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Microwave Murder; Twin Connections

Aired March 8, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.

How about this for a mother`s legal defense? "I had a seizure, I blacked out, and I put my baby in a microwave."

Hang in with me. It isn`t quite what you think.

Plus, did an elderly twin die of a broken heart right after her sister. What is it about twins and their incredible bond?

And good Christian (EXPLETIVE DELETED). We bleeped that one. Why a TV show has some of you up in arms?

Let`s get started.


PINSKY: Welcome. We are live tonight.

And we`re going to talk about a very disturbing case in California that`s sad and it is as gruesome as sad. It is like something out of a movie, a horror movie. A Sacramento mother -- get this -- is charged with killing her 6-week-old daughter. A trial date will be set later this month.

Kay Yang is accused of putting her little baby in a microwave oven and turning on the power. Her lawyers claim that Yang suffered from a seizure, blacked out, and didn`t know what she had done or what she was doing.

Forensic pathologist, Dr. Russell Uptegrove joins me. And also, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh.

Now, we`re going to get into this case. I mean -- this is almost too much to be believed, right? We`ve all been through the Casey Anthony last summer where people throw out all kinds of defenses for outlandish behavior.

Here is the mother Kay Yang trying to explain what happened to her 6- year-old daughter in this bizarre interview outside her own home. Watch.


KAY YANG, MOTHER: My mom (ph) said we need to call 911, since 911 is there faster. I never thought with my seizure I will lose my little girl.


PINSKY: Mark, first to you. You`re a defense attorney. What are we supposed to do with this case? This is just disgusting, no?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, clearly. I mean, I`m a father of three. I have been in the criminal justice arena for 20 years. I`ve actually defended cases like this.

But this one stands out to me as the most abhorrent that I`ve ever heard of. Well, the one thing that makes it more disturbing is that the facts are not in dispute. At least in Casey Anthony, we couldn`t exactly see how it all went down. We figured we knew.

This we know exactly. It`s just that why she did it. And what they`re going to do -- I think this is a slow guilty verdict ultimately in my opinion. Generally, these insanity defenses don`t work. In fact, specifically, this defendant gave numerous stories. At one point, she told law enforcement that she dropped the child on a heater. So, one respect, she`s saying that she blacked out and had absolutely no idea, no recollection of this automatic conduct, but yet she knows specifically how it happened.



PINSKY: Right. We are looking at the baby while you`re speaking there. I want to remind people at the arrest, the warrant shows that she failed a polygraph test. She seemed deceptive.

At one point, she told investigators she might have a split personality. Are we just sort of spitting game here all over the place, any psychiatric diagnosis that may account for dissociative state where people do bizarre things?

EIGLARSH: Let me say this, and I am not defending her. I did get a call, a surprise call from her defense lawyer tonight. Apparently, she`s found out from your bookers that I was going to be on. And we spoke at length.

And what she say, for what it`s worth, she believes that her client really does suffer from this seizure disorder and that there are experts, one apparently on the state witness list, that`s going to corroborate or support that she suffers from this allegedly.

PINSKY: All right.

EIGLARSH: While she`s going through --

PINSKY: Mark --

EIGLARSH: I know you don`t want to hear it, that`s what they`re going to allege.

PINSKY: All right. Here is Kay Yang`s lawyer talking to a reporter about the physical and mental state of her client. Take a look at this.


LINDA PARISI, YANG`S ATTORNEY: There is certainly concern about her medical condition. I am obviously not at liberty to talk about her medical condition, but she has many medical as well as psychological issues that need to be addressed.


PINSKY: Dr. Uptegrove, I want to head to you. You`ve actually done studies on the damage done from microwave. I mean, I hate to ask this question, but every time I mention this story, people went -- oh, my God, what happened to that child.

So what happened to that child in the microwave?

DR. RUSSELL UPTEGROVE, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, the case that I had was different than the case in California, in the fact that this child here in Dayton was not reportedly found in a microwave oven. She presented to the local children`s emergency room which because of the heinous nature of this case and how incredibly rare it is, it was much more difficult to determine, you know, from the onset exactly how this child had sustained these kinds of burns.

And after ruling out the obvious as far as being in a house fire, or automobile fire, electrocution, boiling water, having other -- being dunked in a bathtub, after all those things have been ruled out, we subsequently were able to determine based on the baby`s DNA, which was subsequently recovered from the microwave from the residence that she had, in fact, been placed in a microwave oven. And some of the literature that was present at the time documented there were some cases of some children who has been abused by being placed into a microwave and sustained burns, at that time we were unaware of any fatalities.

But there have been extensive animal studies showing the effects of microwave radiation on living tissues.

PINSKY: And my understanding is that the autopsy of this child, the one we`re talking about here that who were just seeing in that picture a second ago, was that she had actually had thermal, I mean, burn injuries to her stomach and intestines. So, she literally -- I mean, I don`t want to think about this.

Mark, help me out with this. I mean, you know, she changed her story. First, she said she dropped the baby on a heater, and then conveniently developed some sort of seizures -- now, let me be clear, there are seizure disorder, something called partial complex seizure that can cause people to do repetitive things and not know what they`re doing, they usually don`t do purposeful things like putting something in a microwave and turning it on.

I`m choking on this story, it`s disgusting.

I mean, do you think that she`s going to have any leg to stand on with that defense?

EIGLARSH: No, that`s the short version. No -- for a number of reasons. Generically, this defense just doesn`t work in general. Someone tried a sleep walking defense.

Jurors don`t want to excuse abhorrent conduct like this. And these jurors are going to hear the fact that the child`s body was burned 80 percent, that the internal organs were essentially cooked, that as graphic and as gross as that is -- that factors into why this defense doesn`t work. They`re going to be so primed to want to strike back at this woman, no matter how much they say they can be fair and impartial, that when the mental health stuff comes in, I think they`re going to dismiss it.

PINSKY: I have some Facebook comments. Listen to this -- our Web site lit up with this story.

"I think she`s full of it," it says. "I think we, the taxpayers, should throw her butt in a microwave and save our money from her court costs." Kari is also a comedian.

Also, here`s one, "Literally just said what out loud, what is wrong with people?" That is from Kelly.

I mean, people don`t want to hear that kind of defense, this kind of egregious, purposeful behavior.

Question to you, Mark -- should this be a death penalty case?

EIGLARSH: Well, let me answer this, because I want to avoid the hate mail. Trust me, I got it before I came on, people really want this women to fry.

I could tell you this -- I defer to prosecutors, who like prosecutors throughout the country, do a balancing test as they would have jurors do, the reasons for meaning aggravators versus the mitigators. And they determine that the aggravators, that the fact that this was especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel; and then the mitigators, things like she`s never harmed a fly, allegedly, she doesn`t have any prior record -- that on balance it tipped in favor of not seeking the death penalty.

PINSKY: What? Mark, I thought for sure you would say something different. On balance, doesn`t matter she hasn`t harmed a fly.

EIGLARSH: Hold on. Hold on.

PINSKY: She`s thrown a baby in the microwave.

EIGLARSH: Excuse me. I said the prosecutors came to that understanding. I didn`t say that was my personal belief, I will withhold that.

PINSKY: Got it.

EIGLARSH: Because I am filled with love. I want nothing but love e- mails. I don`t need --

PINSKY: Yes, I heard about that last night, Mark. Thank you very much.

Thank you to Mark. And thank you, Dr. Uptegrove, for joining us.

There has always been a fascination with twins and the unique bond that twins have. Next up: a mysterious double death still unsolved.

And is there such a thing as a twin dying of a broken heart after her sister died just hours before? That after this.


PINSKY: Identical twins Joan and Patricia Miller were once, believe it or not, Hollywood starlets. That`s right. There they are. They appeared regularly on the 1950s show "The Hoffman Hayride".

There it is -- whatever it was, I`m not sure. Burt Dubrow, my executive producer, no doubt knows.

The twins unfortunately were both found dead last week in their shared home at the age of 73.

Here now is a report from our affiliate, KXTV.


REPORTER: Patricia and Joan Miller. This is South Lake Tahoe neighborhood the 73-year-old twin sisters called home for years. Wednesday, a long time neighbor recalled them as somewhat eccentric. He had no idea they were once entertainers, but they had been, starting when they were kids.

They went on to some success. There was a TV show in the `50s, "Hoffman`s Hayride."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that the twins were sort of mentally degrading. They were refusing any help from public guardian`s office, from social services at Barton Hospital. They appeared to be very stoic, and wanted to take care of themselves.


PINSKY: Investigators think that one twin died and the other couldn`t handle it, lost the will to live, died because there`s some special thing there.

We`re going to talk about that. These two, the twins, spent the last 40 years together alone. So, the question we`re asking, did they die of a broken heart, or what is this thing?

So, joining me to discuss is psychiatrist, Dr. John Sharp, author of "The Emotional Calendar." Also, Lawrence Zarian a lifestyle expert "From Live with Kelly" and "Entertainment Tonight," and his identical twin brother, Gregory Zarian, an actor, motivational speaker, and wellness lifestyle host on the show, "Health Line".

Now, Lawrence, you and your brother both on TV and deal with life- style issues and sort of motivational stuff. Is that a coincidence or is that the genes acting out?

LAWRENCE ZARIAN, STYLE EXPERT: I did it first. I`ll just say.

PINSKY: Learning something about that.

L. ZARIAN: And then he followed suit.


PINSKY: So, does this story surprise you guys?

L. ZARIAN: I got to say, when we got the call to be on the show today, I got very teary, because that`s one thing we don`t talk about. The biggest fear I have is when Gregory dies. It`s just -- I mean, I have been weeping all day. It is one fear to not happen in my life.

PINSKY: Were you aware of that, Gregory?

G. ZARIAN: I didn`t know I was going so quickly. It`s a conversation we don`t have.

PINSKY: Because it is to intense?

G. ZARIAN: There`s nothing. I mean, unfortunately, we`ve lost our parents, and we know that longing and mourning. To lose him is something I can`t even discuss.

PINSKY: I would imagine not being a twin, I raised triplets, you know? I -- so I kind of -- only parenting experience I know is raising a multiple brood, but I would imagine particularly for identical twins, the bond is something that the singlets in the world, everybody else, just can`t understand.

L. ZARIAN: It`s all we know. I mean, we came in this world together. We took our mom out holding each other`s hands together. The same thing with our dad. You know, we have an older brother Vincent who always feels left out.

And we`re like, you don`t understand, this is what I know. I don`t know anything different. Always next to me, I will have my twin brother, no matter right or wrong. We will fight, but he`s my constant. He is my constant.

G. ZARIAN: Very good friend.

PINSKY: And it`s so interesting.

Do you have any of those weird phenomenon where somebody punches him and Gregory, you feel the pain?

G. ZARIAN: Well, close. I was in a car accident years and years and years ago, and at the time of impact -- it was near fatal car accident. At the time of impact, he said to his friend something is wrong.

And he called my mom and my mom said I am on my way to intensive care, there`s something up with Gregory.

PINSKY: Are there down sides to being raised as identical twins?

L. ZARIAN: People within seconds compare you. I mean, there`s a constant. You know, whenever we see parents with twins, I will always go up to the parents and say, please call them by their names.


L. ZARIAN: You can tell they`re twins. Our parents brought us up as "the twins." So, we spent our life trying to outdo the other subconsciously not knowing what we`re doing.

PINSKY: Separate, too identify.

L. ZARIAN: People already have said, you know, Lawrence is better looking, Gregory is better looking, Lawrence is thinner, Gregory is thinner. It`s a constant comparison. And reality is, we are two people who look alike, but we`re also so different.

PINSKY: Dr. Sharp, I want to go to you. You`ve heard what they`re saying.

So, is there a phenomenon where something is picked up in some part of our brain, some primitive -- something where a twin can feel something from another twin, particularly when there`s something highly traumatic going on?

DR. JOHN SHARP, AUTHOR, "THE EMOTIONAL CALENDAR": It sounds that way. It`s not something that medical science has an answer for. But it`s one of those many things that we believe, you know? It just makes sense, but I can`t tell you scientifically how it`s possible.

PINSKY: But let me zero in a little more -- drill a little deeper on the idea of this particular story that led to us talking about this tonight. You said it`s a shattering thought to lose your twin.

G. ZARIAN: It makes sense to me.

PINSKY: That`s what I want to hear.

G. ZARIAN: It makes complete sense when Lawrence called me, and said, please read this, I`m weepy, I glance at it, it just makes complete sense to me. I understand not wanting to go on without my twin.


G. ZARIAN: It makes complete sense to me because the heart break would be too unbearable.

PINSKY: Dr. Sharp, in the makeup booth before the show, you said something about there being some sort of something in humans, wanting to go on versus not wanting to go on. What is that?

SHARP: Absolutely. You know, we call it the will to live. It`s certainly something that we see many different examples of. People, for example, die often just after a big event, just after a birthday or an anniversary, as opposed to just before.

It was first picked up actually in the medical literature way back in the 1940s, something called the broken heart syndrome, which is really from World War I, when widows died soon after they heard news of their husbands not going to come home. And, you know, we can speculate actually about how this is sensible in terms of catecholamine release, like the stress hormones, something that`s actually cardio changes that are now visualizable.

PINSKY: Do you guys see the pictures of your family here?

G. ZARIAN: I do.

PINSKY: There they are.

G. ZARIAN: There`s the Santa Claus.

L. ZARIAN: Do I feel if something happened to Gregory my life would not go on? My life would go on, but there would be such a sadness attached to it.

PINSKY: Look at you guys, cute kids.

G. ZARIAN: This is better.

L. ZARIAN: Do I feel like my life would go on? Absolutely. But all I know in my life is this relationship that I have. You know, that`s a picture of us with our father. And we were his boys.

I mean, that`s -- what I know in my life is Gregory is a constant. To ever entertain this not being part of my life makes me really sad.

PINSKY: You`re choking up even thinking about it.


PINSKY: Dr. Sharp, in my experience, I have seen stuff like this where people die quickly after death of a spouse, death -- important family members. And usually, it`s sort of some sort of pre-existing something that gets precipitated, a stroke, a heart attack, in someone that didn`t have the potential for it. It`s not as though -- I don`t believe somebody just go, it`s time for me to stop living, and gosh --

SHARP: It can happen. Again, I was reviewing medical literature before the show. In cardiology, they actually can see a specific kind of heart disease which is sudden, looks just like a heart attack. You can see it, you can measure it in the blood, you can measure it. And it can kill you, and it has to do with broken heart syndrome. Absolutely.

PINSKY: I remember there`s studies in the primate literature of very -- I remember a documentary about chimpanzees. I`m going to go off a little bit.

But there were two -- they were very tight. It was a mother and son. And the mother died, and the son laid down, but he laid there a few days, he even got dehydrated, but he died.

All right. More on twins and the connection between after the break. So, please stay with us.


PINSKY: And welcome back. We are live, discussing a mystery that bonds identical twins.

We have been talking about two elderly former starlets who were found dead in their Lake Tahoe home recently, apparently separated by just hours.

And I`m joined now by Lawrence Zarian and Gregory Zarian.

And I got a little example, well, a taste of their relationship during the break. They were practically slugging each other.

But in spite of Gregory being the ampersand, I guess, on this, you`re the "and" in this relationship -- you`re getting very emotional about the thought of your brother not being in your life.

L. ZARIAN: It`s all I know. I mean, it`s a conversation we don`t have.

PINSKY: Do you share a world view, that together you see the world a certain way?

L. ZARIAN: We have the exact same taste. The only difference we have is our taste in clothing. Everything else, we like the same food, we like the same television, we like everything the same except clothing.

PINSKY: Dr. Sharp, who`s, again still with us -- the story reminded me of they talked about these elderly women being circumspect and withdrawn, and keeping to themselves. I have seen lots of cases of identical twins sort of held up on their own with shared psychiatric problems, too, since they have the same biology, delusional systems, paranoias can be shared, hoarding can be shared, and they can end up in some pretty wild circumstances.

SHARP: Yes, you can share the good and bad. I mean, we have these guys here.

PINSKY: This is obviously the bad.


SHARP: Lawrence and Gregory are able to share their world, but also be in the world and be very, you know, active and outgoing. So, it doesn`t have to be a reclusive thing that takes you more and more.

PINSKY: But I have seen that. As I pointed, I remember I was taking care of a pair of twins in a psychiatric hospital. Every time I would come in and talk to one of them, they both looked at each other with this very peculiar, knowing stare. And I was always feel like, what am I missing?

G. ZARIAN: Well, we have that. I mean, we have complete conversations without saying a word. I mean, we know exactly if somebody comes into a room, and there`s maybe a good or bad behind it, within a look. We know exactly what the other is thinking.

PINSKY: And, Gregory, as much as Lawrence has been emoting about the possibility of losing you, I haven`t heard you say that yet about him.

L. ZARIAN: Nothing. Nothing.

G. ZARIAN: Well, my paperwork is in order. I can`t even go there. I don`t.

PINSKY: You just are in denial about it. It`s not even a possibility.

G. ZARIAN: It`s a conversation I refuse to have. I -- Lawrence, even though seven minutes age difference. He is the older brother for me, and I feel that he reaches out for me. The thought of it wrecks me.

PINSKY: Which is another bizarre thing that multiples do, is they talk about older sibling being the one that`s out of the womb two minutes ahead of the other, therefore the older one.

We`ve got a Facebook comment says, it`s from Kristin. "My identical twin and I have tried to talk about this and just can`t even get the words out. We came in the world together, we leave together." That`s almost a poetic way of talking about what we are describing.

SHARP: It`s beautiful. Absolutely. It`s what we`re saying -- you`re so close, can`t imagine living without the other, but yet you say life could go on.

L. ZARIAN: There`s something so special that we have, to think that something --

PINSKY: Gregory, he is getting emotional.


L. ZARIAN: To have something so unique.

G. ZARIAN: The Facebook thing wrecks me because I can`t --

PINSKY: Gotcha.

G. ZARIAN: It`s true. We say this to our older brother -- we came in together, and we love you, and you`re our older brother. We`re here together.

We are a great threesome. However, we are the ones together.

PINSKY: He ended up being the one crying after all. How about that? . Emotion from Gregory after all.

Thank you, gentlemen. Thanks to all of you. Your calls, of course, are next.

Later, a new show about good Christian, they`ll bleep me. We`re live. And I remind you -- go to to read more about what you see here tonight.

Again, your calls coming. Back after this.



PINSKY (voice-over): Christians everywhere are outraged about a new television show they say insults church going women. I can`t even say the show`s name on TV.

Religious groups say it shows Christian women as selfish, shallow, gossipy sluts. Is Hollywood targeting Christian women and insulting faith? Or are people being just too sensitive?


PINSKY (on-camera): But first up, it is our live on-call segment, and we got a mixed bag of comments and calls tonight, so let`s get to it. I`ve got an e-mail to kick it off.

Regina says, "Regarding Wednesday`s show about the erotic novel, "50 shades of gray." I loved your show because you were so uncomfortable because you and your wife don`t agree on this book, but because you love each other, you will learn more about each other. Please have more discussions about this show."

Well, not tonight, but we will do just that. And the people do seem to like me uncomfortable. And, you know, believe me, if you want me uncomfortable, just bring my wife in here, and she`ll make me uncomfortable. You guys know that. She`ll out me in some good way. So, I`ll see if I can do that, too. Got a call now come Rachelle in Ohio. Rachelle, go right ahead.


PINSKY: Is it Rachelle or Rachelle?

RACHELLE: No, it`s pronounced Rachelle.

PINSKY: Rachelle, what`s going on?

RACHELLE: I`m really tired of every time somebody does something stupid such as the shooting at the local school in Ohio. The community blames it on mental disorder. I have six and I`ve been on and off meds since I was diagnosed at 12. Not once have I shot a person. When you say that they have mental illness, it makes it difficult for us that have mental illnesses that are trying.

PINSKY: Yes, yes. Rachelle, this is a really, really good and complicated topic. I got to tell you. What`s your -- did you say you`re bipolar disorder or what do you have?

RACHELLE: No. I have mood disorder, not otherwise specified.

PINSKY: OK. So, it`s just depression, primarily, or long-standing depression. You know, you make a -- it is such a fantastic point. And unfortunately, I got to tell you, I see both sides of this. One side, you`re right to say that somebody with mental illness is doing something violent further stigmatizes people with mental illness, which is your point. And I get that.

And believe me, I am with you most, most. The vast majority of people with mental illness do not do things like you`re describing and are not violent.

But, by the same token, when we try to understand why people do what they do, sometimes, mental illness figures into that and can help explain why that happens, if for no other reason, I like to bring that up to help educate people about how to watch out for those things and don`t let them unravel to the point that people do criminal acts. You get what I mean, Rachelle? Rachelle, still there?


PINSKY: You do agree or don`t?

RACHELLE: I do agree.


RACHELLE: I understand what you`re saying, but why can`t they just be angry? Why do they have to have a mental illness.

PINSKY: Sometimes, they`re just criminals. And I got to tell you, having work with criminals and people who just have psychiatric stuff, they`re different. It`s different, and sometimes, they go together. And I think that`s most we were talking about here. We should change the language about that.

Maybe call it, somebody with mental illness and criminal behavior. You know, something different category. You`re onto something there.

Got an e-mail again from Lori who writes, "My husband and I have been married for 25 years. This year, our youngest went off to college and we went from planning our entire days around the kids` schedule. Now, it`s just the two of us. We didn`t realize how over the years we`ve started liking different things. I just don`t want this emptiness syndrome to take us down, LOL."

My goodness, I don`t know about the LOL at the end of that. I got to tell you, my dear, I`m having such a different experience. You know, my wife and I have three kids, triplets, who left on the same week. I mean, we went from a family of five to just the two of us again. And just a secret here, we kind of dig it. We kind of like it. It`s kind of OK. We`re kind of having a good time.

The fact that you`re having trouble tells me that there might be something, as you said, you drifted apart a little bit. You`ve been focused on the kids and not in your relationship. Really focus on that relationship, and if you keep having trouble, that`s where couple`s therapy can really come into good use.

E-mail from Jody, "Men in their 50s lose their desire, so to speak. They are given testosterone injections. They feel like they`re 20 again. But when women go through menopause, and lose all hormones and desire, there`s nothing for us to make us feel like we`re 20 again. It isn`t -- just isn`t fair." Just isn`t fair, right.

So, here`s the deal. There is a whole school of thought, and I`m amongst those people, those clinicians who believe that women should be getting testosterone. We`ve forgotten over the year that the ovaries which fail with menopause don`t just produce estrogen and progesterone, they also produce testosterone, the male hormone.

And actually, there`s more at risk to giving men testosterone replacement. They shouldn`t feel like they are in their 20. They should feel like a healthy 50 or 60-year-old taking testosterone replacement. So, talk to your doctor, probably, obstetrician and gynecologist about testosterone in addition to any other hormone replacement you`re getting.

And believe me, women can get tremendous benefit on that, on libido, on the energy, easier to lose weight, that kind of stuff.

This is Jennifer in Michigan. What`s up Jennifer?

JENNIFER, MICHIGAN: Hey, I`m a 40-year-old female, and I have had problems with little libido, barely ever reach orgasm --

PINSKY: Well, you`re who I was just talking about. Have you ever talked to your doctor about getting more comprehensive kinds of hormone replacement?

JENNIFER: No, we haven`t.

PINSKY: How old are you?

JENNIFER: I am 40.

PINSKY: Oh, listen. Jennifer -- are you on medication?

JENNIFER: I am bipolar, on six meds.

PINSKY: I don`t want to bore everybody, but you on like a serotonin reuptake inhibitor anti-depressant medicine in addition to mood stabilizer?

JENNIFER: Oh, yes.

PINSKY: Yes. And those SSRIs can really shut you down. So, do not change your meds, because as you know, bipolar can be quite devastating, but you really should talk to your psychiatrist about getting on a combination of medicines that doesn`t take out your libido like that, your sexual functioning. I mean, listen, when you have bipolar -- are you married? Do you have a partner?

JENNIFER: Married for two years, yes.

PINSKY: I mean, the last thing you need if you have this kind of mood disturbance is issues in your marriage. I mean, they have to pay attention to that. It`s -- listen, when people are treating psychiatric conditions, they`re trying to get people into remission, really feeling well and normal, and part of that means having a flourishing life again, functioning fully at work and in your interpersonal life.

So, you absolutely should look forward to that as a goal. So you got to talk to your doctor about that. And then, perimenopause is something as not enough talked about, women around your age start having hormone changes, back to the conversation I was having with that last e-mailer. Talk to your doctor about that as well. I have to take a break. Thanks for all your calls and e-mails.

I`m talking next -- now, this is interesting. A new network comedy has become no laughing matter for many Christians. Take a look at this clip from ABC`s new show, "GCB," and we`re going to talk about this controversy when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s wrong? What can we do? How can I help?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had to get some body work done, and they messed up my colon. Darling, it`s john 3:16. the colon goes between the 3 and the 16. I don`t think he`s Christian.



PINSKY: And tonight, controversy continues to swirl around the new ABC show. In fact, our website just lit up with comments about this. The show is called "GCB." It`s a sitcom based on a book titled Good Christian -- nice young ladies. It features a group of mean spirited Christian women who use the bible to justify their bad behavior. Here is a clip from Sunday night`s premier episode on ABC.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amanda, Amanda, Amanda, welcome home. How long you staying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t know yet. I`m still figuring it all out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Darling, we all hope you`re here for good, not for evil.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: once you decide to stay here, what are we going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re going to follow the advice of Psalms 18:39.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My bible is in my other purse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We must guard ourselves with strength into battle if necessary.


PINSKY: So, the question here, is this a show an example of Christian bashing or just some primetime TV fun? Nikki Joel is a lifestyle blogger and herself a Christian, Mark Eiglarsh, defense attorney, and Ted Baehr is the chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission. He is asking that ABC immediately pull the show. Ted, please, what is so offensive about this particular show?

TED BAEHR, CHRISTIAN FILM & TV COMMISSION: Well, you know, not only am I head of the Christian Film and Television Commission, I`m publisher of movie guide. But, long time ago, when I was head of the TV department at City University in New York in late 1970s, we did a lot of research into the impact of the media on cognitive development of young children.

And one of the wonderful findings that have come out in the last couple years is that young ladies who lack self esteem are more likely to get into situations that are self-destructive and even get into situations as the FBI has noted of being susceptible to being sucked into the wrong lifestyle.

So, all of this is just a way of stereotyping people, which is counter productive, which is negative to their development, and which is just completely adverse to what Christianity teaches. After all, what does Christianity teach? The fruit of the spirit, and the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, faith, gentleness, and self- control. It teaches love. So, love your neighbor as yourself.

PINSKY: But Ted --

BAEHR: If you put another word in there such as good Muslims or good Jewish or good -- you know, talk show host B-I-T-C-H-E-S, you know --

PINSKY: So, it`s the name that bothers you?

BAEHR: No, it`s the actual show, itself. We`ve seen the show. You`ve seen the show. Throughout the show, everything that they do is contrary to what you should do as a person who loves your neighbor, as a person who cares for the other person. Christian women are shown as liars, cheats.

PINSKY: Well, but I mean, they`re making fun of these women for being like that. Not --

NIKKI JOEL, LIFESTYLE BLOGGER: Not making fun of the religion, they`re making fun of these characters, showing their flaws --

BAEHR: It`s not the point. The point is that they`re using it as a generality for a specific group of people. If you were using that as a generality for people of color, for people who were Jewish, for people who were any other group, it would be defaming. And the problem with all of this is not only does it show faith as being corrupted, it actually -- and you know this, because there`ve been hundreds of thousands of studies.

I guess, Senator Lieberman said 500,000 studies on the media, and when we do and we publish a whole report to the entertainment industry, we can only find one study that the funding we get from the John Templeton Foundation that says that the media doesn`t have impact. So, all of the impact of this is extremely negative on people of faith.

PINSKY: But people know how to consume media. I mean, for instance - -

BAEHR: Not younger people.

PINSKY: Hang on, Ted, hang on.

BAEHR: You know that`s not true.

PINSKY: And that is, I`m going to ask you, please, that that`s not a very Christian way to interrupt me.


BAEHR: I didn`t mean to interrupt you. I have two small granddaughters, and they`re not going to do well with this.

JOEL: Well, they`re probably asleep at night, not able to watch the show.

PINSKY: Here`s -- it`s a very simple question I want to ask, because people in the center of the country may not be aware, the show on Broadway called the "Book of Mormon." It`s done by --

JOEL: Did you get tickets?

PINSKY: I`ve seen the "Book of Mormon." It was hysterical. It`s very rough on Mormonism, and I just happened to spoken to several Mormons outside the theater. They came up to me, introduced themselves, and said, man, they really got us.

You know, they`re making fun of us, but you know, they got some things right that we do. We`re making fun of ourselves. Mark, shouldn`t we be able to make fun of ourselves?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Of course, it`s a satire depicting a religious community. The truth in it isn`t offensive. It`s what makes it funny. This goes back to all in the family, South Park. There`s plenty of Jews, my people, depicted in a way that some would find offensive. I laugh at it.

That`s the kind of person that I am. I don`t think it has any harm to anybody. And I ask your guest, he has a lot of writings that I`ve read. He seems very angry about the subject matter. Anger is one letter shy of danger. And what it really is is fear turned outward. What is he so afraid of other than people laughing and having a good time?

PINSKY: Ted, go ahead.

BAEHR: Now, you know, you`ve got a lot of material in there. First place, I`m not angry. Second place --

EIGLARSH: Your writing seems to be.

BAEHR: I don`t think so. If you think they are, then there`s something wrong with the way you`re reading it. What we`re concerned about is about family, about children, about people of faith and values being demeaned. Now, before we`re through (ph), the Jewish defense league got very upset with what was happening in Germany, because one of the (INAUDIBLE) was using satire to demonize a whole group of people.

You never want to use satire to demonize a whole group of people. You might say that there`s a bad mother somewhere, but motherhood is not bad. There`s a bad father somewhere, but the fatherhood is not.

PINSKY: Let me read something --

BAEHR: This is demonizing a whole group of people.

EIGLARSH: So, everybody is perfect? We should depict all people as perfect.

BAEHR: No, Nobody`s perfect. Did I tell you anybody was perfect? I hope not.

PINSKY: -- from Kristin Chenoweth. She is one of the stars of "GCB." She is, of course, also herself a Christian. She recently talked to the Hollywood Reporter about this controversy, and she says, quote, "I think people should give it a chance. You just can`t judge a book by its cover. "

I`m a huge Kristin Chenoweth fan, by the way. "I certainly wouldn`t do anything to make fun of my own faith." Nikki --

JOEL: How about the author of the show, the writer, is a Southern Christian?

PINSKY: Did you know her?

JOEL: I mean, I know about her. You know, it`s a southern Christian. And if you look at the shows like "Mike and Molly," you don`t hear, you know, the overweight community or people like that getting upset. I mean, every show --

PINSKY: There is a line you can cross, let`s be fair. And I think we were talking about --

JOEL: This is not one of those lines.

PINSKY: I think that`s what we`re trying to establish here --


PINSKY: Go ahead, Ted.

BAEHR: It is one of those lines. First scene is her character steals a credit card so that she can, you know, embarrass and actually lie, cheat and steal about this woman. This is a line that`s been crossed right within the first five minutes of the program. Have you seen the program?

JOEL: I definitely have seen the program.

BAEHR: Has anybody?

JOEL: Actually -- these people actually go to church every Sunday. They quote scripture. I mean, they`re out there. They`re good Christians. It`s not about what the show is about.

BAEHR: They`re not good Christians, because they`re quoting scripture as a weapon. They`re quoting scripture to hurt other people. They`re quoting scripture to gossip. This is portraying people of faith, a Christian faith. Now, the problem with this is that I have taught cognitive development theory and media literacy since I was head of the TV department City University in New York in the late 1970s.

EIGLARSH: We heard.

BAEHR: You may not be affected by this, but there are certain number of young people in this country that will be affected.

EIGLARSH: Says you.

BAEHR: There`ll be some be affected by who will adopt that as a lifestyle. There`ll be others, 500,000 studies in this area. There`d be other people that are be affected in another negative way.


BAEHR: Do you want to create this type of stereotyping? You know, listen to Dr. Drew`s guests a little bit earlier who talked about just that shooting in Ohio and saying why should people with mental illness be all categorized in one place. Why should all people of any group be satirized --

PINSKY: I think that is an important point, that we shouldn`t be stereotyping anybody. I totally agree with that, and we should not make anyone character --

EIGLARSH: Unless, it`s in the right spirit.


PINSKY: OK, guys. Hang on. Hosting. I got to take a break. If you guys will give me the out throw (ph) here, I could get to the break. So, the question becomes, have we become an overly sensitive nation or are some groups unfairly targeted? We`re going to try to keep this conversation going, and the spirit of good conversation will prevail. Thank you. And we`ll be right back.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re a conservative woman, it seems like there is no level of vitriol that`s beyond the pale. I`ve been on the receiving end of it. We all know Governor Palin has been on the receiving end of it. You don`t see this level of outreach, you certainly don`t see advertisers cutting back.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And keep us ever mindful of the humiliation of sin, degradation, and lack of moral decency. It is not ours to judge. Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh, she`s praying for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, people around here really care.


PINSKY: That was a clip from the new ABC show "GCB." It is based on a book called Good Christian Bs. Although, the initial working title for the controversial show was, in fact, "Good Christian Belles." Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am like a huge South Park fan. i think humor can really expose some truths about things.

JOEL: Controversy and conflict.

PINSKY: Many people that are bad Christians using good Christian ideas to mock a religion. Now, the question now is, does this TV show mock their religion? And we asked you how you felt about the show. And, you sure have opinion. Let me get you quickly here.

Nancy told us, "I find it extremely blasphemous, and it will not last. It is disgusting."

And then, we had Lee giving the other side, the other opinion, who states, "I`m positive God has a sense of humor." So, as always, Nikki, the critics agree.

JOEL: Well, let`s hope God has a sense of humor. I mean, this is -- I think one thing that we need to be aware of is this show comes on 10 o`clock at night. My kids are sleep at 10 o`clock at night. I`m sitting there, and my friends are sitting there, and we are the audience for the show. And we`re drinking our wine, and we`re relaxing. We`re being amused. We`re being entertained.

PINSKY: Mark, is there something to be learned from comedy?

EIGLARSH: Of course, there`s nothing wrong with laughter. I mean, this no more makes people turn into bad Christians than Dexter turns people into serial murderers. Silly.

PINSKY: Ted, how about that?


BAEHR: Oh, were you talking to me or not?

PINSKY: Yes, we`re talking to you. You have a comment on bigotry. Go ahead.

BAEHR: Yes. Bigotry is never proper, you know? And as I said before, the motion picture code back in the 1930s said that there shouldn`t be religious bigotry because this is something that means something to people. It shouldn`t be stereotyping. It shouldn`t be humor used to destroy.

It shouldn`t be humor that`s used to create sarcasm, which, of course, means to kill, kill the spirit. You don`t want to kill the spirit of little people. You know, my family has been in Texas since the 1850s. They`re fine women. You don`t want to portray them in a bad way that makes everybody who is susceptible to be losing their self-esteem.


BAEHR: Now, I understand all your other points of view. You`re doing a show. I`m caring about the kids. I`m caring about my grandchildren.

JOEL: The kids are asleep. They`re not watching the show.

BAEHR: That`s not true, because I have done research in this since I was head of TV department at City University New York in the late 1970s. There have been so many, thousands of studies about --

PINSKY: Ted, I`m running out of time.

BAEHR: You got to be kidding me.

PINSKY: But there`s so much worse stuff out there. Should we really be taking aim at this? I`m with you about the average --


PINSKY: There`s some horrible stuff out there.

BAEHR: When Rush Limbaugh criticizes a female law student in that way, because I used to be, you know, NYU law school, member of the national lawyers -- you don`t do it, you don`t do it. If Rush Limbaugh shouldn`t do it, they shouldn`t do it.

EIGLARSH: The difference is -- no, no, no, there`s a big difference. That was mean spirited, you understand?

BAEHR: No, this is mean spirited. Have you watched the show?

EIGLARSH: I have watched clips of this. And --


PINSKY: I have to end my show. I want to thank Ted, I want to thank Mark, I want to thank Nikki, and I want to thank all of you watching. I`m sorry, Ted, I`ve got to interrupt, because I`m running out of time. I`ve got to go. See you next time.