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Iran Helps Drive Up Cost of Oil; Inside Syria; George Huguely's Fate Goes to Jury; Interview with Ex-NBA Star Chris Herren; Race And the Jeremy Lin Hype; Inside Syrian Opposition
Aired February 20, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR; Here we go, top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin. A couple stories we're working for you.
First, this Arizona sheriff is denying claims that he has threatened to deport his ex-boyfriend.
Also, blizzard warnings are up in parts of the United States, and there is a strict Mardi Gras curfew for some people. Time to play reporter roulette.
I want to begin with Miguel Marquez in Florence, Arizona where this prominent sheriff has resigned from his role in the Romney campaign there. This is after being outed and accused of threatening his ex-boyfriend with deportation.
Miguel, you spoke with this ex of Sheriff Babeu. What did he say?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is one of those stories that if it didn't happen, you wouldn't believe it was true.
He says that there was a three-year relationship with Sheriff Babeu, that he, Jose, this guy that doesn't want to be identified -- he's a Mexican national who is here he says legally -- there's a three-year relationship between he and Sheriff Babeu and that he fell in love with the sheriff. The sheriff didn't reciprocate that love, and things went from bad to worse until they got to sort of the really bad phase where the sheriff claimed that Jose was -- hacked into his Twitter account. Jose says the sheriff threatened to throw him out of the country.
BALDWIN: Guys, do have sound? Anyone? No.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you think he was trying to make you leave the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe. He just, what I think he just want me to keep me as far as, so I don't say anything about him or about his behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUEZ: Now, Jose points to text messages and phone calls to his lawyer as evidence of that. It's hard to tell exactly what the sheriff meant in some of these messages, but Jose read them as a threat, went to a lawyer, and here we are today.
BALDWIN: Going back, Miguel, just quickly, how did the two of them meet?
MARQUEZ: They met on a Web site, Gay.com, back in 2006. And interestingly enough, the very first photo Jose says the sheriff sent him, at that time, he was a police officer, sent to him was a photo of him and John McCain, which Jose, at the time, said he had no idea who Senator John McCain was. He does now.
BALDWIN: Miguel, yes. Thank you very much for us there in Arizona.
A quick reminder. Wolf Blitzer has landed a huge interview coming up in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Sheriff Babeu is going to respond to all of these allegations, some of which Miguel just outlined for you. That is today 5:00 Eastern right here on CNN in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Most definitely stick around for that.
BALDWIN: Next on "Reporter Roulette" here, Ed Lavandera in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras festivities are in full swing, but there's one big change here this year, a curfew for teenagers.
Is this just in place for Mardi Gras, Ed?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, it's going to be in place long after Mardi Gras is over, but it was kind of a dramatic change to the curfew rule.
This only applies to the French Quarter area of New Orleans, obviously most of the festivities kind of go on during this Mardi Gras season. Anyone under the age of 16 not allowed to be out in the French Quarter alone if you're under the age of 16 after 8:00 at night. This pushes up that curfew.
When it was first proposed back in January, it was slightly controversial. We spent the weekend walking the streets of the Quarter watch police officers in force. Obviously one of the big things they crack down on is underage drinking as well.
But of the -- a little more than 800 arrests so far in this Mardi Gras season in that French Quarter area, Mardi Gras-related arrests. Almost 200 of them have been curfew related. So quite stunning to think that so many young kids are out there walking the Quarter at night and considering just all the different kinds of things you can see. But families we spoke with say they welcome it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAVANDERA: You think this is a good place for kids to be after 8:00 at night?
MARIA MUNOZ SILVA, MOTHER: No, not down there.
LAVANDERA: Why not?
SILVA: Crowds get rowdy, things they shouldn't see.
LAVANDERA: Don't tell them that. Whisper that to me, will you?
SILVA: We hide his eyes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Very funny, Ed Lavandera.
LAVANDERA: Most of those parents we talk to are going to have a really hard time grasping the fact what kind of parents would let their 13 or 14-year-old roam the streets of the French Quarter during this time of year or any time of year considering all the insanity you see down there.
BALDWIN: But if I'm hearing you correctly, still, if you're 16 or younger and it's after 8:00 p.m., you can still be out, you just have to be with mom and dad.
LAVANDERA: Yes, I'm sorry. You can be with your parents, and if you have a job or there is some other reason you need to be down there, police say that's obviously one of the things they will let you slide on as well. But if you're just out there, a 14-year-old, hanging out with a couple friends and roaming the streets of the Quarter, the police are going to be looking for you.
BALDWIN: Not that you would know anything about shenanigans in the French Quarter, Ed Lavandera, I'm sure.
LAVANDERA: Got to get out of here.
BALDWIN: Thank you so much.
That's your "Reporter Roulette" here on this Monday.
Coming up, the Red Cross gets involved in the uprising in Syria. Find out why coming up.
Also, Elizabeth Smart, the young woman who was kidnapped and held for years, got married over the weekend. We're going to tell you where she wed, next.
BALDWIN: If it's interesting and happening right now, you're about to see it. "Rapid Fire." Let's go.
Beginning with Syria. The Red Cross is now trying to the set up a cease-fire between Syria's government and opposition forces just to try to get to aid to the people there. In the meantime, a top military adviser to President Obama said it would be premature for the U.S. to help arm the opposition since it doesn't appear unified. And CNN's Ivan Watson reports that many Syrians are desperate for outside intervention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He calls Syria's 11-month-old uprising the "Orphan Revolution," because unlike the revolts in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, he says, the Syrian rebels haven't received any foreign support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: A monitoring group reports at least 18 people have been killed today, almost 9,000 since last march.
If you're in Virginia, you may want to stay off the roads because of scenes just like this one here. State police have responded to just about a thousand car crashes just in the last 24 hours. Snow late Sunday left commuters facing slick and icy roads this morning.
And check out Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's poll numbers. He is up almost 10 percent in just the last week. This is according to the latest Gallup poll. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both fell in the poll over the last week. Ron Paul is in last place.
The surgeon who helped get Adele's voice back says he hopes the singer's ordeal helps other people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. STEVE ZEITELS, SURGEON: The surgery went beautifully. I think she demonstrated that pretty well, but it was a very special moment. The Grammy Foundation invited my wife and I to attend. It's been an incredibly influential case to raise awareness throughout the world about laryngology or laryngeal surgery and human voice and its importance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: A little over a week ago, Adele won six Grammys and she did giver her doctor a shout-out.
Elizabeth Smart is now a married woman? Remember the story? She was just a teenager. She was snatched right out of her bedroom in her Utah home, held captive for months. That's all a thing of the past. This weekend she tied the knot in a private ceremony in Hawaii.
Today is the golden anniversary of America's first orbit of Earth -- 50 years ago, astronaut John Glenn made the historic journey around our planet, and he says he remembers it like it was yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GLENN, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: I guess I have recalled it quite often over the past 50 years and that's kept it fresh, but it was such an impressive thing at the time that it's indelibly imprinted on my memory, and I can recall those days very, very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The mission paved the way for more space exploration, including the moon landing just seven years later.
Iran stops exporting oil to both Britain and France and it sends oil prices through the roof. Richard Quest is standing by for me live from London. He has the whys and the hows next.
BALDWIN: I know you have heard us. We caution viewers before air video that it might cause discomfort. Consider yourself warned because I'm about to show you a gas pump, ladies and gentlemen, a gas pump in Dallas, Texas. They are charging $4.19 for regular, $4.29 for plus, $4.39 for high test. It is getting ugly, folks.
Nationwide, the price of gas is up 5 percent in just the past week and 12 percent from one year ago.
Richard Quest, CNN Money, joining us live from London.
The experts here, they're tying what's happening here in America at least in part to what we have been watching, what we're seeing happening now in Iran. Connect the dots for me.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, very simple.
If Iranian actions in the Straits of Hormuz threaten to make the situation worse by either preventing or stopping the supply of oil, straightforward supply and demand, that will push up the price of crude oil which pushes up the price of gasoline at the pump. So we have already had, Brooke, Iran saying it will stop supplying the U.K. and France, which frankly don't buy much Iranian, if any, but we have sanctions from the Europeans coming along, we have a worsening situation, so in that environment, you're going to get rising prices.
And there is one other thing to factor into this.
BALDWIN: What's that?
QUEST: Well, the U.S. economy is growing faster. That is a double-edged sword. Great for people looking for jobs, great for people who have been out of work, but if U.S. industry starts using more energy, the price will go up. You start to see how this -- go on.
(CROSSTALK) BALDWIN: So you're saying that if we're, you know, singing the hallelujah chorus because we're finally seeing the economy pick up a little bit when you look at some of these numbers, you're saying if we're then producing more energy, that then makes the price of oil go up.
QUEST: Yes, basically. The demand goes up in China, India and Brazil. And now the United States, picking up steam, has a greater demand for energy, and therefore, energy prices will rise. It's a complicated scenario.
On the plus side, though, to bear in mind, according to the latest information from the EIA, the Energy Information Association in the U.S., the U.S. has never had more rigs producing domestic supply. It's expected to hit six million-plus barrels a day by 2025.
So questions of peak oil are now put to one side. It is a very much gas -- I was going to say glass half full, glass half empty, but you may say gas tank half full, gas tank half empty, and it depends on which side of the pump you are.
BALDWIN: Very funny, Richard Quest.
But here's a little something I want to throw at you. This took us by surprise. Talk about drill, baby, drill. One of the oil publications, it's reporting that the number of active drilling rigs, you know, on U.S. soil in the Gulf of Mexico has quadrupled in the past three years. They have discovered all these new reserves, parts of Texas, you see on the map, Texas, North Dakota. Obviously they're going after the stuff.
One expert is quoted as saying that at the rate we're going now, the U.S. could achieve energy independence in one decade. Do you believe it?
QUEST: Yes, and there's a bridge that I will happily sell you over the River Thames, which I can ship. Yes, and if we look at the numbers, that just does not make sense.
QUEST: Well, the reason it doesn't make sense is because the U.S. energy demands are so high. It's in the tens of millions of barrels a day, far more than is necessary, and therefore, they're not going to be able to manage to just deal with that in one fell swoop.
No, what's happening is more licenses, deeper drilling, new production methods, shale and fracking, which, of course, all means greater production. And that has raised the ability to get oil and gas out of the ground. That is what you're seeing in this.
But unless the U.S. starts to work on the other side of the equation, and that is consumption, and I know -- I can hear some of your viewers starting to froth at the mouth as I say about this, but unless they deal with that, all that happens is that production just gets used up and the prices stay high.
BALDWIN: Yes. We are a bit of a consumer nation, aren't we, Richard Quest, CNN International? Thank you, good sir. Appreciate it.
So many times over, the last year it seems we have asked this precise question on CNN: Who is this opposition? CNN's Ivan Watson went inside Syria to learn more about the rebels, villagers with hunting weapons in some cases, many of them very much so afraid to show their own faces -- next.
BALDWIN: The Red Cross is trying to do something the world has not been able to do, that being negotiate a cease-fire in Syria, all of this in order to get food and medical supplies into this country where 18 people were killed alone today. This is all according to this monitoring group which also says nearly 9,000 Syrians have been killed since the revolt against the government began last March.
Now, CNN cannot confirm these numbers or the authenticity of the video you're looking at here. Still, the top military adviser to President Obama says there is no plan to get weapons into the hands of opposition forces.
And that is in line with what CNN's Ivan Watson has been hearing. He is in Syria among those fighting to overthrow their government.
WATSON (voice-over): Meet Syria's armed opposition, a handful of men on a hillside led in prayer by a masked cleric. "God grant us victory over the sinners," he chants. "Make us victorious over the family of Assad." Bravery against a 40-year dictatorship from fighters who are little more than boys.
(on camera): This is a rebellion of farmers, carpenters and university students. The men here describe themselves as members of the Free Syrian Army, but it would be much more accurate to call them an impromptu village guard. Many of them are defending these olive groves that surround their community with little more than hunting shotguns.
(voice-over): The men guarding the entrance to this opposition- held town don't have enough guns or ammunition. The commander is a former Syrian army general who defected six months ago. Like many of his fighters, he covers his face for safety. He calls Syria's 11- month- old uprising the "Orphan Revolution," because unlike the revolts in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, he says, the Syrian rebels haven't received any foreign support.
