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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Dr. Kermit Gosnell on Trial for Illegal Abortion, Murder; North Korea Threatening to Hit Tokyo; RNC Reaffirms Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage; Agents Search Home in Texas D.A. Deaths Probe; Three Teens Arrested After California Girl's Suicide; Comedian Jonathan Winters Dies; Georgia Town Still Holds Segregated Proms
Aired April 12, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks. Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, the allegations are sickening. Babies murdered, mothers maltreated, mutilated, even killed. A doctor now on trial for murder and multiple state agencies heard the complaints but did nothing year after year. We are "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, North Korea, making another dire threat to incinerate a neighbor. America tries to tamp down and you will hear from a defector who is still traumatized by North Korean propaganda.
And later, segregated proms in Georgia. If you think this is something from 1963, it's not. It's happening now 2013.
We begin though tonight, "Keeping Them Honest" with the trial of a doctor who ran what authorities described as a house of horrors, a filthy medical clinic in Philadelphia that for years performed illegal abortions on mostly poor patients.
What allegedly happened inside this abortion clinic called the women's medical society could have been stopped if a number of state agencies had actually done their job. They did it. And women and children paid the price. There were plenty of complaints over the years, plenty of allegations of malpractice, patients who died or had to be hospitalized, but still the state did nothing.
In Pennsylvania, abortions past 24 weeks are illegal unless the health of the mother is at stake. However, authorities say this man, this doctor, Kermit Gosnell, offered illegal abortions, killing an unknown number of viable fetuses. His criteria wasn't the life or health of the mother. It was, according to authorities whether the mothers could pay in cash.
Doctor's Gosnell's untrained staff would allegedly induce labor then he would kill otherwise healthy babies. It's gruesome to even think about, but he did it by snipping their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. Doctor Gosnell was not certified as an obstetrician or gynecologist, and is now on trial on eight counts of murder. He faces the death penalty. Three years ago, the FBI raided the women's medical society looking for evidence of illegal drug sales. According to a subsequent grand jury report what they found when they entered that clinic was utterly horrifying, blood on the floors, smell of urine in the air, a flea-infested cat roaming the halls, moaning semi-conscious drugged- patients sting beneath blood stained blankets.
The evidence which is presented in this grand jury report, 281 pages of it, is sickening. According to a police detective, the doctor Gosnell stated as many as 20 percent of the fetuses he aborted were probably older than 24 weeks. Page five of the grand jury report details the live delivering killing of a 7 1/2-month-old baby. 7 1/2- months-old, big enough, the doctor allegedly said to, quote "walk me to the bus stop." Page five of 281 pages.
There is more on every page detailing the unlicensed, untrained staffers, including a 15-year-old, a 15-year-old hired as an intern who ended up medicating patients and even assisting with abortions.
Now, the report also lays out the government agencies that have been given warning signs about doctor Gosnell's clinics. Some of them dating back decades.
Now, this story has not received the kind of media attention that one might expect, and that's become part of the story as well.
We are going to talk about all of that in a moment. We will start senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and others who have been covering this story for a long time.
But first, and this isn't easy to watch, more on allegedly what happened inside that clinic.
COOPER (voice-over): Doctor Gosnell's abortion clinic is closed because of the allegations of what happened inside are socking. Babies allegedly murdered after induced labor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby has been born. And was on a cold steel table and murdered by taking scissors and putting them into the neck, and then cutting, severing the spinal cord. This is homicide. It's murder.
COOPER: A scathing grand jury report alleges 72-year-old Kermit Gosnell and his staff likely murdered hundreds of babies with what he called, quote "snippings to ensure fetal demise." Accurate records, however, were never kept, so doctor Gosnell is only accused of murdering seven babies born alive, as late as eight months into pregnancy.
The same report also details a litany of gory health violations where he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs and perforated their wombs and bowels.
This woman who had an abortion performed by Gosnell believes she contracted a serious infection from deplorable conditions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen blood like on the tables that he had the utensils from.
COOPER: Gosnell also faces an additional count of murdering an adult. This 41-year-old woman who died of an anesthetic overdoes during a second trimester abortion.
All the more horrifying doctor Gosnell's abortion clinic, the women's medical society had been in business since 1979. The question is, how could this have gone on for so long with no one complaining to state authorities. Well, it turns out there were plenty of complaints, but the state didn't shut the clinic down.
The Pennsylvania department of health did official inspections as far back as 1989, and repeatedly found health violations in the clinic but never ensured they were corrected.
