tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN January 30, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
good evening. foonlt, the breaking news that plunges an american woman back into the nightmare she thought she thought she escaped. the latest on the mess in atlanta and how some of the officials who got it so wrong are now owning up to their mistakes. and he's the face of a deadly problem. vets who answered the call but can't get the v.a. to give them deadly care. we're keeping them honest. we begin with breaking news. amanda knox convicted of murder for the second time. [ speaking foreign language ] >> a judge in florence, italy
reading the verdict. knox and her former boyfriend guilty of murder in the alleged drug and sex fueled stabbing death of meredith kercher. her sentence, 28 years in prison, extradition highly unlikely. she's already spent nearly four years in jail until her first conviction was overturned. she went home to seattle to try and lead a normal life. she hasn't spoken to cameras tonight. she did talk with britain's guardian paper about what a guilty verdict would do to her. >> it would feel like a train wreck. they would order my arrest and the italian government would approach the american government and say, extradite her. and i don't know what would happen. >> knox has also spoken with chris cuomo about the possibility of going back to prison.
>> could you do more time? >> me? >> uh-huh. >> could i do more time? if they -- >> could you do it? could you handle it? could you handle it? >> i'm having to handle things. i have not been given a choice, and i think people sort of underestimate what that means and what effect that has had on me and my life. i have no choice but to face this, and i constantly ask myself why, why me? i have no choice but to confront this. and i don't know. i'm afraid, i'm so afraid. >> if you go back, you may not wind up coming back to america for a very long time. >> yeah. and i'm afraid of that. >> well, in her statement tonight, she says she's indeed frightened by what comes next,
even if she never sets foot in italy again. in a moment, we'll have more on the investigation that landed her in prison and serious question about the evidence or lack of said evidence against her. first, erin mclaughlin in florence with what went into today's verdict and what could come next. explain what happened today in court. the verdict came far later than expected and talk about who this court is compared to other courts. >> reporter: hi, anderson. we didn't really know what to expect from this court today going into this verdict. in the end, it took six jurors and two judges almost 12 hours to reach this decision when the presiding judge read the verdict out before a very packed courthouse, it was met with silence. amanda knox's lawyer describing to cnn the moment he had to call his client in seattle and inform her that once again she had been convicted of meredith kercher's death. amanda knox was understandably shocked, anderson. >> so she can appeal, though.
this is not it. >> reporter: she can absolutely appeal this decision. in fact, the defense has already said they are planning on doing that. they'll appeal the decision to italy's supreme court. but keep in mind, that is the same supreme court that overturned the 2011 acquittal decision. basically in the prosecutor's words, raising it to the ground, saying it was full of contradictions and deficiencies, sending this trial back to florence, urging them to take a comprehensive look at all of the evidence. so at the moment, things really aren't looking too good for amanda knox. that appeals process, anderson, could take months. >> appreciate the update. her reak sthoun the verdict this evening, amanda knox called it the product of a prejudiced and narrow minded investigation. drew griffin spent hours talking
to the original lead prosecutor. it's a rare opportunity to decide for yourself whether he was a crusader for justice, talking about the prosecutor, or his critics say a man obsessed. take a look. >> reporter: amanda knox in this statement told police she was in the house the night of the murder and saw her boss, nightclub owner and meredith kercher go into meredith's room and she heard screams. amanda's statement adds, i am very confused. i imagined what could have happened. police apparently didn't bother to check the facts about him. they immediately arrested amanda knox, her boyfriend and patrick for the murder of meredith kercher. police announcing to the public, case solved. juliano menini admitted to us, without evidence, he knew almost the moment he arrived and laid eyes on amanda knox and raphael they were involved in the murder. prior to the forensic
investigation, prior to everything really, your intuition or your detective knowledge led you to amanda knox and raphael? >> translator: after the first few weeks, we were convinced because of the behavior of the two people and especially amanda, that they were both involved in the crime. >> reporter: but almost immediately after the arrests, menini had a problem. the third suspect, patrick, had an airtight alibi. he was in his crowded bar that night. he could not have been involved. then the actual forensic tests came back. >> when i looked at it, i was horrified. >> reporter: a forensic biologist at boise state university and director of idaho's innocence project. he says italian investigators
