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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Panic at 30,000 Feet; Grappling with Legalities; What Happened When Trayvon Died
Aired March 27, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight the "Big Story," panic at 30,000 feet. Wasn't a passenger who went out of control, it was a captain. I'll talk live to the hero passengers who subdued him.
Also truth, justice in the Trayvon Martin tragedy. A life lost. But was a crime committed?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE OLIVER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FRIEND: In this one spark incident, that wasn't the case. Race had nothing to do with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I'll grapple with the law with Florida's attorney general.
Plus the Tiger Woods tell-all. He's back to his winning ways.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, CHAMPION GOLFER: It was one hell of a test out there today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And he's not the only one talking tonight. My primetime exclusive with Tiger's former coach about the firestorm surrounding his new book.
And "Only in America," password please? Should employers be allowed to snoop on your Facebook page?
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT."
Good evening. We begin tonight with the "Big Story." The absolute chaos aboard a JetBlue flight today of a pilot's terrifying meltdown. The video from the plane was obtained by CNN's Lizzie O'Leary.
Take a look at this.
Absolutely extraordinary scenes there on this flight involving a captain shouting there's a bomb on board the plane. The ultimate nightmare for any passenger. And of course it needed some heroes to try to bring him down. And two of those heroes are joining me now. Two passengers who as this captain was screaming and pounding on the locked door of the cabin and trying to get back in wrestled him to the ground and kept him there.
Tony Antolino and Paul Babakitis, real heroes.
Chaps, thanks for joining me. I know you haven't spoken about this until now. Congratulations. Thank you for the service you showed today and what you did. But this is everybody's nightmare. Tell me the moment you realized what was happening. Tell me what happened. What was going through your minds?
TONY ANTOLINO, JETBLUE PASSENGER: The first moment that I think something really was critically wrong was there was an off-duty pilot sitting a few rows behind and the flight attendants asked him to step into the cockpit. So at that point, that was a sign that something was, you know, critically wrong. The captain's behavior was extremely erratic and progressively getting worse. So I think those were early indications that something was going horribly wrong with him.
MORGAN: Yes. I mean, he just seemed to completely lost control. And was just ranting and raving. I mean this was supposed to be a man keeping calm, flying a plane as every other pilot would do. What do you think had happened to him?
PAUL BABAKITIS, HELPED SUBDUE PILOT: I really can't say what happened to him but I can tell you what I observed. I was sitting about seven rows behind the cockpit. And I saw this person run down the aisle dressed as -- he was an employee of JetBlue airlines. And the next thing you know he's pounding on the door screaming irrationally. It sounded like he was saying something like there was a bomb or he was talking about Iraq.
He was just mumbling a lot of things. But clearly, my background is law enforcement. I was a sergeant with the NYPD for 22 years. And now I'm not foreign to situations like this, but I don't expect them at 30,000 feet.
After he started pounding on the door, he then -- it was like a stalemate at that moment. What to do. I immediately lunged at front with the assistance of other passengers and we will collectively and cooperatively were able to control the situation in a safe and harmonious manner where we took him down and forcibly controlled him on the ground. Then we're waiting for restraining equipment from the airplane personnel, the steward and stewardess.
Unfortunately the equipment that they gave us failed. They gave us lock ties that were inferior quality. And that further exacerbated the problem because I know that if you don't have a person restrained properly, that -- and especially and emotionally disturbed person, the likelihood of injury has escalated. And that being said --
MORGAN: Yes, and I mean it seems to me -- I mean if I could just jump in there. It seems to me incredibly fortuitous that you guys were all used to this kind of situation and this happened to be on the plane flying to a security convention. If you hadn't been, it could have been a very, very situation, couldn't it?
ANTOLINO: Yes. I think something should be noted though. The copilot of the flight, you know, he really, I think, is the hero here. Because he had the sense to recognize that something was going horribly wrong. And he was able to persuade the captain out of the cockpit. That was really the first step in allowing this to play the way that it did and you know thankfully we're here to be able to talk about it.
Yes, that's step one. Step two, absolutely I think everybody's impulses kicked in when the situation continued to escalate. I think myself and the four other guys that jumped on him kind of all felt at the same time that this is -- enough is enough. And we need to do something. We cannot allow him to try and gain access back into the cockpit.
BABAKITIS: All right. One of the --
MORGAN: Yes, and Paul, what was your reaction -- what was the reaction of other -- sorry. I was going to ask you what was the reaction of other passengers who are not security trained? I would imagine there was just huge panic, wasn't it?
BABAKITIS: That's an excellent question. There was, but in this situation fortunately the other members of the crew that were with me were able to quickly take lead and instruction and we all worked like a team. And it was a team effort. It truly was.
I mean, when we took him down, he was screaming about say your prayers, say your prayers. And he just clearly demonstrated the level that he was just not coherent and realizing what he was doing or saying. We isolated him. We contained him. We prevented other passengers from getting injured. And fortunately, again, with the copilot's assistance and the crew staff we were able to contain the situation until the plane safely landed.
MORGAN: Yes, and Tony, once the plane landed, what was the next move?
ANTOLINO: Well, we were physically on top of this guy for about 20 minutes while the plane was descending. Four guys literally on top of this guy. You know he's a pretty big guy. He was about 6'3" or 6'4" so once we landed we stayed on top of him until the authorities came on board. They handcuffed him, strapped him further and then carried him off the plane, put him on a stretcher and took him down the steps.
MORGAN: We're actually watching pictures -- yes, we're actually watching the pictures of that. Him being stretchered off the plane with obviously the crisis now averted.
I mean was there a moment when you guys were sitting on top of him, Paul, when given his size and his crazed condition, did you fear that he could break free and that, you know, everyone's lives would be in serious danger?
BABAKITIS: Piers, absolutely. That was my main concern. Because while we were restraining him, he was giving this illusion that he wasn't going to do anything. And I knew from history and, you know, from my experience in dealing with emotionally disturbed people, they're just recharging their energy to have an outburst. And that's exactly what happened.
Just prior to landing the plane when -- I mean you have to picture this. We're talking about a person that's about 6'3," 6'4," over 250 pounds, solid as a rock. And just a very controlled person that was bent on doing whatever he wanted to do.
BABAKITIS: He acted up again. Terrifying, absolutely. And as the wheels were about to touch the tarmac, that's when he acted up again. And he said emergency landing, emergency landing, and tried to break free. So fortunately again, because -- think about this. Holding the person down for 15, 20 minutes in one position --
ANTOLINO: It's exhausting.
BABAKITIS: It's exhausting.
BABAKITIS: We -- but it was -- you know, again, fortunately we were able to do it. And that's what it was all about. It was a great effort this afternoon.
MORGAN: How did you -- how did you both feel when -- I was going to say. There were no casualties thanks to your heroism. When it was all over and he'd been stretchered away and was off the plane, and you came off the plane, how were you feeling? I mean physically exhausted, I would imagine emotionally exhausted. But what were your feelings as you came off?
ANTOLINO: You know, I have to say I think we're really just very thankful. Again just thankful for the quick response and reaction and impulses by everybody involved from the copilot to Paul and the other guys that jumped in. You know, really just very, very thankful. This could have had a horrific outcome. So I'm very, very thankful.
MORGAN: And Paul, I would imagine -- two obvious questions, Paul, I love to give you. One is, have you had any drink coupons from JetBlue to say thank you yet?
BABAKITIS: No. No drink coupons yet.
MORGAN: Well, if anyone from JetBlue is watching, get these guys some coupons. And secondly, I'd imagine your fees as potential speakers at the security convention may have just gone through the roof. And if they're not, I want to be your agent. BABAKITIS: Well, I appreciate that, Piers.
ANTOLINO: Thanks, Piers.
BABAKITIS: That's a very kind of thought that you have. And, you know, again -- you know, again, after retiring from the NYPD, we have a company now, we do private investigates in New York City. PGB Executive Investigations. And these are the things that we're doing. We said we help people. And in this case fortunately it was a plane load and everybody was happy. And thankfully JetBlue, also were -- you know, the staff was there to help as well. Or this could really have been a horrific situation.
MORGAN: I mean, have you heard from anybody high up at the airline?
ANTOLINO: No, not as of yet.
BABAKITIS: No. No.
MORGAN: Well, that seems rather remissive, JetBlue. So can I suggest if anybody is watching, they'd call these guys right now and thank them profusely because as far as I'm concerned, Paul Babakitis and Tony Antolino, you are all-American heroes today and you saved this plane probably from going down with all the passengers on board with your extraordinary courage on that flight.
And I thank you and I think America thanks you. And thank you for joining me on the show. I really appreciate it.
ANTOLINO: Thanks for having us.
BABAKITIS: Piers, thank you for your kind words.
MORGAN: Well, thank you. And it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you very much.
Two extraordinary men there showing the kind of heroism that makes America what it is.
Coming up, the search for truth in the Trayvon Martin case. Florida's attorney general weighs in on that and the battle over Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Trayvon was our son. But Trayvon is your son. A lot of people can relate to our situation. And it breaks their heart just like it breaks mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin's mother speaking emotionally to Congress today. And joining me now the woman in the center of the two biggest stories in the day. The Trayvon Martin case and the Supreme Court debate over health care reform. And she is Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi, the state's official lead plaintiff in the health care case.
Welcome, Pam Bondi. Let's start with the Trayvon Martin case. You saw his mother there. Obviously very emotional. It's been an appalling few weeks for her. What do you make of the debate? Not the issue of whether there was a racial element, but the issue of whether the "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida has been exposed through this case as deeply flawed.
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, Piers, first let me tell you. I've spoken to Trayvon's parents. They are amazing, sweet, kind people. My heart goes out to them. I'm actually friends with their attorneys Ben Crump and Daryl Parks. They're wonderful lawyers who are representing them.
What my -- I have no legal role as attorney general in the state of Florida. That authority is left to the state attorneys. But what I did do was I discussed with the governor the appointment of Angela Corey, a special prosecutor in Jacksonville who's well removed from the case. She's absolutely excellent. And the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are now involved in the case.
The reason, Piers, I can't comment on "Stand Your Ground", whether that applies here because there are too many unanswered questions. And, you know, that's why the family is rightfully upset. When you have an innocent 17-year-old boy walking home with Skittles and an iced tea and he's killed, you have to have answers, not questions. And that's what we need in our state.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, look, I am encouraged by what you're saying. It's good that a senior lawmaker in Florida is saying all this, but in the end, you know, I remain like many people absolutely bemused that somebody can shoot somebody in cold blood, an unarmed young teenager.
And so, I mean, I just think with your legal training and your legal background on what appears to be a very empathetic attitude towards this case, it might be quite powerful for the attorney general of Florida to say publicly, you know what? This guy should be arrested. He should be interviewed under caution and he should, if necessary, face charges. But he should be at stage one of the legal process of being under arrest.
BONDI: Well, what we've done is appoint a special prosecutor. And that's what she's doing. Conducting a thorough investigation because we need to get Trayvon's girlfriend to cooperate which I don't know if was happening previously. And they may have had good reason for that. But she's cooperating now. And again, a thorough investigation is being done to ensure that justice is sought for that family.
But you can't make an arrest until you interview all the witnesses, Piers. Nor do you want that to happen because a speedy trial could run. And -- then that's -- we don't want that to happen. And all I can tell you is we have a great prosecutor on the case. We have great law enforcement agencies. The Department of Justice is looking at this. And I firmly believe as you do that we need to have justice for the death of this innocent young man who was walking home to watch a basketball game with Skittles and an iced tea.
MORGAN: Well said. Let's move on, Pam Bondi, to the second big story that involves you again today. You seem to be the center of everything today. And this is the whole issue of health care in the Supreme Court. There's a sense from the legal experts this is not going Barack Obama's way.
I would imagine you as a Republican who's been pretty outspoken about this would be pretty keen to see it not go his way. What is your sense from the legal perspective of the way things are unfurling here?
BONDI: Today the individual mandate was heard. And the justices -- eight of the justices asked very compelling questions. And I feel they were very encouraging questions for us. And you know, this is such an overreach by the federal government.
And the two ways in which the federal government can legally do this is under the Commerce Clause, meaning they can force us to purchase a product if we are participating in commerce. Here they're forcing every American, every single American to purchase health insurance simply by being alive. By not participating in commerce.
The second way they could force us to purchase it is under their taxing power. Yet the president of the United States, of course, has said multiple times this is not a tax as well as his budget director just testified in front of Congress several weeks ago saying this is not a tax. So in order for this mandate to be upheld, it would be the greatest stretch, the greatest overreach of federal authority in the history of our country.
And that's why it's so much more than health care. Piers, I firmly believe we need tremendous health care reform. But it has to be done in a constitutional way. And this isn't the way to do it.
MORGAN: Pam Bondi, thank you very much, indeed.
BONDI: Thank you, Piers. It was great to talk to you.
MORGAN: Now back to the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman isn't talking about what happened that night. But his friend Joe Oliver is. And he joins me tonight.
Joe Oliver, obviously a very difficult time for George Zimmerman, for friends of his like you, for his family. But not as difficult a time as it is clearly for Trayvon Martin's friends and family. What is your personal emotional reaction to what they're going through and if I can ask you a difficult question, if this was your son who have been killed in these circumstances, would you not want to at least see an arrest and a legal process to go through that could determine the truth of what happened? OLIVER: You know, first of all, my heart goes out to the Martin family because I have an 18-year-old son. And so I can't imagine what it was like to get that news. I know that in the past that I have had reason to fear for my own son's life. And thankfully he's well now, but in this particular instance, I believe what has happened has from the very beginning been mischaracterized as a racial incident.
And more information is coming out that is becoming public that is validating that for a lot of people. And on the other hand because, you know, this has not been the most forthcoming investigation. Because we've only had half of the story that's out there and the reaction to it, I mean, we're having to -- we're seeing now the reaction when this information is coming out. The evidence is not --
MORGAN: Well, I mean -- hang on. I mean, Joe, I mean, Joe. Joe Oliver, there are different pieces of information coming out. Some are helpful to your friend. As yesterday information leaked from the police which suggested that he had been attacked by Trayvon Martin. Today we hear in other information leaked, I think to ABC, that in fact Trayvon Martin -- you know -- if you -- I suppose the question I'll ask you is this.
What is the truth as George Zimmerman sees it? Why hasn't he said before what happened? Why are we only hearing now this leaked information? You know ABC has been reporting that apparently he -- the police on the night wanted to charge him with manslaughter. George Zimmerman has told the police before that he believes he was attacked. Why are we only hearing all this stuff now? What do you really believe happened?
OLIVER: Well, I believe what George has told me happened. First and foremost. Second of all, I don't understand why all this information has taken so long to come out myself. I've had experience with Florida law enforcement as a journalist here in central Florida in the past. And as we saw with the Casey Anthony case, there was a preponderance of evidence that was released to the public to the effect that she was essentially convicted before the trial even started.
I mean I think that if George Zimmerman had been arrested, then we would have seen more of this evidence come out.
MORGAN: I mean, does he feel that -- when did you last speak to George?
MORGAN: Does he feel it would have been easier now for him to have been arrested?
OLIVER: I haven't spoken with him about that. I have spoken with his attorney that he's asked to help him with this, Craig Sonner, who he believes that the best thing that might have happened would have been to arrest George to start that clock. So we could get that information out. And so that we could get the truth out.
MORGAN: I mean, again, I suppose I come back to -- forget the racial part of this for a moment. Let's concentrate on the law. The "Stand Your Ground" law which has allowed somebody, your friend in this case, to shoot somebody at point blank range. Forget, as I say, the race element to this which may or may not be proven in time.
But the fact that somebody could shoot a 17-year-old boy who is armed with just a pack of Skittles and not even be arrested, doesn't that say to you there's something wrong fundamentally with that law and it ought to be amended?
OLIVER: If that was all that this story was, I agree with you 100 percent. If I didn't know George Zimmerman, I'd be just as outraged as everyone else out there. Because I'm very familiar with the history of the Sanford Police Department and its racial relations. I've covered stories like this where white men have shot and killed a black teenager and claimed self-defense.
In this particular instance, I believe that when all of the evidence comes out, this will clearly show this was a case of life or death for either Trayvon or George. And sadly, for the Martin family, it was Trayvon that we lost. But we've also lost George, too. I mean, he will never be the same man. He will never be the kind, giving, caring human being that we've always known and loved.
I mean, he is -- he is so distraught about this. He has been diagnosed with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression. He can't sleep. He can't eat. He cried for days after this happened. So, I mean, in my heart of hearts I know that a good man was trying to do the right thing and something horribly wrong happened.
MORGAN: I mean final question for you, Joe. He was -- when he called the emergency services to report what he said was a suspicious person walking around, he was specifically told do not pursue him. And he decided to pursue him with a loaded firearm. With hindsight, that was clearly a catastrophic error of judgment on his part, wasn't it?
OLIVER: And here's what the evidence is going to show. That's the story that had come out in the very beginning. Just like the false story that George is a white male which started all of this file storm in all of the protests. Because of those fears and concerns that there was a white man that was going to get away with killing a black child.
But as we've -- as this evidences have come out, we've learned that Trayvon is a 6'2" tall young man and that George Zimmerman that I already knew is only 5'8" and weighs 170 pounds. Not like the 250 pounds that was reported when he was arrested seven years ago for coming to the aid of a friend at that time as well.
This is a case where as the information comes out, because it's taken so long to get out, too many people are going to see it as not credible. And the main reason why they're going to see it as not credible is because of the history of the Sanford Police Department. MORGAN: Well, Joe. I appreciate you coming on. I hope we can talk again about this. It is a very contentious case and is important to keep emotions at a certain level and keep the facts at a higher level. And I appreciate and understand that. And I thank you for joining me.
OLIVER: Thank you, Piers. And I just want to make it clear, absolutely clear, that this was not a case of race or profiling. This was a case of a man whose neighborhood had been victimized by numerous crimes and he saw a suspicious individual. And he did what he thought was the right thing and again it turned out horribly wrong.
MORGAN: I mean, that may be so and the grand jury I'm sure will determine that. One thing's for sure, though, Trayvon Martin is dead here and there's a family grieving. But as I say, Joe Oliver, I thank you for joining me.
OLIVER: You're welcome. Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, big trouble for Obamacare. Will the Supreme Court strike down the law. I'll ask a man who knows Washington from both sides of the aisle, Arlen Specter. I also wanted to weigh in on keeping America great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARLEN SPECTER, FORMER SENATOR: In some quarters, compromise has become a dirty word. Senators insist on ideological purity as a precondition.
Notwithstanding the perils, it is my hope that more senators will return to independence of voting and crossing party lines evident 30 years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Arlen Specter's farewell after 30 years in the Senate, starting as a Republican and switching to the Democrats in 2010. He played a key role in passing President Obama's health care reform legislation. He's a man who knows a lot about the workings of Washington and about keeping America great.
And he joins me now for his first prime time interview. Arlen Specter author of the provocatively titled "Life Among the Cannibals, A Political Career, A Tea Party Uprising, and the End of Governing as We Know It."
It all sounds very apocalyptic, Arlen Specter, this book.
SPECTER: Piers, this book characterizes and describes what is wrong with extremism in Washington, what has caused the gridlock, and has a suggestion on how to deal with it.
This book is about cannibals devouring senators. And I'm very specific. Bob Bennett was devoured in Utah, couldn't win a Republican primary notwithstanding the fact that he had a 93 percent conservative rating.
On the Democratic side, excellent senator like Joe Lieberman couldn't win a Democratic primary. The experience of Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska shows the way out. Lisa --
MORGAN: Who are the cannibals?
SPECTER: The cannibals are the Tea Party, are the Club for Growth. I'm very specific in this book, led by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. They have -- they beat Lisa Murkowski in the primary. She then ran a campaign on a write in, unprecedented in American history, especially with a name like Murkowski. You misspell it with a Y instead of an I, the ballot is thrown out.
She was able to demonstrate that if you appoint the electorate with a problem and you motivate them to come out, they can take back the center. And you can get a Congress which will be functional. And --
MORGAN: Let me ask you, Arlen. I mean, you obviously jumped ship from the Republicans to the Democrats. And the Democrats just reading some of the lines from your book pretty well betrayed, I guess, what you thought they were going to do with you in terms of support.
So I understand why you would feel pretty peeved off with them all. But isn't the reality, as Harry Truman famously said, if you want a friend in Washington, get yourself a dog. Isn't that the reality?
SPECTER: Piers, I'm not talking about the dogs. And I'm not talking about what happened to me. I'm talking about what has happened to the country. You have the fringes of both parties having taken control. And you have gridlock. And you have the important issues of the government not being taken care of.
Now what are we going to do about it? And we have an electorate which essentially doesn't vote, doesn't come out. The primary process on the Republican nomination, for example, has driven so far to the right, they're off the boards.
And I know what goes on behind the scenes. I've been in both caucuses, Democrats and Republicans. I know where the bodies were buried. And there -- and there is a way out.
But people have to understand how Washington works. And this book is a description of the problem and a solution as to where we go from here.
MORGAN: Well, where are these bodies buried?
SPECTER: These bodies are buried in ended careers. Bob Bennett's body is at a Washington law firm. Mike Castle --
MORGAN: Let's talk --
SPECTER: Go ahead.
MORGAN: Let's talk about the bodies who are still hanging on in there, you know, dangling maybe from the meat hooks. But what do you make of the Republican race in terms of, is it a done deal now for Mitt Romney, do you think? Is it time for Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul or Rick Santorum to throw the towel in?
SPECTER: I think it is plainly going to be Romney as the nominee. What those other fellows want to do is up to them. It's a free country.
What I'm concerned about is what we do beyond the presidency. That is one office. You can't run America if you have a Congress which is gridlocked, if you have a Tea Party where they run on a platform of no compromise, where you have people afraid to express themselves.
Listen, independence is a twin brother of integrity. And you don't have any independence in the Congress today. There's not a moderate in the Republican Senate caucus. We had a terrible decision by the Supreme Court on -- allowed corporations and unions to have unlimited anonymous expenditures.
The Supreme Court left a narrow avenue for Congress to legislate on disclosure. If you're going to have these billionaires like Sheldon Adelson buy South Carolina for Newt Gingrich, at least let us know who's putting up the money. Fifty nine --
MORGAN: Arlen, I can speak to you all night about this.
SPECTER: Let me finish this one thought, one sentence.
SPECTER: Fifty nine senators on one side of the aisle voted for cloture to move the bill ahead. Not one senator on the Republican side of the aisle, neither Snowe nor Collins, who had been moderates, would advance the bill. And that's what has led to the turmoil in the election process and to the gridlock.
MORGAN: Well, I think the secret, Arlen, is you're going to have to get into those cannibals and start taking a few of them out for us. Bury a few more bodies.
SPECTER: Well, if my ideas are followed, if enough people will read the book, if enough people will show indignation as the last electorate did --
MORGAN: All right. Arlen, if the book lives up to the title, I reckon you've got a best seller on your hands. Thank you for joining me. I appreciate it.
SPECTER: Glad to be with you. Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, the return of Tiger Woods. I'll talk exclusively to his former coach, Hank Haney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a winner again. How appropriate, it comes at Bay Hill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Back in the game at last. That was Tiger Woods winning this past weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first victory in neither three years. It comes as his former coach and instructor, Hank Haney, pens a book about their years together.
The title of the book is "Big Miss," and Hank Haney joins me now exclusively.
Hank, you're getting a bit of flack for this book. What was the purpose in writing it?
HANK HANEY, GOLF INSTRUCTOR: Any time you're around greatness, like I was for six years, and you see it at close quarters, you're asked about it. I'm asked about Tiger all the time, everywhere I go. People want to know what was it like to work with Tiger. What did you work on? What was he like as a golfer?
You're asked about that. And I wanted to share it. And I knew that I'd catch some flack. But I also really came to the conclusion that these were my memories, too. They weren't just Tiger's memories. I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to share them.
MORGAN: You were with Tiger 110 days a year. You talked to him 200 days a year. You stayed at his home 30 days a year, all of that for six years. I mean, as far as coach and player goes, it doesn't get much closer than that, does it?
HANEY: That's a lot of time to spend with a player. Of all the players that I've worked with on the tour, that's the most time I've ever spent with a player.
MORGAN: What did you think of him? What did you make of him as a man?
HANEY: Well, very complex. I mean, very, very complex. He's an incredible champion. You know, he's different. But I expected that.
I mean, when you see somebody that's as great as Tiger Woods, there's probably a reason for it. And you wouldn't expect him to be the same as everyone else.
MORGAN: The criticism you've been getting says that, look, the whole point of a relationship between a coach and a professional sportsman is very similar -- not in law but in ethics, if you like, between that of a doctor and a patient. And that you have breached that by going public with a pretty intimate book about your relationship with Tiger.
How do you respond to that?
HANEY: Well, I'm certainly not the first coach that's ever written a book. There's a long list of coaches that have written books. And I just felt -- like I said, the bottom line was that these weren't just his memories. He didn't have an exclusive on those memories. I thought they were my memories too. I wanted to talk about my experiences.
I wanted to talk about my observations. I wanted to talk about the greatness that is Tiger Woods and how I went about coaching him. I thought it would be interesting. I'm asked about it all the time. I wanted to write about it.
MORGAN: Rick Smith, who coached Phil Mickelson, said of you book, "I'd rather be broke and not have a penny to my name before I violate the code of player/teacher confidentiality. For all the guys who've committed their lives to teaching, this should be very upsetting. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. What Hank did is against our rules."
What's your response to him?
HANEY: Well, I mean, those rules are not written rules. Those might be rules that Rick and obviously some other people think are rules. But I wasn't bound by any agreement. I didn't violate any agreement.
And I feel very comfortable sharing my observations and my thoughts in the book. I think the book is very professional. It's honest. It's fair. And it depicts exactly what happened during the six years that I was with Tiger.
MORGAN: I mean, in the book you reveal a number of text messages that you sent Tiger Woods. I wanted to read one to you in the context of what you said. You say to him "I feel like I've been a great friend to you. I don't feel like I've gotten that in return."
Obviously writing this kind of book has angered Tiger Woods enormously. It's not really the behavior of a friend to do that. Did you just think, you know what, the guy let me down? He wasn't a proper friend to me. So I'm going to make money out of his intimate life in the way you have done?
HANEY: No, not in any way, shape or form. I mean, the text that you just read was the text that I sent to Tiger when I was resigning after six years of working with him. We had a great time together. Tiger won a lot of tournaments. He won 45 percent of his tournaments the last three years I worked with him.
But I just felt like it was -- it was time to go. And my text there was -- really had to do with the fact that the rest of the texts said -- or the one prior to that said that, you know, in all instances when I was asked about Tiger Woods, I always gave an answer that was in the best interest of Tiger Woods. And I didn't feel like that had happened in return. But, you know, by the same token, there wasn't any one thing that made me think it was time to go. It was just six years coaching a world class athlete and the most recognizable and scrutinized athlete probably in history was just a long time.
And it was just time for me to go. You know, I had a great time. It was the greatest opportunity a coach or teacher could have. I'm very thankful for it.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. I want to come back and talk more about the controversy surrounding the book and also what your view was of the enormous global sex scandal that nearly ended Tiger's career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I want to say to each of you simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tiger Woods saying sorry with the scandal that nearly wrecked his career. I'm back with Hank Haney, Tiger's former instructor. His new book, "The Big Miss," is not about the scandal. Let's be clear about that. It's about his years working with the champion.
And yet the scandal, I guess, you know, for any friend of Tiger's, as you were, pretty well took over everything. Could you quite believe what you were hearing when all these stories began to come out?
HANEY: No, I couldn't because the first, you know, inkling that there might be a problem was Mark Steinberg, Tiger's agent, called me and told me that there was going to be an article coming out in "The National Enquirer," but that it wasn't true. It was about Tiger and a girl and it wasn't true, and that everything was going to be OK.
And then, you know, it was probably a week or so or two weeks after that that, you know, Tiger hit the fire hydrant. And then all of a sudden, everything started spilling out. Obviously it was true, and there was a lot more to follow.
But I didn't know anything. Steve Williams, his caddie, didn't know anything. And obviously Elin, Tiger's wife at the time, didn't know anything.
MORGAN: I mean, if you had, as his coach, is it your place to say anything to a champion athlete like Tiger Woods? Would you have done if you had known?
HANEY: I don't think it would be my place necessarily as a coach, but it would be my place, I feel like, as a friend. I certainly would have said something and I know Steve Williams would have said something too.
MORGAN: Given the way that Tiger treated I guess both you, by what you say in your book and Steve Williams, he seems to have a cold side, which many sporting champions I guess feel they need to have. Do you feel that he's changed at all since the scandal?
HANEY: You know, I think he's probably softened some. I felt the change, you know, after that. And like you said, I think the cold side is part of what makes up, you know, Tiger as an incredible champion. I never really, you know, judged him on that. I looked and I thought that all the things that make up Tiger Woods are what makes up him being a champion. And those are things that I go at great length at detailing in the book, "The Big Miss."
But it is part of the package, as I call it. And I know that Tiger is an incredible champion, you know, the likes of which I think the game of golf has never seen.
MORGAN: From what you saw at the Arnold Palmer Tournament that he just won, his first victory in three years, from a technical point of view, given that you were so close to him technically for so long, is he back to his best? Could he win the Masters this year, do you think?
HANEY: He's definitely striking the ball well. I mean, he finished first in greens in regulation, which for the years that I worked with Tiger, I thought that was a key statistic. He was always first in greens in regulation, or near the top.
So he's back up there again. I think he's 14th for the year, but he's right up there near the top. The great thing about Bay Hill to me was that his putting was good. He finished fourth in putting. That's a key statistic. Every player that's won on the PGA tour this year has finished top ten in putting.
And going to Augusta, that's the most important thing. Tiger would have won five or six green jackets in a row if he would have fewer than, you know, two three putts for the 72 holes.
So if he can avoid three putts at Augusta, he'll be very difficult to beat. He's great on that golf course. It fits his game. But it all really comes down to the putting.
MORGAN: It is. And you know, it would be great to see Tiger to win the Masters again. He's a great champion, been through a tough time. America loves a guy who makes a comeback like that. Hank Haney, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
HANEY: Thanks for having me on.
MORGAN: Coming up, Only in America, would you trade your Facebook password for a job?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Tonight's Only in America, somebody is watching you. Or they could be. Or rather they'd like to be. And you shouldn't let them.
I'm talking about the uproar over employers asking job applicants to hand over their Facebook passwords. Nobody, except the offending employers, of course, thinks this is a good idea. Users are outraged. Facebook is outraged. Even the federal government is outraged.
Listen to New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: It's unbelievable, but it's true. An employer shouldn't be allowed into that almost sacred domain of the things you just share with your five best friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: My message to these appallingly nosy employers is this: why stop at Facebook passwords? Next time one of the 12.8 million unemployed people in this country asks you for a job, demand the keys to their house, access to their private email account. How about check inside their garbage cans, requisition their cell phone pin number, even make a formal legal demand for their inside leg mission.
Go on, invade every single aspect of their privacy with your grubby corporate paws when they get their hands on. Here's the deal. I want to see your details first. Fair is fair, right? You have got all this stuff you consider private. Let's have a good look at that too.
Maybe you're changing your mind as you hear this. Not such a cute idea suddenly is it, all those personal secrets tumbling into the public domain? Ironically you could even defy yourself.
Facebook has become a global phenomenon, fueling revolutions, spreading breaking news, almost as it happens, acting as a wonderful social networking tool to hundreds of millions. But it's not a public forum for information unless the user wants it to be.
Everyone on Facebook is entitled to the precise degree of privacy they seek from their settings. And that doesn't include letting a potential employer poke his or her nose into personal wall messages to friends or intimate family photo albums.
Next time one of these sneaky employers tries this little stunt, delete them, because they are no friend of yours.
That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.