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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Snowden Tests U.S. Relationships; Supreme Court Ducks Affirmative Action; Zimmerman Trial Starts with F-Bombs and Joke

Aired June 24, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, Edward Snowden on the run. President Obama pleads for the return of the NSA leaker, but is anyone listening?

Plus, the Supreme Court rules on affirmative action today. The Reverend Jesse Jackson "OUTFRONT."

And actor Jim Carrey says he won't promote his new film because it's too violent. Does that add up? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, please, pretty please, Russia the U.S. is basically begging you, give Edward Snowden back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Given our intense -- intensified cooperation with Russia after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters --

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Given that over the last two years we have sent seven prisoners back that they requested from the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right, the only thing not, quote, "given" when it comes to the hunt for the NSA leaker that anyone is listening to the Obama administration. All right, I'm not a body language expert, but if you look at this, I mean, this is about as awkward as it gets.

This is President Obama hanging out with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. Well, if you look at this, Kerry and Carney might have to step up their game a whole lot to get Snowden home. That's assuming Snowden isn't already en route or already there or in another less friendly place.

Tom Foreman is in Washington, D.C. where he's been mapping Snowden's possible escape plan so Tom, what do we know about where Snowden might be at this moment?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're asking the key question, Erin, because the simple truth is that other than his circle, nobody knows. The U.S. had him in the U.S. not that many days ago when you think about it, but now he's on the run. It's very hard to know where he is. We know over the weekend he was in Hongkong meeting with his advisers and people from Wikileaks about where he might seek asylum, where he might be.

We know that he flew from Hongkong up to Moscow. We know because we have witnesses on the plane who told us they saw it happen. We know because the authorities in Russia say he landed there. But this is where the trail runs dry, Erin. No matter how much we've heard about all this speculation about where else he might go, the truth is this is where it ends.

Even here the Russians have not said he arrived in the country, which could imply that he remained at the airport and that neither here nor there situation that you talk about. Think about Tom Hanks in the movie "The Terminal," where you haven't officially arrived. And from there, we've had all this talk and all this focus on a flight coming out of Russia, which left at 2:55 in the afternoon.

Just landed a short while ago in Cuba, the question being, did he get on that flight? Did he fly down there? A lot of journalists on the plane, a lot of eyes on Seat 17A where he was supposed to be, but that seat was empty. So the simple truth now, Erin, is for all of the speculation about this flight or maybe a later flight or maybe some sort of private flight out of Moscow, we don't know where he is after hours and hours -- Erin.

BURNETT: Which is pretty shocking. All right, so the other place, Tom, you know, you talk about Havana, which he could have been heading to as a final destination or en route, perhaps, to, let's say, Venezuela or Ecuador, right? Ecuador has been getting a lot of attention because, of course, the Wikileaks' founder, Julian Assange, has gotten asylum at the embassy in London. Is Ecuador still top of the list in terms of where people think he's heading?

FOREMAN: I think it's top of the list in terms of speculation, but again, remember, this is speculation. Yes, there were Ecuadorian authorities seen around the Moscow airport over here. Yes, there has been some entreaty from Ecuador to say maybe we will take him if he comes from Ecuador, maybe he'll get asylum here. But that's really all we're building on.

Remember, there's been talk about Iceland, a Wikileaks official just a short while ago said Iceland might still be in play. He left China behind, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's off the map. Politically it looks like it might be, but we don't know. Russia is still out here as a possible big player.

North Korea over here, there are still a lot of possibilities out there and I want to go back to the basic theme, Erin, because this is so important. For all this speculation, people are saying about this, whether you think he is a hero or he is a villain, the truth this hour is that nobody except his circle seems to know where he is. And our last report has him here in Moscow, and we don't know what his next destination will be.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much to Tom Foreman. So let me bring in Peter Brookes now, former deputy assistant secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, and Hilary Rosen, Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor.

Peter, let me start with you, just with the pure logistics here. You were an undersecretary of defense. OK, so let's say -- and we don't know, again, as Tom said, speculation. He's in the Moscow airport, and he has -- he's in transit, he's in limbo.

But whether it's a private lane or a commercial aircraft, at some point almost every route, maybe you could find a route that doesn't, but every route would likely go over a country that is an ally of the United States. In which case you are in someone else's airspace, in which case why can't the U.S. say land it?

PETER BROOKES, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, that's a possibility. You know, they could decide to do that and that's one of the concerns about even the flight from Moscow that could go into U.S. air space or, Erin, we could be dealing with a diversion here. He lets out some information that I'm going to Cuba and Ecuador, and he's actually going to someplace else to another destination. I was glad to see Tom mention North Korea. Not a good place to go if I were him. The fact is it hasn't come up yet and the conspiracy theory about where the individual is.

BURNETT: But would, Peter, before I bring in Hillary here, would American allies stand by the U.S. in this regard? So a commercial flight, Aeroflot 150, reporters were on that flight. We don't believe he was on it, but we possibly could have been, would have flown over, you know, some friendly countries.

BROOKES: Right. Well, you have the American aircraft in that part of the world, as well, under NATO. I mean, it's a very -- a tough one to say. I can't say with any -- in any definitive way, but they would certainly be pressured to get hold of him. Of course, these European countries would have to think about the repercussions of forcing down a Russian aircraft in relations with Moscow.

BURNETT: So Hillary, let me ask you about the fundamental thing. Your senior administration official tells CNN that the FBI Director Robert Muller called his counterpart in Russia twice about Snowden, asking for him to come home. Russia isn't saying very much so far.

And Hillary Clinton, you may remember, brought that now-famous reset button, literal button, to brag about the reset in relations between the U.S. and Russia. Back in 2009, the president then said he and the Russian president had succeeded in resetting the relationship between the two countries. But now you have Russia actively it appears seeking out the first chance they have to tell the United States to take a hike.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, I don't think that's true, Erin. We don't know what Russia's privately told the U.S. and we don't know what the U.S. has privately told Russia. And I think that was the point we heard on Secretary Kerry's interview earlier on CNN which is that there are obviously private conversations going on in channels we don't know about. It's really premature to imagine that we do. We -- we do know that Putin is a different character. And that he's got a big personality, likes to push the envelope. On the other hand, there are serious repercussions for -- for Moscow in not supporting U.S. interests here. And I'm just not sure that we can go there yet.

BURNETT: What are the repercussions? I mean, what would the U.S. do for not doing anything about this?

ROSEN: Well, there's a host of diplomatic countries that we're looking at, treaties, trades, all sorts of issues. And I think that President Obama and -- and Secretary Kerry and Eric Holder all today made clear that they view the situation as -- as really serious.

BURNETT: Peter, I'll give you the final word. When -- when Snowden left Hongkong, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary said, "I'm not buying. This is a technical decision by Hongkong." This is a deliberate choice to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant. As Hillary points out, there all things going on behind the scenes we may not know about. She could be totally right about that. The perception at this point does seem to be several countries in a row eager to take the opportunity to snub a little at the snub.

BROOKES: Yes. I think it's an example of our waning influence under the Obama administration. China may have wanted to get rid of it because they didn't want it to get in the way of future relations, but they've been talking about a new big power relationship that was equals. The Russians are very unhappy about Syria. They're unhappy about the Magnitsky case, remember this issue, and they are also, you know, unhappy about missile defense issues.

So maybe they're going to let Snowden twist in the wind for a while to see what they can get out of the United States in terms negotiations. There's a lot at hand, geopolitical stuff. Right now I think he's a pawn in it.

BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it. Of course, we'll see what's really going on behind the scenes in the next hours and days to come.

Still to come, the Supreme Court has ruled on affirmative action. Reverend Jesse Jackson is OUTFRONT.

Plus, a murder verdict hinges on the same-sex debate. How far does privilege extend?

And then the opening arguments today in the George Zimmerman trial, the shocking thing his lawyer said today in the courtroom and it was no joke.

Later in the show, the other cat-and-mouse game that we've been following. Rusty, the red panda, escapes, a shout out today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT tonight, the Supreme Court's punt. In a much-anticipated ruling on affirmative action, the highest court in the United States of America said, no, we don't want to deal with it, and sent the case back to the lower courts. Now the court did affirm the use of race in admission decisions, but they raised the legal standard.

Basically saying schools have to prove there are no workable race- neutral alternatives, so those are their words, to achieve diversity on campus. There aren't, you can use affirmative action. The case was first filed in 2008 by Abigail fisher, a white student who was rejected from the University of Texas. Fisher has since graduated from Louisiana State University.

OUTFRONT tonight, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Reverend, always good to talk to you. Let me ask you this question point blank -- did the Supreme Court miss an opportunity today?

JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Yes, to the extent that race remains a fact among us. That's a victory because they sought to eliminate it altogether. You know, there were white students that had lower grades than she had. They thought a focus on race was a vulnerable spot in the whole agenda. Race is a factor, gender is a factor. It's about trying to remove the most fundamental initial our society, the question of racial justice.

BURNETT: And let me ask you, you know, Clarence Thomas obviously took the side here saying, you know, against affirmative action. And most Americans right now, Reverend, as you're well aware, seemed to agree with him. Nearly 70 percent of Americans disapprove of affirmative action programs at the college level, at the law school level.

And obviously I don't speak as an African-American, but as a woman, I don't want to be judged or held back because of my gender. But I also don't want people to ever perceive that I was given something because of my gender. Do you think the times have changed?

JACKSON: What Justice Ginsburg says, something's taken away because of race, 246 years of local slavery, years of patterns of racial discrimination in banking, in housing, in transportation.

BURNETT: But let me ask you that, though. When you look at the percentage of -- of black Americans and granting institutions, 14.5 percent -- as you know, African-Americans are 13.6 percent of the population. So they're technically slightly overrepresented now in degree-granting institutions. Women are way overrepresented. Nearly 60 percent of enrollment in degree-granting institutions is female. So it would seem just looking at the numbers that African-Americans and females don't have any problems.

JACKSON: Well, it's not true. On the other hand, you look at the number of -- of students who don't graduate. Look at the impact this year, for example, of summer Pell grants, Erin, where it wiped out thousands of (INAUDIBLE) loans. Sixteen thousand black students in black colleges alone could not go to school this past year. The impact of student loan debt with credit card debt, we have real profound issues in education. BURNETT: When you look at the representation of African-Americans and women in higher-degree institutions, colleges, they seem overrepresented. Isn't the problem now earlier on in the system? When people are younger?

JACKSON: Well, it -- prenatal care, HeadStart and daycare, does matter. But it's one thing to be in institutions and another thing to be able to afford to graduate from those institutions. We are underrepresented as doctors, as lawyers, as accountants, as engineers, as scientists. That's vast underrepresentation. Much of it starts very early, and a lot of it has to do with the idea of not having enough resources.

And you know, it's interesting that as affirmative action, legacy points -- your parents (INAUDIBLE) that school. Gender, female. And the issue of a ball player (INAUDIBLE) you're from another country. All these factors on the races is held out as the nail in our shoe. We should know that racial justice is key in America, keeping America a nation of our dreams.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Interesting point there by the Reverend Jesse Jackson. By the way, he talked about Title 9, of course. I was a beneficiary of that.

I was to bring in our CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, from Washington, D.C.

Jeff, is there any other way to see this other than that the Supreme Court punted today? They're asked to make a decision and say, hey, state court, back to you.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's somewhat of a punt but not entirely. There was a chance in this case where the Supreme Court could have said race is not allowed to be a factor in admissions, period. So the fact they didn't say that, the fact that they said race can be a factor is a real victory for the civil rights community.

The problem, the punt comes in in they don't really spell out how much of a factor race can be and what admissions officers are supposed to do when they're sitting there with applications. So yes, it is -- it is somewhat of a punt, but they did answer at least part of the question.

BURNETT: And what about the issue that I raised with Reverend Jackson? That you already have a higher percent of degree-granting institutions -- African-American enrollment than you do of African-Americans in the regular population, and the same with women? So if you look at it that way, affirmative action has -- or other things, whatever, has already hugely succeeded. You don't need any more. You're already overrepresented.

TOOBIN: Well, it depends sort of where you're counting in the process. In part, those numbers are due to the fact that there is affirmative action. So one of the reasons why they are so represented is -- is because of affirmative action in admissions.

And also, as you look farther into the community in terms of number of professionals, number of CEOs, that's where the numbers of African- Americans and women fall off. And that's one reason why in this case you had a lot of Fortune 500 companies going to the Supreme Court saying don't kill affirmative action. We have a diverse work force, we have diverse customers, we live in a world with -- you know, of all different colored people. We want to have future executives who reflect the world as it is.

So, you know, corporations are in this for the bottom line. And they wanted affirmative action to survive.

BURNETT: All right. Everyone, let us know what you think about affirmative action. Does it make sense or not at this point? And thanks to Jeffrey Toobin as well.

Still to come, a murder verdict that hinges on the same-sex debate. Just how far does privilege extend?

Plus, comedian Jim Carrey gets serious and refuses to promote his new movie.

And then a gang war has erupted in Boston. This is serious, people, This is boy band versus boy band.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT: stand by your spouse. There's a murder case in Kentucky that hinges on the debate about same-sex marriage. The issue is whether the partner of an accused killer can be forced to testify against the woman she calls her wife, or whether she can refuse like any other spouse. The outcome could mean the difference between life and death row. John Zarrella's OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bobbie Joe Clary is accused of murder. Clary says it was self-defense. She said she was being raped, fought back, and hit the man on the head with a hammer. If convicted of murder, she could be sentenced by death by lethal injection.

Kentucky prosecutors believe this woman, Geneva Case, knows the truth. But she's refusing to testify. Why?

GENEVA CASE: We're married. We're just like any other couple.

ZARRELLA: Case is invoking spousal privilege. The two women were married in Vermont nearly a decade ago. But prosecutors say in Kentucky, they're not like any other couple. Kentucky does not recognize same-sex marriage as legal.

STACY GRIEVE, ASSISTANT COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY: Under Kentucky law, a husband or a wife can refuse to testify against the other in court. And our position is that Kentucky law -- that Kentucky law of the husband and wife privilege does not apply to a same-sex couple.

ANGELA ELLEMAN, CLARY'S ATTORNEY: Only because she's married to a woman. Instead they want to use that information to strap her to a gurney, to pump poison into her veins and kill her. We say that's not fair.

ZARRELLA: And the attorneys representing both women say it's not just unfair, it's unconstitutional.

BRYAN GATEWOOD, CASE'S ATTORNEY: They are trying to use state law which treats gay and lesbian people differently than it treats heterosexual people to their advantage in a criminal action. That, I believe, is unconstitutional.

ZARRELLA: But whether Geneva case may be compelled to testify against her wife may already be in the hands of another court: the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court is expected to rule any time now on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8. California voters in 2008 approved a ban on same-sex marriage. The women's attorneys say if the court strikes down Prop 8 and decides its decision applies to all states, it could change the outcome of this murder case.

ELLEMAN: Obviously we'd love to have guidance. We'd love that guidance to be something that is helpful in Miss Clary asserting her constitutional rights.

ZARRELLA: Prosecutors have asked the judge to order Case to testify. They believe Case saw her spouse clean blood out of the dead man's van and heard her admit to the killing. A hearing is scheduled the end of July.

(on camera): This is the first time same-sex spousal privilege has been before a Kentucky court. The issue has come up in other states. In a Delaware case, civil union laws there allowed for spousal privilege. The difference, of course, in Kentucky, that principle does not extend to same-sex couples.

For OUTFRONT, John Zarrella, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Thanks to John.

Still to come, the shocking start to the George Zimmerman trial. People in the courtroom speechless today.

And then there was dramatic testimony at the Whitey Bulger trial. The prosecution saying he was an FBI informant. But does that add up?

And more bad news for Paula Deen.

And then tonight's Shout Out -- making a run for it. No, we're not referring to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. We're talking about this guy: Rusty, the red panda. He escaped the National Zoo in Washington. Now, we couldn't help but notice the similarities. Both are male, both dodged Washington officials, both have strong ties to China. The difference is Rusty was caught. Tonight's Shout Out goes to Rusty for his courage and the zoo workers who caught him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. We start with stories we care about where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.

We want to begin with U.S. stocks. They fell again today, as much as a percent. But it could have been much worse because at one point, all three indexes were down as much as 2 percent. They came back quite a bit. The Dow at one point down 225 points, but got a lot of that back, only ended, down 140 points.

This is part of a broader trend, though, over the past few days. Stocks are down about 6 percent from their recent highs. Now, some of that's due to worries over the Fed. The last time these worries happened, stocks fell once by 16 percent and once by 18 percent.

So, there could be more to go, but Peter Kenny (ph) of Knight Capital says another driving principle in terms of the Fed is also what's happening in China where he says stocks turned significantly lower overnight.

Well, Paula Deen got fired again. This time by major sponsor Smithfield Foods, maker of bacon sausage and barbecue products. Smithfield says it condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind which, of course, is a reference to Deen admitting to using a racial slur and the N-word.

We spoke with the Reverend Jesse Jackson earlier, and he actually was rather forgiving of Deen, noting that she comes out of a rather ugly culture. I wanted to tell you what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I think at some point in time we can not use Paula Deen as a scapegoat for the errors of our culture. I do not understand the idea of eternal condemnation, anybody who makes a mistake. I don't think that's right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: The Food Network was not as understanding as the Reverend Jackson. It will not be renewing Deen's contract.

Well, the home of the New England Patriots' tight end, Aaron Hernandez, has been searched by authorities for a second time. It is unclear what at least 20 state and local police investigators are looking for. Hernandez, I want to emphasize, has not been named a suspect in the murder of a friend who was found dead a half mile from his home.

Hernandez lands in hot water, his earning could be a big risk.

The NFL players association tell us that the player is involved in illegal activities or something that prevents him from showing up to work, and that does include training camp, a signing bonus may be on the line.

