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McCain Celebrity Feud; Passion Over Palin; Lindsay Lohan Files Restraining Order; The Woes of a Palin Look-Alike; Clay Aiken`s Baby Drama

Aired September 26, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, it`s time to play the McCain celebrity feud. David Letterman`s brand-new attack on McCain. Paris Hilton thinking McCain is so not hot. And don`t get Chris Rock started.

CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: McCain jokes, easy jokes. I don`t want a president with a bucket list.


HAMMER: Tonight, the remarkably nasty war of words, as SHOWBIZ TONIGHT plays the McCain celebrity feud.

Plus, the passion over Palin. Why the nonstop obsession with her looks. "In Style" even creating a way for you to see how you would look with Palin`s up-do.

And your overwhelming reaction to the burning question, "Should Palin do `Saturday Night Live`?"

Plus, Clay Aiken`s frightening baby drama. Tonight, the new dad reveals the chilling and scary story behind his son`s life-or-death surgery. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


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

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. And tonight, the John McCain-Sarah Palin celebrity feud.

HAMMER: It is unbelievable. McCain and Palin have become virtual punching bags as everyone, from David Letterman to Paris Hilton, just won`t let up in their feuds with them. Letterman has really let loose again, taking dead aim at McCain for bailing on his late show at the last minute. And we can tell you that Letterman has plenty of company. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is revealing big celebrity feuds making news right now.


(voice over): John McCain and Sarah Palin like to talk about all the politicians they`ve taken on.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We took on the old boys` network.

HAMMER: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you the McCain-Palin ticket has crossed some big stars who are very, very angry at him. And this has nothing to do with politics. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you these feuds are personal.

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": There are a few celebrities that seem to have a personal feud with both John McCain and Sarah Palin. And they`re letting the world know it.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": John, here`s how it works. You don`t come to see me? You don`t come to see me? Well, we might not see you on inauguration day.

HAMMER: For a second straight night, David Letterman spent most of Thursday`s "Late Show" ripping apart John McCain who backed out of a Letterman appearance using the old, "I`ve got to go to Washington to deal with the economic crisis" excuse. Suffice it to say, Dave is still not over it.

LETTERMAN: Not only did he not go back right away, he stopped to see Katie Couric on his way out. So we find out today he didn`t really leave until this morning, didn`t go (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Thank you. I`m just feeling like an ugly date.

HAMMER: Later, Letterman said McCain suggested that Palin should come on the show sometime. That didn`t exactly patch things up with Dave.

LETTERMAN: We would love to have Sarah Palin on this program. So we`ll just now wait and see. Is he a man of his word or not?

HAMMER: Letterman has been making national headlines for his two straight days of anti-McCain rants.

SERAFIN: David Letterman is not just upset for John McCain canceling; he is really upset. And, oh, wait, he`s kind of out to get John McCain.

HAMMER: On Thursday night, Dave ironically had on another celebrity member of the "Mad at McCain Club," Paris Hilton.

LETTERMAN: Did you hear about that John McCain?

PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS: I heard he dissed you.


HILTON: He dissed me, and then you.

LETTERMAN: You had a little run-in with him, too, didn`t you?

SERAFIN: We all remember John McCain put Paris Hilton in an ad comparing Barack Obama to celebrities around the world. And one of them was Paris Hilton.

HILTON: Then that wrinkly white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad.

HAMMER: Paris got back at McCain in a mock-campaign ad that was posted online.

HILTON: Thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude.

HAMMER: But it was clear from Thursday night`s Letterman appearance that Hilton hadn`t forgotten about it.

HILTON: Revenge is sweet.

LETTERMAN: Yes, I guess so.

HAMMER: The McCain-Palin ticket is also inspiring some bad feelings in Britney Spears` mom, Lynne. At least, she`s not mad at McCain or Palin personally.

SERAFIN: Now, Lynne Spears, mother of Jamie Lynn and Britney Spears also has a little issue with the way the public reacted to Sarah Palin`s daughter`s pregnancy versus how the public reacted to Jamie Lynn`s pregnancy.

HAMMER: Comparing the two well-known teen pregnancies, Lynne Spears tells "Newsweek," quote, "It`s a totally different reaction. It`s as if Sarah Palin became celebrated. Every woman in the world has applauded her strength and her convictions and poor little old Jamie Lynn - you saw how she was crucified. Everybody did, firsthand. I just feel like it`s been a very hypocritical situation."

SERAFIN: Lynn is feeling a little bit upset that there`s been such a different reaction.

HAMMER: So, with Letterman, Paris and maybe Lynne Spears harboring some hard feelings about McCain and Palin, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has some good news for our possible next president and vice president. Neither Letterman nor Paris nor Lynne Spears live in a so-called swing state. So McCain and Palin probably don`t have to worry about possibly losing their votes. Just the same, McCain and Palin might want to stay away from these celebrities for awhile, especially Letterman.

LETTERMAN: I feel used. I feel cheap. I feel sullied.


HAMMER: So when you look at all that`s going on, it really seems like an all-out Hollywood smackdown against McCain and Palin. But is it all getting to be too much?

Joining me tonight in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz. He`s a correspondent for "Extra." In New York tonight - there she is, Ashleigh Banfield, a Tru TV host and anchor of "Banfield and Ford: Courtside."

Ashleigh, Carlos, I find it extraordinary, I`ve got to tell you, how many celebrities are feuding with McCain right now, and all at the same time. Carlos, what do you think is going on here?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": I love Letterman, but first off, let me just say that David Letterman is to the point where he sees the headlines coming his way so he`s going to keep this feud alive. That`s my own opinion.

But secondly, Hollywood is all about Democrats. Everybody in Hollywood, most everyone, is - they`re all blue. They love the Democratic Party, so it`s no surprise there. But the big thing is, early in his campaign, McCain was calling Barack Obama a celebrity, and using it as a bad word, "He`s the biggest celebrity on the planet." Now the celebrities are going, "Wait a minute, you dissed us. Now we`re coming right back after you."

HAMMER: Yes. I think that`s true. And I have to say on the Letterman thing, I know - yes, he sees the headlines coming his way. But I think he is genuinely peeved and I think he is really using his power in a big way to make a very bold statement because he`s been very politically active in the discussions about this whole campaign.

Ashleigh Banfield, what do you think? Why is this all going on right now? And it`s not as if we see all of this outcry and feuding towards Obama.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "BANFIELD AND FORD: COURTSIDE": No, but I think, you know, originally, John McCain was the media darling. He was on the straight talk express. There was nobody he wouldn`t interview with. He let the reporters talk to him on the plane, et cetera.

Well, all that stopped. The media got shut out. And now the media often is blamed. I think Hollywood oftentimes allies themselves with the media, and so they don`t necessarily like that. Couple that with what Carlos just said, and that Hollywood is Democrat. You`ve got those issues like abortion and gun control and sex education, and abstinence and all that, and Hollywood doesn`t love that. So it makes him an easy target.

HAMMER: Absolutely. As if all these feuds that we`ve already mentioned weren`t enough, today if you went on ", you saw this. Rosie O`Donnell launched her attack targeting Sarah Palin right there on her blog. And I want to read to you some of what Rosie wrote, quote, "The woman who would lead us, like a kid who crams for an oral exam, robotic replies, `my understanding is,` `again, my understanding is,` good god."

"Like a kid who crammed for an oral exam." Carlos, we know Rosie is opinionated. But in these attacks, where do you draw the line between being opinionated and just being mean?

DIAZ: Rosie O`Donnell being mean? A.J., say it isn`t so. It amazes me because Rosie O`Donnell and Sarah Palin have so many things in common. They could not be further - they`re polar opposites. I mean, it`s unbelievable. So I think she was kind of tame in the way she attacked Palin there. I think there`s a lot more to come from Rosie.

HAMMER: Yes. I have a feeling Rosie will have a few things to say between now and Election Day. But wait, there`s more to what seems to become this whole big celebrity pastime. "LARRY KING LIVE," Thursday night, had Chris Rock on, who offered us a little insight on the whole thing. Watch what Chris said.


ROCK: McCain jokes, easy jokes. I don`t want a president with a bucket list. You know what I mean? That`s like a McCain joke. So those jokes are easy. It`s like you basically, you know, take the dust off your Reagan jokes and tell them again, you know? Whoever the president is, you`ve got to jab them from time to time.


HAMMER: I guess it`s just part of the deal. I mean, Ashleigh, do you see also one of the reasons that so many comedians seem to be at odds with McCain, not just because of the reasons we mentioned, with Hollywood being a little bit more liberal, but because McCain, to some, is just an easy target?

BANFIELD: Oh, I think without question, he is an easier target. Look, Obama is like this cool black dude, everybody wants to, you know, be best friends with, it seems. And McCain, not so much. He`s that politician, so he seems like he might be more fair game.

But also, let`s not forget he`s got the running mate who definitely is providing a lot of fodder for the comedians. So I think he gets a little attachment there.

It`s the Dan Quayle thing, too, you know. That was just fun. It was just fun to attack. Listen, elections aren`t tea parties. Let`s remember that, right? All of this is fair game.

HAMMER: Well, but boil down what the ultimate impact will be for me, Carlos. Do you think any of this, or all of this will actually influence the voters? Or is it now just getting to the point where they`re just going to start tuning all of this out? I for one think it does make a difference.

DIAZ: It does make a difference. I think, inevitably, we`re going to wait until we see these debates and we start to actually get to the issues. Because if there comes a time when people say, "OK. I know that Sarah Palin`s got cool glasses," and as Ashleigh put it, Barack is the cool black guy. But I want to know what you stand for.

HAMMER: No question about it.

DIAZ: I mean, in the next several weeks, that`s what we`ll be focusing on.

HAMMER: And hopefully, that`s why people will make the decisions that they make. Carlos Diaz, Ashleigh Banfield, thank you both.

And now, we turn it over to you for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "McCain and Palin: Are celebrities unfairly targeting them?" Vote at or E-mail us at

ANDERSON: A.J., a lot of people have been fired-up talking about Sarah Palin`s style, her glasses, her hair.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. And tonight, I go one on one with a Palin look- alike, a TV news anchor who is getting a lot of attention for, you know, looking like Sarah Palin.


CINDY MICHAELS, NEWS ANCHOR, WVII-TV: This has been very, very exciting, and very positive. And I noticed that a lot of people are supporting me keeping my hair up by the way.


HAMMER: So why the nonstop obsession with Palin`s looks? Even "In Style" magazine has created a way for you, too, to get her famous up-do. The passion over Palin, coming up.

ANDERSON: And how has the relationship between Lindsay Lohan and her dad gone from bad to just plain awful? Is she filing a restraining order against him? That`s next.

Also, new right now, Clay Aiken`s baby drama. What a week it`s been for him. First, he comes out and admits he`s gay. Now, Clay`s revealing the chilling and scary story behind his son`s dramatic surgery. That`s straight ahead.



AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: That`s Kimby Keegan(ph).

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: Get behind the human shield.

FERRERA: She tortured me in high school. She`s pure evil.


ANDERSON: Lindsay Lohan`s character on "Ugly Betty" getting accused of being evil. But does the real Lindsay think her dad is evil?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, is Lindsay running scared from her dad? That`s one of two stories right now.

There`s a report tonight that Lindsay Lohan may be getting a restraining order against her dad. But why would she be afraid of her own father?

Also new right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been flooded with your calls about the revelation that the late hotel billionaire Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. We got your fired-up calls to the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines.

Joining me in New York tonight, Dawn Yanek. She is the editor-at- large for "Life and Style" magazine. And in Hollywood, Russell Wetanson. He`s a pop culture expert and legal expert for ""

Dawn, Russell, I want to begin with Lindsay Lohan. The "New York Post" reporting that Lindsay is thinking of getting a restraining order against her dad, Michael. Now, as we know, they`ve publicly been feuding about Lindsay`s behavior and her relationship with her close friend, Samantha Ronson. Dawn, is this the final straw in Lindsay`s relationship with her dad which has already had major ups and downs?

DAWN YANEK, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "LIFE AND STYLE" MAGAZINE: You would think it would be the final straw. But knowing the Lohans, this probably will go on and on and on in the public eye. I mean, I don`t think we`ve ever seen such a contentious dysfunctional relationship that`s been played out on such a public stage.

Michael Lohan`s intentions may be good. I`m sure he`s very, very concerned about his daughter, for whatever reason justified or not. But that said, the best way to reach somebody is not to argue about it in the public sphere. Take it with private life.

ANDERSON: Well, speaking of Michael Lohan, her father, he told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT today, quote, "I spoke with the authorities and they told me you`ve made no threat to Lindsay. You haven`t done anything wrong. Speaking out in the press does not constitute a threat. And to clarify, Ali," by the way, that`s Lindsay`s younger sister, "doesn`t have a restraining order. Dina, her mother, does. I`m her father first, not her friend. I don`t care what people say about me."

Russell, does it say something to you that Michael actually has to clarify which of his family members has a restraining order against him? This is so unfortunate.

RUSSELL WETANSON, POP CULTURE AND LEGAL EXPERT "POPSQUIRE.COM": Do you think? It definitely says something. I don`t think it`s - I think it`s pretty safe to assume that Lindsay Lohan has not nominated Michael Lohan for father of the year here. This has been quite a public battle.

And you`re right, it`s just going to go on and on and on. It`s become like a bad soap opera that you don`t want to watch but you can`t help but keep watching. I just want to have them show up on a daytime talk show and just hash it out already.


ANDERSON: Me, too. Dr. Phil, why can`t they just all get along? All right, guys.

Another story new right now. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brought you the story of how the late Leona Helmsley left her dog Trouble $12 million in her will, which a lot of people think is an absurd amount of money. Our "Showbiz On Call" phone line lit up. And I want you to listen to what Ruth from Cleveland had to say. She got very emotional about this.


