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"16 And Pregnant" Linked To Lower Teen Birth Rate; "Lone Survivor" Is A Box Office Hit; How True Are Hollywood's "True Stories"; Obama Responds to Gates' Slams; Militants Control Key Iraqi Cities; Iran Agreement Kicks in January 2014

Aired January 13, 2014 - 16:30   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Plus made-up characters that never existed. Plot lines that strayed a little too far from the truth. Which based on a true story Golden Globe winners are more Hollywood that fact?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now it's time for our "World Lead."

This just in, "Duty," the memoir from former defense secretary Robert Gates doesn't technically hit shelves until tomorrow but some of its juiciest passages have been making headlines for days. Specifically criticism of his former boss, President Obama, and his Afghanistan strategy.

Just moments ago the president finally broke his silence about those criticisms.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary Gates did an outstanding job for me as secretary of Defense. As he notes, he and I and the rest of my national security team came up with a strategy for Afghanistan that was the right strategy and we are continuing to execute.

War is never easy. And I think that all of us who've been involved in that process understand that. But I want to emphasize that during his tenure here, Secretary Gates was an outstanding secretary of Defense, a good friend of mine, and I'll always be grateful for his service.


TAPPER: Gates' new book "Duty" is currently Amazon's number one best- selling book.

In other world news, al Qaeda-linked militants have seized control of Fallujah and Ramadi, that other city in Anbar Province in Iraq that so many American troops fought and died to take during the war.

As we speak, the security situation is deteriorating by the day in Anbar. You'll recall the last U.S. combat troops pulled out of Iraq in December. Now it seems we're witnessing a resurgence of al Qaeda in the country.

Our own Michael Holmes is in Baghdad which, just today, was rocked with attacks.

Michael, I know there are a lot of Marines who fought and bled in Fallujah and are wondering just what is going on there and in Iraq in general. So what is going on?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Jake, I think it's fair to say that it's not looking good. Just this evening, a series of bombs around the city killing or maiming dozens of Iraqis. A police checkpoint just outside the city attacked by gunmen, killed two policemen, wounded several others.

It's sadly coming back to being the tragic norm around here. There was a high-profile visit at the Baghdad today, the U.N. Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon arriving to discuss regional issues and of course what is happening in Iraq and in particular Anbar Province and Fallujah, so familiar to Americans and American Marines in particular.

Now he spoke afterwards, Ban Ki-Moon, of the need for social cohesion and inclusive dialogue. A message perhaps for the man he just met with, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who's Shia-led government stands accused of excluding Sunnis, alienating them, even in the view of many persecuting them, despite promising America and others he was all for power sharing and reconciliation.

And tribal leaders say that while, yes, al Qaeda-linked fighters are in their provinces and towns and cities, the root cause of the Sunni rebellion is really years of disaffection, of being cut out of the political and decision-making system.

One piece of promising news, though, Mr. al-Maliki who was threatening to move his troops into Fallujah to clear out any al Qaeda-linked elements has backtracked, saying he won't go in any time soon with the troops and will leave it for the tribes to sort out, in his words, for as long as it takes.

If he had gone in, Sunnis were promising a fight that would have gone well beyond the Fallujah's borders. It's a multipronged issue for Mr. Maliki to deal with. Yes, al Qaeda in his country, but also an angry minority who say they're just not going to put up with the status quo any more.

Back to you, Jake.

TAPPER: Michael Holmes, thank you so much.

Turning now next door, to Iran, where a date has been set for the six- month deal struck to start eliminating Iran's stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium in exchange for sanctions relief to the tune of about $7 billion.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: As of that day, January 20th, the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance, in fact, parts of it will be rolled back.


TAPPER: Well, for now, the six countries who struck the deal with Iran including the U.S. will have to use that six-month period to come up with a permanent deal.

Israel, of course, will be watching closely, so will Congress, Congress is still threatening to impose new sanctions on Iran. So is this real progress?

Joining me now is David Sanger, national security correspondent for "The New York Times."

David, great to have you here. So we have a start date. We'll talk about sanctions in a minute. But what else can happen that could blow this all up, to pardon the expression?

DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Congress could certainly blow it up. If the Iranians don't comply with any of the major provisions, it could blow it up. If there was a discovery a new facility, something we didn't know about. But it's in the Iranians' interest right now to let that six months play out and maybe let another six months after that play out.

The agreement allows for a negotiation that could go on as long as a year, Jake, and that's important, because this interim agreement rolls back very little. There was a reference that Secretary Kerry made to a rollback. But all it does is keep Iran from making more use of the fuel that is closest to bomb grade.

But what it doesn't do is take back any of the centrifuges, the equipment that enriches uranium and make some disassemble that. That's what the bigger disagreement is about. And in the end, there's only one way to measure success in this agreement. It's whether it increases the dash time that will be required if the Iranians ever decided to race for a bomb.

TAPPER: So there's been a lot of criticism that no one has actually -- not no one. The very few people who've actually seen the text of the plan.

I'm going to play for you some sound from Jay Carney who was asked about this today at the White House.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We fully expect to be able to share the text of the plan with Congress and are working with our international partners on how much and when we can share the information publicly and in what format.


TAPPER: Why is it taking so long to share it with Congress? SANGER: You know, they went through this as well with the original agreement. And in the end, the Iranians published it before the United States did, which struck me as a little bit strange.

They're going to have to public the entire thing. I think they're worried that if there's loopholes, wording issues, the Iranian text has to be matched up with the English text. But they're not going to win their battles along the way here if they don't publish the actual text and they know it.

TAPPER: And what's remarkable is, you have President Obama and his entire administration telling Congress, we don't want sanctions. Sanctions will scuttle this deal, stop it, stop it. And not only are -- we expect House Republicans to not necessarily listen to the administration, but Senate Democrats aren't listening either.

SANGER: That's right. In fact, at this point, I think there are about 16 Democrats who said that they would vote for continued sanctions. And that puts them very close to a veto-proof majority here.

The question on sanctions is, when is it too much of an effective thing? So I think everybody would agree that the two things that brought the Iranians to the table were sanctions that really dug in, including on the right.

TAPPER: Sure. Really simple. Yes.

SANGER: And surreptitious attacks including cyber attacks and others.

TAPPER: A little one called Stuxnet.

SANGER: A little one called --

TAPPER: You know something about.

SANGER: Yes. And a few other along those lines that ended up slowing the Iranians' progress. And that combination worked. The question now is, if you did more sanctions, would it simply give the Iranians an excuse to bail out of the deal? Because the deal was pretty explicit, that there are no new sanctions imposed during this time. And that will be the argument what constitutes imposing a sanction. Does it just kick in after those six months or a year is over?

TAPPER: President Obama has said he sees the chances of a comprehensive deal with Iran at 50. Do you agree with that estimation? Is it overly optimistic?

SANGER: It may be a little optimistic, depending on how quickly they reach a deal. Foreign Minister Zarif, the Iranian lead negotiator, said to many people when he was in New York in September, if I don't get a deal in six months, we're going to begin to lose some ability within Iran to sell this.

And already, you've seen a little bit of that happen. So the Iranians have their own politics to deal with at home just as President Obama has Congress to deal with. And I think the longer it goes on, the harder it may get to sell.

TAPPER: All right. David Sanger of "The New York Times," thank you so much, we appreciate it.

SANGER: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: The first lady of France could be in the hospital for another week recovering from what sounds an awful lot like a broken heart. Doctors say Valerie Trierweiler went into a state of shock after tabloid reports linked President Francois Hollande to a French actress.

Hollande and Trierweiler aren't married but they've lived together since 2007. The president of France has not directly addressed the rumors and most of the French press is steering clear of the story. And that's perhaps not a surprise given the blase attitude of French voters when it comes to infidelity.

A poll taken over the weekend found that more than 77 percent think his love life is his own business.

Ah, the French.

Coming up next, critics have bashed it for glamorizing teen pregnancy. But a new study suggests the MTV hit show "16 and Pregnant" is the best birth control a teenager could have. What? I'll ask Dr. Drew Pinsky about it next.

Plus, it's one way to take advantage of the home field. Don't sell tickets to the opposing team's fans. How two NFL teams are keeping the other side out.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. It's the controversial and highly rated MTV show that exposes the so glamorous life of teen moms.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You be quiet. Joshua, can you please take out the trash?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not doing anything else, can you please --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sleeping if you haven't noticed. You started yelling at me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please take out the trash.


TAPPER: The reality show, "16 and Pregnant," documents the lives of different teen mothers, through all the stages, of their pregnancies and after their babies are born. Since its debut, it's been criticized by some for turning teenage mothers into stars and perhaps inciting young viewers to get pregnant for their shot at fame.

But the producers of the show have said all along their goal is to discourage teens from having babies by revealing all the hardships and sacrifices that come with parenthood especially at a young age and it turns out the producers may have been right.

A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that "16 and Pregnant" and its spin-off "Teen Mom" may have prevented more than 20,000 teen births in 2010. That's a 6 percent drop in the teen pregnancy rate since the show's debut the previous year.

Joining me now is one of our very own experts on the topic, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He is that host of reunion shows for "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" cast members and gotten to know a few of them personally.

Dr. Drew, thanks for being here, first off, you can find a study proving anything in this day and age. Is this study legit?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": It's not just legitimate. It's an academic study published in a "Peer Review" Journal. This is the difference between an empty claim and an anecdote and a peer reviewed academic study. This study really bore out something I believe from the moment I got involved with this study.

Jake, you and I are in a box, talking to young people, they'll learn the information, but change in their behaviour requires a relatable source, somebody like them, a story that they can dig into and relate to and understand and that is how you change young people's behaviour, a peer modelling sort of approach.

TAPPER: Long before this show, millions and millions of dollar have gone toward teen pregnancy awareness campaigns as you say what makes a difference is that there is a demonstration of the message not just grown-ups telling them this. Were you surprised at all by the results?

PINSKY: Not at all. I've been watching the decline since the very quarter this show first hit the air and I knew it was having an impact. The fact is teen pregnancy right now is at its lowest it's been since the 1940s. So this study now bears out that a significant percentage of that drop and the rate of that decline is due to media. Should we be surprised when we know the media can have an impact on young people's behaviour?

We have to create media that creates the kind of behavior we hope for in a healthier direction. The national campaign to end teen and unwanted pregnancy has been behind this program from the beginning because they too have been struggling with this population and know what I'm telling you about very clearly.

TAPPER: Now this study's authors admit that there's no way to know if teens would watch the show are more likely to avoid unprotected sex specifically. Is it possible that other factors are at work here other than the show?

PINSKY: Sure, yes, sure. The study went to great lengths to try to ferret those things out. You know, they looked at the nature of the viewing habits, the pre-existing attitudes in the community, the kind of tweets and social media energy that followed the viewing of the program.

What they found was for the most part, young people were tweeting about how they were -- this was a form of birth control for them. In fact, they even were able to document an increase in Googling for birth control and ways to prevent pregnancy immediately following the program.

TAPPER: That's incredible. These shows, of course, have had their fair share of critics, including parents who say it entices teens to get pregnant for fame or makes pregnancy look cool -- yes.

PINSKY: Jake, that is an empty claim. That's an empty claim. What I will tell the people that insist on that kind of criticism is you are implying young people are dumb and they're sick. The fact is, young people are bright and when you give them right information, they adjust. They know how to use that information. To say somehow these destroyed lives they're watching are going to motivate them to do the same thing, I say that's never been my experience with young people and you're implying that young people are far less than they actually are.

TAPPER: Now you have a study suggesting that you are correct, sir. Dr. Drew, thank you so much.

PINSKY: There you go. Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: When we come back, who needs facts when there's money to be made and Golden Globes to be won? Next, the based on a true story winners that aren't so true after all.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Rounding up the show with some pop culture news now, the Pop Culture Lead, there was a recurring theme at last night's Golden Globes besides all the jokes about everybody being drunk. Movies based on actual events won big, many of the major categories. "12 Years A Slave" took home the award for best picture in the drama category.

In the comedy genre, "American Hustle" won for best picture, best lead actress and best supporting actress. Before you start buying into the notion that Hollywood has fallen in love with fact over fiction, it's important to keep in mind that many of these movies that are supposed to be based on actual events often fall a bit short of telling the real story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe this. I can't believe I won.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you believe that?

TAPPER (voice-over): Well, let's talk about belief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot believe this. This is crazy.

TAPPER: At the Golden Globes last night, more than half of the film category statutes were given to movies based at least loosely on a true story. Films like Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle won big. Piling praise as high as a stack of facts left on their cutting room floors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, all right, all right.

TAPPER: Yes, when it comes to films based on true stories, Hollywood does not let the details get in the way of a Golden Globe. After all, the abs scam scandals, Minutia doesn't sell tickets quite like J. Lo's quirks.

JOHN HORN, LOS ANGELES TIMES: When you see "based on a true story," you should say maybe one-tenth of what I've going to see, maybe 50 percent is going to be true. The key test is whether or not you are fabrications, your embellishments, are going to become the story of the movie as opposed to movie itself.

TAPPER: Dallas Buyers Club portrays the story of real-life Texas AIDS patient Ron Woodruff, who, by the way, did not ride in rodeos, but that's the smallest of the film's departures. Jared Leto won a Golden Globe for his role as Woodruff's transgender sidekick, Reon, who never actually existed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That tiny little Brazilian bubble butt was all mine.

TAPPER: A made-up co-star and a bit of rodeo riding are minor details in "Tinseltown" when the heart of the movie's message remains intact.

HORN: There's a specific difference when it comes to Hollywood. The facts are the very specific incidents that occurred. The truth is whether or not those incidents added up to a larger story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two skiffs approaching with armed intruders.

TAPPER: Captain Phillips cast with Maroon at their table last night winning no awards, perhaps a result of being hijacked by controversy.

PAUL GREENGRASS, DIRECTOR, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: The story we tell is of Captain Phillips in command of a ship that's attacked by Somali pirates, Captain Phillips who ensures that his crew is safe by himself getting in the lifeboat.

TAPPER: Despite the director's best efforts, Tom Hanks heroic portrayal of Captain Phillips did not float with everyone especially not with some of the sea men who lived through the true events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was advised to change course by competent deck officers and he overruled them.

HORN: So you take great creative liberties and those liberties become the narrative. That's what everybody is talking about as opposed to the film then you're really in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is all this legal, absolutely not.

TAPPER: The "Wolf of Wall Street" stuck closely to the details of Jordan Belfort's debuturist past. It was the movie's moral tone that made headlines instead. As Belfort might say, it's all in how you sell it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an incredible, incredible honor, thank you.


TAPPER: Of course, it's not just Hollywood executives, it's moviegoers falling in love with story lines based on real life events. This weekend, the military drama "Lone Survivor" came out on top at the Box Office making it the first surprise hit of the year. A real- life military mission gone wrong, one that claimed the lives of 19 troops and SEALs.

"Lone Survivor" earned more than $38 million at the Box Office bumping Disney's "Frozen" from the top spot. Speaking of half-truths and the benefits of 20/20 hindsight, HBO's drama "The Newsroom" has announced it will begin production on its third season in this spring, but this new season will be the last, much to the chagrin of fans and the TV journalists who love to hate watch it.

Aaron Sorkin's lecture to the cable news industry was set in the recent past for maximum soapbox standing about how events really should have been covered, if only cable news had found its soul. The show recently made headlines when Sorkin denied rumors of friction on the set between stars, Jeff Daniels and Olivia Munn.

In the Sports Lead now, a figure skater left on the ice in tears after falling twice her bid to make the Olympic team. She had no idea her fourth place finish was apparently good enough to punch her ticket to Sochi. Ashley Wagner got the news via text that she leapfrogged the third place finisher in the qualifying tournament to join Team USA at the Winter Olympics.

The U.S. Figure Skating Association said it based its decision on Wagner's entire body of work, not just her disappointing performance this past weekend. As you might imagine, third place finisher, Mirai Nagagushi, says she disagrees with the decision, but she does not plan to appeal.

They are proud of their 12th man in Seattle. They even retired the number 12 for the fan. This week, Century Link Field will be rigged for extra home field advantage. That's because the Seattle Seahawks banned anyone with a California address from buying tickets on their web site to this Sunday's title game against the hated 49ers. The Seahawks limited sales to just six states and Canada for the game. The Denver Broncos are also putting regional limits on ticket sales for the weekend. It could also be a way to stop scalpers from scooping up tickets to throw on Stub Hub.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper and also @theleadcnn. Check out our show page at for videos, blogs, extras. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Wolf Blitzer. He is right next door from me. He is in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Mr. Blitzer.