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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS

Donald Sterling Saga Continues; Flight 370 Search Gets Reset

Aired May 5, 2014 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN special report. I'm Don Lemon.

For years, the L.A. Clippers were the laughing stock of the NBA. Tonight, the Clippers are one of eight teams left in the second round of the playoffs. And as a team, they have never had it so good or so bad; 29 NBA owners will soon decide the fate of owner Donald Sterling's investment, which could be worth over half-billion dollars. How will that vote go?

If it were left up to the American public, you would be surprised.

I'm going to talk with Laila Ali, a world champion boxer in her own right and daughter of the world champion and civil rights icon Muhammad Ali. And I'm going to ask her what her father would think of all of this.

Plus, we have the very latest on the search for Flight 370. Is it a new phase in the hunt for 370 or is that really just a nice way or saying back to the old drawing board?

Your tweets about the plane and about Donald Sterling and that saga pouring in by the minute, and my experts are standing by to answer them for you, like this one: "Forcing Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers would be a wrong to his wrong. Disposing offspring inheritance is wrong. Booting him out is OK."

I want to begin though with the fallout from Donald Sterling's racist rant. The NBA commissioner clearly wants him out, but if you ask the American public, if you ask the people, it's not such an easy decision. A new CNN poll shows this -- 47 percent of the public supports a forced sale of the team, while 50 percent are against it.

Could Donald Sterling hold on to his team after all? That's a very good question.

Joining me now is Laila Ali. She's a former world champion boxer and the host of "All In With Laila Ali," and she's the daughter of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest athletes of all time and also a civil rights icon.

Laila, thank you so much for being with us with us.

Your dad, the great Muhammad Ali, is known as both a sports and civil rights icon. And I have been wondering what he thinks about this story. Have you had the chance to speak to him about Donald Sterling?

LAILA ALI, DAUGHTER OF MUHAMMAD ALI: Hi, Don. Thanks for having me on.

And, yes, I have been able to get my father's perspective on this. And, you know, he feels that if he was playing for the Clippers, that he would, you know, once those statements were made, that he would have walked off and he just wouldn't have played. That's how he feels about it.

LEMON: He wouldn't have played.

ALI: Yes.

LEMON: Your father -- let's talk more about that, because he put his beliefs above his sports prowess. He once sacrificed his boxing title by refusing to go to Vietnam based on his religious beliefs.

So, how do you think he would have handled the situation. You think he just would have walked off, because the players, remember, they were threw their jerseys in. They were saying that they were going to boycott the game and they weren't going to play as well. Did he speak to you any more about it?

ALI: Well, like you said, my father did put everything on the line when it came to his title and his money and just for what he felt he was doing -- he felt what he was doing was right. So, it didn't matter about the championships and the dreams and all the talk about, you know, we're not playing for Donald Sterling. We're playing for our team.

My father, you know, obviously, in boxing, you're not in a team sport. You're in an individual sport. So, he has a different way of thinking, but he is aware obviously that it is a team sport. But he just feels that he just wouldn't play, because obviously it would not be settled within his heart and just he would not be able to get out there and do it after someone speaking about African-Americans that way, being that he is one, and just being a racist like Donald Sterling is.

LEMON: How do you feel? You're a world champion boxer. Players and coaches across the league, Laila, were happy that this was dealt with seemingly, so far, quickly, severely. But indications are that it could drag on into a protracted court battle. How do you feel about it? What should the players do then?

ALI: Well, if it was me -- I never tell anybody else what they should do -- I wouldn't play. I feel that the message would be heard much louder if people's pockets were affected.

And that's what would happen. You know, these players obviously are making the NBA so much money. And I think that the situation would be handled much more swiftly and seriously if it was affecting the dollars that were being made. And I think that it would -- beyond that, it would send a message to the world that we're taking a stand for ourselves and just against people who are racist. And it has to stop at some point. So, that's what I would do.

LEMON: We said it looks like it's going to be a long, protracted legal battle. Let's just say -- most people are saying it's not going to happen. But if the Sterlings in some way end up keeping this team, do you think he will be able -- they will be able to get any black player or any player, as a matter of fact, to play for them?

ALI: I don't know. Like I said, everybody makes their own decisions along the way. And the only way that I would be sure that I was doing the right thing would be not to play, because so many things happen behind closed doors, so many deals get made behind closed doors.

(CROSSTALK)

ALI: And I just wouldn't feel right playing for that team, not being in control of what is actually going to happen.

LEMON: Yes.

ALI: So, like I said, I think that if the players didn't play, if they didn't get on that court, then, you know, the decision might go more in their favor as far as...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: We're waiting to see if the Ali name comes into this, because numerous celebrity names have taken interest in buying the Clippers, among them, two boxers, Oscar de la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Do you think either of them would make a good NBA owner, Laila?

ALI: I don't know the ins and outs of the business of the NBA.

But I would say that heard that Magic Johnson was interested in buying the team. And I think that he would be a better fit.

LEMON: You think he would be a better fit?

ALI: Somebody such as that, yes, where that is actually their business.

But I don't know. Hey, some people are just throwing it around because they want you to know that they have the money to buy the team if they wanted to. Some of the talk might not even be serious.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I just -- yes, I got the money, so if that's what they're doing.

ALI: Right.

LEMON: All right, listen, let's talk about Sterling's girlfriend. She has really been at the center of attention.

It's surprising that she's even talking, this V. Stiviano. She spoke to Barbara Walters. I want you to take a listen to her comments and then we will talk about them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

V. STIVIANO, EX-GIRLFRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: I think Mr. Sterling is from a different generation than I am. I thought he was brought up to believe those things.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: What things?

STIVIANO: Segregation, whites and blacks.

But through his actions, he has shown that he is not a racist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Laila, what do you think of V. Stiviano? And second question, do you see this as generational? That's what she says.

ALI: First of all, let me just say I have no respect for her or women like her. So, I really don't care what she has to say at this point. I'm glad that this information about Donald Sterling came out through her, but she is obviously a mixed-up individual.

She doesn't even have any respect for herself to be dealing with him in the first place, knowing that she feels that way about her, because she is half-black.

What I do respect is companies like the State Farm Insurances and the Virgin America Airlines and Mercedes-Benz and others who have actually stood up, taken a stand by pulling their sponsorship dollars from this company -- from the Clippers because they want to show that they don't condone racism and discrimination.

But, as far as to answer your question, these days at the end of the day, nobody's going to say anything if you bring black guests to your games or anything like that. Everything's a big melting pot right now. So, that's just the way that he personally feels because he is a racist.

And like I said, being that he is dating -- allegedly dating a woman who is half-black just shows that he is just ignorant and he doesn't make any sense.

LEMON: Yes.

ALI: But I just hate the fact that there's more people like Donald Sterling out there that are racist, but they are quiet about it and they're not coming out about it.

LEMON: But that's my question. He is 80 years old, right, and people keep saying, oh, well, cut him slack because he is 80. I don't think you should cut anybody slack because they are 80. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And my question, do you think it is generational?

ALI: I think that there are people that were around, such as my father, when there was still discrimination and segregation, and you either choose -- chose to be a certain way or not. And some people were brought up that way.

But if you have an open heart, then you at some point -- just like when you were a child, you thought certain things and then you grow up and you see what is real and then you see what is right and you see what is wrong. There is never an excuse for that. There is never an excuse for hate, period.

LEMON: You become -- you mature and you become an adult and you realize what is right and what's wrong.

ALI: Exactly.

LEMON: I want to ask you about this poll, Laila. It just came out CNN. It's a new CNN poll and it shows that the public is about equally split on whether or not Sterling should be forced to sell his team; 47 percent say yes; 50 percent say no. What do you -- does that surprise you?

ALI: No. I shouldn't say that it surprises me, because, you know, like I said, there's a lot of people out there that possibly think closer along the lines of Donald Sterling.

I don't see how anybody could think that he shouldn't have to sell that team. How can you not put yourself in a human person's shoes and think, OK, these team players have to play for this man, and he should be profiting off of them? I just don't understand that frame of mind.

You know, but, unfortunately, a lot of people put the mighty dollar on a pedestal, and that's all they are thinking about, when it shouldn't even matter at this point, the money that is concerned there.

LEMON: Do you think that has something to say about the psyche of America, that people have certain internal feelings and that's causing them to feel that he shouldn't be able to -- he shouldn't have to give up his property because they may have those sorts of feelings and they wouldn't want them exposed?

ALI: Of course. There's some of that. I can't say that everybody -- look, people harass me on Twitter all the time, and I don't respond, so people don't know. They say all types of things.

There's probably people saying looking at me saying, look at her sitting up there talking like she knows what she's talking about. Who does she think she is? That's the same way a lot of people felt about my father back in the day simply because he loved himself. But guess what? People are just going to have to get over it, because we're all living in this world together.

And you are going to either have to deal with certain people now or later. And I think that, as long as we have hate in the world, then discrimination is going to come around full circle and hit you right in the face. So, it's like people need to just start learning to open up their hearts and start looking at the things that are more alike in one another than the differences.

LEMON: Here's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar over the weekend. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, FORMER NBA PLAYER: This is a problem. I did a little bit of research. More whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism.

It's something that is still part of our culture, and people hold on to some of these ideas and practices just out of habit and saying that, well, that's the way it always was. But things have to change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So the larger point is, Laila -- and I wrote a column similar to this -- is that people who make racist comments don't believe they are racist at all.

Can we recognize our own racist, our own biases the way that we recognize other people's biases? Can you be that ignorant of the fact that you are racist when you make such comments, that you're not knowing that you are racist when you make such comments?

ALI: Yes, racism is ignorance, as far as I'm concerned. So, yes, I think that people can be that ignorant.

And maybe they just feel that because they are not burning people's houses down and hosing them down and sicking dogs on them, that they're not racist. But any time you think you're superior to someone because of the color of their skin, then you are racist.

And a lot of times, people just feel like, well, it's not our fault. That's just the way that is because they're just lesser than we are and that's the way that they were born. And that is something that has been passed down, that thought.

From the first time we learn about slavery in school as young children, and you are too young to really understand, the black kids probably will feel like, OK, I can say I'm black. You're just like, well, why did that happen to us? And it might make you feel like less. And then the white kids might feel like they were more superior, because kids don't understand that. They are too young to be learning about it.

And it is going to make you feel some kind of way inside, unless somebody sets it straight. And, unfortunately, depending on what household you live in, it's either going to get set straight or that thought is going to be made even stronger. So, you know, unfortunately that's just the world that we live in.

LEMON: Laila, I follow you on Twitter. And so I know you have been talking about this story. I don't send you the terrible comments, because I'm a big fan of yours.

But I can't let you go without getting your thoughts on a big story that we have been following here on CNN, especially CNN International, for weeks now that you care deeply about. It's the abduction of the more than 200 young ladies, girls, schoolgirls in Nigeria.

And a man claiming to the Boko Haram leader said that he now plans on selling them, these kidnapped girls. What are your thoughts on that?

ALI: That's -- that's the type of thing that saddens me way more than this Donald Sterling story, because these are children that we're talking about.

And, obviously, I have a young daughter, a 3-year-old daughter. And I know that this is happening all around the world, not in these big numbers like this. But the sex trafficking, what are they calling it, with the prostitutes and turning these young girls into prostitutes and slaves, and things like that, and something definitely has to be done about it.

I don't know what needs to be done, but something has to be done about it. And I know that a lot of people are complaining that it's not getting the coverage that they feel that it should be getting. So, I'm glad that we are talking about it now. And I definitely want to look into it and see how I can get involved, because it has to stop.

LEMON: All right.

I want to tell you that you can catch Laila Ali on "Celebrity Wife Swap." That's tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Make sure you watch this show and DVR that at 10:00 Eastern.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Thank you, Laila, for joining me. It's always a pleasure.

ALI: Thanks for having me on.

LEMON: All right. . Up next, what V. Stiviano says Donald Sterling really believes about black people, and a closer look at the women in his life, his daughter and his girlfriend.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The NBA's justice swift when banning Donald Sterling for life, but the battle over whether he keeps his team, well, that could be drawn out for a long, long time.

I want to bring in my experts to get their take on this.

Joining me is Cedric Maxwell. He's a former NBA player who played for the L.A. Clippers. He is currently a sports radio analyst on The Sports Hub in Boston. I listen to it when I'm Boston. And then civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, everyone knows her. And Judge Glenda Hatchett, host of "The Judge Hatchett Show" and consultant to the NBA and the NFL. Everybody knows her. Everybody knows everybody on our panel.

So, there we go.

So, Cedric, we have a new national poll here at CNN. And we asked, should NBA owners force Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers? And 47 percent say yes; 50 percent say no. The public is basically divided 50 percent. Are you surprised by this?

CEDRIC MAXWELL, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, I'm not really surprised.

And the reason I'm not is because I think a lot of people right now look at the message, the way it was gotten, the information which was gathered. And a lot of people didn't agree with that. And a lot of people said, so what the way the information was gathered?

If you look at your poll right now, it tells me a lot of Americans right now think the information was gathered the wrong way. And the young lady who was giving the information, I'll tell you what. The more she talks, the more it seems like people are going against her and not Donald Sterling.

So it's really a mixed message right now that is really being sent.

LEMON: All right, I want to talk more, Gloria. Keep that in mind what he said about how the information was given. But let me give you this follow-up real quick, Cedric, because if we break those numbers down further, only 42 percent of whites believe that he should be forced to sell, while 61 percent of non-whites think so.

What do you make of that breakdown?

MAXWELL: Well, I think that is atypical, if you look at it.

Most of the black people I have polled want one thing. They want Donald Sterling out of the game. But I think, if you look at other people, friends of mine who are white, they are still concerned about the slippery slope, what has been said. Things are going to be open.

Now, I love the way that everybody said it. She said, I'm a confident to Donald Sterling. Well, if you are a confidant, then you don't tell secrets. Maybe she doesn't know that information, but really to me, that's the crazy part about the NBA and everything that is going around it.

The commission over the NBA did the right thing by my book.

LEMON: But, Cedric, two things here.

She's saying that she didn't release the tapes. That's according to her and her attorney. She's saying she didn't.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: She -- that's what she is saying. And we don't know yet if she -- if he gave her permission to record, because she is saying, according to her again, that she is his archivist. So she may indeed have given him -- permission.

So, people are jumping on that bandwagon, maybe doing it. And then also shouldn't all Americans, no matter their race, be concerned about privacy?

MAXWELL: Oh, absolutely.

LEMON: OK.

MAXWELL: But I don't believe -- Don, I look at you and I, and we look at it. I don't think that Donald Sterling would say to her, here's a microphone. Let me say a lot of disparaging things about African-Americans, and I'm going to put it out like that.

LEMON: OK.

MAXWELL: That's crazy.

LEMON: Point taken.

MAXWELL: I don't believe that.

LEMON: All right, point taken.

Gloria, first of all, let's talk about that, because I said we don't know how this information was gathered and if it was -- she indeed gave it away, and whether or not he gave her permission.

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Well, Don, first of all, I understand that she has said that she also sent it to some friends.

So if he gave her permission to record, then the next question is, did he give her permission to send it to friends or to the public or to anyone else?

LEMON: Right.

ALLRED: We don't know. She is sending a very mixed message.

The statements on the tape, which apparently he told the NBA that is his voice on the tape, are definitely racist kind -- statements. And, you know, it may not -- it may be that we're going to hear more than from this particular messenger, V. Stiviano, about Mr. Sterling and about his past. I don't think this is over yet. But the idea that somehow she is trying to rationalize or say or justify now and say, look, it's his age, he's 80, he's done good things, he's not a racist, this is patently absurd. What he said on the tape speaks for itself, and it's not in isolation.

The man has a past history. And we're going to hear more about that, I can assure you.

LEMON: OK. All right. All right. Quickly, short answers, guy, because I want to get everyone in.

But, Gloria, I have had a follow-up for you, because you have known Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly, in L.A. social circles, from what I understand, for many years now. She co-owns -- she is saying she is a co-owner of the team and she has thrown her support behind the commissioner's plan to appoint a new Clippers CEO.

From a legal perspective, what happens if she doesn't want to sell?

ALLRED: Well, I mean, it's complicated because, first of all, we don't know if she is going to file for divorce. Secondly, we don't know if the team is actually held in a trust or not. If it is a family trust, that complicates it even further.

So, we don't know what is going to happen. But I want to say one other thing about V. Stiviano and suddenly her trying to come out and say that Donald Sterling is not a racist. We know that Shelly Sterling has sued V. Stiviano, alleging that Donald gave her a $1.8 million duplex, that he gave her Bentleys and Ferraris and other things.

LEMON: Yes.

ALLRED: And maybe Ms. Stiviano is hoping for future financial rewards from Mr. Sterling is she says the right thing. I don't know.

LEMON: Yes. OK. All right.

Judge Hatchett, the mayor of L.A. spoke with Donald Sterling and believes he will not sell and will drag this out. Do you think we looking at a long legal battle, for years possibly, and if so, what do you think the NBA and the players will do?

GLENDA HATCHETT, HOST, "THE JUDGE Hatchett SHOW": Well, first of all, Don, I disagree.

I don't think this is going to be protracted. He will file. He will fight. I don't think he will go quietly into the night. But under the bylaws, the constitution of the NBA, he has no recourse.

And so, if I were representing the NBA, I would just aggressively go in and argue that he has no standing to bring this suit. Now, it gets complicated -- And I agree with Gloria -- as to the wife's interest and how all that shakes out. But I would suggest to you very strongly tonight, Don, that this, if it is not resolved by the vote of the owners, which I hope it will be, and this gets into another phase, I think that this will be resolved by the sponsors, by the fans, and ultimately by the players exerting their power, because I would take the position that this is a hostile work environment for them, that they no longer abound under threat contracts. If I were representing them, I would vigorously argue that.

LEMON: And, as a judge, as a judge, you would decide with -- you would decide for the players, right?

HATCHETT: Oh, absolutely.

LEMON: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

HATCHETT: And I would say they would need to be free agents on this.

LEMON: OK.