RUTH, CALLER FROM CLEVELAND: I`ve been mistreated by humans my entire life, including my own children. The only thing that was ever good to me was my dog. Sometimes, dogs are the only ones that love you. He`s my best friend. And he will be rewarded. There are a lot of people out there that love their animals. And their animals love them unconditionally.


ANDERSON: Ruth, our heart goes out to you. And I just want to say, some viewers are upset with me because I expressed surprise at how much money Leona gave to her dog, Trouble. And I want to say I am a dog lover, and yes, I think it`s great she left Trouble a fortune. But I am surprised by the amount of money. I mean, how much Purina can one pup eat? But that aside, Russell, Ruth does speak for dog lovers everywhere, doesn`t she?

WETANSON: She does. And Brooke, you might be heartless, I don`t know. No, I don`t think you are. But she does. You know, I`m a dog lover, too. And you know, Rudie`s(ph) a pug, my constant canine companion, gives me lots of love and smiles, but I`m pretty sure she doesn`t need $12 million. She likes to play with the toy that`s been sitting around for a year.

So maybe Trouble is a little different, but come on. We want to take care of our dogs, but there are other things that someone could leave their money to.

ANDERSON: And you know, Ruth from Cleveland is not alone. Mike from Florida also called in to the "Showbiz On Call" phone line. Listen to what he said.


MIKE, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Don`t be so surprised that Helmsley left that dog so much money, but she did leave billions to other charities. So am I, leaving money to my pet, more so than any living person that I know. It`s my best friend.


ANDERSON: Yes. Dawn, dogs are man and woman`s best friends. What Leona Helmsley did has really struck a chord here, hasn`t it?

YANEK: Oh, it absolutely has. And I think it`s a great thing that she took care of her dog even after her death. I think that`s something more people should do. It`s something I will certainly be doing. Of course, I don`t have $12 million to leave my dog, Lily. But that said, it`s something that needs to be taken care of.

She loves her dogs. Dogs are lovely. They just want to be loved. But I think the thing Leona forgot to do is find somebody who could take care of the dog. Money will only go so much. This expensive grooming, expensive - actually a loving, caring family. And that`s where she kind of dropped the ball.

ANDERSON: You know, everybody is entitled to spend their money the way they see fit. Dawn Yanek, Russell Wetanson, we`ll leave it there. Good to see you. Thanks.

HAMMER: We always want to hear what you think about Lindsay Lohan, Leona Helmsley`s million-dollar Maltese, or really anything else that`s on your mind. It is your chance to be on TV.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J. It is "Showbiz On Call." Give us a ring at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899. Leave us a voicemail. We will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, so many stars have been speaking out about Sarah Palin, you know.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. And add Chris Rock to that list.


ROCK: Every time they let her talk for more than four minutes, you actually start feeling sorry for her. It`s kind of like Kim Kardashian on "Dancing With The Stars," all that ass and you can`t shake it.


HAMMER: I love Chris Rock. I don`t really know who should be more upset by what Chris said, Sarah Palin or Kim Kardashian. But here`s what I really want to know - why are stars, even ordinary people, so obsessed with Palin`s looks.

Plus, I`ve got your overwhelming reaction to the burning question - "Should Palin do "Saturday Night Live?"

ANDERSON: And new right now, Clay Aiken`s frightening baby drama, a roller coaster week for the "American idol" star. First, he admits he`s gay. Now, the chilling and scary story behind his baby son`s dramatic surgery, straight ahead.

HAMMER: This is terrific. Paul McCartney`s amazing concert. Despite death threats, he plays his first show in Israel. You`ve got to hear his special Middle East message, coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

And tonight, despite terrorist threats, Paul McCartney did play his first concert in Israel, Thursday. It was a huge success. The former Beatles star thrilled 40,000 Israelis in Tel Aviv, kicking off the show with "Hello, Goodbye," which is kind of interesting since the Hebrew word for both "hello" and "goodbye" is "shalom."

Radical Islamic terrorists had actually threatened to kill McCartney if he went through with the concert. There are actually reports that nearly 5,000 people were assigned to his security detail. Wow.

But McCartney`s show was a message of peace. He called it "friendship first" and hopes that Israelis and Palestinians will come together through music.


ANDERSON: What a great message and concert. And A.J., Chris Rock has a controversial message for Sarah Palin.


ROCK: Every time they let her talk for more than four minutes, you actually start feeling sorry for her. It`s kind of like Kim Kardashian on "Dancing With The Stars," like, "All that ass and can`t shake it."


ANDERSON: Wow! I`ve got to ask, though, why are so many stars so passionate about Palin? Especially her looks, the glasses, the up-do. The passion over Palin, next.

And new right now, Clay Aiken`s frightening baby drama. Clay opens up about the chilling and scary story behind his baby son`s dramatic surgery.

HAMMER: Also, look. Up in the sky. It`s a bird, it`s a plane. It`s rocket man. And I am not talking about the Elton John song. A guy flying across the English Channel on a wing, or two, and hopefully more than a prayer. That`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.




ROCK: Every time they let her talk for more than four minutes, you actually start feeling sorry for her. It`s kind of like Kim Kardashian on "Dancing With The Stars," like, "All that ass and can`t shake it."


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, passion over Palin. Chris Rock absolutely goes off on Sarah Palin. And he`s not the only one. The stars seem absolutely obsessed with this woman. Is she just good material for comedians, or is something else going on here? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates Hollywood`s passion over Palin.

Clay Aiken`s baby drama. Clay opens up about why his newborn baby had to have emergency surgery at just four weeks old. And how he and the baby`s mother make their unconventional parenting arrangement work. Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with Clay in his own words on his baby drama.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues, right now.


Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 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.

HAMMER: Tonight, the never-ending passion over Palin. There is no denying that there is a huge obsession with Sarah Palin. And we`re not just talking about her glasses and her hair. On "LARRY KING LIVE," comedian Chris Rock compared Palin`s press interviews to Kim Kardashian`s butt. What`s that about? You want to stick around because I`m going to explain that.

Then, there`s a passion over Palin`s hair. On its Web site "In Style" magazine is actually letting you play with Palin`s do and put her do on you. So we will, too. We`re going to put her hair on some of John McCain`s favorite celebrities. A must-see.

And we are taking your passionate phone calls into our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines on whether Palin should do "Saturday Night Live" as some have suggested.

Joining me to hash all this passion for Palin, from Hollywood tonight, Carlos Diaz. He`s a correspondent for "Extra." In New York, Ashleigh Banfield, a Tru TV host and anchor of "Banfield and Ford: Courtside."

All right. When you, guys, see Chris Rock, unbelievable, on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" Thursday night. He was there to plug his new HBO comedy special. And of course, talk turned to politics and Sarah Palin, a natural subject.

And Chris Rock, the comedian - he just came out swinging about Sarah`s, shall we say lack of interview experience. You`ve got to watch what Chris said.


ROCK: I don`t know. She`s done three interviews, and she`s running for vice president of the United States? Jason Lee`s done more interviews promoting, you know, "My Name is Earl" than she has to run for - I did more interviews today than she has to run for vice president of the United States.

And every time they let her talk for more than four minutes, you actually start feeling sorry for her. It`s kind of like Kim Kardashian on "Dancing With The Stars," like, "All that ass and can`t shake it." Just like - so sad.


HAMMER: Carlos, let me just roll it over to you. Seems to me the passion about Palin`s not letting up. And really, at times, it even seems to border on vicious. Why do you think that is?

DIAZ: Because the one thing that actors can do, all of them, they can give you a good sound bite. And if Sarah Palin can`t do that, then you`re not going to win the respect of Hollywood. I mean, you know, Sarah Palin might know a lot more about the issues than most people in Hollywood and this and that. But if she can`t speak in an interview, then no one in Hollywood is going to respect her.

HAMMER: And at the rate it`s going, I don`t think it`s going to get any better for her. Ashleigh, what do you think? Is it going to get worse as we get closer to Election Day?

BANFIELD: Yes. I would ask Bill Clinton if the Lewinsky jokes have stopped 10 years later. Or Nixon and the family he`s left behind, if the Nixon jokes have stopped. Or Dan Quayle, if he knows how to spell potato yet.

No, they`re not going to stop. Once you let this stuff out there, it`s fodder forever. And if you don`t know what the Bush doctrine is while we`re fighting two wars, that is some sweet fodder for comedians.

HAMMER: Yes. No kidding. Well, there has been some positive passion for Palin. I need to come out with that. It is a lot about her style and her hair. Our friends over at "In Style" magazine came up with a clever way so you can copy the Palin hairdo. It`s over there on "" You use their Hollywood hair makeover tool.

So you know, We were thinking, since John McCain dragged Britney Spears and Paris Hilton into his campaign this election in his ads, I thought it only right we give Britney and Paris the Palin do, right? Good idea. Can we throw the picture of Britney up first there? Look at that.

Carlos, let me get your take on this. I mean, that`s pretty impressive. What do you think? Britney and Sarah Palin - does it work?

DIAZ: My head, my head is hurting. Stop the madness. My head. A.J., you found the only way to make Britney look more ridiculous. Way to go. Nice job.

HAMMER: My pleasure. Can you put the Britney picture up again? All right. Ashleigh Banfield, what do you think?

BANFIELD: You know, A.J., I have been a subject of so much scrutiny over my hair and glasses. But I think it`s only appropriate that I abstain from this question.

