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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 19, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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missionary ce arary kenneth bay been held in north korea 13 months, serving a hard-labor sentence there. let's see if he can bring kenneth bay out of north korea. tats it for me. thank you for watching. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." "newsroom" continues right now with brooke baldwin. great to be with you on this thursday. i'm brooke baldwin. and we today are talking about this popular tv star put on ice for these controversial comments he has made about race, about religion, about sexual orientation. it has everyone talking today. and tweeting. and posting. and fighting over this, really. so for the next hour right here on the show, we're having a debate on political correctness in america. let's talk about exactly where the line is drawn. what should happen when it's crossed. so first, the backstory here. you have the patriarch of this
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entire family on the hit reality show, i'm talking 14 million viewers a week. "duck dynasty" gets a little too real in this magazine, gq magazine. gets put on indefinite hiatus by a&e network. if you're not one of the 14 million viewers who tune in to "duck dynasty" you may have no clue who phil robertson is. this is a rap video put together as a promo for the show. >> cell phones. no internet. no. nintendo, no. move on, nerds. cell phones. >> so this guy, phil robertson, he has raked in a fortune making duck calls. ergo duck dynasty. started out in a shed in louisiana. now he's being called out for these comments he made to "gq."
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everyone is chiming in on this. you're hearing from the likes of sarah palin, ted cruz, bobby jindal here. we'll get to all of this this hour. first, here is nischelle turner just to set this up. she gets into the nitty-gritty of this controversy that has this duck under fire. >> the patriarch of the hit reality tv show "duck dynasty" sounded off. >> happiness is killing things. >> but he turned the target on himself. on wednesday, a&e suspended phil robertson, founder of the duck commander company and head of the back woods louisiana family from filming indefinitely for the controversial anti-gay statements he made in an interview with "gq" magazine. in the article he said, quote, it's not logical, my man. it's just not logical. he goes on to explain what he finds sinful saying, start with homosexual behavior and mofr out
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from there, beastality, sleeping around with that woman and that woman and those men, robertson said. he then refers to a bible passage saying don't be decei deceived. neither the adulterers, the p t prostitutes, they won't inherit the kingdom of god. don't deceive yourselves, it's not right. his words angering gay rights activists. >> i was shocked and appalled, actually, that someone on a&e's highest rated show would say something along the lines of comparing homosexualty to beastality among other things. >> they're known for preaching their christian beliefs, telling "gq" quote, they're bible thumpers who just happened to end up on tv. but they say along with the limelight comes the responsibility. >> we have the right to turn off
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our televisions when you say something that offends us and people we love. >> robertson released this statement, saying i would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they're different from me. we're all created by the all mighty and like him, i love all of humanity. we would all be better off if we loved god and loved each other. >> so a debate rages on today. should phil robertson get booted for his comments or not? let's talk about this with our own don lemon joining me in new york. hello, my friend. >> how are you? >> good, also ben ferguson and ben lamont hill. welcome, gentlemen, to every one of you. each of you has an opinion. don lemon, since you're next to me, let's begin roun robin like. how you all feel, your reaction to the "gq" article, i read all seven pages to get the full picture. you begin. >> listen, i don't condone what he says, i don't agree with any he says, but i'm shocked people
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are shocked he said it. having grown up in louisiana, i always heard people talk like that. if you listen to fundamentalist christians, not all, but many of them, they say the exact same things. they use the same bible verses he used, not only to subject women, but to enslave african-americans and also to keep african-americans segregated for jim crow. >> i'm not seeing a don lemon shock face. >> i'm not shocked by it. you know, hey, listen, i think freedom of speech, what he said was wrong. >> okay, coming back to you. mark lamont hill to you, next, because you're saying the whole show should be yanked. is that correct? >> not necessarily the whole show, but certainly if they were to hold on to him, i would say let's yank the show. my bigger point is it's a tightrope we're constantly walking between allowing people to have freedom of speech, allowing people to articulate things that are unpopular. god knows i say things that are
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unpopular, ben ferguson says things that are extremely unpopular. >> don't leave me out, marc. >> don, you go without saying. the point is, you know, just because we're saying someone should be taken off a show, doesn't mean we're trying to compromise freedom of speech. we're saying you can say that ridiculous thing, but we as a marketplace say we don't want to be a part of it. i don't want to stand next to somebody who represents ideals we think are not in the interest of our business. that's the point here. corporations don't have feelings. they have interests. the truth is in the long game, they would be compromised by standing next to him, so the market is winning. this isn't a compromise of free speech. this is the free market everyone wants. >> so i'm hearing you clearly. if a&e ultimately decides, we don't know what the motion of him being suspended means at the moment. >> yes, we do. >> hang on. we actually don't, at least according to a&e at the moment. if they don't ultimately pull him, you're saying the show,
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you're saying you absolutely wouldn't be watching this, yes? >> absolutely. because they're making a chose to side with homophobia. >> ben ferguson, what are your thoughts, my friend? >> first of all, i don't think they're worried about marc lamont, losing his viewership, because he wasn't going to be watching this in the first place. >> tushy. >> when i look at the article and every page of it, to me, it brought to light something a little different. i think there was an aspect of the article that was a hit piece. there was some mocking of faith and christianity in the article as well. i would have loved to have been there and seen the whole day and interaction because what you see here is a guy who said something that was very politically incorrect, not the way it should have been said. at the same time, i don't like how people reacting, implying things he didn't say. for example, there's a big article that he said in this article that he believes all gays go to hell. that's not what he said in the article. i want to make sure we make it
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clear. he said sins make you go to hell if you don't believe in god. he listed a bunch of sins. he didn't say if you do x, y, z, automatically you're going to hell. i hate how people turn this into their own agenda. again, i think he said it the wrong way, and i don't think most christians would say it the way he did say it. growing up in the south, i didn't hear the conversation don lemon says he hears every day. >> you can't hide behind christianity, you can't height behind the bible, behind jesus and god. >> i'm not hiding behind it. >> i'm not talking about you. you in general. the understood you. you can't hide behind it and be bigoted behind it. when people say i'm not racist, i'm not this, i'm not bigoted, sometimes they're unaware of it. this man is obviously unaware of his bigotry, and he's using christianity as a cover, a shield. >> let me get back to the freedom of speech.
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a lot of people are making this argument. let me quote sarah palin, for example. if we have the picture, throw the picture up. here she was with her friends, the duck dynasty. and she said this. free speech is an endangered spieshacies, those intallerants, hating, and taking on the duck dynasty patriarch for voicing his opinion are taking on all of us. here's what i pose to any three of you all, because lets remember sarah palin not too long ago called out martin bashir because of his crude remarks, said he should be fired. we now know he's no longer with that cable network, but now she says freedom of speech when it comes to this particular article. and the remarks made on behalf of this man. is that fair? >> not only that, people were calling for the firing of martin bashir. and listen, i don't think martin bashir nor alec baldwin nor phil robertson nor paula deen, i don't think any should be fired. i agree in part with what sarah palin is saying.
