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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Embassy In Yemen Shut Down Over Terror Threat; One Hundred Sixty Killed In New Terror Attacks; Monica Lewinsky Returns To Limelight; Bernie Tiede Released From Prison?
Aired May 7, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news, a major U.S. Embassy closed. The reason, terror. A live report coming up.
Then, quote, "slut shaming Monica Lewinsky." Is that what is happening?
And Michael Jordan says he was once against all white people. The basketball legend in his own words. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news following two major stories tonight. Terror shutting down an American embassy in Yemen, while terrorists in Nigeria are holding still more than 200 girls hostage tonight. New violence erupting there today. Hundreds dead.
First to Yemen, American official saying tonight a number of recent attacks against foreign diplomats there is forcing them to temporarily close the embassy in the capital, Suna. Let's get straight to Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Barbara, what have you learned?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Erin. There is more to the story than what U.S. officials are publicly saying. Behind the scenes a senior official tells me this is all about a threat to the embassy. There may be other western threats, but right now the concern is a credible threat to the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. This is a threat that first emerged back in March when we saw that videotape of about 100 al Qaeda operatives out together in the field.
We then saw drone attacks. The U.S. thought the threat had been disrupted, but now it has re-emerged. What is so crucial here is you do constantly see a threat stream against western targets in Yemen. The Yemenis go after it when they can.
The U.S. goes after it when they can. But this time western targets plus the U.S. Embassy, we are told it is a credible threat. And at this hour, U.S. officials are trying to get more information and corroborate exactly what al Qaeda in Yemen may be up to -- Erin.
BURNETT: Barbara Starr, thank you very much. And we're going to be joined in just a moment by the chief spokesperson for the State Department to talk about that.
But I want to get to other breaking news story tonight, which is the brazen terror attack in Nigeria today. At least 150 people slaughtered in the latest attack by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. Officials say the death toll could go as high as 300. Terrorists dressed in military uniforms. They dress up to pretend that they're going to help people. Then they stormed a village.
This village happened to be on Nigeria's board were Cameroon. The men fired rocket-propelled grenades, tossed improvised bombs into a crowded outdoor marketplace shouting "God is great." This is the latest in a series of horrific attacks by the terror group in Nigeria. Eight girls aged 12 to 15 abducted just on Sunday.
A headline that the world wouldn't even notice if 276 girls hadn't been kidnapped from their school during final high school exams on April 14th, 223 of them are still missing. The leader of Boko Haram says he will sell the girls. American officials say many of them have likely already been moved out of Nigeria, something my sources in Nigeria have been saying for days.
They say they could be in groups, some as small as five. But the United States is moving ahead with its plans to provide Nigeria with law enforcement assistance. We're going to speak to a top State Department official coming up in just a moment.
But First Lady Michelle Obama finally joined the growing chorus on global outrage on Twitter today sending the message with the now million tweeted #bringbackourgirls. Of course, we should know that's 23 days after that happened. And former first lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally spoke out on the situation today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The seizure of these young women by this radical extremist group, Boko Haram is abominable. It's criminal. It's an act of terrorism, and it really merits the fullest response possible first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Vlad Duthiers is in Nigeria's capital city, Abuja tonight. Vlad, witnesses now saying the latest attack was in an area that troops had been using as a base in their search for the missing girls. That I think perhaps shows just how hard this situation is for the Nigerian military, how incapable in on many levels despite a lot of effort they are in fighting Boko Haram.
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, that's right. The Nigerian military is outmanned and outgunned in North Eastern Nigeria. The governor of this Borno State where this attack took place admitted as much last year saying that the militants are better armed than Nigerian soldiers. One of the family members that we spoke to last night, who came forward, risking their lives to tells their story about what life is like in Borno State.
Many of the military personnel in the town of Chibok where these 200 plus girls were taken on April 14th are not even armed, Erin. So any kind of rescue operation is going to be hampered by Boko Haram, because this area is their stronghold. This is where they are known to hide out. In the past, Nigerian Air Force has tried to take out encampments using air power. That's not possible at this point because they are holding hostages.
And also, mounting a ground offensive into this area where supposedly Boko Haram may be holding these girls, a Sambisa force, which is on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. It would be extremely difficult. You're talking about unfamiliar terrain, dense bush, a defensive position and an offensive attack on unfamiliar terrain.
So it could be very difficult. Any kind of rescue operation would be hampered. But as the families spoke to us, they say that they haven't seen any kind of rescue operation on the ground --Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Vlad, thank you very much. We appreciate that. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki joins me now. Jen, you heard Vlad talking. Look, the United States I know is only sending in a few people at this time. One official is telling me it's about the number you could count on one hand, maybe a few more. The question is coming up again and again. Will the United States put fighting boots on the ground, given what we're hearing about the Nigerian military's inability to fight?
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We are not considering that at this time, Erin. I would dispute those numbers you're hearing from sources. The president and the secretary of state announced yesterday that we're going to be putting an interagency team on the ground. This is a team that will be moving to Nigeria, be on the ground, not in weeks, but in days because we're committed to helping the Nigerian government at this difficult time.
BURNETT: But no fighting boots on the ground to emphasize. These are people who will consult, provide help.
PSAKI: They're going to be -- the lead -- the Nigerian government has the lead here. That's an important piece to remember. But we are going to be sending resources that can help with intel sharing, that can help with assistance as it relates to hostage negotiations, a range of assets that will be available that our embassy on the ground is arranging. And they've already started to have coordination meetings.
BURNETT: Now, of course I know you're familiar with some of the criticism out there. People are saying, well, look, you're doing, this not you, but the U.S. government is doing this after 23 days. Secretary of State John Kerry's first comment on this, your boss was four days ago. You heard Hillary Clinton commenting for the first time. The president of the United States only commented yesterday for the first time, and then only when he was questioned by reporters during interviews that were supposed to be on climate change.
Do you think there was a feeling of look, Boko Haram is bad? People in the government knew about it. They knew these things were happening. They didn't think this would get the public outcry it has so, they didn't think there would be a need to say anything? PSAKI: Well, Erin, let's not forget, we designated Boko Haram as terrorist organization in November and we increased our assistance to the Nigerian government to work to address the threats that we've been very, very concerned about. Look, what I think people don't know and don't focus on is what has been going on behind the scenes.
Our embassy team on the ground very high level officials in the government have been very closely engaged with the Nigerians about what to do here. But remember, you need to have a willing partner, a willing partner who is going to accept the assistance we're able to offer. And we've just seen that in the last couple of days.
BURNETT: The U.S. I believe has a $7 million bounty on the leader of Boko Haram's head, Abubakar Shekau. I was talking to some sources in Nigeria today, and they were saying they very much hope that if he is found, he is taken alive, because there are so many questions about whether this group is getting a lot of funding from al Qaeda, or all kinds of questions that no one knows the answers to quite yet. Is the goal to have him taken alive? And are you surprised with a $7 million bounty in a country where a lot of people earn less than $1 a day that no one has given any information?
PSAKI: Well, Erin, I think the challenge here, there is many unfortunately terrorists that we have put out rewards for justice programs on and in the millions of dollars. And there are people who are still out there. I can't tell you why there is not more information, they haven't been found, obviously. This is something our law enforcement authorities work on every single day. And obviously, this case and how horrific this case is raising more attention, and we're certainly hopeful we'll receive more information.
BURNETT: And before we go, I just want to touch on the breaking news we mentioned at the top of the show. Obviously you're in the middle of this story. The United States suspending operations at the embassy in Yemen. Are you worried this could be another Benghazi?
PSAKI: Look, let me be clear here. We are suspending public operations here. Embassy personnel remain on the ground there have been threats obviously, western threats, threats to western interests, I should say, and we take every precaution in order to take every step to ensure our people are safe. That's what you're seeing here. When it's appropriate to reopen to the public, we will do that.
BURNETT: All right, Jen Psaki, thank you very much.
PSAKI: Thanks, Erin, as we said the spokesperson for the State Department.
OUTFRONT next, intense criticism of Monica Lewinsky after she finally broke her silence on Bill Clinton. Is she being slut shamed?
Plus, a Texas murderer with a Hollywood twist. Was a convicted killer released because of a black jack movie?
And who is Tommy Lasorda talking about? Hint, she fancies visors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't wish that girl any bad luck, but I hope she gets hit with a car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, are we slut shaming Monica Lewinsky? That was a headline in "The Daily Beast." Lewinsky facing a barrage of criticism after telling "Vanity Fair," she wants to burn the beret and bury the blue dress. She also says, quote, "I don't know why this whole story became about oral sex."
OK. "New York Times" columnist, Maureen Dowd, is unloading on Lewinsky, writing, quote, "Monica is in danger of exploiting her exploitation as she dishes about a couple whose erotic lives are of waning interest to the country."
And "The New York Post," Andrea Pfizer writes, "Monica Lewinsky should shut up and go away." OUTFRONT tonight, radio host, Stephanie Miller, CNN political analyst, John Avlon and "Daily Beast" editor-at-large, Lloyd Grove who covered the Lewinsky scandal.
All right, thanks to all of you for being with us. Stephanie, the Lewinsky bashing is coming from, well, I mean what we just quoted, female columnists. Why are they treating her like the villain?
STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST, COMEDIAN: I know. There is nowhere you can go with this story when you say why did she opens her mouth again. There is nothing you can say that doesn't sound dirty. And she has become this natural punch line.
But, you know, I think the most important thing she said, Erin, is that this was a consensual adult thing. Sorry, Rand Paul, and she says I regret it. I made a mistake. I think the stretch she made was in comparing to it Tyler Clemente who didn't do anything wrong. All he did is be gay and get taped without his consent. So I thought that was a little much to compare yourself.
I mean, I understand her humiliation and her pain, but she did admit she did something wrong. She knew she was doing something wrong.
BURNETT: You know, for those who may not remember the story was the student at Rutgers University who felt bullied and ended up committing suicide because of that. And she talked about her suicidal tendencies, John, as a result.
But here is what I don't really understand about this. Bill Clinton is one of the most popular politicians in the world and in the country, talk about rebounding from this. His approval rating is at 66 percent. But yet, she comes out and talks about this, the Seminole event in her life that has prevented her from living a full life, and she is -- people are saying horrible things about her. And no one ever asks him about it. JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, yes. It's because we have forgive the former president 20 years later. And you see the incident in context. One of the most talented politicians the country has ever seen. And so, he is very beloved for his policies, for his presidency. His personal life maybe not so much. The problem is that Monica Lewinsky, we have no other context for.
BURNETT: This is the event of her life.
AVLON: That's right. And so it's much more difficult for people to get past it. But if you're going to forgive the former president, you should forgive the former intern as well at this point.
BURNETT: You no sympathy for her, Lloyd?
LLOYD GROVE, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I have I some sympathy for her. I feel bad she hasn't been able to leverage her global celebrity into more money. She has made millions of dollars out of this, and she does have entrepreneurial drive.
BURNETT: She had a handbag line and other things.
GROVE: Well, and also, she snapped her thong at the president. What is more entrepreneurial than that? Do you really want to call it by the way a Seminole event? I don't think so.
AVLON: I mean --
BURNETT: Yes. I hadn't quite thought about that.
All right, I want -- you know, she sat down for interviews a few times with Larry King. And I want to just play a sound bite from this. Because I remember this whole incident. I was a few years younger than her, but looked at her as sort of someone my age in the White House and remember following this with just my jaw on the floor, how it change my view of the presidency. Here is what she said to Larry King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Is your goal the typical young pretty girl's goal in America? Marriage? Children? Life?
MONICA LEWINSKY, REPORTED TO HAD AN AFFAIR WITH BILL CLINTON: Definitely. I've always been a romantic at heart, and have I always wanted kids. And I think the idea of sharing your life with the right person is amazing, actually. I think it's great. And my friends who are married are just blissfully happy.
KING: You envy them?
LEWINSKY: No, I'm happy for them. I mean, I can't wait for my turn. But it's -- they're good examples.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: She can't blame, all right, the situation for the fact that those things haven't yet happened to her, Lloyd. But, again, it's an issue of sympathy. I mean, shouldn't she have a right to tell her story without everybody piling on and telling her to shut up?
GROVE: Well, sure. But hasn't she told her story already? I mean, she did a big interview with Barbara Walters. Apparently got a million bucks off the international rights for that interview. She has done reality shows. She has tried to, you know, make money off of this. So -- which I don't blame her for. I think that's -- but look at the contrast. I mean, Mimi Alford was 19 years old. She had a sexual relationship with JFK. We didn't hear about it for 40 years.
AVLON: Yes, but I mean, that's also about a different era in the press and the pre-Internet era. I mean, look. The term slut-shaming is a modern term for an old idea, right, it is the scarlet A.
BURNETT: Blame the woman.
AVLON: Exactly. And that's one of the things that is unique and uniquely awful about this circumstance. That all the women's advocates who would normally rush to this young woman's defense, especially if a Republican had been president, instead condemn her. It is some even condemn her now. And that's one of the really awful aspects of how she -- her personality has gotten caught in the partisan spin machine that we still see playing out today.
BURNETT: You know, suddenly, she writes that this was an authentic connection with emotional intimacy, frequent visits, plans made, phone calls and gifts exchanged in this essay.
