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JOY BEHAR SHOW

Conan Against Moving `Tonight Show` to 12:05; Cowell to Reunite With Abdul on `X Factor`?; Interview With Suzanne Somers

Aired January 12, 2010 - 21:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW: Jay, Conan and Jimmy are playing late night musical chairs. Well, it seems the music has stopped and someone has walked away from a chair and flipped the peacock a bird.

Then Simon Cowell is said to be wooing Paula Abdul to join him on his new show, "The X Factor". Will the two of them be reunited just like Peaches and Herb?

Plus Suzanne Somers may have played a ditzy blond on "Three`s Company", well, she`s anything but. You`ll see what I mean in just a bit.

All this starting now.

So NBC execs tried their big fat television experiment, rejiggering their primetime and late night schedules and guess what? It didn`t work. Well, earlier today Conan O`Brien strapped on a pair of brass ones and issued a strongly-worded statement that makes it crystal clear he has absolutely no intention of moving time slots and following Jay Leno again, ever. Here is part of his announcement.

"My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of "The Tonight Show but I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction."

Apparently Conan O`Brien has just written his own drama special. It`s called "Law & Order: NBC, Screw You".

Joining me to discuss this amazing turn of events is comic Rich Vos; Bonnie Fuller, the president and editor in chief of hollywoodlife.com; and Carlos Diaz correspondent for "Extra". Welcome to the show, you guys.

BONNIE FULLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: Thank you.

BEHAR: Ok. Conan took the gloves off, right, Bonnie?

FULLER: He did. He threw down the gauntlet. He said, "Hell no, I won`t go to 12:05." So NBC is going to have to make a decision. Are they going to kick Leno off for good or are they going to be prepared to lose Conan?

RICH VOS, COMEDIAN: NBC wants to take Conan fishing like they did Fredo in "The Godfather.

BEHAR: That`s what it looks like.

VOS: NBC stands for not backing Conan. The thing is how do they expect it to work? There`s four hours of white guys in a row. It`s just the same thing. Four -- at some point, you go you know what? I have to stop watching this.

Right now Carson Daly is so depressed he`s going to start eating again. They`re not even thinking about him.

BEHAR: Well, he`s going to be like on "The Today Show". That`s how late he`s going to be on.

Carlos, let me ask you a question. Do you buy that when Conan says this could be the destruction of "The Tonight Show" do you buy that?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I totally buy it, because the one thing that he pointed out is -- well, one of the several things he pointed out in his text was that this is the one thing that "The Tonight Show" being on at 11:30, that is the tradition that we`ve come to know and love.

And he kind of takes a shot at Jay saying that he hoped to have better primetime ratings heading into his show, so a little jab at Jay there in his text.

BEHAR: That was kind of -- I don`t think comedians should turn on each other like that.

VOS: You know what it`s like. It`s like being a comic on the road. There`s emcee feature headliner. If you`re the headliner and you`re working all week and they come to you Friday and say, "You know what? We`re moving you back to feature spot, the feature headlines." You`ll still get the same money, you`re not going to go for it because it`s all ego.

BEHAR: That`s why I don`t think it should be ego. Do what you have to do and make a living. There`s so many people out of work right now so, just shut up and do the job.

FULLER: You know, I don`t think it`s just ego. People like familiarity. They are used to seeing "The Tonight Show" at 11:35. I think Conan`s absolutely right. They don`t like people messing around with their schedule. They`re used to getting in bed and putting their feet up.

(CROSSTALK)

FULLER: You can`t change human nature. They have been trained to go there at 11:35 for what, 30, 40 years?

BEHAR: Carlos, in his statement, he also took a little bullet for Jimmy Fallon saying that this is very unfair to Jimmy.

DIAZ: Yes. And that`s great because he`s defending Jimmy saying, "Hey, I passed the show on to him which used to start at 12:35. I don`t want it to start at 1:05."

But the thing you have to ask about Conan is, but what kind of leverage does Conan have? Because the whole reason we`re in this mess is because his ratings were pretty much in the toilet at 11:35. He wasn`t drawing the people in.

BEHAR: Why not?

DIAZ: You know what? I honestly believe he has a quirkily 12:30 kind of comedy. I appreciate it, I think he`s hilarious. But a lot of people, Middle America might not get Conan`s comedy as much as they get Jay Leno`s comedy. What kind of leverage does Conan have? Where does he go? Does anyone want to take a chance on him at 11:30? Does Fox want to take a chance on him with his own talk show at 11:30 or even 11:00?

BEHAR: Wow, that`s an interesting point. What do you think? This spells doom for Conan and his show?

VOS: No, he`s proven -- he`s obviously proven, I think he`ll move to another network.

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: Go ahead, Carlos.

DIAZ: He`s proven himself at 12:35 but he hasn`t proven himself at any other time slot.

VOS: Well, because everybody in this business -- hold on -- it`s a quick fix. They didn`t give him a chance. Everything is a quick fix in this world now.

FULLER: Exactly. He was only on for seven months. It took Leno a year or so to find his feet. In fact, he trailed Letterman for a long time.

BEHAR: That`s true.

FULLER: People were writing him off.

And the point that he made about not getting, well, yes, his jab in at Leno for not giving him the ratings coming in, or like that boost. He didn`t get the kind of -- like the big dramas that Leno had that brought him ratings and audience that rolled into his hour.

BEHAR: Right, right. He says that there`s no offer on the table, Conan, in this statement also. Carlos, do you believe that or is he playing cat and mouse here a little bit with Fox?

DIAZ: I think he has to believe it because really, in all honesty, he didn`t believe he would have to be fielding offers at this time seven months into his show.

And you have to ask what kind of leverage does Jay Leno have now? If Conan says he`s out, Jay can basically I want the moon, Mars and maybe even Venus to host "The Tonight Show" again because they`re going to have to draw up a whole new contract for him.

BEHAR: Ok. Let`s talk a little bit about the fact that now Leno will be on at 11:35 against Letterman. So they`re going mano-a-monologue. How does that hurt Letterman? Because Leno was kicking his butt before this all happened, if you recall. Now Letterman is in trouble also.

FULLER: Yes. Well, I mean, it`s going to be a new ball game for both of them because Letterman has thrived against Conan however, I think that it will take some time again. Familiarity, you have got to get Leno back into that driver`s seat.

But yes, I do think that we could see him take the ratings again.

VOS: Real quick, I really think Arsenio is going to suffer the most from all of this.

BEHAR: Do you think Jay -- I think so too -- do you think Jay was listening in on the negotiations. Remember that movie?

Go ahead, Carlos, I give you the last word. And then we`re going to move on to another topic.

DIAZ: I honestly believe that if Hugh Grant can pick up another hooker, Jay Leno`s ratings would be right back to where they were.

FULLER: I agree.

BEHAR: Let`s move on to another departure. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, "AMERICAN IDOL": I have a great relationship with Fox. They did want me to stay on the show and I was offered a lot of money to stay on the show. And everyone thought I was posturing to negotiate more money et cetera, et cetera. But it actually wasn`t the case. I just felt like doing something new.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: Ok. That, of course, was Simon Cowell on "Extra" talking about the negotiations for his new show which lead to his decision to leave "American Idol". And let me tell you, there wasn`t been this much news about a departure since my uncle Nuncio went away to college.

Carlos, what is this show, "The X Factor?" What is it?

DIAZ: "The X Factor" is Simon Cowell`s show that he`s bringing over from Britain. It`s lot like -- it`s kind of like if "American Idol and "America`s Got Talent" got together and formed one show. It`s kind of a melding of those two shows. But the big thing here is Simon Cowell owns that show and he runs that show. So he`ll be making even more money, if you can believe that.

BEHAR: And what about Paula, Bonnie, is he going to bring Paula with him?

FULLER: My guess is that he will. I place my bets on it. He`s always said that he hated when she left. He wanted to work together with her. He didn`t want to lose his little friend and she`s been so suspiciously silent for the last couple of months. I think she`s got a deal.

BEHAR: It`s interesting about Paula though. As Jim Florentine said, she`s a train wreck. But we love her in a way. And he wants her and it always looks like they`re fighting with each other but that`s what makes good TV.

VOS: That`s why it`s "The X Factor", with her it`s the ecstasy factor.

(CROSSTALK)

VOS: If "American Idol" lost half their viewers, they still have more viewers than every other show on television.

BEHAR: Well, hasn`t this jumped the shark? Maybe "Idol" has jumped the shark? It might be over. All they have is Randy Jackson.

VOS: And what`s her name, Ellen.

BEHAR: And Ellen. How do you think Ellen is going to do?

VOS: I hope she comes dancing down the aisle and trips.

BEHAR: Why? That`s so evil.

DIAZ: Wow.

VOS: I know it`s evil -- oh, please, enough with your L.A. wow, ok. Nobody wants to see this white girl dancing down the stairs, enough already.

FULLER: At least you don`t.

BEHAR: Let`s talk about the money that he`s going to make. He`s saying he wants to move on to bigger things. Yes, bigger bucks.

FULLER: That`s right.

BEHAR: I mean he`s going to make a lot. This is a franchise; it`s all over the place, this "X Factor".

FULLER: Right. He`s going to be the Tiger Woods of the entertainment world when it comes to billions. I mean He owns "X Factor".

BEHAR: You mean a Swedish girl is going to hit him in the head with a golf club?

VOS: How much do you think -- when is enough, enough? Like do you think everything is about money? Do you think -- don`t you think ...

(CROSSTALK)

FULLER: Don`t you think? He`s going to have total control.

VOS: And convenience and he`s not going to burn himself out flying back and forth doing one show in the States, one in England. I think a lot of this convenience, I think he has enough money, I mean...

BEHAR: I know, but then you know, it`s never enough. It`s more challenge than anything else. You know how this is...

