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CNN SHOWBIZ CHARLIE SHEEN - SHARON STONE - CNN HOST A.J.HAMMER

Charlie Sheen Questions Official 9/11 Explanations;

here complete transcripts:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sbt.html


SHEEN RELATED TRANSCRIPTS ONLY 22,23,24,27 March 2006

Aired March 22, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET

A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And I`m Brooke Anderson live in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, we asked you the question, do you hate other people`s kids? And we could not believe the overwhelming response we got from you: so many e-mails, we`re still reading them. Tonight, we bring back the author of "I Hate Other People`s Kids", so she can respond live to those of you who do hate other people`s kids and those who hate her.

Plus, a Charlie Sheen shocker. Tonight, the actor`s stunning statements on 9/11. Maybe the airplanes did not take down the Twin Towers. And maybe the government is covering it all up.

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Taking ever four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the startling allegations.

Also, a "Da Vinci Code" debate, live. Tonight, what one religious group is demanding be done to the "Da Vinci Code" movie, and why others believe the demand is downright ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Witness the biggest cover-up in human history.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT deciphers the "Da Vinci Code" controversy, live!

GARTH BROOKS, SINGER: Hey, everybody, I`m Garth Brooks and if it happened today, you can bet it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer, live in New York City.

ANDERSON: OK. So last night, we asked you, do you hate other people`s kids? And you won`t believe how many letters flooded our in-box.

HAMMER: We were virtually overwhelmed with the e-mail and we are bringing back the author of "I Hate Other People`s Kids" so she can answer e-mails live on the program.

But Brooke, of course, you remember where you were on September 11.

ANDERSON: Absolutely, A.J. I was at work at CNN in Atlanta, and I remember being in complete and utter shock and dismay.

HAMMER: Yes, I was workings, as well, here in New York City and like most people just thinking this is absolutely unbelievable.

Well, there`s another thing that you may not believe about September 11 and what someone is saying. Charlie Sheen, star of CBS`s successful sitcom, "Two and a Half Men", says point blank, 9/11, the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, this is all a cover up. Is this for real? Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the tape that has people asking, what`s the truth?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHEEN: The more you look at stuff, especially specific incidents, specific events in and around the fateful day, it just -- it just raises a lot of questions.

HAMMER (voice-over): Charlie Sheen has his own questions about 9/11, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has obtained the explosive interview from the radio show of fringe journalist Alex Jones.

Sheen normally gets laughs as the bachelor on the hit CBS sitcom, "Two and a Half Men".

SHEEN: Wow, you`re even better than a dog.

HAMMER: But now, Sheen is courting controversy by questioning the official story on 9/11.

SHEEN: We`re not the conspiracy theorists on this particular issue, you know. It seems to me like, you know, 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: So what exactly are Sheen`s questions about 9/11?

For one, Sheen is questioning the official story of what caused the World Trade Center clasp, that the impact of the two planes caused fires that weakened the buildings` support columns. In the interview Sheen says he wondered if the buildings could have been brought down by a deliberate - - yes, deliberate -- implosion.

SHEEN: I saw the south tower hit live, that famous wide shot where it disappears behind the building and then we see the tremendous fireball. And there was just -- there was a feeling that it just didn`t look, how do I say this, it didn`t look like any commercial jetliner I`ve flown on any time in my life.

And then when the buildings came down, later on that day, I was with my brother and I said, "Hey, call me insane, but did it sort of look like those buildings came down in a -- in a controlled demolition?"

HAMMER: Sheen is also questioning how a commercial airliner could have hit the Pentagon.

SHEEN: Show us this incredible maneuvering. Just show it to us. Just show us, you know, how this particular plane pulled off these maneuvers. What was it, a 270 degree turn at 500 miles per hour, descending 7,000 feet in two and a half minutes, skimming across tree tops the last 500 meters off the ground?

ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You can`t hold...

HAMMER: Sheen also jumped on a favorite target of 9/11 conspiracy theorists: President Bush. Sheen questions why the president, after an aide told him about the attacks, continued with his Florida school appearance.

SHEEN: It would seem to me that, upon the revelation of that news, that the Secret Service would grab the president and remove him as if he were on fire from that room.

HAMMER: Ever since that horrible day, conspiracy theories about the attacks have spread far and wide through the Internet. As writer Webster Tarpley tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Sheen is not alone in his opinion.

WEBSTER TARPLEY, AUTHOR, "9/11 SYNTHETIC TERROR": There was a Zogby poll carried out last August, actually August of 2004, by now, which showed that about 50 percent of the people in New York City believed that top government officials had knowledge in advance of what was going to happen.

HAMMER: Still, it`s safe to say that most experts and most Americans place the blame for 9/11 only on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, not the U.S. government. Even Sheen knows his comments may not go over well with many people.

SHEEN: And I`m sure I`m being demonized across the nation by, you know, all of the people that do that sort of thing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: So what exactly should we make about Charlie Sheen`s stunning comments? Let`s get right into it now. Joining me live from Chicago for the "SHOWBIZ Newsmaker" interview is Nicole Rittenmeyer. She`s supervising producer of the National Geographic Channel`s miniseries, "Inside 9/11." And live in St. Louis, Michael Berger. Michael is the media coordinator of 911Truth.org. It`s a group that claims there has been a September 11 cover up.

I want to thank you both for being with me tonight

MICHAEL BERGER, MEDIA COORDINATOR, 911TRUTH.ORG: Thanks for having me.

NICOLE RITTENMEYER, SUPERVISING PRODUCER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL`S "INSIDE 9/11": Thanks.

HAMMER: So Michael, I`m one of these people who believes that anyone who takes everything that has been spoon-fed to us by the government from wherever about what happened on 9/11 is being naive. I think there is more out there.

When I say this to people sometimes they look at me like I`m kind of nuts. Charlie Sheen must be getting the same reaction, and I`m sure your organization gets that reaction, as well. So what do you say to people who think that maybe what Charlie Sheen is saying here is just crazy?

BERGER: Well, Charlie Sheen raised several -- I mean first I have to say Charlie Sheen has really done his homework. There`s a great deal, an abundance of information out there, and it`s hard so to sift through what is, in fact, fictitious information and what is based in fact.

But there is a large body of information out there that contradicts the official story. And Charlie Sheen has clearly done his homework. He raises credible questions, questions that family members have raised, that the 9/11 commissioners had promised them would be answered in their report, since they didn`t answer those questions in the commission hearings.

And when the report came out, Lori Van Auken, one of the Jersey girls, a year after the report came out after her analysis of the final commission report, she stated that the report actually raised more questions than it had answered.

HAMMER: Nicole, he`s bringing up a lot of valid points and Charlie Sheen raising issues about a lot of aspects of what happened on September 11, so what`s your reaction to what he`s saying?

RITTENMEYER: Well, I mean I think that the work that his organization has done -- we should be asking questions. Our program, the four-hour mini series we did on 9/11, was the highest rated program ever for National Geographic Channel, and that suggests there`s a lot of interest in this. People need a lot of closure.

And even the 9/11 commissioners didn`t say that their report was the final word. I mean, we should be asking questions.

But I think the important question, though, is some of those -- some of the issues he`s raised are easily answered. He may have done his homework. I don`t know that he did enough.

HAMMER: Well, what specifically? What`s one of the issues that he raised that you`re finding issue with?

RITTENMEYER: The demolition of the buildings.

HAMMER: Which Charlie Sheen claims -- which Charlie Sheen claims appeared to be a controlled implosion.

RITTENMEYER: Sure.

HAMMER: That wouldn`t have happened coming from airplanes simply hitting the building.

RITTENMEYER: Absolutely. And it did. It did happen. The fireproofing was blown off the building. There`s been tons of research. There`s a wealth of evidence out there that suggests -- it`s been examined and re-examined. It looked to untrained people like a controlled demolition, but experts have evaluated this again and again and again, and it`s pretty self-explanatory.

HAMMER: Michael, you did mention that you were impressed with how well informed Charlie Sheen is and the fact that he did do his homework, which I imagine for an organization like yours, which wants people to ask the hard questions, has to be a good thing. He`s not just another Hollywood type simply spouting his mouth off.

BERGER: No, like I said, Charlie has really done his homework and has been really impressive. In fact, Charlie raises the issue of a third building, a 47-story building, building seven, which collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, which was not hit by an airplane.

So what we`re asking for is if this third building collapsed at 5:20, which the media really has not shown this clip. They -- they show us the towers being impacted by planes and the fireballs and the collapse over and over, but this third building with an inexplicable collapse, although it did have minor fires, no steel frame skyscraper has ever collapsed due to fire.

We had a fire in the Madrid Windsor tower last year, burned for 20 hours, a raging inferno. The people of Madrid assumed, like 9/11, this tower was going to collapse, and yet it didn`t.

HAMMER: Michael, do you think there`s been a huge government cover- up, as Charlie Sheen is alleging, on September 11?

BERGER: I do. I do. I think many of the commissioners themselves have had conflicts of interest. They did not follow the investigations to where a truly independent commission, which is what Charlie Sheen has called for, truly independent voices raising questions, calling on the government to release information like Pentagon surveillance videotapes, videotapes from the Sheraton Hotel and the Citgo gas station.

Evidence about the black boxes located at Ground Zero, which a firefighter had stated prior to the 9/11 Commission report coming out in 2004.

HAMMER: Michael, I`ve got to jump in real quick, because Nicole, I do want to ask you. You did mention that it is important that we`re asking these questions. Charlie Sheen now, a Hollywood type on board, raising these issues publicly. Before it`s been mostly official type people. So do you think it will at least give some of these theories legs?

RITTENMEYER: Oh, gosh, I hope not. I hope it -- I hope it causes people to start reading a little bit more and researching the issue.

BERGER: Hopefully.

RITTENMEYER: If you delve into the research a lot this of answerable.

HAMMER: Well, hopefully, people will start trying to get more informed, because I think there are a lot of unanswered questions. Michael Berger and Nicole Rittenmeyer, thank you for joining us on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

BERGER: Thank you.

RITTENMEYER: Thank you.

Here the Sheen section ends on March 22

 


Aired March 23, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: New information about the death of Princess Diana. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And a look at a workplace phenomenon, the office spouse. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Charlie Sheen speaks out on a controversial theory that the government covered up what really happened on 9/11.

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets. That feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: Tonight, we dig even deeper. The host of the radio show on which Sheen leveled his startling allegations joins us live right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Plus, the overwhelming response from you, the viewers.

Rebuilding communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Tonight, how a TV reality show is going in to fix what some say the government could not.

HARRY CONNICK JR., SINGER/ACTOR: I`m Harry Connick Jr. If it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, live in New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

A.J., it`s been incredible. Pretty hard to believe, actually, the response we got today to the incredible story SHOWBIZ TONIGHT broke last night. Actor Charlie Sheen`s startling claims that the government may be covering up what really happened on September 11.

HAMMER: So many e-mails coming in. We`ve been really overwhelmed today. Between the e-mails, the blogs, the web sites, everybody is writing and talking about it.

Charlie Sheen made the comments during a hard-to-believe interview on a radio show. And don`t move because in just a moment the host of the radio show, the guy who actually spoke with Sheen, is going to join me live here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. But first let`s get you up to speed on the latest developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHEEN: The more you look at stuff, especially specific incidents, specific events, in or around the fateful day, it just-- it just raises a lot of questions.

HAMMER: The questions Charlie Sheen is raising about the 9/11 attacks are raising a lot of eyebrows. Our e-mail inbox immediately started to overflow. And the coverage on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is getting a lot of attention.

The web site 9/11 Blogger calls SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s coverage, quote, "The first time a major news station has covered 9/11 questions in any reasonable format."

It all started with a radio interview Sheen gave to GCN Radio Network host Alex Jones, a cult hero of sorts to 9/11 conspiracy theorists. During the interview, Sheen made clear that he backs Jones` views.

SHEEN: We`re not the conspiracy theorists on this particular issue. It seems to me like, you know, 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: Sheen also made another shocking suggestion: that we may not know the full story about the collapse of the World Trade Center.

SHEEN: I have a hard time believing that a fireball traveled down the elevator over 110 feet and still had the explosive energy to destroy the lobby like it was described.

I said, "Hey, call me insane. But did it sort of look like those buildings came down in a controlled demolition?"

If I was your age, I could only dream about my parents splitting up.

HAMMER: As the star of the sitcom "Two and a Half Men," Sheen is seen weekly by about 10 million people. And many of them may end up paying attention to his controversial comments about 9/11.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: As I mentioned the radio host who interviewed Sheen is Alex Jones of the Genesis Communications Network. Alex joins me live from Austin, Texas, to talk about Sheen`s riveting comments.

Alex, as I mentioned, the response that we got from doing this story last night absolutely shocking. So I want to know how it actually all came about. How did the interview with Charlie Sheen actually happen? Did you guys reach out to him? Did he call you? What was the deal?

ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, just to make something clear, Mr. Sheen has amazing courage to do what he`s done. And he contacted me. He`s been watching my documentaries for years. He`s one of the most informed people that I`ve talked to in Hollywood on this subject.

Listen, for years Hollywood`s been on fire with people knowing the truth about 9/11. And I was the first to expose 9/11 on the day. In fact two months before I had intel that elements of the military industrial complex were going to carry out the attack. I said they`ll use bin Laden, the known CIS. That is their patsy to take the blame for attacking the towers.

So Mr. Sheen is only exceptional in that he has courage in going public. Courage that no one else in Hollywood had.

I mean, here`s a CNN poll from Anderson Cooper a year and a half ago where they said is the government covering up 9/11? Could they be involved? Ninety percent when the poll closed on CNN said this.

So listen I have my own syndicated show. I`ve done 4,000 radio interviews in the last 4 1/2 years. Almost no one calls in and disagrees now. We have the majority view and we have the evidence.

And bottom line, there are declassified U.S. government documents like Operation Northwoods that ABC News reported on back in 2000. Operation Northwoods. Google it.

And in there the U.S. government -- an element of it -- said we want to hi-jack jets by remote control, crash them and blame it on the Soviet Union in Cuba. Now that was decades ago. This is why we believe this.

Then you look at the official story. The firefighters, the police, hundreds of them saying there were bomb in the buildings. They were told to shut up. You look at building seven, detonators going off. You can see the explosion.

HAMMER: And Alex, a lot of this is what Charlie Sheen was covering. I`m actually just curious. Did he reach out to you guys? Is he the one who put the call into you and how he wound up on your show?

JONES: Sure. Sure. He called me a few weeks ago and said that -- said that he loves this country. He has nothing to gain from this. In fact it`s dangerous for him to do.

HAMMER: Sure, sure.

JONES: He said, "I love this country and my kids so much that I`m going to do this, Alex."

And I said, "God bless you" because now it makes for other Hollywood people who`ve got major pull who know the truth to start going public.

