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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
E-Cigarette Makers Take Advantage Of Loophole in Cigarette Advertising Ban; "Bush's Fourth Term"?; Liberty Versus Security; Kanye West So Money And He Knows It; Report: Redskins Hire GOP Spin Doctor; 80's All Stars Brawl In L.A.
Aired June 12, 2013 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Coming up, hitting them where it hurts -- their wallets. Mayor Bloomberg is urging New York's donors to cut off funding to Senate Democrats that voted no on the gun bill. Let's check in on our political panel in the green room. Bill Burton, does money do all the talking? Is this a good way for Bloomberg to make his case?
BILL BURTON: I think when you're looking at politics these days, money does a lot of the talking. It does with you, right?
TAPPER: With me?
BURTON: Well -- it's Washington.
TAPPER: Well, we'll have Bill here to answer for that little quip. And Ari Fleischer and Molly Ball and much, much more in our Politics Lead. Stay tuned.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
The Money Lead. If this were 1953 instead of 2013, our show might be called THE LEAD, brought to you by Lucky Strike. Cigarette ads were banned from the airwaves in 1971, but big tobacco advertisements have found their way back on TV. How?
The Politics Lead. As a candidate, Senator Obama railed against domestic surveillance under the Bush administration only for us to find out he's allowed the NSA to continue to spy on Americans on a massive scale. Are President Obama and former President Bush more alike than they admit? We'll talk to two of their former spokesmen.
And the Pop Lead. What would Yeezus do? He's got a new album coming out next week with an oh-so-modest titles: "Yeezus." Kanye West, whose talent is dwarfed only by his colossal ego, opening up about his favorite subject today, Kanye West. Back to our National Lead. Breaking news: a sigh of relief in New York City as that pair of window washers are rescued 45 floors above the street. Their scaffolding broke, leaving them helplessly stranded. But police confirm to CNN that both are safe and now inside the building after the fire department went through the window and brought them inside.
Now time for the Money Lead. Get ready for your close-up, Marlboro Man. Big tobacco is headed back to TV. It's been decades since we saw cigarette commercials like these. Even though the ban is still in place, the nation's largest tobacco companies have discovered an interesting loophole. THE LEAD's Erin McPike is here with more.
Erin, we are going to see cigarette ads on TV?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are, and it's all because of this.
TAPPER: What is that?
MCPIKE: This is an electronic cigarette. Have you never seen one of those?
TAPPER: I have action, by very weird and pretentious-looking people at fine establishments.
MCPIKE: Yes, because you can smoke them inside.
TAPPER: Ew. That's really gross. OK.
MCPIKE: No ashes.
TAPPER: I didn't know it was lit.
MCPIKE: Well, there's a battery inside.
TAPPER: OK. What does it do? It delivers what to me? Nicotine?
MCPIKE: Nicotine. No tobacco, and that is the rub. No tobacco.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's just what Camels are. Mild and good-tasting
MCPIKE: Generation X would not remember seeing cigarette commercials on TV. Those ads were banned, effective in 1971. On TV today, it's the ad men doing much of the puffing on shows like AMC's "Mad Men."
JON HAMM, ACTOR (acting): Everybody else's tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike's is toasted.
MCPIKE: But smoking ads are creeping back, at least on cable TV. Welcome to the brave new world of electronic cigarettes. Actor Stephen Dorff started promoting the products last year.
STEPHEN DORFF, ACTOR: Blue lets me enjoy smoking with affecting the people around me, because it's vapor, not tobacco smoke. MCPIKE: And there's the rub. Because e-cigs are tobacco-less, they are not subject to the same restrictions on TV as tobacco products, even though the vapor contains habit-forming nicotine.
EMMA BAZILIAN, REPORTER, "ADVERTISING WEEK": This is a huge deal for both the tobacco companies and for ad agencies because this presents a whole new revenue stream that they haven't had available since 1971.
MCPIKE: Emma Bazilian is a reporter for "Advertising Week" magazine. Coming this summer, R.J. Reynolds, maker of Camel and Winston cigarettes will begin marketing its new e-cigarette, Vuse. And that could open the gates to a gold rush for advertising agencies.
BAZILIAN: So, what companies right now are doing is they're all vying for a piece of this growing e-cigarette market before the FDA starts cracking down and regulating them, which is expected to happen at some point in the near future. But for now, there's no one overseeing these companies. So they can essentially just do whatever they want on air.
MCPIKE: E-cigarette companies say they're product targets current adult smokers as a way to smoke inside, at their desk, around their friends.
So, it's kind of like Joe Camel and Virginia Slims of the future?
MATTHEW MYERS, CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS: All wrapped into one.
MCPIKE: Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids worries about the effects these ads will have on children.
MYERS: All you have to do is take a look at the ads to know that's not the case. Their ads make electronic ads highly glamorous. We have spent decades trying to get rid of advertising on TV that makes smoking look glamorous. They're undoing exactly what the goal of the ban on cigarette advertising was intended for.
MCPIKE: Now, R.J. Reynolds basically told us that they don't think that kids should have access to the products, and so their marketing is aimed at adult converts. So, adults who smoke real cigarettes, they want to be able to smoke these inside. But as I told you before, no forest fires, but one could blow up in your face. So, forest fire (INAUDIBLE).
TAPPER: I think I'll steer clear of them, but I appreciate the report. Thank you, Erin McPike.
Coming up, billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg is telling his rich friends don't give another dime to four Senate Democrats who crossed him on the gun debate. But will his plan backfire?
And what's better than seeing baseball players brawling? How about coaches tossing each other around? Some legends of the game lose it in L.A.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now time for the Politics Lead.
He ran on the promise of change, but five years and a massive security leak later, even left-leaning media outlets are comparing President Obama to his predecessor when it comes to data mining. Check out this recent mash-up photo from "Huffington Post." "George W. Obama." So meet the old boss, same as the new boss? Or meet the new boss, same as the old boss? That's like me quoting President Bush doing The Who the other day.
Let's bring in our political panel. CNN political contributor and former press secretary to the Bush administration, Ari Fleischer. Staff writer for "The Atlantic," Molly Ball. And former deputy press secretary to the Obama administration, Bill Burton.
Bill, Ari has already dubbed this Bush's fourth term because of all the surveillance going on. Does President -- and he means it as a compliment. Does President Obama's stance really vary that much from the programs he criticized?
BILL BURTON, FORMER DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY IN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Yes, a lot. And number one is that there are safeguards from all three branches of government over every level of this program. You've got courts and judges involved and any information that's collected. You've got, obviously, throughout the administration folks involved in making sure that privacy is protected while we're protecting the security of Americans. And of course Congress is involved. They reauthorized the program. Members of the intelligence committee are briefed regularly. All members of Congress had access to this information.
So yes, it's much different from warrantless wiretapping and programs like that.
TAPPER: Mr. Fleischer?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY IN BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Yes, you know -
FLEISCHER: -- President Bush has been so great to President Obama. The president really ought to act the same way toward President Bush. The fact of the matter is President Obama is keeping us safe and doing it the right way and he's doing it in large part because the house that he inherited from George Bush, the foundation upon which our national security and our homeland security is built with the changes of a couple curtains, put in a few more audits is the Bush structure.
It certainly is, and the president deserves credit for it. That's why I've been as a Republican praising President Obama for the taking the anti-terror steps he's taken because this is what the nation requires. It is what George Bush put in place. BURTON: Wait just one second. There is a big difference here. It's not about righteousness because yes, George W. Bush as president did everything he could to keep our country safe. I give you that. There were disagreements on how he did it, but the biggest difference here is that there are judges involved in what happens. There are not -- there was not warrantless --
FLEISCHER: That was always a misnomer. The Bush administration did not defend it properly. That was an issue where you still had to go to the FISA court to get the warrants to listen to one party being outside the country. The FISA court have to go first. There was never warrantless.
TAPPER: I want to bring in, Molly, do they both have a point to make? What do you think of what's going on?
MOLLY BALL, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": I think they do both have a point to make and so what you see with this issue is that scrambles that part of equation. You have I think a lot of Republicans reflexively reacting with anger because it's something that Obama has done -- and then a lot of Democrats rushing to defend him.
But at the same time, you have liberals on civil liberties who are deeply disturbed by this. There was a Pew poll the other day that one third of Democrats don't like this. When you have a third of the president's party upset with something he's done, he's clearly not doing something that falls along neat partisan lines.
TAPPER: There's been a lot of criticism of President Obama from civil libertarians on the left and right. I do want to say one thing, you talk about Congress being brief and President Obama overstated the case, saying that every member of Congress had been briefed. It is true that members of the committees, the key intelligence committees had been briefed.
And there may have been opportunities especially in the Senate, for everyone to be briefed if they wanted to be briefed. Can we agree that members of Congress are not doing everything they need to be doing to stay on top of this? Can we have bipartisan agreement on that the oversight responsibility should be taken a little bit more seriously?
FLEISCHER: My experience on these programs are extraordinarily difficult for members of Congress to stay on top of it, these thing are often hard -- fast-moving, hard to understand and you really have to be in the administration and part of the administration that's operational to understand all that's going on. Intelligence committee members are supposed to have that kind of knowledge. They're too deep. That's the problem. They're inch deep and too wide is really the way that I looked at it.
BURTON: Well, I'm sympathetic in the sense that not a lot of members of congressional staff have the kind of clearance that you need in order to get this sort of information. So if you're flying any staff at all and there's other things that you're doing, yes, it can be hard to get a hold of all the information that you can get a hold of. But at the same time, for some of the folks who have come out and criticized these programs, who do indeed have access to the information that they say that they have access to, I think, you know, then you sort of run into problems because you are ultimately responsible for programs that you as a Congress have re-authorized and you have access to information.
TAPPER: Molly, we only have a minute left. I want to get your take on Michael Bloomberg telling big donors in New York who have given the Democrats in the past, don't give to these four Senate Democrats because they helped block the gun control bill I wanted. Is this smart politics or do you think this could backfire?
BALL: He is playing a long game. He wants to create a situation where just like politicians on the right are afraid of the NRA, politicians on the left are afraid of Mike Bloomberg and his money in favor of gun control. But I think a lot of Democrats are absolutely right to be concerned that in the short run this going to cost them very dearly.
TAPPER: But is this going to embolden Democrats to primary, these four Senate Democrats or I guess only three of them because one is not running for re-election. But is it going to create more primary fights or do you think this could help the Republican, who probably will be worse on the guns according to Michael Bloomberg?
BALL: In these specific cases, it's going to help the Republican, all indications are. It's going to weaken. It's going to soften up these Democrats who don't have very viable primary opponents, very big names in those states and it's going to make it easier for them to be defeated.
TAPPER: All right, Molly Ball, Ari Fleischer, Bill Burton, thanks so much for joining us. Coming up in our "Sports Lead," a bench-clearing brawl involving not just players, but sport legend turned coaches Mark McGwire and Don Mattingly. Don "Nice Guy" Mattingly, what? What started it?
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it's time for the "Pop Culture Lead," Kanye West is given mad props to the one man he thinks never seems to get enough recognition for his majesty. Of course, I'm referring to Kanye West. For those who found the moment when Kanye grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift too deferential and polite, Mr. West recent interview with the "New York Times" is so over the top.
It almost reads like an SNL sketch. West at one point refers to himself as the nucleus of culture begging the question purely as a scientific matter as to whether that would make his unborn child with Kim Kardashian the neutron of culture. Mr. West also compares himself to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, saying, "I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of internet, downtown, fashion, culture, period, by a long jump."Another note where the Kanye-ism West says, "I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things." Now in fairness there are a few points when West dares to explore the notion that he is but a mere mortal. When asked about that infamous Taylor Swift interruption at the VMA's and his subsequent apology. He says, quote, "My message isn't perfectly defined. I have as a human being fallen to peer pressure." An admission of imperfection from a guy who named his upcoming album "Yeezus" featuring the fresh new track "I Am A Guy." Thanks, Kanye.
Coming up, ever wonder who came up with the term death tax? They are the work of a Republican spin doctor, but is he good enough to save the most controversial name in team football? That's coming up next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it's time for the "Sports Lead." How do you change the perception that the nickname "Red Skins" is a racial slur? Well, you might start by hiring the guy who gave us the term death tax, which is wielded like a club by opponents of taxes on inherited money and estates.
The Washington Red Skins have reportedly hired GOP spin doctor, Frank Luntz. According to the liberal website, "Think Progress," Luntz will hold focus groups to try and get a field for public opinion about the team's name. Those opinions could be used to try and reshape the discussion. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been ignoring demands from Native American groups and even members of Congress to change the name to something less controversial. We have reached out to both the Redskins and Luntz for comment but no word yet.
If you weren't watching closely, you might have thought you flipped to ESPN classic by accident, some old-school heroes brawled at Dodger Stadium last night. It all started when Dodger's rookie phenom, Yassi El Puig who came into the game batting 500 took a fastball right in the face. Then L.A retaliated with a bean ball of their own, score settled, right?
No, not yet. In the seven inning, Dodger's pitcher, Zak Greinke took one in the ear, and it was on. Both benches cleared. Both bullpens cleared and the coaches were right in the middle of it with Dodgers hitting Coach Mark McGwire going after D-back's manager, Kirk Gibson, and L.A. manager, Don Mattingly throwing down Alan Trammell. The two were teammates on the American League all-star team in 1987. There were a total of six ejections and suspensions may be coming.
It may very well be the first of any professional sport, a group of current and former NFL players have signed up to have their names and numbers on the new line of LBGT Pride t-shirts. Take a look at the shirts being sold through the NFL Players Association's official shop. The collection feature players like former New Orleans Saint Steve Galison and Raven's linebacker, Torell Soaks. All proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to the non-profit group Athlete Alley, which builds itself as trying to help fight homophobia in sports.
The countdown has begun for CNN's all new morning show "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Piriera. "NEW DAY" starts Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern, so set your alarms and start your day with CNN.
That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I'll be back at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tonight to fill in for Wolf. But now I turn you over to my colleague and friend, Brianna Keilar. She is filling in for Wolf in the first half of "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Brianna.