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Charlie Sheen Questions Official 9/11 Explanations; "Young and Restless" Star Weighs in on Political Topics
Aired March 22, 2006 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we asked you the question, do you hate other people`s kids? And we could not believe the overwhelming response we got from you: so many e-mails, we`re still reading them. Tonight, we bring back the author of "I Hate Other People`s Kids", so she can respond live to those of you who do hate other people`s kids and those who hate her.
Plus, a Charlie Sheen shocker. Tonight, the actor`s stunning statements on 9/11. Maybe the airplanes did not take down the Twin Towers. And maybe the government is covering it all up.
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Taking ever four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the startling allegations.
Also, a "Da Vinci Code" debate, live. Tonight, what one religious group is demanding be done to the "Da Vinci Code" movie, and why others believe the demand is downright ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Witness the biggest cover-up in human history.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT deciphers the "Da Vinci Code" controversy, live!
GARTH BROOKS, SINGER: Hey, everybody, I`m Garth Brooks and if it happened today, you can bet it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer, live in New York City.
ANDERSON: OK. So last night, we asked you, do you hate other people`s kids? And you won`t believe how many letters flooded our in-box.
HAMMER: We were virtually overwhelmed with the e-mail and we are bringing back the author of "I Hate Other People`s Kids" so she can answer e-mails live on the program.
But Brooke, of course, you remember where you were on September 11.
ANDERSON: Absolutely, A.J. I was at work at CNN in Atlanta, and I remember being in complete and utter shock and dismay.
HAMMER: Yes, I was workings, as well, here in New York City and like most people just thinking this is absolutely unbelievable.
Well, there`s another thing that you may not believe about September 11 and what someone is saying. Charlie Sheen, star of CBS`s successful sitcom, "Two and a Half Men", says point blank, 9/11, the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, this is all a cover up. Is this for real? Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the tape that has people asking, what`s the truth?
SHEEN: The more you look at stuff, especially specific incidents, specific events in and around the fateful day, it just -- it just raises a lot of questions.
HAMMER (voice-over): Charlie Sheen has his own questions about 9/11, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has obtained the explosive interview from the radio show of fringe journalist Alex Jones.
Sheen normally gets laughs as the bachelor on the hit CBS sitcom, "Two and a Half Men".
SHEEN: Wow, you`re even better than a dog.
HAMMER: But now, Sheen is courting controversy by questioning the official story on 9/11.
SHEEN: We`re not the conspiracy theorists on this particular issue, you know. It seems to me like, you know, 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.
HAMMER: So what exactly are Sheen`s questions about 9/11?
For one, Sheen is questioning the official story of what caused the World Trade Center clasp, that the impact of the two planes caused fires that weakened the buildings` support columns. In the interview Sheen says he wondered if the buildings could have been brought down by a deliberate - - yes, deliberate -- implosion.
SHEEN: I saw the south tower hit live, that famous wide shot where it disappears behind the building and then we see the tremendous fireball. And there was just -- there was a feeling that it just didn`t look, how do I say this, it didn`t look like any commercial jetliner I`ve flown on any time in my life.
And then when the buildings came down, later on that day, I was with my brother and I said, "Hey, call me insane, but did it sort of look like those buildings came down in a -- in a controlled demolition?"
HAMMER: Sheen is also questioning how a commercial airliner could have hit the Pentagon.
SHEEN: Show us this incredible maneuvering. Just show it to us. Just show us, you know, how this particular plane pulled off these maneuvers. What was it, a 270 degree turn at 500 miles per hour, descending 7,000 feet in two and a half minutes, skimming across tree tops the last 500 meters off the ground?
ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You can`t hold...
HAMMER: Sheen also jumped on a favorite target of 9/11 conspiracy theorists: President Bush. Sheen questions why the president, after an aide told him about the attacks, continued with his Florida school appearance.
SHEEN: It would seem to me that, upon the revelation of that news, that the Secret Service would grab the president and remove him as if he were on fire from that room.
HAMMER: Ever since that horrible day, conspiracy theories about the attacks have spread far and wide through the Internet. As writer Webster Tarpley tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Sheen is not alone in his opinion.
WEBSTER TARPLEY, AUTHOR, "9/11 SYNTHETIC TERROR": There was a Zogby poll carried out last August, actually August of 2004, by now, which showed that about 50 percent of the people in New York City believed that top government officials had knowledge in advance of what was going to happen.
HAMMER: Still, it`s safe to say that most experts and most Americans place the blame for 9/11 only on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, not the U.S. government. Even Sheen knows his comments may not go over well with many people.
SHEEN: And I`m sure I`m being demonized across the nation by, you know, all of the people that do that sort of thing.
HAMMER: So what exactly should we make about Charlie Sheen`s stunning comments? Let`s get right into it now. Joining me live from Chicago for the "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview is Nicole Rittenmeyer. She`s supervising producer of the National Geographic Channel`s miniseries, "Inside 9/11." And live in St. Louis, Michael Berger. Michael is the media coordinator of 911Truth.org. It`s a group that claims there has been a September 11 cover up.
I want to thank you both for being with me tonight
MICHAEL BERGER, MEDIA COORDINATOR, 911TRUTH.ORG: Thanks for having me.
NICOLE RITTENMEYER, SUPERVISING PRODUCER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL`S "INSIDE 9/11": Thanks.
HAMMER: So Michael, I`m one of these people who believes that anyone who takes everything that has been spoon-fed to us by the government from wherever about what happened on 9/11 is being naive. I think there is more out there.
When I say this to people sometimes they look at me like I`m kind of nuts. Charlie Sheen must be getting the same reaction, and I`m sure your organization gets that reaction, as well. So what do you say to people who think that maybe what Charlie Sheen is saying here is just crazy?
BERGER: Well, Charlie Sheen raised several -- I mean first I have to say Charlie Sheen has really done his homework. There`s a great deal, an abundance of information out there, and it`s hard so to sift through what is, in fact, fictitious information and what is based in fact.
But there is a large body of information out there that contradicts the official story. And Charlie Sheen has clearly done his homework. He raises credible questions, questions that family members have raised, that the 9/11 commissioners had promised them would be answered in their report, since they didn`t answer those questions in the commission hearings.
And when the report came out, Lori Van Auken, one of the Jersey girls, a year after the report came out after her analysis of the final commission report, she stated that the report actually raised more questions than it had answered.
HAMMER: Nicole, he`s bringing up a lot of valid points and Charlie Sheen raising issues about a lot of aspects of what happened on September 11, so what`s your reaction to what he`s saying?
RITTENMEYER: Well, I mean I think that the work that his organization has done -- we should be asking questions. Our program, the four-hour mini series we did on 9/11, was the highest rated program ever for National Geographic Channel, and that suggests there`s a lot of interest in this. People need a lot of closure.
And even the 9/11 commissioners didn`t say that their report was the final word. I mean, we should be asking questions.
But I think the important question, though, is some of those -- some of the issues he`s raised are easily answered. He may have done his homework. I don`t know that he did enough.
HAMMER: Well, what specifically? What`s one of the issues that he raised that you`re finding issue with?
RITTENMEYER: The demolition of the buildings.
HAMMER: Which Charlie Sheen claims -- which Charlie Sheen claims appeared to be a controlled implosion.
HAMMER: That wouldn`t have happened coming from airplanes simply hitting the building.
RITTENMEYER: Absolutely. And it did. It did happen. The fireproofing was blown off the building. There`s been tons of research. There`s a wealth of evidence out there that suggests -- it`s been examined and re-examined. It looked to untrained people like a controlled demolition, but experts have evaluated this again and again and again, and it`s pretty self-explanatory.
HAMMER: Michael, you did mention that you were impressed with how well informed Charlie Sheen is and the fact that he did do his homework, which I imagine for an organization like yours, which wants people to ask the hard questions, has to be a good thing. He`s not just another Hollywood type simply spouting his mouth off.
BERGER: No, like I said, Charlie has really done his homework and has been really impressive. In fact, Charlie raises the issue of a third building, a 47-story building, building seven, which collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, which was not hit by an airplane.
So what we`re asking for is if this third building collapsed at 5:20, which the media really has not shown this clip. They -- they show us the towers being impacted by planes and the fireballs and the collapse over and over, but this third building with an inexplicable collapse, although it did have minor fires, no steel frame skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire.
We had a fire in the Madrid Windsor tower last year, burned for 20 hours, a raging inferno. The people of Madrid assumed, like 9/11, this tower was going to collapse, and yet it didn`t.
HAMMER: Michael, do you think there`s been a huge government cover- up, as Charlie Sheen is alleging, on September 11?
BERGER: I do. I do. I think many of the commissioners themselves have had conflicts of interest. They did not follow the investigations to where a truly independent commission, which is what Charlie Sheen has called for, truly independent voices raising questions, calling on the government to release information like Pentagon surveillance videotapes, videotapes from the Sheraton Hotel and the Citgo gas station.
Evidence about the black boxes located at Ground Zero, which a firefighter had stated prior to the 9/11 Commission report coming out in 2004.
HAMMER: Michael, I`ve got to jump in real quick, because Nicole, I do want to ask you. You did mention that it is important that we`re asking these questions. Charlie Sheen now, a Hollywood type on board, raising these issues publicly. Before it`s been mostly official type people. So do you think it will at least give some of these theories legs?
RITTENMEYER: Oh, gosh, I hope not. I hope it -- I hope it causes people to start reading a little bit more and researching the issue.
RITTENMEYER: If you delve into the research a lot this of answerable.
HAMMER: Well, hopefully, people will start trying to get more informed, because I think there are a lot of unanswered questions. Michael Berger and Nicole Rittenmeyer, thank you for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
BERGER: Thank you.
RITTENMEYER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: "The Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden speaking out on the war in Iraq, comparing it to Vietnam. Eric Braeden, live in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, next.
Plus, we`ve also got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t like when other people`s kids are around me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Well, tell us how you really feel. Tonight, we bring back the author of the book "I Hate Other People`s Kids". She`s going to answer your e- mails, in just a bit.
ANDERSON: And a Wile E. Coyote goes road-running! Tonight, you`ve got to see it to believe it: a coyote on the loose in New York City`s Central Park. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has that amazing video, next.
