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Sarah Palin, the TV Star; What`s Next for Madonna?; Winners and Losers in the Election Season; Secrets of Celebrity Rehab

Aired October 22, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Sarah here, Sarah there, Sarah Palin everywhere. "Saturday Night Live" was just the beginning. Now we`re seeing her show up more than ever on TV. But is it enough?

BRETT ERLICH, HOST, CURRENT TV`S "CAMPAIGN UPDATE": She`s clearly getting out there. She`s giving longer interviews on her home court.


HAMMER: Should she do shows like "The View"? Plus, is Sarah Palin being held to a higher standard because of her star power? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the Palin factor.

"Celebrity Rehab" revealed. It`s back. A whole new group of celebrities fighting their addiction demons caught on tape. Gary Busey, the drummer from Guns `n Roses, the girl from the "White Snake" video. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets the secrets of "Celebrity Rehab."

Plus, Madonna`s divorce drama. What`s next for her?

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, Madonna, the real story. What really led to Madonna`s split from Guy Ritchie and what`s next for Madonna now that she`s newly single? Dramatic details just ahead.

HAMMER: But first, spotlight, Sarah Palin. Palin is clearly the star of this presidential campaign. And now, she`s on an all-out media blitz. But is it too little too late? And is her star power actually hurting her political clout? It`s a fierce debate and it`s making news right now.


(voice over): The Sarah Palin show rolls on, bigger than ever. She`s on the campaign trail.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What John McCain and I believe in is what Ronald Reagan believed in.

HAMMER: She`s doing big-time interviews on CNN.

PALIN: Why would you say that, that mark my words this nation will undergo international crisis if you elect Barack Obama? If I would have said that, you guys would have clobbered me.

HAMMER: And she`s yucking it up on "Saturday Night Live."

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: They call her - what`s that name they call her? Kara - kara - what do they call her again, Tina?

PALIN: Oh, that would be Caribou Barbie.

BALDWIN: Caribou Barbie.

HAMMER: John McCain`s running mate, Sarah Palin, already the biggest celebrity of the campaign, is stepping things up. With two weeks to go before Election Day, Palin is showing up on TV with the frequency of an actor promoting a new movie.

ERLICH: She`s clearly getting out there. She`s giving longer interviews on her home court. She`s definitely gotten away from her handlers.

HAMMER: It wasn`t always this way.

PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.

HAMMER: Even though Palin was a hit at her debut at the Republican National Convention, afterwards, people started complaining save a few stump speeches and uneventful interviews, this self-described pit bull was a little too tightly leashed.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment.

HAMMER: It was enough to make CNN anchor Campbell Brown publicly beg the McCain campaign to let Palin talk more to the national media.

BROWN: Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters. Free Sarah Palin.

HAMMER: Then came that interview with Katie Couric.

PALIN: It`s funny that a comment like that was kind of made to - I don`t know. You know, reporters -


PALIN: Yes, mock. I guess that`s the word. Yes.

ERLICH: When I watched that Katie Couric interview over again, it felt like I was re-watching my first make-out session and I wanted someone to shut it off very fast because that was not a pleasurable experience.

HAMMER: Brett Erlich, host of Current TV`s "Campaign Update" tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Palin`s Katie Couric interview was a painful moment.

ERLICH: After the debacle with Katie Couric, she kind of regrouped for a little bit there.

HAMMER: But those days are over. Now, Palin is all over the place, giving her first interviews with NBC and CNN and of course her first appearance on a certain late-night sketch show.

PALIN: Live from New York, it`s Saturday night!

ERLICH: Her "SNL" appearance, I think, was the time where she said, "I can expose myself in a very controlled environment in a way that is beneficial to me."

HAMMER: But is Palin`s new media push helping her and her campaign? Polls indicate her popularity is declining, leading to an interesting question - is her popularity declining because she`s out there more, or is she out there more because her popularity is declining?

ERLICH: Sarah Palin`s job is to rile up debate and it worked.

HAMMER: Current TV`s Brett Erlich tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Palin is doing what she`s supposed to do in this hard-fought campaign.

ERLICH: She is a machine robot created in a lab to make Democrats angry. And when you do that, you make the Republican base very happy and energized.

HAMMER: As the biggest celebrity in this campaign, Palin is definitely playing a big role, one that will likely continue all the way through Election Day.


HAMMER: So is this spotlight on Palin too harsh? Is she being held to a higher standard than any of the other candidates in really what has become the most absurd presidential campaign ever?

Joining me tonight in New York is Lisa Bloom who is the host of "Lisa Bloom: Open Court." And from Washington, Jack Burkman who is a conservative political pundit.

All right, Jack and Lisa. Since Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain`s running mate, there has been an outcry from people everywhere, including right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, begging her for her to do more TV interviews.

So here we are, we`re less than two weeks away from Election Day. She`s finally starting this media blitz. But what do you think, Lisa, a little too little, too late?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "LISA BLOOM: OPEN COURT": Very much too little too late. I don`t count "Saturday Night Live" as something comparable to sitting down with reporters or, god forbid, doing a press conference like Joe Biden has done dozens of time and letting smart reporters fire tough questions at her, let her prove that she`s ready to be president.

And the fact that she continues to duck and dodge from that kind of an environment and the campaign is shielding her from that kind of an environment leads most Americans to conclude she`s not ready. That`s why her negatives are so high.

HAMMER: What do you think, Jack Burkman? You`re a supporter of the McCain-Palin ticket.


HAMMER: Do you think this is a good move on their part? Or do you think it is kind of coming across as, "Oh, I guess we have to do this now?"

BURKMAN: Oh no, it`s a very good move. I mean, Lisa may not count "Saturday Night Live" as a serious talk show. But I have some news for you - millions of Americans do. Those 17 million who don`t watch "Meet the Press" watch "Saturday Night Live." And -

BLOOM: For entertainment.

BURKMAN: Well, they still -

HAMMER: Yes. It wasn`t for information, Jack. Come on.

BURKMAN: They take it seriously.

BLOOM: They do?

BURKMAN: And I think it will really rub of? The reality is - look, I`ll be candid.

BLOOM: They take a dancing moose seriously?

BURKMAN: McCain is down so low at this point, A.J., that Palin might be one of the last weapons he has. And I think she would do a very good job turning out the base states like Ohio and Florida. I think it could make the difference.

I mean, when you look - I`ll be honest. When you look at Obama and McCain, both of these guys give me the impression this has gone on for so long. They`ve been speaking about this for two years. They`re getting bored with themselves.

I mean, the country needs something fresh. Palin was that something fresh. And in that capacity, in that vein, I think she`s a huge asset to McCain.

HAMMER: And Lisa, we should be fair. The dancing moose, that was pretty fresh. You can`t go wrong with the dancing moose.


HAMMER: Let me point out this particular NBC-"Wall Street Journal" poll that caught my eye. It shows Barack Obama leading McCain 52 to 42 percent. This is a poll among registered voters across the whole country. And voters also named Palin`s qualifications to be president as their top concern about McCain.

BLOOM: Yes. Right.

HAMMER: Lisa, obviously, she has become the biggest celebrity of this campaign. Should McCain be worried that Sarah the TV star is overshadowing Sarah the politician?

BLOOM: Absolutely. I mean, Americans are smart enough to see that she is very entertaining. And we all want to watch her on "Saturday Night Live" and we want to watch her in the debate. But to actually cast a vote for her ticket for president means we`re saying she`s a heartbeat away from the presidency. And, god forbid, something would happen to John McCain, she`d be in the Oval Office making decisions.

This is a woman who can`t make a subject-verb object into a declarative sentence. I think we have a lot of concerns about Sarah Palin.

HAMMER: Well, a lot of people are a little concerned about the beating down that they feel that she`s getting in the media. And I`ll get to you in a second, Jack. But I`ve got to play this phone call, because as you can well imagine, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines have been exploding over the great Palin debate.

You`ve got to listen to what Christine from Ontario had to say about all the critiquing that`s going on in the media of Palin. Watch this.


CHRISTINE, CALLER FROM ONTARIO: She can`t do anything right in the eyes of the media. Barack Obama can`t do anything wrong, it seems. I`m kind of dumbstruck by this. Give the poor girl a break.


HAMMER: To be fair, despite what a lot of people want to believe, all of the candidates are getting their fair share of criticism in this process.

BLOOM: And she`s not a poor girl.

HAMMER: Jack, let me just ask you the question that we`ve been wondering, is Sarah Palin being held to a higher standard because she`s become such a celebrity?

BURKMAN: Well, sure, and also because she`s the first woman. I think that`s true. But keep in mind, A.J., it`s like the Clinton factor. When the media was beating Bill Clinton down so much, the public was initially against him on impeachment and then they became for him, and for him in a big, big way with numbers up to 70 percent. I think that`s what`s in the process now of happening with Sarah Palin.

She was kicked down, kicked down. The establishment media beat her down and now I think she`s going to have a big upsurge because the average person - the average woman and man will begin to feel sorry for her.

BLOOM: Oh, Jack. We`re waiting for that upsurge. Instead, it`s been a down-surge the more that we learn about her. And she`s not a poor girl. She`s somebody who`s injected herself into the political process who said, "I accept the nomination. I`m ready to be president." She`s clearly not ready to be president. We`re in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We`re in two wars.


HAMMER: Lisa, I`ve got to cut you off because we have to wrap it up there. But I appreciate you both being here tonight.

BURKMAN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Lisa Bloom, Jack Burkman, thank you.

And now over to you, our viewers, for our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Sarah Palin`s Media Tour: Should she go on "The View?" What do you think? Vote at Or E-mail

All right, Brooke. We`ve got to move on to the other big stories. Brand-new details about Madonna`s divorce.

