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Beyond The Call Of Duty: Colorado Police Officer Donates Liver To Boy, Launches Fundraiser; Movies To Watch Over The Holidays; Randy Rainbow's Meteoric Rise With Political Satire. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired December 25, 2019 - 07:30   ET



JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: There is a good chance you're feeling both jolly and a little bit exhausted jonesing for that classic Christmas breakfast -- a couple of eggs, buttered toast, and coffee -- definitely coffee. And you probably have no idea whether the latest scientific study has decided that these delicious staples of the American diet are going to kill you quickly or help you live older than grandpa.

So now, we're here to help, folks, with our latest addition of reality check -- is it good for you?

So let's run them down, starting with eggs. I love me some scrambled eggs and human beings have been scarfing them down for centuries loaded with all kinds of good stuff, proteins, nutrients, antioxidants -- things I barely understand -- and cholesterol, which I understand because it has a lot of them. And cholesterol, famously, can lead to heart attacks.

Now, the yolk of one egg alone used to contain more than half the recommended daily allowance of cholesterol until those guidelines were changed. And that's the important part here because medical science has caught up to the fact that the human body actually, apparently, handles cholesterol just fine unless you consume too much saturated and trans fats. Don't look at the bacon.

But it turns out that eggs are only one of the only foods that are both high in cholesterol and low in saturated fat. And get this, one recent study suggests that eating more eggs may actually decrease your risk of a heart attack or stroke. How about that? So that's the good news.

But keep in mind that the only proven way to eat an egg unsafely is to undertake it, so watch out for the eggnog and raw cookie batter, folks. I know it's tempting but that can totally ruin Christmas

All right, how about butter? Heart attack central, right? Not so fast. Like eggs, butter's been maligned for decades for cholesterol and saturated fat, but butter also contains a lot of vitamins like A and E and a number of other nutrients that are apparently really good for you.

Plus, there are some out there who, for the first time, believe that saturated fat might not be as bad for you as you once thought. So, check it out.

Butter also apparently contains a compound called CLA that's been to reduced cancer risk and less inflammation, even lower obesity. That's right -- in butter, people, one nutritionist is even asking if butter is a superfood, and some wellness experts are putting it in their coffee.

Which brings us to one of the most maligned of all the breakfast foods, coffee -- that elixir of life at ungodly hours. For years, research blamed coffee for a variety of ails, everything from stunted growth to insomnia. But more recent research showed that coffee could actually protect you from everything from diabetes to some cancers, and even that eerily broad category known as early death. Plus, coffee is loaded with good ole antioxidants.

But due to its high caffeine content, the current guidance isn't to drink too of coffee -- not too much of it. And that's kind of the point of all of this, isn't it? Medical science often changes its mind. It's one of these things and they'll probably do it again. It goes back and forth.

But one thing that never changes is this old truth -- everything in moderation. Try to eat the real stuff, not the fake stuff. Don't eat too much of it. Most of all, appreciate your family and enjoy your life.

And that's your Christmas reality check.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, can I just say if you had told me that your Christmas gift to America was going to be sticking up for butter, I would have said -- I would have said never. Butter misunderstood, historically.

AVLON: Misunderstood butter --

BERMAN: But what about butter, John Avlon asks?

AVLON: But what -- who will speak out for butter? I will.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: That was beautiful.

BERMAN: That was fantastic.

CAMEROTA: What next, bacon?


CAMEROTA: I can't wait for that reality check.

BERMAN: All right.

So, a Denver area police officer already went beyond the call of duty -- way beyond -- by donating part of her liver to an ailing boy. Then she took things one step further to help his family as well. CNN's Lucy Kafanov explains.



LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are few 12-year- olds who know as much about aviation as Clyde Hoffman.

HOFFMAN: Yes, it's really beautiful -- just the curvature and everything.

KAFANOV (voice-over): But it's not just his knowledge of planes that makes him special --

HOFFMAN: Don't shoot this. This is a nuclear bomb, probably not activated though.

KAFANOV (voice-over): -- it's the fact that he's standing here at all.

HOFFMAN: I was very thin and I was basically kind of yellowish -- jaundiced.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Clyde was born with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the organs.

MELISSA HOFFMAN, MOTHER OF CLYDE HOFFMAN: His liver was probably functioning only at 10 percent.

KAFANOV (on camera): How bad did things get?

MARK HOFFMAN, FATHER OF CLYDE HOFFMAN: He could barely keep 200-250 calories down.

KAFANOV (voice-over): In the summer of 2018, the illness nearly claimed his life. He had to be put on a feeding tube and Colorado's transplant waiting list. Without a new liver, parents Mark and Melissa feared the worst.

MELISSA HOFFMAN: He would have died for sure.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Wait times can often stretch into years. But a month later, a miracle -- a match from a living stranger.

MARK HOFFMAN: I can remember the day of the surgery and looking across the campus over to where I knew the -- that whoever this person was was on a slab having their liver removed -- or a portion of it. And I'd never met her and there was a connection somehow.


CAROLYN BECKER, POLICE OFFICER, BROOMFIELD, COLORADO: I knew that there were kids out there that could use the help and I'm healthy and had the means to be able to donate. KAFANOV (voice-over): That mystery donor, Broomfield, Colorado police officer Carolyn Becker.

BECKER: We're never off-duty. Whether I'm wearing my uniform or not, if I see somebody in need I'm going to help. And that true in this case, too. I saw an opportunity to help somebody.

KAFANOV (on camera): You knew that could save a life.


KAFANOV (voice-over): Doctors removed a portion of Officer Becker's liver and transplanted it into Clyde. His improvement, almost immediate.

HOFFMAN: My jaundice and my yellow eyes went completely away. And the first time I ate a meal, I ate all of it, and that was amazing.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The story almost ended there until a special thank-you note arrived in Officer Becker's mailbox seven months later. "Dear donor, thank you so much for my chance at a new life. I never could imagine this happening."

KAFANOV (voice-over): After searching online, Becker learned that the Hoffmans, who live nearly two hours away in Colorado Springs, were saddled with huge medical bills.

BECKER: I knew there was more I could do to help.

KAFANOV (on camera): And what did you decide to do?

BECKER: Thank you. That will be so helpful for him -- thanks. Have a good day.

I decided to stand on the side of the road with a sign, much like panhandling.

Thank you, hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a wonderful thing you did.

BECKER: Thank you. I appreciate that.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Raising more than $10,000, one donation at a time.

HOFFMAN: This is an EA-68 --

BECKER: Oh, this place is cool.

HOFFMAN: -- prowler.

KAFANOV (voice-over): So when Clyde and Officer Becker finally met more than a year after the surgery, the Hoffmans had a lot to be thankful for. MELISSA HOFFMAN: It's hard to have words for all of it. I think that's why, like the first week, tears would come because how -- it's a heartfelt decision.

HOFFMAN: And you can see there's just like a lot of piping and tubing.

BECKER: You want to tell people, yes, go donate. Donate your organs. Now I can truly say go donate.

KAFANOV (on camera): Do you think she went above and beyond the call as a police officer and as a human?

HOFFMAN: Yes, I think so. I mean, donating an organ, that's pretty big.

KAFANOV (voice-over): A big gift from a big-hearted stranger -- now, a friend for life.

Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Broomfield, Colorado.


CAMEROTA: So if you want to catch a movie this holiday break, we've got the must-see films you and your family should check out. That's next.



CAMEROTA: OK, the holidays are here and that means it's time to watch a couple of movies with the family.

BERMAN: A couple hundred movies.

CAMEROTA: A couple hundred movies with the family. But between hitting the theaters or streaming them at home, the choices can be overwhelming.

So joining us now with their top picks, CNN chief media correspondent and anchor, Brian Stelter. And, CNN contributor and "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT" host, Nischelle Turner. Merry Christmas, guys.



CAMEROTA: Great to have you here. OK --

TURNER: I miss you guys.

CAMEROTA: We miss you, too.

BERMAN: I miss you more. CAMEROTA: I miss you more.

TURNER: I thought it was going to have to announce for president to get back on this show.

CAMEROTA: Well, that would help, that would help.

But no, just telling us, Nischelle, how to --


CAMEROTA: -- cut through -- I mean, I really am overwhelmed, actually, by all of the options.

TURNER: There's a lot.

CAMEROTA: So help us understand, this holiday weekend, what we should go out and see.

TURNER: Well listen, there's a lot to see. There really is a lot out there -- a lot of good movies this year -- but I'm trying to pare it down. Stuff for mom and dad, and then stuff for the entire family if you want to go to the theater over the holiday.

The first thing -- you know, I think I have a whole list but the first thing I say to see is "Bombshell." And I know people are saying OK, yes, there's more like media and politics. Yes, but see this movie. I said this earlier. The girl that plays Alisyn Camerota has nothing on you, by the way.

But I've seen it twice. It's very, very good. Charlize is spot-on as Megyn Kelly.

John Lithgow steals this movie. He is fantastic. There is a scene between him and Margot Robbie that is one of the most uncomfortable scenes to watch but one of the best-acted scenes that I've ever seen.

So, I would say -- definitely say go see that movie.

Also, there's a couple more. "Queen & Slim," I loved. Go see it for the cinematography alone in that movie. It's one of the most beautifully shot movies I've ever seen.

And also, if you want to take the whole family, go see "Star Wars." I know that people are like whoa, yea, I kind of forgot about that. Don't forget about it.

Go see episode nine. There's a lot of little nuggets to it. Go see it for the Carrie Fisher videos alone and the footage of here.

But also, you know, there's the big mystery. What's happening with Daisy Ridley's character? What's happening with Rey, because in the trailer we see her with a lightsaber? Does she go to the dark side? I need to know.

So this is a good movie for the entire family to go see over the holiday.

BERMAN: What about streaming? What about --


BERMAN: -- streaming movies?

TURNER: OK, you ready for this? How much time you got because --

CAMEROTA: We have all the time in the world for you.

TURNER: Well, if you're not sick of the theatrics of Washington then watch "The Report" because that is one of my favorite movies of the year. Adam Driver and Annette Bening are great in it. Annette Bening got a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Dianne Feinstein in this movie.

And it -- of course, it's about Daniel Jones, who is the lead investigator in the Senate's study of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. It really takes you behind the scenes.

I loved this movie. I thought it was really good. It's procedural but it's really, really good.

I also suggest "Marriage Story." If you haven't had enough Adam Driver then please watch "Marriage Story." It is my --

BERMAN: He's in three of these movies. He's in three of your movies.


TURNER: This is my favorite movie of the year, I will tell you flat out. It's brilliant, it's heartbreaking, but it's so, so good -- so well acted.

There's a lot of acting in this movie. There's a lot of dialogue in this movie. But it is a really, really beautiful movie.

Both of these guys, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson did a masterful job. Laura Dern's also fantastic in this movie.

I also suggest seeing "Brittany Runs a Marathon." I mean, Jillian Bell just gives me all the feels. She is one of the most important voices, I think, in the industry today. This movie is so stellar. She is just everything.

I mean, she talks about body image and how we feel about ourselves, especially as women, and pick ourselves apart and how we shouldn't do it. And it's just really, really -- a really enjoyable movie to watch and so I'd say that you should take the time to see that.


And then, if there's a big snow day, watch "The Irishman." It's 3 1/2 hours long.

BERMAN: You need a blizzard for that movie. You need a three-week- long blizzard to watch "The Irishman."

