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Former Seal Killed at Gun Range; White House Releases Obama's Gun Photo; Sixth Day of Hostage Standoff

Aired February 3, 2013 - 08:00   ET



RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Day six, and the standoff continues. Though Jimmy Lee Dikes hasn't surrendered his 5-year-old hostage, there may be new reason for optimism.

An incredible story of heroism and redemption. How a New Orleans Saint helped save a game and his dad's life in one spectacular play.

The Boy Scouts may vote as early as tomorrow to lift a ban on openly gay members. Now, Governor Rick Perry has taken a stand. What he said might surprise you.



KAYE: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It's 8:00 on the East Coast. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

Iraqi insurgents called him the devil. This morning, the former Navy SEAL who wrote about making more than 150 sniper kills is dead. CNN has learned Chris Kyle was shot to death at a gun range near Ft. Worth, Texas, yesterday along with another man. Kyle is perhaps best known for penning the book, "American Sniper". It details his four combat tours in Iraq.

He started a foundation to help veterans battling posttraumatic stress disorder. And the gunman accused of killing him was a former marine who reportedly suffered from PTSD.

Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins me by phone.

Barbara, you've been digging into this. What more do you know?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, you know, this sad story emerged late last night, Randi. And the Pentagon is trying to assemble what they can at this point about the service record of both Chris Kyle and the alleged suspect that's been taken into custody, Eddie Ray Routh, 25 years old. He was caught by police in Texas after a brief pursuit. He's been arraigned on two counts of capital murder. Another man was shot along with Chris Kyle at this shooting range.

The initial reports are that the men had gathered there and that they were helping this former marine learn to shoot again. Chris Kyle had been very involved in helping veterans with posttraumatic stress. So there is a belief that the marine -- the suspect may have been involved with posttraumatic stress.

But I have to tell you, I think all of that still remains under investigation as to exactly what transpired. But throughout the Navy SEAL community, Special Operations Forces, really, they are remembering a man who in their mind, their world, truly was a legend for what he militarily accomplished during those tours in Iraq. And, of course, another day to remember all of those who have fallen in battle.

KAYE: Yes. Certainly, 150 sniper kills. Barbara Starr, thank you very much for your reporting on that. I spoke with a close friend of Chris Kyle's early this morning, Jason Kos, on the right in this picture with Kyle, told me that Kyle will be missed.


JASON KOS, FRIEND (via telephone): He and a friend took a marine that was suffering from PTSD to a gun range to shoot. As a way of giving back, it was certainly him taking his time to help -- again, help war heroes. Apparently that --

KAYE: He had quite a reputation in the field as one of the most lethal snipers out there. How did he handle that?

KOS: Chris viewed it as his job and he was protecting his brothers, frankly. He as a man was quite contrary to that, because he was an incredibly loving father and charismatic and really caring person. So it's quite a contrast from what he did as his job and his tours of duty.

He's a man of incredible character. He led by example always, the little things he did. His life was incredible. He always stopped to take time to talk to whoever was around him and just incredibly humble.

KAYE: How did he do when he came back from war? Certainly so many soldiers struggle. How did he handle it?

KOS: You know, when he came back, he -- you know, I think, obviously, the transition from serving our country with four tours of heavy combat, is difficult for him to not want to be over there. All that stuff is in his book.

What I'm most impressed by was he became one of the biggest advocates for his brothers and sisters in the military immediately. So he turned his time and attention to helping them and frankly spent the last over the past year being an advocate and not even focusing on his own business.


KAYE: Most recently Chris Kyle and on the NBC reality show "Stars Earn Stripes." He also appeared on "Conan O'Brien Show."


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": You are so well-known by the Iraqi insurgents that you were fighting that they put a $20,000 bounty on your head. Is that right?


O'BRIEN: How did the Iraqi insurgents identify who you were?

KYLE: When I would go into a house, and we had the occupied houses, I would take the top of my uniform off and just have my short sleeved shirt on and you could see my tattoo coming down my arm, and they identified that with me and started -- every time someone would be shot by a sniper in the area, they associated that with me.


KAYE: And we expect to learn much more about the shooting that killed Kyle when police hold a briefing at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time today.

President Obama heads to Minneapolis tomorrow to talk about his plan for gun control. But back in Washington, everyone is talking about a certain photo released by the White House. This photo. It is response to calls for proof after the president revealed in an interview that he likes to go skeet shooting at Camp David.

The president's senior adviser, Daniel Pfeiffer, tweeted this, "For all the skeeters, POTUS shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David on August 4t, 2012."

And this from his former adviser, David Plouffe, "Attention skeet birthers. Make our day -- let the photoshop conspiracies begin."

Before the picture was released, a chorus of conservatives questioned the White House's claim like Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.


REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: If he's a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this, seen photos, why has he not referenced it at any point in time. As we had this debate that's ongoing, you would have thought it would have been a point of reference.


KAYE: The NRA is responding saying, quote, "One picture does not erase a lifetime supporting every gun ban and gun-control scheme imaginable."

It is Super Bowl Sunday. And in recent history, that means we'll hear from the president. Today, CBS "Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley gets the call. He'll talk to the president during CBS's Super Bowl pre-game show. President Obama has done this Super Bowl interview every year he's been in office, but don't expect a prediction on who will win the game.

The president is the pregame while the Ravens and 49ers are the game. The teams held special walk thrust inside the Superdome yesterday. There wasn't a whole lot of work being done. Both teams were joined by family and friends, kids and adults all on the field all to take part in history. We'll take you live to New Orleans for much more on the game at the bottom of the hour this morning.

Now to Washington and new information on John Kerry and his road to the State Department. Kerry was confirmed as new secretary of state by a 93-4 vote last week. Many people assumed Kerry was the second choice for the job after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

But Kerry said this, quote, "He called me actually a week before Susan Rice got out of the thing. He called me and said, 'You're my choice. I want you to do this.' He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it."

Remember, a few weeks before Susan Rice pulled out several senators said they would block her confirmation because of her comments on the Benghazi tragedy.

A key Republican said he'll back Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns is only the second Republican to commit. Johanns tells the "Lincoln Star Journal" his decision followed a private meeting that included assurances Hagel would defend Israel.

Hagel himself a Republican and former Nebraska senator was roundly criticized for his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He's expected to make more private calls on Capitol Hill this week.

The top Catholic leader in Los Angeles has relieved retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his public and administrative duties. Archbishop Jose Gomez says he's punishing his predecessor for mishandling sex abuse claims, although some call it an empty gesture. About 1,000 pages of recently released documents implicate 192 clergy in cases going by 80 years.

Mahony snapped back at Gomez who took over the archdiocese in 2010. The cardinal posted a blog that reads in part, quote, "Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors. I have stated time and time again that I made mistakes, especially in the mid-1980s. I apologized for those mistakes and committed myself to make certain that the archdiocese was safe for everyone." It is day six of the hostage standoff in Alabama. And police are now being able to give some comfort to the 5-year-old boy being held underground in a bunker. We will take you there live.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I regret not warning some of the neighbors of some of his tendencies and telling them he's the type of guy you might need to stay away from. He could be dangerous in the future.


KAYE: Well, neighbors in Midland City, Alabama, no longer have to wonder if Jimmy Lee Dykes will be dangerous, he's the man who snatched a 5-year-old boy of a school bus and is holding him in his underground bunker. It is now day six of his standoff with police.

Victor Blackwell is live in Midland City this morning. Victor, what are you hearing this hour from police?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, an FBI special agent on site tells us that the line of communication is open with Jimmy Lee Dykes and they communicate with him whenever he wants to. They also tell us they are grateful that they have been allowed to pass on what they're calling comfort items -- the potato chips, the medicine that's needed -- we're told this 5-year-old boy Ethan has both ADHD and Asperger's -- coloring books to keep him serious.

The sheriff of this county, Wally Olson, made a point of thanking, as he calls him Mr. Dykes, for taking care of our boy.

We also know that the parents of Ethan, they are getting updates every hour on the hour from authorities. As it does every day when the sun comes up here now day six of this standoff, the activity is picking up here. We're not showing the tactics live, or whatever is happening behind us on this property, because that's been requested by authorities.

But again, things are picking up as they do every morning, Randi.

