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Changing Names for Cuts of Meat; Segregated Proms Examined; Uproar over President's Comments about California Attorney General

Aired April 5, 2013 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So let's go ahead and start with the pork butt, shall we? It could soon be known as Boston roast. I don't know where they got that from because what the goal is to make it less confusing for people.

Brooke, how are people going to know what Boston roast is? Are you going to know that's a pork butt? I wouldn't know.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: No, I guess not.

KOSIK: It's supposed to be less confusing. The pork chop also is a goner. It's going to be getting one of the following names. It's going to be known as the porter house chop, the rib eye chop or the New York chop. So say good-bye to the pork chop, as well.

And not to be outdone, steaks are also getting new names. The boneless shoulder top blade steak becomes a flat iron. A beef under- blade boneless steak, that's going to become the Denver steak. I still ...

BALDWIN: All right, you're making me hungry now. I'm ready for my medium-rare filet, please.

Let me ask you about this. Target had to zap a product from its website and apologize for it, as well. What happened?

KOSIK: Yeah, this was actually a big to-do over a plain gray dress. So in standard sizes if you ordered it, the color was called heather gray. No problem there.

But for those in selected plus-sizes, the color name suddenly changed to manatee gray and that found its way into the Twitter verse.

Target says it was an unfortunate miscommunication between two different marketing teams. It points out that manatee gray is a color name used on a lot of products, like Hello's bath rugs and clothing of all sizes.

BALDWIN: So are manatees are very large? Forgive me. I'm not aware.

KOSIK: Yes. Yes, manatees are very large. That's why everyone was offended, yes.

BALDWIN: Got you.

Alison Kosik, I don't know where you come up with this stuff some days, but appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

Now to this. In Argentina, catastrophic flash flooding killing actually dozens of people there. The BBC is reporting some people drowned while trying to climb onto their roofs for safety.

Frustrated people kicking officials cars when the governor of Buenos Aires province arrived in La Plata yesterday.

Kicking those tires, very frustrated, some there say the government isn't acting fast enough to help them.

Prince William got snubbed for a kiss by a four-year-old little girl. Take a look. This is priceless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM: ... kiss to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!

WILLIAM: Oh, no! You see? There you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The duck. Prince William and his wife, Kate, greeting a crowd yesterday.

This is Glasgow, Scotland. The little girl was holding a flower for Duchess Catherine. She gave Kate the flower and a big smile, but apparently no smooch for her hubby.

Some high school kids in Georgia bucking a tradition that few people actually knew still existed today, segregated proms.

We'll explain how these proms still take place and what one group is hoping to do to end it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: It is a throw back to an era most of us thought was very much so a bit of a past, racially segregated proms, one thrown for white students, one thrown for black students.

Believe it or not, they are still held in some towns right here in America. Rochelle, Georgia, this is south Georgia. This is one example.

But there is a group of friends at Wilcox County High School who's trying to change all of that. They are busy planning the county's first integrated prom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're embarrassed. We're really -- it's embarrassing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all friends. So that's just kind of not right that we can't go to prom together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a white prom and then we have our integrated prom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt like it had to be a change because for me to be a black person and for the king to be a white person, I felt like we can't we just come together?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we don't change it, no one else will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: How about that? But this group of high school seniors is running into resistance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We put up posters for the integrated prom and people are ripping them down at the school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to stick with the tradition. You know, this is the traditional thing. We don't need to change. And stuff like that.

But I'm like, why? No one could answer my question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they think nothing's broken so why fix it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Maureen Downey is a reporter and columnist for the AJC, "The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and you have the blog, Get Schooled Blog.

So welcome to you.

MAUREEN DOWNEY, "ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION" REPORTER/COLUMNIST: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Let me just speak on behalf of a lot of viewers who are watching this and they're thinking, are you kidding me? In 2013, segregated proms, and that's OK?

DOWNEY: I think it shocks people and it is shocking. But I think we have to keep in mind that we have segregated churches. It's not simply proms.

What's unusual here is that these proms are private events, and that's because back in 1970 when the Supreme Court told Georgia and other southern states, times up, you have to integrate, they integrated their high schools, but parents really could not bear to integrate their social functions, these proms. So proms went off-campus. So the reason why these proms exist, black and white, is because parents are the driving force behind these proms.

BALDWIN: That's what I wanted to get to. So we see the kids and the girls saying, we're embarrassed.

But obviously the parents are OK with it to be able to continue to propagate sort of this sort of mentality, this ideology in these towns?

DOWNEY: And I think that the kids, the kids themselves, the teens themselves who go to these segregated proms, they simply accept it as tradition. They think this is the way it's always been done.

So I think in Wilcox County at the high school, I think these four girls are going to change that.

And, of course ...

BALDWIN: You think they will be successful?

DOWNEY: Well, I'm sure they're going to be successful. They started a Facebook page with 300 people when I checked it yesterday morning.

A lot of people wrote about it yesterday. including me. The national media picked it up. CNN picked it up.

And I think when I last looked today, they have 20,000 likes on their Facebook page. They have donations pouring in from South Africa, Canada.

BALDWIN: Around the world.

DOWNEY: Around the world, people are saying this can't be happening.

BALDWIN: I thought it was interesting, just reading your piece in the AJC that they're saying maybe like it needs star power, I think is how you phrased it.

DOWNEY: Right.

BALDWIN: Maybe some sort of famous teen idol just needs to come to the prom. That will help get a little bit more attention and support, and maybe that will just sort of end this segregation altogether.

DOWNEY: I think kids want to go to -- my kids would say a non-lame prom.

BALDWIN: Non-lame.

DOWNEY: So I think that this prom I think will succeed. I think this year this will be a great prom.

And I think the national attention, I hope that somebody does come forward. I think that would really be compelling and fun. The question is whether or not you can sustain this prom, and whether or not the alternative, the private proms that are often held at local country clubs, the proms that these kids have been thinking about since they were in third and fourth grade about going to, that they had to make those proms less desirable.

Or better yet I wish the white parents that were behind these proms would simply say, OK, we won't do them anymore. That's it. It's over and done with and we're going to get together with the school and the school needs I think a role in this.

The school has stepped back and said, hey, we're out of this. This is a private thing.

But I think that there is an opportunity for the school to lead, the chamber of commerce to lead.

Everyone should say, hey, let's put on the best prom possible. Let's put it on associated with the high school and let's invite everyone.

BALDWIN: Let's see if someone does step forward. Heck, I'd go. But I'm sure they want someone like a Selena Gomez or someone a little cooler for maybe this generation.

Maureen Downey, thank you so much. We'll follow it for sure.

DOWNEY: Yeah, no, it's a great story.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much.

DOWNEY: These girls are doing a great thing.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness. Thank goodness.

CNN NEWSROOM, back after this.

I agree.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Sexist, superficial, misogynistic, perhaps? These are just some of the words tossed around on Twitter about President Obama's unexpected comments as he was introducing California's attorney general, Kamala Harris.

Take a look. Here she is. This is after the president praised her for a her dedication and her toughness.

Things got a little uncomfortable in the room when he threw in this final comment. Quote, "She also happens to be guy by far the best looking attorney general in the country."

Got a bit of a laugh. Even some applause. And some groans, as well.

And then, Brianna Keilar, she covers the White House for us. She talked to White House press secretary Jay Carney today. She pressed him about the president's comments just a short time ago, the president calling her up and apologizing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president did speak with Attorney General Harris last night after he came back from his trip and he called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments.

And they are old friends and good friends. And he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments and her capabilities.

And I would note that he called her, in those same comments, brilliant, dedicated and tough, and she is all those things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So now we know the president has apologized, but I want to bring in Cornell Belcher, CNN political analyst, live from Virginia Beach, and Sam Bennett, president and CEO of women's campaign forum, "She Should Have Run." You're live in Washington with us.

First of all, welcome to both of you. First question out of the gate, you hear the comments. Sexist or compliment?

SIOBHAN "SAM" BENNETT, PRESIDENT/CEO, "SHE SHOULD RUN": Absolutely sexist. Our research shows, Brooke, from our foundation, She Should Run, that whenever you characterize a woman elected or a candidate by her appearance, the likelihood voters that voters are going to see her as qualified or even vote for her drops like a stone.

But the good news is, as long as she responds or others respond on her behalf, which has happened in this instance, Brooke, she regains all those lost votes.

What I think is really important about this incident is this happens every day for women electeds and women candidates and this is a terrific opportunity to end this kind of commentary which, quite frankly, has no place and research shows is very damaging to voters likely to vote for her.

BALDWIN: Many agree with you that it has no place. At the same time, and, Cornell, let me get to you in just a second, but, Sam, when did complimenting a woman become sexist?

BENNETT: Well, in truth it's the context, right, Brooke?

So here's a woman running for office. Here's a woman who's serving. All odds are that we're hoping that she's going to run for governor in the future.

This is all about voter sense ability. As soon as you start talking about a woman's appearance, the voter's perception of her radically changes.

When women start out in our blind research, they're ahead of the guy because they're seen as more trustworthy. But as soon as you start characterizing her by even mild or supposedly benign character characterizations, Brooke, of her hair or makeup, she drops like a stone.

BALDWIN: Cornell, you imagine, are shaking your head?

CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, no. This is a complicated conversation. And, Sam, she brings up some really good points.

Look, I was woman's vote coordinator at once upon a time in my life, and it's true women do walk into the room with stereotypical baggage that men do not walk into that they have to overcome and inoculate themselves from.

And for a black woman, you know, it's double that because she walks into the room with both stereotypical baggage about her race and also her sex that she has to overcome.

Arguably, a woman, politically with the most hurdles to overcome, is in fact minority women.

However, there's two things that I want to bring up here. One is context of this. If this -- you know, this was an informal setting, a friendly setting. This was not sort of a formal business setting.

If this was a job interview and this sort of comment was being made, yes, it's sort of inappropriate. But given the setting here ...

BALDWIN: A huge formal setting.

BELCHER: ... friends, friendly audience here, I think we -- I think sort of contextually a lot of people sort of scratch their head and go, I don't see anything wrong with that.

However I don't want to diminish that from a larger conversation that should be about women and sexism.

But also the idea of him calling -- there is also a disconnect historically with the feminist movement and a racial disconnect going back to Bell Hooks.

You know, a black woman has never been upheld as the ideal of beauty, as a standard bearer for beauty. I think quite frankly him calling her beautiful and sort of holding her up as standard bearer for beauty.

Frankly also on the Twitter universe, you have a lot of black women going, hooray, for that. Hooray for black women being held up as a standard bearer ...

BALDWIN: But why even do that? Why even go there?

He was obviously complimenting her as he was introducing her not based upon, as you mentioned, Sam, listen, she's a star in the Democratic party. Maybe she'll toss her hat in the ring for Senate, maybe governor, as you mentioned, maybe even A.G. if Eric Holder ever steps down.

But why did the president even need to go there? Why would a man need to go there in general ...

BENNETT: That's right.

BALDWIN: When it comes to her looks?

Sam, go ahead.

BENNETT: Yeah. This is the president of the United States who should be holding this up.

But do I agree with a number of Cornell's statements. Yes, women of color have a Molotov cocktail that they're dealing with of racism and sexism.

But I am very happy to report our partner, Women's Media Center, and us, we're releasing a new study, Brooke, on Monday which actually digs into the impact of this kind of sexism on women of color and digs in a little deeper on the appearance.

See, men when they run, never anyone comments on their appearance. And ...

BALDWIN: And that's why this made news. That's why we're talking about this and that is perhaps one of the reasons why the president picked up the phone and apologized, according to Jay Carney to Miss Harris.

We have to go. I appreciate it very much, Sam Bennett and Cornell Belcher, who gets the gold star today because we pulled you off the beach on your vacation to be on television, so my extra thanks to you.

And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Jake Tapper, what are you working on today?

JAKE TAPPER, ANCHOR, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": We're working on a lot.

We've got a great report from Afghanistan, a great political panel that is going to dive into the issue you've been talking about whether or not President Obama, his comments referring to the attorney general of California as good looking or as the best, most good looking attorney general, whether that crossed the line. We'll be talking to a great panel about that.

What else do we have? A big debate about Plan B between the head of the group that won that lawsuit against the Obama administration, making sure that minors can have access to it and the head of the parents' group that really opposes it very strongly.

We've got a ton. I don't have the list in front of me. BALDWIN: It goes on and on.

TAPPER: But we have so many interesting things, so many interesting ...

BALDWIN: Myriad leads on this Friday.

TAPPER: Let me ask you a question. If I said to you that you were smart and you were a great anchor and you were really good at your job and you happen to be the best looking anchor on television, have I crossed the line?

BALDWIN: Would you be telling me -- to Cornell's point, if you were telling me to my side without -- not in a formal atmosphere, I think it would depend on the context.

TAPPER: And not in front of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of viewers.

Because I didn't say it. I'm saying if I were to do that.

BALDWIN: Of course not. I don't actually think you think that about me, Jake tapper.

TAPPER: No. I didn't say it. I just -- it was a hypothetical.

BALDWIN: No. It's a great question and I can't wait to see you, what this star-studded panel of yours will think about it. I think it's a great question.

I know a lot of people are saying, why can't you just compliment? When does complimenting a woman become sexist?

But he is president of the United States. Maybe that makes the difference.

And you, my friend, are the host of "the lead."

TAPPER: So you're saying because I'm small potatoes, so it doesn't matter what I say. I see what you're saying.

BALDWIN: It absolutely matters what you say. This is why we watch "The Lead."

TAPPER: Boy, I'm certainly never going to say you're the best looking anchor on television then.

BALDWIN: Well, thanks.

TAPPER: Not that I saying it to begin with.

BALDWIN: Jake Tapper, I don't know where to go with you, but I appreciate it, maybe.

So I'll see you at the top of the hour with "The Lead."

TAPPER: All right.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

OK, let me move on because, each and every day, with this job I get to interview amazing people like the Jake Tappers of the world and astronauts and rock stars and members of Congress.

I just want to share something with you today. Because this morning I was actually honored to moderate a panel of these five students here at CNN who are innovators and they're entrepreneurs and they're humble as they come and we were goofing around a little bit as well. I didn't want to share a serious picture.

This is Gene (ph) and Karina (ph) and Sabah (ph) and Porum (ph) and Riley (ph) and, trust me, they are already in college and changing the world. They're working to cure cancer with the help of horseshoe crabs and limiting carbon monoxide emissions with algae and giving voice to the voiceless with murals in Los Angeles.

So if you want to know more and I hope you do, watch a special edition of "The Next List." It's this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, "The Next List."

Back right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: You can hardly get by without a computer nowadays, and kids without access to technology have a tough time navigating our high- tech world.

And that is why today's CNN Hero used her retirement savings to buy a bus, load it with computers and head to low-income neighborhoods.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ESTELLA PYFROM, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I grew up in the segregated South. I actually started picking beans at age six.

But my father -- I used to hear my father him say, if you get a good education you can get a good job. So we knew that education was important.

In today's times, many of our children don't have computers at home and low-income families don't have transportation to get to where the computers are.

Kids who don't have access to computers after school will be left behind.

My name is Estella Pyfrom. At age 71, I took my retirement savings to create a classroom to bring high-tech learning to communities.

All right. Let's get onboard Estella's Brilliant Bus. Estella's Brilliant Bus is a mobile learning center.

Are you ready to get on the computers?

We want to do what we can do to make things better for all, adults as well.

OK, got it.

I see the bus as being able to bridge that gap between technology and the lack of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She helps me by having one-on-one attention, and if I don't get it, she'll help me with it. I look forward to it a lot.

PYFROM: How are we doing here?

It's not just a bus. It's a movement, and we're going to go from neighborhood to neighborhood and keep making a difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: If you'd like to nominate a Hero go to CNNHeroes.com.

That's it for me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Have a great weekend.

And now "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.