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J. For the first time, we`re hearing what may have made Madonna and Guy Ritchie end their marriage. You`ve got to hear this for yourself. Plus, we`re asking what`s next for Madonna? That`s next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Also, Hollywood`s vote, the winners and the losers. You know, it`s not just the candidates whose popularity has been affected by the campaign. From Tina Fey to "The View" to Paris Hilton, we`re looking at the winners and losers, coming up.

And this -


JEFF CONAWAY, ACTOR: I`m going to be better than I was before and I`m going to kick some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


ANDERSON: Who can forget Jeff Conaway? He was such a mess on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." Now, he`s back for another round with a whole new group of stars fighting their addictions on camera. We`re getting the secrets of "Celebrity Rehab" straight ahead.



MADONNA: I need company!


ANDERSON: That was Madonna performing the song "miles Away" in Toronto for her "Sticky and Sweet" tour. Tonight, is Madonna really lonely and what is the real reason behind her split with Guy Ritchie?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, a brand-new chapter in the Madonna divorce drama. For the first time, new information on what could have caused the split between Madonna and Guy Ritchie. All of the incredible details are in the brand-new issue of "People" magazine that hits newsstands on Friday.

And with us tonight from New York, David Caplan, who is a staff editor for "People" magazine. Also in New York, Janell Snowden. She`s a host for "VH1 News." David, Janell, good to see you.

And there, of course, has been a lot of speculation about what really caused this break-up. But now, "People" magazine`s new issue says trouble has been brewing for sometime. David, what was the turning point in their marriage?

DAVID CAPLAN, STAFF EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: The turning point happened in 2005 when on Madonna`s 47th birthday, remember, she was thrown from a horse and she broke a bunch of bones and she was home, of course, you know, healing and getting better.

And this was a turning point because Madonna needed support - emotional support and physical support. And a source tells "People" that Guy Ritchie simply wasn`t there for Madonna. He wasn`t there, you know, just to help her around. You know, physically, she couldn`t do everything.

And just emotionally. And then on his side, he was really surprised that Madonna sort of had this - what he perceived as this needy side. That Madonna, you know, who`s always perceived as being, you know, solid as a rock, very independent, you know, her own woman - this took him by surprise and it just sort of had them both at odds with each other.

ANDERSON: Yes. It takes me by surprise, too. And "People" magazine, of course, cites a number of reasons for the destruction of their marriage. "People" also reporting the couple hit a rough patch a year later after that accident with the horse when they adopted David, baby David from Malawi. Guy reportedly wanted to focus on their marriage before adding another child to the family.

But a source told "People," quote, "What Madonna wants, Madonna gets." Now, we all know that Madonna does have a strong personality.

So Janell, would it surprise you to think that Madonna - yes, she usually gets her way?

JANELL SNOWDEN, HOST, "VH1 NEWS": It hardly surprises me to think that Madonna gets her way. I mean, Madonna is a Leo. I`m a Leo. I happen to know that I think we`re bossy just by virtue of birth order.

And so, I mean, it doesn`t surprise me that she would even be needy. I mean, it`s not easy to be the biggest superstar we`ve had in recent history. And you know, with that, you need a supportive partner. But along with that, because Leos and people like Madonna are powerful and they tend to attract power, it`s a delicate balance to try to find somebody that is both powerful yet willing and able to be supportive.

So I wish her the best of luck in trying to find someone else.


SNOWDEN: But I don`t think she should try that anytime soon and something tells me she won`t.

ANDERSON: I wish her the best, too. And Janell, by the way, I`m a Taurus and I can be pretty hard-headed myself.

SNOWDEN: Stubborn.

ANDERSON: Madonna, a pretty determined woman, no question about it. But we`ve been hearing for sometime also that Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, was a source of tension between Madonna and Guy, with Madonna reportedly being way more devoted than Guy. David, "People" magazine talked to a friend of the couple. What role did they say Kabbalah played in this break-up?

CAPLAN: Kabbalah played a huge role in the break-up. Because Madonna was an adherent of Kabbalah for several years. Even before she met Guy, she was definitely into it. And Guy embraced it because he loves Madonna, and of course he was there for her.

But you know, a friend tells "People" that Guy, bottom line, just wasn`t really into it. He wasn`t a firm, you know, believer in Kabbalah. And in general, he didn`t have this sort of attachment to anything really spiritual. He didn`t really believe in a lot of those sort of spiritual offshoots of these various religions.

And he just, you know - his heart wasn`t just in it. It was something like Kabbalah or any really spiritually spiritual, you know, sect of anything like that. Either really you`re in it or you`re not, and he really wasn`t by the end of the time.

ANDERSON: I`ve said it before, I`ll say it again, they seem to be on completely different pages. And I`ve got to imagine the fact that Madonna and Guy came from two different worlds did not help matters. Madonna, a mega celebrity that loves the spotlight. Guy, more laid-back. Janell, very quickly, were Madonna and Guy just mismatched from the beginning?

SNOWDEN: Who`s to say? I mean, now, of course, you could say yes because they`ve broken up. But at some point, they had to be compatible - compatible enough for her to think it was a smart move to get married. Madonna is a very shrewd businesswoman and she`s also very in touch with herself and what she needs.

So I don`t think it was a publicity ploy. I mean, they lasted for 7 1/2 years.


SNOWDEN: You know, they tried to stick it out. And unfortunately, it didn`t work.

ANDERSON: Great point. We will leave it there for now. Janell Snowden, David Caplan, thank you both so much.

HAMMER: All right. Brooke, it`s not just Madonna. People are all fired up over Sarah Palin as well. And of course, her appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

ANDERSON: Yes, the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines won`t stop ringing, A.J. We asked the viewers if they thought it was a good idea for Palin to go on "SNL." And we got tons of calls.

Here`s a message from Russell in Connecticut left for us at "Showbiz On Call."


RUSSELL, CALLER FROM CONNECTICUT: It didn`t hurt her to be on "Saturday Night Live." Funny to watch but won`t vote for her.


ANDERSON: We also heard from Renee in California. She says it was a great idea for Palin to do "SNL."


RENEE, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: I think Sarah did a great job on "Saturday Night Live." She was very natural and it was very funny and it showed that politicians can have a sense of humor, too. And it has no bearing whatsoever on people`s vote decisions. It`s just fun and they should just take it as that. Ease up, people. Laugh a little.


HAMMER: Call us at "Showbiz On Call" so you can let us know what you think about Sarah Palin on "SNL" or anything else that happens to be on your mind.

ANDERSON: That`s right. "Showbiz On Call" phone lines open 24/7. Give us a ring, 1-888-SBT-BUZZ. That`s 1-888-728-2899. We`d love to get your voicemails. So leave one and we will play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

And your calls to "Showbiz On Call" are also now online on our homepage,

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. This presidential election is definitely, obviously, going to have big winners and losers. And I am not just talking about the candidates here.

ANDERSON: Yes, true, A.J. The campaign has had an impact on so many stars. Just think about Tina Fey. And then there`s "The View." Even Paris Hilton. Straight ahead, we`re taking a look at the winners and losers, Hollywood style.

And we will also have this -


CONAWAY: I`m going to be better than I was before, and I`m going to get some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


HAMMER: Who can forget Jeff Conaway? Such a mess on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." And now, he`s back for another round with a whole new group of stars fighting their addictions on camera. It`s fascinating and we`re getting the secrets of "Celebrity Rehab," coming up.

ANDERSON: And a 19-year-old hacker raided by the FBI over photos of Miley Cyrus. I`m going to tell you why the FBI stopped by next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. You don`t want to miss that.


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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson with some more stories that are making news right now. A 19-year-old hacker who posted pictures of Miley Cyrus online says he was raided by the FBI.

Josh Holly had bragged about hacking into Miley`s E-mail account and posting the pictures which showed Miley with a bare midriff and blowing kisses. Holly told "" that the FBI seized three computers and a phone from his home in Tennessee. So far, he hasn`t been charged with anything.

HAMMER: And now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT senior broadcast producer Aileen Martinez` favorite story of the day. Miss Teen Louisiana losing her crown because of a Dine-and-Dash. Yes, 18-year-old Lindsey Evans was arrested after she and three other young women left a restaurant without paying their $46 check. The problem was Lindsey left her purse at the restaurant with her driver`s license in it. Oh, yes, marijuana, too. Now, when the group returned to get it, they were all arrested.

ANDERSON: What were they thinking? All right. And it looks like the rumored "Dancing With The Stars" curse may have struck again. Julianne Hough was taken to the hospital after last night`s show because of stomach pains. She danced during the show and afterward got in an ambulance to go get the pains checked out.

A.J., this presidential election will have big winners and losers. And I`m not just talking about the candidates.

HAMMER: No, I`d love to talk about it. It`s very true, Brooke. We`ve had an impact on so many stars throughout this whole campaign. Think about it. Yes, Tina Fey, "The View," of course, and even Paris Hilton.

Coming up, we`re taking a look at the winners and losers, Hollywood style.

ANDERSON: Also Barack Obama shows up on "Ellen" with a big challenge to John McCain. That is still to come.

And we`ll also have this -


TAWNY KITAEN, `80S VIDEO STAR: While my children were standing there, they put the handcuffs on me and they took me to jail.

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, "CELEBRITY REHAB": You`re going to have a seizure. You are going to, absolutely without a doubt.


HAMMER: That was the woman from the "White Snake" video. Do you remember her? Just one of a new group of celebrities trying to kick their addictions while the cameras are rolling. We`ve got the secrets of "Celebrity Rehab" coming up.

Did you know you can stay on top of the most provocative entertainment news simply by being a subscriber to our daily SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsletter? It`s true. You can do it by heading over to and clicking on the "sign up for newsletter" link at the bottom of the page. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.



HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a SHOWBIZ special report, the Hollywood election winners and losers. Tonight, with just days left until the big vote, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT declares who has already come out on top and who has flopped. Tina Fey, the ladies of "The View," even Paris Hilton? Tonight, a fired-up debate over Hollywood`s election winners and losers.