HAMMER: First, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Who played the president of the United States in 1999`s "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me?" Michael York, Tim Robbins, Rob Lowe or Tom Cruise? The answer next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music. And we`re psyched. Victor Newman, Eric Braeden coming up soon. Stand A.J. by. Go four. Open his mic. Three, two, one, dissolve. Go.
HAMMER: Our director, Charlie, is psyched. I`m very happy to hear that.
Once again, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." Who plays the president of the United States in 1999`s "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me?" Was it Michael York, Tim Robbins, Rob Lowe or Tom Cruise? Well, Mike Myers goes back in time. He needs to find his mojo as Austin Powers. In this film, Tim Robbins plays the president. The answer is B.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood, and this is TV`s only live entertainment news show.
OK, so yesterday we told you about this amazing story of a South Carolina cat that survived an 80-foot fall out of a tree. A.J., we called that one "cat" on tape.
HAMMER: A pun we just had to go for. I`m still -- I`m still a bit uncomfortable from seeing that fall.
But tonight, we have "coyote" on tape! Look at this. It`s a coyote in New York City`s Central Park, not something you ordinarily see. Now for two days, this coyote was out running officials all over the place on the ground, in the air. The coyote wasn`t in the air. The officials were in the air.
Finally they caught it this morning. They shot it with a tranquilizer dart. Fortunately, the coyote is fine. Apparently, it came from Westchester County, which is from upstate New York. And officials are returning the coyote to upstate.
I imagine maybe it just didn`t want to be in the suburbs anymore. I have no idea.
ANDERSON: Out of its element.
HAMMER: More action in the city.
ANDERSON: That`s right. And it`s going to be rehabilitated in upstate New York.
So are you comfortable with this animal story, A.J.?
HAMMER: I don`t know yet. I`m still working on that.
Well, let`s move on. Let`s move on to Joan Rivers. She`s out to catch herself a man online. OK? Now get this, the 72-year-old red carpet comedian posted a profile on the Internet dating site, Match.com. Our crack SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigative team found out what we think is her profile. Got on the big site there. Joan`s people would not confirm it, though.
A.J., she says she`s looking for a man, but not really a marriage. And I`m thinking that the men who respond need to be sharp dressers, too, right?
HAMMER: I would imagine she would want a sharp dressed man. But what the idea of Joan having kids?
ANDERSON: She said probably not on her profile.
HAMMER: Probably wouldn`t happen. But the profile did say something about having eggs in the fridge. I don`t know if that was a reference to leaving the possibility open. Or maybe she just...
ANDERSON: She`s got a couple of -- a couple of eggs in the fridge, and so maybe she would be open to that possibility. Who knows? All right. Here`s hoping Joan will find love.
And you`d have to be living under a rock not to recognize Eric Braeden. He`s been playing Victor Newman on the daytime drama "The Young and the Restless" for -- get this -- 26 years.
But what you might not know is that Eric Braeden has also been playing the role of actor-activist in real life. Yes, we love to talk politics here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and tonight we are getting Eric Braeden`s take on it all. He`s joining me live.
Thanks for being here
ERIC BRAEDEN, ACTOR: Thank you for having me, Brooke.
ANDERSON: Like I said, everybody knows who Victor Newman is. You`ve been on the show for nearly three decades, in the business, though, for nearly four decades.
BRAEDEN: I`ve been in the business since 1962.
ANDERSON: What do you think about your name being synonymous with daytime TV and Victor Newman, "Young and the Restless"? Daytime has been good to you.
BRAEDEN: Daytime has been damn good to me. It`s a wonderful thing to have been have doing for the last 26 years, to have been employed without interruption. A hundred twenty thousand actors in Hollywood, of which one percent make a living. So I consider myself extremely fortunate.
ANDERSON: Very humble, you are. And you`re not a typical Hollywood guy. You`re not part of the Hollywood scene. You`ve been vocal about the fact that you are a citizen first. You`re not shy about expressing your opinions.
You`ve heard us during the show. We`ve been talking about Charlie Sheen`s assertion that 9/11 was a conspiracy. What do you think? Do you think we know about everything that happened on the 9/11?
BRAEDEN: I think it`s an extraordinary assertion to make, and I`m not going to muse about the conspiratorial thoughts of Charlie Sheen right now. I think it`s an extraordinary thing to -- statement to make.
What interests me far more is the kind of foreign policy that came out of that, the foreign policy of unilateralism, of preemptive strikes, the notion that America can, as soon as it surmises danger somewhere, attack that nation. The neocon policy, if you will. I think that has been extremely deleterious for America. It has pissed off a large part of the world, if you want me to talk bluntly, and totally unnecessarily so.
I think, had we waited a few more months, the U.N. Security Council probably would given its imprimatur for the invasion of Iraq, because Saddam Hussein was flaunting one U.N. resolution after another.
ANDERSON: Many people may not know you have been very active in the Middle East and in projects related to the Middle East and Israel. You were -- you grew up in Germany.
ANDERSON: Your dad, an official in the Nazi Party.
ANDERSON: You said America did the right thing in terms of Nazi Germany. But you`ve compared the war in Iraq to Vietnam.
