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Sanford Wins S.C. GOP Primary; Nearly 100 Arrested In Drug Raids; Exxon: We'll Cover Oil Spill Costs; Ex-Voice Of Elmo Faces Fifth Lawsuit; Obama Hits The Road On Gun Control

Aired April 3, 2013 - 14:30   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Some of the hottest stories in a flash. Roll it.

So you remember the South Carolina governor who said he had gone hiking on Appalachian Trail, but was actually down in Argentina on an extramarital fling? Mark Sanford, that's his name. Why is he smiling?

Well, he is one step closer to a comeback. Just having won the Republican primary for a seat he once held in Congress and the woman at his side, that's her, the one from Argentina. They're engaged and Mark Sanford is running on a theme of redemption.


MARK SANFORD (R), S.C. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I think that for every one of us that are absolutely, I mean, candid or real about our lives, we all have events that we regret, that we mishandled, that we wish we could have done better and I would certainly say that for me it was with regard to the events of 2009. I tried to be transparent in the aftermath and lay the cards on the table, but you know, some people may never forgive me for that and some people, it will take them a bit longer.


LEMON: That was this morning on MSNBC, but you can hear from Mark Sanford live a little bit later on CNN. Sanford talks with our Jake Tapper at 4:00 Eastern on "THE LEAD."

Right now, heroin and cocaine trafficking arrest causing a stir in Connecticut, a massive law enforcement operation made a dozens of arrests in the south eastern part of that state. A law enforcement official tells CNN the investigation involved more than 100 targets in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.

Charges include trafficking drugs from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. A news conference is happening this hour in New London, Connecticut. We're going to bring you more details as we get them here on CNN.

More than 3,500 barrels of oil gushing through streets like rivers, forcing families to evacuate homes. Now, Exxon is assuming responsibility, telling CNN it will cover 100 percent of the costs. The pipe bursts in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, on Friday. Arkansas attorney general has launched an investigation into the rupture.


DUSTIN MCDANIEL, ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: Most importantly to me I want to know what happened. I want to know what we're doing to clean it up and I want to know what we're going to do going forward to ensure that the natural resources of Arkansas that have been damaged were compensated for that.


LEMON: So they are covering the costs, but Exxon says it is still too early to give a timeline for the cleanup or the final bill.

More trouble for the man who used to be the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street." Kevin Clash, remember him? Well, he's been hit with another lawsuit, accusing him of having sex with an underaged boy. This is the fifth, the fifth sex lawsuit against the former "Sesame Street" puppeteer. Clash quit the show last fall. CNN is attempting to reach Clash to get his response, but so far we have not been successful. We'll update you.

Now for a check on the markets, the Dow down, you can see that, 100 plus, right at 100. Still got some time, though, before it closes. We'll check back.


LEMON: President Barack Obama jump starting his push to tighten the nation's gun laws with today's speech near the Aurora movie theatre where a gunman killed 12 people last summer. A victim's family member says the time to act is now.


DAVE HOOVER, UNCLE OF AURORA SHOOTING VICTIM: Don't wait until your family is touched by violence like this. Do it now. Let's act. Let's be responsible.


LEMON: Well, the president is to speak at the Denver Police Academy, 5:00 Eastern Time. Colorado lawmakers recently passed tough new gun laws including universal background checks and a limit on gun magazine size.

Our chief White House correspondent is Jessica Yellin. She joins us now from Denver. So, Jessica, what is the mood in Denver? I mean, is everyone on board with the tighter gun control laws now?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hi, Don. No. Not everyone, but polls here show overwhelming support for background checks. But still the new law here is facing some stiff resistance.

Gun rights groups, they are vowing to mount a challenge to the state's Democratic governor in the next election because of the new law that just passed. And at least a dozen Colorado sheriffs say that they might not enforce the new gun safety laws in their counties.

They're arguing that the law might violate the constitution. The law, as you point out, not only requires universal background checks for all gun purchases. It requires the buyer to pay for their own background checks and limits to ammunition to 15 rounds. Here is what one sheriff who opposes the law says about it.


SHERIFF JUSTIN SMITH, LARIMER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: The president and the vice president made their presence very well known throughout this, between them and Mayor Bloomberg.

There is a feeling by a lot of Coloradans that a lot of these things at the state level were pushed from Washington, pushed from New York, and pushed from Chicago and I can tell you in Colorado people don't like that. What has been passed is not effective and it is going to create a very expensive bureaucracy in the state of Colorado.


YELLIN: So it is becoming a political issue here. But, again, background checks, that issue alone has overwhelming support, even in this state.

LEMON: So, Jesse, the president is trying to build momentum for gun control on the nationwide level, on a national level. When is the Senate planning to consider expanding background checks?

YELLIN: The president is trying to revive the momentum he saw nationally after the Sandy Hook shootings. Right now, the U.S. Senate is likely to take up the gun safety measure the week after next. That's because Democrats still are looking to make a deal that will win over enough Republican votes needed to overcome opposition.

They need to get past a 60-vote requirement and they need that extra week to get the time to find those 60 votes. Now, sources tell me the president is going to argue here in Denver today that if a cowboy state like Colorado can pass gun safety measures, then surely the U.S. Congress can do the same. That will be the essence of his pitch when he shows up -- Don.

LEMON: Jessica Yellin, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

A sheriff has been shot dead outside a courthouse in West Virginia. Our affiliate WOWK reporting that police have caught a suspect. The victim is Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. We'll bring you more details as they become available here on CNN.

The words illegal immigrant, illegal immigrant, think about that, do they offend you? Does that offend you? Well, the Associated Press is making a change. We'll explain why.

Plus, parents exposing their kids on social media, and in this digital world, funny comments one day could be harmful later. So are parents sharing too much about their kids? My panelists weigh in next.


LEMON: All right, everyone. Listen up because this is going to cause some controversy I'm sure. It is time to open up the conversation and get down to the hot topics of the day, those stories that will dominate the dinner tables tonight. Still dinner tables, whatever you're doing talking.

First up, the AP, is the AP becoming PC, politically correct. The Associated Press dropping the term illegal immigrant from its style book. That's a guide for journalists on proper grammar and word choice when writing or reporting, OK.

Furthermore, the AP says the word illegal should describe only actions, not people. For example, the AP says illegal immigration is acceptable, but illegal immigrant is not.

In a blog post, the executive editor explained the reasoning, quoting her now, she said, "We had in other areas been ridding the style book of labels. We concluded that to be consistent we needed to change our guidance."

Apparently, Senator John McCain won't be filing the style book. He was at a town hall when someone asked him to stop using the quote, I word that is illegal, according to the "Arizona Republic."

This is how McCain responded. He said, quote, "Someone who crosses our boarders illegally is here illegally. You can call it whatever you want to, but it is illegal. I think there is a big difference between someone who does something that's illegal and someone who is undocumented. I'll continue to call it illegal."

To discuss here now with me is psychologist and relationship expert Alduan Tartt, veteran Washington journalist and blogger Craig Crawford, Emily Miller, senior opinion editor of the "Washington Times," and television and national public radio host, Faith Salie. OK, is that right, Saily, Sally?


LEMON: OK, since I butchered your name, I'll start with you. Do you agree with John McCain or do you agree with the AP?

SALIE: You know, I applaud the AP for being conscientious about language and being transparent about why they're evolving or making choices about their language. But my feeling is what is more important than where you stand on the, you know, whole immigration thing is that this sparks a debate about language.

And how it matters and why it matters to Americans. We saw that last week with Alaska Representative Young using the W word, "wetback" and we see it this week with Rutgers firing the coach for using gay slurs, yes.

LEMON: The wetback word and the illegal that is not the same thing. By the way, now I know you're the CBS Sunday morning lady.

SALIE: I'm that lady. That's right.

LEMON: Now I get it.

SALIE: I'm not -- I'm not saying --

LEMON: Raise your hand if you disagree with what Faith said and what -- go ahead.

EMILY MILLER, SENIOR OPINION WRITER, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": Well, I'll tell you, first of all, John McCain is absolutely right. It is a shame. The AP claims it is the wire service of record in straight news. This is clearly an agenda to persuade the public leading up to the Senate debate over immigration reform.

I mean, it is ridiculous. They are illegal. So they are illegal immigrants. There is nothing else we can call them. It is like saying, you know, a convicted felon is just someone who is living for the time being in prison. This is what it is and -- PC language gets so completely out of control and once again we have seen that happen in the mainstream media.

CRAIG CRAWFORD, BLOGGER, CRAIGCRAWFORD.COM: I think we got to remember, Don, the AP is not saying banning the use of the word illegal. You mentioned in the setup, they're saying illegal immigration is still OK. People who are here illegally is still OK. They're trying to get away from -- all these people and --

LEMON: Very good point. She has a very good point. When you say the word criminal, criminal is not a good sounding word, but we still use the word. When you say the word felon --

CRAWFORD: Criminal -- but we don't call them a criminal until they're a convicted criminal.

LEMON: Yes, but if you cross the border illegally, aren't you illegal? I don't understand --

CRAWFORD: You are a person who is here illegally, which the AP --

LEMON: My gosh, really.

ALDUAN TARTT, PSYCHOLOGIST AND RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Why can't we just say undocumented worker? If people found that offensive, we have to listen to them.

LEMON: Where do you stop? You have to go, OK. I don't want to be called a criminal. OK, fine. I'm a person of criminal --

TARTT: It's not the same.

LEMON: Yes, it is.

CRAWFORD: OK, how about this, Don. If we're going to call them illegal immigrants then what do we call the people who hire them, we could call them criminal employers?

TARTT: There you go. We love to employ them.

LEMON: Listen, no one said they shouldn't. Faith, you've got to talk a little bit earlier. I cut you off. So I'll give you the final say on this.

SALIE: My point is that wherever you stand on this spectrum, I mean, there are still people on the far right going to be calling them aliens and people on the far left are going to be hilariously calling them would be Americans and economic refugees.

What I think is good about what the AP is doing is that it is sparking this debate. We're all talking about it and we can all name immigrants, whatever we want to as long as we put our own personal air quotes about it. And the AP is just trying to be consistent.

TARTT: I don't like the fact that we're just dehumanizing people. They're real people.

LEMON: That's not the point.

TARTT: We have to listen to them.

LEMON: Hang on. Hang on. Go ahead.

MILLER: The sky is blue. Somebody who is a drunk driver is not somebody -- let me finish talking. If you're a drunk driver, if they drove drunk, they're not somebody who is behind the wheel after 15 martinis. It is what it is.

It is common usage. It is exactly factually correct and this is what journalists use. Now we have the AP style book, all of us who are journalists use as our guideline and continue --

LEMON: Last word, you guys are still talking. That's it for this. We're going to move on. Stay with me, guys, because up next here on CNN, they post pictures, personal information and funny moments about their kids. But could parents' comments on social media websites hurt their kids later in life? My very noisy panel, they follow direction, they're going to weigh in next right after this.


LEMON: My panel is back. We have another topic. Let's bring them in real quick. So Faith, you said, we got to evolve same sex marriage, you don't like calling it same-sex marriage, you like calling it marriage equality. What is up with that, Miss PC?

SALIE: I don't know if that's PC. I think it is more Catholic, with a small c. It is -- years ago broadcast journalists were saying homosexual, then they started saying gay, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, it is about marriage equality.

It is not about gay people and straight people. It is about everybody having the right to be married. And what I said to you during the break was in the '60s, they didn't call it black rights, they called it civil rights, everybody gets rights.

CRAWFORD: I was at the marriage bureau this week and they didn't say gay marriage. It said spouse and marriage, no distinction made. I look forward to the day we all call it marriage.

LEMON: OK, so I have to say CNN made the change six months ago. So we are way ahead of the curve here is what I say, I don't care what you call it, just give me the same rights.

MILLAR: Congratulations, Craig.

CRAWFORD: I just wish they would shorten the lines at the marriage bureau. That's all we got left to complain about now.

LEMON: Up next for the panel, parental TMI. You know what I'm talking about, moms and dads gushing about their kids online and everywhere else. And for many it is simply too much information, TMI.

Well, now there is a new book, quote, all about the jaw dropping self-indulgent and occasionally rage inducing world of parent over share. Author Blair Koenig even divvied up the postings into categories like mommy jackers and sanctommies.

It's based on her blog, which chronicles parents over sharing. Here is one example. OM goodness, my daughter has officially begun puberty. She is only 10 years old and tells me after school today that she started her period. Is this happening? At school yesterday, is this really happening?

And another, my baby is so smart, how many 21-month-old babies do you know who can count to 10?

TARTT: I don't see the problem.

LEMON: Go ahead. What do you mean?

TARTT: I don't see the problem. I mean, if you're a parent and sharing milestones of your kids, there are lots of people and relatives that like that comment. If you don't like it, you don't have to comment on it. But if I want to share what is going on with my child, it is OK.

LEMON: For the guy talking about a daughter getting periods, come on, I don't want to hear that. Emily, way too much, don't you think?

MILLER: That is completely disgusting. I would shoot my father and I have a gun if he did that to me on Facebook and I do see this happening on people. I mean, we all like to see our friends' kids and family's kids and Easter, birthday.

But people address their child, like, Don, you were born eight years ago today, and you've been a blessing in our lives, and I'm, thinking, Don's not on Facebook. He's playing video games. Go tell Don about the blessing of his childhood. Why are you telling me?

CRAWFORD: There are going to be some very embarrassed adults.

LEMON: Emily, not very PC to say you're going to shoot someone. That's a whole other gun control topic.

MILLER: I was fine, I don't believe in pc. I think that's a big problem in our country. I'm perfectly fine. My father should know he is safe and I'm not going to shoot him though directly. I'll only shoot someone who enters my house.

LEMON: This is embarrassing for the kids. What about the parents?

MILLER: First of all, I have a 10-month-old and I think he's the most adorable delightful person in the world, but you don't have to. I'm not going to inflict that on you. The only other people who think that are my husband and my father.

So I think you're right. What about the kids, right? When my kid is in high school, and I'm telling him, you know, be careful what you post on Facebook, because it is always going to be out there, he can say, well, did you do close-up Instagram of my breast? It doesn't give you a leg to stand on.

TARTT: It is about us wanting more attention. I'm a parent and I talk about my child and people comment and having comments, it makes me feel like I have attention and I feel like people are noticing me.

MILLER: That's a slippery slope.

TARTT: The internet --

LEMON: We got to run. But Faith, and I know you'll relate to this, when people talk about their kids like that, it is like the dog, remember the thing with the dogs about dog lovers?

MILLER: Thank you, Don. Thank you. I get so much hate mail for that.

LEMON: Enough already. Thanks, everybody. Thanks. Alduan Tartt, Craig Crawford, Emily Miller, Faith Salie, thanks to all of you.

Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware is out of the hospital and talking. Coming up in half an hour, we'll have a sit down interview with Ware and his mother about his injury and also his recovery. Make sure you stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here in for Brooke today. This is just in to CNN. We just learned that the U.S. has deployed a ballistic missile defense system to protect its base in Guam from a possible North Korean attack.

Again, this is just in to CNN. North Korea did more than just talk, though, today. Just more than just talk tough today. Closing the industrial zone there, a place where South Koreans and North Koreans work together to show cooperation.

The closing of this crossing signalling a shift in North Korea's behavior. To get more on this we go now to Barbara Starr. She is at the Pentagon --