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Kathleen Sebelius Resigns; Hero Fighter Helps Pet Owners; Plane Dropped Altitude; "Inside Man"

Aired April 11, 2014 - 08:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, yes, never mind.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We're proud. We're going to keep saying it because we're very proud. We're very happy for you.

BOLDUAN: Still has barely sunk in.

CUOMO: It's good. Well, it's -

BOLDUAN: And you (ph) just take it pretty fast.

CUOMO: Every day is going to get better and better. It's going to make every story better, even this one. Ready? Even Kathleen Sebelius is happy for you today.

BOLDUAN: Oh, that's so nice.

CUOMO: And she has little reason to be happy. Why? Well, she was a punching bag for the botched rollout of Obamacare. Now, Sebelius resigning as health and human services secretary. President Obama will make the official announcement later this morning. And he's going to nominate Sebelius' replacement as well. Who will that be? What does this mean? Why did this happen? Jim Acosta live at the White House.

What is the buzz about Kate?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I didn't realize the president was going to announce that Kate is having a baby. That is news to me. I didn't - I didn't know that. That was not in the press release last night, guys.

BOLDUAN: This has all gone off the rails. Jim Acosta, do not fall for Chris' silliness. Keep going.

ACOSTA: All right. Very good.

CUOMO: He's cute when he (INAUDIBLE).

ACOSTA: All right, I'll try to recover here.

White House officials say Kathleen Sebelius told the president back in March that she thought Obamacare was heading in the right direction, that she thought the enrollment numbers were starting to look better and so she wanted to step down at the end of this open enrollment period, which just wrapped up last leak for the Affordable Care Act.

But no question, Kathleen Sebelius was very much the poster child of everything that was going wrong with She was even up on Capitol Hill testifying at a congressional hearing when the website crashed. You'll remember that that happened last fall.

But the president resisted calls to fire her and enrollment picked up, the website was repaired and so Sebelius was up on Capitol Hill yesterday. She was able to tout those new enrollment number, that 7.5 million people have now signed up for insurance under Obamacare. So she gets to go out on sort of a high note and she'll be standing next to the president in the Rose Garden later this morning as the president taps her replacement, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is the current White House budget director.

Kate and Chris.

CUOMO: So, Jim Acosta, what do you make of this Burwell person from this mysterious Office of Management and Budget? Will she get confirmed? Do you think that this is a nice time to put the flag in the ground for the opposition to Obamacare?

ACOSTA: Absolutely. Now, keep in mind, she's sort of a rising star in this administration. She was involved in the budget standoff with Republicans last fall. She's very well thought of in the administration. And she was confirmed 96-0 when her confirmation hearing came up last year. Now, that is not going to be the case this time around. It won't be that smooth going for the job of secretary of health and human services. Republicans still see Obamacare as a potent political issue heading into the midterms and so that is going to, obviously, be a big flash point during her hearing.

But keep in mind, she comes out of a budget background, not a health care background. So if Republicans want to ask her, what did you know and when did you know it, she can say, well, I wasn't there. So that is advantageous to her nomination. And keep in mind, White House officials are so confident in Sylvia Mathews Burwell that they think that this transition from Sebelius to Burwell could happen in the next several weeks, even with a potentially contentious hearing and that Sebelius will stick around until Burwell comes into the job.

Kate and Chris.

CUOMO: Speculation about what's going to happen with costs of Obamacare. A budget background may be the right one. Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

ACOSTA: I think you're right.

BOLDUAN: That's, Jim.

CUOMO: And let us know if there's any word about the extension of Obamacare for Kate to sign up.

BOLDUAN: I - I will - we'll find out.

CUOMO: The little one's (INAUDIBLE) as well.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Let's turn to this week's CNN hero. Losing your home in a fire is devastating and for many pet owners there's an extra burden, they often have to give up their animals because they can't take care of them anymore. So Firefighter Jen Leary, she saw a problem, she came up with a solution. Take a look.