TURNER: It's -- right, it's 3 1/2 hours long. It's very, very good. To see Al Pacino play Jimmy Hoffa alone, it's worth the time. But it's really a Martin Scorsese masterpiece.

I did have to stop it at one point to see how long I had left, but it's worth the watch.

BERMAN: You had to stop and eat and go to the bathroom and read and sleep. It's 3 1/2 hours, it feels like 3 1/2 weeks.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but --

BERMAN: A great 3 1/2 weeks.

CAMEROTA: But you've inspired me, Nischelle. I mean, really, you've sold it. I want to see all of those that you've just recommended.

OK, Brian, what did she --

TURNER: You really should.

CAMEROTA: -- what did she get wrong?

STELTER: Yes, I just want to add -- I just want to add to your sales list.

I loved "Bombshell" and the others she mentioned. "Star War," obviously, is an end of an era. It's such an important film to be out right now.

But I just want to add a couple more. "1917," this World War I epic from Sam Mendes.


STELTER: Richard Jewell -- and it's a new movie -- a very controversial movie.

BERMAN: Very controversial.

STELTER: This is, of course, about the bombing in Centennial Park. There's a controversy about a made-up scene involving a reporter in this film. But the Richard Jewell film does get you thinking and Clint Eastwood wants you to be thinking about who got this story wrong and why and who got it right and I think that is worth experiencing and exploring.

And the third one on my list to have some fun for Christmas is "Cats."

BERMAN: "Cats" is problematic, Brian.

STELTER: Oh, no, why?

BERMAN: I -- no, I didn't see the -- it's all -- look, and I love musical theater -- CAMEROTA: What's wrong with it?

BERMAN: -- and I even like Andrew Lloyd Webber, but "Cats" has always been a problem.

CAMEROTA: Too controversial?

BERMAN: No, it's about cats and they're like -- see, it's just like weird. I just have never -- I've always thought "Cats" was problematic.

STELTER: I think you should give it another chance.


STELTER: Taylor Swift is swinging --


STELTER: -- and it's beautiful --

CAMEROTA: There you go.

STELTER: -- you know.

BERMAN: Great.

STELTER: And there's also a lot of streaming options. That's what's amazing, right?


STELTER: One is "The Irishman." I would -- I would second "The Irishman" as Nischelle mentioned.


STELTER: But, "The Two Popes" is on Netflix.

TURNER: Oh, yes.

STELTER: This explores what Pope Benedict and Pope Francis might have talked about six years ago.


STELTER: "The Aeronauts" on Amazon.

And look, it's Christmas so how about all the Christmas movies on Netflix, right? Netflix has really gotten into the Christmas movie game. "Holiday in the Wild," Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe.

There are some genuinely fun Christmas movies to be streaming these days. And because there was so little time between Thanksgiving and Christmas I feel like we should be able to watch Christmas movies at least until New Year's Day this year. CAMEROTA: I think that's fine. I think that -- I think that they'll pass that law.

BERMAN: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?

TURNER: I agree, I agree.

BERMAN: You have a favorite Christmas movie, Brian?

STELTER: For me, honestly, it's "The Grinch" because it was my dad's favorite, so it reminds me of my dad. I know it's a little bit grumpy but it's been a Grinch kind of year.

CAMEROTA: It's a classic -- it's a classic.

STELTER: It's a classic.

CAMEROTA: That's great.

BERMAN: Nischelle, you have a favorite?

TURNER: Well, you all know I'm a Claymation girl. I love all the Claymations. And I know they could technical not be considered movies so I'm cheating a little bit, but they are for me.

But I also would add "The Holiday" in there. I love that movie so much, with Cameron Diaz and also -- and I love "The Family Stone." I mean, Sarah Jessica Parker, like getting high, is the best thing ever.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

STELTER: What about you two? What are your favorites?

CAMEROTA: Oh, I like the classics, too. I like "Rudolph." Obviously, "Frosty." I love "It's A Wonderful Life."

BERMAN: I'm with Jake Tapper, "Die Hard." That's my favorite movie.

TURNER: Are we going to have this debate is it a Christmas movie? Are we going to have this debate?


BERMAN: Nischelle, Merry Christmas. We miss you terribly. Thank you so much for being with us.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Brian.

TURNER: Bye, guys. Merry Christmas.

CAMEROTA: You, too. Thanks for everything.

BERMAN: All right.

So now to a star of a different kind of screen. YouTube sensation and Emmy-nominated comedian Randy Rainbow earned a nationwide following through millions of clicks. And now he is out with a hit holiday album called "Hey, Gurl, It's Christmas!" This is Randy Rainbow.


RANDY RAINBOW, COMEDIAN (Singing): Trump, six, flip, cuckoo. Huckabee, Mueller, Trump, six, flip, cuckoo. Huckabee, Mueller.

They had it comin', they had it comin'. They were the best that he could find.

BERMAN (on camera): So, Randy Rainbow --


BERMAN (on camera): -- what would you say you do for a living? What's your job description?

RAINBOW: Oh, God, you sound like my mother. I'm a comedian and a commentator and a satirist, I suppose.

(Singing) Just be best, just be best, just forget those you've oppressed. Blame your spurs, use ethnic slurs, then just defer to Kanye West.

BERMAN (on camera): A satirist?

RAINBOW: And an Internet sensation and a musical theater star. And, I mean, the list goes on. We don't have all day.

BERMAN (voice-over): That about sums it up -- almost. You might just need to add Emmy-nominated, national touring, A-level lyrical writing all-around force of nature.

In case your Internet has been down for three years or so, Randy Rainbow is the writer, producer, and star of a series of music parody videos with a common theme or target.

RAINBOW (Singing): He's all about his base and his own self-dealings. He's just a gurl who'll quid pro quo. Blackmail's his favorite response.

BERMAN (on camera): Have you ever talked to anyone within the Trump administration? Has anyone reached out to you?

RAINBOW: Me and Kellyanne are having brunch next Sunday.

The queen of alternative facts, Kellyanne Conway.

BERMAN (voice-over): OK, that's not real but the name, Randy Rainbow, is.


RAINBOW: I would not make it up, John. It's been a -- it was a tough childhood and it's working out now, but I wouldn't wish it on any 12- year-old.

BERMAN (voice-over): A musical theater savant, he moved back to New York to reach for his dreams. He ended up reaching Hooters.

RAINBOW: My first job was as a host at the Hooters on 57th Street.

BERMAN (on camera): And how did that work out?

RAINBOW: For me, it was great. But imagine the poor gentlemen, after a hard day's work, who would walk into Hooters and open the door and there I'd be with my clipboard and shorts. I did not wear the orange shorts. I'm sorry to disappoint you.

BERMAN (voice-over): Eventually, Rainbow became a pretty successful producer of parody Internet celebrity videos when, in 2016, lightning struck. As he might say, orange lightning.

RAINBOW (Singing): He's super calloused, fragile, egocentric, braggadocious. Likes to throw big words around and hopes that we all notice.

"Braggadocious!" was the first major one. I think it got like 20 million views in two days.

BERMAN (on camera): That's a lot.

RAINBOW: They tell me that's a lot. Is that good?

BERMAN (on camera): I think that's good.

BERMAN (voice-over): Some other hits, "Omarosa" to the tune of "Oklahoma."

RAINBOW (Singing): Omarosa, you're a mess but I'm not mad you're here.

BERMAN (voice-over): "Desperate Cheeto" to the tune of -- well, you get the point.

RAINBOW (Singing): Desperate Cheeto, upsetting everyone you meet-o.

BERMAN (voice-over): Now he's getting millions of hits for every video and selling out his live show in a national tour.

RAINBOW: Now that I'm on tour and I'm traveling the country, I'm getting to hear firsthand from people what they're taking from the videos and I understand how cathartic they are for people. For some people it's an education. Some people are learning things from my videos.

(Singing): How do you solve a problem like Korea? When you're a crazy dotard.



ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT": Or dotard, I'm sorry. RAINBOW: There's a lot of children in my audience, believe it or not. And there are parents and teachers who say they use my videos as teaching tools.

BERMAN (on camera): There are a lot of swear words in your videos.

RAINBOW: Kellyanne, let's cut the (bleep).

I know, but I'd rather they hear it from me than the president.

(Singing) Covfefe, Covfefe, Covfefe, Covfefe, let's call the whole thing off.

I understand now that what I'm doing is really even more important than I knew. And I think it's a testament to how healing and important, especially in times like this, humor is.

BERMAN (on camera): Healing?

RAINBOW: Healing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just living vicariously through your videos right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

BERMAN (voice-over): Healing for some, maybe naughty for others. But to some folks -- folks like Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim -- folks who know Rainbow's work, especially his lyrics, are just plain good.

RAINBOW: I said that I was, you know, as good as anyone writing today or some other things. I don't know. You'd have to look it up. I don't like to boast.

BERMAN (on camera): But that's pretty amazing. And if I told 12- year-old Randy Rainbow you'd be hanging out with Stephen Sondheim, what would he have said?

RAINBOW: It would not have fit in my little brain. I would have thought you were crazy and called the police.

BERMAN (on camera): If I had told 12-year-old Randy Rainbow you would be writing about politics?

RAINBOW: That's almost crazier because I had no interest in politics whatsoever.

BERMAN (voice-over): Now, it's his job, which involves a lot of work and T.V.

RAINBOW: Well, I watch CNN --

BERMAN (on camera): Yes.

RAINBOW: -- constantly. It's on every television. I'll decide what the topic is, then I'll write for about three to four hours. I'll record the song and then I'll film for another three or four. And then I stay up all night editing. I haven't slept since June of 2016.

BERMAN (on camera): So you watch a lot of CNN?


That's right, Wolf.

BERMAN (on camera): Who's your favorite on CNN?

RAINBOW: Well, I feel like I'm being set up here.

BERMAN (on camera): Who's your favorite?

RAINBOW: John Berman is my favorite, although you could have brought Chris Cuomo.

BERMAN (on camera): I was going to say --

RAINBOW: I would not have been mad.

Did you bring Chris Cuomo with you? Anderson? John Berman? Any of my boyfriends?

BERMAN (voice-over): So what about the future? What if he loses his muse?

What if he loses?

RAINBOW: What if he loses?

BERMAN (on camera): Yes.

RAINBOW: Great. Let's get a new cast in here. I'd be thrilled to have some new material, especially in a year's time.

BERMAN (on camera): Can you rhyme with Buttigieg?

RAINBOW: I have tried. I'm still working on it.

(Singing) Why they all crushin' on Mayor Pete, ooh, gurrrl!

BERMAN (voice-over): The way he sees it, no matter what happens, the world needs Randy Rainbow.

RAINBOW: As long as there's news and controversy, and as long as there are racists, anti-Semitic, misogynistic bigots looking for a comeback, I'll be here.

(Singing) Just be best.


BERMAN: So, Randy has the Christmas album out, which is doing well. And he's been on tour for the last several months, which is why he hasn't put out as many songs lately. But he wants his fans to know he's gearing up for a big 2020. CAMEROTA: Very good to know. And thank you for discovering him.

BERMAN: I actually -- he's a big deal.

CAMEROTA: I know he is.

BERMAN: The Internet loves him.

CAMEROTA: I know that and with good reason.


CAMEROTA: Thank you to our international viewers for watching this Christmas morning. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM" is next.


For our U.S. viewers, a special edition of NEW DAY continues after this.