August 4th, 2009
06:15 PM ET

Whoopi Goldberg on Professor Gates

CNN's Campbell Brown sat down this afternoon for an exclusive interview with Whoopi Goldberg, the moderator and co-host of ABC’s “The View.” Their conversation touched on President Obama’s recent meeting over beers with black college professor Henry Louis Gates and the white police sergeant, James Crowley, who arrested him after a misunderstanding at Gates’ home last month. The President invited both men to the White House to tamp down a media firestorm that increased after Obama said the police “acted stupidly” in arresting the professor.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the incident remains very polarizing: Eighty-six percent of black Americans say racism among police officers is common, an opinion only 47 percent of white Americans share. Our poll also shows 63 percent of whites think the president acted "stupidly" in commenting on the story, compared to only 26 percent of blacks.

Campbell asked Whoopi if she thinks Obama, as the first black president, has to bite his tongue sometimes when it comes to what he can say about certain issues, as we saw play out with the arrest of Professor Gates?

Here’s the transcript of their discussion:


BROWN: You laugh.

GOLDBERG: I do laugh because I just - what everyone is starting to realize is that we do have cultural differences, and we do respond to things in different ways. Now most of us, if our friends - if we have half of the information, which normally most of us have anyway. And you heard that your friend got roughed up by the police, you would say, you know, that guy is a bonehead, man, he's a bonehead. And then you get the facts, and you go, well, you know, you maybe should have done it a little bit different. You know, I don't think he has to so much bite his tongue, but he has to - he has to recognize that people are not used to the president sounding like their next door neighbor. You know, and I think the people, we have to recognize that this is a different kind of president, because this is like a guy, this is like a regular dude, you know.

BROWN: But why, why, why is this a different kind of president? Is it because he's a black president? Is it because he is of a different generation? Or what is it?

GOLDBERG: I really think it's generational.

See more of Campbell’s conversation with Whoopi Goldberg tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

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August 4th, 2009
05:59 PM ET

Jon and Kate: Going through the motions

I was a little distracted during Jon & Kate Plus 8 last night.  No, the phone wasn’t ringing incessantly; nor was my Blackberry vibrating with e-mails. It was something else, and it took me a little while to realize what it was. It wasn’t the fact that the couch was gone; but it was something about the new interview set up. Then it finally hit me; there, perfectly framed over Kate’s shoulder in the bookcase was her book, “Eight Little Faces." Can you say “product placement” people?

It’s as if the producers had a checklist of what they wanted to accomplish and sat with their trusty little clipboard with an editor as they went through the show checking things off of their lists.

  • Address the fact that they started filming the kitchen remodel in January, before the divorce announcement to avoid any confusion to viewers. Check. 
  • Have Jon be around a little bit for the first episode to satisfy viewers who are “Team Jon." Check. 
  • Address the paparazzi that constantly follow the family around. Check.
  • Include cute children saying how their daddy would know how to build a tent if he were there and how mommy can’t make a fire. Check.

Truthfully, it was tiring to watch. If I hadn’t been watching for work purposes I probably would have changed the channel.

What did you think? Will you be tuning in again next week?

For all of the latest news on “Jon and Kate” be sure to tune in to Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- Don’t miss it!

August 4th, 2009
04:43 PM ET

North Korea Pardons Lisa Ling's sister!

Lisa Ling’s sister Laura and her fellow journalist Euna Lee have been pardoned and will soon be heading home from North Korea. Lee and Ling had been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor after crossing the North Korean border while on assignment for Current TV. Their families just released the following statement:

“The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee are overjoyed by the news of their pardon.  We are so grateful to our government: President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the U.S. State Department for their dedication to and hard work on behalf of American citizens.  We especially want to thank President Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and Vice President Al Gore for his tireless efforts to bring Laura and Euna home. We must also thank all the people who have supported our families through this ordeal; it has meant the world to us. We are counting the seconds to hold Laura and Euna in our arms.”

August 4th, 2009
01:27 PM ET

TWITTER WAR! Travis Barker vs. Perez Hilton

It's on. Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton are trading blows... not face to face, or even verbally. The two have been battling it out Tuesday on Twitter.

