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Williams & Tea Party Express Booted; Alvin Greene Speaks Out; BP May Keep Cap in Place; Author Bill Clegg Talks About His Book

Aired July 18, 2010 - 18:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: A crucial test happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico. Is the oil cap holding? We're going live to the Gulf to find out.

Cracks in the Tea Party armor. The national federation expels one of its biggest groups and one of its most prominent leaders. The reason? That offensive letter about the NAACP.

The man who jettisoned the group is here and so is the head of the NAACP -- live.

Finally, Alvin Greene is speaking. The mystery Senate candidate is out on the stump today. What did he say? Stick around.

And if you and your family member, anyone you know, have ever dealt with addiction of any type -- alcohol, drugs, anything, boy, we got a story you need to see, a man you need to meet and a book you have to read.


LEMON: But we start tonight with a developing story playing out as we speak: A rift in the Tea Party movement.

A major player and his group are getting the boot from the National Tea Party Federation after controversial comments on race. The federation, which may be the closest thing the movement has to centralization, today kicked out Mark Williams and his group, the Tea Party Express.

Williams has been locked in a war of words with the NAACP this week. The civil rights group called on the Tea Party Movement to condemn racism in its ranks.

Here's Williams on CNN earlier this week.


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


LEMON: Williams then responded with a blog post pretending to be NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, writing to Abraham Lincoln. He used the words "coloreds" and "massa" repeatedly and questioned emancipation.

He explained why he wrote the letter to CNN's John King.


WILLIAMS: What I did was successful and I'm glad it was successful. I'm sorry I had to go to those lengths to slap some sense into a lot of people who are so afraid of politically incorrect language that we can't get a conversation started.


LEMON: Well, Williams later took the letter down but defended it as satire. Neither the NAACP nor the National Tea Party Federation were laughing about it. And today, the federation kicked him and his group out of the organization.


DAVID WEBB, NATL. TEA PARTY FEDERATION: We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote which he, I guess, may have considered satire but which was clearly offensive and that is what we do -- self-policing is the right and responsibility of any movement or organization.


LEMON: The NAACP's Ben Jealous also spoke out on CNN here today.


BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT & CEO, NAACP: Unfortunately, the signs and the speeches and the statements like that made by Mark Williams in which he, you know, had me calling President Lincoln the biggest racist ever and saying slavery was a good gig, you know, divert people. And so, as a movement grows up, you've got to act responsibly and they got to keep doing what they just did to Mark Williams and make it clear there's no space for bigots here, period.


LEMON: Both of those men, Ben Jealous and David Webb, will join us live at the top of the hour. Live at the top of the hour.

Mark Williams was booked as a guest tonight, but he backed out at the last minute after his expulsion.

Now, here's his e-mail to us. He said, "Sorry, have to cancel. Traveling plans changed last minute."

We have reached out. I have reached out to him by phone and by e-mail for him to accommodate us. We're trying to accommodate his schedule, so to tell him he can call in or whatever he can do, but we have received no response from him yet. We're waiting to hear. We want to head now to South Carolina now, and the man who shook up the political world with his out of nowhere victory last month in the state's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. We're talking about Alvin Greene. He delivered a speech today, his first public speech, in fact, that we know of, giving South Carolina voters their first chance to hear what he stands for and in his own words.

Here's some of what he had to say about education:


ALVIN GREENE (D), S.C. SENATE CANDIDATE: We need better education for our children.


GREENE: Parents need to take a more active part in their child's education.


GREENE: Especially parents of underperforming students.


LEMON: CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin was there, in Manning, South Carolina, for Alvin Greene's speech. And she joins me now live.

It seems, Jessica, that he was -- it was very short but at least by the folks in the room, he seemed to be pretty well received.

JESSICA YELLN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He was well received, Don. The folks in this room, about 300 people strong, gave him a number of applause and a partial standing ovation at the end, a number of people stood up.

People I talked to at the beginning who were unsure if they'd support him when they came in, I interviewed them as they left, and they said, yes, Alvin Greene has their vote. Now, I have to tell you, he was fairly short on time and fairly short on specifics. He had told CNN the speech would be about 20 minutes long. My rough estimate, it was more like seven minutes.

And he also laid out a few of his top priorities, but didn't get into too much detail. He says he wants to bring jobs to the state. One way he'd do that is by bringing back transportation programs that were canceled after 9/11 and he said he wants more justice in the justice system because fairness saves us money and is good for everyone.

He also used a little bit of humor. I think we have one sound bite that I asked for that shows you a sentence of humor. If you guys have that, let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GREENE: I'm the best candidate in the United States Senate race here in South Carolina. I am also the best candidate for the -- I am also the best choice for the image award next year.



YELLIN: As you know, big event NAACP Image Awards. And, you know, the guy who introduced him said that this man has already made history.

One thing to note, Don, is there was a sense in the room that Alvin Greene has been given an unfair shake by people who don't know him. Maybe the national media, maybe just general politicians throughout South Carolina and this audience wanted to give him a chance, and there was a real sense of keeping an open mind because they felt that this guy has been prejudged before he got a chance to get out there and deliver his message.


LEMON: It's interesting, he said, you know, we were watching it here as well and it appeared, like, the people there didn't think he got a fair shake. But, you know what, we asked the questions to all politicians who come on and if Alvin Greene is going to be a legitimate politician, then he has to answer those questions from the media. That's the way it goes.

YELLIN: Absolutely, and one of the things he's going to have to face is that he's laying out a lot of promises. We need to bring jobs to the state. We want more justice in the justice system, but how? What are his specifics?

So, of course, we'll all continue to ask that and the folks in this room seem to think that he's getting toward a place where he's able to articulate his vision. He's ready to be a U.S. senator, they think. I think there are a lot of other folks in the state who aren't ready to say that yet. So, he'll be answering a lot important questions.

LEMON: National political correspondent, Jessica Yellin, great job. Thank you, Jessica. We'll get back to you.

And coming up in just a few minutes here on CNN: we're talking to a couple of people who are in the audience today to listen to Alvin Greene. What did they think about him? Are they convinced he would make a good U.S. senator? Will they vote for him? They're coming up shortly here.

We want to get down to the Gulf of Mexico because it is day 90 of the Gulf oil disaster. The sound you hear is the entire Gulf Coast holding its breath. For three days, no oil has spilled from that broken BP well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

BP reports no more oil has reached the coastline in the past 24 hours, and there's less oil out in the Gulf to collect, which means if the new cap holds, this could be the beginning of the end of this three-month environmental catastrophe.

But no one will breathe easy until the well is killed and all the spilled oil has been cleaned up.

CNN's David Mattingly joining us now from New Orleans.

David, we're hearing -- we keep hearing, you know, slightly different versions from BP and the federal officials. National incident commander, Thad Allen, said yesterday that surface ships will resume collecting oil. BP's executive, Doug Suttles, said -- he says no, that the well will stay closed.

So, which is it, David?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're going to find out in the coming days as they continue to look at the test results that come back and to find out if there are, indeed, no leaks here, that they're going to make decisions one way or the other.

And right now, BP is being surprisingly optimistic. At their technical briefing this morning, actually suggesting after two full days of testing with no leaks, no surprises, that it's possible that they could continue this test all the way up to the time that they drill that relief well and kill this well. Which would mean we would see that cap remaining closed, no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico now from here on out.

Well, after that, we did hear back from Admiral Thad Allen, and Admiral Thad Allen in a statement was saying, offering some more caution, saying, we have to rely on the science. We have to watch at what these test results are coming back because we don't want to make any decisions that might actually make something worse. That is something we have heard every single step of the way and they're not backing off of that approach -- to be extremely cautious as they move forward in spite of these good test results that BP keeps showing.

LEMON: I know I sound like a broken record, David, but I have to ask you every time because this is the thing that's going to kill that well and stop the oil for sure. The relief wells, the status on that.

MATTINGLY: It is going exactly where it needs to go right now. BP very satisfied with the position it's in. They've got about 100 more feet of drill to do.

But right now, the way it's coming down at the angle and just feet away from that -- from that well. They feel like they are doing this very well. They have been doing the ranging, which is that electronic pinging, so to speak, where they go into it and find their way through it up.

Now, what they plan to do is at the end of the month, they hope to make contact and go into that well and that's when they're going to start filling it up with cement and that's going to take days, possibly weeks, once they get to that. That's going to be the final nail in the coffin for this well.

But again, the news today -- I mean, everyone looking at the optimism BP was coming out with, saying, you know, we could just keep testing all the way up until then and no one will see any oil. So, let's just see how this goes. Of course, all the decisions are being made by the joint command.

LEMON: CNN's David Mattingly -- thank you, David.

And even though oil has stopped flowing, the political fight over the disaster continues, of course.

Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter today criticized President Barack Obama for his absence from the Gulf of Mexico. Vitter says he wonders if Mr. Obama is trying to push the crisis out of the headlines.


SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: He hasn't been to Louisiana since June 4th. I'm afraid he's decided to deal with this issue, at least politically, by not coming back here and trying to move it off the front page rather than dealing with the situation forcefully.


LEMON: President Obama told reporters Friday that he plans another trip to the Gulf Coast region in the next few weeks.

On CNN tomorrow night, an "A.C. 360" exclusive: three fishermen who just happened to be at the right place at the right time. They heard the oil rig explosion in the Gulf. They were first to arrive on the scene and now, they share never-before-seen photos and video only with Anderson -- CNN Monday night, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, here on CNN.

He is unknown and underfunded. Well, all that changed now that Alvin Greene made his first speech in his long-awaited campaign debut to become a senator from South Carolina.

And was it enough for voters to vote for Greene? We'll ask two of them.

And don't just sit there. We want you to be part of the conversation tonight. Send me a message on Twitter and Facebook. Check out my blog at And look for at Foursquare as well.


LEMON: As you just heard before the break, Alvin Greene made his pitch as to why he should become a U.S. senator from South Carolina. This afternoon, he gave his first public address in his home town of Manning.


GREENE: First time nonviolent offenders should be granted such programs as pretrial intervention.


GREENE: OK. I know this guy that some folks got into trouble. This guy happened to be a person of color. This was in the fifth judicial circuit. Anyhow, this guy met the criteria for pretrial intervention but was denied.


LEMO: OK. So, now, the real question comes: have voters been swayed to vote for green? Did he sway them?

Tonight, we hear from two of them. We hear from Alexander Conyers and Jerry Johnson. They heard Greene speech, all six minutes of it, almost seven minutes of it, six minutes and eight seconds.

So, Alexander, you know the Greene family. Did Alvin Greene win you over to gain your support?

ALEXANDER CONYERS, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: At this point, as you just stated, it was a six-minute, seven-minute speech. Having been away for quite some time listening to most of everything about Alvin on the Internet, reading online, I wanted to hear firsthand Mr. Greene speak. So, I had an opportunity to do that today and I will continue to listen to Mr. Greene.

And for me, personally, at this point, I was very, very much more so concerned about the process and Mr. Greene's treatment versus me making a determination today as to whether or not Mr. Greene will win my vote.

LEMON: Talk to me about the process because some of the people who led up to the speech talked about the process and how he was treated. How -- what do you mean his treatment?

CONYERS: Well, for me, I looked at it that Mr. Greene, he obviously is, has met the criteria as set forth in our Constitution to run for the U.S. Senate. He met that criteria. He filed his filing fee -- which brings another bigger issue is that with South Carolina being one of the poorest states, yet has one of the most expensive filing fee to run for the U.S. Senate. So, that process is just a sound bite --

LEMON: What do you mean -- I don't understand. Explain yourself. What do you mean by his treatment? That's what I want to know.

CONYERS: You said his treatment, I'm saying just the newscast, the news bites, the sound bites that I saw, really tried to make him out to be a bad guy because he won an election. So, I looked at it from the process, he won the election. There are many folks that wanted to challenge his legitimacy and his candidacy, his legitimacy and paying his filing fee. And now that those things have been put aside, or at least he's been recognized as, one, being a legitimate candidate as well as paying his own filing fee, I now wanted to hear the candidate speak. And I was given an opportunity today.

LEMON: OK. I think that people wanted to know about him just so to explain, because people are talking about the media. He came out of nowhere. He is unemployed. It's one of the highest filing fees -- as you said, $10,000.

So, the question of where he got that and how he suddenly became a political person -- I think those are legitimate questions. So, I don't understand -- I don't understand why people think he has been treated any differently than any other candidate. So, I'll go on and ask Jerry. But let me ask you real quickly, are you going to vote for him or do you -- have you made that yet?


LEMON: Hang on. Not Jerry. Not Jerry. I'm going to ask the other gentleman there, Andrew, are you going to vote for him? Have you made that determination yet?

CONVERS: I've not made that determination yet but I will vote.

LEMON: Alexander, OK, thank you.

OK. So, sorry. Jerry, go ahead, I'm sorry to cut you off. So, what do you -- what do you make -- what do you think of this?

JERRY JOHNSON, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Well, I would like to make a comment on the discussion that you and Alexander just had.

LEMON: Go ahead.

JOHNSON: Because I -- OK,, I'm a lifelong Manning resident. I've never heard Alvin Greene before the primaries and I have yet to see a positive interview that came of his own of interviewing Alvin Greene.

And to be honest, Don, you did an interview with Alvin Greene and you were a little condescending on that interview that you had. Has there been a time before where you asked a candidate or anyone you actually any viewed whether they had mental faculties issues? And that's one thing -- that's probably one of the things that Alexander was referring to. There's very little positive things that's coming out of Alvin Greene's interview.

LEMON: Yes. I understand what you're saying. When I spoke to him, the way he answered the questions and not answered the questions, the way he sounded on the telephone, there was a genuine concern about his well-being and that's a question I asked him. There was no condescension there. I think it was asking the question that everyone -- just about everyone in the audience wanted to know.

Was he OK? And that was the question. There was no condescension there.

JOHNSON: OK. LEMON: So, it was his responses to the question that may have, you may have -- you should probably be taking issue with. I ask everyone the same question I'd ask any other candidate the same question. But I respect that you asked that question. I respect your opinion. If you have a response, go ahead, I'll listen to it.


LEMON: Go ahead.

JOHNSON: No. You answered to my satisfaction.


JOHNSON: So, that's fine.

LEMON: Have you determined if you're going to vote for him or not?

JOHNSON: Honestly, not at this point, because Alvin Greene walked through the door today, he was shrouded in a mystery. He was an enigma. No one knew a whole lot about him.

So, I don't think people -- a lot of people came in with the expectations that Alvin Greene was going to step up to the mike today and knock it out of the ballpark. I don't think that was the expectation at all. I think that people wanted to hear what his platform was because he has some issues that he's already put forth to the public. I think they want to hear some substance behind those issues. I think that's what everyone came for.


LEMON: What would you ask him? If you had the opportunity like me to ask him questions, what would you ask him?

JOHNSON: Hmm? I never gave it much thought. I never really gave it much thought.

But I could say that he did lift the veil today. Before today, we knew very little, even home town people knew very little of Alvin Greene. But he did lift the veil and he may not have lifted it out of the park, but at least he's on first base now.

LEMON: Jerry and Alexander, I appreciate both of you. I appreciate your honesty and I like the criticism. Keep it coming. Send me an e-mail and I'll respond back to you. Thank you, guys.

CONVERS: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Who's holding BP accountable for the Gulf oil disaster? According to my next guest, it can't just be the federal government.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: I want to check your top stories right now.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Pakistan where she is working to improve the often tense relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The two countries signed a landmark trade agreement today. It's part of the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts in the region where the architects of the 9/11 attacks are believed to be hiding. Secretary Clinton planned stops in Afghanistan and South Korea before heading home.

In Iraq, at least 43 people died in a suicide bombing outside of Baghdad this morning. The attacker hit a group called the Awakening Council, former Sunni militants who now work for the government. The victims were waiting to pick up their paychecks. Another suicide bomber struck in the Awakening Council office near the Iraqi/Syrian border today, killing three other people.

And in Chicago, a veteran police officer gunned down. Now the hunt is on for suspects. Officer Michael Bailey was fatally shot outside his home early this afternoon after he had finished an overnight shift. Police don't have anyone in custody but they suspect more than one attacker. Bailey is the third Chicago police officer killed since May.

From the EPA to the Coast Guard, to investigative commissions, a lot of watchdogs say they're going to hold BP accountable for the oil damage in the Gulf of Mexico. But a new report says history shows civil courts -- more than anything else -- keep corporate polluters in line and on the hook for major damages that people suffer.

Now, that is the position of the American Association for Justice. It takes in just -- it just released this report.

Gibson Vance is the new president of the association once known as the Association of Trial Lawyers.

Thank you for joining us, both -- both of you. You don't mince words here. And I have a quote from the report, "corporations have constantly responded to the environmental disasters they have caused by passing the buck for as long as possible."

Doesn't that blanket all corporations as evil? Should people believe that corporations will not do the right thing until they are sued, sir?

GIBSON VANCE, PRES., AMERICAN ASSN. FOR JUSTICE: Well, Don, the facts are this -- time and time again, we're seeing corporations, major corporations all over the country, that are guilty of pollution and contamination. And they do everything they can to avoid responsibility. It's the civil justice system that can hold them accountable.

Do I think all corporations are bad? Absolutely not. I don't believe they're evil. But any corporation that would ruin a community by contamination or pollution and does whatever they can to avoid liability -- yes, I think that's evil. LEMON: Are you afraid a report like this will spur unnecessary lawsuits against BP, though, and maybe others?

VANCE: Oh, absolutely not. I think the good folks on the Gulf Coast today are not sitting around reading our report. These people have lost their incomes. Some of them have lost their businesses. There have been deaths, there have been injuries.

They don't need a report to tell them that they've been damaged by BP.

LEMON: It's -- you know, it's early he on in the process when it comes to BP. But are members of your organization that BP is fighting accountability here?

VANCE: Yes, sir, every day. We've seen several instances of exactly that.

Just the other day, I read a report that, in one way shocked me, but I guess, in reality, it really didn't surprise me. It seems that attorneys representing BP are going around the Gulf Coast states and trying to hire as many professors and experts that universities to keep them from testifying for the victims and making sure their reports are confidential.

LEMON: You mention other disasters as well. So, let's take a little bit of look back at history. We all know because of the Exxon Valdez spill, but tell us about what happened in Globe (ph), Colorado, and the Love Canal, and how lawsuits helped the victims in that case.

VANCE: Absolutely. First of all, in Globeville (ph), Colorado, there was for a century a metal processing plant and for the entire century, they were letting out arsenic and lead into the air. Ultimately, that arsenic and lead got into the soil. When it did, it pretty much contaminated the entire community. Well, the state regulators came in and they tried to hold the corporation accountable, but they weren't able to.

Ultimately, it took trial lawyers to come in and make them compensate the people that had been damaged. The famous case of the Love Canal, that involved a chemical processing plant and it was dumping chemical waste into a canal that ran through several neighborhoods in the Niagara Falls community. It caused numerous injuries, birth defects for generations.

But, Don, there's another prime example. I know you're from Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- 112 miles away, in the city of Grand Bois, Louisiana, Exxon and other chemical manufacturers have dumped chemicals into the water, it's ruined the water supply and it's ruined the land.

LEMON: So, Gibson, you're talking about all these other, you know, places -- all these other environmental catastrophes. And what's the takeaway for the people in the Gulf. What's your advice for people suffering right now? VANCE: Well, my advice, I guess, from a legal perspective would be this: first of all, we have no absolutely no idea how big this disaster is. The people in Alaska are still suffering from the effects, from the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago.

So, as you seek compensation and you should, be very careful. Any document that you sign is probably been partially written and certainly reviewed from attorneys representing BP. Make sure you know what you're signing and you're not waiving your right for future compensation.

LEMON: Gibson Vance is the new president of the association once known as the Association of Trial Lawyers. Thank you very much.

VANCE: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: A drug-fueled ride directly to rock bottom. That's where my next guest found himself after he blew his savings on parties and crack.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember my late 20s, looking for a way to control all this and if I read a book that showed me how it wasn't controllable and that there might have been some other way that wasn't death, I would probably seek that, whatever that solution was.


LEMON: One of the most amazing stories, amazing books that I've read in a long time. Next, that young man is going to share the story of his fall and his climb back to the top and how he's doing now.


LEMON: One of the most amazing stories, amazing books that I've read in a long time. Next, that young man is going to share the story of his fall and his climb back to the top and how he's doing now.


LEMON: OK, everyone, if you have ever struggled with addiction or know someone who has struggled with addiction, I want you to take a few minutes, sit down and look at this story, because my next guest had it all. A handsome young man living in New York City with his own successful literary agency, powerful friends, a live-in partner, money in the bank, but he had a dark secret that eventually led to him losing it all, an addiction to crack cocaine.


BILL CLEGG, AUTHOR: As an adult, I would have gotten more and more complicated with a double life that was less and less manageable until death again became the solution. And so, at the point of which I walked out the door of my life and only did drugs 24 hours a day. It was death that I was asking for and death that I was expecting. I remember my late 20s, looking for a way to control all this. And if I had read a book that showed me how it wasn't controllable and that there might have been some other way that wasn't death, I would probably seek that, whatever that solution was. And if there was a book that had suggested that there might be a solution other than death, I might have tried to find it.


Bill Clegg has just written that book. It is called "Portrait of An Addict as a Young Man." And he joins us now from New York City.

Bill, thank you. I just finished reading the book. Amazing book. How are you doing?

CLEGG: I'm well. I'm very well. I'm glad to be here. Thanks for having me on.

LEMON: Well and sober?

CLEGG: Well and sober. I just had 5 years sobriety a few weeks ago. Which is a miracle to me and I'm very grateful.

LEMON: In the book -- it's amazing -- you talk about starting your own company and then having this dark secret and really losing it all, having these nights in expensive hotels and blowing it all on cocaine and vodka. Why did you -- why did you do it?

CLEGG: Well, you know, for years, I managed my drinking and my drug use and, you know -- and, you know, every night that I thought I would have two drinks, it would become ten drinks. Every night that I thought I would come back at midnight, I would come back at 9:00 in the morning. And as the year progressed, my ability to manage that became less and less successful. And so, toward the end, it reduced to one desire, which was to get high and to seek oblivion, and I lost control.

And that's really the point with addiction and alcoholism, which is that, we struggle for years to control it as addicts and alcohols, and then, at a certain point, we can't. It becomes completely unmanageable. and that's what happened with me in the end.

LEMON: YES. When I read about, when you were in your 20s, I read about how you were seduced by this man and he introduced you to crack cocaine. And I said, that's a quote that everyone's going to use on the interview. What I found more interesting is that you felt like a fraud, and at any moment people would find out and it would be taken away from you. I think a lot of people can relate to that. There's a moment when you're buying a suit, I think in Bloomingdale's, and you look in the mirror and you say, who is this person staring back at me? For me, reading the book, that was at the bottom, the crux of why you had this addiction and what sparked it.

CLEGG: It was definitely a big part of it. I think I was born an addict and an alcoholic. And I think one of the ways that manifested for me was this great insecurity. And so when I ended up in New York in the world of book publishing, any success I might have had I sort of attributed to luck. And, you know, I always have this kind of grave discomfort and anxiety and I used alcohol and later drugs to manage that anxiety. So I always felt like somebody was going to find out that I wasn't half as smart or half as connected or able as I presented myself to be.

That suit that I talk by in the book is a perfect example of -- I felt like I needed these armaments or these -- you know, these sorts of costumes to hide the fact that I wasn't terribly capable or terribly adept as negotiating that professional world.

LEMON: If you look, you're not the face of crack cocaine, even though most people would be surprised at who has tried crack cocaine or who uses crack cocaine. But you think of someone urban, you know, often someone who lives in poverty or what have you. And you're not that person. So what's your advice to anyone who may be suffering from this or anyone who is dealing with a family member or loved one suffering from this?

CLEGG: Well, my advice to anybody who is struggling with their alcohol use or their drug use, which is that if you find yourself trying to drink just two drinks or three drinks or you just -- you try and just do drugs once a week or once a month and you find yourself having ten drinks and then doing drugs every other night, that's a good sign that there's a problem. And there won't be a moment when it becomes manageable. There won't be a moment when you're able to handle it any more than you are now. And so, you should step off, get help. There's plenty of programs to help addicts and alcoholics. and I suggest they find them.

LEMON: Big Clegg, best of luck to you.

The book is called "Portrait of An Addict as a Young Man." I'm not lying, it was the first book in a long time I couldn't put down. Very well written.

I'm glad you're OK. Thank you for joining us.

CLEGG: Thank you. Thank you for having me on.

LEMON: We have some developing news to tell you about. We told you at the top of the hour about Mark Williams, the man who wrote the letter saying -- pretending to be Ben Jealous -- to Abe Lincoln. We have heard from him. He sent me an e-mail. He canceled. And we'll give you an update on the other side of the break.

But we're back in a moment with more news about the tea party and the NAACP and the big ruckus there.


LEMON: OK, here now the developing news I told you about before the break. We wanted to get our acts together a little bit. I sent Mark Williams an e-mail after he canceled and I told him we were going to be talking to David Webb, the man who kicked him and the Tea Party Expression out of their organization, and Ben Jealous tonight, and we needed a response, that he was booked. I said, "We'd be happy to accommodate you any way we can, even with a phone interview. Thank you, Don Lemon." And he sent this e-mail back, "For official Tea Party Express points, please contact Levi for my personal response. Please click below." And that's on his web site. Levi is his P.R. person.

On his web site here's what he says. He says -- this is again, Mark Williams. He says, "Apparently, I have offended the leadership. Mind you, there is no tea party leadership. Every tea party is a tea party leader. But something happens when the stronger egos and personalities in a movement begin to feel a sense of ownership. It is not long before they act to claim and defend that fictitious ownership, an example that happened today."

Then it goes on to say, "I am refusing all media requests on this. The careless individual tea partier who assumed the mantle of leadership did so long enough to turn a critical and serious moment -- movement and delicate peace with skeptical groups into a world wrestling-style personality conflict with me at the center."

Again, this is just coming in, just on his web site. We wanted to get that up for you. That's from Mr. Williams there, Mark Williams, a Tea Party Express spokesperson.

Again, we're going to have Ben Jealous and David Webb. They're coming up at the top of the hour. And they're going to respond to this e-mail and what Mark Williams had to say. So make sure you join us at the top of the hour.

In the meantime, advertisements that know what you're likely to buy, based on how you look. Yes, they can see you. It's not science fiction. We'll explain.

But first, a rare pr disaster for the company, but Apple has an answer for the flood of iPhone complaints. We're going to talk to Katie Linendoll, moments away.


LEMON: We know Apple made a stunning admission this week -- it's not perfect. Anyone with an iPhone 4 already knows this, but to hear those words from CEO Steve Jobs, well, it momentarily made everyone forget the new iPhone's pesky problem. Did it?

Katie Linendoll is a technology host of A&E's show, "We Mean Business."

And, Katie, did the Apple brand suffer a mortal wound from this P.R. fiasco? What do you think?

KATIE LINENDOLL, HOST, A&E'S "WE MEAN BUSINESS: I think what we learned here is, when you are on the top, everybody is gunning for you, and a testament to a very powerful brand. And Apple is smart. As you mentioned, they came out and humbly said we're not perfect, the phones aren't perfect, but we want to make all our users happy. It was much of a tech problem as it was a customer service and a P.R. problem.

What they're doing now is handing out the free bumpers, $29.99, but honestly, let's be honest here. Apple, it probably costs them a few pennies to make. So what they're doing is band-aiding the situation best they know how. As we mentioned, a recall wasn't happening. It would be about $1.5 billion to recall all these phones and especially with such an inconsistent issue. Monetarily and logically, not possible.

LEMON: If you don't want -- if you're upset about it, can you refund it. He said you could take your phone back and get a full refund.

Quickly, let's talk about this because I know you're gunning to talk about this. Let's switch gears and talk about jet packs. This New Zealand company is about to bring the first consumer product to the market. Tell us what a jet pack is.

LINENDOLL: Yes, let's talk about this. Coming soon, we'll see the first commercial jet pack, over 30 years in the making. It's actually traveled up to 63 miles per hour. It will travel up to 31.5 miles. You could get 8,000 feet in the air and it also uses premium gasoline. You do not need a license if you're operating this in the United States. Don, I want to let you know we have a present for you and they would like to you come and take a ride on the jet pack.

LEMON: Are you serious?

LINENDOLL: I'm totally serious. I think we should do a one-hour decision special with you. Are you going to ride it? Are you not?

LEMON: I would -- I would love to do it.

LINENDOLL: Then we'll do the last ten minutes and have you riding it.

LEMON: It's not as small. Remember the little one from "Lost in Space" when you were a kid and you'd see people going up in the jet pack. That one looks huge, man.

LINENDOLL: No, I know, the old technologies of jet packs. Listen, these have been around for a while. They could only stay in the air to up to 26 seconds. Now we're seeing a unit that could actually stay up in the air for 30 minutes, get you up 8,000 feet, speed 36-mile-per-hour. The government is looking at this for Special Forces, search and rescue, antiterrorism. It's totally remarkable technology.

LEMON: Tell them I had said, yes.



I'll wear a helmet, though.

Thank you, Katie. It's always good to see you.

LINENDOLL: Thanks. Chow.

LEMON: We'll talk about that after we get off the air, thank you.

So imagine looking at a small billboard, getting your face scan, and up pops an ad just for you. Sounds like a scene out of a movie, but it's not. CNN's Keung Lau has today's "Edge of Discovery."


LEMON: Another golf major comes to a close. Another disappointing finish for Tiger Woods. The sport's biggest name nears a career crossroads. I'll ask Rick Horrow where he goes from here.


LEMON: Little known South African, Louis Oosthuizen, won an easy victory today in the British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, winning by seven shots over England's Lee Westwood. Tiger Woods had another disappointing performance, finishing tied for 23rd. Wow.

Our sports business analyst, Rick Horrow, is in St. Andrews.

Rick, a lot of people were saying this is almost a must-win for Tiger to break Jack Nicklaus' record, 18 majors, but it didn't happen.

RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: It didn't happen, Don. And it happened, by the way, right out there. It was an incredible afternoon to celebrate a South African unknown, who is now going to be known very well.

As for Tiger, he is 77th on the money list this year. He came in saying he needs to be a better person for everybody. He needed to be a better putter. That didn't happen today. He has a number of years left in his career, but he's four behind Jack Nicklaus in terms of major records. And he -- that's where he was a year ago. Things have not gotten any better for him, my friend.

LEMON: So is time coming into play because Tiger needs five more wins to get to 19? How important is it for Tiger's -- for his image, for his brand if he just keeps coming in so far behind in these tournaments?

HORROW: Well, let's remember that Tiger was making over $107 million a year in endorsements last year. A lot of those deals with Accenture and others got cut. Nike and E.A. are still major partners of his. That will continue. But if he doesn't win majors, the thing to happen here this week was he was less relevant. And relevance is more important than anything else for Tiger. So he has one more major this year, Don, the PGA championship at Whistling Straights in about a month. We'll be there covering that. Then, it's wait until next year.

LEMON: Let's talk about the shot of the tournament. I'm sure you heard about it. You may have seen it over there yesterday.


LEMON: What is it? Miguel Jimenez. Is that how you say his name?

HORROW: Jimenez.

LEMON: Tell us about that deliberate ricochet. Do we have it?

HORROW: You got it? Well, I'll describe it if you've got it. It's a road hole, the 17th hole, about two blocks from here. This is a marvelous design, about 200 years old. If you're against the wall, you don't get a free lift. You have to hit the ball against the stone wall to go the other way. That's exactly what he did. He didn't do very well in the tournament. But it certainly was a creative shot.

LEMON: We're talking about this crazy shot. But we'd like to see it. Unfortunately -- here it is. There we go.

HORROW: We can narrate it again.

LEMON: there we go.

HORROW: One of the hardest holes on the course, by the way. It's also because that road you see goes all the way from tee greens. It's been there since the beginning of time, at least that anybody can remember. Of course, what he does is, he can't hit it the direct way to the green. So he turns around and hits it backwards. What a shot!

LEMON: Let's switch topics now and talk about George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' owner, died this week. We've heard all about how he rebuilt the Yankees franchise into the powerhouse that it is today. What does this mean for Major League Baseball overall?

HORROW: Well, a 37-year tenure. He bought the team for less than $10 million. It's now worth over a billion and six. That is a 59,000 percent increase in value. That tells you everything you need to know. The new stadium that was done, the S cable network, and it's the winningest team for the longest time in baseball. Small market teams might not be excited about him, because he outspends everybody. But as an entrepreneur with vision, he was great and surely will be missed.

LEMON: You certainly do have a great job there, getting to hang out in Scotland and all those places.


Rick, thank you. Good to see you, sir.

HORROW: See you next week.

LEMON: You can read Rick's blog at my blog,

And say it ain't so. Baskin Robin is no longer 31 flavors? What's going on?


LEMON: On the weekends we try to catch you up on some of the stories you might have missed throughout the past week.

Simon 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 Colombian enemies, so stand by for an update once that is finished.

It's national ice cream day. But be warned -- Baskin Robin is retiring five of its flavors at the end of the month. Among those to get the deep freeze is French vanilla. That's one of my favorites. Which, as an original flavor -- was an original flavor of the company's first batch in 1945. Baskin Robins was founded on 31 flavors and will replace the retirees to keep its creed.