With no outside help, the men of this community turn to a higher power: Friday prayers in a packed mosque in the rebel-held town of Binnish. Condolences for a man killed by a sniper's bullet in the nearby city of Idlib turn into a full-throated war of "Allahu Akbar!" -- "God is great!"
The town marches into the town square and performs a weekly ritual of defiance against Bashar al-Assad. There's no Syrian government presence in this town, but Assad's tanks are never far away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they are one kilometer far away from here.
WATSON (on camera): The Syrian army?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the Syrian army.
WATSON: Will you fight if the Syrian army comes here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we will. Because we were for 10 months, was peaceful, but now there is no other solution.
WATSON: You have to fight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have to fight.
WATSON (voice-over): Not everyone shares this spirit of defiance. Abid al Menam (ph) spends his days taking care of the flock of pigeons he breeds on his roof." These are hard times for the whole country," he says. "It's too dangerous to travel outside of town because you don't know who you could meet on the open road. And if you leave, you may never come back."
Trapped at home while his birds fly free, Menam (ph) waits for what many here fear is inevitable, a Syrian civil war.
Ivan Watson, CNN, in Northern Syria.
BALDWIN: Ivan, thank you.
Coming up: Closing arguments are over. Now George Huguely, accused of brutally killing his ex-girlfriend, waits to hear his fate. We're going to tell you what his defense had to say.
Also, this 19-year-old mother and her 1-year-old daughter found dead on the streets of Cleveland -- details on what police could have done to prevent this tragedy. We're "On the Case" next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we started designing the $100 laptop, we were just looking at, how do you protect the keyboard and the screen? How do children sort of carry it around?
We set aside between 10 and 30 percent of our work hours towards those kind of projects. I can't tell you that that's just what made business sense every month, but I can tell you that's what make human sense every month.
BALDWIN: Closing arguments have now wrapped in the case of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player accused of murdering his ex- girlfriend in this drunken, jealous rage. Prosecutors say George Huguely beat Yeardley Love to death back in May of 2010. Love was also a lacrosse player, had a bright future ahead of her.
And after two weeks of intense testimony, the jury is expected to start deliberating on Wednesday.
And criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson is on the case with me today.
And, Judy, let's start with the defense, their tactic. They're saying Huguely never intended to kill her. The relationship, though, had a history of violence. What does that mean?
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sure. What happens, Brooke, is that the defense has to establish this was not malice. This had nothing to do with intent, this was about passion. It was about jealousy.
And therefore, what they're trying to do, Brooke, is say if they can negate the element of intentional murder, that brings it down to more reasonable like voluntary manslaughter or even involuntary manslaughter, which is a distinction between 10 years and life in jail without parole. Huge distinction.
BALDWIN: Wait, and the prosecution, they want him to get life.
JACKSON: Oh, yes.
BALDWIN: The lead prosecutor very emotional, breaking down into tears during closing arguments. They're also arguing for a possible felony murder conviction because he allegedly stole her laptop?
JACKSON: Exactly. So what happens is that the jury has a lot to consider. Like what? They have a first-degree murder charge showing malice, showing intent, showing premeditation, but also felony murder. They can also come back with second-degree murder, right, where you don't need the actual malice, you don't need premeditation. Or they can drop down to what I talk about before.
As it relates to felony murder, Brooke, what they're attempting to do, that is the prosecution, is say, look, he went in there to burglarize, he intended to steal something, that being the laptop. If they can demonstrate that in a commission of that felony, which is the taking of the laptop, which was valued at over $250, that constitutes a felony. And in a commission of a felony, someone dies, it's felony murder, hence, first degree murder, hence, life in imprisonment. That's what the prosecution is attempting to establish here, Brooke.
BALDWIN: The defense, they're trying to refute the coroner's report that she died of blunt force trauma. There's even been this theory put forth that she suffocated herself by turning her face down into her pillow.
JACKSON: Yes. That also goes to the issue of whether or not there could have been intent. From the prosecution perspective, what did they say? What happened is their experts said that it was blunt force trauma. That would be indicative of someone intentionally hitting you over the head and as a result, causing your death.
Now, the defense saying, no, no. Our expert says, that there wasn't sufficiently trauma to the brain. Why? When we analyze it, there was no bleeding. And therefore, because she couldn't move, she suffocated in the pillow. He contributed to her death but he certainly didn't cause it.
Again, they're attacking, Brooke -- attack, attack, attack -- the element of intent. If they can get the jury away from thinking it was intentional or that his acts constituted intent, but yet they were somewhat maybe negligent, that is that he did kill her but he failed to perceive the risk, he didn't mean to do, it was an accident, it changes the whole equation.
And remember here, Brooke, the win for the defense team here is to get a conviction -- right, sounds crazy to say -- but of voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. If they do that, it's a big win because it saves his life -- 10 years or life imprisonment. Huge difference.
BALDWIN: Huge difference.
The defense, though, couple of setbacks. One of their key witnesses, we're hearing, was barred from testifying. One attorney was sick, missed an important cross-examination. Does that -- how much would that affect the case?
JACKSON: Well, in terms of the actual witness, if a judge instructs not to communicate with witnesses -- although this was an expert witness, usually what happens throughout the court of a trial, Brooke, is that you don't want any other witness who has yet to testify, to learn about testimony that someone else has testified to already. Why? It colors what they have to say. You want a witness going on the stand not having any knowledge of what happened previously.
And in this case, there were e-mails sent to expert witnesses as to prior testimony. Big no-no. As a result, they closed the courtroom, had a big hearing about the matter, and there was limitation as to what that scientific expert could testify to. So, that's the problem, and could have affected what the defense was trying to do here.
In terms of the defense attorney getting sick, it happens. And so, I don't see that as, you know, a tremendous setback.
BALDWIN: Not a huge deal.
OK. As you mentioned, you know, the case is in the hands of the jury. We'll be following it and see where we goes -- thinking about the parents that can't help it.
Speaking of parents, I want to ask you about this mother, was tried a case out of Cleveland, Ohio, this 19-year-old mom, her 1-year- old daughter. They were kidnapped at gunpoint while going for a walk. They had now been found dead. And the alleged abductor was this little girl's father, the mother's estranged boyfriend, Thomas Lorde.
Police say he apparently committed suicide. Their bodies were found in an empty building. You know, we found out had warrants for his arrest in New York.
So, how hard is it for law enforcement to track someone like this person down? Could this have been prevented?
JACKSON: You know what, Brooke? It potentially could have been. It's a horrible scenario. When the person has, you know, horrific intent on their mind, as this person did, apparently, the younger brother was there, not his, but his girlfriend's, and he pointed a gun at the child and said, hey, you run. The kid was courageous enough to call 911 when he got home.
JACKSON: So, whenever there's a someone with a warrant out there, I mean, certainly, the police, there's a warrant squad, they attempt to capture the person. And, of course, if he were in police custody, he wouldn't be out there able to, you know, engage in this horrific act of killing her, killing the 1-year-old and killing himself.
And so, therefore, I know law enforcement does its best with strained resources, and it's very difficult scenario. But, unfortunately, he was not in custody, he was out, and that resulted in this tragedy happening.
BALDWIN: So, so sad. Joey Jackson on the case. Joey, thank you so much.
JACKSON: Pleasure, Brooke.
BALDWIN: How do addicts pull the wool over the eyes of their loved ones? I'm going to ask that question, a lot this week, as CNN is going in depth on addiction. But coming up next, a former NBA star had it all, lost it. How did he bounce back? Chris Herren live next.
BALDWIN: While it's still unclear what caused her death, Whitney Houston's life is a clear case of talent, of triumph and a fall from substance abuse. And all week this week, CNN is going to go in depth on the problem of addiction in America.
And today, we're going to introduce you to the man who calls himself the basketball junkie. In fact, take a look. That's a cover and title of Chris Herren's memoir. It's not about his love of the game but his need to get high while playing in the NBA. Herren was a rise starring.
But the Massachusetts kid lost it all because of his addiction. In fact, ESPN recently aired this incredible documentary about him just last November.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HERREN, EX-NBA STAR: That day, I sat down with those girls and decided to do my first line of cocaine at 18 years old. It opened doors for me that I was not able to close for the next 15 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And I want to welcome Chris Herren live from Providence.
Chris, I saw the documentary. It's a pretty stunning story you have. But I want to just begin with this -- you've said yourself, and I'm quoting you here: truth is, I should be dead.
So why are you alive today?
