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White House Delays Obamacare Deadline; Obamacare Opposition Hits Record High; Duck Dynasty Backlash For A&E

Aired December 23, 2013 - 19:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Next: deadline delay. The White House extends the Obamacare signup date, again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Consumers have somewhat of an early Christmas gift.

LEMON: But a new CNN poll shows most Americans feel this is a Christmas gift they could do without.

Plus, duck dilemma, but not for Phil Robertson. How A&E is now on the defensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gay comments were based on a verse on the bible. That's ought to be a problem (ph) on our side, too, I think.

LEMON: And debit card disaster. Target, one of America's largest retailers, could keep you from withdrawing money from your own bank account this Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think you have money in your account and then you have nothing.




LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon in tonight for Erin Burnett. Tonight, another delay for Obamacare, the White House has now extended the signup deadline for people who want coverage starting January 1st. The enrollment deadline was supposed to be tonight at midnight. But today, the White House decided to give people an extra day.

Meanwhile, new poll numbers show opposition to the president's signature health care legislation is growing. Will this delay stem the bleeding or has it created another PR nightmare? Athena Jones has all the delay details from Honolulu where President Obama is spending the holidays.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The cut off was today, but officials delayed until midnight on Christmas Eve to pick a plan. It's a welcome delay for Karla Johnson who's helping people sign up in Atlanta.

KARLA JOHNSON, CONSUMER OUTREACH DIRECTOR, GEORGIA WATCH: So that's great for the consumers. Consumers have somewhat of an early Christmas gift for them. You know, so I'm excited that, you know, the powers that be made this possible for more enrollment.

JONES: The federal exchange,, saw more than 1.2 million visitors over the weekend. An early sign of a surge an interest, and the visits kept coming on Monday. Joining the crowd, President Obama whose staff signed him up over the weekend in a move that was entirely symbolic since he uses military doctors. The president sounded a positive note Friday about the overall pace of enrollment so far.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Since October 1st, more than 1 million Americans have selected new health insurance plans through the federal and state market place.

JONES: While the president said more than half a million people signed up through in the first three weeks of December alone, enrollment is still far short of the 3.3 million the government expected by this time. Meanwhile, members of the president's own party continue their push the delay until 2015 fines for people who don't buy insurance by the end of March.

SENATOR JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: At the end of day, if it's so much more expensive than what we anticipated and the coverage is not as good as what we've had, you've got a complete meltdown at that time. So this transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the products to the market.


JONES: The administration offered a reprieve last week to people whose policies are being canceled and who haven't been able to find affordable plans on the exchanges. They'll be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage or be exempted from the fine. Some states and insurance companies have extended the deadline to sign up for coverage starting in January until December 27th or even December 31st to give people more time to pick a plan.

Now health officials are pointing to a record day for with 850,000 people visiting the site as of this afternoon. That's in addition to the 1.2 million visitors over the weekend -- Don.

LEMON: Thank you very much, Athena Jones from beautiful Honolulu. And joining me now Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro and I'm going start with you because I want to be polite. You're sitting right here. We heard there's a surge in interest today. Can we really call that a surge? They say it's a precautionary measure for the delay. ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: At this point, it's hard to know what it is anymore because it's one more delay, one more extension and what's been a very botched roll out and implementation of this Obamacare law. I think it contributes to continuing to deteriorate the trust of the American people, that the government, that this administration can implement something this large and that this is good policy. That's why you're seeing the numbers that you see when you poll favorability, 62 percent opposed.

LEMON: You don't know what that number means, if it's sign up, if it's people who applied or whether they actually --

NAVARRO: This administration has had trouble giving us specifics and giving us details on numbers. They like to give the good numbers, but they don't like to give the true numbers. I don't know how many times you go in a store and advice and peruse and not buy anything. I do it all the time.

LEMON: Well, Maria, you know, it seems like delay after delay, mounting confusion, plus the news today that the president symbolically signed up, purely from a PR perspective. At least it seems like the administration is tripping over itself, was today's delay really that smart of a move?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think so, Don, because if you look at what this health care law wants to do, it is absolutely in the spirit of what it was designed to do, which is to help more Americans gain access to health care. So what if we actually give the people who are in line by midnight tonight the ability to finish signing up and enrolling if it goes into tomorrow?

I don't think that's a bad thing and this president has said from day one that he is willing to change it, to tweak it, to make sure that it does what it's designed to do, which is to actually give the millions of Americans who didn't have coverage the ability to do it.

NAVARRO: Maria, what does that mean because I actually don't know to be in line today? So are they going to the web site and they do what in order to be in line? So for example because of the high demand, and Athena gave the numbers, 850,000 people went to the web site today, over a million over the weekend.

You are sometimes put in a queue and so you might not be able to sign up or enroll that very minute. Then they come back to you to give you the options necessary for you to be able to choose a plan. That was one of the fixes of this past month. And so, if the, if midnight comes and goes and you haven't been able to choose your plan, they're going to give you until tomorrow to make sure that you're able to actually enroll.

LEMON: And that confusion, not knowing, exactly as you said, that's probably contributed to these numbers, and you spoke about it just a little bit earlier and this is specifically, Maria, new polling out today from CNN, the news isn't good. Opposition to Obamacare continues to grow. Support is now at an all-time low. How many people opposed health care law, 62 percent, 15 percent oppose because it's not liberal enough, right. Why can't the administration stem the bleeding here, Maria?

CARDONA: Well, I actually think, Don, if we continue to get the numbers of people enrolling and signing up and going to the web site that we've seen, I think we have bottomed out. And that is certainly what the administration hope, and I think they need to hope that for this law to work, but let's look at those numbers and I actually think this poll is lower than most, if you look at the people who approve it, 35 percent. If you look at the people who don't like it because it's not liberal enough, 15 percent.

That's half the American people who either like it or want it to go further. And if you look at the people who think that it's not going to affect them at all, that's 40 percent. If you look at the people who think that it is going to be a benefit, that's 16 percent. That's over 50 percent. So those are actually numbers that are holding steady for a law that has been attacked by Republicans, but by the administration, by the way.

LEMON: It's not great numbers though, even though they're holding steady. The numbers are not good.

NAVARRO: Can we get great credit tonight for the spin? I think she gets an A plus for effort on trying to spin these numbers. These are not skewed polls. These are CNN polls, and, you know, God knows that this -- the polls are not so because Republicans are great communicators and great message people. God knows it's not because the press skews to the right. The reason why the number is so because it's been a tragedy and comedy of errors.

CARDONA: I agree with that.

NAVARRO: People, the administration refuses to give the numbers.

LEMON: Let's dig in a little bit more, 16 percent see themselves as better off with Obamacare in a new CNN poll. That's effective new health care law on you and your family, 16 percent say they are better off. So again, this is a gift, it seems, a Christmas gift that many Americans don't seem to want.

NAVARRO: Ho, ho, ho.

LEMON: They're probably better off with --

NAVARRO: You know, it's too bad that all Americans don't have the choice that President Obama has. Where if he likes his plan, he can pretend he signs up for Obamacare, but he gets to keep his plan.

LEMON: That's not exactly fair because of who he is, though, he can't really --

NAVARRO: That's a big part of the tragedy of errors. It is further confusion.

CARDONA: Here's the problem. Here's the problem that I think Republicans need to be careful about and there's no question, Ana, that this has been a botched rollout, the president is the first one to admit that. But millions of Americans are signing up to get health care coverage that they didn't have before.

If Republicans continue to run on repeal, they could run into a political problem going into 2014, because they are going to be seen as the Grinchs who only want to take away and steal something that Americans are beginning to get now.

NAVARRO: The 62 percent of American people don't see the Republicans as the Grinchs.

LEMON: I'm going to have to be the Grinch right now. Merry Christmas, my friend.

NAVARRO: You are a very good-looking Grinch.

CARDONA: I can't kiss you in person, Don.

LEMON: The next time I see you. Thank you. Merry Christmas. Have a wonderful, wonderful, Christmas, everyone.

Still to come here on CNN, more people rallying around "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson.

Plus the credit card information of 40 million Target shoppers exposed to hackers. Why this could be a difficult holiday season for Target and for you.

And the head of the largest police force in the country is about to leave. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly discusses a controversial stop and frisk policy later on in the show.


LEMON: The backlash against A&E is growing tonight, and it may impact where the network films its reality TV shows. In a show of support for "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson, the sheriff of Douglas County, Georgia vowing to no longer work with A&E. Several of the network's reality shows including "Beyond Scared Straight" had been filmed in Douglas County. Now Sheriff Phil Miller says that may no longer be an option. Sheriff Miller joins us now.

Thank you for joining us, sir. How are you doing?

SHERIFF PHIL MILLER, DOUGLAS COUNTY, GEORGIA: I'm great. How are you doing? Merry Christmas.

LEMON: Merry Christmas to you as well. Why did you decide to speak out in support of Phil Robertson?

MILLER: Well, I think there are a lot of things happening in America, the eroding of our Christian values, talking about taking God off of money, taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, changing words to songs that have Jesus or God in them. I think that this country was based on the Christian religion. I realize there's freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion. And when somebody quotes the bible and speaks about the bible and they're punished for that, I think it's time for somebody to stand up. And that's all I'm doing.

LEMON: There's a sense out there among a lot of people, many people, that that interpretation, the interpretation of the bible that some Christians have, you, maybe Phil Robertson, that we have moved beyond that. That society has gone beyond that and that sort of thinking and religious teaching no longer applies in this society.

MILLER: No, I don't agree with that. I mean, if you're going to tear out the pages you don't like, there's not going to be many left. You either believe it or you don't and do I judge you because of that? I do not. You have a right to live the way you want to live. But does the bible say it's a sin? I think it does. And do I believe that? Yes. Am I judging you as a result of that? Absolutely not.

LEMON: And you surely wouldn't discriminate against anyone because of that.

MILLER: Absolutely not. I have openly gay people working for me. I have gay people in my family. My kids have gay friends that come to my house and they're certainly welcome there. I'm, we're not making a judgment. The judgment that I'm making is based on what other people are saying about Christianity, not what we're saying about other people. I hope that makes sense.

LEMON: It does, Sheriff. Thank you very much, Sheriff Miller.

And supporting Phil Robertson makes sense to the Cracker Barrel restaurant tonight. Shortly after Robertson's controversial comments in "GQ" about homosexuality, the chain pulled its 'Duck Dynasty'- themed products from its shelves.

Yesterday, they decided to put the products back in stores, saying this, "Our intent was to avoid offending, but that's just what we've done."

Joining me now is Pastor Jay Baker, the author of "Faith, Doubt, and Other Lines I've Crossed: Walking with the Unknown."

Jay, good to see you again. How are you doing?

JAY BAKER, PASTOR: I'm doing great. Good to hear you, Don.

LEMON: You heard the sheriff there, and you know, I wanted to ask him and I was remiss in this, if someone called him a sinner, how would he feel about that. Would he think that it was, you know, that someone had the right to call him sinner? Or would he be offended by it?

BAKER: You know, I wonder, I mean, the Bible says all sin and all fall short, so I don't find it to be something that's an offensive word. I think it's offensive when it comes to someone's sexuality or someone's race or someone's gender. But, you know.

LEMON: Yes. Well, listen. There are many Christians like Sheriff Miller rallying behind Phil Robertson, saying he was just quoting the Bible. And yesterday he told a Bible study group, he says, "I will not give or back off from my path. And I love all men and women. I'm a lover of humanity, not a hater." What do you say to that?

BAKER: Well, I know that a lot of what he is quoting from is from Corinthians and in Timothy. Both of those books, those are Greek words that most people don't actually know what they mean. And it didn't actually say homosexual until 1958. It said Sodomite before that. And Sodomite is someone from Sodom. And Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't destroyed over homosexuality either. It was destroyed over how it treated strangers.

LEMON: And so you're saying it didn't say homosexuality. It said men who sleep with men. Here's what he said in "GQ," just so we give the viewer an idea, specifically.


LEMON: He says, "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers, they won't inherit the kingdom of God." Very similar to what is written in Corinthians.

-And here's what it says in Corinthians. It starts very similar, but it says, "Men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy," and it goes on to say that. So it's not specifically, but it is pretty close. And he's quoting the Bible, Jay, I mean...

BAKER: It is close, but it's a...

LEMON: Can you fault him for that?

BAKER: I can't fault him for it. But the problem I have is when people start taking an English translation literally. Because you can't do it, because it was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. And so it's very hard to translate those things.

And knowing the history behind that, probably had more to do about men having sex with boys, those verses particularly that he was talking about, because it was something that was more practiced.

LEMON: So then why doesn't the Catholic Church take issue with that? Because there are a number of priests in the Catholic Church who have been accused of having sex with boys.

BAKER: Well, they should be taking issue with that. That's a horrible thing. And -- you know, we live in a country where I'm glad to see that people are offended by these things and by intolerance. So I think we're lucky to have that. But I think the Catholic Church, most Catholics are against men having, you know, sex with boys.

LEMON: Thank you, Jay Baker. Always appreciate your perspective. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

BAKER: Yes, happy holidays to you.

LEMON: Thank you. Still to come here on CNN, hackers steal the credit card and debit card information of 40 million Target shoppers. Why some of the victims are now having a hard time getting to their own money for Christmas.

And a P.R. executive loses her job over a tweet. Now an actor and a politician also in hot water over things they posted online.


LEMON: Tonight's "Money and Power." Target is now facing at least three class-action lawsuits after hackers stole credit and debit card numbers from 40 million customers.

Target tried to appease shoppers by offering a 10 percent discount over the weekend. But many customers weren't biting. Adding to Target's troubles: JPMorgan Chase put a cash withdrawal limit on customers who recently shopped at Target, all of which could make for a rough holiday season for the retail giant.

Oh, boy. Couldn't have happened at a worse time of year. Larry Glazer, managing partner and co-founder of Mayflower Advisor, I see you are agreeing with me. Here's -- Target is being accused of negligence. Customers are saying they could have done a better job of protecting their information, but how much of this is actually Target's fault?

LARRY GLAZER, MANAGING PARTNER/CO-FOUNDER, MAYFLOWER ADVISOR: You know, Don, this is a crisis. And it's a crisis when the nation's second largest retailer has a security breach of more than 40 million account numbers just days before the busiest holiday shopping days of the year.

And it's a crisis because it is keeping people away from Target stores. Clearly, foot traffic is down. It's a crisis in how they've articulated the message.

You know, crisis management is a lot like retail. It's about trust. It's about confidence, and it's also about execution. And in this case, the perception of the public is that Target could have done more to protect them, and they could be doing more to articulate, am I safe going to Target? Am I safer at Target than going to an online retailer right now or one of their competitors?

LEMON: Listen, obviously, when you shop with someone, you give them your personal information. There's a trust issue there: you're trusting them to protect your information. This is obviously bad timing for Target into the middle of the holiday season. We saw on Black Friday that retailers didn't do as well as they had hoped. How much will this hurt them?

GLAZER: It's going to hurt them. And there's a short-term impact, and there's a long-term impact.

And it's not just Target, mind you. Again, consumers are losing access to some credit. But it's interesting that Target's mission is to expect more. And again, we expect more going forward from Target.

What will be interesting is this will give the upper hand to many online retailers, in addition to their competitors. For example, the perception all along was it was a convenience to go to Target, and it was safer to swipe your card at the terminal than to give it to some online purveyor. That argument goes out the window with technology today. And people going forward will think twice about whether they go online or go to Target. It's short-term and long-term consequences here for Target.

LEMON: Larry Glazer, thank you. Happy holidays to you.

GLAZER: Thank you. You, too.

LEMON: Still to come on CNN, it's one of the most controversial law-enforcement policies in the country. We ask New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about Stop and Frisk. That's next.

And what was biggest lie of 2013? Our panel weighs in tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started walking towards me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And as he was coming closer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he got closer, I just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.



CLAPPER: Not wittingly.

LANCE ARMSTRONG, FORMER PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST: Why would I, then, enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life? Again, that's crazy. I would never do that. That's -- no. No way.


LEMON: After more than a decade as the head of the largest police force in the country, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will retire at the end of the year. In addition to joining the public speaking circuit, Kelly will join the Council on Foreign Relations as a visiting fellow.

CNN's Susan Candiotti recently sat down with Commissioner Ray Kelly and asked him about his tenure, the state of terror and the controversial legacy he'll leave behind. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 14 years, over two terms as New York's top cop, Ray Kelly says he's laying down his badge for good, without a single successful terrorist attack since 9/11.

(on camera): How safe is New York from an attack?

COMM. RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Look, we live in a dangerous world, and there are no guarantees. We've done everything that we reasonably can do to protect the city.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Kelly counts 16 attempted terror plots on his watch, including a plan to blow up the New York City subway, foiled by the FBI, and a close call in Times Square three years ago. Acting as a lone wolf, Faisal Shahzad lit a fuse in a car bomb that fizzled. Lucky that that bomb didn't go off.

KELLY: Lucky, no question about it. He built his bombs in Connecticut, drove right in and found a parking spot in Times Square, which is in and of it self a miracle.

CANDIOTTI: Kelly caused a stir a few years ago when he said his force is capable of taking down a plane about to attack.

KELLY: It really has to do with the concern about a plane, a slow-moving plane flying over New York City. It would be a very extreme situation, but we do have rifles that can be very high-powered rifles that can be fired from a helicopter.

CANDIOTTI: Kelly also raised eyebrows by creating an elite intelligence and Counter Terrorism Bureau, a first for a city in the U.S., even placing personnel overseas. Some suggested he was overstepping his role.

Kelly disagrees.

KELLY: We want to add additional resources to help us better protect the city. If you look at the 9/11 report, obviously, there were failings with federal agencies communicating with each other.

CANDIOTTI: Kelly rose to the top after starting as a lowly cadet, working on the switchboard before walking a beat.

(on camera): What was it about the job that really drew you to it?

KELLY: Well, I think the excitement of it, the adrenaline flow, and also, it is an opportunity to make a difference.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): In Lower Manhattan where he live, literally blocks from the new One World Trade Building, Kelly takes stock of his administration's success in cutting crime. In 1990, more than 2,200 murders. This year, a historic low, a little over 300. And that's with a million more people living in the city, and 6,000 fewer cops since September 2001.

However, Kelly's controversial stop and frisk policy may be his lasting legacy, but Kelly stands behind it and predicts it's here to stay.

