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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS
Donald Sterling Saga; Monica Lewinsky Speaks Out; Flight 370 Search Continues; When Race and Sports Collide; Poll: Majority Feel Terrorism Involved in Flight 370
Aired May 6, 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.
Tonight, an iconic face of the 1990s resurfaces after years of silence. Monica Lewinsky speaks out.
Also, a legal war is brewing in the Donald Sterling saga. The embattled owner is reportedly on the hunt for an all-star legal team. We could be in for a long hall.
It's a banner time for a big mouth. A Tennessee state senator refuses to apologize for comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust.
And MSNBC rushes to apologize for -- well, you just have to see it.
And the hunt for Flight 370 -- as phase two of the search is under way, a new poll suggests a large majority of Americans believe the plane was taken down by terror.
We're going to begin tonight with Monica Lewinsky. Just think about the news lately, right? We have spent a lot of time covering people who fall from grace and become social pariahs. Donald Sterling is just the latest example.
America loves a good redemption story for almost everyone. To hear just a few names, Bill Clinton, Charlie Sheen, Paula Deen, Martha Stewart, Kim Kardashian, Bill O'Reilly, David Letterman, Vanessa Williams, Eliot Spitzer, Rob Lowe, Hugh Grant and on and on and on, but why not Monica Lewinsky?
She is back in the news tonight after writing an article in "Vanity Fair" hoping to rewrite the ending of her story. Martha Stewart went to prison, remember? Charlie Sheen lost his job. Paula Deen lost millions of dollars.
Monica Lewinsky retreated from the public eye and is now trying to change that. Many empathized with Lewinsky after her relationship with President Clinton because it was clearly the ultimate imbalance of power. But most also realize that at the same time, she was a grown woman, old enough to make her own decisions. And she decided to have a sexual relationship with a sitting president.
In my humble opinion, she has also decided in the 15 years since to hide and to largely run away from it and not to own her own story. Hear me out here. Monica Lewinsky, by her own admission, has had plenty of opportunities in business and otherwise to write her own story and navigate a new course for her life.
She has mostly chosen not to. And while the public has largely moved on, it is her who is the one who has not, until now. And it is about time. In fact, it is past time.
So joining me now is Sunny Hostin. She is CNN's legal analyst and a former federal prosecutor. Charles Ogletree is a professor of law at Harvard University. Mark O'Mara is CNN legal analyst and a criminal defense attorney, and Michael Levine, celebrity publicist and founder he Levine Communications.
I want to start with you, professor Ogletree, because you have a connection through the case through one of Lewinsky's attorneys. What makes this case different from all the other cases of scandal and redemption in American life?
CHARLES OGLETREE, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: I don't think it is either one. I don't think it is scandal or redemption.
I know Monica Lewinsky because my boss, Frank Carter, as a public defender, was her first lawyer. And I knew a lot about the case. And I was very much involved in it as well. And I think that the reality is that she was mistreated. There's no question about that. And I think we can't forget that.
And I'm not at all surprised that she has been out of public view for a long time. She has been getting a college degree, a graduate degree at London institute there. And I think that now she is coming forward, and not being vindictive. She said that the sex was consensual.
I don't think it was, because President Clinton is a grown man, was the president of the United States, and it may have been consensual in the sense that they were both agreeing to it. But the reality is that he had an enormous amount of power, power over her, and she didn't get anything from her.
LEMON: And, as I said, I said it was clearly an imbalance of power, but he she was anywhere from 22 to 25 at the time that it happened.
Sunny, you heard what I said at the top of the show.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think you are so wrong.
LEMON: Am I being too hard on her?
HOSTIN: You are so off base. And as the only woman on this panel, I really need to say this.
We always blame the woman. There was such a disparity in power, Don.
LEMON: I'm not blaming her. I said it was an imbalance of power. But she was in her 20s.
HOSTIN: You said she has been hiding.
LEMON: She has been hiding.
HOSTIN: She is a grown woman when this happened. But you can't -- you have got to realize that she was a young girl. She didn't know herself.
LEMON: She wasn't a young girl. A young girl is 12 years old, 13, 14, 15. She was a 23-year-old woman when an affair started.
HOSTIN: I'm sorry. A 23-year-old intern, when your boss takes advantage of you...
OGLETREE: Don, I think you better let this go.
HOSTIN: Thank you.
And your boss is the president of the United States, there is such a disparity in power. And she became unemployable.
HOSTIN: She became a pariah, Don.
LEMON: As the president of the United States, he should have not have slept with her.
But she should have had the mind, the state of mind, as a 23-year-old woman, to not sleep with her boss. She was not a child.
HOSTIN: Twenty-three? I would hate to look at myself when I was 23 and some of the decisions I made.
LEMON: When you were 23 years old, when you were 23 years old, you didn't know who to sleep with and who not to sleep with?
HOSTIN: I didn't know even who I was when I 23 years. And she didn't know. And she was probably -- am I not right, professor Ogletree?
(CROSSTALK) OGLETREE: You are exactly right.
HOSTIN: And the bottom line here is, she became a scapegoat.
OGLETREE: No question about that.
And I think, Don, if you look at the history of this, a lot of women have been dominated by men. There's no question about that. And I think that the only fair inference is that this person, the president of the United States, used an enormous amount of power to have this relationship.
And I appreciate the fact that his wife forgave him. But remember that he came to the Martha's Vineyard, where we were having a program that summer, and the real catalyst between the two of them, him and Hillary Clinton, was their wonderful daughter, Chelsea. You could see them leaving the White House, she in the middle holding his hand and her holding her hand, and saying, I'm going to keep this family together. And she did.
LEMON: Let's stick to Monica Lewinsky, though, because Michael, I want to ask you. Many others have gone through public scandals and managed to move forward with their lives. Why does Monica Lewinsky seem unable to do that?
MICHAEL LEVINE, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST: Well, first of all, I think it's fascinating that your guests refer to a 25-year-old as a young woman.
And it is either was consensual or isn't consensual. By her own admission, it was consensual. So, Don, every time I agree with you, I think you're brilliant. I think it was consensual. And I don't define a 25-year-old -- this is a new standard for a very young woman. A 25-year-old should have a modest understanding that when a man is married and the president of the United States, perhaps you're heading into some tenuous ground.
HOSTIN: And that's blaming Monica Lewinsky.
LEVINE: I'm not blaming her.
LEVINE: I'm just establishing...
LEMON: I will let everybody get in here, but let's take a look at her comments, all right?
She said that -- because she did say it was between two consenting adults. She said: "Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point. It was a consensual relationship." Still, she's said she's never been able to move on with her career because of what potential employees so tactfully refer to as "my history." She writes, "I was never quite right for the position."
HOSTIN: She became unemployable.
LEMON: ... she is saying she's a 40-year-old woman now who is in command of her own life.
HOSTIN: Sure. Sure.
LEMON: And she is saying it was consensual. But yet you are making excuses for her.
HOSTIN: But the point is not whether or not the sexual contact was consensual. She's admitted that.
I think the point is, when you have that disparity of power, you have the president of the United States...
LEMON: Agreed. Completely agree with you. I completely agree with you. But she should have known better.
HOSTIN: ... and he's her boss.
And, at the end of the day, she becomes the person to blame. She becomes the scapegoat. Everyone else moves on. Hillary Clinton becomes the secretary of state. President Clinton is revered. And she can't even get a job, even though she was trained at the London School of Economics. I just think that it is once again a woman not being able to move on.
LEMON: But I don't believe that she can't get a job.
If she -- listen, not many people -- it is an honor, it's a privilege to be able to get a degree, a master's from the London School of Economics. Most people can get a job.
HOSTIN: Yes. So, she is not a stupid woman.
LEMON: She is not a stupid woman.
And if you can get a degree, you can get a job from there. I'm not buying that she can't get a job.
Go ahead, Mark.
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There is an enormous imbalance of power. And Clinton should have known better. LEMON: Absolutely.
O'MARA: You don't use and therefore abuse that type of power that you have, 22-year-old, 18-year-old, 30-year-old, when you have the enormity of power that the president of the United States has.
But the real question that you asked to begin with was, why is it that we not giving her the same credit we are giving everybody else, from Michael Vick to any one of these people who we have allowed to sort of re-come? We love a downtrodden story to come back.
I think the problem with it is that, in order to do that, we almost have to attack the presidency itself. If we're going to give Monica Lewinsky a chance -- and she certainly deserves one -- we have sort of got -- while he was a sitting president, we couldn't do it and she went into hiding.
And even since he was now a former president, and his status has almost grown, as an elder statesman, if we give Monica Lewinsky a chance, it seems as though we are attacking Bill Clinton.
HOSTIN: There you go.
O'MARA: She deserves a chance. I'm glad she is finally coming out and talking about this as a 40-year-old. She should have had a chance as a 30-year-old.
O'MARA: And I do not think that she should have had to be in hiding the way she was.
LEMON: So, then why is she having to write an article in "Vanity Fair" to do this?
O'MARA: However she decides to come out, she should.
LEMON: Listen, I agree with that 100 percent. However, but it seems like after 15 years, she could have done -- I think for the -- I think it has been...
HOSTIN: But you at the beginning of this blamed her.
LEMON: No, I did not blame her. I said for the most part, she has been the one that has not moved on. The public has largely moved on.
HOSTIN: Oh, that's not true.
LEMON: Go ahead, professor.
LEVINE: But, Don, what I don't understand, Don...
LEMON: Mark first and then professor. Sorry. Mark first and then professor.
LEMON: Or Michael, sorry. Or Michael.
LEVINE: What I don't understand is your guests saying that she was the only one punished.
Presumably, being impeached as a president of the United States is -- some people would regard as a rather lasting and significant punishment. Is being impeached not a punishment?
HOSTIN: I didn't think it was a punishment that had any teeth.
OGLETREE: It's not the same. Right.
LEMON: Hey, Charles, professor, before I -- before you answer, let me read this.
Here is what Monica Lewinsky says about the impact and the spotlight on her. OK? She says: "Any abuse came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor's minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle and the media were able to brand me, and that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power."
HOSTIN: All true.
LEMON: So, is Monica Lewinsky a victim of more powerful forces.
HOSTIN: Absolutely. Absolutely.
LEMON: Go ahead, professor.
O'MARA: Sunny and I agree on this one.
OGLETREE: I think it's very true. Am I to speak now?
OGLETREE: I just want to say this, that her first lawyer was my first boss, Frank Carter, at the public defender's office.
And it was very clear that she was somebody who had no idea that she was walking into this wonderful experience, but in a tragic experience, with the president.
And you have to think about, he is the president of the United States of America. She is an intern at the White House. Somebody has power. He does. And I think it is wrong to talk to -- talk about women if they are 13 or 15 or 23, 24, or 25, or 30, that they have more power over men who are older, who are more powerful.
LEMON: I don't believe a 25-year-old woman, regardless of who the man is, is powerless.
HOSTIN: Oh, wow.
OGLETREE: I'm not saying she's powerless.
LEMON: Women having power over men as well, regardless of their jobs. That is -- that is not true. I don't believe that.
HOSTIN: You are so way off base. And you know I love you, Don Lemon, but you are so way off base.
LEMON: When I was 25 -- when I was 23 years old, I knew what I wanted and I knew when I wanted it. And I knew what I should and should not do. And when I was 25 years old, I knew even better.
HOSTIN: No one is excusing the fact that she had a relationship with a married man who was the president of the United States. I often say there is a special place in hell for women that sleep with other women's men. And you know that.
But this is very different. We're talking about an intern in the White House really being, I think, abused by her boss.
LEMON: Well, I also knew not to sleep with my boss when I was 23 or 25 years old.
Thank you. Thank you, Michael. We appreciate it.
Everyone else, stay with me.
Coming up, Donald Sterling's lifetime ban, is it only a mere battle in the draw out of legal war? That is next.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.
The president of the Los Angeles Clippers is taking an indefinite leave of absence starting tomorrow. Andy Roeser has been with the basketball team for 30 years. And last week, his boss, Clippers owners Donald Sterling, was banned from the NBA for life for making racist remarks.
Commissioner Adam Silver has vowed to rally the owners of the other teams to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. But that is not going to be easy. Sterling is extremely wealthy and he is known for his court battles.
More now from CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If he has any chance of keeping this, Clippers owner Donald Sterling has to fight this.
DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: And don't bring him to my games, OK?
FEYERICK: And he's going to need a go-for-the-jugular, no-holds- barred lawyer, the kind who defends client like embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen after she was caught using a racial slur in 2013.
PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I have done.
FEYERICK: That lawyer, according to TMZ Sports, is Patty Glaser, who would not confirm she is working for Sterling, but who is certainly a logical choice. Glaser got the racial charges that nearly destroyed Deen's career thrown out. Glaser also successful defended Kelsey Grammer. A grand jury refused to indict the "Frasier" star in 1995 after he was accused of having sex with 15-year-old girl.
PATRICIA GLASER, ATTORNEY: He doesn't want to be treated specially because he is a celebrity, but he doesn't want to be penalized for it either.
FEYERICK: And Glaser also successful represented Conan O'Brien in 2010 during contract talks, when he left as host of "The Tonight Show."
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": How can I get NBC to screw me over?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If she comes in there and represents the interest of the trust, I think she is on much more solid legal ground than if she comes in and just coming represents Sterling.
FEYERICK: And it's not just Glaser. CNN has learned Sterling is talking to a number of high-profile numbers. One of the first orders of business for any lawyer Sterling potentially hires in the NBA action will likely be figuring out whether the tapes were recorded legally under California law, secondly, whether it is legal to force the sale of such a valuable team.
L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The Players Association for the league needs to start thinking about the contingency plan. What are you going to do for those Clippers players who no longer want to play for a man profiting off of their abilities, and skills, and talents?
FEYERICK: Strategically, some experts say Sterling's lawyers could hire investigators to dig up dirt on the opposition, one-time friends, now potential enemies.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: These owners may have to give up information that they may not want out there in the public. That's why part of any litigation is whether or not Donald Sterling will win, but part of it also is, what do the other parties have to lose if this case goes to litigation?
LEMON: Deborah Feyerick, thank you very much.
I want to bring in my panel again. Joining me now, Kenneth Shropshire, sports attorney and director at the WHARTON Sports Business Initiative, Farah Stockman, a columnist at "The Boston Globe," and back with me now, Charles Ogletree, Mark O'Mara, and Sunny Hostin here in the hot seat. And she is bringing it tonight.
So, Charles, Donald Sterling is an attorney. He's a lawyer by trade, and he has a reputation as an aggressive litigator. Does it surprise you then that he is not planning on going away quietly or quickly?
