CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Shooting at Nevada Medical Building; Government Wasting Tax Dollars?; Harry Stiles Wins Battle Over Paparazzi

Aired December 17, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: We have breaking news out of Reno, Nevada, tonight. We`re going to show you right now live pictures of something that is occurring right now outside a medical building, again, in Reno, Nevada.

We can tell you that authorities are telling us the shooter is dead, but at least two others are injured. We`re talking, once again, about gun violence.

As we look at this live picture from Reno, Nevada, it was just a couple of days ago I was doing a report on something else when, again, breaking news: a shooting at a high school in Colorado. That shooter, dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a beautiful young girl in that case was severely injured.

And then it was just this past Sunday that I was sitting at home, watching television, just trying to relax, and the show I was watching was interrupted by, again, reports of a shooting in a public place. This time, at a mall in New Jersey.

What the hell is going on in our country? Every single day, it seems, or every other day there is a shooting in a public place. And some of them horrifically turn into mass shootings. You know what I`m talking about. We`re talking about schools. We`re talking about malls. We`re talking about movie theaters. There is a sickness, a toxic, toxic situation in our country.

Jon Leiberman, HLN contributor and investigator, it`s not my imagination. It`s happening more and more.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: No, it is, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll talk about our other issues. But this -- you know, we get -- we get so sucked into the details of these particular events that we`re not looking at the big picture. Something`s wrong!

LEIBERMAN: And part of the big picture, Jane, is this. These men and women at this medical center got up this morning. They went to work to take care of others. And now they`re having to take care of each other because of the shooting there.

We do have breaking news, Jane. The deputy police chief there has just come out and said that one person, a victim, has died in the shooting. So that`s two total now. That`s the suspect and now one victim has died. And it looks like two others are injured.

And yes. Look, the media gets a lot of criticism for sensationalizing these things, but we`re not making these up. It is happening more and more. And frankly, when we become a society when you can`t go to work and feel safe, we have major problems.

And again, I will confirm that the deputy police chief is confirming that one victim is dead and the suspect killed himself, and at least two others injured. And it appears that the shooter was in this building for almost 15 minutes. So can you imagine that 15 minutes of horror in that building that you`re looking at right now on your screen?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeanne Zaino, a professor of political science at Iona College, Huff Po contributor. I will say it again. There is something wrong in our culture right now. I mean, this is the holiday season. We are supposed to be getting ready -- and I know people of all denominations and all faiths -- and we`re celebrating all sorts of different things. But among them, the birth of Christ. A celebration that`s supposed to be about peace, turning the other cheek, nonviolence. And what is happening with our country?

JEANNE ZAINO, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE: Well I`ll tell you, Jane, one of the things that is happening is that we have a government that isn`t working.

The number I have is 30,000 people have died of gun violence since Sandy Hook. Can you imagine? Thirty thousand people of gun violence. Now that is astounding. And yet Congress has done nothing on gun control, on mental health, even on issues of gaming and entertainment that may be contributing to this violence.

So a huge piece of this is the fact that we have a do-nothing Congress that has passed the lowest amount of bills of any Congress in 40 years. They`re at home for the holidays with their family now. At least the House and the Senate soon. And yet people are still dying on the streets of this country of gun violence, and something has got to be done about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when the politicians do act -- and we`re going to get to this in a second. There`s a shocking new report revealing 30 billion tax dollars wasted, completely wasted on ridiculous, absurd, idiotic U.S. government programs. And I want to get to that in a second.

But so when they do act, they do stupid pork-barrel things. You know, backroom deals about completely idiotic programs. And we have a crisis in this country, and nobody is even talking about it.

And I`ve got to tell you, I want to have this conversation all the time. And often I`m told it`s too early. It`s too early to have this conversation. Because there are people grieving. And I respect -- my heart goes out to the innocent person who lost their life, it would appear, here. As well as the gunman, is what we`re hearing.

And look at these people. This is a live picture. These are average Americans, responsible people doing a job, doing a very important job, trying to keep people healthy in this country, and they`re -- they`re sidetracked by this violence. We keep getting sidetracked by this violence.

Ellis Henican, "Newsday" columnist, I don`t want to get into the gun control dough bait. People have very strong feelings on either side. And you know, you`re not going to really convince one or the other. It`s kind of like the abortion issue. There are certain other -- there are issues that you could waste your time trying to argue with people, because they have their opinions.

But something else beyond that has to -- has to be at work here, because we have a tendency now to resort to violence. Look at the situation with this Colorado shooter in the school. Oh, he was on the debate team and -- oh, he had a little argument with one of the teachers? You know, who can remember back in high school where you might have been on the debate team, which I was, and might have had a little dispute with one of your teachers? Why is it today that that`s resulting in gun violence?

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, "NEWSDAY": I do not believe, Jane, that we are a less moral country than we used to be. We`re not an angrier country. We`re not a crazier country. Something has changed. And that something -- I hate to say it. But it`s the proliferation of firearms, especially high- powered firearms.

When people get mad, when people get crazy, as they always have, it is much easier for more of them today to turn to deadly force. The angry and the crazy person shoots today, and that wasn`t as easily available before. That -- that, Jane, is what has changed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go back to Jon Leiberman. I want to get a brief update on what`s going on right now in Nevada, in Reno, Nevada. You`re looking at live pictures of these folks in this medical building. They`re obviously terrified. There`s been some horror. Give us a brief update, and then we`re going to move on to the next outrage, which is another example of government incompetence. Listen. Go ahead.

LEIBERMAN: Jane, what we have right now is there`s an active homicide investigation going on right now. Law enforcement pulling surveillance video from both inside and outside, though they do have the shooter. The shooter was found on the third floor of this medical center there, dead. They have the shooter. They believe there was only one shooter. They have confirmed now -- police, that is -- that one victim has died. At least two others wounded.

And right now the investigation starts into, first of all, identifying that shooter, who is dead. And then, of course, notifying the next of kin of the victim that is dead, and this investigation still in the very, very early stages. But thoughts and prayers to all of our friends there in Reno.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Absolutely.

LEIBERMAN: It`s a very scary situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got to talk about this as a culture. We`ve got to say something is wrong. Something is wrong. Let`s figure out what it is, and then we can attack it. But first you have to acknowledge. Just like addiction. Before you can get help for an addiction, you have to acknowledge that your life is out of control, that your life has become unmanageable.

Our lives have become unmanageable in this country. Imagine people around the world looking at this. Every time they turn on CNN or HLN, there`s another shooting.

All right. Now we`re going to talk about our other big issue. And this is my rant. Ridiculous, absurd, idiotic U.S. government spending.

You will not believe $30 billion of waste that has been documented in a new report that just came out tonight. The list of nonsense we`ve been paying for is insane. Thirty billion dollars they have taken from us, the taxpayers.

This list was not put together by some fringe group. Tonight a conservative U.S. senator is the one pulling back the curtain to show when politicians say they can`t find anything to cut, they`re lying through their teeth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: One hundred examples that total -- get this -- $30 billion.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The No. 1 item on Coburn`s holiday list is $400 million spent through the government shutdown for employees to do nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some grown-up in the room has to question whether or not we`re spending money wisely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Sears catalog of cynicism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here is my rant, fellow taxpayers. We are the suckers paying on both ends. Get this: our government is destroying $7 billion worth of U.S. military equipment that is sitting right now in Afghanistan instead of bringing the stuff home. OK. It`s expensive to bring it home and probably loaded with secret technology we don`t want to leave there. But why are we spending so many billions building things that can`t be repurposed?

Now remember that government shutdown back in October when politicians hit a stalemate over spending? Well, days before that shutdown, the State Department spent $5 million for new hand-blown crystal stemware. Oh, yes. The State Department certainly got its house in order before the printing presses stopped for 16 days. Government waste. Government corruption is the main drug in the new American movie "American Hustle."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Agent DiMasso (ph), placing $75,000 in this briefcase for Mayor Carmine Toledo (ph).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Every year the FBI spends more than $1 million reviewing how the FBI is portrayed in movies.

Here`s one of my favorite idiocies. Our government spent $15,000 million collecting human urine to test it as hay field fertilizer. What a joke, except the joke is on you and me. What are we going to do about it?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Now I want to go back out to political science professor and Huff Po contributor Jeanne Zaino. Politicians are claiming now we have no money to pay for essentials like educational improvements. But they`re still giving money to these ridiculous, ridiculous programs.

ZAINO: Yes, absolutely. And you know, listen, we didn`t get the farm bill passed before Congress went out of session. We`ve got people in this country who are hungry. And they are claiming that they can`t do that because of the cost of the program.

