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Bullied to Death; GOP Presidential Field to Expand?

Aired September 27, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is 10 p.m. here on the East Coast.

We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a fresh and frankly horrible new development in a story that already breaks your heart, a reminder that teen bullying doesn't stop, doesn't die even after the victim does.

Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life a little more than a week ago. He was taunted in death by bullies at a homecoming dance the night of his wake, kids shouting he was better off dead and we're glad you're dead. His sister, who left the wake to attend the dance, had to listen to this.

I spoke with her earlier tonight. You're going to hear from her in a moment. She's a remarkable young woman, as you will see for yourself. So was her brother, Jamey. And millions got to know him through his online presence. Months ago, he posted a message on YouTube as part of the It Gets Better project, a program to spread messages of hope to lesbian, gay and bisexual kids who are bullied because of their sexuality.

Even in his sadness, Jamey was reaching out to help others.


JAMEY RODEMEYER, 14 YEARS OLD: Hi. This is Jamey from Buffalo, New York. And I'm just here to tell you that it does get better.

Here's a little bit of my story. December 2010 I thought I was bi, and then I always got made fun of because I virtually have no guy friends. And I only have friends that are girls. And it bothered me because people would be like faggot, fag, and they'd taunt me in the hallways, and then I felt like I could never escape it. And I made Formspring which I shouldn't have done and people would just constantly send me hate telling me that gay people go to hell.


COOPER: Jamey said he constantly got messages, hate messages on the social networking site Formspring, which is a site which allows kids to post anonymous comments about each other and to each other. But back then, as you hear, he said he rose above the negativity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) J. RODEMEYER: I promise you it will get better. I have so much support from people I don't even know online. I know that sounds creepy. But they're so nice and caring they don't ever want me to die.


COOPER: Two weekends ago, after saying good night to his sister, Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life. He was only 14 years old.

His school in Williamsville, New York, does have a bullying prevention program. You will hear a bit from the local superintendent shortly.

A lot of schools now have similar programs and more states are enacting new anti-bullying laws. Some, though, face resistance from conservative groups who say that bullying and tolerance programs encourage homosexuality, that they're actually part of a so-called gay agenda.

But Jamey was above all that for a while and seemed to have pushed past the prejudice and past the hate.


J. RODEMEYER: And I just want to tell you that it does get better because when I came out for being bi, I got so much support from my friends. And it made me feel so secure. And then if your friends or family is even there for you, I look up to one of the most supporting people of the gay community that I think of that I know, Lady Gaga.

She makes me so happy, and she lets me know that I was born this way. And that's my advice to you from her. We were born this way. And all you have to do is hold your head up -- hold your head up and you'll go far because that's all you have to do. Just love yourself and you're set.


COOPER: Well, he tried. And whether he knew it or not, Jamey Rodemeyer left friends and fans behind. This weekend, the performer he called Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, paid tribute to him.


LADY GAGA, MUSICIAN: So tonight, Jamey, I know you're up there looking at us. And you're not a victim. You're a lesson to all of us. So, tonight, I know it's a bit of a downer, but sometimes the right thing is more important than the music, isn't it?


GAGA: Let's do this one for Jamey.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Jamey was just a high school freshman. He'd only been in high school for nine days.

His sister, Alyssa, is a high school junior. Earlier tonight, I talked with her about what she witnessed and what she heard and was done to her at a homecoming dance the same day of Jamey's wake, a slice of what Jamey had gone through.


COOPER: What would people -- over the years, what were people calling him?

ALYSSA RODEMEYER, SISTER OF JAMEY RODEMEYER: They were making fun of him for having so many girlfriends. And they were calling him a girl and they were just calling him names and saying harsh things about him and just ridiculous things.

COOPER: You actually found him?


COOPER: I mean, I can't imagine what that was like.

A. RODEMEYER: It was -- it was rough, but, like, I don't know. It just kind of sent -- I didn't really have time to soak it all in because I was in a state of shock and I was trying to do everything, to call 911, get my parents, you know, try to save him. And I don't know. It didn't all fully register at the time, I guess.


He was hanging in the backyard.


COOPER: You went -- it was important for your parents that you go to the homecoming dance the day of Jamey's wake, the first day of the wake.


A. RODEMEYER: Yes. They let me leave early from the wake. It went until 8:00, and the dance was at 7:00. And they wanted me -- they didn't want me to miss out on any homecoming things and they wanted me to try to get my mind off stuff.

And, so, they told me I could go. And I went with a whole group of friends from the wake and we all went together.

COOPER: And what was that like?

A. RODEMEYER: The beginning of the dance, it was really great. Like, we were all having a good time, and we -- you know, we were dancing around. And some kids were just -- like, some kids were just kind of sitting there, like, I think I should be having fun. And we're just like, you just got to -- for just this time, just let yourself be happy and just imagine he's with us, just dancing along with us, and you just can't like let yourself be in pain for just like these two hours, and just try to enjoy yourself, because I don't want to see his friends in so much pain that they're going through.

And I just -- I was trying to encourage people to have fun, and then things just started going bad. And...

COOPER: And they played a Lady Gaga song?

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. And we all started chanting for him.

COOPER: You started chanting Jamey's name?

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. And we had so many people chanting it and we were all jumping around and we were singing to it. And it was -- it started off great.

COOPER: And then what happened?

A. RODEMEYER: Then a little group of, like, three of his prior bullies, as we were chanting, they started yelling stuff back at us. They were saying that they were glad he was dead and just basically that and like some obscenities and things. And...

COOPER: And so they were actually saying that? They were...


COOPER: You know the kids who were saying this? They were saying they were glad your brother's dead?


Like we -- later, after the dance, I found out that some kid was videotaping the dance, and he actually got it on tape. And it was so cruel.

COOPER: Was that one of the kids who was one of the bullies who was videotaping?

A. RODEMEYER: No. He's actually a really nice guy.

COOPER: When you heard -- did you actually hear them saying this?


COOPER: I can't imagine what that is like.

A. RODEMEYER: I just -- I honestly didn't know what to do about it. I was just kind of struck in awe.

And I -- we just all kind of stopped. And, like, everyone started like breaking down and crying, and we all just kind of got in a little group and we were all crying. And then teachers came and tried to, like, comfort us. And then administration came. And we tried to tell them what happened.

And I actually ended up having a really nice talk with one of our vice principals, who is actually really trying to do something about this. And I give him so much credit for that.

COOPER: But in terms of what happened at the dance, did those kids -- did teachers tell them to stop? Or...


A. RODEMEYER: No, they stopped after a while, just because eventually chanting has to stop. And they basically ran from the dance, because they knew they were going to get in trouble.

COOPER: You went home. And I talked to your mom before on my show earlier and she was very upset. She was angry.

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. I mean, how could you not be angry at this?


A. RODEMEYER: Like, I don't understand who would have the heart to disrespect someone even after they're dead. It's mind-blowing.

COOPER: It's been important for your folks and for you to speak about Jamey, even though it's only been, I mean, what, nine days now?

A. RODEMEYER: Yes, nine days.

COOPER: Why is that so important, for you to speak?

A. RODEMEYER: It's important because Jamey, while he was alive, was trying to get out this message of everyone should be treated equally and no one should have to be bullied for any kind of way that they're different.

And, to me, that's a really important message, too, because no one deserves to be bullied. Everyone's different. And that's what's great about everyone, is everyone's uniqueness. And we just want to keep that message going, because we don't want to see another teen that comes to this decision because they're being bullied, because no one deserves to feel like they're worthless, because no one's worthless. Everyone's worth the life they're living.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about Jamey, to remember about him?

A. RODEMEYER: I want them to remember his smile and his caring heart and his love for Lady Gaga. And just -- he was such a sweet, sweet kid.

COOPER: You're incredibly strong.


COOPER: And I hope you find peace in the days ahead. Thank you. Thanks for being with us.

A. RODEMEYER: Thank you so much.



COOPER: Jamey's sister.

Digging deeper now, Rosalind Wiseman who is an expert on teens and bullying, joins me. She is the author of "Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World."

It's extraordinary to me. I have heard other stories of this where kids are taunted in death, but that the kids would, in front of Jamey's sister, Alyssa, say stuff about him at a school dance, I just find unbelievable. How do you explain that?

ROSALIND WISEMAN, AUTHOR, "QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES: HELPING YOUR DAUGHTER SURVIVE CLIQUES, GOSSIP, BOYFRIENDS, AND THE NEW REALITIES OF GIRL WORLD": Well, I know that so many people are looking at this and saying what is wrong with these kids, what's wrong with society, what's wrong with those people?

And I really want to say, even though people probably don't want to hear this, that this could happen in any community. And I'm so transfixed by Alyssa's words. Really, they're just so incredible. But I really think what's important here is what we really think about as adults is that we have a sacred responsibility to take ownership, not when our kids are doing things that make us proud, like winning a game or bringing home trophies, but when they do things that are shameful, when they do things that are hateful and when they do things like what you're talking about, where they celebrate someone's death.

