Return to Transcripts main page


Brad Pitt on Jesse James; Britney Bombs at VMAs; Dannielynn Turns One in Style

Aired September 10, 2007 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Brad Pitt and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right here at the Toronto Film Festival. Brad sets the record straight about his new movie. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And a brawl at the VMAs between Pam Anderson`s exes. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney bombs. Everybody is talking about Britney Spears` absolutely disastrous performance at MTV`s Video Music Awards. The out of synch, lip-synching. The dancing, sort of. You call this a comeback? Is this the beginning of the end for Britney. What was she thinking? Why wasn`t she better prepared? Can her career ever recover? And are people being too hard on her about how she looks? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT covers all the angles of Britney`s VMA bomb.

Dannielynn`s big first birthday party. Larry Birkhead and Anna Nicole Smith`s daughter turns one with a whole lot of fanfare. But was it the right way to celebrate when Dannielynn has been through so much already? Plus, it`s been a year since Anna`s son died. Why are there still so many questions about his death? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the saga of Daniel and Dannielynn.

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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. All right, it may be the performance of the year, but for all the wrong reasons. Tonight, Britney Spears` performance at the MTV Video Music Awards is being slammed left and right. A.J., it was really hard to watch.

HAMMER: Man, I can`t even tell you how uncomfortable it was sitting there watching for me, Brooke. It got us all wondering, what the heck was she thinking? It`s being called a bomb. Not the bomb, but a bomb. The song she performed at the MTV VMAs was called "Give Me More." Britney is probably somewhere begging no more right now, because all day, she has just been slammed for her performance, her lip-synching and her overall appearance.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has you covered on Britney`s comeback that has led to a backlash.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s Britney, bitch.

HAMMER (voice-over): Unfortunately for Britney Spears, most of the bitching after the MTV Video Music Awards was about her performance. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the pop star is catching all kind of flak for what was supposed to be her comeback performance on the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas this time.

HAMMER: She got trashed on TV, and pummelled in print, with headlines like -- "Britney Jeers."

JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": It was really more sad than sexy.

HAMMER: Jo Piazza of the "New York Daily News" tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the criticism is justified.

PIAZZA: She was glassy eyed on stage. She could barely move around. By the end of the performance, Britney couldn`t even lip-synch to her own song. She wasn`t even trying. Her mouth wasn`t even moving at that point.

HAMMER: L.A. comedy duo Frangela critiqued her dancing performance for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

FRANGELA, COMEDY DUO: I`ve seen my father dance better.


And he dances just like Bill Cosby.

Bill Cosby puts a lot more butt in his dance. He shows it.

HAMMER: Hmm, Bill versus Brit. You can be the judge. Britney Spears choice of attire not win her any raves either.

PIZZA: It`s no the Britney of yore. She really can`t pull off that half-naked hot chick look anymore.

HAMMER: Even the big stars in the audience were aghast at Britney`s performance. Check out rapper 50 Cent, whose expression was priceless as Britney was bombing on stage.

FRANGELA: Shoot 50 Cent in the face nine times, and he was happier than he was watching Britney perform.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was in Las Vegas for the MTV Video Music Awards, and after the show, we asked 50 what he thought of Brit`s performance?

50 CENT, RAPPER: I think she did good. I think the production was great.

HAMMER: Good production values. Who says hard core rappers can`t be diplomatic. But when we talked to other stars at the VMAs, they weren`t as kind.

COMMON, RAPPER: It didn`t look like she was too enthused about being there. It was kind just a point you felt bad about it.

AKON, SINGER/PRODUCER: I thought it could have been better. I think she was kind of nervous in a lot of ways because of all the pressure.

HAMMER: It was only yesterday that Britney Spears all but owned the MTV awards show. Who can forget her memorable snake dance in the 2001 telecast or her lip lock with Madonna in 2003?

But this year, after months of scandalous coverage, embarrassing photos and a painfully public child custody battle, the stakes were even higher for Britney this time around.

PIAZZA: MTV had read her the Riot Act before she went on stage and told her you need to really bring it, and she didn`t bring it.

HAMMER: Jo Piazza of the "New York Daily News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT some are saying that Britney may not have taken this comeback seriously enough.

PIAZZA: Britney was partying all weekend. We had reporters out in Vegas who saw her getting down with Diddy hard core on Saturday night, and you don`t do that if you`re staking your entire career on a performance the next night.

HAMMER: And we all saw the results.

FRANGELA: I hope her children didn`t see that perform, because they already got one untalented parent.

HAMMER: Now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, can Britney`s career survive a high-profile dud of a performance? Some are saying, no.

PIAZZA: After last night`s performance, I think we can officially say that Britney Spears is done. She`s not coming back.

HAMMER: Britney has a new album coming out in November. We can`t close the book on her just yet, but if that CD fails too, Britney`s MTV performance will go down in history as the night Britney Spears` career officially died.


HAMMER: And if you watched Britney`s disaster on stage with that knot in your stomach, trust me, you`re not alone. Joining me from Hollywood, investigative journalist Pat Lalama, and editorial director of, Ken Baker. Ken, -- I`m going to call you Pen tonight. Ken, Pat, let`s get to it. I don`t know about you, but I was flipping through the newspaper today. I was listening to the morning shows on the radio. I was looking at the blogs online. I couldn`t find one kind word, truly brutal.

I want to read to you what the "New York Post" happened to write about Britney. They said, "Brit didn`t seem to care that she danced like she a pant load, that her lips weren`t in synch with the song." The Associated Press goes on even worse. They call Britney`s performance, quote, "lethargic movements that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor for a nursing home."

Not nice. Pat Lalama, what could Britney have been thinking?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: You know, A.J., I`m laughing and I`m crying. I`m crying because, you know, we have to give people a break. People can have a rough road, a celebrity. This was her chance to say, I am going to show the world that I haven`t become a negligent mother and a musical moron. This was her opportunity. She blew it.

A.J., this woman seems like she`s self-destructive. My plea is, go get help. The reason why I`m laughing is because I have said for years it is time that the music industry stop sexing up hot blonds and over-dubbing them in the studios and trying to create a musical genius product, when these are people who aren`t that talented to begin with.

You know, give me an Alicia Keys. Give ma Christina Aguilera, people who can really sing. When did they say that lip-synching was OK as music? So I`m fed up with that part of it.

HAMMER: I think Alicia Keyes` performance last night was proof that it`s not all bad. The audience`s reaction left no doubt. It wasn`t just what we seeing on TV. They do those cut aways to get the reaction from the stars in the audience, going, wow, she`s doing great? These are the biggest names in the music business. Ken, there is no way that Britney Spears walked off the stage last night and said, wow, that was pretty good.

KEN BAKER, USWEEKLY.COM: No, in fact, sources we talked to after the performance, if we can call it a performance, actually said that she was seen crying, that she was very upset, that she knew that it was just horrible, that she had totally bombed. The thing about Britney is that, you know, she just keeps doing this.

This has been a really wretched year for her personally and professionally, going back to January. She started this year off by doing what? Shaving off her hair. Britney Spears, besides her music and dancing, was known for this beautiful long hair. She has just been basically undercutting herself. She`s been self-sabotaging the entire year. And I think last night was the epitome of what has been a downward spiral all year long.

HAMMER: Which has been sad to watch. Of course, today the ladies of "The View" were all abuzz with their thoughts on exactly what they thought went wrong. Whoopi Goldberg had an interesting thought. Let`s watch what she said.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": I`m concerned, because I actually think she doesn`t want to do this anymore. I just have a funny feeling that if - -

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": Then why do it?

GOLDBERG: I think she doesn`t know how stop.


HAMMER: I think Whoopi has a great point, Pat. What do you think? Does Brit just not care anymore?

LALAMA: I`m so with Whoopi. I think she`s got real psychological problems. It`s clear. You`re telling me you`re going to do this big event, where the world is watching to see if you`re going to fall on your face, and you`re out partying a few nights before? That`s called suicide. I mean that musical suicide.

Who`s taking care of the kids? Why do you keep making these mistakes? This is a real problem. I feel badly for her, because you can`t be this bad off.

HAMMER: I feel badly for her as well. And I feel particularly badly about one thing that happened today. It actually really bothered me quite a bit. A lot of the comments I was reading and hearing were about Britney`s body. That is tough to swallow. The "New York Post" said she jiggled like Jell-O. Perez Hilton, who writes all kinds of nasty things about people, wrote Britney had a beer belly.

Ken, what do you think? Maybe a bad wardrobe choice, but this kind of critique, I don`t think it`s fair.

BAKER: I actually would beg to differ. I think her physical appearance was fine. The costume was bad, but her body was fine. This is a woman who has had two kids. Sure, she could be in better shape. But I think what`s important here is if you looked at Britney, in her eyes, when they did that close-up at the beginning of her performance, she had that glazed over sort of glassy eyed look. It reminded me of Elvis Presley in his last days.

HAMMER: Interesting comparison to draw. I`ve got to end it there, guys. Ken Baker, Pat Lalama, I appreciate it.

So this has us all wondering if this is it for Britney? Has she killed her entire career with this one, quite honestly, disastrous performance? We`ll get in to that at 30 minutes past the hour. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report.

ANDERSON: We want to hear from you about it. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of day. Britney`s VMA disaster; is her career over? Vote at TONIGHT. Send us an e-mail,

HAMMER: Britney`s performance wasn`t the only painful thing that happened at the VMAs last night. Kid Rock and Tommy Lee really got into it. There was a big tussle, punches thrown around. The cops even got involved. Were they fighting over their ex, Pamela Anderson? They were both married to her. That`s still ahead. Also this.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: I`m still a bit stung by it.


ANDERSON: Brad Pitt sets the record straight about his new movie and his role as the outlaw Jesse James. It`s Brad and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at the Toronto Film Festival coming up.

HAMMER: Coming up next, we`re going to take an inside look at Dannielynn`s first birthday party. It was a pretty lavish affair. The question is, was it too over the top? Also, it`s been a year now since Daniel Smith died. Whatever happened to that inquest? Our Daniel and Dannielynn update coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. we`re coming right back.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, a big birthday blowout for Anna Nicole`s baby daughter Dannielynn. Ice sculptures, castles, even a horse drawn carriages. Was it a mistake to more attention to the most famous baby in the world?

And today, a somber day. It`s been one year since the death of Dannielynn`s brother, Daniel Smith. You might remember, Daniel died under mysterious circumstances in the Bahamas just three days after Dannielynn was born. There is still no official cause of death in that case. So what`s the latest on that?

With meet tonight, two people who covered the Anna Nicole story extensive; from Burbank, "Access Hollywood" correspondent Tony Potts, and from Atlanta, someone who`s also an investigative journalist, Art Harris. Thank you both for being here.

First, I want to look at this video from the birthday party. There were inflatable cakes, giant ice cream cones, and we hear inside there was a giant castle, an ice sculpture of Dannielynn, even a horse-drawn carriage. Tony, are you kidding me? Some say this is a little over the top?

TONY POTTS, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD": Yes, it probably is. Then when you`re a parent, and it`s your child`s first birthday, you only have one chance at the first birthday. What is over the top? A lot of us, a lot of times will have the birthday, throw the birthday that we want for our child. Sure is it over the top? Of course. But in Kentucky with the gals who put on the pre-Kentucky Derby show, you know, that`s kind of what they do.

And I think what was inappropriate for me were the cameras there. I mean, look, even if it was our show that was there, I still would have had a problem with it. In fact, I have witnesses -- I`ve counseled Larry in the past that, said, look, I don`t think you should do this on our show. It might not look good. I don`t think the cameras there -- quite frankly, Brooke, he told me six months ago that he couldn`t wait for all this to die down. And to me this doesn`t seem like you`re trying to make it die down.

ANDERSON: What do you think? The TV crews being there, the paparazzi hanging around outside; do you think that is really setting plate for an inevitable life of harsh scrutiny for that baby?

POTTS: I think it`s her first baby. Let`s see what happens when she goes to school or preschool. Brooke, I agree with you in one sense. You know, you set the bar high. If you do this for the first birthday, what comes next? I want to reiterate this; Larry told me I hope this all dies down. And I just don`t understand why he would do this.

Have the big party. Don`t have any cameras there. Have one guy, on photographer, who is a friend of your family. His brother takes pictures, I know. So have them take the pictures and have that be that.

ANDERSON: You are very close with Larry. You have been covering the story from the beginning, Tony. Larry, I know, realizes the attention that he receives, the scrutiny he`s under. Yet, did he have no seconds thoughts about throwing this kind of extravagant party?

POTTS: I think he did. I think he`s always kind of -- always looked at thing as number of ways. I`m not sure who was counseling him and telling him it was OK to do this. But if you`re a father and you want to celebrate, and the gals in Kentucky want to help you celebrate, I think it`s an OK thing. I think when you bring the media in though, that`s a problem.

I do have a problem with Howard K. Stern being there. Why would this father have that man within 1,000 miles of his baby? That`s something that only Larry can answer, and he won`t answer it to me. But that`s the big problem I have with all of that.

ANDERSON: And hopefully Dannielynn, one-year-old, is a little too young to be spoiled.

POTTS: Brooke, I can tell you, my daughter at her first birthday party had no idea even who was in the room.

ANDERSON: Completely oblivious. I do want to move now to Art, because we all know that Dannielynn`s brother Daniel died a year ago tonight under mysterious circumstances. A private autopsy paid for by Anna Nicole determined he died from a lethal combination of drugs. The Bohemian government ordered an official inquest way back in March. Here it is, Art, six months later. Why has nothing happened?

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, there`ve been some screw ups for the judges down there, Brooke. You had the first coroner, Linda Virgil, removed for controversial statements to the press. You had another judge, Roger Gomez, removed by the Bohemian Supreme Court for the same reason. And Howard Stern`s lawyers have won at that level a request to have witnesses, at least in a system, to make sure that there`s a fair selection of witnesses. In the Bahamas, you usually just elect them off the streets.

Here in the states, you have something called voir dire, which allows both sides to question to see if they`ll be fair. Because there`s so much said, some accurate, a lot inaccurate, it can trickle down and poison any fair jury pool.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this. You`ve spent quite a bit of time in the Bahamas closely monitoring this case. Is nobody pushing them to find out why Daniel died exactly? Will he just -- would the whole thing be forgotten?

HARRIS: I don`t think so. I think that they know that they have got to do something with it. I`ve spoken to lawyers on all sides. And there`s a real question with Cyril Wecht`s autopsy that basically concluding -- I`ve spoken to him many times -- that this was, he believes, accidental, a lethal accident. A combination of Lexapro, Zoloft and Methadone. The question, how did he get those medications? If the people who were there, from Howard K. Stern to Gather Ben Thompson (ph) -- even Ford Shelly (ph) they don`t think that in any way, any question or suggestion that Howard Stern had anything to do with this. They don`t believe that at all. He loved Daniel. And Daniel loved him.

ANDERSON: OK, Art Harris and Tony Potts, thank you both for your insight tonight.

Tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, my explosive interview with Rita Cosby, the author of the controversial book on Anna Nicole`s death. She responds to Larry Birkhead for the first time. That is tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: You may have heard about those naked pictures of "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgins that are out there online. But the new co- host of "The View" says there may be pictures of her out there too. Sherri Shepherd wasting no time getting down and dirty on "The View." It`s very funny. That`s coming up next. Also this.


AKON: I thought it could have been better. At first, I wanted to hear her sing. You know? I feel like her coming back, she probably owed it to herself.


ANDERSON: Is Britney spears done? That was rapper Akon being diplomatic with his reaction. But I was really shocked by how awful the performance was. But has it killed her career once and for all? That`s coming up, a SHOWBIZ special report.

HAMMER: And I am fresh back from the Toronto Film Festival. All the big stars were there, including this guy, Brad Pitt, setting the record straight about his new movie and why it has taken so long for it to come out. That is still ahead on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. There was a whole lot of Whoopi going on at "The View" today. But not from Whoopi Goldberg.


BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": This is the worst kept secret of the month. But we would like you now to welcome our new permanent co-host, Sherri Shepherd!


HAMMER: Yes, it definitely was one of the worst kept secrets out there. Comedian Sherri Shepherd joining "The View." The desk is now complete, with Whoopi and Sherri replacing Rosie O`Donnell and Star Jones. And Sherri didn`t wait one minute to open up.

When the ladies were talking about that whole scandal surrounding squeaky clean Vanessa Hudgens` naked pictures, which are floating around on the Internet, Sherri confessed a little secret of her own.


SHEPHERD: Everybody`s been doing it. I mean, I sent out nude pictures when I was 17. I hope they come out.


SHEPHERD: I had a boyfriend in prison in my early 20s and I sent some --

WALTERS: And the prison allowed then to come in to the prison?

SHEPHERD: It was mail.


WALTERS: What was he in prison for, by the way?

SHEPHERD: Like arson and burglary. You all may be getting a little too much on my first day.

WALTERS: They will be on the Internet. Forget it.

SHEPHERD: Well, I looked good. So bring it on.


HAMMER: Yes, maybe a little too much information. I do think Sherri is going to be a great co-host. By the way, Hudgens tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she is embarrassed and regrets ever taking those pictures.

So Britney Spears performance at the MTV Video Music Awards has been pretty universally panned. Personally, I found it pretty uncomfortable to watch. Is this it for Britney? Will this kill her career? That`s next in a SHOWBIZ special report.

ANDERSON: And Britney`s performance wasn`t the only painful thing at the VMAs. Kid Rock and Tommy Lee got into a brawl. But was it over Pamela Anderson, their mutual ex-wife? Who started it? That`s all coming up. Also this.


PITT: I`m still a bit stunned by it.


HAMMER: Brad Pitt setting the record straight about his new movie and his role as the outlaw Jesse James. Brad and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there at the Toronto Film Festival. That is coming up and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back for a Monday night.



HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Britney`s comeback catastrophe. The lousy lip-synching, the disastrous dancing. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, is this bye-bye for Britney?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it could have been better. First I wanted to hear her sing. You know? I feel like her coming back, probably owed it to herself.


HAMMER: OK. So she was bad. We also have to ask, aren`t people being to hard on her? Especially about her body? And maybe, possibly, somehow, could this MTV nightmare actually help? Yes, I said it, help her career. Yeah, it`s a fired up, take no prisoners SHOWBIZ special report: Is Britney`s Career Killed?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

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

A.J., some pretty big, crazy news out of Las Vegas last night. Did you hear about it?

HAMMER: There was an Elvis sighting, right? That`s was it.

ANDERSON: Oh, sure.

HAMMER: No, of course, Brooke, I do know what you`re talking about from coast to coast today, water coolers in every office, everywhere I went, everybody`s talking about Britney Spears shockingly awful performance last night at the MTV Video Music Awards.


BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER: I`m back, Bitch. I see you, and I just want to dance with you.


ANDERSON: Oh, A.J., I had my hand over my eyes. I could not watch. And "The View`s" Whoopi Goldberg made a really interesting point today. She said that maybe Britney`s just not into it, her career, anymore. And you know, A.J., that would be a really -- a really startling change from just a few years back. Don`t you think?

HAMMER: Oh she had the most amazing work ethic. And nobody can forget her performance back in 2003`s Music Video Awards. You know this picture, that very controversy jaw-dropping girl on girl Britney/Madonna kiss. And you remember this, her eye-popping performance of "I`m A Slave For You" that happened back in 2001, complete with that python wrapped around her.

So, barely 24 hours later and the sharks see blood in the water. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT special report and we are asking the tough questions. Is Britney`s career killed? Was this comeback try the final nail in the coffin for Britney?

Joining us tonight, a very fired up coast-to-coast panel, from Hollywood, editorial director of "US" magazine, Ken Baker, investigative journalist Pat Lalama and here in New York, "Rolling Stone" magazine Executive Editor Joe Levy.

Gang, I appreciate you being here on this auspicious occasion tonight. Last week right here on the program saying this performance was truly do or die for Britney Spears.

Pat Lalama, do you think that possibly she didn`t realize that this was a career ender if she didn`t get it right?

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: If she didn`t, she needs to quit right now. I mean she needs to go become -- do something else. But, listen, A.J., this was absolute sabotage. You don`t look at yourself in the mirror the day that this happens and say, oh, I was going to go out there and -- listen, my kids -- my seventh grade kids flag football team, the cheer leaders for his team, do much better at dancing and performing than this thing last night.

It was shocking. She`s sabotaging herself. She`s partying, she`s not taking it seriously. She`s even got a new manager. You`d think she would want to impress that person. She is really in trouble. I`m really feeling for this girl.

HAMMER: Yes, I have to say, it`s the last thing I expected. Maybe it wasn`t going to be stellar, but I thought it would have been better than this.

Joe Levy, from "Rolling Stone" magazine, you`ve been working in and around the music business for a long time. You`ve seen the stars coming and going. Let me ask you, plain and simple, is Britney Spears done?

JOE LEVY, EXEC. EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": Done? No. In good shape? Absolutely not. This was supposed to be the start of a comeback. This was going to be the talked about performance at the Video Music Awards. It is being talk about, it`s not the talk they wanted. Not at all. This is borderline disastrous.

HAMMER: A lot of talk going on backstage last night, at the VMAs. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, of course, was right there. Because we wanted to get the immediate reaction from the other artists who were actually right there in the audience. You get a different perspective when you`re there sitting among the crowd.

I want you all to listen to what this rapper Common, had to say about Britney last night.


COMMON, RAPPER: I saw Britney Spears and it didn`t look like she was too enthused about being there. So it was kind of disappointing. You felt bad about. You know, you just hope for the best. Hope that she can improve and maybe later on, you know, be able to come back and really be at that place where she feels good, and she can rock the show.


HAMMER: Rock the show. Joe Levy, let me go back to you. She did not rock the show. Obviously it`s not just her critics and fans that slaughtered her performance. That`s been going on all day. She has a new album its coming out in November. I`ve got to wonder, what do you think? Is her record label just kind of freaking out tonight?

LEVY: I think the record label is not feeling confident. You know, yeah, the record label has been freaking out for quite some time. This record was supposed to come out earlier this year. It was supposed to come out last year. There was supposed to be a duet with Justin Timberlake on it. There were all sorts of plans and they`re not coming true. I think the record label is pretty freaked, yes.

HAMMER: And maybe without the Justin Timberlake performance and perhaps other stars might be on the path of alienating her, we`ll have to wait and see what happens with that. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT also sat down with Rapper A-Con (ph) back stage last night. Let`s listen to what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it could have been better. I was feeling bad. First I wanted to hear her sing. I felt like her coming back, she probably owed it to herself, just to be, it`s just an art. Know what I mean? When you see a live performance, that`s why it`s called live performance. Want to see that energy.

HAMMER: And concerts are an artist`s bread and butter. Now, that is not it for Britney, of course, she`s a brand name that transcends that. But Ken Baker, let me go to you. Sooner or later we know Britney is going to have to get in front of an audience and sing to make her living. Was this performance just proof she`s not ready to tour or be in front of a big audience?

KEN BAKER, USMAGAZINE.COM: The interesting thing, we`ve all been writing her career obituary for a long time. OK. Now, it`s in draft mode. There`s no way the obituary is done and her career is over. The problem she really has gotten herself into, is that -- let`s look at, say, Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees. He came back. He`s a pitcher. But you know when he came back? He came back into the minor leagues, with no one watching. So that he could mess up and he could get these -- minor leaguers hitting home runs off him.

She had a big stage and she fell hard. But there was a silver lining, I have to say. She didn`t fall down and she didn`t vomit all over herself.

LALAMA: Oh, wow!


HAMMER: Yeah, you know, Roger Clemens, unlike Britney Spears, doesn`t require a fan base to maintain his career, which brings us something that I think is pretty disturbing indicator for her, if Britney`s checking the barometer today. Because she`s always had at teen girls, whose have been there for her through it all.

I have to tell you, I was reading a blog today, I was listening to my morning drive time radio here in New York City. And I heard a lot of young women basically turning their backs on her.

Pat, it seems to me if that core audience goes away, game over.

LALAMA: Listen, A.J., this comes down to a real comment, I think, on the music industry. There`s not enough time for Britney to keep acting like this. The music industry, now because they do try to sex up, I think, a lot of untalented people and overdub them time and time again, in the studio, they`re going to move on to the next one. People are going to wear out, giving her another chance, because next hot one will come along. She had her chance.

You know, I heard people say, I think -- or somebody said she was nervous. That`s not good enough. You cannot be a professional and not rise above your nervousness, or what people might say about you. You get up. You stand up straight and say I`m going to kick some butt tonight, and she didn`t do it.

HAMMER: No, she didn`t. Joe Levy from "Rolling Stone", you`re her management. Let`s put you in that position right now, which I wouldn`t want to be in.

LEVY: I`m her management?

HAMMER: Yes, you are now managing Britney Spears.

LEVY: Wow.

HAMMER: You watched this nuclear explosion occurring on stage in Vegas last night. What are you thinking?

LEVY: I`m thinking I`m not getting paid enough, for one thing. I`m thinking what do we do next? What`s our damage control? How do we calm things down? Basically what I`m thinking, my next move is to go out a few weeks down the line, a few months down the line, explain this. What`s Barbara Walters doing? Maybe I can get a little time with her. Because it is time for Britney get in front of an audience and tell people what`s been going on. She`s got to take the conversation back and try to control it.

HAMMER: Well, Ken Baker, let me take that point to you. You come from "US" magazine. She does needs this major press reworking. The press is not on her side right now. How does she fix that?

BAKER: I think she actually still has it in her. Just a few months ago, Britney Spears went on a small club tour. Joe Levy can speak to this. And actually, you could go on YouTube, anywhere you can see, her performances were actually pretty good. She was playing her old hits, she was dancing, she was not looking wasted. She was actually pretty professional.

So, she clearly can come back. But what she does really have is a major image problem. A real big problem here, she doesn`t have a personal publicist, right now. She`s sort of just flying solo and she`s in over her head.

HAMMER: We`ve been saying all along, she does need to have a team of good people on her side. That is not the case as far as we know it right now.

One thing that`s been bothering me, though is it fair to talk about Britney`s weight in having any bearing on her making a comeback? We`ll get to that very important subject in just a moment. Plus, whether her on-stage disaster could actually help her.

Panel people, stay where you are. We`re coming back in just a sec.

ANDERSON: You know, A.J., these Music Video Awards never have just one train wreck story. I could not believe it when Tommy Lee and Kid Rock started fighting. Yeah, they went at each other during the live broadcast. The big question is, did it have anything to do with this lady, Pam Anderson? They were both married to her at one point, separately, of course. I`ve got that, next.

Also this:


OPRAH WINFREY, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": There isn`t a day I don`t think about all the people who woke up, and it was just an ordinary day, until The Towers blew up.


HAMMER: Oprah Winfrey really opening up about 9/11. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as Oprah kicked off her new season. She`s working on a very emotional show for that day. I`ve got that coming up.

Also I was right there at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend. We had a chance to speak with so many of the stars, including Brad Pitt. Brad setting the record straight about his new Western film and playing the outlaw Jesse James, coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We are back with our coast- to-coast passionate panel as our SHOWBIZ special report: "Is Britney`s Career Killed?"

I want to bring up something that had me pretty bothered today. All right, we accept that she had a bad performance. She couldn`t dance, she couldn`t sing, didn`t have any energy. Got all that. Then the press and the blogs all started going after Britney`s weight. I think that just wasn`t fair. It`s one -- it was one mean thing they to say, hey, Brit, unless you lose 15 pounds you`ll never come back.

Pat Lalama, investigative journalist that just stinks, doesn`t it?

LALAMA: Let me just tell you something it is obvious part of her image is just to look good. I don`t deny that that is the fact. But all this baloney about her paunch, you know her stomach, you know what? If I could have shielded the ears of every teenage girl when I read that junk, I -- I wish I could have done it. Because that`s just the sort of sexism that perpetuates in this industry with young women thinking they got to look perfect all the time. It`s complete sexism.

And let me tell you something, if women made as much stink about men`s body as men do about women, men would stay in the fetal position and never get out of bed. I`ve had it with that kind of stuff.

HAMMER: I have to say, it`s the kind of the thing we`ve come to expect from the blogs. Anybody can write a blog. But in terms of major media saying things like that, I saw some of that today, it`s pretty awful.

Ken Baker what do you think?

BAKER: Well, I think Pat`s right. I don`t think anyone wants to see you, Joe Levy or I, in a Speedo jumping up and down on a stage. I think that would be horrific. But really what is the problem with Britney isn`t so much her physical appearance. I think she looked great. Actually, the problem is what`s going on inside of her head.

What is this woman thinking? She seems so confused, so conflicted about what she wants out of her career, if she wants a career at all. In fact, you have to also wonder about her heart. Is her heart even in it? I think the answer is not in her body, in her abs, or anything like that. It`s in her eyes. If you really looked in her eyes last night, she was vacant. She wasn`t there, she wasn`t focused. Those were eyes of someone who didn`t want to be there?

HAMMER: But wait a moment, are we getting this all wrong? I want you all to take a listen to something that comedy duo "Frangela" told us today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that this performance and all the buzz the next day is good for her album and good for her career. I think that this is better than if she done a good job.


HAMMER: There is one thing that I have learned about Hollywood, it that if a star does something bad, it gets more ink and air time than if they do something good. "Rolling Stone" magazine`s Joe Levy, is this really such a bad thing for Britney?

LEVY: Well, you know, I just love "Frangela" but I just have to say, no. It`s not a good thing. And A.J., she`s done plenty of bad. All the good that could come from bad, she already got, and she dot got it in the spades. She got it by not wearing underwear, she got it by all sorts of things. This was a moment for her to turn that around and show people, my personal life may be whatever, but my professional life, I can get out there and kill it. And she didn`t. She didn`t dill at all. She tripped. She stumbled, oops, she did it again.

HAMMER: But you just needed to work in, she was the most searched name on the Internet today, though. Ken Baker, from, not a good thing in any way? Nothing redeeming about this?

BAKER: No. I think actually there`s a lot of potential still in Britney Spears. Look, when she comes out to support that album in November, and she`s on the "Tonight Show" or she`s on "David Letterman " and puts out a really good performance -- which I think she still has inside of her --

HAMMER: She could turn it all around.

BAKER: Exactly.

HAMMER: I`m going to say it for you so we can wrap it up.

Thanks so much for joining us, Ken Baker, Joe Levy and Pat Lalama. Appreciate you all being with us.

LALAMA: Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: And we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Britney`s MTV Music Video Awards disaster? Is her career over? Let us know what you think at Or write to us at Your e-mails, tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Now, Britney`s disaster, it wasn`t the only train wreck at the VMAs. Motley Crue`s Tommy Lee and Kid Rock got in to a nasty fight as the live show was going on. Here`s how it went down.

While Alicia Keys was performing -- it was one of the best performances of the night, I would like to say as well. While she was performing, Tommy and Kid started going at it. We don`t exactly know why they started fighting, but while Pam Anderson was presenting she was pretty upset with Tommy, because he wouldn`t stop whistling.


PAM ANDERSON, ACTRESS: I`ve had some good times in Vegas, but one of best times I ever had was making out -- stop it, Tommy -- with the next performer in the middle of the desert. I think I had my tongue so far down his throat I could taste his fiance -- stop it!


ANDERSON: CNN Reporter Brianna Keilar, who was right there in the audience, told us after this happened that Pam went over to Tommy and got upset. When she turned around and walked away, he grabbed her arm. She had to forcefully pull herself from him. So all of this might have had something to do with it. Remember, both Tommy and Kid were married to Pam at one point, separately, of course.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can also tell you Lee was immediately kicked out. Kid was a little while later. Kid, who`s real name is Robert Ritchie, was cited for misdemeanor battery, and he`s got a Las Vegas court date in about a month.

All right, so A.J., I know before you took in the VMA fun, you also had a busy weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival?

HAMMER: Yes, it was a lot of fun, Brooke. I was right there speaking with the biggest stars on the planet, among them, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal. We`ll be bringing you those interviews all weekend long.

And Brad Pitt, also up in Toronto for his new movie, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." Brad is already winning awards for his role as Jesse James. He won best actor at the Venice Films Festival, just as the film premiered, at the Toronto Film Festival.

Take a look at what Brad had to say if he knew that Jesse James would be an award-winning role for him.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: I think it`s a film of great quality. I did not, certainly did not expect anything like that. Just happy to see -- I`m really happy to see it get appreciated. I was -- I`m still a bit stun by it, but I will tell you, it`s great fun.


HAMMER: The movie actually finished shooting last year and Brad is setting the record straight on why it took so long for it to come out.


PITT: It was implausible that it would -- that we would make the 10- week cutting, very complex, delicate film. And when we didn`t make the last fall -- you know, cutting, and we had time to really fine tune it for this fall.


HAMMER: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" is in theaters on September 21st.

Reese Witherspoon was also right there at the Toronto Film Festival for her new movie, "Rendition". A film I enjoyed a whole lot. A movie that raises questions about the government using torture as a tool to prevent terrorism.

Now I asked Reese for her opinions on that very dicey subject. Make sure you tune in for my interview with Reese tomorrow right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Well, you know, Oprah Winfrey has done so many shows, so many topics, but this could truly be the most emotional one she`s ever covered.


WINFREY: There isn`t a day I don`t think about all the people who woke up and it was just an ordinary day, until The Towers blew up.


HAMMER: And Oprah Winfrey, spending September 11th here in New York City, and opening up like never before about 9/11. That is next.


HAMMER: The Queen of Talk was in New York City today. That`s right, I mean, Oprah Winfrey. We were right there as she took over the theater at New York City`s Madison Square Garden. To tape her special 9/11 tribute honoring children whose parents were killed in the attacks.


WINFREY (voice over): Thousands and thousands of children left behind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It gets so much harder over the years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe I`ve gotten stronger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s OK to forgive the one who have hurt us.


HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Oprah today to get her very personal and emotional thoughts on what the day means to her and what it should mean to Americans.


WINFREY: I think even in the darkest moments, people were able to reach inside themselves, and extend themselves, and give light to other people. That was a time where I think even though we were in this disastrous time, that we never really felt more connected, as a country; that we allowed not our diversities to make us different but to bring us all together. And I think we forgot that. I think we forgot that. I really do.

And what I just hope, is that it doesn`t take another major disaster for us to remember. I really think, like, September 11th should become a national holiday of remembering. That`s why I`m taping the show this afternoon, and I want to be home. I`m not afraid to fly, but I just said -- we need to -- sit and be quiet. I think tomorrow is a reflect-full and respectful time. Yes.

But there isn`t a day that I don`t think about al those people who woke up and it was just and ordinary day, until The Towers blew up.


HAMMER: It is sure to be a heart-wrenching and touching program. It airs tomorrow, Tuesday, on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

ANDERSON: All right, on Friday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day: "Showbiz Weight Watch", do looks mean more than talent in Hollywood? Very one-sided, take a look at this, 89 percent of you say yes, only 11 percent of you say no, that looks do not mean more than talent in Hollywood. Here`s some e-mail that we received.

Christine from Iowa writes: "Due to Hollywood`s idiotic ideals for women some great award-winning actresses will never have their chance to shine. Not all female roles could possibly be created only for someone a size zero."

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

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. "Glenn Beck" coming up next, right after the latest headlines from CNN "Headline News".