tv Geraldo at Large FOX News September 26, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EDT
live and at large in princeton, new jersey, i'm geraldo rivera. in that grand building behind me is the official residence of governor chris christy who among other battles this election season has thrust himself squarely into the center of the nation's raging debate of what ails public education and how to fix it. two big developments this week brought this long simmering issue to full boil. one was the relief that waiting for superman, a really powerful documentary which rips apart the current sad system in a gut rinking expo say of how vested
interests are styling innovation and improvement in our public education. the second catalyst, the second big development was the governor's joint appearance friday on oprah with facebook billionaire founder mark zuckerberg who used the occasion to announce an incredible $100 million donation to help fix one of the nation's worst public school systems, that of newark, new jersey's largest city whose mayor is playing a central role in this extraordinary effort. >> $100 million? >> before we hear from all three men, christy, booker and zuckerberg, and before kimberly talks live in our studio with the fill's producer, hi, kim kimberly hi. >> here is shannon bream with the big picture.
>> either the kids are getting stupider every year or something is wrong in the education system. >> shannon: the man behind the ex-ploy suv education documentary waiting for superman says it is the latter. david's movie about the u.s. public school system will hit theaters. it follows students and their families on their uphill battle to secure good education in a system gugenheim labels broken. d.c. public school chancellor michelle reid laided by some for her innovative ideas features prominently in the documentary and says it is time the country got a good look at what is really happening. >> if you look at what has happened in american public education over the last 20 years we gone from number one in a lot of different respects to absolutely at the bottom amongst developed nations. >> shannon: while charter
schools are portrayed positively, teachers unions are not but this is no attack from the right. guggenheim is the director and producer behind "an inconvenient truth." randy weingarten praises the attempt to get the country talking about education but is not happy about what she calls an inaccurate portrayial of teachers. >> most teachers do heroic work every single day and so we need to give the good teachers we have the tools and the conditions to support them. we need to support them rather than scapegoat them. >> he says he never expected any fill. making experience to surpass the support he got for an inconvenient truth but the ground swell around this project has been even greater. although he is a huge supporter by public schools he is so troubled by their current state
that he chose private schools for his own children. in washington, shannon bream, fox news. >> thank you very much, shannon. to governor christy who is hosting a research downs syndrome dinner tonight here. one of the biggest obstacles to reforming public education despite what the president of the union said is, indeed, the various teachers unions across the country. here is how the governor reacted to late word that the unions at least here in newark, new jersey o were going to figt any changes that erode their benefits. >> here we are this morning and you have heard a whole bunch of different people up here standing up here and different people speaking all talking on that panel we had, all talking about what is possible. what is achievable. what we can and should be doing. and then you have the teachers about's eveno union saying whas not going to happen. this is the problem. we are about, yes.
they are about no. we are about tomorrow. they are about yesterday. we are about the kids. they are about their pay checks. it is that simple. >> how do you respond to the unions who are saying the teachers' unions that this is all a plot to get them de-certified and this is part of your war against the unions? >> all i want is a good education for the kids in new jersey. if they are willing to be part of that, that is great. if not, they should get out of the way. >> that is kind of ominous declaration. do you want the unions de-certified. >> i want them to help fix a broken education system? >> how can they? >> there are so many ways, we don't have time. >> even the extraordinary $100 million gift from the facebook billionaire is not
without controversy. coming at the same time the movie a social network is being released portraying mr. zuckerberg in a negative light. i asked mark about the timing of the gift. >> how are you responding to the kind of story that this is a misdirection to get people deflected from the social network which portrays you in a very negative orel latively negative way that this is a grand and believe me i congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for this gift but this is a grand p.r. scheme to make yourself look good? >> you know -- >> and i apologize for the question even as i -- >> i think -- that's fine. that's fine. you know, this is an announcement and we made the announcement yesterday. we are talking to you guys today. but this is something that is going to play out over years and years and years. and, you know, the movie whether it is good or bad, i
don't know, i haven't seen it. but i think people will watch that and come to their own conclusions and that i think is completely separate from this which is going to change the lives of almost 45,000 students in newark and hopefully we can make newark into this model that is a symbol of national education excellence that is something that is going have a huge impact for decades to come. i mean people can say what they want today but and we are doing this because we think this is the most important problem to invest in and these are the best people to get it done. >> kimberly, it was an extraordinary gift. i have a certain personal interest in this. my mom went to south side high school in newark now called malcolm x shabazz high school. at the bottom or near the bottom on all the ratings lists of how schools in the state and the country are doing. so i have a bit of a personal interest. i want to watch this process unfold and you have the
filmmaker who really has started the nation talking about what has been a long neglected issue, public school education. kimberly, take it away kimberly thanks, geraldo. with me one of the producers of the critically acclaimed "waiting for superman." what was one of the biggest surprises you found when filming the documentary? >> a lot of the problems people were telling me were too big and too complex come down to common sense. and one of the biggest things that you think we would remember here in america is that teachers rewarding supporting and grooming teachers are one of the most important things we do and we have a cultural kind of prestige deficit in america and we don't truly value our teachers. if we are going to say our children are our future we need to put the most talented person in the classroom to teach them kimberly seems to make sense. the film has received a
tremendous amount of critical acclaim and praise but not without its detractors as well. some people feel you are placing the blame squarely in the lap of the unions and isolateing that as the problems. how do you respond? >> we made a commitment when we started the project we would call out all of the obstacles and all of the adults that were not putting kids' interests firsts. there is a lot of them in the movie and one is the teachers' unions insofar as to question some things like protecting bad teachers or maybe how you get tenure or the fact that really amazing teachers that are teaching students and doing amazing things are not getting rewarded. i think to question the things is healthy. it doesn't mean you are against unions. i have been in a union for a long time. i think they are in a central part of reform and we are starting to see it in isolated pockets kimberly why do you think there is a hesitation and resistance to shining light on
the unions and how they could improve. if what is at stake is the education of children in this country, why wouldn't everybody be for that? why wouldn't you say let's take a look and see exactly why our school education system is brokend and how we can make it better because we reached a crisis point in this country? >> we have reached a crisis point and now we have a lot of good examples of what works. some are charter schools and some being done in mainstream public schools. the unions are starting to listen. a lot of the great teachers that are union teachers want to work with other great teachers. i think there has been a lot of noise and there has been a lot of political dogma, what is working with the pragmatists that say i will do whatever it takes to make sure that these kids learn. that is what is working and we need to look at examples and try and replicate them. >> what did you think about
cristie's remarks. nevertheless disappointed so far with the outcomes produced. >> i think t is good to be tough. you have this unprecedented money being given right now. there is so much energy around the education debate and if you pledge to see your movie you get five toll larenta dollars o spend in a classroom. if you are mark zuckerberg and happen to be able to give $100 million to a city for incubation and new ideas that is a good thing. >> so why question the motive. the kids will benefit in the long run. >> i think all of us should be caring about education. even if you are out of school, who are going to be our doctors and lawyers in the future and you want to be amongst educated citizens. when we are 21st in science and 25th in math. that doesn't mean in the underserved communities. that means in all communities. middle class. as a country we are falling behind and that is important to
you wake up every morning and you know that kids getting a really crappy education right now. >> you think that kids are getting a crappy education right now? >> i don't think they are, i know they are. >> waiting for superman is in select theaters now. before we head back out to geraldo at the new jersey governor's mansion in princeton, take a look at what else is coming up tonight. we will give you the latest on the horrific connecticut home invasion murder trial and try to figure out how is lindsay lohan again free to walk the streets. and mr. colbert goes to
washington. all that and much more coming up. first, a look at geraldo's exclusive interview with new york mayor corey booker. >> i know you want to involve the community but i have been around long enough to have lived through oceanville and brownsville and when we decentralized public schools in new york city and it was a disaster. >> you are not suggesting that, are you? >> we don't want to see repeating the mistakes of the past that can't be done but we see candidates all the time if my political team during the time i'm running for reelection can knock on 40,000 doors, if what if we all joined forces and went out in the community and had a different kind of conversation. does it mean everyone will agree he? no. most americans and most newarkers agree on most issues. great teachers should get celebrated and rewarded. kids need more time on task. more learning time. there are a lot of generalities that are ingredients to high
