known in the U.K. as a bit of a playboy. He`s been linked to model Kate Moss and most recently to Sienna Miller, who as we just mentioned, is about to become Jude Law`s ex.
But it`s not his reputation people are talking about. It`s his hair color.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: James! I could use a little help here!
VARGAS (voice-over): Move over Pierce Brosnan. There`s going to be a new Bond in town and the buzz is that this Bond is blond.
DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: I am the future. So don`t you ever talk to me that way again.
VARGAS: Daniel Craig played Paul Newman`s son in "Road to Perdition."
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Absolutely.
VARGAS: Worked with Angelina Jolie in "Tomb Raider."
And starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sylvia." His most recent film, "Layer Cake," released earlier this year.
CRAIG: I know who you mean.
VARGAS: But with 34 films under his belt, he`s still relatively unknown. Craig told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he`s picky.
CRAIG: I`m just sort of careful about what I choose to do. I mean, I want to remain in that position.
If things like that come along you have to consider them. Bond is an incredibly iconographic, you know, figure in film, and there`s a sort of -- you know, I`ve always loved the movies.
VARGAS: But will Bond be the movie for him? Mum was the word for this British actor, and reps for the film`s production company today aren`t talking either. A formal announcement is expected in a few days.
People magazine`s Leah Rozen tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Daniel Craig is a good pick.
LEAH ROZEN, MOVIE CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Not a bad choice. He`s English, so you know, that`s one thing in his favor. Two, he can be sexy. He`s not immediately sexy, but he can grow on you kind of sexy.
And he is certainly versatile, which he`s proved with earlier films, ranging from things like "Sylvia," an art house film, to the "Lara Croft," the first one. So I think the guy`s got range. Not a bad choice.
VARGAS: But forget his range. It`s blond hair that has people talking. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT went straight to "Newsweek`s" Nicki Gostin.
NICKI GOSTIN, "NEWSWEEK": We`ve had James Bond movies since the early `60s, and it`s always been dark-headed men. So it is sort of weird to have, after all this time, to have a fair-headed James Bond.
But you know, at the end of day someone has to be smart and sexy and cool and just, you know, a great James Bond. I don`t think it really matters what hair color he has.
SEAN CONNERY, ACTOR: Bond, James Bond.
VARGAS: There have been five Bonds in all, starting with Sean Connery.
VARGAS: George Lazenby. He only starred in one film.
Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton.
TIMOTHY DALTON, ACTOR: I want the truth.
VARGAS: And most recently, Pierce Brosnan.
Craig tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the first Bond, Sean Connery, was his No. 1.
CRAIG: I think Sean Connery is the very best.
VARGAS: Those are certainly big shoes to fill and there has been stiff competition for the role. Names that have been thrown around to play 007 include Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, Hugh Jackman and Clive Owen.
The 21st Bond film, "Casino Royale," is set to begin production in January. David, can you say Bond, James Bond?
HAFFENREFFER: I can`t say it as well as Sean Connery, of course.
VARGAS: You can do it, you can do it.
HAFFENREFFER: No. Thank you, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas, live in Hollywood.
ANDERSON: All right. Tonight a "SHOWBIZ Sit-down" with actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. He`s taking on a role that`s different from anything he`s ever done before. Not only is he co-writer, co-creator -- excuse me, writer and star of the new sitcom "Freddie," at age 29, he`s also the youngest executive producer in ABC`s history.
And Freddie Prinze, Jr., joins us live tonight from the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, where the show is taped.
FREDDIE PRINZE, JR., ACTOR/PRODUCER: Hello there. How are you?
ANDERSON: Doing well, thanks.
Now, this is your first starring role in a television series. You know, it`s tough out there in TV land. Television series come and go. Are you feeling pretty god about this one?
PRINZE: I feel good so far. We`ll certainly know a lot better tomorrow, but you know, we worked very hard on this and gotten a lot of support from ABC. They put us on right after George and right before "Lost," so they definitely believe in the product. And you know, at a certain point around 8:30 this evening it will be -- it will be out of our hands.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Well, in the show you play a bachelor. You`re looking for love, Freddie, loosely based on your own life. And just like your character, you grew up in a house with all women. I have to imagine dating in high school, was it tough? Was it hard to please all those ladies?
PRINZE: You know, it was -- it was tricky. A lot of mothers didn`t - - didn`t want me dating their daughters because of the situation with my father, but because I was raised by all women, I sort of knew how to sneak my way around that, and pretty much I dated them anyway. They just didn`t know it.
ANDERSON: Kept that a secret. Well, you play a chef on the show. In real life, your mom was a chef. You, in fact, briefly enrolled in culinary school. We know your dad was a famous comedian. What made you bag the career in cooking and head for Hollywood?
PRINZE: Well, I got my first job and it paid me about $3,000, which at that point in my life was the most money in the world. And I quickly spent it all on video games, stereo equipment and alcohol. And so I...
ANDERSON: Burned a hole in your pocket, huh?
PRINZE: Very quickly. So I kept working at the acting thing.
ANDERSON: Well, one unique aspect of Freddie, the show, is that your character`s grandmother only speaks Spanish. You guys subtitle it, and like you said, your show actually follows George Lopez on the schedule at ABC.
Do you feel there`s enough representation of Latinos on television now?
PRINZE: On television? I would say absolutely not, being that there`s two shows. So -- out of all of them. I mean, a lot of people, because there are so few, they`re trying to bill it as the Latin hour of television, which I don`t think either George or I are crazy about. You don`t see, like, now the next 23 hours of white television.
But we just want to be -- we just want to be a funny show. You know what I`m saying? So it`s good that it`s sort of more acceptable to be Spanish. But we just want to be funny. We just want to make people laugh.
VARGAS: You say more acceptable. Do you think Latinos are being portrayed positively?
PRINZE: They haven`t always been, but we focus very, very much on trying to make sure they are focused in a realistic light and -- which is a positive light. Everybody makes mistakes, and the difference between, you know, a good person and a bad person is whether you learn from those mistakes. And so that`s what we try to have the characters do. They`re definitely flawed, because we want realistic characters, but they work on it.
ANDERSON: Sounds good. And your wife is Sarah Michelle Gellar, of course. You two have worked together on the big screen, in "I Know What You Did Last Summer," the "Scooby Doo" movies. And for some couples, Freddie, that`s the kiss of death, but how do you two make it work?
PRINZE: You know, we just -- we have a mutual respect for each other, and that`s what our respect was sort of founded on. And we both respect, you know, the professions that we`re in. We both respect each other. We know -- we know why we fell in love and so we just -- we focus that.
And we really -- besides sort of those generic things that I just said, we don`t really talk about it. And we really keep what`s ours and don`t share that with anybody.
ANDERSON: You`ve been married for how long now? Three years?
PRINZE: It`s coming up on three years. We`ve been together six.
ANDERSON: Well, congratulations on that. And congratulations on the show, Freddie. Thank you so much for joining us.
The series premiere of "Freddie" is tonight on ABC.
HAFFENREFFER: IPod has its eye on the next level of personal media players. A big announcement today from the iPod folks that means you can catch your favorite TV shows right in your back pocket. That`s all coming up.
ANDERSON: And radio host John Tesh on an extraordinary mission in the gulf, housing Katrina`s homeless. His caravan is headed on the hard hit areas, and he`ll be live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with that remarkable story.
HAFFENREFFER: Karma Chameleon. Boy George blended into the London landscape after 13 bags of cocaine were found in his New York City apartment. Will the former Culture Clubber be doing the jailhouse rock? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets the answers in tonight`s "Legal Lowdown."
HAFFENREFFER: And welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m David Haffenreffer, in for A.J. Hammer.
Tonight in "The Show`s Biz," you`ll soon be able to watch "Desperate Housewives" in your iPod. Apple has upped the ante once again in the world of personal portable media players with the Video iPod. Apple unveiled the Video iPod today. It`s capable of playing images, from music videos to TV shows.
The latest creation comes in black or white and starts at about $299. Videos will sell alongside songs on Apple`s iTunes music store for $1.99 a piece. You`ll be able to purchase hit shows like "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" available the day after they air on television. Isn`t that cool?
ANDERSON: I just got the Nano. I should have waited.
All right, well, bye, bye, Miss American pie. You`ve all sung it. One of the greatest hits in popular music. Singer-songwriter Don McLean tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the secret to his everlasting hit song.
