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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Praying for a Christmas Miracle; Interview with Barbara Walters; Interview with Ann Coulter
Aired December 17, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, exclusive, praying for a Christmas miracle, a 13-year-old girl goes into hospital to have her tonsils taken out. Then, every parent's nightmare. Something goes horribly, horribly wrong. Now her family is fighting to keep the hospital from taking her off life support. I'll talk to her mother live tonight. Plus, the woman who sits down with presidents, dictators, the famous, and the infamous, and tonight she is sitting down with me. Barbara Walters. Who are her most fascinating people of 2013? And speaking of fascinating, only one woman could possibly say never trust a liberal over 3, especially a Republican. She is of course Ann Coulter, and she's back with me as a little pre-Christmas present. Can't wait to catch up.
And now I want to bring in the woman who covered every big story for the past 60 years, and she's not done yet, despite announcing her retirement. Everyone who's anybody has talked to Barbara Walters, and her ten most fascinating people of 2013 airs tomorrow night on ABC. And Barbara, I'm delighted to say (inaudible) the queen of television. How are you?
BARBARA WALTERS, BROADCAST JOURNALIST: Well, that's such a lovely introduction. I'm very well. Thank you, Piers. And just so you're not here so I can reach out and pat you on the cheek. I just do. Sort of.
MORGAN: Well, I wish I could -- I wish I could ...
WALTERS: Pat you on the cheek.
MORGAN: Well, I wish I could feel your rather festive Christmas sweater which is ...
MORGAN: ... resplendent on my screen at the moment.
WALTERS: Yes, and I have a little Santa Claus. Can you see my little Santa Claus maybe? I'll move it up.
MORGAN: I can.
WALTERS: There you go. There is my Santa.
MORGAN: And he's peaking out of the top, there he is.
WALTERS: There he is. It's a good time be here, you know.
MORGAN: I suppose the obvious question to -- the obvious question to that is it a white or black Santa Claus given all the controversy at the moment?
WALTERS: You know, I find that so sad that it has now become a racial question. I mean, Santa Claus should be whatever kids imagine that Santa Claus (inaudible) and then now has racial overtones and we were discussing this on my own program. And it makes me sad.
MORGAN: I completely agree with you as always, Barbara Walters. Let's turn to the obvious second question which is why are you retiring? To me, you're still the preeminent interviewer in the world on television. Where are you going?
WALTERS: Well, you have to go sometime. I mean maybe you don't. But I want to go while people say what you just said to me why are you going rather than is she still here? And I felt that -- it isn't that I've interviewed everybody. There are people whom I haven't interviewed. But I've interviewed every presidents since Richard Nixon. I've interviewed almost every big movie star. I just felt -- I just felt it was time to go.
Now, when I leave am I going to say "Oh dear, I shouldn't have gone another week, another month." maybe. But in my gut, I just feel it's time to go and I look forward to not having to do homework and not having to show up at a particular time.
I don't know. You know, Piers, you and I will talk again after I've left and I will give you my best advice and tell you that you should never retire. But it does feels right today.
MORGAN: Let's turn to this -- the most fascinating list because it's a thing that people that taught you every year maybe because it's always quite eclectic. You always mix in some politicians, some celebrities, the odd rogue name. Tell me about this year's list. Who do you think is the most controversial entries?
WALTERS: This is our 21st year. I don't think there is any special that's been on this many years. And I began it because truthfully, I was tired of just doing celebrities and movie stars and this, you know, not that there's anything wrong with that. But this gave us also an opportunity to do people in other fields. So this is the list of 2013.
Now, the number one most fascinating, we keep it a secret. You'll have to tune in tomorrow night we're on from 9:30 to 11. And before 11, you will find out who the most fascinating. But I'll redo some of the names and you can tell me if you agree. Miley Cyrus, you know, Miley Cyrus and the tongue?
MORGAN: I like Miley Cyrus.
WALTERS: I do too. And she -- and this is a girl who I interviewed five years ago. She was 16-year-old. She was a kid and she has made that transformation now. And she is a very big star and she's being criticized for being, you know, too suggestive, taking the clothes off. But I give a great credit for making that transformation, you know, she was engaged at 19. And she realized, you know what, I'm too young.
And what we are finding with Miley is that she is trying to find where she fits and who she is and learn to be alone. And she's been surrounded by people and she's a very big talent and her last -- her last album was a huge success. So I really liked talking to her and see how she has changed in the five years since we spoke. That was fun for me.
MORGAN: Now, where is Barack Obama on this list? No sign of the President or the First Lady. But fact you've left them off your most fascinating list, the final one, I think it's quite telling because it comes on a day when Obama's approval ratings and a new Washington Post ABC news poll are even more catastrophic than normal.
WALTERS: But I did not know ...
MORGAN: I think he will say, "Well ...
WALTERS: I didn't know.
MORGAN: ... even Barbara doesn't find him fascinating anymore."
WALTERS: No, that's -- I don't interview the same person every month. We did the Obamas for a special for an hour in December. And the two of them when they're together are at their most charming. Sure, he could have been in the list but I wouldn't have been asking him very much the same questions and I thought that there were people who were, if not the President, a little more interesting. What is this remind you of? Quack. You know? The Duck Dynasty.
MORGAN: That's the Duck Dynasty, you're right.
WALTERS: Now, he might have been president of the United States but, you know, the head of the Duck Dynasty, Uncle Si, they are very original and they are fascinating and they're one of the top reality shows in the year. So, you know, the President of the United States, quack, the President of the United States ...
MORGAN: I cannot believe you are genuinely looking at me down that camera lens and saying you find a bunch of guys that hunt ducks more than (inaudible) the President of United States (inaudible) which is however ...
WALTER: I did not know and I don't want to go down in history as having said that.
MORGAN: Let me ask you this.
MORGAN: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?
WALTER: While you've touched on it to a degree. He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be, I shouldn't say this its Christmas time, but the next messiah and the whole ObamaCare or whatever you want to call that Affordable Health Act. It just hasn't worked for him and he stumbled around on it and people feel very disappointed because they expected more. It's very difficult when the expectations for you are very high, you know. I'm much better off when they're low and you -- and then they rise and rise, his was very high and they'd drop. But, you know, he still have several years to go. What does he have? Three years more, Piers? And, you know, there will be a lot changes among things in that time.
MORGAN: Hillary Clinton was your first ever winner of most fascinating person of the year in 1993. If she wins the presidency in 2016 that will be, by my calculation, 23 years after you first spotted her abilities.
WALTERS: I have interviewed Hillary Clinton in the course of the 10 most fascinating people three times. I've interviewed Bill Clinton three times. I've interviewed Sarah Palin three times. They are the ones who had been on with us again and again.
And Hillary Clinton, you know, we maybe talking about the next president of the United States. This is a woman who has the ability to change and to grow. And I think that in so many ways, this is, I was trying to say I think she's terrific but that sounds too easy. I think to watch what has happened with her from the good days and the difficult days in the White House and I interviewed her and when her whole healthcare plan went, you know, way down and to see how she's grown and what she has accomplished. I think it's quite wonderful to se and she may very well be the first female president of the United States. No small (inaudible) ...
MORGAN: Two other names on your list that left out of me. One, Edward Snowden ...
MORGAN: ... who only yesterday had a court in America basically vindicating what he did. Do you think he's a hero or a villain or a bit of both?
WALTERS: Well, you know, that what's so fascinating and it depends on what side you're on. Look, whenever there is somebody who is a whistleblower there are people who say, "Isn't this great?" and people who say, "It's one step before treason." The fact that he has now -- that the Supreme Court have said what they said about him and that's an enormous victory for him. And I think history will have to wait to see on whether he is that hero or that villain but it is one of the most interesting cases we have had.
You know, remember the Pentagon papers, remember Daniel Ellsberg and, you know, was he a hero? Was he not? I mean that kind of controversy and this isn't the same -- the same guy.
MORGAN: Absolutely right. Let's take a short break, Barbara. Can we come back and talk about Pope Francis? Certainly my -- one of my people of the year as a Catholic. And also the other celebrities who the made the list, Jennifer Lawrence, Robin Roberts, Kim Kardashian with Kanye West, a rare double there. Let's discuss this all about it after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: You know that you're a star when everybody talks about your hair.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: That was so bizarre. When anybody's like, "What is the weirdest thing about all of it?" Probably seeing my hair cut?
WALTERS: Are you a different person now? (inaudible).
ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC'S GOOD MORNING AMERICA ANCHOR: I better be. I don't want to be the same person. I think that everything happens for a reason, for a purpose.
DUCK DYNASTY: My family and ducks. And we start out with fights first then we got down to family ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Loud.
DUCK DYNASTY: Then, we shoot ducks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, Barbara Walters reveals the 10 most fascinating people of the year. And Barbara's back with me now.
I just want to talk quickly about Pope Francis. This extraordinary man who only today is his 77th birthday, I think today. And he chose to celebrate it with four homeless men that he just brought in to the Vatican and he had tea with them to celebrate his birthday. Again, another sign of his intrinsic humility which seems to capture the world's attention. What do you make of him?
WALTERS: Well, I should point out that much as we would have loved to have interviewed the pope, he has not done an interview. And no pope in the past has done a television interview. If anyone does, I would think it would be Pope Francis because there's so much about him that's new and refreshing and I can imagine it happening.
But, you know, what I think people of any faith feel about him, of any religion, is the fact that he seems so unjudgmental and the fact that he has the humility that you talk about. He's an extremely and engaging and quite delightful pope. And of course if you're a Catholic and it is also your faith, he's a wonderful spiritual leader.
So even though, I couldn't interview him he's certainly had to be in our list.
MORGAN: He's also made another list which is he made the cover of Advocate magazine, the gay magazine. They made him man of the year. Pretty extraordinary achievement for a Catholic pope like Francis but he did it because of his, you know, again, very nonjudgmental comments about gays, and gay marriage, and so on. Is that a sign you think of a whole new papacy, a whole new Catholic church going forward?
WALTERS: It's a sign of some changes in the Catholic Church. There's, you know, there's still a lot of people who are still disputing whether celibacy is necessary which is a basic part of the Catholic Church and for the past many centuries. But the fact that he was none judgmental, the fact that he literally opened his arms and said, "You know, it doesn't matter what your sexuality is. That's not my business." That's what he said.
He didn't come out and say, "I'm for it. I'm against it. It's a good thing to get married. Don't get married." He just said, "That's not my business."
And I think that was an enormously important and refreshing. It's a very big step coming from the pope.
MORGAN: Completely agree. Now, on the celebrity front. I love Jennifer Lawrence too. She's an absolute breath of fresh air, isn't she?
MORGAN: Funny, mischievous, brilliant actress, a charming to talk to. What do you make of her?
WALTERS: Well, first of all she has said, "I don't know what's going to come out of my mouth." So if somebody says to you, "I don't know what I'm going to say", you say, "Whoopi. What a great interview." You know, this is -- I'm not only Whoopi Goldberg but it -- what it means is, "Hooray. Somebody is going to say something new and refreshing."
And what I liked about her is the very thing that she sort of complaining about is that she is normal. She is refreshing. She's young. She's trying to find her way. She's 23 years old and just won an Oscar and has all kinds of new pictures coming out, you know, which are getting huge acclaim. And she's a delight to talk to.
So, you know, not every celebrity as you know is a pleasure to speak with and not when they're young. "I don't want to answer this and I don't want to answer that." And that's their right. But with her, she said, "Okay. I'm going to do an interview so you ask me the questions. I'm going to give you the answers."
MORGAN: You got a couple in there. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Are you a fan of theirs? They're very divisive as a couple, aren't they?
WALTERS: I am a fan of both of this. Look, Kim does not expect to be (inaudible) the world but she is hardly a dumb girl. And she handles herself well. She is beautiful. She's entertaining. That's what she does.
You know, there was this time -- did you ever see a show called "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"? Okay, I'm going to do something of it.
MORGAN: I did. I did.
WALTERS: Okay. Do you remember there was one of the characters was this beautiful, beautiful girl, and they said to her, "What do you do?" You know, and she said, "I'm lovely, absolutely lovely, just by being lovely, that's what I do." Kim Kardasdhian, Okay?
And Kanye? I mean he's an enormous talent. Are you laughing with me or at me?
MORGAN: I'm with you. You've been talking like a duck, you've been doing crazy impressions of Kim Kardashian.
WALTERS: It must be Christmas.
MORGAN: I'm seeing a whole new standup career.
WALTERS: But, you know, he's a huge, very edgy talent. And the two of them are together, an attractive and exciting young couple, so why not? Good for them.
MORGAN: I agree. I -- actually, I like Kim Kardashian and also with Kanye. I just think if you're a genius like he is, geniuses get a pass. If you're a genius, you can do what the hell you like because that's the whole point of being a genius.
In terms of how you select people Barbara for the list, sometimes you choose controversial people, people that are divisive, people -- they're unpopular in some cases. What is your personal criteria for selection?
WALTERS: Well, I like controversial. I don't mind unpopular but I don't want criminals. I don't want scoundrels.
MORGAN: And lets' take a short break. I just wanted to leave a one little cliffhanger. Can you give me even a tiny clue who's number one?
WALTERS: No. I cannot give you a tiny clue who's number one. I want you to watch ...
MORGAN: Thank you very much, Barbara.
WALTERS: I want you to watch and then call me up and say, "Hey, what a great choice."
MORGAN: OK. I knew you wouldn't. I'm just testing to see if you lost any of your splendid character and clearly you haven't. So let's take another break. And when we come back, let me take a look at some of the highlights of your extraordinary career.
In the meantime, do you remember what you told me the last time I asked you about retirement? Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: Of course I'm going to retire. Yes, I'm ...
MORGAN: I can't imagine it.
WALTERS: Well, imagine it. But when I do, it's not like some of the others are like Larry, a predecessor who says, "I'm leaving a show but I'm going to do standup, I'm going to this, I'm going to ... " When I leave, I will leave because I worked my whole life ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Barbara Walters is back with me now, such a stellar career I want to go right into my ten most fascinating questions. I'm going to out you on the spot and I want to put 10 fascinating questions to the most fascinating questioner in the business. And I want you to be quite quick with your answer we're going to rapid fire these. So what has being your most memorable interview? The one you'll repeat again if you have a chance tomorrow.
WALTERS: Monica Lewinsky.
MORGAN: And also ...
WALTERS: And not to repeat but to do a new one.
MORGAN: What has been the most fun personally thrilling outside of that one perhaps with a personal hero.
WALTERS: The most fun? Isn't it awful I'm going to have to pass that I can't think of, you know, I'll think of it later which is the most fun. Comedians are not easy to interview that's why I wouldn't pick them. I don't know let me think.
MORGAN: What about Hugh Jackman giving you a lap dance?
WALTERS: Yes that was pretty good, that was pretty good I love Hugh Jackman. He's a, you know, this is man who can do the most serious roles, the funniest roles, he can sing. I think he has an enormous talent and that fact that he did the lap dance with me. I mean that's no small thing.
MORGAN: In 1977, you spent 10 days traveling around mountains with Fidel Castro and (inaudible) lap. And there were, wide spread rumors given how extremely glamorous you were at that time. There may have been a little fling between you, any truth in that?
WALTERS: Oh please, you know, as I said to people, if -- (inaudible) had interviewed Michael Thatcher would you have said, "Have seen this hanky panky?" You know, I spent a lot of time with Fidel Castro I find them talk about fascinating. I've found him fascinating but no there was -- there wasn't even flirtation. I thought that he was the most interesting man, I know the things he did there were really quite terrible. But we did spend a good deal of time together but not have happen today. I wish I could do another interview but I think he's, I think he's beyond that stage.
MORGAN: Number four, were you ever embarrassed in an interview? Did you have a moment where you look back and think, Oh no ...
WALTERS: Oh I had questions ...
MORGAN: ... why did I do that?
WALTERS: ... yes I mean I do, shoulda, coulda, woulda. Why did I ask that, why didn't I ask that. And I know that sometimes, you know, board is I'm going too far. But I try not to hurt. I'm not a cruel person. And there are ways of getting answers without just going boom. You can say, what's the biggest misconception about you? You can start a question by saying, you know, there are those who say and then you can get away with asking certain things. But I'm not cruel and if I know that something would really -- would really hurt.
I feel differently by the way, Piers about politicians. I am much more daring with a politician than I am with a celebrity they're doing me a favor the celebrity.
MORGAN: Number five, who would you most like to interview, you've never been able to get to?
WALTERS: The Pope has never done an interview, Queen Elizabeth has never done an interview. And whoever is on the news at that moment, right now tonight Edward Snowden.
MORGAN: Number Six, if there was a movie of your life, which actress would you like to play you?
WALTERS: Which actress would I like to play me? Someone young and beautiful, I can't imagine.
MORGAN: Jennifer Lawrence?
WALTERS: Jennifer Lawrence that would be nice. That would not be bad.
MORGAN: It think she have that -- she have that right verve and makes it a great talent and little sense of mischief I think.
WALTERS: I wouldn't mid that ...
MORGAN: She's a naughty girl like you.
WALTERS: I wouldn't mid that at all. That would be real good.
MORGAN: Number seven, if you can invite three people from all the people you've interviewed to a dream dinner party, who would you go for?
WALTERS: Let me just see who we're talking about. Three people of everybody, I would -- I would like to have the -- well does it have to someone I interviewed? Otherwise I'd like to have the Pope, OK? That ...
MORGAN: OK the Pope yes.
WALTERS: ... we have the Pope, you know, it's almost a big -- if you ask me about people in history I'd like to have Jesus, you know.
MORGAN: Yes, the Pope and Jesus that would have been an amazing combination.
WALTERS: Well I tell you -- no they have a lot in common -- that is a -- then I got to pick someone totally on the other side who's, you know, just ...
MORGAN: Who's the greatest celebrity you ever meet Barbara? Who's the biggest star you've ever meet?
WALTERS: You know I'm not good at the biggest or the worst of that, you know, I remember an interview that I did with Clint Eastwood. It's the only time that I got so embarrassed that I had to stop take because I started asking question and he started to flirt with me. This is a little while back, and I fell apart I just, I said stop tape I was a giggly silly girl.