You know, I'm curious from your point of view. Do you think that Bill Clinton ever called her afterwards, maybe even a few years ago and said hey, I'm sorry.
MILLER: Not knowing what he probably knows about the NSA.
BURNETT: That's a good one.
MILLER: No. I have to say, I did feel sympathy for her to some degree, Erin, to the degree that I think she was a pawn in what Hillary called the vast right wing conspiracy. They were doing anything to bring him down, and they shouldn't have been investigating his private life in the first place.
And, you know, she was -- she did wrong, but she also was a victim of a really bad best friend, by the way, Linda Tripp. And I think, you know, the whole thing, you know, was unfortunate. And I do think that, you know, there is a little bit of a difference between how she was treated and how Bill Clinton was treated. And if you want to get moral about it, I guess they both did something wrong.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all. We'll leave it on that note. I think they did both do something wrong, right?
OUTFRONT next, did a black jack movie help get a convicted killer released from prison? This story is just bizarre.
And more fallout from Donald Sterling's rant. Basketball legend Michael Jordan says he himself was a racist.
BURNETT: It's a Texas murder with a Hollywood twist. Bernie Tiede confessed to shooting his wealthy benefactor and then stashing her body in a freezer, where it was hidden for nine months. Movie director Richard Linklater, the name behind films like daze and confused directed a film called Bernie. It was based on this murder. And now that the two men are about to become roommates.
Ed Lavandera has the story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not going to take part in this argument. You know I don't like you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know you hate me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's actor jack black playing the role of Bernie Tiede in a movie called "Bernie", a dark comedy about a beloved east Texas mortician who killed his dear friend 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent in the 1990s. Tiede hid Nugent's body in a deep freezer after shooting her,. And for nine months he kept up the charade that nothing was wrong in the small town of Carthage, Texas, until investigators uncovered his morbid secret.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that too much for me to ask for you to be a man for once in your life?
LAVANDERA: Skip Hollandsworth wrote the story on "Bernie" for Texas monthly magazine in 1998 and then co-wrote the movie screenplay.
SKIP HOLLANDSWORTH, WRITER: Normally someone who commits a horrific murder is a villain. But in this case, Bernie is still a saint.
There are people that talk about Bernie as if he is a saint, and that he just made one little mistake with Mrs. Nugent, just one.
LAVANDERA: One mistake.
HOLLANDSWORTH: You know, but there is lots of Christian men in Carthage these people will say who make two, three, four or more mistakes. We forgive them. Why can't we forgive Bernie for just making one mistake of shooting a lady in the back four times.
LAVANDERA: You quoted people as saying Ms. Nugent was so mean you couldn't find 12 people to convict Bernie. And that women were bringing him cakes and pies in jail. HOLLANDSWORTH: When he got to jail, when he was arrested, women stood in line to bring him cakes and pies. And two women shoe polished on the back of their Cadillac free Bernie and drove it around the town square.
LAVANDERA: In a bizarre twist in an already made for Hollywood tale, Bernie, who is serving a life sentence, has been released from prison on bond while a Texas appeals court takes a new look at the case. One of the judge's conditions for his release is that he live in the garage apartment of the movie's director, Richard Linklater.
Linklater is a famed movie director who lives in Austin, Texas. He directed the hipster classic "dazed and confused" which introduced the world to a little known actor Matthew McConaughey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get holder, they stay the same age.
LAVANDERA: Are you surprised by Richard Linklater's move? Why do you think he wanted to take him into his home?
HOLLANDSWORTH: I think Rick saw what townspeople saw in Bernie, this gentility, this kindness, this decency. It doesn't make sense that such a congenial, caring man would commit such an irrational viciously violent act.
SHANNON NUGENT, MARJORIE NUGENT'S GRANDDAUGHTER: This is Hollywood taking over the Texas judicial system.
LAVANDERA: Shannon Nugent is Marjorie Nugent's granddaughter and she is stunned by the judge's decision.
Do you feel like the movie has made Bernie a sympathetic character in real life?
NUGENT: Absolutely. There has been a lot of celebrity around the facts in this case. And I kind of feel like the fiction has kind of overwhelmed the facts. And that, you know, a lot of people's opinions about this are all based on the movie which is a fiction.
BURNETT: It is a tale that seems like fiction in so many way, Ed. Why is his case now being relooked at by the court?
LAVANDERA: Well, Bernie has a new lawyer, and she became interested in his case after the movie had come out. And she dug up that Bernie had been abused as a child, and he had been maintained that he simply just snapped. And the lawyer snaking the argument that that history of abuse is what caused him to snap.