FULLER: And he`s going to get Paula back.

VOS: Yes.

BEHAR: Thank you all very much.

Up next, more juicy details from the political tell-all "Game Change". This time Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards are under the microscope.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, Former Senator: Elizabeth? Elizabeth? Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF JOHN EDWARDS: You can`t help it if people like me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: According to the new book "Game Change", Elizabeth Edwards behaved like a biatch (ph) and monster on the 2008 campaign trail. Are you joking?

The woman has cancer and her Ken doll of a husband had a sleazy affair and a baby with home wrecker Barbie. A bitch and a monster, is that all? She should have ripped his $400 coiffure out by the roofs.

I don`t know about you guys but if my husband put me through what that poor woman went through, I`d be a little more than a bitch. I`d be Attila the Hun in specs.

With me now to discuss this and more are Dee Dee Myers, former White House Press Secretary and author of "Why Women should Rule the World" and Leslie Sanchez, Republican strategist and author of -- this is a long one "You`ve Come a Long Way, and Maybe: Michelle, Sara, Hillary and the Shaping of the New American Woman".

Welcome ladies to the show.

DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you.

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thanks.

BEHAR: Ok, Hi, Dee Dee.

MYERS: Hi Joy.

BEHAR: Let me read a part in the book where they talk about Elizabeth`s bad ass attitude, all right. "Elizabeth Edwards badgered and berated John`s advisers around the clock. She routinely unleashed profanity-laced tirades on conference calls. `What the "f" quote, what the "f" do you think I`d want to go sit outside a Wal-Mart and hand out leaflets?` She snarled at the schedulers."

Hey, I`d be cursing too if they wanted me -- the wife of the candidate to sit out and hand out leaflets and she might have not have been feeling well. What do you think?

SANCHEZ: It could have been a piggy wiggly. I mean, I think in all fairness...

BEHAR: Yes.

SANCHEZ: ... I think, it just probably caught her on a bad day. It`s a really unfair characterization. There`s no context there, you have no idea how she was feeling personally and I think it`s just undercutting the fact she was a woman in the middle of a campaign trying to support a very difficult husband.

BEHAR: Yes, Dee Dee, what do you think? Her son dies, she had a child -- you lose a child all bets are off. I will forgive you anything.

Her husband cheated on her in a kind of a nasty sort of public manner. And he goes and has a kid with another woman. Don`t you think Dee Dee she`s justified in being a little cranky?

MYERS: Yes, I felt the betrayal of her in the book lacks any kind of empathy or context as you said. I know Elizabeth Edwards. I think Joy, you probably know Elizabeth.

BEHAR: Yes.

MYERS: This is not the person that we know. I think it`s -- look, everyone has bad days and bad years and the circumstances that you`ve both just described explain a lot of that. And I think it`s a time-honored tradition that there`s often conflict between the spouse of the candidate and the staff of the candidate.

The spouse of the candidate is somebody who`s going to be there after the campaign dust settles, win or lose, that has the candidate`s best interest at heart over the long term, that sometimes sees his or her weaknesses and flaws and wants to help them win.

And so there`s just a built-in tension there and when things go bad, that relationship every which way goes bad and after that, all the circumstances of the Edwards personal relationship, yes, I`m sure it was pretty complicated and nasty.

BEHAR: And in addition to that, the book shows how John became a megalomaniac. You know, he was concerned about his entourage size and brand names and he thought everyone loved him.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

BEHAR: Well, I know one person doesn`t love him anymore. Me. I liked him also; I liked him for a while because he seems to be a person who cared about poor people. He really did. I was very disappointed at him.

But is her behavior in example of sexism again, like if a man was acting in these ways, I`m not sitting outside the piggy wiggly and handing out leaflets, would they be criticizing her in that same way?

SANCHEZ: I think it`s just a shame that they`re putting all of this out there. So much of her private life and kind of a -- really sad point with that and I think there are numerous candidates -- I know Dee Dee not probably worked for them that don`t want to do certain things and you`re working with the campaign to get that done.

It`s part of the conversation, that`s part of the campaign, it`s arduous, there was nothing easy about getting elected and I do think it`s really unfair to her personally.

BEHAR: Dee Dee, do you think that some of these wives of candidates are scrutinized too closely?

MYERS: I think spouses of candidates. I actually think wives of candidates are scrutinized closely and I think what`s worse is for the female candidates, the husbands are scrutinized really closely and it`s always looked at as the anvil around the candidate`s neck.

I`ve worked for Dianne Feinstein which ran for Governor of California in 1990, long time ago and that was a huge issue. It was for Geraldine Ferraro; obviously it was a huge issue for Hillary Clinton.

It was also an issue for Sarah Palin, I mean, Todd kept a pretty low profile but it`s -- spouses become issues fairly or unfairly. And I think -- I think women get kind of vilified regardless of whether they`re the candidate or the spouse.

BEHAR: Ok, let`s -- you mentioned Hillary Clinton. Let`s turn to Hillary Clinton who was also perceived as kind of a b-i-t-c-h during the campaign...

SANCHEZ: I know.

BEHAR: ... a lot.

And apparently she was cheated on too. The book says Bill Clinton was having an affair. Oh, really? But does anybody -- does anybody care really about this anymore, about his affairs?

SANCHEZ: I don`t think, do you?

BEHAR: What do you think, Leslie? You`re a Republican. Do you care?

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: Ok, Dee Dee, you go first.

MYERS: I would think of all the revelations in this book, right? The last of a -- four or five days...

BEHAR: Yes.

MYERS: There`s been no cheater chatter about the revelation that Bill Clinton had an affair. There`s a revelation that Hillary Clinton had a war-room within a war-room to deal with the fallout but no one is talking about the fact that Bill Clinton did or didn`t. I think it`s been discounted in the public`s mind.

BEHAR: Are you referring to when Obama asked her to be secretary of state and she said I can`t control my husband`s mouth?

MYERS: No, there`s another part in the book where the authors say that her top command became essentially a war-room within their war-room waiting for the fallout from any potential affairs that President Clinton may or may not have been having.

BEHAR: Oh, but then so I`m referring to something else where President Obama asked her to be Secretary of State, she said I really can`t control him and what he does and that could be a problem. That`s kind of a weak way out of things. Why should she have to give up the most -- one of the most important jobs because her husband can`t be controlled, right Leslie?

SANCHEZ: Well, sure, but let`s put it this way, it was to her advantage taking that job. Look at her polling numbers, look at the support. She`s propelled in terms of not as polarizing looking like a leader. And Republicans are praising her now. So she took the right move.

But the truth was, that was the criticism all along. You have a husband who`s on the national stage, has international relationships with getting money in terms of foreign contracts with governments that she would have had to deal with. There were a lot of concerns about that and I think she handled it graciously. But he`s always been that thorn in her side.

BEHAR: There`s a lesson for all of us in this that Michelle Obama and Hillary were pilloried beyond when they first started and now everybody loves them.

Ladies stay right there. More in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: I`m back with my political panel.

Media mauler, Sarah Palin has moved on from the world of books and has joined the fair and you betcha Fox News Network as a correspondent. TMZ caught up with her yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re on Fox. How does it feel in joining the fold?

PALIN: What would America do without Fox News? I`m thankful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: The thing with Sarah is that she hates the media and yet she has no trouble writing books, getting a job on fox news, all sorts of things. And also she hates the elite, she calls them the elites and not the real America and isn`t she going to have to come to D.C. or New York? I don`t think that she realizes there are no moose here.

SANCHEZ: No, I don`t think that`s fair. She doesn`t hate the media; she hates the liberal media...

BEHAR: Oh, the liberal media.

SANCHEZ: And she was tweeting her answer right there that she likes social media very much. I think it`s a very strong move for her. It positions her well if she wants to talk to Republican primary voters; Fox News has a lot of those.

She can hopefully start developing some ideas personally she has on domestic and foreign policy. She`s doing that on Facebook and everywhere else now because there`s a platform to kind of solidify that.

BEHAR: Dee Dee do you think this is a political move on her part or just for the cash?

MYERS: I think she`s keeping her options open. I`m not sure Facebook is the place we develop ideas about foreign policy, Leslie, but I think -- look, I don`t think she`s made a decision. I don`t know. She hasn`t called me lately to discuss it with me.

But I don`t think she`s made a decision about whether or not she`ll run for national office in 2012 or beyond. But she`s keeping her options open. And one of the things she`s going to do is keep her profile up, remain visible, keep those speeches rolling in, keep the book sales rolling in and have resources so that she can do whatever she decides ultimately to do.

I think it`s a safe move for her; there is no downside. She has to be real careful of what she says, because as well know, you can say something dumb on TV and it`s out in the ether forever.

BEHAR: Really?

SANCHEZ: Yes. Live TV is a high wire act. But there is a distinct difference. I think she`s taking contemporary media, meaning social media, that`s why I talk about Facebook in those aspects to talk to her constituency directly which is what she always said she wanted to do.

But also it`s a play from the Ronald Reagan playbook. She`s out there talking to an audience. He used radio, did 1,000 radio commentators in that 5 years from 75 to 1980. Built his structure, his platform, got his ideas and it set him up for his first full-fledged presidential...

BEHAR: Didn`t he realize there was TV by that time or he`s still on the radio?

SANCHEZ: He was doing television but he was writing a column and a daily radio station. It will get her out there in a platform that`s friendly to her and it could be very convenient (ph).

BEHAR: What do you make of the thing in the book where she says -- I believe it was something like God wanted her to run for vice president. What is that about? Does God want to have better ratings than Glenn Beck? What is that about?

SANCHEZ: I think it`s -- I`ll say this. I think it`s different with people of faith. I think she`s a woman of faith. She felt it was a great opportunity that was presented to her...

BEHAR: It always fascinates when someone says that because God wanted her to be vice president, but he didn`t want (INAUDIBLE) to be vice president. You know what I mean? It doesn`t make sense to me.

SANCHEZ: I think the advantage is if you look at her career, she`s had tremendous opportunities presented for her. Some she was prepared for, some she wasn`t.

BEHAR: I`m starting to like her more.

SANCHEZ: There you go.

BEHAR: Leslie, Dee Dee, thanks.

Up next, as if Viagra hasn`t tortured women enough, now we may have to deal with the male pill. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: Scientists have just discovered a hormone in the brain that could pave the way for a new male birth control pill. So if a man tells you, don`t worry, baby, I`m on the pill, should you believe him, or should you just assume he`s referring to that other little blue pill?

(LAUGHTER)

Here to discuss this is Ashley Dupre, sex advice columnist for "The New York Post" and former Manhattan call girl for New York`s ex-governor Eliot Spitzer. Hello, Ashlee, how are you?

ASHLEY DUPRE, SEX ADVICE COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK POST": I`m good, Joy.

BEHAR: Should we really believe them when they say they`re on the pill or is this another lie to get in your pants?

DUPRE: Absolutely not. You have to take control over your body, and I would not trust them.

BEHAR: Yes. When you were a call girl, I know you don`t do that anymore, but when you were, would you have had unprotected sex with a man if he told you he was on the pill?

DUPRE: Absolutely not. The contraceptive, it prevents sperm and pregnancy, but what about STDs? That`s still going to be a factor. And with the male pill coming out, that`s going to be our main focus, I believe, is these men are going to think that they cannot use a condom and it`s going to be a big problem.

BEHAR: Do you think men will ever go for this?

DUPRE: I think some will. I don`t know. The male ego, I think that killing their sperm, it`s going to take -- once you go off the pill, it`s going to be four months to reproduce the sperm count that they had before. So that may frighten them a little bit.

BEHAR: I think men are going to come up with this because they`ll do anything not to wear a condom. Let`s face it, they can`t stand that.

(LAUGHTER)

Let`s talk about the g-spot for a second.

DUPRE: Let`s talk g, girl.

BEHAR: I`m not sure if it exists or not, because I keep getting conflicting ideas on this, all right? But what was your experience? Did you have one, or when you ore a call girl, does anyone care? You know what I mean?

(LAUGHTER)

DUPRE: They do care. No, that`s very important, yes. And for me, I had to explore. It took me a lot of exploring of myself and my body to find out where it was and how to access it. A lot of women don`t know how to access it, don`t know what it feels like. So for me I felt there was something wrong with me.

BEHAR: My impression is when you`re a working girl, that I`m not sure that the man -- what does he care if you`re getting off and having a good time, as long as he is. He`s paying for it.

DUPRE: It`s part of the male ego. If you`re enjoying yourself, it`s a huge boost to the male ego.

BEHAR: Oh, boy. You must have been some actress, right? Come on, Ashley.

(LAUGHTER)

DUPRE: Absolutely.

BEHAR: We all fake it, but you really must have had to fake it. You have to stroke their egos and make them feel like big studs.

(LAUGHTER)

DUPRE: I made them feel like god, yes.

BEHAR: I`m curious, I have to know, because I have you in the studio right now. I know you`re somewhere, I don`t know where. But Eliot Spitzer, was he really -- did he really care about pleasing you when he was there?

DUPRE: I can`t go into that, Joy.

BEHAR: Why not? Oh, come on.

DUPRE: Maybe one day like we can jokingly talk about it.

BEHAR: You`ll tell me off the air?

DUPRE: I will. I`ll tell you off the air.

BEHAR: His financial conversation leaves me cold, frankly.

(LAUGHTER)

But maybe in the sack the guy had some personality. I don`t know.

DUPRE: Oh, my gosh. I love it.

BEHAR: One final question, is it up to the woman to help the man to find her g-spot?

DUPRE: Absolutely. If you don`t know where it is and what it feels like, how is a man supposed to know? A man can barely work his own stuff out. So he just pumps it in and out and thinks it feels good. No, it takes a lot more than that. So, yes, you need to help him out.

BEHAR: Thank you, Ashley. I love having you on the show. You`re my kind of girl, so come back anytime.

DUPRE: You are too, Joy, thank you. Bye-bye.

BEHAR: Let`s turn now to our continuing series, "Joy`s Anatomy," health, wellness, body image -- you name it, we got it.

Today, actress Suzanne Somers is here, and her latest book has found itself at the center of a storm. In "Knockout, Interviews with Doctors who are Curing Cancer and how to Prevent getting it in the first place," Somers takes a strong stand against chemotherapy and suggests there are other ways to often treat the deadly disease.

Critics disagree, saying her ideas may do more harm than good. Suzanne Somers joins me now along with Drs. Alan Whitaker from the Whitaker Wellness Institute and Steven Lamm from NYU School of Medicine and contributor to "Men`s Health."

OK, Suzanne, welcome to the show, everybody. Suzanne, your book is controversial. What made you write the book?

SUZANNE SOMERS, AUTHOR, "KNOCK OUT": I was horribly misdiagnosed last year with lung cancer that had metastasized throughout my entire body. And I was told over six days by six different doctors that unless I was open to taking full body chemo therapy that I should think about getting my things in order. It was quite a traumatic experience.

BEHAR: How is this possible for six doctors to misdiagnose you? What did it turn out to be?

SOMERS: It turned out to be a fungus that exists in the desert southwest and lies dormant in most people, and something knocked out my immune system and just put me in the emergency room. It reads like cancer on a cat scan. So they jumped to conclusions, thought it was cancer everywhere. The oncologist came in and said you got cancer.

BEHAR: That must have been a terrible time for you.

SOMERS: It was terrible.

BEHAR: That sounds awful.

But in 2001, you did have breast cancer.

SOMERS: I did.

BEHAR: Why do you think you got breast cancer, because I think that you have this idea, which I read in your book, that there`s a reason for it, because a lot of doctors disagree with that.

SOMERS: I always thought of cancer as some invisible enemy out there. And I think that we`re more in charge of not getting cancer then we realize by eliminating toxins in our foods and houses and eating organic good and sleeping and balancing your hormones and managing stress.

And I was on birth control pills for 22 years. Maybe, I don`t know. You connect dots. I didn`t have a healthy lifestyle.

BEHAR: You didn`t smoke?

SOMERS: I didn`t smoke, I never really drank either. It`s just that 22 or 23 years of television series, and there`s the Kraft table, it was really crap table. I would just mindlessly eat.

So the reason I wrote this book --

BEHAR: Do you blame yourself for that?

SOMERS: No, I don`t blame myself. It`s just that after I was diagnosed, I thought what have I done in my diet and lifestyle that I played host to this terrible disease? And from this moment on I`m not going to do that anymore.

And so I changed my diet. I eat a perfectly healthy diet. I avoid chemicals, I live a green life, and I eat real food. If you can pick, pluck, milk it, or shoot it, I eat it.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: I know someone that doesn`t eat anything that has a face.

SOMERS: I eat protein. Though there`s some faces I would rather not.

BEHAR: And some people don`t want to eat anything that has a mother.

SOMERS: Then there are those people. But I think we need protein, I just want it to be organic.

BEHAR: Did they cure you with chemotherapy, the breast cancer?

SOMERS: No, I didn`t take it. I didn`t take it either time because in looking into cancer and the dismal results of the cancer protocol, that the death rate has only dropped by five percent in the last 55 years, and that chemo really only works for three different types of cancers, testicular, childhood leukemia, some lymphomas, including non-Hodgkin`s.

And I see all these people, and I dedicated my book to all the people I know and love. I started with Farrah, who died from chemotherapy over the last years as I was writing this book. And I came to the conclusion that it`s not working, and nobody wants to say it.

BEHAR: Let me ask you, Dr. Lamm, because she`s saying -- Suzanne is saying it only works for -- what did you say were the three diseases?

SOMERS: Testicular, childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkin`s, and some lymphoma.

BEHAR: For that chemo works. Is that what you`re saying?

SOMERS: They`re having success. Not always, but they`re having success.

BEHAR: Do you agree with that?

DR. STEVEN LAMM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Not completely, no. I think that the diseases that she mentioned, chemotherapy does work. But I think that chemotherapy has been working, not necessarily curing, but certainly prolonging life for many other cancers.

And I think that we certainly need to do a lot better. And I think when you look at the reports from the National Cancer Institute, if you want to believe them, and I do, it appears as though we are doing better. We are reducing the mortality from some of these cancers.

BEHAR: Wait a second. Let me ask Dr. Whittaker. Are we doing better with cancer rates, Dr. Whittaker?

DR. JULIAN WHITAKER, WHITAKER WELLNESS INSTITUTE: I don`t think so at all. I think if we look at our treatment of cancer today, we`re following the paradigm that was laid down by William Hallstead back in the 1800s, and that is the way to treat cancer is to purge the body of the cancer cells, war on cancer.

So you go with surgery, you go with cellular poisons, which is chemotherapy, and you go in with radiation therapy. Granted, some of these cancers do respond and people get better and they live longer. But the idea of increasing survival two to three years, you know, over what we might suspect it would be is wrong.

The paradigm we should be using for cancer would be to stop the undisciplined cell division. All cancers have that. Chemotherapy is like if your child has a sore throat, infection in the throat, you go in and cut it out and poison it and radiate it. I don`t want to get graphic...

BEHAR: So you`re saying it`s excessive treatment? What do you say, Dr. Lamm.

LAMM: Look, cancer is a multisystem, complex disorder involving your genes and the cells, and to make blanket statements about a process that we are actually just start to learn about now, which is what causes cancer, is I think an exaggerated thing.

We have to be very careful not to attribute all cancers coming from the gut as, you know, or all diseases coming from the gut as mentioned in the book. We have to be careful not to say that all cancers are somehow hormonally mediated. Where do we get that kind of science?

BEHAR: That makes sense, doesn`t it, Suzanne?

LAMM: Making sense and being the reality is two different things. It`s not about what makes sense.

SOMERS: But with all due respect, with the dismal results of chemotherapy, and you know so many people have died, and it`s a horrible death, and particularly with pancreatic cancer, which I have three different doctors who say we all know in the oncology world that chemotherapy does absolutely nothing whatsoever.

BEHAR: So why do they give it?

SOMERS: They said it`s palliative. I said what is palliative. It means it makes the patient feel better, it makes the family feel like something is being done, and when the patient dies, a horrible and very -- it costs about $500,000 to die of chemotherapy, they all feel they did the best they could.

In "Knockout" it offers options...

BEHAR: OK, hold that thought. I have to take a break, but we`ll have more when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: I`m back with Suzanne Somers and Drs. Julian Whittaker and Steven Lamm.

OK, this Dr. Burzynski you say has found a cure for cancer?

SOMERS: Dr. Burzynski has completed phase two clinical trials in compliance with the FDA, having a 60 percent success rate with the worst kind of brain tumors. And like Dr. Whitaker was saying, if you can control cell multiplication, you`ve found a cure to cancer.

BEHAR: And how did he do that?

SOMERS: He has found that all people with cancer are missing a specific peptide and amino acid in their liver that controls cell multiplication. He`s dedicated his life to replicating that peptide, puts it back in, and in 60 percent of his brain tumor patients he`s having success.

He`s just completed and approved for phase three clinical trials.

BEHAR: Approved by whom?

SOMERS: FDA.

My whole point in writing "Knockout" having been diagnosed twice now with cancer, the last time being told I would die, all I want when someone says you have cancer, we can do standard care, which is surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and harsh drugs, or if that doesn`t appeal to you, you can try x.

These are all the options and Dr. Burzynski -- if I had a brain tumor, I would be on in Houston, I`d be on the train last night.

BEHAR: Dr. Lamm, would she survive if she went to Dr. Burzynski with a brain tumor?

LAMM: Let`s put it this way -- I would hope that`s the case, but I`m a little skeptical, and I think some of this fine doctor`s work has been reviewed, and, you know, the medical community has not at this point been able to validate that it truly makes a clinically significant difference.

WHITAKER: That`s non-sense! Listen, I have visited Burzynski`s clinic four or five times. I have been in a room where they were celebrating 30 years where children who had cancer 15 years ago were standing up there vibrant, prosperous, and holding a child on their hip.

BEHAR: Why doesn`t the FDA and the medical establishment say this is a good thing and we`re going to approve this?

WHITAKER: I can tell you why. There`s so much money tied up into conventional medicine that to actually allow him free reign --

BEHAR: This sounds conspiracy-theory like.

SOMERS: If some little guy in Houston has the cure to cancer, it wipes out a $200 billion a year business.

WHITAKER: Trillion.

SOMERS: Trillion.

LAMM: The medical profession is not rooting for disease. I think it`s being very -- as you say, conspiratorial to actually believe or delude yourself that doctors would rather their child die of cancer if a cure were available. There are no secrets in medicine.

WHITAKER: Wait a minute, no, no, look. It`s not individual doctors scheming to let children die. It`s the system. Never has medicine at any time in human history ever been so tied up into business.

And when you have a business where you`re training physicians to do it this way, they think this way, and all of a sudden a guy says, wait a minute, the body has a parallel system to control cell division, and I have discovered how it works. Well, then that challenges all of the purging the body -- let`s do this chemo, let`s do that chemo. And now all of a sudden the cancer just disappears.

BEHAR: I remember years and years ago people used to say that the cancer business was so big that they would never find a cure. And here it is 50 years later, or whatever it is, and they still haven`t found a cure for cancer.

SOMERS: And if you have cancer, you have pancreatic cancer, and they said we`re going to put you on chemotherapy, but you saw this book and I said before you do that, before you get messed up on chemical poisoning and radiation, would you like to look into these doctors -- they`re more than Dr. Burzynski in there -- are having success, because I didn`t just take the word of these doctors.

I interviewed so many of their patients. A 76-year-old woman I met here in New York, stage four ovarian cancer 17 years ago. A vibrant, happy, she`s on organic food...

BEHAR: That sounds wonderful, but is it real? Go ahead, Dr. Lamm.

LAMM: I would love it for my patients to be cured of their cancer by taking vitamin D, omega three, losing weight. I wish that were the case, believe me.

WHITAKER: Dr. Lamm, why don`t you go visit Burzynski and you`ll see what the amino plastrons have done. All you have to do is go visit him. He`s published, he`s patented it...

LAMM: He has published --

BEHAR: Didn`t they use to say this about peach pits?

SOMERS: I have information --

BEHAR: I`m sorry if you`re frustrated Dr. Whittaker.

SOMERS: The FDA tried to put Dr. Burzynski in jail for 300 years for unlawful dispensation of unapproved drugs across state lines. Hundreds and hundreds of his patients marched in front of the Houston courthouse, and the lawyer who was representing them was not able to ask if they were cured, but he was able to say you had stage four liver cancer how many years ago? 12 years ago. Thank you, sir. He would bring them on one after another, and it spoke volumes.

The jury acquitted Dr. Burzynski and he was allowed to continue his work. I really think that they are jealous of Dr. Burzynski because it`s a little guy in Houston who figured it out.

BEHAR: I can`t believe that. As a layman who knows nothing about medicine --

SOMERS: Right.

BEHAR: I believe -- one of my doctors, I said to him, does acupuncture help you to lose weight? And he said, if it, worked, there would be an acupuncturists on every corner. And I say unto you the same thing. If this worked, if this guy can cure brain cancer in children, I`m sure that the medical establishment would be right there.-

SOMERS: But he is curing children.

WHITAKER: But he is doing it.

SOMERS: He is doing it.

BEHAR: But no one from the AMA is going there to find out?

SOMERS: You have to understand that our medical schools are pharmaceutically funded, our government bureaucrats are pharmaceutically funded. You`ve got to connect the dots. I know if I had cancer, I`d try alternative first.

BAIER: First. That`s the discussion we`ll have when we come back in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: We`re back with actress Suzanne Somers and Drs. Julian Whitaker and Steven Lamm continuing the debate of how best to treat cancer.

In the last segment you were saying that if someone came to you with cancer, you would say to them to try the alternative therapies first and then the usual thing, which would be chemo and radiation.

SOMERS: I would said, what I would do, if it were me, I would try alternative first.

WHITAKER: Definitely.

BEHAR: But isn`t time of the essence?

SOMERS: And that`s a big fallacy, it`s all about rush, rush, rush. Cancer is slow growing. You have time.

BEHAR: Not always.

SOMERS: The two times I`ve been in the cancer diagnosis chair, they`ve wanted to start me that day. I`m just saying --

BEHAR: What about that?

SOMERS: Let me finish this thought. First, if you`re all messed up on chemo and radiation, by the time so many people get to the alternative doctors -- like Farrah. Farrah called me last year and she said, do you know anything about German medicine? She said I`ve had three rounds of grueling chemotherapy, 24 weeks and radiation, it`s back now with a vengeance. She went over there on her own to Germany.

BEHAR: She went to the alternative second.

SOMERS: Second.

BEHAR: So if it`s so great, why didn`t they cure her?

SOMERS: They took a chemo sensitivity test, which I talk about, which who knew that they existed, they did a chemo sensitivity test on Farrah and found those 24 weeks of chemo she had were actually ineffective. So you tell me what pulled the trigger.

LAMM: Look, we have a long way to go with cancer treatment, especially chemo. We`re getting better, no doubts about it.

However, we have to have an evidence basis for whatever we do. In other words, if you want to...

BEHAR: They`re saying that this Burzynski has it.

LAMM: Yes, but if he`s the only one who reproduce his work, we have problem.

(CROSSTALK)

LAMM: Dr. Whitaker, please, I would route for his treatment to work. I`m not routing against him.

WHITAKER: Why don`t you go look at it, just go look at it, and then you tell me that it doesn`t work.

SOMERS: That`s how I felt too. I was down there two weeks ago, I`ve been down there twice. It`s so impressive.

There`s another doctor here in New York, Dr. Gonzalez, who is doing incredible work, Dr. Whittaker out of Nevada. There`s pockets of doctors who have decided they can`t do it anymore. They have stepped out of the standard of care box, and they get persecuted by the medical establishment for doing so.

It`s very hard in a hospital setting to go against standard of care. So those of us who want to go alternative, we`ve got to find it on our own. And that`s all I`m trying to do.

BEHAR: I know, I hear you.

Dr. Lamm, do you think these doctors, this Burzynski, they lack credibility because the AMA and the FDA are not behind them?

LAMM: I think people lack credibility because there`s no evidence for their work.

BEHAR: He`s telling you to go there.

LAMM: I understand. I`m happy to. But you have to remember, this has been going on for many, many years. This is not a new thing. This has been going on since 1992 1993, 1995.

WHITAKER: Let me make a statement here. Dr. Burzynski patented all of his therapies beginning in the early `80s. The National Cancer Institute visited him in the early `90s and saw that it worked. They then put it consultant in there and they actually patented all of Burzynski`s work under a different name and assigned it to HHS. I have those patents. It is unbelievable.

SOMERS: And the FDA is in Burzynski`s office all the time.

LAMM: I would root for him to work, but I`m skeptical.

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: You`ve heard this conversation out there, so you decide for yourself. Thanks to Suzanne and my panel for joining me tonight and thank you for watching. Goodnight, everybody.

END