MORGAN: If I could drop to dessert island to the rest of you life and ...
WALTERS: (Inaudible) best and worst and worst and best, if could drop in a dessert island what?
MORGAN: This is a great -- it's a great question for you because you've ...
MORGAN: ... had such an extraordinary life.
MORGAN: So you we're at a dessert island for the rest of your life. No, no, no, I'm going to raise specific three questions.
MORGAN: Which book would you take to read? Which piece of music would you listen to? And which man would you have to accompany you?
WALTERS: Beethoven's Night I guess because it's just, you know, it's so bombastic and it would get me out of my depression to hear that. What was the other? Which book? You know, I've never read the Bible and I would ...
WALTERS: ... I would be first there -- no I never have so I would read the Bible. I've read all different sections of it but I've never read the whole Bible. So that, you know, in a desert island I would have to. What was the third, which man would I -- oh Piers I'd like to have in you desert island with me. And if you ...
MORGAN: I was hoping you'd say that.
WALTERS: If you believe that? Then you ...
MORGAN: We would have such fun.
WALTERS: ... do you believe in Santa Clause? We would have fun.
MORGAN: You look at me and you'd get a mixture of Tarzan and Robinson Crusoe.
WALTERS: And you're so modest that it would be really be tough to spend days and weeks with you.
MORGAN: Off all -- number nine Barbara, of all the presidents that you've meet and interviewed and partied with. Who is the one you would most like to run the country in perpetuity?
WALTERS: I don't think there should be any president who runs the country in perpetuity, that's what someone to fool about our government. We had presidents that run for a third term and we decided we didn't want that.
MORGAN: OK, well final question.
MORGAN: It's kind of not a best or worst, it's more like you've had such an extraordinary life and career and it's continuing I know until you retirement. And I'm sure it'll carry on after that. If you could relive one moment in you life, the moment that brought you the greatest satisfaction, thrill, sadness perhaps I mean what is ...
WALTERS: Can I answer it in a ...
MORGAN: ... to think the moment.
WALTERS: Can I tell you what I regret? When you're talking about life? I regret not having more children, I regret -- I would have loved to have had a bigger family. I have one daughter. I don't have brothers and sisters. I have a sister that I loved and then she was developed mentally challenged I guess is how they put it. I wish I had a bigger family. In terms of my career beyond anything I expected. And I don't know exactly what is going to be like when I stop working. I hope they'll ask back even when nobody else does.
MORGAN: Every week they'll have you back. Don't you worry about that.
WALTERS: That's a good idea. A good idea.
MORGAN: Barbara. It's been an absolute thrill to talk to you. It feels very strange to me to even speak about retirement when it comes to you. But thankfully, there's another great episode of 10 most fascinating people, it's the final one as tomorrow night on ABC. Long may you reign, your majesty. Thank you so much for coming on.
WALTERS: Thank you so much, Piers. Happy Holiday.
MORGAN: When we come back, a family's last hope praying for a miracle and fighting to keep a 13 year old on life support after routine operation goes horribly wrong. I talked to the heartbroken mother.
MORGAN: It could be a parent's nightmare. A 13 year old girl checks onto the hospital to have her tonsils out. What procedure can be more routine but as we speak that child Jahi McMath is on life support.
With me now is Nailah Winkfield, Jahi's mother, also joining me is Omari Sealy, Jahi's uncle and the family's Attorney Christopher B. Dolan. Welcome to all of you. And let me start with you Nailah, this is every parent's nightmare, I'm a Father of four children myself they've had many routine operations like this.
It's the last thing you ever expect to go so badly wrong. What do you think happened here? Do have any explanation for why your daughter just had her tonsils out and now laying in this terrible condition?
NAILAH WINKFIELD, MOTHER OF JAHI MCMATH: I really don't know the reason why. I really don't know the reason what happened but I know she bled a whole lot and it took them a long time to call the doctor before. It just took them a long time to call the doctor. I sat there and I watched my daughter bleed on her mouth and her nose and finally when her, I'm sorry, I just think she bled too much.
MORGAN: She then went into cardiac arrest and she's been classified as brain-dead. The hospital have been trying put pressure on you to try and take her off the life support machine. You don't want to do that. Tell me why you don't to do that.
WINKFIELD: I don't want to set my daughter off life support because I loved my child and I walked her into that hospital and she was perfectly fine. There's was nothing wrong with her. She had no health problems even when she got out of the surgery, I talked to her and the only thing she said was that her throat hurt and that she wanted a Popsicle. And when she got to ICU, that's when everything went bad.
