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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

George Clooney Draws Attention to Sudan; Maury Povich Hit with Harassment Lawsuit; Tony Snow as Rock `n` Roll Wannabe?; "CSI" Star Pens Book for Young Men

Aired April 27, 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: The video the new White House press secretary may not want you to see. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And the decision in a major lawsuit involving Sharon Stone`s son. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Clooney`s crusade. George Clooney`s dramatic and passionate mission to stop unthinkable murder, mayhem, and more.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR/ACTIVIST: What we cannot do is turn our heads and look away.

HAMMER: Tonight, Clooney pulling no punches.

CLOONEY: There is only right or wrong.

HAMMER: And why he won`t let anything get in his way.

Also, they call it cougar hunting. Older women with younger men, looking for some sex in the city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And speaking of...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

HAMMER: From the biggest stars to the woman on the street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to recapture our youth. We want to make sure that we`re not getting old.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals why so many older women are on the prowl for younger men as we go cougar hunting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

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

Brooke, George Clooney is trying to do something even the most powerful nations have not been able to do: put an end to something so horrible, so atrocious it just boggles the mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J., and it`s happening half a world away which is where Clooney went himself, so all of us would pay attention. So all of us would know about killings and atrocities happening on such a large scale, it`s enough to make you sick.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas is with me live here in Hollywood with this story. Sibila, George Clooney knows how to demand attention, doesn`t he?

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He sure does. When superstar George Clooney calls you know the cameras will be there. And today Clooney went in front of those cameras to talk about an area of the world he thinks has been forgotten.

He took his own cameras to this place that has been seen some 400,000 people killed while no one seemed to care. It`s a documentary shot in a place so dangerous it nearly cost Clooney his life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLOONEY: What we cannot do is turn our heads and look away and hope that this will somehow disappear.

VARGAS (voice-over): George Clooney in Washington today to bring attention to the human atrocities, the genocide that is happening in the Africa nation of the Sudan.

CLOONEY: We`re standing here on the border of Chad and Darfur. A lot of bad things are happening over here right now.

VARGAS: These are images from Clooney`s camera, footage taken last week on Clooney`s life-threatening trip to the Sudanese area of Darfur with his father.

Sudan is one of the largest country in Africa, rich in war, rife with ethnic conflict. The region of Darfur, an area the size of California, is a place where even the basics for human dignity are absent. No food, no water, no shelter. A place where families have been slaughtered, women and children raped.

CLOONEY: It is the first genocide of the 21st Century.

VARGAS: Clooney gave SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and other media these images that show people on the brink of existence.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: There have been times where the international community has been surprised about what is taking place. And can excuse itself for an action by saying, "We didn`t know." This is not one of those circumstances. This is being filmed. It`s being documented.

VARGAS: Senator Barack Obama is working with Clooney to get support from the international community. He says nations have to wake up and can no longer wash their hands of peacekeeping in Africa.

OBAMA: The notion that we are going to stand by in the face of this is unacceptable.

CLOONEY: Killing of innocent people on a daily basis in this sort of mass scale is unacceptable.

I was late to the game in Africa in a lot of ways. I was caught up in the last couple of years. And I just tried to use the credit card that you get for being famous in the right instances whenever you can.

VARGAS: Clooney`s not the only celebrity to use his star power for a good cause. Further south, in Namibia, Angelina Jolie emerged from her secluded hiding spot yesterday to bring attention to children`s education.

She`s a spokesperson for Global Education Week, a plan aimed at giving 100 million kids in poor countries the chance to go to school. She spoke with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s A.J. Hammer via telephone, saying the issue of helping children is personal for her. Her two adopted kids, Maddox and Zahara, come from developing countries.

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS/U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: On a personal note, in my daughter is from Ethiopia and that`s a country within the last decade, the amount of children going to school has doubled, and they`ve worked a lot.

With that being said, six million children are still out of school every year in that country alone. When I see my daughter, and I see her learning things now and getting ready to start to expand her mind and get ready for school, knowing that she`s a really bright kid and she would have no chance for that.

VARGAS: Two major celebrities known around the world helping a corner of the world often forgotten.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: In Darfur a young woman asked George Clooney, "When will you come back? When will you stop this?"

He said, "Soon. We`ll be there soon."

Clooney said she laughed and replied, "That`s what you always say."

Well, a number of rallies will be held this Sunday around the country, and George Clooney will be attending the one in Washington. A.J., using his star power to change the world. It doesn`t get any better than that.

HAMMER: It`s so good to see. And we certainly have our own problems here in this country. But it is easy for us to take for granted how bad, I mean, how truly awful things are around the world.

VARGAS: Yes. It`s frightening.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas. Thanks so much for that report.

ANDERSON: Angelina, as you heard, has been very vocal about her public mission in Africa. But now the pregnant actress is opening up about her most private endeavor, the birth of her child with Brad Pitt. The actress spoke about it with "The Today Show`s" Ann Curry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN CURRY, NEWS READER, "THE TODAY SHOW": How do you feel about the birthing part? Are you good? Are you ready?