performing schools that most newarkers will come to the same con cruises on and once we having conclusions are are we willing to hold ourselves accountable for making the realities manifest. and that means doing difficult things like saying we need to figure out a better way to pay and incentivize teachers around hold the failing ones accountable. very few people are going argue with the fact that we have the majority of our teachers are good but those at the bottom we protect and protect them too much. these are the kind of things if the community comes together and do a real engagement process people tend to take ownership over what is happening and you can build a lot of momentum towards the end you want to accomplish. we have thrown down the gauntlet. >> geraldo: do you share the governor's feeling it is the leadership of the teachers' union is a primary drag? >> my battles with the teachers' union here is long
and storied. probably one of the principal funder of the campaigns. one of the first people we reached out to when we went on the oprah show is randy weed ingarten. right and left, white and black, those are the visions we will not enable everyone to see. we need to find more common ground. there is more common ground. and when we see the common ground we can work on those issues and agree to fight on the 10% of the things we disagree on but let's join hands and work are on the 90% we do disagree on. we are often so busy moving left and right that we can't move forward. the voters have given me three years, nine months left and i want to show dramatic results and i can't do it, it has to be we, it has to be us to get it done. >> geraldo: you know, kimberly, one of the interesting things is that cory booker is one of
the state's most popular democrats. chris cristie, if these guys workull it off and work together and use that extraordinary $100 million gift to turn around one of the nation's worst public school systems if it can work in jersey, it can work any administer. >> kimberly: it could be a model for the rest of the country because it is not exclusive to the east coast, the west coast, the midwest, it is across the country. i like his urgency. he is a is great guy. i have met him personally. we need more politicians like that. >> geraldo: have one with the steven colbert bit and all of the rest of the program. i will be standing by if you need me. >> we got each other's back. up next, steven colbert on capitol hill. but is everyone laughing?
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a lot of people are giving jon stewart the love and he certainly doesn't hesitate to gloat about it. >> oprah winfrey tweeted i think jon stewart is on to something. would you consider going october 30, 21s 2010. in honor of the type of discourse that i think we need to propose, i would just like to say this. suck it, colbert! oprah mentioned my rally, not yours! >> whup dedo. oprah tweeted about you. just so happens that i got a tweet from gail. she even retreated it to the authorities. >> geraldo: so funny.
love them or hate them, jon stewart and stephen colbert are at the forefront of political debate. colbert testified about migrant farm workers. >> americans farms are for too die pendent on immigrant labor to pick fruits and veggables. the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. eventually americans may consider taking these ons again. or maybe that is crazy. maybe the easier answer is to have scientists develop vegetables that pick themselves kimberly guilfoylthemselves. >> kimberly: that is one solution. here to give us his take is steven crowder. what do you think about the testimony of colbert. there is a lot of controversy about it. >> we are talking about it. talking about it with you. i love geraldo but you are more fun to look at. everry time i'm here he is not
here. i think he bailed. >> kimberly: finds you frightening. >> the feeling is mutual. nancy pelosi, a lot of things you can say, she is old, she is mean, but not stupid. she understands the value in entertainers and using cultural icons for their cause and the truth is se stephen colbert and jon stewart and brad pitt, all of them combined can't amount to a fraction of their influence over the american people. is it sad? yes. does it suck? yes. but that is the truth. >> geraldo: immigration facing this country, very divisive, controversial. people are up in arms about it and a lot of people feel like this is a waste of the taxpayers' money that he is joking around and trying to promote himself and his show. >> is it appropriate? no, of course not. is it hilarious?
pretty much. and he did it very well. the truth is that their audience is generally the lowest common denominator. people who don't take an interest in the political process. 90% of americans couldn't name one of the people in front of whom he was giving the testimony but they all know stephen colbert. >> was that to get a little press adraw attention to themselves and everyone is up for reelection. things are hectic be on the hill. >> just like the p.diddy vote or die. then it turned to obama vote or die. that is the case, their goal is to get people not interested to by osmosis, people become liberally default from the american culture. that is why they use colbert and brad pitt, sean penn. we have been late to the party. shouldn't be that way.
awlaki. he could be hiding in yemen. i'm marianne rafferty. now, back to "geraldo at large." for the latest headlines go to fox news.com. >> kimberly: welcome back, everybody. hopefully geraldo had an invite to his dinner with new jersey governor chris christie. if he didn't i'm sure he got pointers from his next guests. >> geraldo: they have the dubious reputation of being the most scorned in d.c. a town filled with unpopular people. known as the infamous white
house party crashers. the star of real house wives of d.c. and her husband have yet to live down their unauthorized but perhaps explainable appearance at the white house state dinner last november. the facts and circumstances behind that for them life altering event are laid out in a new book by our friend diane diamond. the new book titled cirque de salahi. my wife is a big fan and she made me promise i would not be mean to you. >> erica, i love you. >> geraldo: she has a couple of questions that i have to ask and she mentioned this and it caught me by surprise because i'm not a big reality tv person but this happened in the last week or so. your kind of admission publicly that you have ms. >> geraldo: and when that was announced on the program some of the cast members have come
forward and say you don't have ms. >> it is something that i kept private. i didn't want pity and most of the employers i was afriday that they wouldn't want someone that wasn't well. my decision was not to share it and keep it personal. after the white house night it seems everybody started to drinking and try fog find area, is she drinking, is she drugs. oh, she is anorexic. i was never anorexic but i do have a serious illness. >> geraldo: you are 5'10" and what do you weigh? >> about 123. >> is that enough? >> for me it is. that is all i know. i have always been thin. >> geraldo: but you do not a an eating disorder. so for my wife, i can tell her you do not have an eating disorder. >> the salihiss are battling oh vickion from their home and
struggling to make ends meet. the vineyard is a weed weed choked plot of lane. phones were cut off and cell phones a luxury they couldn't afford. your business practices have left the couple vulnerable and uncertain as to whether they can ever financially recover. are you broke? >> that is true. we have spent a tremendous amount of money in defending ourselves when the lawsuits were going on around the vineyard, what i call the falcon crest saga if you remember the tv show. there was fighting among the family and my dad's health is bad and we were fighting about how to take care of them. >> geraldo: you are saying as you sit here today despite the glamourous image that you project you are flat broke. >> we truly are trying to make ends meet and that is even a challenge just to pay the mortgage and we don't have enough morn any to even pay healthcare. >> geraldo: will your home be foreclosed? >> we hope not. >> geraldo: when people say that they despice you, how do
you react when they use words that they wouldn't use for mahmoud ahmadinejad, the iranian president who was in town. >> it is painful. i don't think people should prejudge and i think you should get to know someone and maybe not always hear everything and listen and believe what you hear. >> geraldo: i'm convinced having read diane's book that your appearance at the white house that evening is at least defensible and explainable and i think that is why you have not been indicted for trespass. were you surprised that the white house made you seem as if you were terrorists, if not terrorists at least wannabe trespassers who got themselves side by side with the commander in chief of the ar armed forcef the united states, the president of the united states. it will tore you forever, mate. >> having a name like salahi was fuel to the fire and just run child by the bloggers and
internet and mostly by gossip columnists. >> geraldo: also the white house left you dangling. the secret service got blamed for your passing through lines that your name wasn't on and now you are tarred with this image of, you know, social climbing white house crasher. >> i don't look at it that way. i look at it that desire was already moving on. i live in washington so i know a lot of people there. she had done a great job in what she was supposed to do there. >> geraldo: the one thing that diane does cut you loose aside from an affair that doesn't need to be brought up again is the apparent lie that your brother attests that you were never a cheer leader for the washington redskins football team. will you right now as you sit here today and remembering that we are all friends here, will you say that you misstated that it was not true that you were not a cheer leader for the washington redskins. >> it is funny when my brother said that we talked about it after.
>> geraldo: don't explain it. why don't you say i was not a cheer leader. >> i cheered in the alumni as they asked me to do. i didn't go to them, geraldo, they came to me. >> geraldo: my final question of how you will support yourself. this is a doll, a michaele doll. this is the outfit you wore to the white house. where can people buy the doll? >> this is a cute doll. i don't profit from here. she probably. >> we understand iting being marketed worldwide. >> geraldo: and you are getting no money from it? >> unfortunately. >> geraldo: i got to be your business agent. >> i know. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> geraldo: kimberly back to you. >> kimberly: now, a more serious topic as testimony continued in the trial of steven hayes, one of two men accused of the horrific 2007 connecticut hope invasion that left jennifer hawk pettitte and
her two daughters dead. craig has the details. we will take a look at your piece, first. >> reporter: kimberly, the testimony in the steven hayes murder trial was so powerful it sent family members scurrying from the courtroom. you are a fox news legal analyst. how could someone do something like this to these little girls? pour gas across their bodies and set them ablaze. tell me about the testimony? >> horrible. i have been a prosecutor for many years and seen a lot of murders and those images never leave your brain but this one was just about the worst that i can imagine. >> text messages between murder suspects joshua and steven hayes plotting out the dangerous plan. the state fire marshall graphic
description how gas was splashed across 11-year-old mikala's body and set ablaze while teetherred to a bed post and how her sister got up from the burning bed on fire when the restraints melted from the heat and then collapsed and died. >> nicki, sherman, you are a defense attorney. also the author of how can you defend these people? >> and this is a tough one to defend if near impossible. >> there is no such thing we learned from robert blake and o.j. that it is a slam dunk. what might be on trial here is the death penalty. that might be the best defense because the jurors have to believe that they will get the death penalty. >> if we as a country decide we are going to have a death penalty if not these people, who. in. >> charged with arson, kidnapping, capital murder, robbery and sexual assault, the jury has endured photos of charred beds, and the tattered remains of the girls and their
loving mother. >> this is like a dark version of in cold blood. it doesn't get worse and defense attorney's job is like clarence darrow, it is not guilt versus innocence. it is can we save these guys lives. >> hayes admits finding the bankbook, forcing jennifer to withdraw $15,000 and how josh told steven the sexually assaulted the little girl when returned from the bank and how he had to rape jennifer to square things up. >> reading the evidence is so upsetting to me and everyone else who hears it. >> it is hard on a jury but that is our system. they can decide and they can decide on the death penalty for both of these guys. >> would voyou have defended te people? >> i don't think i could do it. >> thank you, i'm glad. i can't imagine. >> your wife is happy. >> thank you. >> you don't have to love the client, you don't have to believe they are innocent. you have to be able to rationally and emotionally deal with the issues and i think i
would be too choked up to observe this evidence. >> kimberly: so tragic. how is dr. petit handling the trial. >> you can see by his change in appearance the past three years how it has taken its toll. he has given powerful testimony and insists on observing the evidence along with the jury sometimes through tear-filled eyes and you can imagine the profound impact that has on the jury listening to this evidence and seeing the man who had his entire early family wiped out. >> kimberly: he is incredibly courageous and tried to save their lives and was unable to do so. i don't know how he can have a peaceful moment and sleep at night.ñ÷
it was a painful day for the hawk and petit family. i think everybody shaw through the testimony. that is all i have to say. >> joining me, petit family friend and spokesperson ron bookie. i know this is an incredibly difficult time for you. do you believe this is a death penalty case because this is really the most controversial aspect of the case? >> absolutely. i think it was clear by the previous spot you ran where it was quoted to say if you don't prosecute this as a death
penalty what can you possibly prosecute as a death penalty? we have a death penalty in connecticut. according to the latest polls over 60% of the connecticut population believes in the death penalty and when polled specifically about this case the number is probably around 70%. and i think people -- i think those people who disagree with the death penalty are -- there is quite a few of them that are disagreeing with how the death penalty has been administered. i think there is a lot of frustration with people staying on death row appeal after appeal and not really being administered properly. if you add those people in and say look if we could do it and administer it effectively would you be in favor of the death penalty, i think it would be higher than 60% in this case. >> kimberly: i think you are right. myself i was a death penalty prosecutor at the the los angeles district attorney's office and this case, of course, really nationally speaking people who are
prosecutors, defense attorneys, pretty much seem to agree that this is a case that calls for it. of course, it is not even the decision of the family, of dr. petit, as you know, it is the prosecutor's office that brings it forward and has an obligation to carry out the law in the state of connecticut. talk about the first annual ride for justice. >> a local law firm, trantolo harlandtolo along with harry williamsly davidson are having a ride. part of the proceed letts go to the petit family foundation. and the foundation was really started as really an outpouring and outgrowth of hayley, jennifer and mikala to live their memory and carry on the good works that those young ladies and people have done
throughout their lifetime. >> it is incredible. we are looking at video there. of course, dr. petit. what a courageous man and great that you are doing something to carry out the legacy and honor the memory of their daughters which i hope that people really turn out for that tomorrow. i'm joined in studio with julia moreau, former prosecutor and arthur ayudala. do you think the death penalty will be handed down. will the jurors have the stomach to do it? >> absolutely. falls into four different categories of capital murder. murder in the course of kidnapping. murder in the course of rape. murder of more than two people at one time. murder of someone under the age of 16. and there is no mitigating factors. shothese guys were totally sob. they are stone cold killers and definitely going get the death penalty. i would be shocked if they didn't. >> what arguments can they make
against the death penalty in the case? she just listed the circumstances andin anding a gratitude expectations that call for the -- aggravations that call for the death penalty. >> they will pull whatever sympathy that can be gleaned that they are somebody's child. the argument i would make as a citizen against the death penalty this is probably the most heinous crime that i can think of is that the death penalty is too good for these people. they are young men and you tell them you will sit in a tiny cell until you rot and every day it is the same monotony day in and day out and let them go mentally insane. give them a taste of the tar tour that they gave that family. that is more of a punishment than laying on a gurney and getting a needle in their arm and going to sleep. >> kimberly: last week you also said they should be lit on fire. >> the most horrific set of facts. you would think you are
she was set free after a second judge ruled denying her bail was wrong. did lindsay get special treatment. in what do you think? here to give us the scoop, dylon. why was the decision overturned? >> a day of high dram in which the judicial system in california seemed confused. judge fox sent lindsay lohan direct to jail for that probation violation. and following an in chambers meeting between lohan's lawyer and the judge and the district attorney, he refused to back down on that decision forcing lohan's camp to launch an immediate appeal which was upheld and, of course, lindsay lohan was then ordered to pay up $300,000 bail which we did around about 9:40 last night and was released just before midnight after 14 hours. now, the judge said that she had a right to be offered bail
which, of course, judge fox who had cut that 90 day court ordered rehabilitation, he had cut that and he didn't believe that she had the write to bail but the judicial system here said that she did. >> kimberly: a lot of controversy about this. julia, i will bring you in on this, whether or not the judge did the right thing by putting her back in but she thumbed her nose at the law here. she said she didn't have a substance abuse or drug problem when here we go, two dirty tests. >> she s a hopeless drug addict. she had fu on her finger nails and kept scratching her face. she is in a downward spiral. every time they cut her a break that s another nail in her coffin. >> we think of them as being a danger to society. she is really a danger to herself.
if while she is out on bail she overdoses or does something to hurt herself. >> kimberly: or gets behind the wheel of a car. >> that is what i was going to say. i mean i wonder then what that judge is going think because these cases the judge has a lot of discretion. both of those judges could have agreed as opposed to disagreed and say let's just keep her behind bars and start getting her on the path to recovery because this young woman is going wind up in a casket sooner than late. the judge has the responsibility to do that as well for public safety and her own benefit because she is not capable of making the ge decisions. she has a disrespect for the court. i worked at the l.a. d.a.'s office and if it wasn't lindsay lohan she would be in jail. it is outrageous. >> and i don't know why people keep giving her breaks. like her father when she was ordered to jail he gasps. does her father understand he is not helping his daughter?