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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
5 Years Later, New Orleans Remembers Katrina's Impact; Interview With Jesse Jackson; South Africa's ANC Government Cracks Down on Media
Aired August 28, 2010 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming next, on SATURDAY MORNING, listen to this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Here we go. Surprise. It's Glenn Beck last night. Listen to that applause. He and his supporters get ready for a rally in Washington this morning. He's calling this thing at the Lincoln Memorial "Restoring Honor." He says it's not political; it's for our troops.
But on this day, the MLK speech anniversary, 47 years later, critics are saying otherwise.
From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is bright and early; 6 a.m. here in Atlanta; 5 a.m. in Chicago; 3 a.m. if you're waking up or maybe haven't gone to bed in Vegas.
Good morning, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin. T.J. Holmes sleeping in this morning. Thanks for starting your day with me.
Want to let you know what's coming up really over the next 90 minutes here. Shoppers on the hunt, and sometimes, let's admit, we can be a little out of control with all those shopping bags. Some people may have an addiction. Are you buying it?
And tainted eggs and really larger questions loom. Americans wondering about the safety of their food. We will have some answers for you.
And do you know this guy? Dr. John, legendary, out of New Orleans - really, the - embodies the healing power of music. And the New Orleans icon brings a little spunk, if you will, and a lot of perspective on this five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
But first, we want to begin with this anniversary. It was five years ago today Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, and an entire region was about to be just entirely plunged in disaster. Well, today, horrific memories still haunt the region, along with remarkable stories of perseverance.
CNN's Jeanne Meserve was in New Orleans for that disaster five years ago. She is joining me this morning, five years later.
And Jeanne, I understand you hopped up in a helicopter and you took a tour - what? - to an area you saw five years ago. So do me a favor and just compare the then and now.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it looks an awful lot different, of course.
Before, it was a sea of water. Now, the water's back where it belongs, in the lake, in the canals, in the river. But, you know, it took government officials awhile to grasp what had happened on the Gulf Coast and here in New Orleans. But there was one guy who understood right away, and that's because he saw it with his own eyes.
MESERVE (voice-over): From his Coast Guard helicopter, Roberto Torres (ph) surveys what has changed in New Orleans and what has not.
ROBERTO TORRES, COAST GUARD PILOT: All this green was not green before. It was - it was all houses.
MESERVE: He has also seen it all water. Torres was one of the very first to get up in the air and actually comprehend the scale of the disaster.
TORRES: If you can believe it, it looked like a lake.
MESERVE: Just hours after the storm, some of these first photos of the damage were taken from his helicopter. He calls the scene then "surreal."
TORRES: It's almost like we were visiting the camera crews and the flight stuff. We - it looked like a - like the movie set of an Armageddon scene.
MESERVE: Torres and his crew flew like they never had before, testing their limits and their machines, dodging power lines, trees, buildings, even other helicopters, to hoist as many survivors as they could to safety.
TORRES: I had a piece - huge piece of cardboard (ph) come into the rear blade and it kind of scared the heck out of us one time. You know, a lot of scary moments.
MESERVE: Eventually, other choppers from other agencies came to help.
TORRES: You can tell that they were kind of new at this. You know, they'd radio and say, 'Oh my gosh. You know, we - we have a - 50 people that need to be picked up over here,' and they were very panicky in their voice and - and we - and we were not trying to blow them off, but we were, like, 'Yes, I mean, there's people everywhere.' MESERVE: As he flies over the city now, he wonders what happened to all those people he saved. Did they reunite with their families? Did they come back home?
And at the oddest times, he imagines what they went through while they waited for him in their hot attics, without food or water.
TORRES: I imagine that all the critters that - that - you know, they're trying to stay out of the water, too. So roaches, rats, whatever up in the attic. So, every time I go get a suitcase nowadays from my attic at home, I always said - the first thing I always think of is, like, wow, imagine being in that conditions for three or four days.
MESERVE: Torres believes he saw the worst and the best of human nature. But now, five years later, most of his memories are good. He says God helped him forget the bad.
MESERVE: Torres told some pretty amazing stories about some of the specific rescues that he participated in. In one case, he said he had an adult and a teenage in the back of his helicopter, along with seven babies and toddlers. He said he was terrified that they were going to start crawling around and fall out through the hole that was in the floor of that helicopter for the hoist. Fortunately, that's a story that ended well.
Brooke, back to you.
BALDWIN: Jeanne, let me just as you, since I have you there in New Orleans.
You know, we - CNN had made this huge commitment five years ago to stay on this story. And I'm just curious, as we, you know, cover this five-year anniversary, do you get a sense from people in this city, who live there, are they remembering that day and that weekend five years ago? Or is it business as usual for them?
MESERVE: Well, I think they're remembering because there are so many festivities going on here in New Orleans to commemorate this event today and tomorrow. Tomorrow, of course, President Obama coming to town.
So it's everywhere around them in terms of preparations, in terms of the headlines they see in the newspaper, what they're watching on television. So even if they might have personally lost track of the date, I think that's bringing back and bringing back all those memories - Brooke.
BALDWIN: Very much so, front of the mind.
Jeanne Meserve, thank you. We will see you later on this morning.
Meantime, the New Orleans mayor who led this city through the disaster says he is finished with public office. You remember Ray Nagin? He was both praised and scorned for his leadership in those days leading up to Katrina. And then, of course, in the years and years dealing with its aftermath.
Nagin, who was barred from re-election of term limits, says he's already given his pound of flesh, so to speak. He stepped down from his office in May.
Well, more on the five-year anniversary of Katrina, really, all weekend here on CNN. In fact, we're dedicating our entire 9:00 hour to this story, to the then and to the now. I'll be talking to General Russel Honore, who really became a household name five years ago. Really brought order to the chaos in New Orleans days and - and, dare I say, years after the storm.
Plus, Scott Craig, a man who is filling bellies now. He rebuilt his restaurant. I hear he has some wicked ribs. We'll be talking to - to him.
And noted New Orleans photographer Harold Baquet. He will show us some poignant images of the city before, during and after the hurricane. He is a New Orleans native with great perspective.
Our special half hour, "After Katrina." You won't want to miss it, 9:00 Eastern, right here.
And now, Mr. Wolf. Good morning.
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning.
BALDWIN: I - I feel like every time I - I looked up I saw you on the - on the Gulf Coast talking oil and - and - and now --
WOLF: I'm (INAUDIBLE) --
BALDWIN: -- you're here in the flesh talking potentially more hurricanes.
WOLF: Hurricanes. Things are - things are really getting crazy.
You know, when we keep hearing about Katrina. You know, what's funny is - is, years ago, when you had Katrina, it was just a name that was on a list of potential hurricanes.
WOLF: And now we've got a Danielle out there. We've got an Earl out there. And we often wonder, could one of these be the next Katrina?
WOLF: You never know.
BALDWIN: There's a lot going on just beyond the White House there on the National Mall, and specifically, at the end of the reflecting pool, at the Lincoln Memorial. Why will people be there? Well, they'll be there for this march organized by talk-show host Glenn Beck.
Here he is. It's a march taking place, as perhaps you're waking up and remembering, this is the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. We're going to get some reaction this morning to the controversial gathering, some calling it controversial, next, when civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson - there he is, bright and early, joining us from Detroit. We'll be talking to him about why people are marching for his cause, and maybe ask him for some perspective from 47 years.
Join us on the other side of the break.
BALDWIN: All right. Well, a lot of people are talking about a rally this morning at the Lincoln Memorial. Some civil-rights leaders are definitely criticizing.
I'm talking about FOX News host Glenn Beck. He's organized this event. This event happening on a very significant day, when we're talking civil rights. It's the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther's King famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which he gave from that very spot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GLENN BECK, TALK-SHOW HOST: Hello, Freedom Works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: This was just last night, surprise visit from Glenn Beck himself. He's calling this gathering that happens at 10 Eastern this morning a "Restore Honor" rally. He says, 'Look, this isn't political. This is about honoring our troop and reviving integrity, honor and truth.'
But lots of "Tea Party" folks will be there. We're hearing busload after busload. Also, Sarah Palin will be playing a prominent speaking role. The rally, we are hearing, could draw a quarter million people, according to some of the organizers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: It's interesting to me that the - the media has no problem with people working together on any of the progressive agenda, but they certainly have a problem with us working together for the republic, as we all understand it.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BECK: Tomorrow - tomorrow is something that originally, a year ago, I thought was supposed to be political. And then, I kind of feel like God dropped a giant sandbag on my head, because as I've been looking at the problems, you guys are so important, you are so very important for somebody standing the line and saying, 'You shall not pass,' being somebody that stands and watches over and connects, for political reasons.
But my role is, as I see it, to wake America up, onto the - the backsliding of principles and values and, most importantly, of God. We are a country of God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right. So that's Glenn Beck, right? Stating his intentions, his purpose behind this - this huge rally today in Washington.
But if you ask civil-rights leaders what they think, they're calling the rally offensive and blatantly political, and they are planning a counter-rally. But Dr. King's niece not only defends Glenn Beck's rally, she will be speaking.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALVEDA KING, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S NIECE: You know what? I don't have to reclaim the civil-rights movement. I'm part of the civil-rights movement. I marched in the 60s. I went to jail. My dad, Rev. A.B. King's home - our home was bombed. Daddy's church was bombed.
And so, you know, I've been accused of hijacking the Dream. Well, the Dream is in my genes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Nearly 50 years after that march on Washington, Rev. Jesse Jackson is rallying his own troops in Michigan. His agenda: bring awareness to a new workers' initiatives for jobs, justice and peace.
And the Rev. Jesse Jackson is joining me this morning, bright and early, from Detroit.
Rev. Jackson, good morning. Thanks for waking up with - with all of us.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Good morning to you.
BALDWIN: And I have - you know, of course I'm going to get you to - to react to this whole rally in Washington with regard to Glenn Beck.
But I first just want to establish - why are you in Detroit? Why are you rallying folks to march? What was the purpose of this Detroit backdrop? JACKSON: Well, the Rainbow Push and the United Auto Works are - and the NAACP had asked me and ministers, a bunch of folks are marching, to put the focus on jobs.
Here in Detroit, which, in '63, when Dr. King marched with Walter Rouk (ph) and Reverend C.L. Franklin, Aretha Franklin's father, it was about freedom and justice. We won those freedoms.
But now, the issue of the job crisis. There may be about 90,000 vacant, abandoned houses and vacant lots in Detroit today; 150,000 people are unemployed in Detroit today. Ninety percent of the children who go to school here are - are - get free lunch. Maybe they need free breakfast and free dinner.
And so the devastating impact of plants closing, jobs leaving, is the real focus of abandoned urban America. We came here in 63, the - the Big Three, the three automotive companies, were manufacturing and making cars. Now they Big Three and three gambling casinos, shuffling cards and rolling dice for luck.
And so the impact here of the need for jobs is a big deal. They -- as we meet in Detroit, there are 27 million Americans unemployed. And the push is for a second stimulus, bottom up, put America back to work, and again create for America, affordable homes.
BALDWIN: Do you get the sense, Reverend, that things have at least improved somewhat. I mean, I was there; I covered the Big Three. I've covered a lot of plant closures. We've seen the empty warehouses.
But I've also read a little about the beginning of a - of a resurgence in Detroit. Have you seen some improvement? Pockets of it?
JACKSON: Well, it's - it's midday in our politics, with the enlightened leadership of President Obama, but it's midnight in the economy.
Here, the unemployment is maybe 30 percent, maybe 150,000 people are unemployed. As the banks have bounced back through subsidy and rejoice on Wall Street, it's not connected - it's not link it to lending, the reinvestment. So for Wall Street, profits are up. But home foreclosures - I - (INAUDIBLE) modifications, for example.
JACKSON: And that - the impact, therefore, is devastating. And so there must be some stimulus.
And I think about the 90,000 lots that are vacant or abandoned homes. If they have a mass training program for youth to - to get apprenticeship training to become journeymen, to be landscapers or to use their skills to - to take up boards and replacement window panes to become brick masons.
We must do something because the unemployment, and the impact psychologically. With the election here two weeks ago, the vote was about 12 percent, and six percent of those are absentee, which means that - that depressed voting determines the impact of the elections. But it's because people that their hopes have not been realized.
And we so march today --
BALDWIN: Right. I understand.
JACKSON: -- of the UAW for jobs and peace and justice.
BALDWIN: And forgive me, but I - I - I'm running out of time, and now that we are hearing about the economic picture in Detroit, I have to get you to react.
On this day, as I'm talking to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the fact that this is the 47th anniversary of MLK's famous speech, right? And you have Glenn Beck, as some have called, a very much so polarizing host from FOX News, holding this rally. He says it's merely a coincidence.
Do you believe that? And if you could talk to Glenn Beck today, what would you tell him?
JACKSON: Well, I really think that he's mimicking Dr. King, in some sense humiliating the tradition. And one can hardly imagine Glenn Beck marching from Selma to Montgomery with Dr. King or going to jail in Birmingham with Dr. King.
Dr. King's focus was on - on how you lift up the poor. His concern really was the point of his campaign. And given the - the fact that 50 million Americans today can't get three balanced meals a day, 40 million are in poverty --
JACKSON: -- and 27 million are unemployed. And whether you are in rural Appalachia or rural Alabama, the need for jobs and justice now are - one sees, I think, has been there's a kind of cynical ploy to the real intention of Dr. King's agenda.
And if he had wanted to be a part of Dr. King's agenda, he should be fighting for (INAUDIBLE) campaign: ending unnecessary wars and reinvesting in America, putting America back to work and building multiracial, multicultural coalitions. That was Dr. King's agenda.
BALDWIN: Reverend Jesse Jackson, calling this "a cynical ploy," imaging - will you be watching this morning at 10 a.m., as we bring this - part of this rally live on CNN?
JACKSON: We'll be marching in Detroit for jobs -- .
BALDWIN: Yes, you will.
JACKSON: -- and peace and justice, trying to get a plan for a stimulus part to build America back up. Put America back to work, free and fair trade.
BALDWIN: Reverend Jackson.
JACKSON: That's our mission.
BALDWIN: Thank you so much. Great conversation. Appreciate it. Have a great march.
JACKSON: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Meantime, coming up here, as I mentioned, it's 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 Pacific, two sides in this debate over today's event in Washington.
We're going to hear from two black conservatives, one who supports Glenn Beck's rally and one who was actually asked to attend but said, 'No, thanks.'
But before you start making breakfast, have you checked your eggs? Making an omelet? We have an important update on that massive egg recall, that whole salmonella outbreak. We will tell you what's being done to ensure your food safety.
BALDWIN: Here's a simple question for you this morning: Who is keeping the nation's food safe?
There are all these new questions because of this massive egg recall due to the largest salmonella outbreak we have seen in decades.
Josh Levs is here with some answers.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BALDWIN: Josh, I know we found out this week that the source was some of the feed that they were giving to these hens.
BALDWIN: But now let's talk - how - how do I know my next batch of eggs will be safe?
And now's the time to talk about it, like you were saying before the break. Because those of you who are up early with up this morning or are looking at breakfast, thinking about breakfast, a lot of you making eggs. And you want to know, when you get up in general, that - well, first of all, if the lights will stay on. But also, you want to know that you will be able to eat food that's safe and healthy for you.
So let me give you a couple facts, and then we're going to hear the solutions for the future.
First of all, this is what gets trick about the U.S. government right now. You know, sometimes there's too many agencies doing different things. Sometimes it's not clear who does what.
So check this out: The USDA is responsible for overseeing some of our food in America, including raw meat, poultry and some egg products. And then you have the FDA, which also oversees a bunch of food, including some egg products. So there have been these questions about who oversees what.
So I spoke with an expert. She said, 'You know what? Now there's a system that's pretty clear.' As a rule, it's the FDA that's responsible for those whole egg. She says the problem is that there have not been enough inspectors. And that, she says, needs to revolutionize now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLINE SMITH DEWALL, DIRECTOR, FOOD SAFETY, CSPI: We think that high-risk facilities, including these egg plants, should be visited every six to 12 months. That's critically important if we're going to see improvements in egg safety, in spinach safety, in peanut butter, in lots of food products that have caused outbreaks in recent years.
LEVS: OK. And you - you think that if that's in place, then that would actually do what it takes to protect the nation's egg supply? We wouldn't see this ever again, in your view?
DEWAAL: We - we might see it occasionally, but it wouldn't get so big.
DEWAAL: And it - it's critically important that Congress act quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: And you want to know what kind of impact this is having on America? There's a study by an economist who used to be a part of the FDA that says the U.S. spends $152 billion a year on food-borne illnesses.
Take at this map here from makeourfoodsafe.org. It's really cool; I want you to see what they've done. They've broken it down by your state.
So just click on your state and it talks to you about the cost of food-borne illnesses, how it impacts your state in terms of medical costs, quality of life, total costs per capita. It's all at makeourfoodsafe.org. So a lot to see there.
Now, before we go, I want you to see something, because I don't want to just depress in the morning. So, you know, food, as a rule, is still completely healthy in America. The vast majority of our food is healthy.
We have this great slide show. Take a look at this. From "Eatocracy," which is our food blog at CNN.com, which is filled with all these beautiful food shots. It's called "Lick The Screen." I mean, look at this, Brooke. Come on.
So let's not all feel bad about food in America.
BALDWIN: Cupcakes for breakfast.
LEVS: Look at this. I mean, come on.
I'm just going to get through a couple more. It really does make you want to lick the screen.
Check it out, our new food blog at CNN.com, "Eatocracy," Brooke.
BALDWIN: I know. That looks yummy. I'm - I'm starving now, officially.
Josh Levs, thanks for not all gloom and doom.
LEVS: You got it.
BALDWIN: All right. So we're committed to Hurricane Katrina. We're telling you the story, five years later. We're going to take a look back at when Charity Hospital in New Orleans was left for days and days, no power, no outside help.
Stay here. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
BALDWIN: With water rapidly rising around them, the staff at New Orleans Charity Hospital had hundreds of patients at packed and ready to be evacuated but they had to wait for days because they had no power and no help from the outside. Five years after Katrina, we are looking back at what went wrong and what the hospital staff did very right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been crying for help. Anyone who will listen. These patients don't have anything. We are their only hope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just asking, begging for help, please rescue us. We are ready. We're ready. Come get us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think we can survive. Just tell, United States, please help us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For two or three days we did nothing. We just waited. We waited for federal response.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had all our patients ready to go, and so we had three days of meds that were taped to their chests. We had a discharge summary telling everything about the patient. All we wanted was the call to say, hey, we have some type of transport. We'll bring you across the street to Tulane, so then you can be taken out.
DR. RUTH BERGGREN, CHARITY HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS: After being here for four days and not hearing what the rescue plan was or getting false information all the time, we started to feel abandoned, all of us.
DR. BEN DEBOISBLANC, CHARITY HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS: Help never came. It wasn't until decided that we were going to have to get ourselves out that morale started to pick up.
We set up a staging area down here so patients were lined up, dozens of them at a time. Doctors and nurses were tending to them here, bagging them with handbags. It was like an outdoor ICU, but with the roar of military helicopters above, and all of this confusion.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I see dozens of Blackhawk helicopters flying around town, and nobody seems to know that we have a need to get these critically ill patients out of here.
What's going to happen to some of these patient it is we don't get them out of here?
DEBOISBLANC: Two of them have already died here on this ramp waiting to get out in this very spot.
GUPTA: Two died here because we could not get out?
DEBOISBLANC: Two died here because we could not get them out.
When a helicopter would land up on the roof, someone would call for patients and we would load patients on to a gurney. We would push them up the hill here. And then the helicopters were landing on the whole upper deck here.
In spite of all of that confusion, there was a singular purpose that we would get out of this, we would find a way.
DR. RODERICK BENNETT, CHARITY HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS: We were basically back to primitive medicine, guessing and treating patients for whatever we think they have.
It was very tough, especially the very, very sick patients, because there wasn't much we could do for them. Just trying to make them comfortable because they were so sick and ailing.
BERGGREN: We stayed focused on one patient at a time, and what do we need to do for this person right now.
As dark and ugly and inhumane as all of this seems, there was also moments of tremendous beauty.
SINGING: You need me, we're all a part of God's body
BERGGREN: We had a nurse here named T, who taught us a song. The words of the song are I need you, you need me, we're all a part of God's body, it is his will. It is his will that every need be supplied
BERGGREN: So moving and so powerful. And I really believe it was that spirit and that sense of all of us being part of something that's much larger than ourselves, that allowed every patient in this ward to survive.
DEBOISBLANC: They say events like this, of course, don't make character, they just expose character. Everyone I saw here had the right stuff.
BENNETT: My heart still hurts for Charity Hospital and for the City of New Orleans. Watching how long this is taking to recover and how it's devastated the lives of a city with so much heart. That's what hurts.
SINGING: I need you to survive.
BALDWIN: The soulful sounds of New Orleans. Take a listen to this.
(JAZZ BAND PLAYS)
BALDWIN: That will get you up on your feet on an early Saturday. New Orleans, look, you've been there, you know it's home to hundreds of musicians. We're going to look closer at what life is like for these artists post-Katrina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do for my children. That's wrong. Somebody need to do something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Five years ago. And here we are today. I'm talking music this morning, legendary New Orleans musician Dr. John. He has a lot to say since Hurricane Katrina devastated his hometown five years ago. In fact, he composed this album. You heard the name of it. It's called "The City That Care Forgot." The city being New Orleans, where his anger toward the government, and he says corruption on every single level still very much so pervasive.
I spoke with Dr. John. And see if he believes his musical commentary still rings true five years later.
BALDWIN (On camera): Talking to Dr. John, singer, songwriter, New Orleans native, often referred to as the ambassador of New Orleans.
Dr. John, good to see you. Thanks for talking to me. DOCTOR JOHN, BLUES SINGER, SONGWRITER: Hey, it's great to be talking to somebody from CNN.
BALDWIN: Good to hear.
Let me start by talking about five years ago. Obviously we're talking to you on the weekend, the anniversary of Katrina. I know you're on the road, as you said, making a living when the hurricane actually hit. When you finally got home to New Orleans, describe the destruction that you saw firsthand.
DOCTOR JOHN: Well, I tell you, my first day I got back off the road, a newspaper reporter Chris Rose took me out to the Ninth Ward to just see where all my friends live and all the destruction and everything. And he said to say something that would be good for the people. And I just couldn't say nothing that was useful. You know?
BALDWIN: What do you mean by that? I mean, do you remember it today, five years later, just as it was or has memory started to fade?
DOCTOR JOHN: No. There's a lot of sections in New Orleans that was shifted a long time ago that I still can't get used to, but that's -- listen, when I look at politics in general, people in Louisiana pretty much treated like people who live in a Third World country. I'm not too thrilled with any of it.
BALDWIN: Let's talk about the fact that you weren't too thrilled. You were overly political prior to this album. I want to talk about this album because you took perhaps some of this anger, on this album you composed with Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson. It is called "The City That Care Forgot," extraordinarily critical of New Orleans, post Katrina. Doctor John, why did you do the record?
DOCTOR JOHN: I didn't think I could live with myself without doing "The City Care Forgot." It was a twist on, the old meaning in the "city that care forgot" was that people came here to forget their troubles. Well, I just took it and twisted the meaning of it. And then go across (ph) and wrote the song about that.
BALDWIN: One of the lines in one of the songs says "the road to the White House is paved with lies."
DOCTOR JOHN: Yes.
BALDWIN: You talk a lot about corruption, Doctor John, on every level of government. Do you think that the lies are still true today as perhaps you're inferring in your song five years ago?
DOCTOR JOHN: I don't trust -- anybody's name that starts with politician-of any kind. I ain't too trustful. I voted for Barack Obama and I'm not feeling too good about what he did so far, about here. I just feel like what's happened hasn't been anybody caring about New Orleans proper, or South Louisiana proper. He was very nice to the guy that was a British prime minister at a time when British Petroleum had just about destroyed 40 percent of the United States' seafood. They got tons of fishermen in Louisiana who have no jobs today because of this. It's going to -- with no wetlands here, no barrier islands, nothing to protect Louisiana from hurricanes, and that's why we're in the position we're in today, and why there's nothing happening.
BALDWIN: You know, obviously referencing Katrina, and the oil spill, kind of this one-two punch for New Orleans in the last five years. When you think of the government though now, you seem still very distrustful. Would that be fair to say? Have we learned anything? Perhaps, are there any lessons we can glean from both the hurricane and the oil disaster?
DOCTOR JOHN: Well, the main thing is Louisiana needs barrier islands. They need desperately -- they need the wetlands. Without the wetlands, there's nothing to protect this, like New Orleans, South Louisiana, we have no chance of surviving hurricanes.
BALDWIN: I know as we talk about possible hurricanes, you know, people are just sort of crossing their fingers that perhaps this year with everything going on with the oil spill, misses this city.
Dr. John, I have to get to music because this is a soulful city and I can't talk to you about talking about music. It's a birthplace of jazz, gave us Louis Armstrong. Compare for me, if you will, then, pre-Katrina, post-Katrina, a lot of musicians still are not back in the city, are they not?
DOCTOR JOHN: That's correct. I see them all over the United States, people are scattered and splattered all over this country because of insurance companies, they -- musicians that owned property in the Lower Ninth Ward, for generations, and have nowhere to come home to and are very heartbroken from it. They don't fit anywhere else. This is their roots. This is their home. We have a culture here. We have everything that they don't have where they're at.
BALDWIN: It sounds like though you got a lot of material there in New Orleans. You've got a lot to sing about. I hope to catch you one day live. Dr. John, thank you so, so much for talking to us.
DOCTOR JOHN: Well, have a blessed day, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Pretty cool guy, right? Pretty smooth. Just like Reynolds, right, Reynolds?
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: (OFF MIC) That guy is the coolest.
Brooke, so much to talk about in terms of weather.
BALDWIN: Go for it.
WOLF: We're going to talk about two major tropical systems out in the Atlantic. One was that was a major hurricane and one that may soon be. Coming up, we'll let you know where they're headed and how they may affect us. That is moments away. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING. See you in a little bit.
BALDWIN: Mr. Cool, do you like that?
WOLF: Cool Breeze. Mr. Cool Breeze in capital letters, that's it.
BALDWIN: Mr. Cool Breeze, Reynolds Wolf, in the house.
BALDWIN: So weather-wise, we're on hurricane or tropical--what? Hurricane Danielle.
WOLF: Right now you just paint it with a broad brush and say, basically, the tropics.
WOLF: Because we're covering -- basically three systems out there. Danielle, which has weakened a little bit. That is the good news. Then we have got another one, that's Earl. It's name is Earl. That one is a tropical storm that may soon become a hurricane, possibly a major hurricane. We're also watching a wave off the African coast. So to a lot to cover this morning.
WOLF: D-E-F. Let's begin with Danielle. Her she is. Winds right now currently at 110 miles an hour. Still a power house of a storm but has weakened a little bit overnight. We expect the storm to continue to pull its way to the north and then veer off to the northeast eventually moving into the Northern Atlantic. The latest forecast, back from the National Hurricane Center brings up the northern Atlantic, where we interact with cooler water and when it runs into cooler water then it should begin to fizzle out. That is the good news.
Bad news, we have another system. This is Tropical Storm Earl with winds at 60 miles per hour. Once the winds are up to 74 miles an hour, it will then be a Category 1 hurricane. We anticipate that happening by early Monday morning. It's going to veer to the northwest. Passing possibly between Bermuda and the U.S. as a Category 3 storm. That is a major hurricane. A lot of changes may take place. That certainly bears watching.
(NATIONAL WEATHER REPORT)
BALDWIN: We're coming up we'll be talking about South Africa. South Africa's ruling party accused of trying to borrow a page from a dark time in the nation's history. Is there an ongoing plan to silence the media there? CNN Editorial Producer Nadia Bilchik tells us what's really going on in her "Global Spotlight". That's coming up here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is 49 minutes past the hour.
BALDWIN: Same party that fought for and won freedom of speech in South Africa is now being accused of spearheading a campaign to bully the media. So is the African National Congress, or ANC, really trying to push the country back into days went apartheid era laws totally muzzled the press?
CNN editorial producer, and South African native, I just learned, Nadia Bilchik joining me on this one.
I want to ask you about growing up during the apartheid era momentarily, but first, this whole issue, this could potentially undermine democracy in all of South Africa.
NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Absolutely. It's very frightening. If you think of this whole glorious time of the World Cup that we've just had, one week after the World Cup ends, the ANC government announces two things. They said we are going to have a media tribunal. This is suggested, proposed laws. And a Protection of Information Act. Now, this has already become a bill. Isn't that frightening? I mean it is post World Cup and journalists-
BILCHIK: Exactly. The global spotlight is now off. And the ANC says we want to curb the media. Now, yesterday I spoke to Ray Hartley who is the editor for of South Africa's "Sunday Times." I want you to listen to him to hear what he says these imposed law, or restrictions, will actually do.
BALDWIN: Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY HARTLEY, EDITOR, "SUNDAY TIMES": What it would mean is that any information at the discretion of a senior government official can be declared classified. And that would mean you can't report on it, or be in position of it. You can't write academic articles on it at university, you can't publish anything about it. And it would carry quite a heavy jail term.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BILCHIK: A jail term. Isn't that extraordinary? Let me tell you. One of the journalists from the "Sunday Times" Mazuli Ka Africa (ph) writes about corruption in Pumalonga (ph), an area of South Africa, and the next day a whole lot of police cars arrive, eight policemen get out of the car, arrest him, detain him for eight hours without a lawyer. He's interrogated at 2:30 a.m. in the morning.
And Ray Hartley says this is the worst treatment of a journalist since apartheid officially ended and the ANC government came into power in 1994. And once again, a great irony because, remember, I grew up during apartheid South Africa when you couldn't say the word ANC, it was banned. I grew up and we only got television in 1975 because there were such repressive media laws. Isn't it ironic that the very government that fought apartheid is now wanting to impose these laws?
BALDWIN: Forgive me for the obvious question. But why? Why?
BILCHIK: Why? Well, this is what Jacob Zuma says. So let's take a look at what Jacob Zuma, president of the ANC, who has himself been scrutinized by the South African press. I mean, you have to understand, the man has three wives. He's currently in China with his girlfriend. There has been corruption leveled against him, according to the South African press.
But he says the media houses need to be regulated as they tend to go overboard at times. He also says they need to be governed themselves because at times they go overboard on the rights. And he believes that he is doing the right thing. But can you see the great irony here? What would happen if you cannot expose corruption?
BALDWIN: That is the role of the media, the watchdog.
BILCHIK: Exactly. He says, if we cannot expose corruption, corruption will grow. So it is going to be very interesting for us to look at what happens. Now you have to understand South Africa has one of the freest constitutions in the world. This will have to pass through great levels of court, and jurisdictions, so we are hoping it won't happen. But if it does --
BALDWIN: Let us know if it does.
BALDWIN: Stay on that.
BILCHIK: It's going to be fascinating.
BALDWIN: Let us know if it does. Also, later on this morning we're talking traffic jams in China.
BILCHIK: We'll be talking tomorrow, we will be going to traffic in China.
BALDWIN: Traffic jams in China. I'm fascinated by this story. I cannot imagine being in traffic for days.
Nadia. Good to see you.
BILCHIK: You, too. Thank you.
BALDWIN: So many people-going back to the story out of New Orleans-so many people whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Now they're having to deal with all the fallout from the BP oil spill. We are going to hear one family's emotional story next. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is 6:56 Eastern. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have no water, no phone, no refrigerator, no nothing. Everything in my house is destroyed. It's destroyed. I'm hoping FEMA comes along quick, because I need service quick, real bad. I ain't got no shoes. They're all destroyed.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, all your shoes are gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything is gone. That's why -- this is the only thing I have left for me, that I have on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Amazing. No shoes, nothing.