CONAWAY: I`m going to be better than I was before. And I`m going to kick some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


HAMMER: Inside "Celebrity Rehab." Tonight, more brand-new shocking stories about stars who are desperately trying to kick their addictions caught on tape. The guy helping them to get clean, Dr. Drew Pinsky is right here.

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


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.

HAMMER: Well, here we go. Tonight, a SHOWBIZ special report, Hollywood`s election winners and losers. The presidential vote, of course, just around the corner. But tonight, we here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT are ready to name the stars who are the big winners and losers.

You`ve got Tina Fey. You`ve got the ladies of "The View." We`ve even got Paris Hilton to talk about.

Joining me tonight in New York, Lisa Bloom, who`s the host of "Lisa Bloom: In Court" and an "In Session" anchor. In Washington, D.C., Jack Burkman who`s a conservative political pundit. And in Hollywood tonight, Hyla who is a host on "E! Entertainment Radio" on Sirius and XM Satellite Radio.

Gang, I appreciate you being here. This is very important business we have to attend to. Right away, on our SHOWBIZ special report, Hollywood`s vote, we`ve got to get to Tina Fey, of course. Winner or loser?

Now, let`s take a moment, shall we, to flash back to the beginning of September. That is when Tina Fey played Sarah Palin for the very first time. Let`s watch.


TINA FEY, ACTRESS (AS SARAH PALIN): Good evening, my fellow Americans. I was so excited when I was told Sen. Clinton and I would be addressing you tonight.

AMY POEHLER, ACTRESS (AS HILLARY CLINTON): And I was told I would be addressing you alone.


HAMMER: Ah, memories. Tina, obviously, has done an amazing job with her Palin impersonation. But, you know, at the same time, she has not held back at all in speaking out about basically her disdain for Sarah Palin.

Jack, let me start with you. I want you to cast your vote. Does that make Tina Fey a winner or a loser in this Hollywood election?

BURKMAN: Oh, she`s a big winner. I mean, she should thank John McCain. She should thank her lucky stars that McCain picked Palin. He gave her a lot of great - she owes John McCain a big check for all this. I mean, I don`t like her politics but she`s a great performer.

Again, she should be thankful for Palin. Anything, A.J., and you know this very well. You know it better than I do. Anything that produces great publicity and great exposure will, you know, fuel her career. She`s going to get $6 million an episode now instead of $4 million an episode.

You know, in this world, if you`re somebody like Tina Fey, if you`re not being accused of a felony or some kind of terrible fraud, just spell the name right, that`s all that matters.

HAMMER: Yes, and her story has gone nowhere. But Lisa Bloom, Jack`s not a guy you often agree with, but I`m guessing you`re going to say Tina Fey a winner here.

BLOOM: Tina Fey, big winner. Look, she is just riding high on the crest of her terrific impersonations of Sarah Palin. And I think she`s getting under Sarah Palin`s skin. You know why? Because when Sarah Palin checked into the New York Hotel to do "Saturday Night Live" last week, the false name that she gave to the hotel was Tina. I mean, well, that doesn`t say at all how Tina Fey`s really gotten under skin and sort of become part of her identity.

HAMMER: And look at what she`s done for "Saturday Night Live." They`ve been seeing record ratings since they went back on the air in the fall.

Hyla, over to you. Tina Fey clearly a winner here.

HYLA, HOST, "E! ENTERTAINMENT RADIO": I`ll be stupid if I didn`t vote with my colleagues here, 100 percent. If there was a president for pop culture, she would win hands-down. And if anything, I think she`s helping Sarah Palin more than McCain helping Tina Fey because she`s making her even more relevant and helping bring in the highest ratings ever on "SNL" in the past 14 years this past week.

HAMMER: I want to remind the panel that you may remain independent in your votes and your choices ...

BLOOM: We will.

HAMMER: ... as we go through this SHOWBIZ special report. And next up, in Hollywood`s vote, it`s Sarah Palin herself as the TV star. Winner or loser?

You know, since Sarah Palin announced her candidacy, we obviously have seen her relentlessly be the butt of jokes. Lots of them on "Saturday Night Live" and elsewhere. But then, she turned the table and joined the jokes with her appearance on "SNL." Oh, let`s watch that again, shall we?


PALIN: Thank you. Thank you. No, I`m not going to take any of your questions. But I do want to take this opportunity to say, live from New York, it`s Saturday night!


HAMMER: Yes. Lots of heated debate obviously followed that appearance on whether or not Sarah should ever have done the show to begin with. People want to know why she hasn`t gone on a show that isn`t scripted, like "The View," for instance.

Jack, over to you, cast your vote on Sarah Palin, the TV star, winner or loser?

BURKMAN: Oh, huge winner, biggest winner of all. If she doesn`t win the election which looks likely now, I think every agent in the country is going to be out for her for some kind of daytime talk show. One way or another, I don`t think this woman is going to be governor of Alaska very long.

