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Showbiz Tonight

Ceremony Celebrates Dana Reeves` Life; Will Gossip Scandal Change the Rules?

Aired April 10, 2006 - 19:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: The world gets a first look at Dana Reeve`s son coping with the deaths of both his parents. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And a mother`s reaction to a new movie about a 9/11 flight her son was on. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, celebrity gossip gone wild. Tonight, charges of a Page Six fix. A gossip reporter accused of shaking down a billionaire. One of America`s mightiest gossip columns in turmoil. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reads between the lines to find out how the dirt gets dished, and we ask you, "Is celebrity gossip out of control?"

And, are your bad habits killing your kids? Obesity, diabetes, heart trouble. What your kids look like now, and what they could look like down the road. Why America`s kids are headed for self-destruction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If this doesn`t motivate them I don`t know what will.

HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT shows you why "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids."


ANDERSON: Hi there. I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.

Well, Brooke, it has been a very emotional day today, a day we got to truly say good-bye to a woman who was an inspiration to so many people, from the biggest stars in the world to just plain folk. Dana Reeve was remembered at a memorial service more than a month after lung cancer took her life.

And for the very first time since Dana died, we got a glimpse of her brave young son, a boy who has now lost his mother and his father.




HAMMER (voice-over): With smiles instead of tears, 13-year-old Will Reeve, the only child of Dana and Christopher Reeve, arrived arm in arm with his brother Matthew and sister Alexandra, Christopher Reeve`s children from a previous relationship. They set the tone for today`s memorial service for Dana, who died tragically of lung cancer last month at the young age of 44.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there at New York City`s Amsterdam Theater as stars ranging from Matthew Broderick to Alec Baldwin and others touched by Dana`s life celebrated Dana Reeve`s great work and the Reeves` great partnership.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": Both Christopher and Dana, each in their own way, made it a better world.

ROBERT KLEIN, COMEDIAN: Everybody knows how she`ll be remembered. What you saw was what you got. She was exactly that way.

HAMMER: Even in death, Dana Reeve continues to inspire. Everyone remembers her caring devotion to her husband, whom she cared for for nine years after his riding accident in 1995, putting her own thriving career on hold in the process.

PETER KIERNAN, BOARD MEMBER, CHRISTOPHER REEVE FOUNDATION: The caregiver in her struck a highly responsive chord with people out there.

HAMMER: Peter Kiernan is a longtime friend of the Reeves and a board member of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. He talked to CNN`s Alina Cho about Dana`s devotion.

KIERNAN: Don`t you all feel -- I sure did -- that if something ever happened to me like what happened to Christopher, there would be somebody like Dana right to support me and love me.

And the fact that she did it, not for a year or two or five but 10 years, and she would have done it another ten. She was right by his side. Never left, never wavered. I think people responded to that in just an incredibly powerful way.

HAMMER: It was only months after Christopher Reeve`s death that Dana Reeve was diagnosed with lung cancer. Today in New York, Paula Zahn, who interviewed her repeatedly on "PAULA ZAHN NOW", tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Reeve never once succumbed to self pity.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": I know she said to me in a number of interviews, "Look, what am I going to do, sit here and feel sorry for myself or am I going to take this curveball that`s been handed to me and move on?" And that`s what she did with her life. She showed tremendous grace.

HAMMER: And it was with that grace that Reeve worked through her own pain, pushing for spinal injury research through her work with the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

WALTERS: I think it`s important to keep both Dana and Christopher`s memory alive, because he did so much to help people understand spinal cord injuries. They changed our thinking about it.

HAMMER: That work inspired film and TV actor Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, who feels a special kinship with the Reeves. The star of TV show "Ed" and movies like "Galaxy Quest" was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 2001. He tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Dana Reeve`s courage gave him the courage to go on.

DARYL "CHILL" MITCHELL, ACTOR: I never saw someone who put so much heart and determination into the cause. And it was bigger than her husband. It was more about for everybody.

HAMMER: Mourners are remembering the example that Dana Reeve lived by, simply stated on the "Superman" pendant she wore throughout the last days in her life. "And in death, go forward" is the inspirational message that she and her husband leave behind.


HAMMER: And joining me now, CNN`s own Paula Zahn, who was at the memorial service today.

Thank you for being with me, Paula.

ZAHN: My pleasure.

HAMMER: I assume it was nothing less than beautiful.

ZAHN: You know, A.J., it was a lot of things. It was beautiful. It was also raw. It was inspiring. It was heartbreaking, all of it wrapped into a celebration of life of a remarkable woman. It was very, very sad and moving.

