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Mom Chokes Bully
Aired May 31, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Get this: a woman chokes a 14-year-old boy in a mall for raunchy Facebook comments he had made about her 13-year-old daughter. That mom is here with me to talk about what she did, why she did it and she is ready to take your calls and comments.
And later, Bloomberg ban, so-called. The New York mayor wants to restrict your consumption of high calorie sodas. Government out of control influencing what you eat and drink? Or is this a necessary, desperate measure to fight obesity?
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: Welcome to the program. I appreciate you joining me tonight.
We are looking at a mother who is charged with child abuse for choking a teenager she says harassed her daughter on Facebook.
Debbie Piscitella says she snapped when she approached the boy in a mall and asked him to stop sending insulting messages. Debbie is here with her daughter, McKenna.
Debbie, can you tell me what happened?
DEBBIE PRISCITELLA, ADMITTED TO CHOKING DAUGHTER`S BULLY: Yes. He -- my daughter has a Facebook page. She had taken a photograph of herself wearing a pair of shorts that says Ms. Radky (ph) on it, lead singer for a band that she really likes. We had went and seen on Saturday.
As soon as she posted it, a girl started making comments, you knows, about laughing about her, how fat she was and she shouldn`t be wearing the shorts. Then about two or three comments later, the girl`s boyfriend started, you know, making comments about how she was too disgusting and she should be on Jenny Craig --
PINSKY: Debbie, I`m going to interrupt you. I`m going to interrupt you, because McKenna seems stricken by all this.
McKenna, let me say, you`re a lovely young girl. And I am mortified that you`ve had to go through this. I am so sorry. I can just imagine your mom. I can see her feeling your pain with you. McKenna, what did he say to you? And what is the message you`d like to give out tonight?
MCKENNA PISCITELLA, HER MOTHER CHOKED HER BULLY: He --
D. PISCITELLA: Just breathe. It`s okay. Just tell him.
M. PISCITELLA: Can I say --
D. PISCITELLA: Tell him what he said. Don`t say his name, though.
M. PISCITELLA: He said that I`m so fat and nasty that nobody would want to rape me and I should go die and donate my body to science.
PINSKY: McKenna, McKenna, do you have good friends? Do you have lots of good friends? Have they been supporting you through this?
M. PISCITELLA: Yes.
PINSKY: I want to say, you`re breaking my heart, my dear. Again, I just -- we`ll get into what mom did and whether that was right or not. Not everyone in the world is like this boy, McKenna. You know what I mean? You hopefully --
M. PISCITELLA: Yes.
PINSKY: -- you came across a bad one here. And I hope that -- you don`t deserve any of this. And my hope and prayer is that you don`t go through this ever again. This will just be one of those things. It`s really tough at your age to be able to tolerate this kind of thing. It really is tough.
But I want you to know, the fact is you`re a lovely young girl. You know, you keep the people around you that love you.
Now, Debbie, why did you have to go in there and put yourself in harm`s way?
D. PISCITELLA: You know, I didn`t -- I hated watching my daughter, you know, she was depressed, you know, he was saying these horrible things. I mean, that`s just a little tiny bit of what he said. You know, I`m sure --
PINSKY: Debbie? We of course can`t confirm anything he said. We have no independent corroboration of this. I`m going to listen to an interview with you in a second here that the boy gave on the radio show, the Cowheads yesterday. I`ll play that in just a second.
And while we`re listening to it, I want you to think about this. You took the law into your own hands, I think. I suspect that`s what happened. I want you to address that. First let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RADIO HOST: Do you know for sure about his daughter, that she allegedly is a little loose?
TEEN: Yes, I`ve heard a little stories. And I`m not going to say little as in little. I mean, I`ve heard five or six guys tell me that she`s been --
RADIO HOST: Around the block.
TEEN: Up and around. Yes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. And it`s stuff like that that, of course, caused you to react. But why not call her parents? His parents, rather? Why not contact his parents and try to do something proactive rather than really taking the law into your own hands?
D. PISCITELLA: Everything just happened so fast. You know, I can`t really discuss exactly what I did. I mean, it`s in the papers what I did, but, you know, I -- I reacted, you know, as a mother trying to protect her daughter, you know, from the disgusting, vile things he said. You know, I just --
PINSKY: Listen, I sympathize with it. Trust me, I sympathize deeply, I`m just saying.
Let`s hear what the callers have to say about this.
Susie in Indiana. Susi, go ahead.
SUSIE, CALLER FROM INDIANA: Hey, Dr. Drew.
SUSIE: I want to say I know firsthand what a problem bullying is. My son is in middle school. We had to switch schools. I mean, when the teachers don`t take it seriously and the parents of the other child don`t, what to you do?
PINSKY: Debbie took the law into her own hands. Do you condone what she did? To you think it`s OK to do something like that?
SUSIE: I don`t condone what she did but I understand as a mother where you get to the point emotionally where -- yes, you`re so frustrated.
PINSKY: I think we all kind of understand.
Christine, what do you want to say about this? Christine in Georgia?
CHRISTINE, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: Well, I`ve done a lot of intervention with this time of thing with kids. I was a director at a summer camp. We had a program that addressed this quite aggressively.
Technology has really taken bullying to a whole new level. We have suicides because of this. I understand, you know, her reaction.
But to assault somebody is over the top. I just feel badly that this had to happen. And it`s unfortunate that, you know, maybe she could have done a face to face with him and embarrassed him and shamed him.
PINSKY: Christine, I`m not sure shaming is the right way to go, either. I mean, did you try his parents, Debbie?
D. PISCITELLA: No, I didn`t. Like I said, everything happened so fast.
PINSKY: And you -- rather than making things better made things worse, didn`t it?
D. PISCITELLA: Yes. I did.
PINSKY: Jackie in Ohio. Jackie, you have a comment?
JACKIE, CALLER FROM OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
JACKIE: I`m a mother of five, in ages ranging from 7 to 16, and we`ve had, you know, issues with kids, not quite that severe, but I find that when you do approach the parents these days, it`s not like it was 20 years ago where the parents, you know, really wanted to control their children. A lot of times the parents are just as defensive as the kids. What should you do?
PINSKY: You`re right, Jackie. This kid, I don`t know his kid. I don`t know his parents. I would be worried you might be right there in approaching the parents that you might end up with something as abusive is what -- I mean, listen, whether this kid is a reflection of his parents or not, kids tend to be. That`s what we all need to listen to very carefully here is that we affect how our kids behavior in the world.
I was talking to somebody today, Bob Forrest, the guy with the hat and glasses from "Celebrity Rehab" with me talking about how when he was bullied as a kid, there were at least other kids that stepped in and said, hey, hey, come on, now. There`s no -- nothing anymore. Somebody like McKenna is left adrift by herself.
I want you to look at this girl. This girl deserves to be bullied like that? Come on, guys. Really? This is somebody that deserves -- McKenna, I`m sorry, I don`t mean to upset you. This is -- I`m sort of left speechless by all this. I really am.
All right. Now, next up, our caller wants to know why Debbie didn`t ignore the postings. That question, Debbie, what she has to say about that and more. And Lisa Bloom coming to join me, straight ahead.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TEEN: I said you should donate your body to science because blue whales are rare. I was like, your daughter`s been around the block a few times, and that was it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was a teenage boy talking to the radio show, "The Cowhead," about the Facebook messages he sent a young girl. That girl, McKenna, is with me now and her mother, Debbie.
Now, listen, those of you that may be -- I want to say that it`s important we put a face on these stories right now. McKenna, I want to thank you for stepping up and, Debbie, you, too, for allowing us to tell this story. You are both very courageous.
Debbie, you admit you may have made bad choices here.
D. PISCITELLA: Absolutely.
PINSKY: But first of all, I just want to say -- I just want to say, first of all, we support your daughter wholeheartedly. I`m deeply troubled she had to go through this, but I want to commend her for her courage for allowing us to put a face on this story. McKenna, thank you. I think you may affect other people out there, not just by sharing your story and other people who have been through it, by maybe making people think about this before they bully somebody else in the future.
I want to bring in Lisa Bloom. Lisa is the author of a book about boys. She`s an attorney and the book is called "Swagger."
Lisa, I`m sure you`ve been listening to this. You know, you`ve done a lot of thinking about what we should do with our teenage boys. Here is collateral damage from "Swagger".
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Let me talk to Debbie and McKenna directly.
Debbie, you, unfortunately, we all sympathize. Look, I want to strangle this boy myself after learning about what he said. But if you assault him, this becomes about you and not about what he did. You can`t just do that.
Let`s talk about what you could do. You can contact his parents. You can contact the school. If you feel your daughter`s been threatened with language about rape on Facebook, for example, you can call the police.
And probably the best thing of all for you to do as a mother is to empower your daughter to stand up for herself.
And, McKenna, let me talk to you directly for a moment, because I hope that you can dry your tears and hold your head up high and you need to be the one that wins this battle with him, because he`s the one that`s a piece of garbage here. And every time that you walk down the school hallway with your head held up high, and you look him right in the eye as you walk past him, you win and he loses.
That`s a couple things you can do. But I want you to fight back legally.
