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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  January 23, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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call now. tonight, the big chill. extreme weather. a country locked in a deep freeze. what's really going on here? hillary clinton's frosty reception on the hill. >> was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> and the nra fires back at president obama on guns. >> there's only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners. to either tax them or take them. >> the country king with some surprising views on guns. >> i know how newtown happened. i'm still really, really wrecked
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over why. and talk about upset. serena williams' temper tantrum on the court. tonight a big conversation with movers and shakers from washington to the heartland. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. and first of all, apologies for my ridiculous voice. my critics of course would be thrilled that i have nearly been silenced. although i'm still squiggling on. on the positive note, i've always wanted to sound like barry white. so i'll try to get through this as best i can. inauguration seems like such a long time ago. in the blue skies of celebration america coming together it couldn't last and it didn't last. tonight the country is at odds over everything from guns to the weather to hillary clinton. when it comes to the battle over benghazi, she gave as good as she got. it was an extraordinary moment. listen to this. >> the fact is we had four dead americans. i understand. >> was it because of a protest
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or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. >> an emotional hillary clinton today. my next guest has been calling for secretary clinton's testimony for months. i want to know if she's satisfied with what she heard. senator kelly ayotte is a member of the senate. i want to know if she's satisfied by what she heard. senator, you listened to hillary clinton. what was your verdict? >> what i thought is still so many questions that went unanswered and frankly some unsatisfactory answers. i think that i appreciate secretary clinton's service to our country and i think that many senators thanked her. but i think tonight the issue really is this. what she said was that she was clear-eyed about the dangers and threats in eastern libya but then she said that i didn't see any of the security requests which were multiple coming from the consulate. i think those two statements are
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inconsistent. and moreover, if you're clear-eyed about the dangers and threats coming from eastern libya, then why weren't you asking the questions about do we need more security? she also said she was aware about the prior attacks on the consulate as well as the attack on the british ambassador. of course the british left, so why -- if you knew about that, why weren't you asking should we leave or should we further secure our consulate? so there were a number of issues that i was concerned about. in addition, she said that she was in continuous contact with the libyan government, that they had a willingness to protect our people but not a capacity. if you knew there was no capacity, piers, i saw that video from that night. and i have to tell you, the libyans that we had charged, we outsourced our security to, they ran as soon as they saw those attackers come to the consulate gate. and so we knew they didn't have that capacity. i think as the person who is in charge, the accountability review board found that there
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were systemic failures of leadership, that this is a very important issue. >> but look, i've been listening to the republicans getting on their high horse about this for a long time. i thought a lot of today's criticism was political grandstanding in many ways. because if you go back to the catastrophic intelligence failures before 9/11 or in the build-up to the iraq war, in my view far more serious than this, and that's not to democrat initiate the deaths of four americans, but those led to the deaths of many, many, many more americans. you know, you've got to say get this in some perspective. hillary clinton to me seemed today to be sincere. i don't think anyone can expect the secretary of state to read every cable that comes in. and unless what you're telling me is that you believe she definitively lied and deliberately misled the american people. where do we go with this? >> piers, first of all, that's not what i'm saying. what i'm saying is this. i don't expect her to have read every single document that comes before her. but when she said that she was
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clear-eyed about the dangers and threats in benghazi and eastern libya, i guess the real question is when we address what happened here and going forward, we also better address, you know, how are things communicated up the chain of command and why when you know you're clear-eyed about the danger do you not ask more pointedly have there been additional requests. so i understand -- >> right, right. >> in fairness, that's the point i'm making. >> right. i understand that. and i understand clearly big mistakes were made here. there's no question of that. but i also thought that hillary clinton made a good point which is look, the more important thing now is there are 20 more embassies under direct threat apparently at the moment. the more important thing is guaranteeing that lessons are learned and that these embassies are protected and there's no more loss of life. and i'm sure you would agree with that, right? >> i fully agree that the whole goal of this is to make sure we get to the bottom of it so that it doesn't happen again and also so that we make sure -- i mean, one of the things of course we learned as well is we had
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someone in custody in tunisia. that person has been released. and we want to hold those accountable for -- who committed these horrible murders on our people. >> senator, thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> i now want to bring in two people who are surely at odds in all this. p.j. crowley former assistant secretary of state for secretary clinton and dana loesch kee, host of the dana show. let me start with you. p.j. crowley. i'm getting a little weary, with the relentless attacks first on susan rice and then on hillary clinton. there's a whisper of misogyny to it i think, and it's getting pretty, i think, incestuous and very washington-orientated rather than in the national interests of america. what do you think? >> well, i think there are legitimate questions that still need to be answered. and as hillary clinton said today, the fbi is still working on the investigation. director mueller was in both libya and tunisia recently. i get disappointed when people give half of the story.
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the senator just said, you know, while this guy's been released. but as hillary clinton said today, yes, but he's under constant surveillance within tunisia, they're following the rule of law, and as more evidence becomes available they're fully prepared to act on him again. so i think, you know, as hillary clinton said dramatically, our focus here now is to bring these guys to justice but also to understand benghazi in the context of what's happened in mali recently, what's happened in algeria over the past few days, to understand the evolving throat from al qaeda in the maghreb and to deal appropriately with that. >> dana loesch, there were calls from some people, rand paul and others, that hillary clinton would have been fired over what happened. do you agree with that? >> i do agree with that. i think senator paul was correct in his claims today and how he addressed secretary of state clinton. there were a lot of -- there were a lot of missteps here. we do know -- you had said that there was a whisper of misogyny
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in questioning ambassador -- or susan rice and then secretary of state clinton. i don't think asking questions as to who gave the orders to stand down or asking why talking points were changed -- i mean, we absolutely know for sure that the u.s. intelligence report came out and said that the extremists who led the attack on this consulate at benghazi, they had al qaeda ties. why was that removed? who removed it? who was in charge of manipulating these talking points? i mean, these are questions that i wish would have been asked today. >> okay. >> but that's not misogynistic. >> okay. that's fine. if you're going to take the argument that anyone guilty of misreading intelligence, misimparting intelligence and so on should actually be fired, where would that leave someone like condoleezza rice, who was a fine public servant in many ways but clearly made big mistakes in the build-up to the iraq war, for example, as did many other members of the bush administration? where do you take that line of political argument? should everybody just be fired every time any intelligence turns out to be not quite right? >> so we're going -- i don't
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think it's quite analogous to compare what happened during the bush administration with what's happening right now. >> well, why not? >> we can't use blanket standard of measures. >> why not? >> because this is the dick durbin argument from earlier today. this is what we heard from dick durbin earlier, when he was questioning secretary of state clinton. >> what's the difference? >> weapons of mass destruction and all that. >> what's the difference? >> the bottom line is there were mistakes made. >> dana, hang on. >> there are questions that need to be asked. >> you're not suggesting this as serious as, for example, going to war over a completely false pretext of weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to exist. i mean -- >> oh, goodness, piers, are we going to relitigate this right now? really? >> well, is it? >> really? how do you explain how millions of citizens in iraq and millions of kurds in fact were gassed if that was not a weapon of mass destruction? we can relitigate this six ways to sunday. but the bottom line -- >> we're not relitigating it. it turned out that american and british -- >> we don't know who manipulated these talking points. >> american and british forces
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went to war on false pretext from both those governments. >> are we going to talk about the bush years or are we going to talk about benghazi? >> i'm talking about -- >> do you not think, piers, it's legitimate to ask who manipulated these talking points? >> yes, i do. i think there are many legitimate questions. >> why aren't we talking about? >> i think there are many legitimate questions. >> let's talk about those. >> i think it has to be proportionate and i think the republicans have to remember they themselves made some pretty catastrophic errors when it came to intelligence. and i don't remember people queueing up demanding they get fired or anyone losing their jobs over it. p.j. crowley. >> so you're starting to -- this was deliberate and misleading. >> i'm asking p.j. crowley this. do you believe that at any stage either susan rice or hillary clinton has deliberately lied or deliberately misled the american people? >> i think it's a serious charge. i think it's a false charge. i mean, look, four americans died in benghazi. we do need to understand what happened there. but i think it's important to put this in context. after 9/11 we declared war on al
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qaeda and that conflict is still going on. i think you have to put what happened in benghazi, what's happening in mali, what's happening in algeria in the context of the broader struggle that we have that started in afghanistan, spread to iraq, and is in yemen, pakistan, other places. we tend to understand that when soldiers go to war soldiers die in the service of our country and we're ever so grateful that they do that. but once the conflict ends, we're left with fragile states with challenging situations and poor, weak governments. and that's the construct that chris stevens willily walked into because he understood that as we see a libya or an egypt or a a tunisia or a yemen move forward the united states has to be there. and while there were mistakes made, there were underestimations the of the threat posed to that temporary diplomatic facility, at the same
