CBS ‘Early Show’: Guns ‘Controversial,’ Not Gay Marriage

Julie Chen, CBS While co-host Harry Smith described a Texas school allowing teachers to carry guns as "a controversial decision" on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, he teased an upcoming segment on Ellen DeGeneres marrying actress Portia de Rossi as simply exciting celebrity gossip: "And we have the wedding pictures from the marriage of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. That happened over the weekend."

The Early Show covered the DeGeneres-de Rossi wedding on Friday and Monday as well, with no suggestion of it being controversial at all. On Monday, Chen declared: "And wedding bells. Comedian and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, ties the knot with her long-time partner. We'll have details about the wedding." Correspondent Michelle Gillen then reported: "The DeGeneres-de Rossi wedding is perhaps the highest profile same-sex marriage since California legalized such unions just over three months ago... In 1997, Degeneres became the first television star to come out publicly on her sitcom ‘The Ellen Show.’" At the end of Monday’s segment, Smith wondered: "The thing I'm curious about, she's been so public about it. Then why would you keep the ceremony so private?" Chen replied: "So you can sell it to People magazine for $4 million."

Apparently Chen was correct, because on Tuesday she talked to executive editor of People magazine, Jess Cagle, about exclusive photos of the wedding: "And the blushing brides. We have the first pictures of the wedding of Ellen and Portia." Chen began by asking Cagle: "Tell us all about the wedding, starting with what they wore, who wore what?" She later asked: "Alright, rings? What was the ceremony like? Was there a ring exchange? What do we know?" When Cagle replied: "And they exchanged just vows that they had written themselves. And Wayne Dire, the author of the inspirational books, was actually there to officiate the ceremony." Chen responded "How nice."

While Smith’s segment on teachers carrying guns featured a debate among guests, Chen’s segment on same-sex marriage featured no debate. An objective journalist might wonder what DeGeneres and de Rossi will do if gay marriage in California is overturned following a ballot initiative in November, or what impact the marriage may have on DeGeneres’s ratings among Americans who oppose gay marriage.

Instead, Chen concluded the segment by asking Cagle: "In the final seconds, how long ago did they meet and how did they meet?" On June 17, Chen interviewed actor George Takei, who announced his plan to marry his partner, Brad Altman. Chen began: "Gentlemen good morning and congratulations."

Here is the full transcript of the Monday segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: And wedding bells. Comedian and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, ties the knot with her long-time partner. We'll have details about the wedding.

7:14AM TEASER:

CHEN: And Ellen DeGeneres ties the knot with her long-time partner, actress Portia de Rossi. We'll have details of their wedding.

7:20AM TEASER:

CHEN: Up next, Ellen DeGeneres says 'I do' in Beverly Hills.

7:23AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Wedding bells rang this weekend for comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. CBS News correspondent Michelle Gillen has more.

MICHELLE GILLEN: Amidst buzzing paparazzi helicopters, Ellen DeGeneres reportedly married long-time girlfriend Portia de Rossi in Los Angeles. The DeGeneres-de Rossi wedding is perhaps the highest profile same-sex marriage since California legalized such unions just over three months ago.

ELLEN DEGENERES: I'm gay.

GILLEN: In 1997, DeGeneres became the first television star to come out publicly on her sitcom 'The Ellen Show.'

DEGENERES: That felt so great.

GILLEN: She announced her engagement to de Rossi during a taping of her current talk show.

DEGENERES: So I would like to say right now for the first time I am announcing I am getting married.

GILLEN: The intimate ceremony was reportedly attended by 19 guests, including de Rossi's mother, who flew in from Australia, and DeGeneres's mom, Betty. Michelle Gillen, CBS News, New York.

SMITH: The thing I'm curious about, she's been so public about it. Then why would you keep the ceremony so private?

CHEN: So you can sell it to People magazine for $4 million.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

CHEN: I don't know. Just a thought. Well we wish them well.

 

Here is the full transcript of the Tuesday segment:

7:15AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: And the first pictures from the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

7:30AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: And we have the wedding pictures from the marriage of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. That happened over the weekend.

7:36AM TEASER:

CHEN: And the blushing brides. We have the first pictures of the wedding of Ellen and Portia.

7:40AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: Stevie Wonder's 'Ribbon in The Sky' is the favorite song of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi and they danced to it at their wedding over the weekend. And these are the first wedding photos. Joining us is Jess Cagle, People magazine executive editor and Early Show entertainment contributor. Jess, good morning.

JESS CAGLE: Good morning, Julie.

CHEN: Tell us all about the wedding, starting with what they wore, who wore what?

CAGLE: Okay. Let me set the scene for you.

CHEN: Yes, please.

CAGLE: Very intimate, very candle lit, very small wedding at their home in Beverly Hills, which is this great, kind of modern house, but it's very warm and cozy. They had about 19 guests and they were all sitting around the den on Saturday night and there were candles all around. Ellen and Portia came down and they were both wearing Zac Posen designs that he had designed just for them. And Ellen, as you can see, wore pants, as always, but then a kind of feminine top to it. And Portia Derossi wore this amazing backless gown that almost looks like a wedding dress, but not quite.

CHEN: It does. Oh it totally does, I mean it looks gorgeous. Alright, rings? What was the ceremony like? Was there a ring exchange? What do we know?

CAGLE: They had wedding bands. Now, the big ring Portia got when they got engaged, which was this three carat Neil Lang sparkler. But at the ceremony, they sat on pillows, along with everybody else in the den, there were 19 guests. And they exchanged just vows that they had written themselves. And Wayne Dire, the author of the inspirational books, was actually there to officiate the ceremony.

CHEN: How nice. Do we know who was on the guest list of 19 guests at all?

CAGLE: It was all friends and family. All friends and family. It was originally planned to be a much bigger wedding. And somebody described it as 'it was going to look like the front row of the Oscars.' Because you know, Ellen and Portia know everybody in Hollywood and everybody likes them. It would have been a very cool wedding to go to.

CHEN: In the final seconds, how long ago did they meet and how did they meet?

CAGLE: They met in 2004, that's when they started dating. But they met years and years before that when Portia de Rossi was still doing Alli Mcbeal. And just Portia said she was not ready to live as an openly gay woman. Once they met again in 2004, Portia said: 'I'm not going to let this opportunity pass me by twice.'

CHEN: Alright, Jess Cagle, thanks so much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC