August 11th, 2009
05:55 PM ET

Miley Cyrus in booty shorts

When did kids stop being kids? And when in the world did parents stop being parents? Parenting is not about being your kid’s best friend. It’s about teaching them what is appropriate and what is not.

miley cyrus

In fact, I remember one particularly embarrassing time that my mom insisted on "doing the right thing" and you know what? Looking back, she was right.  It was my school Halloween party and all of my friends decided our theme was Disney characters. I decided to go with Jasmine from “Aladdin,” and my costume was pink, my favorite color.

Now if you have ever seen the movie you know that Jasmine has a bare midriff , but see, I was in 9th grade and all of about 15 years old at the time and there was no way on God’s green earth that my mother was letting me out of the house with my midriff showing.  She took me to the local dance store, bought a skin colored leotard and made me wear it under the costume.  I am pretty sure I wasn’t thrilled with her that night, and I was ridiculously hot in the school cafeteria, but you know what? I was 15 years old –- a child.  She was right: it would have been inappropriate to wear the costume as is.

All of that drama -– and trust me, at the time it was major drama - over a bare midriff.  It makes me wonder, what in the world Miley Cyrus’s mother was thinking letting her daughter get on stage at the Teen Choice Awards in booty shorts and high-heeled boots and dance around a pole? I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised; this is, after all, the girl who last year posed on the cover of Vanity Fair in nothing more than a sheet.  But my point in sharing the above story is this: a parent’s job is to teach.

When you are 14 to 17, you are too young to know what the right thing is to do in certain situations.  That is why your parents are there to guide you.  You may not like what they have to say – and parents, you may not like saying it, but it needs to be done.  Miley is still a CHILD.  A 16 year old girl should not be writhing around on a stage in booty shorts on a pole in front of other teens at an award show.

What kind of an example does it set for other kids?  And by her parents condoning it, what kind of example are they setting for other parents?

For a fired up debate on Miley Cyrus’s controversial pole dancing performance, tune into Showbiz Tonight at 11pm ET/PT on HLN tonight.

August 11th, 2009
05:11 PM ET

Mel's mystery woman speaks

After seeing photos of Mel Gibson's sultry Russian-born girlfriend in magazines, and watching her gypsy-like music videos on YouTube, I guess I kind of expected Oksana Grigorieva to walk into our interview yesterday with a thick Eastern European acent - like Natasha from the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoons.

To my surprise, the singer/songwriter/expectant mom was ethereal and soft-spoken, with a hint of a British accent - probably from her years of living in the U.K., where she gave birth to her 12-year-old son, Alexander (whose father is former "James Bond" Timothy Dalton).

Just past the halfway mark of her pregancy, Oksana's baby bump was barely noticable under a flowing, black peasant blouse.  "I'm not pregnant, I'm just fashionable," she quipped.  With her dark features, pouty lips and long hair, she vaguely reminded me of Octomom (don't kill me), only prettier and with fewer children.

Oksana's publicist is Maureen O'Connor - a highly-respected veteran in the entertainment industry.  She spearheaded last week's press conference with journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee when they arrived at Burbank Airport after being detained in North Korea for five months.  For Oksana, Maureen didn't indicate that any topics would be uncomfortable or off-limits during our interview (which we cannot agree to), but clearly Oksana had been prepped to steer the conversation toward her classical training, and to acknowledge Mel's artistic talents without divulging too many details about their romantic relationship.

She did, however, have no problem talking about her current food cravings.  "I actually do eat a lot of sugar right now.  I wish I didn't.  Ice cream, mostly.  Vanilla and strawberry."  Spoken by someone whose life has been anything BUT vanilla.

Click here to watch video of Oksana and see more of what she said in our formal write-up.

August 11th, 2009
04:39 PM ET

LaToya Jackson on DWTS?

LaToya Jackson is back in the news.  She made headlines this summer when she declared her brother Michael had been murdered; now, she's looking to dance her way into prime time.  Jackson says she's been invited to compete on season nine of "Dancing With The Stars," following in the illustrious shoeprints of Shawn Johnson, Brooke Burke, and Kristi Yamaguchi... not to mention such luminaries as Kim Kardashian, Marie Osmond, and Steve-O.  "She has been invited and she loves the show!" says her publicist, adding that no deal has been made.  All ABC will say is that the season nine DWTS cast will be unveiled on Good Morning America next Monday, August 17.

How about it, DWTS fans - do you want to see LaToya strutting her stuff next season?  And who else should get a shot at dancing his or her way to the title?

August 11th, 2009
09:18 AM ET

George Strait experiments with music

CNN's Denise Quan reviews albums out this week, including "Twang" from the Texas country singer. Take a listen in this week's Soundcheck:

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 11th, 2009
08:32 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Octomom Nadya Suleman

The New York Times reports that Fox has a two-hour special on Octomom Nadya Suleman ready for August 19.

ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson calls Katherine Heigl's latest remarks (referring to working a 17-hour day on "Grey's Anatomy" as "cruel and mean") unfortunate, according to The Washington Post.

Pee-wee Herman is coming back - on stage anyway, according to The Los Angeles Times.

On DVD today, "17 Again" (also on Blu-Ray), "90210: The First Season," "I Love You, Man" (also on Blu-Ray), and "Superfriends: The Lost Episodes."

August 11th, 2009
01:19 AM ET

Brangelina stop traffic in Hollywood

The Hollywood premiere of Quentin Tarantino's new movie, "Inglorious Basterds," attracted a lot of stars, but none were bigger than the worldwide phenomenon known as Brangelina.

When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrived at the red carpet affair, they immediately headed across the street to greet the hundreds of screaming fans who had been waiting for hours behind steel barricades in the hopes of meeting them.  Many stars do that at these events, but this couple strayed from the usual protocol en route to greet said fans.  You see, not everyone who got an up-close-and-personal visit from the famous duo had to wait long hours in the summer sun for the rare opportunity: one lucky tour van loaded with camera-wielding tourists simply was stopped at the right red light at the right time.

That's right: as Brangelina stopped traffic on Hollywood Blvd., they took time to greet the dozen or so passengers on a Hollywood tour.  A quick Google search of tour companies in Hollywood reveals that tickets for these types of tours cost $25-$40.  You can be sure the folks on this van got their money's worth!

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