Return to Transcripts main page


Crews Rescue 150 Stranded Skiers From Ski Lift In French Alps; Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Attend Christmas Services; Biggest Social And Cultural Movements Of 2017, Christmas At The White House, And Must-See Holiday Movies. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired December 25, 2017 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: -- for what she called bloated management.

The cut to the overall budget happening -- this is after the U.N. voted overwhelmingly to condemn President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Rescue crews racing to save 150 skiers who were trapped on a broken ski lift in the French Alps. The incident happening at a French ski resort.

These images show two helicopters flying to the gondolas. Emergency crews then forcing open the roofs -- you can see it there -- and lowering the stranded skiers back onto the ground. The rescue operation taking nearly two hours.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. No word on what caused the incident.

Prince Harry and his fiance Meghan Markle arriving at Christmas services as a couple this morning. The two arrived at a church at the Queen's estate with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Queen Elizabeth also in attendance with her husband Prince Philip, a year after the couple had to miss services because of illness.

I'm Alison Kosik. More headlines coming up in 30 minutes. Merry Christmas.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: This year, we experienced big social and political movements, from the "MeToo" movement to the NFL civil rights protests, and the surprising rise of the alt-right.

So let's start with the "MeToo" movement. The women who helped usher it in were awarded "Time Persons of the Year."

Here to discuss all of these moments, cultural critic and writer, Michaela Angela Davis. Also, Wesley Lowery, a CNN contributor and national reporter for "The Washington Post."

Great to have both of you here. Merry Christmas.

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC WRITER: Thank you. CAMEROTA: So, Amber Tamblyn, who is an actress and activist -- I read that she wrote recently that the "MeToo" movement went from a watershed to a flash flood. Every day it felt as though the floodgates were opening and it became more than a movement. I mean, it became a moment -- a tipping point. All of those things that we've said about it.

And I just think that you can't underestimate the change that's happened in this country.

DAVIS: And the water's still rushing in, right?

I mean, I think the Women's March was the crack, right, when you saw the largest single-day march in history led by women and led by women of color. That opened up the gates for this flood, right, and every day more courage, more stories, more support are coming out.

And we're getting to the dirty work of the culture, right, and it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be fun, but we're not going to be alone. And I think that's really what "MeToo" literally says -- is like, I'm not alone, you're not alone, and we can do this work together.

But it's not the end. I think we're going to see even more because all the industries now -- music industry -- you know, the story with Russell Simmons --

CAMEROTA: Of course.

DAVIS: -- is our Harvey Weinstein, you know?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But it still --

DAVIS: Like it's a flashpoint meaning.

CUOMO: I agree with all that. You get an amen on it all, except I would say that the metaphor is that the -- you've seen the water rushing out.


CUOMO: You haven't seen the clean water rushing in enough yet because it's still bold-faced names --


CUOMO: -- it's still low-hanging fruit for these -- for the corporations. It is easier to get rid of somebody than it is to change your culture, Wes.

And I've also got to suffer through me saying this all the time but it's only because of my concern for real change. I know how those systems work.

Forget about the fact that you're not hearing about the waitress, the administrative assistant, the truly unempowered woman who has to deal with this. The housekeepers, you know, who have to deal with these dynamics.

CAMEROTA: But maybe there's a trickle-down for that.

CUOMO: Maybe.

DAVIS: It has to be.

CUOMO: Maybe they have to come out, but then you need the change.


CUOMO: Again, you want to get rid of a bold-faced name, that's right. Be right about it. You know, if you're going to take somebody down make sure you've got the facts and let them be aired.

But corporate change -- even something as easy as what we talk about here all the time.

Settlements for congressmen for sexual harassment paid with our money and they still haven't changed it. That fund still exists right now as of this show. That has to change, too.

Now, Wes --

WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, NATIONAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Of course. Well, I think that's actually an excellent example of this, right? We've seen a lot of the bold-faced names going.

We've seen some terrible anecdotes and I certainly don't think that we've seen the last of those. There's certainly going to be more to come.

But you're right, we've seen a few members of Congress run out but we haven't seen widespread change in terms of how the institution -- the body handles these complaints. The oversight and the safety measures for women who are working on Capitol Hill or elsewhere in politics.

And so, as long as those structural inequities and failures to protect people exist it's, one, going to facilitate an environment in which more of these actions are probably committed. Unfortunately, despite this moment here, I expect that there's probably harassment still ongoing even in -- among these most scrutinized industries.

But beyond that, as long as, for example, Congress does not provide transparency or begin to address the structural problems, you could expect this to kind of continue dropping. You know, this isn't something that we're all going to go to the holidays and spend time with our family and come back in January and oh, well, it was all solved, it's over. This is -- this momentum is very likely to continue.

[07:35:12] CAMEROTA: OK, next movement, Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, NFL protests. Did those move the needle?

DAVIS: Oh, I think so. I think it moved the consciousness needle. And it's kind of the same thing. Like we were going to -- we have to wait and see and get more involved to see if it's actually going to change the culture because also, we've had to fight so much to even explain what the knee was about. And that -- and the same with the "MeToo" movement, too.

Like it's not --

CAMEROTA: Because there was a debate.

DAVIS: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: Colin Kaepernick said it was police excessive force --


CAMEROTA: -- some of the things.

And then it was, in some ways, co-opted by the other side saying no, it was against our military, it's against our flag. And so he had to fight back about what it was truly intended to be.

DAVIS: And all of us having to fight back to really identify what this was about. And the more cases came up, we had to say see, this is what the knee's about.

And this is how patriotic it was and that -- it became a conversation about what is patriotism and how to co-opt a story. So the knee movement, as it were, became also work and trying to stay focused on what this was about.

And the NFL is arguably one of the largest and most powerful fraternities. And so, this is really watching men get to work, right, and completely supported by women which is, you know, to the "MeToo" movement. I would like to see more men get involved in that.

Like, how does -- and Terry Crews, right, is kind of in between both as an ex-football --

CAMEROTA: The actor who said that he, himself, was groped although he is --

DAVIS: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: -- you know, a powerful --

DAVIS: A former football player.


DAVIS: So he really is the intersection of these movements.

And I'm still -- and, you know, I bring this up a lot, Chris. Like, where are the men behind Terry, right?

This is -- you know, taking the knee is really important. It keeps us focused on police brutality and what happens to -- particularly, about communities. But then, how does this -- how is this going to help change the culture?


LOWERY: Of course, and when I look at Colin Kaepernick and taking a knee, I mean, it's a stand-in and it's an example of a broader conversation happening in athletics and professional sports about the agency of these athletes. The extent to which they are political actors. That's something that's only going to continue to increase, not decrease.

We saw very recently LeBron James in Washington, D.C. wearing equality on his shoes.



LOWERY: Written on both shoes, right?

The idea that especially at a time with an unpopular president, especially among black Americans who make up the majority of professional athletes, you're seeing these athletes feeling more empowered to speak out --

CUOMO: Right.

LOWERY: -- about their politics and wanting to factor in.

Colin Kaepernick and taking a knee is one element to that, specifically about criminal justice and police brutality.

But I think, frankly, in the current political environment we're only going to see more of this. And what this debate over the last year has been about is to what extent should someone be able to use the professional platform -- the athletic platform for political purposes and what is the blowback their going to receive?

I'm on the side of people arguing Colin Kaepernick has every right to do this and shouldn't be penalized. The other side --

CUOMO: Right.

LOWERY: -- folks saying he should be more grateful. And so, this is a conversation I think is going anywhere.

CUOMO: So you have movements where the urgency is to make things better, OK? We talk about that hashtag "MeToo" -- certainly with the NFL and what they want recognized.

And, LeBron James had one white sneaker, one black sneaker with "equality" written across both in gold. That does all that.

Then you have the alt-right movement and that's about making thing worse. And we entered a realm of ambiguity that we should have never entered into.

And it was shocking to me how effective the president was by saying "on both sides." What that launched in terms of a false equivalency was really shocking to me.


CUOMO: The idea -- well, you know, the left's got its problems, too. That all of a sudden there was this ownership of the ugliest aspects of our culture and it seemed like a mitigating. You know, a lessening --


CUOMO: -- of what they're about.

Were you surprised or was that just me?

DAVIS: No, no, it was -- what was surprising was how effective --


DAVIS: -- it was because not only do these movements want to make things better, they want justice. You know, they want equality.

CUOMO: For "MeToo" and the NFL --

DAVIS: Exactly, meaning all these movements are not just bringing awareness and telling stories. The end result must be justice.

CUOMO: Right. They want fairness under law.

DAVIS: Exactly. And so, that concept of equality, and justice, and both sides is very powerful. So to use that in this moment was diabolically, you know, genius because it is a false equivalency.

And it's interesting. What is really interesting to me was that this alt-right movement is happening but without the same kind of response that, say, the "Black Lives Matter" movement is because we saw people with swastikas in American streets next to an American flag. But I didn't see a huge Jewish movement down there the next day going not on our watch, not here.

[07:40:09] So it's really interesting to me. Where's the response to this alt-right -- like this neo-Nazi movement is huge? Where is the outrage? Like, this was scary stuff.

CUOMO: Well, that snap outrage was a little bit confused by the President of the United States --

DAVIS: Exact -- but that's what's so --

CUOMO: -- you know, creating a little bit of an equivalence there.

DAVIS: That's what so diabolical about it because if the president sort of supports it, it makes it difficult for -- as a citizen to respond in the same way of this is horrific.

It's horrific to see swastikas next to the stars and stripes down an American street. And how then it somehow becomes an equal debate.

CAMEROTA: Wesley, your thoughts?

LOWERY: Of course. And, you know, again, like the other two, I -- it's hard to imagine this kind of alt-right and white nationalist movement dying down in its fervor in the coming year, right?

Here you have a group of people who feel begrudged or feel attacked. They, in many ways, rise up as a result of Barack Obama's presidency and "Black Lives Matter" over the last few years to say no, we the white people, are the ones who are aggrieved here and we're being attacked, and our culture is under threat.

And it's that -- in many ways, during the election of President Trump, he doubles to a lot of these folks. He said a lot of things that were ambiguous or co-opt and adapted some of their language.

I think that as there's a failure to create some white ethnostate -- and that's not going to happen, right -- it's still very fringed to our politics. This active and mobilized group of people are only going to become more bold and feel more threatened.

And so, I do think that -- I would love to believe that Charlottesville was kind of one-off dangerous clash but unfortunately, I think these powers have been activated and I don't know yet what moment they kind of slink back into their caves. I don't know that that's going to happen this year.

CAMEROTA: Michaela Angela Davis, Wesley Lowery, thank you both very much for this discussion.

DAVIS: Thank you.

LOWERY: Thank you, guys. Merry Christmas.

CAMEROTA: You, too.

CUOMO: All right. So it is a tradition that many look forward to in Washington. It is the unveiling of the White House Christmas decorations.

Who are we going to talk to? A woman who has insight into how it all comes together. That's next.


[07:45:51] CAMEROTA: Every December the White House is decorated to the nines for the holidays. The theme for the Trump's first Christmas is "Time-Honored Traditions" which features more than 50 Christmas trees and thousands of Christmas lights and ornaments.

So how much work goes into all of this?

Let's ask Coleen Burke. She's the author of "Christmas With the First Ladies." Coleen is a former White House design partner.

Coleen, great to have you here.


CAMEROTA: Merry Christmas to you, as well.

So tell us what's different about the Trump decorations.

BURKE: Well, it's Mrs. Trump's big premiere. It's how -- she's kind of setting the stage for what her style might be the next couple of years and it's not so different. "Time-Honored Traditions" -- she's looking back and choosing some things that other first ladies have also used -- what's important.

CAMEROTA: Am I sensing that white is a theme this year?

BURKE: Well, white is a theme first ladies always love -- a white, snowy Christmas, and Mrs. Trump did do that in the Cross Hall. And this is just a spectacular look. You cannot go wrong if you do a white, snowy Christmas.

CAMEROTA: It is so elegant, really, and beautiful.

And how much time goes into this? When did she have to start planning this?

BURKE: Well, I suspect usually in a first lady's first year she usually runs a little late. Once they get up and running they actually start thinking about Christmas in February and March --

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh.

BURKE: -- and really get the ball rolling.

CAMEROTA: Right after Christmas --

BURKE: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: -- is basically they think about the next --

BURKE: The next year, so --

CAMEROTA: That -- when you did it, you did three different --

BURKE: I've done three.

CAMEROTA: Three different White House decorations and that's how long you worked on it.

BURKE: Right. We started the -- I started as a volunteer but when the year I was a design partner we started floating themes around in February and March. And it's just a lot of planning goes into it but the actual volunteers

who install -- this year there were 150 and they said it took them 1,600 hours, which is not very much time.

CAMEROTA: In your experience, do the men -- the husbands, the presidents -- get involved in these decorations?

BURKE: Historically, no. The first year I was there George Bush did come around he liked joked with us. The president on record, having sat in on meetings with President Carter actually put his input in.

And then this year, President Trump did say he had some input in the theme so, you know --

CAMEROTA: And do we know what his input was?

BURKE: I'm sure he said he did it all. I don't really know.

But it is -- you know, it's -- the first lady is the commander in chief of Christmas and Mrs. Trump did an excellent job, so I think we really need to give her the credit.


So in addition to decorating, what other events are there in the White House for Christmas.

BURKE: Well, there's always the parties and the fun thing about the parties is White House, you know, pastry chef and his crew, they actually start baking way back in August to get ready for all of the parties.

CAMEROTA: OK, so planning or baking?

BURKE: Baking and freezing. Baking and freezing.


BURKE: And also, the other really big tradition is the gingerbread house, and the plans for that and the preparation for that also start in August.

CAMEROTA: And those change every year? The gingerbread house changes every year?

BURKE: Yes, yes.

CAMEROTA: And do you know what this year is?

BURKE: Well, this year it's a beautiful white chocolate and it also has -- this is the first year that wreaths hang in every window on the White House, so that's a little bit of change, and the gingerbread house reflects that.

CAMEROTA: I'm also curious when are you supposed to take down your tree? I've never known the answer to this. So in the White House, when does the tree come down?

BURKE: Almost the next day. It comes down very, very quickly.

CAMEROTA: So, you -- that's kind of sad.

BURKE: It comes down super-fast because they're getting ready to change over for New Year's celebrations. So -- and the other thing to remember, many times first families don't actually spend Christmas in the White House so it's not like the family is cutting its celebration short.

CAMEROTA: Coleen Christian Burke, thank you for all of the insider tips about this.

BURKE: My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: It's really fun to think about what's going --

BURKE: Super fun.

CAMEROTA: -- on in the White House. Thanks so much for being here.

BURKE: My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: Chris --

CUOMO: I like a quick tree takedown, just for the record.

All right, how about a movie this holiday weekend? We've got you covered. Up next, the movies you, the family -- you don't want to miss.


[07:53:39] CUOMO: Welcome back to a special Christmas edition of NEW DAY.

A lot of movies are out just in time for the holiday break, including a remake of "JUMANJI," starring The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. He's got his boy Kevin Hart with him, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. Here's a little taste.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pick a character and you're that person in the game.



KAREN GILLAN, ACTRESS: Why am I wearing short shorts in the jungle?

KEVIN HART, ACTOR: I don't have the top two feet of my body.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a second. Where's my phone? CUOMO: Can you smell it? The Rock is cooking.

All right, here to discuss all the must-see movies for the holidays, CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. And, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT" host and CNN contributor, Nischelle Turner.

Oh, what a gift it is --


CUOMO: -- to have you two here --

TURNER: Merry Christmas.

CUOMO: -- with me -- the best. Merry Christmas to you, my friend.

All right, so let's start with "JUMANJI." We just played the clip.

Nischelle, what do get? You got the thumb up, thumb down?

TURNER: I am going to shock some people when I tell them this but for me, two thumbs way up.

CUOMO: All right, that's what I like. I like it.

TURNER: You're going to laugh your behind off when you go to this movie. I was surprised. I thought I would like it because I like everybody in, but I laughed so hard.

And Jack Black is next-level funny in this movie. I mean, there's one scene in this movie that I describe as comedy gold. It's perfect. He is brilliant in it and I found out it was a completely improvised scene which makes it all the better.

[07:55:13] So, yes --


TURNER: -- go see this movie and take the family.

STELTER: But to imagine "JUMANJI" without Robin Williams, I'm sorry --

TURNER: I know.

CUOMO: Rest in peace.

STELTER: -- it's a little tough.

TURNER: But here's what they do, Brian. They give a nod to Robin throughout the movie --

CUOMO: Yes. TURNER: -- and there's all these little gems and all these little points where they pay homage to him. And it does make you feel really good.

And I hear you. That's why I was a little skeptical going on in. But they do do a different type of movie and it's just funny.

CUOMO: All right, good. And look, that just checks the box for me. That's why I personally go to the movies.


CUOMO: You know, if I'm watching a documentary or something like that, that's a different set of interest.

STELTER: You watch it at home.

TURNER: Me, too.

CUOMO: When I come out, I want to -- I want to be feeling good because there's plenty --


CUOMO: -- of reason to feel otherwise these days.

All right. So, Nischelle, that said --


CUOMO: -- your favorite movie that's out for the holiday season.

TURNER: OK. Well, my favorite movie so far this year, and I'm not saying it just because I am a journalist but it does hit me where I live, is "THE POST."

It's a great movie. I think it was masterfully done. I mean, when you have Spielberg, Hanks, and Streep you can't really go wrong.

But I thought Meryl Streep, who is not an overrated actress -- I thought she gave a brilliant performance as Kay Graham. It was very understated but it was so important.

And the images in the movie just blew me away. I think -- Brian, I think you and I saw it at the same time, didn't we?

STELTER: We did. We were at that same screening.


STELTER: I think what I want viewers to know is it's not just for journalists, right?

TURNER: You're right.

STELTER: Journalists are going to love this movie because it's about "The Washington Post." You feel like you're back in the seventies.

But I actually think -- I actually already told my wife we're going to have to see it again together because I think a lot of families are going to be compelled by this story, as it is a story about a family at the center.

Yes, it's about -- you know, this journalism issue in the Vietnam War. It's also about the Graham family at its heart.

CUOMO: All right. So, Brian --

TURNER: Yes, and it's also -- go ahead, I'm sorry.

CUOMO: Go ahead -- go on, Nischelle. I can't get ahead of you.

TURNER: Well, it's also -- it's also about, you know, our issue that we're still talking about in 2017 with gender inequality and what women face in the workplace.


TURNER: And some of the images that aren't even spoken in the film -- but some of the images still stick with me. I mean, I think it's an important film and it's just so masterful.

CUOMO: And then --

STELTER: It's my favorite so far but I have to admit I haven't seen all the "ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD" yet. I have a feeling that when is see that -- this is the Ridley Scott film --

TURNER: You're going to love it. You're going to love it.

STELTER: -- that that could actually top "THE POST," so I don't know yet.

TURNER: You're going to love it.

CUOMO: So you're --

TURNER: You're going to love it.

CUOMO: So Brian, you're open to maybe having another favorite?

STELTER: I am, I am. The movie "TRANSPARENT" is I have a 7-month-old at home. I haven't seen a couple of them.

I haven't seen "ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD" yet. That's number one on my list right now for the next week.

CUOMO: All right. So if people aren't going to see "THE POST," what should they see, Nischelle?

TURNER: Well, it depends on what you want to do. If you want to take your family --


TURNER: -- and you're not going to take them to "JUMANJI," take them to see "FERDINAND." It is such a sweet -- it's an animated film. John Cena plays Ferdinand, who's this like clumsy, crazy, bull.

But it's really endearing, it's very sweet, and it's very, very funny. So I would take my family to see that.

If you want to stay home and Netflix and chill, see "MUDBOUND" because it's on Netflix and it's a great movie, one of my favorites of the year.

But if you want to have a date night out, if you're not going to go see "THE POST" go see "I, TONYA." Go see "LADY BIRD." I think both of those were really, really great.

STELTER: And we haven't even mentioned "THE LAST JEDI" yet. I know a lot of people --

TURNER: Oh, come on, Brian, no.

STELTER: -- have already seen it but this is going to fill up theaters for several more weeks, at least. And I think it's really remarkable. It's not just a kid's movie, you know.

I was talking to my nephews who, of course, loved seeing it the day it came out, but it's got a big audience among adults as well. It is really, truly a family film in terms of appealing to the four different quadrants.


CUOMO: And there's another one coming out, right?

STELTER: We've got one in May and then not until December 2019, I believe.

TURNER: Right.


CUOMO: Oh, but another one's coming up --


CUOMO: -- in May.


CUOMO: I mean, that's a pretty quick turnaround for that series.


CUOMO: Do you think this --

STELTER: Disney's getting every dollar they can out of it, yes. TURNER: They sure are.

CUOMO: Do you think it stands up, by the way, in terms of the legacy of the whole series, Brian, Nischelle? Brian, start with you.

STELTER: I have been impressed. I mean, listen, this is a rejuvenation of the franchise. I was not someone who was a "STAR WARS" junkie growing up but I find that I'm able to kind of now enter the "STAR WARS" universe.

And now that I've seen, you know, seven and eight, I'm learning about more --

CUOMO: Gotcha.

STELTER: -- from the earlier films.

CUOMO: Same way, Nichelle?

TURNER: Yes, same thing here. I wasn't the biggest "STAR WARS" fan growing up but I think this new reincarnation of the cast and a new generation I think has reinvigorated a lot of people, myself included.

And I love how they put this mish-mash of blended diverse folks in the franchise now. So yes, I love it.

STELTER: And some of these, you know -- it's a two and a half hour long movie but it doesn't feel like a two and a half hour long movie.

TURNER: Exactly.

STELTER: And I appreciate that sometimes when I realize oh, it's -- the whole night's gone by and I didn't even notice it.


CUOMO: All right. The best to the two of you. I'm the only one in this segment old enough to remember the first "STAR WARS" movie so you guys can go back and watch it now and feel like I did back in the day.

TURNER: That's hilarious.

CUOMO: All right. The best to you for the new year --

TURNER: Thank you.

CUOMO: -- and I hope you're enjoying this day as well. Thanks for being with me on it.

TURNER: Merry Christmas, my friend.

CUOMO: So, we've got a lot to discuss this Christmas morning. What do you say? Let's get after it.