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President Obama Speaks Out on Race in America; Houston Police Free Four Men Who Were Held Hostage; Netflix Picks Up Multiple Emmy Nominations

Aired July 20, 2013 - 07:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama on race in America. What he said about the Zimmerman verdict and his thoughts on stand your ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They cannot leave on their own free will.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hostages held in a house, possibly for years. No, this isn't the Cleveland case, it's another one. And the suspected motivation will shock you.

BLACKWELL: And how is a clean butter wrapper a sign of protest? That answer in today's e-block.


HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. 7:00 here on the East Coast. This is "New Day Saturday." And we're starting this morning as demonstrators in more than 100 cities prepare for what's being called National Justice for Trayvon Day.

HARLOW: They want the Justice Department to bring a federal civil rights case against George Zimmerman, the man acquitted a week ago today of murdering Trayvon Martin.

Joining us now from Miami, our Nick Valencia. Nick, thank you for being with us. You've been covering this. I understand Tracy Martin, Trayvon's dad, is planning to be there today?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. He will be one person among the dozens and dozens of people that show up here at the rally. It is expected to start at about 10:00 a.m. Now it's been one week to the day since George Zimmerman was found not guilty. And as you mentioned, Poppy, Trayvon Martin supporters in protest of that decision have found out across the country and more than 100 cities to protest. It's a two-pronged approach nationwide. They'll be trying to get the Department of Justice to intervene in the George Zimmerman case and here in Florida, activists are trying to get a change to that controversial stand your ground law. Now, in Tallahassee, protesters have been camped out at the capitol for days trying to influence the governor to at least amend that stand your ground law. He, however, has said that he's not budging. Poppy.

HARLOW: You know, Victor, you were there in Tallahassee reporting on this all week.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And they're still there. They say that they had that meeting. But what they want is an overturn of the law.


BLACKWELL: They want the end to zero tolerance policies. And they want to have a real conversation about racial profiling. Protesters want the federal charges in this case against Zimmerman taking this outside of Florida. I want our viewers to listen to what the president said about that yesterday.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there. But I think it's important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government. The criminal code and law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.


BLACKWELL: No hard yes or no, or if those charges will be filed. But, Nick, does this discourage the organizers?

VALENCIA: Absolutely not. In fact, we spoke to our producer who is still in Tallahassee yesterday. And he said about 5:00 P.M. that building at the Capitol, it closed. But the protesters were allowed to stay throughout the weekend. The deal was that if they left any time during the weekend they wouldn't be allowed back in until 8:00 A.M. But even though the governor has already said he's not going to budge on the stand your ground law, and in fact, he supports the law, protesters, Victor, they don't seem to be all that discouraged.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Valencia for us in Miami. And we will take a look at other protests across the country. Nick, thank you.

A little bit of everything on Twitter from a simple thank you to accusations of race baiting after President Obama's deeply personal remarks on race. The president speaking on the not guilty verdict in the death of Trayvon Martin over the accused murder of Trayvon Martin, that not guilty verdict. He recalled being followed while shopping in a department store as a young man. His words were his most extensive on race as a president. Listen.


OBAMA: When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.

And Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, they released the statement through their attorney. And it says, in part, President Obama sees himself in Trayvon. This is a beautiful tribute to our boy. And they go on to thank the president and the first lady for those words yesterday.

HARLOW: Also today, this marks the one-year mark since the deadly rampage at that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. That is where 12 people were killed, 58 others were wounded when a gunman barged into a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" and just shot up in the crowd all over the place. Volunteers marked the anniversary by reading the names of thousands of gun violence victims for more than ten hours. They started yesterday and finished at 12:28 this morning, the exact time the Aurora shootings started. James Holmes, that is the man accused in the shooting, he has plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

BLACKWELL: And now to Houston where police have freed four men who were held captive at a house possibly for years.

HARLOW: Yes. This is a very troubling story, especially after what happened to those three girls in Cleveland. CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Houston with the latest. Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a bizarre story that Houston police detectives are investigating. On Friday, Houston police were called out to a neighborhood on the north side of the city. When they arrived in this neighborhood and looked inside this house, they say they discovered four men who were being held against their will in a garage area of this house. Now authorities say that inside there were four men ranging in the age possibly between 50 and 80 years old. They were malnourished and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment and checkups.

Now authorities say that they are still trying to unravel what exactly has been going on here, especially trying to figure out just how long these men had been held against their will. They say that it is possibly more than weeks, possibly months at least that they were held inside this house. Now detectives say that they were lured into this house by someone, a suspect that has been taken into custody and they were lured into the house with the promise of receiving cigarettes and possibly beer.

JODI SILVA, HOUSTON POLICE: What the man initially told us was that they were lured there with the promise of cigarettes and food and then once they arrived at the address, they were not allowed to leave and were kept in these conditions.

LAVANDERA: Now, Houston police say that they do have a suspect in custody, but aren't releasing the person's name because that person has not been charged. Those charges could come as early as Saturday morning. We saw on Friday afternoon the person being put in the back of a police car. Now police detectives also do say that they suspect that some of the men were telling them that their government welfare checks possibly Social Security checks or veterans checks had been taken from them by the suspect. So that is one of the avenues and one of the things that investigators here are taking a much closer look at as a possible motive. Victor, back to you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ed Lavandera in Houston for us, thanks.

HARLOW: Another story in Texas for you this morning. This is very sad story. A roller coaster at six flags over in Arlington, Texas, will remain closed today after a woman was thrown from the roller coaster and died. Witnesses say the victim came out of her seat on a steep turn yesterday on the Texas Giant. That's what the roller coaster is called. Last hour we spoke with a man who was right next in line to get on that ride. He tells us what he learned, how it happened. He also told us that he saw the victim's son who tried to get his mother. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... that he was pretty broken up as, I mean, you would imagine. So he was doing whatever he could to try to get to where she was. And they had to kind of keep him in one area and make sure that he didn't go down there and injure himself.


HARLOW: Very disturbing. Our thoughts for him and that whole family.

BLACKWELL: And thank him for sharing the story this morning.


BLACKWELL: First, authorities feared this happened. Now, they've confirmed it.

HARLOW: This coroner says this teenager from China, you see her right there, she was alive when she was flung out of the Asiana plane that crashed in San Francisco two weeks ago.

BLACKWELL: Yes, alive on the runway only to be run over and killed by a rescue vehicle. The girl may have been covered in this firefighting foam that you see in all the video ...


BLACKWELL: ... and no one could see her. San Francisco's fire chief has apologized to the teenager's family.

The story of two African-American men, one climbed to the top becoming president of the United States, - the other fell to the ground losing his life to a gunshot. And, you know, I said African-American men, we must remember that Trayvon Martin was not a man. He was a boy. He was 17 years old. We'll discuss the president's remarks on Martin and race relations with our panel. That's coming up next.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back. 12 minutes after the hour. Now, president of the United States describing the pain of being followed in a department store simply because of his skin color.

HARLOW: President Obama's 17-minute remarks on race are certainly the most personal and extensive of his presidency. So, we want to bring in two folks to talk about it and a pair of CNN political contributors.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Ruben Navarrette is the syndicated opinion columnist. He joins us from San Diego. Errol Louis is politics anchor at New York One in New York.

Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us. I want to start with you, Earl. And we want to start with a bit of what the president said yesterday and then come to you after that. Let's listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator.


BLACKWELL: And the president released the statement after the verdict a week ago. Why, Errol, do you think he made these comments at this time?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a couple of things are going on. First and foremost, I think is that when people are organizing rallies in 100 cities as they are for later today, asking for federal involvement in this case, the president naturally politically wants to maybe get out a little bit ahead of it. I think also he saw a week of conversations, in which, you know, it's been remarkable. You guys have been covering this. That, you know, half the country is talking past the other half of the country. And so part of what this president wanted to do and frankly part of what he promised implicitly and explicitly when he ran for office was that a conversation on race would be something that he would try to help the country have, so that instead of shouting past each other a lot of the noise and the anger of the last week, he wanted to do something a little bit more rational. And you keep in mind - there is a bunch of protesters, you know, occupying the governor's office in Tallahassee. This is not over for a lot of people.


BLACKWELL: Hey, Errol, I'm glad you brought that up. Because I read something you wrote in "The Daily Beast" before the president's comments. And you mention this idea of being color mute. That we don't talk about race and then you write here, "We mostly avoid talking about race publicly until it's unavoidable, at which time we have a maximum of misunderstanding thanks to the long years of silence and pretty much guaranteed to talk past one another." Did the president yesterday talk past most of the country or portion of the country or was his delivery helping to really reach some people?

LOUIS: Well, I think he was trying to sort of recover some balance in the conversation. You know, I mean I've already seen enough commentary to know that there are some people who were really quite turned off by what he said. But, you know, he was trying to bring some things forward and trying to sort of make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact that there are real people with real pain who need to be part of this conversation. You know, in so many cases you'll hear is a run of statistics. And people say, well, young black men are more statistically likely to do X, Y and Z. In his point, which, you know, in some way shouldn't have to be made, was that this is a 17-year-old kid. He had a future. He had a family who loved him. He had, you know, no reason to be treated the way that he was treated. And whether it's a tragedy or something that we can maybe deal with through law and a change in attitudes and policies, we should at least acknowledge that. And the president said several times yesterday, the mere fact that it wasn't even acknowledged is what has got a lot of people upset. I think that is really universal.

HARLOW: Ruben, I want to bring you in on this. Because we were talking. And you said, you know, this is not just something many people wanted to see from President Obama in terms of getting personal and talking about his own personal experiences.


HARLOW: But what they want to see from every president. And frankly, a lot of folks think they wouldn't have heard this from President Obama in a first term.

NAVARRETTE: Absolutely. This is something we expect from our presidents now. And I think if you look back to when this really changed in our politics, it was Bill Clinton in 1992 and for the eight years when he was in office he emoted so much. He told us so much about his background, his, you know, told so much about stories in college and law school and growing up and the like. And coming on the heels of Bush 41 who didn't do any of that, did very little of that, Americans become accustomed to that. So now, with George W. Bush in eight years, and now one on eight years of Obama, this is simply the way we want our presidents to deal with us. We want to know more about you. We want you to open up and so when the president went off and talked about the I, the me, the my, that was golden. That was perfect. That was probably the best part of it for me.


NAVARRETTE: The problem, though, is the lead was sort of buried, which is the lack of Justice Department involvement in this. And another quality the president has is he tends to substitute words for actions. And we see it in the immigration debate and other places where he thinks what do you want from me? I said something nice the other day. I gave a great speech. Are African-Americans - here's the question, are African Americans and others who want justice in this case, are they going to be satisfied with those pretty words and all those Is, and mes and mys? If they get nothing else on their plate?

HARLOW: Well, we know that the Justice Department has been for the last year and it's continuing its investigation. What you're saying is the lead buried here that - that what the president said you're saying, it's pointing to probably less likelihood of charges brought, civil rights charges.

NAVARRETTE: Right. And people want that. People who want some sort of justice to be, a mere doubt in this case. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it's just nice words. It's just, you know, some sense that he empathizes with folks who are frustrated. But unless you use the power of your office -- I'm not sure that I've written that the Justice Department shouldn't pursue charges in this case. What I'm saying is at the end of the day, the president has shown time and again a willingness to substitute words for actions. Pretty words for solid actions. And I don't think in this case African-Americans are going to buy it.

BLACKWELL: And the president yesterday was very clear about saying that he doesn't trust politicians to have this conversation.


BLACKWELL: You're saying that politicians should have this conversation. I want to take you a little back to something, and I'm glad we have this conversation, back to something you wrote in April of 2012 right after George Zimmerman was charged. And you wrote this case, "Cries out for clarity and resolution. The only place to get either is in the courtroom.


BLACKWELL: Then you write - "Whatever the verdict turns out to be, let's hope that both camps are mature enough to accept it. And you ended by saying, "I'm not hopeful."


BLACKWELL: We've had this conversation many times over the years. After the Rodney King verdict, after O.J., now after Trayvon, will we ever be able to get to a point where we see the facts, accept the verdict and move on beyond color or should people in these jury rooms be allowed to consider the long history of race's role in America?

NAVARRETTE: Well, I think the latter. I think that there is nothing wrong with considering addition to the facts of the case and the law, the context, in which this took place. But don't forget - it was prosecutors, both sets of lawyers, in fact, and the judge in this case that did everything they could to keep race out of it. And that's probably the strongest argument for why you won't see charges from the Justice Department. Because it's very difficult to create a civil rights case when the entire case that we saw in Florida, they went out of the way both sides to keep race out of it.

So, I would agree with you, that context is important and people should be able to consider those things as well. And quoting back to the column, as you mentioned, I was right about some of that, but I was wrong about some of that, too. I said that we would somehow get clarity and finality from going to court. And boy, did we not. You know, we have gone to court. We have had a trial. We have had - now we have a verdict. And we still don't have clarity as to what happened that night or a sense of resolution and a certainly sense of comfort around the country with the verdict.

HARLOW: But at least we have discussion ...


HARLOW: And at least we don't have violence. And that - that, I think, is something to be pretty proud of.

BLACKWELL: Errol Lewis, Ruben Navarrette, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

LOUIS: Thank you.

NAVARRETTE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And coming up, we're not only talking about the royal baby this weekend, we're also talking about royal treatment. How one airline is rolling out the red carpet for its most frequent fliers.

HARLOW: Plus, Kanye West making headlines again. It's not about the baby. This time, it's not about something he said. But about something he's selling. That's straight ahead.


BLACKWELL: You hear the coins. Time to talk business, 24 minutes after the hour. Pennsylvania man logged on to his PayPal account and his balance was this.

HARLOW: What is that?

BLACKWELL: More than $92 quadrillion. Clearly, a mistake. The PayPal removed the money and left him with a zero balance. And this guy looked at this, I'm sure he said I'm just going to wait for them to take that back.

HARLOW: Right.


BLACKWELL: So, here's the thing, they made an offer to make a donation to a charity of his choice because of the error. And that was nice of them. This guy is a P.R. executive. He said he would have paid off the national debt had he been able to keep the money and he still would have been a quadrillionaire many times.

HARLOW: Yes, I thought something like, he would have been a million times richer than Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world.


BLACKWELL: It must be nice for at least the 20 or 30 seconds you think you have it.

HARLOW: Another question, is America growing kind of tired of Barbie? That is a question. Barbie still slummed for the first straight quarter that hurt Mattel's bottom line. Their profit dropped 24 percent from a year ago. The biggest competitor is apparently internal cannibalization, there are other toys that are beating out Barbie, things like Monster High and American Girl line. Those are more popular now. The company does two thirds of its business during the holiday season. And Mattel says it's going to launch a digital series of products for Barbie to try to boost some sales.

BLACKWELL: Yes. I would hate to see Barbie go.

HARLOW: Would you?

BLACKWELL: Not really.


BLACKWELL: Hey, United Airlines is rolling out the red carpet for it elite passengers and we're still pretty confused on this one.

HARLOW: We're kind of confused about this, right.

BLACKWELL: They've introduced a new luxury travel program on the ground. It's designed for their most frequent flyers. Now, select passengers will have Mercedes Benz, the Mercedes Benz waiting for them upon arrival. And this luxury car will drive them from one flight to the next. Here's what I don't understand. Who is leaving the airport to drive from one plane to the next?

HARLOW: Only sort of in the Bahamas, really, or Hawaii do you walk down often.


HARLOW: Or smaller airports sometimes. But usually going to the jet bridge.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And I ...

HARLOW: Maybe a Mercedes golf cart. I don't know.

BLACKWELL: Well, it probably won't be for me.

HARLOW: I love this story. Kanye West teaming up with French designer APC to credit Kanye's Capsule collection. OK, we know he is a fashion designer. He actually showed at the runway shows in Paris. This includes a white T-shirt, guess how much?

BLACKWELL: $120 for a cotton white t.

HARLOW: Victor is wearing one, actually.

BLACKWELL: I'm wearing a $5.34 Hanes.


HARLOW: All right, this shirt, apparently, has a ribbed neckline made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton. I think a lot of t-shirts are made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton. But apparently, he also had, I think, a sweatshirt, a special sweatshirt and jeans in the collection, sold out in a day.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the sweatshirt is like ...

HARLOW: The power of celebrity ...

BLACKWELL: $280, the jeans are $265. I mean your basic Faded Glory, but, apparently, if you put Kanye's name on it ...


BLACKWELL: ... it's worth 120 bucks for a t-shirt.

HARLOW: Power (inaudible

BLACKWELL: Good work if you get it.

Hey, after the untimely death of "Glee" star, a serious turn here ...


BLACKWELL: Of Cory Monteith, we'll see what's up next for that television show. What do they do to the story line now?

HARLOW: Also, we're waiting for Will and Kate's new addition. If he would like the entire U.K., the world is on royal baby watch, we are, too. We're going to tell you if the queen is secretly hoping for a boy or a girl.


HARLOW: Mortgage rates dipped a bit this week. Take a look at the latest numbers.


HARLOW: Bottom of the hour now, 7:30 A.M., here on the East Coast. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Five things you need to know this morning. Up first, demonstrators in more than 100 cities, they're preparing this morning for National Justice for Trayvon Day. They want the Justice Department to bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. He was acquitted of murder a week ago in Trayvon's death. Trayvon's parents are expected to be on hand in Miami and New York.

HARLOW: Number two, a woman falling out of a roller coaster yesterday. She died at a Six Flags in Texas. Witnesses say she came out of her seat on a steep turn. Her family was riding with her. The parks ride at Six Flags over Texas is closed pending an investigation.

BLACKWELL: Three, now. Just a day after Detroit declared bankruptcy on Thursday, a judge has ordered the city to withdraw its filing declaring it unconstitutional. Michigan's attorney general says he will appeal that decision. The motor city has a total of $18.5 billion in debt. Now a major contributor to that number is unfunded pensions for city workers.

HARLOW: Number four, the TV hit "Glee" has delayed the production of its next season after the tragic death of one of its stars, Cory Monteith, was found dead in his hotel room last week from heroin and alcohol overdose. Production will now start early next month.

BLACKWELL: Number five, the world is waiting for Britain's royal baby to arrive including the media. Everybody is just camped outside St. Mary's hospital in London. But now there is speculation the Duchess of Cambridge might give birth at a hospital closer to her parents. Queen Elizabeth says she doesn't mind if it's a boy or girl. She just wants the baby to arrive soon.

HARLOW: Yes, because she said she's going on vacation.

BLACKWELL: Going on holiday, she says.

HARLOW: All right. Very - very important, possibly historic speech from the president yesterday. His deeply personal remarks on race igniting a mixed reaction on social media today. Many applauding the president for the personal remarks. Others calling them inflammatory.

BLACKWELL: Yes, no matter how you view them, President Obama's comments made against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin case were his most extensive on race as president. Here is White House correspondent Jessica Yellin. Jessica?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy? Victor? White House officials tell me President Obama has been watching the reaction to the verdict both in the African-American community and in other communities across the nation all week. They say he's talked to his family about it and then to his team. Finally, Thursday night he decided he would like to speak to the American people. And together they decided that the White House press briefing room would be the best venue because he can speak there at some length and in personal terms. So he surprised the press on Friday by stepping behind the podium right before Jay Carney's daily press briefing.


YELLIN: President Obama broke his silence offering his own experiences as a window into frustrations and sadness in the African-American community.

OBAMA: When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.

YELLIN: He spoke in uncharacteristically blunt and personal terms.

OBAMA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping at a department store. That includes me. There are very few African- American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. Those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it's inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.

YELLIN: For a president who often offers color blind answers to questions about race ...

OBAMA: And the best thing that I can do for the African-American community or the Latino community or the Asian community, whatever community is to get the economy as a whole moving.

YELLIN: His comments were a striking departure.

OBAMA: There's a lot of pain around what happened here.

YELLIN: President Obama said his team is weighing a number of policy responses to Trayvon Martin's death. Training state and local officials to avoid racial profiling, encouraging states to reconsider stand your ground laws, backing new programs that support young black men.

OBAMA: Is there more that we can do to give them a sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

YELLIN: The president made clear he respects the jury's decision.

OBAMA: They rendered a verdict. And once the jury spoken, that's how our system works.

YELLIN: But said he believes the reaction to the verdict has to do with something larger.

OBAMA: And that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario that from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different. I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.


YELLIN: Sources tell me President Obama has not spoken with Trayvon Martin's parents. Although he did acknowledge them in his remarks in the press briefing room, also in his comments the president suggested that he believes race relations in America are improving with every generation. Victor? Poppy?

BLACKWELL: All right. Jessica, thanks. Breaking news just in to CNN. We're learning a loud explosion - it happened today in terminal three of the Beijing International Airport. That is according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua. HARLOW: What we know, and it's not a lot yet, this is what we know from this report, that a man set off a homemade explosive. Some sort of homemade explosive inside - some reports are saying, the arrivals terminal, arrival's area of terminal three. The report says the man is injured, but at this point there are no other casualties. Of course, we're working our sources on the ground. We'll get you more information as soon as we have it.

BLACKWELL: All right. And we'll stay on top of that breaking news.


BLACKWELL: Back here at home, on the lighter side, the Emmy's. It turns out you can win a television award even if you're not on television. We'll tell you about it next.

HARLOW: And some Paula Deen fans are buttering up the naysayers, literally. You're watching "NEW DAY SATURDAY." We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: You know what? It is a beautiful day. 42 minutes after the hour. A live look at the White House now. We'll be talking more about a historic moment that happened at the White House yesterday, the president speaking on race and Trayvon Martin and all that is happening in the country today. But right now, we're going to take a moment for a little entertainment.

HARLOW: For the levity.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The e-block.

HARLOW: I see.

BLACKWELL: Hey, perhaps you heard nominees were announced this week for the prime time Emmy Awards. Here's the big shocker this year. Not a single show on a major TV network was nominated for best drama.

HARLOW: So, who got a nod? This is an even bigger shocker, maybe, Netflix. Yes, the same Netflix that you rank your DVDs from, they produce their own original content, too, and it's pretty good. The original program "House of Cards" picked up nine nominations including best drama. So, is this a real game changer? Let's talk about this and some other entertainment news. Joining us to discuss, Ebony Steele, co-host of "The Rickey Smiley Morning Show" and "Dish Nation," along with Jenn Hobby, radio host with Kicks Country here in Atlanta. Thanks for being with us, guys.


BLACKWELL: So, the nominations come out and there is not one on there. Let me just get this off my chest first.


BLACKWELL: I'm a scandal fan. HARLOW: Oh, yes, you are.

BLACKWELL: The idea that that was not nominated for best drama ...

STEELE: Right.

BLACKWELL: Really shocks me.

STEELE: Well, I just think that one of the things that Netflix did, I think it was just ingenious to say so many people are doing binge watching. How can we capitalize on this, and so they took some regular shows and they, you know, put it on where you can rent them from Netflix. I think that is awesome.

HARLOW: One after the next.



STEELE: Yes, and they're getting awards. And I even feel like, hey, if this TV thing doesn't work out for me, I'm going to audition.


STEELE: I'm cancelling this, you know, TV.


BLACKWELL: Did this change the game, Jenn?

JENN HOBBY, RADIO HOST, KICKS, 101.5 COUNTRY: Absolutely it has, you know, it's great news for Hollywood. Because they're coming up with new innovative ways for us to see great programming.


HOBBY: And they're realizing that consumers aren't just going to the regular networks anymore. They're going to follow those shows that they love, no matter where they have to go to get it. It was a big risk for them, $100 million ...


HOBBY: ... that they spent to do it. And big rewards. So it's nice to get those accolades like the Emmy nominations in Hollywood.

BLACKWELL: And I love "House of Cards." And do the binge watching.



BLACKWELL: Episode after episode.

STEELE: You just - you get - or put - or just stick it in, you know what I'm saying ...


STEELE: You order it and you just watch it and get your popcorn ready.