HAMMER: And dangerous indeed to do. Because a lot of what he said makes a lot of people sort of sit back and say, "Whoa, I don`t know about that."

And what`s really important here. You may not agree with everything that Charlie Sheen had to say. I personally think it`s a good thing that he did go on your show, so he could go public with his point of view. Because it does get people talking.

You know, there are a lot of people who may look at this, however, and say there just goes another Hollywood nut job shooting off his mouth.

JONES: Listen -- listen...

HAMMER: I imagine that you think, though, having a Hollywood actor on your side is a good thing and, as you mention, may bring some more people to the table talking about this.

JONES: Sure, sure. If you knew some of the Hollywood names that are aware of 9/11. We`re talking some of the biggest people.

HAMMER: Any you can tell us about that you`ve been in contact with?

JONES: No, I can`t. Because -- because people in Hollywood contact me because I have integrity, and I`ve been in a few films and they know me. And they know I keep my mouth shut.

You know, it was kind of like back in high school. I learned to keep my mouth shut about girls I was dating and all the girls started liking you.

Look, it`s really simple. Let`s understand this, OK? Nine-eleven was an inside job. It was a self-inflicted wound. And -- and what Charlie Sheen is doing is just amazing, and he can only be commended for it. And all he`s calling for is a real investigation.

I go further at InfoWars.com and PrisonPlanet.com. We lay out how it happened and what took place.

And it`s not just Charlie Sheen I`ve interviewed. CNN has interviewed some of these people, the only network that I`ve seen doing it. You guys have interviewed. There have been physics professors that have gone public. There have been the heads of mining colleges that have gone public.

George Bush Sr.`s top CIA adviser who briefed him and Ronald Reagan, one of the highest little guys at the CIA, says our government is clearly involved in carrying out terror to blame it on foreign enemies.

Did you know that on CIA.gov they admit that they carried out terror attacks in 1953 to blame it on Mohammed Mozadek (ph) in Iran as a pretext to overthrow Iran?

HAMMER: Alex -- I`m going to rein -- all good stuff and all stuff that needs to be talked about. But I`m going to rein you back in here to the topic at hand.

JONES: Sure.

HAMMER: One thing that I think is interesting. You know, as I mentioned we`ve gotten this overwhelming response. The e-mail has not stopped coming in. Most of the e-mail I`ve been getting has been supporting the fact that we are bringing attention to something that is rarely talked about in mainstream media.

JONES: Yes, sir. You have courage. No one else has done what you`re doing.

HAMMER: And I appreciate you saying that. So the question is why? Why have so many of the major media outlets not talked about these alternative theories that exist behind 9/11? Why is that?

JONES: Mark Twain said that, "In the beginning a patriot is a scarce man, hated and feared and scorned. But in time when his cause succeeds, the timid join him, because then it costs nothing to be patriot."

A lot of people don`t have the courage that you have, A.J. A lot of people don`t have the courage of Charlie Sheen. They don`t have the courage of the German defense minister, Andre Van Bulow (ph), who two years ago went public...

HAMMER: What do you think is afraid of that`s going to happen to them?

JONES: They`re afraid of being beaten up by the hordes of neocon intimidators who try to go out there with their Gestapo Nazi tactics to try to bludgeon everybody with their blogs and radio shows to shut up.

But they`ve lost, pal, because people have learned that they`re a bunch of liars. They lied about WMDs. They lied about everything. And now their credibility is totally blown.

The new White House memo just came out where Bush is talking about staging the shoot down of American planes to get -- to blame it on Saddam. That`s public. That`s admitted.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about some public documents. Because obviously experts, government commissions, countless officials have all come out and supported what is the official line.

JONES: Yes, they call it Henry Kissinger independent.

HAMMER: Right. Well, we know that those documents are out there and that people are supporting them. So I guess what some people watching us tonight may be thinking is, well, why the heck should I be listening to Charlie Sheen or to Alex Jones and his web site on this matter?

JONES: They shouldn`t. They shouldn`t. They shouldn`t believe me. They shouldn`t believe you. They shouldn`t believe George Bush. They shouldn`t believe the Keane Commission where almost the entire commission has conflicts of interest and was appointed by Bush. You`ve got to love this. He appoints his own commission, and then the media calls it independent.

Did you know that the "9/11 Whitewash Commission" claims there were no columns in tower one and two when they had 47 of the biggest columns in the world up until that time? They won`t say why building seven had blast points going off down the side.

HAMMER: Well, Alex -- Alex, I`m afraid I`ve got to cut you off because we`re out of time. But as I said, it`s sparking debate. It`s getting people talking. And I appreciate you help bringing it up.

JONES: Thank you. Go to InfoWars.com, sir. Find out the truth at PrisonPlanet.com.

HAMMER: Alex Jones, live from Austin.

And as I mentioned we`ve gotten so many e-mails on the subject. We`ll read what some of you have to say coming up a bit later in the show.

Nine eleven also happens to be the subject of a new movie that`s coming out in theaters soon. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your first look at "United 93." That`s coming up in a bit in the "SHOWBIZ Showcase."

ANDERSON: Plus, rebuilding communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Tonight how a TV reality show is going in to fix what some say the government could not.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to get the door for you, like I always do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Office spouses. Until desks do us part. In sickness and in health plans. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the phenomenon that`s all the buzz in the media. Is it OK to have a real wife and a work wife?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I am A.J. Hammer. You are watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

We have gotten a tremendous response to the story that we brought you on Charlie Sheen`s comments about 9/11. We do want to keep hearing from you. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. Charlie Sheen speaks out. Do you agree there is a government cover-up of 9/11?

Let`s see the votes so far: 65 percent of you say yes; 35 percent of you say no, you don`t.

A couple of the e-mails we`ve received include one from Dylan in Texas, who writes, "There are so many unanswered questions, and all attempts at an investigation have been stonewalled by the government."

We also heard from Mike in Hawaii, who writes, "How could any sane person believe that our government attacked our own people?"

Do keep voting at CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. You want to e-mail us more of your thoughts, we want to hear from you at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. Those e-mails coming up later in the show.

ANDERSON: In tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showcase" we`ve got your first look at the movie "United 93." The film is a real-time account of what happened on the fourth plane to be hijacked on September 11.

Heroic passengers fought back against the terrorists and spared what might have been the intended target, the White House. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome aboard United Flight 93. We`re flying to San Francisco.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Runway is clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runway clear for take-off.

United 93. United 93. United 93.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honey, it`s me. My flight has been hi-jacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes into the World Trade Center. We have to shoot that thing down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God. I think we`re heading to Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re running out of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s going to do something stupid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a bunch of us here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take him down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to take back the cockpit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to go. They`re about to storm the cockpit. I love you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: "United 93" will be in theaters next month.


Sheen Responds to Criticism; Erica Jong Dishes on New Book, Martha Rumors; Seth Green Involved in Multiple Projects

Aired March 24, 2006 - 19:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Does Martha Stewart think sex writer Erica Jong ruined her marriage? I`m A.J. Hammer in New York City.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: And why you may not see Jodie Foster in a movie for a long time. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, they`re the controversial comments that have got everyone talking coast to coast.

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: Actor Charlie Sheen`s startling allegations of a 9/11 government cover-up. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brought you the story first, and tonight, Charlie Sheen is speaking out again.

SHEEN: I have to tip my hat to CNN to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

HAMMER: Plus, what do you think? Is he onto something? Are his claims outrageous? The overwhelming response flooding our inbox from you.

