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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Cain "Reassessing" Campaign; Jackson's Doctor Sentenced to Four Years; Interview With Dane Cook
Aired November 29, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, the Cain train off the rails. The candidate says he's reassessing. So, will Herman Cain stay in the race? I'll ask a campaign insider.
Plus, crime and punishment. Michael Jackson's doctor sentenced to four years, the maximum by a judge who says this --
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JUDGE MICHAEL PASTOR, L.A. COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: He has absolutely no sense of remorse and is and remains dangerous.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORGAN: But will he do the time? Has justice been served? I'll ask Conrad Murray's attorney.
Plus, America's avenger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WALSH: I'm not a vigilante. I believe one person can make a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" on the biggest crime headlines and the scandals in college sport.
Also, one of the hottest young comics in the business. Why Dane Cook is getting serious?
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening.
Herman Cain's run for the White House is on life support tonight. Never a good sign when a candidate says he's reassessing his campaign. But he's still out there tonight making a foreign policy speech in Michigan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Apathy, not being involved, not being informed, not staying inspired is a threat to the future of this great nation. But it's up to us and especially the younger generation to do something about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Despite his confident performance tonight, it seems unlikely that candidate Cain can stay in the race much longer after one claim of a longtime affair and several accusations of sexual harassment hanging over him.
Here to answer that big question is Niger Innis, a senior adviser for the Cain campaign. And Amy Holmes, news anchor of Glenn Beck's "The Blaze."
Thank you both for joining me.
And, Niger, let me start with you. I mean, when a candidate starts telling supporters it's time for a reassessment, it's over, isn't it?
NIGER INNIS, SENIOR ADVISOR TO HERMAN CAIN CAMPAIGN: No, not at all. First of all, let me say, Piers, thanks for having me on the show tonight. I'm happy to be on with my friend Amy Holmes.
But let me say, first of all, the Cain train is moving full steam ahead. Just today, I'm broadcasting from Nevada, my home state, he filed his fees and he filed his papers to be on the ballot in Nevada on February 4th. He's in over 10 states he's filed.
The Herman Cain train is full steam ahead. He's on the ballot. He will be on the ballot in all of the early state. He's got precinct captains in Iowa ready to nominate him.
The Herman Cain train is moving full steam ahead. I think that's not only healthy for Herman Cain who I obviously support. It's healthy not just for the Republican Party. But it's healthy for the citizens movement that was unleashed in 2010 with the Tea Party revolution which was a pox on both the establishment's houses, the Republican establishment and the Democratic establishment, that this man of the people, this man not of the establishment will not be scared away.
MORGAN: But here's the problem, I would say, Niger, that's an impassioned defense of your man. I would expect nothing else. He's certainly very charismatic and he's clearly trying to stay in the race here. But the money is beginning to ebb away, as are his poll ratings.
And the reason is quite obvious. He's been hit by a succession -- this train has hit buffer after buffer of sexual allegations, which are clearly turning off a lot of conservatives and female conservatives in particular.
INNIS: Well, let's be careful here. I mean, the epitaph -- the RIP was written on his tombstone when the first incredible allegations from an incredible figure, Ms. Bialek came out. And actually his fund-raising went up, his poll numbers had sustained.
And, look, in this case, according to your poll, the CNN poll, he's still in a neck and neck dogfight with Mitt Romney and with Newt Gingrich. And let me tell you something, I think it would be a real tragedy for our country if we have a new standard for minority conservatives or for women conservatives that get -- whose characters get shredded by the establishment media, who the character assassination is relentless, and now you have a new standard.
There's no DNA on a blue dress here. There's no love child out of wedlock here. All right? There's no charge of sexual assault that's in the books here.
MORGAN: Niger, let me jump in, Niger!
MORGAN: Let me put to you one thing. You know Herman Cain better than I do.
MORGAN: You know him better than a lot of people.
INNIS: I saw him this weekend.
MORGAN: OK. And I've interviewed him once. So you're ahead of the game on me on this -- about his character and the kind of man he is.
Here's the killer question, this woman says they had a 13-year affair. Are you 100 percent confident, you, his close friend, his adviser, are you 100 percent confident that she is simply inventing a 13-year affair?
INNIS: Piers, I'm not 100 percent confident that when I walk out of this building that, I'm not going to get struck by lightning. But I find it highly unlikely -- I've talked to Herman, I've seen Herman, I've seen him absolute deny this.
And I find her -- frankly, I find holes in her story. I find it a little strange and unusual that, let's presume -- I don't think it's true, I think it's wrong, I think it's a lie.
But let's presume it's true. I find it strange and unusual that a person according to her testimony that was treated so wonderfully by Herman Cain would be part of the character assassination and destroying this man's -- not only his political candidacy, but his entire character.
I find it very strange and unusual and I do not believe her. I believe Herman Cain.
MORGAN: OK. Let's bring in Amy Holmes. Same question to you, Amy. Do you believe this woman's story? I mean, there are a few holes in it that are beginning to emerge. We haven't heard the full account yet of what evidence she has. Herman Cain's denial couldn't have been more emphatic.
Who do you believe?
AMY HOLMES, THE BLAZE: You know, I have no way of knowing who to believe in all of this. If she's a fantasist, if she invented a 13- year-long affair with Herman Cain, I would imagine that Herman Cain must be pretty angry that any nut can go on Atlanta local television and make these sort of charges and accusations -- and as Niger put it, character assassination.
I have no idea of the truth of this matter. But what I do know about this is your campaign is in a pretty bad spot when you have to invoke stained blue dresses and love children and you're not talking about the issues.
And, Niger, he mentioned that Herman Cain has been the non- establishment candidate. And in this sort of circumstance, this is hurting him because he doesn't have an establishment to rally around him and defend him as they did, say, with Bill Clinton, with that blue stained dress, the entire Democratic Party trying to protect their man in the White House.
So, I think the problem here is that Herman Cain is asking a lot of his supporters, of his voters and potential constituents to be able to support him through each one of these accusations. And on top of that, he's been stumbling when it comes to foreign policy.
So, I think all of this is really weighing down his candidacy. And we'll see what his campaign says about fund-raising, but will he have the money even to take this all the way to Iowa, to pay his staff --
MORGAN: Yes. And, Niger --
HOLMES: -- funds are drying up.
MORGAN: Let me jump in -- let me jump in again.
Niger, the problem here for Herman Cain is the sheer volume of allegations, isn't it? I mean, one or two you could brush off as disaffected women. But are you really going to look the American public in the eye collectively as a team and say, every one of these women is a fantasist?
INNIS: No. What I am going to say is this. I don't want to focus on the women. I don't want to besmirch their character and the way that they and a certain -- and a machine has besmirched Herman's character.
What I will say is that there are some very powerful forces out there and they're not just the liberals in the White House. There are conservative establishment forces out there that quite frankly have nothing but contempt for the Tea Party. They want their vote. They want their energy. But they really don't want them at the table, helping to make decisions and shape a platform.
HOLMES: But, Niger, Niger, hold on --
INNIS: Let me just finish this one point, Amy.
And there are folk among the liberal establishment that very much know that for Barack Obama to win re-election, he has to divide and conquer, he has to use the race card, use the class warfare card. And Herman Cain's relevance in this campaign undermines that agenda and that initiative.
HOLMES: But here, Niger, here's the problem, though.
INNIS: -- manifestations of that plan.
MORGAN: Amy, you jump in there.
HOLMES: Here's the problem with that conspiracy theory which is, if this is about trying to sideline or delegitimize a figure of the Tea Party movement, then Michele Bachmann who is the leader of the Tea Party caucus in the House, she would be facing these bizarre, wild, fantastical accusation just as Herman Cain.
Unfortunately for Herman Cain, he's the only person in this race at this moment who is having these people come forward to make these types of accusations against him. And, you know, face it, GOP voters have other option which they may consider, other conservative options, other non-Romney option that don't come with this type of baggage.
INNIS: The character assassinations --
MORGAN: And, Niger --
INNIS: -- are not limited to Herman Cain. Michele Bachmann just on NBC on this entertainment program had an atrocious thing done to her that would never have held muster if it had been done against Michelle -- the first lady Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton. There was absolutely
MORGAN: OK, Niger, Niger --
INNIS: And, Amy, you know this --
MORGAN: Niger, Niger --
INNIS: -- and women conservatives. HOLMES: -- disgusting.
INNIS: It was.
MORGAN: Niger, it's my show. It's my show.
INNIS: Yes, sir.
MORGAN: Niger, fall back in line.
MORGAN: Here's what confused me yesterday. I admire your passionate defense. But here's what confused me -- at the precise moment that Herman himself went on television with Wolf Blitzer to reveal all this and talk in some detail about all this, his lawyer was going elsewhere to the media saying this is a private matter. No denial. No, this didn't happen. This is a private matter. It's consensual, et cetera, et cetera.
That's weird, isn't it? I mean, why wouldn't his lawyer say the same thing he's saying?
INNIS: No. First of all, the lawyer was doing his job as a lawyer. And he was saying that, first of all, this is an allegation. It is -- my client says it's untrue but it's an allegation. And it is quite different than what had been alleged which is a sexual assault by an incredible person that gave incredible testimony alongside an ambivalence chaser Gloria Allred.
He was separating that and the so-called settlements from this allegation of a consensual relationship.
HOLMES: But, Niger, all --
INNIS: He was being a lawyer and making the distinction.
HOLMES: But, Niger, all the more reason why did the lawyer issue a statement since, as you and everyone looking at this would say, that there's no criminal accusations here. So why would a lawyer be putting out a statement at all? And why a lengthy one that is arguing that a person's private life should not be held up for scrutiny when running for office?
That's a political statement not a legal one. And so, it was very confusing.
And I would say, Niger, that once again the Herman Cain campaign is, at the very least disorganized. You have a candidate making an unequivocal denial -- unequivocal. And then you have his lawyer putting a statement that sort of undermines that denial by suggesting that it doesn't matter.
MORGAN: Amy, let me jump in, Amy. I have to wrap this up.
But I want to ask -- I ask Niger finally this. And it's a difficult question for you because you are a senior adviser to the team. If it turns out Herman Cain has been telling porky pies and has had an affair with this woman, would you then advise him to stand down?
INNIS: I would advise that that is a blow that would be difficult to come back from. Yes, I would.
But he has assured me that this allegation is untrue, and I think there is a larger question here, though, Piers. And I think that larger question is do we have a new standard where you are guilt by accusation? I mean, if these charges, then we have this new standard, you might as well clear the halls of Congress, you might as well clear the staffers. Three-quarters of our presidents would have never been in office. I mean, this is --
INNIS: There is no evidence here.
MORGAN: Niger --
HOLMES: This is not a new standard, if you remember "The New York Times" ran a very disgusting piece on John McCain below the fold front page accusing McCain of having raised suspicions among his staffers. So, unfortunately, I think it has to do more with conservatives than --
MORGAN: I have to leave it there, both of you. I've enjoyed --
INNIS: -- defend John McCain.
MORGAN: I have enjoyed. OK, Niger, I have to leave it there. It's a fascinating debate. I think you have a good point that he is innocent until proven guilty and the proof will be in the pudding, as we say.
So, let's wait and see. Thank you very much.
HOLMES: Thank you.
INNIS: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming next, Michael Jackson's doctor is sentenced to the maximum term of four years imprisonment. Will he actually do that time? I'll ask two defense team insiders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASTOR: The court has determined that the appropriate term is the high term of four years imprisonment. I do so because, once again, I find that Dr. Murray abandoned his patient.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, learned his fate today, four years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter. The question is: will he actually do that time? And was justice served?
Joining me now are two members of Murray's defense team, Attorney J. Michael Flanagan and spokesman Mark Fierro.
Gentlemen, obviously, a tough day. I mean, he got the maximum sentence. I was watching it live. And it was pretty elongated, the judge's sentence decision-making.
But as we got going and got going, you could tell the anger welling up inside him. And he clearly wanted to throw not just the book but the library at your client.
Why do you think he took so against Conrad Murray? Because my experience has been with almost all the guests I've had very mixed feelings about this case in the sense of, OK, he may have been partly responsible for Michael Jackson dying, but he didn't do it deliberately.
J. MICHAEL FLANAGAN, CONRAD MURRAY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You just noticed it today. I've noticed it for almost two years. I mean, this judge has been angry with us the entire time. And today was just a real opportunity for him to vent his anger.
MORGAN: Why, Michael?
MARK FIERRO, CONRAD MURRAY SPOKESMAN: You know, I just think that -- Mark.
MORGAN: Mark, sorry.
FIERRO: That's all right. I think from the very beginning, this trial was about what the jury never got to hear. I would be furious if I sat on the jury for six weeks and never knew that Michael Jackson was $400 million in debt. You heard over and over again that Conrad Murray was paid $150,000. But you never heard that he was never paid one cent, not a dime.
MORGAN: I mean, the concert would be -- presumably, he expected to be. And that is why he agreed to take the job.
FIERRO: Not only was he not paid. He maxed out all of his credit cards caring for Michael Jackson.
MORGAN: Describe the relationship between Conrad and Michael Jackson. It's clearly complicated. All the previous patient, I had four of them in here one day, very powerful testimony in Conrad's favor. They couldn't recognize any of this picture being built about him at all.
And yet, the cynic would say, in the end, he took the money, the fame, he wanted the glamour job, the big payday. FLANAGAN: You heard from the other patients. They all basically thought of themselves as friends. Conrad Murray thought of Michael Jackson as his best friend. Michael Jackson thought of Conrad Murray that way.
Conrad Murray was the only one allowed upstairs in his house. It's incredible. Conrad Murray, the saddest day of his life was not today or wasn't the day that he was convicted. It's the day he lost his friend, Michael Jackson.
MORGAN: One of the most furious passages, I guess, of the judge's sentencing came when he alluded to this documentary that Conrad took part in. You didn't put the client on the stand, obviously. Let's watch a little clip from this and then discuss this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONRAD MURRAY: I can cross-examine him and he wouldn't stand a chance. I can swipe him like a sword. He's stupid. However, I take offense when my damn attorney is not prepared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never said he gave a drip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I disagree with you. He gave a drip. It says here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Murray goes the dose and the drip, line 22. He says it. This is about that night.
MURRAY: Flanagan needs to wake up. He needs coffee and some pit bull, or Red Bull. End of story. This is why I said I'm available.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, you don't know whether to laugh or cry watching that, I guess because, you know -- I don't know. I felt uncomfortable watching that, I'll be honest with you, because if you're not going to have him speak in public in the court case, why let him do a documentary? Isn't that going to be antagonistic?
FLANAGAN: He needed to do the documentary. He was out of funds. He had no money for living expenses, much less the expenses he had for his children. We had expert witness fees to pay. It wasn't for the attorneys, but he got paid some money. I don't know exactly what the numbers were, and it was used for living expenses.
And by the way, in that piece, I said, Conrad, you threw me under the bus. He says, Mike, I was just -- I was hot, I was mad at that witness. And I just wanted you to rip him up, and you didn't rip him up. And I'm sorry, he said, you know, if you'll just stick with me, we'll do it your way next time.
MORGAN: Everybody has known about these celebrity doctors -- for want of a better phrase, who for a long have administered stuff to famous people in their homes within the vicinity of this studio in Los Angeles. And some feel Conrad Murray began to scapegoat for this practices beginning for a long time.
Others say Michael Jackson was a fully grown man in his middle age, probably doing this for quite a while and should have been responsible for himself.
But then there are the others, many in the medical profession, who say what Conrad Murray did was fundamentally unethical and wrong. No doctor should have done what he did.
Do you accept that?
FIERRO: I just got to say this. This is what was fundamentally different about this case. Michael Jackson had backed himself into a corner and had Conrad Murray walked away for a single day, not only would Michael Jackson have been $400 million in debt, he would have lost the catalog. He would have been penniless.
Conrad Murray didn't know that he was going to die. He knew it wasn't a perfect setup, but had he walked for a single day, they're already being warned, we'll pull the plug. That's the end of the tour. Michael Jackson was living in a rented home. Had Conrad Murray walked away from his friend one day, Michael Jackson would have been penniless.
Would he be alive today? I don't know. He was chasing that Propofol thing for a long time.
MORGAN: A couple of quick questions before we have to leave it. Will you appeal?
MORGAN: And, secondly, the family indicate that they may sue for up to $100 million. Does Conrad Murray have any money?
FLANAGAN: Well, the judge might assess restitution in the sum of $100 million in January when we have to go back to court. It doesn't matter if he assesses him $100 million or a million dollars. Conrad Murray doesn't have the money. He can't pay it.
And now that his livelihood has been stripped from him, he probably will never have that ability to pay that kind of money.
MORGAN: Were you expecting the worst of it?
FLANAGAN: Today, yes, I have been expecting the worst ever since the jury said guilty. I knew where this judge stood.
MORGAN: And how is Conrad today?
FLANAGAN: I haven't talked with him today. I'm meeting with him tomorrow. But he was strong last Wednesday and the day before when I saw him.
You know, it was devastating blow to get convicted. But he's been put into a situation and you know, there's survival instincts. He's doing OK.
MORGAN: Well, sad case for everyone involved. Michael Flanagan, Mark Fierro, thank you very much.
Coming next: the fighting host of "America's Most Wanted," John Walsh, on Conrad Murray's sentence and the scandals in college sports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I feel the same way I did before the verdict. The time is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) It should have been a hundred years. It's not enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was Michael Jackson's Jermaine on Conrad Murray's sentence today. Four years the maximum.
Joining me now to help sort out if that sentence was fair and give us insight into the kind of sex crimes alleged at Syracuse and Penn state institutions is John Walsh. He's the host of "America's Most Wanted." Beginning his 25th season on Friday on Lifetime.
John Walsh, a lot of going on is in your parameter of expertise. What do you make, first of all, of the Michael Jackson case, was justice done? Jermaine Jackson angry there, but it was the maximum sentence.
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": I think justice was done, but I think everybody's avoiding the real question. Why didn't Conrad Murray adhere to the Hippocratic Oath that he took when he became a doctor? And that was to do the thing that was in the best interests of his patient.
I think he must have known if he was Michael Jackson's best friend, as his attorneys say, that Michael Jackson was heavily addicted to all kinds of prescription drugs. And the best thing he probably wouldn't be in jail today, Conrad Murray, and Michael Jackson might be alive if he'd have said, Michael, the best thing I can do is put you in a car and take you to rehab. Everything else can wait.
The big payday for the tour that's upcoming. Everybody else can wait. I know you're addicted. I'm giving you drugs every single night. Let's go to rehab.
MORGAN: I mean, are there many doctors in Hollywood that would ever do that to somebody of Michael Jackson's stature?
WALSH: I think that they have to know that somewhere along the way that the whole thing's going to go off the rails. He's not the first doctor that's been prosecuted. Elvis Presley's doctor was prosecuted after his death. It just can't be worth the money.
Even though his lawyer said he never got paid, I'm sure he was waiting for that big payday and he was hoping that he could get Michael Jackson to England to do that tour.
And I think doctors have to say, it isn't worth it. It's not worth ruining my career, my reputation or for my client to die to give them drugs for a future payday.
MORGAN: Let's turn to the two big scandals infesting American sport at the moment. Obviously we had the Penn State one. We'll come to that in a moment. But in the last couple of days, we have had this thing at Syracuse involving Bernie Fine, the assistant basketball coach.
What do you make of this? Is there a parallel between these two cases? It seems to be that there was a cover-up, that a lot of people knew. They didn't take action. People were being abused and horrible stories and horrible cover-ups, both in big sporting organizations. What do you make of it?
WALSH: I think it's appalling. This is something I've been talking about for 30 years. The ability of children to come forward to a trusted authority figure, an adult and somebody will do something about it. The Penn State I think is the most appalling case because this guy was on the radar. He's alleged to have committed these crimes. And I have to say it and so do you.
But he was on the radar since 1995. When he retired in 1999, he still had the keys to the locker room. He retired at 55 years old. These kids -- boys are very reluctant to report abuse. They're usually diminished by their peers.
And everybody realized that this guy had a problem. As this onion unpeels, people are saying, we knew that he was creepy; we knew that he was doing this. But nobody did anything about it. And even the coach in the locker room at that night, when he saw at 9:30 at night a 6'4" man with a 10-year-old boy, sodomizing in the shower, he had to think about it, call his dad, worry about his job, then report it.
And the Penn State authorities, the director of sports, the CFO of Penn State and Joe Paterno say, you know, maybe this will go away. Maybe we shouldn't call the cops. Maybe we shouldn't call and tell the campus police. And now it comes out that this was a man who allegedly created a charity -- and that charity did a lot of good work -- so that he could have his private hunting grounds and he could cherry pick the kids that he wanted to do whatever.
It's really appalling, and it's really sad. And my 17-year-old son called me -- I was out on the road. He said, dad, the students are rioting on Penn State because Joe Paterno got fired. He said, a couple years ago, those students were kids themselves. Nobody's talking about those kids at risk, those kids that were in the Second Mile Charity that Jerry Sandusky allegedly -- allegedly hurt.
I thought, you know, Hayden, for a 17-year-old guy, you're pretty perceptive. They're worried about that football program. And that's all that school's worried about. MORGAN: Yeah, couldn't agree more. It was deeply disturbing, the whole thing. After the break, I want to know what you really think is going on behind some of the biggest crime stories going on. And also talk about your quite extraordinary career in nailing so many evil people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: For 27 years we've been asking who could take a six-year- old boy and murder him and decapitate him? Who? We needed to know. We needed to know. And today we know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: An almost unimaginable moment for any parent there. John Walsh, obviously it's clear what has driven you to do this extraordinary chasing after these evil people for the last 20-odd years. How have you dealt emotionally with what happened to you and your family? I only say because watching you there, you were surprisingly emotional. You're always so calm and in check. I just wondered how you kept yourself in control over these years.
WALSH: Well, I think that something my wife said to me years and years ago, after Adam was murdered, that we ought to remember who the real victim was, that it was this beautiful six-year-old boy. And we've tried to focus on that in these 30 year since Adam died, to make sure that Adam didn't die in vain and to be a loud voice.
I think if the people, for example, in Penn State had been a loud voice for those boys, that Jerry Sandusky wouldn't have been able to continue molesting them for years and have keys to the locker room. And I have to ask this question -- I didn't say it in the last -- before the last break, Piers. Why is he out on probation -- why is he out with no serious bond and no electronic monitor on his ankle?
I profiled many respected pedophiles, convicted or alleged, who have taken off just before trial and gotten money from somewhere. But that really bothers me. And I had to say it on your show, because I know you're bothered by everything that happened at Penn State.
But what propels me is that every now and then, we do something right. We get a missing child back. We got Elizabeth Smart back alive. Every now and then we stop a predator that I know would be out molesting another child or murdering someone else. For us, it was that 27 year hunt for justice. It is not about closure. We'll always be -- I'll always be the angry, broken hearted father of a murdered child. But the way to change things is change it through the system.
Every now and then, someone steps up -- I've seen it for 23 year on "America's Most Wanted," good people doing right. My war hero dad was my real role model. He said, when good men do nothing, evil prevails. I've lived by that motto since I was a little boy, because he taught me that. MORGAN: The statistics on your show are is quite extraordinary; 1,162 fugitives captured; 61 kidnapping victims reunited with their families. Of all these cases, John, which is the one that has the most significance to you personally?
WALSH: Well, I have to say Elizabeth Smart. I grew so close to that family during the eight months that she was missing. I got to know Lois and Ed Smart, I profiled her incessantly. Finally, when Ed called me up and said, they have a guy in jail. I said, yes, the handyman. He said, well, he's died of a heart attack. I don't think he took Elizabeth.
The police, the Salt Lake City Police and the FBI are telling us the case is over, that we're never going to find Elizabeth and her body is in the desert somewhere. I said, Ed, you've got to give me a reason to keep doing it on "America's Most Wanted."
He said, well, there was a composite. Mary Katherine, the nine year old sister, was in the room that night, and she said it was a guy that was in the house one day working there on the roof, because Mormons go down and get homeless people and people that are in need to come and work on their homes. He said, Mary Katherine is absolutely sure that it was this guy called Emmanuel.
And I'll never forget it. I asked the FBI and Salt Lake City Police there in Salt Lake if I could put the composite on. I was going on this very show, that night, when Larry King was sitting in the chair that you're in right now. They said, no, it's Richard Ricci. I said, you know what, I'm going to air that composite.
Four days later, we knew it was a guy named Brian David Mitchell. Three weeks later, some die hard fans of "America's Most Wanted" spotted Brian David Mitchell in a Kinko's in Sandy, Utah. And about two hours after that, Ed Smart was on his way to that Sandy, Utah, Police Department to pick up his daughter alive.
They asked me to fly out there the next day. A lot of people don't know this. The media was circled around their house. I advised them not to make Elizabeth available for any interviews until she got psychological counseling and everyone should leave her alone. And they said, no, it's important you come out and meet Elizabeth.
I said, I don't have to. They said, no, no, you helped save her life. I flew out there and the Smarts brought me through the back door so the media couldn't see me. And that gorgeous 14-year-old girl, who is a wonderful lady now, walked down those stair. I'll never forget it. Never forget it.
MORGAN: An amazing moment. You've had so many of those. John Walsh, you do an extraordinary job. And I salute you for that. Your new series "America's Most Wanted" starts on Lifetime on Friday at 9:00 p.m. Best of luck with the new series.
WALSH: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: When we come back, controversial comic Dane Cook joins me with his unique take on the times we live in.
MORGAN: Dane Cook spent years as a rising star in comedy. Now his star has very much arrived, in movies, on stage and on television. A brand new deal with NBC. Dane Cook joins me. Dane, how are you?
DANE COOK, COMIC: Piers, that's the introduction I wish I had every time I went home right there. That's not what I receive when I walk in the house.
MORGAN: I don't like you because you have more Twitter followers than me. I thought I was doing quite well. You have over two million.
COOK: I think it does dance around there. What are you at?
MORGAN: I'm about 1.5. But I now assess everybody in terms of follower count, which is completely pointless, because Kim Kardashian now has 11 million, which is more than the president. So the whole thing is absurd and yet very competitive.
COOK: It certainly is. I know that day to day, whatever I tweet, you know, you can gain like 2,000 or 3,000 followers, but lose that many at the same time. That's the tough thing about comedy. You never know where something's going to land.
MORGAN: How do you deal with abuse? Because all the comedians I know --
COOK: A therapist. We read the Twitters.
MORGAN: All of you are terrible self-analyzers and you're all terribly insecure and paranoid. Isn't that true about comedians?
COOK: We're fragile souls, Piers.
MORGAN: So why be on a medium where a load of people come on every day and say you are not funny?
COOK: Right. Because we need love 24/7. The re-Tweet is our version of the applause break.
MORGAN: That's true, isn't it?
MORGAN: Every comedian I've had -- you can just see they just want to be laughed at.
MORGAN: It's the ultimate kind of thing that you crave, isn't it?
COOK: Well, yeah. I grew up -- I was so insecure. I was the quiet kid in class. So you really did want to break out of that shell. And also being funny, it helps with the girls, too.
MORGAN: How many have you literally laughed into bed?
COOK: Oh, wow.
MORGAN: Ball park. I've spent the afternoon with Motley Crew. So I'm prepared for any kind of statistic.
COOK: Nowhere near the train caboose that they have. But I've done well. I've had some dalliances over the years. How about you?
MORGAN: Not as many as you.
COOK: You just had a fourth kid. Congratulations. A little girl. That's wonderful. Then three --
MORGAN: Three boys.
COOK: Is that it, four?
MORGAN: You can't leave it at four, because you need a football team, with at least five a side.
COOK: I don't want to have that many kids.
MORGAN: Don't you?
COOK: No, because one is bound to turn out to be an A-hole. If you have that many kids, then you're really raising the stakes on somebody just being a complete --
MORGAN: -- produce a whole breeding ground of young comedians and comediennes?
COOK: Boy, I don't know if I would want to catapult put them into that world. But I grew with a family that dealt with hardships through humor. So I guess it would be kind of close to home to have that kind of family.
MORGAN: You lost both your parents in the space of a year. This awful thing with your half-brother who is making loads of money. Tough thing to go through. I've always been curious, when you're a comedian and you're high profile and you're out there and you're facing audiences and stuff, how easy is it to use comedy as a mask of how you're really feeling in situations like that?
COOK: Yes, you definitely reach a point -- and I know that through my 20s, it was really about what I was experiencing then, just partying, being young. You hit 30, serious moments, tragic moments. Then you decide is this going to inform my performance? Am I going to be truthful? Am I going to live in the moment? Or am I going to be kind of fantastical and imaginative? And I definitely turned a corner in my stand-up by allowing vulnerability to come into play and still finding the laughs, but kind of opening up the tool shed of abilities and way to connect with people.
MORGAN: Is this a golden time for comedians, in the sense that whenever there's a Republican race like this, you've got so many eccentric candidates all doing weird things.
COOK: I know. There's a lot of rumor --
MORGAN: Great material.
COOK: I would like to announce today that I am also having affair with Cain. And it's been 13 years also. Because I said it on TV, it's true.
MORGAN: Somebody said on Twitter today, isn't it easier if he just announces the list of women he hasn't had any dalliances with. None of it may be true. We just don't know. In the modern age, nobody can really work out what is truth anymore, because the Internet takes this stuff, and before you know it, boom, he's guilty as charged.
COOK: I used to watch like those courtroom shows with my mom. And I remember that within about five seconds of seeing the defendant, she would say, he's guilty. I can tell by his face. We're a society that loves to judge. We like to build you up, smash you down, and the say come on get back up.
MORGAN: Is that healthy or unhealthy?
COOK: I think it's what we are. I think it's part of our behavior. It's the way we're wired, which is I'm insecure; I need to make you feel bad. Now you feel bad, I'm going to tell you it's not so bad, now we're equal.
I did that without using any foul language. Trust me, I wanted to drop some F-bombs in there.
MORGAN: Do you still have days when you just bomb, when it just goes horribly wrong an, when you face that awful moment for any comedian?
COOK: I think right now.
MORGAN: You're probably doing OK.
COOK: We need an audience here.
MORGAN: Don't take my lack of laughter as not finding you funny.
COOK: I'm going to find the Retweet value.
MORGAN: Seriously, did you ever get those days anymore?
MORGAN: -- wonderful delicious plateau, where basically you have your fan base and that's it.
COOK: I've had great heckles in that moment from people that are just at the tipping point. I was in New York in the village one night. It was formative years. I'm trying new jokes. I'm languishing. I'm sweating like Nixon on television.
And then suddenly I heard a guy in the back of the room crystal clear go, these are new jokes and they're not working. I was like, thank you, exactly.
MORGAN: Let's have a quick break, so you can think of another new joke. When we come back, I want to talk to you about where you draw the line, if you draw the line. Should you draw the line? Is there a line?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your father always deal with that kind of thing.
COOK: No. Mom, no, not anymore. Not for nine years. He's not lighting the pilot light today. He didn't clean the gutters out last Spring. He didn't flip the breakers in the fuse box when they popped the winter before last.
He did not drive you to the hospital. When you fell in the driveway -- you fell, mom, and I drove you. I did, mum. Mum, I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's a clip from Dane Cook's new movie "Answers To Nothing," which opens on Friday. Tell me about the movie. It deals with a man dealing with infidelity, set against the backdrop of a missing girl.
MORGAN: Typical dark comedy.
COOK: It's kind of almost become a genre film, ensemble pieces, like a "Crash" or "Magnolia." I definitely think that this kind of has a dalliance in that world, where you have, you know, simpatico with these characters, six degrees of separation-wise.
My character Ryan and Elizabeth Mitchell are trying to have a baby through in vitro, but I'm also having an affair. I think it's one of those films that right way, the first scene, literally people say, I couldn't breathe. It grabs you by the throat and it's relentless. And it's -- and I think that people are finding empathy in it because there's a lot of relateability in some of these characters and the darkness. MORGAN: I had Chelsea Handler on recently. And she's often said that the only thing she won't poke fun at are ugly babies and people who are dying. Do you have a similar bar that you refuse to dip under? Subjects?
COOK: No. I think that, you know, you go through -- you certainly go through years, as you're coming up, where you say, how far can I let the ship leave the shore before it's never coming back? And I -- I definitely took my hits in that regard.
But I think comedy's all about breaking down barriers and jumping right over those hurdles and going right for the heart. And if that means, you know, sometimes stepping on a few toes to get there, I think that's part of the pinprick of release of laughter right there.
MORGAN: It's a sad day for --
COOK: Ugly babies, by the way, there's some very hysterical looking ugly babies. UglyBaby.com website that you can peruse.
MORGAN: It's been a sad day for comedy with the death of Patrice O'Neal, who I know that you knew. He died of a stroke today. I want to take a quick look of Patrice on "Jimmy Fallon." to remind everyone just how funny she was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICE O'NEAL, COMEDIAN: White people need to loosen up.
JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: We're loosening up. President Obama, we have --
O'NEAL: You gave that a two-year shot. It is over. It's done. He got two more years. That's why he goes on so many vacations. He knows it's finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Patrice O'Neal died today. Very funny guy.
COOK: Yes. I started my comedy career with Patrice. We both came up out of Boston. He was a Roxbury kid. I was from Arlington. You probably couldn't have had two people from further sides of the tracks. But he was an inquisitive, brilliant performer. It's just tragic. It's horrible.
MORGAN: What's next for you? Obviously you're doing everything, stand-up, the movies, TV, whatever -- whatever comes your way, it's all turning to gold at the moment. What's the ambition left for you?
COOK: I think it's -- I made a choice a few years ago. I had been on this like whirlwind arena tour all through the U.S. And I thought, you know, as I take my fans and kind of tell new stories and bring them into the new, you know, mediums, I'd like to, you know, exceed my own expectations. I've always tried to do things that would outwardly entertain my families, my friends, my fans. And really now with choices like "Answers to Nothing," it's about finding things that scare me a little bit, and some risks that I want to take for myself, and then a place to be able to put some of the hardships within, you know, whatever art form I decide to pick up on.
MORGAN: Best of luck with everything, including the movie, "Answers to Nothing," Dane Cook, thank you very much.
COOK: All right.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.