And even the DA in this case, Erin, is going back and saying if he had known that back in the '90s when he tried this case, he would have only gone for second-degree murder, and that carries with it a 20-year sentence, and he has already served 17 years. So he even has the sympathy of the man who prosecuted him almost 20 years ago.
BURNETT: Wow. All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you very much. Fascinating story.
And still to come, basketball legend Michael Jordan considered himself a racist.
And a major drug bust today, why America's teens are flocking to a drug called molly.
BURNETT: Breaking news. NBA owners met this afternoon to discuss plans to oust and replace Donald Sterling as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Sterling was banned from the NBA for life after the racist rant was caught on tape. Should Sterling fight the sale?
The NBA says it's armed now with moral and ethical contracts that Sterling has signed over the years.
As for the woman who is also at the center of the scandal, Sterling's mistress, V. Stiviano, her team is speaking to CNN about allegations she demanded money from Sterling to keep other recordings secret. Of course, you remember the reporting where he said I should have just paid her off.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Snapshots of V. Stiviano celebrating Cinco de Mayo. This is another shot that has also become public. It's what TMZ reports is a mug shot from one of Stiviano's prior brushes with the law. A representative for her attorney series she has been arrested for petty theft and reckless driving, but that representative also says ultimately she was not convicted in those past cases.
REPORTER: Did Sterling know that he was being recorded?
CARROLL: Though, at present, Stiviano still may be facing legal problems. This after a report the Los Angeles district attorney's office is looking into allegations Stiviano tried to get money from current clippers owner Donald Sterling to stop more damaging recordings like this from leaking.
DONALD STERLING, CLIPPERS OWNER: Well then, if you don't feel it, don't come to my games. Don't bring black people and don't come.
CARROLL: When asked if there were more recordings, Stiviano said this to ABC's Barbara Walters.
V. STIVIANO, ALLEGED GIRLFRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: Part of the audio in which the world heard was only 15 minutes. There is a number of other hours that the world doesn't know.
CARROLL: A spokeswoman for the L.A. district attorney saying, "We are not commenting on the report", nor would her office confirm it is investigating Stiviano for trying to extort money from Sterling. A representative for Stiviano says, "The extortion allegation is, if you don't pay, I will release the tapes? She absolutely denies the allegations."
Stiviano's attorney also has denied she leaked recordings that led to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision to ban Sterling for life.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Adam Silver said at his news conference that it really didn't matter how Donald Sterling was taped, why he was taped, and even if it was improper that he was taped. The point is that the tapes exist, and that means, according to Silver, that Sterling has to go.
CARROLL: Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who says he has been a friend of Sterling's for 30 years, took a swing at Sterling and Stiviano.
TOMMY LASORDA, FORMER DODGERS MANAGER: Well, it doesn't surprise me that he said those things. That doesn't surprise me. And he shouldn't have said it. And he just hurt himself by talking too much and doing things that he shouldn't be doing. And I don't wish that girl any bad luck, but I hope she gets hit with a car.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's unbelievable.
BURNETT: Obviously, Don Lemon is here laughing, along with Sunny.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He said, I don't wish her any bad luck, but I'm laughing at the contradiction. Getting hit by car is bad luck.
HOSTIN: I think what's fascinating that they have been friends for 30 years, that he wasn't surprised, this is Tommy Lasorda, he wasn't surprised that Donald Sterling said those things. Yet V. Stiviano is still somehow the person to blame and should be hit by a car. Unbelievable.
CARROLL: And, you know, at the end of the day, people are looking for someone to elevate the conversation. You look at someone like Tommy Lasorda, this is a man who is beloved in Los Angeles. He is a legend. And I think someone, you know, people in L.A. especially were looking for something to sort of take the conversation in a different direction.
BURNETT: From being so sordid and low brow.
HOSTIN: And nasty, really.
LEMON: Hi, Erin. We just started talking. You didn't even get to introduce us.
BURNETT: You started laughing. And we needed to go to you. That was the only appropriate thing to do in that moment.
You know, but you talk about this whole issue here, this issue comes down the race. And when you talk about the contracts, right? So, are there moral and ethical contracts that would force him to sell the team based on making a racist comment? They're saying yes, there are.
HOSTIN: Yes, we're hearing that, there is some sort of morals clause.
BURNETT: Right. Some sort of morals clause that would have been violated. And it raises all kinds of questions. I just wanted to bring up to you, sunny, this new book that Michael Jordan is coming out. This is just fascinating.
He writes that he was -- the NBA star was racist as a teen saying Jordan remembers a girl calling him the "N" word. He threw a soda at her and said, quote, "I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people."
Now, Jordan is also obviously he is the only NBA owner of color, went after Sterling for remarks he made.
BURNETT: Interesting that he would go after Sterling for those remarks when he is admitting that obviously it was a long time ago, he was a teenager. But he felt the same way from the other side.
HOSTIN: Well, I think it's remarkable, because that's wrong too, right? Any bigotry, any racism, no matter who is sort of spewing it is wrong. But I think that goes to the larger question, are these NBA owners really going to vote to oust Donald Sterling when everyone seemingly has a skeleton in their closet? Because if Donald Sterling decides to sue, I can anticipate litigation and depositions of Michael Jordan and asking him the same question that just asked me. What about these cases?
LEMON: Yes, but context is everything. This guy is lived in a small town, a small racist town where he was one of the few African Americans where the Ku Klux Klan ran the town.
BURNETT: Michael Jordan.
LEMON: Michael Jordan. And if you look at it, he mentions I wish I could tell the whole context in a book about basketball. I went to high school in a very similar town where the Klan would pass out literature on the corner of my high school. We wouldn't have school sponsored proms because they didn't want race mixing.
HOSTIN: Would that excuse you for being a racist?
LEMON: That's different. No, but I'm not a racist. Michael Jordan isn't calling people honkies or outside of their names.
He is saying as an adult, I know better. As a child, I had these feelings. That's quite a different things. Context is everything.
HOSTIN: That's true.
CARROLL: And again, what Don is trying to say, again, I came from a different situation. I grew up in a town that was all white for the most part.
BURNETT: In Los Angeles.
CARROLL: A place called Thousand Oaks, California. But at the time it was my brother, my sister and I. We were basically it. But we came out of that experience, my parents taught us to love everyone, to respect everyone. Michael Jordan had a different experience. But it is about context. And I think Michael Jordan was at a place, and he came to a place. Sterling was at place, and seemed to stay at that same place.
LEMON: Actually got worse. He is worse.
BURNETT: But, again, it raises the point of -- yes, everything you're saying is true. But how many other people, not just of that generation, but how many other incredibly wealthy owners of sports teams might have similar points of view or points of view about other groups of people?
LEMON: You don't get the context.
HOSTIN: Maybe he knows things. Maybe he knows where the bodies are buried and brings all that out.
BURNETT: Or you say that's morally offensive, then is it morally offensive to use a hateful word against someone who is homosexual? And if so, does that team owner have to sell?
CARROLL: No. And I think everyone at a certain -- let's just be honest. Everyone in their life has probably used a term about somebody that they have regretted. Everyone has. And they think everyone listening to this can say to themselves we've heard their uncle say it. They've probably said it themselves.
The problem with Sterling is he has gotten himself caught in a situation where it's become this big thing. And I can't see any owner at this point, what is going to be the owner that's going to come out and say, yes, I'm going side with Donald Sterling? I don't think that's going to happen? I don't think that's going to happen.
LEMON: That was beyond the cringe-worthy moment at Thanksgiving. That was, you know, 15 minutes of I don't want you with these people.
CARROLL: We've all heard that before.
LEMON: Yes, not that much.
HOSTIN: What if the vote isn't transparent, which is something I have been saying from the very beginning. If it's not going to be transparent, then people are going to be able to vote the way they want to vote.
BURNETT: It will come out. Somebody will say something to somebody, and it will get out. Somebody will be eager to say Sunny Hostin voted for Sterling to keep his team.
LEMON: We're going down a road that will never happen where people are going to depose -- Donald Sterling is not going to own the Clippers.
CARROLL: I agree.
LEMON: It's never going to happen.
HOSTIN: Wow, both of you are so very wrong. This is a guy that sues for sport.
BURNETT: Final word.
LEMON: It doesn't matter. Nobody is going the want to play for him. No one is going to want to play for him. It's not going to happen.
HOSTIN: They all have contracts, these NBA players. If they decide not to play, I suspect that Shelly or Donald, if they're still owning the team, they would have clauses of action against them. I'm not saying that's right, but that is legally what could happen.
And I suspect that a huge legal battle. There is no way this guy is going to go without a fight.
LEMON: Not going to happen.
BURNETT: Thanks to all.
Still OUTFRONT, a major drug bust today. What is the designer drug Molly that kids across the country are now trying? We have an OUTFRONT investigation.
And how did these two little kids, yes, there they are, right below me, I could eat them, they're so cute, learn to move like that? Jeanne Moos has the answer. I ate them!
BURNETT: A massive synthetic drug bust today leads to the arrest of more than 59 people in 29 states. Federal agents seized more than $20 million in cash and assets during the nationwide crackdown. Hundreds of thousands of synthetic drug packages were taken off the street in an effort to stop a trend that is targeting children and young adults.
CNN's Drew Griffin has this special OUTFRONT investigation.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (voice-over): It's Saturday night at a New York City Dance Club, and the steady beat of electronic dance music or EDM signals the start of another night of searching for many of these dancers. They want "Molly", lately, the drug of choice. It's a nickname given to pure form of MDMA or ecstasy.
Speaking to our undercover cameras, some tell us getting ready for "Molly" has taken all week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what to do to prepare for it. Dude, I hydrate all week. I drink (EXPLETIVE DELETED) 11 bottles of water all week. Every time I take like a gram or more. Today, I'm not taking that much. I didn't take any yet.
GRIFFIN: "Molly" has been around for a decade. Originally, it was ecstasy. But just in the last few years, "Molly" has gone from unknown drug to an unknown quantity, a toxic chemical cocktail. Users don't know what they are getting and one hit can put you in the hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They took me to the hospital and they gave me oxygen. I was about to pass out because I couldn't breathe. One of my friends got this with me and she had the same reaction. And she went to the hospital.
GRIFFIN: She was lucky.
"Molly" is no longer just ecstasy. What it is, according to the DEA, is any of a half dozen of variations of extremely dangerous synthetic designer drugs flooding the Western world.
AL SANTOS, DEAD ADMINISTRATOR: We're seizing larger and larger quantities of methylone, and a half a dozen other compounds that we're frequently seeing in these substances that are being marketed as "Molly".
GRIFFIN (on camera): And we see the overdoses and even deaths.
SANTOS: We've seen a number of deaths attributed to what the abuser thought was "Molly". Our kids are really being used as guinea pigs but these drug traffickers.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Kids as guinea pigs for the new drug dealers, chemists creating their often toxic compounds in labs, mostly in China. And chemicals imported to the U.S. and Europe where they're assembled, packaged and sold to kids who may think it's the same old MDMA.
SANTOS: When we look at overdose deaths in the United States with these synthetic compounds. Frequently, it's very difficult for us to determine what the actual death may have been caused from.
GRIFFIN: It's taken just three years for this flood of new synthetic drugs like these to change the landscape of the illicit market in this country. As CNN has shown, the drugs known as Spice, M Bomb, bath salts can be bought easily over the Internet, mailed directly to your home.
We tested this packet of Afghan ultra black, supposedly synthetic marijuana. It had a hidden surprise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a tryptamine, a hallucinogen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallucinogen.
GRIFFIN: At this DEA lab, products with the same label in the same package yield wildly different results.
JILL HEAD, DEA SUPERVISORY CHEMIST: They may have different drugs. They may have drugs in different concentrations, and then within the amount of plant material, the concentration differs.
GRIFFIN: It is information not likely to be involved in the decision whether to ingest or not ingest a pill, a powder, a package at a dance club on a Saturday night in New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're just drinking right now. It's game time decision if I'm going to roll.
GRIFFIN: Here, night after night and in clubs across the U.S., the real dangers of "Molly" are being felt one hit, one overdose, one death at a time.
For OUTFRONT, Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: Now, I want to bring in addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew on Call."
All right. Dr. Drew, we got this report. Kids are taking drugs. We only didn't --
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Whoa, slow down. Kids are taking drugs? You're kidding. It's never happened before.
BURNETT: But it's terrifying. A lot of parents say, look, I raised my kids the right way. I know they're not going to be the kind of person that does this. It still happens. But these kids don't even know what's in the drugs.
PINSKY: That's right. I'm joking when I say that. But the fact is kids take drugs these days. And we should not accept that as normative. The fact is, we should be looking upon that as pathological, as problematic and particularly as it applies to drug abuse of a drug like Molly right now.
Molly is a drug that has succeeded in their marketing campaign. They have convinced young people because it's more pure MDMA, the additives that used to go into ecstasy or not, therefore, this is good for you, it can't hurt you. When, in fact, we've known forever, the MDMA is a neurotoxin. It damages brain. How much you have to use to get those damages, we don't know, though, however.
BURNETT: So, 29 states, there's this massive bust that happens today. Here's my question. Why are kids so clueless what happens when you do this drug when we hear these awful stories like there was a rave and these kids died, in the club, and these kids died?
PINSKY: Well, first of all, young people have a way of magically thinking about it, which is it's not going to happen to me. They just think that way.
Also, the culture as I said, the culture of the whole rave scene and youth culture of drug using does not accept the risk. They really don't. Or they think they can control the risks.
As it pertains to this particular drug bust, this was K2 and spice, synthetic marijuana, which is really not so much a drug of abuse, the way Molly is. I mean, Molly and drug abuse can cause hyperthermia, can cause manias, can cause altered sensorium, can cause bad judgment, obviously, and can cause addiction in some cases. And in my experience, people use a lot of it have significant brain effects down the line.
K2 and spice is really something people get into when they're deeply into cannabis. They love pot and they have drug screening at work and they're trying to get around those drug screens. That's when they typically go off into K2 and spice.
It's not just the kids using the K2 and spice, it's adults who are trying to get around urine toxicology screens.
BURNETT: All right. So, what is driving this synthetic drug craze? I mean, it used to be simple it felt like. People would do a bad drug but you would do a drug by a name. Now, it's a drug with some weird recipe that goes along with it.
PINSKY: And I think we brought up two different issues here. One is Molly, right? Which is MDMA. And that was developed as a frankly, a marketing it platform. That was people who distribute a drug figuring out a new way to break into that market once the awareness of the adverse effects of Ecstasy were up, they brought it back as a new drug safe and good for you with a new name that's more pure it, possibly more damaging as such.
When it comes to K2 and spice, we're talking about drug addicts who are trying to get around toxicology screens. That's why people go to K2 and spice. K2 and spice causes seizures and psychosis. Remember when Demi Moore's daughter got the phone and said she had a seize you're and was smoking incense? That's probably one of these compounds. By the way, the whole culture of the moralizing attitude we have towards drugs and alcohol is really what's at issue for me. How about at the workplace we said we're doing toxicology screens to identify people who need help, not people are going to lose their jobs.
If you're going to lose your job, you're going to do whatever you've got to do to get around the screen and that's where K2 and spice comes in.
BURNETT: It becomes a downward spiral.
PINSKY: Well, it becomes a worse problem than what you started with.
BURNETT: All right. Dr. Drew, thank you very much.
And still OUTFRONT, the cutest and simply most amazing video of the day. Jeanne Moos is next.
BURNETT: Two kids amazed and astounded us today with their unbelievable salsa dance moves. I can't talk tonight.
There's only one person to cover the story for us, of course. And that would be Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the pint- sized pair whose salsa is burning up the Internet.
I was tripping over my shoe laces at this age and look at their footwork.
(on camera): Have you ever seen a kid that's better than Kevin?
JOHANA VASQUEZ, BAILA CONMIGO DANCE STUDIO: No, I mean, I'm sorry but no.
MOOS (voice-over): Johanna Vasquez teaches the kids at her New Jersey dance studio.
Six-year-old Beverly Devers has been taking lessons only a year, but 8-year-old Kevin Tellez has been studying with Johanna since he was 5.
VASQUEZ: Believe me, he knows he's good. He knows he got it. He loves attention.
MOOS: Boy, has he gotten attention since people flipped, over this video from a salsa congress in Israel. What's Kevin's favorite move? KEVIN TELLEZ, LATIN DANCE WORLD CHAMPION: What I like the most is moving my legs fast and carrying the lady.
MOOS: Not since the dancing dogs hit the Internet has Latin dancing gone so viral. Johana approves of the dog's footwork, too.
VASQUEZ: Come on. Those legs are amazing.
MOOS: The kids have been wowing salsa fans for a couple of years. In fact, both Kevin and Beverly are world champions, having won their age group at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami with different partners over the last two years.
Kevin wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up. From youngsters to an oldster, a 79-year-old drove the crowd nuts with her salsa on "Britain's Got Talent" last month. Judging by this, Kevin and Beverly could have long careers ahead of them.
Throwing the girl is the hard part for Kevin.
TELLEZ: Yes, because sometimes they've really heavy.
MOOS: Especially when it's your adult teacher.
TELLEZ: Yes, she was huge and I couldn't reach.
MOOS: Is that any way to talk about your dance instructor?
(on camera): He's going to be a lady killer, huh?
VASQUEZ: Yes. He is.
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And he loves carrying the lady.
Well, tomorrow an oil boom under way in Texas. Talk about massive money in America. The Lone Star State on track to become the second biggest oil producer in the world just behind Saudi Arabia. New jobs, overnight millionaires. OUTFRONT investigation at the cost.
We'll see you tomorrow. "AC360" starts right now.