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Oscar Review; Controversial Comments in Arizona; The Perks of Being a Nominee; Turning a House into a Home

Aired February 28, 2014 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Time now for the five things you need to know for your new day.

Number one, happening right now, Ukraine's ousted president speaking out from Russia, calling the new government illegitimate, insisting he's not stepping down. He's also blamed the west for his country's crisis. This just hours after two airports in southern Ukraine were surrounded by unknown gunmen.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And fears of mudslides in California this morning as torrential rain are expected in the drought-stricken state. One thousand homes have been evacuated in the foot hills just east of Los Angeles.

CUOMO: New 911 calls due out this morning from those George Washington Bridge lane closures. They're part of the Bridgegate investigation into New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

BOLDUAN: Set to be released today, the first of more than 30,000 pages of documents from Bill Clinton's presidency. They had been under wraps for more than 12 years and could have implications for Hillary Clinton if she runs for president in 2016.

CUOMO: And running is allowed inside the house. The White House to be exact. The administration putting out this video of the president and VP Biden taking a jog. Part of the first lady's Let's Move initiative. Stretching the (INAUDIBLE) there.

BOLDUAN: Well, you don't know it, but that's how we race - we race up here every morning. That's how we do it.

CUOMO: The hamsprings (ph). We sprint, though.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And I win.

CUOMO: They were jogging it.

BOLDUAN: That's right.


BOLDUAN: We're always updating the five things to know, so go to for the very latest.

CUOMO: That's right, sweetie (ph). Let's get back to Hollywood right now. That's where Michaela is, where she belongs, on the red carpet, for a preview of this weekend's Academy Awards.

Hello, beautiful.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, handsome. Hello, beautiful. And what's funny, they don't know, is you two are always competing.

Look, we are still many hours away from the Oscars and if you're at home and you're thinking, hey, I've got a bracket at the office that I didn't fill out about who's going to win, listen up, we brought two of the best industry experts with their top picks in the big five, kind of a la the five things you need to know for your new day. Here are the top five categories you need to know for your new day. We've got with us Joseph Kapsch. He's the executive editor of Pete Hammond's also here. He's editor at They both braved the rain.

You walked here, you crazy man. You almost drowned on your way.

All right, big weekend.


PEREIRA: This is kind of your Super Bowl Sunday.

HAMMOND: Without question. Yes.

PEREIRA: Should we go through the categories one by one.



PEREIRA: Let's start with best pic. And it is a tough field. If we look at the films that are nominated, great films this year. Some are saying it might be a three way tie. Let's start with you, Pete.

HAMMOND: Yes, I absolutely think this is the tightest race for best picture I've seen in years. We won't know what's going to win until they open that envelope. Usually we can tell. I think it's "American Hustle," "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave."

PEREIRA: Your pick?

HAMMOND: And my pick is "Gravity" in a squeaker.

PEREIRA: All right. Joseph, do you agree or disagree?

KAPSCH: Agree. So there's I - there's nothing to add to that except "Gravity," but it's like -- this is the only race out of the major categories that really is a nail-biter up until the last minute.

PEREIRA: Is it the fact that it had sort of general consensus, it was wildly viewed, it was more of a -- had more commercial appeal than say a film like "12 Years a Slave," which was an important but hard film for some people to watch?

HAMMOND: Yes, and a lot of voters, I don't think, watched "12 Years a Slave." I think they were a little afraid of it. "Gravity" is a huge hit. But it's also a breakthrough. It's a movie that people that make movies can really admire. And I think that's what may make it get over the top.

PEREIRA: Let's move on to the next category, best actor. Joseph, we'll start with you. Do you think it could finally be Leo's year this year?

KAPSCH: You know what, I think Leo's performance was amazing, but I don't see any equation on Sunday night that Matthew McConaughey is not walking up to the podium to collect the Oscar.

PEREIRA: It is - it's been interesting.


PEREIRA: Nischelle Turner, our entertainment correspondent, a few minutes ago was talking about what a tremendous turn it has been and what terrific range.


PEREIRA: How about you, Pete, do you agree with his assessment that it will be Matthew McConaughey?

HAMMOND: I do. I think it's Matthew McConaughey, not only for "Dallas Buyer's Club," but he's also in "Wolf of Wall Street" in that great scene opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.

PEREIRA: Some fabulous hair in that one.

HAMMOND: Yes. So he's - he's getting seen. And in "Mud," which was out earlier.


HAMMOND: And he's on TV every Sunday in "True Detective" on HBO.

PEREIRA: How much does that matter, do you think, Joseph, that people, voters specifically, have seen a lot of Matthew McConaughey this year?

KAPSCH: Well, they were saying that the "True Detective" series coming out actually helped his Oscar campaign. Yes. Yes.

PEREIRA: All right, let's go on to the ladies. A stacked field here. Meryl Streep among them. We're starting with the - we've got a best actress category that's just filled with incredible talent, Pete.

HAMMOND: Yes, but I think this was decided in July when "Blue Jasmine" came out. Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." This is a phenomenal performance by Cate Blanchett. She's just great. She's having a nervous breakdown on film. That spells Oscar to me. I don't think she can lose. PEREIRA: Joseph, there's been a bit of controversy again surrounding the film's director. How much would that have affected how voters would react to the film?

KAPSCH: It actually hasn't. And when Cate Blanchett actually went on the record and did address it, she did it very - you know, it was very classy how she approached the subject. I don't think there's anything that's going to stop, again, her from winning the Oscar.

PEREIRA: All right. Shall we move on to best supporting actor. First time for a Somali actor to be nominated.


PEREIRA: This is incredible.


PEREIRA: In "Captain Phillips." Joseph, let's start with you. Who's your pick?

KAPSCH: For supporting?


KAPSCH: It's Jared Leto all the way.

PEREIRA: Tremendous. Tremendous.


PEREIRA: "Dallas Buyers Club."

KAPSCH: Every single indicator up in to this point he has swept. There's just - there's no reason why he would not be taking on the statue on Sunday night. Yes.

PEREIRA: Some of the precursors to Oscar haven't been in agreement. Is this one where you think they have pointed to Jared Leto winning as well or no?

HAMMOND: Almost all of them except BAFTA. The British Academy Award went to Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips." But Jared was not nominated there. So in every chance he's had to win, he's won. It's a transformative performance like Matthew McConaughey. He lost a lot of weight. He also looks great as a women, too, as a transgender.

PEREIRA: He's beautiful. You guys are in agreement on so many of these.


PEREIRA: All right, last but not least, never least, because this is also another category -

HAMMOND: Yes. PEREIRA: That has tremendous performances from names that we know. Best supporting actress. Pete, we'll start with you. Who's your pick?

HAMMOND: Yes. Well, I'm going with Jennifer Lawrence. I think she's terrific in that picture. But also Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave."

PEREIRA: A newcomer.

HAMMOND: I know. But Jennifer, in "American Hustle," just showed another side of her talent. She won last year, I know. But, hey, she's 23 years old. She can have back-to-back Oscars. I think it might happen.

PEREIRA: Boy, she's - she's got a great future ahead of her.

KAPSCH: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: Even if she just has the nomination, doesn't get the win.

How about you, Joseph?

KAPSCH: I pick Lupita.

PEREIRA: Lupita.

KAPSCH: I'm holding out for Lupita. But I have to agree with Pete here where Jennifer Lawrence is the, you know, America's sweetheart. She's also the Academy's sweetheart at this point in time.

PEREIRA: It's like you said, it's interesting that there's some debate among some of these categories.



PEREIRA: I think it's going to be a great show. Ellen DeGeneres, we didn't ask you about that.


PEREIRA: Are you excited about Ellen being back?

HAMMOND: She was great the last time. People love Ellen.



HAMMOND: It's a much safer choice than Seth MacFarlane last year, who was a little edgier.

PEREIRA: He - he - there were a few jokes that -

KAPSCH: No, I liked that. I liked that. PEREIRA: You liked him? I did too. I did too.

HAMMOND: Oh, I had a great time with him, you know, and I would have loved to have seen what he had to say about "Wolf of Wall Street" or all those movies.

PEREIRA: That's true. That's true.

HAMMOND: He would have had a good time.

PEREIRA: Where will you be watching?

KAPSCH: I'll be watching from the office and then we'll head out to parties afterwards.

PEREIRA: And how about you?

HAMMOND: I'll be right here inside the Dolby Theater tweeting away.

PEREIRA: All right.

Speaking of tweeting, we want to hear what you folks at home - you've seen these films. You haven't seen some of the other ones. You'll get out to see them soon, I'm sure. We want to hear your opinions as Oscars are happening. You can tweet to us @newday. In fact, I sent out a tweet with both of you in it. We can all get in the conversation, which will be really great.



PEREIRA: It is really like a Super Bowl for Hollywood.


KAPSCH: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: Let's hope it's a dry one, OK.


PEREIRA: Do whatever -- you got to do a rain dance, say a prayer, whatever you believe in, baby, OK?

KAPSCH: We will. We will.

PEREIRA: Joseph, Pete, it's really great.

KAPSCH: Thank you for having me.

HAMMOND: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Thanks so much.

Kate, Chris, now we can do our bracket because I'm ready. I'm informed.

BOLDUAN: You have now done your research. That's great.

CUOMO: Just got a leg up. No bets.

Coming up on NEW DAY, Arizona in the headlines again. Now a state lawmaker is in hot water for making some controversial comments at a roast. We've got the tapes and the fallout.


CUOMO: Welcome back.

Arizona is still in the headlines this morning. This time for what a state lawmaker said at a roast for one of the most prominent lawmen in the state. Republican Jack Kavanagh was bringing up another hot button issue, immigration. And what he said is sparking outrage. CNN's Ana Cabrera reports.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A racially charged roast garnering negative national attention for Arizona.

STATE REP. JOHN KAVANAGH (R), ARIZONA (voice-over): Sheriff Joe is the kinds of guy that you got to love, as long as you have papers.

CABRERA: Civil rights and community leaders are outraged after State Representative John Kavanagh used off color jokes to roast Maricopa County's controversial sheriff, Joe Arpaio, at a conservative conference on Saturday.

KAVANAGH: Going out with Sheriff Joe is always an adventure because usually when we walk into a restaurant, most of the wait staff and cooks dive out the back window.

CABRERA: Posting these audio recordings online, the Southern Poverty Law Center condemns the roast, saying joke after joke made minorities the punch line.

KAVANAGH: A lot of people claim that SB 1062 is going to cause discrimination based upon religion in Arizona. And I scoffed at that until tonight when a Muslim waiter serving up here walked up to Sheriff Joe, wouldn't give him his dinner because he said, I don't serve swine.

CABRERA: Kavanagh was a supporter of Arizona's just vetoed Religious Freedom Bill and the sponsor of the state's controversial immigration law in 2010. He declined to speak with CNN, but issued a statements saying, "the jokes I made were satirical comedy. The jokes were not directed at minority group members, but at the target of the roast, Sheriff Arpaio.

CABRERA (on camera): Did this roast go too far?

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: Well, it was a roast. John Kavanagh is my friend. I support him. He's not a racist. He's very funny. There's a double standard around here. Everybody is talking about him. What about all the activists and these civil rights that call me Nazi and Hitler. Why isn't there an uproar about going after me, calling me every name in the book? Why are they worried about just some roast?

CABRERA (voice-over): Ana Cabrera, CNN, Phoenix.


BOLDUAN: Hmm, yes.

All right, coming up next on NEW DAY -

CUOMO: It matters who's telling the jokes.

BOLDUAN: It does matter who's telling the jokes. I think that's part of it.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, sure it is an honor just being nominated, but there really are no losers on Oscar night, it appears. Wait until you see what the stars will be going home with in those gift bags. We're going to go back to Hollywood and Michaela just ahead.

CUOMO: I'm sure they all report them on their taxes.


PEREIRA: There is a look along Hollywood Boulevard, the site of the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday. Preparations fully under way -- we're live here in Hollywood on a red carpet that they are working to prevent from being soggy. We are counting down to the 86th Academy Awards.

Not everyone obviously will go home with one of those golden statues on Sunday. Do you know it weighs 8.5 pounds? Rest assured, the other nominees will have plenty to console themselves with on Oscar night -- a time for stars and designers really to shine.


PEREIRA: It's Hollywood's biggest night. Celebrity after celebrity strutting their stuff on the red carpet. Everyone is buzzing, of course, who will win but all eyes are on who they're wearing.

The biggest perks for stars, everything is on loan. For designers it's all about exposing their brand.

JOE ZEE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, "ELLE" MAGAZINE: Someone will never probably not buy the red carpet dress but they will buy a shoe, a handbag, you know, there's so many things that people can have access to that will be about the brand.

PEREIRA: Marilyn Monroe famously sang --

MARILYN MONROE, ACTRESS: Diamonds are a girl's best friend. PEREIRA: But just how much are these sparkling diamonds worth.

JOSEPH KATZ, IN-HOUSE FASHION STYLIST, THE MONTAGE: What makes these over-the-top expensive is the jewelry. So this Martin (inaudible) jewelry is just stunning. It's all over a million dollars what Meagan is wearing today. This ring is $400,000. The earrings are $325,000. The bangles are $50,000. And a ruby dangling in the middle well over a million dollars for that Oscar look.

PEREIRA: Movie studios pick up the rest of the tab from hair and make-up to the limos the stars ride in.

ZEE: It's promotion. I mean that's really what the Oscars are about -- period. That the Oscars can happen and a week later you can see a spike in movie sales from the movies that have been nominated.

PEREIRA: Now, don't go feeling sorry for the nominees who go home without an Oscar. They take home a gift bag with more than 50 gifts, worth $85,000.

LASH FARY, FOUNDER DISTINCTIVE ASSETS: The most expensive product that we're giving them in their nominee gift bag this year is a $16,000 hair transplant procedure from Dr. Yates. He's one of the country's leading hair restoration surgeons.

PEREIRA: The "everyone wins at the Oscars" nominee gift bag includes everything from artwork to luxurious trips to Hawaii and Japan. For the companies giving stuff away the Oscar gift bag can result in sales at the cash register.

FARY: This year Bee Free Honey which is one of the least expensive items in our gift bag contacted us saying that they had a record setting week of sales this past week just from all the buzz going around town and the internet about the Oscar gifts and that fact that they were included.

PEREIRA: The only money the stars are possibly shelling out are taxes on their Oscar gifts.


PEREIRA: Yes, Uncle Sam wants his piece of the pie there. So yes, that gift bag if you tune in on Monday, we're going to have one, we'll show you all the goodies inside.

Back here on the red carpet, you know, it's interesting. I just had this moment where I realized, Kate and Chris, that I'm going to be standing in the very same spot as Meryl and Jonna (ph) and Bradley. It's kind of exciting. We're the only ones here besides our Spanish language TNT friends.

CUOMO: What's your pose?

PEREIRA: I have no pose.

CUOMO: Come on. PEREIRA: I have to work on that. Right now, it is stay dry and stay warm pose. That's the only pose I've got.

B2: We're contemplating --

PEREIRA: How about you guys? Where are you going to be? Where are you going to watch the show?

BOLDUAN: I'll be snuggling on my couch as any good morning anchor should when she is waiting to watch Michaela do all of the heavy lifting. And then we will talk about it on Monday.

CUOMO: I'll be watching it with interspersed screaming at my kids to go to sleep.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

PEREIRA: But they'll also scream at you to go to sleep.

Nischelle and I are going to be here on Monday. We'll have more coverage after the big show, talk about the wins, the losses, the oversights. We'll talk about it all. It's going to be a great weekend and I proclaim it will be sunny on Sunday.

BOLDUAN: All right. You say, weather listens. We will see. She says there are winners and losers -- as we just saw, there aren't any losers when you get a gift bag like that. Bring one home for us. Thanks Michaela.

Let's turn now to CNN Hero of the Week. Mark Bergel is working to help the poor have a real home. Here take a look at it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very emotional right now. I'm so glad things are starting to turn around. Like five years -- me and my kids had nowhere to go. We just had to go from place to place. We moved in here with nothing. When I see my children on the floor going to bed, it hurts me. OK.


MARK BERGEL, CNN HERO OF THE WEEK: There's no stability and there's no dignity when you live in apartments that have nothing in them. Anything it is that you want in here you put your sticker on and that's what you guys will take home.


BERGEL: Once we get the homes furnished they have a chance to just take a breath and start to create a different life.

You pick up the furniture and other home goods from people who have more than they need and we distribute them free of charge to people who have nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's something to sit on. Something to lay on. Now my kids can pursue their dreams.

BERGEL: This is a good start.


BERGEL: Right?

I help people find the hope that was missing from their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love you. Good night.

BERGEL: And the opportunity they did not know was before them.


BOLDUAN: It's a good reminder of what is really important in life, right? Go to to nominate your hero.

COSTELLO: Coming up the American flag certainly not trash. And one sanitation worker is now being hailed as a hero because of how he recognized it. We're going to tell you in the good stuff.


CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff". Oregon sanitation worker Jeremy Fisher is certainly proud to be an American. And he just proved. Jeremy was on his usual route, right. And hew looks and he sees an American flag, wet on the ground near some cans. That's when his old Boy Scout training kicked in as did his patriotic pride. He picked up the flag and folded it as well as any honor guard member could.


JEREMY FISHER, OREGON SANITATION WORKER: There's a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hope and a lot of other stuff that is the American flag. And I figured since so many people have died for that, the least I could do was pick it up.


CUOMO: And he did it with some real sensitivity to the flag --


CUOMO: -- and he did it correctly and he didn't ask for any credit. He actually didn't tell a soul. Turns out a homeowner spotted him folding the flag, told the company which pulled the surveillance video from the truck and it has since gone viral.

Now who threw out the American flag? It's not even legal. And you know what; no one was trying to. It blew off a neighbor's flagpole and she was overjoyed to get it back.

BOLDUAN: Oh, really?


I want everyone to feel the respect that this young man had for his country.


CUOMO: Yes. She got her flag back. She's happy. Jeremy is a good man and he's certainly "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: And it's all the good stuff because no one was even trying to throw it away which is a good thing, right?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Exactly what the flag symbolizes.

BOLDUAN: That is it for us and Michaela is going to be pulling double duty; a long weekend -- fun weekend ahead. We'll see you on Monday Michaela. Have a great time.

Time for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello.