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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Secretary of State John Kerry Visits China; Airplane Flies Into Ocean; Tiger Woods Penalized at Masters; NASCAR Holding Race Sponsored by NRA; Political Pundits Discuss Gun Legislation; Facebook Losing Teenage Users; New Laws Challenge Legality of Videos Shot on Farms of Animal Abuse
Aired April 13, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: China has an enormous ability to help make a difference here.
KOSIK: Secretary Kerry is in Beijing today trying to cool temperatures on the North Korean threat. Is diplomacy the answer, or will it backfire?
For years undercover video on factory farms have exposed heinous crimes and abuses. But new laws make the cameraman a criminal and in one case a terrorist.
What do Facebook and "Call me Maybe" have in common? They are so last year. Why marketers are freaking out over teenage Facebook fatigue.
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KOSIK: Good morning, everyone. I'm Alison Kosik. It's 10:00 in New York, 7:00 in Los Angeles. We're so glad you're with us.
We begin with breaking news of a plane crash in Bali. Look at these pictures. This is the scene just off the western runway at Bali international airport. The air flight that you see there missed the runway completely and instead it landed in the water. There were 108 passengers and crew onboard. Amazingly all of them survived.
Let's go to the video and show the passengers on those inflatable slides. These are pictures getting off the plane. According to the airline, fewer than 20 people were checked out at the hospital, and only one person, amazingly enough, was injured. The cause of the crash still is unknown. Doug Sovern is with KCBS radio in San Francisco. He was at the airport in Bali when the crash happened. Listen how he described it.
DOUG SOVERN, KCBS RADIO CORRESPONDENT: What we're told here at the airport is shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time, this incoming domestic delight overshot the runway, landed in the Indian ocean just off the coast here and split in half. Amazingly, they were able to get everyone out of the plane, shades of "Miracle on the Hudson." People getting rescued from the inside of this aircraft.
We saw a lot of fire engines, ambulances. We're told there were some minor injuries but everyone survived 100 passengers and crew. Everyone got off safely. No one killed at least on the impact of the landing although as we were told here some people did go to the hospital with injuries. But, incredibly, everyone has been rescued from the plane alive. It's broken in half off the runway here in the ocean. It seems to be sinking now. This is Lion air domestic jet holding 100 people and it's sitting in the Indian Ocean off the end of the runway with a big crack in the forward third. The fuselage split in half and somehow they were able to get people off the plane. I'm not really sure how.
But we're told people jumped off the plane. I didn't see any rescue chutes or anything like that, but somehow they were able to get the people off. It's not far off the shore. But it's really extraordinary because when we were told it happened, we were told at first it landed which is not true although we saw a lot of fire engines. When we saw the split in the wreckage everyone here feared the worst, and amazingly they rescued everyone alive although, again, we're told that some people did suffer at least minor injuries, maybe more severe than that.
KOSIK: Now this was a domestic flight in Indonesia. It was coming from west java trying to land there in Bali. We're not sure yet what caused the plane to miss the runway. We'll bring you more details as we get them.
Now to rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and an effort by Secretary of State John Kerry to put North Korea on notice. Today's he's in China meeting with government officials trying to come to an agreement with China about how they can help quiet the rhetoric coming from Kim Jong-un. A short time ago Kerry talked about what he hopes to accomplish.
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KERRY: I brought the president's greetings and hope that these meetings will do exactly what you described. That we can provide a roadmap, as you talked about, that we can raise the dialogue to a higher level, and over the course of these next hours we have an opportunity to do that.
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KOSIK: Joining me now from Seoul, South Korea, is our Anna Coren. Anna, what kind of clout does China carry in this flare-up?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's a really good point, Alison. We've been here before with the hearts of the world on China and can use leverage over North Korea. China has said in recent days and weeks that they are fed up with rhetoric and the threats coming out of Pyongyang and no one country should have the power to influence affairs in the region, if you like.
But the problem is China is North Korea's only friend and ally in the region. It provides food, fuel and aid. While it has backed these U.N. sanctions against North Korea following its third nuclear test, they haven't necessarily imposed these sanctions. If China turned off the taps in terms of money going into North Korea, it wouldn't have a nuclear weapons program. The illegal funds flowing into the country through banks and companies is allowing North Korea to go about developing its nuclear weapons program.
So this is where the problem lies. Kerry has said China needs to use its leverage, must use its leverage to influence North Korea. If it does that, perhaps we can see things changing here on the Korean peninsula.
KOSIK: What's the next step at this point?
COREN: Well, the next step is to continue with the pressure they're placing on China. John Kerry is in Beijing and will spend the night in Beijing. The other thing that John Kerry did in Seoul yesterday was to open the door to diplomacy with North Korea. It was quite a tone we heard from the top diplomat. Earlier he had tough words for North Korea. Don't go ahead with the missile launch. Don't go ahead with the threats and the warlike rhetoric, and the U.S. would never accept it as a nuclear power. And then a few minutes later he said the door is open. The U.S. will hold talks with North Korea if they are prepared to denuclearize the peninsula. As we know, Alison, this is the sticking point. North Korea has made it very clear it is gung ho in developing its nuclear weapons program, and that simply is not negotiable.
KOSIK: Anna Coren in Seoul, thank you.
New this morning, a false start in the retrial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The judge recused himself saying he was uneasy about taking the case. This puts the case on hold now. Mubarak watched the hearing from a cage in the courtroom. He and his top aides face charges in connections with death of protesters during Egypt's uprising in 2011. They were sentenced to life in prison, but an appeals court later overturned that.
The daughter of Margaret Thatcher is speaking out this morning. Carol Thatcher tells reporters it will be a difficult and tearful week. Her mother's funeral is on Wednesday. Britain's first female prime minister passed away Monday at the age of 87. Meantime, some critics of the iron lady plan to celebrate her death with a party in central London today.
Back here in the U.S. with the Senate poised to start debate next week on gun control, the mom of a Sandy Hook shooting victim delivers this week's White House video and radio address. Francine Wheeler's six- year-old son Ben was killed four months ago along with 19 of his classmates and six educators. Listen to some of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FRANCINE WHEELER, MOTHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM: I've heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded. But not for us. To us it feels as if it happened just yesterday. And in the four months since we lost our loved ones, thousands of other Americans have died at the end of a gun. Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief. Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy.
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KOSIK: Wheeler is the first person other than the president or vice president to deliver the weekly address since President Obama took office.
Gun control supporters across the country are outraged to see the NRA sponsoring tonight's NASCAR Sprint Cup. It's called the NRA 500. Some people say it's just too soon after Newtown and interferes with the gun violence debate. And one Connecticut senator is asking FOX Sports not to broadcast it. CNN National Correspondent Susan Candiotti is at the Texas motor speedway in Ft. Worth. Susan, I can only imagine there's mixed reaction to this, right?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. This is a hugely popular event for racing fans. A lot of people here already camping out, and they expecting at least 200,000 people physically here to attend this event. The fact is there are questions swirling about around the NRA's sponsorship of this event and as well as negotiated by the Texas motor speedway here, and sanctioned by and approved by NASCAR.
But it really comes down to as you said timing because of the timing of this race given the gun control debate that's going on right now on Capitol Hill. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut is someone who is saying that maybe it's just inappropriate to be holding this NRA race at this time, at least a race called the NRA, thinks that maybe NASCAR could have intervened to postpone it perhaps and that FOX perhaps wouldn't broadcast it. Here's what he said.
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SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: It gives the impression that FOX and NASCAR are endorsing the NRA's position. I know that it's not NASCAR or FOX Sports intent to suggest that they are taking sides in this gun debate. But when they flash their name on the screen this weekend with the NRA, I think it's just really insensitive to a lot of the families that are on the other side of this debate.
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CANDIOTTI: Now FOX has no comment on all of this, and, of course, it does plan to broadcast the event tonight. Here at Texas motor speedway race officials say this is all about car racing. It's not about politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) EDDIE GOSSAGE, PRESIDENT, TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: No one is going to force NRA literature into your hands. No one will make political speeches or anything like that. We're going to have fun, and that's the extent of it.
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CANDIOTTI: The speedway says it has received very few complaints about this. Senator Murphy says it's pretty hard to ignore the linkage at this time between this race, the NRA sponsorship of it, and with the gun debate going on. NASCAR admits that given what's happened here and all of the questions that are being raised, it will take a closer look at its policies.
And its spokesman says this. "NASCAR has no official position on the gun rights debate. The situation has made it clear we need to take a closer look at our approval process moving forward as current circumstances need to be factored in when making decisions about these things." So controversy isn't over but the race will go on.
KOSIK: Susan Candiotti, thank you.
Just ahead, Tiger in trouble. Why the world's number one golfer was almost disqualified from the Masters this morning. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
KOSIK: New this morning, Tiger Woods will get to continue his pursuit of a fifth green jacket, but he's about to be penalized before he even gets to play today. Rachel Nichols joins us now from Augusta. Good morning, Rachel. A disqualification, I imagine, would have shaken up the entire tournament.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. There was certainly talk this morning that Tiger Woods could be disqualified. A rules committee handled up on it. And it was because of this shot. This was number 15 yesterday. He actually was striking the ball so well that it hit the flagstick, fluke. It then bounced into the water, which means that he has to take a drop somewhere. The rule book says he has three options. He picked the option of dropping "as close as possible" the rule book says to where he took his original shot from.
In two interviews after his round, Tiger said he took that drop two yards from where his original shot was. If you look at video and photo evidence, it looks like it was closer than that, maybe a few feet. That leaves it up for interpretation. Is that "as close as possible" and that's what we were considering this morning and what they decided instead of disqualifying him, they would assess him a two-stroke penalty.
This has huge implications for Tiger. Yes, he's still here playing this weekend but there's a big difference between trying to make up three strokes on the leader, which is the position he was in, to five strokes to the leader which is the position he's in now. One thing that's also interesting to note here is that Tiger Woods was disqualified from a tournament for the first time in his career a couple months ago at Abu Dhabi, and that was also for a rules violation. So after playing golf for 17, 18 years professionally, Tiger has had this come up twice in a couple months. He was disqualified last time. Not disqualified this time but still a big effect on Tiger and on this tournament.
KOSIK: I can certainly see that. Rachel, Tiger's penalty comes on the heels of another controversial penalty. This one handed down to a teenager who is the youngest ever to make the cut at the masters.
NICHOLS: Yes. He was penalized for slow play. There's some discussion about was that the first time ever in the history of the Masters someone was penalized for slow play. There was discussion maybe someone found penalized 20 years ago. But either way it hasn't happened a lot.
And this was questioned a bit because there was slow play all over the course. Tiger Woods reported that his own round took nearly six hours. That being said, there was no doubt this kid was playing slowly. He was warned a couple times. However, it did cost him a stroke, it did not cost him the weekend. He did still make the cut.
And interestingly when Tiger was asked to comment on that afterward, he said, rules are rules. I wonder if he repeated that again this morning when the discussion was about himself. But obviously a lot going on here back in the scorer's room. We want to get action out here. So hopefully that will happen later today.
KOSIK: Interesting stuff. Rachel Nichols reporting the Masters in Augusta. Thank you.
Kids these days. They are so fickle, which is why Facebook may sweat a little today. We'll tell you why the social media giant is so last year.
KOSIK: Facebook has some social media competition, and it's starting to show. These top four sites, look at these, are ones teenagers ranked as the most important. Compared to the same time last year, YouTube is now equally as important as Facebook and the other sites are not far behind.
So why is it that Facebook is not so popular with teens anymore? Let's ask tech expert Carley Knobloch. Carley, good morning.
CARLEY KNOBLOCH, FOUNDER, DIGITWIRL.COM: Good morning.
KOSIK: So Facebook is looking like it's losing some friends. What's happening here?
KNOBLOCH: I think since the beginning of time teenagers abhor hanging out where grandparents are, and once grandma gets to the party, it's over. So they're really victims of their own success. They have to let in all demographics to grow and be successful. But that's turning off teenagers who are flocking to newer sites like Snapshot and Vine, which is Twitter's six-second video sharing site.
KOSIK: Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? Can we read it as doom and gloom?
KNOBLOCH: Well, I think brands, which obviously supply Facebook with all of their revenue in terms of advertising, are going to have a big problem. They really need to -- with marketing and social media, a big part of marketing is being a part of a conversation. So they want to be around when teenagers are discussing their purchasing preferences and be there to engage with them. Teenagers are not there at the table at all to have the conversation it's going to be a big problem for these teen targeting brands. A lot of --
KOSIK: Go ahead.
KNOBLOCH: I was just going to say, a lot of these new social sites that teens are flocking to don't yet support advertising or they're just now starting to roll it out. So it's a little bit of an unknown entity for these brands.
KOSIK: You talked about teens' purchasing power. According to research by true insights, it's reached $800 billion. So advertisers are paying attention to these trends. It is a big deal, right?
