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What Will it Take to Save the Big Three?

Aired December 4, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): The Big Three face their big showdown in Congress as they desperately plead for an auto bailout. First, they wanted 25 billion, now, 34 billion, but some say they`ll need more than 125 billion. Where does the hemorrhaging end? As unemployment skyrockets and factory orders plunge, can taxpayers really afford this? Some say yes.

Auto advocates are fighting back, accusing America of a double standard. We gave bankers a bailout, so why can`t we cut auto workers a check?

Plus, tomorrow O.J. Simpson could get a virtual life sentence for kidnapping and robbery. Has the long arm of the law finally caught up to the Juice?

And is the Victoria`s Secret fashion show the latest front on the war on women? I`ll tell you why some think these scantily-clad models are damaging America`s young girls.

These issues and more tonight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Disgraced NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson will be sentenced tomorrow for his role in a Las Vegas kidnapping and robbery case. I will tell you if the Juice will finally face justice.

And are scantily-clad Victoria`s Secret models damaging America`s young women? Or is this just a distraction from the real war on women? I will take your calls on that issue later in this program.

But first, you could call it the battle of the bulging bailouts. The Big Three testified before Congress again today for billions. They`re now asking for $34 billion. But the chief economist for Moody`s, in a shocking bit of testimony, predicted it will actually cost almost four times that amount to fix Detroit.


MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY`S ECONOMY.COM: By my calculation, using my expectations for the economy and what it means for sales, market share for pricing, I`m skeptical, doubtful that it`s going to end at $34 billion.

It would ultimately need, in my view, somewhere between $75 billion and $125 billion to avoid this fate.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say what? A hundred and twenty-five billion? Here`s my issue. Where does it end? The amount they`re asking for keeps creeping up, and it may not be the half of it. Do we keep pouring good tax dollars after bad?

And then, there`s the hidden bailout as we try to translate the hieroglyphics that pass for testimony before Congress. It would appear that the automakers want to double dip. Listen closely. GM`s car financing company, GMAC, is trying to become a banking company so that it can qualify for some of the $700 billion taxpayers are doling out to the banks.

And get this: the private investment company that has controlling ownership of GMAC is the very same company that owns Chrysler. Yet, most Americans do not realize Chrysler is privately owned. That owner, according to some senators, is very rich. Yet they`re asking us to bail Chrysler out, but reportedly, they will not pump any more of their own money into Chrysler. Very interesting indeed.

Give me a call. Tell me what you think about the battle of the bulging bailout. The number: 1-877-586-7297. That`s 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Jon Tester is the Democratic senator from Montana and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which heard the testimony today.

Senator, thanks for joining us. It`s been a long day for you, because you were in that room. Would you agree that the $34 billion is not really the entire figure when it comes to the various and sundry ways Detroit is seeking government help? And if so, are taxpayers potentially victims of a game of smoke and mirrors here?

SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: Well, I`ll tell you, first of all, if anything was true at the hearing today, it pointed out how much trouble the auto industry is in this country right now. I would say I`m not interested in throwing good money after bad.

I think if we get the right design of a bill that protects taxpayers by being first in line when the loans are paid back, by making sure that any loan that`s given to them, that money is invested here in the United States to help expand our manufacturing base. And, which may be the most important part, that there is a board of oversight that can help restructure, if necessary, right from the get-go. I think that that, with some other issues, that if designed right, could possibly work.

Now here`s the other side, though, that you`ve got to know, Jane. And that is that, you know, if they`re allowed to fail, hundreds of billions of dollars in our economy goes away. That`s going to have some major impacts, you know, millions of jobs. In a state like Montana, for example -- and I think it affects everybody -- you know, you`ve got mining interests. You`ve got aluminum plants. You`ve got car dealerships across the state that are being -- going to be impacted in a very, very negative way in these communities, are going to be impacted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how do you vote? What do you do then?

TESTER: Well, we -- you got to get the bill designed right. If it`s not, it`s going to be -- it won`t -- if it isn`t designed right, it`s going to be a train wreck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you this, then. I would have liked to have heard more specifics. I am so sick of hearing these guys speak in generalities about increasing fuel efficiency and investing more in high technology. I want to know how many SUV plants are closing. How many are plants are going to be retooled to handle hybrids and electric vehicles?

I give Chrysler at least credit for being specific and saying they`re going to roll out 500,000 electric cars by something like 2013. But that was one of the few specifics I heard today.

TESTER: Well, I mean, it is incumbent upon them to give the specifics. And I think that those -- that information can be found out. I think, from my perspective as a policy maker, we need to protect the taxpayers. I do not. As you opened your show, when you said, you know, throwing good money after bad, I`m not sure that has to be the case. I think it can be the case if it`s designed wrong.

So I think it`s our job to step up to the plate and make sure the taxpayers are protected and make sure the auto industry regains its feet and moves forward and becomes vibrant economic force in this company once again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Senator -- Senator, just to interrupt for one second. You know, you`re talking about American companies, but there are other American companies that are designing all electric cars. Just today in "The New York Times," I read about a Palo Alto, California, all-electric car company that wants to provide electric cars and charging stations all over Hawaii.

Why not put the money into that company, that is incredibly proactive about embracing the new technology?

TESTER: There`s a lot of opportunities to invest money around the country. I`ve got timber industry, logging companies that are in big trouble. I`ve got mining companies that are laying off money. Where do you draw the line is another question.

And where we invest the money, we have to get the most bang for the buck. Those are all fair questions, Jane. I can`t answer them for you.

All I can tell you is that I`ll deal with the facts that were presented today. I`ll try to be fair. Remember, I didn`t support the $700 billion bailout. I didn`t think there was enough oversight. And I didn`t think there was enough assurances that money would work. I think if a bill is designed right in this particular case, and it has to be designed right, and the devil`s in the details, it can work and can help turn the industry around. But it won`t be done unless they step up to the plate and do the kind of things they`re talking about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Senator, let me ask you this one devil`s advocate question. We had the director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" on last night. And he says don`t bail them out. Place orders.

If we want to change their direction and ensure that they`re going to build electric cars and hybrids, place orders. Have the government actually place orders for electric and hybrid cars. Obviously, the federal government does need a lot of vehicles, so why not do it that way? Actually jump-start this business again by giving them orders for delivering cars.

TESTER: I would not be opposed to changing our governmental fleet and helping states change their governmental fleets over the hybrid technology, electric technology. I think that`s a reasonable idea. How we get that done, once again, the devils are in the details. But I think that`s a reasonable idea.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Senator, for your time. Again, I know it`s a long day. Just watching that hearing was exhausting. I can`t imagine what it was like sitting in there. Please join us again, soon.

TESTER: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before we get to your calls, I want to introduce my very feisty panel tonight. I have a feeling; I just have a feeling. Peter Schiff, author of "Little Book of Bold Moves in Bear Markets" and president of EuroPAC, and Virg Bernero, mayor of Lansing, Michigan.

Mr. Mayor, welcome back. Here`s the bottom line. Even if the $34 billion loan is granted, Moody`s is saying -- and they said this at the hearing today -- it won`t fix the problem. That it`s very possible it could cost up to 125 billion. Where does it end?

All right. Peter, I`ll address the same question to you.

PETER SCHIFF, AUTHOR, "LITTLE BOOK OF BOLD MOVES IN BEAR MARKETS": It`s never going to end. Government money isn`t going to fix the problem. It`s simply going to perpetuate the problem.

You know, first of all, two wrongs don`t make a right. Just because the government illegally and improperly bailed out Wall Street doesn`t mean they need to make the same mistake with Detroit. You know, we need to let these companies go bankrupt. That is the only solution to the problem. If we want to have a vibrant automobile industry, we need to allow the ones that failed to go out of business some more competent people who can come in and run those plants more efficiently and employ those workers, making cars profitably that people want to drive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to your point, Peter, there is a list of the top five-rated hybrid cars, and only one of them is American. The top rated is the Toyota Camry hybrid. Then there`s the Honda Civic hybrid. Then there`s the Toyota Prius, which full disclosure, I happen to own. Then there`s the Nissan Ultima hybrid.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And finally, finally at No. 5, you get the Saturn Aura Hybrid. So how can we trust these guys to make this hybrid that everybody`s going to buy when they`re -- when they`re not highly rated as being excellent cars?

SCHIFF: We can`t trust them to do anything. All they can do is lose money. That`s all they know how to do. And they`ve blown off all the money they had. Now they`re coming to the government, asking for more.

If you mentioned that the private equity firm that owns Chrysler, if they don`t want to put their own money into the company, why should the government put taxpayer money in, especially when the government`s broke and we have to borrow the buy-out money from the Chinese and the Japanese. Why should we go deeper into debt to support, you know, inefficient companies? Let them fail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing, Michigan. I can just feel your -- the smoke coming out of your ears as you hear this. Because you don`t think that they`re incompetent. You don`t think that they should be No. 5 of the top five rated hybrids. According to how they`re ranked, though, by reputable ranking firms.

How do we deal with the fact that they can make all the hybrids they want, but Americans might not buy them?

VIRG BERNERO, MAYOR, LANSING, MICHIGAN: Well, the auto industry`s come a long way. Does it have a ways to go? Of course. But this is not your father`s automobile company, to borrow a line from Oldsmobile. They are cleaner and greener than ever before. This is an industry with an outstanding track record. This is an industry that has helped build the middle class. It is more of an investment. The Chrysler bailout 30 years ago paid off. This investment will pay off.

SCHIFF: We didn`t get 30 years of productivity from it? Chrysler is back in bankruptcy. How do you know what Chrysler would look like if the government had stayed out of it. If you think -- if you think these companies are such good investments, you put your own money into it. If they really think they have a good plan, let them sell it to the private capital markets. Don`t let them go in, hat in hand, to Washington. That`s because they don`t have a viable plan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, that`s right. A lot of people feel that, had Chrysler gone out of business, it would have sent a strong message to Detroit. Hey, change. Change. But when you enable the company to continue doing business the way they`re doing, then maybe they don`t make the kinds of drastic changes they need to make.

BERNERO: Well, that`s a very cavalier attitude. That is what we`ve come to expect from Washington and Wall Street, which is really what orchestrated this whole selling out of the American way of life and exporting all of our jobs.

These companies, that 30 years that we bought that Peter doesn`t find useful for anything, was 30 years of people all around this country having a great living and good benefits. You know, having medical coverage. And that`s one thing...

SCHIFF: At the expense of bankrupting -- they bankrupted the companies, but you know, look, I agree with one thing. We need to have a resurgent manufacturing industry. We need a new industrial revolution. But we`re not going to have a vibrant manufacturing economy if we support non-profitable companies with government money. We need to let these...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang tight. We`re going to be right back with more fiery debate.

Got an opinion or question on the bulging bailout and how it affects you? Give us a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. I`m going to be back with your calls on our economic mess in just a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: O.J. could spend the rest of his life in prison for his role in a Las Vegas kidnapping/robbery case. I`ll have a preview of tomorrow sentencing in just a bit.

But first, we are back with Peter Schiff, president of EuroPAC, and Lansing mayor Virg Bernero, and we are taking your calls.

Linda in California, your thought or question.

CALLER: I feel like -- like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford should have to eat this. I know that, as a veteran of the United States Army, I`ve worked hard all of my life. I can`t even get my benefits. But these people are spending billions and billions and billions of dollars on these corporations who have gotten themselves into this shape. Then you can`t turn around and get credit. You can`t buy the cars; you can`t get credit. You can`t get money. You can`t make money. It`s a business cycle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Go ahead.

SCHIFF: The point is everybody forgets, if we`re going to bail out General Motors, if the government is going to redirect capital to the auto industry, how many companies are they going to destroy in the process? Who`s going to be denied capital, because the government is directing it to Ford and General Motors.

Remember, the government doesn`t have any money. They don`t even have the money that they take from somebody else. So we end up punishing or destroying a profitable business in order to subsidize a non-profitable business, and other lose their jobs in order for people in Detroit to keep their jobs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The other problem, Virg, is that we have to find credit so that people can buy cars. Because right now the cars are there, but there isn`t credit.

BERNERO: You know what...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In testimony today, 30 people went into one dealership, according to the testimony today, and all 30 were turned down for financing per car.

SCHIFF: There`s a good reason for that. You know, Americans, we`ve bought too many cars over the years. That`s the problem. We have to stop buying cars. We have to drive the cars we have. We need to make cars and export them. Americans shouldn`t buy new cars until they have enough cash to pay for them without resorting to financing.


BERNERO: If Peter and you guys are done with your theorizing, I`d love to give you a little dose of reality.

SCHIFF: All right.

BERNERO: Linda, first of all, great thanks for giving me an opportunity. Linda, first I want to say thank you for your service to our country. I appreciate it very much, and I appreciate your patriotism. And a little patriotism in the economic markets would go a long way, too.

You know, to listen to the theory of a guy like Peter, a former Wall Street wizard, one of the guys that helped bring us to this condition, is very interesting. But the reality is -- the reality is that, unfortunately, Peter, we don`t live in this perfectly balanced, free-market world system. So the beautiful theoretical system that you`d like to establish in the United States doesn`t work in a global economy, where we have a completely unequal playing field.

So when you talk about the government robbing from other people, which is total bull, in order to save the auto industry, the reality is...

SCHIFF: Where do you think they get the money?

BERNERO: Let me -- can I just finish? I`ll be quick. I`ll just be quick. Let me finish. We`re competing against other countries, Peter. The problem is, these companies are competing in a pristine, capitalists, free market environment that you envision in your head. This -- this is an uneven market.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why isn`t Toyota and Honda facing bankruptcy?

BERNERO: Our companies -- our companies are competing...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why isn`t Toyota and Honda facing bankruptcy?

BERNERO: For one reason, they have the total support of their government.

SCHIFF: That`s nonsense.

BERNERO: They have -- oh, it is. They have national health care. Is that a figment of my imagination?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to get to another call.

BERNERO: They are supported. They are subsidized. Their currencies are manipulated. Give me a break.


SCHIFF: ... market.

BERNERO: You`ve got to get out of your ivory tower and see what`s happening in the real world.

SCHIFF: I know what`s happening in the real world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time out. Time out, gentlemen. We`ve got a call. The call is waiting.

Kent in Michigan, your question or thought, sir.

CALLER: Am I there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you are.

CALLER: OK. I would just like to say this. I think our Congress needs to quit picking on the auto executives. You know, trying...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you an auto executive?

CALLER: Absolutely not, part time, retired, not a very wealthy guy. But I will tell you, I did buy some GM stock a couple of days ago, because I think we need them. And I think they will do right by them. But my point is -- is I get awful upset when I hear the Congress dictating to these auto execs what exactly they have to do to justify this loan. Loan I say. They gave what, 350 billion to the financial industry and never...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But this is the whole question. Peter, is it really a loan? I mean, usually with a loan, you have collateral or your mom has to cosign it, something.

SCHIFF: The government doesn`t have any money. They have to guarantee loans. They have to take it out of the economy. But they shouldn`t have given Wall Street a quarter. You know, you did -- you bought stock, the caller bought stock in General Motors with his own money. I`ve got no objection to that, but I don`t the caller buying stock in General Motors with my money. I want to make my own decisions.

BERNERO: But the fact is, the government did bail out Wall Street...

SCHIFF: And they should have.

BERNERO: ... for billions and billions of dollars, with no strings attached. I`m not -- I`m not...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? We`ve got to go to break. Time out. Time out. I`m going to be taking your calls on the bailout, next.

Plus, is the Victoria`s Secret fashion show yet another front in the war on women? Is it exploitation or just good old American fun? We`re going to debate the cultural effects of these scantily-clad runway models in just a bit. And you won`t believe what they were wearing, or weren`t wearing, as it were. You`ve got to see this, coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are our institutions. I can`t imagine America without Ford or General Motors. Or Chrysler, even for that matter. I mean, I remember when I was a kid, to have tons of -- now we`re down to three basically. You know? They can`t be talking about.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back with Peter Schiff, president of EuroPAC and Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing, Michigan, and we`re taking your calls. Donna in New Mexico, your thought or comment, ma`am?

CALLER: Well, I`d just like to say I`m not impressed with them driving down in their hybrids. Give me a break. They just didn`t want to get caught in the hot seat again. And are they going to sell those company jets? Are they going to forgo their bonuses? One of these guys is the ex- CEO of my company, and all he did was continue to take money away from us and put it in his own pocket until we got rid of him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are we talking about Mr. Nardelli? All right. Anyway, she raises some really good points.

BERNERO: The point is about corporate culture. But the corporate culture that`s gone bad isn`t just in the auto industry. And I`ll stack up the -- of course the jets need to be sold, and we need to change corporate culture.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re going to sell the jets.

BERNERO: But I will stack up the production of the automobile industry against that of Wall Street -- guys like Peter come from there -- and Washington any day of the week. This industry has produced, helped produce the middle class in this country.

SCHIFF: You...

BERNERO: They have a great record of success, and they`re worthy of our support.

SCHIFF: You keep raising the straw man. I was completely against the Wall Street bailouts from day one. I agree. Every Wall Street firm should be allowed to fail. There shouldn`t have been one dime for Wall Street. But two wrongs don`t make a right.

BERNERO: Well...

SCHIFF: And on top of that, we do not want the government dictating to our automobile industry what cars they should make and how they should make them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I disagree. I think we should dictate and say all electric. Switch over. Get rid of the SUVs.


SCHIFF: You know, it`s like letting the Post Office or the Army make our cars. The government is incompetent.

BERNERO: I`ve read some of your stuff. I`ve read some of your stuff, Peter, and I`m surprised that, for a guy who`s for production, you would allow our manufacturing prowess in research and development to fall by the wayside with the apex of our manufacturing process.

SCHIFF: No. I want to free it up. It`s being stifled by -- by incompetent management, by big labor unions.


BERNERO: You`re playing Russian roulette with our economy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Time out, gentlemen. We`ve got to go to a call. Jerry from South Carolina. Your question or thought, sir?

CALLER: Yes, ma`am. I see on "60 Minutes" where the CEO of General Motors makes-- his salary this year will be $16 million. Your average -- your average worker makes probably less than 30,000.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say this. First of all, all three Big Three CEOs are working for a dollar a year. But they`re...

SCHIFF: They`re overpaid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there have been articles that I`ve written -- read that say, you know, there are other ways to get money. The stock options, the retirement plans, the golden parachutes. There are so many ways, Peter, for them to walk away with money. And of course, they`ve walked away from -- with millions in years past.

BERNERO: I`m not going to sit here and hear the auto industry execs thrown under the bus when this -- this culture of corporate greed has permeated. And nobody had any problem with it.

SCHIFF: I did.

BERNERO: And that`s been for years. Well, I did, too. But let`s not single out the auto three. Obviously, that`s a problem. But obviously, if they`re taking public money, they`re going to have to give that stuff up. And we should change it. What we`re talking about is a viable automobile industry for years.

SCHIFF: They`re not viable. If they were viable, they wouldn`t be asking for money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what? You have the last word.

SCHIFF: And if we bail out Detroit, who`s next? Who`s next?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re done, but we`re not done. We`re going to be back tomorrow, discussing this again. Please come back and get angry again. Thank you so much.

Millions tuned into the Victoria`s Secret fashion show last night. Now it`s your turn to weigh in. Is it exploitation or just beautiful women strutting their stuff? Call me. Tell me what you think.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some say it`s the fashion event of the year. Others say it`s a disgrace that objectifies women and sends the wrong message to our kids. The Victoria`s Secret fashion show; is it the latest front in the war on women?

I want to hear what you have to say. Give me a call at 1-877-JVM- SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297.

We`re going to get to your calls in just a minute, but first, at the top of the block tonight, the juice getting squeezed. A Las Vegas jury convicted O.J. Simpson of armed robbery and kidnapping charges last month. It was 13 years to the day after the former NFL star was acquitted of the brutal murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.

That acquittal of course, left a lot of people outraged because they were convinced that he did it. Tomorrow, sometime before noon eastern a Las Vegas judge will hand down a sentence in Simpson`s robbery and kidnapping case, so tomorrow, O.J. Simpson may finally face some serious jail time.

The stunning conviction stems from a September 2007 incident in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson and five others raided the room and took sports memorabilia from a couple of dealers whom they held at gun-point. Simpson claims the memorabilia had been stolen from him and he was just getting his stuff back. The bizarre encounter was secretly audio-taped revealing Simpson`s confrontation with the collectors. Simpson continues to deny any wrong doing and says he was set up.

With me now, Courtney Pilchman, former district attorney and criminal defense attorney and Tamara Holder, also a criminal defense attorney.

Tamara, Simpson is facing a possible life sentence -- life sentence -- just on the kidnapping conviction alone. And that`s one of numerous guilty counts, so the recommendation is actually that he get 18 years, but for a guy who`s 61, let`s face it that`s pretty much a life sentence. So what do you predict O.J. will get tomorrow?

TAMARA HOLDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If this were the court of public opinion, he`d probably be sentenced to the death penalty tomorrow. But he`s not going to get 18 years; the judge is definitely going to give him a stiff sentence.

There is probably going to be carry-over from the other cases that he beat, remember, he didn`t only beat two murders, but he also beat a case in Florida where he was -- where, it was attempted road rage or something. He got caught stealing a direct TV for pirating direct TV.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s been in a lot of trouble I mean over the years.

HOLDER: Yes, he`s been in a lot of trouble and that`s what I`m trying to say. And that stuff is going to carry over. Even though he wasn`t convicted in those cases, it`s going to carry over. But there`s no way he`s going to be given the maximum. The judge is just going to be stiff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about, Courtney Pilchman, the co-defendant of O.J. Simpson? He could also go away for the same amount of time, he was also convicted of numerous counts and his attorney said he was shocked, I mean, shocked by these convictions and said he concluded it had to be because he was sitting next to O.J. Simpson and the residual hatred toward O.J. spilled out on him. Do you buy that argument?

COURTNEY PILCHMAN, FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Absolutely, I totally agree with that. In fact, if it wasn`t O.J. Simpson that we were dealing with in this case, I bet we wouldn`t even be talking about prison time. We`d probably be talking about local time or some probation status or something like that.

Absolutely, Mr. Stewart, for whatever reason, chose to go along with this train wreck that`s called O.J. Simpson. And there`s nothing that he could have done to prevent all that stigma of what happened with Ron and Nicole back in the `90s.

So it`s actually going to a test for the judge, because if you look at Mr. Stewart, he`s got clearly a different background than Mr. Simpson does. And you wonder what she`s going do, are they going to be treated the same or is she somehow maybe give Mr. Stewart a better deal than she was going to sentence Mr. Simpson here. I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is not supposed to be retribution for the 1995 case. That`s not how American justice works, however, several of the jurors said that they felt the acquittal in 1995 was wrong and all but one of them was aware of that case, so is that the elephant in the room, so to speak, Tamara, that really shouldn`t be there?

HOLDER: No, I think that the jury was probably or was definitely fair in this case. I mean, remember there`s jury selection and they disclosed this in the very beginning before they were selected. And I believe that our judicial system is great. And I believe that the jury will set the facts in this case and apply it to the law and determine if he was guilty based on those charges.

But what I find is very interesting in this case is that it has nothing to do with the jury. This is the prosecution who trumped up charges against O.J. Nobody else would have been charged with kidnapping for going into a room and say --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you buy that -- do you buy that Courtney?

PILCHMAN: I do, I absolutely do I think Tamara is making a fantastic point. I mean, when the legislator enacted this kidnapping statutes, they weren`t anticipating someone was going to be taken one or two seats from a hotel room to a hotel rest room, that`s not what they intended. But with Mr. Simpson under the law, the letter of the law, well yes, it does fit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in because I want to cover this, could there be a successful appeal in this case Tamara?

HOLDER: Well, absolutely. I mean, I think that his defense attorneys have already stated that they`re going to appeal it. They`re going to appeal the jury and if the sentence is too extreme, the judge, they may make that an argument as well which we always see in our cases, that the sentence is too harsh.

And so the judge is going to be very careful for that reason as well. She doesn`t want her sentence to be overturned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, I have to say thank you so much, ladies.

This is a very tough judge by the way. And she is known for her tongue lashings and handing down severe sentences.

So it`s going to be fascinating to see what happens with O.J. Simpson tomorrow. Again, he could go away for life.

Join us and find out what happens, manana on that one. 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson`s infamous law speed chased in that white bronco, we all remember that.

Not quiet that many tuned in for the television event that rivals the Super Bowl at least when it comes to male attention. The Victoria`s Secret Fashion Show aired last night on CBS, seeing gorgeous models strutted their stuff down in Miami runway wearing nothing but bras and underwear.

The fashion show is a hot button issue, for women. For some, it`s a symbol of female sexual liberation. For others, it`s yet another front in the war on women. Critics say it sends the wrong message to girls.

We want to hear what you think. Give me a call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297. With your comments and questions, is the Victoria`s Secret fashion show exploitation of women or is this misplaced anger that should be directed at other things? Like violent, sexually sadistic movies.

Joining me now to start off this debate, Cathy Rouse, senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council and Verena Von Pfetten, living editor at "The Huffington Post."

Cathy, let me start with you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did this show bother you and if so, why?

ROUSE: Well, let me just say that first of all that no one is suggesting or certainly I`m not suggesting that what they`re doing is illegal or should be restricted at all.

My point is that we as consumers have a right to voice our opinions and how we respond to Victoria Secret`s marketing practices. I believe what they`re marketing does, the way they market does objectify women. I think it sends a very unhealthy message to women and especially the girls an unhealthy image of beauty and of feminine strength and genius. And so I think their brand is off putting and I`m not going to reward them with my business and that`s my point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to say I couldn`t disagree more. I don`t think these women are emaciated. They are curvy, frankly. And I don`t think celebrating beauty is ever an awful thing. I`m so much more concerned with slice and dice movies and violence that`s on television and film.

In Europe, Verena, they have a totally different attitude. They have much more sex on television, but yet they don`t have the violence and they don`t have it in their society either as much.

VERENA VON PFETTEN, HUFFINGTON POST: Absolutely and I think that the problem is they`re selling lingerie. How else did you want them to market it? If it`s not going to be in bras and underwear and on the runway show. I mean, treat it like any other fashion show. They`re just wearing what they`re selling. And like you said these women are far curvier than the average fashion model. So to even call that out is I mean I think that`s unfair.

ROUSE: Well, I do give CBS credit for airing it at 10:00 p.m. that`s better than 8:00 p.m. but unfortunately, at every mall in America, Victoria`s Secret is marketing their hyper-sexualized images of women 24/7. And any mom you talked to walking down the mall will tell you that she`s been embarrassed walking past the front of Victoria Secret mall with her children.

I`d be embarrassed walking past it with my father, they`ve become increasingly racy over the years, everybody acknowledges that. And it doesn`t make any sense when we act like we`re shocked, shocked that our teenagers want to dress in a hyper sexualized ways and then we celebrate Victoria`s Secret for promoting that image.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well you know I kind of agree, with the hyper- sexualization for the tweeners and pre-teens I`m not in favor of that whatsoever but I don`t by the argument that this encourages anorexia.

Because everybody`s like oh, there are 18 million anorexics in this country, and I listen, I think it`s a serious problem. I`m not in any way making light of it, but the real problem in this country is obesity. 200 million people in this country are over weight or obese, so this whole focus on -- oh this women are too skinny and it encourages kids to be skinny, I think is off the mark. Let`s put the anger where it should be on the obesity problem.

ROUSE: Well, I think there`s a lot to be angry about but look, Victoria`s Secret is targeting young girls with their new pink line. So they`re trying to target these girls to make them want to be hot and sexy as early as possible to have lifetime consumers.

And this is offensive many Americans. Teenage girls, younger than teenagers especially, and these are the kids that are wanting the pink line deserve a space of innocence. And they`ve completely lost that in American culture today.

Who do we look to as influences of culture? And one is Victoria`s Secret. Look, they have a brand, their brand objectifies women and we as consumers have a right to say we don`t support that and we`re not going to support you with our business.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to go. But again, I think you`re right about the tweeners. But I don`t think they objectify women. Beautiful women are beautiful women and we have idealized them since the beginning of time.

But stay right there fabulous panel. We`re going to be back with your calls in just a moment. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-79297.

Is Victoria`s Secret fashion show a step backward in the women`s movement? Get on the phone and tell me what you think about all of this. We`ll be back in a minute.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back talking about whether the Victoria`s Secret fashion show is another front in the war on women or is it just harmless entertainment and we all need to lighten up people.

We want to hear your thoughts. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586- 7297 with your opinions and questions.

Cathy Rouse, senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council and Verena Von Pfetten, living editor at "The Huffington Post." And the calls are flowing in.

Lois of Iowa, you`re thought or question ma`am?

LOIUSE OF IOWA: Yes, I think what they`re doing is they`re putting too much effort into the skinny women, not ones you ever see a Lane Bryant program like that because people that are of plus sizes can also feel good about themselves and not just those sizes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, well, Cathy Rouse, again getting back to this whole idea that we`re glamorizing being skinny, these women don`t look that skinny to me. They`re not emaciated and I will say that some models do look anorexic but this don`t. They`re curvy I mean, that`s precisely what Victoria`s Secret wants is curvy, you know 34-26-34 that kind of thing.

ROUSE: Well, I would think the body image of a Victoria`s Secret model is also pretty unattainable. It`s really a shame and not fun when young girls at younger and younger ages just have become so preoccupied with their self image and try to achieve a hot sexy look because they think that that`s what`s beautiful, they think that what`s valued in the culture.

I`m a mother of two daughters and I can tell you I`m scared to death for them to grow up and --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And look gorgeous?

ROUSE: No, and want to be hot and sexy at a really young age. And I`m sorry that Victoria`s Secret is so influential in our culture. Look, they have some good products I like their bras, I`m going to have to say some serious --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not about bras. It`s about what`s so wrong with beauty? I mean, feminine beauty is something to be --

ROUSE: Honestly, Jane listen, if my daughter said, I want to be beautiful just like that and wear high heels and little panties and bras and march around, my heart would be broken. That`s not what girls should aspire to. That`s not real beauty, and it`s not real feminine genius or feminine strength. I think there`s a better image of womanhood.

And look, Victoria Secret can market the images they want, that`s fine. What I`m saying is consumers should evaluate do they agree with that and do they agree with the market in practices.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Verena, do you think that this is -- I don`t think it`s humiliating or degrading. I am very, very offended when women are put in positions that are humiliating or degrading and that happens quiet often in the movies and particularly with sexual sadism. But I don`t see any of that here.

VON PFETTEN: Not at all on this women. I mean, to call this degrading is actually to take power away from these women. They`re doing their job that they`re getting paid very well for and they work hard. So to say that they are being objectified and that`s not female empowerment, that`s not fair. I mean, that`s the form of anti-feminism if you asked me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what`s really funny is that this whole issue makes for very strange bedfellows so to speak where you have some feminists lining up with like evangelical Christians, Verena.

VON PFETTEN: Exactly. And I think that`s what the point about real women wearing this Victoria Secret clothing. The thing is, they had over $5 billion in sales last year. Obviously, they`re doing something right. Obviously real women go into the store, buy their clothes and feel good wearing it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, listen we`ve got a lot of calls.

Susan in Maryland you`re thought or questions ma`am?

SUSAN IN MARYLAND: Hi, my comment is what does this say to young boys. I have a problem with seeing Victoria`s Secret commercials in this on prime time television because America has this hypocritical standard of just say no to sex. And then we have this very erotic models marching around on TV.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, excellent point I mean, there are a lot of mixed messages going out to the kids, Cathy Rouse?

ROUSE: That`s a very good point. And again, it is hard to understand why we seem so shocked when young girls want to be so sexualized in the way that they dress, and yet we celebrate Victoria`s Secret marketing practices. And it does matter what little boys and little girls think of the images of beauty and what they think is acceptable and how they see women.

VON PFETTEN: It`s on once a year at 10:00 p.m. at night, you know you have -- as a parent, you have all the controls to not have your child watch it.

ROUSE: But it`s on 24/7 at every mall in America and the posters are more and more suggestive and it`s offensive to many people. And look, it`s difficult to raise kids in this environment already. It`s really, really tough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me give you an example of why I feel this is misplaced anger.

At the very moment that Janet Jackson was having her wardrobe malfunction -- I believe it was back in 2004 -- and exposing her breast, which created such an uproar, you would have thought it`s another terrorist attack, I mean, people just went completely insane over that. At the very same time, an 11-year-old girl named Carlie Brucia was being abducted, raped and murdered.

And yet, the outrage over that did not come close to the outrage over Janet Jackson`s breast. To me, something is out of place here. Let`s worry about the crime. Let`s worry about the violence being perpetrate not about a bunch of girls who look gorgeous running down a runway.

VON PFETTEN: And it`s not anything different that you would see at the beach I mean, do you not take your children to a beach they are wearing bikinis, there`s gorgeous women there. I mean at this point thank goodness that we don`t have topless beaches. Everyone has these body parts; I don`t think it`s inappropriate for people to see them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you threatened by nudity Cathy Rouse? I mean do you feel that, that`s -- no I`m serious because in Europe there are women who walk to a beach topless and nobody says a word.

ROUSE: Let me get back to your other point about there are other things to worry about. That`s an interesting debating tactic. There are many things to worry about, but what we`re talking about today and the topic of your show is the Victoria`s Secret marketing practices.

And it is Christmas time and it is time to go shopping and consumers have an opportunity here. There`s a lot of power now especially in hard economic times and we can voice our opinions with our pocketbooks. And they`ve lost me as a consumer and maybe they`ve lost other parents who find their practices less than appealing. And I would encourage people to vote with their pocketbooks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Verena, you have the last ten seconds.

VERENA VON PFETTEN, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, I was just going to say that I don`t think there`s anything wrong with wanting to dress sexy as an adult and as a child, the parent has total control over what your daughter is going to buy. I think that the onus should be on the parents.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, feisty panel, hang tight. We`re going to take more of your calls right after this quick break. What`s your opinion? I want to know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back again talking about Victoria`s Secret lingerie fashion show. Is it sexist or a sign of female sexual liberation? I am back with my fabulous panel Cathy Rouse and Verena von Pfetten.

And the phone lines are lit up.

Anne in New Hampshire; your thought or question, ma`am?

ANNE, CALLER FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hi, Jane. I think just Victoria`s Secret fashion shows are beautiful and they have beautiful products for women. But then again you see Usher up there sing along, dancing away as if these women are eye candy for men. And I don`t think it gives a realistic picture of women in this society.

It`s a false image, I mean, what women really walk around with angel wings and it`s just hypersexual to me and I don`t think it`s fair to, you know, project women in that image and then have, you know --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t understand what`s wrong with -- we all know that men look at women. They always have and they always will, so I still don`t -- maybe I`m missing the outrage gene on this, but Verena, I don`t get it. I really don`t.

VERENA VON PFETTEN: I completely agree with you. Obviously men always look at women and yes, when they`re dressed in bikinis or bra and underwear it`s a little more inviting, but at this point, whatever they`re wearing is going to be attractive.

And secondly, the fashion show is beautiful, but it`s also completely over the top; it`s highly stylized. I would say half of it goes to costume and past the point of sexiness and when you have angel wings on and these sort of contraptions everywhere, I think it`s clearly just for show and a lot of fun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this Cathy Rouse, When I think of the exploitation and the subjugation of women, I think of women in burkas. I think of cultures that keep women completely covered from head to toe because their body is shameful. That to me is the exploitation.

ROUSE: There are many worse things throughout than Victoria`s Secrets` marketing practices.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you on that.

ROUSE: However, Victoria`s Secret is targeting young girls and there`s no doubt about that once they set up the pink line. They`re trying to teach girls to be hot and sexy at a really young age. I think that`s an unhealthy image and it`s an unhealthy image for boys and girls to consider that as the right way to look at women.

VON PFETTEN: But I think you have to actually look at what the pink line is made up of. And a lot of it is -- it`s cotton undies, cotton bra, pajama pants, boxers; it`s nothing that you`re not going find at Target. I mean just because Victoria`s Secret --

ROUSE: It`s a gateway drug. It`s right next to Victoria`s Secret mother ship.

VON PFETTEN: Of course when you get older you`re going to want to wear it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unfortunately, we have to end it right there. There are a lot of things that I`m much more offended about when I go to the store, like fur.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you`re watching "ISSUES."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: O.J. Simpson will be sentenced tomorrow for his kidnapping and robbery conviction. Has the law finally caught up to the football hall of famer? That`s tomorrow on "ISSUES."

Right now it`s time to check in with Nancy Grace. Hey, Nancy. What`s coming up tonight?

NANCY GRACE, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR, "NANCY GRACE": Jane, a bombshell in the search for three-year-old Florida girl Caylee Anthony. Hours of secret video recordings, tot mom Casey Anthony`s jailhouse visits with her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, her brother Lee Anthony -- all caught on video. Stunning details emerge in the last hours as we hear from her own mouth, the tot mom`s web of lies. All to her own family, Jane, and tonight, Jane, we`ve got the videotapes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sounds fascinating, Nancy. Thanks.

That`s all coming up next "Nancy Grace" starts right now.