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BP to Extend Testing of New Cap; Tea Party Debate in Black Community; Should Adopted Children Have Excess to Birth Info; Mel Gibson Controversy Continues

Aired July 17, 2010 - 17:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This hour on CNN, we've check the condition of 27 grade school children whose bus flipped over today on an interstate. What happened?

The Tea Party, the NAACP, a sour brew. And again, when you think the story is over, someone else steps up and fans the flames of race.

There are more Mel Gibson recordings you haven't heard. What else did he say? The people who have them and released them to the public, they join us this hour on CNN.

But we start with this. Day 89 of the Gulf Oil disaster and day two of zero oil gushing into the gulf. BP's integrity test of its new cap is now past that 48-hour mark and will go on just a little while longer. Pressure is slowly building which is a good thing because it indicates no oil is leaking anywhere from the well. But the pressure is still not high enough to say for sure that the well is completely secure. BP may decide to keep the cap in place or reattach a riser pipe that will take the oil to surface ships. Meantime, BP says, one of two relief wells is now just a few feet from intercepting the crippled well. It will allow concrete to be pumped into the well and completely sealed it inside the earth. There are still millions of gallons of oil to clean up though. This controlled burnout in the gulf was about ten miles northeast of the well site.

Let's go right now to the ground with David Mattingly in New Orleans. David, extending the pressure testing of that new cap. Is that good or bad?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I'm just now getting a message from Admiral Thad Allen, a statement from the head of this operation. He's saying that the test has provided us with valuable information which will inform the procedure to kill the well and a better understanding of options for a temporary shut-in of this well during the hurricane. The fact that they were not able to see any leaking oil after this 48 hours tells him that this well is in good shape and gives them options to move forward. But according to this note that we are just getting from Admiral Thad Allen, they are going on with the testing for another 24 hours and then after this testing is done, they're not going to leave the well closed.

They're going to open it back up and start the production again, sending the oil up to the surface to the vessels waiting up there. So apparently, according to this message that they just now sending out, that option of keeping this well closed seems to be, for now, off the table. But he's making a point to say that they are going to be collecting all the oil, at least most of the oil, it's coming up now and we should not be seeing, after they get back, into production, we should not be seeing that cloud of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico that we saw before thanks to this new cap. But here, Admiral Thad Allen saying, they learned a lot from this. They're going to go on for 24 more hours, but when that test is over, they are going to go back into production, taking that oil up to the surface to vessels up there, to contain it up there instead of closing down this well -- Don.

LEMON: David, I have a question for you. You said, you just got the note from Admiral Thad Allen, he said that said that it gives them options, they learned a lot. Did he mention what any of those options are?

MATTINGLY: Well, the options are knowing that this will be able to be put into use possibly to make this well hurricane-proof. Because while they are collecting the oil in their ships on the surface, if a hurricane comes through, those ships have to disconnect and get out of the area for safety.

LEMON: Got you.

MATTINGLY: Now, if a hurricane or tropical storm comes through, they can be able to leave that cap on at least temporarily, so there won't be a continued leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

LEMON: OK. All right. David, let's talk about the relief wells. As I said, when I came to you there in New Orleans, that there are few feet away from that rupture where they have to go in order to get this -- to correct this problem. Tell us about the progress there.

MATTINGLY: Well, so far, BP tells us that the relief well, that first one is right where it needs to be and that last few feet they have to be very slow and very meticulous. But they are looking for an intercept of the leaking well, they're looking for an intercept of that oil well, sometime at the end of this month. Everything is going well for that. And once they intercept it, drill into that well, they've start filling it up with cement. That process could take days, possibly weeks. But right now, they are on track to do exactly what they hope to do.

LEMON: All right. David Mattingly in New Orleans. Thank you very much. With new information coming from Thad Allen there, we'll get back to you. Thank you, David.

The massive oil skimming ship known as "A Whale," won't be deployed after all and we've talked so much about that. After extensive testing though, the coast guard says, the converted cargo ship extracted only an insignificant amount of oil from the gulf. The coast guard says, its fleet of skimmer, of smaller skimmer ships are controlled burns, are adequate for the clean up task. Ken Feinberg, the man in charge of humming the BP compensation fund recently met with about 200 people in Louisiana whose livelihoods have been impacted by this oil disaster. He got an earful as you can imagine. In response, Feinberg was compassionate but he was tough. He made clear that money would not be paid out based on wishful thinking.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They said we'd have a record year this year. It was here. Thirty five boxes of shrimp in 24 hours. I think BP ought to look at that. We had a record year. We lost it. That's very important.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I have tickets to prove it. You know, we got the tickets to prove it.

FEINBERG: Now, here's the answer to this claim. This gentleman says, it was going to be a record year. Prove it. Come in, demonstrate that it was going to be a record year and get paid for it, but don't speculate. I can't be paying speculative claims. You've got to come in and show me not that you're a good fisherman, and, you know, life treats you fairly. I want to know -- it's not speculation, Feinberg, we can show you what we lost because of this spill that is damaging and I'll pay it. But you never showed me now.


LEMON: Ken Feinberg is in charge of the compensation fund. Next, we want to talk with you about financial reform. The White House won the battle, but what's next? And what does it mean for you?

And there is a new effort to help adoptees find their birth parents and their records but it is creating quite a stir. Some people say, adoptees should have access to all records. Others say, what about the birth mother's rights? We're talking with both sides. Don't just sit there, of course. We want you to be part of the conversation. We talk to you online all the time. So, make sure you send me a message on Twitter, on Facebook or check out by blog at And also, look for me on Foursquare. I'm going to check in Studio 7 at the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. We want to hear from you.


LEMON: The restoring American financial stability act of 2010 will become law Wednesday when it is signed by President Barack Obama. The bill, that's supposed to stop banks from becoming too big to fail, passed the senate on Thursday by a vote of 60 to 39. But republican leaders continue to say, it is a mistake.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: I think the financial reform bill is ill-conceived. I think it is going to make credit harder for the American people to get. Clearly harder for businesses to get and the fact that it's going to punish every banker in America for the sins of a few on Wall Street, I think, is unwise.


LEMON: And today, the president commented on the partisan resistance.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But too often, the republican leadership in the United States senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences.


LEMON: Well, lawmakers argue over whether it's good or bad, this bill tonight, we are going right to the bottom line here. What does this huge bill mean to the little guy, to the everyday consumer? Professor Peter Morici joins us, he's a professor of International Business at the University of Maryland. Good to see you sir.


LEMON: So, what immediate changes will we see with this? And let's start with credit cards? Why don't we?

MORICI: Well, credit cards are going to be clearer. For example, I have my latest bill from HSBC right here. And it tells me that if I make the minimum payment which a lot of people do, it's going to take me 20 years to pay it off and the interest charges will be almost double the principal that's here. If I make a somewhat larger payment, it will take me only three years to pay it off and the interest will be only about 60 percent.

LEMON: OK. So let's move on now. Interest will only be about 60 percent. So, that should help, right?

MORICI: Right.


MORICI: But the banks are going to make less money doing this. So, you're going to see, you know, somewhat lower credit limits because the banks are going to be more cautious about extending too much credit to people.


MORICI: Things of that nature.

LEMON: All right. So, let's move on now to checking accounts here. What does that mean when it comes to checking?

MORICI: Well, right now, the banks don't make their money by charging you to use a checking account. We have free checking. The checks are right inexpensive. And they make their money on fees like if you, you know, have a check bounce, there is a big fee. You know, if you have an overdraft fee. Well, all that stuff that's going out the window and so that banks are trying to make credit cards, checking accounts less expensive for them to maintain which is right now is about $200 a year. So, they're going to try to push you into using automatic tellers even to make a deposit. To do more stuff online. If you don't, if you want to do it the old fashion way, write the checks, go see the teller, make a deposit, you will find that they may charge you, let's say, $7, $8, $9 a month for a checking account.

LEMON: So, listen, let's talk about the over all bill and talk about, you know, the financial reform as it comes to the big banks and bailouts and all that. What do you think of this bill, is it good or bad, do you think it will prevent a crisis like the one we have seen?

MORICI: Absolutely not. The banks were too big to fail before and the biggest banks are even larger now. Barack Obama simply didn't do the kind of radical reform that Franklin Roosevelt did when faced by the same thing. The republicans are wrong about the reforms for consumers. Those are really helpful. But in terms of straightening out Wall Street, the big banks, their lobbyists won today with both the republicans and the democrats in the House and senate.

LEMON: So, you say, it's good for consumers even though, because you mentioned earlier, the banks won't make as much on credit card, fees and all of that, but you think that is obviously better for consumers, bad for banks?

MORICI: Yes. It wasn't bad for banks but this business of taking ordinary people and saying, check this box and skip a payment or encouraging them to pay $10 a month has attracted a lot of folks into a life of debt. And that's a bad thing. Most folks don't understand this terribly -- look at the back of this thing. All this complex writing. It's absurd. So, they're going to have to be clearer and that's good. So, people should understand what they are doing. However, because of all the regulations on the banks, folks are going to find that mortgages are a little more expensive and those folks that have marginal credit, that don't have great credit ratings, they may find it tough to get a credit card.

LEMON: OK. Peter Morici. Thank you.

MORICI: Take care.

LEMON: Just ahead here on CNN.


MARK WILLIAMS, TEA PARTY EXPRESS SPOKESMAN: Racists have their own movement. It's called the NAACP.


LEMON: All right. The War of Words between the Tea Party and the NAACP, you heard that comment by a Tea Party Express Spokesman Mark Williams. But some Black leaders disagree on how to fight back or whether it's even worth it. We're going to ask the Reverend Al Sharpton about it.


LEMON: We're going to check your top stories right now on CNN. Take a look at this huge blaze today at a port in China. Look at those flames. It raged for 15 hours after a pair of oil pipelines exploded in the north-eastern coastal city of Dalian. State-run media say more than 2,000 firefighters and 338 fire engines responded to that blaze. There are no reports of injuries.

In Russia, more than 1,000 people had died during a brutal heat wave this summer. But the reason has more to do with the way they are cooling off. The victims are drowning as they escape the heat in the river. Russian officials say, many of the adult victims had been drinking and many of the children who drowned weren't being watched at all.

It's the kind of image that makes your heart skip a beat, an overturned school bus in the middle of an interstate highway. It happened this morning in Franklin County, in Kansas. Twenty seven kids coming home from church camp were on board. Nine of them were taken to a hospital for treatment, one by helicopter. No word on what caused this accident.

A debate among Black leaders over the Tea Party movement. The NAACP sees racism in signs like these from some Tea Party movement rallies. Now, ones that tell the President Barack Obama to go back to Kenya or depict him as an African witch doctor. On Tuesday the group passed a resolution calling on the Tea Party movement to denounce racism in its ranks.


BENJAMIN TODD JEALOUS, NAACP PRESIDENT: Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take full responsibility for all of their actions. We will no longer allow you to harbor cowards behind signs that say, "Lynch our president" or anyone else.


LEMON: But the Reverend Al Sharpton, there you see him here. You could say he's down playing, the NAACP's criticism, I'll ask him, he says the group though has bigger things to worry about the name calling. Reverend Al Sharpton joins us tonight live from Philadelphia. So, what do you think of the NAACP? Should they be focus on other things instead of this?

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK PRESIDENT: No. What I said was I, first of all, agree with the NAACP that the Tea Party should denounce those racist signs and there are elements that have been at a lot of their gatherings that are racist. But I think that we must look at all of the issues that impact our community and have that as our priority which the NAACP said. You have to remember, the statement that was being made in NAACP was a 44-page statement. This was half a page. They didn't make a resolution just on the Tea Party. The Tea Party wants it to be about them. It's about jobs, it's about health care, it's about the criminal justice system. Their signs are part of the problem, but they are not at all, the systemic problems that we need to confront, nor the NAACP of National Action Network or any of us saying, and I think that what the Tea Party wants us to do is be all about them. I think, it must be all about making America one nation.

LEMON: Reverend, in some way though by doing this, is this a distraction maybe, is this something maybe the NAACP should have anticipated? Because, as you said, it's not the number one issue. And I think most people agree that facing the African-American community but is has it in some way become a distraction?

SHARPTON: I think that if it has become a distraction is the media that's obsessing on one half page of a speech rather than dealing with all the NAACP said of for that matter, all of us that spoke at the convention or at our own conventions. So, you can't blame that somebody makes a 44-page speech, the media for pinpointing one part of it and saying, they want this confrontation. Let's be clear. There are elements of the Tea Party I'm sure that are fair. I'm sure that there are other elements that are not. But what the Tea Party itself is advocating, in my judgment, is anti-civil rights. Because what they are really saying is we need to go from a strong central federal government back to where states can decide if they want to do health care or they want to do immigration. Well, the whole civil rights movement was built around stopping states from being able to nullify what federal law was. So, whether there were signs or not, I have a problem with the Tea Party's philosophy if it is about returning us to state's rights. That's more of a threat to civil rights.

LEMON: I want to get to something else that Mark Williams wrote. And we'll get to that. I want to ask you because I have read some things that there are people who are saying that the NAACP is racist. The NAACP is not denouncing, I think, there's a new Black Panther movements and other issues that -- and other situations that people find racist. What do you make of that? The NAACP, a racist organization or...

SHARPTON: I mean, that's absurd. NAACP is 101 years old. A long- standing civil rights organization. Those of us that came like our group National Action Network years behind have always supported them. There are whites, and blacks and Latinos involved in the organization. To say that any of us should equate asking the Tea Party or any other gathering to denounce those in their ranks and compare that to the new Black Panther Party situation where the head of the party did say that is not behavior, I don't condone. Why would Mark Williams and others in the Tea Party say the same thing? We don't condone it. We denounce it. Let's move on. The fact that they want this confrontation with the NAACP would seem to me to send all the wrong signals about what they really want to project as their issues.

LEMON: OK. I want to get to this. You mentioned Mark Williams because this blog post in response to NAACP, it's from Mark Williams, a Spokesman for the Tea Party Express. In it, he assumes a voice of the NAACP President Ben Jealous, it's a mock letter addressed to President Lincoln. And this is what he says Reverend in part. And we didn't add brackets -- we added the brackets. This is what he said in part. He added the brackets. He said, "We, National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

Now, Williams later removed this from his blog, he put up an explanation in the place. And my question is, number one, why do you think he would do that? And does this affect your position or change your position on any of this at all?

SHARPTON: Not at all. It confirms it. If they are trying to bait a fight on some very narrow race questions and not deal with the broad issues of the NAACP and urban league and others about social inequality. To mock the president of the NAACP and act like Blacks don't want to take responsibility and therefore we reject emancipation even in a mocking way is to try to do red flag when we won't play the bull for him. We're going to keep focused on how we make America fair and equal for our communities. We are not going to get in a side argument with him. I think that the moral challenge was thrown up by the NAACP for them to denounce those ugly and racist signs. They chose to come back and mock the NAACP. I think all Americans can see what that stands for and who stands for what. And I think that Mark Williams was far more telling than any resolution from the NAACP about what someone the spirit is behind, some of those, some of those in the Tea Party.

LEMON: Reverend Al Sharpton, thank you very much. We're out of time, unfortunately. But I want to say, on the 47th Anniversary of the March on Washington, you are having your own March in Washington as well. Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

The reverend and I talked about the letter written by Tea Party Express Spokesman Mark Williams that has caused such a stir. Mr. Williams has said that he will join me live tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. So, make sure you stay tuned, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Tea Party Express Spokesman Mark Williams will join me live.

Should birth mothers have a say over whether adoptees can see birth records? A new report says no. We'll hear both sides of this issue.


LEMON: You know what? There has been a long debate over giving adopted children access to their birth records. Now, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has just release the paper dealing with these questions. Do birth mothers suffer if adoptees learn who they are? Will abortions increase if more access is granted? Will adoptions decrease? The institute says, no. It is a big conclusion and all 50 states should do what the states in the red are doing. Give adoptees unbarred access to original birth certificates. The blue states give most adoptees access.

Well, tonight, we hear both sides of this issue. Chuck Johnson is with the National Council for Adoption, it supports access only if birth mothers and adoptee agree. Jennifer Yurfest is a birth mother who's had a successful reunion with her son and Adam Pertman is executive director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute. He edited the study. So, I'm going to start with you, why didn't you perform open access? What's wrong with requiring the birth mother to sign off on letting her child contact her?

ADAM PERTMAN, EVAN B. DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE DIRECTOR: Well, there might or might not be something wrong. That's not how we went about the study. But we said is what benefits the parties most? We try to promote best practice through our research. And what benefits everyone involved as far as the years of work we did on this issue is allowing adoptees to have access to their records. It serves their interests for sure in medical ways, in personal ways, genealogical, lots of different ways. What we found was that the overwhelming, 95 percent plus, number of birth parents, birth mothers are fine with this and that they benefit in fact from psychologically and in many other ways, and that adopted families become stronger as a result. So, the evidence is so far on one side that we simply said, these laws are antiquated and let's move on.

All right. My next question is for Jennifer who is here in the studio. You have been in the middle of this tough situation. Why wouldn't you want a mother to have the option to say yes or no? Shouldn't the mother have the right?

JENNIFER YURFEST, BIRTH MOTHER: To take away another human being's rights, no? Does anyone have that right?

LEMON: Why do you say that?

YURFEST: Because it's everyone's birthright to know their origins. It's in your DNA. It's your genetic history. That's just your birthright. I don't think you should tamper with that. I don't think birth certificates should be -- frauded and a piece of paper.

LEMON: You don't think that the mother -- if a mother wants to keep it confidential, you don't think she has a right --

YURFEST: She can say "no, thank you." But, no. I can't see why she would take away another person's rights.

LEMON: I want to talk to Chuck.

Chuck, hearing all the reasons why it should be open and there should be open access, no conditions, what do you think?

CHUCK JOHNSON, NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION: Well, I think it's pretty clear here that there are some women for whom the release of the information would be very damaging. They have been promised their privacy for generations. To retroactively go back and take that away is hurtful and a betrayal of the trust they have placed into the system. There are women who had children conceived through rape and incest and there are women who simply don't want to deal with this. To release the information without their consent is hurtful.

LEMON: Go ahead, Jennifer.

YURFEST: I don't think that's just cause. That's an inequality. That just doesn't work. You can't change history. You can't change the facts.

LEMON: But everyone has a right -- the child has a right, yes, to know. Maybe the child has a right to know medical information about their parents or what have you. But do you also have to look at both sides too. Don't you have to look at the mom's side too?

YURFEST: I understand that it's a difficult situation. I understand that it may be difficult for some birth mothers to deal with the truth, but it is, in fact, the truth. If they don't wish to discuss it then they can state they don't want to discuss it.

LEMON: Chuck, I have some information with this. You say you speak were those who won't speak. Obviously, by what you are saying there in your last comments. Let's take a look at some hard numbers the study provides. OK? So the Donaldson researchers looked at five states that have open access, and take a look. I want you to look at this. Oregon had the most original birth certificates. Only 85 birth parents out of 10,000 requested said no contact. The no contacts are really pretty small. Then there is another number. We don't have it up. All five states, less than 150 no contacts. So it looks like the vast majority of birth parents -- there is the information -- would not object to contact. What is your response then to these open access?

JOHNSON: Well, we are missing a big point here. I think it is true that in today's adoption, most women, even those who place children for adoption in years past, are open to the idea of their information being released. But what Adam fails to disclose in the report is that the majority also say that their information should not be released without their consent. There are many studies that show this.

The misinformation that the other side puts out is wrong. They talk about adoptions increase in states where open records. There is no rationale behind that. Actually, our numbers indicate that adoptions decrease in those states. But I don't think it has to do with open records. Most people involved in this issue are not activists. The majority of the triad are not people out there fighting on this issue. So what happens is you have a small number, Adam says about 30 percent, who are interested in this. The rest of the people are living their lives. So they are not involved. So we do have to speak for those women. Adam says 3 percent to 10 percent of women who do not want information released. We have to do something to protect them.

LEMON: I will let Adam respond.

Go ahead.

PERTMAN: Well, there are so many misstatements here, I'm not sure where to start. I will ask people to simply read the report. It's free for downloading on Some of the best legal scholars and academics in adoption worked on this report for years. We stand behind every word.

Chuck, by the way, those statistics, those numbers, come from the National Council for Adoption Fact Book. So you stand by them and we stand by them. If there is other research that says something else, we have not seen it.

LEMON: Thank you.

Do you want to go ahead?

YURFEST: My personal experience as a birth mother, I have never met a birth mother who did not want to share information, who did not want contact. That's extremely rare.

LEMON: Jennifer, Chuck, Adam, thank you.

This is a conversation that our viewers have been asking us to have, many people on the social networking sites.

YURFEST: It's a conversation that needs to happen to change the way things are working now. It's not right.

Again, thank you. Thanks to all of you.

Still ahead on CNN, the corridor of cruelty where abused animals are dumped and abandoned. One woman's mission to end the atrocities makes her this week's "CNN Hero."


LEMON: Want to update your top stories here on CNN.

BP's testing of its new cap will continue for another 24 hours. It's already been under way for 48 hours with no oil leaking. National incident commander, Admiral Thad Allen, says the testing period will provide valuable data on how to proceed in finally killing the well.

A frightening video captures the moment of the car bombing in Juarez. The blast killed four people and it's being called a potential turning point in Mexico's drug war. The worry is that Mexico's drug cartels might ramp up the violence in the drug wars by using car bombs against each other and the government.

In Iran, tens of thousands gathered to mourn the victims of two suicide bombings. 27 people were laid to rest following the attacks in southeastern Iran on Thursday. A group known as the People's Resistance Movement of Iran claimed responsibility. But some top Iranian officials are pointing fingers at the U.S., Israel and parts of Europe over these attacks.

In Houston, Texas, there is a strip of land known as the Corridor of Cruelty. It's where abused animals, many of them victims of dogfighting, are dumped and left to die. This week's "CNN Hero" stumbled across this gruesome place and simply could not turn her back.


LEMON: Since 2008, Deborah Hoffman and her organization helped get nearly 100 animals off the streets into safe havens. To nominate someone you think is changing the world, go to

Mel Gibson getting hammered by more tapes leaked by Radar Online. But what about the ex-girlfriend? Closer scrutiny of the tapes have people asking more questions about her motives. The managing editor of Radar Online joins me next.


LEMON: Gosh, have you heard the Mel Gibson tapes? I'm sure you have. He may be known for playing Mad Max, but Mel Gibson is now the one losing his temper. We all remember Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rant from 2006. Now he's at the center of another controversy, this time for threatening and yelling at the mother of his baby, ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. Here is a sampling of one of five tapes that are now out to the public.


MEL GIBSON, ACTOR: You wanted the dress. I can't believe you asked for that. And the tickets and the Lakers box, I got rid of the box. And now nobody gets tickets because of you. I had to sell the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

OKANA GRIGORIEVA, WIFE OF MEL GIBSON: Why is it because of me? Why is it because of me? What kind of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is this?

GIBSON: I sold them because of you. I don't have any (EXPLETIVE DELETED) money. And the box is gone because of you.

GRIGORIEVA: Not because of me. Because you have to feed an army. Why is it because of me?

GIBSON: Because I spend too much (EXPLETIVE DELETED) money on you and my wife knows it's you.

GRIGORIEVA: How much money do you spend on me? You don't spend more money on me than on anybody else.

GIBSON: I spent more than $5 million dollars on you.


LEMON: Wow. So how do these tapes even get out? Are they the real thing? Was it a set-up?

Joining me now, David Perel, the managing editor of, which released the tapes.

The big question is, where did you get the tapes? DAVID PEREL, MANAGING EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: That's the question everybody's asking. All I can tell you is it was investigative journalism. One thing we have said is we did not get the tapes from Oksana.

LEMON: You didn't get them from her. How else would you get them?

PEREL: As you know, these tapes are a part of a court case. The police have the tapes. Just investigative journalism, digging, got copies of the tapes.


PEREL: We have been talking to people and they said obviously she was helped. She's very clear. Sounds like she was using a high-powered microphone. Mel's are scratchy. How would she know how to do this if she wasn't helped. I want you to listen to another excerpt and we'll talk about that issue.


GIBSON: I'll report her to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) people that take (EXPLETIVE DELETED) money from the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). OK?

GRIGORIEVA: You're telling me that you take away whatever pennies you have just given to me? I don't have anything because I've given you my life, three years now.

GIBSON: I gave you everything. Don't you dare (EXPLETIVE DELETED) complain to me. You don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) count. You're a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) using (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Go look after my child.

GRIGORIEVA: She's my child, too.

GIBSON: Yes, I know. Unfortunately, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I hope she doesn't turn out like you.


LEMON: So what's your assessment of this? She's very clear. It sounds pretty professionally done. Do you know if she had help? Was this a set-up in some way?

PEREL: We know she made the recordings. Now, she has told people that she made the recordings because Mel threatened her life. We know Mel threatened her life, because there are tapes we have released on Radar Online where he says I'm going to hit you in the head with a shovel, bury you in the rose garden. She was smart to make the tapes. Her voice is more clear because she's doing the recording. She knows she's doing the recordings. She rarely loses her temper. And he loses his in a way -- you heard in that excerpt, number one, there was an ethnic slur in there and there was a horrible, horrible racist diatribe in a tape we released week ago. She is making the tape. She's more under control. But there are tapes on Radar Online where you hear her lose her temper and they really start to go at it and they argue over a number of issues.

LEMON: David, did you pay for the tapes?

PEREL: No, we did not pay a dime for them.

LEMON: All right. No money for the tapes. Listen, more things are coming out. There is a picture that's supposed to be Oksana Grigorieva where apparently her teeth are chipped and she's saying this is by the hands of Mel Gibson.

PEREL: That's right. That picture was taken within 24 hours of when they had an alleged physical brawl, January 6, of this year at Mel's mansion. She claims that he punched her and damaged her teeth, punched her in the face while she was holding their baby, who was about two months old at the time. She went to a dentist. You can see the veneer is knocked off the left tooth and cracked on the right front tooth. This photo was taken within 24 hours and it shows extensive damage. You have to hit somebody with a lot of force to do damage like that. We have consulted several dentists, who know what they are talking about, who have analyzed it. And the photograph is part of evidence and under seal.

LEMON: CNN hasn't independently authenticated the tapes. Have you?

PEREL: Yes, we have authenticated the tapes. There's no question. We have run the tapes unedited. When you hear them on Radar Online, you're going to hear everything we heard. They're un-retouched and they're the real deal.

LEMON: There's about ten more minutes of material left, what will come out?

PEREL: There is ten more minutes of material left and it's explosive. There is more material about physical altercations between the two of them. There's some shocking accusations and admissions. I mean there is a brutal, brutal custody battle that they're in. This is a domestic violence investigation that's being conducted against Mel by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. And the Department of Children and Family Services is also investigating.

LEMON: David, you said people will be shocked to learn from these tapes that, apparently, Mel has some financial trouble that we'll be hearing about in the upcoming tapes. When are you going to release them, do you know?

PEREL: We will start releasing them next week and will continue to.

LEMON: All right, David Perel, managing editor of

Thank you.

PEREL: Thank you.

LEMON: We have been following them for months, training for their big day, we're talking about Dr. Gupta and his team. They're ready to rock the New York City Triathlon tomorrow. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Six months ago, Dr. Sanjay Gupta picked six CNN viewers to compete with him in the New York City Triathlon. We followed their training over the past we weeks now, and their big moment is only 13 hours away. It's getting close.

Sanjay introduces us once again to his team.


LEMON: Look how strong they all look. It's 13 hours away, so we'll have an update for you tomorrow right here on CNN. Make sure you tune in for that.

Also some news you might have missed over the past week. We're going to share it with you coming up.


LEMON: How about some news you missed? I guess it's not news you missed once you hear about it, right? So every weekend we like to catch you up on some interesting news items that you might have missed during the week.

Simone Bolivar, the hero of Latin-American independence, has been exhumed from his tomb in Venezuela. The move was ordered by President Hugo Chavez. DNA from the corpse will be tested to determine the cause of death. Conventional wisdom is that Bolivar died of tuberculosis in 1830, but Chavez suspects he was poisoned by Columbian enemies. Chavez broke the news about the exhumation on his Twitter with the words "Bolivar Lives." There you go. Now you know.

Listen, we'll -- this is 91-year-old Rachel Beach, right, talking about a lifetime warranty. That's her car. She's used it for the past 46 years. It's a Comet. It's in cherry condition. Look how beautiful it is. Wish we could all keep our cars that way, right? TLC paid off.

See you back here 7:00 p.m. Eastern. "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer starts right now.