KAYE: And how is the community holding up? How are the folks reacting?

BLACKWELL: Well, it's all anyone is talking about when you go into the nearby towns of Dothan, or into Ozark, you hear people talking about this, because, of course, nothing like this happens here, all this attention. There's a Twitter account where they are soliciting less of the information about the investigation but more about the prayers and well wishes for the family and for this 5-year- old.

I'll actually let a woman who lives in this city answer that question. Her name is Michelle Riley. She has three children in Dale County schools and she spoke with my colleague George Howell. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE RILEY, FAMILY FRIEND: We can fight and push through and pray that our prayers are answered that Ethan is coming home to be with this -- be with this large family.


BLACKWELL: That large family she's speaking about is all the people who show up at the vigils every night. There were 50 last night, 100 the night before. In a town of about 600 people, that is a lot. So they are all praying that he will be coming home.

You probably saw on the top a ribbon -- black, red, and blue. The red and blue are for the school colors in the Dale County, the black for Charles Poland, who is the bus driver who was killed on Tuesday. His funeral will be this afternoon.

We're hoping for more information when we have a scheduled news conference at 10:00 eastern today, Randi.

KAYE: All right. Victor, thank you very much.

We could know as soon as tomorrow if the Boy Scouts will lift a ban on its gay members. And now, Texas Governor Rick Perry is getting into the debate. You'll hear from him.


KAYE: The Boy Scouts of America could decide to lift its ban on gay members as soon as tomorrow. But Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas says there is no reason at all to change that ban.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons, sexuality is not one of them, never has been, doesn't need to be.


KAYE: Perry is a former Eagle Scout and spoke yesterday in front of a statewide Boy Scouts gathering in Texas.

It's not just Governor Perry who is opposed to the change. In an op-ed for "The New York Post", one scout parent argued against it, saying this, "Imagine a group of girls is going on a long camping trip supervised by adult volunteers who are young men you barely know. Would you let your 15-year-old daughter go?"

Earlier I spoke to the person who wrote that, Ed Whalen, who is also president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, as well as this man, Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, the executive director for Scouts for Equality. He is straight but has two lesbian moms.

I started by asking Ed Whalen if he was implying homosexuality is synonymous with pedophilia?


ED WHELAN, PRESIDENT, ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER: Not at all. In fact, I think the example I give indicates exactly the opposite. What's at issue here is we have an organization that has long stood in defense of traditional American moral values. And it's attracted parents and supporters from churches precisely because it's in defense of those values.

The Supreme Court has held that the Boy Scouts have a First Amendment constitutional right to pursue their values and to exclude leaders whose presence would be inconsistent with those values. That includes, by the way, not just gays but atheists.

Now, we can respect and do respect our fellow citizens that are gays and atheists, we love our fellow relatives and friends who are gays and atheists but we are not obligated to regard them as suitable as scout leaders.

KAYE: All right. Let me ask Zach to weigh in here -- Zach.

ZACH WAHLS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SCOUTS FOR EQUALITY: I think it's interesting that Ed is going for the traditional moral values framework. I think what he's trying to do is define this as some particular biblical literal fundamentalist tradition that's become popular in the U.S. over the last 40 years.

The reality is that there are Christians of all nominations that are applauding the policy change including United Church of Christ, one of BSA's top eight largest church sponsors, which on Friday issued a statement saying, quote, "The ban is inconsistent with respect and dignity that serves the foundation of the scouting program" and we couldn't agree more.

Even though Ed might be talking about respect, respect for him is a one-way street. Nobody is calling for exclusion of Baptist, Mormons or Catholics or frankly anyone that holds Ed's point of view. What we're trying to say is Scouts should be an in inclusive program that is experiencing, you know, a large amount of inclusivity because we believe in the values that constitute the program.

WHELAN: The problem here is the Boy Scouts, if they abandon this rule, and adopt this notion that different troops, different policies, is completely unworkable, is going to invite legal attacks on troops that maintain traditional qualities and Zach and his cohorts are not going to call it a peace truce. They're going to realize that the Boy Scouts can be intimidated and they're going to continue to intimidate them. This is an unstable stopping point, just a path to further surrender.

KAYE: Zach?

WAHLS: Speaking as an Eagle Scout, somebody who spent 12 years in the organization, I simply have to disagree. We're appealing to the traditional values that have been a part of the Boy Scouts from the very inception, in 1903. And I feel that moving forward, this is going to be a part of the program that is fostering inclusiveness, and implying the values and the lifelong principles of the Boy Scouts through the entire population of young men, not just those that happen to be straight.

And further, to your point about whether or not this is something that's an unworkable legal solution, the national goal, the key to the Boy Scouts this week, president of the board said, currently -- with the current ban in place, we do not want to find ourselves in a position where a judge is telling us we need to expand our policy even further than we're going here.

So, even though you might be looking at this one specific way, the BSA isn't taking that position at all.

KAYE: Ed, let me ask you. I know you mentioned this change in policy, deprived the troops of protection. Protection from what? What do they need protection from?

WHELAN: They need protection from legal challenges to their decision to exclude gay leaders. The national Supreme Court organization won that victory 12 years ago. They are throwing it away in a way that would expose local troops and volunteer leaders to lawsuits by activists.

KAYE: Would you want -- would you want your son to be in the Scouts if he was gay?

WHELAN: You know, I think a question like that directed at my son is a rude question, but let me answer it this way. I would not have put my son in a troop with an openly gay leader or openly atheist leader. And lots and lots of other parents, the most vibrant part of the Boy Scouts believe the same.

So, Zach can cite, you know, one liberal denomination that satisfied with this proposal.

WAHLS: To be clear, it's not just UCC that has weighed in. Currently Mormon and Catholic, hardly denominations known for liberal status, only the Baptist.

WHELAN: They're not going to approve this. Don't you dare suggest they are going to approve this?

KAYE: Ed, let Zach finish, please?

WAHLS: No. Well, the point is simply that while there may be some very opposed to this policy decision, there's a vast difference between being opposed to gay marriage and opposing enrichment and development of young men because they happen to not be straight. So, while I think Ed's position, you know, is one we respect and we're not going to try to remove his son from the program, I think he should understand that the scout is about respecting the opinion of all the people who want to be members not just some.

(CROSSTALK) KAYE: Appreciate your time. Appreciate both of you discussing this.

WAHLS: Thank you, Randi. We appreciate it.


KAYE: One church in Missouri says they are not waiting for the Boy Scouts to make the decision. The Country Club Congressional United Church of Christ posted this sign in front of their church on Saturday welcoming all Boy Scouts. This is their reverend.


REV. CHASE PEEPLES, CCC UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: We interpret the Bible to say God loves all God's children. And at this church, all God's children are truly welcomed.


KAYE: The Reverend Peeples said he was moved by his stepson who left the Boy Scouts because he didn't feel welcome because he was gay.

The clock is ticking down to game time in the Super Bowl. The clock is also ticking down for one Ravens great who is calling it quits. We'll take you live to New Orleans.

Mortgage rates inched up again last week. They are down to their highest level in four and a half months. Have a look here.


KAYE: Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING, I'm Randi Kaye.

Bottom of the hour now -- five stories that we're watching this morning:

A former Navy Seal known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history is dead. 38-year-old Chris Kyle was killed yesterday along with 35- year-old Chad Littlefield at a gun range near Ft. Worth, Texas, the man accused of the killing has been identified as Eddie Ray Routh. He's now in custody facing two counts of capital murder.

Number two: in Alabama where police are keeping in contact with a man at the center of a hostage standoff. Jimmy Lee Dykes holding a five-year-old boy in his underground bunker. It is now the sixth day of the standoff. Dykes allowed police to deliver comfort items for the young boy like potato chips and some toys.

Number three: five men accused of raping and killing an Indian medical student last year on a New Delhi bus have pleaded not guilty. The case sparked massive protests across India and prompted changes in laws against sex crimes. The defendants could face the death penalty. Their trial starts Tuesday. A sixth alleged attacker is a juvenile and will be tried separately. Number four: the man who says he was junked last week by Grammy winner Chris Brown won't press charges or even sue. Rising R&B star Frank Ocean wrote on his Tumbler page that he will quote "choose sanity and drop the matter". The incident reportedly involved a fight over a parking space at a West Hollywood recording studio.

And number five: Ben Affleck wins the Director's Guild of America's top honor for the movie "Argo." But the prize given out last night -- well it makes things a little awkward. That's because Affleck wasn't nominated for an Oscar for best director.

Not that you need reminding but it is Super Bowl Sunday. We are still around 10 hours away from kickoff, which means it's time to mix the dip and get the wings in the oven for the players. It is time to get up and get rolling and get nervous.

One man who is never nervous on game days -- our Carlos Diaz who is down in New Orleans for us this morning -- you're never nervous, come on. You've been doing this a long time. But --

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you think -- when you think dip, you think Carlos Diaz.

KAYE: Yes. I'm glad you made that connection and not me. But this game, Carlos, is the pinnacle of a player's career but it's also the end right for one of the game's best.

DIAZ: Yes, you know, one of the stories of this Super Bowl is Ray Lewis. The inspirational leader, if you will, of the Baltimore Ravens. He's been playing football in the NFL for 17 seasons and this is his last game. Win or lose tonight he announced at the beginning of this year's playoffs that he was retiring after this season and his team gave him one heck of a going away party culminating tonight here at the Superdome.


RAY LEWIS, BALTIMORE RAVENS LINEBACKER: I saw the beginning but of course, I could never see the end on how -- how my career would end. But to have my career come to an end in the biggest game that you can ever play in this profession in the world, this you can't -- how else do you cap off a legacy. For that confetti to drop on us February 3rd, it's the ultimate respect that you can give back to your teammates.


DIAZ: I can tell you right now, Ray Lewis, that's him on media day. And the throng of media around him on media day was 10 times what it was any other player or coach on the Ravens. So obviously he is the main draw as far as on the field for the Baltimore Ravens.

KAYE: I'm sure. The 49ers, as you know, favored in Las Vegas right? The betting on the final outcome of the game is just one of many bets, right? DIAZ: You know, it used to be like, hey, you know what, you can bet on the coin toss. Isn't that cool? Now you can bet on anything, you can bet on how long Alicia Keyes will take to sing the national anthem, 2:15 by the way is the over or under. I'd go the over on that one.

KAYE: Yes.

DIAZ: You can bet on whether Jay-Z will be joining Beyonce on stage during halftime. By the way if you're Jay-Z and you know that you're going to be joining your wife, wouldn't you put like a million dollars down on that? You can also bet how many times Jack Harbaugh, the father of Jim and John Harbaugh how many times will be shown on TV.

You can -- in fact you can also bet on the length of the handshake and hugs at the end of the game. So yes prop bets galore for this year's big game.

KAYE: Oh my goodness. Well, you really can bet on anything. Carlos Diaz nice to see you thank you enjoy the game.

DIAZ: All right, thank you.

KAYE: Part of the Super Bowl weekend has been celebrating the games and its heroes and that means the hall of fame. Seven new ones chosen yesterday including Super Bowl winning former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells. Also on the list Warren Sapp, Chris Carter, Larry Allen, Curley Culp, Dave Robinson and former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

It was just a matter of seconds during the Super Bowl in 2010 but it may have forever changed the lives of former Saints player Chris Reis and his father Mike. They will join me live. And we're going to talk about how that moment helped repair their relationship after Mike's addiction to sex and alcohol had torn them apart.


KAYE: "Faces of Faith" today, we're talking about the Super Bowl and how just a matter of seconds can be enough to change your life, like in 2010 when Chris Reis from the Saints made a game changing play -- an onside kick recovery that helped turn the tide against the Colts and led to a Saints victory. That moment touched Chris's dad in a way he had never felt before and inspired him to finally kick his alcohol addiction that had ruined their relationship. That's also the subject of the book they co-wrote called "Recovery of a Lifetime."

Chris Reis and his father Mike join us this morning. Good morning to both of you.



KAYE: Mike, I'm going to start with you on this. How did that moment three years ago change your life?

M. REIS: Well you know as I watched that play, obviously it was a big play in the game and more importantly though, I was watching. And I -- and I go you know, he's at the bottom of that pile. And what 111 million people around the world don't realize is what it took for him to get to the bottom of that pile. I mean, all of the obstacles that Chris had to overcome, being raised by a single parent.

