tv The 11th hour CNN December 18, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm PST
be in your presence. because he's been out of the news game for awhile. >> this news game doesn't work out for me what do you think? i've got some potential on the big screen? >> great interview with you. great to meet you. >> listen, i'll tell you what. why don't we do these rankings again six months from now and the movie won't be playing anymore and we'll see who's winning then. until then you stay classy, ron burgundy. you'll always be number one on "the ridiculist." thanks for watching. don lemmon starts now. it is 11:00 in the east. do you know where your news is? i'm don lemon. this is "the 11th hour. we have two stories everyone will be talking about. first the star of "duck dynasty" suspended. his shocking comments about same sex relationship and about black in america. also blowing up tonight, e cigarettes. new york city council about to decide whether to ban them in all buildings. bear in mind these are not the
old-school cigarettes we're talking about. i've got one right here. there's no smoke. it's just vapor. but is this safe or is big but is this safe or is big tobacco at it again? -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we begin tonight with breaking news. it's a followup to last night's show about things you just can't say. the star of reality tv's megahit "duck dynasty" is in hot water tonight. phil robertson has been suspended from the show after he compared same-sex relationships to beastiality in an interview in gq magazine. here now with me is spokesman wilson cruz and cnn political commentator -- and mark lamont hill. i want to take a look at what phil robertson the patriarch of this family said in gq. he said "it seems to me a vagina as a man would be more desirable than a man's anus.
beastiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men, it's not right" you kind of gasp when you hear it. but does he have the right to say what he thinks, mark lamont hill? >> he has a right to say it. and quite honestly, there's a whole strand of fundamentalist religious people in this case christian people who believe it. most christians don't believe that but many do. he has the right to believe it and to express it. people in corporations and tv networks and tv shows have a right to say we don't want to stand next to people who have such abhorrent beliefs about lgbt people. the idea that they are unhuman, disgusting, somehow akin to people who commit acts of sexual depravity. to make those connections is disturbing to me. i'm glad they're walking away from him, suspending him. >> wilson cruz, i'm glad you're here as the president of glad, what do you make of this when he talks about comparing homosexuality to beastiality and
on and on? >> the first thing i thought was like what year is this? we have a long history where we heard things like this back in the 80s and the 70s, and our community came together and stood and said, this is not acceptable anymore. and so today especially as we see the country changing with more and more people across the country supporting us, more and more christians supporting lgbt people and their families, this truly is not acceptable and it's not reflective of what america is and who the american people are. >> so as you would imagine, social media really caught fire with it especially twitter. and sarah palin defended robertson tonight. i don't know if she defended what he said but his right to say it. she said "free speech is an endangered species. those intolerants, hating and taking on the duck dynasty pate reack for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us." >> what a fascinating idea from someone in another network just got fired for using their free
speech about sarah palin. we can't be selective about this. we make decisions all the time about what type of sanctions we want to put on people for their free speech. >> ben ferguson, he makes a point. someone just got fired at another network for saying something about sarah palin. >> yeah. you can say whatever you want to say. that's free speech. but there's also consequences for your actions. and i think right now he's probably getting a nice long talking to by the other cast members who are saying, hey, crazy grandpa, you might want to tone it down a little bit. this is not the way you talk about things. if anything, this is incredibly insensitive. and also i think for many christians tonight that are watching us, they don't agree with the way that he said any of this this evening. i as a man of faith, i would never advocate for any person to talk in such a blunt way that he did about such a sensitive issue even if you disagree with somebody's lifestyle you should still have compassion and love
for the human being and the soul of the person. and so i think there's a lot of people that are going to be disappointed in him for the way that he said it, because it's not in a loving, compassionate way. it was in a blunt, horribly worded way. and it is free speech, but the companies that are going to come down probably on this dynasty are going to really be looking at this saying, do we want to be associated with someone that talks this way? and it's probably going to be no. >> i want to talk more about that. let me get what a and e said about it. what i want to know is, do you think that the folks at a and e, the production company, do you think they're surprised? they spend a lot of time with these people when they're out there shooting these episodes. it's a reality show. a and e says "we are extremely disappointed to have read phil robertson's comments in gq based on his own personal beliefs and not reflected in the series "duck dynasty." his personal reviews in no way
reflect those of a and e networks who have always been strong supporters and champions of the lgbt community. the network has place phil under hiatus from filming indefinit y indefinitely." should he be fired? >> i think his family is probably going to look at this and say, is this representative of what we believe and how we'd want to talk? i have doubt that they would support phil in the way that he said this to gq. i've been around some of those guys a couple of times. >> should he be fired? >> let me finish this. i've never heard them ever say anything remotely close to this. and so i think it very well might cost him his job. i personally wouldn't keep him on after the way he said this if i was in charge of that tv show. no, i wouldn't. >> all right, mark? >> he should be fired, yeah. >> he should be fired. wilson. >> if they want to keep their sponsors and their viewers, he should be fired. >> even with the right to free speech in this country, you don't think the marketplace should decide? >> the marketplace is deciding. >> with the freedom of speech comes consequences.
you're allowed to say what you want. but we are allowed to stand up against hate speech when it is spoken. if a person made a racist comment, we have the right to actually say something and make sure that they're not allowed to say that on a platform like "duck dynasty". >> here's what he said about african-americans. he said african-americans were happy prior to the civil rights movement. he said "i never heard one of them, one black person say, i'll tell you what, these doggone white people, not a word. preentitlement, prewelfare, you say, were they happy? they were godly. they were happy. no one was singing the blues." >> well, first of all -- >> actually that's why the blues were began. >> thank you, wilson. that's exactly right. nothing that he said is true, obviously that's a particularly narrative that he's articulating. i want to speak to the market deciding. you might think i'm cynical, don. the truth is as much as i think the companies may be advocates for lgbt rights, i sincerely
hope they are, i think they're getting in front of this thing because they know sponsors are going to abandon them because they know consumers are going to abandon them. this might be a pre-emptive market decision. but ultimately they're doing what's best for them. >> i don't know if consumers are going to abandon them. they didn't abandon paula deen and don't abandon a lot of people. the corporations and the board rooms make the decisions. i don't think the public does. i think what he said is reprehensible and he's completely unaware of society and the way the world works now. but i'm not so sure he should be fired. listen is this the end of "duck dynasty" you think, ben? >> i don't think at all. that was one of the things i want to make very clear. i don't think at all that the majority of those cast members or maybe even anybody else on that cast thinks the way that he does. you've got the whole family. everybody's got a crazy uncle, a crazy grandfather or somebody. >> they don't have that platform, ben. >> and i think that the american people that have fallen in love with this tv show are going to be able to distinguish between
his comments individually and the rest of that cast. so i do not think it's the end of "duck dynasty" at all and i don't think it should be be, either. >> i've got to run. yes or no is it the end of "duck dynasty" mark? >> no. >> and wilson? wilson? >> i hope so. >> you hope so. thank you guys. >> i hope not. >> thank you guys. i appreciate you joining us tonight. when we come right back, the truth about e cigarettes. are they big tobacco's last gasp? ♪
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i'm don lemon. in a lot of places this is legal. this is e cigarettes. so are cigarettes in the office making a comeback? are we returning to the "mad men" days when you'd hardly see a cool guy like don draper without a cigarette? poppy harlow has a look now. >> reporter: remember these long-banned cigarette commercials? >> what cigarette do you smoke, doctor? >> let's take a winston break. >> reporter: they're back on the airwaves, kind of. >> you know what the most amazing thing about this cigarette is? it isn't one. >> i can whip out my blue and not worry about scaring that special someone away. >> reporter: they're electronic cigarettes and they've become nearly as controversial as the real thing. >> this is how i ended up quitting smoking. >> no question about it?
>> absolutely. >> reporter: aaron david ross smoked for ten years. we met him at henley, a new york city vapor lounge. >> i haven't had a drag of a cigarette since then about 2 1/2 years ago. >> reporter: here's thousand they work. lick wed nicotine is heated up by a battery-charged coil. there's no tobacco burned. users inhale, and instead of smoke there's a steam-like vapor. still, are e cigarettes safe and perhaps the greatest innovation yet to quit smoking or an addictive health hazard? >> with a product like e cigarettes you're guilty until proven innocent. we need to know these things are safe and okay to use. >> reporter: they've been in the u.s. less than a decade, and increasingly big tobacco companies are manufacturing them. limited research has been done on the health impact, and there are con flingting studies on whether or not nick mean alone is harmful. >> i would like the sky tones catch up with what we're doing here. >> but you're still willing to do it. >> i am willing to do it because i think the alternative to just smoking all day i think this is a better alternative.
>> what we gain is far greater than what we have the potential to lose. >> reporter: amy farchild of columbia university public school of health published this op ed in the "new york times" making the case for e cigarettes. >> a lot of folks say there's just not enough science. >> you could also make the case there's never going to be enough science, there's always going to be room for another study. what i would say to them is the need is so great now. you have so many tobacco deaths now. it's the dire urge end public health need. this is one of the most important public health problems we face. >> reporter: but she argues they must be federally regulated and not marketed to kids. i wish you could smell it in here. of course it doesn't smell like smoke. it actually smells a lot like candy. no surprise given all the flavors that they sell. but critics argue when you sell flavors like cotton candy or like gummy bear, that can attract children. some states have age requirements on sales but not all.
cdc data show nearly 2 million middle and high school students tried e cigarettes last year. more than double the number in 2011. >> e cigarettes can potentially help some people, but they've got serious potential harms that we know about. if they get kids to start smoking, that's really bad. if they get smokers who would have quit to keep smoking, that's really bad. if they get former smokers to go back to smoking, that's really bad. and if they reglamourize the act of smoking that's bad as well. >> the other side of that equation it could also be a gateway to not smoking. >> reporter: but e cigarettes are not regulated by any federal body. and they're not an fda-approved method to quit smoking. critics point out they can keep users hooked on nicotine. ross says he's still addicted to nicotine and uses e cigarettes at his desk. >> for me i wouldn't want to be sitting next to this. >> why? >> it smells good but it's a little disconcerting. >> it's disconcerting because there's a public stigma against it. >> reporter: he and others worry
now that many in america are so opposed to smoking, they're stigmatizing something some say could save lives. >> you get angry when people try to fight this. >> because it worked for us. we saved our lives with this product. >> i wouldn't be so angry if people took the time -- our elected officials took the time to get educated. they're not. they're reacting. >> reporter: so after decades of fighting big tobacco, what does the american cancer society think? >> cautious optimism with a number of caveats. the anyone right now who is using an e cigarette does not know what they're inhaling. >> reporter: but there's this. >> what we don't want to do is to take something out of the hands of people who -- which could in fact help people stop using the traditional burn cigarette which is the enemy. >> reporter: the fda is expected to announce a proposed rule to regulate e cigarettes as early as this month. but until then -- >> it's time we take our freedom back. come on, guys.
rise from the ashes. >> let's bring in our poppy harlow now. poppy, tom glavin said people don't know what they ae getting. they are getting nicotine in these still. >> they're getting nicotine. that's the attraction, right? to not take you away from what you're addicted to. the question is nicotine by itself dangerous. the study's still out. most experts say nicotine alone is not dangerous except for in really big quantities, more than smoking a few packs today. there's a new study out from brown in the last week. what it found is that nicotine alone could cause direct harm to cells in your blood vessels including your heart. so i don't think the evidence is conclusive. >> could we look at these? this one kind of looks like a lighter, like a cigarette lighter this. one looks exactly like a cigarette. >> that's the idea. that's the idea. to give you that sensation. >> this one is sort of a -- >> this is blue. this is made by one of the tobacco companies. >> this is the handsome guy in the ad. he lights up.
seat little blue thing right there. >> critics will say are we reglamourizing smoking. advocates will say it's so much better for you than smoking. >> this one comes in a little pink pack, right? are they marketing this to women? or kids? >> you have to ask who makes it. they will definitely say they're not marketing it to kids. but as we talked about, don, in about half the states in this country kids can buy these. >> this one lights up too. >> that's the question right now. should there be a federal ban on them for children? >> interesting debate. >> we'll see. but about a $2 billion market for these right now. you don't like them. >> i'd rather smoke a real cigarette. >> really? why? >> i don't know. it just doesn't taste good. i have smoked real cigarettes before and that's much harsher. real chemically. not good. i don't like that. >> you're going to debate it. >> thank you, poppy harlow. when we come back, a smoking hot debate. you can call it do e cigarettes mean smoking? it's making a comeback.
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this is "the 11th hour." so are e cigarettes safe or is big tobacco blowing smoke? joining me now are dr. richard cormona former surgeon general and the head of the tobacco research and education. >> dr. carmona, you were the surgeon general under george w. bush. you said if you're asking me would i support banning or abolishing products, yes, i see no need for any tobacco products in society." now you're on the board of a tobacco company that produces e cigarettes. how do you explain that? >> well, let me correct that, don. the company that i am on the board is not a tobacco company. they have nothing to do with the tobacco industry. they produce a nicotine delivery device which we believe will be significant in contributing to harm reduction. so that's why i joined because of the significant potential it holds to reduce the amount of
smoking. and we've plateaued. one out of five people smoke. one out of three servicemen and women smoke. this is an epidemic. over 400,000 people are year are dying, 6 million worldwide. we have to do something to stop this epidemic. >> you're still marketing, though, a product that contains nicotine. so aren't these really just flame glamourizing or repackaging cigarettes? >> no. certainly there are those who are stating that. but really there's no evidence to that effect. we are providing a nicotine delivery device that with the information we have thus far, there is reason to believe that they can contribute significantly to harm reduction. our goal is to make tobacco obsolete. and i got on board because my fellow scientists and policymakers joined with me and saw that this had really good potential and something we haven't seen for decades that could help end the fight against tobacco. >> steven glance, you hear what
he says. e cigarettes i guess he's saying it's a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. do you believe that? >> it's almost certain that taking a puff on an e cigarette isn't as dangerous as taking a puff on a cigarette. the problem is that most people who are using e cigarettes are also continuing to smoke conventional cigarettes. and as long as you're smoking even a few cigarettes a day you're getting essentially the whole heart disease risk and almost all of the cancer risk. and there's now several population-based studies looking at the effect of these cigarette use on people quitting smoking. and what they all show is that e cigarette users are actually a little bit less likely to quit smoking than people who aren't using e cigarettes. and we just published a paper about a month ago looking at 76,000 korean adolescents and found that adolescents using e cigarettes are way less likely to quit smoking. so it looks to me like e
cigarettes are the net effect that are going to have is going to be to keep people smoking regular cigarettes. >> so the research is new. they haven't been around long enough. i think since like 2007 in the united states. it's really new research. so we didn't know how bad cigarettes were for our health for a long time. how do we know what the findings will come about these e cigarettes in a few years, doctor? >> well, i think it is true that the research is just coming in. and it will be awhile before we have all the answers. but to me the handwriting is on the wall. e cigarettes are -- there's huge levels of what's called dual use in among both kids and adults. and they seem to be inhibiting quitting. and the worst thing that's happened is we now have cigarette advertising back on television for the first time since 1972. and while there hasn't been a lot of published research on this, as i've been talking to my colleagues who are looking at
how people perceive e cigarettes ads, a lot of people think they're cigarette ads. >> dr. carmona, that question was meant for you but he gave you a very good answer. how do we know? the research isn't there yet what am about secondhand smoke with these things? >> sure. first of all, there's no smoke. it's a vapor. it's nicotine that's being vaporized that comes off. and there's a lot of misinformation. it's poorly named because it is not a cigarette. it contains no tobacco. it's simply a nicotine delivery device. decades ago, the fda approved nicotine gum, nicotine sprays, nicotine patches as a method of cessation. this is a nicotine delivery device in a different way that also ties into behavioral action of bringing what feels like a cigarette to your mouth. early evidence suggests that it may be effective. dr. glance and i want to do the same thing. as surgeon general i was as passionate as dr. glance about stopping smoking and tobacco usage.
we see that we need to eliminate tobacco usage. the scientists i work with believe that this is a viable alternative based on the information we have. >> all right. thank you, doctors. we aappreciate it. from e cigarettes to a different kind of smoking, colorado bracing for its green rush as a new legalized pot laws take effect january 1st. i talk with ricardo baca, marijuana editor for the denver post. >> you were hiring a pot critic have. you hired a pot critic? where are you in the process? >> first i have to thank you for helping me spread the word, don. after being on your show last time i got hundreds of applications. but we ended up getting about 300 applications for the pot critic job. they're still pouring in, even though we definitely closed that deadline off. so please don't send me your application, your resume'. but we ended up divvying it out to ten people. they're all semifinalists. writing us a sample review of pot strains or edibles or sodas. then we're going to nail that
down to a couple of finalists and end up with a single pot critic or two. >> tomorrow night on "the 11th hour" a case of online bullying or is it? 12-year-old rebekah saidwick threw herself off a 3-story silo. is bullying the cause of her death?" in case you missed it" starts right now. good evening, i'm brooke baldwin. welcome to "icymi" showcasing cnn's best reporting all day and all the breaking news tonight. we have a lot to tell you about, beginning with cnn uncovering a secret world at the site of the sochi winter olympics. while world leaders and celebrities are shunning the event to protest russia's anti-gay stance, we go inside sochi's thriving gay night life, a side of that city you have never seen. also tonight this terrifying accident at