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Official: Syria Attack Evidence Analyzed; Mexico Train Derails; Donald Trump Sued; Interview with Congressman John Lewis; Book About Jodi Arias; Face-to-Face with Russell Simmons; This Week in Baseball
Aired August 25, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.
We are going to begin with the news reported first here on CNN. continues to deny its forces used chemical weapons.
Syria is now agreeing to allow U.N. inspectors to the full access to the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack. As many as 1,300 people died in last week's attack, many of them women and children. The Syrian government continues to deny its forces used chemical weapons.
Meantime, Russia's ministry of foreign affairs warning against jumping to conclusions on chemical weapons before the U.N. investigation is complete.
Our Pentagon correspondent is Chris Lawrence. He's in Washington with new information just in to CNN about evidence being collected from the alleged chemical attack -- Chris.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Don, the message from the U.S. and its allies seems to be too little, too late. Both a senior Obama administration official and the British Foreign Secretary William Haig saying that even if the U.N. inspectors get on the ground there, whatever evidence they find is likely to have been corrupted. They say that site has been continuously shelled by the Syrian regime over the past several days, which may make any evidence that they find not credible.
Well, why are they then so sure in assigning blame saying they are fairly certain there was a chemical weapons attack and that the regime is to blame? Well, it's because what we now learned from a U.S. official is that there was evidence collected, including some tissue samples from that site in the hours and days following the attack. The evidence was collected by multiple international sources and was then being analyzed at a separate location.
So, we've seen a real change in tone. And from what we are hearing from members of Congress, they have been in touch with the White House and seem to be prepared for some sort of action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIOT ENGEL (D), NEW YORK: Perhaps the president could start and then congress needs to resolve it and ascent to it. But we cannot sit still. We've got to move and we've got to move quickly.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: It's time for up to take a step up and take responsibilities here, too. My guess is they will. I've been talking with them recently this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE: The Pentagon has updated its military options on Syria, including updated target list and the use of cruise missiles. But, again, these are options. It will be up to the president to weigh the risk involved and decide which course of action to take -- Don.
LEMON: All right. Chris, thank you very much.
And later this hour, we're going to take you inside Syria with reaction from a top Syrian official ahead of the U.N. inspectors. A report from Damascus is coming up here on CNN.
Attorneys for victims of former coach Jerry Sandusky confirm that their clients have finalized settlements with Penn State University. Sandusky was a long time Penn State football assistant who was convicted last year of 45 counts of child abuse. The attorneys say Sandusky's own adopted son and six others agree to the settlements. The amount of the settlements will stay confidential.
LEMON: A cargo train carrying at least 250 stowaway migrants derailed in southern Mexico today, killing at least five people. Mexican officials say the migrants were from Honduras. At least 16 others were injured. Mexico no longer has a nationwide passenger rail system so migrants frequently hitch times sometimes on the roofs or the rails cars or spaces between cars.
And a tragic story in Louisiana to tell you about. Police say an 8- year-old boy intentionally shot and killed his 87-year-old live-in caregiver Marisse Smothers (ph) with her own gun. Police say the child had been playing a violent video game, one in which you score points for shooting people. They say the two had a normal loving relationship. Smothers was watching TV when she was shot in the head Thursday evening. Louisiana law exempts children under 10 from criminal responsibility. So, he won't face any charges.
In California, authorities are trying to solve a mystery that has a family and school community on edge. They are looking for a popular Pennsylvania high school math teacher who vanished during a hiking trip to Mammoth Lake. Thirty-nine-year-old Matthew Greene would have started classes tomorrow, but he hasn't been heard from since mid- July.
CNN's Brianna Keilar has more on the search and how the family is coping.
TIFFANY MINTO, SISTER: I want to be hopeful. But yet, at this point, it's so hard to be hopeful. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard because her brother Matthew Greene is missing. The avid 39-year-old hiker and high school math teacher from Pennsylvania who loved being outdoors vanished more a month ago while vacationing in the mountains of Mammoth Lakes, California.
His family says he had gone there to camp, hike and climb. He had been staying at the Shady Rest Campground nearby while his car was being repaired. His family says he was supposed to pick up his car then meet some friends. He never picked up his car and his friends say he never showed up.
MINTO: So there's really not a lot of clues to go by and that's kind of the pitfall of the investigation right now, is where could he have gone?
KEILAR: Air and ground searches haven't produced many clues. His family and friends launched a "Find Matthew" Facebook page.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of our best friends. He deserves our best effort. We'll focus on pages missing from his guide book, but we are looking in an area that is probably going to be 20, 30, 40 acres of mountains.
KEILAR: Police aren't sure what happened to Matthew. It's a missing persons case for now. His family just wants answers.
MINTO: At this point, no matter what the outcome we just want to find him, you know? We just want him back. We want to know what happened to him.
LEMON: That was CNN's Brianna Keilar reporting.
New trouble for billionaire Donald Trump. The real estate has been slapped with a $40 million lawsuit by the state of New York. The claim that Trump defrauded students at his investment school Trump University.
CNN's Alison Kosik is here with details on that.
Alison, what's going on with this?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And Donald Trump grabbing those headlines again this time for a bombshell lawsuit that accuses him of fraud through his investment school called Trump University. The New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing Trump for $40 million, money that the state says Trump wrongly took from people who were led to believe that they were going to get rich by taking classes.
The lawsuit lays out how the school made a bunch of empty promises by using Trump's well-known name to craft a bait and switch. And it's alleging that students were lured into taking a free workshop that was just a sales pitch for a three-day, $1,500 seminar. The lawsuit says once the people were in there, it became this kind of upsell situation to get people to pay for a year-long workshop where they had to pay $35,000.
Here is what's funny. And during that three-day seminar, speakers actually urged students to go out there on these breaks and call their credit card company once again when there are breaks in these sessions to request increases in their credit limits. What the lawsuit is saying is this is so students could sink more money into even more classes at Trump University. The lawsuits claims very interesting. They read like a laundry list of accusations.
Students were also misled to believe Trump would make an appearance. Instead of getting a picture with him, though, Don, they wound up getting a picture with a life-size picture of Trump.
So, they were -- you know?
LEMON: Life-size picture, not even the cardboard thing.
KOSIK: Maybe it was cardboard. It didn't come close to having him in the flesh there.
LEMON: And I've been reading, and you'd said, Trump has been responding and we know, it's always fiery when he responds.
KOSIK: It is. Well, of course, his attorneys came out and responded, saying that this lawsuit has no merit. And it's a cheap publicity stunt and 98 percent of Trump's former students say they were satisfied with their experience.
And as you said, Trump coming out swinging on Twitter, calling Eric Schneiderman a lightweight, he's the New York state attorney general, saying he's trying to extort money with this lawsuit. Another tweet, how can this attorney general ask for campaign contributions during his evaluation of a case, calling him "a total sleaze bag".
So, this going on and one because apparently Schneiderman, according to the attorney general's office, had received a campaign contribution from Trump and what Trump is claiming Schneiderman went to him, asking for more money and Trump said no and Trump claiming that Schneiderman was angry.
KOSIK: A tangled web they weave.
LEMON: And no -- it doesn't look like anyone is going to settle now. So, we're going to be following this one right?
KOSIK: We will, yes.
LEMON: All right. Thank you, Alison Kosik.
KOSIK: Got it.
LEMON: Appreciate it. Coming up here on CNN, we're going to take to you California. A wildfire shows no signs of slowing down. We take you inside the fire zone where evacuees are sharing their stories.
LEMON: Two airplanes made emergency landings about an hour apart today in Alabama and Arkansas. Hundreds of passengers are breathing a sigh of relief. Everyone is fine, though. Delta says people on a flight from Mexico smelled smoke from a fluorescent light casing. To be cautious, the pilot made an emergency landing in Montgomery, Alabama.
An American Airlines flight from Charlotte to Dallas made an emergency landing in Little Rock, Arkansas. An airport official says one engine stopped working after take-off, frightening.
Firefighters are still battling a monstrous wildfire in California's Yosemite National Park. So far, it's burned more than 200 square miles. It's far from being contained and it is threatening a reservoir which supplies San Francisco with most of its water.
CNN's Nick Valencia shows us what fire crews are up against -- Nick.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Don, firefighters are dealing with a lot right now at this hour. Conditions are extremely dry making it very difficult for them and giving this fire a lot of fuel. And just to give you a sense of what they dealt with all week, take a look at this. This is an area where the fire came through coming up to the lip of this ridge. And you can see that this is scorched as far as the eye can see.
If you've ever visited Yosemite before, you're probably familiar with this area. This is the rim of the world. It's no strangers at all to fires. It is a monument to one fallen firefighter David Erickson. They had a very fire that came through in 1987. But as far as this fire is concerned, some say that it's the worst they've ever seen in this area.
And you can tell by looking at this scorched earth. The smoke is thick. It comes and goes. But as I mentioned, it is very dry and the sun is out making it difficult for firefighters.
Earlier, I spoke to a PIO from the U.S. Forest Service. She told me how this compares to past ones she's seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICKIE WRIGHT, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: I've never seen headers the way I did earlier in the week this week. And it was astounding to see the power of what I witnessed earlier.
So, our main objectives right now, structure protection, just making sure that we keep everyone safe and we protect that park at all costs.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VALENCIA: And one concern is that this fire is spreading north toward Swalame (ph) City. It also is spreading east and encroaching on that western boundary of the Yosemite National Park. It is still a ways away from that more heavily visited area, about 30, 40 miles. But as this fire continues to grow in size and containment is still low, firefighters are concerned that this could keep going -- Don.
LEMON: All right. Nick, thank you very much.
Georgia Congressman John Lewis is a comic book hero minus the cape and tights, of course. The civil rights icon wrote a comic-book but called -- the book is called "March" to inspire a new generation. I sat down with Lewis and got the story behind his comic book. That's coming up, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: I have a dream. Let freedom ring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You probably didn't know this one. Congressman John Lewis is a comic book superstar. Lewis is the only speaker from the 1963 march on Washington, the only one who's still alive. And just days ago, Lewis became the number-one selling comic book author in the nation. That's according to "The New York Times" best-sellers list.
Congratulations to him.
"March" book one, traces his journey in the civil rights movement when he endured tear gas, police beatings and at least 40 arrests.
Lewis says he wrote "March" to spread the message of nonviolent protests to a new generation.
And I sat down with Congressman Lewis and the co-author, long-time aide as well, Andrew Aydin, about this story. And I got the story about this comic book. It's called "March."
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: There is one scene in "March" where people would say we don't serve a certain group of people. A person responded and said we don't eat them.
LEMON: We don't serve black people good because I don't eat them, right?
You know, I was reading about this. That's actually how this book came about. You were sort of making jokes, you guys were together, and you didn't realize he had this sense of humor. And you started talking to him about comic books, right? And he said there was a comic book involved. Tell me the story, Andrew.
ANDREW AYDIN, CO-AUTHOR, "MARCH": It was 2008. I was working as his press secretary on his primary campaign. It had gotten to the end of the campaign and we started talking about what we would do after. What is honest and admitted I was going to go to a comic book convention. And so, there was a little jeering and a little laughing. I kind of took it in stride and the congressman turned around and he said, you know, there was a comic book during the movement and it was incredibly influential.
And that little moment right there, I didn't know it at the time, but it changed my life.
LEMON: That was the impetus to this? That started this?
LEMON: How do you feel about that?
LEWIS: Well, I feel very good about it. When you look back a little more than five years ago, and Andrew said to me that, Congressman, you should write a comic book. I sort of looked and said, you know, I'm not sure I should do that.
And he came back again and I responded by saying something like, if you write it with me. Let's do it. And the rest is history now.
LEMON: One wouldn't think that there would be a comic book associated with a movement, with the march. And yet the one that inspired it was a serious one about a bus boycott in Montgomery. How did you even remember that?
LEWIS: Well, I remember it very well. I received a copy of the book. It sold for 10 cents. To read about the struggle in Montgomery, how people walked, shared rides, carpooled, for more than 381 days rather than ride the buses. And that inspired me. I started attending these nonviolent workshops.
LEMON: From a comic book?
LEWIS: From a comic book. Because it was a young man who taught us -- to believe in the way of peace, in the way of love, in the way of nonviolence. So we wanted to do this book to teach another generation. They, too, can do something. They, too, can make a contribution.
LEMON: How do you put that in? How do you make that in, chronicle that into a comic book?
AYDIN: So much is told through oral history what my job was and what we tried to do is take down those words and put them on paper.
LEMON: Were you ever worried people may get the wrong idea about, why is John Lewis putting this in a comic book? This is serious business. LEWIS: It is serious, but we had fun. It was -- it was drama. The thing about putting it in the comic book, children, young children, and people not so young would have an opportunity to read it and feel it. They called these illustrators, these unbelievable gifted artists.
LEMON: Make it real, make it plain, I think about what you went through, my parents went through, and grandparents went through, I don't always see that fire in young people now. And it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart.
What do you do with that?
LEWIS: Well, it is my hope, it is my desire to see another generation of young people with passion. I believe in passion. I believe in drama.
Andrew will tell you, I told the story over and over again in this book. And people were saying, what are we going to do, John? I said we're going to march.
You have to find a way to dramatize the issue. Put a face on it. Make it real.
LEMON: You're a kid. You're younger than me. You're sitting here with John Lewis and you have a comic book that you have put together with John Lewis. Did you ever think in a million years that that would happen? Come on.
AYDIN: No, no. I mean, I say this. I was 24 when I asked him. I didn't know any better.
LEWIS: But you had courage.
AYDIN: I had the fearlessness of youth that you talk about. It's so important young people read this. And if we give them the tools of nonviolence, the tools to properly protest and to follow, I think we'll all be surprised by what they'll accomplish.
LEMON: Congressman John Lewis' story is part of my special documentary "We Were There: The March on Washington, An Oral History" airing tonight 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.
And coming up, new details surrounding an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria as the world waits for a U.N. report. U.S. officials say they are now analyzing evidence from the scene. Report from Damascus, next.
LEMON: Amanda Knox has no plans to return to Italy for her murder retrial next month. That's according to a family spokesman. The law doesn't require her to be there. But Italy may move to have her extradited. Knox was tried and convicted of murdering her British roommate in 2007 while both attended college in Italy. She was acquitted on appeal, but the Italian supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her Italian boyfriend. We'll keep you updated on that one.
A rare and particularly lethal brain-eating parasite has claimed another life. This time, a 12-year-old boy in Florida. Zachary Reyna's family believes he was infected by the parasite while playing in a water-filled ditch three weeks ago. Reyna was given an experimental drug that recently saved the life of an Arkansas girl battling the same sickness. And despite hopes for recovery, family's Facebook page broke the news yesterday that Reyna had died and his organs are being donated now.
More on our top story this hour here on CNN. Syria has agreed to allow U.N. inspectors full access to a site of a recent suspected chemical weapons attack. A news just in to CNN -- U.S. official says evidence, including tissue samples were collected from the attack, from the scene, and it's being analyzed in secure locations now.
As many as 1,300 people died in the attack, many of them women and children. The Syrian government continues to deny its forces used chemical weapons.
More now from CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in Damascus.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Syrian deputy foreign minister told me that the U.N. weapons inspectors are going to have unrestricted access to all of the places where the alleged chemical weapons attacks took place last Wednesday. He said that the government will provide them safe passage, all the way up to the area that is controlled by the opposition, but when they get into the opposition-controlled areas, then they're going to have to communicate with the rebels to make sure that the rebels provide them with safety on the ground.
What is going to happen, that is while the chemical weapons inspectors or than the ground there, there will be a cessation of hostilities which in most part means that the government is going to stop firing onto those areas with artillery. We've seen over the past couple of days, there has been a lot of artillery shelling going on in the suburbs of Damascus, which is, of course, where these chemical weapons attacks allegedly took place.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the voices are growing louder with more and more politicians coming out and calling for more staunch being action against the Syrian regime. There is talk of limited military strikes. There are some in Congress who say that it's time to take out Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities with direct strikes on those capabilities.
The United States has drawn up options for military intervention in this country. Do you -- what is your response to that?
FAISAL AL-MEKDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: Once they stage any actions, they will only kill innocent people, and they will be responsible before history and before their own peoples. If the United States wants to be fighting all the time, OK, they can do it, but Syria will also resist any attacks and answer any such criminal actions.
PLEITGEN: The Syrian government for its part denies all these allegations. It says that its forces would never use chemical weapons against the civilians. Of course, the rebels are accusing the Assad government of killing more than 1,300 civilians with chemical strikes here last Wednesday.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Damascus.
LEMON: All right. Fred, thank you. Jodi Arias is one step closer to learning her fate, life in prison or the death penalty. The details right after this.
LEMON: Convicted murderer Jodi Arias returns to the courtroom tomorrow for a hearing. At issue is when she'll face a second sentencing trial. The first jury could not reach an unanimous verdict on the death or life in prison.
Well, her defense team has now filed motions to delay the sentencing re-trial and to ban or limit wide TV coverage. In a wide-ranging interview with HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell, we talked about her new book, "Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias." And in it she explains how Arias' emotions built into a rage that led to the murder of Travis Alexander.
LEMON (on camera): It was a snowball effect, is that what you're saying?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: It's a snowball effect but we learned so much about her character. Her personality is such that it's never her fault. And the prosecutor said that. No matter what she did, she always blamed it on someone else.
So when Travis Alexander rejected her and said, I'm not taking to you to Cancun, I'm taking another girl, she exploded. And as she stabbed him 29 times, each stab wound was lashing out at the world that refused to give her the life that she felt she deserved. Even though she did nothing to work toward her goals. So she was lashing out at the world.
This was a woman with a toxic world view. That the world is at fault no matter what I do.
LEMON: Are you saying to us as she sat there on that stand that she lied through her teeth? VELEZ-MITCHELL: I believe she lied through her teeth. And we have concrete examples. Jodi Arias presented herself as a victim of Travis Alexander, that she would endure sex with him to placate him, to make him happy.
Well, I've learned that the exact opposite is true. That she was sexually voracious beyond comprehension, and that Travis revealed to his friends that he really thought she was a nymphomaniac. And he gave specific examples that I can't repeat on television.
What Jodi Arias engaged in on the witness stand was projection. Everything she said assumed the opposite. And this is what liars do. They will take something they did and say, you did it.
LEMON: So when you found that out through one of Travis' friends. And there are lots of details, you said, lots of new information in this book.
LEMON: That we didn't hear during the trial.
LEMON: During that whole marathon-long trial what other details that you can share with us that are in this book?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me give you another example. Jodi Arias tried to paint her relationships before Travis being normal. Oh, she had a normal relationship four years with another guy. We found out from people very close to that relationship, I spoke to somebody who said that her behavior during her relationship with her previous boyfriend Darryl creeped her out.
And they described essentially a pattern where she was imitating Darryl's ex-wife. Changing her looks to match Darryl's ex-wife, driving the same car as Darryl's ex-wife. Working at the same restaurant, getting implants when Darryl's ex-wife got implants. So this is really, really creepy behavior.
LEMON: Why didn't someone say, hey, this woman's crazy? Why did it get to this point? If people knew she was doing all this -- I don't know, is it psychotic or just odd behavior?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The whole nation was debating, what is her problem up here in the head?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We've heard psychotic, sociopathic, borderline personality disorder, bipolar. I agree with the prosecution that she's borderline. And that's not to insult borderlines. There are plenty of borderlines who function very well in society and take medication. She did not seek help for her problems. She had many other alternatives other than slaughtering Travis Alexander. Really this is a portrait and a study in evil. And people need to read it because we need to recognize the signs of when somebody is spiraling downward into evil behavior.
LEMON: Well, Jane's book "Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias" is in stores now. And don't forget to tune in to her show every Monday through Friday, 7:00 p.m. on our sister network HLN.
Jane has a lot of energy, doesn't she?
You know, I'm going to give you just four words. OK? You ready? Harriet Tubman sex tape. Music mogul Russell Simmons talked with me about his company's parody video and why at first he didn't see anything wrong with it. That's next.
LEMON: Quite honestly, it's a likely phrase that you probably thought you'd never hear. I certainly didn't or never likely wanted to hear. I'll just say it. Harriet Tubman sex tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harriet? I've never seen you be this frisky before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, this parody video was posted on the YouTube channel All Def Digital. After a massive backlash the clip was pulled off the site and Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons had some explaining to do.
He came on CNN I asked him the question everyone was asking.
LEMON: What were you thinking?
RUSSELL SIMMONS, HIP HOP MOGUL: Well, the other thing, I mean, I've discussed this. I apologized. I can use this as a moment.
LEMON: You know what I'm talking about. Harriet Tubman.
SIMMONS: Of course. We're talking about the Harriet Tubman. I want to use this as a moment to apologize to the family members who I didn't speak to. I've spoken to the people, the two matriarchs of the family, and others who complained publicly because I reached out to them. And I apologized for the parody tape that came out on All Def Digital.
This piece came to me. I misread it. And the minute I understood how hurtful it was, it became the first time in 30 years that I ever pulled a piece of content. The minute I understood the outrage, it became the first time I ever pulled anything. And I pulled it immediately.
LEMON: What did you understand about it?
SIMMONS: What I saw when it ran by me was a woman taking advantage of -- and I missed something, and women explained to me later, taking advantage of a slave owner and turning the table and blackmailing him. It was a comedy skit. You know, and I saw it and I thought maybe frankly I thought other pieces of content could be controversial. And this one I thought would go by.
LEMON: So then what didn't you understand about it? What did you --
SIMMONS: I saw -- I think I told you --
LEMON: No. What do you understand about it now?
SIMMONS: Well, what I understand now is that even though in the tape she seduces the slave master -- most people would talk about it. I've never seen it. She seduces the slave master. And even though there is a guy standing and the whole intention is to blackmail him or to film it, that even though it was seduction on the first -- you know, what was visible, it implies the previous rapes. That's one. And two, that an iconic figure like her is something you should leave alone.
LEMON: OK. So -- and I do have to tell you this that he said to me that he is now -- he's spoken with the family. He's apologized to a number of -- number of people in the family. And he says he's going to now do a film on Harriet Tubman. So he is certainly apologetic for it.
That was just part of my Russell Simmons interview which got a flurry of reaction from you on social media. Here is another small part of another part before we get that comment. Let's listen.
SIMMONS: Also want them to be truthful to their art and say what's on their hearts. And if what's on their hearts is sometimes difficult to digest and we have to look at that and see if that's a road map of something we can fix. We cannot --
LEMON: Is there a way of doing that without calling someone a bitch or a whore?
SIMMONS: I think some of those lyrics are very harsh, some of the things they say are sexist, some of the things they say are very difficult to digest --
LEMON: And ignorant.
SIMMONS: And -- and ignorant. I still can't tell a poet, you know. I cannot tell a poet, those are not my lyrics or my songs but I can't tell a poet what to say. And I will not. (END VIDEOTAPE)
LEMON: And we were talking about whether hip-hop and rap had any influence at all. What was the influence and what's the responsibility of rap artist to the violence that's going on in many cities among young men, and especially young black men? Here's what some of you said.
Ty Walter wrote this, he said, "Blaming hip hop culture for inner city violence is ridiculous. The real problem is parenting. Young boys and girls having kids who grow up with little respect for others."
Reacting to when I challenged Simmons about offensive hip hop lyrics, Dina posted this. "I agree with Russell Simmons. You can't stifle an artistic expression of someone's reality. Sometimes it's ugly and hard to swallow. But it's real life."
Finally Marcy wrote this, "I agree with a lot of what you guys are saying. I'm glad Russell Simmons came on Don Lemon's show. My problem is it's always a lot of talking and not enough doing."
OK. Well, we plan to do something here. We both promised each other that we would do -- try to have some solutions. And if you saw the beginning of this newscast, we told what you what they were doing in Chicago. Yesterday we told what they're doing in Philadelphia and in New Orleans, as well.
And if you missed any of my interview with Simmons, you can find it on CNN.com. We talked about the hip hop culture and its effect on youth. And he wanted to talk to me about some of the five things I said about race.
Make sure you go to CNN.com/video and you will find it all there.
Former boxing champ Mike Tyson admits to being, quote, "a vicious alcoholic" and vows to get on the right path. But can he rehabilitate his life and image? That's next.
LEMON: When it comes to Mike Tyson, you may think you heard it all, but as we all know he is always full of surprises.
In an emotional news conference following his debut as a promoter of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world told reporters that he is battling addiction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE TYSON, FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: I'm a vicious alcoholic. I haven't drink (sic) or took drugs in six days. And for me, that's a miracle. I've been lying to everybody else thinking I was sober, but I'm not. This is my sixth day. I'm never going to use again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So let's talk some Mike Tyson and other sports news makers with Terence Morris.
Man, that was an emotional news conference.
Terence, of course, is a columnist for mlb.com. He's also a sports contributor to CNN.com. His latest column -- in your latest column you tackle sports stars who can't tell the truth. So you heard that report from Mike Tyson. He was being brutally honest there, but at some point he said he was not telling the truth and now he's fessing up. What's your reaction?
TERENCE MOORE, CNN.COM SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know what, Don? I was there back in 1997 at ringside in Las Vegas when Mike Tyson bit, not only one ear of Evander Holyfield but both ears. OK? So even back then, we all knew that he was a little bit off. So this is sort of like, are you surprised? I'm not surprised. This is what we would expect from Mike Tyson and probably more.
LEMON: Listen, as someone who has dealt with addiction in the family, we see -- I mean, I wish him well.
LEMON: That's the first step, though, is admitting.
MOORE: Yes, no question about it.
LEMON: And saying that I have a problem. Right.
LEMON: All right. So we wish him well. Mike -- and Mike is a friend of the show. I've interviewed him a couple of times.
So, Mike, call in if you want to talk just about this.
All right, let's talk some baseball now. The L.A. Dodgers are on fire. A year ago today they traded for some of Boston's highest-paid players. Didn't seem to appear to be a smart move but since the all- star break, they've gotten 29-6 and they've stormed to first place. I mean, how are they doing this?
MOORE: Well, I mean, let's start with this. Back in the 1970s they had a manager named Tommy Lasorda. In the '80s and '90s. And they always used to talk about the big Dodger in the sky. Well, it looks like he's on to something here. Because this is like other world what's going on with this guy.
That and the fact, and you alluded to this, Don, their new ownership group is willing to spend a lot of money. That Red Sox deal that took on $270 million in salary, most of those guys have done very well.
But here's the big thing. They spent a lot of money for this Cuban defector named Yasiel Puig. This guy has been in the lineup in June. He's caused the Dodgers to explode.
LEMON: OK. The Dodgers got -- then they got another boost this week. I mean, Vin Scully said he would return --
LEMON: -- for his 65th season as the team's announcer. I mean, Vin Scully is 85. He was the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers before they moved to L.A. Here's what he said on Friday. Take a listen and we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIN SCULLY, VOICE OF THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS: And the thought of just suddenly walking away from all those friends and this great game, and this very exciting team and this fandom that is so thrilled with what's going on, I thought there's just no away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: How cool is that. A very humble man. And he's called 25 no- hitters, Hank Aaron's 715th homerun. I mean, how does he do it?
MOORE: Well, the guy is consistently great. And, you know, baseball has had more magic voices than anybody. You just heard that voice right there and he's up there with Ernie Harwell and Jack Buck and Harry Caray. These guys are wonderful at painting pretty pictures no matter what the score is.
LEMON: He -- you know, he's seen a lot of history. And not just baseball history, right?
MOORE: He really has. Yes. Yes. And, you know, speaking of that, Don, let's go back to 1982, the NFC championship game. The famous game, Dallas Cowboys against the 49ers. The catch game. OK? Joe Montana to Dwight Clark. Guess who the announcer was for CBS? None other than Vin Scully.
LEMON: Oh boy.
MOORE: He called it Baghdad by the bay. You know, it was great. So here's one of the greatest baseball announcers of all time who also did one of the greatest moments in NFL history. It doesn't get better than that.
LEMON: My gosh. Can we talk about another record here? We are talking about Mr. Suzuki for getting his 4,000th hit? 4,000 hits? I mean, hold on, 1200 of those hits came when he was playing in Japan. And not everyone thinks that those hits count.
Pete Rose has 4,000 hits. And here's what he told "USA Today." He said, "Hey, if we're counting professional hits, then add on my 427 career hits in the minors. I was a professional then, too."
So what is the verdict, Terence? What do you think? Pete Rose, is he right? Does Ichiro really have 4,000 hits? MOORE: Yes, well, I'm laughing because I tell you, for a baseball purist like me, it's sacrilegious to mention Ichiro in the same sentence with Pete Rose and Ty Cobb when it comes to 4,000 hits. Those guys did it the old fashion, legitimate way, Major League style, and I'll tell you what, Don, the Little League World Series is going on right now. If you want to include the Japanese league, one would use the stats from the Little Leagues and from Youth Leagues.
What we should do is just pat this guy Ichiro on the back but don't break our arms while doing it.
LEMON: I went to -- I went to the game, I went to the Yankees game earlier this week. It was fantastic. They were playing the Toronto Blue Jays. Beautiful. That's what you do in the summer, right?
MOORE: Yes, I mean, baseball, and listen to Vin Scully on the radio while you're watching the game live in person. It doesn't get better than that either.
LEMON: There you go. Terence, thank you.
MOORE: Thank you.
LEMON: OK. Look left at camera one. All right. When we come right back, I'm going to tell you this. Why I feel like I'm in the middle of an HBO "Newsroom" episode. You don't want to miss it.
LEMON: So five things now that you need to know for your week ahead. And we're calling it our "Weekly Five."
LEMON (voice-over): Monday, President Obama awards the Medal of Honor for Conspicuous Gallantry to Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter. Carter risked his life to get supplies to his fellow soldiers during a deadly Taliban attack on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan nearly four years ago.
The names of all eight men who died on that day are engraved on a steel band that Carter wears on his wrist.
Tuesday is the first day of school for students in Newtown, Connecticut. They won't be returning to Sandy Hook Elementary, the scene of the shooting massacre. Students will attend nearby Chalk Hill School while a new Sandy Hook school is built.
On Wednesday, Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter will deliver remarks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary on the March on Washington.
Thursday, Megafest kicks off in Dallas. The festival is touted as the nation's largest inspirational family festival. More than 50,000 people including Oprah Winfrey are expected to attend the three-day event.
On Friday, downtown Atlanta will be invaded by these guys, Dragoncon is the largest pop culture convention that celebrates comics and sci- fi and of course costuming.
And that's your "Weekly Five."
LEMON: That's what you have to look forward to.
OK, so here's the interesting thing. I said that I felt like I was on an episode of HBO's "Newsroom." I don't know if you guys watch that, but Will McIlvoy is on the set and he's received some news his dad is in the hospital.
So I was -- just in the beginning of my show and I get a text from my sister and it said, "Cat is having the baby," and I said, what? And then she continued to update me throughout this broadcast about my niece. She said, "Yes, it is coming in 15 minutes the baby will arrive." I said, oh, my gosh, do you have a name, is she in pain? Is it natural, whatever? Said, no, we don't have a name. She is in pain. Pain coming out the wazoo. She is screaming. And on and on and on.
So during this newscast -- there is my little niece, she's my middle niece, her name is Catherine. She's 27 years old. And that's her, pregnant in her little mini dress right there. I sent the control room a picture of her in the hospital bed in labor. And they said no, all the ladies in the control room said, no, we are not doing this to your niece. And so they put that picture up.
And then -- did you guys get the picture I sent you of my mom and my sister who is texting me? Anyway, my sister Lisa is texting me. Good luck to Cat and the baby and dad. And so far they are saying no update yet. So Joseph Squires, baby, Catherine, my niece, good luck, I love you.
I'm Don Lemon. Remember to catch my special documentary, "We were There: The March on Washington, An Oral History." That's tonight at 8:00 Eastern, just an hour away.
I want to tell you that "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" begins in just a few seconds.