KELLY: Stop, question, and sometimes frisk is a practice. It's a tool that exists throughout law enforcement.

CANDIOTTI: You know, the main criticism is that people were being frisked for no reason.

KELLY: So people say oh, 670,000 stops in New York City. It amounts to less than one stop a week per patrol officer.

CANDIOTTI: Kelly's successor is William Bratton who also previously served as New York's police commissioner under Mayor Giuliani. Bratton has made it clear changes are on the way.

(on camera): You may have heard him say with increased supervision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Training and leadership change that we'll also be able to very quickly address the concerns about stop and frisk.

KELLY: I'm going to stay away from responding to that.

CANDIOTTI: But clearly you hope that your -- the way that your policies were carried out will stay in place.

KELLY: No, I just hope the city stays safe.

CANDIOTTI: His next move? Well, besides writing a book and hitting the lecture circuit, Commissioner Kelly says he has something else in the works, but he's trying to keep that under wraps until he's a private citizen again -- Don.


LEMON: Susan Candiotti, thank you, Susan.

And for more on New York City's stop and frisk policy, I'm joined by Reihan Salam. He's a CNN contributor, and contributing editor of "The National Review". And Michael Skolnik, editor of and political director for Russell Simmons.

Reihan, I'm going to give you start with you because Michael Skolnik is going to try to hog the entire conversation. So, I'm going to give you a chance first off.

Do you think the entire policy should be scrapped?

REIHAN SALAM, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the important thing to keep in mind is that when you look at 2011, 700,000 people were stopped, questioned and frisked. And a lot of people felt that that was extreme. Over the next two years, the number of people who were stopped declined dramatically.

If you're looking at October of 2013, for example, the number was about 3,000. If you look at that 700,000 number, about half of those guys were then actually searched. I think a lot of people agreed that was a problem. And then there have been big moves made to reform it.

So, now, when the new mayor comes in, when the new police commissioner comes in and says, we're going to change this, we're going to fix this -- well, look, you've already reduced it to 1/20th of what it was.

LEMON: But when you reduce that much, did crime go up or down when they reduced it?

MICHAEL SKOLNIK, GLOBALGRIND.COM: The crime went down significantly, that's the point. It did not work. We did not need it. They went down by 90 percent and crime has been reduced this year alone.

LEMON: You're obviously a vocal critic of it.


LEMON: You think the entire policy should be scrapped.

SKOLNIK: I do think it should be scrapped. If you look at across the country, most major cities have seen reductions of crime without using stop and frisk. Los Angeles, 59 percent, New Orleans, 29 percent --

SALAM: New York and L.A. are two cities that have --


SKOLNIK: You see a huge decline of crime across the country. Stop and frisk agonized, interrogate a young black and brown men across the city, 90 percent of which are innocent.

LEMON: But do you think if done properly in some form, maybe not in its current form -- why don't you come out something that part of the formula, let me say, that helped reduced crime.

SALAM: Ninety-six percent of the people who are shot in New York City are black and Latino. Blacks and Latinos are about 54 percent of New York City's population. You are far more at risk.

SKOLNIK: When Mike Bloomberg came into office with the same number of shootings that year as we had this year, shootings are not done. Murders and homicides may be down, but shootings are not down. This is a bad policy. Ray Kelly went from a good cop to a bad politician.

SALAM: This was a bad policy that has been reformed over time. And when you listen to Bill Bratton, when you listen to his conversation recently with Jeffrey Toobin, of Bill Bratton, the police commissioner that Bill de Blasio appointed, he himself said, look, stop, question and frisk is an essential tool.

I think it's very important to keep in mind that in 11 years before Michael Bloomberg came into office, there were over 13,000 murders in New York City. In the period after under his tenure, that fell 6,000, a difference of 7,000 people. Most of those lives that were saved were black and Latino lives. I think that's a big difference.

LEMON: Michael, you saw the report that came out, not too long ago, a couple of months ago, that showed the number of people, overwhelming majority of people who were shot in New York City were Black and Latino. Mostly black people.

SKOLNIK: We do not solve crime by being tougher on crime, by having tougher laws for black and brown people. We solve crime by being smart on crime. What Ray Kelly did to his credit, and Mike Bloomberg did to his credit, they started investing in community programs, non-violence program, anti-gang programs. Invest on those programs.

If you want to uplift black people, don't antagonize, don't stop them at 90 percent, when 89 percent of them are innocent. Help them. Work with them. Rebuild their communities. Rebuild their schools.

SALAM: Ray Kelly doesn't get any credit that over the last two years it has plummeted.

SKOLNIK: We took him to court! That's why it plummeted.

SALAM: It started before that.

SKOLNIK: He knew he was wrong. He wants his legacy to be --


LEMON: Is that too much to put on a police department? You say give them jobs, is that the police department's job?

SKOLNIK: It's the police and the mayor's.


SKOLNIK: To serve, not just to protect. It's also to serve the community. They do not serve black and brown communities. They antagonize them.

SALAM: I think that's a pretty serious misrepresentation. When the city is safer, that's when employment levels increase. That makes a huge difference.

SKOLNIK: We haven't seen that in the black population.

SALAM: You absolutely have seen dramatic improvement and you've seen also the quality of life.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: Listen, both of you. I live in a neighborhood that's African-American. I live in a neighborhood that had horrible crime rates 10, 15 years ago. And you talk to some of the long time residents there, they'll tell you, listen, I don't know about the stop and frisk, a lot of people don't like it, I don't want black and Latino men to be profiled, but boy, I certainly am glad that crime is better.

And many of the people -- listen --


LEMON: Many of the people who I saw committing those crimes are the people who are being stopped and frisked. I'm just saying --

SKOLNIK: It's not -- they took 0.2 percent of all stops found a gun, 0.2 percent.

SALAM: It's not just about guns.


SKOLNIK: It's about marijuana --

SALAM: It's about a wide range --

LEMON: But is that because of stop and frisk, they're not carrying guns?

SKOLNIK: No, because you can have a better chance of getting guns of the street --

SALAM: Don just made a very subtle and important point, which is this -- part of the issue is that what's right now in New York City is that people are not carrying firearms. People are criminals are hiding their firearms.


SKOLNIK: Shootings are not down.

SALAM: Many people are no longer afraid that other people are carrying firearms, and that creates a collective --

LEMON: I've got to run, but I think it's interesting that one of the first people who implemented stop and frisk is now going to be the police commissioner again. That's an interesting choice from the new mayor because he's the first guy to do it.

SALAM: It's true.


SKOLNIK: We have hope.

LEMON: Yes. You want to comment on that? SKOLNIK: I think Bill Bratton has been a wonderful commissioner in L.A. I hope he makes changes here in New York. I doesn't stick to what Ray Kelly did.

LEMON: Interesting conversation, fascinating. Merry Christmas.

SKOLNIK: Merry Christmas.

LEMON: And still to come, a look back at 2013. Who told the biggest lie of the year? Does your pick make our list? Find out next.

And should freedom of speech extend to Twitter? We want to hear from you.


LEMON: It is that time of year again, and no, I'm not talking about holiday shopping. 'Tis the season for those best of lists. We seem them every year. You know the ones were -- just about every magazine and TV show is breaking down the good, the bad, the ugly from the past 52 weeks.

So, I'm getting the final word tonight on the biggest lie of 2013. And I'm going to make my decision based on the arguments of my guests.

And speaking of the good, the bad and ugly, and I'll explain which one is which, our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter is here. He's the smart one.

"Mediaite's" Joe Concha is here. He's the dapper one.

And radio talk show host Mel Robbins is here. She is the good looking one. And, obviously.

And then there's Dean Obeidallah. He's a columnist for "The Daily Beast".

Hi, Dean. How are you?


JOE CONCHA, MEDIAITE: I missed that.


LEMON: OK. We're going to start up, what is the biggest lie of this year?

I'm going to start with the smart one. Brian Stelter.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I'm going to have to start as the media correspondent with "60 Minutes" and Benghazi. That broadcast a couple months as where we see a now discredited contractor come out and tell this wild story about his night in Benghazi when the diplomatic compound was attacked last year. You know, now, we know it was the biggest lie of the year.

Let's roll a clip from it.

LEMON: Yes. Let's listen to it and we'll see --

STELTER: I think I'll prove my point.

LEMON: We'll see if this backs you up, Brian Stelter. Let it roll.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just shouted. I couldn't believe that he'd seen me, because it was so dark. He started walking towards me.

LARA LOGAN, CBS NEWS: And as he was coming closer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face.

LOGAN: In the story, a security officer working for the State Department, Dylan Davies told us he went to the compound during the attack and detailed his role that night. After our report aired, questions arose about whether his account was true. When we discovered the account he gave the FBI was different than what he told us, we realized we had been misled.


STELTER: I think Lara Logan said it better than I could. That's why it was the biggest lie of the year.

LEMON: OK. Now you have to be pillaged and blundered by your colleagues sitting next to you.

STELTER: Bring it on.

LEMON: Mel, what do you think? I mean, he makes a good case.

MEL ROBBINS, RADIO HOST: No, he doesn't. That was absolutely terrible.

Let me tell you the biggest lie of the year, Don --

LEMON: No, why is it terrible before you tell me.

ROBBINS: You have one informant hoodwinked "60 Minutes"? And that's the biggest lie of 2013? Come on. You can do better than that.

LEMON: Why are you shaking your big head, Dean Obeidallah?

OBEIDALLAH: Nice try, Brian. But sorry, that's not the biggest lie. It's not even close.

I know people in the media were like Brian. This is a big deal. But people in the average, I lie by "60 Minutes" is truly not that important. It didn't even affect the ratings that much if I recall correctly.

So, it was wrong. But if you like "60 Minutes", you forgive one mistake. If it's history mistake on "60 Minutes", sure, that will damage the brand. So, I don't think one mistake can be the biggest lie. This is a mistake, unfortunate. It was the perfect storm of errors in fact checking over there at "60 Minutes". But I don't think it was the biggest lie that we go, oh, my gosh, we got to do something about it.

LEMON: Dean --


LEMON: Can you let somebody get in? You're going to get your turn to state your case?

Joe Concha, what do you think? Why is your colleague, Brian Stelter, wrong?

JOE CONCHA, MEDIAITE: Brian is certainly not wrong. I just wouldn't rank it as number one. The problem is that were so many mistakes in media this year, it seems. Starting with the Boston bombings all the way through, the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case and the way that was handled. Obviously, there were some issues at MSNBC as far Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir and I'll be getting to that in a moment.

But overall, with media watchdogs out there, sites like Mediaite, Newsbusters, which goes after liberal publications, Media Matters that goes after conservative publications, or any story they disagree with, unfortunately, reporters are under such a microscope that every lie or not lie, but at least every sort of misreport that goes on --

LEMON: Wrap it up, Concha.

CONCHA: -- is going to get reported there, Lemon.

LEMON: All right.

STELTER: Here's why it matters, though. "60 Minutes" is the most esteemed news magazine on TV, the biggest most popular newscast in all of the country.

ROBBINS: That's right. They didn't lie. They didn't lie.

LEMON: Stand down. Stand down. I'll get to your side in just a little bit.

Since you moved ahead in the work manual, Mr. Concha, what do you think was the biggest lie of the year?

CONCHA: Well, it's not just me who thinks it. It's PolitiFact and it's also "The Washington Post" with their Pinocchios. But easily, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it, that was the biggest lie of the year.

Let's roll the tape you can hear it from the president's mouth. Let's hear it.

LEMON: All right.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan.

I am sorry that they -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear 'em and that we're going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.


LEMON: OK. So, Joe Concha, it is catchy, so I'll ask my other guests why he is wrong or at least why you don't think that is great. But I'm going to start with Mel, because she can take direction better.

Mel, what do you think?

ROBBINS: You got it.

Joe, if you like that answer, you can keep it because I got a better one. And also, like we're going to get back into the debate, was it actually a lie, unless you can pull the smoking gun or flaming memo that says he knew that they wouldn't be able to, and when he said it, he intended to deceive Americans, that's not a lie at all.


LEMON: Deano?

OBEIDALLAH: Judge Lemon, I want to say I agree with Mel completely on the fact. I don't think President Obama was lying, I don't think he even -- I don't think he even knows now the full extent of this huge, mammoth law. So, I don't think he was lying. I thought that was the truth and it turns out not to be correct.

STELTER: It was the biggest lie. It was the biggest lie of a few years ago, not this year. At least to his credit this year he has come out and in some way said story.

CONCHA: The problem is -- if I can get a last word?

LEMON: You can't get a last word in, it has to stand on its even now, you had your chance.

OK, Dena Obeidallah, not, it's your turn. What do you think?

OBEIDALLAH: All right, mine is clearly -- ended the segment, such a big lie, is Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified -- answering a question of Senator Ron Wyden. So, let's play the question, let me say a word afterwards first.

LEMON: No, you can't.

OBEIDALLAH: No, you have to let me. It is important.

LEMON: All right. Go ahead.


SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?


WYDEN: It does not?

CLAPPER: Not wittingly.

I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner by saying no.


OBEIDALLAH: This was unbelievable -- it was like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. He was so clearly lying. He had his down and he said, Edward Snowden released documents, massive NSA program, not just a little, huge.

LEMON: Why can't you just let the clip speak for itself.

Mel is losing her mind there, why, Mel?

ROBBINS: Well, I want to get into mine so we can end the segment.

LEMON: Go ahead.

ROBBINS: OK, great.

So here we go, 15 years in the making, this lie. It took down one of the biggest international brands -- well, it didn't take them down, but it affected them. It affected cancer patients worldwide. It also ended up with a hundred million dollar settlement with the government in a fraud case. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this clip out.



LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That's crazy. I would never do that. That's -- no, no way.

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?



ROBBINS: Seven Tour de France wins, the guy lied for 15 years. He sued people until they went bankrupt in order to shut them up. He blackballed people from the international community, and built an entire organization on this fraud.

CONCHA: It's breaking the rules.

LEMON: Go ahead, Concha.

CONCHA: Yes, OK, look, I need 1.21 gigawatts right now I can go back in time. This is so 2012, Lance Armstrong.

ROBBINS: Hello, it is January when he finally admitted to it.

CONCHA: Eighty-eight miles an hour.

ROBBINS: That is all you got?

CONCHA: The lie happened throughout the career of eight years --

LEMON: Ok. Dean called me Judge Lemon earlier, he is exactly right. Anybody else want to weigh in, 2 cents, real quickly before Judge Lemon makes his decision?

Anything to say for yourself, Stelter?

STELTER: I'm actually pretty persuaded by Clapper, I'm not backing down from Benghazi. But if I had to give the second biggest lie, I may have to go with Clapper.

LEMON: Go ahead there, Concha.

CONCHA: Mr. Lemon, the president's approval ratings in terms of honest being called -- what exactly said, do you feel the president is honest and trustworthy? It was 73 percent in 2009. That is down in the 40s now, a 32 percent drop. The American people feel he's no longer trustworthy. Therefore, my lie, what happened here with, biggest story of the year, biggest lie of the year.


CONCHA: I win!

LEMON: Mel, you had your chance. OK, go ahead.

ROBBINS: What? OK, come on, it was 15 years of lying. It impacted the international cycling community, had an impact on Nike, had an impact on cancer patients around the world and he had to pay the government $100 million.


ROBBINS: Based on the breadth, the scope, this is a massive lie.

LEMON: Deano?

OBEIDALLAH: These guys have to be kidding me. We're talking about a massive NSA surveillance program. Not a bicycle rider, or a promise, "60 Minutes", or president saying something years ago, all of our e-mails, almost are being read, our phone records. That's my point. Don, thank you.

LEMON: Dean, just because you scream it doesn't mean it is going to --

OBEIDALLAH: I'm sorry.

CONCHA: I just keep pointing for Dean to ask if we ordered a code red at point.

LEMON: OK, are you guys ready? Here is my choice.


LEMON: Well, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan -- please step forward.

CONCHA: I can't, I'm literally stuck --



You know why? Because it affects a lot more people than Lance Armstrong, the NSA does affect a lot of people -- but I mean you know, I'm sorry.

OBEIDALLAH: I want to appeal to Erin Burnett.

ROBBINS: Based on that, dean should have won over here.

LEMON: You think so?

ROBBINS: Yes, because it had a bigger impact and wider reach.

LEMON: I think Lance Armstrong was 2012L. I think "if the you like your plan you can keep your plan" is great. I think Clapper was interesting, I couldn't get down to the nuance. I thought the sound bite was pretty good. It was the least untruthful manner by saying no, I'm actually going to steal that line.

And then, I thought the "60 Minutes" thing, Dean, you made a good point, you said if you like "60 Minutes", one thing that probably happened, they didn't get it right. It may damage their brand but it certainly didn't ruin it. All right? CONCHA: That term is mulligan, Mr. Lemon. They get a mulligan.

LEMON: All right, if you like being on CNN you can keep being on CNN. You guys were good. Thank you.

And still to come on CNN, how far is too far when it comes to Twitter?


LEMON: There was a lot of Twitter regret this weekend.

First up, Justine Sacco, a P.R. rep at IAC, as she boarded a flight to South Africa, she tweeted out, going to Africa, hope I don't get AIDS, just kidding, I'm white."

As you can imagine, many took offense and the hashtag has just been landed yet, was soon trending as the world waited for her plane to land. It eventually did and she was immediately fired.

But she wasn't the only and one who wanted a Twitter do-over. Actor Steve Martin also found himself apologizing for a tweet some called racist, when one of his fans asked is this how you spell lasagna this? Martin responded with, "It depends, are you in an African-American neighborhood or an Italian restaurant?"

Well, Martin immediately removed the tweet and apologized but not before it had been re-tweeted. And then there was Washington State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon. When his Seattle Seahawks got beat by the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, he tweeted out, "Losing a football game suck. Losing to a desert wasteland sucks a lot."

Fitzgibbon also removed the tweet and apologized. But again, not before a lot of people were offended.

Of course, not all celebrity tweets were vile. This extra-long tweet by Charlie Sheen is an attack on "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson on which Sheen calls him every name under the son except for a child of God. And despite being harsh and even threatening, so far, Sheen's Twitter poem has been celebrated on line and in the media.

So what do you think? Which tweets do you think cross the line? Does freedom of speech extend to Twitter? Should users be forced to apologize for offensive comments on line? Well, let us know what you think on Twitter @DonLemon and @OutFrontCNN.

"AC360" starts right now.