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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

`Duck Dynasty` Star Suspended for Remarks on Gays; Picking on the Poor Kids?

Aired December 19, 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: Tonight escalating outrage over a "Duck Dynasty" star`s outrageous and degrading remarks about gays, comparing gay sex to bestiality. Some call it the ugly reality behind the hottest reality show on TV, "Duck Dynasty" and its patriarch star, Phil Robertson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHIL ROBERTSON, REALITY TV STAR: If you`ve made it 65 years, you`re like way ahead of the game. But we will go.

WILLIE ROBERTSON, REALITY TV STAR: Did he say anything about dying or someone dying?

KAY ROBERTSON, REALITY TV STAR: Yes, we`re going to die.

W. ROBERTSON: Mom, I know we`re going to die at some point.

P. ROBERTSON: He never said specifically what would kill us. We`re like everyone else. At some point presto, they`re gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. And here`s my rant tonight. A&E now claims it`s extremely disappointed that "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson said gay sex will lead to sex with animals.

Here`s the quote: "Start with homosexual behavior, and you just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman, and that woman and those men." Yes, he compared it to bestiality, which is sex with animals.

Tonight, is A&E`s disappointment real or phony? A new tape has just surfaced that critics say shows A&E knew all about the homophobic attitudes of the star of their mega hit that launched last year. Three years ago, Robertson attacked gays while preaching to a Bible congregation, and it`s on the Internet. Check out this sermon for yourself. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

P. ROBERTSON: They will dishonor their bodies with one another, degrade each other. Is that going on in the United States of America? Look around. It`s not hard. We have all the answers. A little birdie with the bird or an animal. And boy, is there some immorality going on around here.

Does it get worse? Therefore, because they do not think it`s worth following the sayings and orders (ph) of God, he gave them over to shameful lust. Women exchanged unnatural relations and were inflamed with lust for one another. Same with men, they were inflamed with lust for one another. Women with women, men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another.

And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. They`re full of murder, envy, strife. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That clip, saying that homosexuality is perversion and its evil, is on the Internet for everybody to see. OK. Including A&E, whose actor said similar things to "GQ" magazine, sparking an uproar that A&E expressed extreme upset over his comments.

The Robertsons and A&E, yes, they`ve got a gold mine to protect. "Duck Dynasty" is the single most watched reality series in cable TV history. Fourteen million people tuning in a week.

I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Radio host Michael Billy, now there`s the so-called free speech argument and defense of his comments, saying it`s free speech, and anybody who attacks him is against free speech. Sarah Palin said words to that effect. What do you make of this free speech argument?

MICHAEL BILLY, RADIO HOST: That`s a ridiculously ignorant argument, Jane. I mean, this guy has every freedom to talk whatever he wants to in his living room, but he`s not in his living room. He`s a paid television personality. He`s getting money from this television show and marketing his business. That means he has to adhere to personal responsibility for what he says on television.

And part of that personal responsibility is not hiding behind so- called beliefs. Part of that responsibility is not to say things that fly in the face of fact and science and what every medical organization in the United States has said already. That`s part of his responsibility, and he`s not taking up that responsibility at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Murphy...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And not only that...

MURPHY: ... former prosecutor, I think it`s fine to talk about free speech. But what about the free speech of people who think that`s offensive? They can have free speech to put pressure on a network like A&E, too. Free speech goes both ways; it`s a two-way street.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Absolutely. And that`s the remedy. That is the remedy.

It`s not ignorant to say people have free speech rights. It`s actually constitutional. And you know, I find the speech disgusting. But I really appreciate that we live in a country where he`s going to get drowned out by people with or without weird beards who are going to make him sorry he said that. Because guess what? Those 14 million people who watch are going to dwindle down and down and down.

It doesn`t matter, you know, whether he has or, you know, doesn`t have politeness skills. What matters is that people have the power in the democracy to put him to shame.

Now, I don`t even know this duck show. I don`t know if that means I should watch more TV or less. I don`t know if it makes me cool or uncool. But I would never watch a show where a guy spews this kind of venom. And I hope that is what sends the strongest message.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, as soon as news of Phil Robertson`s offensive comments in "GQ" got out, he issued this statement with a drastically different tone.

