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Murdoch's Split Could Get Ugly and Pricey; Who Owns "Happy Birthday"; Immigrants More "Fertile"; "Born to Run"; Confessions of a "Fat" Dad; Fatherhood First for Phil

Aired June 14, 2013 - 16:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD, everyone. I'm John Berman. The "Money Lead," when you are insanely rich, heartbreak is expensive. The last time Rupert Murdoch got divorced it cost him $1.7 billion and now it is happening again and it could cost him even more.

Also in money news, happy birthday to you -- that will be $10,000, please. Someone actually owns the right to that song that we all know by heart, so do you need a lawyer to help you blow out the candles?

And in politics news, so what did Jeb Bush just say? The former governor of Florida tries to express something nice about immigrants, but he might want to work on that phrasing.

All right, the "Money Lead" deciding who gets the kids after a divorce is hard enough, but when you have to split up corporations, yachts, private jets and summer homes, too, well, things can get downright "War of the Roses" ugly, that is why there is so much speculation that the split between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng could be bitter battle and it could end up being one of the most expensive divorces we're talking in history.

"New York Times" reporter Amy Chozick joins us now live. Amy has been covering this, and let's look at some of Rupert Murdoch's reported assets. He's got the $30 million vineyards in Bel Air, the $44 million New York City apartment, the Beverly Hills Villa, the Beijing mansion, two yachts and a corporate Boeing 737, which is like more of the dishes and the dogs that most of us have. We understand that there is a prenup here, and is it possible that Wendi Deng could be entitled to some of those assets?

AMY CHOZICK, CORPORATE MEDIA REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Absolutely. I mean, we saw the ferocity with which Wendy Murdoch went after that pie in London so you can just expect how ferocious she will go after this divorce settlement. I think people underestimate her when they look at her as a trophy wife. You know, she has an MBA from Yale. She was probably very smart about setting up this pre-nup and she will be very smart about negotiating what she gets in this divorce.

BERMAN: Murdoch split from his second wife, the one before Wendy Deng, cost him a reported $1.7 billion, is there any sense that this one could be even more expensive?

CHOZICK: I think it depends on how the pre-nup is structured and the shares in the company. As you know, their daughters together, Grace and Chloe, have an equal share in the company, but they don't hold voting rights like the other four children do. So they won't be able to kind of gain control in the company potentially after Murdoch dies.

BERMAN: Those voting rights that could be a serious issue, do you expect that to be something that could be negotiated?

CHOZICK: Well, that was actually an epic marital battle back in 2006 when Rupert Murdoch said for the first time on the "Charlie Rose Show" that girls, Grace and Chloe, would not have the same voting rights as the other four children do so that's been pretty much sad. I mean, whether they will revisit that issue is kind of an open question.

BERMAN: They had that fight when things were going well, right? What about the timing of this divorce, you know, there's a big split coming with Murdoch's empire right here, could this affect -- could their split affect the big corporate split?

CHOZICK: Right. I mean, the company has assured me that the timing was just coincidental. Of course, everyone says that Murdoch is readied for the two big splits, but the companies are dividing and he is spending a lot of his time starting the new publishing company, the new News Corp and he's been -- people tell me he has been invigorated by this. He's been spending all this time doing it and it could be that he is cleaning up his life right now.

BERMAN: All right, Amy Chozick, thank you so much. Appreciate it. We hope this goes well for both of the Murdochs.

So you probably have been singing "the happy birthday song" since you were a kid, but if you were doing it publicly, you could owe hundreds of thousands of copyright infringement fees. The song written more than 120 years ago by Mildred and Patty Hill, that famous song writing duo, Warner Music Group eventually both company that owned the rights and since then it has been collecting thousands of dollars in fees, but now there is a lawsuit that could change that.


BERMAN (voice-over): No, Mr. President, don't do it! Not that song. Not another White House controversy. Wait. Stop, not the kids, too. Don't put them in this kind of legal jeopardy. I know it is pretty much the most famous song in the English language and we have all sung it everyone from babes to bombshells and "happy birthday" indeed, Mr. President.

But if your happy birthday is too big, too public and you don't have permission, it could cost you $150,000 or 112,630 euros for those who once dared to sing to former Pope Benedict had they been charged. That is the cost of unauthorized using of those 16 little words according to Warner Chapel Music, which claims it owns the rights to "happy birthday." ROBERT BRAUNEIS, PROFESSOR OF LAW, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It is a case in which the previous owners of the song, the predecessors of Warner Chapel at some point didn't think to themselves that they were protected by the copyright, but then maybe they saw an opportunity.

BERMAN: Now one documentary company is trying to challenge that filing a lawsuit Thursday to have the song returned to the public domain.

BRAUNEIS: The arrangements are certainly still under protection. But nobody plays those particular piano arrangements when they perform "happy birthday" so it is not economically significant.

BERMAN: Warner Chapel has its reasons for fighting, 2 million reasons in fact, and that is how much they make $2 million every year on that song. It is why so many TV shows and movies go to ridiculous ends not to sing the happy birthday even though they mean "happy birthday" from the Three Stooges -- to "Two Broke Girls" who would be more broke if they tried the version. Even Mr. Rogers -- and even Mr. Rogers, if it is not safe for him, can it be safe for any of us?

BERMAN: Never mind, I can't afford it.


BERMAN: On behalf of CNN, I apologize for my singing. Also I should mention CNN has reached out to the music company Warner Chapel, but a spokesman for the company declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Coming up, less singing, first it was Barack Obama and now Chris Christie is hanging out with Bill Clinton, will these public displays of Democratic affection hurt the New Jersey governor if he decides to run in 2016.

Plus he loves hot pockets and his kids, which technically makes him a fat dad and those are his words and not mine. Comedian Jim Gaffegan opens up about life on stage and the inspiration behind his jokes.


BERMAN: The "Politics Lead" and here is a question for you. Where did Jeb Bush take his sex ed class? Speaking to a group of religious conservatives this morning, the former Florida Governor Jeb Bush made a comment about immigrants that left the crowd a little squeamish, listen.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile and they love families. They have more intact families and they bring a younger population.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: All right, so more fertile, let's bring in the panel to talk about this. Terry Jeffrey, columnist and editor-in-chief of CNS News, CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, and Manu Raju, senior congressional reporter for "Politico." Maria, I want to start with you as the woman here on the panel --


BERMAN: When you heard Governor Jeb Bush says that immigrant women are more fertile?

CARDONA: Well, I cringed, John, but I will give Jeb Bush a pass here, because I looked at what he said in context and actually the words are correct. If you look at Webster's dictionary, the third definition of fertility is birth rate of a population, and that is what he meant.

BERMAN: I actually have that right here, you know, 87.7 births per 1,000 for immigrants compared to 58.9 births per 1,000 of women born in the United States.

CARDONA: Exactly. So what he said was actually correct and the context was he was talking about the benefits of comprehensive immigration reform. He is in the right place on that for the Latino community, for immigrants, for Americans. He was talking about the benefits of what immigrants have done and what they will continue to do for the economic vitality of this country. He just should not have used those words.

BERMAN: Nothing more comfortable to discuss for me than fertility. So I'm thrilled that we get to bring this up right now. But Terry, does this stick and one day and done?

TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CNSNEWS.COM: Well, Jeb Bush said a good thing here, and leaving aside what you do with illegal immigration because he is wrong on that, but right on the demographic facts. He's also right on the basic underlying economic point, more babies and more people are good.

The CBO earlier in the year, when they were estimating future economic growth for the United States, they said it is lower than what it used to be, because the baby boom generation is retiring and fewer young people are coming into the workforce.

If you look at the history of the human race, there are more human beings than 2,000 years ago, and people are better off materially than they were across the globe because on net people create wealth.

BERMAN: May all be true, but doesn't the word creep you out a little bit? What do you say, Manu?

MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "POLITICO": Well, you know, I think for Jeb Bush, he has had a clumsy roll out ever since he's gone back into the public domain. Remember he came out with this immigration book earlier this year, and his position on that issue seems to be backtracking from the support for a comprehensive immigration overhaul later. So I think what this does it may raise questions on whether or not he is ready for the primetime and whether or not he is going to be able to make comments that could prove to be game-changing gaffes if he decides to run in 2016.

BERMAN: You are talking about the rollout, of course, and that would for 2016, which is a really exciting topic for people who are in the politics, which we all are. So let's talk about 2016. Chris Christie is out in Chicago at the Clinton Global Initiative. Last time I checked, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Democrats, and Chris Christie is Republican. What is he doing in the Clinton Global Initiative?

JEFFREY: Well, if you are talking about the political positioning, and leaving aside Mitt Romney, the Republican Party will tend to nominate for president people from Texas and Kansas and California and from Texas, Michigan in the case of Jerry Ford. It is very difficult for a north eastern Republican to be nominated by the Republican Party whose base is conservative. I don't think Chris Christie can do it. I think he's more Giuliani than Mitt Romney and everybody remembers Mitt Romney did a 180-degree turn on a lot of issues before he ran for president.

BERMAN: Manu, if you are the other contenders right now, most of whom are the "Faith and Freedom Coalition" and you see Chris Christie in Chicago, what are you thinking?

RAJU: Well, they are probably thinking what happened? Remember, right before the run-up to the November elections when Christie was praising President Obama for the handling of Hurricane Sandy. I mean, at that time, it really gave momentum to the president, and really hurt the Romney campaign. A lot of Romney veterans and Republicans will not forgive him for that. So that is going to kind of bring back memories for that really critical moment in the campaign, and Christie is going to have to deal with that should he decide to run.

CARDONA: But let's remember, we may be focused on 2016, but what's Christie is focused on getting re-elected first. Because he has to be re-elected before he can even think about 2016 and being seen with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and Chelsea is a good thing for a purple/blue state that New Jersey is.

BERMAN: What's good for 2013, it might not be good for 2016. Thank you all coming here to talk about fertility.

Moving on, coming up, one stand up comedian has no problem poking fun at the waistline and his parenting skills. Jim Gaffigan is next to talk about both. And what is a working dad to do when the job interferes with the parental duties? If he is Phil Mickelson and he has a jet, he finds a way to do both. What event the golfer refused to miss during a major golf tournament, and how it is affecting his performance coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Now it is time for something that we like to call "The Lead Read" where we bring you the books that all of your friends will be talking about during those summer barbeques and here is one that comes in time for Father's Day, the book is called "Dad is Fat." It is written by stand up comedian Jim Gaffigan.

Don't let it fool you to think that it is a weight loss book that will leave dad depressed. It is actually a hilarious look at how Gaffigan's world was turned upside down by his five kids. Jake Tapper recently sat down with the comedian to learn more about what inspired him to share his parenting joys and nightmares with the masses.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): The title of comedian, Jim Gaffigan's book "Dad is Fat" is not a joke, he wrote, it was an observation by his son Jack.

JIM GAFFIGAN, COMEDIAN: The first sentence that he wrote was "dad is fat." And then I put him up for adoption.

TAPPER (on camera): That was the first sentence he wrote because there is a picture of it in the book.

GAFFIGAN: Yes, and it's pretty amazing handwriting, right. I mean, before it was just like the drips and drabs of a madman, but then it is dad is fat. That is the level of respect. I am sure that babies, you know, they head butt you.

TAPPER: Boy babies, in my experience because I have a 5-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy.

GAFFIGAN: No, you look at the difference between girls and boys, and this is just me asking for trouble, right. But you look at the behavior of a little boy, and you are amazed that there was ever a male president. Like, they are like Orangutans, right?

TAPPER (voice-over): Gaffigan says he wrote the book to honor his five, yes, five kids and to let other dads know that he does not have a clue either.

(on camera): Are you stopping at five?

GAFFIGAN: I don't know, because when you have four, people are like, wow, but when you have five, people are like, how about stopping? Are you creating your own nationality? Is there a country called Gaffiganistan? What are you doing? Well, you know, having kids and I think that you'd agree, it is all, you know, all of the successes. In the end when we are about to die it is going to be, and come down to last thought, did we pull out being a dad?

TAPPER: Really?

GAFFIGAN: And I know it sounds corny, but that is the truth. I also believe that my children have made me a better man. You know, each, all five of them, and based on that I only need 34 to be a good guy. TAPPER (voice-over): The book is currently a "New York Times" bestseller, and although Gaffigan appreciates the feedback, he finds some of the reviews a little confusing, especially some of the adjectives used to describe the comedy.

GAFFIGAN: I have seen in a couple of articles wistful. I am like, wistful. I am like, what does wistful mean? So there is something about, you know, a gratitude to be a dad. My kids are young. Maybe when they are teenagers I will say, I hate it, but I am a grateful.

TAPPER (on camera): Are you gearing up because the daughter is 9, and the kids become teenagers now at 10. I don't know if you knew that.


TAPPER: So you have trouble ahead.

GAFFIGAN: Yes, it is, you know, my joke is always when people bring it up, well, it gets easier, right? But I don't know. I think that there's, you know, the whole calculation of being a parent is not designed for victory. You know, the most you can hope for is maybe they will ignore you from 18 to 21 and come back at 21. But it's going to go back to it being selfless, and you have to hang in there, right?


GAFFIGAN: It is scary, and you know, them becoming teenagers, but I am glad my daughters are going to be nuns.

TAPPER: They signed up already?

GAFFIGAN: Well, it is cute how think they are going to be a princess when I am like, you are going to be a nun. Has your mother ever made anything as good as a McDonald's fry? Not even close.

TAPPER (voice-over): Gaffigan is often described as a family-friendly comic because he does not curse, and it is a label that he tends to resist.

GAFFIGAN: I think that all comedians aspire to be known as funny, and so when there is family-friendly, there is, you know, people are not going to the theatre shows simply because I'm not cursing and it is not like everyone is constantly cursing, and they are like, come over here, because this guy is not cursing.

That is not the drawing point to my show. And also, you know, as a parent, you know that family-friendly means low-quality. I have to say that I don't know that my son Jack's comedy is family-friendly because there is a lot of pooh-pooh.

TAPPER: Well, there is a lot of potty humor, and we have gotten my son off of it, but when he is with the friends, it is all pooh jokes, but this is CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BERMAN: Totally a family-friendly show here. "Dad Is Fat" is available in stores and online, and very funny.

Coming up in the "Sports Lead," it is the kind of thing that you would expect to see in the mini golf course, only no windmill. We are talking about the bumper balls at the toughest golf tournament there is, and we will show it to you next.


BERMAN: The Sports Lead, Phil Mickelson in the hunt for his first ever U.S. Open title, but maybe he locked up father of the year just in time for Father's Day. Mickelson's daughter graduated eighth grade Wednesday night in San Diego, but Phil had a crack of dawn early tee time in Pennsylvania the next day, so what would he do? Would he skip the graduation? No.

He went. Then he flew overnight from San Diego to Philadelphia, and got about an hour of sleep, and then teed off in one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The sleep deprivation did not show though. He finished the round atop the leader board, and he is still leading through four holes today. Good for Phil.

There was a moment at the U.S. Open today that is destined for a blooper DVD. Look at Carl Patterson who is about to hit the approach shot on the 5th hole when the ball hit him mid swing. Brendan Crick hit him, and he was allowed to return to play, and that is an icy glare.

Make sure to follow our show on Twitter @theleadcnn. That is all for today. I'm John Berman sitting in for Jake Tapper. Happy Father's Day, everyone. Have a terrific weekend. I turn you now over to the able hands of Jessica Yellin in "THE SITUATION ROOM."