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Heat Getting More Intense; Penn State Board Approves Settlements; Not Guilty By Reason Of Joe Biden?; Outrage Over Bombing Suspect Cover; Tweeting Congressman Steve Cohen; Bernanke Back On The Hill; America's Nastiest Neighbor?

Aired July 18, 2013 - 07:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's 7:30 in the east. Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It's Thursday, July 18th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Bolduan. Good morning, everyone. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira. Coming up this half hour, "Rolling Stone" magazine yanked off store shelves for its controversial cover featuring the young Boston bombing suspect. Did they cross the line? We'll have a debate.

CUOMO: Plus, meet the woman being called America's nastiest neighbor. She is speaking out for the first time about the really bad behavior that landed her behind bars. You know what she's ready to say that she's really not that sorry about any of it. That's what she say. It's a lot of news this morning. So let's go over to Michaela -- Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: You know, people are sorry about a little bit, making the news right now, this hot, hot, hot heat wave, blistering heat, look at the map, affecting 130 million Americans. It's not going anywhere. Temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s for 47 states, factoring in humidity, it's going to feel like 100 plus degrees. This is the good news. Cooler weather is expected over the weekend.

A fast moving wildfire in the mountains of Southern California burned through 19 acres. It's called the mountain fire and it's forced evacuations of the resort town of Idyllwild about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Seven homes have been destroyed. No injuries are reported. Firefighters in the region say they have reached 15 percent containment.

The Board of Trustees at Penn State have approved roughly $60 million in settlements for about 25 men who claim they were sexually abused by former football coach, Jerry Sandusky now that's according to "Wall Street Journal." Once those payments are finalized the university still faces up to half a dozen unresolved complaints as well as a civil lawsuit.

Not guilty by reason of Joe Biden? A Washington state man pleaded not guilty to illegally shooting a shotgun into the air to scare people off his property. He told the court he was just following the vice president's advice. Earlier this year you might recall he was arguing against the use of assault rifles, Biden said people who want to protect themselves should get a double barrelled shotgun instead.

Here is the question of the morning, my friends, are you ready for "Sharknado 2?" Chris Cuomo will now run and hide because the sci-fi channel is giving the green light to another "Sharknado" movie. The sharks will take a bite out of the big apple. It will be set in New York City.

And since the first one was such a gigantic hit on Twitter some 600,000 tweets, producers say they're going to hold a Twitter contest so fans get a chance to name the new "Sharknado" sequel. How about that? Chris, over to you.

CUOMO: "Sharknado" is real, it has happened, it is documented.

Now a story we've been following for you here on NEW DAY. Is this what a suspected terrorist should look like, the cover of the latest edition of "Rolling Stone" features the younger Boston bombing suspect looking like anything but what he's accused of being. The mayor of Boston has sent "Rolling Stone" a complaint and several store chains including CVS, Walgreens have declined to sell the issue.

Let's debate the point. We bring in CNN's national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. She is also a Bostonian and Christopher John Farley, editor of "Speak Easy" "Wall Street Journal's" culture web site. Thank you to both of you for being here.

I've missed you both, haven't seen new a while. Juliet, the simple question, was this the right thing to do?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No. They have every right to do it. The article is fabulous. It's an amazing entry into his world, into Dzhokhar's thinking. Everyone should read it to understand how he came to be, how could an American boy essentially turn out to be a monster as they call him, but we're really having a PR debate and in that sense "Rolling Stone" wins because we are having this debate.

But it's a sultry image about that he took of himself about how he wanted to be and it's offensive and I think people have every right to be offended by it. I don't think this is a first amendment debate. This isn't about who he is in journalism. It's offensive. People said they put Charles Manson on the cover. Look at the pictures, they are not this picture.

And so I agree with the outrage. I'm surprised that "Rolling Stone" seemed so outraged by the outrage. They clearly knew that this was going to be the response and I welcome this debate. They can do it and people like me can say it was a bad call.

CUOMO: Well, they didn't want to come forward and talk about it, but on this point of, they have a right to do it even if it isn't right to do it, let's pick up on that Chris. This is legitimate journalism. They say the piece is an in-depth one. People need to look at it. Don't take too much into the picture. Is there something to be said for get over the pc nature of this and let's deal with the hard questions that this kid presented? CHRISTOPHER J. FARLEY, EDITOR, "SPEAKEASY," WSJ'S CULTURE WEB SITE: Yes, it is an in-depth piece. I think "Rolling Stone" was smart to put it online so you can read it for free and make up your mind about whether the piece was legitimate journalism. It's a long piece goes into depth about his history, but listen, "Rolling Stone" is facing a problem here. It's a rock magazine at a time when people aren't listening to that much rock 'n' roll and aren't reading that many magazines.

They have to do something to reach out to people saying we're still here, we still matter and have something to say and they did it with this photo. What does a suspected criminal look like and does it have to look ugly, menacing or can he look seductive, can he look like he looks on the photo on the cover of "Rolling Stone"? It really challenges people's preconceptions of what a suspected terrorist looks like and that's part of the point of the story, too. They go into depth about how this guy allegedly fooled a lot of people around him into thinking he was just another guy.

CUOMO: Right.

FARLEY: Another all-American person, another all-American kid and couldn't have been capable of the things he's now alleged to have done.

CUOMO: Seems he fooled himself most of all believing he had some purpose behind these actions. Juliet, let me ask you this. Isn't there a difference between showing what a terrorist might look like, OK, let's change the stereotype as opposed to glamorizing this person. What about that?

KAYYEM: I think that is right. The story of Dzhokhar is fascinating. I liked "Rolling Stone's" article because it does show -- we're always trying to find another reason for people behaving this way. Well, it was the Russians or Chechens or Islam. I think what they drive down on is the extent to which he was -- this was an American experience. It's not prevalent. It is not, we're not in a crisis mode. This isn't something that is happening all the time, but there are people who become radicalized who are Americans and that is what he is.

So that's an important contribution. By putting the sort of, you know it really is a sexy, sultry picture of him on the front. They are portraying to the world that a sympathy, a grandeur about him that is neither in the article itself nor something that most people who experience what happened here a couple months ago feel. So I'm all for them trying to push the envelope, this is not a first amendment debate.

I'm all for people pushing back and that's exactly what they've done. The unfortunate thing is people should read the story. It is a very good. I don't agree with everything, it is a very good journalism piece. It's been all lost in what's really an immature move I think by "Rolling Stone."

CUOMO: That's the point we want to end on here, Chris, is look we get what's going on. You're being provocative. You gave them a very good cover for that provocation, by the way by saying we have to re- understand to create a word what a terrorist can look like, but why play this way on something so hurtful to so many people? Why be provocative on something like this? Does the intention wind up being worth the insult?

FARLEY: Obviously, there's good publicity and bad publicity and some people might think any publicity good for a magazine. You can go too far. CVS and Walgreens pulling the magazine from their shelves, refusing to stock them before it even comes in. But this is what magazines have always done. Back in the '60s "Time" magazine put on the cover "Is God Dead" for a dry discussion about theology.

Magazines have to try t oreach readers with whatever's in the pages of their magazine they want people to read what they have. This is a very good story. I'm sure the editors of "Rolling Stone" met and say how do we communicate to people there's something worth reading and they went with this very provocative cover.

CUOMO: All right, Christopher John Farley, Juliette Kayyem, thank you very much for making the points for us this morning. We appreciate it, as always. What do you think? Please come to us on Twitter, come to us on Facebook and you tell us whether or not you think this is glamorizing somebody that doesn't deserve that kind of attention or a provocative way to get us into a discussion that we need to have -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris, thanks so much. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a strange political story that all started with a tweet during the "State of the Union" address. The congressman you see there the swimsuit model and the DNA test that will finally answer the question, are they really related? It's a NEW DAY exclusive.

Also, we have another compelling story for you about a woman called the nastiest neighbor in America. We'll talk to her about the really bad behavior that landed her behind bars.


BOLDUAN: Now to a NEW DAY exclusive, a shocking twist to one of the strangest political stories of the year. Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen was caught tweeting during the "State of the Union" address with a stunning swimsuit model. He then revealed that Victoria Brink was really his long lost daughter and all of the controversy that everyone had made up in Washington was just that, made up.

But now the family reunion has taken another surprising turn. CNN's Miguel Marquez was there to witness it all.


VICTORIA BRINK, ASPIRING MODEL: Overwhelming, crazy, stressful.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's how Victoria Brink describes her life the last few months. She's the woman who had a Twitter conversation with Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen. By the way that conversation was during this year's "State of the Union" speech and also by the way, it forced the congressman to admit this was no tawdry tet-a-tet. Victoria Brink, aspiring model, was in fact his daughter.

VICTORIA BRINK: Social media secret.

MARQUEZ: The revelation forced their new relationship into the public. In a single tweet the then 23-year-old's life turned inside out.

VICTORIA BRINK: What was out on the internet was that me and Steve Cohen could have been lovers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You actually look beautiful.


MARQUEZ: Enter Houston oil man, John Brink who always assumed Victoria was his daughter.

(on camera): How tough has this been for you?

JOHN BRINK, VICTORIA'S FATHER: Holy -- excuse me. Honestly the most difficult thing I've ever done.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Victoria and the congressman had kept their secret from everyone for three years.

VICTORIA BRINK: It was very hard to keep a secret like that from my family.

MARQUEZ (on camera): From your father?

VICTORIA BRINK: Yes, very hard.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Secret until "State of the Union" tweetgate forced her to come clean.

VICTORIA BRINK: I told my dad and we cried and he said no matter what, I love you. You're my daughter.

MARQUEZ: But amazingly enough Congressman Cohen had only ever deduced the relationship.

REPRESENTATIVE STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: Well, I knew her mother a long time ago and I Googled her one night and saw that she had given birth to a beautiful young lady and I kind of went back to nine months before and that was the time when we were involved.

MARQUEZ: Victoria's mom took no part in this story, but says she has a good relationship with Victoria. But there was never any hard proof like, say a DNA test until now.

VICTORIA BRINK: We're here to do a DNA test.

COHEN: Right. MARQUEZ: CNN obtained DNA from Victoria and John Brink, the man who raised her, and from Congressman Steve Cohen who didn't want to appear for this story. The results --

VICTORIA BRINK: The results show that Steve Cohen is not my father.

MARQUEZ: That's right. All the tension and emotion, well, for nothing, Steve Cohen has zero percent chance of being her father.

(on camera): But you never doubted?

JOHN BRINK: No, no, I changed her first diaper. I cut her umbilical cord, no. I couldn't doubt that.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In a statement the congressman said, "I was stunned and dismayed at the result. I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her and hope to continue to be part of her life."

(on camera): Is there a lesson out of all of this for you?

VICTORIA BRINK: Maybe do a DNA test first?

MARQUEZ: All this drama based on a Google search and a couple of tweets. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Houston.


CUOMO: I had an opportunity to meet with Victoria. She's a very sweet, young woman. This was very innocent on her and it was very tough for her with her father, that's the man who raised her and she's so close to him so it was really complicated but a weird twist.

BOLDUAN: A weird twist and so difficult for any private family matter like that to be forced into the public spotlight.

CUOMO: I wonder for the congressman because of the test does it go back to the fact he was tweeting someone and it was kind of creepy?

BOLDUAN: Not at all. No, it does not. He thought he was tweeting his daughter. It was very, very sweet actually.

CUOMO: It is a weird one, never seen one like it.

BOLDUAN: It's a weird twist.

PEREIRA: Age of Twitter.

BOLDUAN: Let's move on now, it is money time. Christine Romans is here with all the business news you need to know this morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The Ben Bernanke double take that's what we're calling it today. Today, he'll be at the Senate after telling the House yesterday, the fed's time line for pulling back on the stimulus not set in stone. He also said the housing market is strong and it's contributing to a rebound in the economy. Stronger economy, by the way, means higher mortgage rates, watch for that.

Stocks got back on their winning streak. The Dow up eight of the last 10 trading sessions, drum roll, please. I want you to look at this number. In the past three and a half weeks, the Dow Industrials are up 810 points. You guys, 810 points in three and a half weeks that is unbelievable. You can check your 401(k), Michaela, please.

PEREIRA: I was a little worried but I will do it.

CUOMO: I'm so glad I've taken no advantage of it.

ROMANS: All you got to do is be in it to win it.

CUOMO: Wow, it's up again, wow.

ROMANS: When he gets in, goes full bore in stocks you know you've got to get out.

BOLDUAN: That's when we jump. All right, thanks so much, Christine.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, a Minnesota woman, wait until you hear what she's been doing to her neighbors. She's paying a hefty price for being so-called America's nastiest neighbor. What she did to get into trouble and what she thinks of it.

BOLDUAN: What did she do to earn that title?

Here is a question for you? How safe is it to work out during a heat wave? We sent Chris for a workout with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we love to make fun, but this is important advice if you're thinking about exercising in extremely hot weather.

CUOMO: Sanjay told me that's how smart people walk so I did it.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Once upon a time, it seems like everyone has a story to tell. The 50-year-old has been called America's nastiest neighbor. Her antics even attracting news crews from as far away as, wait for it, Australia. Pamela Brown is here to tell us the saga continues. This is not ordinary neighbor stuff going on.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not. I talked to her at length last night and basically she's unapologetic. She said if she had to do it all over again, she would have moved out of the neighborhood earlier. You know, you would think spending time behind bars, having two restraining orders issued against you would be enough of a deterrent, but no, not for Lori Christian. The taunting of her neighbors cost her home, her job and now part of her freedom. Now she is giving her side of the story.


BROWN (voice-over): She's been dubbed the neighbor from hell, all stemming from complaints that Lori Christensen has been anything but neighborly.

(on camera): Are you the neighbor from hell?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would not think so.

BROWN (voice-over): Kim and Greg Hoffman say Christensen has been harassing them for years after an argument between their young daughters. It allegedly started with Christensen yelling obscenities (inaudible).

GREG HOFFMAN, CLAIMS HARRASSED BY CHRISTENSON: That's the way we learned to live and that's the way we learn to raise the kids.

BROWN: They started filming Christensen's antics showing her provocatively dancing in her driveway and drinking out of an oversize beer bottle, seen as a way to taunt Kim Kauffman, a recovering alcoholic.

KIM HOFFMAN, CLAIMS HARRASED BY CHRISTENSON: It doesn't allow you to really heal completely because it's putting it in your face every day.

BROWN: The Hoffman's filed a restraining order, but that didn't stop Christensen from posting these large signs on her garage door with one reading, I saw mommy a breathalyzer, shortly after Christensen was sent to the slammer after a month for ignoring the judge's orders.

(on camera): Mommy was kissing a breathalyzer. You know your neighbor was a recovering alcoholic. That wasn't targeted at her?

LORI CHRISTENSEN, HAD DISPUTE WITH NEIGHBORS: I just don't think agree with people drinking and driving.

BROWN: So the one that you put up saying get a life, guilty talk the loudest. What was that all about?

CHRISTENSEN: You know, I was a bartender for years. I have people that follow me, drive by, maybe it was, maybe I was a little guilty on that one. Greg standing in his driveway videotaping me, that's creepy.

BROWN (voice-over): On Monday night, Christensen pleaded guilty to violating her restraining order once again, this time for filming the Hoffmans at their home.

(on camera): Are you done with the Hoffmans?

CHRISTENSEN: No. I never had a problem with them. I just chose not to hang out with them or have them at my house any more.

BROWN (voice-over): Christensen says she lost her job and now plans to sell her house in this quiet Minnesota cul-de-sac because she's forbidden to return there.

CHRISTENSEN: They had an obsession. They wanted to make my life miserable.


BROWN: Well, n addition to ten years probation, Christensen has been ordered to avoid all contact with the Hoffmans for a decade and she's been put on four and a half years probation as a result of this. Let's not forget, this all started between a fight between her daughter and the Hoffman's daughter. It all happened over a nail polish dispute years ago. Like we said, she lost her home and her job and so much fall out and like I said earlier, she is really unapologetic about it.

CUOMO: Got to learn to let it go sometimes in life.

BOLDUAN: Much better way to deal with it than they have. All right, Pamela, thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, for the first time Trayvon Martin's parents are speaking out about the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman. We're going to hear from them in their own words and talk to their attorney coming up ahead.

CUOMO: This could be the hottest day yet in that sweltering heat wave. So, what are Sanjay and I doing working out outside? Put it this way, you want to be the guy in the blue shirt, not the guy in the black shirt for a lot of reasons.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is really hot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate it completely.


CUOMO: Danger zone, much of the country boiling. The heat has turned deadly. Overnight a massive wildfire out west forces the evacuation of thousands.

BOLDUAN: Speaking out, Trayvon Martin's parents break their silence this morning.