KNOBLOCH: Absolutely. And gone are the days when Facebook was for young people and early adopters. Now people are frustrated by barrage of advertising, and they are sort of frustrated with the invasion of privacy. So at the end of the day teenagers are fickle, and it may be time for them to move on.
KOSIK: Now that parents and grandparents have their own Facebook pages, they make it less cool, is that really what's happening here?
KNOBLOCH: I think that's really it. And it's just -- I think for a lot of people not just teenagers it's gotten too big and too focused on advertising and so people are looking for alternatives.
KOSIK: Let's switch the discussion to Bitcoin. This is a digital currency that is beyond the control basically of any government. But the big story here is how stock plunged last week or this week more than 70 percent in the past two days. So Carly, explain first of all what Bitcoins are used for.
KNOBLOCH: Right. It's an online only economy. It's not distributed by any bank or government. It was started in 2009 by Anonymous hackers. And I think while most people think of digital currency as only having value in a video game like Farmville, this digital currency can be transferred as payment to anyone in the world and exchanged for real currency like dollars or euros, and it actually can be used as payment to buy anything from books to food to illegal drugs in some markets.
KOSIK: Does Bitcoin have a future after seeing what happened this week and for many people it's confusing. It's very theoretical. Do you see it really having a strong future? KNOBLOCH: I think it's a startup currency. People are trying to figure out whether it's legitimate and legal and useful. Just like a startup company, it's having a lot of ups and downs. I think many people really like Bitcoin because it isn't tied to government. It isn't subject to big bank greed. For those same reasons it's also subject to all of these fluctuations and even cyber-attacks. People are sort of testing the waters on this. And it remains to be seen whether it will be credible and legitimate.
KOSIK: OK, Carley, thanks so much for your time.
KNOBLOCH: Thank you.
KOSIK: He brought us last year's megahit "Gangnam Style." Now Psy is back with a new tune. Will he hum this one as much as "Gangnam Style"? We'll give you a taste.
KOSIK: Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik. Bottom of the hour. Here are five stories we're keeping an eye on this morning. Number one is a plane crash in Bali, Indonesia. Passengers escaping the crash, all 108 passengers and crew survived the accident. It happened with Lion air flight missed the runway. A spokesman for the airline says only 18 people had to be checked out at the hospital. There's been no word on what caused the plane to overshoot the western runway at Bali international airport, but we have learned that the plane was added to the Lion fleet only last month. Look at these pictures. The fuselage cracked near the back of the plane but mostly stayed intact. Everyone, once again, survived.
Number two, Secretary of State John Kerry is in China to talk about North Korea. He's talking with his Chinese counterparts about what China can do to stop the threats from Kim Jong-un. He talked earlier about the need to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.
Number three, South Korean internet sensation Psy debuted his new single in front of 50,000 people. The singer performed his new hit "Gentlemen" at a sold out concert at Seoul's world cup stadium. It's his follow-up to wildly popular hit "Gangnam Style." The concert was broadcast live, where else, on YouTube.
Number four, NASCAR and National Rifle Association hitting the track together. Tonight's sprint cup race at Texas Motor Speedway is sponsored by the pro-gun group. And one senator is calling for FOX sports to not broadcast the race while Congress debates new gun rights legislation. NASCAR says it has no position in the gun rights debate.
And finally rapper, record producer, occasional actor, and husband to Beyonce, Jay-Z, already has a handful of full-time jobs. Now he's applied to become an agent for major league baseball players. He's also part owner of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, but he'll have to sell his shares so there are no conflicts with the Players Association.
To politics now, the fight over guns, the Senate is expected to take up a new gun control bill next week. At the heart of the bill is background checks. Really, that's just a small part of the discussion.
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SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R) TEXAS: The families and friends of the victims at Sandy Hook are owed the dignity and respect of a transparent, good faith effort to address gun violence.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: One of the things we'll be doing is not just trying to get good things done but to try to prevent bad things from happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Joining me now is Crystal Wright, editor and blogger for ConservativeBlackChick.com, and Democratic strategist Jason Johnson is here with me. Two part question -- what needs to get done and what will get done? Let's go to Jason first.
JASON JOHNSON, AUTHOR, "POLITICAL CONSULTANTS AND CAMPAIGNS": First, I've got to say, I'm not working for the Democrats. Just common sense, though, I think the American public is looking for some sort of solution after this kind of violence. I think the Republican Party made a mistake earlier this week in trying to filibuster even a debate. I think we'll have a good, healthy debate. I don't know if we'll get comprehensive policies that we need, but something needs to be done. I think background checks, with 90 percent of the U.S. public saying it's a good idea, is something that both sides can agree on.
KOSIK: Crystal, what do you think?
CRYSTAL WRIGHT, EDITOR, CONSERVATIVEBLACKCHICK.COM: I agree with Jason. We do need -- I know right. Jason and I can agree on things. Seriously, I think Jason has a point that we need a common sense approach to our gun laws and the Second Amendment. But I don't think that the approach we're taking is anything rooted in common sense. There are going to be enough amendments offered to this bill that you could decorate a Christmas tree with.
For me the real problem with both Democrats and Republicans is that the face of the gun debate has become a face of white America and white victims. And nowhere in this debate -- I think it was tragic what happened with Sandy Hook, but nobody has talked about the black genocide occurring in cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. where you have young black men who are killing and being killed by guns at epidemic rates. And I would like to see an honest debate about the root of this problem, which I think is the breakdown of the family and mental illness.
And I think background checks are part it but it, but I don't see this go anywhere. You can't get Democrats to get consensus on some of these measures who are running in states where they have pro-gun second amendment populations. I think it's just misguided from the beginning.
KOSIK: Jason, let me ask you this. We can see dozens of amendments offered to this bill. What's the strategy? Offer amendments that will get support or amendments to get rid of the main bill? JOHNSON: I think a lot of Republicans don't want this bill at all. They'll offer amendments that will slow up the process and offer amendments connected to financial issues and funding in different areas one way or another. They will scuttle the process and see if they weaken the Democrats resolve. You already saw that Harry Reid got rid of the assault weapons ban. They'll see if they can water down background checks. They don't want anything to get rid of gun show loophole. Again, I think there are members of the party who say we need to come up with something.
KOSIK: Do you agree with that, Crystal?
WRIGHT: No, actually I don't. I think the reason why -- Jason and I don't agree on everything now. This is not a summit of meeting of the minds. I do like Jason, however.
The reason why Senator Harry Reid dropped Senator Feinstein's assault weapon ban is because he wasn't even supportive of it. Remember, Harry Reid is a pro-gun Democrat. He knew that, you know, her reintroducing the assault weapons ban didn't have a prayer to get it passed. I just think it's disingenuous to say that Republicans are holding it up. This isn't just a Republican thing. I think we need to get back to common sense. And more study after study shows that tough gun laws like what we see in Chicago and Illinois does virtually nothing to stop gun violence because we're not addressing the root of the problem.
KOSIK: Let's move to a different subject. The Republican national committee is holding the spring meeting in Hollywood. They reaffirmed views that marriage is between a man and woman only. No one expected them to make a major change and support same-sex marriage, but why hold this vote at all?
WRIGHT: Why does the Democrat National Committee hold votes on being pro-choice and for gay marriage? It's part of our platform. Why wouldn't he reiterate it at a time and climate when the Supreme Court is taking up two different cases around same-sex marriage and the fact of the matter is many black Americans and Latinos still believe in defining traditional definition of marriage. I think if we're trying to outreach to more voters and grow the big tent in the Republican party, we need to talk about what we're for and not what we're against.
KOSIK: Jason is jumping in here.
JOHNSON: I think it's a waste of time. I understand what the Republican Party stands for and it's perfectly fine. After the autopsy of the 2012 election where they did the autopsy, everyone knows the Republican Party is in favor of their definition of traditional marriage, but these votes reinforce a focus on culture wars and that's a waste of time when they should focus on the budget and smaller government. These sorts of things, especially holding a vote in Hollywood, is not good strategy.
KOSIK: Let's move to a different topic. It seems like every week we could take time to talk about politicians and the dumb things they say. Two weeks ago it was Congressman Don Young who used the term "wetbacks" in a speech. This week we have this from a Kansas commissioner. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM GILE, SALINE COUNTY, KANSAS COMMISSIONER: I guarantee it will be the same if you go to -- rigging it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you say, Jimmy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Let's go on and hear his apology now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILE: I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone. I apologize for making the mistake. It was just one of those things that -- it was there. I don't know why it came out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Gile he also explained he's not a racist, saying he's built habitat homes for "colored people." Crystal, should he give up on politics at this point?
WRIGHT: He should shut his mouth is what he should do. I'm a black woman obviously. I've been called the n-word. I've been called it by Democrats and liberal leaning people just like I've been called it by blacks and conservatives. You know, it's bad. It should be condemned. It also should be condemned when people like liberal commentator Tore used the n-word to Mitt Romney during last year's campaign. I didn't really see a lot of coverage of that. It's bad all of the way around.
JOHNSON: The issue is anybody that does this is a fool and should be ashamed and of course he's a racist. I am so sick and tired of politicians crying after the fact when they get caught. When you say things like this, you suffer political consequences.
It's not just a matter of saying something racist. When you're an elected official -- I could care less what a political pundit says but when you are an elected official, you are saying something about someone that you are supposed to represent. It's an embarrassment. He should really evaluate how well he can represent his district.
WRIGHT: It's an embarrassment no matter what your political stripe is. It's repugnant. It should stop all of the way down the line.
KOSIK: We shall end on the agreement on this lovely Saturday. Crystal Wright and Jason Johnson, thank you for your time.
JOHNSON: Thank you
WRIGHT: Thanks. KOSIK: Look at this. Undercover videos like this one have helped stop animal cruelty at farms across the country, but could soon be against the law. I'll explain why.
KOSIK: So this is one of the stories hard to hear but the ending is definitely worth it. Meet Banjo. He's very a 10-month-old poodle terrier mix who is very lucky to be alive. Someone tied Banjo to a train track last week in California then left him there to die. That didn't happen because the engineer of the oncoming train saw the suspects walking away from the track after tying Banjo down. He hit the emergency brake and rescued Banjo from the track.
Banjo is safe now. We're told he's very, very happy at Riverside county animal services. Officials tell us they've had more than 200 calls from people wanting to give Banjo a new home. They say they narrowed the list down and hope to adopt the dog next week. If you wonder what happened to the man who died Banjo down, he was arrested. But police later released the 78 year old whom they say seemed confused and senile.
Undercover videos like the ones you have seen here show cruel and illegal treatment of animals at large farms. Several states are working on laws to outlaw the shooting of these videos, and in one case activists could be put on a terror watch list. Joining me to talk about this is Emily Meredith, communications director with Animal Agriculture Alliance supporting farmers and this legislation, and Paul Shapiro, the vice president of Farm Animal Protection and the Humane Society of the United States.
Emily, I'll start with you, because I want to ask the burning question here, what is the harm in exposing corrupt and harmful practices when they are outside the perimeter of farm rules and common decency to animals?
EMILY MEREDITH, ANIMAL AGRICULTURE ALLIANCE: No one in the entire animal agriculture industry condones any sort animal abuse. These undercover videos aren't about stop animal abuse. These are about activists using underhanded and deceptive tactics to misleading consumers into thinking their food is inhumanly produced. They're ultimate goal is to promote a vegan world and bring about the end of animal agriculture as we know it in this country.
KOSIK: Paul, what do you say to Emily's claims that you're after something completely different?
PAUL SHAPIRO, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Alison, dozens of whistle blowing exposes have repeatedly documented heinous cruelty to farm animals inside slaughter plants and factory farms. We have documented calves being skinned alive while still kicking and screaming inside of slaughter plants, chickens crammed into cages so small they can't even spread their wings for nearly their entire lives, piglets having skulls smashed against concrete time and time again. And these exposes are leading to slaughter plant shutdowns and more. And what's the meat industry's response? It's not to try to prevent the abuses from occurring but to simply try to prevent the American people from finding out about abuses in the first place. They want to blow the whistle on the whistleblower.
KOSIK: Emily, you can sort of see this point where you see the horse getting hit over the head with a wood plank, let's say. What is the reason for this and how can you sort of defend that?
MEREDITH: Well, again, I'm not defending animal abuse of any kind. But the activist community is trying to make these videos representative of the entire industry, and that's completely false. They have disingenuous motives and that goes back to trying to mislead the public into believing their food is inhumanely produced, and that's simply not true.
KOSIK: Emily, let's forget that for a moment. Let's talk about food safety. Shouldn't American consumers have a right to transparency in their food supply?
MEREDITH: I believe the agency has made strides in being more transparent. They are opening it up to those for an inside look. There are farms that provide a live feed on the internet 24 hours a day to see what's going on. These people are humble, salt of the earth people. And maybe not the best communicators in the past because many farmers and ranchers are up before I'm awake in the morning caring for their animals so they don't have time to tweet and send a post on Facebook. Consumers are hungry for knowledge about where their food comes and make more of an effort. They are being hit by these deceptive and manipulative tactics by activists trying to promote an agenda that ends their very way of life.
KOSIK: Paul, your response?
SHAPIRO: Alison, some people may believe the moon landing video was staged, but just like with that, there's no evidence to support Emily's claim these are manipulative. Just this past week five people at a Wyoming pig factory that was supplying pigs to Tyson Foods pled guilty to criminal animal cruelty after being caught red-handed by a Humane Society of the United States investigator ruthlessly beating pigs. Two weeks ago people at a turkey factory farm were convicted after being caught ruthlessly harming those birds as well.
These bills to try to criminalize whistleblowing are a desperate attempt from an industry that is grasping at straws to try to keep the American people in the dark about its routine mistreatment of animals. You know you have a lot to hide when you want to make it a crime for someone to take a photo of what you're doing.
KOSIK: Emily, would you rather not see abuses exposed? Would you rather them kept quiet?
MEREDITH: Of course not. Again, the industry doesn't condone animal abuse. As these videos have become a popular tactic for activists to use, there's an independent review panel to review this footage. I think going along the lines of disingenuous agenda every time that panel has asked for full footage, sometimes these activists are in facilities for weeks or months, they never turn full footage over. I think that's interesting, because if they did, the review panel and public in general would see how manipulated, edited, and staged these videos really are.
KOSIK: Let me ask this question to both of you. Would either of you support legislation that required people making undercover videos to turn them over to police only and not posting them on the web?
SHAPIRO: So we do routinely provide our videos to the police. That's why so many criminal convictions are being obtained. Emily pretends that this review panel is somehow official. It's just a meat industry self-policing panel that's desperate to try to do PR for the industry as a way to push under the rug these cruelties that are being routinely exposed. We're not talking about a few isolated instances. We're talking about standard industry practice where most people would be appalled to learn how farm animals are treated inside our nation's factory farms and slaughter pan plants.
KOSIK: Emily would you support that kind of legislation?
MEREDITH: That's what this farm protection legislation is. It mandates that these groups turn footage over to the proper authorities. There's animal cruelty laws in every state, and mandates they turn that footage over and not do what they have been doing, which is taking the video, cutting and running, and then running that video weeks or months later under a big donate now button and releasing it direct to the media or to large corporations. It mandates reporting. It doesn't stifle it.
KOSIK: Emily, what I mean to say, what that legislation does right now is make it criminal to shoot the video. Why should you turn in a whistle-blower as being the crook here?
MEREDITH: It doesn't criminalize shooting the video. It criminalizes using that video and releasing it direct to the media. It mandates you report legitimate instances of abuse immediately sometimes within 24 to 48 hours. It doesn't mandate that you cover it up. This is trying to prevent activists from using these videos for personal gain, which is what they do. These videos pad their bottom line and pad their coffers.
SHAPIRO: The Animal Agricultural Alliance supported Utah's bill that became law that makes it a crime simply to take a photo or video of anything happening on a factory farm without the owner's permission. They want to keep the public in the dark about how abusive the meat industry is to animals, and that's why they support this legislation, not to try to expedite the exposure of cruelty, but rather to silence it.
KOSIK: I know the controversial will continue. Thanks. We'll be right back.
KOSIK: OK so this is the kind of story where you better not blink. Look at the TV or you'll miss the action. Watch this. The video was taken in a fisherman's kayak off Hawaii. Watch the left side of the screen here. He's trying to reel in a tuna when, boom, jaws, jaws shoots out of the water. The shark missed the tuna the first time so it came back, bumped the kayak, and took it. An expert thinks it was a ten-foot Tiger shark. The fisherman kept fishing and caught a nice mahi-mahi fish in that same spot. Cool under pressure.
Speaking of spots, this next employee happened to be standing in the right one, I suppose, or just lucky, because a stray bullet is what his belt caught. His belt caught this stray bullet. It's from a shooting at a Philadelphia grocery store where the man works. The employee said he didn't even realize he had been shot until another employee saw the hole in his shirt.
And Mattel's New Mexico Barbie getting bashed by critics saying she reinforces negative stereotypes. Mattel says Mexico Barbie is fashionably ready for a fiesta in her bright pink dress. She even has her own Chihuahua, and she comes with a passport. Come on. Mexico Barbie is part of Mattel's dolls of the world collection. "The Latin Times" wondered if Mattel is making a political statement by providing Mexico Barbie with documentation.
We have much more ahead in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING, which starts after a quick break.