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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Budget Crisis May Shut Government; Porn Producers Takes a Stand; Queen of the Court; The Truth about Angie's List; Getting Paid to Sleep; Obamacare Fight May Shut Government; Shutdown Could Close Popular Attractions; Syria Details Chemical Arsenal; E. Coli In Colorado Town's Water; Hongkong Braces For Super Typhoon; Reviewing The New iPhones; "House Of Cards" Nominated For Nine Emmys
Aired September 21, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On this vote, the yeas are 230 and the nays are 189.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The joint resolution has passed. House Republicans may have voted to defund Obamacare, but with their colleagues in the Senate pledging to strip the new bill's language, a civil war is underway and it could shutdown your government.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Do you use Yelp? How about Angie's List? Well, according to "Consumer Reports", the information you are getting may not exactly be unbiased.
YELLIN: It is sleek, colorful and hot off the shelf, but is it worth the price? We have a review of the brand new iPhone.
YELLIN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Jessica Yellin.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 8:00 here on the east coast, very early start out on the west coast, 5:00 a.m. if you're up with us there. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
YELLIN: It could happen in just nine days. We begin with a growing likelihood of a government shutdown.
BLACKWELL: House Republicans set the stage for a shutdown by stripping money for Obamacare from a spending bill. CNN'S Erin McPike is in Washington this morning. So here is the question I think most people have. Republicans know the president will never sign a bill defunding his signature health care law. So what is really going on here? So what is the end game?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Jessica, House Republicans have, as you know, voted more than 40 times to stop the implementation of Obamacare, but this is the thing. This time they added it to the bill that keeps the government running for just a short amount of time through mid-December. It takes, of course, a lot of money to do that and Congress has to approve that spending.
So Republicans now think they have found a way to make another political statement about Obamacare by wrapping it into this spending bill. Take a listen to what John Boehner had to say about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: At a time when the economy is barely eking along and wages are not increasing and new jobs are not available. What are we doing? We are putting more cost and more inconvenience on the American people. It is time for us to say no. It is time to stop this before it causes anymore damage to American families and American businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: Democrats, though, say Republicans are just playing politics and threatening to shutdown the government over a policy they don't like. Here's what President Obama had to say in his weekly address in response to the Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Some are actually willing to plunge America into default if they can't defund the affordable care act. Think about that. They would actually plunge this country back in recession all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: Now, House Republicans insist that they don't want to shutdown the government, but as you know, Democrats are in control of the Senate and this bill is very likely to change when the Senate takes it up next week.
YELLIN: So, Erin, what do your sources tell you what will happen when it gets into the Senate?
MCPIKE: What we've been hearing is that Senate Republicans plan to vote to move forward with debate on the bill as it is now. Once that happens, Ted Cruz says he wants to force a filibuster, but the Republicans don't have the votes to do that. At that point, it takes 51 Senate Democrats to restore funding for Obamacare and 51 Democrats to pass the full bill and ping pong it back to the House. That is what the plan is, Jessica, as you know, it could get heated next week.
YELLIN: The president is resting his hopes on the U.S. Senate right now. CNN's Erin McPike in Washington. Thank you. The potential government shutdown would see more than government workers staying home.
BLACKWELL: Yes, our national parks, some of our top tourist attractions would all be shutdown. The same goes for places like the National Zoo, Statue of Liberty. Margaret Conley joins us now from New York. Good morning. Tell us what else we could possibly see. We saw this 17 years ago. What are we going to see this time if it happens?
MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. National parks like the Statue of Liberty behind me could be shutdown. That is a major tourist attraction here in New York City. But this shutdown could impact more than tourism. In 1995 and 1996, the government shutdowns cost taxpayers over $1 billion.
CONLEY (voice-over): A government shutdown threatens to close some of America's greatest treasures, from the Statue of Liberty here in New York, to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Yosemite National Park in California. Museums and federal offices with visa and passport services across the country could close just as they did in the mid '90s.
JULIAN ZELIZER, PRINCETON POLITICAL HISTORY PROFESSOR: Anyone who lived through '95 and '96 remembers that, you know, there were certain services such as national parks and national zoo in Washington, when they shutdown, they had big effects not simply on people trying to get in, but on the tourist economy that depends on these parks throughout the country.
CONLEY: Chris Haywood from New York City's official tourism office says tourism here is a $55.3 billion industry. It will stay on track at record levels regardless of a shutdown but --
CHRIS HAYWOOD, NYC AND COMPANY: If it expands to our airports then, of course, that's a different story. We want to make sure our entry processes moving forward because we need to welcome more visitors. This is an economic engine for our entire country.
CONLEY: The last government shutdowns cost taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion, the possibility of another shutdown casting a shadow over the country's economic outlook.
ZELIZER: There is some evidence that some of the swings we have seen in the economy have been responses to the idea that there will be government shutdowns or failure to raise the debt limit with the U.S. government going into default.
CONLEY: Victor, we are hearing that some government agencies will stay open. The critical services like border protection and air traffic control and national security.
BLACKWELL: All right, Margaret Conley there for us in New York. Thank you.
YELLIN: New this morning, a spokesman for the U.N. backed chemical arms watchdog says the Syrian government has handed over details of its chemical weapons stockpile. The U.S. and Russia have called on President Bashar Al Assad's regime to turnover and destroy its chemical weapons. If it Damascus does not comply, it could face air strikes. Officials say the regime is also moving some of its chemical weapons, but they are not sure whether they are moving them to account for them or to hide them.
We have been seeing the terrible devastation from the floods that ravage Colorado. Well, now, would you believe this? Residents in one Colorado town have no drinkable water at all.
BLACKWELL: Yes, more bad news for the folks there. Water in the town of Lyons has been contaminated by E. coli. The tap water has been turned off for the entire town. CNN's Dan Simon is nearby in Boulder. He is following this story for us. Dan, tell us more about what is happening in Lyons next door and how this all happened.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Victor and Jessica, imagine not having any tap water and not having it for an indefinite period of time. That is what the people in Lyons are having to go through just a miserable situation. So what we saw with these flood waters is it had the ability to take out infrastructure.
We saw it take out roads and bridges. In the town of Lyons, it took out septic tanks and sewer lines. It caused this toxic sludge to invade the town's water supply and tests have confirmed there is in fact E. coli in the water. This is one official put it to town residents. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICTORIA SIMONSEN, LYONS TOWN ADMINISTRATOR: Our 12-inch water transmission line has been compromised. We think it has been compromised in several locations. The water system does have E. Coli in it now, which means that there has been a breach. We don't want you using any of the water. It was turned off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: So here is the thing. People can stay in their homes if they want to, but they will have to provide all of their own drinking water and all of the water to bathe with, et cetera. So this is really a tough situation for those people in Lyons. This is a town of 2,000 people. Obviously, with no water, you won't want to be there. A lot of people are staying in their homes -- Victor and Jessica.
BLACKWELL: What is the time frame for getting that water back to where it is drinkable again?
SIMON: You know, it could be months and that is really what has to be so frustrating for those people. They are working on temporary repairs and for a small town like Lyons, they don't have a lot of money, but we are talking about a price tag of upwards of $1 million. This is expensive for the town. It could have a situation where they don't have any tap water for many, many months -- Victor.
YELLIN: Dan Simon, thank you for your continued reporting from there.
Colorado is not the only place recovering from the deadly storm. More than 100 people were killed when two tropical storm systems pummelled Mexico this past week. About 68 people are still missing after record rains caused mudslides and flooding in communities. Thousands of tourists were left stranded in Acapulco.
BLACKWELL: We know there are a lot of people that see these pictures and want to do something. So to find out how you can help the victims of the Mexico landslide and the Colorado flood, visit our impact your world page at cnn.com/impact.
YELLIN: A lot of storm news right now. Hongkong is the latest bracing for what's being called the most powerful storm in the world so far this year. Strong winds and heavy rain from Super Typhoon Ysagi are already hitting some communities. The typhoon could make landfall tomorrow.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Alexandra Steele in the CNN Weather Center. How strong is this typhoon expected to be?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, it was a super typhoon at one point. Meaning for us, it is like a Category 5 hurricane with 150--mile-an-hour winds. What happened so interestingly, Thursday night, it went from 50-mile-an-hour winds to 150-mile-an-hour winds, just really accelerated and now we are down back to a typhoon.
But regardless, here is where it is. It is about 900 miles wide. The thing is massive in the Pacific. It's maximum sustained winds are 140, gusting to 165. It is Southern Taiwan and Northern Philippines and a b-line toward Hongkong, believe it or not, with 7 million people. Here is what we can expect.
Really Sunday, that time frame will weaken in essence and not be as strong as it is. The winds are about 120 miles an hour. It is a Category 2 and then a 2, but again flooding rains like we have seen over and over again and strong winds so certainly keeping an eye on that. The time frame is Sunday.
Also of course, we talked about Mexico and showed some video of that. What happened in Mexico was really two tropical storm entities, one on the east coast. That was a Hurricane Ingrid. One on the west which was Manuel, both of them coming together and bringing an onslaught of moisture between about 5 and 10 inches so an incredible amount of moisture moving in, you can see some of these pictures.
I mean, roads turned to rivers especially around Acapulco. We had mudslides and landslides. The airport was closed. It was also a holiday in Mexico. It was an Independence Day. There were 30,000 people being impacted and stranded, essentially. A million impacted with this. That tropical moisture will move into the U.S. and in just a bit, we will talk about where that moisture is and who gets rain. A lot of us getting rain for this coming weekend.
BLACKWELL: All right, Alexandra, we will check back. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: You know, we had more than 100 dead in Mexico. Five dead in Colorado, plus the town of Lyons doesn't have drinking water for months. If you want to help, you can help the victims in Mexico and Colorado as well. It is the impact your world page. If you did not have a pen a moment ago, it is cnn.com/impact.
Still to come on NEW DAY, review time. We will put the new iPhones under the microscope. We have been hard on Blackberrys. Let's talk about these iPhones. Does this really live up to the hype? Of course, we will check out fun videos of the fans waiting in the long lines to get the new phone.
YELLIN: Plus, it is the town everybody loves to hate, but Washington may be a big player at the Emmys tomorrow night. You are watching NEW DAY SATURDAY on CNN.
BLACKWELL: I wonder how many people watching are just kind of waking up because they stood in line for the new iPhone. They stood out in these lines for hours and hours and hours.
YELLIN: Some people have to stick with the Blackberry, but most people out who were stuck out in the early fall chill did not keep the diehards from lining up in New York yesterday for the launch of the flagship iPhones 5S and the cheaper plastic 5c. Some iPhone fanatics stood in line for hours.
Mark Spoonauer is the editor in chief at "Laptop" magazine. Mark, thank you for being with us. We understand -- first of all, you have a couple of new phones. You can flash us your fancy one, which I understand is gold. First of all, tell us a little bit. What do you think of these models?
MARK SPOONAUER, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "LAPTOP" MAGAZINE: Well, certainly there is a big buzz about the new colors. The gold model for example is already going for $1,000 on eBay.
SPOONAUER: Apple says it is four weeks for availability, but I also like the space gray version, which is a little more industrial sheik. So it really just depends on what you're looking for, but the big news with these iPhones is what is on the inside. That actually starts with the A7 processor. It is the fastest processor we've ever seen inside of a smartphone.
So everything is really zippy and fast. Developers are going to be catching up with this new 64-bit architecture everyone's talking about to develop new apps to tap into all this power. But in the meantime, what we really like also is this new fingerprint sensor that is built- in beneath the screen.
So I can log in just by tapping my thumb right on the home button and it logs in. See how it just logged in? I did not have to put in the password or anything else. That is one way to protect your phone from falling into the wrong hands and also to protect you from your kids buying stuff on iTunes.
SPOONAUER: Without your noticing. There is a lot of potential inside this little compact device.
BLACKWELL: So, we are hearing the good stuff about it, but is it living up to all the hype? Are there any drawbacks anything that aren't in the phone that you hoped would be?
SPOONAUER: Well, certainly the screen size is a concern especially for people who are looking at Samsung phones. Those are five inches or even more. Apple is sticking with the 4-inch screen size here, which really is good for using with one hand, but there are a lot of people that want the extra real estate for a bigger keyboard or for watching movies or for entertainment.
So I do think that Apple will be under some pressure with the iPhone 6, obviously, we can talk about that now, for coming out with a bigger screen. So what I do like about the new interface is all the icons and everything else even like the fonts are a little bit thinner. So they are trying to provide the illusion that you are using a bigger display.
YELLIN: How about the camera? I understand you took some photos from the iPhone 5 to compare it to the iPhone 5s.
SPOONAUER: Yes, you know, what's interesting is that, it has the same mega pixel count at 8-megapixels, but there's this new dual flash on the back. They are calling a true tone flash and what that means is that when you're talking pictures especially in low light you are going to get much better images. We took some images indoors. Turn off the lights and our subjects were a lot more bright. There is my dog right there. That is actually with the flash off. That is a dramatic difference between the two phones.
BLACKWELL: So, let's talk more about the company because a lot of things have changed since Steve Jobs' death. Do you think the company, even though there are these new phones coming out that it will be as innovative and as dominant as it under Jobs' leadership?
SPOONAUER: Based on what they announced so far, I would say that they are sort of staying the course that Steve Jobs set for them. I think what is really interesting is how Apple responds to Samsung and some other markets. Like what will they do with TV and how will they handle the wearables market? Samsung already announced a smart watch that will be coming out in October.
We don't know what Apple is doing yet in the wearable space to compete against not only them but Google Glass. So I think the jury is still out on that. So far, I would give them a "B" to a "B" plus. I am wowed by categories, but not the versions of what they already have.
YELLIN: Wow, you clearly do not grade on a scale. Mark, thank you for being with us, editor in chief at "Laptop" magazine. Appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: You know, my dad bought the Samsung phone. It is really is like hold it up to your face. It is huge.
YELLIN: I had one. It is big. It is really big. It is big as a clutch.
BLACKWELL: So this is a big night, TV's night to shine. The stars come out this weekend, a big weekend. Emmys are tomorrow. Will Washington's fictional politicians steal the show? We will see what they can pull off.
YELLIN: The Emmys will be handed out tomorrow night. It is supposed to be Hollywood's big night, but Washington may steal the show.
BLACKWELL: Yes. A lot of people hate politicians, but you have to love the juicy shows about them. We certainly do. Here is CNN's Tory Dunnan.
TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many of this year's Emmy nominees have one thing in common.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give and take. Welcome to Washington.
DUNNAN: At a time when real Washington's popularity is at an all-time low.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: It would be good political theatre to watch them self destruct.
DUNNAN: Fictional Washington is achieving audience acclaim, from "Scandal" to "House of Cards" to "Veep" to "Homeland." This year's Emmys will be a D.C. dominated affair.
GARY LEVIN, TV EDITOR, "USA TODAY": It's a much cynical take on Washington, much less idealistic. I think the age of the "West Wing" drama is kind of passed.
MARY MCNAMARA, TV CRITIC, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": The shows that we see now are very much about just sort of the machinations of power.
DUNNAN: From the ambitious yet clumsy Vice President Selena Myer of "Veep."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks like I'm tweeting when a guy loses his leg.
