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Morsi's New Decree Sparks Protests; Larry Hagman Dies at 81; San Francisco Nudists Protest

Aired November 24, 2012 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome back, it is the top of the hour, and you're in the "CNN Newsroom," I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

A fire breaks out today at the U.S. State Department in Washington, four people were injured, one of them critically. Let's go live now to Washington and CNN's Athena Jones with an update, any idea, any better idea about how this fire may have started?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. Well, we're here at the White House just a few blocks from the State Department. I can tell you what we know from the D.C. Fire Department that the fire started this morning about 11:04 a.m., it was a flash fire at a duct work at the State Department. This happened when construction workers were at work on the premises at the State Department.

The fire was put out quickly, in fact, it was put out by people there on the scene before the fire department arrived on the scene. And we know that four people, as you mentioned, were injured in this incident. Three of them were taken to the hospital. That fourth person had a very slight injury, but one of the people was injured, they say seriously. It is a life-threatening condition. And so we're still awaiting more details on that. And in fact, several more details, of course, are yet to emerge on this. Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Athena Jones, thanks so much in Washington.

He was best known, of course, for playing J.R. Ewing on the television series "Dallas," actor Larry Hagman died yesterday of complications from cancer. He also had film roles and starred in the 60s show "I Dream of Jeannie," but it was the role on "Dallas," that cemented his legacy. And "Dallas" is back on television again, on the network TNT. He is part of the Time-Warner family. And this statement coming from TNT, saying "All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman's passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry's through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Matt Roush is the senior television critic at "TV Guide" magazine. He is joining us now from New York, good to see you, Matt.

MATT ROUSH, SENIOR TELEVISION CRITIC "TV GUIDE": Hello, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: You know, no one can forget, you know, the association of Larry Hagman, with J.R. and especially so when you think about that whole portion of the episode of "Who shot J.R.," on "Dallas." I mean it gripped the entire nation for so very long. How do you see that that kind of impacted the way television shows were crafted and delivered to television audiences?

ROUSH: Yes, well, they don't make them like they used to. They sure don't make them like Larry Hagman anymore, that is for sure. But that phenomenon in 1980, when somebody plugged J.R. Ewing, the fact was he had done such dirt that entire season toward everybody. I mean, even Ms. Ellie could have shot J.R. at that point and so was this furor. And all through the summer and if you remember there was an actor's strike that year and it delayed the start of the fall season. So the episode that revealed of who shot J.R. didn't happen until November. And the network milked it, and milked it and milked it.

And even Larry Hagman milked it because he was shot and he had leverage, he said "For me to come back at all, you're going to have to pay me more money," so he was even negotiating during this period, not just who shot J.R. but how much are they going to pay Larry Hagman to keep playing J.R. because he had broken out as such a huge, iconic TV character. Earlier today, I was likening him the way that Carol O'Connor played Archy Bunker, another outrageous person who you sort of love to hate, or hated a lot or what have you but he played it with such infectious glee, as Larry Hagman did with J.R. Ewing, that he was such a scoundrel. But he loved it so much.

I've never seen an actor somebody love a role as much as Larry Hagman loves J.R.. So by the time that November rode around, we found out who shot J.R., there were like 85 million people watching. They don't do that anymore. He is like the Super Bowl MVP of TV.

WHITFIELD: He really is, and I wonder then, the way he played J.R., you know, how much that impacted the importance of primetime television, of series like "Dallas," how much he may have single handedly played a role in that?