And yet you look at what Tom Coburn has done. And this isn`t just this year. Senator Coburn puts this report together every year. You can look back on it. It`s all posted on his Web site. And it is astounding. I would like some of that $5 million worth of stemware in my house.

But you know what? I can`t afford it. So you don`t get it. And yet, the government seems to have the sense that it can keep doing this same thing over and over again. And the reason why is there`s absolutely no repercussions at the ballot box, so to a certain extent, the American public bears the brunt of the blame here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s because of redistricting, though. I mean, I think the American public -- I was just covering -- and you`ll see it in a second. I did this story on the lottery, which we`re going to give you all the 411 on that in a second. And I said to one guy, I said what would you do if you won? He said, "I`d buy a new Congress."

Hundreds of examples of government wasting our hard-earned money. Hundreds, like the nearly $400,000 of federal research grant money used to study the oddity of the duck penis. I am not making this up. The oddity of the duck penis. And who knows how many ducks they tortured in the process of that stupid laboratory experiment?

They`re doing these idiotic and cruel animal experiments for years. Two years ago, the same senator blew the whistle on $3 million wasted on treadmills for shrimp. Yes, here`s a shrimp running on a treadmill from YouTube. The government is paying for this. The study was to see if sick shrimp had the same endurance on a treadmill as healthy shrimp. Are you kidding me?

So when President Obama says, Ellis Henican, "Newsday" columnist, "Let`s pour billions into research. The future of our country depends on it," do you know what I say? I say, "Mr. President, what research specifically?"

I don`t want to pay for studies on starved hamsters choosing food over sex, a real study funded by our government. Or why caged chimps yawn, another real study funded by our tax dollars. When are we going to give taxpayers and the animals a break here -- Ellis?

HENICAN: I`m out of my head. I`m sorry.

Here`s the problem, Jane. Let`s -- let`s talk about the politics of this for a second.

For every one of these programs, there is a constituency that is being pleased by its existence. And so until our congressmen and senators say, "Hey, we`re going to shut down the military base that we don`t need. We`re going to get rid of the oil subsidies that we don`t need any more, and we`re willing to risk upsetting those constituents." Until that happens, this is just a bunch of empty talk, the idea of cutting it. Nothing is going to get cut.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need either an evolution or a revolution in thinking. Americans are fed up. Something is about to break. We`re hitting the tipping point. You talk about the Arab Spring that occurred in the Middle East. Well, that`s happening. We all have cell phones, too.

And in the United States, people are talking amongst themselves about the corruption and waste in our government. Our spring is coming. These politicians better get it together, or they`re going to face, I predict, a combination of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street that are going to merge and create a new silent majority of people who are sick of this corruption and waste and moral decadence.

All right. Speaking of out of control behavior, I`m talking chaos. I`m talking a feeding frenzy of paparazzi descending on stars. One superstar fighting back, big time. You won`t believe the decision that the courts have made in his favor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TOM COBURN: It`s a compilation of about $30 billion of stupidity, incompetence and waste.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many years have you been putting this book out?

COBURN: This is the fifth or sixth year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever gotten any traction in Congress where members actually say, "You know what? We`re going to get rid of this."

COBURN: No. They don`t pay attention to it, because it`s hard work to get rid of junk. It`s hard work to do oversight. It`s hard work to hold the agencies accountable. And so what they`d do is they get it home, get re-elected, and continue to spend money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our government is broken. Check this out. God only knows how many millions or billions probably this took. Military`s high- tech spy games and intended toys, they`re costing us billions. This is supposedly the new super-secret Air Force drone. An unmanned tiny spy plane that can fly for 24 hours behind enemy lines and give the U.S., they say, a critical advantage, spying on other countries.

Why are we so obsessed with spying? Spying, spying, spying. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This aircraft will actually be able to penetrate that border, and go in and do operations in and around an enemy`s air space without being targeted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine what the billions spent on that could have been doing to help our educational system. Basically, we rank 30th now among students in 65 nations in math. Shouldn`t we be putting the money into that instead of these toys?

Let`s go to Shelly, California. Shelly, what have you got to say?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. As far as the wasteful spending, maybe we should start talking to some of the people who say they are Tea Party members. Because Tea Party stands for taxed enough already. And I also want to thank you for bringing awareness to cruelty to animals. Thank you very much. I appreciate, Jane. Have a good day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Shelly, for that. And let me go to Jeanie Zaino -- Jeanne Zaino. I do feel that there`s a lot of commonalities. If you take away the bedroom issues and certain things that nobody`s ever going to agree on, the kind of things you don`t discuss at the dinner table when you`re all gathered at Thanksgiving. You know what I`m talking about. Like abortion, religion.