HAMMER: We did see footage of her son Will, her son with Christopher, showing up with a smile on his face. And that really seemed to set the tone for the day. I imagine it felt much more of a tribute than a really somber event.

ZAHN: It did. And, yet, throughout the service you heard from people who knew Dana most of her adult life. And they would share anecdotes that were pretty profound and sad.

But I think the one thing that ran through all the remarks was this was a woman who had such grace and such dignity that, when life threw her a bunch of really bad curveballs, she never once betrayed a sense of feeling sorry for herself. They talked a lot about how her humor and her smile helped her trudge along.

And when she got the cancer diagnosis on top of her husband passing away and her mother shortly after that, she knew that it was a very cruel thing that had happened to her. She once told me in an interview, "What was I supposed to do? Bury my head in the sand and not go on? No, I had to fight."

And I think that that determination was reflected in all of the remarks today by her friends and family members.

HAMMER: Remarks and some music. I understand there was a lot of celebration with music, a particular highlight for you?

ZAHN: There were some beautiful tributes to her. I think one of the most moving parts of the service for me was when Dana`s two sisters got up and talked about how much music had be a part of their lives growing up. And they sang a duet with a third person off to the side of the stage, who took Dana`s part, a song they had often sung as children and brought the house down with that one. It was really quite beautiful.

HAMMER: Paula, from the medical community to folks in Hollywood, one of the things we hear talked about most with Dana is the legacy she leaves behind with the Dana Reeve Foundation. I imagine that was a big part of what you saw and heard today.

ZAHN: Yes and it`s very interesting, because they talked about how, after Chris died, she was somewhat reluctant to become the chief foot soldier in fighting on for so many of the things that Chris wanted. But they talked about how she got actively involved with the awarding of grants for paralysis victims.

And of course, she brought tremendous awareness to the ravages of lung cancer. We know that a fairly good percentage of people who get lung cancer have never smoked before.

And so she did, I think, a couple of really powerful things in her lifetime, in the short, short amount of time she had here. And that was trying her best to make life better for paralysis victims and raise awareness of the importance of the early detection of lung cancer.

She was one remarkable woman, and I have to say I feel very blessed that I got to know her over the years.

HAMMER: And it sounds like a beautiful life was appropriately celebrated today, Paula.

ZAHN: It was indeed.

HAMMER: Thank you for sharing it with us, CNN`s Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Thank you, A.J.

ANDERSON: It`s like seeing their worst nightmare flashed right before their eyes. Tonight, two 9/11 widows are reportedly up in arms about Oliver stone`s movie, "World Trade Center."

According to "The New York Daily News," the widows of two Port Authority police officer -- officers called Stone`s upcoming film, quote, "complete exploitation." The women say it`s too much and too soon to have their pain and loss in movie theaters across the country.

They`re also furious with two former Port Authority cops, who were paid for their 9/11 stories.

Paramount Pictures tells the news the film is a portrayal of courage.

HAMMER: And coming up, we have a mother`s reaction to another major movie about 9/11, about one of the hijacked flights. Why you need to see her son`s story.

ANDERSON: And sin for the gossip bible. Why Page Six is in turmoil, the gray area between the black and white. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reads between the lines.

Plus we`ve also got this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Robbie throws up again, I already know I`m not going to live through this program.


HAMMER: Call it a nutritional boot camp targeting kids headed for self destruction. How they`re handing their bad habits down to their kids, and what they`re going to look like if they keep it up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the wake-up call on the new show "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids". That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: And first, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." On the Simpsons, Homer, Marge, Maggie, Lisa and Bart are from the town of Springfield. But what street do they live on? Evergreen Terrace, Evergreen Turnpike, Springfield Avenue or Perennial Way? Think about it. We`ll be right back with your answer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music under. We have some scandalous dirt on gossip. Now that we have your attention, let`s get the quiz answered. Here`s L.A. Stand by for dissolve. Go.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Charlie.

So again, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly` Great American Pop Culture Quiz." The Simpsons family is from the town of Springfield. But what street do they live on? Evergreen Terrace, Evergreen Turnpike, Springfield Avenue or Perennial Way? Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie and Bart live on Evergreen Terrace. The answer is A.

HAMMER: So easy.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

An amazing scandal tonight I`ve got to tell you about. There`s so much buzz about this particular story. Everyone wants to know if one of the most influential papers around was actually shaking down a billionaire so they wouldn`t print nasty things about him.

Well, let`s get the latest on this tawdry tale from CNN`s Carol Costello. She`s here for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: It is a tawdry tale. You know, the first thing every morning, people pick up "The New York Post" and they go to Page Six, because inside are juicy tidbits about the rich and famous, some nice, some night so nice.

And keep in mind that this information on Page Six goes throughout the country because shows like SHOWBIZ pick those up and broadcast them throughout the land.

Now, though, who can trust what`s on Page Six?


COSTELLO (voice-over): In the world of celebrity gossip, "The New York Post`s" Page Six is an institution. As a gossip column, some say it can make or break careers. Some will do anything to get in it, others to stay out of it.

MICHAEL MUSTO, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": Page Six is a destination read. "The New York Post" is the gossip bible for a lot of people, and Page Six is the first page they turn to.

COSTELLO: But now the "Post" finds itself the subject of scandal, and Page Six has become page one news. One of its writers, Jared Paul Stern, is the target of a federal investigation, accused of trying to extort money from a California billionaire. His name is Ron Burkle.

"The Post" suspended Stern pending the outcome of the probe.

In a world where favors and freebies, from free trips to designer handbags, are often tolerated, this scandal shocks even gossip veterans.

DEBORAH SCHOENEMAN, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: In order to compete in the gossip world, you have to play by a different set of rules. And that often means by not playing by the rules. However, there`s all different levels and gradations of that. But I think what Jared Paul Stern did was that he crossed the line which was already murky.

COSTELLO: Stern paints a different picture, though. He says he was set up by Burkle and that Burkle initiated the discussion about an investment in his clothing company.

Stern told CNN, quote, "He definitely had this paranoid notion that Page Six was out to get him. He was out to destroy us. He`ll find out it backfired on him."

In a statement to ABC, Burkle`s spokesperson said the billionaire had no interest in investing in Stern`s clothing company.

"The Post" scandal comes in a new era of gossip, when celebrity sightings have been posted on the web within minutes. So has celebrity gossip gone too far?

MUSTO: This is going to have to lead to a total purging of the bad stuff and the bad seeds doing unethical things in the gossip world to -- for there to be light at the end of the tunnel and gossip to live and for everyone to be able to dish more ethically and with a lot more conscience.


COSTELLO: And take a look at what`s happening now. This is "The Daily News". This is "The New York Post`s" main rival. Look, right on the front page, "Gossip Gone Wild!" So A.J., it`s a whole new kind of tabloid war going on right now.

HAMMER: And "The Daily News" just having a field day with it. Carol, thanks very much. CNN`s Carol Costello for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, the Page Six scandal broke wide open the hidden world of the gossip industry. So we here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT want to know what actually happens inside Page Six and the other gossip columns that get some stories attention and other stories no attention at all.

So we`ve got two former "New York Post" Page Six contributors. Joining me live in New York, Deborah Schoeneman, who is now contributing editor to "New York" magazine and author of "Four Percent Famous", and Ian Spiegelman, now the author of "Welcome to Yesterday". Thank you both for being with us here.


SCHOENEMAN: Thanks for having me.

HAMMER: All right. So you just said -- we just saw you say, in the gossip game, you play by a whole different set of rules, and that means not playing by the rules. So it`s a whole different kind of journalism, Deborah. What are these unspoken rules that go on in the gossip world?

SCHOENEMAN: Well, there is a favor bank. You need a certain stable of loyal sources because you have to write a column every day or every week. So if one of your best sources wants you to write about their nightclub opening or their hotel opening, you might be more inclined to write about that, even if it isn`t great news, because that person is going to help you later with something that is great news.

HAMMER: It`s kind of like I`ll scratch my back if you scratch my back kind of a deal.

SCHOENEMAN: Sort of like that.

HAMMER: All right, Ian. Well, I have to point out in the interest of full disclosure, you left "The New York Post" in less than applicable terms.


HAMMER: But that`s behind us now.


HAMMER: And you certainly worked in the inner sanctum of Page Six and what actually goes on there.

The gossip game is outrageous. It certainly seems that there`s a lot of sensation that goes on. But in such a crazy, outrageous world, at what point are you actually crossing the line or taking it too far, going over the top?

SPIEGELMAN: With the stories we report?


SPIEGELMAN: I think one thing that we usually try to do is stay away from stories of about famous people`s children if they`re under 18, unless they sort of force you to, like a Paris Hilton was forcing us. We had no choice in that.

But most of the time, it`s no kids. You can`t call anyone gay unless they say it themselves first. That`s about it.

HAMMER: Are these things that are actually discussed among people who report...

SPIEGELMAN: The children thing is just ethical.

HAMMER: Right.

SPIEGELMAN: The gay thing is you`d be sued. And that`s the only real thing you worry about is getting sued. So if you can get away with it legally, you`re going to do it.

HAMMER: And you`re talking about the stories that are the true gossip items that, you know, may get fed to you. I`m curious how they actually wind up in the paper. I`m sure there are lots of ways. But you know, to wind up on Page Six, it can lead to all sorts of things, movie deals. The sky`s the limit. What are some of the typical ways that items will wind up in a gossip column like Page Six?

SCHOENEMAN: A lot of it is damage control. If two high profile people are getting divorced, for example, they might leak a statement to Page Six, particularly on a slow news day like Thanksgiving or Christmas, just because they want to have the information out there and defuse and they can control it. And they figure if they start it they have some control over the news about their own lives.

HAMMER: But the money changing hands thing, this is a whole different territory in the Stern case that we`ve been talking about, is something that is unusual. But what`s the reality of that, Ian, in terms of actually money changing hands? This was in a case to prevent stuff from being written. But in terms of, I`m a publicist. I want something written, am I handing you a little money under the table?

SPIEGELMAN: Well, obviously it`s not unimaginable, because my novel is actually about a gossip columnist who`s in trouble because part of his business dealings every day is taking cash for giving people good coverage.

But that`s not something I ever saw in real life. That`s the kind of thing where working over the years for the page, I felt like, you know, if a guy wanted to, if he had the stomach for it, he could get a lot of money from a lot of people doing this. But it`s not something that I ever heard about happening in real life, and I don`t believe it`s happened in this situation either.

HAMMER: Are there gifts changing hands, though?

SPIEGELMAN: Yes, tons.

HAMMER: Like what?

SPIEGELMAN: Free meals constantly, bottles of liquor showing up at the office all the time, clothing, coach bags.

HAMMER: Most outrageous way somebody tried to get you to play something in a gossip column?

SCHOENEMAN: Well, there`s lots of junkets you know, to various islands or hotels. And they try to get you to fly first class and stay in this fancy hotel and see some bad entertainment.

HAMMER: And in a news organization, for instance, here at CNN, I cannot take a trip from somebody to go cover their movie and then talk about it on television. But you could do that.

SCHOENEMAN: Well, the same is true at "New York" magazine, where I wrote the gossip column for two years. They have a code of ethics which would not let you have accept such gifts. But it`s different at every publication. And I think Page Six is so powerful and so influential and so important at the "New York Post" they can almost get away with anything, because the ends justifies the means.

SPIEGELMAN: I was at "New York" magazine and everyone there accepted plenty of gifts when I was working there and so did I.

And -- but in a newspaper, the thing is if you want to cover Bungalow 8, you want to go there and you want to tell people what it`s like. If you`re going to have to pay $400 to sit there for two hours at a bottle table...

HAMMER: Right.

SPIEGELMAN: ... if you have to pay for it, you`re not going to go. If your paper has to pay for it, they`re not going to let you go.

HAMMER: They`re not going to let you accept that.

SPIEGELMAN: So Amy Sacco (ph) just going to let you ride...

HAMMER: She would be the person who runs Bungalow 8.

SPIEGELMAN: Right. And she writes it off on her taxes. Nobody pays. The government is the only one that pays it off.

HAMMER: And you know what they always say. You can`t buy publicity like that.

Let me ask -- I`m being told I`m out of time. I wanted to ask you one more question. But Debbie and Ian, I appreciate you joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and giving us a little insight into that world of the gossip columnist.


SCHOENEMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: OK. Now we want to hear from you. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Celebrity gossip: is it out of control? Vote at Send us an e-mail: We`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.

HAMMER: And coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Stupid Girl" singer "Pink" blames young Hollywood for leading American`s teens astray.

ANDERSON: Plus, one woman went from a thankless 9 to 5 job to amateur night at the strip club and made that her full-time gig for a whole year. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes inside the life of an unlikely stripper, live.

HAMMER: And a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. A new reality show sends a wake-up call to parents, showing them what their kids will look like down the road if they keep up their unhealthy habits. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes a look at "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids." That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: OK. People are still flocking to see "Ice Age: The Meltdown." The animated film was No. 1 at the weekend box office for the second week in a row, according to final figures released late today.

After just two weeks, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" has another milestone to celebrate. It`s the first movie this year to break the $100 million mark in ticket sales.

The baseball comedy "The Benchwarmers" debuted in second place. "Take the Lead" starring Antonio Banderas finished third, followed by Denzel Washington starring in Spike Lee`s "Inside Man." And "Lucky Number Slevin" finished in fifth place.


Coming up tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Geena Davis, live. The presidential recess is over. ABC`s "Commander in Chief" is back. The actress joins us live, for an interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, tomorrow.

ANDERSON: We talk a lot about body image and celeb obsessions here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And those hot topics seem to be on everyone`s lips and in Pink`s new song.

It`s called "Stupid Girls" and spoof celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson. Pink says it examines what she calls mindless consumerism, how young girls are so celeb obsessed they`ll do anything to talk like stars, dress like stars and be like stars.

The singer told Oprah today that all of this wannabe behavior is leaving girls powerless.


PINK, SINGER: I didn`t write the song to win a popularity contest. I did it to spark a discussion, because I thought it was a discussion that needed to be had.

There are people that are relieved that someone finally said it. There`s people that think it`s just hilarious, the video. There`s people that think I`m a hypocrite. But my point is not that sexy is a bad thing. My point is that sexy and smart are not oil and water.


PINK: And that you don`t have to dumb yourself down to be cute.


ANDERSON: Pink was quick to tell Oprah that she doesn`t believe any of the women spoofed in her video are actually stupid. Instead, she thinks it`s all a big act to make them seem less challenging as women.

HAMMER: Good for Pink. More respect for her every day.

Well, there`s a new addition to Gwyneth Paltrow`s family. We`re going to tell about the actress`s brand-new baby and the newborn`s unusual name.

Plus, we`ve got this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last night really made me stand up and pay attention.


ANDERSON: A new reality show uses computer imaging to show parents how their bad habits are killing their kids. What the kids will look like in 30 years if they don`t change their unhealthy ways. The doctor is in, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, with "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids."

HAMMER: And the unlikely stripper. She took on a new name, learned the tricks of the trade and wrote a book about it. She`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.



HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Monday night. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood and you are watching T.V.`s only live entertainment news show. A.J., tonight, we have a first look at the film "United 93," which opens later this month, through the eyes of a mother whose son died on that flight, that 9/11 flight. Alice Hoagland has seen the movie. She`ll join us live in just a few moments and tell us what she thinks about the film and why she believes we all s should go see it.

HAMMER: Brooke, also tonight on a significantly lighter note, we`re going to meet a woman, quit a decent enough day job and then one day out of the blue she decided, I think I`m going to quit my job and become a stripper. She learned a lot, she wrote about it and she`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

But first tonight, have you ever heard the expression, you are what you eat? Of course you have. Well in a new reality series on TLC called "Honey, we`re Killing the Kids," moms and dads get a shocking look at what their overweight, undernourished kids are going to look like in their 40s. It is not a pretty picture. Enter one nutritionist to overhaul the family`s diets from sugary snacks to wholesome whole grains and, well, take a look for yourself.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a parent, it`s hard to swallow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re killing your kid.

MOOS: But "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids," sure does make a pithy reality T.V. show title. Remember, "Honey I Shrunk the Kids?" Shrunk and dunked in Cheerios.

Well, instead of shrinking, these kids are getting bigger and bigger. In the learning channel`s new series, a nutritionist confronts families like the Youngs from Long Island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You won`t listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m never talking to mom again.

MOOS: They are three kids who are junk food junkies, who watched T.V. and never exercised. The high point comes in the beginning when Dr. Lisa Hark shows the parents the future.

LISA HARK, NUTRITION: He already weighs more than most 18-year-old boys.

MOOS: What their 12-year-old will look like at 40, photo aging is based on data, that assumes James will continue his bad habits. The same thing happens with a different family in every episode, and every kid ends up looking like a serial killer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s not my Stevie.

MOOS: Reminds us of a certain green guy. Once they`re scared silly, the nutritionist begins a three-week intervention. The junk food is stashed away, the family shops for healthy items. Mom tries recipes like tofu stir fry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tofu tastes like dirt.

MOOS: Mom decides to make Robbie eat. Otherwise...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s gonna die. Then it`ll be honey, we actually did kill our children. Swallow now.

MOOS: To get them off the couch, T.V. and computer games are limited to two hours a day. James rebels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I`m 18, I`m gone forever.

MOOS: Robbie`s caught stealing chocolate chip mini muffins from the junk food stash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not put that in your mouth. Do not -- if you eat it, no T.V. for a week.

MOOS: Some think the photo aging is a bit much. We showed clips to Mo`Nique, the star of "Phat Girlz."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do I look fat in this?

MO`NIQUE, ACTRESS: No, Twiggy, I look fat in this. You look ugly in that.

MOOS: Mo`Nique wasn`t thrilled with "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids."

MO`NIQUE: But to show that? That`s a form of hatred to me. So what if he looks like that in 40 years? He`s a nice looking plump guy.

MOOS: But the nutritionist says changing bad habits will add years to their lives.

(on camera): Now if you think you`re killing your kids, you can apply to get on the show at the Learning Channel Web site. That`s how they recruit families.

(voice-over): And there is of course, a happy ending. Parents see what their kids might look like at 40 if they change their ways.


