Return to Transcripts main page


Moment of Silence at Pregame Ceremonies; Should Bob Costas Have Spoken Out During Halftime?

Aired December 4, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: We`re celebrating a birthday today on CNN STUDENT NEWS, and we are sharing some of your thoughts on police officers using pushups as punishment. I`m Carl Azuz. It all starts right now.

Football games often start with a coin toss and a national anthem. Sunday`s pregame ceremonies in Kansas City also included a moment of silence. The Kansas City Chiefs held the moment for the victims of domestic violence and their families. It`s an issue with an immediate connection to the Kansas City community and the Chiefs team. Jovan Belcher was a linebacker for Kansas City. Police reports say that on Saturday, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, Cassandra Perkins. He drove to the team`s practice facility where he then took his own life. When violence like this occurs, you might expect the issue of gun control to come up, you might not expect it to come up during a half-time show.

And that`s what happened on Sunday night.

NBC`s Bob Costas talked about it during the Sunday night football broadcast. He quoted another sports reporter, Jason Whitlock, whom Costas agreed with. Here is what he said, quote: "Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it."

Now, there was an immediate reaction to this online. It was not necessarily about gun control, it was about Costas discussing the issue during a sports program. One sports talk show host said, quote, "I will gladly debate Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas on gun control, but we tuned in for an NFL game! Ridiculous programming decision!"

Another person on Twitter said, quote, "Big ups to Bob Costas for standing up for gun control. Hopefully, some day we can actually have a conversation about it as a nation."

So, on our blog today we are tossing it to you to get your take. We are focusing on what Bob Costas did. Should he have weighed in on the issue of gun control during halftime, or was this an issue of a bad decision or bad timing? We are looking for your thoughts at

U.S. government is getting closer to the edge of the fiscal cliff. Congress and the president have until January 1 to agree on the plan to lower the country`s debt. That could include how the government takes in money through taxes and how it spends money. If they don`t come up with the deal, we know that taxes will go up for all Americans, and government spending will also get cut. Ted Rowlands looks at what that might mean for one city.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First and foremost, there`s the Rock Island Arsenal. If Congress doesn`t act, defense spending will be slashed by 55 billion next year and 450 billion over ten years. Which many fear could put the Arsenal in jeopardy. The Arsenal is the area`s largest employer. And though it`s not clear how any cuts would impact the installation specifically, the mere prospect has people worried.

Next, is healthcare, another major employer in the quad cities. If Congress doesn`t act, Medicare reimbursement will initially drop by two percent. Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island is already budgeting for the fiscal cliff.

Other possible fiscal cliff cuts that could hit Rock Island include the Army Corps of Engineers. They are here in part to manage the locks along the Mississippi.

There is cuts to public education, which the National School Board Association said could have a profound effect if Congress doesn`t act.

And there are potential cuts to social services. More than 12 percent of Rock Island`s population lives below the poverty line. And of course, there are the tax hikes.

At Theo`s coffee shop, people have a lot to say about Washington D.C. and the fiscal cliff. James Cheeks says he`s counting on Congress to prevent his taxes from going up.

JAMES CHEEKS, CUSTOMER: Scary. You know, it`s scary. Where then money is going to come from? You know, how am I going to pay this extra tax hike?

ROWLANDS: The potential effects of the fiscal cliff aren`t necessarily any more or less significant here in Rock Island than they would be in any other city across the country.

The bottom line is, if Congress doesn`t act, there will be significant repercussions for the entire country. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Rock Island, Illinois.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mr. Lind`s social studies classes at Highland High School in Ault, Colorado.

Which of these technologies is celebrating its 20th birthday this week? Here we go, is it the cell phone, artificial heart, DVD or text message?

You`ve got three seconds, go!

If you guessed the text message, you are right. The first one was sent 20 years ago this week. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: The text of the first text message -- "Merry Christmas." The engineer was sending it to his boss who was at a Christmas party. What started as two words has exploded in the 2.2 trillion texts. That`s how many are sent every year just in the U.S., so it works out to about 6 billion per day.

Text messaging is slowing down a little bit. So, some analysts start wondering if it`ll BRB. But for a lot of people, especially you guys, it`s the most common form of communication. So, the idea of texting disappearing any time soon might just make you LOL.

Well, the CNN Heroes program is all about honoring people who are making a difference. People like Malala Yousafzai. She`s the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban because of her support for girls` right to education in her home country. Malala is recovering from the attack and she has a message for her supporters.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: "Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support. I thank the people who supported me without distinguishing religion and color. People have actually supported a cause, not an individual. Let`s work together, she says. Let`s work together to educate girls around the world.


AZUZ: Anderson Cooper read Malala`s message during Sunday night`s CNN Heroes All Star Tribute program. Now, Kareen Wynter recaps the night and tells us who was the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The red carpet outside L.A.`s Shrine Auditorium buzzed with excitement, but this time the bright lights shined on some special stars, everyday people changing the world.

COOPER: Welcome to CNN Heroes, an All-Star Tribute

WYNTER: Out of thousands of nominations submitted by CNN`s global audience, ten amazing men and women were singled out for their remarkable heroic efforts to make the world a better place. People like Razia Jan, who is providing a free education to hundreds of girls in rural Afghanistan.

RAZIA JAN, "HEROES" HONOREE: I think education is the only thing in the world that can go forward and make life better.

WYNTER: And Leo McCarthy, who gives scholarships to kids who pledge not to drink after his daughter was killed by a young driver.

LEO MCCARTHY: Let`s change a culture and keep these promising, vibrant kids alive.

WYNTER: Olympic swimmer Kolin Jones helped celebrate Wanda Butts golden moment. Motivated by her son`s tragic drowning, she created a non- profit that helped more than 1200 children learn how to swim.

WANDA BUTTS, "HEROES" HONOREE: It is unbelievable to me that I have come this far from such a tragedy with my son.

WYNTER: It was an unforgettable night capped off with the unveiling of the CNN Hero of the Year: Pushpa Basnet, founder of a Children`s Home in Nepal that helps kids whose parents are in prison.

PUSHPA BASNET, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR: And thank you so much for everyone who brought it for me and who believed in my dream.

WYNTER: The hope is that their heroic example will inspire countless others.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.


AZUZ: Last week, we told you about some Rhode Island police officers who made a group of young people do pushups instead of arresting or reporting them for allegedly vandalizing a mailbox.

On our blog, 75 percent of you sided with the police, saying, you supported the push-up punishment. Hannah wrote: "Although more could`ve been done to ensure the alleged vandalism wouldn`t happen again, it was a perfectly good punishment. Anybody would rather do push-ups than pay a fine.

From Robbie, "The punishment would only be OK it if was a small, harmless crime, but it was a larger crime, it shouldn`t be an option."

Christine says, "As much as a punishment was needed, it wasn`t up to the police officers themselves to decide what it would be."

Mr. Mike`s juvenile detention class says "The police officers let the suspects off with a good warning as opposed to arresting them on the spot!"

And Hong wrote, "I`m not surprised by this punishment, because it`s quite popular in my home country. This type of punishment does not cause any harm."

Today`s before we go segment is a tale where cuisine meets convenience.

This vending machine in a California mall seems a little fishy. It`s because it`s filled with caviar, fish eggs. Now you can snack while you shop in style. The prices run anywhere from 12 bucks to 500. Add it all up, and this machine`s filled with $50,000 in merchandise.

Some critics say caviar doesn`t belong in the food court, but if shoppers are willing to pay, it seems like an eggselent idea. If you do have any official complaints, you could take it up with the sturgeon general. But you might have to vent for yourself because you could just be fighting an upstream battle.

We just hope you won`t start a row, because that would be in bad taste. We hope you have a great rest of the day. CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz.