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AC 360 LATER
Dangerous Weather; Rodman Meltdown; Robert Gates' Scathing Memoir; Reality TV Baker Shares Insight with Struggling Bakeries; Football Players Mom Knocks Competitor's Speech; Video of Swearing Toddler Stirs Controversy
Aired January 7, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey. Welcome to "AC360 Later."
Tonight: The country stays frozen, Dennis Rodman melts down, a former defense secretary dishes on the commander in chief, and the Cake Boss joins us. He's icing on the cake tonight.
Speaking of icing, it's where we begin with blogger Andrew Sullivan, founder of The Dish at AndrewSullivan.com, CNN commentator Michaela Angela Davis, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and out there in the freezing cold, Pamela Brown, who is in the middle of a blizzard near Buffalo, and in Minneapolis, the lady who can turn water into snow, Stephanie Elam.
But first we got to Pamela.
How bad is it? How cold is it?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it's brutally cold.
It's the kind of cold where your cheeks hurt, your teeth hurt. I would have to say we're dealing with a trifecta of just the brutal cold and the whipping winds and of course, the snow. In fact, this blizzard warning has been effect here in Buffalo since last night.
It's expected to go through tomorrow morning. It's epic because there hasn't been a blizzard warning here in Buffalo since 1993. Despite that, residents here, they're no strangers to winter weather.
I think this is a lot, Anderson, but it's a ghost town here. You see here around me, there's no cars on the roads. All the businesses are closed. People are really heeding those warnings and hunkering down, staying inside. Authorities are saying that's a big reason why they believe there haven't been any big injuries or they haven't seen many cases dealing with frostbite, hypothermia and why so far there haven't been any deaths, because we have to remember it is very dangerous.
Officials said on one highway that there were 50 stranded cars there, and they had to go help rescue the passengers on snowmobiles. Officials couldn't even be in their cars because it was just too dangerous on the roads. Also, Anderson, the Sabres' hockey game was canceled tonight, first time in 13 years. That just gives you an idea of the conditions here in Buffalo.
COOPER: Pamela, they're expecting, I heard three feet, but I then I talked to Chad Myers. He said perhaps as many as five feet of snow.
We were expecting to see about three feet of snow here, Anderson. Right now, we're not really seeing those totals that we thought we would see. There's about 10 inches. And a big reason is because Lake Erie, there's ice on the Lake Erie now, which is affecting the lake- effect snow.
So the warmth of the water isn't going up to the cold air as much and creating the accumulation that we thought we would see. That speaks to how cold it is. It feels like negative-21 degrees here. So I guess the best word I keep saying is brutal. Best way to sum it up.
COOPER: Yes. All right, well, Pamela, thanks.
I want to go check in Stephanie Elam now.
Last night if you watched the program Stephanie blew all of our minds multiple times by turning hot water, which she threw from a cup, and made it into snow. That's her last night. Yes, I watched that on replay late into the night last night. It just blew my mind repeatedly. There it is again.
Stephanie, we talked earlier in the night tonight. It was too warm for that. So it's significantly warmer tonight?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's negative one.
And you know what? Anderson, I never thought that negative one would feel so awesome, but it does.
ELAM: It's still really cold, but it feels a lot better. I'm starting to get this whole psyche out here, where they're like it's not so bad, it's 20 degrees, I will wear my windbreaker.
But that's kind of how it is around these parts. And just to show you how much we were trying to make you happy, Anderson.
COOPER: Is that a flamethrower?
ELAM: Look, it's just water, no flames.
It's just a fertilizer we brought from a retailer. But we're looking here to try to make snow and, look, you can see it's just water. At negative one, it doesn't do it. What does happen, though, we sprayed this T-shirt. As you can see, it's nice and frozen in just a little bit of time, so still cold enough to freeze your shirt off of you if that's what you wanted to do, if that's your thing.
COOPER: And how long though is this bad weather expected there? How long is it going to stay this cold?
ELAM: Well, it's starting to warm up. Like, by Thursday, it's supposed to be a whole 20 degrees. Again, I tell you, never thought that would sound hot. That sounds hot. So, yes, they're going to be fine by the end of the week here, above freezing maybe by the end of the week.
COOPER: I appreciate you appreciate staying up for us. Go get something warm.
Now we turn to Dennis Rodman. We have to talk about Dennis Rodman, unfortunately,alleged friend of North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un. The guy kills rivals, throws their families into concentration camps, as many as more than 100,000 people said to be in concentration camps of one form or another in North Korea, Americans in jail, an American citizen in jail, Kenneth Bae.
Dennis Rodman, that's his friend apparently. Today, the former NBA great who is North Carolina -- excuse me -- North Korea on a goodwill mission, that's what they call it, was asked about one of those jailed Americans, Kenneth Bae, this morning on "NEW DAY." Watch what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You do have a relationship with this man. You've said it many times. We've seen it demonstrated --
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER: Yes.
CUOMO: -- for whatever reason.
