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Preview Of "An Unlikely Hero"; Interview With Florida Governor Rick Scott; Gamechanger For Football Fans?; Mad With "Dads"

Aired August 21, 2013 - 16:30   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now it's time for the Buried Lead. These are stories we think should be getting more attention.

In this country, there's a kind of mythology about the type of person who becomes a hero. We tend to think of them as from stable, two- parent homes who go right from church to West Point and then into battle and then into greatness, but that really isn't the reality. Case in point, on Monday, President Obama will award a medal of honor to Staff Sergeant Ty Carter for his valorous actions during the overwhelming October 3rd, 2009 Taliban attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. Carter's actions that day were no doubt extraordinary, but in many ways, he is an unlikely hero.


TAPPER: He will be recognized for his heroism on Monday, but for Army specialist Ty Carter, the road to Combat Outpost Keating in the Afghan mountains was a twisted one and filled with detours. His was an unlikely path to valor.

At the remote outpost, Carter had few friends. Perhaps not surprising, given his background.

What were you like in high school?

STAFF SGT. TY CARTER, U.S. ARMY: In high school, I was kind of a loner, a skinny kind of guy, who didn't really get along with anybody. I didn't have a whole lot of good friends.

TAPPER: Carter was raised by his single mother in Spokane, Washington, with his sister and brother ,Seth. Seth was a year older with a knack for getting into trouble.

CARTER: When I hung out with him, I would get into fights and vandalism, stuff like that.

TAPPER: It got so bad Ty's mom threw Seth out of the house.

Where did he go?

CARTER: Wherever he was going to go. He didn't spend much time at the house anyway. He was off with his friends. Eventually, he would just come home and do some bad things and then he would get kicked, out and that's how it kind of went for a while.

TAPPER: With his brother gone, Ty straightened up, graduated high school, and headed to the Marine Corps in 1998.

Why did you join the Marines out of high school?

CARTER: One of the reasons was I had gotten in trouble as a teenager, and it was a constant step to push my life in the right direction.

TAPPER: But you had some trouble in the Marines?

CARTER: There was one individual that -- my roommate that I ended up getting into a fight with, and I got in trouble for that. And you know (INAUDIBLE)

TAPPER: Two months later, Carter was honorably discharged from the Marines. So he headed out hopscotching the country looking for work and a new purpose. He found staying in a job was a challenge.

Let's just walk through the list of jobs.

CARTER: First I started out working with a yacht maintenance service, motorcycle apparel store, assistant manager at a theater/projectionist, armed security, a hot tub spa place, a dairy mill, and then a sawmill. I worked with a chainsaw.

TAPPER: It's pretty comic, like an unbelievable list, and it's just five years, right?

CARTER: Yes, it was five years.

TAPPER: Here's the thing, you missed the purpose that you thought you had when you were in the military.

CARTER: When I was a civilian working, there was nothing there. There was no motivation, there was no purpose. It felt like I was a drone. There was no emotion, there was no pride to go to work, there was no real pride in what you're doing. You're just doing that just so you don't get fired or laid off, which happened a lot.

TAPPER: At the same time Carter was going through a divorce and had a daughter to take care of.

CARTER: All I was doing was trying to support her any way I can. I couldn't get her any medical benefits. I couldn't afford to pay child support. And all in all, I was thinking, well, man, if I get back in the service, that was awesome. I was doing what I enjoyed, and I was actually happy to wake up in the morning.

TAPPER: So Carter enlisted in the Army. But once again, had a hard time fitting in.

JONATHAN HILL, FORMER SGT. FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY: Ty Carter wasn't a sociable person.

TAPPER: Then Sergeant First Class Jonathan Hill remembers Carter as too serious.

HILL: We had a platoon, you know, full of guys that were on the lighter side of life, obviously, liked to joke around. Carter really never got involved. He didn't like it, he thought it was immature, it was childish. You know, a lot of guys didn't really make friends with Carter. Carter really didn't make friends with a lot of guys.

TAPPER: Carter would eventually make a few good friends. But those friendships would be short-lived. Combat Outpost Keating was about to be attacked. Carter and his fellow soldiers would have their character tested in ways they could never have imagined.


TAPPER: We will have much more on Staff Sergeant Ty Carter later tonight in a special documentary presentation. "JAKE TAPPER REPORTS: AN UNLIKELY HERO" that will air at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and then again at 10:00 p.m. Pacific. If this battle happens to ring a bell, the president gave a Medal of Honor in February to a different soldier in that battle, Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, for actions during the same battle. The last time that one battle resulted in two living service members being awarded the Medal of Honor was 1967. It's a testament not only to those two soldiers and to their fellow troops, but to the insurmountable odds that they faced.

Coming up next, town halls, Obamacare fury, it seems some members of the GOP are partying like it's 2009. Could the push to defund Obamacare backfire? Just how far are Republican leaders willing to go? I'll talk to Florida governor Rick Scott now coming up next about his next play in the ongoing battle with the White House.

