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Why so Many Stars are Hopping on the Anti-Bush Bandwagon?; Jon Bon Jovi`s "Who Says You Can`t Go Home" is No. 1 the Country Charts; Jon Bon Jovi`s Involvement with Habitat for Humanity; Why a Growing Number of People look to Oprah Winfrey for Spiritual Guidance; George Clooney Traveled Darfur to Shoot a Documentary; TV and movies are ripping a Page from the Headlines and Getting the Word out about Sexual Predators; Does Richard Dreyfuss want the Bush to be impeached?
Aired May 26, 2006 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Television shows and movies rip a page from the headlines to get the word out on sick internet sex predators. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: And one of Hollywood`s biggest actors tears into President Bush on the war in Iraq. A special edition of TV`s most provocative entertainment news show, "Hollywood Speaks Out," starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the stars sounding off on President Bush. The Dixie Chicks out in public performing their controversial song and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is there.
Tonight, what the Dixie Chicks revealed to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and why so many stars are hopping aboard the Bad Bush Bandwagon.
Plus, celebrity scandals, so many these days, we can hardly keep up. But who are the people behind the stars? The gatekeepers, the spin miesters. Tonight there are secrets revealed.
ROSIE O`DONNELL, TALK SHOW HOST: She`ll say it would be good if you didn`t mention the NRA in this interview.
ANNOUNCER: Showbiz tonight pulls back the curtain and shows you how the wizards of damage control save face for the most famous faces in Hollywood.
HAMMER: Hello I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Tonight a very special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. From coast to coast and TV movies and music, stars are speaking out loud and clear.
HAMMER: That`s right Sibila. We`re talking very important social issues here from helping to get disgusting sex predators off the streets to controversial comments about politics like the war in Iraq and wiretapping. And that is where we start. And boy, are the Dixie Chicks ticked at President Bush. As a matter of fact I was right there in New York City where the country trio sang their controversial new single "Not Ready to Make Nice." Their music is filled with some pretty clear message aimed right at President Bush.
(voice-over): Yes, they certainly are. The Dixie Chicks gave a live performance of "Not Ready to Make Nice." Their musical response to the backlash they suffered when the publicly criticized President Bush before the Iraq war in 2003. The group faced boycotts and even death threats. And as lead singer Natalie Maines passionately sang, the Dixie Chicks haven`t forgotten a thing.
When I caught up with the Dixie Chicks at the "Time" magazine party for the 100 most influential people, they weren`t angry or gloating, just grateful.
EMILY ROBISON, DIXIE CHICKS: We got caught in a very bad time in our country and I`m just glad it`s changed.
HAMMER: Things certainly have changed. In 2003, the Dixie Chicks found out the hard way that President Bush was off limits for criticism, as his popularity soared in the day before the Iraqi invasion. But now that President Bush`s approval ratings are dropping, the number of music acts that are criticizing his poor leadership are increasing.
BRIAN HAITT, "ROLLING STONE": Popular music reflects culture, it always reflects the culture and I think right now you are seeing popular music reflect the culture -- reflecting America in which a lot of people are not very happy with the president.
HAMMER: Pearl Jam takes a distinctly ant-Bush stance in their new song "Worldwide Suicide."
PEARL JAM, MUSICIANS (SINGING): Medals on a wooden mantle, next to a handsome face, that the president took for granted writing checks that others pay.
HAMMER: While Neil Young has released an entire album of anti-war songs. Including one called bluntly enough "Let`s Impeach the President." When I talked to the Dixie Chicks, they had plenty to say about this new trend.
(on camera): We have a lot of albums out there from yours to Pearl Jam to Neil Young, of course. Why do you think it is so much more acceptable that the protest songs and the albums where people who are just speaking they`re minds are out there?
NATALIE MAINES, DIXIE CHICKS: All those people who have done that, I know several of them and they`re not doing it to be trendy, and they would have done it anyway.
HAMMER (voice-over): Neil Young told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Sibila Vargas as much, when he spoke with her about his new anti-war and anti-Bush music.
VARGAS: Are you concerned that some might think that you`re unpatriotic?
NEIL YOUNG, MUSICIAN: Oh, no, I`m not concerned about that in the least. I feel like I`m exercising my right of free speech which is what our boys are fighting for the Iraqi people to have. And I think if we take it away from the people here in the United States that we`re taking a step really in the wrong direction.
HAMMER: And Jon Bon Jovi had plenty to say about the musical climate when I talked to him about it.
(on camera): Is the tide turning in America and going back the other way?
JON BON JOVI, MUSICIAN: Depends on who you ask. Sure, it`s easy now to stand up and say this administration`s wrong. It doesn`t make you the better man for doing it. It`s just another opinion.
HAMMER (voice-over): Of course President Bush still has his fans in the music world, including Kid Rock.
KID ROCK, MUSICIAN: I like W. Because W. slapped my hand like this in the White House. That give me a pound like we were on a Seven-mile and Van Dyke in Detroit. Like, that`s just cool, man. It was all right.
HAMMER: All kidding aside. Rock has made clear he`s not one of the musicians who wants the U.S. to pull troops out of Iraq.
ROCK: If we withdraw our troops now we just screw over a bunch of people. It will be complete chaos.
HAMMER: And with pro-war anti-war voices being heard in the world of music, the Dixie Chicks are just glad that musicians can freely express their views without fear of being Dixie Chicked.
ROBISON: I`m glad that there`s not this whole state of fear in our country anymore and that people are able to speak out for whatever reason, you know that there is a dialogue now.
HAMMER: Merle Haggard, Dashboard Confessional, and Paul Simon also have new music out that takes on the war and the president.
Well, Jon Bon Jovi is not shy about his thoughts on politics and protest music that`s been hitting the airwaves. I had the chance to ask the rocker how that`s affecting the band and for his take on the Dixie Chicks` latest single "Not Ready to Make Nice."
BON JOVI: It is yet to be determined how the Dixie Chicks song will be received.
BON JOVI: That said, I love it. The greatest rave I ever give a song period is when I say I wish I wrote it. I wish I wrote that.
HAMMER: That`s quite something for you to say.
BON JOVI: I haven`t heard the Neil Young record. I would expect him to write a protest song that`s fabulous. But, is the tide turning in America? Is it going back the other way? Depends on who you ask. Look, a lot of my fellow Americans, you know, are living in the land of sound bites and reality television and they are not reading the newspaper and they`re not reading books and they haven`t traveled abroad and they haven`t seen Africa, Asia, India, North America, South America and Europe. So they`re opinionated from what they`re fed here by a right or left wing media.
HAMMER: Often very small doses, as you say.
BON JOVI: Sound bites.
HAMMER: Well, congratulations on "Who Says You Can`t Go Home." No. 1 the country charts. Jon Bon Jovi with the band. Not too bad, man. That`s a nice record to have, I suppose.
BON JOVI: It is. It`s very nice, as a matter of fact. You know what? It just goes to show you that a song is a song and formats don`t really matter.
HAMMER: And one of the cool things this song has done is forged a relationship between you and Habitat for Humanity. Right now why are you choosing to focus or why did you decide to focus so much energy on Habitat?
BON JOVI: I had gotten involved with Habitat prior to the video. All these Father Flanagan situation I was in down in Philly I realized, you know, a bit here, a little bit there, it helps, but then I got into North Philly and saw, much like Asbury Park and so many other places that are suffering from the urban blight are run down. The cities may be even brought back up, but the outskirts are run down. And so we got involved and said OK, our focus is going to go to homelessness. We`re going to take everything that we do with this playground and these beds and this, you know, help lines to AIDS houses. Let`s take all our money and get into building homes for people that need them.
HAMMER: You know you`re being pulled at from all ends all the time. You`ve sold over 100 million albums, you`ve played over 2,500 shows. People are always grabbing at you. Yet somehow you keep it cool and you keep it together. Is that something you have to work at or is that really just.
BON JOVI: I think the simplicity, A.J., is that I live in Jersey. That`s a simple way to answer that question. Is, there aren`t any Jones to keep up with. We don`t know any better. You go out of your house, those folks have nothing in common with, you know, what I do for a living, so they don`t care about chart positions or talk shows or anything that has to do with touring. They`re worried about putting food on the table, they`re worried about, you know, the place they are in their own lives and that to me is the easiest answer for you.
HAMMER: One of the closest people in your life, arguably, Ritchie Sambora, who you work with and have known for as long as you`ve known, as you know is sort of in the middle of this very public thing that`s going on between his ex-wife and the woman that he is now dating, Heather Locklear and Denise Richards. When stuff like that is going on, is it very distracting? I mean, you guys are about to hit the road. Does it get in the way at all of the work of Bon Jovi or the work that you are trying to do?
BON JOVI: No. I was more concerned that he broke his shoulder, and obviously, you know, his private life is still his private life and the circumstances here, as they relate to Ava, his daughter, his parents, and Heather are more of what would concern me. How this all plays out makes for makes for great Hollywood gossip. But you know, he`s just really concerned about his daughter first and foremost, his parents second, and Heather third, and that`s truly the pecking order.
HAMMER: So you guys have been touring for over 20 years, now. Do you actually remember, or have some recollection, of the very first night you guys took the stage as a band in front of a really decent-sized crowd?
BON JOVI: Sure, look, let`s put it this way. First album, first tour bus, that`s when we knew that we had a record deal. You know, it was the album was released, we were starting in New Jersey because the bus had to come pick us up somewhere. And we went to the bus a good five or six hours before the show, and we only ever just lived down the street, like with our parents still. So, yes, everybody was like in awe because there it was, our bus.
HAMMER: And when you took it to the first show and you got on stage, do you remember that feeling you had getting on stage in front of those people?
BON JOVI: It was snowing like a son of a gun and we pulled up to the club and it had one of those, you know, those yellow rental signs that, you know, you`d have in front of your bar with the lights that chase all the way around it with the arrow on the end, and I swear the lights went around and it`s snowing and it`s like a blizzard and it says 99 cent beers and Bon Jovi. And my manager, Doc McGee, got off the bus and he -- first thing I said "who booked me in this toilet?" He goes "I did. But I told them it was Bon Jovi then 99 cent beers."
HAMMER: Great story. Long live the 99 cent beer. Jon is such a generous guy, he`s always giving back to the community. Now, you may remember he went of the Oprah Winfrey show right after Hurricane Katrina and pledged a $1 million donation for her Angel Network. Well, Jon told me that they finally have found a place for that money. They`re going to help rebuild homes of 20 families in Homa, Louisiana. And just a few weeks ago he was honored by Help USA for all of his charitable and philanthropic work.
VARGAS: Well has Oprah Winfrey become a religious leader? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. reveals how a startling number of people are now turning to the daytime diva for spiritual guidance.
HAMMER: Also Richard Dreyfus rips into the president. Does he want Bush to be booted out of office?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And I trust her judgment, especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Celebrity scandals. So many these days we can hardly keep up. But who are the people behind the stars? The gatekeepers, the spin miesters? Tonight their secrets revealed. You`re watching a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: "Hollywood Speaks Out."
HAMMER: Now tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which actress narrated Martin Scorsese`s 1993 period film, "The Age of Innocence?" Was it Angela Lansbury, Jessica Tandy, Lauren Bacall, or was it Joanne Woodward? We are coming straight back with the answer.
HAMMER: Once again tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Which actress narrated Martin Scorsese`s 1993 period film, "The Age of Innocence?" Was it Angela Lansbury, Jessica Tandy, Lauren Bacall, or was it Joanne Woodward?
The answer is D. Paul Newman`s wife, Joanne Woodward.
VARGAS: Well, welcome back to this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. "Hollywood Speaks Out," TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
Now, Oprah Winfrey has been speaking out on many issues in her career, so much so that a growing number of people look to Oprah for spiritual guidance. Well, we`re here to tell you that the cult of Oprah has becoming more like a religion as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson will so you, more and more people are saying they`d rather worship in the house of Oprah, than listen to their own priests, their rabbis, or pastors.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The Divine Miss O.
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Hey, CNN.
ANDERSON: But, what`s said to be nearly a billion and a half in the bank and a TV audience of nearly 49 million a week.
ANDERSON: Oprah Winfrey literally has the power to change the world. She also has a purpose.
LOLA OGUNNAIKE, "NEW YORK TIMES": A lot of people are looking at Oprah as the new moral leader of the millenimillenium.
ANDERSON: And there you have it. Oprah, people are declaring, is the moral voice of the millennium.
TYRA BANKS, TALK SHOW HOST: She`s our mother Teresa. She really is, except she`s not walking barefoot, she has on some on stilettos. We`ll work it out.
MARIAH CAREY, SINGER: She is one of those people who has changed the world.
ANDERSON: From her perch in Chicago, Oprah tackles the big stuff and takes her audience on a moral journey with her.
WINFREY: I really feel duped.
ANDERSON: Oprah. publicly going after author James Frey for lying in "A Million Little Pieces," a book Miss O turned into a best seller.
OGUNNAIKE: In the days and age, everyone`s all about sensationalism and sex sells and sex sells, I would argue that Oprah has found a way to make something like spirituality sexy.
KIM WAYANS, ACTRESS: It really is spiritual food that you take away from her show. To me that`s church.
ANDERSON: She`s not alone. The idea of Oprah as a religion is gaining steam. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you college professors have written dissertations on it. Authors have even written whole books on this. And check out this poll done in November by the religious website (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a third of those asked, one of three, say Oprah has had a more profound impact on their spiritual lives than even their priest, their rabbi, or their pastors. Here`s Reverend Run, part of the rap group Run DMC.
REVEREND RUN, RUN DMC: She presents that moral image for us all to see.
ANDERSON: Barbara Walters has even heard about Oprah, the moral monitor. She asked her about it on "The View."
BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": You would not consider it a guru.
WALTERS: Of spirituality? That`s a lot of pressure.
WINFREY: I really am just doing the best I can. I feel like I am a woman in progress.
ANDERSON: A woman in progress, a woman with a message, a message of charity. Forbes.com tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Oprah is the most generous celebrity. Dolling out $52 million to charities last year alone.
NATE BERKUS, "OPRAH" DESIGN EXPERT: She`s really taught me that living consciously is the most important thing.
ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Oprah`s design expert last night. He was just one of the special guests out to celebrate Oprah`s Legends Ball. An event honoring influential African-American women.
WINFREY: This was a labor of love. That`s all it was.
ANDERSON: Oprah spent a year putting the whole thing together.
WINFREY: The most fun I`ve ever had in my entire life.
ANDERSON: Oprah is not ordained, she doesn`t preach in the traditional sense, and she doesn`t go overboard on religion.
WINFREY: I say give the people the roses while they live. Don`t waste it on the casket.
ANDERSON: Still she spreads a word. A word of generosity, Gratitude, and forgiforgiveness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oprah, if you run for president, I`m voting.
VARGAS: Pretty impressive, considering Oprah`s humble beginnings. Quite an inspiration. That was SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson.
HAMMER: well, George Clooney is certainly no stranger to being in front of the camera, but he`s been speaking out from behind the lens recently. Along with his dad, Clooney travels to the Darfur area of the African country of Sudan to shoot a documentary of the place that is so dangerous, it nearly cost him his life. Clooney has called the ethnic conflict that`s killed some 400,000 people there, quote, "the first genocide of the 21st century." He talked about the horrible things he saw at a recent press conference about the trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: What I don`t think people understand is how tenuous their life is. How very -- it`s just on the very thread of surving every day and you don`t really understand that. Look we`ve all seen these images. We`ve seen them on late night TV, you know what hunger is like and you know what disease is like. You don`t really realize it until you are standing there and you look at these people that they have nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: In Darfur, a young woman asked George Clooney. When will you come back? When will you stop this? And he said "Soon. We`ll be there soon." Clooney said that she laughed and replied, "That`s what you always say."
VARGAS: Well, disgusting sex predators lurking on the internet. How TV and movies are ripping a page from the headlines and getting a word out about these sex sickoes. Plus we`ve also got this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: I don`t understand why anybody would want to do this job, because they`re getting called at 4:00 in the morning from clients saying, you know, where`s my limo?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: When there`s a celebrity scandal, their phone rings first. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes behind the scenes with Hollywood publicists to find out what they do and how they get it done.
VARGAS: And you may want to grin and bear this story, A.J. Coming up, the ridiculous story of why this bear is running around with a plastic jug on his head. You`re watching a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Hollywood Speaks Out."
HAMMER: First tonight, a look at what`s new at the movies this weekend. Of course a big summer film season kicks off with "X-Men: The Last Stand." This is the third movie based on a comic book series. It stars Patrick Stewart as "Professor Charles"; Hugh Jackman is "Wolverine," and Ian McKellan as "Magneto," and Halle Barry is back as "Storm."
"An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore and his career-long effort to raise awareness on the effects of global warming.
And "Fanaa," a love story about a blind girl who meets a guy who is a lady`s man, but she doesn`t know his deep dark secret. He`s a terrorist. This one has two of Bollywood`s biggest actors starring together for the very first time, and Bollywood, by the way, India`s answer to Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. will be right back.
VARGAS: Monday, the shocking websites that say eating disorders are a good thing, girls encouraging other girls to be anorexic, offering startling tips on how to starve themselves. Plus the primetime TV star who followed the advice to become anorexic, telling all in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Well it is time now for a little story today that made us say, `That`s Ridiculous." Now Yogi Bear use to also use so say he was smarter than your average bear. He might have been right because I don`t remember him running around like this guy with a huge container on his head. Now for 10 days, this particular young bear cub that you`re looking at right now couldn`t get whatever that plastic thingy off his head. I don`t know maybe it had some peanut butter in it or a picnic basket. Apparently he was trying to lick something inside of it. I don`t know what was going on. It looks kind of funny, but of course the bear could have starved to death. The story does have a beary happy ending, though. A brave guy pulled it off. Still, Mr. Bear, we have to say, "That`s Ridiculous." And Sibila, I`m going to admit it, I`m such a wuss about even cartoon animal violence or cartoon animals getting hurg, I don`t like seeing that stuff.
VARGAS: Would you have gone out there to take the thing off of his head, jug of his head, though?
HAMMER: I would have sacrificed myself to save the bear, yes I would. Well moving on. Richard Dreyfuss rips into the Bush administration and sets the record straight. Does he want the president to be impeached? You`ll find out in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
VARGAS: Sex predators lurking on the internet, how television shows and movies are ripping a page from the headlines to get the word out about these disgusting sex sickos. Plus we`ve also got this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: I trust her judgment especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: When there`s a celebrity scandal, their phones ring first. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes behind the scenes with Hollywood publicists, just ahead. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.
HAMMER: And welcome back to a special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Hollywood Speaks Out." It is 30 minutes fast hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Sibila, we know Richard Dreyfuss is a funny and talented actor, but he also has some strong opinions on politics and the state of the world. Coming up, I go one on one with Richard his thoughts about the impeachment of President Bush. He`ll clear that up for us coming up in just a few minutes.
VARGAS: Can`t wait to hear that, and also celebrity scandals these days it just seems astounding, there`s so many out there, but how do the celebrities deal with all that mess? Well for that they bring in the P.R. people and we are going to have some secrets revealed today.
HAMMER: It`s a lot of work. But first tonight, of course lately we`ve been hearing an awful lot about sex predators lurking on the internet and targeting kids. Now it used to be that just advocacy groups were the only ones that were warnings us about these online sickos, but now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here to tell you we have noticed a trend. Television shows and movies are ripping a page from the headlines to get the word out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A minor shooting kiddie porn. That`s a new one.
HAMMER (voice-over): Teenagers selling themselves online, The plot of "Law & Order SVU."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s have some fun.
HAMMER: It featured a teen who ran his own porn site where he did unspeakable acts, where pedophiles paid him to watch online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The webcam was a window into his bedroom and his pedophile subscribers paid for the privilege of looking in.
HAMMER: If you think this disgusting and shocking stuff was dreamed up by some Hollywood writer, think again. It`s based on a true story and it`s the latest example of how TV and movies are shining a light on a frightening real-life trend, kids being exploited or worse, by adults they meet online.
JUSTIN BERRY, HAD HIS OWN ON-LINE SEX SHOW: I was the king of my own universe. All I to do in exchange was strip and masturbate while alone in my room.
HAMMER: Just last month, California teenager Justin Barry shocked Capitol Hill, and shocked America for that matter, with a real-life story more disgusting than anything you`d see on a TV police drama. He talked about how he had used a webcam and his computer to set up porn websites. For a fee, Barry allowed pedophiles to watch him as he performed live sex acts in his own room right under his mother`s nose.
BERRY: For five years beginning when I was 13 years old, I operated a pornographic website featuring images of myself loaded onto the internet by webcams. Paid by more than a thousand men to strip naked, masturbate, and even have sex with female prostitutes while on camera.
HAMMER: One in 5 teenagers, who often use the internet, are sexually solicited on-line. Most of them don`t tell their parents. At one time it was a problem that not many people talked about at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Used to think when kids were at home they were safe.
HAMMER: Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. can tell thaw Hollywood is all over this story. And not just on TV shows like "Law & Order SVU."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just don`t look like a guy who has to meet girls over the internet.
HAMMER: The recent movie thriller "Hard Candy" centers around a 32-year-old man whose online seduction of a 14-year-old girl turns into torture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is officially sick.
HAMMER: Even news shows are getting in on the act. Check this out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this some kind of set-up or something?
HAMMER: "Dateline NBC" is running a controversial series where reporter, Chris Hansen, confronts suspected child predators who thought they were meeting up with youngsters that they`d been chatting with on- line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want to be on the news, dog.
HAMMER: These hidden counters usually end with the reluctant interviewees being nabbed by the police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say you like older guys but you`re afraid it will hurt.
"I can show you how so is doesn`t hurt and is great."
HAMMER: Whether it`s on TV shows, news programs, or in the movies, child predators prowling for prey on-line is a problem that`s ignored no longer.
HAMMER: "Dateline NBC`S" "To Catch a Predator" is captivating and it`s becoming a big hit with viewers. The "Dateline" specials are now drawing between eight million and 11 million viewers. Pretty unbelievable.
Well, actor Richard Dreyfuss has been making many headlines for his comments on the Bush administration as he has for is his new movie. Dryfuss`s movie, "Poseidon" is a remake of the 1972 classic, and the story basically remains true to the original. The ship is upended by a giant wave and a group of people join forces to find safety.
Well, Dreyfuss is certainly not worried about making only safe comments when it comes to the Bush administration. But there has been a little bit of confusion over exactly what the actor said. Some reports are actually saying he`s calling for the impeachment of President Bush, so I asked him to set the record straight in a "Showbiz Sit-Down."
RICHARD DREYFUSS, ACTOR: Actually I`m not calling for the impeachment of President Bush. And that was everything that`s wrong with the media. What I called for was a debate about the appropriateness of the Senate beginning hearings on impeachment charges.
This is important clarification. OK.
DREYFUSS: Which is about the checks and balances of this system, because unless we issue some kind of cultural minority report, on the past eight years, we will hand off, endorse, to every future presidency, whether they are liberal or conservative, a swollen executive power, which is not something I want to give to my kids. We are now, without any question, endorsing or torture, wiretapping against specific federal law, misreporting weapons of mass destruction, etcetera, reporting to the Congress. And unless we say in, one version or another, even if you lose an impeachment process, that there is an institution, PTA, churches, whatever, that says no, then we`re saying yes and that means that President Hillary or President Condoleezza will get that executive and nobody ever, ever turns power away.
HAMMER: Neil Young has released an entire album calling for the impeachment of President Bush. Pearl Jam has also released protest songs, and the backlash isn`t coming. Why do you think it has now become more acceptable for people to speak out publicly without fear of reprisals, if you will?
DREYFUSS: Well, I think it`s very interesting. It`s because people are looking back on the last few years and realizing how much we were -- how much we reacted to fear. When the towers came down and we were so terrified, and I was, and we all were -- we needed someone to say, all right, this is what we do! And we went down a road of certain actions that we look back on and say we`re in worse -- we`re in a worse situation. We didn`t do the right things. We got there by the wrong method methods and people are getting ruthful.
HAMMER: You gave an incredibly powerful speech at the national press club. Among the things you talked about was how the mainstream immediamedia is covering vital issues today, especially the war in Iraq and you are not so thrilled with how that`s going.
DREYFUSS: I said that I was going to ask how many members of the Press Club thought of themselves as the heirs of Edward R. Morrow`s legacy. And then I just said that I decide not to ask because I would have lost my sense of humor. Because I think that the press in America has completely given up its function as speaking truth to power. I think that the lack of constancy in -- of any issues, lifetime in the media. You know, the just simple lack of asking a question again for clarity`s sake and not accepting the spin room`s version is a plague. It`s like a virus. Where is no, excuse me, Mr. President, we`d like a further clarification on that. We don`t work for you, you work for us. Remember that? I`m a Frank Capra guy.
I`m a Frank Capra American. I believe in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." I think that in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" which is a film that every one of my generation saw. At the end of that movie, he turns to Senator Payne and he says, this must be one of those lost causes, isn`t it Mr. Payne? You remember lost causes. You said they were the only ones worth fighting for. And I looked at the Press Club and I said we all think that we are Jimmy Stewart. But I would submit that many of us have become Senator Payne, a guy with great intentions who has become so ambitious, he`s lost his way.
HAMMER: I have a lot of respect for Richard Dreyfuss for putting it out there. You can Richard Dreyfuss in his new movie "Poseidon," it is in theaters now.
VARGAS: Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the people who stars lean on in a crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER CASTRO, EXEC. EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: I don`t understand why anybody would want to do this job. Because they are getting calls at 4:00 in the morning from their clients saying, you know, where`s my limo?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: When there`s a scandal, their phone rings first. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes behind the scenes with Hollywood publicists to find out what they do and how they get it done, next.
HAMMER: Plus, Paris Hilton leaves a bunch of computer geeks scratching their heads. We`re going to explain what Paris did that had everyone saying, "huh?" That`s coming up.
VARGAS: And now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Birthday Shout-Out," where we give fans a chance to wish their favorite stars a happy birthday. Well tonight, we`re sending one out to singer Lenny Kravitz. He`s celebrating his 42nd birthday, today.
SARAH: Hi, my name is Sarah and I`m wishing Lenny Kravitz a happy birthday. I love your music. Let love rule!
HAMMER: I am ready. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s a special edition of TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And it`s time now for another little story that made us say today, "That`s Ridiculous." Paris, Paris, Paris. I have to say you`ve really done hit the time. "Simple Life" star Paris Hilton was at the annual E3 Video Game Convention out in Los Angeles. She was there to plug her new video game. I`m thinking maybe all those lights and sounds E3 perplexed poor Paris. She shrieked that she`s very excited for her new game "Diamond Quest." That`s what she called it. The problem is, that`s not the name of her game, it`s called "Jewel Jam." Forgetting your own game, Paris, "That`s Ridiculous," and so not hot.
I would like to say, Sibila, that I`m surprised by all of this, but I`m not surprised.
VARGAS: Diamond Quest, "Jewel Jam." Sound anything like each other, though?
HAMMER: Not at all.
All right. Well moving on. Let`s deal with the dish. Soothing the scandals from break-ups, Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen, Nick and Jessica, to Tom Cruise`s couch jumping and Dietribe (ph) against psychiatry. What do Hollywood heavy-hitters do in times of crisis? They pick up the phone, send an e-mail, or scream at the top of their lungs, where`s my publicist? Here`s Kyra Phillips for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with an inside look at the celebrity must-have for every season. The perfect P.R. person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right here. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Image maker, gatekeeper, Spin meister, damage control expert. For the rich and famous, a high-powered publicist, rivals the hottest catoure. Well paid. Well connected. And well, always just a few feet away. A publicist can go from polite.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to go, I`m sorry.
PHILLIPS: to pit bull, At break-neck speed.
TED CASABLANCA, "E! ENTERTAINMENT" GOSSIP COLUMNIST: I love publicists. A lot of people hate them in town. but I think they are great. I mean they give us some of the best material to work with. Brad and Angelina, are just friends. I love the lines that come from this crowd. It`s really good stuff.
PHILLIPS: Always guiding, sometimes chiding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave it alone.
PHILLIPS: We`ve seen what happens when a good one gets away. After Tom Cruise replaced veteran publicist, Pat Kingsley, with his sister, we watched in disbelief as that famed cruise control morphed into couch control before our very eyes.
WINFREY: Have you ever felt this way before?
CASTRO: The lesson that Tom Cruise taught the world is don`t fire a top-notch publicist because when you do that, then you become a rutterless raft. And that`s what happened to him.
CINDI BERGER, MANAGING DIR, PMK HBH: I graduated college and I was laying in a friend`s pool reading "Cosmopolitan" magazine drinking a can of Tab, and there was an article about celebrity publicists. And I thought my god, that`s what I want to do. That`s it!
Do it now, because they`re going to start. We have to start.
PHILLIPS: She`s a powerhouse in the world of showbshowbiz. Managing director of one of the most prestigious publicity firms in Hollywood, PMK HBH. Chances are you know a few of Cindi Berger`s famous clientele.
O`DONNELL: It`s important, make no doubt, if you are an entertainer, to have a publicist. She`ll say it would be good if you didn`t mention the NRA in this interview. You know, or something like, try not to say President Bush is immoral.
PHILLIPS: February 13, 9:30 a.m. the 100th episode of "Martha."
BERGER: I left at 7:25.
PHILLIPS: Cindi is in place awaiting the arrival of her long-time client, Rosie O`Donnell.
O`DONNELL: The crew is here for my publicist, not for me. It`s all right. I used to be a very well-known entertainer.
PHILLIPS: From the car, Rosie`s entourage heads to the make-up room, soon a sound check.
O`DONNELL: Rosie, Rosie check.
PHILLIPS: A cappuccino. A knock on the door.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ro?
O`DONNELL: Who`s that? Martha! You didn`t come see me in (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you big wench.
BERGER: It`s not a precise science.
O`DONNELL: She`s like 63 and wears leather pants and looks better than I ever have. It`s frightening.
She takes care of me because she loves me and that I trust her judgment especially when I`m not in a place to make good judgments for myself. You know, I`m a very emotional person.
CASTRO: I don`t understand why anyone would want to do this job. Because they`re getting calls at 4:00 in the morning from their clients saying, you know, where`s my limo?
BERGER: The doors come towards you.
CASTRO: And then, of course, the worst is when, you know, their clients go, you know, just mental and do something and are involved in a scandal or end up in jail and you go, oh man, now what do I do?
BERGER: It`s a tough business. It`s not for pansys.
PHILLIPS: Michael, Russell, Courtney, Pee Wee, Wynona, Whitney, Hugh. What do these celebrities and Martha and Rosie have in common? Scandal.
O`DONNELL: I will say nothing else.
PHILLIPS: And in the world of publicity, scandal is never a good thing.
BERGER: Damage control is coming up with an effective campaign and executing it properly.
PHILLIPS: And no one knows damage control like Allen Mayer. In Hollywood, he`s considered a master in disaster. A certified crisis specialist who`s helped the like of Halle Barry and Tommy Lee.
ALLEN MAYER, PUBLICIST: If you don`t tell your own story, someone else is going to tell it for you and chances are you won`t like the way it comes out.
PHILLIPS: Case in point, Rosie O`Donnell. In 2002, after six years on the air, the beloved talk show host said good-bye to her show and her cutie patutie persona.
O`DONNELL: I remember "Newsweek" saying the queen of nice. And I remember it on the show holding it us saying, well, wait until this turns, when we get the queen of fried rice, you know, the queen of lice. This is going to bite me in the ass one day folks, make no mistake. You know, and it did.
PHILLIPS: Exactly one year later, in the Fall of 2003, Rosie was not only out of the closet, but standing smack in the middle of scandal. Publishers over now defunct "Rosie" magazine had slapped O`Donnell with $100 million breach of contract suit. And the case quickly turned nasty.
CASTRO: And here was Rosie O`Donnell who was beloved, and all of a sudden, next thing you know she`s like she`s turned into the as the Tasmanian Devil.
O`DONNELL: What did I do? I am fat, I yell, and I sometimes say the "F" word.
It was the worst thing that happened to me in my public life. I remember we pulled up the first day and I said to Cindi what are all these trucks doing here?
BERGER: It was a nightmare. I don`t think any of us thought that we were going to be walking up the steps of a courthouse.
MAYER: Unfortunately, silence has taken as somehow an admission of guilt. So you have to figure out a way to always respond.
BERGER: The plan was never to have her go through the back door. That was the only way to handle it.
O`DONNELL: Well, like when we get out of the car, she`s like, OK we`re going to get out, we`re going to stop at the first group of microphones.
Good morning, everyone. Try to smile, Ro, please don`t say anything mean. Every clip that`s run of you has been mean. But I was so angry that I couldn`t be happy.
PHILLIPS: On November 12, 2003. A judge ruled there was no winner, neither the publishers nor the former talk queen received a cent.
BERGER: It was emotionally draining. It was exhausting.
PHILLIPS: Two years later, it`s barely a blip. Now Rosie`s moved on to writing her own blog.
O`DONNELL: I can be at home and say whatever I`m thinking of, whatever`s on my mind and hit send.
PHILLIPS: That and her future role, co-hosting "The View" will keep Cindi working overtime.
O`DONNELL: And then, you know, she fields the calls afterward. She`s like did you say something about Star Jones on your blog? I`m like probably, go look it up.
VARGAS: And that was CNN`s Kyra Phillips for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Stick around this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
VARGAS: It`s time for the "Entertainment Weekly Must List." Here are five things EW says you`ve got to check out this week.
First get yourself a copy of the Tennessee Williams collection on DVD. Playwright`s biggest and best, like "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are here. Next EW says to check out Bruce Springsteen`s new album "We Shall Overcome." It`s a joyful tribute to the folk pioneer Pete Seeger. Then pick up a copy of the book "Bust" by Ken Bruen and Jason Stars. They bring together a fearsome mix of vile characters in the streets of New York City.
EW also says to kickstart your summer the British punk band "The Duke Spirit" and their debut album. "Cut Across the Land."
And finally check out NBC`s belovbeloved comedy "Scrubs" season three, now on DVD. For more on the "Must List" pick up your copy of "Entertainment Weekly."
HAMMER: It is time now before we launch into the holiday weekend to find out what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Monday. We`ll doing a very special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "The Media and Body Image." Here`s your "Showbiz Marquis."
And coming up Monday for Memorial Day. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the shocking websites that actually say eating disorders are a good thing. These websites also offer tips on how to be anorexic and bulimic. Plus the primetime star whose life spiraled out of control because she followed the advice, tells us how she made her way back again.
Also Monday, a riveting interview with Rosie O`Donnell. She opens up about being gay in Hollywood, and the challenges it presented professionally and personally. Rosie O`Donnell, coming up Monday, here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Thanks very much for joining us with this special edition of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Have an excellent Memorial Day weekend. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas. You have a wonderful one, A.J. Stay tuned for the latest from "CNN Headline News."