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Conrad Murray`s Police Interview
Aired October 7, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Today, in the Michael Jackson death trial, the defendant on tape, a recording cops said would never see the light of day.
CONRAD MURRAY, DEFENDANT: He was not able to sleep naturally.
PINSKY: Tonight, I`m listening as a physician and explaining if Murray`s words will convict him or save him.
Also today, medical evidence: the autopsy, the toxicology, and death by medication. But which one out of Jackson`s vast array? I`m laying it out.
And the doctor`s friendship with his star patient. As a physician in Hollywood, I see this all the time, and it`s a deadly prescription.
Plus, CNN`s Anderson Cooper, his perspective on the trial and much more.
PINSKY: Tonight, we are coming to you live from New York City, where we are hearing for the very first time audiotapes of Conrad Murray`s police interview two days after Michael Jackson`s death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s day nine of the Conrad Murray trial.
RYAN SMITH, HOST, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: A huge moment in court today. For the first time, we are hearing Dr. Conrad Murray`s voice in court. This is his police interview.
SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: This is a prosecutor`s dream. You have the defendant`s voice in front of the jury.
MURRAY: You`re going to be doing the concert tours in England. And Mr. Jackson would very much like for me to be part of the trip.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this police trip, you`ll hear he says he gave him Propofol at 10:40.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense wants to say that Michael Jackson self-administered the lethal dose of Propofol and also grabbed about eight tablets of Lorazepam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From my perspective, it is getting more complicated.
PINSKY: Murray spoke about the medications he gave Jackson to get him to sleep. Listen here.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MURRAY: Well, he was not able to sleep naturally. We talked a little bit, and I gave him medication to help him sleep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you put the IV in his arm?
MURRAY: No. The IV was placed -- on this particular night, the IV was placed on his right or the left -- either his right or his left leg, but below the knee.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: Straight to my guests, Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session" on truTV. She was in the courthouse today. And host of "In Session" on truTV, Ryan Smith.
Ryan, can you give me the latest?
SMITH: Oh, there was a lot today, Drew. And it`s all about those tapes. That took center stage.
And, you know, Dr. Murray said a lot about his involvement, but a lot of things stood out in terms of hurting his case.
First of all, he said he didn`t call 911 because he was busy working on his patient, but he had a chance to call Michael`s personal assistant and not tell him about it, because he said then he would have to explain things. Not only that, he talked about not knowing Michael Jackson`s former doctors, yet you know there were pill bottles all over the room of other doctors` names on them.
And also they talked about the care of Michael, how he thought he didn`t do anything wrong. But he essentially took everyone through what happened that night during the process where Michael couldn`t get to sleep, and finally when he just kind of conceded and gave him Propofol. And I`ll tell you, it didn`t come off well.
We did see though the defense`s seeds (ph) here, because he talked about how Michael learned from German doctors how to infuse himself with Propofol. And that could be what the defense has to offer here in terms of what really happened.
PINSKY: Yes, you`re right, Ryan, I think they`re going to build the entire case around that very issue.
Conrad Murray admitted that he was giving Michael Propofol. Murray told police that other doctors had given this anesthetic before. Listen to this one.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You administered it more than 10 times?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 20 times?
MURRAY: Thirty days a month, roughly. Every day. A daily -- with the exception of three days leading up to his death. I tried to wean him off.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: Wow. That is important information for me, that he, for three days, was aggressively attempting to wean him off.
Beth, do we know how long Michael was taking Propofol before Conrad Murray started giving it to him in order to, as he says, wean him off?
BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION," TRUTV: Well, we don`t know exactly, but we know that he certainly was familiar with Propofol, and he would take it when he was on tour, but he hadn`t been on tour for years. So he would get it periodically. It wasn`t something he was getting daily, but we don`t have details about that, and I don`t know that we ever will get those details.
Now, it`s important to keep in perspective what was going on in this interview. The police were gathering information.
They didn`t know all the questions necessarily to ask. They did not think this was a homicide at that time. They thought this was probably an accidental death, and even Conrad Murray suggested it might have a pulmonary embolism at one point.
So when they first hear this word "Propofol," they say, what is that? And Conrad Murray says, well, it`s a sedative that can also be used for anesthesia, which I thought was a little surprising, because it really is an anesthetic.
PINSKY: It really, truly is.
Now, tonight, I want to try to sort of take my gloves off a little bit when looking at this case, because there`s a lot going on here, and I think the viewers need to kind of understand this.
OK. First of all, Beth, you mentioned a pulmonary embolism, and that would have been a reasonable thing. What that is, is a clot in the leg that migrates to the lung and can kill somebody instantly. And by the way, a healthy 50-year-old man wouldn`t get that problem, but that already suggests that Murray knew his patient there wasn`t in great shape.
You know, the fact that he was giving him or, rather, had attempted to discontinue the Propofol across three days -- and as we heard, if you guys remember, Michael was complaining about feeling hot and cold, and one side of his body was this. That was Propofol withdrawal. That`s what that was.
And so the fact he was attempting aggressively to take him off is really an interesting finding. Do you think the prosecution is going to use that?
KARAS: Well, you know, I don`t know the prosecution necessarily believes that. But what I think is really interesting is that the two last rehearsals that Michael Jackson had on the 23rd and 24th were among his best, where he was really energetic, he apparently wasn`t getting Propofol the night before those two, which I think is interesting. I don`t know if anyone will make that argument. But the prosecution doesn`t believe he was weaning him off of it, he was stockpiling Propofol.
PINSKY: No, Beth, I`m going to interrupt you. I want to interrupt you. You`ve got to understand, when you take someone off Propofol, one of the ways to do it is to put them on a benzodiazepine like the Lorazepam or the -- I`m suspicious that Dr. Murray got some advice from somebody who said, hey, put him on a cross-tolerant substance like these benzodiazepines. But those are really dangerous drugs and are really difficult to use outside a highly monitored setting.
And I am suspicious that`s how he got himself into big trouble. This is not something he should have been attempting to do, he`s not an expert in this. And that may be the whole crux of the matter here.
Murray told police Michael actually wanted to administer the drug to himself. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MURRAY: He never told me that he administered it himself, but he said to me that the doctors allowed him to use it himself. And I refused him that opportunity.
And he asked me, "Why did you want me to push it? I love to push it. It makes me feel great."
I said, "Well, if I am giving you an agent that`s going to put you to sleep immediately, be so quick to act, I don`t want you to ever infuse such substance in my presence. I`ll do that. So, sorry about the other doctors who have done this. I will not."
So, Ryan, there we have Dr. Murray trying to be responsible, trying not to let Michael dictate his care, but at the same time, aren`t we hearing here how profoundly involved Michael was with dangerous medication?
SMITH: Absolutely, and that became a theme in this. He said about five or six times on that tape -- and, by the way, it hasn`t finished playing -- I was trying to be cautious, I was trying to look out for my patient. Yet, in the same breath, on the day that Michael Jackson dies, he talks about how Michael says, "I need my sleep. I need my sleep."
He says he is trying to wean him off of this drug, but he gives him more Propofol. And he said something very important, Dr. Drew, that kind of stuck out in my mind.
He said, I was feeling the pressure. I was feeling the pressure. Michael said he was going to cancel the shows, the rehearsals, he needed his sleep, then I gave it to him.
So, for me, what doctor would do that for his patient. It`s almost as if the patient is dictating the care.
PINSKY: Well, Ryan, a doctor that was in a circumstance that he never should have been in, in the first place. And because he got his tush in a sling like that, I actually feel sorry for Dr. Conrad Murray. This is a complicated situation.
And once he walked into that circumstance, where money and fame and power was adulterating his relationship with his patient, and now he`s also feeling responsible to get the patient out on the road and performing, mess. A total mess.
And a cardiologist doesn`t really understand how to deal with these kinds of circumstances. He would have needed consultation, say, from somebody like me. I do this kind of stuff all the time. We wouldn`t have done it in the home, I`ll assure you of that, and we would have assembled a team to manage this case.
That`s where this thing really turned. It`s not that he is an evil person, a bad person, or even a bad doctor. I know people are going to freak out hearing me say that.
He may be a great cardiologist. He was in a circumstance that was way over his head.
Does Jackson`s autopsy report hold the keys?
And, by the way, thank you to Beth and Ryan for helping me out here.
Does the autopsy report hold the keys for the prosecution, or could it be just the opposite?
Stay with us. I`m going to get into that.
PINSKY: That, of course, was Dr. Conrad Murray pleading not guilty earlier this year.
An explosive day in court today, while everyone is still reeling from the audio of Michael Jackson drugged just a few days before his death.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: Don`t have enough hope, no more hope. That`s the next generation that`s gonna save our planet, starting with -- we`ll talk about it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: This is a very complicated topic, and I want to try to make sense of all of this for the viewers, and particularly make sense of all the drugs in his system that might make him sound like that, or certainly did make him sound like that.
Even the toxicologist on the stand had trouble with some of the lingo dealing with the drug levels found in Jackson`s system. Listen to the answer he gave when asked about how much Propofol was found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN ANDERSON, SUPERVISING CRIMINALIST & TOXICOLOGIST, L.A. COUNTY CORONER: It looks like eight specimens. The first three of them are blood. The first one, 3.2 in the heart blood, 4.1 in the hospital blood.
MICHAEL FLANAGAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY; So it`s very difficult to test for -- is it called gluconri (ph) --
ANDERSON: Glucaronadis (ph).
FLANAGAN: I can`t pronounce that.
ANDERSON: Now you have got me confused now, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: It`s complicated stuff.
And so I put together a doctorpalooza (ph) here for you all.
Let`s go straight to my expert guests, former deputy medical examiner, Dr. Howard Oliver, and Dr. John Dombrowski, an anesthesiologist and addiction specialist.
Dr. Dombrowski, let me start with you.
Two issues at play -- a patient who had drug and alcohol addiction, and a doctor prescribing an anesthetic. You worked in both areas. What do you think when you hear Jackson so sedated on those tapes?
DR. JOHN DOMBROWSKI, ANESTHESIOLOGIST, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: I mean, it`s tragic when you start seeing an individual like this so -- basically so sedated, that he is out of his mind, just rambling on. And again, the problem is with this individual is his history.
He already has a history of addiction, whether it`s opiate medications, now benzodiazepines. He`s just going be set up for significant tragedy that someone needs to intervene, especially an addiction specialist or someone who can help him with the chronic pain that he might have from his shows that he has done on tour.
PINSKY: You know, I want to get into here right now with my physician colleagues how not healthy Michael Jackson was. When you hear that he was so healthy and he was in great shape and stuff -- and he looked great when he was performing in that rehearsal -- not in great shape. And we`re going to go over the autopsy and show you that.
The first thing I want you to see is what he had to wear at night in order to get through the night because he was so incapacitated, so anesthetically -- he was under general anesthesia, let`s face it. He would wear this.
Remember there was talk in court the other day about a condom catheter? This goes where you think it goes, and this drains the urine all night long. That`s how he would go to bed at night, wearing a condom catheter.
This is what he had on. All right?
Now, this is -- not a healthy person wears something like this. Nor does somebody who`s sleeping normally with the help of medication even. It`s somebody who is under general anesthetic.
Do you agree with me, Dr. John Dombrowski?
DOMBROWSKI: Yes. I mean, this is extremely unusual, to be that sedated that you can`t get up and say, oh, jeez, my bladder is a little full.
I mean, he is a 50-year-old man. He`s got a little BPH or hypertrophy of the prostate. You`ve seen commercials for that, I`ve got to get up and urinate. And now we`ve just got him so sedated, he needs a catheter to relieve himself. A little unusual.
PINSKY: And -- ridiculous. And Dr. Murray apparently in these tape talked about how he demanded to sleep 14 to 16 hours a night. Also not healthy, not normal. And it leads to something that I want to read here from the pathology report.
Howard Oliver, I want to read this to you. This is the pathology report I have in my hand from findings of Jackson`s lung examination at the time of his autopsy.
He had bronchiolitis, chronic interstitial pneumonitis, fibrocollagenous scars, interstitial eosinophilic infiltrates and squamous metaplasia. These are big, big words that just mean a chronically inflamed, under-ventilated lung.
Would you not say that`s what I am reading here, Howard?
DR. HOWARD OLIVER, FMR. DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: That`s correct. With elements of -- with eosinophilia, you would also think there are immunological problems going on, too, with allergies and so forth, chronic bronchitis and bronchiolitis.
PINSKY: Bronchiolitis. And so, to me, one of the things this says is he had chronic lung disease. And can the three of us speculate that perhaps that was from what we call hypoventilation, meaning we expand our lungs every day when we breathe and walk around? Somebody who is so sedated that they need to be on a condom catheter is not breathing. Their lungs fill up with fluid and debris and get infected repeatedly and cause something called bronchiolitis, which is right there on his autopsy.
Do you guys agree with me?
DOMBROWSKI: You have an excellent point. With respect to -- as we see, when you use Propofol in an ICU, intensive care unit, these patients are being ventilated. So they have got a machine to press their lungs open and up so they can be ventilated appropriately. And if you don`t do that, you hypoventilate, meaning that those little air sacs truly don`t fill up, so they kind of collapse like a wet sponge.
And we, as anesthesiologists, see it all the time in an operating room setting. So we need to increase their ventilation, or they could have this issue.
PINSKY: Also in this same autopsy report, there was a consulting anesthesiologist actually sort of weighing in his opinion about this, and he said the exact same thing. He said look, at the level of Propofol that was found in Michael Jackson`s blood -- and in his stomach, by the way -- he found a certain amount was consistent with general anesthesia and should have been accompanied with mechanical ventilation, just as you`re talking about there, John.
Howard, do you agree with that?
OLIVER: I totally agree with that.
PINSKY: All right. So the formal findings were it was administered without proper medical indication, meaning you don`t use Propofol for sleep.
Let`s see the next thing here. Administering Propofol -- help me please, guys -- standard of care was not met. There we go.
Resuscitation equipment not present. Circumstances do not support the notion that the defense is suggesting that there was self-administration of Propofol because he would have been asleep before he would have gotten the Propofol in.
But my question to both colleagues here is, how did he get these very high levels of Propofol in his system if, supposedly, he only got 25 milligrams, and it`s not reasonable that he gave it to himself?
DOMBROWSKI: I think I can perhaps interject (ph) from an anesthetic standpoint of view. Obviously, it`s in the testimony where he, being the physician, administered Propofol in an IV infusion bag. The bag would then drip into the patient, versus that little -- as I showed you a couple days ago, little 2.5 cc bolus (ph) of Propofol that "tipped him over."
PINSKY: Dr. Dombrowski, I`m going to interrupt you if you don`t mind. So what you`re say is -- and this is what I think has to be the case -- there has to have been a bolus (ph), a larger than 25 milligram injection, and there had to have been a continuous infusion. There must be a smoking gun somewhere of a continuous infusion.
Howard, do you agree?
OLIVER: I agree with that, yes.
PINSKY: John, do you agree with that?
DOMBROWSKI: Yes, I do, but it shows that there was Propofol in an IV bag that the patient was receiving.
PINSKY: So, what are you saying, the patient put it in the IV bag? That`s kind of wild, isn`t it?
DOMBROWSKI: That`s a little unusual.
PINSKY: OK, gentlemen. Thank you so much.
When we come back -- they`re staying with me -- more on what drugs might have killed the King of Pop. And was it murder or was this gross negligence? We`re going to get into it.
Stay with us. More when we come back.
PINSKY: Welcome back. I am back with my physician colleagues.
And earlier this week in court, the defense showed all the bottles that were found by Michael Jackson`s bed and how it really resembled a pharmacy.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you also recover seven smaller 20 milliliter Propofol bottles within the Baby Essentials bag?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I have LAPD evidence item 120 containing seven 20 milliliter Propofol bottles. I am opening the bag, removing the contents. It was previously each individual bottle labeled as 120.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Dr. Howard Oliver, a former deputy medical examiner.
Howard, is it ever OK for Dr. Murray to leave that room with a patient he just sedated with Propofol? Is there a defense for that, do you think?
OLIVER: There is no circumstance that he should leave that room. He should be in that room at all times.
PINSKY: And so let me follow up with one other question, Howard. How did our cardiological colleague -- and John, you ring in here if you feel like it. I mean, this doesn`t mean he was a bad cardiologist. He got himself in a bad situation, and in circumstances and the care of the kind of patient he had no business caring for.
How do you guys think he got himself into this situation?
DOMBROWSKI: I think from an anesthesiologist point of view, we see -- we have been using Propofol since the 1990s, and it looks incredibly safe. We do 40 million anesthetics a year, and everyone goes to sleep and everyone wakes up.
And it looks so simple that anyone can use it. And unfortunately a lot of other physicians, you know -- and they do it all the time fairly successfully in a hospital setting.
And I know my cardiology colleagues, where they do it for a --
DOMBROWSKI: -- to shock the heart and things like that, they do -- patients go to sleep, they wake right up. They say, wow, this is a miracle. How did you do that?
But they don`t really appreciate the science and the art of the anesthetic itself. And that`s where they get in trouble.
PINSKY: So he got in trouble by thinking that he knew more about this anesthetic than he did.
But again, I`m asking both of you guys, it seems to me he really got himself in trouble because the doctor/patient relationship was tainted in this situation. He thought of Michael as a friend. He thought that he could handle all of this and get him out into the concert tours.
Do you guys agree with me on that?
And then, by the way, one other point just before I have you answer that question.
Reading his autopsy, his overall health was poor. He was not getting proper health care.
He had colon polyps, he had prosthetic hypertrophy, he had chronic lung disease. So he wasn`t even getting standard general medical care on top of that.
So, guys, answer my first question.
DOMBROWSKI: Well, I think from my perspective, they were just kind of doing whatever the patient or basically the client wanted. I mean, it`s no longer really a patient relationship. It`s basically a client, I am paying you for X services, provide me that service.
And this really breaks down the doctor/patient relationship. We have to, because we care for our patients deeply, say this is the right thing to do and, I hate to tell you, this is the wrong thing to do. I cannot do this anymore and I hold my oath as a physician. I must walk away.
PINSKY: But you hear him in some of these tapes trying to set boundaries with Michael Jackson, but he didn`t understand what this patient needed and how far in he was.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining me.
Next, Anderson Cooper joins me right here on this very set. We are talking Murray trial, Amanda Knox, and one of the biggest problems our children face today.
You`re watching HLN. Please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Tonight, Anderson Cooper, CNN`s most tenacious journalist weighs in on Amanda Knox, Conrad Murray, and the bullying epidemic ravaging our country.
And later, the Michael Jackson death trial and celebrity obsession. We`ve all been star struck, but pop culture worship is unhealthy, even worse, a medical professional falling into the celebrity infatuation trap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): Well, this week has seen Amanda Knox freed and Conrad Murray on trial, and Sunday, CNN ends the week with an "AC 360" special, it`s called "Bullying: It Stops Here."
Earlier today, I sat down with Anderson Cooper and looked at this past week and what lies ahead.