OGLETREE: It doesn't surprise me at all.
He has learned how to play the game and he's hired some of the best people. He owns a lot of money, has a lot of impact. And I think that at the end of this, he is going to be successful as a lawyer in turning this whole thing around.
And I think a lot of things are going to come out about a lot of people, a lot of owners. And I think that people need to understand that Donald Sterling may be the first person caught saying the things, but what he is going to show is that: I'm not alone. Anybody who is owning a franchise like I do says things and they don't expect they're going to be recorded.
And I think that people are going to have a hard time tying this to him, in a sense, saying that anything that you say privately will forever be used against you, even though what he said was racist, inappropriate, and should be condemned. LEMON: Mark O'Mara, the attorney who may take on this case has represented Paula Deen, represented Conan O'Brien, Kelsey Grammer. How is this case unique?
O'MARA: Well, Glaser is a good lawyer and she will do a good job.
But the question that she has got to take on or try and answer is, in the court of public opinion, he is guilty. Sterling is now the poster child for what you are not supposed to say in private or in public and be that racist.
So what she's got to do and decide how she is going to try and show this guy Don Sterling to be, what, something more normal? If she is going to try and do it by taking on 29 other billionaires and say they may be racist or insensitive or stupid-speaking on occasion, great.
I would hope that even someone who has a scorched-earth mentality like Sterling does can think, in his 80th year, that maybe he should start acting reasonably, rationally, and not destroy the NBA because he happened to be shown to be the person that he is.
LEMON: Yes. I asked that question to Jeffrey Toobin earlier. He says, unless he is going to get a personality transplant, Don, that is not going to happen.
HOSTIN: That's right.
LEMON: We have been talking about his wife, and his wife, who is the co-owner now.
LEMON: She says, I agree with what the NBA is doing. But does she have a chance of keeping ownership here?
HOSTIN: Absolutely. And I'm glad you brought this up, because she is really the player here that no one is talking about.
She came out with a statement today. I have it in front of me.
LEMON: Yes. What did she say?
HOSTIN: She says: "As a co-owner, as a co-owner, I'm fully committed to taking the necessary steps to make the Clippers the best team in the NBA." Then she says, "That's been my aspiration ever since 1981."
Guess what that means, Don? That means, hello, everyone. I have been the owner since 1981 and I'm going to still be the owner. And so we know that the Clippers is held in this family trust. Adam Silver made it very clear, you know what, this is not about anyone else in the Sterling family, just about Donald Sterling.
And I think that Shelly Sterling is really the player here that people have to look at. She is not going anywhere.
O'MARA: Not going to happen. HOSTIN: And the Sterling family I think is going to retain control.
LEMON: Why do you say that, Mark?
O'MARA: It is not going to happen because there's an old saying in law with a closing argument. When you take out a piece of meat and it is rancid out of a piece of stew, you don't look around for a good piece of meat. You throw it all out.
She stayed with him since 1981. She knew who he was during the discrimination lawsuits. She knew who he was having an affair. She is tied to him until death do them part. And she should not be an owner either.
HOSTIN: But she is a co-owner, Mark. She is a co-owner.
O'MARA: I hear you.
HOSTIN: So, what do you do? What do you do with that? She's part of the family trust.
LEMON: She goes with him. That's what happens.
O'MARA: Contractually, you're right. But she needs to go with him. Like Don just said, they need to leave and leave the NBA alone, learn a lesson from acting the way he did, and not use all of his money to besmirch and destroy the NBA, or, quite honestly, the rest of us now, who know who he is.
O'MARA: Move on. Go somewhere where it is OK to be who you are, not here.
LEMON: I want to get to Ken now.
Ken, what about the Clippers players? If this drags on and they refuse to play under a Sterling ownership, do they have any legal rights here?
KENNETH SHROPSHIRE, DIRECTOR, WHARTON SPORTS BUSINESS INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think they do.
I think that's really going to be the key that Sterling may have to hang on to. We're not so much concerned about what the NBA constitution says and these other issues. What can really be the key is if the business can't continue to operate.
Sterling has little power to overcome something that Silver tries to do, if he says, I'm doing this interest in the best interest of the game, this team can't function anymore, these players won't play, so we have got to force a sale.
LEMON: Farah, you wrote an article in today's "Boston Globe." It's called "Becoming White," "Becoming White" about Donald Sterling. We're going to get more into the race aspect that you bring up there in just a minute. But first tell us about Sterling's background as a lawyer.
FARAH STOCKMAN, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": So he grew up very poor in a section of L.A. called Boyle Heights.
It was a mixed-race section of L.A. And he worked in a furniture store at night. It was his wife's father's furniture store. And then he went to law school. And he became a lawyer. And he became a personal injury lawyer and a divorce lawyer, because that's all you could do at the time if you were Jewish.
White -- big white shoe law firms at the time discriminated against Jews. They did not hire Jews. And so what you could do was what he did. And he saved his money and bought an apartment building.
LEMON: Of all people, of all people, he should know better.
HOSTIN: It's so shocking.
HOSTIN: And my mother is half-Jewish. My grandfather is Jewish.
And I think that it is so shocking that, given the fact that he is Jewish and has obviously experienced bigotry and racism, that he would hold these views.
LEMON: Right. Yes.
HOSTIN: It is just -- it's almost as if there is self-hatred going on.
LEMON: Hold that thought. Everybody, stay where you are.
Coming up next, there's a rogues' gallery of influential figures in sports who made ugly racist statements and lost their careers. Well, we will take a look at what happens when sports and race collide. That's next. Don't go anywhere.
LEMON: And we're back.
Race and sports in America, you have inspiring heroes like Jackie Robertson and Roberto Clemente breaking down racial barriers and people like Donald Sterling seemingly building them up.
CNN's Susan Candiotti has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sterling's hate-filled comments are hardly the first to hit the world of sports.
I think the dynamic of sports makes these controversies all the more striking.
CANDIOTTI: Former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott reportedly was overheard saying, "Never hire another N-word. I would rather have a trained monkey working for me."
JON WERTHEIM, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": In 1996 on ESPN, she says this about Adolf Hitler.
MARGE SCHOTT, FORMER CINCINNATI REDS OWNER: Everybody in history knows that he did -- was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.
CANDIOTTI: With a history of offensive comments, she is forced to sell the Reds three years later.
WERTHEIM: It took a long time for baseball to drum her out. This DID not have the swift three-day justice of Donald Sterling.
CANDIOTTI: In 1987, then Dodgers general manager Al Campanis makes an outrageous comment about African-Americans on ABC's "Nightline."
TED KOPPEL, ABC NEWS: Is there still that much prejudice in baseball today?
AL CAMPANIS, FORMER DODGERS GENERAL MANAGER: No, I don't believe it is prejudice. I truly believe that they may not have some of the -- the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager or perhaps a general manager.
CANDIOTTI: Campanis later tries to explain he was talking about the lack of African-Americans with experience. Within days, he's gone.
(on camera): What stood out to you about Ted Koppel's questioning of Al Campanis during this live interview?
WERTHEIM: You had Ted Koppel giving him an opportunity to backtrack his statements. And here was this man unapologetically saying, no, this -- this is how I feel.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Sports media has its own troubles. In 1998, then CBS football analyst Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder says black athletes are superior because they were -- quote -- "bred that way during slavery"
And adds this.
JIMMY "THE GREEK" SNYDER, FORMER CBS FOOTBALL ANALYST: If they take over coaching like everybody wants them to, there's not going to be anything left for the white people.
CANDIOTTI: Snyder loses his job. But firing an owner isn't as easy. And Sterling may very well put up a fight.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Susan.
I want to bring in my experts for reaction now. Ken, you know, you're an expert in issues of race and sports. Race permeates all aspects of our culture. It's obvious. But what is unique in the sports world?
SHROPSHIRE: Well, sports is a bit of an illusion that there's been this great amount of success. And there has been some. You think of 1947 Jackie Robinson, the lone African-American on the field of play.
Today, you think about -- most of us don't know how many African- Americans are playing. It's a -- it's a regular occurrence.
So the closer you get to the ball, you still see African-Americans, which was not the case in the past. Now it's the closer you get to the money. That's where African-Americans and people of color are absent. But that's not what we see on television. That's not the images that we are aware of.
So sports provides this illusion of this great level of progress, but it takes moments like this and moments like this in the piece for people to really understand that sports is like the rest of society. And like the rest of society, the racial incidents are more clandestine, more undercover, but the racial prejudice is still there.
LEMON: OK. Here's the thing, though, and I'm looking at the stats here, because in 2013, African-Americans comprised about 75 percent of all NBA players, 40 percent of all NBA head coaches, and certainly, a much smaller percentage of owners. So what dynamic does that cause?
SHROPSHIRE: Well, it's not too different from the rest of America, if you think about it. You know, the numbers of people of color have been increased in a number of places in society. But when you look at the very top in sports, if you look at ownership, the absence is stark.
And it's so much that there's any special prejudice in sport. The economic don't allow people of color to participate at the highest levels.
Now where there could be greater progress is as the president level, is at the CEO level, is at the head coaching level. And those are places where there's been modest progress, but we still have very strong evidence...
SHROPSHIRE: ... that there's issues that still permeate sports.
HOSTIN: You have to own the team, though.
HOSTIN: I think what's really remarkable about the stats is that there's so little ownership...
HOSTIN: ... of teams with people of color.
LEMON: And that's the opportunity here for some...
O'MARA: I don't think you can call the progress we've made an illusion, however. We've made progress over the past 40 years, since French [SIC] Robinson. We just had -- Jackie Robinson. But you can't say that that's an illusion.
We still have a long way to go, but progress has been made, by the numbers that Don just talked about. We're just not there yet, and it's going to be a while to get there, but we are on our way.