Plus, a film 25 years in the making. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your first report from the set of "Chapter 27." It`s the new movie about Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes one-on-one with Jared Leto, the guy who`s playing the former Beatle`s killer.

GREG KINNEAR, ACTOR: I`m Greg Kinnear, and if it happened today, it`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Welcome to Friday night. I`m A.J. Hammer, live in New York City.

ANDERSON: And I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood. And look who`s talking again. Charlie Sheen, A.J.

HAMMER: That`s right, Brooke. The star of one of TV`s biggest hits, "Two and a Half Men", back on the radio today, and he was talking 9/11.

Now, ever since we first reported Sheen`s controversial comments he made on the Alex Jones radio show about a possible government cover-up of what actually happened on September 11, the story has exploded. We have been overwhelmed by the thousands of passionate e-mails that we`ve been getting. We`re going to read some of them, a lot of them throughout the next hour.

Well, today Sheen called in once again to the Jones show. He had more to say. In just a moment I`ll be speaking with Alex live. But first, let`s listen to what Sheen had to say today about 9/11, about his critics and about SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHEEN: I had a sense that this thing was going to get hot. I didn`t realize that, as you say, it was going to go supernova.

HAMMER (voice-over): Charlie Sheen`s comments on a possible 9/11 conspiracy have definitely gone supernova. And this star`s earning both criticism and praise.

Calling into Alex Jones radio show today, Sheen was sure to heap his own praise SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for being first major news outlet to bring Sheen`s 9/11 comments to light.

SHEEN: I have to tip my hat to CNN, to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, to A.J. Hammer for having the courage, for having the guts, for having the wherewithal to give someone like myself, someone like you the actual time and the focus to examine these issues. And this is the most attention in mainstream coverage that this topic has ever received.

ANDERSON: The response we got today to the incredible story SHOWBIZ TONIGHT broke last night.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has been on top of this fire storm since it began Monday when Sheen called Alex Jones` radio program to speculate that maybe we weren`t hearing the real story behind 9/11.

SHEEN: It seems to me like, you know, 19 amateurs with box cutters taking over four commercial airliners and hitting 75 percent of their targets, that feels like a conspiracy theory.

HAMMER: But speaking on the radio today, an angry Sheen went after those who, responding to his 9/11 statements, are now attacking his wild and controversial past.

SHEEN: And a majority of them, in fact 90 percent of them, were attacking me personally, were attacking my credibility. I am an American citizen that loves my country. And as a citizen with that -- with my passion for this great country, I demand that I be challenged on the facts, not on, you know, immature behavior from 20 years ago. That if they continue to attack me personally, it only gives credence to our side of the argument.

HAMMER: Sheen is making crystal clear that this is something he`s going to continue to speak out about.

SHEEN: People want the truth. They want the truth. And what`s been offered to us resembles nothing of the sort.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Joining me live tonight, the guy who Charlie Sheen has been speaking with on the radio. I`m talking about Alex Jones, who`s joining me live from Austin, Texas.

Alex, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you for having me.

HAMMER: Appreciate you being here.

So let`s talk about the fact that people are going after Charlie. We`ve gotten a lot of e-mails where people are attempting to attack his credibility. That`s the natural thing that`s going to happen. They`re talking about things that happened a long time ago. What about this? Is his past at all a liability, as you see it, or are these attacks basically going to backfire?

JONES: Let me just say this. CNN had a poll a year ago; 90 percent on CNN on the Anderson Cooper show believed the government`s covering up 9/11 and may be involved. Your new poll five minutes ago before show time, 81 percent of over 20,000 respondents, 81 percent agree with Charlie Sheen, as I told you.

And they`ve had many other polls with other news services and we get the same type of numbers. On my own talk show and other talk shows I`ve done, we get the same type of response. You have a minority that won`t face the facts.

Listen, Charlie Sheen is the first person to go public. He`s just the first Hollywood person that has the courage to do what he`s been doing. We have former Reagan administration officials. We have former Bush Senior officials. We have the current chief economist from George Bush`s current administration who quit just a couple years ago and has gone public. And he says the government carried out the attacks. Defense ministers, members of British...

HAMMER: Alex, as a Hollywood guy, you know, with a sordid past that he owns up to, and it`s well behind him, it`s going to be an easy attack point. So what I`m asking you is...

JONES: What he says is don`t believe me, check out the facts. Go look at the evidence. Don`t believe the attack dogs. Just -- it isn`t about Charlie Sheen or Alex Jones or A.J. Hammer.

HAMMER: Right.

JONES: It`s about NORAD standing down. It`s about bombs in the buildings. It`s about Pentagon documents saying they wanted to carry out these attacks and blame it on foreign enemies.

This is all public. That`s why all these physicists and politicians and people and congresswomen, Cynthia McKinney, went public three years ago, saying there was a cover-up, very suspicious, called for a real investigation. There are hundreds of prominent people. They just never get attention.

HAMMER: It`s getting a lot of attention now. And Charlie Sheen came on your show the other day. And he was back on today. We know what`s going on here at CNN and at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT because of the thousands of e- mails that we`ve been getting.

So let me ask you this. What do you think now that there is this sort of forward momentum? What do you think is going to happen now that hasn`t happened before as a result of this new level of attention?

JONES: Well, I mean, Americans love celebrity, and the average American is obsessed with it more than anybody in the world, except maybe the Japanese.

And he selflessly sacrifice -- is sacrificing himself to be attacked just to get people talking and looking at it, because he told me he loves his children, just like I do. Listen, I get death threats over this stuff, but ideas are bullet bulletproof.

And the new world order better stop carrying out terror attacks. We`ve caught them over 200 times in the last 100 years, western governments doing this. Hitler does it; the British do it; the Russians did it. Governments do this. They -- and I`m not saying the whole government. Very small criminal black op -- black world is what they`re called -- operators, are carrying this out. That`s the facts.

Please, go investigate it, ladies and gentlemen. You will discover the truth. Look at America. It`s turning into a police state, putting cameras in school bathrooms.

HAMMER: Let`s -- let`s bring it back to what`s happening this weekend, what you and I have been talking about. And yesterday on this program, you told me Charlie Sheen not alone among Hollywood celebrities. You told me that you -- you wouldn`t name names. You`re in touch with quite a few celebrities who feel the same way that Charlie feels about what may have actually happened on 9/11.

So my question is, do you think since we`ve had this uproar this week and Charlie is taking this risk and speaking out, we`re going to be hearing from more celebrities who will go public?

JONES: Well, I mean, the majority of the American people support Mr. Sheen despite the attack dogs. He`s winning the war of polls. And literally almost everyone I talk to in Hollywood, very prominent people. I have a lot of friends in Hollywood. And they`ve all sought me out. I`m not some Hollywood person.

HAMMER: Is anyone -- is anyone indicating to you that they may actually come forward? And I`ll ask you yesterday and I`m going to ask you again, can you tell us a couple of the names of those people?

JONES: No, because I have -- they have confidence in me, and I`m not even pushing them to go public.

HAMMER: OK. Do you think they will go public?

JONES: Yes, I think you`re going to see -- yes, I think you`re going to see more people. And some of them may be people I don`t even know. Listen, everybody in Hollywood I talk to, pick a name, any name. I`ve talked to hundreds of them. OK? They seek me out; they`re aware of it. They talk about it. They`re constantly...

HAMMER: So you clearly have a lot of supporters, of course, and you`re very familiar with this end of it. We`ve gotten the thousands of e- mails this weekend. Not all of them, Alex, are glowing, obviously.

JONES: But your poll -- your poll is 81 percent.

HAMMER: I`m with you on that. I`m with you on that. I don`t know at this very moment we`re going to get into that in just a second. But of course, when this happens we do get e-mails, saying, oh, you know, we think that people like Charlie Sheen and Alex Jones are whack jobs.

Are you at all concerned that the louder you raise your voices the wackier you might seem to those people?

JONES: You know what? You know what? No, I`m not worried. Because we have put the facts out there. And I challenge them instead of using little buzz words and junior high mentality propaganda to actually go look at my claims.

Is a current Bush administration official, has he quit and said the government ran the attacks? Yes. Dr. Morgan Reynolds say that, chief economist Department of Labor.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the father of Reaganomics, the father of it who was at the highest levels of the treasury in the Bush administration, has he gone public saying he questions 9/11?

Sir, the American people are going to learn the truth. Nothing can stop the truth from coming out on 9/11. And we`re in danger of the new world order carrying out more terror attacks to keep this world empire.

HAMMER: Alex, I`m out of time once again. But what I appreciate is that you`re encouraging people, above all else, to seek out the facts. And that`s what I think you`re doing an excellent job at.

JONES: You need to go InfoWars.com and PrisonPlanet.com. I`m risking my life. We`re doing this for the American people and our children and our future. And thank you for having the courage to let me come on. God bless you.

HAMMER: Alex Jones, live from Austin, Texas. Thank you.

And what should we make of all this conspiracy theory stuff? Well, that`s what we`re wondering. Stay with us, because coming up at 32 past the hour, we`ve got the reporter who wrote a fascinating story this week in "New York Magazine" all about these conspiracy theories that are out there. You definitely want to be here to hear what he has to say about what Charlie Sheen has been saying.

ANDERSON: And over the past few days we have been getting a tremendous response to Charlie Sheen`s startling comments. Our e-mail inbox has been flooded. And we want to read a few of your e-mails tonight in response to our question of the day. Charlie Sheen speaks out. Do you agree with his assertion there is a government cover -- cover-up of 9/11?

A.J. from Pennsylvania, no relation to A.J. Hammer, writes, "God bless Charlie Sheen for having the courage to stand up and be counted in stating that the evidence shows 9/11 was an inside job."

Dan from Massachusetts agrees: "The bottom line is that the government lied to us. They continue to lie to us, and no one is holding them accountable."

But Nick from Virginia doesn`t buy the conspiracy theories: "The government is made up of Americans. I don`t know anyone who would want a terrorist attack on American soil."

You can keep voting at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Send us e-mail, ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. We are going to read more of your e-mails later on in the show.

HAMMER: Well, actually, this has a lot of people wondering if any of this 9/11 conspiracy stuff is really legit? Coming up, an in-depth, objective view from someone who`s researched both sides of the story. He`ll join me live.

Plus we also have this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JARED LETO, ACTOR: Some people were upset and will be upset by the film being made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jared Leto plays Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. And we have your very first reports from the set of the new movie. It`s in the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, coming up.

HAMMER: Also, does Martha Stewart think one of the most famous sex writers of our time broke up her marriage? Find out, when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT goes one-on-one with author Erica Jong. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. This is TV`s only live entertainment news show.

Tonight we have a "SHOWBIZ Sitdown" with Erica Jong. She is best known for her explosive, ground breaking 1973 novel "Fear of Flying". Her graphic, no-holds-barred account of a woman`s sexual fantasies turned her into a feminist icon. Jong has a new book out. It`s called "Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life". There it is right there. Erica Jong joining me live in New York.

Thanks for being here.

ERICA JONG, AUTHOR, "SEDUCING THE DEMON": Great to be here.

HAMMER: A fired up show tonight.

JONG: It really is exciting.

HAMMER: We were speaking a few moments ago about Charlie Sheen coming forward this week with his notion that the government may actually have been behind September 11 and the September 11 attacks and the conspiracy theories in general surrounding 9/11.

What do you make of an actor of his stature coming out publicly like that?

JONG: I think he`s a brave man to even question this aloud in an environment where anyone has been saying that anyone questions the government is a traitor.

So Charlie Sheen has done his homework, and he`s asking questions. He`s speaking truth to power, which is a brave thing to do.

Look, the young people in my family, my nephews, for example, have been saying for the past three, four years that we are not learning everything about 9/11 that we`re meant to learn. And specifically, they`ve been saying that if you read all the different web sites, if you`re really careful, what you discover is that a lot of facts don`t add up.

HAMMER: And even if a modicum of what is being put out there, all these conspiracy theories, even if a piece of that is true, we have a responsibility, don`t you think...

JONG: To investigate it.

HAMMER: ... to be asking the questions and to be doing the investigation?

JONG: I think it`s very patriotic to investigate it. Throughout all of history the basic premise of tyrants has been -- dictators, shall we say. And I think it`s fair to say that George W. Bush is a dictator. Has been if you tell the people they have an external enemy, they`ll follow you anywhere. That was what Goebbels told Hitler to do. Back in ancient history, that`s what Roman emperors did.

HAMMER: That`s a pretty strong statement for you to say, though. Are you at all afraid of a backlash? I mean, seriously, a lot of people are afraid to come out on television. You just called Mr. Bush a dictator.

JONG: I think that he is a dictator. Most of the people do not believe that this country should be a theocracy. Most of the people in this country do not want to be in Iraq. Most of the people in this country are pro choice. And yet, he blithely goes on ignoring the will of the people. I call that a dictator.

But as far as 9/11 is concerned, it`s a great gambit to tell the people, you have an external enemy. The external enemy is terrorism. We have a war that will go on for centuries. It will go on till the end of time. Well, that`s a great way to scare people.

HAMMER: Sure.

JONG: And to make them believe whatever you say. And Bush is not the first to do it.

HAMMER: No.

JONG: Throughout history, people have been doing that in order to fool all of the people all of the time. So I think that Charlie Sheen is really patriotic and brave to ask these questions. I don`t know what the answer to these questions is.

I read the article in "New York" magazine. And I think just asking questions is brave and patriotic.

HAMMER: And as I mentioned, we`ll be speaking with that author from "New York Magazine" coming up later in the show.

JONG: Well, I think it`s great that you`re investigating. I don`t know what the answer is. I don`t know if we`ll ever know. I don`t know the answer to the Kennedy assassination. But I think that it`s a job of writers and of talented people to investigate this stuff.

HAMMER: Well, you are a talented writer. And that is why you are here with us tonight, among other reasons. Your new book, "Seducing the Demon", is out.

One of the things that you raise in this book, which is something that I guess has followed you around for a little while, Martha Stewart accused you of stealing her husband.

JONG: Well, hardly.

HAMMER: But it`s...

JONG: It`s what kids today call a hookup.

HAMMER: But she did make that accusation. You didn`t steal her husband, did you?

JONG: Yes, she`s been making it for years and years. No, I did something really stupid at the Frankfurt book fair. And what happens on the road should stay on the road, as the musicians say. I did something really stupid, but hey, it was a quarter century ago. And it was really dumb, and I apologize.

HAMMER: And I understand you wrote this book as much for your fans as you did for yourself.

JONG: I wrote the book because it`s really the story of how I survived as a writer. And for all my writing students out there and all the people who want to know, who come up to me after readings or signings and who say, "How did you do it? How do you survive as a writer?"

HAMMER: It`s all right here.

JONG: It`s "Seducing the Demon."

HAMMER: All right. Well, Erica, thank you for sharing your thoughts on some touchy subjects with us. And your book is good (ph).

JONG: Thank you.

HAMMER: Appreciate it.

JONG: Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: And you can find Erica`s new book, "Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life". It`s in stores now.

ANDERSON: More on the story SHOWBIZ TONIGHT first told you about, actor Charlie Sheen accusing the government of a 9/11 cover-up. Coming up, we investigate how legit Sheen`s conspiracy theory really is.

HAMMER: Also, a new movie about the man who murdered John Lennon, Mark David Chapman. Actor Jared Leto costars with Lindsay Lohan in the film. We`re going to get the first reports from the set from Jared Leto in an interview you`ll only see on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: And Seth Green live. He does "Family Guy", "Robot Chicken" and, of course, Dr. Evil`s son in "Austin Powers". We`ll ask Seth if there`s another "Austin Powers" flick in the works. That`s live, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: You know Seth Green from 20 films, including "The Italian Job", "Without a Paddle" and of course, as Dr. Evil`s son in "Austin Powers". He`s also the voice of the awkward son Chris in FOX`s often raunchy animated show, "Family Guy", which by the way, is the only show ever to be resurrected from cancellation after huge DVD sales brought it back to life. Seth also voices dozens of characters in his own animated Cartoon Network creation, called "Robot Chicken".

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, live in New York, Seth Green.

SETH GREEN, ACTOR: Thanks.

HAMMER: We were talking about Charlie Sheen and all the comments, and I just have to get your take. You seemed a little blown away that he has come forward.

GREEN: Well, it`s impressive. I mean, it`s impressive for somebody in any kind of high profile position to challenge the government when you`re getting average people, you know, slandered for any kind of opposition.

HAMMER: Would you do ever something like that?

GREEN: I usually wouldn`t. I keep my politics to private conversations. But I appreciate the fact that he`s prepared and coming out and saying this is something -- and I like that he says if you want to investigate anything, investigate the facts. Don`t try to turn it around. I mean, which is what`s been happening so much with this administration. Anybody who challenges anything with a reasonable challenge gets slandered and criticized for being -- for opposing, you know?

HAMMER: We like talking to you about how we know you best. Of course, people really best know you as Dr. Evil`s son in "Austin Powers".

GREEN: Yes.

HAMMER: Among other things, but you are the voice of the animated characters on "Robot Chicken" as well as "Family Guy".

GREEN: Yes.

HAMMER: So are you kind of hiding from the camera? I mean...

GREEN: No, it just so happened. I mean, "Family Guy" is a job I got almost eight years ago. And we were three years of the air. And then "Robot Chicken" is just a show that I developed with a friend of mine and because we don`t have a lot of money and because I know a lot of the jokes because I`m involved in the writing process. I just -- I`ll perform them as a shorthand, you know?

HAMMER: Now, one of the things that "Robot Chicken" does is you sort of spoof or go after, in a comedic way, certain celebrities who are out there. Anything that`s going on out there in celebritydom right now that you can`t wait to sort of attack and how you will go about that?

GREEN: Our second season, which starts April 2, by the way, we`re all over everything that happens in pop culture.

HAMMER: Give me an example.

GREEN: We take on Lindsay Lohan. We take on Burger King. We take on George Bush.

HAMMER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GREEN: NO, Brooke and Myers (ph), actually. It`s really funny.

HAMMER: What do you take her on for?

GREEN: She -- well, there`s just this whole thing with the teen starlets and silly competitions and writing songs about each other`s boyfriends. And our nation obsession with these 16- and 17-year-old girls that I just find completely ridiculous.

But it speaks to kind of the nation`s distaste for politics, that everyone`s so fascinated by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie having a baby instead of that we`ve been at war for four years and killing hundreds and hundreds of soldiers. For what? So Halliburton can have a bigger oil contract?

HAMMER: And you guys are able to have some fun with that?

GREEN: Yes. We`re just silly. Our show is silly, and we`re not political at all. Our George Bush stuff is like George Bush light saber fighting Abe Lincoln. You know? That`s the kind of political commentary.

HAMMER: And hilarity ensues. So the "Austin Powers" movies, you did the three that were out there.

GREEN: Yes.

HAMMER: What`s the story? Are we going to see another one?

GREEN: I`m the last to know.

HAMMER: Has Mike Myers talked to you at all?

GREEN: Not at all. I haven`t talked to Mike in, like, two years, actually. He, from my understanding, is doing the Keith Moon story. So I don`t know.

HAMMER: He is doing that.

GREEN: I don`t know. I mean, "Austin Powers" is the kind of thing that we all have a great time doing it.

HAMMER: Right.

GREEN: And if there`s a script to do, I`m sure we`ll do it.

HAMMER: And if one`s done, you will for certain be a part of it?

GREEN: It`s a blast to do. I wouldn`t turn it down if it was worth doing. But you know, whether or not -- we did three good ones, and I`m amazed that that happened.

HAMMER: You`ve got to be happy with those. Seth Green, thank you for stopping by, as always. Come by any time.

GREEN: I will.

HAMMER: You can catch Seth Green in the new "Robot Chicken" DVD, which hits stores...

GREEN: March 28.

HAMMER: ... on Tuesday. You can catch the new season beginning April 2 on the Cartoon Network.

ANDERSON: Seth is excited.

OK. The inside story on "Inside Man" star Jodie Foster. Why you may not see her in another movie in awhile. That`s coming up.

ANDERSON: Also, Jared Leto plays Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. And we have your very first reports from the set of the controversial new movie in an interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That is coming up.

ANDERSON: And it`s the story that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brought to you first, Charlie Sheen`s shocking comments about a 9/11 government cover-up. Coming up, we investigate whether they are legit.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, for a Friday night. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. And you`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Brooke, a controversial new movie is going to be released all about Mark David Chapman. He`s the man who, of course, shot John Lennon to death 25 years ago. Jared Leto, the actor who plays Mark David Chapman, is going to speak with us in a moment. There`s a bit of a backlash against the movie. Did it affect the filming? We`ll find out from Jared himself, coming up in just a few.

ANDERSON: Very interesting. Also, A.J., a chat with another talented actor, Jodie Foster. She stars in the new thriller "Inside Man." We will talk with her about that film and also about her family, if she thinks her two sons will follow in her acting footsteps. That`s coming up in just a few minutes.

HAMMER: Looking forward to that.

And now we have more on Charlie Sheen and his 9/11 conspiracy theories. We`ve been all over this story, Sheen`s suggestion that the government may be covering up what really happened on September 11th.

Sheen was on the Alex Jones Radio Show again today talking about it. And just this week, "New York" magazine is out with a story on all of the 9/11 conspiracy theories that are floating out there. It`s called "The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll."

Contributing editor Marc Jacobson wrote the piece. Marc`s joining us live on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Marc, thanks for stopping in.

MARC JACOBSON, "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: No problem.

HAMMER: It`s quite an explosion that has happened here this week as a result of Charlie Sheen`s comments on this radio show on Monday. You started working on this story a few months back. People weren`t really talking about this.

JACOBSON: Well, no, the people that are interested in it were talking about it, but everybody else thought I was out of my mind.

HAMMER: So do you think, now that you have a big Hollywood star who is taking an undeniable risk by coming forward, do you think this is going to give it legs and suddenly people are really going to start paying it more attention?

JACOBSON: Well, I think it would be better if it was Martin Sheen rather than Charlie Sheen, because he`s the president, right?

HAMMER: Sometimes we wish.

JACOBSON: Well, you know, but, I mean, it`s just one of those kind of things where do you this work and nobody really cares, but then Charlie Sheen is interested, so then everybody is interested, and that`s fine.

You know, obviously, this material needs to be looked at again, because there`s been a lot of problems with the 9/11 Commission report. People feel it`s not adequate. Most of the people who had lost people during that time feel it`s not adequate.

And it`s just I think we`re living in a truth vacuum, in a sense, that any time there`s a truth vacuum, these ideas -- because people are smart. They put two and two together. Sometimes they get five; sometimes they get 12, but sometimes they get 11, like 9/11, but sometimes they get four.

And the thing is that, if you have a situation where the so-called facts are covered up and aggressively covered up, then you`re going to get these conspiracy theories.

HAMMER: And it has happened throughout history. And credibility is an important fact here. Charlie Sheen really did apparently do his homework. He does know a lot about it. But, of course, people are now going after him because of his sordid past. I want you to listen to what he had to say about that on the radio today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: I am an American citizen that loves my country. And as a citizen with my passion for this great country, I demand that I be challenged on the facts, not on, you know, immature behavior from 20 years ago. That if they continue to attack me personally, it only gives credence to our side of the argument.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: So what do you think about that? Do you think that, you know, his credibility really is at stake here, or is that going to backfire on people who are -- it`s kind of like apples and oranges to me.

JACOBSON: It doesn`t have anything to do with each other. You know, it`s like -- so he was an ardent customer of Heidi Fleiss. I mean, I can`t see how that affects his ability to analyze this material.

HAMMER: No, and people who are smart enough, I think, to think about, you know, "OK, if he`s coming forward with legitimate points, then why should we worry about what his past was"?

JACOBSON: I think it`s just stupid.

HAMMER: You paid attention to some of what Charlie has had to say this week about what he thinks happened on September 11th. You did the research for your article. Do you think he has some legitimate points? And what are they?

JACOBSON: Well, I think he`s doing a reasonable rendition of what other people that believe in this stuff say. And when he says he has his facts straight, I mean, I think the facts are in question.

I mean, I think, just because you know what it says on all of these different Web sites doesn`t mean that that`s necessarily the fact. That`s the reason why the United States government, with their endless amounts of resources, let us down by not doing the proper work on the 9/11 Commission. That`s a real problem.

HAMMER: Well, one thing that is interesting -- you know, not just your article also bringing some of these theories to light, but the Internet now has changed everything. It`s all over the Internet. It`s all over the blogs. It seems like this is now an unstoppable movement that`s getting some new juice this week from Charlie Sheen. Do you think this is at all a good thing?

JACOBSON: Well, I think that people might want to -- well, people might want to consider the Kennedy assassination thing, if they had the Internet at the time. You can imagine how that would have exploded.

But the thing is, like, if you remember the Oliver Stone movie, which was the "JFK" movie, it didn`t get made until more than 20 years after the Kennedy assassination. Obviously, things are moving quite faster now. And, yes, the Internet spreads these things. The down side of it is, it spreads a lot of rumors.

HAMMER: That`s true. And it can certainly perpetuate some things that are not true. And, Marc, I appreciate -- it`s really a good read in the magazine. I appreciate you dropping by to talk about it.

OK. Marc Jacobson, joining us from "New York" magazine.

And we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day, asking: Charlie Sheen speaks out: Do you agree there is a government cover-up of 9/11?

Well, here are some of the e-mails that we`ve received. We heard from Fernando from Florida. He writes, "Sheen is correct to pursue and expose the matter to all because the rabbit hole is deeper than we all think."

We also heard from Barbara in Missouri. She writes, "I don`t believe the government was involved in the 9/11 terror attacks, and I think that anyone that does is stupid."

We heard from Menelik in Texas who writes, "Of course, the government covered up 9/11, just as the past history of what they have concealed."

Keep voting at CNN.com/showbiztonight. If you have some thoughts you want to share with us, join in the thousands. Showbiztonight@CNN.com is our e-mail address. We`ll read some more a bit later in the show.

 

 


SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Americans Prefer "Idol" to News; Viral Videos: From Trunk Monkeys to Russian Disco Dancers

Aired March 27, 2006 - 19:00:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: An overwhelming response to Charlie Sheen`s controversial comments about 9/11 conspiracy theories. Plus the chilling new trailer, the 9/11 movie "United 93."
I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER (voice-over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, "Idol" everywhere. Tonight, what does "American Idol" have to do with the war in Iraq, overweight women, racial perceptions, and Vice President Dick Cheney? Yes, you heard right. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

The annoying people you work with who drive you crazy. Got a bossy boss? How about the obnoxious guy who drives you up the cubicle? What about the woman who is the bane of your nine to five existence? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT to the rescue with a book everyone`s talking about and the women who wrote it, live.

MEGAN MULLALLY, ACTRESS: I`m Megan Mullally.

SEAN HAYES, ACTOR: I`m Sean Hayes. If it happened today...

MULLALLY: Then what?

HAYES: It`s on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

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HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.

I`ve got a couple of questions to fire up the program tonight, having to do with the most popular show on television. Here comes question No. 1. What does "American Idol" have to do with the war in Iraq and our vice president, Dick Cheney?

Question No. 2. Do we care more about "American Idol" than we do about the war in Iraq?

And question No. 3, what might "American Idol" have to do with racial perceptions and how we react to women who are overweight? Well, it turns out plenty.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has your "Idol" controversies. We`re all over it, starting off with the war in Iraq. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas live tonight in Hollywood.

Hi, Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, A.J. Well, some may say it`s a harmless pop culture phenomenon, but others may find it a disturbing example of America`s apathy toward current events. Either way, important world affairs like the Iraq war are battling "American Idol" for the attention of everyday Americans, and for now it looks like that battle is a losing one.

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CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Insurgents gunned down workers at a bakery.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I didn`t think we`d succeed, I`d pull our troops out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s sending other people`s sons and daughters into combat.

VARGAS (voice-over): Turn on the TV news, and there`s no escaping it. The war in Iraq is literally a matter of life and death. And with the stakes as high as they are, you would think that the nation would be riveted to every detail of the war. Still, there`s one thing that has more Americans riveted to their TV screens.

RYAN SEACREST, HOST, FOX`S "AMERICAN IDOL": This is "American Idol."

VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on top of something that seems odd. More people seem to be interested in "American Idol" than Iraq or in the other serious news today.

Don`t believe us? Look at the numbers. In a recent week almost 33 million Americans watched "American Idol." That`s five million more than the 28 million who watched the three evening network newscasts and primetime cable news shows combined.

Washington is definitely noticing. Last week Vice President Dick Cheney used "American Idol" language to take a shot at Democrats.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they`re competent to fight this war, then I ought to be singing on "American Idol."

VARGAS: Democrats fired back, saying, "The fact is Simon Cowell is more loved than this administration and its failed Iraq policy. Cheney wouldn`t last long on `American Idol`."

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, FOX`S "AMERICAN IDOL": It was nothing more than a pointless karaoke performance.

VARGAS: So now politicians have to use "American Idol" to draw America`s attention to serious issues? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has got to ask, what`s going on here?

PROF. ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Whenever Rome is burning a fiddler is always going to be able to make a good living, especially if they`re a good fiddler.

VARGAS: Pop culture professor Robert Thompson tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT people tend to turn to fluff when the real world gets too scary.

THOMPSON: Well, I suppose we should never be surprised when goofy, cheesy, silly entertainment is really popular at a time when all kinds of really frightening, big global issues are going on. It`s love or good-bye

VARGAS: The upcoming movie "American Dreamz" tweaks America`s "Idol" obsession.