I mean, those kids did not only fail themselves and their school and Jamey and their family. They failed themselves, their community. And what I think is so important is that adults realize that and that we say we have to take responsibility and we have to hold these kids accountable in ways that don't degrade them, but hold them accountable, make them responsible.

And, at the same time, say this is part of us. And kids can do unbelievably bad things in groups. And we are going to address it in ways that they will not forget and that we are going to take responsibility so that Jamey's death is really not in vain and that it is celebrated in the way that his sister is talking about.

This is really the test for the community, to stand up for what it really -- what it really wants to believe in.

COOPER: We talked to the superintendent of Jamey's school earlier. Listen to a little bit of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. SCOTT MARTZLOFF, SUPERINTENDENT, WILLIAMSVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT: Certainly, we have now turned our attention to the huge societal issue of bullying in our schools. And we are reviewing all of our procedures around that, how we handle bullying issues, the training for all of our teachers, staff members, all our adults who work with children, reviewing our disciplinary protocols to make sure that we're taking appropriate action in bullying cases and taking a number of steps to educate our children and our parents in regards to bullying and how we can all work together to prevent it.


COOPER: Is that enough?

WISEMAN: Well, I mean, one of the things that really strikes me is that those three kids, who by Alyssa's -- what she's saying, that they were his tormentors before.

And they believed, for whatever reason, that they could get away with being -- with doing what they were doing, with screaming that he should die or that they were happy he was dead in a public forum of a dance. There is no more public forum in school, in a high school than a dance. And they thought they could get away with that.

And what we're hearing also is that, yes, the teachers got involved, but it sounds pretty late to me. And so the second you would hear something like that, as the teachers, you would move and you would silence those kids.

So, I have got to wonder really what went on that those kids felt they could get away with it and that there must have been some children who might have been absolutely stunned, but could not figure out a way to speak and to stop them. And that's really the important thing that we have got to do, because we have got to look at ourselves and not society, because when we talk about society, then we stop taking responsibility for our own behavior and the behavior that goes on in our communities.

It's about what we can do with the kids that we know in our own families. And, honestly, people will say, well, those were some bad kids. If you're watching this and you're part of that community, there are kids -- talk to your children even if they weren't involved, even if they sat there and they were stunned, even if they sat there and they wanted to do something and they couldn't, because those are the conversations that matter to kids so that things like this do not continue in the future.

COOPER: Rosalind, I appreciate your expertise. Thanks for being on.

We will continue to follow this issue here on 360. In fact, we recently teamed up with Cartoon Network and Facebook to try to look at this from all angles. There's now an app on Facebook. You can pledge to do everything you can to help stop this bullying epidemic. To find the app, go to Again, that's You can join us for a series of special reports, "Bullying: It Stops Here." That starts October 9 on CNN.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight ahead as well. A lot more ahead in the program.

Up next, raw politics: a stunning admission from the man in charge of getting President Obama reelected about how tough his job is going to be. And the GOP presidential possibilities, new word that Sarah Palin could be getting ready to make a big announcement. And late word from Chris Christie about his possible presidential plans, if any.

Also tonight, "Crime & Punishment," day one of the Michael Jackson trial. A remarkable, disturbing picture of Jackson never seen before shown today in court, that and an audiotape of him unlike anything you have ever heard before from him.



MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, I have never seen nothing like this in my life.


COOPER: You will hear more of that ahead.


COOPER: So how is this for a pep talk? President Obama's chief campaign adviser, David Axelrod, said today it will be a titanic struggle to get his boss reelected. A titanic struggle. Over to -- on the Republican side they're going through a titanic struggle of their own in a different way. They're looking for a candidate that can win next year. It's obviously not unusual.

But this is -- this time around Republicans are also struggling and struggling titanically to find a candidate they actually want to win. We've seen Michele Bachmann rise and fall, Rick Perry enter, and now stumble. Now it's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie maybe, or then again maybe not.

He's been on a fund-raising swing through Missouri. Fund-raising for others not himself. Not yet. Perhaps not ever. Tonight he's in Southern California, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Library. Today his brother Todd tells the "New Jersey Star Ledger", quote, "I'm sure that he's not going to run. If he's lying to me, I will be as stunned as I have ever been in my life."

But the day after former New Jersey Governor Tom Cain told the "National Review" that Governor Christie was thinking about it. FOX News says no but a source tells "Politico" Christie is in fact considering it.

Make of that what you will. As for Christie himself, he's always been very clear about it. The answer, he says, is no.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't feel like I'm ready to be president, I don't want to run for president. I don't have the fire in the belly to run for president. I don't feel ready in my heart to be president.


COOPER: Sounds pretty definitive. That's Chris Christie. And the "Star Ledger" is reporting that he once again said he is not running this afternoon to a group of influential fund-raisers at a steakhouse in Orange County, California.

There's also of course Sarah Palin. People have been waiting for months now for her to make some sort of decision. "The New York Times" today reporting the Palin announcement could come within days.

In just the last few days, her Facebook page has grown quiet. And she's been keeping a lower profile some believe getting ready for the moment.

Is she, will he, should they? Let's talk about it.

CNN contributor Ari Fleischer joins us, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, now on Twitter @AriFleischer. His latest column up on CNN. com, titled, "It's Too Late for Chris Christie to Run." Also, CNN contributor Dana Loesch, a Tea Party organizer in St. Louis and editor of And Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff, Ron Carey.

So, Ari, let me start with you. You think it would be a mistake for Chris Christie to get in the race?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRESIDENT BUSH: I just think it's too late. Too much time has passed by. And it is so hard to build a successful presidential campaign. And the scrutiny he would be under, every little mistake he will make and every candidate makes mistakes, it's going to be a piling on.

Candidates need to have an on-ramp to get ready for the presidential especially in the instant era we live in with the Internet. I think it's too late for him.

COOPER: It's also interesting, Dana, because I mean a lot of people say, look, I'm not interested in running, and then they turn out running. But he's actually saying, I'm not ready to be president. That's pretty definitive.

What's -- what do you think is behind all this talk? Is it just wishful thinking on the part of some Republicans? DANA LOESCH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he's -- the word choice that Chris Christie uses is really interesting to me because he's always said, well, I'm not ready to be president yet. I'm not ready -- not yet. I think at some point it may be in the cards for Chris Christie, but not for 2012.

I don't look for him to do anything until 2016. I still think that he needs to fulfill his obligations to his constituents. And you know he said, I don't have the fire, I don't have the fire in my belly. And if there's one thing that we can count on from Chris Christie is not to mince words.

COOPER: That's true.

Ron Carey, in terms of Sarah Palin, we are still hearing, as we have been for, it feels like, forever now, that her decision is coming soon. Take a look, though, for our viewers, at this week's CNN/ORC poll. Palin is neck and neck with Herman Cain and Ron Paul at 7 percent. That's less than half the support she had a month ago.

RON CAREY, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I think Sarah Palin is a very smart person. She has a plus, I agree with, but yet she has such high negatives in -- to the general electorate. She has a really image problem and I think she's going to look at those numbers and say, as much as I think I can offer to the debate, I am not going to be electable this year.

And the last thing we need as Republicans is to put a candidate forward who's very provocative and going to really ruin the chance we have to win with a candidate that's too provocative.

I look at Nevada in 2010 as an example where Harry Reid was behind and basically going to be a loser in every poll. But then Republicans put a very provocative candidate up and Harry Reid was able to make Sharron Angle into the issue, not Harry Reid. And the Obama campaign has said they're going to do the exact same thing to the Republican nominee.

That's where we need to have somebody who is experienced, seasoned and who doesn't have open wounds that the Obama campaign can really take advantage of.

COOPER: Dana Loesch, if Michele Bachmann has -- she's declined in the polls lately. Do you think that make it more likely for Sarah Palin to maybe think, OK, I have an opening?

LOESCH: Possibly. I mean I look at how the president does in the polls as well. And I mean some of the polls that they have released they haven't even bothered naming a Republican candidate. So at this point, quite honestly, I think it could be anyone's game for a number of the candidates.

As to what Palin is going to do, she said that she's going to make an announcement by the end of September. It's getting close. So we'll have to sort of sit back and wait and see. I know that it's kind of difficult to measure how she stands against other candidates because she hasn't really actively gotten out there and campaigned in the way that we would see other candidates do.

I know Ari mentioned an on-ramp to the presidential campaign. We haven't really seen her kind of use that. So there's a lot of stuff in play here, there's a lot of moving pieces, but a matter of days.

COOPER: But, Ari, I mean, Sarah Palin, you know, can kind of create her own on-ramp. It doesn't seem like she's going to be -- whatever she decides to do, she's not needing necessarily to go the traditional route. I mean she's been on various bus tours, although she says she's just on vacation. But clearly, you know, she just happens to be vacationing in spots where there's lots of media.

FLEISCHER: Right, but the fact is the -- because she did not have an on-ramp when she was named as John McCain's vice presidential candidate, she couldn't handle the scrutiny that came with all of a sudden she could be the United States' vice president.

Candidates need that time. Nothing is like a presidential race. The amount of scrutiny, the amount of work, the pressure you're under, the way you have to prove that you're capable of sitting in that chair in the Oval Office. People watch it and they judge you, and they're harsh in their judgments. You've got to be ready for it. That's what doomed her last time.

If she goes this time, frankly, and I'm neutral in this Republican primary, but it would be a dream come true for Mitt Romney. Because what would happen is many of the social conservatives and the base at the Sarah Palin Wing base of the Republican Party, which is an important powerful base, will really split.

They're going to have Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, Palin to choose from. And it really creates a bigger gap for Mitt Romney to run through as more or less the centrist businessman, more traditional Republican candidate. So it would set him up nicely at a time when things are breaking in Mitt Romney's direction at least in the last week.

COOPER: Ron, what do you make of Rick Perry's, I mean, stumble in the last debate? Do you think -- I mean who benefits from that? Is it just a temporary stumble or how bad is he hurt?

CAREY: Well, I think, you know, one thing we can be certain of is Mitt Romney is going to get to the finals. The question is who is going to get there with him? And we build these candidates up to be such the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But then as soon as it starts getting closer to scrutiny, their numbers start to come down.

And I think Rick Perry is going through that. He still very well may become the chief competitor to Mitt Romney. But I think Ari makes a very good point.

I remember back in 2008 how demoralized the Republican base was here in Minnesota when John McCain became the candidate. Because 82 percent of the base thought he was too - the Republican base thought he was too liberal. But yet our process can -- let somebody thread the needle if they do just the right things, and that's where Mitt Romney does want a fragmented field of conservatives.

And if conservatives want to have a conservative candidate run against Barack Obama they need to unite, you know, in the next three months behind the best candidate and not fragment our vote and open a door for a Mitt Romney to become our nominee.

COOPER: Dana, Ari, Ron, thanks very much.

The latest from the Amanda Knox murder trial -- we're going to tell you what lawyers said in court today -- the appeal, I should say.

In "Crime & Punishment", the trial of Michael Jackson -- Dr. Conrad Murray, already a really shocking day in the courtroom, a recording of Michael Jackson slurring, speaking. Listen.


JACKSON: We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show...



COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" today, day one of the Michael Jackson death trial, prosecutors showed jurors a very disturbing image. A warning: you may find it difficult to look at. It's a photograph of Michael Jackson lying on a hospital gurney after he had died, his mouth open. It was the first time it has been shown publicly.

Just as disturbing, jurors heard Jackson's voice, barely recognizable, slurring his words in an audio recording made just weeks before he died. He's talking about his upcoming concert in London. Listen.


MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, "I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing."


COOPER: Prosecutors say that Jackson was heavily drugged in that recording made on an iPhone that belonged to Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, who's charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Jackson died of an overdose of Propofol and another sedative. That is not in dispute. Who is responsible, that is very much in dispute.

Murray's defense team said that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of Propofol. The prosecution says that Dr. Murray, driven by money, abandoned, quote, "all principles of medical care" and fed Jackson's addiction with a drug normally found only in medical facilities.

Randi Kaye was in the courtroom.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once again, Michael Jackson had the world's attention. This time, though, he was wasted, slurring his words. Listen to this recording by Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, made six weeks before his death.

JACKSON: When people leave my show, I want them to say, "I've never seen nothing like this in my life."

KAYE: Prosecutor David Walgren says Jackson was drugged up and that Dr. Murray was not only aware of his addiction, but continued to feed it by supplying and administering drugs that eventually killed the pop star.

DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: It was Dr. Murray's repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Mr. Jackson's death on June 25, 2009.

KAYE: Prosecutors continued to hammer Murray's so-called gross negligence, leaving the room while Jackson was hooked up to a Propofol IV, calling the pop star's bodyguard when he stopped breathing instead of 911, and urging him to hide the drugs and vials in the room.

And this bombshell. Prosecutor Walgren told the jury, as paramedics fought to save Jackson's life, Dr. Murray held back a critical piece of information, that he had given Michael Jackson Propofol, the powerful anesthetic.

WALGREN: They were told Lorazepam, and Conrad Murray never once mentioned the administration of Propofol.

KAYE: Then it was defense attorney Ed Chernoff's turn. He said there was nothing Dr. Murray could have done to prevent Jackson's death, because Jackson died at his own hand, taking more Propofol without Murray's knowing.

ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Michael Jackson swallowed up to eight pills on his own without telling his doctor, without permission from his doctor. And when Dr. Murray gave him the 25 milligrams and Dr. Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose, an additional dose of Propofol. And it killed him. And it killed him like that. And there was no way to save him.

KAYE: As Conrad Murray listened, he wiped away tears. The defense portrayed him as a good doctor, a friend to Michael Jackson, a friend trying to wean him off Propofol.

CHERNOFF: The evidence is not going to show you that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray gave him Propofol for sleep. What the evidence is going to show you is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped.

KAYE: Leaving Michael Jackson, according to the defense, to take the drug himself.

Later in the day, prosecutors called their first witness, Kenny Ortega, the director and choreographer behind Jackson's "This is It" tour. Prosecutors attempted to establish Jackson appeared in good health. They played this rehearsal clip in court.

JACKSON: This is how we rehearse.

WALGREN: What was his demeanor, what was his condition on Tuesday, June 23?

KENNY ORTEGA, DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: He entered into rehearsal full of energy, full of desire to work, full of enthusiasm. And it was a different Michael.

KAYE: Two days later, Michael Jackson was dead.


COOPER: So it's interesting, Randi. In court, Kenny Ortega painted a pretty grim picture of Michael Jackson just days before that rehearsal, days before the video that we saw. What did he say in court?

KAYE: Well, Anderson, Michael Jackson showed up six days before his death for rehearsal in such a state that Kenny Ortega said he was deeply troubled. Those were his exact words. Jackson was incoherent, he said, and not there. He had chills. He had lost weight. Ortega said they actually had to give him food and put warm blankets on him. He said Jackson wasn't even well enough to rehearse.

He was so concerned, in fact, Anderson, that he wrote an e-mail to AEG, the concert promoter saying this about Michael Jackson, quote, "He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing. Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. He was like a lost boy. There's still maybe a chance he can rise to the occasion if we can get him the help he needs."

COOPER: Had Kenny Ortega ever met Dr. Murray?

KAYE: In fact, he had. They first met at Michael Jackson's house. He did say, though, that Murray was upset that Kenny Ortega didn't have Michael Jackson rehearse and told him to stop being, quote, "an amateur doctor," basically telling Ortega to direct the show and leave the doctoring to him, Conrad Murray.

Ortega said in court that Murray assured him Jackson was physically capable of handling this show and this tour, Anderson.

COOPER: Randi, thanks. We're going to have more on the trial ahead. We're going to continue with Michael Jackson, one of his last rehearsals. Does it show a healthy man to you or an addict hanging by a thread? Jeffrey Toobin, Sanjay Gupta, former L.A. deputy district attorney Marcia Clark join us in a moment.


COOPER: More now on the Michael Jackson death trial.

Before Jackson's death in 2009, Propofol wasn't what you call a household word, but it was widely known in medical circles as a powerful anesthetic often used for surgery. In fact, only used for surgery. The fact that Jackson was using the drug outside of a medical setting shocked a lot of doctors as soon as they heard the news.

Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, shows why.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we are here inside the operating room with Dr. Gershon (ph), who's the chief of anesthesiology here. Propofol is a medication he uses all the time. Is this it right over here?


GUPTA: It looks like -- milk of amnesia they call it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Milk of amnesia.

Vincent, you OK? We have to monitor his EKG. We have to monitor his vital (ph) CO2. We have to make sure that he's breathing. We have to see his saturation. We have to make sure he's ventilated.

GUPTA: These are all -- that's all typical stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standard of care, yes.

GUPTA: OK, so the Propofol...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to get a little sleepy, Vincent. OK? Give me some good, deep breaths.

GUPTA: Take a look at his eyes, how quickly this...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deep breath, Vincent. Doing great. May feel a little burning, OK?


GUPTA: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a reason for his heart rate increasing. His eyes have closed.

GUPTA: His eyes closed and what else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he stopped breathing -- this is watching his CO2. And he's not breathing anymore, and my wonderful machine is going to help him breathe.

GUPTA: Take a look over here. All this breathing is taking place with this bag and this mask. With that medication, he can't breathe on his own.


COOPER: You see how fast Propofol works. It stopped the patient's breathing. You saw the equipment used to monitor his vital signs. Sanjay joins me now, along with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Marcia Clark, former Los Angeles deputy district attorney and author of the novel "Guilt by Association."

So Jeff, pretty dramatic day in Conrad Murray's -- in the first trial. How did you think it went? I mean, they played that tape. How did -- did that help the prosecution?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That part of it, I found confusing for the prosecution. Because basically, he was making the defense point that this guy is a wreck. He's falling apart.

COOPER: So the defense is saying, "Look, he had these problems long before Dr. Murray got involved"?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. And the problems of drug use. So, I actually didn't get that part of the prosecution.

But there was one fact that I just thought, if it pans out in the evidence, is going to be devastating for -- against Conrad Murray, which is that when the EMTs came and when they got to the hospital, when Jackson's heart stopped beating, Conrad Murray lied about what drugs he was taking, which is classic consciousness of guilt behavior. If that's true, I think that's just the most important evidence in the case.

COOPER: Marcia, do you agree with that?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER L.A. DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Yes, I think that's incredibly important. And I have to admit that I had the same reaction.

When I saw that they were saying, well, Conrad Murray told them about all these other drugs but not the Propofol and repeatedly and for a lengthy period of time did not tell the police he administered Propofol to Michael Jackson, that's critical.

But I have to say one thing. I sort of disagree with Jeffrey, because I do think that showing that Michael Jackson was this frail and this drug-addicted was powerful prosecution evidence, because it shows that the doctor should have known what kind of patient he had, should have given the standard of care that he fell so far below, and did absolutely nothing that any reasonable doctor would have done, given a patient like this in this condition. You heard that tape.

COOPER: But can the defense -- can the defense argue and aren't they arguing that, well, Dr. Murray was trying to wean him off this stuff, he was addicted when Dr. Murray got on the scene?

CLARK: Well, of course, the defense is arguing that. But I've got to say I don't think they're going to make it with that one, because Dr. Murray had ordered how many cases of the stuff? If you're trying to wean your client off of it, then why do you have, like, 500 cases of Propofol? You have to have -- show some kind of -- right -- declining amounts.

TOOBIN: There -- it was actually an amazing demonstration of, like, bathtubs full of Propofol...


TOOBIN: ... which did not seem consistent with the weaning process.

COOPER: Sanjay, what about the defense theory that Michael took the lethal dose of Propofol himself? We saw in the clip that we just played how quickly the drug acts. Does -- does that make any sense to you, that he could have administered it to himself?

GUPTA: It's pretty unlikely. It was interesting to hear them talk about it today. As quickly as it works, the thing about this medication and the reason it's attractive is that it comes off of the patient as quickly, as well.

So, it's one of these quick on, quick off drugs. Patients wake up very quickly when the medication is stopped. And that's one of the reasons that people like it in hospitals.

What they said, though, Anderson, and I was putting this together, is they said he actually drank the substance. It wasn't like he picked it up and injected it. They said he actually drank it, which was a very strange thing to do. Just adds to the overall strangeness of this whole story.

But something else the defense pointed out is they said as part of the autopsy, which I looked at here, they said one thing that was not included, and that was the actual analysis of what was in Michael Jackson's stomach at that time. And they say what they found was evidence of this medication, again, Propofol that we're talking about, but also other medications, such as Lorazepam, which is an anti- anxiety drug.

And I have one more thing here. They say that they had -- they're going to try and show evidence that he had been addicted to Demerol and that he was in the withdrawal process, which makes someone very -- very terrible insomnia, which made it difficult for him to sleep, which led to this whole thing. So that's sort of how they're laying this out, Anderson.

COOPER: It seems, Marcia, to the argument that Dr. -- or his defense that he was trying to wean him off it. I mean, if you're really trying to wean someone who is this drug-addled, they should be in a hospital setting. And it seems like the idea that you're going to wean them off in their home is just not real. CLARK: No, it doesn't at all. I have to say, given especially what we've seen and heard of Michael Jackson, his behavior, it was absolutely -- it was beyond negligent. I think it was reckless not to have been weaning him in a hospital setting where he can take care of him.

Beyond that, Anderson, there's also the issue that they talked about at some length that doctors, when they administer Propofol, they do it in a hospital because you must monitor a certain way. You need alerts that are given to you. The machines alert you when the patient's breathing falls below a certain level, blood pressure, all the rest of it. None of this -- none of this was done for Michael Jackson.

So, even the manner in which the Propofol that was not deemed to be the lethal dose -- by the defense, that is -- was administered poorly and beyond -- below the standard of care. All of it when you take it together.

TOOBIN: The financial motive comes in here, too. One of the things the defense was saying, the reason they are propping him up, they are trying to keep him performing is that Michael Jackson desperately needed the money for this tour. And that all these people, as usual, were using Michael Jackson as a meal ticket.

Now, the financial motives work the other way, because Murray, who had all sorts of problems in Houston, was making $150,000 a month with one patient.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: There weren't a lot of other options for him to make that kind of money. So they're competing financially.

COOPER: Jeff, Sanjay, Marcia, thanks. We'll talk to you again in the coming days.

Engineers getting ready to rappel down the Washington Monument to check for earthquake damage. Their mission is called off. We'll have details on why.

Also, why being a spelling bee champion could have helped a tattoo artist avoid being on "The RidicuList.:


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson's got "The RidicuList" next. First, a "360 News & Business Bulletin."

Starting in Italy, Amanda Knox's lawyers are set to give their final arguments Thursday in a bid to get her conviction overturned. Today a lawyer for Knox's former boyfriend, who was also convicted, said that there was no physical trace of either of them at the murder scene of Knox's roommate Meredith Kercher.

Bad weather delaying plans today to rappel down the side of the Washington Monument to check for earthquake damage. Engineers will try again Wednesday.

Apple is holding a press event a week from today. It's expected that's when the long-awaited iPhone 5 will be unveiled. It's been 15 months since the iPhone 4 made its the debut.

And in Belfast, Northern Ireland, singer Rihanna is ordered to cover up by a Christian farmer while filming a music video on his land. The farmer had stepped in to stop the shoot when he saw the pop star stripping down to a bikini top.

Anderson is back with "The RidicuList" next.


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight, we're adding Brad Marchand's tattoo artist. Brad Marchand is a rookie for the Boston Bruins. After the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, a bunch of them got tattoos to commemorate the win. They also ran up a bar tab of more than $150,000 at a nightclub, but look, that's a whole other story.

We don't know who the tattoo artist was, but we're guessing the tattoo artist isn't exactly a spelling bee aficionado. Because take a look at Brad's tattoo. Look closely. Yes, that would be "champians" with an "a" instead of an "o." It also kind of looks like the "Starley Cup."

Brad blogged about this on He says, yes, champions was misspelled, and he went back to the guy to try to fix it. It's a cautionary tale, really. And it's by no means an isolated incident. A while back, the Huffington Post compiled a whole gallery of tattoo typos. Take a look.

Here we have the classic tragedy/comedy, or in this case "tradgey" [SIC], comedy. Oh, well.

Next up, "Tomorrow never knows," except it's "tomarrow" [SIC]. That's a Beatles song. Maybe she should have gone with "Yesterday" instead.

Then we have the very tough, very threatening, "Your next" finger tattoos. In this guy's defense, where was he going to put the apostrophe "E"? On his thumb? That would have just looked silly. This guy is extreme, but not as extreme as the guy who got "extreme" tattooed on his chest, except it looks like the letter "T" is missing. Details, people, details.

Let's not forget the ladies. I'm guessing this woman's nickname is "Sweet Pea." See just how getting one letter wrong changes the whole meaning? You really have to get every letter right.

Because if you're going to tell the world you're awesome, it helps if you spell it correctly. You need both silent "E's" or the whole awesomeness just kind of falls apart. Who would get an "I'm awesome" tattoo anyway? Then you're in danger of the dreaded tattoo regret. If you do make a mistake and end up with a tattoo that's misspelled or a tattoo with the name of someone you never thought you'd break up with or a tattoo that says something like "Milli Vanilli Forever." There are ways to remove it, but yes, it can be expensive, unless of course, you go with "SNO's" tattoo removal method.


CHRIS PARNELL, FORMER CAST MEMBER, NBC's "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": You're not young any more. You're not even close. That's why you need Turlington's lower back tattoo remover. Look, here's a really cool lower back tattoo on an attractive 20-year-old girl. Now watch what happens to that tattoo when that girl becomes a 65-year-old woman. It is sad indeed.

That's why I developed Turlington's lower back tattoo remover. Just apply once every hour for 72 straight hours. And watch that tattoo slowly burn away.


PARNELL: That tingle means it's working.


COOPER: So, let this be a lesson to anyone who's considering a tattoo. Think long and hard about it and bring a dictionary. Because tattoos are forever on your body and on "The RidicuList."

And that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

"JOHN KING" starts now.