CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Second Bangladesh Factory Fire; Casey Anthony Investigators Missed Evidence; College Basketball Scores 138 Points; Drug Manufacturer Recalls Bottles for Glass; Florida Sex Survey; Tony Bennett Isn't Slowing Down

Aired November 26, 2012 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching STARTING POINT. We begin with John Berman and a look at the day's top stories. Good morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad.

The second time in just three days a fire has broken out at a garment factory in the capital city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. This morning's fire is under control with no deaths reported, but at least 120 workers were killed in a factory fire there Saturday night. Officials are still trying to figure out what caused the fire. The eight-story facility is opened by Tazrin Fashion Limited which manufactures products for Wal-Mart and other companies in the U.S. and Europe.

A stunning admission by Florida sheriffs who investigated Casey Anthony in the murder of her daughter Caylee in 2008. They say they failed to spot on a computer in Casey's home that a Google search was made for, quote, "foolproof suffocation techniques" the day the little girl vanished. Orlando TV station WKMG first reported the story. Casey Anthony was acquitted of Caylee's murder. Prosecutors say it's a shame they did not have this potentially key piece of evidence.

Hurricane Sandy has sparked a new jobs initiative in New York City. Temporary jobs for 5,000 young adults are being offered in areas hard hit by the storm. Any adult age 18 through 24 affected by Sandy can apply.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look at communities like this, it's this community -- it's that age bracket that has the highest unemployment. So we're doing a twofer here. We're trying to tackle the unemployment problem in an area like this where the unemployment for that age group can run as high as 36 percent, 40 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: These jobs will be for short-term and long-term projects aimed at rebuilding communities damaged by sandy. The weatherman didn't predict this third quarter shower that delayed the Seahawks-Dolphins game in Miami yesterday. We're told the stadium sprinkler system malfunctioned. It thought it was Saturday for some reason. It went on its Saturday watering schedule. The players did manage to dry off and the Dolphins went on to beat the Seahawks 24-21.

Later on, in Sunday night football the New York Giants, they looked good, finally playing like the defending champions to end their two- game November swoon. They routed the Green Bay Packers 38-10. Eli Manning tossed three touchdowns for Big Blue. The loss knocked the Packers out of first place. They were in a first place tie in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears.

This is the performance everyone is talking about this morning. Lindsay Lohan making her acting comeback, if you can call it that, as the late, great Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime's "Liz and Dick." The movie, it was full of really just kind of campy melodrama, like this scene where she meets Richard Burton on the set of "Cleopatra."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In case you haven't guessed, I'm --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Burton. Oh, I'd shake your hands but my nails --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, likewise. Has anyone ever told you, you're a very pretty girl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That clip is very revealing. Critics were quick to pan Lohan and the movie. The "New Jersey Star Ledger" and "San Francisco Chronicle" said they were hoping for so bad it's good. But both said "Liz and Dick" was just plain bad.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Crushed on Twitter. It was bad. I didn't see it.

O'BRIEN: I thought she really looks like -- they did a great job.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: This is sort of like the sequel to "the parent trap."

MARTIN: She has issues.

O'BRIEN: Moving on.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: It's all yours.

O'BRIEN: Yes. I'll take it.

Let's talk about sports, shall we? Here's a young man who made sports history. Grinnell College sophomore Jack Taylor scored 138 points during a basketball game last week against Faith Baptist Bible College. That smashes the NCAA record for the most points scored in a single game. Needless to say his team won, 179-104.

Taylor is 5'10", 170 pounds from black river falls, Wisconsin. He shot 52 of 108 from the field, which comes out to a shot every 20 seconds or so. He joins us this morning via Skype from Iowa. Nice to talk to you. I guess congratulations first are in order. You were averaging roughly 23 points per game before the big game. What do you think happened that day?

JACK TAYLOR, COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER: Yes. I think it was -- I think it was kind of a once in a lifetime thing that happened. Coming into the game, I knew I was going to get more shots than usual. But I definitely hit more shots than I thought that I would. And at halftime when I had 58, my team and coaches kind of gathered around me and were going to get me the ball every time down the floor. So this record wouldn't have been possible without my unselfish teammates.

O'BRIEN: It's interesting, because some people are giving you a little flak about the selfishness thing. Stewart Scott on ESPN said this, "Not a big fan of jack Taylor's 138 points in Grinnell win. He took 108 shots and 71 threes. Just say it out loud, it's a team." He's basically insinuating you were a ball hog. How do you respond to that?

TAYLOR: Yes. I mean, I -- I definitely was a ball hog. But my teammates kept giving me the ball. When I would pass it off to them, they would try to get me the ball right back, because they knew I was hot. And in the second half, we started going for the record when my shots were falling. So it was -- it was a team effort to get me the ball and they kept encouraging me to shoot, which only gave me more confidence.

ROMANS: What did you have for breakfast that morning?

(LAUGHTER)

TAYLOR: I think I had cereal or something. I don't think I had anything out of the norm, though.

MARTIN: Jack, real simple. If you were throwing up bricks, your teammates would not have been passing you the ball. And in sports, everybody says, when you have a hot hand, you keep feeding the beast until they miss.

ROMANS: That is team work.

TAYLOR: Right.

O'BRIEN: So Kobe Bryant who plays a little ball himself, he said this. "Wow. That's impressive." He's talking about your game. "That's crazy. I don't care what level you're at, scoring 138 points is pretty insane." Then you had another game. And I believe you were at 21 points. Did it feel disappointing? Did it feel crushing? Everybody is now watching. They want to see a repeat of the 138 points. And it's like, no.

TAYLOR: Yes, I don't really know what people expect of me, whether they expect me to go for record numbers every night. But I'm not going to take that many shots for the rest of the season. So I think my numbers are going to be a lot lower and I'm just going to kind of be a just above average player again.

O'BRIEN: So does that mean you're not thinking about the NBA career or are you going to fall back on the biochemistry major?

TAYLOR: Yes. I definitely want to play professionally. I think more realistically, I would have opportunities overseas to play professionally.

ROMANS: Is he really a bio-chem major?

O'BRIEN: He is. You're a bio-chem major, right?

TAYLOR: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Are you going to researcher? Doctor? I'd let you be my doctor. Depending what kind of doctor he is. What did he say?

TAYLOR: I was hoping to go to pharmacy school and be a pharmacist.

O'BRIEN: Fantastic. Congratulations to you. Jack Taylor, 138 points in an ACAA.

MARTIN: Keep jacking Jack. Go ahead. Keep shooting.

O'BRIEN: We're rooting for you. That was great fun. Thanks for being with us.

ROMANS: Also an incredibly poised, charming, smart guy.

MARTIN: Really self-aware.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, parade confetti had confidential information on it. The surprising source of all those little paper pieces that were coming down during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

And his new memoir gives behind the scenes looks at all the celebrities he's worked with from Fred Astaire to Amy Winehouse. My conversation with Tony Bennett is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Here's a quick look at some of the top stories this morning. A popular prescription medication used to reduce cholesterol is under recall. And 41 batches of atorvastatin calcium are being pulled from pharmacies because they may contain small particles of glass. This is the generic version of Lipitor. The manufacturer says the recall affects bottles containing 10, 20, and 40 milligram tablets. An investigation is under way here in New York about confetti used at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. This really happened. Police want to know why shredded police documents containing information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, even the names of undercover detectives ended up as confetti.

In Florida, the state there is drawing heat for an unusual sex survey. The rather personal surveys have been sent to nearly 4,000 women between the ages of 18 and 24. Among the questions, how many men have they had sex with in the past year and how they felt emotionally the last time they had unprotected sex. State health officials stress the surveys are voluntary and say more than 780 have been filled out. Those who returned the surveys get a $10 gift card from CVS.

O'BRIEN: Why is that controversial? That sounds like basic questions.

MARTIN: It's a survey.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: By the government?

CHRYSTIA FREELAND, DIGITAL EDITOR, "THOMSON REUTERS": Well, yes.

CONWAY: Oh, the government's a huge survey --

BERMAN: Yes, they survey.

CONWAY: The federal government and state government spend a lot of money on survey research.

FREELAND: I don't think government ask you how you feel after having sex.

O'BRIEN: I assume they're trying to use that information to figure out --

MARTIN: Look, you have research of all kinds, different reasons also. You're talking about state funding for health programs. There's all kinds of different ways you can use data.

O'BRIEN: Or don't fill it out. Chuck it out and you'll be fine.

MARTIN: Yes there you go.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, I'm going to talk to Tony Bennett. He's got a new memoir out and a new duets CD. And absolutely, positively has no intention to slow down any time soon. That's straight ahead on STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

Six decades in the music business isn't slowing down legendary singer Tony Bennett. He's got a new documentary -- it's called "The Zen of Bennett". It's out on DVD. He has a new duet CD which features Latino singers called "Diva Duet" and a new memoir which is called "Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett". On top of all that, in his free time, he paints.

I had a chance to sit down with him recently in his art studio here in Manhattan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: Talk to me about your career which has now lasted six decades.

TONY BENNETT, SINGER: Right.

O'BRIEN: I think for most artists, they -- they honestly, they fall out of relevance. You know at some point they just can't sort of keep up with all the changes. And they -- they lose their audience. Why do you think you've been so successful and so relevant?

BENNETT: Well, I think it's because I love what I do. I just did my own thing, you know. I just learned that -- to never compromise and only do quality songs. Never cheat the audience. Give them the best songs that they can listen to, the most intelligent songs and by doing that, the songs last forever.

O'BRIEN: Your documentary takes place as you're really recording duets, the second duets album.

BENNETT: Right.

O'BRIEN: Have you loved doing those duets? I mean, you have one where you're performing, we see it in the documentary, with Lady Gaga.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LADY GAGA, SINGER: I'm so nervous.

BENNETT: No, no, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: What was she like?

BENNETT: Extremely talented.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAGA: I like the free fresh --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BENNETT: She's a beautiful singer. She's really -- people don't really -- I know how popular she is right now. She plays to 40,000 people a night. But she really has a magnificent voice. And I think they're going to find out that she's one of the -- she's as good as right up there with Ella Fitzgerald. She's a very good singer. O'BRIEN: How about Amy Winehouse? In the documentary you see a lot of talent. But it's also sort of sad, too. It was her last recording, I think.

BENNETT: It was her last recording.

She was an authentic, great jazz singer. Of all the contemporary singers I've ever met, she was the most talented one. She was a true jazz singer. And her mother, she said, I feel that in a very short time, she accomplished becoming famous. And that's what she wanted to do. So she considered her daughter, even though it was a quick life, she said she -- she attained success.

O'BRIEN: She lived a lot in her short life span.

BENNETT: Right.

O'BRIEN: Do you ever talk to her about her drug use? I talked to her father a lot since her death. And -- and you know, he was always very open about her drug use. In your book you write that you really wanted to talk to her about drug use.

BENNETT: Well it was mostly liquor that killed her, though. I tried to tell her. And I -- I didn't get a chance to do it. She died before I could tell her to slow down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENNETT: Quiet on the set.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Silencio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: This particular one which is with Latin artists has Christina Aguilera and Mark Anthony and Cheyenne and Gloria Estefan, just to name a small handful. But I heard that you weren't necessarily that interested originally in taking on the project.

BENNETT: Well I didn't -- I didn't understand it. But, you know, it turned out to be my favorite one of the all the duet albums because they sing beautiful, all of them. I wish in America and in Britain the music business would be like -- like the Latins. The style that the Latins like, their music that lasts forever, they sing right from the heart a lot of feeling. The public that hears those -- that music loves it so much, they could play it over and over again. It doesn't sound obsolescent.

