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AC 360 LATER
Chris Christie Fights Back; Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman; Will Romney Run Again?; Woody Allen's Adopted Daughter Renews Abuse Claims; Author IDs Three Traits Underlying Success of Several U.S. Cultural Groups
Aired February 3, 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 ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to "AC360 Later."
Tonight: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fights back again. Will Mitt Romney run again? And the tiger mom roars again with a new provocative book. You can join the conversation by tweeting with #AC360Later. Or weigh in on Facebook/AC360. We will show your comments on the bottom of the screen throughout the program.
We begin tonight though with the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, a loss felt deeply from Hollywood to Broadway and all points between and beyond. A monumental talent, no doubt about it, and a life cut far too short by an apparent heroin overdose.
Joining me on the panel tonight is Andrew Sullivan, founder editor of The Dish, CNN commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles Blow, CNN political commentator and Republican consultant Margaret Hoover and Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction specialist and host of HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL" will be joining us shortly. We will hear from all of them in a moment.
But first let's get the latest from Jason Carroll, who is live outside Hoffman's apartment.
Jason, what exactly did they find at this point inside the apartment? What do we know?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, according to investigators, they found evidence that seemed to suggest that Hoffman had been using and abusing drugs for some time.
When you look at this list here, 20 bags of open heroin, 50 bags of unopened heroin labeled ace of spades, which apparently is a popular brand of heroin that has been gaining steam, gaining steam here in the United States, 20 used syringes and also several bottles of prescription drugs. What investigators will be doing, Anderson, is taking a look at Hoffman's computer. They will be looking at his cell phone records and they will be looking at surveillance video from the area, anything at all they can find to try to give them some indication of who allegedly sold the heroin to Hoffman.
COOPER: And, Jason, reports had said he had been, you know, sober for decades. We know through public comments he made he sought help in rehab last year, I believe it was. But had there been -- do we know at what point he started using again this last time?
CARROLL: As you know, Anderson, he went through that 10-day detox program last year and apparently he made it through that and made it through just fine.
There doesn't seem to be an indication, at least just not yet, in terms of what was the trigger that made him start using again. What I can tell you is just from talking to people here in the neighborhood, Saturday morning, things started just like they did many other days. He went to the place here he would get coffee, ordered his coffee there and the manager there says he seemed fine.
But just about 2:00, according to one investigator, that's when things started to change. His former partner Mimi O'Donnell, also the mother of his three children, said when she spoke to him at about 2:00 on Saturday, he seemed "high." When she spoke to him at 8:00 on Saturday, Saturday evening, again she said that he had seemed like he was high.
And once again, when he missed that appointment to pick up his children on Sunday, Sunday morning, that's when things went wrong. A friend was called over here to the house. David Katz, a famous playwright, friend of the family, came over here. He was the one who discovered Hoffman. But once again no indication yet at least -- at least not yet, Anderson, in terms of what made him possibly start using again.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, appreciate it.
Dr. Drew is with us.
So obviously you are an addiction specialist. When you look at some of the prescription drugs that were found in the apartment, what does it tell you?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Four of the medications were specifically withdrawal medications and they were not under his name. I know you and I on your last program speculated that perhaps he had taken out a pseudonym. But I'm fearful he was able to get these medicines from someone, clearly using them for withdrawal.
He was trying to get off the heroin and he knew something about it if indeed he was the one administering to himself. He may have gotten down off it a little bit and then taken a customary dose, and since he was no longer so tolerant to it, that might have been too much.
COOPER: I mean, is it likely that he was -- he sought help back when he was 22 years old. Can someone stay clear 20- something years and then start using again?
PINSKY: Yes. Oh, sure. The disease is doing pushups all the time that you're not using.
Anyone will tell you who is really seriously in sobriety and who has had severe addiction, today is the only day they can rely on. They can't worry about tomorrow.
COOPER: When you look at the percentages, numbers, people say the use of heroin has gone up hugely, if you look at the CDC reports, more than 70 percent over the last 10 years or so. The number of O.D.s is also going up. You think it is also linked to prescription drug use.
PINSKY: There's no doubt in my mind.
Everything I see it, it's all started with pills and it usually ends with pills. Anderson, the only thing different about Philip Seymour Hoffman is that he didn't die of a pill overdose. Most of my heroin addicts end up dying of pill overdoses.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: But isn't it that the marketplace of pills has changed, because it's gotten harder to get OxyContin?
PINSKY: Yes. Yes. That's right.
HOOVER: Heroin is cheaper and easier to get.
PINSKY: It's the law of unintended affects. So, now we're cranking down on the distribution of OxyContin. The people that are already hooked now, it's too expensive and it's too unavailable. Heroin is cheap and heroin is available and heroin is a better high.
COOPER: I have interviewed people who -- I remembered doing a report on a man and wife who had kids who were heroin addicts. They seemed to be able to function.
PINSKY: Yes. Opiate addicts can do well for a long period of time. You would never know it.
COOPER: Really? They can go to work on a daily basis? They can hold a job?
HOOVER: What's the piece about this heroin potentially being laced?
PINSKY: You are talking about a heroin now that is combined with Fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid we typically use in patches for cancer patients. It's just higher, higher, longer-lasting, cheaper, better.
HOOVER: More lethal?
PINSKY: Potentially, because it's harder to know what you're getting. But the ironic thing is that when the other addicts hear about the O.D.s, sometimes, they think that might be a better more potent heroin and I want to get some of that. That is the craziness of heroin.
COOPER: When someone hears that Philip Seymour Hoffman has actually died from this, they might actually seek out that brand of heroin?
PINSKY: They might indeed. It's craziness.
You don't understand.
COOPER: The high that people get from it, it's not a social drug, correct?
PINSKY: No. It's not. In my world, people that use heroin usually have really significant emotional pain they are trying to distance themselves from. They start with this, get to heroin. When they get to heroin, they are in love with it. It's like being wrapped in a warm blanket. It's like nothing else. When they try to stop, there's a sense of desperation that makes it almost impossible.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But you can work. Right? He was a prolific actor.
BLOW: And, in fact, he was scheduled to go pick up kids. Like, he was going to be -- presumably, he would have been high to pick up kids.
PINSKY: You're tolerant. You're tolerant. You may need not be as intoxicated, but it sounds like he was on a bit of a run, because he had a lot of heroin set up for this week, a lot of syringes. He was really going.
COOPER: But someone who uses it regularly, they no longer really get high from it. They are just using it to kind of feel normal. Is that true?
PINSKY: They get high initially, but for the most part they are able to feel kind of normal, yes.
HOOVER: Is the heroin today significantly different than the heroin 10 or 20 years ago? Is this resurgence of it, the way you hear that marijuana is more potent today?
PINSKY: No, no, heroin is heroin. It's mixed with other things now. We have all these synthetic opioids and opiates that we have come up.
And really pills are the problems. In my opinion, that's really the issue here. That's why we're in such a mess.
COOPER: And 60 percent of the overdoses are from pills.
PINSKY: Listen, in my rare, it's rare of a patient to die of an elicit drug, in my world. They die of pills. And they're usually pills given by my peers. It's not pills they get on the street.
COOPER: It's pills they're actually prescribed? And, what, they are just mixing it in combinations they're not supposed to?
PINSKY: They use a little more. People don't understand what an addiction is and what happens to an addict when you give them -- and it's usually the combo of opiate or opioid and a benzodiazepine, like our buddy Ambien, or Valium or Klonopin.
HOOVER: What not to do, children, what not to do.
BLOW: One of the more disturbing kind of sub-themes in this is, you know, other than the praise of him, which is amazing.
PINSKY: Yes, let's remind ourselves. Let's separate the man from the disease.
BLOW: I think that people weren't doing that.
PINSKY: Did you see the Twitter feed while you -- I was running up here in the elevator. The tweeter feed was going. They were the nastiest things. I couldn't believe it. They were saying it was pathetic and why do we glorify it? Give me a break.
BLOW: I think a lot of people kind of think -- demons are not respecters of persons.
PINSKY: Illness, diseases. It's a disease.
PINSKY: It's separate from the individual. BLOW: Exactly. And I think people sometimes, they, say this person had everything. Why would they be so dumb or --
PINSKY: That just shows you the power of this thing. Really, it's not an exception.
BLOW: I don't think people quite understand.
COOPER: Also, I think that things that drive people to great heights or great accomplishments are often very dark things. It's rage. It's whatever it may be that drives an individual.
BLOW: And on top of that, there's the pressure that comes with the success.
PINSKY: And the opportunity.
BLOW: Will I fall? Am I deserving of being here? A lot of, people who are very successful feel like frauds, because they feel like, how did this happen to me?
COOPER: People who come from really happy childhoods and stuff do not end up -- it's like when people, oh, he's just such a normal guy. Probably not really just a normal --
ANDREW SULLIVAN, ANDREWSULLIVAN.COM: You can't watch a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance and not see acres of pain that he is able and was able to brilliantly tap into, his own pain, but amazingly articulate it in very specific and different people and their particular pains.
I will never get over his portrayal of the gay dude in "Boogie Nights" and the classic scene, where he was able to express some of the pain of that experienced, which obviously he never experienced.
But he had experienced something. And you could feel it fueling his work. And that was what was so spectacular about him.
HOOVER: Steve Martin tweeted, if you didn't see him in "Death of a Salesman" as Willy Loman, you will never see Willy Loman.
And I did get to see that. Actually, that's what resonated. It was enormously powerful. SULLIVAN: I would hate to think that his death is about the drug and not about this astonishing, a truly astonishing career.
He was one of those actors that didn't just get the emotional darkness of pain. He is so intelligent. You can see the intelligence in every choice he is making on screen. And he used to throw himself into that. I felt in some ways -- he just talked about this in "The New York Times" magazine about his acting -- is that itself was a kind of oblivion thing. He was seeking oblivion from himself.
PINSKY: You are making me emotional, because I love my patients. They're a rich, unbelievable human group of individuals. They're richly human addicts. And people, especially opiate addicts, they have a -- exactly what you are describing. And for people disdain them their illness really breaks my heart.
SULLIVAN: It's just from not knowing them.
PINSKY: It's not knowing them and not understanding the illness and really thinking it is something under volitional control. It's a brain disease and it's a motivational disturbance. And believe me, they would rather not have it. When the opiates take the priority, everything in their life shrinks behind.
COOPER: Also, 46 years old, you think of all the roles he had yet to play.
PINSKY: He has been robbed and we have been robbed.
COOPER: Dr. Drew, appreciate you for being with us.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. Use #AC360Later.
Coming up, Governor Chris Christie talking publicly tonight about the New Jersey traffic scandal for the first time since those new allegations surfaced suggesting he knew about the lane closures when they happened.
COOPER: Welcome back.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said again tonight he had nothing to do with the traffic fiasco that has become a political scandal. Christie was on New Jersey radio station 101.5 earlier tonight for a monthly program called "Ask the Governor." It is the first time he spoke publicly about the traffic scandal since a news conference nearly four weeks ago, when he denied any knowledge that lanes were deliberately closed to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing him for reelection.
Here's some of what he said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I will be damned if I'm going to let anything get in the way of me doing my job. I took an oath a couple weeks ago.
And so what the people of New Jersey need to know is two things about this one more time. First, I had nothing to do with this, no knowledge, no authorization, no planning, nothing to do with this before this decision to close these lanes by the Port Authority, secondly, that while I am disappointed by what happened here, I am determined to fix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, back with our panel.
Also joining us joining us is "New York Times" reporter Kate Zernike, who broke the story of Christie appointee David Wildstein suggesting Christie knew about the lane closures and he said there is evidence out there, though didn't specify.
Appreciate you being with us.
"The New York Times" has coming under a lot of criticism. The governor and obviously his aides, they say, look, the lead of the story changed several times, three times on the day it broke. To you, is there --
KATE ZERNIKE, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I don't think the lead changed three times. They may be saying that, but I don't think it did.
What they are saying is that the original lead of the story said that we sent out a news alert saying ex-ally says Governor Christie had knowledge of lane closures as they were happening, which remains true. The lead of that initial story, which was I think three or four, five paragraphs long, said Governor Christie -- said he had evidence that Governor Christie knew.
What he said is evidence exists that Governor Christie knew. When he said evidence -- he has evidence that Governor Christie lied about him. Within 20 minutes or so, we took down that original lead. We fixed it and it went in the paper the next day.
HOOVER: And the criticism is that there was a push notification that sent out. So, people received on their phones the initial allegation.
(CROSSTALK) ZERNIKE: Right. But the push notification -- as I said just a minute ago, push notification the thing that remains true, ex-ally says governor knew about lane closures when they happened.
SULLIVAN: -- is, why did you not acknowledge the correction? In fact, I think the --
ZERNIKE: The public editor did.
ZERNIKE: But these are not my decisions. So, I shouldn't be asked about that. You can have editors on here and ask about that. I'm happy to have the public editor on here.
COOPER: Were you surprised at what happened this weekend, the Christie staff basically going after David Wildstein and putting out information about him about things that happened to him in high school? Were you surprised by that? Like, his social studies team?
ZERNIKE: The most striking thing about that is, first of all, yes, to talk about what your high school social studies teachers said, but also we have to remember that they pointed I think it was five or six things about David Wildstein.
All but one of those things were things that they did before Governor Christie authorizing his hiring for a job that was created for him at the Port Authority by Christie's top --
BLOW: Here's the thing I'm getting at. What Christie said tonight and what Wildstein has said in his letter or the things the attorney said in the letter, these things are no in conflict.
Christie basically said tonight, I didn't know about it. I didn't authorize it. I didn't know about it before. He's a former prosecutor. He knows how to phrase things. I didn't know about it before.
That's not what they are alleging. They're saying that they knew about it as it was happening, not that he authorized --
ZERNIKE: Which is what he has denied before.
BLOW: And he had denied it before. He is now not saying that I did not know about it as it was happening.
He specifically said and particularly in the clip we just showed, I didn't know about it before. He kept saying before.
BLOW: And these things are not mutually exclusive. And so both things in fact at this point could be true, unless Christie comes out and says I had no knowledge of the lane closings as they were happening, which is what Wildstein is alleging. Right? Am I wrong about that?
ZERNIKE: Right. No. That's right.
COOPER: And also word tonight Bridget Kelly is going to plead the Fifth, just as David Wildstein has, which shouldn't be any surprise really to anyone.
HOOVER: I had a very hard time following all that.
What I think is your explanation of like what David Wildstein knew and the governor knew and news reports, and it sounds all very convoluted.
BLOW: Before or during. That's the only difference.
HOOVER: But like, honestly, to me, this sort of screams there is a guy who clearly wants -- he wants immunity. Right?
COOPER: And the legal bills paid for.
HOOVER: And he wants his legal bills paid for. And he doesn't want to be in trouble. And clearly if there is a crime, he is part of committing it.
So it sort of screams that this guy is either going down and he's taking everyone with him or not.
ZERNIKE: That's true, but --
HOOVER: And so there's very clear political motivations here. And, by the way, he was the one who was playing politics with the lane closures.
BLOW: I did not know during. He could have said that tonight. I did not know during the lane closures. I did not know that this is happening.
HOOVER: He has always said, I found out about this from the news reports.
(CROSSTALK) BLOW: He said later. He said later, not doing. He said later, not doing.
HOOVER: No, but the first news reports were --
ZERNIKE: Was the day it ended.
HOOVER: No, no, was two days after it ends.
HOOVER: It was the 13th.
ZERNIKE: It ended the morning of the 13th. They reopened the lanes the morning of the 13th.
HOOVER: It was not even reported while it was ongoing is the point, too, right?
SULLIVAN: We have to parse this guy in a Clinton --
BLOW: Yes, what is the meaning of is.
SULLIVAN: To me, it's just obviously several facts present themselves.
One, Chris Christie is a hands-on, detail-oriented governor. The people know that he is behind them. Two, that there is a pattern of this kind of thing in his administration. And, three, his best buddy, he is spending time now trashing his childhood. At what point does a sitting governor stoop to that kind of stuff, unless he is in fury, in rage or terrified of what this guy has?
COOPER: He doesn't mention Wildstein by name tonight on the radio program. He basically was letting his staff trash Wildstein over the weekend.
HOOVER: I think the reason that happened though is because this other narrative surfaced that was like they are very good friends from growing up.
The truth is, as I understand it from talking to several people in New Jersey, they were in the same high school from the same town. They were in totally different classes. It was the big public school in the town. They were not actually friends.
COOPER: But you're saying a job was created for him.
HOOVER: But not because he knew him personally.
Do you know how many political appointees are in the state of New Jersey?
ZERNIKE: Well, no.
HOOVER: Thousands. There are a lot of political appointees.
HOOVER: This is not like I know him personally and I'm putting him there. Yes, everybody is appointed by the governor in the state of New Jersey. That's how it works.
ZERNIKE: You're right.
On the other hand, when Governor Christie was U.S. attorney, David Wildstein was running a political blog. Several reporters from that blog have talked about what a good source Governor Christie's was. Clearly, Governor Christie knew who David Wildstein was.
Governor Christie has said they met on a political campaign when they were teenagers. They are certainly -- you see the pictures on September 11 and on the anniversary and they're together and they're laughing. I don't think we can say --
HOOVER: But it's not like they were best friends and now he is trashing his best friend from childhood.
ZERNIKE: No, no, I agree.
COOPER: What impact does this have?
ZERNIKE: Wildstein is the conduit between -- Wildstein is the one who took the order from the Christie administration to close the lanes and went to the bridge workers and said, close down those lanes, clearly knows a lot about what the planning was and what happened here.
We don't know what he knows. We don't know if there is evidence he can point to. He says evidence exists. I also want to point out, it's lawyer saying every exists. It's not like he is tweeting, oh, I got the goods. I think, when you say it through the lawyer, the lawyer is taking a risk. And so I think we have to understand that there is probably something there.
COOPER: And, clearly, there was some sort of a prior discussion between at least Wildstein and Kelly, because, in that, the e-mail that was released where she says time for some traffic problems, he just says, got it, that's like a second reference.
If somebody says traffic problems to me, I would be like, I don't understand. What are you talking about? But, clearly, if somebody had said to me, this is what we're going to do --
BLOW: But here's the bigger issue. Right? Christie's ability -- the reason we're talking about it is because he was a front-runner for -- front of the pack.
HOOVER: You're saying was, in the past tense, Charles.
BLOW: You picked that up, did you? For 2016. Right?
In the beginning, I thought, if things play out, this goes away quickly, he may be able to weather it and he will bounce back, and in fact he gets a lot of good play out of it because he is getting a lot of television attention.
The muddier it gets, the worse it gets for Christie. I think at this point, his 2016 prospects are just kind of dim prospects and he is just trying to hold on to New Jersey at this point. All of this is strictly about New Jersey.
COOPER: Do you agree with that?
HOOVER: I mean, his popularity has been hit, not in a huge -- last I checked --
COOPER: You think he is going to bounce back nationally?
HOOVER: It's -- 2016 is a long way away.
Let's leave it there, because there is another topic which is interesting besides Christie's poll numbers slipping. Does it leave an opening for another candidate like Mitt Romney perhaps? A new poll by Purple Strategies has Romney leading the Republican pack for 2016 with 25 percent. He's ahead of Rand Paul, Christie, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.
Sources close to Romney say he does not intend to make a third run for the GOP nomination. But he's been back in the spotlight recently.
HOOVER: Purple Strategies is also a Democratic firm. I don't know what their ulterior motives are here. But it's not like this is an objective firm going out and doing it.
BLOW: But I love it. I love it.
HOOVER: It's absurd. It's probably because they watched the Mitt Romney Netflix video and then wanted to put a poll in the field.
COOPER: Well, yes, it's probably -- or maybe it's sponsored by Netflix.
COOPER: Kate Zernike, it's good to have you on. Thank you very much.
Just ahead tonight, Woody Allen's personal life has long been complicated, sometimes controversial. He is now facing a new firestorm over allegations first made nearly 22 years ago by his adopted daughter.
COOPER: Welcome back to the broadcast.
Quick correction. Margaret Hoover earlier said Purple Strategies was a Democratic or left-leaning group. It is actually not.
COOPER: Alex Castellanos and also Steve McMahon, they say they are bipartisan.
HOOVER: Mea culpa, mea culpa.
COOPER: So you probably heard about the media storm filmmaker Woody Allen is facing no. Over the weekend "The New York Times" published a letter written by his estranged adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, where she describes in details sexual abuse she says she suffered at his hands back in 1992, only weeks before he adopted her. She was just 7 years old at the time.
Farrow wrote -- quote -- "Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we'd go to Paris and I would be a star in his movies."
Woody Allen's representatives responded to the allegations yesterday, saying that Allen found the article -- quote -- "untrue and disgraceful." The statement went on to say -- quote -- "The experts concluded there was no creditable evidence of molestation, that Dylan Farrow had an inability to anguish between fantasy and reality, and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother, Mia Farrow."
No charges were ever filed against Woody Allen.
Back with the panel and also legal analyst Sunny Hostin and also Michael Wolff, columnist with "The Guardian."
What do you think about this? It's -- it's --
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, having prosecuted child sex crimes, I found her account to be very credible in many ways, especially the sort of grooming behavior that she describes.
HOSTIN: She describes Woody Allen putting his finger -- his thumb into her mouth. Then she goes on to say he'd get into bed with her just in his underwear. He then proceeded to sort of put his head in her lap while she was naked. That is classic grooming behavior, and those are very specific details.
COOPER: But all these were told to authorities back then. Why, then, weren't charges brought?
HOSTIN: You know, I think we've -- the prosecutor said that he wanted to spare the child, and that's why it wasn't brought. That there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed. And I will tell you, Anderson, this...
MICHAEL WOLFF, COLUMNIST, "THE GUARDIAN": That is entirely untrue. This...
HOSTIN: I will tell you this, Anderson. This has come a long way in terms of prosecuting child cases...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let someone finish their thought.
COOPER: Let's go to Michael.
WOLFF: Absolutely untrue.
COOPER: Go ahead.
WOLFF: You have to read virtually anything about this. There was no finding of probable cause.
HOSTIN: That's what the prosecutor said.
WOLFF: Quite the opposite.
HOSTIN: That's what the prosecutor said. Was he a liar?
WOLFF: That's not what the prosecutor said. And you just haven't done your reading.
HOSTIN: I always do my reading.
WOLFF: What they said -- no, you didn't in this case. What they said, the finding was absolutely that there was no reason to believe that this happened. Quite the opposite, that -- that they -- the conclusions were that either she had been coached or she was emotionally troubled.
HOSTIN: That's not what the prosecutor said.
COOPER: There's a difference between what the Connecticut prosecutor and also what the team from Yale New Haven Hospital and others said. And that's -- that is, in fact, what they said.
WOLFF: Only the team from Yale New Haven Hospital was empowered to investigate this. There was a custody dispute that was going on. That's true.
COOPER: So what do you think -- what do you think is behind this?
BLOW: What is her motivation now?
WOLFF: It's very interesting as you called this a medium storm. That's all we know, it's a media storm. It's not a domestic storm. We don't know anything about that.
HOSTIN: She's making this up?
WOLFF: She very well could be. All we know is that it begins -- trace this. It begins with a "Vanity Fair" piece in which -- in which Mia Farrow says, interestingly (ph), Frank Sinatra might be the father of...
HOSTIN: So she's made this up?
WOLFF: ... of her son. Now, the whole "Vanity Fair" piece is an interesting piece, and if you know anything about this and what brings about -- how you get a "Vanity Fair" piece. You don't do it because you've recently done some good works like Mia and her son, Ronan, who is -- heretofore that piece never had a paying job. You get a "Vanity Fair" piece because you're going to give something. You've got to trade out for it. And what you're trading out is, say, "I'll do the scandal again. I'll revisit this."
HOSTIN: I think that is reprehensible that you are saying that Dylan Farrow as a woman -- and she started saying this when she was 7. However, I think it's reprehensible that you're saying that she's making this up to get her brother a show, which sounds like what you're saying.
WOLFF: I'm actually saying that her mother is making -- making this up. And it's not reprehensible if it's true.
HOSTIN: She is saying it again. How could you say that a woman...?
WOLFF: That's how you get a "Vanity Fair" piece, No. 1. No. 2...
BLOW: But you were just...
WOLFF: No. 2, stop making something...
BLOW: I'm sorry, you were castigating people for saying we don't know the details. How do you know that Mia Farrow made this up in order to get the "Vanity Fair" piece? I'm very curious about that.
WOLFF: I said what Mia Farrow did was agree to...
BLOW: To trade something?
WOLFF: ... agree to revisit this scandal to get the "Vanity Fair" piece.
HOSTIN: But Dylan Farrow wrote an open letter making the same exact allegations.
WOLFF: OK. Trace this through. After that...
HOSTIN: She made it up?
WOLFF: After that -- quite possibly. You don't know that she's -- that's she's not...
SULLIVAN: Look, seems to me the critical event here were the Golden Globes honor for Woody Allen. When you're an abused child and you see your abuser, with impunity, carrying on with their life, it's a daily torment. I'm not making any judgment about this particular case. I'm saying the reality of it.
For me to -- if I were she and this is true, then to see that happen and see this man given the highest honors imaginable, have all these people rally behind him, that seems to me a perfectly explicable emotional trigger to write this thing.
SULLIVAN: And certainly what she has said, Michael...
WOLFF: Except the time line is...
SULLIVAN: ... what the letter says and I'm going to focus on the letter, rather than things we don't know about motives. We can't tell. The letter is excruciating; it's painful. It's horrifying.
HOSTIN: Courageous. SULLIVAN: And it's a courageous thing. And I just find the idea of saying that a woman who's prepared to talk about these things later in her life with all this great anguish and pain. And what struck me about the letter was she hates him. She absolutely hates the man. She tried to do the one thing to him that could destroy him and say, "Every movie you see I want you to see him as a child molester." So what did he do to her to deserve that?
WOLFF: The only -- only thing you know about this woman is a letter that you read. You don't know the circumstances under which it was written. You don't know who wrote it. You don't know it was published by your colleague in a -- in a...
HOSTIN: What I'm saying is I've talked with all kinds of sex abuse survivors, and that's why they don't come forward. Because of attitudes like yours.
COOPER: But wait. But wait. But there's a middle. You could also make the argument -- and again, she's either telling the truth, not telling the truth, or believes it and was coached by -- by somebody. But that's another possible...
SULLIVAN: It's one of those -- one of those three things.
WOLFF: But we are here...
COOPER: ... authorities were concerned about...
BLOW: That's a grown woman. And if you are able -- if you're 7, you're coached by something -- body, you may absorb it. When you are older you're able to have some sort of retrospective and say, you know, "Mom might have told me something and now I'm not going to repeat that."
WOLFF: All we know is a letter.
BLOW: We also know that Woody -- Woody Allen has never done himself any favors in this regard in terms of perception. If you marry another one of your adopted daughters, you know, what was she, 17, 18 years old when you're married, somebody who grew up in your house, called you "Daddy," that -- that does not...
HOSTIN: He likes young girls.
BLOW: That does not look good.
WOLFF: All you've done is say -- is say because he liked an 18-year- old girl, you're suggesting... HOSTIN: Who he raised since she was 8.
WOLFF: ... he could have -- he would -- he might have liked a 7-year- old girl.
HOSTIN: He helped raise her.
BLOW: I'm going to quote you -- I'm going to quote you from "People" magazine. This is in his own words. "People" magazine, October 4, 1976. He's joking about a club (ph) he started. He says -- this is the last paragraph, the only one I'll read. He goes on, quote, "I'm open minded about sex. I'm not above reproach. If anything I'm below reproach. I mean, if I were to be caught in a love nest with 15 12- year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, 'Yes, I always knew that about him'."
Allen (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Quote again, "Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone," end quote. "He ventures (ph) helpless, 'I admit to it all'."
This is -- he has never done himself any favors. This is his words, not mine.
WOLFF: You do know he's a comedian.
BLOW: Yes, whatever. You don't joke about this. You don't joke about 15 12-year-old girls. That's...
WOLFF: Oh, come on, mister...
BLOW: Mister nothing.
WOLFF: Mister Sanctimony...
BLOW: If you're joking -- if you're defending joking about having sex with 15 12-year-old girls, that's your problem, not mine. Don't...
COOPER: Margaret -- Margaret, what were you going to...
HOOVER: Sunny, you have prosecuted, 100 percent prosecution rate -- conviction rate. You've prosecuted probably between -- for child sex crimes, probably between 20 and 50 cases in your life. We were talking about the ability of a mother to coach a child and then for that child to, 21 years old, blank (ph) years later, still sort of believe that. Is that kind of brainwashing possible, in your experience?
HOSTIN: I've never seen it in my experience, Margaret. And I will say this. A lot of the cases that I prosecuted, the mothers would show up in defense of their husbands or their lovers or their...
HOOVER: Defending the predators. HOSTIN: Defending the predators. What Mia Farrow seems to have done is taken this little girl at her word, which is what parents should be doing, and supporting her and following up and really destroying her own family.
COOPER: But wasn't this allegation -- this allegation -- the time line of this was supposedly already after Woody Allen was involved with Soon Yi Previn? Wasn't that the case, that he was visiting the home.
WOLFF: It was also after this -- so everybody knew he was involved with Soon Yi.
COOPER: Right. He was already hated by the family.
WOLFF: Everybody is there. He's there on what is -- there's a lot of people around and somehow -- somehow they say...
COOPER: There is a nurse who said maybe she was out of her sight for five minutes or so.
HOSTIN: She mentioned it to the babysitter first. So in order to believe that Mia Farrow somehow made this up, she would have to be pretty clever and crafty to convince the baby -- to convince Dylan to talk to the babysitter first and then sort of start the ball rolling. It doesn't make sense.
WOLFF: You know, the investigators who spent -- who spent six months -- it may not make sense to you, but the investigators who spent six months came back and said, yes, this didn't happen.
HOSTIN: We get it -- we get it wrong a lot, I think. And we certainly do have...
WOLFF: Now these investigators got it wrong...
HOSTIN: Yes, I think they did.
WOLFF: ... and you got it right, because you're -- you're not the defendant. You've always prosecuted, right?
HOSTIN: I think they did. I think that you should believe -- I think that you should believe a 7-year-old and now a woman 21 years later that says that she was sexually abused by her father. She's not trying to...
WOLFF: You should just -- you should believe someone who makes an allegation...
HOSTIN: ... get a book deal. She's not suing him. She has no real -- she has no reason to have benefitted.
WOLFF: ... just on the basis that they made an allegation. You don't investigate. You don't try to figure out what might...
SULLIVAN: People don't make that kind of allegation in public... HOSTIN: And certainly not 7-year-old children.
SULLIVAN: ... without some consequences. And the fact that she's waited till now to actually put this in writing...
WOLFF: Yes. The consequences are, among other things, an enormous amount of attention, enormous amount of fame.
SULLIVAN: Why would she want to do that?
HOOVER: This is not positive attention. It's not good attention.
WOLFF: I don't know. It depends -- it depends what you're looking for.
SULLIVAN: Dylan Farrow has been in therapy for a very long time for PTSD, for trauma. We also know from the consistent (ph) period of time that apparently, when Woody Allen would ever visit the house, she feel sick and nauseous and have series of illnesses.
WOLFF: No, no. You know this from the letter that was written.
SULLIVAN: No, I read the 1992 Morter (ph) piece that tells you a lot about other people.
WOLFF: It tells you all...
SULLIVAN: Here's what I know about -- what I do know about Woody Allen.
WOLFF: These are media strategies and decisions. Not that I'm saying this didn't happen. I'm saying all we know is -- is that a media strategy was put into effect here.
BLOW: So it could be true. You said you're not saying it didn't happen?
COOPER: We don't know.
WOLFF: Anything -- anything could be true.
BLOW: You're not in doubt about it? You're not saying...
WOLFF: ... and so can I, absolutely.
BLOW: Start with yourself.
COOPER: We're going to take a break. Sunny Hostin, Michael Wolff, thank you very much.
Up next, we switch gears. The so-called Tiger Mom roars again with a new book and controversy. She joins us live next. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. The author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" has a new, provocative book that's stirring up controversy already. "The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America." It's written by Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld. In the book, they claim certain groups are more likely to succeed -- Chinese, Iranians, Jews, Indians in the United States, Lebanese, Nigerians, second-generation Cubans, Mormons. Amy Chua joins our panel.
Will you explain what you -- what this triple package is? What do you mean by this?
AMY CHUA, AUTHOR: Yes. The book is -- it's actually about the underlying qualities, these three traits that, in combination, generate drive and propel individuals and groups to disproportionate success.
COOPER: So drive isn't something that someone is just born with?
CHUA: Sometimes it can be. Lots of people are born with innate drive.
COOPER: So what are the traits?
CHUA: So the -- Well, the three traits are first, a deep sense of exceptionality, of being special. And there are many sources for that. It can come from innate talents. It can come from a parent that instills that sense of being special in you. It can come from belonging to a group.
The second quality is seemingly almost the opposite of a superiority complex, and that's insecurity, a feeling that you're actually not good enough, that you haven't done enough yet, that you need to prove something.
And the third is impulse control or, you know, self-discipline, the ability to resist temptation.
And I think it's really the combination of those first two that seem like they can't go together. I mean, try to imagine what it's like to simultaneously feel inadequate and superior that actually is what generates this kind of need to prove yourself, almost like a chip on the shoulder. You know, I need to show everybody.
COOPER: So you're saying it's those three qualities which sort of lead someone -- propel someone forward to success?
CHUA: Yes. In combination they generate this kind of, like, "I need to show everybody." Not separately but, you know, in combination.
COOPER: The book has received criticism. There was a "TIME" magazine piece said it was a new form of racism, that you're describing characteristics of groups.
CHUA: I don't get that. I mean, that might be the case if you were saying there are these eight that are permanently better. But you can see from the title it's as much about the rise and decline. So the groups that are successful change dramatically over time. It's not that these are eight better groups. The groups that are successful today are not going to be the same groups ten years from now and not 20 years ago.
COOPER: And the immigrant experience, you're saying, has a lot to do with it. Because there is the first generation, the second generation. People...
CHUA: Very much so. Because almost all immigrants by definition feel insecure in a certain way. Right? Because first of all, you're outsiders. You may not speak the language. You look different. You may have a different skin color, you know, funny accent.
And what people don't realize is that a lot of these immigrants come with enormous senses of their own exceptionalism. You know, pride in their ethnic background. You know, maybe they have Ph.D.'s in their country.
Imagine if you are a doctor or a Ph.D. in Nigeria and you come here, and you're driving a cab or you're stopped and frisked. It generates often this feeling of "You know what? Who are you to look down on me? And I am going to show everybody."
And that's just -- and there are many different instantiations (ph). I mean, the Mormons are a completely different case. But you know, at the end of the day, it's actually about individuals. There are plenty of individuals not from the groups that we look at. If you just think of very driven people, you might -- it might seem familiar.
BLOW: But I'm a little confused about this. Now you're saying it's more about individuals, but the book seems to make it about groups. Right?
And to go back to Anderson's thing about this criticism that it is kind of old racial tropes dressed up and using culture as a proxy for race. You're even -- I think the second two, I think those probably do not fall into that category. But the first one, you know, where it's basically a superiority complex based on group, right?
BLOW: Well, that's the way -- that's the way a lot of people are reading. And -- and superiority, it depends on proximity and juxtaposition. It's a relative term. I can only feel superior if someone else is not superior or inferior to me. And so that means it always feels like it builds in a bigotry. Right? CHUA: And of course, we purposefully chose that term. Because we're -- this is not a celebration of this. Right? It's really a sort of -- I think it's a complicated view about what drives people.
But I do want to say that everything turns on what the content of the superiority complex is. For example, if you can be superior, not because of an ethnicity or group but because of your work ethic, right? And that's what we say is the way in.
What's interesting. I think what's fascinating...
SULLIVAN: What do you mean you're not celebrating this? Isn't that the whole point?
CHUA: Actually not. It's really about this dark side.
HOOVER: It's a data and a commentary?
SULLIVAN: So those ethnicities are miserable, as well?
CHUA: Well, I think this feeling that you're not good enough all the time, I think it's something to think about. I mean, this is the kind of thought-provoking conversation I was hoping the book would generate.
CHUA: I do want to say, though, that I have this fascinating e-mail from a person who was disabled, who is an amputee and a ski champion and he wrote and said, "Those three qualities resonate for me so much. For me, as for many people with disabilities, it's my disability and not wanting to be pitied that generates all this drive and makes me feel like I need to work 20 times harder. And you know what? When I ski past a person with two legs, I feel superior, because I did it. I did it on my own."
So I don't think it has to be type (ph) driven.
BLOW: But that's a macro/micro kind of distinction. Right? So this is the data point which is the individual who you can point out and we can all point around to somebody who kind of bucks a trend. But this is, like, really about the data set.
CHUA: Oh, yes.
BLOW: Like a lot of data sets. Which is looking at the aggregate. Which groups on the aggregate do better? And I think in that way, people can quickly -- you can understand how people can look at that and say this is actually a very dangerous thing to say.
CHUA: And that's what I disagree with. I mean, we cite hard facts. Maybe this is what you're looking at. We look at census data. We -- every single statement is backed up by an empirical study. And if you say somebody -- this group's national income is twice the amount of this one, I think if we're at the point where you cannot cite a statistic without being accused of stereotyping... SULLIVAN: You can. You can. You can write about...
CHUA: ... how are we ever going to solve any of these intractable problems?
COOPER: One at a time.
SULLIVAN: You're not allowed. You're not allowed to talk about group differences at all. And culture differences at all, without getting the racism card immediately.
CHUA: Well, I'm doing it.
HOOVER: Triple package, which is why -- Charles is going to love about this one. And you talk about social mobility and upper mobility. So how does the triple package play into social mobility? Because you say that Horatio Alger is dead. That's a myth in and of itself. Like there is this new myth about how social mobility is -- has been decimated. So how does this play into that argument?
CHUA: Right. It's this uncomfortable fact. I think this is part of the same conversation. You know?
And this is not about blaming groups that are disadvantaged. I mean, the reason they're disadvantaged is because of history: slavery, discrimination. But the fact that people don't want to acknowledge is that there are still some people rising from very low -- you know, modest backgrounds to positions of corporate and, you know, of affluence.
SULLIVAN: And misery.
CHUA: And some groups more than others.
And I mean, one good example is actually, there's a very striking study in Los Angeles that, you know, children of Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean parents -- now you immediately think they must all be the children of engineers. It turns out that's not true. It's bi-modal. Half of those kids are really -- I mean, their parents are actually -- some of them just have a grade-school education. They are restaurant workers. They're factory workers. And they show the same amount of exceptional upward mobility.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We'll have more with Amy when we come back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) <22:56:45>
COOPER: We simply ran out of time. Amy Chua, appreciate you being with us. The book is called "The Triple Package." Interesting read, very provocative. We're going to talk more about it coming up, no doubt, in the days ahead.
That does it for this edition of AC 360 LATER.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is up next. We'll see you tomorrow.