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Live Presser Coverage With Doc Rivers; Analysis Of Donald Sterling's Boot From The NBA; Are Flight 370 Searchers Looking In Entirely Wrong Area?
Aired April 29, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
DOC RIVERS, HEAD COACH AND SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF BASKETBALL OPERATIONS, NBA LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Bottom coach of the team right now and I actually don't know, you know, who to call if I need something, you know. And so, the quicker that this is done, the better for everyone, having said that, is going to take time and we all have to be patient.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And could I also ask you just, obviously, the players, yourself, you're a very wealthy man, at the same time, you're in a situation you're working for a man who has these views, how insulting is it to you as a human being to be working for a man who express these views?
RIVERS: Well, that's the difficult part and that's -- over the last three or four days, it's been very difficult, you know. That matter the wealth, to be honest that you could be making nothing. You want to work for someone that had at least shares your values or respects, and they don't have to actually share them, but they have to respect them. And that's difficult, you know. And it's best seen (ph) when you're working in a company that when you do your job, you have it on your chest, you know. I think that's hard, right. I got to wear a suit and tie the other night, but I had a sense that that was very hard for the players, you know. They have to wear that. And I think that was hard for them. I really do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doc, you said -- excuse me. You said that you are in film (ph) and then you told them about the decision that Adam Silver that handed down and then you said what you needed to say to them. What did you need to say them or what did you tell them?
RIVERS: Well, that would be private, that part (ph). I just, you know, a lot of it was just how much I admire them and how they try to handle this. And just to let them know that this was some closure, but there's still work to do. And, you know, I just thought that they set a very good example around the league on how they conducted themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doc, you said you expected an amazing crowd tonight. A couple of nights ago, you had questions about it and you get no feedback between now and in the -- RIVERS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe I'm hoping too. Maybe that's part of it. Yeah. I think the mayor has been great by the way. And what he said today, Kevin Johnson, you know, has joke me, "I liked him again." You know, it's amazing, right? He's been great. He was great what he said today. I didn't know he can speak so well, so eloquently, my goodness. But, just derailing (ph) that this is not just Clippers or Lakers or L.A., this is some bigger and support this team. And again, I go back to the 14 guys that we dressed or that are, you know, that are players, they did nothing wrong and they need support. And I think that that will happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doc, would you like to see the Clippers name changed?
RIVERS: You know, Jim (ph), that's been asked. I don't know. I -- honestly, someone asked me that today and it's the first time I've heard of or thought of it with someone. I have no idea. I think wherever -- whatever happens, whoever -- if there is a new owner or change of ownership, I think all those things would be answered by someone much smarter than me. I'm not smart enough to give that answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last two questions. (Inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just need some clarification on something you said before. I thought the union said that if they didn't like the resolution from Adam Silver, players would consider not playing. Did your players consider not playing if they did not like the resolution?
RIVERS: They hadn't discussed it. I think they had the trust that there would be. I'm glad we don't have to find out, would be the answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doc, you said the players made the right decision by just not doing anything and waiting for Silver. Why was that the right decision to not make some kind of major statement or sit out of game before the decision?
RIVERS: You know, I don't know Mark (ph). Like I said the other day, I don't know -- I know what I think is right and that's all I can go by. There's a lot of people who think we didn't do the right thing and then there's a lot of people who think we did. And all you can go by is what you feel like you should do. You know, I lean on a lot of things (ph) in trying to help our guys get to this decision. And like I told you, they did talk about the, you know, that -- at when it first not playing. You know, I thought the Black Sox and the, you know, the shirts (ph) and all that was fine (ph).
But, at the end of the day, you know, I just -- for me at least, I always start to lean back on people that I've learned from and, you know, from Wayne and (inaudible), you know, I talked to a lot of people, you know. And my father who's no longer here, he would have tell me to go do my job and don't let anyone stop you from doing your job because of what they think about you and --
(END VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Michael Smerconish. A sigh of relief. That's what L.A. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers called the decision to ban team owner Don Sterling for life. Coach Rivers just concluded the first team news conference since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver delivered a swift and decisive punishment to Sterling. Commissioner Silver says Sterling admits making racist remarks and so we kicked him out of professional basketball.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Let's get right to our discussion of Donald Sterling's banishment from the NBA. We're joined by A.C. Green, Former Professional Basketball Player who was a one-time teammate of Magic Johnson. And Judge Glenda Hatchett, she's the host of the Judge Hatchett Show, a consultant to the NBA and the NFL and she sits on the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Falcons.
A.C., let me begin with you. I thought that was an amazing briefing from Doc Rivers. He walked in, no notes, no prepared statement, just delivered it from the heart. And among the things that he said I've been taking notes, he said, you know, it's interesting that the offended party is the one that gets called on for a response. And then he said that in this particular case, Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, he responded for everyone. Your reaction.
A.C. GREEN, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER: Mike, I think he did. You know, I think Adam did give a response and I think he did for every single person, past players, current players, and those who are watching from elementary school, high schools, and collegiate wise that, you know, this is not going to be tolerated -- the bigotry, hatred of any sort, any type of prejudice is not going to be tolerated in the league under his watch.
SMERCONISH: Judge Hatchett, here we are. We are in the midst of the NBA Playoffs. You also heard Doc Rivers. The coach say, "Hey, this was bigger than basketball."
JUDGE GLENDA HATCHETT, NBA AND NFL CONSULTANT: Absolutely. It is bigger than basketball. And the Commissioner I thought was bold and swift today and did what was necessary. And I hope that the owners will take the next step to do what is necessary on their part because the Commissioner give all that he could do today. But it is bigger than basketball. And I think that some good things will come out of this. That there will hopefully be some constructive candid conversations that we need to have about healing and not just tolerating people, but understanding people because it is our diversity, it's our differences that really make us strong and we have to embrace that.
SMERCONISH: You know Judge, to your point, Doc Rivers was also asked if he have the opportunity to address that present team owner, although that might not be the case for long, what would you say to him, and he said, "Well, I'm really not sure what I'd say specifically, but I'd like to change them." I thought that was a really refreshing response.
HATCHETT: I thought that was a wonderful response. And I absolutely think the role of Doc Rivers. I have always since he played in Atlantis a thousand years ago. And he has been absolutely marvelous I think through all of this. But isn't that what we really want? Don't we want people to go and to learn and not get more than divided in this conversation? But for there are to be some change and some understanding which I think coach really hit it when he said that.
SMERCONISH: A.C., recognizing that the game itself is far less important than the subjects we're addressing tonight, I nevertheless want to ask you, Coach River said that emotion drains energy. How in the world does his team go out and play this evening?
GREEN: Well, you know, I think they go out and play thinking that hey, you know, big brother really did step up for us today, you know. We know that actually that league, this league, Adam Silver, has all that.
And so, I don't think that could have been seen (ph) the last he came up in Golden State because it was all new, all fresh. And maybe if they did make a symbolic gesture of the jerseys removing on, well, at the same time, they still knew what they -- and who they were representing and they still wanted to say more and do more, but I really think because of what was set out in New York, our leader of basketball, Adam Silver, stepped up and spoke for those who really couldn't speak for themselves at this time. And so, I think it's a new day, a new game, a new beginning for the Los Angeles Clippers tonight.
SMERCONISH: Judge, given your --
HATCHETT: I don't think it shows --
SMERCONISH: I'm sorry. Go ahead ma'am.
HATCHETT: No, I'm just going to say that it also shows that the players have power and they used that power. They were very clear to Mayor Johnson to say these are the things that we want, this is when we want it, and for the Commissioner to address that. So I think that we have to remember that there's an obligation on both sides contractually. And if I were representing these guys in the league, you know, I would say listen, you can't have a hostile work environment. There has to be a place that we are doing what is right for the players.
SMERCONISH: Judge, is it a given that Sterling gets out of the way? Is there a likelihood here that he may try and stand his ground and fight?
HATCHETT: He may well do that. Now, he can't. Under the constitution of the NBA, he cannot appeal the Commissioner's decision today. He has a right to respond if the owners decide that they want to have a hearing and he has a right to present evidence at that time under the constitution. But I will tell you, I don't think his going to get to that frankly. I think that this -- there's going to be so much pressure for him to lead the NBA all together and not have any ownership interest because you've got sponsors, you've got fans, you've got players. We're all watching.
SMERCONISH: A.C. Green, Adidas and Samsung already announcing tonight that they're coming back to the Clippers. Is that premature?
GREEN: I don't think it's premature. I mean, I think they too were waiting and that they were making a statement, you know, that they're not going to standby in silence and not have their voice be heard and their voices (ph) removing their support, their physical support, their financial support of the Clippers. And so, I think, them coming back now that they've seen decision, I think this is a smart move. I really do. And I don't think it's premature at all because -- and once again, you know, you have to stand for something. You got to step up and speak when you have an opportunity and I think the sponsors are having opportunity and some of them are making that decisions that they are making and we're seeing the ramifications of that financially.
SMERCONISH: A.C., let me ask you about your former teammate Magic Johnson who (inaudible) of its own gets swept up on this because of those hateful comments that were offered. I'm not the only person thinking, I'm sure that it would be poetic justice if when all were said and done. It's Magic Johnson who owns the LA Clippers. What's the likelihood of that?
GREEN: I think it's a strong possibility. I really do and I will love to see that happen. I really -- he's a great man, a great leader in our community, just a great person from that standpoint. He and Cookie, they only want good. They only have been trying to do good in our society as a whole. And even the comments that were even made about him that brought his name into it, it was because he was admired for what he was done in the community and open up jobs and create an opportunities for people. And he and I share something so much alike in the fact that the message that all of this is really condemned (ph), we're worried about what this is saying to our kids, what is this saying --
GREEN: -- to our youth. And so, that's why it's so important for decision to be made --
GREEN: -- and Magic, yes, I will love for him to be the owner of the Clippers one day. I'm staying it right here, right now.
HATCHETT: And I should have agree more. Oh yes, I still agree. Actually, tweeted back at the very beginning when it started, talk about poetic justice. If he were to lead a group of investors on this, I mean, I think that would just be absolutely (inaudible). SMERCONISH: Your honor, thank you. A.C. Green, Judge Glenda Hatchett, we really appreciate your having been here. Thanks so much.
This morning, the Clippers story was about a villain. Now, it may just be about a new hero. Did Adam Silver just rescue the NBA brand? And speaking of Silver, it looks like the Clippers may soon be after sale if the NBA Commissioner has his way. And next, I'm talking to a man who just might be one of the bidders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: You ready to announce your bid tonight before you leave us? How much?
PAT CROCE, FORMER OWNER OF PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: No. Listen, I don't have that kind of clink, but I know where I can get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: The Clippers' future is uncertain but their present is united. This is the image that is now front and center on the team's website. It reads "We are one." It's a clear message to the league and to the world in plain black and white that sports are color-blind. Now, the next step, it would be to sell of the team. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was definitive in today's news conference that there was no place in the league for Donald Sterling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SILVER: As for Mr. Sterling's ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and we'll do everything in my power to ensure that that happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: A man who knows the NBA inside and out. The former owner of the Philadelphia's 76ers Pat Croce says he knows someone who wants to buy the Clippers and he joins me now.
Hey Pat, let me remind everybody of your story. You started out as the team trainer. You rose to the ranks, became the president co- owner, the 76ers under your tutelage were the worst in the league in '96 and in the NBA finals in 2001. How much interaction did you have with Donald Sterling?
CROCE: Michael, every board of governor's meeting and we have about three or four-year over those five years. So, 20 episodes as well as any other NBA events like All Star Weekends or Olympic events. So it was a very casual not that we ran in the same circles. As a matter of fact, my wife and I kind of joke that he was almost like thirst in hell (ph) in Gilligan's Island --
SMERCONISH: How come? CROCE: -- little spacey (ph). He was one of those super rich spacey kind of guys and he was in his own world. Maybe that's why some of the comments that he makes, some of this despicable comments, he doesn't know who they effect.
SMERCONISH: So, he sounds like he was an outlier but not the kind of guy that there was a sign in those NBA meetings that this was all coming.
CROCE: No, not that I know of. I didn't know of. I didn't know of any of his racist comments in the past.
SMERCONISH: What do you make of the punishment made (ph) it out today by Adam Silver?
CROCE: You know Michael, I thought it was fabulous. First of all, to love your fine (ph), the most that you can of $2.5 million, OK, on a billionaire, that's like refining you 5 bucks. A lifetime ban from the sport, the NBA basketball sport that you own apart of for the past what, three decades, that is saying something. But more importantly, and I was shocked to see Adam with such force and conviction and the whole hammered down on to that podium that he was going to urge the ownership to make Donald sell his team, his beloved Clippers who's going to make him sell him. I was shocked and I loved it. I stood up.
SMERCONISH: Hey Pat, it occurred to me as I was watching it. And of course, you've got all the experience and expertise that Silver was out in front of the owners in this regard. It doesn't sound like he polled them. It doesn't sound like he'd work that room. He went out. He made a definitive announcement. And now, it's going to be on them to kind of toe the line. It'd be hard for any of those owners not to go along with this, don't you think?
CROCE: Mike, I think you're so right. I think he might have vet (ph) a couple of the owners to the part of the executive committee just to get their feelings, going to get their feeling in the polls, but, Adam -- excuse me. Commissioner Silver, he is a friend of mind, now his Commissioner Silver, has that same conviction to make sure the NBA stays first and foremost in the pro ranks. And there is no room in his room for prejudice, for racism. I think it's fabulous. So, he did, like his predecessor, David Stern, he put that hammer down. And you're right, all the other owners are going to have to follow lead.
Tell me, you're going to go into a meeting, 29 other owners besides the Donald, and you're going to vote yay or nay. You got to vote. Make him sell. Otherwise, you'll appear racist.
SMERCONISH: I said that the outset that Pat Croce knows someone who's interested. I'm watching and listening carefully to you --
CROCE: Yeah. I was going to say.
SMERCONISH: My suspicion is it's you, are you in for this?
CROCE: I would love to be the Clippers. You kidding me? After the fallout (ph) for the 76ers, I would love to have the Clippers in L.A. It'd be fabulous. And they're on the upswing. They got a great coach Doc Rivers, but you know what would really be karma -- a good karma, Magic Johnson. I mean, Magic on the team. I'll do it with him.
SMERCONISH: How does a sale work? How does a transaction like this get put together and who needs to approve it.
CROCE: Well, that's a great question. Normally, you would man on man, man or woman shake hands, you have a deal, you follow the deal points, you shake hands like any other transaction and it's normally based on relationships, right? But then, that deal has to go to the Board of Governors and that's the NBA and then they give you thumbs up or thumbs down, do you have the financial (inaudible), do you have the temperament, do you have the smarts, are you good for this band of brothers within the NBA to continue to make the league grow and be supreme.
So -- but this is a little different. If he's forced to sell, I don't know how that works --
SMEERCONISH: Hey Pat --
CROCE: I hope Donald still like me, so.
SMERCONISH: I can only imagine that that's a room for -- I mean, they're all successful business people and I can only imagine it is a room full of very strong personalities. As a general law (ph), did they get a long those owners?
CROCE: Yes Michael, they do get along. I was the pulpar (ph) in that room during my five-year or 10-year, but they do get along. And yes, the Mark Cubans might be outspoken and some of the others, but no, but they all get along. And that's what's beautiful about the Commissioner. The Commissioner can help moderate peppermints and personalities and opinions to get together in some consensus. That's why the league is so successful. I mean, you see, every team does well within the NBA and all the owners feel almost a camaraderie. That's why it's so amazing that Commissioner Silver said he was going to get the owners to oust (ph) one of them. I mean, that's unhurt of.
SMERCONISH: Hey Pat, what's the big picture take away here? It occurs to me that we recently celebrated the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league sports. It seems that sometimes sports can bring about change -- necessary change in a way that sports are ahead of society.
CROCE: Well said Michael. But what's scary about it is there are still individuals who had this tainted mindset. This damaged heart where prejudice still resides and you can see it. As President Obama said, it's here. Ignorance is showing itself. But as you are seeing right now with the NBA and Commissioner Silver's sanctions, it's not going to be accepted and I love it and hopefully others will follow suit (ph) even in small towns and households that it's not right.
SMERCONISH: I know that you continue to -- even though you're no longer in the ownership and you're no longer in the management of the Sixers in the NBA, I know you continue to be a fan. You go to games. I go to games. One of the great things about going to the NBA games is the diversity that you get in those audiences. Frankly, I think unlike some other major sports, hockey comes to mind. When you go and watch a 76ers game in Philly or a Clippers game in L.A., it's a very black and white and all other represented demographic kind of a crowd.
CROCE: Michael, I agree. And that was one of the prime, I guess, loves of my life passions when I was running the 76ers is because black, white, young, old, male, female, it didn't matter. We all hug together. We all celebrate together. We all got bumped out together when we lose. But when we were winning, man, it's just one happy family. And I do believe sports tends to bring people together and I'm hoping this issue right now, it makes people tighter together. This one unity that the Clippers are showing, I hope that energy in that momentum spreads.
SMERCONISH: A final question. For what you know of Donald Sterling, what you know with that personality, from interacting with him, what you know from what you've read recently, what you heard on that tape. Do you think he goes along with this? Does he go quietly into that night?
CROCE: No. I don't think so. And I would hope and I would pray and I would urge Donald to admit his mistake, to admit his hurt, to recognize, to be remorseful and apologize and stand up and step outside the owner, sweep on his own volitional, and sell the team. Sell the team says, no, it would be better the league and the team and the City of Los Angeles and the fantom (ph) of the NBA if I stepped aside. Then at least we could have some respect for him.
SMERCONISH: You ready to announce your bid tonight before you leave us? How much?
CROCE: No. No. Listen, I don't have that kind of clink, but I know where I can get it.
SMERCONISH: Pat Croce, thank you. Don't like at me when you say that.
Hey, who is V. Stiviano and could she be in more trouble than the man who for better or worst has made her famous.
Plus, have investigators been looking for the plane in all the wrong places. One private company thinks MH370 could be found in an entirely different part of the world.
SMERCONISH: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was not only visibly moved at today's press conference, he was angry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SILVER: The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage in my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural, and multiethnic league.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Did Commissioner Silver say the NBA brand? We're joined by Rick French. He's a crisis management expert and Mel Robbins who's a CNN commentator and criminal defense attorney.
Mel, you wrote something that went viral at cnn.com. You were head of the curve. You said this guy ought to relinquish franchise rights. But you know what I took note of, the comments, and many of the comments that were appended to that piece said "Hey, this isn't right. This guy was expressing himself --
MEL ROBBINS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Right.
SMERCONISH: -- privately." Were you surprised by that level of reaction?
ROBBINS: You know, I wasn't surprised because 90 percent of the comments in the personal, you know, reach out that I got Michael, was all people upset that how could a private conversation result in something like this. And the fact to the matter is, you can bark about the First Amendment all you want and you and I, he's attorneys care very much about it.
But in this particular case, regardless of how that audio got out there, it got out in the public. And Sterling's behavior is actually under the guidelines of the bylaws of being a franchise owner in the NBA. So people can be upset about the First Amendment. And what I have to say about that Michael is look, he chose to be with this kind of woman, she claims he knew that he was -- he knew that she was even taping him.
So there's even some sort of debate as to whether or not they were illegally taped. And as far as I'm concerned, once a bell is rung, you can't unring it.
SMERCONISH: I don't know Rick French if this guy can be rehabilitated. My hunch is he could never be rehabilitated. But you've worked with some pretty impressive clients over the years. And I guess the questions is this, in light of what Mel just said, might be opening for him be to point a finger at the way in which this all came to light.
RICK FRENCH, CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXPERT: I don't think so Michael. I think that you have to show contrition in order to start the rehabilitation process, he's made no statements, he's said noting that would lead you to believe that what was on the tape is anything but a reflection of his views. And therefore, I think he would need a lot of years and a lot of hard work to try to rehabilitate his image, and I don't think from what I've seen so far is that he really cares to do that.
SMERCONISH: You provided counsel to Michael Vick, you've provided advise to John Edwards, is time of the essence in a circumstance like this is the fact that this all came to light Friday night and here we are having this conversation on Tuesday, already too late for him.
FRENCH: Well, it's not too late had he taken a position, but he didn't take a position one way or another. He let the story come out without an official response. And I think now that Commissioner Silver has made his ruling, at this point, there is little that he could do. Unlike Mike's situation where he choose to, you know, he paid his debt to society, he decided to affiliate with humane society, and do good work in the community and spend years kind of showing that he had learned from his mistakes.
In this particular case, I have doubts that Mr. Sterling has an interest in doing that. And given the story has already been out there and he's done nothing to put any context around it, I think it would be very difficult for him. And I hesitate to say that because in the Public Relations business, we tell most clients that, "Yes, if you're intent on changing the way that people look at you, there is a path for doing so." But in this case I'm not sure there is.
ROBBINS: But Adam Silver laid it out Michael. I mean, one of the things that was so interesting about today is that this is been a story that was define by hatred. And as of today, it became a story that's been defined by humanity. And I think so many of us were moved today when we saw Adam Silver stand up. And what he did was so powerful and I'll be curious to hear your reaction to this too is because Adam Silver was so unwavering, because he was so forceful, and because he basically said to the world, to the owners, to the players and to Donald Sterling himself, "This is what the NBA stand for and what you said is not going to be tolerated."
SMERCONISH: Well, I think you're right and I have in my hands the statement that Commissioner Adam Silver delivered. It would seem to me Rick like this is textbook, straight out of your industry.
FRENCH: It is. That doesn't make it any less powerful however. And this was one of -- I was trying to think of other defining moments by commissioners in sports history and I could come up with two that parallel this. One would be Bartlett Giamatti's decision with Pete Rose. And the second goes all the way back to 1919 in Kenesaw Landis' decision to ban the White Sox that become the Black Sox scandal as a result to banning (ph).
There's really only been a couple instances in sports history where commissioner has taken action that is as firm as the one that Commissioner Silver took this afternoon.
SMERCONISH: Mel, is it possible that the net of all of this is that the wife becomes the new owner?
SMERCONISH: Have you thought about that process?
ROBBINS: I have actually thought about that because I've heard people say she's a co-owner, that's actually not true. If you look at the documents for the ownership, Donald Sterling is 100 percent owner. Now, I understand they've been married for 57 years and there's common law or property. So if they get a divorce and they're going to through a separation, if the asset is sold, she'll of course get a share of that asset.
But just like if Donald ran this franchise into financial ruin, she wouldn't be liable for that because she's not the owner. If there's a fail she'll share in it, I think she'll be welcome at games, maybe. Adam Silver actually talked about that today. But my assessment of the situation so far is that no way is her interest or her marriage to going to impact her ability to vote him.
SMERCONISH: I read today the complaint that she the wife --
SMERCONISH: -- filed against the mistress, the alleged mistress -- let me cover all the basis here for CNN, a little coincidental for me that that was filed just within the last 30 or 35 days and all the sudden now here -- and all the sudden now, this tape comes --
ROBBINS: Yes, yes.
SMERCONISH: -- to light. I think there's a whole part of this that is still to be played out.
ROBBINS: Well, for sure. And I know you're intellectually curious. It's one of the reasons why I love you as a journalist in a talk radio host. And I know where your head is going, which is, there's got to be more to the story here. And TMZ has been saying that the mistress had alleged. She's got hundreds of hours of tape with Sterling and that he consented to these. Now obviously, that's not proven yet, but I think we haven't heard the last of this story.
SMERCONISH: No, for sure.
ROBBINS: You know, this will be the mistress. But hopefully, this is the end of it in terms of Sterling's ownership.
SMERCONISH: Mel, thank you for that. Rick French, we appreciate your having been here, Mel Robbins.
And just when investigators thought they were zeroing in on the location of missing Flight 370, a private company says they got it all wrong. So why have they been keeping a lead on information they say they've had for weeks.
SMERCONISH: Time now for Headlines Redefined. The headlines that got the story half right. First up from the Guardian, "Harper Lee agrees to eBook version of to kill a Mockingbird." So stunning that this was the only book ever authored by Harper Lee came out in 1960, so what? 30 million copies and everybody remembers the movie adaptation Gregory Peck is playing the Attorney, his in Alabama.
He's defending a black man who's been charged with the raped of a white woman. And now here's Harper Lee, she just celebrated her 88th birthday. And after all these years has finally agreed to the electronic release of this fabulous book. Now that's the good news because we want young people reading To Kill a Mockingbird. The sad news, in light of everything that we've just discussed is that it's still relevant today.
So remember that headline, the headline that read "Harper Lee agrees to eBook version of To Kill a Mockingbird." What I would've written Atticus Finch is still needed. Now number two from ABC news, "Public preference for a GOP Congress marks a new low in Obama's approval." That's the headline this is ABC and the Washington post with a brand new survey that among other things documents that the President approval numbers are the lowest that they've recorded.
41 percent, only 41 percent approve of the job that the President is doing. And so the thinking continues to be among the experts that 2014 is going to be a year for the GOP. That Republicans and all probability will maintain control of the House and might even take control of the Senate. But I read this survey and when you get to the internals there's some very interesting things that go on. When you ask about particular issues it seems like the Democratic candidates are better aligned on the issues than the Republican candidates.
For example you asked, who's better suited to help the middle class? The D's come out on top on that issue. When you ask opinions about the minimum wage or same sex marriage or climate change it's the Democratic position not the Republican position. So what then explains the fact that the D's are better aligned on the issues with the American people and yet it's expected to be a big Republican year. Passion and passion drives people to the polls.
You remember the headline, the headline that said, "Public preference for a GOP Congress marks a new low in Obama's approval." What I would've have written, "Turnout wins." And the last headline is from the Washington post, get ready for this, "Kindergarten show canceled so kids can keep studying to become college and career ready, really." These ones gone viral. The interim principal at the Harvey Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York canceled the school play.
The reason stated, the time was better spent preparing kids, kindergarten kids, college and careers. Look the easy criticism is to say that this is yet another example what happens when the curriculum is too standardized and everything is geared toward standardized testing. But in addition to that, I would say that the best lessons that so many of us gleaned in our early years came from things like play and recess and art class. And there was even a best selling book written on this subject.
Do you remember the old headline, the old headline would said, "Kindergarten show canceled so kids can keep studying to become college and career ready, really.| Here's what I would've have written, "All I really needed to know I learned in kindergarten."
Is it possible the missing plan is thousands of miles from the current search area? One company said they've got a serious lead in the investigation is headed in the wrong direction.
Also Cliven Bundy, Paula Deen, Phil Robertson and the short road it took Donald Sterling to join them.
SMERCONISH: Are the crew searching for Malaysia lines Flight 370 looking in the wrong part of the Indian Ocean? An Australian company called GeoResonance claims it has found wreckage of a plane in the Bay of Bengal near India. Although it says it's not sure if it's Flight 370. The director of the company spoke by phone this morning with CNN's New Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The southern area doesn't seem logical to us at all. And the pings coming from the satellite is basically a 50-50 chance that it was heading on the Northern Corridor or the Southern Corridor. We're not saying we have actually found MH370.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have found a (inaudible) wreckage (ph) of lead that should be investigated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Malaysian officials and the Australians leading the search say they're confident the plane is in the Southern part of the Indian Ocean where they're currently looking, the region of the Southern Arc. GeoResonance in there analyses super weak electromagnetic field that are captured by Airborne multispectral images, it says it gave it's stated to officials. But they're findings have been ignored.
We're joined by Patrick Smith. He's an Airline Pilot and author of "Cockpit Confidential", everything you need to know about air travel and by CNN's Safety Analyst David Soucie author of "Why Planes Crash." So David I read that (inaudible) but I don't quite understand it what exactly does this company do and how does it work?
DAVID SOUCIE, AUTHOR, "WHY PLANES CRASH": Well I've used this company, not this company particularly but this technology in a mining company that I'm associated with and it's very goof technology to try to determine where the metals are, what type of metals and where we should mine with this company. However I don't know if it's being used in the water before and some people are saying it can't be used in the water. But basically what is doing is according to them is that it's using a refractions of electromagnetic fields.
And in mapping those against suspect analysis to see which one is from various kinds of metals. I believe in the technology, I know the technology exist, it's not new. But applying it in a search I haven't used that before in an accident investigation. So I'm a little confused about it as my self.
SMERCONISH: Patrick are you troubled by the idea that this company had to go public so as to get attention because they say when privately they tried to make the information known they couldn't get the authorities to pay attention.
PATRICK SMITH, AUTHOR, "COCKPIT CONFIDENTIAL": Well some what Michael, but it's hard to really understand what all that means. And I'm confused by this technology too. And mean while you've got the thousands of miles of separation between where they say this wreckage is and where investigators were searching last week. You know, I tend to think that all of the logistics and resources that were put in to looking off the Coast of Australia last week, you know, that wasn't done on a whim.
I think these people have a pretty good reason to think that's where the airplane is.
SMERCONISH: Your view as well Patrick is that perhaps people need to come grips with the circumstance that we'll never find it, we'll never have an answer?
SMITH: Yeah, I think people need to reconcile that that it's possible at this point that we won't find the airplane. And if it comes to that it's terribly unfortunate. But again when you go back all over the history of the commercial aviation, serious accidents there, rare as they are, some of them have not been solved and this might be another one to add to that list. And at this point even if the wreckage is found, getting the data recorder and the voice recorder up from 15,000 feet of water is going to be another monumental task on top of the difficulty of finding the plane to begin with.
And then even if we have the boxes that might not tell us what happened. So there's still all of these questions. And mean while it's getting later and later and later and it's not looking good at this point.
SMERCONISH: David Soucie, it's now Wednesday in Malaysia, this is the week that Richard Quest was told by the Prime Minister there would be a release of a preliminary report. Should eminent by the end of the week for sure, what do you expect to come of that information?
SOUCIE: Well, you know, if it's done properly and it's not redacted too much then we should get some information about the transfer between one region to the other region. We should get information about when it was transfer, when it wasn't, when it was expected in the subsequent search and how it took to get there. So that would be great information. I'm not real hopeful that's going to be happen though because it's going to the GACC.
It's going to the International committee and ICAO is even going to have something to say is to what's going to be redacted from the forum. So I don't expect to get much out of it. In fact all it's going to do in my opinion is stir up the families emotions and want them to have more. It feel like something else is being hidden. It's just not -- it's not a good situation with releasing it. But it does need to be released, I have to say that, but I do expect that it's going to be redacted and that's unfortunate.
SMERCONISH: Gentleman, thank you so much. Patrick Smith and David Soucie, we appreciate your being here. SMITH: Thank you.
SMERCONISH: One last thing, Donald Sterling is just the latest example of blatant racism by a celebrity in our society. But there's one thing they all have in common and it's good news for the rest of us.
SMERCONISH: And 1 Last Thing, what the difference a week makes, not long ago Cliven Bundy, he was a rugged Nevada rancher fighting with some perceived as a necessary battle against Government over reach. And then in an extemporaneous set of remarks to a New York Times reporter casts a whole different light on his story showing Bundy to be of a plantation mentality. Donald Sterling, he was enjoying the most successful basketball season that the Clippers have ever had until the recording capture his girlfriend eliciting from him racist remarks about African-Americans including Magic Johnson.
Each was meted out with justice. There was a stampede away from Bundy when his comments come to light. And today NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the NBA for life and fine him the max of $2.5 million. There have been other reason instances of celebrities behaving badly. In a deposition celebrity Chef Paula Deen admitted using the N word and discussed planning a "very southern style wedding" for her brother Baba that was modeled after a restaurant where the whole entire wait stuff was middle aged black man plaid in white jackets and black bowtie's.
I'm sure Cliven Bundy would have been thrilled to receive an invitation to that. She lost her food network show, her relationship with QBC, Target, Sears and other brands. And her book published dropped her. And let's not forgot Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, it was he who acquitted gays with terrorist and made his own ridiculous comments about blacks. Now his case A&E initially suspended the star but then suffered such a backlash that they lifted the suspension in nine days before any episode was affected.
I've got two observations, first, each was punish appropriately because the society would not stand for their intolerance, that there was a consensus in such a polarized time on their bad behavior, that's not worthy. Second, they're old. And the view points that they spouse will largely passed with their generation not entirely, I'm not that naive. But largely this is evidence of a generational divide. It reminds me of something that President said recently about bias toward gays.
He said that his daughters have friends whose parents are same sex couples. President said, "It wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their parent's friends would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them and frankly that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective."
You know, my kids are the same way, not only about gays but also about race. It wouldn't occur to them that people could be persecuted for such things. In their eyes racism and bigotry are words from the antiquated voice of the olden days.
Yes, those voices are still around but thanks to people like Adam Silver, they're being silenced and they're getting quieter. And that's a good thing.
I'm Michael Smerconish. I will see you back here tomorrow night. CNN's SPECIAL REPORT with Don Lemon starts right now.