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Bourdain Discusses New CNN Show; Guns & Educating About Them In The Home; Wiener For Mayor?
Aired April 10, 2013 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So, I'm standing by with my new friend, Anthony Bourdain, "Parts Unknown," this Sunday, 9:00 on CNN. It is so nice to meet you. Can I call you Tony?
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": Yes, please.
BALDWIN: OK, Tony Bourdain, welcome to CNN.
BOURDAIN: Thank you. I just got my official I.D. today. I can't believe they gave it to me.
BALDWIN: Check it out. Anthony Bourdain, a CNN I.D. you're official. You weren't official before, but that officially makes you the real deal. Let me just begin with this show.
I mean, look, we all know, and you have many, many fans, you had previous shows, one of the reasons I understand you came to CNN was because we, with our security, and our pull around the world, we can get you places maybe other people couldn't get you. My question though is, is there anywhere in the world you wouldn't go?
BOURDAIN: Wouldn't. In principle, no, I mean, there are places I'm definitely going to wait to go. I would love to go to Iran, Tehran, in particular.
BALDWIN: You would?
BOURDAIN: I would like to wait a little bit, you know.
BALDWIN: We don't know how long that waiting may be.
BOURDAIN: I'm hopeful. I mean, I heard it is a young country. I heard once you're inside, the government, as lovely as they are, I get the people are nice and the food is great. So that's a place I would like to go at some point.
BALDWIN: OK, you would like to go to Tehran. I'm fascinated by the fact you were in Libya. I mean, we covered all of that live through the demise and fall of Moammar Gadhafi and here we have some pictures. You were tweeting up your trip in Libya. Tripoli, what -- walking around there, tell us what that was like. What did it smell like? What were you surprised by? BOURDAIN: It is a totally different security situation and shooting style than I'm used to. You have to think about how long you want to hang around in any given place. There are people there who want to hurt you. But in general, what it felt like --
BALDWIN: Were you fearful ever?
BOURDAIN: You know, you just go and go and go, you want to get the shot, you want to do it, you think about that stuff later.
BOURDAIN: For me, it -- what surprised me is that, you know, kids. There were skater boys and, you know, medical students from Canada -- cobbled together cross bows and face soviet tanks. An extraordinary story and getting to meet them and talk to them about things like music and fast food. You know, I think people would be surprised.
BALDWIN: A lot of big fast food fans in Libya?
BOURDAIN: One of the more heart breaking scenes in the show is eating at a Kentucky fried colonel knockoff with a young rebel who was absolutely ecstatic to be eating American-style fast food, to the point that he's eating this greasy fried chicken and saying this is the taste of freedom. I just felt, wow, right?
BALDWIN: Wow. For you, you're also -- you went to Colombia, a place I would love to go. And you talk a little bit about drugs, and legalization, this whole -- the debate involving whether or not it should be legal. You used your own experiences and your own opinions in that. How did you do that?
BOURDAIN: Well, you know, when you see how big Colombia is and how unpopulated it is, and vast areas of jungle and cocaine production and trafficking areas, you see a lot of costs they paid for our appetite for drugs.
I've come to terms with the fact that in an earlier life I'm probably responsible for least one dead Colombian in, you know, due to my lifestyle in the '80s. There is a real affect on the ground.
I came back from the usefulness of the drug war, but overall, I'm impressed by what a beautiful, proud, diverse, interesting country so much going on there.
BALDWIN: Favorite meal.
BALDWIN: In Colombia.
BOURDAIN: I think it is called a Bandera, this mammoth titanic breakfast of every known meat, rice, beans, not like cooking, but delicious. Best ever Sancoco, like their all in one stew, like a Colombian gumbo. BALDWIN: Sounds yummy. Writing, I want to talk to you about writing. You end up getting published in the "New Yorker," boom, begat your book. Then now here you are, you love New Orleans. I want to play a clip. This is a clip --
BALDWIN: With your buddy, I'm facetious maybe in saying Richmond, old nemesis, food critic. Take a look at this. Tremais.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Journalist. We're going to be true to what we believe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. This is how we cure the three- day --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a wreck, got to be kidding. Nobody throws a Stazarak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So you call him two words I cannot repeat on CNN because I do like my job and I like to keep it. Give me a back story.
BOURDAIN: You know, Alan had written a very unkind review of the dining scene in New Orleans, just a few months after Katrina, which I thought was incredibly in poor taste. When I said some unkind things about him, he said some unkind things about me, it escalated and they say revenge is sweet.
I wrote this part for Alan Richmond like character, really an act of pure revenge. But then he agreed to appear as himself, which I thought showed a lot of class. It is hard to stay angry with a guy, even if he's your arch enemy when they got the stones to step up and do something like that.
BALDWIN: We're not using the words to describe him anymore?
BOURDAIN: We had dinner since.
BALDWIN: Dinner with Alan Richmond.
BOURDAIN: If you have an enemy, good to have one who is as significant and as interesting and with as much gravitas as Alan Richmond.
BALDWIN: Let's have a little fun. Lightning round, first up, boneless chicken.
BOURDAIN: Not food.
BALDWIN: Ted Nugent.
BOURDAIN: Charming. Charming, like Dr. Lector or just charming, I don't know.
BALDWIN: Keith Richards.
BOURDAIN: My hero. I mean, I would -- I'm shaking just thinking about him. If I got in an elevator with Keith Richards, I would totally geek out, wouldn't be able to speak.
BALDWIN: Later, tonight, your big party, Paula Deen.
BOURDAIN: I just keep thinking lunch burger, two beef patties, fried egg, bacon in between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That can't be good.
BALDWIN: Can't be good, can't be good. CNN.
BOURDAIN: This is CNN.
BALDWIN: Say it with me. I'm Tony Bourdain and this is CNN. You are the lover of words, favorite word in the English language.
BOURDAIN: I can't say it here. Joe Pesci uses it a lot. Let's put it that way.
BALDWIN: Segueing to one "f" word we can use, fatherhood.
BOURDAIN: Well, you know what is great about it for me is that after living my whole life as myself as the star of the movie in my head, I, you know, now it is all about the girl. Watching cartoons with my daughter, greatest thing I could possibly think of doing.
BALDWIN: Final two questions. Just on the same vein, your little girl. How has being a dad rocked your world?
BOURDAIN: In every possible -- any notion of ever being cool or, yes, any notion of being cool disappeared the minute you look on your child's face.
BALDWIN: You don't consider yourself cool anymore?
BOURDAIN: Cool is not caring about things. It is indifference and that's the opposite of who I am now.
BALDWIN: One day when your daughter grows up and says, dad, what -- tell me about your 20s and 30s and 40s, what do you tell her?
BOURDAIN: Look, it is a matter of record. That's who daddy was. He doesn't do those things anymore. From the minute -- the moment she was born, I worked hard to not do anything that would embarrass her or be, you know, cause -- bring shame on my house. But, you know, I did what I did, I was who I was, I've done those things and I'm going to be honest about them. BALDWIN: Tony Bourdain, I will set my DVR. It is so nice to meet you. Welcome. You have the official pass. You're in. Tony Bourdain, watch his show, starts this Sunday, first show is Myanmar, correct? Myanmar, this Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and we'll be right back.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, everyone. I'm Chad Myers. The third annual CNN I-Report Awards are under way right now and here's your chance to be heard. We've looked at thousands of I- Reports submitted last year and chose the most compelling examples. Go to cnnireportawards.com to watch and vote. Here are the nominees in the original reporting category.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a mental sport as much as it is a physical one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people like me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew my harp would be welcomed and I could play anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much for everything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are attracted to why we do what we do and that is magical.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people will die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: A bullet to the head kills a 6-year-old boy, just playing in the yard. The gunman, a 4-year-old playmate, who grabbed a rifle from his parents' home. We are talking about guns today. What about guns at homes, like the gun that killed 6-year-old Brandon Holt in New Jersey?
I want to bring in our panel today, CNN's Christine Romans, and mom of three little boys joins me here in New York. Also "Essence" magazine's Acting Managing Editor Vanessa Bush, fitness expert and author Donna Richardson Joyner, and Ben Ferguson, host of the "Ben Ferguson Show," and fifth here, Chris Freights, national correspondent for "National Journal."
So welcome to all of you. And because this lovely lady sitting here to my left, I want to begin with Christine Romans, put your mom hat on for me.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I never take it off actually. BALDWIN: Keep it on. What about this idea some people are proposing, I hear laughter, some people are proposing the idea we have sex ed in schools, why not have gun ed as well?
ROMANS: You know, look, there are millions of kids who are getting gun education at home. There are lots of different programs that gun owners and others use to teach their kids the proper use of guns. My big concern is kids who don't know and understand guns, but could find themselves in a situation where guns are, someone else's house, a party or even in a car, a parking lot or somewhere where there has been -- I worry about the kids that don't know about guns.
So sex education, when they're young, it should be up to the parents to tell the kids what they think they should know. I'm actually struggling with this right now. I recently was at a place, an arcade, with all the gun games. My 4-year-old picked up this big scary gun and he said you like to fill it up regular or super? He didn't know what it was. What do I do now?
BALDWIN: Vanessa, what do you think of this idea? Educating our kids, start young.
VANESSA BUSH, ACTING MANAGING EDITOR, "ESSENCE" MAGAZINE: Yes, you know, I don't know about this idea of guns. I do believe that is important to expose children to the dangers of guns and this is not a play thing.
I mean, when they play video games, when they see their toy guns, they really don't understand what the actuality is of having someone shot, witnessing someone being shot. They don't understand the brutality of that.
And TV and movies don't -- they glamorize it. They make it seem like it is something that goes away right after, but this is long- term, forever. That's something we have to do a better job of teaching our children that this is serious. This is serious what we're doing.
BALDWIN: Ben Ferguson, Ben, I want to come to you. I know you're a gun owner. Hang tight because one other idea I just wanted to throw out to everyone is the idea, obviously, when you hear a story of a 6-year-old kid being killed, it makes you think where were the parents and how was the gun stored?
I just want to read quickly. This is an op-ed we found in the "Orlando Sentinel," sort of talking about there should be tougher punishment for parents. Quote, "Prosecutors shouldn't be afraid to send a tough message to parents. Parents deserve to face criminal charges if that firearm gets into the hands of a child."
Cracking down on careless adults who don't follow a few simple steps to keep fire arms out of the hands of kids is one thing I expect we can all agree on. Ben Ferguson, thoughts?
BEN FERGUSON, HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": You know, I always get nervous because unfortunately there are truly accidents that happen. But when it comes to educating the kids, I grew up in a family where my father was in law enforcement. Still has a badge today.
And what he did was is curiosity can be a great thing, also a terrible thing. And he made sure from a very young age that we understood what a gun was, how it worked, how dangerous it was, what it was used for, and I think in school that if you had, for example, a sheriff come in, a police officer come in, and talk to kids about guns, and so that if you find one, this is not something for you to play with, and a toy.
Kids automatically look up to firemen and policeman and hear that when they're younger, that's how they want to be when they grow up or astronauts. They're automatically going to be drawn to that person.
If you have someone in law enforcement, especially those that may be retired law enforcement, I know they would be more than happy to come in and talk to kids. If they're leading the discussion, I would be all in favor of it because it takes the politics out of it for maybe a teacher's perspective, pro or against guns, I don't care.
But for law enforcement to do this, I think it would be a brilliant way to talk to kids because when my curiosity was taken away, I never went looking for my dad's guns because I had seen them and understood how dangerous they in fact were.
BALDWIN: So that's one idea. I think it's a great idea to have a neutral voice, law enforcement in schools if you want to go that route, but Donna, what about the parents? I mean, in Florida, for example, you get slapped with second degree misdemeanor for parents who aren't locking up their guns, for example. Marijuana possession is worse than that.
DONNA RICHARDSON JOYNER, AUTHOR AND FITNESS EXPERT: First, I want to say that I believe that the education should start at home, but I think it should be extended to the school as well. In the New Jersey case, I believe that the parents were careless for not locking up that gun in a secure location, and also not having the safety lock on the gun.
So I think there is some liability there because they did not secure that gun. I don't believe a child of 4 years old going into find this gun would have known how to take the safety lock off the gun and the gun was loaded. So we have to protect and save our kids.
BALDWIN: Chris, you get the last word.
CHRIS FRATES, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": Well, I think it is a mix of both things, right, like you have to have parents who are responsible. I think increasing criminal penalties would be a deterrent. Certainly guns shouldn't just be lying around.
I think there is an education piece. That goes with good gun ownership as Ben's dad taught him, you don't play with these, these are not toys and you show the children, this is how they work, this is what they are and they are dangerous. The same way your dad showed you that the lawn mower or chainsaw in the garage was dangerous, you need to know this is a tool. It is an adult tool, and not something you are to toy with. And I think a bit of both, the education for the children, and maybe some more criminal penalties for a parent who is irresponsible may help this.
BALDWIN: Because it is not only if you're a parent and not only if you don't have a gun, but your kid could go to somebody's house and their parents could have a gun, which opens up a whole other conversation. We talked last week about gun etiquette. What do you do with parents? Christine Romans, thank you very much. Panel, stick around.
Next hot topic involves Anthony Weiner. He wants to make a political comeback, perhaps. Will and should New Yorkers forgive him? That's next.
BALDWIN: We're back. Let's talk about Anthony Weiner. When you see the cameras stopping as they did for this guy, tends to spell trouble. A little sexting scandal did it for Anthony Weiner, silenced the ever quotable Democrat from Queens.
This is Weiner, back June of 2011, announcing his resignation from Congress. He did say at the time he might want a second chance. And now "The New York Times" is reporting that Weiner may run for mayor, mayor of New York City.
I want to open it back up to my hot topics panel. Ben Ferguson, what do you think? Do you think he should leave well enough alone?
FERGUSON: Can't you do any better than this is what I would say to anyone that is thinking about voting for this guy. I mean, if this is the best that you can come up with to offer the big apple, we've got real problems in this country. I mean, of course, he wants to come back because what else is he going to do?
He's obsessed with being important. He's obsessed with people talking about him. He's obsessed with being a politician and having that power. Even his own brother used the word to refer to him that I can't even say on TV.
And almost like it was an attribute, a positive thing. So, you know, then again, from his perspective, look at the current mayor. He literally bought an election with his massive fortune, so if that guy can get re-elected, then, you know, maybe Weiner can too. Who knows?
BALDWIN: Donna, you agree with Ben?
JOYNER: I just think the whole sex scandal really put him in jeopardy because most people need to know that he can be trusted to make good decisions. So I think even though his wife forgave him, the people of New York have to vote for who they think the best leader is and who can restore New York.
BALDWIN: Chris, we remember the whole scandal. He continuously lied.
FRATES: That's right, Brooke. What is interesting about what Weiner is doing now, he's clearly testing the waters. That "New York Times" magazine piece is to reintroduce himself on to the scene after taking the amount of time, kind of in hiding as it were, getting his personal life straight.
And he commissioned some polling and basically asked New Yorkers, would you give me a second shot? And the answer, according to his polling, was, we would, but we would have a lot of questions. And the truth in his ability to be honest with New Yorkers is going to be one of those things and he's already kind of given that joint interview with his wife, showing a unified front there.
This is not the first politician that has fallen to a sex scandal and returned successfully. We have Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, David Vitter caught up in a prostitution scandal, got re-elected. Mark Sanford just got -- he got open the Appalachian Trail and now he'll run against Stephen Colbert's sister.
BALDWIN: Vanessa, I want your opinion. We're thinking in terms of former mayors in New York City -- and we just lost Ben, down to three. Can we still keep rolling? We have three.