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NOAA Announcing Bad Hurricane Season Expected; Beef Recall After 11 Sickened by E. Coli; Angelina Jolie Issues Tough, Controversial Advice for Privileged Mothers; Still Waiting for MH370 Data Release

Aired May 22, 2014 - 11:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is letting folks know how bad they think this hurricane season will be. And out of respect for those who have pulled together here in New York during Superstorm Sandy, NOAA is making the announcement here in New York for the first time.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Our Chad Myers is here to tell us all about it.

And given the weather year that the United States has been having, we certainly hope the Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1st, is mild. Please tell us you got some good news.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I do have some good news. The news is that there will be hurricanes. And I can't tell you where it's going to hit or how many will hit. But the number is three to six. Three to six hurricanes in the water in the Atlantic. The average is 6.4. Last year we had 2. So major hurricanes, 1 to 2. You should have 2 to 7. Last year, zero. Let's go back to 2012. This number was 19, 10 and 1. That's the real number, 1. What was that number 1? Sandy. So you only technically need one storm to make a big season. And there will be at least one. Near normal, 40 percent chance. Below normal, 50 percent chance. Above normal, about 10 percent chance of that. So there's where the numbers come from. It doesn't matter whether we get one or a dozen. It matters which one hits land and what land it hits, guys.

BERMAN: Indeed.

PEREIRA: Good point. Look at what Sandy did. Absolutely.

Chad, thanks for looking at that for us.

Let us talk burgers. If you were about to bite into a beef burger just now, about two million pounds of beef have been recalled because of possible E. coli contamination.

BERMAN: So this beef comes from the Wolverine Packing Company in Detroit. It's believed that 11 people got sick from eating this beef. I want to bring in now our Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is with us in New York.

Sanjay, I want to talk to you about E. coli. How dangerous is it and how easy is it to get sick from it?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There is E. coli and then there's E. coli. There are different strains of it. This particular strain is one of the bad players. This is the stuff that gets you sick pretty quickly. People will feel -- they get nauseated, they'll feel abdominal cramping.

The real concern with this is that it can affect your kidneys. When we talk about deaths resulting from it, it's usually from a kidney problem. What's staggering is the amount. They say about 100 cells. It's on the tip of a needle. That small an amount. And if it's just left out, it doubles its size every 15 minutes or so. You can get billions of cells relatively quickly in some meat has left outside. That is part of what's raised so much concern here.

PEREIRA: Just looking at the map there to see all the areas it's grown. We know that there's a slightly bigger recall. A couple of things that are frustrating folks. We know that the beef was sent to some distribution centers, and that's been made public, but they're not going to release the names of the restaurants. And a lot of people -- we all eat now. You get a burger at a restaurant, why won't they let us know?

GUPTA: Let me give you an objective answer. The objective answer is they say, look, when it comes to restaurants, that's in our control. This is the USDA speaking. We can go to restaurants and stay so serving that, get it off the shelves. They say they have control of that. When it comes to retail stores, not so much control. People can purchase it, put it in their freezers. You've got to inform those people. They've got to be able to check their freezers and throw it out.

When it comes to the restaurants, they say, look. Is it our goal to put these places out of business? Because that's what will happen. If it's a mom-and-pop restaurant, they bought beef from a reputable distribution center. They got burned on this. People got sick. Is the goal to put them out of business, or is it to keep people safe? And they say we're trying to keep people safe by getting that ground beef out of the system. They can do that in restaurants.

BERMAN: That's a decent point.


BERMAN: On the subject of keeping thing safe, just close with this thought. You always hear that one of the ways to protect yourself is to cook this stuff thoroughly. Order your burgers well done. God forbid.


BERMAN: Is that the case? Can that protect you?

GUPTA: Yeah. You know, for most of these types of bacteria, they say about 160 degrees for ground beef, 145 degrees for steak. Yeah, that is a very good way to keep things safe. I would say with this particular beef, if you have it, still throw it out. Don't take any chances.

PEREIRA: Because the fact is other meats can get E. coli, other foods.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: So it's not just beef that runs this risk.

GUPTA: Absolutely. And you can be the vector. You can cross- contaminate other foods as well.

PEREIRA: I'm not the vector. You can be the vector, too.

GUPTA: I just called Michaela a vector.



BERMAN: Wash your hands.

PEREIRA: Wash your hands. Use the meat thermometer. Hopefully, that information is on


PEREIRA: You can check your freezer and fridge.

GUPTA: We've got the lot number and also the retail stores.

BERMAN: Great to have you here, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: Thank you so much.

PEREIRA: All right. Still ahead, mom, this one is for you. Angelina Jolie says privileged moms, they shouldn't complain. Here's a question. Does she have a point? Mom guilt and, oh, so much more after the break.


BERMAN: She is a Hollywood megastar. She may be the, like, premier Hollywood megastar with six children who travel the world alongside their mother. Now Angelina Jolie is issuing tough and controversial advice for other privileged mothers.

PEREIRA: She told the "New York Daily News," quote, "I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, we shouldn't complain. Consider all the people who really struggle and don't have the financial means, don't have the support, and many people are single raising children. That's hard."

BERMAN: These comments came after some pretty controversial comments from another working mother. I shouldn't say controversial. At least comments that raised a lot of eyebrows in a lot of places. The first lady here of New York City recently said about how she felt after her daughter was born. She wrote, "The truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn't want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reasons not to do it. I love her. I have thousands of photos of her, but I had been working since I was 14, and that part of me is me. It took a long time for me to get into I'm taking care of kids, and that's what it means."

PEREIRA: Joining us, Kelly Wallace, editor-at-large for CNN digital, who is a mom.


PEREIRA: We're going to talk about the mom guilt aspect in a second because I think that's a real issue we have to discuss. Does Angelina have a point?

WALLACE: Well, I think what she does -- I saw one writer describe it as refreshingly self-aware because nothing gets under the skin of moms across America, around the world, for that matter, when they hear celebrity moms who have all the means and all the wealth saying, oh, my gosh, my life is so hard. And a lot of people thought of Gwyneth Paltrow, when she said she implied that life would be easier if she had an office job and the routine of going to work every day and being home in the evenings, as opposed to being on the set for 14 hours. To say that didn't go over well with moms is really an understatement. They didn't like it.

BERMAN: And then the issue of mom guilt, which I think is such a fascinating subject.

PEREIRA: So fascinating.

BERMAN: My experience with this is that women who have kids and stay at home, there's criticism no matter how you do it, whether you choose to stay at home or whether you choose to go to work. And to me there's no right or wrong way. There's just your way in what you choose to do.

WALLACE: And there are a couple things. Number one, we often want to point out a lot of women don't have a choice. They don't have a choice. Some of them would like to be home raising their kids, but they don't have the choice because they have to go to work every day. You have to sort of put that out there. But I also think in terms of the big criticism of Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, I think she was talking about something that a lot of professional women who have kids later in life can relate to. You have your career. You have your identity. You want to be a mom, but you struggle at the start of it to balance it all. And I think -- I took issue with it, and a lot of other women, why was she labeled, quote, on the "New York Post" headline, "I was a bad mom"? She never said that. Why are we so quick to put labels on other women?


PEREIRA: I think she was trying to have a conversation and sort of be a little more revealing. The sense I got from her article is she was very open about some things that she probably realized some other women were struggling with. It is a frustrating place because no matter where you turn, you're going to have different people with different opinions about it.

WALLACE: Absolutely. That was one paragraph in a six-page story. And that is kind of what, you know, the New York City tabloids pulled out. I think a lot of women say, as far as we've come, the motherhood thing, if a dad said, oh, my gosh!

PEREIRA: But there's a double standard.

WALLACE: There's a total double standard. If a dad came forward and said, oh, I struggled, I really didn't want to be with my daughter when we first had her, and I had a hard time, no, they would not be a label, I was a bad dad. We still have higher expectations.

BERMAN: Can I also say, I think there's a double standard often where people think it's OK to criticize women who stay at home. I hear a lot from people -- from women who professional women, as it were, who say, well, what does this woman do with her time all day? I hear that a lot.

WALLACE: I agree with you one million percent. And on Facebook, a lot of people were talking about this yesterday. One of my friends said how about we go with the encouraging thing as opposed to the judging thing and see where that gets us. Let's not judge stay-at- home moms or professional women.

PEREIRA: Let's give them both a hug.

WALLACE: Exactly.

PEREIRA: Because they're tired, and they're working hard.

WALLACE: Right. And let's say you're making the decisions on your life and doing the best at that time. We'd be a lot better off.

BERMAN: You have written about this on

PEREIRA: Terrific article.

BERMAN: A great article.

WALLACE: Thank you.

BERMAN: It explains it all, lays it all out for you. I encourage everyone to look at that. I spent time reading that this morning. PEREIRA: Love having you here, Kelly. Thanks so much.

WALLACE: Thank you.

BERMAN: Coming up for us next, are you tired of wearing stiff jeans?

PEREIRA: I'm sorry, what?

BERMAN: The CEO of Levi's says don't wash them ever!

PEREIRA: You made this entire story up. You just don't want to wash your jeans.

BERMAN: I've been saying don't wash these things for years, which explains why I'm still so pungent. Coming up next.

PEREIRA: Oh! Can we get some A.C. in this room, please?


PEREIRA: Are you vintage, @THISHOUR watchers? We're going to do a segment that we call "Hot Flash."

BERMAN: Vintage. This goes way, way back here.


PEREIRA: Some of the stories that people are talking about, let's get started, fire away.

BERMAN: A California city clerk quit her job, but not before she told the city council what she thought of her job. In a scathing resignation letter, Kim Lehmkuhl wrote, "This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing and mind-numbing experience I would not wish on any. I wish the city best of luck in finding some schmuck."

Council members say she didn't do her job well and called for her resignation. And residents complained she posted offensive tweets during meetings instead of taking notes. CNN reached out to Lehmkuhl but did not receive a response.

PEREIRA: Do you think "schmuck" was too heavy of a word? Do you think that's what sent them over the edge with this resignation letter?

BERMAN: Lehmkuhl didn't seem to enjoy her time at that job.

PEREIRA: She didn't seem to be really grateful for her employment and makes it worse that she was tweeting. An offensive tweet is not very good.

Let me tell you about this and this is a favorite story. If you were about to put on your jeans you just put in a washer to wash for a hot date for the weekend, listen to this CEO of Levi's has to say. He says, no, you don't have to wash your jeans ever. Apparently, letting nature take its course helps them stay in shape and keep their color. What does he say is the best way, John, to keep them smelling fresh?

BERMAN: He says spray them with vodka. I'd like to know the corporate research that went into that. Also white vinegar. I go with the vodka. I used to wash them. I never wash my suits either.

PEREIRA: Do you actually subscribe to it or just a lazy bum?

BERMAN: Does it matter?


PEREIRA: It does. It really does matter.


PEREIRA: Because a friend of mine is a jean manufacturer and he says it's true, separate from Levi's.

BERMAN: Finally, my singular favorite story of this day. We talked a lot about Japan and the Japanese economy struggling for a decade now. We finally know why. The "Wall Street Journal" reporting surging sales of books filled with photos of hamster rear ends. I'm not making this up. In the "Wall Street Journal," the bastion of financial reporting, photos of hamster rear ends are a hit in Japan. And there is a Japanese name for hamster butt.


There's a third book on the way because, apparently, there are three books-worth of ways to photograph hamster rear ends in our financial report.

PEREIRA: Where's Christine Romans on this one? They're so cute.

BERMAN: This is why. I think this is the downfall of civilization.

PEREIRA: I'm not going to buy a hamster-butt book but I think they're cute.


PEREIRA: Let us know what you think by going to our Facebook page, visit us and make a comment and say hello.


BERMAN: Coming up for us, vanished into thin air. We still don't know where flight 370 wound up. But the search restarted today. And we're still waiting for the full release of the data that so many people want. What is taking so long here? That's when we come back.


BERMAN: @THISHOUR, the submersible drone Bluefin 21 is back searching in the same remote area of the Indian Ocean they believe they heard pings from the black boxes.

PEREIRA: I want to bring in our aviation analysts, Mary Schiavo and Jeff Wise.

Good to have you with us.

It gave me pause, Mary, when John said that number, 76 days. Is there a reason to hope with this new technology added by the Chinese vessel added to the search? Is there a reason to hope this time?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Sure. Until they exhaust all the areas of the pings, they haven't done that. Until they fully mapped the ocean floor and covered every location where the ping emanated, there's certainly reason to hope. That's going to be complicated because they do need additional underwater vehicles because some are too deep for the Bluefin. There's always hope until they've exhausted all the areas.

BERMAN: Jeff, another thing happening this week, Malaysian officials and Inmarsat, the satellite company, have come together and said they are going to release all of the data they have, of the handshakes, which helped them determine why they believe this flight went to the southern Indian Ocean. We heard this three days ago. It can't possibly take that long, does it?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: We don't know what they're doing with these numbers. Talked about making sure everything is correct in its proper place before they release it and it might be a week. They were on the tenterhooks when they talked about releasing the preliminary report. We don't know when they will release it or what's really in it. At one point, someone said there were only 14 numbers, which is much less than what we really need to get a full picture what is going on. We don't just need the ping dead we need to know what kind of equipment is on the satellite and what frequencies they're operating on. There's quite a bit we need to know to make sense of it.

PEREIRA: Mary, talking about the data the families have been so eager to get their hands on as well, they have been calling for an independent investigation so they can look at it with fresh eyes. I'm curious what you see that would be different from the government experts the Malaysians have had and Australian have had looking at.

SCHIAVO: There might be a lot of differences. The fact they're taking this long to release the data is very telling and said, quote, "They're putting it in a form the public can understand," which means perhaps all they gave the Malaysian government were those 14 numbers and now we're doing what we had to do in high school and college. Remember when the teacher said you don't get credit unless you show your work. Inmarsat doesn't get credit unless they show what they've done and many minds can check it. There's lots of ways to do the calculations. They're using sound to determine distance. There's always rules for applying that and many interpretations. I think it's a good idea but it is clear they're still crunching the numbers before they release them to the public and that's a little troubling.

BERMAN: We want to see not just how they did it and see all the information so others can reach their own conclusions as well.

Jeff Wise, Mary Schiavo, great to have you @THISHOUR.

PEREIRA: That's it for us. Thank you for joining us @THISHOUR. I'm Michaela Pereira.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.

"Legal View" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: She was just 15 when she disappeared in 2004 --