Tonight, the man that keeps them honest and tells it like it is joins me, the host of CNN`s primetime show, "AC 360," Anderson Cooper. And Anderson is, once again, picking his battles and fighting the good fight. "Bullying: It Stops Here," a town hall meeting to air on CNN this Sunday, October 9th, 8:00 p.m. I urge everyone to watch.
Now, in a minute, we`re going to hear about the special, Anderson, but first, I want to just hear your thoughts on a couple of stories in the news.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN`S "AC 360": Yes.
PINSKY: The Amanda Knox story, do you have any take on her case and her future?
COOPER: You know, I hadn`t followed her case early on. It was really in the last year or so that I really started looking into it and became really interest, and I was just amazed at how -- when it boils down to it, it seems like a lot of this boiled down to the prosecutor, the Italian prosecutor who arrived on the crime scene and just formed an opinion about Amanda Knox and ignored the blood evidence, ignored DNA evidence or the lack of, and just went with his gut feeling, and that`s what this all boiled down to.
PINSKY: And then wove this bizarre sexual torrid tale that did he make (ph) sense. It`s not the way people behave.
PINSKY: I`ve been around people that behave badly. Never seen anything like that.
COOPER: And there was blood proof that puts -- and there`s a guy in jail who killed -- who murdered Meredith Kercher.
PINSKY: Yes. There`s lots of evidence for him and no evidence for these other two. She`s going to have a tough time coming back in this country. Do you think we`re going to see her sort of making the talk show circuits and writing books, that kind of thing?
COOPER: I think she`ll, you know write a book. I think she`ll do a big interview. I`m not sure she`ll do a whole circuit.
PINSKY: And finally, Conrad Murray, this case could kind of turn on a dime, couldn`t it? I mean, even today, when there was all this testimony coming out that looked rather bad for Conrad Murray, people were saying that the jury might interpret it differently.
PINSKY: It could turn the other direction.
COOPER: Well, even the, you know, the cell phone recording of Michael Jackson slurring his words, talking to Conrad Murray on the cell phone which the prosecution played, that could play for Conrad Murray`s favor in bolstering his argument that Michael Jackson was addicted long before Murray ever got involved.
PINSKY: Maybe he was trying to show him how intoxicated he was and try to motivate him to get sober at that point.
COOPER: Yes. That`s what I`m saying.
PINSKY: I think.
PINSKY: I can`t imagine why a guy would stand and record that, unless, there was some sort of accident or he didn`t really know it was there. It`s an interesting case. They`ve been getting deeply into all of the issues of the toxicology now, who did what. And to me, it`s starting to look like, perhaps, that 25 milligrams of propofol is just not a tenable position.
COOPER: I mean, even if, though, Jackson ingested propofol, even if he drank propofol, which is what the defense is sort of alleging the fact it was in his stomach, I mean, the fact that Conrad Murray turned his back on Jackson enough or was on the phone with his girlfriends, his various girlfriends, and the monitor that he had for Jackson wasn`t the kind of monitor that was meant to actually long-term monitor somebody, had no alarm signal.
So, even if Jackson stopped breathing, unless, Conrad Murray was watching the heartbeat on the monitor, he wouldn`t have known.
PINSKY: One last quick question on this case. Since Casey Anthony, it seems like we`ve had a lot of conviction by media. Does that concern you that we`re sort of moving to that kind of world?
COOPER: Yes, I mean, it does. You know, I certainly -- it`s not something I do. I mean, it`s certainly something I`m very careful about in how I report on these things. Look, I`m no expert. I live it up. It`s up to the juries to decide, but it is interesting to follow these cases, and especially the ones where you can actually be inside the courtroom, watch the testimony.
I think people really feel like they, you know, they click into it, and they stay with it. It`s a story --
PINSKY: Yes. They feel like they are personally involved.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s talk about the topic that we are actually here to discuss, and that is bullying. Enough about Conrad Murray. Especially with social media and new technologies these days, kids are exposed to bullying at an ungodly rate.
PINSKY: And you and I both -- you and I shared some stories to each other the other day that in junior high school, we felt awkward. We felt like -- I was bullied at times. I mean, and I feel like I made it through pretty good. I can imagine kids, they`re having a tough time, it`d just be shattering.
COOPER: Well, I mean, especially as you know this better than anyone, it`s not just in the schools any more, it`s 24 hours a day because of online and on mobile devices. So, you get kids who have, you know, there`s a thing called form spring, which is an online thing that a lot of kids have. They have accounts like Facebook, but they get anonymous messages sent to them.
And every kid I`ve talked to who`s contemplated suicide, a lot of them reference form spring or sites like it where kids they don`t even know who they are just sending them anonymous hate messages, and it really -- you ask why do you have this account, why do you keep it, and it`s because out of the ten messages, maybe one positive message comes through.
That`s enough to keep them going, or they want to stay to see what people are saying about them, even though it`s hurtful, even though it`s harmful.
PINSKY: I think it`s probably more the latter. I mean, kids need to be engaged with their peers. That`s how they make meaning of life.
COOPER: Yes. Even Jamie Rote Meyer (ph) in his online video talked about form spring.
PINSKY: I think, we`re going to talk -- Jamie Rote Meyer is a teen --
COOPER: And there`s bullying special we did, and we assembled a lot of people, a lot of experts, but a lot of kids who are facing bullying right now. There was a little boy, in particular, named Kyle who`s in ninth grade in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
PINSKY: I think we have footage of him. Let`s take a look. This is from the Sunday night special. Again, it`s October 9th. 8:00 p.m. Look at this whole footage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED KID: I prayed every day that I didn`t have to go back to school. And I go --
COOPER: You pray every day you don`t have to go back to school.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes. I`d hide under the seats of the bus. And I would --
COOPER: Hide under the seats?
UNIDENTIFIED KID: I would.
COOPER: I understand at one point. How many kids did you know who were bullying you.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Forty.
COOPER: Forty kids.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes.
COOPER: You could identify 40 kids.
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel a sense of outrage for you, and I just want you to know that people do care about you. I care about you, and I really feel touched for your experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He`s actually involved in a lawsuit against the school district because they have this neutrality policy where if a kid like Kyle goes to a counselor and says you know, I think I`m gay or I think I`m bisexual or I`m questioning, the counselors aren`t allowed to use the word gay. They`re not allowed to discuss it at all. And all they can say is that`s something you should discuss at home.
PINSKY: It`s some sort of peculiar "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell"
COOPER: It`s very much "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell."
PINSKY: And the entire state of Minnesota has that law.
COOPER: I know it`s in the Anoka-Hennepin. It`s really up to each school district, I think, to set their own policy.
PINSKY: I see. Was this something an attempt to reduce bullying and it just completely backfired?
COOPER: It was a reaction to parents who are concern that, you know, there`s the allegation by some conservative groups that anti-bullying programs are actually an excuse to spread what they call a pro-gay agenda.
PINSKY: Hold on a second. Because to me, that`s -- I have kind of a physical, emotional reaction to that. I mean, I want everyone at home to think about that. It`s OK for kids to be bullied and die because you`re concerned about the political implications of helping these kids. That`s really what we`re saying. That`s really what that said (ph). I`m happy to that, because --
COOPER: Well, what the school district will say is, look, we have many different kinds of parents here with many kinds of different beliefs, and we want to have a policy that they all can get behind. So, we have this so-called neutrality policy.
PINSKY: That drives me crazy, because it`s about the well-being of our young people. Now, what are -- we have less than 45 second left. What are parents supposed to do, do you think? Should we hold parents more accountable for the bullying that goes on?
COOPER: Absolutely. I mean, I think parents have to know what their kids are doing. And a lot of them, you know, you talk to the parents of kids who do bully, they have no -- some of them have no idea or they deny it.
PINSKY: Denial is what I come to all the time, but I think those that had no idea, are they prepared to do something?
COOPER: Often not. I mean, often, what we see is they`re not.
PINSKY: OK. Those of us that are parents, we`ve got to get in there and dig. Don`t ever say not my kid, whether it`s the bullying or the bullied.
COOPER: Because what we reveal in this special on Sunday is that there are no just bullies and victims. A kid can be a bully one day and also be victimized.
PINSKY: You see flip side of the same coin.
PINSKY: Anderson, Thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
PINSKY: And reminder, on the heels of Anderson`s special, I, myself will take a closer look at the battle against bullying with Jenny McCarthy and other special guests. That will be Monday night, 9:00 p.m., right here on HLN.
And up next, Michael Jackson`s fans are out in full force at Conrad Murray`s involuntary manslaughter trial. We`re going to talk with one who is determined to keep Michael`s memory alive. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: You have to know that I love you so much, really. From the bottom of my heart. This is it and see you in July!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Sadly, Michael Jackson`s fans never got to see him perform again. He`s been gone for over two years, but his fans are making sure his memory lives on. Dozens of fans make the trek every day to the L.A. County Courthouse to voice their concern that justice be served in the Jackson death trial. Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you so very, very much. I have you in the dining room at my house in Pasadena. I love you, Michael. We all love you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What he did for the world was put on his fans. And now, it`s our responsibility to do what he wanted in saving our children and healing the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jackson is murdered. This should not be involuntary manslaughter, it was voluntary manslaughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: With us tonight to talk about the mystique and celebrity of Michael Jackson and why he has such a devoted following is Cooper Lawrence, an expert on celebrity culture and the author of the "Cult of Celebrity, and Taaj Malik, who is the founder of TeamMichaelJackson.com, and she has been at the courthouse every day since beginning of the trial.
Taaj, you started kind of a movement for Michael. Why have you devoted so much of your life to this?
TAAJ MALIK, FOUNDER, TEAMMICHAELJACKSON.COM: It`s a worthwhile cause. It`s a cause that needs -- the public needs to know a lot more than what is out there. The fans have dedicated our lives, many days and hours per day. There are thousands of fans around the world who`s dedicated heir life in putting the truth out there regarding the Michael Jackson cases.
PINSKY: Was there this much sort of energy amongst Michael`s fans before he passed away?
MALIK: Yes. There`s always been energy, vigor, enthusiasm amongst Michael Jackson fans. More so now that he`s not here to speak up for himself. So, we feel obliged to speak for him. And in the process, we`re realizing how much misinformation there is out there, so we`re dedicating our time and hours in informing the public of the real facts surrounding Michael Jackson`s death.
PINSKY: Are you saying that what is coming out in the courtroom is somehow adulterated, somehow not factual?
MALIK: No. What`s coming out in the court is what`s coming out in court, but it`s not the truth. The recording of Conrad Murray today --
PINSKY: Lost some audio here, so I`m going to -- no, I`ve lost it.
PINSKY: Oh, it`s OK. I lost you. I want to go on here a bit. Fans not only are having an impact outside the courthouse, they`ve had impact an inside as well. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNY ORTEGA, MICHAEL JACKSON`S CHOREOGRAPHER: He had an incredible relationship with his fans all over the world, and they with him, and it was very loving and very special, and he wanted to give back to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Cooper, you said Michael reached out to fans in the pre- Twitter age in a way that few other celebrities did. Talk about that.
COOPER LAWRENCE, AUTHOR, "THE CULT OF CELEBRITY": No others. As a matter of fact, he was somebody who used to say to his publicist, look, don`t pull me into the car, don`t pull me to my next thing that I`m doing. These are the people that matter. These are the people that made me who I am.
And he would stay there and sign every autograph and take every picture. And that was very unique not just for a celebrity but for a celebrity of his stature. The fact that he didn`t mind being touched, and he recognized the fact that if he was a diva, it would turn these people off.
PINSKY: I got to tell you, I did an event with him at Carnegie Hall here in New York, and it wasn`t like that at all. I mean, he was carefully handled around. And people were throwing themselves at him. It was actually dangerous, and he was not allowed to be. His handlers kept him away. He`d march into a room. It was kind of peculiar.
LAWRENCE: That was much later. I`m telling you, in the beginning, when he was -- when "Off The Wall" first came out, and they couldn`t even get him on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine because "Rolling Stone" said, I don`t know who the audiences for this guy. The audience was there.
He recognized that if he`s going to create that audience, he has to really bond with them. Now, stars do it by Twitter. It`s very easy to hit reply. But, you`re thinking, is it really the celebrity? Is it an assistant? Whereas Michael Jackson was right there, and he was willing to talk to people.
PINSKY: I did hear from the people that would camp outside his house everyday that he would, almost every time he went out of his gate, he would stop and shake hands and say hello --
LAWRENCE: Right. Who does that anymore?
PINSKY: It`s true. Now, yesterday, there was a little skirmish outside the courthouse between a Michael Jackson fan and a Conrad Murray supporter. Looked like things were getting a little heated there. Taaj, have you seen much animosity between the Michael Jackson supporters and the Conrad Murray supporters?
MALIK: I`ve been there out of the last seven to eight days. I`ve been there three days out of that. And when we`re there, we speak to the Conrad Murray supporters, you know, we bounce ideas back of them, and we`re quite friendly, we`re quite loving. I was standing there today, speaking to the young lady who holds the banners, and I just apologized to her.
I wanted to say I`m sorry for whatever interaction happened yesterday. A lot of Michael Jackson -- you have to understand, a lot of Michael Jackson fans are frustrated, we`re hurt. We`ve been waiting two years for justice to be served, and there`s just a lot of frustration coming out.
But deep down, we`re all very loving. We`re kind, and I`m sorry about what happened yesterday, but I think the emotions got a little high, and I don`t think any harm was meant by it.
PINSKY: Cooper, one of the things that I`m learning about Michael Jackson is he confused his own pain with the pain of people out in the world. He felt that all children were suffering, and that was his own pain. And it seems like his fans have a similar kind of reaction to him where they could somehow relate to his difficult childhood. Is that something he`s mobilizing?
LAWRENCE: Yes. They seem to have a reciprocal relationship where he needed them as much as they needed him. And he was also one of the first to really be open about his childhood and his life. There was a time that a celebrity would hire a publicist to hide all that stuff. He was out there saying, this is my childhood.
This is what my parents did to me. This is how I grew up. And people were going, you know, I`m not famous, but God, I can relate to this, and it bonded them further.
PINSKY: And it still seems like some of what Michael went through is still minimized. I read Jermaine`s book, and one of the things that he revealed in that book is that Michael was not only struck with a belt, he was struck with the buckle end of the belt, which is tearing flesh.
It`s physical abuse to the point -- and Michael, himself, I heard him talk when he was still alive about how he would actually lose his urine. He was in such pain. I mean, horrible, horrible trauma, and it seems like people out there sort of saw that injured child and were mobilized by it.
LAWRENCE: And people who whether they had a good childhood or not, they would hear his music and say, this beautiful person had this sort of desultory past. How could I be there for them? And he really created a family. His fans are not just people that go, wow, what a great song. They feel like it`s a family. So, that`s why they`re at the trial. They`re there for their brother.
PINSKY: And Taaj, I have less than one minute here in the segment, what is the purpose of teammichaeljackson.com. Less than a minute.
MALIK: TeamMichaelJackson is a unique website. It posts information direct from the court. There`s no sensualizing or no blogging or adding my own interpretation. There`s court documents, summaries of court transcripts. So, you can log onto there, and hear and read the actual words spoken inside the courtroom.
PINSKY: Excellent. Well, thank you, ladies, for being here. Appreciate it. Very interesting. We`re going to continue this conversation.
But first, we`re going to break and we`re going to listen as Michael`s fans react to the shocking news that he had died. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything since I was eight years old, we went to every concert he had in New York. I just can`t believe that this has happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were devastated when we saw the news on TV and just looked at each other and just said we have to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just felt like I had to be here just to say goodbye. I didn`t get a chance to go to any of his concerts, but like I said, I kind of grew up with him, and I loved his music.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SINGING) I`m starting with the man in the mirror. I`m asking him to change his ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, Michael may be gone, but his songs will live on. Welcome back to the show. And by the way, I want to thank everyone here at the Time Warner Center for making us feel very welcome this week here broadcasting from New York. We`ll be back in Los Angeles Monday.
Rejoining me on my guest, Taaj Malik who is the founder of teammichaeljackson.com and Cooper Lawrence, an expert on celebrity culture and the author of "The Cult of Celebrity." My question first is to you, cooper. Fandom, when does it become unhealthy? When does it obsession and should we be concerned about some of Michael`s fans?
LAWRENCE: You know, there actually are different levels of celebrity worship. Most of us worship celebrities in the way that we, you know, follow them on Twitter or we look to TMZ or we discuss it with our friends, and the whole purpose of that is just to be social. I mean, I don`t really care about Britney Spears, but if you and I have nothing in common, I go, look what Britney did.
All of a sudden, you and I have a basis for conversation. That`s most of the celebrity worshippers. But there is a small percentage that go into the area of unhealthy where it becomes more than obsession, it`s almost a sublimation for other things going on their lives.
They become like social outcasts because they`re only known for being somebody who follows that celebrity, not necessarily stalking, but that becomes their life. That becomes --
PINSKY: Their identity.
LAWRENCE: Their identity.
PINSKY: Michael cultivates a lot of those kinds of folks, does he not.
LAWRENCE: He absolutely does, and I think it`s because he shared so much of his life, because if you`re not connecting to the music as much, now you can connect to who he was as a person. So, it`s sort of combines it all.
PINSKY: There`s the ultimate sort of potential for worship in mythology if somebody is gone, is dead.
LAWRENCE: Right. That`s true.
PINSKY: And that really people mobilize about --
LAWRENCE: But that`s true for anybody that dies, because you start to have fantasies about who they might have been and that place into his well (ph). So, for the small percentage that are unhealthy, that are predisposed to it, he`s going to just add to their psychosis. I don`t know. You`re the psychologist.
PINSKY: Their worship. And Malik, my understanding as before we go, you actually are paying banners that are up there -- that the planes are flying over the courthouse. Can you tell me about that?
MALIK: Yes. I am one of the organizers. I have admins that work on the group, admins allocated from different parts of the world. We have various countries. We`ve appointed directors who have taken on the task of collecting donations from their own country which have been forwarded on to flysigns.com, whose aerial company responsible for flying the banners.
We`re flying 14 banners in total, so far, throughout the trial. More countries are coming on board. They would like to be represented as well. Their banners have image of Michael. The size of the image is 30 foot by 25 foot. We hope to fly three a week, though, that will be increasing towards the end of the trial. As I said, more countries are coming on board because they want to be represented.
PINSKY: I`ve got a few seconds here, but towards what end? What are those banners supposed to do for Michael`s case, just in 15 seconds, please?
MALIK: Yes. It`s knowledge. It`s educating the people around the world that we demand justice for Michael Jackson. A lot of fans don`t feel justice has been served.
MALIK: So, this is to let -- thank you.
PINSKY: OK. Thank you much. Thank you to both ladies, Cooper and Taaj. I appreciate it.
Now, of course, the defense grilled the coroner`s investigator this week in the Michael Jackson trial. I had some thoughts about this. I have very limited time. I`m not going to be able to tell you my thoughts. You have to come back on Monday, because we`re running out of time. We`ll see you on Monday. We`ll be tackling bullying among other things next week. So, be sure to join us.