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Margaret Thatcher Dies; Gun Control Debate Intensifies

Aired April 8, 2013 - 15:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Saying goodbye to the Iron Lady.


BALDWIN: As the world marks the passing of one of history's most dynamic female leaders, you will hear from critics of Margaret Thatcher and also about her friendship with an American president.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

(voice-over): This week, the gun debate comes to a fork in the road. And it starts just a short time from now, with President Obama near Newtown.

And a desperate search for needles in a haystack -- how crews are looking for two brothers in the Gulf of Mexico.

Plus, a FOX News reporter faces possible jail time for refusing to reveal her sources. We're "On the Case."


BALDWIN: Hour two as we continue on, good to be with you on this Monday. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Today, we are mourning the loss of a movie and a TV actress who goes way, way back. Remember this girl? Gosh, listen to that young voice. Annette Funicello, one of the original Mouseketeers there on "The Mickey Mouse Club," later, she would star in those wacky beach movies. Annette Funicello died today at the age of 70.

I hope you heard this. We talked last hour to an old dear friend of Annette's, the songwriter Paul Anka. Take a listen.


PAUL ANKA, MUSICIAN: And of course we were very young, and we were both kind of clawing our way through life, trying to find out who we were.

I have nothing but fond memories. We obviously -- at some point she wanted to get married and I didn't. And that's what happened in our relationship, though we remained friends for many years. She went on to marry a wonderful man, Jack Gilardi, who was my agent at the time.

But she continued to be very outspoken in terms of everything she believed, even right down to her M.S., which she brought to the forefront and shared it all with people in hopes of inspiring them in some way. And it is just a very, very sad day. I know that the last quite a few years wasn't a way to live and it was just something that we all felt very deeply in terms of how she existed with that.


BALDWIN: Let's keep talking about Annette Funicello with a special someone on the phone with me now from Los Angeles, Mr. Larry King, formerly of CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE."

Larry King, you got me?


BALDWIN: All right. I know it is a sad day and for so many people, and you, of course, spoke with everyone, including Annette Funicello, multiple times, including back in 1994. Let me just play this one clip.


ANNETTE FUNICELLO, ACTRESS: I was feeling strange little things, numbness. I used to think I slept on my arm wrong. My equilibrium was strange, you know?

I couldn't walk on the sand. My eyesight was deteriorating. It really was. So I found out the latter part of '87, and it threw me, you know. It really threw me because I have always been so healthy.


BALDWIN: We know, Larry, she died of complications of multiple sclerosis, and that was what she was talking about. Do you remember that conversation?

KING: Sure do.

You know, John Kennedy probably said it best that life isn't life isn't fair. And multiple sclerosis strikes someone like Annette Funicello, who is so full of life. She was right from Mickey Mouse days. She was a talent, she was up front, she was -- she was a joy to be around. She was fun.

And then to be hit like this, and to go -- you know, 70 is the new 50. And it is really sad and of course, same day of Margaret Thatcher, who I interviewed twice on "LARRY KING LIVE" and shared dinner with. Both going the same day, it is really sad.

BALDWIN: And Lilly Pulitzer and Roger Ebert. It has been a tough 24 to 48 hours. Right?


BALDWIN: But with Annette Funicello, you think about -- we talk a lot these days about triple threats. I kind of feel like she was sort of the original triple threat as the Mouseketeer and the pop singer and big screen star. And talking to Paul Anka, and he said, yes, I wrote "Puppy Love" for her, about her, sort of talking about their young romance.

What is it about her? He said, she just had it. Did you feel that it when you were talking to her?


KING: Yes, it is what -- Brooke, in showbiz terms, impossible to describe. It is what -- it's it.

You either have it or you don't. I don't know what it is. But she had it. I can't define it, but I know it when I see it. Certain people, they come before a camera, and the camera, as Burt Reynolds once said, the camera likes them. They just like them. They enter a room and the room changes a little.

And Annette Funicello had it. She wasn't the greatest singer in the world, wasn't the prettiest woman in the world. She wasn't certainly the greatest acting talent ever, but in all three areas, she had it.

BALDWIN: Sounds like...


KING: And it is sad.

BALDWIN: ... she was loved very much by her husband in these last few years...


KING: Yes. He was a great guy. He took care of her. And as Paul said, it must have been a really bad last couple of years for her. It's a terrible disease, M.S., and there's no cure and I know they're spending lots of money every year to try to find a cure. It is a sad way to go.

BALDWIN: It is. And in talking to Elizabeth Cohen here at CNN, saying this is probably really part of her legacy, back then in '92, she kept it a secret for so many years, that she was coming forward and saying, yes, I have multiple sclerosis. That was bold of her to do that then and that is something that people will certainly remember her by.

Larry King...


KING: Absolutely, Brooke. Good talking to you, Brooke. Any time.


BALDWIN: Thank you.

KING: Same here.

BALDWIN: And now another impassioned push for gun control today from the Obama administration. President Obama is set to give a speech pushing for new gun control legislation this afternoon, in Hartford, Connecticut, not too far down the road from Newtown.

You know the story; 20 children, six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School back in December. Later today, 11 family members of those victims, of those shootings, will fly back to Washington with the president on board Air Force One. They will spend the next couple of days lobbying senators to pass gun control and gun safety legislation.

And our chief Washington correspondent and host of "THE LEAD," Jake Tapper, joins me now.

Jake, you were with the president when he was in Connecticut. Tell me about that.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I was watching the December 16 footage.

I was the pool -- the TV pool reporter when I was with ABC News and a White House correspondent and I was in the room. I was just thinking about that as we showed the footage. It was a remarkably moving event because there were parents -- this was just days after the shooting and there were parents in the room weeping as the president recited the names of the children and of the teachers who had perished.

It was a very heart-breaking event and hard to think about in retrospect looking back, that there was so much momentum and so much energy at the time for something to be done about gun violence, whether it is gun control, or mental health or guns in the culture, and here we are, four months later, and only now is the legislative process on one of those items really beginning to take hold.


BALDWIN: Background checks.

TAPPER: Yes. The background checks will be debated this week and it's still unclear as to whether or not anything will actually come out of the Senate.

BALDWIN: What about your show? I know, Jake, you sat down with Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal. What he did say to you about the NRA's efforts to thwart this legislation?

TAPPER: Well, it's interesting. We played some sound from his governor, Malloy, who was on Candy Crowley's show, yesterday, "STATE OF THE UNION," and asked him if he thought that, as Malloy said, Wayne LaPierre, the executive director of the NRA, is like a clown. And this was what Senator Blumenthal had to say in response.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: You know, we have a historic opportunity to break the stranglehold that the special interests, like the NRA, have had over legislative consideration of gun safety.

And I believe that we can and will break that stranglehold because the NRA has lost a lot of its credibility. It wants actually...

TAPPER: It's gained members since the shooting. You may say it lost has credibility, but it has gained at least a half million members since the Newtown shooting.

BLUMENTHAL: And many of those members now support, for example, background checks.


TAPPER: And it is true, of course, Brooke, that polling indicates substantial, significant support for background checks, among not only the public in general, but also gun owners, but, right now, it is still unclear whether or not there will be anything that can come out of the U.S. Senate, both because there are Republican senators who are threatening to filibuster anything, but also because it is not clear if there are enough Democrats to support.

BALDWIN: It's a big week. It's a big week for gun control. We will be watching for the president. Jake Tapper, we thank you. We will look for your interview of course on "THE LEAD" at the top of the hour.

TAPPER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Next to a woman who has been called tough and formidable, even brutish. She is Britain's Iron Lady.

Margaret Thatcher died at the age of 87 from a stroke. She was the first and only woman to ever lead Britain as prime minister.

Take a listen to how CNN's Piers Morgan remembers her.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST, "PIERS MORGAN LIVE": And I remember meeting her at one of Rupert Murdoch's parties in London and she was utterly formidable.

She once said she -- was she used to make up her mind about all men within 15 seconds. And within 15 seconds of meeting me, I remember she had this huge tumbler of whiskey, massive. She used to love a large glug of whiskey and she began prodding me in the chest very hard with a very large, bony finger, putting me right about all things economic.

And it was fascinating to watch. And I remember thinking, this is obviously exactly how she's treated male politicians for the last 15, 20 years. She was a tough cookie.


BALDWIN: Would have loved to have seen that.

There were many who loved her had. She stood up against communism and led her country to victory in the Falklands War, but she also had her fierce detractors.

Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams releasing this statement today "Working-class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies. Here in Ireland, her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering."

CNN International's Hala Gorani is here.

And I don't even know where to begin. What about just...


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is so much to talk when it comes to Margaret Thatcher. You can talk about how she completely transformed the U.K. economy, for instance.

This was an economy in deep depression with trade unions calling the shots. You will remember, of course, in the '80s for those who studied it in history classes, who might have lived through it, that she broke the backs of the trade unions in the U.K.

But it is not just that. It is her relationship with Europe, with Mikhail Gorbachev, the way she and Ronald Reagan together approached the Soviet Union, and brought about the end of the Cold War in the end. So it is very interesting to look at Margaret Thatcher as multifaceted and the number of issues, the Falklands War, other things, but also as someone who created a lot of division, even in death.

BALDWIN: I want to go back -- interesting even in death you say that -- back to her relationship with Ronald Reagan. I was talking to Frank Sesno at the top of last hour. He's now at G.W. University. But he covered the White House and interviewed her under Reagan and he was talking about really just the sort of chemistry they had.

Obviously they had the political ideology, very similar, being conservatives. But they just jelled and that she really influenced him when it came to the relationship with the Soviet Union.

GORANI: She did. And she was somebody who was in a relationship with some of the leaders in Europe, for instance, paving the way for the United States to approach a leader like Mikhail Gorbachev.

What is also important to remember is that this was also stage managed. People who knew them both, who were in meetings, knew that they had fundamental agreements on issues like neo-liberalism, like the market economy being the new dominant idea at the beginning of the 1980s, but that they had disagreements when it came, for instance, to the reduction of nuclear warheads that Ronald Reagan was negotiating with his Soviet counterparts, the decision, for instance, for the U.K. to protect the Falkland Islands from Argentina.

There were disagreements there. The U.S.' invasion of Grenada, the U.S. withdraw from Lebanon after the Marine barracks bombings, there were disagreements between the two. But in the end, there was a broad agreement on fundamentals and we saw this image of Margaret Thatcher leaning over the casket of Ronald Reagan at his funeral. This was in 2004. She already had a stroke two years before.

Her doctors told her don't go. Against her doctor's advice, she went. And there was this very poignant scene where she at the end of her life, or inching toward the end of her life, was saying goodbye to her ally Ronald Reagan. Whatever you thought of her at that moment, you felt her, you know -- you felt her, you felt her pain and felt sort of maybe her nostalgia for an era that had ended for her.

BALDWIN: Absolutely made history. Hala Gorani, thank you very much.

And now by land and air and now boat, this desperate search to find these two small boys. Police say the 2- and 4-year-olds were abducted by their own father. Now here they are. They think the kids are on a sailboat. Obviously, the challenge, the boat could be anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Here it is. Next, we're asking a former Coast Guard member about this search under way.


BALDWIN: An Amber Alert for two kidnapped brothers has spread from the roads to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Boaters are now on the lookout for these two little boys.

You're looking at 4-year-old Cole Hakken and his brother, 2-year- old Chase. Florida deputies think these two kids are on this sailboat. And you see why. These pictures that the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department released show this alleged kidnapper there on the right of your screen stepping in the boat. That's the boy's dad. Joshua Hakken and his wife, Sharyn, are on this boat.

And detectives think Sharyn, the boys' mother, is helping her husband. What is known is that Wednesday, these two little guys were in custody of their grandmother in Florida when their father, according to police, tied her up, and took his kids in their pajamas. The grandmother, Sharyn's mom, freed herself after two hours and called 911.


911 OPERATOR: And 911, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, my son-in-law just kidnapped my two children -- my two grandchildren. They have been in my state custody.


BALDWIN: And want to go now to Mario Vittone, a retired rescue Coast Guard swimmer who has been part of searchers similar to this one.

Mario, welcome. Just tell me how from a searcher's standpoint, the Gulf of Mexico, it is not small. How do you go about trying to find this boat?


Given that the boat left on Wednesday, if it moved just at five miles an hour, we're talking about 600 miles they could have traveled, which is a 280,000 square mile -- it's the size of Texas, it is an impossible search area. So they simply can't just go out and have a look.

Boats are hard to find when we have an idea where they are, and they want to be rescued or they want to be found. I don't imagine they want to be found, so it is going to be really -- it is going to have to -- they're going to have to be found by leads. The Coast Guard and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department and other agencies are going to have to follow leads given to them.


BALDWIN: How do you mean leads, by just based upon people sighting, seeing the boat out in the waters?

VITTONE: There has been a lot of sightings of the people have called in and said they think they see it.

And every blue sailboat in this world will be this boat. So they will get phone calls and they will have to run down that boat and that location. But they really can be anywhere. I can't imagine they're trying to stay in the states and they can stay out for a long time. they could be halfway to Mexico by now.

BALDWIN: What if they get to Mexico? What if they get to the waters? What happens to the family then?

VITTONE: That's a really good question.

I don't know exactly -- you know, where they -- what their plan is, where they plan to go. There are so many places they can just go hide and hang out for a while. And I saw a report about they thought, well, the gas -- they only have six gallons of gas on the boat. That's the size of the tank in the ad. They could have gone to the hardware store and tripled the gas range of the boat alone. And of course it is a sailboat. So they can go anywhere and if they're going to get found, it is going to be when someone sees them on land, because there is just no way to go out and have a look at the Gulf and try to find them.

BALDWIN: They have been gone, as you mentioned, since Wednesday. Obviously, this mother-in-law who had custody because of drug possession charges the father faced, I'm sure she would love to have these two little boys safe and sound.

Mario Vittone, thank you so much. We will be following this search, of course, for you, in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is a restaurant that bills itself as "delightfully tacky yet unrefined." But when most people think of Hooters, it is a specific vision that comes to mind, like, you know, the waitresses. Now one former waitress is suing the company, claiming the restaurant unfairly forced her to wear a wig. She's angry. "On the Case" is next.


BALDWIN: So, when you get a job as a waitress at Hooters, it is not for how well you balance a tray. Let's just put it that way. It is how far -- the question is how far can Hooters go to keep up its signature look?

This ex-waitress, we will talk about here, says her managers went too far. Here she is. This is Sandro Lupo in a picture from "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch." She is suing Hooters over what happened to her after she had brain surgery to remove some sort of mass.

According to court documents, management insisted that she wear a wig to cover her shaved head and the scar from this surgery. Quoting legal documents now, "The wig, however, caused extreme stress to her body because of the surgery and the healing wound. The plaintiff was forced to leave work because she could not wear the wig. Her manager then reduced her hours to the point the plaintiff could not earn an income, therefore forcing the plaintiff to quit."

"On the Case" with me now, criminal defense attorney Drew Findling and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin.

Welcome. Beginning with you, obviously, look, you're hired at Hooters, it is all about how you look and as a female you have to go into it knowing that. That said, does she have a case?

DREW FINDLING, ATTORNEY: I think she does.

If you look at the discrimination laws in Missouri, she clearly will be able to get in court and how do we know that? We know that because Hooters wants this case to go to arbitration. Now, why do they want it to go to arbitration? Because a judge will decide or a panel of non-laymen will decide because the law is more sometimes about emotional than it is about the law.

And, wow, would this be an emotional issue, someone denied employment because of brain surgery. Things would probably not fare well in front of 12 jurors for Hooters.

BALDWIN: Wearing a wig to cover a scar. Sunny Hostin, this is what Hooters says -- quote -- "Hooters of America believes the lawsuit is without foundation, denies the accusations and has filed a motion that the lawsuit be dismissed."

Do you think that will happen?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I have a copy of all the court documents. I do actually think it is very possible that this case could be dismissed in federal court, and decided in arbitration because Hooters is alleging that she signed an arbitration agreement.

And bottom line is, Brooke, you and I have been through this before, we have talked about people suing Hooters over and over again. I remember we talked about a weight discrimination case and what happened? We don't know what happened because it got settled. It went into arbitration. That, I think, is probably what is going to happen here.

Does she have a point? Perhaps. I mean, you know, bottom line is it is clear that she had the surgery and that they asked her to wear the wig because Hooters admits in their papers that they asked her to wear the wig. But they're trying to sort of get this to go away and they have been very successful in doing that. And I suspect we won't know what happens with this case.

BALDWIN: So you and Drew agree this will go way because it will go to arbitration. But my final question is to you, just for women who are looking for this kind of line of work, what is the takeaway for them?

FINDLING: Well, the takeaway is there is a plus and minus for the aesthetics. On the one hand you're getting the job because you apparently look nice and that's it. But if anything happens to you, the superficial aspect of your hiring could also be your demise.


BALDWIN: Drew Findling and Sunny Hostin, thank you very much.

Waiting for the next move -- the U.S. is watching closely as North Korea is poised to launch a test missile. Some experts believe it could be merely days away. We will talk live to Christiane Amanpour about the latest threats, get her thoughts next.