BRAEDEN: Well, let me put it this way. When you reflect upon America`s military history, you realize that America was extremely successful when it was morally righteous.
After having been attacked by Japan, that war was right. The war against Nazi Germany was right. It was morally right.
Where it became murky was with Vietnam. Where it became even more murky was with Iraq. In other words, you have a bunch of technocrats and intellectuals from Harvard, and Yale and Princeton sitting together in think tanks concocting these theories about the domino theory, in case of Vietnam, and now about the extraordinary danger emanating from Saddam Hussein.
I think he was simply, you know, a bit actor in the Middle East who was brandishing his weapons, and he didn`t have weapons of mass destruction, as we have found out.
ANDERSON: You`ve been very vocal, very critical of the Bush administration, even held fundraisers at your house for John Kerry.
ANDERSON: Earlier this week in New York there was an anti-war concert benefit put on, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Stipe from REM. Do you think celebrities have a responsibility to get involved?
BRAEDEN: Brooke, I think every citizen has the responsibility to get involved. The essence of a democracy is to be informed, to be an informed citizen and then to express your opinion.
Nazi Germany would not have existed, had we had a democracy. Had Germany remained a democracy, we wouldn`t be talking about the Holocaust. We wouldn`t be talking about any of this.
So in that regard, I agree with President Bush in wanting to make sure that democracies are supported. But our policies in regard to the Middle East have been so confusing, because for years we have supported nothing but dictatorial feudal potentates in the Middle East, and now all of a sudden, we want to, by hook or by crook, impose democracy on a country that is far from being used to that.
If you go into a country like Iraq, you need to occupy it massively, and need to occupy it for years. You cannot do it with the kind of amount of troops that you used. He should have done with three or four times the amount of troops and then disarmed the country of conventional weapons.
ANDERSON: Well, it`s obvious that you`re very, very passionate about this, Eric. We do have to leave it there, but thank you for sharing your perspective on it all. We appreciate it.
BRAEDEN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: People still call you Hans, your friends. Right?
BRAEDEN: They do, indeed.
ANDERSON: Your birth name. OK.
BRAEDEN: You bet. Thank you.
ANDERSON: Eric Braeden. You can catch him on "The Young and the Restless" every day on CBS.
HAMMER: Well, both young and old were restless about our segment about the young last night. The author of a new book called "I Hate Other People`s Kids" joined us, live. And it looks like a lot of people out there agree with her. They just can`t stand noisy kids in restaurants, airplanes and at the movies. We got such a huge response to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day yesterday, we`re bringing her back in just a bit to answer some of your e-mails, live.
Here`s what you`ve had to say so far on the subject. The question: a new book says, "I Hate Other People`s Kids". Do you agree? Sixty-six percent of you agree; 34 percent of you don`t.
We heard from Chris from Ohio. He thinks "people can hardly control their cell phones and the actions of their house pets, yet, the same people are having children?"
Also from April in Texas. She has some harsh words, saying, "I am going to make a point from now on not to apologize for my child`s behavior. Maybe the author would be happy if the entire world would stop procreating."
We`ll have to ask her. We`re asking you the same question tonight. You can vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails on the way.
ANDERSON: OK. Who may or may not be coming to Marcia Cross`s wedding? Find out in tonight`s "Laughter Dark," coming up.
HAMMER: Plus, Doris Roberts like you`ve never seen her before. The "Everybody Loves Raymond" star goes from comedy to a role where she thinks about suicide. Doris Roberts, live in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: And, a "Da Vinci Code" debate. Tonight, what one religious group is demanding be done to the "Da Vinci Code" movie, and why others believe the demand is downright ridiculous. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT deciphers the "Da Vinci Code" controversy, live. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: "Desperate Housewives`" Marcia Cross is gearing up to get married in real life. "The Late Show`s" David Letterman, however, wouldn`t mind getting an invite to her wedding. Take a look.
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS`S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Will we be invited, Paul and I, to the wedding?
MARCIA CROSS, ACTRESS: You didn`t get the "save the date"?
LETTERMAN: Save the date. Save the date. That`s so ridiculous. Isn`t that idiotic?
CROSS: I`m going tell you that the whole thing is idiotic. I`m not a planner; I`m not visual. And they ask you things like what do you want your cake to look like? I don`t know. I don`t know. Or what the color napkins are supposed to be.
LETTERMAN: It`s stupid.
CROSS: I know women are going to be upset with me. But I`m not very good at all that.
LETTERMAN: No, no, no, you`re practical. This is fine if you`re, like, 20 years old.
CROSS: I`m old. Well, I`m a princess.
LETTERMAN: But -- you know what I mean?
HAMMER: Do you hate other people`s kids? So many e-mails last night we brought the author of "I Hate Other People`s Kids" back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. She`s on the way.
And the "Da Vinci Code" controversy.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Brooke, I hate other people`s kids.
ANDERSON: No, you don`t.
HAMMER: See, just saying that, people are now saying, "Oh, A.J. Oh, you shouldn`t have said that." I`m not saying that is what I feel necessarily. I`m saying that`s the name of a book. We had the book`s author on last night, struck a chord. The e-mails have not stopped coming in. We`ll have the author back to answer some of those e-mails live in just a couple of minutes.