I mean, from the television perspective, she started out at ground zero, A.J. I mean, nobody had ever heard her name. I must confess, prior to McCain discussing her and others discussing her in the month leading up to the convention, I had never heard of Sarah Palin. And I`ve been in Republican politics my whole life which extends beyond 30 years here.

So I mean, she started at ground zero. She couldn`t be a bigger winner. I mean, I don`t care where her favorables and unfavorables are right now. When you start where she started, it`s nothing but a win.

HAMMER: All right. Very quickly, Lisa Bloom, cast your vote on Sarah Palin as the TV star.

BLOOM: Could not disagree more. There she is, doing a fake press conference and even then she won`t take any questions. I mean, it was just a vivid reminder to all of us that she can`t handle an actual press conference. She`s not running for anchorwoman, by the way, Jack. She`s running for vice president. And I think this only underscores how completely unqualified she is for the job.

HAMMER: A vote against Sarah Palin, the TV star. We`ve got to move on because next up in our SHOWBIZ special report, the ladies of "The View." Are they winners or losers? I mean, you turn on "The View" any day of the week during the election season, you`re seeing a heated debate. The gloves are coming off about the election. If you need some proof, just watch these fireworks over Sarah Palin on "The View."


JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": The Katie Couric and the Charlie Gibson interview put the nail on her coffin because you saw that she was totally inarticulate and as Bill Maher says the sentence to nowhere was taking place.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": What about Joe Biden who doesn`t know how to spell "job?"


BEHAR: We know (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for many years, OK? We know Joe Biden very well. We have just heard of this woman a month ago - two months ago.


HAMMER: All right. So some are saying great to hear so many passionate opinions about politics. "The View" really getting record ratings as well talking about a lot about what America is talking about is what people are saying. Others are saying, "You know, enough of the yelling already." Hyla, over to you. Cast your vote on "The View." Winner or loser?

HYLA: This is definitely a loss for "The View." It`s about buzz factor. People are buzzing about Tina Fey and Sarah Palin. No one`s buzzing about "The View." You don`t see people going on YouTube having to see this.

The problem is Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She should have been fired, when we heard the rumors earlier before, not because she`s Republican, but because she doesn`t do a good job of presenting her case.

You need someone conservative on that panel but you need someone who knows how to make a case eloquently, and she doesn`t do that. So they just go in circles and they don`t make a point.

HAMMER: You know, I`m not voting here tonight, Hyla, but "The View" is getting plenty of buzz.


HAMMER: I`m going to take a quick vote from you on "The View." Winner or loser?

BURKMAN: Very quick - winner. It`s a winner. They use the publicity well and incorporate it into their framework and benefit from it. But caveat, they have become a political talk show which in the television business is dangerous. When the election ends, what do you do?

HAMMER: Well, I think we`ll be still talking a lot about the incoming administration, whoever it ends up being.

Let`s move on. Because next up in our SHOWBIZ special report, Paris Hilton, winner or loser?

After being mentioned in a McCain campaign ad attacking Barack Obama, Paris really took the ball and ran with it. She had her own series of "" ads, running for fake president. And you`ve got to check out this particular ad where she seeks the advice of another great fake president, the wonderful Martin Sheen.


PARIS HILTON, ACTRESS: Nowadays, sound bites, not sound policy, determine our country`s course. I plan to bring a fake balanced approach to these very problems. For example, fopo.

MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: What is fopo?

HILTON: Foreign policy, silly.

M. SHEEN: Of course. Yes, I should have known that one.

HAMMER: All right. Lisa Bloom, a quick vote from you, Paris Hilton, winner, loser or just plain annoying?

BLOOM: Weirdly enough, I think she is a winner. We`ve all stopped thinking of her as a drunk driver and a porn star. And we started thinking of her somebody who can actually memorize lines and deliver them. I mean, who knew? Who would expect such a thing.

HAMMER: This is what it would take for me to say nice things about Paris Hilton on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Amazing. Lisa Bloom, Jack Burkman, Hyla, thank you for participating in this SHOWBIZ special report.

All right. Moving on, Brooke Anderson, now over to you, so many stories of big stars we all know. We`ve sent them. They`re trying to kick their drug and alcohol habits.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. And tonight we`re getting a rare inside look at just what it`s like. Brand-new emotional battles of addiction caught on tape.


KITAEN: While my children were standing there, they put the handcuffs on me and they took me to jail.


PINSKY: You`re going to have a seizure. You have going to, absolutely without a doubt.


ANDERSON: That`s the painful story of `80s video Tawny Kitaen. Remember her from the White Snake songs? And that is just the beginning. Tonight, inside VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab," I`m sitting down with the guy trying to get all these stars clean, Dr. Drew Pinsky, next.

HAMMER: This is very exciting. If Obama wins the election, will he actually put George Clooney in the White House? That`s underway.

ANDERSON: Well, A.J., Hollywood has been going nonstop on this election. And now tonight, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama dancing together? It`s a picture you won`t want to miss.



CONAWAY: I`m going to be better than I was before. And I`m going to kick some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


ANDERSON: That`s a gaunt Jeff Conaway, Kenickie, from the movie "Grease" looking less than sober as he prepares to check back into "Celebrity Rehab."