HERREN: Well, by the grace of God, I believe, and 12 steps in my recovery program, you know? And if it wasn't for people extending their hand and offering me treatment and staying in treatment, I probably wouldn't be here today.
BALDWIN: You were a superstar in high school, Fall River, Massachusetts. You go on to be recruited from powerhouse teams. You know, you're a Massachusetts guy, so you go to Boston College. You walk in the dorm room 18 years of age, see a roommate, girls, chopping up lines of cocaine.
What happened next?
HERREN: You know, I was ready to walk out, and at the last second I turned around and changed my mind. And it was a vulnerable moment that I think a lot of kids face, and I just wasn't ready to stand up and say no. And I jumped into it thinking, I'll do this once. I'll do this once and I'll never do it again.
And, you know, obviously, by the intro of the film, it was 14 years later when I was able to walk away.
BALDWIN: You ultimately transferred to Fresno State, you go on to play for the Nuggets, the Celtics, which I imagine was your dream, being from Massachusetts. But your addiction got so bad that you stood out in the rain in your Celtics uniform outside Boston Garden, waiting for a dealer.
What do you remember about that moment?
HERREN: It was just another normal day for the life of an addict, you know? You say that to someone who struggled with addiction, they would say, perfectly normal. You say that to somebody who hasn't, they'd say you're absolutely out of your mind.
You know, I couldn't play without that in my system. That's how bad it got. The opiates, I was totally dependent on it. Without them in my system, I could not function and play basketball.
BALDWIN: How did the NCAA and NBA handle all this?
HERREN: You know, I wasn't in the NBA long enough. I was there with the Celtics. I had gotten injured.
When I first went in with the Nuggets, I was under probation because of the public record of me struggling with substance abuse in college. The NBA did everything they possibly could with me that rookie season. Once I moved over to Boston, I was kind of on my own and I was injured which pretty much ended my season. So I kind of flew under the radar.
BALDWIN: You -- speaking of under the radar, I want to ask you about who was involved. But you describe in your book and also in the documentary about how, you know, you fooled a lot of people. That you lied to a lot of people, even your own wife, Chris Herren, didn't know the extent of your addiction.
So, how did you pull it off for so long?
HERREN: You know, addiction and alcoholism, it's cunning, baffling and powerful, and it leads you to do many, many things. You know, you lie, you cheat, you steal in order to keep maintaining one day at a time in that lifestyle.
I really wasn't -- you know, people say rock bottom, every day is a rock bottom in that world, and, you know, it's -- once I ran out of money, you know, money was a crutch for me. Once I ran out of money, then I realized how tough of a world drug addiction was because I was on the streets.
BALDWIN: Talk about the one day your wife, you know, gives birth to your son. You were in rehab, you come out and you relapse the very day you have your first -- your child.
HERREN: Yes, it was my third child.
BALDWIN: Your third child. Forgive me.
HERREN: Yes. No, it's OK.
I came home against the advice of counselors, and I thought I could handle it. And 30 days sober, I was not emotionally equipped to come home, deal with that moment and stay sober. I relapsed, you know?
But the one thing I'd like to say is that, you know, those were the worst days of my life at one point. You know, being found dead, overdosed in the side of the road, going home for the birth of my son and relapsing. But through recovery, I've been able to look at those moments as miracles because it catapulted me into this world I'm living in today one day at a time.
BALDWIN: What clicked? How did you turn it around?
HERREN: You know, I was given the gift of treatment, and treatment works. And unfortunately, nowadays, in this society we live in, you know, drug addicts and alcoholics are given maybe 10 days to fix an illness. And that's not enough.
I was -- I had the blessing to stay in treatment for six to nine months, you know? And, you know, when you run the streets for 10 years, you can't fix a problem in 10 days. I think -- you know, I think that's a big part of this problem in today's day and age.
BALDWIN: So, as part of this solution, I know messaging because you're on a plane every day lately talking to kids and athletes and soldiers. And you say you've been to hell.
How do you inspire others to come out of their own?
HERREN: You know, just one day at a time. You know, you need to forgive yourself, you need to move forward, you need to let go of the past. You know, you cannot continuously beat yourself up.
I've been given an amazing blessing through sobriety and through recovery, and if I can get out in front of one kid to not go down that path, what can be better? And that's why I do it, and that's why I get out in front of high schools and college kids and athletes and treatment centers.
And, you know, it's just -- it's a blessing. It's a blessing and I don't want anybody to go down the path that I had to go down.
BALDWIN: Chris Herren, it is a pleasure to meet you. I really appreciate you coming on. Let's just let everyone know if you want to know more about Chris and his work, you can take a look at the Herren Project on line, and we'll definitely put this entire interview in the link to the Herren Project on my blog, CNN.com/Brooke.
Chris, thank you.
HERREN: Thank you.
BALDWIN: And tomorrow, Jennifer Gimenez from "Celebrity Rehab" and "Sober House". Maybe you've seen here in the "Real Housewives" series as well. We're going to talk to her about the pull of alcohol when it comes to addiction.
Be right back.
BALDWIN: He is the Arizona sheriff at the center of a media frenzy, denying claims that he threatened to deport his ex-boyfriend. Coming up, Sheriff Babeu talks to Wolf Blitzer live in "THE SITUATION ROOM".
Let me bring Wolf in for a little preview.
I imagine you're going to ask him to respond to all of these allegations.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S THE SITUATION ROOM: We're going to go through those questions. Certainly, it's a fascinating story right here in Arizona, Brooke. We're here in Mesa, Arizona, is getting ready for Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate. As you know, it's a beautiful, beautiful day.
The sheriff is going to be coming over here. We'll talk about what's going on. He's still seeking election. He wants to get the Republican nomination for a congressional seat right here in Arizona. So, we'll talk about what's happened over the weekend, lots to discuss with him.
We're also going to speak this coming hour, the 4:00 p.m. Eastern hour, with John McCain and Lindsey Graham. They're both in Cairo, Egypt, right now. Lots to discuss with them as well, including what's happening in Egypt.
As you know, they won't let 18 Americans -- 18 or 19 Americans leave the country for supporting democracy. This is a country that receives $1.3 billion in U.S. aid every year, but they're holding these Americans. We'll talk about that.
We'll talk about what's going on in Syria. Both of these senders think it's time to start arming those Syrian rebels.
Also, how close is Israel to going ahead and launching some sort of pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities? Both Lindsey Graham and John McCain have strong views on that.
So we got a lot coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM" and we're in Mesa, Arizona. Brook, you should be here in Arizona.
BALDWIN: I know. Mark Preston already e-mailed me. He said you're in Florida, you should be in Arizona. But you're there. So, I'll just talk to Arizona.
BLITZER: It's happening, it's happening right now.
BALDWIN: I know, what a day to come back from --
BLITZER: Arizona is the place to be right now.
BALDWIN: To come from vacation you got a powerhouse show, sir. So, we look forward to it in a matter of minutes. We will see you, Wolf Blitzer. Thank you very much.
Coming up, though, here -- a controversial headline about the New York Knicks superstar, Jeremy Lin, gets an ESPN employee fired. It has everybody talking.
So, we have to ask the question: do we treat Asian-American stereotypes differently than others? My next guest says absolutely. That conversation, minutes away.
BALDWIN: Oh, what to make of Jeremy Lin. His game is certainly dazzling. No one has a problem describing that.
But his background? Well, that has caused several gaffes already. The latest being this ESPN writer using a racial slur in a headline that read, quote, "chink in the armor" after Lin's team, the Knicks, lost to New Orleans.
And the headline was up and it was up for 35 minutes in the middle of the night. ESPN did take it down. The writer has been fired and an anchor has been suspended for saying this specific phrase on air.
And Jeremy Lin, as well, has moved on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY LIN, POINT GUARD, NEW YORK KNICKS: I don't think it was, you know, on purpose or whatever. But, you know, at the same time, they apologized. So, from my end, I don't care any more. I have to learn to forgive and I don't even think that was intentional -- or hopefully not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So, he says he doesn't care anymore. "Saturday Night Live" cared enough to do this ask it this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's unstoppable, he's like that sign said at Wednesday's game, Lin is the Knicks's good fortune.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's sweet, not sour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He turned Kobe into Kobe beef.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Kobe is like, hey, I ordered fried chicken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Joining me now is freelance sportscaster Rick Quan.