We aren't able to determine what sparked the blow-by-blow, but it's clear that Barker and Hilton (whose real name is Mario Lavandeira) are not afraid to sling insults. We can't re-print their exchanges word-for-word - we try to be a family-friendly website - but here are a few examples from their cyber-confrontation:

–Travis Barker: "Anybody have that footage of Perez getting his (expletive) kicked a month ago? i think he forgot the right time to shut his mouth?"
Moments later...

–Perez Hilton: "Your kids must be SO PROUD of you right now! See, I can go below the belt too."

Want more? Check out what Hilton tweeted about the relationship between Barker and ex-wife Shanna Moakler:

–Perez Hilton: "How are you making the situation with your kids better by going to war with Shanna through Twitter? THINK about it!"

Hilton's low blow was a response to Barker's harsh attack:


Twitter: your ringside seat to celebrity screaming matches. Whose side are you on? Have you witnessed any "Twitter wars"?

August 4th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

Will ‘G.I. Joe’ give moviegoers that ‘Boom Boom Pow’?

I was on my way to a press screening of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”

Channing Tatum

When I reached the multiplex on Manhattan’s famed 42nd Street, I realized the dense and agitated crowd I was wading through was actually the line for the film. The line of people started at the theater doors and wrapped all the way around the block.

I was there to see the film in advance of my interviews with the cast. However, the hopefuls queueing up for what could potentially be a summer blockbuster had only a first-come, first-served shot at seeing the big-screen preview. Only 50 seats would be made available to the general public at the sneak preview, and still there was no guarantee they would actually see the movie.

I enjoy films, but not enough to stand in the New York City heat for more than an hour for the mere chance to see one. I mean, it opens in a few days. But maybe these fans wanted the glory of telling their friends: “I saw the new ‘G.I. Joe’ first.”

Maybe they knew something about “G.I. Joe” that I didn’t? Though there have been tons of ads, the studio has deliberately been stealthy with the film’s advance screenings.

For myself, I thought this “Joe” had better be good. This “Joe” better pack a punch strong enough to make the box office weak in the knees.

I finished my popcorn before the opening titles even began. But it was for the best, because the action never stopped and I really had to focus on it - and star Channing Tatum.

While I cannot give away the details of the film, I will tell you this: It is a story of good and evil, an elite American military group and ruthless terrorists. It has high-tech weaponry and low-brow one liners. It has massive explosions and choreographed fight sequences.

Oh, and something bad happens to the Eiffel Tower. (If you’ve seen the commercials, you know what it is.) It’s got more action than you can wave a machine gun at.

As for the lucky moviegoers who got to see it in advance? They cheered, they screamed, they laughed. I think they got their “Boom Boom Pow” from “G.I. Joe” and from the Black Eyed Peas as the credits rolled.

How about you? Will you go see “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” when it opens? Post a comment below or share your review at

August 4th, 2009
08:29 AM ET

In case you haven't heard...

Here's what's going on in the world of entertainment this morning:

  • Steven Spielberg's next film will be a new adaptation of the classic play, "Harvey," according to Variety. The first movie adaptation from 1950 starred Jimmy Stewart as a man who believes his best friend is a giant invisible rabbit.
hugh jackman
  • "24's" Mary Lynn Rajskub married personal trainer Matthew Rolph at Planet Hollywood Saturday in Las Vegas. The couple have a one-year-old son. Learn more here.
  • Variety reports that Hugh Jackman will play P.T. Barnum in the upcoming movie musical "Earth."
  • The producer of this year's Emmys, Don Mischer, as well as host Neil Patrick Harris, defended controversial changes to the telecast on Monday, such as cutting down the time for eight Emmy categories.
  • Don't expect Jay Leno's 10 p.m. show this fall to be a carbon copy of his "Tonight Show." For example, Leno tells TV Guide, "it doesn't look like we're gonna have a desk."
  • Variety reports that Rob Marshall is in talks to direct the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, replacing Gore Verbisnki.
  • Thursday night's debut of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" set a ratings record for the "Housewives" franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Taking a page from "The Dark Knight," there is a new "Iron Man 2" viral Web site, where you can "apply" to work for "Stark Industries."
  • Finally, it's "Shark Week" once again on the Discovery Channel, a big deal for some, but a mystery to others.
  • Out today on DVD: “Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Second Season,” “Project Runway: The Complete Fifth Season,” “Race to Witch Mountain” (also Blu-Ray), “The Soloist” (also Blu-Ray), and “The Tigger Movie: 10th Anniversary Edition.”
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