But there`s a lot of things that the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street people agree on. Namely, that this isn`t capitalism anymore, that it`s corporate socialism, that the U.S. government is run by the agencies, the private industries that they`re supposed to regulate. I`m talking about big ag, big pharma. We`re going to talk about that in a second.

The prescription pill addiction that is causing more people to overdose than illegal drugs. So, you know, why don`t all these people get together, throw out the couple of issues they can`t agree on and unite to throw these bums out?

ZAINO: Yes, you know, Jane, it`s so interesting. Even before the break, I was struck by the fact that you said the Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party members, they do have an awful lot in common. Not just the things you just mentioned but also this kind of profound disgust and distrust of the federal government. And an interest in taking control and taking power back to the people.

So if they could come together and find a third way to do things, it could be a movement like we haven`t seen in this country for a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. And I call it green libertarianism. That`s what I call myself. I`m a green libertarian. Yes. Stop polluting the air and the water and exploiting animals. And then you can have all the capitalism you want.

Later, "Addict Nation." You want to know how millions of people are becoming hooked on drugs? I`m not talking illegal drugs. I`m talking about what`s in the medicine cabinet, what your doctor is prescribing to you. I`m going to talk to one of America`s top models about her own battle with addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just had to eat every pill I have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re found in medicine cabinets everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zanny bars.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they account for almost three-quarters of all overdose deaths in America today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what worries us, because you`re endangering yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The real one direction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m dying. Really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Musical heartthrob gets a major win over the paparazzi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think it`s fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now he has a court order to make that happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty amazing for us. We`re just still kind of getting used to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re not allowed to pursue him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, family`s (ph) gone, but the fans are still here and still screaming.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The buzz tonight, mega boy band, one; paparazzi, zero. New Direction`s Harry Stiles has just won a major victory against the handful of photographers -- you know the ones I`m talking about -- the ones who stalk this teen heartthrob`s every move, as most stars know.

The British paparazzi are even more ruthless than the American paps. A British judge just ruled that a few extremely photographers have to stop following Harry in a car or motorcycle. They cannot put him under surveillance. They must stay more than 150 feet away from his home.

But fear not, One Direction super fans, Harry`s attorney stressed the singer still wants to sign autographs. He wants to take pictures with his adoring fans. It`s not about the fans, fans like the screaming fans who showed up in droves for the premiere of One Direction`s documentary "This is It."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRY STILES, MEMBER OF ONE DIRECTION: We`re going a bakery that I used to work in.

Barbara!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harry!

STILES: It`s nice spending time with people who know what I`m actually like.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) my real mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re completely nervous. Really excited.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Harry is a very good-looking, very rich, very famous 19-year-old. No, I don`t feel sorry for him whatsoever. But you know, some of these paparazzi, they are just vicious. They act like hunters. Stars can feel like they`re being stalked, like they`re prey. Sometimes these paps do need a smack-down.

But it does open a Pandora`s box. For example, could politicians use the same argument to keep reporters who need to ask important questions away? Where does it end?

I say it`s OK to punish specific individuals for stalking, and I don`t care what they do for a living. But it`s not OK to limit photographers or the news media in general.

Straight out to Dorothy Cascerceri, host, "Celebrity Corner."

And I just want to get your sense. Because I feel that if we start really kowtowing to these celebrities, who I do not feel sorry for, we`re going to endanger civil liberties, especially freedom of the press.

DOROTHY CASCERCERI, HOST, "CELEBRITY CORNER": I could not agree with you more, Jane. I mean, the bottom line is that when Harry Stiles first saw a photo of himself in a magazine that was taken by a paparazzo, that was a career highlight. And now he`s saying, "Photographers, get away. Leave me alone?" I mean, it`s crazy.

All of these celebrities have to imagine that they have this fame, they have this fortune and along with it, they have a different idea of the privacy that they`re going to expect. Not the same kind of privacy that we have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I bet Justin Bieber is cheering Harry Stiles` court victory versus the British paps. Because the Bieb-ster had his own nasty run-in with photographers, as you may remember, earlier this year across the pond in jolly old London.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful, guys, with that equipment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re in our way. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you say? You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sorry. Simone Bienne, behavior expert. He comes off as a little bratty to me and entitled. I don`t feel sorry for this one either.

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Look, Jane, I never disagree with you. I love you! But I`m going to disagree with you.

Quite frankly, in London, the paparazzi are scum, and we think they should be forced to eat their own toenails. So this isn`t about protecting celebrities; this is about not harassing them. There`s a huge difference between privacy and harassment.

And of course, in the United Kingdom, we haven`t got the First Amendment. So it means that we are bound by the European convention, which means that there is a right to privacy. And I think I`m on Harry`s side.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! Well, could that be because you are currently in London? In fact, I think I see the London Bridge right behind you, honey.

BIENNE: It could be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you also have a British accent. Maybe that has something to do with it. All right.

BIENNE: But I think, Jane, the point is that they are so aggressive here. We have the most aggressive paparazzi in the world. And like you say, this is stalking and this is harassment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s so funny. Because every time I`ve been in London, everybody is so polite. So I guess the small group of impolite people become paparazzo.

Vanessa, North Carolina, what you got to say?

CALLER: Hi, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure.

CALLER: I totally agree. Kudos to Harry. It is stalking. It does not matter. It`s his career. He has a right to privacy like anybody else, regardless of what his career is. Nobody follows you around because you`re an anchorperson. So I just think it`s unfair. People are getting injured. They`re being paid to stalk.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I agree with you to a certain degree. But I, myself, have had a microphone in my hand, with a camera person behind me, chasing after celebrities to ask them questions. And I don`t want to be stopped from doing that. I feel that`s my right as a journalist and as a citizen.

Sometimes my questions are important and, you know, you give all this power to these celebrities and all of a sudden we`re really going to have a one percent that is living a different life than the rest of us.

All right. Time for "Me, My Pet and I. Tweet us your pet selfies at #jvmpetselfie or send them to hlntv.com/jane. Donna and Cabo -- very mysterious, but attractive. Megan and Bo -- I love you and I think you love each other. And wait a minute, is that the Beibster? No. That`s Danielle and Roxy and you look very foxy Danielle and Roxy. Evelyn and Zoso -- what a cute couple. Look at Angelieta, Harley and Junebug -- that`s a trio for all time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big story, America`s escalating prescription pill addiction epidemic. It was gut wrenching to see that little boy screaming and hollering because his mommy, Courtney, was more interested in scoring and snorting highly- addictive, mood-altering prescription pills than she was on taking care of her five-year-old son.

That`s from MTV`s "True Life: I`m Addicted to Pills." I`m happy to say Courtney and Dan, the other person profiled are now both in recovery. But because they had the courage to let the cameras see what being hooked on pills is really like, we`re getting a behind the scenes, closed-door look at a prescription pill epidemic that is really wreaking havoc on America. It kills more Americans than illegal street drugs.

Here`s Dan`s story from MTV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL, MTV`S "TRUE LIFE": My name is Daniel. I`m 29 years old. And I`m addicted to prescription pills. I`ve been using pills for a little over ten years and my habit has gotten so bad that I`ve started injecting to get a more intense high.

Whoo. All righty -- ready to start the day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to celebrity model Lisa D`Amato. Lisa, you became famous after winning "America`s Next Top Model". What a gorgeous young woman you are. You ended up on celebrity rehab for alcohol and drug addiction reportedly. Now you have courageously -- and I applaud you -- agreed to come on to talk to us tonight because we`ve really been talking about the changing face of addiction, particularly prescription pills.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Tell us about this incident with Vicodin and what happened.

LISA D`AMATO, AMERICA`S NEXT TOP MODEL: Well, I mean personally for me, my whole thing was my best friends were Pinot Noir and Merlot, like years ago. But just recently, I split my face open this year. And it`s interesting because living such a healthy lifestyle and then getting prescribe for the pain meds, being on Vicodin, I mean it felt so good, I totally get why people are addicted to prescription meds.

Personally for me, I rushed to get off of them as soon as possible, because I wasn`t about to go down any route like that again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you were on Vicodin and you fell and split your face open. And you`re beautiful. And your entire career is based on your beauty. So that must have been a crisis point for you.

D`AMATO: It was -- it was interesting. I`m really positive, so I -- you know, I looked at it in a more positive light and just thought that it was -- I was just going to build more character through the pain. But -- yes, I`m fine.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m glad you`re fine. And I`m glad you`re ok. And I`m glad you`re talking to us about this.

Now, we`re talking about, though, the problem. America is not fine. We are in the throes of prescription pill epidemic. We`ve been talking about this and we`re going to be talking it about it all week long. The outrageous story, ok?

For example, you want to talk about addiction in this country, a 16- year-old wealthy boy who was driving drunk, high on valium and booze and killed four people -- there he is, Ethan Couch -- leaving a fifth in a coma. There`s outrage because the judge in Texas gave him no jail time. Instead, he got probation and rehab. He is expected to go to the high- price Newport Academy rehab in Newport Beach at a reported cost of almost half a million dollars a year.

Now straight out to Jamison Monroe, who`s a friend of our show and who happens to run the Newport facility -- Jamison, thanks for coming on. Yes, I know that critics are saying, and I agree. If you`re not wealthy -- come on, it`s a two-tiered system of justice. You`re often locked up or at best ignored.

I mean not everybody can afford to go to your excellent facility. And I`m not criticizing your facility. What I am saying however is $500 billion a year spent on the consequences of addiction in this country -- I`m talking about the criminal justice system; the medical situation as a result of addiction. But only two cents of every dollar goes to prevention or treatment.

JAMISON MONROE, NEWPORT ACADEMY: Jane, I`m having a little trouble hearing you, but I`m a huge proponent of treatment over incarceration. As you probably know, the United States compromises 5 percent of the population of this world, yet we incarcerate 25 percent of those people in prison. So we incarcerate people at five times the level of any other country.

And, arguably, there is no reform in prison. Most people are locked up for periods of time. They get no access to mental health or psychotherapy services in order to try and change their ways or atone for their crimes.

And I`m really proud of this judge, the fact that she is taking a stand. She has been on that bench almost 20 years.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the 14-year-old who punched somebody in the face and they died and that 14-year-old African-American boy got ten years reportedly, did hard time. I mean it`s a double standard there.

MONROE: The judge tried to find a treatment center for that 14-year- old. But because it was an act of violence with intent and the psychological assessment showed zero remorse, there wasn`t a treatment facility that could find him -- or would take him. The court could not take someone that -- could not find a treatment center that would take him.

So here you have a crime that`s committed under the influence, arguably in a blackout. That`s a little bit of a different situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do think there`s a two-tiered system of justice. But Jamison Monroe, I respect you. And I want to also say thanks again to Lisa D`Amato, a model. I wish you the very best and thank you for having the courage to speak about your experience.

On the other side, the holiday spirit lifted by Lotto fever. Oh, my gosh. I was out there. I got my ticket. I bought a ticket at a place that`s a lucky store. And I`ll take you there in a second. You won`t believe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love you guys, but I just don`t -- I don`t go for that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s lucky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s lucky.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s lucky because he has good karma.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m holding on to these. I mean this is a lucky store is what I`m being told.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crazy Video of the Day, this black bear duo dropping in for a swim tops -- well, tops my list of anything.

Look at this. A woman -- you see her iPhone recorded this unbelievable play date on her back patio. These two bears hung around for an hour and they enjoyed the pool and then they took off. And the woman loved it took some video of it. It was all good, peaceful and playful.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In just over three hours, at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, sharp, the winning numbers are going to be called. And the lucky winner could be $636 million richer -- $636 million, $636 million. I can`t stop saying it. Good luck to the winner -- could be me.

I took to the streets and I bought my ticket for tonight`s drawing. And I ran into a whole bunch of people who are convinced they are going to win. Here is "Straight Talk from the Street".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t care -- I`m marching in the slush. Because I`m on the way to buy my Lotto ticket, my mega millions. Out of my way, I`m going to get the mega millions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re buying lottery tickets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re buying lottery tickets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, how are you. Look, one of our own staffers here, buying a ticket. You`ve got a whole system. I see, I see you have a book ma`am. There`s a book with numbers? You have to show this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just pick like ancestors that have passed on and numbers that are meaningful to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your (inaudible) 5 and 1.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just make it random. I think a random -- just let the universe decide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ll see if it works, right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The odds of me winning -- or you for that matter are 1 in 259 million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not getting my hopes up too high.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The system got rejiggered a couple of months ago and the odds are even tougher than they ever were. We`re not likely going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are more likely, a thousand times more likely to get hit by an asteroid or a comet than to win this puppy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going across the street. I can`t buy a car but I`m going to try anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And we`re going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have this. This is ours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One woman bought one of these tickets. I could scratch it off right here and won $1 million.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In this store?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this store.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have a chance right here. We`re all winners tonight.

Wait a second, you`re very happy but you haven`t won yet. What`re going to do if you win?

I`d like to give the money to my favorite organizations like PETA and Last Chance for Animals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to Retire. Rest a little.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s it? Just sit in your rocking chair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not that old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your recliner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not that old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hatch a therapeutic riding center for autistic kids in Harrisburg.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would buy a new congress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right up there. I love it. I love it. I would buy a new congress -- yes, let`s do it -- a whole new congress. I hope you win. I really do. Right after me. Together, we`ll split the ticket. How about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m coming after you if you win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Turbeau -- you turbo charge the holiday season with that outfit. Cocoa -- you are my flavor of the month, of the year. Grizzly Bear -- you are just so adorable with those antlers. And Maggie May -- you are the favorite song I ever heard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, little Miss Foxy, tonight in our Animal Investigations Unit we`re fighting to protect America`s wild horses. Right now there are about 45,000 wild horses being kept in U.S. government holding pens, at taxpayer expense. What`s worse, about 700 of these horses are in open pens in Wyoming and Utah where temperatures dip below 20 degrees. And 20 degrees below zero with the wind chill, at night and the person responsible for putting these horses there and keeping them there, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALLY JEWEL, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: Horses are really good as reproducing --- 20 percent a year. That means the herd doubles in size every three and a half years. That`s a lot of horses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the truth is, the wild horse population has been decimated by our U.S. government, which keeps rounding them up, using terrorizing helicopters. What Sally Jewel doesn`t say is that there used to be millions out there. She also refuses to tell us what she`s going to do with the 45,000 horses she`s holding in these holding pens.

We have called repeatedly. She will not answer our question. What happens to these horses long term? Why won`t she answer that simple question? What do you plan to do? Are you going to keep these horses in these holding pens forever?

Critics are furious. Many saying the horses in places like Utah and Wyoming look like they`re freezing to death. In the wild, horses could use natural wind breaks like gulleys or low-lying areas not to mention they can run around and stay warm. In these pens, they have very limited movement.

The BLM, the Bureau of Land Management, claims these horses are fine -- nothing to see here. But one well-known photographer visited one of these pens in Rock Springs, Wyoming and says the horses look like they`re suffering.

Joining me now is that wild horse advocate and noted photographer Carol Walker. Carol, you brought these pictures of the horses huddled together in the snow to show us, and we`re going to show these pictures while you`re talking. The BLM claims -- there`s the statement. Oh, they`re providing these horses with wind breaks, food, and water, and check them to make sure they`re healthy.

What did you see when you went to this facility with these horses?

CAROL WALKER, WILD HORSE ADVOCATE: Well, Jane, I went that morning, and these horses had been rounded up just a week ago, and it was snowing, and the wind was howling. It was hard to walk to the viewing area.

And I saw the horses huddled together. They looked absolutely miserable, and those that were more dominant were eating and those that were less dominant were standing there just looking miserable. And it was particularly hard to see the mares and foals, and some of those foals are not very old and there was no way for them to get shelter out of the wind.

And this is not atypical. Other short-term holding facilities of the BLM also do not provide any shelter in the summer when it`s blistering heat over 102 degrees in Nevada.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you make of the fact that we call the Interior Secretary, Sally Jewel repeatedly and asked her office, what are you going to do with these horses and they refuse to answer? They say, "No comment". Or they give us some video of her talking about something that doesn`t answer the question.

How is it that our government can be so unresponsive? I mean, they don`t answer individuals but they don`t even answer a major news organization that calls them repeatedly and ask them a very simple question.

You have 45,000 wild horses sitting in these holding pens languishing as temperatures drop and you don`t tell us what you`re going to do with them? What`s your response to that, Carol? Why do you think they will not tell us?

WALKER: I`m certainly hoping, Jane, it isn`t because they`re planning to send them to slaughter. I`ve been very upset that Sally Jewel has been very unresponsive to any of our questions to her. And these horses are so much better off in the wild. That`s where they belong. They should not be rounded up by helicopters and stuck in these pens. There`s plenty of room for these horses. It`s all political that`s putting them there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s all about, the Interior Department representing industry that wants the land.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER: What`s your name?

Josh. Say hello to Josh. Josh called me earlier. He`s got something he wants to tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Slice of Happiness -- a Justin Timberlake fan pops the question during a JT concert on bended knee. She said yes.

Good luck. Good luck.

END