And, Rick, you wrote this opinion piece, (INAUDIBLE) already. Your headline is "Is the Linsanity hype caused by race?"
So, here's the why. Why do you these gaffes, these slurs are happening in this particular story?
RICK QUAN, FREELANCE SPORTSCASTER: Well, I think because Jeremy is a one-of-a-kind athlete. We've never had a Chinese-American perform at this type of level. So, he's going to draw a lot of attention and not just because of his talent. He's an Asian-American who's a real pioneer here and that's why all these comments have been coming out.
BALDWIN: Now, back to this ESPN gaffe, the headline writer told "The New York Daily News" it wasn't intended. He used the phrase many times before. That said, do you think that there's a double standard when it comes to racial slurs?
I mean, we talk about this this morning. I mean, no editor ever would use, say, the "N" word in a headline, never.
QUAN: Right. You know, as they said in "Saturday Night Live" skit show, it is a bit of a double standard. You can make fun of Asian-Americans but you can't make fun of black Americans.
And I think part of it is unfortunately there's a stereotype that Asian Americans are very passive and that they won't retaliate. They'll bite their tongue and not say anything and just kind of suffer through it, while the African-American community has enough strength and enough political clout, enough power to retaliate. And that's something that I think the Asian-Americans in the country lack.
They don't have one spokesperson to take a stand like a Jesse Jackson or even an Al Sharpton, someone who can say, hey, this is wrong, this is not the way we should be spoken of.
BALDWIN: Do you think the storylines surrounding Jeremy Lin will help, at least, slow that?
QUAN: I think so. You know, the whole incident with the ESPN headline becomes what you can call it a "teachable moment." The person who wrote the headline said he was not aware that this was offensive. Maybe, unfortunately, he was fired because of this, but it provides a chance for the media to be educated about what is offensive.
And growing up as a Chinese-American, the word, the "C" word, you might say, I've heard it. And it was -- it's probably the most hurtful word you can use toward a Chinese-American. Similar to how the "N" word is used toward African-Americans.
BALDWIN: So right about this is part of your piece but I just wanted to get to the part at the end where you also make this point. You said Lin has also struck a cord among Asian-American men. I've heard many negative stereotypes over the years. You say weren't tall enough, sexy enough, strong enough, or good looking enough, but you ultimately make the point that he gives Asian-American men a sense of pride. How so?
QUAN: Oh, certainly so. I mean, we haven't had somebody like this since Bruce Lee back in the '70s, that we had an Asian male that we can rally around. I mean, there are so many negative stereotypes you see in the media these days, everything from the Han character on "Two Broke Girls" which is just so insulting. To the "Sixteen Candles" movie, Long Duk Dong, that character. Even the character in -- can't think of the movie, "The Hangover," the Kim Jeoung character.
All those things -- I mean, they just portray the Asian male as being a sexual weak, short just, nothing like Jeremy Lin who is 6'3", 200 pounds and can play basketball with the best in the world. So, it's so refreshing to see an Asian-American role model perform on the court like this.
BALDWIN: Let me ask you this, because you know, we played the sound from Jeremy Lin, after what happened over the weekend, on the headline with ESPN, he said, I don't care. It's fine. No big deal.
Do you wish he took a stronger stance and said, no, this isn't OK, and here's why?
QUAN: No. I think he's taken the higher road.
QUAN: As he mentioned, the writer has apologized. He's letting it go. I think Jeremy did the write thing. I think ESPN did the appropriate action in firing the headline writer and suspending the sportscaster who used the term as well. So, I think Jeremy is doing the right thing in letting it go.
BALDWIN: Bottom line, the biggest take-away from the "Lnsanity," sir?
QUAN: Again, it's just a source of pride for the not just the Asian-Americans but Asians across the world, and even, the non-Asians, to see an underdog do so well when given the opportunity that -- with hard work, just about anything is possible.
BALDWIN: Rick Quan, thank you so much. And just to remind everyone, you can read much more from America on our "In America" blog. Just go to CNN.com/inAmerica.
And that does it for me here at the world headquarters in Atlanta. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Now, on the road, just a couple of days ahead before a big, big CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona -- Wolf Blitzer and "THE SITUATION ROOM" starts right now.