tv Starting Point CNN May 3, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
when he won the white house. "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. in two hours, we'll get an inside look into the mind of osama bin laden and some of the big terror attacks that he was planning. that's when some of those 6,000 pages of documents that were seized during the raid on his hideout in pakistan a year ago will be released to the public online. it includes digital, audio, video files, printed materials, handwritten documents and recording devices. peter bergen has a new book out called "manhunt" and he is one of the few people outside of the government that's seen these documents. what sticks out to you? >> u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s recovered a great deal of material. not all of it will be published today, in fact. a fraction of it. some of it is household stuff. but the things that leaked out of the documents that i was able to review, first of all, bin
laden was quite conscious of al qaeda as a brand had suffered. he told them not to use al qaeda, you're going to draw too much negative attention. he was advising one of his sons to leave the afghanistani tribal regions where the drones were focused at the same time he's calling for young men to do a holy war, he was basically telling his own son to get out of dodge. it's bin laden unplugged. he was it's not like you can get on the internet and send a memo or call people up. there was no electronic, you know, communications. he was very conscious of the fact those could be detected. he was communicating thugh a courier, thumb drives, handwritten documents.
sometimes it would take two, three months for him to get a response. it's not a very efficient way to run an organization. >> you mentioned things about the drones but that adding up to the degree that the united states and its allies had been very successful at chipping away at al qaeda's ability to even connect with some of its affiliates, which was a source of its power. >> the overall -- obviously, the white house and the national security council are releasing documents that don't put al qaeda in a very good light. are they representative of everything that's in there? probably. it's interesting. we knew al qaeda was under a lot of pressure but it's interesting to know that they, themselves, realized they were under a lot of pressure. very remote, heavily forested, it would be a good place to hide from american drones and american satellites. these documents mostly from 2010 just before he died. so, you know, it's not only a picture of an organization under stress, it's also bin laden as a
micromanager. he was advising -- sending notes to his team saying when you go on the road, gas up and have a meal so you don't have to stop at a gas station. maybe they'll be government spies at the gas station. he was trying to patrol this organization. >> he told them in addition to that, cut down on your stops when traveling for the north africa members, plant tree soes eventually they'll be cover for operations because of those satellites, they were actually very successful in being able to examine who was going in and out of buildings. >> advising your group to plant trees, kind of a long-term strategy. the groups have more pressing concerns. >> they were pushing back to some degree, weren't they? >> kill president obama. easy to say it, but quite hard to deal. let's kill general david petraeus. he said don't bother with vice president biden. but his team was saying to him, get real. we're under a huge amount of pressure. it's easier to attack in
afghanistan than it is to attack american civilians in the united states. >> was he paranoid? some of the communications, as you've written about them, seem to have paranoid tone. communicate by letters, not e-mail. throw out bags that the ransom money would come in because there could be tracking devices embedded in those bags. was that just smart or was he treading into paranoia. >> maybe both. a secretive group. he was advising his son, you know, basically be very careful about tracking devices that somebody might plant on you. >> did he talk about a big attack? future attack? >> he wanted to -- in his own mind he was like, we could still change the world if we get one big attack on america. at the end of the day, you're spending six months in a suburban compound in pakistan. had a lot of time on his hands. he wasn't really on the front lines.
he didn't understand how difficult it was to do that. >> that's amazing. they'll be releasing those in about an hour and 55 minutes. that will be the first time the general public gets a chance to look at those documents. the book is called "manhunt." 8:00 pm eastern, cnn presents "in the footsteps of bin laden." christiania amanpour is the reporter on that story. let's get to christine romans, who has more headlines this morning. chinese dissident now calling on president obama to help him get out of china. he says the u.s. has abandoned him. chen guancheng says he's not safe, chen says his wife is being threatened by chinese authorities. he spoke to stan grant from his hospital room yesterday. >> translator: i would like to say to them, please do everything you can to get our whole family out.
i'm very disappointed with the u.s. government. the embassy kept lobbying me to leave, he says, and promised to be with me at the hospital. but this afternoon, soon after he got here, they were all gone. >> the u.s. ambassador to chinay lockee says at all points we were intent on carrying out his wishing and insuring we could put together something that met his needs. he made it clear from the beginning he wanted to stay in china. we asked him if he wanted to go to the united states. he said no. 13 suspects are charged with the hazing death of the florida a & m drum major. champion was beaten to death last november in a band hazing ritual. champion's mom told cnn's anderson cooper she expected more severe charges. >> i was very, very disappointed. but my husband and i both -- we had anticipated something that was a little more harsh. >> prosecutors say the case does
not support murder charges. more than 100 health care professionals, including doctors and nurses arrested and charged with bilking medicare out of $452 million. this is the biggest medicare fraud bust in history. and there have been some big fraud busts in medicare. arrests were made in los angeles, chicago, miami, houston, tampa, baton rouge. doctors and nurses involved. an anonymous bidder shelled out $119 million for the famous work "the scream," highest price ever paid at auction for a work of art. minding your business now, futures slightly higher. dow futures up about 20 points. markets have been given a boost. quarterly earning season is almost over. jobs report coming out tomorrow and weekly jobs report next
hour. mortgage rates near record lows again. average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage 3.88%, for a 15-year, 3.12%. that's a popular refinancing tool. we'll get an update with what this week's rates are. it's time to refinance at those rates. more baggage fees. right now, low-cost carrier is now charging $100 for a carry-on bag if you have to put it in the overhead. any bag that needs to go in the overhead is considered a carry-on. if it fits under your seat, it's free. of course, soledad, some of their fares are only $9 each way. >> no, that's $109, if you want to bring any stuff. >> we're not fooled by that. christine, thank you. still ahead this morning on
"starting point," 19-year nfl veteran junior seau found dead of an apparent suicide. question this morning, was his death linked to head injuries in the nfl? we'll speak to former nfl player jamal anderson, coming up next. >> our "get real," in the category of no good deed goes unpunished, a teenager is helped but the good samaritan is fired. we'll tell you why. our panel is heading in to talk about that and much more. abby huntsman, will cain and marc lamont hill this morning. so, ah, your seat good?
got the mirrors all adjusted? you can see everything ok? just stay off the freeways, all right? i don't want you going out on those yet. mmm-hmm. and just leave your phone in your purse. i don't want you texting, all right? daddy...ok! ok, here you go. be careful. thanks dad. call me -- but not while you're driving. ♪ [ dad ] we knew this day was coming. that's why we bought a subaru. ♪
texted her and each of their three children separate text messages "i love you." >> junior, why you never it willing me? i pray to god, take me. take me. leave my son alone. >> jamal anderson joins us this morning, he is a former nfl player and a friend of junior's. this must be so completely devastating and shocking for you. >> it really was, soledad. yesterday, we were greeted with bright news with eric le grande and the saints suspension and then with junior. i think anybody who played against junior seau or participated in any charity event with his junior seau or met him more than once or twice, he would consider a friend. he was a warm and welcoming guy. i've done charity events with junior, done events at his
restaurant, hosted him here. it's very shocking for a guy who was such a fantastic football player. and, really, a fantastic person. and his intent to give back -- his intent to give back to not only his community in oceanside but to give back to people. and it touched lives of people he met all over. it just -- you know, when i was getting calls yesterday, i'm like, not junior seau. not junior seau. this is the first guy to smile. he keeps everybody's energy up high. this is the one that gets everybody excited. >> when i first heard it and then i heard it was a gun shot to the chest, and i think i was not alone. a lot of people started thinking, is this -- does this have something to do with the concussions and, as you know,
another former nfl player shot himself in the chest so they could see what was going on in his brain. >> the similarities are quite eerie, especially with what's going on with a ton of players filing suit against nfl. i'm personally consider iing it myself, talking to different people about it. some of the things that transpire playing. junior seau played football up until a couple of years ago. i personally, having seen him in the past year, you know, there weren't any indicators. the proud football players, proud men, the strongest men, the team captains, the leaders, you know. i know the difficulty these guys face leaving the game. like i lot of people. and then having the personal connection and junior, i'm trying to figure it out. here is a guy that was not just a great player, he was well spoken. he's got a certain look about him. he's always dressed a certain
way. he just carries himself a certain way. >> he didn't seem depressed to you? >> no. but i can't speak to junior's personal mental condition in the past couple of months. i do understand and know the exceedingly difficult time that players have when they leave the game. and there have been some thins s that transpired in junior's personal life that were quite difficult for a guy of his stature, a guy who has given -- junior seau foundation has given $4 million back to the community in oceanside. he lived where he grew up. this was that guy. very tight, very close-knit community. you saw the pain in his mom's voice yesterday. >> that was just brutal. it was brutal. >> yes. >> and yet at the same time, jamal -- and i'll ask will to jump in after this. in 2010, as you know, he was arrested on suspicion for domestic violence. >> right. >> then he drove his car off a cliff. he said he had fallen asleep but other people started thinking
maybe something else is going on there. >> and i just -- again, all i can speak to is the guy that i know and say, you know, when that happened, as terrible as the story was, you make phone calls. hey, you okay? what's going on? and you try to reach out to make sure on the fringe is everything -- is everything everything. and it was a very difficult time, i'm sure, for junior, considering the type of person he is again, with his name and reputation being what it is, in the city he grew up in. this is a guy from san diego, went to usc, was a superstar. went back down to the chargers for 13 years, went to 12 pro bowls. took them to the lone super bowl. that community and his impact on that community was of critical importance to him and who he is and how he was perceived. i know that was tough. but, soledad, this -- this just isn't the guy that i would think would be in this situation.
i'll wait for the police report. i know they're investigating it as a suicide. it's very tough. i can't speak to junior's mental state in the past couple of months. but it's very tough for football fans and friends and people who were around junior. again, if you met him twice, he might call you and check on your family, your kids. this is that guy. i was on your show two times. how was -- how is the kid? what? he remembers the kid, you know. >> many people have trouble transitioning or leaving the game. we talked to cal ripken about that the other day. it's not just what you do on a daily basis but how you identify yourselves. >> right. >> was junior, in your experience, your relationship with him, have iing trouble wit that transition out of football, who he is, going forward? >> i didn't -- i didn't see that. i know that immediately retiring
from football, having those difficulties that you guys mentioned in 2010, those certainly don't help. moving forward in trying to get things going or whatever, but so many people who thought so fondly and favorably of junior seau, it was, okay, he's fine. something must be going on in this particular situation with this person. something, some friction there that caused this type of event to happen. but then you come back and, okay, it's junior. he's good. he's at a golf event. he's at usc's spring game. he's planning his -- doing his junior seau golf charity event. so, i don't -- you know, it's very tough for a lot of people. and there is no shock more clear than the shock on his mother's face. >> that was so terrible. >> yes. and that's where it's tough. it's hard. and we'll wait to see what happens with the investigation. but, i mean, my first reaction
was, what? suicide? you know, okay. and his family and his friends, his three children, his ex-wife, his brothers and sisters, this is a close, tight family. >> absolute tragedy. >> it is. >> jamal anderson, thanks for talking with us. we appreciate it. >> thanks, soledad. >> we know he was a close friend of yours. in our "get real" this morning, this is what you get for a good deed. why a good samaritan was fired for helping out. if you're head ed to work, you can check out the rest of our show on cnn.com/starting point or on twitte twitter @startingptcnn. will cain's play list, marshall tucker.
a little beat. little faster. i like that. that's abby's playlist, maroon 5. everything has a harmonica and a banjo for will. >> something's missing in that music. >> where's the banjo? our "get real" this morning. this goes under the category of no good deed goes unpunished. a transit worker in san francisco, his name is jim stanic, is 66 years old, was apparently attempt iing to do a favor for the friend's grandson. the 16-year-old boy could not afford the $11 ride to and from school. stanic gave him roughly $300 worth of paid but unused tickets for the bus and subway, tickets
left behind by commuters who have to buy them on their way out and then kind of ditch them. so there's still money left on the ticket. apparently that violated a policy, because those unused tickets actually go back into a general fund for the transit authority. listen. >> tickets that still have value on them can't be just given away because it's like cash for us. >> are you confused? >> a little. >> okay. let's break it down for will. >> i didn't think you were going to show my confusion on camera. >> said with love, but you looked perplexed. >> sometimes you buy a $5 ticket. you use $4.30 of it. you have 70 cents left over. ta he not if you have to keep your ticket so you ditch it. >> i think the transit worker was confused as well. he thought they were going to be thrown out. >> he thought they might be thrown out but there was a value of some odd amount of money on those tickets. he collected those tickets, gave them to a young man who needed $11 to get to and from school every day, which is roughly like $200 or so. >> got it. >> in doing so, he violated a
policy that apparently he kind of knew about the policy and he has been fired. he is a 66-year-old transit worker. >> that's awful. they have the chance to do the right thing here and rehire this guy. >> it's all being appealed by the union. that could happen. apparently if there's a silver lining there's a woman who heard about the story. it was in the local news there. she said this is crazy and she offer offered to pay for the teenager's fare back and forth to school, the $200 a month, until he graduates. >> at least we know it's getting paid for at this point. >> did i slow it down enough? >> it is clear. >> there's a kid -- >> oh, i got it. >> bus and a subway. >> and a ticket. >> it's clear it's a nonsense policy. >> well, it just seems to be there should be a little wiggle room for people trying to do good things to help people who definitely need the help. kid is trying to get to school. >> looking at revenue twice is what it sounds like to me.
>> people are leaving their money on the train and collecting people's money and using people's money and saying you can't take people's money. >> good samaritan, that will get you fired. dramatic turn in the story of the chinese activist, who is now saying the u.s. abandon ed him. we'll tell you why. that mom -- we showed you pictures of her yesterday. oh, lord, these pictures are so uncomfortable. under fire for alleged ly takin her 5-year-old daughter right there to the stanning salon with her. she's defending herself in court. what she had to say to a judge. >> i didn't understand that. >> that was a very, very, very tan woman. these are football players. punishments handed down to nfl players for taking part in that bounty program. we'll explain who is getting what. you're watching "starting point." to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint
leave the protection of the u.s. embassy. it started on april 22nd when he made a dramatic escape from house arrest. he was brought to the u.s. embassy on april 26th. yesterday they said he had agreed to stay in china, move to a new city and study law. shortly acid, he was taken to a beijing hospital where he was reunited with his family, including a son he hadn't seen in two years. and that's when thingst took a turn, after the u.s. officials left the hospital at the end of visiting hours. mr. chen's wife spoke to cnn. >> she is saying they made many promises but they've broken those promises, that friends
can't even come to visit us. it just proves that our human rights are not being protected in that conversation. diplomats spoke to mr. chen himself and they say he told them that he's fine. amba ambassador locke says chen never asked for asylum and he was never pressure d to leave. that brings us to stan grant, live in beijing. ambassador locke says they've spoken to chen's wife two times. what's she saying now? >> yeah. this story continues to have twists and turns, soledad. they've spoken to her and she actually agrees that the u.s. embassy treated her husband well. i think where they all fall apart here, though, is the sequence of events. chen guangcheng was holed up in that embassy six days. he told us during that time he could not make telephone calls and didn't really know what was going on in the outside world and the threats that were being made, he says by chinese officials toward his family. he then agreed to leave as part of a deal struck between the
united states and china, to leave, go to the hospital and actually leave the diplomatic compound. he now regrets doing that and he says that the embassy staff let him down. they urged him to leave and they didn't give him all the information he needed, particularly about the threats. i put that question directly to ambassador gary locand this is t he had to say. >> let me just say when he first came in, we took extraordinary steps to retrieve him. we found out that he had escaped, was in beijing, wanted to talk to us. we undertook it almost like a mission impossible retrieve al bring him into the embassy. it was very, very clear all along, he wanted to be reunified with his family, wanted to stay in china to be a freedom fighter and did not want to go to the u.s. >> he had been put under house arrest, been brutalized and terrorized for years. was he in any fit state of mind to make a decision like that, that he wanted to stay, wanted
to leave? >> he certainly had those options. we have to respect his desires, his wishes and his free will. >> ambassador gary locke saying they have to respect chen's wishes. of course, he has now changed his mind. he feels his life is under threat and he is appealing in an interview with us directly to president barack obama. he says, president obama, do everything you can to get my family out of here. right now, though, that is very difficult from his hospital bed here in beijing, soledad. >> stan grant for us this morning. thank you. we want to bring in reggie littlejohn, president of religious rights without fears. she will be testifying in front of congress in a few hours. her friend was also the person who helped free mr. chen, literally driving the vehicle that he was in. thank you for joining us. appreciate your time this morning. you've heard this back and forth that is clearly, at times, contra addictry between what mr. chen is saying and what we're
hearing from the diplomats, the american diplomats in this case. what do you know about this case? what exactly is happening? >> i actually think that there isn't that much of a contradiction. i believe that chen did want to stay in china when he thought that the united states and the chinese communist party would respect whatever negotiated agreement and protections that he had. now he's out of the protection of the united states in the embassy and now that he is in the hospital he has seen that both the united states and the chinese communist party are f l falling through on their promises of protection and he and his family feel they're in extreme danger. in his hospital, when he was reunited with his wife, he found out that in their home that cadray's came and strapped her to a chair for two days, beat her, threatened to beat her to death. they moved into her home. they were eating at their table. they were using their stuff.
and so she felt very much so that her entire family was in danger. so, that's why they want to leave now. >> abby, i want to bring you in. of course, china, a country you're very familiar with. you've obviously lived inside that embassy and that very area where mr. chen would have been put up the past several days. what did you want to ask miss littlejohn? >> it's hard for people to comprehend what's going on, especially on the ground in china. can you tell me what you think the support is for mr. chen among the chinese? do they sympathize with him? are they buying the chinese propaganda? how are they feeling, the majority of the chinese? >> chen guangcheng is hugely bolized in china, greatly loved and greatly admired. the fact that he came through a mission impossible escape from his home and made it into the u.s. embassy, gave the united states the golden opportunity to be a knight in shining armor, to protect him and his family, to
bring them to safety and that would have wiped out a generation of anti-american propaganda. but now that the united states has really let chen down, they've also let down the entire nation of china. and particularly the people who share our values. so this is a huge opportunity lost. and it has done really significant damage to our relationship with the chinese people. >> i want to be clear. i think this is a question for both reggie and abby, whose dad was not only the former presidential candidate but former ambassador to china. the united states essentially hung chen guangcheng out to dry, is that what you're both saying? >> something doesn't add up here. we were talking about this earlier, soledad. it has a very rushed feel to it. no, i don't think they should have let chen go. i think they should have taken a little more time to feel out the situation. and find a way to get him back to the u.s. he's not going to change, being an activist. china's not going to change. that being said, his life is definitely at risk.
he is never going to live a normal life, staying in china. neither will his family. >> let's bring miss littlejohn back in to answer that question. do you think, in fact, he has been hung out to dry? what are the options right now for the united states? mr. chen is pleading to the president to get him and his family out of china. he is not in u.s. custody. which makes it more difficult. >> i believe he has been hung out to dry. i think the u.s. government almost wanted to get rid of the issue so they could concentrate on the trade talks between themselves and the chinese communist party. yes, things are more complicated but they're not -- they're not impossible. i think what the united states needs to do is give chen guangcheng and his family political asylum along with the woman who drove that car that saved him. it will be less complicated than dealing with the aftermath of
having left him out to dry. >> her particular case, the woman driving the vehicle, the last time anyone had a chance to talk to her, she had to get off the phone because security forces were at her door and no one has had the opportunity to hear from her since. we're following that as well. appreciate your time, reggie littlejohn. >> thank you very much. christine romans has our headlines this morning. an emotional day in court for the daughter of john edwards. kate edwards left the courtroom in tears yesterday. she became upset when a former research director for edwards' campaign testified about a fight the candidate had with his wife, elizabeth. that fight took place in 2007 at the raleigh airport. elizabeth edwards was battling breast cancer at the time and a tabloid had just reported that edwards was still having an extra marital affair with rielle hunter. the mother accused of taking her daughter into a tanning booth plead not guilty. she says the whole story is a lie. she admits she took her 5-year-old to the tanning salon but she wasn't tanning and just
got sunburned outside, she says. she faces ten years in prison. nfl has suspended four players for their part in a bounty system that paid cash for devastating hits. the harshest penalty goes to new orleans saints linebacker vilma. he will miss all of next season, pending an appeal. two aging quarterbacks, curt warner and brett favre in the 2009 playoffs, had hits on them. mad cow disease discovery last week 175 miles north of los angeles. the government calls the quarantine standard procedure and that there's no threat to the food supply this morning. appear iing to ward off memy loss and alzheimer's, researchers tracked more than 1,200 people over the age of 65, focusing on diet and levels of
protein, responsible for memory loss. those protein levels drop for 30% for each gram of omega 3s. walnuts and salmon. i'll have it together for lunch in a salad. >> there you go. newt gingrich makes headlines for his interesting press conference. did you get to see that? >> yes. >> wow! dropping out of the race. don't miss the highlights. we'll share them with you, went on and on and on and on and on. also, president obama's half sister has a new book out, talks about meeting her brother for the first time and the instant connection they had. you're watching "starting point." we're back in a moment. a party? [ music plays, record skips ] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water, i'm different. i've got nine grams of protein. twist my lid. that's three times more than me!
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of the united states. she writes about it in her new book called "and then life happens." she joins us this morning. nice to have you with us. why did you write the book? >> first and foremost because i love the opportunity to write. if you don't have a publisher, it's very hard to get the book out. >> there's a story you wanted to tell. >> that i've always wanted to tell for a very long time. the story was really about my family, but really about the fact that my family had experienced so many different cultures and lived in so many different cultures and navigated to those cultures really in a very intimate way because i had brothers who were -- from a different culture, different continent, you know, different color of skin, as in different race. all the complexities of that fascinated me, myself, as a person. i wanted to put it down because i wanted to share that with friends and also just with the public. >> how did you first get in contact with barack obama? he wrote a letter? >> he wrote me a letter. >> what did it say?
>> the exact words, i can't remember. it was to the fact that he was introducing himself, wanting to know who i was. he wanted the contact, making contacts so that we could be in touch. that's exactly what we did. we corresponded for a while until we then finally met in chicago and i came to the u.s. to see him. >> what was that like, to go to chicago and meet your brother for the first time? >> it was basically a first for -- to come to the united states as well, which in itself was quite amazing. but meeting my brother was really -- i often describe it as like having christmas that doesn't finish. it's a wonderful present that you know you have and every day you can take delight in having that present because we just connected immediately. >> what did you want to know about your father? he had gone from kenya to america back to kenya, where he met the woman who would become your mother. what did he want to know about his father? >> everything.
we talked and talked and every time i was very conscious of trying to give him a full picture of who his father was, who his family was. i carried photographs of me and photographs of him when he was little. we always had the contact with his mother. we always knew who he was. my father knew his grades all along when he was in school and it was kind of like fascinating to see fophotos of himself as a baby and say, look, you were always with us. that was a great experience for me. >> eventually, he would go to kenya to see your side of the family there. >> yes. >> how was that trip? >> it was a whirl wind trip. there was so much happening. all the family wanted to meet him. they all knew him as barry, you know. they all knew him and they all wanted to see him. in particular, my grandmother. she was so delighted. she was like, oh, in my lifetime, you've come back. you've come to see us. you are here. you've taken the trouble. and that's something that the family appreciated a lot. because he didn't have to. >> you write a lot about how your father and his father was a
very complicated man, to have a wife in america and leave and leave a family behind and go to africa and keep in contact with his son but not contact necessarily the whole entire time. >> yeah, yeah. but isn't that so western? isn't that so normal? that's what happens. people get divorced and marry again and you stay in touch with your children. i'm so grateful for him staying in touch with barack because that was the only way i had access to him later. as in any relationship, when the relationship ends, you don't want to lose your children. he was very, very proud of us. for all of what else happened in our lives around my father -- and i write quite a lot about that, and the complexities of all that, and the difficulties and challenges around that. he really loved us. he may not have known how to be a father but he really did. that was something that was very important to me to portray to barack when he came. my book is now resonating to people who say to me i have difficult relationships with my parents and my family but you made me think maybe -- i only appreciated my father really
after he died. it's really -- i don't know. i think it's a people's story. >> we're all complex is what you're saying? >> everybody is very complexed. >> did you have an inkling that barack obama would one day become the president of the united states? >> no. >> a leader in any way, shape or form? >> not at all. i thought he was extraordinary then, not just the fact that he was my brother. but he had really a lot to offer. gave me a glimpse of his life in chicago and the work he was doing. and also even then the impact he was having and the way he interacted with people. it was just so special. i felt his energy then. for me, it was like, this is my brother. it's what he does and he does it well. i didn't thinkwell. i didn't think beyond that. >> yes. the book is called "and then life happens." nice to have you. thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. still ahead on "starting point" this morning, newt gingrich has kind of an odd exit from the gop race.
talks about everything from radicals to todd palin to the civil war to everything and talks about everything. >> surprised he didn't leave on a space ship. >> talks about that. we're going to share some of that with you straight ahead. we're back in a moment. but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. made with only milk... cream... a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors. coffee-mate natural bliss. from nestle. add your flavor naturally.
newt gingrich is out. he's suspending his campaign. you are still able to raise money and mr. gingrich is roughly $4 million in debt. there was a bow-out press conference. mr. gingrich spoke for roughly 23 really long minutes. as noted in "the washington post," mr. gingrich spoke about in no particular order these things. captain john smith, mining asteroids, novels about george washington, ellis the tell vanity, alzheimer's disease, todd palin, radical islamist, nixon, reagan, civil service, civil war and more.
if you don't believe that, here's newt gingrich himself. >> we'll spend a great deal of time on religious liberty. i'll work on energy independence. balancing the budget. national security. cyberwarfare. on that topic new technology. i'm going to take back up the issue of space. >> i told you. >> you were absolutely right. he added the issue of mining asteroids as well. that was a really odd press conference. >> not for him. >> good point. >> par for the course. >> especially the part comparing mitt romney to ronald reagan i found the most bizarre. romney is wanting so much to be the romney character today for the republican party and comparing the two saying he's not ronald reagan, that's not what we're comparing him to. i know, will, you have a comment. >> i always have a comment. >> i think it was the most honest and principled endorsement so far.
he didn't do what everyone else did and pretend he liked romney. he said he's not a socialist, if you're a republican, you should vote for him. >> he's not barack obama. that's good enough for me. >> it's easy to mock newt gingrich but buried in that word soup of ideas, there's good stuff. you know, there are -- >> the moon part? >> by sheer quantity he'll hit on a few good things. mining asteroids. that's a serious thing. we've done a story on this and one we should hope for a brighter future and newt gingrich to his credit sometimes is dreaming. >> did you say newt gingrich is dreaming? thank you for that. >> i think the word he used that was most accurate was word soup. if you say 20 million things, ten of them are going to -- >> you'll hit a few. >> even a blind squirrel gets a nut everyone once in a while as they say. >> at least i was providing material for "saturday night live." running for president, "snl"
okay. >> he's the smartest guy in the field. he does have great ideas. he does have great ideas. i just wish that he -- i hope rather he keeps this going throughout the entire election cycle. keep pounding on mitt romney the whole way. >> something tells me he will. there's $4 million to make up. ahead on "starting point," louisiana governor b yogovernor will be here and then super model diana mendoza joins us talking about the racial slur a fellow contestant used. we'll ask her how she's feeling about it now that she's off "celebrity apprentice." we're back in a moment. cream... a touch of sugar... and pure natural flavors. coffee-mate natural bliss. from nestle. add your flavor naturally.
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files will go online for all of the public to see. audio files, video files and handwritten notes including his plans to change the brand of al qaeda and go bigger than blowing planes and junior seau gone too soon with an apparent suicide. his mother overcome with grief. >> junior! >> the question today is whether the game he loved led to his death. we'll be joined by former giants player tiki barber and a super model fired off "celebrity apprentice" this week. it's thursday, may 3rd. "starting point" begins right now. ♪ >> that's off the diana's playlist.
have you been watching "celebrity apprentice"? it's been a harsh season. she took a lot of barbs because she's insanely gorgeous. >> would you go on? >> in a hot second. sure. i would win by the way. do you even have to ask? i have four kids and a full-time job, i can run stuff. let me tell you. >> you told me. >> let me introduce you to our panel. that would be will cain doubting my powers and we also have a host of "our world" with black enterprise and abby huntsman is with us. nice to have you back with us. al qaeda is about to be unmasked. it's in about 58 minutes they'll post online all of this information. we'll have an opportunity to see what intelligence officials have been analyzing for the better part of a year. some of the 6,000 documents that were seized last year from osama bin laden's compound.
we're told the information includes digital and audio and video files and includes printed materials. there's information that was cle gle gleaned off recording documents. nic robertson is live with more details. what else can we expect? >> reporter: we can expect insight into the state of al qaeda and the state of bin laden's mind. you get a picture that emerges here. we certainly are aware of some of the details here from cnn's national security analyst petering bepete eripeter bergen who has seen some of the documents. he comes across as a micromanager and afraid for his organization under drone attack in training camps in pakistan and someone who is concerned about al qaeda's image sending messages to al qaeda in somalia say don't announce you're joining by name because it will make it harder for you and you'll get more enemies.
this is a man concerned about the organization that he built, soledad. >> stunning stuff. i can't wait to see it. i'm sure the rest of the public as well. thank you, nic, for that update. this weekend "in the footsteps" of bin laden hosted by christiane amanpour. good morning, christine? >> a cry for help from chen guangcheng. he says a deal between the united states and china will not protect him or his family and he feels abandoned by america after spending six days hiding in the u.s. embassy in beijing. he says his phone is being monitored and his wife is being threatened by chinese authorities. he spoke to stan grant from his hospital room yesterday. >> translator: i would like to say to him, please do everything you can to get our whole family
out. i'm very disappointed with the u.s. government. the embassy kept lobbying me to leave, he says, and promised to be with me at the hospital. but this afternoon soon after we got here, they were all gone. >> the u.s. ambassador to china gary locke tells cnn at all points we were intent on carrying out his wishes and ensure we could put together something that met his needs. he made it clear from the beginning he wanted to stay in china. we asked if he wanted to go to the united states. he said no. questions this morning about whether the game is to blame for death of a future nfl hall of famer. junior seau was found dead yesterday in his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. he was only 43 years old. leaves behind four kids. his grieving mother overwhelmed at a news conference yesterday. >> junior!
why you never tell me you're going? i pray god. take me. take me. leave my son alone. thank you. thank you so much for everybody. god bless you guys. >> it is still not clear whether any possible brain trauma played a role. this may have been the second time seau tried to kill himself. in 2010 he drove his car off a cliff and survived. there was suspicions back then but police later concluded it was an accident caused by a lack of sleep. a college student from san diego is suing the drug enforcement agency for $20 million after being left handcuffed without food or water for almost five days in a cell. he was one of nine people detained last month after dea agents raided a suspected drug house. he was never charged with a crime and his attorney says he nearly died. >> he screamed hundreds of times
for help. he began to dig into the walls thinking that he could get water that way. >> i had to do what i had to do to survive. >> the san diego dea's office apologized to chong and ordered an investigation. here's your chance to go to harvard or m.i.t. for free. this fall there will be a variety of courses online. it's the start of a $60 million partnership between the two schools to offer education to millions around the world through the internet. certificates will be given to students who pass the online courses. the purpose of the initiative is to research how students learn and which teaching methods and tools are the most successful. there you go. >> i love this idea for two reasons. one, i already look at the classes that i didn't take at harvard. i take them online. i watch classes. you can watch them on itunes. >> in your spare time? >> on the treadmill. on the elliptical. you can get a lot of work done.
imagine what could happen for kids who are in poor neighborhoods and what kind of teaching tools you could bring to people who couldn't otherwise afford it. you really could level the playing field when it comes to education. it has tremendous potential. i'm excited about it. thank you for that. let's get to the polls this morning. politically showing a tight race in some battleground states. mitt romney with a one-point lead in the battleground state of florida. president obama with a two-point lead in the battleground state of ohio. both of those of course within the margin of error of those polls. and then if you look at the battleground state of pennsylvania, the president has a more commanding lead of eight points. louisiana governor bobby jindal is with us this morning to talk about this and much more. nice to see you, sir. thanks for being with us. appreciate it. what do you make of those polls? it's three of what we consider 11 battleground states look like. >> good morning. it's great to be with you. look, i think this is going to be a very important race. a very tight race. i think this election is not going to be about who speaks
better, who looks better on tv. this is about two different visions for america. under president obama you now have seen the government spending 24% of our gdp. record high unemployment. four days in a row trillion dollar plus deficits. $15 trillion of accumulated debt. he can't run on his record. he's been running a very negative attack type campaign trying to go after mitt romney. mitt romney is offering not only experience running a state, running a business, also offering a different vision for the role of the federal government and presenting detailed plans about getting our economy growing again with a lower, flatter tax code. voters won't go to the polls deciding who looked best on tv or who is more charismatic. it's two contrasting views of our country and role of the federal government in growing the economy and securing important entitlement programs. >> before we talk about the economy, i want to mention to everybody, you supported the challenger, rick perry and then eventually in april gave your
support to governor romney so you are obviously a romney supporter. when you look at the economy, we've had this conversation and i can bring the panel in on this as well, as the economy does better, doesn't that undercut the strategy for mitt romney if that's going to be his strategy as you've outlined it moving forward? >> two things. certainly we all want the economy to grow again and we want people to go back to work and have people afford their mortgages and homes. the reality is this is a tepid recovery. it's slow compared to previous recove recoveries. the president can't ask americans to answer the question are you better off than four years ago? he can't run on his record. he promised to have a plan to reduce the deficit by end of the first four years to balance the budgets. he hasn't done that he promised us the economy would be growing again or he should be a first term president. hasn't put people back to work. remember the claims unemployment would be below 8% if we pass the stimulus bill. that hasn't happened. promised a plan to reform the entitlement programs.
hasn't presented that yet. promised to change climate in washington, d.c. to unify the parties. that hasn't happened yet. >> and yet battleground states i just showed you neck and neck and in one pennsylvania he's ahead significantly at those very numbers might undermine your point. let me ask you a question. there's a new column out and if you get the google alerts about your name as i get about mine, you would know he's pitching you to be vice president. bobby jindal is a brilliant policy mind with an inspirational life story who has run an effective government in corruption tainted louisiana. he can talk data with romney and sit at the kitchen table of the struggling middle class. >> we're in middle of a legislative session focused on pension reforms so we're not mortgaging our children's
future. i have the job i want. i'll be supporting mitt romney and whoever he selects as his running mate. this is a very important election for america. the other point i make about the economy, not only an election about current state of the economy, it's also about do we want the federal government running a sixth of our health care and running car companies, bailing out banks, it is about the proper role for the federal government. i think it is also going to be an election not only about the latest gdp statistics or unemployment statistics but what's the proper role of the federal government. >> let me get back to the first part of that. sounds like a no. if he called you up and asked you, that would be a no? >> i've got the job that i want. i know pundits will be speculating on who he's going to pick. at the end of the day, he'll pick the person who will do the best job as president and make that decision not based on political or other grounds and whoever he picks i'm going to support that ticket. i think it's that important not only for louisiana but our country.
>> even if it is you who he is picking. i want to ask you about this national children's summit being held in new jersey. i know you'll come in later to speak. what's your message at this summit? >> this is the most important issue i've tackled and one of the most important issues that faces us as a country which is k through 12 education reform. the reality is here in america we believe that every child should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and last name and gender and race and income, your zip code shouldn't determine your life outcomes. the key to that is giving every child a great education. i was born and raised here. went to public schools. have had a great opportunity to pursue my dreams. we don't want this generation to be the first generation that has fewer opportunities than their parents yet here's a startling statistic. for our 55 year olds, we rank number one in the world for educational treatment. for 20 year olds, we're 16th compared to other industrialized countries when it comes to educational achievement. in louisiana we have done two
most important things. number one, make sure that we have a great teacher in every classroom. we reformed our tenure laws and compensation laws, we don't pay based on seniority but rewarding teachers for being effective in the classroom. secondly i'll talk in new jersey about the importance of allowing the dollars to follow the child so that children aren't trapped in failing schools. in america we have doubled even adjusting for inflation, double what we spent on education since the 1970s and yet we have not seen real gains especially compared to other countries. if we want to continue to be the number one world leader when it comes to our economy, national security, if we want to be aspirational society, we have to fix this. in louisiana, we allow dollars to follow students so whether they go to parochial school, public school, independent school, charter school, online courses, technical courses, they have the resources to get the best education that meets their needs. >> bobby jindal is the governor of the state of louisiana. thank you for talking with us.
>> great to be back with you. i look forward to doing it again. still ahead on "starting point," the space shuttle "challenger" disaster. this is how we remember it all. now there's amateur video that surfaced from that day. we'll show you the new tapes and hear from a woman who found those tapes many years later. beauty queen dayana mendoza was fired off "celebrity apprentice" this week. she's more upset about what that woman there said. you're watching "starting point." she's gorgeous and she dances. i went to a small high school. the teacher that comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore.
i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us. only hertz gives you a carfirmation. hey, this is challenger. i'll be waiting for you in stall 5. it confirms your reservation and the location your car is in, the moment you land. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz.
why don't you write up a memo and i'll try to become a huge failure by listening to how you work. >> i'm not insulting you. >> i would never come up with a joke again. >> this is what i'm talking about. >> you're a fabulous woman. you're a beautiful woman. you have an amazing career. you're fired. >> that's the former miss universe dayana mendoza. they were always going at it or really lisa was attacking her. lisa used a racial slur to describe mendoza on sirius radio back in march. >> i would love to see her giving birth. she's a [ bleep ]. she's going to [ bleep ] do it soon any way. she'll be knocked up before the end of the week. >> thank you for talking with us. we bleeped out the slur.
what did you think -- >> good morning. thank you for having me. >> what did you think when you first heard it? you were still working together at co-workers on the show and then also on projects as well. when you heard what she had called you which is a word i won't repeat, what did you think? >> well, the show we filmed before so when i heard it, that was totally new for me. i had to go to work because i had no idea what it meant and when i understood the meaning of it i was surprised and had no idea at this time of age especially in the united states we are having so much diversity of cultures, this word was still used. and it's a language of ignorance and people that used for years to put people down and is unacceptable. >> it's a language word used to put latinos down specifically. she also then went on to comment about -- it sounded to me like latinos and high birth rate. you'll be pregnant by the end of the week. knocked up by the end of the
week which was fairly inappropriate. what was your relationship like on the show? we saw clips where you are butting heads. often attacking you. what was that like? >> i understand that she's a comedian and needs to be funny and make jokes and that's the way she does it. during the show she was definitely not making jokes. she was mean toward me. so when she comes out and said things like this, she's not trying to be more than mean in continuing her abuse. so it's sad. it's disappointing. she's a grown-up woman. she has a career. she chooses to show herself the way that she's being portrayed on the show. you choose to be who you want to be and it's a shame. >> she said when she's been asked, the issue is not that you're gorgeous, which you are. she said her issue was that you weren't smart. that was her big thing. she's not smart. you can see that back and forth
write up a memo so i cannot do what you say or whatever. why do you think she really disliked you so intensely? >> you know, i think we will never know. i would like for her to have a concise idea of what it is that she's so against everything i was doing or thinking or suggesting. it was hard to work with people that didn't want to work with you. in general if she has any personal issues or not, that will be her problem. i was just there to do my best. i'm happy that i did. i went to the show. i ended up doing what i went to do. >> you raised $30,000. >> yeah. and i helped other charities as well. that said, that was what i was there for. >> you don't regret it at all? it seems so unpleasant at times. do you regret going on the show at all? >> no. no. no. not at all. not at all. i think it was a great opportunity for the latino commission on aids to raise awareness. they are more well known in the
country and all over the world the show has shown and especially latino are breaking in mainstream and representation that we're having there is great. >> dayana mendoza, nice to see you. congratulations on the money you were able to raise for your charity and for helping others. sorry you had to deal with -- that seemed stressful all the time. thank you. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i think that she really handles it well. if you were watching the show, every single time lisa would come after her she would be like, i just feel that people should really -- >> ongoing debate among how real is reality television. her feelings about lisa and lisa's feelings about her seemed pretty real. i don't know what that says about the show. >> hostile. she took the high road which was nice and she's gorgeous. that's a winning formula. >> of course they're going to say mean things on the show. >> still ahead on "starting
point," new view of the "challenger" disaster. we'll show you amateur videotape just discovered and a look inside the diary. this is everybody's nightmare. your ex-girlfriend says i would love to share my diary entries from when we were dating to the press. this happens to be president obama former girlfriend. >> i can't wait to read this. >> this is abby's playlist. maroon 5.
space shuttle "challenger" disaster devastated the nation when it exploded. 26 years later, new exclusive amateur video of that historic day. what we're about to show you could be tough for some viewers to watch because it shows very clearly the destruction. take a look. >> three, two, one. >> there it goes. beautiful. beautiful! what's happened? it dropped off. oh no. something went wrong. they're coming back. >> my gosh. you know it's terrible to hear that not just to see those pictures but of course when you can hear sort of everyone around realizing that something has
gone awry and they want figure it out. the woman heard in the video saying they are coming back was a school nurse who attended every launch and felt a very special bond with the teacher on board that day and they didn't come back. all seven astronauts on board the "challenger" died that day. crazy. listening to that audio is horrific. still ahead on "starting point" this morning, the apparent suicide of a future nfl hall of famer. comes at a time when players are taking the league to court over vicious hits and concussions and what the league is doing about it. we're going to talk to former giants star tiki barber who also knew junior seau. and obama, the bachelor. some juicy details about the president's life before the first lady straight from the diary of his ex-girlfriend. will cain's playlist. bob schneider. "big blue sea." great shot.
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christine romans with a look at stories making headlines this morning. >> jobless claims dropped about 27,000. we'll see how the market reacts to that. 27,000 fewer jobless claims this week than the week before. we'll watch that for you in the markets. other headlines this morning, emotions running very high at the john edwards trial. the former senator's daughter abruptly leaving the courtroom in tears yesterday. she became upset when a former research director for edwards' campaign testified about a fight that the candidate had with his wife, elizabeth. an ugly fight that took place in 2007 at a north carolina airport. elizabeth edwards was battling breast cancer at the time. a tabloid had just reported that her husband, john edwards, was having an extra marital affair with rielle hunter. 365,000 unemployment claims filed for the first time last week. 27,000 less as we said than economists had been expecting the previous week's number was revised up slightly to 391,000
claims filed. we'll see this number coming in below 400,000 showing a labor market that's improving. the big jobs report comes tomorrow. she says she loves to tan. you think? she says she didn't burn her daughter though. the mother accused of causing burns to her young daughter by taking her into a tanning booth pleaded not guilty to a child endangerment charge. she claims this whole story is a lie and that her 5-year-old daughter got sunburned outside on a very warm day. she admits she took the girl to the tanning salon but she waited outside of the booth. she compared it to taking your daughter along on errands like going to the grocery store. she could face a decade in prison. check this out. iraq war veteran throwing an nfl caliber tackle in a walmart parking lot. he leveled a woman who stole a lady's purse and took off. the suspect had a knife. she stabbed him in the neck as they scuffled on the ground. she got away. next day the victim showed up at
the hero's door to say thanks. >> i really, really appreciate you helping me. not many people would do that. >> i served a tour in iraq. i guess that made things right in my head to help people like that. >> police say the thief took off in a dodge pickup and is still at large. >> wow. wow. good for him. all right. thank you. >> you're welcome. death of nfl legend junior seau is raising new questions about long-term brain injury in the sport. 43 year old was found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest yesterday. investigators believe it was suicide. seau's ex-wife told a local paper he texted her and each of their children separate messages of i love you. when seau's mother spoke, she was at a loss to explain just why her son would take his own life. >> junior, why you never tell me
you're going? take me. take me. leave my son alone. >> the former giants superstar, tiki barber is with us this morning. nice to have you. >> thank you. thanks for having me. >> are you shocked by this? >> you're shocked because of the sudden nature of the death but you're not shocked that you see these things happen. there's a lot of factors that contribute to depression. one is stress. money stress. family stress. and we're still trying to understand this chronic traumatic injury that dr. sanjay gupta has done a great job of exploring but problem is you don't know if you have that. you can't determine that unless you have passed away and do a biopsy of your brain. you're surprised but you're not surprised because there are so many factors that lead toward athletes falling into deep, deep depressions and not having a way to get out of it. >> let's talk about some of those factors. as you point out they are family
issues as well. when you left the game, were you wildly depressed? >> i wasn't. i was propped up. i went and worked right away over at nbc doing sports and news and things felt fine. three years later i'm going through a divorce, i'm no longer working at nbc, i'm sitting on my couch really trying to figure out what my life is going to be and i started to feel like i was depressed. very fortunately i had great friends who lifted me up and got me back into the workforce and doing things and finding meaning for myself but a lot of guys don't have that. the other factors that i talked about are wildly documented. 78% of former football players after three or four years are broke filing for bankruptcy. they go through divorces. they don't have a steady job. they are so far behind that professional learning curve because their peers came out of college and walked up the corporate ladder. they played sports. when they're done, they're not celebrities anymore. the relevancy period falls away.
>> does the league have a mechanism for providing mental health service during your career or after your career? >> they do but think about this. that is an indication that you're weak. right? and we saw this with ricky williams. remember when ricky williams went through his deep depression with social anxiety disorder, no one wanted to hear that. no one wanted to hear i'm having mental problems. get back up and go out there. be tough. >> agents are, like, hello, this is not a way to move you into some great and leverage your brand. >> there is a thing that we are emotionally strong powerful beings when in fact we are just human beings. we have the same problems emotionally and physically, personally that everyone else in the world does. they get masked because we perform on a stage and do it well. behind the scenes you go home and lay down at bed in night is
when those problems surface, if no one is there to catch them, bad things happen. >> does there need to be a change to the game? >> you're talking about the traumatic injuries. >> athletes suffer from concussions every year. in hockey league they have made changes over the years. >> you are starting to see roger goodell really come down hard. the reason these four saints players got suspensions, all of these penalties are because safety is becoming the number one issue. it will be roger goodell's selling point for his legacy as he goes on. they are taking steps to cure the violent impact on athletes. this is deeper than just violence. the damage that's caused by that violence. these are emotional issues like i said before that are masked. the percentages of people in this country who have depression are high. i'm not talking about depression
like i feel sad today but a clinical depression that's masked because you're an athlete and you have to have that bravado or you're not successful. >> have you had a lot of concussions? >> i had two or three in my playing career. you really don't know. the science isn't exact. some people may have a greater resistance to concussion effects than others. there's a worry that falls into your head as a former athlete and one that played a violent sport. will i go crazy in ten years? you know a lot about cte more than most people? >> i spoke down when they had congressional hearings a couple years ago and one of the things i wanted to talk about was effect that we as professional athletes have on kids. everything that we do trickles down to the colleges and high schools and we get a concussion and get nailed and you can see it on television when someone has it on a concussion. we get up and go back on the field. a kid does that same thing. >> that's what you're supposed
to do. >> kids are more susceptible to these things. next aren't as strong. they can't handle the revesrb reverbration which causes your brain to hit the skull. kids feel they have to be tough because favorite athlete was tough. long-term effect can be dangerous and we need to talk about it. these type of stories as tragic as they are, are learning examples for everyone in the sport professionally and lower because you have to pay attention to these. you have to show your sensitive side at times and not be afraid to say that you have a problem emotionally or physically. >> we're completely out of time. i have to ask you this quick question. we talked earlier with jamal anderson about this lawsuit that 114 people have signed onto this lawsuit. is that something you would do? >> i don't know if i would. there are reasons nfl players are doing that. for a long time the nfl ignored the fact that concussions were part of the game and were a result of the game. and guys are hurting and they need a way to get their word out
there and obviously take care of themselves. >> tiki barber, always nice to have you. >> good to see you guys. >> still ahead on "starting point," a lot of you remember her from sideways. now actress virginia madsen has a new series on youtube made specifically for women. it's good. also, obama's ex-girlfriends speak and they're dishing. it's not dirt. it's more like 20-year-old angst. we'll share the pros of 20 year olds in love straight ahead. [ female announcer ] introducing coffee-mate natural bliss.
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president obama's love life before he met his wife, michelle. "vanity fair" published an article. two of the president's former girlfriends are tracked down from back in the 1980s. here's a passage from the diary of genevieve cook who lived with obama in new york. the sexual warmth is there but the rest has sharp edges. i find it all unsettling and wanting myself to withdraw from it. i feel anger at him for some reason. multistranded reasons. his warmth can be deceptive though he speaks sweet words and is open and trusting there is that coolness and i believe to have an inkling about some things about him that could get to me. >> i'm sure michelle is loving that. >> wow that girl is a bad writer. >> this is nothing for the first lady to be worried about. your biggest fear is some old girlfriend will come out with
letters of details. >> i wrote and wrote and wrote. >> at 22. >> yes. >> he comes out clean after these. i think he's good. >> i think he comes out clean and reinforces a lot of perception we have of him that he's cool as you just removed and read from his ex-girlfriend but also a guy who is seeking to find his identity and lived between so many world between black and white and between kansas and kenya which neither lived in either but where his families have come from seeking to find his identity. that's really interesting. >> they write back and forth about who they are reading and poets. >> can't you just make out already? you're 22. >> here's another quote from the diary. i can't help thinking that what he would really want be powerfully drawn to was a woman very strong and upright, a fighter, a laugher, well experienced. a black woman i keep seeing her as. >> message. >> what's interesting is that
it's really a good description of michelle obama. >> that's why michelle should be happy about this. this is a perfect pathway to michelle obama. she wasn't the right one. he needed michelle. >> if someone says we got letters between you and your old ex-girlfriends, this is about as good as it gets. you get nervous. >> i have a feeling yours would not be that good. >> you don't know. >> i was not writing poetry stuff. >> i wasn't writing at all. >> and now it would be e-mails and texts. >> that's scary stuff. >> that is scary. >> numbers instead of letters. people have to decipher it for days. i think that's cute. still ahead on "starting point," we'll be chatting with the actress virginia madsen and why she's putting her star power behind a new youtube channel and she's doing it with lots of other a-listers. it's all going online. you're watching "starting point." great to see you again.
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drank, the more i liked what it made me think about. >> like what? >> like what a fraud he was. >> hence the marriage ended. that's virginia madsen in her oscar nominated role for movie "sideways." you look exactly the same. the new project is an online project. it's a web series called jan. it's the first to debut on youtube's new wigs channel. watch a little bit. >> i'm not nice. it's not that i don't want to be nice. i've tried it a few times. it doesn't work. you know why? because i'm not nice. i am effective. as a matter of fact, whenever i tried to be nice, i end up being less effective. and a select few who like me, like me because i get things done. >> people like me because i get things done. nice to have you. >> doesn't it make you want to be here. >> i love jan. that's a great character.
>> my character who is a real powerhouse photographer and super talent and just no bull. just efficient. >> you are the boss. >> effective. >> it's a series and you can find it on youtube. >> and you can watch it as an entire film. you can watch it in pieces. we made a whole bunch of these with the most extraordinary talent. we've got dakota fanning, alison janny and a lot of great men too. the stories are about women. >> tell me why. clearly you hear over the years -- >> women are more interesting. >> we know that. come on, tell me something i don't know, virginia. is it something about the roles not having as many great roles? >> you know, that is certainly part of it. you go where the work is. this is -- it's more than that. this is sort of a new me that none of us are sure what to do
with it. >> a new platform. >> yes. it's really fresh and you can subscribe to the youtube channel. to google channel and then you'll see all of this. you can program your own tv essentially. >> there's no doubt you're at the front end -- this is the future. this is how content will be distributed. was this a hard decision for you? you're big-time. you're a movie star. i heard that movie stars don't go to the small screen. this is small screen. was this a hard decision? >> no. i was -- i think i might have even been the first one to sign up. my managers were describing this thing that john was doing and, yes, before they finished describing it. yes. i am in. >> what opportunities does it give you that's different? >> creative freedom, number one. it was like it's a really high quality of film making so we get great directors and producers
and writers and everyone behind the camera is playing just as much as we are. we had total creative freedom. all day long it was just about the story and story telling and nobody had big trailers. we all had dressing rooms in the studio. and so there was a level playing ground. i loved that. nobody had egos about anything. and it was just like come to work and play and make up characters. >> it sounds like what people love about reality today. it is natural and just fun environment and it allows you to be more creative than you would be on just a normal tv show. >> i have to say, we know that reality tv isn't reality. >> scripted. >> this is scripted tv. it's story telling revived. >> how many different stories are in your -- you're launching the series with "jan."
>> there are eight or nine different ones. "jan" is just one. there is dakota. she's so grown up and so lovely. it's a real forum for women. >> it really is the future. i agree with you on that. it's going to change everything. >> great stories about our compl complex personalities and situations that we're in. >> what's your favorite movie you've been in? >> okay. it's going to sound like a shameless plug. besides "sideways" i have a movie i made with morgan freeman called "the magimag "magic of b" >> we'll do end point with our panel up next. stay with us.
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>> end point. ten seconds a piece. >> i am interested in bin laden documents that are going to come out. >> all right. what do you think? >> this china story with mr. chen really just makes you so grateful for our freedom of speech and freedoms that we have in our country. >> no question about that. >> for me it comes down to mental health whether it's junior seau or whitney houston and ever story we heard depression. we need to take more care and think about mental health in this country preside. >> tomorrow on "starting point" we'll talk to cory booker and also grammy award winning r & b soul singer jazz icon anita baker as well. that's all on "starting point" tomorrow. let's get right to "cnn newsroom." carol costello is there for us this morning. >> good morning to all of you. i'm carol costello. stories we're watching right now in the "newoo