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New 9/11 Film Stirs Emotions, Has Family Support; Katie Couric Rumored to be Considered CBS Anchor Chair
Aired April 3, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Will Katie Couric leave "The Today Show"? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the latest developments. I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And George Clooney`s rep tells me how the Oscar-winning star is declaring war on a celebrity-stalking web site. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Hollywood and September 11. Tonight the powerful and emotional reaction to a disturbing new movie about 9/11. The heartache, the painful memories.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two aircraft hit the World Trade Center. The weather`s beautiful.
HAMMER: And the drastic action some movie theaters are already taking to ease the pain. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks is America ready for movies about 9/11?
Also, a drunken Internet nightmare. Tonight the shocking story of a young woman who says she was photographed having sex, saw the pictures on a web site, then, almost killed herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I basically shoved like a knife, box cutter, glass, al into my wrists.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates a startling pornography trend. Sex, lies, and the Internet.
ANDERSON: Hi, there. I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.
I can`t begin to tell you how many people are so upset tonight because of what they saw in movie theaters over the weekend. And I`m talking really, really upset. It wasn`t over a movie they saw but it was actually over a movie trailer. A trailer far film that shows, in real time, what actually happened on United Flight 93 before it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11. That flight, of course, was of the four planes hi-jacked on that terrible day.
Well, several theaters actually pulled the trailer. People complained it was just too disturbing to see. And I have to tell you that when you see it, you`re going to understand exactly why it is so upsetting.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been working all day on this very powerful story. And we`re going to begin our coverage by showing you the trailer so you have a good sense of what all this fuss is about. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to go to Chris and talk about the forecast, which is a very good one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, actually. Conducive to just heading out and enjoying the day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, this is Sandy in the back. Can you call ground and see if we can get some more pillows and blankets?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The meeting last night was great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sure he`s thrilled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, you can now begin boarding. Will all of our first class passengers please make their way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, sir. You just made it, 4D.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, looks like we`ve run into a bit of rush hour traffic this morning. Unfortunately, it`s going to be about a 30-minute delay. I appreciate your patience. We`re currently No. 1 for departure. Flight attendants, prepare for take-off, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to be home with my babies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flight 93. Runway four left clear for take-off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, CNN`s reporting a light civil aircraft just hit the World Trade Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, that`s a lot of smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got another one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got another hijacker?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 175 dropped his transmitter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A possible hijack. Weapons, scramble those fighters in over Manhattan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve increased our cruising altitude to 35,000 feet. And we`re going to turn the fasten seat belt sign off. You are safe to move about the cabin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This aircraft is going down, I`m telling you right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here`s one with juice for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is. There he is right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Off the Hudson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a hijack. He`s going to hit this guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two aircraft hit the World Trade Center? Just left north; the weather was beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a plane headed toward the capital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is wrong out there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May we engage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am on a plane that has been hijacked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, I`ve got F-16 turning towards Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes just hit the World Trade Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do something right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need rules of engagement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we shoot this flight down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do it now, because we know what happens if we just sit here and do nothing.
HAMMER: Joining us live tonight from Mountain View, California, Alice Hoagland. She is -- she lost her son, Mark Bingham, on United Flight 93. Joining us live also from Hollywood, "Newsweek" magazine senior writer Sean Smith, who wrote an article in this week`s issue of "Newsweek" about 9/11 movies and if America is ready to see them. Thank you both for being with me.
ALICE HOAGLAND, SON DIED ON UNITED FLIGHT 93: Thank you for having me.
HAMMER: I`m actually a little shaken up. Again, this is the second time I`m seeing this trailer. I had to turn away at a point.
Alice, I want to start with you. And I`d like to know what your gut reaction was the very first time you saw the trailer for this -- what looks like a very powerful film.
HOAGLAND: My gut reaction was just about the same as yours. It`s a gripping and gut-wrenching experience. It`s an important story though. It`s one that I live with every day of my life. I experienced September 11 a little differently because I viewed it, first of all, through the words of my son, who called me from Flight 93, "Mom, this is Mark Bingham. I just want to tell you I love you. There are three guys on board who -- who have taken over the flight. And they say they have a bomb."
Mark spared me a lot of details. And now I`m going to be able to see them. And I hope America can see them with me.
HAMMER: But seeing that footage as you said, I`m sure, heart wrenching.
HAMMER: And Sean, you have reported extensively on this issue and whether or not it`s too soon for all of this. Does Alice`s reaction reflect those of the other families that you`ve had the opportunity to speak with who have lost loved ones on that flight?
SEAN SMITH, SENIOR WRITER, "NEWSWEEK": Absolutely. You know, one of the most amazing things about this movie is that it has the support of all of the family members. All of them agreed participate and approve of the film being made.
And I do think it allows them to sort of place it in some sort of context. And I think in some cases even give them some sort of closure about it.
HAMMER: And hearing that the families signed off on this helps a bit. But it`s still the visceral reaction that people have been having seeing this. It`s very powerful. And what we did today is we took to the streets to get some reaction to the trailer. And I`d like you to take a look at what some people told us when we showed it to them. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s too soon to be doing a movie like this. I don`t even think the families really know what happened to Flight 93. I don`t think everything`s been disclosed as to what really took place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can see how some people could find it offensive. But I mean, that`s what it`s about. You know what I mean? It`s about 9/11. So they`re going to have to show things about 9/11 in the trailer, obviously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not. No thanks. I`ll never watch this movie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Now, I have to point out while we showed both sides of it there, most of the reaction we got when we were out in the streets showing people this trailer was negative.
Alice, I`m curious if you have any thoughts on how a couple of those people reacted.
HOAGLAND: Well, as a matter of fact we of the Flight 93 families group have been thoroughly briefed on what happened. Not only did we receive personal phone calls from our loved ones. I did from Mark. And several other family members did. And we`ve shared the information that was given in those calls.
We were also allowed to listen to the cockpit voice recording. The FBI ushered us in and sat us all down, and we listened to it at great lengths. So we do have quite a lot of detail. That CVR combined with the information from the flight data recorder tells us a great deal about what happened on Flight 93. There`s also the testimony of the eye witnesses on the ground. So, the families and the world know a great deal about what took place on Flight 93.
And as far as people being offended, we cannot be offended by the truth. And we cannot afford to forget the lessons of September 11. We still have a long way to go to protect ourselves against -- protect ourselves against terrorism. And anything that we can do to keep the issue of September 11 before the eyes of America I am for.
Flight 93 was a beautiful story in all that ugliness. It was the only bit of good news. One of the few pieces of good news that came out of September 11, that a handful of people on board a pitching, yawing aircraft could pull it together, make a decision, take a vote, and then run down a narrow aisle armed with nothing but what they could grab on board the aircraft to fight people that they`d seen butcher people with knives and box cutters. It`s beautiful story of heroism and some degree of success.
I`m going on faith. I haven`t seen the movie yet. But I have a lot of confidence in Paul Greengrass. I know he`ll do a good job with this story and I`ve entrusted him with it. And...
HAMMER: Yes, I know. And just talking about it, I`m sure, all these years later and particularly now with everything that has been going on, it still must be very difficult. And yes, I`m certain that we`re going to see some good lessons coming out of this film. And it`s nice again to hear that you all have signed on it.
Sean, I have to ask you, because the wound does remain very fresh. Just today we all saw that a federal jury found al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty for withholding information that could have been used to prevent the attacks on September 11.
Those 911 calls. The dispatcher`s voices were heard just last week. I had such a tough time just reading about that in the newspaper. It`s hard just hearing in the news. So in terms of the difficulty of seeing this, Sean, what`s your take on what anybody would want to pay to relive this?
SMITH: I think that one of the great things that film can do and what narrative does is helps us place things in context.
I think there was a time when no one thought that anyone would ever want to see a movie about the Holocaust. And yet movies like "Schindler`s List" can have a huge effect on helping us really sort of get some closure and place some context around an event that is still -- may remain fresh and painful for a lot of people. That`s what great art can do.
I don`t -- haven`t seen this film either so I`m not saying it does that. But I think that people who are looking for some sort of way to understand it, to place it some sort of emotional context for themselves, might find this helpful.
HAMMER: So Alice, I want to wrap it up with you, your thoughts on what Sean was saying.
HOAGLAND: I agree with him. It is -- it`s a tough subject. I applaud Mr. Greengrass for taking it on. I hope that it does a good job of depicting the heroism and the strength of those guys aboard Flight 93. I`m so proud of them.
I will see the movie on the 9th of April, and I`ll be holding hands with other family members. And I`m grateful that we`ve had a chance to talk about this.
HAMMER: Alice, I admire your courage, and I appreciate you coming on here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HOAGLAND: I thank you. Thank you.
HAMMER: And I appreciate you coming on with us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and perhaps your ability to go and see this movie with an open heart and open eyes will allow other people to as well.
HOAGLAND: Thank you very much.
HAMMER: Alice Hoagland and Sean Smith. Thank you for joining us tonight.
HOAGLAND: Thank you.
SMITH: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Your thoughts on this right now. Our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Movies about 9/11: is America ready? Vote at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Send us an e-mail at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.
HAMMER: Well, a question that a lot of people are asking today is will Katie Couric be leaving "The Today Show." Coming up next, the gossip queen who says she has known that answer all the time. Cindy Adams going to join me live.