LEMON: Given what Ken said, Charles, does that mean that the players become somewhat, you know, of a commodity to the team, and I'm putting that nicely, using that word "commodity"?
OGLETREE: Commodity is a good word. I have a slight disagreement with Mark here. There were glory days. When Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1967, that was a great move. And in the 1980s, you saw African-American players almost everywhere.
If you look right now, Mark, what's amazing is that most players don't have a lot of African-American players. They have one or two. When I say African-American, I'm not talking about other people who might be black in complexion but from other parts of the world. Black boys are not playing baseball. They're not in parks around the country. And they're not involved in Major League Baseball. They're involved in football, basketball, other sports but not in baseball. And I think we need to change that.
I took one of the 1921 Tulsa race riot survivors to a Boston Celtics -- to the Boston Red Sox baseball game. And he said to me, "Professor Ogletree, this is very strange."
I said, "What are you talking about, Mr. Clark?"
He said, "I'm looking at this audience."
I said, "Yes, I know, just throw the pitch."
He says, "I'm looking at it, because these are white folks." And for him, this is a man who's over 100 years old, had been to all the black ball parks. Remember the 1928 teams playing were all black. And he was just amazed that this is a white, majority white audience at a white stadium.
LEMON: Yes. OGLETREE: And that made an impact on him. I think we have to figure out what we're going to do now to make sure that what happened in the 1928s, 1940s, aren't happening again in the 21st century. We have to change the paradigm.
LEMON: But history does not repeat itself.
You wrote an interesting article, Farah, an interesting piece for your paper, "The Boston Globe," where you say Donald Sterling wasn't born white. Explain that.
FARAH STOCKMAN, WRITER/COLUMNIST, "BOSTON GLOBE": Yes. I think it's very important to remember that Donald Sterling is an old man. He's 80 years old. And when he was born in the '30s, Jews experienced huge racial discrimination. And a lot of people, a huge portion of America did not consider them to be white. They were considered to be separate.
And so how did Donald Sterling react to that? He changed his name. He was originally born Donald Tokowitz. He became very wealthy. He moved out of the ghetto. He had lived in a mixed-race neighborhood. He moved out, and he never looked back.
I think that that's what this whole thing is about. He expected his young friend to do the same, because she had a lot in common with him. She also grew up in the same neighborhood. She went to the same high school he did, 50 years later. And she also changed her name. She changed her face, by the way. That is not the nose her momma gave her.
So I mean, I think -- I think that -- this is about assimilation.
LEMON: You're talking about V. Stiviano?
HOSTIN: What is remarkable in some of his comments is he said to her, you know, "Why can't you just be a delicate Latina?"
LEMON: Delicate white or delicate Latina.
HOSTIN: "Why can't you just be a delicate white?" And I can tell you, even in my experience, I am, as you know, a Latino and I'm also black. So I call myself a blacktina.
LEMON: And Jewish. You're everything.
HOSTIN: And I'm Jewish. Everything.
LEMON: Every color of the rainbow.
HOSTIN: But many people have said that to me. Many people have said, "Why do you always sort of broadcast the blackness..."
LEMON: The blackness and not the Latina. HOSTIN: "... and not the Latina?" And it's really unbelievable to me that he actually said that: "Don't be who you are. Try to pass as other." And that just opens up a whole other can of worms. Because in our society, that's what people do.
LEMON: So the blackness is the worst part that you can be? Is that sort of what he's saying?
HOSTIN: I guess so.
O'MARA: It absolutely was. He just showed his true colors, no pun intended, when he suggested that she should deny blackness, because he wasn't comfortable with it.
LEMON: Yes. Yes. I wish I could say some things here on television that I can't. But, you know, it starts with a "Blank you, Donald Sterling."
Coming up, life under a microscope. From the privacy of your home to the campaign trail to the television screen. How much do you have to watch what you say?
LEMON: Back now with a very hot panel of experts tonight. And they are not letting anything get by me.
OK, so it is easy for people to quickly find themselves in hot water for the words they use and the things that they say. Just ask Donald Sterling. Well, yesterday, on Cinco de Mayo, MSNBC's "Way Too Early" program offended some out there while trying to make light of the way some Americans celebrate the holiday. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS ROBERTS, HOST, MSNBC'S "WAY TOO EARLY": It is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, celebrating Mexican heritage and pride, and it commemorates the Mexican army over the French horses in the Battle of Puebla back in 1862.
It's also an excuse to drink tequila on a Monday morning at work for Lewis.
President Obama will mark the holiday with a reception at the White House.
You have to drink the whole thing and eat the worm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Oh, and Thomas is a friend. I really like him. But Sunny, as a blacktina...
HOSTIN: As a blacktina, no!
LEMON: ... what did -- what's your reaction? HOSTIN: You know, when I saw it, of course, like everyone else this morning, I immediately thought, they don't have any Latino producers. They don't have anyone in the newsroom telling them that this is ill- advised and that this is a problem.
It was immediately offensive to me. And I think that is really what the problem is. People don't...
HOSTIN: Diversity in the newsrooms, diversity on basketball teams, diversity in the NBA. Different points of view so people can be well- informed as to what's offensive and what isn't.
LEMON: But that's -- but here's what people -- here's what people think about that. And I've often said that, and I don't mean to beat up on MSNBC. But it's not just about diversity of color; it's about diversity of thought. You cannot just have a chorus of agreement for people...
HOSTIN: That's right.
LEMON: ... to say...
HOSTIN: I never agree with anyone.
LEMON: So there you go.
O'MARA: Here's what I love about that, if I might.
LEMON: Sorry. Go ahead, Mark. Go ahead.
O'MARA: Here's what I love about that. We have become and we're teaching our children now, if you look at it with the silver lining, when this idiocy happens, we get Sterling out in three or four days. Even this thing this morning went instantly viral.
I think what's good about this is, when these inappropriate insensitive occurrences happen, we're reacting to them very quickly, very well, and very openly. And our children, maybe, are learning that behavior is not going to happen, it's not going to be tolerated, and if it happens, you're going to be embarrassed on national TV, and maybe it will filter down into the classrooms. Or maybe it's a silver lining.
LEMON: I have to read this from MSNBC, because after complaints from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, MSNBC apologized. "On Monday, Cinco de Mayo," it says, "'Way Too Early' made sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday. It was not our intention to be disrespectful, and we sincerely apologize for the ill-advised references."
So Charles, what do you make of that? OGLETREE: It's very troubling, because you have this, in essence, cartoon about those celebrating Cinco de Mayo. But every single game, whether it's a basketball game or baseball game or football game, you'll see people out tailgating and drinking hours before the game. Drunk, throwing up. Some of them getting arrested. That doesn't make the news. Because that's expected.
And I know someone who just went to see the great marathon here. An 11 a.m. game with the Red Sox. But talking about people were drunk at 10 a.m. in the morning.
My daughter experienced the same folks at the dorms at Columbia when she was in college many decades ago, a long time ago. It's amazing. And we need to figure out a way to try to address these issues and not let folks get away with it. But also train people to think about you don't drink at 10 a.m. in the morning. You don't drink at midnight. And you don't drink...
LEMON: You mean for Cinco de Mayo or just in general? Because that was a Friday night at my school.
OGLETREE: In general.
OGLETREE: The problem is that Cinco de Mayo, we're joking about it, but...
OGLETREE: ... the reality is everybody is drinking early and a lot and getting sick. And I think that we only talk about Cinco de Mayo as if it's the only time when people drink anything.
LEMON: Just quickly, I don't have a lot of time HERE. Do you think it would have made a difference if it had been a comedy show, not during newscast?
SHROPSHIRE: Certainly. You know, we saw "Saturday Night Live" episode would be the slavery incident. So there have been negative reaction even if it was a comedy show. So we just need to be more careful.
I think Sunny is exactly right. The inclusion of the newsroom, the greater diversity in the newsroom and where these decisions are made is so important.
LEMON: But see, I would imagine that MSNBC has a very diverse newsroom. I think they would have, but not necessarily...
HOSTIN: Not on that show. I mean obviously, I would think anyone that really had the opportunity to say something would have.
LEMON: I'm not sure. You look for the on air and what they're about. We don't know. Yes. We have a commitment to diversity, but I don't know what it's like in the newsroom. I haven't worked there in years. I worked there about 10, 15 years ago.
So Farah, let's move on now. Recently, a Tennessee state senator likened Obamacare to the Holocaust on his blog. State Senator Stacey Campfield writes, "Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign-ups for Obama care is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign-ups for train rides for Jews in the '40s."
I invited him on the show, but he ended up cancelling. Republican and Democratic Party leaders have denounced Campfield's comments. Should this type of comparison be off limits, you think, Farah?
STOCKMAN: It's just -- it's whacko. It's so absurd. I would say that I -- I had nothing to say, except that the front page of "The Boston Globe" today showed what our healthcare law had done, which was saved 320 lives a year. So that's reality. I don't know what he's talking about as far as cattle cars. That's some kind of weird rhetoric that isn't based in...
O'MARA: We should ask Don Sterling if he's upset about that comment. Maybe we'll get...
HOSTIN: Good point, Mark O'Mara.
LEMON: Mark O'Mara, on fire tonight.
All right, guys. Thank you very much. I appreciate all of you.
Coming up, the search for Flight 3-7-0. What do you think happened to the plane? A surprising new poll. That's next.
LEMON: With phase two of the search for Flight 370 underway, new polls show a vast majority of Americans think it was criminal activity that brought the plane down close to two months ago.
I want to bring in my panel of experts now: Jeff Wise, the author of "Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind and Danger"; Mary Schiavo, former inspector general of the Department of Transportation and now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents; and of course, Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of AirlineRatings.com.
Mary, going to start with you. A new CNN/ORC poll shows that the majority of Americans believe terrorists were involved in the disappearance of Flight 370. Mary, what are the factors that are leading people to believe that?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think people are looking to that, because that's the last thing that they remember. People tend to think back to the last major event, and that was certainly 9/11, the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber. And so they tend to believe that this is the same as that.
But Malaysia 370 doesn't have any of the hallmarks of a terror attack. And we certainly know that the Malaysians are not treating it as a terror investigation. And we know that -- and I'll give you a couple of examples. For example, last week was that the first that they had rounded up any terrorist suspects, 11 people for questioning. But they made it clear they weren't -- they didn't think they had anything to do with 370.
And compare that with the United States after 9/11. Airports were closed. Equipment was seized. Flight schools were examined. Not once, but twice; in some cases, four times. Pictures of the suspects were flashed across the country. The FBI had rewards for information.
The two most important pieces of evidence in the case -- I spent 11 years litigating 9/11 -- showed up in plain brown envelopes in my desk. The people the world over wanted to help with clues. And the clues poured forth. And we don't have any of that here. It's very quiet.
LEMON: Geoffrey Thomas, 66 percent say it's likely Flight 3-7-0's disappearance was due to actions by the pilot or the flight crew. Do you believe this was an intentional act?
THOMAS: Yes, I do, Don. And going off the back of what Mary was just saying in the absence of any terror-related finger presents if you like, I think the pilot input is absolutely the prime cause of the disappearance of MH-3-7-0. And so do most of the investigators on the case, in Canberra. At the moment, that's the message coming out, is that pilot input is the likely cause.
LEMON: Yes. Jeff Wise, right up your -- this is your bailiwick. Roughly half think the search is being conducted in the wrong place. Do you?
JEFF WISE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, Don, I think the more times goes on and we don't find anything in the southern ocean and the more evidence accumulates, that the authorities might have been barking up the wrong tree with this search area, I think there's a good chance -- I don't know what happened to this plane, nobody does -- but I think there is a realistic probability that it is in the north.
LEMON: Nearly one in five believe that people on Flight 3-7-0 may still be alive. I mean, that's a substantial percentage. But Mary, officials are not holding out any hope for that.
SCHIAVO: No, they are not. And if the plane had managed to land on the water, to ditch on the water, there would have been some hope for a few days. There's -- you know, the slides turn into life rafts. There are life rafts on board there. There's all sorts of emergency equipment.
But we didn't have any ELTs, and the time passed. It was a long pass before they went searching. So I think that window passed with the lack of an immediate search.
LEMON: Geoffrey Thomas, as we speak, an international panel of experts has started to reexamine all the data gathered in the nearly two-month hunt for Flight 370. Do you think this needed to be looked at earlier? THOMAS: Look, no, Don. I think it's that they're just taking -- they're pausing because, the Ocean Shield is coming. They recognize they have to go deeper. We know they have to go deeper to get to examine the area around ping No. 1. And what I'm told by the experts in Canberra, only this morning I spoke to them. They said this one- week -- this one-week reexamination of the data is simply a refinement just to absolutely make sure they haven't missed anything. And Angus Houston said this morning this is only going to be a refinement. We are looking in the right area.
LEMON: Thank you very much, everyone. When we come back, my experts will answer your questions about Flight 370.
LEMON: My experts are here to answer your questions. OK, first up, Geoffrey Thomas, we have a tweet. And it says, "I'm confused. Thought pinger one for two plus hours with shallow water. Just heard deeper than Bluefin-21 can go. Can you -- can someone clarify?"
THOMAS: Yes, absolutely, Don. Ping one, the one they held for two hours, is actually about 4,800 meters deep. And then -- but on the north side of ping one, it drops off very rapidly down to 5,500 meters, well beyond the capabilities of Bluefin-21. That's why they're going to bring in the Orion, which can go down to 6,000 meters.
LEMON: OK. Jeff Wise, this tweet is from Karen. Karen says, "No fresh eyes looking at the data. Why use the same team? Nothing like throwing good money after bad."
WISE: Well, that's a great point. In fact, this is something that happens all the time in investigations. When -- when investigators come to a dead end, they can't make sense of the data that they've got. You know, it's a natural human tendency to, you know, when you look at data, you tend to form hypotheses, and you tend to get what's called confirmation by a -- it's a great idea to bring in new ideas, new people to have fresh ideas.
LEMON: OK. Quickly, Mary, short. This is quick. Jerry e-mailed. It says, "Why is the U.S. and others paying for 370's search when the plane doesn't belong to us? Nobody paid for the search for TWA 800. Let Malaysia pay." Quickly, Mary.
SCHIAVO: We've invested about $4 million. Whether we're going to spend additional sums remains to be seen. They are going to ask, as part of the meeting that's going on right now, they're going to ask countries and Boeing to contribute. We'll see.
LEMON: You guys are great. Thank you so much for joining me tonight. And thank you for joining me tonight. I'm Don Lemon. That's it for us. Thank you. "AC 360" starts right now.