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Giant Wildfire in Colorado Spreading; Report: Six-Hour Assault In Syria; Rutgers Spy Cam Trial Appeal; Wild West Hits The Auction Block; Robin Roberts Has Rare Blood Disorder

Aired June 11, 2012 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin, thanks. Good evening, everyone. We begin tonight with breaking news in Colorado, where additional resources are being called to battle a fast-moving and giant wildfire outside Ft. Collins. There are already more than 400 firefighters battling the fire. It has doubled in size since yesterday, now covers an area 57 square miles.

We just learned the number of structures burned jumped from 13 to more than 100. Now the U.S. Forest Service says federal teams are taking over management of the fire. In just a few minutes, we'll talk to meteorologist Chad Myers and whether firefighters can expect the weather to help them or make their efforts to battle this giant blaze even harder. We'll talk to him in a few moments, though.

We begin with crime and punishment tonight. Jerry Sandusky faced one of his accusers on the first day of testimony in his child sex abuse trial. Now in the court documents, the accuser is known as victim number four and he is the first to take the stand for the prosecution.

The former Penn State assistant football coach sat with his lawyer through often graphic testimony about their so-called relationship. Victim number four detailed the years of alleged sexual encounters. He also opened up about their private conversations and discussed what has been described as love letters from Sandusky.

His testimony happened after both sides previewed their cases during opening statements. The defense hinted that Sandusky might take the stand in his own defense, and even suggested he may have a psychological disorder that could explain some of his alleged behavior.

Jason Carroll was in the courtroom today. He's live in Pennsylvania for us.

Pretty shocking testimony, Jason, on the first day of the trial. What moments stood out to you?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the moments that you mentioned, Anderson, was when accuser number four took the stand. Jerry Sandusky himself leaned forward and never took his eyes off this young man. He's 28 years old. And he described this pattern that prosecutors have been talking about all along. He talked about how he met Jerry Sandusky through a Second Mile type of event. He says then that led to befriending him. Then that led to gifts, things such as skateboards and golf clubs and hockey sticks, things like that.

Then he said it led to intimate contact in the showers with soap fights. Then that led to wrestling. And then he says that led to oral sex. It was incredibly dramatic to hear this type of testimony happening in court.

I also should point out one of the first visual cues that jurors got that they really seemed to pay attention to, Anderson, was when the prosecutors put up pictures of all of these accusers up on the screen. But what they did was they put pictures up when they were 12 or 13 years old. And it was just a way to remind jurors that what they're going to be hearing from are young adults.

What they're going to be testifying about is what happened to them allegedly when they were 12 or 13 years old.

COOPER: How did the defense handle this accuser under cross- examination?

CARROLL: Well, I think at one point was when this accuser became very tense. They challenged this young man on exactly how these things happened in the shower, why it seemed that no one else seemed to notice any sort of strange activity happening in the shower, also, challenging this young man on his background, bringing up his troubled past.

But one of the other points I think you're going to get to and that we're going to hear about in this case is this disorder that was filed in a motion today. That happened earlier today. And basically the defense says Jerry Sandusky quite possibly suffers from a disorder called histrionic personality disorder.

And this disorder basically talks about how people act out in an emotional way to draw attention to themselves and this is how they're going to try and defend a lot of these letters that you mentioned that were brought up today in court, a love letter allegedly according to the prosecution, some of these letters that Jerry Sandusky wrote to this young man and other young men.

They say that the reason why he wrote this letter -- these letters is possibly because he suffers from this disorder. So that's something else we're going to be looking about hearing as the trial moves forward.

COOPER: Jason, stick around. I want to bring in a panel here. I want to bring in former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Marcia Clark, also criminal defense attorney general Jose Baez and on the phone, Dr. Helen Morrison, a forensic psychiatrist.

Dr. Morrison, does histrionic personality disorder -- I've never heard of this. According to the National Institutes of Health, it's a condition in which, quote, "people act in a very emotional and dramatic way that draws attention to themselves."

What does that mean? Would that explain the behavior he's accused of?

DR. HELEN MORRISON, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, first of all, a personality disorder's a lifelong use of maladaptive behavior. It's not considered a psychiatric illness, as you would have in a major depression or other issues. Obviously, a person who has -- in the old days, they used to call it an hysterical personality disorder, where, yes, they're very dramatic. They try to get attention.

But it's highly unusual for someone to be writing these types of letters if he's not -- or they're not involved in any type of sexual misbehavior. Getting attention is one thing. Being dramatic is another thing. But using this as a defense doesn't seem to be a good legal type of -- I guess I would say -- way to try to defend him.

COOPER: Right.

Jose, from a defense attorney standpoint, does it make sense to you that they bring this thing in?

JOSE BAEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think what it means is this is an attempt to explain some of his wacky behavior. With all due respect for the doctor, you have to try and dumb it down a bit. And that's what I think this tactic is being used for.

Jerry Sandusky has some highly unusual behavior. We've already seen that with some of his interviews. So what this disorder is trying to explain and trying to get across to the jury is, look, this guy acts a little wacky. He acts strange. And this is the reason why. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to explain it.

And most people would say, well, that is associated to the fact he's some kind of sexual predator, when in actuality, the defense is putting this forward to say, no, he's just a bit wacky, as a result of this histrionic disorder.

So that is what I believe from what I've seen here, is the tactic that they're using.

Marcia Clark, do you think it's going to work? I mean, you know, showering with young boys is hard to explain, although the defense basically tried to say that, well, from the generation Jerry Sandusky is from or the team culture, that's what you do.

I was on a team in college. A coach would never shower with the players. It didn't make any sense.

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER LOS ANGELES DEPUTY DIST. ATTORNEY: Right. You know, at the end of the day this has to pass the smell test. And the defense has to find a way to discredit physical evidence like this. You have these letters. These letters are not subject to he said-she said or he said-he said.

These letters actually exist in the physical world, so they have to find a way to discredit them or explain them away because, if they can do that, then they can say, look, now it's just a matter of the victim's word versus Sandusky's word.

And after all, the victims may be in it for the money. They may have a civil lawsuit pending. And they can discredit them credibility-wise. But the letters stand as very physical corroboration of what these victims have said. And they have got to find a way to discredit them or explain them away.

Thus the histrionic syndrome that they're talking about, I don't think it's going to be successful. It doesn't pass even the laugh test as far as I'm concerned at this point. But having said that, Anderson, it may be that they have a forensic psychiatrist come in and give a very credible explanation. We'll have to stand by and see.

COOPER: Jason, the defense did try to do that, basically impugn the motive of this accuser number four, basically kind of asking questions about whether or not this person has retained civil lawyers and the idea that maybe they're looking for some sort of payday and a lawsuit down the road.

CARROLL: That's exactly what happened. At one point, Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's attorney, really grilled him on when he got representation, saying, how is it that you got your own attorney before actually going to the police and why are you not just satisfied with the commonwealth representing you? So that was another point that was brought up.

But from the other side of this, I think what a lot of folks are going to point out is why Joe Amendola would introduce this motion this late in the game. I mean, the trial is already started.

This is something that he could have filed this motion long before we got to this point, which may speak to the point that at the very beginning of this trial, Anderson, Joe Amendola walked straight up to these jurors, got right up next to them and said, look, this is a case of David and Goliath. We're the David here. The commonwealth is the Goliath. They have all the evidence.

So maybe at this point, it may prove to the fact that the defense in some ways is overwhelmed, and still in some ways grasping at straws in terms of trying to find some sort of a defense.

COOPER: Jose, do you think it's unusual that these accusers would have civil counsel? I mean, in this day and age, doesn't everybody have counsel?

BAEZ: Well, it almost seems that way, but no, it is unusual. If you're a victim of some type of sexual abuse, you're going to go to the authorities.

However, in a high-profile type of case, I can see innocent circumstances where they may want to receive counsel to protect their own interests.

Now, before you go discounting that method of the defense, we may want to remember, it worked for the Sean "Puffy" Combs case where a lot of those people went -- a lot of the witnesses that testified against him had retained some type of civil counsel. And there's no questioning the deep pockets of Penn State here.

So we could see years and years of litigation from some of these alleged victims. So I see it is clearly a valid method of attack for the defense. And it's certainly something the jurors should consider.

COOPER: Marcia, I was interested that in opening statements the defense lawyer suggested that Sandusky might take the stand. At one point he said, "You will hear from Sandusky." I don't know if that was a figure of speech. But would it surprise you if Jerry Sandusky actually took the stand?

CLARK: Yes, it would. And I have to say, Anderson, this is the kind of PR move that you see defenses make all the time at the beginning of a trial because everybody has a gut level reaction that an innocent man is going to bang on the door, rattle the cage, make a lot of noise to be heard, because he's innocent, he didn't do it.

And an innocent man doesn't just sit behind his lawyer and let his mouthpiece talk. He gets up and he fights for his own cause. So the defense always wants to make it seem as though the defendant is not taking the stand if he doesn't take the stand because the lawyer wouldn't let him, not because the defendant wasn't dying to get out there and tell the jury his side of things.

So I expect that this PR spin will not only continue but pick up steam as the case goes all the way through until finally, I think, well, it'll depends on what happens. Sometimes at the end of the prosecution case it's been so compelling, it's been so overwhelming that they may decide to put him up on the stand as a Hail Mary pass.

But I wouldn't expect them to really actually really truly want to put him on the stand at all.

COOPER: Dr. Morrison, assuming the charges are true -- and that's a big assumption; he's presumed innocent. If somebody does what he's accused of doing, do they explain away their behavior? I mean, if they're a serial child predator, which is, if he's guilty of what he's accused of, I assume it's what he is. Do they justify it in their own mind?

MORRISON: Well, absolutely. I mean, most predators and child predators often don't see that they're doing anything wrong. They will try to rationalize their behavior for any number of reasons. And very often, when you have a sexual predator for children, they don't really see that they've done anything that needs to be punished.

COOPER: Jason Carroll, what happens tomorrow?

CARROLL: Well, tomorrow, we are likely to hear from the young man who's been identified as victim number one. So this would be accuser number one.

This is a young man who says Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted him more than 20 times. This is the case that really started this whole wide-open case with all of the accusers that we see now, 10 accusers. We're expecting, then, to hear from the one identified as number one.

COOPER: Wow. Ten accusers in at all. Jason Carroll, thank you.

Marcia Clark, Jose Baez, Dr. Helen Morrison, appreciate it. We're going to continue to follow this case. Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Tweet me on Twitter @andersoncooper, tweeting throughout this hour.

Coming up, Mitt Romney blasting President Obama over the economy, now suggesting the president is flip-flopping. But in trying to prove a point, the Romney camp may be taking the president completely out of context. We'll show you the sound bites; you can decide for yourself. Keeping them honest, next.


COOPER: Keeping them honest, tonight, the latest salvo from Mitt Romney against President Obama's handling of the economy and a suggestion the president is flip-flopping. Now they're using President Obama's own words against him. But it appears in this case, at least, they're misusing his words.

You remember on Friday, President Obama was talking about job creation and in the process said six words the Republicans seized upon. Take a look.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The private sector is doing fine.

Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government, and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.


COOPER: Now, the private sector's doing fine. Those six words and the statement about overall weakness in the economy, now, within hours, there was an RNC Web ad asking how the president can fix the economy if he doesn't know it's broken. And on the campaign trail, Romney jumped on the phrase the president used.


FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He said, "the private sector is doing fine." He said, "The private sector is doing fine." Is he really that out of touch?

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, the president later tried to clarify his remarks, but the damage was done. Now you can decide for yourself what to think about what the president said.

But today, sensing an opportunity, the Romney campaign has doubled down, putting out a new video suggesting that the president has had a mixed message on the economy, saying what he said Friday, comparing that to something he said last month. Here's the ad they ran today.


OBAMA: The private sector's doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government.

The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me. So I make that point --


OBAMA: -- I make that point just so you don't buy into this whole bloated government argument that you hear.


COOPER: So the Romney camp says the president can't get his story straight, that on Friday he said the weakness in the economy was state and local government employment. But a month earlier, he touted the fact that government employment had fallen on his watch. Touted is the word Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams (ph) uses in a press release.

But keeping them honest, there's one problem. If you listen to what else the president said, in May, in the sentence before or the sentence after the quote that the Romney campaign has picked, it becomes clear, though, the president's statement has been taken out of context in this case.

In May, the president was saying that during recessions under President Reagan and both Bushes government employment went up. But during his administration, Republicans in Congress are stalling on legislation he says would spur public sector growth.

So here's the quote he actually said, in context, the part the Romney campaign used and what the president said next.


OBAMA: The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me. So I make that point --


OBAMA: I make that point just so you don't buy into this whole bloated government argument that you hear.

And, frankly, if Congress had said yes to helping states put teachers back to work, and put the economy before our politics, then tens of thousands or more teachers in New York would have a job right now. That is a fact. And that would mean not only a lower unemployment rate but also more customers for businesses.


COOPER: Well, today we repeatedly asked for someone from the Romney campaign to come on the program and talk about it. After multiple requests, they declined.

Let's talk about it with (inaudible),with CNN political contributor Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, and Democratic strategist Bill Burton, former White House deputy press secretary for President Obama.

So Bill, it does seem the Romney campaign, in this latest ad, has taken the president's prior comments out of context.

BILL BURTON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the assertion that somehow the president doesn't care about the economy is just silly on its face. When you look at that video that Mitt Romney and his campaign put together, it makes the case that they haven't even really been trying to make over the course of this last year.

What they have said about the president is he's a good guy, doesn't know what he's doing on the economy and it's not working. What this says is the president is just indifferent to the economy. It's two different cases and there's not a rational person in this country who thinks that the president is not concerned about the economy.

COOPER: Ari, do you think they took the president out of context?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, I think it's a classic case of the president is trying to have it both ways.

I think if they had continued the ad with the rest of the sound bite, it would have showed the president saying on the one hand, I chopped government, aren't I good? On the other hand, but we need to increase spending and hire more people. He wants to have it both ways. And that's a problem, I think, with a lot of his presidency.

COOPER: Bill, what about that?

BURTON: When the president took office, we were losing 700,000- 800,000 jobs a month, including thousands of cops, teachers and firefighters. Now the reason that Republicans don't think that that's that relevant is they don't think that we need more of those.

When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he cut thousands of cops, teachers and firefighters, because he thinks that's the best way that you can create more tax cuts for the very wealthy in this country.

COOPER: Ari, over the weekend, on "FACE THE NATION," Wisconsin Governor Walker was on, talking about comments that Mitt Romney made. I want to -- about what constitutes big government. He seemed to have some sort of disagreement with Romney. I want to play that.


BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS HOST: Well, do you think Governor Romney is talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISC.: No, I think in the end a big issue is that the private sector still needs more help and the answer's not more big government. I know in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. That's not what I think when I think of big government.


COOPER: I mean, is more firefighters, police, teachers, is that more big government, Ari?

FLEISCHER: No, but pay attention carefully to what Governor Walker said. Because of the reforms they were able to make in collective bargaining and because they asked teachers, firefighters and others to pay a higher share of their salaries for pension and health care reform, put them on a par -- approach a par with the private sector, they averted layoffs. That's good government. That's reform.

What Governor Romney was saying is we need to make sure that the growth in the economy comes from the private sector and that's where the president's remarks about the private sector's doing just fine shows that he's missed the boat about what makes an economy go around.

The government, spend more money to hire more public workers? That's what the first stimulus was all about in 2009. It didn't work.

BURTON: Anderson, I think what's most important here is the philosophical bridge that has emerged in this weekend's debate. Governor Romney wants to create jobs for the private sector. The president wants to create jobs for the public sector, through the government. That's a great debate to have.

COOPER: But, Ari, are you really saying the president does not want to create private sector jobs or try to help create private sector jobs? I mean, wouldn't any president obviously want to create jobs wherever he could?

FLEISCHER: To quote the president, the private sector's doing just fine.


BURTON: I mean, this is where politics becomes --

FLEISCHER: (Inaudible) government jobs.

BURTON: This is where politics becomes completely comical. No one in their right mind would think that the president doesn't want to create jobs. Now are you going to tell me that the President of the United States, in an election year, does not want to create private sector jobs? I mean, it's just silly.

FLEISCHER: Nobody said that.

BURTON: But the difference here is that the president called that press conference because he wanted to talk about things that Congress needed to do to act right now to make sure that we were creating jobs, to make sure that we were strengthening the economy.

And despite the intransigence of the Republican Congress, and the Republican primary that was going on, the president's still been able to create over 4 million jobs since this recovery began.

COOPER: All right.

FLEISCHER: Two things. Number one, right away, you saw, again, the same emphasis. The growth has to come from the public sector. That's where the president wants policies to impact.

Two, when it comes to the president, what he said was the private sector is doing just fine. Nobody said he doesn't want to create private sector jobs. It's that his policies are hindering the creation of private sector jobs.

COOPER: Bill, isn't it fair for Republicans to attack the president on this sentence, in the same way that the Obama campaign back in 2008 decimated John McCain when John McCain said the fundamentals of the economy are strong. Immediately the Obama campaign put out an ad saying how can this guy fix the economy when he doesn't get it.

BURTON: The difference is what are the underlying philosophies of the different candidates that we're talking about.

Now with John McCain, not to relitigate that campaign, but John McCain really did believe that the economy was fundamentally doing just fine.

But Mitt Romney in his comment says that we don't need more cops, firefighters and teachers. That's his philosophy. He thinks the way that we help strengthen this economy is making sure the folks at the very top do better to make sure the wealthier get wealthier, to cut their taxes as much as possible.

And like Ari said, somebody pays for those benefits. And, in this case, it's the middle class who's paying for it.

Now, what the president said was taken out of context and you know the underlying philosophy for the president is that, yes, we need to grow the economy; yes, the private sector needs to be strong and vibrant; yes, we need to create more jobs. And, yes, we need more teachers, firefighters and cops, because that's what's going to make our economy stronger. That's what's going to make our students better and that's what's going to make our streets safer.

COOPER: Ari, David Axelrod over the weekend said that within the next five months this whole private sector is doing just fine thing is basically going to go away. You don't think that's the case. You think this is really kind of a watershed moment or a defining moment for these two campaigns?

FLEISCHER: The only way it goes away is if job creation in this country gets strong, and I don't know an economist who believes that will be the case. I think what's not going to go away is the next four unemployment reports. That, probably more than anything else, will decide who the next President of the United States is. Unemployment went up last month. If it continues to go up or job growth is weak, I think, frankly, the October surprise of this election will be the bottom falls out on President Obama's numbers and Mitt Romney will probably win a comfortable election.

COOPER: Bill, do you think it's going to boil down to the next job numbers?

BURTON: I think the job numbers are very important. And I think the situation that we're in -- in that sense, I do agree with Ari, that the jobs reports, they do matter, and how people are feeling about the economy definitely matters.

But ultimately, I think, when people walk into the voting booth, regardless of how good they feel about the last jobs report or how bad they feel about it, they're voting about the future and what comes next and who has a vision for this country that they think truly can make the economy stronger and make our country on a more sustainable economic course.

COOPER: Bill Burton, thanks.

Ari Fleischer, thanks.

BURTON: Thank you.

FLEISCHER: Thank you.

COOPER: Want to update our breaking news in just a moment. The race is on for firefighters in Colorado, who are battling a fast- spreading wildfire. Flames have already destroyed 100 structures, threatening a lot more. We'll check in with meteorologist Chad Myers in a moment.


COOPER: I want to update our breaking news, the massive wildfire in Colorado we told you about at the top of the program. Additional resources who tackle flames from the air, the ground are being called in right now. Federal crews are stepping in to try to take over management of the firefighting effort. Now, the fire has nearly doubled in size just since yesterday. Damage estimates jumped from 13 structures to 100 have already burned.

The flames now cover an area of over 57,000 square miles and by some estimates it is spreading at a rate of 40 feet per second, fast moving. Now, all of this is forcing thousands of people obviously to leave their homes.

No guarantees are going to be still standing when they return. The question, of course, is can firefighters expect the weather to cooperate? I want to check in with meteorologist Chad Myers. Chad, what's the latest?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, the best case scenario, Anderson, would be rain. That's not going to happen. The next best thing is for the wind to stop. Yesterday, winds were blowing 40, 50 miles per hour.

Today, they are blowing 30. Tomorrow around 10 so yes, that's helpful. That isn't going to get in the way. Won't hamper the firefighting efforts like all the winds did over the weekend. It is a scattered fire.

Look at the fire lines, how do you fight something that has a shape that looks like this? All over the place in every canyon, up every valley, with a bunch of dead trees out there. There was a huge problem with beetles killing these trees.

All of these trees, you're seeing some on the pictures that are green burning, but so many of them, the underbrush are dead, and that is the fuel to make all these fires out here in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, really bad this year. It's a bad season so far.

COOPER: That was the fuel. Do we know what sparked the fires?

MYERS: This one they believe was a lightning strike. Believe it or not, one person in New Mexico was test firing a gun. The gun bullet hit a rock. The rock sparked. The spark started a fire. That went 15 acres before they could put that out.

COOPER: That's crazy. That's amazing. I mean, is it -- is it completely out of control at this point? You saw that fire line, it looks it.

MYERS: Yes, it's completely out of control. Zero percent containment. There's not one part of that fire that's not growing tonight. Now, the firefighters are surrounding houses. They're really trying to protect structures.

They are going to let the fire burn. At this point in time, they can't stop especially with the winds at 30 right now. They can't stop the trees from burning, but they can protect the structures. They can protect the homes and businesses that are in those valleys.

COOPER: We wish those firefighters the best and all those people with their homes. I hope they're OK. Chad, appreciate it. Thanks.

If you want to see more images of the fire, go to There's more stuff there, some remarkable images. We're following a number of other stories. Isha's here for the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're getting reports of Syrian government forces firing on residents from helicopters during an assault in the town of Jabal Alzouwya. Human rights groups say 32 people died in the 6-hour long raid.

While 93 people died in the violence going on across the country today. The State Department called the use of helicopters desperate and a serious escalation.

An unmanned drone crashed in a Maryland marsh today. The Navy says the "Global Hawk" went down during a routine training flight. There are no reports of injuries or damage to property.

An appeal was filed on behalf of the former Rutgers University student convicted in the webcam spying trial. The 20-year-old Dharun Ravi began serving his 30-day sentence on May 31st. Prosecutors say they will also appeal for a longer sentence.

And Anderson, the wild west hit the auction block. Big spenders got the chance to own personal items that once belonged to Annie Oakley. It included a portrait of the gun slinger along with her hat and gun. Oakley's 12-gauge shotgun alone brought in more than $143,000.


SESAY: I know, some calling her America's first female superstar.

COOPER: Pretty cool. How did they know it was her gun?

SESAY: They -- you know what, don't make me lie to you.

COOPER: I don't know. There must be records. Some sort of --

SESAY: They were put up -- action by her great grand nieces so they've been in the family. See, I did know the answer. Just had to dig deep.

COOPER: Is that how you dig, like a chipmunk there?

SESAY: You got your answer.

COOPER: I did. I'm very impressed. Isha, thanks. We're going to check back a little bit later with you for some stories.

Really sad news today, "Good Morning America" anchor, Robin Roberts made an announcement. You know, she's already beaten breast cancer. She is now facing a very dangerous new medical battle. We certainly wish her best. She revealed the condition on "Good Morning America" this morning. We are going to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the condition. Because, frankly, I'd never heard of it nor have a lot of people. We'll tell you about it next.


COOPER: Lady Gaga gets smacked in the head by a piece of equipment during a concert in New Zealand. We got the video. We'll show you what happened and how she's doing now. That's ahead.


COOPER: Robin Roberts of "Good Morning America" is facing yet another difficult health challenge. Five years ago, she successfully beat breast cancer, but the treatment she received may have triggered her new medical battle. She shared her diagnosis on this morning's program.


ROBIN ROBERTS, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Now, sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues and that's what I'm facing right now. It is something that is called MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome.

And if you look it up going what, I was doing the same thing. It is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. The reason I am sharing this with everybody now is because later today I begin what's known as pre-treatment.

It's a pic line and -- in my arm. I didn't want you to be concerned if you saw a bandage tomorrow. It's going to be there to draw blood. That has to be monitored regularly and also to administer drugs later today and for the week and for a period of time.

It's all to prepare me for a bone marrow transplant. My big sister is a virtually perfect match for me. She's there with Diane, Ann Sweeney, and she is going to be my donor. She's going to be my donor.


COOPER: Two extremely brave women, very few dry eyes after that announcement this morning. Myelodysplastic syndrome is a frightening diagnosis particularly Roberts' case because it may have been caused by chemotherapy, the treatment that helped her beat breast cancer.

I never heard of it before and a lot of folks hadn't. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me with some more details about the condition. Sanjay, I'd never heard of MDS. I read it's also called pre-leukemia. What does it mean exactly?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's myelodysplastic syndrome. I think the idea that it's a sort of precursor to leukemia that was somewhat older thinking. I think it's sort of its own disease now. Myelo typically refers to the bone marrow. Dysplastic in the world of medicine refers to the fact that something has gone -- something is abnormal.

So in this case, the bone marrow, which typically makes blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, they're churning out abnormal cells. In addition to getting bad cells, you're not getting enough of good cells. That's typically what's happening in MDS.

COOPER: She said that she developed it because of the chemotherapy that she got for breast cancer, which was more than five years ago. Would that have contributed to it or how?

GUPTA: It can. Although let me point out, first of all, that MDS as a whole is a pretty rare thing. A 10,000 to 20,000 cases a year relatively speaking. But also while getting chemotherapy in the past can be a risk factor for this, it's not a common one.

You know, a lot of people watching who may say, look, I'm getting chemotherapy or maybe I did in the past. Am I also going to get MDS now? The likelihood is no, you're not going to get it. But it's a known risk factor for previous chemotherapy.

COOPER: She said that she started chemotherapy immediately as part of her treatment and she's going to get a bone marrow transplant later in the year. Walk us through it.

GUPTA: Yes, so this is interesting because you typically think of chemotherapy, for example, with her for her breast cancer. In this case, what the chemotherapy is for is to basically kind of knock down the bone marrow.

It's churning out, again, these defective cells. Sort of just knock the bone marrow down so it's not really making anymore of these defective cells for a period of time. Then repopulate the bone marrow with healthy cells.

So that sort of the process, but Anderson, it can take some time. First of all, you're giving chemotherapy. So in addition to knocking down effective cells, you'll probably also going to knock down some good cells.

And then getting the bone marrow transplant, obviously, as you heard from her sister, that will take some time later on as well. So we're talking about months probably, Anderson, as opposed to days or weeks.

COOPER: I mean, she's lucky that she has a sister who -- that's a perfect person to do a bone marrow transplant, right?

GUPTA: Yes, I think you and I have talked about this. How tough it is to get a bone marrow transplant especially if you're in a minority population, you know, African-American populations, in my community, of Asian-Americans.

It's very difficult sometimes. It's just not enough donors. But in her case, she's very lucky because of this. Not only does she have a match, but it sounds like her sister's a very good match.

COOPER: There's also, I mean, there's no known cure for MDS. What does that mean? I mean, she says she's confident she's going to beat it.

GUPTA: Well, the -- cure if you will -- I think what she's alluding to is the idea she'll have a very successful treatment. What she would hope for, what her doctors would hope for her is that eventually her bone marrow after this whole process when they look at what -- the type of cells it's making, all the cells are good, productive cells.

Cells that are doing essentially what they're supposed to do. If that is the case, in effect, she's beaten it, so to speak. Cure's a tough word. Because you always got to keep in the back of your mind, could this come back at some point later on. But successful bone marrow transplant preceded by chemotherapy can be a very effective treatment.

COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

GUPTA: You got it, Anderson, thank you.

COOPER: We certainly wish Robin Roberts well and her family well.

Texting behind wheel, everyone knows it is a bad idea. We all know that by now, but it seems like no one's willing to put the phone down. A closer look at the epidemic of distracted driving next.


COOPER: Last week, a Massachusetts jury convicted an 18-year-old man of vehicular homicide. It's the first of its kind for a texting while driving case in Massachusetts.

The young man will spend a year in prison. The reality is, though, texting while driving is hardly a rare occurrence. Sometimes a split second spent looking at a cell phone sometimes is a lot longer and we don't even know it.

All too often, it turns deadly. Now the Transportation Department calls distracted driving an epidemic and says that texting behind the wheel makes you 23 times more likely to crash.

It's a lesson this bus driver learned the hard way after looking down at his phone. A new CDC study finds it 58 percent of high school seniors admit to texting or e-mailing while behind the wheel.

We asked Tom Foreman to take a closer look at what can happen when your eyes are off the road even for a few seconds. Take a look.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, researchers at Virginia Tech found that the critical element here is not how good you are at texting or how good you are at driving, but how long you take your eyes off the road when you're trying to text while driving. They found that on average people took their eyes off the road for close to 5 seconds. What does that mean? Well, we're going to put it to the test here and show you in actual driving conditions how far you can travel when you're not look at the road at all.


FOREMAN (voice-over): For our first pass, I got up to 25 miles an hour and after I hit a predetermined spot right about there, I maintained that speed for 5 seconds as if I were texting with my eyes off the road.

Then, I stomped on the brakes as if suddenly aware of a pending collision. This is how far I traveled more than 180 feet. This doesn't feel like my eyes are off the road very long. For the next pass, I took it up to 35 miles an hour. Once again, I maintained that speed for 5 seconds of texting, blasted right over the previous stopping point, and look at how much farther I went, well over 250 feet.

Imagine covering all that distance in heavy traffic without looking at the road. Finally, I decided to speed up to 45 miles an hour and try 5 seconds of texting. Look at how quickly I crushed both of my previous stopping points.

And even when I hit the brakes, the time it takes me to stop is considerably longer and much more perilous than it was either time before.

(on camera): Remember, this is only 45 miles an hour. If I were out on a highway at 55 or 65, I would have covered at least an entire football field's length effectively driving blind.


COOPER: It's fascinating, 5 seconds. You think that's nothing. It's interesting to see how far you go. You looked at similar scenarios before, I remember, the amount of time it takes to load a CD or dial a phone number. How do those activities compare to texting? How was this experience different?

FOREMAN: Really, they don't compare to texting. Texting is much, much, much worse. They are serious to be sure. If you're loading a CD or if you're dialing a phone, anything electronic in the car increases your risk of an accident. No doubt about it.

But texting as you mentioned before, the folks at Virginia Tech found increased your chance of an accident 23 times. That is a huge difference. This time, however, what we were looking at was not different activities but different speeds.

We went to a much better lot out there b RFK Stadium here. We got up to much faster speeds. You can see how every mile an hour faster that you're going when you're not looking at the road, you pick up big differences. If we can get up to 65 miles an hour, we couldn't even do it there. I did the math on it. The physics says, Anderson, that at that speed, I could have covered 500 feet or more completely unaware of another car or bicyclist or pedestrian in front of me.

That's why the business of texting and driving really is terribly bad no matter how good you think you are at it.

COOPER: Tom, thanks for doing that. Appreciate it. That's a good wake up call. A lot more stories to get back to, Isha's back with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, U.S. former secretary, John Bryson cited in two accidents in L.A. over the weekend. He may have suffered a seizure behind the wheel. That was from the Commerce Department. The 68- year-old was found unconscious in his car after two alleged hit and run. Police say there is no indication alcohol or drugs were involved.

The House Oversight Committee says it may move to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt next week for failing to turn over documents related to the "Fast and Furious" gun running string. The botched Justice Department operation ultimately lost track of more than 1,000 illegal firearms in Mexico.

Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly in a coma in a Cairo prison hospital. Officials say doctors have defibrillated the 84-year-old several times. Mubarak began serving a life sentence on June 2nd for the killing of pro-democracy protestors last year.

Anderson, Lady Gaga is on the mend after taking a whack to the head during a show in New Zealand. A backup performer accidentally hit her with a set piece while she was mid song. But Gaga powered through, warning the audience she might have suffered a concussion.


SESAY: I know. She's doing OK we hear.

COOPER: Well, we wish her the best. Isha, thanks.

Coming up, a community takes a stand against what? How about against a little girl who draws on the sidewalk with chalk. "The Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: Time for "The Ridiculist." Tonight, we're adding a group of people we're calling sidewalk party poopers. I have to say even for "The Ridiculist," this is pretty ridiculous.

According to our affiliate KCNC in Denver, the dustup centers on a homeowners group in Stapleton, Colorado, who wants to crack down on a little girl who's been drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. You heard me right. She's not some obnoxious teenager who is egging houses or running around armed with a slingshot. We're talking about a 3-year-old girl armed with chalk. This is little Emerson. Her mom says drawing with chalk is a simple pleasure for Emerson, adding they moved to the neighborhood for the family friendly atmosphere.

So, what has Emerson been drawing that's so nonfamily friendly? What could possibly be so offensive that the homeowners group feels compelled to end her reign of terror? Well, how about this? Take a look. That's right, a pastel flower.

That's an example of Emerson's work on the concrete outside her home. Emerson's mom says the whole thing is crazy. Pointing out that it is summertime and her daughter's, well, just being a kid.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My initial reaction was, you have to be kidding me. She's not bothering anymore. And it's actually pretty neat. She's learning how to spell her name.


COOPER: That's right. A 3-year-old learning how to spell her name, shut her down. She must be stopped. She's a menace to society. For its part, the homeowners group says it's a matter of shared spaces.

According to KCNC, the association says anything that offends, disturbs or interferes with peaceful enjoyment of those shared spaces, that's simply not allowed.


DAVID FIRMIN, HOA ATTORNEY (via telephone): The association is trying to go down a path of do no harm and prevent the sidewalk art as opposed to -- until such time if it can get together and discuss it.


COOPER: Why do I get the feeling that these are the kind of people who would report a lemonade stand to the IRS? Now I don't know what else goes on in that neighborhood, but if you're biggest gripe is a 3-year-old quietly drawing with chalk, you should consider yourself lucky.

The little girl is not breaking into your house. She's not throwing a keg party. She didn't drive her car into your mailbox, which is more than I can say for members of my staff. If you sidewalk party poopers still don't grasp how foolish this is, that's your right. We're going to have to chalk you up on "The Ridiculist."

That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now another edition of 360, the latest in the trial of Jerry Sandusky. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.