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time we can never reduce the risk to zero. >> right. >> i think we should respect the fact that chris stevens understood the situation in benghazi better than anyone else and he was the one who ultimately decided to be there and we should be grateful for his service and his sacrifice. >> the biggest mistake was putting susan rice on that sunday morning on television with what turned out to be wrong intelligence when they didn't need to go that fast. and actually, that's probably as much the media's fault for demanding that they do that kind of thing. so i think everyone's a little bit culpable here. let's take a break. let's come back, p.j. and dana. stay there. we'll talk about two more hot-button topics, guns in america and women on the front line. aspirin, really?
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sign up for your free trial today at our journey is not complete until all our children from the streets of detroit to the hills of appalachia to the quiet lanes of newtown know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. >> president obama raised the issue of guns in america in his inauguration speech. dana loesch and p.j. crowley, back to tell me what they think about that. dana, when we spoke last about
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guns it got fiery as it has done throughout this debate. the thing i was disappointed in you about was not the specifics actually of any of the individual proposals but the fact that you just blanket said you wouldn't endorse anything he said about any type of gun control. now you've had time to think about that. was there nothing that the president came out with any of the 23 executive orders or other proposals that you could at least consider? >> well, one of the interesting things about this, piers, is you asked me if i liked any of these. and let me tell you something. several of these 23 executive actions that the president had actually proposed are actions that democrats have actively ridiculed for four years, >> why would you not like background checks? >> including nra as well. >> why would you not like background checks? >> well, why would you commit a straw man? who said i didn't like background checks? >> hang on. >> do you realize the system is incredibly overburdened as well. >> hold on. i asked you last time is there anything in this that you liked. you just said that. and then you said there was
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nothing. now you said you may like background checks. did you mislead me last time? >> no, wait a minute. wait a minute. let me tell you what i think instead of you putting words into my mouth. >> you're saying it. not me. >> these executive actions that the president listed, these 23 actions, aren't actually going to do anything to curb violence. and the thing that struck me as being most ironic -- >> that's palpable nonsense. >> no. it's actually not, piers. and i would love for you to prove how that is -- >> you don't think having background checks on gun sales in america where currently 40% -- >> i didn't say anything about background checks. i didn't say anything about background checks. you're the one that keeps bringing up background checks. do you realize background checks wouldn't have done anything for sandy hook. do you realize background checks wouldn't have done anything for virginia tech. they didn't do anything for jared lee loughner. and it's not because the law failed. it's because people who are supposed to follow the law failed. and piers, i put this question to you again. what good are laws if people don't follow them? >> right. so you still maintain that we
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just have to put more and more guns out there and america will be safer. >> i don't maintain anything. you can put words into my mouth all you want to. >> do you believe that? >> piers, let me tell you something. >> do you believe more guns would lead to less gun crime? >> let me -- let me answer you. i am never, ever going to do anything that is going to somehow limit someone's ability to protect themselves. and speaking as someone who's actually had to deal with this, let me tell you something, piers, i've been in this situation, where i've had to protect myself. i have two children. i've had my life threatened. i've had my children's lives threatened. and i went to the police. >> you told this story last time. >> i went to security. no, i didn't. you know what they told me? they said the best thing you can do is to get a firearm and to get a concealed carry license. that's what law enforcement told me. i don't want to remove that right from anyone else. >> that's not what we're debating. p.j., here's the interesting thing about this debate. it always gets reframed very quickly by the gun rights lobby as an attack on the second amendment, on the constitution.
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no one will tolerate any kind of talk that removes any guns whatsoever. and last time i spoke to dana we were talking about the ar-15, military-style assault rifle, as i call it. here's a clip of what this weapon actually does. we found one that cnn authorized, a semi-automatic ar-15. it firing 15 bullets in six seconds. watch this. now, you can modify them to fire up to 100 in one minute, and my point that i keep putting to everyone that doesn't want any sort of control on guns is what would a civilian need a weapon like that for? now, p.j., have you heard any convincing argument as to why that kind of weapon should remain in civilian hands? >> well, no. however, i would suggest we have to turn the issue around.
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if guns is an impossible frame with which to make political progress, let's change that frame slightly. obviously, you go back to newtown, you had very significant weapons, military-style weapons in the hands of an angry young man who had obviously some kind of mental disorder. we have to make a commitment that the answer can't be we can't do anything, but then we have to come together and have a sensible conversation, not unlike the country had in the aftermath of 9/11 through an inspired bipartisan commission of some kind that says okay, what can we do that makes sense? and if we can get to a point where we can make sure that some guns are prevented from getting in the hands of angry young men with mental disorders, that in fact will be progress and that could potentially prevent something like what happened in newtown or in columbine or in the movie theater in aurora. so the real issue is what can we do, and we need to have sensible
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people come together and be able to have a conversation rather than just saying no, no, no, you know, nothing will change. >> just turning to the women in combat debate today. obviously, leon panetta ending the exclusion order against women operating in combat in the american military. what did you make of that, p.j.? >> well, as you look at war, you know, there's no difference anymore in the current way that wars are fought between the front lines and the rear guard. you know, women have been in combat. they were in combat in iraq because the combat -- the battlefield had changed so dramatically. so i think this is a ratification of the way that the modern military goes to war. we should never put anyone in harm's way who is not able to cope with those difficult and challenging circumstances. by the same token we've had circumstances where women have been in combat but then in the aftermath are not given the same recognition or have the same potential for advancement because what they did was not
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called combat. so i think this removes a false barrier and just says that for the modern military whoever can do these kinds of jobs and wants to step forward, thank you for your service and go ahead. >> i agree. but dana, you've been pretty vocal on twitter today about this. here's my surprise. you want to be armed to the teeth as a civilian marching around with your ar-15s but you don't want to see female soldiers in the line of combat. there's a contradiction there. isn't there? why would they not be able to be as effective as many men in combat? >> well, i would say the contradiction also exists with you, though. you are fine with women defending their families on the front line but apparently not at home either. >> no, but hang on. you can't -- >> this is how i look at it. >> dana, dana, dana, you can't keep repeating a lie. i have never, ever -- >> it's not a lie. i just pointed out a fact. >> dana, i have never, ever, ever said -- >> when you stop using military-style assault weapons to describe semi-automatic varmint shooters then i'll
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change my tone on that. >> they were the words of general stanley mcchrystal and general colin powell. i'll take their word over yours with the greatest of respect. >> that's fine. let me just correct one thing before you answer. i have never, ever said that an american cannot have a firearm at home to defend themselves and their family. and i don't believe that they shouldn't be able to. >> you seem to be against semi-automatics. >> i'm very much against the military-style rifles for reasons i've always outlined. but tell me -- >> i don't know what a military-style rifle is. military style again to me selective fire fully automatic. but back to the question that you asked me. this is how i kind of look at it. i'm a little bit -- full confession. i'm a little ambivalent about all of this. and here's why. so long as this decision is being made with the goal of strengthening the military and not based on any sort of politically correct motivations, and that's what i'm kind of wondering with this. and i know that the order that pa netta gave too is a little unclear. the "wall street journal" actually just came out with a story earlier this evening saying that women may not actually be able to be part of
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infantry but yet we know women already serve in combat operations as mr. crowley said. we've had women killed in action in iraq. so as i said, i think there are some women who definitely are capable of doing this. and believe me, i have some of those amazing women in my family. and i've known some -- i mean, i've known some women who are brawlers and they can hold their own. they have the emotional fortitude, the physical fortitude. and i know some men who can't. but it seems to me a little bit to be more the exception rather than the rule. so long as we're doing this with the goal of strengthening the military and i'm always going to deflect to the military leaders who deal with this every day to make these decisions. >> got to leave it there. i think as always you should let the generals and the commanders on the ground make the final sedation. but i think it's another step forward for equality. and that is what the president said inauguration day. he wants general equality in all areas of this country and i applaud that. thank you both for joining me. i'm sure we'll discuss this again soon. when we come back, another topic that's dividing america today, extreme weather. what on earth is going on as the whole country is engulfed in snow, ice, and traffic hell.
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what happens. here we go. >> that's not a magic trick. it's this nasty winter season. hot water tossed into the air turning instantly into snow. quite extraordinary. a frozen banana doubled up as a hammer here. and this is what happens when a wet t-shirt hits the frigid air. >> makes a little sound like a
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drum. that's how cold it is. >> remarkable pictures all part of a deep freeze blanketing much of america right now. in some parts temperatures plunged to 50 below. but is this extreme weather manmade? joining me is wabc tv chief meteorologist lee goldberg. lee, you're in times square in new york. very, very chilly tonight. but tell me this. in all your time as a meteorologist have you a sense now that we are going through a genuine climactic change in the weather? >> well, you can't attribute one particular event like this to climate change. there's no way to deny that things have been supercharged. obviously, floods, hurricane sandy, droughts, extreme chill. whether it's a cyclical thing where we're going to turn this around in 10 or 20 years or we're on a one-way path yet to be seen. >> we've seen very extreme heat this summer, pretty extreme cold going on now. we've seen hurricanes sweeping through new york, which i experienced. and it was pretty dramatic when
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it happened. it caused a lot of damage. the critics against this say, well, look, this has gone on for centuries and millenniums. there's always been freakish periods of weather and it's no different now. what do you say to that? >> i don't think there's any question i think you're better off looking -- >> i think lee goldberg may have frozen there. it was so cold i think he's literally iced up. so you can't hear him. you can barely hear me. this is all going swimmingly tonight. we got lee back. lee, you're back. we thought you had frozen to death. no. you are frozen to death. so unfortunately, we've lost lee goldberg. sorry about that. but anyway, president obama is making the fight against extreme weather part of his second-term agenda. he believes that science proves it has a human cause. we've been asking martin morano editor in chief of and michael bruin, he's the executive director of the sierra club. welcome to you both.
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mark, i'll start with you. when i last spoke to you about this we had a pretty fiery debate about it and you why implacably opposed to any suggestion that there's any real science to confirm global warming or genuine climate change. rather than me getting involved with this i'm going to rest my weary voice box and let michael tell you why there is science. michael, over to you. >> sure. well, you know, actually, i don't want to waste any time on this. the science is settled. we noticed that last year we had record numbers of wildfires. throughout the intermountain west, as you cited. 61% of the country suffered a crippling drought. we had superstorm sandy with a 1,000-mile diameter storm hitting the east coast. flooded my parents' house, caused billions of dollars worth of damage. the reality is that extreme weather is here. our climate has begun to be destabilized. the good news is that we can do something about it. we have solutions to the cause of climate change, and those solutions will both help keep
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our families safe and help our economy grow at the same time. >> okay. mark, there you have it. what do you say to that? >> i say you look at the peer-reviewed literature. we now know a study in journal of nature show 60 years no trend in droughts and there was a decline in the u.s. except for the most recent one in 2012 which wasn't even as big as the one in the 1950s or 1930s. in terms of floods, 80 to 117 years, no trend in floods. big tornadoes are down dramatically since the 1950s. f-3 or larger. hurricanes, eight years now with the longest period without a major landfalling category 3 or larger hurricane since -- and that eight years i think is since 1900 we've gone that long. if you start look at all these measures -- >> mark, answer me this, though. answer me this point. you wouldn't dispute there's been an increased acceleration in c02, right? >> no, c o2 is rising. global temperature has now stalled for 15 or 16 years. and that's -- that is now james
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hanson of nasa has admitted at least a decade of no warming or as he said flatlining temperatures. this is an embarrassment right now. so the whole movement has shifted to extreme storms. and that's what they're trying to focus on now. here evidence is everywhere when you look for extremes. but the bottom line is we've always had extreme weather. in the 1970s, the cia report and "newsweek" and all the people worried about a coming ice age blamed extreme weather. droughts and bad weather and crop failure on global cooling. now they've reversed and they're blaming the same phenomenon on global warming. it's too convenient. >> michael, over to you. >> yeah, piers, look, i haven't met mark. i'm sure he's a nice guy. he's not a climate scientist. he runs a website that's financed by chevron and exxon. >> absolutely not true. >> it is true. i wish we had the money the environmentalists have. we don't have anything near the money the big green environmentalists have. >> why don't i make my point. the peer-reviewed science is in. climate scientists around the world agree in overwhelming numbers that climate change is real.
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it's here. it's happening. and extreme weather is the new normal. what is also true is that the united states has begun to fight this. our c02 levels have now reached new lows. as we get off dirty fuels, as we reject dirty pipelines from the tar sands, for example, or as we replace dirty coal plants with clean energy, we create more jobs, we support the local tax base, we grow the economy, we clean up our air, we clean up our water, and we stabilize our climate. the only folks who are against that are the oil companies, gas companies, and coal companies that routinely fund the climate skeptics and the climate deniers that you have on your show here tonight. >> okay, chaps. i've got to leave it there sadly. i'm sure the debate will run. my view remains why take the risk. i want my kids and their kids to live in a healthy planet. and if there's -- >> and c o2 is nothing to be -- >> if you have the stuff to do it now you might as well do it.
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>> pure fear mongering. >> chaps, thank you. i have breaking news. lee goldberg is alive. he has not perished in the freezing cold. you're at columbus circle. you're downstairs. so lee, what is the forecast for the next few days? >> just like i just thawed out, so will the midwest into the northeast. we've got another rough few days coming. the last 36 hours wind chills haven't gone above 5 or 6 degrees in new york city. international falls tomorrow morning their record is 40 below. they may actually crack that. but we'll climb out of this after the weekend. about another four rough days to go, and then we'll be above freezing here early next week. >> and i hear you're wearing a battery pack heated jacket. >> i've got two battery packs in here. we've got it on the warmest setting. and i'm radiating. people should be surrounding me shortly. >> i also noticed since we last spoke to you your fingers have been covered up. did abc find a few more dollars to finish off the gloves? >> i knitted them myself while we were away. but they're really special. >> oh, they're still -- okay. lee, it's been a pleasure talking to you. i'm glad you're alive. thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up next, country star
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dwight yoakum talking about guns in america. you'll be surprised what he said. a passionate serena williams. it may have gotten the better of her. but you know what? i liked it.
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♪ selling 25 million records, dwight yoakam is much more than a country superstar. he's a talented actor with a lot to say about matters in america. his last album is "three pairs."
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you're a singer. you must have had sore throats over the years. as you can tell, things are deteriorating. is there any advice you can give me? >> don't ever take a flu shot again. i watched that night with dr. oz. in deference to dr. oz, i think he's -- he seems like a completely competent doctor. but -- and i don't understand any of the kind of biological aspects of the meds that -- >> we're doing the math. we both saw him put that thing in my arm, and within ten days i've been struck down. >> i just -- you know what? i don't want to tell anybody out there. i'm not a medical adviser. get your vaccines if you're -- i don't believe in them. i'm suspicious by nature. i saw you get it. and here we are. >> we'll try and plow on with the interview notwithstanding the fact that i can't speak. interesting. you want to talk to me about guns. you have been following this debate and following the shows we've done. you're a man from kentucky. and you're a big country star. >> originally, yeah. >> and you're a big country star. a lot of your fans, a lot of
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people that you grew up around would have had guns as an automatic thing in their lives. what is your view about the debate? >> look, guns are very serious, you know, instruments of survival and defense. but they're weapons. they're dangerous weapons. and you've got to be very cautious with them, around them, about them. yeah, i own guns. i'm not a member of the nra. i -- look, the newtown tragedy was an anomalous horror. i know how newtown happened. i'm still really, really wrecked over why. >> but when you say it's an anomaly, it wasn't really in the
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sense that the last four or five mass shootings in america in the last 18 months involved a similar pattern of unstable, young white men -- >> i just meant in the scope of history. in the century, the 50 years, the 40 years. >> the point i'm making is there's been an escalation in this particular type of deranged, young, white men in their early 20s getting access to assault rifles in the main and committing mass murder. that's become not the norm but certainly the last five mass shootings you've seen that particular type of weapon used. and i keep asking people, and maybe you can give me a more sensible answer -- >> virginia tech i don't remember. i thought he had handguns there. >> i'm talking in the last year. >> oh, last year. >> there were seven mass shootings in america last year. from aurora, the guy used an ar-15. to sandy hook an ar-15. the oregon mall an ar-15. the new york firemen lured to their deaths with an ar-15. and i keep asking -- >> congressman giffords was handguns. >> right. and the handguns issue is equally important. but to me i just don't understand why anybody needs an ar-15 style, military-style weapon.
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can you give me an answer? >> i don't know if i'll give you an answer that will satisfy your sense of, you know, of sane logic. i think it's born out of the dna that is the foundation of, you know, those colonies that broke free and that were having troops marshaled in their homes. were having the cap and balls stopped from being imported because it wasn't about hunting. it was about being able to defend yourself against tyranny. i don't know that i want the government -- i don't trust the government. do you know what i mean? i'm cynical. i'm a kid of the '60s. >> i understand -- listen, i've tried to immerse myself into all the arguments without taking a sort of lofty, patronizing view of it. i know that many americans share that view. i don't fully understand why
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there's sort of a fear of tyranny given no overseas tyranny could possibly compete with the american military. >> i think we're worried about tyranny withfrom within. >> you are left with domestic tyranny. if your own government becomes tyrannical they've got 5,000 nuclear warheads. how do you possibly defend yourselves? >> well, you know -- yes. >> nor can i obviously by the way, as many u.s. marines have tweeted me, say, nor can i ever see a situation where the american armed forces would go against their own people. >> well, that's sort of egypt, i guess, when you watched the egyptian military ultimately turn that revolution by saying no, we're not going to gun down egyptians in the street. you hope that's the case. i'm just saying in an esoteric kind of way that that's a different interpretation of that second amendment. >> how much do you think lyrics perhaps in music that allude to guns -- you've written a song
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called "buenas noches" includes the line "i placed a gun to her head because she wore red dresses and now she's dead." >> not because of the dress. look, he had good reason. that guy -- >> to murder his wife with a gun. >> to commit murder. i'm not going norv into robert blake on you. >> right. when you take those lyrics or you take, say, this clip of you from the movie "the panic room" -- >> that's not fair. ♪ [ screaming ] >> i mean, that's -- that's an unfortunate clip. because you know, raul, that character, was really not all that bad. at that point he was pushed. >> right. here's my question. >> you know what i think? >> do you think that any lyrics -- obviously, some rap stars' lyrics are far more
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violent. i'm on picking that because that happened to be one of yours. but do you believe that any musician or movie star or movie maker or music producer, do they have any responsibility in terms of the rhetoric about guns or the portrayal of them in movies? >> in case of "buenas noches from a lonely room," that literally is an extension of the tradition of -- there was an old bluegrass song called "knoxville girl" where for no reason -- it's actually -- it goes back to irish, scottish, welsh folk songs. there was a great tradition of murder and mayhem in some of those. and it was handed down into appalachian culture here and bluegrass music. it's mountain music. that's poetic license. there was no real person. that wasn't a chronicling of -- >> i'm not going to hold you responsible for gun violence in america. >> i won't yell what robert yelled that night. are you out of your -- >> let's turn to more peaceful matters. it's a peaceful cover. >> it's a very peaceful cover.
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>> three pairs for your new album. very clean. very simple. these aren't unexploded grenades, right? >> as far as i know, it's a completely nonviolent piece of product there. although i will let you know that the title was a misprint and they are correcting it. >> to three piers? >> three piers. yeah. >> good luck with the album. >> you played right into my hand. thank you a lot. >> great to see you. dwight yoakam. we'll be right back. ♪
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and your new life begins. call now. 911 emergency. this is at the green school? >> yes. shots were fired by room 42 on campus. >> do you know where the person with the gun is? >> no. >> who's the victim? is there a victim? >> i'm on the phone with dispatch. larry? >> the chilling 911 call from the 2008 death of 15-year-old lawrence king, killed in his middle school by a classmate the victim had asked to be his valentine. the tragedy of the trial that followed another subject of a new film. joining me tonight producer eddie schmidt and director marty cunningham. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> it's a very powerful movie. it's obviously even more powerful for knowing that it's a true story. it raises many issues. a young school boy murders another one in a classroom with
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a gun. the issue of gun safety at school is one. but secondly, the motivation for the murder prompted by what the gunman took to be a sexual advance, an offer on valentine's day by another young student that had shamed him in some way. what was the most striking to me from the movie is that you get this extraordinary series of interviews with jurors where they almost support the shooter because they understand that he was, to quote one of them, getting rid of a problem. tell me about that. >> well, thank you. it was an extraordinary circumstance to have jurors speak out on behalf of brandon. i don't remember ever seeing anything like that in a documentary before. and i think that the jurors were really taken with brandon. they felt very empathetic towards brandon. and they wanted to give him voice. >> yeah, i mean, i've seen many
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documentaries, but to actually see jurors go as far as to be blatantly supportive of a pretty cold-blooded, ruthless murderer in the end, notwithstanding his young age, i found very shocking. eddie, when you got that footage, what did you feel about it? >> well, i felt getting that footage was very revealing. i mean, i think in a documentary you're really trying to show, you know, all sides and show people's viewpoints as they would choose to express them. and i think we felt that that was an important part of the story. and of the case, clearly, because you saw the outcome, that it was a mistrial. they could not arrive at a decision. >> and eddie, the -- >> and that was the defense. i mean, the defense put that forth. and they believed the defense. >> yeah. quite extraordinary. and eddie, a bizarre twist i guess in this tale was that you lived in newtown.
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your sister attended sandy hook elementary school. how did you feel, having made this documeary, to then see what happened in sandy hook? what were your emotions then? >> well, i mean, clearly, i was incredibly shocked and saddened. for the -- my heart broke for the people of newtown. and it was very strange to have been working on this film for over three years. i was working on it for other three years. marta, over four. and suddenly see on the news a school shooting happening in my own home town. and i guess what it made me feel is that if i'm making a film about a school shooting in california and i'm personally connected to a school shooting that's happening across the country in connecticut, then school shootings are far too pervasive. this should not be happening. if it's so ubiquitous that i have two connections to those kinds of stories. >> and marta, what do you feel, having made the documentary, about the issue of guns in schools generally? many of the gun rights
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lobbyists think the answer to sandy hook is to arm teachers perhaps, to arm janitors, to have armed police or security guards everywhere. what do you think about that equation? more guns would lead to more safety at schools. >> well, i have to say first off that i'm a filmmaker. i'm not a lawmaker. so we made this film to give voice to the people who are involved with this shooting. and that was really all we wanted to do. >> well, it's a very powerful film. i hope you'll go and see it. it raises a lot of issues. >> thank you. >> and i congratulate you for raising those issues in such a dramatic way. thank you both for joining me. the hbo documentary "valentine road" is currently airing at the sundance film festival. and we'll be right back.
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