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AMERICAN MORNING

Stewart vs. Cramer: Cable TV Showdown; Arrests Made in Connection With Anna Nicole Smith; Interview With Madoff Victims; Big Brother in Your Pocket; Oprah Winfrey & Tyra Banks Take on Domestic Violence

Aired March 13, 2009 - 07:01   ET

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


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: All right, 7:00 on the nose here in New York. A look at what our agenda is going to be, what we're tracking for you in the next 30 minutes.

The cable showdown that viewers were waiting for finally happened. Comedian Jon Stewart and host of CNBC's "Mad Money" on "The Daily Show" and Jon Stewart let in to Cramer, accusing him of putting entertainment ahead of journalism. Our Christine Romans is here with the wrap-up.

Three people are facing drug-related charges this morning in connection with the death of former "Playboy" playmate Anna Nicole Smith. California's attorney general says Smith was given thousands of pills before her death. Smith's companion and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and a doctor are out on bail. Another doctor is set to turn himself in.

Also, President Obama changing his tune, pushing an upbeat view of the economy saying things are never as bad or as good as they seem. The president telling business leaders that banks will survive and your savings will be protected. Our correspondents are breaking down the financial and political sides of this story for you this morning.

But first, it was must-see TV. Finally, the showdown between "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Cramer has been the butt of Stewart's jokes. You could call them jokes. I mean, really, he's just sort of eviscerated the guy, if you will, but it got serious on Comedy Central last night with the comedian channeling the anger that many people are feeling these days about the financial meltdown on Wall Street.

Christine Romans is "Minding Your Business" this morning.

So, there were definitely two camps here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

CHETRY: And Cramer's people were saying, why didn't you fight back a little harder?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN ANCHOR: It's tough when you're not on the home field, you know.

ROMANS: That's true and Jon Stewart was prepared. I mean, he was spitting out clips from a few years back when Jim Cramer was a hedge fund manager. That did not make Jim Cramer look good. In fact, you know, this was billed as the cable feud of the century, maybe the cable feud of the last five days. The cable feud for now, right?

"The battle of 'Brawl Street,'" Jon Stewart called it. But when the two entertainers came face to face last night, it wasn't much of a brawl.

See what you think.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to "Brawl Street."

ROMANS (voice-over): It was the showdown TV viewers had been waiting for, Jon Stewart versus Jim Cramer.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": It's go time!

ROMANS: And "The Daily Show" host didn't pull any punches.

STEWART: I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a (expletive deleted) game. And I - when I watch that, I get - I can't tell you how angry that makes me.

ROMANS: But despite days of heated exchanges, the meeting was less mano-a-mano and more mea culpa.

JIM CRAMER, HOST, "MAD MONEY": I got a lot of things wrong because I think it was kind of one in a million shot, but I don't think anyone should be spared in this environment. Absolutely, we could do better, absolutely. There's shenanigans and we should call them out.

Everyone should. I should do a better job at it. I'm trying. I'm trying. Mr. Stewart, I'm trying.

ROMANS: Stewart did try to find some common ground with his cable nemesis.

STEWART: Look, we're both snake oil salesmen to a certain extent, but we do label the show as snake oil here. Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic and saying that it cures impetigo, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

CRAMER: There are people who come out and they make good calls or bad calls and they're financial professionals. And then there's the people who say they only make good calls and they're liars. I try really hard to make as many good calls as I can.

ROMANS: And Stewart made clear that his problem wasn't with the frenetic host of "Mad Money" but with the network he works for.

STEWART: CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination. ROMANS: But Cramer hit back when Stewart accused financial news networks of being soft on banks and businesses.

STEWART: It is this idea that the financial news industry is not just guilty of a sin of omission but a sin of commission, that they are absolutely in bed with this idea...

CRAMER: No, we're not in bed with them. I don't think that's fair, honestly. I think that we try to report the news.

ROMANS: The meeting may finally end the feud between the two hosts, but there had been one clear winner, Comedy Central's ratings. Viewership for "The Daily Show" is up 20 percent since Stewart's first rant against CNBC while ratings for Jim Cramer's show are down 24 percent since Stewart went on the warpath.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Now what you can't measure, the publicity, this week- long feud has generated for these two cable TV entertainers. Let's be very clear here. They both had a prior career and now they're on television being funny.

CHETRY: Right.

ROMANS: You know, one is a comedian who now has a big TV news show and the other one was a hedge fund manager who now hosts a - you could argue fake TV show. Just kidding.

MARCIANO: So, there's no such thing as bad publicity even though...

CHETRY: I don't know. I think that there is such a thing as bad publicity. I mean, for Jon Stewart it makes him look great. It makes him look like, you know, he, you know, took up this cause. I mean, he did it before with the political shows and saying how annoyed he was that when you just - when two pundits just scream at each other, that no one ever really gets to the truth, and that didn't turn out so good for some shows.

ROMANS: Exactly right.

CHETRY: And the flip - you know, and for Jim Cramer, I mean, he makes his living off of people trusting him and trusting, right, that what he's saying has some nuggets of truth.

ROMANS: You know, and maybe that's why Cramer did not really fight back. I mean, the Cramer fans are like why aren't you fighting back?

MARCIANO: Yes.

ROMANS: He didn't fight back. He really - it really was a mea culpa. It really was. I'm sorry, we could have done better. We will do better.

MARCIANO: You wanted him to be more mad - screaming. That's why I love Jim Cramer.

ROMANS: Mad. I love money.

MARCIANO: He screams.

ROMANS: "Mad Money." We came to fix.

MARCIANO: Reminds me - reminds me of that.

Thanks, Christine.

All right. The man who pulled off the biggest rip-off in American history is waking up in his new home this morning, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Conman Bernie Madoff's wake-up call was about an hour ago and there was no penthouse view this morning. His cell looks a lot like this one. Here is what life is like for inmate number 61727054.

His living space is about seven and a half by eight feet, about half the size of Kiran's closet. That's a slight step down from his $7 million Park Avenue home. Breakfast served at 6:30 sharp. That means no more than the usual brunches with the mostest. And he can kill time by playing ping-pong in the prison's common area instead of shooting 18 holes of golf.

Well, that's not nearly enough punishment according to the people whose lives he destroyed. Many are setting their calendars for June 16th, the day the judge can put him away for the rest of his life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CYNTHIA FRIEDMAN, MADOFF VICTIM: I think he should rot in hell. He's evil. He's evil.

BENNETT GOLDWORTH, MADOFF VICTIM: He's a sick man. And his going to jail, I don't even think that's really just punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just sickens me. The whole thing sickens me.

C. FRIEDMAN: He's way up there with all the evil people in the world.

SEN. LORETTA WEINBERG (D), NEW JERSEY: To me, Bernie Madoff is a sociopath. He's a man with no morals, no standards, no set of values whatsoever.

HELEN DAVIS CHAITMAN, MADOFF VICTIM: I don't attribute any sincerity or honesty to anything he said.

RICHARD FRIEDMAN, MADOFF VICTIM: It's not enough just to say, OK, I'm guilty, put me away. What about all the other people involved? What about his family? I want to know. What about the money?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: Exactly, what about the money? Where is it? Madoff said he's guilty, he's sorry and he said he knew this day would come but we still don't know whether he acted alone.

CNN'S Randi Kaye takes a look at the secrets Madoff appears to have made off with.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Madoff mea culpa, a guilty plea from the world's biggest swindler. But does that really mean case closed? Hardly. Just unanswered questions.

Where is the money? Attorney Ross Intelisano has 25 clients who he says lost $100 million with Madoff.

KAYE (on camera): Will investors get any of their money back?

ROSS INTELISANO, ATTORNEY FOR MADOFF VICTIMS: The investors who directly invested with Madoff have what's called civic claims which can pay them back up to $500,000 per account. The people who got to Madoff through third party advisers or feeder funds do not have specific claims.

KAYE (voice-over): What about investors who made money? Will they have to give it back? Those so-called profits were actually other investors' money.

INTELISANO: What the trustee has indicated is that he will probably go after people for their false profits.

KAYE: Leaving one investor outside court bewildered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madoff investors paid in hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in income taxes on phantom income that never existed.

KAYE: Will investors get back those taxes paid?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They may have been borrowed from now seeking a refund of those taxes because it's outside the three-year window.

KAYE: The three-year window for claiming refunds. What about that Chase Manhattan bank account Madoff says he used to pay investors?

INTELISANO: If his Chase account was the account in which the fraud took place, they're going to follow that money.

KAYE (on camera): Is it possible that Bernard Madoff acted alone here?

INTELISANO: No, it's impossible. Bernie's 70 years old. He wasn't in his office just pumping out statements by himself. He clearly had an army of employees who were creating fake monthly statements, fake confirmations on trades.

KAYE: The question is, who are those people and where are those people? Court papers say Madoff hired employees with little or no experience to generate fraudulent documents, including client account statements and trade confirmations. And what about Madoff's family? Where they involved?

His sons were both executives for the firm but say they knew nothing about the fraud.

(voice-over): So much we still don't know, except how those swindled by Madoff feel about him now.

BENNETT GOLDWORTH, MADOFF VICTIM: He's a sick man.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARCIANO: And coming up at 7:30, we'll talk to a couple that was cleaned out by Bernie Madoff. And just when you think things couldn't get any worse, wait until you hear what happened to one of the victims outside the courthouse yesterday.

It's ten minutes after the hour.

Man versus shark. Caught on tape. Underwater death match. Meet the man who took on one of the world's most feared predators and won, on the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: And welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. A developing story out of California this morning.

Two years after the death of former "Playboy" playmate Anna Nicole Smith, her long time partner and attorney, Howard K. Stern, as well as two doctors are facing charges. California's attorney general already laying out the state's case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The scenario is using false names and getting prescriptions for thousands of pills without medical necessity and making them available to Anna Nicole Smith, who obviously was addicted. And all of that violates the law of California.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: CNN's Ted Rowlands is live in Los Angeles up early for us this morning with the latest on what's going on. Tell us a little bit about the seriousness of these charges and also why it seemed to take so long. It was more than two years ago that Anna Nicole Smith died. TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thousands of documents that the attorney general's office had to go through, investigators had to deal with to bring these charges but it has been two years. And immediately after Anna Nicole Smith died, you remember the news reports that there was so much medication in the hotel room where she died.

Jerry Brown, the attorney general, came out and said we are going to go after the doctors that prescribed these drugs and then we didn't hear much for two years. Well, lo and behold, they have accumulated enough evidence in their mind to bring these charges not only against the doctors but also against Howard Stern. He is the former lawyer and companion to Anna Nicole Smith. You saw him at her side throughout her life and then after her death, he was, of course, fighting for custody of her daughter.

Basically, what the allegations are is that the doctors, along with Stern, conspired to basically run an end around, around the laws of the land by using a fake name for Anna Nicole Smith saying that her name was Michelle Chase for a lot of these prescriptions, and funneling literally thousands of pills into this woman over the - from the period of a couple years before her death, leading up to her death.

They are not alleging that they tried to kill her by any stretch of the imagination, but they are going forward with some serious felony charges. The A.G. has a press conference today. We'll learn more about their case at that point - Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Ted Rowlands for us this morning, thanks so much.

Here to talk about what charges this could mean for Howard K. Stern and Anna Nicole Smith's former doctors, we bring in our CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. And as we talked about these are eight felonies that they're facing. What kind of time could they be looking at?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Realistically, probably a year or two. I mean, this is not a crime that generates very long prison sentences. There are not a lot of prosecutions for this crime. But they could jail time and probably a year or two.

CHETRY: And the doctors clearly are going to be losing their licenses, right, if this turns out to be - if they turned out to be found guilty of this?

TOOBIN: If they're convicted. I think people might need a little Anna Nicole refresher course. It's been two years.

The point that Howard K. Stern was, it seemed, using Anna Nicole Smith as kind of a meal ticket, that he didn't really have a law practice except for her. And the idea that he was sort of keeping her happy by feeding her all these pills with a these doctors when the sad part of the story was that, you know, her 20-year-old son had just died also of drug-related causes. There was a terrible addiction problem in the family.

She had this new baby. Howard K. Stern was claiming to be the father, turned out he wasn't. She was just being used, and the drugs were a way of trying to keep her docile and under control, and she was an addict.

CHETRY: Yes, a sad situation. In fact, are there any - I mean, we talk about these are drug charges but in one case, apparently, she was given a prescription for methadone, which is an opiate, right, when she was eight months pregnant with her baby, Dannielynn.

TOOBIN: Well, the volume of drugs that were in her system and then in the room were so astonishing, the only thing that reminded me of is when Elvis Presley died.

CHETRY: Right.

TOOBIN: It was a similar situation where drugs were given to a celebrity without regard, just to keep him happy, without regard to any sort of medical necessity.

CHETRY: Sad situation to say the least.

All right. Jeff Toobin, great to see you this morning, thanks.

TOOBIN: OK.

MARCIANO: It is 16 minutes after the hour. Time now to check on some of the stories we'll be following throughout the day on CNN and CNN.com.

Vice President Joe Biden holding an event at D.C.'s Union Station at noon Eastern. He's announcing more money for Amtrak as part of President Obama's stimulus plan. Some GOP critics say Amtrak is a money drain that does not deserve more cash.

And a court ruling is expected this morning on a request from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He's requesting access to a secret memo about $3 billion in bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees just before it was acquired by Bank of America. B of A has received $45 billion in bailout money.

Also at noon Eastern, a military legal group will be holding a rally on Capitol Hill. The service members legal defense network is supporting a repeal of the military's "Don't ask don't tell policy." It forbids gays and lesbians from serving openly in the Armed Forces.

Those are some of the stories we'll be tracking throughout the day. It's 17 minutes after the hour.

CHETRY: Why worry?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am very confident about our long-term prospects. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: President Obama says the future is bright. Is he striking the right tone right now?

You're watching the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. The closing bell bringing good news for a third straight day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 240 points in the last session. That's a gain of 622 points in just three days, the biggest three-day gain since November. And that's been matched this morning by positive gains across Europe and Asia. The morning's best surge, Tokyo's Nikkei closing up more than five percent.

And President Obama is also sounding a little more upbeat about the economy suggesting there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I don't think things are ever as good as we say, and they're never as bad as they say. And things two years ago were not as good as we thought, because there were a lot of underlying weaknesses in the economy, and they're not as bad as we think they are now. We're going to restore confidence by, in a very systematic way, getting this financial system fixed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: Let's bring in Suzanne Malveaux who's live at the White House this morning.

Suzanne, the president seems to be changing his tune a little bit. Here's what he had to say about the economy just in the past few weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We are going through a wrenching process of de-leveraging in the financial sectors, not just here in the United States, but all around the world.

But these are far from the best of times. By any measure, my administration inherited a fiscal disaster.

The economy's performance in the last quarter of 2008 was the worst in over 25 years, and frankly, the first quarter of this year holds out little promise for better returns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: Suzanne, sounds like the president is taking on the role of confidence builder in chief.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We're actually really seeing this public relations campaign really a full court press here. Obviously, there is a balancing act but the main message from the administration is to have confidence that they know what they're doing. Eventually, this is going to change.

We've seen it in three different areas. We saw it just yesterday when the president went out with business leaders, both of them talking from the same page about health care and taxes, that they did have confidence. They were moving in the right direction, at least the approach. We saw it earlier in the day, when we saw President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden kind of playing good cop/bad cop, if you will, with state officials saying look, we have confidence that you guys are going to be able to get the job done but don't waste this money. Be accountable, be transparent. We're going to be watching for you.

And then we also saw it earlier in the week, Rob, point number three, where we saw the president with his treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, talking about opening up those global markets, dealing with the global financial crisis. Everybody essentially trying to sing from the same song sheet. Very, very, public campaign that they're trying to kind of turn the corner, if you will, and instill some confidence in Wall Street - Rob.

MARCIANO: Suzanne Malveaux live at the White House, thanks, Suzanne.

Well, all next week, we'll be using all of CNN's worldwide resources to give you unprecedented coverage of the global economic meltdown. Join us for a network wide event "Road to Rescue: a CNN Survival Guide." We'll also be online with coverage on CNN.com.

CHETRY: All right. Well, getting justice not just about payback. Bernie Madoff victims who lost everything join us live, the day after they saw him head off to his cell.

And could it be big brother on your cell phone? Advertisers keeping an eye on everywhere you go and everything you do. They say it's may be a better way to sell you a product, but is it an invasion of privacy as well? Find out what you need to know before you go mobile.

It's 24 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: A lot to cover this morning. Here are some of the big stories topping our agenda right now.

Call it brawl street. The showdown between "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and CNBC's Jim Cramer finally went down on Comedy Central. Stewart saying "finance isn't a "bleeping game." Cramer saying he's not in bed with the banks. And a developing story surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Her former companion and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and two doctors charged with giving her drugs. It comes more than two years after Smith died from an accidental overdose of prescription meds.

Bernie Madoff's mandatory wake-up call was about an hour ago at his new home, the Metropolitan Correctional Center prison in Manhattan. The judge sent him right to the slammer after the con artist pleaded guilty to the biggest fraud in U.S. history - Kiran.

CHETRY: All right, Rob, thanks. Well, Ronnie Sue and Dominic Ambrosino lost more than $1.5 million in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Now since his scam collapsed in December, they've been forced to live in the RV that they bought to travel the country and enjoy retirement.

Well, yesterday, Ronnie got her chance to face the man who took everything from her in court. Ronnie Sue and Dominic are here with us this morning.

Thanks so much for being with us.

RONNIE SUE AMBROSINO, LOST $1.6 MILLION IN MADOFF SCAM: Good morning.

CHETRY: I have to say if you're wondering why you also have your foot in a cast it's because you got hit actually by a van down by the courthouse.

R. AMBROSINO: Well, it was in midtown, but yes, I did get hit, and broke...

CHETRY: And you have two broken bones this morning.

R. AMBROSINO: I do.

CHETRY: And you still showed up. Boy, you are a trooper.

What was it like to show up at court yesterday to see Bernie Madoff, to hear what he said? Did he help you in any way or did it just make you more angry?

R. AMBROSINO: It didn't help at all. Bernie Madoff himself admitted during his written testimony that he himself, he said that he lied in 2006 under oath. Now, what are we to believe if he says that, under oath now, what are we to believe that this man says.

CHETRY: And Ryan - I mean, Dominic, did you think it's justice he is going to jail and he's possibly going to spend the rest of his life behind bars?

DOMINIC AMBROSINO, LOST $1.6 MILLION IN MADOFF SCAM: Well, I don't think he's going to spend the rest of his life behind bars. We're very - we talk about it all the time, every minute of every waking day, every waking minute of every day. It's hard to believe he's going to spend that much time behind bars.

CHETRY: What do you think is going to happen?

R. AMBROSINO: Well, you know, I asked a judge yesterday outside of the court and I just said to him, why would this man take the plea and admit to 11 counts? And he took off his glasses and he said to me "I've been a judge or a trial judge for 20 some-odd years. It doesn't make sense." I believe, and with no knowledge it's just my thought, that there's some sort of a deal that we don't know, that probably to save his wife. His wife is going to take $62 million. He's already taken $15.5 million.

CHETRY: And that's why I want to ask you, guys, I know that when you - when you spoke yesterday, you talked about the fact that you're not just angry at Bernie Madoff, but the SEC and the government should have probably seen some of this coming, that the signs were there. What do you think needs to happen in terms of helping victims get their money back?

R. AMBROSINO: Well, you know, we had two institutions in place. We had SIPC, which is the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. They are, by statute, able to give us $500,000 - up to $500,000.

What they're doing is they're claiming that the basis for that restitution is based on the original money we put in. In my case, that was 28 years ago. I've had all that time for the money to increase in value, and they're not accounting for that. However, the IRS has been - as we've increased, we've been paying our taxes on that money.

CHETRY: So you believe that at least if nothing else, they shouldn't make you pay taxes. They should at least give you back the taxes you paid on this imaginary gain that didn't exist.

D. AMBROSINO: Absolutely. Every penny of every year that we paid taxes.

CHETRY: Now, you guys, meanwhile, are living in your RV. This is not what you planned to do. You're in Arizona, because you said you're not even sure if you have the money to make it back to Florida, where you were living before.

And you've actually started up a Victims of Bernie Madoff Web site that now occupies all of your time. What is that like, and what do you hope to get from doing that?

R. AMBROSINO: Well, first, I didn't start it, but I did find it online. And what we're trying to do, we need a voice.

Dominic and I's voices aren't loud enough to reach the government that needs to hear our stories. We need legislation made.

The SEC's failure in this predicated a whole different set of circumstances. And we believe in the support group that we need to be proactive, and we are. And we need to contact Congress. We need to contact attorney generals.

We need action. And we are trying to get every victim in the United States to come forth. We help. We have support, emotional. We have legal support.

CHETRY: You guys aren't giving up.

R. AMBROSINO: We are not giving up...

D. AMBROSINO: No. No not at all.

R. AMBROSINO: ... until we get our money back.

CHETRY: All right. Well, I want to thank both of you and wish you the best of luck.

R. AMBROSINO: Thank you.

CHETRY: I know this is such an unbelievable situation. And I hope you feel better as well.

R. AMBROSINO: Thank you very much.

D. AMBROSINO: Thank you.

CHETRY: Ronnie Sue and Dominick Ambrosino.

Thank you.

D. AMBROSINO: Thank you.

R. AMBROSINO: Thank you.

CHETRY: Rob.

MARCIANO: Kiran, some of the top videos right now on CNN.com.

Most popular, it's like they were toe-to-toe in the center of the ring - Hulk Hogan and his estranged wife's lawyer in a verbal wrestling match. It got heated, it got awkward.

Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Hey, listen to me, Mr. Bollea. Mr. Bollea, are you going to wrestle with me here? Are you going to come across the cameras?

Then be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet. Be quite.

You had your time to talk. You're done.

TERRY "HULK HOGAN" BOLLEA, WRESTLER: It's a free world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're done. No, it's not a free world. There's called professionalism. There's called ethics. OK?

You know what? You're an actor. You're acting now. If you had morals, why did you set up all these companies to try to ditch it? What's moral about that? Let me tell you something, you are the person that has caused this issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: It brings back memories of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Hulk back in the '80s.

Layoffs on "Sesame Street." Kermit makes the official announcement in one parody. We pulled this off the Web.

And a man over the falls. A man is rescued from the icy waters of Niagara Falls and then arrested for going over them. He is only the third person known to have survived the tumble without a barrel or other protective device.

And those are the most popular videos right now on CNN.com.

Do you remember old Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka from...

(CROSSTALK)

CHETRY: Of course. Of course.

And who else? Roddy the Piper...

MARCIANO: I don't know.

CHETRY: Rowdy Roddy Piper. Sorry. How could I possibly forget?

MARCIANO: Well, you know, Gene...

CHETRY: Rowdy Roddy Piper. That's right.

All right. Well, Oprah Winfrey sending a strong message to Rihanna and to other young women who she says may be in abusive relationships and not even know it. We're going to hear what she said about why women suffer again and again at the hands of an abuser. And is her message resonating?

We're going to take a look, at 34 minutes after the hour.

MARCIANO: Eye in the sky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the kind of space-age technology "The Jetsons" would love.

MARCIANO (voice-over): Tracking every step you take, even down aisle five.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): It tells you everything that's on sale inside the store. It shows you coupons.

MARCIANO: Are cell phones getting too smart?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's a scary line there that I wouldn't want to be crossed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: You're watching the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Well, you've probably found yourself saying, "I'd be lost without my cell phone." And with all that GPS technology, a lot of us really would be. But are your games, apps and Web browsing also giving away your every move?

Our Susan Candiotti is on the story with that.

Big brother is out there, isn't he?

CANDIOTTI: Yes, he sure is, and he's watching very closely. But, you know, Rob, using cell phones to download music or video games is practically boring compared to what phones will soon be able to do. Experts call it an explosion of technology. So cool, it's borderline creepy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): It's the kind of space-age technology "The Jetsons" would love, and it's coming to your cell phone.

(on camera): Say you go grocery shopping and you have your cell phone with you. It's equipped with GPS, so a satellite can track exactly where you are. Well, that same snazzy technology can also tell advertisers where you are. So when you get near the store, or even in it, all of a sudden your phone lights up. You flip it open, and it tells you everything that's on sale inside the store. It shows you coupons. For example, here you get $1 off milk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, this is way cool.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): So cool, we asked mobile technology developer Alan Sultan (ph) to set up that demonstration. Consumers are expected to see it for real this summer. Companies call them location-based services, using GPS or Wi-Fi wireless technology that can even track you down a shopping aisle.

How about this? You're about to go to a restaurant and you get a phone alert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up pops up an offer for a restaurant two blocks down that's going to give you a free steak dinner. Who would not like that?

CANDIOTTI: This man would.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like that, if they would just pop something up and say, hey, check out this product, it's on sale, or something like that. It would be great.

CANDIOTTI: But not everyone likes the idea of an eye in the sky tracking your every move.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's a scary line there that I wouldn't want to be crossed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't want people to know what I'm doing or where I'm going and what I'll buy. You know?

CANDIOTTI: Privacy advocates are worried about what conclusions advertisers might draw from that consumer information.

LILLIE CONEY, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFO CENTER: It's the lack of transparency, it's the ability of the consumer to decide, do I really want you to know where I am at any particular point in the day, or is that something I want to have control over?

CANDIOTTI: Mobile technology experts insist consumers will have control. They'll have to specifically opt in, and they can always opt out of a service.

DAVID DWORZDZ, MOJIVA: I don't think it's ever going to be, you know, thrust upon the general public. And I don't think anyone would put up with that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: Now, for now, the mobile tech industry is policing itself. However, the Federal Trade Commission may weigh in because there are privacy issues involved. Mobile industry to consumers: be smart, don't opt in for services unless it's a company you trust.

MARCIANO: I know with the iPhone, they're pretty easy to download, some of this stuff.

CANDIOTTI: That's right.

MARCIANO: How do you do it otherwise?

CANDIOTTI: Well, you have to make sure that your cell phone has GPS technology. And it is available now.

If you go into some hotels, I'm told, on the Las Vegas Strip, you might walk in and see a big banner hanging saying, if you're interested in special offers, dial this code, text it in. And that way, you still have to download it.

And I'm told that, also, maybe as soon as this summer, maybe at your local grocery store or drugstore, the same kind of thing, and you'll get the same kind of special services. Interesting.

MARCIANO: "Minority Report" is just days away with Tom Cruise.

All right. Susan Candiotti, thanks very much.

Well, now you can get your "AM Fix" at work and on the go. Go to CNN.com/am and check out our new blog there.

And dedicated to all the Rihannas, Oprah Winfrey sending a message to young women everywhere stuck in a vicious cycle of abuse. Her powerful warning ahead.

CHETRY: A high-tech gadget that's supposed to help smokers quit for good. It looks like a real cigarette, even works like a real cigarette. But is the e-cigarette really safe?

We're paging Dr. Gupta.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

The feelings are strong on both sides of the Rihanna/Chris Brown story. The iReports are pouring in with your opinions.

Here's what Keith Jones in Kansas City had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH JONES, CNN IREPORTER: It's being blown out of proportion, the message that Chris Brown and Rihanna are sending to our kids. Now, you know, the situation should never happen to any woman ever. I think it starts now, so I think that parents should look at this situation and reevaluate the messages that they're sending their kids on a daily basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Well it's also been a hot topic on the talk shows all week long. And when Oprah talks, millions listen.

Our Lola Ogunnaike has a look at the show that Oprah dedicated entirely to domestic violence prevention because of the Rihanna/Chris Brown case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: This show is dedicated to all the Rihannas of the world, and to any young men who could ever think about hurting a woman.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After publicly warning Rihanna last week...

WINFREY: And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.

OGUNNAIKE: ... Oprah used her most recent show to repeat that message, and to warn other teenage girls that love and violence don't mix.

WINFREY: I've said it so many times before - love doesn't hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. He will, because that's what he knows how to do.

OGUNNAIKE: She called the Chris Brown/Rihanna story disturbing and dangerous, but added it's one we all can learn from.

WINFREY: And we all need to try to evolve from this moment, not just be voyeurs in their life and talking about what they should or shouldn't do, but to use this as a moment to allow our society to begin to grow.

OGUNNAIKE: Oprah shared the stage with fellow talk show host Tyra Banks, who claimed she was once emotionally abused.

TYRA BANKS, TALK SHOW HOST: In life, with my friends and at work, I was happy, happy. Then I'd go to him and I felt just, like, awful. Awful. Awful.

OGUNNAIKE: Tyra also played a portion of an old interview with Chris Brown. In it, he discusses witnesses his mother being beaten by a boyfriend.

CHRIS BROWN, SINGER: It affected me. You know what I'm saying? Basically, especially towards women, I treat them differently, because I don't want to go through the same thing - or put a woman through the same thing that that person put my mom through.

OGUNNAIKE: Some teens in the audience blamed Rihanna.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not right what he did to her, but she got back with him. So it just shows that she kind of feels guilty about something, or she did something and that's why she's with him again.

WINFREY: Well, let me tell you why she got back with him, you know, in my opinion. If you go back with a man who hits you, it is because you don't think you're worthy of being with a man who won't.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: And you see that girl in the audience shaking her head no. I mean, this was, in some ways and for some people, a tough sell. They do think that Rihanna also has some blame, which - and how much will Oprah's insistence that you've got to get out of this and you've got to break this cycle really resonate with young girls?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, we're hoping that it does resonate. But for a lot of people, they're still Chris Brown fans, they're standing beside him, and they're saying they believe that Rihanna had something to do with this. But Oprah is being adamant about the fact that no woman deserves to be hit at all.

And next Thursday, she's actually dedicating another one of her shows to abuse, and this time she's going to be talking to male abusers. So it's a topic that's not going away on the Oprah show at all. CHETRY: All right. We'll see - as we said, we talk about the Oprah effect. We'll see if there's one in this case.

Thanks, Lola.

OGUNNAIKE: Thanks.

CHETRY: Good to see you this morning.

MARCIANO: Thanks, Lola.

Well, the man who wrestled the shark and survived is here live - what he says to people who accuse him of being too rough with a 1,000- pound predator.

It's coming up on 48 minutes after the hour.

MARCIANO: The flavor, the feel and the kick. But it's not the real thing. Why the e-cigarette could save lives and why the feds may stomp them out.

You're watching the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

You know, there's a new gadget that's supposed to help smokers kick the habit with a real puff and a real red glow on the end. It's called the e-cigarette, but is it really safe?

We're paging Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, who - you got an e-cigarette there on the set, you're going to show us on the set?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I got it right here.

MARCIANO: Give us the lowdown, buddy.

GUPTA: You know, they sell thousands of these. They're about a hundred bucks a pop. It's exactly as you said, the e-cig. I think the best way to really give you a sense of how this works is to show you. I'm not going to - Josh Levs...

JOSH LEVS, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Oh lord.

GUPTA: ... our Internet reporter, has volunteered in some ways.

LEVS: How do I get into these things? I get into work for the day, and they say, "Hey, we need you to suck on this thing that hasn't been approved by the FDA."

GUPTA: Well, go ahead, Josh. Give us - we'll give you the lowdown on it - go ahead and give that a... LEVS: Everybody knows I'm a big anti-smoker, right? So, hence, if this will really help people stop smoking, we're going to show them how it works now. Right?

GUPTA: A little - yes, go ahead.

LEVS: A little bit?

GUPTA: It's just a little nicotine. Give it a puff.

You see it lights up there. You get a little vapor, even.

LEVS: Gross! Yuck!

(CROSSTALK)

LEVS: By the way, the only thing you can compare this to is the candy cigarettes we had when we were seven. But apparently this can actually help people; right? So that's a solution.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, that's the whole point here, is that this potentially could be a smoking cessation device here. Now, it is a bit hazy, if you will, on how this thing is actually being regulated.

First of all, the company that makes this hasn't released any public data on whether this just contains nicotine, so that's a little bit difficult to discern. The FDA says, look, we should probably have to regulate this or approve this. Is this a device or is this a drug?

Now, they're saying it's just nicotine, so it's similar to the patches and the gum that people use and wear, but, you know, this is sort of the latest, if you will, in smoking cessation - Rob.

MARCIANO: What if, you know, you just want to kick the habit, but this isn't FDA approved? And you're a doctor. I noticed you didn't smoke. That's a good career move. You don't want to have that picture on stills or on a freeze frame. But is it safe even though it's not FDA approved?

GUPTA: Well, if you look at nicotine alone, if you're just inhaling nicotine, there is not a lot of data on that, which is why Josh was a little bit reluctant here, understandably. This is, again, a pretty commonly sold thing.

Nicotine can cause your heart rate to go up, it can cause you to have diarrhea, potentially. This does have a regulation, so you can't overdose on it. The battery will sort of kick out if you're taking too many puffs.

But this is a brand new thing. So I think people are going to still sort of figure this out. It is becoming quite popular, but the FDA may step in here and say, look, again, is this a drug that people are taking, or is this a device? How exactly does the FDA get involved in something like this?

MARCIANO: Well, we're certainly looking for solutions as Americans continue to try to kick the habit.

Josh needs the men's room because of side-effects.

LEVS: I want a free vacation day, people.

(LAUGHTER)

MARCIANO: Nice work, guys. Thanks.

GUPTA: We paid him extra.

MARCIANO: Thanks, Josh.

It's 53 minutes after the hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY (voice-over): An 8-year-old sales pitch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm (INAUDIBLE) and I need you to buy some cookies.

CHETRY: Meet the Girl Scout who got in trouble for getting innovative online.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're yummy!

CHETRY: Plus, caught on tape. A fight to the death with a 12- foot tiger shark. The winner joins us live on the Most News in the Morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Back to the Most News in the Morning, 56 minutes past the hour.

The HBO hit "Big Love" has always sort of teetered on sacrilege to the Mormon community, but now some church members say the show about polygamy has crossed the line.

Here is CNN's Kareen Wynter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "BIG LOVE": We're not turning this into something about you when it is about me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "BIG LOVE": Fine then. We could use a new wife anyway.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's touchy subject matter like this that's kept HBO's popular polygamy drama "Big Love" in the spotlight, even in its third season.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to formally date you as our potential fourth wife. WYNTER: Now the show about a polygamist family in Utah is again being called to task by critics. A controversial upcoming episode depicts an endowment ceremony within the Mormon Temple.

"This is a secret and sacred ritual," the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says, "and the show is exploiting it." The latest example, the church says, of how Hollywood can trivialize or misrepresent religious beliefs in practices.

ASSOC. PROFESSOR LAURIE MAFFLY-KIPP, UNC CHAPEL HILL RELIGIOUS STUDIES DEPT.: The Mormons have been the subject of ridicule for centuries in our society. Americans and American society has always been suspicious of things that go on in secret.

WYNTER: The church says despite a previous agreement with the network that the series wouldn't be about Mormons, more Mormon themes are now being woven into the show, it says, with unsympathetic characters, and that "... members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented."

The church accused the premium cable channel of blurring the distinctions between actual Mormons and the show's characters, adding, "Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints."

Church leaders stopped short of calling for a boycott, but many outraged Mormons have taken to the Web to wage an online campaign against the show and encouraged others to cancel subscriptions to HBO which, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner. The show's executive producers say they "... took great pains to depict the ceremony with the dignity and reverence it is due...In order to assure the accuracy of the ceremony, it was thoroughly vetted by an adviser who is familiar with temple practice and rituals."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WYNTER: Experts doubt the controversy will impact the show. "Big Love" has recently seen a big jump in ratings as one of the network's highest rated series - Rob, Kiran.

MARCIANO: Thanks, Kiran. Or Kareen, I should say.

There's Kiran.

Fifty-eight minutes after the hour, and some of the top stories right now.

The bulls keep surging on Wall Street. In the past three days, the Dow up 622 points. That's the biggest three-day surge since November.

President Obama also painting a prettier picture when it comes to the country's economy. What the president had to say, and a full look at the numbers just ahead.

And three people facing drug-related charges this morning in connection with the death of former "Playboy" playmate Anna Nicole Smith. California's attorney general says Smith was given thousands of pills before her death. Smith's lawyer and companion, Howard K. Stern, and one of Smith's doctors are out on bail right now. Another doctor is set to turn herself in.

We're live from Los Angeles with the latest on that.

Plus, the governors of Texas and Arizona asking the Pentagon to put troops on the American border with Mexico. They want to stop the spillover of drug cartel violence. The White House says the president does not intend to militarize the border, but at a congressional hearing, officials said plans are being drawn up at a last resort.

And now the story that already has people talking this morning, the long-awaited showdown between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer.

The Comedy Central funnyman and CNBC's money man have spent the past week in a war of words. And last night they faced off on "The Daily Show." There were some fireworks, there were some laughs, but mostly it was Stewart unloading.

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