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Tonight, brand-new emotional stories of stars going through rehab, caught on tape. Dr. Drew Pinsky returns with the second season of his VH1 reality show, "Celebrity Rehab."

Here`s another startling and very real look inside rehab as stars battle violent addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Jeff Conaway who also starred in the `70s show "Taxi." Gary Busey, Guns `n Roses drummer Steven Adler, and `80s music video star Tawny Kitaen just a few of the celebrities who check into Pinsky`s rehab center hoping to save their own lives. But can Dr. Drew save them?

Joining me tonight from tonight from New York is Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab". Dr. Drew, welcome. Good to see you.

PINSKY: Thanks, Brooke.

ANDERSON: And as we mentioned, this is the second season of the show. And it gives us a really raw look at people fighting horrible addictions and going through withdrawals.

PINSKY: You know, Brooke, it`s just regular old treatment just shown on television. The fact is that a lot of the people you`re reporting about every night on this program have problems exactly like this. And the public so often either thinks about rehab as some sort of spa treatment they`re getting or makes fun of celebrities that they should be able to get their act together or they`re just spoiled children when in fact, this is exactly what we`re talking about.

This is exactly the kind of person that people are scrutinizing and we should be concerned about them and not having disdain for them.

ANDERSON: Yes. It`s definitely not glamorous whatsoever. Why do you think there is there this fascination with such an ugly disease, with addiction?

PINSKY: Well, I think - well, it`s so complicated. I actually wrote a book just about this very issue. It`s coming out on March. And that is the fact that I think there`s been sort of a turn in this country where we`re easily evoked to envy. And when somebody has something we don`t have and we want, we`re are not just jealous, we`re envious. We want to knock them down to size.

This program, "Celebrity Rehab" - that`s Nikki McKibbin from "American Idol" who`s a severe alcoholic. This program holds the mirror back up to people and says, "Look, this is what`s going on here. This is how sick people are that behave like that, and this is the deep, poignant, human reality behind it. And here`s how to treat it."

ANDERSON: Yes. Well, it`s clear that these patients are in bad shape. We just saw "Taxi" star Jeff Conaway who is the only celebrity to return to "Celebrity Rehab," talking to you before going back into treatment. Let`s listen to more of what he had to say.


CONAWAY: We knew that I had to get back operation. And, of course, I knew that I was going to be on major pain pills when I left. And I`m a fighter, in case you haven`t noticed. I`m going to be better than I was before. And I`m going to be better than I was before, and I`m going to get some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


ANDERSON: OK. He calls himself a fighter, but we know now that he relapsed on cocaine, on painkillers. Dr. Drew, he really seemed to be on his way to recovery last season. What went wrong.

PINSKY: Well, Jeff is a very complicated case. As you saw last season, he had horrible childhood trauma. He has chronic pain syndrome. He has this almost delusional preoccupation that surgery isn`t going to cure him. And we really get to a very interesting place with them this season.

Vicki actually comes in and we treat we treat Vicki. And Vicki, his girlfriend, does better than he does. And that causes serious problems and some really horrible things erupt as a result. Jeff finally divulges the fact that he believes that if he cannot be young Kenickie, Jeff Conaway, age 24, he`d be restored to his youthful vitality, he`d rather be dead or loaded. And this is what we saw working with Jeff this time. It`s a very complex case. Prognosis is guarded.

ANDERSON: Yes. Very, very complicated. And he`s not the only one fighting his demons as we`ve seen. We all remember actress Tawny Kitaen, probably best known as the model on top of the Jaguar in White Snake`s "Here I Go Again" music video.

On the show, she talks about one of the toughest moments in her life. Watch this.

KITAEN: While my children were standing there, they put the handcuffs on me and they took me to jail. And I spent four days in a room with no windows. and if there`s anything that a psychiatrist would love to get their hands on with me is me being perfectly honest about how it really felt.


ANDERSON: Dr. Drew, obviously very painful and traumatic for Tawny. Yet, she`s still addicted and still abusing prescription drugs at least when she first checked in.

Dr. Drew, why aren`t kids enough? Why isn`t the responsibility of parenthood enough for people like Tawny to keep them from abusing drugs? Very quickly.


PINSKY: Spoken like somebody who`s never dealt with addicts. That`s what constantly people say. Why isn`t the love of yore family enough? Why isn`t the job you wanted all your life enough? It`s because addiction is about a disturbance of motivational priorities.


PINSKY: The usual priorities set by our brain diminish and one priority emerges which is use the drugs and all else fades away. It`s a biological disorder of the brain. That`s why things like the love of our family is not enough for addiction to remit.

ANDERSON: Not enough. Well, it`s heartbreaking to watch but encouraging to see they are trying to get help.

PINSKY: The transformation is great. They`ll do fabulously this year.

ANDERSON: Oh, fantastic. Thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

ANDERSON: And you can catch the premiere of the second season of "Celebrity Rehab" with Dr. Drew Thursday night on VH1.