did a good job processing the crime scene, collected excellent evidence. but clung to shakier evidence that proved their theory. a classic error, he says, a prosecutor who trusted his gut feeling instead of the science that at that time was pointing to another suspect. >> that's drew griffin reporting. the other suspect was a man named rudy, who was convicted and sent to prison. he implicated knox and the others, after which his sentence was reduced. joining us is amanda knox's attorney, ted simon. ted, you saw this verdict as obviously a historic miscarriage of justice. what happens now? a lot of people are talking about her being extradited, but there's a lot of steps before anything like that. there's an appeal, correct? >> that's correct. let's understand, some things haven't changed despite this unwelcomed verdict. she was previously found innocent by another appellate court jury, not just not guilty,
but actually found innocent. and that is why, when we think about that, and we realize there was no evidence back then and there's no different evidence today, why this is such a horrific miscarriage of justice, of really historic proportions. in fact, it's somewhat incomprehensible to understand how there can be a difference, how can there be a verdict other than what happened before? >> why do you think they made this decision, is it politics, face saving? what do you think? >> look, the last appellate court jury reviewed all the evidence, independent experts were hired by the court that debunked the two key pieces of evidence, purportedly thought to be persuasive by the prosecution. they were eviscerated, evaporated, held to be without any probative value and there was nothing else really in the case. so we left it to a discerning eye. but i can tell you, a careful review of the evidence, you have to ask yourself, how is it
possible that an appellate court jury found her innocent and now another jury of equal stature has reviewed the evidence again and there's no new or different or favorable evidence? in fact, now the knife was retested and the prosecution was basically throwing a hail mary pass, hoping that they would find meredith's profile on the blade. in fact, it was determined that she absolutely was not on the blade. there was a finding that amanda knox was on the knife, but that was already the case and she had used that knife. so there's nothing unusual or significant about it. it simply remains no evidence. >> let me bring in greg. greg, you went to italy to aid the defense team. you looked at the evidence. you know about the retesting of the knife in the second trial. is there any doubt in your mind that amanda knox did not commit this crime? >> no, there was never any doubt about this case. we disputed the dna evidence at
the very beginning that was used to convict her. >> what did they get wrong about the dna evidence? >> well, what they did was, they went way below where we look, so there's a level at which we set our instruments for sensitivity. and you don't want to go below that, because there's chemicals or small bits of transfer that can occur. that's one of the reasons. if you want to go that far down, you have to demonstrate through a validation process that you can. so the normal level for those instruments was at a level called 200 relative fluorescent units. they took them down far below that. the fbi wouldn't even look at anything below 200 at that time to incriminate anybody. my lab would maybe go to 150. there was no dna at that level. so we disputed it. the appellate court wisely said we're not going to hear from defense experts or prosecution
experts and the judge appointed two experts out of rome, they independently tested the dna evidence. and they agreed with the defense. that's why she was freed. so science freed her. >> you know, anderson -- >> ted, what happens now? where do you go now? do you appeal? >> well, yes. there's certainly an appeal. when you look at the case, and i know you're familiar with the case, and this was a horrific, bloody murder. and if amanda had participated in any way, part of herself would have been left in the room or on the person of meredith kercher. and we know, no hair, fibers, shoe print, hand print, palm print, sweat, dna, saliva of any sort of amanda knox was found in that room. and you simply can't remove what you can't see. that in and of itself is absolutely unassailable,
unquestioned evidence that shows she could not have been involved. that has never changed. >> ted, what does it mean for amanda knox in terms of -- obviously she's not going to travel to italy, that would not be wise. what about if she traveled outside of the united states, is that a concern? >> well, you know, i know people ask a question about extradition. but it's really not in play right now, because first of all, she has another appeal to the supreme court of italy. in italy, under their system, you're still actually presumed innocent until that third stage. >> so they wouldn't request extradition? >> no, it would be way, way premature. the prosecution asked for an arrest warrant today, it was rejected. the court recognized she's lawfully in the united states. she was never required to attend these proceedings. so she's done everything lawful. everything correct. she's abiding by all court
orders, and her appearance then was not necessary, and it's not an issue today. if it ever becomes an issue, you can rest assured there are very substantial defenses that can be interposed. but i think we shouldn't get ahead of ourself. the bottom line is, there is no evidence. there was no evidence, and there never will be any evidence, and that's why this is such a gross miscarriage of justice. >> ted simon, glad to have you on. greg -- >> in fact, they retested -- >> go ahead, greg. >> we in fact have new evidence, which is this test reported just in november, ordered by the court, which confirms once again that the evidence we disputed, the dna was not reliable. there's no evidence of the victim on the knife. that's new, and that came out in november. for the court to ignore that and to increase her sentence when rudy dagay, whose dna is in the victim's body, is all over that
scene, his handprints are there, they lowered his sentence. it has nothing to do with science. >> i appreciate you guys being on. thank you. follow me on twitter. let me know what you think about this case. up next, getting one of america's biggest cities rolling again, we'll take you out on the streets and show you how the public servant who has taken responsibility for one of the biggest traffic jams in atlanta. later, delays and diagnosis in treatment at v.a. hospitals. this is an important story. veterans put their lives on the line for all of us and they are dying. we're keeping them honest. natural gas? nuclear? or renewables like solar... and wind? let's find out. this is where america's electricity comes from. a diversity of energy sources helps ensure the electricity we need is reliable.
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welcome back. atlanta area schools will be closed again tomorrow, in part because they're still towing buses back to garages and cleaning facilities that were used as makeshift dormitories. tow trucks spent the day dealing with more than 2,000 private cars that were abandoned during the storm and the traffic jam that followed. now, in our keeping them honest reporting last night, we highlighted how public officials failed to take the action or issue the full throated warning that could have prevented a good deal of the misery. we also called attention to the finger pointed and excuses that followed because keeping them honest is about holding public servants accountable for bad public service. all too rarely, keeping them honest means calling attention to public servants who get it right by accepting responsibility. today, we recognize the georgia governor who today got it right after first getting it very wrong. he first said the storm was up expected when it was not. then he tried to suggest the forecasting was unclear. >> i did not mean to imply we
didn't know something was coming. what i was referring to was, the national weather service had continually had their modeling showing that the city of atlanta would not be the primary area where the storm would hit. >> well, in fact, this forecast, which came out 12 full hours before things got bad was plain to see. so today he was singing a different tune. >> i want to start out by apologizing to those individuals who were stranded on our roadways, to those parents whose children were unable to return home in a timely fashion. i accept responsibility for the fact that we did not make preparation early enough to avoid these consequences. i'm not going to look for a scapegoat. i'm the governor. the buck stops with me. i accept the responsibility for it. >> i accept responsibility for it. that's what he said. it's amazing when you think about how rarely we hear politicians say that.
but for all the apologies, atlanta still faced a big mess today and will again tonight. thousands of cars are still abandoned around the atlanta area. we have more on that now from gary tuchman. >> reporter: army national guard humvees in the streets and highways in and around atlanta. it's emergency duty, as the military and police shuttle people back to the hundreds of cars that remain abandoned on roadways after the snow and ice of tuesday. >> what kind of vehicle was it? >> it was a 2008 grand prix. >> it's on windy ridge. >> do you know if it's still there or not? >> i'm not sure. i know it was there yesterday. >> they're going to put you in a humvee and take you out to it. >> reporter: many people have retrieved their cars on the road. others have not because many roadways remain icy. jihan johnston took the humvee ride. >> it was ice. my car was sliding backwards, and it just would not go.