DUNNAN: To the ruthless Frank Underwood from "House of Cards."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances.
DUNNAN: More often than not, these D.C.-based shows portray our nation's capitol in a dark light or a hotbed of comedic dysfunction. So why are they so popular? You think that if Congress can't seem to get anything done, people would tune out. Turns out, that is not the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington is broken. It is beautiful.
DUNNAN (on camera): Do you think it is real Washington or fictional Washington?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six of one and half a dozen of the other.
DUNNAN: Do you think D.C. life is that spicy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not as glamorous as people think it is unfortunately.
DUNNAN (voice-over): Perhaps no series reveals the behind the scenes mock more than ABC's "Scandal."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't want to be president anymore, that's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We built a following. People are crazy for our show.
DUNNAN: So scandalous even movie stars are intrigued.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Scandal" for example, I'm obsesses.
DUNNAN: So the lesson, you can love the show, even if you hate the town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Power is a lot like real estate. It is all about location, location, location.
DUNNAN: Tory Dunnan, CNN, Washington.
BLACKWELL: Thursday nights are just not been the same without "Scandal." Love that show. All right, do you go to populous sites like Yelp and Angie's List? Well, a consumer report warning to you. You have to watch out for this because some sites may be misleading you.
YELLIN: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back everyone. I'm Jessica Yellin.
BLACKELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you with us this morning.
Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
Up first the President is accusing House Republicans of trying to manufacture a crisis. The GOP has pushed through a spending bill, one that defunds Obamacare. And the President says he'll veto the bill setting up a possible government shutdown in nine days if the bill gets to him through the Senate. YELLIN: Number two, more violence is erupting in Syria even as the government is handing over details of its chemical weapons to the world's chemical weapons watchdog. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must account for his regime's chemical weapons and destroy them under a U.S.-Russian proposal or face potential military strikes.
BLACKWELL: Number three a tenth hostage situation unfolding in Kenya's capital. Kenya's Red Cross says at least three people were injured when someone started shooting at an upscale mall in Nairobi. A Kenyan source tells CNN that some people have been taken captive and police are now trying to negotiate for their release at this mall.
YELLIN: Number four, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out last night calling for an end to violence in his city. He consoled grieving families after a gunman shot and injured 13 people at a park on Thursday. Police say the gunman used an assault-style rifle and the shooting may be gang-related. Among the recovering victims is a three-year-old boy who was shot in the face.
BLACKWELL: Five now. Six minority students have accepted offers from traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama that's according to "The New York Times". The University's Greek system came under fire -- maybe you remember this from last week there was some claims of racism. Well students demonstrated and they prompted the university's president to issue reforms for more open recruitment process.
So it is the fifth time in two years -- fifth time in two years the federal government is lurching toward a possible such shutdown. So what's in this for you? It could be a lot, actually.
YELLIN: Not a lot of good, though.
YELLIN: National parks and museums would close including landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. The CDC disease surveillance could stop just as we near flu season. Passport processing could be halted and 800,000 federal workers would probably lose their paychecks. Now the FBI and Border Patrol and other agencies might not be able to hire.
BLACKWELL: Those are possible scenarios they could become reality if the President does not sign a government spending bill before October 1st. And even if there is a deal on spending, a second shutdown could happen around October 18th just a few weeks away through the last two weeks of October if the debt ceiling is not raised.
YELLIN: A shutdown does look more likely now that the House has approved a new government spending measure. At the insistence of tea party Republicans, the House bill strips money for the President's signature law the Affordable Care Act. And Democrats and even some Republicans say that plan is just a bust.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I can tell you in the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Now with all that background, let's bring in Julian Zelizer who is a professor of history at Princeton University and a contributor at CNN.com. Professor Zelizer thanks for being with us. So Republicans wants spending --
JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me.