O'BRIEN: What was the best advice that you got? I mean a lot of your book was about sort of the life that you've lived, and the advice you got and some of the mistakes you made and the -- the tough times you had. What was the thing that you think was the best advice you got?

BENNETT: It was Fred Astaire. He said you have to know, you know, that less is more. And don't -- don't do too much on the stage. Know when you have to leave. O'BRIEN: Do you still practice music every day?

BENNETT: Yes, I love it.

O'BRIEN: You do?

BENNETT: I don't get tired of it.

O'BRIEN: Like the scales and the basic building blocks of being a good artist?

BENNETT: Right.

O'BRIEN: Every day?

BENNETT: I love it, yes.

O'BRIEN: So then what's next?

BENNETT: Who knows? I'm just reveling in the fact that I have one hit album after another with these duets.

I just like to continue to improve as I get older.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: "End Point" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Time for "End Point". I love that graphic so much. Who wants to start me off? Kellyanne, what do you think.

CONWAY: I think that we should realize that the fiscal cliff didn't pop out of the sky. That the same people who have just been unable and unwilling to get us out of debt are now claiming that we have to do x, y and z and I think we're stuck between sanctimony and hypocrisy on that a little bit.

I thought the biggest news of the weekend on that Soledad was Senator Dick Durbin the number two Democrat in the Senate. Saying that Medicare has to be -- and I just wanted to say for the audience according to a new post this morning the 364 items in the 12 Days of Christmas will cost $107,000 this year up 6.1 percent from last year. Not a Black Friday special.

MARTIN: Five "End Points". I like that last one.

CONWAY: Parties are expensive.

O'BRIEN: That's true, that true. What have you got Roland?

MARTIN: Look we talk, we were talking about sports all morning. It's crazy in college football when they say a freshman should not win the Heisman Trophy. Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M should win the Heisman. So stop hating on the freshman. He's the best in the country. O'BRIEN: Only story you care about.

MARTIN: Of course. There might be some Heisman voters watching, I've got the (INAUDIBLE) in, vote for the freshman, Johnny Football.

O'BRIEN: What have you got for us.

FREELAND: Shout out for Warren Buffett. Excellent, very powerful piece in "New York times" today about taxes on the rich. He says the rich have been just beating the middle class in the economy over the past three decades. He has some great statistics. He also says this notion that rich people like him will stop working hard and investing if taxes go up is crazy. He says I made a lot of money in the '50s and the '60s when taxes were higher. It's time for us to pay up. A very powerful piece.

O'BRIEN: He starts off that piece "New York Times" in the saying an investor you admire comes up to you and says I've got this great deal. Someone would say enthusiastically I'm in. You should be, too. Would you reply it all depends on what my tax rate will on the gains you say we're going to make? If the taxes are too high I would rather leave the money in my savings account where it earns a quarter of one percent. And he goes on to slap Grover Norquist a little bit.

(CROSSTALK)

CONWAY: I don't believe that he and a small business owner should be taxed the same. And that's not fair.

FREELAND: No he doesn't actually. He actually says in this piece he --- in this piece Kelly Anne if you read it, he actually says he's in favor of higher taxes for the rich. But he actually disagrees with the President at what level that should kick in. He thinks it should be half a million. And very interestingly, he says at the very, very top it should be a minimum rate of 35 percent.

O'BRIEN: I think it's going to be very interesting to see the impact all of this has and this conversation has on Grover Norquist. This tax pledge --

MARTIN: That's where his power --

O'BRIEN: -- as much as he likes to distance himself from it which he's been doing a lot of late, saying it's really to the people and not to him, that's what he's known for.

MARTIN: His power comes from this tax pledge. The last thing that he can afford to see more Republicans peel off because if they do, then he can't get the next person to sign that pledge.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Tomorrow on STARTING POINT, we're going to be talking to racecar driver Danica Patrick and the starsof "Pretty Little Liars", Lucy Hale. That's tomorrow.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now. See you back here tomorrow.