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Shark Attacks Surfer off Hawaii; Inmates Sued Sheriff; "Tonight Show" Change is Official; Mixing Comedy and Congress; Hovering Over the Golf Course

Aired April 4, 2013 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for being with me. It is 30 minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories."

North Korea could be planning to launch a mobile ballistic missile in the coming days. That's according to a U.S. official citing intercepted communications. Tonight on CNN Wolf Blitzer will have a "Situation Room" special, "THE CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA" comes your way at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

A traffic accident leads to a parking lot scuffle between police and a woman who is eight months pregnant. Police in Springfield, Illinois say they had to use a taser on the pregnant woman when she was resisting arrest.

Police officials and the taser company say the electrical shock was safer to the woman and her unborn child than a violent struggle would have been.

A man was attacked by a giant shark after well surfing at a beach off Maui Wednesday. The 58-year-old is being treated for two deep gashes to his thigh. A fellow surfer witnessed it.


DAVID TUZINOWSKI, WITNESSED SHARK ATTACK: At one point I saw a large shadow come right underneath me. I really thought it was a seal. A few minutes later I heard this kerplunk this big splash. It was really gotten large, just me and another guy. And so it kind of hit me that was probably a shark.


COSTELLO: County lifeguards say based on the man's injuries, the shark may have been anywhere from eight to 10 feet long.

Take a look at this shocking jail footage from Louisiana. Here it comes that shows inmates having a party inside their cells. They have loaded guns, spears and drugs and they're living in filthy conditions. Now we don't have any details about what was actually taking place in this jail. But the man in charge of running that jail is Louisiana Sheriff Marlin Gusman. He is set to take the stand today as part of a hearing over what else proposed jail reform.

CNN Sara Ganim has more for you.


SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An inmate with a gun in a cell packed with prisoners. Another appears to be shooting up heroin, all caught on video, on a cell phone smuggled into the jail. Inmates free to roam, even leave. This incredible foot and was shown in a federal courtroom, in a lawsuit over how to pay to fix horrifying prison conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No gloves on. No net on his he. That's how they want to feed us.

GANIM: The foot is several years old and was recorded at the now closed House of Detention in Orleans Parish. The Southern Poverty Law Center said this facility was not alone. Many others just as bad in Orleans Parish are still open. They along with several former inmates sued the Sheriff Marlin Gusman last April. He's in charge of running the jails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This city is all about a dollar man. It is so corrupt down here man.

GANIM: As shocking as it is to watch this video, reading the details in the lawsuit is just as disturbing, mental health patients denied care. Inmates beaten by staff and raped by other prisoners, guards instigating fights. This father lost his 32-year-old son to suicide in the prison two years ago.

JAMES HITZMAN, FORMER INMATE'S FATHER: Hearing some of the testimony and looking at some of the video of the jail itself I cannot imagine the conditions of any human being living to live those conditions.

GANIM: Southern Poverty Law Center and the sheriff's office reached a settlement in December. It was agreed that changes would be made to make the prisons more safe. But change costs money, money the city says it doesn't have. That's why the case is still in court.

The city's mayor says taxpayers are already investing more than $200 million to build new facilities. In a statement to CNN, the mayor said quote, "I cannot in good conscience cut vital services or raise taxes to put even more money into an office where waste, fraud and abuse run rampant."

Instead, he wants the federal government to step in and take control from the sheriff.

PAM HITZMAN, FORMER INMATE'S MOTHER: He's been aware of these conditions since 2008. And the conditions have gotten worse.

GANIM (on camera): All of this takes us back to a disaster the New Orleans area just can't seem to fully recover from, Hurricane Katrina. In a statement the Sheriff said these were temporary facilities he was forced to use after the storm flattened (ph) parish prison. Eight of those temporary jails still house inmates today.

Sara Ganim, CNN.


COSTELLO: Just ahead in the NEWSROOM, here's Jimmy, the new king of late night has been named officially. But before he goes, Jay Leno, he has just one request.


COSTELLO: It is no surprise, but finally, finally it's official. Jay Leno announced last night he will pass the "Tonight Show" baton to Jimmy Fallon in about 10 months. The 22 -- the 22 year "Tonight Show" veteran also use the mode to take a not so little dig at NBC. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT'S host A.J. Hammer joins us now to tell us more. Good morning.


You know, through this whole thing Jimmy Fallon has certainly been publicly very complimentary and very gracious. And he continued that when it was made official that he took the new job as the new "Tonight Show" host yet not for about another year.

But take a look at how both of the hosts reacted on their respective late night shows last night.


JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: I'm so excited to keep working hard and try to make the best show that we can along with you guys. I've got to say thanks to Jay Leno for being so gracious. I know this whole thing -- it mean so much to me to have this --

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: I just have one request of Jimmy. We've all fought, kicked and scratched to get this network up to 5th place okay now we have to keep it there. Jimmy, don't let it slip into 6th. We're counting on you. We're counting on you Jimmy.


HAMMER: (inaudible). And you know Jay is going to be joking about this until last night on the air Carol. If you're wondering by the way, what's next for him, he did open the show last night saying he's going to be the next head basketball at Rutgers. I don't get a follow through on that but that was a suggestion.

COSTELLO: Everybody thinks Jimmy Fallon's just going to slip in there and it's going to be great. And he's going to like attract the that NBC wants. Are they too optimistic these people who love the Fallon man? HAMMER: I don't think they're too optimistic. I mean, the move is obviously being made by NBC to attract this coveted younger viewing audience and get people to the show. Use Fallon's skills of creating viral videos to have more of a presence online -- something he is so good at.

His real challenge is to keep people interested in watching TV that late at night and to get that younger audience to the "Tonight Show", which of course is typically skewed towards an older crowd. But there are two things that I think are kind of being lost as we talk about the host. Loren Michaels is now going to be the executive producer of the "Tonight Show". I think that can be nothing but a good thing. And in fact that will mean he is in charge of almost all of NBC's late night programming.

But the "Tonight Show" is also moving from Burbank, California to New York Carol and obviously that's great news for we New Yorkers. We happen to have the show at 30 Rock. I'm sure there are people in Burbank who are going to be taking an economic hit as a result of this. The show has been there for a very, very long time. It wasn't New York, you know, years of decades and decades ago before Johnny.

COSTELLO: Oh yes, yes. All right, A.J. Hammer, thanks so much. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: It's 42 minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories."

Exxonmobil will pay all costs related to an oil spill in an Arkansas neighborhood on Friday. Up to 5,000 barrels of heavy crude oil leaked from a ruptured underground pipeline, 22 homes had to be evacuated.

The family of a missing North Carolina woman is left looking for answers after her body was discovered in a car days after it was towed from a crash; 62 year old Carolyn Watkins was found inside her wrecked car in a tow yard. An officer called in the crash but he never checked inside the vehicle. Her family believe she may have still been alive and she could have been saved. Authorities say they are trying to figure out what went wrong?

It's a message sure to stop new your tracks. A warning to the women of West Seattle written in side walk or written on the side walk in chalk. The author hasn't been identified. But she says she was physically and sexually assaulted at this very spot on a recent predawn run. This woman whoever she is say the perpetrator got away and she wanted others to be aware.

In Kentucky police are looking for the person who gunned down an Army civilian employee outside a Ft. Knox building. The Army post immediately went into lockdown for about an hour. Investigator now say the shootings stemmed from a personal dispute.

And Mike Rice, the fired Rutgers coach has now apologized for this video. But now there is word Rice's name-calling extended to children. The former Rutgers assistant who supplied the practice videos to ESPN tells the network what he witnessed at a basketball camp.


ERIC MURDOCK, FORMER RUTGERS DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: It was a camp. And you know, a bunch of 10 year olds, 11 year old, 12 year old kids. And you know three kids they come in walking to the camp late. So now he feels he has a need to embarrass these kids in front of other campers.

And then he noticed that they have on flip-flops. And so he looks down. You know, he says flip flops are for (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Flip-flops are for (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I mean in front of 10 year old kids.


COSTELLO: ESPN also reports the job of the Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti is safe. While there are calls for him to step down as well as the university's president.

On to politics now. Can laughter win a congressional seat? Maybe, if your brother's Stephen Colbert. By now you know, Colbert's sister is running for Congress in South Carolina. They're even hitting the campaign trail together. And if you don't know about this, Stephen Colbert made sure you knew it on his show last night it. He spent six minutes selling his sister to voters.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I'm going to shock some people right now and endorse my sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, for congress. Yes, she's a Democrat. But she's a businesswoman, a job creator who in raising children on $14,000 a year went back to school, built a 20- year career in international trade and is not leading Mark Sanford in two consecutive. Are we ready to do this, nation?


COSTELLO: Let's just say Colbert's sister, Elizabeth, could not buy advertising like that because it could bankrupt her campaign. Colbert-Busch is running against Mark Sanford who while he was governor cheated on his wife and lied to his constituents about hiking the Appalachian Trail to cover it up. Sanford doesn't have a Colbert, he's running on redemption.

With me now, Pete Dominick, Sirius XM radio host and Patricia Murphy, founder and editor of Citizen Jane Politics and contributor to the "Daily Beast". Welcome to both of you.



COSTELLO: Good morning. So Pete, you know Stephen Colbert. As we get closer to this election in South Carolina, do you think Colbert will devote an entire show to his sister?

DOMINICK: I think Stephen Colbert will probably donate, you know, give a lot of segments of his show to it. Because that one last night was a result of Joe Scarborough on another network devoting plenty of time -- that's what Stephen said.

Now I do know Stephen. He was my old boss and he's a friend. And I can tell you right now, I've also been the beneficiary, myself of the Colbert bump. It is real. He's a very powerful guy who can also raise a lot of money. That's the other thing. Money matters for his sister. And I am here to tell you on May 7th, she's going to win.

I mean I'm sure Patricia can tell you more about the stats of independent voters. It's very close. And Stephen's got a lot of influence. There's going to be people that would never think to vote in a primary election like this one that are definitely going to come out and vote. And I think it's a done deal already.

COSTELLO: Maybe. I know Pete, you mentioned MSNBC. And Stephen Colbert did say that on his show last night, Patricia, that Joe Scarborough was talking on and on about Mark Sanford, who apparently is a personal friend. Still, if I'm Sanford, I may look at "The Stephen Colbert Show" and think that life is unfair.

MURPHY: Well, who knows what's going through Mark Sanford's mind right now. I don't think anybody expected him to get into this race let alone show his face is South Carolina again after his very famous Appalachian Trail -- I don't know -- truth-telling experience.

But listen, the reality here is that this is a Republican district. This has been a Republican district for the last 30 years. I think the place where Stephen Colbert could move the needle here for his sister is among young voters. The college of Charleston is in this district. If he could get some student to register and to vote in a special election, that is a very, very hard thing to do. But if anybody could do it, Stephen Colbert could do it.

But I actually -- I kind of put a thumb on the scale for Mark Sanford here. He's represented this district before and it went 65 percent for the Republican two years ago. So I think that will be -- it's a tough, tough thing to do. But if anybody could do it, it's going to be this woman.

COSTELLO: Well, the other problem that Mark Sanford has, frankly, and you know his --

DOMINICKS: Is that he's Mark Sanford.

COSTELLO: Well, that's true. And among women he's not so popular -- even among Republican women, he isn't polling well, right Pete?

DOMINICK: Right. Right.

I mean it's hard to look at the guy if you're a woman or any of these guys that do what is considered a pretty terrible thing especially because Jenny Sanford, his lovely wife, really got a lot of credit for him winning his elections in the past. She ran the campaign. She's not running this one -- we know that.

Stephen Colbert is extremely, extremely influential as Patricia said with young people. It's going to make a huge difference. And yes name recognition -- does it matter? Certainly. She's benefiting that. When it comes down to the issues though, she's a very, very smart woman. They come from an unbelievable family.

Stephen -- people don't know this, 12 kids. Their father died in an airplane crash. They lost two of their brothers. And their mother, the matriarch is almost over 90 years old. They're an amazing family. And Stephen Colbert is the greatest comedian of our generation. I have a pretty good feeling this is right.

COSTELLO: Oh, my gosh.

MURPHY: Speaking of a commercial.


DOMINICK: He's the best comedian of this generation outside of those that might employ me in the future.

COSTELLO: Well, Patricia I couldn't help but think when Scott Brown ran for the Senate in Massachusetts, his wife was a television news reporter. And a lot of people said that she shouldn't be on television because her husband was running for office. So I know that Stephen Colbert is not a newsperson, per se.

DOMINICK: Comedian.

COSTELLO: He's a comedian, right. But he still has a platform that reaches millions of people. And his stuff is all over the Internet. I mean millions and millions of people. So you have to ask yourself, is that really fair?

MURPHY: Well, of course it's fair. I mean again, he's a comedian. He's on cable. There's nothing wrong with cable. But it's late night. You know, let's talk about what was going on, on "Morning Joe". I mean that was a little bit of an infomercial. That was a very influential news program as well.

And, you know, I think that Stephen Colbert -- of course he's going to do this for his sister. And it may be hard to believe but for some conservatives in South Carolina Stephen Colbert, if they've ever heard of him they really don't care for him. So I think this could be a double-edged sword.

And again this is a very conservative state. And this is a Republican district. It's a special election. Republicans vote in special elections down there. So it's just -- I cannot stress how hard this would be to knock off Mark Sanford.


MURPHY: Again, if they wanted to design a candidate they wouldn't want to run against it would be Stephen Colbert's sister. A smart woman. She's from South Carolina. She's all tied up in all of the universities and she's very business oriented. So she's a great candidate. Can a great candidate knock off a Republican in this special election? It will still be tough.

COSTELLO: We'll see.

DOMINICK: I can just tell you this. Knowing Stephen, he's very popular. I mean a lot of voters probably don't like him, but he's a native son. He's very popular in South Carolina. He goes down there. I think he's got a house there. I think he's going to be very influential in this.


MURPHY: But the (inaudible) voters, 75-year-old men, do they like Stephen Colbert? Not so much.

COSTELLO: Ok. I have to end it here guys.


COSTELLO: I do. Patricia Murphy, Pete Dominick, thanks so much.

MURPHY: Thanks Carol.

DOMINICK: Thanks Carol.

COSTELLO: We want to get to our "Talk Back" question too. The question for you today, are universities responsible if students can't find jobs?

This from Mike, "Yes, obviously. Any school that you invest tens of thousands of dollars should be responsible for an outcome, which is a job.

Here's another tweet from C Louis. "As a student I never expected my university to hand me a job after four years. I worked hard to find a job I've been offered.

Another tweet from KJburrmom, "Colleges are not responsible. Just another example of blaming someone else for failures."

And this tweet, "We need to break the cycle of entitlement. It's the grad's responsibility to find a job. Not the college. Stop the madness."

Please keep the conversation going, CNN or tweet me @carolCNN.

Still to come. A golf cart is so old-fashioned. Try hacking away while riding your very own hover craft.


COSTELLO: Bubba Watson made it famous. Now you too can conquer the golf course on a hover craft for a price. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS: It's a golf cart that's anything but par for the course and it had wannabe drivers drooling, watching Masters' champ Bubba Watson tooling around in a modified hover craft, zipping over water hazards.

BUBBA WATSON, PRO GOLFER: And who doesn't want to do that?

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: If it's real, then I want one.

MOOS: Well, Bubba put the if to rest.

WATSON: No, it's not a gag. This is the real deal. Me and Oakley teamed up. Being Bubba's sponsor it took two months for this prototype to be adapted. A company called Neoteric Hovercraft, It's been building hover craft for over 50 years.

CHRIS FITZGERALD, FOUNDER, NEOTERIC HOVERCRAFT: It's sort of a magic carpet floating around on the golf course. It's about nine inches off the ground.

MOOS: The great thing about a golf hover craft is it is it doesn't mess up the grass as company founder Chris Fitzgerald.

CHRIS FITZGERALD: You live absolutely no trace.

That does the same the same forces of seagulls standing on one leg. Now some golfers might be tempted to take a club to the hover craft. It makes about as much noise as an electric leaf blower, make that several leaf blowers. Though they have reduced the engine noise some and hope to reduce it more.

WATSON: It was fun to do. It was scary to drive it. You know, I only had a five-minute lesson. Actually, Bubba, you're supposed to say fly it, not drive it. The controls are on a handlebar like a motorcycle. It's a little like flying helicopter. Hovercraft are especially good for rescues on ice and in swift moving floodwaters.

But it took a golf cart version to get everyone excited. YouTube commenters say they should have called it the "Bubba Hova" or Hover craft. . The small company that made the prototype is being flooded with orders from golf courses worldwide. But it won't be able to meet demand for months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just can't push a button and have these things coming out.

M1: The makers of Bubba's cupboard. As to (inaudible) its price tag would hover at around 30 or even $40,000.

Noted one poster, Rich Mann sports just got richer. But at least Bubba didn't mow down golfers like Jackie Chan did with a giant hovercraft in "Rumble in the Bronx". Better to get hit by a flying golf ball than a flying Bubba Hova.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: There you have it. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues after a break.