ANDERSON: And I`m sure we`ll get more and more e-mails from that visit.
OK, A.J., also Emmy-winning actress Doris Roberts from "Everybody Loves Raymond," she`s out with a new TV movie, but it`s a departure for her. It`s a serious role. Her character even contemplates suicide. We will talk with Doris about that and also about ageism in Hollywood and why she feels it`s so prevalent and so problematic.
HAMMER: Looking forward to welcoming her back to the set of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Brooke.
But first tonight, controversy over "The Da Vinci Code." It continues to build as the much anticipated movie creeps closer and closer to release. Now, some people are saying that the bestselling novel by author Dan Brown is anti- Christian, and they`re calling for a disclaimer at the beginning of the film labeling the film as a work of fiction.
Well, joining me live here in New York to talk about all of this, the president of the Catholic League, William Donohue. And also live here in New York, UCLA film professor Richard Walter.
Bill, Richard, excellent to have you guys here on the program.
BILL DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Good to be here. Thank you.
RICHARD WALTER, PROFESSOR OF FILM, UCLA: Thank you.
HAMMER: And, Bill, what you guys are looking for seems pretty simple. You want a disclaimer at the beginning of "The Da Vinci Code" film.
DONOHUE: Yes. I believe in truth in advertising. The book is a hoax. I`m encouraged by what happened on Monday though. Brian Grazer, who is the co-producer, did come out and say it`s not factual; it`s not historic; he said it`s informed fiction. A Sony spokesman came out on Monday and also labeled it fiction.
It looks like they may be inching my way. The problem really here is with the 1982 book, "Holy Blood and Holy Grail," which is tied up in the London courts, which claimed to be historical. Now they admit that it`s historical conjecture. And, of course, with Dan Brown, with his fact page, which is all lies.
So to the extent that the movie is based off the book and claiming that it can play both sides of the street, we will have a problem with it. But I`m encouraged by some of the recent developments; hopefully, they`ll do what I asked them to do, which is, if they say it`s true, then it`s fiction anyhow, what am I asking for? They should act accede to my request.
HAMMER: So you want a big screen, when people first see the film firing up, saying, "This is a work of fiction"?
DONOHUE: Well, let`s put it this way. Ron Howard put a disclaimer in "A Beautiful Mind." Sony put a disclaimer in "The Merchant of Venice." There`s an off-Broadway play that`s supposed to open tonight, but the lights won`t go on because the guy who is in charge of the theater group says the play might offend a Jewish audience. So the lights don`t go on, on Broadway.
So why is it that Sony wouldn`t put out a movie that Albert Brooks did about Muslims laughing because they didn`t like the title? So Jews and Muslims seem to get more respect from the artistic community than Roman Catholics.
HAMMER: All right, well, let`s stick to "The Da Vinci Code," however.
And, Bill, no surprise, a lot of people think what you`re saying is a bad idea. Richard, you`re among them.
WALTER: It`s a terrible idea. You know, putting a disclaimer like that on movies is like saying, "The following movie is a talking picture," or, "The following movie is in color."
If you go to the -- I mean, it`s self-evident what the movie is. If you go down to Borders, if you go to Barnes and Noble, you go to any bookstore and you want "The Da Vinci Code," you`ve got to go to the fiction section. It`s fiction, as far as the facts of the story are concerned.
It all has to do with the ancient ritual. It has to do with the art and the architecture. You know, history is high story anyway. Everybody who tells history is telling their own version of it.
The fact of the matter is that Catholics I know and love have supreme and serene faith in Jesus and in his church, and they don`t think that a mere movie, even a bad movie, could hurt them. And this is very likely to be a very good movie, considering that Brian Grazer is producing it, that it`s got a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, and is being directed by a responsible, intelligent filmmaker like Ron Howard.
HAMMER: And, of course, Tom Hanks starring in it. And the key word here is -- I know you spoke to this a moment ago -- but the key word here is fiction. It doesn`t seem to me that anybody is taking this film and bringing it into a Sunday school class and saying, "This is what happened." It`s a work of fiction.
DONOHUE: I thought it was fiction, too, until I opened the book. I was forced to read it, because the media kept calling me about it. "What is your take on this book?" Before you open -- before you get to that very first page, he has three facts, all of which are demonstrably false. And then Dan Brown, who doesn`t want too many TV appearances, has admitted that, oh, yes, it`s based on historical documentation. And that`s the problem.
HAMMER: But so is so much of what we see in films. So many films are based on things that may have happened, but they are clearly works of fiction. Nobody is saying, "This whole thing actually historically happened."
DONOHUE: Well, I disagree, because Dan Brown is playing both sides of the street, as they say. He tries to say it`s fact, in one hand; then he says it`s fiction in the other hand. Now he`s tied up with the courts here.
Look, all I`m simply doing -- I`m not going for a boycott. I`m not going for protests in the streets. Other groups may want to do that. I`m simply saying: Label it for what it is. Truth in advertising demands they let the audience know that this not based on historic fact, that this is a fable. You do that, and I walk away.
HAMMER: Bill is saying that Dan Brown, the author, is playing both sides of the fence. What do you think?
WALTER: I`m saying that this is a free country, and nobody has the right to demand that an artist make a statement proclaiming anything on a film, whether one likes it or one does not.
DONOHUE: I gave you the examples with Sony saying that we didn`t have a problem with the disclaimer with "The Merchant of Venice," because they didn`t want to offend Jews. How come Catholics have a different standard?
WALTER: You want to talk about anything but "The Da Vinci Code."
DONOHUE: No, I want to talk about disclaimers. Why am I the fascist for saying I want a disclaimer? But when Jews ask for a disclaimer and Muslims ask for a disclaimer, and they get it, Hollywood accedes to their request.
WALTER: I`m against any group demanding anything from any filmmaker.
DONOHUE: The controversy is only when Christians complain. You know that.
WALTER: I don`t think so. There was plenty of controversy over "The Passion," the Mel Gibson picture, controversy over "Munich."
DONOHUE: "My Name is Rachel Corrie" is supposed to open up tonight on Broadway. It`s not opening up because of sensitivity to Jew. I`m with those Jews, by the way. I do think that this was a self-hating Jew who did this.
HAMMER: OK, hold on just a second. First of all, Bill, I know you say that it feels like they`re inching closer to your side. There`s not going to be a disclaimer. I can almost guarantee you that. I haven`t spoken with the producers myself, but you`re not going to get it. So what then?
DONOHUE: Not exactly, maybe in the formal terms of it. I do think they`ll have some kind of statement there. Because Ron Howard has a reputation to protect, and if he said it`s fictional (INAUDIBLE) what am I asking for? I think he would be rather stupid, quite frankly, if he wants to try and brazenly take on the 85 percent of the population which is Christian, many of whom regard the book as anti-Christian.
HAMMER: Now, when "Passion of the Christ" was being released, and there was all of this controversy, everybody ran out to see it. He`s really giving this film an awful lot of publicity.
WALTER: Of course. I think he`s on -- I think he`s secretly on the payroll.
HAMMER: On the payroll.
HAMMER: On the record right now, I`ve got to wrap it up: Are you on the payroll for these people?
DONOHUE: No, but I`d like to be, because I could use the money against it. Get out of here.
HAMMER: Mark that down, William. William Donohue, Richard Walter, thank you so much for joining us tonight, and the debate will rage on.
And there`s debate about another issue that we brought up last night: "I Hate Other People`s Kids." Now, this is a very buzzy book. It`s become a very hot topic on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
We asked you to weigh in on the subject last night, and your responses just blew us away.
HAMMER (voice-over): Last night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we did something unheard of. And tonight, we`re doing it again. We`re talking about that growing list of people who hate other people`s kids.
But first, we have a little recap for you, in case you missed it. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did a little informal survey on what turns out to be a very hot topic, people who other people`s kids. We hit the streets with our cameras and were shocked at what we found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hate other people`s kids when they`re screaming on the airplane or they`re crawling underneath people`s legs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any, like, pet peeves?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t like when other people`s kids are around me.
HAMMER: This hot topic struck a nerve with so many people, and it all started with this woman, author Adrianne Frost. She wrote the book "I Hate Other People`s Kids," and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, on top of the buzz, had her on to plead her case.
ADRIANNE FROST, AUTHOR: I am at the forefront of a movement.
HAMMER: And to be fair, we asked SHOWBIZ TONIGHT viewers to chime in by responding to our "Question of the Day." I hate other people`s kids: Do you agree? And, boy, did we get an eyeful of responses.
Chris from Cincinnati gave us his perspective: "The way I see it, people can hardly control their cell phones and the actions of their house pets, yet the same people are having children?"
But April from El Paso tells us, "We all started out as children. There should be more tolerance. I`m going to make a point from now on to not apologize for my child`s behavior. Maybe the author would be happy if the entire world would stop procreating."
HAMMER: Do not stray from your television, because "I Hate Other People`s Kids" author Adrianne Frost back with us tonight. Coming up next, she`s going to respond to your e-mails, live.
ANDERSON: Plus, some people may hate other people`s kids, but you know that everybody loves Raymond. And Raymond`s TV mom, Doris Roberts, she`s here live, coming up in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Also, we`re going to tell you why Kirstie Alley is on the war path, blasting "Rolling Stone" magazine. And a woman who interviewed her. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`re TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.
So people who hate other people`s kids, well, it really struck a chord with you, our viewer. And so, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we are bringing back the author, Adrianne Frost, who started this whole firestorm.
It`s all your doing, Adrianne.
ADRIANNE FROST, AUTHOR: It`s crazy. I am the anti-Christ, apparently.
HAMMER: Apparently, you are...
HAMMER: ... but we`ll look into that. Before we get to some of the e-mails, and we`ll talk about this whole controversy that you`ve stirred up...
FROST: It`s crazy, yes.
HAMMER: We want to take a look at how the poll results have been going, because we did ask our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day" last night. A new book says "I Hate Other People`s Kids": Do you agree?
Let`s put those poll results up. And you see that 66 percent of you say, yes; 34 percent of you say no. And we got a whole mass of e-mails on it.
What do you think about the fact that people reacted so strongly? Are you shocked? I mean, literally the e-mails have not stopped coming in.
FROST: No, I`m not shocked by it at all, because, on one hand, you have people who think that, you know, children are angels, you know, Jesus loved the little children, to which I say, "But he didn`t ever eat with them." And then you have the people who, you know, have been holding it back.
I mean, they`ve been just wanting to say something and wanting to feel this way, and now they have an open venue.
HAMMER: You didn`t talk to the president of the Catholic League who was out there, did you?
FROST: No, I didn`t. But we`ll get to that. He and I are having dinner later.
HAMMER: Let`s see what some of our viewers have to say. We heard from Paul in Texas. He writes, "I am so glad this person wrote a book on the topic to address out-of-control children. The parents whose kids are out-of-control are inconsiderate and should be disciplined themselves for the way their kids act."
This guy, singing your song.
FROST: Absolutely. I mean, there`s a way to stick it to the parents, you know? Go to a party at their house. Stick your hands in the pate, and touch everything. You know, let them know how you feel about all of this...
HAMMER: And about how their kids behave around you.
HAMMER: All right. Now, let`s see what Ken in Oklahoma had to say. Ken said, "As for the author of the book, I feel bad that I even need to give her feedback. Has it been so long in her life that she and these other individuals have forgotten what it is to be a child, the joy that they brought to their parents?"
Now, comedy aside, a grain of truth to that?
FROST: Yes, absolutely. I understand the joy that children bring, but that joy comes with a certain smell; that joy comes with a decibel level that not all of us want to put up with.
HAMMER: And this is what you`re simply trying to remind people about.
FROST: That`s all I`m trying to say. I`m not saying, you know, put them behind fencing, all the time.
HAMMER: OK, let`s move on. Lisa from Washington also wrote in to us. Lisa said, "Adrianne Frost is someone I truly admire."
FROST: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
HAMMER: Nice kudos to get. "She had the guts to say what I`ve always wanted to say. It`s time that us childless adults take back the world. No more letting children run free."
And, you know, she`s doing it a little tongue-in-cheek here, but the fact is, when we first raised the idea that we were going to have the author of a book called, "I Hate Other People`s Kids" on, this is the type of reaction we were getting, from just, you know, here at CNN.
FROST: Absolutely. And I don`t -- you know, I used to not advocate harnesses and leashes, but now I do. You know, just keep them a little close to you, like a fishing rod that you can just kind of reel back.
HAMMER: And you feel that that would sort of help things?
FROST: That might help. And maybe, at larger department stores, a nice corral with a mildly electric fence, just to warn them not to get out. And then we can just roam free with margaritas and chili dogs, you know...
HAMMER: Is that how the world should be, according to Adrianne?
FROST: Margaritas and chili dogs for everyone.
HAMMER: All right.
But let`s move on to what Margaret from Indiana wrote. Margaret says, "Regarding the author who writes that she hates other people`s kids, I`m willing to bet that the truth is actually that she has issues with ill behavior, not necessarily with children, per se."
A good point raised by Margaret. Is it simply the behavior of the kids or do you just, in general, you don`t want to see them, don`t want to be near them, don`t want to know they exist?
FROST: Sometimes it`s the behavior, but sometimes it is the child. I mean, I was shooting a piece at a daycare center. And there was this 2 1/2-year-old who looked like an accountant. I wanted to give him my taxes. And I don`t want to see that. I don`t need to see a little kid in a Dockers shirt, in a J. Crew v-neck, looking put-upon about deductions. That`s a little creepy for me.
HAMMER: OK. All right, Adrianne, well, I think you`ve been able to say your piece, and we appreciate you coming back here to address some of this.
FROST: Thank you so much for having me.
HAMMER: The controversy rages on.
HAMMER: And it`s all your doing.
FROST: I know. I`m an awful, awful person.
HAMMER: You can check out Adrianne`s book called "I Hate Other People`s Kids" in stores now. And you can continue to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day" at CNN.com/showbiztonight. And if you have more to say -- and I`m sure you do -- the address is showbiztonight@CNN.com.
ANDERSON: Well, from that hot topic to tonight`s "Hot Headlines," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live here in Hollywood.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It doesn`t get any hotter than that.
Well, actress and outspoken Scientologist Kirstie Alley is blasting "Rolling Stone" magazine for an article it published on Scientology. The "New York Daily News" reports Alley calls the article "religion-bashing for the sake of sales, that drops `Rolling Stone`s` cool factor to the level of `Reader`s Digest.`"
Alley also blasts the woman who interviewed her for the article, saying, quote, "My problem with your article was its degree of boredom."
Well, Aerosmith is canceling the rest of its North American tour because singer Steven Tyler is having surgery this week. Tyler`s rep says he`s doing fine but needs an operation. They won`t say why.
Other celebrity medical news: Star Jones-Reynolds of "The View" spent some time in a California hospital. "People" magazine reports she went in for a breast lift, but ended up hospitalized for four nights when complications required a blood transfusion. She was released yesterday.
And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Brooke, back to you.
ANDERSON: Let`s hope Star and Steven make a full recovery. Thank you, Sibila.
HAMMER: Doris Roberts is a five-time Emmy-winner who starred for years, of course, on the hit television show "Everybody Loves Raymond." But she hasn`t taken those statues and simply retired; she`s back on TV in a new movie for the Hallmark Channel. It`s called "Our House."
Doris Roberts, live here. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
DORIS ROBERTS, ACTRESS: Thank you.
HAMMER: Excellent to see you.
ROBERTS: Thank you.
HAMMER: And it`s excellent to still see you on TV everyday, at least a couple of times a day.
ROBERTS: I know. I know.
HAMMER: "Everybody Loves Raymond," it`s almost a year -- can you believe it -- since the show officially went off the air.
ROBERTS: Yes, yes, yes.
HAMMER: But thanks to syndication, you`re the number-one show in syndication. How do you feel about that? Kind of like you never left us.
ROBERTS: I think it`s great. We`re in 171 countries in the world. I travel a lot, and everywhere I go they love the show. Isn`t that wonderful?
HAMMER: So you get the benefit of all that without having to get up so early in the morning to shoot the show anymore?
HAMMER: What do you miss the most about doing "Raymond"?
ROBERTS: The money.
HAMMER: Is syndication money all that bad? You`re in on a syndication deal.
ROBERTS: Yes, but not very much.
HAMMER: It`s not the same for you as it would be for "Ray."
ROBERTS: Well, you don`t get paid for all the foreign stuff.
HAMMER: Oh, really?
ROBERTS: No, no, no, or they show it three times and they own it in perpetuity. But let me tell you about this movie that`s on Hallmark.
HAMMER: Well, I want to talk about the movie for Hallmark, "Our House," because it is a different look for you.
ROBERTS: Totally different.
HAMMER: You are somewhat -- I wouldn`t say completely unrecognizable, but you`re not the character from "Everybody Loves Raymond."
HAMMER: What really resonated with you about this movie, where you`re championing the homeless as a very wealthy widow?
ROBERTS: Yes, yes. Also, I think we need to open our eyes to other people. And when we do, we find out there`s something they need or we can be helpful, in the doing, you feel good about it.
HAMMER: And what are you doing in this film that is being helpful?
ROBERTS: I`m a very rich woman whose husband is dead, whose children are workaholics and never see her, and she doesn`t believe she needs to live anymore. She feels that it`s pointless, so she tries to commit suicide.
And a homeless woman, played by Judy Reyes from "Scrubs," saves my life and changes my life, as I change her life. And I bring in all of her friends who are homeless into my big home.
And it`s quite wonderful. It`s a lovely movie. It`s intelligent; it`s informative; it`s entertaining. And I think we tend to be prejudiced about homeless people.
I don`t know about you, but if I stop my car at a red light and there`s a man with a sign, I make believe I`m changing my radio. I don`t make eye contact, and I think that`s wrong.
HAMMER: Well, you mentioned how it importantly reminds us to do for others. And we all see people in Hollywood constantly getting involved with charitable organizations, but do you also see a segment of Hollywood or people who have a lot of money who simply have lost sight and who are so focused on the money and making more?
ROBERTS: So focused on themselves, right.
ROBERTS: And that`s wrong, absolutely wrong.
HAMMER: Even in the Hollywood community?
ROBERTS: Absolutely. We`re lucky. We`re blessed. I mean, I love to act. I`m going to love to act until I die, you know? I`ll be out there in a walker, if necessary. And I get paid well, and I have a celebrity status. I need to give back, and I do. And it`s wonderful; it makes you feel good.
HAMMER: Is that something that would have been a part of your life -- I`m guessing it`s kind of a loaded question -- even if you didn`t have the celebrity status to get whatever your messages out to help others?
ROBERTS: Yes, yes, yes. I have three charities that I`m involved in. One is a charity called Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. One is Puppies Behind Bars. And the other one is L.A.`s Best. And I spend a lot of my energies towards those, because I can afford to do that...
HAMMER: That`s nice.
ROBERTS: ... and I should afford to do that.
HAMMER: That`s nice to be able to do that. And you mentioned you`ll be acting until the day you die, which is a long way off...
ROBERTS: Yes, yes.
HAMMER: ... but you`ve been acting now for over 50 years.
HAMMER: 1952, I believe, is your first television credit.
ROBERTS: I know.
HAMMER: Is the buzz that you got back then -- can you remember that feeling the first time you shot a TV show? Is it the same today?
ROBERTS: It`s just as strong as it was then. I have the same passion for my work today than I did when I was 18 years of age, so I`m very happy about that. I`m very blessed.
HAMMER: Well, we`re happy, and we feel blessed that you`re still on television in all these countries all over the world several times a day. And, Doris Roberts, it`s always good to see you here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ROBERTS: I want to tell you that it`s "Our House" on Hallmark Channel is this Saturday, March 25th.
HAMMER: I was about to say it. You did it for me.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.
HAMMER: Coming up tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" doing good work, heading to Mississippi to rebuild some of the cornerstones of the community in Biloxi that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Designer Paul DiMeo is going to tell us all about the experiences that changed lives down there in the Gulf Coast.
And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you so much for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Stay tuned for the very latest from CNN Headline News. Good night.