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Photo Surfaces of Britney Spears` Baby Strapped Incorrectly in a Car Seat; Some States Consider Sex Abuse by a Relative a Non-Violent Crime; Preview of the Cannes Film Festival
Aired May 16, 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, CNN ANCHOR: -- she was raped by a relative now is fighting to change a century`s old law. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ANCHOR: And your first review "The Da Vinci Code", SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you inside one of the first screenings of the controversial film. I`m Sibila Vargas, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT a brand new Britney baby shocker. Yet another startling picture of Britney Spears and her baby igniting outrage from coast to coast. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates. Is Britney mommy dearest? Or mommy dangerous?
Plus -- porn in the classroom. Tonight, the raging battle over whether it`s okay to teach students the facts of life by showing them hard core sex movies. Tonight, we`ve got the teacher who`s setting a XXX example. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exposes the naked truth about educating through porn.
VARGAS: I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Sibila I`m just going to say this once just so we can get it out of the way, here you go, oops, she did it again.
VARGAS: That`s right, A.J, she did. Britney Spears has been caught on camera again, making another baby no-no. The last time she was snapped when she was driving with her kid in her lap. At least this time Britney`s kid was actually in a car seat but maybe not the way he should have been.
Britney Spears in the headlines again.
Is it another baby blunder for Britney.
VARGAS: Maybe Britney ought to think about hiring a chauffeur after the water cooler world spent today buzzing about her latest kid car trouble.
Oops Britney does it again.
VARGAS: Today newspapers and websites all over were splashing photos of Britney driving in Malibu with her 8-month-old Sean Preston apparently napping in the backseat. The problem is he`s facing front. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT laying down the facts. Child safety experts almost universally recommend that children that small ride in car seats that face the rear.
MANTILL WILLIAMS, AAA SPOKESPERSON: Our recommendation for an infant is to be in the backseat and to be in a rear-facing seat, particularly if the infant is under one years old and if the infant is under 20 pounds.
So we`ve established now that you are in fact pregnant, is that right?
VARGAS: It was only recently that Britney announced on "The Late Show with David Letterman" that she`s pregnant with her second child.
Don`t worry, Dave, it`s not yours.
VARGAS: And yet some are questioning whether her and hubby Kevin Federline`s parenting skills are up to snuff. Just last February officials gave Britney a stern warning after she was photographed driving with Sean Preston in her lap with no car seat. And Harvey Levin of TMZ.com tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that yet another recent mishap sent state child welfare officials to Britney`s door.
HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: There was another incident where the child kind of fell out of a high chair, it wasn`t her fault it wasn`t her doing, it was an accident. But children services has a legal duty to go out and just check it out.
VARGAS: Still as we saw on "The View" today, Britney`s latest boo-boo has some of her critics asking --
What`s wrong with her?
VARGAS: But not everybody is participating in the Britney bashing. Levin tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that legally at least Britney didn`t do anything wrong.
LEVIN: Britney did not break the law. The law says that a child under 6 has to be in a car seat. However, it doesn`t require that a child like Sean Preston be facing forward. It`s not required. It`s recommended.
VARGAS: And he says that like many first-time parents Britney, at 24, is making her mistakes.
LEVIN: I think everybody`s looking at Britney Spears like she`s dangling a baby ala Michael Jackson and I just don`t think that`s the case. I`m starting to feel a little bit sorry for her. She`s a parent trying to raise her first kid. And sometimes accidents do happen, parents learn on the job. She`s learning on the job. It`s just everybody`s watching in this case.
VARGAS: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT contacted Britney`s record label Jive Zomba now they tell us the same thing that TMZ`s Harvey Levin did, that Britney "Was in total compliance with California law." Now the record label goes on to say that rear-facing seat recommendations are for babies under 20 pounds and that Britney Spears` child is over 20 pounds. A.J.?
HAMMER: Sound like a big baby. So is this just going to be another blip on the Britney baby radar or should Britney be calling the image makeover artists right about now? Joining us tonight in Hollywood celebrity journalist Pat Lalama. So Pat, one of the things that we love about you, you`re never shy about telling us exactly what`s on your mind.
PAT LALAMA, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Absolutely. That`s exactly right.
HAMMER: Let`s have it here. What do you think? Is Britney really doing such a bad thing here?
LALAMA: Well, listen, here`s the deal A.J. I mean no doubt any new parent says they make mistakes it`s trial by fire, no doubt. But for heaven`s sakes she is not using her brain! Number one, everyone knows, in California, the land of the car crash, particularly being under the spotlight, in a big star, she`s always going to be being watched, why would she not have enough common sense to "A" number one not have your kid on your lap and then number two, make the same kind of mistake by not doing something as simply as reading the baby 101 manual? I think it`s egregious. It`s not like dangling the baby over the balcony, you know who I`m talking about? But, you know, I mean this is bad. This is -- I think it`s bad. I`m sorry.
HAMMER: And people seeing this picture today, certainly experienced moms are outraged. Then there are people like myself who don`t know exactly how it`s supposed to be. But it`s pretty amazing, Pat when you think about it. Because just a few years ago Britney Spears was America`s sweetheart, she was a role model for young women every where and now, well you tell me, does Britney really need to be sent to some kind of image rehabilitation center?
LALAMA: Yes, I do. I mean look, A.J., the bottom line is we`re talking about true unadulterated talent, people like Bono, like Mick Jagger, like Madonna, people who have basic, solid rock -- rock solid talent they know how to be (INAUDIBLE). They know how to go from generation to generation because they have the basic talent. She`s pure you know manufacturing. God love her, I know she has big fans, I`m happy for her but she has to be molded and the best thing she can do for herself right now, surround herself with good people whoever got her on Letterman, A plus, whoever got her the cologne line, A plus. She`s talking about wanting to be with George Clooney on screen. I doubt that will ever happen, but A plus she says she`ll strip. All of the people around her are doing the best they can do for a woman who probably won`t last a lifetime.
HAMMER: This story`s going to be around I`m sure for a few days to come. It`s certainly going to make its round of the late night shows tonight. What do you think the ultimate fallout from this particular Britney boo-boo`s going to be?
LALAMA: You want the truth, you asked the truth. I tell you, I think it`s going to be the four children that between she and Kevin Federline have put on this earth. I`m not saying she`s going to be a bad mother, I`m not saying you can`t mix career and motherhood, and I hope she does a beautiful job of it. But I`m not feeling very well about her husband and the fact that he dumped his first girlfriend who was pregnant with his second child, you know. I mean, why do you need to put so many babies on the earth? You know, under those circumstances? I`m going to get so much bad e-mail for this one! But it`s just my opinion. I hope -- those four babies may grow up to be wonderful people. I hope they do. And God bless both Kevin and Britney but I`m not feeling too well about the fact that four little ones are on this earth as a result of what I see as a marriage too young and without a lot of wisdom.
HAMMER: Pat Lalama calling it like you see it.
LALAMA: You got it, babe.
HAMMER: Thanks for joining us tonight from Hollywood.
So now we` want to hear from you about this. For our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, we`re asking Britney Spears as a mom, is she being judged unfairly? She certainly does have the spotlight on her all the time. Go online to vote at cnn.com/showbiz tonight. You want to email us you can do that too, at firstname.lastname@example.org
VARGAS: Well he survived weeks of bugs, the beach and back stabbing. But tonight everyone`s asking will Richard Hatch survive prison? The first season "Survivor" winner was sentenced to 51 months, that`s just over four years for not paying the taxes on his $1 million prize. Now in today`s ruling a Rhode Island federal judge said Hatch lied throughout the trial. But Hatch insisted that the show`s producer said they would pick up the taxes. David Letterman had called Hatch the fat naked guy because he ran around without clothes on "Survivor".
HAMMER: Well the popular TV star who says she was raped as a child is now leading a battle to change a centuries-old law. Coming up next, she`ll join us.
Plus, we`ve got this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Yes, I have disrespected your seed. If you didn`t hear me, I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed -- on your little baby girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Those disgusting words said by a popular radio D.J. got him arrested but some are actually defending him, even though he sexually threatened a rival`s daughter. You`re not going to want to miss this. That`s coming up.
HAMMER: Film frenzy tonight, we take you to the Cannes Film Festival. Premieres of "X-men 3" "Over the Hedge" and "The Da Vinci Code". That`s coming up next.
VARGAS: First tonight`s Entertainment Weekly great American pop culture quiz. In the `80s TV series what was MacGyver`s first name? Angus, Avril, Arthur, or Avery? Well you think you know the answer? We`ll be right back.
VARGAS: So again tonight`s entertainment weekly great American pop culture quiz. In the 80`s TV-series what was MacGyver`s first name? Angus, Avril, Arthur, or Avery. Richard Dean Anderson played the role of a guy who could work his way out of almost any jam and his name was A, Angus as in Sake MacGyver.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show! I`m A.J. Hammer in New York and it`s time now for a little story that made us say earlier today when we first saw it: "That`s ridiculous!" YOU remembered your high school woodshop class? Maybe you made a clock, perhaps a picture frame? Well, there`s an industrial technology teacher in Missouri who has been suspended for asking his students to write an essay about who they would kill -- and how they would do it. Who they would kill -- how they would do it. There`s no word yet on why he picked this particular topic -- or why a drafting class should be writing fiction in the first place. So a paper on murder, while you should be making something for mom maybe, we say that`s ridiculous! And Sibila I get why he was suspended.
VARGAS: I just can`t believe what he was thinking you know? It`s like, that`s not only ridiculous, that is just sick.
HAMMER: Yeah. Nothing right about that.
Moving on now. What if I were to tell you that there`s a law in New York state, which says if you rape a child who`s related to you, you could get off without being sent to jail? Now that`s ridiculous. It`s a fact and there are actually other laws like it across the country. And that`s got my guest, Alison Arngrim outraged! Alison joins me from Hollywood, she`s best known of course for her role as mean girl "Nellie Olson" on the TV show "Little House on the Prairie." She went public back in 2004 with her own sexual abuse by a relative and since then she`s become a champion of changing such laws. Alison, I appreciate you being with us here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ALISON ARNGRIM, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION TO PROTECT CHILDREN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you for introducing me. It was ridiculous and sick because that`s exactly what we`ve got going on here.
HAMMER: Yeah, let me make sure I have this fact straight now. And I`m going to read it off my paper because I don`t want to mess it up.
ARNGRIM: It`s unbelievable, isn`t it?
HAMMER: Listen to this. If a stranger rapes or sexually abuses a child they could get up to 25 years in prison.
ARNGRIM: That`s correct.
HAMMER: But if they rape a child related to them, it`s considered incest and therefore a nonviolent act that may lead to probation and only a maximum of four years in prison. Do I actually have that right?
ARNGRIM: That is absolutely correct, rape of a child is a "B" felony, which is up to 25 years, incest is a "E" felony, it is zero to four years. The max is for -- obviously most people don`t even do the max and probation is an option.
HAMMER: Now to be clear this is a law in New York state and some others not universally throughout our country?
ARNGRIM: No. It`s horrifyingly enough, quite common. It has been overturned in North Carolina, it has been changed in Arkansas. Arkansas is ahead of New York on its incest law. It has recently been changed in California, thank you, and it has been changed in Illinois. It is however still indeed the law in New York. It is in other states as well but it`s particularly this format as you described odious and disgusting in New York.
HAMMER: Disgusting indeed. And a cause very personal to you, I know as I mentioned a moment ago you came out about your own abuse two years ago, you were abused when you were 6 years old.
ARNGRIM: That`s correct, I was like, unfortunately what is it one out of four women, I was sexually abused and by a relative. And that`s why like everyone else who went through this I`m in the position of saying how can you possibly, possibly give a lesser sentence to someone who rapes their own flesh and blood than a stranger? You cannot tell me that it`s a better deal, that it`s less horrible because you know, hello I was there.
HAMMER: Obviously it`s had a dramatic impact on your life, your work that you`re doing now with these causes and it impacted your life obviously as a child. You had said that the abuse went on until you were 9 years old and you started on "Little House on the Prairie" when you were 11. I remember you telling Larry King back in 2004 that getting that role on "Little House" actually saved your life, isn`t that right?
ARNGRIM: Really, I tried to deny that and go, well, it`s just a show but the reality is, is that being Nellie, yes frankly being so mean, being able to yell and scream really allowed me to vent a lot of tension and a lot of anger and those of us who have been raped and abused we`re very angry.
HAMMER: So really it provided a great outlet for you.
ARNGRIM: And then now I`m able to use my anger of course politically because it looks like we may be able to change this New York law. They`ve got a law to change it that has passed unanimously in the New York senate and it`s all bogged down now in the assembly. One guy`s holding up the works.
HAMMER: So what do people need to do? How can the law be changed?
ARNGRIM: Everybody who`s in the state of New York who`s a resident voter, you need to actually call Assemblyman Sheldon Silver is the speaker and has the authority over all of when they vote on stuff. And they`ve had it in the assembly for 104 days and just haven`t voted. And I was in Albany, and everybody in the building wants it. But they have not been allowed to vote on it. So if you`re in New York, call Sheldon Silver, ask him why in heaven`s name a bill that is democratically introduced and passed unanimously in the senate, has not been already voted on, passed and is not a done deal. And why on earth he would want men who rape their own children to get a lesser jail sentence.
HAMMER: Well Alison obviously you`re putting this information out there is getting the job done in different places. Let`s hope it can be used --
ARNGRIM: It worked in California.
HAMMER: -- in New York among others. Alison Arngrim we appreciate you joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ARNGRIM: Thank you, thank you so much.
HAMMER: And what is really such an important subject. And for more information, go to the National Association to Protect Children website, that website is protect.org.
HAMMER: Well tonight, it might be a little bit easier to get dinner reservations at some of Hollywood`s hottest celebrity hangouts. And that`s because a lot of the big time stars have said good-bye to L.A. and they`re saying bon jour to France. It is the 59th annual Cannes Film Festival. Does everybody call it the Cannes Film Festival even though it`s really pronounced Cannes. I`ve never quite understood that. This year the festival opening with a small little film you may have heard of based on a book that you may have heard of "Da Vinci Code." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Brooke Anderson is all over the premieres in Cannes or Cannes, however you like to say it. And she`s got your first look at the most talked about films there.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A.J. we`re just hours away from the official start of the Cannes Film Festival. But as you can see around me, the excitement, the activities are already well underway. I`m at the Cannes train station where today Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, author Dan Brown, everybody from "The Da Vinci Code" arrived from London to kick things off. "The Da Vinci Code" is one of more than 60 films being presented over the course of the next 12 days. Now the Cannes Film Festival is a celebration of both cinema and also world famous stars. Take a look.
ANDERSON: From leaping lizards to animated animals and animated humans.
They`re on my hair, on my skin. They`re all over the place.
ANDERSON: Characters of every kind are heading to the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival. But there`s no question which film is attracting the most attention.
ANDERSON: "The Da Vinci Code", the Cannes opener, a fizzy debut to a 12-day cinematic celebration.
KENNETH TURAN, FILM CRITIC, LOS ANGELES TIMES: It`s a great launching pad for the film and it`s a kind of film that I think Cannes loves to have and works for everyone.
ANDERSON: Among the other world premieres-- "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "Over the Hedge", featuring the voice of Steve Carell.
I`d like a cookie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it will win the Palme d`Or. I have no other sort of expectation but that.
ANDERSON: Actually, "Over the Hedge" -- like Da Vinci and X-men -- is playing out of competition, meaning it`s not eligible for the coveted Palme d`Or, Cannes` top prize. Several high-profile films could be crowned with that honor, including "Marie-Antoinette" from director Sofia Coppola, "Babel", starring Brad Pitt, Kate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal and "Fast Food Nation", based on the best-seller by Eric Schlosser. This is the 59th edition of the film festival, which takes place along the famed boulevard De La Croisette. From the beginning, stars have made this place synonymous with glamour. In the early days, it was Monroe and Bardot, Taylor and Grant who helped put the festival on the map.
ANDERSON: In recent years, Allen, DiCaprio and Stone have joined the parade of stars. For some Cannes is heady.
DEBRA MESSINO, WILL AND GRACE: It`s as chaotic as everyone says it is and -- but it`s fun and it`s thrilling.
GAEL GARCIA BERNAL, "BABEL": It`s interesting. It`s like -- a lot of fun.
ANDERSON: For others it`s grueling.
SIR IAN MCKELLEN, "X-MEN" AND "THE DA VINCI CODE": I did also go for the announcement of "Lord of the Rings" and that was the most fantastic part and I gave 75 interviews in two days.
Two, one, grom it!
ANDERSON: Over the years, Cannes has earned a reputation for a circus-like atmosphere, as studios and stars compete for the attention of the world`s media. This year more than 30,000 film industry people and members of the press are expected to attend.
TURAN: When you have that many journalists and you have people who are hungry for the city a lot of things happen.
ANDERSON: Let the lunacy begin.
ANDERSON: Indeed it is lunacy. A.J. I am among one of the first people in the world to see "The Da Vinci Code" the very first media screening took place today. I`m going to be back later on in the show to talk to you all about it.
HAMMER: We look forward to that. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Brooke Anderson joining us from the Cannes Film Festival in France. We want to let you know that Brooke will be at Cannes all week long. She`s going to have more on "The Da Vinci Code" and all the other big premieres going on as she joins us every night right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at 11:00 p.m. eastern.
VARGAS: Well as we here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT have been telling you -- lots of religious controversy over "The Da Vinci Code". Tonight why another group is mad at the movie -- and what they`re doing for revenge.
HAMMER: Porn in the classroom! Tonight, the raging battle over whether it`s okay to teach students the facts of life by showing them hard- core sex movies. The guy who`s showing the stuff to his students is going to join us in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
VARGAS: Also, does the great white way make Julia Roberts` day? Find out if the Oscar winning actress made the cut on Broadway. We`ve got the Tony nominations, that`s coming up next.
HAMMER: Tomorrow we are just a couple of days away from the last episode of "Will and Grace" as Will, Grace, Jack and Karen get ready to say their final goodbyes, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there on the set. A graceful exit, tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
VARGAS: Well no love for Julia Roberts today, on Broadway. Nominations out this morning for the 60th annual Tony awards. But Roberts didn`t get a "best actress" nod for her role in "Three Days of Rain." Her performance has pretty much been panned by the critics. Theater types did like Oprah Winfrey`s "The Color Purple" though. It made a surprisingly strong showing -- picking up 11 nominations, including "best musical." "The Drowsy Chaperone" lead all nominees, with 13. Tony`s will be announced on June 11.
HAMMER: Well coming up your very first look at "The Da Vinci Code"! SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S Brooke Anderson was just at one of the very first screenings in the world. She`s going tell us all about it in just a bit. Plus we`ve got this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
If you didn`t hear me I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed -- on your new baby girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: The disgusting sexual threats a popular radio D.J. made to a rival`s 4-year-old daughter. Tonight some are actually defending what he said. You`re not going to want to miss this. That`s coming up.
HAMMER: Also listen to this -- porn in the classroom. We`ve got the teacher who`s setting a XXX example by showing sex movies to his students. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exposes the naked truth about educating through porn. We will be right back.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: I`m Susan Hendricks here`s your "Headline Prime Newsbreak" now. A storm system that`s been soaking New England for days is clearing out. But more rain is forecast this weekend. People in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire are assessing damage from the worst flooding in decades. Police reported one related fatality near Boston.
The coast guard is searching between Florida and the Bahamas for a man who disappeared from a cruise ship, 21-year-old Daniel DiPiero was reported missing yesterday by Royal Caribbean.
An 8-year-old Afghan boy with a defective heart has arrived for life- saving treatment in Washington. A foundation started by our very own CNN host Larry King is paying for that surgery.
Elementary schools in poor communities have less recess and less overall time for exercise during the school week. New government figures show the percentage of schools without recess ranges from 7 to 13 percent.
And that`s a look at the news for now. I`m Susan Hendricks.
A.J. HAMMER, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for a Tuesday night. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CO-ANCHOR: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. This is T.V.`s most provocative entertainment news show.
HAMMER: You want provocative, Sibila, I`ll give you provocative. When I was a student majoring in philosophy at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, maybe we saw a film on Plato or Emmanuel Kant or one of great philosophers.
HAMMER: Didn`t see any hard core porn. However, there are professors...
VARGAS: No, not me either, thank God.
HAMMER: There are professors in universities throughout the country showing just that -- hard core porn in the classroom. We`re going to speak to one such professor and find out exactly why, coming up in just a few moments.
VARGAS: I can`t wait to hear what he has to say, really, to justify that. But also, coming up we`ve heard all of the controversy about the "Da Vinci Code." You`ve got some religious groups, Christians, that are really up in arms about this film. But did you also know that there`s also an albino group that really is taking issue with this film? Well, we`re going to explore that. It`s coming up, A.J.
HAMMER: Looking forward to it Sibila.
VARGAS: All right. First a story SHOWBIZ TONIGHT first brought you about the radio deejay who made outrageous threats against a rival D.J. and his family. The D.J. said he was going to do unspeakable things to the D.J.`s little girl, and now he`s suffering the consequences. But guess what? Not everyone thinks the punishment fits the crime. Here`s CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Howard Stern does it --
HOWARD STERN: ... so the bottom of your [bleep] cheeks hangs out of the booty shorts.
CHO: He gets suspended and fined. When syndicated radio duo Opie and Anthony do it --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a lawyer and shut up.
CHO: They get fired and then re-hired. But shock radio is truly shocked by what`s happening to New York`s D.J. Star.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re looking at the new Lenny Brooks.
CHO: Star, as fans call him, is not only out of a job for what he said, he`s charged with a crime for making threats over the airwaves against a rival deejay, that deejay`s wife and four-year-old daughter.
AUDIO: Yes, I`ve disrespected your seed. If you didn`t hear me, I said I would like to do an R. Kelly on your seed -- on your little baby girl.
CHO: Doing an R. Kelly is a reference to the R&B singer`s alleged crime, having sex with underaged girls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now what I`m really worried about is that what`s he going to do now that he`s fired? Is he going to carry out on these threats?
CHO: Star`s lawyer says he never intended to threaten anyone. The radio station that fired him is apologizing to those who may have been offended by his remarks. The arrest is topic A on talk radio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw a colleague of ours in radio talk industry get cool busted, booked, and then bailed out.
CHO: Ron Kuby, half of the Curtis and Kuby radio show, is a civil rights attorney.
RON KUBY, CURTIS AND KUBY SHOW: There are many things that are said in the United States that are viable, despicable, shouldn`t be said, should never be said. But the First Amendment protects that type of speech.
CHO: Kuby says if listeners are really offended, they can change the channel. Star`s show was popular.
TOM TAYLOR, "INSIDER RADIO": That`s part of his act. That`s part of his appeal. He`s a bad boy.
CHO: Tom Taylor, editor of industry newsletter "Inside Radio," says rivalry among deejays is common -- that radio personalities fueled by the popularity of Stern are well aware controversy drives ratings and revenues.
TAYLOR: The thing that Star got into really is about competitiveness, it`s about respect, in his world and competitiveness.
CHO: It`s no secret that shock sells. Radio personalities like Star and Stern make tens of millions of dollars, because what they say, no matter how offensive, is keeping listeners tuned in.
VARGAS: That was CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Speaking of controversy, how about watching pornography at school. Yes, believe it or not, some university professors are showing hardcore porn to students in class. And as outrageous as it might sound, professors believe that pornography can be used to teach everything from law to anthropology. And they`re not kidding around.
Joining me tonight in New York, Don Kulick. He`s a professor who shows hardcore porn in his classes at NYU, New York University. It`s nice to have you here, Don.
DON KULICK, DIRECTOR, NYU GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES: Thank you very much.
HAMMER: To shed a little light on this -- because I got to say, when we first started talking about this, I didn`t quite understand why in the world would you do it? You teach a class in gender and sexuality. I imagine there`s plenty of material out there from books to pictures.
HAMMER: Why are you showing hard core porn?
KULICK: Well, there`s three reasons why one might want to show hard core porn in the classroom. One is that the pornographic industry is a massive industry. It`s a huge cultural phenomenon. If you think about it, Hollywood makes 400 films a year, about 400 films. The pornographic industry makes between 10,000 and 11,000 a year. 700 million DVDs and CDs, porn CDs are rented every year. And the revenue generated from pornography is between $10 billion and $14 billion a year. That`s more than baseball, football and basketball combined.
HAMMER: Hard to ignore.
KULICK: So it`s hard to ignore. And it`s important to understand. So one reason why one would want to show it is to understand it as a phenomenon. That`s one reason. Another reason is that you might want to look at pornography as a genre, a filming genre. Say you wanted to do a course on Western movies. Say you wanted to do a course on musical movies. Say you wanted to do a course on slasher movies. You would have to show those movies in order to understand their history...
KULICK: ... the way they`re structured, and the impact they have on people who watch them. That`s another reason. A third reason is that you could compare cross-culturally how different pornography looks. Compare, for example, what sort of things are popular in the United States culture in terms of pornography with what sort of things are popular, say in Japan, where you have a different -- you have a lot of pornography, but it`s very different. It`s structured very differently.
HAMMER: So that`s the -- where anthropology might be helped through showing porn.
HAMMER: So you got to set it up for me and let me know what it`s like in the class when you`re showing these movies. Are the students kind of squirming around and uncomfortable? Are they giggling in inappropriate places?
KULICK: Well, it depends on how you set it up. I mean, first of all, it`s important to realize that nobody would show pornography in the classroom just without any warning. So anybody who takes the kinds of classes where pornography is shown knows that it`s going to be shown. They elect to take the classes.
HAMMER: So what`s attendance like?
KULICK: Attendance? Well, I`ll tell you. I show a couple of pornographic films in the class I teach on gender and sexuality, and anthropology of gender and sexuality. And I say to the students -- I show them quite late in class, so quite late in the semester, after we`ve established discussion groups, after I realize that people can talk, people feel comfortable. I announce at the beginning of the term that this is going to happen. I say I`m not going to take attendance that particular day. So if people...
HAMMER: It`s an option, OK.
KULICK: ... for whatever don`t want to watch it, they don`t have to come and they won`t be penalized. The day before I show it, I say the same thing. What I find consistently is, on that day of class I don`t have less students, I have more, because people bring their friends.
HAMMER: Interesting. I find that very interesting. That was quite unexpected. And the reaction -- you know, one might wonder what the reaction is. I have never had anyone object. And the reason I think is because you have to contextualize it. You have to explain to people what you`re showing it for, why you`re showing it, what kind of reaction, what kind of discussion you want out of it. And as long as you can do that --
You know, this is a university. What we`re there for is to complicate issues. We`re there to make things more difficult. We`re there to get away from, sort of, knee-jerk reactions that people have when something like pornography is discussed.
HAMMER: It certainly can spark conversation and debate. I`m very curious about how you choose the material that you use. Are you going into the little shop behind the black curtain and kind of poking through the films there?
KULICK: Well, it depends. I mean, for example, if you were to do a course -- if one was to do a course on the history of pornography, what you would do is you would choose quite well-known stag films, for example. You`d choose films from the 1970s, which was in a sense the golden age of pornography when we had pornographic cinemas -- films like "Behind the Green Door," or -- what`s the Linda Lovelace one. I`m blocking on it right now...
HAMMER: Don`t ask me, I don`t know a thing about this. In any event...
KULICK: But you chose films that are appropriate to what you want to say. I choose a film, I show a film, for example, when I`m teaching sexuality and gender, I show a wonderful film that was made partly with a performance artist named Annie Sprinkle. And it`s a sort of a tongue-in- cheek romance between Annie Sprinkle and a female-to-male transsexual.
HAMMER: OK. And we`re running out of time here. People can use their imaginations at to -- We`ll look it up on the Internet as well.
KULICK: It`s a well-known film, yes.
HAMMER: Well, Don, I appreciate you coming in and sharing with us exactly what this is all about. Perhaps the most popular university professor at NYU, I imagine. Don Kulick, I appreciate you being with us tonight.
KULICK: Thank you very.
VARGAS: All right. Well, I still don`t get it but time now for tonight`s Hot Headlines.
We start with a new tagline for Jodie Foster, Oscar winning actress, producer, director and rapper. Foster gave the commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania. And she did a chorus of Eminem`s "Lose Yourself." Well the speech wasn`t all frivolity, though. She struck a serious note as well, saying the country is far worse off than it was four years ago. She said the United States squandered the good will of other countries after September 11th. Foster also criticized the "disastrous and shameful" handling of Hurricane Katrina.
Well tonight, Nicole Kidman is confirming that she is engaged. Kidman tells "People Magazine" that country music star Keith Urban is more than her boyfriend, "He`s actually my fiance." There has been speculation for some months that the couple were engaged. No word yet on a wedding date.
And a paparazzi photo of Britney Spears is upsetting people again. The photo shows Spears driving her convertible with her 8-month-old son in the back, in a forward-facing car seat. Child safety advocates recommend that kids younger than a year old sit in car seats facing backward. Spears` record company says she was in total compliance with California law.
And those are tonight`s Hot Headlines. A.J.?
HAMMER: Well, Sibila, that little snapshot leads us...
HAMMER: ... SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and CNN.com will get into your e-mails tomorrow.
VARGAS: It`s the movie people can`t wait to see -- "The Da Vinci Code." And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson has just seen it. She joins us from the Cannes Film Festival to tell us what she thought, next.
Plus, "The Da Vinci Code" controversy you may not have heard of. Albinos say they`re tired of the way they`re portrayed in movies.
DENNIS HURLEY, ALBINOCODE.COM: The loner, the butt of a joke, or the creepy, evil assassin.
HAMMER: Tonight, the albino code. We`re going to show you a parody of the "Da Vinci Code" and find out why it was made. That`s coming up.
VARGAS: And a paparazzi photo of Britney...
And Calista Flockhart returns to T.V., well, to tell you what`s next. The Ally McBeale star on the small screen, coming up.
HAMMER: I am ready. And I am on camera 4. And welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, T.V.`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
Time now for another story today that made us say, that`s ridiculous. Now, she already has a hot sports car. She`s got the dream house in Malibu. And now Barbie getting some bling. You heard me right. Mattel is planning to introduce My Scene My Bling Barbie this summer. Thanks goodness. Barbie is going to feature a real gem ring. And of course, not to be outdone, the Bratz Doll people are now planning a Bratz Forever Diamonds Collection -- dolls wearing real diamond chips.
Now, as far as we know, Raggedy Ann plans to stay raggedy. And we just love her for that. Barbies with bling -- we have to say, that`s ridiculous. No talk of, like, a blinged-out Rolex for G.I. Joe, however, Sibila.
VARGAS: You know, but getting back to Raggedy Ann -- why can`t they just keep it simple? She`s comfortable with the red hair, and the freckles, the clothes. She might need a new wardrobe, but, you know. I don`t know.
HAMMER: And The Barbie with bling, about 20 bucks by the way. Just so you know.
Well, we are now just hours away from the opening gala events of the Cannes Film Festival in France. And you can bet that everyone there is talking about the "Da Vinci Code" -- the most highly anticipated movie of the year. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson has already had the golden opportunity to screen the film. She`s out just moments ago. Brooke joins us on the phone. Brooke I need to know, what did you think?
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CO-ANCHOR (via telephone): A.J., I really hate to say this, because I know a lot of people are really looking forward to this film. But I think it had high expectations, and I don`t think it lived up to the hype. I personally never felt emotionally connected. I read the book -- liked the book -- but didn`t really enjoy the film.
Now, listen I did an informal survey after the film was over to get other people`s opinions who had seen it. Granted a couple of people were lukewarm about it, but I never found anyone who really enjoyed the movie, who said they liked it or even loved it. You know, some people told me, hey, they thought it was disjointed, that although the movie did closely parallel the book, many important details were left out in order for those who hadn`t read the book --they couldn`t really follow along. I asked one person to rate it on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best. He gave it a three or a four.
And A.J., I want to give you an example. One scene in the film that was meant to be serious elicited laughter from the crowd, giggles everywhere. You know, people who read the book loved the book. They may find it entertaining. But again, I say there are high expectations surrounding this. And so many people have read it. Everyone`s going to have a different vision of how they believe it should play out.
HAMMER: Brooke I am shocked. You say people had high expectations. This was the most anticipated film perhaps in years.
HAMMER: Now I need to know, though, about all of the controversy that we know has been surrounding the film since they started talking about making it. Is there reason for it? Tom Hanks, of course, has already said that the controversy, just a lot of nonsense. Now that you`ve seen the film what do you think?
ANDERSON: I agree with Tom and, you know, Ron Howard. They have all been saying that. You know, I spoke with Paul Bettany last week, and he said that he never mentioned the words "Opus Dei" in the movie. And he didn`t know if other characters did or not. Well, the name Opus Dei is mentioned numerous times in the film. And you know, I can`t say how religious leaders who are incensed by the book -- I cannot say how they`re going to react, because in the film the Opus Dei monk is portrayed as a murderous villainous monk.
So I can`t say how those people are going to feel, or if they`re going find it offensive. But what I can say is that Tom Hanks has said that, hey, this movie contains a lot of hooey, a lot of nonsense. And, yes, I agree with him it does.
HAMMER: Well, it`s interesting to hear. At least you`re not confusing it for what actually is alleged to have taken place in history.
Brooke Anderson, thank you for joining us the Cannes Film Festival in France. Enjoy your time there. Go enjoy a lovely croque monsieur.
We want to let you know that Brooke will be at the Cannes Film Festival all week long for complete coverage of the premiere of the "Da Vinci Code." And she`s going to join us every night right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at 11 o`clock eastern.
VARGAS: So you may know about the religious controversy surrounding the "Da Vinci Code," that some Catholic Church officials have been pushing for a disclaimer on the film, saying it`s fiction. But maybe you didn`t know that albinos are also annoyed. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
JEANNE MOOS (voice-over): Remember when the good guys used to wear white? Well, in the "Da Vinci Code," it`s the bad guy who is white, all white, an albino monk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is a second secret you will die for?
MOOS: When Tom Hanks recently hosted Saturday Night Live, there was an albino bit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I object to the way albino monks are portrayed in your movie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am an albino monk, and we`re pretty creepy.
MOOS: But real albinos do object. They`re sick of being --
HURLEY: The loner, the butt of a joke, or the creepy evil assassin.
MOOS: From "The Matrix Reloaded" to "End of Day" --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s coming for you?
MOOS: To "Foul Play." Now albinos are crying foul over --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Da Vinci Code."
MOOS: And retaliating with --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Albino Code.
MOOS: A 12-minute parody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is an albino.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Albino.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Albino.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: that is what I said.
MOOS: Actually the name they prefer is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Person with albinism.
MOOS: Dennis Hurley is such a person. He`s also an actor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must kill two people and steal the sacred keystone.
HURLEY: You know, my last job was at Food Mart.
MOOS: Dennis actually tried to get the part of the albino monk in the "Da Vinci Code." It went to a non-albino, Paul Bettany.
PAUL BETTANY, ACTOR: Yes, I play an albino.
MOOS: But Dennis, didn`t get made. He got busy making his parody film. The real film --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A murder.
MOOS: The parody. The "Da Vinci Code" --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Witness the biggest coverup in human history.
MOOS: The Albino Code --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... is the greatest coverup in movie history.
HURLEY: This is great. I burn easily.
MOOS: Dennis points that real people with albinism tend to have problems with their eyesight, which would make for a bad assassin. But this is the kind of thing that really drives them nuts. His irises were pink with dark red pupils.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll anger the red eyed demon.
HURLEY: We don`t have red eyes. That`s just a myth.
MOOS: Dennis spent almost $10,000 making his parody. And just as the movie albino beats up on himself, the real albino self-flagellates with a fly swatter.
MOOS: It`s enough to make the Mona Lisa grin.
VARGAS: Well, a person with albinism. Now I know. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Now, I`ve been maintaining all along that all of this controversy around the "Da Vinci Code" is just going to make people want to go out and see it. There`s nothing like free publicity. So last night, we asked you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day.
We asked, countdown to the "Da Vinci Code" -- does the controversy make you want to see the movie? Well, 38 percent of you said yes, 62 percent of you said no. And we got some of the reasons in the form of e- mail. We heard from William in from South Carolina who writes: Seeing all these folks go crazy over a movie is the best entertainment around. Now Linda from New York points out what I think is probably true for a lot of people: I think most people, myself included, want to see the "Da Vinci Code" because of the book.
VARGAS: Well, T.V. fans get ready. This is our big week. It`s when we get to find out what we`ll be watching this fall. All the networks are making big presentations, unveiling their upcoming lineups. ABC was up to bat today, and here`s the big announcement.
"Grey`s Anatomy," arguably the hottest show on T.V., is moving from Sundays to Thursday night. It will no longer follow "Desperate Housewives." Instead, you`ll be able to find it on Thursday`s 9 o`clock slot, right in the middle of three new series.
All in all, ABC unveiled 15 new shows. One of those is called, "Brothers and Sisters," and it stars Calista Flockhart. It`s been a while since Calista`s been on T.V. She`s kept a low profile since "Ally McBeal" and went off the air in 2002, you remember, spending time at home with her young son, Liam. Calista told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she`s looking forward to getting back to work.
CALISTA FLOCKHART, ACTRESS: I felt so lucky that I could just stay home and be a mom. And I felt -- yeah, I was really happy doing that. But he`s -- my son is going to go to school. And it`s just time for me to start working again. I really want to get back to work.
VARGAS: And it will be nice to see her. Calista plays a radio talk show host in the drama "Sons and Daughters." She stars alongside Rachel Griffiths from "Six Feet Under." So that should be really, really qood.
We`ll be right back.
HAMMER: Time to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. For that we go to our Showbiz Marquee."
And coming up tomorrow -- hold on to your hats, alert your friends and neighbors, Richard Simmons is back on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. You never know what`s going to happen when he drops by. I`m guessing some laughter. I`m guessing some tears with Richard Simmons. That`s tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Also, we`re just two days way from the very last episode of "Will and Grace." As Will, Grace, Jack and Karen get ready to say their final goodbyes, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, right there on the set. It is a graceful exit for the favorite show tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks a lot for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Stay tuned for the latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS." Bye.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I`m Susan Hendricks. Here`s your headline prime business update now. BellSouth did not release any of its customers` records to the National Security Agency. The Atlanta-based firm now says an internal review turned up no evidence that BellSouth helped the NSA collect information about customer calls. Also Verizon is denying similar claims. AT&T was also named in last week`s report about the NSA gathering customer records.
The lead attorney for former Enron CEO, Jeffrey Skilling, says the charge that Skilling and co-defendant Kenneth Lay were behind a conspiracy is absurd. Jurors begin deliberations tomorrow.
The U.S. is a warning the European union that giving Airbus more government loans will only make the fight over aircraft subsidies worse. And it would also hurt the chances of reaching a negotiated settlement.
Stocks dropped today over concerns about interest rates. The Dow fell almost nine points.
And that`s a look at some business headlines. Good to see you. I`m Susan Hendriks.