Return to Transcripts main page
PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Tiger Woods Back on Top; Interview with John Ziegler
Aired March 25, 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, Tiger back on top. Number one in the world just two years after hitting rock bottom.
TIGER WOODS, WINS FOR 8TH TIME AT BAY HILL: It feels good right now.
MORGAN: Is this his second great act?
Also, Jerry Sandusky's jailhouse interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SANDUSKY, FORMER PENN STATE ASSISTANT COACH: We were horse playing, you know, maybe slap boxing, snapping towels or something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A primetime exclusive with the controversial filmmaker who claims there's been a rush to judgment in the case. I'll go one- on-one with him.
And guns in America. I'll talk to the mother of a 13-month-old baby gunned down in his stroller.
Also, as the Supreme Court takes on same-sex marriage, I'll talk to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who drops his bombshell when he resigned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MCGREEVEY, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: My truth is that I am a gay American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Would things have been different for him today?
This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. We'll get to Jerry Sandusky's interview from behind bars in just a moment. Filmmaker John Ziegler is here to talk about that. But we begin with the one and only Tiger Woods. He had an extraordinary return to his winning ways at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida, today, going from worst to first in just two years. OK. He failed to sink this 74-foot par attempt on the 18th but just about parred and birdied everything else in a dazzling round and it took him back to number one.
Joining me now is "USA Today" columnist Christine Brennan, on the phone, Zach Johnson, the nine-time PGA Tour champion, who finished in a tie with 34th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
So welcome to you both.
Christine, let me start with you, if I may. A stunning, a stunning come back from Tiger Woods. No other way to put it. He's world number one again. At his worst and his abyss after the scandal he went to number 58 in the world, he lost most of his sponsors, he lost most of the public support, and here he is back on top. What do you make of it?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: I think it's a great comeback. And he's 37 years old with a body that skews older, Piers, because of the injuries he's had. So it really is remarkable from the fall from grace. Of course, all self-induced. The personal troubles back around Thanksgiving of 2009 to this moment.
Many of us didn't think he would get there. Now of course the masters is looming just two weeks away. He is the favorite. He almost has to win the masters in terms of really reestablishing himself as the man. He's number one but as he always told us, those four majors are the most important things to him. He wants that masters more than anything in two weeks.
MORGAN: Let's listen to what Tiger said today, particularly prophetic given that it was, of course, text messaging that got him into trouble in the first place. Listen to what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: It feels good right now. I was kind of scrolling through my phone and all the people who have supported me and all the texts and saying, thank you, you know, trying to text back thank you as fast as I possibly can. And -- but it's been incredible to have all the support and all the hard work has paid off to get me to this point, and it feels good to have won this event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Let me go to you now, Zach, if I may. You have beaten Tiger, you have been beaten by Tiger. Some are saying he's now playing better than he was before. Do you go along with that?
ZACH JOHNSON, 9TH TIME PGA TOUR CHAMPION (via phone): You know, I don't know. I mean, yes, there was a stretch there where, you know, he was truly unbeatable. I mean, there was a period of time where it was almost as if before he teed it off, he had already beaten, you know, a pretty good percentage of the field.
I don't know if he's at that point yet. But you know, his form is rounding into shape like that. I just think, you know, with what's gone on over the last few years, he's really had some injuries and obviously he's retooled his golf swings, and he's working with a new coach, well, he's somewhat of a new coach, Sean Foley, now he's starting to get back there. And every time he switches coaches, it just takes a little bit of time.
And I think he's starting to get used to that golf swing, starting to get used to just, you know, playing a lot more because he's healthy and, you know, obviously, you have to putt well. And clearly that's what he's doing right now.
MORGAN: And, Christine, just one slight spanner in the works tonight is that Nike put out this poster embracing his great triumph today. Could we see it here? We've got a copy of this. But it basically says that winning overcomes everything was the sort of theme of this thing.
Is that an advised position for Nike, do you think, to say that look, in the end, winning is all that counts, it supersedes everything, even the kind of marital disharmony that he went through?
BRENNAN: That is so typical of Nike, Piers. This is exactly what they do, that the in-your-face advertising, it's the thing that no one else would do, Nike does.
Now how does America react to that? My reaction was the same as what you just said, which is you've got to be kidding me. You know, that after all of this, it's almost like making fun of it or saying hey, you know, who cares about that. You know, Tiger Woods of course torched his family life. You know, he -- you know, he cheated repeatedly on his wife, his kids, you know.
To kind of assume that's just the brush of a hand now, that is Nike to a tee, that is vintage Nike. But I'm not so sure that that sells so well to the -- you know, to the American public at large.
MORGAN: What sells better, I think, is probably his relationship with Lindsey Vonn and some are saying look, he's got a woman back in his life and he's playing great golf again. There may be a link here. Do you think that a more relaxed, happy Tiger has been the answer to a lot of his problems?
BRENNAN: Yes, you know, that's possible. I've covered Lindsey Vonn for a long time. I've covered Tiger for a long time. And I think that Lindsey Vonn may be the tougher, more courageous athlete in terms of going down the mountain, barreling down the mountain back in 2006, people might remember she crashed in an Olympic race at the 2006 games, Piers, in Torino.
She was airlifted off the mountain. Two days later she comes back and she finishes eighth in another Olympic race. That is one tough cookie. And so, you know, having an equal, having a peer, having someone who can understand what it's like to come back from injuries, that's what Lindsey Vonn of course is doing right now with a very severe knee injury as she's trying to get back for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. So I would assume there's a camaraderie there in terms of just being able to discuss life at the top in your sport. And obviously, as Tiger says, it makes him very happy. And Lindsey's happy so I guess everybody is happy.
MORGAN: Yes, and he's paid his price. So I think he's perfectly entitled to be happy. And he's great to see him back at number one. Final question for you, Zach. I would imagine that Tiger Woods right now is the last name you want to draw out of the hat at the masters.
JOHNSON: Well, you know, I don't know if there is any name I want to draw out of a -- out of a hat there. It's a smaller field, it's an elite field, it's a field that -- where everybody tries to rise up. I mean, you know, it doesn't really matter, you know, who's coming down the stretch. And everybody -- when it comes to Augusta National and the Masters Tournament, we're all -- we're all Jonesing to win, all Jonesing to play well.
And Tiger has the experience. He certainly has more green jackets, you know, than all of us in the field. And he's going to be tough to beat. Given that, you know, there's a lot of depth and a lot of parity in our sport right now. And I know what we've seen the last -- well, since January, pretty remarkable what Tiger is doing. However, you know, nothing ceases to amaze me in this game of him being one of those examples and it wouldn't surprise me if, you know, someone else that we're not even familiar with rises up and wins. So, you know, golf in a great state and certainly having Tiger play well doesn't hurt.
MORGAN: Well, I'm going to have a large wager on Tiger Woods to win the Masters. I think he's in an unstoppable frame of mind. He's back at number one. He's found love again. Nothing can stop him.
Zach, Christine, thank you both very much.
BRENNAN: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: I want to turn to the other big story of the day. Jerry Sandusky speaking out from behind bars for the first time since going to prison for child sex abuse while at Penn State. A new documentary titled "The Framing of Joe Paterno," Sandusky talks about the late visionary coach and claims that key witnesses in the case changed their stories.
Joining me now in his first primetime interview, documentary maker, John Ziegler.
Welcome to you, Mr. Ziegler. What is the purpose of the film that you are making?
JOHN ZIEGLER, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, first of all, there is already a film made called "The Framing of Joe Paterno Part One." This Jerry Sandusky interview may be part of a larger film. "Framing of Joe Paterno." It's an honor to be with you. You've actually inspired part of my work here because on the day of Jerry Sandusky's verdict when you were anchoring here on CNN, you declared that Joe Paterno was part -- clearly part of a cover-up.
I thought that was ridiculous because there was no evidence for that then. There's no evidence for that now. It doesn't even make any sense. The media rushed to judgment against Joe Paterno here and against Penn State, and I was trying to use Jerry Sandusky's knowledge to be able to fill in the blanks, the many blanks that we have in the story to try to put together the pieces of this puzzle, which have not yet been fit together.
MORGAN: Do you think Jerry Sandusky is a pedophile?
ZIEGLER: Yes, I do.
MORGAN: So why would you want to give him the oxygen of being able to talk about his victim?
ZIEGLER: Well, actually -- wait a minute. Let's --
MORGAN: Because that's what you're doing.
ZIEGLER: No, I'm not. Let's get something very straight.
MORGAN: You are.
ZIEGLER: No, I'm not. Oxygen? Do you know where he's living? He's living in a super max prison.
MORGAN: He's living where he belongs.
ZIEGLER: That's right. That's fine.
MORGAN: He's a convicted pedophile.
ZIEGLER: But I'm not giving him any oxygen.
MORGAN: He preyed -- he preyed on these poor young kids.
ZIEGLER: Here's -- Piers, here's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get to the truth of this matter. Joe Paterno's dying wish was just find out what the truth was. No one has done that for Joe Paterno.
MORGAN: But Joe Paterno is --
ZIEGLER: I'm trying to do that.
MORGAN: As you know --
ZIEGLER: And the only way to do that is to talk to the central figure in this story. MORGAN: Right.
ZIEGLER: And that's Jerry Sandusky. And when there is corroborating evidence, which there is for much of what Jerry says with regard to Penn State and Joe Paterno's lack of culpability, I will use that to try to make the case that this was a rush to judgment.
MORGAN: Let's listen to some of this apparent evidence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIEGLER: You don't remember slapping towels yourself, do you?
SANDUSKY: I'm not actually sure. I would have been more inclined to do slap boxing or something like that. You know, I'm not sure. And then I remember me getting -- he always, no matter what we did, he would always get the last lick in.
OK? He would get the last smack. And then I would chase him, like, and I ran him into a wall. But then I was, like, pulling him back into the -- into the area of the shower, where we were showering, and then that was it. You know, that's -- I never saw Mike McQueary. I don't know whether the young man saw him. I don't know.
ZIEGLER: You're sure you never saw Mike McQueary?
SANDUSKY: I am sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is a man who refused to take the stand in his case, but to you, he's now coming out in this flippant, semi-jocular manner talking about abusing young boys in a shower, regardless whether he raped them or not, he's been convicted. Whether you believe him or not --
ZIEGLER: Well, he was actually acquitted of the rape charge in that particular case.
MORGAN: Right. And he doesn't -- he doesn't dispute running around a shower --
ZIEGLER: I agree.
MORGAN: -- horse playing with a naked boy.
ZIEGLER: Right. I understand. And that's outrageous to a lot of people. Understandably so. I agree with that. In fact, I think one of the more amazing things here is Jerry Sandusky admits to me in my interview with him which is 3 1/2 hours to activity that is actually criminal that I'm not sure he understands is criminal. But the reason why that clip is important is because it's the central issue in the Joe Paterno/Penn State part of the story.
MORGAN: But how --
How does that have anything to do with Joe Paterno?
ZIEGLER: Here's how. Because I'm holding in my hands the corroborating evidence from the -- from alleged victim in that case, victim number two, whose identity I now know. This is an interview he gave to an FBI trained investigator, former police officer on the day Joe Paterno was fired, saying nothing happened that night, Mike McQueary is lying and that investigators tried to get him to lie to say what they wanted to hear him say. That is powerful.
And this is proactively coming from a person who is a 24-year-old married sergeant in the Marine Corps at that time, proactively coming out and saying wait a minute, now I'm not saying nothing happened in the shower. What I'm saying is had we known that on November 9th, 2011, people would have said whoa, wait a minute, hold on, this is a rush to judgment here.
MORGAN: Nine different --
ZIEGLER: Let's find out --
MORGAN: Nine different --
ZIEGLER: No, no, not against Jerry Sandusky, Piers. This is not that difficult to understand.
MORGAN: No, let me --
ZIEGLER: Let's -- Joe Paterno --
MORGAN: No need to be rude.
ZIEGLER: I'm not.
MORGAN: You are being -- you've been very --
ZIEGLER: You've had a year and a half to make your case.
ZIEGLER: You're going to give me --
MORGAN: Not my case.
ZIEGLER: Yes, it is.
MORGAN: Not my case. ZIEGLER: You're claiming he's part of a cover-up.
MORGAN: Jerry -- wait a minute.
ZIEGLER: You claim he's part of a cover-up.
MORGAN: Jerry Sandusky --
ZIEGLER: Did you not --
MORGAN: Jerry Sandusky --
ZIEGLER: You just named Joe Paterno saying he was part of a cover-up. Did you not say that?
MORGAN: I'll tell you what, let's take a break. See if you can calm down.
ZIEGLER: Did you not say that?
MORGAN: See if you can calm down. We'll try again after the break.
MORGAN: I'm back now to talk more about Jerry Sandusky. So let me just get this straight. You don't dispute that Jerry Sandusky abused boys in the shower and this boy in particular in the shower, right?
ZIEGLER: Jerry Sandusky as I said in the previous segment had his day in court. Joe Paterno never did. That's always been my focus. I believed from the beginning --
MORGAN: Please answer my question. Answer my question. You don't dispute that he abused boys in the shower.
ZIEGLER: The evidence is there, he was convicted. I have no problem with that.
MORGAN: Do you know why Joe Paterno was fired?
ZIEGLER: He was allegedly fired for not protecting the very boy whose interview I'm holding in my hand, the day he got fired that there was nothing -- no reason to protect him.
MORGAN: Let me remind you, the board found that while Paterno --
ZIEGLER: You are going to quote the Penn State Board of Trustees?
MORGAN: An employee claimed Sandusky abused a young boy in the shower. They said Paterno should have done more, right. It was a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno. In other words, Mr. Ziegler, Joe Paterno did know that Sandusky was abusing boys in the shower.
ZIEGLER: No, he did not.
MORGAN: Clearly, he did. That's why he was fired.
ZIEGLER: So you're believing the Penn State Board of Trustees who wet their pants in the face of this media onslaught rush to judgment where everything went --
MORGAN: I know you're big on media con conspiracies and you tried to drag me into this. Jerry Sandusky is one of the worst pedophiles I have seen in a long time. Joe Paterno knew he was doing stuff.
ZIEGLER: How do you know that?
MORGAN: Because he reported it to the board. We know this.
ZIEGLER: You know nothing about this case. I know you won "Celebrity Apprentice" so you must be very smart.
MORGAN: Why are you being so offensive? Is it because you had a whole day on the back foot on this?
ZIEGLER: On the back foot? You seem to think this is a commercial endeavor. This is not a commercial endeavor.
MORGAN: How much money you making from it?
ZIEGLER: Zero. I couldn't care less about that.
MORGAN: You don't make any money?
ZIEGLER: This is --
MORGAN: Did you make any money from NBC?
ZIEGLER: No, absolutely. In fact, we didn't even pursue trying to make money.
MORGAN: You didn't make a single penny?
ZIEGLER: Not a single penny.
MORGAN: Your motivation seems to be to clear Joe Paterno, right?
ZIEGLER: I'm trying to figure out what the truth of the matter is.
MORGAN: Please stop being such an idiot, OK?
ZIEGLER: I want to find out the truth.
MORGAN: You're just being offensive for the sake of it. Let me read a statement from the Paterno family.
ZIEGLER: You believe Scott Paterno.
MORGAN: Can I read a family statement? On behalf of the man you say you are trying to clear his name, right?
ZIEGLER: I'm trying to find the truth.
MORGAN: Let me read a statement from the family. The Paterno family would prefer to remain silent on this matter, but they feel it's important to make it clear they had no role in retaining or releasing this recording.
Moreover, they believe any attempt to use this recording as a defense of Joe Paterno is misguided and inappropriate. That's the words of his family. They don't want you doing this.
ZIEGLER: So on the record, then --
MORGAN: Nobody wants you doing this.
ZIEGLER: -- you believe Scott Paterno is credible and therefore you must not believe in the cover-up.
MORGAN: You are now attacking Paterno's family while --
ZIEGLER: You apparently believe --
MORGAN: Is that what you're doing? You are now attacking his family?
ZIEGLER: No. You are saying Scott Paterno is credible so I'm saying -- you said Scott Paterno -- you believe in a cover-up.
MORGAN: On behalf of the Paterno family.
ZIEGLER: You believe in a cover-up.
MORGAN: The only cover-up was by Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno.
ZIEGLER: There is no evidence --
MORGAN: That's why he got fired. Joe Paterno got fired. Of course, he knew. Sandusky was doing things he shouldn't be doing. We may not learn the whole scale of it, but he knew damn well Sandusky was having naked child --
ZIEGLER: How do you know that? That's an incredible charge.
MORGAN: That's why he got fired.
ZIEGLER: You're saying because he got fired, does that inherently mean he's guilty?
MORGAN: Why are you so keen to make these victims go through more pain?
ZIEGLER: That's exactly my motivation.
MORGAN: It's the only thing that is happening as a result.
MORGAN: Calling the victims liars, trying to smear their name. Trying to minimize --
ZIEGLER: I'm not calling anyone a liar.
MORGAN: Trying to minimize what he did.
ZIEGLER: I'm not calling -- in fact, I'm calling the victims truth tellers. Victim two is telling the truth here and is still telling the truth. I believe victim two was probably abused. He's not changing his story. He's changing his interpretation of events.
Stop lying about me. I never said the victims are lying. That would be ridiculous. My only agenda here is to find out what happened. You guys in the media didn't do a good job of that. You bought into a narrative that makes no sense and for which there's no proof.
MORGAN: A courtroom convicted Sandusky of pedophilia and the Board of Penn State fired Paterno, which by any definition, Joe Paterno failed those boys. He failed the boys in his charge.
ZIEGLER: No, he did not.
MORGAN: Yes, he did.
ZIEGLER: He did exactly the right thing. If he had done any more he would have been criticized for that and everything --
MORGAN: If he had done any more to stop Sandusky over years of abusing boys?
ZIEGLER: He didn't know that was happening. Piers, there's no evidence of that. There's no conspiracy here. There is everyone acting in their own self-interest, throwing an old man who died soon after this happened under the bus to protect themselves, including the Penn State board of trustees.
And by the way, everything we thought we knew on November 9, 2011 when the board made that decision is false. Mike McQueary never said he saw a rape. He never told Joe Paterno about a rape and I believe that a rape that night probably never occurred.
MORGAN: What do you think did occur then?
ZIEGLER: I believe that Jerry Sandusky and the victim say almost exactly the same thing occurred. Penn State took action and made sure his employer, which by the way, was no longer Penn State, his employer knew about it and they knew who the boy was.
MORGAN: In between the shrieking just to clarify, you don't disagree that Sandusky abused the boy?
ZIEGLER: How many times do we need to go through this? I couldn't care less about that. He had his day in court. Is this that difficult a concept for you, Piers? You won "Celebrity Apprentice." You're an incredibly smart guy. I would think you can understand the difference between defending Joe Paterno's legacy and whether or not he was actually --
MORGAN: Nobody wants to defend his legacy. His own family don't want you to do this. Joe Paterno's family don't want you doing this.
ZIEGLER: Scott Paterno, you're right, does not want me doing this. I have a lot to say about Scott Paterno.
MORGAN: Give him a chance to carry on tormenting these poor kids with his jocular horrible little --
ZIEGLER: You're excited to have me on to play the clips. You're the one. I don't have the ability to go to a huge broadcast on CNN --
MORGAN: You made a movie out of this.
ZIEGLER: You decided let's play Jerry Sandusky. You're the one tormenting these kids allegedly, which I don't believe it happening. We're trying to get to the truth. You're the one tormenting them by your own definition. Will you please admit there is no cover-up here? What you said on the night of the Sandusky verdict was wrong.
MORGAN: Of course, there was cover-up. It's why Joe Paterno got fired.
ZIEGLER: That was not even the allegation.
MORGAN: Joe Paterno knew that Sandusky was behaving utterly inappropriately towards these young boys over a long period of time.
ZIEGLER: If that was true --
MORGAN: It was a disgraceful dereliction of Joe Paterno's duties.
ZIEGLER: Can you explain why he testified the way he did or allowed Mike McQueary to testify?
MORGAN: Let me bring in somebody else who knows all about this, CNN correspondent Sara Ganim who won a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for our coverage this story. You heard this interview I've been trying to conduct here. What is your take on what my guest has been saying?
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, piers, here's the deal. I sat through that trial every single day. I listened to all those men, including Mike McQueary, testify, and at the end of the day, the jury believed them, every single one of them, including Mike McQueary. They believed he saw something inappropriate in that shower. They convicted him --
ZIEGLER: She won a Pulitzer Prize.
MORGAN: Let her finish.
ZIEGLER: She got a Pulitzer Prize for repeating --
MORGAN: Let her finish what she wants to say, Mr. Ziegler.
MORGAN: Sara, continue. I'm sorry.
GANIM: I think that the only thing we should be focusing on at this point is helping those victims, helping all victims of sexual abuse and helping society understand how we can learn from this tragedy, how we can move forward, how we can protect the next group of kids and the next and protect people, protect our children from people like Jerry Sandusky. I think that what he's talking about right now, what his agenda is, has absolutely nothing to do with that.
ZIEGLER: What about your agenda? Why don't we explain how she got her Pulitzer Prize? She was the mouthpiece --
MORGAN: You know what? I don't want to hear any more from you. Sara, congratulations again on your stunning reporting that won the Pulitzer Prize. To you, Mr. Ziegler, I would take the Paterno family's advice and just disappear. That would be great.
Coming up, guns in America, the shocking story of a mother whose 13-month-old son was shot to death in his stroller last week.
MORGAN: You've heard much heated debate on this show about the cult of gun violence in America. This is a story that is truly shocking. A 13-month-old baby shot to death in his stroller in broad daylight. Two teenagers now facing murder charges tonight and the baby's grieving mother, Sherry West, joins me now.
Sherry, first of all, I'm so terribly sorry for what has topped to you. It's a story that shocked America, shocked the world, and when I first heard about it, seemed almost unbelievable.
Two young boys who have been charged with this offense and we have to say, wait for them to be tried, but that anyone could do this to a 13-month-old baby? Tell me what happened to you last week.
SHERRY WEST, 13-MONTH-OLD SON WAS SHOT IN HIS STROLLER: I was walking home from the post office from mailing a letter and I was 5 minutes from my home. I was approached by a young man and some other boy that was hiding behind him, and he yelled at me, give me your money, and I proceeded to tell him that I don't have any. And he shot -- pulled out a gun and shot at the ground.
And I didn't see any shells so I thought the gun was a cap gun or a bee-bee gun. I thought he was using a toy gun to scare me. Then he shot at my head and the bullet grazed my ear and the side of my head. And then he shot me in the leg. And I still thought that it was a fake gun. And you know, neighbors had bee-bee guns, and it stung. I injured my leg moving furniture days before and I was on pain medicine, so I didn't feel it. But I felt stinging. And then it got numb. And I didn't realize, you know, that it was real. It didn't look like a real gun. And apparently he kept asking me and I kept telling him I don't have any.
And he shot my baby in the face. And then I knew it was a real gun. And I screamed and I was scared to scream because I thought he was going to shoot me in the head and not miss that time. And then when I kept screaming for someone to call the police and the EMT, he shoved me and grabbed me and then he ran. And then I wasn't sure if he was gone, but I quickly, limping, wheeled my baby into a yard next to me, into the gate.
And I took him out of the harness and I laid him down on the ground, and I proceed CPR. And I saw his lungs inflate but there was no pulse, no pulse, and I kept proceeding with CPR and I still couldn't get a pulse. And finally the police arrived and a policeman took over clearing the airway and continuing CPR. And they couldn't get a pulse. But the EMTs arrived and they took my baby in the ambulance to work on him.
And they wouldn't let me see him and they just kept working on him. And nobody knew if he was alive or dead. And I limped the whole way over to the ambulance where they placed him and the detectives and the police asked me why I was limping. And we weren't sure. I looked at my knee and there was nothing wrong. And then they said pull your pant leg all the way up, and I was shot in the leg, in the thigh, and didn't realize it. So they had to call another ambulance to take me to the hospital.
MORGAN: It's just beyond any kind of imagination. What does it say about America that two young --
WEST: I'm sorry?
MORGAN: What does it say about this country that two young boys could even consider perpetrating such a crime?
WEST: You know, it's a shame that our children grow up around children like this, and that children can actually grow up and do things like this. I mean, people have to worry about children now, not just adult assailants. It could happen to anybody.
MORGAN: Sherry, you tragically lost another son who was just 17 --
WEST: Yes, I did.
MORGAN: He was a teenaged boy who was stabbed to death five years ago. No mother should ever have to go through this.
WEST: He was 18.
MORGAN: Eighteen. He was stabbed to death. I just -- my heart goes out to you that you've had to go through this all over again. In terms of the investigation, we know that these two boys have been charged. One is 17, we believe. One is 15. Do you have any doubt that the two that have been charged are the ones that committed this crime?
WEST: I have no doubts that the shooter they have in custody -- I've seen his photo on another reporter's cell phone of the man that they have in custody. And it's definitely him. They are being charged with felony murder. And I just -- I just hope, you know, that the shooter dies. I had to watch my baby die. And I want him to die, a life for a life.
And the young one, he was an accessory, an accomplice. I hope that he gets a juvenile correctional facility to age 21 and a consecutive life sentence in state prison.
MORGAN: You chose to cremate your little baby, Antonio. You had a private memorial service. How would you like to remember his short life?
WEST: Alive, walking around, waking me up. He didn't even get to say his first words. I'll never hear his first words.
MORGAN: Sherry, I'm so sorry again for this appalling thing that's happened to you and to your family. I wish I could say something to make it better but I can't think of anything. It's one of the most appalling crimes I have heard of since I have been here in America. And my heart just goes out to you. Thank you so much for joining me.
WEST: Thank you. >
MORGAN: We'll be back after this short break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MCGREEVEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into the mirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth, not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as it is. And so my truth that is I am a gay American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The shocking moment that cut short Jim McGreevey's term as governor of New Jersey, announcing that he was gay with his then wife at his side. The scandal ended McGreevey's political career but also launched a life he said is much more fulfilling. It's the subject of a new documentary, "Fall to Grace." And joining me now is film maker Alexander Pelosi, and former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey.
Welcome to you both.
MCGREEVEY: Thank you.
PELOSI: Thank you.
MORGAN: We have had quite a show tonight. We started with the redemption of Tiger Woods. We moved into a weird attempt at redeeming people who I don't think deserve redemption. Then we just had an extremely heartwarming, desperate, painful interview with this poor mother. And we've done so much of guns. I can't think of a single story outside of Sandy Hook that has resonated so powerfully.
What do you make of that? Let's start with that. When you hear that two young American boys have been charged with murder, one of whom is alleged to have gone up and shot that woman's baby in the head in a stroller, what is going wrong that can allow that mentality?
MCGREEVEY: I think it's a loss of values. And I see it with the women that I work with. They grow up in some of the hardest, grittiest places --
MORGAN: You work in a lot of female prisons.
MCGREEVEY: Yes, exactly. All around them was gun violence, people buying dope, copping dope, running dope, shootings. It is a complete almost abject betrayal of the notion of the sacredness of life. And so the women grow up seeing that all around them. And not surprisingly, replicate that behavior. I think that's what's happening across not all of America, but in certain parts, that our children remarkably mimic what they see, what they witness, and what's taught to them.
MORGAN: But to me, it's getting worse. I don't know what you think about this. But it seems like an escalation in the desensitizing of these kids. Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, to be able to walk into a classroom of first graders and just annihilate them. This kid who has been charged with this offense, to walk up to a baby in a stroller and just shoot a bullet in his head. It seems to me a sort of dehumanizing process is going on here that removes any sense of normal behavior.
ALEXANDRA PELOSI, DIRECTOR, "FALL TO GRACE": I thought you were taking it to the place of redemption because you were starting with Tiger Woods. I thought you were going to ask Jim if he thought these people deserved redemption.
MORGAN: I am going to come to that. I'm not really I suppose --
MCGREEVEY: She will take over your show if you let her.
PELOSI: I will. And I will tell you that my husband is Dutch. And he watches you every night. He says this is sick, this country is sick and it's a disease and it's sad that -- it's great that you can say it, but that the whole world doesn't see it. And if you get a class -- I have a first grader. If you line up their class of 20 kids and they get what happened in Sandy Hook and that doesn't change this country, then you have to realize there's something really sick and disgusting about this country. You're not allowed to say that in America. In America, you have to say USA -- chant this is the greatest country on Earth. And that's all you're allowed to say.
MORGAN: I think you can still salute America as a great country and Americans as great people, but take a step back and look at what he NRA did last week. They've been robocalling people in Newtown trying to bolster support and get their money. The NRA is funded, as we now know, predominantly by gun manufacturers. And gun sales have exploded since Sandy Hook, particularly of the very AR-15 assault rifle that Adam Lanza used.
That's where I agree that this is a sick reaction. This is not a normal civilized country's reaction, let alone the world's great superpower. It makes me so angry to hear that poor woman who has just gone out for a walk with her baby and had her baby blown to pieces.
MCGREEVEY: So, as a society, is the reaction purely out of a defensive posture and fear and probably hate, which causes us to go out and buy assault weapons because of the prospect of violence? Or is the society say to itself that we need to do a better job of educating, restricting the availability of gun usage? And because whether it's the NRA and because also, Piers, frankly, our inability to grapple with the challenges that so many of our children face.
I mean, one of the women that Alexandra focused on in the documentary was herself a victim of repeated sexual violence and rape at the age of 12. So how that experience desensitized her to violence --
MORGAN: It has to. It has to.
MORGAN: Let's just turn to a cheerier note because it's been a pretty full-on show tonight. You have had an extraordinary redemption. The documentary highlights this. You went from this abyss in your life, I suppose it must have felt like at the time, that everyone remembers and followed, to a much --
MCGREEVEY: But it was a self-created abyss. It was also a blessing, that abyss.
MORGAN: But would you have gone through that abyss today? In other words, do you think given the climate about gay marriage and gay rights -- tomorrow we have the Supreme Court making this big judgment. And the way that this is moving in America so fast now in favor of gay rights and gay people getting the same rights as everybody else, would you have gone through the same kind of abyss?
MCGREEVEY: I think the attitude towards gay rights has changed so dramatically. And as Dr. King said, the arc of liberty moves inextricably towards greater freedom and awareness. And so that's been a great blessing. But for me, it was more than just my sexual orientation. It was an addiction to self, to politics, to ego. And it was a great blessing, ironically, my resignation, because it allowed me to correct my moral compass towards what I perceived to be a more godly, with a small G, path. And that is hopefully of service to the women whose lives I share.
MORGAN: You relate to Tiger Woods. He is back at number one today. Do you look at him and think redemption, I've been there, know what it's like?
MCGREEVEY: I try, Piers, at this point in my life not to be in serious judgment of any person except myself, and to try to do good as I see it ought to be done.
PELOSI: What about those guys who shot that little baby? Do they deserve redemption?
MCGREEVEY: They also deserve punishment. And they deserve -- but in addition punishment, we have to -- I don't know of their circumstances and I don't know -- understand their background. But I see in America, particularly in urban America, this wanton violence, this almost indiscriminate violence. And I have dealt with young women and men who seemingly don't even appreciate that the acts of violence have permanent consequences. And it's only after prolonged sessions that they begin to break, emotionally break down and understand the enormity of their action.
So there's a disconnect between what we would call awareness and the action.
MORGAN: Alexandra, Jim, I could talk to you both for a lot longer, but sadly we have run out of time.
MCGREEVEY: I wants to wish you and all your viewers a happy Pasoc (ph). And to the Linden family, whose birth I'm missing.
MORGAN: "Fall to Grace" premieres on March 28th. That's Thursday on HBO. Best of luck with it. It's a very powerful -- you know, everyone should watch this. Everyone goes through rough times in their life. You're a great example of how to get yourself back on your feet. It's been beautifully made. Thank you.
MCGREEVEY: Thank you.
PELOSI: Thank you. I wish we could stay and hear about all of the things you need redemption for.
MORGAN: Listen. It would be a long list. Thank you both.
MCGREEVEY: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, I'll talk to Tavis Smiley who has strong feelings about how America is educating its young people and about guns in America.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Now I want to bring in a man who has a lot to say about guns, crime and young people. Listen to this from Tavis Smiley's PBS prime time special "Education Under Arrest."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAVIS SMILEY, PBS ANCHOR: Locking an 11-year-old up for any length of time doesn't make sense. He certainly now knows how to cook crack cocaine, how to make methamphetamine, how to load an assault weapon. And you see the jury formality of learning continues irrespective of whether a child is in a jail cell or whether a child is in a classroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Joining me now is PBS broadcaster and best selling author Tavis Smiley. Tavis, if you just wait one second, I want to update viewers with a campaign I've been running. It's an unofficial poll. I asked all 100 senators following Harry Reid's absurd decisions not to progress with an assault weapons ban vote in the Senate whether they agreed with an assault weapons ban for America, post-Sandy Hook.
And the latest totals are in support 30 senators, opposed 44, no response 16, no position 10. Those who added their names to the oppose list are Senator Sessions and Portman. Portman, of course, who recently did a complete U-turn on gay rights because his son turned out to be gay.
And in the no-position, we have Senators Kirk and McConnell. So we'll keep on them. That leaves about 20 senators who still refuse to say either way, whether they support an assault weapons ban in this country, which is quite extraordinary, really, a week after we asked a simple question.
Tavis, let me ask you, fascinating clip there from you show, but what do you do about these two kids in Georgia who have murdered a bay in a stroller?
SMILEY: I've been watching most of your show tonight, Piers. And if there are two things to your show, one of them is that are we are failing our children as a country. There is these days a school to prison pipeline that is growing exponentially. We now have a highway into prison for our kids, but not even a sidewalk out.
The baby in the stroller was failed. The kids who allegedly killed that baby were failed. The young boys in the Sandusky case that you talked about tonight were failed. Many of those young women that former Governor McGreevey and Ms. Pelosi are working with are women who end up in jail because at some point, in prison, at some point in their lives, they were failed.
As a society, we are failing our young people. And the reason why we spent time traveling across the country to do this special which airs tomorrow night on PBS, called "Education Under Arrest," because that's exactly what's happening. There's a zero tolerance policy that we put into place after Columbine was well-intentioned. But again, we now have a school to prison pipeline that's growing exponentially.
The stuff that I used to get sent to the principle's office for now lands you in front of a judge, like Judge Edwards who you saw a moment ago, and with a criminal record. And that's no way for a society who says it cares about its children to behave.
The second thing, right quickly, of your show tonight is that Washington is bought and bossed by big money. I could not agree with you more, Piers. I've been so heartened by your going so aggressive on this issue of the assault weapons ban. These politicians have failed us, Democrat and Republican. They are spineless. They are milquetoast. Harry Reid was wrong to not bring this up for a vote.
My grand dad put it this way: there's some fights that ain't worth fighting even if you win. But there's other fights you have to fight even if you lose. This is a fight we should have fought. And if nominees to the Supreme Court -- or federal bench, rather. If nominees to the federal bench deserve an up or down vote, America's children deserve an up or down vote on the assault weapons ban.
This is beyond tragic. It's a moral disgrace. It's an outrage.
MORGAN: Tavis, that is the best, most powerful, most eloquent answer to one question I've probably eve had on this show. I've got to leave it there. I want you to come back very soon, though. I'm coming out to L.A. actually next week. Why don't we get together and have a longer conversation about this, because it is incredibly important.
SMILEY: I would love to.
MORGAN: Your show, "Education Under Arrest," airs tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. on PBS. It's well-worth watching. It's a really illuminating insight into the problems of the young and education in this country right now.
Tavis, thank you, as always.
SMILEY: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: And we'll be right back.
MORGAN: Before we go tonight, some breaking news. An old friend of the show, I interviewed Nick D'Aloisio in December, he's the 17- year-old British whiz kid who invented the popular app Summly, and he just sold it to Yahoo! for $30 million. Nick, congratulations. That is entrepreneurial spirit at its finest. That's all for us tonight. "Anderson Cooper" starts now.