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Scrambling to Make a Deal; World Worries about U.S. Debt; "Life in a Day" Opens in Theaters; Warren Jeffs Defends Himself; Atheists Sue Over 9/11 Cross; Scrambling to Make a Deal; Casey Anthony Jurors Not Named; Collecting Your DNA; Brokering Debt Ceiling Deal; Amanda Knox Appeal; A Royal Affair; Documenting Hacking Scandal; Interview With Margaret Cho
Aired July 30, 2011 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so let us get straight to Democrats and Republicans, both scrambling to pass some kind of debt limit plan by Tuesday. Yesterday, the House passed a plan proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, but Senate Democrats blocked it. And, at this hour, the House is about to meet again, this time to consider a plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
We have correspondents at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Athena Jones at the White House. We'll catch up with her in a bit at the bottom of the hour. And then, first, let's go to Joe Johns on Capitol Hill.
So, Joe, does the Reid plan stand a better chance, at least in the House?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, frankly, Fred, probably not. The House is going to vote on this Reid plan sometime this afternoon, expected to vote it down. It will be just a demonstration that the Reid plan as is is not going to pass the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the question is what's going to happen in the Senate, were there any meetings? No meetings scheduled among the leadership, a top Republican leadership aide telling me that Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, doesn't want to meet with the Democrats unless a representative from the White House is involved, because the Democrats don't have permission to sign off on anything unless the president says so.
I also talked to one top Democrat from the House this morning about what he thinks will pass. That's Congressman Barney Frank, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Significant reductions going forward, not immediate, in domestic and military spending; deferring the tax issue for when the Bush tax cuts expire so we can fight over that two percent; and not cutting social security and Medicare benefits are those - are things I think we can look at, including, in my point, further taxation of the upper income, social security and Medicare benefits. I think that's a package that - that could pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So this may look like an exercise in frustration for the Congress. Also an exercise in frustration for the House Speaker, John Boehner. We all know he worked very hard to try to push his bill through the House of Representatives and finally got it, though he had to give concessions to conservatives in order to do that.
Let's listen to him talking about how hard it was to do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: This will be the second bill we send over to the Senate, and yet not one piece of legislation out of the Senate that's passed that deals with this crisis. And, my colleagues, I can tell you that I have worked with the president and the administration since the beginning of this year to avoid being in this spot.
I have offered ideas. I've negotiated. Not one time - not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So, the clock is ticking right now on trying to get a deal on Capitol Hill, while the clock also ticks on the borrowing authority of the United States, which is expected to end on Tuesday - Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Joe Johns, thanks so much. We'll check back with you throughout the afternoon.
So the stalemate in Washington has a whole lot of people concerned, not only in the United States, but CNN's Jonathan Mann looks at the worries around the world.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While the debt ceiling debate drags on in Washington, much of the rest of the world watches with growing concern.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR: I'm worried because this debt ceiling issue has not been cracked.
MANN: And it's not just the head of the International Monetary Fund. People on the streets of Beijing are aware the U.S. debt affects China's economy, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The crisis is not only limited in the U.S., but also in Europe. We cannot say the U.S. is not powerful now. As a big U.S. debt-holder, China will for sure be affected.
MANN: And in Australia, too. TONY MORRIS, ANZ INVESTMENT BANK: Because it makes it much more expensive for tourists to visit Australia, so those parts of our economy exposed to the tourist sector, and we've done a lot and spent a lot of money promoting Australia overseas, are not going to benefit so - so greatly from that.
MANN: In Tokyo, some economic experts see history repeating itself. They compare the current U.S. debt crisis to Japan's crippling recession of the 1990s.
RICHARD KOO, NRI CHIEF ECONOMIST: It's the exact replay of what we went through in Japan 10, 15 years ago.
MANN: However the debate plays out in Washington, experts say the financial ripples will be felt around the world.
LAGARDE: It's an issue that - that really is - is lurking in the background of each and every economy of the world.
MANN: Jonathan Mann, reporting.
WHITFIELD: So, what will it take to find a solution to our debt crisis? Wolf Blitzer and Don Lemon break down all the hurdles and options. Don't miss "Get It Done: Countdown to Debt Crisis," Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern Time, only on CNN.
