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Treasure Trove of JFK Items Auctioned; Legendary L.A. Lakers Boss Jerry Buss Dies Of Cancer; President Hugo Chavez Back In Venezuela; Ex-Governor Sanford's Running For Congress; New Study Finds That Positive Messages In Television Shows Can Actually Affect How Children Behave

Aired February 18, 2013 - 15:29   ET


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Half a century after Camelot and a treasure trove of John F. Kennedy's personal items are in the hands of JFK fanatics. Thousands of items from birthday cards to family photographs hit the auction block this weekend, and at the center of the auction, Kennedy's famous Air Force One bomber jacket, which sold for a whopping $629,000.

It was expected to get about $40,000.

Well, yesterday, I spoke with Rice University historian, Professor Douglas Brinkley. He told me more about that extraordinary collection and just what fascinates people with the Kennedy family, even after all these years.


DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Dave Powers was the adviser of John F. Kennedy. He was with him everywhere. It was almost like a brother.

And he ended up saving all sorts of items, so I was utterly fascinated by this. And I deal with a lot of auction houses, some presidential memorabilia, being a presidential historian.

I've never seen anything quite like the number of different, significant mementos coming out of this collection.

FEYERICK: Which one really jumped out to you? Because there are some magnificent pictures there. There are also notes and letters.

Which one, if you could own one of them, which one would it be?

BRINKLEY: Well, I like the letters that he wrote in 1945 from Arizona when he went out to Benson, Arizona, lived on a ranch for a while. They're letters on stationary from a hot springs castle, hot springs hotel and also at Saddleback.

Nobody thinks of John F. Kennedy in Arizona, but these letters from just fascinating. Anybody writing a future book on the young JFK will end up using those letters as a primary source.

FEYERICK: Also, what are your impressions, just even looking at some of the pictures there? We have seen a lot of pictures of John Kennedy and also Jackie O.

But what about you resonates or what about them resonates for you in looking at these older photographs?

BRINKLEY : Well, remember, you know, John F. Kennedy was murdered, you know, 50 years ago this year and -- but he always stays young.

And when you look at these photos, you realize you don't have old images of John F. Kennedy, so there's just this handsome, gallant president, how tan he is in many of these photographs.

There is a whole group of ones I hadn't seen before of him playing with his children that are really amazing.

And then I particularly like the ones of him on some of his tours that Powers apparently took when Kennedy would travel to the national parks, for example, and he took these candid shots of Kennedy.

So, it is -- a lot of these are faded. Some are almost like a Polaroid quality, but they're just interesting, new material.


FEYERICK: Eternal youth.

Well, Black Eyed Peas star Fergie is expecting her first child. The singer posted a picture to Twitter saying, "Josh and me and baby makes three," with the hash tag, "my lovely baby bump."

That's an edited photo of a young Fergie and her husband, Josh Duhamel. Congratulations to the two of them.

You may not have heard much from country singer Lee Ann Rimes lately.

The Grammy award-winner is suing her dentist for negligence, claiming that he stalled her career by giving her eight, badly placed crowns which she says caused gum problems so severe that she's had trouble chewing and singing.

Well, sounds like he said/she said after a verbal exchange between actor Alec Baldwin and a "New York Post" photographer. A representative for the actor the accusations that Baldwin went on a race rant against the photographer are completely false.

Baldwin is accused of making racist remarks to an African- American photographer who approached him outside of his home. The rep says any issues with the photographer, not with the "New York Post."

Both sides have filed harassment claims.

Forrest Whitaker, accused of shoplifting. The Oscar-winning actor was frisked at a New York deli. Whitaker was stopped by a suspicious employee during a lunch time rush in an upscale market Manhattan market. The employee searched him in front of other customers, but came up empty-handed. The employee later apologized and the actor left without filing charges, but Whitaker was reportedly shocked and angry.

Coming up next, we'll talk to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for more on the death of Lakers owner, Jerry Buss.


FEYERICK: He's being remembered as the man who reinvented the game of basketball for players and fans.

Legendary owner of the storied Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry Buss, died today of cancer.

Joining us by phone, former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Thank you for being here.

What do you think made Jerry Buss or "Dr. Buss," as everyone called him such a great owner and a great man?

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, FORMER NBA STAR (via telephone): I think he really epitomized someone who used his wisdom, OK? A lot of owners, they buy a team and think they know everything about the sport and how it should be run.

But he gave it over to the people he paid to -- he gave it over to the people that he paid to do that job.

So, Jerry West and Bill Sharman, they were the ones able to put the team together, and he trusted them and, by trusting them and delegating the power to the right people, he kept the team at the top. And that's how it's done.

FEYERICK: He was just larger than life. What is one of your fondest memories of him and what he brought to you?

ABDUL-JABBAR (via telephone): Well, for me, there is one memory, just the fact he was approachable, and there was never any distance there. He was always open, and he genuinely cared about us. You can't beat that.

A lot of owners might se the people that they employed as just employees, but we were much more than that to him and he always let us know that.

FEYERICK: It was amazing because he really brought in that sort of celebrity component, having people sit court side, and it became a game where L.A. Lakers fans, celebrities, became so loyal to the players. How did you experience it?

ABDUL-JABBAR (via telephone): Well, for me, it was fun watching the daily Laker fans learn about the game and become sophisticated.

I'm from New York. And I first started attending professional games in Madison square garden while still in grade school. And people in New York know the game and the players and they really appreciate it. And it took a while for L.A. to catch up.

But once Dr. Buss got control of the team, that process started to happen faster and faster and we got more and more attention, and gained more and more fans.

And now the Lakers are a very prized and beloved institution in Southern California.

FEYERICK: Not only that, but it also became one of the winning- est franchises, I think in 20 years, in two decades. There were 10 championships.

What was the secret to that?

ABDUL-JABBAR (via telephone): The secret to that is sometimes you hope you're lucky and the Lakers certainly were lucky in that they got the opportunity to sign a lot of players, but they made their luck. Our general manager, Jerry west, he knew what he was doing. They were able to get the right players that enabled us to be so successful.

FEYERICK: A lot of people don't know why he was called Dr. Buss. Tell us.

ABDUL-JABBAR (via telephone): He had a -- he wasn't a -- he had a doctor of chemistry and that was his background.

FEYERICK: Well, clearly a good man who impacted a lot of people. And redefined the game. Certainly through the in Los Angeles. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, thank you so much for taking time from your day to talk about him. We appreciate it.

ABDUL-JABBAR (via telephone): My pleasure. Thank you. Nice talking to you.

FEYERICK: you too.

Well, want to improve your kids' behavior? Who doesn't? A new study says the answer may be on what they watch on TV.

CNN chief medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen breaks it all down for us next.


FEYERICK: President Hugo Chavez is back in Venezuela this afternoon. He left Cuba overnight where he underwent cancer surgery December.

In a message on his official Twitter account, he said he will continue his treatment in Venezuela. The type of cancer he's battling has not been revealed.

The flu season is on its way out. It began in December, much earlier than usual, but now the director of the centers for disease control says that this year's flu season did not reach pandemic proportions and fortunately it is almost over.

Though it was more severe than last season, the latest flu numbers are showing a decline for the third straight week.

Even though flu season is almost over, you can still get the flu. So be careful. Wash those hands.

Do you want to change your child's behavior? Changing the channel may be the first place to start.

A new study finds that positive messages in television shows can actually affect how children behave.

Here is CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Deb, I know as a parent you've heard it before, you should limit the amount of time your children spend watching television. Everyone knows that.

Now, some doctors are thinking about a new message, not so much harping on the amount of time the kids watch TV, but what they're watching.

So, researchers did what is considered to be a novel study. They told one group of parents, good programs to watch, like "Sesame Street," "Dora the Explorer," "Clifford the Big Red Dog," shows that teach children something, and they found that the parents in this group, those kids did watch more educational TV and less violent TV.

And then when they tested the kids a year later, the kids did share better with others. They did show fewer violent tendencies, wasn't a huge difference, but it was a difference.

So, the general take-home message here is one that I think a lot of us know, you should be having your children watch quality programs and, of course, don't let them watch anything endlessly.

Here are the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. They say children under the age of two, there is no reason for them to watch TV. They're not going to get anything out of it. For children ages two-and-up, less than one-to-two hours per day.

Some pediatricians are saying that really we should stop harping so much on the amount of time kids are watching TV and focus on what they're watching.


FEYERICK: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you. I love Clifford the Big Red Dog. I want to put that out there.

Mark Sanford releasing a new political ad today saying, quote, none of us go through life without mistakes. He made headlines for leaving his post as governor of South Carolina to visit his mistress in Argentina.

Now, he's throwing his hat bag into the political ring.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This week on "The Next List" ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to work with electronics in fashion. And that's kind of what people stereo typically will think of as adding technology to a garment.

This is a scarf I created. Thermo-chromatic, it changes color with temperature. So this one, when you wear the scarf in cold temperatures, snowflakes appear. And the snowflakes grow larger as the temperature gets colder.

So, I put just put an ice pack underneath. The temperature drops below 65 degrees, the a small snowflake will appear on the scarf. At 32 degrees, it is colder and the snowflake on the scarf will grow larger.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh! How do you do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the thermo-chromatic.

GUPTA: This Sunday on "The Next List."


FEYERICK: Mark Sanford says he's changed and now he wants voters to return him to Washington and change things there.

Here he is, Mark Sanford, of South Carolina.


MARK SANFORD (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes.

But in their wake, we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it.

In that light, I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington.


FEYERICK: Now, you remember Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor, before that, a member of Congress.

This is then governor Sanford upon his return from a not so secretive fling. You may recall Sanford flat-out lied to the people of the state saying he was going hiking when he was spending time with his Argentinean mistress.

Some four years later, ex-Governor Sanford's running for Congress.

Erin McPike with us now from Washington. And, Erin, does Mark Sanford believe South Carolinians are ready to forgive him?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He acknowledges he made a serious mistake, but he's using the commercial to turn the page by asking voters for a second chance.

He's reminding them he's known for being fiscally conservative. He's trying to shift the focus of the race to that record.

His consultant told CNN because he's such a fighter, he's going to work to get either vote he can. Because Sanford is the most well- known candidate in the race, his campaign says anything Sanford does will suck up all the oxygen in that race.

His political team expects that voters will either vote for Sanford or against him but not in favor of anyone else. Sanford is running well ahead of them and almost certainly will make the runoff that's two weeks later.

FEYERICK: Well, nice to see what happened to Sanford has not undermined the ego of his political team. But he is going to be running against somebody who is more high-profile and that is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, Elizabeth Colbert Bush, and she may get some kudos from her brother, no?

MCPIKE: Look, she is going to be raising a lot of money because he will certainly help her, but Democrats think this is a very hard district for them to win.

Mitt Romney won 58 percent of the vote in 2012, so they're not very sure they can make much of a go of it.

FEYERICK: it will be a fun race to watch, Erin McPike, thank you, welcome to CNN.

MCPIKE: Thanks so much.

FEYERICK: We'll be back right after this.


FEYERICK: Over 6,000 victims of Superstorm Sandy are still fighting insurance companies for money to rebuild. It is a painful waiting game.



FEYERICK: Begging for money is not something Catherine Hall ever thought she would have to do.

C. HALL: I had to run to the bank two Fridays ago and beg them to give me a loan just so I could pay my contractor. And once he's finished doing this segment of the work, we have to stop because we don't have any more money.

FEYERICK: Nearly four months and Superstorm Sandy destroyed her home in island park, New York, Hall has been calling her mortgage banker almost every day.

She's begging them to release insurance money so she and her family can rebuild and go home.

C. HALL: We have a 4-year-old little boy who -- basically we spent his college fund, you know, the money we've put by since his birth towards being able to send him to college later in life is what we've spent. It's gone.

FEYERICK: Hall, who is originally from Britain, and her husband bob and 4-year-old son Nathan, have been living in a hotel since November.

The Halls are among more than 6,000 families still waiting for insurance money. New York's governor blamed a necessary red tape and accused banks of failing to release more than $200 million worth of insurance.

The problem is some lenders require proof the repair's been made before they will reimburse for the cost of that repair.

BOB HALL, SUPERSTORM SANDY VICTIM: There's a lot of older people here that, you know, that just don't have any more money and they're being told that, you know, do 30 percent of the work and then they'll get 30 percent of the money. Do 50 percent of the work and you'll get 50 percent of the money.

C. HALL: The reason they do that is I think they're scared you're going to get the check and leave and leave them with the property that's not sellable. You know, but we've invested a lot of money in this house, you know, and it's our home.

FEYERICK: Banks contacted by CNN, including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Citibank and Bank of America, tell CNN they've distributed more than 75 percent of all insurance money.

The Halls' mortgage lender, who they asked we not name them, did not respond.

C. HALL: You know, we came here to live the American dream. And now we're living the American nightmare because they're holding our money and we can't get it and it's not fair, you know. It's not fair on anyone.

And everybody is in the same position, everybody. Like I said to you, I don't know any person who's had a dime.

FEYERICK: The waiting and certainty is taking a toll, as devastating as the storm itself.

And New York's governor is trying to work with the banks and lenders so they can ease up on some of the restrictions.


FEYERICK: Driver Danica Patrick wins the pole position for the Daytona 500. That makes her the first woman to start the legendary race.

Patrick told CNN's Don Lemon that she loves the idea of going beyond racing in general.


DANICA PATRICK, NASCAR RACER: One of the coolest things is to be able to think that parents and their kids are having that conversation at home about it.

And to, you know, I've heard stories about, look, a kid, a boy or a girl, saying, but mommy, daddy, that's a girl that's out there racing.

And then they can have that conversation to say, you can do anything you want to do and gender doesn't matter. Your passion is what matters. And that's cool


FEYERICK: Patrick won the pole position by going more than 196- miles-an-hour. That's almost 200-miles-an-hour. The Daytona 500 is Sunday.

Man's best friend is also a lifesaver. Charlie, a border collie mix, is getting credit for saving Mike Cameron.

First, Charlie woke Cameron up by jumping on his chest as a fire raged in his house in Nova Scotia last week. Cameron says he got up and started looking for his cats.

He said he collapsed by the door, but felt Charlie burning him out of the pulling house by his shoulders. Cameron also believes the pooch rounded up the cats and herded them to safety.

FEYERICK: That does it for me. I'm Deb Feyerick. Thanks so much for spending your afternoon with us.

THE SITUATION ROOM with Wolf Blitzer starts right now.