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Protecting Teens Against Cyberbullies; "Thriller" at 30 Considered a Classic; New Ways to get Around

Aired November 30, 2012 - 09:30   ET



CARTOON CHARACTER: I've got a problem that needs to be fixed.


CARTOON CHARACTER: I am being bullied online.

ALEX WONDER: I'll take the case.


DEB FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Alex teaches kids how to defend themselves against cyber bullying and safely navigate the Internet. The game was developed by Parry Aftab, executive director of

And, Parry, this is the first time anyone is seeing this game. So, walk us through it. How does it work?

PARRY AFTAB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WIREDSAFETY: Well, the game teaches kids how to spot, avoid and address cyber bullying. So, they have to qualify as kids cyber detectives who help Alex, who works out of the janitor's closet at the middle school, learn how to help other kids being cyber bullied.

So, they have a 14-minute video where there's a bully in the machine and the kids have to join together to help fight it off and then they have to learn about who cyber bullies, how they cyber bully and what you can do about it to qualify for the cyber detective agency.

FEYERICK: You know, as a parent, you're always trying to protect, and in some respects, prepare your kid, teaching them how to ignore bullying. But that doesn't always work. What is this designed to do in terms of making sure they are prepared if it happens?

AFTAB: Well, parents are really good people who could use this game as well. I think if they go through it with their kids, they'll learn.

But we need to recognize that our kids are cyber bullied no matter how we try to protect them. But in many cases, they're the cyber bully as well. There's this lack of control, you're not looking your victim in the eyes to know when you have gone too far. So, we need to teach our kids to stop, block and tell. Stop, don't answer back. Block the personal message, or tell a trusted. And you need to be trustworthy when they come to you and not turn them off when the technology is supposed to be there.

FEYERICK: You know, and we showed earlier the video of that young girl who was so desperate, the Canadian girl who ended up killing herself. There was a cry for help there.

But you've got something called a five-minute rule. And that comes not only to people who are receiving the texts, or the e-mails, but those who are doing it as well. What is your guidance to teenagers?

AFTAB: Well, we -- it's something called "take five". I just came back from Vancouver Island, where we did programs on Amanda Todd. And so, we asked kids to find what they love to do and do that for five minutes to calm down, not overreact, not act in anger, not try to retaliate, because they're only going to get into more trouble.

It's all about self control and knowing where you can go for help.

FEYERICK: All right. Parry Aftab, it's fascination because I've had so much conversations with mothers who basically say that the unfortunate thing is that there's no safe zone anymore, because all our computers, all our devices are bringing the outside world into our homes. And that's a tricky thing to handle.

Parry Aftab, thank you so much.

And you can download this game at And definitely check out the check. It's a lot of good information.

Parry, thanks so much.

AFTAB: Thank you, Deb.

FEYERICK: Well, it's hard to believe. Yes, take a look -- it's been 30 years since the release of "Thriller".

Like a fine wine just doesn't get old. We'll look at its impact on the music world.



FEYERICK: I remember practicing that dance move. Hard to believe Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is more than a quarter century old.

Seriously, who does not love that video? It is hard to believe that MTV was reluctant to play it, went on to be voted the most influential pop music video of all time. And the album?

We'll let Kareen Wynter count the Grammys.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The year was 1982. Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Prince William was just a baby. And 24-year-old Michael Jackson released a new album called "Thriller." Seven of the nine tracks would become top 10 hits.

And 30 years later, "Thriller" is still the best-selling album in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't matter if you were Asian, black, Hispanic, white, it's just like we all knew "Thriller."

JARED LETO, ACTOR/MUSICIAN: I lived in Haiti for a short time when I was a young kid and used to take that boom box out and play it for some of the local kids. As soon as I pressed play, they would start doing back flips.

PHIL GALLO, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, BILLBOARD: It didn't matter if you had a huge punk collection, or a huge R&B collection or Frank Sinatra was your favorite singer. For some reason, you owned "Thriller."

WYNTER: Although videos like "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Thriller" quickly became the gold standard for MTV, "Billboard's" Phil Gallo says the network was reluctant to place Jackson's music into rotation.

GALLO: They present a video to MTV of "Beat It" and the president of Epic Records says, you don't get any other videos unless you play Michael Jackson. So it was sort of a smart threat at the time. They went and played it. Of course, the response was staggering.

WYNTER: Michael Jackson became the first African-American added to what was then an all-rock lineup on MTV. "Thriller" broke new ground with a hybrid of pop, R&B and rock with a guitar solo on "Beat It" with surprise guest, Eddie Van Halen.

Van Halen says it started with a phone call from producer Quincy Jones.

EDDIE VAN HALEN, MUSICIAN: He says, how would you like to come down and play on Michael Jackson's new record? And I'm thinking to myself, OK, A, B, C, one, two three and me. How is that going to? You know, how is that going to work?

Lo and behold when I got there, there's Quincy, there's Michael Jackson, engineers and they're making records.

WYNTER: Van Halen says his recording sessions lasted 30 minutes. Afterwards, Jackson came in for a listen.

VAN HALEN: In my mind, I'm going, OK, he's either going to have his bodyguards kick me out for butchering his song or he's going to like it, you know?

And -- so, he give it a listen and he just turned to me and he went, wow, thank you so much for having the passion to not just come in and blaze a solo and to actually care about the song. I mean, here is this musical giant with this child-like innocence. WYNTER: Eddie says he did it as a favor for free and figured no one, including his Van Halen band mates would ever find out.

VAN HALEN: Wrong. It ended up being record of the year.

WYNTER: "Thriller" went on to win seven Grammys. But more importantly, it was a cultural touchstone that transcended age, ethnicity and musical genre.

GALLO: This is the masterpiece. This is the pop classic, in many ways sort of defined the music of his later years.

WYNTER: Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.


FEYERICK: It's a great song.

Well, getting from point A to point B, you want style and speed and might also want to save a little gas. All three of those features are now on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


FEYERICK: Well, December starts tomorrow. And it's time to start thinking about 2013 and beyond, because the fiscal cliff could change how we view things like health care, schools, transportation. Rising gas prices have more of us looking at different ways to get around.

And the cars we'll soon see on the road, well, they're going to look a bit different.

Casey Wian is at the L.A. auto show.

And, Casey, the vehicles on the road today, they are better built, they get better fuel mileage. How do automakers cope and build on this success, given this fiscal cliff?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, Deb, they've had a lot of success in car sales in the U.S. over the past year or so. Double-digit sales increase, a really strong year.

They're forecasting maybe there's going to be a little bit of slowdown in that rate of growth for next year. And, of course, if the fiscal cliff does come to be and the economy slows or even dips back into recession, things are really going to slow down.

But what automakers are doing is continuing to push the sales of smaller cars, which is what the public wants, because gas prices are rising. And also cars like this one, the Chevy Volt, which is a combination of gas and electric.

Now, sales of these types of vehicles do real well in places like California where people drive long distances and where a lot of people are very concerned about the environment and want to drive hybrid or electric vehicles. So, even though they haven't been so strong throughout the rest of the country, companies like General Motors continue to push ahead with these vehicles.

Here is their newest introduction, which will be on the market in 2014. Only available for sale in California and in Oregon initially, this is the Chevy Spark. It is an all electric vehicle that will get somewhere south of 100 miles on a full charge.

But what's really cool about this vehicle is you'll be able to charge it up to 80 percent of capacity in just 20 minutes. That is a challenge, though, getting the rest of America outside of places like California to buy these vehicles.

Let's listen to what GM had to say about that.


DAVE BARTHMUSS, GENERAL MOTORS: The key now is to sell these vehicles in the same kind of quantity in St. Louis and Des Moines, you know in the heartland of -- of -- of America, if you will. When you drive an electric car, you know we're not going to sell this thing on the environmental aspects. To those kinds -- I mean these cars are fun to drive.


WIAN: And it's not just GM, their North American competitor, Ford, introducing a new version of the Ford Fusion. We've got pictures of that. I think we can show you that was named the 2012 L.A. Auto Show Green Car of the year.

So a lot of focus on hybrid, electric, green technology and the continued demand for smaller cars, Deb.

FEYERICK: Yes and no question about that. And I think I picked out a couple to dream about in any event.

All right, Casey Wian for us, thanks so much.

Well the San Antonio Spurs coach sends three star players home before a big game. Now he is in trouble with the NBA. We'll talk about it.


FEYERICK: Checking our "Top Stories", the FDA is advising concerned consumers to stop taking the generic form of Lipitor if their pills are part of a group that was recalled. A pharmaceutical company recalled 41 lots of the cholesterol-lowering drug three weeks ago after specks of glass were found in some of the bottles.

Former President George H.W. Bush remains in a Houston hospital this morning as he undergoes treatment for bronchitis. A spokesman says the 88-year-old has a quote, "lingering cough", unquote and has -- already been hospitalized for six days. Bush is the oldest living former president. And NASA says it has found large deposits of water ice on Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. While some areas of Mercury can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit, ouch, some areas are completely shielded from the sun allowing the ice to form. NASA plans to send its messenger spacecraft to that area for a closer look in the coming months.

Sleeker, that's how one Honda executive describes the new look for the automaker's 2013 Civic Sedan on sale now. The car, the best-selling compact in the nation, getting its second redesign in just a year and a half.

Back in a moment.


FEYERICK: Well, sports fans want to see the best players when they go to a game especially when ticket prices are so high, but the NBA thinks fans in Miami may not have gotten their money's worth last night.

Vince Cellini from Bleacher Report is hear and this -- we have a coach deciding what's best for his team then a league deciding what's best for the game. So which one is right?

VINCE CELLINI, BLEACHER REPORT: Well, they're both right. Ok let's set the whole situation for you here. Gregg Popovich is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs. His team is playing four games in five nights. It's the end of a six-game trip. He has some older players and he likes to rest them. He's done this in the past. Last spring he sat his star players.

Well, heading into this game, a nationally televised games against defending champions, the sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green on a commercial flight back to San Antonio to rest.

They weren't at this game and Commissioner David Stern was not happy about it. He issued this statement right before tip. He said "I apologize to all NBA fans this was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming." Substantial.

FEYERICK: See, that's surprising to me, because, look, sometimes when you go to the theater you've got an understudy, may be a little bit disappointed it doesn't mean it takes away necessarily from the show.


FEYERICK: But was, can he do that? It's the coach's choice, you know?

CELLINI: Well there is no question. He can run his team as he pleases and that's where we have the rub here because it's his team. He can balance his minutes. But the Spurs don't play in a vacuum, they play within the NBA, so what about the NBA product? What about the ethical aspect of this? And the fact is Commissioner Stern may have a suspension or heavy fine for Gregg Popovich of the Spurs. FEYERICK: And to say you use the word "product" though, I'm wondering if the word is "profit."

CELLINI: That too.

FEYERICK: But let's talk NFL Falcons they finally prevailed over their nemesis the New Orleans Saints 23-13. Was this a statement game by Atlanta?

CELLINI: I think it was. They were at home on national television as well. They had a four-game losing streak against the Saints and how they did it, they intercepted Drew Brees five times in this game. And they won another close one, 23-13. That's how the falcons have been doing it this year.

They're 11-1 and some of their fans are saying we're not impressed yet. You're not impressed with 11-1? This is a terrific Falcon team and one that's going to be heard from in post-season, did a nice job last night. So, yes, I think it was a statement game.

FEYERICK: Finally, we don't have college football play-offs yet but tomorrow is Alabama/Georgia SEC Championship. It's really sort of a semi-final game, isn't it?

CELLINI: Yes, it's a national semi-final, no question. Notre Dame is waiting for the winner of this Georgia/Alabama game, it takes place right down the road here at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Two great defenses, two really solid quarterbacks in terms of passing efficiency, great running games from both.

Alabama's the heavy favorite, Deb, in this game but for some reason I think Aaron Murray, the quarterback of Georgia, will have some short passing, they'll be able to run a little bit. I like Georgia in this game. I don't think the stage is going to be too big for them. They played in this game last year, the SEC Championship, and lost to LSU. I think it's a great chance for Georgia to move forward.

FEYERICK: I'm going with what you say.

CELLINI: Do we have time for this last story?


CELLINI: Alabama, the only team to beat them this year is Texas A&M. And Texas A&M's great player is red shirt freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel, Johnny Football, this young man, Christian Chavez of Kerville, Texas near Austin wanted to pay tribute to his favorite player so he had this haircut done but he was sent home from school with Johnny Manziel carved into the back of his head.

Look, I am all for free expression but I find that disturbing. If I had to sit behind that kid all day in class, I would be horrified.

FEYERICK: Yes, probably.

CELLINI: Let's face it. FEYERICK: Probably. That was a graphic artist. It's pretty good actually.

CELLINI: Listen, the artistry is get. I'm thinking of putting Anderson Cooper right here on the back.

FEYERICK: I was thinking that, too, I was going to do a Carol Costello. All right, Vince Cellini --

CELLINI: Bleacher Report. You can go to all the great news for you including for hoop fans you can read about the winners and losers for the NBA's first month. Thanks, Deb.

FEYERICK: All right. We'll do that. Always a pleasure, thanks Vince.

CELLINI: Thank you.

FEYERICK: All right. We've got lots more that's coming up. As Vince said you can always check out that Web site.

Next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins after just a very quick break.