Plus, Tiger Woods is taking it easy again as another injury threatens his golf game. And this time, he's blaming his hotel. We'll explain ahead in our Sports Lead.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

In political news, it kind of feels like a little deja vu. Remember all those angry 2009 town halls about Obamacare? Well, Republicans are bringing them back, but with a twist: now complete with "defund Obamacare" banners. Republican senator Ted Cruz, the latest flavor of the month for the 2016 presidential race, is one of leading voices in the movement. But as he saw last night, some members of the audience weren't so receptive.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There is a new paradigm.


CRUZ: Gentlemen, thank you for sharing your views. You know, part of the First Amendment is about respecting the views of others.


TAPPER: That battle is being fought state by state, as we inch closer to the October 1st launch of the health care exchanges. Cruz says this is the GOP's last best chance to kill Obamacare. Is he right?

Let's bring in Florida Republican governor Rick Scott, who has many strong views on Obamacare. Florida has fought many of the elements.

Governor, the move being led by Senator Cruz and your fellow Florida Republican Marco Rubio to refuse to fund the government unless money for Obamacare is taken out of the budget, do you support it?

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Jake, here's what we know. Obamacare is going to cause a lot of problems, it's not a good law. I didn't support it. They're going to have to figure out how to make sure they replace it with something that improves quality, access, reduces the cost. So, however they do that is the right thing to do. You know, the federal Congress has to figure out how to get that done. I hope it's done.

My focus is on the privacy issues for our citizens in Florida with these new navigators. We don't have any idea how they're going to -- we have so many unanswered questions. Who will do this, what's their backgrounds? Who are they going to share the information with? What information will they have? Are you going to tell people you're going to share their information? That's my concern today.

TAPPER: I want to get to those navigators in a second. The navigators, for those watching, are these individuals that the federal government provides funding to the states and these individuals are supposed to use the information provided by consumers who are confused to enroll in online exchanges.

But I just want to try one more time, do you support the push by Cruz and Rubio to say don't fund the government unless Obamacare is taken out of it? Other governors have weighed in, Governor Walker opposes it. Other people support it. You are somebody who has political strategy; you got to the governor's office without having held elected office before. Do you support what Rubio and Cruz are doing?

SCOTT: Here's what I support. I support replacing Obamacare with good policy. They've got to figure out the right way of doing it. In my state, what I've done -- I had a $4 billion budget deficit. I used smart budgeting to get things done. They've got to figure out if that's the right way of getting rid of it. We need to have a logical immigration - or logical health care policy that makes sure we have good access, quality and cost. But they've got to figure out whether it's defunding, but they need to replace it with good policy.

TAPPER: I don't hear them talking about a replacement bill, though. Are you suggesting that if Republicans move forward with trying to repeal Obamacare, they need to have a substitute there to fill the need of all the unemployed -- uninsured, rather? You have, I think, 3.5 million uninsured in Florida.

SCOTT: We did that in Florida. My first year in office, 2011, we passed Medicaid reform that would allow us to control our cost, but also give people good access and quality health care. We got the waivers done this year, and that's what we're doing. We're improving our Medicaid program for those that can't afford their own healthcare.

We need to have a positive policy. The policy with regard to the president's laws - let's replace it with what's good. Reduce the cost of health care, improve access, improve quality, give people the right to choose what type of health care they want. Give them the same tax breaks as employers. Reward them for good behavior. Don't smoke, eat right, exercise, that's what we should be doing.

TAPPER: All right, Governor, we only have 30 seconds --

SCOTT: But today again, it's navigation. Today we're talking about privacy for our citizens of Florida. We don't know what they're going to do with this information.

TAPPER: You're concerned about these navigators. The response from the Obama administration is -- and we only have 30 seconds, but the response there are already individuals who already do this, they are there to help people. What is the difference between those individuals and these navigators?

SCOTT: If that was so easy, then they should be able to answer the questions they will not answer. Who are they going to share this information with? What information are they going to take? Are they going to tell people? They're not answering the questions. If it's so simple, answer the questions.

TAPPER: All right, Governor Rick Scott, thank you so much. We appreciate your views. Thanks for coming on THE LEAD.

SCOTT: Nice seeing you. Have a good day.

TAPPER: Coming up on THE LEAD, we're so dependent on Google already. We have panic attacks when the search engine goes down. So if they could control how we watch football, will we officially become minions to our Google overlords? We'll explain next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it's time for the Sports Lead. Wrap your head around this. What if watching NFL games from all around the league was as simple as Googling it? That's right, no sports bars, just sitting in front of your computer and legally watching streams of all 32 teams in action. It could happen according to the tech blog, "All Things Deep."

Google is reportedly in talks with the league to buy the right to NFL's Sunday ticket package, which lets you every game. Joining us now live from Tampa, Florida is Dead Spin editor, Tim Burke, to talk about all this. Tim, thanks for being here. If this happens, could it revolutionize the way fans watch the game?

TIM BURKE, ASSIGNMENT EDITOR, DEADSPIN.COM: Hi, Jake. I think that we need to keep in mind that Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL, and major league soccer have all had similar packages that allow fans to buy the entire season of access. The big difference here is it will shatter the decades-long hesitant to get on with the modern technology that's been shown by the NFL.

Certainly I think that Google has proven that they're up to it. I mean, NBC teamed up with them in a very similar situation, to use the Google YouTube infrastructure to broadcast the 2012 Summer Olympics online. I think that you're going to find some hesitance though with those, because obviously a sports bar to broadcast all the NFL games on a Sunday just needs a couple DirecTV boxes. In this case there would need to be a significant technological change in order to get that video from the internet onto televisions.

TAPPER: What do you think is the biggest stumbling block? Is it the technological issue you just talked about?

BURKE: I really think that the major stumbling block is going to be the NFL franchise owners. If you look at the current state of NFL broadcasting it is really stuck in a 1960s television paradigm with primary markets and secondary markets, and blackout. And a lot of things that just don't make a lot sense today and yet they continue to maintain that strategy.

If you're going to sell NFL owners on distributing their content, you know, over the enter net and available to anyone who wants to subscribe, you're going to have to convince them that things like protecting the local market don't really work. I don't believe that they work they have been sort of provincial.

TAPPER: Thank you so much. Dead Spin's Tim Burke, we appreciate it.

BURKE: My pleasure.

TAPPER: If there's ever a big screen version of princess and the pea, maybe Tiger Woods. He knows about mattress sensitivity. He chipped and -- no full shots today. Why? He says his neck and back were sore because the hotel bed was too soft. Of course, he would have been fined if he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, about you I'm thinking he probably did.

Coming up next in pop, it's got racially charged oneliners that might make even Archy Bunker squirm in his seat. Why some are calling for Fox to pull the plug on the new sitcom "Dads" before it even debuts.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now it's time for the Pop Culture Lead. It's a sitcom about a couple of 30 something guys who suddenly find themselves sharing a place with their dads. Not only does Tom Fullery in two, but also shenanigans ensue, and yet, high jinks. It all sounds harmless enough.

Some critics say there's nothing funny about Fox's upcoming TV show "Dads," in fact it's crude, sexist, and racist. "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane is the executive producer. While it's one thing to create edgy cartoon characters, will viewers be able to swallow the same kind of punch lines from real-life actors? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): Sure his work focuses on family, teddy bears and now dads, but the wholesome topics are Trojan horses for some edgy, if not nasty stuff. Now "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane is once again pushing the envelope of American standards. McFarlane's new sitcom "Dads" has not even aired the pilot episode yet. Already there are objections to its controversial content.

It seems like this depicting Asian-American stereotypes are among the handful of clips Fox posted to its site to promote the show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a reason shanghai is --

TAPPER: Instead of the laughs that they have expected, Fox recently received a letter from the founder the Media Action Network for Asian- Americans. "Our community can't continue to be the target of racially insensitive jokes. We're asking you to reshoot the inappropriate scenes of the pilot -- Fox declined. The network insisted its show will be evocative and will poke fun its stereotypes and bigotries adding that it needed time to develop the characters.

NAEEMAN CLARK, AUTHOR, "DIVERSITY IN U.S. MASS MEDIA-ELON UNIVERSITY: That organization is well within its rights to complain to ask fox to reshoot, but if the show makes money for Fox, which Seth McFarlane makes a great money for Fox, they're not going to change it.

TAPPER: Controversial content has been become synonymous with McFarlane whose hugely successful series "Family Guy" is not afraid to offend. In fact race has become a topic. Is it racist? Is it making fun of racism? Is it both? By the way peter grin and the gang have been drawing in loyal viewers.

CLARK: If it was racism for racism's sake, that would stop. People would say we've had enough of that. But if you look at a program like "All In The Family" or "Jeffersons" that challenge the conventions, those shows make people question what's going on in society? Honestly that's what Seth McFarlane is trying to do.

TAPPER: McFarlane expanded that balancing act last year with the first feature film "Ted," the story of a cuddly stuffed bear with you guess it, an offensive side. The question remains, how far is too far for audiences? McFarlane seemed to find out with this year's Oscars. He was criticized for the bits about Jews and women.

Many feminists and others objected to the "we saw your boobs" song. Ignoring the fact that some of those nude scenes were in rape scenes, but the ratings showed nothing but success. Viewers stay tuned in, and 20 percent more young viewers as the year before. It's called show business, and if the business model works, the outrage is just free publicity.


TAPPER: "Dads" is set to premiere September 17th. We reached out to Fox for comment, but we have not yet heard back. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper and also @theleadcnn and check out our show page for video, blogs and extras. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I'll be back at 6 p.m. I turn you over now to Brianna Keilar. She is in "THE SITUATION ROOM."