And, McKenna, most of all, I want you to be the winner on behalf of yourself and other girls that he`ll do this to in the future if you don`t stop him in his tracks today.
PINSKY: A reminder this perpetrator, this kid, is 14, himself. Although it feels like we`re dealing with some, you know, monster, he`s a 14-year-old. Maybe his trajectory can be changed. Maybe he can be, you know, improved, himself. Let`s give the schools a chance, let`s give the parents a chance.
Again, these are all allegations flying around. We have no way of corroborating all this now.
But, Lisa, thank you for that.
I want to go to some more calls.
Kathy in Texas -- Kathy.
KATHY, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
KATHY: Yes. I want to say that yes, I think that the parents, the school, everybody should be involved and she should stand up for herself. People, if you don`t, should stand up behind her.
My 6-year-old son was bullied just recently in school. He`s 6 years old. He`s in kindergarten. There was a boy that kept picking on him physically, kicking him, biting him.
It went on for weeks. I complained. Finally he got another boy with him in the hall with him. About a week ago I went to pick him up from school, got him out of the car, and said, this boy hit me in the stomach.
There on the spot in the parking lot, I called the teacher, I called the principal. We talked it out. They said it was going to be stopped immediately. This was not going to happen again. It would never happen again.
I told them, I told my son, you yell, if he comes to you again, they`re going to keep you separated. If he comes near you again to hit you or kick you, you yell. The boy`s mom is going to say, John, John, don`t hit me, to the teachers loud and clear and the teacher will hear him.
PINSKY: Kathy, Kathy, that`s a nice productive way of dealing with it. Unfortunately, Debbie made other choices and her emotions that we`re all feeling got the better of her. My understanding, Debbie, this had an effect on your family.
Did I hear you`re in nursing school? And even that`s being affected? Can you tell us a little bit about -- just so people who want to take the law into share own hands, think twice about this.
D. PISCITELLA: For sure. I`ve worked really hard, I have a 4.0. Now because of what I did, you know, I, you know, possibly may not be able to even finish school. And lose everything. The money I`ve spent for school, just the time.
It`s not about me. It`s about my daughter and how she feels. You know, it`s devastated her, totally devastated her. She`s depressed. She wanted to hurt herself because of all this because of what the kid said. You guys have only heard a tiny bit of what he said.
PINSKY: McKenna, do not let that happen. You heard what Lisa said, he wins if you allow him to affect you so deeply. Do not let that happen.
Quick reminder, we did attempt to reach out to the young man and parents. We received no call back. We don`t know what their position is on this. We`re going to continue with more calls, more questions after this.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We`re talking to a mother who snapped and according to police reports choked a boy who had insulted her daughter on Facebook. A lot of you have been responding on my Facebook page.
Here`s Korie writes, "Florida, again. There must be something in the water." All you guys down in Florida.
Barbara in Colorado, got a question for us?
BARBARA, CALLER FROM COLORADO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Barbara.
BARBARA: I have a comment. I just don`t get why parents have to get into kids` business so much to the point where they are getting right in their faces and assaulting them. I mean, can`t the children take care of their own stuff?
PINSKY: Barbara, let me ask you. Do you have a comment specifically for Debbie, the mom?
BARBARA: Oh, absolutely, I do.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
BARBARA: How do you think that that is going to stop the boy from posting something on Facebook?
D. PISCITELLA: You know, I don`t know that it`s going to stop him from posting anything. I was reacting as a mother, you know, from the vile, disgusting things he was saying about my daughter.
PINSKY: Debbie, are you worried it`s going to get worse?
D. PISCITELLA: Yes. I am. He hasn`t stopped.
D. PISCITELLA: As a matter of fact. It`s continuing.
PINSKY: How about what Lisa suggested?
Lisa Bloom, let`s bring Lisa back on the screen here with me.
Lisa, are you suggesting it`s a relatively easy thing to contact Facebook and to take action to get this guy, you know, take some action through Facebook?
I also just wanted to add, McKenna, I want you to know that people say these kinds of things about me online, just about every day. I`m very active on Twitter and Facebook, myself.
I take on big celebrities like Justin Bieber recently for making some comments I didn`t like about reading. They call me every ugly nasty name in the book. You know what I do? I just keep on doing what I do.
PINSKY: I hope you delete them. You block them. I hope you block them or spam them.
BLOOM: Sometimes I block them. Sometimes I block them. On Twitter recently I said to all my haters, if you respond to my actual points you`re going to get more credibility than just calling me names.
And that stopped a lot of them. But I think it makes them look bad. It doesn`t make me look bad, because I get to go on "DR. DREW" and live a terrific life. I get to practice law and write books and all wonderful things I do.
Who are these people who have nothing better to do than go online and be haters? Who looks bad in this picture? You or him?
PINSKY: Debbie, the question here, should any of us allow our kids to be on Facebook when it`s such a dangerous place?
BLOOM: Well, as far as my daughter`s concern, it doesn`t have her real name on there, it doesn`t have her real address. It doesn`t have any real personal information. It was meant to be just between herself and her personal friends. And, you know, I block out -- there are certain people you can`t make a comment, can`t be posted, you know, unless it`s read.
And we -- my husband and I totally monitor her Facebook. That`s how we even seen the comments in the first place, you know, that were made. That`s -- Facebook is a great tool. You know, you find people you haven`t seen or talked to in 30, 40 years. If it`s used correctly, it`s great. But if not, this is one of the repercussions.
PINSKY: You guys, social media is a dangerous place. Even carefully monitored, it can -- things can turn out bad. I want to throw my full support behind you ladies.
Debbie, I cannot throw my support behind what you did, but I deeply empathize with feelings you`re having.
And, McKenna, Lisa and I are 100 percent behind you. We look forward to you blossoming and blooming as an adult. There`s a much brighter future ahead for you. This will be a little pimple on your history. Nothing more. OK? You take care of yourself.
Now, I`ve got to go to the next story which is about the mayor of New York City. He wants to take your supersized soda away from you. He`s waging a war on sugary drinks. Is the government going too far? Are they reaching down our gullet and deciding what we can and can`t put in our mouth?
Call us after the break.
PINSKY: If you live in New York City, you might not be able to have, let`s say, this much soda, much longer. Mayor Bloomberg is proposing a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Check this out. This is 16 ounces. This is a 16 ounce cup. He wants to attempt to curb the rising obesity rate. The question is, should people decide for themselves what they put in their mouth?
Joining me to discuss this: Lisa Fishman, who is a dietician, and WFAS New York radio talk show host Lisa Wexler, host of "The Lisa Wexler Show."
Let me start with Lisa Wexler since you`re on the screen there and say: I`m ambivalent about all this.
Let me be completely transparent about my thoughts on this. We have an obesity epidemic, we`ve got have trouble, we have supersized everything. It really is not good.
Do I really want government reaching down my throat, into my hands and deciding -- is that what the Constitution intended? To tell me what to eat?
LISA WEXLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don`t think so, Dr. Drew. I don`t think so at all. I think that this is the latest step in the nanny state movement, if you will, and I think it`s a dangerous one, because now we`re into portion control.
And I suggest to Mayor Bloomberg and any other government official around that they begin cleaning their own house. Instead of talking the talk, why don`t they walk the walk and look around to government employees and fire everybody who`s fat and we`ll see how many people are left.
PINSKY: Lisa Fishman?
WEXLER: The fact is we have --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Lisa Wexler. Go ahead. Keep going. You`re on a roll.
LISA FISHMAN, DIETICIAN: She wasn`t finished.
WEXLER: Well, no -- I mean, fact is we have a nationwide obesity epidemic but the other fact is this is portion control, Dr. Drew. And when it begins in soda, the next time around, it can be a t-bone steak, a prime rib. Where does it end?
PINSKY: Where does it end, Lisa, is one of the question.
FISHMAN: I`m not sure I disagree with here. I agree with her in what she`s saying and that, you know, at least for right now, we have to start controlling something. But I think everybody has to do it on their own. They have to do -- why are we eliminating just sodas, large sodas? Why not cookies? Why not -- all these things are sold at fast food places.
PINSKY: So, cakes, milkshakes, everything. Get rid of everything --
FISHMAN: Yes. I mean, he`s talking about eliminating anything that has more than 25 calories for eight ounces.
FISHMAN: That`s the rule.
PINSKY: And now, already, they post calories in the -- you know, on everything, right?
FISHMAN: Yes. Every soda has a calorie. Everything. But you know what, it doesn`t have calories is --
LISA WEXLER, HOST, " THE LISA WEXLER SHOW, WFAS-AM: And that`s, by the way --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Lisa Wexler. Go. Having two Lisas here is confusing.
WEXLER: Well, I think it`s a great thing that they`re posting calories. I think informed consent is a beautiful concept. I also think I would take it one step further, Dr. Drew, and also Lisa. I think it`s a very laudable attempt to get rid of the stuff in the cafeterias of our kids. But I draw the line between what are healthy choices that are available to our children and what are choices that ought to be available to adults.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s get to one of our callers. Belinda in Florida, what do you got for us?
BELINDA, FLORIDA: I don`t agree with her. I mean, if you`re an adult, you can make your own decision, but as far as it being in school for the children, the rate for juvenile diabetes is on the rise. I don`t think there should be any kind of soda dispensing machine in the school. I personally have children, and I don`t want that in their school or let them drink any of that.
I also have a niece who is -- her mom that have it, and mom says it`s OK for me to drink soda, eat this, eat that, and then, it goes on to my niece now --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Lisa.
PINSKY: One sec.
FISHMAN: You`re absolutely right. Definitely, we should take that out of the schools, but I have to tell you, if we`re going to go and take sugar out of sodas and schools, we should be taking juices out. They have just as much sugar, almost -- sometimes more depending on the juice.
And, these are also in schools. Sometimes, they give the juice boxes. Those juice boxes can have 20 grams of sugar in eight ounces which is the same as a soda for some or Gatorade.
PINSKY: So, is the problem not the supersizing, but the lack of knowledge --
PINSKY: -- that consumers have.
PINSKY: I did not -- for instance, I didn`t know until this minute that the calories are posted on the -- prominently, by the way, on all these drinks.
FISHMAN: It`s the industry -- the drink industry, now on every drink you buy, whether it`s a zero calorie or 250 or 500, says right on the front.
PINSKY: But there is a -- Lisa Wexler --
WEXLER: Well, not only that --
PINSKY: Go ahead. Not only that.
WEXLER: I was just going to add that in New York City in the last year, Mayor Bloomberg has made a rule that requires all the chain food stores to also post the calories next in all the menus.
WEXLER: And that`s made an enormous difference when you order. So, that is also, I think, a very good attempt to try and fight the fight against obesity, but this particular thing goes too far. And I really think it`s a reflection of an obsession that our particular mayor has with public health, and I do think it is a scary trend that could easily spread across the country, because, again, where does it stop?
Where does it stop that the government starts to tell us how much of what we can eat and when we can eat it? Everybody knows a good steak once in a while, there`s nothing wrong with it. A big piece of prime rib, a big slab of bacon, who cares if it`s in moderation? As well as a large soda once in a while.
PINSKY: I`m going to let Lisa Fishman talk about the specific solutions that we should be applying here, but I want to quickly take a call from Danielle in North Carolina -- Danielle.
DANIELLE, NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Love you. Appreciate you since, you know, "Loveline`s" MTV. I had a whole script I wanted to say. I`m totally with Lisa and Lisa. Where does it end? I, myself, switched to diet soda years ago because of the obesity, I was worried about gaining weight.
So, you know, is diet soda better? Is it not? I easily can put away myself a two liter a day, two liter a day, and just -- I just wonder why just soda? Like they said, you know, that`s come into line (ph). Why not broccoli? I don`t like broccoli. Don`t eat broccoli? I just wonder where it ends.
FISHMAN: Well, he`s basically saying -- Bloomberg is saying that Broccoli`s healthy for you. He`s, right now, looking into things that are unhealthy. So, you have to remember that he`s looking this as a starting point. There is no end in sight as to where he might end it. But, to me, it`s a fight that`s endless.
PINSKY: And a great Facebook question coming up here -
WEXLER: But I also think the caller --
PINSKY: Go ahead.
WEXLER: You know, Dr. Drew, the caller raises a very good point because diet soda, although, it has no calories, is an extremely unhealthy substance.
PINSKY: Well, Lisa Wexler, that`s why I`ve got a dietician sitting right next to me.
PINSKY: We`re going to address that after the break. Before I go to the break, I want to read Bristol`s Facebook question. "Remember how great prohibition worked for controlling people`s desire for alcohol?"
Prohibition, by the way, whenever you -- people study prohibition, you know, formal government prohibitions, you generally see a rise in black market and rise in the consumption of things you`re trying to control. I`m just saying.
We`re going to get to more of your calls on the proposed ban on soda, and we`re going to talk about what you should be doing. I`ve got an expert here. We`re going to talk about the good choices ought to be. We`re going to be an enlightened parents and enlightened public.
And later on, the John Edwards mistrial. Tell me what you think about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t really feel he`s entitled to someone else`s opinion about what they should drink, how large it should be or how small it should be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why`s that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s just poison, it`s all sugar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s up to the parents, it`s up to individual. If you want to drink that stuff, so be it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is the opinion of New Yorkers on the streets of New York. Welcome back. We`re talking about the proposed of New York City ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Now, remind you, let`s take a good look at this. Oh, I dropped the big ones. You`re going to have to bear with me, because it`s important for you to see this.
One is that the 16 ounce is what you`ll be able to buy. These super drinks are things that are going to be no longer available. Who needs this, anyway? I`m just saying. You know, of a sugary drink?
FISHMAN: Right. I mean, you don`t need it, but people take it so they don`t have to get the refills that you are allowed to get with the 16 ounces.
