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Emma Watson Talks Gender Equality, Feminism; Climate Change Protesters Head to Wall Street; 3 Missing Afghan Soldiers in U.S. Found; Obama Thanks Secret Service; Alaska Reporter Quits on Air.

Aired September 22, 2014 - 14:30   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: They were so young then. You know her as a feisty witch Hermione from "Harry Potter," but now the all-grown up actress Emma Watson is stealing the show off screen. She is launching the HeForShe campaign alongside the United Nations in a bid to end gender inequality. And she kicked it off with a speech that brought down the house and is spreading across Twitter and Facebook like wildfire. Here it is.


EMMA WATSON, ACTRESS: My life is a shared privilege because my parents didn't love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn't assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day.

In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women's rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. But what stood out for me the most was that less than 30 percent of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcomed to participate in the conversation?

Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation.


WATSON: We don't often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are. And that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don't have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won't feel compelled to be submissive. If men don't have to control, women won't have to be controlled.


LEMON: Joining me now to discuss this, Rachel Sklar, founder of THEList; and Noah Berlatsky contributing writer to "The Atlantic."

I'm going to start with the male. She's calling for men to be involved. You call yourself a male feminist. And like Emma Watson, you say misogyny affects people at every gender. Explain that. NOAH BERLATSKY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I mean, like

she says, if -- the thing is misogyny that it isn't only directed against women. It's directed against femininity. Anything considered feminine is considered lesser and that can affect men as well as women. If men are gay or if they like the wrong kinds of music, if they don't like sports, I mean, there are a list of traits that are considered feminine. And men can be teased or you can be -- I mean, in certain cases, you can have violence directed against you. There's a whole range of ways that you can not perform masculinity correctly and be considered to be too feminine and be targeted for that.

LEMON: Also, Rachel, you will agree that it's not supporting women in issues when it comes to feminist issues because you say it's become such an unpopular word.

RACHEL SKLAR, FOUNDER, THELIST: That was Emma Watson's starting point, that the word "feminist" has become bogged down with baggage about being anti-male.

LEMON: Do you believe that?

SKLAR: I don't believe that at all. I feel like that tide is changing so much and has changed so much recently. I think she started from that position to embrace the maximum number of people into the message to say this is the baggage it has. It's not the case. It's about equality. This is my experience. It's a real big test.

LEMON: She said -- I want to get that right. She said it's become unpopular word, and you don't say that and you don't agree with that?

SKLAR: I'm aware of the baggage of calling yourself a feminist has had over the years. And I'm aware of the fact that it's been recently sort of reborn as a badge of honor for many strong, amazing women and for men as well. Feminism is enjoying a resurgence right now. I'm happy to be in the middle of that.

LEMON: You watched Emma Watson and you were smiling. You sort of sat up in your seat.

SKLAR: Exactly.

LEMON: Noah, Emma Watson says the first step to freeing women is changing male gender stereotypes. You touched on it a little bit. This idea that men shouldn't be sensitive and vulnerable is pervasive. How do you change that?

SKLAR: You know, I think it's not just about --


SKLAR: Go ahead, Noah.

BERLATSKY: I actually disagree with her a little bit there maybe. I mean, I actually think the problem is that femininity is devalued. It's often the case that you need to address the fact that women are devalued in order to change ideas about what men are supposed to be. I think the main problem is the fact that women and anything associated with women is seen as bad or less. I think that for men, if women are seen as equal and if it's not seen as a problem to have, you know, various traits associated with women --


SKLAR: I think it's fabulous, for the record.

LEMON: It is. I mean, that's all we can sit here and say that, but how do you carry that out on a practical level in every day life? That takes time. Look at what we see happening in professional sports in the NFL. And if you look at quick scan of social media, most of the people who are re-tweeting Emma's speech are female. Are men really actively involved with this? Are they interested at all in the feminist movement, Rachel?

SKLAR: I think so. I definitely think so. And not only that, this speech was targeted at culture. At a culture that tends to -- even for people who consider themselves to be staunchly equality based and not think that they have anything to worry about, to actually point out that these are cultural norms, these are institutional storms, and that it's worth taking a look at and forcing change regarding it. So I think that we have seen this now in a number of institutions, most recently with the NFL. We saw it with the White House's recent campaign regarding sexual assault and again invoking a big-tent like collective responsibility notion that's going toward the culture. It's a multi-pronged effort. You attack specific behaviors and you attack the wider institutional norms.

LEMON: Thank you very much, Rachel Sklar and Noah Berlatsky. We appreciate both of you.

And talking about feminism has been big online. We've seen more calls to offer help to women in abusive relationships. Find out more about this online at CNN's "Impact Your World." You can find out how you can help along with links to the groups like the National Domestic Violence hotline, the One Love Foundation, the House of Ruth and National Network to End Domestic Violence. All of that.

A reporter in Alaska gave viewers one of the most memorable signoffs in television history. She has a new career in a very different field. While her station is apologizing for what she said, it's how she said it.


CHARLO GREEN, FORMER KTVA REPORTER: As for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. I quit.

UNIDENTIFIED KTVA NEWS ANCHOR: All right, we apologize for that.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Welcome back. We're keeping a close eye on something that's unfolding in New York City. A live picture now of the financial district. There they are. Those are climate change protesters. One day after that massive rally that we saw take place, some stuck around to challenge Wall Street.

We'll get more information from Alison Kosik, who is down there.

Alison, is it peaceful?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is peaceful. They came here to the financial district chanting, "This is what democracy looks like. Whose street? Our street." They came down here to close down Wall Street but what they really closed down is Broadway. Look over here. Way down there, all of this is Broadway, which goes right by the New York Stock Exchange. The original goal was to close down the New York Stock Exchange. What they have effectively done is closed down Broadway. There hasn't been traffic here for three hours. That's how long this massive sit-in has been happening. Look around me, over 100 just sitting here in the middle of the street on Broadway here in New York City.

I want to show you another look. Go behind me here. As far as the eye can see, you see the protesters protesting big business that they say is contributing to global climate change -- Don?

LEMON: You know, is that the Occupy Wall Street crowd or is this a different crowd or a shoot off of it? What is this, Alison?

KOSIK: You know, it's interesting you ask that. I asked the same question, and the folks organizing this event are very careful to say this is not Occupy Wall Street, part two. However, many organizers are the same organizers that I saw when I covered the Occupy Wall Street protest. So while it's not the same, it sort of has branched off into an environmental message that they are making today, that big business, they say, needs to be more responsible and invest less in fossil fuels, including coal, fracking and oil -- Don?

LEMON: Young folks mostly, as we look in the crowd. There appears to be an interesting group. And these are mostly young people.

KOSIK: It's almost like a carnival. Let's walk through. It's almost like a carnival atmosphere. We have people dancing and singing. You see the costumes. Almost feels like Mardi Gras in the middle of the street.

LEMON: Interesting, thank you.


LEMON: Thank you, Alison, Kosik. Breaking news on Wall Street.

Other breaking news to tell you about. The search for three Afghan soldiers who disappeared right here in the United States after training. We're now hearing where they have been caught. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We're following breaking news on the three missing soldiers from the Afghanistan army. We now can confirm that they have just been found and they are in the custody of U.S. Customs. They were stationed at Cape Cod in Massachusetts for an international training exercise. They disappeared off the grid and it appears they may have fled Saturday night while on a trip to a shopping mall.

Joining us is CNN's national correspondent, Deborah Feyerick.

What happened? How were they found?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are not in U.S. custody. They're in the custody of Canadian Border Services.


FEYERICK: These three senior military officers were able to cross from Buffalo into Canada and that's when their passports and their visas were checked and they were stopped. They are now in custody.

I spoke to someone with familiarity of the situation who says these three senior military officers did not break the law. They were here legally. They had passports and visas. They were not allowed to go to another country to seek asylum, which appears is what they were trying to do. They were stopped at the border. It's unclear if they will go back to this base, Edwards Base on Cape Cod. This is a training exercise they were doing here along with six other nations. Basically, coalition team building. They get to know each other so that when the forces are there at U.S. Central Command in that region, they can work with partners there. These three officers decided they wanted something different, something perhaps better and they left.

LEMON: What happens to them now? You said they're not -- they're not -- they cannot get asylum, right? They're not --

FEYERICK: Well, they've been stopped. They've been stopped. They would have to have good reason for --


FEYERICK: They would have to have a very good reason for seeking asylum. They are senior military leaders with the Afghan National Army.

LEMON: There are among 200 soldiers that came from six nations.


FEYERICK: That's correct. There were six others Afghans who were there training as well.

Look, I spoke to somebody. This happened recently with three Afghan police who were training with the Drug Enforcement Administration. They, too, attempted to get from Buffalo into Canada. They, too, were stopped and sent back to Afghanistan. We'll see whether the same thing happens to them.

The program ends in just two days. They may not be going back to that base or, if they are, they will be chaperoned. They are with Canadian Border Services.

LEMON: Deborah Feyerick with breaking news. We appreciate that.

Something that is just in now to CNN. This is President Barack Obama making remarks about the Secret Service in the wake of a security breach in which a war veteran armed with a knife walked into the front door just moments after the first family left the White House. Listen.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, guys. Thank you, guys.


OBAMA: Secret Service does a great job. I'm grateful for the sacrifices they make on my behalf and my family's behalf. All right?

Thank you very much, everybody.


LEMON: A little loud there, but basically complimenting Secret Service, saying the Secret Service do great job and grateful for the sacrifice on how they protect he and his family. We'll talk to a former deputy director of the Secret Service about the two scares involving the White House, coming up here on CNN. So don't miss that.

But first, here's how you make an exit in a television job that your co-workers will never forget.


GREEN: And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it. I quit.



LEMON: Viewers won't forget that. Neither will the anchor who had to clean up afterwards. The reporter has a new career. We'll tell you about it coming up.


LEMON: For those of us that work in television -- I'm sure you do as well -- this is something we dream about, going into work and telling your boss you quit. Well, that's exactly -- but not like this. An Alaska TV reporter did that last night on the 10:00 news, and her performance is definitely one, I wouldn't say for blooper reel, but one for memory. Take a look.


GREEN: Everything you heard, as the actual owner of the Alaskan Cannabis Club, will donate my energy to fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana. And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it. I quit.

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: All right, we apologize for that. We'll be right back.



LEMON: I felt worse actually for the anchor. The stunt stunned her colleagues and sent social media sites into overdrive. The station immediately issued a statement on its Facebook page saying, "We apologize for inappropriate language used by the KTVA reporter during her live presentation on air tonight. The employee has been terminated."

Here with me to talk about that is CNN's media correspondent and "Reliable Sources" Brian Stelter.

Obviously, unprofessional that she did that. Naturally, there's a behind-the-scenes story. She did this on purpose. She was going to quit any way and wanted to draw attention.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES & SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The statement says she was terminated but we saw her quit on air. You would never do that, would you, Don?

LEMON: No. No. I'm not that kind of person. Why would you burn a bridge like that?

STELTER: Not only burn the bridge but, to me, it's the curse word that's the biggest problem. She could have gracefully quit. There would have been a controversy. But it becomes offensive the way she did it to viewers, who otherwise might have been persuaded to join her club.

This is interesting. We see people moving from media to politics and politics to media from time to time. It sounds like that's what she's doing. She wants to get politically active and get marijuana legal in Alaska. But to do it the way she did, it was offensive and unethical. She was covering something she was part of until disclosing something until the very end in a way that was offensive.

LEMON: She wanted attention. She's talking about -- is this legal marijuana. She's talking about medical marijuana? Do you know?

STELTER: She's talking about reform in the state, legalization of the drug, in the way that many other states have already done. We'll see this continuing progression. The media is part of this progression. You see a reality show is now about pot. You see a lot more news coverage about pot. Sanjay Gupta had that ground-breaking special here about the legalization of weed.

So I understand that she wants to get involved politically. It's unethical to do it the way she did, to come on and cover the topic and only then to reveal she was part of it.

LEMON: It makes her look worse. Any time you have something like that and you use a curse word, it always makes you look worse.

Here's what the station is quoting, saying it had no idea the reporter would quit or that she was connected to the Cannabis Club. How can this happen? How can she be in her own place of business, then, and talk about her future place of business, and no one at the station really know about it?

STELTER: It makes you wonder who assigned the story to begin with. Maybe she pitched the story about the club that she's the leader of, or maybe it was assigned to her by somebody else. Either way, and this is what we used to say when I was at "The New York Times," that's what editors are always for or producers, in this case, to be a check the person, to be a check and balance of the reporter.

LEMON: You asked me if I would do something like this. Would you ever do something like that?


STELTER: I'm a shy guy. I don't know about that, Don.


LEMON: I don't know if people call you shy, but you are always professional.

STELTER: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you very much. The host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," every Sunday morning here on CNN.