>> reporter: she normally has a 40-minute ride from work to home. she ended up spending 20 hours in her car. >> it's a red ultima up the hill on the left. >> reporter: what made this debacle even worse is this is a very hilly region. there are many abandoned cars. the reason? it's very steep and people were afraid they would end up in a crevice, like this one. and this is the street just west of atlanta where her car was. but her saga wasn't over yet. the battery was dead. >> it won't start. >> reporter: but a jump-start is part of the deal, too. and it came quickly. [ horn honking ] as she let her engine warm up and prepared to go home, she told us what it was like trying to sleep in her car, afraid to abandon it in the middle of the night. afraid of keeping the heat on because of worries about carbon
monoxide. >> i was scared. i was petrified. i would turn my car on for five minutes and turn it off and snuggle closely with my blankets until i felt cold again and then start it up again for five minutes and cut it off. >> reporter: like many, she said she'll try to avoid driving when snow is in the forecast. but she's driving now, home to her 5-year-old son. >> we're happy for her. gary joins us now. are there still a lot of abandoned vehicles on the road right now? >> reporter: there's still a lot of vehicles on the highways around atlanta, anderson. the reason is that there's still icy patches on the road and a lot of people are concerned about leaving their homes. because of that, there's a whole new problem. you can see there's lots of traffic and people who have come out. because of the cars on the shoulders and in some cases lanes, there's a lot of danger that these people can hit those cars. so because of that, 9:00 eastern time, state police are going to start towing all the cars that remain on the highways. but the good news for the people that have their cars towed is
the atlanta police say when you recover your car, you will not have to pay a dime for it. it will be free. >> that's good news. gary, appreciate it. my next guest may say he was just doing his job. don't believe it for just a minute. he was doing a lot more than that. there's nothing in a neuro surgeon's job description that calls for walking nearly six miles in the cold wearing your scrubs, a wind breaker and a pair of crocks to get to your next procedure. he was in the brookwood medical center in birmingham, alabama tuesday morning when he needed to perform emergency brain surgery at another local hospital. driving was impossible. he set off on foot, did the surgery, saved a life and joins us tonight with this remarkable story. doctor, tuesday morning you were trying to get to the hospital to perform energy brain surgery. the snowstorm made it impossible to get there. what happened next?
>> i left my car on the side of the driveway. walked down a big hill and started walking. >> how far away from the hospital were you? >> approximately anywhere between six or eight miles. 6 1/2 miles maybe. >> you make it sound like it was an easy walk. six to eight miles, it's cold out, windy, hilly terrain. were you dressed warmly? >> no, i had my scrubs on and slip-on shoes i use in the operating room. but i had a jacket. >> wait, you had slip-on shoes and scrubs? >> yeah. >> that's pretty incredible. there's not a lot of people i know that would walk six to eight miles in slip-on shoes and scrubs through a snowstorm like this. how long did it take for you to get there? >> probably under two hours. >> you must have been freezing? >> no, no. actually, traffic was just stopped. there was no place to go. at one point in time there was
an ambulance just sitting on lake shore drive. i knocked on the window and got in and sat there and warmed up for a little bit. then i left the ambulance and kept on walking. >> can you be my doctor? this is amazing to me. you made it in -- >> do you need brain surgery? >> hopefully not. i won't need those services, hopefully. if i do, i will certainly call on you. you made it on time to the hospital to perform surgery, yes? >> yeah, we were in contact the whole time, texting, looking at cat scans, getting the patient prepared. head being shaved. so when i got there, the patient was ready to go. i talked to the family, took him to surgery and battled a demon there for a while. but it all worked out okay. >> i understand you've been in the hospital since the snowstorm hit, and basically the hospital is so short staffed. how are you holding up? >> everyone is doing the same thing. everyone is pitching in. the nurses are staying overnight. you've got to do what you've got
to do. >> and the hospital staff are saying this patient would have most likely have died if you hadn't made it there. >> yeah, it was a very large hemorrhage in the brain, and the patient was losing consciousness. by the time i got to the hospital, the patient had lost consciousness. they had about a 90% chance of dying. i think they're going to make it. >> that's incredible. i know to you this is maybe just another day. but i think it's an ex-the record nard thing and i appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. thank you. >> thank you. >> pretty cool. find more on the story at cnn.com. just ahead, u.s. veterans dying because of delays in diagnosis and treatment at v.a. hospitals. they served their country, so why isn't the v.a. keeping its promise to care for them? we've been asking the v.a. and they're not talking to us. we're keeping them honest ahead tonight. what drug tests found in justin bieber's system the night of his arrest in miami.
dr. drew pinsky weighs in on how serious the pop star's drug use may be. ♪ oh-oh, oh, oh, la, la-la, la-la, la-la ♪ ♪ na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na some things just go together, like auto and home insurance. bundle them together at progressive, and you save big on both. ♪ oh, oh-oh, oh, oh hey, it's me! [ whistles ] and there's my dog! [gasps] there's my steps! i should stop talking. perfectly paired savings. now, that's progressive.
tonight, an "ac 360" exclusive. documents that call into question this country's commitment to some of its military veterans. cnn has learned that as many as 82 vets across the country are dead, dying or suffering serious injuries because they were denied care at veteran administration hospitals. despite the v.a.'s own admission, it's unclear whether anyone responsible has been fired or even admonished. drew griffin has been covering the lack of care at some v.a.
hospitals for the past year. tonight, this keeping them honest report is his. >> reporter: u.s. veterans are dying because of delays in diagnosis and treatment at v.a. hospitals. this internal v.a. document obtained exclusively by cnn says that at least 19 veterans have died because of delays in simple medical screenings, like colonoscopies. and the document also shows the number of vets adversely affected could be much larger. it shows at least 82 vets suffered serious injuries as a result of delays in medical care. it's not clear how many are still alive. in the south carolina and georgia region alone, ten veterans are dead and 29 families have been notified their loved ones had serious adverse events, according to the v.a., because of delayed care. >> i just try to live every day like it's my last day. >> reporter: barry cotes, a 44-year-old gulf war vet, waited a year to get a colonoscopy,
while his v.a. doctors were telling him he had hemorrhoids. when he finally underwent the procedure, doctors found a baseball-sized tumor and cancer that has spread. he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, spreading to his lungs and liver. and he's hardly alone. as cnn has previously reported, as many as 7,000 veterans were on a backlog list waiting too long for colonoscopies. at just two v.a. facilities in columbia, south carolina and augusta, georgia. after cnn's detailed accounting of delayed related deaths, a bipartisan group of congressman visited the hospitals to demand answers. >> we have a duty to make sure that the veterans who have served here get the best health care possible. and it is very obvious that for too long and for too many folks that hasn't happened. >> reporter: the v.a. says the
backlog at these two hospitals has been solved. but that is not a good enough explanation for the chair of the house veterans affairs committee. >> we want to know why, and we want to know who made the decisions. >> reporter: congressman jeff miller says the v.a. from the top down has consistently ignored his committee's requests to find out who is responsible. and despite the delays in care which have led to deaths and serious injuries, miller says not a single person has been fired or even demoted. and in fact, some of those responsible may have gotten bonuses. and nobody was held accountable. that's why we've asked the question again today, with members of the south carolina delegation and members of the georgia delegation, tell us exactly who was disciplined and how. >> reporter: cnn has made repeated requests for interviews with top officials at the v.a., including the president's appointed head of the veterans
administration. our repeated requests denied or ignored. >> no veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care or wait months, even years to get an appointment at the v.a. >> reporter: in august 2007, candidate barack obama gave this campaign speech to veterans. specifically addressing wait lists, denied care and poor treatment of vets. he promised his administration would be different. >> when we fail to keep faith with our veterans, the bond between our nation and our nation's heroes becomes frayed. when a veteran is denied care, we're all dishonored. >> reporter: for barry cotes and other vets who have had to wait for procedures, the speech is an empty promise. >> how many more lives are we going to lose from this? >> reporter: cotes is now fighting for his life. and so far no one at the v.a. can explain why.
>> drew, you've reached out to the v.a. they just didn't want to talk about it, right? >> reporter: we've been reporting on this for the last year. the only person at the v.a. who has spoken to us is the director of that augusta v.a. he did apologize for the delays. as far as the national leadership in washington, we've repeatedly asked to speak to the director, and without any explanation, his press office has told it there won't be an interview. we want to know who is responsible and what has happened to them? >> it is amazing that no one will talk. nothing has happened to them. no one has been held accountable, right? >> reporter: to our knowledge, not a single person has been fired for these delays. >> thanks, drew. pretty unbelievable. just ahead, after months of speculation, an answer on whether boston bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev will face the death penalty. also this -- justin bieber's fans. they don't seem to mind his
growing rap sheet. two arrests in barely two weeks. and now new details of the drugs found in his system the night he was booked in miami. so what's better, bigger or smaller? [ all ] bigger! now let's say a friend invites you over and they have a really big, really fun pool. and then another friend invites you over who has a much smaller, less fun pool. which pool would you rather go to? does the big pool have piranhas? i believe so. does it have a dinosaur that can turn into a robot and chop the water like a karate ninja? yeah. wait, what? why would it not? [ male announcer ] it's not complicated. bigger is better. and at&t now covers more than 99% of all americans.
"crime and punishment" tonight, new details about what drugs were in justin bieber's system the night of his arrest last week in miami beach. police documents show that he tested positive for marijuana, xanax and alcohol. his eyes wab described by police as blood shot, his speech mumbled. the pop star allegedly told
police he had been smoking pot all night and posted bond the next day, waved to crowds. a week later, just yesterday he turned himself in to a toronto police station where he was charged with assault. he's accused of hitting his limousine driver last month. in california, he's under investigation for throwing eggs at his neighbor's house. so what is this new information about the drugs in his system, what does it add to the picture? dr. drew pinsky joins me tonight. so what do you make of this combination that bieber allegedly now has -- >> the police recognized that he was intoxicated far beyond the alcohol levels they measured. they found the cannabis and the xanax. my concern is that there's a recklessness with the medication. >> what does it do? if you have xanax and marijuana -- >> they're all kind of downers, so they make you altered. >> the thing is, again, i don't know when you see -- this is a 19-year-old, more money than anyone can probably imagine. is this just what a 19-year-old
does, the growing pains of anybody and it's just happening in the public eye or something more? >> that's the big question. and i don't know. not just in the public eye with power and money, but didn't develop normally. >> and has been working and earning money. >> my greatest fear for him, whether this is just a psychological or addiction problem or something else, is that he's going to get special care. when celebrities get special care -- >> you're talking about a conrad murray situation. >> you end up with a conrad murray situation. they travel with them. the boundaries respect properly maintained. if he needs treatment, again, we don't know, but say this is addiction, he needs to not work and focus on treatment and get good standard care, not special care. >> i'm all for conservative doctors that you have to go to. >> yes. we do it that way for a reason. that's how it works. they are good. especially for an addict who has trouble with these things. >> i don't want a doctor that's going out to the disco with the patient. that doesn't seem like a good
idea. >> that is not a good idea. i'm glad you see that. and for somebody with psychiatric problems, it's an especially bad idea. addicts can't have dual relationships. you can't be somebody's doctor and friend. that becomes immediately a problem. it ill-serves the patient. you end up with a dead patient like our friend, michael jackson. i'm sure the parents know there's trouble. his mom has had substance abuse and depression and get what's going on here. when it comes to the treatment of an adult child for substances, you don't have a lot of resources. >> this is a kid who years ago, i remember -- i've interviewed his mom, his grandfather used to travel with him. it always seemed like this responsible young kid. then all of a sudden turns 18, 19 and all this stuff starts to happen. part of me thinks this is just, you've been working for your entire childhood essentially. this is bound to happen. >> could be, could be.
or you can say 18 to 25 is the window when major psychiatric problems start to manifest. the real serious question is will he get the proper treatment or does he just need to be yanked in? the fact that he's going to toronto and doing what he needs to do to clean up his side of the street, so to speak, i think is a good sign. the fact that he's taking the -- been arrested for what he's done in toronto is being responsible. let's see if this is the beginning of a good trend. >> dr. drew, thanks. >> you bet. >> you can see more on the story coming up at 9:00 p.m. on hln. up next tonight on the program, who is president obama picking in the super bowl? see what he told jake tapper. also ahead, potentially life changing news for millions of parents and kids. doctors may have found a way to cure peanut allergies. and surprising new research, next. [ male announcer ] this is betsy.
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i'll give you two. hillary versus biden, or broncos versus seahawks. you have to tell me -- you have to pick one and give me the winner. >> to find out how the president answered, watch more of the interview tomorrow morning. attorney general eric holder says federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against dzhokhar tsarnaev, the surviving boston marathon bombing suspect. three people died and 250 others were injured in the attack last april. a police officer was killed three days later while he and his brother were still at large. new york police have arrested 18 people accused of running a high-end drug and prostitution ring which targeted wealthy customers for large events, including sunday's super bowl, selling them party packs of cocaine and sex. researchers in the uk are reporting some success with treating peanut allergies. over six months, they gave 99
children increasing doses of peanut flour mixed in with their food. at the end of the trial, 80% of the kids were able to eat peanuts without reaction. they now plan to test it in larger groups. >> that would be amazing. susan, thank you very much. tonight, a taste of beatle mania. an inside look at the bands journey of america. at the top of the area, cnn will air the special. it was 50 years ago the beatles came to the united states. that was on february 9, 1964, setting off beatle mania in the united states. before that, earlier in the '60s, they were already huge in britain, but here not so much. they did have a very early champion in the states, george harrison's sister, the author of "my kid brother's band, the beatles." she joins me now. so in the 1960s, when the beatles weren't -- before they were known here in the united states, you were living here in the united states. i understand you used to try to get them radio play. how did you do that?
>> it wasn't easy, believe me. when i found out that my kid brother was in a band, i thought, okay, let's see what we can do here. so i had most of this country in march of '63, and my mum was sending me all of the records. so i thought, okay, let's get them on the air. >> did you know their music was great? >> my mum told me it was, and she was not one to exaggerate. >> okay. >> i thought if she really thinks it's good, it must be. so i started going on the radio stations and taking the singles with me saying this is my kid brother's band and they're number one in england. and you should be playing it. i didn't want to say beatles because this would freak people out in those days, before they knew beatles was spelled with an a. so i subscribed to the cash box bill board and variety in order to learn all about the american music. >> you're a good sister. >> that's the way i was brought up, you know, that you care about who is in your family and do the best for them. so i started doing all this research. you see, in england it's so
different. if you played on the bbc, that's all you need. but in this country, back then, there were about 6,000 independent radio stations. there's a lot more now. i said you really need to get them on a bigger label. >> so you were hoping if they had a big record company in the united states, they would get radio play. >> yeah, yeah. just by going and saying this is my kid brother's band, i got a couple of places to play but they were little. >> they were in germany and hamberg, performing all the time. >> yeah, eight, nine hours in front of a bunch of drunken sailors. >> a lot of families would be concerned about and think you have to buckle down and get a real job. >> oh, no. >> your mom was supportive? >> oh, yeah. and my dad. the whole thing was, they were such free spirits themselves, my mum and dad. that's why i write a lot about them in the book. because to me, it's very, very important. if anybody had a feeling that they liked george, then it's
important that they know how he became the way he was. >> when they came to the united states and they were on the ed sullivan show, you actually were backstage. >> yeah. >> but you weren't so concerned about the kind of -- what this meant, you were concerned about your brother, he was sick. >> he had strep throat and the doctor at the hotel who had seen george on a friday night when he first came in from paris, he wanted to put him in hospital. >> wow. >> his temperature was 104, and his throat was to the point where he could hardly talk. immediately brian said, oh, no, no, we can't let the press know there's anything wrong with him. >> because he was worried that might hurt their performance. >> exactly. >> when you hear the music, you obviously hear it in a different way than anybody else, so it must trigger all sorts of memories. >> it does for everybody. everywhere i go, i am being told a specific beatle story that this particular had was impacted. i found that it's been a great
privilege to be part of the inner part of that beatle family. i've loved every minute of it. >> it's a joy to talk to you. thank you. >> thanks a lot. >> tune in for "the sixties: the british invasion" at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. coming up, you saw the weather channel reporter who defended his live shot from i guess a rambunctious college student. now hear the rest of the story. the "ridicu-list" is next. natural gas? nuclear? or renewables like solar... and wind? let's find out. this is where america's electricity comes from. a diversity of energy sources helps ensure the electricity we need is reliable. take the energy quiz. energy lives here.
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time now for the "ridicu-list." you might have seen the following video from last night. but watch it again any way, because it's still inspiring. >> we have not gotten into the worst part of this storm yet. that is to come a little later on tonight. so obviously here at the college of charleston, they're already having a good time. >> that was intrepid reporter i'm guessing kung fu expert jim cantore of the weather channel. he was reporting from the college of charleston and executed a perfect live shot defense, like reporter river dance. a classic knee jerk reaction. there's the knee, then the jerk on the left. there were reports that he got kneed in the groin, but it's actually the stomach if you examine the video closely, which we did, because we're professionals. as are the journalists who got an interview with the student in the name of glory. >> we were just walking by and we saw that he was about to start filming live. took my chance to get on tv.
he probably thought i was trying to tackle him or something, but i was just trying to run into the frame and he put up a swift knee to defend himself. you know, he got me good. i would 100% do it again. >> why? >> why not? this is my 15 minutes of fame. you don't get this very often. >> really? aim high. he's right, you hardly ever get to see this kind of thing, except nearly every time someone is reporting on the weather, like this time. >> we're live for the next two hours, then larry king is live. then we take it live for another hour. we have much more coverage of hurricane ike coming up. there's a lot of people in houston, a couple of bars are still open. >> that's a guy in a chicken suit. or like this time. >> no shortage of incredibly -- i'll bite my tongue, people, coming out, dozens of people who have walked by me. to be honest, i'm speechless. >> but what were those guys' thought processes? we don't exactly know. this latest one is the only time i can remember getting some
insight on what makes these people tick. >> we had spoken to him earlier in the day. we got a photo with them and everything, and we went back again later and got on tv. and now everyone loves it. >> not everyone. so let me just get this straight, college dude. he was nice enough to pose for a photo with you, and yet you felt it was okay to interrupt him at work? yeah, that makes sense to me. his mom, i'm sure, loved that. >> she texted me this morning, like, that's a great way to get arrested. i don't think you're very funny, even though you might. >> i've got to say i'm with mom on this one. that wasn't very funny. this is very funny. >> we've been on a couple of hours getting the building cleared. >> it's cold out here. >> some people are just out of their minds. what are you going to do? it's nuts. >> i mean, okay, that guy was funny. i've actually met that guy, believe it or not.
he works for a radio station, i think. just proves my theory. when you're out reporting live on the weather, no matter forecast, there's always a chance of meatballs on the "ridicu-list." that does it for us. thanks for watching. cnn's "the sixties: the british invasion" starts now. there's the beatles. ♪ >> you're nothing but a bunch of british elvis presleys. >> when the beatles arrived, from then on, a thousand different things arose. ♪ >> it is a desire to get power in order to use it for good. >> musicians in today's generation, they could rule the world. ♪