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How Much Influence Do Celebrities Have on the Coming Election?; More on John Edwards` Affair; Lynne Spears` Novel Will Release at the End of the Month` Angelina Jolie Replaces Tom Cruise in a New Movie; Outrage Over "Tropic Thunder"
Aired August 12, 2008 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Why is Brooke Hogan putting fake mugshots on her MySpace page? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And Tom Cruise is out. Angelina Jolie is in. How Angelina is reportedly taking over a role that Tom Cruise was supposed to play. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.
HAMMER: TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Britney`s mom books it. Tonight, Britney Spears` mother drops a book bombshell just as Britney is finally getting her act together. Tonight, is this a ridiculous time for Britney`s mom to be spilling the beans on her and Britney`s whole family? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the inside story of Britney`s mom`s controversial confession.
Tonight, the mind-boggling Paris/Angelina/Oprah factor in the race for the White House. As weird as it sounds, could Paris Hilton, Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie actually influence who becomes the next president of the United States? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the electrifying debate over the presidential star storm.
Plus "90210" no. A new "Beverly Hills 90210," but the same old fighting. Tonight, why Tori Spelling is now dropping out of the brand-new "90210."
HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.
ANDERSON: Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood where we got this startling news today that Angelina Jolie may be taking a big job away from Tom Cruise. So why would Angelina be replacing Tom? That`s coming up.
HAMMER: But first, Britney`s mom tells all. Britney Spears` mother has just revealed that her long-awaited book about the Spears family is about to come out. And perhaps the title says it all; it`s called, "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World." But the book is coming out just as Britney is finally getting her act together. Britney`s 17-year-old sister Jamie Lynn is quietly trying to raise her newborn child. And the craziness of the Spears family is settling down, which had SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asking, is this a case of really bad timing?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: I didn`t want to hurt you.
RUSSELL BRAND, BRITISH COMEDIAN: But you might hurt me, darling.
HAMMER (voice over): It`s a refreshing sight. Britney Spears laughing it up with British comedian Russell Brand and an elephant in this ad for MTV`s upcoming Video Music Awards.
BRAND: Can you remember my name?
BRAND: I clearly must have a name? It`s not Russell Brand, Britney.
SPEARS: What does he -
HAMMER: It`s a far cry from Britney`s disastrous appearance at last year`s VMAs. This Britney who`s nominated for two VMAs is definitely the new and improved version.
MARC MALKIN, "E! NEWS ONLINE": She`s not doing fake British accents. She`s not hitting anyone with an umbrella. She looks amazing. She sounds great. She`s being the Britney that everyone fell in love with when she first started.
HAMMER: Now with Britney back in the land of the somewhat-normal and her teen sister Jamie Lynn settled into motherhood, life is finally calm and tranquil in the Spears family. Or is it? The girls` mom, Lynne Spears, is about to release her delayed book, "Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World."
MALKIN: The publisher for Lynne`s book. "Through the Storm," is marketing the book not so much as a guide to parenting, but more just, "Here`s a look from a mother who`s raised two celebrities and what she`s gone through."
HAMMER: And it`s explosive. Lynne`s memoir reportedly includes the inside scoop on Britney`s meltdown amid the white-hot paparazzi attention; Jamie Lynn`s shocking teen pregnancy; and what`s described as Lynne`s battle for Britney battle with ex-manager Sam Lutfi.
But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is asking, will Lynne`s book reopened the wounds left by all the meltdowns, scandal and trouble that Brit and her sister now appear to be leaving behind?
DAVID CAPLAN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: There are some concerns people have that it`s going to rehash all the negative incidents in the Spears` life.
HAMMER: When Lynne`s book, published by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, was first announced late last year, gossip pages started calling it a parenting guide. That provoked a bit of skepticism, to say the least.
CAPLAN: People were looking at the mother of Britney Spears and thinking how can this woman be giving us parenting advice?
HAMMER: Lynne`s publisher insisted her book was not going to be a parenting guide. But when then-16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears dropped her pregnancy bombshell late last year, the publisher decided to postpone Mama Spears` book.
MALKIN: Very smart for the publisher to say, "You know what? Jamie Lynn just got knocked up. Maybe it`s not the right time to come out with her mom`s book on parenting."
HAMMER: Now, with Jamie Lynn quietly raising her new baby girl and big sis apparently on the comeback trail, Lynne`s book is due to hit shelves later this month. But some are concerned with the timing.
MALKIN: This is not a saga that has ended.
HAMMER: Marc Malkin of the "E! News" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the newfound peace in the Spears clan is way too fragile to risk being upset by Lynne Spears` juicy new book.
MALKIN: She should have waited a little more time. She needed some distance. Her teenage daughter has just given birth. Britney Spears is just making her comeback. I find it funny that it`s called "Through the Storm" because really, they`re not even through the storm yet.
HAMMER: Now, we`ll see if Lynne`s book, "Through the Storm," will unleash yet another storm in the Spears family.
So will Britney Spears` mom spilling some family secrets really create a brand-new mess for the Spears family?
Joining me tonight in New York, Maggie Gallant, the founder of Spotlight Communications. Also in New York tonight, celebrity publicist and founder of the Britto Agency, Marvette Britto.
And I`ve got to say, the release of this book really has me dumbfounded. I mean, we just saw it. Britney`s finally getting her life back on track. She`s even starring most recently in those great little promos for the MTV Video Music Awards. I give her a lot of credit. She`s really brought her life around full circle, it seems, after all that time of bad stuff. So Maggie, is her mother`s memoir simply the wrong move at the wrong time here?
MAGGIE GALLANT, FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: It doesn`t have to be, A.J. I mean, I think when all these things started happening with Britney, so many people were out there saying, "Where are her parents?" And they were so quick to judge. And here`s an opportunity for her to actually say, "This is what I was going through."
And I think moms all over the country may not be able to relate to having a pop star daughter ...
GALLANT: But moms can relate to how painful it is when people are talking badly about your child. And I think that`s something that people would be interested in reading.
HAMMER: I believe that there is a market for this book. Yes, I don`t think there`s a huge market for parents of superstar kids. But let`s reel this back in because for so long, Britney`s car wreck life was making the headlines every single day.
And lately, we cannot forget, it`s been nice and quiet. We mention that this book is going to be touching on everything - you know, Britney`s breakdown, her kid sister`s pregnancy. Marvette, can you explain what the upside is here? Because I`m not seeing it.
MARVETTE BRITTO, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST AND FOUNDER OF THE BRITTO AGENCY: I agree with Maggie. I believe that the upside is everyone wanted to know what the parents - where they stood. You know, we wanted to hear from the parents because, you know, the pain that Britney went through and her sister and her family is universal. And I think as parents, we all experience some sort of - or at least can identify universally with what she went through.
The fact that it`s a Christian publisher leads me to believe that she`s going to talk about her journey, talk about her pain and perhaps talk about how her faith carried her through a difficult storm when her children were apparently spiraling out of control.
HAMMER: I hear what both of you are saying. But here`s the thing and we raised it in our story. It`s dredging up so much of the past that people have just stopped talking about. And here`s how I see this playing out. You know, Britney`s mom is releasing the book I believe later this month. She`s going to go out and do some promotion, do a full book tour and you know, she`ll be sitting there with people and facing some really harsh questions about things in Britney`s life that, as I said, people have stopped talking about.
So as long as this is going to be happening, Maggie, what do you think Lynne needs to do to make sure it doesn`t become a disaster because I, again, am having a hard time seeing how it won`t?
GALLANT: So here`s the thing, A.J. One of the good things about the mom writing this book is that she is going to get those questions about what was going on. And here`s a sympathetic voice to put context to these headlines and these images we were all bombarded with that nobody has forgotten. Yes, there has been a lull in the drama in Britney Spears` life but nobody has forgotten. And if she`s going to go on her press tour to promote her book - two things. Number one, she doesn`t have to do every interview that`s requested of her. And number two, she needs to stick to her own point of view and talk about how difficult this was as a family and speak to positive messages, which it seems like this whole book is about - positive messages.
HAMMER: I still don`t see how that justifies bringing the stuff up, though. I hear what you`re saying, but I`m still not making the connection.
GALLANT: Well, I think that it`s not bringing it up again. It`s already out there. And I think having the mother speak to what it was like for their family and how they`re going to move forward, there`s your positive message.
HAMMER: All right. Marvette, what do you think? I see a lot of people looking at this like - and I won`t compare her directly to Dina Lohan other than being a parent of a superstar. They`re very different people. But it`s kind of a Dina Lohan effect. A lot of people may say this is another mom of star kids looking cashing in on their daughters` successes and failures.
BRITTO: But it really isn`t. If you look and weigh her against other celebrity moms, you hear very little from Lynne Spears. She`s speaking now when she has something to say. And trust me, people will be listening. People want to know what she has to say. You don`t see her in the forefront of Britney`s career. But now that she has something to say and questions to answer - we all have questions as it relates to that storm and that difficult time in Britney`s life. That`s her focus and I think we deserve to hear what she has to say and she deserves to speak.