HAMMER: Oh, I don`t think so at all. I always wondered about the two. What scrutiny? It looks terrific on you. Right. Just because it`s your style.


BANFIELD: You might be the only one who thinks that.

HAMMER: No, I don`t think so. They would be lucky to look like you.

BANFIELD: Thank you.

HAMMER: All right. We`ve got to do the same thing with Paris Hilton. Charles, can we put that particular still up? Look at that. I don`t know, maybe this is a little more convincing. Paris as Palin. Carlos, would you agree that this is a little hair-raising, isn`t it?

DIAZ: You know, A.J., can I see that same picture with night vision?

HAMMER: I`m sorry we don`t have that up and running yet.

DIAZ: No, you don`t have that one? Because I can`t judge. I`m sorry. OK.

HAMMER: We`ll let you off the hook there. And we tried to do one with Tinker Bell, but that picture was not available to us. Let`s put the picture up one more time. Ashleigh Banfield, what do you think of Paris?

BANFIELD: Oh, I`m sorry. This conversation just got X-rated and my agent said I can`t get involved.

HAMMER: Something about a videotape? I don`t know.

BANFIELD: Something.

HAMMER: Maybe we should move on then, huh?

BANFIELD: I think so.

HAMMER: All right. Then, in that case, we know "Saturday Night Live" has been very passionate over Palin, including, of course, this - what you`re seeing right here, Tina Fey with her dead-on impersonation.

And there has been some buzz now that Palin might actually do the show. So we had to ask in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day on air and online this - "Sarah Palin: Should she do "Saturday Night Live"? And it was surprisingly close. Forty-six percent said yes, Palin should do SNL with 54 percent saying no. What do you think, Carlos? Should Sarah Palin do "Saturday Night Live"?

DIAZ: A.J., I said time and again, I love good TV and it would be good TV for her to do it. Should she do it politically? No. You do "SNL" if you want to show your lighter side. She`s shown too much of her lighter side. She needs to stop worrying about live TV on Saturday Night and start doing live TV on Sunday morning.

HAMMER: But purely for good TV, I would like to actually see her go on and maybe do Tina Fey, be a, you know, Tina Fey impersonator. Like do a sketch on her.

DIAZ: Oh, you mean impersonate her. I`m sorry, yes, impersonator. Yes.

HAMMER: What do you think, Ashleigh? If she does do "SNL," should she do it with Tina Fey just as, you know, Hillary Clinton did "SNL" with her impersonator Amy Poehler?

BANFIELD: Well, I completely agree with Carlos - more Sunday morning, less Saturday night. On the other hand, though, we know so little about her. I think she could actually get a bit of a bump from "SNL" because it is a political program.

It`s been proven that the candidates watch this because so many other people are watching it, too. And at this point, we know so little about Sarah Palin. If she went on "SNL" and joked about the fact that we`re joking about her, it might be able to mitigate some of the damage that have been done by the comedians.

HAMMER: Perhaps, but then again - yes, if she`s doing that and not the Sunday morning shows we`re not actually -


BANFIELD: Amen to that. More of Sunday mornings.

HAMMER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) things that we really do need to hear more about. Well, the passionate response over Palin certainly carried over into our "Showbiz On Call" phone lines. Listen to what Sandra from Arkansas wants Sarah to do.


SANDRA, CALLER FROM ARKANSAS: You asked would I like to see Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live." No, I would like to see Sarah Palin ask some questions for reporters. I`d like to know what she thinks about things.


HAMMER: Yes. So that kind of plays into exactly what we`re talking about. Carlos, you can`t really disagree with that logic, can you?

DIAZ: No, you can`t. I mean, you know, she should have the tables turned. She should turn the tables and be able to ask her own questions and, you know, kind of we get to see what`s on her mind and this and that. Like Ashleigh said, maybe we can get to know a little bit more about her and her thoughts.

HAMMER: Yes. That really sums it up there, Ashleigh. In that particular, Sandra saying, you know, just what all of America is thinking. We want to hear from this woman.

BANFIELD: Yes. And I`d like to hear from her in an extemporaneous press conference, not something that`s rehearsed or sat down or edited or glossed over with pretty lights. I want to hear the real McCoy. We`ve heard it from the other candidates. It`s time for her to face the reporters.

HAMMER: Yes. And I think, to sum it all up, as we know, all of the passion for the Palin will seriously continue either way, whether she speaks or not. Because, well, it`s just a lot of fun. Carlos Diaz, Ashleigh Banfield, thanks for being here tonight.

BANFIELD: Thanks, A.J.

HAMMER: We`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - McCain and Palin: Are celebrities unfairly targeting them?" Keep voting at You can also E-mail us your thoughts at

And you know, you can also call us on the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines. That`s how you can let us know in your own voice exactly what you think about that, or anything else that happens to be on your mind.

ANDERSON: And that`s right, A.J. The "Showbiz On Call" phone lines are always open and ready to take your calls. Call us at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1- 888-728-2899. Leave a voicemail and we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, what a week it has been for Clay Aiken.

ANDERSON: Yes, no doubt. First, he finally admitted that he`s gay. And he`s also speaking out about his baby drama. Clay`s talking about why his baby boy had to have emergency surgery at just four weeks old. That`s coming up.

Also this -


MICHAELS: This has been very, very exciting, and very positive. And I notice that a lot of people are supporting me keeping my hair up, by the way.


HAMMER: That is not Sarah Palin. That is the Sarah Palin look-alike TV news anchor who`s been getting a lot of attention because, well, obviously, she looks like Sarah Palin. And not all the attention has been great. I go one-on-one with the look-alike anchor, and that is coming up next.

ANDERSON: And look, up in the sky. It`s a bird. It`s a plane. Well, actually, it`s a guy crossing the English Channel with a homemade set of wings. We are flying high with one of the coolest stories I`ve heard in a long time, coming your way, right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Did you see this? It`s the corniest tribute to Sarah Palin I`ve ever seen. That`s for sure. In Ohio, Palin`s likeness has been carved out of several acres of corn - glasses, up-do and all. It`s called Sarah America.

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Tonight, the Sarah Palin look-alike speaks out. Cindy Michaels is a news anchor for ABC affiliate WVII in Bangor, Maine. And these days, she`s better known as Sarah Palin`s clone.

Ever since Palin was picked as John McCain`s running mate, Cindy`s life has been turned upside down. Well, she tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she`s not sleeping or eating. And even though she is flattered by the comparison, many of her viewers are not happy about it. Some have even left some pretty harsh messages over her familiar look. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: You`re so much more interesting and so much more nicer than Sarah Palin. We hope you don`t keep that hairdo. You don`t want to be tarred with that same brush. It`s not coming off real well, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, what is this Kmart version of Sarah Palin? What did you do, lose your little cheapo glasses?


HAMMER: Wow. Despite the criticism, Cindy Michaels seems to be taking her new-found Sarah Palin connection in stride. When I spoke with her, I asked her what she thinks of these extreme reactions.


MICHAELS: It kind of put me in a position where I felt like, "Gosh, you know, I haven`t done anything. I haven`t done anything to make them mad." And it`s not like they didn`t like me before. I was never getting any kind of hate mail before. And even some of the phone calls, I mean, she said, "We really like you. But we want you to take your hair down because we think you`re swaying voters." And it was like, "Well, wait a minute. I never did anything wrong to begin with. Why are you finding fault with me now just because I put my hair up?"

And they even admitted to knowing that I already had my hair up way before Sarah Palin came on the scene. So it`s just - it`s bizarre. I don`t understand it.

HAMMER (on camera): Did any of the voicemails or messages or E-mail you may have received get nasty at any point with you?

MICHAELS: Well, the one everyone`s heard, the one about being a Kmart version of Sarah Palin, and "What did you do, lose your little cheap-o glasses," yes. And we did get a call also that hasn`t been aired yet and it may be aired in the future, but I basically was told that I had no brains.

HAMMER: Oh, nice.


HAMMER: I mean, how do you react to something like that? So what is your plan? Because you said that, you know, people have asked you to take your hair down, maybe not wear your glasses. And you`ve said before in interviews, and you said right here that, you know, this is your look. And it`s been your look before we even knew who Sarah Palin is. So do you have any plans on making any changes because of all of the chaos surrounding you and looking like Sarah Palin?

MICHAELS: Absolutely not. If I kowtow to somebody, telling me that I need to take my hair down, just because they didn`t like it for whatever reason, whether they thought I was swaying their votes or not, I mean, that`s a ridiculous statement to make. But for me to take my hair town, I mean, what kind of a statement would that make? I couldn`t do that. I would never do that.

HAMMER: Couldn`t agree with you more. And you`ve said you look like Sarah Palin before Sarah Palin looked like Sarah Palin. So here`s what I`m thinking, Cindy and tell me if you`re with me. I think we need to start a campaign to have Sarah Palin change her look. What do you think about that?

MICHAELS: No, I think she`s a very nice person from what I`ve seen.

HAMMER: I`m sorry.

MICHAELS: And I wouldn`t ask her to do that either.


HAMMER: Cindy told me that she didn`t believe her co-worker who first pointed out her resemblance to Sarah Palin. It wasn`t until Cindy`s mom actually made the comparison that she thought, maybe there`s something to this. And for the record, Michaels says she still doesn`t see it.

ANDERSON: How is that possible?

All right. Tonight, Clay Aiken`s baby drama. It`s been quite a week for Clay. He finally confirmed that he`s gay. And now, he`s also speaking out about a scary health situation with his baby. When Clay`s son Parker was just four weeks old, Clay tells "People" magazine he went into panic mode because the baby was vomiting a lot and had to have emergency surgery for an intestinal condition.

Parker`s mother is Clay`s friend, Jaymes Foster. They had the baby through in-vitro fertilization. And on "Good Morning, America," Clay talked about the scary moments after Parker`s birth, and how he and Jaymes makes their unusual parenting situation work.


CLAY AIKEN, SINGER: He`s had a very interesting first few months between, you know, the whole trauma of being born, and he had a little bit of an illness with a little bit of stomach issue, which he had to have surgery for. But he`s doing very well now. And we`re starting to get to know him and he`s getting a little personality now, so we`re excited about that.

You`re a screamer. I`ll put you down. I kind of convinced myself that the smiles are for me. But it`s gas. But, you know, when you start to feel a little bit of a personality and that kind of makes it worth it.

DIANE SAWYER, HOST, "GOOD MORNING, AMERICA": How did you decide to do this?

AIKEN: It`s something that we discussed kind of as a joke initially. But over the course of a year, we really just decided - it`s unconventional, of course. We`re not crazy enough to think that it`s not unconventional. I grew up in a situation where my mother and my birth father, you know, there was no relationship there. And grew up in a - with a stepfather who I`ve talked about having some - more strained relationship with, and grew up perfectly fine.

There are kids who have much worse situations. So two parents who love each other, as Jaymes and I do love each other, and who love their son, we think it`s just about as healthy as it can get.


ANDERSON: Glad to see he`s happy. And Clay says he actually thinks it`s easier for Jaymes than him, because they`re friends and not a married couple.

HAMMER: It is time now for "Making It Work" where we take a look at celebrity couples who manage to build a strong and lasting relationship in Hollywood.

Tonight, the great Ted Danson and lovely Mary Steenburgen. They`ve been married since 1995. That`s 13 years. That`s an eternity by celebrity standards. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, caught up with Ted and Mary after the Emmys at the HBO after party. And we asked them to give us the secret of their success. Watch.


TED DANSON, ACTOR: We make each other laugh. I`m madly in love. I would follow her anywhere. I`m always delighted. I`m always surprised. I`m always on my toes. You know? Wouldn`t you?

MARY STEENBURGEN, ACTRESS: OK. That was really sweet. I don`t even have a snappy comeback for that. That was really sweet.

DANSON: That`s true. And we laugh a lot.

STEENBURGEN: We really have fun. We really have fun together. And we really -

DANSON: We have four great kids.

STEENBURGEN: And I think we both kind of earned this relationship by growing, whatever, in life, so that when we found each other, we really appreciate it. And we treasure it, actually.

DANSON: We do celebrate our being together a lot, ad nauseum. We give people a little -

STEENBURGEN: OK. We don`t need to celebrate it anymore.


HAMMER: I love those guys. Ted Danson returning to comedy, by the way. He has signed on to star on HBO`s pilot, "Bored to Death" which also stars Jason Schwartzman.

ANDERSON: You know those dreams where you can fly? Well, check this out. The dream came true for this daredevil. He actually flew above the English Channel. It is an amazing story with amazing video to match, and it is coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. You do not want to miss this.


HAMMER: Thank you, wacky Charles Redmond(ph), and welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Did you see this? If you`ve ever had a dream that you were flying, you`re going to love it. Let`s roll it.

A daredevil from Switzerland crossed the English Channel with a set of home made jet-propelled wings. The guy jumped out of a plane at about 9,000 feet and he flew 22 miles before he parachuted into a field. Now, the trip was exactly the same as the first plane flight that crossed the English Channel 99 years ago. Now, that is cool.

ANDERSON: Wow. OK. Tonight, an inspiring message from a fascinating film since the CNN`s iReport Film Festival which features films submitted by viewers about the presidential race. The message? Even if you`re too young to vote, you can still make a difference. The film is call, "yes you can" directed by 15-year-old Jackson Wily and Michael Green. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are America`s kids and young adults.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re not allowed to vote in any election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we are affected by what our past -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And future elected officials do and say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The future doesn`t look too good for us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You, the voters -


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe your last chance as a nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To give us hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To make the change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To recover this world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To cleanse our name.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To heal our soldiers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To address our problems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can do it for all of us.






ANDERSON: You can watch the full film "Yes, you can," and submit your own film by going to ""; that`s " The deadline is October 12th.

HAMMER: And there`s SOME really cool stuff coming in. I`ve had a chance to preview some of it, Brooke. Amazing work.

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Don`t forget you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s -11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And in the morning, 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The latest from "CNN HEADLINE NEWS" is next.