MOOS: Maybe these parents really could say "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," but looking like a serial killer beats being killed in cereal.



HAMMER: That`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." And joining me to talk about these family`s drastic transformations Dr. Lisa Hark from "Honey, We`re Killing the Kids." Thanks for joining us, Dr. Hark.

HARK: My pleasure.

HAMMER: Obviously, your show is dealing with some families with some serious health concerns and nutrition concerns. But you`re showing it from the perspective, at least you`re capturing our attention, with how these kids are going to look.

And we are a society obsessed with looks. We just saw actress and comedian Mo`Nique say that`s a form of hatred. What if he looks like that in 40 years, so what? What do you say to people who respond to it this way?

HARK: I don`t think so. I think that like you said, medical complications are associated with a poor diet and lack of exercise. And this mom already has diabetes. So there`s a very good chance that James, the 12-year-old, is going to become diabetic, if he continues like this. So I want to improve their health. I want to improve their future.

HAMMER: Well speaking of James, as I said, you really capture everybody`s attention. The most startling thing in the show are these transformations you do through computer imaging. We saw what these kids are going to wind up.

Charles, can we show the picture of James here? This is how he starts out at age 12. We`re going to watch him transform to the age of 40. Tell me about the behavior that James has that caused him to lead you guys to believe this is how he was going to wind up.

HARK: Well, I think the first thing is his current weight. He is significantly overweight. He weighs more than 95 percent of all the children his age. And like we said, he weighs more than most 18-year-olds. That`s not the way he should weigh.

HAMMER: And the fact that you put glasses on him, for instance.

HARK: Well, I`m not sure why he has glasses. Maybe -- he does wear glasses now and that`s why we put glasses on him. You just don`t see the glasses in all the shows.

But his blood pressure -- we measure his blood pressure and we really look at his eating habits in detail. We study their calories, their fat, their cholesterol intake. And everything was high, off the charts. The sugar intake in this family alone, Robbie, seven cavities. He`s only seven.

HAMMER: So you really had a big undertaking to change the habits of these kids. And using the images certainly makes a good point. We see how shocked the parents are. We don`t want our kids to wind up looking that way.

You as a nutritionist know, eating habits are habitual. They`re tough to change, like smoking, like drinking. Do the pictures really do the job of getting the attention enough so they will actually stick with your program? Can you really scare somebody straight with this stuff?

HARK: Well I think they have. And the best question I asked is have you ever thought about how your child could look at 40? And everybody says, "No, never."

So they`re feeding them all this stuff, all this junk. They`re not exercising. They`re watching hours and hours and hours -- James, for example, when we took the television out of the bedroom, mom said, "My kid is back as part of the family."

HAMMER: And they kind of freaked out at the beginning, but it was a question of changing the behavior.

HARK: Of course the child freaks out. But children take two days and then they adjust.

HAMMER: Well Dr. Hark, thank you very much for sharing this with us. It`s fascinating to watch them go through this. We`ll see how you handle it all when the show makes its premiere on TLC tonight, called "Honey We`re Killing the Kids."

ANDERSON: As we reported earlier, the "New York Post`s" Page Six is in the middle a scandal. One of its writers is the target of a federal investigation accused of trying to extort money from a California billionaire in exchange for not writing negative stories about him. And that leads us again to the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Celebrity gossip, is it out of control? Vote at Send us an e-mail Your e-mails are coming up a bit later.

HAMMER: Diablo Cody was born at her jobs. So she decided to leave it all behind, including her clothes. She`s written a very funny book about her year as an unlikely stripped. Diablo Cody joins us live next in the interview you`ll certainly only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Plus, it`s a war of words involving Michael Douglas, "G.Q." magazine and Brad and Angelina. We will tell you who said what coming up.

And the controversial movie about 9/11 and United flight 93. The families of the people who died on the plane have seen the movie. One mom, Alice Hoagland joins us live with her thoughts, coming up next.


ANNOUNCER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT returns with Gwyneth Paltrow`s new baby name. But first to L.A., Brooke. Stand by.

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson, in Hollywood, and this is TV`s only live entertainment news show.

Tonight, your first look at "United 93", from someone who knows the events of 9/11 all too well. Alice Hoagland`s son, Mark Bingham, died on Flight 93. It was the fourth hijacked plane and could have been heading for the White House or the Capitol. The flight crashed in Pennsylvania, after the brave passengers staged a revolt against the terrorists who stormed the cockpit. Alice has just seen "United 93," a new movie about what happened on that flight. She joins us live now from San Francisco, California.

Alice, thanks for being here with us. Again, I appreciate it.


