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"Partridge Family" Star David Cassidy Dead at 67; Airports Brace for Thanksgiving Rush; CBS & PBS Fire Charlie Rose Over Sexual Misconduct Scandal. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 22, 2017 - 06:30   ET



[06:30:19] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, a very sad news. Actor and singer David Cassidy has died at the age of 67. The 1970's teen heartthrob rose to fame as the star of "The Partridge Family". Cassidy was recently hospitalized suffering from organ failure.

CNN'S Stephanie Elam takes a look back at his life in the spotlight.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David Cassidy was the ultimate teenage idol, known for his role as Keith in the 1970s hit TV series, "The Partridge Family". Cassidy's fresh face, wide eyed charm captured the hearts of millions of girls worldwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're taking auto shop.


ELAM: "The Partridge Family", a musical sitcom about a family and a rock and roll band gave Cassidy a national audience for his own music.


ELAM: "I Think I Love You", the show's first single, topped the Billboard 100 in 1970 and sold over 5 million copies.

DAVID CASSIDY, ACTOR AND SINGER: I was always a musician. I always played, but I never pursued my career as a musician. It was just fate, you know, the way the stars align themselves.

ELAM: Cassidy's wispy voice and wholesome persona broke out from the small screen and into sold-out arenas around the globe. His fan club had more members at one time than Elvis or the Beatles.

But in 1972, at the height of his "Partridge Family" fame, Cassidy began to shift away from his squeaky clean image. He appeared naked on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine and in the article admitted using drugs and alcohol. It marked a turning point in his career and his life. Four years after "The Partridge Family" hit the air, his teenage fan base had moved on, and so had Cassidy.

CASSIDY: This hero worship was so great, I had to leave it. I couldn't sustain it any longer.

ELAM: Superstardom long behind him, Cassidy turned to Broadway. In 1993, he starred in the British musical "Blood Brothers". Three years later, he moved to Vegas where he headlined the MGM Grand's EFX Show, at the time the largest theatrical production in the world.

In private though, Cassidy struggled with alcoholism, a battle that would soon take a very public turn. In his 60s, Cassidy faced multiple charges of driving under the influence and went through rehab.

CASSIDY: It's very humbling and it's also humiliating.

ELAM: But his biggest battle was yet to come. In 2017, Cassidy revealed that he suffered from dementia. His mother had died of complications from Alzheimer's disease only a few years before.

CASSIDY: To watch someone that raised you and was so vibrant start to lose her mind and disappear, is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

ELAM: Looking back on his own life, there is one memory Cassidy hopes will never fade, his 1972 concert in Madison Square Garden.

Cassidy leaped onto the stage in a signature white sequin jump suit, thousands of adoring fans screamed his name, his own family among them.

CASSIDY: It was just so emotional for me. And I just felt so blessed to have that moment with them. I mean, it's the highlight of my life.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. This is very sad to me. He was my very first crush. I loved "The Partridge Family".

When I was 5 years old, I wrote him a fan letter. But I couldn't write yet so I dictated it to my grandmother. I said, please tell him that I have all these albums and that I love him and I hope he will come to my birthday party.

And then a few days later, lo and behold, I got a letter back from David Cassidy. I was so excited and I cherished that. And when I was 12, I said to mom, God, isn't that great that David Cassidy wrote back to me? And he said, oh, grandma sent you that letter.


CAMEROTA: My grandmother pretended to be David Cassidy because she knew how much I loved him and sent me back a letter. And I -- it is the end of an era to watch him passed away.

CUOMO: He is one of those people that meant more to so many than was expected at the time. It was just a TV show when it came out. It was only on four seasons.


CUOMO: But the impact of him culturally of that time, he really did become an icon. And it's something he had to struggle with his entire life.

But, boy, he was taken too soon. Just 67 years of age.

CAMEROTA: I know. I mean, he obviously had a lot of struggles with addiction and health. And it's just a sad passing for us.

CUOMO: It is, but it's important to remember him especially at his best.

[06:35:00] All right. We know what time it is. It is time to get on the road and get to the airport and get to your family for Thanksgiving.

Airports around the U.S. are bracing for what is one of the biggest travel days of the year. The AAA says it expects this year's Thanksgiving rush to be the busiest in more than a decade.

CNN's Ryan Young live at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport with more.

If I don't see you, happy Thanksgiving, my friend. Thankful for you.

Now tell us what you know.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Hopefully, this will be easier than you interviewed LaVar Ball the other night. Look, if you look at the travel behind us, you can see the travel picking up here. It is 5:30 in the morning.

But the lines are already starting to fill up in Chicago. I can tell you, they do expect more people to hit the roads but the airfare because, of course, we're told just by American Airlines, they are expecting 6.4 million people to hit the airways. And so far, we have been talking to people here, the only issue they have dealt with so far is the traffic.

Tuesday was a big travel day. Look at those long lines in L.A. in terms of just traffic and the slowdown with rush-hour traffic. Now, you are dealing with the airport.

Talking to TSA workers, they were here early this morning, making sure these lines were breezing through.

Talking to other travelers, they look -- they said they wanted to make sure they got here early to avoid the headaches they have seen all the time. I'm looking at the big board behind us. All green so far when it comes to travel across the country.

So, the big news is the weather is great here. People are able to move through very quickly. Not the long faces we have seen in years past. So, so far, the good news is no news, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Right. That is very good news, Ryan. Thank you very much.

So, expect rain-slicked roads through the mid-Atlantic and New England for Thanksgiving. And for some of you, snow.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has our forecast.

What do you see, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I see New York City not being as good as Chicago here for the airports, rain moving in, heavy at times. Not over until noon. Boston, not over until 6:00 p.m. tonight.

This weather brought to you by Jared, the galleria of jewelry.

Now, it's going to be a decent day to get in and out of the Midwest, anywhere you're going, even Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, perfect weather here. But it's the rain across the northeast that is definitely going to slow us down.

Now, here's a look at the airports across the country. We're actually doing pretty good. All the airports green other than maybe Seattle and Portland. We will see slowdowns there.

But the New York City, also into Boston, that's where we're going to get 45 minutes to an hour. You're just going to have to just take your time, wait for things. The rain will be over by about noon, 6:00 for Boston, probably 3:00 around Connecticut. But take your time. It will be wet roads and slow airports.

Guys, back to you.

CUOMO: Chad Everett, that is a heck of a graphic you got there. Javier (ph), our EP, was just point it out to me.

CAMEROTA: He was marveling at it.

MYERS: I was hoping for a turkey to come around.

CUOMO: I don't even think that's a suitcase -- don't think the yellow one is a suitcase.

Chad Everett, where you wait when the luggage is coming out? Are you by the chute? Are you kind of, you go back? Are you laid back? Which kind are you?

MYERS: I'm the one that comes up right up by the chute. But I know which way the belt is going, so I slide down, because it comes out of the chute, then I know which way --

CUOMO: Belt savvy, chute stations. Probably sharp elbows, I'm thinking.

Be well. Happy Thanksgiving, my brother. It's good to have you.

MYERS: So, you too. CUOMO: All right. So, you know the news, Charlie Rose fired from CBS

and PBS. Started as a suspension but it went quickly from there. The question now, who knew about his inappropriate behavior? What did they do about it?

CBS News is in the spotlight for this. We have more, next.


[06:42:20] CAMEROTA: Charlie Rose now fired by CBS and PBS. And CBS News now reports that three more staffers have come forward to say that they also experienced unwanted sexual contact from Charlie Rose.

Joining us now with the latest is CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter, and CNN politics, media and business reporter Hadas Gold.

Great to have both of you.

So, Brian, I will start with you. CBS was in the really awkward position yesterday of having to report on Charlie Rose. They did it on their morning show. I thought the co-hosts did a good job talking about how conflicted they are.


CAMEROTA: They have a friendship and working relationship with Charlie Rose but how important it was to cover the story.

And then Gayle King went on -- she had a long scheduled appointment to go on Stephen Colbert and she did that. So, let's listen to what she said on "Stephen Colbert" last night. Listen to this.


GAYLE KING, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: It's still very painful. It's still very hurtful. You know, Charlie and I -- we've worked together, been friends. But when you think about the anguish of those women, despite the friendship, you still have to report the news.

But, again, I go back to what these women are going through. And I applaud them for speaking out. If anything changes, what I do hope is people will speak out, that companies are sending a message of we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. And that is a very important thing.



CAMEROTA: It's really hard to imagine anybody handling it better than Gayle King has yesterday.

