Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Puts Bounty On Two Americans; Kate Upton Asked To The Prom; Democratic Leaders Pulled Assault Weapons Ban, Claiming Lack Of Votes; TV Host Dr. Oz Being Sued For Advice

Aired March 20, 2013 - 15:30   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, exclusive new information here on CNN, the U.S. putting a bounty on two Americans.

Elise Labott has more. What do we know about these two men?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Dan, they moved to Somalia in about 2005, 2006. Omar Shafiq Hammami is about 29-years- old, an Alabama native, moved to Somalia to join the global jihad, as he put.

And he, basically, was a recruiter for the organization. He was a rapper back in the United States and used those songs, those -- and he did videos and writings to recruit English-speaking use to al Shabaab, which is the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia.

And his partner, Jehad Serwan Mostafa, a California native, also in his late-20s, early 30s, moved to Somalia at the same time. He was more of a commander.

And what U.S. officials are telling me, Don, is that the U.S. is really concerned not only about attacks against American interests, against American facilities, but also these recruiting techniques that these individuals might have developed in, but also these recruiting techniques that they might have developed back Somalia, that they could possibly bring home to the United States, Don.

LEMON: Elise Labott, thank you very much.

More news here on CNN right after this break.


LEMON: She is a "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model and he is a high school senior without a prom date. He liked his chances, so he posted this video online.


JAKE DAVIDSON, INVITED KATE UPTON TO HIGH SCHOOL PROM: You're the ying to my yang. I'm 5'9" on a really good day and can't dance at all. You can say this is destiny. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, like these things do, it went viral. Kate Upton tweeted this back. "You can call me Katie if you want. How can I turn down that video? I'll check my schedule, wink."

Jake Davidson was on the "Today" show this morning when a surprise guest called in.



KATE UPTON, MODEL (via telephone): How do you feel? I can't believe you're on the show and everything now. It is amazing.

DAVIDSON: This just got so much better now that you're on the phone.


LEMON: Jake Davidson is with us now live from Los Angeles.

Has she checked her schedule? Is this thing going to happen?

DAVIDSON: Well, I don't know yet, but I did hear just 10 minutes ago, one of my friends sent me she is feeling the pressure, which I don't want.

She's already done so much for me. I really appreciate all that she's done. And she said she may move things around. That would be incredible. I would appreciate it so much, but she shouldn't feel the pressure.

You've done so much and I really appreciate it, Kate. You're incredible.

LEMON: Listen, I know this is an obvious question. Why Kate? If not Kate, I get why. If not Kate, who else ranks on your celebrity crushes?

DAVIDSON: Celebrity crushes?


DAVIDSON: Well, no offense to all the other celebrities because they're all very beautiful and great people, but it is like Kate up here, you know, then someone else down here, off the top of my head, the other Kate -- Beckinsale, is very cute, so pretty. There are so many pretty celebrities out there. They all are. I don't know.

LEMON: She's a supermodel. You like your chances. What have you got to offer the lady?

DAVIDSON: Well, I mean, I have a very committed, supporting staff that is sharing a lot of tweets and making it viral, that's helpful.

I think everyone who is doing that, I really appreciate it. And a great video made by Talia Myers, I don't really think it is me.

I thank it is everyone who is sharing it and stuff. I just got lucky, I think.

LEMON: What is your Plan B?

DAVIDSON: Clearly out of my league. You know, I like to go all in and then hope for the best and plan later as opposed to having a Plan B.

I feel like then you have a reserve and that's not so good. But there are definitely some great friends at my school who would be helpful or I don't know, really. I haven't thought about it.

LEMON: Good luck, Jake. Appreciate it.

DAVIDSON: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Thank you.

Up next, actress Jada Pinkett Smith ignites a fierce debate. Should white women grace the covers of magazines like "Essence" or "Ebony?"

My "Hot Topic" panel will face off next.


LEMON: All right, for gun control advocates, the front page of today's "New York Daily News" says it all in just three words, "Shame on U.S." But if you're reading it quickly, some could read that as shame on us.

The second headline reads, assault weapons bill is dead. That's a bill banning more than 100 kinds of firearms, including some semi- automatic and semi-automatic rifles.

Democratic leaders pulled it saying they didn't have the votes to pass the Senate. There is still chance, though, it could get introduced as an amendment, but, no doubt, it is a defeat for gun control on the gun control front.

So, we got a panel to talk about all of this. Radio and TV personality, Rolonda Watts, who once hosted her own syndicated TV talk show, and it was one of my favorites.

And there's David Begnaud from "Newsbreaker with David Begnaud."

And then, radio talk show host Ben Ferguson. I haven't spoken with you in a long time. Good to see you again, Ben.

And Tiffanie Henry, a therapist and relationship expert. After these topics, I think we're all going to need some therapy after this. TIFFANIE HENRY, SEX THERAPIST AND RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: I got you.

LEMON: So, Ben, you heard about all of the gun control after Aurora, after Newtown. It was thought there's going -- a gun control ban is going to go through Congress and possibly sweep through Congress. and then the assault weapons ban. and then also a universal background check.

Support appears to be waning.

BEN FERGUSON, HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": Well, and I think the things we should learn from this in the past and what Dianne Feinstein, even the president, should have done was look at their own party and say. are there enough Democrats to vote for the broad reaching measures?

And the answer is, honestly, no, there is not. And they should have spent more time working on maybe just background checks or mental health issues and looked at actually the prosecution of crimes of those that commit gun crimes.

Because right now in this country, you get about 4.3 years, if you use a gun in a crime, including pulling the trigger and you miss. That's where they could have made real headway.

They didn't do it and it is because they wasted so much time on something they couldn't even get done with their own party.

LEMON: Well, Rolonda, he said sweeping. Many people don't see it as sweeping.

ROLONDA WATTS, RADIO AND TV PERSONALITY: Well, you know what? I -- this is a situation where we have six-year-old children who are getting shot. Why do people need these guns that you use on a battlefield to begin with?

And I think that, you know, it is such a tough issue. Responsibly, people who are into hobbies, that's one thing, but these power weapons and the fact you can slaughter so many people, we have to do something.

We have to keep this ball in the air. I'm not quite sure what the answer is, but we have to do something and I applaud the politicians who are fighting it.

LEMON: David, I know. But it seems that nothing is going to happen with it when there was so much emotion, especially after Newtown.

DAVID BEGNAUD, HOST, "NEWSBREAKER WITH DAVID BEGNAUD": Don, set aside how you feel on the issues. The Democrats need some chutzpah.

If you're not going to stand for something, you're going to fall for anything. Harry Reid looked weak yesterday when he stood in front of the camera and almost conceded, well, we don't have the votes.

Well, go out and get them. If that's what you feel for and you feel strongly about it, make it happen.

I'm sorry. You can fault the Republicans for their views, but at least the Republicans will fight until the end for something they believe in.

LEMON: All right, Tiffanie, I promise I'm going to let you get in, but we're going to have to move on to a different subject because I do want to get this in. You know, for the press conference in Israel, our time is cut short here.

I want to talk about an online question from Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress, married to Will Smith, getting a lot of heated answers.

The actress said she's not pointing fingers, but she's pushing buttons when she talks about white women on the covers of black magazines.

Pinkett Smith posted this question on Facebook. Here it is. She says, "If we ask our white sisters who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines to consider women of color to grace these magazines, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers?

"Should women extend their powers to other women simply because they are women?

"To my women of color, I am clear, we must have something of our own. But is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us?"

And then Pinkett Smith posts these mock covers, Queen Latifah on "Cosmo," and then Charlize Theron on "Essence."

What makes Pinkett Smith ask the question? She says she wants to open the door to new possibilities.

OK, Tiffanie, as a woman of color, what do you make of it?

HENRY: Thank you for noticing that.

I think that -- I actually think that Jada brings up a very good point. And, of course, magazines should be more inclusive and -- but you have to remember that it is going to work both ways.

If you're going to advocate for diversity in mainstream magazines, you're going to have to advocate the opposite and just have it be, you know, across the board.

You can't ask for one and not the other. So, you know, I think she raises an interesting point and it's something to consider.

And I actually applaud her for starting this conversation.

LEMON: Well, guys, I'm going to let the women get in first because they are talking about women's magazines. But, Rolonda, if you -- even a man can thumb through a mainstream magazine and a man of color and I cannot see myself in page after page after page. I imagine it is the same for women of color.

So -- and they're on as many magazines geared towards people of color, especially women of color. So, what do you make of this?

WATTS: Don, if you're Asian, Latino or black, and you stand in front of a magazine stand, you wonder if you even exist in this country or this world.

And that is the reason, historically, that magazines like "Jet" and "Ebony" and "Essence" were created, to address our beauty, to talk about our issues, so that our children can see themselves on the newsstand, as well, and dream of being on a cover.

"Essence" is specifically for that, and I think a lot of black women would have a big issue if a white woman was on that cover.

And Jada does bring up a very provocative question, why doesn't it go both ways?

But the reality is, and the history shows us, that we have need magazines like "Essence" to know that we exist and to have our issues and all our views examined.

LEMON: David, before I get to you, someone wrote in. We looked at some of the posts on the Facebook page and one woman said, "I wouldn't buy 'Essence' with a white woman on the cover."


BEGNAUD: Maybe so. But, Don, look, here is the thing. I think she brings up a good point. I think people would continue to buy it.

But she's not saying do away with black women on the cover. She's saying share the cover.

Do you know what? We got a black president. I grew up in Louisiana. I saw racism, first hand.

But at the end of the day, I think both magazines are great, but why not? I think it is a great idea and far be it for me to tell a woman she has a bad idea.


FERGUSON: I would like to volunteer to be the first white guy, random white guy, to be on the cover of any one of these magazines.

I mean, if that can help us move along, you can put me on that cover, that magazine, and I will be an advocate for that moving forward.

You and I can do it together. Think about that. We can just be standing there going, white guy, black guy. I'm from Memphis. I can talk civil rights.

WATTS: So, wait a minute.

LEMON: If we're on the cover of a magazine, Ben, you and I together, I think that may create other questions.

FERGUSON: The rapture?

WATTS: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

LEMON: We'll be on the cover of "Out" magazine. Maybe that.

Go ahead, Rolonda, you were saying?

WATTS: The bottom line is, I would love to see a situation where all women, you know, it's about the content of the magazine, and the character of women, so beautiful, no matter what color we are.

We have so much in common. I don't care what color we are. And women are women. And together we can change the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it will hurt sales.

LEMON: All right, to this panel, that's it. Can't we just all get along because I just got to get out of here?

Thank you very much.

HENRY: We love you, Don.

LEMON: I love you guys, too. Thank you. Thank you.

Ben, I'm going to take you up on that.

Thank you, Tiffanie. Thank you, Rolonda. Thank you, David. And thank you, Ben.

Coming up, you know Dr. Oz. He gives health advice to millions of Americans, but now, one tip he gave landed him in some legal hot water.

Why one viewer is suing the popular TV doctor, coming up.


LEMON: Popular TV host Dr. Oz being sued for advice he gave to viewers who struggle falling asleep. One viewer in particular, a New York City man, says he watched on April 17th when Dr. Oz recommended viewers put a little uncooked rice in a pair of socks, warm them up in the microwave oven, and slip them on.

He did give a disclaimer -- make sure the sock is not too hot. He said to lie for 20 minutes in bed with those socks on.

The man says he got third-degree burns from doing it. He filed a lawsuit.

All right. So, joining me now, three black men on television at the same time. What is going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's wrong with that?


LEMON: Criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson and anchor from HLN's "Evening Express," Ryan Smith, both of them are "On the Case" right now.

So many experts on TV can be held liable in cases like this. I was watching talk shows this morning. Steve Harvey has an "Ask Steve." Wendy Williams has an "Ask Wendy" segment. And they're all giving advice on television.

What does this mean, if anything?

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the first thing I'll say, Ryan, Don, is this lawsuit has no legs much less feet. How do you like that one?

But the issue is this. If you think about it, this would establish a parade of horribles, right? And what would that mean? It means that, any attorney who has a talk show regarding law, you're going to sue them for malpractice?

You have a doctor who's dispensing or talking about advice. You're suing them? You have a financial adviser or planner. You're suing them?

So, I think the law is concerned about imposing a legal duty even and I think they're going to look to have the case dismissed on that ground.

RYAN SMITH, HOST, HLN'S "EVENING EXPRESS": Maybe, but they should -- this show at the very least should have a disclaimer at the end of it, saying we're not giving medical advice. Please consult a doctor before trying any of this.

But here's the thing. I don't see the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Oz didn't know his particular condition.

Also, you mentioned, he said wear it for 20 minutes. This guy fell asleep with them and then woke up and had these bruises. That is a problem.

In cases like this when you talk about what I assume is going to be malpractice here, kind of negligence, the idea is, OK, is there an intervening cause? Because they've got to prove some sort of causation.

So, did the man have a condition? Did he make it too hot in the microwave? Did he wear it too long? There are so many other factors that come in here.

LEMON: I want to read a statement then ask a question. Here's what Dr. Oz is saying, a statement from Dr. Oz.

"At this time 'The Dr. Oz Show' has not been served with any complaint and, therefore, cannot comment on the matter. However, we stand by the content in our program as safe and educational for our viewers."

So, that being said, is it common sense? What is this going to mean for -- I want to know for people who are giving advice on television?

Are they going to think twice about doing it for this lawsuit? You say it's going to be thrown out, but you never know.

SMITH: I would think twice. You got to give a disclaimer. That's number one.

But you can't over disclaim on a TV show. We know that.

So, there's a common sense element here.

JACKSON: Of course.

And viewer discretion is always advised. And this person has a particular condition, that's numbness. I mean, OK. Your feet can't feel it. But could your hand feel it?

LEMON: Have you watched the Dr. Oz show? Everything is advice. Every single segment is advice.

SMITH: But I don't follow it as if he is my doctor.

LEMON: Right.

SMITH: And that is where we're lacking in this suit, I think.

JACKSON: Because that's where the special relationship is created that imposes a legal duty that I think is absent here.

LEMON: What about just talk shows? He's a doctor. What about on talk shows, if someone says, hey, Don, I have a question I want to ask you in the "Hey, Don" segment.

And I say maybe you should break up with your girlfriend because -- am I then liable for splitting up that relationship?

SMITH: It depends on the circumstances. That's a good question.

That's a lawyer's answer, but I'll tell you this. There is a sense, let's say you say to somebody, hey, run out in the street and jump off a bridge. Obviously, that is not a good thing to say. You have to take into account as a host what that person is going through.

So, you can't just throw things out there to people. But at the same time, if you're giving innocuous advice and it's generalized advice and you're not telling somebody do something specifically that can harm them, I think that's a very tough case to sue on.

JACKSON: It is. And I think there is a degree of common sense here, Don, right? We have to be sure we check it and ensure that we do what's right for us. Regardless of what the doctor says.

LEMON: New show, three brothers on a couch giving advice.

JACKSON: Behave yourself.

SMITH: What a show that would be.

LEMON: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it, Joey. Thank you, Ryan Smith, as well.

A major change for Monster Energy drinks, but you won't taste the difference. We're going to tell you why the company is now calling the drink a "conventional food."


LEMON: Monster Energy drinks will no longer be marketed as a dietary supplement. They are getting a new label that qualifies them to be marketed as a conventional food.

What does that mean? It means Monster will be required to list facts. It won't have to tell federal regulators about reports that potentially link its products to death and injuries.

The company says it is making the change so it can be more transparent about caffeine levels.

Monster is fighting a lawsuit that claims a teenager died from high caffeine levels in its drink.

Good or bad that they're doing this?

SMITH: More transparency is good, but I want to see it to go further. Why not disclose everything?

JACKSON: Absolutely. If it helps the consumer then it's a wonderful thing.

We know the real motivation behind it, but you know what? At the end of the day, if people are helped and less people injured, why not?

LEMON: And when you drink these drinks, you know you are drinking a lot of caffeine before, the studies have been shown, and you're not sure exactly how much caffeine is in there.

Hey, thank you, guys.

JACKSON: Monster.

LEMON: All right, thanks, three brothers on a couch. Appreciate it.

THE LEAD now with Jake Tapper starts right now.