June 15th, 2009
08:19 PM ET

The Latest on Letterman & Palin

For all of you that plan to record David Letterman tonight and watch it later consider this a spoiler alert and turn back now!

 Here's a transcript from tonight's show.

Letterman:  “All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it.  But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium.  And it was kind of a coarse joke. 

 There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18.  Yeah.   But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended.  The next day, people are outraged.  They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ 

 And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the Governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani…And I really should have made the joke about Rudy…” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game.  I had no idea she was there.  So she’s now at the ball game and people think that I made the joke about her. 

 And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’  I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that.  And I understand, of course, why people are upset.  I would be upset myself.

 "And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here.  It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ 

It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception.  And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke.  And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you.  Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that.  I told a bad joke.  I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. 

And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke.  It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault.  That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds)  “Thank you.  So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke.  I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future.  Thank you very much.”  (audience applause)

June 15th, 2009
06:16 PM ET

Should David Letterman be fired?

The feud between former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin and late night talk show host David Letterman shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon and now people are calling for him to be fired! 

One week after David Letterman made a sexual joke about Palin’s 14 year old daughter the outrage continues.  Today there is a brand new campaign to get sponsors to pull their ads during Letterman’s show and there's even a petition to pull the show off of the air entirely! 

The whole situation started during Letterman’s opening monologue when he made several jokes about Palin's young daughter including one where he said, “During the 7th inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” 

Palin immediately fired back via her Facebook page saying: "Concerning Letterman's comments about my young daughter (and I doubt he'd ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter): 'Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands – that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.'"

Since then Letterman has kept largely mum while Palin has taken to the airwaves.  Her supporters have been very vocal; there is a “Fire David Letterman Rally” planned for Tuesday outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

What do you think, should David Letterman be fired? We will have a fired up debate tonight on Showbiz Tonight, 11pm Eastern and Pacific on HLN!

June 15th, 2009
10:55 AM ET

Summing up Bonnaroo: Glad you're back, Phish

When I was a broadcast journalism major at the University of Illinois, my friends and I would take off for long weekends and criss-cross the country to the closest Phish and Grateful Dead shows. You never knew when a magical moment was going to happen. Seeing the rejuvenated Phish come back from their extended hiatus and have a blast jamming with one of the band's boyhood heroes - Bruce Springsteen - was an instant classic. (See photos from the festival here.)

Phish plays to a huge crowd at Bonnaroo.

This is the seventh Bonnaroo for Stephanie Katsaros, who attended school in what we call "Chambana" (Champaign-Urbana) the same time I did. A few years ago Stephanie quit her job as a radio producer at WCKG in Chicago, and traveled to South America, North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Last night left her and her boyfriend nearly speechless.

“Phish as a backing band for the Boss singing 'Glory Days'?! The only thing that came close to that was him walking into the crowd. Bruce Springsteen crowd-surfing Bonnaroo!”

We've been attending Bonnaroo for some time, and our great friend Robert Kwon from Southern Recording has helped us record it since 2005. Robert has two day jobs working for an electrical distributor, and also works with his family making upholstery, not to mention a bit of moonlighting as a Korean BBQ caterer extraordinaire. But he also makes time to see Phish.

Before meeting us here, Robert took some vacation time to go to Asheville and Knoxville on the Phish Tour. “I started seeing them in college, and I had to go meet all my dear friends to celebrate,” he said.

This was John Appleman’s first trip to The Roo, and first time seeing Phish. He traveled from the Quad Cities area - Moline, Illinois - to hang with his uncle and finally get to see Phish. “I finally got to experience the crazy roller coaster ride everybody has been talking about,” he said. He’s hooked for life. Have fun at Rothbury, John.

We look forward to sharing fascinating interviews and intimate performances with some of the most talented artists on earth. We hung with The David Grisman Quintet, Jenny Lewis, Allen Toussaint, The Mars Volta, Ani Difranco, Grace Potter, Gomez, Bela Fleck, Warren Haynes, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade and TV On The Radio, among many others.

Stay tuned to CNN.com/Showbiz all summer to see more Bonnaroo highlights, and see what’s on the minds of your favorite artists.

– Jason Morris, CNN Producer


Filed under: Bonnaroo • Music
June 15th, 2009
09:31 AM ET

50 Cent smelling success

Rapper 50 Cent is launching a new cologne at Macy's department stores, and crooner Maxwell returns to the R&B scene after 8 years. Plus Amy Poehler is set to star in the film "Lunch Lady." CNN's KJ Matthews has more from Hollywood in today's buzz:


Filed under: movies • Music
June 15th, 2009
02:09 AM ET

Phish recaptures 'Glory Days' at Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo 2009 came to a fitting close Sunday night, with epic jam-band Phish enthralling fans well into the crisp Manchester, Tennessee, night – its second headlining performance of the four-day music and arts festival attended by an estimated 75 thousand people.

The band played two electric sets - highlights of the first included “Punch You In The Eye,” “Tweezer” and “Character Zero.” Saturday’s headliner, Bruce Springsteen, joined the band for a three-song jam to close out the first set. Guitarist Trey Anastasio introduced Bruce as his “boyhood hero” and the two traded licks throughout rousing performances of “Mustang Sally,” “Bobbie Jean,” and “Glory Days.”

After a break, the band returned to play a looser set – including a face-melting “46 Days,” and a spacey, psychedelic cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock N Roll,” and closed the set with “Suzy Greenburg” and “Tweezer Reprise.”

Phish’s show capped of another day of diverse performances.

Hip-Hop artist Snoop Dogg, backed by a full band, delighted the massive crowd, drawing the biggest applause during classic-Snoop tracks “Gin and Juice” and “What’s My Name.” Other set highlights included a House of Pain cover of “Jump Around,” and “Lodi Dodi,” with earlier What Stage artist Erykah Badu.

Badu, sporting a hooded Public Enemy sweatshirt and shades that covered most of her face, played a low-key set, after taking the stage 37 minutes late, but still managed to soothed the crowd with her infectious blend of chilled-out grooves, hip-hop and soul.

Other notable performances included Band of Horses, Merle Haggard, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Andrew Bird, and Citizen Cope.

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Filed under: Bonnaroo • Music
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