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Missing Kids Discrimination?; Paula Deen`s Controversy

Aired January 19, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.

Missing children. The cute kids who vanish get all of the attention. Are white children more often the focus of news stories than African-American or Hispanic children? Who decides which cases are covered and how does that happen?

Plus, Paula Deen cooks up controversy. She had Type 2 Diabetes for years, yet reveals it just this week and I`m asking is that even any of our business.

Let`s get started.

And tonight, two families are desperately searching for their missing daughters. They vanished nine days apart. There are similarities in both cases, but I`m asking why have they not received the kind of national media attention as say Caylee Anthony, Chandra Levy, Natalee Holloway, Robin Gardner.

Phoenix Coldon and Stacy English disappeared 500 miles apart and both families say that their daughters would never just leave home.

So where did they go? Does law enforcement have any leads in either case? Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two beautiful African-American women disappear nine days apart. In both cases, their cars are found miles away, abandoned. The engine still running.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-three-year-old Phoenix Coldon was the first to vanish, last seen by her mother in the driveway of their St. Louis home.

LAWRENCE COLDON, PHOENIX COLDON`S FATHER: She backed out of the driveway and we never saw her again.

GOLDIA COLDON, PHOENIX COLDON`S MOTHER: I need to see Phoenix. I need to hug her. She needs to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacey English is from Atlanta. She`s 36 years old and she`s been missing since Christmas Day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her father says she left her gate card and the fireplace running. The 36-year-old also left her keys, iPad and cell phone.

KEVIN JAMISON, STACEY ENGLISH`S FATHER: We need our daughter home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both cars were found and impounded just hours after the women went missing. But cops did not make the connection until much later.

CYNTHIA JAMISON, STACEY ENGLISH`S MOTHER: It`s very troubling that it took this long.


PINSKY: I am asking, why doesn`t the mainstream media feature the Phoenix Coldon and Stacey English stories? The TV One Network premiered a series Tuesday called "Find Our Missing" which tells stories of African-Americans who disappear.

The question here, is there discrimination in the media as to which missing person cases attract attention?

Joining me, Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Lake, former FBI Special Agent Don Clark, and the President of Black and Missing Foundation, Dericca Wilson.

Dericca, are there any updates on the cases of Phoenix and Stacey? Let`s start there.

DERICCA WILSON, PRESIDENT, BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION, INC.: Well, right now, in reference to Phoenix and Stacey, there are no updates that the police are releasing. However, what we can say is that with Stacey English, we have received information that we passed to law enforcement as well as to the family that they are following up on.

PINSKY: OK. Is there - is there hope, you think?

WILSON: Absolutely, there`s hope. And the family is going to always continue to hold out that hope until they`re reunited. So there`s hope out there for these two young ladies.

PINSKY: OK. I mean, this is a story I would like to follow.

Lauren, you hear the question I`m setting up. Let`s go at it. What is going on here? Why - and by the way, I`m just - I`m laughing to myself because I think we follow disgusting cases like Casey Anthony and the cases that are sort of lovely with lovely families. It doesn`t attract our attention. What is this?

LAUREN LAKE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s ridiculous, but Dr. Drew, we have to admit that there is an undeniable systemic, racially biased undercurrent that is running through our media and our society at large that suggests that black, African-American victims of color are just not as valuable, that the nation, the world wouldn`t buy into them and support stations that run stories about them.

And it`s a problem. And we need to be honest about it and dialogue about it so that we can change it. I can count on my one hand, Dr. Drew, how many victims of color, cases involving victims of color that I`ve covered in the last 10 years on air, and that`s a shame.

PINSKY: Not only is it a shame, Lauren, I`m going to tell you what, the statistics are stunning because statistically, we should certainly be covering more of those cases, though the population is 12 percent African- American, 40 percent of all missing persons are people of color - 40 percent.

Don, let me go to you. Do you think - does this bias start with law enforcement, do you believe?

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, I don`t think it starts with law enforcement. I certainly think there`s a bias there, but I don`t think it really starts with law enforcement.

I think it starts with the community and our society as to what we really think is significant and not, and it`s often been seen by all of us is that from time to time, and in particular in years gone by and even today as we speak that people say, oh, it`s just that black kid again, and he`s gone some place, and he`ll, you know, they`ll find him somewhere or whatever the case may be, and that`s the wrong way to look at that.

And I think a lot of that, too, holds with the families, because I really think that the families have to get in there more and really let the law enforcement, the legal aspects of it, the legal arena, let them know that, look, we`re people, too, and you`re going to have to put those resources out there to help find my kid.

PINSKY: Dericca, I want you to ring in on this. Now, if, you know, news agencies and media outlets respond to viewership. You know what I`m saying?

WILSON: Right.

PINSKY: And, of course, they create stuff that, you know, it`s a self fulfilling prophesy to some extent. What needs to change here? What do we do about this?

WILSON: Well, first of all, I want to back up and say that it does start with law enforcement as well, because when, you know, kids are reported missing, a lot of times law enforcement will automatically like to label them as runaways. So runaways are not getting the amber alert.

And when there is a missing adult, male or female, they like to associate their disappearance relating it to some sort of criminal activity, which becomes a distraction that, you know, the person is actually missing.

So we have to look at law enforcement and hold them accountable and we also have to look at the media.

PINSKY: Yes. But let`s - we have somebody representing that. Don, how do you respond to that?

CLARK: Well, I think that law enforcement does have a responsibility to get out and try to find these kids, these black kids as well as they would any other kid there, but I also think it`s the families as well, too, that`s got to make sure that they are part of this deal and ensure that law enforcement is carrying out what they should be doing.

PINSKY: Is there a higher incidence of I think Dericca was alleging runaway in the African-American community?

CLARK: I don`t know that there is a higher percentage of runaways. That`s one a tough one to follow. But certainly there are enough African-American kids that have been lost and nobody knows where they are. But that`s like that in the other races as well.

So in terms of percentage, I can`t give you a percentage on it, but certainly there are those African-American kids that are lost out there some place.

PINSKY: And Lauren, let me say, you know, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel inadequate to have this conversation. What does the African-American community need to do to help push this forward in a way that will change these attitudes?

I`d like to participate, but I don`t feel like - you know what I mean? Like am I the guy for that, you know what I mean?

LAKE: No, you do need to participate. We all need to participate. I think it`s important for not just African-American people to stand up and say, look, victims of color are just as important as white victims, but we need white people as well.

Let`s remember, I mean, there were white people and black people joining together, and as we fought for freedom as slaves, so historically we have had to band together as a community all colors and say that this is unjust. And I think just talking about it, just you creating the platform tonight is a huge step in the right direction, because there are so many victims that go without any attention.

And you know what, I think at the end of the day, it`s an American problem.


LAKE: And we all need to deal with it together.

PINSKY: Yes. Well said, Lauren. Thank you for that interesting conversation, guys. We`re going to keep it going. Lauren stays with me. Don stays with me. Dericca, I`m going to say farewell to you.

And I bring in the parent of a missing girl who knows what it`s like not to have the media focus on the story. So stay with us.


PINSKY: Welcome back.

Every day somebody goes missing in America. This is one of the sad realities. Many news worthy, intriguing stories will never make it to the cover of "People" Magazine or to the mainstream media. Some of these are not the girl next door, all American boy. Does a missing person have to be white to get attention from the media is the question?

Joining us now, this is a devastating story. It`s the father of Mitrice Richardson, this is Michael Richardson. Mitrice vanished in 2009. Her remains were found last year.

Michael, personally I just - as one dad to another, this heart goes out to you, man. That`s just an awful, awful thing.


PINSKY: When you were going through this and your daughter was missing, do you feel that you didn`t get the kind of attention that you should have?

RICHARDSON: Of course not.

PINSKY: You say that matter of factly that`s just -

RICHARDSON: Everybody knows that African-American has to do twice to almost four times much more than other nationalities to get anyone to listen or to acknowledge you or to even pay attention to you.

PINSKY: Why do you - why? What do you think that is?

RICHARDSON: Well, you know, I just feel like that they - we`re becoming like a third class citizen in the United States of America. We`re the biggest spenders in America. We put more money into the system, just to not receive any type of decent respect from law enforcement or any other agencies where we seek help.

We have to beat our drum the loudest. We have to fight the hardest, and we got to - and a lot of people and a lot of your listeners probably feel like, there they go again, whoa, is me, whoa, is me. But when you really look at down the scenarios and when you really look at what happened to my daughter, Mitrice, you will see why we had to fight like we fought. We knew something was wrong day one from the beginning.

PINSKY: And people just ignored you, it started with law enforcement.

RICHARDSON: It started with law enforcement.

PINSKY: I`ve got a law enforcement officer. Don is still with me. Don, you hear the story. Do you have a response?

CLARK: Well, you know, I can`t really understand the feelings for this gentleman, in other words, I haven`t walked in his shoes and my heart goes out for him.

But the reality is, is that I think that law enforcement should be responsible for every one of these kids that we are trying to get and trying to find and trying to bring them back to civilization here, in some way or another, so I think that they have that responsibility to do that, and I don`t think that I or anybody else can sit here and say it`s OK for law enforcement or they`ve got too many things to do to look for a little kid and try to bring a kid home safe.

So certainly my heart goes out to anybody who`s in that situation. But I also want to say, too, that we as a group of people, African-American or any type as far as that`s concerned, but particularly the African-American type, you know, we have to keep banging on the door. If someone has got a child that`s missing, we cannot be ignored and that person should not allow themselves to be ignored until somebody put the resources out there to try to find that kid.

PINSKY: And that`s, in fact, what Michael did. And that`s why things came to a resolution, I imagine.


PINSKY: Lauren, you brought it home so nicely at the end of that last segment, you heard Michael`s heartbreaking story. What is your comment on this?

LAKE: You know, I feel - first of all, my heart is completely breaking for him as a father. I mean, as a mother, I can`t even imagine.

But, at the same time, I`m thinking to myself we need to not let stories like this be in vain. We have got to come together and understand that each and every child is just as valuable as the next. Just because they`re not blonde haired like JonBenet Ramsey, or the cute little girl next door that looks like Caylee Anthony.

There are beautiful black children, there`s beautiful Asian children, Indian children. They all need to be valued, and when they are missing, we as a culture, an American culture, has got to say that the war against our children has to stop. All of them, not just the white ones, all of them.

PINSKY: Lauren, again, bringing it home.

Michael, this is so deeply personal to you. I could just see the feelings welling up in you. Where do we go? What do we do with this?

RICHARDSON: Oh, definitely. I mean, she hit it dead on. It`s like that was one of my biggest fights in the beginning. I didn`t want to come out with black versus white -

PINSKY: Because there`s tons of African-American in law enforcement and in the media. And, you know, I mean, it`s not - it`s not like it`s - there`s a line or something. It`s just - there`s some sort of weird bias, right?

RICHARDSON: Definitely, because in the beginning it was like law enforcement made it seem like your daughter doesn`t want to be found, you know, and we`re begging them to listen. Because we know this -

PINSKY: What`s the story? What happened?

RICHARDSON: Well, basically what happened was my daughter suffered from bipolar, and she was having a crisis out here in Malibu. She went to a restaurant called Geoffrey`s and apparently ordered a meal, and when it was time to pay, they said she didn`t have the money to pay, which was our red flag. She just had got her income tax. She had $5,000 in her savings account -

PINSKY: This isn`t normal behavior for her.


PINSKY: Something`s up, right?


PINSKY: And I - by the way, as you - as you tell this story, I also wonder if this is a bias against mental health - people who suffer mental health issues as well as an African-American incident.

RICHARDSON: It`s increasing. It`s increasing. Every time you read the newspaper, an officer shot a person suffering from bipolar and didn`t know how to handle the case.

But the same thing with Mitrice, you know, when her mother got on the phone, it`s like this is not Mitrice. She`s never been arrested. She`s a 4.0 honor student. She`s never gotten into any trouble before, so we knew something was wrong.

And officers wanted to, oh, you have to wait 72 hours. We`re like no. They`re -

PINSKY: Seventy-two hours for what?

RICHARDSON: To file a missing person`s report.

PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. And you knew there`s something - so I imagine that would not be a racial thing. That`s some sort of misfire. That`s a bad judgment. RICHARDSON: Right. And definitely with all the scenarios that led up to that, that was telling us something was wrong, they just kept arguing with us.

And her mother said, you know what? If you`re going to detain my daughter over this citation, that`s fine. I`ll come pick her up in the morning. But they assured her that she was not going to be released till 6:00 in the morning, and she was going to be fine.

Her mother called that office five times that night, and they had released her. They were still telling her that she was still in the precinct when she had been released at 12:38.

PINSKY: I`m going to - Don, I know you were shaking your head rather vigorously there. This sounds like a lot of misfires from law enforcement, not a racial issue. You agree with that?

I`m going to give you a chance to respond to that, and then I`m going to ask Lauren why we as media didn`t pick it up right then. But go ahead, Don.

CLARK: Yes. I do think that, you know, I think this is a law enforcement issue that they just, you know, shouldn`t be beating up too much on this, but there should have been some response there as well.

PINSKY: Yes. And I almost feel like it`s a mental health bias more than a racial bias.

But Lauren, the racial bias then kicked in because these guys couldn`t go to the media and say would you please tell our story. No one would pick it up.

LAKE: That`s the problem. I mean, this is a story. It has so many, you know, issues that are coming to light, like you said, mental health issues, the police, things going wrong, her being released and no one knowing it.

I mean, what a story this was, and yet probably 90 percent of America knows nothing about it. And it`s a shame, because you know what? We have to learn from these errors.

These parents were on top of it. This mom was calling the precinct, and you know what, no one knew where her daughter was. It`s unfortunate, it`s unacceptable, and the only way we can ensure that it doesn`t happen again is for us to talk about it, cover it, and bring it to light.

PINSKY: And Lauren, thank you for being such an advocate and bringing so much of this conversation. Don, thank you. And Michael, just - man.

Last word?

RICHARDSON: I just want to say in closing, the reason why it is a racial issue is because when Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen was released out of the same precinct, they drove them home because they`re white. They let Mitrice go out the front door with no purse, no cell phone, no car.

PINSKY: And they`re wealthy and they`re celebrities, and that`s another layer of bias.

RICHARDSON: Thank you. I just had to get that in.

PINSKY: I`m - anything you want to get in, I`m all about it. I appreciate you bringing that up.

RICHARDSON: Thank you. Thank you very much.

PINSKY: I`m so sorry.

Thank you guys.

Paula Deen, talk about her next. She has been cooking up some controversy this week. Has she done anything wrong by delaying public announcement of her diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes? Your questions, my answers about it next.


PINSKY: I think many of you know by now that Paula Deen has Type 2 diabetes, and we`ll be talking about that later in the show. But right now I want to hear from you and what you think about her and the high fat, high sugar foods that she cooks, and that relationship to her health and our health.

Let`s go to the phone. Joel in Kansas, go ahead.


PINSKY: Hey, Joel.

JOEL: I`m a huge fan.

PINSKY: Thank you, Joel.

JOEL: I just wanted to say that I was not shocked at all to hear about her health.

PINSKY: Right.

JOEL: I`ve seen all the heavy cooking she does.

PINSKY: Right.

JOEL: For example, like on one of her shows, she made a huge Krispy Kreme cake. It may look amazing, but man, the diabetic thing is not a shocker to me at all.

PINSKY: Right. That`s right.

JOEL: But she does seem like a very nice woman, and I think the media should respect her and her health.

PINSKY: I think I hear what you`re saying, which is that she got what she deserved, given the diet that she espouses, but that she be allowed to do as she pleases and be - allowed to have confidential health care and let her health record be her own business to be disclosed at her discretion.

How about that? Did I paraphrase your - your call? I kind of agree with you.

Sue in New York, go ahead.

SUE, SCOTIA, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew. Just a few comments. As someone who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, I`m ashamed of Paula Deen for waiting three years to disclose her illness. I think it gives the appearance that all she really cared about was her money making machine, and that it took those three years for her to come up with a way to (INAUDIBLE) her illness.

PINSKY: Yes, and you all have such very strong feelings about poor Paula.

I think what`s a little unsavory about this, I think she is entitled to keep this completely confidential if she chooses. Everyone`s entitled to confidential health care.

I think that in the interest of the diet that she espouses, she might want to tell people about it. And you`re - the fact that she waited so long and then she came out when she got an endorsement from a drug company, that makes it feel unsavory. It feels like it doesn`t - she doesn`t care about her constituency. I get that.

But I would say take a beat here. It`s kind of low hanging fruit to jump on and really attack her because, look, do you want - do you want Paula Deen not to exist? Do you want her kind of food and their culture not to exist? They don`t have a right to do that if they choose?

I`m just saying, be careful. What kind of - what kind of country do we want to live in here?

Mary Anne on Facebook writes, "Diabetes is a complicated disease. Many causes, possibly poor - and some of them poorly understood by medical science." You`re right. Let`s not be so quick to blame the victim."

That is a good point. And let`s remind ourselves, she`s not a health care provider, like I couldn`t - I would never advocate those kinds of diets. She is not advocating healthy diets. She`s somebody advocating an unhealthy diet. Look at that hamburger between the glazed donut. It`s just - I mean, if you thought that was healthy, we`ve got some talking to do.

Brenda writes, "I personally do not think she owes any of us her medical information. It`s a private thing." I agree with that.

Let`s go to another Facebook question - although, as I said, she might want to bring it up. Melissa writes, "Paula not only pushes her food to an obese nation, she then hides the fact that her own diet led to a life- threatening disease for years. Hmmm."

You know what, my dear? I like that sort of "hmmm" the best, because that`s what all this does. It makes you kind of pause. You go, "hmmm."

On the other hand, the fact that she has come out about it gives us a chance to have this conversation about diabetes and how common it is, and how obese a nation we are, and the fact that while these cultural attitudes about food may exist in certain parts of our country, they`re not great on a daily basis and we should just limit that. Moderation. That`s a good - that`s a good way to approach this.

All right, more about Paula coming up.

But first, how methamphetamine destroyed an entire family. This drug has caused such heartache. One person takes it, many innocents suffer. That is next.

And also, remember to go to for the must see, must share stories of the night. Check out the top ten while you`re there.

Back after this.



PINSKY (voice-over): Tv`s Paula Deen, a woman who advocates cooking with butter, lots of it, has type 2 diabetes. She was diagnosed three years ago. Did her down home cooking and eating contribute to her health condition? And should the influential star have revealed her health challenges to the world earlier or at all? Being a public figure is one thing, but I`m not convinced she must share her private medical history.

But first, meth and murder, it`s a cautionary tale for all of us.


PINSKY (on-camera): Welcome back. Now, Lyndsey Fiddler, there she is, put her daughter in a washing machine, then took a 20-minute nap. She`d been awake for three days. Last December, she pleaded guilty and admitted she had been high on meth at that time. Another meth related tragedy unfolded last Sunday, and this is stunning. This was in Sacramento. Watch this.


PINSKY (voice-over): Remember the old anti-drug slogan "speed kills?" Well, they weren`t talking about killing the users, they were talking about users killing others in a violent psychosis, often precipitated by methamphetamine. Tonight, a frightening reminder how true the old catch phrase is.

Police say a young mother killed her two children, a cousin, and then herself, after videotaping herself smoking methamphetamine. Twenty-three- year-old Ayita Mendez (ph) also allegedly shot and stabbed her husband who is in critical condition. Neighbors are shocked. They say this was not the woman they had come to know.

That Mendez appeared normal and loved her children. There`s no doubt in my mind that this killing spree was fueled by the all two common violent psychosis associated with meth.


PINSKY (on-camera): Well, there`s a little bit of good news here and that is that meth use has dropped significantly over the past five years across America, though, there`s still little areas of very heavy use and remains one of America`s darkest and most addictive drugs. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I had asked, will I lose control on meth? Meth can really make you really violent or if I had asked, will meth make me steal from my own family? I wouldn`t have asked about my brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where`s your money? Give it to me! Give it.


PINSKY: Joining me, Bob Forrest, drug counselor from "Celebrity Rehab" and Todd Bridges, actor and spokesperson for ICDC College. He`s been on this show, obviously, with us before. But, particularly, Todd, I brought you back now to give us a little insight in the experience of meth, because you had a run and you had an experience that might help us understand really what happened in this particular tragedy.

TODD BRIDGES, ACTOR, FORMER METH ADDICT: Well, my experience was a 14-day meth run where I started injecting it. And after I first injected it, I had a, I guess, you could say an orgasm when I first injected it. And I thought that was the kill all drug at that point.

PINSKY: This is it. This is the one.

BRIDGES: This is the one that I needed. And as I got more and more into it, I needed more and I stayed up more. I started to see things. First, I started with call them the tree people. Lighted trees, they were in there. They were around. I`d see them, there they are.

I`m running out my neighbor, there they are, see, they`re in the trees. Little tree creatures, light creatures. Then, it got down to where I`m in my house, and I started noticing these little green men, running around my house.

PINSKY: You literally saw them. And you were trying to convince people, I`m sure, did you see that?

BRIDGES: I was -- I knew they were there.

PINSKY: Who put them there?

BRIDGES: My grandmother.

PINSKY: Your grandmother.

BRIDGES: My grandmother had put them there and built a factory below my house. And these little green men will come out of the ground and then go back into the water. I shot two or three of them.

PINSKY: Hold on a second, your grandmother -- put a landing on this. Your grandmother in your mind, in your meth psychosis, this is very typical, guys. People in meth psychosis become preoccupied with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, and they believe often that they`re trying to harm or kill them. Your case, your grandmother was going to torment you by building a factory under your house with sending up green men.

BRIDGES: these little green men. They`re fat and big, like stretch Armstrong men, and they were coming up and they were chasing me. So, I was shooting them with my 30-06, I`m shooting them.

PINSKY: You actually had a gun out and were actually shooting them.

BRIDGES: Yes, shooting them. And, I would kill them --

PINSKY: What if there was a person in the room, and you started believing --


BRIDGES: When you get in that psychosis of methamphetamine, whatever you believe actually starts to come into action, and you start to see it, and you really think it`s real.

PINSKY: And often it`s tormenting.

BRIDGES: Often it`s always dangerous, harmful towards you. You want your fingers from it and run from it.


BRIDGES: And then, I had, you know, a girl that I was in love with who was there, and we were passionate together several times. And then, when I finally came out of all the psychosis, this girl never existed.

PINSKY: There was not even a person --

BRIDGES: No, was not real. Her name was Lisa.

PINSKY: And you can still picture her now?

BRIDGES: I still can picture what she looked like, and she didn`t exist.

PINSKY: And if somebody had seen you, had encountered you in that state, you probably would have been sort of babbling --

BRIDGES: My brother did encounter me in that case, and he told me I was not myself.

PINSKY: Right.

BRIDGES: He did not know who I was. He said he looked at me, he talked to me. I said, I was in some other kind of world, and he did not know who I was, and I guess I didn`t recognize him.

PINSKY: And the other thing about Bob, you and I have dealt with that psychosis so much, the other thing is that even if they stop using the drug, it can go on for weeks and weeks and weeks afterwards, and if it`s a paranoia about their mother or their wife, it can be so destructive to those relationships.

BOB FORREST, DRUG COUNSELOR, "CELEBRITY REHAB": Yes. It doesn`t subside. You, a long time ago, had me go over to Pasadena Police Department and tell them the difference between meth psychosis and schizophrenia and psychotic.


FORREST: Yes, and there is none.

PINSKY: There is a little, though, because the schizophrenics actually can be quite classic. Paranoid (INAUDIBLE) the methamphetamine users become violent. It is the drug of violence.

FORREST: What I`m wondering is when she woke up in jail, and she finally came to, it`s probably happening right around now a few days later.

PINSKY: She --

FORREST: She killed herself.

BRIDGES: The husband was outside bleeding with the shot inside. He was outside holding himself being shot and stabbed.

PINSKY: He is the one that may wake up when everybody else is gone.

BRIDGES: They don`t know if he`ll wake up. By the time they got back in the house, she shot herself, killed herself. I think at that point, she was on her way down, realizing, oh, my God, what have I done.

PINSKY: And again, to try to make sense of -- this is such a tragedy and to make sense of somebody whose brain is misfiring, almost like it`s in a seizure, I would caution you against it. You can`t make sense of it, but it`s a rather characteristic syndrome for methamphetamine. They kill the people close to them. That old speed kills, once heard the guy speak who created (INAUDIBLE) and they said they were not thinking about the drug killing people, they thought about the people using the drug killing people.

BRIDGES: Speed makes you violent, makes you very dangerous, psychosis. Cocaine makes you think the police are chasing you, not as violent, until you`re coming down on cocaine.

PINSKY: Last word, Bob, anything?

FORREST: Just what`s going on in America and the drug epidemic, it`s going to be more and more of this. You and I were saying, meth is so huge in California.

PINSKY: Meth is coming down, thank God.

FORREST: Well, not in California. I just can`t imagine that.

PINSKY: It`s still in private parts of California.

FORREST: It`s created here, but there`s people right now on the Hollywood freeway out of their minds in psychosis right now, and that this doesn`t happen more often, we`re pretty lucky.

PINSKY: And let`s hope this through awareness and though talking about it. Todd, thank you for bringing your story. Bob, as always, thank you.

Next up, we`re going to switch gears. Paula Deen, she is a big fan of butter and sugar and deep frying, but did she owe her fans the disclosure of her medical history, the diagnosis of diabetes? I have an opinion. You`ll hear it when we come back.


PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: On my show, you know, I share with you all of these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people in moderation, in moderation. You can have that little piece of pie.




DEEN: I was diagnosed three years ago during a regular physical exam with my doctor, that I had type 2 diabetes. And I`m here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence.


PINSKY: Paula Deen, the queen of southern cooking who once declared, quote, "I can`t live without butter or my deep fryer." In fact, take a look at her infamous ladies brunch burger, a combination of bacon, fried egg, meat patty, stuffed between two glazed donuts. That is health food, I tell you.

On NBC`s "Today" show, my stage manager is shaking his head vigorously. On the "Today" show, she revealed that she was diagnosed, in fact, with diabetes, type 2 diabetes, several years ago, no laughing matter. Deen`s admission has created a stir amongst critics who want to know why she waited -- first of all, why she waited so long before telling everybody, and secondly, why today, why come out with it all of a sudden. Watch this from the "Today" show.


DEEN: I came home. I told my children, I told my husband. I said I`m going to keep this close to my chest for the time being because I had to figure things out in my own head. I had to give time to think about it, talk with my doctor because at the time, you know, I tell everything.


DEEN: I could have walked out and said hey, y`all, I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and walked away. I had nothing to give to my fellow friends out there.


Hans Rockenwagner is a celebrity chef and restaurateur and Dr. Bill Releford, a diabetes specialist. Dr. Releford, this story for you hit very close to home. Can you tell us why?

DR. BILL RELEFORD, DIABETES SPECIALIST: This is hit very close to home. At this very moment, my own mother is in a coma related to complications to diabetes. And, of course, during the holidays has been a very challenging time for all my brothers and sisters to deal with this. So, diabetes even hit my home. And I am a diabetes specialist.

PINSKY: Yes. Was that a shock to you to have it hit so close even knowing the disease as intimately as you do?

RELEFORD: Well, you know, the diet and exercise and lack thereof has always been a challenge for my family, too.

PINSKY: And I want to point something out, too. We were talking earlier in this program about racial and ethnic issues, and this is yet another one, where diabetes especially effects African-Americans and Hispanics. And, I don`t think we emphasize that enough, frankly. It`s not to point out a weakness in anybody. It`s just we got to look at those diets, look at those cultural habits and attack them.

RELEFORD: African-Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes. African-Americans have more heart attacks, more strokes, more amputations related to diabetes. And no one is really talking about, and I call this whole diabetic tsunami that we will be facing the next 10 to 15 years if someone does not do anything to stop this whole glamorizing of eating greasy food, bacon, mayonnaise everywhere.

PINSKY: Paula Deen is back -- good old home girl from the south, where dietary habits are not the greatest. And so, you feel that she`s really advocating something that is almost advocating taking poison.

RELEFORD: Well, she built her career on glamorizing overconsumption and indulgence in foods that are -- and everybody knows, I mean, you don`t even have to have a real, you know, medical education there, that you`re eating a hamburger, sandwich dripping with grease, has got to be something wrong with it.

And I think the fact that she`s been able to get away with this for so long and now she wants to maybe change her colors.

PINSKY: Makes you angry?

RELEFORD: I wouldn`t say angry, but I think it was a missed opportunity.

PINSKY: All right. Well, let`s take a look at Paula Deen on the Food Network as she works with some of her favorite ingredients. Watch this.


DEEN: I want you all to just take a look. Look at all of the butter in this kitchen. I probably got about four pounds of butter. Butter is a very, very beautiful thing.

I got a half stick of butter. Chocolate bread pudding with rum toffee sauce.

About a half cup of heavy cream leftover in my cart. So, I`m just going to pour that on top.


PINSKY: If it weren`t so sad, it`s almost getting comical. I mean, very easy to be critical of Paula Deen. But my question, Hans, is just because somebody is a chef and advocating a certain culture and style of eating, A, do they have a responsibility to the people they`re advocating, and I`m not sure, I mean, I don`t want to live in a country where we tell everybody how they have to eat.

I mean, you and I are medical guys. We have to maintain a certain line, but as a chef, and by the way, does that same chef also have to reveal their personal medical history?

HANS ROCKENWAGNER, CELEBRITY CHEF & RESTAURATEUR: I don`t think so that they necessarily have to reveal everything about the medical history, but at the same time, she seems to have taken it a little bit to an extreme also.

PINSKY: With her food.

ROCKENWAGNER: With her food. And I think --


PINSKY: I want to sort of play devil`s advocate here and say, doesn`t that even protect her more? She`s clearly not a health advocate, clearly. And he, herself, is suffering the consequences. And granted, I don`t like the fact that people are following through and getting any up in a diabetic coma, you know, because of these sorts of dietary habits.

But I don`t want to live in a world where people tell you, you have to eat this way or else, or by the way, if you`re a public figure, we got to have all of your medical records on display. Do you think they should, Hans?

ROCKENWAGNER: No, I don`t think they should. But, at the same time, I have nothing to hide.


PINSKY: It`s easy for you to say. All right. Now, Paula Deen`s admission that she`s working as a spokesperson for a diabetes drug maker, I think this is the issue that raise some eyebrows. Watch this.


DEEN: I`ve always been one to think that I bring hope because I`ve had lots of obstacles in my life, y`all. I`m here today to let the world know that it is not a death sentence. I`m working along with a very reputable pharmaceutical company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should mention, you`re a paid spokesperson for Novo- Nordisk.

DEEN: Absolutely. I have been compensated just as you are for your work. Yes.


PINSKY: Well, let`s be clear. It could be a death sentence if keeps -- I understand, she`s a smoker, a diabetic that smokes is really asking for a death sentence and continuing to eat like that, she may be facing a death sentence, but that`s her choice.

ROCKENWAGNER: This is her opportunity now.

PINSKY: She can turn it around.


PINSKY: But here`s the deal. If Paula Deen starts advocating tofu and sprouts, that`s the end of Paula Deen. That`s not her brand anymore. That`s taking that brand out of the --

ROCKENWAGNER: I think it`s a cultural thing also. She`s from the south. I`m from south of Germany, but it`s a lifestyle.

PINSKY: That`s right. Should we say that lifestyle must end? Is that our job?

ROCKENWAGNER: No, it doesn`t have to end. We need to make a, A, moderation.


ROCKENWAGNER: And B, we need to make --

PINSKY: But that`s up to guys like us. That`s the doctors that have to advocate that. And let me ask Dr. Releford another thing. Isn`t it more disturbing thing? This is the part that really is unsavory. Tell me if you feel the same way is that, she decided to come out when she became a Novartis -- was it Novartis, right? Is that control --

RELEFORD: Novo-Nordisk.

PINSKY: Novo-Nordisk. OK. It became a spokesperson for them.


PINSKY: Now, I`m going to tell you about my diabetes.

RELEFORD: Seventy-two months later, I think that, once again, this is a missed opportunity. Had she come out sooner, it would have been a lot more genuine and sincere, and she would have been able to really galvanize an entire country behind this whole thing of diabetes. You look at all of that butter, you talk about weapons of mass destruction I think as more people that that died from heart attacks and strokes than any bomb that`s been dropped anywhere.

PINSKY: Look at this, now, Paula Deen made some headlines in August after exchanging words with Anthony Bourdain who called her the worst, most dangerous person in America. Now, after learning of the type 2 diagnosis, type 2 diabetes, and the partnership between she and the drug company, Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain resumed his criticism by tweeting the following.

This is rather an interesting tweet. "Thinking of getting into the leg breaking business so I can profitably sell crutches later." Think about that. Now, again, I don`t necessarily agree with Anthony, but very thought provoking, well said, sir. So, Hans, should a fellow chef like Bourdain be so critical?

ROCKENWAGNER: We all need to take a step back here and reevaluate our lifestyle and check things out. Look, I`m a professional chef. OK. I`m not a doctor.


ROCKENWAGNER: So, after 20 years of tasting food, I notice I gained 30 pounds. I need to do something, you know?

PINSKY: I don`t know how you guys don`t gain 100 pounds.

ROCKENWAGNER: Oh, we taste constantly. We never sit down for a meal. It`s all, we eat standing.

PINSKY: Not healthy.

ROCKENWAGNER: We taste a spoon of this, a spoon of this.

PINSKY: They shouldn`t be listening to you any more. You don`t live a healthy lifestyle.

ROCKENWAGNER: OK, well, I`m doing OK.

PINSKY: No, but I think this is -- listen, Paula, thank you for raising this conversation, if nothing else. I think it`s an opportunity for all of us to talk about a disease that is common, that`s afflicting many people. It is dangerous. It`s serious deal. It`s a --

RELEFORD: It is preventable.

PINSKY: It`s preventable, and it, again, and goes hand in hand with our obesity epidemics that we must deal with. We got to eat healthier, live healthier. Eat less, move more and eat better kinds of food. And you can eat the Paula Deen stuff once in a great while. I don`t know if I want Paula Deen to vanish. I`m not sure. I don`t think so.

But anyway, we got to go and take a break. Thank you Hans, and Dr. Releford, you stay with me.

Next, more than 25 million suffer from diabetes, seven million of them are undiagnosed. Could you be one of them? We`ll talk more about the risk, danger, causes, sources, how diabetes affect you. It`s important information you want to hear. Don`t go away.


PINSKY: Earlier this week, TV cook, Paula Deen, revealed she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Now, remember, there`s type 1 and there`s type 2. And type 1 is the insulin dependent, juvenile used to be called. Type 2 is what we`re seeing the epidemic of now in this country because of obesity.

I want to remind people, I`m an internist. I spent 20 years practicing general medicine. So, diabetes was something I have dealt with on a daily basis. Now, it`s basically something that`s caused by a problem in the way your body uses insulin. It`s a resistant to insulin. Insulin is needed to move blood sugar or glucose into the cells where it can be used for energy. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs slowly over time.

Most people with the disease are overweight. Family history and genes do play quite a role. Low activity, poor diet, excess body weight, and metabolic syndrome, something I have, which is high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, you tend to put your weight around the middle. That tends to be associated with insulin resistance.

And that means you could be in pre-diabetic state, something you should check with your doctor about during that pre-diabetic state. Something that Paula didn`t talk about, and we`re talking about. You should be doing something aggressively about your diet and activity, wouldn`t you say?

RELEFORD: I would say so, 100 percent. I think during that 72-month period, she was in the state of what I called deny-a betes.

PINSKY: Yes. You`re right.

RELEFORD: She knew she had it, but she continued to perpetuate this whole lifestyle of, I`m going to eat what I want, do what I want.


RELEFORD: Even perpetuated on television. Television has a way of validating certain things to the listening audience. If it`s on television, it must be OK and must be safe.


RELEFORD: Even if something is dangerous as, you know, four pounds of butter.


RELEFORD: You know? And I call that, you know, that`s another weapon of mass destruction that we need to talk about and deal with. But when you talk about all of the amputations --

PINSKY: Well, let`s talk about that. So, the way the blood sugar as it accumulates in the system does it (ph) damages causes -- we call it vasculopathy, which is basically a breakdown of the small blood vessels. So, oxygen and nutrients can`t get to the tissue, so you get the kind of breakdown that leads to gangrene and amputation.

RELEFORD: Exactly. And so, people should understand that gangrene of the brain is a stroke.

PINSKY: That`s right. Gangrene of the heart is a heart attack.

RELEFORD: Exactly.

PINSKY: Gangrene of the kidneys is kidney failure. Gangrene of the foot is what you`re dealing with.

RELEFORD: So, the beautiful thing about what I do, I can actually show people what gangrene looks like on a toe, but you can`t really show that in a brain. I can see it developing.

PINSKY: You and I can see it.

RELEFORD: You can see that. But what happens is, everything is OK until something goes wrong. We have millions of people out there that are in a state of deny-abetes.

PINSKY: Especially denials are ethnic groups because of their culture and because the kind of eating, and maybe don`t trust their doctors or something.

RELEFORD: Well, trust is an issue, and of course, socioeconomic factors.

PINSKY: Right. Good food is more expensive, too.

RELEFORD: Well, I think that`s a myth.


RELEFORD: I think that`s a myth that good food is more expensive. You can take --

PINSKY: Let me play devil`s advocate again. People that are socioeconomically distressed are working very hard. I mean, they don`t have time to go out there and select the food and do the things --

RELEFORD: The neighborhoods are food deserts and they don`t have the foods, access to --


RELEFORD: Those are environmental issues and issues that need to be dealt with.

PINSKY: Let`s call it out to the people at home. We got about 10 seconds. Tell them how serious this is and that they must pay attention.

RELEFORD: Diabetes is, perhaps, the number one, I would say --

PINSKY: Preventable.

RELEFORD: Preventable disease that we have in this country. We`re trying to get everybody into insurance plans and things like that. All we`re going to do is take care of more sick people. We need to prevent this disease.

PINSKY: I got to go. Well said. Got to go. Goodnight. Nancy Grace is next.