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Some Blame Culture for California Killer's Rant; Supreme Court Rules on Police Chases; Crime Tracked from Two Miles High; Is College Still Worth It?

Aired May 27, 2014 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The actor, is not happy. He tweeted "How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage."

Let's talk about this Kelly Wallace is our digital correspondent and editor-at-large for and Marc Lamont Hill is a CNN commentator and host of "Huff Post Live". Welcome to you both.



COSTELLO: It's a tough conversation. But we'll give it a go. So Kelly, women especially those in college are scared of what they call misogynist men who take advantage of them. It's hard to argue in this climate that they don't have reason to be, right?

WALLACE: Exactly. And I think what's important to point out and we also saw the hash tag "Not all men" kind of sprout up here. Women aren't saying all men are like this and all men do this. But they are saying that almost all women have felt harassed, have been objectified some even worse -- some you know sexually assaulted on campuses. We have seen the power of social media for victims on college campuses to kind of bring attention to what's happening and put pressure on colleges and universities to do more when there are these allegations.

So you really see sort of this from the ground up women talking in real personal ways about what they say is happening and why they feel like we have to have a larger conversation here to stop it.

COSTELLO: Yes and Marc, I want you to listen to what "The Washington Post" (inaudible) writes about Hollywood culture. She writes quote, "How many students watch outside frat boy fantasies like 'Neighbors' and feel as Rodger did unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of sex and fun and pleasure? How many men raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl and find those happy ending constantly elude them and conclude it's not fair."

Is what she writes a fair argument Marc? HILL: Oh it's a very fair argument but and I understand Seth Rogen's concern that somehow he's being uniquely targeted but it's not about Seth's movies in particular. It's about a broader culture that sees women as prizes, as possessions and as things to which men are entitled as opposed to human beings. It's a culture where women walk down the street and are subjected to street harassment all the time.

It's a world where women have to say I have a boyfriend because if you say hey I'm not interested, that's not enough. Men they will accept that you are another man's possession but won't accept women's right to have their own interest and desires. It's a broader world some call it a rape culture. I would agree with him we encourage the objectification and violence against female bodies.

Now this guy had mental health issues.


HILL: I suspect that in the perfect world he still would be violent. But -- but there's something crazy making about misogyny, as well, and I think it only contributed to his mental health issues.

COSTELLO: You know Kelly I think that this is -- this is a great conversation to have. But it's a dangerous line we're walking. Because I frankly don't believe all men view women as simply objects. There's definitely a problem right especially at universities with sexual assault.

But -- but by having this conversation some men might think we're condemning all of them and the majority of men are good people.

WALLACE: That is right. And I think you saw that. You saw that online. I mean I've had conversations even in my own household where, you know, men who respect women say whoa wait a second not all men are like that and that is true.

But I think what I was struck by especially as a mom of two girls, those tweets where moms and parents say you know I tell my girls to watch their drinks at bars but do we tell men don't put drugs in women's drinks -- right. I tell my girls be careful so that you're not assaulted on campus but do we tell enough of our men to not sexually assault women? Do we talk about consent?

I mean there's one school, Yale University, they talk about consent shouldn't just be yes or no but it should be an enthusiastic yes -- right. So how much are we having -- you know, how -- I think we need to have more of those conversations from kids going through middle school and on up and that will help the dialogue and could help how women and men feel moving forward.

COSTELLO: And Marc --

HILL: I agree.

COSTELLO: -- the last thing I think we should concentrate on because I can -- I can hear many of our viewers say do young women add to this culture too? I don't believe that. But I'm just throwing that out to you.


HILL: You said do young women add to this culture? Young women are part of the culture absolutely. I mean there are black people who are complicit in white supremacy; there are men who are -- women who are complicit in misogyny. There are gay people who are complicit in homophobia.

But the overarching problem I don't think is on the people who are victims these systems and survivors of these systems. I think it's on us as people who have power to deal with. I would be a hypocrite to speak out against my privilege but not speak out against privilege.

There's a way in which women may -- like there are women for example who will say after someone says that they were raped. Well what was she wearing? Yes that is absolutely a problem for a woman to ask that question as well. But that's not rooted in women's issues. That's rooted in a male control over female bodies that women have somehow inherited. We all have some unlearning to do. But I'm much rather focus on what men need to do to fix this issue than women.

COSTELLO: OK so quickly, what do men need to do, Marc?

HILL: We need to learn to view women as human beings. We can't be self-righteous. I'm talking about myself. There is unlearning process of rape culture that we must all learn. But at the core we have to stop asking women what they did to get raped. We have to ask what do men do? We have to stop asking why do women not want me and ask myself what choices -- what choices have I made and what decisions have I made to make me think that I'm entitled to this female body as if it's an object. We have to challenge ourselves.

COSTELLO: A good man -- Marc Lamont Hill.

HILL: Some days.

COSTELLO: Last word, Kelly.

WALLACE: Yes and I would just say respect. And that's teaching respect for men to respect women at the youngest of ages; to teach confidence and empowerment of our girls at the youngest of ages so that they know what's not OK and what they should not stand for as they move forward into adulthood.

COSTELLO: I'm just looking at the window washer thing coming up behind you and having this important conversation. Thanks to both of you. I really appreciate it.

WALLACE: Thank you Carol.

COSTELLO: Marc Lamont Hill and Kelly Wallace.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM: cutting a rug in the classroom to sell healthier food choices to skeptical schoolchildren. Now the First Lady goes toe-to-toe with new critics as Congress considers major changes to her signature cause.


COSTELLO: The First Lady, Michelle Obama, is about to get into one serious food fight with Congress. Since she has been in the White House, Mrs. Obama has been a champion of exercise and eating healthy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you can take it from me. Eating the right food can help make you a better athlete.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Instead of potato chips, a healthy alternative is kale chips.


OBAMA: Not gross.


COSTELLO: She has been made fun of but some people say it's been quite effective. Well now one of the First Lady's major health initiatives is in jeopardy. It's all over a new measure backed by Republican lawmakers that would allow schools to opt out of federal mandates requiring school cafeterias to provide healthier options.


OBAMA: We can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams because in the end nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make.


COSTELLO: That was Mrs. Obama back in 2010 when she signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act into law. Well now some members of Congress and the food industry want to roll back that initiative and loosen requirements to cut costs. Today the First Lady takes the unusual step of delivering White House remarks speaking out against that health measure and in another twist, a one-time ally of Mrs. Obama's initiative is now a critic.

Julia Bauscher is the president elected the school nutrition association. Welcome.


COSTELLO: Oh thanks I just wanted to make sure you could hear me. So help make it clear for our viewers. Are you totally against Mrs. Obama's initiative or you just or is there a little wiggle room between the two sides? BAUSCHER: The School Nutrition Association is -- and all of our 55,000 members are not opposed to healthy changes to school meals. We support many of the requirements under the new standards including the increased quantities of fruits and vegetables, the requirements for certain subgroups of healthy vegetables, dark green leafy, bright orange, red but many districts around the country are struggling with these requirements.

We experienced a lot more food waste and we feel like our members need some time to adjust to these changes. Get their students onboard before they move forward.

COSTELLO: So you want to spend time teaching children to like their vegetables?

BAUSCHER: Yes. And there are many districts already including my own where children select a variety of fruits and vegetables and we're very happy that they do so. But even in my own district, we've experienced considerable waste especially in our high schools as students don't like to be told you have to take a fruit or vegetable in order to have a reimbursable meal.

COSTELLO: So talk about the way how much waste are we talking about?


BAUSCHER: Well, I have some pictures of some very pretty garbage cans that are full of apples and oranges. Students will pick up what they're supposed to have at the end of the line and then immediately throw it in the garbage and many of our members have experienced this in their districts.

COSTELLO: So -- so what do you do? Do you offer kids junk food again? Or less healthy fare in the hope that one day you'll teach them to like their fruits and vegetables?

BAUSCHER: Oh absolutely not. We will continue to offer them healthy foods -- whole grains, lower fat products, reduced sodium products. But we want to be sure that they will eat it. So we're not saying let's put junk food back on the serving line. For most districts that hasn't been part of the school meal in many, many years. But we want to make sure that students are comfortable with these changes and are willing to take what's offered to them and will find it acceptable and enjoyable.

COSTELLO: Right but when you say that, what are you offering these children and you know in the place of fruits and vegetables. What is that food that's going to be offered to these kids that they'll eat but still kind of healthy but not?

BAUSCHER: Well, the only thing we're asking is that right now the students are required to take a fruit or vegetable in order for the meal to be reimbursable. Prior to these new rules, students could select a fruit or vegetable if they wanted and in many districts including my own we promote a fruit or vegetable of the month and we have beautiful displays of health fruits and vegetables on the serving line in an attempt to make them appealing to students.

In my elementary schools, many students select more than one fruit or vegetable. We just don't want them to have to take it to put it on their tray if they don't intend to consume it. It is contributing to increased waste in many locations.

COSTELLO: And I'm asking you these questions because many people worry, you know, if you loosen these rules and are you going to -- are you going to reintroduce unhealthy foods into schools like the frozen pizzas and the potato chips, et cetera, et cetera. Because given the choice, kids will eat those things rather than any fruit and vegetable you'll ever offer them.

BAUSCHER: Well, the new competitive food rule goes into effect this year would eliminate most products like potato chips unless they are baked and only contain a certain amount of fat and sodium. So the rules already remove many of the unhealthy products. The pizza has a whole grain crust. And it's topped with vegetables often. So there are healthy versions of some of the kids' favorites. And we want to make sure that they have the opportunity to select those and enjoy those foods.

COSTELLO: Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I really appreciate it.

BAUSCHER: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Michelle Obama's White House remarks by the way today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. We'll keep you posted.

Actually, this story just into CNN. The Supreme Court says police officers were within their right to use deadly force in a car chase that ended with two people dead. The family of the driver and passenger killed sued but today in a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court says the police officer have immunity from those lawsuits. Senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns is at the U.S. Supreme Court and caught me by surprise. This ruling just came down. Tell us more, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well Carol, this is an important ruling in the sense that it clarifies what police are allowed to do and not do in the event that they have to use deadly force especially involving a high-speed chase.

This is a case that goes back to July of 2004. There is video of it -- dashboard camera video taken by police officers.

What happened essentially is that an individual inside this car would not stop trying to drive. Police fired a total of 15 pointblank rounds into the car which killed both the passenger and the driver of the car. The court ruling that the constitutional rights of the individuals inside the car were not violated and police acted reasonably in firing those rounds into the car. It's an important decision for police. A victory for police officers around this country as the court continues to explore this issue of judgment calls involving deadly force especially when a car is being used as a deadly weapon -- Carol.

Joe Johns reporting live from the U.S. Supreme Court. Thanks so much.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, it isn't just Big Brother that's watching. His bigger brother is taking a peek from way high up in the air. We'll talk crime fighting from two miles up next.


COSTELLO: Like them or not, security cameras are everywhere and they have become vital in the fight against crime in big ways high up ways.

Brian Todd joins me now from Washington to explain. Good morning.


We're talking about surveillance technology here that is so powerful it can track a person from two miles up and can cover 25 square miles at once. It's enough to make you feel like you're constantly being watched.

For law enforcement, this can be like having a slow motion replay button to track back any crime scene.


TODD (voice over): You're watching a murder unfold. Look at the cursor toward the bottom. In an instant, the suspect approaches, fires, the victim is down. The killer sprints off. This 2009 gangland shooting in Mexico was captured from 10,000 feet, about two miles up.

ROSS MCNUTT, PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS: You can see a group of people here reacting to the shot. They come over and look at the victim and then they run down the alleyway actually after the shooter.

TODD: From their especially equipped Cessnas, Ross McNutt and his firm, Persistent Surveillance Systems, can monitor large sections of cities. Because they're in the air for hours at a time, they can track back to the moment of a crime and before it. In Juarez --

MCNUTT: They meet up three to four times prior to the murder including one time right outside the murder scene.

TODD: In the moments afterward --

MCNUTT: We can follow all of the cars. So we're actually going to jump over and follow the car the shooter got into and see where he goes to.

TODD: They tie in a Google Earth Street View image to show police the house where the suspect went to hide. McNutt's team helped police make arrests in that shooting.

MCNUTT: We've actually witnessed 34 murders so far and we actually have confessions that account for 75. TODD: Also in Juarez, McNutt's team captured the murder of a female police officer circled in red. You dread it as you see her unable to outrun her killers.

MCNUTT: She was shot six times in the head and shoulders and we literally watched her run into this parked car here.

TODD: McNutt says, they can pick out suspects by looking for strange behavioral patterns. Right after murders, the suspects in Juarez, he says, like many others --

MCNUTT: They drive like idiots. They're running red lights, swerving around people.

TODD: McNutt's team has monitoring other high crime cities -- Compton, California, Philadelphia, Baltimore. They can replicate their operation center in Dayton, Ohio anywhere.

(on camera): In a typical operation, law enforcement officers will sit in this area monitoring a police scanner. When a call comes in that a crime has been committed, these analysts immediately start to track back when and where it occurred and sometimes they can catch up to a suspect in real-time.

(voice over): Dayton, 2012. Word of a burglary and track the suspect in a white truck as he's getting away and direct get police right to him. Dayton's police chief says the technology has helped his depleted force.

CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE: Allows us to gain data on criminal offenses for which often there are not witnesses and clearly police officers are not there to prevent.

TODD: But privacy advocates say this smacks of Big Brother.

MARC ROTENBERG, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: They might have actually crossed a line. This creates the opportunity after the fact to look at anybody for any reason.

MCNUTT: We're responding in support of law enforcement to reported crimes only.

TODD: And McNutt says they closely monitor their own analysts to make sure they're only tracking suspects.


TODD: Now despite this controversy, Ross McNutt says police departments in at least ten different cities around the world are interested in buying his system to use on a permanent basis -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I can see why but sometimes even though it's taking a picture of a wide area, sometimes the picture doesn't tell the whole story.

TODD: That's right. It doesn't tell the whole story. Sometimes you do need, you know, some analysis from police. You need complementary capability there. They agree this doesn't solve everything. But they do say that you can get a lot of other information just from that one murder in Juarez Persistent says they tracked back through that video and they found two locations where drug cartels operated from. They found 12 locations where the killers had been and they tracked 12 different cars. So it can help you with this web of information, Carol, that's very helpful for law enforcement.

CUOMO: Brian Todd. Thanks for a fascinating story.

We appreciate it.

TODD: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the price of a college education continues to go up and up and up but with an uncertain job market and ballooning student debt, is a college education still worth it? You betcha.

We'll talk about that when we come back.


COSTELLO: Is college still worth it? It's a question people have been asking a lot lately. Student loan debt is topping $1 trillion. It's the largest chunk of debt held by Americans other than their mortgages.

So I ask you again, is college worth the price tag? The answer is a resounding yes. It's one of Christine Romans' favorite topics on earth so -- tell us more.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is. The only people arguing about whether college is worth it are people who have college degrees -- right. I mean everyone comes to this country and works hard to send their kid to college because they know, when you look at the numbers clearly you make more money if you go to college.

Carol look -- $29.46 an hour, that's the average pay of a college grad compared to the high school grad at $16.20. We also know the jobless rate is lower for people who have a college degree -- a lot lower. Now, the numbers I'm about to show you are for kids age 25 and higher -- 3.3 percent. That's unbelievable.

Now, I'm not diminishing the trouble young people are having right now getting into the labor market. That is true, the malemployment, the difficulty they are finding a job within their major. But when you look at these numbers of earning and unemployment, college is worth it. The numbers say it over and over again.

I asked Stephen Dubner, the author of "Freakonomics" if college was worth. This is what he told me -- Carol.


STEPHEN DUBNER, AUTHOR, "FREAKONOMICS": The returns to education overall are I would argue among the best investments that any human could ever make at any point in history. In other words, the more knowledge you acquire, the better you will do -- period.

ROMANS: Yes, yes.

DUBNER: But that doesn't necessarily mean that the college track is right especially when you're overpaying.


COSTELLO: So the overpaying is the big hard part; college tuition up 544 percent, Carol, since the 1980s -- 544 percent. So we are really having this debate about whether the colleges are delivering the kind of education that's worth it but clearly knowledge, skills, and education pay off in the long-term -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Hint: public universities, they're great and they're a lot cheaper.

Christine Romans -- many thanks.

Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.