And big news in Qatar, which is one of America's biggest allies in the region. Although there is tension there, as well. There's a leadership change. Al Jazeera reports Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani who is the emir of Qatar, the ruler, is going to hand over power of the Persian Gulf nation to his son, crown Prince Sheikh Tamim. Sheikh Tamim is the fourth son of the outgoing rural.

One of the big questions is whether he will be able to expand Qatar's influence in the world.

According to the Brookings Institute, Qatar's economy has surged under the current emir and they're hosting major sporting events and one of the biggest suppliers of weapons to the Syrian opposition.

It has been 690 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, the NASDAQ fell today 1 percent. One of the stocks that fell, Apple. Shares briefly, everyone, fell below $400 for the first time since mid-April but they did end higher than that.

And now our fourth story OUTFRONT: an F-bomb and joke that bombed.

Yes, this was a shocking start to George Zimmerman's trial. Today, both sides laid out their opening statement to the jury of six women. The racially charged trial coming 16 months after Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin.

It became clear the moment the prosecution and defense went head to head today that they had very different and very distinct approaches when it comes to driving home their point.

David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The very first words from the prosecution to the George Zimmerman jury cannot be repeated on television.

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks. These (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- they always get away.

MATTINGLY: The first comments from the defense included a seemingly inappropriate joke.

DON WEST, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: Knock, knock, who's there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who? All right, good. You're on the jury.

MATTINGLY: The contrast in styles could not be more obvious. Prosecutor John Guy was blunt and emotional, describing George Zimmerman as a wannabe cop, a profiler and a liar. These were his powerful last words.

GUY: He shot him for the worst of all reasons, because he wanted to.

MATTINGLY: Trayvon Martin's parents were moved to tears. Jurors seemed riveted. That's when Zimmerman's attorney, Don West, apparently tried to break the tension, and the awkward joke fell flat.

WEST: Nothing?

(LAUGHTER)

WEST: That's funny.

MATTINGLY (on camera): What kind of damage did he do here?

SUSAN CONSTANTINE, JURY CONSULTANT AND AUTHOR: Certainly from the very beginning, first impressions are a lasting impression, OK? You want to hit hard when they first start.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Susan Constantine is a jury consultant and author who believes it was not only a bad joke, it was a bad idea.

CONSTANTINE: I think this was about his nervousness, not breaking a spell. I think it was all about his own nervousness.

MATTINGLY: It was so bad, attorney Don West returned from a lunch break and immediately apologized.

WEST: No more bad jokes, I promise that. I'm convinced it was the delivery, though. I really thought that was -- I'm sorry if I offended anyone about that.

MATTINGLY: The question now -- could the attorney's poor choice of words actually damage George Zimmerman's chances in this trial?

(on camera): Is it possible to put the genie back in the bottle now that this has happened right in front of the jury?

LEROY PERNELL, DEAN, FLORIDA A&M COLLEGE OF LAW: Never completely. And you can bet or at least guess that the jury will be reminded of this in the closing arguments, as well.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Leroy Pernell is the law school dean at Texas A&M who said that was not the only chance the defense took.

The prosecution filled up its emotion-filled opening statement in 30 minutes. The defense took more than 2 1/2 hours, pouring out clinical details of the encounter that cost Trayvon Martin his life and landed George Zimmerman in courts.

(on camera): Were they taking a risk by going so long in front of the jury?

PERNELL: Well, this is part art and part science. So there's always the possibility that there's a risk. But all the defense has to do is suggest to the jury that a case is so complicated that indeed there's reasonable doubt somewhere along the line.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: And David I've seen you play Don West's joke and then his apology. I mean, do you think the apology was enough to put this behind him, and obviously people you spoke to are reacting strongly to it. Do you think the jury reacted as strongly and as negatively?

MATTINGLY: Well, it's going to have to be enough. What we actually saw today were both sides playing to their strengths -- the prosecution going with that emotional story about how a grown man shot and killed an unarmed teenager. They believe in that story. That is where they'll find a conviction.

Now as far as the defense goes, they believe an acquittal is going to be in the details. The details that show that George Zimmerman was not acting with malice that night he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. That he was acting out of fear for his life.

Now in terms of what the jury might be thinking about all this, it was really hard to read them today. One of the most important things we saw was their reaction to that joke. And because they were so serious, it shows just how seriously they are taking this trial.

BURNETT: Wow, that's a fair point. Thank you very much to David Mattingly.

Well, a shift in gears in the trial of former Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. Now, it's focusing on his status as an FBI informant. This was interesting because the court was shown excerpts from a 700-page informant trial on Bulger as well as his official ID card as an informant which showed his code name, BS-15440OC, the O.C. stands for organized crime.

Now, Bulger's attorneys insist that the document was forged, that he never was an informant. The claim the prosecutor calls a ridiculous contention. And this is just pretty interesting.

Deb Feyerick is OUTFRONT from Boston.

Deb, I just wanted to understand, why Bulger and his team are so obsessed with whether he was an informant or not. He's on trial for 19 murders and a lot of other charges. They seem to be more focused on proving he wasn't an informant than anything else.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There's no question about that, Erin. And being a rat, being an informant, was the worst possible thing you could be in south Boston. And Bulger knew that he was going get away with it because no one would ever believe that he was ratting out his friends.

The ID card that you showed, the 700-page file, which was about this tall and put right in front of the witness who was testifying about it shows a very different story. That Bulger provided details on murders, on drug deals, armed robberies, even criminal fugitives leading to several arrests.

And prosecutor Fred Wyshak basically said, look, he was not going to engage in the fiction that Bulger was not an informant. And he mocked what he called Bulger's ego, his attempt to preserve his reputation, saying it was a ridiculous contention, saying that he knew that 15 years of information provided by Bulger told otherwise. That in fact, yes, Whitey Bulger, the alleged murderer of 19 people was, in fact, a rat.

BURNETT: Pretty amazing. I mean, I guess he's more focused on his reputation among those in the mob community than around the country.

All right. We were also hearing, though, that Bulger was muttering during the trial today. And we've been hearing, Deb, all these other days where he hasn't been reacting to the incredibly emotional testimony, the picture of people being shot and killed. But today, he was muttering.

What was that about?

FEYERICK: Yes. And that's what's so incredible. His body language today told a very, very different story. Usually he sits in the court ramrod straight, stony, staring straight ahead. Today, he was slouched in his seat and he was muttering repeatedly, "I'm not an informant, I'm not an informant." He used an expletive saying, "I'm not an x informant."

But it was a very different change because he really wants to be cleared of this notion that somehow he was rating on everybody. La Costa Nostra, rival gangs, anybody who got in his way. And this was one of the reasons this criminal enterprise was allowed to flourish.

Well, the judge actually weighed there in, Erin, and basically says, look, maybe the question here is definition of informant. Perhaps the truth of what he was saying may be a question. But the fact he was a registered informant, not a question at all -- Erin.

BURNETT: Pretty amazing. Thanks very much to Deb Feyerick. Just a look at the schooling of Whitey Bulger today, that we got today. That glimpse.

Well, still to come, the former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's actually facing prison time now for those bunga- bunga parties that we used to laugh about. We're going to tell you how long he will suffer for the bunga bunga.

And actor Jim Carrey refuses to promote his new film. Is this a principled stand or a genius marketing strategy?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And we are back with tonight's "Outer Circle," where we reach out to our sources around the world. We begin in South Africa where the country's former president, Nelson Mandela, is in critical condition after his health declined over the weekend.

Robyn Curnow is at the hospital in Pretoria and she told me why an outpouring of love for the anti-apartheid icon is causing difficulty for his family. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, while this is not the news that South Africans wanted to hear, they hoped that he'd be getting better after 18 days in this hospital behind me, but he's not. It appears that Nelson Mandela's condition is worsening. He's now being listed as in a critical condition. South Africans being told to pray for him by their president.

Also, his family saying that they are finding this extremely difficult, all this intense media speculation about his health.

MAKI MANDELA, NELSON MANDELA'S DAUGHTER: We've never had him in our life for the better part of our years. This is in a sense quality and sacred time for us, and I would expect the world to really back off and leave us alone.

CURNOW: Nelson Mandela, 94 years old, frail, sick, continues to struggle it out here in the intensive care unit.

Erin, back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Thanks very much to you, Robyn.

And now to Italy where that country's former prime minister has been convicted of charges relating to his activities with an underage prostitute named Ruby.

Ben Wedeman is in Milan. And I asked what the decision means for the disgraced prime minister who, by the way, is still very popular in Italy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the verdict came down for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Seven years in prison and a lifelong ban on holding public office. All of this for having sex with an underage prostitute, the famous Ruby Rubacuori, Ruby the Heartstealer, and for interceding with the Milan police to get her released after she was charged with petty theft. Now he still has two levels of appeals to go.

And legal experts tell us that this process could go on for years -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And thanks to Ben. Somehow not surprised it could go on for years.

All right. Our fifth story OUTFRONT: Jim Carrey's change of heart. The 51-year-old is criticizing the violent content in his latest action movie. It's called "Kick-Ass 2." If you missed the first, you're not alone. After the Newtown school shooting, he got very upset and is taking a stand now. He told his 10 million Twitter followers, "I did 'Kick Ass" a month before Sandy Hook. And, now, in all good conscience, I can not support that level of violence."

But does Carrey's reasoning for punting the movie add up?

OUTFRONT tonight, our opinion writer and comedian, Dean Obeidallah, Republican strategist Hogan Gidley, and our legal analyst Paul Callan who's representing celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino, and Michelle Rodriguez.

OK, good to have all of you with us.

Hogan, let me start with you. Do you buy Jim Carrey's change of heart?

HOGAN GIDLEY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Not really. I mean, I love Jim Carrey's movies. I think he's a great actor. I think "Once Bitten" in 1995 and "Dumb and Dumber" should have gotten Academy Awards.

However, this is extremely hypocritical from this guy. To say he's not going to promote the movie, he's still making money from the movie. And he didn't do it -- he shot the movie after -- before Sandy Hook happened -- yes, but it was after Aurora, it was after Columbine.

What's the big deal? He's been an advocate for gun violence for this long. And for some reason, he's found a conscience right before this ridiculous movie comes out.

I don't get it, I don't understand it, but it's not the first time hypocrisy has flown forth from the Hollywood Hills. I can promise you that.

BURNETT: Wow, that was like a preacher, you spoke there. Not the first time hypocrisy has flown forth from the Hollywood Hills.

All right. Dean, what do you think about the point, though, that Hogan just made? Aurora, Colorado, that horrific shooting that happened. Sandy Hook happened. And now several months later, he's saying he's not going to promote it.

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: I think there's a change. There are certain moments that are --

BURNETT: A change of how he thinks, OK.

OBEIDALLAH: Change of heart. It's an evolution.

And I think -- I take him at his word. I think he's being sincere. I think he should be applauded.

Actors stand up for themselves, for endorsements. They're endorsing everything from sneakers to condoms. That's what actors do. And the fact that he's standing for something at this peril. And he could be sued, as I'm sure Paul is going to comment. Maybe other producers won't work with him.

And second, it's a win/win. Let's be honest. We are talking about the movie. Google this controversy, hundreds of thousands of hits on Google.

People are talking "Kick-Ass 2" more than ever. So, he's actually promoting the movie.

BURNETT: People like me who never heard of "Kick-Ass 1," never heard of "Kick-Ass 2."

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: At least he didn't name his child Northwest? I mean, I don't know. Did you do that in another segment? Hollywood names, Hollywood stars.

BURNETT: We did talk about that.

CALLAN: You did talk about that, OK.

BURNETT: But what about Jim Carrey at one point was pulling in $30 million a movie. The guy is an incredibly accomplished actor no matter how you cut the cookie. He is making less now we would assume. But, obviously, your contract requires you not just to shot the movie but to participate in marketing.

CALLAN: Absolutely.

BURNETT: So, unless they think this is great marketing, people like me who have not heard of the movie, have now heard of it, he could be violating his contract.

CALLAN: Exactly.

BURNETT: How much money is at stake?

CALLAN: Well, it's a standard clause that you have to promote the movie before and after its release. And if the movie sales are diminished as a result of his refusal, he could be sued for that amount.

Now, figuring out how much it's worth, that's pretty hard. I mean, he's getting a lot of publicity as a result of this. Maybe this is a stunt, who knows?

But I can tell you it happened to Paris Hilton in a case. And in that case, the court found if she had promoted the movie, it would have made things worse, it wouldn't have made any money. So, she ends up winning the case, despite the fact that she violated the contract.

So, who knows?

BURNETT: I hope Mika Brzezinski is watching.

Hogan, let me ask you, I'm also curious, I know you're more critical. Dean is taking him at his word. You were more critical. But, you know, Jim Carrey in this movie, according to a writer, plays a born again Christian and he actually refuses to fire a gun. So, he's actually in this movie, according to what this writer says, a "Kick-Ass 2" writer, taking the stand that he now says he's taking.

GIDLEY: Right. Another person portraying Christianity and perverting the true Christianity yet again, boy, I'm really shocked by that.

Look, it's not that I don't take him at his word. I'm sure he had a deathbed conversion here on something. My point is, it's inconsistent over the life of his entire career. What is he going to do, he's going to call on other actors now to not promote movies or be in movies that promote violence? I just don't understand the move politically, professionally.

If he's sincere, that's fine. That's not the point I was making. I just think it's hypocritical because he's promoting it, but he's taking money from it. That's just ridiculous.

OBEIDALLAH: On some point, I would think people on the right would actually applaud this because they were saying we don't need gun control laws, we need less violence in videogames and in movies. Why aren't people on the right, this guy is great, he's absolutely right there's too much violence?

GIDLEY: No, no, no.

(CROSSTALK)

OBEIDALLAH: Why aren't they saying, you're right, there's too much violence in movies, which is resulting in violence in the streets, and people being killed not by guns, but by this violence imagery.

GIDLEY: That's the First Amendment. You have the right to make the movie as violent as you want, because we don't want someone saying that's too religious on the flip side of that. That's the First Amendment. You got to get that out of your head. No Republican should be saying that, that's free speech.

CALLAN: I suspect a lot of people on the right agree with you this is a good stand by Carrey to oppose the movie. And it's conscientious, and who knows?

BURNETT: You do the framework as oppose by legislating it.

All right. Thanks very much to all of you, we appreciate it.

And everyone, of course, let us know what you think about this.

And now, the "Outtake".

So every night we take a look outside of the day's top stories for the OUTFRONT "Outtake".

And Aaron Carter is on deck today. He's a pop singer. He got a start in the late 1990s. And yesterday he posted these photos of himself with a black eye and bruised knuckles. The result he says of an attack.

According to the singer, while he was in Boston for a show, four guys jumped him, he was barely able to fend them off using his martial arts training. The worse part of this, is this was not a run of the mill attack. Apparently, it was a boy band turf war.

According to Carter, his attackers were fans of the group New Kids on the Block. And they made it very clear to him they were not happy because he was on their turf.

So the boy band battle has started a war. And while we don't condone violence on this program, we have learned a few things from this. First of all, New Kids on the Block have older male fans and very savvy fans at that. It's good to know all these 40-year-old guys are staying in shape and staying passionate about their boy bands.

I'm not sure that, you know, everyone would recognize Aaron Carter, but these guys did. And not only that, it provokes real passion, the kind of passion boy bands crave, which made us wonder how long until other acts get into the action, Hanson throws a brick to New Edition's window, Tiffany pulls a knife on Britney Spears, 'N Sync takes a shot at Color Me Badd.

Possibilities are truly endless and, you know, you get to live again. Some of these acts can't get even arrested in this town. A gang war would sure change that.

Well, still to come, how much should you tip at a restaurant? One sushi place in New York says, well, you know what? You're supposed to always tip this and you get mad when the service stinks and you still have to tip it? They have the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So, what's the right amount to tip? Fifty percent, 20 percent? The amount varies and a lot of times you get mad when the service stinks and you're still supposed to tip something.

So, one New York City has a controversial idea. It says the appropriate amount to leave is zero.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may sound fishy, but tipping is now off the menu at New York's Sushi Yasuda. As the bill say, gratuities not accepted.

SCOTT ROSENBERG, CO-OWNER, SUSHI YASUDA: Customers would say, oh, my God, no more tipping. And then they'd look at each other perplexed and then smile. And typically, the reaction was like, OK, neat, it's all good.

TAYLOR: There's no tipping in Japan. So, Sushi Yasuda says it shouldn't be done here.

ROSENBERG: Our customers got to enjoy this beautiful, meditative and stimulative (ph) meal. And at the end of the meal, they don't have to take out their calculator, think about what percent --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifteen, 20.

ROSENBERG: None of that.

TAYLOR: Diners may love it, but nightlife rider Michael Musto says don't expect other restaurants to follow.

MICHAEL MUSTO, WRITER: I think this is a one of a kind. It will go down as a a footnote in restaurant history.

TAYLOR: After all, this is a city where everyone has their handout. Tip drawers are everyone. And, of course, cabbies always want a little something extra.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, for me, the New Yorker is the best tipper, I think, in the world.

TAYLOR: With everyone looking for a tip, some believe New York has reached a tipping point.

MUSTO: Everyone's entitled to have a tipping bowl, I might have one at my own door for whatever services I provide. But that doesn't mean you're going to get a tip. I mean, just giving out a hot dog with sauerkraut doesn't deserve that much of a round of ovation (ph), do you think?

TAYLOR: The staff at Sushi Yasuda are not getting a raw deal. Higher wages compensate for no tips.

ROSENBERG: All together all at once.

TAYLOR: If you want to flash more cash --

It's a bland.

ROSENBERG: Thank you very much.

TAYLOR: You sure I can't leave a tip?

ROSENBERG: You can't leave a tip.

TAYLOR: Here's a tip: take the savings and buy more sushi instead.

Felicia Taylor, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Let us know you think of that idea.

"A.C. 360" starts now.