PINSKY: Well, but that`s the question. Are people just going to refill anyway? Isn`t this sort of misguided?
FISHMAN: Well, I think what they should do -- if he wants to, he can make the big one so expensive that people don`t buy them.
PINSKY: Tax it.
PINSKY: That`s a good way to do it. As it is, vendors -- hang on, Lisa Wexler. Vendors would face a $200 fine for each offense each time they sell a big drink. Lisa Wexler, what`s your comment?
WEXLER: Well, yes, you know what, what`s interesting is that truckers complained. They complained right away. They said, look, they buy 40 ounces or whatever they buy to get them through the haul. They don`t want to have to stop every time they want a new drink.
I think this will end up being a cost that`s passed on to the consumer, because if the limit is 16 ounces, people that want to buy two will end up paying more than double than for the 40 ounces. There`s probably an environmental downside to all the new containers. And it`s sort of ironic, too, in a lot of ways, Dr. Drew, because number one, Mayor Bloomberg is an unbelievable capitalist.
That`s how he`s made all his money. And here he is trying to tell private enterprise what to do. And, that annoys me, frankly, a lot. The whole nanny state concept really annoys me.
FISHMAN: And he`s only taking it out of fast food places, by the way. He`s not taking it out --
PINSKY: Well, theaters and vendors.
FISHMAN: You can still go to the store and buy a liter of soda.
WEXLER: Also, stadiums.
FISHMAN: Right, stadiums.
PINSKY: But Lisa`s point is -- listen to this, we compared 24-ounce frappuccino, iced coffee, to a 24-ounce soda. And the coffee has 580 calories compared to the soda`s 290. That twice as many for the same size drink is a coffee vendor --
FISHMAN: Exactly my point.
PINSKY: -- the next on his cross hairs.
FISHMAN: Exactly my point.
WEXLER: Wait a minute. How about beer, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: Oh, there you go.
WEXLER: Dr. Drew, beer is exempt, too. There`s your beer at the stadiums.
FISHMAN: Oh, I didn`t know that.
WEXLER: So, now, you`re going to have a 40-ounce beer and you can only have a 16-ounce Coca-Cola.
PINSKY: So, my business will zoom because when people are thirsty now, they`re going to have gigantic tumblers of vodka or beer because they can`t have sugary sodas.
WEXLER: No retiring for you.
PINSKY: That`s fantastic. Randy in California, you had a call for us?
RANDY, CALIFORNIA: Yes. I think it`s a quality of life issue, sorry, quality of life issues. And goodness knows, we don`t need more legislation on something like this. I mean, really, there`s not better things to spend our time on?
PINSKY: Yes. I think that`s what we`re all saying.
WEXLER: I agree.
PINSKY: Lisa Wexler certainly agrees strongly. Lisa Fishman, though, you are objecting more on grounds that this is energy that should be spent better elsewhere.
FISHMAN: Of course.
PINSKY: So, let`s talk to my viewers about what they should be doing.
FISHMAN: Well, I think a good thing to do would be to start early in introducing your kids to good eating habits, and you know, watch sugar in everything, whether it`s in sodas.
PINSKY: As you mentioned, juice boxes and juice everything.
FISHMAN: Yes. Juice boxes, Gatorade.
PINSKY: So, so Gatorade, that`s not sugar-free.
PINSKY: And any juice of any type --
FISHMAN: All juices have sugar. They just came out -- there`s one juice that just came out that has half the sugar that`s by Tropicana. That`s the only juice I know besides diet juices that have additives. And then, there`s also what about the energy drinks? You know, monster, all those type of things. They have 50, 60, 70 grams.
WEXLER: Red Bull.
FISHMAN: Red bull.
WEXLER: All these things.
FISHMAN: Right. I don`t know if those are banned, but those are really high in sugar and super high in calories.
PINSKY: All right. And I`m sure people at home are wondering --
WEXLER: And caffeine.
FISHMAN: Right, of course.
PINSKY: I`m sure people at home are also wondering about these additives. What about the Splendas and the sweeteners? Are those OK, are those not OK?
FISHMAN: Well, that`s a whole other show. Yes. I mean, there are some -- there`s Stivia which is in a few things now which is going to be like the most natural thing. But there`s you know, the Splenda, which is super lows (ph) on your label. That`s a different kind of an additive than NutraSweet.
One is sugar formed from sugar, so it`s not absorbed. The other NutraSweet is made from amino acids, but it is absorbed and causes problem with insulin secretion and weight gain, even though it`s a diet soda.