STELTER: It was very impressive and a very difficult situation. You know, these newsrooms, CBS or any other big newsroom, if we are going to report on other scandals, if we are going to try to hold the president and the government accountable, we've got to have high moral standards in our own houses. And so, it's import to see CBS covering it this way. NPR also faced a scandal last month, also covered diligently on the air. That's the only way to go about this.

But, you know, there are questions about who at CBS might have known about this conduct.

CAMEROTA: And what's the answer to that?

STELTER: I'm still trying to find the answers. You know, CBS says, officially, nobody ever called HR to make a complaint about Charlie Rose. Where have we heard that before? Fox News, other companies where there weren't the right HR procedures in place.

So, I'm not sure if that's the case with CBS. But now that three women of the company have come forward with complaints about Charlie Rose, there is definitely questions about whether any people are in positions of power who might have known about Rose's behavior and looked the other way.

CAMEROTA: So, Hadas, I mean, one of the interesting things it doesn't just affect one man, right?


CAMEROTA: It's not just Charlie Rose who's out of a job. There is a ripple effect when this happens. At PBS, this was his show, his staff. I mean, you're reporting on this.

Are there 20 people now who don't know what their futures are?

[06:45:01] GOLD: Yes. Right. So, "The Charlie Rose Show" was an interesting show in that it was produced and owned actually by Charlie Rose, Inc, which is his own company, but they share office space and used the facilities of "Bloomberg". There is about 20 people, and a few more contractors, who now don't know whether they're going to have a job or not in the future.

And this just goes to show how these types of actions -- they don't just affect one or two people. It affects an entire company. It affects a lot of people. And now, we don't know if 20 people are going to be out of a job because of possibly bad decisions made by one person.

CAMEROTA: I mean, that really shows you how widespread all of this is. I mean, Brian, back to who knew what and when, listen to Charlie -- listen, when we talk about an open secret, right, I think something has changed in the past month. Oh, it was an open secret that he was a womanizer. That's what we used to think.

STELTER: Right. I know he was a ladies man.

CAMEROTA: A ladies man.

STELTER: Right. CAMEROTA: These are the euphemisms we used last week, you know, or last month. Somebody was a womanizer, a ladies man or didn't have good boundaries. Now, we realize it was so much worse than that.

STELTER: And the standard, the bar has been raised in terms of expectations for behavior. Many people knew about the power dynamics at play. But if you didn't about the power dynamics at play, now you do because of this national conversation. It's not just Charlie Rose.

You know, the head of Disney and Pixar animation, John Lasseter, took a six-month leave of absence yesterday again due to allegations of misconduct. I think it's another example of that ripple effect. These are giant companies, whether it's animation studio or CBS News or Bloomberg or PBS where there are effects all across the landscape.

CAMEROTA: Yes, go ahead, Hadas.

GOLD: And most importantly is the conversations that are happening behind the scenes. I myself and I know a lot of my friends and colleagues are talking to one another.

Women are saying I had these weird experiences. What does this mean? Should have spoken up? We're all looking out for each other now.

And actually, most importantly are the conversations I'm having with men who are talking to me and saying, hey, I'm wondering what you think about this situation. Was there ever a time I acted inappropriately? And those are uncomfortable conversations but I think there's so important to have right now.

That is one of the best things that might be coming out of these really awful situations is these conversations we're happening that will hopefully change the way we interact with one another, even in the situations like TV or Hollywood or something where the behavior is a little different than a corporate environment.

CAMEROTA: Hadas, I totally agree with you. I mean, listen, 99 percent of our male colleagues are wonderful and supportive and great to work with.

GOLD: Right.

CAMEROTA: And then there's the one guy who is weird and the guys know about this guy too. So now we are having this conversation about boundaries, right? So, what are the right boundaries?

I think it's a great conversation to have with men and women, because -- by the way, one of the confusing things is, with sexual harassment, it does differ from person to person, Hadas.

GOLD: Exactly. I don't think anyone wants to get to the point where if you have a crush on somebody you can't talk to them or anything like that. What's important is that we are in that invisible wall between men and women when they talked about people that they might know that they were uncomfortable around. That seems to be coming down because -- I mean, I personally have had

at least three conversations with men that I know or work with who are saying, let's have these conversations. They might be difficult but we need to have is them.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's really valuable. Hadas, thank you for your personal experience.

