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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Senate Questions Secret Service Director; New Developments 30 year old in Missing Child Case; Lawsuits Filed over Facebook IPO; Man In Custody In Etan Patz Case; State Of Emergency In Arizona Wildfire; School Shooter Hearing; Calcium Supplements Under Scrutiny; C-Sections Linked To Obesity; Texas School Furloughs Staff; Protest Planned At North Carolina Church; "A Stupid Quest For Masculinity"; Charity Investigated
Aired May 24, 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: A six-and-a-half-year-old boy who vanished more than 30 years ago. The case happened back in 1979. He has never been found. He was walking himself to the bus stop for the very first time, two-block distance. He never returned home. He has been declared legally dead. No charges were ever brought in the case. But new word this morning that someone is being held. He is not being called a suspect. Ashleigh Banfield has more for us. Ashleigh?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're trying to get as many details in as we can. The police commissioner here in New York city is releasing this big nugget of information, that apparently there is a person in custody in relation to this case, someone who has apparently made it clear that he or she has a connection to this case.
As you mentioned, man, this is an old case as 33-year-old Etan Patz went missing in a lower Manhattan neighborhood, never to be seen. No one could crack this case. Several weeks ago, the investigation reopened into a carpenter, a carpenter who had a carpentry shop just down the street from where Etan Patz's family lived. They, in fact, broke open the floor and removed a whole bunch of evidence from that lower Manhattan building that has since changed into a number of other different kinds of venues and didn't find anything.
They removed not only the floor, nearby dumpsters nearby as well. Nothing ever came of it. We are being told that is not the person in custody at this time, just that the NYPD has a person in custody who has implicated himself, Soledad, in this 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz. Also no comment from the parents of Etan Patz. They've remained extraordinarily quiet through those most recent developments and, obviously, everyone wants to know what the further developments are. Police commissioner Ray Kelly says details will be released later on this morning. We'll continue to watch that.
O'BRIEN: We will continue to watch that. Ashleigh, thank you for that update.
Lawsuits filed over Facebook's botched IPO. Morgan Stanley, several other underwriters are named in these lawsuits. Lawyers claim that inside information about the company was given to banks and big investors but not to the general public. Facebook's stock closed up yesterday for the first time since the IPO on Friday. It's now at $32 a share. It's still down 15 percent from its closing price on day one.
So how did one of the most anticipated IPO's in history go so wrong? According to the lawsuit, Facebook executives told the underwriter banks to lower the revenue projections for the company. And the banks relayed this information to certain clients but not to average investors. A statement from Facebook reads this, "We believe the lawsuit is without merit and will defend ourselves vigorously." Morgan Stanley says about the same.
Congressional committees in the House and Senate are looking into the launch of Facebook's IPO. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut joins us this morning. He's also Connecticut's former attorney general, where he sued companies like Countrywide Financial, one of the major ones we remember. It's nice to have you with us.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D) CONNECTICUT: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: The key question, of course, were some investors given some information that other investors were not given? What potentially was done that was illegal?
BLUMENTHAL: What potentially was done essentially was that material information about revenue earnings, forecasts about the growth of the company was shared with some investors, big institutional investors, clients who were favored by the analysts of those underwriters, like Morgan Stanley, and not given more broadly to the retail ordinary investor who obviously was seeing and reading the hype. This was one of the most ballyhooed prospectuses in recent history. The question about actual revenue and earnings was shared selectively with the few.
O'BRIEN: So Facebook did, in fact, file an amendment in their prospectus which really talked about those mobile app concerns. They also told 20 analysts to alert them of their lower second quarter sales estimates. And that was communicated apparently to the major investors. That's the kind of thing that's done over the phone, correct? It's not sent out by e-mail. How would you get that information to, say, people who are going to be trying to purchase Facebook online or the small, regular folk investors?
BLUMENTHAL: One of the reasons that there really needs to be an investigation by the Senate bank committee and by Congress is that the law may have to be changed, because those -- the conference call, for example, occurred on May 9th where the underwriters were told by Facebook, you need to revise your earnings forecast down.
O'BRIEN: The second quarter will be not as good as we thought.
O'BRIEN: This could be a problem, red flag. Only some people got that information?
BLUMENTHAL: Only to some people, not the general public. Material information that should have been shared more broadly and shouldn't oral or verbal communication be treated the same way as written prospectuses filed with the government?
O'BRIEN: So how would you -- what you're saying is that it's possible that there was nothing that was illegal, but still the system has to be changed?
BLUMENTHAL: The question now will be determined by the SEC, the financial regulatory authority, lawsuits. But there may be a need to change the law, to make it more exacting so that the playing field really is fair and balanced and everybody gets the same information at the same time.
By the way, you know, this IPO, ironically, was supposed to be very fair to the little guy, to the retailer. The Facebook hype was that the retail offering was supposed to be reaching out to the ordinary investor and made available to him or her. And, second, you know, here the institutional investors may have received that kind of red flag or early warning in ways that came much more directly from Facebook itself than customarily occurs with the company.
O'BRIEN: Morgan Stanley says they followed the same procedures for the Facebook offering that it follows for IPO offering. What kind of culpability is Morgan Stanley and the other underwriters looking at?
BLUMENTHAL: They're facing potential culpability for losses to investors, but also potential penalties if the SEC investigation goes forward and they are held accountable for failing to disclose the kind of information that should be available more broadly to the public, misleading and deceptive practices under the SEC laws. That kind of penalty, if it ever occurs, is way down the road. What we need to examine right now is does the IPO process work for everyone fairly? Is the Facebook poster child, so to speak, an illustration of why the laws need to be made fairer, more exact?
O'BRIEN: William Galvin is the secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and here is what he had to say this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM GALVIN: The greater issue here is if we're going to attract people, average investors back into the marketplace, there has to be a sense of fairness, there has to be an understanding that everyone is even, that my money is just as good as yours. Investors will not feel that way if they think certain people are getting insider information and others are not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: So he is both talking about fairness, which you mentioned. He also mentioning inside information. Fairness is not necessarily something that you can sue somebody over. But inside information definitely is. How do you think that this Facebook IPO, just from the legal standpoint alone -- let's not bother to talk about the stock for a moment. How will it end up? BLUMENTHAL: I think that legally the key facts need to be fully and fairly investigated. For example, the downward revision of five percent in the earnings estimates may have been made available only to the institutional investors, may have been done by the analysts at the underwriters, which itself raises questions if the analysts were involved in a misleading way or even directly communicating certain estimates.
There's all kinds of technical questions here. It may come down to fairness, because the law, believe it or not, is supposed to be fair and the little guy, the ordinary investor, the retail, as opposed to the institutional investor, really deserves fairness here. And Mr. Galvin is absolutely right that there's no way to attract investors back to the market if it's perceived to be an un-level playing field. I think there will be some settlements here and I think people will be held accountable.
O'BRIEN: Senator Blumenthal thank you for being here this morning. Appreciate it.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Time to get an update on some of the other stories that are making news. Let's get right to Christine for that. Hey, Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad. The State Department pushing for the release of a man who helped the CIA track down Usama bin Laden. He led a fake vaccine drive that led to confirmation that bin Laden was hiding in that compound in Abbottabad. Pakistan has sentenced him to 33 years in prison for conspiracy against the state. The State Department says there is just no basis for his jailing.
A stunning admission from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She says the government hacked into websites run by Al Qaeda in Yemen, replacing ads that boasted about killing Americans with ones that focuses on the death of civilians in Al Qaeda terror attacks. Secretary Clinton says it's part of the U.S. effort to counter Al Qaeda's recruiting tactics.