BLACKWELL: Stream it right down.

HARLOW: Yes, I think one of the questions now is if this is going to broaden out to - I mean you've got a lot of other platforms: YouTube has a lot of original content.


HARLOW: You've got Hulu. So that will be the question.

BLACKWELL: Hey, butter wrappers. Who ever thought this would be a protest. Some Paula Deen fans think so. So the fans of this butter loving chef ...


BLACKWELL: And we love that she loves butter, they're sending cleaned butter wrappers to companies like Food Network ...


BLACKWELL: QVC, Wal-Mart, it's a protest for their dropping Deen. The creator says, that the butter itself is Paula. And these wrappers are void of butter just like these companies avoided Paula.

HARLOW: Yes. So, you know, obviously there's been a lot of controversy over her. Apparently, it was an Indianapolis hotel auditor named John Schmidt, he is behind the campaign. He also created a Facebook page "We Support Paula Deen." I guess it already has more than 600,000 likes.


HARLOW: What do you make of this protest?

STEELE: Well, I think, you know, I read somewhere that they called this the lamest protest ever.


STEELE: Because it's people that support Paula Deen, and guess what it is called? We support Paula Deen.


STEELE: That has a ring to it. And then, you know, you've got to think that people that are giving these letters because they're the wrappers, it's - I know the people that are working in the mail room are like, can they go ahead and send the whole meal?

BLACKWELL: Yes, right. HARLOW: They'll make a loll of butter wraps.


HARLOW: And things like that.

BLACKWELL: Really dangerous.

HOBBY: I'm not sure it's really going to catch on. It seems like a lot of work just for supporting somebody that you like to watch on TV.

BLACKWELL: But you know what does catch on? Those posting on the Facebook pages.


BLACKWELL: Because we've seen a lot of those since this controversy blew up.

HARLOW: So, who is the highest paid actor in Hollywood outside of Victor Blackwell ...



HARLOW: OK, first, first, first - yes, we turned it - (inaudible). All right, who would you guess?

STEELE: Well, I already know.

HARLOW: Ah-ha!


HOBBY: Robert Downey Jr.


HARLOW: I would have maybe guessed like Tom Hanks or ...

BLACKWELL: Will Smith.


BLACKWELL: I would have said Will Smith.

So, Robert Downey Jr., he is the person who's making the most money. He earned an estimated $75 million last year. OK, you're asking how?


BLACKWELL: Well, think of this. "Avengers," "Iron Man 3."


BLACKWELL: they each earned more than $1 billion.


HARLOW: And, you know, he is followed by Channing Tatum, 60 million bucks. That's what ...

BLACKWELL: That's a surprise.

HARLOW: And he is a relatively new superstar. He brought in 60 million last year.

STEELE: I think those are his tips from "Magic Mike."


STEELE: ... I don't know.

BLACKWELL: And paid more than butter wrappers.

HARLOW: Third on the list, Hugh Jackman. 55 million. That's what he brought in last year.

BLACKWELL: So, you've got Mark Wahlberg at number four, is at number four, Dwayne Johnson in five.

HARLOW: Right.

BLACKWELL: I guess, the lesson here is get yourself an action flick series.

STEELE: Yes. Absolutely.

HOBBY: Well, Robert Downey Jr., I mean he is like the ultimate comeback kid, right?


HOBBY: He - at one point in the '80s in Hollywood, nobody would bank on him. He was almost uninsurable. And now at the top of the story.

HARLOW: The comeback story.


HARLOW: Where are the women?

STEELE: You know, I thought about that, too. And I just -- when you think about this whole super hero thing that everybody is in love with, yes, you have the Zoe Saldana (ph), yes, you have, but then you just wonder where are they on this? Especially when you think about the top five?


STEELE: I would - would have thought at least ...

HOBBY: Absolutely.

STEELE: A Sandra Bullock or one person might have been on this list.

BLACKWELL: Well, this list is the top five actors. But I think it's a good point that where are the women in the super hero ...

HARLOW: ... movies?

STEELE: Because there is always a love interest.


STEELE: For them ...

HARLOW: Why can't they just be the super hero all the time and not the love interest?

STEELE: Exactly.

HARLOW: And on the force ...

BLACKWELL: Tell them why you're mad.

HARLOW: That's what I'm saying ...

BLACKWELL: Tell about it.


BLACKWELL: Listen, the idea that we have these series and we don't have enough women, I think we're going to talk more about that coming in the future.

HARLOW: Yes, coming up.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ebony Steele, Jenn Hobby.

HARLOW: Thank you guys for coming in, I appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: We'll be right back.


HARLOW: All right. Well, to the eastern half of the country now where the heat index is expected, ouch, to soar past a hundred degrees today, but finally after a week, some relief may be in sight.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in meteorologist Jennifer Delgado in the CNN weather center.

Relief, finally!

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Finally some relief. Victor and Poppy, the northeast, they have been dealing with this heat over about the last seven days. And right now we still have excessive heat warnings in place anywhere you're seeing in orange as well as red. Now, these areas we're talking temperatures, they are going to feel like 106 degrees. That includes Washington, D.C., "The New York City," even into Boston. But today is the last day of the bad weather and that is the good news. Now, as we take you over and we kind of show you what we are going to be dealing with now. Keep in mind what we are going to look at is actually some temperatures cooling down, courtesy of some rain and that is good news because that means we will send temperatures back where they should be for this time of the year. Right now it's 81 degrees in Philadelphia, 81 in New York and speaking of New York, let's go live out there, so we can get an idea what it looks like out there.

Yes, you're waking up to kind of a cloudy day out there, but guess what, New York? That's Hudson River. And the showers and thunderstorms will be coming later on this afternoon. And then tomorrow, back into the '80s. Right now, as we take you over to our temperatures, we have the 70s right now in parts of the Midwest. They were struggling with it yesterday, but they are already seeing that cool down. And as this is going to happen, this frontal system is going to be making its way over towards the east. You see the lightning right now hovering parts of Cleveland, but with it, we're going to see the chance for some severe storms to pop up later this afternoon and that includes anywhere from Ohio, although up towards the northeastern part of New England and that includes Maine. Now, some of these storms could produce some hail as well as some strong winds. But certainly, you want to pay close attention to the weather today. But there is the good news, guys. The temperatures are going down. For Saturday, New York, 93 degrees. 86 on Sunday. And then Monday, 84 degrees. You're finally right at average. And then for Boston, hello! 78 degrees. That is actually below where they should be for this time of the year. Victor, Poppy, I told you I had some good news coming out of the weather center. It just comes tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: (inaudible) pleased her.

DELGADO: It'll come tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: We will wait.


BLACKWELL: Jennifer, thank you.

Dad is back in the driver's seat as classic ride made possible by a classy son. We got the good stuff next on "NEW DAY."


HARLOW: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". All right. Take out your tissues. Because this one might hit you a little bit. Today's must see moment might make you shed a tear. We have shown you a number of videos, heartwarming videos of U.S. service members reuniting with their families after a long tours of duty, but look at this ...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know - they are heroes, their pets. This reunion between Lt. Gary Daughtry and his dog - Dog Bugaboo. Daughtry spent more than six months oversees. You can tell how much Bugaboo missed him. Howling. So glad that he is home!

BLACKWELL: That was good. But we got more good stuff for you. Today reuniting with a long lost love. Another type of love. Check out this classic. This is a '72 Ford Mustang Mach I. It used to belong to Rick Lukebell. It was his first car. But about 24 years ago Rick had to sell it, but he never forgot it and he has been looking for it ever since. Well, try as he might, he couldn't find it, but his son did. Rick's son tracked down the car and convinced its current owner to sell it back. The first ride Rick took in a car after all that time, he took his wife around the block for the first time in 25 years!

HARLOW: A good man.

BLACKWELL: Helps that it's green, too.


HARLOW: Just awesome looking! Good stuff!

BLACKWELL: It helps with the authenticity. And that story about the dog, you could hear it. You could see with the howling that he ...

HARLOW: ... missed him so much!

All right, well, thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Yes, "NEW DAY" Saturday continues right now.