Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Outrage Over Magazine's Bomber Cover; Tsarnaev's Link To 2011 Triple Homicide; The Influence of "Black Twitter"
Aired July 17, 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 HOST: OUTFRONT next: outrage over "Rolling Stone's" new cover. Many says a terrorist is being glamorized. We'll show you that picture. Did the magazine go way too far?
Plus more fallout from the George Zimmerman verdict tonight, protesters now demanding Florida repeal its "Stand Your Ground" law. We decided to look at the numbers. Does that law lead to bias against one racial group?
And new developments in the Edward Snowden case. Will Russia's relationship with the NSA leaker lead to an American Olympic boycott? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, outrage over this, that is not a rock star. That is what is called on the front cover of "Rolling Stone" the bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the front cover. A photo Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick calls, quote, "out of taste." Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino slammed the cover writing in a letter the magazine's publisher that it, quote, "rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment. It is ill conceived at best and reaffirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their causes."
The topic was trending all day today on social media including Twitter. Motley crew drummer, Tommy Lee, himself, he has been on the cover of "Rolling Stone" more than once tweeted really, "Rolling Stone," wtff. And country music super star John Rich tweeted, quote, "You always think as an artist if I ever get on "Rolling Stone," I will know I have made it until they started promoting terrorists.
The corporate world is responding as well. CVS, Walgreens and Stop and Shop are among the chains that all say they will not carry this issue of "Rolling Stone" on their shelves. Was the cover in bad taste or is this journalism?
Erik Wemple is the "Washington Post" media critic and he joins me now. Eric, thanks for being with us. I want to start off with this. We had an interview all day scheduled with the writer of the piece, but it was cancelled this afternoon. We are not exactly sure what the reasons are.
ERIK WEMPLE, MEDIA CRITIC, "WASHINGTON POST": You got the second string.
BURNETT: Well, I didn't mean it to come out that way. You are good to roll with it.
Let me share with you the statement that they put out. The cover story we've published this week falls within the traditions of journalism and "Rolling Stone's" longstanding commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of the day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young and the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gaining more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happened."
Obviously you can do that without putting the guy on the front in a way that a lot of people thought it was a rock star until it was pointed out that it was someone who engaged in a terrorist act and killed Americans. They put Charles Manson on the cover back in 1970. Does that make it OK?
WEMPLE: No. Absolutely, I believe this is a perfectly fine iteration of journalism. I think it is cowardly that "Rolling Stone" would not put their journalist out front to defend it because I think it is an easy thing to defend. What you have here is a story about a guy who was a very, very integrated and well balanced by all accounts member of our society until something happened. We don't know precisely what happened.
That was the point of this story to account for how he slid off the rails. I think it is quite a good account. I think it is a good story and I think the photo goes right with the story. If you care about how this happened I think you have to credit row "Rolling Stone" with spending two months on the story. Nobody is saying thanks for taking a look at this person who created so much destruction. I think if you are in favor of enlightenment over ignorance you have to applaud what "Rolling Stone" did and you have to site as cowardly what the corporations have done, which is refuse to distribute "Rolling Stone."
BURNETT: You think what they are doing is cowardly. Let me ask you this. We polled viewers on our web site. Most of them found this very offensive. Three quarters of them said that it was offensive, 26 percent said no. The same photo was used on the front page of the "New York Times" in May. That is different than a pop culture magazine targeted at young people, but it is the same picture.
I remember looking at that picture at that time and it made me think more about as the media the role at we play in doing what some people on Twitter were criticizing "Rolling Stone" for, you know, as in glorifying and giving theme people their moment in the sun.
WEMPLE: I don't see this glorification and see this as humanization. OK, I mean, this picture it humanizes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and that's a problem for a lot people because they want to see him as an animal from day one. Well, look, Erin, the facts are he wasn't an animal at least to his peer group for the longest time. They remembered him as a dear friend. That is a problem because he was part of our society and he turned on it by all indications or allegedly.
That is a huge problem and that is very disconcerting because we would like to think and I think it is true that the more people become integrated in our society, the more they love it and the less inclined they would be to do something as ghastly as this. That is what is really upsetting about this. It is not that "Rolling Stone" used an image that is out there that has been used before to illustrate a story that is perfectly congruous with the picture. There is nothing about these two things. They exists side besides very harmoniously.
BURNETT: Thank you very much. Made me think of the evil and sometimes we want to see things as inhuman and maybe looking at it a different way opens your mind to try to stop it in the future. I want to share the new developments we have in the Boston marathon bombing and a crucial link between one of the bomb suspects and a triple homicide a year and a half before the attacks. One man knew several players involved in both crimes and he opened up in this special OUTFRONT investigation.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the terror attack on Boston three people in John Allan's world were about to collide, three people who trained in boxing and mixed martial arts. All three are now dead and key among them is bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, seen working out at the Wai Kru gym days before the attack.
(on camera): Were you surprised at his demeanor 72 hours before those bombs?
JOHN ALLAN, OWNER, WAI KRU MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CENTER: Just him entering the ring, I mean, you know, like jumping over both legs, feet at his shoulder height, clearing the ring, jumping rope, like he was on top of the world.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Allen trained both Tsarnaev and another Russian speaker.
ALLAN: Ibrahim and Tamerlan were, you know, polar opposites as individuals. Tamerlan was very flashy and flamboyant. Ibrahim was a bit more reserved, but he was hot headed. There were a few times that Ibrahim and Tamerlan prayed into gym, which wasn't abnormal for Ibrahim to do it because he did it from day one, but it was abnormal for Tamerlan.
FEYERICK (on camera): So they were getting closer.
(voice-over): Allan said Todashev and Tsarnaev trained together in 2011. That same year Tsarnaev's friend Brendan Mess who also trained at the gym was murdered in a near beheading along with two pals. Sources say Tsarnaev and Todashev were involved in the murders.
(on camera): Do you believe that Tamerlan and maybe the other had anything to do with the triple murders.
ALLAN: I don't know. I know for a fact that, you know, Tamerlan was daily if not at least once a week hanging at that house where he was murdered.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Allan said Tamerlan's reaction was strange almost dismissing his friend's murder.
ALLAN: At first I took it for nervous energy, you know, because Tamerlan always put up a mask, a front. He always appeared in control.
FEYERICK: Shortly after the murders, Todashev moved to Florida. Tamerlan went to Dagestan where he reportedly became radicalized. Allan says he gave FBI agents Todashev's name. Todashev was shot by an FBI agent after allegedly implicating himself in the murders.
ALLAN: It is a bizarre story and situation. It's very hard to believe.
BURNETT: Todashev obviously has become a crucial player in this. Are there new developments you have tonight?
FEYERICK: Clearly the investigation of how he was shot is ongoing. It is an active investigation. He was killed on May 22. The autopsy report was finalized on July 8, six weeks after the death. But the FBI is now saying that they don't want to release the report or the details because it is under active investigation.
We do know that two of the Massachusetts states police officers who were there at the time of the shooting did discharge weapons, but they have retained counsel. Usually Florida is good about releasing documents in terms of how he died, but the cause was right now the FBI is saying they want to hold on to it because they want to make sure and see what happened and how.
BURNETT: Of course. All right, Deb, thank you very much. Deb continues investigating the Tsarnaev story.
Still to come the man who held three women captive for more than a decade was back in court today. Still haven't heard much from victims in the crime. A woman who counseled one of the most famous kidnapping victims in this country in American history tells us what they are facing.
Plus black Twitter is trending, did it changed the mind of a Zimmerman juror.
And then the latest from the Asiana Airlines crash, a major legal decision today.
Later in the show, the royal baby watch continues. What else did you think I was going to talk about? It continues and one member of the royal family is totally over it.
BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, Ariel Castro is back in court today. You may know him as the Cleveland kidnapping suspect. He entered a plea of not guilty this afternoon to an expanded indictment of 977 counts. He stood with his head down, his eyes closed, you can see him there. That is just today.
The judge had to ask him several times actually to look up and to even acknowledge the charges against him which include 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape and two counts of aggravated murder among other crimes. Michele Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus were held captive for a decade and they now face a lengthy road to recovery as they to re-unite with their families.
BURNETT (voice-over): We first learned about Michele Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus on May 6 when Berry escaped from this home in Cleveland and called 911.
AMANDA BERRY: Help me. I am Amanda Berry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you need police, fire or ambulance.
BERRY: I need police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, what is going on there?
BERRY: I have been kidnapped. I have been missing for 10 years. I am here. I am free now.
BURNETT: Now just over two months after escaping, the three women are trying to move on with their lives, and they want the world to know it.
MICHELE KNIGHT, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face. I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation.
BURNETT: Michele Knight was 21 when she was abducted on August 22, 2002. Knight was allegedly raped repeatedly and impregnated five times. Police say her captor, Ariel Castro, would punch her in the stomach to force her to miscarry.
KNIGHT: I don't want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control.
BURNETT: Amanda Berry was 16 when she was kidnapped on April 21, 2003. Today she lives with the fact that her six-year-old daughter was fathered by Castro. And yet, at least in this video she sounds positive, even hopeful.
BERRY: I want everybody to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. It has been unbelievable. I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. I am getting stronger each day, and having my privacy has helped immensely.
BURNETT: And Gina Dejesus was just 14, once friends with her captor's own daughter, was just 14 when she was abducted while walking home from school on April 2, 2004. Dejesus is the most reserved and deferred to her father at times to speak to the public on her behalf. This was her simple message.
GINA DEJESUS, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I would say thank you for the support.
BURNETT: Michele Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus also face a lengthy legal process. And how that will affect their ability to reunite and rebuild their relationships with their families is the big unknown.
OUTFRONT tonight, Rebecca Bailey, a therapist for Jaycee Dugard. Of course, she was held for 18 years captive in California and had two children by her abductor. Rebecca is the author of "Safe Kids, Smart Parents: What Parents Need To Know To Keep Their Kids Safe."
And Rebecca, I really appreciate you taking the time. When you watch listen to those three women and watch their faces, which for some reason to me makes it so much more emotional to actually, you hear them speak about how they are doing and how thankful they are. What is your first impression?
REBECCA BAILEY, JAYCEE DUGARD'S THERAPIST: Well, I haven't had contact with their therapists or any contact with them. But I can tell you that it looks to me like they are owning their story, which is a wonderful thing to say. I can't - I am so careful about speculating, particularly on what is behind the emotion of them coming forward. But I know that if they were ready to do it and they wanted to do it, good for them.
BURNETT: In May, Jaycee received the Hope Award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I just wanted to play - I mean, I know you're well familiar with it - but I just wanted to play a little bit of what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAYCEE DUGARD, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I am so thankful for the team of people that have supported me throughout these last few years. I am so grateful to all of you. I can't say they have been easy, but anything in worth life - in life worth doing is sometimes hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's been almost four years since Jaycee was freed. It's impossible to imagine the emotion she still goes through, the difficult things she still goes through, the confusion. Obviously, she has completely turned her situation around into one that inspires others. But what do you say to these three women who have been free for just over two months, and it seems like the beginning of a life long journey?
BAILEY: You know, I think that's a really good way to say it, that it is the beginning of a journey. But if I was sitting here with them, based on the work that I have done with other victims, I would say to them don't let this define you. Don't let this be who you are for the rest of your life. And that can be difficult, particularly early on. People, if they are noticed or recognized in public, people could be so moved by the story, they may want to come up to them. So they repeatedly get brought back to that memory.
But what I would say to them and what I would hope that they would see is that they can be so much more than those years that happened. Really important.
BURNETT: Yes. And Rebecca, before you go, Amanda has a six-year-old girl who was fathered by Ariel Castro. She has that constant reminder for the rest of her life, which of course is different than Gina and Michelle. They don't have that. But it's the same as Jaycee, who of course, had two children by her captor. It is impossible to imagine the confusion, feelings of love, resentment, anger, hate - and don't even know what it might be at one moment toward your own children when you are struggling with this. What is going to happen to Amanda, given the specific story of her having this child?
BAILEY: Well, of course, we don't know -- there are so many individual differences. But I think from cases, for example, with Rwanda and the rape victims and other situations, it is possible for children to be loved and supported and embraced by their mother, by their father, regardless of the circumstance.
So all of us have a challenge with our identity in figuring out who we are and who we want to be. So I guess I can say to that is it is really important that people allow this little girl to thrive, move forward, that the media stays away from her like it looks like is happening.
That is one of the reasons we wrote this book because we really want people to understand that these are really rare events. But it's important that kids understand the events that happen. It is important kids have a language to talk about it so that even a kid who is a survivor has a way of understanding and making sense.
BURNETT: All right. Rebecca, thank you very much for taking the time.
And still to come, the controversy of the NSA leaker who is still holed up in the Moscow airport. But he might not be for very long. So, should the United States do something about it, like boycott the Olympics?
Plus, the Zimmerman jury has remained anonymous. And even when you saw the one juror here on CNN, her face was in shadow. But in such a high-profile case, should their names be released immediately?
And in our Shout Out, a pool, a hoop and seven swimmers.
BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT, a battle over a boycott in the Olympics. And a Republican battle. Republican senator Lindsey Graham caused quite a stir when he suggested the U.S. should boycott the Russian Olympics next year if Moscow grants asylum to Edward Snowden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Should we have gone to the Olympics in Berlin in 1936 and give Hitler a propaganda platform to sell his regime? Russia is not Nazi Germany --
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Right. You are not comparing.
GRAHAM: No, I'm not. But what I am saying is would you have the Olympics in Iran? I don't think most people would. Is Russia Iran? No, but they are headed in that direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Earlier today, House speaker John Boehner rejected that idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: He is dead wrong. Why would we want to punish U.S. athletes who have been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor who can't find a place to call home?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Margaret Hoover and her partner in life, John Avlon. All right. So Margaret, here we have the U.S. boycotting the Olympics. Now here's the thing: the U.S. says this guy has done horrible things and yet he could get asylum. We're not doing anything about it. So, some people are really frustrated. At least it seems we're not doing anything about it. Should the U.S. boycott the Olympics to send a message?
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I do think it is a very fair thing that Lindsey Graham said because it shows that look, it should be on the table. He is not saying we should boycott the Olympics. He is saying it should be one of an arsenal - one tool in our tool kit as we negotiate with Russia. We ought to have some leverage with Russia. It appears as though we don't have any. So, I do think having it on the table is a very reasonable signal to send to Russia.
BURNETT: What do you think?
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't.
BURNETT: I think this is a dumb idea. You know how we know that? History. We boycotted the Russian Olympics in 1980, and the only people who got hurt were the American athletes. I mean, it's a classic cut off (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: You are agreeing with John Boehner.
AVLON: I am agreeing with John Boehner. Let the records show. Yeah.
HOOVER: And let hell freeze over! (LAUGHTER)
AVLON: No, I mean, we did this before. It was a bad idea then, it would be a bad idea now. Except now we have proof.
BURNETT: Now we have proof. Because of history. All right, thanks to both of you.
And let us know who you side with of the gorgeous couple, John or Margaret.
All right. Still to come - call - Margaret just went. Call to end Stand Your Ground law in Florida. Celebrities, activists, politicians are all saying it's racially biased. Well, we wanted to know if they were just saying it or if it was true. Does it add up? We found out.
And the jury in the Zimmerman case. We don't know their names, but should we? Right now?
And a major development in the Asiana crash. What the airline is doing now.
BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT, where we start with stories where we focus on reporting from the front lines.
And I want to begin with Asiana Airlines which now an about-face says it will not sue a San Francisco-based television station for airing incorrect and offensive names of the pilots involved in the crash of the Asiana plane. The airline says it opted not to file a lawsuit after the station issued an apology.
Crisis expert Eric Dosenhal (ph) tells us, quote, "The fact is the plane crashed. Everything else is collateral. Quibbling over trivialities is unprofitable. They're wise to let this go."
Well, two North Korean diplomats are aboard the North Korean ship that was seized near the Panama Canal carrying missile systems and two MiG- 21 jets. North Korean officials say the weapons found aboard the ship were from Cuba and were going to be sent back after being overhauled. They want the ship released without delay.
Now, what's amazing is that we talked to Scott Snyder (p) of the Council of Foreign Relations and actually he said that the spirit of the U.N. resolution discourages North Korean conventional weapons trade but he doesn't ban it. If it's not nuclear or ballistic missile related, it's actually not explicitly forbidden by the resolutions to trade it. So, this could be OK.
Well, it is hot in the Northeast as you probably noticed if you're anywhere near it. The heat index hitting over 100 degrees in a lot of cities. New York City and Philadelphia will in the high 90s again tomorrow. This means, of course, air conditions are being cranked up to their highest settings and a spokesperson for Con Ed says there have been no new peak usage records yet in the biggest city of America. It's possible later this week, but temperatures are going to start dropping Friday evening.
It has been 711 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, the man who's in charge of that is Fed Ben Bernanke and today he testified on Capitol Hill, telling House members that the economy is growing at a moderate phase. But this is important: he actually thinks cutting the federal budget right now is a risk to growth.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: a spot light on stand your ground. So, today, protesters in Florida spent a second day. They were camped out in front of Governor Rick Scott's office in Tallahassee. They are demanding a repeal of the law.
Now, earlier, the White House weighed in, urging states to take a second look at stand your ground and other similar laws in other states in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the issue is, are they effective? Do they have unintended consequences? And it's the president's views that the goal should be to reduce gun violence so we have fewer tragic deaths as a result of gun violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was a gun violence argument, but we've also heard people say recently that stand your ground discriminates against African-Americans. It's an important claim and we wanted to see if that claim adds up.
John Zarrella is OUTFRONT.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The outcry is not going away. At churches in Florida's black communities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to change that stand your ground law. That's a must. If you don't like the law, then let's vote out the people who put in stand your ground.
ZARRELLA: Florida is taking a beating over the stand your ground law. Grammy Award-winning entertainer Stevie Wonder adding to the chorus.
STEVIE WONDER, MUSICIAN: Until the stand your ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again.
ZARRELLA: The attorney general.
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We must stand our ground to ensure our laws reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent. ZARRELLA: There may be good reason for the outrage. "The Tampa Bay Times" newspaper took a look at stand your ground, a lot that says, if you are in fear for your life, you have no duty to retreat and can meet force with force.
Between 2005, when the law was enacted, and 2012, the newspaper found nearly 200 cases. Some of their findings bring into question whether justice was doled out evenly.
Chris Davis is the paper's investigative editor.
CHRIS DAVIS, TAMPA BAY TIMES INVESTIGATIVE EDITOR: The race of the victims seemed to be a difference maker.
ZARRELLA: In stand your ground cases, regardless of the race of the person claiming stand your ground, the paper found 73 percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty, 59 percent of those who killed a white person faced no penalty.
DAVIS: There was a clear statistical difference between when a victim was white or a victim was black. And it was -- you were much more likely to go free if you killed a black victim than a white victim.
ZARRELLA: Davis acknowledges the sample size is still relatively small.
(on camera): And there may be other cases out there they just didn't find. But "The Times" reporting did uncover some bizarre cases where the law was perhaps not being applied the way it was intended.
(voice-over): A jogger who beat a dog, a homeowner who shot a bear, and in nearly one-third of the cases, the defendant, the person claiming stand your ground, initiated the fight, shot or pursued the victim and still went free. In several cases, criminals walked.
Florida's Governor Rick Scott says he does not believe the law should be overturned. One of the bills original sponsors agrees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I do think we want to empower law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from violent attack. We actually have a shared goal with our critics. We would like to see a reduced number of victims of violent crime.
ZARRELLA: Civil rights leaders believe it's a travesty.
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Stand your ground, that is the worst violation of civil rights of state law in this country.
ZARRELLA: For now in Florida, stand your ground is a standoff.
BURNETT: John, it's pretty amazing when you talk about how a lot of these cases, the person who ended up killing someone was actually the initiator, the aggressor, which surprised me. But I'm also curious about the point you raised about the sample size in the study, 200 cases. Is that a good enough sample to draw definitive conclusion on whether African-Americans are targeted?
ZARRELLA: Yes, you know, the newspaper, Erin, points out right up front, listen, 200 people not enough of a sample size, clearly, to draw any conclusion about racial discrimination. They also say that they are continuing to do their study and now that they moved into 2013, they have added another 35 cases. They are up to 235. That is still way, way small.
Just put it in perspective. In 2011 alone in Florida, there were 958 murders. And there were 13,000 aggravated assaults using a firearm. So, 200 cases of stand your ground is a very small sample size.
BURNETT: Wow, especially when you put it in context there. I didn't realize that.
All right. John Zarrella, thank you very much, investigating that.
Well, now, from the very beginning and I just remember this Saturday night when the verdict came out, social media went crazy. It's been a major force behind the Trayvon Martin story, especially on Twitter where a movement called Black Twitter is taking over.
Don Lemon is OUTFRONT.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Juror B-37 clinched a deal to write a book about the Zimmerman case. But that was before she talked to CNN and referred to George Zimmerman as George.
JUROR B-37: If there was another person, Spanish, white, Asian, if they came in the same situation they were Trayvon was, I think George would have reacted the exact same way.
LEMON: The backlash on Twitter was quick and fierce. Shasta Merlot tweeted, "Good advice. If you are a juror of a pressure cooker case and lots of people hate you, wait a decade or two before your book deal."
Someone else tweeted, "Let me get this straight, Juror B-37 had a book deal less than 24 business hours after the verdict. #justicefortrayvon."
Anger prompted Genie Lauren to start a change.org petition, urging tweeters to protest. Within hours, the book deal was cancelled.
GENIE LAUREN, ONLINE PETITION ORGANIZER: I am shocked by the whole thing. I didn't think it would happen so soon. I didn't think it was going to be that easy.
LEMON (on camera): It's part of a phenomenon called Black Twitter. Go with me here. Not all black twitterers are black and not all black people who tweet are part of Black Twitter. But those who are tweet often about race, pop culture and issues that interest the black community.
(on camera): After celebrity chef Paula Deen admitted to using racial slurs, Black Twitter also zeroed in.
PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I want to apologize to everybody.
LEMON: Deen lost a series of high profile endorsements.
Shani Hilton of BuzzFeed.com says Black Twitter is a cultural force in its own right.
SHANI HILTON, BUZZFEED.COM: Black Twitter doesn't always use Twitter as a serious place. It can be a very fun place. It can be a place to talk about television shows. It can be a place to tell jokes. It just depends on the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You would be surprised what powerful people can get away with behind closed doors.
LEMON: Take this Twitter exchange I had with one of the most powerful black people in the world, Oprah, about cast diversity on the TV show "Scandal". Oprah tweeted, "Don Lemon, Shonda Rimes is genius at it, invites everybody to the table. #diversity."
I tweeted back, "Oprah just replied to my 'Scandal' tweet. Fell off couch."
But Black Twitter can also galvanize post-Zimmerman verdict. "Essence" magazine launched the Twitter #heisnotasuspect, aimed at ending at racial profiling.
Senior writer Jeanine Amber says one of America's most famous block icons would have embraced Twitter.
JEANINE AMBER, ESSENCE MAGAZINE SENIOR WRITER: If, you know, Dr. King was alive today, of course, he would use Twitter because that's how everybody is getting out messages to the most number of people, most effectively. And, you know, you have the farthest reach.
LEMON: A reach of millions in an instant.
Don Lemon, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: All right.
Still OUTFRONT, who is poisoning school lunches?
Plus, following the comments of a juror interviewed by CNN, calls for identities of all jury members to be made public. Does that idea add up?
And the royal baby -- you know, you are going to be the king or queen of England, maybe, I don't know, they seem to live very long. You are making the world wait and wait. You're already in charge. But there is one person, a very important person, who does not worry. She is not waiting around.
And tonight's shout out, fun at pool. So, these guys successfully pulled off a seven-man alley-oop. That is new to me at the pool. It involves trampolines and water slides, and some well-time jumps. It's pretty awesome.
The shout out goes to the guy who shot this video for putting so much into a split second (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out around the world.
And tonight, we go to India. Twenty-two children have died after eating free school lunches that contain poison. The poison is a sarin-related nerve gas used in agriculture.
And Sumnima Udas is at the hospital where the kids are being treated tonight. I asked her how they're doing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, all the children who fell ill after eating that school meal have been brought to this government hospital. There are two dozen children in this one room. One is in critical condition. The doctors say the others are stabilizing and are actually out of danger.
I spoke to a 12-year-old child who said he had a tiny amount of rice and potatoes and almost immediately started vomiting and feeling dizzy. The doctors said when most of these children arrived, they showed the same symptoms, some even fainting and with pupils dilated. He said some had a foul but distinct smell in their mouth, something he attributed to possible organophosphorus poisoning. This is an insecticide commonly used by farmers, particularly to kill rodents and other insects.
The doctor said he has seen such cases of poisoning before but never on this scale -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Thanks to Sumnima. That's awful.
Let's check in with Anderson with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360" tonight. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin. Yes, ahead tonight on the program, following our exclusive interview, a stunning statement from Juror B-37, from the George Zimmerman trial. In it, she calls on legislators to change laws that she says left her with no other option than a not guilty verdict. We have details on that statement ahead. Plus, we're also tackling the stand your ground laws that are in Florida, and many states across the country. Just what exactly are they and whom do they protect? Our legal team weighs in on whether or not these laws need to be reevaluated.
And the president has been quiet on the Zimmerman case since the verdict came out. Instead, letting his attorney general react. This isn't the first time he's shown some reluctance to weigh in on racial issues. We'll discuss that with "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow and Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher.
Those stories and a lot more at the top of the hour -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Anderson, see you in a few.
And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: naming the jurors.
So, up until now, we have only heard from one of the six women who ultimately found George Zimmerman not guilty. As Anderson said, that's Juror B-57. And we still actually do not know her name. And as you saw her there, she was in shadow. And the remaining five other jurors have so far decided to remain anonymous and not speak at all in shadow or otherwise.
But now that the trial is over, do they have that right? Should their identities be revealed?
OUTFRONT tonight, Beth Kassab, columnist for the "Orlando Sentinel", who writes for the sake of justice system, the jurors' names should be released now.
All right. So, Beth, so let me just ask you this. Mark O'Mara, of course, attorney for George Zimmerman said the names should be kept private, completely private for at least six months to allow a cooling off period.
Why do you think there is a need for them to be released immediately after that verdict?
BETH KASSAB, COLUMNIST, ORLANDO SENTINEL: Well, you know, I want to be clear. My column didn't say the jurors should be public during the trial or while they are deliberating or even immediately. I mean, you know, there might be some reasonable amount of time during which the jurors' names should remain confidential.
But what we are seeing a tendency to push the time frame out farther and farther. Mark O'Mara's original motion didn't put any time frame on it. His original motion just called for the jurors to remain confidential indefinitely. And since then, the latest proposal is six months. We don't know what the judge is going to rule. It could be six months. It could be longer.
After Casey Anthony, the jurors were kept private for three months.
And so, you have to wonder, how much longer does this going to go, and at what point do we start to undermine the transparency and the openness that the criminal justice is founded on?
BURNETT: All right. So in your book, you also wrote about secret juries, all right, and use -- I'm quoting you here, Beth, "Secret juries undermine public confidence in the system. When juries aren't open to scrutiny, the American legal system is asking for trouble."
So, let me ask you directly because, I mean, obviously, no one wants a justice system that's being undermined. How does specifically not knowing the names of the jurors in this Zimmerman case undermine the justice system?
KASSAB: Well, I think what we want to focus on the checks and balances in the justice system. You know, sometimes things can happen on juries that within deliberations that need to be known. A good example, just today, in response to the column, I was contacted by a former reporter who shared a story of a defendant who was convicted of murder and you know, I've covered a bunch of trials and, you know, it used to be that when the trial was over, the jurors would walk out of the courtroom and you could just go up to them and ask them if they were willing to comment.
And this gentleman did this, and he learned that the jurors had actually found out about a prior conviction of this individual, prior plea deal he had made and considered that. That was in his story and it turned out the guy got a new trial.
So I think that having jurors open does offer another system of checks and balances.
BURNETT: It's an interesting point. Now, but after Juror B-37 spoke, a lot of people threatened her and some of the tweets that came out threatening her. One of them was, "Someone should shoot and kill her kid and then see if she says the killer had justification." Another tweet as you see, "Juror B-37 need to show her face so I can whoop her a star star."
The reason there is secret in the system so that people will serve on high profile juries, that they don't have to fear for their lives. That's why it's like this. That makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.
KASSAB: Absolutely. And I don't mean to minimize any threat or any, you know, feelings of concern that jurors might have or people have for them. That's all very valid.
But I also want to point out prior to the verdict, we heard these sweeping predictions that there would be all kinds of, quote-unquote, "race riots", and I found that to be offensive, and it turns out that since the verdict, you know, that really hasn't been the case. Yes, there have been some incidents in some, you know, very isolated cases. But for the most part, what are we seeing?
BURNETT: Peaceful --
KASSAB: We are very peaceful demonstrations. People using their voices on Twitter. People using their voices demonstrating at public buildings.
I mean, this is what America is about, and so is the jury system.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Beth, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
And check out Beth's column where she makes the case for why she thinks names should be released after the trials.
Well, every night, as you know, we like to take a look at the today's top stories for something we call the OUTFRONT Outtake. And I'm sorry to offend people who think this is outside the top stories.
But until this baby arrives, it is, you know, kind of sitting there on the side. Royal baby watch 2013. Another day has come and gone and Kate Middleton still has not given birth. But the delay and heat are not stopping the media from obsessing.
Look at this, the media remain camped out in front of the hospital. This is the video we get, video of ourselves.
You know, this is the things you think about us. We like to take pictures of ourselves. Video of other media waiting and clocks waiting for Kate.
But it's not just us. The Brits continue to bet ten of thousands of pounds of when the royal heir and baby themes merchandise flying off the shelves. British citizens are in to this, too. But while our friends and colleagues continue to anxiously await the birth, we can't do it anymore. We don't have the energy. It awful as it might sound, the OUTFRONT team is sick and tired of this. It was true.
But at least we are not alone. There is one other person out there who wants this whole thing to end and you might be really surprised who this person is, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED KID: Do you want Kate's baby to be a boy or girl?
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: I don't think I mind.
I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Yes, Queen Elizabeth II wants the hoopla to end because, you know what? She wants to go on vacation.
Look, if the current monarch is not obsessed with the future monarch, why are we?
OUTFRONT next, beer makes you more attractive. Here on OUFRONT, tonight, scientific proof.
BURNETT: So a really hot summer is here. Everyone is talking about it. And, you know, a lot of us like to pass the time when we're not at work by sitting aside, drinking beer and getting bitten by mosquitoes.
It turns those things are actually linked, because according to a new study by Smithsonian, just a single 12 ounce bottle of beer can ever you more attractive to mosquitoes. Yes, sorry, people, it was really not a beer goggle story.
Mosquitoes like beer drinkers more. This is a fact. Now, scientists are not sure why and we couldn't really figure out why, but we did find something, this actually is a new study and Americans just found out this summer. But in 2011, French scientists came to this conclusion and Japanese scientists, of course, beat everybody to it, discovering the link between beer and mosquitoes in 2012.
So, the rest of the world has basically been keeping this crucial mosquito information from Americans. But none of the groups have known the link either, although according to "Men's Health," the French scientists hypothesized that mosquitoes know that people who have consumed alcohol will be slower to notice bugs or defend themselves from bites. That's right. The French apparently think the mosquitoes know when you got too much to drink.
Now, I found that a little tough to swallow. I mean, mosquito brains are not that large but we are rethinking our summer menu because according to the experts, if you want a delicious treat, but do not want to be a treat yourself, stick with low potassium food. Or better yet, this delicious cocktail made from vodka and blueberry nectar that we found on e-how. Blueberries low in potassium and, guess what, the drink just happens to be called a mosquito.
Thanks as always for watching. Have a great night.
"A.C. 360" starts right now.
COOPER: Erin, thanks very much.