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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accused of Rape; Some Protests Against NATO in Chicago Turn Violent; Chinese Dissident Arrives in America; Chaos In Chicago; Aftershocks In Italy; Edwards Verdict Watch; Obama Heads To Joplin; "Tebowing" In Madden 2013; Facebook's Failure to Launch; Gentlemen, Start Your Engines; Jagger Takes on Tyler; Kristin Wiig Says Farewell; Interview with Rep. Chris Smith
Aired May 21, 2012 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody. Our STARTING POINT this morning, those violent clashes in Chicago, protesters fighting with police outside the NATO summit on Afghanistan. It's day two of the summit today. Will it be chaos again?
And from Beijing to the Big Apple, the Chinese activist in the middle of that fight between the United States and China lands in the United States. He is now free to speak and we'll tell you what he's saying.
Plus, a failure to launch. Facebook falls flat and opens the trading week pretty much where it started on Friday. Could the stock be a total bust?
Plus, Mick Jagger channels another iconic lead singer, mocks him, and nails it on "Saturday Night Live."
It is Monday, May 21st. And STARTING POINT begins right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking News.
O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. Let's get started with some breaking news on what could become very soon new charges of rape against the former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Let's get right to Christine Romans. She's got some details for us. Hey, Christine, good morning
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Soledad. Dominique Strauss-Kahn could soon face charges in the alleged gang rape of a Belgian prostitute. This happened during a party at her hotel in Washington, D.C. almost two years ago. That's a story at least French prosecutors are investigating, launching an investigation into this. A French newspaper says these allegations came from statements that two escorts made to Belgian police.
DSK held one of the most powerful positions in the world of course as IMF chief. You may also remember he was arrested after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault. He was cleared on that charge after her story fell apart. Soledad?
O'BRIEN: All right, Christine, thank you for the update. We're watching that story, obviously.
It has been chaos in Chicago as thousands of protesters against the war in Afghanistan are at the NATO summit. Demonstrators were clashing with police who were wearing riot gear yesterday. They were voicing their opposition to the war. Police arrested at least 45 people. The protests happened just blocks away from where world leaders are meeting to talk about the endgame in Afghanistan. This brings us to Ted Rowlands who was in the middle of that chaos. Ted, good morning.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. There were 40 arrests and several injuries one of the protesters standing close to me had a few teeth knocked out. Another was bleeding from the head but there were also police injuries. According to the police department four police officers were injured. One officer apparently stabbed in the leg.
The big question today as the sun rises in Chicago, what will the city be in for? There as large protest scheduled at the Boeing Corporation today a few blocks from where we are downtown. Protesters say they plan to shut down Boeing. And police are going to be out in force. Most businesses have told their employees to stay home today to avoid what could be a very chaotic day here in Chicago.
O'BRIEN: As far as I can see you have two groups of protesters right? You have the protesters who for the most part are relatively peaceful. Then you have the black block protesters wearing black with the black bandanas around their faces. How many of those black block protesters are we talking about?
ROWLANDS: Just a handful. And when you say there are two groups you're absolutely right. There are the groups that are for their protests, for their marches, and they have been following the letter of the law all week long. There have been events. Then there is the fragment groups, these are the folks causing the problems, usually around the scheduled protests like yesterday, all of that melee happened following a scheduled protest when police said the time is up. Please move on. That's when the chaos started. That's really the problem here. It's just a handful of people, but they are causing all of the problems.
O'BRIEN: It's been really interesting to see. I think the focus on sort of two pieces of videotape, one we were just showing a moment ago, which was the police using their batons to fight back that crowd. Another one that I thought was very interesting, Ted, was this police van, Chicago police fan. There it is right there. Look as they're pushing a guy out of the way. He is trying to slow the truck. Watch the guy in the black. He is going around the back of the car, stabbing the tires. You see it there. Now you're going to see him right here, he is wearing black shirt, running back out to the crowd. I guess he has stabbed the tires of that truck. The guy who apparently the truck was pushing was able to move out of the way. That is the slow-mo version of that guy.
Give me some more sense of just how violent these protests have gotten, because certainly on TV, I've got to tell you, Ted, they look really rough.
ROWLANDS: Yes. It was violent yesterday definitely, and the case with the police van, you have two separate stories here. Immediately after that incident there was an alert out by the protesters saying one of our people has been hit by a police van. Well, talked with the police and they say we had a police officer assaulted. In fact, the most serious injury in that incident was to the driver. The police officer there had a concussion because he was struck in the head during that situation. They say he was moving that van to get out because he was in danger.
So the answer to your question how violent, in pockets it's very violent. When you see the batons flying and people getting hit, it's pretty intense. But for the most part, and this is what the main demonstrators are concerned about, for the most part these demonstrations have been peaceful. It's just this video is so dramatic this really is the lasting image that people have so far from the protests here.
O'BRIEN: Remarkable to see. Ted Rowlands for us this morning, thanks.
I want to bring in the Illinois Democratic lieutenant governor Sheila Simon joining us now. Nice to see you. Thank you for being with us. We certainly appreciate it.
How comfortable are you with sort of the visuals that you are seeing? How often are you talking to the chief of police and how do you feel about the strategy in dealing with both sets of protesters that we were talking about, the more peaceful protesters and some of those folks you're seeing on TV with more violent protests?
SHEILA SIMON, (D) ILLINOIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: I'm obviously saddened that there's violence involved that police have been injured, that protesters have been injured, but what I'm pleased with is that for the most part thousands of people have been able to express themselves, have been able to state their opinions about war, about NATO, and Chicago has shown a capability to respond to be a global city and I'm pleased with that.
O'BRIEN: Garry McCarthy is the superintendent of police and he was asked about that use of batons. We've seen that in a couple shots and here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you authorized officers to use batons?
MCCARTHY: Absolutely. To overcome an assault, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you were concerned about the image but ultimately the batons did come out and it is not a pretty thing.
MCCARTHY: No, but ultimately the officers were assaulted. They don't have to stand there and take an assault.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Are you concerned that many of the conversations that have been taking place over the weekend and probably will continue to take place today are about the violence and not conversations about what's really happening at this summit?
SIMON: I am concerned about that because I think those small images, those few images do form some kind of impression.
I think, though, for the most part people who were participating and I have a staff member who was on the scene said that for the most part things were very orderly, that there were plenty of law enforcement officers around to make sure the people could express themselves, that there were legal observers, medical staff, and that it was really an effective use of a democracy where we have to tolerate and appreciate all opinions.
O'BRIEN: I know that the protesters have said that they're going to try to, quote, shut down Boeing today, which is based in Chicago and obviously makes gear for defense and aircraft as well. What's the strategy for protecting or I guess keeping the protesters if there is one from Boeing?
SIMON: Well, I think the strategy has been all along to work with all of the different law enforcement agencies in concert, and I think for the most part they've been doing a fantastic job of making sure that people are protected and free speech rights are protected as well. It's a tough balance to get but I think they're doing a good job.
O'BRIEN: A quick question for you about financial costs. The estimates that I have seen are about $55 million for security. A chunk of that is paid for by the feds. But the upside I've also read is somewhere around $128 million potentially by some estimates being made in, you know, sort of housing and hotels and restaurants, et cetera, et cetera, for the city. Do you think it's been worth it?
SIMON: I think on balance it's a very positive thing for Chicago, for the state of Illinois. Chicago is a city with a global influence and now we can demonstrate a global impact. We have lots of advantages in the ability to put something like this together well.
O'BRIEN: Sheila Simon is the state's lieutenant governor. Nice to see you. Thank you for talking with us. Appreciate it.
SIMON: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Time to get a look at the rest of the stories making news this morning. Christine has a look at those.
ROMANS: Good morning, again, Soledad. Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker is now backing off some surprising comments he made criticizing President Obama for attacks on Mitt Romney. Booker told NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday he was uncomfortable with president Obama attacking Romney's record at Bain Capital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK, NEW JERSEY MAYOR: You look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this to me, I am very uncomfortable with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Now Booker says Romney's record at Bain is fair game. In a new YouTube video booker says the president is, quote, "reasonable to scrutinize Romney's business record."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: I believe that Mitt Romney in many ways is not being completely honest with his role and his record even while a business person and is shaping it to serve his political interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Booker says his earlier remarks were meant to express his frustration with negative campaigning overall. Booker, a Democrat, is supporting president Obama for reelection.
The Lockerbie bomber will be buried today. Abdelbaset Al- Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was the only person ever convicted in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. And 270 people died when that plane exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Al- Megrahi died Sunday nearly three years after he was freed from a Scottish prison on humanitarian grounds because he was said to be gravely ill.
It is sentencing day in the Rutgers webcam spying case. Dharun Ravi could get 10 years in prison for hate crimes against Tyler Clemente. A jury convicted him of spying and intimidating his gay roommate. Clemente jumped off New York's George Washington bridge and hanged himself after Ravi used a web cam to spy on him with another man.
Did you see it? Incredible pictures of yesterday's solar eclipse. Millions looking into the skies to catch a glimpse of the ring of fire. This eclipse, the first of its kind in 18 years, created a golden ring around the moon's silhouette and it was visible on the west coast and in Asia. The next one will happen in 2023.
Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has lost his battle with cancer. Gibb founded the group, which included his two brothers. They sold more than 200 million records, and together they helped turn Disco into a global phenomenon, writing much of the music for the iconic film "Saturday Night Fever." Robin Gibb was 62, and, Soledad, a voice of a whole generation.
O'BRIEN: My goodness. No question. Remember my mother used to think that "More than a Woman" was "Bow-Legged Woman," and she'd run around the house singing "bow-legged woman."
O'BRIEN: Christine, thank you for the update.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT, his daring escape from house arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis and really angered China. Now activist Chen Guangcheng has landed in America. He's already exercising his freedom of speech.
And the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500 is this weekend. There is controversy. New cars, they say some people slower. Drivers Marco Andretti and Jared Hildebrand are going to join us.
And our panel will be talking about that and much more. Nice to have you guys. Welcome. How are you?
O'BRIEN: Welcome back everybody. It's been a harrowing seven- year journey for a Chinese activist and has ended in freedom in the United States. Chen Guangcheng arrived on Saturday evening at Newark airport in New Jersey. Then he made his way to New York City where he is going to be beginning a fellowship at NYU School of Law. Now, through a translator Mr. Chen changed the U.S. government, also offered praise for Beijing.
CHEN GUANCHENG, CHINESE ACTIVIST (via translator): I am very gratified to see that the Chinese government has been dealing with the situation with restraint and calm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Mr. Chen was arrested back in 2006 for his work against his government's enforcement of mandated birth quotas and was then sent to prison, put under house arrest in April before he was able to escape his captors, arrived at the U.S. embassy in Beijing on April 26, which was just days before the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was scheduled to get there for a big economic talk with China.
It became a very tense diplomatic situation, and Mr. Chen was eventually sent to a state-run hospital where he remained until suddenly his arrival here in New York.
Joining us this morning is Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey. He helps facilitate Mr. Chen's arrival. He has been really working on his case for more than 10 years now and was there to greet him at Newark airport when he touched down. It is nice to have you.
REP. CHRIS SMITH, (R) NEW JERSEY: Thanks very much.
O'BRIEN: My pleasure.
You saw him and we've certainly gotten a chance to see him as he made his brief statement.
SMITH: He looked very weak. His ankle was broken. In the escape. Totally jet lagged. Had a little car sickness. You know, he is going to have to have some time to heal and recuperate because he has been through a trauma both physically and emotionally as well as his wife and children. And his extended family as we all know who are still at grave risk. They're being retaliated against. They shifted they being the Chinese government from going after him and beating him routinely to beating his family especially his nephew and brother.
O'BRIEN: He has come to the United States with his wife and two children, a six-year-old and a 10-year-old.
O'BRIEN: But as you point out there is lots of concern about the family members, his nephew, his brother, his mother who have all stayed behind. What is the situation with them right now?
SMITH: It is very, very bad. The situation is hard to get information because we only get it by way of people who phone in and give up dates but the police have cordoned off a number of his family members so while the Chens are free here, the other Chens are not. That goes equally for a number of the people, the woman who helped him escape. She has already been beaten around the face and sexually molested. Then there is a whole group of other people including lawyers, one of them who was actually a visiting scholar in 2009, I had him in a hearing. He went back. He is the man who defended Chen in 2005 in the court as part of a group of lawyers. He was beaten so badly trying to reach Chen at the hospital that he may have lost hearing in one of his ears.
So this is a brutal dictatorship. Most Americans, I think, you know, they get the happy pictures of Beijing and perhaps Shanghai, maybe even if they go there on vacation they come away with a false impression that belie what is going on by the secret police.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: With that vivid picture in mind that you just described, how safe is Mr. Chen here in the United States? We know that nation's reaches don't stop at their borders.
SMITH: That's a great question. You know, we've learned from the Falun Gong and many dissidents who finally got here and got asylum or protection that they are tracked, followed, harassed. There will have to be an extra layer of protection.
CAIN: Who? New York PD, FBI?
SMITH: I think the New York University might be on the short term sufficient but I think it has to be watched carefully, because they do things like car crashes or something happens that is made to look like an accident. So we have to keep a very, very sharp focus.
CAIN: You see pictures in the newspaper like Mr. Chen sitting in Washington Park this weekend. It makes you -- when you bring up things like this -- IRIN CARMON, STAFF WRITER, SALON.COM: I was going to ask you, actually, Congressman Smith, I know that part of the reason that Chen is under fire in China is because of the fact -- I want to ask you coming from a prochoice perspective, if this is something where you feel the pro-life and pro-choice communities could work together, because it is about forcing women to make a choice they don't want to make.
SMITH: Unfortunately, we haven't. You know, I offered the first amendment in the House of Representatives in 1984 to defund any organization that was complicit in these crimes against women. Chen is I believe one of the greatest defenders of women in the world, because he took on an issue that some of the human rights groups have looked askance and literally put aside, perhaps out of ignorance or for whatever reason.
And women have been forcibly aborted since 1979. Chen has a second child only because some disabled persons, he is blind, as everyone knows, do get an opportunity to get a second child. But by and large forced abortion is absolutely pervasive. There is missing maybe on the order of 100 million girls because of sex election abortion. And there are about 500 women per day in China who commit suicide. This is the worst human rights violation ever.
And now we have missing girls, the current problem of sex trafficking. And Soledad, I wrote the trafficking protection act in 2000 to prevent modern day slavery. China is becoming the magnet for that.
O'BRIEN: Mr. Chen has said he wants to go back right? As you list all of these things pretty much from the start of our conversation to now, why? Why would he possibly go back? He is not going to be safe and it looks like there's not been a tremendous change in the human rights issues people have been protesting as you say since the late 1970s.
SMITH: It has gotten worse.
O'BRIEN: So what is the likelihood that in fact Mr. Chen after he studies and gets his law degree at NYU will head back to China to do the work that he wanted to do?
SMITH: I think the short and intermediate term it is very slim. If he goes back that target on his back that is already there here, because the Chinese government very aggressively foments following and harassing people who speak up for human rights even in this country, especially if they're Chinese. If he goes back he and his family will be -- the crosshairs will shift toward him. Right now it is his family that every one of us has to continue our focus as never before.
O'BRIEN: Congressman Chris Smith, we appreciate your time this morning.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, what our eyes caught in the morning papers. Including occupy my wedding. A bride goes completely crazy of course because you know you're so on the edge when you're the bride anyway, when NATO protesters crash her party. We completely understand that.
Don't forget you can watch us live on your computer and mobile phone while at work. CNN.com/live. Guess what? I'm back on twitter @Soledad_OBrien. I kind of got off a little bit. This is Will Cain's play list. You're watching STARTING POINT.
O'BRIEN: All right, Muddy Waters, "Mannish Boy."
O'BRIEN: Let's look at what is in the papers. Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I've just come back from vacation so I am rested.
CARMON: You have a sparkle in your eye.
O'BRIEN: Thank you. I try every day. What do you got, Will? You want to start?
CAIN: I'll start. You want to mess around protesting the 1 percent have your day but you don't mess around with a woman's wedding.
CAIN: Elizabeth Potts and Tim Albert walked out of their wedding. We have video. It was like Jackson Boulevard and Salz Street and she didn't like this. It interrupted her bouquet toss. It did not go over well with Mrs. Potts. Do not occupy someone's wedding.
O'BRIEN: No, no.
CAIN: Was she getting married by herself or was there a groom involved?
O'BRIEN: You saw him there. He kind of ushered her off out of the way which is obviously -- figuring out his role fast.
CARMON: The other one was definitely, sort of took the emphasis from the -- from this story. But a Babe Ruth jersey went for $4.4 million. I think it's incredible. I think it stands people who are role models for generation after generation. You know, my husband comes from a baseball family. I haven't talked to him about this story yet.
O'BRIEN: Maybe he'd be like, honey, I bought something over the weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a little bit more serious from the "New York Times", A-1. More men enter fields dominated by women. This is interesting because as we have these profound economic shifts there's ban lag in terms of men getting involved in places where there are growth -- health care, education, and so on. It is great to see men are adapting and trying out fields like nursing, education, health care and are not bound by the gender stereotype but are going by where the stability and money is.
O'BRIEN: Stability and money will always trump gender stereotypes which I think is probably a good thing. My only thing I'll point out is on page six, hello, Miley Cyrus, hang on. I have to place my hands appropriately over this picture. Miley Cyrus, she is not dressed appropriately. My children are huge fans, like 10 and 11.
CARMON: I think she is a grown woman now.
O'BRIEN: Not for my kids she's not. That's page six. You're reading the front page of the "New York Times." I'm in page six.
We are going to take a short break. Still ahead we'll take a look at what is next for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg the man who literally wrote the book on social media and the social media giant tells us what could be learned ahead. And Mick Jagger drops by "Saturday Night Live" to take on Steven Tyler. It's hilarious. You're watching STARTING POINT. Stay with us.
O'BRIEN: Look at that. I go on vacation. They have a whole new graphic set. I love that, fabulous. Hi, Christine. Good morning to you. What's going on in the headlines?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, President Obama and NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago, Soledad. They'll spend the second day looking for an exit sign in Afghanistan.
Allies are expected to ratify the transition process, which would bring the war to an end in 2014. Police meantime bracing for another day of anti-war protests. Things got violent this weekend as officers arrested at least 45 demonstrators yesterday.
After shocks rattling Northern Italy this morning. Thousands of victims waking up in cars, tents and schools after one of the worst quakes to hit the area in centuries. The 6.0 magnitude quake killed nearly -- killed seven rather and injured at least 50 people.
A verdict could come any day now in the John Edwards corruption trial. The jury was dismissed Friday after its first day of deliberations. The former presidential candidate accused of using campaign cash to cover up his affair. He faces six counts of campaign fraud and conspiracy.
And President Obama visiting Joplin, Missouri today, one year after a devastating tornado destroyed a third of the city and killed 161 people. He'll give the commencement address at Joplin High School. Families in Joplin are still struggling to recover. Hundreds are still living in FEMA trailers unable to rebuild their homes yet. Tim Tebow's digital self true to life. The creative director of the hugely popular Madden Videos Game franchise tweeted that tebowing will appear in the next version of the game. It is unclear whether other players will be able to Tebow as well. Tebow will be with his new team the New York Jets when the game comes out on August 28th -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: You know, I asked him about that the other day. I was interviewing him for something and I said how does it feel, you know, people talking about the tebowing and sometimes even mocking the tebowing?
He's like, I love it. Anybody who wants to talk about people praying on the field I fully support it. I might love that man. He is a really sweet guy. I know, Will.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I like Tim Tebow. What is there not to like?
O'BRIEN: I am happy that he is in New York. Thank you, Christine.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
O'BRIEN: Well, Facebook this morning starts the day trading at almost exactly the same price where it debuted at the company's IPO. The company's stock fell flat last Friday despite some guesses that it would soar.
At the end of day, just 23 cents above its initial $38 a share and some say it could have fallen lower except that underwriters like Morgan Stanley were coming in and buying and buying and buying and making sure at least it held that price.
Let's get to Ben Mezrich this morning. He is author of "Accidental Billionaires," which was the basis of the movie "The Social Network," which was wildly popular.
Ben, good morning and nice to see you. Thanks for talking with us.
BEN MEZRICH, AUTHOR, "THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES": Good morning to you.
O'BRIEN: I'm going to ask Christine, if she's around, will you come and join our conversation? We can do it remotely. You know, we talked a little bit about the stock price because it went up to about 42 and change and then came back down again.
Of course, Mark Zuckerberg got married the day after the IPO so it has been kind of a crazy week or weekend for him. Talk to me a little bit about the culture.
What do you think the reaction is for Mark Zuckerberg around sort of this, I don't want to use the word flop, but certainly not a strong takeoff of the stock and kind of a busy weekend as well? MEZRICH: Well, I mean, I think the expectation for that, it was going to explode and not just the 23 cent soaring I guess. But overall there was so much press.
And so many people wanting to be a part of it that, I mean, they have to be happy that, you know, hundreds of millions of people were watching this and all tried to buy shares.
The retail was out of this world for something like this. On the one hand, it was positive. But, you know, everyone expected it to go flying. And it was just a tougher IPO than they expected, I think. But you know, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't really care.
O'BRIEN: He doesn't really? He is a CEO now.
MEZRICH: He has a swimming pool full of money. He's not a guy that cares that much about money.
MEZRICH: He never cared about money in his whole life.
O'BRIEN: Does he care about success?
MEZRICH: Yes. He wants Facebook to be on everyone's computer. He wants everyone in the world to be part of Facebook. What is important to him I think is that we all used it every day.
So now that he's become an adult CEO of a major company, of course, he has all these people around him who, you know, have to care about this, but him personally?
I think it's more about all of us wanting to use Facebook. That's the important thing.
O'BRIEN: Can you divide those two things, right? He's now the 28- year-old CEO and now that job means running a successful business that has shareholders.
And also he is young and untested and he hasn't really failed up to date. You know, on the other side of that you have sort of a very non-strong opening day for your IPO.
MEZRICH: Yes. You know, listen, around him he's got some really great people like Sheryl Sandberg who is very powerful and very much an adult in the room.
But Mark, himself, you know, he is a bit of a strange guy. I think, you know, his week was a good week. He turned 28. He made $19 billion, and he got married. This isn't a bad week for a guy.
So overall you're right. You know, he has to become the CEO of this major company. He has to become a guy who wears a tie once in a while, right?
But overall, Mark himself is only going to care if we stop using Facebook, which I don't think is going to happen.
O'BRIEN: Will, you want to jump in.
CAIN: Yes, Ben, Will Cain, let's talk about just for a moment one of the other Facebook founders. Tell me about the week that Eduardo Saveryn had last week. I know you wrote the book, "The Social Network." You know these guys. Now, we all know that Eduardo has renounced his United States citizenship just ahead of the IPO. What do you make of that?
MEZRICH: Well, you know, I know Eduardo pretty well. I spent a lot of time with Eduardo and I know him pretty well. I don't think he thought it through or realized how upset people were going to get about this.
I mean, this is a kid who was born in Brazil who only came here as a teenager, spent some time here and then lives in Singapore. So saving a bit of money on his taxes he lives in Singapore and is an international guy.
I don't think he realized that people would get as upset as they have. You know, he is going to save money, but he is doing it because he is an international guy and feels like he'll live in Singapore the rest of his life.
O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question about sort of the financials. If you look at this at a couple fronts, they had this issue I guess with the Nasdaq, which called itself, I think we have a graphic.
ROMANS: Use a kind word.
O'BRIEN: And maybe kinder apology was we're humbly embarrassed.
O'BRIEN: What happened?
ROMANS: You know, there was some problem, a technology flaw. There was some problem and you couldn't get canceled orders and people put orders in and it wasn't until almost 2:00 in the afternoon they found out if their orders were canceled or in and were on.
I mean, it was a mess. So that was an embarrassment. Then Morgan Stanley also probably, I mean, no doubt stepping in having to buy up a lot of these shares because it was priced too high.
Demand wasn't as good as they thought it would be. So on two fronts you had some embarrassments and it was the worst week for stocks in a year.
So it was like kind of a three reasons why it was a really tough day for Facebook shares on Friday.
O'BRIEN: But as Ben just said he is a billionaire, got married, turned 28, a good week. Let me give a final question to Ben before I let him go. What kind of CEO do you think Mark Zuckerberg is going to be? Describe him for me, a couple words.
MEZRICH: I mean, he's going to be strange. He's different. You know, he is an odd guy. He is very socially awkward. We'll keep seeing photos of him looking really strange. But overall, I think his megalomania and belief in Facebook are going to be a good thing for the company. So overall, I think he'll be a good CEO.
CAIN: All the talk about his hoodie and is he up to being a CEO. It's Morgan Stanley and the Nasdaq that failed this opening.
O'BRIEN: Ben Mezrich, thank you. Ben, of course, is the author of the "Accidental Billionaires."
MEZRICH: Thank you very much.
O'BRIEN: Appreciate having you.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, Mick Jagger closes out "SNL's" season and he is hilarious with his take on Steven Tyler. Also, popular cast member says goodbye. We'll tell you who it is.
What's it like to hit more than 200 miles an hour in an Indy car? We're going to talk with drivers Marco Andretti and J.R. Hildebrand. There they are. They're going to chat with us up next. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're just back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back everybody. You're listening to Nirvana. Will Cain, what happened? I go away a week's vacation. He is usually Mr. Country music, a lot of banjo generally.
Now you change the graphics on me. Well, I like the notes, very good. Welcome back everybody. This Sunday, 33 drivers are going to take 200 laps two and a half miles each in the 96th Indianapolis 500.
I guess it's really the 101st anniversary, but they took some time off during World War II so it is the 96th technically. This weekend drivers raced around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval trying to get their positions for the upcoming race in a brand new car that has been redesigned for this year.
Two companies behind the engines in those cars say it could make for the most competitive race yet. J.R. Hildebrand and Marco Andretti join us this morning. Nice to see you gentlemen. Great to have you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having us.
O'BRIEN: It's been advertised, new car, new engine, new drivers, by the way, love that you're wearing your suits.
CAIN: Marco too. He said it is so natural for us to walk around in race gear.
O'BRIEN: I love it. I'm so glad you wore them coming in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We sleep in these.
O'BRIEN: Yes, really? Tell me about the new year and also the practice and sort of the trying to get the pole position yesterday and the last couple days.
MARCO ANDRETTI, INDYCAR DRIVER: Well, I mean, it's basically qualifying. We trim these cars out and what I mean is we make the rear wings basically to make the cars go as fast as possible.
And they're really trimmed out and tough to drive because they lose a lot of the down forcing grip. So we try to make them go as quick as possible for four lapses -- for a four-lap average.
O'BRIEN: How fast were you able to go?
ANDRETTI: I was a mid to high 225 average so that put me fourth.
JR HILDEBRAND, INDYCAR DRIVER: We had a little bit mechanical issue actually so we were sort of 224ish, but --
O'BRIEN: A 224 with a mechanical issue that's miles per hour, people.
HILDEBRAND: Very sensitive things going on here. But you know, you mentioned the new cars. That's fun and new for us this year. Both Marco and I are driving for Chevrolet this year, which they came back into the series because sort of the engine rules changed for this year to make it a little more relevant to street cars.
So that was part of what drew them back in. So it's been kind of fun I think for all the teams and drivers to have something new to work with both on the engine side and with the chassis like the race car itself.
O'BRIEN: How old are both of you?
HILDEBRAND: It's 24 or 25.
O'BRIEN: So you had a great year and a rough year last year. I know you've seen this crash video.
HILDEBRAND: For sure.
O'BRIEN: I want to show a little bit of that crash. I know you've seen it a million times. This is you trying to kind of get in front and you hit the wall.
HILDEBRAND: Yes. As you see it here, basically we're coming down to the last lap and there was a car that was running --
O'BRIEN: You were winning.
HILDEBRAND: Yes. We were in the lead. There was a car was running out of gas and with these race tracks before you kind of saw that you can see a sort of black groove around the race track. And, you know, if you have to get outside that groove we get up into what's called sort of the gray and the marbles. There is all of this stuff from the tires and this kind of thing out there.
So coming into the last corner I kind of had to make a split second decision with this car all of a sudden going as much slower, you know, than I was as it was either jam on the brakes or try to make the pass and get around.
So being that it's the Indy 500, kind of a bigger go home kind of moment and we ended up coming in second with three wheels on it instead.
O'BRIEN: It was Dan Weldon who won and he ended up dying not long after in a crash. I know there is a movement to honor him in this Indy 500. What are they going to do? Do you know?
ANDRETTI: I think we just got to -- there is nothing specific. I think he's always on our minds not just at Indy so I think we'll all be driving with heavy hearts.
Obviously, he is a defending champion there. But, you know, as J.R. said in the earlier interview, I think we just have to think of what a happy person he was and how much he loved the sport and Indy in particular.
And so we'll just go out and do our jobs like he would and kind of -- he is the type of person that would be making fun of us if we're stopping so you just have to think about that.
O'BRIEN: Are you good drivers like in real life? I mean, are you great parallel parkers -- when it's not 225 miles an hour but like 70 on the highway.
ANDRETTI: It's 55.
O'BRIEN: There are some highways I'm sure where technically it is 70. But you know, is driving like a regular person anything like driving on the Indy 500?
CAIN: J.R., Marco, you obviously had long family connections to open wheel racing. How did you pick open wheel racing over say NASCAR?
HILDEBRAND: You know, I grew up -- my dad had been into race cars when I was a kid. So I grew in Northern California, a lot of road racing and that kind of stuff going out there.
So I went to all kinds of races when I was younger and to me it was plain and simple that Indy cars were the fastest cars and that's what I wanted to do. So it sounds very like Ricky Bobby. You definitely, I mean that's the long and short of it to be honest with you.
O'BRIEN: Well, we're really excited for both of you. Good luck over the weekend, on Sunday the 101st Indy 500. Great to have you. Appreciate it. Really love the suits. I really do.
Coming up next on STARTING POINT, Mick Jagger hosts the final night of "Saturday Night Live" and features a tearful farewell to a very popular cast member. We'll bring you some of the highlights and the low lights I guess, you could call it. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back everybody. It's a blow out season finale for "SNL, Saturday Night Live." The host was Mick Jagger and he was doing his impression of a fellow rocker, Steven Tyler as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance," the outdoor music festival. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our guest here tonight is from "American Idol" and those weird Burger King commercials, we are lucky to have her, Steven Tyler!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before I start, I would just like to thank all of the reptiles who gave their lives for this jacket! Yes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: This is so funny and then in the middle of it, he starts doing like jingles because, of course, trying to make the point that they all become very, very commercial as they are doing their song.
CAIN: Making fun of each other.
O'BRIEN: They are both --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A classic piece.
O'BRIEN: Mick Jagger is 64. Steven Tyler is older. He is 68.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought Mick was older.
O'BRIEN: I did too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hard living congressman.
O'BRIEN: Kind of sure. I mean, like research says it, but I'm not really, really sure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seems older is all I can say. Then, again, I realize I'm over 50 so I'll just stop here and I guess we are all --
O'BRIEN: It opens a whole new thing. Kristen Wiig, she left. It was sort of a tearful goodbye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I totally teared up. The amazing thing about Kristen Wiig --
O'BRIEN: I have a tissue to give you. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK. I had two days to recover. She is such a comedienne. She so inhabits everything she plays. They had this last sequence where everyone was dancing we are and you could see she was tearing up.
It was this moment instead of her leaving "SNL" in this blowout of humor it was her being authentic and emotional and connected to the people she was working with.
O'BRIEN: Very, very sweet. You often don't get dramatic like that, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very moving.
CAIN: She is great. She is really good and also great is Jason Sudakis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it hasn't been confirmed.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, chaos in Chicago. Protesters clashing with police in the NATO Summit as the president is working the exit strategy in Afghanistan. We're going to talk you live to Chicago with the very latest on that.
And then this really strange story, a man locked up in Bolivia. He's an American businessman. He's been jailed for almost a year and has not been charged.
The prison is more like a village than a prison and it's run by the fellow inmates, 3,500 prisoners. We are going to talk to the man's wife about the effort to try to free him. You're watching STARTING POINT. We are back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back. Our starting point this morning, war and peace, and protest. Protesters battling with police in Chicago where today NATO will be signing off in an exit from Afghanistan.
Also locked up in Bolivia. Crazy story about an American businessman from New Jersey jailed for almost a year without being charged. He has lost his money. He has lost his freedom. I'm going to talk to his wife about what the U.S. government is doing to try to get him back.
Also our "Get Real" this morning, school is nailed with an enormous fine for what they are selling. We will tell you what it was. They might have to cut programs too.