Quote, "I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they`re different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and, like him, I love all of humanity," end quote.

OK. Let`s -- let`s think about another big name in the news that said something that was offensive. Paula Deen suffered massive fallout after admitting she used the "N" word. The Food Network dropped her. Many corporate partners backed away from the Paula Deen brand.

So what should happen to "Duck Dynasty"? Should the show be canceled? Should A&E just kick Phil off the show and try to keep it going with the rest of the family, which would raise the question of how much family loyalty do they really have, if they are asked to do the series without him?

What do you think? Karen Charrington, the Bedford County former prosecutor?

KAREN CHARRINGTON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Well, you know, A&E, they do have money to make, so we can`t say that the show should absolutely be canceled. But I applaud them for taking a stand against these type of comments and this offensive issue and offensive comments against sensitive viewers.

A&E has a duty to protect its viewers and to protect those that could be offended by these type of statements. So definitely A&E needs to take some type of action at this point in time. And I agree with what they have done so far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So you don`t think it should be taken off the air no matter what he says? No matter what? Because let me tell you this. Oh, listen. Do you think it should be taken off the air, Michael Billy?

BILLY: It`s not that it should be taken off the air. It`s the character.

CHARRINGTON: That`s right.

BILLY: That person, as a human being, should be taken off the air. Look, what A&E did is release a boiler point statement of any type of reaction towards damage control. That`s all they`ve done. They`ve suspended him.

If that man went on the air and talked about the Bible, "I stand by the Bible and we should bring slavery back, because that`s what I believe..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, funny you should mention that. That`s right.

BILLY: "... That`s my belief system," we`d never see the light of day of this guy.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. He`s saying something that was perceived as racist by many. You decide.

As if his comments about gays were not enough, he also said certain things about African-Americans that the NAACP immediately denounced as racist. It`s not getting as much play as his homophobic comments. But referring to his upbringing in the south before the civil rights era, the 67-year-old said, quote, "I never with my own eyes saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once."

He went on to say that "before entitlement programs and welfare, blacks were happy." The NAACP and HRC, Human Rights Campaign, fired off a joint letter expressing outrage. So does that change the equation at all?

CHARRINGTON: I don`t think it changes the equation, but I definitely think A&E needs to continue to take a stand against this type of language. &E has to take a stand, there are many viewers they have p. They have been faithful to. They have to take a stand so they can send a message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

The patriarch of the hit reality TV show "Duck Dynasty" is sounding off. But he turned the target on himself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The backlash over "Duck Dynasty" has begun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Controversial anti-gay statements comparing gay people to people who a engage in bestiality.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ANCHOR: Pulled him from future shoots indefinitely.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With their A&E show pulling 14 million viewers a week, an empire of DVDs, duck calls and a Christmas album, too.

W. ROBERTSON: My idea of happiness is killing things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: While we`re quoting the Bible, how about "Thou shalt not kill, Phil?" Yes, the controversy over the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch, Phil Robertson. We`ve got phone lines lighting up. Aaron in Kentucky, what do you got to say? Aaron.

CALLER: I believe he had a right to say it. And I believe there`s a big immoral push in America and that we are getting further away from God. And as a Christian person myself I think we need to do whatever it takes to get back to being one nation under God.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think homosexuality leads to -- do you think people who have -- who are gay, who have same-sex relations, that they then move on to have sex with animals?

CALLER: I believe that the Bible speaks against gays in that area. And like you said, I don`t think they`ll enter the kingdom of heaven, either. So I mean, that`s my personal belief. And I think, you know, the Christian people ought to stand behind the "Duck Dynasty." And I believe his family will stand behind him, and they won`t do the show without him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are predicting that they won`t do the show without him. We shall see.

Michael Billy, you want to weigh in?

BILLY: God bless America. Because that man has the right to say whatever he wants. People have the right to be as ignorant and as uneducated about the facts of other human beings that they share this country with as possible. That doesn`t mean that we give them a television show and we give them a platform to do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, as soon as this controversy erupted, A&E went into full damage control mode. Here is their statement. I`m going to read it for you.

Quote, "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson`s comments in `GQ,` which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflective of the series, `Duck Dynasty.` His personal reviews do not reflect those of A&E. We`ve always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. Phil is under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Are you buying this apology, Wendy Murphy, given the tape that we played, showing that Phil was saying similar things three years ago, and those tapes are out on the Internet?

MURPHY: Look, they know what they bought into with this show. I`m sure they didn`t just discover these guys feel this way.

But I mean, I don`t know much about the show. But this could well be the kind of weird P.R. that grows even a bigger audience, which is sad, in my opinion. Because I don`t think we should be giving people money for saying hateful things.

By the way, if this guy is all into Christianity, and Christianity forbids what he described as anal intercourse, is he speaking also to heterosexual males who do that all the time with women? Because I`m pretty sure half the country would have no sex at all. And is that against God?

I don`t get this guy. I don`t get his hatred. I do know that politics and these things matter in a way that shouldn`t. You know, race trumps gender. Gay sort of trumps race. Sometimes race trumps gay. Money trumps all of that. You know, and that`s the problem. It really shouldn`t matter, but it does. I haven`t heard anybody complain about the 99 percent of stuff on television that is perversely...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in, because we`re running out of time. Simone Bienne, you are a relationship expert, a psychiatrist. When somebody is very angry about what other people are doing in the bedroom, maybe they`re a little too interested? Maybe it`s something that might point to a smoke screen? In other words, this is -- I`m not talking about Mr. Man on "Duck Dynasty." I`m just talking about a general reaction formation when people are really, really, really opposed to homosexuality. What`s the theory?

SIMONE BIENNE, PSYCHIATRIST: It`s fear in themselves. There is a theory that they fear it in themselves. And also what you`re talking about is shaming. So instead of them dealing with any anger or shame, they externalize it onto the vulnerable, the left majority. So yes, Jane, I mean, when you fear something like that, then questions could be raised.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Talk about fed up. This guy pulled out a gun on the subway, and he got a lot more than he bargained for. Blowback. Backlash. Yes. Let`s...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JACK KINGSTON (R), GEORGIA: Individuals treated the same way as corporations are.

In this town you don`t get your way. In this town you have to negotiate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Hit the road, Jack, and don`t you come back no more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Hit the road, Jack, and don`t you come back no more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Hit the road, Jack, and don`t you come back no more.

KINGSTON: We all know that we have to get back to work in the morning and try to come up with a solution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Don`t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. Hit the road, Jack.

KINGSTON: It`s not always clean. It`s not always easy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the Lion`s Den tonight, my blood is boiling over this one. And I predict yours will, too.

Poor kids should be forced to sweep cafeteria floors in public schools to pay for their free school lunches, while rich kids get to lounge and gossip. That`s basically what one Georgia congressman`s proposing, and the comments have sparked a huge backlash.

Here`s what Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston said about the federal school lunch program, which is for the poor from Huff Po, and we`ll show it to you in a second. But let me set it up first.

These are public school kids, OK, that get these free lunches because they`re below, way below the poverty level. These kids are born poor. They didn`t choose to be poor.

This so-called political leader is suggesting that poor kids be humiliated by being forced to do chores in front of their peers, thereby turning them into servants. It`s classic. It`s arrogant; it`s stupid. It`s not something he accidentally said.

He even revealed that he`s always talked to the secretary of agriculture about it. So let`s listen to what this guy had to say, and then we`ll debate it on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KINGSTON: One of the things I`ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about. Why don`t, you know, you have the kids, pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch. Or maybe sweep the floor in the Cafeteria.

And yes, I understand that it would be understood as a problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people -- getting the myth out of people`s heads that there is such thing as a free lunch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. You know, he singles out low-income kids, because they`re the ones that get the free meals. You can`t get them if you`re not low income. He singles them out for this lesson in hard work.

So Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some," isn`t he essentially accusing poor kids of being lazy? He doesn`t say all kids need to be taught the value of hard work. Just the poor ones who get those free lunches.

MURPHY: Yes, I mean, he goes too far. Although I have to say, where I agree with him is that kids should be doing a lot more community service generally. It`s a requirement in my town. A hundred hours you have to do or you can`t graduate. And that goes for the rich kids and the poor kids.

And I like that. I like the notion that people should earn the value of being productive and the value of hard work young, because it`s harder to learn when you`re older. It`s easier when it`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Wendy -- Wendy, I have to jump in. It`s the fact that he said that the kids who get the free lunches need to learn that there`s no such thing as a free lunch.

MURPHY: I understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The only kids who get free lunches are the kids below the poverty level. It would be different if he said all of the kids in public schools should do work.

MURPHY: I understand, but I`m hearing -- I`m hearing parts of his comments that -- that I think are legitimate observations about the importance of teaching kids that they need to earn the things that they get, that handouts are a bad idea. It makes for a lazy society.

Look at Sweden. They created a profoundly lazy society, because they expect nothing from people in exchange for huge amounts of social entitlement. It`s not a good way to run a nation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brooke Goldstein, director of the Lawfare Project, to me this is a lesson in the fact that he believes that there`s two classes. That one who they don`t have to sweep the floors. They`re in first class. They don`t have the free lunches, because their parents make money.

These kids didn`t become poor for lack of work. They`re kids. Their parents are poor. That`s why they don`t have the money to buy their lunch. He`s essentially suggesting that we penalize the kids, because their parents haven`t paid enough money.

BROOKE GOLDSTEIN, DIRECTOR, LAWFARE PROJECT: I agree with you. And guess what? Those wealthy kids are also not paying for their lunch. Their parents are paying for their lunch. So I don`t see why we have to stigmatize the poor kid.

But here`s the point. We in the west believe in something called the inalienable human right of every child to life and to sustenance. And this is a nonpartisan issue. If you feed children properly, their brain develops. They will be able to learn properly in school, and they will become productive members of society.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We all believe in feeding people. That`s not the point.

Look, the point is, should kids who come from a certain socioeconomic background be treated like servants? And that to me is what he`s suggesting. We reached out to Representative Kingston.

And his spokesperson told us, quote, "It is sad that trying to have a productive conversation about instilling a strong work ethic in the next generation of Americans so quickly devolves into the tired old partisan name-calling hysteria. Having worked from a young age himself, Congressman Kingston understands the value of hard work and the important role it plays in shaping young people. While liberal media outlets resorted to the politics of division and tried to turn this into rich versus poor, this is all about giving all children the benefit of a strong worth ethic."

So maybe, Simone Bienne, he should have said all kids in public schools, whether or not they get a free lunch, should be sweeping floors. Instead of kids who get a free lunch should be forced to sweep floors, when only kids below the poverty level get a free lunch.

BIENNE: Yes, great. OK. But first of all, we`re living in a child safety (ph) era. Second of all, what next? That they eat bread and water because they`re poor. Is that what he`s saying?

And also let`s look at the shaming factor yet again. These kids will be bullied. They`ll be highlighted because of the difference in the rich kids and the poor kids.

And what does happen with children is, when you grow self-esteem, it`s how other people treat them. So he`s screwing up their life even more. It`s what I call, Jane, my OMJ moment of the week, which is "Oh, my, Jane." This is crazy. It`s crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, the thing is that the public education system is supposed to be the institution that levels the playing field for all Americans so they get an equal chance when they`re at the starting gate. And what studies are showing and numerous studies are showing is that the United States is less upwardly mobile than many, many other countries and becoming less upwardly mobile. In other words, if you`re born poor, you`re more likely to stay poor now.

Time for "Me, My Pet and I." Tweet us your pet selfies, #JVMpetselfies, or send them to HLNTV.com/Jane.

Tara and Patton, oh, you are so in fashion.

And Mellanie and Gus. I want to make a fuss. Yes, I do.

Vanessa and Batman. Let me play Robin, will ya? Stick that tongue out.

All right. Wes and Stella. That`s a skunk. Quite a fella.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COURNEY, MTV`S "TRUE LIFE": I just got a 15 (ph). Josh, go that way. Go. I just crossed a line tonight. I always said I would never expose Josh to my drug use. And I can`t believe I stole from my mom to get one stupid pill. I know I`m out of control.

Sit back and put your seat belt on. But I just can`t stop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big story -- a manmade crisis. America`s prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing. Overdoses on legal pills are now the leading cause of accidental death in our nation just by misusing a perfectly legal prescription drug.

All week long, we`ve been showing you clips from the extraordinary MTV`s, "True Life: I`m Addicted to Pills". These two individuals, a man and a woman courageously sharing their dangerous addiction to prescription pills -- both I`m happy to say now reportedly in recovery.

The real face of addiction is prescription drug abuse. But when you look at the movies you think everybody is doing heroin or cocaine.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drug companies are now creating prescription pills to help addicts get off drugs like heroin. Problem solved, right? Not so fast. The "New York Times" says Suboxone (ph) is so highly addictive it`s becoming an addiction of its own. It`s being used so much it even has a nickname, "prison heroin" because according to "The Times" it now comes in a dissolvable filmstrip that`s ideal for smuggling. One jailer says they hide it in the Holy Bible and then eat the drug right out of there.

Straight out to CEO of AfterPartyTreatment.com Anna David, the "New York Times" says abuse of Suboxone, one example, is exploding in certain states. It was brought on as an alternative to treat addiction to illegal drugs, but critics say it`s being used and sold just like an illegal drug in a lot of cases.

ANNA DAVID, AFTERPARTYTREATMENT.COM: Absolutely. And it`s not only dangerous because of that. Basically, it is one thing to detox an opiate addict using Suboxone. But to keep that addict Suboxone with no exit plan is a really terrifying thing.

Many treatment centers are now doing that and they`re telling the addicts that they`re sober when actually they`re continuing to be enslaved by another drug. I think Suboxone is actually a very scary development when not used in the proper way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I got to tell you, this MTV "True Life: I`m Addicted to Pills" is just extraordinary. These two courageous young adults actually allowed the cameras to follow them as they battle with their drug addiction. Again, they`re both in recovery now. I applaud them for having the courage to be this honest.

And the smallest victim of the woman`s story, Courtney`s little boy who was only five years old. Watch as he freaks out and sobs when his mom tries to leave him to go on a drug run.

This broke my heart. According to MTV, this young mother would also trade food stamps for drugs.

I want to go to Simone Bienne, behavior expert. I`m so happy that this young woman is now reportedly recovered. But when I heard that child scream because mom wanted to go on a drug run and score some pills rather than take care of her kid, I thought, and I talked to the director. She says this is happening all over America.

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Yes, absolutely. And there was a report in the "New York Times" a while ago that said that 96 percent of Americans are codependent. Codependent means putting your needs or someone else`s needs before yourself. This is what this child has grown up to do. Big people need to look after the little people.

And Jane, I`m so glad you are covering addiction as your big story. Because just this week in the United Kingdom Matthew Perry from "Friends" was over here on one of our top political shows having to argue that addiction was a disease to a campaigner saying you should all just get over yourselves. Thank goodness we`re getting awareness out there about addiction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, there are things to do. Florida once known as the pill mill capital has been cracking down on prescription pill abuse. They have a system that tracks people who go to doctors and doctor shop -- one doctor after another to get different prescriptions.

Kentucky has the same database but a survey from a couple of years ago shows the overwhelming majority of doctors and pharmacists in Kentucky don`t use a system.

All right. Anna David, there are many good doctors out there but one thing I know as a person who`s a recovering alcoholic with 18 years of sobriety. There is no more reliable customer, a more profitable patient than somebody who`s hooked on pills and comes back over and over and over again to get there.

DAVID: Absolutely, Jane. And a drug addict is so resourceful that they will find a way. I mean I think it`s, of course, admirable to start a data base to try to stop addicts from doctor shopping. But it doesn`t seem like it`s been terribly effective. And I think we would be better off educating doctors more about addiction so that they can be more careful.

And you know, because even the honest doctors that are doing their best not to prescribe addictive medications to addicts still are not as aware about the disease of addiction as they need to be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I agree with you entirely. Kim, New York, what do you have to say? Kim, New York.

KIM, NEW YORK (via telephone): Hi Jane. I myself am a Suboxone patient. I`ve been on the medication for four years. And it saved my life. I had a problem with pills. And I found a doctor who helped me understand the addiction and the damage that I`ve done to myself and the chemical receptors in my brain and how the Suboxone works.

And I get, you go to a (inaudible) meeting and they`ll say "Oh you`re not sober. You`re on Suboxone." But if you talk to the doctor, the doctor explains how it balances out the chemicals in your brain, and you feel normal again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, thank you for sharing that. I don`t say that everybody abuses Suboxone. I was quoting a "New York Times" article that said that it is being abused a lot of people. You, it would seem, are not abusing it. You`re using it in the manner that it was intended.

The problem is that other people, addicts are allegedly purportedly abusing it and it`s become a business out there on the black market.

On the other side, George Zimmerman -- you will not believe this. Not only is he back with his girlfriend. But you won`t believe what the two of them have been doing for the last couple of days. And no, I`m not talking about that necessarily.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out. This is not your house. No, get out of here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crazy Video of the Day. A gutsy group of passengers in Seattle springing into action as a gun wielding 19-year-old thug tries to hold up several bus riders. And clearly these passengers just decided we`re not going to take it anymore. And they jumped up and they just tackled this guy. And they held him. Look, you can see him punching him and tying him up. And look at that -- bravery. The thug could get 15 years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s been pulled over twice for speeding. But he`s now back in Seminole County jail charged with aggravated assault.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Florida prosecutors will not -- will not charge George Zimmerman after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend last month.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight in the buzz, she created a national uproar with that astounding 911 call heard around the world. George Zimmerman`s girlfriend accusing him of shoving his gun in her face, leading to his arrest yet again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s in my house breaking all my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) because I asked him to leave. He has his freaking gun breaking all of my stuff right now.

No, this is not --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ok.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out. This is not your house. No, get out of here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope you`re sitting down because now, not only has she taken all that back and insisted that charges be dropped, which they were. She actually took George with her to pick up their guns; guns that were seized by cops after his arrest and investigation. Unbelievable about face, huh?

Apparently George picked up his guns yesterday. That wasn`t enough. Today Samantha and George were spotted picking up her guns. Wow. What a couple.

Let`s not forget, this is the very same man who shot Trayvon Martin to death and has had his fair share of run-ins with the cops since that trial. Does he really need to be walking around with guns when his estranged soon to be ex-wife which is different from the girlfriend says he`s a ticking time bomb? All right.

I mean what is this woman thinking? She`s gone from being a sympathetic figure, kind of a domestic violence victim to somebody who people say should face charges of her own. I want to go to Karen Charrington, defense attorney. You`re back and everything that Samantha said in that 911 call really never happened at all should she be charged with filing a false police report?

KAREN CHARRINGTON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. I`m actually shocked that she wasn`t charged. I don`t know what the state was thinking of not charging her. I mean this is absolutely ridiculous. And Zimmerman is a ticking time bomb. And someone is going to get hurt if he`s not stopped.

And this is the prime example of why there needs to be ongoing background checks. To make sure that people that own guns and possess guns actually have the mental capability to do so. It`s absolutely ridiculous.

And I think that the case should have gone forward. But unfortunately without a witness or a victim it`s going to be impossible for the prosecution to maintain the case. But for this guy to now be picking up guns after he -- although he was acquitted on the Trayvon Martin case -- this is an individual who killed an unarmed individual and there needs to be some type of background check with respect to whether or not he needs to possess a gun at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Mark Starling, radio reporter News 96.5 and you are there in Orlando, in this general vicinity, he`s been acquitted of murder. And because this girlfriend backed out, he now has no charges. They can`t stop him from having guns, can they?

MARK STARLLING, RADIO REPORTER: Well, no. I mean he hasn`t been charged with a crime. He`s not committed any sort of felon or anything along those lines. So as it stands right now, he has every right to own a gun. That can`t be taken away from him until he slips up and is convicted for something. He has every right in the world to have that gun.

You know, I think it was interesting that they went and did it together. I mean, you know, love is such a precious thing but you know, three weeks ago or four weeks ago, we were just listening to the audio. You can hear it. She`s kind of recanted her story completely. And again George Zimmerman has skated by somehow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. There`s something wrong here. Something stinks but apparently Mr. Teflon, as I call him, never suffers the consequences. I mean we had his soon to be ex-wife calling the cops on him. Remember when she said he punched my dad in the nose -- never got prosecuted on that. Now the girlfriend is backpedaling on claims that he pulled the gun on her.

Nothing is happening to this guy. Is this a case of domestic violence or is this simply a woman who -- you know, I hate to think of that old cliche -- it`s a woman`s prerogative to change her mind? But I mean how do you explain this?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: No. She doesn`t have a prerogative to change the government`s mind because she`s not the government and it`s not her case. We can yell about her all day long, and we should, but it`s also the D.A.`s fault. They should run him out of office. He could have won this case on the 911 tape and he didn`t.

Here`s what I want to know. Why don`t women have an Alice Sharpton, you know, marching in the streets down there saying bring charges when you beat up a woman and break her stuff and threaten her, bring the damn charges. The reason he was prosecuted in the Trayvon Martin case is partly because black people protested. Where are the people protesting for the women? Where? Where?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to show a painting on the way out. He has a painting that has been bid up past $100,000 on eBay. Are you kidding me? Who wants to buy this guy`s painting? I don`t get that. I do not get that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Tom -- you yawner or is that a laugh? Bob -- have you slid down the chimney, Bob? Yoda -- Yoda with your tux, I want to go out with you. Lexi -- you are sexy, Lexi.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: See those pigeons right over there? Well, just the other day I was walking down the street in the middle of a storm, came upon an injured pigeon. It seemed like he had some kind of broken leg. I picked him up and checked him into rehab right here at this incredible center. Let`s check it out.

Here`s my baby. I found him on the street, and I brought him in and yes, there`s his leg, see, it`s backwards?

JOEY LUTHER: We think here it`s that the leg either got damaged or slightly dislocated up here at the femur -- as you can see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

LUTHER: So the problem is, now he`s not using the rest of the leg, so the fibula is kind of isolated. We`re going to put him on physical therapy, so -- twice a day, he`ll get therapy. If you can see, he`s in a lot of pain when you start using. What we do is isolate the femur and start giving -- it`s really stiff. Do you want to feel it -- how stiff that is when you try to push that forward?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, poor little guy.

LUTHER: You feel how stiff that is? Just like us, we need physical therapy? It`s the same with him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think he`ll ever be able to be out on the street flying again?

LUTHER: I have hope for this one. Yes, I think he has a pretty good chance.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve just named my little guy "Survivor". Look at this. Oh wow. Look at this. They`re feeding this little pigeon. What are you doing right now? What are you feeding him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Puppy chow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Puppy chow. I understand you found a bird and you brought this bird in. Tell us about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has injured wing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see here the wing is broken. So he had some sort of an injury. He`s bleeding. Hopefully it`s not right at the joint. So we can splint it and it will fuse back together. And hopefully he`ll be able to fly again. If not we`ll hopefully find a place for him to go that he`ll be comfortable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do you do this? This is really unbelievable.

LUTHER: You know, it`s crazy, I found a bird seven years ago on the street and didn`t know where to take it. I called around seven or eight places and found Rita. A couple months later I found another one. A few months later I got a little more involved and ended up becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. And I`m here every Sunday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You do so much incredible work. Tell us about all the many birds you rescue and all the other animals. Give me a run down of some of the animals?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we deal with over 120 different species. We released a red tail hawk yesterday. He was wonderful -- a youngster. Squirrels and flying squirrels and chipmunks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A parrot in the Bronx -- who knew?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re regular (inaudible) and they`re brought to us by the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society. They`re here for adoption.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People will go and buy a teeny, tiny turtle in Chinatown, raise it in a little tank. And it`s too big for the tank and then they usually just dump it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So many different species. You have a Canada goose right here. There`s a duck over here. Take a look at this, he just came in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a young juvenile herring gull. When he came in, he was unable to stand. He had gotten into something toxic. And now we`re a strapping young gull who`s going to be able to go free.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s see. All of these guys just devoting their time because they care. They care about the voiceless animals. The animals are often just tossed away, and they bring them back to life and care for them.

That is so wonderful. It is my favorite holiday story of the season.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s slice of happiness, an interesting phenomenon. It turns out that dogs are very deferential to cats. When a cat is blocking a dog`s path, the dog has a tendency to defer to the cat. And over and over again, hundreds of examples show the exact same thing. They will not cross the cat`s path. Go figure.

Nancy next.

END