All right, turning overseas now to Libya, where the government is calling a NATO air strike on state-run TV an act of international terrorism. Officials say three people were killed in a pre-dawn raid.
NATO is claiming responsibility and says the attack disabled three state television satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli. The alliance says the strikes were necessary because the Gadhafi regime is using the media to terrorize and threaten its citizens.
And it's a battle over DNA evidence in an appeals court in Perugia, Italy today. American student Amanda Knox is hoping to get her murder conviction overturned. Earlier, a police forensics expert denied that crucial piece of - of DNA evidence, that it was mishandled during the 2007 investigation. Well, this week, two court-appointed experts cast serious doubts on the evidence.
Knox, her former boyfriend, and another man were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher back in 2007.
And family members and supporters of two American hikers detained in Iran rallied outside the country's mission to the United Nations yesterday. They are calling for the release of Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer nearly two years after they were arrested by Iranian forces.
The two men were scheduled to have a final hearing on espionage charges tomorrow. Bauer's fiancee, Sarah Shourd - who you just saw at the microphone - was released in September of 2010 after 410 days in solitary confinement. Held without bond, the Muslim U.S. army private who authorities say admits to a plot to bomb a restaurant popular with Fort Hood soldiers. Private First Class Naser Jason Abdo is charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device. He didn't help his cause by refusing to stand when the judge entered the courtroom yesterday.
Abdo later shouted an apparent reference to the Muslim soldier charged with the deadly shooting spree in Fort Hood back in 2009.
All right, along the Texas coast, a lot of disappointment after what was once tropical storm Don made landfall. It came ashore as a tropical depression, but it wasn't the rainmaker folks were actually hoping for. Much of Texas is in a severe drought and the rain could have helped out a lot.
Just three months after the world tuned in to see Prince William marry Kate Middleton, well, his cousin says, "I do." Queen Elizabeth's oldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips, wed rugby player Mike Tindall about two hours ago in Edinburgh, the couple now celebrating at a reception hosted by the Queen at her Scottish home. But, unlike the earlier wedding, today's event was a very low-key, private affair.
Phillips is 13th in line to the throne.
And if you are one of the millions of people who submitted your video, well, this is the weekend that you find out if you made the cut. The movie "Life in a Day" opens around the world. I'll have a preview of it after the break.
And, later, as a child, Margaret Cho thought she was just like every other American kid who could do just about anything in life. Well, once on the stage, Cho used comedy to actually tackle family issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET CHO, ACTRESS/COMEDIENNE: For Asian-American kids, I think it's a very common thing to make fun of your family and - and make fun of their accents, because it's something that you don't have. And so you kind of -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: "Face to Face," she's a comedienne, actress and activist. "Face to Face" with Margaret Cho, coming up in 30 minutes.
WHITFIELD: OK, it's the movie millions of people around the world have been waiting for, partly to see who made the cut. "Life in a Day" opens this weekend, bringing together unique YouTube videos to show one day on earth.
Who better to tell us about this than our Josh Levs, who actually told us about it in the first place, when Ridley Scott came up with this idea. So I got it wrong, though. It's not one long, 24-hour period in - in which this movie spans -
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It -
WHITFIELD: -- but it's a depiction of life in a 24-hour period.
LEVS: It covers a 24-hour period -
LEVS: It's a 90-minute movie. It doesn't take you 24 hours to see the movie.
WHITFIELD: Got it. I misunderstood.
LEVS: Actually, I got to see it in advance. It is the - the best time capsule in the history of the world.
It's amazing. Here, take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really love my family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love football.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you then promise to love and treasure each other?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do.
LEVS (voice-over): We'll keep watching this. I'm going to tell you a little bit about what you're seeing.
What happened was people all over the world were invited to take videos of their lives on the same day a year ago. It was July 24th, 2010. Open to everyone. And what I love is that they made cameras available in parts of the world and which technology is not easily available. Then they had the challenge of taking all of these submissions, picking which ones belong and streaming it into a movie.
So, check out this thing here. Look at how many people sent in videos, wanting to be a part of this, 81,000 submissions.
WHITFIELD (voice-over): Oh, my goodness.
LEVS: Totaling 4,500 hours of video, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. LEVS: So they spent months going through all this.
And then, check out what made the final cut here. It's 350 different submissions have portions of their videos in this final film.
LEVS: As you mentioned, it was produced by Ridley Scott, a major Hollywood power player, and directed by Kevin Macdonald. It was largely his brainchild.
He joined us earlier this week to talk about the final product.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN MACDONALD, DIRECTOR: It is a time capsule of a moment on earth, and it's made into a movie - all these four and a half thousand hours is made into a movie that really feels like a movie. I think that's the thing that people don't get. They think it's a series of YouTube clips, but it's actually made to feel like it's 95 minutes long and you go on a journey.
You start at midnight on one day and you end at midnight on the next, and you experience the world in that day. And you laugh, and you - you relate to characters, and I think you cry a bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: And, Fred, he also calls it uplifting. He says it reminds us of our commonality around the world.
WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. It did really look touching, you know, the elderly couple that was, you know, kissing. I can see how a lot of those moments - the two little kids that were on mommy's, you know, pregnant belly. I could see how there would be some tearjerker moments.
LEVS: There are. It's beautiful. Some stuff makes you laugh, some stuff makes you cry. He's absolutely right about that.
WHITFIELD: Oh, that's so neat.
WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Josh. We'll have to look for that at our theaters.
LEVS: OK. You got it.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much.
LEVS: See you.
WHITFIELD: OK, Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of a polygamous sect, is back in court and he's causing - causing quite the stir. And you know that our legal guys have a few things to say about that. They are next.
WHITFIELD: Warren Jeffs, the polygamous sect leader on trial for sexual assault of raping a child, says he can defend himself better than anyone else, so he's fired his lawyers.
Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, a civil right attorney and law professor, in Cleveland, Ohio - and, hello to you. And Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney -
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Hi.
WHITFIELD: -- and law professor, joining us from Tampa today. All right, good to see you as well.
Well, this has -
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: -- gotten very interesting, has it not? OK, so he fires his attorneys and apparently, you know, Jeffs has interrupted witnesses. He's gone on kind of a - a rant in the courtroom, and even going to the point where the judge says he's threatening the witnesses.
So, Richard, did he fire his attorney so that he would have the freedom to do just this, use this as a platform?
HERMAN: Well, I think - I think he fired his attorneys so that he could stare down any of the prosecution witnesses that are put on the stand from his - his cult and intimidate them.
But, basically, the other day in court, outside the presence of the jury, he basically told the judge, if - basically, if anybody rules against him or he has any problems as a result of this, everyone is going to suffer and they're going to die. That's the message he gave to the judge. The judge warned him, if he does that in the presence of the jury, he's - they're going to throw him out of the courtroom.
His message, Fred, is this - he has a religion that's been around for 100 years. He believes that they can rape children, they can molest children, they can have - they can father babies with children, and it's OK because it's all cloaked under the veil of his religion.
That's not how it works, and, you know, it will be a sad day if we get a repeat of a Casey Anthony in this particular case.
WHITFIELD: So, Avery, you see it differently?
FRIEDMAN: What? Oh, my goodness, this has nothing to do with Casey Anthony. I didn't see any relation.
Look, the fact is that Judge Barbara Walther in San Angelo has actually been taking control. She has been advising Mr. Jeffs, look, you're not making an opening statement, you're not generally objecting. When he did object, she permitted the objection, excused the jury, let him rant, Fredricka, for one hour. So she's protected the record to make sure there's an integrity in the process.
Ironically, he was convicted in Utah of related activities, but he had good lawyers. This time, he burned through seven lawyers, gave them up. Now, he's put himself in jeopardy, and I think there's no question but that within one more - about one more week, he's looking for a conviction.
FRIEDMAN: We'll look for a conviction.
WHITFIELD: OK, and putting himself in jeopardy, is it - that pertains to a conviction. He's facing life in prison -
FRIEDMAN: That's right.
WHITFIELD: -- but it also - also, does it, I guess, leave the door open that potentially he could face new charges for going on or, you know, breaking kind of courtroom decorum? Might that happen, Avery?
FRIEDMAN: Well, he's - he's making admissions that can indeed be used by law enforcement to recharge him for other crimes.
It's really - you know what? If the matter weren't so serious, Fredricka, it's utterly zany. I mean, not yearning for a sign (ph), he's yearning for get me out of here, and he's doing it all wrong.
WHITFIELD: All right, let's move on to -
HERMAN: Fred -
WHITFIELD: Yes, go ahead, real quick.
HERMAN: I'm just saying, what - what really upsets me, though, in this case is that there's an enormous appellate - appellate issue here in that the judge released a tremendous amount of information that was provided as a result of a search and seizure based on defective information, basically a fraud call to law enforcement which allowed a search. That fraud call was exposed. The judge said, we're going to allow it in.
This is a major issue on appeal, Fred. Even if he gets convicted here, it could be reversed.
WHITFIELD: Really? OK, something tells me we'll be talking about this one again, because you're still disagreeing (INAUDIBLE).
FRIEDMAN: For sure. WHITFIELD: OK, let's move on to what's going on in New York.
WHITFIELD: And everybody kind of remembers those steel beams being fused together, looking like a crucifix or a cross, and so now a group is saying, Richard, we don't want this being moved into the memorial. Is the issue here, this memorial site, this museum, is going to be in a public government building, and so this lawsuit being brought by this group actually has merit?
HERMAN: You know, Fred, the issue is was this an artifact? Was it found in the rubble? It's a "T" joint that resembles a crucifix. It's been blessed. It brought a lot of - a lot of peace to a lot of the workers there. They want to erect it.
This group is seeking - the atheist group is seeking equality of all religions, et cetera. They believe this basically, you know, just sets up Christianity and leaves out all the ones - the other ones.
You know, I don't know where this is going. It seems they may have merit on this, Avery. They might.
HERMAN: But it's just, you know, sad. Sad.
WHITFIELD: All right, Avery, what do you think?
FRIEDMAN: Very simple, I'm in cross purposes with the atheists. This is not a First Amendment establishment case. The judge, as a matter of law, will dismiss the case shortly.
FRIEDMAN: Very simple.
WHITFIELD: All right. Simply put. Well, we'll see, wouldn't we?
All right, Avery Friedman, Richard Herman, thanks so much. We'll see you again in a moment because we're not done.
Of course, you mentioned - you brought up the name Casey Anthony, Richard, and so in fact there is something more to talk about involving that case. The judge apparently presiding over that has issued some new orders impacting the jurors of that case.
We'll talk about that after this.
WHITFIELD: All right, taking a look at the top stories right now. DNA evidence is the focus of testimony today in the appeal for American college student Amanda Knox. Court-appointed experts said they have serious doubts about the evidence used to convict Knox of killing her British roommate, but police are denying accusations that they bungled the investigation.
And dozens of memorial services to remember the 77 victims of last week's terror attacks in Norway will be held in the coming days. The first service was held in Oslo yesterday and was organized by the youth movement of the Labor Party.
Meanwhile, the suspect in the deadly bombing and shooting rampage told police he had plans to attack other targets but investigators are not revealing what those targets were.
And NATO is claiming responsibility for an air strike on Libya's state-run television. The attack disabled three satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli. NATO says it was necessary because the Gadhafi regime is using the media to terrorize its citizens.
The Libyan government says three people were killed in the attack and calls it an act of international terrorism.
All right, three days to make a deal. That's all the time that Congress has left to raise the debt ceiling. Leaders of both the House and Senate have floated plans but, so far, nothing has passed in both houses.
CNN's Athena Jones is at the White House. So, what is the president doing today to try and twist some arms or make something happen this weekend?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred.
Well, you know, what's going on here is mostly behind the scenes. All the real action is on the Hill, so many of the action in front of cameras.
But the president has taken several approaches. We saw him come out on Monday, again on Friday, to give speeches to put the pressure on Congress, or keep the pressure on Congress, and he did so again this morning.
But, behind the scenes, there have been high-level phone calls, lower-level phone calls - phone calls at all levels between the White House and members of Congress and their staffs. We had a Democratic official tell CNN that both the president and the vice president have been talking with members on the Hill the last several days. We're told that Vice President Biden has been in particular contact with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said that the White House has to be involved in any negotiations to reach a compromise.
And so the president is going about this different ways, but here's what he said this morning in the weekly address to lay out the stakes if the Congress doesn't reach a deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time - bills like social security checks, veterans' benefits, and contracts we've signed with thousands of American businesses. If we don't, for the first time ever, we could lose our country's AAA credit rating, not because we didn't have the capacity to pay our bills, we do, but because we didn't have a AAA political system to match it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So there you have it, the president laying out the consequences if this deal isn't reached, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: OK. So now, might the White House, might the president extend an olive branch and say, OK, I'll spend a little time on the Hill, talk, you know, face to face, or is he planning to invite anyone to the White House for any kind of last-minute discussions?
JONES: Well, not so far, but of course the White House is - is standing at the ready, if people here or people on the Hill, Congressional leaders on the Hill, believe another meeting either here at the White House or to have the president come over there, if they believe that another meeting like that would be helpful in reaching a breakthrough on this compromise, then it's going to happen. So we'll just have to wait and see.
WHITFIELD: All right, Athena Jones, thanks so much. Keep us posted throughout the afternoon from the White House.
WHITFIELD: All right, an anxious wait in Texas for rain from a tropical system, but, after hours, a lot of disappointed people. We'll find out exactly what happened.
And Fabio - yes, the weather expert now? We'll find out what the famous model is doing on that weather set, in Portland, Oregon, of all places.
WHITFIELD: Reynolds Wolf, I think you need to be a little worried about your job. You got a little competition out there. Check this one out. Does this man look familiar to you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FABIO, MODEL: From the satellite picture, it looks like this. Lots and lots of wind and pushing the storm front right up into Canada.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Go ahead, Fabio. That's right, he's doing weather now. That world famous Italian model right here in the U.S. of A. saying, I've got this gig, no problem here.
Well, apparently this is also kind of his maybe audition, so to speak, to be the new old spice guy. I don't know. Are you seeing it? Weather, old spice guy commercial, you seeing the correlation, Reynolds?
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: When you speak about these storm fronts being pushed to the north - I thought he did very well.
WHITFIELD: We need to bring in a little flowing hair and a muscle tee. Will you go that far?
WOLF: I'll do anything. Fabio looks great for a -- he's 52, looks fantastic.
WHITFIELD: I know. He looks great.
WOLF: He really is. I'll tell you. We got some weather out there. Talking about this area of deep convection we have along the inner tropical convergence zones. This is an area that the National Hurricane Center is really paying close attention to.
They believe there's a 70 percent chance for further development. If there is further development, this would be a named storm, this would be Emily. Emily, more than likely will have a west northwest trajectory possibly getting close to the Winward and Leeward Islands over the coming days.
Right ahead of it, not much in terms of sheer, very warm water too so the development is looking pretty good. So we'll keep a sharp eye on it. As far as its possible effect to the United States, it is way too early to see. We'll just watch it for you and keep you posted as more information becomes available to us.
There will be a good chance of storms today especially in the northern plains. Back in the upper Midwest, strong storms, especially between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. could be kind of rough, very noisy up there.
Also hazy, hot and humid for much of the central plains and into the Ohio Valley although, I must tell you, not nearly as hot as it was last week, 89 in Kansas City, 100 in Dallas, 95 in Washington, D.C., 86 in Boston. Back over towards Seattle, 79 and where Fabio was doing the weather 84 degrees.
WHITFIELD: That's why he was wearing the muscle tee.
WOLF: It was appropriate. The guy was phenomenal. He did a great job.
WHITFIELD: All right, Reynolds, thanks so much. I don't think you have anything to worry about, though, still. You know I was just joking around. Fabio, good luck to you.
All right, thanks, Reynolds. All right, we continue to bring you the latest on the debt ceiling debate in Washington. Chief business correspondent Ali Velshi will be drilling down on the issue in a special live edition of "YOUR MONEY" coming up right after this hour.
All right, joining us from New York, Ali, good to see you. So what do you have for us coming up?
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, I am frustrated like everyone else is in America. Misinformation has hit fever pitch in Washington, uninformed bumper sticker slogans have become accepted fact.
Things like, we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem and that tax increases could kill our economy, even though, Fred, there's no evidence that it will and no way to even come close to balancing a budget without tax increases given our tepid economic growth right now.
But pandering to deficit hawks and fiscal conservatives has overtaken common sense as politicians campaign for a better -- not for a better America, for a better outcome for themselves in the 2012 elections, Fred.
We've got a special line up, including Bill Gross, he's the world's foremost bond investor. A lot more for you in the hour coming up at 1:00 Eastern, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, we'll look forward to that, Ali. I know a lot of folks are very hot under the collar on all sides of the aisle over this wondering what is going to happen. And the clock is ticking just minutes away really. All right, thanks so much, Ali. We'll be checking you out top of the hour.
So here's a scenario for you. You're arrested by federal officials. Should they be able to collect your DNA even if it turns out you are innocent? Our legal guys are ready to weigh in on that one.
WHITFIELD: All right, it will be another three months before we know who was on the Casey Anthony jury. Judge Belvin Perry says he won't release the names until October 25th at the earliest.
Our legal guys are back, Avery Friedman in Cleveland and Richard Herman in Tampa. OK, so by law, gentlemen, the judge has to release the jurors' names.
But this judge says he's worried about the safety of these jurors. So he's imposing this kind of cooling-off period. So Avery, how unusual is this?
FRIEDMAN: Very unusual, but the wonderful thing about what Chief Judge Perry did is he looked at public policy. Nobody argued it.
Bottom line, he has to be concerned about what he calls the voicelessness of jurors. He did the right thing, let them cool off against the wingnuts out there who want to do violence and the judge talked about that, good for him. WHITFIELD: And so you know, Richard, many of the jurors have stepped forward, but on their own volition. This is to protect those who say, I don't want to step forward on my own. This buys them a little bit of time, I guess, too.
HERMAN: It buys them time and perhaps safety because of some of these lunatics who are threatening to go after these jurors who don't understand the legal system. He did the right thing. He made some other comments I take offense to, but we don't have time to get into those today.
WHITFIELD: Let's move on to what's going on in the Philadelphia area. Talking about an appellate court making a ruling calling it reasonable that the collection of DNA samples would take place from anyone who may be arrested, even if they are released or eventually acquitted. Is this something that is exercised in many jurisdictions? Is this very unique to Philadelphia?
FRIEDMAN: We've never seen it before in American jurisprudential history. Nine federal appeals court say, yes, take the DNA from convicted felons, but from suspects, a terrible decision, 6 to 8, it's an intrusion of personal privacy. It's an intrusive procedure. I'd like to say it's going to the Supreme Court. I don't think so, 8 to 6,s a close as it gets, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Wow, and so Richard, you know, this is the 21st Century, kind of consider the fingerprints of the 21st Century and this is what it comes down to. Is that a reasonable expectation?
HERMAN: Exactly, Fred. That's the point. The court is saying, as an arrestee you have a diminished expectation of privacy. The government's ability to make a proper identification will trump that.
The intrusion is minimal. It's like fingerprinting. They take a q-tip, swab the inside of someone's mouth and that's it. They get the DNA. Look, I think it's going to be stay. I think this is going to be OK. Federal courts are doing it. They're taking DNA sampling of all arrestees. It's happening right now.
WHITFIELD: OK, and the majority of these judges said that this is reasonable. But the question still remains, that fourth amendment, protecting against unreasonable search and seizure is the argument that still many are going to make, Avery.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, Professor Woodfield, there you go. And it was the expectation of privacy. Is there one -- there's a databank in Washington where the data goes.
Let me tell you something. A cop got arrested yesterday got arrested for going into that bank. There is no insurance of privacy when that information goes in there.
I think it is a wrong decision and it's the first of many to come because we have to see other federal judges and other federal appeals courts dealing with that issue.
WHITFIELD: Richard, you see this going to the Supreme Court?
HERMAN: I think it very well may, Fred. I think it's a precise form of identification, which is a very important objective when making arrests and prosecuting. Therefore, I think it's important.
And, again, I don't think it's that intrusive to swab someone's mouth. You can get a court order for that. Here they're bypassing that step. Look, if it's going to result in the right person getting arrested and prosecuted, that's more important.
WHITFIELD: But I guess the worry is if it's not the right person, that's the scary part.
FRIEDMAN: Right, go get a court order.
HERMAN: Hopefully the DNA will separate and let the right person go. That's the point. That's the whole point behind it. But people are afraid, Fred. They don't want to have their fingerprints in data banks. They don't want to have DNA in data banks for possible future problems or mistakes in the future. The next thing you know, you're getting arrested because they made a mistake in one of the labs. That's the theory behind that.
WHITFIELD: Absolutely. All right, last word on that, Avery or -- Punctuation, done. Avery, thanks so much. Richard --
FRIEDMAN: Fabio was about 5'6", Fred. Reynolds is our man. He's got nothing to worry about. Maybe some hair extensions, but Reynolds is the guy.
WHITFIELD: And maybe the hair fan, would that work, having the hair flowing and all that?
FRIEDMAN: Definitely. Reynolds is our man.
WHITFIELD: All right, Avery, Richard, thanks so much, gentlemen. Always good to see you. See you next weekend.
HERMAN: Have a good weekend, Fred.
WHITFIELD: You guys need to stick around and see a little face to face with Margaret Cho. She is a fascinating person. She's a comedienne, an actress and activist. And Cho tells how growing up she thought that she could do anything because her family told her she was white.
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MARGARET CHO, COMEDIENNE: In their mind, I was white. I was fully American and so I should be into it told all sorts of things.
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WHITFIELD: The rest of her explanation is actually really interesting and actually very funny. Wait until you hear her comparison to Cindy Brady of "The Brady Bunch" and that was kind of the reality check for her. Face to face with Margaret Cho straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: Margaret Cho is busy these days. She's on the comedy circuit acting on drop dead diva and working on a new music album. I sat down face to face with her earlier this summer to discuss gay marriage, homophobic violence and how she distinguishes herself among her peers. Here's Margaret Cho face to face.
CHO: Well, I think for me, I have to create my own work. You know for a minority in entertainment, you need to create a space for yourself because previously there's none available. So for me, it's all been about writing and creating that thing -- whatever that is. If it's comedy or making a movie or even making music, it's all something that I generate myself.
I'm really into complimenting myself and I think you should do the same because I can see you and you are gorgeous, all of you are beautiful. We've got to compliment ourselves because we get enough (inaudible) in the world. I did this radio show and the deejay asked me, what if you woke up tomorrow and you were beautiful?
It's only really recently that I started to get jobs like in more of a traditional way, like an acting job or something. But mostly it's something I have to generate myself.
WHITFIELD: So when you embarked on this career, you knew at a very early age in your teenage years that you wanted to be a comedienne.
WHITFIELD: Your dad very funny, writing Korean joke books.
CHO: Yes, he wrote Korean joke books and he's also a writer anyway. So he introduced me to kind of a creative life that you really enjoy writing and that you enjoy that -- it's a very fulfilling part of the existence -- of human existence.
WHITFIELD: And your mom clearly a very head-strong woman. She was somebody who said, you know what, I'm not into this arranged marriage thing and she defied that at a time that some folks might find really more than just courageous, but maybe even crazy.
CHO: Well, I mean, she is really -- my mother is so funny because she really in her own way was kind of a groupie. You know, my father was a musician and he was playing piano in churches and she would go and like sing with him.
It was this very romantic thing where she was going to marry somebody very rich and it was all set and she just said, now I want to be with my piano player. So she ran off with my dad, which is really great. And then they came to America. You know, they really saw so much racism and so much strife coming here in the early '60s as Asian- Americans. You know, this is one of the first waves of immigration. So I think they really suffered a lot for it.
WHITFIELD: So in what way did they help prepare you for a journey and you already mentioned it being a minority in the world of comedy, which is generally dominated by white men. How did you muster the courage, the guts, the wherewithal to say, I'm breaking through this and I'm going to create my own path?
CHO: Well, I think part of it has to do with, I think, when I was really little, my father was deported. So he had to leave the country for three years and this is right when I was -- until I was about 3 years old. So I was so traumatized by that as a child and a very young child. My whole family was traumatized.
So they really made an effort, because I'm the only member of my family who have been born in America -- my mother would always push me forward and say, she's white! I spent my whole childhood thinking I was white. So that gave me the confidence to do a lot of stuff.
WHITFIELD: So psychologically, that really did give you an armor.
CHO: Yes, because I'm white. They just were like -- in their mind, I was white, I was fully American. So I should be entitled to all sorts of things and so I think because of that, I had that in my mind and it helped me.
WHITFIELD: So was there a point where there was this epiphany --
CHO: when I realized I wasn't white?
WHITFIELD: You said it.
CHO: I think when I was a little bit older, I was watching "The Brady Bunch" and you know, that was such an -- that iconic family in all of our minds as kids and I saw Cindy Brady's braids and I kept wondering why my hair wasn't like that because she was a little girl and I was a little girl. And it dawned on me, it's because I'm not white and I was so angry.
WHITFIELD: You were?
CHO: I was actually -- I remember having these crazy like racial rage -- at like 9 or something. But then, you know, you kind of get over it, but it was a really strange realization.
WHITFIELD: Did it become a conversation with your mom? Were you grappling with it internally? I mean, what did you do with that rage?
CHO: Yes, it was this weird thing where it was something they couldn't explain. They couldn't really explain racial differences because they didn't understand it themselves. They didn't understand what class differences meant or how to explain them to me. So it was really where they were really at a loss, my family didn't know how to prepare me for that.
The announcer said, Margaret, we're changing over to an ABC affiliate. So why don't you tell our viewers in your native language we're making that transition. So I looked at the camera and I said, they're changing to an ABC affiliate.
WHITFIELD: But then you have this incredible confidence and people see it on the stage.
CHO: I fired my manager after that. He said some amazing (inaudible) to me. He said one time, he goes, you know what, Margaret? I think the Asian thing puts people off.
WHITFIELD: You are self-deprecating, you do make fun culturally of a lot of things and then you do this hilarious impersonation of your mom. And I wonder, how did your mom embrace that?
CHO: My mother kind of flipped out a little bit. She still talks about it. She calls me and leaves me these messages on my machine. Are you gay?
Well, I think when you're an immigrant that the most simple thing to do is kind of make fun of your background, in order to separate yourself from it. And to sort of prove that you're not that.
I mean, for Asian-American kids, I think it's a very common thing to make fun of your family and make fun of their accents because it's something you don't have.
So you kind of -- you're like, I'm better than that and so you make fun of them. And that's where that comes from. That's where my comedy comes from, that immigrant struggle.
WHITFIELD: Does that become difficult, too?
CHO: I don't think so. To me, it's just a natural way of my sense of humor developed and it came out of this feeling of being disenfranchised with my upbringing and my culture.
WHITFIELD: Face to face, Margaret Cho is on the stage, the screen, the television. Coming up in the 2:00 Eastern hour, she talks about her experience on "Dancing with the Stars" and the ongoing presence of Bristol and Sarah Palin.
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CHO: They're like the Alaska Kardashians. They're a weird hybrid of entertainment and politics. Not so much politics anymore. I would say it's much more entertainment.
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WHITFIELD: Face to face with Margaret Cho in the CNN NEWSROOM 2:00 Eastern hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now. It's a working weekend for members of Congress as they try to hammer out a compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Right now, the House is considering a proposal by Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Senate will take it up next. And President Obama is also spending lots of time on the phone trying to get both parties to broker a deal.
American student Amanda Knox is back in an Italian appeals court today where a battle of DNA evidence is going on. Earlier this week, the two court-appointed experts say crucial pieces of evidence used in her 2009 trial were mishandled.
But today, a police forensic examiner denied that. Knox is serving 26 years in prison for the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
Another royal wedding in the U.K., but this one without all the pomp and circumstance. Queen Elizabeth's oldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips married Rugby player Mike Tindall in Edinburg, Scotland today.
And the world's most famous newlyweds, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were there to help celebrate the occasion, but unlike their high profile vows talking about William and Katherine now. Today's event was relatively low key.
"New York Post" employees have been ordered to, quote, "preserve and maintain documents related to possible phone hacking or bribery of public officials."
Parent company, News Corp has been bogged down in the phone hacking and bribery scandal in Great Britain. CNN obtained a copy of the "New York Post" memos circulated yesterday, which suggests the scandal may be a concern in the U.S. as well.
Coming up in the 2:00 Eastern hour today, we continue our face to face with Margaret Cho. She'll be talking about her experience on "Dancing with the Stars." And later she talks openly about her marriage.
A special live edition of "YOUR MONEY" meantime starts right now.