JOLIE: Yes, I`m quite, you know, we`re just hoping it doesn`t happen when we`re -- we don`t know where it`s going to happen or where we`re going to be. So we`ll see.

CURRY: Yes? Well, you have a doctor nearby? I don`t mean to be too prying. But you know, I`m a little...

JOLIE: We`ve been smart about that. And we`re as prepared as, you know, things will be as they will be. You know? So I know. I`m ready for anything.

CURRY: Yes. Do you know if it`s a boy or girl?

JOLIE: Yes.

CURRY: Would you like to keep that to yourself?

JOLIE: Yes.

CURRY: Do you want to share that with the American public?

JOLIE: I`d like to keep it to myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: No surprise there. Angelina, pictured here in "People" magazine, will not reveal exactly how far along she is in the pregnancy, but she told Ann Curry she`s not quite eight months pregnant.

HAMMER: On tomorrow`s "Maury", "I have a shocking sexy truth that could shock my family." I`m not kidding. That`s actually the real listing for tomorrow`s Maury Povich show.

I`m thinking they may want to rethink it. That`s because of a bombshell sex suit filed against talk show host Maury Povich. But he`s not taking it lying down, as you might expect.

Let`s get the latest on this from Harvey Levin. He`s the managing editor of entertainment news web site TMZ.com. He joins us live from Glendale.

So let me set this up here, Harvey. A producer on Maury`s show filed this $100 million sexual harassment lawsuit against Maury and other members of his staff. What exactly is she claiming here?

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, basically everything. I mean, she is saying basically that this was like "Animal House" in the production studio, that she was exposed to pornography, forced to watch it, forced to expose part of herself and that it was a hostile working environment. And ultimately, she says it was caused by an alleged affair that Maury Povich was having with one of the members of the staff. It is truly a tawdry claim.

HAMMER: These are some nasty charges. And sometimes that would send a star into hiding. But Maury faced the press yesterday in Washington. He`s not ducking the press in any way.

And he released a statement, basically said, "Because this matter is in litigation, the attorneys have advised me not to comment any further on it. We will defend this lawsuit vigorously, and that`s all I`m going to say." Pretty simple.

Well, the accuser`s lawyer says, notice he didn`t deny the affair allegation, which it seems to me, of course, he`s not going to do that. But shouldn`t Maury`s lack of denial be considered suspect in any way?

LEVIN: You know, lawyers absolutely would tell him do not start discussing this thing. I mean, it is just a fool`s path to go down. And he probably did the right thing. And I`m sure he was advised that way.

You know, I have to tell you, I mean, it`s kind of interesting that his lawyer, the lawyer is saying he didn`t deny it. What Maury Povich did do with Connie Chung at this restaurant with her, was he was basically all over her. They were touching. They seemed loving together. And they were trying to telegraph something that probably meant a lot more than a denial. So I mean, if you look at the body language of Connie and Maury, it really did say something.

HAMMER: It does seem like reckless games, though, when a lawyer says he didn`t deny it so it must mean something. I don`t know. That`s just where I sit on that. There are...

LEVIN: That`s what the lawyer says. But again, I`m telling you, any decent lawyer would tell him to shut up.

HAMMER: Right, right. Well, certainly there are those who would say that if this woman felt so threatened she should have quit earlier than she did. What exactly is her burden of proof here?

LEVIN: Well, she has to convince a jury, ultimately, that this was a hostile work environment and indeed almost unbearable. I mean, she was responsible for booking guests on the show and managing these guests when they were there, which is a really hard job. And the kind of people who come in and out of that studio, it kind of lends itself to kind of, you know, it may not be kind of a PTA type attitude, A.J.

HAMMER: Yes. It is, indeed, the rough and tumble world of daytime television. Harvey Levin from TMZ.com, thanks for joining us live tonight.

ANDERSON: Coming up, he stars on one of TV`s most popular shows, "CSI". So why did some publishers slam the door in Hill Harper`s face when he wanted to write a book? The controversy next in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, here`s the new White House press secretary. We`re going to tell you why Tony Snow is literally tooting his own horn. It`s video that he may not want you to see.

Also ahead...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to recapture our youth. We want to make sure that we`re not getting old.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It`s not just Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher anymore. We`re going to take a closer look at the so-called cougar hunt that has spread well beyond Hollywood. That`s coming up.

But first, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz`." In J.K. Rowling`s mega-selling Harry Potter book series, what is the name of Ron Weasley`s pet rat? Is it Snowy, Scabbers, Dobby, or Hedwig? We`ll be right back with your answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, A.J. speaks with a "CSI" star. But first, here`s Brooke. Dissolve, go.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Bret.

So again, tonight`s "`Entertainment Weekly Great American Pop Culture Quiz`." In J.K. Rowling`s mega-selling Harry Potter book series, what is the name of Ron Weasley`s pet rat? Snowy, Scabbers, Dobby, or Hedwig? The answer is "B," Scabbers.

HAMMER: Hello, Scabbers.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We`re TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer.

It is time now for the story today that made us say, "That`s ridiculous!" And I assure you this one is a doozey. Check it out.

A 53-year-old California woman is suing for $1.2 million because she was spanked in front of her co-workers. I am not making this up.

The whole thing was part of what her boss called a camaraderie building exercise. Employees were pitted against each other. The winners threw pies at the losers, made them wear diapers and spanked them.

It is one thing to get in trouble with your boss, but getting spanked at work, that`s ridiculous!

Have you ever seen "The Office"? Have you watched "The Office"? Have you seen Carell`s show?

ANDERSON: I do.

HAMMER: Yes. This is something that you would expect to see on that program, not actually taking place in a place of business.

ANDERSON: Yes. Not in real life. Now, the company did say, A.J., that it wasn`t discriminatory with their spankings, that both female and male workers received them.

HAMMER: Oh, so it was an equal opportunity spanking.

ANDERSON: Equal opportunity spankings. But I do want to add, they ceased this practice back in 2004 when the lawsuit was filed and after another woman said she`d been injured.

OK. No spankings around here, fortunately.

Well, we don`t think new presidential press secretary Tony Snow will spank the White House press corps if they get out of line. But before making the move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the former FOX News anchor did take a walk on the wild side, as a wannabe rock star. Well, kind of.

Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There`s a new Tony in town.

JAMES GANDOLFINI, ACTOR: You guys got something to do?

MOOS: Not that Tony. This Tony, but he will be dealing with the mob, the mob of reporters.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If you`ll let me finish.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: No, you`re not finished because you`re not saying anything.

MOOS: Well, now Scott McClellan is finished and Tony Snow, like Snow White, seems like the type to whistle while he works, or at least play the flute.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He belongs to a rock band called Beats Workin`.

MOOS: The band`s web site motto, playing the music you grew up with and more.

The FOX News commentator attended New York`s Rock `N` Roll Fantasy Camp a few years back, where amateurs get to hang out and jam with big name musicians. Tony Snow jammed with Leslie West from the band Mountain.

His first political jam as White House press secretary has been about things he said in the past about his new boss.

JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Snow once said about Bush that he was an embarrassment, a leader who has lost control of the federal budget and the architect of a listless domestic policy. Good thing for Snow, Bush doesn`t read the newspaper.

MOOS: And if you think comedy shows have been rough on the president for his Bushisms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ability to compassionitize with others.

MOOS: Tony Snow once criticized the president for "barking out absurd and inappropriate words like a soul tortured with Tourette`s."

Good thing the president doesn`t mind torturing himself.

BUSH: I felt, frankly, ambilavent (sic).

MOOS: Jon Stewart sees a master plan in the progression of Bush administration press secretaries from Ari Fleischer to Scott McClellan to Tony Snow.

JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL`S "THE DAILY SHOW": It`s all part of the president`s long-term plan for White House press room re- hairification.

MOOS: When things get really hairy in there, he can always resort to good sax.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

HAMMER: So get this. Hill Harper is one of the stars of one of the biggest shows out there on television, "CSI New York."

So when you think about the fact that he wrote this book and he was thinking about getting this book together -- it`s a book with an important message -- you would figure publishers would just be fighting with each other to get a hold of it. Amazingly, when he told him his idea, a couple of them said, "Get lost, Hill." I actually don`t know if they put it that way. A couple of them turned him down.

I`m happy to report that Hill did get the book out. There it is. It`s called "Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny." Hill Harper is joining me live from New York for a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown".

It`s nice to see you here.

HILL HARPER, AUTHOR, "LETTERS TO A YOUNG BROTHER": It`s great to be here.

HAMMER: That is pretty amazing. Because you`re a big-time TV star. You`re on one of the most successful franchises out there. And the message in this book, you know, you`re helping young men.

HARPER: Yes.

HAMMER: And a lot of people think there aren`t enough good role models out there for young men. And you`re giving great advice on everything from career to sex to family to dating.

HARPER: Right.

HAMMER: What happened with them turning you away?

HARPER: Well, you know, what`s amazing is that the publishers didn`t say, "We don`t want to do a book with you, Hill." They said, "We want to do a book with you, but just not this book. Don`t write a book for young men, because young men don`t read."

And amazing. They`re in the book business. And I was sitting there saying, "Am I really hearing this correctly?"

So when I explained to them, I said, you know, "This is a chicken-egg problem. If you don`t produce books that they`re not interested in reading, of course they won`t read. So you know, let`s do that. Let`s create a book that`s fantastic."

And Gotham, which is a division of Penguin, decided to do that. And that`s what we have, "Letters to a Young Brother."

HAMMER: And it`s sending out some really positive messages in a world where, quite frankly, we could use some positive messages.

HARPER: Absolutely.

HAMMER: If people really aspired to a lot of what we see coming out of Hollywood that is targeted towards youth, everybody would simply want the fast cars and the fast women and the shiny jewelry.

HARPER: Right.

HAMMER: And that`s what life would be about. What`s your take on life would be good as long as you get that stuff?

HARPER: The thing is that`s result oriented thinking and thinking that your self worth is being -- you know, comes from things outside of yourself.

I`m a big brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. I had a 9- year-old little brother who literally said to me when he`s 9 years old, he said, "Hill, I can`t be happy unless I have a platinum Rolex and a Bentley with 20-inch rims."

HAMMER: Did that just frighten you?

HARPER: A 9-year-old. Where does he get that? He gets it from music videos. He gets it from ads. It`s not just -- let`s not just blame hip- hop and music. Let`s talk about ads and the ads that you`re fed every day, whether it be in "The New York Times" or in any magazine or on television.

And so that`s why my first quote is a Dr. King quote, where he said, "One`s sense of manhood must come from within." And that`s the first quote of the book, because it`s so important that we have our young people start develop their sense and self-esteem and self worth from inside rather than externally.

HAMMER: Now, of course, you`re not targeting your book towards 9- year-olds so somebody is going to have to be giving them the message.

HARPER: Yes.

HAMMER: Some figure that you`re out there mentoring.

We were just talking a few moments ago about Angelina Jolie and all the great attention she is raising to educate the world, you know, and the big problems in the world with the education problem and Africa, for instance, where she`s focusing her energy.

HARPER: Yes.

HAMMER: George Clooney, dealing with the problem of genocide in Darfur.

I want to read you this great quote that you may have heard he said.

HARPER: OK.

HAMMER: "I`m just trying to use the credit card that you get for being famous in the right instances whenever you can."

There are certainly a lot of celebs out there, you know, using their celebrity, cashing it in to help causes. There are a lot of people, though, who may say, you know what, just stick with what we know you for. That`s what we prefer.

HARPER: Right.

HAMMER: What do you say to someone?

HARPER: Well, you know, the thing is the legacy and history of artists have been individuals who push for social change and social betterment. You know, if you look at historically Paul Robeson was a renaissance man who was also political.

Ozzy Davis, who I did a Spike Lee film with, "Get on the Bus", was an amazingly political, wonderful actor. And Ronald Reagan is a great example of someone who was an actor and artist who was very political.

So historically speaking, actors have been political. So it`s not like it`s something new to me. And I think that it`s odd that, in this day and age, where information is at our fingertips, people need to be citizens of America, whether you`re an actor or not. You need to be involved and active.

HAMMER: And people aren`t always going to be appreciative of your actions, and you can`t let that determine exactly what you`re doing.

HARPER: Speak your truth. And that`s what this book is about, "Letters to Young Brothers". It`s about people learning to speak their truth and manifesting their destiny.

HAMMER: We appreciate your stopping by to talk to us. And congratulations on wrapping another successful season of "CSI New York".

HARPER: Thank you.

HAMMER: You can find the book. It is, as he said, "Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny" from Hill Harper, in stores now.

ANDERSON: Coming up, the heated debate over "United 93". Some say it`s a must-see. Others call it irresponsible and sensational. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT lets you decide.

HAMMER: Also Sharon Stone, fighting the British tabloids. What they said about her son that simply wasn`t true. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the details on the monster lawsuit.

We`ve also got this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are more charming. They`re more vivacious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re more fun. They don`t take things too seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Older women seeking younger men. They call it cougar hunting. It`s not just for the rich and famous. Average women everywhere are turning their eye toward the younger guy. We`re going to go cougar hunting, coming up.

Which leads us to tonight`s "SHOWBIZ" question of the day. Older women with younger men: has it become more acceptable? We want you to vote: CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. We`ve got the e-mail address up there. Send us an e-mail: ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We`re going to read some of your thoughts later in the show. Stay with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by master, and roll the break, master.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Coming up tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, actor James Brolin. He`s live, talking about life with wife Barbra Streisand, his career and his latest adventure in the deep blue sea. It is the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That is tomorrow.

HAMMER: You`ve heard it before. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it really does depend on who you ask. And that`s just what a new Zogby poll did.

The institute polled 1,000 men and 1,000 women to find out what`s sexy now. The questions applied to everything from plastic surgery to crying at movies.

Now some things never change, but some of the results are kind of surprising. Let me lay them out for you. Brooke, pay attention. This is very important.

ANDERSON: I`m paying attention.

HAMMER: Six percent of men said they prefer Botox to wrinkles. That`s only six percent. So keep the wrinkles.

ANDERSON: OK.

HAMMER: And this one quite surprising to many of the men around the office. Most men think breast implants are not sexy.

ANDERSON: Well, good for those men.

OK, what about the metrosexual vs. lumberjack, A.J.? More women are preferring the classic strong, sexy men, not somebody they have to share the bathroom mirror with. I kind of agree with that.

And it`s younger women who are less likely to frown upon men who cry at the movies. Do you cry at the movies?

HAMMER: All right. One more real quick here. One more real quick. Two percent of women think a hair piece better than no hair at all. Skip the toupee, gentlemen.

And I do cry occasionally at movies.

ANDERSON: Good for you.

HAMMER: Well, coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Loni Anderson. She`s "So noTORIous." She`s Tori Spelling`s TV mom. She`ll join us live.

Plus, we`ve got this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to recapture our youth. We want to make sure that we`re not getting old.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Cradle robbers, now called cougars. They`re older women on the prowl for younger men. Demi Moore did it. Madonna did it. But they`re not the only ones. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dips into the dating pool to go cougar hunting.

HAMMER: And the controversy over "United 93", already a touchy subject. Some are calling the film version irresponsible and sensational. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the heated debate, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

ANDERSON: Almost to the weekend. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

A.J., tonight we`re going to talk about cougars, not the mountain lion cougar, but older women who are going after younger men, who are dating younger men. The author of a book called "Older Women Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance," she`ll join us live to tell us why women are turning the tables on men in the dating world.

HAMMER: Apparently a very big trend. Who knew?

ANDERSON: That`s right.

HAMMER: Also tonight, you know that I come from a radio background. When I was a kid and growing up obsessed with radio, one of the television shows I was obsessed with, "WKRP in Cincinnati." Among the reasons I was obsessed with the show: a woman named Loni Anderson.

ANDERSON: Loni Anderson.

HAMMER: I can`t lie. She`s on a funny, funny new show now with Tori Spelling. We`ve got her exclusively in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That`s coming up in just a few minutes, as well.

But right now, I have to tell about something happened today that just seems to be so ironic because of the timing. Work began today to rebuild the site where the World Trade Center once stood.

And it`s ironic, because it`s happening just one day before the opening of "United 93." This is the movie that brings us back to September 11th, and for many of us sort of has us relieving that day. It`s a movie that has certainly led to an emotional debate over whether it`s too soon to see a film about what happened on that terrible day.

So should you go see it? Deroy Murdock is with us live in New York tonight. Deroy is a columnist for the Scripps-Howard News Service, just wrote a powerful op-ed piece called "Why All America Needs to See `United 93` Now."

And live with us tonight from Hollywood, Tom O`Neil, who writes about movies for the "Los Angeles Times" site, TheEnvelope.com.

Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us tonight.

DEROY MURDOCK, COLUMNIST: Thank you.

TOM O`NEIL, THEENVELOPE.COM: Thanks.

HAMMER: Tom, let me start with you. You actually called this film historically irresponsible and sensational, and those are some pretty powerful words.

O`NEIL: Well, this movie is selling itself as having paid painstaking attention to accuracy, down to the getting right the clothes that the passengers wore, down to shooting much of this in real-time, eight members of the military and the FAA who participated in this and are actually cast in this film.

But the big payoff at the end is inaccurate. As "New York Times" reported the other day, it is impossible for the finale to have occurred the way it does.

First of all, we don`t know whether those passengers got into the cockpit, of course, but let`s allow a little creative license, and the fact that maybe they did.

Well, we know that they all didn`t do it, that the likelihood is that there was a rebellion, maybe six or eight of them led it. But creative control of this movie was given to the families of the victims, and they didn`t want to tick anybody of, so this movie has everybody acting heroically, and that`s impossible.

HAMMER: OK. Well, trying to be factually accurate, to be sure, is what they set out to do, but they`re not calling it a documentary.

Deroy, what`s your take?

MURDOCK: Well, I think Paul Greengrass, the director, ought to be commended for speaking with the families, listening to their voice mails, and going through as much detail as he could to try to represent this situation as accurately as possible.

Obviously, because no one survived the crash, we`ll never know for sure exactly how the thing transpired, but I think they went to tremendous lengths to try to present as correct a scenario as could be presented.

And, in fact, in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial that`s taking place right now, we`ve seen, in fact, that some of the cockpit recordings that have been released actually are pretty close to what you see on the film.

So given that this we`ll never know exactly what took place, I think Greengrass and the filmmakers have done a very good job of at least trying to get this as close to possible as they could, and I think they largely have succeeded.

HAMMER: And, Tom, you know, I want to point out -- because for me, and I reluctantly went when I first saw it, but I saw it over a week ago. And now I`ve been saying that I think, for other reasons than just the actual story that the movie tells, I think that it is a powerful reminder of what happened on that day and something that has slipped out of a lot of our consciousness. Do you think it is irresponsible to be releasing this movie?

O`NEIL: I think, with the big lie at the end, yes. I think the fundamental flaw with this film is that they gave creative control to the family, and that`s the other problem with it.

There`s no character development here. You don`t get to know any of these characters, because they couldn`t spotlight this one over that one more than the other one. It would tick off the family members.

So this movie, you don`t get to know the characters at all. And even worse, you don`t get to know why this event occurred.

There`s no context; there is no enlightenment here. And it got a very damning review, at least from the "New York Times," today that called this movie -- I agree with it -- another thrill ride lacking fully realized characters.

Why does this movie get a free pass from other critics, like Richard Roeper, who said it`s the best movie of the year, when it doesn`t have those fundamental elements?

HAMMER: OK, I`m going to steer you away from the character development issue. I hear your point on that. But, Deroy, in terms of, you know, responsibility or irresponsibility of releasing this particular movie right now, I know that your take is: It`s perfectly fine.

MURDOCK: I think it`s very reasonable and appropriate to release this movie. Some people have said, "Oh, it`s too soon, it`s too soon." It was not too soon when "Fahrenheit 9/11" came out, I guess it was back in 2004. No one said it was too soon then.

And I think the important thing is we`re talking about the ongoing war on terror. It was never too soon for Al Qaeda, from their perspective, to blow up the nightclubs in Bali; it was not too soon for them to attack trains in Madrid or the London Underground last summer.

And so I think, as long as we are engaged in this war on terror, which we are now and I think will be for a while, we need to remind ourselves that this is a very brutal, vicious, focused, disciplined, and ferocious enemy, and I commend the filmmakers for presenting them as they are.

There have been other movies that have come out recently, such as "Munich," for example, or "Syriana," or even "V for Vendetta," which kind of say that, well, the terrorists might be bad, but we have our problems, too. And maybe it`s the oil companies...

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMER: You know, as you pointed out in your op-ed piece, it shows that these bad guys are truly bad guys.

MURDOCK: They are truly evil, and I commend them for pointing that out.

HAMMER: Well, we`re out of time here, but I appreciate your views on both ends of the spectrum, Tom O`Neil and Deroy Murdock, thanks for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

MURDOCK: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Let`s move now to tonight`s "Hot Headlines." For that, we go to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas. She joins us live again in Hollywood.

Hi, Sibila.

VARGAS: Hi, Brooke.

Well, rapper Snoop Dogg is out on bail after an arrest over an alleged fight at London`s Heathrow Airport. Snoop and his friends are said to have hurled bottles of whiskey and argued with staff at a duty-free shop after being refusing entry to a first-class lounge. Seven police officers were hurt. Snoop was scheduled to perform in Johannesburg, South Africa today.

Sharon Stone has agreed to settle a libel lawsuit against British newspaper "The Daily Mail." The paper had claimed that Stone had left her 4-year-old son in a car while she dined at a London restaurant. A lawyer for the paper has apologized, saying the accusation was not true.

The amount of the settlement was not revealed, but Stone`s attorney says the actress plans to donate the money to charity.

Well, Barbara Walters is scheduled to announce the new co-host of "The View" at tomorrow night`s Daytime Emmys on ABC. The mystery person will replace Meredith Vieira, who`s taking Katie Couric`s spot on NBC`s "Today Show." The big network moves happens this May, just in time for sweeps.

And those are today`s "Hot Headlines." Brooke, back to you. They certainly know how to deal with something.

ANDERSON: Always time to coincide with sweeps. OK, Sibila, thanks so much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas.

HAMMER: Well, pay close attention now. We don`t call them cradle robbers anymore; we call them cougars, women who prefer younger men.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are more charming. They`re more vivacious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re more fun. They don`t take things too seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: We`ll look at why more older women are looking for love in the arms of younger men. That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: Plus, we`ll ask Loni Anderson what all the fuss is about. She joins us live to talk about her latest project, starring as Tori Spelling`s mother. It`s an interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Well, we`re all guilty of doing it: making the list of pros and cons about the men we date. Is he too short, too bald? Does he have a good family, the right job? The list can be endless. But when it comes to age, the question used to be: Is he too old for me? But not anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Demi, Geena, Mira and even Madonna, once called cradle robbers, now called cougars, their relationships termed May-December. It`s the trend that has Hollywood all abuzz, older women with younger men. We`ve seen it on TV in "Sex and the City."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Samantha, I like you. You like me.

ANDERSON: We`ve seen it in the movies. "Stella Got Her Groove Back," dating a man half her age.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She knows she likes me. Isn`t that right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes...

ANDERSON: And Diane Keaton learned a lot about life and love in her onscreen May-December romance in "Something`s Gotta Give."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m 36.

DIANE KEATON, ACTRESS: So I am like almost 20 years older than you. That`s an enormous amount of years to be older than somebody, don`t you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it matters at all.

ANDERSON: More and more, Hollywood`s leading ladies are looking to the boys for real-life love. The most famous cougar out there: actress Demi Moore. The 43-year-old mom married 28-year-old Ashton Kutcher in September.

Mira Sorvino is expecting her second child with hubby Chris Backus. She`s 38; he`s 24.

And even television`s "Commander in Chief" star Geena Davis is 50 years old with a hubby 15 years younger.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT hit the streets to find out why more and more women today are turning a blind eye to age.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re in the workplace. They`re making more money. They`re more independent. They don`t need an older man to, like, support them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to recapture our youth. We want to make sure that we`re not getting old.

ANDERSON: So, ladies, if you`re single and looking for love, remember this about younger men...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are more charming. They`re more vivacious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re more fun. They don`t take things too seriously.

ANDERSON: And Ivana Trump, who is also with a younger man, said it best on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

IVANA TRUMP, HOST, "IVANA YOUNG MAN": I said, "I would rather be a baby-sitter than a nurse maid."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well-said. Older women dating younger men is not just a Hollywood phenomenon. Joining us live from New York tonight, Susan Winter. She`s the author of "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance."

Susan, thanks for being here. This is fun.

SUSAN WINTER, AUTHOR: Thank you.

ANDERSON: All right, older women are turning the tables in the dating world. They have no qualms about dating younger men. Tell me this: Why would an older, more mature woman want to date a younger, more inexperienced man and vice versa?

WINTER: Well, first of all, for an older woman, she`s empowered, and she wants to retain her power. And older women are much more progressive than they used to be, so we`d resonate more easily with a guy that gets us. A younger generation, they`re more tolerant, open, flexible. I don`t think an older woman wants to be told what to do, and I don`t think she wants to take backseat to anybody.

ANDERSON: She`s secure, maybe independent financially. What about the younger guy? Why does he want the older woman?

WINTER: OK, straight across the board, you know what they all say? She doesn`t play games; she knows what she wants. We make their job very easy. You know, we`re just very direct. You don`t have time to fool around. You`re older, right?

ANDERSON: That`s right. Well, for this book you interviewed more than 200 monogamous individuals in relationships like these, and you established some myths. Now, I want to address some of those myths right now. The first one: The younger man will leave the older woman for a young woman, true or false?

WINTER: False. Look it, it`s an upfront buy. He knows what he`s getting. What they`re attracted to is the content. And once you`ve tasted power, content, and emotional capacity all in one package, you develop a liking for it.

ANDERSON: You don`t want to go anywhere. The second myth I want to talk about: The older woman -- what about the chase? Who`s chasing whom, the older woman going after the younger guy or vice versa?

WINTER: Well, actually, it`s the young guys that pop up and make themselves available constantly in front of -- because they always think that we`re the predators. In the hunting game, women are.

But in this game, remember, this was off the radar for women, so they weren`t chasing young guys. They were going about their business, and the young guys kept popping up, "Hi, hi, I`m here. What are you doing? Hi, want to have coffee?"

ANDERSON: Well, this whole thing has spawned the term "cougars," Susan. Many of these older women are being called cougars. There are Web sites devoted to this. There are even categories of cougars. Under age 40, you`re a puma. Over age 50, you`re a jaguar. They`re saying cougars go to bars, go to gyms just to pick up guys.

WINTER: Well, that`s for a hook-up scene.

ANDERSON: You think it`s a sport for some people.

WINTER: That`s a hook-up terminology, OK? That`s different. If you`re in a relationship, that`s something else. But, you know, all the more power to these gals. I mean, go for the good meat, right?

ANDERSON: One last myth I want to address is that it will never last. Now, I`m an optimist. I think that`s not true.

WINTER: You`re absolutely right. Listen, there are no guarantee for anybody, no matter what ages you are, walking down an aisle or deciding to get into partnership.

But sometimes the cross-generational relationships, because they`re unusual, those couples have to fight harder to stay together. So at the core of it, they have a greater resonance, they have a greater connection, because they`ve had to overcome everything on the outside to find each other. So sometimes they actually have a more secure bond.

ANDERSON: May communicate a little bit better. All right, who knows? Susan, thanks so much for sharing your insight on these new options for relationships.

WINTER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Susan`s book, "Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance," you see it there, it is in stores now.

HAMMER: And it is all this that leads us to our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." We`re asking: Older women with younger men: Has it become more acceptable?

Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight or write to us at showbiztonight@CNN.com. Your e-mails coming up a bit later.

ANDERSON: Loni Anderson certainly knows a thing or two about relationships and Hollywood. And now she has a new sitcom, playing a self- absorbed, wealthy woman living in a mansion and the mother of Tori Spelling. The show is called "So NoTORIous." It`s on VH-1. It`s off to a great start.

Loni Anderson is joining us live here from Hollywood. Hey again, Loni.

LONI ANDERSON, ACTRESS: Hello, how are you?

ANDERSON: Doing well. We spoke before the show, great to see you. What do you think about this whole thing, older women dating younger men?

