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Oprah Winfrey Sets Farewell Date; Interview With Wyoming Senator John Barrasso; Wal-Mart Line-cutter on Trial; Oprah Calling it Quits
Aired November 20, 2009 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Making news right now, cameras captured some of the drama and anger in the check outline, but more of this controversial arrest has come out in the courtroom.
KAY MCDANIEL, FMR. ASST. MANAGER, WAL-MART: She told me that I wasn't anything but a stupid white, uneducated Wal-Mart employee.
SANCHEZ: Today, Heather Ellis takes the stand.
Attack in a newsroom, a political group lashes out at journalists and it's all caught on camera.
They are teed off about their hikes in tuition. But how much are they paying comparatively? How high is the price of higher education these days?
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": (INAUDIBLE) walking on air, but we will have something for you.
SANCHEZ: Oprah Winfrey sets her farewell date. But is it really farewell? And who will fill the talk vacuum on afternoon television?
Your national conversation for November 20, 2009, starts right now.
SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. From New York, I'm Rick Sanchez, with the next generation of news. This is a conversation, this is not a speech, and it is your turn to get involved.
Let me show you a shot of the U.S. Capitol Building. After all these months, the Senate health care bill is about to begin -- if -- and let me emphasize again, if -- if the Democratic majority -- Harry Reid can round up the votes to get it going.
Now, this is seen as a huge vote, right? It's set for tomorrow night, historic in many ways. But let's be clear on what these guys are voting on. They're voting to start a debate. That's how it works in the Senate. You can't hold the debate without first having a vote to hold a debate. Are you with me? And to start this debate, the Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid, will need 60, yes, 60, not 50 votes, not a simple majority, needs 60 votes. That's important. He won't get many if any at all from the Senate's 40 Republicans.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell speaking just a couple of hours ago said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: A quarter of a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, between $400 billion and $500 billion in new taxes, and higher insurance premiums for 85 percent of the American people who already have health insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: What you heard right there, that will be the very essence of the Republican push to kill this bill on health care reform: one, cuts in Medicare. Two, they don't like tax increases. Three, higher premiums for those who have insurance.
All right, that's the argument as we go into the weekend, as it's set from both sides. Senator John Barrasso is a Republican senator from Wyoming. He's also a doctor, we should mention. And he's been a frequent guest on our show. And we're happy to have him back and talk about this.
SANCHEZ: Senator, good to see you again, sir. Welcome back.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: Great to be with you, Rick.
SANCHEZ: There is a -- thanks, Senator.
There's a suggestion that Republicans may actually make Democrats read the entire bill. Is that really necessary? Are you for that?
BARRASSO: Well, I think everybody that votes on the bill ought to read the bill. I think the American people ought to read the bill.
But I don't see that...
SANCHEZ: No, no, no. No, no, no. I'm sorry. I mean read it out loud.
BARRASSO: No, I don't think that's going to happen, Rick, but I think everybody wants to know what's in the bill, which is what happens when you're looking at a 2,000-page bill that fundamentally is going to affect every person in this country, because health care is such a personal thing.
It's going to affect one-sixth of our economy. And it is going to cut Medicare. And it is going to raise taxes. And it is going to make premiums go up for people that already have insurance. So, it's a good idea for people to know what's in there before they vote on it.
SANCHEZ: We agree. I everybody agrees on that. And it's too many times in the past, bills like this have gone by without people reading them, too often because the guys who do what you do, not in your case, of course, but the guys who do what you do are often out doing other things, like trying to make sure they can get campaign money, for example, rather than doing the judicious work of looking through the bills -- both parties, by the way.
But here's what Dick Durbin says about the suggestion that somebody should stand up on the floor and read the entire bill. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: The Republicans have come to the floor for weeks now decrying the fact that the bill that we're presenting is long, too many pages, they say, too much for them to absorb.
Well, I will tell you that the bill is long because we're tackling one-sixth of the American economy. We're preparing a bill which will be challenged by the health insurance companies, who hate this, as one old senator used to say, like the devil hates holy water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Let's move into another area. I just heard you mention Medicare a moment ago. And I heard Mitch McConnell, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, mention the same thing.
Let me just be -- ask you a real frank question, since you and I do this all the time. I think that's the best way of getting to the real nitty-gritty of this stuff. Your party, the Republican Party, has opposed Medicare every step of the way, including back when it was created.
Now you're arguing for it. At what precise point did the Republican Party become the defenders of Medicare?
BARRASSO: Well, you know, I practiced medicine for the last 25 years in Wyoming, taking care of Wyoming seniors who are on Medicare. And I know what it's like to fight with the federal government for Medicare reimbursements.
Medicare is the number-one denier of care. They do a terrible job in terms of coordinating care, in terms of working with preventive care. But when you're talking about cutting $500 billion from our seniors who depend on Medicare, and you have more and more seniors every day who are going to be dependent upon Medicare, I don't think that the way to solve this is to cut $500 billion from our seniors, because we know that program is going broke. We know it's going to be broke by the year 2017.
If you're going to do these sorts of things, you should do it so save Medicare, not to start a whole new government program, Rick.
SANCHEZ: OK. But it just seems curious, because I have heard Medicare referred to by many Republicans as the first step in socialized medicine. And now suddenly Republicans I see are embracing Medicare, like they need to protect it.
Let's move on to something else. We hear Senator McConnell talking about several other things. For example, he suggested that this is going to be a tax increase, which I think even Obama admits it probably will be, but a tax increase for whom?
BARRASSO: Well, there's going to be tax increases across the board when they raise taxes on companies that make the implants, the artificial hips that I used to put in and medications and other things. That stuff's all going to get passed on to people who are paying their own health care. And that's why they say that premiums were going -- are going to go up.
The other is that they're going to -- at least in the Senate bill, there's an excise tax on people who have these -- you know, Rick, these Cadillac plan health insurance plans. But for an individual who buys their own insurance, that's about an $8,500-a-year plan. Well, with inflation -- and we know that this bill is going to make the costs go up -- a lot of these what are now Chevy plans are going to become Cadillac plans in just a couple of years.
So, people with what today you and I might think are just pretty standard health insurance plans, they're going to be paying 40 percent excise tax on the cost of that insurance.
SANCHEZ: OK. And just for the record, I checked before doing this interview, and I think what the plan calls for is your taxes will go up for health care reform if you're an individual that makes over $200,000 a year, or if you're a couple that makes over $250,000 a year.
So, it's not like it's affecting the average American, not that anybody's saying it's good to have...
BARRASSO: Those are two separate things.
SANCHEZ: What do you mean?
BARRASSO: What you just talked about is an additional tax.
But it's why the unions are opposed to this excise tax, because we're talking about union workers who have very good health insurance programs, expensive plans, but they're not making over $250,000 a year, but they have excellent health insurance coverage, covers first- dollar care, and they're the ones that are going to get hit with this excise tax.
SANCHEZ: Another quick, tough question, because you know we like to always do this when we -- when you and I talk. BARRASSO: You're good at this.
SANCHEZ: You're good. No, and you're good. And I respect you as much as I respect anybody up there.
You're for health care reform, right?
BARRASSO: I'm -- there are a number of things we can do today and we need to do.
SANCHEZ: Not this plan, but...
BARRASSO: Yes. Yes, I am.
SANCHEZ: Here's the question. Republicans have had the power to enact health care reform going back to the '80s, during the Republican ascendancy under Reagan, under George Bush II. You had the House, you had the Senate, and you had the presidency. And at no time was there a measure to do this.
And now you're allowing the Democrats to have their version, but you're criticizing it. Is there something a little disingenuous? At what point do you say to yourself, why didn't we do this, rather than just criticize it now?
BARRASSO: Well, I asked that question. And I started talking about it the day I got here to the Senate. I have only been here two years, as you know, Rick, but from the day I got here, because this is what I did in Wyoming, as a practicing physician, and as doing -- running the Wyoming health fairs, to help people get health information to keep down the cost of their care.
I have been talking about these sorts of things from the day one, you let people buy insurance across state lines, let people take the same tax breaks as the big companies when they buy their own insurance, give incentives to individuals to get their cost of care and their health under control by -- you know, we know half of all the money we spend in this country on health care is on just 5 percent of the people.
And those are people that eat too much, exercise too little, and smoke. We need to give those folks specific personal incentives, money in their own pockets, by staying healthy, getting their cholesterol under control, their blood pressure under control, and quitting smoking.
Those are the things that move the system in the right direction. I don't think we need a 2,000-page bill. What we need is step by step in the right direction.
SANCHEZ: Now you sound like my doctor. Thanks a lot, like I needed that from you.
SANCHEZ: John Barrasso, you know what? Always a pleasure, Doctor, talking to you.
BARRASSO: Thank you. Appreciate it.
SANCHEZ: Thanks for coming on again, sir. Appreciate it.
BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.
SANCHEZ: Journalists are attacked in their newsroom, and it's all caught on camera. You're going to be surprised to hear what started this thing.
Also caught on camera, what really happened at Wal-Mart at a checkout line when Heather Ellis cut in front of other customers? Is she truly a victim in this case, as those who support her claim? We have new information as she takes the stand. We are all over the story and we will go live when the verdict comes in, possibly during this hour.
Also, don't forget the other way to participate in our national conversation. Call us anywhere in the United States. The number is 877-742-5751.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Rick. It's Rita from Washington.
Poor Heather Ellis. She got impatient, rude, arrested, played the race card, and now involved good people because she doesn't want to pay for her behavior. If the town is racist, going to Wal-Mart and getting stupid is not the way to solve it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez in New York.
Political parties don't always like what journalists have to say. Boy, do I know that. You should see some of the stuff that's written about me from the left and from the right and from anyone who doesn't agree with something that I reported on any given day. And that's fine, because, look, in the end, the fact that people are engaged enough to write means they're engaged, period. They're thinking.
And I try to answer even my biggest critics every chance I get. But what happens when the talking stops? You're about to watch for yourself what happened in the world's largest democracy today, as journalists are literally attacked by a political party. That is CNN's sister network in Mumbai, India, IBN.
The network's offices in two cities were stormed by members of Shiv Sena. That's a conservative political party made up of Hindus. They are so conservative, they believe that government should not include Muslims or Christians. They got pretty fired up, because the famous Indian cricket players said Mumbai belongs to India, not to Hindus, but India, wasn't even excluding other religions. The power of words, huh?
FYI, cricket is practically a religion in and of itself in India. And from the looks of this video, Shiv Sena is not a team player. Disagree, right, get mad if you need to, but there's absolutely no excuse for physically attacking somebody for their ideas, right?
Tell me, what do you say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: I was watching, and I was thinking, well, how are we going to top that opening? That's what I was thinking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: All right, it's official. Oprah Winfrey is saying goodbye after a quarter-century of talk. So, what will she do next? We're looking for news here.
Also, protesting the high cost of going to college. These students are angry. Should they be? Are they really paying more than most? Is their protest correct? I'm going to be looking at these numbers for you and breaking them down, something you probably did not know.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. After watching that video out of Mumbai, Mike there's an interesting tweet that just came in that I thought you might enjoy. It's from Mike in San Diego. Let's go to the Twitter board, if we possibly can, and you will see it. Mike says: "Hey, Rick, what is the big deal? That Mumbai newsroom looks like your Twitter board on a daily basis."
We just use words, not bats. And there's nothing wrong with words, Michael.
Have you heard what happened to those students in California? You know, California's got some really big budget problems, right? Can't pay its bills. So, yesterday, it told nearly a quarter-million university students to dig deep into their pockets and find $2,500 a year extra.
This is how they reacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: The students united will never be divided.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Several hundred students took part in this thing. It was outside the building where the regents signed off on the new tuition. What is the cost of tuition going to be next year? A little more than $10,000. That's one-third higher than what students were paying right now.
Again, $10,000, is that high? Is that low? Let me shoot you a couple of numbers on the nationwide cost of college education. I looked into it. The College Board recently came out with an annual survey. Here's what Americans pay on average each year at four-year schools of higher learning, public schools, $7,020. That's up 6.5 percent, by the way, from 2008.
So, the national average is $3,000 less, give or take a few dollars, than what they will pay in California next fall. Interestingly enough, for those of you who thought $10,000 wasn't that much, it certainly is, comparatively speaking, unless of course you're comparing to it a private school. Average yearly tuition at a private school, wow, huh, $26,273. That's a lot of money.
Universities say tuition is up because administration costs are going up, student support costs are going up, even campus security is going up, revenues, meanwhile, from the state and from the feds down. Now you know the full story, both sides of this argument.
Students in Colombia are protesting the U.S. government. How is that possible? What does the U.S. government have to do with students protesting in Colombia? I'm going to tell you what's got them so riled up. That's coming up in just a little bit.
Also, surveillance video at the heart of a controversial Wal-Mart arrest. Plus, the accused testifies. Does she help or does she hurt her case? We may know soon. We're monitoring this for you. Stay right there.
WILL ALLEN, FOUNDER, GROWING POWER: OK. Let's huddle up here you guys.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will Allen is calling the shots on this farm. A long way from the basketball courts where he made his name years ago.
Allen is the founder of Growing Power, a nonprofit organization that turns run-down city land into vibrant vegetable gardens. He planted the seeds for the project 16 years ago, by helping a local kid plant a garden. Allen now has 14 green houses in inner city Milwaukee alone.
His goal is to teach community how to grow their own food, especially in spots he calls food deserts.
ALLEN: A food dessert a place where you have to travel over three or four miles to the nearest retail grocery store. There is no access to fresh food.
TUCHMAN: Allen is now sharing his city farming secrets with people across the country, including Omar Brownson (ph), who works with faith-based groups in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that's real. Urban agriculture is a good way to have good healthy community, good food and good jobs.
ALLEN: Obviously, I'm not going to be here on this earth forever. So it's my responsibility to come up with a succession plan to pass on what I have learned to others.
TUCHMAN: And Allen's drive is winning him new fans. First Lady Michelle Obama recently invited Allen to visit the White House garden.
Gary Tuchman, CNN.
SANCHEZ: And you got to love that University of Miami cap, don't you?
By the way, a lot of you are commenting on the story we did just a little while ago. Let's go to our Twitter board, if we possibly can, having to do with people in schools in California.
"I was in school in California when we were hit with a big fee increase midterm in 1990s. I had to quit for a while. I'm with the students."
The next one says: "Price of education should not be unaffordable for our young folks. Why do we fall behind on a world scale? Gee. Let me guess."
Last one: "Wish I would have protested the fee hikes. I would be a lot less nervous when I answer the unavailable number."
Heather Ellis says police called her racial slurs. What's the truth? We will be right back.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Rick. This is Ann (ph) from Memphis.
You know, I'm sorry about racism in this country. It does exist. However, I don't feel this woman's case is about that. It's simply about a woman who behaved badly in public and was disrespectful to police.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And I welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Heather Ellis took the stand today in her own defense. That's her face right there, her arrest photo. If the name doesn't ring a bell, well, let me refresh your memory.
Show the video, Rog. Go ahead.
You can't tell it, at least not when you look at this, but that's her in the middle of that blob of people right there. That's her being handcuffed as well and thrown into a squad car outside a Wal- Mart in Missouri. That's three years ago, by the way. Police say she hit two officers and that's why she's on trial today for assault.
More store security here. This is when Heather Ellis reportedly busted the line at Wal-Mart. A friend of hers was holding the line for her and she decided to skip from one line to the other line, causing a commotion and prompting the store to call 911 as a result of the commotion.
So, why has this story all of a sudden gotten a national following? It sounds pretty simple, right? Well, because of not what's going on inside the courtroom, but what has been going on in the streets. The NAACP and counter groups with rebel flags and swastikas have shown up to protest this case. In fact, we had that video. We'd shared it with you in the past.
Heather Ellis says police called her racial slurs. Witnesses say she did the same to a manager at Wal-Mart. That's Heather Ellis, by the way, walking into the courtroom.
We had CNN-ers inside this courtroom as well when she arrived. Gary Tuchman among those, here's his report.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Watch this surveillance video outside a Wal-Mart store in Kennett, Missouri. The person highlighted is a 21-year-old woman and prosecutors say she is kicking a police officer, one of two cops they say she assaulted.
This is the same woman today, three years later, Heather Ellis, an African-American. The cop she's accused of kicking and hitting are white. Her supporters say she was actually assaulted by the cops. But if that happened, it's not seen on the video supplied by Wal-Mart.
Her arrest has stirred up a racial hornet's nest in this tiny town. It all started in the store.
The video shows Heather Ellis' hand moving another customer's items back on the conveyer belt four times. Ellis said she wanted to check her items out, adding her cousin saved her spot. But many witnesses have testified she was cutting in line, and was profane and rude.
Kay McDaniel was managing the store that might.
KAY MCDANIEL, FMR. ASST. MANAGER, WAL-MART: I treated her just like I would you or anybody else.
TUCHMAN: McDaniel took the stand in this trial, which could lead to up 15 years in prison for Heather Ellis. The Wal-Mart manager testified she told Ellis to stop saying the F-word and to stop yelling and disturbing the customers.
Then she told the jury this.
MCDANIEL: She's looked at me and she told me that I wasn't anything but a stupid white, uneducated Wal-Mart employee. And she called Betsy, an old gray-headed lady, the cashier. And that's when I said, "Wait" -- I said, "Just a minute." I said, "You don't know me and I don't know you."
TUCHMAN: Five police officers were involved in the arrest. One of them was Albert Fisher, who testified. "She told me I was a stupid mother blanker." He added, "She let me know I didn't know who I was blanking with." And then he says, when he asked her name, she said, "My name is Donald blanking duck."
When she said, "If you try to arrest me, 'I'll kick your blanking blank,'" according to the cop, he arrested her. And he testified the fight was on. He claims he was kicked many times as they brought her to the squad car, even before this point in the video.
A second cop testified and said she hit him in the mouth. But Heather Ellis' defense attorney is fighting back ferociously. Jurors now know that prosecution witnesses had pre-trial meetings with the prosecutor. Ellis' defense attorney hinted they could have conveniently matched their stories because they were together during those meetings and he wonders why the police did not independently investigate the surveillance tape which he says left out many of the key moments of the encounter.
What's notable about this trial so far is there has been no mention of racism by either side inside the courtroom.
SANCHEZ: But plenty of mentions of it outside the courtroom. Look at these pictures. Heather Ellis, that's her arriving at the courthouse today. She did take the stand today in her own defense. They're on a lunch break right now.
Here's what our observers say happened today: Ellis testified that none of those accounts of her swearing and acting upset are true. After their break, we're told both the defense and the prosecution will rest and then they'll hear closing arguments, and then, of course, it goes to the jury, maybe a verdict, maybe a sentence, we don't know.
We're following it and as everything comes in, we'll share it with you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Late to the airport, late to work, they say they have a medical condition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: A woman is caught on camera allegedly offering sex to an officer to try and beat a ticket. You got to hear this one for yourself. In fact, you will. That's ahead.
Also, there's new insight into executives who were paid big bucks while their companies went bankrupt. And guess who basically got the shaft on this? Employees. Not them, their employees.
I'm going to be right back.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
You know, I'm all about following the money, right? It's a commitment that I made to you on this program. I do it for you every chance that I get and here's another one. This is about the suits. Getting theirs, even if it means putting the scrooges to the rest of us, to you and me.
Here's the deal, a congressional investigation looked at some of the biggest companies that turned their pension plans over to the government because they were losing money or going bankrupt. I mean, that's like telling their loyal workers, "We're washing our hands of what we owe you. Sorry. From now on, we'll let the government take care of you."
OK, I get it, you probably get it as well. They're out of money. I get it.
But here's the question: If they're out of money for workers, why aren't they out of money for themselves? Why aren't they slashing their own salaries and their own pensions and their own compensation packages? Is that a fair question or am I out of line here?
I mean, here's the thing. This report found that the top executives of the four huge U.S. corporations gave themselves almost $50 million in retirement and other benefits while they were slashing their employees' pension plans.
Look at this. Let's put up these side panels, do you see them right there?
Polaroid, United Airlines -- two companies that both declared bankruptcy and told the government that they couldn't afford to pay their employees pensions. But their executives gave themselves millions in pay and in perks. That they could afford? Two others: U.S. Airways, Reliance Insurance.
Executives at those four companies took a combined total of $350 million while their workers saw their benefits evaporate.
It's all right there. It's in the GAO report that was released just a couple of days ago that caught my attention. I want to make sure, as Americans, that we know this information so I'm putting it on my blog so you can see it for yourself. It's at CNN.com/RickSanchez, something to think about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: As I was watching, I was thinking, "Well, how are we going to top that opening?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: All right. She's arguably one of the most popular women in the world, one of the richest to boot, by the way. Her show is an institution. Well, Oprah Winfrey is calling it quits. Also, we're going to look at how she's influenced, thus far, our society, our country, but what's next?
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hey, Rick, it's Karen from Washington. I'm responding to the replacement of the queen. There is a replacement for Oprah, but a pretty close second would be Ellen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: So many responses throughout the day on so many stories that we've been following for you.
Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. We're in New York.
And if you haven't heard yet, Oprah Winfrey is hanging it up after 25 years of her daytime talk show. She announced it officially on the show today. But nothing about what's on her plate moving forward after the chosen date when she will no longer be doing her show.
Here is my favorite, CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The show became an institution.
WINFREY: I'm Oprah Winfrey and welcome to the very first national "Oprah Winfrey Show."
FOREMAN: That hosts one of the world's most influential people. What began on local TV in Chicago grew into a media empire, a phenomenon of empowerment, entertainment and a whole lot more. For the 23 years, Oprah Winfrey ahs made news, made history, and presided over some of the most famous moments ever broadcast. It's impossible to list them all here, but we've chosen a few that have made a lasting impression.
Like this one, her 1993 interview with Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch. She said it was like meeting the "Wizard of Oz."
WINFREY: This is the most exciting interview I'd ever done and certainly was going to be the most watched interview I had ever done.
FOREMAN: Oprah's encounter with Jackson friend, Elizabeth Taylor, did not fare as well. Oprah called it one of her worse interviews. Right before it began, Oprah said the legendary actress asked her not to bring up any of her relationships.
Stars flocked to Oprah to talk, to plug their movies, and in Tom Cruise's case, to get weird.
WINFREY: I have never seen you like this.
FOREMAN: That's the couch jumping incident from 2005. Cruise went overboard expressing his love for then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. It's a clip that has been seen countless times.
And so has this one.
The start of season 19, when to the surprise of everyone, Oprah handed out presents to her audience members -- each one of them the keys to their very own new car.
As we have seen, she can be incredibly generous and profoundly moving, breaking down on camera.
Oprah is a self-made success story. "Forbes" ranks her among the wealthiest people on the planet and says she is worth $2.5 billion. She's also donated $40 million to create two girls schools in South Africa and dozens of other schools through her Angel Network have been built around the world. The network has also helped build and restore hundreds of homes in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
She has also shared personal battles, especially with her weight. In 1988, she wheeled out 67 pounds of fat. That's how much weight she lost back then. Many women followed her lead and went on diets. Since then, she's continued struggling and it's always center stage.
There are a lot of firsts for Oprah. 1996, "Deep End of the Ocean" was chosen as her first book club choice. Her book club has motivated millions of people to read since and helped sell millions of books.
She's also given us another memorable moment when she confronted author James Frye after recommending his book "A Million Little Pieces," a memoir filled with fiction.
From the big hair to the big interview, to the big heart, to the big difference she has made in so many people's lives, and now, Oprah is saying goodbye.
In an interview with "60 Minutes" back when it all started, Oprah said, "What matters isn't longevity."
WINFREY: It will do well.
MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": And if it doesn't?
WINFREY: And, if it doesn't, I will still do well. I will do well because I am not defined by a show. You know, I think we are defined by the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat other people.
FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
SANCHEZ: Students in Colombia, the nation protesting against the United States military intervention in their country.
Interesting story get ready for this. Dance, because when we come back as well, it will be time for musica, musica, musica.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
Here's a multiple choice question for you, a boy is stuck in a chimney, what do you use to get him out? A, a harness; B, a popular cooking product; or C, do you use a sledgehammers? You want to find out? Let's do "Fotos."
SANCHEZ: To Mississippi we go where a frantic family is trying desperately to locate a boy's screams for help. They eventually find him stuck in, of all places, a chimney.
Rescue crews try to pull him out using a harness, to no avail, then they poor cooking oil down the chimney hoping to slip him out, that doesn't work either. What's next? You guessed it, bring on the sledgehammer and we'll bust him out. The boy said that he went in to retrieve his backpack which was thrown down the chimney by his brother. Kind of dumb, yes, but think of it this way, they at least made Santa's job a little easier this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could've gave me a break. We could have worked it out. Do you know what I mean?
POLICE OFFICER: Then where we're going to go?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In your car. Don't tell you ain't never did it in a car before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: What some people will do to get out of a speeding ticket. This woman was pulled over and the officer says that she tried to bribe him with whoopie. You know whoopie. Come on. Remember the newlywed game? I just did it myself. The officer said, "No thanks," and gave her a $191 ticket.
This is quite serious. These are pictures coming in from Colombia. It's a fierce standoff between students and riot police. Students are hurling homemade explosives, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails. Cops respond with tear gas and water cannons.
Why the violent clashes? The students are upset that the government is allowing the United States to use seven Colombian military bases, our military in Colombia. The U.S. says it's only there to help stop drug trafficking and rebels. We'll follow it.
SANCHEZ: What is going on with the health guidance for women all of a sudden? Earlier this week, there was confusion over mammograms and who should have them and why and when. Today, it's pap smears. This is confusing. CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is going to help us try and put this in perspective and maybe just cut through the clutter.
We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: If our kids exercise the same way they did 17 years ago, then why are they still gaining weight? It's a good question for all of us as parents.
CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has the answer.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in many ways there are some logical conclusions to be drawn here, and this is a case of good news and bad news.
First of all, the good news is that contrary to popular belief, teens and adolescents are actually not more sedentary than they were in years past. In fact, they might be getting slightly more physical activity and watching television slightly less. They're may be spending more time on the computer and video games, but overall, physical activity is slightly higher. But the bad news is that as we know, the obesity epidemic continues to grow. In fact about a third of kids in this country are either overweight or obese now.
So, what gives here? Well, as you might guess, it really has much more to do with diet. Diet may play a much bigger role when it comes to the obesity epidemic than activity than previously thought. And a lot might have to do specifically with portion sizes. For example, take a look here, when you talk about portion sizes for spaghetti, back in 1990, 500 calories -- that was the typical portion -- one cup of pasta, and three meatballs. We go to 2010, 20 years later, it's more than doubled in terms of calories: two cups of pasta now, lots of meatballs, and a lot more calories as well.
Something else that's commonly eaten: cheeseburgers here. Back in 1990, 333 calories, and then we've all seen these cheeseburgers 20 years later almost double the number of calories.
Again, the problem is becoming a little more apparent.
Really quickly here, breakfast food as well is not immune to all of this. Bagels, back in 1990, they're about three inches in size and 140 calories. They are six inches in size now, double, and, again, more than twice as many calories.
Here is the problem: When you look at the obesity epidemic overall and you're trying to confirm is this more activity-related, is this more diet-related -- diet seems to be playing a bigger role.
Now, it doesn't mean that the teenagers and adolescents are getting enough activity. In fact, only about a third of teenagers and adolescents get the recommended amount of activity as things stand now. And that's based on self-reporting. That's where people actually report how much activity they are getting. It may overestimate overall.
We know that activity has a lot of benefits. It can reduce obviously some of the weight issues that we have but also decrease the risk of developing early heart disease and early diabetes as well.
Message to parents and kids out there though: even if your child is getting enough activity, really watch those portion sizes and watch those calories in and calories out.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
SANCHEZ: And for medical correspondent to medical correspondent -- a busy week in the women's health care universe.
First, those new breast cancer prevention guidelines that had doctors all fired up and created a bit of a stir. Also, survivor groups were fired up about that. Now, today, all new advice about another important women's health concern, and for some reason, emotion aren't running quite as hot.
First of all, I have no idea what really this is about in plenty of ways, so I'm going to bring in Elizabeth Cohen to explain it for us.
Break it down for us, if you can, because I remember the guidelines earlier this week that created huge controversies. What about these -- these are new guidelines for cervical cancer screenings, right?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. These are new guidelines about when to get a Pap smear. And I'm sure, Rick, you don't -- you don't know this. Guys don't keep track of this stuff but we, women, know you're supposed to go every year to get a pap smear in most cases.
Now, what the change is, is that you don't need to get them quite as frequently as you did before. You're supposed to start at age 21 and go every two years between the ages of 21 and 29, and then go every three years after -- excuse me -- after age 30. So, you don't have to get Pap smears quite as much as you used to.
SANCHEZ: Now, these changes are going to prompt the same kind of controversy? I mean, I -- earlier this week, you heard Sanjay Gupta going after one of these persons on this task force who was saying we should get fewer mammograms. There's a change here as well. Is this going to cause the kind of controversy we saw there?
COHEN: You know what, I don't think it's going to cause the same kind of controversy, because with the mammograms, they were telling a whole set of women, women in their 40s, that they didn't necessarily need routine mammograms. They're still saying to get Pap smears, just perhaps not quite as often. And I should add that women who have a certain kind of family history or whatever should get them even more than what they are saying here.
But to answer your question, the American Cancer Society agrees with these new recommendations. These recommendations, I should add, are from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Now, you'll remember, the woman who Sanjay interviewed -- she was from a task force...
SANCHEZ: She was a nurse.
COHEN: ... that was a government task force. These people were not...
COHEN: ... gynecologists. So, it's different when the recommendations come from gynecologists and the American Cancer Society agrees. It's a different situation.
SANCHEZ: Do women -- do women still need to go in for annual OB/GYN checkups though?
COHEN: They do. And I think there might be some concern that when you tell women, "Oh, you don't need annual Pap smears," that they might think, "Oh, I don't need to go to the gynecologist," they still are supposed to get that annual checkups. There are still other things that need to be done every year.
SANCHEZ: Why isn't there -- why are we suddenly hearing about these guidelines? In the past, I don't remember these kinds of studies being reported as much or having as much of an impact. What's going on here? Something is changing?
COHEN: Well, no. I think what's going on is that groups like American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or this government task force, they regularly update guidelines, but in the past, you haven't seen as big of a difference as you've seen.
So, when they update guidelines, but they are not all that different, we don't really report them. When they update guidelines, and there's a big difference, then we report them, and it's really -- we're told -- just a coincidence that these two guidelines, one for Pap smears and one for mammograms happened in the same week. It's just been a busy week for us ladies.
SANCHEZ: So, you expect that this thing is really going to be heated, much more so than the mammogram study?
COHEN: It's going to be less heated. It's going to be less heated. And another reason is that breast cancers usually grow faster. So, you -- so some doctors will say, you've got to have that annual mammogram to catch it. Cervical cancers can grow very, very slowly. So, if you don't have a Pap smear every year, doctors tell us it's not -- it's not quite as serious.
SANCHEZ: Elizabeth, thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this. And you're right, it is the kind of thing that most of us guys don't know all that much about.
COHEN: That's what I thought.
SANCHEZ: Kind of like watching -- it's kind of like watching "Oprah," you know what I mean?
COHEN: Well, she won't be on I hear, Rick.
SANCHEZ: Thanks, Elizabeth.
SANCHEZ: Yes, for guys or women.
By the way, as we go out, let me share something with you. Just a little while ago, I think you caught me yawning on TV, and there's a reason you caught me yawning on TV. It's because the feed from here is slower than the feed from Atlanta, so I can't really tell when I'm on TV. So, look at this second tweet. It says, "Rick, you need more sleep, man." Maybe you're right, but I didn't know I was on TV.
Here's Wolf Blitzer.