ROUSH: Well, during those days it was the first of its type of that sort in prime time soap opera, and then it became this sort of a cottage industry. And everybody had to have a villain. There was never one as big or as epic as J.R., to basically all of Texas, with his wheeling and dealing and his love for the land and family. You know, "Dynasty" had Alexis, and other villains on other shows but mainly they were women. You know, you think about cat fights. But here, you have this sort of like macho Texan with his waggly eyebrows, his scowl and his smirk and that smirk, you think about how many episodes of "Dallas" ended on a freeze frame of J.R. smirking because he had gotten the last word. One of my favorite quotes of J.R. is "never tell the truth when a good lie will do" and that is J.R., through and through. We loved to watch him get the best of everybody else. I mean he did really bad things but he did it in such a lovable way, he was a scamp and a scoundrel and even in the new TNT reboot, he was also just loving it, loving it. It was like a master class in TV villainy. WHITFIELD: And Matt, you know, as we continue to talk about the life and legacy of Larry Hagman, we also want to show you some new live pictures that we're getting in right now showing so many more flowers, and just mementos that are being left there at the star on Hollywood, for Larry Hagman. We understand maybe this is the wreath that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce had been promising that it would be laying. And you see they're trying to secure it now. I get confirmation, that yes, that is the wreath being put in position by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce there on the "Walk of Fame," at the star there for Larry Hagman, which apparently just below the star there for his mom, right? So he was kind of like Hollywood royalty.

ROUSH: Hollywood royalty, show biz royalty, actually he got his start on the stage. His mother was a huge Broadway star in "South Pacific," and "Peter Pan" and she took that to TV. And he became a star on television. He did movies. He did early television. But it "I Dream of Jeannie" that made him famous, and then it was J.R. that took him over the top. You couldn't ask for more two different characters -

WHITFIELD: I'm telling you --

ROUSH: Major Nelson and J.R. Ewing, one was really a nice guy who was upstaged by a genie, and here was basically J.R. who would put my woman in a bottle. Or we think of Sue Ellen in a bottle, it was like epic stuff there and he was such a meanie that he just had such a great time with it.

WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. Thanks so much. Matt Roush, thanks for helping us to remember the legacy and the man of Larry Hagman, and clearly such an incredibly diverse actor who could play so many parts and did just that in his 81 years, appreciate it.

Hector "Macho" Camacho, a legend in his own right in the world of boxing. He is dead. The former boxing champ was taken off life support today by his family. Camacho was shot in the face outside a bar near San Juan Tuesday night. His condition worsened quickly. And two days later he was declared clinically brain dead. He won 79 bouts over his career. Hector Camacho was just 50 years old.

And the FBI has nabbed one of its top 10 most wanted fugitives. Jose Luis Saenz was arrested Thursday night in Mexico, exactly where, still unclear. He now faces prosecution in Los Angeles for the murder of two rival gang members, his girlfriend in 1998, and another murder 10 years after that. The FBI had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Unclear whether someone helped turn him in and will be collecting on that.

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a massive explosion at a strip club in western Massachusetts. Fortunately the area was evacuated after somebody complained of smelling gases in the area. We understand 18 people had been injured, and they are first responders, firefighters and gas company workers who responded to those complaints.

Overseas, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's political party is calling for a million-man demonstration in Cairo on Tuesday in support of Morsi's new controversial orders. Morsi triggered massive protests when he announced Thursday that courts cannot overturn any law that he issues, and has issued since taking office in June. Critics call it an anti-democratic power grab. Well, today protesters clashed with Morsi's supporters and police in Cairo, and Egypt's highest judicial body called on Morsi to stay out of all judicial matters.

All right. He will soon be writing laws as Utah's newest congressman, but what Chris Stewart is writing right now is bound to capture the attention of the entire country. That is just one of the stories trending right now.


WHITFIELD: All right. Our legal guys are back, they're baring it all over a case in San Francisco. Avery, you're seeing right through this one.

AVERY FRIEDMAN: Oh, well, look, the nudists are putting their money where their pants are. But strutting your stuff in San Francisco, protected under the first amendment? We got the answers for you and more coming up.

WHITFIELD: And so Richard, is this a case of freedom of expression?

RICHARD HERMAN: Freedom of expression, right, they let it all hang out in San Francisco, for many, many years, Fred. But now they're curtailing it, and a lot of people are not happy. They want to flaunt it.

WHITFIELD: Big changes under away, just 90 seconds away.


WHITFIELD: Nudists in San Francisco are just fine stripping down and baring it all, any time, any place. Well, now a proposed ban would require them to keep their clothes on. So the nudists are suing. Our legal guys are back, Avery Friedman in Cleveland and Richard Herman in Las Vegas. All right, gentlemen I want you to bare all on this one.

FRIEDMAN: Whoa. You first, Fred, you first.

WHITFIELD: The city's board of supervisor approved the public nudity ban in a 6-5 vote. So why is it being challenged, Richard? They have been able to bare it all for a long time.

HERMAN: For a long time, Fred, they could run around naked and prance around, and go to restaurants and parks, naked. No problem, the land of Kate Asbury and flower power, but now all of a sudden a year ago, restrictions started coming into play. Could not go into restaurants. Now, on a six to five vote, they say only in some rare instances can you go naked in San Francisco. So the nudists are saying "No, that is wrong. That is not the will of the people." And it is in federal court, and I don't think they have a leg to stand on, but we'll see soon.

WHITFIELD: OK. So Avery, they are going to challenge this. But you know, what will be their best argument? The nudists?

FRIEDMAN: Well, the nudists are putting their money where their pants are. They're going to federal court and they're claiming it is a right protected - I guess a right to strut your stuff, protected under the first amendment. Now the sponsor of the legislation, one of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco wants everything covered up.

His name his Scott Weiner, and Mr. Weiner and the majority decided they want this law in effect, whether or not a federal district judge grant relief under the first amendment, I think is dubious at best but only in San Francisco, Fredricka, where else are you going to see something like this.

WHITFIELD: I guess, no where else and people felt pretty free to be free for a long time. But now we're talking about fines ranging from $100 to $500, Richard. This is a lot of change at once.

HERMAN: Right, and it is mainly the gay community which has taken advantage - taken advantage of the right to do this. And the mayor, ultimately has to finally sign it. So whether the mayor politically will be challenged whether or not he should sign it or not, that will also be a test. We'll find out shortly. But look, I think the law. You don't want to go to a restaurant and see someone sitting next to you naked. Come on.

WHITFIELD: I'm wondering, Avery, have there been a lot of complaints for people, you know, up in arms about this?

FRIEDMAN: Yes. Well, yes, of course, there have. I mean you know, put yourself in Richard's example. You're sitting at a nice restaurant in downtown San Francisco, and a couple of people sort of flop down, or however you put it, right next to you. You know, and you're having your hot dog or whatever the heck you're having, you know, this is distracting.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, I guess there are a lot of double takes.

HERMAN: Where is Mr. Weiner (INAUDIBLE) right.

FRIEDMAN: Whatever.

WHITFIELD: All right. Avery, Richard, always good to see you, clothes on, of course. Thank you.

FRIEDMAN: That's right. That's right. Fred, fully dressed.

WHITFIELD: All right. You all have a great one.

They're always so good at painting the picture for us. All right, don't forget, you can catch the legal guys every Saturday noon Eastern time, and of course, we always have a bonus case 4:00 Eastern time, like the one you just saw.

All right. Adding diversity to the advertising industry. We'll show you how one man is making sure that African-Americans are better represented. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're cooking, you're not used to thinking, a degree can make a big difference in something and yet I can show you that the difference between a fully running egg yolk and a fully set egg yolk is only two degrees Celsius and I can get any texture in between that by varying just a couple of tenths of a degree in between. I can achieve those effects so that all of a sudden a degree becomes an important measure and the ability to control that becomes an important measure. The whole way you have to cook, the whole way you have to think about how cooking works has to change.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Join me, Dr. Sanjay Gupta as we introduce to Dave Arnold, a big international culinary (INAUDIBLE).


WHITFIELD: Advertising is an industry that moves billions of dollars every year in our country. And so now there is a great effort by a former ad executive trying to get more African-Americans involved. Here is CNN's George Howell.


LINCOLN STEPHENS, FOUNDER, MARCUS GRAHAM PROJECT: Good morning. How are you all doing?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Changing the face of advertising.

STEPHENS: That is what this boot camp is for you guys.

HOWELL: A mission that inspired Lincoln Stephen to try to make a difference.

STEPHENS: I started the Marcus Graham Project really out of a need to increase diversity in the advertising and marketing industry.

HOWELL: The math is simple. Only about seven percent of managers in advertising and marketing are African-American.

(on camera): I would imagine in this industry you really got to have a thick skin, yes. You got to be ready for rejection.

STEPHENS: Absolutely.

HOWELL: Resilience.

STEPHENS: Absolutely, as minorities working in the business you have to be competitive.

HOWELL (voice-over): So Lincoln partners with the one club Creative boot camp in Atlanta to find talented students for his program. The challenge, creating an ad campaign for Publicis Kaplan Thaler, one of the top agencies in the country. STEPHENS: And actually develop a structure.

HOWELL: College senior, Blake Roberts, is competing against 60 other students for a spot in Lincoln's program.

The competition is tough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day heroes, who wake up each day.

HOWELL: But Blake's pitch pays off.

STEPHENS: So I definitely, definitely, definitely want Blake Roberts to join us for the summer.

HOWELL: For Blake, it means firsthand experience in the industry, and a much better chance at getting a job.

BLAKE Roberts, COLLEGE STUDENT: Very excited to finally have a chance to really do what I love to do with real clients.

HOWELL: It's the reason Lincoln Stephens started this project, making advertising more reflective of the changing world.

George Howell, CNN, Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: The documentary "Who is Black in America" premiers Sunday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, only on CNN.

The Pope says we have Jesus' birthday date all wrong. He says there's been a big mistake. That is just one of the stories trending right now.


WHITFIELD: Making news around the world at this hour.

In Egypt, opposition to President Mohamed Morsi is growing. For a third straight day, protesters hit the streets, demanding Morsi rescind a decree that gives him unlimited power. Some of Egypt's highest judges have joined protestors and are calling for a nationwide strike.

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a massive explosion at a strip club in western Massachusetts. Fortunately the area had been evacuated after there were complaints of a strong gas odor. Among the 18 people hurt, firefighters and gas company workers.

And high tech toys are always hot gifts during the holiday season but actually finding them can be the difficult part. CNN's Karen (INAUDIBLE) reports on ways to tract down the most popular presents, without wasting a whole lot of time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just like their parents, many kids want tech toys this holiday season. Whether it is a tablet designed just for them or something that interacts with the device that they already have.

LAURIE SCHACHT, THE TOY INSIDER: You download the Furby app and then you can open up different things in it.

CAIFA: But with the same toys topping lots of wish lists, they can be tough to snag.

SCHACHT: Both of the tablets and Furby are going to drive parents crazy. They're going to be difficult to find. I know with Furby the purple and the teal are particularly difficult colors to get your hands on.

CAIFA: Luckily tech makes the chase easier. Toy expert Laurie Schacht says the search no longer entails going store to store.

SCHACHT: I'm a big fan of sticking in the name of the toy, googling it. And then I find that Amazon, Toys "R" Us, Wal-mart, Target, everyone are going to come up. And then I can choose whether by price or knowing that they have inventory on it.

CAIFA: Similarly, the red laser app lets you see which stores have certain items in stock and at what price. In store scan bar codes to compare cost across retailers. Toys "R" Us revamped its apps for the holidays, and users can search by a toy at nearby stores and arrange pickup directly from their smartphone. And if mom or dad spots that elusive toy on Target shelves while a little one is in tow, they can keep the surprise under wraps, by scanning a QR code on the box and ordering on line.

Karin Caifa, Washington.


WHITFIELD: And here's what's trending on line right now.

The Pope is challenging when Jesus was actually born. He says the inventor of the Christian calendar made a mistake, and that Jesus may have been born several years earlier in the third installment of his trilogy.

And spy agencies in Britain can't seem to crack a code found on the skeleton of a carrier pigeon. It's apparently some sort of World War II code. A man found it in his chimney in England. Experts say it will be tough to crack this one without relevant code books.

And Utah's newest congressman, Chris Stewart, wants to be the first person to write a memoir on Elizabeth Smart. Stewart expects that it will be published by September, 2013. And it would be the first book detailing Smart's account of her kidnapping back in 2002, her recovery and more.

That's going to do it for me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The "CNN Newsroom" continues at the top of the hour with Martin Savidge filling in for Don Lemon.

Right now, keep it here for SANJAY GUPTA, M.D.