L. ANDERSON: I think it`s fine. I think you should just leave your options open for any generation, you know, and not limit yourself to dating somebody older or younger.

ANDERSON: Whatever makes you happy.

L. ANDERSON: You have a much better choice with lots of guys, yes.

ANDERSON: Whatever makes you happy, that`s what I say. Well, traditionally in movies and on television, you see the older man with the younger trophy wife. Do you think we`ll see a reversal in this trend in the entertainment industry, too?

L. ANDERSON: Well, we have seen a little bit of it. And I hope we see more, because it really is happening out there.

ANDERSON: Well, speaking of entertainment, Loni, that is exactly what your show, your new show, "So NoTORIous," is. As I said, it`s off to a great start, getting terrific reviews. You play Tori Spelling`s mother.

Now, do you know the Spelling family well?

L. ANDERSON: I do know the Spelling family. I worked for Aaron Spelling, oh, when I was a brunette. I mean, it`s been so long ago. I`ve known them since Tori was a little girl. And so I do know them.

And, of course, I`m not playing Candy, because the real Candy Spelling is just this nice, lovely woman, and a nice mom, and everybody knows that`s not really very funny. So I am Kiki Spelling, yes.

ANDERSON: I`m relieved to hear that, Loni, because Kiki is not very nice.

L. ANDERSON: Kiki is not. I think of her as thoughtless, but not malicious.

ANDERSON: Are you having fun with this show?

L. ANDERSON: I am having so much fun. I love Tori. I mean, really, she is the sweetest girl. And who knew she was this funny? She`s hysterical.

ANDERSON: She has great comic timing.

L. ANDERSON: And so, what a joy. Great timing.

ANDERSON: And this show is a lot about how Tori is portrayed in the tabloids and also a little bit of her real life mixed in there, as well. Loni, the paparazzi these days, it`s crazy, the attention that Brad and Angelina are getting. Back when you were with Burt Reynolds, you were under intense scrutiny, too.

L. ANDERSON: Yes.

ANDERSON: How do you compare it? What was it like then, compared to what the young stars are going through today?

L. ANDERSON: It`s pretty much the same, I think. We`re just more aware of it now than we were then, but it was the same. People trampled each other trying to get to you. It was frightening. You didn`t want to leave the house. There`s a lot of that.

And I have to tell them, you know, it will slow down, and it does change. And the next couple will come along, and it gets better.

ANDERSON: Do you think the paparazzi right now is out of control?

L. ANDERSON: I think they have been for a long time.

ANDERSON: How did you deal with it?

L. ANDERSON: It was scary. I mean, they almost ran me off the road several times. There are so many chances that they take to get the right photo, and you have to worry about yourself, and it`s very uncomfortable. It made my children uncomfortable.

And I think that, you know, they`re going to be tragedies, and it really -- it would be so nice if they could just relax and slow down.

ANDERSON: Relax and slow down, great message. Fortunately, for all of us, you survived it. You look great. You seem to be doing really well. A lot of people may not know this, Loni: You`re a grandmother.

L. ANDERSON: I`m a grandmother. I have a grown daughter, like Tori. And I have two granddaughters. And my son, Quentin, my son with Burt Reynolds, is 17 years old, you know, so he`s just finishing school, and we`re looking at colleges. And I`ve been a mother my entire life, and now I`m getting to play one.

ANDERSON: Are you a mom first, actress second?

L. ANDERSON: Always, always have been.

ANDERSON: OK, Loni Anderson, we`re going to have to leave it there. It was a pleasure speaking with you. Thanks so much for joining us.

L. ANDERSON: Thank you. Thank you.

ANDERSON: You can catch Loni on "So NoTORIous" Sunday nights, and it is on VH-1.

HAMMER: Well, throughout the show, we`ve been asking you to vote online on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." Older women with younger men: Has it become more acceptable?

The vote so far tonight, very one sided: 90 percent of you say, yes, more acceptable; 10 percent of you say no.

Got a lot of e-mails on the topic, too. We heard from Sandra in Oregon. She writes, "What`s the big deal? When older men seek younger women, it`s considered sexual prowess. Love is love, and that`s all."

Howard from Missouri writes, I "believe it has become more acceptable, especially now when women are less dependent on men financially." Interesting.

You can keep voting by going online, CNN.com/showbiztonight is the address. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Time to find out what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Friday night. He`s your "Showbiz Marquee."

Yes, tomorrow, it`s going to be a big night. This guy, actor James Brolin is going to join us live to talk about life with Barbra -- that`s Barbra Streisand, of course -- his career, and his latest adventure. This one is taking him deep-sea treasure hunting. Find out what that`s all about, coming up tomorrow, on the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tomorrow, this may surprise you. When he`s not busy globetrotting with his girlfriend, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt actually still makes movies. We`re going to give you a sneak peek at his latest role as outlaw Jesse James, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you very much for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Have a great night, everybody. Stay tuned for more from CNN Headline News.

END

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