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@THISHOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Putin Says Hillary Clinton is Weak; Bergdahl, "Homeland's" Brody Character Compared; Bergdahl Hometown Celebration Canceled; Killer Loose in Canadian Small Town
Aired June 5, 2014 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: You get in trouble in this conversation.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Get ready for this. Get ready for this. Ungraceful. That is essentially what Vladimir Putin just called Hillary Clinton. And the stunning thing is, it's probably not even the most offensive thing that he said.
PEREIRA: Wait. Can I quote it?
BERMAN: Do it.
PEREIRA: I'm going to read it out load. Quote, "It's better not to argue with women, but Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements." Hello. Pot meet kettle. Sorry, that was me editorializing. "It's not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman." I can barely get through it without giggling.
Let's bring in our political commentators, Kevin Madden -- even Kevin's laughing at this one -- Sally Kohn.
Sally, I've got to let you sound off. Go ahead.
SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. It's not like I'm shocked. It's not like I was, like, oh, my gosh, but Vladimir Putin, you were such a raging feminist. The part I loved the best is when he said when people push boundaries, it's a sign that they're strong, not weak. You mean when you invade other territories and annex territories? Does he have any grasp on reality all? You know, yeah. Anyway, it's another sign also there are obviously no free elections in Russia or he just lost the women vote. Or I don't know, maybe that Republican advisers are moving to Russia.
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, that's not fair. That's not fair. And here I was just about to agree with Sally. Gosh. KOHN: I didn't want that to happen, Kevin.
BERMAN: To me, this is like being attacked by Darth Vader.
MADDEN: Yeah, yeah.
KOHN: This is manna from heaven for Hillary.
MADDEN: Like find the least popular person you can find out there and ask them to attack you so you can draw a contrast, right.
BERMAN: So what would you tell -- you normally advise Republicans, but one chance to advise a Democrat, how would you tell Mrs. Clinton to respond here?
MADDEN: Well, yeah, I mean, look. I would embrace this and just ride it as long as she can. I mean, this is just a perfect way to say, look, if there's one guy who's worried about me and who I can be tough on, it's Vladimir Putin.
I mean, to Sally's point, though, I have to assume that there's no, like, Moscow version of "The View" where Putin can go on and, like, fix this with, you no he, these suburban swing voters out in suburban Moscow or anything.
PEREIRA: It's crazy because we were having a conversation about this in my office a little earlier. And we were both of the mind of what about Mother Putin? I mean, honestly.
KOHN: Well, come on.
PEREIRA: The women in Russia, do you think they're going to stand for this kind of commentary?
KOHN: What's amazing is that men who have mothers and sisters and daughters continue to say stuff like this. So it doesn't actually seem to be any, you know, insulation.
MADDEN: Maybe I can speak for Berman here, but that wouldn't go over to well in my house.
PEREIRA: No, I don't feel like that would go over well.
BERMAN: Here's my thing. If you're Angela Merkel right now, by the way, who's got some money to spend --
PEREIRA: Good point.
BERMAN: -- wouldn't you just shut off the oil? Wouldn't you say thanks, Vlad, but no, thanks. We're going to stop buying this stuff? Is she weak? I don't think so.
PEREIRA: I don't think so. Well, what's interesting, though, these two have had kind of a storied
-- Hillary, at least, Hillary and Putin have had this storied -- didn't she liken him to Hitler? Is this sort of par for the course, or do you think this is --
KOHN: And Kevin's really right. What this does do is help Hillary more than anything. If you want to get down to the real politics, Putin is crazy, increasingly disconnected with reality. His actions in Ukraine show that perfectly. So I don't think anyone is operating with him based on a kind of real politic at this point outside of Russia. But what this does for Hillary is any of the stuff in the past, the reset button, we're going to try and make it work, it gives her a line in the sand to show nope. We crossed it. They broke it. It's done. And she can go to being a hawk, which I don't personally approve of, but, you know, I think she's decided that's where she wants to run.
MADDEN: It certainly helps with the optics. He's a guy that you would definitely, you know, want to draw a contrast with.
PEREIRA: Look, guys, what it guarantees is an "SNL" skit.
If the show were on right now, you know.
Kevin Madden, Sally Kohn, stick around. We're making you guys really work today.
BERMAN: No one's sticking up for Putin.
PEREIRA: We want you to discuss something else. Art imitating life. We're talking about the TV drama "Homeland." Are you a fan of the show? And also comparing it to the real-life drama playing out of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a military man brought home after years of captivity. We know that one is mere fiction, but one is very, very real. We'll discuss.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: An American prisoner of war has been working for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: A lot of folks watch the hit TV show "Homeland." Hard to miss the similarity between that show's character, a military man held captive for years by Islamic terrorists, and Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Of course, Nicholas Brody is the fictional character. The very real- life story of Bowe Bergdahl is still being written, although some people have seemingly already made up their minds about him.
PEREIRA: The executive producer of the show "Homeland" served in the Israeli military and interviewed hundreds of POWs and their families to create the Brody character.
Here's what he said about all of this discussion about possible similarities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIDEON RAFF, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, HOMELAND: I think there are similarities in the way, you know, a prisoner of war coming back home and the reaction to him, a broken man coming back home, and whether he's going to get a hero's welcome or a court-martial. And the question whether he's been turned or not, of course, is on the news every day. So I think people do see similarities, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We're joined again by Sally Kohn and Kevin Madden.
Sally, let me stipulate. I'm a little uncomfortable talking about a guy who was just released from real-life captivity and the Taliban, and a show that's on TV. However, a lot of people are talking about this, fans of the show, including you.
KOHN: Because their heads were both shaved. So you immediately think oh, OK, they must be the same person. No. There's interesting parallels certainly. One no doubt is that the show originated in Israel and Israel had real-life experience with these prisoner swaps. We should remember that Israel swapped 1,027 prisoners with Hamas, some of whom were terrorists, for one Israeli soldier. So certainly that's part of why this seems similar.
And the other part is you do wonder, right? I think we want to responsibly withhold our judgment until we know all the facts. But it appears at this point that he wandered away. He was disillusioned with the war that a lot of Americans are disillusioned with as well. And what happened in that five years? Did he change his mind? What was he doing? We don't know. Hopefully, he watched "Homeland" and modeling his story because it didn't end well for Nicholas Brody.
PEREIRA: We've talked about the fact that there's still some questions. We have to hear from Bergdahl itself.
Kevin, it's like a Hollywood version of a story like this, but it is so very important. Speaking to your point, it's so important to separate fact from fiction. Especially when you think about this is a real-life story that's happening to this young man.
MADDEN: Also, there are a lot of things right now that we may not see that are also going to be important parts of this story going forward. It doesn't just -- this is a process. You look at the show. There are families involved. There was a reintegration involved back into society. And some of the difficulties that go through that. Not only with the person who is the POW, the hostage, but also the family members and how they have those relationships. You know, I'm a huge fan of the show. And, you know, a lot of the really human aspects of that, I think, touch many of the viewers of the show the way that I think a lot of the human aspects here are going to have a big impact on people as they form their opinions about this going forward.
KOHN: And I think that maybe the best analogy we could get out of this would be that they're complex stories. And that coming home for any soldier is incredibly complex, especially when we look at the issues in the V.A. and elsewhere.
BERMAN: Thank you for taking the deeply serious lessons from a television show. I really appreciate it.
Sally Kohn --
BERMAN: No, I'm serious.
PEREIRA: Thanks to both of you. You stuck around for a good portion of the show. We appreciate your dedication.
MADDEN: Always great to be guys.
PEREIRA: Come back.
All right, coming up next, we're going to go back to real life. We're going to talk about what was supposed to be a big homecoming for Bowe Bergdahl, canceled now. What happened? And what is the town now saying about their one-time favorite son? Details next.
PEREIRA: Well, it appears a homecoming is on hold in Hailey, Idaho.
BERMAN: Town officials say it would be too hard to manage all of the supporters as well as all the protesters who might show up to welcome Bowe Bergdahl to his hometown.
George Howell is in Hailey, Idaho, population 8,000.
And George is there with the police chief to get some answers -- George?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, you mentioned it right there. This town of some 8,000 people, they were prepared to handle about 4,500 people to come to an event here. But what we've learned now is that there were concerns by the city certainly that the event could bring in more people than that and that the city wouldn't have the infrastructure to support so many people. But we are learning new information.
Here joined with the police chief.
If you could talk to us about the fact that you told me the organizers actually came to the city to cancel that event.
JEFF GUNTER, CHIEF, HAILEY, IDAHO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, they came to my office about 10:00 saying with the national coverage that this event's got, they're expecting the event could double, if not triple, in size. And there had been additional cause to put that event that they weren't prepared for. And there's some security concerns because of the larger amount of the people. There was a decision made that we agreed with them, canceling the event.
HOWELL: You talk about extra costs. Are you talking about security, right?
GUNTER: Security. The security, latrine costs, Port-a-Potties, the whole thing. Many people, they weren't prepared for that size of an event.
HOWELL: When it comes to the idea of public safety, was the city worried about the idea of protesters coming in, that nature?
GUNTER: I got a phone call from a person -- well, an attorney at an event organizer in California who didn't want to reveal the group, but wanted to know if they could bring 2,000 people up to protest the event, if they'd be allowed into the event. So that was definitely a concern. There was also a gentleman in Texas who wanted to bring up a bunch of people to protest the event as well.
HOWELL: Chief, I appreciate your time.
GUNTER: You bet.
HOWELL: Thank you.
So obviously, the security concerns are there, but you do get the sense that this city, you know, it's a small town. They just weren't ready for that large number of people that could converge here, just given the national media attention, guys.
PEREIRA: George, here's the question. At some point, he's going to return home. The family lives there. They've lived there a long time. They have roots in the community. Is there a plan for something low key or a welcome home for him? What are they thinking?
HOWELL: I'll ask that question to get a sense.
He will come home at some point, so what do you do? How do you prepare if protesters decide to come.
GUNTER: We'll wait until that day will come. I think he's got a long road ahead for recovery. And we have plenty time to put together whatever plan to make sure the community and Bowe is safe.
HOWELL: And you know, you get that sense, people here, they know that that homecoming is going to happen at some point. People want to see Bowe come back to Hailey. You get the sense this town's very supportive of Bowe Bergdahl but we're hearing from the police chief they will figure out a plan to deal with all of the people that could come here because of that.
BERMAN: Got calls for 2,000 protesters. Could become very, very interesting, George. I do not think something that town anticipated when they looked to possibility this day may come.
George Howell, in Hailey, Idaho, thanks so much.
PEREIRA: Ahead @THISHOUR, a serious situation in Canada. A man dressed in fatigues goes on a shooting rampage in a neighborhood in a quiet Canadian town, killing three RCMP officers. He's still on the loose. This is a town, an area, a country, not used to violence like this. We'll talk to somebody there on the ground.
PEREIRA: People in a normally quiet Canadian town are in quite amount of shock. They're being told to lock doors and stay inside because a gunman is loose in the neighborhood. Canadian police, RCMP, this man dressed in fatigues went on a rampage last night killing three RCMP officers, wounding two other. They have no idea of what's motivating him.
BERMAN: Moncton is about 175 miles from Maine. There's the map right there. Get a sense of the location.
One couple saw the shooting outside their window and it was all caught on this video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my goodness. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Go down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, call 911!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: That's a crazy, dramatic moment.
Joining us on the phone, Peter Edwards, reporter from "The Toronto Star."
Peter, thanks for joining us. Give us an idea of the current situation. The suspect still has not been apprehended?
PETER EDWARDS, REPORTER, THE TORONTO STAR (voice-over): No, he hasn't. Still locked down there. There's a massive police man hundred now. They've got a bit of a profile of the person but not extensive.
BERMAN: A manhunt for whom? You say a bit of a profile, nothing extensive. We see pictures of him in fatigues, headband on, a gun. The guy looks like a wannabe soldier.
EDWARDS: Yeah, he's 24 years old. There are reports that he was homeschooled, fired from a job at a Walmart four years ago, that lived in a trailer park, but police said he wasn't known to them. They didn't have a big record up to this point.
PEREIRA: What is shocking most people you don't hear of news like this out of Canada, particularly a small town like Moncton, has a reputation offing a nice town to settle down in. How are people managing, especially when the situation's unstable?
EDWARDS: It's shocking. There was a hockey game last night. It was interrupted to tell people watching from Moncton to lock their doors, which is just -- never heard of that before. It's quite unsettling for everybody.
BERMAN: What's the situation on the ground? Are people locked at home, waiting for this guy to be apprehended order waiting to hear more from police?
EDWARDS: Pretty much. And people are being asked to stay off social media, anything to give him a hint of what police are up to. So they have an area cordoned off and they seem to have something sort of secured, but they're asking people not to go outdoors, not go on social media and give him any hints of what they're up to.
PEREIRA: Thank you for joining us and bringing us the latest news. We'll keep an eye on it.
Peter Edwards with "The Toronto Star" on the situation in Moncton.
Another piece of news to share with you. It's the end of an era for what was one of the most important military secrets of World War II. The very last of the original Navajo Code Talkers has died. Chester Nez (ph) was recruited back in 194 by the Marines to develop a secret code used for vital communications during the war. The Code Talkers used native Navajo language, which had no written form. Its syntax was almost impossible to learn, thus making it impossible for the enemy to crack. Code Talkers were forbidden to speak of their work until it was declassified in 1968. Look at this. In 2001, Nez (ph) and the 28 other original Code Talkers presented with the Congressional gold medal by presidential Bush. As a child, Nez (ph) was punished at his boarding school by teachers saying he should not speak his native language. Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez (ph), 93.
BERMAN: End of an era, some 70 years. By the way, tomorrow, D-day anniversary. PEREIRA: Yeah.
BERMAN: A want to end with cable outrage.
PEREIRA: Really? Go!
BERMAN: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Scratch that. Not Romans. You're not good enough any more. Not to the NFL. The NFL has decided to rebrand the Super Bowl. So that logo for Super Ball 50 will not use a roman numeral, instead it will look like this. Super Bowl 50 will have a number. The NFL used roman numerals since --
PEREIRA: Wait. What?
BERMAN: -- since Super Bowl 5, or V, as I call it, but they didn't want to do for Super Bowl 50 because they didn't like the look of the Roman numeral for 50, which is the letter "L"? Really, et tu, Roger Goodell? I can name five things that have done with the letter "L," love, Lycra, Lombada (ph), lines, life. Life is good, right? Maybe not good enough for the envelope, or should I say the NF. See how you like it. You do not want to start Romans. Check your local listings. Who would have thought that in football roman numerals would disappear before the Redskin name?
PEREIRA: You know what?
BERMAN: The league more sensitive to concerns of the anti-"L" lobby than to Native Americans? Seriously, think about that.
So if you're keeping score, that's Redskins, 1, the letter "L" nothing. Or to upset the NFL, I'm going to say it's I, nothing.
PEREIRA: Up top, right here. I'm outraged as you are.
Thanks for joining us @THISHOUR.
I'm Michaela Pereira.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.
"LEGAL VIEW" starts right now.