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JOY BEHAR SHOW
Rush Limbaugh Weighs in on Tiger Woods Drama; Controversial Show Faces Boycott Over Depiction of Italian-Americans
Aired December 9, 2009 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Tonight, on the JOY BEHAR SHOW, how crazy is the Tiger Woods drama getting? Well, Rush Limbaugh, noted sociologist and humanitarian, has now weighed in on the topic. We`ll discuss. MTV`s new reality show, "Jersey Shore," is facing protests and calls for boycotts for its depiction of Italian Americans as a bunch of violent Guido mooks. What`s it to you? My panel of fundates (ph) will be here to chime in. And Danny Cahill, winner of the "Biggest Loser" will join me along with a fellow castmate whose love grew as the waistline shrank. All this and more starting now.
Elin and Tiger and Rachel, oh my. It turns out that when Tiger Woods` wife wasn`t busy chasing him with a three wood, she was ringing up alleged mistress Rachel Uchitel on the cell, and when Rachel wasn`t busy taking Elin`s calls, she was e-mailing Tiger with his wife right in the next room, allegedly.
The drama continues. Joining me to discuss everyone`s hectic schedule are April Woodard, celebrity journalist, and Kate Coyne, senior editor at "People" magazine.
Welcome, ladies, to the show. OK, April let me start here, reports are saying that Elin called his mistress, Rachel Uchitel. How do you say Uchitel?
APRIL WOODWARD, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Uchitel, I think it`s, but we`ll say it whatever.
BEHAR: Whatever it is. She called her twice prior to the car crash.
BEHAR: What do you know?
WOODWARD: Well, from what we know, our reports are saying that she called to confront her, basically, over the phone to discuss if she was having an affair with her husband, Tiger. And apparently in that conversation, according to reports, she calmed her down, Rachel calmed Elin down and said no, we`re not having an affair, this is not true.
BEHAR: So she was lying?
WOODWARD: Well, allegedly.
BEHAR: Allegedly. OK, so then the second call...
WOODWARD: The second call follows up, now she`s upset. She`s like, I know what`s going on. I know everything.
BEHAR: Well, what happened between call No. 1 and call No. 2?
WOODWARD: There`s a lot of information out there that is saying that she found out, that she made a call and got some information that friends were calling her because the tabloid reports, so we don`t know what happened. But she found out. She said she had the goods on her and basically, you know, said a few Swedish words and let her have it.
BEHAR: OK, now, Kate, "People" magazine has an exclusive interview or some information about the wife.
KATE COYNE, SR EDITOR PEOPLE MAGAZINE: We`ve gathered a lot of interviews with friends of Elin`s, people who have known her since childhood and we`ve really gotten an interesting picture of the kind of woman that Elin is. And she`s...
BEHAR: So, what is she like?
COYNE: She`s a tough customer, man. This is not somebody that I would want to cross any day of the week. She`s very tough. She`s a rather intense woman and she doesn`t take things laying down. I mean, she`s really going to...
BEHAR: Well, she doesn`t have it. He`s got everybody else doing it.
Now, this Uchitel, she has denied the affair that "In Touch" magazine -- but, "In Touch" magazine reports that Tiger exchanged intense e-mails with his alleged mistress, Rachel Uchitel. In one, he wrote, "I know it`s brutal on you that you can`t be with me all the time. I get it. It f-ing kills me too. I finally found someone I connect with, someone I have never found like this, not even at home. I want you to lay next to me, lay on me, or wherever you want to lay." And then he uses the f-bomb again. "Why didn`t we find each other years ago?" That has got to be a knife in the heart of the wife, too. Don`t you think?
COYNE: She`s devastated.
BEHAR: Because once it becomes a love match, it`s even worse than just bimbos.
COYNE: But, I wonder if Elin is really hearing everything that`s out there. While he may not have sent this specific e-mail to everyone, several women are coming forward to say, oh, he said I was the one, he said he wanted to leave my wife for me, so she may not have to put too much stock in this particular love note if he`s been sending them out all over the place.
WOODWARD: It seems like it`s his M.O. that you know, why aren`t you the one, and why, you know, I really feel connected to you. He`s done this several times, like she said and it just seems like that may have been...
BEHAR: Do you think that it`s all B.S. or is he just a pathological narcissistic disorder who keeps wanting to find more women to feed his ego? What is it with him?
WOODWARD: Well, don`t know what the medical condition is called, because I`m no doctor, but I think that when I look at his emails and his texts to people, I see a pathetic personal.
BEHAR: You see a pathetic person.
WOODWARD: I see him believing that these jump-offs are going to -- which is a term meaning "sidekick woman," that his jump off is going to protect him. I mean, even the voice mail message, please, you know, do this for me, you got to do this for me. He really believes these women care enough about him to protect him from getting caught by his wife. And here they`ve saved, you know, basically everything but the dress, and e- mails and texts and voice mail messages and all of that and he really thought that they were going to protect him.
COYNE: Yeah. And I think there`s some sort of magical thinking going on where I don`t think he thought they were going to protect them. I don`t think he thought he was going to get caught. There was no protection that was going to be necessary because he probably thought he was just always going to get away with it.
BEHAR: OK, thank you very much, ladies, for chiming in with me.
Another aspect to this Tiger storm is the la fairway lothario`s choice of women. Rush Limbaugh weighed in on his radio show
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: The black frame of mind is just terrible. They`re depressed, they`re down; Obama`s not doing anything for them... How is that hoax and change working for you? They`re all, they`re livid."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: But he didn`t stop there. He went on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: And, um, I`m sure Tiger Woods` choice of females is not helping them out with their attitude there, either."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Well, who better than Rush Limbaugh to understand and express the black experience? I want to bring into the mix, Michael Eric Dyson, author, Public Radio host and professor of sociology at Georgetown University.
Hello, Professor. How are you?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Ms. Joy Behar, so good to see you. And you know, Rush Limbaugh weighing in on the black experience is like David Duke speaking at a holocaust memorial. It`s pretty bizarre.
BEHAR: Oh, my goodness. OK, well, what do you think of what he said? He specifically said a couple of things, there.
DYSON: Yeah, he said, first of all, the black frame of mind. I don`t know how he is indexing (ph) this. That the hoax and change, the hope and change, that we`re fed up with Obama and as a result of that the black mind is so depressed and dispirited that it manifests itself in this kind of lethal sexual predatory behavior.
That`s pretty remarkable. It`s remarkably uninsightful. I think it has nothing to do with the case, here. Obama`s performance and black people`s belief in his performance is still relatively very high, has nothing to do with explaining what Tiger Woods is doing and what Tiger Woods is caught in right now.
Secondly, he said that the choice of women, certainly, has been revealing for many African-American people, Eugene Robinson, the "Washington Post" columnist, weighed in talking about the Barbie doll stereotype, there. He stopped short of talking about Tiger`s choice in terms of color. But let`s be honest, many African-American people are already conscious of the fact that Tiger has been loathed to necessarily publicly embrace the black side of his experience, so to speak, wanting to accentuate the full multiracial side of it, as well as the fact that he`s kind of shied away from speaking out publicly, even when he was said, by a friend, that he could -- the only way to beat him was to lynch him on a back alley. Tiger just doesn`t speak about racial issues. When you combine that stuff with his own kind of struggles as many biracial people go thought in this country, struggles for self-identity, you pile that stuff together, yeah, it`s a pretty rough way to go and people are raising questions about what those choices might indicate about his struggles for a strong identity.
BEHAR: Well, he calls himself a Cablanasian. And it`s interesting to me, in 2003, he was supposed to be playing or doing some kind of a thing in South Carolina and the NAACP was boycotting South Carolina because they still flew the Confederate flag and they said to him, you know, you shouldn`t go there, maybe somebody said he shouldn`t go and his answer was, I`m a golfer, that`s their deal, not mine. Does this make him alienated from blacks or post-racial, which one is he? Because he`s a Cablanasia -- what does he call himself? A Cablanasian? And lot of people say that`s post-racial, he`s all different races, he`s every man at this point. And yet the African-American community is not that thrilled with him right now, it seems to me.
DYSON: Well, yeah, they`re not thrilled with the fact -- first of all, post-racial is a myth and an ideal that doesn`t exist. What does that mean?
BEHAR: I don`t know.
DYSON: Yeah, we don`t live in a post-racial world and we don`t want to. I don`t want to live in a world that tries to pretend they don`t know I`m black. Hey, I don`t know you`re black. Well, my mother told me this morning I was, so you can join in the parade of acknowledgement.
The point is, we don`t want to be post-black, post-white, we want to be post-racist, not post-racial. And I think the problem here is that Tiger Woods got caught up, as many people do, especially biracial people, who want to say look, I`m Thai and I`m black and that`s everything and I want to acknowledge that, I don`t want to choose between the two.
The reality is, even if you don`t choose between the two, somebody will do the choosing for you. Fuzzy Zoeller, the golfer, when he said, remarking about Tiger winning the green jacket in the Master`s first time didn`t say don`t bring any Asian food, don`t bring any Thai food up in here, he said don`t bring any of those collard greens or whatever you people eat. So, even if you self-define yourself in a certain way, the reality is, the broader world will see you that way.
Black people have been suspicious of people who are loathed to embrace at least the black part of themselves and to tell the truth about how race operates in this country. He`s not post-racial. We`re not living in a post-racial society. One black man in public housing in Washington, D.C. cannot eradicate the entire history of racism in this country. And unfortunate, Tiger Woods has not been led necessarily to embrace that view point and certainly address it in a specific way throughout his career.
BEHAR: And Limbaugh also said that he`s attracted to a certain kind of woman, and that would make him less popular, also. It seems to me that white men are attracted to the same kinds of bimbos when they`re on this kind of track of adulteress affairs.
DYSON: Of course, and you make a brilliant point there, Joy. The fact is that Tiger is attracted to the same kind of women that many of the golfers that he golfs with are. And we know, that, yes, Fairway LaFarism it`s not quarantined to Tiger Woods. There are a bunch of guys out there hitting balls that are not on the court that are not Titleist and so on. The reality is we`ve got to then examine that. Tiger`s own choice may reflect his own inability to come to grips with certain aspects of his own multiracial element or it`s the fact that he`s bought the lie of what`s beautiful. It`s not that the women that he`s been involved with aren`t beautiful, but they`re not the only beautiful women. And if you go after one narrow type, that may indicate more about you than it indicates about them.
BEHAR: OK, thanks so much, Michael. Always a pleasure to hear your insights.
BEHAR: When we come back, more on Tiger. Then, MTV thinks being a Guido is a good thing, but some Italians-Americans have an "F" word for the network and it`s not "forget about it." Stick around.
BEHAR: Welcome back. By the way, 25 more Tiger Woods` mistresses came forward during the commercial break.
BEHAR: Joining me now to talk about this and more are Mo Rocca, commentator, comedian and contribute for to "CBS Sunday Morning." From the "BorowitzReport.com, Andy Borowitz. And Linda Stasi -- is that right, Linda?
BEHAR: Linda Stasi, "New York Post" critic and columnist. Welcome to the show.
OK, Let`s talk about it for a minute? What is your take on Tiger these days? Anybody have a...
ANDY BOROWITZ, BOROWITZREPORT.COM: Before we get into this, is anyone on the set currently involved with Tiger? I just have to know, because...
MO ROCCA, COMEDIAN: I was hoping to be.
BOROWITZ: I heard that, Mo, I just don`t want to ruffle any feathers. I just want to put that out there.
LINDA STASI, NEW YORK POST CRITIC: I think I`m too brunette for him.
BOROWITZ: You`re too brunette, oh.
BEHAR: She is too brunette. So, you know, how many more women are going to come out?
BOROWITZ: Well, you know, I reported this actually on the site. There`s going to be a march on Washington tomorrow of all his mistresses. They`re expecting about a million.
BEHAR: Then million women putang (ph) march.
BOROWITZ: They have a lot of demands and they have to be met, hugely quick.
ROCCA: The putang death march. You know, he`s not interested in breaking Jack Nicholas` record, anymore, it`s all about Wilt chamberlain`s record, at this point. and he can do it if he sleeps with 1.3 women a day for 42 years, he would then be about 80, he`d do it.
BOROWITZ: This is great, it`s getting the kid interested in math.
ROCCA: In math, exactly.
STASI: I think he`s going for Caligula`s record, actually.
ROCCA: Are horses allowed on golf courses?
BEHAR: Do you think the wife, Elin, the long-suffering wife who says now -- somebody just told me that she`s quite tough herself, do you think she would take the money and go to Sweden?
STASI: No, I think that she would take the money from the golf club endorsement. She swung that sucker, broke the window. That`s where she could get her money.
ROCCA: She destroyed that furniture, but it`s IKEA furniture, so it`s not a big deal, it just all falls apart so easily.
BEHAR: What about the fact that he now -- it now seems as though he and this Rachel Uchitel.
ROCCA: I love Rachel Uchitel.
BEHAR: What do you love about her?
ROCCA: She`s an event planner. And Tiger should have married and event planner, because only an event planner can negotiate his very difficult sex schedule. You have to be really organized if you`re married to Tiger Woods.
BEHAR: But you`d also have to sleep with the event planner. But, you`re not supposed to sleep with the event planner. I don`t think that that`s what the thing is about. But she is sort of saying that they had a real romantic relationship. And his e-mails to her sound like he was in love with her.
STASI: I think they all sound like that. Did you see those other texts? "I love you, I can`t believe I`m not with you." Who? Everybody.
BOROWITZ: A sign that Tiger`s in love with you is he doesn`t make you take your name off your voicemail outgoing message. That`s a sign that he`s passionate about you.
ROCCA: We should have known when he said he was golfing on the Appalachian trail, that something was up.
BEHAR: OK. So, do you think the story is going to die soon or not?
ROCCA: I hope so. We need a new scandal.
BEHAR: I know, but it`s fascinating.
ROCCA: Bring back the Salahis.
STASI: I think the Salahi`s must be so disappointed since Tiger Woods came along and took all their thunder away.
BEHAR: Yeah, the Salahi`s are...
BOROWITZ: I just think Tiger really should be studied at this point by science, because the fact that he was able to do all this while on Ambien is absolutely shocking.
BEHAR: What about, Linda, what the Ambien sex they were talking about? Like it sort of relaxes you, I mean...
STASI: I thought that you only ate when you took Ambien, you go to the refrigerator at night and stuff your face. Who knew?
BOROWITZ: Stuff your face, let`s just leave it there, folks.
ROCCA: When are the Salahi`s going to crash a group sex session with Tiger? Bring it all together..
BOROWITZ: Oh Mo, you`re being inappropriate.
BEHAR: OK, let me do something these women didn`t do and get off Tiger for a second.
ROCCA: Please don`t, he doesn`t want you to.
BEHAR: MTV has a new show called "Jersey Shore," about a bunch of young Italian-Americans sharing a beach house. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love Guido`s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no way I`m going to jersey without hi hair gel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m like a praying mantis. After I have sex with a guy, I will rip their heads off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the situation, right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My abs are so ripped up, that they call it the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First impression is everything (INAUDIBLE) we just have to look fresh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like tan Italian boys and muscles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: I haven`t actually seen the show, I was too busy stomping grapes and stirring the sauce. Italian-American groups are upset about this and we`ve got three Italian-Americans here. Andy, feel free to chime in and try to talk with your hands. OK, Linda.
BOROWITZ: Oh, I think he`s an Italian-American.
BEHAR: No, you are part Italian, I am full Italian and Linda?
BEHAR: Full Italian.
BOROWITZ: I am married to half a half Italian.
BEHAR: Oh, that doesn`t count, come on.
STASI: I think that`s like a quarter.
BEHAR: All right, now, you`re an Italian- American fully. OK, and you`re...
STASI: (INAUDIBLE) have Sicilian...
BEHAR: Oh, watch out. OK, so you wrote an article in the "New York Post" and you were really ticked off about this.
STASI: It`s the most repulsive thing -- and the guy, the programming director of MTV is Italian, the guy`s name is Tony DeSanto. And when they went out and cast the show, the casting director said Italian-Americans who love to be Guido`s, this and that, and then he tried to tell me on the phone the other day, no, we were looking for a certain type. I said what type? I said, if you want a type who`s like big gabone (ph) there`s plenty in the black community, there`s plenty who are Jewish, there are plenty in everything.
BOROWITZ: No, there are no Jews.
STASI: You went for the Italians.
BOROWITZ: Pretty sure.
BEHAR: Well, do you think if it was about another group, it would pass muster?
ROCCA: Flavor Flav was hardly "Roots," OK, and Tila Tequila, I mean, a lot of bisexual Filipinos were very angry about the gross stereotyping there. And the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" stereotypes smart white people.
BEHAR: OK, we`re going to continue this conversation with my panel when we come back, so stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is it right here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, party`s here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re here to like blow this place apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forget about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a good looking, well-groomed Italian who is very, very good with the ladies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: That was a clip from the MTV show "Jersey Shore" and we are continuing our conversation about that show with my panel. OK, to me it`s like I don`t really care that much about it, because I know what Italians are really like and they`re not obviously like that. I`ve been to Florence, I studied the renaissance art. So, it doesn`t bother me so much. And particularly the "Sopranos" didn`t bother me because that, to me, was artistic.
STASI: It was artistic. That was written by an Italian, it eye- level, it was Shakespearean. This is just a bunch of slobs in a house and it should bother you because you know what Italians are like, I know what Italians are like, but they don`t know in the world out there.
BEHAR: But, do you really think it`s going to harm the Italian...
BOROWITZ: I think it`s bad for Italians, I think it`s bad for men. I`ll tell you one thing it`s good for is Purell, because after you see the show, you want to Purell a little bit.
ROCCA: Do you want some of this? This is good.
BEHAR: Mo, why are you sniffing that thing?
ROCCA: No, I`m not sniffing, it`s because, as I remarked on the show, hot Italian guys have glossy lips. I`m owning it and rocking it, Joy. That`s what they do at "Jersey Shore." And I`ve got to work on my tan and juice my muscles, now.
BEHAR: OK, we`re already talked about Italian-American stereotypes, but I want you to take a look at a clip from the promo that MTV is running of the show. It`s of a guy hitting a girl. And what about the stereotypes of violent men hitting women? How dare they show you this as a promo, over there and nobody says anything? Will the Italian organizations get mad or do they have to hit be a bowl of pasta before they get mad?
STASI: The Italian organizations are all over this. The problem is, instead of going out and being violent and scaring everybody the way other organizations do, they`re trying to be like, well, you know, we really object to this and they`re trying desperately hard to not be threatening, because it feeds the stereotype.
ROCCA: How did we get from Michael Angelo`s Sistine Chapel to Snooky and Vinnie`s beach house at the Jersey shore?
BEHAR: Well, because Italy, like every other country has the high and the low.
ROCCA: Is it like a Mariel boat lift where the Italians sent all the crazy ones over here?
BEHAR: No, I`m here, she`s here.
ROCCA: And I am too, and my father, yeah. I`m just wondering how this happened. How have we got from...
BEHAR: Well listen, the only reason you don`t have French people acting like that is the French didn`t really come here in large numbers. Once you have quality, you`re going to have a mess.
BOROWITZ: Well, while we`re here, let`s insult some French people.
BEHAR: I think that`s a good idea.
BOROWITZ: We`ve got a platform, now. You`ve opened it up.
BEHAR: Right, they`re in French...
STASI: It`s few and far between that you have that reality show where there`s a bunch of French people acting out. You know, you...
BEHAR: What about Liechtenstein, you never see any from there either. How are we going to stereotype?
ROCCA: The beach house on the Rivera? You know, Pandora?
BOROWITZ: I know, same thing.
BEHAR: Well, thank you all very much.
BOROWITZ: Well, thank you.
BEHAR: I think it was very interesting to see you all. But, Linda, remember "Growing up Gotti?" That made this show look like "Masterpiece Theatre."
STASI: No, that`s not true. On the other hand, there some where they were kids, one guy in here, I think it`s the "situation," he`s 29 years old, he`s not a kid.
BEHAR: Too old to act like that, exactly.
STASI: And they work and they hope to get a job in t-shirt shop in town. Come on, please.
BEHAR: We have to go. We`ll be back in a minute.
ROCCA: He owns his won tanning bed.
BEHAR: He does?
BEHAR: Oh, that changes everything. We`ll be right back.
(INAUDIBLE) he sleeps in it.
BEHAR: So what happens to Tiger Woods after this spectacular bimbo explosion? Well, it seems his wife is not the only one ready to abandon him. His TV commercials are disappearing as advertisers seem to be considering jumping ship. Here with me to discuss that is Jerry Della Femina, chairman of Della Femina Advertising. Hi Jerry.
JERRY DELLA FEMINA, CHAIRMAN, DELLA FEMINA ADVERTISING: Hi, how are you?
BEHAR: Good to see you. Reports are the last time a Tiger Woods` ad was on TV was November 29th. Does that say something to you?
DELLA FEMINA: Yes, they`re all -- every advertiser is going to lay low for awhile, but that doesn`t mean they`re going to leave. I mean I know that he`s just had some Tiger juice go away but - that was the product wasn`t really doing that well at all. I think that most advertisers are going to say, the key advertiser to watch is Nike. They go, everybody goes.
BEHAR: Uh-huh. There was something about Gatorade pulling something, but that might have been before this whole bimbo eruption. So maybe you`re right, maybe the sponsors won`t abandon him. You don`t see any of them dumping him in the future?
DELLA FEMINA: Well they`re nervous. What if he comes back and let`s face it bimbo-gate is going to be gone and people will forget it. And he wins tournament and he`s playing golf, which apparently is the second thing he does best. And he`s playing golf and he wins. And all of a sudden the advertisers, who gave him up their competitor picks him up. So they`re saying, hey, he may have a problem right now but we`re not going to dump him. This is not a bad embarrassment. Every one of these women look like they escaped from the bunny ranch in Nevada.
BEHAR: I know they do, you`re a master at rehabilitating people`s image, you create needs in people. Can he rehabilitate his image after this whole thing?
DELLA FEMINA: Yes, and it`s not going to be in advertising, it`s going to be -- he`s got to do the interview, whether it`s Oprah. I`d love for him to come on this show. Wherever he goes, Oprah, Barbara Walters, he`s got to do, the interview. So sorry, I messed up, hopefully he can get his wife to sit next to him. They hold hands. You`ve seen Mike Tyson, all these people do this.
BEHAR: But that`s the only way to get rehabilitated is go on Oprah and cry and say I was such a bad boy, is that how he`s going to do it?
DELLA FEMINA: America loves to see heroes cry. Let`s face it.
BEHAR: What about Clinton, remember Clinton, he apologized at one point. That worked for him. He didn`t have to cry on TV.
DELLA FEMINA: Well, you can apologize and it helps. But one tear, oh, boy, does that work? A tear, I`m sorry, I don`t know why I did it. That tear is going to be worth millions to him.
BEHAR: What about the Tony Soprano route by just saying nothing?
DELLA FEMINA: That works for the Mafia, but I don`t know if it`s going to work dr. He`s got to say something. That`s what the public wants. They want to hear him say he`s sorry and then go on to the next scandal. It`s all about reality shows and he`s dealing with women, the second best thing they could get from Tiger is to reveal that they went to bed with them.
BEHAR: Ok, all right -
DELLA FEMINA: That`s a mistake.
BEHAR: All right Jerry but at what point, though, how much longer can he hold out before he has to do the Oprah show?
DELLA FEMINA: Well the Oprah -- on the over-under on the number of women involved is 16. You make a bet, over 16, under 16. The fact is that he - he -- a little more time. He`s got to be off that front page. I mean every day you get off the front page.
BEHAR: Right. Well we`re enjoying it so much. Jerry, I have to say thank you very much for joining me. As always, a pleasure.
DELLA FEMINA: Thank you.
BEHAR: All right, onto a different kind of loser. Season eight of NBC`S "the biggest loser" ended last night and it`s safe to say none of them finished the game the way they started it, especially this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you started this competition, you weighed 430 pounds. You`re looking for more than 227, Danny. Your current weight is --
You did it!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: He won $250,000 by losing 239 pounds and he`s definitely the biggest loser I`ve ever known, Danny Cahill. Welcome to the show.
DANNY CAHILL, BIGGEST LOSER WINNER: Thank you. Thank you.
BEHAR: It`s thrilling to watch that isn`t it when you se it?
CAHILL: Yes, that`s the first time I`ve seen it. It just happened last night and, wow, what a moment. What a moment.
BEHAR: I mean you`re less than half the person you were.
CAHILL: Yes. I was definitely more than twice the person I am now back then and I felt it. I mean, it was tough just to get around, just to move from room to room was a task.
BEHAR: How long did it take you to get that heavy?
CAHILL: About 16, 17 years. You know when I met my wife, I was 175 pounds.
BEHAR: Really? So in is not a natural state for you to be so fat?
CAHILL: No, I was overweight growing up and for about eight or nine years I lost weight in high school and college and kept it off for about eight or nine years. And then when I met my wife, she met this 170-pound guy that was on top of the world. Had a music career going and I had a lot of promise. And then, I don`t know, I guess you know, sometimes you get with a partner, you get with a spouse or a mate and you just get comfortable. And I hear it a thousand times, yes, I gained ten times since I started dating. Well, mine just kept going.
BEHAR: It didn`t stop. Was there a point - I mean you gained a lot of weight. Was there a point where you said, was there any time in that process where you just look at yourself and say I`ve got to do this?
CAHILL: Oh, yes, and it happens several times and several times I would try to do something about it. And I would succeed to a point. I mean I`ve lost 40, 50, 60 pounds several times.
BEHAR: Yes but you had a lot more to go at the time.
CAHILL: Yes, I did. When you`re 430 pounds and you lose 50 pounds and you`re down to 380 -
BEHAR: Dropping the bucket
CAHILL: Yes, and you don`t really - you look in the mirror and you don`t see a difference.
BEHAR: So it`s discouraging.
CAHILL: Yes, it is. I remember on the ranch, the first time I saw the difference and felt the difference. I could actually -- I felt myself and I said my stomach is softer and I can feel things changing.
BEHAR: At what point was that? How much did you lose?
CAHILL: It took me about five weeks.
BEHAR: But I mean at what point -- how much had you lost when you started to feel like you were doing something.
CAHILL: About 100 pounds.
BEHAR: 100. What are you going to do with all the money, by the way?
CAHILL: You know, I`ve got a lot of things to do with it. First thing I`m going to do is buy some clothes. I have no clothes. You know, I bought -- when I came home from the ranch, I had lost 142 pounds.
BEHAR: You mean that cheap show is not buying you new outfits? Sarah Palin, call her.
CAHILL: I can`t wear sleeveless Bigger Loser shirts everywhere.
BEHAR: No exactly, that`s all they have? Hello?
CAHILL: That`s all they give.
BEHAR: Do the words Armani ring a bell over there? Do you think you lost the weight too fast? Because it`s a very short time that you lost a lot of weight.
CAHILL: It is, you know, and there`s often controversy on what`s healthy, how fast. But you know what? Six months, three weeks ago my blood pressure was through the roof, I was a walking time bomb. And now look at me.
BEHAR: What is your blood pressure now?
CAHILL: It is as normal as you can be.
BEHAR: What is it? It`s suppose to be 120 over 80
CAHILL: Yes, I was 115 over 72.
BEHAR: Wow. So you have low blood pressure now. That`s great. That`s what you`re supposed to be. What was your lowest point in the whole process, do you think, when really you got discouraged and felt bad?
CAHILL: You know weeks three and four were hard for me, because the doctor took me off my blood pressure medication and I was on lasics (ph) for edema in my legs - that I retain water. And when he took me off, my legs filled up with water and that week I lost four pounds, I thought I was going home. But thanks to Tracy, everybody knows Tracy, she played the game and, you know, I owe it to her for staying there, because she chose Liz to get on the scale instead of me and it kept me there for another week.
BEHAR: I see. Did you ever think about the surgeries that are available to people. The bypass surgeries the lack band aid and all that which are tough also.
CAHILL: Yes, yes.
BEHAR: But in a way it would be a little easier on you because it would kill your appetite, right?
CAHILL: Well, they tend to kill your appetite, but they`re not the safest thing in the world. I think the best way to lose weight is the old fashioned way. You eat less and you work it off.
BEHAR: It`s such a bore that way, isn`t it?
CAHILL: It`s a little tougher.
BEHAR: What is your -- what is your family`s reaction to it?
CAHILL: They`re in heaven. I mean you know, my wife and my kids, they didn`t --
BEHAR: Tell me how old is your kids?
CAHILL: My daughter Marie Clare is 8, my son, David is 10.
BEHAR: So you wanted to be there for them because you were a walking time bomb.
CAHILL: I was, and that was the big motivation for even trying out. I tried out for season six and seven and didn`t make it to either one of those.
CAHILL: But they were the big inspiration. They, I mean -- I`m a father. I should be a good role model. A positive role model. My daughter struggles with her weight a little bit. And you know, I saw in her what I saw in myself back at that age. Closet eating, going into the kitchen sneaking in there to get more food and in the middle of the night. And I said --
CAHILL: Yes. And I said here I am 430 pounds sitting on the couch watching TV and showing her exactly what not to do. And it was time for me to take action and get up.
BEHAR: You need to be a role model for your children. It`s very unhealthy. I can`t believe -- you`re such a handsome guy.
CAHILL: Oh thanks.
BEHAR: It must have killed your wife to see you blow up and not be good looking like you are now.
CAHILL: You know, this is what she met. This is what she met.
BEHAR: This is what she meant.
CAHILL: It is. And I, you know what, I praise her for staying with me. I mean, I`m the luckiest man in the world, because she`s lost over 65 pounds. And she looks like a million bucks. I am lucky --
BEHAR: Yes, yes -- but that`s not the same as you.
CAHILL: But I`m lucky the 430 pound guy didn`t lose the girl. A lot of women would not have stuck through that. She`s a strong woman. She believes in me.
BEHAR: You have to be careful that people don`t say, you want a cookie, Danny?
CAHILL: You know what -- I will eat a cookie 10 cookies, I won`t eat the whole stack of Oreos that tall. I will --
BEHAR: I know the whole pro-portion thing is important.
CAHILL: Well Jullian came -
BEHAR: Wait a - hold on, sit tight. We`ll be back with another big loser when we come back. We have more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 176. You lost 91 pounds. Congratulations. Rebecca! Congratulations you just won $100,000
(END VIDEOC CLIP)
BEHAR: Rebecca Meyer won the $100,000 at-home prize on "The Biggest Loser" last night. But she didn`t just come home with money, she came home with a boyfriend. Solo contestant Daniel Wright. Rebecca joins me now and still with me is season eight winner Danny Cahill. Hi, Rebecca. Congratulations.
REBECCA MEYER, BIGGEST LOSER CONTESTANT: Hi.
BEHAR: Congratulations to everybody who accomplished this incredible feat really. And you`ve met your boyfriend there, huh?
MEYER: I did. I did. We became best friends on the ranch and then after we came home, and I`m like, wow, you`re kind of cute.
BEHAR: So how long have you been together with Daniel?
MEYER: We had on the 11th, lit be three months.
BEHAR: Were there sparks before he started to lose the weight?
MEYER: Oh, it`s definitely not because he`s gotten thinner. He was my best friend, and he has been like a huge part of the reason that I lost 139 pounds. And then it was just the best thing ever falling in love with your best friend.
BEHAR: Did you like him at first? Someone told me you didn`t like him at first.
MEYER: I didn`t like him at first.
BEHAR: Why not?
MEYER: We didn`t get along. And he got to go on the show twice and I had been trying to get on since season five.
BEHAR: Oh I see. So a little competitive. What are you going to do with the $100,000?
MEYER: I am going to move out of my parent`s house. Yes.
BEHAR: Is that what -- were they over feeding you at your parent`s house?
MEYER: No. I did most of the cooking actually, so it was pretty much me. I like to cook and usually it`s fried food. But now it`s just stir fry and oh, gosh, look at me.
BEHAR: Is it hard - both of you -- to look at those pictures of yourselves when you were heavy, heavy?
CAHILL: It`s very hard.
BEHAR: Is it really brutal? I know I can`t look at picture it is I don`t look how I don`t want to look. It could be a hair thing that went berserk.
CAHILL: Well, I`m looking at my belly and those legs, those poor feet. What those feet had to go through.
BEHAR: You felt sorry for your feet.
CAHILL: Oh I feel so sorry, look at those legs.
MEYER: Danny`s belly looked like it was going to hatch when I first met him.
CAHILL: And it did.
BEHAR: What does it say about the show that breeds romance. Most people bomb over dinner. You go out on a date, you go out to dinner and that becomes romantic, you drink a little. How did that come about, the romantic part?
MEYER: The romance came after the friendship and the bonding and going through emotional and physical and mental like upheaval. You`re completely raw and you find someone who is going through the same thing and then you realize that, you know, they`re your best friend and you love them. I mean look at that. That`s when --
BEHAR: That`s interesting.
MEYER: We were just friend there.
BEHAR: You had so much in common with each other and that bonded you.
CAHILL: Of course, I didn`t find romance, thank god, or I would have been really in trouble.
BEHAR: We`ve had enough of that this week.
CAHILL: But Rebecca and I are oh close.
BEHAR: So you`re all close now?
CAHILL: Oh, yes. We shared so many things on that ranch. We were like brothers and sisters there, telling each other our deepest, darkest secrets and you get to know each other and you share emotional bonds.
BEHAR: So you know what it`s like, the pain and torture of having to lose weight. I don`t care if it`s 20 pounds, 120. It`s still difficult to lose and you feel uncomfortable and unhappy and you have to do it and it`s not easy to do.
CAHILL: No, it`s hard.
BEHAR: How has your life changed besides the boyfriend, anything else changing for you?
MEYER: Yes. I used to be a nanny, and now I lost my job to go on the show. And now I`m geared towards health and wellness and want to basically help obese children, because I was a heavy kid. And just like, you know, Danny, his kids going through some of the same things that we went through, and now I get to sort of pay it forward. I`ve been given the most amazing blessing, losing half my body in less than seven months.
BEHAR: Are you afraid about keeping it off, do you feel scared?
CAHILL: It is scary. It is scary.
MEYER: It`s scary.
