CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Two Dead In London Helicopter Crash; Marine Freed From Mexico Prison Speaks; Police Chase Becomes Reality TV; GPS Sends Woman To Another Country; Fallout From Armstrong's Confession; JPMorgan Chase CEO's Bonus Slashed; Goodbye Google?; Facebook's New "Graph Search"; "Gun" Film Premieres At Sundance;

Aired January 16, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: -- this morning, the very latest on that fiery chopper crash that happened right in the center of the city. We'll talk about that coming up next.

And then Lance Armstrong apparently he has confessed to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that will run tomorrow and Friday. But does that mean that he could have sanctions reduced in the cycling world? People say no.

We'll talk with champion cyclist, John Eustice, who says doping in the sport goes way beyond Lance.

And everyone's GPS lead them astray every once in a while, but how long would you drive until you realized something was wrongs. One woman ended up in another country. Come on. All right, that's coming up after this short break. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": Thanks, Soledad. We have an update on a story we've been following out of London all morning where a helicopter hit a crane and crashed into a construction site near a busy commuter hub during rush hour.

Witnesses say the chopper was flying low and fast when it hit the crane of a 50-story residential tower currently under construction. Two people confirmed dead, including the helicopter pilot. Nine more people were injured. Again, this happened during a very busy rush hour. Thousands of people now caught up in traffic there.

A former Marine who was freed from a Mexico prison after more than four months is now talking. The 27-year-old Jon Hammar was arrested when he took antique shotgun across the border on a trip last summer. On "AC 360," he was asked why he had the shotgun on the trip to begin with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JON HAMMAR, FREED FROM MEXICO PRISON: That shotgun is, you know, it was basically a part of my camping equipment. We were planning on camping in the wilderness. So if we were in a place where hunting was allowed, you know, and saw something we could eat and cook on a fire, you know, we would take the shot and have food.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Before being in prison, Hammar had just completed three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

A private reality TV show, for a man in Inglewood, California, he was watching a high speed chase on television, when all of a sudden the car with cops in hot pursuit passed right by his window. Police arrested the driver who led them on pursuit.

He was said to be only a boy, although they declined to reveal his age. The cinematography there is excellent. Scorse would be proud of that following the chase from the TV screen right out your window, stunning, stunning stuff.

And this is a story that had us talking here. Drive 800 miles and turn left at Croatia? Apparently, a woman trying to go just 90 miles to a Belgian train station ended up in another country instead, 810 miles out of her way.

Because she says that's what her GPS told her to do. The 67-year-old woman told Spain's "El Mundo" paper, she was distracted. Never mind the trip took two days and she was heading south the whole time and her destination was actually a couple of hours north.

O'BRIEN: There is more to the story.

BERMAN: You think?

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that makes s sense at all.

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF GLOBALGRIND.COM: Go back to paper and maps.

O'BRIEN: So, we, like everybody else in this country, are waiting for Lance Armstrong's next move as the organization that banned him from competing says his doping confession to Oprah is not enough.

Of course, that confession is what we've note as now is going to air in its entirety on Thursday and then on Friday. The World Anti-Doping Agency says, they are not going to reduce sanctions until Lance Armstrong makes a full confession under oath, this after we know what he said to Oprah.

She was talking about it yesterday. She didn't really detail the context or what he said in his confession, but said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER": I would say he did not come clean in the manner that I expected. It was surprising to me. I would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.

I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready. I didn't get all of the questions asked, but I think the most important questions and the answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: I love Oprah so much. That has been the best deep tease for her network ever in the history of a network, amazing, mesmerized, over two nights.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, HOST, HUFFPOST LIVE: A 90-minute interview.

O'BRIEN: No, it's actually now going to be the full two and a half hours. They are not going to cut anything out. They're going to do it over two days. So John Eustice is a two-time U.S. professional cycling champion, a cycling coach and analyst. He called Lance Armstrong's first Tour De France race back in the day.

It's nice to have you with us this morning.

JOHN EUSTICE, TWO-TIME U.S. PROFESSIONAL CYCLING CHAMPION: Good morning.

O'BRIEN: I have found this so interesting, but you as an insider to the sport and someone who knows Lance Armstrong, what are the questions that you have out of what we sort of know about sort of confession that he's made to Oprah.

EUSTICE: Well, first of all, I think it's an incredible media build up by two entertainment business professionals, both of them at the top of the games. I think what's going to be very important in this interview is for Lance -- still the money, he is still a great power in the world of sport. He has the ability to actually pull up the veil on how the world, professional and international sport actually works.

O'BRIEN: How is he a great power in the world of sport when he has been shown not just to be part of a doping scandal, but by what some people said to be the top of it, the best exhibit "A" of a fraud perpetrated over years and years?

EUSTICE: Well, a couple of things, number one, look at this tremendous amount of media attention around him so I equate that with power. Look at the sports business as an entertainment business. He is a person who has been at the top of this pyramid for a long time and has the knowledge of how, again, as I say the world of sports actually works.

Professional sports is a business and I think what you are seeing here, with what's happening with Lance is a -- a culture clash between the ratings driven reality of the sports business where talent is money and money must be the factor, and the ideals of the Olympic movement, and he's at the middle of that.

O'BRIEN: So lots of questions out of that then, one, should cycling be removed from the Olympics?

EUSTICE: No, absolutely not. That could be the worst decision of what the Olympic committee could make.

O'BRIEN: You just said it's the opposite of what the Olympic ideals.

EUSTICE: I said professional sports and Olympics are professional business now. And what the Olympics need to do is to learn how pro sports actually work. You have you 6,000 dope tests at the London Olympics. One came back positive.

O'BRIEN: And now people would say, yes, is that because technology has gotten so good that people can run a scam with the right people in their pocket and perpetrate the same thing that Lance Armstrong did?

EUSTICE: Well, this is the thing that Lance can help expose. He could show the Olympic movement, he can show them how to change this. And actually with all of the focus on cycling and on Lance, this is eight years ago, these histories we are talking about at this point.

And the thing about cycling, people might not want to believe this or not, it's one professional sport that's actually grabbed a hold of this issue and you moved forward with it. We have the most sophisticated anti doping measures of any professional sport in the world.

Compared to football and baseball, it's laughable. We have biological testing where we get the hormonal levels of all the athletes and measure them. If there are spikes that you don't understand, you bring them in. You ask them about them.

We have incredible surveillance of the athletes. We have what we all feel very proud to say, a clean generation of young riders. Evelyn Stevens, a woman from New York City, Taylor Finney, John Duggan (ph), Marcel Kittle Germany, Mark Cavendish U.K.

We've developed this generation. So what the Olympic movement needs to do instead of condemning cycling and using it as an easy political way out of this issue of Lance is actually look at what we've done, look at how we've addressed this problem and how we devolved the issue. And learn from us and adopt that to the other professional sports that they have now within their umbrella.

O'BRIEN: Did he lose his lifetime ban? People have said is that what he is really doing here is not some kind of contrition or he feels this incredible burden of guilt. It's a business decision. He wants to compete in sanctioned events. He needs to lose the lifetime ban. It's basically about the money at the end of the day. Should the lifetime ban be lifted?

EUSTICE: Well, I don't know. I think Lance is a lifetime athlete and he understands how the system works. He understands where his position is, and he doesn't feel he should be the only one punished as representative of an entire system of stardom and money and money generation.

BERMAN: John.

EUSTICE: Yes.

BERMAN: Let me see what you're saying here. Are you absolving Lance Armstrong for responsibility here by saying that there was cheating in place all over the sport?

EUSTICE: I'm not absolving him a responsibility. I'm saying he was part of an entire system. He was the most visible part of an entire system.

O'BRIEN: And also a consistent liar, right. It is not that he was part of the systems. I mean, there's an element of what he did. He attacked people when they said he's doping. He aggressively would call it a witch hunt. He'd attack those. It's more than just being one of a million who are doping, right?

EUSTICE: Lance is a killer, and that's why you watch him. Any of these guys, any of these athletes who compete at this very high level, they are killers, they are ruthless. They're murderers. That's what they do. They're unbelievable competitors. He was a better athlete than the other ones. He is on the same level. He had the best teams, the best organization, best everything. He was the best.

O'BRIEN: The reason he's the best, this is what Tyler Hamilton said to "60 Minutes." He said a lot of people weren't willing to take the risk and a lot of people didn't have the money. Blood doping for example, takes a lot of money, a lot of details, a posse of sophisticated know what they're doing kind of people, and Lance had those.

So it's not that he is the killer competitor is that he had that combination of being at the top. People who in his pocket, all of those things, kept him at the top, and he was willing, if he was a killer it is because he had no ethics about it.

EUSTICE: I think there are at least ten other teams in the Tour De France that have exactly the same system as during his era.

CHRIS FRATES, REPORTER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: You talk about Lance being a killer and I wonder from your perspective, what is his next killer move then? What is the strategy for him to get back in the sport?

EUSTICE: I think what Lance wants to do, going back to being a lifetime athlete, and he's -- I think he wants to get back into triathlons. I think he wants to raise money for his cancer foundation. He does believe high until that. And like to talk about the line. The one problem the world of professional sports, high level sports, I have observed as a long-time athlete. I first went to Europe in 1975.

O'BRIEN: Did you dope?

EUSTICE: You know, I was -- that was a long time ago and no, but --

O'BRIEN: Go with where are you going, and we'll come back to that.

EUSTICE: Let me finish the one question here. What happens in this situation, the athletes, and I observed this with football players of mine. They develop schizophrenia. And they say I don't do it, and I have an actual schizophrenia, and on the side they are doing it, and it's a double life.

O'BRIEN: But I would argue there is a difference between that and I understand that schizophrenia, and then someone who -- any time someone points out and says are you doing it, goes ahead and aggressively attacks over more than a decade. I think that's a different circumstance.

EUSTICE: That's fine. And I can't -- I'm not defending Lance's personality and his overt, incredible aggression.

SKOLNIK: What will he say tomorrow night that will make this right?

EUSTICE: I don't think anything will make it right. I think he will explain how it all works and explain where he was in the system and explain -- open the door on how, again, this international world of sport actually works.

And I think that is the key of what he can do and he can do that, then he can actually help future generations of kids, because from my perspective, the biggest way to end doping issues, and the way we've done it in cycling, to the best of our abilities, is through education, through getting young kids and teaching them the dangers of it, educating them on reaching the edge.

No matter what high level athlete are you, you will look to the edge. If kids are guided to the edge in bad ways before, you have to guide them to the edge in more healthy ways, and I think that's the future of the sport and what he can set in motion if he does it correctly.

O'BRIEN: John Eustice, two-time U.S. professional champ -- cycling champion, it's nice to have you with us. We could talk with you for -- wow. Wow, great to have you. We appreciate your time this morning.

We have to take a short break. Ahead this morning, Facebook not just for status updates, the new search engine. Does it dig too far into your privacy? We'll talk about that straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans minding your business this morning. Stock futures in world markets are down on concerns about global growth. JPMorgan Chase just reported higher fourth quarter profit, $5.7 billion. That's better than analysts thought it would be. The CEO, Jamie Dimon says he is optimistic about this year sees favorable credit conditions. By the way, Dimon's bonus was cut by more than half to $10 million because of the so-called London whale trading loss. Goldman Sachs just reported higher earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter. Those company shares are about up about 2 percent ahead of the opening bell.

Goodbye, Google? That's what archrival Facebook hopes you will say with its new search engine. "Graph Search" mines data from Facebook users, collecting information on everything you liked, everything you've tagged.

Facebook execs say the engine could help you find your next job. It can help you find a doctor. They're banking on the idea that would you rather get recommendations from people you know than from strangers.

O'BRIEN: Not really.

ROMANS: But if you are looking for something outside your social zone, Facebook have teamed up with Bing from Microsoft to let you search more broadly and for those concerned about privacy, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says you will be able to control what people want to see.

HUNTSMAN: Can you control anything today, honestly? If you are on Facebook and Twitter, people can find anything about you.

SKOLNIK: I think it's a brilliant move. Never have to leave on Facebook. Stay on Facebook all day long. Never leave it.

ROMANS: But Soledad doesn't want recommendations from her friends.

O'BRIEN: I know what my crazy friends are going to recommend. I need other people's recommendations.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, amid the national debate over gun control, a new movie, a short, about a man who buys a gun to protect his family and his life starts to change. The writer and director of "Gun" will join us live next. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: We've been talking this morning about President Obama's announcing new gun control measures that will happen today and there's a new movie that explores gun ownership from a unique perspective, the transformation of someone that buys a gun for protection. Here's a little bit of a short film, which is called "Gun."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a problem, bro?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a gun!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Spencer Gillis is the writer and director of the short. It's premiering on the Sundance Film Festival on Gun Appreciation Day. It's nice to have you with us.

The film opens with a wife and man in bed who hears someone in their house and it starts in the middle of what must be the most terrifying thing. There's an intruder, he opens the door, he sees the intruder and someone is going through their stuff. Tell me what this story's about.

SPENCER GILLIS, WRITER/DIRECTOR, "GUN": Well, really it's about the influence of power on the human mind. You know, you have a man who buys a gun and it leads to these dark fantasies that he starts to have and it just takes him down a path that could have very serious consequences.

O'BRIEN: What was your point? I mean, are you a gun advocate? Are you an anti-gun advocate that this is some kind of political message that you're entering into the Sundance Film Festival?

GILLIS: I think that's the strength of the film that it doesn't push any agenda. Personally, I have a complicated relationship. I'm from Kansas originally and I grew up around firearms.

My mother was a police officer. So I shot handguns growing up, so for me I'm a believer in the second amendment, but I do think there needs to be, you know, realistic regulation on that, that right.

O'BRIEN: When I saw the first couple minutes of the film and it really is terrifying? I mean, and it just starts, like, right in the middle of what's scary, it made me think I don't think I could ever in the middle of the night pick up a gun if I heard a noise in my living room.

Because I would be terrified that that noise would be my kid coming around the corner and I might shoot them. Your story is really an investigation of the human mind more than guns good, guns bad.

GILLIS: Definitely, and that was the intention when we set out. I mean, these issues that are happening right now in the press are not at all -- they weren't part of the creative process in the making of the film. It was never a discussion that we had on set.

We never talked about, you know, mass shootings or anything like that. It was really just, like you said, an investigation into human nature and just sort of posing the questions to the audience what would you do in that situation, a high-pressure situation.

Could you handle that with a loaded firearm, what would you do in that case? He didn't have a gun in that moment, but I think that's what the film's sort of getting at.

O'BRIEN: You are one of there were something like 8,000 shorts that were submitted to Sundance, and you are one of 65 that were picked, so huge congratulations to you. Is there something that you want viewers to walk away with? What would be success in your mind for your film?

GILLIS: I think if people walk away provoked to think about the issue, to sort of re-examine the way that they look at the issue, that would be a success in my eyes because that means people are going to have a conversation about the film. They're going to walk out talking about it and to me that's the ultimate goal as a filmmaker.

O'BRIEN: Abby's going to Sundance, she told us. Must be nice to be Abby, she gets to go to Sundance. But for the rest of us not going to Sundance, how can we see this film? It runs under 17 minutes.

GILLIS: Right. Well, you can check out the website, which is gunshortfilm.com.

O'BRIEN: One word?

GILLIS: Yes, just one word, gunshortfilm.com. And you can see the teaser what you showed a second ago, that was a piece of that. And you can find out news about where it's going to be screening. Right now, it looks like we're just going to be doing a festival circuit. So it will be going from city to city and eventually I'm sure we'll do an online distribution.

O'BRIEN: So you can come watch it in my office, it's really good. You should watch it's really, really fantastic. Congratulations on this film, really, really interesting. Spencer Gillis is the writer director of the "Gun."

Ahead this morning, it looked like a fireball in the sky according to eyewitnesses. We'll have the very on that helicopter crash that took place in the heart of London, two people were killed in that. We'll talk about that right at the top of the hour.

And the Division I schools spending more money on their athletes than on education. Is it fair? Is it smart? It's our "Tough Call" and that's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. Our STARTING POINT this morning, fire and smoke in the heart of London. It happened during rush hour, a helicopter crashes into a crane and then falls to the ground in a ball of fire. Two people are killed. Several wounded. We'll have the very latest on this story just ahead.

Then a new gun control agenda, President Obama laying out his new proposals today. The NRA says he's a hypocrite.

ROMANS: A nightmare for Boeing, two airlines ground the 787 Dreamliner after a series of disasters --