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Daredevil's Plunge; The Human Factor; Oprah Returns to the Big Screen; One-on-One with Oprah; Mowing Lawns to Aid Tornado Victims

Aired August 7, 2013 - 08:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 7th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone.

BOLDUAN: A lot coming up this half hour.

Oprah's comeback. Her first film in 15 years. "The Butler" is generating quite a lot of Oscar buzz and Nischelle Turner sits down one-on-one with one of the most powerful women in the world.

CUOMO: And take a look at this. What do you think's going on? Inside that coffin-like trunk is some type of dare devil. And he is going to try to escape. He's chained. He's roped. He's all kinds of things.

BOLDUAN: Some type of crazy.

CUOMO: Before it hits the ground. Guess what? That's him. So we know it's a good story. But why did he do it? We'll take you through it.

But first, the five things you need to know for your new day, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: All right. Thanks so much, Chris.

At number one, the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro being demolished at this hour. One of Castro's victims, Michelle Knight, was on hand to witness this event and the aunt of another victim, Gina DeJesus, delivered that first hit to that terrible house of horrors.

Number two, an intense manhunt underway currently in California for James DiMaggio. Authorities believe he may have kidnapped a 16-year- old girl and possibly her eight-year-old brother. Hannah Anderson's father is now begging DiMaggio to set them free.

The State Department says it has been closing embassies based on intelligence that indicates al Qaeda is planning terrorist attacks to coincide with the end of Ramadan, which happens tonight. Another Muslim holy day begins tomorrow. That is Eid. The president is defending the mass embassy closing, telling Jay Leno it wasn't an overreaction to a terror threat. Today he's traveling to Camp Pendleton, California, and he will talk to troops there.

It very well could be your lucky night. The Powerball drawing happens tonight. $425 million are at stake.

You know we're always updating those five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.


CUOMO: Thank you, Michaela.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela.

PEREIRA: A pleasure.

CUOMO: Whoa, jinx. I'll buy you a Coke. Right after this show I'll buy you a Coke.

All right, next time you're looking for a little excitement, why not try falling from the sky at 130 miles an hour while trapped in a wooden box. That's what I would do. Sound crazy? Of course it does. But not for daredevil Tony Martin. Zoraida Sambolin is here with the story.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. So, for the record, it is, indeed, crazy, all right?


SAMBOLIN: But apparently it's also exhilarating and exciting to plummet almost 15,000 feet to what most of us would think is certain death.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Chained inside of this plywood box and shoved out of a plane. It's a 14,000-foot death drop over Illinois. And inside is escape artist and daredevil Tony Martin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dropping like a rock.

SAMBOLIN: The pressure is on with fascinated spectators below.



SAMBOLIN: Two other sky divers hold the box Tony dubbed "the coffin" steady enough for him to work his magic inside. Bound by chains and handcuffs, 30 seconds is all it took for this expert escape artist to pick the locks and break free and come in for the perfect landing. A wave to the crowd signals he's all right. He first performed this stunt 25 years ago. Now, proving that at age 47 he's still got it. TONY MARTIN, SKYDIVING ESCAPE ARTIST: I definitely knew when I was falling because I was getting flung around a little bit inside the box. Praise God it all went good and it's good to be here, it's good to be alive.


SAMBOLIN: I love that he thanks God. So, clearly, Anthony Martin is an experienced escape artist. His passion started at a young age. By six, he started studying the art of escape and took locks apart until he learned how the mechanisms operate. So by 13, the sheriff was locking him in handcuffs and he was getting out. What I don't know is why the sheriff was locking him in handcuffs. But he figured it out. Incredible.

BOLDUAN: That's a pretty good idea.

CUOMO: He's thanking God.

SAMBOLIN: What are your kids going to do?

CUOMO: Not that. He's thanking God. But you know somewhere God would be shaking his head like, why, why, why?

BOLDUAN: Yes, why are you taking the risk? Why --


PEREIRA: Mine is, never outrun your guardian angel.

SAMBOLIN: Well, he's done it several times. Yes.

BOLDUAN: He's flying way past them. Talk about some kind of crazy. Well, at least it was a success.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: All right now the cutting -- the story of a cutting-edge transplant surgeon whose childhood illness gives her a really special bond with her patients. But she almost never got the chance to become a surgeon in the first place. Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with this week's "Human Factor."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Suka Neiderhaus (ph) has transplanted more than 100 kidneys. She's living her dream. It's what she's wanted to do for as long as she can remember.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I kind of was interested in being a doctor at age four. GUPTA: By the time she was eight, Neiderhaus, who grew up in Zendelvegan (ph), Germany, was in the fight for her life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I started having blood in my urine and we couldn't figure out why.

GUPTA: She was diagnosed with a relatively common kidney disease that cause severe inflammation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the time I was 11, in March, I had to start on dialysis.

GUPTA: Nine months later, she received a new kidney. And it worked immediately, at first.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About a week later, I had my first rejection episode.

GUPTA: And then a second. And a third. All of it within a month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said this kidney's had so many rejections, it will probably never work.

GUPTA: On average, a donor kidney lasts about 10 years and doctors gave her kidney a 50/50 chance to last one. That was 24 years ago. And now Neiderhaus is a transplant surgeon herself and shares her own story with her patients.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you've had a goal all your life and then something gets in your way, you know, set yourself a goal and work towards that goal and then you'll get there.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


CUOMO: Amazing.

BOLDUAN: Every week I love those.

CUOMO: Right. An amazing story.

All right, coming up on NEW DAY, Oprah Winfrey is back on the silver screen for the first time in 15 years. She tells Nischelle Turner about her new role in the movie "The Butler."

BOLDUAN: And speaking of "The Good Stuff," we've got more for you. We're going to introduce you to a boy who has been mowing lawns nonstop this summer so he can help others.

CUOMO: Got (INAUDIBLE). Always a good sign.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. She hasn't gone anywhere, but Oprah Winfrey is definitely making a comeback. Her role in the Lee Daniels film "The Butler" is her first in 15 years, if you can believe it, and it has real Oscar potential. Nischelle Turner sat down with Oprah to talk about that movie and you talked about a lot more, too.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know it's going to be a good conversation with Oprah when she walks in and gives you a high five, right?


TURNER: That's like her way of saying, bring it on. So I did.

Yes, we talked about the movie, Lee Daniels' "The Butler," which is about a White House butler who served through eight presidencies. Most through the modern day civil rights movement. She plays Gloria Gaines, the butler's wife.

Now, we also talked about this movie's message and how it's still so relevant today and why it took so darn long for her to take another role.


TURNER: So your first dramatic role in 15 years since "Beloved."

OPRAH WINFREY: Can you believe that, Nischelle? Can you believe it? I know, really, what made me say yes to that?

TURNER: That was my question. What made you say yes?

WINFREY: Especially since I was going through it. I was going through building O.W.N. and thank goodness we were on the other side, at least headed in the right direction for that. And I said to Lee, this is the absolute worst time you could ask me to do anything, Lee. And, you know, he just would not take no for an answer. I think that one of the reasons why there's so much still lingering prejudice and racism is because we don't get to see people as ourselves. And so this was an opportunity, I thought, to let the world feel --


WINFREY: The heart of the butler, the heart of this period that really was a defining period in the lives of many black people, but also our nation.

TURNER: I was going to say, will this generation that sees this movie today, do you think they'll get Cecil Gaines, though, or will they look at him as weak because he didn't speak out?

WINFREY: I certainly hope not. I certainly - you know what? I hope that this generation looks and sees, they see their own fathers. That's what I hope they look and see. And see their own fathers and recognize that there were different ways of being a warrior. That moment in the film where Cecil Gaines goes in and says, the white help is making more than the black help here, and I think that's not fair and we should, you know, get equal pay. That is his way of warring (ph). TURNER: The conversation that is had in this film about race, race relations, racism, we're still having that conversation today.

WINFREY: I think we'll be having that conversation for a long time because, you know, all of this, the conversations about race and the conversations about profiling, regardless of what race is being profiled, is really about our march to humanity. It's about our march to not fearing one another. And I think when you don't have stories and you don't have a placement in the culture where people can see that there's a whole tapestry. You know, one of the reasons why I love this film and wanted to be a part of it is because of the tenderness between the husband and wife and the tenderness and nurturing nature of the middle class family. You know, so many images --

TURNER: I'd never seen that before.

WINFREY: I know you hadn't seen it before. You know, I know you hadn't seen it.

TURNER: Seriously, I'd never seen that before.

WINFREY: Isn't that just shocking? And when I ask other people, white people, black people, when have you seen a tenderness and honor and respect and long -- people who have been together and they can finish each other's sentences and you can see the caring - the caringness in that family happens not just when they're in bed together, Cecil and Gloria, but when they're sitting at the table and finishing each other sentences. And she says -

WINFREY, "THE BUTLER": What was the name of that movie, honey?

WHITAKER: "In the Heat of the Night."

WINFREY: "In the Heat of the Night."

WINFREY (on camera): "In the Heat of the Night." You can feel that.

TURNER: Do you feel like you still experience racism in any form?

WINFREY: I - nobody's going to call up -- come up to me and call me the "n" word unless they're on Twitter and I can't find them.

TURNER: Twitter thugs are something else, aren't they?

WINFREY: Twitter thugs, oh the Twitter thugs, the Twitter thugs. So, I've learned to leave the Twitter thugs alone so I guess -- unless -- unless -- unless it's something ridiculous. Nobody is going to do it.

But I experience racism in ways that you experience when you have reached a level where people can't call you to your face by you know out of your name. I experience it through people's expectations and lack thereof. And I use it to my advantage.

It's a wonderful thing when people count you out because they think you can't do something. It's a wonderful thing. I always say this, there's a poem by Maya Angelou called "Our Grandmothers". And there is a line there that says, "When I walk into the room, I come as one, but I stand as 10,000."

So, when I walk into the room and I'm the only one standing in there, I'm the only one. It doesn't bother me a bit.

TURNER: Can I just ask you quickly about --


TURNER: -- the good news that you got earlier this week that OWN is going to turn a profit six months ahead of schedule.

WINFREY: Oh yes, oh, yes. Yes thank you so much for that. Listen, from the beginning of the show everyone told me that it was going to take five years but I think because it was my name on the channel, there was an expectation that people were just going to automatically turn on the TV and even though nothing was there, they were going to just sit there and watch nothing. So we had to build the channel.

Now, I always believed that it was going to take some time. What threw me off was when I finished the show and then everybody said, well, why isn't it done yet? But what -- what I do when the going gets rough there's no such thing as quitting. I have to -- I sit with myself, I go inside and I say, all right, what is the next right move? What do I need to do to turn this around? And that's what we did. We did. Not I, but my team Sheri Salata, Erik Logan. We had many, many, many nights.


WINFREY: And honey, Jesus was at the table. Jesus was at that table. That's why -- that's why we're moving forward because Jesus was at the table. Thank you.

TURNER: Thank you very much.


TURNER: Jesus was at that table, she says. Now, you know, the story of "The Butler" was also really important for her to tell she said because her mother was a maid, her grandmother was a maid and her great-grandmother was a slave. So she comes from a long line of domestics so she really wants to tell the story and have to be celebrated.

PEREIRA: That story is going to resonate with so many African- American families right?

TURNER: Yes well all families, everywhere when you see it, it's really, I've seen it twice now. It will resonate with everybody and it will get people talking again.

CUOMO: Well that's the point. If it just resonates with African- American families and that's not the message --


CUOMO: You know the message is people to do what Oprah said.

PEREIRA: Yes absolutely.

CUOMO: See others as you see yourself.

TURNER: Right for everybody to see that African-American families really do have normal lives like everybody else.


TURNER: They just want what's good for their kids at the end of the day.

BOLDUAN: And Forest Whitaker, I love the man.

CUOMO: He is great.

PEREIRA: You know what else is great?

CUOMO: "The Good Stuff". We're going to get a double dose today --


CUOMO: -- because what Nischelle just brought us was the good stuff also. All right. Lots of kids mow lawns right?


CUOMO: During the summer or they like to scratching, that's what 11- year-old Dylan Orthman from Texas is spending his summer doing. He's mowing as many lawns as he can find, it's great right? But it's even greater because he's not keeping a penny. Instead, it is all going to Moore, Oklahoma tornado relief. Dylan was moved to do something after seeing the destruction first hand from that powerful tornado. Remember in May it killed 25 people. Listen to him.


DYLAN ORTHMAN, MOWED 87 LAWNS IN TWO MONTHS FOR TORNADO RELIEF: At first, I was actually a little depressed when we went, I almost cried when I had seen the damage. Everybody could help. Little kids, big kids, even grownups. Just one step at a time.


CUOMO: And do what Oprah says, see others as yourself. That's what Dylan did. So he mowed and mowed and mowed some more, some 87 lawns in two months.



CUOMO: He reached his first goal of $2,000. So, he raised it to $3,000 and then he hit that, too. And then there were so many so moved by Dylan's gesture that their donations took him up to $16,000 for more. An amazing feat but whatever you do, don't tell Dylan his mom put him up to it.


ORTHMAN: A lot of people say my mom is making me but I actually decided to mow for Moore, Oklahoma. I worked in 104 degrees. Yes, that didn't stop me. I'm still going on my feet. My dad always says, you're going to work me to the bone, Dylan.


CUOMO: I'm sure what mom said was "Get off the couch and go do something." And then he came up with this great idea.

PEREIRA: Way to go.

CUOMO: And you know what it's just another reminder. You know it doesn't matter, young or old, you can understand how to help others and how to be bigger than yourself. That's what he shows us and then you see the influence, the reflective influence.


CUOMO: Is that others get in and go from two to three, $16,000.

BOLDUAN: In fact you could do small things. It's whatever you can do what you're good at to make a difference.

PEREIRA: Right in the corner where you are.

CUOMO: The point is to make the effort. So Dylan you made it, you're the best of us. And we love for you that, good stuff, my brother.

Now, there's a lot of that going on in the world in your lives and your community. Send it to us so we can keep telling you the good news. How? Tweet us, use Facebook with hash tag NEWDAY, go to the Web site, you can figure it out. Help us.

BOLDUAN: Help us out. Coming up next on NEW DAY why are NFL superstars Eli and Peyton Manning rapping? It's John Berman's award of the day award.

TURNER: Oh come on.


CUOMO: If you survive the better your chance of winning?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does. So you go from 100 -- 170, to 190.

BOLDUAN: We thank you agree to disagree.

PEREIRA: You're not going to get on the pool.



CUOMO: I sing this in my sleep now -- John Berman's theme song.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry about that.

CUOMO: But he is here with his NEW DAY award of the day award.

BERMAN: I hear him singing it. that's not the story.

All right you may not know this. But it is pre-season football already. Even if you're not ready for the games, I promise, you will be ready for this.


BERMAN: All right, so you may recognize Eli Manning there of the New York Giants and Flock of Seagulls there is Peyton Manning and these guys are rapping pretty well, I think, actually. This is a new ad for DirecTV's mobile football service. I want to play you my absolute favorite line.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- football on your phone. So now is your chance to have football on your phone and football in your pants --


BERMAN: They did just say "football in your pants" -- awesome, right? Another awesome thing here. A cameo from their father, football great Archie Manning. Look at this.


BERMAN: This stuff is really, really good. Absolute genius. I would play you more if the control room wasn't on my back as always to make things shorter. So let me give the award. It goes to Eli and Peyton Manning. They win the "If they can't beat Tom Brady, at least they're funny" award because honestly they are funny. Tom Brady on the other hand, absolutely dreamy -- look at the cover of "Men's Health". I think we have the cover of "Men's Health" we don't. Take my word for it. There it is. That guy is good looking. Tom Brady, hat's off to you.


BOLDUAN: I still will always think of Peyton Manning as a Colt, no matter what. We'll be right back.


CUOMO: Well, that's it for us here on NEW DAY. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Anna Coren begins right now. Hey Anna -- good luck.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. Thank you. Nice to see you guys.