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Comments Cause USDA Official Her Job; Lindsay Lohan Goes to Jail; Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's Day in Court; U.S. Navy's Unique Glimpse of Oil Spill
Aired July 20, 2010 - 11:01 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: A lot happening this hour, and we have got it all covered for you.
Actress Lindsay Lohan reports to court to begin serving her 90-day jail sentence. We are live from Beverly Hills.
Plus, we will take you on board a blimp searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a CNN exclusive on the tag-team effort between the blimp and skimmers.
Also, we will get a live update on the disaster from Admiral Thad Allen.
And British Prime Minister David Cameron meeting with President Obama at the White House this hour. We will tell you what's on their agenda.
But first, her comments about a white farmer cost a U.S. Department of Agriculture official her job, but Shirley Sherrod, who is African- American, says her comments were taken out of context, and referred to an incident that happened 24 years ago.
We will talk with Shirley Sherrod in just a minute. But first, the comments that set off the controversy. This is the longest portion of the video we have been able to locate, and it is unedited.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIRLEY SHERROD, FMR. USDA OFFICIAL: The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking, but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing, but he had come to me for help.
What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me, was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him. I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white a person save their land.
So, I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough, so that when he -- I assumed the Department of Agriculture had sent him to me. Either that, or the Georgia Department of Agriculture. And he needed to go back and report that I did try to help him. So, I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of the training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farmer. So I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him.
That's when it was revealed to me that it's about poor versus those who have, and it's not so much about white. It is about white and black, but it's not -- you know, it opened my eyes, because I took him to one of his own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: OK. So what did she mean, and what was the purpose of her comments?
Shirley Sherrod joining me now from Albany, Georgia.
Shirley, good to see you.
First of all, I'm going to dive right into this with you. And the direct question is: Did you discriminate against his white farmer?
We don't have her yet. We don't have her yet. OK.
How close are we? Any idea? All right.
Shirley was a guest on "AMERICAN MORNING." Here is some of what she had to say on that program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: You say that this was part of the story, and that it was part that was spliced enough to show you in a bad light, that this isn't the whole story. Will you finish how this ended?
SHERROD: OK. I was speaking to that group like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought that the issue was race and race only. And I tell them the story of how I worked with a white farmer back in 1986.
I was not working for the Department of Agriculture. I was working with a nonprofit organization assisting farmers throughout south Georgia and the Southeast, and this farmer came to me for help. I was telling the story about how working with him helped me to see that the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have.
CHETRY: You said you didn't give him the full force of what you could do. You said you did enough. And then you referred to the race of the lawyer as well, saying that perhaps because the lawyer was white, that he would help him.
So what did you mean by that?
SHERROD: Well, what I meant was I didn't know anyone else. But I didn't know another lawyer at that time who was local, who knew something about Chapter 12. But I thought if I took him to a white lawyer, he would definitely do all that he could to help save his farm.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: When the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to you and said you have to step down, why didn't you just say, wait a minute, you don't know the whole story, here's the full story, why should I step down?
SHERROD: I did say that, but they -- for some reason, the stuff that Fox and the Tea Party does is scaring the administration. I told them, get the whole tape and look at the whole tape, and look at how I tell people we have to get beyond race and start working together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: And Shirley Sherrod is with me now from Albany, Georgia.
And Shirley, let's take our time and walk through this together. Is that OK with you?
Shirley, just a straightforward, fundamental question here. Did you discriminate against this white farmer, Roger Spooner? He was facing foreclosure 24 years ago and, again, this was before you were working for the United States Department of Agriculture.
Did you discriminate against him?
SHERROD: No, I did not discriminate against him. And, in fact, I went all out.
I had to frantically look for a lawyer at the last minute because the first lawyer we went to was not doing anything to really help him. In fact, that lawyer suggested they should just let the farm go.
All of that process -- that's why I tell it, because everything that happened in dealing with him -- he was the first white farmer who had come to me for help. Everything that I did working with him helped me to see that it wasn't about race. It's about those who have and those who don't.
The farmer's home (ph) had done something to him that I hadn't seen them do to any black farmer. And they had actually rented his land to someone else when they didn't are a right to do that. He still had title to the land.
That's why he couldn't qualify to file Chapter 12 bankruptcy. That's why in the end, we had to try to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stop the forced sale the first Tuesday in June.
HARRIS: All right. Let me -- I'm going to ask it again slightly differently. Again, did you discriminate against this white farmer 24 years ago, when you were, I guess, about 38 years old, because he brought you what you described in your March NAACP speech as a superior attitude?
SHERROD: You know, initially -- and that's why I said that. I took the time to weave what was happening there.
He did come with a superior attitude, but I didn't discriminate. If I had discriminated against him, I would not have given him any help at all, because I wasn't obligated to do it by anyone.
I wasn't working for the government. I didn't have to help him. But I did.
And I went on -- that was the first white farmer I helped. I went on to help hundreds of others through the years.
HARRIS: Was your -- I'm trying to understand your reaction to what you described as a superior attitude. Was your reaction, perhaps, look, why are you taking this attitude with me? I sit here in a position to help you, and yet you bring this attitude to me?
Did that cross your mind at all, and did you act upon those feelings?
SHERROD: Certainly, I didn't act upon it. You know, I'm from the South. I've lived in the South all my life. And I know how black people were treated by white people during those years.
My own father was murdered by one. But I didn't let that get in the way of trying to help.
I don't know why it's so difficult to see. I didn't have to help that farmer. I could have sent him out the door without giving him any help at all. But in the end, we became very good friends, and that friendship lasted for some years.
HARRIS: Explain the statement in the recording that goes, "So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do."
SHERROD: You know, I could have tried to rally other farmers in support of him. I didn't know of any black farmers who would come out to try to support a white farmer at that point. That's something I could have done for black farmers.
I didn't know. This was my first time dealing with trying to help a white farmer save his land. I wasn't really sure of what I could do, because at that time I thought that they had the advantages.
I learned that that was not the case in working with this farmer.
HARRIS: And then you went on to say, "I did enough." What was enough in the case of Roger Spooner?
SHERROD: I took him to someone -- I took him -- you mean initially? I took him to a lawyer who had attended some training for lawyers on Chapter 12 bankruptcy. But in the end, that lawyer wasn't doing anything.
And when the Spooners called me and said he wasn't, then I jumped into action. It took me a couple of hours calling everyone I knew. I even called to other states trying to find a lawyer who would file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stop the sale of his land at the courthouse steps.
I was successful in the end.
HARRIS: During your time with the USDA, was there ever a discrimination claim filed against you?
SHERROD: No. Never.
I went out of my way to -- you know, and we didn't work directly with farmers at rural development. We were working with cities, with sewer problems, with police cars, with health centers, with housing. That agency is the one agency, so we say, that could build a city.
I didn't do any work -- and I didn't discriminate, and I went out of my way to make sure no one who came to the agency was discriminated against. And, in fact, during my tenure there, I targeted nine of the poorest counties in the state to do outreach work.
I had outreach meetings in all of those counties. I even started working with other USDA agencies and state agencies so that we could coordinate our efforts in these areas. And, in fact, this coming Thursday was the first meeting where we were going to pilot that, and that was in a county here in southwest Georgia, Calhoun County.
HARRIS: All right. So, Shirley, if you didn't discriminate against anyone during your time at USDA, or at least no one filed such a claim, do you accept the statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that there is -- and quoting here -- "There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA"?
SHERROD: I'm assuming there is. You know, I don't know, but I'm assuming there is. I know I didn't discriminate, and I made it very clear to the staff there at USDA that it wouldn't be tolerated during my tenure.
HARRIS: So why are you out?
SHERROD: I said it over and over again.
HARRIS: Why are you out?
HARRIS: Why are you out?
SHERROD: Why am I out? They asked me to resign. And, in fact, they harassed me as I was driving back to the state office from West Point, Georgia, yesterday. I had at least three calls telling me the White House wanted me to resign.
HARRIS: So the pressure came from the White House?
SHERROD: And the last one asked me to pull over to the side of the road and do it.
HARRIS: Are you willing to name names?
SHERROD: And that's exactly what I did.
HARRIS: Are you willing to name names?
HARRIS: Are you willing to name names?
SHERROD: Oh, I can tell you, that was Cheryl Cook, the deputy undersecretary. She called me and said -- because she called me, and I said, "Cheryl, I've got a three and a half hour ride to get into Athens." She called me a second time, "Where are you now?" I said, "I'm just going through Atlanta."
She called me again and I said, "I'm at least 45 minutes to an hour from Athens." She said, "Well, Shirley, they want you to pull over to the side of the road and do it because you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."
HARRIS: Wow. So the administration pressured you out?
HARRIS: How do you feel about that?
SHERROD: I don't feel good about it, because I know I didn't do anything wrong. And I know during my time at USDA, I gave it all I had.
I worked when I didn't feel like it. I pushed the staff to get out there in places they had not been into before.
Like I said, the nine counties I targeted, I asked them shortly after getting there, "Tell me what rural development has been doing in these areas." And when they did that, there were zeroes in a lot of places. And I knew this was an area where we needed to target. We needed to get the programs out into some of these areas that need it, just like some other areas that had gotten the funding over and over again.
HARRIS: So I want to be really specific here -- and I apologize. I just have to do it.
So, you get, one, two, three calls from Ms. Cook, and at the point that you have the conversation, that it is made clear to you that you need to go, how does that conversation go?
HARRIS: What is said to you? SHERROD: The very first one -- I guess there were like four calls, because the very first one was before I got in my car to go to Athens. She said I was being put on administrative leave. The next call, after I sat waiting and waiting because she told me she would call me right back, the next call said that they're going to have to ask me to resign.
HARRIS: Do you feel as though you had an opportunity to state your side of the story?
SHERROD: No, I didn't. The administration, they were not interested in hearing the truth. No one wanted to hear the truth.
HARRIS: The NAACP released a statement late last night saying in part, "We are appalled by her actions." That is an opportunity to explain what happened 24 years ago.
Do you feel as though you got that opportunity, even in a phone call with the NAACP?
SHERROD: No, I didn't. The NAACP has not tried to contact me one time, and they are the reason why this happened. They got into a fight with the Tea Party, and all of this came out as a result of that.
HARRIS: Your reaction --
SHERROD: I would have appreciated -- when you look at my history of civil rights, I would have appreciated having the NAACP at least contact me, and Roland Martin, too, contact me to try to get the truth about what happened.
HARRIS: The reaction to your reaction to essentially being condemned by the NAACP?
SHERROD: That hurts, because if you look at my history, that's what I'm saying. I've done more to advance the causes of civil rights in this area than some of them who are sitting in those positions now with the NAACP.
They need to learn something about me. They need to know about my work. They need to know what I've contributed through the years.
HARRIS: What was the point of the story you were telling to the NAACP in March? What was the point?
SHERROD: The point was to get them to understand we need to look beyond race, to look at working together. I've said to audiences here, not just that one -- and, in fact, I spoke at a housing conference in a county just south of here, and I said, "Look, we need to get beyond the Civil War."
I tell them there are good things about history from the white side, good things about history and culture from the black side. People love to come into this part of the state to see that. I tell them, we need to make the most of it, and if we work together, we can do that. HARRIS: Do you believe as a principle -- do you believe black people in power can make or have the ability -- can make race-based discriminatory decisions?
SHERROD: I'm sure that can happen. I can tell you I didn't do it.
HARRIS: OK. That was my follow-up.
SHERROD: And you could go to any of the communities that I worked with, and if the staff were free to tell you, you could talk to any of the people I've worked with since I've been at USDA, and they can tell you what my record is.
HARRIS: Shirley, stay right there. I have someone who wants to speak to this whole controversy. Her name is Eloise Spooner. She is -- wow -- Roger Spooner's wife, widow at this point.
HARRIS: Widow at this point.
HARRIS: Eloise, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
ELOISE SPOONER, ROGER SPOONER'S WIFE: OK.
HARRIS: What do you think of this whole controversy? First of all, what do you think of Shirley?
SPOONER: She's a good friend.
HARRIS: Describe your relationship with her through the years.
SPOONER: She helped us save our farm.
HARRIS: How did she do that?
SPOONER: By getting in there and doing all she could do to help us.
HARRIS: What did your husband think -- your late husband, think of Shirley?
SPOONER: He's not dead. He's very much alive.
SPOONER: Yes, he is. He's 87 and he's on inn his Peterbilt truck this morning.
HARRIS: Then I apologize for that. I got incorrect information from one of the newspapers writing on this. I apologize for that.
SPOONER: OK. It's all right.
HARRIS: Is he aware of the controversy swirling around? SPOONER: Yes, sir. Our son, he came up this morning and says, "Mama, turn on the TV to CNN." And he said, "It's about your friend Shirley Sherrod."
And I said, "What?" And we listened and I said, "Great days, that ain't right. They have not treated her right, because she's the one that I give credit to helping us save our farm."
HARRIS: Let's see. Some of the story here is that you met in the '80s, it was a bad time. It was a bad time in the family's life at the time.
Tell me why you were in trouble with the farm.
SPOONER: Well, we had a lot of dry weather, and we had to run the irrigation a lot. And when you make a good crop, you wouldn't get a good price. And just a number of things together caused it.
HARRIS: Do you remember your first interaction with Shirley?
SPOONER: Yes. At first I looked into -- it was the "Market Bulletin" from Atlanta that we get. We've gotten it for years and years and years. And it said if you were having trouble and you're about to lose your farm, to get with them. And I said, "By George, I'm going to try that."
So I did, and he told us to go see a lawyer. And he said, "Well, you all might as well just go ahead and do what Diane (ph) said to do." And I was so mad when we came home.
So, anyway, a few weeks later, the guy from Atlanta, the "Market Bulletin," he said, "What happened over in Karo (ph)?" I said, "Exactly nothing. He didn't help us at all." He said, "Well, I'm going to get you with somebody that will help you, I think."
And that's when he told us to call Shirley. And we did, and we started right then.
She said, "There's two lawyers, there's a black lawyer and there's a white lawyer, and one -- the black lawyer is in Albany and the white lawyer is in (INAUDIBLE), and you choose the one you want." So I said, "Well, he's in Albany, he's in closer, so maybe we'll just try him, the black one."
And we went to him for months and months and months and paid him some money which was hard to scrape up, and he finally got with the lawyer in Donaldsonville that I had talked to, and he called and told me -- the lawyer in Albany called and told me that he could not handle us anymore, that he had this client that he had had for 10 years, and he was going to have to spend a lot of time on that. He couldn't help us.
HARRIS: Hey, Eloise, a couple of quick questions here about this relationship.
SPOONER: OK. HARRIS: I'm just trying to establish this relationship.
Explain to me -- I have got a line here that says that you guys picked a bunch of tomatoes?
SPOONER: Yes. One year, after things kind of settled down, I had a really pretty garden that year, and we were going up to Albany for some reason. So I told Roger I was going to pick Shirley some tomatoes, and I did, and we carried them by to her and had a good visit.
HARRIS: You know, what do you think of the statement that's on the tape? You know, it's undeniable, it is there, where Shirley essentially says, "So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do."
SPOONER: Well, she gave enough that it helped us save our farm. And she went two trips -- after the lawyer in Albany did us like he did, well, then I called Shirley and told her, and she said, "You're kidding me." And I said, "No, I'm not. That's the words he told me."
She said, "Well, do you want us to try the one in (INAUDIBLE)?" I said, "Yes, give us an appointment and we'll sure be ready to go."
HARRIS: Eloise, thank you. Thank you for your time.
Shirley, I've got -- Eloise, thank you. That's --
SHERROD: Please tell her I want --
HARRIS: No, go ahead, Shirley.
SHERROD: I don't know that she can hear me, but I haven't talked to here in years, and I'm so happy to hear that both of them are still living.
And Ms. Spooner, I definitely want to contact you.
SPOONER: OK. One time we tried to talk to you and tried to call you, but Roger couldn't get a hold of you.
SHERROD: Oh, OK.
SPOONER: Maybe you can get --
HARRIS: All right. We will make the connection. How's that? We will make that happen?
SHERROD: Thank you so much.
It is so great to hear your voice.
HARRIS: And Shirley, thanks to you. Thanks for your time and a fuller explanation of your comments. SHERROD: OK.
HARRIS: Appreciate it.
SHERROD: Thank you so much.
HARRIS: Shirley's story has a lot of people talking, obviously, about race, power, politics. I want to hear from you on this.
If you would, send us your comments to CNN.com/Tony, and we'll be reading some your comments in the next hour.
HARRIS: What could be a duel of wits and wills in Chicago later today. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on trial for corruption is expected to take the stand. His brother has to finish testifying first. Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell the former Senate seat formerly held by President Obama. Booted out of office last year, he has said he never intended to do anything wrong.
Lynn Sweet joining us from Washington. She is the bureau chief there for the "Chicago Sun-Times" and Politics Daily.
Lynn, good to see you.
Blagojevich is said to have wanted a good gig, either in Washington, or with a private foundation in exchange for his choice to fill Obama's Senate seat. What kind of case have prosecutors been able to put together here?
LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, that was just one of 24 charges against him. I think the selling of the Senate seat charge is the one that's captured everyone's attention that maybe, now that we know through 24 days of prosecution, that that might be the weakest part of the case they put on.
Now we have the defense. Today is the day that, as you said, Rod may testify. The selling of the Senate seat showed Rod Blagojevich to be a guy who clearly was trying to make a deal, clearly was trying to leverage that seat. But I don't know if the prosecution absolutely made the case to the jurors that he crossed the line.
Clearly, this was a sleazy deal in the making. But as you know, they have to make the case that they crossed the line from there into something illegal.
HARRIS: Lynn, what's the sum total, maybe the take-aways from the recordings that were played in court as part of the prosecution's case?
SWEET: What an eye-opening look at the inside of Rod Blagojevich's brain. I've covered him for years, we knew he was quirky. And, actually, I knew that he would F-word a lot. That wasn't a surprise. The crass and sometimes delusional bargaining that he thought he could do in return for the Senate seat. See, if you just look at the politics of it, he just didn't realize how radioactive he was in bargaining with the Obama team that there was nothing they would do to help him in any way because by that point he was already tainted.
So, that I think that was the most eye-opening information that the wire tap showed us that he actually was under the delusional -- he was that deluded that he could think that he was still appointable.
HARRIS: Lynn, President Obama, you mentioned just a moment ago, he took a big interest in who would replace him in the Senate. I suppose on a certain level it makes sense. You write about one conversation he had about a possible candidate that came up at the trial.
SWEET: Well, this was one of the surprise revelations in the prosecution case, that the night before the election, then candidate Barack Obama made a call to a Illinois labor leader to discuss the Senate seat. He had two messages in that call, or he had four messages. Appoint someone good for Illinois, appoint somebody re- electable, he said Valerie Jarrett, who is now a senior adviser would fit the bill. And by the way, I also would like her to work with me in the White House.
But that's a conversation that triggered a meeting between this labor leader go-between and Governor Blagojevich. Interesting from a political point of view and public relations point of view, now, much later, is that this conversation was never revealed in the report that the then transition team put out to ask the legal question if anybody on the transition team did anything wrong.
HARRIS: Yes. The former governor appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice" and has been tweeting about the case. What -- the handle is @governorrod.
How is all that playing in Chicago?
SWEET: Well, he's been a sensational sideshow for all of these months. But now, and even today, if he takes the stand today, finally he has his own fate in his hands. This is not a make-believe show where the ending doesn't matter. He faces substantial prison time.
For the first time he will be questioned in a systematic way to find out his version of events. Up until then, you never had these wire taps in this scheming conversations. There are also, by the way, charges of extortion and other shakedowns that he was engaged in. Those charges haven't been as sensational. He hasn't really been asked if a very disciplined way what happened, what's your version of events.
Right now, on those charges, I think from just the wire taps that have been played for jurors, the prosecution has a stronger case. He has to be very careful in his answers. Being flip and funny is fine for the sideshow but he has to make clear he did nothing wrong. HARRIS: All right. Lynn Sweet.
Lynn, good to see you, as always. Thank you.
SWEET: Thank you.
HARRIS: Lindsay Lohan could begin serving her 90-day sentence any minute now. We are live outside the court in Los Angeles.
HARRIS: OK. I think we have -- guys, do we have the pictures of Lindsay Lohan's - I think moments ago, we saw the motorcade heading to court. And the court building there. As you know, Lindsay Lohan expected any minute in court. She's scheduled to begin serving a 90- day jail sentence today. We're expecting to see pictures of her actually arriving, maybe heading into the building. And of course, as we get those pictures -- you see the crush of media there. As we get those pictures, we'll bring those to you. Maybe we'll squeeze it here and then at some point take it full.
Tracking oil by air and sea. Day 92 in the disaster in the Gulf. We are giving you an exclusive look at the tag team effort by a U.S. Navy blimp and skimmers in the water.
CNN's Amber Lyon joins us from aboard a blimp over the Gulf of Mexico.
Wow, this is a unique vantage point. Amber, if you would, describe what you're seeing. This is amazing.
AMBER LYON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tony. We're about 500 feet above the Gulf of Mexico. Right over there, that beach you're looking at - that is Gulf shores, Alabama.
The Coast Guard is calling this blimp the newest tool in the toolbox of the oil cleanup because this blimp pretty much, as we're doing now, you see we're just kind of gliding over the water. It's able to fly at low altitudes so they can check out if there's any injured marine life or any oil slicks.