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yes, free speech is under attack. how much free speech do we have? it's only free speech until someone says something you don't like. then it's no longer free speech anyone. >> go ahead, ben. jump in. >> i think there's another side of this, though. you have a guy doing an interview. i encourage everyone watching to read the article because no one is even looking at the bias of the article and how the argument was laid out. you have a guy that obviously has disdain for faith and christianity. you can see it in just the cuss words he uses to mock the ideas of "duck dynasty" and the world it is. so look at the contempt that the article had for faith and christianity. and then ask yourself -- >> listen, we would love to talk to drew. we would love to talk to drew mcgarry. i thought he was an incredible writer and puts it out there very early on, and uses some language himself. i know what you're talking about. you have to read the whole piece. he's very clear and in some
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parts transparent, the background he's coming from. i think the transparency is there. because he's not sitting there, i want to defend him. >> he said, listen, i didn't want to be rude to this guy because i was an invited guest in his home. i didn't want to fight with him. he said he's talking about the japanese starting wars and islam, and all those things, and saying without jesus christ, look where other countries and cultures have gone and the bloodshed they had. he forgets even in the name of christ, there has been a lot of blood shed in the name of christ. that's not mocking christianity. that's just fact, ben. >> i'm looking specifically -- >> go ahead, marc first. >> he's mocking a very narrow world view and a very myopic understanding of christianity that allows you as an excuse to be homophobic, racist,
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massageni massagenistic, but i i have to disagree with don's assertion that we all love free speech until it offends us. that's true, but what is not true is there's a compromise of freedom of speech when people say things we don't like. by that logic, no one could say anything that was fireable because we always have the banner of free speech. this is a free market. networks have a right to say we don't want to employ someone who doesn't represent our vision or view or the spirit of our product. if someone is viciously homophobic, i have the right to say if you said those things. >> you said the right thing. you said if someone is viciously homophobic. he did not say it on the air, on his show. he did not say all gays should be killed or all black people should be killed. >> but it was a national magazine. >> that's what he believes. >> marc, this is where i think -- let me say this. this is where i think don and i actually have an agreement on an idea. that is this. if you come into an interview and he sits down, he talks, and
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he says this is what i think is the problems of the world, is all of these different things in sin. people go against the word, and i think they should all come to know christ. therefore, we would all get along better, then the reality is, look at the people today that are attacking him, and they want to destroy everyone associated with the show. they want to destroy his entire family. they want to make them all into these people who literally want to destroy and kill gay people, which is not what he said. don and i agree on that. >> let me say this. listen, there's a lot of hypocrisy going on. i don't agree with anything he said. i want to make sure people understand that, but there's a lot of hypocrisy going on. the same people defending people on other networks saying blank sucking and saying someone should defecate in their mouth, he didn't say anything like that. he's quoting the bible and his beliefs. many people were defending other
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people, and now they won't defend him. that's hypocrisy. >> let me get all of you to stand by. coming up, a lot of the a&e critics are saying this is an attack on christianity. does it put a spotlight on the internal battle of homosexuals and hear from christian celebrities who feel like phil robertson. this is a cnn special discussion. stay right here. ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit airoptix.com for safety information and a free one-month trial. [ chicken caws ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums!
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rough and dry. along came gold bond, rich, absorbs quickly. legs look healed, healthy. gold bond. ultimate lotion, ultimate skin. you know, part of inlure of the show "duck dynasty" is in fact the faith of the robertson family. they are unabashedly christian, and while a&e has distanced itself from phil robertson's
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personal views, some of his beliefs about sin are widely held across the country, and some critics accuse the network of declaring war on christian values. you have a piece today by conservative writer and radio host. a&e is apparently run by a bunch of anti-christian bigots. "duck dynasty" worships god. a&e worships glaad. if phil had been twerking with a duck, the network probably would have given him a contract extension. but because he esspouses a view held by many christians, he's silenced. and then there's this. >> i think that suggesting that people who hold to what every branch of the christian faith has held to for 2,000 years are somehow bigoted or hateful is not productive for speech. >> clearly, especially the last year or so, this clash between homosexuality and religion is becoming more played out publicly.
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just last week, we talked about it on the show. gay rights magazine the advocate has named pope francis person of the year. he said, who am i to judge. keep in mind, when not taping "duck dynasty," they tour the country, they host bible studies. they say they're christianed before they're reality tv stars, but can they really be both? phil robertson, if you read this whole article in "gq." he told the writer, we're bible thumpers who just happened to end up on television. let me open up this discussion here to we have wilson cruz, the national spokesperson for glaad, and al molar. both of you, welcome. i'm glad to have both perspectives. al, i would love to begin with you. i presume you have read the articles and the comments that's phil made to "gq." do you agree that this is crude, this is hateful stuff?
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>> well, i think you have to divide the issue between what he said and exactly how he said it. i wouldn't have put it exactly how he put it. i wouldn't have been so anatomical. but in terms of his affirmation of the historic christian understanding of sin and homosexuality, he was answering a question he was asked and did so in a way in terms of its substance was unquestionably faithful to the scripture and faithful to what christians around the world believe right now and what virtually all krishzs throughout the history of the christian church have believed until this moment and continuing. i want to speak up and say i wouldn't have said it the way he said it, but what he said, what is causing the offense is classic christianity. >> he has every right to believe what he wants to believe, but do you believe that he chose the right venue to speak in the way he did? this national magazine, "gq." >> well, i have written about that, and i think we as christians have to be very
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careful about the particular forums we choose to express ourselves in. i would have grave concerns about this kind of an interview, this kind of article in a magazine like "gq" because quite frankly, i would know what they're looking for is the kind of scandal or the kind of controversy, the kind of conversation we're having about it right now, so score one for the magazine. they got what they wanted. and it should be a kind of lesson for all christians in this context. >> wilson, as the national spokesperson for glaad, i can only imagine, and i have seen you all over our air. i know how you feel about the words this man chose, but how would you respond to what al just said? >> well, i would say that not all christians are supporting the views of phil robertson. there are many christians, more and more christians, actually, who support lgbt people and their families because they have lgbt people in their families. they know lgbt people. i invite al, i invite mr
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mr. robertson to actually know us in our lives and our families and to actually meet young people who are now discovering their are and accepting they are lgbt and how these statements affect them and their lives. i'm really concerned about the fact people will take these statements and actually use them as an excuse to act violence upon lgbt people. we see it all the time. that's what i'm really worried about. >> to your point, let me quote this writer again, this conservative writer, because in the piece he said if you thought feathered got ruffled over chick-fil-a wait until "duck dynasty" fans tyke tattoo stree take to the streets. i am one of those fans. al, what would your message be to those fans who, there's a hashtag going around on twitter #standbyphil. this could further galvanize this group. what would your message be to
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them? >> my message would be not only to them but to anyone listening, including those who are the producers and the owners, the executives of television networks and all the rest, realize that part of the reason why so many millions of americans love "duck dynasty," it has little to do with ducks and everything to do with the christian life, the family life, the wholesomeness of the program and the fact quite frankly it's a picture of family life you don't get almost anywhere else in television. that's why there's so much attention, and there's a depiction of a healthy biblical christianity in the family. by the way, i'm going to defend phil on this very clearly. he put his comments in the context of the gospel. he was doing exactly what a christian should do. all throughout that article, and by the way, the "gq" article is very clear. his concern is to help people to know their need for christ and turn to christ, believe in christ, and find salvation in
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christ. when he was talking about the list of sins, he wasn't comparing one thing to another. he was doing what the bible does repeatedly, put out a list of sins that includes all of us for our need for christ. in those sins, phil was clear. he included himself amongst the sinners who need jesus. that's what we all have to do continually. >> i think some of this, this is not news as far as conservative christians feel about homosexuality, but i sat here for this hour and i started to think about just having a front row to history the last year, and you think about what happened with doma. i think even new mexico is the latest state to support same-sex marriage as of today. you have the pope, you know, saying he wouldn't judge those. you have president obama and his evolving stance on same-sex marriage. wilson, to you, i guess my point is more of a point and less of a question, but it seems like this is bringing up an old fight in a very new way. >> i'm sorry, i lost sound.