Mark, Gloria Allred kind of ahead in the textbook here, a question I wanted to ask you about.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: But V. Stiviano sat down with Barbara Walters, trying to shed some light about whether her relationship with the Clippers owner -- what was her relationship with the Clippers owner. And she also said that -- talked about whether he is a racist or not. Take a listen and we will talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALTERS: Is Donald Sterling a racist?

STIVIANO: No. I don't believe it in my heart.

WALTERS: Had you heard him say derogatory things about minorities in general and blacks in particular?

STIVIANO: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So we know how Gloria feels about this, but are you as confused as I am about her comments?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I'm with Gloria.

There's two possibilities here. The one obviously is that she has a financial stake in no longer painting him as a racist. Obviously, she could have deep investments and ties to him. And she may just not want to say that publicly. But the other piece of this is that she really may not believe it. Some people make distinctions between what people say and who they are. There is something about this term racist in America that nobody wants to have hung on them. Nobody wants to say that they're a racist.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So then stop being -- stop saying -- making racist comments. Stop being a racist if you don't want to have that title hung on you, as you said.

HILL: You are preaching to the choir, but, again, I don't think that everyone sees it that way. And it's a problem.

I don't -- I think he sees a disconnect between what he said about black people and his own identity. I think he sees a disconnect between his housing practices in Los Angeles, which I find to be far more important to talk about, and who he is as a person.

LEMON: And far more egregious.

HILL: Yes. He would say that's just culture, that's just how the world works. In fact, that's what he said, but the fact is he is a racist. He is a white supremacist, in the most literal sense.

LEMON: Yes.

HILL: And he has to own that. And we have to own that for him too. Too often, we run from this term white supremacy, we run from this term racist, because it feels like a thing that is an awful label. It's almost like calling someone a child molester. But truth is, it's true. If you believe these things, you are a racist.

LEMON: Yes.

And for people who are believing, saying, oh, he should not lose the team, what would make one think that he would run one business one way and another business the other way? He was sued and lost for discrimination. What would you make you think he's not doing it in the other business?

OK, stand by, everyone.

Coming up, from the NBA to "SNL," the debate about race and what words cross the line. A "Saturday Night Live" writer makes her on- screen debut, and a firestorm ensues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The way we view black beauty has changed. Look at me. See, see, I'm single right now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Race is always a sensitive issue when it comes to comedy. Some say off limits; some say anything goes. And we saw two examples this weekend just hours apart at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and on "Saturday Night Live."

And I want to open up our conversation to two other moments from this weekend. First, President Obama was on fire Saturday night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He poked fun at everyone, including CNN, and also had this to say about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a general rule things don't end well if the sentence starts, "Let me tell you something. I know about the Negro." You don't really need to hear the rest of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So Cedric, PBS's Gwen Ifill made a great point yesterday about that clip -- it's true, though -- how it cuts to the white people in the room who are laughing uncomfortably. Why are we still so uncomfortable with this?

MAXWELL: Well, I think because the president takes about race, and he throws it in your face, and he makes you look at it in a way. And he can say that being a president of color.

It's just really strange when you hear people get so offended when somebody tells a joke off their own. And I don't even understand why we are so politically correct in this society right now that you shouldn't even tell jokes any more, it seems like. But that was the White House dinner.

LEMON: Yes. He's more comfortable now -- quickly, Marc -- talking about race than he was before. Someone said -- it was one of the members of my panel this weekend said it was second-term swag, that he...

HILL: It's straight second-term swag right now with him. The idea is that you can't win a presidential election as a black person. You can win as somebody who happens to be black, but you can't be the black candidate. He wanted to be as race neutral as possible. But now that he has nothing to lose, no other election to win, he can engage in race talk, which is something Americans don't like. We don't like to talk race, say race or acknowledge race.

LEMON: It may be easier. Because the truth is often spoken in jest, as I said. Or through comedy.

But I want to move -- speaking of comedy, let's move on to talk about another moment from "Saturday Night Live." This is one actually receiving a lot of backlash. "SNL" writer Leslie Jones made an appearance on "SNL" "Weekend Update," and she made these jokes about slavery in response to Lupita Nyong'o's "People" magazine's "Most Beautiful" honor. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESLIE JONES, WRITER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": The way we view black beauty has changed. Look at me. See? See, I'm single right now. But back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I'm 6 foot tall, and I'm strong, Colin, strong. Masser would have hooked me up with the best brother on the plantation. And every nine months I'd be in the corner having a super baby, every nine months. Every nine months, I'd just be in the corner, just popping them out. Just Shaq, Kobe, LeBron, Kimbo Slice, Sinbad. I'm saying I would be the No. 1 slave draft pick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Judge Hatchett, you think she went too far?

HATCHETT: I do. I actually do. I actually thought it was way out of bounds. I was offended by it. Because basically, you are making fun about black women who were basically raped, who were used to breed children and put with people, men who they did not know, necessarily. And so to joke about that, I think it's a very painful time of our history. And it just went too far.

LEMON: Judge, Judge, Judge, it's satire. Cedric...

HATCHETT: Well, I feel I deserve a thought. You asked me. I tell you, I think it went too far. And you know, Don. You know me. So you know I'm pretty liberal about stuff, but I thought this was too far.

LEMON: Cedric.

MAXWELL: I love the judge, and I've seen her show a thousand times.

HATCHETT: Good.

MAXWELL: But it's satire. It's something, again, that people look at, and they just say, OK, this is satire. Some things you don't go over the line and say it's so serious, but in this case, I thought it was funny. You move on beyond it. I've heard people say worse things and get jokes over it.

But this to me was just -- you don't turn on "Saturday Night Live" to get an editorial. You turn to get, you know, something special, and it's something which is -- satire is funny.

LEMON: Marc, Leslie responded on Twitter -- Leslie responded on Twitter to many, many tweets. She said -- and this one was, in part she said, "Very sad that I have to defend myself to black people. Now I'm betting if Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle did that joke, or Jay-Z or Kanye put it in a rap song, they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do the same type of material." She continued from there, saying, "Black people are too sensitive." Does she have a point?

HILL: I don't think black people are too sensitive, and I'm not sure that I buy the Dave Chappelle thing.

I do understand another point she made in her tweet, which is that she was trying to articulate her pain of being a black woman who isn't -- who men don't want to date. That hurt -- that image of beauty that American privileges don't center her. She was offended by that, and that's why she told the joke. And I think a lot of pain, a lot of frustration comes out through comedy. I'm OK with that.

But I do think that the joke went too far. And I disagree with Cedric. If he's saying that certain things are -- are too far, then it seems to me that a culture of rape, a culture of slavery is something that does go too far. I think if there's a line that's certainly across it.

I don't think that was her intent. I don't want to demonize her like some people have. I think she had good intent and she was sincere, but I do think that she didn't consider the way in which that joke repeats a normalization of slavery, a normalization of a moment in history where you weren't -- you weren't married. You were coupled up. You were being raped. You were being forced into a sex bond. That's not OK.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh. People do not tune into "SNL" for that. That's not what it is.

HILL: That's not the point, though, Don.

HATCHETT: But that's not the point.

LEMON: Gloria -- that is the point. Gloria, you take up women's issues all the time. Go ahead, Gloria.

ALLRED: Well, I -- I mean, comedy for the most part is outrageous.

LEMON: Thank you.

ALLRED: And it gets more outrageous all the time. And you know, it's out of bounds, and that's what is funny about that.

Having said that, it is not to my taste. I don't like jokes about slavery, about the Holocaust, about genocide, because they're so serious and they're so, you know, horrendous events in history. Never to be repeated.

Having said that, I think she does make a point about Chris Rock and about other African-American comics. And I do think that there's more outrage when it comes from an African-American woman than when some of the African-American men make some -- some jokes that are completely out of bounds and completely outrageous. There is sexism there.

LEMON: "Oh, my gosh, there are no black women on "SNL." And now that she's on there..."

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: "... and her material is terrible." Hang on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don, that's the point.

LEMON: That is the point. But listen, I've got to go. But stay tuned to the end of this show. I have an essay about this.

Thank you, guests. Sorry.

Coming up, major changes in the search for Flight 370. Investigators re-examine key data in hopes they can pinpoint the plane. We're going to have a live report from Perth. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: There's a new phase underway in the serge for Flight 3-7- 0, and experts say it could last as long as one year and cost $60 million.

I want to bring in now my experts, Jeff Wise, the author of "Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind and Danger"; Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation, now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents; David Soucie, former FAA inspector and the author of "Why Planes Crash"; and Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of AirlineRatings.com; P.H. Nargeolet, director of underwater research at Premiere Exhibitions. And he led the search for the wreckage of Air France Flight 447.

First to Perth now. Geoffrey Thomas, we learned today that data that searchers have been relying on for nearly two months now will now be reviewed again to see if there are any flaws in that calculations -- in their calculations. Shouldn't this have been done all along?

GEOFFREY THOMAS, EDITOR IN CHIEF, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Well, I think what's been happening, Don, is that they have been recalculating, and in fact, the line that we're looking at in the present time is a 7/3 calculation of the Inmarsat data. So it's obviously an ongoing process.

I believe that more information has come from various countries in Southeast Asia on what -- about what they may or may not have seen. And this is helping to refine the -- the search information.

But we must remember that Ocean Shield has detected four springs from what they call the highest probability area. So I wonder, in fact, if they'll find anything new in this recalculation.

LEMON: Yes. Four ping -- I'm just wondering now if those pings could be false positives? Because David, I mean, do you think those pings could be false positives? Because everything we have -- they have searched this entire area. They have found nothing. Now they're trying to figure out if they should rejigger their calculations or review them. Do they know for sure that this plane is down there? Even with those so-called pingers that were heard?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, you know, I'm beginning to wonder if they believe in the pingers. You know, I've been looking a lot of investigating, trying to convince myself that they're not pings from this aircraft.

LEMON: Well, that would -- that's a change, David, because all along you were pretty sure that they were.

SOUCIE: And that's why I am, is because I've done so much research, and no one, not one scientist has come up with any alternative for what that could be, any viable alternative. The only thing I've heard recently that even piqued my interest a little bit was that it could have been a distance sonar sounder from some submarine or some mystic thing way out in the middle of nowhere, but -- and that it was 100 kilohertz, and it just so happens that 33.33 is one third of that 100 kilohertz. In what alternate universe does a resonance frequency come back in triplets instead of double...

LEMON: OK.

SOUCIE: ... which is what all resonance is.

LEMON: P.H., is this all for naught? Are they -- do they even know for sure? Are they searching in the wrong place?

P.H. NARGEOLET, DIRECTOR OF UNDERWATER RESEARCH, PREMIERE EXHIBITIONS: Absolutely. Absolutely. For me, there is no way the pingers were good.

When the Chinese first heard a pinger, it was on the surface. It was a pinger, you know, drifting or maybe -- or it was tagged on a shark or anything like that.

And then the U.S. Navy when they were, you know, hearing some pinger down below, it could be something different.

And plus I heard that it was some time like 33 kilohertz, and people are were saying it's because of the pressure the frequency can change. I say no way. You know, I'm using an acoustic system underwater, in deep water until 20,000 feet. When you have a frequency like on this pinger, there are guaranteed for 6,000 meter or 20,000 feet. The frequency doesn't change. If not how you have any position of submersible or anything like that. We were using acoustic frequencies all the time.

LEMON: So the bottom line, not sure; you're not convinced?

NARGEOLET: I'm sure they were hearing something but not from the black box. Since the beginning I was saying that. Since the beginning.

LEMON: Jeff Wise, are you feeling all superior now? Seriously, you have been saying -- I saved you for last. Because you have been saying this from all along. You've been questioning the Inmarsat -- look at you. You've been questioning this data, and now you've been proven, it appears, correct.

WISE: I'm just taking it all in, Don. This is the moment I've been waiting for, to hear you say that.

No, listen, look I mean -- like P.H., I really felt like there was -- there was fundamental problems with the data. And I -- it just didn't seem to add up. And I think that, you know, it couldn't have gone either way. We don't know, really, what's going on. The ocean is full of mysteries. But I think, you know, my hunch turned out to pan out.

I mean, I guess they're still searching down there. So they still could find something. But I think, you know, they made a bad call; and I think they made a bad call very publicly, and that itself was an error of judgment.

LEMON: Yes. I misspoke.

NARGEOLET: It was the Inmarsat. The Inmarsat gave you a longitude and not a latitude, and they guessed the latitude.

LEMON: I misspoke. I said I'd saved Jeff for last. Actually, it's Mary. Mary Schiavo, Royal Malaysian Police made 11 terror- related arrests. And our reporting at CNN is that they did not have to do with the plane, those arrests. Many people have a hard time believing, though, that there was no nefarious involvement here. Do you believe that investigators need to continue to look into whether this was a terror plot?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, they have to do that, and they had to bring these people in for questioning, because whether or not this was a terror plot, the terrorists are always watching. The terrorists after 911 had looked at previous exposures of weaknesses in the system to then plan the plot.

And they have to question them about whether it possibly could be. They have to question to see if anyone in the terror groups had aviation training, pilot training, hand-to-hand combat training, knows how to make a bomb, knows how to use their knives and weapons. And they have to do that to rule out that they were involved in this particular event.

And then, to make sure that they don't get any ideas from the weaknesses that were exposed, as -- you know, as it happened in 9/11. They followed previously exposed weaknesses.

So I think it's important what they did, but I don't think it indicates that 370 disappeared because of terrorism.

LEMON: When we come right back, my experts will answer your questions. So get them in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Back now with my experts. David Soucie is causing trouble in the break. You want some clarification about pingers. What do you want?

SOUCIE: I want to know what the sound came from? I want something specific. I've been researching this for the last couple weeks. Every time some scientist or expert says, "Oh, it's this," I do the research, and it's not.

LEMON: He means you, P.H.

NARGEOLET: I have a lot of information, and I called some friends who are using that they are tagging a shark or tagging...

SOUCIE: All right. Let's take that for example, P.H. I called Woods Hole, who tags sharks and tags whales. They tag turtles. I called them. I called the manufacturer of the pinger. The manufacturer of the pinger told me they haven't made a pinger that pings at 1-second intervals for over ten years. So maybe ten years ago you were using these, I agree. But the batteries are most certainly dead by now.

NARGEOLET: No, no, no, no, no. People are still using that.

SOUCIE: No. That's not true.

NARGEOLET: I have a friend who was using that recently between Galapagos and Marpalot (ph).

SOUCIE: Give me the manufacturer. Give me the manufacturer and I'll research it.

WISE: Can I jump in and say, listen, we don't have to prove...

LEMON: We're not going to give names on television. Go ahead.

WISE: OK. We don't have to prove what made it. The ocean is full of mysteries. We only recently, like in the past couple weeks, they discovered that this weird burping noise that they'd been hearing for decades came from Minke Whales in Antarctica. And so, you know, we might never find what actually made this, but all we need to do is rule it that it came from MH-370. And we can do that just by looking within the detection radius of pingers. These aren't magical devices. They can't go an infinite distance. They can only go about a mile.

SOUCIE: OK. Now explain to me the fact that the pinger locator, the GPO, was drug behind the ship at six knots. So were they pointing out where the ship was or where the pinger was? What exactly is this? Do we have that information? Tell me.

WISE: That's a great question, but that to me itself rules out this is...

THOMAS: But they're not done.

LEMON: Geoffrey Thomas brings up a good point. Geoffrey, go ahead.

THOMAS: They're not done.

Well, one of the most important things here is pinger location No. 1, about ten -- six miles, seven miles north of where they've been searching is actually deeper than the Bluefin can get to. And that's where they heard the ping for two hours. That's the best ping they got, and we haven't actually searched in that area yet. We have to wait for the Orion to do that. So we have a long way yet before we sort of cancel it all out.

WISE: Well, it seems -- it seems like the authorities themselves have decided to cancel it out. The Australian prime minister said that he was baffled and disappointed. They're pulling back. They've sent the ships to port.

SOUCIE: They have to get new tools. They have to get new tools. What's the point of staying out...

WISE: They sent the ships --

LEMON: Mary, do you want to get in on this? Or do you want to just let the guys fight this out?

SCHIAVO: Well, there's a phenomenon called multipath propagation, which says that -- this was research that was done after Air France 447. It came out of Lisbon, I think.

And what they found is that these pingers could bounce off the surface, off the floor and off of different channels in the ocean, and they would put out several different paths on the signals. So one pinger could have several different paths. And they had a case where they found that one sound was able to travel halfway around the world. It can go a half mile or a half a globe. So...

NARGEOLET: No.

SCHIAVO: ... there's still a good possibility that you could have it.

NARGEOLET: No, no research said that -- not with 37 kilohertz. That doesn't exist. You know, you can have that with low frequency, like even the window that the whale when they are using, like, 7 kilohertz or something like that. It can go around the world. But not with 37.

LEMON: That will have to be the last word on that. Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Not only does everyone have an opinion of reason to take offense to just about anything, but they also have social media, where they can go on and, mostly anonymously, bitch and moan about everything. Everything, like Leslie Jones' performance on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend, where she joked about a slave draft. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: I'm saying I would be the No. 1 slave draft pick. All of the plantations would want me. I'd be on television like LeBron, announcing which plantation I was going to go to. I would be like "I'd like to take my talents to South Carolina."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So here's the thing. For almost all of last year, people were on a tear, complaining about diversity, asking where are the sisters on "SNL"? And now that there are some on there, you complain about her material.

In the 1970s, "SNL" brilliantly used the "N" word in a sketch with Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase. "The Jeffersons," "All in the Family," "Good Times," they all used the "N" word and broached controversial race topics, as well. And sometimes they didn't do it gracefully, but at least they did it.

Hell, "In Living Color" had Wanda. Martin Lawrence had Shanaynay. Neither character was flattering to black women, but you laughed at them.

Leslie Jones responded by saying that black people were too sensitive sometimes. In this case, she is right. Leave the woman alone. Give her the freedom the rest of the cast has, the freedom to grow, the freedom to learn, the freedom to make mistakes. She shouldn't have to carry the collective burden of all black people on her shoulders. She's a comedian, not a civil rights worker.

Leslie Jones, ignore the haters. The loudest voices on Twitter aren't necessarily the majority. Do your thing. Kick ass and take names.

I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching. That's it for me. "AC 360" starts right now.