September 13th, 2009
10:22 PM ET

Backstage at the MTV VMA's: Can you hear me now?

Okay, it's been said on this blog before, but sometimes, the WORST place to cover an award show is from the backstage. If you're trying to actually HEAR the show and get a sense of what is going on big picture.  This room is LOUD, yes LOUD. So, in the middle of what looked like SOMETHING Britney Spears did, they turned down the show feed audio back here so that the still photogs could get good shots of Miranda Cosgrove. Cosgrove, and Kristin Cavallari,  by the way, are the only stars who've  been back here since the big opener, Madonna.

Kayne West

Kanye West takes a drink out of a bottle while standing with Amber Rose in the audience at the VMAs.

What I also missed is the actual audio of Kanye coming on stage in the middle of Taylor Swift's performance. I can tell you that Kanye walked the red carpet and walked past all the media with a big bottle of booze in his hand and waved it to all the media. He didn't speak. All the media just thought he had made peace with the VMA's after vowing never to come to the show again.

If you saw the Britney thing - give me your thoughts. It LOOKED cute? And this is, afterall, pretty much the show that has defined Britney Spears' career - the highs, the lows, the comebacks all played out here. What do you think about Kanye's little stunt? Kristin Cavallari - who just came from presenting with Nelly Furtado - just told the press she thought the whole thing was disrespectful? Is there anything too disrespectful EVEN at the VMA's?

September 13th, 2009
10:02 PM ET

Backstage at MTV VMA's: Madonna in the house

So, as I was saying... In all of the talk of what to expect at the VMA's this year: The Michael Jackson Tribute, the trailer for "This is It"; no one mentioned Madonna. How did that fly under the radar?


She just came through what is being called the "Backstage Blogger/Stills Room". It's a room with a bunch of journalists  and computers and about– I'm guesing here - 200 stills photographers. For the first time, MTV has decided not to let video cameras backstage to backstage interviews. So no one is really TALKING backstage. The idea is: the person comes off stage and poses on a platform for stills photographers while bloggers write about, I guess,  how they look. They aren't taking questions here.

As for Madonna, she was mobbed by bored press waiting for some activity backstage here. SO I could see her, but not hear. Madonna DID seem to answer someone's question. Madonna was so soft spoken and its so loud back here, no one heard her answer. Not even the journalist who asked it. She asked if anyone else heard the answer.

September 13th, 2009
09:33 PM ET

Backstage at the VMAs

Just found a spot in the "Blogger Room". Everyone looking for food and their spots. Missed most of the opening tribute, but a publicist just came by and said Madonna on her way.

Didn't see her on red carpet. Who knew she was here?

September 13th, 2009
08:45 PM ET

Kathy Griffin keeps Creative Arts Emmys...well creative

I love the Creative Arts Emmy Awards because they're always so unpretentious! Between the Daytime Emmys and the Primetime Emmys this is the one which honors the so-called "behind the scenes" artists and it's always a lot more fun for me!

kathy griffin

Saturday's show was no different. Kathy Griffin hosted, which raised eyebrows since she never does anything without making headlines and irritating people. She told me on the red carpet, "Two years ago I got in trouble for my acceptance speech. So the fact that they chose me to host makes me think they are desperate."

I don't know if the organizers were desperate or just plain genius for picking Griffin to host the nearly four hour long show at the Nokia theater in downtown Los Angeles. She opened the show with various skits. One pre-taped clip showed her running into a room crying after losing an award to someone else. But here's the shocker: she runs in naked! Of course, certain areas of her body were pixelated so the audience couldn't see her fully nude. But it was surprising even for those of us used to Griffin's hijinks. Another time she mocked the "Toddlers & Tiaras" reality show by dressing like a kid in western attire.

Griffin's acerbic tone aside, she wasn't the only star of the show. There were 84 categories and lots of awards handed out to very talented people. From music composition to visual effects to cinematography to make-up, the best in the biz were rightfully honored. But the more notable faces seemed to garner the most attention, like Tina Fey  for winning an award for impersonating Sarah Palin and Chris Rock for his HBO special "Kill the Messenger." Justin Timberlake and Michael J. Fox were honored for their guest starring roles on various shows. Fey was the only one on hand to personally accept her award and she used her acceptance speech to take another swipe at Sarah Palin: “Mrs. Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs. Palin.”

Besides Fey's win, Tyce Diorio shined, winning outstanding choreographer for "So You Think You Can Dance?" He couldn't wait to kiss and tell. The minute he arrived backstage, he read a text message from Katie Holmes congratulating him on his win. "Yahoo I'm so excited. Way to go. Yes Yes Yes. We are here cheering for you. I'm so excited for you. You deserve it. Talented. This made my year. Way to go." The two had become friends after Holmes appeared on the show.

Hmmm... an Emmy Award and then a text from Katie Holmes? And get this... he's slated to dance with Janet Jackson at the MTV VMAs later tonight in NYC. Doesn't get better than that!

September 13th, 2009
08:27 PM ET

Toronto Film Festival: Capitalism is like nudity

Michael Moore spent the day at the Toronto Film Festival talking to journalists about his new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story."  The film is a blend of archived video, interviews, music and humor edited together to make the point that capitalism, as our nation's primary economic system, has failed.


During our interview I asked Moore what he thinks the best alternative to capitalism is.  In short, he told me the country needs to embrace more democracy, that simply casting a ballot once every two or four years is not enough, that people like himself who make a lot of money should be taxed more and that the government needs to increase economic regulations.

He expanded on this last point with a metaphor about nudity.

Moore says if men and women walked around naked people would be understandably distracted and even if they were told not to, they would check out each other's naked bodies.  He says this is similar to greed and in the same way clothing keeps people's eyeballs in check, economic regulations keep people's greed in check.

Does this mean those who support less economic regulations are really nudists at heart?  Oh dear.

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