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CNN NEWSROOM

From Graves to Trash; Should Taxpayers Bail Out Big Three?; Ask Arianna

Aired December 4, 2008 - 15:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Coming at you now: the graves of slaves to be replaced by a trash landfill.

DEXTER MATTHEWS, CLAYTON COUNTY NAACP: This is our history and a family history, and we don't want people just digging it up for trash.

SANCHEZ: Your reaction, loud and powerful.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nusreta knew that her time was coming, because no one left Omarska alive.

SANCHEZ: Christiane Amanpour files this hour a special report, "Scream Bloody Murder." It is about hate, and it is as important as it is difficult to watch.

Michael Moore says, these guys can't get it done.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER/AUTHOR: The party is going to end soon. We better collect as much silverware as possible.

SANCHEZ: And now this guy, this guy, and this guy explain how they will. Kind of makes you wonder if anyone remembers what this guy did when he was in their shoes.

And she used to be a righty. Now she is a lefty. Arianna Huffington joins me live to take your questions.

How do you write with a thick accent on Twitter, Facebook and more? Your national conversation begins right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And, as you might expect, we are going to be dipping in from time to time to the Senate Banking Committee. There, we will see Ford's Alan Mulally. And there he is. We're going to see Bob Nardelli of Chrysler, Rick Wagoner of General Motors as well.

And the UAW -- this is a guy who has become a prominent part of this, the UAW's Ron Gettelfinger with a lot to say about the accusations he says that many of his workers have been making way too much money, including $78 an hour. He refutes that and will continue to do so. This conversation really is about something that is pretty simple to grasp. They need money. They want a loan. And it is $34 billion that they are asking for. In return, they are saying that they are willing to do the following. They're change some of their fleets. They're willing to get rid of some of their work force -- reduce the work force is the word that is being used -- create cars that are much more fuel-efficient. And, in fact, some lines of cars, some entire brands, like SAAB, for example, may be eliminated, and like Saturn as well.

So, that is the picture as we set it up. We have put together some folks who are going to be able to take this apart for you.

Doug Baird is a university law professor at Chicago University. He has been with us before. Now, what he essentially says is if these guys don't get the money and they go into bankruptcy, that is fine. Other companies have had to go through this situation in the past. And we are also going to be joined by David Welch, who is a "BusinessWeek" magazine correspondent who says we can't afford their bankruptcy, and neither can they.

So, they are two divergent views on this.

Gentlemen, as we set this up, there is something else that we need to bring into this conversation. You see, this is not the first time that we, as a nation, deal with this situation.

So, we have gone back into the CNN archives. I want you to watch something. This is what happened back in 1980, when a guy named Lee Iacocca, who became a household name, went to Washington, saying, give me money, or my company, Chrysler, same one arguing now, will go under.

This is a look back that I want you to share. By the way, you are going to see some people here, Carl Levin, for example, who you are watching now, who was also involved in those conversations, and also the mayor of Detroit at the time, Coleman Young. Here it is.

Let's look back first.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The cause for all the celebration and hoopla? The first K-Car to come ceremoniously rolling off the line.

LEE IACOCCA, CEO, CHRYSLER: This is K-day for Chrysler, it's D- Day for Detroit, and it's a new day for America.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This was in a sense Lee Iacocca's day in the sun. It was more than a year ago that Chrysler first went to the federal government asking for help to avoid bankruptcy. Despite a bitter fight, Chrysler got what it needed to move ahead.

IACOCCA: Against all of the odds, against all of the doomsayers and the worst economic climate, by the way, in almost 50 years, this coalition succeed in bringing to market ahead of schedule the car that America has been waiting for.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Everyone who had a hand in saving the Chrysler Corporation was there today, the mayor, the governor, senators, congressmen, and bankers. And they all shared the optimism that pervaded today's launch of the K-Car, the Aries and the Reliant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our city is undergoing a recession the likes of which hat we have not seen since the '30s. We are counting on the K-Car, we're counting on the automobile industry to turn it around.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: One bystander said today's launching seemed like the dawn of creation. Chrysler officials are obviously hoping it is, because the success of the K-Cars will determine whether Chrysler lives or dies.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: You know, it is different.

Doug Baird, let me bring you into this conversation, first of all.

In the case of Lee Iacocca back in 1980, he went there with a plan. He had originally lobbied some of these guys in Congress and made sure that they were on his side. He went there on his knees asking for help and not saying, hey, I hear you guys got a bunch of money, can you give me some?

A very different scenario, wasn't it?

DOUGLAS BAIRD, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: Oh, absolutely.

The big difference is, he came in. He asked for the legislation. He got the legislation. The legislation came with conditions, and then he took six months to satisfy the conditions and then he got the money. Lee Iacocca came to town and what he said is, you give me the conditions. I will satisfy the conditions. Then give me the money.

GM is doing exactly the opposite, to say, give me the money and then we will try to satisfy your conditions.

SANCHEZ: That's interesting that you would put that way.

In fact, there's a picture, by the way. Look at that historical shot we have right there. Look at the again. That is the actual footage, a news conference he holds and announced to the world that he has got the money. He has got the government money, it is in his hands. And that is what the check looks like.

David Welch, let me bring you into this.

At the same time, did he create the company that he was given the money to create? Did Chrysler go through with its promise?

DAVID WELCH, "BUSINESSWEEK": Sure it did. One of the things they really needed the money for was to get those K-Cars out. That was one of their problems. They were short on cash. They needed money to tool up to make the cars. They did that. And then remember...

SANCHEZ: But why are they back asking for -- look, if they asked for money and they got it, then why are they back so many years later, 27, 28 years later, asking for money again? Maybe they didn't do such a good job.

WELCH: Well, look, a lot has happened between then and now.

In that time, Chrysler came up with the minivan, which everybody else copies. It was a huge hit. With Jeep, they kicked off the SUV boom. They made a lot of money. What has happened to Chrysler in the past 10 years is the Germans bought it. That was making Daimler A.G., making it DaimlerChrysler.

First thing they did was to cut spending on product development. And that is why Chrysler has a dearth of new models coming out. And then in the years since Cerberus has had it, they have also cut spending on new product.

SANCHEZ: But people will look and this and they will say, why did you let the Japanese and other parts of the Asian markets come in with these Honda Civics and all these other cars that really just beat your fanny and shouldn't you be held responsible for that?

I guess, Baird, you give it a shot.

Then, Welch, we will come back to you.

BAIRD: Well, I believe in looking forward rather than looking backwards.

And the problem is that these companies have fundamental structural problems. That is the big difference between now and two weeks ago. GM says essentially we need to cut everything by a third. And so they are now in a situation where they recognize they need to make fundamental changes and they have very little time to do it. And it is a big problem.

SANCHEZ: You think they will, yes or no? You think they are capable of making those changes?

BAIRD: Well, no, because it is not theirs to make. There are thousands of constituencies and they have to get all of them to come along. And once the government gives them the money, why are the constituents going to come along? There is nothing to force these people to the table.

And it is not as if you have three people coming to the table. You have thousands. It is going to be real hard.

SANCHEZ: Correspondent David Welch, you get the last word on this. Go ahead. Take us out. WELCH: Sure.

Look, I don't think any of the constituents really have a choice. The union has already said they are going to come to the table. They're cutting more. They have been cutting. They're giving up the jobs bank. They are going to reopen the agreement. So, there is one.

A lot of dealers are already going out of business. GM has already paved the way to get rid of these four brands that they say they are going to get rid of. So, you know, that makes that part of it a credible plan. The difficult part may be the bondholders. But, look, even if GM gets government money, there is no slam dunk that they are going to make it through this.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

WELCH: Let's face it. You make a loan, which is what government might do, there is risk. There is risk in any loan.

SANCHEZ: Which goes back to professor Baird's point, that, look, if it doesn't work out, and they end up in bankruptcy, that is not such a horrible thing, because we can name a bevy of companies in the United States who have gone through bankruptcy and survived and we're still dealing with their companies and their products.

Gentlemen, we're out of time. I wish we could go longer. We will again. We will continue to be following this story. My thanks to both of you.

Meanwhile, the grave of slaves turned into a trash landfill. When we told you about this story, we never expected the reaction would be so huge. It has been. And there is a new detail, a new wrinkle. We will bring it to you.

Stay with us. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back to the World Headquarters of CNN. I'm Rick Sanchez.

I want to share with you some of the comments that we have been getting from Twitter just in the time that we have been on air. In fact, let's go to it, Robert. There you go. Let's go to our Twitter board.

Billy is watching right now. He says, look -- and this is what a lot of people are saying about this situation when it comes to the government. "The government is bailing out these companies. What about us, us Americans? We need a bailout, too."

I'm going to go down to one more, Robert, this one right here. Beverly Cornell says: "Some people are rallying behind the auto industry. Check out this grassroots effort."

My thanks to you for sending us that information -- two different perspectives on this.

And now the story that has really garnered so much attention over the last 24 hours. We, yesterday, presented a story about the graves of slaves being replaced. Here are some of the pictures, the graves of slaves being replaced by a trash landfill. The symbolism of that story alone seems to be what has really gotten people right in the heart and made so many people feel like they are outraged by the idea that some government officials would do that, especially when they learned as we reported yesterday, that some of those officials had taken campaign contributions from the very company that provided the landfill.

So, that is where we were yesterday. Today, there is an update. The NAACP has now decided that they will actually do an investigation and ask the government of Georgia to investigate this themselves.

We also sent Ed Lavandera out there to get more information as well and to try to put this story in perspective, because it seems like there may be more than meets the eye.

You filed a report. Go ahead and present it for us.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. As you were talking about this yesterday, we were down there. If we can take a look at the Google map here of the area, it gives you a good sense of what we're talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Oh, yes, yes, yes, I see it right there. As a matter of fact, let me show the folks where we're talking about. It's right -- it's that area right in there, right?

LAVANDERA: There you have the entire landfill there, and that little spot of green right there in the middle, that is where we walked into yesterday.

SANCHEZ: So, this is all the landfill. And this is where the cemetery is, the reason that some argue they shouldn't probably be building on that.

You have got a report. Let's take a look at what you filed.

Here now is Ed Lavandera's story and we will talk to him on the backside.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It has been a long time since anyone has cared about the Union Bethel Cemetery. Just look at it. Locals believe slaves are buried in the middle of this Atlanta construction debris landfill, but the plan to move some 300 grave sites from the landfill to this cemetery has sparked a hostile reaction from civil right organizations.

TONYA LEE-WILLIS, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Taking away our ancestry and throwing it out with trash. And, ironically enough, it is right next to a landfill. So, how can you not feel as if that is wrong as part of your moral fiber that these people are just being trampled upon?

LAVANDERA: The Union Bethel Cemetery is about 150 years old. No one has been buried here since the 1940s. To see it, you need permission from the landfill company, Stephens MDS. And even that is not enough.

(on camera): It's rather difficult to get to the cemetery. You have got to go up this way to get to it. Going -- so, we have come up the little ridge there. You have got to jump over a log and we will get this way.

(voice-over): And the only way you know this is a cemetery is from the sinking holes in the ground and the lone tombstone we found.

(on camera): This headstone says D.L. Elliott (ph), January 14, 1886, died October 6, 1908.

(voice-over): The operation manager of the landfill brought us up to see it. He says his company has gone to great lengths to preserve the graves.

WADE BRANNON, STEPHENS MDS: We feel like what we are trying to do is to show proper respect for the cemetery that has not been maintained over the years. And I think the condition of the cemetery speaks for itself.

LAVANDERA: But local NAACP leaders are accusing the landfill company of already improperly moving grave sites and for making donations to the politicians who green-lighted the grave site's removal. The company says it has made political donations, but not to get the grave site moved.

DEXTER MATTHEWS, CLAYTON COUNTY NAACP: This is a historic slave grave. And this is our history and a family history, and we don't want people just digging it up for money and digging it up for trash and dumping trash where these bodies used to be. This is a historic site.

LAVANDERA: The landfill company says not a single grave has been disturbed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to approach it like your own family. How would I like someone that is my descendent that was in a location like this handled?

LAVANDERA: For 68-year-old Vera Ward (ph), who says she used to play in the cemetery, she wants the spot preserved, even if it is in the middle of a landfill.

VERA BROWN, DESCENDENT: I believe all my great grandfather's people were there. They were slaves and they was buried there.

LAVANDERA: After resting in peace for more than 100 years, the silence has been broken.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: That is a good report. It puts things in perspective and presents both sides. And there is another side here. There are people who are saying, as you showed us, it is so difficult to get to the site that, by moving the graves and putting them in a different place, I am finally going to be able to pay my respects.

LAVANDERA: Right. And the company is a little perplexed as why, in the eight years that they have owned this land, no one has asked to come see the graves there. So, they are little bit confused as to...

SANCHEZ: Well, but you know what it is? You know what it is? Symbolism, the idea where graves, bodies lay, there will soon going to be a trash, and the key word here is trash landfill, right?

LAVANDERA: Oh, absolutely.

So, and a lot of these people who oppose this have been fighting this landfill from the very beginning, so this is a fight and a lot of levels of mistrust between various groups that are down there and then people who have been kind of fighting back and forth over the landfill and now this grave site. There were a couple of other grave sites in this area that have since disappeared as well.

So, you know, it becomes a situation where it becomes very emotional for a lot of these people. And we interviewed some people, who -- Vera Brown, who talked about it was her great grandfather who used to live around there. She said she used to grow up -- there was a church right there at that spot as well that was connected to the cemetery. She grew up playing there.

And a lot of the people in that area just south of -- it's actually just south of the Atlanta Airport.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Right. And what does Vera want? Does she want it to be...

LAVANDERA: As she mentioned, she wants it left intact.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: She doesn't want them to build there. Can you build around it? Is there any way they can build...

LAVANDERA: Well, if you look the map there...

SANCHEZ: No.

LAVANDERA: ... it is essentially -- as the company says, they have gone to great lengths to...

(CROSSTALK) SANCHEZ: Well, is there any way they can to build a walkway to it, where people would be able to get to it and then still build the landfill around?

Yes, I know.

(CROSSTALK)

LAVANDERA: I'm not an engineer.

They are really concerned about safety.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

LAVANDERA: And there is just no way for -- I mean, there is no one that could get to it.

What we did yesterday, climbing up that embankment to get to where this was, a 68-year-old woman is not going to be able to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Couldn't do it.

Here is what we're going to do it. We have got -- coming up next, we are going to be talking to the president of the NAACP here in Georgia. Apparently, they are thinking they may be filing a lawsuit. They're also asking the government to go in and do an investigation.

So, great report. Thanks so much. Good to see you.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: We will have him on the other side when we come back. Stay with us. We are not done with this one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back to the world headquarters of CNN. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Many of you are responding to our newscast and we are going to get to many of those comments in just a little bit, but first, something I try to take note of everyday around this time. And it is what you are saying about this program.

Now, I know what we do here is a little different than most newscasts, let's face it, using Twitter and MySpace and Facebook. While we are trying to do a newscast at the same time, it is more of a conversation. And if when you first watch, you are left kind of scratching your head, you are not alone.

Just ask David Berkowitz, social media and marketing strategist. He gives lectures all over the country on this topic. And he was watching me on a plane recently and he was at the same time impressed and annoyed by all the business that was going on. So, on his blog -- and we are checking the blogs -- Marketers Studio -- that is his blog -- he writes -- quote -- "I still fear how it plays out on CNN. As a social media strategist, I am tickled by it. As a student of media, it intrigues me. As a marketing consultant, I am learning from it. But, as a consumer who is on a flight to Salt Lake City halfheartedly tuning into CNN as I get a few things done, I want it all to go away."

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Mr. Berkowitz, we thank you for watching, first of all. I enjoyed your blog and I hope you will enjoy mine, CNN.com/ricksanchez, where you can see some shows and some interviews that you have obviously missed, sir, just so you can be maybe a little more tickled as you write.

When we come back, some of the latest stories that we are following, including Christiane Amanpour joins us with a special report that is, as important as it is, to be honest with you, difficult to watch.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Well, we are getting a lot of comments from you about this slave graves or the cemetery that has slaves buried on it, that part of a government in Georgia is deciding they're going to turn it into a trash landfill.

I mean, look at Oleo over here. This is on Twitter.com. "Nothing is sacred," she writes, "when it comes to greed and corruption in today's world."

A lot of you have been outraged by this story. And since we first reported it yesterday, there has been even more reaction. The NAACP in Georgia has decided now that they are calling for an investigation, and they are petitioning state officials to do so.

Ed DuBose represents the Georgia NAACP. He is good enough to join us now.

Thank you, sir, for being with us. What is it that you want them to do?

EDWARD DUBOSE, PRESIDENT, GEORGIA STATE CONFERENCE NAACP: Well, we, first of all, want the attorney general's office to investigate to see whether a crime was committed, Rick.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Because these guys accepted the campaign funds from the company that made it? Do you think there is a conflict of interest there?

DUBOSE: All of the commissioners received political campaign donations. We think that they were not in the best position to make that decision. They had a conflict of interests.

SANCHEZ: It's an interesting point you make. Again, they were campaign contributions. They were not money directly to them.

And we should let the viewers know that we have called the commissioners. We're trying to get them on the show. For the last 48 hours, we have been making calls to them. They have decided thus far that they're not going to appear on our show, but we will keep trying.

And we thank them for the consideration.

Why do you think this is a slap on the face to the African- American community?

DUBOSE: Well, these were people who were not treated as humans in life. And, even in their final resting place, we see that they are treated worse than second-class citizens.

SNOW: But the guy who is building the landfill says, look, nobody was paying attention to this cemetery before. It had very few visitors. It had been overtaken by the weeds and the grass, and we are going to move it to a place where it will be more accessible to these people, in other words, the ancestors -- or -- pardon me -- their descendants who want to visit it.

DUBOSE: But, Rick, I beg to differ with this.

First of all, the company that is in question had already started moving the graves. We know that family members wanted to visit their loved ones. We know that there is now no trespassing signs all around this area.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: So, you are saying that they are only doing it because they were called on it because of the politics?

DUBOSE: That is correct.

SANCHEZ: Really?

DUBOSE: Actually, that is correct.

And what we are saying is, how can you go to the commissioner and request permission to move graves that you had already started moving?

SANCHEZ: So you are saying the only reason they are being more decent about it now is because they have gotten a lot of pressure from people in the community and folks like us in the media?

DUBOSE: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: That is an interesting take.

We're going to try and follow up on this, and check with the company to get more information from them on that. My thanks to you, sir, for coming in and talking to us.

DUBOSE: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Always appreciate it.

When we come back, Arianna Huffington, she joins us. She went from right to left, now famous, has a new book, and will take your questions.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And we welcome you back.

Arianna Huffington is good enough to join us now. She has a brand new book.

What's that, Chris?

Oh, oh, OK. We're not -- we're not quite ready. Well, as a matter of fact, I'm told by my producers we were asking throughout the day for many of you to send in some of your questions for Arianna Huffington. And they have been coming in loud and clear. Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly where they've put them, but I'm sure they're here somewhere.

As soon as we find them, we'll be able to ask Arianna -- here we go. We're almost ready.

The first question is going to be ask Arianna if Hillary is really more qualified than Bill Richardson for the State Department job?

Doesn't he have more experience? That's just one of the many questions that you've been sending in.

And we have Arianna Huffington now. I think she's ready to go. Are you there, Arianna?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, EDITOR, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: Yes, hi, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Good to see you.

The book is called "The Huffington Post Complete Blog to Blogging." That's what it looks like. That's what it looks like. And I imagine if...

HUFFINGTON: "Complete Guide."

SANCHEZ: If it's anything to -- if it's anything to -- as popular as the blog itself, I imagine it will do pretty well.

HUFFINGTON: Thank you, Rick. I'm delighted to be speaking to a fellow blogger and Twitterer. SANCHEZ: I know you're big with the tweets, as well. All right, let's go to it.

We figured since it was you, we would go ahead and ask people to ask you questions. And the first one seems to be is why, Arianna Huffington, you think that Hillary is really more qualified than Bill Richardson for this position?

Your answer?

HUFFINGTON: Well, as the president-elect said, he made choices based on the fact that in the current economic climate, both Commerce and State are incredibly important. After all, the Commerce Department is going to be instrumental in the economic recovery, both in terms of what's happening domestically and in terms of trade agreements, exports. So it was very clear in the press conference yesterday that he does not consider Commerce an inferior position.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me ask you the next question. It comes from curious1966. Curious, indeed.

Are you ready? Ask her what she really thinks of O'Reilly. And she says don't hold back.

(LAUGHTER)

HUFFINGTON: Well, you know...

SANCHEZ: Have at it.

HUFFINGTON: Well, you know, right now, Rick, it's not so much it's not so much what I think of O'Reilly, it's what Robert Rupert thinks of O'Reilly. It's what Roger Ailes thinks of O'Reilly. I mean we have the Michael Wolf book on Rupert Murdoch, where we've had all these revelations. But there don't seem to be many people who like Bill O'Reilly.

We haven't asked Mrs. O'Reilly recently, but there doesn't seem to be a great level of support and approval for the way he's practicing journalism.

SANCHEZ: Do you think the country -- I know you've moved to the left. In fact, you used to be way more to the right.

Do you think the country is moving to the left?

HUFFINGTON: Well, you know what, Rick, I actually think that this right/left way of looking at the world is very obsolete. I think many positions that used to be considered left-wing are now solidly mainstream.

Let me give you some examples -- bringing the troops home from Iraq, doing something about corporate responsibility, doing something about health care, global warming. These now have 60 to 70 percent support among the American people. And yet they used to be considered left-wing positions. SANCHEZ: Here's a tweet where this person wants to know -- they say -- this is Batman: "I love the format of your show." Thank you very much. "Could you ask Miss. Huffington how much bloggers shaped this election cycle compared to others?"

And I mean -- I guess he or she probably means other cycles.

HUFFINGTON: Oh, this was really the election cycle for bloggers and the Internet. I would say that were it not for the Internet, we would be inaugurating a different 44th president. Barack Obama really managed to deal with blogs, with Facebook, with...

SANCHEZ: Twitter.

HUFFINGTON: ...with texting, with Twitter.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

HUFFINGTON: ...in a way that no other presidential candidate had ever done before. And...

SANCHEZ: I'm in the -- you know, it's interesting, I'm in the top 10 Twitterers, I guess, in the world, whatever that means. But every time I look at the list, you know who's number one on that list?

HUFFINGTON: Barack Obama.

SANCHEZ: Barack Obama.

HUFFINGTON: And do you know who texts more than any other politician that I know? Barack Obama.

SANCHEZ: Really?

HUFFINGTON: And texting is incredibly intimate. How many people do you have who text you?

I only have three people -- my two teenaged daughters and Barack Obama.

SANCHEZ: That's.

HUFFINGTON: And I'm one of five million.

SANCHEZ: Arianna Huffington, thanks so much for being with us and answering our tweets...

HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: ...on this occasion. Again, the book is called "The Huffington Post: The Complete Guide to Blogging." All right. Let's go to CNN Espanol. We understand that we're getting information in from our CNN Espanol correspondent, Glenda Umana.

As I always say to you in laka-laka (ph) language (SPEAKING SPANISH)? GLENDA UMANA, CNN EN ESPANOL: Como estas? Buenas trades.

SANCHEZ: (SPEAKING SPANISH) Very well.

UMANA: Buenas trades, Rick.

Today, let me tell you, we are giving special attention to crime in Mexico. Murders associated with drug trafficking passed, Rick, the five thousand mark for this year. This is almost twice the number killed in 2007.

Since taking office two years ago, the president, Felipe Calderon, has sent soldiers to the most violent areas of the country. They are battling with drug traffickers who themselves are fighting with each other over drug routes.

But, Rick, let me...

SANCHEZ: Well, hey...

UMANA: Let me tell you, one of the biggest obstacles in Mexico is police corruption. The president can't wage an effective battle against the cartels and reduce violence unless the government improves investigations.

SANCHEZ: I went down to work on a story about that not long, when I was a correspondent for Anderson Cooper's show. And I was surprised by how much the federales -- los federales...

UMANA: Incredible.

SANCHEZ: ...the policia -- were actually in on some of this, and especially in that area on the border around Tijuana.

Thank you so much, Glenda, for being with us.

UMANA: Gracias. Chiao. Buenas trades.

SANCHEZ: We certainly appreciate it.

All right, how "Ellen" -- I know you don't get a chance to see "Ellen" or "The Daily Show," so we record it and then play you the highlights. It's what we do. "Ellen" in The Fix.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: I want to update something for you now. I think it's important to certainly get the information as fast as we can. And moments ago, I think you noticed that we've been working on this story about the graves of slaves that have been moved for a dump, essentially -- a landfill. That's outraged a lot of people.

We had with us here, moments ago, the representative from the NAACP. He asserted on the air -- and you may have heard him or remembered that he said this -- that some of the graves of these slaves had already been moved by the company who is going the provide the landfill, even before they had permission to do so.

Well, we've checked with the landfill company, the Stevens Company. Their representative says that is not true. They are denying what the representative from the NAACP said -- that the bodies were moved.

We just wanted to make sure we clarified that there was another side to that story, in the interests of fairness.

Also, I want you to know that Christiane Amanpour is coming up on the other side with a report that is probably going to have an affect on you as you watch it. And that's what she, Christiane Amanpour, wants it to do.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: This is a very important story that we want you to watch. It's just the beginning of some special coverage that we're going to be doing here at CNN.

This is about the atrocities that have taken place, not just in the United States, but around the world -- and the people who tried to actually warn us about them. And in many cases, we just didn't heed the warning.

This is a very graphic story. There are parts of this story that are actually tough to watch -- somewhat disturbing.

It's, obviously, a CNN exclusive, and the reporter is none other than Christiane Amanpour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Nusreta Sivac is a survivor and a living reminder of the concentration camps in Bosnia where thousands of Muslims were tortured, raped and slaughtered. She was at the notorious Omarska camp -- today a mining company, that, back in 1992, was the scene of the world's most heinous crime -- genocide.

Nusreta was a prominent judge in the Bosnian city of Prijedor -- a thriving, ethnically mixed city. She grew up there. Her family is Muslim, but Nusreta says religion never defined her.

NUSRETA SIVAC, BOSNIAN JUDGE: I'm not into religion. I don't go to the mosque, but I know who I am.

AMANPOUR: And who she was made her a target.

In March, 1992, Bosnia's ethnic populations were fighting for power. Bosnia's Serbs -- their orthodox Christians -- wanted a state without Muslims. And they began a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing. They shelled cities. They torched homes. And they turned two million people into refugees. Many who didn't flee were executed or forced into concentration camps. She thought that she had time to get out, but the Bosnian Serbs came for her.

SIVAC (through translator): I didn't know, where they were taking me, but I had a bad feeling. When I saw the gate, I realized.

AMANPOUR: Omarska -- she was one of 37 women prisoners. Their job was to serve 3,000 men one meager meal a day. From the kitchen windows, Nusreta watched Bosnian Serb guards force a Muslim prisoner to rape a young Muslim woman in front of everyone.

SIVAC (through translator): He was begging him, please don't make me do this. She could be my daughter. The Serbs were enjoying it. It was horrible to watch. I'm haunted by this.

AMANPOUR: At night, the women slept in this room above the kitchen.

SIVAC (through translator): When we got back to our room, we could see the blood everywhere.

AMANPOUR: They would mop the floor to make a clean place to sleep. Then, in the dark, on the stairs, there were footsteps.

SIVAC (through translator): Guards would take women out of the room at night.

AMANPOUR: Many were raped. They would return quiet.

SIVAC (through translator): Everybody was afraid to speak.

AMANPOUR: Throughout the night, Nusreta heard screams from this house across the yard -- which was one of the torture chambers -- where Muslim men were sexually mutilated and beaten beyond recognition.

SIVAC (through translator): Their heads were so swollen, you could not tell where their nose was or the mouth or eyes.

AMANPOUR: Nusreta knew that her time was coming, because no one left Omarska alive.

SIVAC (through translator): When you are in line to die, your only wish is that you are not tortured and that you die before.

AMANPOUR: After almost two months, there was a miracle. Journalists exposed the Bosnian Serb camp and Nusreta was released.

But even after the war ended in 1995, it took years for her to muster the courage to come home.

SIVAC (through translator): I was hoping things would change for better.

AMANPOUR: But they hadn't, because the Bosnian Serbs were still in control. Nusreta says a Serb took her job and that another had been living in her apartment, wearing her clothes and dining on her grandmother's china and that today guards from Omarska walk the streets freely.

SIVAC (through translator): I ask myself, is it worth it to deal with this day after day?

AMANPOUR: Nusreta decided to stay. But 13 years after the genocide, she has little hope for reconciliation and she remains haunted by Omarska.

SIVAC (through translator): Not a day goes by without me thinking about it -- without some details popping in front of my eyes.

AMANPOUR: The genocide is over. The guns are silent. But for Nusreta Sivac, the war never ended.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: "SCREAM BLOODY MURDER" is what it's called. It debuts tonight at 9:00 p.m.

Our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, joins us now live.

Why should Americans watch these particular stories -- Christiane?

AMANPOUR: Well, let me sum it up in the words of Raphael Lempkin, the polish Jew who coined the word genocide. He talked about the Holocaust, in which he said there was a double murder -- not just the murder of people, but the murder of truth.

And so people do need to know about this. And those people who that we profiled -- who we profile in this program are those who stood up to tell the truth when it was inconvenient and when it was unpopular. They witnessed the various genocides that we report on in this program. And each one and every one of them risked their lives, risked their profession, risked their sense of well-being in their communities at home and with their own government to try to get their governments to stop it.

Now, the United States did finally -- three years into the genocide in Bosnia -- lead the intervention to stop it. And to this day, the peace has held. And, you know, it's the 60th anniversary of the Genocide Convention. And I think the U.S. has been much more sensitized now to these great calamities. Because Darfur, for instance, which is happening right now in Africa -- the U.S. has called it a genocide. And people all over the United States, whether they be on college campuses, in Hollywood, in the -- obviously, in the human rights community -- are sensitized and aware of it. You know about this grassroots movement called Save Darfur.

President-Elect Barack Obama used the word genocide throughout his campaign and this is something very important that the U.S. is going to have to face and lead on in the future. SANCHEZ: "SCREAM BLOODY MURDER" is what it's called. And no doubt, it will be as good as everything else that Christiane Amanpour has put her name on before. They dared to speak.

Thanks so much, Christiane, for joining us with that. We'll look forward to it.

What Ellen is saying about the recession, as well. Yesterday we gave you one take. Tonight, yet another.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Look at this monitor over here that I'm pointing to right now. This is a live picture we've gotten -- we've been monitoring for a while. These are firefighters in Bristow, Oklahoma. Normally, we don't bring you fires unless they're at -- at this particular time -- a Ford dealership, a historic Ford dealership. It's been there since 1912, incidentally.

We're told the building is destroyed, the dealership all but gone -- this, on the day that Ford is in real financial trouble. Cars aren't selling and they're asking our representatives for what some would call a bailout, others just a straight loan.

Hmmm, curious.

Wolf Blitzer is standing by with more. He's going to tell you what's coming up on "THE SITUATION ROOM."

Wolf, what you got?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot more on this story, Rick.

They spent the day being grilled by senators. Now the CEO of G.M., the head of Chrysler, they're standing by to join me live here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." They'll answer your I-Report questions, as well, plus the other important questions about why their companies should be bailed out with billions in taxpayer dollars.

Barack Obama didn't speak publicly today about the automaker deal, but there has been some movement, we're learning, behind the scenes. We're going to update you on what we know.

And he's one of the world's richest man, but even Bill Gates has taken a hit in these tough times. He talks about that and much more -- part two of my exclusive interview. You saw part one yesterday. Part two coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Hey, Wolf Blitzer. Thanks so much. We'll look forward to it.

So, we record it so you don't have to. And I know you're at work and you can't see it. We're talking about "Ellen." We're talking about "The View." We're talking about "The Daily Show." Here now, today's Fix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": Listen, I know the holidays are jumping up on people. They're only a few weeks away. But I just want to say, my Christmas shopping this year -- done.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Family, friends, I already got their presents.

Hate me?

You don't have to. You can do it, too. It's all thanks to the Indiana chapter of Planned Parenthood, who this year are offering gift certificates. It's the perfect gift for the someone you know who has everything, but doesn't necessarily want everything.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Folks, you can get a Planned Parenthood gift card.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: What?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Hey, you know, where you could put it?

In your wallet -- the place you should have put the condom.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I heard we're in a recession. And...

(LAUGHTER)

DEGENERES: Yes, we just found out. Wolf Blitzer said it on CNN, so it's official now. We didn't know that before.

(LAUGHTER)

DEGENERES: I don't know why they had to -- you know, if we don't know about it and we don't hear, it's not real, right?

And he had to say it.

Why wouldn't -- couldn't they've waited until after the holidays to let us know that?

(LAUGHTER)

DEGENERES: You know, it's like when you're about to tell somebody you're going to break up with them. And then they go oh, I have something to tell you first. Let me tell you. You go like oh, OK. You go. I just got us two tickets to Paris.

What were you going to say?

(LAUGHTER)

DEGENERES: I'll tell you on the way back from Paris.

(LAUGHTER)

DEGENERES: Tell them you can wait on some things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: What's the market doing on this day?

Well, it looks like it's down 250. But maybe somehow, magically, in the next couple of minutes, it will go back up.

We'll be back in just a little bit with the closing bell.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: The posse -- is that what that is?

Yes, I've heard about that thing, the Sanchez posse. All right. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

What is that? It's something that today that has to do with the closing bell.

And here's Susan Lisovicz to tell us what -- how do you put these two together?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the queen of soul, who, believe it or not, in 40 years of recording, Rick, is doing her first Christmas album.

Aretha Franklin ringing the closing bell.

Aretha Franklin hails from Detroit. And Detroit was very much on her mind when I spoke to her a few minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARETHA FRANKLIN, QUEEN OF SOUL: And I'm hoping for the best for the workers out in Detroit with General Motors and the big three, Chrysler and Ford.

LISOVICZ: Any songs that you think that are appropriate? (END VIDEO CLIP)

LISOVICZ: And Rick?

SANCHEZ: Yes?

LISOVICZ: I asked her, any songs that she thought were appropriate for these hard times?

And she said, "Rock Steady."

(LAUGHTER)

LISOVICZ: We're going to hold onto each other, because it is tough, even during these holiday times.

SANCHEZ: And there she is. She's about to hit the gavel, right?

LISOVICZ: Yes, she's got the album. The poster behind her is going to be sold exclusively at Border's. A lot of standards -- "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," I think there's a gospel song.

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

SANCHEZ: She rings our bell with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

We thank you, Susan.

And let's go now to the other man who gains all the R-E-S-P-E-C-T around here -- Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Rick.