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Americans Dead in Afghanistan; White Smoke and the Vote for a Pope; TaskRabbit Founder Making Waves; The Future of Television

Aired March 11, 2013 - 14:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you, Nischelle, as always.

That is it for me. CNN NEWSROOM continues.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Secrecy and smoke. It's the event that usually happens once a generation. And we are taking you inside the decision to elect the next pope.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell them you love them because you never know what can happen. Tomorrow's not promised to anybody.


BALDWIN: What happened minutes before an SUV crashed, killing six teenagers. You'll hear what police are now saying.

Plus, Harvard under fire for secretly looking at the e-mails of its deans.

And, she's been called the female Mark Zuckerberg.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never been a male entrepreneur.


BALDWIN: Hear why she left her comfy job to burst into a world of risk in our special series "What Women Want."

Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me on a Monday.

Want to begin with some news here out of Afghanistan. At least two American soldiers are dead, at least 10 more Americans wounded, in what may have been another inside job in Afghanistan's Wardak province. This happened just within the past couple of hours. Wardak province, you see on the map here, this is just west of Kabul. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai exactly two weeks ago, he accused the United States of destabilizing Wardak province and he ordered our special forces out of there. Now, flash forward two weeks later, two green berets are dead, 10 wounded, reportedly killed by a machine gunner wearing some sort of Afghan uniform. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is on the story for us from his post there in Beirut.

And, Nick, tell me what you know about this vicious attack. As we reported, two Americans dead, 10 wounded. Was this an inside job?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It seems that's the case, although at this point we normally just hear ISAF, NATO in Afghanistan, telling us that a man was wearing an Afghan army uniform. Too early in the investigation to know if he was an infiltrator or actually someone who turned, who was part of the Afghan security forces.

What we do know from Afghan officials is he apparently leapt on the back of a truck and used a heavy machine gun to shoot at these Americans. Amongst that group were some special forces, green berets, killing two, injuring 10, and some other Afghan injuries and dead as well along with that. He was then shot dead as they returned fire.

But the timing of this is absolutely key. As you mentioned earlier, Brooke, today was the day in which President Karzai had demanded U.S. special forces pull out of that province, after allegations that a militia working with them, of Afghans, had, in fact, killed a young Afghan man recently. Enormous tensions around this, only exacerbating the American loss.

But also should point out, Brooke, we've just had a visit from Chuck Hagel, the new secretary of defense, to Kabul. His first meeting with Hamid Karzai. And during that, Hamid Karzai made some strange comments in which he suggested the Americans and the Taliban were somehow working together, somehow colluding to continue violence in the country, to give a justification for U.S. troops to stay there. That's been immediately knocked back by NATO and the White House today, but it really show house tense this relationship is now, Brooke, that allegations like that could be made.


BALDWIN: A whole other layer of murkiness because of the last bit you just reported with Chuck Hagel there and what Karzai is now saying.

Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much, for us in Beirut.

And now to Italy we go. The cardinals, they have arrived. The papal chimney is installed. And the catholic church is now ready to choose a new pope. So what now? Starting tomorrow, 115 cardinal electors enter this code of silence inside the Sistine Chapel. Each will be handed this paper ballot. Tomorrow afternoon, they will write down the name of their chosen candidate and then they fold up the ballots, they're counted. Keep in mind, if a cardinal gets two-thirds of the vote, that's what they have to have, he immediately becomes pope. The papal fires will then burn, sending a message in smoke to the world that a new pope has been elected. That is the white smoke. We don't know yet when that will happen. John Allen is live from Rome. And so, John, here on this eve before the conclave, in preparation, tell me what's happening tonight.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Brooke, just to introduce one little nuance in the tick tock you just gave our viewers, the guy doesn't become pope when he gets two thirds of the vote. There's one other step that has to happen --

BALDWIN: Hang on, John, I can't hear you. Let's let that siren go by. I'm just going to start you over. Please, please, pick up where you were.

ALLEN: Just one bit of nuance. The guy doesn't become pope the moment he gets two-thirds of the vote. What happens is, another cardinal inside that conclave, inside the Sistine Chapel, approaches him and asks him if he accept his election. Now, we're all assuming he would, but technically he could say no and they have to start the process all over again. But assuming that happens, then once that magic moment comes, we'll have a pope, we'll get the white smoke and we'll get the "habemus papam."

What's going on tonight, Brooke, things are unfolding at two levels. One is logistics. Last minute preparations are being made inside the Sistine Chapel, which is where the conclave will also take place. And also at the Casa Santa Marta, that's the hotel on Vatican grounds where cardinals will be staying, where they'll be spending their breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks. And that really is where the politics of this conclave will go on once they're in lockdown.

The other thing that's going on, of course, is that cardinals are meeting informally today in twos and threes and tens and 20s to try to get past where they left things off in their general meetings this week where they were talking about issues facing the church. Now they're trying to get down to brass tacks about who the next pope is going to be. And that, of course, Brooke, is the $64,000 question.

BALDWIN: So then before, though, we know who the next pope is, before we see the white smoke billowing through that Sistine Chapel chimney, what should really, John, the world be watching for day in and day out from this conclave?

ALLEN: Well, obviously the conclave itself is going to be unfolding behind closed doors. So what to watch for is this. First of all, tomorrow morning, a mass is going to be celebrated for the election of the pope, in which all of these 115 cardinal electors will be taking part. And that's the last public act of the pre-conclave period. A homily is going to -- that is a reflection -- is going to be delivered by the dean of the college of cardinals, 85-year-old Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who will not be in the conclave, but he still has an enormous amount of influence. This is really Cardinal Sodano's last chance to set a tone.

Then in the afternoon, of course, we'll see this carefully choreographed procession of the cardinals moving from the Vatican's Pauline Chapel down what's called the Hall of Blessings, ending up in the Sistine Chapel singing this magnificent Latin hymn called "Veni Creator Spiritus," a hymn to the Holy Spirit. Of course, Catholics believe the election of a pope unfolds under the guidance of the spirit.

Once they're in the Sistine Chapel, you're not going to see that. So what we'll be waiting for are those windows around midmorning, lunchtime, mid afternoon, and in the evening Rome time, where you're either going to get black smoke, meaning no pope, or white smoke meaning "habemus papam," Brooke, "we've got a pope."

BALDWIN: John Allen, we'll be watching right there with you. Very exciting, the next couple of days, perhaps weeks, in Vatican City in Rome. Thank you, sir.

But now to a tough story to tell. This is absolute heartbreak in this small northeastern Ohio town as friends and family are grieving today for these six young lives lost because of an SUV crash. Police say, here it is, the SUV was speeding Sunday morning in the wee hours before it smashed into a guardrail, flipped into a swamp, killing five boys and one girl who was driving. Two teen boys managed to break out of one of the SUV's windows, ran to a home, was able to call 911. Relatives spoke with CNN and the driver's uncle said this to a reporter.


TIM CAYSON, VICTIM'S UNCLE: (INAUDIBLE) identify her body and it was her.

DEANNA BEHNER, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I just want him to come home and he can't. No parent can understand what it's like to lose -- well, some parents can understand what it's like to lose a child, but you don't really know it until it hits you. And he can't come home. He can't come through the door, "mom, what's for dinner, what did you cook, mom?" I'm not going to hear none of it anymore.

KYLE BEHNER, VICTIM'S BROTHER: They had me identify him. And I went back there. And all I seen was just tubes and blood everywhere. And after I identified him, I ran out and I couldn't -- I just lost everything.


BALDWIN: The school's district superintendent says grief counselors are on hand at the two schools where the students attended and that the community is pulling together. The SUV had been taken without permission, though it's not yet clear where this group was going. There is no sign that they had been drinking.

Question for you. Are women themselves to blame if they're not moving up quicker than they'd like up that corporate ladder. One of the biggest names in tech thinks so. She is Sheryl Sandberg. You're hearing a lot about her lately because she has this new book out, ruffling some feathers. A big interview last night on "60 Minutes." We'll hear her advice to women on getting ahead.

Plus, not giving up. Actress Valerie Harper on her very public and emotional battle with terminal cancer. .


BALDWIN: What we're talking about today, what women want. And right on cue, one of the world's most successful women has caused a bit of a stir with her comments about success and women. You heard about this? Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of FaceBook, leaning to this. Here's her interview from "60 Minutes."


SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK COO: Plenty of women are as ambitious as men. What I am saying, and I want to say it unequivocally and unapologetically, that the data is clear that when it comes to ambition to lead, to be the leader of whatever you're doing, men, boys, outnumber girls and women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But some women will hear that and say, wow, she's telling me I'm not working hard enough, I'm not trying hard enough. She's blaming women.

SANDBERG: Yes. I'm not blaming women. My message is not one of blaming women. There's an awful lot we don't control. I am saying that there's an awful lot we can control and we can do for ourselves.


BALDWIN: OK, so that is Sheryl Sandberg on "60 Minutes." Here now is former First Lady Laura Bush. She is chiming in on this whole "lean in" movement, and, of course, the title of Sheryl Sandberg's new book. Laura Bush talked to Erin Burnett.


LAURA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: Well, I have two girls who have been leaning in since the day they were born, I think. They're both very interested in the outside world, and in life outside of themselves. When you go through those teenage years, teenagers are usually very self-conscious and my advice always to teenagers and young people is to move outside of yourself by looking at other people, by looking at ways you can use your own talents.


BALDWIN: You can watch all of Erin's interview with former First Lady Laura Bush tonight, 7:00 Eastern, on "Erin Burnett Out Front," 7:00.

One of the hottest new companies out there, maybe you know the name, you ever heard of TaskRabbit? Guess what, founded by a woman. A very young woman, might I add. Here is CNN's Dan Simon.


LEAH BUSQUE, TASKRABBIT, FOUNDER AND CEO: So I'm thinking if we can have trust plus efficiency as like an equation or something -- DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's been compared to Mark Zuckerberg. Smart, entrepreneurial and driven. At 32 years old, Leah Busque is the founder and CEO of what is likely one of the biggest up and comers in America, TaskRabbit.

BUSQUE: So over the past 12 months, you know, we've 5x'd our revenue, we've quadrupled the number of active users as part of our user base and we've launched in 10 major cities across the country.

JOYCE APFEL, TASKRABBIT: Three chocolate chip cookies and three peanut butter.

SIMON: TaskRabbit is a service that allows you to hire people to do small jobs. Joyce Apfel is a TaskRabbit hired to deliver sweets to a party.

APFEL: I am my own boss, per say, being a TaskRabbit. So it helps me to manage my time and I meet really fun -- very fun people.

SIMON: But back to Leah.

BUSQUE: I love this animation.

SIMON: Even more unique than her fast growing company is the fact that she's a female software engineer. This picture says it all, surrounded by men at her previous job as a computer programmer at IBM.

SIMON (on camera): The culture of an IBM must be, right, dramatically different from a San Francisco startup.

BUSQUE: Completely different. Yes. I went from a company of being one of 400,000 to one of one.

SIMON: She left her comfy job to enter the risky world of technology startups. A career that leaves little room for a personal life. Leah uses her own company to handle mundane tasks such as laundry and grocery shopping. Perhaps not surprising, more women use TaskRabbit than men.

SIMON (voice-over): In 2011, "San Francisco" magazine compared her to Zuckerberg, and placed her head on his body. In an essay for "Women's 2.0," she wrote she was honored, "but at the same time it was disheartening to see my head placed on a male's body. As if masculine features are synonymous with uber success."

BUSQUE: I've never been a male entrepreneur, so I'm not really sure what sort of challenges they may face versus my own. Being an entrepreneur is hard, all around. It's not easy.

SIMON: She repeatedly says she doesn't focus on gender. Still, the other top executives at TaskRabbit are also women. She says they were just the most qualified. Overall, she says the staff is about 50/50.

MARISSA MAYER, YAHOO CEO: And the baby's been easy. The baby's been way easier than everyone made it out to be.

SIMON: As for fellow tech executives like Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer and what seems like a constant focus on her being a woman CEO --

SIMON (on camera): When is she just going to become a CEO?

BUSQUE: When was Hillary Clinton going to become just someone running for president? I mean, I don't know. That's a good question. I think it's going to take some time.

SIMON (voice-over): Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


BALDWIN: Coming up next, the future of television. Could online videos take over good old-fashioned TV? One of Hollywood's hottest writers and producers talks TV viewership beyond the remote, next.


BALDWIN: Remember that little show called "Lost"? It did more than crank out huge ratings on ABC for six seasons, leaving millions of fans with questions that I certainly still have, like what the heck was the tropical island they were living on, what was up with the polar bears? "Lost" also went on to be really a cultural phenomenon here, giving birth to this new term. You heard of "transmedia storytelling"? Through the show's original video games and the webisodes, it added depth to the show's bizarre and entrancing universe. And so one of the men behind this whole show is Carlton Cuse, one of the show's former writers and executive producers, joins me live at South By Southwest at Austin, where he's talking about, of course, transmedia.

Carlton, welcome. Nice to meet you.

Tell me this first and foremost, just how are you getting TV viewers to watch, to interact beyond just picking up the remote and watching good old-fashioned television?

CARLTON CUSE, CREATOR, "BATES MOTEL": You know, I think that's a great question, Brooke. There are, I think, with all the new media platforms that have come into existence, there are all these new opportunities for show runners (ph). You know, when you construct a story, whether it's "Lost" or my new show, "Bates Motel," it's like building an iceberg. You have to construct the entire iceberg, but only the top 15 percent is above the water. And that's the part that actually goes in the show that you see on broadcast. But as storytellers, we're creating the rest of that iceberg and these other media platforms like the Internet and webisodes create opportunities for us to tell stories from that lower part of the iceberg.

BALDWIN: So how does it create the opportunity instead of kill good old TV? I mean you have, you know, sites like NetFlix that are just themselves, you know, producing shows like "House of Cards" with Kevin Spacey. More and more people are learning to skip through those commercials. How do you keep television relevant, but also make sure people are clicking as well?

CUSE: You know, I think it's tough. I think that, you know, television viewing is changing dramatically. You know, it used to be media and more television dictated when you watched it. Now we, as viewers, dictate when we want to watch television. So I think that's why the value of live broadcasts like sports has become so -- they've become so valuable because one of the few things that people watch live.

As a show creator, what you're hoping to do is make a buzz-worthy show where, you know, people have to watch it when it's actually airing. So, for instance, I'm a "Breaking Bad" fan. I wouldn't want to go more than a day without -- after an episode of "Breaking Bad" has aired without seeing it because I wouldn't want to be out of the conversation. So I think as a show creator, you're trying to make something that sort of has enough impact in the social consciousness that people will want to watch it right away.

BALDWIN: I love that you said that.

CUSE: In the meantime, these other --

BALDWIN: No, I just love that you're saying being part of the conversation, whether it's "Breaking Bad," whether it's even watching CNN, we're all sitting here tweeting, right, because I love live feedback.

So then look into your crystal ball, because I just wanted to pick your brain, you know, 10, 20 years from now, what do you think television looks like?

CUSE: Well, you'll probably be walking around South By Southwest watching TV on your Google glasses, you know? I mean --

BALDWIN: Seriously? You're being serious?

CUSE: I think there will be -- I am serious and I think that you'll have --


CUSE: You'll be able to watch television wherever you are. So if you're sitting at an airport, you'll be able to literally watch it on your lenses in front of your face. I think that iPads and iPhones and, you know, computers are all going to sort of seem somewhat obsolete. There's just going to be a myriad of options where you're going to be able to watch programming. And like anything else, you know, good programming will always win out. People always are going to be interested in good storytelling. It's just the amount of -- the options are going to be fairly infinite, I think.

BALDWIN: And that will just increase the challenge to then turn it all off and get silence. That's always a challenge for me sometimes. Carlton Cuse of the "Bates Motel." Enjoy Austin. Thank you so much. Looking into the crystal ball of TV here. Kind of exciting.

Now to this. Critics sounding the alarm after the TSA okays those small knives on planes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: It looks dangerous. And it is dangerous. This can kill someone.


BALDWIN: Well, the TSA has now responded here about whether it will keep the policy amid all the criticism, including from Senator Chuck Schumer.