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Bret Michaels in Critical Condition; Arizona's New Immigration Law

Aired April 26, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, rock and reality star Bret Michaels remains in critical condition with a brain hemorrhage.

Is he going to make it?

His "Celebrity Apprentice" co-star, Donald Trump, Jr. and "Rock of Love" girlfriend Taya Parker are here to tell us what they know.

Then vandalism, protest, outrage over Arizona's new immigration law -- the toughest in America.

Is it racist?

Reverend Al Sharpton denounces it. Sheriff Joe Arpaio defends it. They take sides and take on each other. I referee.


Good evening.

Bret Michaels, front man for the rock group, Poison, and reality TV star, is in critical condition as we speak. He suffered a brain hemorrhage last week.

Joining us with all the latest is Donald Trump, Jr. executive vice president of The Trump Organization. His father will be here Wednesday night, by the way. And he appears on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice," one of the more successful NBC shows.

Bret is currently a contestant on that show.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN's chief medical correspondent. He's a practicing neurosurgeon. He'll be joining us in a moment.

And in Los Angeles, Carlos Diaz, syndicated radio host and former correspondent for "Extra." What's the latest, Carlos, on his condition?

CARLOS DIAZ, RADIO HOST & ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Well, the latest, of course, is that Bret Michaels will be going under -- going -- undergoing tests all week long, as doctors continue to try to find the source of the bleeding. There have been several reports that he is out of the woods. That is not true. He is still listed in critical condition, as doctors continue to look for the source. He suffered a major brain hemorrhage on Thursday. He was taken to the hospital. He's going to undergo more tests this is week. He said that the -- the pain while he was headed to the hospital was like a baseball bat hitting him in the head over and over again. And doctors describe this kind of pain as a thunderclap headache.

KING: Is he in a coma?

DIAZ: No. The reports are that he is talking. He has slurred speech. He does have some double vision and some -- some dizziness. But he is talking. Reports this weekend were that he was talking this weekend.

But doctors have ordered him sedated through the weekend.

KING: As we said, Bret Michaels' medical crisis coincides with the airing of the new season of "Celebrity Apprentice," in which he's a competitor.

Here's a clip.


BRET MICHAELS, ACTOR: I just want to tell you guys on this serious situation. Last night my daughter had blood sugar spill into her urine and they're testing her for diabetes. I've got to be honest, I'm freaking out. So my brain is a little...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's serious.


MICHAELS: It's very serious. I've had it my whole life. My daughter, all my life I've shown her, I take the insulin injections and she's asking me today, she said, dad, do I have to take shots like you do?

You know, she shouldn't have to take shots like I do. I don't want to do any more interview.


KING: The star of "Celebrity Apprentice," Donald Trump, has issued a statement about Bret's medical situation. It says: "I am deeply saddened to hear about Bret Michaels. And my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time. He's a great competitor and champion. And I hope that he'll be fine."

Donald, Jr. How did you hear about this?

DONALD TRUMP, JR. ON "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE" WITH MICHAELS: Well, I actually heard about it on the news. I was traveling and, you know, was really dismayed to hear it. I mean I got to know these guys very well throughout the show, just hanging out with them you know, on and off-camera. And he's just a great guy. You can see the emotion when he's talking about his family, when he's talking about his daughter. He's really linked to the charity that he's playing for. You know, he's really vested emotionally. And he's just a great guy.

KING: Does it cast a shadow on the show?

TRUMP: You know what, he's...

KING: After, wouldn't it?

TRUMP: I think it has to in a certain way. I mean certainly people are probably going to be interested to see, you know, how he performs throughout the rest of the show. And he's done great so far. But there's definitely an issue with that.

KING: Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us in Atlanta -- it's reported, Sanjay, that Bret had a -- I want to pronounce this right -- a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

What is that?

Is it as scary as it sounds?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a subarachnoid hemorrhage is -- is the pronunciation. And basically, what that is -- what often occurs here is -- is -- is an aneurysm, Larry, in one of the blood vessels. I think we have a picture sort of to show what this is specifically. But, you know, you get a little blister on top of one of the blood vessels in the brain and sometimes that particular blister can -- can pop or rupture. You've heard about a ruptured aneurysm. That's what that is. It causes sort of a spring of blood in and around the brain. And that -- that can be, you know, very difficult to treat. A large majority -- about 50 percent or so of those patients -- you know, either die or have significant neurological deficit.

Some of the news I'm hearing right now on your show, I think, is some of the more promising, more optimistic news, that he's talking, albeit with slurred speech; that he has vision, albeit blurry. Those are still good signs -- much better than -- than it can be in these situations.

KING: The official Web site, Sanjay, says there will be further testing done this week to locate the source of the bleeding.

What kind of testing is that?

GUPTA: Well, this is -- this is kind of unusual, but an important point. Typically, if someone has a hemorrhage like this, can you find the source of the bleeding by doing what's called an angiogram. Larry, you've heard about angiograms for the heart.

KING: I've had them.

GUPTA: Yes. They can do the same thing for the brain. And you and I have talked about that. In -- in his case, from what I understand, when they did the angiogram, they did not find an aneurysm. And -- and what can happen sometimes is that you do an angiogram sometimes later and you do find the aneurysm. Maybe some blood was pushing on the aneurysm and you couldn't see it perfectly. But in about 15 percent -- 10 to 15 percent of cases -- they never will find the exact reason as to why this bleeding occurred. And he may not have a definitive answer.

KING: What kind of guy is he, Donald?

TRUMP: He's just, you know, a great guy. I wonder if some of this is really hurt by the fact that he has diabetes, because, you know, it's something, again, like I said, it's the charity he's playing for. He thinks about it all the time. He's worried that his daughters have it. I mean he's really emotionally vested to this charity and it's something that he's really talked about a lot. So he's a -- he's just a great guy.

KING: Did you hit it off with him right away?

TRUMP: I did. It was -- you know, of all the people from "Celebrity Apprentice," I may have had the best kind of off-camera relationship with him over the three years. I mean he's a really likeable guy, down to Earth, no B.S. Just a very solid person.

KING: Were you too young to have been a Poison fan?

TRUMP: No. Actually, I kind of grew up listening to that. So there was a...

KING: Really?


TRUMP: There was an element -- you know, and even through college. I mean this was a lot of the type of music that we listened to growing up. So, you know, there was an extra element there. But getting to know him after that made it more extreme.

KING: Could Bret's medical problems be related to an accident at the Tony Awards last year?

That's next.



KING: A program note. Michael Moore is going to be our guest tomorrow night.

And Donald Trump, Sr. will be here on Wednesday.

Bret Michaels, as we mentioned, was hit by a piece of scenery during an appearance on the 2009 Tony Awards. He talked about the incident back in March on "Lopez Tonight". Watch.


MICHAELS: I'm walking backwards, they say always face the audience, right?

And I'm like what you are talking about?

I'm like this is -- this -- so I'm walking backwards. I go, this went great. I throw my hands in the air and I'm like this rocked. I'm going to party with Anne Hathaway. This is killer. And I turn and bam.


KING: All right, Sanjay, could that have -- could -- could that be a forerunner of this?

GUPTA: You know, it -- it's interesting, when you talk about this type of hemorrhage, there's really two reasons that can cause it. One is the aneurysm that we were talking about earlier. And the other is trauma -- someone who actually has some sort of traumatic injury to the brain.

But, you know, this is some time ago. I think it was June of 2009, so close to a year ago. If he had some bleeding in the brain at that point, it was un -- it would be unlikely to cause a -- a problem at this point.

So I think those two things are probably unrelated -- Larry.

KING: Could diabetes have anything to do with it?

GUPTA: You know, it's interesting, I think most people would say no. He does have Type 1 Diabetes, as he's talked about publicly. And there have been a few studies -- small studies that show people who have diabetes, take some of the medications for diabetes, can have -- are more likely to have certain types of bleeds in the brain. But the type of bleed that he had is a different type, again, probably from this ruptured aneurysm. So I think that that also is probably unrelated.

High blood pressure, smoking, certain medications, certain drugs and sometimes genetics -- those things can be risk factors. But diabetes not so much.

KING: Now, let's be clear, this could be permanently damaging?

GUPTA: Yes. You know, when you talk about this type of -- this type of bleeding in the brain, again, you know, a significant number of people, within about a month or so, don't survive. Again, as -- as I mentioned, I'm encouraged by some of the things that I've heard about how he's doing now.

But the -- but the larger question really for -- for neurosurgeons, brain surgeons, is -- is two questions.

One is can we figure out what happened here precisely and make sure it doesn't happen again?

And two is figure out, you know, neurologically how he's going to do?

Is he going to have difficulties with speech?

Might he have some problems with the strength or sensation on one side of his body or the other, those types of things?

That -- that's a much sort of longer term scenario and longer term questions -- Larry.

KING: Carlos, from a show business standpoint, how big a story is this?

DIAZ: Well, you know, he is a star that transcends several generations. You know, you talked about -- you know, to Donald Trump, Jr. About, you know, whether he can remember him growing up with Poison. I grew up with him and Poison in the '80s. And then, of course, in the '90s, there -- there were reports that he was dating Pamela Anderson. And now he's re -- reinvented his career, both on "Rock of Love" and "Celebrity Apprentice."

So this guy has fans that are in their 40s and in their 20s. So this is a story that a lot of people are following about a guy who's had a career that's been well over 20 years.

KING: Is it through -- how does it -- what happens on the show, Donald?

TRUMP: Well, you know, a lot of it's filmed. We'll see what happens in the finale. But, you know, Bret's done very well. He's been a great competitor.

KING: Do you think we're going to be seeing him next show?

On the next show, we'll be seeing?

TRUMP: He -- you will see him on the next show because, you know, again, we did that back in the fall. And so, you know, he continues to perform really well. And he's really kind of gotten into his stride now. He started off a little bit slow, a little bit difficult time, really, expressing himself to people, because he's an artist. And he's a really creative guy.

Now that we've gotten into some of those creative tests, you've seen him really kind of come out of his shell and really do a great job and dominate some of the tasks.

KING: I guess you can't cancel.

Is it going to be bizarre to be seeing him...

TRUMP: I think...

KING: -- while we wait?

TRUMP: -- it could be a little bit, you know, bizarre. I mean, like my father said, we're really just, you know, hoping the best for him. I think we're less concerned about the show than his well being, because he's a great guy. I mean some of the filming, he brought his kids down. And you can see he's really into that world. He's a family guy. He's not just a rocker.

KING: Sanjay, how life-threatening could it be?

GUPTA: Well, you know, at -- at the time that this happens -- and, again that thunder clap headache that -- that I -- that was described, that -- that's a classic sign, again, of this -- this aneurysm literally rupturing.

And about 10 percent of people at that point don't survive. He obviously survived that. About another quarter of people, you know, they don't make it through the first couple of days in the hospital. And, again, within 30 days, you're talking 45 to 50 percent of people don't survive.

So this is a significant -- significant problem. And that degree of bleeding in the brain, I haven't seen his scans, but -- but based on what's being described, obviously of concern.

The fact that he is talking and, you know, able to maybe communicate, according to, again, some of these reports that we're hearing, good sign. I think a larger question and longer term question is, is he going to be able to return to normal in terms of speech and strength?

KING: Our panel remains. And we'll be joined by a competitor, who worked alongside Bret on "Celebrity Apprentice," one of the great baseball stars, Darryl Strawberry, is on deck.

Stick around.


KING: Darryl strawberry now joins us. The baseball great was a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" with Bret Michaels. He got the boot in week three. Darryl's book, "Straw: Finding My Own Way" -- by the way, a terrific read -- comes out in paperback next week.

What's your reaction to all this, Darryl?

DARRYL STRAWBERRY, ON "CELEBRITY APPRENTICE" WITH MICHAELS: Well, first of all, I was heartbroken when I heard the news about Bret. You know, I got a chance to meet Bret when I got -- was on the show. And we -- we became real good friends, being on the show with him. He's a very competitive person. He's -- he's a wonderful person. He is so unique. I think a lot of times on the show, nobody wanted to hear what he was saying when he had his suggestions about what we should do as a team. His ideas was -- was great. He was always creative. And, you know, my heart goes out to Bret and his family. I love him dearly. I talked to him about a month -- about a month-and-a-half ago, after I was booted off the show. And we kind of were just laughing and joking about -- you know, about the show. And, you know, he wished I hadn't left. And, you know, when I -- when I got booted off the show, Bret signed me a guitar -- one of his personal guitars. He gave it to me as a friend of his.

KING: Were you a fan of Poison?

STRAWBERRY: I -- I had no idea about Poison. I had no idea. The first time I saw Bret was on the "Rock of Love." And when I saw that show, I thought wow, this guy is crazy as ever on this show. And then I saw he was on the -- on the apprentice, you know, when I got there. And when I met him the first couple days, I was wondering, what's wrong with this guy, because he was kind of slow-moving, slow pacing.

But you realize he's a rocker. And that's what rockers do. And after -- after time went by, me and him became buddy-buddies. You know, we just -- we just kind of hung out and hung in our little corners over there and talked. And I -- I hated to see, you know, the frustration that he went through from time to time because of his ideas and his opinions about our task...


STRAWBERRY: And no one would pay attention to him.

KING: Donald, was Bret what you expected?

TRUMP: Actually, totally not. You know, he was much more intelligent. Again, he was an artist, though. So it took a long time to get the thoughts out, as Darryl is saying. But when he came up with something, it was great. I mean just a very creative guy. You can see why he's able to last generations in that business.

KING: We have a statement from Bret's publicist. It says, in part: "Bret remains in ICU, in critical condition under 24-hour doctors' care and supervision. We are hopeful that further tests will locate the source of the bleeding. As we all know, Bret is a fighter. And we are hopeful that one once all is complete, the blurred speech -- the slurred speech and blurred vision and dizziness will be eliminated and all functions will return to normal."

How important, Sanjay, is attitude?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I think -- I think it's very important, you know. And we think about this a lot, I think, as doctors, and particularly, I think, as neurosurgeons. You know, he's a -- it sounds -- everyone says he's got a real fight in him. And I think that that can certainly help heal -- the healing process.

When you think about, again, this type of bleeding, Larry, this isn't the type of blood that sort of pools on top of the brain. This is more like blood sort of getting into a sponge, like water in a sponge. This is how the blood sort of gets into the brain.

And so you can -- it's hard to take out. And I think someone just needs to -- it's a long recovery period. And the more that someone has a fight in them, the more likely they are to recover.

You're looking at the image there, Larry, I think, right there. If you take a look at that highlighted area, that's what the aneurysm looks like. And it's a little blister on the blood vessel. And that can release blood, as you see there. That -- that's -- that's how -- what transpires in this case, Larry.

KING: Carlos, Bret's people are very tight.

Do we know what hospital he's in?

DIAZ: Yes, that's very unusual, that we have not found that out yet. It is an undisclosed location somewhere in Los Angeles. He is in the ICU, the intensive care unit. But no one knows exactly what hospital he is in. And his friends and family members who are up updating his Web site everyday are being very secretive as to where he is right now. And, of course...

KING: Why?

DIAZ: -- all this going on just 10 days after he had an emergency appendectomy. That happened on April 12th then April 22nd, he's being rushed to the hospital for a massive brain hemorrhage.

So I mean a lot of different medical problems going on right now with Bret Michaels.

KING: And I guess that's their business.

All right, we thank Dr. Gupta and Darryl Strawberry for joining us.

Carlos and Donald Trump will remain.

And Taya Parker, winner of VH1's "Rock of Love" bus, a friend of Bret Michaels, actress and model, will join us.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back.

The third season of VH1's "Rock of Love" featured a bevy of beautiful women competing for Bret Michael's affections while traveling with him on tour buses.

Taya Parker was Bret's eventual pick.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "ROCK OF LOVE," COURTESY VH1) MICHAELS: Throughout this journey, you've held yourself with class, with dignity. You're beautiful to be around and you roll with everything. You are everything wrapped up in what I'm looking for. You are my rock of love, OK?

All right?

Come here.

TAYA PARKER, WINNER, VH1'S "ROCK OF LOVE BUS": I know I wasn't the safe choice in all this, but I was the right choice. And I think he felt it along the line. I know I felt it when there were 13 girls around.

MICHAELS: Hey, can you deal with me?

Let's go.


KING: We welcome Taya Parker to LARRY KING LIVE from Columbus, Ohio. She and Bret were at an event together on April 9th, two weeks before Bret's brain hemorrhage.

Did you see anything wrong then?

PARKER: No, Larry. There was absolutely no indication that anything was wrong. They were doing a lot of taping for NBC for some "Celebrity Apprentice" pieces. And, I mean, it was probably one of the better concerts that I'd ever seen of his. And I remember commenting on that to a couple people, of just how energetic he was. And he was just on point that night. It was just amazing. It was amazing to see.

And I think back on that since all of this has happened, like were there any warning signs?

Did I notice that anything was off?

And you would not have known it. I mean he was just in his element. I mean he was having such a good time, you could just tell. The energy on stage was amazing.

KING: You dated for a while, right?

PARKER: He chose me on the show. You know, we've remained close. I've seen him a couple of times since the show. I saw him on April 9th like right before his emergency appendectomy in Texas. So this does all come as, you know, a complete shock. It's just a devastating time. And, I mean, I think it's emotional for everyone.

KING: Have you been in touch with the family?

PARKER: I have not. I by no means want to give the impression that I'm here speaking, you know, for Bret or for his family. I felt it was important, you know, to say -- to speak on the person that he is and the person that I have witnessed him to be and the person that he's come to be in my life and how much he means to so many people. You know, being on such a high profile show like "Rock of Love," when something happens, you know, I'm kind of someone that the -- that the fans and the public reach out to. You know, I get so many well wishes sent to me for Bret. I mean they sent e-mails to me in hopes that I'll deliver these messages to him. And it being such a difficult time, you know, of course you want to respect the privacy of the family.

KING: Yes.

PARKER: So I mean it's -- it's a difficult time. I can't imagine what they're going through.

KING: Carlos, is his fan base multigenerational?

DIAZ: Yes, exactly. I mean -- and that's the thing. You talk about him as being the Poison front man. That goes back 20 years. You talk about him as being, you know, the guy from "Rock of Love," which is an immensely popular show on VH1. And then you have "Celebrity Apprentice."

And the thing that everyone says about Bret Michaels -- and I can -- I can tell you this by interviewing him several times, he is a great guy and a -- and the kind of guy that you want to hang out with because he's down to Earth. He looks you right in the eye. And he's -- you know, he's -- he's not the fake Hollywood guy that you might find sometimes. He's real. And that's the reason he stayed, you know, popular for so long.

KING: Oh, I know you're not going to give things away, Donald. But you've taped everything until the final episode?

TRUMP: Correct.

KING: Is he there for the final?

TRUMP: Correct.

KING: Is he -- was he scheduled for the final?

TRUMP: He'll -- he'll be involved in the final. You know, they bring back a lot of the people for the finale. But, yes, he would be scheduled to be involved, and, you know, yes, he'll be there next week. And, you know, he's been a great competitor. He's been a -- you know, and he's really come into his stride now. And like everyone has been saying, he is really that great guy that you wouldn't expect.

KING: Taya, have you been hearing from a lot of fans?

PARKER: I have. I mean the outpouring from his fans, they're doing candlelight vigils. I have a sweet girl from Dover, Pennsylvania named Chrissy. They're doing candlelight vigils every night at 8:00. So if everyone keeps that in mind, they want everyone to light a candle and pray for Bret and pray for his family and for a speedy recovery. I mean he's just got amazing fans, I mean young children with diabetes like Dustin, who's 15 years old. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And, you know, he says, you know, Bret's like me. I have diabetes like Bret. And he gives me reason to hope for a cure.

KING: Well, we...

PARKER: And he's been to Bret's camp for diabetes. And it's just -- it's amazing.

KING: He's in all our prayers.

Thanks, Taya.

Thanks, Carlos.

Thanks, Donald.

We'll see your dad on Wednesday.

Will Arizona's new immigration law divide a state and possibly a country?

The fiery debate is next.


KING: The hot button issue of immigration has become even more contentious thanks to controversy over Arizona's tough new immigration law. Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed the measure on Friday. Here are three key provisions. The law makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally. Police must make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of anyone they have a reasonable suspicion maybe in the U.S. illegally. And legal immigrants must carry documentation proving their status.

Here to debate it all is Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network, who opposes the law, and Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. He is known as America's toughest sheriff for his crackdowns on illegal immigration and petty crime. He supports the law. Why, sheriff? Why do you like this law?

JOE ARPAIO, SHERIFF, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: Well, we've been enforcing the two other state laws and the federal laws. This is just another tool that law enforcement can use to detect those here illegally. It's now a misdemeanor. They can be arrested and put in jail. And we have a big problem in this state and across our nation. Something has to be done. The federal government needs help. And we're here to help.

KING: Sheriff, what is wrong with that? It's a crime. It's only misdemeanor.

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWOR: If it's a crime, there is nothing wrong with it. But if you're going to target people based on who they are, in this case Mexican-American, but if it was anybody, that is racial profiling on its face. To say that we're going to stop the incoming of people that are Mexicans into America is to say that you're going to look for people that look Mexican, which is racial profiling, for a lot of very legal citizens of Hispanic descent. That's the problem with it.

KING: Joe, the mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon, calls it a hateful law. How do you respond?

ARPAIO: He's an open border guy. He has called me Nazi, every name in the book. Let's get back to Al. Al, you came here in June. Actually, we met in my office. You called me Bull Connor. You asked for my resignation. You encourage activists to follow my deputies around. I'm really sad that now you're trying to perpetuate more violence if there's going to be violence in dissent over this new law.

SHARPTON: I'm a little confused. I'm a little surprised at you. You said I was there three times. None of the times was there violence. And then did I perpetrate violence. I asked you to resign because people there are making complaints.

But this is really not about you. This is about the Constitution of the United States. And this is about making sure that people have equal protection under the law. And if you are a Latino in Phoenix, you should not be subjected to having to ride around with citizenship papers any more than anyone else. If you're a person of color that you may think of Latino, you shouldn't have to be submitted to anything other -- this is not about you, sheriff. This is about the Constitution of the United States.

ARPAIO: You're the one that is butting into our business here, Al. I know you get paid for it. But that's your business. But you don't even know what you're talking about.

SHARPTON: I don't know, first of all, any immigrants that are coming here from Mexico that can pay anyone. And certainly no one -- in fact, I paid my way to Arizona the three times I came. I'll pay my way this time. It's not about money. You want to get personal, why don't we talk about the Constitution. Your law enforcement officers, let's talk about the law.

ARPAIO: You don't understand the law.

KING: All right. Here is one -- sheriff, the key question is, what constitutes a reasonable suspicion?

ARPAIIO: Well, you know, we stop people all the time for every type of traffic violation. You know, cops do that all the time. They have a right to ask for their driver's license, ID and such --

KING: Anyone?

ARPAIO: Of course. We don't just go on the street corner --

KING: Then why do you need a law that says reasonable suspicion if it's already inherent? ARPAIO: Well, let me tell you this, now there is the new law that says we can arrest people pursuant to our duties if they're here illegally. So that's a good part of the law. There is nothing wrong with that.

SHARPTON: It says reasonable suspicion of being here illegally. So he's talking about car stops. We're talking about immigration. First of all, immigration is in the hands of the federal government. No state is supposed to with the federal government.


SHARPTON: Immigration is federal business. Secondly, I think that if he's the toughest sheriff in the country in immigration, then why do they still have a problem with -- they have three different laws. If he's so tough, we should see immigration having gone down. Thirdly, it is clearly designed at an ethnic group of people, something that he is not denying. Are you going to tell me if you pull people over in that county or in that state that are not looking like they're Latino, they're going to ask them to prove their citizenship?

ARPAIO: We do it all the time.

SHARPTON: I think we should deal with the problem of immigration reform. I think that the Congress and the federal government must move forward. None of us want to see the borders open. None of us want to see drugs and crime. But you don't have two wrongs to make one civil right. People do have rights.

KING: Doesn't that concern you, sheriff, to say target someone just because they happen to be of a certain race?

ARPAIO: We don't do that. We've arrested hundreds and hundreds of people and never had any problems until Al's friend, the president, 60 Days in Office, had his Justice Department launch a civil rights investigation against me and my people. They've been roaming the streets for a year and a half. They haven't found anything. So evidently we're doing the right thing, and I know that law enforcement under this new law will also do the right thing.


KING: Let me get a break. We'll be right back. Don't go away.


KING: Let's get to a racial question. Sheriff, have you or anyone who works for you ever asked a white person to prove their citizenship or legal immigrant status?

ARPAIO: We do it all the time. We always -- when we stop someone, we ask date of birth, where they were born, ID. Nothing changes, doesn't matter where they're from.

KING: What's wrong with that, Al? SHARPTON: There is nothing wrong with that if there were not many people that, despite the fact that he says --

KING: He says they stop white, black, Mexican alike.

SHARPTON: There have been all kinds of complaints filed that led to the federal government investigating that there were civil rights violations in the state.

KING: Do you think they were racially profiling?

SHARPTON: That is the accusation that is -- he said there wasn't a problem until this president got there. I think this Justice Department is reviewing things that had been complained about way before this president was in, when Bush was there. But I think --

Larry, it's very simple. If you're saying the way we're going to alleviate a Mexican immigration problem is by now having the right under suspicion to go after people, you are saying we're going to look at people that look a certain way. That's racial profiling. I mean, you can't have it both ways.

KING: Sheriff, isn't that logical the way he explained that. You're going to look at people differently.

ARPAIO: No, we do not. 38,000 people, we have investigated, detained, 38,000. So you get a handful of people that make a complaint. So I don't believe that. That's a cop out, to bring the race card into this situation.

SHARPTON: Of the 38,000, how many people were white that you arrested?

ARPAIO: I'm talking about 38,000 -- we monitor 200,000. Out of the 200,000, 38,000 or 34,000 were here illegally.

SHARPTON: Out of the arrests you've made, what is the percentage of non-Hispanic arrests?

ARPAIO: Well, very few. We happen to be next to the border, Al. You know that. So, consequently, many of the arrests are from Mexico or Latin America.

SHARPTON: I'm talking about in your general arrests, is it not true, sir, that there has been a complaint with your whole county department about racial profiling across the border. Is that not true? I'm not just talking about the border --

ARPAIO: I just said the Justice Department, 60 days under the Obama administration, sent the civil rights people here. They've been roaming around for a year and a half. If we're racial profiling, where is the proof?

SHARPTON: You're saying the federal government is investigating a civil rights violation. So this is not, as you opened, by saying somebody being paid to come in or there was violence. This is about there's been complaints made by the citizens that the Justice Department is reviewing. I understand you --

ARPAIO: You know, when you have 38,000 you deal with, you're bound to get a few complaints. You know that. People complain about you when you come here.

SHARPTON: Sure. You just made some reckless complaints about violence that never happened and money that never happened. We're trying to get to is the Constitution of the United States protects people with equal protection under the law. If I'm Latino, if I'm black, I should be treated the same way as anyone else stopped in the state of Arizona.

ARPAIO: And you are.

SHARPTON: And that is the bottom line. That is not the case. That is not how this law has been pointed out.

KING: Let me get a break. The attorney general is concerned that maybe this might damage relations between police and the Latino community. We'll talk about that when we come back.



KING: Arizona's attorney general, Terry Goddard, worries that this new law could damage relations between the police and the Latino community. He told "Time Magazine" that policing depends on casual contact. This bill is going to stop that communication. Might this make policing tougher, sheriff?

ARPAIO: No, that's another cop out, because certain people like the attorney general want amnesty. Let me say this: how do you think we get all the information? We get it from illegal aliens. And that's how we go into workplaces and arrest those in the workplace, a majority with phony identification. So I don't go along with that that people won't talk to law enforcement.

SHARPTON: I say, again, the attorney general of the state, you know, he wants amnesty. The mayor of Phoenix is hateful. I'm, you know, whatever.


ARPAIO: You're the one calling me all the names.

SHARPTON: What we said is the Arizonians that invited me out there three times have used that title on him. But again, I'm not here to get into name-calling with him. My concern is -- none of us want to see immigration laws disobeyed. None of us want to see the borders wide open. But we do not want to see this country lose its basis of saying that its treats its citizens equally.

ARPAIO: I agree.

SHARPTON: That's what the country's supposed to be about, and that's what this law speaks to.

KING: Sheriff, directly, will this law help curb illegal immigration?

ARPAIO: It sure will. It sure will. I'm confident of that. And we're going to do it in an honest, professional manner, like we all have been doing it.

SHARPTON: Could you explain to the country why the laws that you have been enforcing has not worked, and why you think this would. You claim to be the toughest guy, the laws --

ARPAIO: here you go.

SHARPTON: -- you have used haven't worked. So why does this work? What's going to happen here other than harassing people based on who they are? By what magic are now we going to see because you stop people, you see they look like they're brown, that you're going to ask for their I.D., how this will bring this down?

ARPAIO: I'll tell you what, we have 20 percent of the people in the jails I operate -- 20 percent charged with murders and every violent crime you can think of are in this country illegally. They came across the border. They're criminals.


SHARPTON: And you're to be commended for arresting murders. But I'm asking how this bill, you think, will solve the immigration problem without exacerbating tensions? How do you feel this works? Because nothing that you've tried before has worked, sheriff. You still have the problem.

ARPAIO: No, I don't know. The problem is that a lot of people have left this state -- they're going to California or going back home, but they're leaving.


ARPAIO: They're here illegally. We arrest a lot of people coming through, heading for California and other states.

KING: Al, what action do you plan here?

SHARPTON: Well, I've said that if the court does not either enjoin this or if the courts do not overturn it, that just as Freedom Riders went into the deep south when I was a kid --

KING: You're going to lead a march?

SHARPTON: We're going to go into Arizona and we're just going to walk together as American citizens and not submit to this.

ARPAIO: You said that last year.

KING: Have you heard the federal hearing before -- SHARPTON: There are groups that we're part of, National Action Network along with other groups that are going into court this week, and if we can't overturn it, then we are willing -- I think Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: sometimes you have to disobey state laws for a higher law and certainly to protect the federal Constitution.

KING: Sheriff, do you fear an encounter here?

ARPAIO: No, he was here last year and encouraged people to follow my deputies around and videotape my deputies, just because they were doing their job. So, you know, Al, you come on back. We'll meet again in my office. We'll discuss the situation, person to person --

SHARPTON: that's fine. But we're also going to test the officers. They hopefully won't be there, and either way we can meet in your office. But, again, my fight is not with you. My fight is we must protect the Constitution of the United States for everyone, whether they're black, brown, or white. That's the concern. And I think if you listen to the citizens in Arizona, or the attorney general, or the mayor, you would find that that's all that people are talking about.

ARPAIO: No, they're talking about that 75 percent love this new law. Do your research. They like this new law. So if the people that I serve like the new law, we're going to enforce the law. Very simple.

SHARPTON: Well, I don't know if 75 percent like it or not, but I know there's been times when the majority in some states like a lot of laws that were unconstitutional and immoral. Unfortunately, the Constitution is supposed to protect people, even if they are in the minority. That's why this country aspires to be great.

KING: We have not heard the last of this. Thank you both very much. Always good to see you, Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, and the Reverend Al Sharpton. He opposes the law, and Joe Arpaio, of course, favors it. Ryan Seacrest is here next with a special announcement. Don't go away.


KING: This year, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of LARRY KING LIVE. And today we're excited to kick off our interactive LKL top 25 moments, where you get to pick the top five moments in this show's history. Here's my buddy Ryan Seacrest to tell you how to take part.

RYAN SEACREST, "AMERICAN IDOL": Thank you, Larry! Well, we are obviously celebrating 25 years of LARRY KING LIVE. So if you go to, you can actually see the list of some of the biggest and best and most compelling shows that you've ever done.

It's going to be hard to pick, but, for example, I chose one already here. Like, let's take, "How You Can Help Haiti." So you click pick, rank it number one, and then that will end up, Larry, if you're following along, right up top here in the number one spot. Another great show, I think it was 1988. I never had a chance to meet him, but he was one of your guests, Frank Sinatra, yeah, 1988. So I picked that and I can put it at number two. If you scroll up, you will see, Sinatra, two.

So what you should do is log on to, pick your moments and let's see who comes up with their best and their favorites, then you'll broadcast I'm sure the top five on your show. Back to you now in the studio, buddy.

KING: Thank you, Ryan! Also when you go to, you can sign up for our LARRY KING LIVE 25 sweepstakes, a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, meet me, and see the show in person. We'll have dinner too. In the coming weeks, we'll be showing you all the top 25 moments you can vote on. But to kick it off tonight, we thought it would be fun to go back to how it all began.


KING: My name is Larry King and this is the premiere edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Every night at this time, we'll be here for one hour. We'll meet fascinating people from all walks of life. We hope that you enjoy this kind of alternative to prime-time programming. Rather than murder, mayhem, sex, violence. We'll bring you all of those, but disguised as talk with questions. Boy, did that turn out to be true.


KING: The first thing I noticed is my hair looked like a wig and I never have worn a wig. I was wearing a jacket. I don't wear a jacket anymore. And those glasses were ridiculous.

We'll be back with Governor Mario Cuomo after this.

But I had a feeling that night that this show would make it. I don't know why. Mario Cuomo was the first guest. He was fantastic.

MARIO CUOMO, FMR. GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: That allows you to be a Jew, and me to be a Catholic, to choose, by letting everybody be what they are.

KING: Ted Turner called me, said, Larry, do you want to come work for me? You'll work from 9:00 until 10:00 every night. My agent was the late Bob Wolf. Bob called me up and said, it's not a bad deal. It'll be nice money, same as your regular money. They're doubling your pay. They give you an option, if at the end of the year you're unhappy, you can bail out. So I said, I'll try it.

I tried it.


KING: We tried it, 25 years ago. Michael Moore is here tomorrow. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and "AC 360," that's here right now. Sanjay?