So I don't want her off life support because I really feel like she can wake up after like it's just been a rough week for her and if they just give her some more time then she'll be able to wake up.
MORGAN: Omari, you're Jahi's uncle, it's obviously incredibly distressing for all of you as a family and an incredibly complicated situation between the family's wishes and between what the medical experts believe to be the situation and how they would normally act with this.
They would say I guess that if Jahi is medically brain-dead then there's no hope of recovery and that there's a need to turn off the life support so they can actually examine her properly and get some explanation for what happened. And the longer you leave that, the less chance isn't finding any evidence of what happened. What would you say as a family to that?
OMARI SEALEY: Well, as a family, our faith is so strong that we don't even think about the possibility of death. You're still talking about an autopsy and evidence which Jahi is going to eventually completely pass away.
So, you know, death is so far from our minds and our faith is so strong that we don't even think about that. We were told today that, you know, right now everything that's going wrong with her that she's healing because she's on the ventilator. And as I stated earlier, that's a good thing. She's healing, she's resting and we believe with all the prayers from everyone around the world and the prayers with our family that she will wake up and she will heal completely.
MORGAN: Christopher Dolan, you're an attorney, (inaudible) a very complicated ethical legal dilemma here to be resolved. What is the legal position in terms of who has the final say of what happens now to Jahi?
CHRISTOPHER B. DOLAN, ATTORNEY: Well, I think first, it's important to know that Jahi is a person not evidence and that's part what's been troubling the family. To classify her as evidence and to end life support so that they can find out what happened I think is a ruse.
But ultimately, the decision should lie with the parents. There's a bill of rights, patient rights in California that indicates that the parents should have full opportunity to understand what all of the choices are and to make choices. If this hospital wants to terminate Jahi's life, they should go to court and get a judge to authorize that, not pressure the parent in deciding a document in the middle of the night or telling them at 8:30 tomorrow morning your child will die.
MORGAN: Nailah, we're heading towards Christmas it's obviously a huge time for all families in America. It seems to me what you're hoping and praying for is some kind of Christmas miracle.
WINKFIELD: I am because I really do feel that she will wake up. I can tell you, she'll wake up by Christmas or before Christmas. But I'm looking for kind of miracle for my child because I really need her at home I have a really good daughter. And she's a really big like asset to the family and I just couldn't see her not being at home. She has sisters and brothers and the whole family loves her and she does not deserve to be on the ventilator because she went to the hospital to get help and they did not help her.
So I'm just praying and asking everybody to just pray for her that she will get up. MORGAN: Are you seeing any sign, Nailah, that she is aware of what is happening or can hear you or is reacting in any way which might suggest that she is not as the hospital believe brain dead?
WINKFIELD: Well, I know when I've touched her feet I can take my fingernail and run it up her feet and she'll move them. The first time when I finally build up the courage to go see her I leaned over her ear and I yelled, "Jahi you need to wake up 'cause we need to go home." And she threw both of her arms and the air. And they said, "Oh that's just normal reflexes. That's just nerves." And when I touched her she's still warm. She's still soft and I kissed her and I can just feel her that she will wake up. I really do I just feel like if we give her a chance and give her time she'll wake up because I gave them time to operate on my child and they messed up. So they need to give my child time recuperate.
MORGAN: Well, there will be a parent in America listening to what you just said who doesn't have absolutely enormous sympathy for the plight that you find yourself in Nailah. And my very best wishes to you and to your family and we'll just be praying for Jahi and as you say, you know, miracles happen. And I hope what happens to you will be (inaudible). Thank you very -- thank you very much for joining me.
WINKFIELD: Thank you.
MORGAN: It's a tragic story. A heart breaking ethical problem and joining me now is Arthur L Caplan, Head of the Division on Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. Arthur Caplan, it's heartbreaking to hear any family talking the way that we just have Jahi's family (inaudible). But also at the same time there is an ethical dilemma here. How do we -- how does it get resolved?
ARTHUR L. CAPLAN, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER HEAD OF DIVISION OF MEDICAL ETHICS: Well, Piers it's just an awful tragic situation. Your heart has to go out to the mom and the family. They had a healthy daughter. She went in for a minor procedure for sleep apnea and sadly she has died. You know, when we hear that term brain death sometimes people say, "Is that really the same as being dead?" It is. It's a different way to pronounce death then when your hearts stops, if you brain stops functioning completely and you have that verified. And they did at the hospital by independent doctors who weren't taking care of her. This situation is one in which a legal right to stop is on the doctor's side. We don't treat the dead even when a mom says, "Please give me a chance. I want my daughter to somehow comeback." Death is that end point for treatment. They're going forward and I think trying to be tolerant given the emotions, given the horrible outcome they had in the surgery. But I think the ethical dilemma points toward at some point we're going to have to stop because sadly she has died.
MORGAN: As a statement all the way from the Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, December 17, 20013. "Our hearts go out to this patient and her family. Unfortunately, we have not been authorized by the family to share information with the public about this matter. Consequently, we are not able to correct misperceptions created about this sad situation. Nonetheless, we want to assure the community that we are doing everything in our capacity to provide support to the grieving family. We have been caring for children in this community for over 100 years and have a long-standing commitment to delivering the highest quality care for all."
It is, Arthur Caplan, it's a horrible situation and no parent should ever have a child let this go in for a routine tonsil operation. And be left with this terrible, terrible position with (inaudible). But at the same time, if she is as you say clinically dead effectively then you can understand why the hospital wishes to proceed in the way that they do but it's a horrible mess. Arthur Caplan, thank you very much for joining me.
CAPLAN: My pleasure.
MORGAN: Coming up, this time retiring Ann Coulter joins me. Let's see if we can get her out of her shell just once. There she is quite not ...
MORGAN: Always shocking, always controversial. It's been another (band of) week for my next guest. A new book "Never Trust a Liberal Over 3, Especially Republican" still (hanging) up the shelves is holiday gift for that (liberal) in the family who want to know Ann Coulter is here with me in the chair tonight.
How are you Ms. Coulter?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR: Well, I'm a little tufty that I'm not in studio with you Piers.
MORGAN: We'll understand. Barbara felt the same way. It's a, you know, in company with all of you at the same time.
Now, let's talk black and white senators, because you're old buddies over at Fox News Meagan Kelly, Bill O'Reilly getting very, very adamant about the fact that Santa Claus apparently is white and they can be no argument. And Meagan went further and said that Jesus is probably white too. What is your view about this? Did you -- you (twitted) to say, "The left now arguing Santa Claus can be both black and white." Obama already proved that. What is that mean?
COULTER: It's a joke Piers. You know, Obama gives lot of stuff away, like the ObamaCare phone and just healthcare benefit. But no, I'm not. I don't know if you know this Piers, but a lot of the Santa you see at department stores, those are fakes. But I met the real Santa Clause and he is white.
MORGAN: Yeah, but just be serious for a moment. Isn't that Justine my--
COULTER: (inaudible) area.
MALE: Slightly, not a business, just a slightly little rather unpleasant undertones of all these telling all the children -- telling all the kids in America that Santa has to be white. What if you're in a family, a black family and the dad in the family as many dad do in America dresses up a Santa Clause and leaves the presents under their tree or wherever it may be and the kid see him. Are they suppose to now say, no, no, no, because Fox tell me, an anchor tells me and Bill O'Reilly tells me that he can't be Santa Claus, because Santa is white.
COULTER: Well, for one thing I suspect the children are going to recognize their own father. And do not just the uncalled or...
MORGAN: No, I didn't recognize my dad. No, no, no ...
COULTER: ... and Bill O'Rielly miracle on ...
MORGAN: I didn't recognize my father for years.
COULTER: It's miracle (inaudible) ...
MORGAN: No, that's the truth.
COULTER: We've (ended up) every movie made about Santa Claus. He lives at the North Pole. You go find black Santa at the North Pole and his white beards.
As for Jesus, Jesus is a real person. He was a Jew. I mean if you want to tell me Jews aren't White, OK. But he's Jewish. So, whatever that is.
MORGAN: So, you would say unequivocally, Jesus Christ was White as well?
COULTER: Well, I'd say he's Jewish. That's what he look.
MORGAN: Well, is he white?
COULTER: The fact.
MORGAN: Was he white?
COULTER: I just said it. If you call Jews white, I mean you argue with them. Maybe they're black.
MORGAN: I just ask you if--
MORGAN: -- as well.
COULTER: Well I'd say he's Jewish. That's what he was.
MORGAN: Oh is he White?
COULTER: That's a fact.
MORGAN: Was he White?
COULTER: I just said it. If you call Jew is White, I mean, you can argue with me, maybe they're (inaudible).
MORGAN: (inaudible) I asked you if he was White, you said he was Jewish ...
MORGAN: But was he white?
COULTER: Well, I don't --
MORGAN: That's the debate. Just -- folks have made it very clear, Santa's White, Jesus is White.
COULTER: Well, he's not black, he's Middle Eastern. Maybe he's sort of beige Piers.
MORGAN: (inaudible) do you feel uncomfortable with this debate?
COULTER: No, I think you're mad.
MORGAN: The rights are getting there, getting themselves into a bit of hot water over.
COULTER: No, I'm insanely jealous of Megyn Kelly. I wish liberals would jump on me for saying something so obvious.
MORGAN: Well I think you can relax on that (inaudible) jump on you morning, noon and night.
COULTER: No, not anymore. It's very sad.
MORGAN: Let's turn to the pope, Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis which is, you know, it's like watching a deviling incarnate taking on Mother Teresa. But tell me why the right seemed to have some big issue with a man who appears to be (inaudible) incredibly humble, a force for good. Somebody perhaps revolutionizing an anachronistic church, dragging them, kicking and screaming in to the real world. Why would this embrace the likes of Rush Limbaugh?
COULTER: I'm not sure, I mean in Rush Limbaugh's case, we of course think he is the Pope. So I could see why he'd be angry at it. But, you know, my own -- I'm not a Catholic but I would think that the head of the Catholics -- the statement by the Pope that I find most surprising was his statement that you don't have to be a Christian to go to heaven.
Look you may think that, maybe there are lot of people who think that. But if your head of the RNC, you're not supposed to be saying, "Oh, don't bother, voting Republican." That isn't supposed to be your position. That's the most surprising. I mean I guess except for the anti-papist crowd.
MORGAN: Or he could just be that he believes in open church, open Christianity ...
MORGAN: ... all inclusive. I'll take anybody. Unlike (inaudible) they were so dogmatic. You have to be, you know, right and (inaudible) or even be acceptable.
COULTER: OK, but if you're the head of the Catholic Church and your position is, join any church. In fact you don't even have to be a Christian. Maybe you wouldn't, you know, you could get a show on CNN. But maybe you shouldn't be the head of the Catholic Church.
MORGAN: Now, let's turn to something that I know you must have seen inviting to you an early Christmas present. President Obama's approval ratings plummeting ever further. What is going on here and how does it end?
COULTER: I think it manifestly because of ObamaCare, people are loosing their health insurance and their health premiums are going up. The big success story of Obama care is they're signing up more and more people to Medicaid. Well great that's just, you know, more welfare that's taking out of the system. That is not keeping the system of flow. And I don't see any end in sight.
People will discover they can't go to their doctors anymore. I know that's already happening. Everyone in California with Blue Cross or Blue Shield -- Blue Cross, Blue Shield have pulled out of the entire state at the big state.
So I don't see a stopping, particularly when perhaps you're not showing in a lot over here. But I believe as you call, my friends at Fox News are going to keep playing Obama saying. And if you like your doctor you can keep him, period. If you like health insurance, you can keep it, period. That was a lie and people see it's a lie, there's no way that I can be finessed by the media.
MORGAN: Well astonishingly, I find my self agreeing with you.
COULTER: Thank you.
MORGAN: I actually think it was a pretty awful thing to have done repeatedly, to stare at the American public collectively and tell to complete (inaudible).
And in terms of where the sleeves will be, 2016 race. What doing you think are going to be the key moments now in the next couple of years which can determine what type of republican candidate faces the final run off and who might win it?
COULTER: I have no idea who might win it. It keep missing to post a column I wrote a few years, I'll do it when I get from this show, Piers. Looking at the leading candidates for about 18 months before various other presidential elections. And they're always people who were never like in the final 10.
It was before the 2000 election about 18 months before the 2000 election. I remember this one, it was Liddy Dole. So it tends to be more name recognition now. But I kind of think we have some idea who they might be. I do think opposition to ObamaCare and the ability to articulate opposition to ObamaCare is going to be huge. And it's going to be huge in next year's elections which are the senate elections as long as Republicans don't blow it and that's a big if. MORGAN: So one of the questions I quoted, if he bought a mega millions lottery ticket or he's already got mega millions from your ill gotten gain? Have you intend to get down there and buy a ticket?
COULTER: Well, if I had and then I had won. This would have been a much shorter segment Piers.
MORGAN: All right Coulter, I wish you a very happy Christmas. I really do. You bring a certain (inaudible) to this show which I always thoroughly appreciate.
COULTER: Thank you Piers. Merry Christmas to you.
MORGAN: I know you understand a word of what I just said, but I'm just smiling. And it'll be good to see you again in the New Year and we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER: When we were coming up in the late 70s Ron Burgundy got the lead anchor position at KBWN because his mustache was slightly bigger than mine. People found comfort in a mustached man delivering the news. I love my beard. But I would trade it for Burgundy's mustache (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, radio icon Casey Kasem what his children are battling just for the right scene. A remarkable story that's all for us tonight. AC 360 starts now.