HAFFENREFFER: And he`s thinking outside the box and onto a set of wheels. Tonight John Tesh is delivering mobile homes to displaced Gulf Coast residents. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you to the heart of the destruction in Mississippi, where Tesh is at work.
ANDERSON: And a photographer pleads not guilty to charges connected with his pursuit of Reese Witherspoon. Is the actress next to file suit? That`s in tonight`s "Legal Lowdown." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues in one minute. Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."
People who fled the lower Ninth Ward when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, they were finally able to return to see their homes today. Many people returned home to find everything completely destroyed. Residents were only allowed in to assess the damage, gather their belongings, and leave.
President Bush says part of Harriet Miers` life is her religion. He was responding to a question about why his staff told supporters Miers belonged to a conservative Christian church. The president says their goal was just to explain the facts.
Iraqi lawmakers have signed off on the latest compromise on the country`s constitution. They made the changes in an effort to get Sunnis to support it. The amendments allow the next parliament to make changes after the document is approved. Iraqis will be voting on that constitution on Saturday.
And now you can see the music on your iPod. That`s right: Apple unveiled the new video iPod. The company plans on selling music videos for the player at its iTunes music store for $1.99 each.
That is the news for now. I`m Thomas Roberts. We take you back for more of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m Brooke Anderson.
HAFFENREFFER: And I`m David Haffenreffer. A.J. Hammer has the night off. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
ANDERSON: And tonight, David, so many people have pitched in to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. It`s been almost two months since the Gulf region was devastated by that hurricane.
And in just a few minutes, we`ll speak with John Tesh, the musician and radio host. He`s in Mississippi with what he calls "Katrina Convoy," temporary housing for those people who don`t have homes. We`ll talk to him about the details and how he has done this wonderful, wonderful thing for the people affected.
HAFFENREFFER: Single-handedly making a difference for so many people.
And coming up later on in our "Legal Lowdown," a look at Reese Witherspoon and an incident with the paparazzi that involved a couple of people actually getting hurt. Now, this member of the paparazzi in court before a judge. We`ll talk about that.
And, of course, Boy George getting busted with all of this cocaine in his apartment in New York City. He`s now left the country. We`re going to talk a little bit about why they would even allow him to keep his passport.
ANDERSON: A whole lot of cocaine, right?
HAFFENREFFER: Yes, 13 bags of cocaine. More of that coming up in our "Legal Lowdown," of course, in just a moment.
But first, tonight, let`s get a look at the "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us now once again live from Hollywood.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks, David.
Tonight, some good news for fashion guru Steven Cojocaru. Today we learned that he has undergone a successful kidney transplant, with a kidney donated by his mother. Cojocaru has polycystic kidney disease. This is the second time that he`s had a transplant. The first kidney had to be removed because of an infection.
Well, "Good Morning America" will be saying good-bye to its weatherman. Tony Perkins announced today that he`s leaving the show to return to the Washington station where he worked before "GMA" to spend more time with his family. Perkins will stay until early December. No replacement has been made.
And Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have refused to confirm that they`ve gotten married, but they`ve sold some of the pictures. Today, "OK" magazine published the first wedding photos showing Ashton and Demi tying the knot at their Beverly Hills home. The magazine is not saying how much it paid for the pictures, but you got to imagine quite a pretty penny.
And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." David, back to you in New York.
HAFFENREFFER: Maybe they`re punking "OK" magazine. We`ll have to wait and see that one, too.
VARGAS: Oh, that`s a good one.
HAFFENREFFER: Thank you very much, Sibila.
ANDERSON: Maybe not. Let`s hope not.
All right, tonight, John Tesh`s convoy of hope. It`s been more than a month and a half since Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. And there`s still many families without a place to call home.
Musician and radio host John Tesh is helping to change that. Just moments ago, he arrived in Long Beach, Mississippi, with what he calls a Katrina convoy, a caravan of temporary housing for families living in the hardest-hit towns in the Gulf. And John Tesh is joining us live now from Long Beach, Mississippi.
JOHN TESH, MUSICIAN AND RADIO HOST: Hey, I got to tell you something. These folks in Long Beach are so excited about the fact that you guys are keeping this alive. So I wanted to send a thank you real quickly.
ANDERSON: Oh, and thanks to you, because you have an incredible journey you`re undertaking. You are keeping this alive. Talk to me about what you`re doing today and where you`re headed.
TESH: Well, we found out -- I mean, last time we talked, I was in Slidell, Louisiana. We found out that Slidell and Long Beach, Mississippi, are two underserved areas. It took the government a long time to have even a small position here.
So we said, "Let`s adopt them with a radio program, with our radio show." And then, once we got down here, we realized nobody wants to relocate. They need temporary housing so they can rebuild their homes.
So we started -- we said, "Let`s do a convoy, and drive a bunch of vehicles, pre-owned RVs and trailers, down here." So we amassed them in Birmingham this morning and just arrived, as you said, in Long Beach. And then tonight, we`re headed, after we drop them off, to Slidell, Louisiana.
ANDERSON: Oh, what a terrific idea. And as you say, you`ve got RVs and mobile homes. John, how many were ultimately donated and who donated them?
TESH: Well, there`s an organization called Operation Blessing and also Canuka Camps (ph) and our guy, Joe White, and the Nestles folks, and all the guys that checked in on our web site, that donated on our radio program.
So about half of them were paid for. And also, the rest of them were donated. And look at what the kids did. Can you see these things here?
ANDERSON: I can.
TESH: This is what the little kids -- this is what the little kids did just earlier today. They decorated these things with messages of hope for all of the folks down here.
ANDERSON: Happy artwork.
And how does the distribution process work? Because I`m sure there are still so many people whose homes are uninhabitable. How do you decide who gets these homes?
TESH: Well, fortunately, I`m not making that decision. These are for the people of Long Beach and Slidell, but we`re turning them over to the municipalities and they`re deciding, you know, who`s hardest hit because they know that better than us.
The other thing we wanted to do is we found out that the music programs here are really suffering, because all the instruments, or many of them, were damaged. The kids`, all their toys were wiped out. And also, no tools.
So, I mean, everybody from my wife, Connie, who donated her cherished chainsaw, to music programs all in Birmingham, where they donated, they showed up this morning and gave us their instruments. So it`s been very cool, wonderful...
ANDERSON: You might not even think about. And, John, do you feel like you`re doing something that many feel the government hasn`t yet been able to do?
TESH: Well, I think a lot of times we just sit back and wait for the government. What we wanted to do -- we know this is just a drop in the bucket. I mean, there`s -- you know, we brought down, like, you know, 40 motor homes and trailers. And there are 4,000 people still homeless.
But we wanted to show the world, really, that this is an opportunity for you to find a goofy way to get involved. So, you know, you can`t wait for the government. And we`ve had so many people get involved with us and share this vision of the Katrina convoy. It`s been a wonderful experience for us.
ANDERSON: Not goofy at all. Not goofy at all, John. And you`re standing now in one of the hardest-hit areas. How much has the situation improved there?
TESH: Not much at all. I mean, you know, there are still tens of thousand of trees down. A lot of the homes, literally, because of the 190 mile-an-hour winds in this area, they literally exploded.
So the rebuilding process -- you know, the school just started, which is why we wanted to get these instruments down here. And, you know, pretty soon these kids are going to need warm clothing. It`s really -- it`s a real slow rebuilding process.
ANDERSON: It`s going to take a while. And there`s a concern that many of the Katrina victims are falling off of America`s radar. What do you say to people who claim, you know, that this is going to be OK? How do you want to keep it in the public`s eye?
TESH: Well, I think we just need to realize that this needs to be on our radar. And what we -- you know, our habit is, after about a month or six weeks, we just move on to the next thing. And unfortunately, this year there have been so many horrendous disasters.
So I love the fact that families themselves can just take a little piece of this, whether it`s -- in fact, people show up from Minnesota, and Long Island, and Florida, being a part of this convoy...
TESH: ... and come up with little ideas like this.
ANDERSON: Well, John Tesh, thank you for being here, and thank you for all that you`re doing.
TESH: Thank you. I want to tell you, you can follow us for the next couple of days at Tesh.com.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Tesh.com for more information.
And the federal government is also helping to house Katrina victims, distributing some $600 million in temporary housing assistance. And it has also set a deadline to 70,000 evacuees still in shelters need to leave by next weekend.
HAFFENREFFER: Well, tonight, Angelina Jolie has got a new award to go along with her Oscar and Golden Globe award, this one for her work in her real life. Jolie has received the Global Humanitarian Award for her work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency.
The award ceremony was in New York with a guest list of about 700 diplomats and other VIPs. In an interview with CNN`s Richard Roth, Jolie says that she feels a bit out of place at those kinds of events, but it`s for a good cause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: It`s not really about me getting an award. It`s really about their programs and global classroom and bringing attention them. That`s why I decided to come.
So but, yes, any time there`s -- it all feels very official, these nights, but, you know, I would prefer to be out there just doing stuff and hanging out with people in another part of the world.
And I do feel more comfortable there. And I`ll always feel uncomfortable in the middle of New York or Washington all dressed up. And I`ll always feel a bit like a punk kid, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAFFENREFFER: Jolie also says she doesn`t think people should necessarily be awarded for their humanitarian work. Everyone should simply just do it.
ANDERSON: Someone who actually -- she puts her money where her mouth is.
HAFFENREFFER: She does. Nice to see.
ANDERSON: Earlier, we told you about Senator Hillary Clinton`s Hollywood fund-raising swing, officially a Senate reelection campaign, but some say it could pave the way for a possible run for the White House.
And some conservative bloggers say the Gina Davis show, "Commander in Chief," is trying to prime the public for a female president. Well, we want to hear from you. Keep those e-mails coming.
Hillary and Hollywood: Will Hillary Clinton be the next commander in chief? Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight and write us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails are coming up at 55 past the hour.
HAFFENREFFER: And police say Boy George has been a very bad boy. You`re not going to believe what was in his house or how much jail time he might face. That`s all coming up next in our "Legal Lowdown."
ANDERSON: And he wrote one of the most enduring songs in American history. But did Don McLean ever really drive his Chevy to the levee? We`ll hear all about the day the music died, when Don McLean joins us live, coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAFFENREFFER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m David Haffenreffer, in for A.J. Hammer.
Time now for the "Legal Lowdown," a look at what`s going on in the world of entertainment legal news. On the docket tonight, the paparazzo who allegedly chased down Reese Witherspoon faced six misdemeanor charges in court today and pleaded not guilty. And singer Boy George could face 15 years in jail for the 13 bags of cocaine allegedly found in his apartment, which he says he knew nothing about.
Joining us now live from Hollywood is investigative journalist Pat Lalama to go over some of these items on our docket tonight.
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Hi.
HAFFENREFFER: Let`s first talk about Reese Witherspoon. None of the complaints filed against this particular photographer was by Reese Witherspoon. Does she have a case? Could she bring some charges against him, as well?
LALAMA: Well, you mean civil charges? She could. I think she definitely has a case, if she can prove some sort of violation of her rights in the court of law. And I think that`s something Blair Berk, whom I happen to know very well -- and that`s her civil attorney -- would definitely go after.
Blair Berk is the kind of attorney who would want to prove a point and make this the poster-child case for the guerilla warfare/fight against the celebrities that`s going on in Los Angeles right now.
But I think it`s interesting, the prosecution`s charges, child endangerment. That`s something we`ve never seen before. What you see happening now is the hammer going down on the paparazzi.
HAFFENREFFER: And this was something that took place at a theme park, where she was there with her family. And the photographer literally had to push people out of the way and actually hurt a 5-year-old child, somebody else`s child. And now that family`s involved in the charges against this particular photographer.
Reese Witherspoon, very outspoken against the paparazzi, telling us not too long ago that she planned to fight back against them. Todd Wallace is the photographer. He`s been in jail before. Even the complaint says that he`s known by 13 other names.
Now, who is this guy?
LALAMA: Well, you know what? That`s the question of the year. That`s what we need to be asking about these paparazzi. Who are these guys now?
Before you had to have credentials, you had to have some sort of a track record. Most of the old timers are pretty decent guys who have great relationships with the celebrities, whether the celebrities want to admit it or not.
But these guys come out of the woodwork because they see a paycheck. And it`s time for the magazines that people will hire these guys to say, "I want to check you out. I want to know that you`re for real, and that you know the godforsaken parameters of being someone who stands on the street and shoots celebrities without threatening their lives."
HAFFENREFFER: On to Boy George.
LALAMA: Yes, oh...
HAFFENREFFER: He reportedly called the police in New York City to come because of a burglary at his apartment. We all know the story already.
Apparently, they found 13 bags of cocaine in his apartment. He faces something like 15 years in prison. But he told the officials apparently that he didn`t know where the 13 bags came from. Did anybody buy that?
LALAMA: Right, and every guy in prison`s innocent, remember that? I mean, look, do I know? Was I there?
Here`s the problem with this case: The cops think that he falsified a police report. He had the cops actually come to his house because he said there was a burglary. Something`s wrong with our pal, Boy George. He`s not using common sense.
I`m thinking maybe he`s not making much money right now, he`s acting as a deejay. His play is gone and over with that Rosie O`Donnell got involved with. Maybe he`s desperate. Maybe he`s back into drugs.
I hope the best for him, but this does not look good. "It wasn`t mine"? Come on.
HAFFENREFFER: He`s got a court date December 19th, but they didn`t take away his passport. So now he`s left the country. Is that unusual, that they didn`t take it away?
LALAMA: Not in this case. I mean, Boy George, threat to the nation? I hardly think so.
And the judge gave -- I mean, come on. The judge gave him a pass, it seems. He didn`t have to pay bail, let him go on his own signature -- let`s just use the simple term -- and said, "We`ll see you later."
But, I mean, this is a guy who can go to England, hide somewhere. Do you really think we`re going to use our taxpayer dollars, or that Great Britain`s going to use theirs, to send him back? I hardly think so. I`m not saying that, you know, he`s not going to be a show on December 19th, but why should he bother?
HAFFENREFFER: Pat Lalama, thank you for being with us, investigative journalist.
LALAMA: My pleasure.
ANDERSON: Well, it`s time now for a "Showbiz Sit-down." Tonight, American songwriting legend Don McLean, whose classic number-one hit "American Pie," which you`re listening to right now, made him rich and famous practically overnight.
Now, 34 years later, he has yet to see the day his music dies. In a new album just out, McLean looks back at his career and the song that became part of American pop culture. Joining us live tonight, Don McLean.
Great to see you.
DON MCLEAN, MUSICIAN: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
ANDERSON: Now, you wrote one of the most famous songs of all time. In fact, "American Pie" just voted the fifth best song of the 20th century by the Recording Industry Association of America. Has it been hard to top that success?
MCLEAN: Oh, impossible. I never topped it. And it just kept going and going. It`s like almost having a hit record for 30 years. So that`s been terrific, especially since I`ve gotten along and gotten a little bit older.
ANDERSON: It`s been a good run.
MCLEAN: It has been a terrific run. You never know when it`s going to come back.
ANDERSON: Well, for decades people have been trying to interpret "American Pie." You log on to the Internet, you search for "American Pie," Web sites devoted for this. So let`s demystify it a little bit.
MCLEAN: You`ll never find me talking about it.
ANDERSON: Well, "American Pie," some people think it`s the name of the plane that crashed, killing Buddy Holly. Some say you dated a Miss America contestant.
MCLEAN: That`s an urban legend. That`s an urban legend. I created the term "American Pie." In fact, I actually trademarked it. And that`s why you`ll see that at the end of those "American Pie" movies.
No, I never talked about the lyrics, because the idea of the song was that it was the politics and music were the same. They traveled in the same -- sort of in the same sphere. And I think you see we kind of have a certain kind of politics now and a certain kind of music.
ANDERSON: What about the lyric -- I have to ask you -- "Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry"? Can you talk about that one?
MCLEAN: I never took command -- we know what levees are now, don`t we?
ANDERSON: We do. Is it like poetry to you, songwriting?
MCLEAN: Yes, sure. And that`s why this "Rearview Mirror" album that`s just come out...
ANDERSON: Just released it.
MCLEAN: ... is important to me, because I got a chance to go back and go over 30 years of recording and 30 years of songwriting and find a lot of tapes and performances that had not been ever before released.
There are things from the Larry Butler records (ph) that I did, where I had a number-one record of "Crying," back in 1980, from that album series came a song, "Love Me Tender," which is on there.
ANDERSON: You`ve got a new song about the paparazzi, as we were talking about.
MCLEAN: Yes. A brand new song that`s going to come out. It`s on the record. It`s called "Run Diana Run." And it`s the story of Princess Diana and the paparazzi. So that`s an album...
ANDERSON: Something that`s been on your mind.
MCLEAN: ... a new album that will be released next year called "Addicted to Black."
ANDERSON: Well, Don, let me ask you this. Well-known musicians have covered your music, including, goodness, Elvis Presley, Madonna, George Michael, Guns and Roses...
MCLEAN: Fred Astaire.
ANDERSON: ... Fred Astaire. The list goes on and on.
MCLEAN: I`m proud of that one.
ANDERSON: In 2000, Madonna`s remake hit the top of the charts. What do you think about that?
MCLEAN: Actually, in 2001, I got an award from BMI that said "American Pie" was one of the five most played songs of 2001, 30 years after it was written. So I really have Madonna to thank for that, and also everything for low-rider blue jeans, which were in that video that she did.
ANDERSON: It stood the test of time, really, you know?
MCLEAN: My daughter dresses like that. I say, "Hey, I caused that."
ANDERSON: All your fault.
Well, your song was really an anthem of your generation. Is there a song today or an artist that is that way for this current younger generation?
MCLEAN: I don`t really -- I guess Tupac Shakur would be one, I guess, who`s -- really, a great deal has been written and said about. And I actually watched a documentary on him, which was called "The Resurrection," and that turned out that I was one of his influences, which I was absolutely...
ANDERSON: I saw that documentary.
MCLEAN: ... amazed. And I had heard that "Vincent" was one of his favorite songs. So...
ANDERSON: Tupac Shakur, all right.
MCLEAN: Music goes around and around, and you never know where it will go.
ANDERSON: Well, congratulations to you on your long, illustrious career.
MCLEAN: Thank you very much.
ANDERSON: And happy birthday, turned 60 recently.
MCLEAN: Thank you. It`s a pleasure. Thank you.
ANDERSON: All right, Don McLean. And "Rearview Mirror" is in stores now, but that`s not all you can expect from Don. As he said, he plans to release an album of all-new material next year. It`s called "Addicted to Black."
HAFFENREFFER: Well, who do you think would be brazen enough to mouth off to the Rock? Well, apparently some little old ladies were up to the task. We`re going to tell you how they put the Rock in a hard place, coming up next in "Laughter Dark."
ANDERSON: All right, well, can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Well, apparently while on a shoot for his latest move they happened to be in Julia Roberts` neighborhood, a couple of ladies thought wrestler-turned- actor Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as the Rock, might have been cooking up some rock. Confused?
All right. Well, let`s take a look at this clip from "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno in "Laughter Dark."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DWAYNE JOHNSON, "THE ROCK": My character is a paranoid schizophrenic who is very neurotic, and hears voices, and things like that. So I witness a murder. And it requires me to run down the sidewalk and take a turn.
The scene happens. I start to completely freak out. Schizophrenia sets in. I run down. I make a turn. I`m ripping my jacket off. I`m doing all this stuff. I`m hearing voices.
And I figure, well, they probably cut by now. And I look up, and there`s two ladies sitting on their porch and one elderly lady. And I thought, "OK, well, they`re nice enough to let us shoot here, Julia Roberts` neighborhood. I want to be respectful."
So I said, "Hi."
Yes. And the older lady is like, "Get out of here, you crack head!"
You know, and your first reaction is to -- "Well, no, I`m Dwayne, and we`re filming a movie." But I just thought not, and then I kind of looked. And I kind of turned away. And she`s like, "Go get high somewhere else!"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Does the Rock look like a crack addict to you?
HAFFENREFFER: No, he doesn`t. But this is why they post film permits in New York City around town when their shooting movies so nobody gets confused when they see something like that.
ANDERSON: Maybe they didn`t have their glasses on. You know, when I don`t have my contacts, I`m in big trouble.
HAFFENREFFER: Very nice.
Well, throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Hillary and Hollywood: Will Hillary Clinton be the next commander in chief?
Let`s take a look now at how the vote is going so far: 34 percent of you say, yes, she will; 66 percent of you say, no, she won`t.
And here are some of the e-mails that we`ve received thus far. Emily from Georgia writes, "I think that things need to be turned around in this country, and I feel that she is just the woman to do it."
But Jamar writes, "I think it would be a better idea to have a female vice president first."
You can keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight.
ANDERSON: And we`ll be sure the conversation on this will continue.
That is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.
HAFFENREFFER: And I`m David Haffenreffer. Stay tuned to the latest from CNN Headline News.