HAMMER: I`ve got to end it there, but I really do hope it doesn`t backfire because we`re all really happy with where Britney is at right now. Maggie Gallant, Marvette Britto, I thank you both for being here.
ANDERSON: A.J., Angelina Jolie could be taking over a royal role that Tom Cruise was expected to play.
HAMMER: Yes. It sounds really strange, Brooke, but it is true.
ANDERSON: Yes, it is. Tom was pretty close to playing the lead in a new movie. But now, they`re going to rewrite the whole thing so that Angelina can be the star. I`ve got the inside story next.
Also this -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex scandal rocks America, my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Millions of great men have had affairs. I call this all a load of crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: John Edwards` affair has huge buzz online. I`ve got to tell you the stuff people are coming up with are really funny. You don`t want to miss this. We`ve got it on the way.
ANDERSON: And don`t laugh, I know it sounds crazy. But could Paris Hilton, Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie actually have an impact on who wins the presidential election? We`ve got a fired-up debate about the Hollywood connection to the race for the White House, straight ahead.
HAMMER: Now, keep in mind, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video anytime because we are posting new stuff for you to watch all the time right there on the Web site,CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. That`s where you need to go. And among the videos playing right now, Nicole Kidman`s plea to the paparazzi to leave her baby alone.
ANDERSON: Did you see this? Barbie and Ken can now go to Elvis Presley`s wedding. Mattel has come out with Elvis and Priscilla Presley dolls wearing replica outfits of what they wore on their wedding day in Vegas in 1967. They`re on sale at "ShopElvis.com." This Saturday will be 31 years since Elvis died.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, Angelina is in and Tori is out. Two big stories that are new right now. The same old tune from the hit `90s TV series "Beverly Hills 90210" and apparently, the same old bickering behind the scenes. This just in - original cast member Tori Spelling has suddenly dropped out of the remake of the series but can we blame it on Brenda and Kelly?
And once again, Angelina Jolie is proving she can do just about anything, including replacing Tom Cruise. Well, never mind that Tom is a man and Angelina is a woman. We`ll explain.
Joining me tonight from New York, Dawn Yanek, editor-at-large for "Life and Style" magazine. And in Hollywood, Russell Wetanson of "PopSquire.com."
Russell, Dawn, first of all, I want to start with the sequel to the original "90210" series. This fall, it will premiere on the CW. And so much has been made over the fact that some of the original cast members are coming back, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling.
But now SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has confirmed that Tori dropping out of the series reportedly because she`s not going to be paid as much as her co- star, Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth. Dawn, Tori`s tirade - is it justified?
DAWN YANEK, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "LIFE AND STYLE" MAGAZINE: You know what? If it`s because of a pay discrepancy, then yes, it absolutely is. Donna Martin is just as important as Brenda and Kelly to the show. And let`s not forget her dad, Aaron Spelling, was the creator of "90210." So you know what? She`s not looking desperate. She`s holding out, insisting on what`s rightfully hers. And there is nothing wrong with that. Let`s also remember that she`s a new mom. She has a two-month-old at home as well as a one-year-old. So she has to pick and choose projects carefully.
ANDERSON: Maybe needs that fatter pay check. So, for the record, Jennie Garth told "Entertainment Weekly" today that she`s disappointed. She`s, quote, "bummed" Tori is not going to be in the series and says that Tori should definitely be paid as much as the other former "90210" stars.
And you guys, we know the original show was a hit, not only for story lines but for the stories of fights that were breaking out behind the scenes between the stars. Russell, is Tori pulling out going to hurt this show or is Tori cutting off her nose to spite her face?
RUSSELL WETANSON, "POPSQUIRE.COM": You know, this show promises to be a huge success. I mean, who doesn`t want to see another "90210" especially with stars returning? So unfortunately, I don`t think Tori pulling out is going to have that much of an effect. But I`m still holding out and hoping this is all part of a negotiation tactic. I keep hearing in my head, "Donna Martin negotiates. Donna Martin negotiates."
ANDERSON: Start that chant. Well, the CW Network tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that they didn`t have a deal with Spelling to appear on this new series, quote, "at this time."
Dawn, it sounds like to me they are like Russell, holding out for possibly convincing Tori to take the part. Should they go back to the bargaining table, try to work something out here?
YANEK: In my opinion, absolutely, yes. It`s only going to benefit everyone in the long run, and of course, Tori Spelling`s. But also, it`s going to attract a bigger audience if you have this wonderful nostalgic factor. All of the original viewers of "90210" are going to tune in. So you`re going to get more than just the "Gossip Girl" and the Miley Cyrus crowd.
ANDERSON: Yes. And while they`re at it, maybe they should sign up Luke Perry. Dylan McKay was so dreamy. Plus "Beverly" needs these original cast members.
And also apparently needed, guys, in a new action thriller, Angelina Jolie - moving to our next story, new right now, Tom Cruise was considering starring in a spy thriller, "Edwin A. Salt," but now "Variety" reporting Cruise not going to do the movie and Angelina Jolie may take over the role instead. The movie is actually being rewritten so the part is for a woman.
Russell, are we at the point that Angelina Jolie has become a bigger star than Tom Cruise?
WETANSON: Angelina Jolie can definitely hold her own against Tom Cruise. This is a woman whose career is uninterrupted. What I love about this is that it`s an international spy theme. I mean, can`t you just see Angelina Jolie - in fact, I`m kind of convinced she might actually be an international spy. She has six kids from five different countries. We`ve seen her in all types of international garb. You no she can fit and she can deliver.
ANDERSON: Yes, she can deliver and she has in the past with so many films including recently with the big hit "Wanted." Also, her role in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" was tremendously successful.
So Dawn, should Angelina - what do you think - maybe replace Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible 4?" Would that be too far-fetched?
YANEK: I like that idea. And if it happens, you know what? Score too for gender equality. This is a great, great stride in Hollywood, because Hollywood is finally realizing that women can carry a movie with "Wanted," with the success of "Sex and the City." You know, I think they`re finally realizing it. Of course, Angelina Jolie is that rare breed of female Hollywood star ...
ANDERSON: She is.
YANEK: ... who really crosses the barriers.
WETANSON: Very rare -
ANDERSON: She has proven herself in these action roles for sure. We`re going to leave it there for now. Dawn Yanek, Russell Wetanson, thank you both.
YANEK: Thank you.
HAMMER: Well, Brooke, Angelina may actually have another big role coming up, you know.
ANDERSON: I know. She could actually affect who becomes president, A.J.
HAMMER: It sounds so strange. But you know, she`s not the only star who`s found herself in the middle of the most exciting race of our time, for president. Well, coming up, could Paris Hilton, Angelina, and Oprah Winfrey influence who makes it to the White House?
Also this -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are selling t-shirts on the Internet right now that say, "Don`t go full retard." Well, what kind of a message does that send?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Absolute outrage over Ben Stiller`s new movie, "Tropic Thunder." Protestors say the movie is offensive in the way it represents mentally disabled people. I`ll have that controversy, straight ahead.
HAMMER: And you know, the John Edwards affair. You knew that this would happen with a story like this one. The online buzz is exploding. Wait until you see some of the hilarious videos that have popped up on the Internet. That is still to come on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
Now, be sure to check out our free, ever-changing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast. If you`re looking for it, head no further than our Web site, CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Or perhaps, if you want to use iTunes, we`ll let you do that. Just do a little search for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT coming straight back.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. If you`re like, me you`re a little excited today because Brooke Hogan is at it again. You know, it seems like every couple of days, Brooke posts something on her MySpace page that gets people talking.
Well, this time, look at this. She put up this fake mug shots of herself, making it look like she`s got a black eye and a bruised cheek and a fat lip. And in the pictures, she`s holding up signs that say, "I`d rather be with my brother." Of course, her brother, Nick, is in jail. They also say, "Thank you for letting me be myself.
But you know, that`s not all. We also get some deep thoughts from Brooke in her blog. This time she posted this following bit of sparkling prose, "It`s so funny that the smallest thing I do can jack up everyone`s day. LOL. Sorry, I ruined your little gossip world today people. Or did I give you something else interesting to cling to for your boring worlds. Stay tuned! I might go shave my eyebrows tomorrow. Let`s see what other fun things I can think of. Don`t you have a life to live? I know I do. Peace."
OK. Brooke Hogan, we thank you for your insight. And of course, we`ll all be watching your eyebrows. Peace.
ANDERSON: A.J., do you remember when Brooke said she wasn`t that into voting?
HAMMER: Yes, I do. And I remember it was really a disaster. But there are, Brooke, other stars who actually could influence the upcoming election.
ANDERSON: I know it sounds weird, A.J. But could Paris Hilton, Angelina and Oprah Winfrey have an impact on who gets elected president? That`s coming up.
Also this -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex scandal rocks America, my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Millions of great men have had affairs. I call this all a load of crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Yes, you can imagine John Edwards` affair has huge buzz online. And I`ve got to tell you, the stuff people coming up with, really, really funny. We`ve got it for you. You won`t want to miss it, coming up.
ANDERSON: And outrage over Ben Stiller`s new movie, "Tropic Thunder." Protestors say the movie sends a terrible message in the way it represents the mentally disabled. That`s still ahead on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
HAMMER: Are you a subscriber? You`ve got to be a subscriber so you can stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news. Subscribe to the daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter. Get it by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Click up on the "sign up for newsletter" link at the bottom of the page and we`ll send it to you. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.
HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, can stars really influence the presidential election? Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, even Paris Hilton? Tonight, can big Hollywood stars dramatically turn the race between Barack Obama and John McCain upside down? It`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT fired-up debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex scandal rocks, America, my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Millions of great men have had affairs. I call this all a load of crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: Brand-new outrage over the John Edwards affair. We`re heading online for fired-up reactions. YouTube, the blogs - they are going wild. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the dramatic online video over Edwards` shocking affair.
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. 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 with TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Well, tonight, the startling possibility that Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and, yes, even Paris Hilton, could influence the presidential election. And I got to tell you, it`s not as crazy as it sounds.
Let`s roll out the showbiz news line. July 30th, Paris Hilton gets injected into the White House battle when John McCain makes her part of his new campaign ad. A week later, August 5th, Paris fires back with a brilliant parody thanking the, quote, "old white-haired dude" for including her.
And then on August 8th, a new study shows Oprah Winfrey influenced a million people to vote for Barack Obama. And then, just this past Sunday, August 10th, "Variety" magazine reports the McCain and Obama camps are courting Angelina Jolie`s vote. We`ve got a heated debate on all this wackiness coming up in just a moment.
But first, Oprah`s election effect. Here`s CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": OK. It`s book club day -
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She endorses a book, it becomes a best seller. She mentions one of her favorite products, stores soon sell out. Oprah, it seems, has the Midas touch. But does it apply to voters? After Oprah endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, two grad students decided to find out.
TIM MOORE, ECONOMIST, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Statistically we found an effect that it`s very unlikely to be random.
CARROLL: Tim Moore and Craig Garthway (ph) of the University of Maryland used a formula that looked at county by county subscriptions to Oprah`s magazine "O" and Oprah`s book club. They compared the data with votes cast for Obama. A lot of equations later, their math showed Oprah was responsible for 1,015,559 votes for Obama, though they also admit it could be much more or much less.
BETH FRERKING, POLITICO.COM: We`ve never had an academic study that looked at the effect and the impact of celebrity endorsement.
CARROLL: Others are less impressed.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: 1,015,559 votes she brought to Barack Obama. Well, that`s a little absurd. I mean, how can you get specific to that degree?
CARROLL: Other analysts say maybe some of the "O" subscribers would have voted for Obama anyway, whatever Oprah said.
MOORE: You`re right. We don`t absolutely know. But as you can see in the paper, we`ve made some pretty good efforts to try and see if there`s something else. And so far we haven`t found it.
CARROLL: The consensus among political commentators is that celebrity endorsements can get a candidate some attention but don`t necessarily translate into votes. And Obama, they say, may have gotten his biggest boost, not from Oprah, but from winning the Iowa caucus, proving you could win over whites as well as blacks.
HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jason Carroll for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. All right. So is it absurd to suggest that Oprah, Angelina or Paris could actually be a huge influence in electing the next leader of the free world?
Joining me tonight in New York, founder of Spotlight Communications Maggie Gallant and also the founder of the Britto Agency, Marvette Britto.
Maggie, Marvette, I`m no economist. Quite frankly, numbers scare me. But it does seem to me that this is a bit of a stretch. What do you think, Maggie? I`ll start off with you? Is this study actually proof-positive of Oprah`s influence or is it totally absurd?
GALLANT: Well, I, too, am very overwhelmed by numbers and the equations were way above my head. But you can argue with the fact that when Oprah speaks, people listen. One of the great things about being a celebrity beyond the money, beyond the fame, is that you can raise awareness for causes that you feel very excited about. And I think that that`s really exciting and if it`s doing anything, it`s getting people really excited about the political process at a time when times are tough for Americans.
HAMMER: There is no question about that. I mean, we know that Oprah has the power to turn even the worst book into a number one bestseller. Marvette, what do you think? Aside from perhaps getting more people excited about the election process, her actually influencing who gets in the White House, is this study really so far-fetched?
BRITTO: It`s not far-fetched at all. It`s been proven that Oprah has the Midas touch. Everything she touches turns to gold. She is the voice, the global voice. There is no voice seemingly more important than Oprah. And it`s been clearly proven from products to books, and now to a campaign. You know, she certainly has a voice that`s global and people are listening and those results, in my opinion, are way off. And the election will certainly show that.
HAMMER: Marvette, you just said no voice more important than Oprah`s. You forgot about Paris Hilton. We`ve got to talk about Paris Hilton -
BRITTO: But hers has value and credibility and there`s the difference.
HAMMER: That is also true. And as a result of that, every time I seem to mention Paris Hilton and the race for the White House in the same sentence, I always expect to wake up from some kind of a bad dream. But all that said, nearly seven million people have now watched that spoof campaign ad response to John McCain`s ad on "FunnyOrDie.com." And let`s watch it again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARIS HILTON, CELEBRITY: But then that wrinkly white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I`m running for president. So thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude. And I want America to know that I`m like, totally ready to lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: OK. Again, all kidding aside - Maggie, let me throw this one out to you. Could Paris actually be reinforcing in people`s minds with this little spoof that seven million people have seen, the argument that`s being made by some that at 71 years old, John McCain is perhaps too old to be elected president?
GALLANT: Well, A.J., let`s look at what her role in this ad really was. She had a very good delivery. She was very funny. But she didn`t write these words. I mean, these words were written by comedians and everybody knows that study comedy that there is truth in jest, absolutely. And they were really pulling some heavy punches and really tapping into what people`s fears are with the candidates.
HAMMER: Right. And to my point, though, I think she`s reinforcing it. Marvette, what do you think? Does Paris calling McCain an old white-haired dude really reinforce what is such a stark contrast between him and the much younger Barack Obama?
BRITTO: I think it absolutely does. And I think Paris is speaking to the very segment that Barack Obama really needs. He needs the voter that - you know, prior to her, she speaks to the voter that`s aloof. The voter that ordinarily isn`t even interested in politics. Now, all of a sudden, when they pull that lever, they`re going to say, "Do I go for someone who`s cool and hot or someone who`s old and stodgy like McCain." We`re going to see that Paris` words will have enormous power.
HAMMER: Yes. This is where I think the McCain camp may have made a huge mistake in underestimating how putting Paris in that first ad could backfire on them.
HAMMER: Then Angelina Jolie - let`s move back to the world of credibility now. We mentioned "Variety" magazine reported that both the Obama and McCain camps are courting her vote, which is unbelievable. But this is what`s going on. Now, she claims to be registered as an independent. She`s not yet decided on who she`s going to be voting for. Maggie, Angelina, we know, is an advocate for human rights. She`s become a poster mom with her kids with Brad Pitt. Do you think her endorsement could make a difference in the race?
GALLANT: Well, there`s something that both of these camps know for sure, and they know that she`s not just a celebrity, not just a box office winner. She`s somebody that really puts her money where her mouth is. She`s raised so much awareness for international causes. She really has such credibility amongst her fans, both in this country and abroad. And they know that it means something. Otherwise both camps would not be spending this critical, critical time going after her vote.
HAMMER: It`s just wild and a bit surreal to think about, though. And as we know, Angelina just successfully delivered the most anticipated twin babies on the planet. So, Marvette, that in mind, is it just too crazy to think she could possibly deliver the White House for McCain or Obama?
BRITTO: Not at all. Again, she delivered, you know, one of the most coveted covers with her twins being born. And you know, since when is a birth a national affair? And she has really proven that her voice now is one of the most important voices for the election to capture.
HAMMER: And I`ll tell you this right now, my prediction, if she does decide to publicly endorse one of the candidates, it will be front-page news in the mainstream press.
HAMMER: So Maggie, who do you think, in all of these people we`ve mentioned, will have the biggest influence on the `08 election? Will it be Oprah? Will it be Angelina? Or perhaps Paris?
GALLANT: Well, A.J., if you`re asking me to cast my vote amongst those three, it`s really going to come down to not just who the celebrity is but how they do the endorsement. If they just make a statement that says, "I endorse so and so," that`s one thing. But if they`re going to get on the campaign trail and they`re going to really speak to the issues, that`s going to be the person. And my vote is for Oprah.
HAMMER: All right. Oprah, that`s an easy one. I`ll mark that up for you. Marvette, 10 seconds for your choice.
BRITTO: Oprah. Her voice is global. She has such equity in her brand and people listen to what she has to say. Oprah.
HAMMER: We know who she is voting for. I appreciate you sounding off tonight. Maggie Gallant, Marvette Britto, I appreciate you being here.
And now, I want to turn it over to you for your vote. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. You sound off on this - "Stars Endorsing Presidential Candidates: Do they influence your vote?" Be honest and let us know at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. E-mail us if you have more to say, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANDERSON: A.J., moving now to controversy over Ben Stiller`s new movie, "Tropic Thunder."
HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. Something you definitely don`t hear very often - Ben Stiller and controversy, right?
ANDERSON: True, A.J. Yes. But tonight some groups representing the mentally disabled are so fired up over this film that they are calling for a boycott next.
Also this -
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex scandal rocks, America, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Millions of great men have had affairs. I call this all a load of crap.
HAMMER: Well, there you have it. Somebody who`s actually defending John Edwards in this whole shocking affair scandal and he was wearing pink glasses. Much new heat about this online and on the blogs. You`ve got to hear this stuff. It is coming up.
ANDERSON: And I`ve got your first look at New York City cops who have to make a tough decision between job and family. Ed Norton and Colin Farrell`s "Pride & Glory," straight ahead.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. Tonight, there is outrage over Ben Stiller`s new film, "Tropic Thunder." It`s supposed to be a big summer comedy, but as we learned at the film`s premiere in Los Angeles, not everybody was laughing. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter joins me now from Hollywood. Kareen, what`s going on here?
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, You`ve got to hear this. There was a protest at the premiere over what some are calling the R-word controversy. Groups representing the mentally challenged are upset over the frequent use of a specific word within the movie they say is demeaning. The word is so sensitive, Brooke, I`m not even going to say it.
We had a chance to talk to the film`s stars, Ben Stiller and Jack Black and they said that they were not trying to offend anyone here. Still, the protestors are calling for a boycott.
(voice over): Dreamworks` new movie, "Tropic Thunder" hasn`t even hit theaters and already, it`s generating controversy and leading to what some are calling the R-word campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody knows you never go full retard.
WYNTER: Disability advocates say the film`s liberal use of the R-word is offensive. Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. play actors discussing how to win an Oscar playing a disabled character.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR., ACTOR: Dustin Hoffman, "Rainman," looked retarded, half-retarded. Not retarded. You can`t fix your cards. Autistic, not retarded.
You know Tom Hanks, "Forrest Gump." No, he is retarded maybe. Braces on his legs, but he chunked the pants up and won a ping pong competition. That isn`t retarded. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard.
TIM SHRIVER, SPECIAL OLYMPICS CHAIRMAN: We feel that it is unnecessarily humiliating and degrading to people with intellectual disabilities. We feel that they`re treated with a total disrespect in the film. Seventeen times in this film the R-word is used. Once the N-word.
WYNTER: Timothy Shriver, a chairman of the Special Olympics, protested at the film`s Monday premier, along with Andy Imparato, the CEO of the American Association of people with disabilities.
ANDY IMPARATO, AMERICAN ASSOC. OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: People are selling t-shirts on the Internet right now that say, "Don`t go full retard." Well, what kind of a message does that send? What kind of bullying is that going to lead to in school?
WYNTER: Several of the concerned groups met with Dreamworks` representatives last week. Imparato says he felt Dreamworks listened to their concerns but the studio says "Tropic Thunder" is finished and won`t be changed before Wednesday`s release. Stiller, the film`s director, wants people to decide for themselves.
BEN STILLER, ACTOR: I feel that people see the movie, I`m confident that they`ll get where we`re coming from in the film. And we didn`t mean to offend anybody in any way.
JACK BLACK, ACTOR: Everyone`s entitled to their opinion. Obviously, that`s what America`s all about. If you`ve got something to say, you are free to say it.
WYNTER: We reached out to Dreamworks and they told us that "Tropic Thunder" is "an R-rated comedy that satirizes Hollywood and its excesses and makes its point by featuring inappropriate and over-the-top characters in ridiculous situations."
Brooke, we`ll have to wait until the movie opens on Wednesday to see if all the outrage over the film will affect the box office.
ANDERSON: Yes, we will. Kareen Wynter, thank you so much for that.
HAMMER: Well, it looks like the buzz over the John Edwards sex scandal is not dying down anytime soon. Tonight, there are brand-new fired-up reactions to his stunning admission to having an affair with someone he hired to help him get elected president. I`m talking exploding stuff on YouTube, the blogs. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Make no mistake -
JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I made a very serious mistake.
MOOS: Even before John Edwards admitted he crossed the line, his affair was splashed online and bloggers taunted the mainstream media for staying silent. Now the lines are being drawn online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he was one of my friends, I think I`d like, smack him in the face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stood up for him. I preached about him. I gave my money and he does this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with this girl? What the hell is wrong with you? Shame on you, John Edwards, shame on you.
MOOS: But defenders said it`s just sex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello! 2008, wake up! Extramarital affairs, first of all, are not illegal business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sex scandal rocks America my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Millions of great men have had affairs. I call this all a load of crap.
MOOS: Remember the days when this was the YouTube video that drove the Edwards campaign nuts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (sung): I feel pretty, oh, so pretty -
MOOS: That was pretty high-brow compared to the videos circulating now. The folks that brought us Obama Girl now present the cheat-team. John Edwards calls Bill Clinton for advice while hiding from reporters in a hotel bathroom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen up, I`ve got John Edwards on the line and we`ve got ourselves a code blue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Edwards is stuck in the bathroom with nowhere to run. R. Kelly wants to know where the reporters are from. They`re from the "Enquirer."
MOOS: And look what else you can find -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 2007 Father of the Year Award, Sen. John Edwards.
MOOS: Sen. Edwards got the Father of the Year Award not long after he says he broke off his affair.
EDWARDS: I`m not the best parent in my family. The best parent in my family is here with me today. It`s my wife, Elizabeth who`s right here.
MOOS: Comments were posted long before the affair was known range from, "Bravo" to "I can`t believe this guy`s not in first place." Now, folks are posting comments like, "Piece of garbage. Cheats on cancer stricken wife."
(on camera): John Edwards even got the silent treatment. No, not from his wife, but from someone doing sign language.
(voice over): This interpreter wanted to bring the news about Edwards`s affair to the hearing impaired. Here, she`s saying, "What`s worse is that John`s mistress is pregnant." Well, actually, the baby is already born and Edwards denies he is the dad. It`s hard not to point fingers when signing.
HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
ANDERSON: What a great cast in this movie. I`m talking Ed Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight - New York City cops who have to make a dramatic choice between work and family. Your first look at "Pride and Glory," coming up next.
HAMMER: But first, a look at what`s new at the movies this week, brought to you by Multigrain Cheerios - Multigrain Cheerios cereal because it tastes good.
Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. set out to make the most expensive war film ever, "Tropic Thunder." And as we told you, plenty of controversy over this one.
Woody Allen teams with Scarlet Johansson once again this time in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." And "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Annakin Skywalker a.k.a. Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi and Princess Amidala are back in this George Lucas animated adventure.
And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this.
ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. Now, your first look at "Pride and Glory" starring Edward Norton and Colin Farrell. It`s about New York City cops who have to choose between family and their jobs.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Now, can you describe for us what transpired at the location in question. Detective?
EDWARD NORTON, ACTOR: This is not going to go how you want it to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our unit`s response - four police officers have been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why are we in task force?
NORTON: This is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) as such I want cops we can trust.
COLIN FARRELL: I want you at the task force. Now, the men who were killed were under your brother`s command.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Find and kill those guys.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Show you information. Hints, hunches - (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and get it to me.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You`ve got a lot of firing. Very close corners. That shooter (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He was no amateur. NORTON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). She says it was a cop. She says it was Jimmy.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: First things first, they`re dead. Our money`s missing. It`s only one of those things we can get back. We stay out of the task force on this. You have a gun, you got a shield, so you`ve got passports. I`ll be blocking the five (UNINTELLIGIBLE) until we find one.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Your brother can tear apart the entire department. The only way through this is you.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What is going on here?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We sold our shields to the highest bidder.
NORTON: Be smart. They were protecting their own, and they were burying the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Anything that makes cops look culpable is no good.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This goes deeper than you think.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) The ends justify the means, buddy boy.
NORTON: Is there anything you want to say to me about what you`ve done?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I will not apologize for doing what I do.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What are you going to do, Ray?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We`ll go burn down your house with everything you worked for. .
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You are a cop, Ray, just like us.
ANDERSON: "Pride and Glory" opens October 24.
HAMMER: Wow. Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is next.