Skip to main content
U.S. Edition


Return to Transcripts main page


Imus Fires Back; Cutting a Deal; Who's Condi?; Islam and the West; Excessive Force?; Great Escape

Aired May 2, 2007 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: ... look at some of the language in this contract and what makes it so remarkable.
"CBS Radio," they say, acknowledges that Imus's services to be rendered are of a unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial and personal character, and the programs of the same general type and nature containing these components are desired by "CBS Radio" are consistent with company rules and policies.

Essentially, they're saying they want him to say outrageous stuff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: He was required. They desire -- that remarkable word in the contract. It is desired by CBS that he be controversial, irreverent, personal.

So, the question is, is the statement about the Rutgers basketball team simply what he was required to do under his contract or certainly allowed to do under his contract, or as CBS will presumably argue if this comes to a lawsuit, no that was so far outside the pale, that it doesn't count as controversial and irreverent.

COOPER: But really, just to prove his case, Imus then just has to go back into his archives, look at some of -- you know, and play some of the other things he has said and say, look this is all of a piece. This is all of a pattern.


TOOBIN: And this was a new contract. He was in the first year of a five-year contract, $8 million a year, $40 million contract. So all the years he's been doing his show and all the controversy he's courted, that's folded in here.

He can say, as you pointed out, that, I've been saying these inflammatory things in the past. You encouraged me to do it. This was just another thing. You can't fire me.

COOPER: Well, obviously we're talking about a lot of money. Is there interest in both camps to settle?

TOOBIN: There's always interest in settling. Very few cases...


COOPER: Because no one wants litigation, really.

TOOBIN: Very few cases go to trial. And especially in a case like this. Both sides have a lot to lose with a trial.

First of all, it could just take a long time. Both sides could be open to depositions about ugliness in their past. CBS does not want this story dragged out all through courts. It does not want to go through all the other inflammatory things he has said.

Don Imus is 66 years old. He wants to get on with his life.

Certainly, there's a lot of room for negotiation here for a settlement. So I think that's much more likely than a lawsuit going to trial.

COOPER: I want to read something else that is in the contract, the part of the contract that you got exclusive access to. It says that "CBS Radio" acknowledges its familiar with the program conducted by Imus and its familiarity with the reviews and comments, both favorable and unfavorable, concerning Imus and his material by critics, reviewers and writers of the various media, both in New York and nationally.

TOOBIN: You know, that is such a bizarre part of a contract. I mean This whole thing is like no other contract I've ever seen. But that, that is bizarre.



TOOBIN: Because basically he's inoculating himself for bad press. He's saying, look, I know I'm going to get bad reviews. I know I am going to have people write critical things about me, but you can't use that as a justification to fire me. That's what that provision of that contract says.

COOPER: And that certainly seems to apply very well to...


TOOBIN: Exactly. I mean, that's exactly why he got fired because there was this firestorm. And you know, he -- I mean, the drafting of this contract was very clever on Imus's lawyer's part because it seems almost to have anticipated this kind of storm over something he was going to say.

COOPER: So you're saying you've never seen language like this in a contract?

TOOBIN: No, no. Nothing like...


COOPER: With the desired...


TOOBIN: Well, the idea that someone is supposed to be controversial and that's built into a contract, I've never seen anything like that, but it clearly was insisted on by the Imus people to insulate him against getting fired.

COOPER: So the only case CBS really has is saying, well, look, the comments -- those particular comments that he made are so outside, so beyond the pale, that it nullifies this? We never expected he would say something this bad?

TOOBIN: Right. What we meant by that provision, CBS will say, is that you'll make fun of George Bush and you'll make fun of John Kerry and people in the news, but this defenseless group of admirable students is totally different and the word ho is not within what we're -- what we expected.

But begin other things Imus has said, it just doesn't seem all that different.

COOPER: That's a fascinating document, what we saw of it.

Jeffrey, thanks very much. Great reporting.

We asked Reverend Al Sharpton what he thinks about the contract and what it means for Imus. I spoke to him a short time ago.


COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, CBS, we now know, desired Imus to be controversial, irreverent, and personal. What's your reaction to the contract?

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, the question is whether or not CBS or any other company puts in contracts where people are protected to say things that are sexist and racist.

First of all, when the National Association of Black Journalists put the flag up, and we at National Action Network and other civil rights groups came in, it was not to deal with Imus one way or another. Whether he gets money or not is really irrelevant.

It was the sexist and racist nature that he was using the airways. So, whatever happens here is of no moment to many of us in civil rights. But, if there is in fact contracts that say that you are permitted, by the company, to be racist and sexist, which some could argue is different than irreverent and personal, that would be of concern.

I think that that's the only interest that I would have here, is in fact, is there an institutional agreement to promote racism? And I think that would be argued either way by the lawyers. And we will have to wait and see that.

COOPER: Do you think he has been racist in the past, though? If you're saying these comments were racist, were they racist in the past when he made comments based on people's ethnicity or their gender or whatever his comments were based on? Because if so, CBS seems to have encouraged that by resigning a contract and saying they desired those comments.

SHARPTON: Well, he certainly said things that one could say was biased. I don't know that -- if he said anything as blatant as calling women hos and calling people nappy-headed.

He certainly said things that was biased. I think that, what he said, there was no room for wiggle. You must remember, even Imus went and apologized to the young ladies at Rutgers himself. So, one side of the argument could be, what the contract appears to read -- I have not seen the contract, and all of it -- but on the other side of the argument is, he, himself, despite the contract, went and apologized, and said he was wrong.

And they claimed at the time they were firing him based on cause. He seemed to have conceded that cause when he went, even after the firing, and apologized to the girls.

COOPER: You met and others met with Leslie Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS. Imus was fired.

What was your impression of Moonves at the time? I think you said that you felt he really understood the human side of this issue. Do you still that -- believe that to be true?

SHARPTON: I think he understood the human side.

I think he also understood the gender and race insult.

Again, we were not talking about a personal attack. We were talking about a sexist and racist attack that, again, fellow journalists brought up.

What this issue that now has come to light brings up is, what kind of contracts are people given? Are people given the right to be provocative and controversial? Well, that's one thing. Are they given the right to then take that to where they can be blatantly against a race and against a gender? I think that that's going to be the thing that we would watch.

Whether he gets money or not is really no concern to me.

COOPER: As you look back on your actions in the last couple of weeks regarding Don Imus, do you have any regrets?

Don Imus' former producer, Bernard McGuirk, said about you recently -- and I quote -- "It seemed like he terrorized some broadcast executives, that they were, you know, sort of in a fetal position, under their desk, sucking their thumbs on their BlackBerries, trying to coordinate their response to him. I mean, they appeased, really, this terrorist here," essentially saying you're a terrorist.

SHARPTON: Well, first of all, a man that would call some honor students in a basketball team that had done what they did for that school some nappy-headed hos, how could I think seriously what he thinks of me or anybody else?

Look at what he thought of some honor students. So, believe me, I don't spend any time worrying about what he said. Look at who's talking.


COOPER: That was Reverend Al Sharpton, of course.

For more perspective, I asked Jeffrey Toobin to join me earlier in a discussion with CNN Contributor Roland Martin and "Washington Post" Media Reporter Howard Kurtz.


COOPER: Joining us, also, Syndicated Columnist and CNN Contributor Roland Martin, along with "Washington Post" Media Reporter Howard Kurtz, who is also the host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Roland, are -- first of all, are you surprised by the excerpts of this contract that you have seen?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm surprised in terms of that kind of language -- clearly, very smart attorneys, as Jeffrey said.

Look, this is why CBS is settling. They CBS cut Don Imus loose because it was a business decision. They did not want the protests to spill over to their prime-time programming, to have advertisers pulling those dollars away from their shows.

Paying him $8 million a year, even if they settle for $20 million, that won't even -- won't even compare to how much money they could have lost by other advertisers pulling out from the network and radio -- television and radio.

COOPER: So, you have no doubt they are going to settle?

MARTIN: No doubt. No doubt.

COOPER: Howie, you say that any lawsuit wouldn't just be about money. How so?

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, that may sound strange, because nobody walks away from $40 million.

But I think what Imus is primarily interested in right now, in hiring a lawyer and considering this lawsuit, is vindication. Look, he said something that was terribly racist and offensive. He understands that. That's why he apologized 47 times.

But he wants to make the point that CBS encouraged this, that they made lots and lots of money over the years with a show that was built, in part -- because he also did good interviews with politicians and journalists -- it was built in part on this sort of insult humor. It was often racial and sexist and gender -- excuse me -- and ethnic in nature.

COOPER: It's interesting, Roland, though. I remember you saying a lot during the height of this, you know, he's not a shock jock. In this contract, it specifically terms him as a shock jock. And they note, they desire the personal character of the shock jock.

MARTIN: This is a "CBS Radio" contract. They saw him as a shock jock. The context that I put it in, by simulcasting his show on MSNBC, he is now being perceived as competing against CNN "AMERICAN MORNING," "Today Show," "Good Morning America," "The Early Show." And, so, that was a whole different context.

The issue, also, that jumps out, in terms of Imus suing -- no doubt he's trying to go after money. The guy is 66 years old. Ain't that many $40 million jobs out there that he can actually get. So, it's wise to go after the money.

COOPER: Any time anybody says, it's not about the money, I'm always saying, it's about the money.

MARTIN: Right. Right.


TOOBIN: I was shocked to here Howie say that.


TOOBIN: I mean, I think Howie is right that Imus wants the vindication of CBS saying -- of a court acknowledging, or CBS acknowledging, hey, we hired you to do this stuff. This isn't some astonishing thing you just did.

But I think he would like a very big check, as well.

COOPER: Howie, is what he said any different -- I mean, I don't listen to the show, but is it much different than what he had said for years and years that, clearly, CBS desired?

KURTZ: Well, certainly, you know, that term, nappy-headed hos, was way over the line, and it was different.

But he used to toss around words like hos all the time in little skits that he did. And let's remember for just a moment -- because CBS obviously is going to get on its high horse here and say, this was such a terrible breach, that we had to cut him loose. When this controversy first erupted, "CBS Radio" and MSNBC said, Imus said something wrong. We are going to give him a two-week suspension.

It was only after the media and the pressure from employees at those two companies and outside pressure from people like Reverend Sharpton turned Imus into kind of a symbol of everything that was wrong in our toxic popular culture, that both companies decided to cut him loose. So Imus, obviously, feels like he wants to get a piece of his reputation back.

MARTIN: And, Anderson, that was the problem that I had during this whole deal. CBS is trying to take a very high-profile position. And I raised the point. We talked about it. Had they suspended him before? Had that reprimanded him before?

And, so therefore, they sanctioned that kind of conduct. He made them lots of money. The bottom line is, these companies, they want the irreverent personalities. But, when they cross the line, and then public pressure rises to a certain level, then they take action.

TOOBIN: They not only didn't suspend him before. They put in the contract...

MARTIN: They gave him a raise.

TOOBIN: They put in the contract, we want you to be like that.


COOPER: A new contract.

MARTIN: Right.

TOOBIN: A new contract. This is -- so, I mean, that's why CBS' position is really awkward.

MARTIN: Right.

COOPER: I want to read this other graph from the contract.

It says, "CBS Radio" acknowledges its familiarity with the program conducted by Imus and its familiarity with the reviews and comments, both favorable and unfavorable, concerning Imus and his material by critics, reviewers and writers of the various media, both in New York and nationally.

MARTIN: Look, it's simple. A good comedian will tell you, how far can I push the envelope before I get in trouble?

And that's -- CBS knew what they were getting. And so, to say that, well, this violated any of our standards, we know what the real deal is. And so, they got rid of him because they knew he was going to cost them with advertisers.

COOPER: Jeffrey, how -- legally, can CBS -- if the FCC weighed in on this, and said that it violated FCC rules, which is one of the things Reverend Sharpton was early on was talking about, could they then say, OK, well, that's cause for termination?

TOOBIN: They might. That might -- that would certainly be helpful to CBS' provision.

I -- and I haven't seen the whole contract. There may be some provision regarding the government. But the FCC hasn't said anything like that. I don't think they will. I don't think the FCC has gotten involved with this whole -- with this whole matter.

MARTIN: They have actually been saying, we're not going to get involved.

TOOBIN: Well, that's right. As far as I'm aware, they don't even have an open investigation.


TOOBIN: No, it's all about what he said. And the interesting thing about that passage you just read, there, they're basically acknowledging, Imus is going to get some bad press sometimes. There is going to be criticism. And that's not grounds for firing.


KURTZ: And, Anderson, I think Imus wants to get back on the air. And one of the ways he can help himself to do that is by getting some kind of settlement with CBS, which kind of gives him a piece of his respectability back.

Look, this guy said he was sorry. He said he was sorry many times. But, in the firestorm that surrounded him, that proved not to be enough.

MARTIN: I just have one issue, Anderson. Who was his lawyer, so we all can try to hire him to negotiate our deals?


MARTIN: I have got a radio show. I will call him in a minute.

COOPER: Roland, Jeff, appreciate it.

And Jeff -- Jeff actually got the contract, some great reporting there.

And, Howard Kurtz, thanks very much.


COOPER: Here's the raw data on how Imus's $40 million salary at "CBS Radio" stacked up against other radio hosts.

Rush Limbaugh, the number one talk radio host in America, signed $250 million contract in 2001 that runs through 2009.

In 2005, Shock Jock Howard Stern signed $500 million, 5-year deal that pays his salary and production costs.

But to put this in context, the typical radio anchor makes just about $30,000 a year or about $14 an hour.

Ahead tonight on 360, redefining the mission in Iraq. The president's new definition of success. Not hearing the word "victory" much these days. That's coming up.

We'll also have this.


COOPER (voice-over): Condoleezza Rice, from her relationship with the president to talk of a possible White House run. We'll talk to the author of the explosive new book on the secretary of state.

Single and singing. Sort of. Britney Spears returns to the stage. Can the pop diva turned drama queen save her career with acts like this?

That and more, ahead when 360 continues.




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: Whatever our difference is, we owe it to the American people to find our common ground. Of course, we must stand our ground if we can't find it, but we must strive to find that common ground.


COOPER (on camera): House Speaker Pelosi there using the bipartisan phrase of the day -- twice -- common ground.

Saying it, of course, is easy. Actually finding it, though, hasn't been.

Democrats want a time limit on the war. They say the public demands it. Republicans and the president say any timetable imposed by Congress for bringing the troops home is a recipe for defeat.

Now, with money for the war running out, both sides have to bridge those differences, but it may not be easy.


COOPER (voice-over): They're still fighting, but at least now they're talking.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yesterday was the day that highlighted differences. Today's the day where we can work together to find common ground.

COOPER: Democratic Congressional leaders tried to override President Bush's veto of their Iraq War funding bill and as expected, failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this vote, the ayes 222, the nays are 203, with one member voting present, two-thirds not being in the affirmative, the bill is not passed.

COOPER: Then leaders in both parties headed to the White House to talk it out with the president and look for a compromise. Afterwards, there's was plenty of optimism.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: But make no mistake, Democrats are committed to ending this war and we hope to do so in unison with the president of the United States.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: We need a bill that allows our troops to be funded, allows them to do their work, and allows them to continue to try to achieve victory in Iraq.

COOPER: But the leaders acknowledge they reached no compromises. A couple hours earlier, the speaker of the House had offered a very different message for the president, a much tougher one.

PELOSI: The war in Iraq has made matters worse in the war on terrorism.

Now into the fifth year of a failed policy, this administration should get a clue. It's not working.

COOPER: And President Bush seems to have changed his message, too, about what's required to reach success in Iraq.

BUSH: And the definition of success, as I described, is, you know, sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives.

COOPER: That's not what he was saying at this time last year.

BUSH: Just how do we achieve our objectives? Which is a democracy which can defend itself, sustain itself, a country which is an ally in the war on terror, and a country which serves as a powerful example for others who desire to be free.

COOPER: With violence in Iraq growing, you don't hear about democracy much anymore. And you don't hear the word victory. Before the November elections, the president said this.

BUSH: Absolutely, we're winning.

COOPER: Now, he doesn't say that.

BUSH: But slowly but surely, the truth will be known. Either we'll succeed or we won't succeed.

COOPER: The new message, a declaration of uncertainty, not victory. Not yet, anyway.


COOPER (voice-over): There's something else people are seeing in the president's words, messages of faith. And they could be making things far more complicated in Iraq. That story, ahead.

Plus, the rally and the rubber bullets. Shots fired on a crowd, and it's caught on tape. Tonight, the backlash and the question, did police go too far?

And on a far more ridiculous note, Britney Spears is kind of back. A racy performance when 360 continues.


COOPER: Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, arriving in Egypt today for talks on the future of Iraq. While there, she may end up meeting with or at least talking to diplomats from Iran and Syria.

She's also the focus of a new biography just out. The title, "Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power." The author, Marcus Mabry, joins me now.

Congratulations on the book.


COOPER: It's getting a lot of good feedback.

She's in Egypt now. How important is -- does she think about her legacy? Is that important? And does she see her legacy as being success in Iraq or some movement in the Middle East?

MABRY: Well, that's a great question. She actually did not want to be secretary of state. She had actually told her friends and family.

COOPER: She didn't?

MABRY: No. And I talked to, you know, her step mom, who is very close to Condi. Her natural parents are deceased. I talked to all of her best friends in California, Alabama. And she had told them she was come home to California after the first term, whether George Bush lost or won.

What happened, though, is the weekend after Camp David -- I'm sorry, the weekend after the election, he takes her to Camp David. And Andy Card is there, his then chief of staff, Laura Bush and Andy Card's wife. And the president says to Condoleezza, I'd like for you to be Colin Powell. I'd like for you to take over Powell's job in the second term.

And she says, Mr. President, you know, I have to decide if I want to stay. Because she told everyone she was coming home. She was tired after two wars and the terrorist attack.

She stayed. She told me in her State Department Office that the reason she stayed was because they had remade the world. They had shook up the Middle East, 9/11 had changed the strategic outlook of the world, then our invasion of Iraq had changed it. And she said -- she said to me, she has been very cognizant of the need to reshape the world, but to lay a foundation in the Middle East for freedom.

What she's worried about is not her legacy, but the legacy of George Bush. She's incredibly loyal. She's incredibly disciplined, which is why she won't ever go off script. You've seen her. You've interviewed her many times. She won't go off script in public. But that's all because of this discipline. So whether she believes what she says or not, she sticks by it and she's disciplined about it and she debates to the end.

COOPER: I want to read something from the book. In the research, you talked to a lot of Rice supporters. And there are a lot of people who are very disappointed in her and how she handled herself during the first term.

You wrote, "Those inside and outside Washington who believe she did all she could have been expected to do before 9/11 and during the run-up to war in Iraq--often wonder how such an intelligent and capable woman could have allowed so much of American foreign policy years to go so terribly wrong."

There's a lot of focus on her relationship with the president. People say the fact that she has access is a good thing -- an unrivaled access -- but that may not have been a good thing as national security adviser.

MABRY: Well, you know, as national security adviser, I think the problem was she was so close to the president, as one of her girlfriends told me, she thought he could do no wrong.

And so, Brent Scowcroft, who was Condi Rice's mentor and a former national security adviser for Bush's father and for Gerald Ford before that. Brent Scowcroft said the number one job for national security adviser is to be a skeptic, to ask about every policy, what happens if it goes wrong? Condi Rice didn't do that. And that was the failure she had.

The reason she made that failure, though, was because she was so close to this president.

COOPER: And what is it about -- what is the common bond?

MABRY: You know, it's fascinating because they are so different. George Bush was literally, you know, a rich boy playboy until he was 40 years old. He was, you know, kind of a screw-up. His parents didn't think he would amount to much. He and his dad had a legendary fight where Bush said to Bush Sr., who is a great man of moderation and deliberateness and soberness, he said, you want to go mono a mono? Then the president -- the current president stopped drinking when he was 40 years old and then he changed. But before then, he was a bad boy.

It so happens that Condoleezza Rice, I found out to my surprise, has a thing for bad boys.

COOPER: Really? MABRY: In her past, you know, the guys she's date who were nice, she didn't like them so much. She found them boring. It was the guys who were bad boys that she was attracted to.

So there was that element. But there's also a very deep religious faith on both their parts. The fact that they both felt like they were outsiders to some extent on the inside. All those things made a difference.

COOPER: If she didn't want to be secretary of state, her name is always mentioned in a possible presidential run. She always pooh- poohs it.

MABRY: What's fascinating, you know, she's a Presbyterian. Her dad was a Presbyterian minister. She believes in predestination. The last long-term goal she had was when she wanted to be a concert pianist. She saw at 17 years old -- when she was a sophomore in college at 17 by the way -- she saw that she couldn't do that.

The amazing thing about Condi Rice is she has this discipline where she drops -- she says, OK, I can't be a professional pianist. I'm going to drop that. I'm going to find another major. And she decided, you know, she would never -- I don't think she consciously decided, but it turned out she would never set another long-term goal.

So Condoleezza Rice doesn't want to be president. She doesn't want to necessarily be anything. She's a strong Presbyterian. She believes in predestination. She believes God will lay the next path for her.

COOPER: Interesting. The book again, "Twice as Good." It's a fascinating read.

Marcus, thanks very much. Marcus Mabry.

MABRY: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Next on 360, cries of a holy war in the Middle East, and some Muslims say America is leading it. That's coming up.

We'll also have these stories.


COOPER (voice-over): Violence on videotape. Police use rubber bullets and batons on the crowd. Was it justified at yesterday's immigration rally? The police chief is asking.

Also tonight, lifestyles of the recovering and famous. When the stars reach bottom, they live it up in luxury rehab resorts. We'll take you inside in a CNN exclusive.

360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: The war in Iraq and the war on terror. For some Muslims, the battle isn't about good and evil, it is about religion and the West's desire to destroy their faith. That's how some see it.

CNN's Tom Foreman takes a look.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The drive some in the Middle East to violence is easy to see. It looks like holy war. They call it holy war. And cries to Allah echo through the battle.

But some Muslims see holy warriors in the West, too, perceiving America as an infidel government in an age-old fight to crush Islam.

BUSH: This crusade, this war on terrorism...

FOREMAN: President Bush and other American leaders are very open about their beliefs, and the role of a higher power in world affairs.

BUSH: The belief that freedom is the gift of God.

FOREMAN: But in largely Muslim nations, such messages are often heard as pro-Christian, anti-Muslim.


FOREMAN: Nihad Awad is with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

AWAD: I think there is a growing perception among Muslims worldwide in -- specifically in Iraq -- in majority of Muslim countries, that the war on terrorism is in fact a war on Islam.

FOREMAN: American military leaders in Iraq have routinely shown respect for the Muslim faith, often avoiding attacks on mosques, for example, even as insurgents launch assaults from within them.

(on camera): But each time coalition forces finally decide to strike a mosque or a Koran is found to have been mishandled or defiled, Middle East analysts say suspicious grows among Muslims that the Americans are bent on tearing Islam apart.

(voice-over): And that, like so much else in the war in Iraq and the war on terror, has been twisted into a recruiting tool for radicals.

OCTAVIA NASR, SR. EDITOR, ARAB AFFAIRS: That's exactly the selling point. They tell their supporters, their followers that, look, the war on terror that the U.S. has waged is indeed a war on you and on your faith.

FOREMAN: Military clashes between Islam and Christianity go way back. The crusade started 900 years ago and maybe conflict is inevitable. Americans generally see ideas like democracy, freedom, self- determination, as positive secular goals, even if our leaders wrap them in religious terms.

BUSH: May God continue to bless the United States of America.

FOREMAN: But Middle East analysts say radical Muslims see each invocation of God's name by non-Muslims as a new heresy, another call to arms.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: From the war in Iraq, to the battle over the border. In a show of force, an immigration rally ends with officers firing rubber bullets into the crowd. We showed it to you last night. Tonight, even the police chief is asking whether it was justified. We'll take a closer look at what happened.

And on a lighter note, Britney Spear is back with some hair -- well, a wig -- and back on stage. And you'll see some of her performance, ahead on 360.


COOPER: Well, we first showed you the pictures last night as the story was breaking, police firing rubber bullets, using their batons in the immigration rally in Los Angeles.

It happened in MacArthur Park at the end of what had been a peaceful day of protest. Much of it was caught on tape. And today Police Chief William Bratton called some of the actions quote, "inappropriate."

More from CNN's Ted Rowlands, who was in the middle of the chaos last night.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The images are disturbing. Families and other innocent bystanders caught in the line of fire as L.A. police in riot gear shoot rubber bullets and hit people with batons.

JOHN MACK, LOS ANGELES POLICE COMMISSION: This was not a pretty picture. This incident raises serious concerns regarding the use of force by some individual officers.

ROWLANDS: Police say the chaos started when this group, blocking traffic, refused to get out of the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to diffuse the situation.

ROWLANDS: Eventually the group started taunting the officers, and as you can see here, throwing objects, including a full can of what looks like soda.


ROWLANDS: Then, some sort of large stick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get those sticks out here now!

ROWLANDS: Police also say they were hit by rocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course there's insults thrown. We're used to that. But the rocks and bottles were another factor.

ROWLANDS: A few minutes after the objects were thrown, police started shooting and rolling over anyone in their way. For most people, including the ones responsible for the trouble, getting away was easy. But for others, like people selling food, it was difficult.

Watch as this woman tries to get her cooler. She's pulled to safety by someone in the crowd. A policeman kicks her cooler over as he passes.

Members of the news media were also caught in the crossfire. This reporter went down, appearing to have been hit by a police baton.

These anchors for the Spanish language network, "Telemundo," were actually on the air when they were stampeded by a crowd being pushed by police.

Three members of the media ended up in the hospital, many people were left with large welts from the rubber bullets shot by police.


ROWLANDS: This woman, who was there with her 5-year-old son, says she got this bruise from a police baton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just started hitting us because they wanted to hit us. Suddenly there were bullets flying everywhere and it was like we were in a war zone.

ROWLANDS: Police say officers fired approximately 240 rounds, yet they made no arrests during the episode, leaving many people even more frustrated that the people who allegedly started the trouble got away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They even used fire like this, like they think they're robo cop or something, just shooting, you know, at women and children.

ROWLANDS: Several groups are expressing outrage, and lawsuits are expected. Even L.A.'s police chief says he's upset with what he's seen, and will investigate.

CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Believe me, that the events of yesterday are not going to be treated lightly -- 240 rounds with no arrests as part of that action is of great concern to me. Great, great concern.


COOPER: So Ted, who is doing the investigating? Is it the police department investigating themselves? And how long do they say it may take?

ROWLANDS (on camera): Well, there will be two different investigations. Police commission here in Los Angeles, which was formed after the Rodney King beatings, and the LAPD will have an internal investigation. Both will have separate investigations.

Here at police headquarters, they're vowing to do this as quickly as possible, promising the people of Los Angeles they will have answers. Inherently, it's going to take some time, though. They've got to pour over news media video and surveillance video. So, it -- it must -- it will inherently take at least a few weeks, if not longer.

And it will be interesting to see if this dies down or doesn't. A lot of people here were shaken by the images of what they saw, what happened here last night.

COOPER: Certainly, the video that we've been watching is going to play an integral part in those investigations.

Ted, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.

A lot of people weighing in on the blog tonight on the underlying issue of illegal immigration.

Rochelle in Houston writes, "It appears that most Americans have forgotten the basis of this country. Unless you are a 'card-carrying' Native American, you and your family are also immigrants."

Charlie, though, in Austin, Texas, draws a crucial distinction to many. "I am a legal immigrant to this country," he writes. "I appreciate the issues that legal immigrants face since I have gone through these challenges. As far as illegal immigrants, let me get straight to the point. I believe that the illegal immigration is a no brainer -- illegal immigrants should be deported!"

And Patti in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, sums it up. "Another year, another immigration rally. Sad to say nothing has been accomplished since then; unless you care to count the fact that people are even more upset and angry over it than ever. And the fear factor," she writes, "disturbing."

Well, have no fear about making your own views known. They're always welcome here. Just go to Follow the link, state your case.

Still to come on the program tonight, when celebrities do something unflattering, you might say, you often hear about them checking into rehab. You don't always hear about how luxurious the rehab really is. We'll take you inside. And speaking of rehab, Britney Spears checked out, now she's back on stage. The performance, ahead.


COOPER: That's Britney Spears back on stage last night at House of Blues in San Diego. It's apparently billed as, well I guess it's her first sort of concert since she got out of rehab or in the last couple of years as a matter of fact. Nearly three years, I'm told.

Since then, of course, she's had two kids, she got a divorce, she shaved her head -- not her head, her hair I guess off her head. And she checked in and out of rehab.

For celebrities, life in rehab is rough, but it's also glamorous. After all, they're Hollywood stars and most expect nothing less.

Rarely, though, do we actually get to see inside one of these rehab places.

So CNN's Brooke Anderson good inside one. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Break the surf zone and then swim out to the right a little bit more.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me know what you think of the pressure.

ANDERSON: Massages. Gourmet meals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two balconies up here.

ANDERSON: Luxurious accommodations.

You wake up every morning to this view?

SCOTT YOUNG, PASSAGES PATIENT: Every morning I wake up, I step outside and I take a deep breath and I just thank God for allowing me to be here.

ANDERSON: You may think this is a posh resort, but in fact, this is drug and alcohol rehab, Malibu style.

(on camera): Is this rehab or is this summer camp? I mean, come on, here we are at the beautiful beach in Malibu.

YOUNG: It's -- it's a little bit of both. But what happens while you're here is that the primary focus is dealing with your emotional therapeutic issues.

ANDERSON (voice-over): 21-year-old Scott Young is nearing the end of his 30-day stay at Passages Addiction Cure Center.

YOUNG: I ended up smoking pot and drinking when I was like 10 years old, 11 years old, and ever since then it's just progressed, using heroin, crack, cocaine, drinking when I couldn't get those things. I spent two months in jail before I came here. It's been a long journey for me.

ANDERSON: This is Scott's fifth or sixth time in a rehab. His first in the lap of luxury. A family friend picked up the tab this time because a stay at Passages isn't cheap at nearly $70,000 a month.

YOUNG: This is the master bathroom.

ANDERSON (on camera): OK.

YOUNG: And it is, by far one of the biggest bathrooms I've ever stepped my foot on.

ANDERSON: Wow! It is enormous!

YOUNG: There's views -- you know, I come over here and I brush my teeth every morning and I get to look at the ocean. So, I mean, it just doesn't get any better than this. It doesn't.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Meet Conchetta Bruce (ph), a 43-year-old mother who extended her stay to two months. Her parents are pick up the whopping $135,000 bill.

(on camera): What does your family think about you being here? Because from the outside, boy, it looks like a five-star resort.

CONCHETTA BRUCE (ph), PASSAGES PATIENT: They all said, we want to go. You know, we would like to go. They realize that in order to get here, I had to be in a really dark place. And I don't think anybody would want to change places with me, to go through the darkness to get to this place.

ANDERSON: Conchetta (ph) says she's been in and out of rehabs over the years, struggling with everything from an eating disorder to gambling, abusing alcohol and methamphetamines, even attempting suicide. Before getting help this time, Conchetta (ph) became isolated from her family.

BRUCE: They basically said, look, Conchetta (ph), we can't have you this way around our family. You know, we're not going to. And if you would like -- and I had told my daughter, you know, Mommy's still very sick and she's using drugs again.

ANDERSON: Conchetta (ph) says she finally feels she has a grip on her dependency after finding the root of her problems at Passages.

BRUCE: It's, you know, four intensive hours a day of therapists, one-on-one, which I really felt I needed to -- to be able to get to the core issues.

ANDERSON: Passages is very different from your average rehab. With less focus on group therapy and more focus on one-on-one treatment. Which Conchetta (ph) and Scott allowed us to witness.

YOUNG: I had no -- no self-acceptance whatsoever.

ANDERSON: Some is what you would expect. Regular meetings with a psychologist, as well as therapists who focus on family issues and chemical dependency.

YOUNG: Putting the toxins and the poisons into my body, it really, it didn't affect me at all. And it just -- it just numbed me to having to feel all of this, this self-hate and misery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're accepting yourself right now without judgment. And accepting your emotions right now. It's pretty cool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are worthy. You're worthy and deserving.

ANDERSON: But there's also regular hypnotherapy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen. Feel. Sense. You're learning to love and respect yourself.

ANDERSON: And meetings with a nutritionist who specializes in spiritual counseling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Opening the heart. Connecting to your emotions.

ANDERSON: Here, they say the massages help heal the body ravaged by drugs. And they claim activities like surfing serve a purpose, too.

STEVEN ELLIS, PASSAGES LIFE PURPOSE COACH: There's a time to, you know, unplug and unconsciously process a lot of the serious work that's happened at Passages. And when we're out here, sometimes there are serious conversations that happen that are by no means trivial whatsoever.

ANDERSON (on camera): Chris Prentiss and his son, Pax, a former heroin and cocaine addict, founded Passages six years ago based on the tools they say helped Pax become sober.

Why the gourmet chefs? Why the massage therapists? Is that necessary?

CHRIS PRENTISS, PASSAGES ADDICTION CURE CENTER: It's not necessary in a way, but in another way, it is. Because this is a healing center. The people who want to come to this program expect to be in a nice surrounding.

ANDERSON: Nearly $70,000 a month?


ANDERSON: Why so expensive? C. PRENTISS: Because it's one-on-one treatment, because it's in a $22 million estate, because there's 100 people who work here to take care of 29 clients. It just -- it's an expensive program to put on.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The Prentiss duo claim a success rate of better than 80 percent, and even wrote a book about their unconventional approach.

They reject the decades-old 12-step program and proudly defy scientific studies about addiction.

(on camera): Doctors, scientists, say addiction is a disease. You say it's not?


C. PRENTISS: That's correct. That's correct. We know it's not.

People do not use drugs and alcohol because they have a disease in their brain. People use drugs and alcohol because of heartbreak, because of loneliness, because of stress, because of anxiety, because of peer pressure, because of childhood problems, rape, incest, brutality, abandonment, guilt, things they've done to others. That's why people use drugs and alcohol. It's not because they are some incurably, diseased person with no hope of recovery.

P. PRENTISS: The difficulty I have with the disease concept and with calling yourself an addict is that labels you and it defines you.

ANDERSON: When you send patients home, what do you say to them?

P. PRENTISS: You're cured.

C. PRENTISS: Totally cured, 100 percent.

P. PRENTISS: You will never use drugs and alcohol again.


P. PRENTISS: Your dependency has been cured. Have a wonderful life.

BRUCE: I can't wait to, you know, have my -- the rest of my life unfold. And it's going to be wonderful.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The time has come for Scott to pack his bags and head back to New York where he plans to enroll in college to become a drug counselor.

YOUNG: Because of finding that acceptance in my myself, I'm able to like connect with the world and other people in such a different way. And it's just so -- it's a great feeling. I'm definitely capable of growing out there just like I am in here.

ANDERSON: While the Passages approach to treatment may be debatable, hope is never questioned. Brooke Anderson, CNN, Malibu, California.


COOPER: Wow, $70,000 a month, yikes!

Just ahead, not drugs -- bugs. Got a bug problem? Call the museum. That's right. You won't believe what one museum is paying for and they want your kids to help out. The story on 360, next.


COOPER: A little bit more time. Erica Hill joins us with the 360 news and business bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the FDA is calling for even tougher warnings on antidepressants, now saying young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 should be told the drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. The current warning applies only to children and adolescents. The top antidepressant manufacturers say they'll comply with the FDA's request.

Some incredible shots from the White Sands missile range in New Mexico. This afternoon, a well-defined tornado touched down near the base headquarters. The twister hit a desert area and kicked up mostly sand and tumbleweeds. No buildings were damaged. No one was injured.

On Wall Street this Wednesday, yet another record for the Dow. Up 75 points, it closed at 13211. The longest winning streak in nearly 52 years. The NASDAQ also ending in positive territory, and the S&P had its best close in 6-1/2 years.

And how'd you like to make a little money fetching cockroaches? The Houston Museum of Natural Science says it will pay 25 cents for each live cockroach a person brings in. It's trying to get 1,000 live cockroaches for an insect display. And get this, the museum's curator is encouraging kids to go hunt for the bugs, saying cockroaches are as clean as wherever they live.

COOPER: Ugh, ooh.

HILL: Either that or he's going for the chief exterminator. I don't know.

COOPER: That is just -- that's gross.

HILL: I'm not picking up a cockroach.

COOPER: Yes. No. I don't care...


HILL: Especially not one in New York.

COOPER: I know, they would pick you up.

HILL: They would.

COOPER: Erica, thanks.

HILL: See you later.

COOPER: Got one.

Don't miss the day's headlines with the 360 daily podcast. You don't need an iPod, you can watch it on your computer at home or wherever you may be. Or go to iTunes store and download it from there.

A reminder, you can watch "AMERICAN MORNING," the most news in the morning, 6:00 a.m. Eastern, tomorrow morning.

"LARRY KING" is next with Katie Couric.

I'll see you tomorrow night. Thanks for watching. Good night.


CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNNAvantGo Ad Info About Us Preferences
© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines