Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Radio Contest Turns Deadly; Teen Girl's Beating on Internet; Wild Weather

Aired January 17, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight three teenage girls viciously attack another girl. Video of the beating on the Internet for the world to see. You'll see that video here. Plus a woman dies from drinking too much water for a radio station contest. You'll hear some of her last words on the radio.



KING: Now talk radio superstar Dr. Laura on two stories that have people asking if maybe we have gone too far. Plus, a deadly ice storm kills at least 55 people in nine states, leaves hundreds of thousands shivering without heat or electricity. When will it end? All of the latest from along the storm front is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening, our first couple of segments tonight are about a wacky radio station contest that went terribly awry. And resulted in the death of a 28-year-old mother of three. Jennifer Strange died of water intoxication after swallowing nearly two gallons of water. It was part of radio station KDND's hold your wee for a Wii contest on KDND's the morning rave show. The three hosts of the morning rave and seven other staffers have been fired and the show has been taken off the air. The concept was to, if you hold the wee, you're going to win one of those Nintendo Wii's valued at $300. With us in her first live interview from Sacramento is Lucy Davidson, winner of that contest. Lucy, why did you enter?

LUCY DAVIDSON, WON KDND WATER-DRINKING CONTEST: Because it sounded like something fun. I called on my way to work and they asked what was the wackiest thing that you got for Christmas and I told them. And they said they were going to call us back and let me know if I qualified or not and they called me back on Thursday.

KING: And did you desperately want a Wii?

DAVIDSON: Well I didn't desperately want one. I thought it would be kind of fun. I mean I knew people who had one and I thought well maybe I'd like to have one for myself.

KING: How many people entered?

DAVIDSON: I don't know how many people entered but 19 people showed up.

KING: And the contest was done physically at the radio station.

DAVIDSON: Yes, it was in the community kitchen for all the other different radio stations that are there as well.

KING: Now we have audio as the contest as it aired on the radio program, we'll be airing some of the excerpts from it. The first one starts with a caller warning that someone could die if they drink too much water. Take a listen.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want to say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to say that those people that are drinking all of that water can get sick and possibly die from water intoxication.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we're aware of that. That's why I want to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, they signed releases so we're not responsible, it's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if they get to the point where they have to throw up, then they're going to throw up and they're out of the contest before they die. So that's good, right?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come you guys didn't do it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks for loOKing out though.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we don't want to die.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask Carter if anybody's dying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we ain't dying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey Carter, is anybody dying in there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a guy that's just about to die.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, good, make sure you sign that release.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love that we laugh at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure he signs the release. Get the insurance on that, please.


KING: Oh, the intellectualism of some of morning radio. Lucy, when you heard that, did you worry?

DAVIDSON: Actually, we never really heard any of that. There was a small radio in there but you couldn't really hear the live feeds while the station was on because it was a delay.

KING: Was there any nurse present?


KING: Did you have any medical worries?

DAVIDSON: Not really. I mean, I didn't think anything about it, actually.

KING: All right, how much water did you consume?

DAVIDSON: They had some guy in there trying to tally it up. It was approximately about a gallon and a half or so.

KING: Did they give you -- I understand they gave you opportunities where if you wanted to quit, you might get tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert, was that true?

DAVIDSON: That wasn't until later. There was about 10 of us left, and they were offering people tickets for movie tickets and Harlem Globetrotter tickets and stuff like that. And then towards the end when it was just me and Jennifer. They offered her tickets, so she talked to them in the studio and she said, yes/no, yes/no and then she chose to drink another round. So we drank another round of water and then they were talking to her again and then she chose to go ahead and take the tickets. So that meant the contest was over.

KING: Did she loOK ill?

DAVIDSON: No, everybody was in really high spirits and everybody was doing really good. I mean you're on a little natural high. You're having a good time. And then after that, I think, we both started feeling really bad.

KING: We have another one of those audio clips for you now. In this one the disc jockey talks with the woman who died from drinking too much water. Listen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, who is this?

STRANGE: Jennifer.


STRANGE: Jennifer?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations on making it to the final two.

STRANGE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling?

STRANGE: I don't have to go pee but my stomach is like really, really full.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it all the way backed up to your neck?

STRANGE: It loOKs like I'm pregnant again. It's pretty funny, I'm kind of entertained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much longer do you think you can go, Jennifer?

STRANGE: As long as my stomach will continue to let me. I don't know? Maybe a couple more.


KING: And that was the young lady who passed away some hours later. Did you get ill at all, Lucy Davidson?

DAVIDSON: Yes, I was very, very sick. I was barely able to make it home. My head was as big as probably three basketballs. It just was very, very painful. I had no equilibrium, I was throwing up and I was just sick. I had to crawl on the floor because I was just so sick. I couldn't even walk.

KING: Did you sign a release with the radio station?

DAVIDSON: Yes I did.

KING: One more clip from that radio show. Here's the late Jennifer Strange at the end of the contest.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer, I heard you're not doing too well.

STRANGE: My head hurts. They keep telling me that it's the water, it will tell my head to hurt and then it will make me puke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who told you that, the intern?

STRANGE: Yeah. Kind of -- it hurts but it makes you feel light- headed so I'm not sure if I'm just like --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what it feels like when you're drowning. There's a lot of water inside of you.

STRANGE: Oh, it hurts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like deep blue sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we want to get you out of your misery. Bring them both into the studio, bring them down here real quick. March them down. Oh, she loOKs sick. Jennifer -- oh, my gosh, loOK at her belly. Are you pregnant?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, she said it loOKs like her belly like when she was pregnant. LoOK, it's totally sticking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my gosh, loOK at that belly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is so funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's full of water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You loOK probably three months pregnant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's the mother of three.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, she's a little tiny thing, too, that's so funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on over Jennifer, are you OK? Do you want to lay down?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can't even walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to pass out right now, too much water?

STRANGE: I could probably drink more if you guys could pick me up. Do you want me to?



KING: That is really sad. Are you sorry you did it, Lucy?

DAVIDSON: Well I'm sorry for the outcome. I mean I was having fun while doing it. I didn't know of the dangers.

KING: Are you OK now?

DAVIDSON: Well, it toOK me a whole day. I didn't start feeling better until like 1:30 in the morning on Saturday. But after a couple doses of Tylenol I started feeling better.

KING: Yeah. Thanks, Lucy. Thanks for sharing this with us.

DAVIDSON: Oh you're very welcome.

KING: Lucy Davidson. Up next, radio talk show host Dr. Laura gives us her take on what happened as a result of that contest. Don't go away.


KING: Joining us now is our friend, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the nationally syndicated radio talk show host. "New York Times" best selling author, her latest boOK another best seller, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." Dr. Laura, based on what we have -- there's the cover of the boOK -- what we have just seen, have we gone too far? What's happened to this society?

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, TALK RADIO STAR: Well, I was kind of stunned, actually, when you asked Lucy, your prior guest who was in that contest if she regretted doing it or she'd do it again and she never said no. Even though from what happened to her body, she might have been number two who was dead. You know it's all so oop, we were having fun. When I listened to the deejays, I got to tell you, my heart sank and my jaw dropped. They were clearly negligent. How flagrantly disinterested can you be in the welfare of people to put them in harm's way for entertainment. There's something very sick about that. But we see that all over television with the reality television where they put people in all kind of harm's way for entertainment. And somebody, eventually, was going to die.

KING: The station management says, "First and foremost, our thoughts and sympathies go to the family and loved ones. I also want to assure you that the circumstances regarding this matter are being examined as thoroughly as possible. We're doing everything we can to deal with this difficult situation in a manner that's both respectful and responsible." Aren't they responsible?

SCHLESSINGER: That's a little after the fact and that's good setting up for the attorney wars. I think everybody who had any input on this should probably be criminally charged. I'm not an attorney type but it seems reasonable to me this was flagrant disregard for the well being of people. They even sounded on the air like they didn't care. Oh, did anybody die yet? I mean this is so sick. To me these people should all be in jail. And that kind of verbiage, as you know, the PR person comes out of the wood work and "spins."

KING: Isn't that, though, that show fairly typical of a lot of morning radio? I don't -- I don't want to wipe the whole industry but there are a lot of pairs of people in the morning in American radio who do crazy things. SCHLESSINGER: Well you loOK at television, you see more of it there, where people are put in harm's way or they're showing home videos of people almost killing themselves breaking their backs and doing bizarre things on the freeway and what have you. I think there's just so much of this that it's taken so cavalierly and it was only a matter of time. Your Lucy guest is so lucky she's not dead. She had the symptoms of water intoxication. She's really lucky.

KING: We're going to hear once more from Jennifer Strange, the young lady who passed away. I guess this was the last statement she made when they spOKe to her at the end of the contest. Listen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer, I heard that you're not doing too well.

STRANGE: My head hurts. They keep telling me that it's the water. It will tell my head to hurt and then it will make me puke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who told you that, the intern?

STRANGE: Yeah. Kind of -- it hurts but it makes you feel light- headed so I'm not sure if I'm just like --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what it feels like when you're drowning. There's a lot of water inside of you.