ANDERSON: Also, how George Clooney is fighting back against a celebrity stalking web site. Tonight I go one on one with Clooney`s publicist to find out the extraordinary steps the actor is taking.
Plus we`ve also got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn`t stand up for myself and say no, I`m not going to do this. There`s no way that I could stop because I was so scared of what they would do if I stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: The shocking story of a young woman who was videotaped having sex, saw it online and was so upset by it she nearly took her own life. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the latest on Katie Couric`s network switch in a second, but first to Los Angeles with Brooke. Preset seven, dissolve go.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
Tonight George Clooney is fighting back against a celebrity stalking web site. Now, we first told you about Gawker Stalker a few weeks ago. Spot a star and e-mail the site where they are, and it`s posted online soon after.
Clooney wants celebrities to flood Gawker Stalker with bogus sightings and hopefully make the site useless. This afternoon I caught up with Stan Rosenfield, Clooney`s publicist, who thinks the site could put celebs in danger and rob them of their privacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAN ROSENFIELD, GEORGE CLOONEY`S PUBLICIST: We go to a baseball game, we lose that expectation of privacy. If we walk down the street in the St. Patrick`s Day parade, we lose that expectation of privacy. But if you go into a private restaurant, even though even though it`s a public restaurant that serves the public, and somebody reports that you were there and somebody acts upon that information, it does violate your expectation of privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Stan says the plan seems to be working. He adds that a lot of people using the site are no longer certain if what they see is legit.
HAMMER: Well, certainly one of the most talked about TV stories of the year and tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has some brand new developments. We`ve been hearing reports today that Katie Couric is very close to accepting a big offer from CBS to anchor the "CBS Evening News." And that would mean the end of Couric`s 15-year run at NBC`s "Today Show."
An unofficial announcement -- or an official announcement rather -- could come within a matter of days, maybe even hours. And if and when it does come, it would actually make history, probably leading to the biggest TV shake-up in recent memory.
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": Good to have you back.
KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": Katie Couric, master chairman.
LAUER: Always nice to see you, Katie.
HAMMER (voice-over): On "The Today Show" Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were all smiles as they did their first show together after their spring vacation. But the reunion may be short-lived.
The headlines of the "New York Post" and "Television Week" were screaming what TV insiders have been whispering about for days: that Couric could very well leave "The Today Show" when her contract ends next month to anchor the "CBS Evening News". An announcement say the reports could come this week.
So SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is starting the Katie Couric countdown clock now.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell that TV insiders are saying it`s a done deal. And TV news expert Jeff Alan tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT where these smoke, there`s probably fire.
JEFF ALAN, AUTHOR, "ANCHORING AMERICA": Rumors or not, there`s got to be truth to them because of the fact that they just wouldn`t be out there for no reason at all.
HAMMER: If Couric goes to the "CBS Evening News", she`d be the first- ever permanent female solo anchor of a network evening newscast.
And at New York City`s Matrix Awards honoring powerful women in media, Katie`s cutthroat morning show competitor Diane Sawyer couldn`t help but bid her farewell to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, ABC`S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": If it`s true about Katie, I just want to say congratulations. The more women in strong positions, yes. Yes.
HAMMER: And Katie`s defection would start a ripple effect that would be felt throughout the big three TV networks. NBC would have to scramble to find a replacement for Katie on "Today". One name SHOWBIZ TONIGHT keeps hearing is "The View`s" Meredith Vieira. We talked to her exclusively and boy, was she coy.
MEREDITH VIEIRA, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": Well, I`m just not quite sure where that came from. So you know, I`m very flattered. But I don`t know where -- who was saying that or why they`re saying that or any of that.
HAMMER: What about the affect on ABC, which in "Good Morning America" has the No. 2 morning show?
SAWYER: Yes. Yes.
HAMMER: Well, Diane told us she`d be happy for Katie, but what she didn`t have to tell us is that a Couric-free "Today Show" could be a bonanza for Sawyer`s "Good Morning America", which could have a shot to finally overtake "Today".
ALAN: It gives a complete wedge that "Good Morning America" can use to get in there and try to basically grab some of those "Today Show" loyal viewers, because "The Today Show`s" going to go through a change. Any time there`s a change, the other networks can use it to their advantage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the CBS evening news.
HAMMER: And perhaps the network that has the most at risk in a possible Katie move, CBS. Although the "CBS Evening News" with Bob Schieffer is still the first-place evening news cast, it`s the only one that`s actually gaining viewers. But some analysts say that Couric`s background, which includes soft as well as hard news, could be a detriment to the "CBS Evening News".
ALAN: Katie going to CBS is a good thing for Katie. But I don`t know if it`s such a great thing for CBS.
Let`s say for one minute we have another horrific event like a 9/11 or a natural disaster like Katrina. Would you, as a viewer, turn to Katie Couric to get your information? I don`t know that that many viewers will.
HAMMER: But it`s important that, amid all the Katie Couric rumors, we keep in mind what Regis Philbin said so eloquently when he talked about the rumors today.
REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, ABC`S "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": But it`s not official.
HAMMER: But who knows when that will change? The clock is ticking.
HAMMER: Well, one person who has been way ahead of the curve on this story is the "New York Post" columnist Cindy Adams. She`s been breaking news on this since people started talking about the possibility of Katie actually bailing on "Today".
Cindy, welcome to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
CINDY ADAMS, COLUMNIST, "TALKING POST": Thank you, A.J.
HAMMER: I think I know where you stand on whether or not this is going to happen. I`d like to read a quote from your column that you put out on Friday.
HAMMER: You said, quote, "I`m telling you it`s a done deal. A go. She`s gone. Done. G-O-N-E. Bye-bye Miss American Pie. Finito. Outta there. History. You`ll hear about it next month." Did I do a pretty good job of representing your words?
ADAMS: This is now next month.
HAMMER: OK, so here we are. It`s April. Her contract is up at the end of May. Is it a done deal?
ADAMS: Oh, honey it`s been a done deal long ago. She`s been down this road a long time. She`s tired. She`s been doing this basically since the Stone Age, getting up at 3 a.m. in the morning. She doesn`t have a life. She wants a guy. She wants a life. She wants a marriage. She wants romance. She wants dinner and the theater like anyone else.
And you know what happens, A.J.? You look in the mirror. And you look down the road. And you say, so where am I going to be five years from now?
The confluence of events is startling. The stars are lined up in that there is an anchor available. She`s up for her contract. And there`s an anchor chair available. It doesn`t happen. Of course she was going to do it. I knew this months ago.
HAMMER: OK. So when will this, in fact, happen, at the end of her contract at the end of May?
ADAMS: Yes, but they`re going to finally announce it, because mostly I`ve embarrassed them to say enough already with the stupidity. We all know. We`re all schlepping ourselves waiting to hear this. I know it. I`ve told you. Say something. So it`s already starting to dribble out this month.
HAMMER: Well you`ve given us some good insight into why it should happen. Do you think it`s actually a good deal for Katie? Do you think it should happen?
ADAMS: Oh, of course it`s a good deal for Katie. She`s going to get enormous money. She`s going to sleep. She can have a little bit of a romance. She can have a one shot in the chair that Connie Chung didn`t do well, that Barbara Walters was not successful with. It hasn`t happened before. She`s going to forge a new trail.
HAMMER: All right. We`ll be following this story very closely, Cindy. And you said it`s definitely going to happen. I will take your word for it. We have so much more that we want to talk to you about tonight.
You`re friends with Sharon Stone I know. And her movie, "Basic Instinct 2", opened up. Not a stellar opening this weekend. I want to ask you for your insight on that.
You also came to the defense of Lindsay Lohan in your column last week, which I found very interesting. I want to ask you about that.
But you have a great book also in stores that we`re going to talk about in just a few moments. "Living a Dog`s life", it`s a memoir and, among other things, you talk about how your two dogs, your Yorkies, have helped you through the ups and downs of your life. So stick around and we`ll get back to you in a few minutes.
ADAMS: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Up next. Star Jones returns to "The View" to clear up some startling rumors, and she has some interesting gifts for her co-hosts.
HAMMER: Also, a Chris Farley controversy. Tonight why some are upset about a new ad involving the comedian more than eight years after his death. That`s coming up.
We`ve also got this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I basically shoved like a knife, box cutter, glass, all into my wrists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A drunken Internet nightmare. Tonight the shocking story of a young woman who says she was photographed having sex, saw the pictures on a web site, then almost killed herself. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates a startling pornography trend. Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live on Monday night with Alan Morris (ph). Stay tuned. Master, roll it to black.
ANDERSON: Star Jones-Reynolds is back on the view in her first appearance since having breast implant surgery. She was in a good mood today, joking around. Star even started of today`s show wearing a padded bra and gave falsies as gifts to her talk show co-hosts. You see her there.
And while there were a lot of laughs, she also got serious when talking about rumors that she nearly died after the surgery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAR JONES-REYNOLDS, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": There`s no question that I did lose a little more blood than the doctors were comfortable or with. It`s out-patient surgery. So those of you who know when you get a little lift, it`s out-patient surgery.
But I lost a little more blood than the doctors were comfortable with. And because of my anemia they decided to give me a transfusion. So they moved me from out-patient to the hospital. I was awake throughout the transfusion. And literal literally by 8:30 the next morning, I was having bacon and eggs, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Star said she decided to get the breast plants after her recent 150-pound weight loss.
HAMMER: Coming up, I`ve got more with the queen of celebrity gossip, Cindy Adams, live. She`s going to dish some dirt about herself and the unique way that she`s gotten through some very tough times. That`s still to come.
ANDERSON: Also a Chris Farley controversy more than eight years after the "Saturday Night Live" comedian`s tragic death. Why some are upset about a new ad campaign that uses his image.
Plus, we`ve also have this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn`t stand up for myself and say you know what? No, I`m not going to do this. There`s no way that I could stop because so I was scared what they would do if I stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: The shocking story of a young woman who was videotaped having sex, saw it online and was so ashamed of it, she nearly took her own life. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates. And we will be right back.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Well, coming up, Cindy Adams returns to our set. Now, anybody who, like myself, is a parent of a dog knows that your pet can help get you through some pretty tough times. Cindy Adams knows about that, and she wrote about it in this book, which is "Living a Dog`s Life." Cindy will drop by once again on our set to tell us all about it in just a couple of minutes.
ANDERSON: They are man and woman`s best friend, A.J.
And also, A.J., for the first time since Chris Farley`s death eight years ago, his family is allowing his image to be used commercially. But some people are saying this usage is in poor taste. We will hear from Chris Farley`s brother, coming up.
HAMMER: But first tonight, Brooke, college kids getting drunk and doing questionable things at parties isn`t really anything new, but in the Internet age, it`s taken on a whole new danger, as some students are learning the hard way.
Here`s CNN`s Allan Chernoff with a "Showbiz Special Report."
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): College frat parties, for many, they were the good old days. But for this woman whom we`ll call Jill, a frat party that was supposed to be a good time turned into what she says was a nightmare.
Three and a half years ago, Jill was 18 years old when her boyfriend invited her to a party promoting a pornographic Web site.
JILL: We all thought it would be a good time watching people do stupid things.
CHERNOFF: After heavy drinking, some women began exposing themselves in front of men with video cameras.
JILL: There were guys walking around with cameras trying to get girls to do things, trying to get them to lift their shirts or kiss their friend. It was really creepy, really creepy.
CHERNOFF: Jill says she and a female acquaintance entered a room and suddenly found the camera and all eyes trained on them.
JILL: I was just standing there and some girl started undressing me. And then it was the camera guy saying, "Oh, do this, do that."
CHERNOFF: Jill says she was drunk and that pressure from the crowd and the cameraman pushed her to do things she normally would never have done.
JILL: I couldn`t stand up for myself and say, "You know what? No, I`m not going to do this." There is no way that I could stop because I was so scared of what they would do if I stopped.
CHERNOFF: The cameraman worked for a Web site called CollegeFfests.com. The site packed with pornographic party videos. We`ll call it CFF.
Soon the video was on the Internet, available to anyone willing to pay CFF`s $30-a-month membership fee. The night of the party, when Jill was drunk, she signed a document granting permission to appear in the video.
Jill says she came here to the company`s Los Angeles office begging CFF to take the video off the Web but had no success. CFF, owned by a private pornography production company, G&M Global Enterprises, maintains it has no knowledge of any such request.
With the video online, Jill said she wanted to escape, just fly away. She dropped out of college and moved 200 miles away, but Jill couldn`t escape her shame. A year after the party, she tried to kill herself.
JILL: I basically shoved, like, a knife, box-cutter, glass, all into my wrists. Drank a glass of bleach. There is blood everywhere, all over my clothes, all over my face and I wanted to clean up. So I started cleaning up, blood dripping everywhere, and then I called my neighbor to see if he would help me clean up. And then he called the police.
CHERNOFF: Micah Coy is the host and lead cameraman of CFF.
(on camera): This woman appeared on your Web site having sex. She tried to kill herself. That`s how bad she felt after all of this. She felt totally taken advantage of. She regretted everything.
MICAH COY, INTERNET PHOTOGRAPHER: To some degree, she sounds mentally unstable. I mean, you know, there are kids out there that, you know, have a bad day at school or something and then try to commit suicide.
CHERNOFF (voice-over): Coy claims he and his cameraman did not pressure Jill and never pressured women in their videos.
COY: No one is forcing anyone in any situations. It`s entirely up to the person, at their discretion.
CHERNOFF: And, Coy argues, there is no undue pressure from men at the parties.
COY: Serious problems arise when you have two people naked and a bunch people drunk around them and you have everyone`s emotions are going. You`ve got a lot of hormones flying around. It can easily turn into a mob mentality, and that was something I never wanted to have happen.
CHERNOFF (on camera): But your site is full of that. It is full of people egging them on, all of that.
COY: There`s a finesse about it, I guess.
