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Deficit Cutting Panel Deadlocked; Gadhafi Son Captured; Reno Fire Contained; Herbs, Spices Can Boost Health; Deficit Cutting Panel Deadlocked; Republican Presidential Debates on Tuesday in Iowa; Isaiah Washington Unravels the Reason of Leaving Greys' Anatomy

Aired November 19, 2011 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Investigators in Los Angeles are taking another look at the death of actress Natalie Wood. She reportedly fell off a yacht back in 1981. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning. But new allegations from the captain of that yacht are raising the questions. Wood's sister is waiting for answers.


LANA WOOD, NATALIE WOOD'S SISTER: It's confusing. It's upsetting. Last night when I heard the breaking news, I said "You know, I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm scared, I'm nervous, I'm elated, I'm feeling very ambivalent." And it's just - it's very, very difficult for me. This is a pain that I've lived with for the past 30 years. And now I'm going to have to look at it more closely again as it unfolds, as I will.


WHITFIELD: According to the Hollywood reporter actor Christopher Walken has hired a lawyer. He was on the yacht when Wood went overboard. However, Walken is not considered a suspect. His lawyer says Walken plans to cooperate fully with the investigation.

And a wildfire near Reno, Nevada, is now 65 percent contained. Officials say they're going to let evacuated residents back into the neighborhoods today. Fifteen homes were destroyed. At least 40 damaged. Investigators say they believe the fire was caused by electrical sparks.

And 1,000 Detroit City workers faced layoffs this holiday season. Mayor David Bing says they are necessary to make up the city's $45 million budget shortfall. The layoffs could save the city about $14 million. But the mayor says he'll try to protect core services like police and fire.

On Capitol Hill, the deficit cutting super committee has just four days to come up with a plan to trim more than $1 trillion from the deficit. If there is no deal, there could be cuts in defense spending and other federal programs. But they would not kick in until 2013.

Oklahoma State University football players held a moment of silence last night for two women's basketball coaches. Head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Surna were killed when their plane crashed on the way to a recruiting trip in Arkansas Thursday. A memorial service will be held on Monday.

There was a tragic accident today before the annual Harvard-Yale football game. Police in New Haven, Connecticut, say a driver pulling into the parking lot lost control of his van. One woman was killed. A second woman seriously injured and a third woman was treated for minor injuries.

The Penn State community reacts to the news that Joe Paterno is battling lung cancer. They're dropping by the legendary coach's home leaving gifts and food. Yesterday his son spoke out on ESPN on how the family is dealing with being under the microscope.


JAY PATERNO, PENN STATE ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH: Pretty surreal. It's almost like living the book of Job. I mean I'm not a (INAUDIBLE) imagination. Job went from having everything to having nothing. It's not quite like that. But I think to keep things in perspective, one thing Joe said to me throughout all this is we have to make sure that we keep focus on the victims of this whole tragedy.


WHITFIELD: As for the scandal that put Paterno and Penn State in the media glare, the NCAA is pushing Penn State to take a closer look at its policies in light of the child abuse allegations against former coach Jerry Sandusky.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is in state college, Pennsylvania. So what more do you know about this NCAA inquiry?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. Well, of course we all found out about it on Friday, yesterday. And what we do know is that the NCAA has ordered Penn State to answer a series of very involved questions. And they must respond by the middle of December. And then they'll see what happens next. But many of these questions involve Penn State explaining to the NCAA various aspects of their policies and oversight.

Did they know exactly how their football program was being run? Were the right people answering the right questions? Did the - was the board of trustees as involved as they could have been? Were the students aware of what was going on when there were allegations of sexual abuse? Was the campus kept informed about all of this?

And, again, once they answer those very involved questions to the satisfaction of the NCAA, there could be even more questions to answer. And as you know, Fred, That's just one of many investigations going on here. You also have the ongoing grand jury investigation into those sex abuse charges involving Jerry Sandusky and what other people here at the campus did or didn't know.

As you know, people have lost their jobs over this. You also have the U.S. Department of Education taking a look at Penn State and their federal financial aid may be at stake. The FBI has even said that it is standing by to assist federal prosecutors and state prosecutors, rather, in their investigation, if they're asked to do so.

WHITFIELD: And then there's the future of the Second Mile, the charity group that Jerry Sandusky was working with. What is its future?

CANDIOTTI: Well, that's the question. We found out on Friday night from Second Mile, which helped so many underprivileged children - and of course, as we also know Second Mile is where the grand jury stated that Jerry Sandusky allegedly found many of his alleged victims. We know that that program is now in trouble obviously because of this horrific scandal. And donors are falling off left and right.

And so the charity is trying to decide what to do next. They're looking at the books. They're looking to see whether they have enough supporters to keep them in business. And if not, they have to find, perhaps, other programs to take on their work and help all the needy children that it has had access to and assisted over many years.

WHITFIELD: Susan Candiotti, thanks so much.

On to Libya now, the question is, who will put Moammar Gadhafi's son on trial? Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the second son of the late Libyan leader was tracked down and arrested today in southern Libya. The international criminal court wants to try him for murder for crimes against humanity. But Libya's new leaders have their own plans. More now from CNN's senior international correspondent Matthew Chance.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well the capture of Saif Gadhafi is obviously a huge success for the Libyan authorities. He's indicted at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity, centering on his unflinching support for his father's brutal crackdown on Libyan rebels and the uprising that began in Libya in February. He's accused of complicity in murder, for instance, and other crimes.

Saif Gadhafi who is Colonel Gadhafi's second oldest son is also seen as a key figure who may be able to direct investigators to the billions of dollars estimated to have been stashed around the world by the Gadhafi regime. Obviously officials of the new Libya would very much like to get their hands on that cash.

The big question, though, is where will he be put on trial? There is that indictment at the Hague that we discussed. But Libyan officials are making it clear that they want to try him in their country where he will potentially face the death penalty. The international concern is that Saif al-Islam does not meet the same grisly fate as his father whose arrest and killing last month was widely criticized. He seems to have avoided that at the moment. But prosecutors from the Hague are now set to travel to Libya urgently to help decide Saif Gadhafi's future.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Still looking overseas where it is election weekend in Spain. Not hard to guess what voters are thinking about in a country suffering through more than 21 percent unemployment. Details next.

But first, it's been more than four years since actor Isaiah Washington was fired from "Grey's Anatomy" for making an offensive remark. You may be surprised to hear what he has to say about the controversy now. My face-to-face interview with him coming up.


WHITFIELD: The number of dead and wounded in Syria rose again today.

Human rights officials say 24 people were killed in the government's continuing crackdown on protesters. Today is also the deadline set by the Arab league for Syria to end its crackdown on demonstrators.

Police in Egypt today forcefully cleared Cairo's Tahrir square one day after a massive demonstration there. When darkness fell, witnesses say police fired tear gas and warning shots. More than 160 people were hurt and a police van burned.

This is election weekend in Spain. Voters are picking a prime minister and there are only three real issues driving the candidates - jobs, jobs and jobs. CNN's Al Goodman reports from the country with the highest unemployment rate in the entire euro zone.


AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Juan Jose Carasa has lots of time to take care of his chickens. He's been unemployed for two years. One of nearly five million jobless in Spain. Three fresh eggs help stretch a tight budget for his family. And he says there's another problem - his heart condition, which cost him his last job as a waiter.

JUAN JOSE CARASA, UNEMPLOYED WAITER (through translator): Even if you look for a job, it is very hard to find one because so many people are out of work. The truth is you don't know where to turn.

GOODMAN: He's had to move back to his childhood home. But his wife is also unemployed. In nearly 1.5 million Spanish households, all working age adults are jobless.

(on camera): In Spain's deep economic crisis, keeping a roof over your head is a huge challenge for the jobless. Carasa's family has already fallen behind on the mortgage payments for this home.

(voice-over): It's near the medieval city of Toledo, an hour south of Madrid, where the line forms every weekday morning at the unemployment office. These are the early risers. Carasa comes later to request jobless benefits on top of $570 in monthly disability for his heart condition. Outside, we met Nerea Romero just 18. She's been looking for work as a nail manicurist for two years. Forty five of Spanish youth are jobless. The economic crisis has pushed the opposition conservative party far ahead of the incumbent socialist in the polls leading up to Sunday's election for prime minister. Nerea says she'll vote conservative.

NEREA ROMERO, UNEMPLOYED MANICURIST (through translator): This crisis will take years to fix. But I think the conservatives can solve some of it. That's what will help.

GOODMAN: Across town, this union leader says Spain needs a new economic model. Not so reliant on construction, which during the boom years, enticed young people to drop out of school for good jobs before going bust when credit got expensive.

PEDRO DE LA CRUZ, UGT UNION (Through translator): Young people who worked in construction without finishing school, are now unemployed without an education, making it more difficult to get back in.

GOODMAN: Carasa finally comes out with bad news. He's told he won't get jobless benefits because he's collecting disability.

CARASA (through translator): They tell me no. It's too much. I didn't expect this.

GOODMAN: He says he can't give up. He's got three kids to support and he's just 23 years old.

Al Goodman, CNN, Toledo, Spain.


WHITFIELD: You know the phrase, the spice of life. Well, find out which herbs and spices do the body good, next.

But first, tomorrow Dr. Sanjay Gupta has a new show on CNN. On "The Next List," Dr. Gupta profiles exceptional individuals. This week, he talks to a cab driver turned award-winning entrepreneur and founder of C.B. I Hate Perfume.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can remember scent very, very accurately. Which I'm told from even like really excellent researchers at the Monel (ph) Center in Philadelphia that people can't do this. I can't imagine how they can't. But I'm told they can't. I catalog smells in my head. I remember them. I can pull them and start arranging them in my head without even doing anything physically.


WHITFIELD: Tune in Sundays to watch "The Next List" or set your DVR for 2:00 Eastern time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Isaiah Washington, the actor, was fired for making an offensive remark on the set of "Grey's Anatomy," that hit television show. It hasn't been easy for him to move on.


WHITFIELD: Do you ever watch the show?

ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR: I peek in. I'm not going to lie to you because I love Sandra Oh.

WHITFIELD: What happens when you -

WASHINGTON: I love Sandra. I see her with that Owen guy and I'm like, oh, man.

WHITFIELD: That was your counterpart, your love interest on the show.

WASHINGTON: But I'll be lying to you - I just adore, missing Sandra Oh.

WHITFIELD: Do you ever tune in and say, "I wish I was still there?"


WHITFIELD: My face-to-face interview with actor Isaiah Washington straight ahead.

First, a pinch or two of herbs and spices not only boosts the flavor in your food, it can actually boost your overall health. That's the subject of our weekly look at how to get and stay healthy. Dr. Bill Lloyd, our healthy living expert joining us right now from New York.

All right. Dr. Bill, we're talking about three spices, oregano, cinnamon and ginger. In what ways can these things help not just our taste buds but our overall health?

DR. BILL LLOYD, HEALTHY LIVING EXPERT: Well, this time of year, Fredricka, with the holidays, we're going to be doing lots of cooking around the house. That includes lots of spices. So this is a great time to refresh your stock of spices. And like you said, let's talk about these three important ones. A favorite of everyone is oregano. You can add it to your soup every day. It takes less than a teaspoon. Three fourths of a teaspoon. We know that oregano is very good as a powerful antioxidant and it also has anti-microbial activity.

You hear about the (INAUDIBLE) called Helicobacter that causes reflux or GERD and stomach ulcers. We know the oregano can eradicate that. Next comes cinnamon, another holiday favorite. This takes only about a quarter of a teaspoon. We know that it's very powerful in helping diabetics control their blood sugar levels. We also know it's a powerful antioxidant and it works to stop blood clots from forming. So there's a lot of power behind cinnamon.

And our last one is ginger, another great holiday spice, you can get it fresh or get it dried. And we know it's anti-inflammatory. That's great for people with arthritis. And it's also good as an anti- nausea remedy. It's great for people who get car sick or air sick over the holidays when they're traveling. It works four times better, four times stronger than the most popular over-the-counter remedy for car sickness.

WHITFIELD: So you gave us the quantities there but how about in the case of ginger, like you can get supplements. Would you have the same kind of potency in a supplement or some kind of substitute form of any one of these herbs or spices?

LLOYD: Well, it's funny you mentioned ginger because that does come in, if you will, pharmacy grade. You can go to the health food store or the nutritional supplement counter and get 500 milligrams of ginger in capsule form. It's the dried form of the original ginger root. Now if you have the first ginger (INAUDIBLE) it takes about 1/4 of a root. You get the same power. You can add it to a smoothie with some carrots if you like or you can grind it up and put it in your favorite cupcake recipe. 500 milligrams will keep you from getting air sick.

WHITFIELD: Wow. So next thing you know a lot of people are going to be carrying around little portions of any on of these spices not just to flavor your food but to make sure you get some nutrients or some real health benefits here.

LLOYD: Always make sure they're fresh, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Love that. Dr. Bill Lloyd, thanks so much. Appreciate that. And happy thanksgiving.

LLOYD: Same to you.

WHITFIELD: We'll get a lot of cinnamon and ginger in our Thanksgiving foods. Now we just have to add a little bit more oregano, too. Thanks so much.

And of course, you can get plenty of food information especially for Thanksgiving by going to Also up next, break dancing like you have never seen before. Stay with us.


WHITFIELD: Time for some wacky video, or at least video that just might - you know, it's gone viral. Something that might make you move a little differently these days, right, Jacqui?

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I wish you guys could see Fred over the break because every time before a viral video, she's the one that's dancing. But I digress.

WHITFIELD: That's right. Let's talk about this person who really is dancing. I mean he's taking it to a whole another level.

JERAS: This is B. Boy Steph.

WHITFIELD: Gosh. JERAS: Amazing.

WHITFIELD: You know, this has been on YouTube before.

JERAS: Live action -

WHITFIELD: But the slo-mo makes this so unique.

JERAS: It's like gymnastics.

You know what it's funny you say that I was a gymnast.

WHITFIELD: Yes, yes, so you know.

JERAS: It goes through my head. OK.

WHITFIELD: I won't be spinning on my head like that though.


WHITFIELD: In the air, sure.

JERAS: It's the same thing, right? Look at the way his body moves and how strong they have to be in order to do this.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that was like being on the horse earlier. You know, some moves. How many? 60,000 hits?

JERAS: 60,000 views on YouTube.

WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness. You have to slow it down. That's when you really can appreciate it.

JERAS: You really got to respect what they can do.


WHITFIELD: Wow I do love that. Well, you know, Jacqui, when you're on the road, I'm on the road, you have favorite places maybe -


WHITFIELD: When you visit a certain city, favorite places, restaurants, hotels, favorite, et cetera, you go to.

JERAS: Sure.

WHITFIELD: (INAUDIBLE) a lot of our CNN anchors and reporters have and so we got a really interesting way to kind of allow you to appreciate some of the world's best restaurants, hotels, getaways. Take a look.


NESTA DISTIN, CNN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER (on camera): I'm Nesta Distin. I'm in Duluth, Georgia, at one of my favorite places to relax. (voice-over): The Jeju Sauna is modeled after traditional Korean spots that are popular in Korea. They are affordable and a common getaway for families.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very relaxing here.

DISTIN: A family on tour from Philadelphia decided to come here and take a break.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My favorite part? Swimming in the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pool feels like silk when you're swimming in it.

DISTIN: The swimming pool and floors are made of jade tiles. In Korean culture, jade is used to bring calm and balance to the body. Like spas in Korea, Jeju has multiple hot and cold saunas. There are seven. Each has walls lined with natural elements like gold, charcoal and salt with temperatures ranging from 120 to 140 degrees. The ice room is much cooler. Owners say it's the largest of its kind in Georgia.

The Jeju Spa, just outside of Atlanta, I love coming here to relax.


WHITFIELD: All right. I'm feeling relaxed already. But they shouldn't be relaxing on Capitol Hill because they got a lot of work to do. Congress is still trying to decide on that deficit cutting strategy. But could they use some clever tricks to get the job done without making real cuts? Details on that straight ahead.


WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now.

Libyans are cheering the arrest and capture of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi. He's the son of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, tracked down and taken into custody today in the desert. Libya's new leaders say they will try him there.

Back in the U.S., a wildfire near Reno, Nevada, is near 65 percent contained. Officials say they're going to let evacuated residents back into their neighborhoods today. Fifteen homes were destroyed and at least 40 damaged. Investigators say they believe the fire was caused by electrical sparks.

And Florida police arrested this self-proclaimed doctor. A man who dresses as a woman. He is accused of injecting a woman's buttocks with a dangerous mixture that included cement, mineral oil and super glue. The woman thought she was getting a plastic surgery-type of enhancement. She nearly died.

The clock is ticking as a congressional super committee faces a looming deadline. They have until Wednesday to trim more than $1 trillion from the federal deficit. But could they use gimmicks to reach those goals without making cuts? Listen to what our Joe Johns discovered.


JOHNS (voice-over): Just days from a joint committee deadline to get a deal on large-scale deficit reduction, you might think the capitol is full of hope they're actually going to do something.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): I remain hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remain hopeful that we can meet our goal. And I urge my democratic colleagues to join us in this effort.

JOHNS: Hope may spring eternal but as it stands now, a lot of people don't expect the super committee to get too far on reducing the deficit $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years like they're supposed to. One of the questions now is whether instead of real savings, they're going to come up with some gimmick, that, well - listen to Steve Ellis, of a nonpartisan watchdog group.

STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: It's totally outrageous. It's fictitious and actually it's damaging. I mean the scariest thing is that we could actually come out of the super committee in a - if they don't do this right, we could come out of this super committee in a worst deficit situation than we were that got us into the super committee in the first place.

JOHNS: Guys who know all the budget tricks say gimmick number one would be for the committee to claim it's cutting spending that never really was going to be spent anyway.

STAN COLLENDER, FEDERAL BUDGET ANALYST: The best example of that is, we know activities in Afghanistan are already winding down and that the government's not likely to spend as much over the next ten years as they have over the previous ten years.

JOHNS: Stan Collender has worked for both, the house and senate budget committees.

COLLENDER: So, if they just say, all right, we're going to cut all the spending for Afghanistan over the next decade then according to the congressional budget office that would make it look like we're cutting almost a trillion dollar when actually we are cutting nothing.

JOHNS: Another gimmick the watchdogs are looking for is kicking the can down the road, telling other congressional committees to work out the details later.

ELLIS: So, you committees go out there, come back with x amount of savings, a couple of hundred billion dollars worth of savings on the tax code or 400 billion or whatever it is, and we're going to require that be voted on, on a date certain.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, HOLT: Our Joe Johns is keeping tabs on the committee's progress or lack thereof from Capitol Hill. What's happening? Anything new, Joe?

JOHNS: Heard from Senator John Kyle just a little while, he is one of the senators on the super committee. He says, yes, there was some conversation among members of the committee. We know the Republicans actually had a telephone conference, if you will. But nobody's saying there's any more progress.

And he also pointed out that while they're willing to work until the last possible moment, there's also a provision in effect whereby if they don't get a deal, there will be some budget cut that is kick in anyway, about $1.2 trillion. Of course, Fred, as you know, that would happen in 2013, which would give the Congress plenty of time to go back, change its mind and do something else. So, double-edged sword there.

WHITFIELD: Alright, Joe Johns. Thanks so much on Capitol Hill.

And Wolf Blitzer will be joining me straight ahead for a preview of Tuesday night's Republican debate right here on CNN.


WHITFIELD: Sir GOP contenders are courting social conservatives in Iowa at a dinner forum tonight. It's one of the last chances for Republican hopefuls to make a lasting impression ahead of Iowa's caucus January 3rd. Two notable absences, former Massachusetts governor mitt Romney and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. Contenders at the forum are expected to discuss the role of faith in public office and hot button issues like marriage and abortion.

And then, Tuesday night, Republican candidates for president will debate national security and the economy. Our Wolf Blitzer is here with a preview joining us from Washington for the big debate scheduled for Tuesday.

So, Wolf, all candidates have they all given a green light that they're going to be there?

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: There will be eight candidates. All the major eight candidates will be up on the stage and it will be, as you well know, Fred, a historic setting, constitution hall here in Washington. There will be at least 2,000, maybe 3,000 people in the audience. So, it's going to be a huge event.

We're going to start at 8:00. National security, foreign policy. But as everyone knows and as Admiral Mullen has said, the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said, the economy is a national security issue right now as well because if there's an economic collapse, that obviously impacts our national security and our foreign policy if the Europeans -- if their economic situation deteriorates, the euro zone collapses or anything along those lines. That has major international, global ramifications, national security ramifications. So, we'll be getting into that. And it's Tuesday night, the day before the November 23rd deadline for that so-called super committee to work out their differences on how to come up with $1.2 trillion in cuts in the deficit. So there will be a lot to discuss, I have no doubt about that. And we're co-sponsoring this debate with the American Enterprise Institute here in Washington, the Heritage Foundation and some of the experts from both of those organizations will be participating in the questioning.

WHITFIELD: And, Wolf, all of these candidates need to do well because we're all learning and they are as well that their debate performance is what's helping them in the polls or hurting them in the polls. But is there a particular candidate that really needs to nail this debate, otherwise, their demise just might be short-lived?

BLITZER: Well, I think there's no doubt in making a good point that Newt Gingrich has really been helped in all of these debates because he's come across sort of as the elder statesman, if you will. And if his numbers on the polls, the national polls and the state polls, are moving up, I think one of the reasons is because of the job that he's done in the debates.

Another reason, of course, is because of the flubs, the mistakes some of the other candidates have made, whether in debates or elsewhere, we're talking about Rick Perry and Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, if you will. I think those three really have to do well in this debate.

Michele Bachmann has to do well. Rick Perry had to do well. Herman Cain, no obvious blunders, no long pauses, no will lapses, no mind freeze, brain freezes or anything along those lines. They have to show they're competent.

If you want to be president of the United States, you're going to be the commander in chief. You have to know these national security issues. It's not a learning experience. You can't just say, well, I'll learn the first few months or the first few years in the White House. There could be a crisis on day one after you're sworn in as president of the United States. The American people want to make sure that you're up to speed and you know what you're doing. So it's going to test all of these eight candidates and they're going to be grilled not just by me but some of these experts from the Heritage Foundation as well.

WHITFIELD: Now, Constitution hall, the place in which this debate will be taking place, much more of a traditional theater type of setting. We've seen it in previous debates, including one of CNN's previous debates in Florida that there might be audience participation or even participation from listeners, viewers by way of social media. Will that be welcomed here in this format?

BLITZER: Yes, it will be. We'll take questions from the audience. We'll also take questions on social media. In fact I just, a couple of hours ago, I sent out a tweet, @WolfblitzerCNN and invited my followers and others. If you have a suggested question, if you want to participate in the CNN debate, you can do so. It's not too late. Right after we're done Fred, I'm going back to the conference room here at CNN in Washington where we have a whole committee. We're going through questions, going through various options, looking at the various issues out there. I'm getting smarter and smarter by the minute on where these candidates stand on the issues.

But send me a tweet, @WolfblitzerCNN, with the suggested question. And maybe we'll get it into this debate. We really want our viewers out there and followers on twitter and facebook and everywhere else to get involved and to participate. This is going to be your chance.

WHITFIELD: Absolutely, that will happen. That's Tuesday, debate night, 8:00 eastern time.

Meantime, the tweet universe really did kind a blow up this past week. Blow up in large part because of your participation at the soul train music awards. We know you're getting down to business all the time. But then, Wolf Blitzer, every now and then, you know, you give a go and try to have a good time. Thanks for allowing me to be one of your three escorts along with Brooke Baldwin and Suzanne Malveaux. And then we met a lot of interesting people that night. Didn't we?

BLITZER: All three of you, you looked fabulous. We had a great time. The music was earth, wind and fire. I mean it doesn't go any better than the soul train awards, you know. It's going to air that Sunday after thanksgiving. And I think all of our viewers are going to watch it.

We all grew up at least I did, watching "soul train." So, it was a fun, fun night. We had a great time with you fellows. That was a Malcolm Jamaal Warner in that picture with us.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that's right.

BLITZER: Who - let me ask you, Fred, who were you most excited seeing during those three or four hours we were at the FOX theater in Atlanta?

WHITFIELD: Yes. Let's see. You know, I really was glad to see Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight there. And I love, particularly loved during the tribute to Gladys Knight, I loved seeing the video of her, you know, singing when she was in her 20s and just growing up with the sounds of Gladys Knight during that tribute. That was great. And I'm telling you, a great special moment was seeing that Bootsy Collins. I mean everybody loves a low punkydellic (ph). So, that was fun a little bit today.


BLITZER: And we're not going to tell our viewers about Doug E. Fresh and me. But we had a good time up on the stage.

WHITFIELD: That's right. We just see you a picture there but I don't think it tells the whole story. But you are there again with Doug E. Fresh. And so, people are going to have to watch on Sunday, the day after thanksgiving to see what unravel there on the stage. And who participates in that scramble wall.

Wolf Blitzer. So fun and thanks for having me along you. Appreciated it last night.

BLITZER: Thanks for coming along.

WHITFIELD: And of course, we will be watching Tuesday night, big debate night, right here on CNN hosted by our very own Wolf Blitzer.

Thanks, Wolf.

Alright, an offensive comment gets actor Isaiah Washington kicked off the popular television show "Grey's Anatomy." remember that? Does he have any regrets? His answer when he sits down with me face to face next.


WHITFIELD: Four years after actor Isaiah Washington departed from the hit show "Grey's Anatomy," he has been far from sedentary. He says he's produced two movies, a documentary and he's written a book. And in that book, titled "a man from another land," Washington talks about that offensive remark back in 2007 that got him fired from "Grey's." He opens up face to face with me about regret and renewal.


ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR: I'm very good at what I do.


WHITFIELD: Do you mind kind of taking me back to that moment of when things started to unravel between you and "Grey's Anatomy"?

WASHINGTON: I talk about it in the book. It's really -- it's difficult for me to continue to comment on it. I spoke candidly about it with Larry king on CNN.


WASHINGTON: I don't think what Patrick's doing. Get him here, let's shoot the scene. So, he finally comes in ready to go which is always Patrick. He is always a ready to go enough. And I said, it was odd because everyone's been waiting, you're late. And I mentioned it to him. And I said, well, if you were here 20 minutes ago, you would have been able to shoot the scene and been on your way by now. And he says, I'm not late, I'm never late. And I was like, wait a minute, we've been standing here waiting on you for 20 minutes. So, he's slow or whatever. He blows me off.


WHITFIELD: You used the "f" word. But instead of using the "f" word --

WASHINGTON: I used a lot of words.

WHITFIELD: Right. Instead of using the "f" word in particular about someone's sexual orientation, in your way, it was being used as a sign of weakness --


WHITFIELD: Is how you interpreted the use of that word?

WASHINGTON: For me, the other guy who got on the show and I'll say it again and then qualified him -- he wasn't even on the set, wasn't even around.

WHITFIELD: So, it was never about you calling T.R. Knight, the "f" word.


WHITFIELD: In reference to his sexual orientation.

WASHINGTON: No. It's about the people who had agendas. It's about the people who are insecure. It's about people listening with filtered ears. It's about people who wanted to hear what they wanted to hear.

WHITFIELD: So, a lot of words that took place here. And you said you and Patrick Dempsey, you know you, shook hands, so to speak, over it later.

WASHINGTON: It's been documented. "People" magazine, heavily documented.

WHITFIELD: But then ultimately this would be the demise of you and "Grey's Anatomy." you contemplated --

WASHINGTON: Ten years after I played the character, I get on the bus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gay black Republican. Now I know I've seen everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven't seen much.


WASHINGTON: A lot of people got hurt. A lot of innocent fans got hurt. A lot of people still pining, for Dr. Burke to go back.

WHITFIELD: Whose fault is that?

WASHINGTON: I don't know. You have to look into that. Everyone has to look into that. I've been invited back. I was invited back. Chands Wilson called me. I've been invited back.

WHITFIELD: And you didn't take them up on the offer?

WASHINGTON: Of course. Business fairs never called.

WHITFIELD: You're not on the show. And in large part, you're not able to get the kind of work that you feel at this point of your career you should be getting.

WASHINGTON: I couldn't get that kind of work before "Grey's Anatomy" and with the recession and the strike. That's a good one, Fredricka. That's not it. No one's working. What's the last movie you've seen Will Smith In, Cuba Gooding? It's just not there.

WHITFIELD: You think that's mostly because of the economy and less because of what happened to you --

WASHINGTON: Absolutely. Yes, I work all the time.

WHITFIELD: And, you're parting with "grey's anatomy"?

WASHINGTON: No, I work all the time. I just finished a "law & order." producing two movies myself. Dick Wolf pretty much wanted me to be minute show.

WHITFIELD: Do you feel like you've recovered, you're back to that point in your career where you were?

WASHINGTON: I don't think about it. You have to remember, I became an actor to change the world, to change the perception of what I thought was a negative for an African-American man.

WHITFIELD: You don't write of regret, of any regrets as it pertains to the episode that helped end your relationship with "Grey's Anatomy." But I would love you to read what you were feeling and experiencing around that time.

WASHINGTON: What do you have here?

WHITFIELD: You write about what you were feeling.

WASHINGTON: I was sleeping less than four hours a night, filled with an indescribable level of anxiety; all I could do was operate as a human being. One minute at a time. I prayed constantly. In between G.L.A.D. meetings, writing and re-writing letters of apology, filming PSAs and dealing with what had become media insanity. I was forced to pay thousands of dollars for, quote, "crisis management", end of quote. I was in big trouble. I was now considered a monster. You have this towering black man monster attacking this little -- cowering little human being because of his sexual orientation. And that just is not true.

WHITFIELD: Do you ever watch the show?

WASHINGTON: I peek in. I'm not going to lie to you because I love Sandra.


WASHINGTON: I see her with that Owen guy and I'm like, oh, man.

WHITFIELD: That was your counterpart, your love interest in the show.

WASHINGTON: I would be lying to you if I said I didn't peek in. I adore me some Sandra.

WASHINGTON: My P.R. is going to kill me.

WHITFIELD: Do you ever tune in and say, I wish I was still there?


WHITFIELD: You've moved on?

WASHINGTON: Oh, yes, four years.

WHITFIELD: This weekend, Isaiah Washington is in Ft. Lauderdale discussing his new book "a man from another land." And in that memoir he talks about more about life after "grey's anatomy." and tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, more face to face with Isaiah Washington. And he talks about his reawakening and new passion that takes him all the way to West Africa.

We'll have much more of the NEWSROOM straight ahead with my colleague Don Lemon. Hi.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fascinating interview.

WHITFIELD: He is a fascinating individual.


WHITFIELD: Very talented. No one argues against that at all.

LEMON: Very talented.

But yes, I think it's, you know, some people have a different view of history and that whole situation than he does, about exactly what happened. I think people just are offended by that word and it's time that we stopped using that word like we use the "n" word in that vein.

So, I mean that was really the moral of that. Being in the middle of it, I'm sure it was very tough for him, but we shouldn't be using that word.

I remember meeting him at the, the Huffington Post ball for the Inauguration. So, sitting there, talking to him and Deo Hugely (ph) walks up behind him and soon un-bumps me and chip my (inaudible), they chipped a tooth talking to Isaiah Washington at the Huffington Post ball at President's Obama's inauguration.

WHITFIELD: What was like, you got it fix?

LEMON: Well, I got if fix. But I want to warn you, Fred, and I want to warn our viewers, alright? Because what I'm going to show you is very shocking. It's going to shock you and it's going to make many of you mad. It's undercover video of animal cruelty at some chicken plants. Look at this.

So this video was shot by an animal rights group. It prompted the McDonald's restaurant chain to drop the egg supplier. The company is called Sparbo Farms, says it's already fired some workers and there's an investigation under way right now.

Also coming up a little bit later on tonight, I'm going to be talking with cycling superstar Greg Lemond. He has own personally story, Fred, of sexual abuse as a child. You'll be interested to hear how it came about because it had something to do with Floyd Landis (ph) and the whole doping thing. That's how it came out.

He is a three time tour to bronze winner. He is a three-time tour de France winner. He is going to talk to me about his deepest darkest secret. He is urgent victim of sexual abuse in contacting organization called one and sex. And I'm going to be talking to him later on tonight on CNN.

WHITFIELD: We look forward to that. Lots, straight ahead.

LEMON: Alright, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you, Don. Thanks so much.

LEMON: You look great, by the way, hang out with Wolf. Wolf's angels, freeze.

WHITFIELD: I know. Wolf's angels. Thanks so much.

Alright, just in time for the thanksgiving travel holidays, part of the U.S. getting ready to be hit by a wintry blast. Jacqui Jeras will be along with more details on that.


WHITFIELD: Now it's definitely feeling like winter out there in many places. Jacqui Jeras, with us now.

We're still in fall but it's been (inaudible).

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is. And a lot of place to see here. And look at the snow coming down in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Beautiful picture of the Mississippi River there and a snow-dusted Twin Cities, 28 degrees is the temperature right now. One to 3 inches generally across the Twin Cities, most of the heavy stuff has been up into the northwestern suburbs.

You're getting about 1.5 inches in Bloomington. And there you can see it's going to be pulling out of here probably in the next couple of hours. But some of this snow was record-breaking as it went across parts of the Dakotas and into Wyoming. Look at that, a foot of snow in Newcastle, Rapid City, South Dakota, nearly a foot. And Mount Rushmore, yes, you'll know that one, nine and a half inches of snowfall. So, this is a potent system. It's going to take us through the weekend. Our area of low pressure is tracking up towards the great lakes.

Rain for you in Milwaukee, as well as Chicago and also rain for you as we head into tomorrow across parts of Michigan and that cold air really going to filter in on the back side as well. So really feeling like winter. That's going to spread southward. Ahead of it, we have warm air. Those two things are going to clash together. We'll be watching for the threat of severe weather across the plains tomorrow.

WHITFIELD: Alright, we will look forward on that. Thanks so much, Jacqui. (Inaudible). Have a good evening too.

Alright, you all have a good evening at home. Much more of the NEWSROOM straight ahead, with Don Lemon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. See you later.