Return to Transcripts main page


Severe Weather in the Southeast; Joe Paterno Dead at 85; Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Stepping Down; The Life of Ethel Kennedy; Getting Paid For Sex; Big Money for Gingrich

Aired January 22, 2012 - 22:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Stepping down. Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords survived a near fatal gunshot wound leaving politics for now.


REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, (R), ARIZONA: I will step down this week.


LEMON: Her best friend joins us live.

Sad ending. The legend that was Joe Paterno is now history. Dead from cancer. We look back on the career of Joe Pa.

Anchorman, veteran news man Dan Rather talks politics and the media.


DAN RATHER, HOST "DAN RATHER REPORTS": This is part of the dance of democracy American style.


LEMON: He's never at a loss for words.

Sex surrogate. A 67-year-old grandmother says she's paid to have sex with men as therapy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are getting paid for sex?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I'm not getting paid for sex. I'm getting paid. That is a piece of it.


LEMON: Her story inspiring a controversial movie premiering at Sunday. That and more right here, right now on CNN. Good evening, I'm Don Lemon. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. We're going to start with a severe weather taking aim at a large part of the U.S. And for some places, the worst of it might come in the overnight hours. There she is our Jacqui Jeras, our meteorologist in the CNN severe weather center.

Jacqui, who is at risk?

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we're looking at parts of Arkansas right now, Don. And the last three hours, we've had about four reports of tornados. At this hour, we have a confirmed tornado on the ground. With this cell right here, this around De Witt, Arkansas in Arkansas County. Storm spotters have confirmed that this is a large violent tornado which has been causing damage. So very dangerous situation is unfolding.

We have this line, this whole area that is kind of surrounding I-40 corridor. This is between Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee right now. So this is the area of concern. These storms have been moving very, very rapidly to the north and east between 60 and 70 miles per hour. So you can't outrun these things. You also can't see them. They're rain wrapped. It's night time.

When those sirens go off, you definitely need to take them very seriously at this hour. We will show you the watches that are in effect. So a tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur. And this watch in particular is what we would call a PDS watch or a particularly dangerous situation. And that's what's been evolving at this hour.

There are reports of damage in Board Ice (ph), Arkansas on the north side of town. Several homes have been damaged there, along with trees down. We also have reports of some fires which have been burning in eastern Arkansas because power lines have been coming down with this situation as well.

On the northern tier here, this is our latest watch that has been issued for western Kentucky and south-western Indiana, southern parts of Illinois, as well as into the boot hill of Missouri.

There are possible tornados and could be embedded within this line, but I think damaging winds will be a greater concern. And then the last area that we are watching very closely is the tail end. Look at this line developing down towards Shreveport. A tornado watch may be needed as we head through the overnight hours.

So this is an ongoing situation. Very dangerous, Don. We expect this line of storms to continue through the overnight hours as they progress on off to the east.

LEMON: I mean, also the question on a lot of people's mind, what about tomorrow's commute tonight.

JERAS: Yes. Very concerned about travelers for a whole number of reasons. If we take a look at the big map for tomorrow, the severe weather spread is going to be diminish but we will still have showers and thundershowers, especially across parts of the southeast. And if you are a traveler even if it's not rainy, the clouds are going to be very low so that's going to make it difficult at the airport.

Now the north eastern corridor, you're going to wake up to freezing rain. We had light freezing rain and light freezing drizzle all across the megalopolis for tonight. We have advisories which are in effect, but as we head through even by mid-morning, temperatures are going to warm up enough that this will melt off and will no longer be a concern.

And out west, it's been a mess of a weekend with incredible winds, still more than 100,000 people without power in Washington State. Heavy snow is now making its way down towards the sierras. Two feet of snow is possible in the highest elevations by this time tomorrow. So really getting slammed in so many areas, Don. Tomorrow is going to be really tough for travelers.

LEMON: And if the weather situation needs updating in this broadcast, Jacqui Jeras will be back. Jacqui, thank you very much.

We want to move on now to Pennsylvania and the latest shock to hit the campus of Penn State University. The school's legendary football coach Joe Paterno whose long and successful career came to an end amidst scandal has lost his battle with cancer. The news is sparking an outpouring of sadness among fans and alumni. CNN's Susan Candiotti has the reaction on campus.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the shadow of Joe Paterno's statue, students sang their alma mater mourning the loss of a coach who meant so much to sports, to Penn States, to them. After 61 years of coaching, Paterno won fans far and wide, young and old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe was Penn State. He made Penn State. And it's really a -- it is just a very sad, sad day for all of us.

CANDIOTTI: In the end, the winningest coach in college football lost his life to lung cancer. He was 85. "He died as he lived," his family said in a statement. He fought hard until the end. The end came two and a half months after he was fired as head coach in the wake of Penn State's sex abuse scandal. His late night ouster sparking outrage on campus.

Paterno was not criminally charged in the child rape case involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. But he acknowledged he could have done more to bring the allegations to light in 2002. In what turned out to be his final interview published by "The Washington Post" just over a week ago, he tried to explain his thinking.

JOE PATERNO, FORMER HEAD COACH, PENN STATE: I had never had to deal with something like that and I didn't feel adequate. I've had a wonderful experience here at Penn State. I don't want to walk away from this.

CANDIOTTI: Still some question whether Paterno and the university tried to cover up the sex abuse allegations. Paterno fans standby him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're still going to love him no matter what anybody else said. It wasn't Joe's fault. But we're still going to love Joe Paterno forever and ever. period.

CANDIOTTI: And for some, his loss could be more painful because of questions that may taint his legacy.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, University Park, Pennsylvania.


LEMON: We should tell you tonight that Jerry Sandusky is also reacting to news of Joe Paterno's death. He, of course, is the former Paterno assistant whose arrest on child molestation charges led to pattern's downfall as head coach.

"This is a sad day," Sandusky says. "Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy. Nobody did more for the academic reputation of Penn State than Joe Paterno. He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition. Most importantly, he had courage to practice what he preached. Nobody will be able to take away the memories of a great man, his family and all the wonderful people who were part of his life."

Another major story we're following tonight. For the past year, we have watched Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords make astounding steps towards recovery after an assassin's bullet nearly ended her life in a rampage that left 6 dead. And as our Athena Jones reports, Giffords is now resigning from Congress to focus on getting better.


REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, (R), ARIZONA: I will step down this week.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a video announcing her decision to resign from Congress, Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords had a simple message for her supporters.

GIFFORDS: Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover.

JONES: Giffords said she has more work to do on that recovery a year after being shot in the head during a rampage that left six people dead.

GIFFORDS: I don't remember much.

JONES: Giffords was hosting a meet and greet outside a Tucson super market on January 8, 2011 when prosecutors say Jared Lee Loughner opened fire. Authorities believe he targeted the Congresswoman.

After undergoing months of intensive rehabilitation, Giffords was greeted by a standing ovation when she returned to the House chamber in August for the debt dealing vote. But whether she would come back full time remained uncertain.

Earlier this month as Tucson marked the anniversary of the shooting Giffords chief of staff described her thinking on the matter.

PIA CARUSONE, GIFFORDS CHIEF OF STAFF: I think for her it's a personal decision about whether she feels she can do the job up to the standards that she holds to herself.

JONES: Before she leaves office Giffords plans to finish the event the gunman interrupted; holding a private gathering with some of the people who were there. She'll also attend the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

In a statement President Obama said "Gabby and her husband Mark have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now even after she's come so far Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless".

GIFFORDS: I'm getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Next here on CNN, Gabby Giffords' best friend Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins me to share her thoughts and also talk Florida politics the next big battle ground in the Republican race.

Also ahead tonight, my conversation with Ethyl Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert Kennedy and her daughter, Rory. We'll talk about her new documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.


LEMON: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announcing that she is resigning from office this week a little more than a year after she survived a point blank gunshot to the head. She said she needs the time to focus on her recovery.

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is one of Giffords' close friends.

Thank you so much for joining us this evening. I know that you've been very busy, but Congresswoman Gabby Giffords told you about this decision before she made the announcement. Can you tell us about that conversation?

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Sure. I actually -- I talked to mark. I went to visit Gabby at the end of December and then at the end of November as well. And I had a couple of conversations with Gabby just about the way she was thinking.

And, you know, I have to tell you, Don, when I left the last time I went to visit her in December, I came home and I told my husband that, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if she decided that she wasn't going to run for re-election.

And, you know, this decision of Gabby is really quintessential Gabby Giffords. I think most people's perception of politicians is that it's all about them. And Gabby knew that once she had decided that she wasn't going to run for re-election and that she needed to really focus on her recovery, she needed to step aside for herself so that her constituents could get full time representation. And she cares about them so much and that was her number one priority, to take care of them.

LEMON: It's not just about her, it's about the people's business needs to be taken care of as well, she feels.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's what it's all about for her. She loves Tucson, loves Southern Arizona and she loves public service. And I know she is coming back. She wants to come back to public service, but Gabby Giffords doesn't do anything halfway. She gives everything 150 percent.

And, you know, she wanted to come back in 2012, but if she had done that, she would have been dividing her time between focusing on her recovery and doing her job and she would have had to do both things halfway. And I think she realized that her recovery now is more likely going to stretch into years rather than months and it's better to focus on coming 100 percent back and then return to public service later on.

LEMON: Thank you so much for talking about her.


LEMON: And again, because as you said, it's really -- she is not being selfish about it. She needs to focus on her recovery, but also she wants to get on with the people's business.

I have to ask you though about politics, because you know that you are the head of the DNC, and I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about the Republican primary in your State of Florida in just nine days.

You were actually at Gingrich headquarters in South Carolina last night. You saw the passion of the South Carolina voters for him. Have Democrats been preparing to take on the wrong Republican in Mitt Romney?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No. You know, Mitt Romney has earned the scrutiny that he has gotten. And you know what, I will tell you, Don, I have been through a number of presidential elections and on my watch we are not going to take the mischaracterizations and distortions and lies that Mitt Romney has told about President Obama's incredible record in getting this economy turned around lying down. Not on my watch.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: So, it's important that people understand the contrast between the directions that Mitt Romney would take this country back to the failed Republican policies of the past that got us into this economic mess in the first place.

LEMON: You are so focused on Mitt Romney here, and I have to say just being on the ground that Newt Gingrich inspires a whole lot of passion from conservatives, more passion than Mitt Romney inspires and people would say he inspires so much passion, maybe just as much passion on the right as Barack Obama does on the left. Is he a formidable opponent for Barack Obama come November?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, you know, Newt Gingrich has spent really this whole entire primary making extremely divisive statements and really embracing the Tea Party and embracing extremism. So, you know, he certainly no better than a choice than Mitt Romney would be.

But Mitt Romney is coming into my home State of Florida. Really was this state being his race to lose. He has something like a 22- point lead here at this point in the last polling that was done before South Carolina. Unfortunately, for him there is ten days between now and the primary, and the more people see Mitt Romney, the less they like him.

So with two debates in between now and January 31st, it's going to be really interesting whether he comes clean. Does he release years of tax returns. I mean, right now, he is only saying he's going to release 2010 and an estimate of 2011, that's just not acceptable.

I mean, he is hanging his entire predicate for his presidency, for his campaign on his economic record in the business sector. He owes this to the American people to show his background financially and be transparent.

LEMON: And Congresswoman, that's going to have to be the last word. We got a lot of other news to get on to. We want to thank you for talking politics and especially thank you for talking about your friend.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come on.

LEMON: Have a great evening and our best to Gabby.


LEMON: Next, my conversation with legendary anchorman Dan Rather who is outspoken about the GOP and the news media. You don't want to miss it.


LEMON: Dan Rather has covered presidential elections for more than four decades and now he is covering the upcoming Florida primary for HD Net as host of that network's "Dan Rather Reports."

I spoke to him about Newt Gingrich's fiery week and his convincing South Carolina win.


DAN RATHER, HOST "DAN RATHER REPORTS": Newt Gingrich has the momentum. There's that old song from some light opera "Hearts can inspire other hearts with their fire." And Gingrich has the fire. As you mentioned in your program earlier, he does inspire people. Those who don't like him and then all Democrats would say (INAUDIBLE) but he's really caught fire.

Now if he can keep that momentum going in Florida, then we have a real race here. One that could put a Republican nomination that can go deep into the spring and possibly even to the Republican convention itself with someone such as Jeb Bush coming in at the tail end.

But Florida is not South Carolina, as we all know. It's much bigger state, a much more diverse state. Mitt Romney has the advantage there. For one thing, don't forget a fairly high percentage of the votes in the Florida primary have already been cast absentee. They were cast before the South Carolina race.

So I'd have to say in Florida, Mitt Romney limps in. He would be favored in Florida, but not nearly as favored as he would have been had won South Carolina. I do think that it's still Mitt Romney's nomination to lose for the GOP. But he could lose it because Newt who can be (INAUDIBLE) and ocelot when he chooses to do so as evidenced in that debate where he unloaded with the CNN correspondent John with the first question.

LEMON: Yes. Hey, Mr. Rather --

RATHER: But he's got a lot of momentum going for him.

LEMON: I want to play some of that. I'm glad you talked about that. Because he had a strong week leading into South Carolina. Defining moment was as you said when CNN's John King asked him to respond to the interview his ex-wife gave to ABC. Take a listen, Mr. Rather.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?



LEMON: And we know how that went. He went on to castigate the media saying "I can't believe you would do that. The media needs to stop doing this." And then reaction to Gingrich's response from John King. Rick Santorum told a South Carolina crowd not to fall for his rival's tactics. Listen, Mr. Rather.


RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would say to the people of South Carolina, take a step back. Get past the clip one- liners. The beating up of the media which is always popular among conservatives. Get past the inevitability that the person with the most money wins. He didn't win Iowa.


LEMON: Obviously, he was taking a shot at Newt Gingrich. But is this significant? A candidate especially a GOP candidate finally admitting to blaming the media, which is so easy to do?

RATHER: Well, particularly with Republican primaries, it's so- called red meat in primaries. But let's be clear. This election is not about a nomination process, nor the general election. It's not about the press and whatever anybody thinks about the press. It's about the economy and specifically, jobs.

And it's about how our women particularly independent and swing vote women going to go into the general election. As citizens, we need to keep our focus on what the election is about.


LEMON: That was Dan Rather. And to that point, we're going to talk a bit more. It was the most explosive start yet to a Republican presidential debate.


GINGRICH: And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that.


LEMON: Newt Gingrich exploding as CNN's John King over a question about his ex-wife. Many think it won him the South Carolina primary, but it doesn't mean he gets to claim the moral high ground here. "No Talking Points" is next.


LEMON: It's time now for "No Talking Points."

All right, let's talk about it. Blaming the media, not the first time we have tackled media bashing in our "No Talking Points" segment. Here's where it starts this time, though. A debate, a moderator and a former speaker of the House waiting to pounce and this lightning rod of a question.


KING: She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage. Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No, but I will. I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.


LEMON: While electric his answer really wasn't surprising. He has done it many times before even in other debates on Fox News, MSNBC and other networks.


GINGRICH: I took seriously Brett's injunction to put aside the talking points. And I wish you would put aside the gotcha questions.



GINGRICH: I for one, and I hope that all of my friends up here are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other, to protect Barack Obama.


LEMON: So we can debate whether it should have been the first question. Because conventional wisdom is that it swung the primary in Newt Gingrich's favor. But I digress.

As we have said several times in this very segment, it's the classic GOP move to blame the media. What is surprising though is that for the first time and just this week someone in the GOP, a presidential candidate is acknowledging that the GOP has a media- blaming addiction.


SANTORUM: I would say to the people of South Carolina, take a step back, get past the one-liners, the beating up of the media which is always popular among conservatives.


LEMON: Well, that is obviously a slap at his opponent. However, he did admit it and admitting it is the first step.

The media are fair game, but what's disingenuous about Speaker Gingrich's holier than thou response is that it purposely ignores his personal history and public platform of running on family values. After all he is the man who has repeatedly said this.


GINGRICH: I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman.


LEMON: So a question that could reveal hypocrisy on Mr. Gingrich thus far is fair game and should not be answered by media bashing, unless he wants to change his popular refrain to "Marriage is between a man and a woman and a woman." And that's tonight's "No Talking Points."

We want to turn now to some international stories making headlines.

Search teams have found another body on the partly sunken cruise ship "Costa Concordia." The 13th victim is a woman who was wearing a life jacket. 19 people are still missing. Search efforts are continuing, but attention will soon turn to removing 2400 tons of fuel from the ship, a serious environmental risk.

Yemen's embattled president is headed to the U.S. for medical treatment. The State Department confirmed, Sunday, it is approved President Saleh's request to visit. Saleh was wounded in a June bomb attack on the presidential palace. The announcement came a day after Yemen's parliament gave the president complete immunity from prosecution. In exchange, he agreed to give up power next month after ruling Yemen for more than 33 years.

The Arab League is demanding that Syria's president step aside. The league says Bashar al Assad should start talking with the opposition in the next two weeks so a national unity government can be formed within two months. Under the plan, al Assad would then his powers to his vice president. There is no sign the Syrian regime will accept a deal.

We go now to the big stories in the week ahead. From the White House to Wall Street, our correspondents tell you what you need to know. We begin tonight with the president's plans for the week.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dan Lothian at the White House. This week, President Obama delivers his much anticipated State of the Union address. Aides say the primetime address will be partly a blueprint for the middle class with specifics on job creation. Then on Wednesday, the president hits the road on a five-state tour, making stops in Cedar Rapids, Phoenix, Denver, Detroit and Las Vegas.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Later this week, expect to see the first signs of this year's multi-billion dollar defense spending budget coming out of the Pentagon. For the first time, we will begin to see the first of the $450 billion or so in military spending cuts over the next 10 years. Some of the nation's biggest defense contractors will be watching very carefully to see what money they will get for what programs they have and how many jobs may have to be cut.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Wall Street is awaiting a slew of corporate earnings reports and economic news this week. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke will speak following the Fed's two-day meeting on Wednesday. We'll also get the first reading of 4th quarter GDP, the latest new home sales data will come out as well as earnings from McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks and a host of other big corporations and, of course, Wall Street will be all ears for the president's State of the Union address.

We'll track it all for you on "CNN MONEY".

A.J. HAMMER, ANCHOR, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": I'm "Showbiz Tonight's" A.J. HAMMER. Here is what "Showbiz Tonight" is looking at this week. We are everywhere. The Oscar nominations are out on Tuesday. We're going to have reports from Hollywood, of course. And "Showbiz Tonight" is at Sundance. We're talking to all of the big stars at the Sundance Film Festival.

Be sure to catch "Showbiz Tonight" exclusively weeknights at 11:00 Eastern and Pacific on HLN.

LEMON: Up next, my conversation with Ethel and Rory Kennedy about a new documentary on the life of Robert Kennedy's widow.


LEMON: Robert F. Kennedy's widow Ethel Kennedy was right in the middle of some of the biggest political firestorms of the 20th century and she was no shrinking violet. The new documentary, "Ethel," premiering this week in the Sundance Film Festival, was made by her daughter, Rory. I spoke with both Ethel and Rory Kennedy about this look at living history.


RORY KENNEDY, DAUGHTER OF ETHEL & ROBERT F. KENNEDY: I found myself wanting to tell my mother's story about the life she shared with daddy and the life she shared with us, her children. A personal story. But because her life was intertwined with history, more than that. There was just one problem.

ETHEL KENNEDY, WIDOW OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY: Why should I have to answer all these questions?

R. KENNEDY: Well, we are making a documentary about you.

E. KENNEDY: That's a bad idea.

LEMON: Why did you think it was a bad idea, Mrs. Kennedy?

E. KENNEDY: Rory is so much fun and so stimulating and so accomplished and so great. It should really be about her.

LEMON: Mrs. Kennedy, did you have to watch your mouth or your tongue or what you said because you're talking to your daughter? It's not like you are talking to me, you know, a journalist. You are talking to your daughter and you are very outspoken and we love you for it, but did you have to at times catch yourself and uh, maybe I shouldn't be sharing that?

E. KENNEDY: Yes, I was extremely restrained.

R. KENNEDY: That was you being restrained?

LEMON: That was sarcasm, right? Were you being a little bit sarcastic there?

E. KENNEDY: No. I tell the truth.

LEMON: Rory, your story, your mother's story, your family's story is taught in school as history. Most people think they know everything that happened, but are there some surprises in the documentary that people will find out when they watch?

R. KENNEDY: Well, there were certainly surprises that I found out that I didn't know about my mother. I didn't know that she used to bet on the horses in college everyday, for example.


E. KENNEDY: We were standing in front of a roaring fireplace in the living room.

R. KENNEDY: And what did you think when you saw him?

E. KENNEDY: Wow! Pretty great.

R. KENNEDY: Really? It wasn't love at first sight?

E. KENNEDY: It was. It was. We made a bet right away about who could get down the mountain faster.

R. KENNEDY: And who won?

E. KENNEDY: I'm not going to tell you.


LEMON: Rory, 95 minutes in the documentary -- in this film, can you describe your mom? I don't know if you can do it in a word, possibly a sentence, your mom and the experience of making this documentary with her.

R. KENNEDY: Well, you know, it's an experience I will say honestly it was challenging, it was hard, for the reasons that I've outlined. But it's really an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life and I feel like I gained so much in making this film.

I had a huge appreciation of my mother going into it and even deeper -- deeper one coming out of it. And so I'm so grateful to my mother for giving me the gift of this experience. And I'm really excited for it to -- it's at Sundance now, but to really come out in the world, it's going to be on HBO this summer, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with a larger audience as well.


E. KENNEDY: I know how great Jack was.


E. KENNEDY: You know, if Rory want to be president, she could.

R. KENNEDY: Thank you.

LEMON: Why do you say that?

E. KENNEDY: Well, just because she's so great and qualified like several of her sisters, Kathleen and Kerry. They will love to hear that.

R. KENNEDY: I'm not running for president.

LEMON: With the utmost respect, Mrs. Kennedy, what do you -- through this film and I've asked you already, you said you had no agenda when it comes to this film, but people like me, people like your daughter, many of us look to you for guidance. If you had any words of wisdom for us and for the world as you see it, as a woman who has been -- has had such a huge role in history, what do you say to us?

E. KENNEDY: I think it would be, be kind to others and do whatever you can for our country.

LEMON: Good advice. Thank you, Rory. Thank you, Mrs. Kennedy.


LEMON: The documentary "Ethel" will be shown on HBO this summer.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. A new film at Sundance is raising some eyebrows. It features a story of a woman who gets paid to have sex but she is not considered a prostitute. Kareen Wynter has the story of Cheryl Cohen Greene, a sex surrogate.


CHERYL COHEN GREENE, SEX SURROGATE: I've had many people tell me, I've never been with anybody who could talk so openly and comfortably about sexuality.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Cheryl Cohen Greene doesn't just talk about sex, the 67-year-old grandmother of two actually engages in sex for money. Nearly 40 years ago, she became a sex surrogate. Today, she is one of about 50 registered in the U.S.

WYNTER (on camera): You are getting paid for sex. C. GREENE: But I'm not getting paid for sex. I'm getting paid -- that is a piece of it. But more of the session, we are doing communication skills, touching skills. It's not all genitals where we focus. It's a whole body.

WYNTER: Over the years, Cohen Greene says she has seen more than 950 clients, most of them here, inside her Berkeley, California home. They are primarily men dealing with everything from impotence and other sexual dysfunctions to those coping with severe physical disabilities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought of myself as the ugliest man in the world.


WYNTER (voice over): In this Oscar-winning 1996 documentary, the late author and poet Mark O'Brien who suffered from childhood polio recalled visiting Cohen Greene, desperate at age 36 to finally lose his virginity.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She kissed me on the chest after we had intercourse. I felt my chest was very unattractive.


WYNTER (voice over): This is where Cohen Greene talks with clients. She says she talks with them about their bodies and instructs them on how to conquer their sexual hang-ups. The therapy sessions can include anything from fondling to actual intercourse and range from to six to 10 sessions, sometimes more.

The American Psychological Association hasn't taken a position on the use of surrogates like Cohen Greene, but some mental health experts think the practice is outrageous.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: You have a person holding themselves out to be an expert or an authority figure engaging in an act that puts another person in a position of tremendous vulnerability.

WYNTER: Cohen Greene says the vulnerability goes both ways.

C. GREENE: This is a very vulnerable session we share together. I've had mastectomy. I've had reconstruction. I had to introduce that to clients.

WYNTER: Her husband Bob supports what she does.

BOB GREENE, HUSBAND OF SEX SURROGATE: It doesn't bother me because I know what she is doing.

WYNTER: He was a client in 1979 struggling in relationships due to what he calls performance anxiety.

B. GREENE: For me it was life-changing. She provided a safe and secure environment where I was able to relax and calm myself, my mind.

C. GREENE: The more comfortable people are in any culture with their sexuality, I believe there is less fighting. I believe they are happier people.

WYNTER: People she wants to feel as comfortable talking about sex as she does.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Berkeley, California.


LEMON: In a programming note for you, sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene will be a guest on CNN NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin Tuesday afternoon during the 2:00 hour. You won't want to miss it.

Next, one of the wealthiest men you may never have heard of is supporting Newt Gingrich with millions of dollars of his own money. We'll tell you who he is and if he has an impact on the election.


LEMON: All this week, CNN goes in depth on money and politics. Tonight, the cash behind a Super PAC, one of those unregulated political groups that are allowed to help candidates but technically are not affiliated with the campaigns. A Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich recently picked up $5 million donation -- $5 million -- from one man. Who is he? And why is he backing Newt Gingrich? We asked CNN's Casey Wian to find out.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sheldon Adelson may be the wealthiest man you've never heard of and he likes it that way.

SHELDON ADELSON, CHAIRMAN, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP.: And if you change the status quo of any business, success will follow you like your shadow.

WIAN: Adelson is the son of a Boston cabbie who has risen to number 8 on the Forbes 400.

ADELSON: Bigger is better.

WIAN: He founded then sold the COMDEX trade show into a number of casino real estate deals, now has an estimated net worth of $21.5 billion.

So why is he giving $5 million of that fortune to the political action committee supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential bid?

JON RALSTON, NEVADA POLITICAL COLUMNIST: This is a personal favor to Newt Gingrich. He and Gingrich met in the mid 90's in Washington. It was kind of an accidental meeting in a hall way. They since bonded.

WIAN: They first bonded over Israel where Adelson has poured tens of millions of dollars into charity while opposing the peace process and a Palestinian state. Newt Gingrich said this on Jewish television last month.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've had invented Palestinian people.


WIAN: Adelson agreed. In Israel, Adelson's politics are very public.


ADELSON: For those of you who know me, you know that my political leanings are far to the right. At least on a scale of one to 10, at least a six, until it was too liberal for me.


WIAN: Adelson publishes his own far right-leaning newspaper, "Israel HaYom," which backs conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has become Israel's most widely read paper.

AMOTZ ASA-LOUIS, WALL STREET JOURNAL/MARKET WATCH: So, "Israel HaYom," while perceived as inspired by Netanyahu and backing him in the legitimate sense, in the same sense that "The New York Times" backed Obama against McCain. That too is no secret.

WIAN: Also no secret, Adelson shared distaste with Newt Gingrich for the political power of labor unions. Adelson has poured money into county commissioner races, funding ads attacking pro-union candidates and fought successfully to keep his Las Vegas resorts non- union. Adelson is often accompanied by armed guards even at this deposition in a lawsuit by a former employee.

(on camera): Adelson's wealth and politics make security concerns understandable. During his union battles, someone vandalized his home, writing dead Jews insults and during the construction of this casino, the Culinary Workers Union apologized for a picket sign reading "this is Sheldon's wailing wall."

(voice over): Adelson, who declined to speak with CNN, has given more than $10 million to various national political campaigns, mostly to Republicans like Gingrich, George W. Bush and Sharon Angle. He's also donated to John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid.

As for the $5 million donation to Gingrich's PAC, a close source says Adelson hopes it will help his friend do well in the primary.

Casey Wian, CNN, Las Vegas, Nevada.


LEMON: All right, Casey, thank you.

Are you a baseball fan? Can you put together a group of friends with a billion dollars? That's right, billion with a b. If so, you can join the bidding frenzy to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. We'll tell you some of the big names already bidding, next.


LEMON: One of baseball's most storied franchises is up for sale and powerful groups loaded with celebrities pitching to become the new owners. CNN's Paul Vercammen runs down the list.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The scorecard for potential buyers of the Los Angeles Dodgers is crowded and L.A. is buzzing.

LARRY KING, CNN BROADCASTER: It's impossible to explain. It's a valued franchise. It and the Yankees are the two most famous franchises in sport in America.

VERCAMMEN: Former CNN host Larry King says he's a minor player in the Dodgers' big group that included super agent Dennis Gilbert. There is a powerful Magic Johnson-led investment team. Former Dodgers Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser lead another club. Ex-Dodger and Yankee manager Joe Torre joined with developer Rick Caruso who masterminded L.A.'s popular Grove shopping center. Former and much- loved Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley is back in the hunt. Then there's interest from Billionaire Boys Clubs, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and hedge fund manager Steve Cohen. Possible media bidders reportedly include Time-Warner Cable, Fox, and the Disney Family.

Nondisclosure vows have clouded an already murky bidding process. Initial bids to embattled Dodger owner Frank McCourt are due Monday. The field will eventually be narrowed to 10.

LEE JENKINS, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: So much money is coming into this. I mean, really, whoever gets it, I think the Dodgers will probably be really happy. And in terms of fans, I think it will be a quick fix because whoever replaces Frank McCourt will just look so good by comparison.

VERCAMMEN: Hollywood seems to love bad news about McCourt. He lost $130 million to ex-wife Jamie in a beamed divorce trial and only after did he agree to sell the Dodgers. In the end, McCourt's adversary, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, will have final approval of the Dodgers deal.

BUD SELIG, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: I look at the quality of the people in each group and they're very, very good.

VERCAMMEN: Excellent. How about the size of the funds?


VERCAMMEN: OK. They better be head-shaking rich. Some insiders predict the Dodgers could sell for up to $1.6 billion, shattering the record amount of almost $850 million paid for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.

They are bidding on fame and glory. The Dodgers have not been to the World Series since 1988 and their image was further tarnished by last season's near deadly beating of a Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium.

STEVE GARVEY, DODGERS BIDDER: We want to bring it back to life. We want to make sure the culture from within the stadium is reverent. You cheer for your team and you accept the others.

VERCAMMEN (on camera): Major League Baseball says the eventual winner of the Dodger derby should emerge by April 30th. That's barring any legal snags in this game outside the game.

Back to you, Don.


LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Paul.

We want to check our weather right now. Severe weather system racing across the southeast tonight. Jacqui Jeras has the details for you.

Jacqui, what do you know?


LEMON: Thank you, Jacqui Jeras. We appreciate it.

Hollywood executives are kicking themselves after several of them passed on the movie "Red Tails." The film is a Hollywood rarity, a $58-million epic with black stars and no major white characters. But this week, it exceeded expectations, taking in more than $19 million. The movie tells us how the Tuskegee airmen helped win World War II. And I spoke with director Anthony Hemingway earlier about its appeal to all audiences.


ANTHONY HEMINGWAY, DIRECTOR, "RED TAILS": This is really just a fun classic popcorn movie for everyone. You know, it's really a family film. And I think we are at a time in our lives now where we really want more stories with inspiration, stories with messages that will give us hope.

We have been saturated with all these films. Not to take away from them because we do enjoy them. But, you know, everything now is with vampires and killing and villains. And I think we as humans really want to root for good guys and boo the villains.


LEMON: And again, that movie took in more than $19 million this weekend. That was director Anthony Hemingway, talking about his movie "Red Tails." And by the way, you can see more of this interview on our blog. All you have to do is go to

It's now official. It will be the New York Giants against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl two weeks from tonight. It will be a rematch of Super Bowl 42 when the Giants pulled an upset and ended the Patriots' perfect season four years ago.

New York advanced tonight by beating San Francisco in overtime, while New England defeated Baltimore earlier. This year's game will be played in Indianapolis.

So now you know and you can rest easy. Congratulations to all. I'm sure you will be watching.

I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a great night and a great week. I will see you back here next weekend. Good night.