Return to Transcripts main page
PIERS MORGAN LIVE
James Holmes in Court; Update on Kevin Ware's Recovery; Injury Too Bad to Watch; Michelle Shocked Shocks Fans; Good Samaritan
Aired April 1, 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 honoring the victims of Newtown in ballparks across the country. America remembers. But has Washington already forgotten and has the president's response been too little too late?
Also the father of an Aurora victim. Does he think the shooter should get the death penalty?
Plus the injury that everyone was talking about. Hardly anyone can stand to watch. The terrible leg break that shocked America. Are we asking too much of college stars or just kids? I'll talk to 11-time NBA all-star Charles Barkley.
And shocked by name, shocking by nature. The folk singer whose outrageous on-stage remarks on gay marriage stunned her fans. I'll ask Michelle Shocked what on earth was she thinking.
Plus a Good Samaritan who jumps in what others fear to thread. I'll talk to the train track hero who saved his friend's life. And managed to turn around his own in the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been people there for me when I needed somebody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Good evening. This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. And all across this country Americans are remembering the 20 children and six teachers who died in a Newtown massacre. Every Major League Baseball opening game, it included a moment of silence for all those victims. A moment like this one from the New York Yankees' home opener against their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now at this time let us all stand in a moment of silent prayer as we remember the children and the teachers that lost their lives in this tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: In a stadium that's just a little over an hour from Newtown, the teams and over 50,000 fans put their fierce rivalry aside to join in this remarkable tribute. But America is far from a solution to the deadly problem of gun violence. In Texas, Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia was shot to death over the weekend, the second killing of a prosecutor there since January. And in Colorado, the suspect in one of the worst gun incidents in American history was back in court today.
James Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in the attack that killed 12 people and wounded 58 more. Now prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
Well, joining me now is the man who has lots to say about this case and perfectly understandably. Tom Teves' son Alex was killed in the chaos of that darkened movie theater and he joins me now.
Mr. Teves, welcome to you.
TOM TEVES, SON ALEX KILLED IN AURORA SHOOTING: Welcome.
MORGAN: What is your reaction to the D.A.'s decision that they will not accept any kind of plea deal with James Holmes, the man that murdered your son. And do you think that he should be executed if he's found guilty?
TEVES: I think he should get the exact amount of mercy he gave everyone in that theater.
MORGAN: Which would be none.
TEVES: That's the way it looks like right now, yes.
MORGAN: Obviously by wanting --
TEVES: I think he gave --
MORGAN: I'm sorry, after you.
TEVES: No, go ahead. That's fine.
MORGAN: I -- what was your reaction when you heard that Holmes was trying to do some kind of deal? Did you feel that in some way he was trying to cheat natural justice?
TEVES: The man is a coward. He shot a 6-year-old girl. He -- nothing he's going to do is going to surprise me. He's reacting in character.
MORGAN: Has your view of the death penalty changed because of what happened in Aurora that day?
TEVES: I think that in a society that is as violent as ours, we need a lot of different ways to control it and the death penalty is one. Quite frankly I would have been much happier if he had had the courage to take his own life. MORGAN: What will happen now because of his decision is that there will be a full trial, probably this time next year. Are you and the other families that you know of -- are you prepared for that? Have you thought through what the additional torment of a trial, with all the details that may emerge about what happened, not just to your son but the others that lost their lives and were wounded would all come back?
TEVES: I can only speak for myself and for my family. I lost my firstborn son. There is not much more he can do to me. Especially from a jail cell.
MORGAN: Are you any nearer having any kind of understanding why Holmes did what he did?
TEVES: I have no interest in understanding him. My interest is to see -- my interest would be to see him exterminated.
MORGAN: What is your view of the gun control debate in America right now?
TEVES: I watched the senator today on CNN and it seems like everybody wants to point fingers at everybody else and talked about filibustering. I'm struggling to understand why we can't do something. Why we can't look at ourselves and take ownership. There's semiautomatic weapons that have no place on the street. There is the few people from the mental health groups that have no ability to even control it and quite frankly, Piers, there's stations like CNN that make these people notorious.
Somebody needs to take ownership to stop it. We all just keep pointing fingers and as we point fingers, our children die. Should we take these weapons of war off our streets? Of course we should. But we should also wipe the faces of these cowards off our television sets. Let's have some courage. And we should unleash the mental health people so they can do what they need.
People are dying. It's time to change and it's time for everybody to have the courage, 1/10 of the courage my son had when he -- when he did what he had to do in that theater and stand up and say, you know what, I can't control the other pieces, but I can control my piece, and it's time for our senators to stop playing politics and to start doing something.
If they don't, what we should do with these things is put it to national referendums and let the people decide because obviously we pay to be in office can't figure it out because they're too busy worrying about their next paycheck.
MORGAN: They're also in many cases worried about the financial power of the NRA, in particular, to unseat them from their political offices, which has happened in the past. What do you say to those politician who say, well, I'd love to -- I'd love to vote for an assault weapons ban but it may cost me my job?
TEVES: I say if you have to do your job by lying, you need to get another job. If the American people believe that assault weapons should be on the street, let us all vote for it and decide. But I don't think if I was an elected official, that my job should be to get reelected. My job should be what I got elected for in the first place, which is to represent my constituents. And there's probably many constituents that believe that these weapons of war should be on the street.
I would argue I think they're in the minority. But again, if we can't figure it out through a legislative process, give it to the people and let's decide. But let's do something. Let's do something. Let's take care of that.
Piers, you and your station should do something not making these people notorious and we should take the handcuffs off our mental health people. But let's do something. Let's stop just doing nothing while people die. My son can't come back, but your children are still alive. Protect them.
MORGAN: Mr. Teves, you've made a number of extremely good points there. Thank you very much for joining me.
TEVES: Thank you for having me on.
MORGAN: And I want to bring in my all-star panel. We've gone head to head before on this subject. I'm going to find out if any of them have changed their minds.
Joining me now is conservative radio host Dana Loesch, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a board member of the NRA, and Democratic strategist Marjorie Cifton.
Welcome to you all again. We had a petty heated debate last week about guns and it's still at the top of the agenda. We had this extraordinary outpouring of tributes and sympathy from all the baseball teams today. A very united front, but of course the political debate isn't remotely united.
Let me ask you first, Dana, we had a pretty civilized discussion today on your radio show, but when you hear a man like Tom Teves speak so eloquently and just desperate for something to happen, what do you say to him?
DANA LOESCH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: It was absolutely heartbreaking. I mean, I have children myself and as a mother this is one of the things, Piers, that they didn't tell you about parenthood. That you see your child in every other child out there. And I was live on air when Newtown was unfolding it was the most difficult broadcast I ever had to get through in my entire. And I just kept thinking what could be done?
What does someone do in a situation like this? And certainly in hindsight everyone is always an expert, aren't they? They think that there's so many different things from the law enforcement to elected officials, they think there's something that could have been done, red flags that could have been caught. And that's where I really think that we need to focus this. I mean, you and I talked today on my program that there -- all of these, these incidents that have happened just, you know, in the past year they all have a common denominator here. You have men who are -- young men who are estranged from society in some fashion. Every single one of them are on psychotropic drugs and yet we have little to no conversation about this at all whatsoever.
And certainly I think that there need to be some reforms done to the mental health community in that particular area to address this. But we need to start having a broad conversation and we also, Piers, need to be very careful that we don't stigmatize people with mental illness and make it to where people who have mental illnesses feel as though there is now a hurdle on their way to identify that and seek treatment. But we have to have a national discussion on this. It's time.
MORGAN: OK, Grover Norquist, and I agree with all of that. And you know, when we spoke on Dana's radio show, we actually found a few points of genuine agreement, which is the way this debate has to go. But what I feel so disheartened by is this sort of nagging sense now, and people began to write this openly in all the major newspapers that nothing significant may happen at all.
In fact, quite the contrary, 26 states at the moment in America are actively seeking to expand gun rights. Not to limit them in any way. But to expand them.
Now you're a board member of the NRA. Do you really think in your heart that the correct response of a great nation like America to an appalling atrocity like Sandy Hook is to race to sell more guns, more ammunition, and to expand gun rights?
GROVER NORQUIST, BOARD MEMBER, NRA: Well, first of all the murderer in Colorado who killed 12 people should be executed 12 times. You had the conversation about whether the -- what should happen to the murderer. I think he should be executed at least once.
Now we should ask ourselves what should we do that would help? What should we do is not the question, what should we do that would make things better. What we know from science, what we know from history, what we know from the experience in Britain, is that when you pass gun restriction laws, crime increases rather than decreases. It happened in Australia.
MORGAN: Yes, but, Grover, Grover, Grover --
NORQUIST: It happened in --
MORGAN: Grover. Grover.
NORQUIST: It happened in the United States.
MORGAN: I'm not -- Grover, I can't let you keep repeating that --
NORQUIST: Yes. MORGAN: -- without pointing out that I would imagine most of you who's watching this would happily settle for their home being burgled over being shot in the head and killed. There is a significant difference between being robbed or burgled and being murdered.
NORQUIST: OK. Sure.
MORGAN: And you have to accept that America has a shocking rate of gun murder and gun suicide. Worse than the other 22 richest countries in the world combined.
NORQUIST: OK. When you compare a state or a country and if you pass laws to restrict gun ownership, as they had in Colorado, you couldn't have a gun in that theater. That was against the law. When you restrict gun laws, you end up with more crime and more murders, not less.
We have 50 states. We can compare when you passed laws to make it easier for honest citizens to carry concealed, crime, murders, rapes had declined compared to states like Chicago, like Illinois where you have more gun laws, so the more gun laws you passed restricting gun rights, the more crime you get. The more honest citizens have availability of owning guns, the less crime you have.
That's true in the United States, state by state. It's true in Britain from the '97 -- from the law that they passed restricting gun laws. You had more crime rather than less. Australia the same thing.
NORQUIST: So let's --
MORGAN: Let me go to -- let me get --
NORQUIST: Let's put what works.
MORGAN: Let me get -- OK. Let's go to Marjorie (INAUDIBLE). Let me just point out again that both in Australia and Britain, the key difference is the gun death rate is absolutely miniscule. So you can bang on about people being, you know, victims of crime, but they're being not victims of gun crime.
NORQUIST: It (INAUDIBLE) better.
MORGAN: And what we are specializing here is gun crime.
Marjorie Clifton, let me ask you first of all about the death penalty element. And I want to discuss with Tom Teves, he's felt very strongly that if the Aurora shooter, James Holmes, is found guilty, he should be executed. Grover wants him to be executed 12 times and that's an emotional reaction which may well agree with.
What do you feel, Marjorie? Because, Marjorie, your mother, your mother runs an anti-death penalty coalition. MARJORIE CLIFTON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, she runs the Catholic Mobilizing Network and she works actually with a lot of the pro-life community that focus on the death penalty as actually one of the pro- life issues of our time. And I think, you know, there were some important things that happened here. The challenges that use of the death penalty doesn't bring that person back. And absolutely it's natural. All the things that he's feeling. The hurt in his heart, you know, that eye for an eye instinct we have. But if you look at it from even a -- you know, a perspective of faith, it's about, you know, what can we do in terms of restorative justice?
And this is actually something that Pope Francis is talking a lot about right now, which also has touched on, what are we doing in terms of mental health, what are we doing for the people who are committing these crimes, who a lot of times are victims of similar crimes themselves, of abuse.
Now if you look at even the fiscal issue of the death penalty and the death penalty is not something that's actually broadly talked about. But when it is, actually the majority of Americans do not support its use. Because there is a couple of problems. Only 10 to 15 percent of death penalty cases actually use DNA evidence in those cases and only 90 percent of people who go on death row have representation, which means that the death penalty is skewed a lot towards minority and poor populations that are convicted of the death penalty.
But the bigger issue and this is something Grover should (INAUDIBLE) a lot about is the fiscal issue. You look at the state of California. Since 1978, it has cost the state $4 billion to use - to execute the death penalty for only 13 people. And the average person, by the way, sits on death row for about 20 years. The challenge with this is that if we eradicated the death penalty in California right now, we would gain $170 million a year. And right now, the money for the use of death penalty is coming directly out of the education funds.
So, there is a direct line to how we are actually caring for people by use of education and that direct line to prison that is happening. So, we need to think of this from the fiscal issue. Is it bringing anything back? No, it's not. And by the way, it isn't a deterrent. It's a proven non-deterrent for people who use violent crime.
MORGAN: OK, hold that thought. I actually want to come both to Grover and to Dana after the break on the specific point about the death penalty I want to raise, which is this issue of DNA testing now in which 18 people on death row have been exonerated by DNA since 1999. That has to change the debate on the death penalty.
Let's talk about that and a number of other pop political issues, including the White House Easter egg roll. Look at the (INAUDIBLE). Why can't we just open back the White House to toss? Let's discuss after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DEREK JETER, NEW YORK YANKEES: It's unimaginable to think what those families were going through. A horrific incident like that and not knowing - you know, going to the school not knowing whether or not your kids are safe. It's something that is just mind-boggling to think about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Yankees superstar Derek Jeter on the Newtown tragedy. Jeter actually called the mother of one of the teachers who died in that horrible attack.
With me now, Dana Loesch, Grover Norquist, and Marjorie Clifton.
So, Dana, here's my issue about the death penalty. And I would say over the last 25 years, like many people, I've thought long and hard about this. And I've often wondered how I would feel if I lost a child in some appalling murder like Newtown or Aurora, and maybe I would feel very differently. Maybe I would feel exactly like Tom Teas (ph) feels.
But right now, I'm very concerned about this. Which is, the DNA evidence that's being used since 1989 has exonerated in 36 different states a total of 305 people post-conviction. Eighteen of those were on death row. They then found 147 of those 305 people, they found the real perpetrators or chief suspects. Twenty-seven was the average age of those who were convicted and later found not to have done the crime through DNA. And they served an average of 13 years in prison.
Now, when you hear those kind of statistics, I suppose the obvious question is this: Does a wrong conviction of somebody -- and we don't know whether someone being executed -- we have to presume, I would imagine that some may have been before this -- does that on its own not count enough for the desire to execute others?
LOESCH: I think if we are going to have the conversation about whether or not the death penalty is a legitimate form of punishment, that's a conversation that folks can have. But as far as James Holmes and the plea deal that was rejected and death penalty now as a potential punishment for him, I kind of go along with Grover Norquist on this. I am a little bit hardcore, especially when it comes to child killers. I think that these individuals personally should be subjected to a mother's justice. Let the moms go out and have their way with them. That's kind of my perspective on this, so I may not be the best person to ask that question of.
But as far as James Holmes is concerned, we don't need DNA testing for him. He was kind of caught in the act. For me, my perspective and my opinion on this is that the trial at this point is a formality and we are giving him due process as under the U.S. Constitution.
That being said, I am with Grover. I would kill him 12 times if I could. What he did was heinous and we need to make an example out of people like this. This, Piers, right here, showing these people, making an example out of them. If we are going to have the conversation about gun control, let's hold up these people as examples.
MORGAN: Yes, I see Grover. I might ask you. I thought Mr. Teas also raised interesting point about the media and our potential, collective culpability in glamorizing these people. I mean, it is a side product of covering these stories which are huge, huge national stories. Get full coverage on every network. But there is a danger that there other disturbed young people watching this who want to be infamous, who outdo the last one. What do you feel about that?
NORQUIST: Look, there is a Second Amendment and it's important. There's a First Amendment. It's important, too. The press should be free to cover these stories, but I think it's helpful if we do so if a way that doesn't glamorize these murderers. Because there are other people out there who may go hey, that looked interesting. So, there are some very real challenges and folks you work with in the news media industry have got to make decisions there.
Look, the great news about DNA report -- advances are that we can look back at the stakes of government. And we ought to recognize: government makes many mistakes. It makes mistakes all the time. We ought not to let it run our health care and there challenges, even in criminal justice.
The good news on DNA is moving forward. It's easier to know for sure if somebody is a murderer or a rapist or the guilty person. And so our certainty on these issues, as we are with the killer in Colorado. There's no question about the guilt of some of these murders. That makes it easier to be an advocate of the death penalty, and I am glad that DNA, as I understand, has properly exonerated those who are not guilty in the past. It also means in the future, we will know for sure when we hang somebody that we are hanging the right guy.
CLIFTON: Right, but Grover, going back to the cost issue. If you talk about government inefficiency. And I mean, case and point of inefficiency, when it's costing $11 million to execute one individual versus life in prison costing on average $200,000, how does that even make sense? And that's what I think a lot of Americans where they end up turning is on the fiscal issue.
Because you are right. There are changes in DNA, but we have to look at history.
MORGAN: OK. Well, on the issue of fiscal responsibility, the White House went ahead with this 135th Easter egg roll at quite a significant expense to the American taxpayer. Meanwhile, the White House remained closed to the viewing public through the tours, which I have been exorcised about.
Marjorie, let me start with you. What do you feel about this? Obviously these kind events here have some private money and so on, but when you see the president putting on this kind of big party but refusing to allow the American public to view the White House because of the sequester. People are not really buying that, are they?
CLIFTON: It does look a little funny, doesn't it? It's a struggle because at the same time, there ends up being debates about the importance of celebrating even religious holidays in our country, acknowledging our roots that way. The things that you need to do in terms of visibility and improving morale.
But you know, I agree that it is challenging because it's a question of our cuts consistent? I mean, going back to cutting the White House tours, that is something that is sort of an ongoing duty that doesn't necessarily - it costs $75,000 a week, doesn't necessarily pay off in terms of civic responsibilities. Now, if the Easter egg roll is really a civic responsibility, I don't know. I guess I'd leave that to the public.
MORGAN: Well, the biggest concern to me actually, and this may be down to the sustained pressure from Grover and from Dana is the president shot hoops on his basketball court today, and he only got two out of 22. So, finally, and very quickly, Grover Norquist, are you claiming responsibility for the president taking his eye off the ball?
NORQUIST: I think the sequester is responsible for the president not doing as well on basketball as he might. But look, the president, I think, is being silly when he doesn't allow Americans to visit the White House. These are volunteer-supported efforts. We need to reign in government spending and we need reduce government spending by reforming government, not by pulling these stunts that make it sound like you are saving money. Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, has made it clear that everybody that the president turns away from the White House is invited to America's house, the Capitol, for a tour there.
MORGAN: OK. Going to leave it there. Dana, Grover and Marjorie, thank you all very much indeed.
CLIFTON: Thank you.
NORQUIST: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, the injury so bad we just couldn't look away. Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us what happens now that Kevin Ware and (INAUDIBLE) Charles Barkley wouldn't be better off not watching such horrific incidents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PITINO, CARDINALS MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: Nothing like I have ever witnessed before in my life for a basketball game. It was terrible to watch. I felt awful for the players, felt awful for the fans. And -- but we had to gather ourselves. We couldn't lose this game for him. We just couldn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Louisville coach Rick Pitino talking about the horrible injury of 20-year-old Kevin Ware. Injury so bad we're blurring it in the video. The good news is the team won, and even better news is that Ware was able to walk away today on crutches.
It's the incident everyone is talking about. Joining me now two men who's got to say about this. CNN's Sanjay Gupta and Turner sports analyst Charles Barkley.
Welcome to you both.
Sanjay, let me start with you. It's utterly horrific to watch, but the good news is he seems to have had very quick surgery and has a remarkably positive prognosis.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and that quick operation is very, very key here. It's always important, Piers, but he had what's known as an open fracture. You know, and obviously you saw people 's reaction when they saw it, but that's -- there's no tactful way of putting it, the bone actually -- it protrudes from the skin. And that's concerning. Not just because of what it looks like but because of the risk of infection. So he got his operation within two hours. Very important.
Piers, this is an unusual type of injury, as you know, so we don't know, you know, exactly what happened in the situation, but you do have a situation when someone jumped far horizontally and high vertically, landed at an awkward angle and caused that fracture.
We're talking about the bones beneath the knee, the tibia and fibula. Take a look at this x-ray, Piers. I don't know if you can see you that or not. This isn't his x-ray, but this is the type of injury that we're talking about and sometimes the picture is worth a thousand --
GUPTA: A thousand words, Piers, as you can see there.
MORGAN: Yes, and I think that Kevin Ware's is even worse than that apparently.
Let me turn to Charles Barkley.
Charles, you are, I think, watching from the studio, the game last night. What had happened? Were you aware of what had happened? Did you watch it real time? Was it only on the replays that you could see just how bad this was.
CHARLES BARKLEY, TURNER SPORTS ANALYST: You know, Piers, it was very interesting. We couldn't see it in real time, but we only saw the next game. We thought the guys had collided on the court to be honest with you. Because we thought -- we saw the three guys land in the lane, but I want to give a shout-out to CBS, man, because I just thought they did a fantastic job not showing it.
I think we showed it twice and you really couldn't tell, but I've got to take my hat off to CBS. Nobody wants to see that. I just -- I'm watching you guys on television and to see their looks on these players on the bench, you know, the first time I had actually seen the players' reaction on the bench. So nobody needs to see that.
MORGAN: Two questions for you, Sanjay. One is that he's obviously a young man. He's 20. And I would imagine that a lot of his bones haven't fully formed even at 20. They play very, very full on now, these young college athletes. Is there too much pressure on them?
And secondly, someone pointed out to me that the court itself was raised slightly higher than where the bench was sitting. Could that have affected Kevin Ware's jumping decision making, if you like? And should they think about that going forward?
GUPTA: It's a great question. You know, I think that the -- if you had to sort of put in priority the factors that may have caused this type of injury, certainly he's a big guy. You're putting a lot of weight on those two bones again below the knee. And that -- it's -- that the forces are pretty extraordinary.
Also, and I'd be curious what Charles Barkley thinks about this, but stress fractures, even minor stress fractures, things that people may sort of blow off and not worry about. Stress factors are actually can -- things that weaken the bone a bit as well. So if you put a big jump, a big horizontal and vertical jump on top of an awkward landing with these stress fractures, I think that can all play a role.
I'm not sure, Piers, about the race -- how much of a difference that makes or if they're going to change things based on that. But I did wonder about the weakness of the bone in the first place.
MORGAN: Right. Charles Barkley, what do you think of those points? I mean, one, I guess that the stress fracture element of this, you've seen lots of players over the years, have these injures, probably not as serious, but certainly leg injuries. But secondly this point that somebody made to me about the raised court.
Would that affect you as a player in terms of that kind of confrontation with a rival? Would you jump in a different way if you knew there was a big drop off?
BARKLEY: You know, I think that this thing was just a fluke. I think that play was made 100 times a game. I think -- we don't know if he had a stress fracture or a weak bone, but that play happened every trip up and down the court where you jump and you don't come down perfectly every time.
You know, I would be interested -- I mean, we'll never know if he had a stress fracture or -- no, sometimes the -- your leg might have been sore and he didn't tell anybody. But I don't think that we can say that these kids are playing too much. That running up and down the court, that's what basketball is. And jumping. So I think it would just -- I have been around for 30 years and this is -- I have never seen this happened before. I think it was just a fluke and just really sad and unfortunate.
MORGAN: From all your experience of other players who've been injured and maybe you had injuries yourself over the years, what is the best advice for someone like Kevin Ware who, we're told, be playing again within six months as successful as the surgery has been. There'll lots of psychological trauma that went with this kind of injury and he's living in a world now where on the Internet you're going to watch it, you know, morning, noon and night if you're drawn to that. He's going to avoid it probably.
What is your advice to him going forward in terms of rehabilitation, not just physically, but mentally?
BARKLEY: Well, I think, number one, he has to do his rehab because, you know, when you're young, and you get hurt, Piers, you try to always rush and come back. I advise his mom and his doctors, and Coach Pitino as those kids, you're going to have to take your time. You've got to be stringent with your rehab. You can't rush it at all.
I mean, I actually think I would not try to play basketball on a team, I'd (INAUDIBLE) sort of next year, to be honest with you because I think this thing is going to take at least a year to get strong. But also I think this is a time and a teaching moment for all these kids because, you know, we all make a lot of money in our business on these kids and this is one of those moments. You tell all these kids. Hopefully nothing like horrific happened, but you can always get hurt. And most of these kids are not going to play in the NBA. This is why you've got to get your education.
I think that's the number one thing we can use the teaching moment from the coaches and these parents because it can go there quickly.
MORGAN: Right. Very good advice. What was I think a nice aspect of an awful situation was the game was tied when the injury happened. Louisville went on to outscore Duke 50-31 in the second half. Kevin -- Pitino, he kept saying, win it for Kevin, let's bring Kevin home to Atlanta. And the team celebrated by bringing the Midwest Regional trophy to Kevin Ware's bed side last night, which was a pretty special way to end an appalling day for him.
Charles Barkley and Sanjay Gupta, thank you both very much.
GUPTA: Thanks, Piers.
BARKLEY: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, my exclusive with the shocking Michelle Shocked. She explains what she meant with those very controversial comments about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. If you're outraged, you want to hear what her defense is.
MORGAN: Michelle Shocked is the Indy folksinger who's made a habit of shocking her fans. Recently she comes around the country, have canceled her concerts ever since she made some very controversial remarks about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. She's here now to tell her side of the story for the first time. Joining me exclusively in her first national interview since the incident is Michelle Shocked.
Welcome to you.
MICHELLE SHOCKED, SINGER, SONGWRITER: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: I need to explain what happened. We need to just play a bit of audio from this gig you did in San Francisco on March 17th. And this was an exchange you had with the audience. Went on for quite some time but the one that got all the attention was this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHOCKED: I was in a prayer meeting yesterday, and you've got to appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point, and I really shouldn't say their, because it's mine, too. We are at nearly the end of time. And from our vantage point, we are going to be -- I think maybe Chinese water torture is going to be the means, the method once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gun point and forced to marry the homosexuals, I'm pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back. You said you wanted reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now I had listened to about 20 minutes of what went on on the Internet. And what was clear, was although some of the audience were laughing then, that mood change and they became pretty angry with what you were saying as you elaborated. You went on to say you wanted to go out and tweet that Michelle Shocked said God hates and you used a derogatory word for gays. Please do so. And the mystifying question for many of your fans and indeed of what is read about this story, is why would you say these things.
SHOCKED: I admit I made a mistake, Piers. I -- if I had the chance to go back and do it again, I don't think I wouldn't have taken the audience up on their choice. I had presented an entire performance and I'd framed this truth and then I came back out for an encore and they requested reality. And what has consequently taken place ever since then is my manifestation of how little I think of reality.
I know that it's a stalking trade for a lot of the media to just present things like that's how it really is, but I don't think the audience was ready for the consequences of that and I surely have not been happy with it.
MORGAN: Right. I mean, it's been devastating to you and your career. You've had concerts cancelled all over the place. And I would imagine a very turbulent time for you. What many of your fans are saying is they you don't really understand why you would want to put any kind of comments like that in the public domain, not least of which because you once came out as bisexual yourself. So they've no comprehension that you would be remotely homophobic. Have you become homophobic?
SHOCKED: Over I'd say less 10, 12 years, I've enjoyed such a degree of independence and freedom, I can basically do whatever I want. I don't have minders or manages telling me what to do and I have adopted a course that's not the orthodox one where I'd say that there's only two things you don't discuss in polite company. One is politics and the other is religion. And I make a point of talking about both. And the clip that we just listened to it sounds quite serious-minded, but it was at the start as I said of the encore and --
MORGAN: But you lost the audience. That's why I said I listened to the whole thing.
SHOCKED: Not then, but later on, yes.
MORGAN: And most of them began to walk out and were very unhappy about it and wanted their money back and so on. But I repeat the question. I mean, are you basically, when you said what you said, it sounds on the face of it to be pretty obvious and clear homophobia. Are you homophobic?
SHOCKED: Yes, on the -- on the surface it sounds really bad. It's not really a point worth making, but the show is supposed to be live, not recorded. And --
MORGAN: What difference would that make?
SHOCKED: To me it's an important difference but I don't think we have time to go into it right now, when you read it in the transcript, which I'd gone back and created, I can do a couple of things to show you and highlight --
MORGAN: Wait a minute. Let's try and keep it simple for the audience.
SHOCKED: All right.
MORGAN: Because, you were born a Mormon, you converted to -- to become a born again Christian. And many Christians have views about gays and about gay marriage and other issues. Are you somebody that objects to a gay lifestyle and to gay marriage?
SHOCKED: If the question is asked to make things simple for the audience and I believe that it is, I'd like to make it even simpler. I am, for the last 10 years, so deeply in love with a man that the idea of living my life without him is impossible.
SHOCKED: I know how much I love him and knowing that passion that I have for him, would I ever want to deny that to anyone else, absolutely not.
MORGAN: So you're not homophobic?
SHOCKED: If you want to keep this simple for the audience, let me just give you a straight no, I'm not homophobic. But I don't think that the -- the truth I don't think lies in the simplicity. I think it's in the nuance. And that's been completely lost in this unfortunate -- MORGAN: What were you -- I mean, let me play along with what you are saying which is you didn't mean it to come over the way it did, even though it seems pretty clear to me.
SHOCKED: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: What I was listening to. Where was the ambiguity? What was the point you were trying to make?
SHOCKED: Like I think knowing your dedication to focusing on gun control issues, for example, right? And the line is once preachers are held at gunpoint, what could I have possibly meant by the idea -- and Prop 8 I said is instated, well, I'm sorry, but Prop 8 already stands. I didn't know what I was talking about. Clearly I was --
MORGAN: Well, why? You're not a stupid person. Why didn't you know what you were talking about?
SHOCKED: Because the nature of spontaneous improvisation, I had done it a complete show as truth and then the audience requested reality. And so I was given the whole macabre distortion of truth that I consider reality to be. And that's where all these confusions and misunderstandings --
MORGAN: Are you -- with all the members of the gay community who are outraged by what you said, are you -- are you sorry?
SHOCKED: Yes, I am very much so because what's being questioned is my support for that community. And they have been a predominant component of my audience over the years. It may seem very calculated and simple on my part that I would disavow them at this stage, but I need to tell them sincerely and directly in no way do I disavow the LGBT community in the same way that I don't disavow my faith community.
MORGAN: And do you have any problem with gay marriage?
SHOCKED: No, I don't.
MORGAN: Do you support it?
SHOCKED: I do.
MORGAN: So you support full gay rights?
MORGAN: Well, Michelle, thank you for clarifying it. Looks like you're sorry you said what you said. And people, your fans I'm sure will be relieved to hear that.
SHOCKED: If I may, the point is worth making that there is an empathy that's unique to what I hold my position. I was identified as a lesbian, as bisexual early in my career, but the way that came about was such that I held my peace. I didn't -- I didn't try to defend -- because I didn't feel like it was anything to defend. I'm not a gay. But to say that the manager that the manager that first presented me to the world made a pass at me. And when I spurned his approach, that was all the -- that was all the encouragement that he needed to then market me as a lesbian and then --
MORGAN: Well, he made -- he obviously found it was true he made a mistake then and you made a mistake on the 17th of March in San Francisco. I think we probably agree on that. And I wish you well in making a recovery.
SHOCKED: Now you offered that my efforts, my current efforts, aren't going to be swept under the carpet. So I'd like to take you up on that offer if you don't mind.
MORGAN: What do you mean?
SHOCKED: I mean that I have been diligently working for the last five years on a project that is if I have not managed to convince you that I have very much at stake in putting this question to rest is Michelle Shocked homophobic, does Michelle Shocked support the gay community --
MORGAN: Well, you've answered those questions. And if you --
SHOCKED: Do you feel to your satisfaction?
MORGAN: Well, you've answered them very clearly and people can make their own minds up if you mean it. That's not for me to say that.
SHOCKED: Well, as I say, in the court of public opinion, putting a poet --
SHOCKED: -- on a tribunal like this I just want to say --
MORGAN: Michelle, I put the questions to you. You've answered them emphatically and I will take you at your word. Thank you for joining me.
SHOCKED: The apple tree has got some strange fruit that even Adam wouldn't try but human nature is living proof.
MORGAN: The world is full of strange trees and strange truth.
SHOCKED: Beauty is in the beholder's eye.
MORGAN: I agree with you. Michelle Shocked, nice to see you.
When we come back, the kind of story you don't hear often enough. A true Good Samaritan tells me his extraordinary story of why he jumped to save that man with the train coming in the next few minutes. Quite extraordinary bravery. That's after the break.
MORGAN: This is truly amazing. A Good Samaritan seen at work. Christopher Knafelc jumping on the subway tracks in Philadelphia just in time to save a 63-year-old man who've fallen off the platform. Incredibly, or maybe not, everyone else just stood there and watched.
Christopher Knafelc joins me now exclusively.
Christopher, thank you for joining me. I wanted to get you on so I could just say to you thank you on behalf of everyone in America for your heroism and your courage and the inspiration you've given me and many other people with what you did.
Let me ask you, why did you do it? Because most people would have just sat there and watched.
CHRISTOPHER KNAFELC, PHILLY GOOD SAMARITAN: Piers, it was -- it was very instinctive. You know, who am I to assign value to someone's life, you know, comparatively. You know, if that was my mother, of course I would have saved her. But you know how can I assign value? I mean every human being has a right to be saved or given another chance.
But, like you said, I think the bigger point here is the people that did not act because it really seems like, you know, the moral compass of this country has declined over the years.
I am a fast thinker, so I mean it's not like I just, you know, was jumping into a river with an alligator. Like I knew the risks. And I was able to weigh them quickly. And I just knew his first reaction would be to want to move. And I could tell he was injured badly and he needed to be stabilized. He did further himself.
MORGAN: Well, it was an extraordinary thing, Christopher. I wanted to get you on just to thank you, like I said. Every time I watch that video, it gets more extraordinary. Another train could have come along any moment and killed you. And you risked your life to save a complete stranger's life. And for that, we're all incredibly grateful.
Thank you very much for coming on.
MORGAN: And we'll be right back.