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Anna Nicole Smith's Final Resting Place?; Hip-Hop Controversy

Aired February 22, 2007 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Out in the open: Who gets Anna Nicole Smith's body, and where will it be buried? You're not going to believe what the judge did in court today.

Also out in the open: Is hip-hop art or poison? Our question from last night's special is burning up the airwaves from coast to coast. We will have more on that. And we will keep the conversation going. Does hip-hop fuel violence? Does it degrade women?

First tonight, though, a developing story, with lots of emotion -- in a Florida courtroom this afternoon, exactly two weeks after Anna Nicole Smith's death, we found out who gets custody of her body and where it will be buried. And we're also bringing the judge's bizarre antics out in the open tonight.

Just listen to what he told Smith's mother and her former boyfriends, who are still fighting for custody of Smith's baby daughter.


JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, BROWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: I have suffered with this. I have struggled with this. I have shed tears for your -- your little girl and your -- and your grandchild. But I hope -- because I will tell you something. In the old days, I would be banging some heads together. I mean it.


ZAHN: And that isn't all.

Before Court TV's Lisa Bloom and our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, get more into the judge's strange behavior, let's go straight to Susan Candiotti for the details of his ruling.

Susan, what can you tell us?


Well, the judge pulled a fast one, deciding a day earlier than he said he would. Judge Larry Seidlin decided that Anna Nicole Smith's body should be buried in the Bahamas, but, officially, he left that decision to someone else, the guardian he appointed to represent Dannielynn, Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter. And then the judge said something else. He said, now that this case is over, I'm going to clam up. He promised to say nothing else about this case.


CANDIOTTI (voice-over): To call this a courtroom drama is an understatement, and, in the starring role, Broward County District Judge Larry Seidlin, crying at times as he issued his ruling, a day early, on who gets to bury Anna Nicole Smith -- his decision, the legal guardian of Smith's 5-month-old daughter.

SEIDLIN: Richard Milstein, Esquire, as a guardian ad litem for Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, is awarded custody of the remains of Anna Nicole Smith.

CANDIOTTI: Seidlin passed over the other claimants, Smith's estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, and Smith's longtime companion, Howard K. Stern. But, in releasing the body, the judge made his wishes tearfully clear.

SEIDLIN: I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.

CANDIOTTI: After the hearing, an unprecedented show of unity from Stern, Larry Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, who, like Stern, also claims to be Dannielynn's father, and Smith's mother, all agreeing they want Smith laid to rest next to her son, Daniel, who died suddenly last September.

HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S PARTNER AND ATTORNEY: I just want to say that I'm very grateful that Anna Nicole's wishes are going to be carried out.

CANDIOTTI: But, just minutes later, another twist revealed by the Broward County medical examiner.

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: At this time, I have a court order, but the court order is under appeals.

CANDIOTTI: Attorneys for Smith's mother tells CNN they filed the appeal.

But the medical examiner is predicting it will quickly be dismissed and that, within days, he will accompany Smith's body to the Bahamas, at the judge's request.


CANDIOTTI: And, formally that appeal will be filed in the morning in West Palm Beach, Florida.

And there's one more thing at play here: the paternity suit. As the judge put it, enough of the baloney here. Someone needs to find out who the father is -- Paula, back to you. ZAHN: Oh, and won't that be interesting to cover.

Susan Candiotti, thanks.

Curveballs every day on this story -- we're talking about how eccentric this judge has been acting since he got on the case. He has been acting like this all along.

Before I get to my next guest, here's a little bit more of the best of Judge Seidlin out in the open.


SEIDLIN: There's no circus here, my friend. There's no circus here.

I want to get to a rebuilding. I want to build a child.

Do you remember, at school, when you had this big French labyrinth, and you tried to get to the center of it? That's all we're trying to do.

Instead of fighting, you should join hands, join hands, because it's only in this country that you can join hands. We don't have these kinds of religious wars and all these other issues that take place around the world.



ZAHN: There you have it.


ZAHN: The judge may say it wasn't a circus, but how about my next guests? Court TV's Lisa Bloom can't stop laughing.


ZAHN: Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Somehow, I'm missed that one about they don't hold hands in other countries?

ZAHN: Can we do kumbaya together right now?



BLOOM: Judge Seidlin would be so proud.

ZAHN: I feel the need to be close to both of you.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: In keeping with the answers that one lawyer gave, I would like to sing all my answers to you, because there was singing in the courtroom at one point.


TOOBIN: And -- and it was kind of a beautiful thing, I thought.


BLOOM: ... he was a Bronx cab driver. He's the kind of cab driver that will never go the route that you want.

ZAHN: Right.

BLOOM: He is going to go his route. That's how he started out. That's what he did.

ZAHN: But is this guy well-intentioned, or you think he's a bad guy?

TOOBIN: I don't think he's a bad person. I think he's a bad judge. He should be in a different line of work.

This was a thoroughly incompetent judging proceeding, from the way he conducted the trial, to this ridiculous opinion, where he held -- he didn't even decide the case. He was supposed to decide where she's going to be buried. He tossed the whole thing to the...

ZAHN: Legal guardian.


TOOBIN: ... the guardian -- to the guardian.


BLOOM: Who he appointed.

TOOBIN: Who he appointed.

But, I mean, come on, you're supposed to decide what you're supposed to decide. And he just tossed it off to the guardian.


ZAHN: Well, what about that, a 21-page opinion?


ZAHN: And nowhere in there does he stipulate where her body should be buried, as Jeffrey just said.

BLOOM: Oh, details, details, Paula.

Look, morally, I think it's the right decision. She should be buried next to her son in the plot that she bought. I think everybody can agree with that. But, legally, legally, under the statute, the mother gets to decide. That's crystal clear. Now, there's also a case that says that you should look at her intent. Where did she want to go? That would be Howard K. Stern's argument. Let's look at what she wants. So, either it's Howard K. Stern or it's the mother. I see no legal basis for giving it to this complete stranger, Milstein, who has never met the baby, who doesn't know the family. That doesn't make any sense.

ZAHN: So, you're saying the same thing Jeffrey is. You think this judge is a dope.

BLOOM: Well, I wouldn't go that far. I think he had a tough...


TOOBIN: You see, at Court TV, they can never call -- they can never call a judge a dope, because they...


BLOOM: No. And let me say this. Let me say this. There is room on the bench for a wide variety of personalities. I don't think he did anything unethical, anything that would subject him to criticism as a judge.

TOOBIN: Oh, come...

BLOOM: I mean, he's a cross between Jackie Mason and a yoga instructor.

TOOBIN: No, he did plenty.


BLOOM: He's a comedian. He wants to talk about everybody's journey.

What did he do that is unethical?


TOOBIN: I didn't say unethical. I said -- that it could open him up to criticism as a judge?

BLOOM: For example?

TOOBIN: Bring -- asking the mother about her career as a law enforcement official...

BLOOM: Yes, he was loosening her up...

TOOBIN: ... talking about the...


BLOOM: ... doing a little background.


TOOBIN: But come on. This is a judge. He's a judge.


ZAHN: How about answering his cell phone on the bench?


BLOOM: It was Dr. Perper...


TOOBIN: Dr. Perper.


BLOOM: ... on the Batphone every day...

TOOBIN: Every day. Every day.

BLOOM: ... letting us know how the body is decomposing.

TOOBIN: Anna Nicole's body was getting worse and worse. And each day the phone would ring, and he would say, I have got to decide this case fast, because she's -- the patient -- we were losing the patient, even though the patient is already dead.


BLOOM: Who even has a judge's phone number on the bench, by the way? Even lawyers, practicing lawyers, we never got that.

ZAHN: So, how does a man like this become a judge in the first place?


TOOBIN: Ask...

BLOOM: Here's what you need to know. It's probate court. We're used to looking at cases with juries, where the strict rules of evidence apply.

Probate court is more loosey-goosey. That's what he did. That's what we're seeing. There was no jury in this case. It's a court of equity, which means he can look at everything. He can decide everything. That's what he was trying to do here.


TOOBIN: Ask Governor Bob Martinez, the former governor of Florida. He is the guy who put him on the bench.

I mean, this was -- it was a little bit like the recount in Florida in 2000, like everybody wondering, like, what is going on in Florida? And it was in Broward County, which was one of the counties that...


BLOOM: More hanging chads.

ZAHN: You guys have eviscerated this guy. Do you have anything positive to say about this man and the way he conducted business?

TOOBIN: Well, I think the result is actually not a terrible result.


TOOBIN: I mean, I think, given how -- what Anna Nicole wanted in her life, the fact that she's going to be buried next to her son is probably a good thing. But the route to that result was preposterous and absurd.

BLOOM: Well, the hearing was much too long. It should have been an hour or two. It should not have been days and days and days. And everyone came in and had to answer questions about...


TOOBIN: And that's why Court -- and that's why all of us in the media only covered it for an hour or two.


TOOBIN: That's was all we did.

BLOOM: Hey, we're Court TV. We don't cover anything else.


BLOOM: We have got an interesting trial, we're covering it, including tomorrow, the family court case, tomorrow.


ZAHN: Sure. That will be -- well, that will be fascinating.


TOOBIN: And the real issue is paternity. And now the California courts and the Florida courts have to fight over who gets to decide that.

BLOOM: Over a baby in the Bahamas.


ZAHN: We have got to go. But, before I let you go, quick answer here.

(LAUGHTER) ZAHN: No secret this judge wants his own TV show. Is he now your favorite TV judge?