CAHILL: Like I said, I lost the weight before and kept it off for eight years and then gained it all back. And you know what, I`m going into unchartered territory now.
BEHAR: Are you going to do it, what is your plan to going to do it? What is your plan to keep it off?
CAHILL: My plan is keep moving.
BEHAR: Keep moving -- the exercise.
CAHILL: Yes. Because like I said, they say an object at rest tends to stay in motion. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. And when you stop, you tend to stay stopped. I`m not going to stop. That`s what I did. I used to run three miles a day when I met my wife and I stopped and became obese. I`m not going to stop.
BEHAR: Right. What about you, Rebecca?
MEYER: I plan to just doing a road race in all 50 states, basically just setting little goals for myself, just to keep myself accountable and becoming a personal trainer so that, like, you know, I have to, like, you know, stay my guns looking good because otherwise people aren`t going to want me to train them.
BEHAR: That`s true.
MEYER: If I am heavy. It`s accountability. And it`s changing your life.
BEHAR: Well, good luck to both of you, really.
CAHILL: Thank you.
BEHAR: I hope you keep it off and that you stay happy with yourselves.
MEYER: Thank you.
BEHAR: And thanks for joining us. Next weight loss for the rest of us. We have issues, too, you know. People who are not that heavy.
BEHAR: On the show "The Biggest Loser," it`s incredible to watch the contestants go from hugely overweight and unhappy to slim and spunky. But is that sort of rapid change realistic for the average person? Here to explain is dr. Louis Aronio, obesity expert at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Hi, doctor.
DR. LOUIS ARONIO, OBESITY EXPERT AT NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL CENTER: Hi, Joy.
BEHAR: The first question I have to ask about these people who lose this humongous amount of weight is what happens to their skin?
ARONIO: Their skin contracts, and they usually have extra skin left over.
BEHAR: So what do they do with it?
ARONIO: Well, in some cases, what people will do is they`ll have plastic surgery six months or a year after they lose the weight.
BEHAR: I see.
ARONIO: Otherwise they have extra skin.
BEHAR: I bet that`s painful. That must hurt.
ARONIO: Well, that kind of surgery is usually the most painful part of losing this type of weight.
BEHAR: Mm-hmm. Even if you punch yourself, it`s hard.
ARONIO: That`s right. It`s a long scar. It can be quite painful.
BEHAR: Does the show create unrealistic expectations, do you think?
ARONIO: I think it really does create unrealistic expectations. So while many people get motivated by the kind of weight loss they see in "The Biggest Loser," and we really are happy about that, the amount of weight that people lose in the period of time it takes and the way they lose it, it`s totally unrealistic.
BEHAR: It`s too fast, I think.
ARONIO: It`s very, very fast. And also, how many people are going to leave their job and work all day long trying to lose weight by exercising? It`s just not going to happen.
BEHAR: Well, if you`re unemployed and you`re overweight, you could do it.
ARONIO: I guess you could. What you`re going to do is you`re going to be looking for a job. You have to find a way to support yourself. The average person can`t do this.
BEHAR: Well, there must be tremendous discrimination against somebody who`s morbidly obese, too.
ARONIO: There is discrimination and it`s well documented.
BEHAR: I was wondering because they always say exercise more and eat less, right? I`m so tired of that mantra, you have no idea. Don`t you think that exercise increases your appetite?
ARONIO: In some people, exercise can increase your appetite. The role of exercise is to get you to the lowest weight. So what research is showing is that as you lose weight, your muscle becomes more efficient.
ARONIO: It burns fewer calories. You need exercise to keep on losing weight. If you don`t exercise, your muscle burns fewer and fewer calories. That stops you from losing weight.
BEHAR: So does it have to be aerobic exercise? Maybe it`s weight- bearing exercise.
ARONIO: You really need a mixture of all types of exercise, and you have to vary the intensity of your exercise. So just doing the fat-burning program, that`s the wrong program. What you want to do is called a Hill Interval program where you vary the level of activity.
BEHAR: All right. So if I want to lose ten pounds, how many minutes a day of exercise do I have to do?
ARONIO: Well, the general recommendation is 30 minutes. But if you`re trying to lose the last ten pounds, what we recommend is increasing the intensity, not doing more exercise --
BEHAR: Oh, the burst training.
ARONIO: That`s right.
BEHAR: That`s good. You can do it for less time, too, when you do that.
ARONIO: That`s right. Doing more intense exercise.
BEHAR: And what do you think is the best diet for people out there? People who are watching now, what is your recommendation? Is it weight watchers? Atkins? Jenny Craig? Who is it?
ARONIO: Well, it`s very simple. The best diet is the diet that you like the best. So people have different requirements. Everybody likes something else.
BEHAR: But do you approve of weight watchers, for instance? You like that diet.
ARONIO: Sure. I think that there are many ways that people can lose weight. And the key point is don`t give up. If something doesn`t work for you, don`t give up.
BEHAR: Keep moving. Just keep trekking along. Keep moving. Thank you very much, doctor, for coming on and thank you to all my guests tonight. And thank you all for watching. Good night, everybody.