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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Trial; Interview with Former Senator Jim Talent; JPMorgan Staffers May Pay; Lance Armstrong Accused of Using Performance Enhancing Drugs; Brandley-Pacquiao Fight Decision May Be Investigated; Smart is the New Rich; Masters of Hip Hop Want Respect
Aired June 14, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome, everybody.
Our STARTING POINT this morning is disturbing. Terrible stories of abuse, even threats in the Jerry Sandusky trial. Today, more of his accusers will take the stand. We are live at the courthouse for you. That report is coming up in just a moment.
Plus, the battle in the Buckeye State -- if you can call it that -- because both President Obama and Mitt Romney are in Ohio today, at the same time giving dueling speeches, talking about the economy. So, new poll numbers, though, show that Americans don't trust either of them really. We'll show you those polls.
And brand-new this morning, Lance Armstrong now suspended from competing in the Ironman after charges of doping that could strip him of all seven of his Tour de France titles.
Plus, a hip-hop history lesson. Yesterday, it was Nas. Today, we are talking to Ice-T. The legendary rapper join us to talk about his brand-new documentary. He is now a director. It's called "The Art of Rap." I am the rap correspondent for CNN now.
It is Thursday, June 14th. And STARTING POINT begins right now.
O'BRIEN: Margaret is bringing it. You know what's so funny? I heard this song, and I was like, this is a great theme song for our show.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Radioactive.
O'BRIEN: Wouldn't you like that? That would be a great way to start the show every morning. Can someone call them? Can we use that song for our show?
O'BRIEN: Margaret Hoover is with us. She worked in the George W. Bush White House. She's the author of "American Individualism."
Ryan Lizza, who just gave us a stunning review of "Fifty Shades of Grey" is with us as well. But believe it or not, in his day job he is a correspondent for "The New Yorker."
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I used to be. I don't know. We'll see what happens after that segment.
O'BRIEN: And Will Cain is a columnist for TheBlaze.com.
Nice to have all of you with us this morning.
Our STARTING POINT -- have you been following what's happening in court in the jerry Sandusky trial? Oh, it is just brutal and graphic. And just horrible as you hear about these young men crying on the stand as they recount this testimony. More expected today. It's day four in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse trial.
Three of his accusers have yet to take the witness stand. They are expected to testify either today or tomorrow. And then the prosecution will rest its case. That could happen as early as Friday.
CNN's Susan Candiotti is live at the courthouse for us. That's in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Hey, Susan. Good morning. What do we expect today?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. Well, as you laid out, we expect to hear between today and tomorrow testimony from three more alleged witnesses.
One of them at some point will include a case that goes way back to 1998. And this is the first case that we are aware of. A mother found out that her son had been showering with jerry Sandusky, and the boy was acting strangely.
She went to authorities. They never pressed charges. But police did eavesdrop on her conversation with Sandusky.
And he denied that he had done anything sexual, but he did tell her this. Quote, "I understand I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."
And police interviewed Sandusky and told him not to take any more showers with boys. He said he wouldn't. But obviously, from all the testimony we've heard, and through his own words, he's still doing it or was still doing it -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: That is just devastating that it goes back so far. Susan Candiotti is going to be in the courtroom to update us on what's happening there. Thank you, Susan. Appreciate it.
Christine has got a look at the headlines for us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.
New developments in the doping allegations against legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong. Ironman organizers confirm that Armstrong is now banned from the Nice Ironman competition. He was supposed to compete there on June 24th.
Armstrong is firing back after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency formally charged him with doping saying, quote, "These charges are baseless, motivated by spite, and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. I have never doped. And unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as think endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one."
Where does Armstrong go from here? In the next half hour, we'll ask Maggie Gray from "Sports Illustrated."
A Florida woman caught on camera being set on fire says all she could think about in that moment was staying alive for her three kids. The father of those children is now charged with attempted murder. Cops say he poured gasoline on the victim, Naomi Breton, and set her ablaze. Breton says she somehow managed to pull off her burning clothes and call 911.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: He set me on fire. OK? He set me on fire.
OPERATOR: Female says the male set her on fire.
CALER: Hurry up. Please, please, please. It burns.
OPERATOR: Hold on.
NAOMI BRETON, SURVIVED BEING SET ON FIRE: And I go up in flames. And that's when I started screaming. And the only thing I thought to do was take off my clothes. My main thing is I need to stay around. I need to be alive for my kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Breton suffered burns to her arm, stomach, and, as you can see there, her face as well.
Police in Los Angeles getting ready to listen to hours of old cassette tapes that could provide new information about the Manson family's infamous murder spree. On Wednesday, a Texas judge denied a motion for former follower and convicted murder Charles "Tex" Watson to stop police from taking possession of his 43-year-old tapes. They feature Watson speaking with his late attorney Bill Boyd.
Matt Cain -- picture perfect. The San Francisco right hander tossing a rare perfect game last night. It's only the 22nd time that's ever in baseball, and the first ever for a member of the Giants. Here is the final out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPORTS ANNOUNCER: On the ground. From deep center. Got him! And that's a perfect game! Cain on the pitcher's mound.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Cain struck out a career-high 14 Houston Astros in the Giants 10-0 victory.
All right. If moms and dads got paid for the contributions they made at home, who would be the bigger breadwinner? It's moms, not even close. Insure.com came up with the indexes to calculate how home roles correspond to wages. Dads got more of the fix-it jobs, moms got more of the nurturing jobs.
And after they crunched the numbers, dad's contribution at home was equal to about $20,248. Moms made almost three times that, their contributions worth $60,182. A little bit different from the real world. The pay gap is upside down.
O'BRIEN: I think it's wrong, though. We should dig into this more later. They divide it into women's jobs and men's jobs. And so like traditional and stereotypical.
ROMANS: I'll tell you what, I'll tweet the whole report and people can decide for themselves.
O'BREIN: OK. Because I just think that math is way off. Appreciate that, Christine.
Well, there will be some dueling speeches in Ohio today. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney are campaigning in that key swing state. President Obama is going to deliver a speech on the economy around 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time in Cleveland. And then five minutes later, Mitt Romney is going to take the stage, literally dueling, in Cincinnati.
And, of course, the stakes are high for both candidates. There's a new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll that shows crucial independent swing state voters don't think very highly of either of the candidates' economic plans. Only 38 percent have a favorable view of the president's plans, 35 percent have a favorable view of Mitt Romney's plans. And they are both within the margin of error. So literally neck and neck.
Brings us right to Jim Talent. He's a former senator from the state of Missouri. He's now the senior economic adviser to the Romney campaign.
Nice to see you, sir. Thanks for being with us. Appreciate your time this morning.
When you look at that poll, bad news for both candidates. But let's talk about your candidate specifically. Why do you think that number is so low?
JIM TALENT, SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Well, I've seen a lot of poll numbers indicating the governor is being received very well by independent voters, Soledad. Look, he is proposing things that really ought to have bipartisan support and have had in the past like approving the Keystone Pipeline, stopping the cap and trade regulations. The president wants to pass and the president said will skyrocket the price of electricity.
So, I mean, his message is that the president's policies were well intended but are failing. And he's going to move in a direction of empowering the economy. And I think that's being pretty well received.
O'BRIEN: It sounds like maybe it's -- are you saying you think just this particular poll from "The Washington Post" is wrong because the poll numbers certainly don't say well received. It says more like, meh.
TALENT: Well, I've seen a lot of different poll numbers saying different things. I tend to discount polls pretty early. And both ones showing that, you know, my guy is doing well as well as those showing that there are some issues.
I just think that the independent voters are going to take their time and look at both candidates. It's pretty clear, though, that the president's policies have not succeeded even on his own terms. I mean, he said he'd get the economy moving but within -- by the end of the third year or he ought to have only one term. And we're not moving.
So we've got a lot that we're going to be talking about, about the president's policies and also Governor Romney's proposals. And we're going to do that beginning in a big swing starting tomorrow. Big bus tour.
O'BRIEN: OK. Let me ask you about what Mitt Romney said last week about the hiring of teachers and firefighters and police officers and the context as I know you know was sort of lessons from that Wisconsin recall vote and Scott Walker obviously won.
The governor said that there was a message in this for President Obama. And here's what he said. Let's play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And his answer for economic vitality, by the way, was of course pushing aside the private sector, which he said is doing fine. Instead, he wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message in Wisconsin? The American people did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: So my question for you is this. Was the governor there saying that we don't need more teachers and more firefighters and more police officers? Because that's what it sounded like to me.
TALENT: I think what he's saying is that we certainly need teachers, policemen, and firefighters to teach our kids, you know, keep our homes safe and fight fires. But as a policy, to go out and hire people for the public sector as an economic policy doesn't work. He said that's not the way to get the private sector going. That's what we did with the stimulus, and it failed.
And, you know, the president's comment about the private sector doing fine, Soledad, to me shows something interesting, because the president was concerned about the public sector. And the public sector has been laying people off. And that's unfortunate. But the reason they have been laying people off is the private sector is doing badly so they don't have any revenue. You can't really divide the two.
O'BRIEN: There are some people who thought --
TALENT: When the private does well, there's revenue for the public sector.
O'BRIEN: There are some people that thought the president was out of touch with that then he walked back that comment, and reversed himself. The president said, though, that Mitt Romney was out of touch and he was asked -- Mitt Romney was asked about that comment when he talked about the firefighters and police officers and teachers. And here's what Mitt Romney said on Tuesday. Let's play that.
Oh, you know, it looks like I'm having some technical difficulty so I'm just going to read it to you if it's OK.
TALENT: OK. Great, sure.
O'BRIEN: It goes like this -- he says that's a very strange accusation that he's out of touch. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn't pay for teacher, firefighters, or policemen, so obviously that's completely absurd.
And he goes on to talk about the president has an idea, though, to have another stimulus.
Is Mitt Romney wrong about that? Aren't firefighters and police officers and teachers hired or kept from being fired by some federal dollars?
TALENT: No. It hasn't been the practice of the federal government to pay local salaries and really shouldn't be because the problem is of course it's so unstable. The federal program runs out, and then the job runs out.
So I think Governor Romney certainly has been right as a traditional matter of policy. And I think again the overall point is that you don't get the private sector going by pumping public sector dollars into just hiring people or any kind of a stimulus program. We did that, and it didn't work.
I mean, the president said it would reduce unemployment 6 percent by now, and of course it's over 8 percent.
O'BRIEN: But you do use federal dollars for teachers.
TALENT: Not traditionally.
O'BRIEN: But the Department of Justice -- correct me if I'm wrong -- spends $247 million on a program called COPS for hiring or retiring of fulltime officers. Title 1 goes to support additional academic support for students in poverty. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA spent for financial year 2011 $380 million on 400 awards that will go to rehire firefighters that have been laid off.
I don't understand. Doesn't that completely contradict what you're saying?
TALENT: There have been some programs generally temporary in nature. President Clinton had his 100,000 teacher program. We ended up hiring, I think, 10,000 or 15,000 teachers for a few years.
It's traditionally not federal policy to fund state and local salaries. It's done sometimes on a temporary basis or a grant basis. But it's not often done. And the reason is clear, because the federal government can't continue in perpetuity these programs.
So, generally, when the federal government supports locality, Soledad, they'll build buildings, support purchase of equipment for policemen or for schools. And that's traditionally how it's done.
O'BRIEN: True. That's true. But if you look at -- there are many, not just a few, but many programs that actually support the hiring or rehiring of teachers or firefighters or police officers. So, it sounds to me like what the governor is saying is not actually true, that the federal government does, in fact, fund that, that he's wrong. He's not wrong?
TALENT: Again, I guess, we have to disagree. I think what he was saying is certainly true as a general matter. And he was making a basic point that, look, you don't get the private sector going by hiring people onto a public payroll on any level. The opposite is what happens.
When we get the private sector going through job creation and growth, then the governments at all level have revenues to do the things that they need to do. And that's why it's so important to get this economy moving, to get jobs created. We can't keep going on with this anemic recovery.
The economy is growing about 1.9 percent. It should be double that at this stage in the recovery. We should be creating millions of jobs, and we're not. And we have to because people are struggling. O'BRIEN: Well, both Mitt Romney and the president will be trying to get out their economic messages. And according to those poll numbers, they probably need to do a better job of it on both fronts. Jim Talent, the senior economic adviser for the Romney campaign. We appreciate your time this morning. Thanks for talking to me.
TALENT: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: You bet.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, JPMorgan's $2 billion mistake. The CEO doesn't quite know how it was lost, but was there a crime? We'll take a look at that.
And we'll talk to the former pay czar, Ken Feinberg, about bonus clawback that they were discussing yesterday and whether JPMorgan can actually be able to take back any of this money. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Well, the managers at JPMorgan who were responsible for losing at least $2 billion of the bank's money might soon be feeling a little financial pain themselves. The bank's CEO, Jamie Dimon, telling senators yesterday, that's when the bank's board finishes its review, that some employees might actually have to give back some of their bonuses.
It would be a first time for the firm, and it remains unclear whether Dimon, who's getting paid $23 million in compensation package for his performance, would be among those who would be subjected to the clawback. Here's a little bit of his testimony yesterday, also a bit from an interview he did on CNBC. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CEO: We made a mistake. I'm absolutely responsible. The buck stops with me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you give back pay? You said the buck stops with you. You acknowledge complacency. Will you be giving back any of your compensation?
DIMON: You know, my comp is completely set by the board of directors. You know, 100 percent set. I assume that they'll incorporate this in how they evaluate me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Ken Feinberg is the former administrator for TARP Executive Compensation. They called him the pay czar, and he was -- not the short way, but he was responsible for managing compensation issues for companies that were receiving federal bailout money. It's nice to have you with us.
Let's talk a little bit about that claw back. You just heard Jamie Dimon saying that the board will just figure out what he's really worth ultimately. Do you think that he could be subjected out of his $23 million compensation package for the year to a clawback? Could you even do that?
KEN FEINBERG, FMR. ADMINISTRATOR, TARP EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: Well, I suppose you could be. The question is, will it happen?
FEINBERG: He suggested yesterday in his testimony that it is likely, is the word he used, that there would be some exercise of clawback authority as to other officials at the bank. This is very, very difficult to do. We shall see. He didn't guarantee it. He didn't say it will happen.
He said it was likely. You've got to look at the contracts. You have to look at whether or not these individuals have spent the money, are willing voluntarily to give it back.
O'BRIEN: Many of them have been fired. It's going to make you less likely to turn back your money if you lost your job, I would imagine.
FEINBERG: Those are the issues. Now, if you're still an employee and your perspective pay might also be influenced by these decisions, it's easier. But we learned over the past few years at treasury that talking about clawback is one thing. Getting individual corporate officials to actually give it back is something quite different.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, legally, if I leave a company, there's nothing in my contract that, hey, you got to give back some of your pay if you do something that I then learn -- we disagree with. How legally can they legally do that? How can they demand this money from someone they've let go?
FEINBERG: You have to read the contractual language. The language may say in that employment contract that even upon your departure, if you have engaged in excessive risk taking and have caused losses at the institution, we have a legal right under the contract. It's the language of the contract that's --
FEINBERG: Very uncommon. You hear a lot about it. You heard it at treasury in Congress when I was at the treasury. You hear quite a bit about clawback authority, clawback authority, the actual number of times where money has been given back. AIG did it with Bob Benmosche is the CEO. He managed to clawback some money. But it's very, very rare, and we'll see what Dimon does.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So, we're on the same page here. We're talking about an interest, a matter that is of interest to the shareholders and board of JPMorgan. Whether or not they want to clawback any employees' salaries or bonuses has to do with their decision and what it -- O'BRIEN: Which is what Jamie testified. I mean, he's talking about --
CAIN: It has nothing to do with the United States government.
O'BRIEN: Of course, no. It's just about -- I mean, I assume it's what he said in his testimony was t if the board decides that something was wrong, they have the right possibly to take back money.
CAIN: Yes, internal.
O'BRIEN: Right. It has nothing to do with the government. But I have a question for you about high salaries correlated to high risk. You say when you see someone's salary $100 million, for example, as you've seen in the past, that that signals to you high risk. Why do you say that?
FEINBERG: I say that anybody who's making $100 million, we found this at treasury. Anybody making that type of money is engaged in a very, very risky undertaking if we're not talking about a manufacturer or somebody who's invented some new widget. We're talking about hedge fund managers or financial product officials.
We concluded that at that type of level of income, you must be engaged in some very high risk undertakings.
O'BRIEN: Can't it just be you're being incredibly successful? They're paid at the end of the year. They look back over the success they've had and the deals that they've done over a year and they say, wow, you brought in X number of dollars. You obviously are making multiples of that for the firm. Ergo, your salary is $100 million.
FEINBERG: We hear that all the time. One year's success is next year's flip side, $100 million loss. I mean, no one begrudges anybody, the individual in this ship (ph) to go out and earn $100 million. We took a look at the job description. What an individual undertakes nine to five in order to make $100 million.
And we concluded based on the facts that we reviewed with these major financial Wall Street institutions. There were a few -- there weren't that many at that level. But we concluded that it was just too risky in terms of the taxpayer back stopping those funds.
LIZZA: What did you make of congress members fawning over Dimon?
O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh! There --
LIZZA: I mean, how did you --
O'BRIEN: Softballs. For that entire --
LIZZA: I mean, what did you make of that?
FEINBERG: I mean, there was a hearing, and it was public, and very transparent. And you saw what the senators asked. I saw Mr. -- Senator Menendez and a few others ask some tough questions. But, it is what it is. I look at it just like you guys look at it.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: In his testimony, Jamie Dimon seemed to change his tone and his tune a little bit on regulation. That he was a little bit less stringent, that there should be no regulations on his firm to forbid the kind of losses that had happened in the past. In terms of the Volcker Rule versus re-implementing Glass-Steagall, what do you think?
FEINBERG: First of all, Mr. Dimon is on the hot seat. He's on the front page of every newspaper in the country. I'd change my tune, too, if you go in the floor -- a senate committee that's about to ask you questions about a $2 billion or $3 billion loss. It's not surprising.
HOOVER: Do you think re-implementing Glass-Steagall would be a good solution?
FEINBERG: Not on my watch. And I will say this. I mean, I don't know enough about the vagaries of the individual proposal. Mr. Dimon talked about, well, it depends on what the language says, what the terms and conditions of repealing Glass-Steagall or the Volcker rule. You'd have to take a real look at it and see exactly how much teeth. I know Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd did their best to provide vigorous enforcement. And, we'll have to see.
LIZZA: The absence of -- go ahead.
O'BRIEN: I was just going to ask. Is the take away that regulation doesn't work because regulators were inside JPMorgan? Most people look at someone like Jamie Dimon and say, he earns his $23 million. The man is brilliant. He's successful. He's probably the top of the top in terms of investment bankers.
Or does the answer, you need more regulation because clearly, he wasn't even aware of what was happening inside of his firm. He admitted that in his testimony. The regulators also, the traders themselves also. Does that mean no regulation or more regulation?
FEINBERG: One thing we learned at treasury. It's not more or less regulation. It's better regulation. It's better regulation. More transparency. More openness. More checks. More balances. I think this debate over more or less is sort of quantifiable. What's really important is the quality of the regulation.
And as Mr. Dimon has said himself, who are the people that are subject to these regulations? How good are they and how aware are they of the importance of regulation?
O'BRIEN: Ken Feinberg, it's nice to have you with us. We'll see if there's any clawbacks. That will be fascinating to have you come back and talk about that.
FEINBERG: Any time.
O'BRIEN: But I'm not to put money on it.
O'BRIEN: -- before. Probably not going to happen now.
We got to take a break. Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, some new rare pictures of JFK on the campaign trail capturing some of the star quality and the charm that would help him win the presidency. You're going to see it here for the very first time straight ahead this morning.
Plus, new accusations that Lance Armstrong was blood doping could strip him of all seven of his Tour de France titles. We'll tell you about that.
And if you need a slice in a hurry, we're going to show you the pizza vending machine. I can't decide if I love this idea or if it's gross. We will talk about that straight ahead.
O'BRIEN: And welcome back, everybody. You're watching STARTING POINT. We start with Christine Romans who has a look at the day's headlines. Hi, Christine.
ROMANS: Good morning, Soledad. This just in to CNN, weekly jobless claims figures -- 386,000 jobless claims remember filed for the first time last week, more than expected. Is shows some softening in the labor market. And that's up from the week before, a revised figure of 380,000. Stock futures are down just a little bit this morning.
A Texas man now facing life in prison after a jury convicted him of murder for gunning down his unarmed neighbor in a fight over noise. The sentencing phase of Raul Rodriguez's trial begins today. Rodriguez claims self-defense under Texas' version of a stand-your- ground law. A jury didn't buy it.
The judge in the Trayvon Martin shooting ordering the release of new evidence in the case that includes crime scene photos, Trayvon Martin's autopsy report, and details of George Zimmerman's conversations with police on the night he shot the Florida teenager. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder. He claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
Former president George W. Bush had a cameo role in season one of the popular and violet HBO show "Game of Thrones," but he probably didn't know it until now. A sculpted likeness of Mr. Bush's head appears in several beheading scenes and on a spike in one episode. The men behind the show said they weren't making a political statement. HBO is apologizing for the use of the former president's likeness and says those scenes will be deleted from the future DVDs.
A year in the life of JFK in pictures just revealed photos from "Life" magazine document John F. Kennedy's bitter, exhausting presidential campaign against Richard Nixon back in 1960. One picture shows him peering through an airplane window. Another shows him jumping from the back of an open top car. But the most tender photo of this batch shows JFK laughing with his daughter Caroline.
All right, if you need fresh pizza in a hurry, look no further than the pizza vending machine. The people behind "Let's Pizza" say their machine delivers a hot pizza in just three minutes. It was developed by an Italian entrepreneur and is expected to debut in the U.S. later this year. You can get your pizza made to order with a choice of more than 200 toppings. A 10-inch pizza will sell for about $6.
O'BRIEN: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. So a hot pizza made from scratch, three minutes, 200 options. No, it's not possible.
ROMANS: Miracle technology. Remember those old automatic vending places like the 1930s?
O'BRIEN: We have one here in the building. Yes, we have those from the 1930s.
CAIN: This is over the top, obviously.
O'BRIEN: Well, maybe it's very healthy. I just can't believe they can do that from scratch in three minutes. We have to investigate that. I love that.
CAIN: What technology. Like the Jetsons.
O'BRIEN: Breaking news this morning. Lance Armstrong is now being banned officially from the Nice Ironman Competition after facing new allegations and accusations of doping. He was supposed to compete there on June 24. The U.S. anti-doping agency is accusing the cyclist and five former members of his sports staff of taking part in a giant doping conspiracy between the years 1998 and 2011. His record seven Tour de France titles are now in danger of being stripped.
Armstrong is strongly denying the charges saying this, "I have never doped, and unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests, and never failed one." Maggie Gray is an anchor for SportsIllustrated.com and joins us this morning to talk about this. What's new in these allegations? There have been others in the past.
MAGGIE GRAY, ANCHOR, SPORTSILLUSTRATED.COM: Lance Armstrong has been fighting this for basically his entire career. What's new is who is bringing the allegations against him. A federal prosecutor wrapped up their investigation in February so now it's this quasi-government organization. Before it's been former cyclists accusing Armstrong. But this time it's an investigation by the agency that is responsible for investigating drug use in U.S. Olympic sports.
O'BRIEN: They have had their own controversy itself. But let's talk about the evidence. Accusers have specifically spoken out against Lance Armstrong. Here is a little bit of what they've said. Let me play that first. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see Lance Armstrong using other performance enhancing drugs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At times, yes, at different training camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me what you saw in terms of what Lance Armstrong took in performance enhancing drugs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took what we all took. Really no difference between Lance Armstrong and I'd say the majority of the palatine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: That was Floyd Landis and also Tyler Hamilton talking there in various interviews. How credible and how devastating would their comments be against Lance Armstrong?
GRAY: Well, I think it's them, but with those interviews those were two racers who were accused of doping themselves. So while they are apologizing for doping themselves, they are pointing at Lance Armstrong. And I think some people in sports, fans of Lance, thought it was trying to push the blame off of them and onto Lance. This is going to be different, because this is his entourage. These are the people who are closest with Lance. And these are people who are not household names like Floyd Landis, who won the tour de France, or Tyler Hamilton. These people, I don't know if they can write a book. I don't know if they can have that same motivation to not tell the truth or to lie in any case.
O'BRIEN: Can we talk about boxing for a moment?
O'BRIEN: I am going to get through all of my sports questions. Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. They want to now rescore that fight. What exactly happened? People are just up in arms, and somehow Bradley -- everyone thinks that Pacquiao won but Bradley won in terms of the scoring.
GRAY: Sure. Bradley won a split decision. But anyone who watched that fight, boxing experts, everyone ringside, and even the statistics that they keep in boxing, showed Pacquiao winning that fight by a very large margin. So people are crying out.
GRAY: Well, fraud -- boxing and conspiracy and thrown fights and fixes, this is something we have been talking about since the '20s. This is nothing new. But the outrage is actually coming from the top ranked -- Bob Arum, who represents both of the fighters who fought last Saturday night. He wants an investigation. I think what they're trying to do is either try to get the judges who are on the panel and had such a big decision for Bradley to either get them suspended, or just to show some clarity, have them explain why did they score the fight so heavily for Bradley when everyone saw something different.
O'BRIEN: Does that mean a rematch?
GRAY: They'll have a rematch. Right now, they are scheduled to have one November 11. They already have the date. I think that's tentative, that they would have a rematch and possibly a trilogy is Pacquiao ends up beating Bradley the second time.
O'BRIEN: Does Bradley have to give back the title?
GRAY: No, no, no. They can't do that. What would they do, go to his house and get his belt?
O'BRIEN: I don't know. Maybe.
GRAY: But so much money has been -- so much money passed hands in Vegas, people betting on the fight, there's no way they can change the outcome.
CAIN: How is there so much money continuing to trade hands in a sport that no one suspects is legit?
O'BRIEN: I think there's a lot of bets out there to make.
LIZZA: It's legit. It's not rife with corruption.
O'BRIEN: Kind of rife.
LIZZA: Every once in a while there's a little scandal.
GRAY: We do see this sometimes. It's unfortunately something that plagues the sport every once in a while and gets a lot of publicity like this. But overall, boxing is a great sport.
O'BRIEN: Quick question before I let you go. Thumbs up or thumbs down on Tim Tebow? I love him. I'll stack the deck against your answer.
GRAY: Thumbs up as a sports reporter. Yes, in New York, let's take him.
O'BRIEN: I knew I liked Maggie.
GRAY: As far as throwing passes --
O'BRIEN: I didn't ask that.
GRAY: OK. We'll take it.
O'BRIEN: Thanks. Appreciate it.
Still ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, Ice-T will join us. He has a new documentary. He'll tell us why he thinks hip-hop is why president Obama got elected. Here is his play list. I like this. He's got a good playlist, I bet. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: Ok. Here's a question for you. Is your job cool? Christine takes a look at the answers. It's probably no unless you're a nerd.
ROMANS: You know what, you're not going to believe this. In this week's "Smart is the New Rich," it's revenge of the nerds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nerds, nerds, nerds, nerds, nerds, nerds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Nerds aren't like that anymore, Soledad. A new report from CareerTest.com says that nerdy careers have become the country's coolest professions. The Web site named software engineers the number one jobs to have in the fields of engineering and information technology because of high salaries and excellent working conditions.
Other computer science jobs took second and third place as well.
Now one reason these jobs are so good, Soledad, demand is soaring. But in the middle of the last decade, we actually saw a drop in the number of people graduating with degrees in computer science.
CareerCast publisher Tony Lee says recruiters then are swarming colleges and universities they are looking for smart technically minded students, and they can't find enough of them to fill their hiring needs.
Bottom line, there's money in your math homework. So what if they call you nerd? It used to be your mom or dad would say I want you to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a banker. No more. They want you to grow up to learn code and be an engineer.
O'BRIEN: Yes that's right. Starting salary for I think biomedical engineer is like $80,000. All right Christine, thank you.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
O'BRIEN: Don't go anywhere. Actor, rapper and now director Ice- T is going to join us up next. Here is his play list, Eminem, "Lose Yourself."
You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.
O'BRIEN: Actor and rapper Ice-T. You might know him as a Detective Fin Tutuola of "Law and Order Special Victims Unit". You might know him as a rapper with songs like "Colors" or "OG", Original Gangster.
Now he's a director and he's making his directorial debut with a new documentary which is called "Something for Nothing: The Art of Rap". Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ICE-T, ACTOR, RAPPER, DIRECTOR: I didn't invent anything. Hip- hop reinvented everything. Lyrics is what rap is all about. Rhymes that paint pictures for people.
This is my purpose. This is my perspective.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say something with some dignity behind that rhyme.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you can consider Dr. Seuss a rapper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They think you are just talking over a record.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's two-third voice, it's snoops, swag and personality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your style?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My style, I would say, is Tae Kwon Do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The documentary features interviews with dozens of musicians. You saw a bunch of them there. Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Nas. And we had him on the show yesterday.
O'BRIEN: Rakim Mustaf (ph), Snoop Dog and Grand Master. Nice to have you with us this morning.
ICE-T: This is cool. Thank you.
O'BRIEN: We certainly appreciate it. Tell me the story first of how you got the nickname Ice-T. It's a great story.
ICE-T: Well, I used to read books by a writer named Iceberg Slim. And I used to quote him in high school. The first initial of my first name, my real name is Tracy. I wouldn't let anybody call me that because that's a girl's name. You know it's like a boy named Sue.
So when I started to quote this guy's lyrics, people say, say some more of that Ice stuff, T.
ICE-T: So it kind of become, Ice-T is short for Iceberg and T. It's not the drink.
You know some -- sometime I got to Marquee (ph) and they will say Ice-T. Somebody needs to talk to them.
O'BRIEN: The film that you're making in your directorial debut is called "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap." Why did you want to make a film?
ICE-T: Well, I always wanted to direct. And you know I was watching television and I'm looking at like rapping the weathermen and all kinds of people. And I'm like, I mean people, you know, it's a culture that's basically gone global. Everybody is part of hip-hop now.
But I'm like people don't really know where it comes from. So I said this is my chance. I had the means to make a film. I called up all my friends and said I want to do a film. But I'm going to ask you questions but not about the money, the cars, the girls, the jewelry, the beat -- the craft. And they all said no one asks us that.
And so we went out and we made the movie. All we wanted to do is get to Sundance. We were a big thing at Sundance. We got picked up by (inaudible). But now we're going -- we're going to be in the theaters tomorrow Friday. And I'm overwhelmed.
O'BRIEN: What do people not know about rap?
ICE-T: Well, I think because some of them have seen, you know, us do it off the top of our head, they think it's easy to do and they don't understand the work that goes into some of the great records that they grew up with.
And also we're kind of caught in that press thing where, you know everybody likes the rock 'n' roll side of it, the parties, who you're with, all of that kind of stuff. No one really gets into the work.
So once you see this film, it will give you the history of where it came from and how serious it is to the artists that are involved in it.
HOOVER: You say that rap saved your life.
HOOVER: Can you tell a personal side of this?
ICE-T: Well, you know, I was -- I was basically you know an L.A. guy, involved with the gangs and all of those types of things. And the music deterred me. You know once I -- I found this music, it gave me something else to do. The next thing you know, I'm in the movie "Breaking." Back with Boogaloo Shrimp and Shaladoo and before you know it, I'm doing "New Jack City." It just deterred me away from all of those other things.
A lot of times people get in trouble because of a lack of hope. Well rap gave me hope. It gave me a chance to be somebody. Now I'm on "Law and Order" playing a cop for 14 years. But I think if you had caught me back then, you would have said disregard this guy. He's nothing. He'll never be anything.
O'BRIEN: Do you think rap is dis-respective or people don't get the art behind it?
ICE-T: I just don't think they get it enough, I don't think they understand it. I don't think jazz was appreciated. I don't think rock 'n' roll is appreciated. It think it's still in its infancy. It's only 30 years old.
But hopefully this film will make people really respect the art and realize that it's something that -- it's an American art form. And we should respect it.
O'BRIEN: Is it being watered down now that it's so commercial?
O'BRIEN: Is that bad or is that fine?
ICE-T: Well, all music is --
O'BRIEN: Or is it just it is what it is?
ICE-T: All music right now is watered down and delusional. I mean, if you listen to pop music as a whole, I mean basically everybody is saying we're having a good time we're popping bottles, we're having it -- but you know, you have the subprime. You have a war. You have a black president. You've unemployment. Music doesn't reflect that at all any music so --
LIZZA: Why is that? Why is through all of the -- the war and some of the crises in this country that a lot of American music just isn't very political anymore?
ICE-T: Because what happened with the Internet is now the music -- is there's so much music, it's hard to pick. So now you have to pick what's on the radio. Radio never wanted you to sing about anything. They don't want you to talk about issues.
So the radio dilutes it. And it puts it into this sedating form that just makes everybody have fun, life is great. You know, let's party, like that.
So it's just a -- it's a paradox, you know. It's a lot of music on the Net but people don't go to the net anymore. So I mean, I mean they don't go to record stores. I did an interview with a girl the other day and I told her I made money when people went to the record store. And she said, what's a record store?
O'BRIEN: Oh, no. The documentary, is called "Something from Nothing." Ice-T, thanks for coming in and talk to us about it. ICE-T: Thanks for having me.
O'BRIEN: We appreciate it.
O'BRIEN: We've got to take a short break, back in a moment.
O'BRIEN: We're out of time. Let's send it right to "CNN Newsroom" with Carol Costello. It begins right now. Hey Carol, good morning.