ANDERSON: Of course. Now, I can`t imagine what it was like for you sitting there with other families who had loved ones die on Flight 93 and watch the recreation of the events that led to the death of your son. How did you feel and what was your reaction to the film?

HOAGLAND: Well, Brooke, it was tough to watch. It was -- it was excruciating knowing that this is a very accurate reenactment of the brutality and the heroism leading up to the death of my son, Mark, and the other heroes who fought so hard alongside him. It was -- Paul Greengrass, the director of "United 93," has done a commendable job.

It is a powerfully told, well documented history, important event for September 11. I`m very glad that the feature was made and I hope a lot of people will see it.

ANDERSON: I`m sure it was emotional for you to watch it. And many still find it very, very disturbing, even the thought of this film some find appalling. Others say they were caught off guard by the trailer running in theaters. Before we continue, Alice, I want to show a bit from the movie. Let`s take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hijacker, going to hit this guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at that!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two aircraft hit the World Trade Center. Just left north. The weather was beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a plane headed towards the capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is wrong out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May we engage, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am on a plane that has been hijacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, I`ve got f-16s turning and burning towards Washington.



ANDERSON: I`ve seen it numerous times. It`s still difficult for me to watch, Alice. Your son, played by actor Cheyenne Jackson. Actors were chosen to play many of the victims. What was it like to see someone else portray Mark? And was it an accurate portrayal?

HOAGLAND: My heart was in my mouth to see Cheyenne Jackson come aboard that 757 wearing Mark`s rugby jersey and his Cal cap. It was -- it was -- it was heartbreaking. I`m sure it`s going to be heartbreaking for Dena to watch the man who portrays Tom Burnett. Jeremy Glick was brilliantly portrayed as was Todd Beamer, Donald H. Green, Alan Fevin.

The director has done a good job of trying to capture the character and the personality of each one of the 40 innocent people who died. The story of flight 93 needs no embellishment. And here it is in the hands of a brilliant director. For drama alone, it is worth seeing. And as a piece of history it`s powerful.

ANDERSON: What was the reaction -- sorry to interrupt you -- of the other families sitting there with you, watching this story be retold?

HOAGLAND: Well, we saw it here on the West Coast yesterday, April 9. And the reaction, as you might imagine, was mixed. There were about 70 or 80 of us there. Everyone had an opinion. And we had the opportunity to express it right to the director. He was satellited in from London.

He`s still working feverishly to gain the final cut. There was some - - there was some consternation. There was some weeping, heartache. It`s a tough -- tough story to relive. And rising from all that wreckage is a simple story of heroism and we can take some joy from that.

ANDERSON: Ah, well said. Alice Hoagland, we are going to have to leave it there tonight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I know it`s not always easy. Thank you.

"United 93" will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 25th, just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center site.

HAMMER: Time now for tonight`s hot headlines. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live in Hollywood. Hi, Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi, A.J. Michael Douglas says "GQ Magazine" misquoted him about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. "GQ" quoted Douglas as saying, I don`t know about Brad Pitt leaving that beautiful wife to go hold orphans for Angelina. There are reports tonight that Douglas is denying saying that. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "GQ" says it stands behind the quotes 100 percent, and for Douglas to suggest that they were made up is laughable.

It`s a boy for Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay singer Chris Martin. And once again, Paltrow and Martin chose an unusual name for their baby -- this time, Moses. Moses Martin was born over the weekend in New York City. The couple already have a daughter, Apple, who will be two years old next month.

ABC is going to put some of its most popular shows on the Internet for free. Disney, which owns ABC, says it will offer shows like "Lost," "Alias" and "Desperate Housewives" online for free, in a two-month trial. The shows will be available at in May and June, starting the day after they are first broadcast on the network. And those are tonight`s hot headlines. A brave new world, A.J.

HAMMER: It is a brave new world, Sibila. Thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.

ANDERSON: "Playboy" creator Hugh Hefner says after all these years, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hefner celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. He says to some extent, 80 is the new 40, and that if you`re healthy, age is just a number. It probably doesn`t hurt that he lives with three blonde girlfriends who are less than half his age. In any event, Hefner says "Playboy"`s mission of sexual liberation is as relevant as ever these days.

"Attitudes toward `Playboy` have changed, in many ways, very little. In some ways it is even more political than it was in the `50`s and `60`s."

HAMMER: You know, I`m thinking Hugh would probably get a kick out of our next guest. She`s a woman after his own heart. Diablo Cody was working as a thankless office person typing up radio copy or something like that in Minneapolis. Then she realized all of a sudden she was bored.

On a whim, she decided to audition for amateur night at a local strip club. She liked it so much she quit her day job and worked as an entertainer for a year. And she wrote this book, a very funny one at that, called "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper." Diablo Cody is here live. If that is your real name.


HAMMER: It`s not your stripper name?

CODY: No, I stripped under a cornucopia of awesome names ranging from Bon Bon to Roxy.

HAMMER: You were working this job, in Minneapolis, living a decent enough life. You`re typing radio copy and one day you decided, I want to be a stripper. What happened there?

CODY: It was thankless work. I had just moved to a new town and I thought to myself, hey, I`m anonymous, I don`t know anybody here. If I want to do something crazy and get my yah yahs out, I might as well become a stripper. So that`s what I did.

HAMMER: And so you wanted to move from thankless to rewarding.

CODY: It was rewarding. It was great.

HAMMER: But it wasn`t your calling in life. It was not what as a youngster thought -- that you thought one day I`m going to wind up and be a stripper. But what I`ve read is that you actually really enjoyed it, and you even enjoyed it on a sexual level. Is that right?

CODY: Yes, I did. I mean, I enjoyed it on every level. I mean, I always felt that my calling in life was to become a writer, and stripping propelled me to that place in life, so...

HAMMER: Well, let`s bring it back to enjoying it on a sexual level for a moment.

CODY: Oh, boy.

HAMMER: Well, no, I would imagine that a lot of people who do this for a living would separate themselves and don`t feel like that. Did you find that was common among the strippers you worked with, that they actually got a sexual joy out of doing this kind of work?

CODY: I think sometimes it feels like an out-of-body experience when you`ve been doing it a lot and it is hard to feel pleasure. But for me, it was just such an unexpected thing for me to be doing, and it was so unlike anything else I`d ever done in life that I couldn`t help but totally vibe on it. I loved it.

HAMMER: And an interesting experiment and an interesting way to learn about people, particularly men, because obviously you have to get into men`s heads in order to hopefully make a lot of money doing it. You`re seeing men who are powerful, you`re seeing men at their most vulnerable. What`s something that you learned about men that you didn`t know before you became a stripper?

CODY: You know, I think a lot of people assumed going into stripping that I would start to think of men as, you know, chauvinist pigs who wanted to objectify women. But in fact, I developed a lot of sympathy for men after stripping, because when they are in the club, when they are in that situation, they`re kind of powerless, and they`re there because they are looking for companionship and they`re looking for intimacy. And it was up to us to provide that.

HAMMER: So you kind of felt sorry for them?

CODY: Yes, a little bit.

HAMMER: You weren`t just there to take their money and their dollar bills.


HAMMER: You were actually providing a service of putting a smile on their face?

CODY: Exactly. Which made it all the easier to be condescending.

HAMMER: Well, there are a lot of misconceptions or conceptions about strippers, and you`ve worked with a lot of women side by side. What`s something that you learned with the women?

CODY: You know, they were very strong women. In a lot of cases, they were doing it to survive. But, you know, I found that a lot of the perception of strippers as people who come from damaged backgrounds, sadly was true in most cases. And that was a little disheartening.

HAMMER: So how did they look at you, though, because you`re a seemingly well-adjusted person who is there having the time of her life?

CODY: I think they just thought I was a huge nerd. You know? I was always writing. I was always observing. And I think -- you know, I wasn`t the best dancer. Let`s put it that way.

HAMMER: But did you still make a lot of money doing it?

CODY: I made a little bit of money.

HAMMER: How much money did you make stripping, about?

CODY: Total? I mean, I was lucky if I brought home a couple hundred bucks a night.

HAMMER: Did you report it all to the IRS, though?

CODY: Yes.

HAMMER: OK, that`s important. I`ve heard, anyway.

Well, Diablo Cody -- I know that`s not your real name -- but we appreciate you joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and thanks for talking about your book...

CODY: Thanks so much for having me.

HAMMER: ... and your experience with us. The book is called "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper." And it`s in stores now.

ANDERSON: Throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It is: Celebrity gossip, is it out of control? Let`s take a look at how the vote is going so far.

Wow, 85 percent of you say, yes, it is; 15 percent of you say, no, it`s not. You can keep voting at Stay with us. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer. Time to take a look at what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Here comes your SHOWBIZ marquee.

Well, tomorrow, the commander in chief herself, Geena Davis, is going to be here live. That`s Geena Davis. She will join us tomorrow in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, now that her show is back on the air.

Also tomorrow, are your kids` TV viewing habits affecting whether or not they`ll have sex when they`re teenagers? There is a new study that shows a startling link. We`re going to be looking into that tomorrow right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And that`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Have a great night, everybody, and stay tuned for more from CNN HEADLINE NEWS.