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JOY BEHAR SHOW

NYC Bomber`s Motive; Embryo Mix-up; Bigger Boobs Are Better; Mother In Lawsuit; Word Bombs; Country Star Comes Out; Lance Joins Coming Out

Aired May 5, 2010 - 21:00:00   ET

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


JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, why did Faisal Shahzad allegedly place a bomb in New York City? One paper says he was angry about the drone attacks on his beloved Taliban. But how many more like him are out there and how do we protect ourselves.

Then, a fertility clinic mixes up a couple`s eggs and implants them in another woman. No. It`s not the plot of the latest Jennifer Lopez movie. This one actually happened.

And Heidi Montag wants her breasts made even bigger. Bigger than what -- the grand (INAUDIBLE)?

That and more right now.

We`re learning more and more about the man behind New York City`s failed terror plot. Faisal Shahzad, the 30 year old had a master`s degree and held a job as a budget analyst.

But while there are some answers, many questions remain. Liked what provoked a guy who seemed to be living the American dream to want to target other Americans for death?

Joining me now to discuss this are: Alia Malek, an attorney and author of "A Country Called Amreeka"; Paul Cruickshank, CNN terrorism consultant; Reihan Salam, a columnist for "The Daily Beast" and a fellow at the New American Foundation.

Welcome to the show you guys.

You heard the description: 30 years old, married with children, a budget analyst, a Master`s degree. Why does someone with that sort of profile, why are they drawn to this type of behavior?

ALIA MALEX, ATTORNEY: I think those are some of the relevant factors about him. But I`m also interested in the fact that he lost his house in a foreclosure. He seemed to not be able to adjust fully to being part of a diaspora community here in the United States. He seemed torn between whether to live in Pakistan or the United States.

I mean this is all speculation. But I`m not sure that we fully know the details that are relevant to understanding the why.

BEHAR: But he seems to be anti-American. Right? We can assume that, Paul?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I think we can assume if he was trying to attack Times Square, the crossroads of America he had some anti-American views. This may be a case of radicalization. It may be a case of somebody being radicalized in the United States. We don`t know exactly where he was radicalized.

With a lot of these people, a lot of these cases they come to believe that the United States is at war with Islam and they feel that they need to fight back. That`s the belief that a lot of these people who get involved in terrorism whether it`s in the Middle East, whether it`s in Europe, or whether it`s now in America, that`s the belief that they have, Joy.

BEHAR: But is there some kind of growing tide of people who are being radicalized in this country?

CRUICKSHANK: That`s right. Counterterrorism officials believe that there is growing radicalization now in the United States. In the last year we`ve had 16 cases of Americans becoming implicated in terrorism. That`s a surge in the number of these cases.

There`s real concern about radicalization in the United States. Why is it happening? Well, it`s complicated. The Internet is playing some role. Social media is playing some role. But also radical preachers are increasing self-confident spreading al Qaeda`s message here in the United States.

Some of them are even active just a few blocks away from where we are now, Joy.

BEHAR: Is that so.

CRUICKSHANK: Absolutely. CNN has done quite a lot of reporting on this. Drew Griffin -- (INAUDIBLE) a great co-revolution Muslim, this is a pro-al Qaeda group operating in New York. The first amendment gives them that right and they do spread some of this ideology.

BEHAR: Let`s get a little bit into the motivation possibly. I mean "The New York Post", that`s a newspaper in New York with some credibility I think, don`t you?

It reported that it was retaliation for the drone killings on the Taliban in Afghanistan. Do you think that this was his motivation to retaliate against the drone attacks and what do you make of that? The drones were a retaliation for 9/11; it seems like it`s a vicious cycle, doesn`t it Reihan?

REIHAN SALAM, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, you know, the drone attacks are really interesting because basically you have -- you sometimes have some collateral damage that`s happening as a result of these attacks.

And it`s one of these thorny things because we don`t want to endanger our military personnel in Afghanistan so the drones have been very valuable in that regard. But on the other hand, you know, we have this very complicated task there of trying to win over the population while also trying to eliminate these folks who are incredibly dangerous.

And then there`s this other feeling on the part of a lot Americans that, "Well, we`re sacrificing all these soldiers there and yet the population seems so resentful and so angry about this collateral damage. So it`s this very weird relationship.

And yes you have a lot of folks on both sides of that border, which is a very porous border, who feel this deep personal connection to the Taliban. They feel like, well, these guys are speaking for us, et cetera. And so, yes, it`s not surprising that there`s going to be some resentment.

What is surprising is how does it go through this really long extended chain? I`m 30 years old. I was, you know, born in Brooklyn. And I`m a south Asian guy. And you look at a guy like this: naturalized citizen, married to a woman born in the United States. It`s just, you know, very disconcerting in a way.

BEHAR: Yes.

SALAM: And how did he suddenly get activated and energized by these concerns that you think that folks over there would have. We know that suicide bombing tends happens when people feel like as though they`re under Military occupation. You see it in the occupied territories in the West Bank. You see it in Iraq and places like that.

And you can see that`s immediate (ph). You see people, their doors getting knocked down and that`s going to get you angry. But then, again, this guy was living in Connecticut. So it is a real puzzle.

And then it, you know, begs the question of was he just a weird eccentric guy who was looking for --

BEHAR: Well, we don`t know that.

MALEK: Joy, if I can actually interject.

BEHAR: Go ahead.

MALEK: I think that there`s sort of two separate questions that we`re conflating. I mean the idea of why there might be animus against the United States and within the country and outside of the country is a question that isn`t necessarily going to enlighten us as to why this specific individual turned to violence as a way -- as a means to express the dissent that he might possibly feel.

I might be elevating his concerns to the level of dissent. He might just be a complete sociopath. But having gone on book tour with this book, I got asked this question a lot as to why are we seeing people being radicalized. I would say that 16 cases out of a massively -- much larger community of several million people is not really -- you know, not really that much significant of a number.

And I think that for somebody to be angry at the United States -- plenty of people were dissented from the policies of, for example, the Bush Administration. All of us as Americans help put Barack Obama into power. But to go from being dissenting from American policy to actually thinking that violence against innocent people is a legitimate means is, I think, has something to do with the specificity of that individual`s life.

When I started researching this and in the piece I wrote for the Christian Science Monitor, I talked to a lot of psychologists. And I think psychologists are somebody, you know, people who should be included in this conversation because they often point out that these are the middle or youngest children. Sometimes they`ve had issues with a parent who has abandoned the family and have issues with their father.

We know that this man`s father was high up in the military. Maybe he failed him in some way.

BEHAR: Well, that might explain the individual who behaves this way but it doesn`t really explain the overall feelings of animosity towards us from al Qaeda, the Taliban and all these other groups that are really out to kill us.

So I mean, yes, that`s the operative might be explained that way but I`m always confused about are these people -- do these people hate us because of our policies abroad? Our policies about Israel? Or do they hate us the way Bush used to say they just hate our lifestyles? That`s what confuses me.

CRUICKSHANK: In most cases it`s probably because of the policies, because of the foreign policy. They have this conspiracy theory about the United States that the United States wants to wage war against Islam. And some of these people really do believe that. Of course, that`s not the case but they come to believe this.

It`s not because of the freedoms or anything like this.

BEHAR: No, because there are plenty of other countries that have the similar freedoms like Scandinavian countries and they don`t seem to be ticked off at them unless there`s a cartoon involved.

(CROSSTALK)

MALEK: But the United States invaded Iraq for corporate interests and remained --

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: So if we pulled out of Afghanistan and the Israelis figured out the whole thing with the Palestinians and we became free of foreign oil and we did not have any obligation to the Middle East in any way, do you think they would stop hating us? That`s my question.

MALEK: I think sociopaths hate us for their -- they have their own reasons. They also garner their own power but I think there are people --

BEHAR: You say, yes they would still hate us.

MALEK: Yes. Sociopaths. I think there are people who have sympathies or find there to be some truth in their beliefs.

BEHAR: Wouldn`t it be harder to recruit these sociopaths?

MALEK: I definitely think it would be harder. The constituency would shrink.

SALAM: I wonder about that. I think that you know, Paul spoke to something, I think, very important, which is that you`re talking about these political cultures that are conspiratorial by nature.

BEHAR: Right.

SALAM: So, even when you`re talking about Pakistani domestic politics. Go any teashop and listen to how they`re talking about the leadership structure, the way things work, the way the world works. It`s just baked in the cake.

You see this in even, you know, moderate Muslim societies. If you look at Turkey, for example, and the so-called, severus (ph) paranoia, this very deep paranoia about what foreigners are out to do to the Turks.

And the United States happens to be a very outside society in the imagination of people around the world, not only in the Muslim world. And so when you kind of layer on this conspiratorial political culture over this huge roll that American Culture plays around the world then it happens that more people know about the United States than they do about the Danes. And guess what, after those Danish cartoons that seem to offend Mohammad, you suddenly saw angry, furious rioting and also death threats against those peace loving Danes who, you know, again they`ve taken part in NATO military operations --

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: So, you know, in light of what you`re saying, what do you make of this other thing with Comedy Central? Are we supposed to never make a joke? No one is supposed to ever say anything about the Prophet Mohammad ever?

SALAM: What we need to accept is that danger is part of life. If you look at what happened in Britain under assault from the IRA for an incredibly long period of time, the way they defeated the IRA is by hardening society and demonstrating that we`re not going to turn away. We`re not going to abandon our policies simply through this kind of coercion.

If you look at what happened after Margaret Thatcher was almost killed by the IRA in a massive, massive attack, you just saw a society that accepted that we live through the bliss and we`re going to live through this as well.

The truth is that, you know, when we engage in this tremendous paranoia and fear over people who are basically incompetent boobs, nine times out of ten, you know, I think that actually paralyzes us. Because part of freedom, part of having a free society, is accepting some level of vulnerability.

We are not going to be able to harden ourselves the way that Israel hardened itself.

BEHAR: Ok.

SALAM: That`s just a fact.

BEHAR: Jump in.

MALEK": I just would sort of like to add what my personal experience has been interviewing people across the country and across the Middle East on this issue. I don`t think it`s about being conspiratorial by nature. You know that`s not the ethos of this society that drives -- I think there is a deep disappointment especially amongst the people that have always sort of seen the United States and its values as a beacon. You know as the city on the hill.

BEHAR: Right.

MALEK: There is this deep disappointment and as an American, I`m deeply disappointed when sometimes we fail to live up to our own ideals and the sorts of policies we enact overseas. And when that`s the face that you see of this country and at the same we profess to sort of be that beacon and when we have been in that beacon. Because you know a lot of these people have family members that immigrated to the United States. I don`t think the United States is a complete other to them.

And you know people go back and forth and they are exposed to our other values but there is this disappointment and amazement that we don`t live up to our own ideals.

BEHAR: I wish that other Islamic countries would speak out more also. Can I just add that?

Anyway, thank you all very much. It`s very interesting. And be sure to catch Paul on the CNN special "AMERICAN AL QAEDA" premiering May 15th at 8:00 p.m.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up a little later on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, after ten plastic surgery procedures, Heidi Montag says she now wants even bigger breasts, if that`s even possible.

And singer Chely Wright talks with Joy about what`s it`s like to be the first country singing star to come out of the closet. Now back to Joy.

BEHAR: I`m still laughing at Heidi Montag.

On February -- well, this is a different story altogether. On February 17th, 2009, Shannon and Paul Morell received the shocking news that their fertility clinic had accidentally transferred their frozen embryos into another woman and she was pregnant with their child. That`s right.

Here to discuss their story are Shannon and Paul Morell, authors of "Misconception." Great title, great title.

SHANNON MORELL, VICTIM OF EMBRYO MIX-UP: Thank you.

PAUL MORELL, AUTHOR, "MISCONCEPTION": Thank you.

BEHAR: This is such an interesting story. So you had frozen embryos.

P. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: They implant three of them in this other woman, a Mrs. Savage, right.

S. MORELL: That`s correct.

BEHAR: That`s her name and by mistake.

S. MORELL: Right.

BEHAR: She gets pregnant.

S. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: What happened -- tell me what happened when you found out that they were implanted in the wrong person?

S. MORELL: Well we had a call -- I got a call at work. And the doctor wanted to talk to me. And then they decided, no, he wants to meet you in person. But not I totally understand why.

BEHAR: Yes.

S. MORELL: And we went in the office and he says there`s been a terrible incident. And I thought everybody -- listen, I was not expecting that. I thought he was going to tell me about some new procedure to try. I had an appointment the next week.

So what happens is, he said there`s been a terrible incident and your embryos have been thawed and we just --

BEHAR: Have been thawed?

S. MORELL: Thawed, meaning if they`re thawed, well, they`re probably dead because who else would they give them to. You`re not giving embryos away, right?

BEHAR: Right.

S. MORELL: So and he said -- and they`ve been transferred into another woman.

BEHAR: Did he say, did he add by mistake?

S. MORELL: Well, we get to that obviously, right.

BEHAR: Ok, all right, go ahead, yes.

S. MORELL: And then I said, and I looked to him and I said, and she`s pregnant? And he`s like uh-huh. And I said, how could this happen?

BEHAR: Yes.

S. MORELL: And I just fired off lots of questions at him.

BEHAR: So -- so when you found that out, what did you think?

P. MORELL: Well, first we were just in shock. We looked at each other in disbelief. Why --

S. MORELL: The girls were there at the same time, the twins were right there.

BEHAR: The twins were right there.

S. MORELL: Yes, yes.

BEHAR: Yes.

P. MORELL: First we thought there was some kind of cryogenic accident and we had lost all of the embryos. But that wasn`t the case. It was just a total blind side of this.

S. MORELL: Mostly how could this happen?

BEHAR: How could this happen so -- (INAUDIBLE) as an aside, did you sue the clinic?

S. MORELL: No. We had a settlement, so we`re done.

BEHAR: Oh ok, somebody paid you off.

P. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: Good.

S. MORELL: Well, our lifestyle hasn`t changed.

BEHAR: I mean it was really -- that`s a rough thing to have to deal with.

S. MORELL: It was terrible that`s why we wrote the book because the story is bigger than us. I hope this never happens again. And that`s my agenda.

BEHAR: Right.

S. MORELL: I don`t want this ever to happen again.

BEHAR: Yes. I don`t it`s happened very often.

P. MORELL: Yes.

S. MORELL: It hasn`t happened, it probably will happen again. It`s human error.

BEHAR: Let`s talk about the woman who actually carried the baby. Her name is Carolyn Savage.

S. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: Do you know how she reacted when she found this out?

S. MORELL: Well, first through her attorneys, and through her -- devastated.

P. MORELL: Yes.

S. MORELL: Can you imagine? I mean, dealing with -- no matter what, infertility is difficult.

BEHAR: Yes.

S. MORELL: Going through the full process is no picnic, shots and blood work and all ultrasounds. She goes in for the test. Finds out she`s pregnant. Congratulations you`re pregnant. And then by the way - -

BEHAR: Good news and bad news.

S. MORELL: Well, her husband told her and then to find out that it`s not your child. I put myself in her shoes. Can you imagine?

BEHAR: Yes, that would be rough in her -- worse in her shoes I think than you. Right --

S. MORELL: And as for us it was hard --

P. MORELL: It`s been devastating.

BEHAR: Yes.

S. MORELL: -- we didn`t know who they were for two and a half months. That drove us nuts.

BEHAR: You didn`t know who was carrying?

S. MORELL: Who they were. Where they lived?

BEHAR: Why not?

S. MORELL: They didn`t want to tell us. So through lawyers we got medical updates, thank goodness. And we are sure and so the good news for us was they said they were going carry the baby and they recognize that they weren`t the parents.

BEHAR: Were you afraid she would have an abortion, maybe I mean --

S. MORELL: I thought she could already have had one. She found out the day before, I`m sitting there and thinking it could be over, I thought it was done. O I just felt terrible thinking ok, we`ll have two kids thankfully. So that`s it.

BEHAR: So that she carried the baby to term. She lived far away from you? It`s like -- it`s like --

S. MORELL: Another state away.

BEHAR: Another state?

P. MORELL: Yes.

S. MORELL: She lived about 100 miles.

BEHAR: You lived in Ohio was it?

S. MORELL: Right, right, it`s another state. Well, we didn`t know that for two and a half months.

P. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: So but then after two and a half months you knew that she was then carrying the baby which is really a very hard form of babysitting if you think about it.

S. MORELL: Harder.

P. MORELL: Oh yes.

S. MORELL: Because yes by (INAUDIBLE) the child.

BEHAR: Yes that`s a tough thing and you must have been feeling something like --

S. MORELL: Guilt.

P. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: -- weird feelings about separation anxiety from your baby.

S. MORELL: Well, you feel like your baby -- at that point, I knew who she was. But before I thought your baby had been kidnapped. But guilt and you`re not experiencing the pregnancy and you don`t realize even though yes, you have morning sickness and there`s symptoms --

P. MORELL: We always just want to do more for her and you just can`t.

S. MORELL: Well, you can`t really bond, I mean, bond is more than just a word.

BEHAR: Yes.

P. MORELL: Yes.

S. MORELL: I mean, connecting with your family and experiencing that and sharing it with my girls and --

BEHAR: Right.

So -- so were you ever worried that they would change their mind? Because they decided to give -- they said they would give the baby over to you --

S. MORELL: Right.

P. MORELL: Right.

BEHAR: -- which was very generous --

S. MORELL: It was.

BEHAR: -- and lovely of them.

S. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: Right.

P. MORELL: Yes.

S. MORELL: Totally.

BEHAR: Were you afraid she could change her mind and keep the baby? You know you get attached to the baby that`s attached to you.

S. MORELL: I was.

P. MORELL: It was in the back of your mind.

S. MORELL: I was 90 percent sure because they had been very consistent with what they said that they would be cooperative. And we knew from our attorney we had secured that in the court of law, there`s the legal precedent and we ended up getting DNA results too that we would win but how long would it take for me to get my child?

And I didn`t want it to be in the media and messy and that`s why we really waited and I had a hard time telling people too.

BEHAR: Well, you know she had frozen embryos as well -- Carolyn.

S. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: Have you ever thought of a quid pro quo, maybe you could carry them for her.

S. MORELL: I did. I was desperate. I was willing to do anything at that point. The lawyers discussed it.

BEHAR: She`s like, thank you, I`ll carry my own.

(CROSSTALK)

S. MORELL: What if I were to carry hers and I miscarry and she carried mine to term.

BEHAR: Ok, we have --

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: We`ll have more. In the next segment -- we come back; we`re going to bring out your son. Ok.

So, stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: I`m back with Paul and Shannon Morell and we`re joined also by 7-month-old Logan. Say hi to the camera. You`re the first baby on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW.

S. MORELL: Yes. Hi, everybody. He`s smiling. He likes Joy.

BEHAR: I presume you have told him everything already.

S. MORELL: He knows it all. I didn`t tell you what a smart baby he is.

BEHAR: You know the whole story, don`t you?

S. MORELL: Yes. You go online and you write articles, don`t you?

BEHAR: Does he have a relationship with the Savage family?

S. MORELL: Well, we saw them in December. And then we e-mail and we send photos. We`re friendly and we`re planning on getting together again.

No expectations. I don`t know how much they want to see him. I don`t want to push it. But we`re really glad they`re willing to talk to us.

BEHAR: But do you want the relationship to continue with them?

S. MORELL: It would be nice. I mean my hope is that Carolyn will always be a part of his life so when we do tell him the news, he`ll be, like, Carolyn. Ok. Not like, some stranger.

BEHAR: I see.

Well, it will be a great story for him to tell at fraternity parties.

S. MORELL: It will be. We`ll have video of him.

BEHAR: But they`re in another state. Paul, what do you think? Do you want the kid to know about it or don`t you?

P. MORELL: Well, he`s going to find out eventually.

BEHAR: He`s going to read this book.

S. MORELL: And we`re going to tell him, it was a blessing, and he got lucky. Boy.

P. MORELL: He`s going to be sitting on the book one day and just go, hey, that`s me.

BEHAR: In a way you are tied to this couple forever the way a divorced couple with children are.

S. MORELL: Kind of. But eventually they may want to move on and get a yearly update, not every month.

BEHAR: I must point out that one of the reasons there was this mix-up was because your name is what?

S. MORELL: Savage.

BEHAR: Your maiden name was Savage. That`s really what did that. And then his name --

S. MORELL: What a detective she is.

P. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: I`m a little detective, yes. This baby Logan is Logan Savage Morell. What if he wants to date one of the other Savage kids? Is that ok? I guess, it is.

S. MORELL: Sure. You`re not genetically related. The daughter is real cute. But she`s younger -- no she`s older.

BEHAR: Tell me about -- you have a set of twins, too, right? One of them is profoundly deaf but she has a cochlear implant.

S. MORELL: Two bilateral implants.

BEHAR: She does. So you had two twins --

S. MORELL: Yes.

BEHAR: And then you wanted to have another baby.

S. MORELL: We had six frozen embryos. I wasn`t going to just leave them there.

P. MORELL: We don`t want to leave them behind.

BEHAR: What is the feeling about leaving them behind? Tell me about that.

(CROSSTALK)

S. MORELL: They`re my babies.

BEHAR: They`re you`re babies. You see it that way. You`re very religious people.

S. MORELL: I believe in God. I believe, you know, God created us, please -- I know we have different viewpoints on all this but --

BEHAR: I believe in something.

S. MORELL: Right.

BEHAR: I`m not sure what it is yet.

S. MORELL: Right. But I just want to say, we were going to thaw them and give them a chance at life. That was the plan. We weren`t going to just leave them there in the freezer.

BEHAR: You were -- you were not going to do that.

S. MORELL: We had to wait until our kids` needs have been met.

P. MORELL: We have two twins, I mean it`s --

S. MORELL: and look at this. A boy.

BEHAR: How long are you two married?

S. MORELL: We`ve been together for like 15, 16 years.

BEHAR: Who does most of the talking in the family?

P. MORELL: Well, once you get me going, you know.

BEHAR: How do you think, Logan, talks more, mommy or daddy?

S. MORELL: I`m going to be social. I like to talk.

P. MORELL: Once you get her going, there`s not stopping --

BEHAR: You guys have really been terrific. I`m glad you came by and shared your story with me. It was so much fun to have a baby on the set. I can`t tell you.

Their book is called "Misconception".

Up next, Heidi Montag -- that goes toward (ph)this together -- continues down the plastic surgery spiral.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up later on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, country star Chely Wright drops by to talk about what it`s like to be the first country music singing star to come out of the closet. Now back to Joy.

JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST: It seems that 13 plastic surgeries are not enough for reality star Heidi Montag. Now expensive husband is telling the world his wife wants bigger boobs and Heidi revealed why on the reality show, MTV, "THE HILLS" last night, watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at your boobs.

HEIDI MONTAG: I know I`m trying to keep them in. So please let me know if they come out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you? Are you still like hurting at all?

MONTAG: Yes. He like cut my back out here, he cut my sides.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you done? You are done right?

MONTAG: Yes. I might want my boobs bigger. I want to be Hs for Heidi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: H for Hindenburg. Joining me to talk about this and other juicy entertainment tidbits are comedian Cory Kahaney, Associated Press Entertainment editor, Alicia Quarles, and writer Paul Rudnick. OK what is wrong with this girl, Alicia? Let us analyze.

ALICIA QUARLES, EDITOR, AP ENTERTAINMENT: Let`s analyze this. OK I had this interview with her back in the day before surgery, she`s a cute girl. She wants to self-improve. Don`t get H for Heidi boobs, go read a book at this point. She needs to go read a book. It is ridiculous. She`s getting famous off bad behavior.

BEHAR: Yes but I mean do you think she has low self-esteem?

QUARLES: I think she has no esteem. Yes.

BEHAR: Low self-esteem.

QUARLES: I mean seriously, who does this to her body? Enough already, she`s 23, she`s 33. Enough.

BEHAR: Yes you know Cory, last week we were talking about this new thing in Hollywood, Paul, you will like this too, that they are going for the natural look. That everybody is so over surgerized they can`t find natural beauties like you and me.

(LAUGHTER)

CORY KAHANEY, COMEDIAN: I`d kill for plastic surgery, this one like has a punch card. Her next one is free. I mean, you know.

BEHAR: Hasn`t she read a memo they want natural. Why is she doing this? Paul what do you make of all this?

PAUL RUDNICK, WRITER: Well I love Heidi because she told "People" magazine that before she had the 13 procedures in one day, she prayed and she said she would never go ahead with them if god did not approve.

BEHAR: Oh.

RUDNICK: You think how do you actually pray and say dear god, you know after you finish cleaning up Katrina, do you feel I should I have a butt augmentation? You know?

BEHAR: Also do you think god likes big (EXPLICATIVE DELETED).

RUDNICK: Clearly and god wants them bigger.

QUARLES: Now she`s a jug now, just the last episode, she couldn`t move her mouth, she just had a surgery, so she`s trying to eat a burger - I mean give it up.

BEHAR: What parts of your body would you fix if you had to?

QUARLES: My stomach.

KAHANEY: stomach.

BEHAR: And you?

RUDNICK: The front.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: OK now, when she spoke to her mother she told her why she wanted big boobs. And she said -- are we going to see this? Let`s see it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MRS. MONTAG: You said you want bigger boobs than you have now?

H. MONTAG: I actually wanted bigger ones but they couldn`t fit in.

MRS. MONTAG: It sounds to me like you want to look like Barbie.

H. MONTAG: I do want to look like Barbie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: Now Barbie is a double a as far as I could tell.

QUARLES: Yes.

BEHAR: So she maybe wants maybe Dolly Partin (ph) I don`t think Barbie.

QUARLES: Barbie is proportionate. I mean Heidi has gone out there. She`s like those girls, I lived in L.A. that move to L.A. and get sucked in, they give L.A. a bad name. She needs to go back to Colorado and get back in touch with reality.

KAHANEY: Yes, H is like an old lady who is old. She can barely hold them up, there`s like suspenders. She doesn`t want to be an H. H is for hills not mountains.

BEHAR: Yes, I know, I know, I know - all right let`s change the subject. Let`s talk about this story. This is close to my heart this story. A standup comedian named Sunda Croonquist was actually sued by her in-laws for making jokes about them. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNDA CROONQUIST, COMEDIAN SUED BY IN-LAWS: And I`m a black woman with a Jewish mother-in-law.

(LAUGHTER)

Now you know the only thing we have in common is that we don`t want to get our hair wet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: OK. But the joke is on her in-laws because the court threw out the case. So did the judge decide that the jokes were free speech or did she just have really miserable in-laws, that`s the question today.

QUARLES: Well first of all --

BEHAR: Oh joining me for this conversation is comedian, Sundra Croonquist herself. I forgot you were there for a second. Oh my god.

CROONQUIST: There you go, why should today be different?

BEHAR: Are you and your in-laws on speaking terms?

CROONQUIST: No, we`re not, Joy.

BEHAR: No you are not. Do you think they were just pissed off at you because you are shikser?

CROONQUIST: You know what? I think they were pissed off since Mark brought me home. And Cory can - she can testify.

KAHANEY: Yes.

BEHAR: You know each other very well.

KAHANEY: We know each other very well and I think, first of all, she`s half black. She`s half Swedish. She was raised catholic and she married a Jew. What did they want her to make jokes about? The airlines? I mean --

BEHAR: I mean that`s a bonanza of material right there.

KAHANEY: You took a bullet for me Sunda because my whole life is about my family, I mean they were getting ideas.

BEHAR: What was the worst thing -

CROONQUIST: Yes but my family loved you. My mother-in-law loved your act.

KAHANEY: I was the daughter they wanted.

BEHAR: Because it`s not about them. They get ticked off because you were taking them on. I mean nobody likes to be made fun of. Maybe that`s what the problem was, Sunda. Too bad, I`m saying too bad about them.

CROONQUIST: Right but they enjoyed it for how many years and then suddenly, suddendly, how many years, Cory, I`ve been doing the same act for how long?

KAHANEY: That`s true. Yes she did this act for many, many years. And it was like somebody stopped taking their medication and decided they couldn`t take it anymore. It was really weird.

BEHAR: Well the judge ruled in your favor saying the jokes were statement of opinion and not fact and therefore protected by the first amendment. Isn`t this applause - isn`t this a win for free speech, Alicia?

QUARLES: Yes as a journalist I think it is a reign for free speech. I mean if people took what we said seriously up here all of us would get sued. You have to take it with tongue and cheek. We all talk about our family, please that`s fine. It`s fun.

BEHAR: I think it`s so great that you can make a joke about anything in this country except the prophet Muhammad. That you can`t joke about.

QUARLES: You can`t say Muhammad, you can`t say mother-in-law.

BEHAR: Those are the two things. But you know a lot of people say it was the whole thing with you was a publicity stunt. Was it, Sunda? Come clean?

CROONQUIST: Listen, here you go. Who has a publicity stunt when you have two kids involved who are hurt, who are ridiculed and embarrassed in their religious school no less and when people said it was publicity stunt, not only did they say that, such letters of anti- Semitism came my way. They are Jews in it for the money. Money. Jews. Money.

BEHAR: Oh boy.

CROONQUIST: It was horrible. It was nasty.

BEHAR: Wow.

KAHANEY: She converted too.

CROONQUIST: Yes there was no publicity stunt. Only those of whom knew me when I was dating - when I was dating my husband, Cory is one of the people who know me before I was married. I`ve had problems a long way back but they enjoyed it. And they suddenly decided to have a change of pace and it was very humiliating. As much as people say publicity is great, all kinds of publicity is great. It`s not great. I got cut from a lot of gigs.

BEHAR: OK thank you very much Sunda for sharing your thoughts with us.

CROONQUIST: Thank you.

BEHAR: OK finally, Jesse James` mistress "Bombshell" McGee -- I love, I can just say that all day long, is back in the news. And I`ve missed her so. Haven`t you?

QUARLES: Of course.

BEHAR: She`s back in the news. She says she`s not a racist because she has quote "colored friends." unquote.

KAHANEY: And by colored she means cream, off white, ecru, beige.

BEHAR: Yes, also, wait a minutue, there`s another part to this - well you can get to that part in a minute, but the tea party activists don`t like that President Obama refers to them as tea baggers. They say it`s the equivalent of saying the n word. OK so there`s a lot of race conversation in here so. What do you think of the first part? Using the word color. What are we in 1957?

QUARLES: Exactly.

KAHANEY: the colored thing is awful. Then she`s also got swastikas. I read -- she`s not a Nazi. She has a Jewish agent.

BEHAR: Some of her best friends are Jewish.

QUARLES: She`s a home wrecker and a racist. Color went out in 1952. "Bombshell" needs to shut it up. Go back to the stripper pole and go back to your day job.

BEHAR: Let`s listen to what Michelle "Bombshell" McGee told Howard Stern on his radio show this morning.

(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)

HOWARD STERN, HOST: Would you date a black guy?

MICHELLE "BOMBSHELL" MCGEE: I`m not against it, no.

STERN: All right. So much for the Nazi stuff. Did you laser off the swastika?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a Nazi who dates black guys.

STERN: That`s my kind of Nazi.

MCGEE: I make a horrible racist Nazi. I really do, I have too many colored friends. I don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUARLES: Hey Robin Quivers is black, why is she laughing?

BEHAR: I don`t speak for Robin for this.

QUARLES: I know.

BEHAR: What do you have to say about this Paul?

RUDNICK: Well she also, "Bombshell" also said that she was colored because she had so many tattoos they had actually somehow changed her race.

BEHAR: Oh.

RUDNICK: And that on her website she is going to reveal to premium members - who I guess pay more the tattoo on her vagina. Ay, it just makes you - ay doesn`t that hurt?

BEHAR: I`ve never tried it. What about this tea bagging thing. You know Obama is using the term tea bagging. Now it`s a sexual term in some circles as we know on this panel. And he`s using it. Does he know what that means?

KAHANEY: Maybe he didn`t know. I mean if anybody didn`t really have time to be download porn or listening to Stern, it`s Obama. I thought he was a short person. It took me a while.

BEHAR: What is it?

KAHANEY: It`s a short woman -

QUARLES: No a shorty is like your boo. You know.

KAHANEY: Oh can you see how informed I am -

BEHAR: So maybe he didn`t know. But what about this part that these tea partiers are Conservatives are saying they are using the term tea baggers is like using the n word?

QUARLES: What? I think it is derogatory. I don`t know if it is extreme as the n word. Yes I think if you are in that party, it is a derogatory term. And he`s the president of all people so he`s using it and probably shouldn`t be.

BEHAR: He probably shouldn`t be but if it`s not equivalent to the n word.

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: Get over it.

KAHANEY: And he`s black. Maybe if you`re a White Republican Conservative racist bigot, then you can say tea bagger amongst each other.

BEHAR: One of the sexual term that is being misused, another one is referring to a group of people who have been destroyed -- their culture has been destroyed in the world. Please thanks everyone.

QUARLES: Exactly.

BEHAR: Up next, country star Chely wright stops by to discuss her decision to come out of the closet. Stay where you are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: Since her single "Shut Up And Drive" and "Single White Female" hit the top of the country music charts in the 1990s, country singer Chely Wright has been harboring a huge secret. She`s gay, oh. Now she`s coming out and opening up about her private life and personal struggles in her autobiography, "Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer". I`m pleased to welcome to my show Chely Wright.

CHELY WRIGHT, COUNTRY SINGER: Hi Joy.

BEHAR: Hi, so I hear you came out this morning to Meredith Viarea (ph).

WRIGHT: I came out on THE TODAY SHOW.

BEHAR: Yes.

WRIGHT: To Natalie.

BEHAR: Natalie Morales.

WRIGHT: And she couldn`t have been lovelier. And Meredith was there and I spoke with Ann as well, and they were - it was an amazing experience.

BEHAR: Well you know you spent decades in the closet apparently. You look like you`re 25. I don`t know, how many decades.

WRIGHT: I`m 39. I`ll be 40 this year. And I knew when I was 4 years old that I was different. I knew when I was 9 that difference was that I`m gay and I`ve hidden it my entire life.

BEHAR: You hid it, how did you keep it such a secret?

WRIGHT: Hard work.

BEHAR: It`s exhausting I would think.

WRIGHT: Yes. In my culture of country music that`s what I`ve done my entire life, it`s what I aspired to do since I was a little kid. I knew I had to hide it. I worked very hard to do it. And fortunately I was able to have some measure of success as well and I look back on it and think how did I pull all of that off. No wonder I`m exhausted.

BEHAR: Well you know people have stereotypes about lesbians and you didn`t fit the stereotype and that`s how you got away with it.

WRIGHT: I was able to hide. And I know some people aren`t able to hide. That also imposes another layer of shame when one is --

BEHAR: And guilt.

WRIGHT: When one is able to hide and one does, that will make you sick to your stomach too.

BEHAR: Yes, you knew you were gay when you were 9.

WRIGHT: I fell in love with my teacher?

BEHAR: Oh yes, what was her name? Was she a gym teacher too? Just a stretch.

WRIGHT: No, good idea. My third grade teacher. Ms. Smiley.

BEHAR: Oh I was in love with one of my teachers.

WRIGHT: Do you want to talk about it?

BEHAR: I think that would throw you off. I`m in love with Ms. Smith. Kids are like that. You felt it was more than that.

WRIGHT: And I hoped it was what you were talking about. It wasn`t. And it didn`t go away. You know I was afraid of it. I was told by my church that it was a building block of sin and evil doing.

BEHAR: What church is that?

WRIGHT: Christian Methodist Community Baptist.

BEHAR: All-purpose Christian Church.

WRIGHT: All purpose.

BEHAR: Yet you were romantically linked with Vince Gill and Brad Paisley. Did they guess?

WRIGHT: I never told them and they never gave me guesses. So, I don`t know. I don`t know. You would have to have them on the show and see.

BEHAR: You don`t know, well now that you`re out it may be interesting to go back and say, ask if they had an inkling of any kind?

WRIGHT: Yes.

BEHAR: Probably not.

WRIGHT: I don`t know how they wouldn`t know.

BEHAR: And they must have loved it any way. Men love gay women.

WRIGHT: Do they?

BEHAR: Have you ever watched those movies where two women are making and guys are glued to that. They love it.

WRIGHT: I`ve been getting some interesting comments. There was a guy that interviewed me throughout my entire career out in L.A. we put in an interview, what do you say, in the can and to be released today and he said, I like the thought of your being gay. I had such a crush on you before. Now I have a huge crush on the thought of you being a lesbian. And I said well Steve you have the same shot with me as you did before. None. Zero.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: Very good. Now but you know, just to be serious for a second, at one point you were close to suicide. Tell me about that period.

WRIGHT: It was in 2006, early 2006, when I had lost -- I had a partner for a very long time in Nashville. And we hid. We had a home and garden and dogs.

BEHAR: And you were able to hide even though you had somebody.

WRIGHT: That`s a different level of hiding. It takes a lot of work. I detail that in my book.

BEHAR: Right.

WRIGHT: And then the hiding -- you know it ripped us apart. It was difficult. And we ultimately split up and I found myself in a big cold house by myself in my jammies for the first couple of months of 2006 and I realized I`ve got these very big parts of me, the fact that I painted myself into a corner. I`m a successful country music singer.

BEHAR: Right.

WRIGHT: My fans know and love. I`m also a lesbian and I couldn`t for the life of me draw a line to connect those because no one in my industry had ever acknowledged his or her homosexuality ever.

BEHAR: Right, that`s the thing. Because the country music world does not go with that sort of thing.

WRIGHT: You`ve been to the South.

BEHAR: I was at the Grand Old Opry one time. And I liked the music a lot.

WRIGHT: Yes, me too.

BEHAR: It`s very emotional. You know, there`s always some surest. You know what surest is like aggravation going on.

WRIGHT: Is that a Jewish word?

BEHAR: Yes, it`s a Jewish word. But it`s aggravation - it means that -

WRIGHT: Are you a mench? I think you are a mench.

BEHAR: I`m an Italian Mench.

WRIGHT: Oh OK.

BEHAR: But you know, I think it`s about the bible belts possibly.

WRIGHT: Right.

BEHAR: The religious aspect is what I think curtails anybody like you coming out in that particular environment, no?

WRIGHT: Well it does and once I knew I was OK with god, which was in my early teens. You know I went through what a lot of young gay people do. I thought I was going to burn in hell. But once I realized god and I are cool, I don`t have a birth defect. God and I are square, I realized that I still have to hide this if I want to achieve my dreams of country music which was my life-long dream.

BEHAR: Right.

WRIGHT: And I believe that it`s not just a bible belt thing. I believe that the bible belt exists in Bakersfield, California, and Tallahassee.

BEHAR: That`s right, it`s all over the place.

WRIGHT: It`s everywhere.

BEHAR: And I`m probably the one who is going to burn in hell anyway.

WRIGHT: Save me a seat.

BEHAR: For whatever reason they come up with. OK, Chely, stay right there. I`ll have a surprise guest when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: I`m back with country music star Chely Wright and we have a surprise joining us by phone, fellow singer Lance Bass. Yes, hi, Lance, how are you?

LANCE BASS, SINGER (on the phone): I`m doing great, how are you doing?

BEHAR: OK, you know after years in NSYNC you came out in 2006. What do you make of Chely`s announcement?

BASS: You know what I`m just so proud of you, Chely. You know I haven`t seen you so long. Good to hear your voice.

WRIGHT: Good to talk to you Lance, it`s been a while.

BASS: But it`s -- I think it`s so important to be visible -- we`ve had similar, you know, upbringings. I`m from Mississippi, the bible belt. Had a career I thought would be detrimental if I came out, you know with a large fan base and you know, mainly women. And especially having four guys careers in my band, I thought I was going to destroy it if it got out. You know it`s a lot of pressure for an entertainer. Especially - you know, as much as everyone`s accepting it these days it still is a huge issue to people, and unfortunately it just takes more and more people coming out like you, Chely, to show the world that it is normal, it is OK and showing people, you know, giving someone to relate to. I mean, there`s millions of women out there right now that are just so happy and proud of you for doing this.

BEHAR: How did your fans react, Lance, when you came out? How did the --

BASS: You know, they were -- they were fine. So perfect. My fan base grew when I came out, and they saw how happy I was.

BEHAR: Isn`t that great?

BASS: They want to see you happy, and, you know, there is that fantasy of, you know, that your favorite celebrity, maybe one day I can be with them, but you know, it`s also they just want to see you happy and I think that`s -- I was just overwhelmed with the support that the community and entertainment industry gave me.

BEHAR: Don`t you think that, Chely, both of you are Christian and there is that issue. Do you think it`s more important that gay Christians, like yourselves, are in the entertainment business, come out and speak out?

WRIGHT: Well, I think it`s important that I am a person of faith, and I think it, as Lance mentioned, it`s important for al of us, those of us who have a public capital to stand up if we feel like we can.

BEHAR: Yes.

WRIGHT: And being, you know, in Atlanta I identify with you, that pressure you felt with your band mates. You don`t want to bring the whole thing down. And I, you know, I looked around when I had my biggest hits. I had a lot of employee, oh, I don`t want to derail this. But I do, as far as, I am a believer in god. And I think there are a lot of young people today who feel they`re being told they`re damaged goods and they`re supposed to pray this away. And I`m here to tell them I have never not had a relationship with god. In fact, I feel as if god`s been whispering in my ear the whole time and I feel like when I hit my rock bottom and did have a 9 millimeter gun in my mouth, god was - I finally inquest and said, OK, god I`ve been doing it my way for 36 years and god said, OK, let`s do it mine.

BEHAR: Isn`t it awful though that being closeted like that will cause you to put a gun in your mouth and want to kill yourself. That`s a terrible thing. It`s a terrible thing.

WRIGHT: It`s a horrible thing. It`s what we do to people in our society. We tell them they`re damaged.

BEHAR: Yes.

WRIGHT: And Lance, when he came out I was so proud and I wanted to feel like he felt and lance you inspired me, and thank you for calling in.

BEHAR: Lance, thanks. That`s very -- she`s right. Thank you for calling in. Chely, thanks for joining me today.

WRIGHT: Thank you. Thanks a lot.

BEHAR: Good luck to you. Chely`s book is called "like me, confessions of a country singer." and her new CD is "Lifted Off The Ground."

END