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CNN NEWSROOM

Storm May Affect Millions

Aired April 14, 2007 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: A huge weather system barrels in, affecting millions of Americans. Even New Yorkers may be running for cover.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have arrested college professors, bank presidents, other CEOs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: A public official goes down for doing the unthinkable in a bathroom stall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is exactly what happened in the Duke case, where a prosecutor made statements to the media to try to prejudice people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Could the Duke case be the key to unlocking justice for this teen jailed for sex?

Is Don Imus being selectively targeted? Who are the other culprits? We're going to talk to the man who got it all started right here on the CNN NEWSROOM.

And hello, again and everybody welcome to B control. I'm Rick Sanchez. Tonight, the news is the weather. And if you live anywhere near New York, it's coming your way.

First, take a look at some of these pictures that we've been getting in from parts of Texas and parts of Alabama, torn up by tornadoes and some thunderstorms as we get pictures in. Across the deep South and the Eastern seaboard, it is ugly. And it's getting worse.

There's also some new pictures that we've got of a fresh storm damage. This was just in from central Alabama. We've been getting them in for the last half or so. This is Crenshaw County, pounded today by roaring thunderstorms. They tore roofs from homes and farm buildings and they uprooted trees. Residents say they're going to be dealing with this one for quite a while, we understand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Started out here and went all the way through, took the chicken houses out. Went up back behind the hill back there and pretty much just tore everything up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like it crossed over 97?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It did. I hadn't been over there to check it out. We've been trying to get the trees out of the road here so folks can come through here. I haven't seen all the damage around here yet, trying to get around and open up the roads.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Wow, let's take you to Texas now. This is near Fort Worth. Same storm system. It kicked around these RVs like toys today. Unfortunately, more than just property is gone. We've heard of at least two deaths in Texas so far. Here's even more proof that severe weather is nothing to mess with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We discover that tangled power lines around us are not dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa! Everybody all right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: I tell you, we've tried to talk to as many people as we possibly can. I think you can see Rob Hatchell. He's right there behind me. He's one of the meteorologists who's following things in Montgomery, Alabama. And we're going to be joining him in just a little bit to get a local perspective on what's going on there, areas that have been hit by tornadoes.

But first, let's do this. Let's go to Jacqui Jeras and get a sense of what's going on in terms of the big picture. Jacqui, what is this system? How would you describe it?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's very strong and it has a lot of energy with it. And it's still getting stronger. And it's also going to start to stall out, unfortunately, as it heads towards the mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas. And so it's going to be a long-term event. And this is huge in terms of the number of people affected by this storm.

Now what you're seeing right there on the radar, that's our tornado watches where conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur. We've had a lot of warnings tonight, but thankfully not a lot of damage. The most severe storms that blew through Montgomery are now moving through eastern parts of Alabama and into southwestern parts of Georgia. We have a tornado warning in effect at this hour for southern Terrell County. And that does include the city of Dawson right now. And that should be arriving there about 10:15 local time. There you can see all the watches and warnings being displayed for that area.

Now there's another spot that we're kind of concerned about. There aren't any watches in effect right there, but we're watching parts of South Carolina and North Carolina at this hour. See these strong storms near Greenville, down towards Greenwood? Those could be possibly rotating in the future. We'll have to watch them very closely. Maybe not a watch, but an isolated severe storm is going to be possible.

If you live in Raleigh, if you live in Columbia, and Charleston, you might want to make sure that you've got your NOAA weather radio on tonight. The storm, not by any means over and done with. And it's going to be a big day for the mid-Atlantic and northeast states tomorrow. I'll have further details on that and what you can expect, rain, snow, wind who's going to get what. That's coming up.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know, we mentioned a little while ago folks in New York are about to get walloped. Can you just give us a headline on what that might be?

JERAS: Well, for New York City itself, we're talking about coastal flooding. We're also talking about very strong winds up to tropical storm-strength, Rick. 40, 50 miles per hour...

SANCHEZ: Wow.

JERAS: ...gusts are very likely. And heavy rainfall. So river flooding is a good possibility also.

SANCHEZ: All right, Jacqui Jeras, thanks so much for bringing us up to date. We're going to be talking more about the significance of the Atlantic states, of the parts of the Northeast and New York. And we're also going to be trying to hook up with Rob Hatchett, who's standing by right there. We're apparently having some kind of problem with his audio. As soon as we hook up and make that all work, we'll be talking to him specifically about the area affected by him.

Now let's talk about the situation in Iraq. Reeling now from another wave of violent attacks there tonight.

That's some of the sounds coming from Karbala. It's about 70 miles south of Baghdad. A car bomb detonated inside a packed shopping center. At least 43 people killed, dozens wounded. This happened just a few yards from Shiite Islam's holiest shrine. In Baghdad, a suicide bomber tried to take out a major bridge that spans the Tigris River. Ten people are dead. The bridge wasn't badly damaged, we understand.

And by the way, a bomber also took out another Tigris bridge. That was just a couple of days ago.

Well, tonight, the Don Imus controversy is mushrooming far beyond the original story. It now involves bomb threats and death threats. And it seems to be making everyone involved in the story a bit more cautious. A bomb threat cleared out the Chicago headquarters of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition Friday. Also, the Rutgers women athletes say that they have received threats and hate mail, as well, causing Imus' wife Deirdre to intervene, saying they should be sent, instead to her husband, the hate mail, that is.

And we have the man who spearheaded Imus' firing. He's going to be coming up in just 20 minutes. Plus, another extremely racist comment that was made by Don Imus, that you may not have heard of, but you will in just a little bit.

Take a look at this graph also that we put together for you on this story. More than half of you, this is last week by the way, more than half of you wanted Don Imus fired, but you know, a lot has happened since last week. So what about now? After all you've heard this week, has your opinion of his being fired changed in any way? Are you more convinced? Are you possibly less convinced? We want to know what you think. Call us at 1-800-807-2620. That's 807-2620. Don't forget the 1-800 in front of it. This debate continues.

Another high profile story this week. The Duke lacrosse players, the sexual assault case against them has been dismissed. Well now a Georgia defense attorney says this same tactic is being used against her client. Details on that next.

Then take a look at this, adults hugging, kissing, groping in the principal's office. And now the parents of the school are on to them because they were secretly recorded. Plus, this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This type of activity takes place pretty much anywhere you have a great number of -- tremendous volume of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: It's a high-ranking transit official who's been caught in a bathroom sex scandal. And police say it's a trend. And for the sake of your children, you should know about it. Stay with us. We'll be back with that and a whole lot more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rick Sanchez. Tonight in the wake of the Duke University case, there is another district attorney involved in another controversial case, accused of also going too far.

Well, here's an update in the case of Genarlow Wilson. Tonight, his attorney is saying she is going to sue the state of Georgia because of what she calls an overzealous district attorney.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Genarlow Wilson is spending 10 years in prison, convicted on an antiquated sodomy law, a felony, something the Georgia legislature has since changed to a misdemeanor.

His crime? Having oral sex with another teenager, a 15-year old. The story has gotten international attention, because many argue the penalty doesn't fit the crime. 10 years, many ask, for teen sex?

The man who prosecuted Genarlow is saying despite the jury finding him guilty of aggravated child molestation and not rape, Genarlow, he says, is a rapist.

DAVID MCDADE, DOUGLAS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This young man basically gang raped a 17-year old and had repeated sex acts with a 15-year old. There's no member of the legislature that I think we condone that behavior.

SANCHEZ: Genarlow Wilson's attorney says just like in the Duke lacrosse case, statements like that are a sign of an overzealous district attorney.

B.J. BERNSTEIN, WILSON'S ATTORNEY: Don't continue to accuse my client of something that he's been acquitted of.

SANCHEZ: Bernstein says if they change the state law, they should also change Wilson's sentence.

BERNSTEIN: We're asking the attorney general of Georgia to do the same thing, to review Genarlow's case, to look at what we will be filing, which is a writ of habeas corpus, that is a civil lawsuit, which indicates that someone's been unlawfully incarcerated.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Well, B.J. Bernstein says that she is suing because that she fears the D.A.'s public statements that you heard are hindering her client's chances for a fair hearing before the state legislature. And we just heard, by the way, from D.A. David McDade.

He says, "I am not being overzealous, I offered a reduction in his sentence. Offered him to plead guilty to a reduced charge, we have made a recommendation to him and the court that he be allowed to be sentenced to something less, something that would be paroleable."

He goes on to add, by the way, you can come back to me here, Roger. He says what is overzealous about prosecuting a man who was part of a six person crime spree, using word the crime spree, involving two young girls. Certainly a story that we'll continue to follow for you as the controversy ensues.

Well, it's important to point out that I visited Genarlow in prison to get his side of the story. You can't help but feel bad for him, no matter how you feel about the case at his age in a hardcore prison, surrounded by rapists, real rapists, drug dealers, and murderers.

Is there any way that you can prepare yourself for something like that? Steve Scholl is the person to ask. He's a prison coach, believe it or not. Never heard of such a thing. He and his associate get people ready for hard time with a few critical do's and don'ts about going to prison. They even have their own radio show.

Scholl has never served time, but his sidekick did. And their advice is not what you'd call politically correct.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE SCHOLL, DR. PRISON RADIO: If you're hanging out with another race, then you're seeing yourself up to get a beating. You know, so that's number one thing is you don't steal, you don't gamble, you stay away from homosexuals, and you treat people with respect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Rules. The radio show is also webcast on Drprison.com. Oh, and the fees starts from $275 for a personal session.

Coming up, he's cozied up to kings and queens, but this is one interview our Larry King just cannot forget. What? This memorable moment, it's coming up next.

Then, at the half hour, Don Imus, his words, his firing, and who the next target might be. I'm going to talk to the man who spearheaded the controversy right here on this show. And also, a hip hop legend who will join us as well.

And then, how has your opinion changed this week, if at all, regarding the firing of Don Imus? Less convinced, more convinced as a result of everything that happened over the last five days?

Call us at 1-800-807-2620. Your comments coming up next, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We've been talking about the severe weather system that's been tearing up parts of the southeast. And it's going to be heading toward the Northeast. Let's go to Jacqui now to find out what's going on with this thing. We see you there, Jacqui. What's going on?

JERAS: Yes, I'm still tracking this possible tornado in parts of Georgia this time. We'll show the cell on radar. Looks pretty impressive here. This is the one that we're concerned about. It's to the north and west of Albany, Georgia. This is for Terrell County. It includes the city of Dawson. Doppler radar indicating some pretty strong rotation there. You can see it's just southern parts of the county that's concerned.

These are the new polygon warnings, by the way. So those of you that live in northern parts of the county, go ahead and go back to sleep until you hear those sirens go off, if they do. Storms tracking on up to the north and to the east. Much of southern Georgia also into southern parts of Alabama and also in the panhandle of Florida, you guys are under tornado watches tonight, which means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur until midnight. And that's local time for both of you.

Still not out of the woods yet. We've hard about Montgomery and some of the damage there. You can see a new line has developed just off to your west. So be aware that more severe weather heading into your neck of the woods. And if you live in the Carolinas, be aware of that, as well. Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, you guys are next in line. We're going to detail it out for you kind of hour by hour and step by step when I come back.

SANCHEZ: Yes, yes, that's serious stuff. As a matter of fact, even the mayor of New York is making comments, so is the governor. They're preparing for this system because they think it might be brutal.

JERAS: They need to be.

SANCHEZ: All right, Jacqui, thanks so much. We'll check back with you in a bit.

Hawaiian singing legend Don Ho has died. His publicist says Ho died of heart failure this morning. He performed in Hawaii for decades and is best known for his song, who could forget this one "Tiny Bubbles." For many, no trip to the islands was complete without seeing his live show. Don Ho was 76-years old. Boy, he will be missed.

This week on CNN, it's an interview Larry King will probably never forget. Marlon Brando never talked with anyone, but he did talk to Larry. Part of our week-long special look at Larry King's 50 years in broadcasting. He sat down with our Anderson Cooper to talk about one of his most fascinating guests.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: In the '90s, Larry was the place for star sightings. In '94, he landed "A Streetcar Named Desire" actor Marlon Brando. Over the years, the film legend had become something of a recluse.

WENDY WALKER, EXEC. PRODUCER, LARRY KING LIE: One day out of the blue, we get a call. He's decided to write his own book. They're making him do one interview. And he's chosen Larry King.

LARRY KING: The phone rings, I pick it up and I'm a little nervous. Hello? And his voice, is Larry King? Yes. It's Marlon. I said Marlon who? I swear to God, I said Marlon who? And he goes Marlon Brando. He says I'm going to send a car for you. It'll be downstairs in about 20 minutes.

So I go downstairs, but who pulls up but Brando in the car, driving like a white Chevy, like a Chevy Nova. I get in the car. And we start to drive, doing songs like he would do the first line of a song and I had to do the second.

COOPER: The duo took their show on the road. Well, at least to the bright lights of Larry's set (SINGING)

KING: I've flown around the world in a plane...

COOPER: Before the show was over, the songbirds were in a lip lock. The kiss became a King classic.

KING: Good-bye.

MARLON BRANDO: Good-bye.

KING: I kiss my brother on the cheek and I've had friends hug me, but he's the only man to ever kiss me on the lips. And I can't stop thinking about him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: You're going to want to watch every night to see if you see a kiss or more, starting Monday. That's when Oprah Winfrey joins Larry for the full hour. It's all part of our week-long look at Larry's 50 years in broadcasting. And oh, what a 50 years it's been.

Wednesday's show is a two-hour special, 50 years of pop culture hosted by our own Anderson Cooper. That's all next, here on CNN.

All this week, we have been flooded with Don Imus, his offensive language, and tons of reaction to everything he did or didn't do. Well, tonight, we're wondering who else might be targeted. I posed that question to the man who jumpstarted the controversy. And then...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To that parent who wants to send their 12- year-old son into the restroom, I think that's pretty important that we keep those bathrooms safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Tonight, a public official ensnared in a bathroom sex scandal. And it may turn out to be a bit of a trend. You're not going to believe where this happened.

Also, it happened in the most unlikely of places -- this one -- a two-year-old severely burned by acid on a playground. There is an outrage to this one. You don't want to miss it. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right, we've been telling you about what's going on in Montgomery tonight. I'll tell you, it's nasty to look at. These are pictures just now coming into us from someone who's driving through the area on their way home and decided to pop out their camera and take a look at those ominous skies that are gathering.

And you just heard Jacqui a little while ago. She said that there's actually a second front or a second system that's going to be coming through this area now, all part of one huge system obviously. But you know, it's more trouble for the people in this area in the southeast.

This is a large system that's going to be spawning tornadoes. That's why we're concerned. And by the way, it's going through the southeast and eventually the mid-Atlantic states and end up in places like New York and Boston. So we're going to be watching this for quite some time.

Stay with us and we'll bring you all the updates as we get them.

Now to the big story of the week. Tonight, radio host Don Imus is out of a job. He built his career on controversy, but in the end, it was a controversy that he created that got him fired.

But what about others? Why did NBC let it go for so long? Is it all about money? Is there a double standard when it comes to rap music, for example? There's a whole lot here. And that's why we have got hip-hop artist MC Lyte in the house, as well as the guy who got the ball rolling, Brian Monroe, the President of the National Association of Black Journalists. We're going to be talking with them in just a little bit.

But first, the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON IMUS, FORMER RADIO HOST: Well, some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and some hardcore hos.

That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that right now. Man, that's some...

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Don Imus should be fired and taken off the airwaves.

DEFOREST B. SOARIES, JR., REV., PASTOR OF RUTGERS' COACH: We intend to, at the very least, demand the resignation or termination of Mr. Imus.

JESSE JACKSON, REV.: Today, we want to challenge NBC and MSNBC to make them choose, us or Imus.

IMUS: I'm sorry I did that. I'm embarrassed that I did that. I did a bad thing. I wish I hadn't said it. I'm sorry I said it. I am going to apologize to them and ask them for their forgiveness.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: He has apologized. He said that he's deeply sorry. I'm a great believer in redemption.

BRUCE GORDON, CBS BOARD MEMBER: He abused his power and directed it at young women who didn't deserve it. And when that kind of abuse takes place, I believe there has to be a consequence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said two words. Should two words be the ruination of this man's whole life of doing good things?

MIKE HUCKABEE (r), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Imus is going to get fired, then there's a lot of other people that need to go out the door.

BRUCE GORDON, CBS BOARD MEMBER: He abused his power and directed it at young women who didn't deserve it. And when that kind of abuse takes place, I believe there has to be a consequence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said two words. Should two words be the ruination of this man's whole life of doing good things?

MIKE HUCKABEE (r), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Imus is going to get fired, then there's a lot of other people that need to go out the door.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're getting some breaking news right now. CNN has just confirmed that CBS, following NBC, has decided to dump the Don Imus radio program. That's just coming in to CNN right now.

STEVE CAPUS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENT: There's no question that this was a final straw.

GORDON: Don Imus crossed the line and violated any decent person's view of what's just, and what's fair, and what's right.

STEVE MALZBERG, RADIO HOST: I think it's terrible.

PAULA ZAHN: Why?

MALZBERG: For the industry of talk radio. I think what he did was - what he said was reprehensible. He should have been suspended. But to fire him, why now?

C. VIVIAN STRINGER, COACH, RUTGERS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: We the Rutgers University (INAUDIBLE) basketball team accept Mr. Imus' apology. And we are in the process of forgiving him. We still find his statements to be unacceptable. And this is an experience that we will never forget.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: That's a lot of fodder, a lot to talk about. We probably could go on for hours in this discussion. Let's get it started, if we can. Bryan Monroe joins me tonight from Chicago. He's the editor in charge of "Ebony" and "Jet" magazines. And he's also the past president of the National Association of Black Journalists. It's always good to have you, Mr. Monroe. Thanks so much for being with us.

BRYAN MONROE, NABJ PRESIDENT: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Also tonight, thank you.

Hip-hop artist MC Lyte. She's been with us before. And she's good enough to see us once again. Hey, it's good to have both of you here.

Brian, let me begin with you, since many are crediting you with being the first to raise the questions about what Imus said in fact right here on this newscast last week. Are you satisfied with the results?

MONROE: Well, you know, we're the National Association of Black Journalists. And we don't revel in anyone losing their job, especially another broadcaster. But in this case, I think the system worked. And we saw that. With free speech comes responsibility. And with responsibility, there are cases where there need to be accountability and consequences.

SANCHEZ: Well, you know, let me just press you on that a little bit. A lot of people would say, you know what? Everybody makes mistakes. He apologized for it. What makes him different than other people who have made mistakes, said stupid things, apologized, and then gone on with their lives?

MONROE: Well, you know, I think he and his show have had a history of doing these kinds of comments, these kinds of racist slurs. And I think America said enough. We have had enough. And this is not a victory for any of us. This is really a victory for America and for folks rising up and saying, we've had it.

MC Lyte, everybody and their mother is now jumping, as I'm sure you've heard on this bad rap bandwagon as a result of this. And what they're doing is they're comparing what Imus has said to much of the words that are uttered by some of these rap artists. And to be frank with you, they are comparable, aren't they?

MC LYTE, HIP-HOP ARTIST: Well, you know, I would just like to take this moment to say they're not one in the same. He should be reprimanded for what he did. He had no business saying it. And that's one entity in itself.

SANCHEZ: OK, but explain to us how they're different. Explain to us how a rap artist...

LYTE: Well, because it's me. I can say certain things in my house to certain people that I wouldn't say outdoors. And even if I did, I'm talking to that person. This is someone who's not black, who's not African-American, and doesn't have nappy hair. So just leave it alone. And I think...

SANCHEZ: So what you're saying is if you are a person of that -- for example, I'm Hispanic. If I make jokes about Hispanics, it's OK, but somebody else makes them, it's not OK?

LYTE: Well, I don't know about jokes being made. I think with hip-hop, there's a picture that's being painted of what's really going on in the 'hood. And some people can't understand it. And some people can't stomach it, but it's not for all people.

SANCHEZ: But -- here's a comparison for you that I thought about on the way to work today. Jeff Foxworthy, he makes jokes of low- income white people. Extremely denigrating, by the way. Is that the same?

LYTE: Well, he's a comedian. I think hip-hop is reality. We paint the picture of what's really going on in the 'hood. So if you were to come and get a glimpse, it would be identical to what it is that you're hearing.

SANCHEZ: Bryan, let me let you hear something. This is Jason Whitlock. He writes for "The Kansas City Star." He's been writing a lot about this all week, but he had this to say as well. We'll talk about it on the back side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON WHITLOCK, KANSAS CITY STAR: I think that an apology should have been demanded from Don Imus. And we should have asked MSNBC and CBS, you guys deal with him. He's an idiot and then moved on from there. The press conferences, the over-the-top picketing, reaction, all -- it just went way too far. Don Imus doesn't move us, doesn't carry any weight in our community. He doesn't define us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: As a matter of fact, most people said that most of the young ladies, because of their demographic breakdown, probably weren't watching Imus, probably don't watch Imus. So why make such a big deal of something he said about somebody who probably never even watches his show?

MONROE: Well, there's a difference, I think, between you know, standing in your pajamas on the street corner and saying something, and saying something on national television on the national radio with 3.5 million listeners and another three or four hundred thousand viewers.

There's got to be a sense of, where is the line? I can't write everything in my magazine "Ebony" magazine. Neither can Jason write everything that he wants to in "The Kansas City Star" because we know there are certain standards. You know, these are...

SANCHEZ: Is that what it's really...

MONROE: ...making millions of dollars.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me stop you there for a moment.

MONROE: Sure.

SANCHEZ: Is that what this is really about -- the standard of MSNBC and NBC, which is different than the standards of others? In other words, this is a man who talks to prospective presidents, who talks to congressmen, who talks to people who basically disseminate the news in this country. Is that the reason it's less acceptable those words coming out of his mouth?

MONROE: Well, yes, I think, again, these are public airways. These are owned by you and me. They're designed to be operated in the public good. And I don't think anyone can tell me that what was said last week was in the public good.

SANCHEZ: All right, let me share -- hold on a minute. Let me share something else because this is important. This is something we talked about yesterday. I don't know if you got a chance to read Bob Herbert's column in "The New York Times". This is Thursday he wrote about this. He wrote about a Mike Wallace piece. This is a '60 Minutes'' that a lot of people maybe don't know about. I'm going to read it to you.

Wallace says, "Imus in the Morning is a dirty and sometimes racist show." Imus says, "Give me an example." Wallace says, "You told Tom Anderson, the producer, coming home in your car, that Bernard McGuirk is there to do "n" jokes." You know what word we're talking about. Imus, "I've never used that word." Wallace, "Tom?" Imus then turns to Tom Anderson, "Did I use that word?" Anderson, "I recall you using that word." Imus, "Oh, OK, well then, I guess I used that word, but of course it was off-the-record conversation." Wallace says, "The hell it was."

That's an interesting conversation because it goes to exactly what we're talking about in this case, that you said earlier you think there's a pattern.

MONROE: Well, and it is. But also, you know, I think it's now time. We know who he is. We know what he said. He's also done some good work for charity. But at the end of the day, he has been held accountable for his words and his deeds.

And now it's time to get beyond Imus. I think we in the media, particularly, as dreadful as the situation was, we've got this window of opportunity right now, to lead. To lead on television, on radio, music, entertainment.

SANCHEZ: OK, so where? Beautiful. Where do we go? Let's call this beyond Don Imus. Where does it go beyond Don Imus?

MONROE: I think it starts with conversations just like this. I really don't accept, for instance, labeling the hip-hop community and rappers with this broad brush. Do we have issues in the community? Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Talking about rap, MC Lyte, I want to give you the final word. Your thoughts?

LYTE: Well, I just feel like right now, these young women have been overshadowed by this misconduct of Don Imus. And I wish were just doing a story congratulating them, the fact that they've come from...

MONROE: Amen.

LYTE: ...you know, losing, to being one of the top four teams in the entire country. And you know, I just want to send love out to them. And I'm sorry that they even had to go through this. It's ridiculous. SANCHEZ: My thanks to both of you for being with us tonight. Interesting and engaging conversation. I think it's been just that. Hopefully, we'll get you guys back on again. Bryan Monroe and MC Lyte.

LYTE: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Tomorrow on "Reliable Sources," how did the media do this week covering the story? It's at 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

We're following weather warnings that you need to know about. Jacqui's going to update us. And she'll have that for us in just a little bit. In fact, we're going to be going to her next.

Also coming up, this is related to the Imus story, by the way. New Jersey's governor is in the hospital. And we're going to tell you whether the person who put him there is going to be charged. He was on the way to meet with Imus and the Rutgers athletes.

Then, it is Chicago against Los Angeles for an Olympic bid. And we will tell you who won.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We're following what appears to be a disturbance. And this is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Let me try and set it up for you, as we look at some of these pictures that have been coming into us throughout the course of the evening.

Police surrounded a north Tulsa apartment Saturday. They were attempting to take a murder suspect into custody. They were trying to negotiate with him. His name is Rico Starks, for several hours.

Then a crowd suddenly started to gather. It created chaos for some of the officers who were attempting to get Starks they say out of the unit. Units from across the city were called in to disperse the crowd. Rocks started being thrown at several of the police cars. Some of the cars were then vandalized. That has not yet been confirmed, by the way, that the cars were vandalized, but we have confirmed that some of the rocks were thrown at the officers.

We don't know for how long this disturbance lasted. We do know that police are still on the scene, as we continue to bring in some of the pictures that we've been getting throughout the course of the night.

If we get any more information or any more pictures, we'll certainly turn it around. But just again, the very latest on this is that there's been a disturbance after police tried to arrest a murder suspect. Rocks were thrown at the police officers. And if this thing certainly escalates, we'll take you back there and get more information.

Meantime, here's another breaking story that we're following for you. This one having to do with Montgomery, Alabama. Look at what it looks like when you look up into the sky there. This is the makings of a potential tornadoes. And that's why there is such a concern. Several systems that have been coming through this area. It's going to go through Alabama, parts of Georgia, the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic states.

And by tomorrow morning, if not wee into the hours tonight, those of you along the northeast are going to be feeling the effects of this thing as well. They're talking about 50-mile-an-hour winds, maybe as high as 60 miles an hour. Think about it, a hurricane is like 74 miles an hour. So these are strong winds that are going to bring with it a lot of rain and a little bit of a storm surge to boot.

So this is something certainly to keep your eye on. And that's exactly what we're going to be doing for you. The deep South has been getting slammed all day long today, as we've telling you. But up north, they're also going to be dealing and bracing for the worst throughout the day tomorrow.

40-mile-an-hour winds, flooding, heavy snow is the forecast. And it's being called now officially an Nor'easter. What they're doing about it, well, New York's governor is warning people to get ready. Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIOT SPITZER, GOV., NEW YORK: The point I would make is that, as with all storms of this magnitude, we do not know with any certainty what will happen. We want folks to be ready for any possibility, which means the possibility of power outages. We have been in communication with all the utilities across New York state. They are doing their best, as they always do, to be ready. They have brought crews in. They're ready to restore power if it is lost. We would suggest to people that they get flashlights, that they stock up on some food. Do the basic things that would -- that common sense would suggest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Common sense hopefully will go far enough. Jacqui Jeras joining us now to let us know. Just how bad are they going to be pounded up there, Jacqui?

JERAS: Well, pretty bad, I think, Rick. You know, I mean, it's not a Nor'easter just yet. It's not off the shore yet. We're not seeing those northeast winds in. So until that happens, you know, there's still that slight chance that you could get lucky and this is going to head out to the ocean and not be a huge deal.

But at this time, it's looking pretty imminent. We really think this is going to be happening. An area of low pressure is still in here, in the interior near the Appalachians right now, but the wet weather has already arrived.

There you can see the rain through the mid-Atlantic states trying to get its way here into upstate New York. Already have a little bit of snow here to the West over towards Buffalo and over towards the Cleveland areas, picked up a quick one to two inches here across northern parts of Indiana and also into Ohio.

But what's going to happen is that storm is going to intensify once it gets off the coast tomorrow. Watches are already in place for flooding in the green. We've got winter storm warnings already in effect in the red, where we could see a good 6 to 12-plus inches of snowfall. And we've got the watches there in the white areas.

Here's where we're expecting the low be. That's going to be bring in the east to northeasterly winds. And they're going to be extremely strong, especially closer to the coast that you get. Could be as strong, with gusts 60 to 70 miles per hour.

2 to 4 inches of rain. So flash flooding in addition to potential river flooding. And we're at high spring tide at the same time as the surge coming in. So that's going to bring all the river levels and the coastal levels up two to three feet on top of what they're already going to be.

So this will be very likely a major event for the entire megalopolis for tomorrow. The best case scenario I can say for you guys who live in Boston, Hartford, down towards New York City is at least it isn't snow. Rick?

SANCHEZ: All right, we'll be watching it. And it sounds like it could be a bit tough up there for some of those folks. Boy, when you see the governor coming out and making statements, you know it's serious.

All right, let's talk about this once again. This is this developing story we told you about. This was handed to me just a moment ago. So I was reading it with you, just as I was getting it. And it now is confirmed that there is a bit of an incident taking place in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

A disturbance with police after they tried to arrest a suspect for murder. Several people started gathering. A crowd gathered. And we understand that bottles were thrown at police officers.

There is a report that there was some vandalism of police officers cars, although we haven't been able to nail that part down yet. We're going to try and get you there to get more information on the story as soon as we come back. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right, we told you we'd be trying to get some more information on the situation in Tulsa, where there seems to be a bit of a disturbance going on. I understand we now can talk to somebody. Elizabeth Kinney on the scene. She's from one of our affiliates there. Elizabeth, are you there?

ELIZABETH KINNEY: Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me all right?

SANCHEZ: Yes, I got you. What do we know? KINNEY: Well, it started as just a standoff. Tulsa police were trying to track down a homicide, a man who had a homicide warrant out for a year. It started off. There were about 16 police officers there

Then, it is a gang-related homicide last year. And so, I guess he was able to somehow contact some of those gang members. The crowd just grew enormously. Riot police were called in. Up to 100 to 150 Tulsa police officers were on the scene.

SANCHEZ: Wow.

KINNEY: They have the Tulsa police helicopter circling, trying to spotlight the crowd to really calm them down. The scene, unbelievable. They were throwing rocks and asphalt at officers. They were popping firecrackers. And there were some gunshots involved. Officers believe some gunshots were fired there into the riot crowd, all of it pretty much a distraction to keep them from the actual standoff in trying to apprehend that suspect that was inside the apartment.

SANCHEZ: Did they finally get him?

KINNEY: Right now, he is still inside and they are...

SANCHEZ: Oh my goodness.

KINNEY: ...still in that standoff position. So it's a very dangerous situation.

SANCHEZ: And we're looking at a picture here, but it looks to be kind of far away. And it doesn't seem to show some of the things that you are describing. We don't see any crowd there.

KINNEY: Right.

SANCHEZ: We just see police. Is this because this is still from a distance?

KINNEY: Right, it is from a distance. Our photo journalist is actually trapped in there. I was boosted over a fence to get out of the scene to get back to the newsroom. I mean, it's a dangerous situation very much in lockdown.

But the police officers actually pushed back that crowd when the riot police got there. Over 100 of them tried to push back that crowd, push back the riots that was going on and get them out of the apartment scene so they could concentrate on the standoff.

SANCHEZ: We're kind of characterizing it as a disturbance. You just used the word "riot. That kind of escalates it a bit. Would you characterize it as a riot? Or is it really more just a disturbance at this point?

KINNEY: I definitely would characterize it as a "riot". I mean, they had the whole riot squad in. They have all the streets blocked off in that area. They were jumping on the police cars. They were throwing things at the police cars. There were guns. There were gang fights in the crowd, in the riot crowd.

So it did calm down there for a little bit, but then it would work itself back up. So it was definitely a riot.

SANCHEZ: So what's going on right now? Is it escalating? Is it under control? How would you characterize it?

KINNEY: Well, it has calmed down slightly. The standoff, we talked to the Tulsa police chief. It looks like it might be closer to coming to an end. But right now, it is definitely a dangerous situation. Those roads are closed off. And all the police force are out there trying to calm the situation down.

SANCHEZ: One final question. Any police officers or anybody been hurt in this situation thus far that you would know of?

KINNEY: I think just, you know, no major injuries. There were some officers that were - had things thrown at them. Reporters, myself included, had things thrown at them and attacked. But no major injuries.

SANCHEZ: Wow. Elizabeth Kinney following that. You certainly be as careful as you possibly can out there. It does sound like a volatile situation. We are going to continue to work that story. As we get more information, we're going to be sharing it with you. And we're also going to be letting you know what's going on with the weather, because that is extremely serious tonight, not only for the southeast, but parts of the Atlantic states. Atlantic coast. And the northeast by tomorrow morning, as well.

Jacqui Jeras coming back with another update on that in just a minute. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right, let's try and bring you up to date just in the middle of this newscast tonight. We've got some breaking news.

First of all, the situation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You just heard from our correspondent there, Elizabeth Kinney, describing the scene. She said it's starting to resemble a riot. Certainly a disturbance. A lot of people forming a crowd and throwing rocks at police officers. Fights breaking out. We'll take you there to get more information.

Also, let's take you to Montgomery, Alabama. That's where the weather has been the news. And boy, it's been serious there as well. Here are some new pictures coming into us now from some of the damage that we have been getting on the grounds there. Some twisters coming through the area, as well. And more expected.

Let's go to Jacqui Jeras, just to get a sense of how bad this was and how bad it still could get. Jacqui?

JERAS: Well, it sure was bad to the people it affected, that's for sure. But thankfully, nobody was injured in those storms. And hopefully, folks have your NOAA weather radios on tonight if you live still in parts of Alabama, Georgia, the Florida panhandle, and on up into the Carolinas.

Let's show you where the watches are right now. I told you about that warning in Charles County, Georgia earlier. That has now expired. So good news with that one, but the two watches you still see in place. Well, those are going to be in effect until midnight local time.

Some of the most severe thunderstorms right now moving towards the Dosin, Alabama area. And there you can see Americus, Georgia, just off to your east towards Albany. That's where we have the stronger storms. And those are going to put down some really heavy downpours, we think, in the next half hour to an hour.

The next area that we're watching for tonight, before you go to bed, like I said, make sure you got your NOAA weather radio in. But right in this area, across central and eastern parts of South Carolina, including Columbia, we've been watching this area of thunderstorms have been developing. And now we just got what we call a mezzo scale discussion from the storm prediction center. And what that means is they're monitoring that area for the potential of having to issue a watch here, possibly a tornado watch within the next half an hour or so.

So anything else that breaks here tonight, we'll keep you up to date.

SANCHEZ: Good job, Jacqui. You've been over this - you've been on top of this thing all day long today as usual.

JERAS: Yes, big day tomorrow, too.

SANCHEZ: Job well done. Yes, we'll be here for you. And we'll be here through the night. As a matter of fact, anything changes, we'll continue to follow this storm system throughout the night. Break in if there's any major news developments right away.

And remember, you can always catch Betty and T.J. They're going to start right here at 7:00 a.m. Eastern for the very latest. And they'll bring it to you as it happens as well.

I'm Rick Sanchez. Been an interesting week, hasn't it, for those of us who've followed this Don Imus story, including those of us who've bee, well, the target of his barbs from time to time. Is it cruel? Is it just show business? Does that excuse it? Interesting question. I leave you tonight with your thoughts. And most of you, by the way, had this thought about Don Imus. Firing, too much. Here you are.

CALLER: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. I do not think Don Imus should have been fired. I believe that he has kind of gotten a raw deal, although I do think he's kind of a crappy shockjock.

CALLER: Hi, my name's Dan. I live in San Diego, I do believe he have been taken off the MSNBC broadcast on TV because of the fact that it is a major news outlet. And the comment was just a little bit too over the top. However, I do think he should have been able to keep his radio program.

CALLER: Nick from Hicksville, New York. I think he's great for the radio. I think he made a mistake and apologized. And I think both networks jumped the gun.

CALLER: My name is Deborah Wilson. I'm calling from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And I don't think that Don Imus should have been fired, unless you're going to fire Dave Chappelle, Girls Gone Wild, Yo Mama and other shows that are on TV.

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