YELLIN: -- thanks good morning. Wants spending cuts before they even agree to fund the government. Will the strategy of the cuts plus defunding Obamacare and holding the government hostage work?
ZELIZER: No, it won't work. And Senator McCain is correct. This is not a proposal that has real policy aims. It's posturing. It's trying to really force President Obama to agree to the terms that Republicans have put forward. The problem is it could lead to an actual shutdown at this point because they don't have the votes for this. So the bill is tied up for that many more days as we get closer to the deadline.
BLACKWELL: So listen to Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and he's from Illinois. Want to listen to him and then talk about it on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (R), ILLINOIS: We have no budget and we can't take up a single spending bill because of the objections from the other side of the aisle. They are being guided by a few members over there who are of a certain political faith that I can't even describe who believe that chaos is the best thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So there are fingers being pointed in every direction. Conservative Republicans to more moderate Republicans pointing at each other. The Senate and the House pointing at each other, Congress and the President pointing at each other. Who gets the blame if the government shuts down?
ZELIZER: Well the polls that we're seeing right now indicate that Republicans would take the blame as a party; that the public would say it's because of the Republicans in Congress regardless of all the divisions we're talking about who are responsible for this.
That said, you know, these things play out in real time. Once the budget effects go into place and people are really feeling it, it could change. More people might be angry with the President. But at this point, if we were betting, the Republicans are the ones who should be most fearful about the political repercussions of actually shutting down the government. YELLIN: Despite that the President has said he won't negotiate on the debt ceiling and my sources say he's holding firm on that, I wonder if you think he's going to come to regret that statement and if there is a default, he'll take the blame.
ZELIZER: Well we have to remember that in the past he's made statements that are not so different than this on the debt ceiling and other budget issues. And in the end, he's blinked. In the end he has made deals. That is how the President negotiates. So I'm not sure we should take his words at face value at this point. And I think he'll be willing to say in the end I had no choice but to accept certain cuts.
So on the debt ceiling and the consequences that would result from not raising it, I don't think the President would very easily allow that to happen to the economy.
BLACKWELL: And often saying that one will not negotiate is part of the negotiations. Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University -- good to have you this morning.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
YELLIN: A two-year-old weighed 72 pounds. Now he may be setting a new world record for the youngest person ever to undergo weight loss surgery.
And a recent HIV scare has rattled the porn industry. Now one producer is taking a stand. Coming up why her critics say mandated protection is not what viewers want.
But first, Christine Romans has a preview of "YOUR MONEY" coming up in an hour from now.
Good morning Christine.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Hi, Victor and Jessica. Americans economy is facing another imminent and self-inflicted threat. So why are your political leaders willing to put you and your family at risk again? Candy Crowley joins me at 9:30 a.m. Eastern for a brand new "YOUR MONEY".
BLACKWELL: So a toddler, 72 pounds, has become the youngest person in the world to have successful weight loss surgery. Reports say doctors performed the gastric bypass on this two-year-old from Saudi Arabia after more than a few diets failed.
YELLIN: The boy's parents were worried because he had sleep apnea and struggled to breathe. The surgery happened in 2010 and now doctors say he's at a normal weight.
BLACKWELL: I mean the before and after really is remarkable. And I'm sure it's going to help his health, but you know two years old.
YELLIN: I know you wonder if it's wise for somebody that young. But you look at how he is now and it's pretty remarkable.
A big scare in the porn industry -- huge turn here -- after three actors tested positive for HIV. And now one producer says she is going to require her staff to use protection.
YELLIN: But critics say mandated condoms isn't what the viewers want.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has more. Good morning Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Jessica, porn producers have been notoriously reluctant to have their performers use condoms in their movies. They say the audience just doesn't like it.
But now one veteran producer is taking a stand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRISTAN TAORMINO, PORNOGRAPHER: Stenny cheat it for me and let me see what you're doing.
COHEN (voice-over): Tristan Taormino directs people how to have sex.
TAORMINO: Nibble your way down his leg.
COHEN: She is a veteran pornographer.
TAORMINO: Give me a cuddly lovey sort of -- oh my God that was awesome. That kind of thing.
COHEN: She shot a lot of steamy romps over the years, but from now on, she'll be doing something very different and very controversial. She'll be requiring her male performers to use condoms.
TAORMINO: I want everyone to use a condom so that I can feel good at the end of the day that I did as much as I could to protect my performers.
COHEN: Many performers and producers worry that condoms take the fantasy away from porn and scare off viewers. They say it's enough the performers are required to get tested every two weeks for sexually transmitted infections. But here's the problem that still leaves the window of time when performers can contract illnesses and not know and spreads them.
Recently an HIV scare has rattled the adult's film industry. While there is no evidence the infections happened on a set three porn stars have tested positive for HIV in less than a month. There have also been recent cases of syphilis and hepatitis. Taormino says enough is enough.
TAORMINO: There is a lot of talk of how porn watchers don't want to see condoms, sales will plummet. Everyone is going to be miserable and no one is going to watch condom porn. And I'm not buying it. I'm not. I want to see a shift in the industry. And I'm hoping that -- I know it feels like I'm going out on a limb right now -- but I'm hoping that others will join me.
COHEN: She says viewers will get used to condoms when they start seeing more of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: After the recent spate of HIV cases the porn industry did a self-imposed moratorium and told all performers to get retested. Well that moratorium ended on Friday and now they are back to work -- Jessica, Victor.
YELLIN: Maybe it promotes safe sex in the viewers, too.
BLACKWELL: Elizabeth, thank you. It's easy to kind of make light of that. But it is a serious situation for the actors in that industry.
Coming up on NEW DAY, harsh reviews for popular online review sites like Angie's List. If you check reviews online before shopping, you need to hear this.
YELLIN: And speaking about deals that may be too good to be true, America's space agency is paying people to sleep -- seriously.
But first, just two months shy of her 70th birthday, tennis legend Billie Jean King has a lot to celebrate. Here is this week's "Open Court".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fame, fortune and millions in prize money. Who did the best players in the world have to thank for making tennis what it is today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Billie Jean King.
BILLIE JEAN KING, FORMER PRO TENNIS PLAYER: We really stood together and formed the WTA back in '73 and I think everyone is really proud of themselves now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Billie Jean King took center stage when the WTA reunited its past number ones in London.
SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: Billie Jean has been one of my ultimate inspiration. She has told me so many things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is always so inspirational. To see and just being around Billie, you feel better after talking to her.
KING: Really, the players today are living our dream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: 49 minutes after the hour. Good to have you on NEW DAY SATURDAY.
If you are looking for a new doctor or maybe a plumber to fix that sink that keeps leaking maybe you are one of the millions of people who start the search on consumer review sites.
YELLIN: You've probably browsed them before. Some like Health Grade and Vital.com focus on doctors and medicine. Other popular sites like Yelp and Angie's List cover just about everything from home repairs to restaurants, but user beware.
According to "Consumer Reports" not all these sites are as trustworthy as you might think.
Jeff Blyskal is the senior editor at "Consumer Reports". Jeff thanks for being with us. And well, you had some pretty harsh words for the popular site Angie's List. You even called it misleading. So, why?
JEFF BLYSKAL, SENIOR EDITOR, "CONSUMER REPORTS": Right. Well, user reviews are a great idea, but they have to essentially be trustworthy. And so what that prompted us to look behind kind of what you see online to find out what the methodologies they use to calculate their ratings and come to their conclusions.
BLACKWELL: Ok. So I want to point out something specific about what you said about Angie's List that they can be misleading because the companies buy their way to the top of the default search result. We have all seen the ads. No company can buy their way onto Angie's List but they can buy their way to the top of the list.
Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, told us that is true, but only because consumers want it and they can change the settings. Listen to what she told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGIE HICKS, FOUNDER, ANGIE'S LIST: The default search result does show them first but that is only because over the years, we have continually asked our members whether they want to see consumers see discounts and they do. We return that on the companies offering discount and they do.
So we return that based on the consumer demand but it's clearly designated. And the consumer can choose how want to change the results if they want to. If they want to change the search results to see the companies alphabetically or by the most number of reviews, it's an easy drop-down menu that they can change right on their screen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: That is the founder Angie Hicks there. You also mentioned that Angie's List encourages businesses to solicit reviews. What's wrong with that?
BLYSKAL: Well, when you solicit reviews, basically, it puts the rated company in the position of being able to choose who it wants to solicit. So it is obviously going to choose the people that are most satisfied and not encourage those who are maybe not satisfied or had a problem with their job or whatever.
But just to clarify the way Angie's List works --
BLYSKAL: -- basically companies that are rated A and B can buy advertising. And that's true. They provide a discount as well. But companies -- and that causes, when they buy the advertising, it moves them up to the top of the default search results. Basically what Angie's List tells businesses is that businesses that advertise, A and B businesses that advertise get 12 times more exposure than those that don't. And the reason is because when you do a search, most people don't look past the first or second screen.
YELLIN: How about some of the other sites? You also reviewed Google Plus and Yelp. Are any of these sites trustworthy in your view and how would you stack them up?
BLYSKAL: Again, we are not saying whether they are trustworthy or not, we are looking behind the scenes and how they are doing their calculations and methodology. So Yelp, for example, anyone can create a user name -- all you need is an e-mail so we don't really know who the people are, who are giving reviews.
Early on, Yelp realized that bogus reviews were a big problem. So what they did is they created a filter, a software filter that filters out supposedly suspicious reviews and maintained and keeps the legitimate ones. The problem is it's never been tested to do what it says it does.
So, you know, it's not -- so 20 percent of the reviews have been filtered out. They are supposedly suspicious or they may be suspicious, but Yelp doesn't know.
BLACKWELL: Well, I think having more information about these sites especially when we go to them for doctors and people who can control our health or help us get healthy, it is important to know what's behind these sites.
"Consumer Reports'" Jeff Blyskal, good to have you with us this morning.
BLYSKAL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Everybody wake up. Because why would you just waste time sleeping if you are not being paid for it?
BLACKWELL: Yes. America's space agency is paying people to sleep. It is true. We will tell you why. Stay with us.
YELLIN: Ok. This story sounds too good to be true.
YELLIN: Getting paid to stay in bed.
BLACKWELL: To sleep in the bed.
YELLIN: I like it.
BLACKWELL: NASA -- yes, America's space agency -- is paying people thousands of dollars to sleep. There is a catch. Zain Asher joins us now with details. Hey -- Zain.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Victor and Jessica.
America's space agency is paying people $5,000 a month to lie in bed for 70 days. It certainly sounds like a dream for a lot of people. The program is part of a study to examine the health effects of weightlessness on astronauts. Astronauts obviously can't walk around while their in space and sometimes they do suffer from muscle atrophy.
NASA is looking for real people to help them examine their defects. Here's the catch, if you take part in the study, you have to remain horizontal for the entire 70 days. There's no getting up for anything. You have to eat in your bed, read or play "Guitar Hero" -- whatever you want you can do that all lying down. When nature calls, you get a bedpan.
Now you might think that people are lining up for this or maybe not but there are still four openings left. People at NASA actually tell me that it's surprisingly hard to find people who are really able to sit still and do nothing for three months, even if they are being paid. They actually conduct psychological tests on potential subject and you undergo a health and exercise regimen several weeks before and after.
You might be asking whether this is a good use of NASA funding after all the space agency took a $900 million hit to its budget this year because of automatic spending cuts. But NASA really does feel this bed rest study is vital to making sure that astronauts are healthy while they're space -- Victor and Jessica.