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>> wilson, can you hear me? >> can you repeat the question? >> yes, my point is i just feel like this isn't necessarily news the way conservative christians and the stance of homosexuality. but given different news events in the last year, it seems like this is an old fight, but we're seeing it through a new lens. >> yes. it is a new lens. and the lens is that this country has changed and that most americans are supporting lgbt people and are loving and committed relationships. you know, it is not a christian thing to compare or to include homosexuality in a list that includes beastality or slanderers. that is not what americans think. that's not who we are. if you know us, you know that's not true. so yes, this is an old argument that we've been having, but now more and more americans know who we actually are and they will
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not put up with anyone speaking ill about us. here's the other thing. there was a time in our history when we couldn't actually speak up and say something about how we were being characterized. that is no longer today. when someone speaks about us in these ways, we will rise up. we will speak out. and the problem with some of these people on the other side is that they don't like that anymore. they want us to stay quiet, but we won't stay quiet when someone makes misogynists statements, racist statements the way mr. robertson did. that's not american. that's not christian. >> wilson cruz, thank you. al molar, thank you very much. coming up, moving off that and talking about, isn't the point of this, this is a reality show? to be as outrageous as possible? find out what really happens behind the scenes of the shows and the decisions made to get them on air. plus, we'll take a look at other celebrities whose comments have gotten them in deep, deep
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but hurry, sleep train's interest-free for 3 event ends sunday! superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed! ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching our special discussion on political correctness in america after the suspension of this reality tv star. on average, 14 million people watch each and every episode of "duck dynasty" every week on a&e. if you are one of those people who has never seen the show, take a quick look, but be warned, one of the clips gets a little bloody. >> i got a perfect spot for this. >> this is going to be fun.
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>> now we're working. >> there's our rope swing, boys. >> hit it. >> that's a poodle. >> i know, look at the statue on this thing. he's got killer written all over him. >> fetch it. >> oh, my goodness. >> that dog is going to get that duck. >> well, there goes his wing. the duck's head has now been removed. a little bloody. one, two, three. have you all ever heard of the term, nam? people got shot up, medicals fixing them all up, propped this guy on a tree, a shoulder wound. a tiger grabbed this guy, dragged him off. nothing but blood spraying everywhere. >> i think that will be just
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fine. >> okay, "duck dynasty." reality tv sure has multiplied since ozzy osbourne shuffled across the living room, calling out to his wife sharon. you have housewives, you have honey boo boo, swamp people, kardashians. how do you top outrageous when outrageous is really the name of the game? "showbiz tonight" anchor a.j. hammer is joining me now. 14 million people watch this eke and every week. but reality tv is big busine. >> long gone are the days when network tv shows were the ones pulling in the big numbers. 14 million is beyond what your favorite network, even your favorite network primetime shows are pulling in. that's big bucks because, remember, these shows don't cost a whole lot to produce, don't cost a whole lot for the networks to get on the air. a whole lot of eyeballs coming to the network. you mentioned 14 million for "duck dynasty." still, "real housewives of
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atlanta." very successful with an average of 3.3 million viewers a wiebe. in a show like "duck dynasty," there'sing at stake. if it goes away, it's a big nugget for the network. >> someone sent me a wall mrt page with the comforters, the t-shirts, it's everywhere if you want it. when we say reality tv, a.j., be real with me. how much is really real? >> this is something we have debated ever since reality tv has been on the air. you mentioned the osbournes. by the way, i'm probably going to revisit that and watch the d collection over the holidays because that's a classic show. much of that, and sharon has told me, much was just a camera trained on their family because they're fascinating. i have spoken with virtually all of the housewives, and they'll all tell me a lot of the drama is real based on the personalities, but a lot of the
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situations they're put into, whether it's traveling on the yachts or the amount of alcohol, it's done by producers to create the drama, for sure. >> okay, okay, a.j. hammer, good luck watching the osbournes. loan me the dvd when you're done. >> coming up, we'll talk about the decision to suspend the patriarch of "duck dynasty," phil robertson. how it impacts the show's branding. we'll get down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to pr, whether it will help the audience or maybe that's the start of the slow death of this show. stay right here. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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welcome back to our special discussion. i'm brooke baldwin and we're talking about reality tv star phil robertson, the patriarch of the hit series "duck dynasty." the network suspended him for the graphic, controversial comments he made about gays in the current issue of "gq" magazine, and this move has ignited a firestorm on both sides of the debate about homosexuality and religion. but phil robertson is not the only star to feel the heat from their stepping in it, their controversy comments. look at these faces. mel gibson who was shunned by hollywood for a spell over alleged racist and sexist
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comments. alec baldwin basically lost his cable show after using a homophobic slur against a member of the paparazzi. isaiah washington used the same slur when talking about a co-star. paula deen apologized for using the n-word many years ago, and michael richards had a long time-out after a racist tirade in a show. some of the stars, when you put this in context, they're back in the game. you could argue their stars maybe don't shine quite as brightly. robertson is a staunch christian. this is his on-screen brand, but not all publicity is good publicity. we have brian stelter. woe have entertainment pr and brand specialist marvet, and host of "the 11th hour." don lemon. brian stelter to you, first, i want to begin with a&e. they got on this like, boom, four hours after "gq" and he's
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on hiatus, indefinite hiatus. >> the backlash has been tremendous. i was wondering if a&e would say something new, maybe they would change their stance, defend themselves, but nothing. no comment from a&e. i think they're trying to weather the storm out there on the internet, but i think the robertson family might comment. i'm not sure what they might say. maybe they'll defend their father, say they have a good relationship with a&e. >> i'm going to say they're getting their ducks in a row. >> boom. >> they need to do that. >> the word hiatus. that tells you something. >> how do you make of the fact they jumped on it, so they jumped on it, but then, where do they know from there? >> they jumped on it and now they're recalibrating. assessing the situation to determine what they need to do. remember, this is the highest-rated reality show ever. >> ever. >> so it's not going away. remember, this show is popular for many reasons.
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one of which is honesty and its relatability. relatability translates to commonness, which means there are many people, million that feel the same way phil does. he may not have had to say those words, but it's manifested through his lifestyle, through his beliefs. we have to realize we can't sensor reality. it's called reality television for a reason. i think we're becoming so desensitized to seeing scripted individuals. we have to look at the context. he didn't say it to be harmful or hurtful, like other celebrities. >> although he harmed and hurt some. >> he did, but he was being honest. >> how did he harm and hurt some? >> people are taking great offense. >> i was offended, but it didn't harm or hurt me. yes, i'm offended. i don't think people should use that language. does it affect my personal life? no. does it affect children who might have issues with their sexuality? yes. we should talk about that, but we should bring to light the
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fact we wouldn't be sitting here talking about it if he didn't bring it up. let's look at the positive side instead of saying this man should be fired for speaking his mind. yes, he said something offensive to lots of people, but how did it affect you really? how much influence does this man really have? >> well, 14 million people watch the show each and every week. 14 million people watch it, and it could be more. this whole thing could end up back in the face of the people who are offended because more and more people could be watching, and this could really galvanize a group who says amen, this is exactly how i feel and i'm going to get my friend and my friend watching. >> the new season is a few weeks away. they have already taped those episodes. he'll be on those. and they're going to do more episodes even if he's not on them. there's no doubt, this show isn't going to go away. >> how then would "duck dynasty" pick up? does it matter this is an ensemble cast versus him being a star? when we talk about publicity, how much could it help, how much
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all right, welcome back to the special discussion about all things "duck dynasty," political correctness, whether the show should come back, what it looks like when it comes back without the patriarch based on this fiery "gq" interview. rejoining me, don lemon, m
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marvette. i read an article and this is what he wrote. there are enough of all kinds of fans to make the show a massive cable hit. as long as the subtext was subtext, but with phil doing an interview in a national magazine talking gay people, anuses, damnation, oh, and how the japanese fought us in world war ii because they didn't have jesus, that presents a problem. now you have an issue with those of us who maybe want to watch a family comedy, but polilease, without somebody thumping gay people with a bible or a problem with gay family or friends or, you know, actual gay a&e viewers. does he have a point? >> yes, but that's where it comes in where he says people won't watch anymore. people who feel a commonality with him will stay and watch. and maybe other people will
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watch because of all the attention they're getting here on the news. i think the bigger point in this, when he talks about, you know, when he talked about religion in that piece, i think he mentioned it. that is the most important peg here. is the religious aspect of it, whether or not people use religion as a shield for bigotry or whatever, but there are a lot of people who believe in america, am i wrong? who believe the same thing phil robertson believes. >> and there's a large segment that will hold to those values and the beliefs. he said things that were common to him growing up in louisiana. >> sure. >> they may not be common to someone living in new york, may not be common to someone living elsewhere, but it doesn't mean he should be muted if it's a reality show. >> there are so many christians who disagree with him, absolutely disagree. >> we may be krishzs and not agree with each other. that is the one thing that christians do agree on, is that they won't ever agree, right? that's why you have different religions. different expressions of your
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belief. >> that's a point of religion and god, live and let live. turn the other cheek. you can disagree with someone, but it doesn't mean you have to castigate them or call them names. i'm a christian. i assume you're a christian. i don't believe one word he said. i think people twist the bible and verses and words and scripture into what they want it to be. i think he's doing that, but someone taught him to do that. >> sure. >> so the lesson in all of this is what? how do we get people to understand that that's maybe not what the bible is saying? that's your interpretation of the bible. >> if you disagree, click. >> right. >> there is a choice. >> boom. brian stelter, last word. >> this is the kind of thing that should be on the show. you don't hear the conversations about his christianity on the show the way we saw in "gq." sometimes the best reality shows are the ones that address this subjects. >> you mean the reality shows that are real? >> it doesn't happen often, but maybe it will.
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>> this is pretty real, when they're down in the swamps, that's pretty real to me. >> i have learned a lot. >> don, brian, marvette. thank you. coming up, a man pulls a gun on a seattle bus, and one passenger was not going to take it. we'll show you what he and his fellow riders did next. plus, dennis rodman back in north korea, days after his best buddy kim jong-un executed his uncle, and of course he did. the basketball star has just spoken out. we'll tell you what he's up to, next. keep working, but for himself. so as his financial advisor, i took a look at everything he has. the 401(k). insurance policies. even money he's invested elsewhere. we're building a retirement plan to help him launch a second career. dave's flight school. go dave. when people talk, great things can happen. so start a conversation with an advisor who's fully invested in you. wells fargo advisors.
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together we'll go far.
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welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin. developing right now, markets are treading water after yesterday's huge rally. look at the big board. pretty flat there 24 hours after the dow and s&p 500 closed at record highs. that's after we brought it to you on the show, the news from the fed announcing it was scaling back, just a little bit,
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scaling back the stimulus program. dennis rodman back in north korea today, and he said his trip is about pleasure, not politics. he said he's there to help prepare north korean basketball players for an upcoming exhibition game. his visit comes days after the north korean leader's uncle was executed. >> if he wants to talk about it, great. if it doesn't hatton, i don't want him to think i'm over here trying to be an ambassador and trying to use him, as his friend, and i'm starting to talk about politics. it's not going to be that way. >> this is rodman's third trip to north korea this year. look at this video with me. you'll see a bus passenger slapping a gun away from his face. starts punching this gunman who apparently tried to rob him. the other passengers are getting up, trying to hold the gunman down until police can get inside. the suspect has been charged with robbery.
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and if you recently shopped at targets, heads up today. your credit, your debit card, perhaps, may have been hacked. i'll speak live with a hacker about how this massive breach could have happened. /úññ [ female announcer ] thanks for financing my first car. thanks for giving me your smile. thanks for inspiring me. thanks for showing me my potential. for teaching me not to take life so seriously. thanks for loving me and being my best friend. don't forget to thank those who helped you take charge of your future and got you where you are today. the boss of your life. the chief life officer. ♪
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derrick coleman is living a boy's dream, playing in the nfl for the top team in the league.
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the seattle seahawks. now he didn't start playing football until seventh grade. because his mom really didn't want him to. >> i was just a normal kid, going out there and trying to play football. >> the dream of making it to the pros began in high school. there, he was ranked the number two fullback in the nation by espn. >> i wasn't really thinking about it so much until maybe my senior year. i was just going out there and playing hard. i just wanted to play. >> next stop, ucla, where he was a running back for four years. his college career ended with a degree in political science, and now the 23-year-old is showing his versatility as a fullback for the seahawks. scoring his first touchdown in the pros earlier this month. he's gotten this far with lots of hard work and by overcoming something only two other players in the entire nfl have. he is legally deaf. the result of a rare genetic
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disorder. >> fell off my head when i was three. >> how does he do this? first, he makes no excuses. >> no matter what your issue, that shouldn't stop you from doing what you want to do. you can always find a way. >> his skull cap keeps his hearing aids in place. and -- >> i can read lips. when i can't hear something, i'll always go and make sure i'm looking at the person. the person who i know is the quarterback or whoever, they look at me. i was basically just like all of you guys. >> off the field, coleman tries to make time to speak to deaf and hard of hearing children to offer words of encouragement, especially for those who may be struggling. >> don't let your hearing being an excuse for not wanting to go for your dream, whatever your dream is. successful people, in my opinion, they always find a way. if you want to be successful, you have to find a way. >> dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting.
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i'm brooke baldwin. we continue on, hour two. thanks for being with me today. this is a huge, huge deal. if you have been shopping at a target store lately, keep a very close eye on your credit card or debit card statements because someone hacked target. of all places, huge, huge chain store right there, at the little swipe machine by the register. at risk, 40 million accounts. stolen. names, card numbers, expiration dates, and those three or four digit security codes. target says the problem that allowed the security breach has been fixed. it brought in this outside forensics team to investigate. secret service is on the case as well. but you should be concerned if you used a debit or credit card in a target store. let's be precise here, between right around thanksgiving, between november 27th and december 15th. shoppers on target's website are not affected. so this is in-store shopping i'm talking about. target's ceo saying this,
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target's first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue so guests can shop with confidence. but target does advise, you need to check your account statement for any unusual activity, notify your bank or your credit card issuer if you find anything out of the ordinary. one of the big questions today is how the heck did these hackers pull it off at a store as massive as target? jason glass brg is an ethical hacker. so jason, when i read this this morning, my goodness, have i shopped at target during this time? eve eve everyone shops at target. how did they pull this off? >> it's a very interesting, audacious attack. normally we're accustomed to hearing these happening over the web with some flaw on the website. what makes this interesting is they went after the point of sale machines, the stripe readers. the fact they were able to get
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so many cards so quickly points to the fact that they must have figured some way of compromising the central control system of these card readers and pushed down some kind of malicious code that would allow them to communicate the numbers back as they were being, you know, scanned from the cards. very interesting attack. >> so the way in which they attacked, just going forward, is there anything i or anyone else can do? because i am swiping my credit card all the time, and it makes me wonder, is there anything i can do to protect myself the next time i swipe? >> well, you know, you can and you can't. the problem is, this is really -- >> i don't know if i like that answer, jason. >> you know, what are you going to do? you're going in good faith, swiping your card. there's not much you can do once you have swiped the card. the deal is done. one of the things you can do and we often recommend is you silo the use of the credit cards. use them for specific purposes.
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maybe you have one you use for holiday shopping, only one for business travel, only one maybe you go out to eat only, and it makes it easier to track purchases on those cards. really the only thing you can do at that point is monitor your credit card activity on your statements. >> i have several friends who have been skimmed, i guess, put the skimmers in the machine recently. it's like these days, people are getting very creative. jason, thank you very much. >> thank you. and now to a story that cnn for months and months has pushed for answers. the mysterious death of georgia teenager kendrick johnson. found dead in a rolled up gym mat at his high school, almost a year ago now. officials ruled johnson's death an accident, but his parents all along have maintained their son was murdered. and now a major development that we have been waiting for involving this surveillance footage that may show how kendrick johnson died. i want to bring in cnn's victor
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blackwell who joins me in atlanta. victor has been breaking every development of the story for months. so, you know, we've seen some of the video last month. didn't answer the big question, how did kendrick johnson die? so now the fbi is involved. tell me how. >> brooke, cnn has learned from a source with knowledge of the investigation surrounding the hard drives that the fbi, fbi agents will be at lowndes high school, likely today, to seize the hard drives from the surveillance system at lowndes high school, potentially to get the video from the day that kendrick johnson died and the following day when his body was found. this is the result, we have also learned from the source, of a grand jury subpoena issued by u.s. attorney michael moore in georgia who is investigating the case. as you mentioned, this is to find out exactly how he died. you know, there is the video that we received from the sheriff's office that left so many questions for the family, for the johnsons. they want to know essentially did all of the video that was recorded at the school make it to the sheriff's office?
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the fbi now is going to take control of those hard drives to try to get an answer to that question. >> well, i'm remembering from your previous reporting, there were crucial pieces of the video that were just missing. so i'm wondering, will these hard drives, will they explain how this teenager died? >> maybe is the answer. you mentioned video that's potentially missing. that hour in the gym where kendrick johnson's body was found. when we know there was activity, no recording there. it depends upon several variables here. one of the most important is the cycle in which this system is set to record over old information. some are set at a week, two weeks, maybe 30 days. we know that the original hard drives were requested more than 45 days after kendrick johnson disappeared to be pulled from the system, so quite possibly, that video from the original system has been already recorded over, brooke. >> victor blackwell, we'll check back in and see what you learn
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from the fbi today. thank you so much. >> sure. happening right now, florida authorities announcing new arrests in the case of some florida inmates who gained their freedom by gaming the system. prison officials say joseph jenkins and charles walker used fake release documents with forged signatures. you remember this? jenkins was first to escape back in late september, but within a month, both of these men were captured, and now investigators will reveal who helped them. nick valencia broke the developments in this one for us. he joins me live. nick, what do you know about the arrests? >> i just got off the phone with the florida department of law enforcement. we're expecting to hear from the commissioner, jerry bailey, in this investigation. he's expected to announce six arrests, broox, related to the inmate escape scheme. they include jenkins and walker. we first reported the story back in october.
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we uncovered in our reporting, according to the florida department of law enforcement, a so-called cottage industry of these fraudulent documents used in prison systems all throughout the state of florida. >> i remember at the time when wi were talking about it, whether there was questioning whether these guys had inside help in terms of the arrests. do we know if any prison officials will be arrested? >> that's right, a lot of initial speculation is this was an inside job. at this point, there are no officials implicated in the arrest. i asked if that means officials have been entirely cleared in this investigation. they said there is a possibility that more arrests in addition to the six announced today, there's a possibility that more arrests could be announced down the road. that could include officials, brooke. >> nick, thank you. >> you bet. coming up, ice skater brian boitano makes a candid announcement about his sexuality. we'll tell you what he said and why now. plus, the super bowl may be played on saturday? or a monday? that is ahead.
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also, actor sean penn says he is with an american businessman who just escaped bolivia and the government down there, furious. stay right here. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she?
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>> he arrived in the united states monday morning. >> but how the american businessman returned to the u.s. is still a mystery. he was arrested in june 2011 in bolivia where he was managing a rice business and accused of laundering drug money. in a cnn interview in may of 2012, his wife said the family was puzzled and dismayed by the accusations. >> the worst part is that he's an innocent man. he didn't do anything wrong, and he proved that innocence in a court of law. >> last december, after spending 18 months in prison without being charged and with his health failing, he was put under house arrest. in an interview with cnn, he strongly denied the charges. >> the reason they're putting me in jail is because my associate in switzerland is wanted for narco trafficking. and they have the evidence without the judge ever seeing any evidence. >> actor sean penn who took up the cost of his freedom traveled
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to bolivia a year ago and met with the president. >> we're very honored and grateful. that president morales has received us. >> penn told the associated press he was extracted from the south america country in a humanitarian operation to free him from the corrupt prosecution and imprisonment he was suffering in bolivia. the state department denied the u.s. government anything to do with his escape. >> i'm not aware of any involvement. obviously, we have been trying to get him consular access since his arrest in june 2011. we attended all his court hearings. >> raphael romo, let me bring you in here. we heard the u.s. denying they had a thing to do with this escape. there are reports out there that sean penn himself may have been involved. what do you know about their relationship? >> it goes back more than a year. sean penn personally went to
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bolivia last december. he met with astriker. he met with his wife. he also testified in congress to try to put pressure on the american government to do something about it, to be more involved in trying to liberate him. so he's been instrumental in trying to get him out of bolivia from the beginning. >> do you have any indication as to where this man is right this moment? >> not clearly, but bolivians are saying he took a flight from peru to los angeles. he lived in new york before he was detained in bolivia. and has family in new jersey, but neither sean penn nora striker have been seen publicly since they returned to the united states, brooke. >> okay, rafael romo, thank you very much. coming up here, mitt romney like you have never seen before. netflix has a new documentary with exclusive access to the former presidential candidate, and it shows that very moment he learned he lost the election.
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we'll show that to you. also, super bowl monday? tuesday? why the big game could get a big delay. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too. [ female announcer ] today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everything works like never before. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises.
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to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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personal announcement from one of the athletes appointed by president obama to represent the united states at the winter olympics in sochi, russia. brian boitano saying he is gay. but he is more than that. he released a statement saying this. quote, i am many things. a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an athlete, cook, an
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author, and being gay is just one part of who i am. first and foremost, i am an american athlete and i am proud to live in a country that encouraged diversity, openness, and tolerance. rachel nichols, host of cnn's "unguarded." the man is 50 years of age. he has never been public with this part of his life until now. why now? >> earlier this week, president obama named boitano among a few other athletes to a u.s. deligation of athletes. a few like billie jean king are gay, have been openly gay for some time. there was a lot of discussion about this was in part a statement to the russian government. here's who we're bringing over there. brian boitano, as you know, has never publicly talked about his sexuality, never said if he was gay or not. been asked the question a lot, but hasn't answered it. a lot of newspapers the past few days have been vague, however,
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the san francisco chronicle two days ago printed an article named boitano as one of the gay athletes who would be making a political statement over in russia. >> this is before he came out and said what he did. >> two days ago, so it's unclear. maybe the writer intended to out him. maybe the writer and the editor didn't realize he wasn't out and made a mistake and said that he was before he had pub lackly said he was. but it was out there then. boitano actually lived in san francisco. he grew up in the area. he started getting all kinds of questions and people coming to him. he decided to release this statement. he feels very strongly, this is just one of the things i'm proud of and he wants to be known for the entirety of the person he is. >> this was news today. also news potentially, super bowl sunday could be super bowl monday, could be super bowl tuesday. >> how long will your beer last in the fridge? >> i guess you're hung over at work no matter what, some people.
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>> not anyone here at cnn. >> no. >> this is the deal, we're talking about snow, of course. a new york super bowl. the first time in quite a long time for the modern day nfl to be holding a cold-weather super bowl. >> burr. >> so they have to have contingency plans. the organizers have said if it snows a little bit, it would be great for the game. one organizer called it romantic. >> out there, shirtless, right? fans like cold weather, crazy games. but if it dumps snow, if there are feet and feet of snow, if people can't travel on the roads, they have made contingency plans to hold the day early if a storm is coming or hold the game a day later if the storms are here. i have to point out, they make these contingency plans no matter what. when it's held in southern california, they have an earthquake contingency plan. >> do they? >> here's where and when we can move if we need to. the thing is the earthquake doesn't happen that often. brooke, you have been in new
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york for the past month. how often would you say it snows here? >> once a week. >> they got the plan ready. >> if you're coming this way for the game, be flex nl in your plans. >> kick back. >> thank you very much. unguarded friday nights, 10:30. coming up, if you think you have high blood pressure, good chance you might not after all. dr. sanjay gupta gives his take on the new guidelines. plus, the emotional moment mitt romney finds out he lost the presidential election. but when you watch the clips and we'll show you, they also show this whole other side of the republican. that's next. and it gives you what you are looking for to live a more natural life. in a convenient two bar pack. this is nature valley. nature at its most delicious. [knock] no one was at home, but on the kitchen table sat three insurance policies.
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it's covered by most health plans. who is mitt romney? even after two years of campaigning for president, romney remains really a mystery to a lot of americans, but a documenty next month on netflix reveals the real mitt romney with a behind the scenes look. >> it's a very different setting. any of the debates we have held so far. a dining room conversation is among members of the family. these are members competing for the same job. >> how do we find these things out the day. >> he hates to disappoint. >> are you going to iron on you?
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seriously? >> ouch. >> this may not end well. >> recent poll said 43 pesh of americans are not even sure who you are. >> the flipping mormon. >> maybe you can say more honest, a bit more funny. perhaps more electable. why are so many politicians scared to show a but more candid side of themselves? cnn chief national correspondent john king joins me from washington. i'm sure you saw a lot of that, right, behind the scenes covering that so much as you did? why do you think mitt romney didn't show more of this personal side during the campaign? >> it is a question we've asked so so many candidates. my first campaign was michael dukakis. another former massachusetts governor. a liberal democrat. the knock on him, he was too stiff. what was the knock on mitt romney? he was too stiff. what about al gore? he was too stiff. that's why politicians like bill clinton, like george w. bush, like barack obama, and now we're looking at the rise of chris
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christie. we'll see if there's a fall, but politicians who seem more authentic, anyway. some are acting a bit. that's part of the job performance. governor romney, some is his mormon faith. some of it, forget his faith, he's a reserved, private person. some of it is a lot of these politicians, governor dukakis was the same way. that's my life, this is a serious job. i'm supposed to be serious. like your parish priest on your minister or rabbi. you see him in a barbecue, he's as loose as could be. some politicians can't merge the two. >> seeing teachers wear jeans. don't you remember that back in the day? that seemed odd, right? let me switch topics since i have you. there are two senators proposed sangszs for iran over its nuclear program. didn't we just close a deal over the program? what is this about? >> we did, and that's why the white house was saying it would veto the bill if it watched the white house. let's see if the veto threat holds. there's a lot of bipartisan support for this.
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why is it happening? because of profound skepticism among the left among liberal democrats and the rights that iran can be trusted to keep its word. for some, they say why won't you sign this? it tells the iranians you better comply, you better not stall, because then the sanctions will come back in. but some of it, to be frank, is people who don't drus the administration. they're trying to put pressure on the president. this is a complicated politics issue. the white house said today it would veto it. see if the legislation works through congress, is there a trigger that could be written that is more acceptable to the president. that's a challenge we can watch as we go forward. >> as also, john king, thank you. >> a new report says the federal government is not doing enough to keep our food salmonella free. a scuddy conducted by consumer reports magazine found dangerous bacteria levels in raw chicken. more than 300 store-bought chicken breasts were tested as part of the stud a, and some
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contained bacteria. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta, cnn's chief medical correspondent. i think i just had chicken for lunch. sanjay, is it safe to eat? >> i think the vast majority of people are going to be just fine eating chicken. we eat a lot of chicken in this country and most people don't get sick from it. obviously, a report like this does get a lot of attention. they went out and they tested these samples within grocery stores. and what they found was that about 300 samples, about half of them not only contained bacteria but specifically a bacteria that was resistant to many different types of antibiotics. these are the bad superbugs we talk about, brooke. many of the samples did contain bacteria overall. that was what raised a lot of flags here. keep in mind, again, we eat about 160 million servings of chicken a year in this country and 99.9% of people do not get sick from it. a couple of golden rules. one is the chicken itself, you
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have to be careful not to cross contaminate that with other foods because uncooked chicken could be a source of bacteria. also, you have to cook it to 165 degrees. that's a magic number when it comes to chicken. a lot of people don't use meat thermometers, but if you do that, you essential kill the pathogens and viruses that could make you sick. >> 165, got that. let me ask you this, after 30 years of guidelines on how to prevent high blood pressure, now new guidelines. what were wrong with the old ones? >> this is really interesting. we're seeing lot of changes, lately, as you may have noticed with regards to guidelines of all sorts of different things. this was specifically looking at people over the age of 60. two thirds of them in this country are diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure. a pretty remarkable number. typically, the number that doctors will look for is 140 over 90. if you know your blood pressure, this will make sense to you. if it's over that, they said, you should treat it.
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if it's under that, you're okay. now they're saying in people who are 60 or over, it's okay to be 150 over 90. they didn't find treating it lower than that made a difference in reducing heart attacks or heart disease. you have to be careful with the blood pressure meds, especially in older people. you don't want to lower blood pressure without understanding why you're doing it. can could cause an older person to become dizzy, to fall. they're saying you can loosen up on the blood pressure medications and guidelines for people in that age range, over 60. >> from talking about blood pressure and chicken, you have a show on the weekend, sg ph.d.. you're talking to joel osteen. >> we get into this whole intersection between faith and science. something i have been instructed in and something i learned the good pastor has been interested in as well fascinating discussion. also richard blaise.
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you know him? >> yes. >> the charge was this, holiday meals, we know everyone eats a lot of calories quickly this time of year. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> five things we can do that food doesn't taste different, but you get a lot more of the healthy benefits of it. that's what richard will tell us. >> you mean the awesome milk shakes at flip burger does not fall into that category? >> not necessarily going to rem the flip burger, but it's fascinating. there are little thing said you can do in the kitchen. your family won't notice it. it will make a difference in how many calories you take in, and how you feel as well. sick with the bloated feeling, most people don't like that. >> we don't like that at all. sanjay gupta, thank you very much. coming up, the business of buying and selling your personal information. shady characters called data brokers. they round up everything from what you buy at the drugstore to lists of aids patients and rape
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victims, and sell all of that information to the highest bidder. why are they doing this? and really the best question is what can be done to stop them? that's next. sure that it does. using natural gas this power plant can produce enough energy for about 600,000 homes. generating electricity that's cleaner and reliable, with fewer emissions-- it matters. ♪
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information to marketers. listen to one privacy expert at a senate hearing on this very issue. >> the data broker industry as it is today does not have constraints and does not have shame. it will sell any information about any person, regardless of sensitivity, for 7.9 cents a name. which is the price of a list of rape sufferers which was recently sold. >> rape sufferers. with me now, cnn legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, sunny hostin, and zain asher. we heard the woman there. rape victims. what other lists, what other groups of people are these datda brokers selling their information? >> brooke, the lists are hugely troubling. it's not just lists of rape victims as you mentioned, but
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lists of seniors suffering from dementia, lists of people suffering from aids. police officers' home addresses, that kind of thing. as she mentioned, the data brokers take the lists, sell it to marketers for a few cents per name, but still a $150 billion industry, so there is clearly money to be made. also in terms of how they get access to the data. you think about it. everybody has an online presence to some degree. when you take an online survey to get a discount, that's one way. loyalty cards, warranty programs, shopping online, buying over th koune counter prescriptions. the most important thing is you have to be very careful and sort of, when you subscribe to anything online, make sure you read the fine print. that's crucial. a lot of people don't do it. >> how does this industry explain this? how do they defend this? >> right, well the director of marketing association says they don't compile these lists very often. but they say, listen, they sort of recognize that it's wrong to sort of exploit people or
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characterize people in certain ways, but they have a statement in to us. they say, and i'm quoting here, we recognize there are lists being used to disparage certain groups and that's not something that the dma or the direct marketing association supports. they also say they use these lists to create general profiles about what people like. whether you're into traveling or sports, that kind of thing. sort of they say harmless things. also, consumers do have the right to opt out as well. they make that point, too. brooke? >> thank you. so sunny, they say harmless things. you look at the list of people whose information is mined, it's mind-boggling. >> our information as well. >> we all leave imprints online. >> i have to tell you, i spent a lot of the afternoon just researching what can a consumer do legally. >> to protect yourself. >> i don't think there's much you can do. like zain mentioned, yes, you can opt out, but you can only opt out if you know which lists you're on. unfortunately, we don't know. there's no centralized database
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i could find that lists all the information a data broker has access to. i think at this point, this is something that really needs to -- i guess, take the form of legislative action, much in the way we have seen with credit reporting agencies and that sort of thing. i think that's where it's going, but right now, there's not much you can do. not much protection. federal law protects some of your medical records, but we know they have gotten access to some of that information. we know that your credit report, you have access to that, and you can certainly look online and make edits and changes if there's misinformation out there. but in terms of this particular situation, i felt like i was back in law school. i couldn't find anything. i'm a pretty decent researcher. >> not often sunny hostin says i can't help you. thank you. thanks for trying. zain asher, thanks to you as well. >> we all got the red memo. >> we did. >> coming up here, dennis rodman is back in north korea. he says he is there to train a basketball team, but really?
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call: now. why wait? got some breaking news just now coming in to us from london. specifically if you have ever been to the apollo theater in the city's west end this time of year, a lot of people on holiday, taking in the theater. here's what we know. there has been some sort of balcony collapse. a rescue operation is under way right now after a part of the balcony in this theater has collapsed. this happened midperformance. so think about it. it's 8:45 over there right now. play started probably 45 or so
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minutes ago. police confirm they were called to the theater. shortly after 8:15. about a half hour ago, police were called in. this is what a spokesman said. i'm quoting from my e-mail. there's a report of a collapse in the building itself. it is believed that some people may have been injured in the collapse which occurred during the performance. this is what is onstage, the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. eye witnesses there at the apollo theater in the west end of london said they saw people being escorted out of the building cover eed in dust and debris. imagine, what is it? thursday evening in london. people are there to take in some theater. and it is -- it's incredibly frightening as part of this balcony inside the apollo theater has collapsed. i don't know how many people, if it was a full theater, how many people would have been on the balcony, but people on the
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balcony, sitting below the balcony, watching the theater, and the balcony collapses. we're working to get more information. as soon as we get that, as soon as we have a reporter live in london who can fill us in on what they know, we're going to bring it to you live on cnn. let's move along, talk about north korea. former nba bad boy turned surprised geopolitical figure, dennis rodman back in korea. this one week after the dictator there executed his uncle by firing squad. which brings me to jake tapper. jake tapper, host of "the lead," and you talked to former ambassador christopher hill today about what should we call them? the adventures of dennis rodman in north korea? what did he say? >> i guess it's his third trip to north korea. i asked chris hill, former ambassador, what he thinks. can this actually achieve anything? a u.s. citizen held captive there. obviously, kim jong-un and his
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country have been belligerent, bellicose to south korea. they shot a south korean ship, shelled a south korean island. what can he actually do? not to mention the nuclear weapons program. >> not to mention. >> he thought it was a double-edged sword. on one level, it's possible that going there could achieve something, but jegenerally speaking, this tends to serve the interests of the north korean government. one thing that a former ambassador and governor bill richardson has suggested that rodman could come back and tell the government officials what he has seen, but he poured cold water on that saying he didn't think rodman would brief state official -- >> kill my mike. >> hello?
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anyway, of course the big question right now -- >> i'm sorry, tapper. i had to cough. i'm fighting a cold. forgive me. not beautiful. >> that must have been quite a hairball you had in there. then the last issue, of course, you threw me a little with that, i have to say. the last issue, of course, is this u.s. citizen who is being held captive but what's interesting about kenneth bae is that rodman said at the end, after he got back from his last trip, that it wasn't his responsibility to ask about kenneth bae. bae's sister has pleaded with rodman to beg for her brother's release, but apparently that's not in the cards. rodman said don't ask me about that, ask barack obama, ask hillary clinton, ask those blank-holes. i guess he's not really in the hostage rescuing business these days. >> wow. >> hard to really look at these trips as anything other than publicity stunts at this point, although i guess there's always the possibility that they could achieve something some day. >> okay. jake tapper, we will look for more of the chris hill interview. forgive me. >> they have water in atlanta,
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right? >> i'm in new york and i just got handed some tea. they're good like that. tapper, cheers. cheers, my friend. thank you. we'll look for you at the top of the hour. we'll have much more on the breaking news when we come back. i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! [ female announcer ] symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk
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all right. back to our breaking news here out of london. we're getting a little more information. we've got a reporter who will pop up in a matter of minutes here but let me just, if you are just now joining us, you're looking at pictures. this is the city of london. on the left side of your screen is the dot for the apollo theater. we are learning that within this meter in the west end, keep in mind it's just about 9:00 london time, there has been what we have been reporting and here are pictures of the theater, we have been reporting a balcony collapse. we're hearing more specifically that this was a ceiling collapse during a performance of the play entitled "the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime" so midperformance collapse. eyewitnesses reporting people were walking out of this theater just covered in dust and the new bit of information that i'm reporting now is that london emergency crews as we know, of course they're on the scene responding, they are saying, police are saying they have reports of multiple casualties,
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multiple casualties as a result of this ceiling collapse at the apollo theater there in london. we are making calls, we are awaiting more information from this reporter, but police have confirmed they were called to the theater just about an hour ago, right around 8:15 london time. this theater is believed -- it is believed that some people, now we know casualties. initial reports that there were injuries, now we know casualties. erin mcloughlin is live for us in london. tell me what you know. >> reporter: hi, brooke. we're still getting details as to what exactly transpired around 45 minutes ago in london's west end. the british press association reporting that a part of a balcony at the apollo theater in london's west end collapsed during a performance of "the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime."
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the london metropolitan police tweeting that they have been called to the apollo theater because of reports of a theater collapse. eyewitnesses, according to the british press association, is reporting that people have been trapped inside but we are still getting more information about exactly what transpired in london's west end this evening. >> i believe i have been to the apollo theater a number of years ago to see "starlight express." it's in a popular area, a theater district, if you will, of london. if you can just tell me, here we are, london, beautiful time of year, around the christmas season, lot of people there, it's thursday night at the theater. do we know if this was a packed crowd? >> reporter: not clear from the reports i've seen so far, but you're right. this is a very busy time period here in london on the west end. it's also home to a very bustling shopping district so people flock to london during
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this time not just for these performances but also for the christmas shopping. incredibly congested area of london, no doubt. theater goers most likely terrified at the sight of something like this happening. very unexpected here on a thursday night in london. >> just looking down at my notes, stay with me, apollo theater seats more than 775 people so pretty sizeable theater here. more than four levels. it's historic, it opened back in 1901. so four levels. there was initial confusion whether or not it was the ceiling or a balcony. forgive me if you mentioned this off the top, but do we know definitively what it was? >> reporter: at this point, authorities aren't -- they're simply not saying. we are still trying to piece information, we have the press association reporting that it was a balcony but that according to eyewitnesses so we're still waiting to hear from official
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sources. >> you have to wonder, a theater of this size, whether or not it was packed or not. if we're talking 775 people and you have -- if it was a balcony coming down, you have rescue teams on the scene presumably there are people trapped inside this theater while we speak. >> reporter: absolutely. and that again is what the british press association is reporting at this time. so a lot of terrified theater goers in london tonight but again, authorities still most likely themselves trying to piece together what exactly happened. >> erin mcloughlin, i will let you go so you can do some news gathering. we are coming up to the end of my program. but this happening, according to london metropolitan police, around 8:15 at night. again, that was just about 45 minutes ago at the apollo theater during this performance, presumably just after the performance began, as theater typically starts right around 8:00. it was "the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime" and
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police are now confirming there are multiple casualties as a result of this balcony or ceiling collapse in the apollo theater. stay with cnn. we'll be all over the breaking news. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. see you back at 11:30 eastern, 8:30 pacific. now to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. breaking news out of london. police say that they are sending squads to a theater in london where there are multiple casualties. more on that coming up. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. breaking this afternoon, eight federal inmates all convicted of crack cocaine offenses, president obama's putting them back on the street because he says the punishment far outweighed their crimes. do you agree? also in national news, we are well into the backlash against the backlash against the star of a & e's smash hit reality show "duck

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