WILLEM DAFOE, ACTOR: The only demo where you have an approval rating above 30 percent is children under the age of 5.

VARGAS: In it, the president of the United States, played by Dennis Quaid, tries to boost his popularity by appearing on an "American Idol"- like show.

DAFOE: You`re going to be a guest judge on "American Dreamz."

DENNIS QUAID, ACTOR: Are you sure that`s dignified?

HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: You made me want to projectile vomit.

VARGAS: Hugh Grant plays a thinly disguised version of Simon Cowell in the movie. He tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT it`s sad that America seems more interested in reality TV than reality.

GRANT: I don`t want to get all superior about it because I love reality TV myself, and I have an appetite for trash, just as much as anyone else. But I think it is -- yes, of course it`s a sad state of affairs.

VARGAS: But maybe we`re being unfair. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT took to the streets so that everyday Americans could tell us what they`d rather watch: the news or "American Idol."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d rather watch the news. I don`t watch "American Idol."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would much rather turn on the news.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I only watch CNN, the news.

VARGAS: That`s funny. In the most populous city in the country, we can barely find anyone who would admit preferring America`s most popular show to the news. The key word here: admitting, except for this proud "American Idol" fan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it for it`s kind of an escape. Because sometimes when you put the news on it can be a little bit of -- it`s a reality check but it can also be a downer. So for me that`s -- I like the escapism of it.

VARGAS: As for Professor Thompson, he likes a little escapism, too.

THOMPSON: I`ve got to think that between CNN or FOX News or MSNBC and "American Idol" oftentimes I would choose "American Idol."

Eighty percent of the time when we`re watching television during prime time, we`re looking for something that goes down smoothly, something that won`t give us nightmares. And now that Kevin Covais has been voted off "American Idol", it doesn`t give us nightmares anymore.

VARGAS: So for now it appears that even though the long national Kevin Covais nightmare is over, the "American Idol" obsession is alive and well.

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VARGAS: Now, Hugh Grant didn`t want to leave us with the impression that he hates all reality TV. He just compares it to the guilty pleasures like McDonald`s and Krispy Kreme. And as we all know, the pleasures like "American Idol" may be the hardest to resist than the sobering and less tasty news of the day. Sad but true, A.J.

HAMMER: The key word there, Sibila, is escapism. Indeed. Thanks very much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas.

Well, now we want to hear from you. This is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day for Monday. "Idol" versus Iraq: do you pay more attention to "American Idol" than the war in Iraq? The nice thing here is you can vote anonymously by going to CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Admit it to us. Tell us more of what you have to say at ShowbizTonight@CNN.com. That`s the e-mail address. We`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.

And we have more "American Idol" news coming up. We`re going to be looking into whether or not race plays a part in who`s successful in "American Idol." There`s a new controversy brewing about who makes it and who doesn`t. We`ll get into that at about 43 minutes past the hour.

Well, in tonight`s "SHOWBIZ Showcase" we have your very first look at the new trailer for the movie "United 93." This is bringing all sorts of emotions to the surface when the preview is playing in theaters all across the country.

The movie tells the story of one of the four planes that was hijacked on September 11 and the passengers and crew members who took matters into their own hands. Take a look at this.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to go over to Christian`s house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conducive to just heading out and enjoying the day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, this is sandy in the back. Can you call ground and se if we can get some more pillows and blankets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The white zone is for immediate...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The meeting last night was great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sure he`s thrilled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin boarding. Would all of our first class passengers please make their way to gate 17?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, sir, 4d.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, looks like we`ve run into a little bit of rush hour traffic this morning. Unfortunately, it`s going to be about a 30-minute delay. I appreciate your patience. We`re currently No. 1 for departure. Flight attendants, prepare for takeoff, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to get home to be with my babies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: United 93, runway 4 clear for takeoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, CNN is reporting a light civil aircraft has just hit the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a lot of smoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got another one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got another hijacker?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: United 175 dropped its transponder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a possible hijack. Weapons scramble those fighters in over Manhattan. Copy that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, and I`m going to turn the fasten seat belt sign off so you are safe to move around the cabin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going down. I`m telling you right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juice for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is. There he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two aircraft hit the World Trade Center. There`s nothing going on. The weather is beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a plane headed toward the capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is wrong out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May we engage, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am on a plane that has been hijacked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. I got f-16s turning and burning toward Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes just hit the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do something right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need rules of engagement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we shoot this flight down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do it now. Because we know what happens if we just sit here and do nothing.

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HAMMER: Watching that trailer is definitely bringing up a lot of things for a lot of people. It`s called "United 93." It`s going to hit theaters on April 28.

Well, it`s a story that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT first broke last week. Charlie Sheen`s controversial comments and statements that the government is covering up what really happened on 9/11. Tonight we have an update for you, reaction from Hollywood and from all over the country.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with Sharon stone. She`s always been very outspoken about her own beliefs. She commended Charlie Sheen for having the guts to speak his mind on this.

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SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: I think if that`s what he thinks then he has every right to say that. I think people should say whatever it is that they feel in their heart, and I think it`s those who stand up and say their beliefs and challenge them in the face of authority that allows people to investigate and look for -- look at what`s happening. I think you have to be brave enough to say how you feel and stand in the face of authority and say it. That`s why we have freedom of speech.

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HAMMER: Responses at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT absolutely overwhelming. The e- mails continue to flood in. They were coming in all weekend long. We were asking the question, Charlie Sheen speaks out; do you agree there is a government cover-up of 9/11? More than 53,000 of you voted in our online poll. You`re looking at the results right there. Eighty-three percent of you agreed and said yes; 17 percent of you said no.

Among the many e-mails we received and continue to receive on the subject we heard from Sonny from California who wrote, "I am so proud of Charlie Sheen for saying what so many of us are aware of. It is time to get the truth out there."

We also heard from Kathy in Michigan who writes, "I am frightened that people actually agree with Mr. Sheen. The reality of 9/11 was seen on live national television."

Kathy definitely in the minority among the e-mails we`ve received. And we`re going to be reading some more of your thoughts on Charlie Sheen`s statements coming up a bit later in tonight`s show.

some other parts here


HAMMER: Well, it`s a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT story that we broke last week, Charlie Sheen`s controversial statements that the government is covering up what actually happened on September 11th.

Tonight, reactions just keep coming in. We get e-mails. They`re coming in all weekend long. I sat down with author Erica Jong on Friday night on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. She had some pretty harsh words to say that were right in line with some of what Charlie Sheen had to say.

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ERICA JONG, AUTHOR: I think it`s very patriotic to investigate it. Throughout all of history, the basic premise of tyrants has been -- dictators, shall we say; and I think it`s fair to say that George W. Bush is a dictator -- has been, if you tell the people they have an external enemy, they`ll follow you anywhere. That was what Goebbels told Hitler to do. Back in ancient history, that`s what Roman emperors did.

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HAMMER: Some pretty bold words. Well, our question on Friday was: Charlie Sheen speaks out: Do you agree there is a government cover-up of 9/11?

Tens of thousands of you voted, and the results that we received: 83 percent of you said yes; 17 percent of you said no.

Among the e-mails we received, we heard from Lita in Oklahoma who writes, "I agree with Charlie Sheen, and I`m thankful that he has the courage to speak out. It is a shame that there aren`t more like him."

We also heard from Andrew in Missouri who says, "We`d better start digging into this. We are handing over our freedoms to protect our freedoms in this war on terror."

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