Return to Transcripts main page
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Monster Snowstorm; President Hugo Chavez is Dead; From Wall Street to Main Street; A New Approach To The Gun Debate
Aired March 5, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight the dreaded S word, snowquester. A massive winter storm barreling across the country. Thousands of flights cancelled, hundreds of schools closed and it's heading your way.
Plus the Dow's record-breaking close. If Wall Street's doing so well, why are you still stuck in neutral?
And the death of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. What it means for America and the rest of the world. I'll ask Barbara Walters.
Also a side of the gun debate you may not have heard. Parents heartbroken by Newtown who said the NRA can be part of the solution. And a man who disagrees but never leaves home without his gun.
And life men of (INAUDIBLE). This guy has a secret to winning. Tom Coughlin, one of the toughest coaches in the NFL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM COUGHLIN, NFL COACH: Preparation is the key to success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus he's worn out his Oscar welcome but she's Hollywood's golden girl, Kristin Chenoweth.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Lots of breaking news tonight including a record smashing day for the Dow and the death of Venezuela's controversial president, Hugo Chavez. We'll have more on that in a moment, but we begin with a story that's got people across the country nervously eyeing the skies, and with good reason. Another monster snowstorm has been dumping heavy snow in Chicago all day. And if you're in the East Coast tonight, you could be right in its path.
WBBM's Brad Edwards is out in the midst of it of course tonight in Chicago.
Brad, how bad it is there? We're hearing that O'Hare saw record snowfall accumulation today.
BRAD EDWARDS, WBBM REPORTER: Good evening, Piers. Tonight, from the snowy city. It's actually the worst single snowfall since Groundhog's Day in 2011. Here we are. We were expecting six to 10 inches. It appears that's exactly what we will get, six, seven, eight inches in Chicago and the Burbs. And this is the type of snow we're dealing with right here. It's a meaty, it's a hearty snow, we in the Midwest call this potential heart attack snow.
Beware if you're out there shoveling. Eight inches of the white stuff today. More to come. And that, of course, has created some havoc, especially for commuters locally and regionally. Upwards of 2,000 flights were canceled throughout the Midwest. Nine hundred of those at O'Hare Airport, another 240 at Midway.
Good news tonight, Midway's main carrier, Southwest Airlines, are just starting to fly out again. One airline took off at 7:20, and that's the first in a long time. A lot of passengers bottlenecked, and this portends what is now heading to the east as this front moves towards you guys.
Back to you.
MORGAN: Brad, thanks very much.
CNN's Alexandra Steele is in the Severe Weather Center tracking the path of the storm, and joins me now.
Alexandra, how bad is this going to be, do you think? If you're sitting here in New York, as we are, is it going to be a huge tub load coming our way?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, not for New York. New York -- it's a little different. You know, Washington will see more of the brunt of it than, say, Boston and New York City. It is a heavy, wet snow. And it will become a coastal snow.
So let me tell you what's happening. Here's Chicago where he just was. Six, seven inches, maybe you'll see another inch or two. Just snow showers. But what you're going to see is the blowing and drifting of this snow around because you have 30-mile-per-hour wind gusts.
So this storm will move. It's an area of low pressure. It's going to move south and east, take this line with it. So indeed, eight, nine, 10 inches of snow tonight through tomorrow. But then here's where the storm's so interesting, Piers. It gets to the mid-Atlantic. Now what's happening, this area of low pressure, will kind of phase and become an area of low pressure off the coast and become a coastal storm, meaning the farther from the coast you are, the more snow you're going to see.
Now you talked about double-digit snows. Here's a look at that. Washington, D.C., inside the beltway, four to eight inches. You go eastward toward Annapolis, eastern shore, maybe one to three inches tops, 20 miles. You go west, Piers, 20 miles, you get to Dulles Airport. People are certainly there, it's not far from town. But there we'll see 10 to 15 inches. And then just a little bit farther west with the Appalachians kind of the mountains, of course, there's that orographic lifting so it squeezes out all moisture. We could see 20 inches of snow there.
MORGAN: Strong stuff. Alexandra, thank you very much indeed.
MORGAN: And now I want to turn to international breaking news. You're looking live at the streets of Caracas where Venezuelans are mourning the death of President Hugo Chavez. He was reviled by some, loved by others. With 14 tumultuous years in office. He pulled his country out of the World Bank, nationalized Venezuela's oil fields and in a memorable speech to world leader at the U.N. in 2006 he called President George W. Bush the devil.
Hugo Chavez died today after a long battle with cancer. And joining me now exclusively is presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, and Barbara Walters who interviewed Chavez at the height of tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. And Barbara joins me now first by phone.
Barbara, first of all, how are you? Because lots of concern over your health recently. But you're back to work.
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR (via phone): Thank you, Piers. I'm back to work and I'm just fine.
Chavez not only called him a -- called president a devil, he called him a donkey. As you said he wasn't too smart either.
WALTERS: No respect for our country or our democracy.
MORGAN: You went to interview Chavez in 2007. It was at the height of the tension between the U.S. and Venezuela.
Many journalists has said that he could be incredibly charming in person. Was that your experience?
WALTERS: Yes, he could be. I mean, he should -- I mean, certainly wasn't the most physically attractive person, but he was very warm, he was very welcoming, although it was for us somewhat of a frightening trip. I had not been places where I had to have bodyguards. And ABC wanted us to have bodyguards because it was such a dangerous time in Venezuela.
The rich, the people who had some money, were living if they were still there in houses that had gates and barricades, but the other people, when he wanted us to go and see the people, the people liked him because he had given them running water and toilets. And he could be very warm. He was very vulnerable, complained that he'd been married twice, Piers, but had no time for relationship because he was married to his country.
Didn't get to see his children. He was this vulnerable man that we were supposed to be touched by.
MORGAN: Yes, but he was an extraordinary character. He's a bit -- I think he based himself on a kind of combination of Che Guevara and his great friend Fidel Castro. And he used to speak for hours and hours every day to the nation through radio and television.
He also, there's no doubt, if you look at his record domestically, he reduced unemployment significantly, he also brought millions of Venezuelans out of the poverty trap. So that's why he had a kind of working class appeal.
WALTERS: And he had -- he was born very poor, unlike Castro, who came from a family with some means. And he was a socialist, and he understood the poor because he did feel that way himself. He talked to Castro every day. He had a radio show in which he not only talked to Castro, but he also -- this is something, Pier, you may want to try it. He not only talked to his audience, but he sang to them.
MORGAN: I don't think my audience is quite ready for me to sing. I want to play you a clip -- a clip, Barbara, from your interview, a particularly prophetic one given his death today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: You have accused the U.S. government of trying to assassinate you.
HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (Through Translator): It is the CIA and some right-wing people here in Venezuela who believe that the only way they can control the revolution's impact on Latin America is to assassinate me. And I have said if something happens to me, if I get killed, the president of the United States should be held responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Obviously, the United States is not responsible for his death. He died after a long battle with illness. But --
WALTERS: But, Piers, remember how much oil that we got and get.
WALTERS: From Venezuela. And there were some people who were grateful to him because of this oil. And when he wanted to, he could turn that off. He told me he would not, but if there was a threat, you know, do something to me, good-bye oil.
MORGAN: Barbara, thank you so much for joining me. Fascinating perspective on Hugo Chavez. I really appreciate it and good to have you back on the airwaves, too.
I want to turn now to Doug Brinkley, presidential historian. Doug, you went to see Hugo Chavez in 2008 with Christopher Hitchens -- we'll have much more on Christopher Hitchens and Sean Penn. What was your take on him as a world leader? He was there 14 years on and off. But how do you think history will judge him?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, he's a classic Caudillo of Latin America, a strongman, who was infatuated with Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Barbara Walters just said they talked on the phone a lot. He would go visit Castro all the time and would write a regular letter that would be messengered every week. Some day there will be these Castro-Chavez letters.
He had a love-hate with the United States. Love Hollywood, Oliver Stone, Sean Penn, Danny Glover were his friends. Could not stand the U.S. government. Thought the CIA was behind all the mischief of the world and was very prone to conspiracy theories such as, you know, the Apollo missions were a fraud and done in a Hollywood back lot.
Baseball was a big deal with him. The Cincinnati Reds baseball team was his team and because his really good friend was Dave Concepcion, famous short stop for the Reds.
MORGAN: Got an interesting comments today, one was on Twitter from Oliver Stone. He made a statement but I preferred his tweets actually. He said, "Hated by the entrenched classes Hugo Chavez will live forever in history. My friend rests finally in a peace-long urn. I mourn a great hero to majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place."
And Sean Penn, who traveled with you, of course, to Venezuela, said, "The Venezuelan and its revolution will endure. Today the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have."
So, I mean, a very mixed bag of reaction today. A lot of people saying no, he's just lefty dictator who abused his people. But a lot of people saying no, he was very much a kind of freedom fighter who fought for the underdogs in his country, took on the Americans, took on the big boys of the world but protecting Venezuela's national interests.
BRINKLEY: Yes, but I think he was quite dangerous. I mean, if you look at some of the things he says about Iran and his friendship that he wants to build with that country, he backed people like Gadhafi. I found him to kind of had an unhinged view of history. It was all based on American imperialism and a Monroe doctrine, and hegemony that our country he thought had over this entire hemisphere.