HAMMER: All right. Moving on - now, let see. We`re about two weeks away from the presidential election. I`ve got to tell you, no signs of Hollywood slowing down at all when it comes to these candidates. There are plenty of new skits, appearances, controversy, all sorts of funnies - you name it.

And now there`s even a Sarah Palin themed triple X porno video.


HAMMER: Yes. Here`s CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): If the campaign doesn`t end soon, those ladies on "The View" are going to kill each other -


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": As I made the point -

MOOS: McCain supporter Elisabeth Hasselbeck is even wearing her Americain(ph) t-shirt. And on "Ellen," the host joked about how much election coverage she`s watching on CNN.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I realized the other day I called my den "THE SITUATION ROOM" and I`m sleeping now on a Larry King-sized bed.

MOOS: On Monday, VP pick Joe Biden was trying to pick off an actress. It took him six throws to dump Julia Louis-Dreyfuss for breast cancer. Then he apologized in what looks like a prison conjugal visit. But that pales next to the x-rated Sarah Palin look-alike film, "The Hustler" publisher Larry Flint has made.


MOOS: A non-X-rated clip has surfaced showing a look-alike entertaining two Russian soldiers whose tank has frozen (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: If that could be arranged, the alphabet - I will put you. If not, forget it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: If I didn`t know any better, I`d think you boys were flirting with me.

MOOS: Speaking of look-alikes, according to the Web site TMZ, the real Sarah Palin supposedly checked into her New York Hotel as Tina the night she appeared on "Saturday Night Live."

MOOS: Our Photoshopped joke photo of the day is Obama and Palin "Dancing With The Stars." Our poster of the day is "Attack of the 50-foot Palin.

Meanwhile, conservative blogs are attacking the animated show, "Family Guy," sticking a McCain pin on a character wearing a Nazi uniform. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, there is something on here. That`s weird.

MOOS: The McCain campaign keeps pinning its hopes on a certain Joe -


MOOS: Good old Joe, the Plumber.

(on camera): Just call me "Jeanne, the Plunger." Actually, a Portland Oregon radio station, plunged in to rescue Joe, the Plumber.

(voice over): KEX organized a donation drive. Listeners contributed $1,800 to more than pay off Joe`s overdue tax bill.

JOE WURZELBACHER, PLUMBER (on the radio): My deepest gratitude. I really appreciate it.

MOOS: Watch out, Joe the Plumber has spawned signs proclaiming -

PALIN: The Dairyman. Bill, the Bricklayer. We have Andy Engineer. Tito, the Builder.

MOOS: Maybe Dave, the Cop better start checking IDs.

PALIN: John, the only Republican in my high school.


HAMMER: I hear they actually have a Joe the Plumber costume for Halloween this year. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, by the way. And you can also get a Barack Obama mask, maybe a John McCain mask.

Perhaps, you`ll want a George Clooney mask this year because I hear Barack Obama might want to make Clooney a part of his administration if he wins. Yes, Clooney in the White House? That`s coming up next.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Well, tonight, Barack Obama throws down a big challenge to John McCain on "Ellen." Yes, reveals that George Clooney might play a very important role in his administration if he gets elected as well.

All right, so first off, Barack Obama called in to the "Ellen DeGeneres Program" and Ellen put him on the spot asking just who is the better dancer, Barack on his wife Michelle?


OBAMA: I don`t think - now, let me tell you that Michelle may be a better dancer than me, but I`m convinced I am a better dancer than John McCain.


DEGENERES: I am too.


HAMMER: All right. Well, McCain, it`s now your move to show your moves on "Ellen." Ellen also asked Obama to please help her get George Clooney on the show. You`ve got to listen to what Barack said really upping the ante here.


OBAMA: I have to say that Clooney is a good friend of mine. He`s been a great advocate on behalf of things like Darfur. But what I`m thinking is to appoint him as ambassador to the "Ellen Show."

DEGENERES: It`s a good idea. It`s a good idea.

OBAMA: And what we will do is - we would have him and you sit down without preconditions and I think that we can resolve any differences that you may have.

DEGENERES: That is a great -

OBAMA: The country depends on it.

DEGENERES: I think he is going to be here now. That did it.


HAMMER: Yes. I think that`s a great idea. Brooke, you and I big Clooney fans. What do you think, George Clooney special ambassador to "Ellen?"

ANDERSON: Yes, maybe. I could see that. You just never know, A.J. All right. That was funny.

Moving on now. On Tuesday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. It was this - Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live": Did she help her campaign? Only 31 percent of you say yes; 69 percent say no.

A couple of the E-mails. Sharon says, "She won me over. She is a good sport. Showed a lot of class."

But Lauren from New York disagrees, "I want to know what she is going to do for this country. I don`t want to know if she is funny or if she can read a script."

Keep your E-mails coming.

We appreciate your E-mails. And right now, Brooke, I have to go back and man the "Showbiz On Call" phone lines. That`s what I`m doing tonight.

ANDERSON: Please do.

HAMMER: That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. 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.