Brian, thank you. Always great to have this conversation. I suspect we'll have more of them. Thank you.

STELTER: Thanks.


CUOMO: Another government accountability story bubbling up. Travel trouble for the Trump White House. Why the wife of interior secretary Ryan Zinke is under scrutiny for her demands.

What were they, next.


[06:52:17] CUOMO: All right. Another wife of a Trump cabinet member is garnering headlines for the wrong reason. This time, it's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's wife under fire for her travel plans and her deep involvement in his schedule.

Joining us now is CNN contributor Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, currently senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center.

It's good to see you, sir. What is the issue?

WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, here we go again with this champagne cabinet and its high-flying adventures. We've got a report that Lola Zinke is trying to compete with Louise Linton for most extravagant spouse of a cabinet member.

CUOMO: You're talking about Secretary Mnuchin's wife.


CUOMO: Go ahead.

SHAUB: That's right.

She's been flying around with Zinke on a lot of trips. Now, it's not unheard that a spouse will occasionally accompany a cabinet member to an event, particularly perhaps an international event where they're going to be appearing like at a dinner with spouses.

But this has become a regular thing, it seems, that these cabinet officials are taking their spouses with them. In this case, not only has Zinke been taking her with him, but he has been taking her with him on some trips that look a bit like vacations. There was at least one report a couple months ago about a Department of Interior boat being rerouted to pick him up where he was with his wife. More recently, there's reports that she was basically using Department of Interior staff as her personal schedulers.

As he travels around with her, there was a trip involving Alaska, and I think Norway, where they were trying to reschedule her. She asked to fly alone on a military plane to come home. And they pointed out to her that the military generally frowns on spouses of officials traveling without them on government planes.

CUOMO: All right. So, we'll have to sass this out, see exactly what it was, where it comes from, what the standard is. And then we'll be able to button it up.

Let me ask you something else. What is the rule for you people on the government side about letting people who come from an agency go into the regulation of that? Because it seems nuts.

Like when you look at the FDA, they work for big pharma and drug companies and move back and forth between regulating an industry that they go back and make money in. What is the rule?

SHAUB: Right. Well, the revolving door is a perennial issue in government. There's some argue that you need people with experience in a particular industry.

[06:55:04] And there are others who express concerns about people going back and forth from industry.

As a result, there is a rule that says when you come in from a private employer, you have to recuse for a year for any matter that is going to directly involve that company as a party.

CUOMO: Right.

SHAUB: And there is an ethics pledge that Trump issued on ethics which builds on one that President Obama had issued that extends that to a second year.

CUOMO: But is that enough? Why am I asking? This isn't hypothetical.

We're talking about Alex Azar. OK? He is the president's choice to taking over for Tom Price at HHS, Health and Human Services. He worked at Eli Lily. He left in January. He got a nice big fat pay. Nobody is going to complain about that. But now he will be in the business of regulating that agency.

What makes it okay?

SHAUB: Right. Legally, it's OK. I looked at his ethics agreement that he signed and OGE, Office of Government Ethics, has posted on its Website. And he said he will recuse for the required one-year period. Although he quit Eli Lily last January. His year will be up this January. There is a second year under the Trump ethics pledge, but they hand out waivers to the ethics pledge commitment like they are handing out candy.

So, he could start regulating and working directly, like even meeting with Eli Lily as soon as this January if he gets a waiver, or a year later if he doesn't. In either case, he's going to be back in the business pretty soon.

CUOMO: Right. I mean, no disrespect to Mr. Azar. I'm not making this personal just to him. But you talk about the swamp.

SHAUB: Right.

CUOMO: You can't have people going from one agency where they're making money into regulation, when you know they're going to wind up back there.

Anyway, Mr. Shaub, happy Thanksgiving to you.

SHAUB: OK. You too. Thanks.

CUOMO: Be well.


CAMEROTA: Chris, President Trump is up early and on Twitter this morning.

CUOMO: What?

CAMEROTA: But he is not talking about the search and rescue Navy plane crash off the coast of Japan. We will tell you what the president is tweeting about.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our NEW DAY.

And we do begin with breaking news for you, because a search for survivors is under way after a U.S. navy plane crashed off Japan's coast with 11 crew members and passengers on board. Naval officials say that eight of those have been rescued.