His real nemesis was the country of Colombia because there's a different economic model there and there are tensions -- he was worried when I interviewed Chavez about Colombia, and perhaps they -- doing nefarious activities within his own country. But he just is not a friend of the United States, but it's true, he believed in the Gospels of Christ. In that way he was different than Castro. And did care about the poor people tremendously. And we went on these back trails and went to rallies, and you could just feel the people coming up to him. So I do think he's going to live as kind of a folk figure like Che Guevara in the annals of Latin American history.
MORGAN: Yes. Doug Brinkley, thank you very much indeed.
BRINKLEY: Thank you.
MORGAN: The breaking news in Wall Street, a record smashing day. The Dow climbed more than 125 points to close at a high of 14253.77. Basically the previous record from October 2007. Good news for investors but will it make a difference on main street? And what are the death of Hugo Chavez mean potentially for the price of oil?
Well, joining me now is Kai Ryssdal, he's the host of American Public Media's "Marketplace," and CNN's chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi.
Ali, let me ask you first. Will there be any real reaction to the death of Hugo Chavez in the terms of oil prices? Oil supply to --
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Not at all.
MORGAN: Venezuela is the fourth biggest supplier of oil to the United States.
VELSHI: To the United States. Right. It's the eighth biggest importer -- importer of oil. The fourth biggest to the United States. No, in fact, oil markets trade all the time. There's been nobody reaction so far. And that's because while Hugo Chavez nationalized a lot of the oil structure in Venezuela, they still kept producing oil.
It was -- it was less efficient under nationalistic infrastructure. But they were still producing oil. It's still the number one source of income from that country. So they'll continue to produce oil. The question under Chavez is what happened to the money? He directed it to a lot of social programs, but it -- they'll still produce oil, they'll still sell a lot of oil. No major impact on the price of oil.
MORGAN: Let's turn quickly to the Dow. And Kyle, I'll go to you first on this. I mean, on the face of it, great news. Booming economy, the Dow soaring, but it's really not as simple as that. The last time the Dow soared like this it led to the big recession a few years ago. And of course the previous time before that, it led to the Great Depression. So it tends to be a signal of rather ominous news.
KAI RYSSDAL, HOST, AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA'S MARKETPLACE: Right. Well, let's disassociate the Dow from the financial crisis and the crash and the recession that happened. But here's the thing you have to remember about the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it is not the economy. The Dow is not the economy. The economy is not the Dow.
It's 30 companies which right now are doing really nicely, but let's think about all the other stuff that's going on in this economy. Right? Unemployment is at 7.9 percent, consumer confidence is shaky, the real estate market is barely coming back. There's a disconnect between what's happening on Wall Street and what's happening out in the real economy where the rest of us live.
MORGAN: Yes, Ali, there is a disconnect, isn't there?
VELSHI: Yes, sure.
MORGAN: And this is not the real world.
MORGAN: This is not where 7.9 percent of Americans are unemployed or losing their homes.
MORGAN: Or whatever. But is it further evidence of a kind of them and us? The rich getting richer.
VELSHI: Well, it can be.
MORGAN: And the poor getting poorer?
VELSHI: I'll say a few things. One is, bigger than the Dow is the S&P 500, which is actually up more in a percentage basis than the Dow is since March of 2009, which was the low.
MORGAN: So is that combined an indicator of the strengthening economy?
VELSHI: Well, the thing is, when you look at the Dow, you look at the S&P 500, or most major companies, much of their revenue comes from the rest of the world. There are still fast growing places in the world that are doing very well. They're slowing, India and China, but the fact is they're doing a lot better than we are.
The other thing is that there is growth. We've had, you know, more than two years of job growth in this country but slower than we need. Real estate is turning out to be a fantastic investment because of low interest rates, but that takes time and capital. So if you want to be prosperous in this country, you either have to have your investments increase in value, your home increase in value or your wages increase in value. And for many people, they've got none. In fact 47 percent of Americans have no direct investment in the stock market.
Kai, if you -- if you have got a bit of cash -- and many Americans don't, but if you do have a bit of cash at the moment, is it a good or a terrible time to invest in the stock market?
RYSSDAL: Oh, for crying out loud do not put your money in the stock market right now. You buy at the high and where does it go from here? I mean, that's -- far be it from me to tell anybody what to do with their money, but let's have a little common sense, right, and do not buy at the highs. That's the worst possible thing you could do.
VELSHI: We don't know where the high is. That's the only problem, Kai. I mean, I will tell you, if you compare earnings, which is what stock prices are based on, they're cheaper today than they were five years ago in October of 2007. Back then, a stock was trading for 17 times its earnings. Today it's 14. So, there are people who say it's not necessarily a bubble. We don't know it's a high. We broke a record. But we don't know (INAUDIBLE) place to go.
MORGAN: And also, is it not encouraging generally for the perception of the American economy, always companies -- basically people are buying the stock because they're buying into a promise that the future's going to be rosier. That has to be another indicator you would think that people are generally confident -
VELSHI: This isn't the tech bubble where people were buying up stocks that had no revenues. These are companies with revenue. The question is how long does that go on for? Can governments around the world trip up economies to the extent that this doesn't live up to its expectation? But markets generally look ahead. Other indicators often look behind.
MORGAN: Kai, last word.
RYSSDAL: Yes, let me interject a note of reality here, right? We have going nobody Washington, D.C. today a political drama that will affect the American economy in ways we don't know for the next indeterminate period of time. I would suggest that anybody who looks at the stock market today as an indicator of the health of the American economy is not seeing the whole picture.
VELSHI: But Kai, we've got the lowest interest rates we've had since I had hair.
VELSHI: We've got natural gas, oil. We've got a lot of things going on. There are some things happening in the United States that are economically interesting.
MORGAN: Does it help, Ali --
RYSSDAL: I completely agree.
VELSHI: The government -- go ahead, Kai.
RYSSDAL: I completely agree there are good things happening, and the economy is growing. We know that. And jobs are being created. We know that. I'm just saying that thing that businesses hate, uncertainty, has never been more prevalent in the environment right now than it at the moment in Washington, D.C.
RYSSDAL: It's crazy.
MORGAN: That's a good point. That's down to the politicians. Kai and Ali, thank you both very much indeed.
When we come back, a new idea on guns. A couple who saw the tragedy in Newtown and said the NRA can be part of the solution. They're here next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one fights for their protection. They want the government to do it. The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs, and wouldn't allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn't own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.
This isn't a black or white, Democrat or Republican issue. This is common sense. This is self-preservation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Newest ad from the NRA casting itself as a civil rights group and trying to appeal to African-Americans over the battle of gun control pulling Americans in different directions. (INAUDIBLE) common ground.
Joining me now Jon and Rebecca Bond, founders of Evolve, a movement to change the way Americans think about guns. Welcome to you both. Read about you in "The New York Times," and it's a fascinating place to start this debate as far as you're concerned because you don't like using the phrase gun control. Maybe that's the single most inflammatory part of this whole debate, the word control. You prefer to use safety. Tell me about Evolve and what the purpose of it is.
REBECCA BOND, CO-FOUNDER, EVOLVE: The purpose of Evolve is to become a brand, an aspirational brand, something that lives above some of the chatter or if you can think about being more transformational. So, a lot going on out there is very important but it's incremental. And in order to change culture, which is what we're coming at it, where we're reframing the conversation, you have to come at it from a different perspective.
MORGAN: How are you going to change the way Americans think about guns?
JON BOND, CO-FOUNDER, EVOLVE: Well, I think if you go back to just being consistent with culture, culture is really what makes things change and stick in America. So if you take gun control, which you brought up -- control versus freedom. Control is counterculture. It's not American. Freedom is American. That is a bad, bad, you know --
MORGAN: Yes, and I know from the (INAUDIBLE) I get on twitter and stuff to the stuff we've been running, it's that word that really inflames the gun rights lobbyists.
JON BOND: Totally, totally. But then you talk to gun owners and non- gun owners, what they agree on is responsibility.
MORGAN: And gun safety.
JON BOND: And gun safety.
MORGAN: Most of the NRA members, I know, actually do believe strongly in gun safety.
JON BOND: Absolutely. So, now you can create something that's culturally consistent with people instead of fighting. You can't change culture that way.
MORGAN: What is interesting I think is some of the history in terms of other big social issues that Americans have faced. Drunk driving was a very popular thing to be doing 30, 40 years ago. Then there was this horrific bus accident in the '80s. Mothers Against Drunk Driving got started because 27 people got killed. And it became a huge turning point in the anti-drunk driving movement. Let's watch a clip from one of those ads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve, are you okay to drive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I only had a couple drinks. I'm fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keys can be a weapon. A few drinks can make you a killer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, very powerful. And similar advertising has been done for the tobacco industry and has had an equal effect. And smoking was hugely popular and is far less popular now. It's not really about getting rid of all guns. It's like the cars and the drunk driving. It's about make car driving, gun use safer. That's the realistic goal, right, is what you're trying to do?
REBECCA BOND: Our fight isn't against guns. Our fight is against irresponsible behavior related to guns. And so by coming at it from -- first and foremost, we start with saving a life. So, if most people in this country can agree on one thing to begin with and that is to save a life. Then we can start from a common ground. And that's where the conversation begins.
So, a lot of our work that we've been doing is with NRA people, with people down South, from all over the country. We're not talking to New Yorkers and just in focus groups. I had an interesting creative session where I put people from North Carolina, NRA members worked for former Republican presidents. And they are on the phone with our creatives. And that's where the conversations began. By the end of the conversation, they were coming up with some amazing ideas. But that's what you want to have is conversation. MORGAN: Is it unhelpful that the leadership of the NRA say such inflammatory stuff? I mean -- it seems there's a disconnect between them and their own members. Because a lot of the members contact me and say we totally agree with you. There's got to be more safety. If it means a few more regulations, we're not against it. But the membership are like you will not touch a single gun.
JON BOND: Yes. I mean, we need the NRA. We need them to step up. And responsibility should apply to organizations. If you look at the spirits industry, every big liquor company, Bacardi, Diageo -- they spend their own money on research. They spend their own money to reduce underaged driving. Now, that reduces the amount of alcohol sales. And that's good business. So, I'd say to the NRA it's good business to do this.
MORGAN: Is it time to have just as compelling and controversial advertising relating to gun violence?
JON BOND: The problem with -- it depends on the kind of --
MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) this got through to the public psyche with tobacco and alcohol.
JON BOND: We need people who own guns to accept our organization. And if we make them feel bad about themselves or they see they're being attacked, then they just push back and are intransient. So we need to be inclusive.
MORGAN: I get that. And that's why I wanted you on. I like what you're doing. I think it is the way to try and get some common ground. Because at the moment it's just extremities the on both sides. If you take either position, you're immediately positioned as an extremist.
JON BOND: All the noise comes from the edges. The people who need a voice are in the middle. That's who we're trying to appeal so.
REBECCA BOND: And they also have large ad budgets. So, if you look at the gun companies --
MORGAN: The NRA, that's sort of my point. They spend a fortune promoting guns. What I never see are the kind of really shocking advertising about the impact of gun violence, which you saw change the mood about tobacco abuse and about drunk driving.
REBECCA BOND: I also posed that question conversation on the phone with the NRA members. I said as someone who has spent a good portion of my time in the private sector, we come up with responsibility campaigns as part of our general campaigns. I said, why can't they take some of those dollars? And they said, we should.
JON BOND: And they do some. They do some, but I'd like to see the NRA spend less money on lobbying and fighting and more on --
MORGAN: I agree.
JON BOND: -- gun safety and gun education. And protecting their own members.
MORGAN: I agree. Good point. Rebecca, Jon, thank you much. We'll leave it there. But it's very interesting. And keep doing what you're doing. I think it's very, very worthwhile.
REBECCA BOND: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, a proud gun owner with dozens of weapons. He tells you why he turned his back on the NRA. That's after he shot somebody who threatened him with a gun.
STEPHEN N. XENAKIS, MD, BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED): Assault weapons are weapons of war.
MALCOLM MACKINNON III, REAR ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY (RETIRED): Not for cowards to use.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In movie theatres.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In classrooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or on our streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a general.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As an admiral.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a member of the armed forces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a gun owner I demand action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Demand action.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: The NRA isn't the only group out with a new ad. The "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" has anti-gun spots running as well. I want to bring in now a man who owns 38 guns and used one to shoot and kill a robber. He subsequently quit the NRA.
Joining me now is Attorney James Corley. Thanks you very for joining me. First of all, just tell me exactly what happened in 2009 with this robber.
JAMES CORLEY, ATTORNEY, GUN OWNER: Well, it was a Saturday before Easter, April 11. I was down at a place called the ACOA Club, which is an Alcoholics Anonymous Clubhouse here in Columbia, South Carolina. I was sitting in this chair and a fellow came in with a gun.
He said to several people in the building that they should give it up, empty their pockets. One fellow did. They turned his pockets inside out. Everything went all over the place just like the three stooges. This kid swept up a cell phone or something off the floor, came in front of me and stood and said the same thing.
So I emptied my pocket. He didn't want what I had. It was this pistol right here in this wallet holster. My first shot was right through his sternum, and it took three more shots to bring him down. If you want know exactly what the details of it, I can give you those.
MORGAN: No, I think suffice to say that the man later died and you were not prosecuted. It was deemed justifiable homicide. I don't think you were even arrested or anything at the scene. The police concede it was a fait accompli, justifiable homicide and many wouldn't argue given the way this man had come in and brandishing his gun and threatening all. What I'm interested in now is why you have quit the NRA?
CORLEY: Because all you ever hear about is fund-raising, for what purpose, I'm not really sure. They had the national reciprocity bill going through Congress. I couldn't get a straight answer out of anybody why they wouldn't bring it to a Senate vote in 2010 or in 2011 so you at least know who you're against.
MORGAN: I mean, do you think the NRA has any sense of responsibility in terms of the guests I just had, they never advertise in terms of gun safety, responsibility at all. All the advertising is geared towards selling more firearms. Do you think it would change their PR, if nothing else if they really started to take seriously advertising and promoting safe gun use?
CORLEY: Well, they do, do that in their marksmanship program, which you've got to enroll in one of their marksmanship courses to get that.
CORLEY: You're going to get a lot more gun safety in a concealed weapons permit class here in South Carolina.
MORGAN: Do you think there is a disconnect between the leadership of the NRA and most of the members? Do you think many feel unsettled after Sandy Hook the leadership went so aggressively on the front foot and the result was simply the selling of a lot more weapons?
CORLEY: Yes. I think there is a disconnect. I don't think they're communicating. They communicate through three magazines and some select mailings. All of which are just basically soliciting funds for whatever, you know, they happen to be pushing at the moment. I'm not really sure what they're pushing.
MORGAN: Seen to the cynical eye is helping the manufacturers who fund most of the NRA to sell more guns and ammunition. You used a semiautomatic handgun, I believe, in the incident you talked about earlier. What do you feel about an assault weapons ban? Because many in the NRA think that's an unthinkable thing to even consider.
CORLEY: I'm not for an assault weapons ban simply because I don't think we could fund it. This is America. We have the 14th amendment. You can't take private property without compensation. Do you want to buy all those guns? Where are you going to get the money to buy them?
MORGAN: Well, I guess the assault weapons ban would apply to future sales. You would simply remove some of the more military style assault rifles and so on from civilian public consumption.
CORLEY: Well, the problem there is what is military style? The definition's can bog you down forever. And if you name 260 different weapons by maker and model number, there will be 60 other weapons that would perform the same way within six months.
MORGAN: If I could ask you to say one thing that you felt would be most constructive to making America a less violent country in terms the of gun violence, what would you say?
CORLEY: One would be to enforce the existing laws. You know, I go to gun shows, and I see lots of undocumented sales that I don't know that those are necessarily the problem. The problem is the people who are making the sales.
You have an awful lot of exhibitors at gun shows that I think are violating the federal laws and they're selling more than 15 guns a year, not from their private collections, which means they have to get a federal firearms license. You've got an awful lot of unlicensed dealers out there.
MORGAN: Yes, it does seem to be bordering on the Wild West at some of these gun shows. It's a huge problem. Mr. Corley, it's a fascinating conversation. I appreciate you joining me. You come from an almost unique perspective.
And I would say that for all those who think I just want to get rid of all guns in America, the story that you tell of how you defended yourself and the people in that room is a very good example I would say of where a use of a gun in America is essential to your safety.
I have no issue with that. I believe that's exactly what the second amendment is about, but I appreciate you joining me and thank you for your time.
CORLEY: Because I was armed.
MORGAN: Right. I understand that. I appreciate you joining me. Thank you.
CORLEY: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up next, the NFL coach with rules for winning on and off the football field. I talk to New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: One of the most successful head coaches in the NFL. He led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl wins. Ask anyone, they'll say that Tom Coughlin isn't easy. There are pretty strict rules that everyone has to obey. If you don't follow those rules, you're going to be out on your ear. His winning formula isn't just football. It applies everywhere.
Joining me now is the Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, author of "Earn the Right to Win." Welcome to you. This guy, he doesn't take prisoners. Why you're so successful, but it is intimidating. You rule with a rod of iron.
TOM COUGHLIN, HEAD COACH, NEW YORK GIANTS: Well, I have in the past done that because of the circumstances that I've been in. For example, you go to Jacksonville, it's a brand new expansion team. You know, you have players coming from all directions. It's a motley crew to say the least. You are not going to start out easy.
You're going to start out hard. What we were able to accomplish is that we had a bunch of people collectively united in one thing, and that was they didn't like me. That's how that started. But the toughness, the physical play, the way in which we started the program resulted in two AFC championship games in the first five years. So it was successful from that standpoint.
MORGAN: I have a little unofficial motto that's my brother's military motto, which is the seven Ps, prior planning and preparation prevent fistfuls poor performance. I notice your keys to winning of preparation, communication, and motivation. Is preparation in the end the single-most important thing?
COUGHLIN: I think preparation is the key to success and you lay it all out, as you well know, as we describe in the book. What happened for us was we win the Super Bowl XLVI. And I felt like, you know what, the way that our players played down through the stretch there was remarkable. And we did earn the right to win.
And why not write a book about that so that perhaps we can lend some of these ideas to other people, no matter whether you're a housewife, working in management, coaching a youngster or youth group team, whatever it might be, these principles will apply.
MORGAN: When you see what's happening in Washington and the sort of collapse of any kind of leadership or bipartisan cooperation, whatever it may be, taking the keys to winning that you have. What would you get them to do, these politicians, to try to work better for the cause of America?
COUGHLIN: Well, we all want that. And it's frustrating to see that why don't we come together to solve our nation's problems, put the politics aside? I always talk about team, which means unity. Obviously, that's not the case in Washington. We all wish it would be.
MORGAN: There's something known as Coughlin time. Apparently, if you're 5 minutes early for a meeting, you're late. How does that work?
COUGHLIN: Well, the way that works is when I first went to New York, what I wanted was our players to be focused, enthusiastic about coming to work. I wanted them to show commitment, to be eager to get started and learn.
So what we did is we changed all the clocks to be 5 minutes ahead. So everything was on Coughlin time. And, of course, one of my pupils, Michael Strahan, made quite a deal out of that, had some fun with it at first. Wait a minute. I'm 3 minutes early, but 2 minutes late, you know, one of those kinds of deals.
MORGAN: In the foreword to the book, he says, I hated him. Hate is a strong word, but that's the way I felt. He ends by saying I now tell people proudly that I love the man. I love him. And if I could, I would play for him any day and together we would win.
COUGHLIN: Hate is a strong word, but it has to move in that direction. As I tell the players, we're not in a popularity contest here. It is not really a democracy. What we're trying to do is establish the fundamentals that are going to allow us to win. We both want the same thing.
MORGAN: Discipline is a big issue in NFL as in all American sports. I want to play you a clip from an interview with Bob Costas about the gun culture in the NFL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS ANCHOR: If this has sparked a conversation and in some small way influenced people's behavior, so much the better. Front page of the paper, not the sports second, front page of the weekend edition of "USA Today" is about guns in the National Football League. There is a gun culture in the National Football League.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This fellow, the Jovan Belcher, you had a former player Plaxico Burress who shot himself and went to jail. Clearly there is a gun culture in the NFL. How do you deal with these young guys that are physically massive, super fit, buckets of cash, women throwing themselves at them? They can afford whatever they want. How do you get them to understand what discipline is like off the field in their real lives?
COUGHLIN: Well, that's not an easy thing, but you know, when you're talking about this gun culture, the NFL has strong rules against that. I mean, there's not supposed to be any kind of firearm even in the trunk of their car parked in the parking lot at the facility.
Now does that mean they don't have them at home? No. But we also have rules and regulations and we do a great job in player development in trying to make sure if they have a firearm, is it legal, is it registered and the knowledge they aren't to bring that to the facility. Discipline, to be honest with you, Piers, they all want discipline, they want professionalism. They're the first ones to remind if you something isn't first class. You have to start there. We are a reflection of society. Unfortunately society has these problems and these issues.
We have them in the National Football League. We try to do something about them. We try to educate them as to what they should and should not be doing. In some cases we're successful, in others not really.
MORGAN: Wise words, Coach. It's great book. Tom Coughlin "Earn the Right to Win." Good to see you.
COUGHLIN: Thank you, Piers.
When we return, small in size, big on talent. I'll talk to actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth.
MORGAN: Kristin Chenoweth performing at Lincoln Center in "The Dames of Broadway, All of Em," a PBS special airing on March 24th. Stage, movies, the Oscars, TV, you're doing all of that, are you, Kristin?
KRISTIN CHENOWETH, ACTRESS/SINGER: I try.
MORGAN: How are you?
CHENOWETH: I'm so good, but I was just hoping that this time --
MORGAN: You legs will never reach my floor.
CHENOWETH: What do I have --
MORGAN: In any sense.
CHENOWETH: What do you want, a lap dance? I mean, I'll do it.
MORGAN: I love that. How are you?
CHENOWETH: I'm good.
MORGAN: I thought the Oscars must have been unbelievably nerve racking and then such a buzz afterwards.
CHENOWETH: It was a total buzz. As you know, we did a song that we kind of had to learn at the very last minute. So that was really fun.
MORGAN: A billion people are watching this.
CHENOWETH: I had diarrhea, Piers, and I'd rather not. I don't. Thanks for bringing this up.
MORGAN: He's been getting flack for this show him your boobs song. Do you have any problems with what he did? CHENOWETH: Well, first of all, I'm a woman so I have boobs and I don't really know the big deal. I thought he killed it. I thought it was great. The ratings went up. I hope he comes back and does it again someday.
MORGAN: I think he might be tempted. The other success is the Bible, which is incredibly successful show that has come out, huge ratings on cable. You're a famous Christian, or a Christian famous person, whatever you want to call yourself.
MORGAN: What do you think about the success about this? What does it say about America today?
CHENOWETH: You know, I'd be a liar if I didn't say that it was interesting. There are so much negative that we have to read and that's in our faith. Look what we deal with in New York on a daily basis. It makes me happy that people are interested to watch history and I love that they are putting it it's -- people aren't watching dance mobs, they are watching the bible although I am watching dance moves.
MORGAN: Let me play a clip here so people know what I am talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God has sent me to set you free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Lord's brought us out from Egypt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHENOWETH: Doesn't it look good?
MORGAN: Well, it's a classic Mark Burnett production, completely over the top, fabulous costumes, beautiful people. I had a conversation with him on text yesterday and I asked him about the success and he said, more people are discussing today Abraham and Mosses than in decades. It's a foundation of our faith, western civilization, and literature and art. That's a smart way of putting it.
CHENOWETH: Very smart and I have to back him. If people are talking about God as a Christian, I'm happy.
MORGAN: It's good news, right?
CHENOWETH: It's good news.
MORGAN: Now let's turn to Great Britain because you're about to go over there and take your pint-sized talents to my country.
CHENOWETH: I'm going to your country and I'm going to sing. On a scale of 1 to 10, how is my accent?
MORGAN: Eight, pretty awful.
CHENOWETH: I'm going to play at London, Manchester, Edinburgh so tell me from London to Manchester, how many hours is that?
MORGAN: They don't use language like that on stage.
CHENOWETH: I sure am. I'm going to be me.
MORGAN: We're pretty prudish in my country.
CHENOWETH: I can't wait. I have a lot of fans over there.
MORGAN: Because you've been through this horrific thing. You did the "Good Wife," which is one of my favorite shows.
CHENOWETH: Isn't it great?
MORGAN: I love all of the casts and you have this terrible accident. Tell me what happened and the repercussions for you.
CHENOWETH: I'm just making sure everything is locked down in here. Basically, a thing this size, it's a screen attached to metal, a windy day, it fell on the front of my face and broke some things on my face.
MORGAN: I don't think people knew the scale of the damage. I didn't. You just told me. Tell me exactly what happened to you.
CHENOWETH: It hit me in the face and cracked my nose, three cracked teeth and a hairline fracture in the jaw, they believe, and then slammed me in the back and I had a five-inch skull fracture and a concussion and some rib and neck problems. But I'm doing so much better.
MORGAN: Did you think that this might kill you? What did you feel?
CHENOWETH: I was out for about six to seven minutes and I woke up and they said what happened and they said you fell. I thought I was actually slammed down to the ground. You know, our lovely Josh Charles, he was there on the scene with me and saw it happened and thought maybe I had, speaking of the Bible, thought I had gone up to heaven. He was at the hospital waiting for three hours waiting and make sure I was OK.
MORGAN: He's got a big heart despite being a Spurs fan.
CHENOWETH: Well, forgive him.
MORGAN: I could never forgive that.
CHENOWETH: That's right. I forgot.
MORGAN: The sworn enemy of my team.
MORGAN: You're OK now? You've still got repercussions? CHENOWETH: My brain issues are much better, but it does take some time. Piers -- don't you want a lap dance? Yes, I'm doing much better. I'm not myself yet in the neck and jaw but getting there.
MORGAN: You're looking pretty perfect.
CHENOWETH: Thank you.
MORGAN: Pretty back to normal.
CHENOWETH: Thank you.
MORGAN: Are they going to show the scenes of what happened?
CHENOWETH: Yes, they showed it. I was supposed to be in three or four episodes, but I was only in one and hopefully I'll get to -- right now I'm trying to make up for lost time. I'm making up the European tour. Of course things pop up like the Oscars.
MORGAN: And you've got a movie, called "Family Weekend."
CHENOWETH: Yes, it's good.
MORGAN: Yes. Tell me about it.
CHENOWETH: It's about a family and it takes place over the weekend. I made him laugh. Woohoo. Thank you. I play a mom who's not the best mom and dad and we get kidnapped by our kids to become better parents.
MORGAN: I bet you're adorable in it.
CHENOWETH: Thank you.
MORGAN: You're always adorable.
CHENOWETH: Thank you.
MORGAN: It's lovely to see you. Let's get through this. You go to kristinuk.com. Your special presents "Kristin Chenoweth," the "Dames of Broadway All of Em" airs on March 24th PBS, the movie "Family Weekend" hits theatres March 29th. The "Good Wife" will be coming out soon. You'll be on Oscars. You'll be in Britain. You're everywhere.
CHENOWETH: I'm sick of me.
MORGAN: It's lovely to see you.
CHENOWETH: Thanks. I'll never wash this hand again.
MORGAN: Kristin Chenoweth, one of my favorite people. We'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, the latest on the huge storms sweeping across America. A forecast with some places buried under feet of snow. All the latest that's tomorrow night. That's all for us tonight. "ANDERSON COOPER" starts right now.