CUOMO: Are you going to take an opportunity if you get it to speak up for the family of Kenneth Bae and to say, let us know why this man is being held, that this is wrong, that he is sick? If you can help them, Dennis, will you take the opportunity?
RODMAN: Watch this. The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing, if you understand -- I got it, guy.
If you understand what Kenneth Bae did --
RODMAN: Do you understand what he did --
CUOMO: What did he do? You tell me. RODMAN: -- in this country?
CUOMO: You tell me. What he do?
RODMAN: No, no, no, you tell me. You tell me. Why is he held captive?
CUOMO: They haven't released any charges. They haven't released any reason.
RODMAN: We got 10 guys, all these guys here. Does anyone understand that?
CUOMO: We do. And we appreciate that. And we wish them well with cultural exchange.
RODMAN: No, no, no. I'm just saying -- no, I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here. Look at them!
CUOMO: Yes, but, Dennis, don't put it on them.
CUOMO: Don't use them as an excuse for the behavior that you're putting on yourself.
You just basically were saying that Kenneth Bae did something wrong. We don't even know what the charges are. Don't use these guys as a shield for you, Dennis.
CHARLES SMITH, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Listen. Listen. Listen.
RODMAN: Shield, I got it. Let me do this. Let me -- let me. I'm going to tell you one thing. People around the world -- around the world -- I'm going to do one thing. You're a guy behind the mike right now. We're the guys here doing one thing.
We have to go back to America and take the abuse. Do you have to take the abuse that we're going to take? Do you, sir? Let me know. We're going to take the abuse. We're going to get it. But guess what, though?
One day, one day, this door is going to open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, the White House today refused to dignify Rodman's remarks with a comment.
Perhaps our panel will.
I don't know this guy. He seemed drunk to me or on something. It was incoherent. I have read the transcript multiple times. It makes no sense, what he is actually saying.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I thought he made several interesting points.
TOOBIN: I have no idea what he's talking about.
TOOBIN: It was nuts. It was craziness.
But he's being used. And he's part of a spectacle over there. And it may just be that they are crazy enough in North Korea to give him something for going over there. And I hope maybe they give him Kenneth Bae.
COOPER: That would be one thing if he was willing to even say something to Kim Jong-un about Kenneth Bae or about anything else, but it sounds like he almost sounds to be accusing Kenneth Bae of having done something wrong.
TOOBIN: He is.
ANDREW SULLIVAN, ANDREWSULLIVAN.COM: It's an absolute disgrace. This person is a disgrace to his country for going out there and selling out a fellow American to this disgusting dictator.
At some point, the most charitable is, this man is not well, that there's something wrong there. And certainly the incoherence of what he was saying suggests he's not well.
But, look, he's not being used. He's a grownup. He's choosing, choosing to support and associate with one of the most foulest, most disgusting people on the planet.
COOPER: Right. He said it's not that bad there yesterday.
SULLIVAN: He's talking about his own abuse. Oh, the abuse he's going to face.
You know what abuse the North Korean people face on a daily basis?
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You can't really look at him like he's a diplomat.
In the beginning of the set, you said he looks drunk. He totally does. You know how they say real recognizes real? Well, crazy recognizes crazy. I feel like Kim Jong-un chose him because they're both crazy.
And he's there with this group of -- those poor players in the background look like they just want to disappear. I'm sure they thought they were going to come over, make a little money, sneak out.
DAVIS: Two of the players out of 10 were also fired for drinking.
COOPER: The players kept saying and trying to interject, saying, look, this is something we have done in Taiwan and plenty of other places.
There's a big difference playing a charity match in Taiwan or elsewhere in the world for typhoon victims.
COOPER: Right. This is a birthday present for a dictator who Americans shouldn't be celebrating his birthday, the man who has imprisoned and tortured and killed untold numbers of people.
DAVIS: And what a crazy place to be a loose cannon.
If you can execute your uncle --
COOPER: Again, the other basketball players kept saying, well, look, we played for typhoon victims elsewhere.
COOPER: It's not as if they're playing for prisoners in a concentration camp. They're playing for the elites who are going to be able to go to whatever this basketball game is.
This is not something which is for the average person in North Korea, that they have any access to. It just legitimizes this man's regime. And he continually tries to legitimizes it.
SULLIVAN: And legitimizes it by this cult of celebrity, which no one ever says no to. This man is a disgrace and I think he should be treated as such. And, yes, he deserves abuse when he comes home. And, yes, the people of North Korea deserve a lot better than that.
TOOBIN: If you listen to him, he's obviously not rational or subject to the normal scrutiny of -- he doesn't care what we say.
He's obviously a crazy person. And he's part of this process that he's enjoying the attention, I guess. Dennis Rodman, look, I'm a basketball fan. Dennis Rodman was crazy when he was a player 10 years ago.
DAVIS: But he was a great player. He was he was a great crazy player. (CROSSTALK)
TOOBIN: Well, so what? It doesn't mean you're any less crazy. But the reason why Dennis Rodman is over there is because he's a crazy person, not because, like many basketball players --
COOPER: We're going to continue this discussion. We're going to actually talk with Laura Ling, who was captured, along with Euna Lee, tried and sentenced to hard labor in North Korea, before Bill Clinton secured their release. We will talk to her on the other side of this break.
COOPER: Welcome back.
We're talking about Dennis Rodman, who melted down today when asked some tough questions about his trip to North Korea. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODMAN: No, no, no. I'm just saying -- no, I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here. Look at them!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back with the panel.
Also joining us, journalist Laura Ling. Four years ago, she and Euna Lee were detained in North Korea, put on trial, convicted, sentenced to hard labor, held captive for 140 days.
It's great to have you back on the program.
Laura, as you see Dennis Rodman, someone who has had this personal experience there, what do you think, particularly what he said about Kenneth Bae, a man who is being held there now?
LAURA LING, JOURNALIST: Look, he's a wacko, he's a nut.
But I don't think that anyone expects him to be this ambassador or to produce this diplomatic breakthrough. At least, we shouldn't. That would be pretty scary if Dennis Rodman was our diplomat envoy.
It's like this bizarre reality show, you know, the celebrity and the dictator. I was very disappointed to hear his comments about Kenneth Bae, because, clearly, they were so incomprehensible. He didn't know what he was talking about.
And that's really unfortunate. But with these basketball players being there under this so-called goodwill mission, I would hope that the North Koreans could release Kenneth Bae as a compassionate humanitarian gesture in turn. Wouldn't that be great? COOPER: How easy would it be for this man Rodman, who allegedly is now a friend of Kim Jong-un, to just say to him, you know what, just man to man, it would be a great thing for you to release this guy, it would be a great token gesture?
I spoke with Terri Chung, who is Kenneth Bae's sister, about Rodman and about the trip and her brother and his outburst. I just want to play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRI CHUNG, SISTER OF KENNETH BAE: This isn't some game. This is about a person's life, a father of three, a son and brother, and a husband.
And here he sits. And Dennis Rodman, he's not a diplomat, he says so himself, and he's definitely not in a position to pass judgment on Kenneth Bae.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Laura, from personal experience, an outreach like that can have a big impact. You were able to get out by Bill Clinton going over there.
LING: Absolutely. I think it was a huge opportunity missed.
And this man's life is at stake. But what can you expect from somebody like Dennis Rodman, who is erratic, whose behavior is as erratic --
SULLIVAN: I think you can expect the following, a basic decency, which is that you do not throw a fellow American under the bus in front of a dictator. That seems to me to be pretty self-evident.
TOOBIN: But, Laura, I think we can all agree that Dennis Rodman is not the answer -- is the wrong answer. What's the right answer? What can the United States do to try to get Kenneth Bae back?
LING: Well, I think that part of our attention has been so focused on Dennis Rodman.
And what's unfortunate is that our attention should be focused on the condition of the North Korean people and the humanitarian crisis that they have been living in for decades. With regard to Kenneth Bae, it's a complicated situation.
And it's so, you know, mired in politics, unfortunately, that it's, you know -- it's -- it really is going to -- there's just no telling what it's going to take. But like I said, the North Koreans have the ability to release him as a humanitarian gesture. They have done it in the past. Hopefully, that is something that will happen soon.
COOPER: What was it like being detained and being held captive for so long in North Korea? On a day-to-day basis, how much contact did you have with what was going on, with any efforts being made to get you out?
LING: I mean, I had no contact with anyone from the outside world, except a few visits with the Swedish ambassador.
I did know what was going on to some extent from letters that I was allowed to receive. And it was the most terrifying time of my life. But there were also glimmers of compassion and humanity exhibited towards me from some of my captors. And I think that a similar connection was felt by them.
There's a deep curiosity about the West, and I was allowed to watch television. Everything -- almost everything on television, it seems, is like this anti-U.S. rhetoric, and it paints the United States as the enemy. And so for speaking about this basketball diplomacy, for this so-called cultural exchange to happen, perhaps it can introduce the North Koreans to a more positive side and perhaps yield something fruitful.
That's what I can hope, because this exchange is going to happen.
COOPER: The idea that the North Koreans think Americans are Dennis Rodman is -- that's another sort of terrifying aspect to all of this.
DAVIS: That's a caricature. Yes.
COOPER: Listen, Laura, it's always great to have you on. I appreciate you being on the program.
Also speaking out somewhat more coherently than Dennis Rodman -- or a lot more coherently -- is former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. That's a tough transition -- I admit it.
He's written a memoir. It's scathing about Congress, about Hillary Clinton, about Joe Biden and about President Obama. We will tell you about that ahead.
Talking about Afghanistan, he writes, "As I sat there, I thought the president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand Karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his."
"For him," Gates writes, "it is all about getting out."
Mr. Obama's management style also comes in for criticism. Gates writes, "His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost." Strong stuff.
Also, our chief national correspondent, Jim Sciutto, joins the panel now.
Jim, were you surprised that a guy who recently just got out of this position is writing a book already about a sitting president that is pretty scathing about that president, about Congress, about Hillary Clinton, about Biden? JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question.
I have been talking to a lot of officials still inside the administration tonight in terms of their reaction. You do get a sense that many will say, listen, this is Washington. Ex-officials write sometimes critical books about their bosses and their former colleagues.
But this one goes far in his criticism. You look at his comments about President Obama, said that he sent troops to war in Afghanistan knowing that the policy was a failure. That's an aggressive thing to say about a sitting commander in chief. About Biden, he said that the vice president of the United States has gotten every -- in his words, every major foreign policy and national security issue wrong over the last four decades.
That's a very personal thing. So this is -- as you look at it, it doesn't look like your typical political memoir. And a lot of people I have been talking to aren't very happy --
COOPER: And it was interesting, Andrew. He writes that he was seething throughout much of the time. We always -- we saw him as very placid and kind of conciliatory.
He says he was seething at everything that he was seeing behind the scenes. What do you make of --
SULLIVAN: I'm a little gobsmacked by it.
It's not what I would expect from Bob Gates. I would expect it from some other people. But this man, who I think served his country extremely well and very ably, and seemed to get along with everybody around him and who was a wonderful communicator to the public, the fact that he was enraged the entire time, I find it hard to understand.
I also find it hard to understand because he says at certain points that he agrees with most of the actual decisions that Obama took in foreign policies, and yet swings at him and the rest. To say that there was something wrong about Obama trying to get out of Afghanistan, when he was elected to get us out of Afghanistan --
TOOBIN: That's the thing that struck me, yes, about the criticism of Obama for being committed to getting people out -- the troops out of Afghanistan.
First of all, Obama, as Andrew just said, promised to get us out of Afghanistan. And, second, most Americans want us out of Afghanistan. So why is that sort of politically incendiary? Isn't that sort of praise?
SCIUTTO: Listen, I also think you see - you saw in the book, you can argue there were contradictory points.
For instance, as Andrew said, he did say that the president got many of these calls right. He also praises the president's decision-making in a number of places in the book, saying that he made decisions that were opposed by his advisers and opposed by the Democratic base and was willing to go forward.
He also calls the decision to launch the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, in Gates' words, the most courageous political decision that he's seen during his time in the White House serving half-a-dozen presidents and also a call that Gates admits in the book that he wasn't willing to make, in other words, one that disagreed on and the president went. And of course there was great success there.
So there are contradictory parts of his story.
COOPER: He also recounts Hillary Clinton, a conversation he witnessed between Hillary Clinton and President Obama, in which Hillary Clinton said that her opposition to the surge in Iraq was political, that it was during the primary season and she was facing a tough primary challenge, and that he seems to indicate President Obama kind of agreed with that.
Did that surprise you? Do you think it does damage to Hillary Clinton?
TOOBIN: That struck me as -- I read that part of the book -- that I bet Hillary Clinton would have a very different interpretation of that conversation.
To say that politics takes place in Washington, I don't think is a big scoop. But also the idea that the entire reason she opposed the surge was because of the campaign, I just find that sort of hard to believe. And I bet she would have a different interpretation.
COOPER: Well, it's also pretty brutal for Biden saying that Biden has gotten everything wrong for the past three decades.
SCIUTTO: Four decades.
COOPER: Four decades.
DAVIS: Yes. I think that was the most scathing.
SULLIVAN: The question is, why the gratuitous insults? It's just not in his character or personality.
COOPER: But that's what is so fascinating, because it seems like we're suddenly seeing him in a whole other light, because he talks about testifying in front of Congress saying at one point he wanted to just like get up and throw his briefing book down and say that no American should talk to anybody like this.
TOOBIN: And I have to say, having covered a lot of congressional hearings, I'm sorry he didn't do that, because congressional hearings are so awful.
TOOBIN: The posturing, the ignorance, the grandstanding on the part of the congress men and women is so appalling.
And the administration officials, Democrat, Republican, have to sit there and listen to this. You know, I have a lot of sympathy for that view.
SULLIVAN: The one thing that I really found odd was, he didn't like the fact the president challenged the military chiefs. He didn't -- he thought they weren't respected. I want a president to be able to talk to his military chiefs and disagree with them.
DAVIS: But you have a commander in chief. That's what your -- the job description.
COOPER: It was more the people around the president, the way that -- he says the way they spoke to -- my understanding is they spoke to the military chiefs, sort of belittling, in Gates' --
SULLIVAN: That's such a subjective interpretation.
COOPER: We have got to take a break.
Jim Sciutto, appreciate you being with us. Everything else, stay with us.
Up next, to fill in our fifth chair, the sweet artisan, the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, joins us.
Also ahead, Florida State's football team, the new national champs. The quarterback talked about the big victory after game, but one tweet about his performance at the microphone scored a lot of controversy. We will talk about that ahead.
COOPER: I wish we had smell-o-vision, because it smells really good. Joining us in the fifth chair tonight, Buddy Valastro. Best known as the "Cake Boss" on TLC. It's great to have you here.
He's king of the cakes; if you ask me, the sultan of sweets. He's created some true masterpieces over the years. What have you actually brought us?
BUDDY VALASTRO, STAR, TLC'S "CAKE BOSS": Well, I've got some of our cupcakes here, and we've got peanut butter, caramel. Then we've got my favorite pastry of all time: the Carlos Bakery lobster tail.
VALASTRO: It's got a crispy, crunchy shell with a creamy inside. And of course, you don't go anywhere without a traditional cannoli, right?
COOPER: No, sure. Excellent.
VALASTRO: You don't go anywhere...
COOPER: You also created, actually, a birthday cake...
VALASTRO: We made your birthday cake. It was pretty cool, yes.
COOPER: It was pretty crazy.
VALASTRO: Look at that. Not too bad, huh?
DAVIS: Oh, wow! Look at that.
COOPER: Yes, it was the coolest thing ever. Very nice. I appreciate you doing it.
You also have a new show on TLC.
VALASTRO: I do. I have a new show called "Bakery Boss." And it just started airing Monday nights at 10. And it's basically where I go into bakeries that are struggling all over the country, and I go in and greet them. And I tell them what they're doing wrong.
COOPER: What are they mostly doing wrong?
VALASTRO: Well, I mean, it ranges from some of the different things that we -- some of the bakeries are old bakeries that didn't change with the times. Whether it's, you know, in the cake decorating or the menu.
Some people, like this one lady was (UNINTELLIGIBLE). She was a good at-home baker. And she's like, "I'm going to quit my job. I'm going to take out a triple mortgage on the house and open a bakery."
VALASTRO: So you hear, like, from one spectrum to the other, and I just like give them my insight.
SULLIVAN: Are you a nice guy that goes in there or are you a mean guy that goes in there?
VALASTRO: I'm a very nice guy, but at the end of...
SULLIVAN: You're not a Gordon Ramsey?
VALASTRO: No, no. But I'm real. I tell them what I think is going on...
DAVIS: Wow! Look at that.
COOPER: Wow. That is nice.
TOOBIN: How do you eat that?
COOPER: Very carefully. So we all three of us tweet here at the table. We all try to be polite on Twitter. We -- always except occasionally. One tweet sent out for Florida State's big victory in the national championship football game last night is causing a stir. I'm told Florida State beat Auburn in the final moments. I'm pretending to know much about it.
But after the game -- you watched it...
DAVIS: Great. Terrific.
DAVIS: I ran from here to that game (ph).
COOPER: After that game, it's actually the mother of Alabama's quarterback who took some issue with Florida State's quarterback during his post-game interview. Dee Dee McCarron, the mother of A.J. McCarron, quarterback, tweeted, "Am I listening to English?" when Florida State's Jameis Winston took the microphone. And as you'd expect, that did not go over too well.
Here's what Winston said during the interview, which aired on ESPN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After struggling through the first half, what was the biggest adjustment you guys made at halftime?
JAMEIS WINSTON, QUARTERBACK, FLORIDA STATE: We had to go back to playing Florida State football. We came out here and we wasn't -- we were -- we were letting us be bigger than the game. We were bigger than the game. And then I say, Florida State football, because can't nobody be bigger than this game, and we did that. And we came out victorious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you embraced with your head coach, Jimbo Fisher. You've been through a lot with him this season. What did you guys share in that moment, Jameis?
WINSTON: We just -- we're champions. We can say that we are champions together. And through everything that we went through, through all the haters, through every single thing, we came out victorious. And God did this. I'm so blessed. He's so blessed. All the stuff that he kind of -- he came on here and tortured (ph) us. That's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and there's nobody but God. There's nobody. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That being a reference to Jimbo's son. You said it once, you said it a hundred times this season: if we're going to do it big, we're going to do it big. And how big is this moment?
WINSTON: It's the biggest. Happy birthday. My cousin in Afghanistan watching this game, Ceola (ph) Winston, he's doing it for everybody. We're doing it big all over the country, all over the world. And I'm proud. I'm proud to say I'm Florida State's (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now again, the mother of Alabama's quarterback asked if she was listening to English after hearing that. She deleted the tweet and then posted this: "Anyone that knows our family knows we're far from racist," because a lot of people said her comment was racist. "My tweet was not in any way meant that way. I sincerely apologize if it offended anyone."
As for Winston, while celebrating his national title, he took a moment this afternoon to post this tweet in response: "For the people that criticized the way that I talk, this if for y'all. The Florida State Seminoles are national champions! That is all."
I was surprised that, I mean, that she would say this. I mean, when somebody is speaking extemporaneously.
DAVIS: He's a Heisman Trophy winner, right? And he just played the most amazing game. The adrenaline, the excitement. He's a kid!
COOPER: And he speaks -- I thought he did great.
DAVIS: And when he mentioned his cousin in Afghanistan was watching, I got really verklempt. Like, it was -- that was a championship moment. And this is a young boy that just played the game of his life. And for an adult woman to do that I thought was just really...
SULLIVAN: Isn't it like those parents who go to their kids' games and, like, take it way more seriously than the kids do?
DAVIS: She's the hater that he was talking about. He's had a very interesting career.
VALASTRO: For someone with a heavy accent like me, sometimes you always get stereotyped or people think, you know, just because you have an accent you, you know, aren't smart or you can't contribute in the conversation. But, you know, for -- for her to go out and say that I just think was uncalled for. And I think, you know, some -- that's just the way some people talk.
And that's the way -- if everyone around you talks like that, you grow up -- it's like, I'm from Jersey. You know?
COOPER: After winning a huge game like this, to be able to speak extemporaneously in a coherent way, I -- I mean, I speak incoherently most of the time. So I mean...
DAVIS: The perfect crowd, the energy, the noise, the excitement. How you...
COOPER: Do you think there was a -- I mean, some of the tweets against her were saying that it was racist. Do you think there was any racial component?
DAVIS: Well, you know what's interesting? It didn't become racist to me until she said it. And also, when anyone says, "If I offended anyone," it's code for "I'm not really apologizing."
TOOBIN: That was the great -- that was the great -- that's the great public official apology. That I -- I'm sorry if I offended.
COOPER: I was taken out of context, and if I offended anybody.
TOOBIN: I mean, you know.
SULLIVAN: She was a sore loser.
TOOBIN: Yes, she lost. I mean, and -- and...
SULLIVAN: That's what it's about.
TOOBIN: ... every minute. But you know what a dramatic finish it was and how it looked like Auburn was going to win and then Florida State won. So you can see why Auburn people were -- were upset.
SULLIVAN: She's a mom.
COOPER: Yes, yes. My mom recently said to me, "Can I get on Twitter?" I was like no!No, no, no.
DAVIS: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
COOPER: No, no, no.
DAVIS: Wait, no. Are you kidding me?
COOPER: Yes, I know. My mom's not getting on Twitter.
DAVIS: My -- my history is in fashion. I'm obsessed with your -- you do not stop her from being on Twitter. No, no, no.
COOPER: She needs to be, like -- there needs to be...
TOOBIN: By the way, you should note that her son finished second to Winston in the Heisman Trophy. So there was not only the -- the loss of the game.
DAVIS: There's something about being an icon and being at a certain age where you really don't care what people think. And we need their voices. COOPER: Well, that's why she should not be on Twitter. That's why she shouldn't be on Twitter.
DAVIS: No! You're being very, like, 15 years old right now, and "I don't want my mom..."
COOPER: Also, I don't really want my mom involved in the vitriol that is directed to people who are on Twitter. Well, so for everybody...
DAVIS: I understand that.
COOPER: ... online, I mean, there is this level of vitriol. Amanda Hess writes especially directed toward women. And a certain standard online.
COOPER: For instance, cyber stalking and general nastiness.
TOOBIN: Let me just talk about that piece for a second. I mean, I thought that was a really important piece. Amanda Hess is a writer. She writes about sex, among other topics, so it's a subject that men seem to lose their heads about. And the abuse that she has gotten, the threats of rape, people following her, online, offline, it's -- it's different with men and women. I think that's what's so interesting about this piece, is that women get a level of abuse on the Web that men don't. And that's something, frankly, I didn't know.
DAVIS: I mean, saying that a man wrote it, and a white, straight man. He wrote that he -- that he had substituted for her for a week and had no idea the kind of comments.
My peers go through this all the time. The culture is structured for male, white, heterosexual, Christian dominance. So the further away you are from that construct, the more abuse, the more -- it's so difficult to navigate.
So imagine being a woman of color; a gay, black woman; a Muslim woman with a voice. The world hasn't forged a place (ph) for us.
TOOBIN: Andrew, you live your entire life online, except when you're here. Why -- what is it about being online that makes people so angry?
SULLIVAN: First of all, they don't have to look anybody in the face, which is the critical thing. So you can say lots of things.
Secondly, you're right, in general. I think men don't get the same kind of level. I mean, they get plenty of abuse.
SULLIVAN: But gay men, I have to say, I mean, a number of times I get told that I wrote something because I have AIDS dementia, is more than you would imagine. And...
DAVIS: ... from that, you know, construct. So...
SULLIVAN: It's more about saying, "You have no right to speak up in this context. And we will pull that card right away."
Now the truth is, I'm fine. I'm a big boy. I don't give a -- I don't really give a rat's behind about what these people -- it says much more about them than it does about you. But I understand, when I look at journalism online and I see how few women there really are there...
DAVIS: That's right.
SULLIVAN: There should be many more women involved in that kind of...
DAVIS: There might be many more men...
COOPER: And you must get this -- you must get this all the time.
VALASTRO: I must say, as far as, you know, when you look at what people say online, yes, a lot of people will walk bigger and tougher online, because they've not got to stare you in the face, you know? The could be just a skinny little geeky guy behind the computer. What he said, they don't come and say it to your face. That's No. 1.
No. 2, a long time ago, I remember when "Cake Boss" first aired. I got -- you know, I was reading a blog. I was reading online. I was so -- whoa, I was like -- so like the person from TLC, the publicist, Dustin, said to me, "Buddy, whatever you do, don't read it." He goes, "Trust me when I tell you, most of the people who comment online are haters. That's what they want to do."
SULLIVAN: And you know what? My blog (ph) has been around for 14 years. We have never allowed comments. And we've had calls to readers to say, "Do you want comments?" And they, two to one, say, "No comments, please. We'd rather keep it..."
DAVIS: You know, some reality shows, they literally have therapists there for talent.
COOPER: Not to deal with the fact that it's not face to face. Also, it's anonymous. So, you know, it's -- either the picture's not there, so you're an egg, and it's people who have three followers. And they just send out thousands of tweets. And they're all -- you look at people's Twitters, it's just one vicious thing after another. It's truly fascinating.
DAVIS: Also with women, the sexual violence is -- is so intense. And then when there's racial things on top. So -- so something's happening to you. If you add -- you know, if you're a trans woman, imagine what kind of comments you get. Like, it gets deeper and thicker and harder.
SULLIVAN: I do think you just have to deal with it. You have to fight back.
DAVIS: But then you add -- straight white men check in and say, "This is not right." They have to stand up publicly on Twitter.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break.
VALASTRO: I've got a 10-year-old daughter who's got a cell phone. She can go on Twitter, and there's all this stuff there.
VALASTRO: I mean, it's a shame. What do you tell your kids?
COOPER: Stick around, everyone. After the break, the video that Omaha's police unit posted on its Web site, calling it an example of a cycle of violence and thuggery, their words. It shows a toddler in a diaper, exchanging curses with a room full of adults. We'll show it to you ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You a bitch, bitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Welcome back. We are eating Buddy Valastro's pastries with who else? Buddy Valastro. He's in the fifth chair tonight, and the rest of our panel.
Another story to talk about, in Nebraska. The Omaha Police Officers' Association is under fire over a video posted on their Web site that it said illustrates, quote, "a cycle of violence and thuggery" in Omaha's community.
It shows a young child, maybe 2 or 3 years old, swearing back at adults who seem irritated over a fallen chair. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You a bitch, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You a bitch, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You a bitch, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Stop! You throwing a fit right now, little (EXPLETIVE DELETED). (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put that bitch (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ain't talking that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) now, little (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Obviously, the video has upset a lot of people and the fact that the police put the video on. What do you... DAVIS: And the way that you said that there's adults, I question that. In listening to, you know, the people that are holding the camera, they do not sound like adults. They do not sound like -- like they're stable.
And the fact that he put that up as an example of what? And to do what? And I feel like shaming is never a good tactic. And if you're in the -- if you really are wanting to stop the cycle of violence, how does that do that?
And for us, too, the word "thug" is code for "black." Like it's so riddled with -- it's so disturbing. So disturbing. What's the point?
VALASTRO: Honestly, I mean, my problem with the video is, black, white or whatever, is I mean, you've got good black, you've got good white. I mean, you've got bad black, you've got bad white. It doesn't matter what color you are. For me, when you see something like that, what does that child -- like what chances did it have in life, you know? With -- where are they going to go?
COOPER: Because it did seem like one of the people might be the child's mother.
DAVIS: Why don't you think to call child services? Why don't you think to intervene and help, rather than put it up as -- it's exploitative. Like, why would the police put that up? What -- what's the end goal?
TOOBIN: The union.
VALASTRO: No, I see a point there. But what bothers me is what do we do as a society to fix that? I mean, I do a lot of work, you know, in inner cities, in Newark, where at the time now-Senator Booker, but Mayor Booker. And you go around and you see some of these kids and you feel bad.
I was in a toy drive in downtown Jersey City, and you feel like you want them to feel -- and there's good and bad. It doesn't -- and there's -- it's not all black, it's not all Spanish. It's not all white.
DAVIS: But your inspiration is to help. I don't feel like that was the inspiration for putting this up.
VALASTRO: I agree with what you said.
DAVIS: I feel like it was -- could be exploitative.
SULLIVAN: You seem to be denying that those people were abusing that child in a horrifying way.
DAVIS: No, no denial. I just...
SULLIVAN: That could have helped (ph). DAVIS: I just said that there was child services. To me, they sounded like teen parents. They could be parents. But adults is something else.
SULLIVAN: If you're a parent, you're an adult.
DAVIS: I feel like this is -- this is more about child abuse.
COOPER: They're not 13 or 14 years old. They sounded 18, 19, 22.
DAVIS: But they do not sound stable.
DAVIS: They do not sound like...
SULLIVAN: A lot of -- a lot of poor families in difficult circumstances are not stable.
SULLIVAN: And you -- I lived in a neighborhood for 20 years that had a huge amount of crime and still does to some extent. And I see young kids growing up and you sort of look at them, and you see -- you see it harden. You see it harden over the years.
And we -- what I do is I help fund a local after-school arts and crafts thing to keep -- to keep these kids off the streets. But part of the problem is keeping them from their parents.
DAVIS: But you can't shame them into changing. You can't shame parents who abuse into changing.
SULLIVAN: We have to. We have to acknowledge this stuff is happening.
DAVIS: This is not us not having -- acknowledging, but it's like is that the right environment and the right presentation?
TOOBIN: Right. Nobody is pretending that this -- bad things don't exist in families. I mean, the question here is why...
TOOBIN: ... is this video public?
DAVIS: That's right.
TOOBIN: Who -- whose possible interest does that serve? And what does it say about the people who released it?
SULLIVAN: I agree. TOOBIN: But also, of course, you know, you want to try to help this kid and have somebody who knows what they're doing, and to see -- and how...
SULLIVAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of this type of video is to take it to child protective services and say...
DAVIS: That's right. That's right.
COOPER: Let's take a quick break. Up next, some stories you might have missed today. I'll ask the panel, "What's Your Story?" We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Time now for "What's Your Story?" where the panel shares a story that caught their eye that maybe the rest of us missed. Andrew, what's yours?
SULLIVAN: The students are revolting in East Side Catholic Middle School in Washington, because the vice principal -- very well-liked guy, a gay guy -- actually got married. And the marriage, not being gay, it's the marriage that got him fired. The whole...
COOPER: He was fired because he got married?
SULLIVAN: Because he got married. And not only that, but he revealed today that, in conversation with his boss, the Catholic church actually advised him if he got a divorce, they might be able to re- employ him.
SULLIVAN: That is how twisted it has gotten. But the kids see this as a clear piece of injustice, and they are -- they're sitting in, they're protesting, and it's spreading around neighborhood schools.
COOPER: It's interesting.
Michaela, what's your story?
DAVIS: So the passing of Fun Fun [SIC] Shaw was big news. I'm a big Kung Fu movie fan, and this is the most...
SULLIVAN: You learn something new every day.
DAVIS: I know. Saturday mornings were styles (UNINTELLIGIBLE), "Soul Train," and Kung Fu movies. That was my childhood. And this is the Murdoch of -- he was a huge mogul.
COOPER: I read the obituary today. I'd never heard of him. The greatest name, Fun Fun...
DAVIS: Fun Fun [SIC]. And his brother was Fun Me [SIC]. And -- but I mean, if it weren't for him, we wouldn't know Bruce Lee.
COOPER: Was he a director or...
DAVIS: He was a producer, and he had a huge production company. Huge. He's a mogul in China. He did lots of community service. But he would, like, walk into parties at 90 years old with, like, chicks on his arm. Like, he was fly.
But Kung Fu movies are such a part of American culture. You didn't really...
COOPER: So do you still go to Kung Fu movies?
DAVIS: No, but I still am obsessed with Bruce Lee.
DAVIS: Because -- yes, obsessed.
COOPER: All right. Jeff, what's your story?
TOOBIN: We talked about it at 8 p.m. "Retro Report," Betty Medsger, former reporter for "The Washington Post," have told the story of the 1971 break-in of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, where the perpetrators have revealed themselves after 40 years. It's an amazing tale, and it's a real sort of footnote to the history of the late '60s, early '70s and the exposure of J. Edgar Hoover's misdeeds (ph) in the FBI.
COOPER: You say, though -- I mean, we're going to compare it to Edward Snowden, you still don't think it was right, what they did?
TOOBIN: I do not think what was right, but I sure think it's an interesting story. And Twitter, come after me.
SULLIVAN: It's a feat of journalism.
DAVIS: He's "bring it on."
COOPER: We're out of time. Buddy, it was good to have you on the program.
VALASTRO: Thank you. A pleasure, man. Thank you guys so much.
DAVIS: You brought the noise.
COOPER: Yes. These are awesome. How do you, like -- are you cooking every day?
VALASTRO: I bake all the time. It's kind of what I do.
COOPER: Do you wake up early to make those?
VALASTRO: I -- I'm usually in probably about between 6 and 7 every morning.
DAVIS: Isn't it great?
VALASTRO: Love it. Everybody loves cake.
DAVIS: Love it.
COOPER: Yes. And the new show is Monday?
VALASTRO: Monday nights, 10 p.m. "Bakery Boss," TLC.
COOPER: All right. Thank you. Buddy Valastro, thanks very much.
Our best to the panel. Thank you.
That does it for AC 360 LATER. Thanks for watching. We'll see you tomorrow night.