CHERNOFF (voice-over): What CFF finesse is, is it`s legal liability. Coy says a sign is posted at an entrance to all parties, giving notice cameramen will be shooting and those who appear on camera must sign waivers, though neither Coy nor GMN Enterprises would show CNN the form.
(on-camera): Anyone who has sex on camera or exposes themselves on camera, right away afterwards you check their I.D., you have them sign a consent?
COY: Of course.
CHERNOFF: What if somebody is passed out?
COY: We don`t film people that are passed out.
CHERNOFF (voice over): But that appears to be the case in this CFF video. Coy says the woman is an actress, but he refused to give us her name or any contact information to verify his claim. On its Web site, CFF advertises fraternities wanted, urging frats to invite CFF to film their parties. So Coy maintains he merely records what naturally happens at college.
(on-camera): So in a way do you see yourself as a person making a documentary?
COY: Indeed, definitely.
CHERNOFF: Like National Geographic?
CHERNOFF: Except instead of animals, college students.
COY: People, yes.
CHERNOFF (voice over): Believe it or not, CFF is not alone on the web. A quick search finds thousands of similar sites, including Drunk University and Dead Drunk Girls.
As for Jill, now 22, she`s much smarter about life in the Internet age. Anyone, not just a professional pornography like Micah Coy, can snap a picture with a camera, especially those contained in cell phones, and post it on the web. That means letting loose at a private party can easily become a public embarrassment, a mistake to regret forever.
HAMMER: That was CNN`s Allan Chernoff for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Now, G&M Global Enterprises says it has stopped production of CFF videos, but the pornographic Web site remains active and is still accepting paying customers.
As for Jill`s video, we asked CFF why they haven`t taken it off the Internet, and they denied ever getting her request and claim that they will take it down when they do get that request. Jill says she hesitates doing that for fear of revealing her identity.
ANDERSON: More than eight years after his death, comedian Chris Farley is back in the spotlight on a billboard in Los Angeles. For the first time since his death, Farley`s family has allowed his image to be used commercially in ads for Prometa, a drug and alcohol treatment program.
Farley was just 33 when he died of a drug overdose, and his family started the Chris Farley Foundation to raise awareness about addiction and treatment. Prometa paid the foundation $25,000 to use Farley`s image. Some critics are saying the campaign is in poor taste. Chris Farley`s brother defended it on the "Today" show this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FARLEY, CHRIS FARLEY`S BROTHER: We`ve turned down so many offers for, you know, bobble heads, and ring tones, for three, four, five times that. I mean, it`s really not about that. It`s not a lot comparatively.
And again, it`s going right back to doing what the foundation`s been doing for six or seven years. And that`s helping people, you know, get better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Farley`s image will appear in a series of billboards in Los Angeles. The first one is up now on Sunset Boulevard.
HAMMER: Well, in its first weekend in theaters, the "Basic Instinct" sequel that was 14 years in the making sank like, well, a "Stone." And it could be on the way to being a bomb the size of "Ishtar."
"Basic Instinct 2" made only $3.2 million in ticket sales over the weekend. That is truly a lackluster showing, especially when you consider the fact that Sharon Stone received a reported $14 million to reprise her role as Catherine Tramell. The film barely squeaked into the top 10. It was just ahead of "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector."
Now, for the sake of comparison, "Basic Instinct 2" made $3.2 million, as I mentioned. The weekend`s number-one movie, the animated sequel "Ice Age: The Meltdown," made about $68 million.
ANDERSON: OK. Earlier we reported that the "United 93" movie trailer has already been pulled from some theaters. Some say a film about the 9/11 hijacking is just too much, too soon.
Now we want to hear from you. We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this: Movies about 9/11: Is America ready?
Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight. And write us, showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails are coming up a bit later.
HAMMER: Well, if you want the good gossip, where do you go? Cindy Adams. That`s right. She gets all the exclusive dirt, but it hasn`t been all velvet ropes and star parties for Cindy. Cindy Adams joins us live, next, in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: Plus, Tom and Katie get ready for their first baby, which is due any minute now. We`ll tell you how Tom Cruise is making sure he`ll be ready, coming up.
ANNOUNCER: What`s that, more trouble for Russell Crowe? Details after the break.
ANNOUNCER: Here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we cannot get enough of Cindy Adams, and A.J. has us covered.
HAMMER: She`s back with us. And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am A.J. Hammer in New York. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.
So gossip columnist Cindy Adams has had over 500 page-one exclusives. That`s more than any other columnist in the country. She`s also a "New York Times" best-selling author. And she`s now out with a new memoir, "Living a Dog`s Life." The book is a tribute to Cindy`s two Yorkshire terriers and how they got her through some of her darkest days.
Cindy Adams back on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT set for another sit-down.
CINDY ADAMS, GOSSIP COLUMNIST: Thank you. Thank you.
HAMMER: Thank you for being with us. It truly is a book about how your Yorkies helped you through some tough times after your husband, comedian Joey Adams, died. They were there for you.
ADAMS: The book is called "Living a Dog`s Life" because I am, in fact, living a dog`s life. I do what they want. You know, backstage we were just now talking about dogs. My dogs do everything. It was snowing the other day, two weeks ago, and I had an appointment. So did they. They had a playdate. They got the car, A.J. I had to walk.
HAMMER: You put them in the back of your limo or your car service?
ADAMS: Absolutely. That`s exactly what happened.
HAMMER: That`s terrific.
ADAMS: And they have furs from Dennis Basso, and they have jewelry from Judith Ripka. They live very well. But that`s what you have a dog for, to love them.
HAMMER: And to truly help you through some tough times, as you mentioned. And I think that is something that everybody will relate to. I know I am the parent of a dog, as I always shamefully say, a little bit.
And when things are rough, he`s always there. And that is something that people will definitely connect with.
ADAMS: This is the only man that shares my bed at the moment, this little Jazzy Jr. And he`s sufficient for me. He cuddles me, and he`s always there when I want him. And he doesn`t tell me I look fat or I got a zit on my face. He helped me through some of the toughest times when I had nobody to cry to, when I had nobody to love.
HAMMER: And among that, when your husband, Joey Adams, passed away.
ADAMS: Yes, my husband and my mother were both the same age. They both left me within three months. I had nobody else. I have no children. I have no brothers and sisters. I have no sibling, no cousins. That`s it. So if it was not for the dogs, I probably wouldn`t have made it. You know, even a gossip columnist on the "Post" has a heart.
HAMMER: I believe that, Cindy, as you sit and breathe sitting next to me. OK, so you mentioned the fact that they get the car, that they have the playdates, that they have jewelry. These are truly pampered pooches. I mean, my dog, he`s got a great bed. He eats good food. But it sounds...
ADAMS: What kind of a mutt do you have?
HAMMER: He`s a chocolate lab-pit, and he is 90 pounds of love, Cindy Adams.
ADAMS: Mine, I have...
HAMMER: He`s the kind of a dog that, when your little Yorkies see him walking by, they`re yipping and yapping at him like they think they can take them.
ADAMS: Oh, my dog would be an hors d`oeuvre for your dogs. I have more hair under my arm that my entire dog has.
HAMMER: Give me another item that you pamper them with, though. I know they have some very extravagant things going on in their life.
ADAMS: Well, they eat off porcelain. They have food that is sent out from Le Cirque. I went to see the duchess of York one day, and she was spooning up some chopped runny egg (ph) and glopping it down here. And we were talking.
And she was fawning all over me. And then I went home, and my dogs weren`t talking to me, because I had left them alone. And so I cuddled them and hugged them. And they have 9 1/2 rooms of their own to run around in.
HAMMER: Oh, just 9 1/2. And shame on you for leaving them to hang out with the duchess of York, Cindy Adams. I can`t believe that.
OK, I do want to ask you, you know, nobody travels in the circles that you or your dogs apparently do.
HAMMER: And all of the people that you write about in your columns are inevitably about to make the news or have been making the news. Somebody you wrote about last week, Lindsay Lohan, who certainly is no stranger to the tabloid media attention, and I want to read something that you said about her coming to her defense.
You said, "I wish to say a nice word for Lindsay Lohan. Mind you, there is no need for me to do this. We`re not close. Forget what is said of bulimia, drugs and late-night lifestyle. Meryl Streep, who`s made a prairie home companion with her, actually said Lindsay`s so sweet she wants to mother her. I guess, me, too."
Those are nice words indeed. As I said, she`s, you know, been a subject of the tabloids, a target for a long time. Do you think she`s been treated unfairly?
ADAMS: No, I don`t think she`s been treated unfairly, and I think she`s probably responsible for a lot of it. But inside this little girl is a very nice one, terribly nice.
She`s now wearing a red rag around her wrist, you know, Kabbalah. And I said, "What are you doing that for?" She says, "I don`t know, but I have to find something. I`m always nervous. I`m always scared. I`m always frightened. You need to find some peace somewhere."
It`s very tough out there. It`s decadence. Everybody`s scared in Hollywood. Everybody is terrified they`re going to get a zit or they`re going to gain five pounds. There`s a lot of stress.
And Bill Maher once said, when he knew I had written a book about dogs, he said it`s nice to know Cindy Adams loves dogs, because she sure doesn`t love people. Well, but the truth is, I like Lindsay Lohan very much.
HAMMER: And you mentioned the need to lose five pounds and the fact that she battled with bulimia. And this is such a tough thing that we see time after time in Hollywood. You`ve written about it, you know, whether it be Nicole Ritchie or Mary Kate Olsen dealing with these body image issues.
Is it worse now than you`ve ever seen it, in all the time you`ve been covering stars?
ADAMS: I think all of Hollywood is worse now than I`ve ever seen. You know, A.J., art imitates life. And today you can see on screen what I never saw in private on my husband. We have gone too far.
Everything is a four-letter word. Everything is a 12-letter word. We are seeing things I went to a Broadway show, and there were the guys naked on stage. Why?
So everything is harder. Everything is more frightening. It`s capsule comedy. It`s instant rice. It`s quick-fix glue. Everything is fast, hurried; there`s no time for any proprieties.
HAMMER: Well, I have just about 30 seconds, speaking of no time, but I`m curious what the most shocking thing in Hollywood for you is right now.
ADAMS: Well, looking at myself on a very close, tight shot.
HAMMER: Guys, back off! Cindy doesn`t want -- she wants the wide shot.
HAMMER: Cindy Adams, it`s a pleasure to have you here. Thank you very much.
ADAMS: Thank you.
HAMMER: The book is called "Living a Dog`s Life," and you will find it in stores now.
ANDERSON: Cindy looks great on that tight show.
OK, it`s time now for tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
Katie Holmes is about to give birth any minute now, and Tom Cruise isn`t taking any chances. Cruise was on a TV show in Germany and said he had a private plane and two pilots standing by in case she went into labor. Cruise also told a newspaper in Germany that he and Holmes are planning to get married this summer and that they have a name picked out for the baby, but he wouldn`t say what it is.
Russell Crowe is performing shows in New Zealand with his band, and he is lighting up trouble, literally. While on stage with his new band, the Ordinary Fear of God, Crowe reportedly smoked cigarettes on stage. Now, the country bans smoking in public venues. Crowe doesn`t face any legal action, but the venues could be fined.
Madonna says she`s going to turn the world into one big dance floor. Today, Madonna announced dates for her world tour this summer. The "Confessions" tour opens May 21st in Los Angeles and will include stops in major U.S. cities, Canada, Europe and Japan.
And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines."
HAMMER: All right, so how many times, Brooke, have you been standing in the line at a grocery store when there`s some idiot in front of you just yakking away on his cell phone, calling somebody just to say "Hey, I`m stand in line at the grocery store"?
ANDERSON: Idiot is a harsh word, A.J. It`s irritating, for sure, but I`ve got to ask you: Have you ever been one of those annoying people?
HAMMER: No, I won`t do it. When people started talking on cell phones when they first were proliferating, I would hide. I would stay -- I wouldn`t walk down the street even using it because I was so embarrassed.
ANDERSON: It`s all about volume level. Do it quietly, if you have to do it in public places. And tonight, we can actually speak scientifically about all of this, thanks to a new AP-AOL-Pew survey. Check this out, A.J.
About nine out of 10 people say they come across people using their cell phones in an annoying way, but only 8 percent acknowledge that the way they themselves use cell phones is sometimes rude. So it must just be everybody else, right?
HAMMER: Yes. And check out this part of survey: More than two- thirds said that it would be hard to give up their cell phone. About a quarter said they can`t imagine life without their cell phone. For me, it comes down to be aware of what`s going on around you. Do not disappear into the other vortex that is at the other end of your cell phone. There is still life happening around you, particularly when you`re living in a city like you and I do, where you have to deal with that.
ANDERSON: Have respect for those around you. That`s right, A.J.
OK, there is still time for you to vote in the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Movies about 9/11: Is America ready? Vote at CNN.com/showbiztonight. Send us e-mail, showbiztonight@CNN.com. We will read some of your thoughts live, next.
ANDERSON: Throughout the show, we have been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Movies about 9/11: Is America ready?
The vote so far: 35 percent of you say yes; 65 percent of you say no.
Here are some of the e-mails we`ve received. Laurie from Florida writes, "The movie about 9/11 is the most blatant exploitation. I will never go to the movie to support it, and I hope no one does."
Stacey from Ohio says, "If the families have agreed to this project and it`s some type of healing process for them, we should be supportive."
Jonathan from Tennessee writes, "Art imitates life. Isn`t that how the saying goes? We as a country need to know what it was like on that day."
We appreciate your e-mails. And you can keep voting, CNN.com/showbiztonight.
HAMMER: The upside of it, Brooke, no matter how you feel about it, you have to make a conscious choice to go out and see the movie. So if you`re not ready, you don`t have to see it yet.
ANDERSON: That`s right. And some think it is a story of heroism, as the mother of a victim told us earlier in the show.
HAMMER: And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.