After nearly 13 hours firefighters have managed to put out the flames on a nuclear submarine in Maine. They say it was really never a threat to the ship's reactor. The fire broke out in the forward compartment of the USS Miami where living quarters and command quarters are located. That fire is now out.
A new star is born, and he has a voice so nice, they named him twice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner of "American Idol" season 11 is -- Philip Philips.
(APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Philip Philips crowned the winner of "American Idol" season 11, beating out Rebecca Sanchez. Philips is a 21-year-old pawn shop owner from Leesburg. This is the fifth year a man has won idol. The last woman was Jordan Sparks back in 2007.
O'BRIEN: Wow, what's happening there?
ROMANS: I don't know. The girls aren't bringing it.
O'BRIEN: Thanks, Christine.
Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the Secret Service head boss says he's sorry about the prostitutes. Senators grilling him about what happened in South America and whether it could happen again.
And a shocking sermon, the pastor who wants to put gays behind an electric fence so they die out. We'll hear from him this morning. Followers saying he's a man of god.
Margaret Hoover, Will Cain, are walking in to join the panel. Good morning, guys.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. The director of the Secret Service calling his agents "reckless and dumb" over the prostitution scandal in Columbia. Director Mark Sullivan testified at a Senate hearing yesterday. He said he will not make any excuses for the agents' behavior, but he did work hard to convince skeptical senators that the incident wasn't caused by the culture of the Secret Service.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK SULLIVAN, SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: The notion that this type of behavior is condoned or authorized is just absurd. I never one time had any supervisor or any other agent tell me that this type of behavior is condoned. Who were these people that were condoning it? I will tell you, sir, that is not the agency I know, that we would condone such behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Ronald Kessler is the author of "In the President's Secret Service." He wrote the original story about the Secret Service's Colombian jaunt. Thank you for joining us. What did you think about the director's testimony yesterday?
RONALD KESSLER, AUTHOR, "IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE": Well, he was absolutely correct when he said that this is not a systemic problem or that misconduct is condoned. But what he didn't say and what the senators didn't ask him about is a far more outrageous problem and that is management laxness, culture within management of not condoning misconduct but condoning security breaches, such as letting people into events without magnetometer or screening. That is outrageous and threatens the life of the president.
In addition, they don't do regular polygraph testing, whereas the FBI does. They don't do regular ethics or security training, whereas the FBI does. I read about that in a News Max story. They don't keep up with the latest firearms. They're still using weapons that the FBI has long ago discarded. They don't even insist on regular physical training requirements or firearms requalification. That is the real scandal and totally ignored in these hearings.
O'BRIEN: Susan Collins, it was interesting in the hearings. She was trying to, I guess, frame for director, there's some evidence -- to her, at least -- that this was not the first time. Take a listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) MAINE: They don't try to conceal their actions in any way. And that suggests to me that they weren't worried about being caught, that they did not think there would be consequences if they were caught. Otherwise, wouldn't you expect that they would try to conceal their actions?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Do you agree with her rationale on this, that just the fact that they're signing in with their real names and signing the prostitutes in to the hotel with their real names there was a nonchalance to this?
KESSLER: They were obviously idiots and this is corner cutting. These agents figure if they cut corners and they let people into the White House without seeing a guest list, they figure we can do what we want. The Secret Service never thought any of this would get out except that I broke the story about what happened. It would have been considered an internal personnel matter.
So these assumptions are, you know, legitimate but not backed up by any facts. The hearings never actually probed what really goes on in the Secret Service. There was no indication that they really talked to any agents as I have, getting their trust, getting the real story. And the real story is that this is a disaster waiting to happen. Unfortunately, only test to whether the Secret Service is doing its job properly is whether there's an assassination. That is really the tragedy that may happen unless steps are taken to get this agency back on track the way it used to be before the department of homeland security took it over.
O'BRIEN: Ronald Kessler is the author of "In the President's Secret Service." Nice to see you, sir. Thanks for your time.
KESSLER: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning, the dangers of skinny jeans. We'll tell you why maybe you should pick a looser variety, that straight ahead.
Don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer or your mobile device. CNN.com/liv CNN.com/TV live. I'm back with a vengeance on twitter, or just back.
O'BRIEN: My collection is this deep. I've completely given up. In the papers now, who wants to start? Yes, you go.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: If you live in Dallas and you know pizza patron or any of the surrounding area, on June 5g9, pay very close attention to what I'm about to say. If you can order in Spanish, you get your pizza for free on June 5th.
O'BRIEN: In Dallas?
HOOVER: Anywhere where pizza patron delivers. Quite a bit of controversy. People who are saying this is discriminating against people who speak English. And on the left side of the spectrum is saying -- I don't even know what they're saying. They're downward --
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: My question is, speaking Spanish to each other and say I guess I landed on CNN Espanol today or CNN.
CAIN: Turns out that those skinny jeans that --
O'BRIEN: The ones you're always wearing in here that mark and I are telling you not to wear?
CAIN: First of all, I don't wear skinny jeans. These are not skinny jean.
O'BRIEN: Are you showing off your skinny jeans?
CAIN: These are not skinny jeans. I'm not in eighth grade. I wear baggy jeans. Are these skinny jeans? No.
CAIN: These are good for your health. Skinny jeans are bad for your health.
CAIN: Because apparently they compress a nerve that goes down the center of your thigh, causing maralgia parasthetica.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: My story in the papers today is someone who grew up in Long Island reading the "Daily News" and "New York Post" every day, the story of Peter Bud Zaccaro, former mob hit man, the "Daily News" delicately called it, a mob rat. He is testifying in federal trial and says that the thing that's wrong with the mafia is that John Gotti ruined it because he made it too much, too flashy, in the papers too much. He wanted to be a celebrity.
O'BRIEN: I think he's right.
BROWNSTEIN: Is that what ruined it or was it like the killing people part?
O'BRIEN: I think that part has been consistent across all time. And then it was the event trying to bring the fame to the killing people part that kind of ruined it.
BROWNSTEIN: I think it's all bad.
O'BRIEN: Let's move to our commercial break. Ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, breaking news to get to in the case of Etan Patz, the six-year-old boy who disappeared, you might remember, more than three decades ago. Police now say they have someone in custody. Not many details. We'll tell you what the New York police department commissioner, Ray Kelly, is saying.
Also, some backlash after that North Carolina pastor suggested that rounding up gays and lesbians and putting them behind an electric fence until they die could be a good idea. We'll hear from a woman who attends his church. She says she's an open lesbian. We'll get your feedback. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Let's get right to break news this morning. New York City police have a man in custody in connection with the 1979 disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz.
You'll remember the little boy vanished while he was walking to a bus stop in Manhattan. Ashleigh Banfield has been monitoring the latest developments for us this morning. Hi, Ashleigh. Good morning.
BANFIELD: Good morning, Soledad. This is really unusual. If you look at the date tomorrow will be exactly 33 years to the day that Etan Patz disappeared on his way to school.
Now we're getting word from the New York City Police Department that they have a man in custody who has, quote, "implicated himself in the disappearance of this 6-year-old little boy."
Why this is sounding very familiar to you, even though this is a 33-year-old case, is because just a few weeks ago, this case was reopened. It turned out that there was a cadaver dog that searched a basement about 100 yards from where this family still lives and got a mark.
Something was curious. The dog got the mark and the investigators went in and dug up that concrete basement. The significance of the basement, it was the workshop of a carpenter 33 years ago, a carpenter named Osni Miller.
He is now 75 years old. He was not arrested. The search turned up nothing, sadly. No more information other than a big search, lot of debris removed and a couple of dumpsters as well.
But it was fascinating because it was the first time in 33 years that there had been this massive undertaking to see if they could solve this case.
Now this case also was huge and made national headlines, being a New York Story, because it was the first time a child appeared on a milk carton.
This was the effort, this was the beginning of the effort to start a national campaign to find missing children. So Etan Patz was the flagship case in the national effort to find missing children.
To again, just to wrap up for you, the New York City Police say they'll have further details a little later on today about why they have this person in custody, perhaps who this person is and why this person has implicated him or herself in the disappearance, 1979 disappearance, again, 33 years to the day tomorrow.
O'BRIEN: All right, we're obviously going to be watching that very closely and bring updates to all as soon as we get some more information. Ashleigh, thank you.
O'BRIEN: Other top stories making news, Christine has a look at those. Good morning.
ROMANS: Good morning, again, Soledad. Wildfires out west, burning out of control. Winds up to 70 miles an hour, threatening to push a fire in Nevada to new extremes later today.
The fire has already consumed -- destroyed two homes, consumed more than 7,000 acres. More than 500 firefighters are on the scene. This fire is just 15 percent contained this hour.
Another fire in Arizona has scorched nearly 16,000 acres. Much of the damage has been on rural federal lands, but the town of Crown King has been evacuated as a precaution. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has declared a state of emergency in Arizona.
A hearing will be held in Ohio later today to decide whether accused school shooter TJ Lane can be tried as an adult. The 17-year-old is charged with killing three students in the cafeteria at Chardon High School back in February.
Two others who were shot survived their injuries. Lane was at Chardon High waiting to take a bus to an alternative high school he normally attended.
Do you take calcium supplements? Turns out they might be dangerous. Researchers studied 24,000 people in Europe over 11 years. They found people who regularly took these calcium supplements had an 86 percent greater risk of heart attack than those who didn't take them.
But researchers say the new findings don't show cause and effect and are at odds with other studies so more to come there.
Babies delivered by C-Section may be more likely to become obese as children. A new study examined more than 1,200 mothers and their babies and researchers found kids delivered by C-Section were twice as likely to be obese by the time they're 3 years old. C- Sections have already been linked to increase risk of asthma in babies.
The oldest two-year college in the state of Texas, Tiny Lon Morris College, a private faith-based school in Jacksonville with about 1,000 students. It's furloughed nearly its entire staff and its president has resigned.
Students and staff given 10 days to vacate campus. But a spokesman for the school is holding hope for a fall semester.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE HUBBARD, SCHOOL SPOKESMAN: Simply a down time for reorganization, efforts to be done. So we can begin to be fruitful and go forward in a positive manner in the fall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Summer courses at Lon Morris have also been canceled. The school has been operating in East Texas since 1854 -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Wonder what's going to happen to students who paid their tuition. I mean, you know, those grants that then go on to tuition, are they all reimbursed?
ROMANS: A lot of kids in limbo, right? If you think you're going to get a degree.
O'BRIEN: Yes, that's terrible. All right, Christine, thank you.
Hundreds of protesters are planning to demonstrate outside a North Carolina church this Sunday after the pastor call for gays and lesbians to be rounded up and forced to live behind electric fences so they could die out.
As Anderson pointed out rightfully the other day, this pastor believes that gay people are only born to other gay people. Anyway -- in case you missed it, here is the Mother's Day sermon that stirred up so much controversy. It's the Reverend Charles Worley talking. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REVEREND CHARLES WORLEY, PASTOR, PROVIDENCE ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH: Build a great, big large fence, 150 or 100-mile long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified so they can't get out. Feed them and -- you know what? In a few years, they'll die out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: That's the Mother's Day speech.
CAIN: Mother's Day.
O'BRIEN: At the church. Wonder what he does at Christmas Day?
CAIN: Has he figured out it needs to be about 150 miles?
O'BRIEN: I have no idea. The comments though as far as outrage not just in his community or in parts of his community, but across the country, and as CNN's Gary Tuchman tells us that Worley's flock is standing behind him.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Soledad, on Wednesday night for the second night in a row, a special prayer service was held at this North Carolina church, hundreds of people turned out to support their pastor and support the words he uttered on Mother's Day that hurt so many.
We wanted to talk to Pastor Charles Worley since we have been here. He's refused to talk to us. Normally when we cover stories like this, we'll go into a church service, we're invited, even a controversial story, church, mosque, synagogue usually people let us in.
But in this case we're being told by the local sheriff's office if we step foot on the property, we'll be arrested for trespassing. So we haven't done that.
Now we did spend some time talking to a woman who has been to about 20 services over the years or 20 sermons from this pastor. She is not one of the people who attended this special prayer service. There are two reasons.
We'll call her Jane to protect her identity. Number one, she's not a member. She attends because a close relative is a member. But the more important reason is number two, she is a lesbian.
She's obviously very outraged at what was said on Mother's Day, but her feelings are very complex. We're protecting her identity because she has two small children and not all her children's friends' parents know she's a lesbian.
TUCHMAN: When you heard these comments that he made on Mother's Day, Pastor Worley, how did you feel?
"JANE", HAS ATTENDED WORLEY'S CHURCH: I was saddened, I was disappointed.
TUCHMAN: Were you surprised?
JANE: I was not surprised.
TUCHMAN: And tell me why you weren't surprised?
JANE: I've been aware of his opinions and beliefs about homosexuality.
TUCHMAN: Have you heard him utter similar comments over the years when you have attended the church?
JANE: I have heard comments along those same lines in the past.
TUCHMAN: If you had a chance to talk to him, and perhaps you will soon, because it's a small town, would you say something to him about this?
JANE: I would say hello. I would extend my hand. And I would say you've been going through a tough time, this was a very difficult situation for our community, and I pray for you, for hope, healing, peace, tolerance.
TUCHMAN: Do you think that he's a good man?
JANE: I think it would be difficult to judge his entire life, ministry, character on that Sunday's sermon. I believe that he probably is.
TUCHMAN: A good man?
JANE: I think he intends to do good. I think in Pastor Worley's mind, he is preaching love, but it's in his mind he's preaching love.
TUCHMAN: Obviously, Jane is not fighting fire with fire. Now we are told by one of the participants of these special services over the last two nights that the pastor is amazed at all the attention his speech has gathered, whatever that means.
We can tell you that civil rights groups are planning a large protest this weekend. It won't be here at the church. There's not enough room. It will be at the courthouse. They're expecting, they say, up to 2,000 people to protest this pastor -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Gary Tuchman for us this morning. Gary, thank you. He's amazed. Yes, it's called YouTube. Little hateful rants get to go all over the world now.
Moving on, ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, a charity for disabled veterans raised nearly $56 million over three years, which sounds pretty amazing. Problem, though, is that not one dime has actually gone to help disabled veterans. What's being done about it? CNN investigates this one.
And a self-confessed wimp panics when he has to man up after he learns he's having a baby boy. We're going to talk to Joel Stein about his quest to find his masculinity. Here he is. Here is his playlist "Pearl Jam." Come on over.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everyone. I always tell you we have a great guest because everyone was chatting. We keep going.
I don't know. I've never had a bad guest yet, but Joel Stein who writes the awesome column for "Time" magazine on the back page. It's funny, snarky. Sometimes I disagree with what you write.
But not long ago, he found out that he and his pregnant wife were about to have a baby boy. That's when he went right into a full-blown panic attack. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSANDRA STEIN, JOEL'S WIFE: Joel, when he found out that we had a boy, he freaked out. He's like, I feel like if I have a boy, I'm going to have to teach him how to be a man and I was never like that. All my friends were girls. I had an easy bake oven as a kid. He could use a little bit of a masculine edge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daddy doesn't know how to drive this car. It's a stick shift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: So what to do? Man up. Joel started filming a series of man ventures. He documents the result in his new book, which is called "Man Made, A Stupid Quest For Masculinity."
Joel joins us this morning. It's nice to see you. You really went into full-blown panic attack?
JOEL STEIN, AUTHOR, "MAN MADE": I didn't think I would. I didn't think I would care about the gender of my child. But then --
O'BRIEN: You saw the sonogram?
STEIN: I saw the sonogram and there's that spot. They told it was a penis and I freaked out because I pictured having to take that penis camping and that penis wanting to know how to play baseball --
CAIN: Say it four or five more times.
O'BRIEN: So you said, I own no Match Box car, no dirt bikes, I never climbed a tree, built a fort, broke a bone. I had an easy bake oven, a glass animal collection, sticker albums, a stack of LPs of nothing but show tunes and a love for making stained glass ornaments. I'm not equipped to raise a boy. I'm equipped to raise a disappointed contestant on antiques road show.
STEIN: That's what is in store for my son.
O'BRIEN: Why would you possibly think that raising a boy today would require all those things?
STEIN: Because that's what they do. Boys want to go camping and they want to play baseball and football. I knew I would be in trouble if I had to do that stuff.
CAIN: I applaud your effort.
STEIN: Thank you.
CAIN: Definitely you have to have some connection to masculinity. Now it sounds like you do. What did you do?
O'BRIEN: Walk us through the man ventures.
STEIN: I started out slowly. I wanted to fix the first mistake in my life, which was not becoming a boy scout. Because my mom said it was a fascist organization and I didn't want to do it because they did a lot of stuff outdoors. Nothing good happens outdoors, no TV. I had no interest. So I went on my first camping trip.
O'BRIEN: Was that legal?
STEIN: They didn't fingerprint me. I'm a little concerned about the organization. They should get more fascist.
O'BRIEN: I'm a little concerned about that, too.
STEIN: That was a little bogus. That was a trained bear.
O'BRIEN: You did a visual.
O'BRIEN: This bear thing is actually --
STEIN: It's very impressive looking until you know it's a trained bear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fine. Just stay here.
STEIN: It's coming towards us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fine.
STEIN: Why is he coming towards us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not even looking at us. Stand your ground. Stand your ground. He's a little closer than I expected. Stand your ground. It's OK. It's OK. It's OK. Stand your ground. Stay here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: You didn't do that in the book, but you did work out with a UFC fighter.
STEIN: I didn't work out. I fought him. I went one round with --
O'BRIEN: How did that turn out? You have your nose still attached to your face.
STEIN: I do and his winning streak is intact.
CAIN: The list of things you've done, that would scare me the most. If someone said you're getting in the ring with randy couture, I would be like, really?
STEIN: I've done some training with the president of the UFC. And his idea of training was have the guy kick me as hard as he could in the leg and so I was learning more about getting beat up. It was awful. It was. I do not recommend it.
HOOVER: What do you think it is about our culture that has contributed to the demasculinization of urban men that affected you?
CAIN: I think skinny jeans.
STEIN: Skinny jeans are not helping. It's the technology. Everyone's dad is maler than them and everyone's dad before that. If you believe the bible at all, men used to spend their time going to the town next to them.
Killing all the people they could, slaving the rest and grabbing their women. Over time, things have gotten easier and easier unless it's required of us, which is mostly a great thing obviously.
But I think we've lost a little bit of our self reliance, confidence and our ability to protect our families.
O'BRIEN: Are you a manly man now?
STEIN: I am 12 percent manlier, which is a huge improvement.
O'BRIEN: Over zero is a large improvement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are aware that your child is going to rebel against this completely, right? Somehow he's going to turn out the exact opposite of what you want.
STEIN: I'm only a little manlier. I'm still hoping he rebels against me. I fix stuff around the house now, which my wife likes, not big things. I fixed a toilet.
O'BRIEN: That's not small. That's good.
STEIN: I think --
O'BRIEN: That's it. That's the list. I thought he was ramping up to go to the list. He's like, the toilet.
STEIN: There were other things in the house, some refrigerator issues.
O'BRIEN: Is there a big takeaway about what it is to be a man today?
STEIN: Yes. I think what I've found is that I'm not some black box that I thought I had to learn about, that I'm experiences. The more man experiences I did, the more confident I became and more self- reliant I was. In the end, I was glad that I went in the ring of Randy Couture and I kind of regretted not going a second round with him.
O'BRIEN: The book is called "Man Made, A Stupid Quest For Masculinity." It's nice to see you. Joel Stein is the author. We appreciate it.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead on Starting Point, a Senate committee is investigating a veteran's charity after CNN revealed that millions of dollars in donations aren't going to wounded warriors. We'll update you on that story. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: A veteran's charity stiffing disabled veterans. The Senate is now investigating the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
It happened after CNN revealed that most of the money isn't going to vets. It had nearly $60 million in donations since it started operating back in 2007 and nearly none of that money has gone to veterans and their families.
Millions of the dollars though have gone to a direct mail company that works with the foundation and many other charities raising a very big red flag for Montana Senator Max Baucus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR MAX BAUCUS (D), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE: Frankly, I smell a rat there. I have a hunch that the mail order is using the veteran's organization as a front for themselves. They get the contributions for well meaning Americans who think they are helping disabled vets when in fact the money is going to this other outfit that's a fund-raising operation and then the money is going to disabled vets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The nation's largest charity watchdog gives the group an "F" grade. They estimate that 2 percent of the money actually raised is going to disabled veterans.
One of the things they'll do is they'll actually send them supplies and not necessarily even supplies they need like bottles of hand sanitizer.
One of the folks in the story I should mention that broke on Anderson Cooper's show and one of the stories the guy was on the receiving end of supplies and got a lot of M&Ms, bags and bags and bags of M&Ms. But of course, not what he need to fix the building that he was doing his work for.
CAIN: Passing along things that they were getting for free. They were passing along surpluses spending their actual funds on what? More fundraising, going to a direct mail company.
HOOVER: And this is one of those areas you have seen in philanthropy with the outpouring that Americans have with the returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are so many folks coming back so there's naturally an outpouring from the voluntary spirit of Americans to help them, but then you also get people who take advantage.
CAIN: In fact, Margaret, this charity watch suggests that two- thirds of veterans' charities rank a D or F. This is what you need to guard against that kind of emotional tide of something that gets leverage over you.
O'BRIEN: I disagree. I actually think it's right here. Go and look up how they rate and keep your emotional tie and be connected emotionally and ready to give.
CAIN: It's the emotional tie that causes people not to research. If two-thirds associated with veterans are D or F, do what you're talking about.
O'BRIEN: What that -- to me what that means is people aren't doing the research. You should do your research see who is getting an A or B and then give them your money, but don't by any means not give money because you feel emotionally compelled to these terrible stories.
CAIN: That's not what I was suggesting, Mr. Cain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were coconut M&Ms. Random boxes of disgusting M&Ms that nobody wants and used blankets is the other thing and shoes that one of the veterans group went out and sold because they obviously couldn't do anything with them.
HOOVER: But there also are a lot of really excellent veterans organizations doing really incredible work, important work. The bottom line is look into the organization.
O'BRIEN: I should mention that Drew Griffin is the correspondent who literally has spent the last two years trying to track down and get them to make a statement about where the money has been going. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens with these stories is people hear about this and don't want to give money to anybody. There are great groups out there. You have to research them.
O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, Mitt Romney makes interesting campaign promise and says he'll get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent if he's elected president. Is it ambitious that number? Maybe not so much. We're digging deeper on that one.
Plus, caught on tape, a man puts a baby inside a washing machine and then the door locks. We'll hear from the mother of the baby who had no idea that that was happening. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.