The grand jury report also said, quote "the medical examiner of Delaware County informed the department that Gosnell had performed an illegal abortion on a 14-year-old girl carrying a 30-week-old baby. They also received official notice of the 41-year-old woman's death for which Gosnell now faces a murder charge. None of that got the department of health to investigate.
The grand jury report also states that back in 1993, because of political reasons, the department of health stopped inspecting all abortion clinics in the state. Other agencies also failed to properly investigate. The Pennsylvania department of state, through its board of medicine, received a complaint a decade ago from a former employee of doctor Gosnell, and according to the grand jury report quote "laid out the whole scope of his operation, the unclean, unsterile conditions, the unlicensed workers, the unsupervised sedation, and the under aged abortion patients." They did assign an investigator who interviewed doctor Gosnell, but incredibly they never inspected his clinic. The complaint was eventually dismissed.
The clinic was finally shut down not because of botched abortions, but because of drugs. The FBI raided the office an illegal prescriptions of oxycontin and other painkillers that brought him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The feds were horrified with conditions they have discovered inside the clinic. These photos show some of the unsanitary conditions, they even found remains of aborted fetuses. Doctor Gosnell is now on trial and has pled not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a person providing a service in Philadelphia, that did not do the things that the grand jury says that he did. He did not execute viable babies. That's just not the reality of what was going on here.
COOPER: In the fallout of this case, seven staffers for Pennsylvania's department of health and department of state have since left their jobs or been fired for their alleged mishandling of the Gosnell case. Officials say they have overhauled their investigative and communication procedures so this never can happen again.
COOPER: And with us now, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, David Altrogge, the writer and director of 3801 Lancaster, a documentary about the clinic. And Joe Slobodzian, a court reporter for the "Philadelphia Inquirer" and blog redfully.com (ph).
So, first of all, Jeff, what do you make of this? This doctor is charged with multiple counts now of murder. It's incredible to me that this went on and on with the state doing nothing.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's hard to describe. It's hard to select what is the worst part of this story. I mean, certainly, the deaths of these babies, the deaths of these women is the worst part. But there's so much awful there. One part you didn't even mention was this whole weird racial dimension, where he would treat white patients better than the African-American patients.
COOPER: Or bring white patients to the one clean office and the African-American patients were left down --
TOOBIN: And Gosnell himself is African-American. I mean, the whole thing was such a house of horrors. And why it wasn't stopped, I don't think there is a clear answer at this point.
COOPER: David, in your documentary, which is viewed, you can see it online, it's remarkable, you interviewed several women who were patients of doctor Gosnell. I want to listen to a portion of your film.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They came in and finally called my name. And I went upstairs. And I remember just walking through and looking and seeing some women that looked half dead. And his bloody reclined chairs. There was blood all over the recliner chairs, all over the floor. I just kept going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: David, if anyone from the department of health or other agencies actually had gone there over the years, they would have seen what that patient saw.
DAVID ALTROGGE, WRITER AND DIRECTOR, 30801 LANCASTER: Absolutely, yes. I mean, that was one of the things that I just couldn't believe when I first heard about this case, and started reading the grand jury report. You know, the Pennsylvania department of health, the Pennsylvania department of state, and the Philadelphia department of public health and safety, they had ample opportunity to investigate and to shut Gosnell down.
COOPER: And Joe, the doctor's staff, they seemed completely untrained. I mean, the chief anesthesiologist I understand had only liked a 7th graded education.
JOE SLOBODZIAN, REPORTER, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: That's correct. Linda Williams testified this week she never went beyond 7th grade. And eventually got some training as a phlebotomist. But really didn't work in that job. She was working at another abortion clinic in Delaware, sterilizing instruments. That's where she met Gosnell.
And later, after her husband was murdered, and she was going through problems, Gosnell agreed to hire her under the table, board her in and then gradually trained her in different skills needed for the abortion procedure.
And Linda, as any other employee, when they said, is this OK, is this legal, Gosnell, according to the trial testimony, would say, you are working for a doctor, you're grandfathered in.
TOOBIN: Eight of his subordinates have already pleaded guilty. And so the -- at first, their defense was, well, the doctor told me it was OK. But when you have monstrous acts like this, just a doctor telling you that this is OK, you know, you as a human being are expected to understand this was a crime.
COOPER: And Jeff, in '93, they stopped all inspections in the state of abortion clinics. Is that because of political pressure?
TOOBIN: Well, that to me, and perhaps these other gentlemen can explain that to me. I'm a little confused as why that happened. Pennsylvania has been a hotbed of abortion politics. And one of the interesting aspects of this case is everyone sees what they want, politically in this case. You know, anti-abortion people see the horror of abortion. Pro-abortion rights people say, this is what happens when you don't allow people to use Medicaid to get abortions. But I still don't -- maybe these guys --
COOPER: Do you know the answer to that? In the grand jury report it indicates it was political pressure that, you know, that I guess pro-choice groups campaigning to stop -- do you know why these -- why all inspections were stopped?
SLOBODZIAN: Well, we don't know exactly why the commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- Jeffrey's right, after all the work they put into the abortion control act, and trying to restrict abortion in every way they can. We have never really heard why they didn't follow up. Not only did they not inspect the clinic, but in one case of the, I think you mentioned earlier, a 14-year-old girl who had an abortion. She was going to have an abortion at Gosnell's clinic. She wound up going to the emergency room of a local hospital. The fetus was born dead. And the health work medical examiner wrote to the state department of health saying, this is a 30-week-old fetus. It's in violation of the abortion control act. Never received a response.
COOPER: David, I mean, there are obviously -- I mean, race has got to play some role in this, in that the people, by and large, the patients were African-American, Latino, didn't have a lot of money, didn't have a lot of political power. I mean, maybe I shouldn't say it's obviously a part of it. Do you think it's a part of it, that that is one of the reasons the state didn't after the impetus to investigate is this. ALTROGGE: Yes, I mean, I think that's part of it. I mean, page 13, if I can just read a short thing, it says on page 13 of the grand jury report, it says we think the reason no one acted is the women in question were for end of color, because the victims were infants without identities and because the subject was the political football of abortion.
So, I think that absolutely played a part of it. It wouldn't be accurate to say that all of his patients were minorities. I was just talking to one of his former patients last week who was a white girl who went to a reputable clinic in Maryland and that clinic referred her to Gosnell. So, there were hundreds of women who came to Gosnell from his neighborhood, but this were women who came from all over the eastern seaboard who were referred to him.
COOPER: Right, out of state.
ALTROGGE: -- who were referred to him, yes.
COOPER: It seemed as he became as known as the specialty. He was a guy who for cash, I mean, these are the allegations, that for cash he would perform late-term abortions whereas others wouldn't.
TOOBIN: Right. And as we all know, late-term abortions are one of the most politically controversial aspects of abortion now. They are generally banned except when the life of the mother is at stake, life or health of the mother. But that, it can very much be determined by the doctor. And Gosnell apparently had the reputation for finding justification of doing it.
COOPER: Joe, you have been in the courtroom. You have been following this. And David, obviously you picked up on this a long time ago. There's been a lot of criticism of main stream media, Jeff, for not covering this in the same way they covered the Jodi Arias trial or, you know, it's not front page news in a lot of places. This is the first night we are covering it. Why do you think that is, that is hasn't received the front page coverage?
TOOBIN: Well, the people making those criticisms are by and large conservative. They are saying the liberal media is trying to protect the abortion rights by not showing this harsh show. I don't buy that at all.
You know, I think, I can only speak for CNN, and my knowledge of this part of the media, the "New Yorker" where I work, I have some sense of, you know, mainstream "New York Times," they don't cover a story. It's a business decision. We are not operating with the political agenda here. We pick stories. By and large for reasons that we think people would be interested. I don't think we're covering this up. So, I just think that's a way of trying to --
COOPER: David, what do you think?
COOPER: What do you think about why it hasn't received the kind of coverage it might have otherwise?
ALTROGGE: Well, I mean, I am shocked that the major media outlets haven't covered a story that is as, for lack of a better word, as sensational as this. I mean, I do think it's because we're uncomfortable talking about the issue of abortion. And unfortunately, because we haven't talked about it, these women and these babies are being forgotten. These women who -- I mean, like women in the film, like (INAUDIBLE) who you just saw and another one, Devitta (ph), and they've been forgotten. They've been, quote unquote, "blocked out." So, I think abortion has something to do with it. We are uncomfortable talking about it. We're afraid to talk about it.
COOPER: I think for me, the eye opening part was reading the grand jury report. And once you read it, it's not only the horrors that occurred there, but the failures, repeated failures year after year after year of state authorities, and that bares further investigation.
David, again, people can see your documentary online. What's your Web site, David, just the people can know?
ALTROGGE: It's 30801lancaster.com.
COOPER: OK. And Joe, I appreciate your reporting. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much for being here.
Let us know what you think.
SLOBODZIAN: Thank you very much.
COOPER: Let's talk about this on twitter @andersoncooper.
Just ahead, secretary of state John Kerry is in South Korea trying to tamp anxiety over that new U.S. intelligence report about North Korea. He has some tough words today from Pyongyang. And the north had a fiery message for another neighbor.
Also coming on, the power of North Korea's propaganda machine. You will meet a woman still haunted by the brainwashing she said she endured before she defected.
And later, U.S. representative, Matt Salmon says having a gay son has not change his views on same-sex marriage. He is still opposed to equal rights for gay and lesbians or same-sex marriage. We are going to talk to his son, Matt, ahead.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Well, the message to North Korea tonight is cooling. A meeting today with the South Korean leader, secretary of state Kerry warned the north not to test-fire a ballistic missile or do anything that might risk a shooting war.
Secretary Kerry saying quote "Kim Jong Un needs to understand, as I think he does, what the outcome of that conflict would be. He also downplayed that assessment from the defense intelligence agency that we talked about last night suggesting Pyongyang may have developed the capability to fire a nuclear missile at its neighbors. None of which has stopped the north from launching more verbal attacks, this time triggered by Japanese defense preparations. North Korean state news agency warning that any, quote "provocative action would see Tokyo, quote "consumed in nuclear flames."
Kyung Lah is in Seoul, South Korea with us for more.
Is there any better sense tonight, Kyung, of if or when North Korea might go forward a missile launch? Yesterday they raised them and lowered them. What's the latest?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I need to be very frank, Anderson, we don't. We don't know. We are left guessing, as we always are with the Kermit (ph) kingdom. And as you mentioned, you know, they raise a missile launcher. They lower the missile launcher. The sense here in the region is that this is North Korea playing games. So, the region is left to guess if this will happen.
It is Saturday warning here. On the weekend they typically do not do this. It's also Friday night in the United States. And these launches are a message to America, bottom line. So they don't want to do it when they don't have ultimate news coverage. The maximum news coverage.
And they are also not expecting that it will happen Monday here in Asia, Sunday night in the U.S. because it's Kim Il-Sung's birthday on Monday. They expect if it happens at all, Anderson, it may be Tuesday. This kid, again, he is unpredictable, and thereby, a little more dangerous than his father, Anderson.
COOPER: And obviously, we were talking about Secretary Kerry being in Seoul today. The message was clear for him that the U.S. stands with the south. How is that being received on both sides of the peninsula?
LAH: We are actually having complete radio silence from North Korea today. No reaction at all to what Secretary Kerry said. We are getting reaction from South Korea, the president greeting very warmly, saying she completely agrees, she is falling in line exactly what secretary Kerry is saying. Saying, OK, it hasn't worked. We can't keep playing these war games, we can't keep playing tough. Let's open up the dialogue. Let's extend a hand. But she says, OK, North Korea, we're going to talk. But you have to play nice.
COOPER: Kyung, thanks. We are going to come back to you shortly, for the terrifying look at the grip that North Korean propaganda has, even on North Koreans who have already pled the country have been able to get out.
But first, our nightly sample of it from North Korean state televisions evening newscast. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEXT: To the end of the sky, to the end of the earth, to the end of time. The purpose of the rifle cannot be changed. Our highest commander.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Their newscast. Now, you can look at the propaganda and you can laugh at sort of how comical it seems. But fact is though, there's nothing to laugh about where the North Korean regime is concerned. And the propaganda, it is more than trying to hold the bull over westernized. Its main purpose seems to be molding North Koreans' lives, brainwashing its own people in a sense and haunting those who have been lucky enough to escape.
Once again, here's Kyung Lah.
LAH (voice-over): Bizarre. Over the top. Welcome to the one and only television channel available this North Korea. Korean central television, KCTV. To the outside world, the state run images runs from the weird to the ridiculous to unbelievable and outlandish propaganda.
But look what happens as Chae Young Hee watches KCTV.
They're God, she says, referring to North Korea's trinity Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather.
But, how can people think of him as a God?
That's what you're taught since birth, says this defector, who escaped North Korea ten years ago fleeing the brutal regime. She says, it's been a long time since I last saw it, and I feel I'm getting emotional. I don't know how to express this. This is not a lie, this is not an act, it's real.
If anything happens, North Koreans will give up their lives. They will even jump into a fire.
This is very powerful. Even though you left ten years ago, this still has power over you.
We watched a children show that Chae remembered, the good North Korean cat defeating the South Korean rat. And a war film that depicts North Koreans defeating Americans.
But if there's a revelation for this woman who fled North Korea so long ago, it's this.
You didn't know Kim Jong-un. Do you feel the same love and devotion to him that you felt to Kim Jong-Il, just by watching this television?
CHAE YOUNG HEE, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR (through translator): Yes, I feel the same. He looks like Kim Il-Sung. He looks exactly like his grandfather. He's the same. He's doing exactly what his grandfather and his father did.
LAH: The power of propaganda on a people, the power of a regime.
COOPER: It's amazing to see her reaction. You know, even though she's escaped, to see just her reaction looking at that, to talk about her love of -- for the Kim family seems kind of shocking.
LAH: It shocked her as well. This is a woman who fled North Korea. If she was caught, she would have faced execution. She's not someone who loves this regime, but she had this incredible emotional reaction.
And Anderson, what I found really interesting is, after she started having this reaction, she almost couldn't understand my questions. She couldn't respond to these questions. I met her three years ago, she's very sharp. And it was as if she lost that edge as soon as she started watching television. Really gives us a window into this regime's power over its people.
COOPER: Yes. The impact this has growing up in it.
Kyung, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.
As always, find out more on this story at CNN.com.
Coming up next, the Republican Party talking about being more inclusive, today voting not to be when it comes to same-sex marriage. We are going to talk to Matt Salmon about what it's like to be the openly gay son of a social conservative congressman. He joins me live.
And later, you will meet the high schoolers who are working to organize an integrated prom. That's right. You heard right. They have only had segregated proms. We will show you where. We will tell you how on earth people justify separate black and white anything in this day and age.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. The Republican National Committee reaffirmed its position that a marriage should be solely between one man and one woman. Now the vote came just one month after the RNC released a report that called for the GOP to soften its tone on hot- button issues including same-sex marriage.
Some high-profile Republicans as you know have publicly been making the case for widening the party's tent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I think we have to be a welcoming party.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We need to be the party of inclusion.
SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We can evolve in a better direction.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: More dynamic, more inclusive Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A lot of social conservatives though were angered by the RNC report. Yesterday, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council e-mailed his group's supporters telling them to send the message to party leaders with their wallets.
He wrote, quote, "Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don't send them a dime of your hard-earned money."
Perkins also laid out specific marching orders urging the RNC, quote, "To pass a resolution reiterating the GOP support for the party platform that was overwhelmingly adopted in Tampa last year."
The party platform defines marriage obviously solely between one man and one woman. Today, the RNC did exactly as Perkins asked. Meantime, some of the parties' ranks are breaking ranks.
In recent weeks, two Republican senators have publicly put their support behind the same-sex marriage, Illinois' Mark Kirk and Ohio's Rob Portman. Portman as you know said having a gay son changed his views on the issue.
At the same time, Republican Congressman Matt Salmon of Arizona recently said having a gay son has not changed his views on same-sex marriage. His son, Matt, now a third-year medical student, posted a video on YouTube in 2011 describing being bullied as a teenager, going through reparative therapy and finally making peace with himself and his family. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't know if my family would ever come around. My parents were very politically opposed to gay and equal rights. I can tell you, since I've come out, things have changed with my family. But it wasn't until I realized one key thing. If I wanted them to love me and fully accept me, I had to love and fully accept them, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's a powerful video that's online now. Matt Salmon joins me now. Great to have you here.
MATT R. SALMON, SON OF REPRESENTATIVE MATT SALMON: It's great to be here. Thank you.
COOPER: When you heard, you know, a couple of weeks ago, the RNC talking about having a bigger tent, something they talked about over the years. I imagine you were encouraged.
COOPER: How did you feel today when they voted again to reiterate one man, one woman?
SALMON: I was a little disappointed. I mean, like you said, you talked about the platform, part of the Republican platform that they put out in 2012 states that the only true just government is one who governs by the consent of the government.
And we've seen polls that show the majority of Americans now, I think by a recent poll, showed support for gay marriage. Now we have these leaders who have come out in support, in the Republican Party. It's just the disappointment that the chairman, co-chair are still sticking with these old views.
COOPER: The situation that you face in your family is interesting. It mirrors what a lot of people go through. A lot of gay people go through growing up in conservative households. You grew up in the Mormon Church.
Obviously both of your parents are interested in politics and are conservative. How do you see that? Do you have a -- you publicly said you have a loving relationship with your dad, a very close relationship.
You feel he respects you and yet he does not believe you should have the same marriage rights that he has. How do you reconcile that?
SALMON: Well, I mean, like I said in my video, I couldn't expect my parents to fully accept me unless I could accept them and their views and it's been a long time in coming. But I finally realized that no matter what our differences and opinions are, we have to love and support each other.
And since then, our relationship has really grown stronger and I've watched as my dad has just really been a huge supporter of me. And yes, he doesn't support gay marriage, but that's no reason that I shouldn't love him, or just accept him for who he is.
COOPER: Do you hope he changes his position?
SALMON: I do. I hope that he changes his position and I mean, for me, I hope to get married some day. And so I hope that I have that support.
COOPER: Your mom also, you talk about this in the video, had been instrumental and writing -- been part of a committee trying to get Arizona to make sure that marriage was just between a man and a woman. She knew at that time that you were gay, correct?
SALMON: Yes. I was going through reparative therapy thing.
COOPER: So how did that feel to know that she was writing -- because in the video you say she even asked you to help proofread some of it?
SALMON: Yes. And I was -- at the time, like I said, I was going through reparative therapy, so I was very much set on the fact that I would be straight.
COOPER: You were hoping that you would really change.
SALMON: That was the plan, yes, and so for me, really, it wasn't an issue. I mean, looking back, I'm glad where we've come, because we are in so much better place now but --
COOPER: What do you want other young people out there, who are in similar situations you're in, maybe they've just come out to their families and their families don't support them in that sense?
SALMON: See, my big hope is that people can look at my relationship with my parents and see, you know, we can have -- families can be conservative and have gay members and it doesn't have to be this huge ordeal.
It doesn't have to be fight and anger and hatred. My family is a great example of that. We love each other so much. And our family, I think, is closer than it ever has been and it doesn't change given the fact that I'm gay, or --
COOPER: Would you -- and you don't have to answer this or anything, but would you introduce your family to somebody you were seeing?
COOPER: And they would be OK with that?
SALMON: Yes. I believe so, yes.
COOPER: Reparative therapy is something I just find really interesting. You're in medical school. You plan to be a psychiatrist yourself. So you have a really perspective on this. What was it like for you?
SALMON: Well, actually, looking back, I don't regret it. I mean, it was -- the goal was to become straight, but it turns out what I took away from it is an increased confidence and --
COOPER: How did it make you more confident?
SALMON: Well, a big part of it was really teaching me to make relationships with straight men because that would help me to kind of take on this straightness. And so it really helped me actually learn how to talk more -- talk with men, and --
COOPER: It helped you meet guys? I think your doctor probably right now is spitting out his coffee. Going through reparative therapy actually made you more confident in meeting guys?
SALMON: Yes. And it made me more confident in my approach, yes. COOPER: Wow. I've never heard anybody --
SALMON: I'm grateful.
COOPER: But to be a kid and have a parent want you to go through that, was that painful at time or was that a time that you felt you wanted to do it?
SALMON: It was my decision. I was 18 when I started. I had every right to make that decision on my own and I did because I wanted to change.
COOPER: One thing finally, I thought it was really important you said in the video is just how happy you are now, and how years ago, you prayed this would change. Now you would not want this to change.
SALMON: No, not at all.
COOPER: You love being gay.
SALMON: I do. If anything that people could get from this is just to realize that you can be happy and that it doesn't have to be this sad, difficult thing. Once you accept yourself, I think that's a big part of it.
And my hope is that even if I can just change the world for one person, I've managed to change the world and to me, that's a big deal. I mean, I get a lot of flak from different people.
And just for the one maybe tweet or something I get of support saying you helped me, I'm proud of who I am, that's all I care about. I can take all of the hate and everything else, just for that one.
COOPER: I'm really glad you came on the show. Thank you.
SALMON: Thank you.
COOPER: Nice to meet you.
SALMON: Nice to meet you.
COOPER: A lot more going on. Susan Hendricks joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. A 360 follow now, FBI agents today searched the Texas home of Eric Williams, a former Kaufman County Justice of the Peace who was questioned after the murders of the county's D.A. and his wife.
Mike and Cynthia McClelland were killed in their home last month. William's was convicted of burglary and theft by a public servant last year. The man who prosecuted him, Mark Hasse, was gunned down in January.
In California now, three 16-year-old boys are facing charges of sexual battery in connection with the alleged rape of Audrey Pott who later killed herself. She was 15 years old. The boys are accused of sharing photos of that attack and posting them online.
Jonathan Winters who influenced generations of comedians has died. He was 87 and many considered him a genius of comedy.
COOPER: And he was so funny, such a funny guy.
HENDRICKS: He really was.
COOPER: Yes. Susan, thanks very much. What we found out about one high school in Georgia kind of surprised us. In a small town in that state, they still have segregated proms, one for white students and one for African-American students.
And teens are now trying to change that. Not everyone in the town though likes that idea. Gary Tuchman went there to find out what people were thinking. That's next.
COOPER: Well, it's surprising to think this is happening in 2013, but in a small town in Georgia there are two separate proms, one for white students and one for African-American students.
It's always been this way, but now a group of students say it's time for change. To say that change is long overdue is an understatement. But amazingly some people in town are not breaking with tradition. Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These teenagers are attempting to do something that's never been done before in tiny Wilcox, Georgia, home of the Wilcox County High School.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're basically making history in Wilcox County.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This prom is integrated.
TUCHMAN: Wilcox County High has never had an integrated prom. Instead, for as long as anyone remembers, there has been one prom for white kids and one prom for black kids. There will still be a white prom this year, but these teens are organizing another prom that welcomes kids from all races.
MARESHIA RUCKER, INTEGRATED PROM ORGANIZER: We share everything else together, why not have this one moment that means the world to us together.
TUCHMAN: After segregation in schools was ruled illegal over 60 years ago in this country, many high schools stopped sponsoring proms so they wouldn't have to worry about privately organized high school proms. Proms remain privately sponsored here. At this bar, some say it's just a matter of tradition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they want to get together to have a prom, they should be able to do it. I think blacks should be able to do it, too.
TUCHMAN: Others are much more blunt about their desire to maintain the tradition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There should be two separate proms.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Tell me why you feel that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think they should be black boys dancing with white girls. I don't like that. I wasn't raised that way.
TUCHMAN: You know, but this is the year 2013 though not 1953.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate it and you know, not be disrespectful, but this is just my opinion.
TUCHMAN: Do you understand how that sounds very old-fashioned in the way things used to be in the United States, that everyone who goes to high school together, the idea is they should graduate together, learn together and go to prom together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should go to school together and everything, but proms.
TUCHMAN: You're not going to change your mind about that ever?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But the Integrated Prom Committee has received national support. In fact, the committee has its pick of a free deejay, dozens from around the country, a volunteer to provide the entertainment. Many of the county's parents went to segregated proms back in their day and say the time has come for this.
TONI RUCKER, MOTHER OF ORGANIZER: I believe that they were destined for this moment. Nobody else could do this before now.
TUCHMAN: Many others in this county are supportive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just makes sense to have one prom. There's no reason to separate them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel they're all classmates. If they can participate and play sports together, why not have a prom together.
TUCHMAN: The principal of the high school and the superintendent of the school district would not go on camera. But the superintendent told us off camera the tradition of private proms is being re- evaluated.
And the decision about whether the school will sponsor integrated proms in the future is being considered. (Inaudible) Acosta graduated from the high school last year.
(on camera): You're a Mexican-American? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.
TUCHMAN: What prom are you supposed to go to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess, I'm supposed to stay home and dance alone.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But this year in Wilcox County, all are welcome to show up at this prom hall. No matter what the color of your skin.
COOPER: Gary Tuchman joins me live. It's really surprising. I wonder how many kids are going to go to the alternate prom. What feedback have the kids on the prom received?
TUCHMAN: They tell us, Anderson, they've received a lot of positive feedback from other students, from parents, and from teachers. They also say, though, they've received cold shoulders from some.
And in the opposite end of the spectrum, they have received some vial, racist insults on their Facebook feeds, anonymous. They are from names they don't recognize so it's not surprising it's anonymous. But I looked at those insults and they really are very vulgar and disturbing.
COOPER: Yes, it's amazing what people online can do for people. Are they getting a lot of RSVPs for the integrated prom?
TUCHMAN: They tell us that they believe that their prom will have more people than the so-called white prom. The white prom, by the way, is a week from tomorrow and the first-ever integrated prom in Wilcox County is two weeks from tomorrow.
COOPER: All right, fascinating stuff. Gary, appreciate it. Thanks very much.
Up next, my adventurous meal with Anthony Bourdain, we're going to talk about his new CNN show and reveal exactly what it is we're eating. I'm still not sure. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight, a rare look at what happens when the world's most adventurous eater goes out to dinner with probably the world's least interested eater. I'm talking about Anthony Bourdain and myself. Guess which one is which.
Starting this Sunday he's taking us to exotic local destinations with his new show on CNN, Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN." We went to a great restaurant here in New York City to talk. Take a look.
COOPER: What's the idea of the show?
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": I guess, it's not -- it's not really that ambitious. It's to continue what I've been doing as long as I've been making television, which is travel the world on my stomach.
COOPER: On your stomach?
BOURDAIN: You know, look at the world at least initially from the point of view of somebody who cooked for a living for 30 years. Who's interested not just in what's cooking, but why people are cooking certain things, what is it about that culture that inspires or demands that they eat the things they eat. And ultimately who's cooking, who's eating.
COOPER: When I'm traveling for work, I almost want to avoid food because I'm so scared of getting sick and having anything happen that's going to interfere --
BOURDAIN: The word on the street is you hate food.
COOPER: I am not a big food eater. Yes, if I can have a shake for every meal, that would be fine with me. But especially overseas, and watching your show, I realize I'm missing out on an entire side of the places that I'm visiting because I'm not experimenting with the food.
BOURDAIN: But people are telling you a story when they give you food. And if you don't accept the food, you are in many cultures, whether rural Arkansas or Vietnam, you're rejecting the people.
COOPER: Coming up on this weekend's show, you travel to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. That's a place I was fascinated with in my early reporting. I was back there in '91. It's really opened up in the last couple years. I haven't been there to official Myanmar. What's it like?
BOURDAIN: Well, there's that sense that I'm sure you felt, even more intensely that, wow, I'm seeing some really incredibly beautiful things, and nobody else has seen them. Bagan is a temple complex that's impressive and very few people have seen it.
It's an incredibly beautiful country. What I found remarkable about Myanmar, aside from its beauty, which is just spectacular, I've been to a lot of places 20 years after the Soviets left, 30 years, and people still shy away from the camera. They still don't want to talk to you.
They see a camera. It means it's a bad thing. They are -- they close up at the approach of an outsider. Here, Myanmar, a place where about a year ago, you're tossed in jail for consorting with foreigners. Everybody was incredibly open. Yes, this is the good stuff.
COOPER: What is it?
BOURDAIN: Yakitori. They're delightful little bits of chicken. I don't know whether that's skin or not. It might be knuckly.
COOPER: It's knuckly?
BOURDAIN: Yes, you might want to go with -- wow. They really hate you, man. I love this. Generally, it's -- this should be good.
COOPER: Couldn't we just get regular chicken?
BOURDAIN: This is the boutique stuff. You have to come early or they run out. I totally recommend the skin. It's crunchy and delicious.
COOPER: It is like knuckles, though.
BOURDAIN: That is actually knuckles.
COOPER: Chicken knuckles?
BOURDAIN: Yes. Well, sort of the elbow. It's got that sort of cartilage.
COOPER: I immediately grabbed this one because I thought it was regular chicken. I'll eat this.
BOURDAIN: They do tongue here really well. I guess I'm not going to -- I tell you, it's the backbone of every street fare in the world, deep-fried food.
COOPER: What do you hope people take away from seeing you in Myanmar?
BOURDAIN: You know, I think just to the extent that people get a window into a big part of the world, a big culture, that they were unaware of, I mean, I'm pretty modest in my ambitions or expectations. I'm not an advocate or I'm not a journalist. I'm not an activist.
COOPER: You don't see yourself as a journalist?
BOURDAIN: I'm an enthusiast. And the extent to which people can get a sense of who we're talking about, when we talk about Myanmar, that's enough for me. I've seen them eat, hang out, interact. There is value in that.
COOPER: Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN," starts this Sunday, April 14th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN. I'm very much looking forward to. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Ran out of time for the "Ridiculist." We have a special report, Drew Griffin investigating at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. A father's nightmare, two American kids kidnapped by their own mother to Egypt 12 years ago. The father has not seen them since. Tonight, he will see them for the first time. We'll investigate why he can't get his kids back. That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.