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The Trayvon Martin Case; Interview with Lewis Black

Aired April 9, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight George Zimmerman breaks his silence. What's he's saying about the Trayvon Martin shooting. And what top legal eagle say will happen next.

Also, television's angriest man, Lewis Black, is back.


LEWIS BLACK, COMEDIAN: I used to think Reagan should be brought back.


MORGAN: Here's what he said about the Republican race the last time he was here.


L. BLACK: I think it's one of the most spectacular races I've ever watched if it was like maybe 1958.


MORGAN: Round two coming up.

And what's wrong with this picture? Kodak goes out of business or Facebook pays $1 billion for photo sharing service Instagram. I'll talk to the man who saw this coming.

Plus a look back at the man who taught every television interviewer how it's done. The one and only Mike Wallace.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People like Mike have an indefinable quality.


MORGAN: And "Only in America," Masters winner Bubba Watson living the American dream.


BUBBA WATSON, GOLF CHAMPION: It's awesome for a week. Then back to real life. Haven't changed a diaper yet. So might have to change a diaper pretty soon.



Good evening. Our "Big Story" tonight, the case that's dividing the nation. The Trayvon Martin shooting. George Zimmerman launches a Web site today to raise funds for his legal defense. Meanwhile the special prosecutor says she won't use a grand jury and the investigation is still going on.

Listen to reaction to that today from the Martin family's attorney.


BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We were anticipating that there would be no grand jury because the family has always been hopeful that there would just simply be an arrest. We believe from day one that they had enough evidence to arrest the killer of Trayvon Martin. And now as the evidence --


MORGAN: So does that mean an arrest is close at hand? I'll ask some of the country's top legal experts in a moment.

Plus a man who loved a good argument on pretty much any subject at all. Last time Lewis Black went on a tirade on social issues. Tonight, well, let's face it, anything could happen.


L. BLACK: Don't even make the choice to be gay. I mean, when did I catch on to that? Why do they not -- what is their problem with science? To live -- we're the future now. This is the 21st century. It should be science fiction at this point. And all they will deal with is fiction. Were they beaten by nerds in chemistry classes?


MORGAN: Lewis Black is currently foaming at the mouth in my greenroom ready to burst out here live. But later on.

We begin tonight with our story, Trayvon Martin. Joining me now to figure out where this case is headed are Roy Black and Alan Dershowitz, both noted criminal defense attorneys, and former prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, who is the author of a new book, "Imperfect Justice."

Let me start with you, Alan Dershowitz. Today was a -- I would imagine very significant day. This is not going to go to the grand jury. What does that tell you as a prominent lawyer?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it tells me that the special prosecutor is not going to use a copout. She could have easily said look, I'm going to give it to the grand jury and pretended that she had no impact on the grand jury. Of course she would have told the grand jury exactly what to do. But she would have had the excuse of deniability.

Now she's saying this is my responsibility. I am going to make this decision. She is accountable to making this decision. And she should get it right. She shouldn't be influenced by public opinion. She shouldn't be influenced by who has the better PR, a spin. She should look at the forensics, she should look at the ballistics, she should look at bruises, she should look at photographs, and she should make an objective decision based on the statute and the interest of justice.

MORGAN: Roy Black, is this good or bad news to George Zimmerman? If you were representing him, how would you be feeling tonight?

ROY BLACK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's bad news for Zimmerman. I agree with Alan 100 percent. In Florida the grand jury is where political cases go to die. If the prosecutor wanted to dump the case and not have any backlash, she would send it to the grand jury. The fact that she's going to make the decision, I think, means that she's probably going to charge him.

MORGAN: Jeff Ashton, you know a lot about this Florida law. "Stand Your Grand" has been the subject to massive conjecture and examination. Under the defense that we've now seen put up by Zimmerman from his brother to me on this show through the lawyers acting for Zimmerman, you can see the construct of their defense, which is that their client, the brother of Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman is walking back away from Trayvon Martin to his van when he was jumped on.

And from that moment he was then defending himself under "Stand Your Ground" believing that his life was in danger. If that is proven to be the case, if those facts are proved by evidence, will he get off under "Stand Your Ground," do you believe?

JEFF ASHTON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, if the evidence shows that he was acting in self-defense and that his fear was reasonable, then yes, under the law that would be an absolute defense. And under the "Stand Your Ground" provisions, a judge could actually give him immunity pretrial.

At trial it's a slightly different story. At trial the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't self-defense. But if he proves it to a judge before trial, yes, he could granted immunity by that statute.

MORGAN: But from what you've seen so far, is there enough evidence either way? I mean, there's so much argument and counterargument, claim and counterclaim. Is there enough evidence that we've seen in the public at the moment and any form of media, if you like, to actually make a case either way? Or is this very likely now to go to a trial where a jury will decide?

ASHTON: Well, we don't know yet. And I think what Alan said in the beginning was true. This is going to come down to forensics, it's going to come down to the autopsy report, it's going to come down to gun shot residue, it's going to come down to bruises. It's going to come down to that kind of hard physical evidence. But what people have to remember is the state has got to disprove Mr. Zimmerman's claim of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to succeed at trial. So those hard pieces of evidence are going to be the key.

MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, I mean --

R. BLACK: Can I add to this?

MORGAN: Yes. Of course. Go. Fire away.

R. BLACK: Well, all you have to do is to take the facts out of the police report. They say that George Zimmerman's back was wet, that it has grass on it from obviously lying on the grass. He has blood on his nose and he has lacerations on the back of his head. This is fairly corroborative evidence of self-defense. Because he says that he was jumped on and he was lying on his back and he was assaulted.

MORGAN: But --


MORGAN: But let me put it to you, though, Roy Black. If those signs of evidence were actually caused as a result of George Zimmerman starting the altercation -- I mean if for argument's sake he approached Trayvon Martin and began pushing him around, where does that leave him defense under "Stand Your Ground"?

R. BLACK: Well, it's much more difficult if he is the aggressor. However, remember he's got the grass on his back and his back is wet which corroborates the fact that he's lying on his back on the ground while he's being hit in the face.

MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, I mean --


MORGAN: What we don't know, Alan Dershowitz, is we don't know whether Trayvon Martin's back was wet. It may well have been. We don't know much about Trayvon Martin in terms of his condition, do we?

DERSHOWITZ: You have -- you put your finger right on it. It turns -- if it turns out that Trayvon Martin only has -- I hate to say only because it was the deadly wound. Only has the bullet wound and there are no other marks or bruises on his head, then, you know, the "Stand Your Ground" statute may be irrelevant here. Because if in fact Zimmerman's account is correct, that he was on the bottom, and his head was being banged, he had no place to escape to, he could under any traditional law of self-defense, whether it be Massachusetts or New York, could invoke self-defense as well.

Florida has a special provision. I'm reading from it now. It says if the person initially provokes the use of force, he doesn't have the right of self-defense unless, it then says in good faith, the other person withdraws from contact or makes it clear that he's not going to kill.

So here's one possible scenario. That is that Zimmerman provoked it. Then there was a fight. Then Trayvon Martin got on top but then he pulled out his gun and Trayvon Martin started screaming help, help, help, and looked like he wanted to get away but he was shot. That would deny Zimmerman the right to use self-defense. This is such a fact-specific case.

The other commentators are absolutely correct.

ASHTON: It absolutely is. Yes.

DERSHOWITZ: You look at the police reports. You have to look at the evidence. There are probably photographs taken close range of the bruises on the back of the head. Anybody who today speculates as to whether a jury will find the defendant guilty or not guilty is really doing no more than speculation. And there's a big difference between a prosecutor and a jury. A prosecutor could be influenced by politics.

A jury will listen to all the fact afresh, and will only hear the forensic evidence that's admissible and a jury may decide something that's inconsistent with what the public wants, what the prosecutor wants, or what anybody else wants. Their only interest is, is this case proved beyond a reasonable doubt. So nobody could --


MORGAN: And Jeff Ashton, what -- I mean, let me just, let me just get into what George Zimmerman has said today. He set up this Web site to raise money for his defense. He says on Sunday February 26th, "I was involved in a life-altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of this incident and subsequent media coverage I've been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately my entire life. The Web site's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they're receiving my full attention without any intermediaries."

I mean, Jeff Ashton, it goes on in quite a weird way, I think, where he starts quoting people. He quotes James W. Lohan saying, people have a right to their own opinions, but not to their own facts, evidence must be located, not created. And opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight.

And then goes on to quote Thomas Payne. "The world is my country. All mankind and my brethren, to do good is my religion." And finally a quote from an album in which he says, "A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." From Ibsen there.

When you look at all that, Jeff Ashton, I mean, I understand why he's doing this. I understand why he needs money. I understand if he's an innocent man, as he claims, why he should be entitled to try and raise funds. I find some of the rest of it a little bit odd in the sense that it feels like he's almost behaving like a celebrity now. The whole celebrification of this case is getting to him.


MORGAN: What was your take on it?

ASHTON: Well, you know, he doesn't have, you know, photographs or videos of a child to sell like Casey Anthony did to raise money for her defense. So I understand why, you know, he needs to go out and try to raise money this way.

It does seem that he is trying to play into the celebrity aspects of this case. You know, he's -- in the Anthony case Jose Baez, you know, did much of the same thing. Played to the celebrity in the case. Fortunately this defense actually has a consistent defense. So we won't be hearing the stories change throughout the history of the case unlike we did with Mr. Baez in the Anthony case. But, you know, it's his way of bringing his followers together and marshalling them and trying to get them to help him.


MORGAN: OK. Very quickly. We go to Alan first for your reaction?

DERSHOWITZ: I would say he's making a big mistake. If I were his lawyer, I would tell him to keep your mouth shut at this point. You have to assume that you might take the witness stand at your trial. And anything that you say or that is attributable to you that your lawyer may say can be used to cross-examine you and impeach you.

Keep your mouth shut at this point. Wait until you hear whether there's going to be a prosecution. And then present your defense in court. This is not a case to present his defense in the court of public opinion in the way he's now presenting it. It's a big mistake.

MORGAN: Roy Black, quickly from you.

R. BLACK: Well, the chances of George Zimmerman actually writing that Web site are probably nil. And the problem with remaining silent until the trial today, it doesn't work. Because they have an electronic lynch mob out there trying to crucify this guy. He's got to come back and say something. Otherwise it's all over by the time you get to the courtroom.

MORGAN: Let me ask all of you very last --


MORGAN: I want a one-word answer out of all three of you if you can. And it's simple. Could we, should we, will we expect to have an arrest of George Zimmerman within the next, say, seven days? Let me ask you, Alan, first.

DERSHOWITZ: I think probably yes. I agree with Roy black that I think the decision not to go to the grand jury is a message although she says don't take any implication that there will probably be an indictment then an arrest.

MORGAN: That was about 32 words just from my immediate guess.


MORGAN: But we'll try -- Roy, you're allowed one.

R. BLACK: Yes, he'll be arrested but a judge will dismiss it under the "Stand Your Ground" statute.

MORGAN: OK, 12. We're getting lower. Let's go finally to Jeff Ashton.

Restore my faith in a lawyer's ability to actually reply to the question I put in the form in which I arranged it. Yes or no to an arrest within seven days?

ASHTON: Let me be even shorter. I know Angela Corey and there's no knowing what she's going to do from these announcements she's made. She just -- it's not a clue.

MORGAN: That was actually longer. But anyways, I'll tell you --

ASHTON: Sorry.

MORGAN: What it shows me is there are no simple answers in this case. And that's what makes it fascinating and compelling.

ASHTON: That's true.

MORGAN: And in the end the facts, I hope, will out and the family of Trayvon Martin will get justice. As indeed the family of George Zimmerman will want to get justice, too. And we'll just have to see where this takes. But for now, gentlemen, thank you all very much indeed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for having me.

MORGAN: Coming on next, the angry and an utterly unpredictable Lewis Black. See what he's ranting about tonight. He looks furious.


MORGAN: According to Lewis Black, television's angriest man, he's certainly one of the most honest and he joins me now. The ever angry, ever honest Lewis Black.

I hear you've been foaming at the mouth in the greenroom.

L. BLACK: No, no, no, no. Just a bit of coffee to get things going.

(LAUGHTER) MORGAN: Let's talk a little bit about the Trayvon Martin case. Because it's obviously not an area for comedy but it is for opinion. When you hear the lawyers talking there, it's complicated this. But there are some basic tenets of this story which remains staggering.

L. BLACK: Well, you know, you should -- you would think you shoot someone that there has to be some kind of thing that occurs more than just we're taking in, OK that works. There just seems to be a process that's been missing here. And it seems to be due to the fact that they've got that, you know, that thing, that civilian watch thing, which is just -- I mean -- you don't -- no. You don't get -- no. You watch. You do. He didn't watch.

MORGAN: Right. Neighborhood watch, right?

L. BLACK: Right.

MORGAN: Means you watch your neighbors, you don't kill them.

L. BLACK: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: I mean that's what it comes down to.

L. BLACK: Yes. And you're told not to -- you know, look. He's told not to go. I mean there's just stuff there that -- you know, you know, I don't know what the other circumstances might be, but, you know, you're told not to go there. You're told that the police will come in. You're told all of these things. Doesn't there have to be some kind of process that occurs where they -- the kind of at least yell at him for a --

MORGAN: It just seems all to me in America where so many people feel so strongly about justice and the justice system that there are so many people out there -- and I get it on Twitter often coming in when I say this, who say no justice was served. The guy was sent home for a reason. He did nothing wrong. Well, he shot an unarmed teenager as it turned out.

L. BLACK: Yes.

MORGAN: So something has happened.

L. BLACK: Something is wrong there. Someone had a gun. Someone shot someone. Whenever that occurs, at least in most of the states that I've lived in, there is a process that occurs afterwards. The person is generally held for a certain amount of time so that an investigation takes place.

You shot somebody. I mean, look. To me it makes no sense. I've never seen anything quite like it. And it would seem that if there was some real evidence that they had, we would have heard about it immediately.

MORGAN: Isn't it a problem that 21 states, I think, now in America have a form of "Stand Your Ground." And all the evidence suggests that there are more and more killings now where people are using it as a defense. And often they are drug dealers or they're gang members. Everyone's using this now as a very convenient way to avoid responsibility for shooting people.

L. BLACK: Yes. Well, we now have more guns than we do people which is really an important step forward for the country. Because you really want more guns. I mean -- in Virginia --

MORGAN: Well, you've go t-- you've got -- it's interesting you say that because you've got this big comedic thing. The theme is Comedy Festival on May 13th in which you're honoring America's first monument which honors the Bill of Rights. And this brings me to the Bill of Rights because as you rightly have said many times, it's basically whatever people want to make those words mean.

L. BLACK: Yes.

MORGAN: You know, if you take the right to bear arms, it doesn't mean the right to have a tank in your back garden, does it?


MORGAN: And yet some people would say, yes, it does.

L. BLACK: Yes. Or the nuke thing which I heard about this -- you know, the -- I saw on the Bill Maher show the other night. Because you're finding facts -- you know, they want silencers when they're hunting deer. I mean it's just --


MORGAN: Well, I heard that, for instance, the party conferences at the conventions coming up. Apparently in Tampa they're banning water cannons. They won't ban handguns.

L. BLACK: Yes, they won't ban handguns.

MORGAN: So you can't shoot somebody with water. But you want to take a handgun out and blow them away with dumb dumb bullets, that's fine with us.

L. BLACK: And then you wonder what it's like to be a cop under those circumstances. I mean --

MORGAN: Impossible.

L. BLACK: I mean it's just become -- look. No one is -- no one is -- you know, no one is saying you can't have guns in order to be able to hunt and do what you want in terms of that, or if you want it in your house, to protect yourself. But there also seems to me to be that thing where -- you know, that there ought to be that responsibility in the law that if someone's got guns in their house and a youngster picks up one of those guns and gets out of the house with it, that adult is responsible for that youngster's action. As much as the youngster is.

(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: I agree with you. But what can America do about the fact there are now up to now 300 million guns out there in America? What can it physically, realistically do to change this?

L. BLACK: Have a bigger lottery. Have like a billion dollar lottery and you can only get a ticket by handing in a gun.


MORGAN: That's actually a genius idea.

L. BLACK: They will be doing it. I can guarantee they'll be doing it.

MORGAN: In other words, incentivize it.

L. BLACK: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean -- I mean away from the joke, it's actually a -- it's a valid point. There's going to be a reason for people to do it.

L. BLACK: Yes. There has to be or -- I mean I just -- it's one of those things that I don't -- look. For me, my -- when I was a kid, I had -- I was out in the woods with friends. I was about -- a kid. I was 18 and I had a BB gun and I shot at a bird. You know, robin in a tree, and it hit the robin in the chest and bounced off. And the robin looked at me like I was a jackass. And I never picked up a gun since.


MORGAN: What do you make of the -- the GOP? It looks now Mitt Romney is going to get it. I mean even Newt Gingrich is flying the white flag.

L. BLACK: Yes, yes, he's -- I saw him --

MORGAN: Pretty much the obvious end of the road, I think, when Newt gives up so --

L. BLACK: Yes. He's got no money.

MORGAN: Well, if it's Romney, can he beat Obama?

L. BLACK: Yes, I -- who knows? Because we've got all of that stuff between now and then and the economy. And I mean, I think the -- you know, for me I was -- he's in the middle. So you know Romney is as good depending on where he wants the middle to be.

MORGAN: Well, he's less -- he's less threatening some of the others.

L. BLACK: Well, you know --

MORGAN: He's less threatening than a Santorum, isn't he?

L. BLACK: Yes. Yes, I mean in the --

MORGAN: To most Americans.

L. BLACK: To most Americans he is -- I mean he's the -- you know, he's the kind of Republican candidate. The one that generally you're used to.

MORGAN: Are Americans angry enough to kick Obama out? Because that's what normally needs to happen. They need to be angry enough with the incumbent that they're going to vote him out of office.

L. BLACK: Yes, I don't think they're angry enough because I think they're exhausted. I think most Americans are so tired. If the rhetoric hasn't exhausted them, the fact that they've had to wander around looking for jobs, the fact that there are two in a family that have to work in order to do this. The fact that they can't afford their mortgages and that the -- and that the banks apparently aren't going -- they aren't making it any easier.

And you -- I mean it's tough enough to deal with Verizon and AT&T and who knows this new thing with how much you're paying for gigabyte. It's over -- every day is overwhelming. So to --



MORGAN: Very quickly, what is the single thing that's made you the most furious since I last saw you?

L. BLACK: The single thing is that -- the thing I saw today that we're not training --

MORGAN: Don't answer. We'll come back after the break. Great tease. You're about to blow about something but no one has any idea what.


MORGAN: Lewis Black is back with me now.

We left on a cliffhanger, Lewis. The thing that you are most enraged about since I last saw you.

L. BLACK: Well, the -- in today's paper, the -- I woke up to find, and usually it's on the left column, in the right column, there'll be something about our country and what it's -- what it's not doing at a time when it should be doing it. And so at this time in which we're in a major jobs crisis and people are desperately looking for work, the amount of money that is going into training people for jobs is -- has been cut and is --

MORGAN: I saw that. It's absolutely ridiculous.

L. BLACK: It's how --

MORGAN: How can that be happening?

L. BLACK: I don't know how. I don't know how at a point in time -- and it's so weird. Because also that thing, I'm reading it. It's like Allied (INAUDIBLE) needs a hundred new drivers. You know, which is -- and no small potatoes kind of a job. And get trained, it takes $4,000. So usually that went to the -- the federal government would help in the job training and get them into the workforce.

Now -- but you would think, in terms of the way they talk about business all the time, that wouldn't business be training some of these people? And at least Allied is stepping to the plate. But still -- you know, I think it all goes back to education in this country which is -- you know, you've got schools sitting. You've got all of these places. You've got rooms to teach people in.

You know, put a few bucks into it. You don't need to build another building to have a federal job training center. You've got -- you know, that bozo high school down the block that -- you know, isn't being used at certain times. Use it. And put the money -- if you've got -- I mean, we've not dealt with the crisis at all, really. Both sides kind of go talk about it and give lip service to it. The federal government should be -- or (INAUDIBLE) should do it. But neither side does it. They don't give specific plans to move it along. It's a combination of both.

MORGAN: I think you should be in the administration, Lewis.


MORGAN: I think whoever wins in November should put you in there just to foam at them.


MORGAN: How can this be happening? How can you not doing more in work training at this time?

BLACK: Then they are putting their two groups -- I can't remember the name. One is the Progressive Staff for the Immediate Possibility of Jobs in the American Future. They've got names. Just call it, you know, Jobs for Folks.

That's all you need. You don't need some six -- I worked for the U.S. government for a year. And that's -- for all they talk about where they run into trouble, they run into trouble is because the titles for everything are way too long. And people get lost by the middle.

Most people have so much ADD, by the middle of the time they get through what the title of the place is, they have forgotten why they're reading the sentence in the first place.

MORGAN: Let's turn to your other pet hate, which I found absolutely terrifying, Tim Tebow. What's he done to you?

BLACK: Well, he's done nothing to me. MORGAN: God fearing, healthy sportsman, advocating peace to the world.

BLACK: Great, great role model. Don't bring him to New York. We don't need role models. We've got a lot of role models here. We have the spectrum -- it's going to be every day. In any other city in the world -- it was already every day and I lived in New York. Now it's like -- now it's just going to be cranked up. It's going to be insanity, I mean really too much.

MORGAN: Yes, but Jeremy Lin's injured, so they won't be on at the same time.

BLACK: No, they won't be. But boy, it will be more than I can bear, I mean more than anybody can bear. It's too much. Literally it's like -- it's just mad. We will be living at the edge of madness. You know? We will.

I mean, because, you know, the paper in New York, especially the "New York Post," which I purchase only because it's got the courage to print its own news. You read it and you go, this hasn't happened. Two days later, it does. They treat every moment in sports as if that is the pivotal thing that is ever going to happen.

MORGAN: But isn't that the nature of sports. It's like when Bubba Watson won the Masters. In that moment -- golf isn't my number one sport, but I felt it was the single greatest sporting thing I had ever seen, in that moment. Literally, a guy called Bubba could come and win the Masters, you know, out of nowhere, playing outrageous shots and sobbing afterwards, hugging his mom.

It was all just crazy. And yet sport is supposed to be visceral and exciting and over-emotive.

BLACK: And then it -- yes, but by the time you finish dinner, it's gone. With Tebow, you'll finish dinner and then you'll turn on the TV and he'll be there again, because I live in New York and they can't -- they won't get enough.

MORGAN: So you won't be doing the Tebow.

BLACK: As a Jew, it is very difficult for me. And it drives -- the thing that people --

MORGAN: What is the Jewish version of the Tebow?

BLACK: The Jewish is either -- bringing something up or, you know, a belch, one or the other. It's really -- or basically things aren't going to work out today.

MORGAN: Do you feel America is slowly getting out of the doldrums? Despite the sort of negative stuff that still keeps popping up, do you get a sense that it's beginning? The engine's beginning to run again?

BLACK: I do. I get somewhat sense of that being on the road. There is -- what they miss, I think, at least I've seen in my travels, going these places over and over again -- I've been pockets of the country that -- with the down economy, what occurs at times is that people can who afford to leave one place where they -- you know, they can't afford anymore, and go to another place where they actually can afford it.

Because the economy dipped so badly in certain areas that, in essence, it gives opportunity. I think that that has occurred in a number of places. And I think that's the key to -- in a lot of ways, that's part of the -- you know, the seed that will take root.

MORGAN: Lewis, you got so angry tonight, you actually shook your microphone off.

BLACK: Did I really?

MORGAN: Literally, I've never seen that happen before. It actually just blew off you.

BLACK: One time, I actually leapt up while at some -- one of these things. I get so angry. And the whole thing came out of the back and I was tied to the chair.

MORGAN: Fortunately, your voice is so loud, it didn't make such difference.

BLACK: And nobody stopped me.

MORGAN: We don't dare stop you. You're in full charge. Lewis, come back soon.

BLACK: I will.

MORGAN: Great to see you, Lewis Black.

Next, the company Mark Zuckerberg has bought for a billion dollars, a company that hasn't actually made a dime.



GARY VAYNERCHUCK, COFOUNDER, VAYNERMEDIA: Facebook acquires Instagram, 15 million users for Instagram, probably going to push 30 next year. And I just have this funny feeling that Zuck is going to look at that talent, look at that app, bring it in-house, use it. This is my big one. Facebook buys Instagram.


MORGAN: That's Gary Vaynerchuck, who's the co-founder of Vaynermedia, back in January predicting the purchase of Instagram by Facebook. And today, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shelled out a billion dollars for that very service.

Gary joins me now, along with Ken Auletta. He's a media write for "The New Yorker" and author He's the author of "Google: The End of the World As We Know It."

Let's start with you, Gary. That was an amazing prediction.

VAYNERCHUCK: Not to shabby, huh.

MORGAN: No. Why were you so sure this would be something Facebook would -- I mean, let's start from this. Assume a lot of people watching this have no idea what Instagram really is or why it's special. Tell me.

VAYNERCHUCK: It's a very simple photo app, started off on the iPhone, just came to Android. The big kind of hook they had was they added filters to the photo world. Photos are massive. I mean, Facebook has a whole lot to do with photos. And that's why this has all happened.

So it's a very simple app. You take a photo. Here's something interesting, it makes your photos better. These photos make your phone better. Any application that makes your life better is a big win.

MORGAN: See, I knew it was taking off, because I've noticed, just generally, on Twitter and whatever, for the last two or three weeks, more and more pictures. I've just noticed with Instagram. I thought, OK, what is this thing?

You know, so it doesn't surprise me that it's suddenly hot, because I could feel it coming my way through social media a lot more.

VAYNERCHUCK: If you take it all the way back to web 2.0, Flikr was the site that really started it all. And that was a photo site. Then you kind of look at what's going on, Pinterest, hot. Tumblr, right? Path, an app, as well, that's crushing. Photo, photo, photo.

Facebook's volume has a lot to do with photos. If you look at this overall -- and a lot of people at home are like a billion dollars for a site that's been around for 500 days that makes no money? Fine. But look at it a different way. Facebook takes one percent of their market cap and goes after a site that has exploded in 500 days to probably almost 50 million users, 30 last time, but with Android exploded.

And they take out the only competitor that actually has a shot of hurting them.

MORGAN: So has Mark Zuckerberg done this because he sees this as a brilliant new tool to enhance Facebook or to crush a potential opponent by buying them out of the market?

VAYNERCHUCK: I think number two much more than number one. I think he's going to leave it alone. Everybody's like scared. If you look at Twitter today, everybody's like don't ruin Instagram. They're not going to ruin it. This is much more like Youtube.

When Google bought Youtube, everybody snickered at the billion dollar play. They stole it. I think there's a chance people may look at it this way.

MORGAN: Ken, you wrote the book about Google. Are we getting a slight sense of another dot-com boom here, when these kind of --

VAYNERCHUCK: Boom or bubble.


MORGAN: You tell me. It's obviously a boom. Could it be a boom that leads to a quick bubble burst?

KEN AULETTA, "THE NEW YORKER": We saw that in 2000. And when you look at a company bought for a billion dollars that has no revenue, that's a free service, you have to step back and say whoa, wait a second. What's this all about?

I understand it's a defensive move. And it may even be a brilliant move, for all I know. But it's a lot of money for a company that makes nothing.

MORGAN: For the traditionalist, Kodak has gone bust. Now you see a company that makes no money which is basically doing sort of a digital version of what Kodak was doing, going for a billion dollars. It is a slightly mad world, isn't it?

AULETTA: Well, but I take it -- I take it one of the things -- their claim to fame is that -- yes, is that photographers who think they're good can massage and --

VAYNERCHUCK: Or that are bad and make it better.

AULETTA: Right. As opposed to Flikr, which doesn't have that.

VAYNERCHUCK: Let's take this as a business thing, instead of like an emotional techy thing, right? This is a very massive play by Facebook. And people literally laughed at Google buying Youtube. And Youtube was losing a boat load of cash. Instagram is not. So if you look at it from that standpoint -- plus, mobile is the game, Piers.

MORGAN: That's the key, isn't it? Because Facebook is actually slightly behind the game on mobile, whereas Instagram has been ahead of the game.

VAYNERCHUCK: Because it's not in Facebook's DNA. They didn't start as a mobile company. They're a social company. Just like Google --

MORGAN: You can work it out, because I look at Instagram pictures on my Blackberry and they look great. I look at Facebook on it, I don't like it very much, as a user, on my mobile. So I could tell it was going that way.

Final word on this for you, since you're such a clever Dick about all this. What's the next big sale going to be?

VAYNERCHUCK: I think Path has a shot. Path is a mobile version. Dave Moren (ph) was at Facebook.

MORGAN: What was it presumed to be worth yesterday and what will it be worth tomorrow, based on Instagram?

VAYNERCHUCK: The word on the street is they're raising Around a 250 million valuation. It wouldn't stun me, based on this, Google looking around -- Google Plus is not doing anything that crazy. It wouldn't stun me if that went for half a billion to maybe even a billion.

MORGAN: Amazing. Ken, let's move on to Mike Wallace, the great --

AULETTA: I thought you were going to say we were in the wrong business.

MORGAN: I think we are in the wrong business, probably led by Mike, who was one of the best at what we do. Tell me about him and his legacy. Obviously fantastically brilliant journalist for CBS so long, for "60 Minutes." I remember watching him with awe as an interviewer. What will his legacy be, do you think?

AULETTA: Well, I think if you look at investigative reporting on television, he was the pioneer in that. You had people like Edward R. Murrow doing great radio and television reports, but no one did the kind of investigative reporting, sticking a microphone in someone's face.

Not only did he stick a microphone in someone's face, but he did it in a way that was really extraordinary. He let -- which good interviewers do, they let the silence work for them. He would sit opposite Khomeini, and he would ask him -- he would touch his heart and he would say, you know, I mean no disrespect and this is not me saying it, but what do you say to people who think you're a lunatic?

Then he would wait.


AULETTA: He was charming. But he then would wait for the person to answer. And if they didn't answer, he wouldn't fill the void with his own sound. He would wait. And the interview subject would get nervous and would fill the void with their gibber.

MORGAN: Silence, I remember to David Frost, obviously one of the great interviewers as well of all time, still is. But he said to me the value of silence can never be overstated, because people always want to fill the gap. If I had stopped here and sat back, one of you would start panicking and go --


MORGAN: You've be alright, because you never stop talking. But it is like, it is -- silence is a weapon. I think Mike Wallace used that almost better than anybody I've seen, as to David Frost, actually. Because he would just lay the trap. He'd never be overly bearing to people.

AULETTA: But the other thing is that people got -- one of the reasons they filled the void when he sat back and was silent, they knew he had done his homework. And they were afraid. I would watch people in the White House press corps shout -- TV people shout questions at a president. Oftentimes they didn't have any information.

Do you mean to tell the public the following -- and they didn't know what they were talking about. Mike Wallace knew what he was talking about.

MORGAN: I felt the legacy -- I heard Anderson earlier ending up by saying he wished he could be as good as Mike Wallace. I think everybody in the new business wishes they could be as good as Mike Wallace. And that is a pretty good legacy to have.

AULETTA: He was also -- I was -- we were judges together in the National Journalism Awards, Livingstone Award for journalists under 35. And I was very wary with a TV guy coming in the room. And the producers had a school and stuff like that. Mike did as much homework as any other judge did. He was informed.

MORGAN: Yes, he certainly was. And he will be deeply missed. Thank you both very much. Ken, Gary, it's been a real pleasure.

When we come back, Keeping America Great with a top economist who has some unique ideas about how to solve this country's economic woes.



MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've said many times before, the president did not cause the economic crisis. But he did make it worse. He delayed the recovery. And he made it anemic.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we've got to do everything in our power to keep it going.


MORGAN: President Obama and Mitt Romney with two different very views on the state of this country's economy. Joining me now is a man who says politics is really the problem. Here to talk about one my favorite subjects, Keeping America Great, is economist Simon Johnson, professor at MIT, and author of the new book "white House Burning."

Simon Johnson, how are you?


MORGAN: I love this book title, "White House Burning," because further investigation revealed it's reference to a War of 1812, when war hawks they taxes, didn't fund the military, got rid of the Central Bank. They were beaten by the British. And then the Brits trashed Washington.

Sounds like a perfect recipe for today.

JOHNSON: Unfortunately, it's a metaphor that's just too apt. In August 1814, when the British broke open the U.S. Treasury, smashed down all the doors, broke open all the strong boxes, the only good news for the Americans was there was nothing in the Treasury.

The country was broke. The country was ruined by inappropriate fiscal policy, not matching -- not finding the revenues to match the spending and what they're trying to have the government do.

MORGAN: By the way, of course, I called it Mitt. I was talking it Romney. I got my Mitts and my MITs mixed up. It's very confusing when there's MITs and Mitts in the same program. So let's just put that on the record.

Tell me about the reality, Simon, about the current state of the economy, particularly in America. But someone said to me over the weekend, a very prominent British politician, that many American businessmen still don't seem to get it, nor do the politicians, that the world is moving on very, very fast outside of America, and that America is no longer the only game in town for countries like Brazil, for example.

JOHNSON: That's right. Clearly, there's been a rise, a shift really over the past few decades, Brazil, China India, Russia, Indonesia. These are all much more serious, more dynamic economies than in the past. The U.S. still has a very important place in the world economy. The U.S. Dollar is the number one currency. Investors around the world like to hold U.S. government securities.

And that's one big reason why interest rates are so low for the government and for private people for mortgages or other purposes. We have low interest rates, because investors are willing to lend to the United States.

Now, that's not likely to last forever, particularly as countries such as Brazil and the others rise. The world is becoming more spread out, more multi-polar. We have a temporary advantage. And we should take this opportunity to fix things like our budget before we find the world a more hostile place.

MORGAN: What would the Founding Fathers have made of America being 15.6 trillion dollars in debt?

JOHNSON: Well, the Founding Fathers, first of all, would have been stunned to see the U.S. as the number one world economic and political power. That wasn't really what they had in mind. And that wasn't how they designed the system. But the system has evolved in such a way that it's able to take on these additional responsibilities, funded a very big military effort in World War II, took on global responsibilities, and paid for them with very little debt increase after World War II. Unfortunately, more recently, we have shifted away from the idea that you should raise the revenues to support what the government is trying to do. And we've been able to sell a lot of debt around the world.

Now, as long as, you might say, the Chinese are willing to buy that debt, you can get away with it. That's true. But to the extent that the Chinese become less willing, other people are less willing to buy that debt, then, as you say, we have the 10.8 trillion dollars in debt out there. Someone needs to buy it.

If it's hard to sell, then the interest rates are going to go up. And that's not just interest rates for the government. That's interest rates also for you and me.

MORGAN: Come on, just cut to the quick, Romney or Obama, who has -- you have to keep this quite brief -- the best solution, do you think, if it's those two head to head in November, to the economic woes America is facing?

JOHNSON: I have problems with both. But of the two, I would take Obama at this point. The key weakness that Obama has is he's not talking enough about the revenue and not explaining to people enough about what the government does.

Forty percent of people who use Social Security, who get a pension, or use Medicare to pay for their health care costs when they're elderly, don't think they use a government program. Those are not just the quintessential government programs, those are most of the spending increases that you're going to face over the coming decades.

You've got to explain to people why the government provides these services. These are very important. Elderly Americans would not survive well without them. You would see a lot more poverty with elder Americans. You have also got have find the revenue, and explain to people you need to have the tax revenue to put those services on a sustainable basis.

MORGAN: Yes, I think there is a weird sort of thing that you cannot raise any taxes ever again in this country, which if you're 15 trillion dollars in debt, makes no sense. It's a fascinating back, "White House Burning, the Founding Fathers on National Debt, Why it Matters To You."

Thank you for joining me.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: Coming up, Only in America, golf's natural born genius, Masters winner Bubba Watson.


MORGAN: Tonight's Only in America, what else could I possibly end with than the astonishing story of a man called Bubba. I talk much about the American dream on this show, but no one has ever encapsulated it more than Jerry Lester "Bubba" Watson.

He began this year with three existing dreams: to adopt a child, to buy the General Lee car from "the Dukes of Hazards," and to win the Masters Golf tournament. In late January, Bubba paid 110,000 dollars for that General Lee Dodge Charger when it came up for auction.

On March the 22nd, he and his wife Angie were finally approved, after several failures, as an adoptive parents for a little boy called Kaleb. And on Sunday, he won the Masters without ever having had a single golf lesson in his life or ever watching himself on video, and by playing one of the most outrageously brilliant shots ever seen at Augusta.


BUBBA WATSON, MASTERS WINNER: Caddies told me all the time, he said you're a good golfer. You're here for a reason. You can do this. You've hit all these shots before. You just have to do it in this moment.


MORGAN: And do it he did, magnificently. Afterwards, this modest, engaging man said simply I've never had a dream go this far, so I can't really say it's a dream come true. But the truth is that he had dreamed of winning golf's greatest tournament, just as he had dreamed of owning that General Lee and of having a child.

Some of us are lucky enough to achieve one of their dreams in a lifetime. I'm living one of mine just hosting this show. Bubba Watson, a devout Christian, achieved all three of his in less than four months. No wonder those tears flowed on that final green, as he hugged his mother, and continued flowing as he hugged everybody else too.

The story of Bubba Watson is the stuff truly of dreams. Tomorrow night, he'll be here as my special guest in a prime time exclusive interview to tell me just what it feels like to be Bubba Watson right now.

That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.