And right now you're taking a look at some boom. As I can have Chris slide over to the damaged are of the boom, that's another thing this blimp is being used for - to check this out and make sure that all of it is doing OK.
And how many missions have you guys been on to check out the boom and what types of damage have you seen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Amber, good morning. We've been looking for boom up and down the coastline of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida over the past 10 days. We found a lot of boom incursion, as well as sunken boom. We're reporting back to the incident command post located in Mobile, Alabama.
Actually, right now we're flying over Escanaba (sic) County Florida, which is Perdido Bay. And if we can have Chris pan to the right, what we're looking at -
LYON: Right through here? OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're looking at in the bay right here is multiple layers of boom. In case the oil gets into the bay, the initial layer fails, that multiple contingency is inside the bay that will help crowd the oil so it doesn't get into the wildlife.
LYON: And as you can see down there, Chris, if you can show that skimmer vessel right in the middle of the water protecting this little cove. There's some sensitive marshlands on the other side of this beach.
Another thing we noticed on this flight that surprised our lieutenant, Tony, who was talking to us earlier, is just how empty the beach is. Look at that. See all of these lawn chairs and umbrellas normally filled with families taking their summer vacation, just empty.
Another thing that surprised us, too, is, Chris, if you can show the people in the water. There's a warning out right now warning people not to enter the water because they just don't know how safe it is. In fact, our crew here on board has seen schools of sharks in the area because they're chasing bait fish that are actually fleeing the oil and coming in close to shore.
Earlier, Tony, you told me that there's some oil out here that people getting into the water can't see but you can see from -
HARRIS: Yes, let's just -- I want to stay with it for just a second longer. Is it just gone for now? OK. All right. If we get amber back, just give me a heads up.
It seems to me, Jacqui, that one of the things you do with this blimp is you're in a position to better direct the skimming operation.
Yes, you want to check for boom and identify where it is, if it's sunken in spots, you want to get that. But it seems to me that you're also able to sort of redirect the skimming vessels to get to the spots where you really need that work to take place.
We're going to try to get amber back in a moment. But Jacqui, maybe we can focus on the tropics and maybe if there's any activity looming in the Gulf area.
HARRIS: No, we didn't get Amber back, but there is interest in what's happening with this young actress Lindsay Lohan. She's in court right now. And we want to listen to what's going on here because she should be -- in all likelihood, she's going to begin her 90-day prison sentence today. That's on the schedule.
Let's listen to the judge.
JUDGE MARSHA REVEL, L.A. COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: indicated you should report to probation within two days of your release of custody. I'm going to change that to within 24 hours of release from custody. I would like the transition to be sooner rather than later, and I would like to speak to council regarding the situation in more detail. But we can do that afterwards.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two other points. We spoke the last time we were here about my providing you custody credits. I'm not prepared to give that to you right now. Perhaps I can give that to you later today.
REVEL: That's fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And additionally, I just filed with your clerk proof of completion of the SB-38 program and we can take that up another time as well.
REVEL: Right. We'll take that up at another time regarding that issue. That's fine. That's great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And as I understand it, there will be no recording of anything after this point.
REVEL: I am going -- when Miss Lohan is going to be remanded, the court orders that I signed last week indicated that there will be absolutely no photography -- still or video -- of Miss Lohan either being cuffed or taken into custody. So that's going to stop as soon as I let them know, which is going to be very shortly.
So at this time, she will be remanded to serve her sentence and the court will order there be no house arrest, no electronic monitoring, no work release and no work furlough. Defendant is now remanded to custody to serve the 90 day jail sentence.
Ms. Myers (ph), yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One question. Is there going to be a proof of enrollment date that you're going to set to make sure that she has enrolled in the program?
REVEL: Yes, but that's something else I want to talk to both of you about. I think that we can make sure that when she goes to probation that I believe it will be probably that same day. But I need to talk further with council regarding that.
What I will do is I'll set it for -- I would love to set it for a status report, but I don't know exactly how long the jail will keep her. I heard various different numbers. I can only impose a sentence. And not knowing the date, it's hard to pick a status report.
So what I would say is that within one week of her release, we would set it for a hearing here, but clearly it she's in a program it would be a nonappearance for Miss Lohan. And if she's not in a program, then we'll take steps to expedite the matter. I just don't have an exact date now.
So, Miss Holly (ph), perhaps you can keep the court and Miss Myers informed of the date that she's going to be released. I'm sure you'll know about it before we do so that we can make other arrangements and I can actually set a date.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy to do so.
REVEL: All right. Anything else?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing further.
REVEL: All right. At this time then because of the court's prior order, all cameras are ordered to be shut off, both still and video.
HARRIS: There you have it. Lindsay Lohan, the actress, Lindsay Lohan, what is she, 22, 23 years old now. She is 24. OK. Being remanded to prison.
Just stunning, really, when you think about it. Yes, she's been problem-plagued, but I don't know if anyone saw this day coming. Maybe, where she is being remanded to prison to serve 90 days.
Let's bring in Kareen Wynter.
Kareen, I think one of the questions out there, we heard the judge alluding to it just a moment ago. She is certainly sentenced to serve 90 days, but that doesn't mean she will serve all 90 days, correct?
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely correct, and the reason being inmates in Lohan's position, especially the overcrowding problems here that face many L.C. County jails.
She'll probably end up, Tony, serving only 25 percent of her time. So if you break that down, she's been sentenced to 90 days in jail. That equates to a little over 20 days in jail. And some people say it may even be less than, especially if there's good behavior, which she'll probably be credited for.
I want to tell you a little bit about what to expect next. Once she leaves here, she may be tied up here for a bit. Once she goes over to Lynnwood Jail, she'll basically go through what any other inmate in the situation would go through. We're told by the county that she's not going to be getting any special treatment at all, Tony.
She'll be booked, she'll be searched. She'll have to turn over all of her belongings, she'll be fingerprinted. She'll be issued a standard jumpsuit. And she'll be in isolation. A 12 foot by 8 foot cell. She'll be allowed outside about one hour each day. And she'll be isolated from the rest of the inmates for her safety.
Again, Lindsay Lohan getting ready to serve time for violating her probation on the 2007 DUI -- Tony. HARRIS: Kareen, you said something interesting there. We are not going to see Lindsay cuffed in the courtroom. Is there a chance that there will be something of a walk where there will actually be an opportunity for photographers to get pictures of her in handcuffs? Because I know that'll be the picture of news shows later today if that is available.
Might that be available at some point, that shot?
WYNTER: You know, you never say never, especially in our business, Tony. I apologize, we have so many helicopters above us, so it's really difficult to hear you.
But we were told by the court in advance that once the proceedings took place -- you just saw with the judge addressing the court -- that they would turn off those cameras. She would obviously be cuffed at that time and taken out another entrance. This is the entrance into the Beverly Hills Courthouse that she walked into. She's not going to exit here. She's going to be exiting on another side.
I spoke with a Los Angeles County public information officer, Alan Perachine (ph) earlier this morning, and I wanted to get some more information as to what can we expect. Once this happens, this legal proceeding, which just wrapped up, he says, it's out of our hands. The Sheriff's department takes over. So we don't even know what kind of vehicle she'll be transported in to Lynnwood Jail. All of that now is in the Sheriff's hands.
So, she'll be transported from here and she'll head over to Lynnwood Jail. And it remains to be seen whether or not we will get that shot of her in handcuffs.
You can hear Lindsay's fans echoing -
HARRIS: What are they screaming? Can you mention it on the air?
WYNTER: Well, we'll pan over for just a bit. Sure, there is a gentleman in a pink T-shirt. He's been out here all morning screaming "Free Lindsay." He just asked, when is she coming out? And this is all part of the media spectacle.
You know, you cover these entertainment stories here in Los Angeles and this is really what it's all about when it comes to the celebrities. You have the hoards of media that stretches it seems for miles. I'm exaggerating, but it feels that way. And then you have the fans who are passionate and you have people who may perhaps want to get on camera. But this is what it's about, covering entertainment here in Los Angeles.
HARRIS: All right. Kareen, great to see you. Kareen Wynter in Los Angeles for us.
Be sure to watch "LARRY KING" tonight. His guest is Michael Lohan, Lindsay's dad. That's "LARRY KING LIVE," on CNN tonight at 9:00 Eastern.
HARRIS: The battle over a mosque near a 9/11 Ground Zero like you have never seen it before. Next hour, you will hear from an army veteran fighting the planned building and see his commercial the TV networks refuse to run. Plus, you will hear from the New York developer behind the controversial project.
And preparing to come home from war. The 82nd Airborne, one of the longest serving U.S. units in Iraq, reflecting on what they accomplished there, and what they hope to see happen. Those stories and more in next hour of CNN NEWSROOM.