Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Anna Nicole`s Baby Drama; Interview With Russell Crowe; "The Office"; Hollywood Gets Heat for Body Image Issues

Aired September 27, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Russell Crowe lets the media have it. Why he`s so angry with us. Well, not us. I go one-on-one with Russell.
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And our special weeklong series, "The Hollywood Weight Watch." Kate Winslet on her battle to stay slim.

I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

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


HAMMER (voice over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a shocking Anna Nicole Smith baby battle. Tonight, her lawyer`s startling claim that he`s the father of the baby she had just before her son`s tragic death.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": So you are the father?


HAMMER: Tonight, questions over whether he really is the father.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets to the bottom of the mystery of the two men who claim to be Anna Nicole`s baby`s daddy.

A Christian controversy. Tonight, the religious battle over a new movie about a camp for kids. But, get this -- instead of ghost stories and bonfires, these kids are getting fired up over abortion and politics, and even praying for the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll do what you want me to do.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the clash over Jesus camp.


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

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

And bombshells don`t get any bigger than this. Just when we thought Anna Nicole Smith`s mystery couldn`t get any stranger, comes this. Her lawyer`s claim that, guess what, he is really the father of her baby.

ANDERSON: And not only that, A.J. For the first time he`s revealing what really happened that strange night in Anna Nicole`s hospital room when her 20-year-old son died just days after the baby was born.


KING: So you are the father?

STERN: Yes, sir.

ANDERSON (voice over): The mystery of the Anna Nicole Smith baby is solved -- or is it? Howard K. Stern, Anna`s lawyer, who TV viewers first saw on Anna Nicole`s reality show as Anna`s put upon, and so we thought, platonic sidekick...

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, ACTRESS: Quit your bitching and eat your pizza.

STERN: I`m waiting for you.

ANDERSON: ... went on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" to claim that he`s the father of Anna`s new baby, Dannie Lynn Hope, the little girl Anna had just days before her 20-year-old son Daniel tragically died in Anna`s hospital room.

STERN: Our baby is the one ray of hope and the one thing that`s really keeping her going. And through it all...

ANDERSON: Here we go again. From Anna Nicole Smith`s long legal fight for her billionaire late husband`s fortune, to the still mysterious death of her son, this Anna Nicole Smith baby daddy drama is part mystery and part sideshow.

HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: There was something weird about it for me. It just felt so dramatic and staged.

ANDERSON: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here to sort it out.

Howard K. Stern spoke to Larry King from the Bahamas, where he`s been living with Anna Nicole Smith ever since she gave birth to her daughter and watched her son die in her hospital room. Stern was in the room when Daniel died after medical personnel desperately tried to save him and for the very first time spoke publicly about the dramatic scene.

STERN: She was praying to Jesus and she was telling Jesus to take -- take her and not take Daniel, so she did have to be sedated in order to leave. And she was sedated. She actually doesn`t -- doesn`t remember that night right now.

ANDERSON: Then Stern finally dropped the bombshell. He said not only is he the father of Anna`s new baby, he says he and Anna have been secret lovers.

STERN: Anna and I have been in a relationship and we love each other, and it`s been going on for a very long time. And because of my relationship as her lawyer, we felt that it was best to keep everything hidden.

ANDERSON: Harvey Levin of has been following Anna Nicole Smith for years. He says Stern`s claim is news to him.

STERN: We`ve talked to him over the months, and he gave no indication that he was the father until now. And it is kind of weird.

BRUCE WEINSTEIN, "THE ETHICS GUY": What Howard Stern has done is grossly unethical.

ANDERSON: And syndicated columnist Bruce Weinstein, also known as "The Ethics Guy," says he`s got a problem with this.

WEINSTEIN: It`s wrong if you`re a professor to have sex with a student. If you`re a doctor, it`s wrong to have sex with a patient. And if you`re a lawyer, it`s wrong to have sex with your client. So when he says that we felt it was best to keep everything hidden, that`s not the problem, letting it out, the problem is doing it in the first place.

ANDERSON: That is if Howard K. Stern did anything at all.

KING: Did he and Anna have a strong romantic relationship at one time?

ANDERSON: Because there`s another man out there who claims he fathered Anna Nicole Smith`s baby. Harvey Levin says something`s fishy.

LEVIN: Larry Birkhead is a photographer who worked with Anna Nicole, and he says that he`s the father. I have spoken with him for months now, and he has told me this all along. And he feels and has felt that she went to the Bahamas and even possibly established residence there to evade him and avoid having to take a paternity test. If Anna Nicole doesn`t want to do that or Howard K. Stern doesn`t want that, the question then becomes, why?

ANDERSON: For his part, Stern told Larry King that the other man is not telling the truth and that he and Anna Nicole plan to get married.

STERN: I think we realized how much we mean to each other, and I`ve loved her for quite some time, and hopefully the feeling is mutual.