STRANGE: Oh, it hurts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like deep blue sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we want to get you out of your misery. Bring them both into the studio, bring them down here real quick. March them down. Oh, she loOKs sick. Jennifer -- oh, my gosh, loOK at her belly. Are you pregnant?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, she said it loOKs like her belly like when she was pregnant. LoOK, it's totally sticking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my gosh, loOK at that belly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is so funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's full of water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You loOK probably three months pregnant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's the mother of three.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, she's a little tiny thing, too, that's so funny. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on over Jennifer, are you OK? Do you want to lay down?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can't even walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to pass out right now, too much water?

STRANGE: I could probably drink more if you guys could pick me up. Do you want me to?



KING: Laura how can they --

SCHLESSINGER: There was a movie "Network?" This is so prescient where he was going to shoot himself on network news to make really big ratings. And it all became entertainment. This poor woman is dying. There must have been doctors, nurses -- that Eva person seemed to know who called. I can't believe that nobody sent for a paramedic. They didn't do anything for her. This is so horrible.

KING: And they act smart-alecky.

SCHELSSINGER: There are three children with no mommy.

KING: And they act smart-alecky.


KING: Amazing. We're going to take a break and come back and talk about another incident, hard to believe. Dr. Laura remains with us. When we come back, we talk about the other bizarre story of the day. The mean girls who taped themselves beating up another girl. The talk of the Internet. What does it say about kids today? We'll find out from Dr. Laura next.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The victim we're told is an eighth grade student who just turned 13. Her attackers, two 14-year-old girls and one 13-year-old who go on a frenzy. The video showing them beating, kicking and pulling the victim's hair. All of the girls' faces protected because they are minors.


KING: OK, bizarre behavior on two coasts. The left coast and the water drinking contest, the right coast and teen girls from Long Island, arrested and charged in connection with this attack that ends up on the Internet. All right, Dr. Laura, you analyze this.

SCHLESSINGER: I'll tell you quite truthfully and I have read everything that is out there about this. In my never to be humble opinion, the whole point of this was not any kind of vengeance or payback or rage or competitiveness. The whole point of this was to have something to put on Youtube. The whole point of this was to be a celebrity like Britney Spears with no underwear flashing her giblets. The whole point of this behavior was to be like what they see so much in our society. You get -- infamy is now what fame used to be. So it doesn't matter what you do, whether it's vulgar, sexual or violent, as long as you get attention for it. And I think it was all for the -- that there was no real anger there. It was all for the sake of celebrity hood. That's what we value in our culture.

KING: But, Laura -- OK, maybe boys beating up boys, but girls beating up a girl?

SCHLESSINGER: Hey, it's a way to get on Youtube. It's a dramatic way to be seen to be known. More and more young people are using violence for all sorts of things. To me, that's also a part of the culture. Just when we were having our elections you saw angry, raging people, Democrats, Republicans, everybody calling everybody bad names and the threats and all of that, from raw to Barbara Boxer talking to Condi Rice. I mean anything in between. We see so much rage and anger. You hear it on the radio. You see people fighting on the TV news shows, arguing and yelling at each other. The show just before yours. I mean there's just so much of this rage that it's been normalized.

KING: What would you do, what would you say to the girls who did this?

SCHLESSINGER: You're going to go to jail until you're 21 and it ain't going to be pretty in prison. That's what I would say to them. And that's what we have to say to the young people who resort to these kinds of antics and behaviors, not caring about the welfare of another human being.

KING: Do you think they will get that punishment?

SCHLESSINGER: I certainly hope so. It's going to be hard to avoid it when they're on tape. I mean, the prosecution doesn't have to go very far. And, obviously, it wasn't self-defense. I personally would like to send that other little girl to karate class.

KING: What would you say to their parents?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I would like to know where their parents are, if they have any and if they are around them and what kind of role model they have. I mean when you and I were kids, if we went out and tried to clobber somebody for fun, we could expect to have raw tushies after that one. But they have no fear, means to me -- I mean they have no fear to the extent that they are taping it, it means that there is no disregard. It is callous and arrogant and too high a self-esteem. We always worry about kids' low self-esteem, it's the false high self-esteem I worry about. That they're somehow immune to all of that. Well they must have learned that at home. They must be getting away with a lot at home. They must be getting away with a lot at school. I think our young people are because the minute they do anything bad, the lawyers are called and you can't do this to my child and children are turning more sociopathic all the time because there are no restraints, no limits, no consequences. So these kids have to go up the river until they're 21. I vote for that.

KING: Your new boOK, best seller "The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage." Will a marriage properly fed and cared for not produce children like this?

SCHLESSINGER: That's correct, it won't. And one of the things that I tell people, when you come into a room and there's your spouse and your kids, I don't care how old your kids are, you go to your spouse first, kiss him up, love him up, hug him up and then you go to your kids. The kids very importantly need to see that you're a loving and strong united front. They'll have more respect, they'll have more peace, they'll feel more bonded. Kids who are more bonded to their parents, bond less to peers. Peer bonding leads to "Lord of the flies," which you saw in the tape.

KING: OK. If the society is going that way, it's Youtube and water contests and all of that, you're not going to pull back from that, are you? Is it going to get worse before it gets better?

SCHLESSINGER: Probably, where is corporate responsibility? I mean Google owns Youtube.

KING: Yeah they bought it.

SCHLESSINGER: And Myspace and all of that, I mean these are big corporations who say, oh gosh, we put up little signs saying don't put naughty things on here, no violence, no sex. But they're not monitoring it. To me they have a responsibility not to loOK like a fun place for kids to perpetuate their evil.

KING: Does this, therefore, make you pessimistic?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, yes and no. A boOK like mine and a show like mine, they're doing well, means that there's an open embracing of doing the right things to bring less chaos to families and to children's lives, to be more parentally involved. I have to tell you, Larry, you have no idea how many parents call me about the simplest things. "I don't know, I wanted to punish them but won't they be mad at me? Am I overdoing it?" This fear of parenting is leading to children who will have complete arrogance about authority. And kids without authority will be inmates, run the institution.

KING: Why would someone be afraid of their children?

SCHLESSINGER: Because it's more important that your children like you. They want to be buddies. They want not to have to spend too much time with their kids and they want not to feel guilt that they're not paying attention to their kids because their sequential love lives, marriage, divorces, shacking up, their careers, their work and all of that has become so important that they're spending less time as a family and with their children and they just don't want the guilt from that. So what little they have with their kids, they don't want to mess around with actually parenting them. The kids unparented are -- to me, that's a form of child abuse. Not giving your children the foundation, the morality, the expectation of right and wrong and consequences. This to me is child abuse when you don't that. Not just smacking a kid but leaving them in the middle of the ocean not knowing how to paddle to have a good life.

KING: Thanks, Laura. Always good to see you and congratulations on the boOK.


KING: The boOK is "The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage." And thanks for your concepts on both incidents. Concerning the second incident, an incident that toOK place on Long Island, the beating up of the three girls. We'll have a major panel discussion on that. And then some major figures weigh in on what's going on with the weather. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suffolk County Police believe the ambush toOK place outside the Woods Road Elementary School in North Babylon back on December 18. Somehow the video made its way through the Internet. When high school administrators learned of it, they called the police. Today all three girls seen doing the attacking were arrested at North Babylon High School, where they are ninth graders. The victim, we're told, is also from North Babylon but attends a private school and apparently remains humiliated and horrified about what happened.



KING: Now we bring our attention to the three teenage girls from North Babylon High School on Long Island in Suffolk County. They have been arrested and charged in connection with the physical and verbal attack of another girl last month. That attack, by the way, occurred on school grounds. The arrests followed the posting of the video of the attack on the Internet. Joining us in West Babylon is Steve Levy, Suffolk County executive and Joseph Laria. Dr. Laria is acting superintendent of schools for North Babylon Union Free. In Chicago is Rosalind Wiseman, "The New York Times" best-selling author. Her boOK "Queen Bees and Wannabes, Helping your Daughter Survive Clicks, Gossip, Boyfriends and other Realities of Adolescence." And in New York, one of our favorites, Dr. Keith Ablow, psychiatrist, best- selling author, host of "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show." Steve Levy, Suffolk County executive, what's the latest concerning the accused?

STEVE LEVY, SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE: Well, the latest Larry, is now that this has hit the worldwide, a great deal of attention has been focused and the criminal -- the district attorney is determining what course of action will take place next. But basically, we have -- from the parents' perspective -- we have to get them more involved with their kids in monitoring these situations. They were all very concerned about sexual predators on the Internet, but they're really not paying attention to the fact that things can be said about their children on the Internet, wrecking their reputations. These kids who are victimized have to know they have a place to go through the schools or youth groups. And finally, we have to make sure that those youngsters who go over the line are held accountable through the district attorney or the police force or whatever the case may be.

KING: Joseph Laria, what's the condition of the girl who was beaten up?

JOSEPH LARIA, SUPERINTENDENT, N. BABYLON UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT: Larry, my understanding is she has some minor injuries. I spOKe to her father tonight and she seems to be adjusting OK but may need some help emotionally.

KING: Are they going to be prosecuted aggressively, Joseph?

LARIA: Well, we did that, Larry, as soon as we had knowledge of this on January 2. The school district moved swiftly and forcefully. We suspended the students in pursuant to state law, and I held a superintendent's hearing. And I suspended these students until April, pending a review, at which time I will determine whether they're going to be back in school or not.

KING: But will they be charged?

LARIA: Well, that's up to the district attorney, Larry. And that's being investigated right now. Remember, they are minors. So the charges will be on a different level than they would if they were in a majority.

KING: I got you.

LARIA: The very least they're loOKing at now is attempted assault in the third degree, which could lead up to a year in a juvenile detention facility. Larry, we have...

KING: How old are they?

LARIA: Around the age of 14 for the most part. One the girls was 13.

KING: Rosalind Wiseman, what do you make of this?

ROSALIND WISEMAN, AUTHOR "QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES": Well, unfortunately, I think it's normal. And I think it's something that parents need to know. I couldn't agree more that this is something -- that parents focus on sexual predators and they really need to focus on the way children have no civil discourse on the Internet and that they believe they can get away with anything.

I just also want to applaud the school for taking a really strong stance about this immediately as far -- and soon as they saw it because some schools believe that if it happens at home or if it happens on the Internet, that it's not something that affects the school. And that's not true.

So I really think that this is something that parents have to pay particular attention to and feel the horror of this, feel how uncomfortable this is, because any kid can be a bully and any kid can be victim.

KING: Dr. Ablow, do you buy Dr. Laura Schlessinger's idea that it's television, YouTube, YouTV -- whatever was the cause of this?

KEITH ABLOW, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I don't think a particular company is the cause of this. I think that there are psychological factors at play here. Number one, when you are taping something, there is a distance from it personally. There is a kind of emotional distance. And so the fact that these kids bring this camcorder with them or a cell phone camcorder provides a kind of psychological distance, where they're able to not be sensitive to the victim. It's almost like she's on a film and isn't real. There's a lesson in that for us as people are exposed to more and more media.

I think the other lesson here is this is a group of girls, and we know psychologically that groups of people do less well in terms of exerting control over themselves than individuals do. We lose our individual moral compasses sometimes when we get into a mob mentality. And so this isn't about sending anyone up the river until they are 21. This is about reconnecting individuals with their feelings. And, believe me, it's not that the parents have not set enough limits. It's that we need to be more sensitive to our children's feelings.

KING: Steve, do we know the motive?

LEVY: We think it centers around a boy, actually. And that happens quite a bit. And this is not something that is germane just to this Long Island school. This is happening throughout the country, where reputations can be destroyed on the Internet, privacy invaded. And it's almost like humiliation becomes sport in many cases. We even have a new term that's called "hopping", where fights are filmed for the sole purpose of placing on the Internet. It's not a phenomenon that is germane just to this area.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back with more of this outstanding panel on LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators say the girls met online and got into a dissing match over someone's boyfriend, the hostility eventually bubbling over from cyberspace to reality.

Afterwards, there appears to be gloating over the beating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go back...



KING: Dr. Laria, does the fact this occurred on school grounds change the impact or involvement of law enforcement?

LARIA: No, it doesn't, Larry, because we work cooperatively on parallel lines. The school district has its code of discipline. We take action, turn it over to the police department, and we work very cooperatively with them along parallel lines. They will do what they have to do legally and we will do what we have to do in terms of board policies and regulations.

KING: Are the children sorry?

LARIA: Well, you know, during the superintendent's hearing, they are frightened. They did demonstrate some remorse. But I will determine that in April, when we have a re-entry conference.

KING: Rosalind, they're 14 years old. Are these bad kids?

WISEMAN: Probably not. In my experience working with thousands and thousands of kids, I think in a handful I can think of people that I thought were bad kids.

What I really think is we've lost a lot of common sense about how we talk to kids and how we talk to parents is about -- oftentimes, it's about blaming parents, it's about all sensitivity or all blaming. Really the bottom line is dignity is not negotiable. It is not negotiable for parents, for teachers, administrators, kids. And we are forgetting that. We are forgetting the common sense of what this is about.

And we are so focused sometimes on girls having -- high self- esteem girls, which I do agree with. We don't want our girls to be wimps. And so we forget that in the process there's a lot of mean girls walking around who have very high self-esteem.

So it's not about blaming parents. Its about taking this moment, which I hope all parents do, to say, "This is a moment where I'm going to take ownership and I know that this could happen in my own community. So I'm going to take ownership of the things that my kids do great and I'm really proud of them. But I'm also going to take ownership of these moments and say, what can I do as a parent to make sure my kid is safe from getting involved in any way, in any of the roles that we saw on the tape?"

That's what parenting is about. And it's hard. As a parent myself, let me tell you, this stuff, we all know this. It's hard. So we've got to be able to reach out to each other and hold each other accountable.

KING: Dr. Ablow, what about this age of craving for attention and television giving them that?

ABLOW: Well, you know, I think if people feel deprived of their humanity, they don't feel that they are alive in the traditional, emotional sense, they will settle for a kind of life on YouTube or wherever you can fabricate an existence.

And I think that this school district has an opportunity to be kind of an example and say, these are violent kids who are obviously troubled and lack empathy for the victim. So how were these girls brought to this point? I think there should be an exploration here of what's wrong in their lives. Because it's one thing, of course there is going to be punishment. It's another thing to say what really happened here? It doesn't seem like these girls, whether they're holding a camera or not, whether they're posting it on the Internet, I get that.

But the fact is that they lack empathy for this girl who's being beaten. And that means that somehow they lost their connectiveness to other human beings. How did that happen?

KING: Steve, isn't Suffolk County pretty much high/middle income?

LEVY: Suffolk County is a very diverse community, Larry. It is -- it has its pockets of poverty. It has its upper class. But it's mostly a middle class community.

KING: How well is it dealing with this?

LEVY: We are dealing with it in the same way people are around the country and I will say around the world. Just outrage, outrage over what this young lady, the victim, had to go through. And as the doctor was saying, how these young children could be so detached from reality and have such a lack of empathy for a fellow human being.

And they are questioning, should we hold the parents liable? What is the answer? And I think it's a mixture. It's getting parents more involved with their children. It's making sure that these kids have a place to go when they are victimized and, you know, it's making sure those who go over the line are held accountable.

KING: Thanks Steve Levy, Joseph Laria, Rosalind Wiseman and Dr. Keith Ablow. And in a minute, we'll discuss this incredible weather going on in the United States.

Right now, let's head to New York and check in with our man Anderson Cooper, who will host "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour. What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, tonight new developments in the case against Michael Devlin. He is charged with two child abductions in Missouri, but fears are growing now that other missing children may have crossed paths with Mr. Devlin. As you might imagine, a lot of leads are being followed tonight and a lot of people are coming forward to tell their stories. We will have the latest on that.

Plus an update on the O.J. Simpson boOK scandal. New details that's connect Simpson directly to the company that would have published his boOK, a company that until now had denied the relationship. We'll have all that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, always stimulating, at 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific. And when we come back, the chilling details of the storm that's blasting the middle of the country. Is it going to ease up or more ahead? We'll talk to four people who've got all the answers next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: The weather appears to be going nuts. To discuss it, Sam Champion, the weather anchor for ABC's "Good Morning America," weather editor of ABC News. Sam's in Atlanta tonight.

In San Antonio, Jacqui Jeras, our own CNN meteorologist. In Atlanta, Reynolds Wolf, another fine CNN meteorologist. And also in Atlanta at the Weather Channel headquarters is Mike Bettes, the on- camera meteorologist for the Weather Channel and co-anchor if the new show "Abrams & Bettes: Beyond the Forecast."

Now Jacqui Jeras is in San Antonio. What the heck is going on there?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we've been dealing with freezing rain for two days here now in San Antonio. Conditions have actually improved a lot throughout the day today, Larry. But it's kind of like thawing out a turkey when you get it and put it into your freezer to thaw it out.

It takes a long time. We've got about a quarter inch to a half of an inch of ice. The main roadways are doing much better now, but it's the elevated surfaces, like a lot of the ramps and the elevated areas of the interstate, which are still shut down at the hour.

A pretty rare thing to happen in San Antonio. It's been about two years since they've seen any type of snow and ice. I think people are kind of getting a little bored with this actually. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. Had this been a snow event, at least you can get out and play in this kind of weather. But it's just been kind of an icy, ugly day.

KING: Reynolds Wolf, is this in defiance of global warming?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, I am not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole, Larry.

But I'll tell you that it certainly feels like global cooling in parts of the world, especially in Texas, where Jacqui's been staying.

One thing that's very interesting about Texas is you've got to remember, since the weekend, the weather there has just been insane. They have seen tornadoes, they've seen flash flooding, they've had snow, they've had ice, they've had damaging winds. It's been the whole nine years.

And this whole weather system is going to cruise its way along parts of the Gulf of Mexico, moving into parts of Georgia and the Carolinas for tomorrow. Possibly some freezing rain, freezing surfaces on portions of I-85 in parts of extreme northeastern Georgia and into the Carolinas. So iciness is going to continue and travel troubles problems could continue through tomorrow as well.

KING: Sam, is this the -- is this against global warming? What is this?

SAM CHAMPION, ABC NEWS WEATHER ANCHOR: Hey, Larry. We definitely have to talk about it in terms of what the pattern is because folks are seeing this bizarre weather and they're hearing all of these terms thrown at them, global warming is one of them. El Nino pattern is another one.

So when we try to describe it on our show, this is the way I set it apart. When we are talking about global warming, we are talking about years and years and years of data that we loOK at to see what the trend is. We compare it to normal. We let you know how the planet is handling itself with temperatures and that takes, of course, many, many years to figure out what's going on and to loOK at that pattern.

When we talk about a pattern like an El Nino, it's the pattern, the weather pattern that we're in this year. So this pattern that we're watching with this moisture flowing out of the Pacific, across the southern states, interacting with the extremely cold air that just got pushed out of Canada and creates this icing situation in Texas, which, by the way, they are not done with it yet, even though it's calmer on Friday. They have more coming for the weekend.

So when we talk about that El Nino pattern and his icy pattern, we're talking about those together. This is the right now weather situation that your going through and the weather pattern of a trend for this year. When we talk about global warming, we take it year after year after year after year.

And certainly for the last nine years, we have been able to see that weather is warming, temperatures are trending warmer. And certainly, we just came off 2006, Larry, not one state in the -- not one state in this nation was below normal when we averaged temperatures out for 2006.

KING: Not one. Mike Bettes, why are we freezing in southern California?

MIKE BETTES, WEATHER CHANNEL METEOROLOGIST: I mean, it's amazing to see the temperatures there in California and the expense to the crops, billion dollars now, in damage to the citrus crops.

And really all you have to do it loOK up into Canada. Our neighbors up in Canada have really really dealt us a lot of warm weather this season. Now we get our first real blast of cold, Canadian air and it's pushed right down into southern California. That's just been the pattern for us, as it has been for the past week across much of the country.

Unfortunately, it's gotten far enough south where it's damaged grapefruits and avocados and oranges and lemons and limes. And it's going to be one of those deals where Governor Schwarzenegger has to take action, ask the federal government for assistance. He's doing that. But when you talk about that industry they are so relying on, a billion dollars not in their economy now. They're got to make up for it somewhere. Likely, it's going to come out of all of our pockets at the grocery store.

KING: Jacqui, the obvious, because all of your are experts: when does it end?

JERAS: Well, this weather pattern is not going to end in the near future. Here in San Antonio, for example, we think our temperatures are going to warm up a little bit as we approach the weekend and be back in the 50s, should be in the 60s this time of the year.

So I think the worst of the ice and freezing rain is down in San Antonio, but winter storm watches have already been posted for parts of New Mexico and in northern and western parts of Texas, including Dallas-Ft. Worth on up towards OKlahoma City. So we expect to see another round of some freezing rain and some heavy snow coming in at least through the weekend.

KING: We will be back with more with Sam and Jacqui and Reynolds and Mike on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.





KING: Reynolds Wolf, CNN meteorologist, we have at least 60 weather-related deaths. Isn't that high?

WOLF: Well, I mean, I would say considering the size of this storm, I would say it is high but not surprising.

I mean, you've got really icy conditions there all the way from parts of Missouri into OKlahoma into north Texas. And then you have a lot of people who have not been dealing with this kind of weather for much of the season, especially in places like Texas. People go down these roadways. They're on four-wheel drive vehicles and they go 70 miles an hour on the freeway. There are people going in a big hurry on slick conditions and unfortunately, these fatalities add up. So it's unfortunate but not surprising.

KING: Mike Bettes, what's your read on the rest of the winter?

BETTES: Well, if it's anything like it is right now, we're going to have a tough one. The pattern generally in an el Nino year is for a little bit milder winter, especially in the northern states. We are seeing that. But you can have events like this that occur in the Deep South and places that aren't necessarily prepared for winter weather like they are in the North. And so we see the unfortunate result: a lot of deaths, we've got road closures, we've got airports that are shut down.

And this includes Houston and San Antonio and Dallas, all the way towards Birmingham and Atlanta and Raleigh. So these are areas that aren't necessarily equipped to deal with winter weather, large, metropolitan areas. So if we see that pattern continue through the weekend -- through the winter, I should saw, it could be a very tough winter for a lot of cities, but not the northern cities.

KING: Sam, was this forecast?

CHAMPION: Yes, Larry, this one was and I think very well. This storm started out and we watched it start out. We knew where the moisture was coming from. And again, we kind of had set ourselves up to understand this pattern, the el Nino pattern that we've all talked about, for this year.

So we knew there was plenty of available moisture that was moving across the southeastern states and the Deep South. And we also knew this was a big push of Arctic air. When you get the two of them combined, you've got that big mess and this one came in ice -- sheets of ice.

The problem with this, as everyone pointed out, has been the territorial coverage here and folks who just weren't used to dealing with it. It's why we had so many deaths, even in a well-forecasted storm where folks were told in advance that they were going to have icing. I know that we went on the air two days at least in advance -- two or three days, I think, on "Good Morning America" -- and laid out the fact that this was going to be measurable stacking ice in those states.

Again, people just don't know what to do with that information when they're not used to seeing ice like that, Larry. So they got out on the roads. They weren't really, you know paying attention to it. And a lot, a lot of injuries happened because folks just weren't ready for it.

KING: Jacqui, where do you head next?

JERAS: I'm still here in San Antonio for another couple of days and then I think I'm going to take a few days off.

KING: You're allowed that, Jacqui?

JERAS: I am allowed that once in a while, yes.

KING: Reynolds, you got anything in your forecast that says -- is the northeast going to be hit this weekend? WOLF: Nothing major. The big place we're really watching over the next 24 hours -- 12 to 24 hours is really going to be in the Carolinas and then, as Sam mentioned, there's that possibility of seeing another round of snowfall maybe into the Central Plains again, possibly into Dallas, maybe even over four inches of snowfall, not as severe as what we just went through, but certainly another icy blast.

KING: One of our crew, Mike, tells us there was a little snow today in Malibu. Explain that.

BETTES: I think you got a little snow in your crib there, Larry. How about that? Snow for the first time in the valley floor there in L.A. since 1962. Can you believe that? That just shows what a dynamic weather pattern we're in right now, that we've had significant weather from southern California all the way to Maine. And with the pattern like this, why not, right? But the unfortunate result there has been huge economic losses in southern California. But something they won't soon forget there in Malibu, Larry.

KING: Sam, by the way, congratulations on joining "Good Morning America".

CHAMPION: Thank you so much, Larry. Let me tell you how much you had to do with that. Thank you, sir.

KING: Well, you're a great addition any time we have you on.

Jacqui Jeras, could some parts now turn warm quick?

JERAS: Well, it loOKs like it's going to warm up into California as we approach the weekend and normalize a little bit. Down here across parts of the South, we're going to stay relatively cold over the next couple of days. But a gradual warming trend is going to be expected.

As for the Northeast, all of those people are still without power in parts of New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. Tonight we think it's going to be the coldest night, wind chills in the 20s, maybe 30s below zero with the stiff wind that's blowing on through there. But they should start to warm up a little bit over the weekend. But, you know, we're not going to see those 70s that we saw just about a week ago, Larry.

KING: Reynolds, what's the toughest part of your job?

WOLF: The toughest part of my job is trying to be right all the time. In weather, it's impossible. I'll tell you right up. It's an imperfect science. We try as hard as we possibly can, but Mother Nature always has a few tricks up her sleeves.

I mean, we can -- for example, last year the hurricane season, I mean it loOKed -- all signs were pointing to a very, very busy season. And certainly, that ended up being a bust. And to tell you the truth, I think many people were obviously thankful for that. But it's always a mystery, which is fascinating to many of us. I guarantee you out of four of us, we're never bored with our jobs, like you. KING: Mike, we only got 30 seconds. "Abrams & Bettes" has a new show on the Weather Channel called "Beyond the Forecast". Can you quickly tell us what do you mean by beyond the forecast?

BETTES: Well, you know, I think it's kind of a mix of a variety show. It's like Desi and Lucy do weather, I like to call it. But it's going beyond what you normally see when you think about a weather forecast, Larry. You think about a meteorologist standing at a weather wall talking about maps. We take it just a little notch farther than that. But a fun show. We like to have fun with it. And weather doesn't always have to be serious, so we take a lighter approach every week night.

KING: Thank you all very much.

Sam Champion, Jackie Jeras, Reynolds Wolf and Mike Bettes.

As Mark Twain said, "Everybody talks about the weather and nobody does anything about it."

That's it for tonight's edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Tomorrow night: winners of "American Idol". "American Idol's" back for another season. I believe it's their sixth. And this extraordinarily successful show has produced some amazingly successful people. And a couple of them are going to be with us tomorrow night.

Speaking of successful people, we go to New York, Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360" -- Anderson.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines