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The Fight Against Bullying; No Animals were Harmed; "The Tim Ferriss Experiment"; Interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Aired November 26, 2013 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Situations to say, Rebecca, God love her, she was fragile. She was susceptible to this. She was different. Is that fair?

TRICIA NORMAN, REBECCA SEDWICK'S MOTHER: No, not at all. She was a normal kid. I mean, she was just like any other kid out there.

CUOMO: She could take a little bit of ribbing? She wasn't particularly vulnerable? You know why I'm asking you this?

NORMAN: Yes. She - yes, could take it. She dished it out. I mean, when somebody would attack her, there was times she would, you know, defend herself and she didn't just lay down and say, OK, kick me.

CUOMO: And yet this time, this pattern of behavior that you saw over weeks, months, a year, how was this different?

NORMAN: Because it just wouldn't stop. No matter what we did to try to eliminate it, it just kept coming back.

CUOMO: We went to the parents? Did you call the other kids' parents if you knew who they were?

NORMAN: I -- yes.

CUOMO: And it didn't work. Did you go to the school --


CUOMO: And say you have a responsibility -

NORMAN: Several times.

CUOMO: And they wound up taking some action, right? Did they move your daughter around -- they tried to do certain things?

NORMAN: Yes, they tried to do certain things.

CUOMO: But you didn't feel the response was there either?

NORMAN: No. Most of the time they would brush it under the rug and, you know, she needs to develop a thicker skin. You know, all kids are different. I mean and they'll all the same as they have to grow and they have to learn, but everybody takes things different. CUOMO: Was this about your kid not having thick skin?

NORMAN: No. I think her skin was thick enough. I just think that it was just so much and so often. And, you know, if she tried to ignore it, they would still find a way to get to her.

CUOMO: When you look at responsibility here now, this became big why? Because of the sheriff. We hear about bullying cases. But this time it was going to stop. There were charges. That's unusual because we're dealing with young kids. That's why there's so many calls for charging the adults involved, the parents. He put their faces out. He said their names. Do you think that was right?

NORMAN: I really don't know too much about the law to say whether he was right or not. I think people should know what was done to my daughter and who did it. How he handled it is how he - I mean, I can't really speak for him.

CUOMO: Do you think the kids involved knew what they were doing, knew that they were pushing your daughter in a way that was dangerous?

NORMAN: Yes, I do.

CUOMO: The older child involved and the younger one that we spoke to here on the show, do you think she knew what she was doing?

NORMAN: Uh-huh.

CUOMO: Do you think she's as responsible as the other?


CUOMO: Does it mean anything to you that her attorney and her parents and she say they have no proof of bullying with me? Yes, we got into a fight. Yes, we had some trouble. But I wasn't in some pattern of cyber bullying that they said I was. There's no proof of that. Do you believe that?


CUOMO: You believe it's there?


CUOMO: So we're dealing with, what, denial by them?


CUOMO: And how do you explain that?

NORMAN: I just think that they don't want to - I mean they're in denial. I think -- know deep down they know themselves what happened. I think they're trying to deny it for legal reasons.

CUOMO: So when you think about this situation, you're not getting the relief from outside. You're going to turn inside. When you think about this, was there anything to do here to stop it? Was it in your power to make your daughter safe, to make her OK?

NORMAN: I've thought about that a million times and I'm going to grief counseling myself now and she assures me every time, you did everything you possibly could. I took her to counseling. I took her out of the school. I home-schooled her. You know, I shut down her Facebook.

I mean, I did everything I possibly could. I gave her a cell phone with a texting app that didn't have cell phone service on it so she could communicate with her friends because she was -- it was unfair for her to be taken away from all of her friends and have no way to contact them. So I let her have a texting app after she was home for a couple of months.

CUOMO: And that's how they found her?

NORMAN: And that's how they found her. Then as she was a 12-year-old and went behind mom's back and got on a website I didn't know anything about (INAUDIBLE) Wi-fi.

CUOMO: Well, it's hard.


CUOMO: It's hard to keep track now. Do you have -- what's the message -- what do you want parents to know about what you've lived through and what they may not know and what they haven't felt?