ANDERSON: So after suffering the unbelievable tragedy of losing her son, enduring the unmatchable happiness of having a baby, allegedly having a secret affair with her attorney, a possible "who is the father" drama, we`re seeing that the life of Anna Nicole Smith is both outlandish and fascinating.

LEVIN: The rules don`t apply in terms of "normal living" with Anna Nicole.


ANDERSON: Larry Birkhead, who, as you just heard, claims to be the baby`s father, was with Janet Jackson partying last night in New York. And he says on his Web site tonight, "I am the proud father. The whole thing is laughable."

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has late word on how Daniel Smith may have died. Tonight on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE," the pathologist hired by Anna Nicole Smith said a lethal combination of methadone and antidepressants led to a fatal irregular heartbeat.

HAMMER: And once that bombshell dropped, people were saying, "I knew something was up between Anna Nicole and her lawyer.

Well, certainly fired up about this and joining us tonight from Hollywood, our good friend, investigative journalist Pat Lalama.

Pat, I was one of those people watching Larry King last night going, "Wow!" You see this interview. What`s the first thing you`re thinking?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Surreal? I mean, typical but surreal.

I have to tell you, I`m right in line with my colleague Harvey Levin. Everything he says I agree with.

It`s staged. It`s odd. It seems like he`s trying to protect her in some way.

And get this, ladies and gentlemen. "I love her very much. I hope it`s reciprocated"? Haven`t you guys established that if you`re talking about a marriage date?

There`s -- look, I mean, god love them if it`s true, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, I mean, you know what I`m thinking about? I`m thinking about poor Daniel.

I`m thinking about, you know, this is this big mask for this horrific thing that happened. And, you know, I just -- I don`t know who buys this stuff, but somebody does. It just keeps the publicity machine rolling for her.

HAMMER: Yes. And as this paternity battle presses on, we`re going to see it keep rolling even further.

So what do you think? Just bottom-line it for me, Pat. Stern the father of Anna Nicole`s baby? Do you believe him?

LALAMA: Well, I got one term for you -- DNA. And I`m sure if Mr. -- or if Larry -- I believe Birkhead is his name -- decides he really wants to pursue and believes himself to be the father, he will pursue it and a test will be ordered. But I mean, you know, come on. It`s not within the realm of -- or, it is not impossible that it could happen but there`s -- you know, just like Harvey said, I`m not -- does it seem real?

It doesn`t seem real. This guy -- and by the way, A.J. Here`s an important thing about this whole lawyer-client relationship. He`s never -- I`ve never really seen him as a lawyer. He`s like, you know, surgically attached to her curvaceous hip, you know, on the reality show.

HAMMER: Well, let me ask you about that.

LALAMA: I mean, come on.

HAMMER: Isn`t there we saw "The Ethics Guy" in our piece. Isn`t there some kind of conflict of interest here, sleeping with your client?

LALAMA: Well, you know what? So far I don`t think there is anything that would allow him to be disbarred. I don`t -- you know, it`s a quirky, you know, almost co-dependent relationship, if you will.

Now, here`s the important thing, A.J. If there becomes a criminal investigation, a civil lawsuit, or any kind of Bar Association hearing, then he needs to do one smart thing, which I haven`t seen anybody do so far in this whole travesty, is remove himself from the case and let an independent person get involved to help her. I mean, this is ridiculous.

HAMMER: So that could really complicate things because he was, after all...

LALAMA: Absolutely.

HAMMER: ... in the hospital room where Daniel died.

LALAMA: In the room! In the room. There is no ethical way that he can say, all right, now I`m going to represent you when, you know -- I mean, there`s even crazy reports out there, and mind you, not confirmed, that somebody heard her say, "You did this to Daniel!" I mean, who knows who that person is, who knows if it was even said.

But look at this. I mean, just on the face of it, facts alone, forget all the TV intrigue, he needs to get himself out of this and she needs to get herself...

HAMMER: Pat, we`ve got to wrap it up here but we`ve only just begun.

Pat Lalama, thanks for joining us tonight.

LALAMA: Darn. OK. Thanks. Bye-bye.

ANDERSON: Nicole Richie takes on the rumors that she`s suffering from an eating disorder and that she checked herself into rehab for it. That`s coming up.

HAMMER: And the religious battle over a new movie about a camp for kids. But instead of ghost stories and bonfires, they are getting fired up over abortion and politics -- even praying for the president.

We`ve also got this...


RUSSELL CROWE, ACTOR: I don`t think that there is such a thing as a fair shake in the media the way it exists now.


ANDERSON: Russell is raging! Tonight, why Russell Crowe has had it with the media. It`s the interview you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

Time now for a story that made us say, "That`s ridiculous!"

You`ve heard of "Easy Rider," right? Well, meet easy flyer.

In Illinois, it`s a goose with a thing for motorcycles! A gosling showed up in this guy`s yard and became a family pet. Not so strange, right?

Well, listen to this. Twice a day the goose flies along with the guy as he rides his motorcycle. You`r`re seeing it right now.

They named the goose, what else, Harley! Harley has gotten up to 43 miles an hour flying alongside the motorcycle.

And we just have to say, a biker goose? Now, "That`s ridiculous!"

HAMMER: But pretty cool.

Actor Russell Crowe is raging mad about the media. In an interview with me for his new movie "A Good Year," the Academy Award-winning actor set the record straight about the arrest surrounding his phone-throwing scandal last year and the rumors that have been floating around about him flying his friend, the late "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin, in an upcoming film.


HAMMER: Your character Max is certainly a guy who learns a lot about himself through the course of this film. And what I love is, it`s one of those films people are going to walk out feeling very introspective.

CROWE: Well, you`ve got to go through the understanding of what the character is understanding, you know, and the resonance of this guy examining his life or reexamining his life in the middle of a fabulous career. You know? It`s not like he`s actually like on the verge (ph) of disaster.

He`s built this career, but he has built it through absolute focus. Max does not do weekends. He doesn`t take time (ph). He just makes money.

HAMMER: Do you consider yourself where you want to be right now?

CROWE: No. I think that there are some more things for me to do to actually construct -- you know, I`ve got a wife and babies to think about now. You know? And I don`t know if I`ll ever sort of, like, be able to sort of, you know, have the foresight to do everything that they will need prior to them needing it. But that would be the aim, you know, sort of like the focus of my life has gone off me and on to my family and my family`s needs.

HAMMER: But the focus of your life is certainly in the glare of the media spotlight quite a bit. Obviously for your movies and for some other things that have happened. There was the incident that happened with the hotel and the telephone a year ago that got you arrested. I was curious if you feel like the media has given you a fair shake, and do you accept that it just comes along with the territory?

CROWE: I think that`s the sort of facile end of it, I don`t think that there is such a thing as a fair shake in the media the way it exists now. I think -- I think it`s rotten to the core. I think it`s full of a whole bunch of people who ride into the night while drink themselves into oblivion. And I think it`s a very nasty situation that we`ve got ourselves in the world where you cannot go to a news source and reliably be told the truth.

And the fact that a lot of people work in the media don`t actually think that that`s part of their job. You know? Just turning up and making sure that they file when they are supposed to file, that`s their job. The truth...

HAMMER: So the integrity is shot?

CROWE: Truth, justice, integrity, none of these things are actually conjoined. They`ve all been separated.

HAMMER: And the line gets crossed more often than not?

CROWE: The line gets crossed 99 percent of the time. You know? And that`s -- you know this incident we`re talking about was a $160 fine. Have you got...

HAMMER: Blown a little -- blown a little out of proportion?

CROWE: A little out of proportion. You know, quite a few trees died to tell, you know, a larger tale. And it`s a $160 fine. That`s the reality, folks.

You know, I lost my temper. I apologized for it. You know? We can all move on now.

I mean, there`s a story going around at the moment that I`m currently negotiating to do a film on Steve Irwin`s life. This is my friend. Right?


CROWE: He just died. We have dealt with his funeral. We`ve dealt with doing a memorial to him. You know?

I`m not doing business over the grave of my friend. I find that appalling. But, you know, that`s not just in the tabloid. That`s in "The Guardian." It`s in "The New York Times."

Understand? Absolutely disgusting.

HAMMER: I want to ask you about Steve, because obviously we saw you partake in his memorial service, which certainly was extraordinary and...

CROWE: It was a very difficult thing to do. Now, I`m thousands of miles away, you know, and I`m filming this thing to a video camera, and I know it`s going to be watched by his family and by his kids. You know? Trying to reach through that camera across those miles and tell his kids that the last possible thing that their dad would have ever wanted was to leave them, you know?

And that`s what I would hope that my friends would take the -- make the effort to say to my children, if that should ever befall me.


HAMMER: "A Good Year" and absolutely charming film will be in theaters on November 17th.

ANDERSON: Well, so far, ratings for this season`s new TV shows are kind of eh. Nothing has really broken out of the pack. It`s the old timers like "Grey`s Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives" and "CSI" leading the way.

Stuff like "Six Degrees," "Brothers and Sisters" and "Shark" have done OK so far, but they`ve got good lead-ins from those veterans we just mentioned.

So we want to know in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day," Fall TV season: are you disappoint wed the new shows?

Vote online at or hit us up on the e-mail at

We`re going to read some of them tomorrow.

HAMMER: Well, "The Office" certainly has lots of fans. The sitcom all about a Scranton, Pennsylvania, paper company kicked off its new season last Thursday on NBC. And this is coming right off their Emmy for best comedy.

So, in honor of that, we decided to invite "The Office" stars John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, Jim and Pam on the show, to our office for a little water cooler chat.


JOHN KRASINSKI, ACTOR, "THE OFFICE": We should start actually working.

HAMMER (voice over): Well, it didn`t take long for John Krasinski to get right into his "Office" character, Jim Halpert, when he stopped by the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT offices with his co-star and on-screen love interest, Jenna Fischer.


JENNA FISCHER, ACTRESS, "THE OFFICE": John, you don`t work here.


FISCHER: I am so sorry.

KRASINSKI: Hold on one second. Excuse me. I`m just on a call.

HAMMER: I guess the guy just can`t help himself. Never mind the fact that it`s my office, not his.

(on camera): What`s going on?

FISCHER: You don`t work at CNN.

KRASINSKI: Yes, I do. I do.

FISCHER: No. You work on a show called "The Office." It`s on NBC.

HAMMER (voice over): That show, by the way, has been a runaway hit for NBC, which was getting desperate after losing its moneymaker, "Friends," in its Thursday night lineup. In August, "The Office" took home the Emmy for best comedy series.

(on camera): It`s good to have you guys here at our office.

FISCHER: It`s nice. I hear a lot of typing.

HAMMER (voice over): Jenna Fischer should be use to do typing. Her character, Pam, does quite a bit of it on the show. And, believe it or not, as I found out, it`s a skill she should actually list on her real resume.

(on camera): Jenna, you worked in a real offices before you were a big- time actress. You`re actually a pretty good typist.

FISCHER: Yes, I can still type almost 80 words a minute with 90 percent accuracy, because it`s really all in the accuracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "THE OFFICE": Please, move quickly. This is a paper company, people. Step lively.

HAMMER (voice over): After a low-rated start in its first season, "The Office" has become a standalone success story. It`s almost doubled its audience and has become one of the hottest selling shows on Apple`s iTune`s site. But I can tell you, that kind of success wasn`t something the cast was expecting.

(on camera): You guys didn`t necessarily even anticipate you were going to get beyond shooting that pilot.

FISCHER: We came back. We did the first six episodes, and we all said good-bye to each other because we just really didn`t think we were going to come back for a second season. We thought it was such a long shot.

HAMMER (voice over): Well, it`s not a long shot anymore.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "THE OFFICE": Yes, it`s a business lunch.

HAMMER: The overly awkward humor about the banal inner workings of a paper supply company have proven too good to resist, even to the actors.

KRASINSKI: Every week when we get the script, we`re as excited as the fans are to see what`s happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "THE OFFICE": Can you tell who`s gay and who`s not?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about Oscar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.


HAMMER: Steve Carell plays the boss, Michael, on "The Office."

(on camera): Do fans tell you their worst boss stories?

KRASINSKI: It`s kind of scary when people come up and say, you know, "My boss is just like Michael." And I always want to say, like, "Really?" Like, if that`s the case, we have a problem. Like, that`s not good.

FISCHER: There are too many Michaels running offices.

HAMMER (voice over): And speaking of running offices...

KRASINSKI: She does do parties.

HAMMER: ... we`re getting slightly concerned that John may be taking his "Office" role a little too seriously.

KRASINSKI: OK. That`s inappropriate. A.J. doesn`t appreciate that.


HAMMER: Those guys are an awful lot of fun. "The Office" airs Thursday nights on NBC. If you want to play catch-up, you can get the complete second season which is now out on DVD.

ANDERSON: Olivia Newton-John`s shocking secret, why she took antidepressants. Her painful loss, that`s next.

HAMMER: Also, "The Hollywood Weight Watch." Our special weeklong series on stars and the battle to stay skinny continues. Nicole Richie and Kate Winslet open up to us about their personal struggles. That`s still to come.

We`ve also got this...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll do what you want me to do.


ANDERSON: The religious battle over a new movie about camp for kids. But instead of ghost stories and bonfires, these kids are getting fired up over abortion and politics, and even praying for the president.


ANDERSON: Tomorrow, our special series "Hollywood Weight Watch" continues with Jennifer Love Hewitt. She is lovely. I go one-on-one with Jennifer, who gets very candid about how even at a size 2, she has felt insecure about her body. Jennifer Love Hewitt tomorrow in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Olivia Newton-John admits she had to take antidepressants to deal with the pain over her missing boyfriend. It`s been 15 months now since Patrick McDermott vanished while on a fishing trip off Los Angeles last year.

Olivia tells "People" magazine it`s one of the hardest things she has ever gone through, even worse than battling breast cancer. "I`ve been through cancer and divorce. Nothing compares to this. I took antidepressants. I had to. Once you go off them, you can deal with it better."

"It`s important to go deeply into your emotions. You have to cry."

Newton-John adds that McDermott is the most romantic person she has ever known. There have been reports that McDermott has been seen in Mexico, but they haven`t panned out.

Read more in "People" on newsstands Friday.

HAMMER: The controversy over "American Idol" winner Fantasia and her new book and why her father is so mad about it.

That` coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, Nicole Richie takes on the rumors that she is suffering from an eating disorder and that she checked herself into rehab for it.

Plus, we`ve always got this...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: I`m willing, god.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll do what you want me to do.


HAMMER: This is going to wake you up. The religious battle over a new movie about a camp for kids, but instead of ghost stories and bonfires, these kids are getting fired up over abortion and politics, and they are even praying for the president.

That is still to come.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Wednesday night is coming right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

A.J., celebrities have been getting a whole lot of heat for how their appearances are influencing young children today.

HAMMER: Right.

ANDERSON: Well, now the problem is apparently so bad the government is getting involved. And a lot of people are complaining that kids are bombarded by images in the media, and that it`s just exacerbating the problem. And we`re going to have that coming up.

HAMMER: And speaking of weighty issues, our special weeklong series "Hollywood Weight Watch" continues. Believe it or not, the lovely Kate Winslet has battled body-image issues, and has felt pressure from Hollywood. Hear exactly how in her own words, coming up in just a few moments.

But first tonight, an explosive new film uncovers the shocking world of Jesus Camp. This is a new documentary that goes inside a children`s summer camp where kids denounce abortion, science and the rest of the world in the name of Christianity. The film`s about to open wide in theaters, and we`ll talk with Pastor Becky Fischer and radio host Mike Papantonio, who are both featured in the film, in just a moment.

But first, here`s CNN`s Soledad O`Brien with the story for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Young children weep for salvation, speak in tongues, call for an end to abortion -- all scenes from a bible camp in North Dakota featured in a new and controversial documentary.

At its heart is Pastor Becky Fischer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This means war. Are you a part of it or not?

PASTOR BECKY FISCHER, "KIDS ON FIRE" BIBLE CAMP: One-third of that 6.7 billion people are children under the age of 15. One-third. Where should we be putting our efforts? Where should we be putting our focus? I`ll tell you where our enemies are putting it, they`re putting it on the kids.

O`BRIEN: Her goal: to bring children into the army of God, and make sure they don`t stray later in life. The campers seem to hear the call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re being trained to go out and train others -- train others to be God`s army and to do God`s will, what he wants you to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like we`re kind of being trained to be warriors, only in a much funner way.

O`BRIEN: Not all Christians agree with Fischer`s approach.

MIKE PAPANTONIO, CO-HOST, "RING OF FIRE": The word learn is different than indoctrinate. God gave us a brain. God gave us the freedom to choose. And learning is part of that choice.

O`BRIEN: The filmmakers say they didn`t intend to make a political movie, but that`s where the subject matter took them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has derided himself of spirit-filled (ph) people. (INAUDIBLE) over him. Do some (INAUDIBLE) over him.


O`BRIEN: The influential Reverend Ted Haggard, featured in the film, has since denounced it.

But Becky Fischer supports it, seeing it as yet another way to reach a new audience.

FISCHER: How can I enjoy heaven, with the knowledge that I never told people that meant so much to me about Jesus? That is not a burden; it is the greatest joy of my life.


HAMMER: That was CNN`s Soledad O`Brien for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And here with now is the woman you just saw, Pastor Becky Fischer of the Kids on Fire summer camp.

And Air America radio host Mike Papantonio. They`re both featured in the film "Jesus Camp."

And I appreciate you both being here.


HAMMER: This is going to shock a lot of people, Becky.


HAMMER: You say in the film "extreme liberals" who look at this should be "quaking in their boots."

I don`t think they`ll - they`ll be the only ones.

I have to say, I do believe everyone is entitled to raise their children with their own rule - their teachings of their own religion.

Preaching to 7-year-olds about abortion - I`m having a hard time understanding how that`s not crossing a line.

FISCHER: Well, children are really capable of understanding a whole lot more than what we give them credit for. But it`s not that I do that every single day. It happened to have been a prayer meeting; the filmmakers happened to be there. Our guest speaker asked to come and speak on that subject.

But having said that, it is an issue that is very strong and charismatic in the (ph) evangelical community. And what we`ve looked at is that we`re teaching children to value human life.

HAMMER: But even - but even that being said, that children understand things perhaps at a younger age than we give them credit for, 7 years old or even younger - come on.

FISCHER: The days of telling children that babies come by a stork is a long time gone, at least in the communities I`m from. Those children know that there`s a baby in mommy`s tummy. And they understand when that baby dies.

And so it is a concept that - oh, there`s a lot of language we do not use with children that would be totally inappropriate. But the whole concept of valuing human life, that`s where we were going.

HAMMER: Mike, we certainly know that religion can influence the way we vote. And - and certainly in the film, we`re seeing this army of kids, who are - are basically being raised to - and trained in beliefs that they`re going to bring to the voting booth with them - with them one day.

And I - I just want to mention a couple of things I`m talking about. "Global warming is not a problem" - actual words in the film. "Creationism is the only possible answer"; "Science doesn`t mean anything."

Now, you`ve provided some good balance in this film. That`s kind of a problem, isn`t it?

PAPANTONIO: Yes, I think this is a smart film. Because what it does is it raises the discussion beyond Becky`s camp. Becky`s camp is one part of this film. But I think the bigger discussion is that nowadays, you have a movement of fundamental - what I call political fundamentalist. They`re - they`re not just evangelicals. Evangelicals do great work all over this world everyday. They clothe people; they house people.

But you have - the - the Ted Haggard fellow who`s trying to distance himself from this movie, for good reason. The reason he wants to distance himself is because he realizes that - that this is a political movement. And, you know, the - the problem is, anytime religion attaches himself to a political movement -- politics are always changing. They`re coming, they`re going, they`re rising and they`re falling. And when a political movement attaches itself to that political - to - to a religious movement, then what ends up happening is both rise and fall and - and - and - and both in - in the end lose.

And the problem here is, there`s no way that you can look at what`s happening in American politics - look around at what just happened in the last year. You had a North Carolina preacher tell his congregation that the people in his congregation who didn`t support George Bush, didn`t vote for George Bush`s war, that - that - at - that by the way, at the time, everybody was clear on the fact, it was based on lies. But he said to them, If you don`t do those things, you`re not welcome in my congregation. He ran Democrats away, he ran independents away and he ran Republicans away.

Just last week, you had another one of these evangelical - excuse me, not evangelicals, but fundamentalists - political fundamentalists, saying that if you don`t - telling his congregation, his followers, that they should support candidates only if that candidate supported torture of war prisoners.

Now the - the lines have been crossed.

HAMMER: Well, there`s an entanglement going on there. And bringing it back to the camp, Becky.


HAMMER: We`re seeing kids praying for righteous judges. I appreciate that you and - and the people that follow what you follow want righteous judges. But again, all due credit to young kids, they`re praying at the age of 7 years old for righteous judges.

They don`t know what that means.

FISCHER: I - I - I`m not sure that that is fair. I think children are - listen to the kids that are on that film. Those kids are very sharp; they`re very articulate. They know what they`re talking about.

Do they have the full concept of everything? Probably not. Could they argue against myself or Mike? Absolutely not. But they do have a basic concept.

HAMMER: Well, let - let`s - let`s take a look at one of the kids in this film.


HAMMER: Because it is powerful, and - and I believe it`s worth taking a look at this one particular kid/


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whenever I run into a non-Christian or something, you know, I always - well, there`s always something that doesn`t seem right. There`s always something that makes my fear - spirit feel yucky, you know?


HAMMER: Now it seems to me he was taught to feel that way. Somewhere along the way, he was taught to feel that way. And that to me seems more like being taught prejudice, and not love.

FISCHER: OK, I also think that that - not getting - being able to get inside his head, OK, and know even what the question was that was given to him, you know, in order to - to make that response.

We don`t teach that every single person is going to make you feel yucky. He had to have been referring to something specific. The way it came out, it sounds like everybody that he ever encounters that isn`t a Christian makes him feel yucky. I know that`s not the truth.

HAMMER: I wasn`t intending either.


HAMMER: .to - to point out, to take anything out of context there.


HAMMER: But that was a sentiment.

FISCHER: It was.

HAMMER: .that I felt as I`m watching this film.

FISCHER: But I know that well (ph) - for instance, the filmmakers do not claim to be Born Again Christians. I know Levi`s (ph) spirit is not making him feel yucky around them.

So it was something that - he has probably encountered people. It - it could have been - I don`t know, a drunk on the street. I don`t know what he would have been referring to.

PAPANTONIO: You know, but there`s an interesting thing about this movie. Again, I - I come back to the political side, the - the - the mixture of religion and politics. And - and when you really take a look at this, the - the Ted Haggards that are up in the - on - on the podium, what I call the political religious podium right now.


HAMMER: .Ted Haggard, for - for people who aren`t aware, evangelical preacher.

PAPANTONIO: What - what are they telling their kids? What are they telling these children? What are they telling their followers? They`re preaching the word of division; of - of not inclusion, but of excluding parts of our society. They - they`re - they`re - they`re focusing on wedge issues, like same-sex marriage, abortions, stem-cell research - issues that - that may be important to them. But at the end of the day, I - and I don`t have any problem with their politics. But don`t take those politics and impose them on my family.

Let me give you the best example I can. There - there`s a - there`s a part of Christianity that says, Look, we don`t have blood transfusions. We - for whatever religious reasons, they don`t allow their - their followers to have blood transfusions.

HAMMER: Right.

PAPANTONIO: Now, that`s fine. If they want to teach that generation to generation, don`t get a blood transfusion, that`s OK. But when it comes to imposing that on the rest of this country by way of a Supreme Court judge by way of a president that never has gotten exactly how dangerous it is as - as far as what he`s doing. But when you start imposing all of that on everybody else, it becomes problematic.

HAMMER: Well, and speaking of imposition - because the thing that came back to me, and you even said something about this in the film - it seems like there is a great deal of independent thought being taken away from these kids, who seem to be scared in a lot of ways, or ashamed in a lot of ways - and I only have 30 seconds here - to saying the kinds of things they say, and responding in the way that they do.

FISCHER: Children, we - we aren`t guilting them or shaming them in any way. What - what you`re seeing is little segments of what`s going on. They`re condensing a four-hour sermon into five minutes. And so you can`t possibly see everything that`s going on.

And the political side of thing, I promise you, is like a snapshot - an entire photo album of what we do with children, in no way represents who we are.

HAMMER: Becky, I got to leave it there. And Mike, I appreciate you joining us. I think people should see this film, if for no other reason that it needs to be talked about.

And this - the film is called "Jesus Camp." It`ll be opening nationwide next Friday.

ANDERSON: Feeling a bit parched? How about a nice tall glass of cocaine? This story of marketing that made us say "That`s Ridiculous!," and it`s coming your way next.

HAMMER: Plus, Nicole Richie opens up about her weight, and all those reports that she checked into a rehab facility for an eating disorder. Nicole in her own words, coming up.

We`ll also have this:


KATE WINSLET, ACTRESS: Absolutely scrutinizing myself and, you know, spending at least kind of 80 percent of everyday, not only thinking about what I had eaten, but thinking about how what I had eaten had subsequently made me look like.


ANDERSON: Kate Winslet speaks out on the pressure to be thin, how it really messed her up, and how she overcame it. Our special series, "Hollywood Weight Watch," continues coming up.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

It`s time now for yet another story that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

First there, was Red Bull. Now there`s this: Cocaine. It`s a brand new energy drink out. They`re called Cocaine. That`s really the name. This is not a joke. It supposedly has as much caffeine as three and a half cups of coffee. From coast to coast, people are outraged over the name of the drink - understandably so, because they think it will encourage kids to use drugs.

So we say, just say no to this caffeine in a can. "That`s Ridiculous!"

ANDERSON: Now to continue our series "Hollywood Weight Watch." All this week, we are taking a close look at the weight issues of the stars, from body image to gaining and losing pounds, to the pressure to be thin and the extremes some stars go to.

Tonight, Nicole Richie is responding to reports that she had checked into a rehab facility for an eating disorder. Richie says that story is just not true, and she has no idea where it came from. Today she talked to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show. She said that the paparazzi are following everywhere, so it`s not like she can do anything in secret. And she said she`s addressing the issue of weight on her own.


NICOLE RICHIE, ENTERTAINER: I`ve already said that I don`t an eat - that - that I don`t have an eating disorder. Like, I don`t - I don`t know how many times I have to repeat myself.

RYAN SEACREST, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Do you feel like you are too skinny?

RICHIE: Yes, I do.

SEACREST: And do you feel like you need to do something to - to gain weight? And are you trying to do that?

RICHIE: I am trying to do that. I have said that I am trying to do that. And - and, you know, I`m - I`m definitely on my way. But, you know, I mean, to say that I`m at an eating-disorder rehab when I`m not is just a complete lie/


ANDERSON: Richie said she doesn`t know how much she weighs because she doesn`t have a scale, but that she wears a Size 0 jeans.

HAMMER: While much attention has recently been paid to Nicole Richie on the issue of weight and body image, certainly she is not alone. As SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues to focus on sights on the "Hollywood Weight Watch" this week, we turn to the stars for their thoughts.

We sat down with Kate Winslet recently. She`s currently starring in the movie "All the King`s Men." And we asked Winslet if she thinks Hollywood puts too much pressure on women to look a certain way.


WINSLET: I`ve been a person with a shape, you know? And I`ve been a larger version larger of that shape, and I`ve also been a smaller version of that shape. But very happy nonetheless.

And I think when I was much younger, I - I noticed coming into sort of Hollywood and starting to make movies, I was very aware of the fact that women in film tend to be on the kind of slighter side. And I just at that point thought, Well, I better kind of follow suit then. Because obviously, that`s what you need to do in order to, you know, get parts, basically.

And it really sort of messed me up for a couple of years. And then I had a kind of wake-up moment when I was doing "Titanic." And I thought, Hang on a minute. And I thought, I`ve - I`ve done it. I`m - I`m here. I`m playing a lead character in this absolutely wonderful film. And I`m completely normal, very average, normal shape and size. And - and ever since then, really, it`s remained important to me, not only just to be happy and healthy - because, you know - I mean, why on Earth would you want to force yourself into an unhealthy state when you only get one shot at life? I mean, it`s just beyond me.


HAMMER: Winslet then went on to explain the lengths that she would go to maintain a thin figure, and the pitfalls that she thinks young women can fall into.


WINSLET: Yo-yo diets; you know, being absolutely obsessed with how I looked physically. Not necessarily what I was wearing, you know - I`m not so much into the whole kind of fashion thing and wearing what`s hot and what`s not, and, you know - I`m just really - I don`t have the time, quite honestly, with my two kids.

But - but - but yes, physically, you know, absolutely scrutinizing myself. And, you know, spending at least kind of 80 percent of everyday, not only thinking about what I had eaten, but thinking about how what I had eaten had subsequently made me look like, within like an hour of having something -- I mean, really screwed up.

Thankfully, I was never anorexic. Thank God. Thank God I wasn`t. But, you know, young women are very, very impressionable. And I think we live in a time where this kind of stuff is really frightening, actually. And - and -- and potentially very, very damaging.


HAMMER: Winslet can currently be seen in the film "All the King`s Men," co-starring Sean Penn.

ANDERSON: Hollywood has been getting a lot of heat for the influence it has on kids, with some complaining that children are bombarded by images that lead to eating disorders. Now the government is going to investigate the other extreme: does the media also contribute to obesity?

The FDC is organizing a task force to look into the effect the media has on the growing problem of overweight and obese children.

With us tonight, Liz Perle, editor in chief of Common Sense Media.

Welcome, Liz.

LIZ PERLE, COMMON SENSE MEDIA: Welcome. Thanks. It`s good to be here.

ANDERSON: It`s good to have you here.

Now, Liz, this is really unbelievable. Has it really gotten so bad that the government has to get involved to get to the bottom of it?

PERLE: Absolutely. You know, there`s a third of all kids that are either obese or at risk of becoming obese in this country.

ANDERSON: A third of all kids.

Now explain to me how what the media shows contributes to childhood obesity, which is what this task force is being formed to investigate.

PERLE: Well, let`s put is this way: have you ever gone down an aisle with a shopping cart and a 4-year-old? That kid is going to scream the minute it sees - her or she sees - SpongeBob on packaging.

The food and beverage industry spends - get this - 10 to 12 billion dollars a year. And a lot of that is targeted - all of that is targeted to kids to get them to buy sweet foods. And kids are buying it. A billion dollars a year in ads that go - show up on television - an ad for sweet foods every five minutes on a Saturday morning cartoon show.

ANDERSON: Well, we`ve got two extremes here though: the kids who are sitting around watching TV, watching these fat foods, then becoming obese; then on the other hand, you have got kids who are super thin because maybe they`re bombarded by images of super-skinny celebrities.

But isn`t this sort of a knee-jerk explanation, Liz, though for more serious causes of these problems? Because while I do really agree that it could contribute, isn`t it also about lifestyle? About what the parents are teaching these kids; about the parents allowing them to sit in front of the television hour after hour?

PERLE: Yes. You bet. And if we get into the blame game, the only people who are going to really lose are our children.

There are many causes of this. But let`s not underestimate the power of the media as a superpeer with our kids. I mean, it does set the expectations. Girls across this country, by the time they hit, you know, 13 years old, a third of them admit that the media has pressured them. The media has pressured them to feel that they`re overweight, and - and just not pretty enough.

So, you know, you`re really dealing with something that sets the standards and creates a norm for kids. And there is a huge disconnect between the skinny - super-skinny people that you see, that you`ve been talking about all week, and what the kids are like, too. Schools are at fault; parents are at fault; the media is at fault. But you know what? The only ones in the crosshairs of all of this are our kids.

ANDERSON: The surgeon general has called this "a national health crisis." Do you really think that if the media started playing ball here, Liz, that there would be an actual improvement? That we would see a major difference?

PERLE: Well put it this way: for every hour a preschooler watches TV, their risk of obesity goes up 6 percent. If that TV is in the kid`s bedroom, it`s 30 percent. The studies have been done; the measurements are there. Yes, these kids - you know, weight loss is no big, you know, mystery. Eat less, move more. But, you know, a third of all calories that our kids are consuming are our junk foods. And they`re finding out about these junk foods through the media as well.

So can the media make an immediate improvement? You bet.

ANDERSON: Well, they are concerns that certainly do need to be addressed and discussed.

Liz Perle, editor and chief of Common Sense Media, thanks so much for your insights.

PERLE: My pleasure.

HAMMER: Last night we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Celebrity Tabloids: Do you care if they get the facts right?" Well, integrity does mean something: 69 percent of you say "yes"; 31 percent of you say "no."

Among the e-mails we got, we heard from Don in Kentucky: "They are strictly about sensationalism. The more outrageous, the better. They believe anything anyone tells them."

We also heard from Ronald in Texas. He writes, "If the tabloids got everything right, the public would not buy one."

SHOWBIZ TONIGTH is coming straight back.


ANDERSON: We`ve been asking you to vote on tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." And it is this: "Fall TV Season: Are you disappointed by the new shows?"

Keep voting at Write to us at We`re going to read some of your e-mails tomorrow.

HAMMER: Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow:

The lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt. I go one-on-one with Jennifer, getting candid about the pressure to be thin in Hollywood. Her struggles, even at a Size 2. Jennifer Love Hewitt joins us tomorrow in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also, a look at extremes that some celebrities go to in their quest to be thin. It`s our special series; "Hollywood Weight Watch" continuing tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Have a great night, everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Glenn Beck is coming up next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines