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Michael Douglas` Heartbreaking Cancer Battle; The Fed-Up Flight Attendant Goes Hollywood; The Obsession with All Things Palin; A New Jersey Housewife Fired?; Kim Kardashian Sex Tape Talk

Aired August 17, 2010 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Big news breaking the day on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Michael Douglas` heartbreaking cancer battle. Brand-new details today about what Douglas is facing after learning he has throat cancer.

The fed-up flight attendant goes Hollywood. Steven Slater`s dramatic move to extend his 15 minutes of fame and what his reality show might be like? But what if his story turns out to be all made up?

It`s the Palin show.


FMR. GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK): I`m honored -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re certainly not.


HAMMER: New revelations about the obsession with all things Palin. The reality shows, the Sarah-Levi-Bristol fiasco. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report.

Kim Kardashian`s sex tape talk. Kim`s dramatic new interview today about her notorious sex tape.

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


HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer, coming to you from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with big news breaking today - high on Hollywood.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. The man now known as the fed-up flight attendant is flying high on Hollywood today. But he soon could come crashing down. Steven Slater, the furious flight attendant who, of course, wowed the world with his great escape from an airplane has a lot more to think about today than just pushing beverage carts up and down the aisle, things like reality show offers, endorsement deals, and the news today that he has just hired one of the best publicists in the business to guide him along.

But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is here to tell you that Steven Slater is also encountering some sudden and very serious turbulence. Passengers, flight attendants, please take your seats.


(voice-over): It`s the American grand prize for bad behavior. It was the Salahis` reward for crashing a White House party. It was Rachel Uchitel`s reward for allegedly having sex with Tiger Woods. It was Spencer Pratt`s reward for being Spencer Pratt. That reward - a reality show. And it may be coming to fed-up flight attendant, Steven Slater.

STEVEN SLATER, FMR. JETBLUE FLIGHT ATTENDANT: It`s been amazing, the support and the love.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that Slater, who won fame for popping the emergency slide on a JetBlue flight and literally sliding off the job, is poised today for a reality show and Hollywood stardom.

NINA PARKER, PRODUCER, TMZ: Steven Slater has been offered a reality TV show. They want to have Steven Slater kind of host the show where he shows other people who are disgruntled employees how to quit their job in extravagant ways.

HAMMER: Ever since his great escape from a JetBlue jet turned Slater into a working class hero, he`s been living the life of a high-rolling celebrity. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT obtained today this brand-new photo of Slater palling around with singing legend Barry Manilow backstage after Manilow`s concert in Atlantic City.

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has learned Slater snagged his very own high- powered Hollywood publicist, Howard Bragman who tells today`s "Hollywood Reporter," Slater has gotten offers for everything, from reality shows to hosting gigs, endorsement deals, books and even personal appearances.

PARKER: When you hire someone such as Howard Bragman, you`re trying to build some type of case to get, you know, some shine from Hollywood. So it looks like he`s definitely on that route.

HAMMER: But SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you clouds of doubt are forming today over this flight attendant`s story that he chuted out of the plane after getting fed up with an unruly passenger.

PARKER: No one can corroborate the story.

HAMMER: There are reports today that investigators have yet to find any passengers who can confirm Slater`s claim about what happened on that flight, how he suffered a gash on his head after struggling with an uncooperative female passenger.

HOWARD TURMAN, STEVEN SLATER`S ATTORNEY: Steven came over to assist, and either bag or the overhang hit him in the head. At that point, he suffered an injury.

HAMMER: How that same mysterious female passenger cursed him out after the flight, leading Slater to make his famous escape. Today, no one can seem to find this elusive, ill-tempered passenger.

PARKER: Investigators are saying who is this woman? They`re finding no record of her.

HAMMER: Not only that, some passengers are going to the press to say that Slater was the one who was rude during the flight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did seem agitated to me. And he actually made me feel pretty uncomfortable.

HAMMER: Doubts about Slater`s story have him taking a hit in the media. Headlines that used to praise him as the JetBlue renegade are now mocking him as the JetBlue nut. That could mean trouble for Slater`s reported reality show offer.

PARKER: If it`s found that Steven Slater made up this incident, then they may revoke the offers.

HAMMER: We all remember what happened to wacky scientist Richard Heene any who tried to win reality show fame last year with his own aerial stunt, conning the country into believing his son was trapped on a runaway balloon. He didn`t win a reality show, but he did win a jail sentence.

And TMZ`s Nina Parker tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT if Slater`s story is disproven, he could also kiss his reality show prospects goodbye.

PARKER: I don`t think anyone would want to watch a reality show of someone who was dishonest. They would kind of probably assume his reality show was all fake as well.

HAMMER: Wait a minute. A reality show? Fake? In America, we on "The Hills" certainly wouldn`t stand for it. But seriously, as long as doubts about Slater`s story continue to swirl, his possible ambitions for Hollywood stardom may be up in the air.


HAMMER: Please put your seat back and tray table in the upright and locked position because whether or not his story is real, it does seem to me the fed-up flight attendant is now high on Hollywood. And that leads to today`s SHOWBIZ Flashpoint - should Steven Slater get his own reality show if his story turns out to be fake?

Right now, from Hollywood, Rachel Zalis who is a contributing editor for "Life and Style Weekly." Also from Hollywood, Carlos Diaz who is a syndicated radio host.

So I get why this whole thing seems like an entertaining idea. But Carlos, my friend, to today`s SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, should Steven Slater get his own reality show if his story turns out to be fake?

CARLOS DIAZ, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: It doesn`t matter if his story is fake, real, authentic - I don`t care. I don`t like this guy. He should not get his own reality show no matter what.

I mean, I agree with Donald Trump wholeheartedly here - the guy was a menace. He was worse than Balloon Boy guy because, if you`re looking at FCC regulations - FAA regulations, I mean, he could have caused some serious problems running onto a tarmac. He deserves to be in jail, not on TV.

HAMMER: I believe our friend Donald Trump, Carlos, used the word "wacko" describing this man.

DIAZ: And I would agree.

HAMMER: Now, Rachel, out to you for the SHOWBIZ Flashpoint - do you think she should get his own reality show if the whole story turns out to be a fake one?

RACHEL ZALIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY": I`m totally with Carlos. This is ridiculous. I`m sick of society rewarding people`s bad behavior. Now, this guy`s story has more holes in it than Lady Gaga`s stockings. I mean, it`s a joke.

They`ve interviewed over 40 people. Not one person can confirm this incident. And the only reality show this guy should get should be called "Behind Bars," because he`s going from JetBlue to jet orange because that`s the color he`s going to be wearing and that`s where he deserves to be.

HAMMER: Hold on a second. Rachel, you could be onto something. Steven Slater in Lady Gaga`s holey stockings behind bars - there`s your reality show.

ZALIS: That`s a good one.

HAMMER: You know, it`s not just reality TV offers that are coming this guy`s way. Everybody wants a piece of him. He`s getting offers for book deals, all kinds of other things despite the fact that nobody can prove his story is true.

And get a load of this. We have this picture - Charles, can we put this up? Oh, look at that. If you get suddenly famous, where do you rush? Well, to hang out with Barry Manilow, of course. There he is. He`s cashing in on his 15 minutes of fame, which, by the way, is really 30 minutes of fame after flight delays.

It`s Slater and Barry Manilow backstage at a concert in Atlantic City. Now, Brooke Anderson, my colleague, I know you enjoy some reality TV on occasion. But I take it you`re not going to be - I don`t know - watching, tuning in for, setting your DVR for, a fed-up flight attendant show if it does happen, will you?

ANDERSON: No, A.J. Probably not. I am not surprised, though, that he is getting offers because train wreck TV sells and he`s got a whole lot of train wreck potential, no doubt. But a whole lot of people including the "Today" show`s Kathie Lee Gifford aren`t keen on this idea. Kathie Lee is fed up with the flight attendant.



KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: when are we going to stop rewarding bad behavior?

HODA KOTB, CO-HOST, THE "TODAY" SHOW: People like watching that stuff.

GIFFORD: No, no, no.

KOTB: That`s why they`re getting ratings.

GIFFORD: If you`re loving that, you`ve got sort of examine why, in your own life, you love to watch human beings degraded so much.


ANDERSON: All right. Carlos, I`m never one to say, reward bad behavior, illegal behavior. But here is the thing. Whether we like it or not, it happens all the time. Look at Snooki. Look at the Housewives of any city. You wouldn`t be surprised here if it happens with Steven Slater, would you?

DIAZ: Well, Snooki is not going to cause a big problem at an airport. Well, maybe the hairspray -

ANDERSON: No, no, no. Snooki is a little disorderly.

DIAZ: The hairspray maybe. Exactly. Maybe drinking on the flight. But he could have caused some serious problems here, OK?

And you know, I love Howard Bragman. He`s on the show a lot. We respect him. But he said this is not a sprint. It`s a marathon. Oh, it`s a sprint, because you`ve got to beat jail time. You`ve got to beat everyone coming down on this guy. You have to beat, you know, passengers saying his story is now not true.

You`ve got a lot of things. You`d better cash in as quickly as you can, because I`ve got news for you. In six months, we will not be talking about this guy.

ANDERSON: If anybody can do it, Howard Bragman can, though.

DIAZ: Yes, he can. That`s the scary thing. When he`s with Howard, I`m like, "Oh, no. You didn`t." Exactly.


HAMMER: Well, let`s get Rachel in here, because - Rachel, should we be surprised at all that bad behavior is potentially being rewarded here? Again, we see this happen all the time on "Jersey Shore."

ZALIS: Yes. It`s true. I mean, basically, today, if you`re a call girl, if you cheated with a married man, you were drunk and drove, you know, that`s basically how you are going to get a reality show.

And it`s unfortunate that that`s the message we`re sending, that if you want to be famous and filthy rich, go out there and do something bad. And I just think it`s sort of a horrible trend that`s been happening.

I mean, Snooki is different. "The Jersey Shore" - these kids were paid to kind of party and do silly things. This guy - his job was to actually be a flight attendant. And he showed absolute disregard for the passengers, for the company -

DIAZ: The Situation lifting up his shirt is not going to cause a plane to crash whereas this guy, you know -

ZALIS: Maybe.

HAMMER: Maybe we just should float him off in a balloon. Carlos Diaz and Rachel Zalis, thanks, guys.

ANDERSON: All right. Speaking of bad behavior, Kim Kardashian`s brand-new sex tape confessions. Kim K`s stunning new revelations today about her notorious sex tape scandal. Does Kim have any regrets about the sex tape that changed her life, made her famous?

Lights, camera, action. It`s the Palin show. Bristol, Sarah and Levi`s three-ring media circus means huge paychecks. The unbelievable story behind the obsession with the Palins. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they`re a soap opera come to life. Then the stuff that happens to this family - you couldn`t put these together if you were a writer for "All My Children."


ANDERSON: Plus, the latest details on Michael Douglas` heartbreaking battle to treat a dangerous tumor. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

HAMMER: And this is the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Angelina Jolie`s representative denies report she will play Marilyn Monroe. "Forbes" names Jay-Z king of hip-hop, he earned $63 million over the past year.




HAMMER: Big news breaking today, this just in to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, police in Dallas, Texas just threw the book at controversial singer, Erykah Badu, for stripping down naked while shooting a video.

The video for the song, "Window Seat," is filmed at Daley Plaza. That, of course, is the historic site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Badu received 180 days probation and was fined $500, and she`s already paid the fine.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York with Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And there is some big breaking Michael Douglas news today, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. Absolute shock across the country today after Oscar- winning actor, Michael Douglas, announced that he is being treated for a tumor that was found in his throat. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has all the breaking details today.

Right now, in Hollywood, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter. Kareen, I was absolutely floored by the news. I just spoke to Michael in May at the Cannes Film Festival. He looked great. He sounded great.

Michael`s rep did tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Michael is optimistic about his health and that his prognosis is good. But Kareen, this is troubling.

KAREEN WYNTER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Brooke. It has to be an extremely, extremely scary time for Michael Douglas - really, anyone facing this sort of diagnosis.

I mean, we`re talking chemotherapy here that he`d have to undergo, radiation. But look, the good news here is that his team of doctors - they say they do expect him to make a full recovery.

And you can bet, Brooke, that his legions of fans out there who, you know - they get so used to seeing this actor on the big screen playing the Teflon roles as that tough guy. So you can bet they`re rooting for him and are hoping that he somehow finds the strength to really beat this toward the end.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. And you talk about that aggressive treatment that he`s facing, I think everybody is concerned about what Michael will endure through that treatment.

And of course, many cancer victims and families of victims can relate to this. On the "Today" show this morning, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who is a head-and-neck surgeon, explained what Michael`s biggest challenge might be here.


DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, SURGEON: The biggest thing is you`ll lose your appetite. So it`s going to be really hard to keep the calories going in because you have to be well-nourished to fight this off.

I wouldn`t be surprised if he loses some weight during this and probably doesn`t have a very public life during this.


ANDERSON: I think anybody would understand if Michael stayed out of the spotlight for a while here. But his much-anticipated "Wall Street" sequel opens next month, in the middle of the treatment.

Kareen, it`s never a good time for something like this to happen. Never, ever, ever. But it really couldn`t come at a worst time, could it?

WYNTER: Awful timing. Talk about bad, bad timing. And his doctors did allude to that, saying that he would definitely be out of the limelight for at least eight weeks while he undergoes that treatment.

And you know - of course, you know, Michael`s health is at the forefront here. But let`s talk about this movie and all the amazing buzz surrounding it. It could not come at a worst timing.


WYNTER: I mean, we waited, what, two decades -


WYNTER: Two decades to see Gordon Gecko back on the big screen. This is a role that Michael, by the way, won an Oscar for.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

WYNTER: So I know you`ve (INAUDIBLE). It`s getting so many great reviews. You know what -

ANDERSON: When I spoke to Michael in May, he was so, so excited about the movie. And I hate to cut you off, but we`ve got to go. His rep does tell us he`s expected to make a full recovery and we pray for just that. Kareen Wynter, thank you so much.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, the SHOWBIZ "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been ringing nonstop today. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT fans continue to sound off about Dina Lohan`s disturbing and bizarre interview behavior on the "Today" show.

ANDERSON: Yes. Mauri from Idaho just called in, A.J. She says that Dina is in total denial about Lindsay`s problems and Lindsay should stay far, far away from Dina.


CALLER: Dina Lohan is a co-dependent enabler, not only in denial - this woman is toxic for that child. There`s no way Lindsay Lohan should be within miles of her mother.


ANDERSON: Thank you, Mauri.

HAMMER: Brooke, a lot of people think that Lindsay should not only stay away from her mother, Dina, but her father, too. Listen to what Michael in New Mexico has to say.


CALLER: What I`m enraged about is how Lindsay`s parents are taking no responsibilities for Lindsay. And the comment Dina is making is just making it worse. I just kind of find it appalling that her parents really aren`t doing anything for Lindsay other than hurting her much more.


HAMMER: Thanks, Michael. Call us at "Showbiz on Call" and sound off on this or anything at all.

ANDERSON: Yes. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open - 1-888- SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899.

HAMMER: And now, onto an invisible monkey, a "Real Housewives" cat fight. But first, Jessica Simpson, and I literally mean "butt." Jess` outrageous revelation today - she wants a bigger booty. And she says there are two things she`d be willing to have less of to get more booty.

Dramatic "Real Housewives of New Jersey" news today. Which garden state girl reportedly just got her walking papers? There goes the neighborhood.

Plus, the battle today over an invisible monkey. Yes, an invisible monkey.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Monkey see, monkey do. Do not see monkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, wait. There`s an invisible monkey.

MOOS: OK. It`s a chimp, not a monkey. But those who hate PETA were thrilled.


HAMMER: This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views. And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Heidi Montag`s plastic surgeon, Dr. Frank Ryan, dies in Malibu car crash. Hilary Swank tells "InStyle" she`d like to have kids one day.


HAMMER: Did you see this? Superstar tennis champion, Roger Federer, showing off why he`s at the top of his game.

That is unbelievable. Roger did this on the set of a commercial last month. Clearly, there was a lot of down time between takes. But somebody on the set was like, "Hey, Roger, let`s see if you can knock a bottle off some guy`s head while we`re waiting around." And he did.

There are some skeptics out there who think Roger and pals may have pulled a fast one. But just so you know, Roger Federer`s tennis swing was clocked once at 135 miles per hour. So please, don`t try this at home.

ANDERSON: Oh, that was fast. OK. A.J., there is a new twist in the Joan Rivers-Lindsay Lohan Twitter war today. The two got into a Twitter tussle, shall I say, last month when Joan tweeted some jokes about Lindsay`s alcohol and legal problems.

Lindsay didn`t like that. Shocker. So she fought back slamming Joan`s plastic surgery. You would think since Lindsay was in rehab, there would be some sort of truce in this Twitter war.

But no. A.J., Joan says that Lindsay just sent her these Twitter messages, "I`m so proud of myself. My doctors say there`s nothing they can do for me which means I`m perfect. X-O-X-O-X-O, Lilo."

"This rehab is a lot worse than the other seven I`ve been in. You can`t get any drugs in here. Can you believe it? Suck-o! Lilo."

Just to be clear, Joan Rivers was the one who posted these tweets. She`s pretending that Lindsay sent them. They`re not really from Lindsay. Come on, Joan. Can we talk about you being a little nicer, maybe?

OK. The response to the controversial video of Tyra Banks seemingly praising a super-skinny "America`s Top Model" contestant is flooding the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook wall today. Now, Tyra has apologized, but our fans are still fired up.

Laura M. says, "Of course, she apologized because her fans pay her salary and keep her rich."

Aida M. says, "Tyra knows controversy sells. Good or bad publicity is still free advertising for her show."

Join the debate on Facebook. Go behind the scenes of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and get breaking entertainment news alert on Twitter. Call us at "Showbiz on Call" and there`s always E-mail. "SHOWBIZ Connects" at

HAMMER: And now, the SHOWBIZ lineup - here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Kim Kardashian`s brand-new sex tape confessions. Kim speaking out today about the scandal that made her a celebrity.

New revelations today about the obsession with all things Palin. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report you do not want to miss.

And I bet you thought you knew everything there is to know about octu- mom. Apparently there is more to tell in her new book. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Rapper Ice-T cleared of traffic charges after arrest last month in New York City. "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami" most watched show on cable Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait. I read a story about that one. (INAUDIBLE) with my son or something. She`s like, "Shut up."



HAMMER: Big news breaking the day on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - Kim Kardashian`s brand-new sex tape confessions. Kim`s unbelievable interview about the x- rated tape that made her a big star.

Jessica Simpson`s booty bombshell. Jess wants to change her breasts and her butt, too?

the Palin show. New revelations today about the obsession with all things Palin. The reality show, Sarah, Bristol, even Levi. It`s a SHOWBIZ special report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they are a soap opera come to life. I mean, the stuff that happens to this family, you couldn`t these together if you were a writer for "All My Children."


HAMMER: Plus, breaking today from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - Tom Cruise`s super sweet message for his daughter and Angelina Jolie`s desperate plea.

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


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

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with the SHOWBIZ special report, the Palin show. Sarah Palin may have failed at running for vice president, but she is a blockbuster Hollywood success.

Despite all her controversies, just about anything with the name Palin slapped on it sells. Some say that Palins are the biggest celebrity family ever. Here`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Kareen Wynter a revealing look at the obsession with all things Palin.


WYNTER (voice-over): It`s the kind of unscripted drama that only Sarah Palin can create.

FMR. GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK): I`m honored, though, that she thinks I`m a celebrity. That`s funny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re certainly not.

WYNTER: Americans can`t seem to get enough of this provocative political family. But that could all change when the former vice presidential candidate`s reality show debuts this fall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be part of the political process instead of becoming a celebrity so you could - (INAUDIBLE). If that is the best you can do, good for you.

WYNTER: For Sarah Palin`s Alaska, the cameras will follow their every move.

ROY SEKOFF, FOUNDING EDITOR, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Part of it is sort of just watching this train wreck happen. Oh, my God. What are they going to do next? No, not that.

WYNTER: "The Huffington Post" founding editor, Roy Sekoff, says the Palins are cashing in on their 15 minutes of fame.

(on camera): What is it about the Palins - America`s obsession. People just can`t seem to get enough of this family?

SEKOFF: Well, I think they are a soap opera come to life. The stuff that happens with this family, you couldn`t put this together if you were a writer for "All My Children." You have the people who love her. You have the people who hate her. But everybody is talking about her.

WYNTER (voice-over): And that includes Levi Johnston, the Palin`s most famous former son-in-law to be.

LEVI JOHNSTON, BRISTOL PALIN`S EX-FIANCE: It`s happening in a relationship where (INAUDIBLE).

WYNTER: Sekoff says it`s the limelight that propelled the Palins and Johnston to celebrity status. The headlines about Levi`s and Bristol Palin`s love child, their two broken engagements, the buzz about Johnston shopping his own reality show. And oh, that music video that Johnston just appeared in that had tongues wagging because many said it poked fun at the Palins which Levi denied.

JOHNSTON: Watch the video. It`s going to be hot.

WYNTER: But when it comes to the media firestorm over this family, Sekoff says it`s Palin`s persona as a political lightning rod that`s fueling the public`s appetite.

SEKOFF: Right now, she is all about promoting the Sarah brand. There`s a reason why Oprah booked when her book come out. There is a reason why her book was the bestseller, why Barbara Walters did a five-parter with her. People are interested in the Palins.

WYNTER: And it`s the interest that`s creating a gravy train for this family, proving it pays to be a Palin.


HAMMER: And that Palin gravy train is also the Palin train wreck. You`ve got sex, politics, and you`ve got it all. All that is what keeps us wanting more. That brings us to the SHOWBIZ Flashpoint today - are the Palins the biggest celebrity family ever?

Right now, in Hollywood, Kim Serafin - she is a senior editor with "In Touch Weekly." Also in Hollywood, Carlos Diaz. He is a syndicated radio host.

So obviously, the Palins aren`t the first celebrity family to have us begging for more, week after week, just sucking us in as all their drama plays out on TV and off screen, of course.

Some of my other favorites include - well, certainly my favorite at all - the Osbournes. They were really the first family of reality TV. Not so much my favorites, but of course, you can`t forget the Hogans. They define family train wreck. And now, of course, you have the Palins.

So Carlos, to you first. To our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, are the Palins the biggest celebrity family ever?

DIAZ: You know, A.J., when I was watching wrestle mania while listening to Black Sabbath as a kid, I didn`t think I would be relating the two people involved with that show with a vice presidential candidate. Are we serious here?

Are we comparing the Palins to the Osbournes and the Hulk Hogan family? Come on. This seems to be a vice presidential candidate. The sad thing is, yes, they are more popular than those guys are right now. They are bigger.

HAMMER: Yes. I mean, that`s the deal. When you look at all of the ingredients, they certainly do stack up against what we`ve seen from these other celebrity families, except, as you put it, Carlos, it`s at a whole different level here. To you, Kim, are the Palins the biggest celebrity family ever?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": I think they are a huge celebrity family for a lot of reasons. I mean, they appeal to people who work in politics or follow politics. They appeal to people who follow entertainment.

And the fact is, if you want to be in politics these days, you have to have that celebrity persona. You have to have that relatable aspect to you. That`s why people said George Bush was relatable because they felt like they could go for a beer with him. That`s why Obama goes on "The View."

You need to have that. So if she decides to run for president, the celebrity does help her. If she decides to pursue a talk show career, a reality show career, the celebrity helps her, too.

DIAZ: Run for president? No. This kills her run for presidency. It kills it. A presidential candidate -


SERAFIN: Why else does Obama go on "The View" and Jay Leno`s show?

DIAZ: "The View" is a lot different than the "Osbournes" and the Hulk Hogan family. "The View" is actually respected when you compare that to the Osbournes.

SERAFIN: Absolutely.

DIAZ: You watch reality TV show to watch the train wreck. She`s replacing "Jon & Kate Plus 8." Look at who you`re replacing on TLC. That`s not a good indication for 2012 for Sarah Palin.


HAMMER: Here`s the thing - I want to move on. Here is the thing. At least I know what we`re going to be seeing on the TLC show won`t be the train wreck that seems to be playing out for all of us to see every day with Levi and Bristol and everything that goes on with them.

But right now, I do want to move on to Jessica Simpson, because she`s got a brand-new body bombshell just revealed today. Now, Brooke, I`m a little confused because she`s been such a champion of body image issues. Did Jessica really say she wants to change her breasts? What`s going on here?

ANDERSON: She did, A J. Yes, she did. Why? I don`t know, because she looks fantastic. But she said she wants to minimize what`s up top, maximize what`s down below.

In a new interview out today with U.K.`s "Closer" magazine, Jessica Simpson says that she wishes she could gain weight in her rear end, "I have a white girl booty. I`d rather have a happy medium and take some off my chest and put it towards my butt so I could balance out a bit."

OK. We know that Jessica has long complained about all the attention and unfair criticism of her body. So Kim, seems to me that her saying stuff like this kind of only aggravates the situation.

SERAFIN: Yes. She`s got to know that people are going to focus on this. I mean, when people ask her a question about her body, she should say, "I`m really happy with my body. And by the way, have you seen my new hand bag line at Macy`s?" And as they forget, she should say, "And how about my new shoe line at Macy`s?"

She should not talk about it because people are then going to obsess about it, unless she wants to start that conversation and that`s fine. But if she talks about her body, people are going to make comments about it.

ANDERSON: Though she`s got a body that women dream of. And men, Carlos - well, they dream, too. I need a male perspective here. So when Jessica Simpson says things like this, do you just roll your eyes or do you say, "More, please. More, more, more"?

DIAZ: I like her talking about her boobs and her butt. No. There`s a great in the new movie, "Eat, Pray, Love," where Julia Roberts says to one of her friends, "Has a guy ever kicked you out of bed when you took your clothes off? Has a guy ever left a room when you took your clothes?"

It`s the same with Jessica Simpson. You can talk all you want about your body, wanting it to be better this way or that way. But if any guy in America happened to get with Jessica Simpson, we wouldn`t care at all what her butt or her boobs or her face or her hair looked like. It would just be "I`m with Jessica Simpson right now -"

ANDERSON: And I`m happy -

DIAZ: "And I`m happy." That`s it. We`re not a very complicated gender, all right? If you`re naked, we`re cool with it.

ANDERSON: Oh, you know what? I really just got a headache. But I have to leave it right there. Carlos Diaz, Kim Serafin, thank you both.

HAMMER: Well, Carlos, thank you very much for the segue. I remember that Kim Kardashian sex tape, not that I watched it or anything. But today, Kim is speaking out in a dramatic interview about that X-rated tape. This was the tape that started it all and actually made Kim a star.

Big news today - one of the "Real Housewives" has reportedly been fired or did she quit? We will be checking this out today.

The brand-new battle today over the real monkey who became an invisible monkey.


MOOS: Monkey see, monkey do. Do not see monkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, there`s an invisible monkey.

MOOS: OK. It`s a chimp, not a monkey. But those who hate PETA were thrilled.


HAMMER: Yes. I said invisible monkey, and it was fun. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views. Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Tom Cruise calls his four-year-old daughter Suri his "fountain of youth." Fantasia thanks fans, she`ll appear on "Regis and Kelly" September 9th.


ANDERSON: Heidi Montag is mourning the death of her plastic surgeon today. Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to the stars, died in a car accident. His jeep reportedly went off a cliff on the Pacific Coast Highway in California.

Dr. Ryan stirred up a lot of controversy when he did those 10 cosmetic surgeries on Heidi in one day. When he came on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, he stood his ground defending his actions and Heidi`s decision.


DR. FRANK RYAN, PLASTIC SURGEON: I`m in the middle of Hollywood here. This is what we do all the time. This is what we all do all the time, frankly, out here.

And the public just doesn`t know it, and so a lot of these celebrities that are size zero, with these perfect bodies, beautiful faces, beautiful skin, it`s just not reality. This is what goes on. So I think Heidi, actually, by being honest, is kind of - you know, kind of being brave actually, to tell you the truth.


ANDERSON: On her Twitter page today, Montag was devastated. She writes, "He was the most amazing person I have ever known. He was an angel and changed my life and the lives of everyone he met." It was bad news.

OK. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood with A.J. Hammer in New York.

HAMMER: And Brooke, lots of big news in "The Buzz" today. The octu-mom writing an octu-book?

CREW: What?

HAMMER: Yes. The absolutely stunning choice of who is starring in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" that is leaving everyone saying, who?

And a real shocker - a "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast member reportedly fired, or was she? All this making big news in "The Buzz" today.


(voice-over): The octu-book. Octu-mom Nadya Suleman is revealing that she has just finished her autobiography. She tells "Radar Online" her memoir details her life as the mother of 14 kids.

But the octu-mom is not revealing who donated the sperm that led to her giving birth to eight babies. She`s keeping the title of her book a secret, but it may not even matter. So far, no publishers say they`re interested.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is who? Filmmakers have just dropped a casting bombshell, naming relatively Rooney Mara to play the lead in the movie version of the bestselling book.

She roared past nearly every A-lister and scored one of the most sought-after roles in Hollywood, reportedly beating out the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Ellen Page and Natalie Portman. Shooting begins next month in Sweden, and the new movie is due out in December 2011.

"Real Housewives" rocked. "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" may have dropped Danielle Staub. Some reports say Staub has been fired from the Bravo series. Other reports say she`s leaving to get her own show.

Staub tweeted this, "I`m not thinking about season three right now. I`m considering many incredible options that have been presented to me."


ANDERSON: What a tweet. So is it good riddance for Daniel Staub? Right now, in New York, Bonnie Fuller, who is the editor-in-chief of "" And right now, in Hollywood, Rachel Zalis, who is a contributing editor for "Life and Style" magazine.

Bonnie, Rachel, Danielle Staub is the black sheep of "The Housewives of New Jersey." She`s got a sex tape. She was always - almost always in the middle of those wildcat fights on the show.

So Bonnie, is it good riddance for the most-hated member of the New Jersey housewives? Because here`s what I`m thinking - the show might become a little bit boring if she takes her drama and walks out the door.

BONNIE FULLER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM": Brooke, I`m with you. Why would they want to get rid of all that? You couldn`t make up what`s happened to this woman. I mean, whose hair extensions are the other three going to yank out now? She`s provided the fodder for everything that`s gone on in the show.

ANDERSON: She certainly has. She is incredibly unpredictable, no doubt. OK. I do want to move now to another big story just in today - Kim Kardashian`s weight and sex tape revelations.

In a brand-new interview today with "Allure" magazine, Kim opens up about her infamous sex tape with Ray J. back in 2007. She says, "Not my most proud moment. It was humiliating, but let`s move on. Not that I don`t think it`s no one`s business, but I think I`ve done a good job with replacing negative things with positive things."

OK. Rachel, I think what Kim probably should have said there is not just it was humiliating, but it was a huge mistake. It was disgusting, and take that opportunity to tell other young women not to do the same thing.

ZALIS: Right. But she didn`t release the sex tape. I mean, you can`t tell people that it`s a mistake to do something in the privacy of your own home.

I mean, in comparison to what other people have done to become reality stars, this is probably one of the least bad, and I give her a lot of credit.

ANDERSON: So you think her capitalizing on it -

ZALIS: Yes -

ANDERSON: Wasn`t sending the wrong - wasn`t sending the wrong message to young girls who may think, "Well, sex tape. I`ll become famous."

ZALIS: No. I give her a lot of credit. She`s turned herself into a $12 million business. She`s into clothing lines, perfumes, weight loss products, a hugely successful reality show. I mean, if something negative is going to happen - I totally agree with her - make something good out of it, as she said.

ANDERSON: She certainly did that. She turned it around. You know, let`s not forget that sex tape did lead to her "Playboy" spread. A.J., what is she saying about that?

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, Kim opens up about her "Playboy" photo shoot back in 2007 and how she was really happy to show people, hey, you don`t have to be super-skinny to be a sex symbol.

So is Kim the new body image role model? I`m not thinking one bit. Here is what she tells "Allure" magazine, "I look back and say, `Oh my god. I was so heavy then.` If you look now, I`m so much skinnier. My face is so much slimmer. My whole stomach defined."

Now, Bonnie, just when you think that Kim might have a positive message for her fans about her body image, she seems to do a whole flip- flop on the issue here.

FULLER: I`m with you, A.J. That was the one thing in the interview that really disappointed me. Because first of all, she says you don`t have to be scary-skinny to be a sex symbol. And that`s why women love her, because she`s not scary skinny.

She`s got that wonderful curvy-girl figure. And she`s proud of being an Armenian woman. And so it was a let-down for her to then retrench and go, "But wait, I lost all that weight." So she was sending a double message there.

ANDERSON: Yes, I agree. Rachel, what do you think?

ZALIS: I totally agree. I mean, she`s made her career and her money on being this curvy role model. And I think it would be fine if she said, "You know what? I`m in a different place in my place and I`d love to do it again and show off the new me," but not sort of denigrate -


ZALIS: Exactly. Because I think she should be proud of having - you know, she`s posing as Sophia Loren. It`s like she wants people to embrace that side of her. And yet, she`s sort of negative about what made her so famous.

ANDERSON: And she`s gorgeous 15 pounds curvier or 15 pounds less curvy.

ZALIS: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: She needs to embrace that, don`t you think?

ZALIS: Yes. Yes, completely. I mean, literally - she`s literally worked her butt off to change her body. But you know, it`s like - I think we love her because of those assets.



ANDERSON: And she needs to give herself a break, as we all do in terms of our body image.


ANDERSON: Rachel Zalis and Bonnie Fuller, thanks, ladies.

HAMMER: Well, from keeping up with the Kardashians to keeping up with the invisible monkey. Yes, I said invisible monkey. There is a brand-new battle today over this guy. And yes, there`s a real monkey involved, too.


MOOS: Monkey see, monkey do. Do not see monkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, there`s an invisible monkey.

MOOS: OK. It`s a chimp, not a monkey. But those who hate PETA were thrilled.


HAMMER: And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Kate Gosselin blogs that she`s sad her kids are going back to school. Angelina Jolie urges people to donate money to Pakistan flood relief efforts.


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I think, unfortunately, a lot of people are feeling the fatigue with so many crises and so many situations around the world. I think as people completely understand the scale of it, they will do more.


ANDERSON: And now, the SHOWBIZ buzz list. Here`s what the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff just can`t stop buzzing about today. Laura Linney is great in Showtime`s "The Big C," where her character is battling cancer.

We are loving that newcomer Rooney Mara got the starring role in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" movie. CNN alum Aarti Sequeira wins "The Next Food Network Star" and gets her own show.

Over 40 mega-stars on the famous September issues of fashion magazines - Julia Roberts on "Elle," Jennifer Aniston on "Harper`s Bazaar," Halle Berry on "Vogue."

And we are just buzzing about Justin Bieber and Kanye West maybe teaming up at the MTV Video Music Awards. Hey, Kanye, don`t interrupt him, OK. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.


ANDERSON: And now, the battle over the invisible monkey. PETA got mad that a car maker used a chimp in the TV ad, so the company removed the chimp - sort of. The big debate today, were the car people trying to play nice or were they trying to drive PETA crazy? Here is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


MOOS: This is the story of what happened when Dodge got a tongue lashing from the animal rights group PETA using a chimp in their commercial. This is the spot before PETA complained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This event could not be more amazing. Wait, there`s a monkey. I stand corrected.

MOOS: And this is the re-edited-after-PETA-complained version.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wait, there`s an invisible monkey. Unbelievable.

MOOS: Monkey see, monkey do. Do not see monkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wait, there`s an invisible monkey.

MOOS: OK, it`s a chimp, not a monkey. But those who hate PETA were thrilled, "Finally, someone stood up to those morons at PETA." "Genius Dodge. Genius," even if the genius who wrote this couldn`t spell it. We read some of the praise to the CEO of Dodge, "Good on Chrysler for giving PETA the finger." I mean -

RALPH GILLES, PRESIDENT/CEO, DODGE (through telephone): Oh, my gosh. No, that`s definitely not the intent.

MOOS: Some people are interpreting this as Dodge poking PETA in the eye.

AMANDA SCHINKE, PETA: That is not at all the case. The response has been completely enthusiastic.

MOOS: Not only did Dodge change the commercial, it pledged to never again use great apes.

SCHINKE: We are absolutely delighted.

MOOS: Dodge`s CEO said he was touched when PETA told him baby chimps are torn from their mothers to be trained as actors, often kept in deplorable conditions, sometimes whacked, as this PETA video seems to show.

GILLES: Hey, we`re Dodge. We learn from our mistakes.

MOOS (on-camera): This is all great for Dodge because it turns out the invisible monkey is getting greater visibility than the original monkey.

(voice-over): "All glory to the invisible monkey," posted one fan.


MOOS: The invisible monkey saga became a Taiwanese animated recreation that ends with PETA and Dodge toasting the invisible monkey.

(on camera): Whoever came up with the invisible monkey is the hero here, right?

GILLES: That`s my agency, WNK. They`re awesome.

MOOS (voice-over): To get from this -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wait, there`s a monkey.

MOOS: To this -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wait, there`s an invisible monkey.

MOOS: They had to have the voiceover retract by the actor who plays serial killer, Dexter, no less.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not joking. I kill people.

MOOS: People maybe, but at least not monkeys.


ANDERSON: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And A.J., I know a chimp is part of the ape family. It`s technically not a monkey. I wanted to point that out (INAUDIBLE).

HAMMER: It really was a good thing. And Brooke, quite frankly, and you can admit this, it`s just fun to say, "invisible monkey," isn`t it?

ANDERSON: Yes, it certainly is.

HAMMER: All right. Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, now that we`ve cleared that up. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now live at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday.

HAMMER: And we are still TV`s most provocative entertainment news show seven days a week at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on HLN.