BLOOM: Oh. OK. He can't have my show. He cannot have my show.


BLOOM: Maybe he can have a network show.

TOOBIN: Welcome to the team, as far as I'm concerned. You know, he's a poor man's Judge Judy now. And we will see whether he makes it any better than that.


ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, Lisa Bloom, ouch.

"LARRY KING LIVE" will have much more on today's surprising turn of events, coming up at the top of the hour.

Out in the open next right here: Is hip-hop art or poison? Our eye-opening special last night really got people stirred up. And today they were lighting up the phones at radio stations all over the country. So, in a minute, we will not only keep the conversation going. We will add to it.

Out in the open tonight: the backlash against the way hip-hop degrades women.


ZAHN: A quick heads-up for you: The images in our next few segments will be provocative and the pictures will be disturbing.

Then, again, your kids are probably watching and listening to the versions that we haven't cleaned up.

That's why, last night, we asked the question whether hip-hop is art or poison. We brought it all out in the open, the culture, the money, the controversies over hip-hop's treatment of women, its gay- bashing, and concerns that it fuels crime.

Now it is clear that we have also touched a very, very raw nerve. Today, our question is one of the hottest topics on radio stations that feature rap music and hip-hop culture.

Our Dan Lothian is listening.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't understand everything we're doing in hip-hop. So, of course they're going to try to label it as poison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not scared to come out and say it's garbage going on out there, and they need to stop it.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It's the hip- hop hangover on radio, after a night of provocative images and unbridled views on television.

RYAN CAMERON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It's still 50/50. I mean, some people are very passionate about the way they feel about the music today. And then you have some other people who are saying it's still an art expression and that, you know, it's -- nobody is going one way or the other. So, it seems like we're still divided on it.

LOTHIAN: That debate played out Thursday afternoon on Ryan Cameron's radio show on Atlanta's V-103, a reaction to Wednesday's PAULA ZAHN special: "Hip-hop: Art or Poison?"


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like hip-hop is the music of a fabulous generation.


LOTHIAN: Sparks started flying early on the station's morning show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys are doing it to make money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're angry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's a whole...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that they're angry, Juan (ph). They're living up to the image. It's not...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that.


LOTHIAN: Turning up on the volume on a controversial subject that's as old as the hip-hop industry itself.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were all glued to our television as we watched CNN and Paula Zahn talk about this thing we call hip-hop.


LOTHIAN: Zahn, who called into the show, took some heat from another guest, hip-hop artist Yung Joc. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

YUNG JOC, HIP-HOP ARTIST: It kind of felt one-sided. It felt like, you know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you feel like you were being attacked as an artist, personally, Joc?

JOC: Not just as an artist, personal, but my -- our whole -- our culture, the music, man.

ZAHN: If -- if you want to join us and come on the air and talk to us, I would welcome you.


LOTHIAN: Urban radio stations in Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C., also discovering that there are no easy answers to a three-word question.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both poison and art.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't agree with everything hip-hop is doing right now. But I most definitely believe it's art, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there are some forms of poison in hip- hop. But there is actually tasteful hip-hop as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree pretty much with what everybody has said, that hip-hop pretty much is poison, garbage, because everybody is a thug, gangsta, you know, pimp. And there's no variety.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If are listening to music that you can't listen to with your mother, you shouldn't be listening to it.


LOTHIAN: Cameron, the Atlanta radio talk show host, says, this subject may be painful, but talking about it is good medicine.

CAMERON: I mean, I think any dialogue and discussion is -- is going to be positive.

LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


ZAHN: Like Dan Lothian said, when I took part in this morning's call-in show, I was on with a recording artist named Yung Joc. He was upset because there weren't more rappers on last night's special.

And, as I tried to explain to him this morning, we put over two dozen calls out for rappers to appear on the show. They turned down our invitations. But Yung Joc has agreed to come on tonight, along with Donnell Rawlings, a co-host of "Egypt & Ashy in the Morning," on New York's Power 105.1 FM.

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

So, Yung, as a rapper yourself, how do you defend what this music says about women and gays? A lot of people find it terribly degrading.

JOC: Well, first of all, I would like to say thank you for having me on the show, Paula.

ZAHN: My pleasure.

JOC: Me personally, you know, to hear you say -- first, let's talk about the gay bashing. I don't really hear it that much. And I listen to hip-hop every day.

So, maybe there has been a term here or there, maybe. I don't hear it in my music or in the music that I listen to. And I'm in the club all the time. And it's rare that I hear gay bashing.

As far as the women and misogynistic messages, as we spoke of earlier on the radio, you know, I think, sometimes, we can be a little more responsible, as artists, with our music and the way we use words, derogatory words, such as the B-word, the H-O word, and things of such.

I don't think that we try to depict our women, or just women in general, as that. This is a term that, you know, we use sometimes in hip-hop. And, at the end of the day, it's not just hip-hop. It's not just our culture. If you look at any movie from -- I mean, right now, Bart Simpson can use the word "ho," and it's cool.

ZAHN: Right.

JOC: I remember a Bart Simpson shirt being banned when I was in the 12th -- in the seventh grade...


ZAHN: No, you're absolutely right.


JOC: ... a Bart Simpson shirt.

If you look at "Family Guy," if you look at "South Park," it's not just hip-hop. And I think a lot of times, we're a scapegoat to point the finger at. You know what I'm saying?

ZAHN: All right, Yung, before you go any farther, I want to play a clip from one of your videos called "I Know You See It..."

JOC: OK. ZAHN: ... and let our audience watch along with it.



JOC (singing): I'm with it. Go on, let me know. Throw money in the air. Watch it fall like snow. I know, I know how to work a pole, climb to the top.


ZAHN: All right, Yung, you say rappers, on one hand, could be more responsible.

Do you understand why a lot of us women watching that clip get pretty darn upset with money being thrown at these women?

JOC: Well, in some instances, I can.

But, even in that clip you just saw, the women were not too provocative. It's not like we were just standing around in a parking lot naked.

We're -- we're at a pool party. I'm having a pool party. If you play more of the video, you will see that there are men and women in the pool right behind me.

And I have seen some videos where it can get a little out of hand.

ZAHN: Sure.

JOC: There was, once upon a time, a show called "Uncut," where they showed that. But it came on like 3:00 in the morning. They discontinued that because of disgruntled -- I mean, because of parents who didn't feel that it should be on.

ZAHN: Their kids should be watching that, yes.

JOC: But your kid is up at 3:00 in the morning, I mean...

ZAHN: All right.

Yes, let's bring Donnell into the conversation.

Do you think that hip-hop artists should be more responsible about the messages that are green-lighted here?


DONNELL RAWLINGS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don't know if it's necessary that the hip-hop artists be more responsible. But the women that decide to be in these videos, they should be more responsible for the images that decide they're going to put out there.

There's always some talk. You always hear like these hip-hop vixens, they call them, say: I want to be a serious actress.

But, on the call sheet in the audition, when it says the outfit you will be wearing is a G-string or a thong, you have to make a decision right there, right now, will people take me seriously?


ZAHN: So, wait. You're blaming this all on the women, or do you think...

RAWLINGS: No, no, I'm not. I'm not...


ZAHN: Or do you think it's the producers or the rap artists themselves?


RAWLINGS: No, I think that you have to make some choices.

And I think that it goes down to family values. I think it goes down to family values, too. Like, I have a brother that graduated from Brown University, Georgetown Law. You know, people ask the question, well, do you think that the violence in hip-hop is dictating what you're going to be in life?

And he went through school listening to Wu-Tang Clan and everything. But is he going to go out and get a gun and go shoot somebody? I don't think so.

And I think it's, like, how you are raised. And I think that some of these women in these videos need to be more responsible and be afraid of something, be afraid of what their parents are going to think, be afraid of what the people in their neighborhood are going to think. And you can't just jump out on any opportunity.

ZAHN: I know plenty -- you think plenty of blame around.

Just a real quick reaction to last night's show. I know that a lot of radio talk shows talked about...


ZAHN: I need a brief answer.

RAWLINGS: I mean, I'm glad it created some type of dialogue. But a lot of our listeners, until we have people that represent our hip-hop community, they can't understand it.

ZAHN: All right.

Well, we certainly have started the conversation and gotten the ball rolling. And thank you so much for joining us tonight, Yung Joc, Donnell Rawlings. Appreciate your time.


ZAHN: Now, we got thousands of e-mails about our hip-hop special -- coming up next, an "Out in the Open" panel will sift through some of the most interesting and angriest ones you fired at us.

Also ahead: bare skin and bad attitudes -- hip-hop's treatment of women out in the open.

And, then, a little bit later on: one of the black leaders of tomorrow, a preacher with a huge congregation. And it seems to be growing by the minute. He will tell us his secret to his success when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to "The Adimu Show."

It's still Black History Month, man. Let's talk about hip-hop today, all right? CNN did an interesting piece last night on Paula Zahn's show, PAULA ZAHN NOW.

So, I want to talk about hip-hop, the music, the culture, the lyrics. The imagery is so powerful worldwide. And the question is, is hip-hop art or is it poison? And, if it's poison, who should we hold accountable? Who is responsible? Who are the artists that are spitting poison?


ZAHN: Well, our special last night, "Hip-hop: Art or Poison?" certainly generated a lot of reaction, thousands of e-mails.

And we want to hear what tonight's "Out in the Open" panel has to say about that special and what you are saying after it aired.

Amy Holmes is a Republican political strategist. Joe Madison is a talk show host at Washington's WOL Radio. And Cliff Schecter is a blogger for The Huffington Post and AMERICAblog.

Good to see all three of you.


JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Let me add XM in there, too.

ZAHN: Oh, oops.



ZAHN: We didn't get it all in there. Got to do that plug there.

(CROSSTALK) ZAHN: Let's start with this first e-mail from Piper Anderson, where he or she -- not sure whether Piper is female or male -- writes: "Hollywood has perpetuated images of violence, sexism and homophobia long before hip-hop came into existence. Yet, I have never heard anyone blame Martin Scorsese for the portrayal of gangsters. 'Scarface' is one of the most celebrated American films, yet, it has never been accused of increasing crime. Hip-hop is being scapegoated."


AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think the e-mailer is forgetting that Hollywood has come under intense criticism for propagating sex, crime, violence, pornography. We have presidential candidates that are routinely decrying what Hollywood is pumping out.

But she does have a point in the sense that hip-hop being -- getting a scapegoat here. I think we are living in a widely pornographic entertainment culture. And it's not just hip-hop. It's across the spectrum.

ZAHN: Let's move on to this one from D.J. Benephit: "The bottom line is, hip-hop gives you the candid picture of what the American culture is all about, raw, and unadulterated, filled with money, sex, and violence. And that is across all ethnic spectrums."


MADISON: Well, look, first off, let's go back to the first one.

Italians did protest against being portrayed as mafia people. But there was also balance. There was Rome. There's Italian art, Italian opera. There's balance.

And when you now go to the second one, it reflects culture. It's a subculture. It's not our total culture. And there's the problem. How do you provide balance?

I have reared hip-hoppers. And it's very difficult, when you're driving your 10-year-old daughter to school with her friend, and she's in the back listening to her favorite syncopated beat, and, then all of a sudden, "B." comes out of her mouth, and the H-word comes out of her mouth.

And you're wondering, where did that come from?

Well, today, we have children who get music from everything from the radio to iPods.

ZAHN: Sure.

MADISON: It's not like when we grew up...


MADISON: ... and we collected 45s. ZAHN: They have got a lot more access...


MADISON: And sometimes -- let's be honest -- didn't we sneak in and play the 45s that we weren't supposed to listen to?

ZAHN: My mother is watching tonight, so I can't admit that.

MADISON: Well...



ZAHN: But, of course, we all did.

MADISON: Well, mine is, but from heaven. So, she knows the truth anyway.


ZAHN: You make a good point.


ZAHN: Let's move on.

And, Cliff, and I want you to address this one from Darius.

And he writes: "The messages that you found so disrespectful and downgrading have been going on for years and have literally consumed our black communities. But it didn't become a nationwide problem until it showed up in the homes of white America."

CLIFF SCHECTER, AMERICABLOG.COM: I absolutely agree with that.


ZAHN: ... consume 80 percent of this stuff.


Look, we were talking about this even as far as back as the '80s. But, when this became a real problem was when a lot of white suburban families got worried because, you know, the music starting becoming popular out there.

Now, that is obviously being done by corporations. Corporations make money off of this, just like they do off of violent movies and everything else we have discussed. And there's simply no doubt that there's the one who see that sex and violence sells, and they're selling it to these very families.

HOLMES: But isn't that passing a buck here a bit? I mean, it was Suge Knight and Dr. Dre who founded Death Row Records in 1992. And they took gangsta rap from the inner city and they put it national. They put it worldwide.


HOLMES: This was coming from black record label executives.


MADISON: No, no, no.

I spent -- I spent -- see, I'm glad there's a debate, because there was a time when Dick Gregory, C. Delores Tucker and I demonstrated, actually went to jail over this...


ZAHN: Yes, I remember. You got arrested.

MADISON: Got arrested, met with executives.

And let me tell you, these guys aren't in control. The people in control are so far above this, we don't even know their names. Those are the people who are in control. And those are the people who are exploiting the children and the industry and the business.


HOLMES: I just don't think you...


SCHECTER: Additionally, there's misogyny throughout our culture.

MADISON: Yes. That's true.


HOLMES: Certainly. I agree with that.


HOLMES: But I don't think you can absolve the artists and the record label.


SCHECTER: OK. I'm not absolving anybody.

But we just elected a new speaker of the House, in Nancy Pelosi, who is a woman. And all we heard all week were on her pantsuits, what this one looked like, what that one looked like. We didn't hear things about policy.

You have got people on the right who are going out and screaming every day, people like Rush Limbaugh, who screamed feminazi, feminazi, feminazi.


MADISON: Or the feminization of America.

SCHECTER: In his case, he's on a pound of OxyContin every day, so that's OK.


HOLMES: Let's talk about the subject at hand.


ZAHN: ... women in videos.


HOLMES: Yes, exactly.


HOLMES: I can tell you, there was a collective gasp...

ZAHN: Quickly.

HOLMES: ... when your previous guest said that those eeny-weeny metallic bikinis were not revealing.

MADISON: It's soft porn.

ZAHN: It was part of a pool party, he said, remember?

MADISON: It's soft porn. And it's -- that's what is happening.

ZAHN: That's what a lot of people say.

MADISON: It's...


ZAHN: All right, well, we're going to talk more about that on the other side of this break.

Please stay with us.

Out in the open next: the skin that you were just talking about, the language, and the attitude. Is hip-hop's treatment of women art or poison?

Later: preaching redemption with a dollar sign. Meet one of the black leaders of tomorrow.

We will be right back.


ZAHN: It seems like a good time to remind you we're dealing with some provocative material tonight, with words and images that might offend you, just a warning. We continue our discussion tonight of whether hip-hop is art or poison.

And one of the stories Jason Carroll brought "Out in the Open" for us in last night's special was hip-hop's portrayal of women. Sex, of course, front and center in hip-hop culture.

The videos are packed with rapid-fire images of women wearing almost nothing, dancing like strippers. Some African-American women and white women and women of all ethnic minorities aren't happy with that, especially since the audience is predominantly young, white, and male.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since she was 5 years old, Celestina Henry dreamed of being a serious dancer. But her professional debut came in a hip-hop video with 50 Cent.

CELESTINA HENRY, ACTRESS CELESTINE RAE: I never had any aspirations to be in a video. I had aspirations to be a dancer, aspirations to be an actress. And I thought about different ways of getting exposure.

CARROLL: Exposure she got. Her own father was concerned but supportive.

JAY HENRY, CELESTINA'S FATHER: There was one scene that, you know, as a father I don't necessarily need to see her in her lingerie or underclothing. But you know, it's a video. I've seen the videos and compared to what I have seen, that was mild.

CARROLL: Celestina changed her to "Celestine Rae" after her performance. The 50 Cent video was mild, though, compared to some that are out there. Critics say these portray a negative image of black women, even calling it even porn for beginners.

Asha Jennings was a fan of hip-hop. But while she was a student at Spellman College two years ago, she saw a video by Nelly called "Tip Drill." Jennings was so offended she started a movement to change the way black women are portrayed in hip-hop videos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is a ho or what are...

ASHA JENNINGS, ACTIVIST: Can you be a little louder? Come on.

I want people to start critically thinking about how these images affect black women today. We're telling people there are bitches and hos and sluts and not worthy of respect. And that is exactly how society is treating us.

CARROLL: In response to readers like Jennings, Essence magazine launched a campaign to take back the music.

ANGELA BURT-MURRAY, EDITOR, ESSENCE MAGAZINE: I think the current state of hip-hop is basically stuck on one note, the degradation of women, the glorification of a culture that seems centered around pimps and prison.

CARROLL: Some industry leaders say the videos are simply the artist's response to the needs of their fans.

JERMAINE DUPRI, RAPPER RECORD PRODUCER: If people don't like it and they think that -- you can always turn it off. You know what I mean? So people act like they can't turn it off. And you don't got to watch the booty videos. But the people that talk about it, they are so intrigued they want to see it.

CARROLL: But slowly things are changing, as even some of the women in hip-hop are growing tired of the images they see.

EVE, HIP-HOP ARTIST: There are times where I have to say that I've been embarrassed. We have a responsibility.

CARROLL: As for Celestine Rae, she has no regrets. She wants to be watched and discovered.

HENRY: Women need to make sure they stay true to themselves. And that's the biggest thing.

CARROLL: And she remains true, she says, to her ultimate goal, becoming a serious actress.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: Now back to tonight's "Out in the Open" panel, Amy Holmes, Joe Madison, Cliff Schecter. The audience should have seen your face as you watched this video. You were absolutely disgusted. How offended are you by those images that are just about everywhere in hip-hop videos?

HOLMES: I think the word offended gets overused. But I'm offended. And look at who the customers are to these for this music, and it typically is a white male teenager. And so what type of image does this kid have of black males, that they're criminals, black women, that they are basically nothing more than prostitutes with a credit card being swiped in their tushy. I think it would be pathetic if it wasn't so pernicious.

MADISON: It's the same perpetuation of slavery that has gone back 400 years when -- I mean, there are photographs of black women bare-breasted. We go back to National Geographic. But you wouldn't show this if it were European women. This is perpetuation of racism.

And then when you have the young man say, well, we just play to the needs of our audience. What is that need? When you have young women growing up in households without fathers, the need is attention and love. And they will seek that attention and love wherever they can find it.

ZAHN: All right. We're going to move on to a graphic -- but you have said this is the perpetuation of racism. So you are saying blacks themselves are perpetuating racism? Anybody that participates.

MADISON: Oh, what's new? What's new?


MADISON: It is undervaluing, underestimating and (INAUDIBLE). Let me tell you something, do I see a Jewish rap group doing this to Jewish mothers and daughters? Do I see Irish women doing this? Do I see Italian women doing this type of thing?

HOLMES: Well, you know what, I would have to jump in there. You do, you do. You've got in glam rock, of "she's my cherry pie." These women in bikinis having water thrown on them.


HOLMES: I think that this is taking it to a whole 'nother level.

MADISON: Where do you see it?

SCHECTER: In heavy metal, you have seen it in glam rock. I mean, it's not that it doesn't exist in other music. I just want to agree with your point which is...

MADISON: Is it identified with...

SCHECTER: Let me finish for a second.

MADISON: ... ethnicity?

SCHECTER: It is identified with African-Americans.

MADISON: Thank you.

SCHECTER: And what we are talking about, it does go back to this history that we have of looking at African-Americans as quote, "sexual beasts," which, in our history, has been a shame that we have had since the time of slavery. And so it does carry something much more serious than...


ZAHN: Well, let's talk about the serious consequences of this. Because there was a study that was conducted in 2003 taking a look at African-American girls in poor Alabama communities. And they found that girls who watch more than 21 hours a week of hip-hop videos were more likely to use alcohol and drugs, to contract -- contact a sexually-transmitted disease and have multiple sex partners. Look at these numbers on the screen.

SCHECTER: I have to believe there are other factors in there that are related to what you are talking about, correlational factors like, for example, are their parents home? If they are more likely to be watching this, I'm guessing more likely their parent aren't at home. And I'm guessing there are other factors that lead to the type of behavior you're talking about. HOLMES: Well, I see your point. But the problem is, is that this is so omnipresent on their television. So it's not, their parents aren't home and they're watching "Gilligan's Island." They're watching this stuff that's being pumped into...

MADISON: Why do you guys want to ignore the fact that black women have been used as sexual objects ever since they were brought over from Africa, used as sexual objects on the slave boat coming over here, black women were used as house people? Why -- you're light skinned, you're lighter than I am, because of all of this interracial usage of sex as and black women being the subject of that object.

HOLMES: But not in my case, actually, my mother is Caucasian and my father is African.

MADISON: Let's go beyond your mother and your father and talk about generations and generations and centuries of this.


ZAHN: All right. Amy gets the final thought. And we have got to move on.

HOLMES: I would say I agree with that. And it is the racial angle to this that makes this phenomenon so disturbing and difficult.

MADISON: Especially in Black History Month.


SCHECTER: ... it is very much true.

ZAHN: Amy Holmes, Joe Madison, Cliff Schecter, thank you all. Appreciate your time. You just mentioned -- you stole my line. February, of course, is Black History Month. And we've been looking for some of the black leaders of tomorrow.

Coming up next, a minister whose congregation has grown from just eight to millions. He'll introduce us to his congregation when we come back.


ZAHN: As part of our celebration of Black History Month, we're bringing "Out in the Open" leaders who may shape the future for new black America. It's part of a CNN month-long look at the issues affecting minorities called "Uncovering America." Tonight, I'm going to introduce you to an influential preacher from Georgia whose ministry has a global reach. I spent some time with him just a couple of days ago.


ZAHN (voice-over): He's a pastor with a huge following that's growing exponentially. His ministry, the World Changers Church International was founded 21 years ago in a school cafeteria with only eight people in attendance and now has more than 20,000 worshipers every Sunday with sermons broadcast to millions, in more than 150 countries around the world.

The 45-year-old former educational therapist is a dynamic preacher.


ZAHN: With a clear vision and is known for his practical approach to the Bible. He is Dr. Creflo Dollar, a future leader for the new black America.

(on camera): Great to see you.

DOLLAR: Thank you. Good to be here.

ZAHN: How pervasive do you think racism is today in America?

DOLLAR: It is as if we want to kind of sweep it under the rug and say, you know, it doesn't exist. And one of the things we've got to recognize is, in its very subtle form, it exists.

And because we don't understand how to recognize it, we don't even know we have it. For example, it's very offensive to come to a black community and refer to the black people as "you people." And -- but nobody wants to talk about it, so the white person keeps coming in and saying, well, you people are good or we like the way you people handle something. I'm thinking, you people?

It would almost be welcomed if I knew that this guy was a racist. And if he just came out and called me the N-word I would feel a whole lot better than to have to try to figure out where does he stand on this subject of racism?

ZAHN: Clearly, blacks are making strides in business today, and in Hollywood. But at the same time, you have got African-Americans facing an obesity crisis, a teenage pregnancy crisis, you've got black men filling up prisons. Are blacks on the edge of greatness or a tremendous fall here?

DOLLAR: We do have to accept responsibility for the problems that we see in the black community. And we've got to address those problems starting with what type of images and words that we're putting out for our community to look at. I mean, my thinking and my choices are going to be made by the norms and values that are being displayed and being released on the media to the black community.

ZAHN: So are you essentially telling me you think that black America is being held hostage by the hip-hop culture and the images that are promoted by that culture?

DOLLAR: I'll be pretty direct with you on that. If I am seeing that image and if I am being exposed to that image, then most likely I'm going to become that image. And words and images will determine the way I think. ZAHN: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing black youth today?

DOLLAR: I have a vision for black young America right now, and that is to teach them that if they can understand, if they're exposed to positive things, positive role models, if they're exposed to the fact that they can live good one day and have a good job one day and we can change the way that they view things and look at things and help them to make good decisions, then they could see that they could be in control of their life to arrive at a destination that they'll be certainly happy with when they get there.

Versus settling for the fact that, well, I'm going to be like, you know, some broke uncle or I'm going to be like some drug addict father. No, I don't have to be like that. There is a path that can lead you to the good life.

ZAHN: Reverend, thank you so much for your time.

DOLLAR: Thank you so much.

ZAHN: And good luck. And I hope you help continue the dialogue.

DOLLAR: Yes, ma'am.


ZAHN: Creflo Dollar holds his Change Conventions once a month. Over 3,000 people attended last week's convention alone in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Moving up at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up then. But we get a little sneak preview from him right now.

Hi, Larry.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Hi, Paula. Guess what?

ZAHN: What?

KING: They were there in court today for the Anna Nicole craziness. Attorneys for her, for Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead and Anna Nicole's mother. Plus, Howard Stern's brother and sister and Barbara Walters are going to be with us tonight to give us their take on all this and on Rosie O'Donnell, her Oscar special and more. It's going to be a heck of a show at the top of the hour.

ZAHN: This Anna Nicole Smith story couldn't get weirder, could it, Larry?

KING: You couldn't write this.

ZAHN: No, I couldn't take my eyes off the courtroom today, especially the judge.

KING: Unbelievable, and the judge added to it, yes. ZAHN: Of course.

KING: He's going to get his own -- he's going to get -- "Judge Larry" is going to get his own show.

ZAHN: Yes, exactly. We have all decreed that. And I think he's done a darn good job of auditioning. Larry, see you then.

Right now though we're going to take a quick biz break.


ZAHN: In just a moment -- that would be minute, the amazing story of a very different woman. She left the pressure of center court in professional tennis and found life after work as a nun. Wait until you meet her. She has a lot to say.


ZAHN: You're about to meet someone who is truly redefining retirement. She was a teenage tennis prodigy, one of the best players in the world. Then she started a foundation for children with cancer. And now her life has taken an even more remarkable turn. Ali Velshi has tonight's "Life After Work."


SISTER ANDREA JAEGER, FMR. PRO TENNIS PLAYER: When you think of retirement, you don't think retirement at 19.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Andrea Jaeger was a teenage tennis phenomenon. Today she is Sister Andrea Jaeger, a Dominican Anglican nun. After breaking onto the woman's tour at the age of 14, Jaeger became the number two ranked woman player in the world. Before her career was derailed by a series of shoulder surgeries.

But it was an off-court experience that sent Jaeger on her current path.

JAEGER: The first time I visited a hospital for kids was when I was 15. I went in and had no reason to go in other than I felt like I've had such a great life and a great childhood, you know, I want to bring something. And I did. And that has changed my life forever.

VELSHI: At 41, Sister Andrea works to brighten the lives of kids with cancer. Their laughter replaces the cheers of the fans she grew up with. That suits her just fine.

JAEGER: I've had such an enormously successful professional tennis career and I don't think I was supposed to play one moment more. I don't think I was supposed to play one match more.

VELSHI: And instead of serving up life lessons from her years as a top athlete, Sister Andrea says she's the one learning now. JAEGER: They're hoping they wake up in the morning, they're hoping to get their pain and suffering eased. And so when I look at these kids or any of the kids that we've helped over the decades, it's about what -- they appreciate life every single day.

Give me a high five! Give me a high five!

VELSHI: Ali Velshi, CNN, New York.


ZAHN: What an amazing gift she has to give back. Minutes away from "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight. Broadcast legend Barbara Walters joins Larry to talk about a lot of stuff, the Oscars, Rosie O'Donnell and today's ruling in the Anna Nicole Smith case. All of that coming up at the top of the hour. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. Coming up tomorrow, "Out in the Open," some embarrassing secrets, hidden shame. It happens to be the most common eating disorder in the country. And it is not what you're thinking about. And I am sure there are a lot of folks you know who have this eating disorder but have never really come clean about what their life really is like on a daily basis when it comes to food.

That's it, again, for us. Thanks so much for joining us. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now. Have a good night.


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