You know I walked out on them when Chris was just two years old for a woman that I met in a bar. And I thought about all the things that he had to overcome just to get to the bottom of that pile, and that inspired me to take a look at my life and to make some changes.

KAYE: And Chris, did you ever think that that you and your dad would be such buds and have such a nice relationship given that history?

C. REIS: You know I always -- I always hoped and prayed that we would -- we would have this kind of relationship where it was so meaningful and so purpose-filled, but I never dreamed that one football play could have changed something that radically.

KAYE: What role would you say God played in -- in your relationship and repairing it?

C. REIS: I think God is the center of our relationship. I think without it we have no foundation.

M. REIS: Right.

C. REIS: We have nothing to -- nowhere to go, nothing to -- to really have and hold. So it's everything to us. I think it's -- it's really what makes us have a great relationship.

KAYE: Did you find God after you found Chris again?

M. REIS: No. I didn't know he was missing either.

C. REIS: Yes, so.

M. REIS: He -- actually God found me.

C. REIS: Yes.

M. REIS: I became a Christian in 2005 but I continued a lot of destructive behavior. And that was the other part of the inspiration was Chris continued to live his life, you know his faith in such a way that I took notice. And -- but I still held onto a few things, even after I became a Christian.

And it was when I got arrested -- three weeks after the Super Bowl I got arrested for a DUI. It wasn't my first go-round. I finally realized that I'm behaving in a way that's not consistent with what I say that I am and that's to be a Christian.

KAYE: The book certainly details quite a bit. It's a very honest and personal story. And you share a lot, Mike about -- about sex and alcohol. How hard was that for you to talk to your son about it?

M. REIS: Oh it was extremely hard. It was quite a process. We actually worked with Mike Yorkie, who is a collaborator out in San Diego. Before we went out, I told Chris, I said, I'm really nervous. I'm -- I'm afraid. I'm scared. And I said, you're going to learn some things about me and I'm afraid you're not going to love me anymore. And he said, dad, I forgive you. As a matter of fact, I forgave you a long time ago. And I respect you more now for what you're revealing and what you're trying to do and the motivation of your heart, that's what I'm really proud of.

KAYE: And was it painful for you, too?

C. REIS: It was. It's hard. You never really want to know that much about your father. I think you always look at your father as a superhero. You know nothing can touch him. But it's true what he said. I think I respect him so much more now knowing he's putting himself out there and saying this is who I am. Love me or not. And -- and I choose to love. And I choose to forgive. Because I've been forgiven by heavenly father and how can I not grant forgiveness to him.

KAYE: Yes. I know you've written this -- this wonderful book and you take your story on the road and you speak a lot about it. What has been the reaction?

M. REIS: Oh the reaction has been overwhelming. You know the position that I take that it's never too late to become the man or woman that God intended you to be. And that you have to live for more than just yourself. So you know the reception has been incredible.

KAYE: I bet.

C. REIS: Yes we find it -- everybody finds a piece of themselves in our story. And that's really unique. It's something different to everybody. And that's what we wanted. We just want to share our story and inspire them to be better.

KAYE: Yes it's really a great story of father/son and finding each other and bonding.

C. REIS: Thanks.

M. REIS: You bet.

KAYE: Thank you so much for sharing it with us and best of luck with the book.

M. REIS: Well thank you for having us.

C. REIS: Thank you.

KAYE: We'll be right back.


KAYE: The U.S. Postal service is honoring iconic civil rights activist Rosa Parks on what would have been her 100th birthday. Tomorrow it's releasing a forever stamp that will emphasize her quiet strength. Parks made her way into the history books following her 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man. She died back in 2005.

All right. It is time to take a look at the week ahead. We have another busy one coming up for you.

On Monday we'll be talking a lot about the Boy Scouts. This the first day where we could possibly hear about a decision from the Scouts; there are reports the governing board will vote on whether or not to remove a ban on gay members. A lot of heated reaction to this.

On Wednesday we'll be talking about Lance Armstrong. This is the deadline for him to testify to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Remember, he just admitted to Oprah that he's used banned substances. Armstrong's attorney has said, no way, he's not going to testify before the deadline.

On Thursday oh, yes, all the fashionistas will be out. New York begins "Fashion Week". It will run until Valentine's Day. And then after New York there will be a whole lot of events in London, Milan, and Paris. And maybe you can get a ticket to something like that.

On Sunday, yes, it is the Super Bowl of music. The Grammy Awards show is on Sunday night, all five nominees for album of the year are expected to perform including Mumford and Sons, and Fun. Some nominees for song of the year, in case you're wondering: Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger", and Taylor Swift's catchy tune, "We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together".

Well, questions still linger about an attack on an embassy compound in Benghazi. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to testify in the coming weeks about the events that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others on September 11 last year.

"STATE OF THE UNION" host Candy Crowley joins me now from Washington to chat about this. Candy, good morning. Will we find out anything new about what was done, do you think, and if it could have been prevented?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Interesting because in this interview we did talk about Benghazi. You know, some of the complaints at least as far as the military is concerned about Benghazi has been why wasn't there a force that you could move in quickly? If this was a seven-hour exchange of some sort, why wasn't there some place to move forces in to help out? So there is that question to be answered.

In fact, I think you will find that both these men, Leon Panetta, the Defense Secretary and, of course, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey will say, you know, there just -- there wasn't time to get something there. That it wasn't really a seven- hour battle. It was more like two twenty-minute battles that took place over a seven-hour period.

They expressed no regret from the military point of view as to what would you have done differently that day. So it's interesting. I think they will get a lot of pushback on Capitol Hill. We also learned that those hearings are likely to take place Thursday; that's at least the day they were looking at. And I think that's simply because you did have some Republicans saying I'm not going to vote to confirm Senator Chuck Hagel, who is the President's nominee for the next Defense Secretary until we hear from Leon Panetta about what happened in Benghazi from the military point of view.

So you're going to see that testimony, I think, next week.

KAYE: And speaking of the President, we'll hear from him this afternoon, his annual pre-Super Bowl interview. He's got a whole lot going on -- the changing cabinets, the contested appointments, the NRA -- do you think it will be a tough interview.

CROWLEY: Immigration -- I would expect so, yes. I don't -- I actually don't know anything about -- I think, you know, you get different interviews with different interviewers. So if this is a sports interviewer, well, I think that will be different from someone like Scott Pelley who has done these sorts of things before.

So we'll see. But yes, I would expect because when you have the President it's not just enough to say, "Hey, who do you support." I think you do that because, you know, after all this is a game and people are looking forward to it. And it's an interesting thing to talk to the President about. And generally they say things like, you know, "I'm the President of all the teams." But this president sometimes has supported Chicago but Chicago is not playing. So there you go.

So yes, I expect that you're going to -- when you get time with the President, you sit down and you ask him about the subject du jour and he's got a lot of them out there.

KAYE: Yes, he certainly does. Candy, thank you very much. Nice to see you.

And of course, be sure to keep it here for "STATE OF THE UNION" it starts in about eight minutes, 9:00 a.m. Eastern time right here on CNN.

First a monkey in outer space -- maybe, maybe not -- we'll explain the art of the hoax next.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": The search is under way for a six-year-old boy who is missing as a result of this balloon that simply took off from his backyard. There's a picture. For some two hours the balloon was flying around Colorado -- between Ft. Collins, Colorado eventually landing safely, smoothly in a dirt field near Denver International Airport.


KAYE: Oh, yes. How can we forget that drama? Now, that was a hoax. The balloon boy had us all riveted. But we were also skeptical. And in these days of reality TV should we really be surprised any more when fantastic stories aren't true?

Comedian Dean Obeidallah joins me now to discuss exactly that. So Dean, good morning to you first of all --


KAYE: -- but what's up with all these hoaxes in the news lately? I mean do people think they are all really that gullible or has this just become the punked generation. I mean even a monkey was involved this week in some type of possible hoax.

OBEIDALLAH: Randi, I don't know who to trust anymore. I trust you but I'm worried the e-mail I received today saying I won the lottery in Luxembourg might not be true. What is going on?

KAYE: Probably not.

OBEIDALLAH: Probably not -- true. I think we'd learn about this. But this week though, hoaxes went to a new level where a government allegedly is involved in a hoax. The Iranian government launched a monkey -- a space monkey -- into space. It's had a successful mission but the monkey they showed before the mission and the one after apparently don't match. So maybe the monkey didn't make it or maybe, my theory, the monkey escaped, he's loose. Anyone sees a monkey in a space suit walking around, that's the monkey. He got out. He's on his way loose in America now.

KAYE: So it's still unclear on that one.

OBEIDALLAH: It is. The media -- they're looking at the two pictures, the monkey looks like it's slightly different. You wonder though if there's propaganda on either side going on.

KAYE: Look at him.

OBEIDALLAH: He's a cute monkey, I hope he's ok.

KAYE: Yes. I hope he's ok, too.

All right but this next one, I don't know if you can call this a hoax. I mean I'm talking about Beyonce lip-synching the national anthem at the inauguration. What do you make of that?

OBEIDALLAH: Well, I mean hoax is really defined as anything being deceptive. So I guess technically on some level it might be close to a hoax. She sang as if it was live. She admitted this week it was pre-recorded. But to prove she could sing -- and this is how sad we've become -- she had to sing the National Anthem live to reporters for the Super Bowl press day to put this to sleep. We don't want a Milli Vanilli thing. Everyone remembers that from the 90s. Milli Vanilli lip- synched the whole thing -- they weren't even singers.

So I think we are becoming certainly accepting but also cynical to a point we make Beyonce, a superstar, sing to prove that she can sing.

KAYE: That's pretty demanding. We want proof.

OBEIDALLAH: Yes, absolutely.

KAYE: All right. Now to the biggest hoax, though, we've been talking a lot about this -- the Manti Te'o story. Should the guy behind this really be getting his 15 minutes of fame with Dr. Phil? I mean he did a two-part interview this week.

OBEIDALLAH: I don't think it's over for him. I mean he is actually the criminal. And we're elevating the criminal and putting him on a national platform and saying you're the ultimate punkster.

You know what; I don't think it's the end for this guy. I think you could see him -- honestly I'm not kidding -- hosting a reality- type punk show in the future. It is the ultimate reality. It's real life. I'm not defending on any level what he did to Manti Te'o. But, you know, I could see him being rewarded by a TV show somewhere on some Cable network -- not CNN --

KAYE: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: -- but somewhere.

KAYE: So what is the answer then? Do you think we're more gullible?

OBEIDALLAH: I think the Internet has made it easier for people to hide their identity, for theories and rumors to get to critical mass.

Like celebrity death rumors are the biggest thing. It's almost monthly.

KAYE: So true.

OBEIDALLAH: The point -- you know, Jon Bon Jovi heard about his own death rumor and he had to hold up a sign saying, "Looks like New Jersey and heaven are the same place. And I'm still alive."

So you have -- you know celebrities have to deal with this. They get back and they hear it and they have to respond.

KAYE: I can't let you go without asking about the big game today. OBEIDALLAH: What game? It's a hoax. I don't believe it. It's all fake; it's been played weeks ago. What are you saying Randi -- don't fall for that.

KAYE: Oh no, don't say that.

Maybe the commercials will be a bit of a hoax because who knows what we're going to get. Do you have anybody in mind that you think might win this one?

OBEIDALLAH: The New York Giants? Could they win it? Unless it's my team, I don't really care. I want my team in it. The Giants -- if not, I think the Niners are going to win. But I'm really hoping -- I hope that somehow the New York Giants and Eli Manning end up on that field somehow and win.

KAYE: Yes. Unless they arrive in a silver balloon that's been floating around out there -- I don't think so.

OBEIDALLAH: Genius -- this is genius. Or they jump out in the Super Bowl and sing with Beyonce.

KAYE: There you go.

OBEIDALLAH: I think they'll get the Giants on the field somehow.

KAYE: They'll be back up.

All right. Dean Obeidallah, nice to see you as always.

OBEIDALLAH: nice to see you Randi.

KAYE: Thanks for the Sunday morning laughs.


KAYE: And thank you, everybody, for watching today. You can always continue the conversation with me online on Twitter @randikayecnn.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

"STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley is up next.