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Showbiz Tonight

Defending Christian Bale; How Jessica Simpson Really Feels About the Whole Weight Issue; Why are People Upset at President Obama over Jessica?; Michael Phelps and Christian Bale: Should They be Forgiven?; Is There Too Much Obama?

Aired February 04, 2009 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, defending Christian Bale. "The Dark Knight" star`s outrageous profanity-laced tirade at a crew member on the set of his new movie.




HAMMER: Tonight, the remarkable reasons why some people are coming to his defense. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask - should Christian Bale be forgiven?

Brand-new developments in the great Jessica Simpson weight debate. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the inside story of how Jessica really feels about all those horrible headlines and nasty comments about her putting on a few pounds. And why does the Simpson controversy have so many people upset at President Obama?

Plus, the Phelps` pot scandal. How Michael Phelps is uniting pot smokers everywhere.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is even more of a hero.


TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you from Hollywood. And tonight, the Bale-istic defense.

HAMMER: Brooke, I could hardly believe it today that, yes, there are actually people out there who are defending Christian Bale. Now, it turns out that "The Dark Knight" star`s nearly four-minute caught-on-tape obscene rant on a movie set - it actually boosted air pollution index.

And it might have contributed to global warming. But, nonetheless, the star who plays Batman now has his defenders. And what they are saying is making big news right now.


BALE: Kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass! I want you off the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) set, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!

HAMMER (voice over): When you hear it, it`s appalling. For many fans, the reaction - sheer horror.


HAMMER: Christian Bale`s verbal thrashing at a cinematographer during the "Terminator Salvation" filming seems indefensible. But now, many are jumping to Bale`s defense.

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ: I don`t think this is, you know, a murderous-like scandal that some people are portraying it as.

BALE: You don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) understand it`s like working with actors. That`s what that is.


BALE: That`s what that is, man! I`m telling you!

HAMMER: They say, we don`t have the whole story. You could say it is a bit of a Bale-out. So what exactly went down to make Bale drop the F-bomb 36 times in four minutes?

SUZY BYRNE, WEB EDITOR, "STARMAGAZINE.COM": Christian was shooting a scene with Bryce Dallas Howard. And the director of photography started adjusting lights behind her head, distracting Christian and really just set him off.

BALE: I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass if you don`t shut up for a second, all right?

HAMMER: The wrath was aimed at this guy, Shane Hurlbut.

BALE: Am I going to walk around and rip your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) lights down in the middle of a scene? Then why the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are you walking right through - like this in the background? What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is it with you? What don`t you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) understand?

HAMMER: Bruce Franklin, an assistant director on the film, has jumped to Bale`s defense, telling "E Entertainment" that Bale is the consummate professional and it was an intense day. He said, quote, "If you are working in a very intense scene and someone takes you out of your groove ... It was the most emotional scene in the movie. And for him to get stopped in the middle of it ... he is very intensely involved in his character. He didn`t walk around like that all day long. It was just a moment and it passed."

HURLBUT: I was looking at the light.

BALE: Oh, good for you! And how was it? I hope it was (EXPLETIVE DELETED) good because it`s useless now, isn`t it? (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sake, man. You`re amateur!

LEVIN: Somebody screwed up on the set, no doubt. He screwed up. The reaction was disproportionate to the mistake. That said, Christian Bale didn`t murder anybody.

BYRNE: I still think it was pretty bad. I think he could have gotten his point across in two lines. But he extended it. He went on and on.

HAMMER: TMZ reports that Bale was under a lot of pressure that week because of his crazy promotion schedule for "The Dark Knight."

BALE: I meant every word.

HAMMER: Ironically, it was just days after this verbal assault that Bale was accused of a physical assault by his mother and sister in London.

BYRNE: The timing on this is interesting. This took place a long time back. It was in July. He was heavily promoting "Batman." But this incident took place the same week, you know, days apart from the incident in which his mother and sister alleged that he assaulted them.

HAMMER: Sounds like a pretty intense week and a pretty intense scene. So is Bale`s blowout defensible?

LEVIN: I don`t think anybody was saying what he did was defensible. It`s not. But at the same time, you know, is this something that will ruin his career? No. Should it ruin his career? No.

BYRNE: He went on for four minutes. And I think that, you know, says a lot about his character. But at the same time, he is a bankable box office star. So I think the bottom line is money. They will forgive him. They will hire him. And he will keep doing big movies.


HAMMER: All right. So was Christian just at the end of his rope after trying to nail a tough scene? And should he now come out and defend himself so he can give his side of the story?

With me now in New York, Lisa Bloom who is an anchor for the Legal Network "In Session." And in Hollywood tonight is Carlos Diaz. He`s a correspondent for "Extra."

So let`s begin by taking a look at what one influential movie blogger who`s defending Christian`s rant is now saying about the circumstances on the set before Bale went, you know, completely ballistic.

Now, Harry Knowles is the name of this guy from "Ain`t It Cool News." He was not on the set when this went down, but he does give some perspective on his Web site. Here`s what he says, quote, "It is a moment in a man`s life taken completely out of context and most likely leaked to personally embarrass Christian Bale. Shane Hurlbut is a fairly young DP (director of photography) and likes to fiddle with his lights on set during action, which is a big no-no on most productions. Bale had indeed warned the DP on multiple occasions about messing with lights while the cameras were rolling."

All right, Harry. I hear you. But Carlos, to you first. Does that give Christian any right to lose it like that?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I mean, no one has the right to lose it for that long. I mean, I love the endurance run myself. But here is the thing. No one had his back. No one. The director, McG, at one point, goes, "I didn`t see. I don`t know." You got Bruce, the guy that he is yelling, "No, Bruce. Don`t hold me back."

No one is saying to the director of photography, "Hey, man. What the heck just happened? What did you do? What is going on here?" No one has Christian Bale`s back in this. It would have been very simple. If McG would have said, "You know what? Dude, hey, director of photography, please step off the set, all right. I`m mad at you," and gotten his actor`s back. This wouldn`t have happened. So yes, I am defending Christian Bale here.

HAMMER: Yes. But still, Carlos, the fact that it went on and on and on, man, I hear you about the endurance.

DIAZ: La-di-da. La-di-da, A.J. La-di-da. You just want to have your show and just do your thing. La-di-da.

HAMMER: All right. Will you take his camera offline for a second for me, Bill? Thank you. Others out there defending Bale tonight. As we mentioned, the assistant director on the film, even reportedly Bale`s co- star in the movie, Bryce Dallas Howard - that`s who Bale was doing the scene with when he went berserk. Lisa, can you all understand where they`re coming in defending him?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": No. And I seriously question the judgment of anyone who would defend him on any grounds. We all have problems in our workplaces. I do a live show two hours every day.

The satellite goes down. A light falls down and practically hits me in the head one day. A guest walks off the set. The makeup artist isn`t there. This is normal in the entertainment industry.

And how dare he behave like a rage-filled bully and terrorize this man for four minutes? He has absolutely no excuse. Not only the director of photography, but everybody else who is hearing this, I`m sure, is filled with fear at what this bully movie star is going to do next. He has absolutely no right to behave that way.

HAMMER: You see, Carlos, she is saying even you, on any grounds, no right to defend this.

DIAZ: Yes, because Lisa Bloom is not filled with rage. No, not at all. Sure. Right.

BLOOM: I would never treat any one I work with like that, ever.

DIAZ: No one is - OK.

HAMMER: Let`s hear more of the evidence at hand, OK? I want to play a bit of Christian Bale`s tirade that really directly addresses why he was so furious with this director of photography on the set after the guy into Bale`s line of sight during, again, what he calls a very emotional scene. Let`s listen.


BALE: You got any (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about, "Hey, it`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) distracting having somebody walking up behind Bryce in the middle of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) scene." Give me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) answer! What don`t you get about it?

HURLBUT: I was looking at the light.

BALE: Oh, good for you! And how was it? I hope it was (EXPLETIVE DELETED) because it`s useless now, isn`t it?


HAMMER: All right. You`ve got a little more context for the rant there. Carlos, do you think - you know, I hear that you are defending him on some level. But do you think Christian maybe needs to come out and defend himself, speak out, say what went on from his point of view?

DIAZ: No, not yet. Let this ride out a few more days. Let us get like halfway through February. Give it a few more days to kind of fester, and the come out. Because right now, we are talking about "Terminator Salvation" like crazy, and the movie doesn`t come out for several more months. So let the press continue. And then, wait about two weeks and then come out and make fun of yourself and this and that.

HAMMER: Yes. But the problem is, and I`m hearing this from a lot of people where we get some phone calls later in the show from some people saying, "You know what? I hear this guy and I can`t support a movie that he is in."

Lisa, do you think that Christian should do, you know, one of the nice guy tours, maybe hit the talk show circuit, explain his side of the story to prove that he is not a monster to work with and that perhaps people shouldn`t even consider boycotting his film?

BLOOM: There is only one thing he can say which is, "I was wrong and I`m sorry." He needs to not make excuses, not point the finger at anybody else. And by the way, hats off to this director of photography for remaining so calm in the midst of all the invectives being hurled at him over and over again. It had to be a very scary situation.

Let`s keep in mind who has al the power in the struggle. I mean that`s the movie star, OK? The member of the crew has no power. He can get fired at any time. The movie star is always going to get another job. That`s what makes them such a bully in this scenario.

HAMMER: Yes. I`ve got to end it there. Lisa Bloom, Carlos Diaz, I think you will get your wish. This will fester. Thanks for joining us right now.

I want you guys to both stick around. Because now that people are coming to his defense, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, should Christian be forgiven for his epic tirade?

And what about Michael Phelps? Should we cut the Olympic hero some slack for his pot smoking photo flap? You definitely won`t want to miss a fired-up debate to the bottom of the hour here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And you know, Brooke, that Michael Phelps` pot scandal has had kind of an unlikely side effect. It is uniting pot smokers everywhere.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he still a hero? Yes, he is even more of a hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we found out that Michael Phelps smokes pot - which is awesome.


HAMMER: All right. Coming up, how the Olympic champ has united pot smokers faster than a bag of chips. We`ll also have your fired-up phone calls at "Showbiz On Call."

ANDERSON: Plus, the Jessica Simpson weight debate. For the first time, we have the inside story of how Jessica really feels about all those horrible comments about her weight. And why does this controversy have so many people upset at President Obama? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT separates the fact from the fiction.

HAMMER: And kicking butts. Gwyneth Paltrow says she can`t wait to start smoking again. Plus, has President Obama lit up since moving into the White House? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

ANDERSON: And now the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Jennifer Hudson`s rendition of the national anthem available on iTunes. Joaquin Phoenix insists his new career as a rapper is not a hoax.)



ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, 360 DEGREES: Have you had a cigarette since you have been to the White House?

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: No, I haven`t had one on these grounds. And you know - sometimes it`s hard. But, you know, I am sticking to - sticking to it.

COOPER: You said on these grounds. I will let you pass on that.


ANDERSON: President Obama telling CNN`s Anderson Cooper that he has kicked the smoking habit at least on White House grounds anyway.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. President Obama not the only one who is admitting that it is a challenge to quit smoking.

Tonight, Gwyneth Paltrow is speaking out about her own battle against the butt. Now, she doesn`t smoke anymore, but she says she dreams about taking it up again one day.

Gwyneth says the last cigarette she smoked was the day she found out she was pregnant with her first child and that she is angry that smoking gives you cancer. She tells "People" magazine, quote, "Once you have children, if you`ve witnessed a death like I did with my father, you just can`t. But I`ve decided that when I`m about 70, I`m going to start smoking again. Why not? I can`t wait!"

Now, a celebrity who may be wishing people didn`t know about his smoking. It`s pot heads for Phelps. You have seen the now-infamous photo of Michael Phelps smoking from a bong. While some fans are upset about his behavior, the Olympic champion has found a whole new group of supporters. Pot smokers are uniting online in Phelps` defense.

Here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): People are always taking pictures of Michael Phelps. But he really caused a splash being photographed smoking a bong. In the time it takes to exhale, Phelps was being parodied smoking during a medal ceremony.

And the iconic Wheaties box was transformed into a "Weedies" T-shirt. There was late-night applause at the mere mention of the deed.

CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O`BRIEN": Taking a huge hit from a bong.


MOOS (on camera): The bong incident seems to have brought the potheads out of the woodwork particularly on the Web. People seem to be high on Phelps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he still a hero? Yes, he is even more of a hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I found out that Michael Phelps smokes pot - which is awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is even cooler that he can blaze and then do all that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just cool to know Superman can get high.

MOOS: Yes. Well, it`s cool to know that Superman may also get charged for pot possession by the county sheriff where the photo was taken.

SHERIFF LEON LOTT, RICHLAND, CO., SC: I just don`t think you can have something like this done and publicize and say, "I`m sorry," and then we`re supposed to forget about it. He broke the law.

MOOS: Or as one YouTuber put it -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to play pay the piper.

MOOS: Or at least pay for the pipe. On Facebook, fans established an, "I don`t care that Michael Phelps smoked a bong" page. Blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to "The Stoned Olympics" by comedian Eddie Izzard.

EDDIE IZZARD, COMEDIAN: They show up in Athens where a joint is lit. And then they run the three feet to the next athlete.

MOOS: Meanwhile, on "The View," Whoopi Goldberg made a concession.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I have smoked weed. I`m sorry. Yes. Yes.

MOOS: And Ashton Kutcher is Twittering that though he hasn`t smoked in quite some time, "I bet Phelps can smoke a whole bowl in one breath - swimmer`s lungs."

Some on the Web were.


MOOS: That Phelps apologized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All sorts of people are incredibly successful and have been known to smoke dope. Deal with it!

MOOS: In Japan, they`re dealing with it all right. A sumo wrestler was arrested for pot possession. He`s the little guy slapping the bigger one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, wow, wow, wow.

MOOS: The pot arrest led to the sumo`s dismissal.

Some try rapping around this guy -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave Michael Phelps alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave him alone!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave Michael Phelps alone!

MOOS: Leave him alone with his air freshener.


ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke, as you can well imagine, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have been smoking with people calling in about the whole Phelps` pot scandal. Lots of different opinions on this one.

ANDERSON: Yes, no kidding. We got a call in to "Showbiz On Call" from Claudia in Canada who says Phelps broke the law and should suffer the consequences.


CLAUDIA, CALLER FROM CANADA: I just think that he should lose his endorsements because then we will just be sending a message about, it is OK for people to use drugs and especially athletes. And we are missing the whole point of being healthy and athletes not using any kind of drugs at all.


ANDERSON: Thank you, Claudia. And we also heard from Shay calling in to "Showbiz On Call" from Alabama who says, hey, it`s no big deal.


SHAY, CALLER FROM ALABAMA: I think that people should leave Michael Phelps alone. I mean, he trains hard all year. If he wanted to let off steam whichever way he needed to, just leave him alone. At least, it is the lesser of two evils. It was only pot.


ANDERSON: We appreciate your call, Shay. Call us at "Showbiz On Call." Let us know what you think about this or anything else that is on your mind.

HAMMER: "Showbiz On Call" phone lines always open. Program us into speed dial - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. That way you can leave us a voicemail. And we can play your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also, your calls to "Showbiz On Call," can now be found online right there on our homepage which is

All right, Brooke. Of course, everybody is also talking about Christian Bale just going off on a crew member on the set of his new movie.

ANDERSON: Yes, he really went ballistic, exploded on the guy.


BALE: Kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass! I want you of the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) set, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!


ANDERSON: Should Christian Bale be forgiven for his profanity-laced rant? And what about Michael Phelps? Should he be forgiven for smoking pot? The great debate is still to come.

HAMMER: Plus, the Jessica Simpson weight debate. For the first time, we`ve got the inside story of how Jessica really feels about all those horrible comments about her weight. And why does this controversy have so many people upset at President Obama? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT separates the fact from the fiction.

ANDERSON: And Snuggie mania hits the "Today" show. Matt Lauer said you would never catch him in a Snuggie. But now, he might have to eat his words. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

HAMMER: Now the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Carnie Wilson to host "The Newlywed Game" on the Game Show Network. Jonas Brothers to host a night of programming on the CW February 10th.)


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson. Hey, did you see this? Katie Couric was on "Live with Regis and Kelly" this morning talking about her job as anchor of the "CBS Evening News."

Now, Katie has taken a lot of criticism, especially when she first started and says she now feels that she settled into the job.

Regis asked her if it was hard at the beginning.


KATIE COURIC, ANCHOR, CBS EVENING NEWS: Nobody really likes to be trashed constantly like on an hourly basis.


COURIC: But, you know, I always try to be sanguine about it and think, you know, it says more about the person who is writing that than it does often about the subject ...

PHILBIN: A great way to look at it.

COURIC: ... about their own issues. So I think it makes me feel better.


ANDERSON: Kelly then went on to accuse Regis of having a crush on Katie. And he said it`s the other way around and brought some pictures from Katie`s birthday party to prove it. Take a look.


PHILBIN: Wait a minute!


PHILBIN: She slips behind my back. I don`t know where she is, what she is doing. What is going on there?

RIPA: What`s happening here.

PHILBIN: And then, finally, the closing picture. Here are my hands. Where are hers?

RIPA: You have just given up.



HAMMER: All right. Did you see this? Snuggie-mania hits the "Today" show. I`m sure by now, you have seen the commercial for the Snuggie - you know, the blanket with sleeves. Everybody crazy about the Snuggie. And the hosts of the "Today" show are no exception.


MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: And even doubters can be convinced. Take a look at this.

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: I would not be caught dead in a Snuggie.

NATALIE MORALES, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: And now, take a look at this.


LAUER: I`m having chest pains even as we speak.

ROKER: But you`ll be warm for eternity.

VIEIRA: We watch this commercial every morning, right? Because it comes on early in the morning on TV. And I used to think, "What a goofy thing." But it is not so goofy.

ROKER: Some nitwit got up in the middle of the night, put his robe on backwards and said, "Look, it`s a Snuggie. I`m making millions, baby!"


HAMMER: Yes. Al Roker is not kidding. The company that makes the Snuggie says it sold four million copies since those commercials started airing last October. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT executive Dave Levin among the purchasers.


HAMMER: Although I think he gave it to his dog, yes. So Brooke, beyond that everybody is talking about Christian Bale who want off on a crew member on the set of his new movie.

ANDERSON: Yes, it`s a water cooler topic, A.J. Bale really went ballistic on this guy. Coming up, we`re asking should Christian Bale be forgiven for his profanity-laced rant. And what about Michael Phelps? Should he be forgiven for smoking pot? The great debate is still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And we`ll also have this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a danger for presidents speaking too much and too off-the-cuff. It can diminish the authority from which they speak.


HAMMER: Coming up, in the "SHOWBIZ Obama Watch," Obama everywhere. The new president has been all over the place. Lots of interviews, chatting it up. But could he actually be overexposed? We`ll look into it.

ANDERSON: Why does the Jessica Simpson weight gain controversy has so many upset at President Obama? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT separates the fact from the fiction.

HAMMER: You can always stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news by subscribing to our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Do that by heading to and clicking on that "sign up for newsletter" link at the bottom of page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.



BALE: Kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass! I want you off the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) set, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Christian Bale`s out-of-control, shocking on-set F-word rant. Michael Phelps caught smoking pot in a picture. Big stars, big scandals.

But tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask - should we just move on? Should we forgive and forget?

Brand-new developments in the Jessica Simpson weight debate. Tonight, the inside story of how Jessica is dealing with being slammed for putting on a few pounds.

Plus, why does the Simpson controversy have so many people upset at President Obama?

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you tonight from Hollywood.

Tonight two big stars, two big scandals.

HAMMER: Right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of "The Dark Knight`s" star Christian Bale`s profanity-filled, caught-on-tape attack, and Michael Phelps` pot smoking photo scandal.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, is it time to just forgive and forget? A surprising brand new twist in Bale`s embarrassing bad behavior. Why so many people are now speaking out in defense of the "Batman" star. Our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are just flooded with your calls defending Bale.

Plus, Michael Phelps` pot smoking photo scandal. We`ve got brand-new details. The Olympic swimming legend may be charged by police. But should he be forgiven, too?

Joining me tonight in New York is Lisa Bloom who is an anchor for "In Session." And also in New York, Ben Widdicombe who is the celebrity editor of ""

All right. Let`s begin with Christian Bale. All this began when the director of photography apparently walked into a scene that Bale was shooting on the set of his new movie and this is what happened next. Roll that, Will.


BALE: You`re unbelievable, man. You`re un-(EXPLETIVE DELETED) believable. The number of times you`re strolling and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) around in the background. I`ve never had a DP behave like this. Don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) understand what it`s like working with actors. That`s what it is.

HURLBUT: No, what it is, is look at the like and making sure that ...

BALE: I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kick your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ass if you don`t shut up for a second, all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christian, Christian - just hold it.

BALE: I`m going to go ... do you want me to go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) trash your lights?


HAMMER: All right. I have a hard time understanding how this is at all excusable. But as horrible as this all sounds, Christian Bale is actually getting a lot of new support. Harry Knowles from the extremely influential "Ain`" movie site actually posted a letter to his readers basically saying Christian is getting a bad rap and we need to forgive and forget.

Lisa, off to you first, do you at all agree with that?

BLOOM: You know, I love people who will suck up to celebrities no matter what they do, no matter how shameful their behavior. Here, we have an out- and-out threat he is going to beat up this crew member. He`s going to trash his lights. I mean, how anybody can see this as defensible is beyond me.

Maybe Christian Bale would look to hang out with Rod Blagojevich. Apparently, they use the same language - the F-word - over and over and over and over again. Maybe they should get together.

HAMMER: Well, he has these other defenders, too. There is a guy named Bruce Franklin. He is an assistant director and an associate producer on the film that Bale was shooting called, "Terminator: Salvation."

Listen to what he told TMZ, quote, "Christian is method actor and was completely immersed in his scene. His reaction was from the heat of the moment."

Ben Widdicombe, forgive and forget?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, CELEBRITY EDITOR, "STYLELIST.COM": You know, I don`t think this is really going to hurt Christian Bale very much. This sort of behavior hurts politicians. But Hollywood loves a bad boy actor.

If you look at three actors who are at the top of their game right now - Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, you know, Robert Downey Jr. They have all had what our grandparents may have referred to as character problems at one time or another. It hasn`t really harmed them.

I think the audience likes a bit of roguishness, a bit of drama in their leading men and I don`t think it will harm his box office one bit.

HAMMER: Yes. It didn`t hurt Mickey Rourke at all in his career, did it? Oh, wait a second. He was kind of missing in action a long time, Ben. Well, no huge surprise - the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have just been flooded. A lot of calls coming in about Christian`s tirade caught on tape.

You`ve got to listen to what Sally from Michigan had to say about it. Because she, for one, is not ready to forgive and forget.


SALLY, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: I just wanted to say that neither Christian Bale, Warner Brothers, or Sony Pictures or anybody, will get a cent out of my pocket to see any of his films. His behavior, despicable. And I would also like to say, as somebody in the film industry, you don`t act like that. People don`t normally act like that.

And it is actually Christian Bale who was rather unprofessional. In the situation like that, you would go to the director, not start screaming your head off.


HAMMER: All right. Well, I have to agree with Sally. And I appreciate your call, Sally. Lisa, she is going to boycott Christian Bale. She`s going to boycott Warner Brothers. But what do you think? Is sally in the majority here who is saying, you know, we should not forgive and forget?

BLOOM: Well, we shouldn`t forgive and forget until he apologizes. I mean, how can we forgive somebody who hasn`t even taken responsibility for what he has done?

HAMMER: Yes. But do you think most people are feeling that way? Because I`m hearing it on all sides now. I think there is a mixed pot out there.

BLOOM: Well, look. If he takes to the microphones or on his Web site says, "I was wrong. I am sorry. I apologize. I realize I created a hostile environment in that workplace. I was completely out of line. I`m going to anger management." Then fine, yes, we`ll forgive and forget. But until that time, if he is just going to be the bully movie star, I`m not forgiving anything.

WIDDICOMBE: Well, you know, his last film made $456 million worldwide in the box office, "The Dark Knight." If he is pulling in those kind of dollars, I think Hollywood is going to back him on this.

HAMMER: All right. But I also don`t think Christian Bale was the primary reason that the film was so successful. He was a component.

BLOOM: Yes, he`s not the only one. He`s part of a team. That`s the whole point. These are team efforts including director of photography and the rest of the crew. They`re part of the team too.

HAMMER: All right. Let`s move on now because we have to talk about Michael Phelps` ongoing pot smoking photo scandal. Now, you have many of his million-dollar sponsors sticking by him. But there is a sheriff in South Carolina saying that charges will be filed against him if his investigation proves that Phelps did, indeed, smoke pot in his county where the picture was taken.

Now, Ben, doesn`t it seem like the law enforcement, at least, is not ready to forgive and forget Phelps right now.

WIDDICOMBE: Well, we have to remember that we`ve just elected a president who admitted not only pot-smoking, but also using cocaine and under-aged drinking while he was in high school.

And so if the feds are going to go after Phelps, they`re going to have to start in an awfully higher place before they get to him.

So you know, we live in a country where one in 100 adults are currently behind bars which is a pretty shameful statistic. And I don`t think that is going to get any better if we start going after national heroes like Michael Phelps.

HAMMER: Yes. But I think our president has passed the statute of limitations for one.

BLOOM: I was going to say that.

HAMMER: I don`t know much, but there you go. I also have to say that the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines flooded about this as well. You have to listen to what Everett from Ohio had to say. Play that.


EVERETT, CALLER FROM OHIO: I believe that he should be charged because everybody should obey the laws regardless of who they are or what they have or don`t have. That`s just how it works. You know right from wrong, so you take the punishment that comes with it.


HAMMER: All right. Thanks for your call, Everett. Now, Lisa, what do you think? Does Phelps need to settle this perhaps legally first before anybody can forgive and forget what he did?

BLOOM: Yes, and he should be treated exactly the same as everybody else. If in that jurisdiction, people would be charged for one incident of pot smoking that was recent enough to fall within the statute of limitations, he should be treated the same as everyone else. I think Americans are squeamish with the idea for charging people for simple marijuana use.

And if you don`t like it for Michael Phelps, we shouldn`t like it for anyone. Let`s be fair across the board. But look, he`s got to take this once if he broke the law. I mean, unfortunately, I love Michael Phelps, but we have to have some fairness in this.

HAMMER: I`m with you. All right. The ladies of "The View" really fired- up about the whole Phelps pot-smoking scandal. Today, co-host Sherri Shepherd said she doesn`t want to see Phelps go to jail, but she does want to see him do something else. Watch Sherri.


SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I believe in grace and forgiveness. But for my children and nieces and nephews, I would love to see Michael Phelps do some PSAs about, you know, the effects of drug use. I don`t want to see him go to jail. He is a good kid.


HAMMER: All right. Not a bad idea, Sherri. But let me get into this for you. I want to show you this comparison. Two now-iconic images of Michael Phelps, one - let`s show him with the gold medal there, one doing the hit from the bong.

Ben, for which one is he on track to be remembered?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, remember, Michael Phelps is going to be competing again in the 2012 Olympics. So you know, America has quite a lot invested in him. They want him to succeed.

I think that we live in an era of celebrity absolution. People like Mel Gibson, Tatum O`Neal, Isaiah Washington have all recently had go on big mea culpa tours.


WIDDICOMBE: And I think they will accept that. So I think we live in an era where people are prepared to forgive people if they are honestly sorry, which I believe they are.

We`ve got to end it there, but we will be tracking it. Lisa Bloom, Ben Widdicombe. Thank you both.

BLOOM: Thank you.

HAMMER: Now, over to you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Here`s what we want to know - "Christian Bale`s Rant: Should he be forgiven? Vote at or E-mail

ANDERSON: A.J., I don`t know if Jessica Simpson will ever forgive the magazines, the Web sites, the people who have been slamming her for putting on a few pounds.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke, the way she has been treated over this whole thing has just been disgusting.

ANDERSON: It really has. And next, we`ve got brand-new developments on the Simpson weight debate. The inside story you haven`t heard about how Jessica is handling all of the attacks. How is she feeling about herself and her body?

ANDERSON: And tonight, why so many people are upset with President Obama. That`s right. The president now caught up in the Jessica Simpson weight debate. We separate fact from fiction and more Obama drama.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a danger for presidents speaking too much and too off-the-cuff. It can diminish the authority from which they speak.


ANDERSON: President Obama has been everywhere - on TV, on magazines. But could making himself so available to media actually backfire? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

HAMMER: Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: "People" magazine: Shannen Doherty returning to "90210" for another episode. David Beckham appears in underwear ads again for Emporio Armani`s spring collection.)


(CAPTION READS: Elton John to close his Las Vegas show "Red Piano" April 22nd after 241 performances.)

ANDERSON: And we will more stories from the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT News Ticker," coming up.

We want to welcome you back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, the Jessica Simpson weight debate and big brand-new developments.

We now have brand new details about what Jessica Simpson is saying about the ruthless headlines over her weight gain and how she is dealing with it.

Also new right now, did President Obama slam Jessica Simpson over her weight gain? Bloggers are batty at Obama, but what did he say that got them so upset?

Joining me tonight in New York is David Caplan, who is a senior editor of "People" magazine. And in Washington, D.C., Abbi Tatton who is an Internet reporter for CNN`s "Situation Room."

David, Abbi, thank you both for being here. And hey, the bloggers and the newspapers have really been extremely cruel, mocking Simpson`s weight gain with headlines like "Jumbo Jessica."

And we haven`t heard much from her. But the upcoming new issue of "People" magazine has details about how she has been dealing. David, what do we know?

DAVID CAPLAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Well, Jessica is sad and hurt - that`s what a source tells "People" about this whole brouhaha. Also, Jessica is also disappointed really by the reaction to this because she is disappointed in the message that it is sending women across the country.

Because a source tells "People" that Jessica overall is pretty happy with her body. So she is upset about that angle, too.

ANDERSON: Yes, maybe wants to send the message, "Accept yourself for who you are. Be happy with yourself and your body."

Well, one headline characterized Jessica Simpson`s weight gain as a weight battle. David, from what "People" has learned in this brand-new report, is Jessica really battling her weight or is she just happy as she is?

CAPLAN: Jessica is happy and happy in love. In fact, Jessica has been very vocal to "People." And you know what? She tells us she does have a, quote, "cheat day" when she does look to eat.

She says, "Listen, I am dating a quarterback. The quarterback now. So it`s not surprising that we have pizza." She said that she loves eating Bluebell Ice Cream. But that`s on her cheating days. And then, overall, she definitely watches her weight. But in no way is this an ongoing battle for her. She is happy with how she is.

ANDERSON: Yes, who doesn`t like to cheat? And you know, if this story couldn`t get more bizarre, many now believe that President Barack Obama slammed Simpson for her weight gain in an interview with Matt Lauer.

What started this was Matt Lauer interviewing Obama before the Super Bowl and holding up a magazine cover to point out that Obama was cut from a family photo to make way for the Simpson story.

Abbi, all over the Internet, people are outraged by what he said. Can you sort this out for us?

ABBI TATTON, INTERNET REPORTER, CNN`S AMERICAN MORNING: Let`s just clear this up once and for all, shall we? President Obama did not call Jessica Simpson fat despite what you might have read on some blogs over the last couple days. It`s strange enough he got drawn into this conversation anyway, but even stranger that we are at this point that we are talking about this.

What happened was NBC News published an online transcript of the interview that contained a mistake, a misquote. What it said was, Matt Lauer: "You got replaced by Jessica Simpson." President Obama responded according to this misquote, "Yes, who`s losing a weight battle, apparently." That word "losing" wasn`t, in fact, in there at all. And the people that actually watched the interview would have seen that.

ANDERSON: Yes. I watched the interview and I knew he didn`t say that. I want to take a good look now at what President Obama really said. Watch.


LAUER: Look what they did - they took you off the cover?


LAUER: They took you out of it.

OBAMA: It`s a little hurtful.

LAUER: You got replaced by Jessica Simpson.

LAUER: Yes, who is in a weight battle, apparently. Yes. Oh, well.


ANDERSON: All right. The president said, "who is in a weight battle." Not, "who is losing a weight battle." Abbi, should President Obama - I don`t know - assemble a task force to mop up this mess on the Internet? And doesn`t he have enough problems on his hands?

TATTON: I`m going to go out on a limb here and say that the White House has probably bigger fish to fry this week than dealing with the Internet rumor. But at this point, it looks like it is being cleared up because news outlets like have reported on this, have reported on the inaccuracy. So at this point, hopefully, the bloggers are sorting it out.

ANDERSON: Yes. And for goodness` sake, he was just reacting to what Matt Lauer said, just reading the headline, not judging her.

David Caplan, from what "People" magazine has learned, has Jessica Simpson put all this behind her? Is she done with it?

CAPLAN: Yes. According to Jessica, she is done with it. She`s happy. She`s in love. And she just wants to focus on touring across the country and her boyfriend who is a big football star which she loves and is very vocal about.

ANDERSON: Yes, she is very happy. And we wish her continued happiness. David Caplan, Abbi Tatton, thank you both. Good to see you.

TATTON: Thank you.

ANDERSON: And you can catch Abbi every night on CNN`s "SITUATION ROOM." And for more on the Jessica Simpson, pick up the new issue of "People" magazine. It is on newsstands, Friday.

HAMMER: Well, just like Jessica Simpson, Angelina Jolie and of course, her boyfriend, Brad Pitt are big-time Hollywood A-listers.

Tonight, in a brand-new interview with Brian Rooney on ABC`s "Nightline," Angelina Jolie is opening up about some very personal things. These are things we haven`t really heard her talk about before, including the surprising revelation that she doesn`t always look to watch the movies she has starred in and whether her beautiful looks have actually hurt her career.


BRIAN ROONEY, HOST, "NIGHTLINE": Has being so good looking ever gotten in the way of a part? Do you ever have to act around your looks?

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I have never - you know, I grew up thinking I was slightly odd-looking and I was, you know - but no, no. I have never think about myself as that way. I think can I morph enough into a character one way or another. Am I -

ROONEY: But you have to get by the casting process too in which - are there sometimes directors who say, "God, I love her but she is too good looking for this"?

JOLIE: That`s very nice. I have never had that. I have never heard that before. I have when I first started acting I did get I was too exotic.

ROONEY: Can you stand to look at your work afterwards?

JOLIE: Sometimes. Sometimes.

ROONEY: Not all the time?

JOLIE: A film or two I haven`t seen. There are some that I have seen - most of them I have seen once. I like the process of doing them more than watching them.

ROONEY: But it makes you a little uncomfortable to watch your own movie?

JOLIE: No. I just don`t really like to watch movies. So I love to watch Brad`s movies. People that I - that I care about or people that I, you know, especially people that I`m friends with, that I know so I can understand.

I want to know the types of stories they`re choosing and things like that. But I don`t intend to watch (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


HAMMER: Oh, doesn`t like to watch movies. Angelina and Brad are both up for acting Oscars. Angelina also says that she still plans to cut back on her acting and maybe even stop for good so she can focus on her family.

ANDERSON: Yes. She`s got a big family.

All right. President Obama has been in just as many Hollywood magazines, on television shows, as Brad and Angelina lately. But is this such a good idea?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a danger for presidents speaking too much and too off-the-cuff. It can diminish the authority from which they speak.


ANDERSON: OK. Could there be a thing as too much Obama? Could all these television interviews, the magazine covers actually have a dramatic negative impact on his presidency? We are investigating this, next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe to appear on special edition Australian stamps. Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark to be inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame.)


HAMMER: Sasha and Malia are no longer Sasha and Malia. Tonight, the company that is selling dolls with the same names as President Obama`s daughters have renamed them. Yes, Ty, Inc. - they are the same folks behind the Beanie Babies - they insist it was a pure coincidence that Marvelous Malia and Sweet Sasha were named that way.

But because Michelle Obama criticized them, they changed them to Mariah and Sydney.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. And now, the SHOWBIZ Obama Watch. Tonight, too much Obama?

You know, so far, the president has not been shy at all about putting himself out there. He has done a bunch of TV interviews. Entertainment magazines have run plenty stories about him and his family.

But tonight, there some that are using the big O-word about Obama, and there, I am talking about over exposure. Could all this press, all this media, his openness to chat actually hurt his presidency?

Here`s CNN`s Carol Costello for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama -

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ever since Barack Obama took the oath ...

OBAMA: To lay the foundation -

COSTELLO: ... he has become, shall we say, ubiquitous. There he is, Sunday, interrupting your Super Bowl party. There he is Tuesday with Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Chris Wallace, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.

MARK MCKINNON, MEDIA CONSULTANT: I think he wants to make sure that he has hit the universe of potential listeners and viewers. I don`t think he doesn`t want to leave any rock unturned in this effort.

COSTELLO: But some like the "Wall Street Journal`s" Peggy Noonan are now saying Obama-mania is reaching the saturation point and is in danger of demystifying and robbing the presidency of its power.

While some say she`s overreaching, they can see her point.

JOHN AVLON, "THEDAILYBEAST.COM": There is a danger for presidents speaking too much and too off-the-cuff. It can diminish the authority from which they speak.

COSTELLO: Perhaps "Us Magazine" is an early sign. Its cover shows Michelle Obama and the kids. Where is the president? Look closely and you can see his arm, but the rest of him has been cropped out in favor of an allegedly chubby Jessica Simpson in her dreadful mom jeans.

That slight aside, others say the president`s star still shines brightly, a good thing since his stimulus plan has lost its luster.

MCKINNON: This could be the most important bill of his presidency. So he`s got to use the capital that he`s got. He`s a very effective communicator. Now, I think it`s actually a smart strategy to get out and hit all the media really hard right now.


HAMMER: He`s more accessible and that`s a good thing. That was CNN`s Carol Costello for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: On Tuesday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Octuplet Mom: Should she sell her story?" Twenty-one percent of you say yes, but 79 percent say no.

HAMMER: And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Thanks for watching. Take care.