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Doping Charges Force Armstrong Ban; Celebrity Fundraisers for Obama; Baseball-Sized Hail Pummels Dallas; Activist Sandra Fluke Endorsing Obama; Stars Fund-Raising for Obama in NYC; Millennials Belief in God Declines; Learn How to Run the Right Way; Giants' Cain Tosses Perfect Game

Aired June 14, 2012 - 09:00   ET


O'BRIEN: We're out of time. Let's send it right to "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. It begins right now.

Hey, Carol. Good morning.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Soledad. Good morning.

Happening right now in the NEWSROOM, hailstorm. Texas battered after hail the size of baseballs pummels the state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just pummeled. It was unbelievable.



COSTELLO: Windows blown out. The middle of June looking like the middle of December with all the ice on the ground.

Checks in the city. Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour take on roles as Obama's fundraiser-in-chief tonight. The scene, SJP's swanky West Village Brown Stone, the price, $40,000 a plate. Republicans wasting no time to pounce on this one.

Is HGTV's "House Hunters" a fraud? A blogger who was on the show claims the reality show was anything but. Fake houses, made-up storylines. Today, the network tells its side of the story.

Perfect game. A shining moment for Matt Cain. The pitcher throwing a rare perfect game, retiring all 27 hitters he faced. This morning, the Giant is a gem.

"NEWSROOM" begins right now.

And good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello.

At one time, Lance Armstrong towered over the cycling world the way Babe Ruth was adored by baseball fans. But today, Armstrong may be better compared to Barry Bonds. Controversial, polarizing, and tainted anew by doping allegations. The new charges filed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could strip Armstrong of one of his seven Tour de France victories. And already they are forcing him to the sidelines at his new love, competing in Ironman Triathlons.

Joining now to discuss the case, Michael McCann, the legal analyst for "Sports Illustrated" and an associate professor at Vermont Law School.


MICHAEL MCCANN, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED LEGAL ANALYST: Welcome, Carol, and thank you for having me.

COSTELLO: So Armstrong has been down this road before. What makes these charges more serious?

MCCANN: Well, Carol, earlier this year, the Justice Department, after a two-year investigation, decided to drop its potential charges against Armstrong for conspiracy and fraud. A grand jury did not indict him. And I think that's pretty telling, that a grand jury -- it's often said that prosecutors if they want to get an indictment can get one. They didn't get one of Armstrong, which would suggest that the evidence perhaps isn't as strong as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has made it out to be.

But that's a different standard with criminal charges. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, of course, is not a criminal entity. It's a nonprofit organization. But it believes that Armstrong has doped. And its evidence is what it considers to be fairly persuasive. And we'll find out how strong it is. Armstrong will have until June 29th to respond. And then a hearing will likely be in November.

COSTELLO: OK. So why can't he compete in these Ironman competitions?

MCCANN: So, Carol, that's one of the rules. Once somebody is charged, they lose their eligibility to participate in certain competitions. He's going to argue, of course, that's unfair. He tweeted out that it's unconstitutional. But at this point, those are the rules and he has to abide by them.

COSTELLO: So when all is said and -- I mean, Lance Armstrong has been down this road so many times before. When all is said and done, what do you think will happen?

MCCANN: Well, in many cases where the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has charged someone, the penalty isn't as severe as a lifetime ban or taking every title away. It's usually much more modest than that. But I think Armstrong is somebody who has the financial wherewithal and the motivation to really challenge these charges.

He will argue that they're unfair, that they're untrue, and he has the wherewithal -- we've seen earlier this year, if you -- if you're a -- if you're a sports defendant and you have a good deal of resources, you can challenge things. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. And the risks for him maybe aren't as substantial. He hasn't been charged with a crime. This is really only a civil infraction from a nonprofit organization that goes at whether or not he can have medals and whether he can participate as a tri-athlete. So I suspect he'll argue vigorously.

Whether or not it will turn out to be successful remains to be seen. But I think his motivation is to say his reputation is what counts most to him.

COSTELLO: Absolutely. Michael McCann, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

MCCANN: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Today, President Obama and Mitt Romney are duking it out at the battleground state of Ohio. At separate rallies, they'll try to sell voters their vision for the economy. Obama is in Democratic heavy Cleveland. Romney is in Republican heavy Cincinnati.

This is the first time this election cycle both candidates are set to speak at the same -- in the same state at the same time on the same day. Obama's expected talking points, according to a campaign official. He'll say the economy grows from the middle class up, not from the top down. He wants to focus on education, energy, and infrastructure.

Romney outlined his economic vision during a call with reporters. He plans to eliminate many federal government programs, approve the Keystone Pipeline, and repeal Obama's health care law.

Also, President Obama heads to New York later today for a fundraiser dinner co-hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour, the maven, the editor of "Vogue" magazine. $40,000 per person to attend the dinner at Parker's home. Critics say it makes the president look out of touch.


JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": I'm glad the president is going to be with Anna Wintour, because if there's two things the American people relate to, it's the devil and Prada.


COSTELLO: Later tonight, the president goes to another Manhattan fundraiser where Mariah Carey will sing.

This one is co-hosted by Newark Mayor Cory Booker. One reason the president is doing so many celebrity fundraisers, he's trying to compete with GOP super PACs that have been outraising his campaign.

Now we want to show you some amazing video out of Dallas. Take a look. Looks like a pretty scene, right? But not really. Underneath that eerie fog is a blanket of hail.

For nearly 30 minutes, three waves of storms dumped massive hail. Some of that hail was the size of baseballs.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It went for at least 20 minutes. It just pummeled. It was unbelievable. And the rain, there was so much rain. It was like -- it was like being in a disaster movie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like the house was exploding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just -- we were just over and over and over again. I mean you can look at the roof and see a thousand explosions.


COSTELLO: Today -- people are tallying the damage and they are counting their blessings, too.

Jeff Ray is a meteorologist at CNN's affiliate KTVT. He joins us now from Dallas.

How unusual is this?

JEFF RAY, KTVT METEOROLOGIST: Well, Carol, to put it in perspective, the most expensive hailstorm in the history of America happened in the Dallas Ft. Worth area in 1995. And then in 2003 there was a hailstorm that was just a little under $1 billion. And that one happened, you know, about five or six years ago. And now we have this one last night.

So, Carol, what happened, you were kind of giving the overview there, we had three storm cells move over Dallas County and the surrounding area and they were moving really slow. And I'm standing in Lakewood, which is about three miles from downtown Dallas. This is a shopping area. And every parking space around 6:30 was full.

So after 10 minutes of hail falling, and again, like some the size of softballs even, everybody walked out onto the ice to find their cars looking like this. And all of the cars were damaged like this. Now this car isn't totaled. It's maybe $10,000, $15,000 worth of damage. And this is just in one square mile where every car looked like this. We're talking about several square miles across Dallas County were just pummeled.

It's not cars, it's roofs, it's skylights, It's signs. There's so much damage around there. Now that costliest storm ever, that was $1.1 billion. And we won't know for months how much this storm cost. But I suspect it's going to be in that category. It's going to be a lot of cleanup work around here, Carol. And it's going to take months.

COSTELLO: Well, I hope that's not your car. Unbelievable.

RAY: No, it's not. But they are waiting for the tow truck sp they can come get it. They think that's the last they're going to ever see of this one.

COSTELLO: I think they're probably right about that.

Jeff Ray, thank you so much for joining us.

RAY: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: What a night for San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Cain threw a perfect game against Houston. The Giants won 10- 0. This is the second perfect game of the season. The 22nd -- isn't that a cool picture? It's the 22nd in Major League history.


MATT CAIN, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS' PITCHER: It's starting to settle in right now a little bit. I mean I'm going to celebrate it with the guys in the clubhouse a little bit and enjoy it for a second. That was -- that was something that -- I mean, obviously, never, ever going to forget it. But it was -- it was -- it was unbelievable from the beginning.


COSTELLO: It was. Cain had flirted with perfection earlier this season throwing a one-hitter in the Giants' home opener.

We will have more highlights from this perfect game coming up in sports.

She went from college law student to being verbally bashed by Rush Limbaugh.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO HOST: Fluke. Who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?


COSTELLO: Yes, well, now Sandra Fluke is endorsing a presidential candidate. Guess who?


COSTELLO: Twelve minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now.

Lance Armstrong is firing back at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of his alleged doping. Armstrong accuses the agency of dredging up discredited allegations to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Because of the investigation, Armstrong has been banned from competing in an Ironman competition this month.

It is official. Rhode Island rolls back criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana. The governor signed legislation making Rhode Island the 15th state to decriminalize recreational use of marijuana.

In money news, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is showing off his new $1.1 million car. The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder is one of the world's fastest street legal cars. We're talking about 275 miles per hour. Tyler had it specially made to his liking. He says he plans to test its speed on some airport runways with permission, of course.

Today the National Park Services is expected to announce it's permanently closing some of Yosemite National Park's most popular lodges. That's because boulders have been falling from one of the park's iconic mountains. The Park Services says it's just dangerous for people to stay in those lodges.

If you want to live longer, move to Manhattan. It has one of the longest life expectancies in the nation. Eighty-two years of age. That's the average. That's according to researchers at the University of Washington. They credit New York City's aggressive public health campaign and lower homicide rate.

The woman who became the face of the fight over whether insurance plans should cover contraceptives says she is voting for Barack Obama. Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law graduate, says she was initially denied a chance to testify before Congress. And after she spoke, she was verbally attacked by conservatives like Rush Limbaugh.


LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?


COSTELLO: Sandra Fluke is an advocate for Women and the Millennial Generation and she joins us live from New York.

Good morning.


COSTELLO: So, when you hear that stuff from Rush Limbaugh today, what goes through your mind?

FLUKE: The same thing that went through my mind when I heard it earlier. Just that it's an attempt to silence women, to take them out of the conversation. But, you know, as you introduced, I'm here today to talk about the president and why I'm voting for him for re- election. And why his policies are so important to young women like me.

COSTELLO: You were a Georgetown student. Now you're a full- blown political activist. And you wrote this op-ed for You endorsed the president.

Do you think people will take your endorsement seriously?

FLUKE: Well, I think that they can take it for what it's worth. I have looked very closely at these policies. And I take very seriously anything that I take a position on. That's actually why I waited until now to endorse anyone in this presidential election.

I felt that a lot of people were looking to me for my opinion, following these controversies. And I wanted to remain nonpartisan and specifically look at which policies I could support.

But I have just concluded that Governor Romney must not be looking for the vote of people like me because he's not taking a stand on issues that are really important to me. Issues like the Paycheck Fairness Act or, you know, so many other things that I'm concerned about.

COSTELLO: Well, by the same token, Mitt Romney's favorability rating among women is rising. And if he doesn't care about these things that you're talking about, why do you suppose that is?

FLUKE: I think that he's recently been selected as the Republican nominee. And there's inevitably a consolidation around a nominee when that occurs, and that's what we're seeing. That said, for months now we have seen the president having a considerable lead among women.

And that's because they know that he is a strong leader for the policies that we care about. Policies like affordable access to education, in terms of student loan rates. And policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Violence Against Women Act.

COSTELLO: But when you look at the unemployment figures for young people, they are pretty abysmal. Why should young people, the millennial generation, enthusiastically support this president?

FLUKE: Actually, I saw something on ABC recently that things are increasingly -- that this is the best time for employment opportunities for young college graduates since this recession started. And I think that the difference between Governor Romney and President Obama is that both of them are very focused on improving the economy for all of us, but President Obama is focused on improving it for all of us, not just for the select, wealthy few, and making sure that we have the rights and protections that we need in those jobs and in that workplace.

COSTELLO: I'm not sure that many college students who have just graduated would agree that the employment picture is looking any brighter.

FLUKE: The ones I have spoken to do actually.

COSTELLO: Really if what do they say? Are they finding jobs? The college students that we talk with are having a difficult time.

FLUKE: Well, I have talked with lots of folks who I graduated with in terms of law school graduates. This is the first year that things are looking up for them and increasing rates. And I am hearing that from graduates across the country.

COSTELLO: Although I must say that graduating from Georgetown might have a certain bit of cache and you can find a job easier because you went to such a great school. But students who went to public universities or community colleges, they are having a terrible time.

FLUKE: I have talked to students across the country. Not just from Georgetown.

COSTELLO: OK. Thank you so much --

FLUKE: But I think your point is how important investment in education is for folks to be able to find employment when they graduate, and that's why the president's policies around student loans are so critical. He increased Pell Grants. He doubled that. And he is fighting to keep interest rates low.

So for students who are going to any university or college, that's critical for them.

COSTELLO: OK. So your op-ed appears on

FLUKE: It does.

COSTELLO: OK. Thank you so much. Sandra Fluke joining us live this morning.

FLUKE: Thank you.

COSTELLO: So what do you think? You can join the conversation on Twitter. The handle is @CNNOpinion or visit us on Facebook or

Some good news to tell you about this morning. We showed you these pictures yesterday on newsroom. They show a toddler thrown from an SUV during a high speed chase. This morning, the 18-month-old girl is out of the hospital and staying with relatives.

Amazingly, she has only bumps and bruises. Her teenaged parents and friends inside the SUV have all been charged in the robbery that started that police chase.

Sticker shock is not just being felt at the gas pump. It's also on college campuses. Why the cost of a four-year degree keeps on climbing.

And don't forget if you're heading out the door, take us with you. Watch us anytime on your mobile or computer on


COSTELLO: If your kid is taking too much time to get that college degree, there's a good reason for that. Good reason to tell them to hit the books and hurry. A new report shows that average tuition costs for four years of school, you guessed it, going up and I mean way up.

Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange.

So how much?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Here are the harsh numbers, Carol. The average tuition at a four-year public university is up 15 percent from 2008 to 2010. The big reason, state budget cuts -- 40 percent of state and territories cut their education spending. States that really stick out, though, are California and Georgia.

But that's not where we saw the biggest individual increases. The big winner there is the University of Ft. Lauderdale in Florida. That's a private school. And tuition there jumped 160 percent.

The biggest public school increase was the University of the District of Columbia. Tuition there almost doubled.

You know what, Carol? It looks like students are being priced right out of the ballpark.

COSTELLO: There's got to be a bargain someplace out there. Tell me there is.

KOSIK: OK. Get your pencil and paper there. Because believe it or not, three schools are there with tuition under $1,000.

There's Haskell Indian Nations University. That's located in Kansas. Dine College in Arizona. Both of those are Native American colleges. And then Berea College in Kentucky. That is the cheapest private school.

But listen to this. If you want a bargain in terms of the quality of education you can get for the money you can pay, "U.S. News and World Report" says you've got to go with the big boys. Look at their top five value schools. You've heard of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Lots of financial aid at those schools, most students pay 70 percent off the sticker price. It's definitely a bargain.

But you know what the catch is?

COSTELLO: You can't get in.

KOSIK: You've got to be accepted. You've got to be smart enough.

COSTELLO: All right.

KOSIK: There's always a catch, Carol.

COSTELLO: I know. It's true. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

So, now, a star-studded party to raise some big bucks for Barack Obama. From the West Coast at George Clooney, tonight it's a New York shindig at Sarah Jessica Parker's home. And getting in will cost you big bucks.


COSTELLO: Good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello.

Just about 30 minutes past the hour. Stories we're watching right now in THE NEWSROOM. Lance Armstrong fighting back at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of alleged doping. Armstrong accuses the agency of dredging up discredited allegations, to strip him with seven Tour de France titles. Because of the investigation, Armstrong has been banned from competing in an Ironman competition this month.

Also this morning, concerns about problems in a CDC building which houses dangers like anthrax and monkey pox. "USA Today" uncovered internal documents which detail ventilation problems in one of the bio terror labs at the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC in Atlanta says no one has been infected but the emails show even expert employees are worried about their risk of exposure.

Violent turbulence onboard a United Airlines flight forced an emergency landing and injured five people onboard badly enough to have to be taken to the hospital. The passenger say the flight from Houston to New York was fine until bone-jarring turbulence struck without warning.


JEFF HORNBACK, PASSENGER: People who weren't buckled in or the flight attendants who were up getting ready to start service. So they flew up and several people flew up and hit the ceiling of the plane and immediately were slammed down to the floor of the plane. I heard both the pilot and the flight attendant say they had been flying 20 to 30 years and had never seen anything like what they saw today.


COSTELLO: The plane landed quickly after in Lake Charles, Louisiana. An EMT happened to be aboard and helped out with those injured.

You could call it checks in the city. A big Obama fundraiser takes place tonight in New York's swanky west village. Hosting the party, Sarah Jessica Parker, and "Vogue" maven and editor Anna Wintour.

Conservatives are calling the high-priced party an effort to rally the peasantry. The Republican National Committee is snickering with a new ad attacking the event.


ANNA WINTOUR, VOGUE: Hi. I'm Anna Wintour. And I'm so lucky in my work that I'm able to meet some of the most incredible women in the world. Women like Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama. These two wonderful women and I are hosting a dinner along with the president in New York City to benefit the Obama campaign.


COSTELLO: OK. So let's talk about this.

CNN contributors Roland Martin and John Avlon on here.



COSTELLO: Well, here's my first question. Can President Obama really make the point that Mitt Romney is out of touch? I mean, Anna Wintour, "Vogue," the devil, "The Devil Wears Prada"? Roland?

MARTIN: Who cares? Are we somehow shocked that there are fundraisers with people who are either celebrities or folks with lots of money? No. Not shocked at all.

Plus, you know what, I am so sick of this regular guy narrative. I don't want a regular guy president. I don't want a regular woman president. I want somebody extraordinary.

So, we need to stop thinking that these folks are just like us. They are not. And they'll never be just like the average American out here.

COSTELLO: OK. So, John, why do they keep saying they are just like us?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, I mean, Roland, look, if Mitt Romney was hosting a fundraiser with Anna Wintour, you'd be teeing off on it talking about --

MARTIN: Actually, I wouldn't, John, because I don't care. I don't. Seriously, I don't.

AVLON: It's ridiculous. I'm shocked by how dumb this is. Because really, how this gets out of the development stage is a real question, because here is a campaign that knows it needs to focus on saying the president is fighting for the middle class. And you're doing a fundraiser and promoting it with Anna Wintour? Who's got -- radiates nothing but vague distaste for most middle class Americans?

Sarah Jessica Parker, you can make an argument for in terms of some demographic appeal, but Anna Wintour really does start looking elite and out of touch and it's totally counters the campaign's overall message.

MARTIN: OK. John, what's the difference between Anna Wintour and George Clooney hosting a fundraiser? What's the difference between Steven Spielberg hosting a fundraiser, or Spike Lee hosting a fundraiser?

COSTELLO: What about Donald trump and Mitt Romney?

MARTIN: Come on. Duh.

AVLON: I think what it is, people at home, people in the middle of America, whether they are middle class or mid-America, know who George Clooney is and they like him. They know Steven Spielberg. They admire his work.

Anna Wintour seems to come out of left field, it's more "Devil Wears Prada" than anything people have actually participated in or connect to. And also, given the fact that the Obama campaign, and the administration was using Donald Trump as shorthand for absurd fundraisers, this just takes away that argument because it gives Republicans an equal and opposite argument to make.

MARTIN: No, it doesn't.

COSTELLO: Let's pause for just a second. I mean, both candidates do this stuff. And then say, I'm a regular guy.

Kathleen Parker had an interesting column in "The Washington Post" about being ordinary. She wrote, quote, "As a political concept, the ordinary American has become something of a cartoon character, an undereducated, overweight bloke who holds smarty pants elites in contempt."

In other words, we know who we are, and we are sure they don't know who we are, so why bother?

MARTIN: Precisely, because it is a ridiculous narrative. For instance, in 2008, it was all this hullabaloo over, oh, President Obama, look what the score he bowled. Maybe he doesn't like bowling, OK? Deal with it.

OK. Senator Hillary Clinton. Can she knock down some shots? Well, guess what? I don't drink, so who cares.

These are the most trivial discussions. I don't care if it's Anna Wintour. There are going to be celebrities, hedge fund people, there are going to be Wall Street people. There are going to be all kinds of people hosting fundraisers. So, let's just stop this ridiculous narrative of the regular guy. They are not regular.

COSTELLO: OK, John. Fight back.

AVLON: OK, hold on. Yes. There is an important point. The American people are smart, and the condescending attitude that we are ordinary Americans who are somehow other I think really does drive a wedge in our civic life. I agree.

Look, most Americans, they don't want to go to an ordinary barber or ordinary dentist or ordinary restaurant. Everyone wants to consort with people who are extraordinary in their own way.

But the key here is -- and certainly politicians who sit around wondering how they can pretend to be something other than they are, Mitt Romney pretending to be a man of the people, that's not going to work because it's not who he is. What we want is for politicians to respect us enough to be authentic. And you'll find if politicians take that risk, people respond. But let's --

MARTIN: They are all --

AVLON: But to spend fundraisers with Anna Wintour sends a message of relatability to the middle class also just doesn't fly because it isn't true.

COSTELLO: We'll have to leave it there.

MARTIN: There goes your ticket to the next fashion show, John.

COSTELLO: We'll have to leave it there. Thanks for the conversation. I enjoyed it.

Roland Martin and John Avlon.

MARTIN: We'll see him in "Vogue" next time.

COSTELLO: He deserves to be. He can strut his stuff on the runway. Wow.

MARTIN: Work it, John. Work it.


So, rumors are flying that the HGTV series "House Hunters" is completely staged. Why the show's producers aren't exactly denying it.


COSTELLO: Producers of HGTV's hit show "House Hunters" aren't exactly denying that part of the show is staged. That's after one of the feature the home buyers wrote a blog online saying that parts of her story were completely fabricated.

A.J. Hammer is live in New York to tell us more. And does HGTV just not care? Because they are not really denying the blog.

A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: Well, I'll explain it to you. There's a reason why they do the show the way they do, Carol. Millions of people watch the show, myself included. Some people who watch it say they are completely addicted, and there are a lot of fans who seem pretty upset about this news.

These posts by Bobi Jensen from San Antonio reveal that her house search, which was featured back in 2006, was mostly staged. She actually revealed that some of the houses she checked out for the show weren't even on the market at the time.

Here's some of what she wrote on her blog. "The ones we looked at weren't even for sale. They were just our two friend's houses who were nice enough to madly clean for days in preparation for the cameras."

And she says the whole storyline of their move was fabricated. Shooting didn't actually start until after they had already closed on their new house.

Now, let me get to the network's explanation, which has basically been, we do do some staging.

They tell "Showbiz Tonight," you know, things move so quickly in real estate sales they have to go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has seen to capture what they call their authentic reactions. And they claim that because the stakes are so high, the homeowners seem to always find themselves right back in that emotional moment when they are seeing the house they end up buying or the ones that they are looking at.

COSTELLO: Yes, I get that.

HAMMER: And you're getting real reactions.

COSTELLO: But what about the house that wasn't even for sale?

HAMMER: Well, that's a little strange. I don't understand that. And I sort of -- from a television production standpoint I understand why they have to do it the way they do it because of the way real estate works.

But they do say this, and I agree as a viewer of the show. Showcasing three homes allows viewers to play along. It is part of the joy of the viewing experience.

I actually watched the show last night. I'm a big fan. And it did change the way I watched the show. But I still found it entertaining. And even knowing that, well, maybe this isn't happening in real time, I still want to know which did they choose, I picked one. And it wasn't the one that they chose.

So this is the nature of reality TV.


HAMMER: The curtain is getting pulled back.

COSTELLO: I guess so.

OK. Tell us about "Weeds" because "Weeds" is going away.

HAMMER: Yes. And this is sad for me because this is one of my favorite shows of all time.

Showtime has announced the drug dealing end on "Weeds." This was one of the first shows that Showtime premiered truly in an effort to compete with HBO in original programming. And the comedy about a pot dealing suburban housewife played by exceptional Mary Louise Parker was really one of the shows that made people take Showtime seriously. The final season kicks off July 1st.

I, Carol, will be watching every minute.

COSTELLO: Still getting over the spanking picture. OK. Thank you, A.J. Hammer. Wow.

Question for you. Are younger Americans having a crisis of faith? Why more millennials are reportedly doubting the existence of God.


COSTELLO: If you are 30 or younger, chances are your belief in God may be on the decline. That's according to a survey by the Pew Research Center which shows 68 percent of millennial say they doubt God's existence. I'm sorry. Say they never doubt God's existence. And while that may be a majority, it's also a 15-point drop from five years ago.

Pew says more millenials are expressing doubts about God than at any other time, almost 30 percent.

Joining me now is Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance.



COSTELLO: Just to be clear, you're an atheist and you offer support to students in high schools and colleges nationwide. Why do you think we are seeing this shift?

GALEF: You know, there have always been doubts among everyone in the population. But right now, the millennials are coming of age in the time with the Internet. For those with doubts before, who could they go to, if they would go to church where doubts are actively discouraged?

Now they are connected with the worldwide community of people who can encourage the doubts -- engage with them and really, now they have a place to discuss it. Online and increasingly on campus with Secular Student Alliances.

COSTELLO: But that doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe in God or won't believe in God in the future. When you're young you do question things. It's just the nature of a human being, human nature.

GALEF: Yes. And we're finding that as they question, unless the questions are really encouraged and people can explore the beliefs fully. They are not going to come to their own conclusions. And I think as more and more people can engage with the questions with peers on campus, online, they'll come to the conclusion that well, I can think for myself, maybe I don't need to be a good -- to believe in God, to be a good person.

And that's really what we're finding. More and more secular students are coming to campus and coming to Internet forums saying that and admitting that they don't believe in a God. COSTELLO: Do you really have group -- oh I mean, are you -- do you do work within high schools?

GALEF: Especially recently. High school students are more and more coming to us looking for -- for help because they face specific challenges from their administrators, from their communities. When they start to question, when they have these doubts, where do they go? And we need to be there protecting them. The Equal Access act requires the schools to allow them to form groups, and they often experience push backs without help from the national group like Secular Student Alliance.

COSTELLO: Well some Christians might argue that because such groups are in high schools you're sort of indoctrinating young people at a time when you know it's not proper because they are not old enough to really handle questions like that.

GALEF: You know we don't go out finding students, we empower them to form groups if they want. There are tons of fellowship and Christian athletes, there are tons of groups on high school campuses already for student who are trying to profess a Christian faith. We're providing secular students at high schools and college campuses with a safe community of peers.

It's not about forcing anybody to be nonreligious. It's giving them a safe place to discuss and live out their values.

COSTELLO: Well some people accuse organizations like yours of -- of trying to -- to shape the beliefs of young people. And they say that that's dangerous because most religions, most religious people -- you know, religion helps you in your life. It's not a bad thing.

GALEF: Yes. You know it's not about forcing anybody to -- to leave their faith. But I think as more and more students are acting as role models and the leaders on their campus and in their communities showing that you can be a good person without believing in God. I mean, these groups are doing community service projects, driving down to New Orleans and rebuilding houses after Katrina.

The (inaudible) to Student Alliance is hosting pizza parties and board game nights with the Muslim Student Association. I mean, these are not threats for our society, these are just students who want to be good people but don't happen to believe in God. And we're giving them places that they can do that without feeling that they are living a lie.

COSTELLO: Jesse Galef, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

GALEF: Thanks so much. For more information, you can check out to see where the groups are and what they're doing.


Spit ball or not? Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde is getting a close look from Major League Baseball. What exactly is he doing when he has his glove in front of his face? We'll talk about that in sports.


COSTELLO: I've been training for a triathlon along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta's "FitNation" team. And the team's lucky enough to have the help of this athletic director named April Gellatly. And she offers tips to run better, run farther, easier.

Well, she checked out the way I ran and she found a few things I did wrong and explained why I was getting those annoying stitches in my side.



COSTELLO: That's a body fatigue.


COSTELLO: And there's a little bit too much side-to-side motion. All of your movement should be going forward. Pretend there's a string running through the center of your body and you're kind of pulling yourself up from that string. So go ahead. Pretend. Pulling yourself up by that center string.

With the arms in general, you want most of your movement to be behind you, so as if you were trying to elbow somebody. Here, here, here.

COSTELLO: A big problem that I have is I get a stitch in my side. And I do this and I squeeze my muscle and it hurts. So what can I do to get rid of it?

GELLATLY: Some of that might be caused from that movement that --

COSTELLO: Washing machine motion.

GELLATLY: Washing machine motion when you find yourself with that cramp. Ask yourself am I rotating side to side? Am I using, you know, those stomach muscles and causing that?


COSTELLO: April is so fit. I just don't feel worthy standing beside her. But she is helping me a lot. And be sure to check out my tips with April every Thursday morning, all part of the 2012 "FitNation" triathlon challenge with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Airs in the 9:00 a.m. Eastern hour of NEWSROOM.

We're following a lot of developments in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM. Let's check in first with Dana Bash. DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, it's sad to say, but this is a headline. We have found bipartisanship in the United States Congress. We'll tell you where and what it's all about in the next hour.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Casey Wian in Los Angeles. The U.S. anti-doping agency says Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist, engaged in a 13-year conspiracy to use and traffic in performance- enhancing drugs. I'll have the latest at the top of the hour.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Today is the Army's 237th birthday, but in a few minutes a very unusual celebration. The tanks will come out, but wait until you see the tanks. We'll have that coming up.

COSTELLO: Oh Barbara, you have to tell us. Cupcakes. The tanks are made of cupcakes. I can't wait to see that.

Also fans of the band Kiss, so have we got news for you. Founder and lead vocalist Paul Stanley is joining us live in just about 50 minutes. He'll tell us how Kiss is still going strong after so many years. We'll also ask him about the band's upcoming tour and so much more. Fifty minutes from now in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: A perfect night. And good for him.

JEFF FISCHEL, HLN SPORTS: You know, he's one of baseball's great pitchers, doesn't always get talked about as one of the best in the game. But, man, when you put together a night like Matt Cain had last night, it's fantastic. No runs, no hits, no errors, no walks -- nada for the Giants' righty.

Look at him mowing them down against the Houston Astros -- yes, they're all working. Matt Cain strikes out 14. That ties Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game in modern history as good as his Cain's command was.

He also got a little help from the defense. Seventh inning, it looks like he's going to lose the perfect game. Watch Gregor Blanco. He's playing right field. He makes that catch like in center field. How does he do that? Fantastic play. Saves the perfect game. Great catch.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he'd never seen a right fielder make a catch like that. Don't blame him.

Cain's final pitch, 125, the grounder to third and the Giants celebrate. The first perfect game for the franchise ever. You're talking going back over a hundred years. Second perfect game this season. White Sox Phil Umber did it earlier this year.

As much as it's great to get hugs from your teammates, it's even better from your wife. There's Chelsea coming down after the game.

One other bit of history here, the umpire, home plate, Ted Barrett, he called balls and strikes -- he was also the home plate umpire for another perfect game back in 1999. He's the only ump ever to call two perfect games.

A great night for Matt Cain and the San Francisco giants.


COSTELLO: I just love watching that celebration.

FISCHEL: It's really -- it's amazing night when you only -- you think you have, what, 21 other times ever in Major League Baseball history. Fantastic.

COSTELLO: Yes. We have to talk about Jose Valverde -- speaking of pitchers.

FISCHEL: Yes, you know, Matt Cain did it all the right way. Is Jose Valverde doing it to wrong way? ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball has reviewed video of a pitch Valverde made in Sunday's game against Cincinnati. The video, which has gone viral, shows Valverde putting his glove with the ball in it to his mouth. Valverde denies it was a spitball, denies he did anything wrong.

COSTELLO: He always does that thought. He's been doing -- he licks his hand, too, and that was another kind of bone of contention.

FISCHEL: This has gone on for as long as baseball's been around. Are pitchers trying to gain that extra advantage, you know, are there ways to scruff this -- scratch the ball a little bit to get something extra on there. We'll see.

COSTELLO: But how can you actually prove it? They're going to watch that video over and over?

FISCHEL: Right. Is the ball going to float differently? I don't know. If you -- once in a while, there was one -- I don't want to take up too much time -- the guy had something under his hat. You know, it was like 25 years ago, (inaudible). He's like, "I don't know". And it was somewhat flying and someone caught it --