Return to Transcripts main page


Search For Utah Miners Continues; Karl Rove Announces Departure From White House; Outrage Grows Over Newark Killings

Aired August 13, 2007 - 20:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We have just gotten word that we have been able to book a miner who knows what it's like to be underground. We're going to be talking to him in just a little bit.
We're also going to be looking into Karl Rove -- there he is -- packing his bags. We're going to be talking in just a little bit to the guy who wrote "Bush's Brain." And he's got a lot to say.

Now, imagine saying that something like that -- that's right; that's 9/11 -- needs to happen again in this country. There are some who are outraged about this one. We're going to tell you who said it and why.

And, then, you see that man back there? Well, he's an accused killer. He's an accused rapist. He's in the country illegally. His story, but then I am going to take you to Honduras to show you how the system is supposed to keep people like that out of our country.

Here's what else we will be bringing you out in the open.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): The images we have been waiting to see. What's it like under the ground in that Utah mine? Real photos, what do they show, and what do they tell us about the lost miners?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are many, many reasons to have hope still.

SANCHEZ: The mayor of Fort Lauderdale not afraid to be -- quote -- "politically incorrect" when it comes to gays.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's necessary for an elected official to just tell it like it is.

SANCHEZ: His statements are making people furious. He joins us live.

And an awful and cruel discovery. These kittens are now safe, but they were going to be used as bait.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beyond inhumane. It's reprehensible.

SANCHEZ: Bait for what? We will bring it out in the open.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: And welcome back, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

So many people all over the country are captivated by the story going on in Utah. We have got two graphics to show you what is going on from the information that we're getting from some of the officials there. This is the first one.

And there you see the two shafts that they built. That was the first one. That's the one where they put the microphone. And then they built this one as well, hoping that they would able to find the miners in that direction. But it was a no go. They didn't find them there.

So, now -- let me clear that out -- they are doing something else.

Go ahead, Will (ph), if you would, and put up that next graphic.

This is their new entry point. They are now coming in at an angle. What they're hoping for is that the miners went in this direction, looking for some kind of cover and may have actually found another cave.

Now, the good news there is, when they first built this shaft, it was only about 7 percent oxygen. When they moved into this shaft right there, they were able to find more oxygen. So, they may be moving into an area where they may actually be able to survive. We are going to bring you more information about that, including some of the details and some of the pictures now from underground.

Let's get things started by taking you out to the scene.

That's where Brian Todd has been following developments throughout the course of the day. And he's joining us now live.

Have at it, Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, it's been a real day of contradictions here. At the same time officials are showing progress in this search, they are very upset that it hasn't gone faster.


TODD (voice-over): A slow grind toward the six missing miners has rescuers and officials frustrated.

BOB MURRAY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: It's heartbreaking. It's absolutely heartbreaking that we haven't found them alive.

TODD: They have found a chamber more than 300 feet from where the miners may be trapped, captured by a special camera lowered into a drilled hole.

ROBERT MOORE, VICE PRESIDENT, MURRAY ENERGY: Here, you can see the roof is intact and competent. Again, it's holding.

TODD: A third hole was to be drilled toward a possible chamber where rescue teams believe the miners might have retreated if they survived the collapse a week ago. But that hole took most of the day to get started, because heavy machinery had to be moved. Why can't rescue teams drill several holes simultaneously?

MURRAY: The drilling rigs are sitting on a very steep mountainside. We have to build the roads for each drill hole. And you can have that hole down by the time you could get another drill rig up there. There's no advantage to it at all.

TODD: But they are still planning on drilling more holes, including a fourth that is in the planning stages right now. The mine owner says there are reasons for not giving up hope just yet.

MURRAY: Nowhere has the roof caved in. The roof is supported and in place. Secondly, as we have shown you in every photograph, there is a great deal of airspace, void, if you will.

TODD: The waiting families of the missing miners are looking to officials for reasons to continue hoping.

JOSE SANCHEZ, COUSIN OF TRAPPED MINER: Faith is always strong for all of us. And all we can do is just pray.


TODD: Praying for any kind of progress, which is painfully slow. Rescuers actually digging toward the miners are less than halfway in to where they believe these men are trapped -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Brian, let's cut right to the chase. What's the possibility that these guys are still alive?

TODD: I think that officials here are being very cautious about that. They are pointing to signs of hope. They're trying not to lead people too far down that path.

They do mix in words like it's heartbreaking. It is very frustrating. Bob Murray, the head of the mine company, said these are the worst mining conditions he has seen in 50 years. You put all that together, you get a bit of a grim picture here. But nobody is putting a timetable on this and nobody is saying that these men are dead. But what they are saying is that with each day it gets a little bit more grim.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know what is interesting about this, Brian? Our next guest is going to pick up on this conversation, because there is a possibility. There is a precedent for something like this. People actually have survived underground for longer periods of time.

In fact let's talk to somebody, Jeff Goodell. He wrote a book about the 2002 rescue of nine men who were trapped underground in Pennsylvania's Quecreek Mine.

This is an unbelievable story. They were there, what, 11 days?



GOODELL: No. They were only there 77 hours.

SANCHEZ: And at one point, it seemed like they were be engulfed in what, the dirt, the water, everything that was coming up on top of them, right?

GOODELL: Well, what happened there is, they ran into an abandoned mine that was full of water. So, they were worrying about drowning at Quecreek.

SANCHEZ: Tell us -- if you can, try and put us in the feet of these miners who are down there right now. What's it like for them?

GOODELL: Well, this is a kind of living nightmare for these guys if they are down there and they're alive now, because every miner thinks about this. They prepare for this.

So it's complete darkness. It's cold. It's disorienting. When you talk to stories of miners who have been trapped underground, the psychological difficulty of just sort of keeping it together, the fact that time -- they lose track of time. They don't know how long they have been there. One of the Quecreek miners talked about seeing the moon rise. Miners often talk about madness. And it's just really difficult.

SANCHEZ: What did you learn from them as far as their social situation? How did they talk to each other? How did they hang on together? What did they say to each other?

GOODELL: Well, in the example of the Quecreek miners, they thought they were going to die. They watched the water coming up. They thought they were going to drown. And so they began confessing. They began talking about death. They began talking about the things that mattered to them, the things they wished they would have done, the things that you would think about and talk about if you thought you were going to die in an hour or two.

SANCHEZ: So, they were preparing themselves for this?

GOODELL: And in the coal mining tradition -- every coal miner does this, if they have a moment. The Sago Miners did it. They write notes. And they put them in their buckets or in their helmets.

SANCHEZ: What kind of notes? What did they write?

GOODELL: They write with whatever they have. Sometimes, they write them on the back of just a piece of paper.

SANCHEZ: No. I mean, what did they actually write? What were their words?

GOODELL: They write to their families. They write, I love you. I missed you.

One of the Sago miners wrote famously that, I just went to sleep. It wasn't so bad. They say their farewells. The Quecreek miners, some of them wrote quite long notes.

SANCHEZ: What about the darkness? I imagine, at some point, the lights go out, right?

GOODELL: Well, they have head lamps. But those head lamps would only last about 12 hours.

And if they -- when a miner knows he is trapped, he will be very conservative how he uses that head lamp, just flashing it on and off for the minimum amount of time to allow it to stretch out.

But, eventually, it will go out. And when it does go out, the blackness in a coal mine is unlike any blackness you or I know. It is not like being locked in a closet. It's blackness where you can put your hand in front of your face literally an inch from your nose and not be able to see it.

SANCHEZ: I guess the most important question is, how do you keep from going insane in a situation like that? These guys get out and they're living their lives normally now? Or are they always going to have some kind of psychological problem, because that sounds just horrific?

GOODELL: Well, in the case of the Quecreek miners, the rescue of those guys, the reentry into life was very difficult for a lot of them. And some of them did suffer post-traumatic stress.

And they emerged into the glare of TV lights, as you recall, the mine capsule coming up. It was a particularly disorienting reentry. Plus, the fact that they were in pretty good shape. So, it wasn't like they were spending weeks or anything in a hospital. They pretty much went right from the horrors of being trapped underground back to their wives.

SANCHEZ: Final question: Do you think these guys could survive this, given what you know about this case and given what you have compared with Quecreek?

GOODELL: I think they could be alive right now. I think it will be very difficult, though, to get them out.


SANCHEZ: Jeff Goodell, thanks. Thanks for coming.


SANCHEZ: We really appreciate the information.

Switching gears now: how to make what of one of the most important political exits of this administration, especially when you take into account the wide-ranging influence of this departee. Karl Rove announces his exit. He's leaving the White House, leaving George W. Bush's administration.


KARL ROVE, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, the world's turned many times since our journey began. We have been at this a long time. It's over 14 years ago that you began your run for governor and over 10 years ago that we started thinking and planning about a possible run for the presidency. And it's been an exhilarating and eventful time.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have known each other as youngsters, interested in serving our state. We worked together so we could be in a position to serve this country.

And so I thank my friend. I will be on the road behind you here in a little bit.


SANCHEZ: It's important to note that he wrote an e-mail to CNN today where he says that he is not being forced out; henceforth, the hug.

But does his departure leave the White House brain dead?

Joining us now is the man who wrote "Bush's Brain," the story of Karl Rove and his alliance with President Bush. Wayne Slater is a senior political writer for "The Dallas Morning News." He's good to join us now.

Thanks, Mr. Slater, for being with us, sir.


SANCHEZ: Why is he resigning? Do you know?

SLATER: Well, yes. I mean, this was the time, actually.

I think some of us in Texas thought Karl would be the last guy to turn out the lights. He was the most significant figure in terms of close political ally of the president in the White House.

But this really is the time. There's nothing else to do. There will be no more big initiatives. There will be no more reelection campaigns. And, in terms of elections, some of the Republican candidates for president are actually distancing themselves from the White House. Karl really doesn't have that much more to do. So he left.

SANCHEZ: But the combination of the Gonzo-gate and the Valerie Plame connections, couldn't that possibly be a factor as well?

SLATER: You would think that would be a factor in a mortal man, but I'm not sure Karl Rove is that mortal.


SANCHEZ: What do you mean by that?

SLATER: He's extraordinary. Every time I talk to him, he is this ebullient, extraordinarily active and optimistic figure, even in these dark, dark days of the administration.

He has a capacity, I think, unlike so many other people, rather than to burn out, I think he thrives on these difficult moments. Now, there is no question that the investigation by the federal prosecutor in the Valerie Plame affair did have a deep effect on him at the time. But I think he feels that he has escaped that -- perhaps he has; perhaps he hasn't -- the federal inquiry. And he really feels now it is time to go.

SANCHEZ: When I read your book, I got the sense that this is the guy who molded and guided George W. Bush. If that's the case, well, then who takes the role now?


SLATER: No, there isn't anyone. There is no one now.

Rove is the last of the Republican Texas mafia, those people from Texas who were so important to Bush because they were there at the very, very beginning. They're loyal. They're bright. They're sharp. Each had his own point of view and his own contribution. Rove was sort of the equal among equals in that White House. And with him gone, there is nobody to guide the president.

But, Rick, I go back to this. There is not much more to be done. All presidents are lame ducks at the end of their career. This president is now entering formally a period where there is not much left that can be achieved.

SANCHEZ: Down to 30 seconds.

Finally, your impressions of Karl Rove from a Machiavellian standpoint and your writings about what he did for Governor Clements and possibly even some of the gay marriage initiatives that he started to try and get George Bush, or -- Should I say try? -- to get George Bush reelected.

SLATER: The key to Karl Rove is that, A, he wanted to elect George Bush. B, he wanted to extend the Republican majority for a generation.

He succeeded the first. He did not succeed in the second. And part of that and part of his legacy was that he brought a politics of division to Washington at a new high level, in which you divide the field and exploit the polarization of the electorate based on these wedge issues.

It is an ugly chapter in its own way, but it was an extraordinarily effective one. The question I think that historians will ask is, can you practice a successful politics, even a ruthless politics, but ultimately a politics that makes it impossible to govern?

SANCHEZ: Wayne Slater, writer of the one of the most talked- about books, "Bush's Brain," we thank you for being on.

The suspect list and the outrage, it keeps growing in the execution-style killing of three college students. Why was the main suspect even in this country? Why were his alleged accomplices running free? It's out in the open next.

Also ahead:


SANCHEZ: Is this the first time you have tried to come to the United States?


SANCHEZ: No? How many times?

VARGAS: Seven times.


SANCHEZ: He is an illegal alien with a criminal past. How did he sneak into the United States seven times?

Coming up, I go to Honduras to find out what's going on with this policy.

And then, why would anyone say we need another 9/11? It's out in the open.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Tonight, there is a public outcry over a criminal illegal alien, the one you see shackled back there, was not reported to immigration officials and who is now a suspect in an especially brutal crime, the execution-style killing of three college students in Newark, New Jersey.

More about that urgent national debate in just a moment, but, first, let's get caught up on the main story.

We go now to Deborah Feyerick. She's been following the story and she's joining us in Newark with the very latest.

Deborah, what have you got?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here is what we can tell you. Why here? Well, it's because this schoolyard is just adjacent to a housing complex behind me. And it's there that five of the alleged suspects all lived. They knew each other because they were acquainted from hanging out in the neighborhood. Also, a couple of them went to school here. Ironic because some of the victims also went to this elementary school. So, again, these worlds kind of colliding, one of top of each other. You would think that this was big and massive and everybody far apart, but no, in fact everything happened within really a three- block radius of each other.

We are told that some of these men had already been in trouble with the law. One of them facing was sexual assault charges. He was in court today actually. He did not have to enter a plea in those cases. He has already pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.

But another man, a man who is on the run, a man by the name of Rodolfo Godinez, he's on the run with his half-brother. Police tell us he was facing a number -- or had a number of arrest on weapons charges and the like.

And so all of this, just guys who were looking for trouble on that night according to police -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: A lot of people all over the country are just trying to figure out why it is that this didn't ring a bell with someone. As soon as he was picked up on the allegations of rape of a 9-year-old, why he was released in the first place, Deb.

FEYERICK: Well, that's a big question that many people have tonight.

New Jersey does not require authorities to ask for someone's immigration status when they are arrested. That could change, a councilman tonight asking for a law that puts into effect something that makes the authorities at least aware how they are here, because Immigration, ICE, DHS, they can actually hold people on charges.

And we spoke to the father of one of those people tonight.


JAMES HARVEY, FATHER OF DASHON HARVEY: To be placed down here, kneel down, and you say oh, my God. Oh, my God. What's going to happen to me?

And then for the thugs to have no mercy, no pain, for them to just execute them like that, it's truly unacceptable. It is bad enough that people in our society that live here and born and raised here are committing crimes and being sent to jail. If you come from another country and you commit a crime, and you don't want to live and abide by the rules of America, then you shouldn't be here, point blank. It's simple.


FEYERICK: That was the father of Dashon Harvey, one of the boys who was killed that night. He came here with his family, again, trying to seek some sort of closure, trying to come to answers. But, boy, I will tell you, Rick, I have seen a lot of things. When I saw him kneel down, almost recreating what his son may have gone through that night, it was simply chilling. So many people wanting to know why those three college students had to be killed and especially just shot execution-style. It just defies the imagination -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it is a story that may end up changing some things. We will be following it.

Thanks so much, Deborah Feyerick, in Newark, New Jersey, reporting for us.

Now we're on how officials never reported to immigration officials about this criminal past of an illegal alien who is now one of the murder suspects in the Newark killings. Immigration officials say that they would have deported Jose Carranza some time ago had police told them about his arrest and the rape of the 5-year-old child all the way until she was 9 years old. But no one ever told them, they say.

Well, that may change.

Bill Tucker reports on a Newark lawmaker who wants to make it easier to report criminal aliens and deport them.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newark, New Jersey, is a don't ask, don't tell city when it comes to the question of immigration status. City Councilman Ronald Rice wants that policy ended where criminals are concerned. He's introduced legislation to require the city to work with federal immigration authorities.

RONALD RICE, NEWARK CITY COUNCIL: I think it just covers some of the gaps that exist in terms of intelligence-sharing, information- sharing about folks that in our communities. And I think part of the problem that we have in this situation was we had something that may have potentially fallen through the cracks.

TUCKER: It wasn't just a matter of cracks. The prosecutors in Essex County, where Newark is located, knew full well that Jose Carranza is an illegal alien.

TOM MCTIDE, PROSECUTOR: We determined that this person was an undocumented alien as we were conducting the homicide investigation. I am just going to leave it at that. The procedure is complex.

TUCKER: That attitude is not surprising. New Jersey's governor, Jon Corzine, does not support having state or local police involved in immigration enforcement under the federal authority known as 287-G on the grounds that it will hinder law enforcement. Corzine has been sharply critical of the Morristown, New Jersey, mayor, who supports 287-G authority, is seeking it, and calls it necessary.

DON CRESITELLO, MAYOR OF MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY: If this is the individual who committed the murders, then those children would be alive today. And I call upon every mayor in New Jersey and every county sheriff to make sure that they request that 287-G be instituted and implemented in their communities and their counties so that the people of this state can be safe.

TUCKER: Jose Carranza had been indicted twice this year by grand juries for aggravated assault and weapons charges and on aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was free on bond in both cases.

(on camera): There is a second adult suspect in this case who is a legal permanent resident with a record of aggravated felony arrests. The state plead those felony arrests down to lesser charges. And a legal permanent resident guilty of felony charges is deportable.

Bill Tucker, CNN, Newark, New Jersey.


SANCHEZ: There's one thing for sure. And that's that the system in this case seems to have somehow failed the people of Newark.

There is also something that you need to know. And that is that there is a system, a system in place that's supposed to deport what's called criminal aliens in cases like this.

I went to Honduras to follow some of these criminal aliens back to their countries in a report that I prepared for you from Central America.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shackles scrape against the tarmac at Williams International Airport in Mesa, Arizona. These are the first close-up images of the U.S. government's new initiative to get rid of undocumented immigrants not within months or years anymore, but rather within days. From this airport alone, three full flights leave each week bound for Central America.

(on camera): It's now 7:30 in the morning. We're about a half hour from wheels up on this MD-83 that's going to literally remove 110 immigrants from the United States.

(voice-over): This version of the expedited removal program began two years ago. Immigration authorities call it a success. And because there are so many undocumented immigrants crossing the border, there are now between eight and 14 flights a week leaving the U.S. There are plans, in fact, to increase the size of the fleet.

An hour into the flight we find Marlin Vargas, a 23-year-old with a boyish grin who says he came to the United States because he was hungry.

(on camera): Is this the first time you tried to come to the United States?


VARGAS: Seven times.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Then there's Jose Membrero, a criminal alien who admits to a rap sheet that dates back to 1991 with crimes that include selling drugs, domestic violence, parole violations and finally a DUI arrest that's now getting him deported. Although not a citizen, Membrero was in the United States legally. He's lived in Colorado for 19 years and speaks English with hardly a trace of a Spanish accent.

(on camera): You feel like you blew it?


SANCHEZ (voice-over): It's now about noon and the flight dubbed Conair is maneuvering the tricky approach through the mountains into the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

At the refugee return and welcome center, Membrero, remember he's the one with the long rap sheet, clears immigration and Interpol almost immediately. However, Marlon Vargas has a problem. Honduran officials spot his tattoos and question him about gang activity.

The police official decides Vargas' tattoo is not a gang logo after all. He is free to go, as is Membrero, who tells us he won't return to the U.S., because now, as a deported ex-con, he would face a federal sentence of 20 years if caught.

One look inside Vargas' home and you immediately understand why half the boys here have left for America, leaving behind fathers like Vargas' dad.

(on camera): Does it bother you when he leaves?

(voice-over): "I need him," says Thomas Vargas, who tells me he only makes $3 a day, shows me his empty cupboards, the holes in his roof and his next meal. And every meal. Beans and corn.

(on camera): To say that life is hard here in Santa Rosa would be an understatement. For running water, for example, you have to go outside. That's if it works.

(voice-over): Like this squeaky faucet, everyone seems to agree, U.S. immigration policy is in disrepair. Will this newest initiative fix it?

That's up to Marlon Vargas and tens of thousands like him.

(on camera): If it was easier to get in, would you go back?

VARGAS: Probably.



SANCHEZ: But they're making it harder now.

VARGAS: It's harder now.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): Vargas plans, instead to join the Honduran military. But his is just one story, a snapshot of one family, one village, where America's immigration dilemma begins.


SANCHEZ: By the way, we checked on some numbers for you. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deports nearly 200,000 prisoners and aliens every single year. And that number is expected to increase by up to 20 percent, we're told, next year. The problem isn't going away.

We are coming up on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Can you believe that there are some people out there who say they want it to happen again? Are they nuts? Is it treason? Important questions being raised not by me, but by others.

And you won't believe what was going to happen to all of these kittens. Some call it an outrage.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez. I'm trying to bring you up to date on the hot videos of the day. And these are the ones you get on the Internet, but no more, we'll have them for you.

This is No. 1. This is in Milwaukee. Take a look at these pictures. It's outside a television station. An employee walks out, she gets attacked by a pack of wild dogs that are in her garage. So, she leaves, although she was hospitalized. Another employee comes out and there you see the dogs going up the stairs looking for him. Finally they have to call Animal Control. Animal Control is not able to corral the dogs. They seem to be too smart, so they had to use a taser to take the dogs down and eventually they were able to get them out of there. They're still trying to investigate how the dogs got into that parking garage area in the first place.

Now, video No. 2. This is just downright cruel. Take a look at these kitties. These kittens, say authorities in New York, were being used to try and train fighting dogs, pit bulls. They would throw them into the pen to try and give the dogs a taste for blood. They would try to make the dogs more aggressive by letting they learn how to attack these kittens. That's why police in New York are now saying they're going after the dogfighting operations and this is just the beginning of it.

And now this video. This man, that you're about to see, this is, by the way, one of the top viewed videos on He is 8'4"! Think about that, 8'4". They say he's 37 years old and he's still growing. They say he has some type of pituitary malfunction that causes him to do that. By the way, we did a little comparison to see the difference between an averaged-sized guy. Maybe a little below average and someone 8'4". Unbelievable. Those are today's videos.

This might be conflict story of the day. We're coming up on the sixth anniversary of 9/11, as you might know. Well, who's now saying the attack on us needs to happen again? We're going to tell you about this in just a minute.

And then later, the mayor whose comments about gays are making people furious. Is he ready to take them back, or not? Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: There is a lot of anger out there tonight about two recent columns on terrorism and 9/11. Now, one of them asks the question: If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? It went on to say, "If I were a terrorist with limited resources, I'd start thinking about what really inspires fear, arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly." Now, think about this, he's writing about how to attack the United States of America.

Now, that was written by author, Steve Levitt for his blog on the "New York Times" Website. He also asked readers to post their ideas and told them that their posts would be a public service.

Now, here's another column that's also caused some outrage. The title, "To save America we need to have another 9/11." Listen to this, let me read you some of this.

"America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater. What would sew us back together? Another 9/11 attack."

That was from Stu Bykofsky of the "Philadelphia Daily News." And I've got somebody here who's just a little bit furious about both of those pieces. Kevin McCullough, who called them treasonous in his own column for By the way, he's also the author of "Musclehead Revolution: Overturning Liberalism with Commonsense Thinking." So, I guess he know where you're coming from.

Why are you so riled up about these two articles?

KEVIN MCCULLOUGH, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I think that it's irresponsible juniorism. And the columnists didn't bother me as greatly as it did the lack of action on the editor's portion of these two papers. There was also a cartoon that ran in the "Washington Post" this last week, same type of idea, mocking the heroism and the courage of the passengers on United 93.

SANCHEZ: Why do you think they're doing this?

MCCULLOUGH: I think one of many reason, maybe they just don't think that there's a legitimate terror threat that we're still under in America, so it's become, you know, intellectual hash, if you will, of the day, something fun, titillating, to talk about. I certainly think that Levitt's column had a lot of that in it.

SANCHEZ: Well, by the way, we tried to invite both of Levitt and Bykofsky and they were not able to join us on the show. We were just looking at some pictures there, what 9/11 looked like, it's still very sensitive to many Americans. But a lot of people are saying, it's because we've become too complacent that we need to start thinking about it again. Can you understand that point of view?

MCCULLOUGH: No. And if we've become too complacent or as Bykofsky tried to argue, that we've become too divided, the issue is because there's a lot of political interest that have seen to it that we've water the issue down and forgotten the real human impact of it.

But, you drive in the Westside Highway, here in Manhattan, and you see the hole that I see on a regular basis, that's not filled, and there's something very real that we must never forget.

SANCHEZ: I get it. But, would you say we shouldn't even talk about it at all or...


MCCULLOUGH: Oh no. No, no, no. No, I don't even begrudge Levitt the discussion, but be responsible in what you're doing. For instance, instead of posting your postulations on his blog, he should have said, well, if you'll send me your suggestions, I will send them to Homeland Security or to the Pentagon; we will try to outthink the next move that the terrorists are going to make. But, to put it in public domain is irresponsible.

SANCHEZ: Do you think he was doing it, as they often say, to sell papers, to titillate or do you think he was just really mean spirited about something like this?

MCCULLOUGH: Well, don't want to judge his motives, I'm not going to he's no American. I'm going to say that the way he wrote the blog post, it was like a -- this titillating, fascinating, wet dream that he had about what could possibly be done. Irresponsible, more irresponsible on the part of the editors to let it run.

SANCHEZ: Well, Kevin, we thank you. We're going to talk a little bit more about this, as a matter of fact, hang on for a moment, because I want to bring in a couple of more guests to talk about this a little bit. Just a weigh in different perspectives.

Mark Smith, we've had him on before, he's a commentator and constitutional attorney. And of course, Stephanie Miller is a radio talk show host and she's good enough to join us, as well.

Mark, let's start with you. Do you agree with what he's saying about Levitt and Bykofsky? Do you think they were irresponsible?

MARK SMITH, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I think they were irresponsible. I don't think they did anything that was criminal or treasonous or anything like that. I think -- they exercised bad judgment. I think that any time you're essentially trying to do the work of terrorists, to say, hey, let's give them some great ideas, I think that's just poor judgment. With respect to Stu's Bykofsky's views, look, we don't need another 9/11, but there is one point that's kind of interesting. I've often made the point this very show, in fact, that George W. Bush is a victim of his success, because by stopping the terrorists since 9/11, I think a lot of Americans have forgotten or failed to realize it's still a very real threat. It allows people like John Edwards to say that the war on terror is nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan, when in reality it's a very real danger (INAUDIBLE) terrorist attack allows that sort of complacency to be perpetuated.

SANCHEZ: And not to famous mention the famous line about that we should continue to go shopping, which is something that is problematic when you look at it in hindsight.

Stephanie Miller joining us, as well.

Stephanie, mountain out of a mole hill, or is this something serious?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think Karl Rove must have given him a page out of his playbook before he left, Rick, because this is what the Republicans do, to me, this not a liberal thing, this is fear mongering. This is you know, this is Dick Cheney and this is Rudy Giuliani saying, you know, we might have another 9/11 and you know what? Terrorists will kill, we will have another 9/11 if you vote for a Democrat. It's the same fear mongering that this administration uses.

It's like, wouldn't this be great? Wouldn't it all bring us all together? And wouldn't you have to vote for Republicans?

SANCHEZ: Exploit -- I think the key -- the theme that she's bringing up, Kevin, is the exploitation of 9/11. Do you buy it? And it's not only these writers who may be guilty of it, but some of the folks in your party.

MCCULLOUGH: I'm not a registered Republican to start off with, so for her to assume that would be incorrect. But, I will say that the potential for exploitation runs both ways. There's a difference in that, though, and saying let's publicly comment on the "New York Times" pages, which has already run stories outing our strategies on how to freeze terrorist financing, and the fact that we're tapping terrorist cell phone calls for the purpose of stopping future attacks.

The "New York Times" has a poor record of defending our country. When they've had the chance to side with the terrorists, they have in the past. Why does it -- why should I not be riled up that they're the ones running the open discussion on terror tactics?

SANCHEZ: Mark, go ahead.


MILLER: Kevin, wait a minute.

SMITH: It's interesting. Stephanie Miller actually proves a great point. Stephanie Miller and people like her on the left, also known as the surrender party, demonstrates why another 9/11 attack wouldn't really matter in America because we still have half of the country, including Stephanie, saying that Karl Rove was behind it and therefore I don't how we'd bring the country together...

MILLER: Oh please.

SMITH: ...if we had another 9/11 attack.

SANCHEZ: Let's give Stephanie a chance to respond to that, shall we?

MILLER: That's right, Mark. You know, I, like most Democrats, want to be killed by a terrorist. Come on. How is this different than Tommy Thompson when he resigned saying: you know what, if I was a terrorist, I'd hit the food supply, it's wide open. You know? I mean, he was the director of Health and Human Services. I mean, do you think these terrorists can't think of this stuff on their own?

SANCHEZ: Stephanie, we will have to leave it there, no matter who's think it. Kevin McCullough, Mark Smith, Stephanie Miller, my thanks to all three of you for being here.

MILLER: Thanks, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Well, my next guest is a mayor who says that he doesn't subscribe to political correctness. It makes his critics, like this guy, extremely furious.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel betrayed, and I think he's betrayed not only me, but he's betrayed the entire community.


SANCHEZ: Well, how does the mayor feel about criticism like that? I'm going to ask him, because he's joining us, right here, live.

And is realty TV making more and more people go under the knife to look prettier? We'll ask, you tell.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back, tonight we are going to let you hear from the mayor of Fort Lauderdale who's been getting an awful lot of heat for his comments about gays who live and visiting his city of Fort. Lauderdale. We first reported his comments last week, and it's turned into a bit of a firestorm. His own council is now, at least some of them, calling him both bigoted and despicable; those are some of the words that they've used.

Now, it began when he said that he wanted to order small toilet stalls so that gay men can't have gay sex in them.


MAYOR JIM NAUGLE, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: It's men having sex with men and I feel that it's necessary for an elected official just to tell it like it is and if that's a fault I have that I don't subscribe to political correctness...


SANCHEZ: They mayor stirred things up again when he voted against having a gay and lesbian literary collection at the library. And then he held a news conference, not to apologize, but to offend his positions. So, he's resolute and consistent. There he is, resolute and consistent, Jim Naugle, we should say, the mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

Mr. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us.

NAUGLE: Hey, good evening, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Man, you've got some real strong opinions about this. Is it an opinion about gays in general, and if so, what are they? Let's start there.

NAUGLE: Well, you know, part of the problem during this controversy is we have the "South Florida Sun Sentinel" down here and they mischaracterize a lot of things. It really wasn't about the self-cleaning toilets that were -- that staff had recommended because they were half the price of a traditional...

SANCHEZ: Then, what was it about? Because that's what was reported and that's what you said, wasn't it?

NAUGLE: Well, yeah, but it wasn't -- the self-cleaning toilets weren't the issue, the issue was that in many of our parks and public places we are listed on Websites, like cruising for sex, internationally, and go to these places where our children are to have sex with men. And parents, you know, if you're a little league dad or a soccer mom, you don't want go into the park because men are showing up at these different restrooms. We've had...

SANCHEZ: Well, then you know what? Then I'm behind you 100 percent. Nobody wants to see that. I don't care if it's men with men or men with women or whoever it is. Nobody wants to see something like that and want their kids to walk in on something like that. So, why not just put more police protection out there? Why go in the direction that has really ostracized you in this case?

NAUGLE: Well, you know, I mean, Police protection, there are more important things for police to be concerned about, like serious crime that every city has. What we are trying to do is get Fort Lauderdale removed from these cruising for sex Websites. And I'm even receiving support in the gay community, here in Fort Lauderdale, from responsible homosexuals that see it that it is a problem.

SANCHEZ: Let me stop you there.

NAUGLE: They admit it's a problem. They wish their friends would knock it off.

SANCHEZ: Mr. Mayor, let me just stop you right there because you used the world "homosexuals" and you've been quoted as saying this, which I think is interesting. You said, "I don't use the word 'gay' because most of them aren't gay, they are unhappy." Did you really say that or is that a misquote?

NAUGLE: Well, again, that was the "Sun Sentinel" who -- they don't subscribe to the Rupert Murdoch method of reporting the news and letting the people decide. They always have an agenda. What I did say -- I was questioned by a reporter for why do I use the term "homosexual" instead of "gay" and I said: Well, many gays aren't happy -- homosexuals aren't happy and I prefer to use the word rather than "homosexual" instead of "gay."


SANCHEZ: But Mr. Mayor, who are you to define one whole slice of the population as a social psychologist and say whether they're happy or not. Isn't that beyond your purview as the mayor of Fort Lauderdale?

NAUGLE: You know, it's my personal views, they were my personal opinion is to use the word "homosexual," but the "Sun Sentinel" prefers the word "gay."

But, I'm getting support from some homosexual in the community who do see that it's a problem. And one of the problems is because of this open attitude we've had in Fort Lauderdale, we're now No. 1 in the nation in AIDS cases in the classification men having sex with men and that's something that I want to address...

SANCHEZ: But, can you address that without castigating an entire group of people? Can some how provide maybe more public health facilities, can you help them with education and awareness as opposed to saying that the type of things that you know are going to get you heat and is only going to divide the community?

NAUGLE: Well, one thing we are doing is we're asking people everywhere in the city to report this activity when it takes place so the police can make arrests, so we can print the names of the individual that are engaging in this activity and we can put a stop to it.

But the ironic thing is is that the Convention and Visitor's Bureau is even advertising in their vacation planner, the bath houses, which are one of the worst places for the spread of AIDS. And that's another thing that I'm going to try to get changed here in Fort Lauderdale so that we can be a healthier community. We welcome homosexual tourists to our city, as long as visitors, whether they're gay or straight, don't engage in these activities.

SANCHEZ: By the way, they gave your city about $1 billion last year, in terms of industry. So, that's not bad. That's something I imagine you city commissioners would like to keep, right? NAUGLE: It's our second most important industry. The marine industry is our largest industry. Tourism is good, we have around 10 million visitors and they claim that 800,000 or 900,000 are homosexual.

SANCHEZ: And they are not crazy about you because of your comments, right now. But Mr. Naugle -- Mayor Naugle, we thank you, sir, for coming on and taking the heat, we appreciate it.

Well, check out this next woman. She's going to be the first to tell you that she's had some work done.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a little lipo, I had a little bit of bread augmentation...


SANCHEZ: Whoa, stop, that's enough. But get this, did TV make her do it? We're going to tell you about this, stay with us.


SANCHEZ: Standing here now with some of the people who do the real work.

Welcome back. Right now cosmetic surgeons around the country are swamped with patients. So, what's driving this sudden surge in cosmetic surgery? Well, according to one recent study, reality television shows that goes in-depth on cosmetic surgery makeovers. Entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas as tonight's "Vital Signs."


ANNOUNCER: Get ready for the most radical transformations every brought to television...

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Plastic surgery as entertainment, it's a realty of realty TV. With shows like ABC's "Extreme Makeover," E-Entertainment's "Dr. 90210," and "The Swan" on FOX, attracting people who want to showcase their radical transformations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turning into a beautiful swan will apply to me...

VARGAS: But more and more doctors say they're seeing this televised quest for perfection influence real-life medical decisions.

ERIKA LAMOUREAUX, PLASTIC SURGERY PATIENT: I have had a little lipo, I've had a little but of breast augmentation...

VARGAS: Erika Lamoureaux has had a series of cosmetic surgeries and not just the ones she's mentioned. There was a chin implant, a nose job, a face lift, and lip injections, surgeries, she says, were inspired by makeovers on reality TV.

LAMOUREAUX: My boyfriend says that I'm not allowed to watch "Dr. 90210" because it becomes a shopping list.


VARGAS: Erika is not alone. A recent study published in the academic journal, "Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery" sampled 42 people seeking cosmetic surgery and found that four out of five said they were directly influenced by procedures they've seen on reality TV shows and more than half said they watched one such program regularly.

LAMOUREAUX: And I guess I am influenced because that's how I found Dr. Ellenbogen.

DR RICHARD ELLENBOGEN, PLASTIC SURGEON: A little bit of icing on the cake. Sort of like what we're doing today with the Botox.

VARGAS: Dr. Richard Ellenbogen has been practicing plastic surgery for more than 30 years.

ELLENBOGEN: What are your fears on the surgery...

VARGAS: He's been featured on several makeover shows and says their popularity has contributed to an increase in real-world cosmetic procedures.

ELLENBOGEN: Before extreme makeovers, plastic surgery patients were coming for one thing. They didn't realize they could have two or three or four things done at the same time.

VARGAS: That trend concerns Dr. Z. Paul Lorenc, a New York plastic surgeon and co-author of "A Little Work: The Truth Behind Plastic Surgery's Park Avenue Facade."

DR. Z. PAUL LORENC, PLASTIC SURGEON: I don't necessarily think it's health for patients -- for the surgery that we are performing to be in a way trivialized on realty shows.

VARGAS (on camera): Lorenc says not only are the risk and recovery periods associated with plastic surgery minimized on these makeover series, but shows MTV's "I Want a Famous Face" seen here on YouTube, create unrealistic expectations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I admire Carmen Electra and I want my body to be more like her's.

LORENC: And I think it's important for patients to realize that, that it will not change their life, it's not going to finish or get rid of all of your worries, all of your financial worries and so I think it's important for the patient to be realistic about it.

VARGAS (voice-over): There is an upside to these shows that even Dr. Lorenc can agree with. They provide would-be patients with general information about procedures and innovative techniques before going under the knife, and while some of these series are no longer on the air, it's clear with some viewers they left a lasting impression.

(on camera): You're a big fan of plastic surgery.

LAMOUREAUX: Oh, plastic surgery is wonderful.

VARGAS (voice-over): Sibila Vargas, CNN, Hollywood.


SANCHEZ: More news on the other side. We'll be right back.