JEN LEARY, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, RED PAW EMERGENCY RELIEF: I was a firefighter in Philly for seven years. I would see how upset the people were about their animals. You know, where is my pet? And then, where is it going to go? These are people's children.

We have a dog displaced by a fire, a Chihuahua. I'm headed to the scene now. We respond 24-7, 365 days a year. We do for pets what the Red Cross does for people.

So we went into the basement, found the dog hiding behind something. Once the fire is under control, we're able to look for the animals and bring them out.

Hi. Hi, baby. Come here.

Red Paw headquarters is my house. We've helped close to a thousand animals. She's been at my house and the owner said she was pregnant. Everything that their animal needs we'll handle for free for them. When we reunite the families, it's a good thing. It's like this void has now been filled. My hope is that it's a fresh start, that they can move forward together. After going through such a sad thing, it's so good to have a happy ending.


BOLDUAN: If you think someone deserves to be recognized, nominated, go to

CUOMO: A little break now on NEW DAY.


CUOMO: When we come back, reports of a dramatic drop in altitude by Flight 370. Was it done purposely as some sort of evasive measure or is there another explanation?

Plus, the new adventures of CNN's "Inside Man." Morgan Spurlock is here to tell us about his blockbuster second season.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments to tell you about this morning in the search for Flight 370 as searchers zero in on the precise location of the black boxes. Investigators are raising more questions this morning about the plane's altitude. So, CNN was told Thursday by Malaysian officials that they believe the plane dropped to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet after crossing the Malaysian peninsula. We want to dig in deeper right now with David Soucie. He's a CNN safety analyst and the author of "Why Planes Crash." He's also a former FAA inspector.

David, let's take a look at this map here to show what they are now saying this plane did. They're saying after the plane crossed the peninsula here, it dropped. It dropped, they say, to somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, dropping off radar. It was no longer on radar for around 120 nautical miles. When it appeared again, it was over here before it took its southward flight pattern and then disappeared, they think, into the southern Indian Ocean.


BERMAN: So, let's take them at their word for now. Their supposition is it dropped to 4,000 or 5,000 feet. What might cause a plane to drop that low? Something wrong in the cockpit?

SOUCIE: I would say so because, at that point you've got a pressurization problem, you've got to get the plane down if you had a massive decompression. Their - you know, remember, there's an air- worthiness directive on this airplane on the windshields themselves that have a tendency to leak and have the potential to have a rapid decompression as well on the front window of the aircraft.

BERMAN: So if that happened, the pilot would choose, perhaps, to drop to 4,000 or 5,000 feet.

SOUCIE: He has to because, if not, there's only about 15 minutes of oxygen available - of supplemental oxygen for the passengers. So you need to get down to an altitude where they can breathe. Typically that altitude is below 10,000 feet. So why it went all the way down to 5,000, I can't answer that part.

BERMAN: Are there any other reasons why this plane could have disappeared from radar? Again, they think it happened somewhere around here. Their deduction is that because it was not on radar it was at that altitude. But could it have disappeared from radar for another reason?

SOUCIE: Well, absolutely, because you look at where the radar signal is coming from -- where it's reaching out to see what that airplane is and you look at the channel here, that channel is susceptible, of course, to weather going through, thunderstorms, any kind of storm at all can interfere with the radar because it's going to pick up the density of the clouds and come back and it could block the radar for that time. So there's definitely a possibility.

There's other reasons as well. Mountain ranges, anything like that. If it happened to be flying in front of a mountain range, which is not very probable at 35,000 feet. But there's other reasons that it would have come off radar.

BERMAN: One of the deductions again that they've made is it did drop to that altitude, not maybe to disappear from radar or to evade radar, which some people were speculating earlier, but to get out of frequently traveled air traffic lanes. What does that mean and why would you do that?

SOUCIE: Well, now that makes a lot of sense to me. And the reason it does is because if you're flying the aircraft and you decide, hey, I don't know where I'm at, I can't see other aircraft, I'm not in communication with anybody, if all your communication systems are out, then what you want to do, you know in the back of your head, I'm flying in traffic areas.

So you need to get at least below 18,000 feet, which is where commercial airspace starts. But by getting even lower than that you can - remember, it's dark at this time. They don't know what's out there. So you want to avoid pretty much any air traffic. So that's a good idea to get that low.

BERMAN: Does any of this - any of this analysis of what may have happened when the plane was flying up here, explain then why it would have taken the big, final left turn flying all the way down south, you know, off the coast of Australia, where they're now looking in these areas where you're seeing the yellow dots?

SOUCIE: I wish I had an answer to that. And so does everybody else. That is the most peculiar thing about this entire thing to me. I can explain why it turned around. I can even explain why it went down to 5,000 feet. But to this turn here, it just doesn't make any sense to me at all why you'd go out to the middle of the ocean and have that trajectory and keep it for that long of a period.

BERMAN: Now, let's talk about the ocean for a second, since we were just talking about the final place where they do believe this flight ended, off the coast of Perth now, where they heard those four pings from the towed pinger locater on the Ocean Shield. They now do not believe that the ping they heard from the sonobuoy is connected to that. How many more days, David, do you think before they start sending in submersible subs to start looking at the ocean floor?

SOUCIE: Well, we spoke to Commander Marks about this and what he stated was that they're going to wait at least two days after their last ping of searching before they'll start putting them in there, because then they'll have a higher level of confidence that the battery has stopped pinging. They've got all the information they're going to get and then they can act on just that information.

BERMAN: Sounds like we're pretty much there though. So in the next day or two we could hear something.

David Soucie, always great to have you here. Really appreciate it.


CUOMO: J.B., thank you very much.

We're going to take a quick break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, inside the life of a paparazzo. Our "Inside Man," Morgan Spurlock, shows us what it's like to feed off the famous. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go, just lean out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool. How was that?



CUOMO: Bottom-feeding vermin.

No, no, no, that's a look at CNN's "INSIDE MAN", which returns to television this Sunday. Host Morgan Spurlock spends the first episode of season two getting inside the world of paparazzi.

BOLDUAN: Welcome. We're big on people throwing shoes today. Feel free to throw one at him.


MORGAN SPURLOCK, CNN HOST: (inaudible) to the end.

CUOMO: What was it like?

SPURLOCK: You know, it's one of those things where you get one idea, people tell you what to expect.


SPURLOCK: And these guys are -- like you said, they're bottom feeders, they're scum bags, they're the dregs of humanity, and they're actually not that terrible, not all of them. You know, there are some of them definitely, but not all of them.

And you start to realize, one, what a hard job it is and I realized what a terrible paparazzo I actually am.

BOLDUAN: Why is it --

SPURLOCK: I have little skill as a photographer.

BOLDUAN: Why is it hard? Some people say all they do is chase celebrities around and just snap some photos. It can't be that difficult.

SPURLOCK: But especially for Giles, like the guy you see me with -- his whole job it seems to be starts just like us photographers. All he does is like drive around all day looking for people doing anything to take pictures of. You better be ready to take a good picture in a second. And if you're not a good photographer like myself --

BOLDUAN: You miss that moment.

SPURLOCK: -- yes, you miss that moment and it's gone.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Is the key the actual taking of pictures or is the key being in the right place and waiting. You know, like snipers say it's not necessarily taking the shot, it's the hours and hours you have to wait to get the right shot.

SPURLOCK: Yes, I think it's a combination of both. And what you realize is there are guys who chase that shot. You know, there are guys who will wait to get that one picture.

In the show I get pushed to go to Lamar Odom's house, who is in the middle of his Kardashian meltdown, his alleged drug use, et cetera. They tell me to go find him. And so I'm camping out at the place where he was. That's when you start to feel like a scum bag.

BERMAN: Because you're chasing a guy.

BOLDUAN: I was going to ask you -- Morgan, did you feel dirty?

BERMAN: You feel dirty because you're chasing a guy who's at his lowest -- at the lowest point ever and it's awful.

CUOMO: And yet you did it.

SPURLOCK: And yet I did it.

CUOMO: The sniper analogy is very romantic.

SPURLOCK: It is. That's right.

CUOMO: Because what it really comes down to is the idea of hostility.


CUOMO: OK. Like with there, Lamar Odom, 6'10", probably 250 --

SPURLOCK: Not a guy -- not a guy I want --

CUOMO: -- coming to give you an epic beat-down. But the notion is the reverse. Do you think after your experience that these men and some women go up to the celebrities and try to be hostile to get them to react? You think that's real?

SPURLOCK: Oh absolutely. Of course. No I think there are guys who will push the buttons of a Kanye West or an Alec Baldwin, to do nothing but get a reaction just so they can make it more valuable.

The other thing that we realized over the course of the show is that we basically got people to admit to is that celebrities who are like, "I hate the paparazzi. I can't stand that they're around all the time." There are celebs a la the Kardashians who tell the paps where they're going to be -- who basically will tell the paparazzi in advance.

BOLDUAN: Wow. SPURLOCK: And not only that, you know, if you're a photographer you have an agency that sells your pictures, you know, some magazines, newspapers -- whatever. The Kardashians and a lot of people of their stature have accounts with the same agencies so that when the photographs take the picture, not only do the photographers get paid, they get paid.

BERMAN: It's shocking.

SPURLOCK: It's crazy. Yes, crazy.

BOLDUAN: Talk about feeling dirty. So in the end do you think the paparazzi -- I guess maybe it's difficult to put them all into the same camp, but do you think they get a bad rap or do you think it's justified?

SPURLOCK: Well, I think that what happens is they stand on this idea of free speech, that what they do is being completely legal based on free speech.


SPURLOCK: I think that's the problem. There needs to be a divide. Whether it's children -- whether it's -- where will you stop on people's personal boundaries is the issue. And that's what we talk about in the show.

BERMAN: Well, it's a take isn't it? Look, we've all been at stakeouts before. We've all waited to get shots. We've all been out there trying to film something that doesn't make you feel good all the time. Where is the line, even the honorable paparazzi, where's the line between what they do and then journalists?

SPURLOCK: And that's the question, you know. Where does it become -- where does it become an invasion of privacy?

BOLDUAN: That's what sells magazines today.

SPURLOCK: That's right. And that's the argument. That's people in the house right now, they're arguing about it on the Hill where they're saying this is an absolute invasion of privacy. And the paps are saying no, this is first amendment. This is freedom of the press.

CUOMO: Well, it's gotten easier for them. It's gotten harder for us. The bar of who you're allowed to do an unscheduled interview, that's what we call them now to be more gentle, is high. You know, the person has to have significant allegations against them. You have to ask them for a formal interview. You have to take all these steps.

What else -- what other episodes do you have? What do you like --

BOLDUAN: Yes. What else are you getting yourself into this season?

SPURLOCK: Well, the next episode after this is about futurism. And there are people and there's a large swath of people now who believe that in the next, you know, 10, 20 years we're going to be able to live to be 100, 125, 150 years old. And so I go down the path and do everything I can to live forever in this episode.

CUOMO: You look great -- you think.

BOLDUAN: You look so young.

SPURLOCK: Thank you. Yes, I feel good. I feel so young and healthy. No carbs, no pizza -- that was the biggest thing.

BOLDUAN: How do you pick your subjects? I'm sure there are a million. I'm sure you start with some wild ideas and then narrow it down to pick your episode.

SPURLOCK: Yes, you know, we start with a laundry list of things that are kind of pulled out of the headlines, stuff that is kind of driving conversation in America. And then we start saying who can we have access to? What's the best story? Like we do episodes about income inequality, the divide between the 1 percent and 99 percent. We're doing a great episode on student athletes, where I go play football at Ole Miss.

CUOMO: On whether they should be paid.

SPURLOCK: On whether they should be paid.

BOLDUAN: Are you becoming a member of the clergy as well?

SPURLOCK: And then we do an episode about religion in America. There's a huge movement right now to create an atheist church. And so there are people who are creating these churches all across America in cities. Now it's 40-plus cities in America where they have services -- church service with no religion.

CUOMO: It's called the oxymoronic. He's also going to be a midwife coming up. We thought it was a great opportunity for him to deliver your baby. We'll talk about it when we hit the break.

SPURLOCK: Season three. Season three.

BOLDUAN: That is --

CUOMO: Season premier of "INSIDE MAN" is this Sunday.

SPURLOCK: Yes, I hope you're all going to watch.

CUOMO: What times is it at -- 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here, of course, on CNN. Good luck to Morgan Spurlock.

BOLDUAN: That's great Morgan. It's always great. Looking forward to seeing what you get yourself into.

CUOMO: Let's take a little break so they can negotiate how it's going to work, the whole mid-wifing thing.

When we come back imagine you found $11,000 cash free and clear. Would you keep it? Would you?

One very special teacher, better than Morgan Spurlock, did not. That's what makes her "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: And now we'll throw a shoe at you.


CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff". And it was pennies from heaven for a teacher in South Carolina. Actually it was a bank bag that almost hit her son right in the face.

Here's the story. They're driving along when a bag containing more than $11,000 flew off the roof of a car in front of them.


SHERRY WHITESIDES, TEACHER: I didn't know at the time it was money. I saw something falling. So my son and I pulled over. We got out. When I looked down, I thought, wow --


CUOMO: I don't know if you could hear her. But what she was saying was, "We were driving along and this bag of money came flying off the car in front of it. It almost hit my kid right in the face. The car was gone. There was no way to get the money back to its rightful owner. So Sherry Whitesides did the only thing she knew how to do, she kept it. The end.

No. She turned it in to the nearest police station. That's why she's the good stuff. Even the cops were shocked.


CHIEF RANDY GRICE, POLICE: You wonder is this really happening, is this true? Is it make believe? Non-traceable and probably never figured out where it went to.

WHITESIDES: It wasn't mine. I didn't deserve it. I didn't do anything to get it.


CUOMO: That is why Sherry is the good stuff. She did get something out of it. She got this selfie of her son with all that cash. But to Sherry, she says it was never about the money.


WHITESIDES: And I feel very richly blessed, and it has nothing to do with my bank account.


CUOMO: Listen to this. Cops tracked down the money's owner, turns out he's a senior citizen that accidentally left the bag on top of his car. And what a great lesson for her son -- right. Because it's all about what you do when nobody is looking. Here his mom showed him, the most important woman he'll ever have in his life, that she did the right thing at the right time.

BOLDUAN: And what she said is the hardest lesson, but the most important lesson to learn. She is so blessed and it has nothing to do with the bag of cash.

BERMAN: How much cash was it?

CUOMO: $11,000.

BOLDUAN: $11,000.

BERMAN: I've left coffee on top of my car before. $11,000.

BOLDUAN: Did someone return it?

BERMAN: $11,000. I don't know.

CUOMO: Senior citizen. Thought about it.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Wouldn't you be looking for the hidden camera. I would think it would be safe, right. I'd be like who's doing this.

BOLDUAN: She's a good person.

CUOMO: A little paranoid there. A little Eastern Block coming out there, right.

BOLDUAN: Don't take it.

CUOMO: Nobody is watching you here, just all these cameras. Hope you have a very happy weekend. Before you begin it, you must get the news. And there's only one person for that. And her name is Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it is. Thanks so much. And I think congratulations are in order, right?

CUOMO: Oh, thank you. Oh, it was to you.

BOLDUAN: See what I get to deal with every day. I'm a blessed woman. It has nothing to do with my bank account either.

CUOMO: We're already (inaudible) to her belly -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I know. I feel your pain every morning.

CUOMO: You like the Jets.

BOLDUAN: Stop it.

PETERSONS: I think we better go. COSTELLO: Congratulations, Kate. I'm happy for you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" -- closing in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very confident that the signals are from the flight box.