tv Today NBC October 23, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
e in voting for question 6. . good morning. fire and nice. in their third and final debate, president obama fires some schwab barbs while governor romney emphasizes where the two agree. >> in the 1980s or now, calling to ask for their foreign policy back. >> attacking me is not an agenda. >> this morning reaction from both running mates. vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan as the campaign enters the two-week sprint to election day today, tuesday, october 23rd, 2012. from nbc news, this is a special edition of "today," decision 2012, with matt lauer and savannah guthrie live from
studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. and good morning. welcome to "today" on this tuesday morning. i'm savannah guthrie. >> and i'm matt lauer. >> the presidential debates wrapped up with a high-energy performance from president obama. meanwhile, governor romney criticized the president for his foreign policy record over the last four years, and it had a different feel from any of the other two. >> yeah. we have had three very distinct debates. debate season is over. two weeks to election day, but here's how it's all playing out this morning in the papers. the headline in "usa today," obama, romney go on attack in sharp final debate. while the liberal-leaning huffingtonpost.com declared chief in command. >> the "los angeles times" says obama reverses roles and comes out swinging at romney in the final debate and "the miami herald," verbal punch esbut no outright knockout. let's get right to nbc's chuck todd, political director and chief white house correspondent,
in boca raton, site of last night's debate. chuck, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. it's just two weeks until election day, and what was interesting about this third and final debate, it was a clash only in styles as an aggressive president was met with very little resistance from his republican opponent who chose to believe that simply showing up was enough to keep his momentum intact. the final debate, a study in contrast. an aggressive president obama trying to disqualify mitt romney as a potential commander in chief and also seeming like the candidate with more to prove. >> i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you've offered an opinion you've been wrong. when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s. what we need to do with respect to the middle east is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all
over the map. >> romney rarely hit back directly. attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the middle east. >> as the debate went on, romney seemed to settle on a strategy of staying above the fray, searching for areas of agreement. >> would you have stuck with mubarak? >> no. i believe, as the president indicated, and said at the time, that i supported his -- his action there. >> we had to go into pakistan. we had to go in there to get osama bin laden. that was the right thing to do. >> yet, despite agreement on specifics, romney did criticize the president's overall foreign policy record. >> look at the record of the last four years and say iran closer to a bomb? yes. is the middle east in tumult? yes. is al qaeda on the run? on its heels? no. >> but romney let some charges go completely unanswered, not responding to this seemingly rehearsed zinger on defense spending. >> i think governor romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. you mentioned the navy, for
example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. >> in a debate designed to focus on foreign policy the two candidates often tried to steer the conversation back to the economy. during a question about china and trade, the two clashed over the auto bailout, with both clearly concerned about battleground ohio. >> and if we had taken your advice, governor romney about our auto industry, we'd be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. >> i'm a son of detroit. i was born in detroit. my dad was head of a car company. i like american cars, and i would do nothing to hurt the u.s. auto industry. my plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. it was president bush that wrote the first checks. i disagreed with that. i said they need these companies, need to go through a managed bankruptcy. >> governor romney, you keep on trying to, you know, air brush history here.
you were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the u.s. auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy. you said that they could get it in the private marketplace. that wasn't true. they would have gone -- >> you're wrong. you're wrong, mr. president. >> no, i am not wrong. >> people can look it up, you're right. >> people will look it up. >> in the debate's final moments the candidates made their final pitch to voters. >> we've been through tough times but we always bounce back because of our character, because we pull together, and if i have the privilege of being your president for another four years i promise i'll always listen to your voices. i will fight for your families and israel work every single day to make sure that america continues to be the greatest nation on earth. >> we need strong leadership. i'd like to be that leader with your support. i'll work with you. i'll lead you in an open and honest way, and i ask for your vote. i'd like to be the next president of the united states to support and help this great nation and to make sure that we all together maintain america as
the hope of the earth. >> reporter: now we know there was a lot of attention to the bayonet lines. while it's true the u.s. doesn't use bayonets as much as they did a century ago a quick search of the marine corps bayonets among the weapons actively used in action. from 500 yards every marine is accurate with a rifle, c-3 bayonet and that weapon becomes as effective and it's a weapon of choice when shots can't be fired. >> we've got our bayonet trivia this morning. thank you so much. following the debate i spoke with governor romney's running mate congressman paul ryan, and i began by asking him if romney, who is known for his stinging critiques of the president's foreign policy, made a strategic decision to strike a more moderate tone in the debate. >> you know what we saw with this debate. we saw that mitt romney is ready to be a great president. we saw a man with a command of the facts, with the kind of temperament and demeanor that
makes for a great president. we saw a man with a vision for foreign policy. there are areas where we agree and clearly areas we disagree, and we fleshed that out pretty well in this debate. >> congressman, this has someone who has launched scathing criticisms on issues like libya, on iran. he's come right out and said under my administration iran wouldn't get a nuclear bomb. if you stick with president obama he will, and yet we heard none of that kind of talk tonight. is this somewhat misleading? is governor romney trying to portray somebody? >> no, not in the least, savannah. look, on iran, we're four years closer to a nuclear weapon. mitt romney spelled that out very clearly. the sanctions in place now are only in place because of bipartisan opposition to the president's unwillingness to put these sanctions in place in the first place. look, what we see was a huge difference in defense. we have $1 trillion in defense cuts coming down the pike which will hollow out our military, we don't agree with that. >> sir, you voted for those
defense cuts? >> no, i did not support the president's -- you have to understand we have a third round of defense cuts coming. we obviously oboes the obama budget and let's never forget it was the president who insisted that these defense cuts be part of this sequester bill. i wrote the legislation preventing them from happening to cut spending elsewhere so that these devastating defense cuts don't occur but the president has not done a single thing to prevent them from happening. >> tonight governor romney said that the sanctions against iran were working. >> that's right. >> would a romney administration sit down and have bilateral talks with iran? >> first off, these sanctions are in place after a bipartisan agreement in congress overruled the obama administration. now with respect to bilateral talks or multi-lateral talks, we are fine and happy with having talks but not with preconditions, not with any chance of tempering our sanctions. we want to push sanctions further. if they want to talk because of
these crippling sanctions, that's fine, but the bottom line is no enrichment, no nuclear program. that's the bottom line, and so if -- if iran wants to talk, that's perfectly fine but not as an excuse to lessen the pressure. >> but in the last couple of months even governor romney has said that iran is not a rationale regime, that the engagement rewarded bad behavior and that the administration's policy of engagement was naive. is this a major change of heart for governor romney? >> no, no, no. i think the administration's notion of meeting with no preconditions, that was naive. hillary clinton called it naive in the primary debates when they were running in 2008. i think it was naive for the obama administration to try and block tougher central bank sanctions in congress. we finally got them in place in spite of the obama administration's posture on this. i also think it was naive for president obama to come into office and say that we need to have more daylight between ourselves and our ally israel. that's the naive policy that
we're criticizing. what we have to place needs to be buttressed and made more forceful and we don't think the president's policy has been credible because if we're going to peacefully resolve this dispute with iran, the mullahs in iran have to themselves decide not to pursue nuclear weapons. they clearly haven't made that decision. they are moving faster towards nuclear weapons. >> you've been talking about foreign policy naivety. john kerry said this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades talking about you and governor romney. what specific national security experience qualifies governor romney to be commander in chief? >> we have had fantastic governors who have made very effective foreign policy presidents. look back to bill clinton and ronald reagan what. matters is policy, doctrine. mitt romney did a fantastic job of spelling out his foreign policy doctrine. i know it sounds like a cliche but peace through strength is a doctrine. i've been in congress 14 years. i've been running the budget committee for my party six
years. 20% of our budget is national security, homeland security, it's security. that makes a big difference. voting to send men and women on war on ovations that gives you experience. mitt romney has the demeanor, the temperament, the principles, the skills to be a great foreign policy president. >> congressman paul ryan, the election two weeks from today. thank you, sir, for your time this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you, savannah. >> now for the view from the other side. i spoke with vice president joe biden last night after the debate and started by asking him if he thought governor romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy. >> no. he's not. he's a good man. he's a decent man but he demonstrated an overwhelming lack of understanding in international community. he demonstrated a lack of understanding in the military, and -- and i was amazed that even just a couple of weeks ago when i debated congressman ryan, congressman ryan was laying out the foreign policy with regard
to what he and what governor romney believed. the overwhelming criticism our positions in syria, iraq, iran, across the board, and tonight governor romney seemed to be rushing to agree with everything the president had done already. >> if you compare mitt romney today to barack obama at this time four years ago when he was running against john mccain and his extensive military experience and foreign policy experience, does mitt romney have the same level of expertise in foreign policy that barack obama did in 2008? >> not even close. barack obama, i was chairman of the foreign relations committee. he was on my foreign -- our foreign relations committee for four years. he demonstrated a grasp and a gravity. he had a world view of where america's position should be, how we should interact in the world, how we needed to rebuild alliances, et cetera, et cetera, acted on those from the time he came in. governor romney didn't demonstrate any breadth, any breadth of understanding, and --
and it -- it was a little bit, quite frankly, surprising. >> let's go back to the point you made a second ago about how governor romney seemed to agree with many of the positions that the administration has taken over the last three and a half four years. in your opinion what's the most significant difference in foreign policy between mitt romney and barack obama? >> governor romney showed absolutely no vision of what he thought america's place in the world -- role in the world should be. >> i'm talking about a specific. in a particular country, in a particular situation, what's the biggest difference? >> well, i mean, the -- quite frankly in light of what he said tonight i don't know. he agreed with everything we've done on iran. agreed with everything we've done on syria. he's agreed with everything we've done in libya. >> i think if you were to talk to people six months ago they would have said that foreign policy was something that was firmly in the pocket of president obama. he could say we killed osama bin laden. we're out of iraq. we're winding down in
afghanistan, end of story, and yet if you look at some recent polls, mr. vice president, they are tightening considerably. people seem to trust mitt romney on foreign policy as a commander in chief and in his dealings of how he would deal with terrorism. why do you think that's happening in. >> i don't think it's happening, number one. i don't believe that. i don't believe there's any understanding demonstrated on the part of a governor that he in fact is ready to be the commander in chief. as i said, he's a nice guy and was a great businessman, but i don't -- i mean, my guess is, again, i'm not a pollster and i'm -- i'm -- i'm out of my depth here, but i would be dumbfounded if day, two and three and five and six days from now they thought that they had demonstrated a command of the international circumstances and america's vision of the world that he would be a credible commander in chief. >> 14 days to go until the election. ohio, virginia. >> yes. >> and florida. it seems those three states are
going to decide it all. is that the way you see it? >> i think they are going to be critically important, and i think we have a chance. i think we'll win ohio. i think we will -- i think we're going to win florida, and -- but, look, this is going to be close. we always knew the end of the day this was going to be a close race, no matter who the republicans nominated. >> you think it's fair to say that in states like where you are in ohio and florida and virginia this is going to boil down in some ways to disappointed voters, voters who voted for barack obama back in 2008. i want you to speak to those disappointed voters and tell them why they should stay the course. >> well, to the disappointed voters, and there are disappointed voters. this will be a choice. i've been convinced of that from the beginning. people are going to and some reluctant to make the choice because they -- because things haven't turned out for them yet, but they are going to look and say is governor romney going to better my circumstance, or am i better staying on this path?
and i believe they are going to make a choice, and they are going to pick the -- the obama/biden ticket as opposed to the romney/ryan ticket. >> good to see you, sir. >> good to see you. >> vice president joe biden last night and congressman paul ryan last night as well. so the debates are in the books, and they have made things like big bird and binders full of women hot topics online. last night the president was trending for that line about horses and bayonets. >> how do you know something is about to enter the cultural phenomenon? you look at twitter, of course, and it became the most tweeted moment of the night, helping drive a total, i can't believe this, of more than 6.5 million tweets. >> but you knew it as you heard it. >> when the line came out, whether it was practiced or spontaneous you knew that would be something that people would talk about. another common theme online, reaction to governor romney's apparent agreement with president obama on a lot of issues, take a look. >> i want to underscore the same point the president made. the president was right. i believe as the president
indicated and said at the time that i supported his action there. i congratulate him. i felt the same as the president did. >> i guess you could say it's nice to see the candidates agree about some things two weeks before election day, and the other line was one to research. i love teachers. governor romney used that phrase several times as he turned from foreign policy to domestic issues. mod raider bob schieffer quipped i think we all love teachers. no question that they both took the foreign policy debate to domestic issues. >> a programming note, brian williams is joining president obama for a series of interviews over the course of two days on the campaign trail. can you see those interviews. wednesday here on "today" and "nightly news" and thursday night on "rock center." >> meantime, we're following a lot of other stories this morning, including the fda investigating reports of five deaths that may be associated with a popular energy drink. disney's defense of its newest
princess is making news. is she latina or not, and then possible evidence that whales can talk. we'll get to all of that coming up. but first let's head over to the news desk. natalie is standing by with the other headlines of the morning. good morning. good morning, everyone. keir simmons now with more on the phone hacking scandal. >> reporter: a number of victims said they are suing when piers morgan was editor. one is a former nanny for david and victoria beckham and and england national soccer coach who claimed it happened while piers morgan was in charge at the newspaper. piers morgan has always denied any wrongdoing, and the details of the claim are still not clear, but naturally the phone-hacking scandal that rocked rupert murdoch's empire
clearly continues. >> keir simmons, thanks. police in southern new jersey have found a female body that lakely belongs to a 12-year-old missing girl. autumn pass qvale was last seen riding her bike it a friend's house on sunday afternoon. the body was found in a recycling container blocks from the girl's home. an autopsy is under way this morning. a congressional committee is investigating the massachusetts pharmacy at the center of a deathly meningitis outbreak. so far, 23 people have died. nearly 300 people have been sickened by the fungal strain of the disease linked to steroid injections distributed by the new england compounding center. the facility was cleared by a state inspection just last year. on monday the house committee on energy and commerce sent a request to the facility seeking ten years worth of documents on safety. well, good news this morning for commuters as gas prices are tumbling. on monday the week-over-week price made its biggest drop in nearly four years, and while the average driver will still pay
3.66 at the pump today, aaa expects that price to drop as low as 3.25 by thanksgiving. wild weather in northern california. a tornado touched down just 40 miles north of the state capital sacramento bringing some minor damage there. several funnel clouds were also report in the area but no other twisters touched down. the san francisco giants are heading to the world series after clinching the national league title in a rainy game seven monday night. the giants sehut out defending world series champs 9-0 battling through the downpour. the giants kick off the world series against the detroit tigers tomorrow night in san francisco. and with a title of how to pick up a girl at the gym, it's no wonder this video has racked up more than 1.1 million hits on youtube in the last 24 hours, but before you take notes, be aware. his approach is a bit literal.
ha, ha, ha, ha. yeah, yeah, yeah >> you might want to clare that with a female weightlifting partner before you try it. 7:21 right now. back over to savannah, matt and al. not recommended to try that. >> a good way to ruin a relationship right there. >> what's the opposite of having game? throwing someone down on the gym mat. >> thank you very much. >> mr. roker. >> not going anywhere that. let's see what we've got. tropical storm sandy, not the dog from annie, 20, 25 miles from kingston, jamaica, 45-mile-per-hour winds and hurricane watches up for jamaica. tropical storm watches up for santo domingo as we take a look and show you the path of the system. it will come across, jamaica probably as a hurricane sometime wednesday and make its way out along the atlantic and then it
gets a little dicy as to what it's going to do. we'll continue to track it for >> good morning. the mild weather will continue. high temperatures all the way into the upper 70's. . >> and that's your latest weather. matt? >> thanks very much. coming up, a popular energy drink cited in the deaths of five people. the fda is now investigating. we'll have details on that story, and the college student who has caused a stir online with this picture. why she hopes it will change the way you think about beauty and yourbody. but first this is "today" on nbc.
coming up, the new defense from douglas kennedy as trials are trying to take a newborn son out of the hospital without permission. >> and the whale who may have taught himself to talk after the local news. means living with pa. it could also mean living with joint damage.ith pa. help relieve the pain and stop the damage with humira, adalimumab. for many adults with moderate to severe ra, humira is clinically proven to help relieve pain and stop joint damage. so you can treat more than just the pain. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections or have symptoms such as
fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your rheumatologist about humira, to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage before they stop you. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. a 12-year-old prince george's county board will be sentenced later this morning for murder. he is sentenced for beating to death the two-year-old girl in washington. he entered an alford plea to involuntary manslaughter charges in july. an autopsy confirmed that the little girl died of blunt force
trauma. that's get a check of the morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> in lot of accidents we tracking this hour. let's look at what is going on in the harrisburg expressway. we have an accident taking up one lane. 12 miles per hour beginning at shawan road. these delays begin around mountain road towards the beltway. inner loop of the beltway, watch for crash. eastbound 140, route 91, watch for an accident in finksburg. prior to 395, taking up the left lane. southbound delays at the bw parkway. 95 and 395, showing the northbound accident off to the left shoulder. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11.
>> at least the weather is nice and quiet. 50 at the airport, 49 in jarrettsville. it a bit of rain across the line here. slight chance for a rain shower in the forecast. otherwise, a mixture of sunshine and clouds. later on today, we will hit 80 tomorrow. winds will shift to the east, winds will shift to the east,
as a pastor, my support for question 6 is rooted in my belief that the government should treat everyone equally. i would not want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views, therefore i should not deny others based upon mine. it's about fairness. this law does not force any church to perform a same sex marriage if it's against their beliefs.
and that's what this is about. protecting religious freedom and protecting all marylanders equally under the law. join me in voting for question 6. here's a question for you. would you ever post a picture of yourself like this online? well, a brave young college student here in new york city did, and she did it to draw attention to issues of beauty and body image, and in just a couple of days this has been viewed more than 4 million times. along with her biting message to anyone who has a problem with this image. we're going to talk to her just ahead. 7:30 now on a tuesday morning. it's 239rd day of october, 2012. i'm matt lauer alongside savannah guthrie. >> also ahead, can a whale imitate a human voice? one beluga whale, sure sounds like he was trying.
sounds like me right before my first cup of coffee in the morning. >> good to know. also the economy is issue number one in the presidential campaign. polling tells us that time and time again, but no matter who wins in two weeks families need some strategies now to make ends meet. we're going to get some very practical advice from jean chats z coming up. speaking the election, we should mention president obama is going to be jay leno's guest tomorrow night on "the tonight show." >> we want to begin this half hour with the fda investigating reports of five deaths potentially linked to highly caffeinated monster energy drinks. nbc's tom costello is with us via skype from san antonio, texas. tom, good morning what. can you tell us. >> reporter: savannah, good morning to you. you may remember back in march we did an investigation on the "today" show looking at the high caffeine energy drinks that are specifically targeted to young people, to high school people, college students, and we talked about a 14-year-old who died last december after going into cardiac arrest, and the official
cause of her death was cardiac arrhythmia due to caffein toxicity. well, new as her mother prepared to sue the maker of the drink, monster, the fda is saying that a total of five people may have died over the last three years after drinking monster energy drinks. monster says it's unaware of any fatality anywhere that may have been caused by these drinks, but in the 23 hours before anais' cardiac arrest she had consumed two 24-ounce monster energy drinks, with five times the amount of caffeine that kids should cink at that age and she had an underlying heart ailment called mitral valve prolapse. the doctors said that that should not in any way affect her ability to carry on a normal life, but that was something that was going on at the same time. monster denies the allegations that in any way its drinks contributed to anais' death, but
doctors are warning too much caffein, plus energy, the sugar, rather, can in fact start to cause really big problems in kids. last point i want to make sure you understand is that the number of caffeine toxicity reports from emergency rooms around the country has skyrocketed. 1,100 in 2005 to 13,000 in 2009. so doctors are becoming very concerned about caffeine toxicity. back to you. >> tom costello, thank you. madeline fernstrom joins us and joins us from a cardiologist from nyu medical center. good morning. >> good morning. >> there's no causal link, to be clear. the fda has reports of deaths after someone drank these drinks, but they haven't established this causal connection yet. >> they haven't established the direct link, but what we do know is that toxic levels of caffeine can cause pretty dangerous heart rhythm problems. >> in terms of reports to the
fda for beverage like this that is consumed one presumes by millions, how significant is that number, five deaths, and then there was another report of a non-fatal heart attack. >> it's a very significant number because we're talking about young people who are drinking these drinks, and any time you put a young person dies it is a concern, you know. they mentioned that she had a heart valve problem. that probably didn't play a role in her death, but in fact having toxic doses of caffeine can cause chaotic heart rhythm that lead to sudden death. other symptoms of caffeine overdose are abdominal pain, severe cramping and tremors. >> and madeline, do these companies have to label how much caffeine, and how much would you have to drink to get to that point of caffeine toxicity, as the doctor says? >> first you have to remember caffeine is found in nature. no regulation in terms of what you put on the can. would it be a good idea to have a 24-ounce can with 240 milligrams? that's a cup and a half of coffee, so when you look at it
like that, you're saying at one time, is that a lot? it's a moderate amount. 300 milligrams, two cups of coffee, maybe one large energy drink in a day is what's recommended but there susceptible people, very young, very old, have heart conditions. if you take certain medications you have to be aware so you have to look for information so it would always be a good idea. >> thank you both for your perspective. now we want to get a check of the weather from al. >> all right. thank you so much, savannah. as we show you what's going on. big changes temperature-wise coming up. we've got the jet stream dipping way to the south in the western part of the country. inner level ridge in parts of the east and that means warmer than usual temperatures. memberies in ten degrees above normal and chicago 73 degrees. look at boise, 49 and reno 49, almost 20 degrees below >> good morning. it will turn out to be a nice
day. high temperatures into the upper 70's. just a 20% chance for a >> and that's your latest weather. matt? >> all right. al. thank you very much. the trial of douglas kennedy, son of the late robert kennedy, is now under way. he's charged with child endangerment and harassment following an incident at a hospital involving his newborn son. nbc's andrea canning is in mount kisco, new york, with more on this trial. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, matt. back in january douglas kennedy said he wanted to take his newborn baby boy out for some fresh air at the hospital, but two nurses tried to stop him, and things got heated. monday here in court his attorney, he said that those
nurses acted abracively and that his client was simply acting on instinct when he kicked one of them. a confident douglas kennedy arriving to court monday with his wife molly by his side. >> feeling ready for this to start, and i thank you very much and hopefully everything will turn out okay. >> reporter: kennedy is fighting the charges from a january scuffle all caught on surveillance video. two nurses say kennedy became violent after they tried to stop him from taking his two-day-old son out of the hospital without permission. things only escalated when a code pink and a code purple were declared indicating a missing baby and a dangerous person inside the hospital. on the witness stand monday the "new york times" reports nurse anna lane wiped away tears while describing how kennedy allegedly twisted her arm from the doorknob she was guarding, but under defense cross-examination lane acknowledged hiring a personal injury lawyer shortly after the altercation but says
she wasn't seeking money, just a public apology, according to reports. the defense also questioned lane's motivation for speaking out to nbc news about the alleged assault back in march. >> to be assaulted because you're protecting the best interests of a baby, that's not okay. i was doing my job. >> reporter: kennedy, the son of the late robert kennedy and a fox news reporter has pled not guilty to the charges of endangering the welfare of a child and harassing nurses. >> it's been very difficult for douglas and his family. >> reporter: in opening statements monday, kennedy's attorney argued the hospital had no policy banning fathers from taking their babies outside, and when kennedy, a father of five, kicked a nurse, he was acting out of instinct as a parent. legal expert karen de soto. >> the defense is mainly going to say it was a spontaneous act, that he was merely trying to protect his child and, therefore, it doesn't rise to the criminal charge of
endangering the welfare of a child. >> reporter: in april douglas kennedy defended his actions publicly. >> it is okay for a father to hold his son in his arms, and it is okay for a father to want to be with his newborn baby. >> reporter: today in court more nurses are expected to testify. if douglas kennedy is convicted, he could face a fine or even up to a year in jail, and, matt, this trial is expected to last throughout the week. >> all right, andrea canning. andrea, thank you very much. coming up next, you tell us it's the number one issue in the economy. we'll talk about it and get some real advice on how you can save money. and is this whale talking? we'll hear from him, but first these messages. look i made a face. awesome. why don't we make a pumpkin. what do pumpkins look like? what's... like this. you're my pumpkin! what do you think? i made a bat. [ boy ] i made a sword.
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we're back now at 7:42 with a new series we're calling "issue number one, the economy." according to a recent gallup poll it is the most important issue facing the country, and with many families struggling to pay bills and save money, it could be the deciding factor in the presidential race. here's "today's" financial editor jean chatzky. >> reporter: living paycheck to
paycheck in phoenix. the dibburn family is struggling to make ends meet. >> we've made the best of what we can because we're a family, but it doesn't mean that it's not difficult every day. you still like that one. >> reporter: parents of four adopted children, dawn and walter used to feel they had it all, a beautiful home they owned, two cars and enough money to take the kids on vacation. >> in 2008 things started to go down. we cleaned out our 401 which we had over $40,000 in, and we kept trying to hold on to our house. >> we're basically cold off everything we own just to keep it going. >> reporter: a car mechanic by trade, walter took a significant pay cut during the financial crisis. >> i was there for 28 years before all this happened and then had to find a different job because it wasn't paying enough, and it's still not paying enough. >> reporter: the most painful sacrifice, losing their home to foreclosure. >> she looked like mini mouse.
the kids said i just want to go home, mom. it just breaks my heart. >> reporter: david kelly, an economist for jpmorgan funds, says we now have an hour glass economy. >> the middle is getting squeezed and people are moving up and moving down, but staying in the middle is pretty difficult. >> reporter: even though walter works 12-hour days, the family has not found a way to start saving again. >> i don't have time to think about saving. i couldn't even find six cents to save if i had to. >> we don't make enough money to save anything. >> no, we don't. we have zero savings. >> reporter: in the upcoming presidential election they are looking for a leader that can show those they call the real people how to move forward financially. >> you hear about the stock market. you hear about $8 billion going out of the country. those aren't numbers that mean something to my family. $168 to get groceries to get through the week, those are the numbers that mean something to my family. the $20 a day in gas that it
takes me to get my kids to school every day. i want to know how to go forward from 2012. >> jean, good morning. >> good morning. >> i would imagine a lot of people watching are either in the exact same situation the dibburn family is in or know someone who is. without getting into the specifics of their financial situation, what general advice can you offer them in. >> two general pieces of advice. if you can't say or can't find the money you have to work the other side of the equation which means you've got to work on income. she's home with the kids. maybe a part-time job is possible. maybe taking someone else's kids in is possible. the second thing to keep in mind, there is a tax break called the savers credit which for lower and middle income families is a dollar for dollar reduction of the taxes that you pay for putting money into an i.r.a. or 401(k). it's worth about $2,000 a year. >> and it struck me when she said we can't even save six cents. i mean, this is a family really struggling. you have some tips now for
people who possibly can save a little. the first is save before you spend. it sounds obvious. >> it sounds obvious. the problem is we are so focused on the here and now that if the money lands in your checking account, you're very likely to spend it. you've got to get it out of there before it lands into a 401(k) and i.r.a., somewhere where you're not going to touch it. >> and prioritize your savings. >> right. >> we work in an order. we do our emergency cushion first and then we do anything that gives us matching dollars and then the accounts that give us tax breaks and finally discretionary accounts if they have the ability to do more. >> and you want everyone to set a realistic percentage of savings per month. what would that be for a family struggling to make ends meet is this. >> start low. financial experts say all the time saturday 10%, 15%, like a crash diet, people fail. start with 2% and ramp it up sl slowly. >> opportunities are few and far between these days.
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well, can whales talk? a team of marine biologists in san diego is convinced that a beluga whale was at least trying. nbc's mara schiavocampo is here with more on that story. mara, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. this is such a fascinating story. the whale spent most of his life amusing an amazing marine biologists, and the team has spent decades studying him saying this whale was definitely different than the rest. these sounds may not seem clear to a lot of people, but to some marine biologists what you're hearing is a whale mimicking the human voice. the star of this research project was a beautiful white whale named noisy and he was
found in manitoba, canada and later flown to the national marine mammal center for a study. the study team first began to notice human-like sounds in the dolphin and whale enclosure pack in 1984, sounds they soon figured out had come from the whale. >> he was the only one who did it to lower the pitch of his voice quite drastically. it was my impression and that of just about everybody that heard it that he was trying to imitate the human voice. >> reporter: convinced they had no ordinary whale in the study group ridgeway and his group built a special underwater listening platform to capture the sounds and voices coming from the whale. >> we concluded the whale was making a sound that was very unlike his own normal whale sounds and unlike that of other
whales, and he was going to great effort to do this. >> reporter: their findings reveal a rhythm similar to human speech. frequencies much closer to that of the human voice. several octaves lower than typical whale sounds. >> yes. >> reporter: in the 1973 movie "day of the dolphin," george c. scott teaches a pair of dolphins to speak and understand english. but while some animals and mammals may sound like they are communicating with us, ridgeway says we may never know for sure if the whale actually understood what he was saying. >> we didn't think that the whale knew what he was saying, and now we may have been wrong about that. >> reporter: sadly the whale died five years ago, but scientists will continue studying his voice. now at least we know what whales think we sound like. >> we don't know what he was saying. mara, thanks. >> we don't speak whale.
>> just ahead, a new spoof on brad pitt's new commercial. >> after this. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira and take control of your personal economy. this is going to be helpful. call or come in today. fidelity investments. turn here. and getting more. that's value sense. introducing the scott shared values program. get free movie rentals, music downloads, and more. use your value sense. sign up at scottbrand.com.
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>> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. here is sarah caldwell. >> harrisburg expressway, we are seeing delays this morning due to an accident just past timonium road in the southbound direction. these stretch past shawan road. looks like my maps are frozen. i apologize for that. all right, we are running through all of them now, aren't we? couple road, we have an accident coming in and delays are still in place at 140, where we have
accident in the pikesville region. harford county from mountain route to the 895 split. the could be delayed there. stephanie road, watch for an accident near aberdeen. the delay is just south of mountain road now, but did little bit of improvement. pulaski highway, still a better bet this morning. shawan road, this is just a mess. almost at a standstill from shawan down to the beltway. >> good to see the gremlins that visit the weather computer visit you guys as well. a little chilly but not that bad for this time of year. we will drop all the way into the upper 70's this afternoon. if the warm air comes in, it triggers a few rainshowers and light sprinkles near the pennsylvania line. if you are watching north of baltimore, a brief passing shower.
♪ ♪ it started with a little kiss, like this ♪ >> 8:00 now on this tuesday morning. it's 239rd of october, 2012. the countdown is on to the epic concert on our plaza. aerospace will be here. >> epic. >> epic. >> ten days from now. >> i'm looking forward to this. >> i know. you agree it's epic, right? they have never done a morning show performance live so we will have them here. the crowd will be huge. meantime our crowd is saying hello on this tuesday morning. >> i'm not sure steven tyler has ever been up that early. >> maybe will just stay up late. >> right, exactly. >> you know what else is
happening, "law & orderer svu," a lot of crime-solving. got the cast live in our studio this morning. there they are, mariska and the gang. already a headline ripping the headlines a moment ago. >> almost had to put a chalk outline around richard belzer. everybody is okay. nobody got hurt. an interview with them. needless to say belzer was at the center of it. >> the facts do it every time. >> slippery floors around here. also ahead. imagine posting a photo of yourself in your underwear online? i know. >> again. >> how many times has that happened to you? well, you know what, this young woman decided to do that. it was really a commentary. she said she was tired of being picked on about her weight and she wanted to challenge opinions about beauty and size. the response has been overwhelming, and we'll talk to that young lady coming up >> you know, that's brad pitt chanel commercials are the gift that just keep on giving.
we've got a fantastic spoof coming up. >> we chase after it. training disappears. >> the question is who is going to be laughing christmastime? are they going to sell record amounts or numbers of that perfume? >> getting a lot of free publicity. >> that's for sure. >> let's go inside. natalie is standing by with all the headlines. natalie, good morning. >> good morning, matt, savannah and al. good morning, everyone. president obama and mitt rom launch a two-week blitz of swing states following last night's third and final debate. both candidates turned down the verbal attacks of their previous debate. republican romney did criticize the president's foreign policy record in the middle east, and the president accused romney of refusing to support government help for the u.s. auto industry. meantime, today, president obama campaigns in florida and ohio, while romney heads west to nevada and colorado. an autopsy report concludes that the death of "top gun" director tony scott was a suicide. it says scott suffered blunt force injuries and drowned when he jumped from a bridge into los angeles harbor two months ago.
there had been some media reports that the 68-year-old scott had a brain tumor, but the los angeles coroner says scott did not have cancer or any other underlying condition. now let's head to wall street where cnbc's courtney reagan can tell us what will be moving the markets today. good morning to you, courtney. >> reporter: good morning to you, natalie. stocks could be under early pressure today after a late-day rally on monday saw the dow erase a triple-digit loss for the first time in three months, thanks widely to the tech sector, and tech again today will be a market focus. facebook reports its second earnings report as a publicly traded company. traders will be reacting to earnings reports from after the bell monday from the likes of yahoo! texas instruments and western digital, and apple, widely expected to release a new smaller ipad mini. natalie? >> courtney reagan at the new york stock exchange, thanks. as courtney mentioned, apple is expected to unveil its new ipad mini at a pre-scheduled event this afternoon. tech bloggers and analysts expect it will be about half the
size with 57.8-inch screen and much cheaper than the regular ipad, making it more competitive with other smaller tablets, like amazon's kindle fire. a man who claims he was once britney spears manager is set to take the stand today in his defamation suit against spears' parents. sam luftke is seeking a share of the superstars efortune. on monday a recording executive testified that he was gopher, not a manager. spears' mother has portrayed him as a controlling figure who gave her daughter drugs. now for a look at what is trending today. our quick roundup of what has you talking online. disney is defending its newest princess against a royal backlash online. it started when a producer described sophia as disney's first latina princess. while critics then said the character didn't look latina enough. well, now, a disney official says all our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities. i guess case closed.
humans aren't the only ones spoofing the new channel number 5 commercials reflecting a rambling brad pitt. >> wherever i fetch, there you are. my wag, my treat, my belly rub. kennel number 5. >> the pet collective describes kennel number 5 is the timeless scent for the classically adorable dog. and anything for a good cause. george clooney, a good sport, when he sang this duet with neil diamond at saturday's carousel of hope charitiy ball in beverly hills. take a listen. ♪ so good, so good ♪ so good, so good ♪ and i've been inclined >> oh, oh, oh ♪ >> i think al roker set the standard for "sweet caroline" duets here on the plaza.
♪ >> all right. i've been replaced right here now. that's terrible. ♪ warm, touching warm reaching out ♪ >> we've got it. ♪ touching me, touching you >> here we go, now, everybody. ♪ sweet caroline >> can't help but sing along. let's go back outside. al roker, come on. >> so good, so good, so good! >> i love it how nobody knows the words until touching you, buh, buh, buh. all righty, mr. roker. >> there's the store bet religious local bread. god our friends here from brookline. who is retired? >> joy. >> joy.
>> all right! >> what did you retire from? >> verizon. >> verizon. >> all right. well, can you hear me now? >> well, happy retirement, joy. let's see what we've got weather-wise for you. we've got the latest on tropical storm sandy. 325 miles south southwest of kingston, jamaica. 45-mile-per-hour winds and it's moving north at about three miles per hour. it will come across jamaica sometime as a hurricane early thursday morning and then right into the weekend. that's what's going on across >> good morning. the mild weather will continue. high temperatures all the way into the upper 70's.
>> and that's your latest weather. >> mr. roker, thank you. when we come back, the overwhelming response to this young lady who posted a picture of herself online and said this is my body. deal with it. we'll meet her life right after these messages. right here at table 19, a secret crush turned out to be a mutual attraction. the westgate cousins went old school to decide who pays the check. a local book club raved about the cliffhangers in the new crime novel. and some bff's from college joked about looking up old flames on facebook. all over delicious entrees like new santa cruz steak
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. back now at 8:12 with a young woman who sparked a new debate over body image. 18-year-old stella boonshoft posted this image on her tumbler site to send a message of body acceptance. picked up by other blogs, and it's now been viewed more than 4 million times. stella is with us along with brandon stanton the photographer who reposted this picture on his site. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> stella, you're 18 years old.
you gave us permission to post the photo and your parents are cool with it, too. >> yes. >> let's talk about how it is that you decided, first of all, to pose in your underwear and take this picture and then to put it online. >> well, i found that after years of struggling with my body image that really there was no way to justify the bullying and the torment i endured as a child and as a teen, and it took a lot of years of self-searching to understand that like this isn't right. we don't have the authority to go judge other people's beauty, and we don't have the authority to make, you know, assumptions about other people's health based on the way they look, and i finally came to a place where i was really happy with the way i looked, and, you know, hi found on tumbler there's a huge body positive, body acceptance movement, and i wanted to, you know, give a message to the bullies who had tormented me and show them that it didn't work. >> part of your message on the blog that accompanied the posting was, warning, picture
might be considered obscene because subject is not thin, and we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. well, i'm not going to stand for that. this is my body, not ours. mine. how did you get to that place of acceptance, and beyond acceptance, wanting to show the world? >> well, i didn't expect the world to see it, so this has definitely been a whirlwind couple of days, but way i saw it was that, you know, every single day i'm bombarded, especially living in new york city, with images of naked women or half-naked women, and they all look the same. they all have the same kind of body type, and somehow that's okay, but, you know, god forbid we put someone like me, who is a size 12 on the billboards. >> let me bring brandon into this. you didn't know so much people would see it and that's partly how all this happened. brandon, you have a website called humans of new york. you take pictures of people on the street. you ran into stella and then what happened? >> well, i ran into her.
she approached me while i was taking a photo of somebody else. i stop people in the streets all day and i take photos of them, and i took her photograph, and as i normally do with my blog, i'll take a photo of somebody and then i'll start asking questions, and so she started telling me about her blog and, you know, her interests, and she told me about this picture that she put up, and then when i got home she kind of e-mailed me, you know, a full bio along with a link to the picture and i looked at this, and i think that this is something that's going to resonate with my audience. >> stella, you didn't know he would post the underwear pictures. you cried when you first saw that he had done that. >> right. well, i don't want people to get the wrong idea that he somehow did this without my permission. i shared the information with him openly. it was on the internet. >> it had been shared about 80,000 times on tumbler already. >> shared 80,000 times on tumbler already, so i think the reason i cried was because it was so amazing, you know. i got an outpouring of love, like pretty much instantly, but
it was also extremely overwhelming because i made myself so vulnerable on the internet. it's a one-way conversation with people. >> people have been incredibly supportive, more supportive than not, but peoe can be cruel, and you know that very well. did you ever think, what, gosh, why did i do this and open myself up to it? >> i did think that, but i think that, you know, people being cruel, it doesn't really get to me because i have to remind myself i have a real life and i have real people who support me. you know, i think people are cruel because they are uncomfortable with seeing images of someone who, you know, is not thin, and they also don't understand what the body acceptance movement is. it's not to promote being unhealthy. it's not to promote anything like that. it's to take await stigma of overweight people in america because, you know, a lot of us are, and -- and that's all right. it doesn't mean that you can look at someone and know what is wrong with their health. >> well, you've go the a lot of people talking. brandon and stella, thanks for coming by and telling your story. appreciate it.
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special victims unit" is celebrating a milestone. in its 14th season the show is airing its 300th episode. in the latest whodunit the squad leaps into overtime when a young boy is kidnapped setting off a race against time and a closer look at the boy's parents. take a look. >> you know, maybe david morse got tired of paying for two sets of legal fees. >> and has his own son kidnapped? >> or the wife wants to make him look bad. >> nothing is fair in love and war. >> does want to make him look bad. got a point of saying he got there at 11:00 today, two hours late. >> 11:00, the train didn't leave until 12:15. >> did david tell you he stopped anywhere? >> no, and i asked. >> the "svu" cast is with us, ice-t, marisa hargitay and great to have you all here. when this show went on the air, we were worried about y-2-k
virus, britney spears was singing "one more time," what a gift. 300 episodes. what a gift. >> it's not the thing that we look younger. at least for me i always look 60, that's how it works. >> when you think about shows that come on the air and go off the air in two, three weeks these days, what does it mean as an actor to have something like this on your resume? >> well, it's a dream for an actor to have the same job for more than one season let alone 14, and what we're blessed with is we all get along. that may sound corny, but we have literally become a family, and danny and kelly have just joined the show in the last couple of years, must have set some kind of record in fitting in with our group because we have catch phrases in our in jokes. are we supposed to not talk while this is going on? >> you're supposed to watch and add mire your own work.
quiet. look at belzer and how he moves his -- anyway, these guys are great. just delirious we're on 14 years with great new actors. >> how many shows have you played? >> 11. >> this year i tie matt dillon as james or necessary on "gunsmoke" for 20 years. i've played this for 20 years so i don't want to say i'm old. >> that's a good achievement. >> going into my 18th year in the "law & order" brand which i believe is now the longest running character. >> let me ask you about that because let's talk about this. the cliffhanger last year, so your character finds a dead escort in bed? >> yeah. >> yeah, i know. >> ripped from the headlines. >> what's up with that? >> leave my private life out of this. >> this was, well, we kind of worked that out. you know, it was a setup. >> okay. >> but it -- it always puts a crimp in your evening to wake up with a dead hooker in the bed.
>> one of the producers was interviewed recently saying they are trying to push you guys out of your comfort zone in this 14th season. does that make sense to you? >> it does. one of the things about the show being such a marker of the 300th episode, the most interesting thing about it after 14 years the show is completely reig rated, and it feels to us, who have been here, fresh, and like a new show, and that's pretty exciting. instead of it being tired and you're done and i've done this a million times, it feels truly like a new show, and it's -- you know, danny and kelly have infused the show with such incredible new energy and warren light has completely brought a different spin to it >> exactly. >> again, really pushing us to our limits which is really exciting to play to. >> a lot of fans out there. let's do a lot of trivia. just take a beat before you answer, give folks at home a chance to answer. which of your characters has been shot. now raise your hand?
>> yeah. >> just the two of you. >> i thought you'd all been shot at one time or another. >> are you talking about television or real life? >> all right. >> what type of needle did you -- >> no, no. >> which of your characters would be in a stable relationship? which would or are right now? >> none. >> or have been? >> no one. >> on the show. >> the true answer is none. >> that's right. >> and last one, how many romantic interests has delinquent difficult olivia benson had over the years? >> aside from us? >> how many. >> anybody at home? >> got to be about six. >> come on. >> 15 seconds? >> four, eight? >> more. >> six. >> seven is the correct answer, sir. >> when you ask the question how many episodes, check it out this
week, guys. great to have you here. congratulations. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. let's get a final check on the morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> we are still dealing with problems out there. falls road shutdown between copper road and old pimlico road. it is in the process of being cleared. j.f.x. with delays on the beltway towards 28th street. southbound 83 from approaching shawan road down towards the beltway, and earlier accident causing those delays. 15 miles per hour there.
south of the harford county line, once you get on to the beltway on the north side, but towards dulaney valley, watch for delays. prince crossing road, watch for an accident in severn. right at the overpass, heading towards the 895 split, and we will switch over to a live view of padonia road, where traffic is still crawling towards the beltway. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. >> we are off to a quiet start weather-wise. 55 in westminster. there is a little bit of rain across the pennsylvania line. if you are watching us across the northern suburbs, a brief passing shower as the warm air comes in. 75 and 80 later on this afternoon and a partly cloudy
and this is maryland. every year marylanders spend five hundred and fifty million gaming at casinos in these other states. question seven will build a new casino and bring table games to baltimore... generating hundreds of millions for schools. and that money has to go to education. it's the law. so vote for question seven. so we can stop spending all that money here, and keep maryland money in classrooms like mine.
we're back now. 8:30 on a tuesday morning. it's the 23rd day of october, 2012. it's a great start to the day here in new york city. bright blue skies, but you know what? that sky is going to give way to some clouds later today. some rain in our future. doesn't matter. we're going to have a good time. i'm matt lauer along with savannah guthrie and al roker
and natalie morales. coming up in the studio, one of the most prolific authors of all time. >> john grisham out with his 30th book, can you believe, that an action-packed legal thriller with a twist and we'll talk to him about some of his other favorite novels. >> and one of our favorite singers is in the house, mr. tony bennett, the legend first hit the charts back in 1951. well, he is out with a new album, and this one has a little bit of a latin flair to it, so looking forward to that. >> sounds great. don't forget our annual halloween extravaganza. did you know it's just eight days away? >> no. >> i couldn't believe that. >> so if you're coming down to the plaza, better get going on that costume. we're going to crown a winner, as we always do, and, of course, we all will be getting dressed up as well, so be sure to join us for all the fun next wednesday here on "today." >> i have a fitting today. costume fitting. >> interesting fitting.
could be interesting. >> mr. roker, how about a check of the weather? >> let's see what we've got for you starting with today. we are looking at snow out back through the rockies, the cascades and inner mountain range. rain throughout the great lakes. that shower activity moves into the northeast later today. rain along the pacific northwest coast. southern skies will have plenty of sunshine as they will tomorrow. risk of some strong storms through the upper mississippi river valley. rain lasts into tomorrow morning here in the northeast, and we've got mountain snows again back tomorrow throughout the inner mountain region, the >> good morning. it will turn out to be a nice day. high temperatures into the upper 70's. just a 20% chance for a
>> any time you need that weather, can you always check out the weather channel on cable or weather.com online. >> good advice. when we come back, what your birth order might tell you about your parenting skills, and we'll have a live performance from the one and only tony bennett, but first this is tase tase on nbc.
back now at 8:35 with our special series "the new normal" where we take a closer look at the changing american family. this morning we follow along as one writer takes to the stage to tell his story in his own words. >> after five loving fulfilling years with my boyfriend drew, i suddenly found myself online looking to meet a woman. to become dads we needed an egg donor, and finding one wasn't
going to be easy. it was hard to imagine any of these women contributing half of our child's dna and then most likely disappearing forever. am i picking a woman because she's pretty? am i picking her because she helps, you know, kids after school? how can you tell who the perfect person is? >> you feel like you want to make the right decision, and it feels like it's very loaded. >> that's what when suzy called. >> i told him i don't know where you are in this sequence or if you're interested, but keep me in mind because i'm -- i want you to have everything. >> suzy was everything an egg donor should be, kind, beautiful, smart, a gifted artist and at 28 she was practically at the peak of her fertility. she was also drew's little sister. >> i thought i could give them the happiness and joy that we always had as kids. >> we knew having a baby this way could be messy, but drew and
i grew up in a time when coming out meant putting an end to your dreams of fatherhood, but now we can picture having a baby with a little bit of both of us. we decided to go for it. unfortunately, mother nature had other plans. >> most women susie's age would produce dozens of healthy eggs. when she went in to have her eggs harvested, drew and i were in the waiting room, and the doctor came out and he was kind of shaking his head, and we knew right away it was bad news. it turns out she had only produced seven eggs. of those two failed to fertilize. the doctor warned us that if our surrogate couldn't get pregnant with susie's eggs it was highly unlikely that susie ever could either. the outlook was bad for us, crushing for susie. this could be her only chance at having a baby, a baby that would be ours, not hers. >> at that point i realized things don't happen the way you necessarily plan, and you just kind of go with it. if i don't have my own kids, i
know my brother, if this worked out for them, would have that. >> just before christmas the nurse called from the fertility doctor's office. jerry, she squealed, i have some exciting news! a few weeks later we had our first ultrasound appointment with our surrogate. >> we couldn't believe that we were potentially going to be parents, and the doctor walked in and started examining the surrogate and said, yeah, the two embryos are there and i said we're what? >> from the grainy soup of the sonogram monitor two distinct peanut shapes emerged, twins. >> pretty loosy goosey. >> she gave the chance for jerry and i have to equal parts in our children, and i think she gave us the chance to have a life that we never thought we could have. >> now thanks to susie there are two tiny people running around our house. i see a little bit of each of us in them, my nose, susie's eyes,
drew's chin. they fight and cry and laugh and sing. they cost a fortune. they are ours. we don't consider sues' mother to our kids, but she's a very special aunt, and we know some day our kids will fully appreciate the amazing gift she's given us. >> a little over a year ago susie came to us and told us she had some big news. >> my surprise little miracle. >> good girl. >> when they tell you that you can't have and then all of a sudden when you're not planning and things definitely aren't going that way, surprise. >> oh, very nice. >> families aren't made by a mold. they are made by people who love each other. sometimes they look weird to outsiders. our family has no mom. maybe yours lives in a winnebago or has a reality show on e. nobody's perfect, but even
though we can't always give our kids everything we want them to, have we do our best. >> things happen. miracle happens. life happens, and we're lucky. >> sometimes i'll see people looking at us funny, maybe doing a double take or muttering under their breath. it takes me a minute to remember oh, yeah, they are not used to seeing families like mine. >> down the block. >> may not be a typical family, and we're not perfect either, but to me we're perfectly norm a. i guess you could say we're the new normal. [ applause ] >> you can find more of jerry mahoney's log on our website and thanks for taking part in the open mike. up next, john grisham talks about his new legal thriller,
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john grisham made his first appearance on the "today" show back in 1919 for his second novel "the firm." 21 years later he's become one of the most successful authors of his generation. now his 30th back, an action-packed thriller called "the racketier." welcome back. >> looked so young. 21 years ago. >> everyone looked young back then. 30th book, and this is the first time that your main character in a book is an african-american, so i say congratulations, or what took you so long? >> what took so long, i guess. >> how was it writing this? >> i didn't think of him as being black or white. he's a character, a lawyer in trouble, a lawyer in prison. it was a little bit of a challenge, you know, because it was a lot different, but once i got into the story and the plot it was a pretty easy story to tell. >> when we first meet malcolm bannister he's in prison. >> right, right.
>> serving a ten-year term, white collar crime. throughout the entire thing he said i shouldn't be here. don't belong here. this is a theme you like to dig your teeth into, the guys who either shouldn't be in prison for legal reasons or the priorities being screwed up in our legal system. >> well, we have far too many people in prison, non-violent people who shouldn't be there. we have the highest incarceration rate in the civilized world. no one else is even close, and it costs 40,000 a year to incars rate an inmate, and 8,000 bucks a year to educate a kid. we've lost all sense of perspective when it comes to incarceration. i'm not talking about violent criminals. they belong and get what they deserve, but we have a lot of non-violent people in prison that shouldn't be there. >> this story snowballs and really starts to gain momentum when a federal judge is killed. >> yeah. >> here's your main character malcolm, and he uses something called rule 35 that a lot of people haven't heard of. tell me about rule 35. >> every federal inmate knows about rule 35. if you are in prison and can
help the authorities solve a crime that they really want to solve, you know something from the outside, can you basically cut a deal. >> it's a get out of free card. >> get out of jail free. you may have to go back and testify against this person, drug cases, mob cases, stuff like that, but if you can solve a high-profile crime from inside a prison you can get out. >> to get to know white collar crime a little better, you studied it, as you do for all your books. you went to prison and actually interviewed some lawyers who were serving time. what was the experience like? what did you learn from those conversations in. >> well, i've done that with several books. this time i real he to go back and do the research and talk to some guys in prison. well, first of all, just the nature of prison, daily life, how you survive, how you, you know, you take a very powerful rich lawyer and you put him in prison for six, seven years, whatever. that's -- that's some pretty rich material. you talk to the guy about what it's like to lose everything and be incarcerated, you know, you're ostracized and lose your
license to practice law. >> no control over your own destiny myomore. >> very little, and these guys are broken men, obviously. they are in prison. it's fascinating research. >> 30 books. how do you keep reinventing the wheel or do you even try? >> read the headlines. it's given to me every day. i mean, we -- we have so many great cases in this country. we have such a fascination with the law, lawsuits, trials, there's always another story. >> you're as big a consumer as you are an author? >> sure. i'm always looking. >> let me do this. when you come on the website lights up, people always have questions for you, and some of these you've heard and have probably answered before. let me get into a couple. this is from roamsy in salem, oregon. i'm sure you get this a lot. do you ever plan to write any sequels to your books? >> i've never planned on it until now, and i'm giving serious thought to writing a sequel to "a time to kill." >> why now? >> well, because it lends itself
to a sequel. can you go back and visit jake, our hero in "a time to kill" and tell all the stories from small time mississippi. that was the life i lived for ten years, and i'm very familiar with it. over the years i've been waiting for the great story, some other trial jake could have, a couple years after the trial in "a time to kill." >> have you come across it in. >> finally got the story. >> by the way the rumor is that story is also coming to broadway, true or false? >> it's true. >> when is that happening? >> casting "a time to kill" now and plan to open on broadway, plan to, in 2013. >> all right. this one is another one. this is from andover, massachusetts, gary says out of all of your books which one is your personal favorite, and what's your all-time favorite book by a different author? >> i'm partial to my first book, "time to kill" because it -- it's very personal. it's become the most popular of all books. books by other people, i don't know. there's so many i like. i go back to the "grapes of
wrath" by john steinbeck is a book i still read periodically. read it in high school. i'm not saying it inspired me to write, but i remember thinking i sure wish i could write as clearly as john steinbeck. i love the story. >> well, you've put out some amazing material. 30 books. this one is called "the racketier." >> stephen king has written 48. trying to catch him. >> don't be jealous. >> so far ahead of me. >> you're doing well. >> my pleasure. >> and the book again is "the racketeer." out today. up next, a live performance from the legendary tony bennett, but first, this is "today" on nbc.
i've always been lucky. flew 37 bombing missions over germany. made it home every time. i'm lucky to have good friends who are all still around, and we're all lucky to have a friend named ben. ben's protected our medicare and veterans' benefits. and he's helping my 13 grandchildren afford college. he's my friend, ben. i hope he's your friend, too.
i'm ben cardin, and i'm honored to approve this message. tony bennett is an entertainment icon, the winner of 17 grammy awards and still going strong. his latest album is called "viva duet." it's bennett's third duet-themed project, this time featuring top latin recording artists, and he with us now along with talia who appears on the album. good morning to both of you. tony bennett, latin music. whose idea was it to put these two things together? >> my son danny is my manager, and he came up with the premise of duets, and it's phenomenal. it sells internationally all over the world. >> did you like this kind of music before? did you think your music would translate to it well? >> well, the minute i heard the
artists on this album, a revelation to me that to me it's real music, you know. they are playing. they all sing right from the heart, and they mean it, and it's the kind of music that lasts. it's not obsolescence. >> you have great artists, christina aguilera, marc anthony, cheyenne and, of course, talia who we'll hear from in a moment. you're very well known as a recording artist. some people remember you from the soaps back in the 1990s. what was it like to work with tony benet? >> such an honor. i'm a big fan. >> thank you. >> such a legend, and, of course, he reinvents himself every time. it's a surprise. he sings better than ever, and he's here singing with all of this great latin singers, thank you for doing this for all of us. >> thank you. you sick beautiful. >> and before i let you sing, is i want to ask you about a documentary your son is producing called "the zen of bennett." what will we learn about you? >> it's basically the philosophy
[ applause ] >> a beautiful song like we've never heard it before. how's your spanish? >> thank you. the album called "viva duets." we're back after this. >> thank you. >> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. three suspects in connection with the shooting in woodlawn are being held without bail this morning. they each case attempted first- degree murder and first-degree assault charges.
as a pastor, my support for question 6 is rooted in my belief that the government should treat everyone equally. i wouldn't want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views, so i shouldn't deny others based upon mine. it's about fairness. i support this law because it doesn't force any church to perform a same sex marriage if it's against their beliefs. and that's what this is about. protecting religious freedom