PINSKY: And so, people are -- research shows that although you`re taking a diet soda, people are stimulated to eat later --
FISHMAN: Not to stimulate to eat, but the actual -- the NutraSweet which is made from amino acids actually stimulates your body to secrete insulin that causes you to gain weight when you eat later.
PINSKY: So, it makes you hungry and makes you deposit fat.
WEXLER: So, there goes the diet soda theory.
FISHMAN: That`s right. Exactly.
WEXLER: And there goes the diet --
PINSKY: At least with that additive.
FISHMAN: Yes. Just with that one. Splenda doesn`t do it.
PINSKY: Wexler, go ahead.
WEXLER: I just want to say that if the government, if Mayor Bloomberg really wanted to something that would help me, they would try and enforce the old-fashioned rule of offering me tap water for free out of a cup instead of have me pay $5 for a big giant plastic bottle of water, because that`s the beverage that I always buy.
And that`s the one that I want to buy and that`s the one I choose to buy. And that`s becoming increasingly expensive and unaffordable, no matter where you go. So, if you really want to help me, why don`t you make the restaurants open the spigot and give me a paper cup so I can have some water?
PINSKY: That`s a great point. I mean, drinking more water is definitely --
PINSKY: Just generally, it`s a great -- trying to get people to do something healthier.
FISHMAN: Absolutely. Water is a fabulous choice.
PINSKY: Anything else, Lisa. We got a minute left. Other takeaways that people should know about nutrition so they don`t have to be policed like this and people have our government reaching into our lives this way?
FISHMAN: Well, I think the biggest thing is moderation. I really do. And I think that`s what we all have to get out of this is if you can just take smaller, you know, portions, do everything in smaller choices, not 64 ounces --
PINSKY: Should we be reading every label? Is there certain calorie, carbohydrate intake we should be looking for?
FISHMAN: Well, it depends. If you look -- I always say it`s better to chew your calories than to drink them. So, you know, Lisa, when you`re chewing them, you know you`re getting calories. Most people when they drink calories have no idea how much they`re taking in. They don`t know a bottle of soda is 400 calories, you know? So, if you chew them --
PINSKY: Chew them seems more like satisfying.
PINSKY: And watch the fat intake, right?
FISHMAN: Right. And you should know every time you walk for a mile, you burn off 10 grams of sugar and 100 calories.
PINSKY: So, walk more and move more.
FISHMAN: So, walking -- right -- moving. I mean, you could, easily - - I always say if they put on a bottle of soda 260 calories, how many miles you have to walk to burn that off, a lot of people may not buy it.
PINSKY: How many miles would that be?
FISHMAN: It`s almost three miles.
PINSKY: Three miles for one bottle of soda.
FISHMAN: For 20-ounce bottle of soda.
PINSKY: Lisa Wexler, any last words before I break here?
WEXLER: No. I just want to say that I appreciate being on, but I really think that we will lick this obesity epidemic because it`s all about consciousness raising and education. And we`re on the way. We just don`t need the nanny state to do it for us.
PINSKY: Thank you Lisa Fishman. Thank you, Lisa Wexler.
Next, your reaction to the John Edwards story. He was not convicted in the court of law. But what about the court of public opinion? Call with your questions. I will answer them after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while I do not believe I did anything illegal or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong.
And there is no one else responsible for my sins. None of the people who came to court and testified are responsible. Nobody working for the government is responsible. I am responsible. And if I want to find the person who should be held accountable for my sins, honestly, I don`t have to go any further than the mirror. It`s me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That is two-time presidential hopeful, John Edwards, at a news conference today after jury found him not guilty on one count of illegal campaign contributions and deadlocked on five other counts.
Edwards was accused of funneling money donated to his presidential campaign to cover up his affair with his pregnant mistress, all the while his wife, Elizabeth, was battling breast cancer and ultimately died in 2010. He`s certainly guilty of being a bad husband, but this trial was not about infidelity.
Many see this as a victory for Edwards because a jury couldn`t convict him legally. Should this be the end of his legal woes? He talked about sin. I think that was a deflection of his personal responsibility. Let me go to Jane in Ohio. Jane, what do you think?
JANE, OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Jane.
JANE: Just a comment. I think he should have been hung and not the jury.
PINSKY: So, you would hang Edwards and not hang the -- OK. Fair enough. But you feel that way as a woman, not necessarily --
PINSKY: Women are not very happy with what this man did, and you are amongst them.
JANE: No. I think he used his charm on the jury.
JANE: And like he has in so many other ways.
PINSKY: Oh, really. What do you think of him talking about sin there in that clip we just saw? He was saying I`m responsible for my sin? To me, that distances him from what he did. He`s a sinful guy. He`s a bad guy that did horrible things that harmed people. I don`t think he should be talking about sin yet.
JANE: Right. Well, I think he is telling people what he thinks they want to hear.
PINSKY: Oh, I think you`re absolutely right. I think that`s the part that makes us all so angry. Thank you for that call. Tara in Texas?
TARA, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
TARA: Thanks for having me. I just wanted to say, this might sound kind of strange, because I see so many women, you know, vilifying him, and you know, they hate him for what he did. And yes, what he did was awful especially as a public figure.
TARA: But, my opinion is is that you can`t really get into someone`s marriage. I mean, you don`t know what is considered acceptable or even -- I mean, his wife was dying.
PINSKY: Yes, but that`s what makes it seem so despicable, frankly. And the fact that he -- we all feel misled. He pretended to be one thing, ended up being another thing, and it just looks bad. Whether or not it`s legal or not, it`s a hard pill to swallow. More of your calls after this.
PINSKY: Let`s get right back into your calls. I`ve got Billy in North Carolina.
BILLY, NORTH CAROLINA: Yes, sir. How are you doing, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: Good. Billy, thank you for calling.
BILLY: Good. Thank you for having me. I basically have a question. I was watching your show last night. And basically, I want to know how to save your marriage after seven years of being with each other? I have an insecurity problem with her, a trust issue.
BILLY: I make her miserable, but I try so hard to fix all that and give her back what she needs, and I feel like there`s still no kind of affection or love here.
PINSKY: Coming back. Coming back towards you?
BILLY: Yes. Exactly.
PINSKY: OK. How old are you, guys?
BILLY: Well, she`s 23.
PINSKY: Oh, geez.
BILLY: And I`m 27 today.
PINSKY: You guys are youngsters. You got married when you were 20?
BILLY: Yes, sir.
PINSKY: Happy birthday, by the way, Billy. Happy birthday.
BILLY: Thank you very much.
PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. Did somebody --
BILLY: It`s very complicated. I mean, we love each other to death, but she feels like it`s over. And I don`t want it to be over. And I`m trying so hard to keep her and save her because I love her so much.
PINSKY: Are there children involved?
BILLY: Yes, sir, there`s three kids.
PINSKY: Did she have trauma when she was growing up?
BILLY: Yes, sir.
PINSKY: OK. She has got to get that treated, because that`s what`s entering in here. When somebody has been traumatized like that --
BILLY: Well, she hasn`t really been traumatized. It`s just, you know -- she hasn`t really been traumatized.
PINSKY: Is she cheating?
BILLY: Honestly, she has cheated on me in the past.
PINSKY: OK. But here`s the basic frame. This is what I want you to understand. When people have been abandoned, neglected, or abused in their childhood, it is very difficult for them to tolerate closeness. The frame of intimacy, just being close to another person, being loved by another person is extremely threatening, is extremely uncomfortable.
They can`t tolerate the vulnerability, so they will sabotage it. That sounds like it`s that kind of thing going on with your wife here, and it requires professional intervention. Will she come with you to couples therapy?
BILLY: We`ve talked about it last night.
PINSKY: OK. That`s -- you need to keep the focus, Billy. I`m going to wrap this call up with you by saying that. Please do that and then call me back and tell me how that goes.
Lisa in New York, very quickly.
LISA, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew. My name is Lisa.
PINSKY: Hi, Lisa.
LISA: I have a 19-year-old daughter who`s addicted to heroin.
PINSKY: Oh, boy.
LISA: And, she`s been in and out of treatment centers. I`m a single mom. And my insurance won`t pay for her to go to, like, an --
PINSKY: I know. It`s so awful. It`s so awful. She needs six months of treatment, and she gets three days. She gets a five-day detox or something.
And what`s being advocated is what`s called harm avoidance therapy where people get on the newer kinds of methadone like replacement therapies, because people live longer, they do less horrible things when they`re on a different pharmacology than heroin.
And in my experience, they always end up going back on the heroin anyway. It`s rare that somebody stays on the replacement drugs. The replacements drugs are good for some people. Strangely enough, doctors never prescribe it for themselves, when a doctor needs treatment for opiate addiction of any type, he or she must be abstinent.
Is there any way that she can get access to an abstinence program that is, say, county funded or state funded or anything such as that.?
LISA: I don`t know. She`s done all the local ones in my area.
LISA: And like I said, there are only like 70s --
LISA: I`m afraid that my daughter is going to kill herself.
PINSKY: Unfortunately, I don`t want to say it. But Lisa, this is a massive problem. It`s more than I can tackle in a few seconds I have, but let me say, please, take care of yourself. Go to a program called Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. It`s a program for people that love -- that have family members who are addicts.
Thank you guys for watching. Thanks for calling. Nancy Grace starts right now.