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Obama Proposes Social Security, Medicare Cuts; "My Brother Marvin" Comes to Stage; "Mad Men" Season 6 to Start; Letterman Spoofs CNN on "Tonight Show" Changes

Aired April 5, 2013 - 13:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama's going to try again to reach a deal with Republicans to reduce the deficit, but the budget he's going to release next week might not go over so well with some Democrats. Administration officials say the president is going to propose changes to Social Security along with $400 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years. So, that is likely to upset some of the Democrats, those in his own party, who don't actually want to see those kinds of changes to the programs.

Dan Lothian's at the White House.

Dan, talk about this. He has a real delicate balancing act here. Clearly there's something that's got to be done. Republicans say, and even some Democrats say something's got to happen for Social Security and Medicare in order to balance the budget and to reduce the deficit.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. But a lot of critics will say, look back to several years ago, when the president said that Social Security was something that he would not touch. It was part of the overall, you know, negotiations that the president had with John Boehner that failed last year. Entitlement programs, something that Republicans really wanted to get touched because they felt like that was the only way that you could really judge a real compromise. The president had to compromise on entitlement programs if he wanted to get anything else. So that's what the president is trying to do here. He wants to offer up these cuts to entitlement programs, but also there's a caveat that he'll only do that if he can get new taxes. And that's something that Republicans have resisted and will continue to resist -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: All right. Dan, we're going to be following it very closely.

Always good to see you. Thank you, Dan.

Actress Lynn Whitfield, she's the star of the big and small screen. Now she's hitting the stage playing the role of the mother of legendary singer Marvin Gaye. She's going to talk with us about the singer's controversial death and much more. She's joining us here right here in the studio, up next.


MALVEAUX: Monday marks 29 years since the death of legendary soul singer, song writer, Marvin Gaye, seen here performing at Motown in 1983 -- one year after that the artist, whose music addressed everything from poverty to politics, he was shot and killed in his parents home by his own father. Now his story, his life story, comes to stage. "My Brother Marvin," based on the memoir of Gaye's younger sister.

We have with us, Emmy-award wining actress, Lynn Whitfield, who plays the role of Gaye's mother in this production.

So nice to see you.

LYNN WHITFIELD, ACTRESS: So nice seeing you. Louisiana roots.


MALVEAUX: I know. We are probably related somewhere along the line.

Tell me about this role. You play the mother.

WHITFIELD: I play Alberta Gaye in the story of "My Brother Marvin." And we take a look at some of the dysfunction of the family, the love in the family, the addictions in the family. And it kind of puts a mirror up to any normal family where there are problems. Unfortunately, this ended in a very dramatic demise of a great musical icon.

MALVEAUX: He was amazing. He was absolutely extraordinary.


MALVEAUX: And you go through all of that. What are some of the highlights of this production? I mean, what do you get? What did you learn about Marvin Gaye?

WHITFIELD: You see -- often, we see the artist and the result of the art, but very seldom do we actually see the life behind, the family behind that was involved in creating this complex, talented personality that created work that affects the world forever, this iconic guy. So you see the love of the mother and father, the sort of competition and jealousy between the father and Marvin. The humility that he had. That he really had a spiritual relationship and saw early in his life that he would be a big star. Everybody would be calling his name. Fall in love with him early. You know, it's like seeing the child in Marvin Gaye the way we got to see, you know, Michael Jackson or something.

MALVEAUX: Sure. Sure. Explain for our viewers, who might not be familiar with the story, what was that relationship between Marvin and his father? I mean, you play the role --


WHITFIELD: There was a lot of love. But at the same time there was a sense of intimidation that the father had from him. He was a Pentecostal minister. Marvin wanted to sing secular music. The father had some maybe sexual confusions and drank alcohol. Marvin ended up being addicted to drugs. It was a competition. And often you see it in fathers and sons and mothers and daughters a sense of, you know, who's better. I made you.

MALVEAUX: Sure. Sure.

WHITFIELD: No, I made myself. That whole competitive --

MALVEAUX: And, Lynn, you do something else. You and I have seen each other many times in political circles. You're a big person in the Obama world, the Obama campaign and the White House. And you have been pushing against --


WHITFIELD: I call myself like a citizen who's participating because now it's the Obama White House. And you know that saying, if you don't stand for something, you fall for anything?


WHITFIELD: So I decided a while back that it's best to participate and let people know, who work for us, namely our Senators, our representatives, our president, you know, what our needs are, and to be a team player. So I have loved going around this country being a surrogate and bumping into amazing people like you at conventions.

MALVEAUX: I got a quick question for you before I let you go. Would you ever get into politics yourself?

WHITFIELD: Oh, no. No. My opinions are too strong. I don't want to extend a red tape. But I will support the people I believe in, with the policies I believe in, to go out there and help to make a difference.

MALVEAUX: Lynn, good to see you as always. We'll be watching for your production as well.

WHITFIELD: It's wonderful to see you as well. Come and see the play.

MALVEAUX: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: All right.

MALVEAUX: Thanks again, Lynn.

And it is final four weekend. That is right. This weekend, thousands now flocking here to Atlanta not just for the games but also for the big entertainment. We've got big names, including the Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews and Sting. Up next, all the details.


MALVEAUX: "Mad Men" fans, good news, the wait is almost over. Season six starting on Sunday after 15 Emmys, four Golden Globes. What are we going to expect next?

Our own Jake Tapper sat down with the show's creator to find out.





JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been a long 10 months since we left Don Draper at the bar. But this Sunday, millions will return to the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Price for the season six premier of "Mad Men" on AMC.


TAPPER: Series creator, Matthew Weiner, invited us to come early.

(on camera): So this is going to be the second to last season?


TAPPER: Going well. Doesn't seem any compelling reason to end it any time soon, for me anyway.

WEINER: I feel like, you know, first of all, it's exhausting. I need a break. But the reality of it is, is that the show has a life span. It is mortal. And you really want to end it before you've exceed the ability to tell a story.


TAPPER (voice-over): Heavy drinking, heavy petting and heavy drama have kept viewers tuned into a bygone era of boy's clubs.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: OK, girls, come on in.


TAPPER (on camera): How worried or concerned or aware are you when you're writing for your women characters, about them not just being Joan and Megan and Peggy, but them being symbolic of women in general?

WEINER: That's a really good question. I don't want the characters to ever be symbolic in general. Did women have it harder? Yes. Were there women pioneers? Yes. Were there exceptions to every rule? Yes. How did someone succeed in that world? I think the show resonates because things are not that different. I don't want to give a history lesson. I want people to know that these people could be their mother.

TAPPER (voice-over): But the dark heart of "Mad Men" is mysterious, womanizing ad man "Mad Men" Don Draper.

(on camera): Is he -- is it Don Draper alone? Is this what the show is about?

WEINER: I think it's a big part of his life, yes. And the ambiguity of that statement, after we've seen this man having found love and seeming less alone, I think, you know, there's an existential quality of his as a hero.

TAPPER: I don't want to know how don draper dies, but if the show is about this existential question, am I alone, can I ever be happy? Those questions, there needs to be a hint at the end about --

WEINER: I am going to try to use the machinery of my show to give a satisfying ending.


TAPPER: Of course, we can't talk about the new season of "Mad Men" without mentioning the worst kept-secret in town. Parts of the new season include shots in Hawaii. Let the speculation begin.

Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.



MALVEAUX: Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show." David Letterman is all over it. And he actually spoofed us in a fake CNN newscast last night. Check it out.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: And now, here's maybe to shed a little light on the topic a special report on the "Late Show" shakeup from CNN, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's official, Jay Leno will depart the "Tonight Show" in 2014 and be replaced by Jimmy Fallon. After a brief retirement, Jay will return to replace Jimmy in 2015. Then Seth Myers will replace Jay in 2019 before Jay returns to replace Seth in 2023, the same year David Letterman celebrates his 30th anniversary at CBS where he is expected to remain until he dies.


Suzanne Malveaux, CNN.





I want to bring in Nischelle Turner, our entertainment reporter.

Nischelle, that doesn't sound anything like me. Really?


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: First of all, a couple of things. He didn't spoof us, he spoofed you.


And second of all, can I call you Suzanne now? I'll call you Suzanne for the rest of this live show.

MALVEAUX: I thought that was great. That was really funny. Just the whole thing. But, yes, I guess they got us in on the joke, as well.

And, Nischelle, this is a great weekend. I am so excited about March Madness. You're right outside the building. Tell us who is here first of all. Final four.

TURNER: Well, first of all, if I talked really loud, you could probably hear me without the microphone because I'm literally just steps from you. I'm in Centennial Park in Atlanta. And we have the final four, the games going on at the Georgia Dome where this is the party going on here. This is the big dance concert series.

And take a look, first of all, you can hear behind me, the sound check going on. The doors here open at 3:00. But this is set up for a good time. Out of everything that's going on here, what do I see? The sangria stand and the Italian ice stand. I don't know what that says about me.


But there's a huge free concert going on all weekend. Tonight, we have Zac Brown Band, who is really great. And they will come on. Saints of Valerie will also play tonight. But on Saturday, that's when it really starts to ramp up out here. Ludacris, who everybody in Atlanta and all over the country for that matter loves, Flo Rida will be here as well and Muse, which has kind of everyone at CNN today all aflutter. There's a lot of Muse fans working over there. On Sunday, though, this is one of the best days I think in music that Atlanta's probably seen in a while. Sting is taking the stage, Dave Matthews, taking stage, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

And, Suzanne, did I mention that this is a free concert? So you can come out and listen --


TURNER: -- to the top names all weekend for free.

They expect about 150,000 people to come out here for this concert this weekend. And it's going to be packed. We all know that it's going to be busy around here. But it should be a lot of fun.

Oh, listen to this. They sound great.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes.

TURNER: They sound wonderful.

MALVEAUX: Nischelle, as awesome as this shot that we have of you, we see you in the middle of the park there. From our vantage point, from the building, we can see exactly where you are. Any celebrity sightings so far?

TURNER: Haven't had any just yet. The only celebrity I spotted was this morning, in the makeup room, this lady named Suzanne Malveaux. And I tell you what, I was star struck when I saw her.


MALVEAUX: Flattery will get you everywhere, Nischelle, everywhere.

Thank you.

TURNER: I try. I try.


MALVEAUX: This is going to be a great weekend. Of course, final four here in Atlanta.

Nischelle, thank you so much. It will be a lot of fun.

And, of course, you have to remember the Louisville player, Kevin Ware, really the one who is the star, the standout here. Broke his leg so severely over the weekend that his bone came through the skin. Well, he is recovering well. He is recovering well. He's taking his injury in stride. We have seen him thanking all of his fans and his team, as well. And last night, he appeared on David Letterman to count down the top-10 reactions to the injury. Check it out.


LETTERMAN: Number nine.

KEVIN WARE, LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL PLAYER: I hope this doesn't leave a bruise.


LETTERMAN: Number eight.

WARE: Hey, look, my tibia.


LETTERMAN: Number four.

WARE: Tape it up, coach, I'm staying in.


LETTERMAN: And the number one thought going through Kevin Ware's mind at the moment of the broken leg --

WARE: At least my brag is not busted.

LETTERMAN: That's right.




MALVEAUX: Brag isn't busted.

CNN going behind the scenes, giving you a back-stage pass to the final four. You don't want to miss this. CNN all access at the final four with Rachel Nichols starting Saturday afternoon at 3:00 eastern.

No lunch for you. Middle school kids now ordered to throw out their food because the meal cards were actually negative. We'll talk about that next.


MALVEAUX: Outrage over students denied lunch. Officials at a middle school in Massachusetts are now under fire after students that had negative balances on these prepaid lunch cards, they were told basically, got to go hungry. About 25 children, they left the lunchroom hungry after the cafeteria employees ordered them to throw out their lunches after discovering that the kids could not pay for them. So school officials and the company that operates the cafeteria are blaming lunchroom workers for making the call.

This frustrated mom owed just one dollar on her son's card.


JO-AN BLANCHARD, PARENT: This is bullying. That's neglect. Child abuse. He was mortified. All his friends were staring at him because he couldn't have a lunch.


MALVEAUX: So what's supposed to happen here? Students are supposed to receive a grilled cheese sandwich along with some fruit, veggies and milk when the lunch card dips into the red.

In Colorado, police have arrested one of two white supremacists that they have been searching for in connection with the killing of the state's prison chief, Tom Clements. James Lore was taken into custody in Colorado Springs. Police say he is linked to Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Clements. Clements was shot down when he opened the front door at his house last month. In an exclusive interview, his widow and daughters talked to CNN about how they would like him to be remembered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL CLEMENTS, DAUGHTER OF TOM CLEMENTS: We'd like people to see how he lived his life and that that is so much more important than how he died. That he lived his life with such passion and such compassion for other people.

LISA CLEMENTS, WIFE OF TOM CLEMENTS: All that happened was just unmentionable darkness. But I trust that people will see light coming through, that they will see a man lived a good life, and people's lives were impacted by that.


MALVEAUX: Clements' other daughter, Sarah, said simply, "My dad was my hero."

Well, that's it for us. Brooke Baldwin takes it from here. Have a great weekend.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, thank you.