NORMAN: Well, I know when I looked at my child, I seen a normal, happy, healthy, productive child. Apparently inside, behind the scenes, there was other things going on with this bullying and everything else. So even though your child may seem normal to you, there may be something else going on.

CUOMO: And Rebecca was a child. Was she under treatment? Was she someone who had a diagnosis or something that you can point to?

NORMAN: She was in counseling and the counselor and Rebecca both agreed that she didn't need counseling anymore. The bullying had stopped when I had taken her out.

CUOMO: So the treatment was about the bullying?


CUOMO: So now there's a lawsuit and there's a message. What do you want people to know about these two efforts?

NORMAN: That bullying is serious and we're going to do everything in our power to get a law passed to make it against the law to bully somebody.

CUOMO: The law punishes whom, the child or -- how would the law work?

MATT MORGAN, TRICIA NORMAN'S ATTORNEY: Well, both the parent and the child. So under the Florida statutes currently, there's a statute which prohibits bullying. But at the end of the day, there's no punishment for the bullying. It says it's wrong, but it doesn't say that -- what the punishment is.

CUOMO: And what should it be?

MORGAN: I think, you know, first offense, some type of counseling. Second offense, counseling plus community service. And maybe third offense, some type of juvenile detention.

CUOMO: For the child. What about for the parent?

MORGAN: For the child. And for the parent I think civil responsibility in a civil lawsuit is something that we're going to be exploring. I think that if parents know that they could be held financially responsible for the acts of their children, then ultimately that might provide a deterring effect for them to monitor their child's behavior.

CUOMO: What do you want those parents to know at home? You say that you can't always see what's going on inside your child. But what's the best advice if you think your kid is caught up in a dangerous cycle of being bullied?

NORMAN: To get them counseling. There's just so much.

CUOMO: I know this isn't easy for you to talk about it, but you know that people need to hear it.

NORMAN: I know.

CUOMO: You know that there's so many parents who are struggling with this and there just aren't enough answers.

NORMAN: There definitely needs to be counseling. The other parents of the children that are doing the bullying, they need to get their kids into counseling, too. The schools need to take it more serious. I -- if your child is being bullied, don't ever give up. Don't think it just went away. I mean just follow up and make sure that - I mean, I don't know how I could have followed up to make sure it wasn't going on because --

CUOMO: You did what you could. That's not easy. We're all at a disadvantage against the world, especially where parenting is involved. But, look, we know this is important. We know you're not going to leave it alone. We'll follow the lawsuit. We'll follow the efforts for the law, because this story matters and the problem certainly is everywhere.

Tricia, thank you for taking the opportunity to come here.

NORMAN: Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: Matt, appreciate you being here.

All right, Kate, over to you. KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, thank you so much.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY", shocking new allegations this morning surrounding Hollywood and the treatment of animals on set. Why a trademark movie disclaimer may not always be true.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back.

Disturbing allegations this morning about the treatment of animals on Hollywood production sets. A scathing new article from "The Hollywood Reporter" unearthed incriminating evidence from American Humane Association whistle-blowers. Nischelle Turner is here with more on this story.

So what did they uncover?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a very deep investigation that they did, Kate. You know, "The Hollywood Reporter" says that they have uncovered one of the industry's deep, dark secrets, revealing that the infamous movie disclaimer "no animals were harmed in filming" isn't necessarily true.


TURNER (voice-over): You've seen this disclaimer hundreds of times before. Now a shocking report by "The Hollywood Reporter" alleges that the American Humane Associations trademark accreditation isn't always credible. Take "Life of Pi's" tiger, King, for example.

Despite his prowess and digital twin, the publication says King nearly drowned while shooting ocean scenes after becoming disoriented. In an internal e-mail obtained by "The Hollywood Reporter," an AHA monitor on the set said, quote, "last week we almost (EXPLETIVE DELETED) killed King in the water tank."

BOB FERBER, FORMER ANIMAL CRUELTY PROSECUTOR: This is, to me, one of the dirty dark secrets of Hollywood. By not reporting these incidents, by deciding on their own that they can deal with it internally and not bringing it to law enforcement, they're complicit in this.

TURNER: The AHA responded telling CNN, quote, "the e-mail of the employee in question led to an internal investigation and there was no evidence of any harm to the tiger as determined after multiple inquiries. She is no longer employed by the association."

The movie studio disputed the claim that the tiger nearly drowned saying, quote, "we take on-set safety very seriously." Animal rights groups, however, say this is a problem that has plagued the movie industry for years. In 2012, while the stars of "The Hobbit" walked the red carpet, spectators lined the streets, not to cheer, but to protest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: PETA is here because dozens of animals were killed and severely injured during the making of "The Hobbit." "The Hobbit" was monitored by the AHA. And that goes to show that even when these films that use animals are being monitored, just tragic deaths and injuries do still occur.

TURNER: But "Hobbit" director Peter Jackson says their disclaimer holds true.

PETER JACKSON, DIRECTOR, "THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY": Over half the animals in this film are computer generated and there was no abuse and no maltreatment of animals on this film.

TURNER: And on HBO's TV series "Luck," charges of animal cruelty, even though the AHA was present on set. The production was eventually canceled in 2012 after three horses died. HBO, owned by CNN's parent company Time Warner, released this statement saying, quote, "while we maintain the highest safety standards possible, accidents, unfortunately, happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future."


TURNER: Now, the AHA released a lengthy statement in response to "The Hollywood Reporter," saying in part, "the article paints a picture that is completely unrecognizable to us or anyone who knows the American Humane Association's work. Far from allowing abuse or neglect to occur, we have a remarkably high safety record of 99.98 percent on set." They flatly deny also that they side with the industry and look the other way in a lot of cases.

BOLDUAN: OK, thanks, Nischelle.


CUOMO: Coming up on "NEW DAY", author Tim Ferriss is going to talk to us about his exciting new show, coming up. This guy can do anything. Or can he?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a break dancer simultaneously. And this is the closest you can come to combing those two things.



BOLDUAN: There's a reason that we're listening to this song. Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

Imagine having one week, my friends, to pick up a pair of drum sticks and learn how to play before hitting the stage --

PEREIRA: Look at the smile.

BOLDUAN: -- with the international rock band Foreigner. Tim Ferriss, certifiable crazy man also host of HLN's new show "THE TIM FERRISS EXPERIMENT" accepted that challenge. He filmed it for the first episode of his new show which premieres this Sunday.

And Tim is here with us this morning. Good morning.

TIM FERRISS, HLN HOST: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: So I was investigating you and I was reading --

FERRISS: A dangerous pattern.

BOLDUAN: -- exactly. I'm looking, the date of -- you're reported as talking about the show, it's to show people that you can do seemingly super human things if you have a better tool kit. You don't need better genetics. You don't need a bigger budget?

FERRISS: That's right.

BOLDUAN: So what is the show about?

FERRISS: It's about making the seemingly impossible possible. Because we all hear these myths, whether it takes a lifetime to learn a language, you're too old to do this, you have these falling injuries, you can't do that.

And so each episode is intended to make me face some fear of mine, like doing hard core at age 36 or learning to overcome my fear of heights or overcome my fear of drowning. I couldn't swim until after age 30, despite the fact that I grew up on Long Island. And to show people that they can do the same thing if they have a good template hence we have the world's best teachers like Stewart Copeland for drumming -- one of the top ten --

CUOMO: Wow, The Police -- the drummer from The Police.

FERRISS: Amazing.

PEREIRA: Talk about this tool kit you mentioned because I think that's the key, right? Do we all have it? Do we have access to this tool kit you speak of?

FERRISS: Definitely. Each episode I'll cover one or two of these tools. So for instance in the case of language, one of the episodes is learning Tagalog, Filipino well enough to be interviewed on TV for six minutes after a few days.

BOLDUAN: Yes, how about that.

FERRISS: And you have to pick your material, your vocabulary carefully. So how do you choose that vocab? I can sort of the explain the lens that I use to do that.

CUOMO: But as Tim Ferriss -- I mean you're very successful. Is Tim Ferriss the every man? You know, I'm watching you do the parkour -- not everybody is built like Tim Ferriss.

FERRISS: True. CUOMO: You know what I mean? Maybe you're musically inclined and maybe, you know, you're just one of those guys that just has a lot of tools.

FERRISS: That's a great question. And I chose the skills because I failed at all of them before. So I always quit musical instruments. Swimming as I explained was terrifying to me up until my 30s. And I do think I'm the every man. I'm doing things that I'm not genetically well suited to do and then showing how you can succeed despite whatever your weaknesses might be.

BOLDUAN: Are you afraid you're not going to survive the first season of the show? It's pretty demanding.

FERRISS: It is demanding. Doing 13 of these weeks in a row is really demanding. And I don't win all the time -- that's what I was saying. There are episodes where I fail. In every episode I have some type of meltdown.


PEREIRA: Do we get to see the emotion --

Is it like a Cliff Notes?


FERRISS: It's exactly Cliff Notes.

PEREIRA: There you go.

FERRISS: It's exactly Cliff Notes. And so --

PEREIRA: How to get by?

FERRISS: Yes. And Newsweek called me the world's best human guinea pig, because I'm crazy enough to I make it my job to try a thousand things so that other people don't have to. And then I do them --

PEREIRA: Can we send in ideas.

FERRISS: Absolutely.


BOLDUAN: I would not take Michaela. She will get you in trouble.

FERRISS: Half the episodes came from my readers.

PEREIRA: Oh, cool. OK.

BOLDUAN: Tim Ferriss, good luck.

PEREIRA: Welcome to the family.

BOLDUAN: I think (inaudible) we'll send you off. Thank you. Exactly -- welcome.

FERRISS: Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: THE TIM FERRISS EXPERIMENT premiers on HLN Sunday, December 1st at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. And Tim will be live tweeting the entire show. So you can probably guess one thing that Tim has to be is pretty -- there goes the table -- is to be pretty fit --

PEREIRA: We'll fix that later.

BOLDUAN: -- to pull this off. Why do I ask? Because of this -- you're pretty fit. Does fit equal sexy?

CUOMO: No, not necessarily.

PEREIRA: Why does Kate wonder?


FERRISS: Because then he would be saying "I'm sexy."

PEREIRA: Why does Kate wonder this?

BOLDUAN: Because we're going to take a little bit of a different turn, a little journey into maybe a family dynamic. Thanksgiving table in the Cuomo house might be a little tense this year because a Cuomo is on the -- we're getting it in -- a Cuomo is in the "People's" sexiest man alive list.

CUOMO: Yes, I'm Adam Levine.

BOLDUAN: This is Chris. However, it may not be our beloved Chris Cuomo. It might be another Cuomo who might just be joining us on the phone.


BOLDUAN: Governor, are you there?

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK (via telephone): Yes, I am.

C. CUOMO: Yes, he is.

A. CUOMO: And it's my pleasure to be with you.

PEREIRA: Oh, my goodness.

BOLDUAN: So, Governor -- why, oh, why, Governor, are you on the list and your poor, younger brother is not?

A. CUOMO: Well, I think it's obvious, frankly. Any observer of the situation, I think, would come to the same conclusion. But I do feel -- I feel bad that Chris isn't on the list.

PEREIRA: Do you? A. CUOMO: I do have good news, though. He almost made the list. And if there was a runner-up list, he would have been on that list.

PEREIRA: Response Chris.

BOLDUAN: That deserves a pound.

C. CUOMO: Listen, shut up.

I'm glad you have nothing better to do than to call me about this. I think there's an asterisk on your picture there.

BOLDUAN: We are in so much trouble.

C. CUOMO: I'm hoping you're enjoying this. What is this now?

A. CUOMO: Yes, actually, I am. I am enjoying this on behalf of the state of New York.

C. CUOMO: Are you really? Maybe it's really being gifted to the state of New York as just a sexy place in general and you have, you know, this honor of being the face of New York for now because to look at that face --

PEREIRA: Governor Cuomo, I can't get over the fact that you guys sound alike. I feel like I have two Cuomos in my --

C. CUOMO: His voice is higher than mine, which is apparently very sexy. High politician's --


A. CUOMO: Well, whatever it is, it is obviously sexy. And, yes, I will say it's on behalf of the state of New York and I am -- New York is a sexy state.

PEREIRA: It is a sexy state.

A. CUOMO: Yes, it is. And I'm the governor of New York and I think that's why I was afforded the honor, but some people weren't.

BOLDUAN: Some. I hear the air quotes, Governor. "Some" people were not afforded the honor.

C. CUOMO: I feel his -- I hear his head swelling up the inside of whatever vehicle he's in right now.

A. CUOMO: No, but I do want to say, look, Chris has -- God gives everyone certain talents. Chris has some great talents. He's a good listener, very good at badminton, Christopher also. So he does have talent all his own.

PEREIRA: You're very talented.

C. CUOMO: Can you believe this?

BOLDUAN: We love you for other reasons, not because you're sexy.

C. CUOMO: Yes, that's just great. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry. It's a just a little bit of fun before Thanksgiving.

Governor, thank you for playing along.

PEREIRA: Your next job might have to be to learn how to be therapist at the family table at Thanksgiving.

C. CUOMO: Congratulations.

A. CUOMO: You guys have a very nice Thanksgiving.

C. CUOMO: You, too. Can't hear you anymore -- must have lost your connection.

BOLDUAN: Lovely to meet you too, Governor.

C. CUOMO: We lost you. I hope you're well. Lower my taxes.

BOLDUAN: Don't raise mine. Thank you, Governor. See you soon.

PEREIRA: Awkward family moment on "NEW DAY".

BOLDUAN: Sorry. Had to be done.

C. CUOMO: Yes, that's great.

PEREIRA: You know, we both have a lot of sisters. They could get on the phone.

FERRISS: I'll call them.

C. CUOMO: I know. There's absolutely no chance that this ever comes back to haunt either of you.


C. CUOMO: We both know it's not my way.

BOLDUAN: No. Revenge is not in his name.


C. CUOMO: All right. It's time for "The Good Stuff".

In today's edition Joel Hartman --

PEREIRA: That wasn't the good stuff?

C. CUOMO: Joel has been homeless for more than a year and he was recently dumpster diving for food when he found a wallet. Not only did he not keep it, he went all over Atlanta trying to find its owner.


C. CUOMO: Finally at the Omni Hotel, he finds a match. What luck is that -- right? So the people at the Omni so impressed they use this had surveillance photo to track him down and say thanks. And what a thank you they gave him.

Listen to this. He trades up from his tarp for a luxury room, which he will keep through Thanksgiving weekend.


C. CUOMO: New clothes, free room service, $500 in cash and a makeover. What's more, people have gotten the word, just like you are right now. They're sending notes, cash as well -- trying to give him the things he needs to help himself. Joel says he is going to use it all to try to turn his life around. Take a listen.


JOEL HARTMAN, GOOD SAMARITAN: This is just too much, man. I've really got a lot to prove now.


BOLDUAN: Got a lot to prove now.

C. CUOMO: The more you're dealing with, the harder it is. But we wish him well and he did the right thing and certainly he was our dose of "The Good Stuff" today.

BOLDUAN: All right.

C. CUOMO: right.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Joel's the good stuff. Also talking to the governor was a good stuff.

C. CUOMO: My good, dear friends.

BOLDUAN: Time now for NEWSROOM with Carol Costello. Carol -- take it away.

PEREIRA: We love you.

BOLDUAN: We love you.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I will. Have a great day. "NEWSROOM" starts now.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Happening now in the "NEWSROOM", travel crunch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We decided to leave early and we're just keeping our fingers crossed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roads are really slick and it's seen a lot of actions already.


COSTELLO: 43 million of us all trying to get home.

The Macy's parade carefully watching the storm. Will Snoopy, Pokemon and Spongebob be grounded?