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Two Teenaged Boys Accused of Shooting 13-Month-Old Baby; Spring Snowstorm Pounds Colorado; President Barack Obama Concludes His Middle East Trip; Jimmy Fallon Rumored to Replace Jay Leno on Tonight's Show; Joe Weider Dies at Age 93
Aired March 23, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here. The stories you're talking about in just a moment. But first, let's get you up to speed on some of the day's headlines.
President Barack Obama back home after a busy trip to the Middle East. He arrived at joint base Andrews earlier after his first visit to Israel as president. The trip also took him to the West Bank and Jordan. Secretary of state John Kerry didn't return on Air Force One. He stayed behind to hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The defendant's motion to vacate the judgment of conviction is granted.
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LEMON: David Ranta was freed from prison after spending more than two decades behind bars for a murder, a murder he didn't commit. Tonight, he is recovering from a heart attack. David Ranta was wrongly convicted of killing a New York rabbi in 1990. Ranta's lawyer said he plans to sue the city of New York.
And Joe Weider died today. He is a legend in the world of body building and he controlled the sports' biggest fitness empire. In the 1960s, Weider introduced the world to a young athlete from Austria named Arnold Schwarzenegger. You might remember that. He also founded the Mr. Olympia competition. He create the magazines "Muscle and Fitness" and also "Flex." Joe Weider died at his Los Angeles home. He was 93-years-old.
Here's what else we're working on.
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LEMON: Did you know your neighbor or friend could be a sociopath? With all the high-profile murders trials lately, we checked and found a surprising statistic. Hope you're sitting down.
Is America going gay? At least some of the paths towards gay marriage. The Supreme Court is about to weigh in. So goes the court, so goes the entire country. The late-night shuffle, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, Tina Fey. Who's out? Who's in? Let's talk.
Plus, what could possibly make me do this on national TV?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All that in just a moment.
But first this, a small town in Georgia, it is a weekend of sadness, shock and anger. This is where a mother and her 13-month-old child were both shot allegedly by teenagers who pulled guns and demanded money. The mother was shot in the leg, the child in a stroller was killed. People who heard the gunfire called 911.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It appears that her baby's been shot.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. Listen to me, ma'am, is the baby breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. He's in a stroller. I just came out the door. Yes, she's trying to get the baby out now.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. Hold on. Did you hear any shots in the area where it happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, the baby is shot. The baby has been shot.
911 DISPATCHER: Ma'am, listen to me. We've got the people en route to you. I have to ask you these questions. Did you hear the shots in the area?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I heard the shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Police have two teenagers in custody, one is 17, the other 14. They are charged with murder tonight. Earlier today, the child's mother spoke to CNN. She has a message for those boys she says killed her child.
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SHERRY WEST, CHILD'S MOTHER: That I hate you and I don't forgive you and that you killed an innocent human life and that I hope you die for it. And that's how I feel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one would blame you to feel like that.
WEST: You know, because this is the second child that people have taken from me in a tragic way. And that I'm so afraid to have any more babies now. I tried to raise really good kids in a wicked world. So I hope he dies for what he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
This is one of the suspects, a 17-year-old named De'Marquis Elkin. We cannot identify the other boy because of his age. Police say they are being charges and treated as adults.
One of my next guest says, with horrific incidents like that, we may be seeing the work of sociopaths and she says with young - this younger generation, we are going to see a lot more of that. She may be right.
This past week, Ohio school shooter T.J. Lane was sentenced to life in prison. A year ago, he shot six high school students in suburban Cleveland. Three of them died. One of the surviving students now has to use a wheelchair. During this week's sentencing, while these horrific killings were detailed in the courtroom, there Lane is, smiling, giggling and unbelievably here's what he probably wore to that hearing, a t-shirt with the word "killer" written on it. No remorse, no regret, no hint that Lane even felt the killings were wrong.
That is a top trait of a sociopath. This isn't new behavior either. But some experts believe we're seeing more of it in not just boys.
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LEMON: Remember this? Just last fall near Philadelphia, six teenage girls attacked a mentally disabled woman as she sat on her porch, laughing as they beat her, cheering each other on and they shot this video of it. They're the ones who put it on the internet.
Helen Morrison is a forensic psychiatrist and Jim Clemente is a former FBI agent. He was in the FBI's behavioral analysis unit in Quantico.
And Helen, I have two questions for you. This is a sociopath. What's a sociopath and do you believe we are seeing an uptick in their numbers?
DOCTOR HELEN MORRISON, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: First of all, the primary information about a sociopath is that they have no conscience. They don't feel that they have right or wrong in their life. They also note that whatever they do is fine. And we do see an uptick, especially among girls.
Usually in the past, sociopaths or psychopaths were thought to be primarily male. But as you saw in that video, the girls are just as difficult. And there is a definite change and a definite increase in this diagnosis.
LEMON: Jim, with your work with the FBI, did you see an uptick? Do you think we're seeing an uptick?
JIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI PROFILER: Yes, I think we're seeing an uptick. And I think the evidence that we just saw, actually, you should look at with women you're more likely to see group or mob behavior. And that's when they act out that way. Individual women are not as likely to act out that way as men are. But with social media these days, I think they get the feedback right away. They posted that video because they wanted to show off. And I think that adds fuel to the fire.
LEMON: All right. Stay right there, both of you. And we are going to come back in just a moment.
As we said Jim Clemente is here. We're going to talk to a number of people. We're going to talk about the rise in this behavior. And they are going to tell us how we might be able to recognize these straits in people we see every day.
Now, researchers say one out of every 100 people, one out of every 100 people is a sociopath. But it may be a lot higher than that. We are going to talk about that next.
LEMON: One of the best cinematic expressions of sociopath behavior, Stanley Cooper's "A clock worth Orange."
Doctor Helen Morrison is here, a forensic psychologist who says we are seeing a sharp rise in sociopathic behavior in today's youth. Jim Clemente, a retired FBI profiler and former prosecutor.
Jim, you dealt with things like this. And the scary part is that people like this are usually very smart, aren't they?
CLEMENTE: Yes, they usually on the top end of the intelligence scale. And they are very charismatic. They typically have this way of just dealing with people, drawing them in, they typically have a circle of friends around them that they have been able to draw into their cult of personality. Some of them go on to start cults. And you will see that in Jimmy Jones and Apple White, they both started cults in which they were able to convince people, they were so strong, they were able to convinced people to kill themselves for the cause.
LEMON: Jim, what do you think moves someone from sociopath to psychopath?
CLEMENTE: Well, I think sociopaths and psychopaths are sort of the opposite ends of the spectrum. I think they share a lot of the same traits. But the psychopaths are the ones that really go into that violent, criminal and sexual behavior. I think although a sociopath might have multiple sexual partners, a psychopath might have a history of multiple rapes. And I think that's one of the most distinguishing factors.
LEMON: Helen, the numbers we hear is one in every 100 may be a sociopath. Do you agree with that number?
MORRISON: I not only agree with that number but I think it's a bit low, especially in this generation. We're seeing behaviors (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: Helen, we can't hear you. I'm going to go to Jim.
Jim, do you remember a time that you dealt with a case where at first, you know, here's a suspect but then the realization that this person is a sociopath?
CLEMENTE: Sure. I think Robert Spangler was a great example. Here's a guy whose wife and teenage son and daughter were killed and supposedly it was the wife committing murder/suicide. And then a couple of years later, his second wife got away from him. But his third wife accidentally fell off the grand canyon when she was hiking with him. The second wife comes back to console him and she ends up dead of a pill overdose. And then we actually caught him when he was about to bring his fourth wife, his potential fourth wife, to the grand canyon.
And here's a guy who was very intelligent, high in the 160s or 170 I.Q. And he talks to you and he just seems like a normal human being. But then, when you start looking at it deeper, you drill down a little deeper and you see the fantastic stories, the huge ego, the amount of charisma that he had to use to convince his second wife to come back. And then, she ends up with this pill overdose. We eventually realize that these were not accidental deaths or the work of somebody else, but he actually orchestrated all these murders himself, so.
LEMON: When you see all of these high-profile trials playing out on television for people -- there's one going on now, the Jodi Arias trial where she admitted to killing her boyfriend. And it seems she's told the jury and the judge a web of lies. Is it possible that someone like her, that Jodi Arias is a sociopath?
CLEMENTE: Sure. I think she's exhibiting a number of psychopathic traits. First of all, I have to say, she's very intelligent. She's on the level of intelligence of bandy. Her ability to look at the jury in the eye and manipulate them as well as manipulating the prosecutor by basically getting under his skin. She totally undermined his prosecution by needling him with details. She's hyper alert. She is hyper accurate. And unfortunately, the prosecutor is not. So she's able to call him out on these generalities that he uses with very specific language. She's playing a great role. She's obviously, you know, a compulsive liar, and I think her charisma that she is showing and the victim role she's playing is just, it is all an act.
LEMON: What this -- I'm sure you worked with Internet crimes when you were with the FBI. What role does the Internet social media, twitter, facebook, you tube, does it play into any of this?
CLEMENTE: Well, sure. I think, you know, you see most dramatically in situations like what we saw with those young ladies who were attacking that woman where they posted their own violence. It's sort of a way to brag. It's sort of a way to get everybody to see the accomplishments they have made. It actually fuels the fire of people who want to sort of make a name for themselves. I think we see it in school shootings as well. They want to one-up the next or the last biggest shooting. They want to be bigger, more well known than their peers. So, I think it's dangerous because of the instant gratification it gives them and plus the broad reach that putting something into social media networks gives them.
LEMON: This sounds like an odd question. But I've had people talk to -- say this because this next character doesn't exhibit emotion a lot. Do you think our society romanticized some this behavior that you define a socio path? I mean, someone say that someone like James Bond fits into this category?
CLEMENTE: Well, look. He's charismatic, very intelligent, very accomplished. I think in some respects, what we love as a society about sociopaths or psychopaths, their lives are typically just filled with adventure. They get bored very easily. So, they are constantly thrill-seeking. And I don't think you can find a greater example of a thrill-seeker than James Bond in our popular media. Of course, he's not a real person. But I think the people that are in special forces have to have a little bit of that thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie kind of personality.
LEMON: Before we run, Jim. For the people at home, what do we look for if you want to know if your neighbor, your friends, someone you may be dating may be sociopath or psychopathic behavior?
CLEMENTE: Well first of all, they will never admit to being the wrong party. Everything is always somebody else's fault. And I think, you know, when you see some of them, they will talk sort of as if they are grander than the average person. They refer to themselves as "we" a lot. They will get you sort of hooked into things on the spur of the moment. You will make plans to go away for the weekend and they will have made plans to instead climb a mountain and be gone for a week. They always want to push the envelope. They are doing more and more and more.
I think that if you actually drill down and ask them for details of the kind of wild stories that they weave, they will get very mad. And if you call them on their integrity, they will attack you rather than addressing the issues that you bring up. I think all those things, if you find them together, we will see some of those individual characteristics. But when you find all those things together in one person, you might be living next door to a sociopath.
LEMON: It sounds like a couple of people I know.
Thank you very much, Jim Clemente. And of course, thank you, Helen Morrison, Doctor Helen Morrison. I'm sorry we lost her audio. And we appreciate both of you.
Coming up here on CNN.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pronounce you legally married.
LEMON: Is America going gay? At least on the path towards gay marriage. The Supreme Court is about to weigh in. So goes the court, so goes the entire country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The Supreme Court will hear two landmark cases involving same- sex marriage beginning Tuesday. And people are already ling up outside the high court hoping to hear the arguments.
One of the cases is a challenge to the defense of marriage act which prohibits federal recognition of gay marriages. The other is a challenge of California's "proposition 8", a ban on same-sex marriage that was approved by voters. That's just days away now.
Earlier this month, the president who signed the defense of marriage act 17 years ago had a change of heart in a "Washington Post" op ed. Former president Bill Clinton wrote, as the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is in fact incompatible with our constitution.
President Clinton has said in essence, back then it was less of a condemnation of gay marriage and a may be bit of legal maneuvering. I asked CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to explain that.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think all we can say for sure at this point is Bill Clinton thinks it was a mistake to sign DOMA. He wrote an op-ed piece a couple of weeks ago saying that whatever justification he may have had in 1996 was not good enough. And he, like virtually the entire Democratic Party now, repudiates it and wants to see it overturned.
LEMON: So, this isn't a sort of thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision, right? I mean, this is the Supreme Court. So, what are we looking at here?
TOOBIN: Well, this is a bit of a Rubik's cube, both, the defense of marriage act and the challenge of "proposition 8", the case, the law that ban same-sex marriage in California.
The defense of marriage act case refers to the federal law that says the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages even in states where it's legal. So people -- gay people who are married in New York and New England and all of the states where it's legal, they can't file joint tax returns, they can't get Social Security survivor's benefits. If the Supreme Court upholds DOMA, all of that remains the same. If they overturn it, the federal government will have to treat married people as married people.
LEMON: In recent polling shows that more than half of the country now in support of same-sex marriage. Is it that way? Does the court line up that way as well?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, this is always a very difficult question is what effect does public opinion have on the justices? The official answer is none. They just apply the constitution. The real-world answer is, plenty. There are five Republicans and four Democrats on the Supreme Court. That's pretty much all you need to know.
However, one of the Republicans is Anthony Kennedy who has been generally very supportive of gay rights. So many people think he will join the Democrats in voting to overturn DOMA.
LEMON: You know, neither of us who is old enough, but you know, when we are talking about interracial marriage, I would imagine it was a very similar situation at that time.
TOOBIN: Well, you know, the parallels to the case you're referring to, loving versus Virginia, 1967, the case that said states could no longer ban racial intermarriage, that was a big deal at the time. And there were still 19 states where racial intermarriage was illegal, when Barack Obama's parents got married in 1960 in Hawaii.
So, the country changed. And that law is not only unconstitutional now, it's unthinkable. And the question is, is same-sex marriage moving in the same direction? At the moment, it does. But it's certainly not there yet.
LEMON: Jeffrey, I know you don't like to make predictions about these things, but what do you think is going to happen? Do you have any idea?
TOOBIN: Well, I think the most likely result is that the court will overturn the defense of marriage act, will say that that law is so discriminatory, it's unconstitutional. The "proposition 8" case is a much tougher call. There are a lot more moving parts. They could rule just in California, they could rule for the whole country. They could dodge the issue on procedural grounds. So that one, I'm not even going to venture a guess on.
LEMON: All right. Again, thank you, Jeffrey Toobin.
LEMON: A well-respected conservative senator, the latest Republican to endorse gay marriage. Are we seeing the beginning of a shift among Republicans? We are asking the former chairman of the log cabin Republicans next.
LEMON: Just days before the Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage, the Republican Party has announced plans to get beyond itself, that self-described stereotype of being too old, too white and too closed to minorities younger votes.
R. Clarke Cooper is here, former chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans, a grassroots organization of gay and lesbian Republicans.
Good to see you. R. CLARKE COOPER, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOG CABIN REPUBLICAN: Good to see you, Don.
LEMON: What do you make of he said. He said he is reaching out to gay people and everybody at home sort of gasped and a little water, whatever they are drinking. What do you make of it?
COOPER: Well, this isn't new. I mean, to be fair, chairman Priebus, as soon as he was elected chairman back in 2011, was very aggressive about reaching out to all the different affinity groups or ancillary groups within the Republican Party, including Log Cabin Republicans.
In fact, he was the first chairman to make it clear that the corporate culture in the chairman's office at the RNC, as soon as Reince Priebus came in, was to be inclusive and welcoming. He took a lot of hits for that during his first term as chairman. Obviously, got re-elected.
LEMON: Yes. But, Listen, Clarke. Let me in here. Don't filibuster me. None of that played out. We heard none of that in the last election. We heard the exact opposite from the GOP in the last election.
COOPER: Well, what you're talking about is you're talking about the platform which was an anchor around our neck during the election cycle. And that was very clear amongst many in leaderships which is why there is growth and opportunity project is very important. I think it was a very aggressive, pragmatic approach, very similar to an after-military operation. You do an after-action review.
The party was very honest about our weaknesses and why we aren't attracting the voters that we should attract. So no, it's very healthy. I mean, this is the first chairman to actually recognize the LGBT members of the party as well as the community at large.
LEMON: OK. So, Clarke, Reince Priebus doing it is one thing. But for people who are actually running, the people who are visible, the people who are trying to seeking offices, for them it's, you know, one thing for him to say it. But for them to actually get it and get out on the campaign stump and go into their own communities and promote that, that is another thing. Do you think they get it?
COOPER: You're right, it is. Well, some do. Some candidates do. If you look at if House level races in 2012. You had leaders in the House like Pete Sessions of Texas, Eric Cantor, the majority leader, really reach out in their young guns program to make sure there were candidates that were very welcoming to the party to at positions that were either support of an employment non-discrimination and or marriage equality. Richard, to say, is a perfect example of a Republican House candidate, openly gay Republican embraced and run by the party. He did not win his race. But it was a symbolic step within party leadership to say, we're getting behind this candidate. We're going to support this candidate and his orientation isn't an issue. And he says he's going to support to repeal DOMA when he gets in Congress.
LEMON: So, then, what do you say to the Reince Priebus -- I'm sorry, to the Michele Bachmanns of the world, to the Mitt Romneys of the world, to the people who are at the top of the party who everyone listens to? What do you say to them?
COOPER: I mean, Don, I can tell you what I shared with governor Romney when he was running for president. It was to say, regardless of where you may personally feel, you have to take a pragmatic approach to this. Haley Barbour, Governor Barbour, governor of Mississippi from RNC chairman. He is one of the authors of the growth and opportunity project report. He made a very clear message way before the 2012 election that purity is the enemy of victory.
So, if one just looks at numbers as far as winning an election and making sure that you're getting out the positive message of opportunity, individual liberty, personal responsibility that you're the party of opportunity, then it does need to be inclusive. And there needs to be a reality check that hey, you know, there's about 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in this country and the majority of Americans support equal workplace opportunity and the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. Those are realities you have to recognize and be cognizant of that.
LEMON: At one point, we were all illegal immigrants. Let's not forget that. That a certain point.
So, listen. You know, I ask you, what do you tell to people - what do you tell people that when you are looking like Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, when you look at CPAC, right, and the messages -- not from everybody that was coming out of CPAC, but for many of the members coming out of CPAC, it seemed like it was 50 years ago. You're like, what century are these people living in?
And I say that because I have a number of friends who, some of them gay, said, you know, I would love to be a part of a fiscally conservative party. But when all of the hatred comes out on the social issues and the craziness comes out, I cannot be affiliated with that.
COOPER: Well, in that, you are touching upon the battle that happened during the week prior to the Republican National Convention. There was actual debate. But this is where the generational divide was extremely present was that you had some much, much older members of the party who are delegates on that platform drafting committee who did not want to look at these realities. In fact, there was a healthy debate, there were two amendments offered to insert support for civil unions. There is even one amendment offered to strike any reference to DOMA at all from the platform. If you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all. It was a very divisive debate. But, what one saw was is that it was a much older generation that was taking a lead on that language.
LEMON: So, you think it's generational among Republicans?
COOPER: Not completely. But that is if you look at all the different data points, as far as where we're looking at growth and opportunity, we're looking at younger voters, we're looking at voters that have not been lately enfranchised by the party. LEMON: All right. I have to run because people might be saying we have to move on. Last time you were here, you said you were resigning as head of the Log Cabin Republican because you wanted to start a life, family and get married. Where are you on that?
COOPER: Wow. OK. You are, again, I think you and my mom must talk offline. I have a boyfriend now. There's a guy I met actually at the capitol the day of the vote of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." He is fellow army officer. He happens to be in Afghanistan right now.
LEMON: So, you're on your way?
COOPER: Yes, no pressure.
LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. That's all I needed to hear. Good for you. And I'm sure Mrs. Cooper, the mom, is very happy about it. Thank you, Clarke. Hood to see you. Hope to see you soon.
COOPER: All right, Don.
LEMON: All right.
Coming up after this quick break.
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LEMON: The album that defined a generation hits a milestone. Find out how fans of Pink Floyd are marking the event.
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LEMON: It was the soundtrack for a generation. Pink Floyd's "dark side of the moon." The groundbreaking album turns 40 this weekend and no doubt fans worldwide will be marking the event in their own unique ways. Have a listen now to NPR's Bob Boilen and his memories of what it was like to hear groundbreaking sounds for the first time.
BOB BOILEN, HOST, ALL SONGS CONSIDERED NPR MUSIC: "Dark side of the moon" sort of made all those psychedelic songs that they made that were always long, long forms, 18 minutes, very much more concise. And it think that was what did it. And I think it influenced -- look at sampling, look at what people did with sampling ten years later and look at what the cash register sound of money is. I mean, they did that with tape. But it basically put natural sounds, other kinds of sounds besides musical instruments into pop music which really changed, you know, the face of pop music in many ways.
LEMON: And you see the -- there's a copy of the album cover up on the screen. But, what do you think of the cover? It is a beam of light going through a glass prism. There is a figure one on the side. What's the meaning of that, do you think? BOILEN: How many hours you and I sat and just stared at that cover while we listened to that record. I think it's about simplicity and things that are complex. I mean, here it is, you have a beam of white light. But what does white light made of? White light is made of so many different elements and all the different colors. So, even the most simple of things is complicated.
LEMON: Let's be honest here. A lot of potheads listened to this.
BOILEN: I think there's a real complicated, interesting story of drugs and creativity, alcohol creativity, long for authors, writers, painters and Pink Floyd are no exception to that, and listeners. And I think those sort of mind-altering things are help or make people think of things in different ways, you know. And there's a negative side to it and an awful side to it. There's a creative side to it and it's all part of the big puzzle of life and creativity.
I waited a year for that record to come out. No one knew what it was. And when that record came out, it was absolutely mind-bogglingly beautiful. I've loved Pink Floyd. But this was better than anything they had ever done. It was just a step above in terms of lyrics, in terms of sound. And so many things, it was what the album was made for -- to tell a story, to make you think, layers and layers of meaning. You can listen to -- still I've put it on the 40th anniversary on the day of, and I listened to it, side a and b. Still loved it.
LEMON: I still comb like album stores, vinyl stores. And you can find some really, really cool things. You know, I miss -- being nostalgic here. If you remember, every couple of weeks, every a couple of months, you go to the record store and they play the new records for you. You discover something. That doesn't happen much anymore, does it?
BOILEN: Well, I was the dude in the store. We played the stuff. And I remember we played that record over and over again in the store. And people would walk in, you know, there are records that have a vibe. Immediately, you walk into a room and it changes the room. And "dark side of the moon" was exactly that. It completely changed. When people walked into our record store, they were like, what is this? No one had heard stuff like this before. For the most part, right, on the radio, then, you could listen to Bread and Raspberries and, you know, just fairly bland music. And then there was Pink Floyd.
LEMON: Humor is one of the president's most powerful tools. But my next guest says the current president uses it as a weapon. I will explain right after this.
LEMON: Presidents have used humor for years to sidestep questions, divert attention. But more often than not, it was self-deprecating in nature poking fun at themselves. Comedian Dean Obeidallah could do an entire show making fun of himself, I'm sure, on many series.
But Dean, you wrote this week that President Obama used his comedy as a weapon. First, we have President Bush doing to presidential humor. We have seen more of than a couple from President Obama.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is my last White House correspondents' dinner as president. You know, I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. After he left office, vice president Gore won an Oscar and the Nobel peace prize. Hey, I don't know, I might win a prize, publishing clearinghouse or something.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, I went shopping at some stores in midtown. I understand governor Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.
It's great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So Dean, you see this as a big change in presidential joking, right? The attack comic.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Yes, it is. And I wrote about it in my CNN opinion article. I said I wish people would go. And you can see the contrast in jokes from Reagan making fun of himself for being old famously. Bush made fun of his inability to speak English. He actually made fun of that. As comedians, we made fun, he did too. Self-deprecating humor, you can't go wrong. It makes people like you. No one's offended because you're making fun of yourself. I should do more self-deprecating humor so people might like me. I think that is my dream.
But President Obama's turned it around. He does it like a comedian. He does it like "the Daily Show." The comedy has a message in it. People go, it's just jokes. No, that's not how political comedy work. IN political comedy, there's an embedded message and he's trying to further a point. And this one, the jokes we heard about Romney was to show Romney is rich. And I know to settle thing. We all know he is rich. But he keeps reaffirms that over and over. Romney is not like you and us. He is not like us. He's a rich man. Different thing. It's subtle but effective.
LEMON: Yes. But sometimes the best way we learn is through humor with a tinge of humor in it -- it's like sugar that makes the pill go down, right? There is a fine line, though. The president jokes like that, they can backfire.
OBEIDALLAH: They could if he went too far. And we are not saying President Obama's out there writing his jokes. He has joke writers involved. But he picks the jokes and he has to approve the jokes. And you can go too far. Obama hasn't yet I think because we are all conditioned by "the Daily Show." I mean, Jon Stewart took over in 1999. And we have Colbert after that. We are used to people using comedy in a biting way that makes a point. And it can be on the edge of cool at time. But for as long as it is funny, I think, you know, it's like politics. It's OK.
LEMON: President have comics on their writing team on the payroll?
OBEIDALLAH: No. Well, I guess, correspondents, you know, which is in April, he will have people, I know people wrote in the past when Seth Myers was doing it. So, I wouldn't even know (ph). So, I know comics were helping President Obama write jokes. I'm not saying President Obama doesn't write any jokes. But let's be honest. He's president of the United States. He is doing things like the world. Jokes are for guys like me. Do you need some jokes, Don? I'm ready to write some self-deprecating jokes.
LEMON: You wrote me some jokes for a roast once. And I didn't use one of them. But don't go anywhere, Dean. We have a lot coming up.
Take a look at this.
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LEMON: The late-night shuffle. Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Myers, Tina Fey. Who's out? Who's in? Let's talk.
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JAY LENO, HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO: Doctors in Canada were shocked after pulling a three-inch knife blade from the back of a 32-year-old man. The knife had been in there for three years. Imagine that. Guy had a knife in his back for three years. He must have work at NBC, too. I couldn't believe that.
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LEMON: Jay Leno firing fresh jabs at his employer. The rumor mill is cranked up with reports about NBC possibly replacing Leno with Jimmy Fallon next year. Fallon's camp is staying very quiet these days. Rumor has it that "the Tonight Show" could even move back to New York if Fallon takes the helm. Fallon has gone a long way. He has gone a long way very fast.
Comedian Dean Obeidallah is back. He is the co-host of new CNN.com weekly podcast, "the big three." And you worked with Jimmy Fallon for years on "Saturday Night Live," Dean. So, give us your take on Fallon.
OBEIDALLAH: Sure. I remember Jimmy vividly when he was auditioning, he was 23-years-old. That was the first time I met him, the nervous guy in the whole - right before going to 8H studio to audition for "Lauren Michaels." And the producers - I could remember him nervously holding his guitar. We talked for a minute or two. And I saw this whole trajectory of a guy who went from unknown, becoming a star on the show, now to about to take the seat of basically the king of comedy. I mean, you dream as a comedian just to be on "the Tonight Show" let alone to host of "the tonight show."
So, it is great. You know what, Jimmy is a truly nice guy and unbelievably talented. And I think it will be a great fit for him. I think it's actually going to work out. I think mid America is going to like it as much as people in the cities which is a rare combination. He's like a young Johnny Carson.
LEMON: You can talk more about Fallon. What I don't understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, the ratings for Jay Leno are still very strong. He's number one. He beats all of them. So, why change horses in midstream if he's still doing OK?
OBEIDALLAH: He's number one when you see the ratings. But in advertising sales, it's gone down a lot from the last few years because it's not doing as well. He's beating Letterman. They're really concerned about the future. They're concerned a lot about Jimmy Kimmel, frankly. That's the biggest concern from NBC.
LEMON: I love Kimmel.
OBEIDALLAH: That Jimmy is going to take - Jimmy Kimmel is going to take the young people. So, it's now, you know, you can wait a few more years for Jay or do it now. And I reached out to people, I know at Jimmy Fallon's show and no one would respond to me. But, if it is true, he is going to leave. And then, guess what, they're going to need a replacement for Jimmy Fallon's show.
LEMON: Yes. Who is that going to be?
LEMON: Seth Myers, may be.
OBEIDALLAH: No, I'm ready. Don, I'm ready.
LEMON: No, no, seriously. Who's that going to be? Seth Myers.
OBEIDALLAH: I'll go to network. You're a basic cable guy.
I think Seth Myers. From everything I read because under Lauren Michaels, per view and Seth's had a great job. I worked with Seth for years. There's another guy I met who was unknown and became very famous. Great writer. I think he would do an excellent job. He's a different personality than Jimmy. Jimmy's playful like a little puppy dog. So much enthusiasm. It's contagious. Seth is a little bit more serious but fabulous writer.
LEMON: We haven't seen a woman in there since Joan Rivers. And I think Tina Fey would be terrific. And you know, I love Joan Rivers. And I would like to see her come back.
OBEIDALLAH: I don't think, but I think Tina would be great or Amy Poehler. But, I'm not sure if they would it this time in her life. They have kids and they're doing movies and stuff. So, it's different.
LEMON: I just moved you along because, I mean, come on, it's never going to happen. You're never going to do that.
OBEIDALLAH: Don, you never know. I mean, first, I've got a podcast now on CNN. That's step one. Next thing, you tube. After that, you know, basic some public access.
LEMON: Don't be downing basic cable if you're working for a basic cable company. That's your gate. Chill out.
OBEIDALLAH: I'm not making - this is joke. This is comedy. This is comedy, Don.
LEMON: Coming up -- thank you, Dean.
OBEIDALLAH: Good bye, Don.
LEMON: Coming up.
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LEMON: What could possibly make me do this on national TV?
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DOC HENDLEY, CNN HERO: Here in the U.S., it's hard for us to understand the water crisis because we have it right at our fingertips. There are some countries where it takes many women and children four and five hours every single day just to get water. And then it's absolutely filthy and it is making the children sick. When you see that firsthand, you can't help but be changed from that.
My name is Doc Hendley. I used to be a bartender. And now, I bring water to the world.
CNN heroes changed everything. Before, we were able to reached four different countries. Now, we're in 15 different countries. Syria is our latest one.
In Syria, every single day, people are leaving their homes, fleeing to the border areas. In these camps, the living conditions are terrible. They don't have access to even the basic essentials.
Right now, we are actively working in two camps in the northwestern region of Syria. I was able to bring about 350 water filters just a couple of months ago. Syria is the very first location that we are actually using these filters. They filter up to 250 gallons of water every single day for ten years. We have a partnership with an organization called Stop Hunger Now. We will be sending a container with about 250,000 meals and another thousand water filters. This will be just the first of many shipments hopefully.
There's really no way to describe the feeling when you see a family have crystal clear, clean water for the first time. A lot of people think, what can we do? But if you can make a difference in one family's life, that's a huge thing.
LEMON: Moment of the week now. It's the kind of sound bite every journalist can only hope to get, dramatic, unpredictable and wildly entertaining. And every now and then, one comes along that becomes an internet sensation. Remember this one?
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SWEET BROWN, ESCAPED APARTMENT FIRE: And then the smoke got me. I got bronchitis! Isn't nobody got time for that.
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LEMON: You tube star Sweet Brown has already racked up some 70 million hits or how about Kai, the homeless hitchhiker with a hatchet who stopped a crazed driver?
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KAI, HOMELESS HITCHHIKER: These two women are trying to help him. He runs up and he grabs one of them, man. With a guy that big can snap a woman's neck like a pencil stick. So, (bleep) right behind with the (INAUDIBLE). Smash! Smash! Smash!
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LEMON: Now, there is a new clip to add to the list. This features Michelle Clark at Berkshire, Texas. Listen.
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MICHELE CLARK, DESCRIBES HAIL STORM: Came in, I opened my door and I looked out my door and starting hit me on my head. I took off running, ran to my restroom and called my Mama to see if she is alright. We had a hail party at 2:00.
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LEMON: From the CNN World Headquarters, I'm Don Lemon.