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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Hollywood and Politics; Interview With Sean Penn
Aired January 05, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[In connection with the January 5, 2011 broadcast of the 9pm ET AC360 special program, references were made by a CNN guest to certain named products. These statements were made during a speculative dialogue about why the birds died in Arkansas and do not reflect CNN's reporting.]
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight a special edition of "360."
Brace yourselves for a meeting of the mouths. Three people who like to tell it like it is. That was Roseanne. Or at least how they think it should be. Comic and activist Roseanne Barr is here. Just out with her new book, "Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm."
Rock star, red stater and avid hunter Ted Nugent joins me as well. Author of "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto."
And rounding out our panel, no shrinking violet himself, Democratic strategist and former Obama campaign pollster Cornell Belcher.
CORNELL BELCHER, OBAMA 2008 CAMPAIGN POLLSTER: I have no idea why I'm here. No idea why I'm here.
TED NUGENT, AUTHOR, "TED, WHITE AND BLUE": I didn't want to be the only black guy here.
ROSEANNE BARR, AUTHOR, "ROSEANNEARCHY": There's a lot of gray going on.
COOPER: We're all rocking the gray which I like.
BARR: We are. Isn't it awesome?
COOPER: No, I definitely -- yes.
NUGENT: I got the white going on. Respect your elders. I'm 62. Do I own the place?
BARR: Yes, you are.
NUGENT: All right. COOPER: I'm usually the only one rocking the gray. So I'm glad that we're here.
COOPER: We're going to get to politics --
BARR: It's so hip now.
COOPER: We're going to get to politics a moment, but we begin actually with a breaking story tonight.
Evidence of fraud against an autism researcher. This is a big deal. His name is Andrew Wakefield. He's no longer a practicing doctor. His medical license was stripped in Britain back in May.
In a 1998 study published in the medical journal "The Lancet' he claimed to have found a link between vaccines that kids take and autism. Now in the years since, as autism cases have inexplicably risen, an increasing number of parents have stopped getting their kids vaccinated.
The Wakefield study has since been discredited and just tonight, an investigative journalist published his findings in the "British Medical Journal," "BMJ" calling the Wakefield study, quote, "an elaborate fraud." A fraud that has done long-lasting damage to kid's health.
Now, BMJ, this journal, says that Wakefield faked the data on the 12 kids who were the focus of the 1998 study. Not just made a mistake. They show evidence that he faked it and that he had financial motives for doing so.
I spoke with Wakefield a short time ago, about two hours ago. We're going to have the complete interview at 10:00 p.m. on "360" as well as rebuttal from Dr. Sanjay Gupta and another reporter who's been investigating this for years.
But here's just some of my interview with Wakefield.
COOPER: Sir, according to this new report, not only did you do a study that was scientifically and ethically flawed, it was, quote, "an elaborate fraud." An award-winning investigative journalist Brian Deer has published evidence that you, and I quote, "Altered numerous facts about patients' medical histories to support your claims of identifying a new syndrome," and that you also, quote, "Sought to exploit the scare among parents for financial gain."
How do you respond?
DR. ANDREW WAKEFIELD, AUTHORED RETRACTED AUTISM STUDY: Well, you know, I had to put up with this man's false allegations for many, many years. I've written a book and in that book --
COOPER: But this is not just one man. This is published in the British Medical Journal.
WAKEFIELD: And I have not as yet had a chance to read that but I have read his multiple allegations on many occasions. He IS a hit man. He's been brought in to take me down because they are very, very concerned about the adverse reactions to vaccines that are occurring in children.
COOPER: Again, we're going to have the complete interview at 10:00.
Roseanne, did you -- you have kids, you have grandkids. Did you get them vaccinated?
BARR: Yes, of course. Yes. I think that you have to. Absolutely.
COOPER: But have you heard the concerns about autism and stuff?
BARR: I have heard all that. And I don't know what the heck to believe about anything. I mean, seriously. I don't know what's BS and what's true.
NUGENT: Yes, which side is more fraudulent? You know the poor guy being charged or the people making the allegations. But either way, it's tragic. I'm a parent and grandparent. And obviously the scientific data is irrefutable that once the vaccinations were kicked in back in the '30s and '40s that the rates of certain diseases fell off the charts. And fell off the map.
I think that's desirable. And you can't deny that evidence. But if this guy is guilty of fraud, I think somebody's dad ought to go kick his ass.
BELCHER: Well, it's more --
COOPER: In fact kids in the United States have died now from, like, whooping cough because their parents have decided not to get them vaccinated for something like whooping cough.
NUGENT: That's what I'm talking about, yes.
COOPER: Which there's no reason.
BELCHER: Look, you know, hanging is too good for this guy if this is actually true because he's impacted kids. And I have two boys myself who better be in bed right now. And you know --
BARR: But it's --
BELCHER: And I do remember this conversation.
BARR: I like that you said if it's true because we don't know. NUGENT: If, yes .
BELCHER: Because -- well, that's the thing I want to get to.
COOPER: But you know some things are knowable. And basically, what's interesting -- and we'll do more of it at 10:00 because that was just a little thing. I mean point -- I go point by point with this guy. And the evidence is pretty clear that he -- according to this investigation that's been done, that he faked the data.
And there are only 12 kids in this case. He faked the data on each of these 12 kids. And numerous studies have been done and public health officials around the world are all saying there is no link, no provable link --
BELCHER: Well, he's a murderer.
COOPER: -- between --
BARR: Well, I mean if it's really -- if it's provable that he did that, then that's just a terrible, terrible thing.
NUGENT: But I think it's amazing that Roseanne Barr and I agree that we don't trust anybody.
COOPER: I know.
BARR: No, absolutely.
COOPER: That's the only time that's going to happen tonight.
NUGENT: I'm going to try for more.
COOPER: Let's talk politics because obviously today was a big day in Washington.
Ted, you're obviously excited, I guess, about --
NUGENT: Well, I want to be excited but I'll believe it when I see it. I don't trust any of them either. I don't trust liberals or the Democrats or the conservatives or the Republicans. I just don't know who to trust.
The fraud and the corruption, the deceit, the abuse of power is pandemic in politics today. So I want -- I write a feature every week for Washingtontimes.com and humanevents.com. And just as a guitar player and just as an American working hard, playing hard, guy.
I want to see some results. I want to see some action. I want to see some pragmatism and some accountability. God bless accountability. Whoever comes up with accountability is going to get my vote.
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) said a while ago that --
BARR: I agree.
COOPER: -- the Tea Party is going to get co-opted when they come to Washington. You think that's going to happen?
BELCHER: And that's interesting because I was actually, you know, going past a very swank W last night in Washington, D.C. And you know who was there? At least 12 of the Tea Partiers there with lobbyists circling like sharks.
And you know, so it is -- the city is corrupting. I mean people go there to change that city. And time and time again, they get changed by that city. So it's interesting to see what happens with some --
COOPER: I hear, Roseanne, that you want to run for not only president but also prime minister of Israel.
BARR: It's a twofer.
NUGENT: I thought for sure you already were.
BARR: I volunteer because you know why? You know what makes me different?
NUGENT: Where do we start?
BARR: What makes me different as a candidate. I just want solutions. I don't want to hear about whose fault it is anymore. And I think that that's what most Americans feel --
COOPER: How would you rule?
BARR: Well, we've got to, like, get together over this huge chasm -- these two sides pulled us apart. And let's get a solution.
NUGENT: I had a bumper crop of crowbars this year. You want to borrow or something?
BELCHER: Ted and I are going to work for her.
(CROSSTALK) BARR: Seriously, we want -- like he said, we want results. I mean I think we differ on what the results are and how we get them obviously.
NUGENT: Boy, I bet.
COOPER: Are you a big supporter of Obama?
BARR: I'm a supporter of the president. Like they always say in a time of war, you have to support the president. And I think it is treasonous to attack the president in a time of war so I'm not going to do that.
COOPER: We're in a perpetual war, though. We're always -- it seems like we're going to be in a war --
BARR: That's true.
COOPER: Down the road.
COOPER: But I heard -- I heard you wanted to rule with, what, a council of grandmothers?
BARR: Yes. I want to replace -- I say that patriarchal politics is obsolete. Time to get rid of them. It doesn't work. It's been thousands of years. It never works. It can't work. It's heavily weighted against the people's favor.
And so I would replace all governments with the grandmother's --
NUGENT: You know the horror of it is?
BARR: Wait a minute.
NUGENT: That would be better than what we have now.
BARR: That's not horror. That's real. Grandmothers know how to solve problems. And that's what I'm saying again. We've got to solve problems. Not just exploit on --
COOPER: I think Nancy Pelosi is a grandmother, though, isn't she?
BARR: OK, but --
NUGENT: My point.
BARR: OK, but this way I'm the head, OK, Ted?
NUGENT: Not political grandmother.
BARR: I'm the head grandmother of the entire world and everyone answers to me.
COOPER: What did you think of John Boehner taking over today? Got a little teary-eyed.
NUGENT: Well, I want a leader that's ballsy and tough and ready to face the demons. I was let down by the emotionalism. He was really emotional today. The shape America's in. The abandonment of accountability. The corruption in politics. It makes all of us want to shed a tear.
But we'd like to put someone in charge who's stronger than that. Just gets tough. And if he is wanting to fix things, then he doesn't have time for crying. I was both moved that he was down to earth and human about it. But I was let down because I need a tougher guy than that.
COOPER: A lot of people have been very critical of him. I've always been sort of -- you know, everyone says they want their politicians to be more like real people.
BELCHER: No --
COOPER: He seems to have -- I just want to show some of our viewers who haven't been familiar with some of his weeping --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Making sure that these kids have a shot at the American dream like I did.
I spent my whole life chasing the American dream. I put my -- myself through school working every rotten job there was.
And I think the top of our list is providing for the safety and security of the American people. That's at the top of our list.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
NUGENT: Anderson, that doesn't play well on TV.
NUGENT: That's just mean stuff, man.
COOPER: I defend the guy. I defend the guy.
BELCHER: Well, here's the problem with the American people that they like their leaders to be John Wayne. They like them to be tough guys. And that doesn't --
COOPER: You're a pollster, how does that poll?
BELCHER: It plays -- it doesn't play well at all in middle America. They think the one thing that they thought about George Bush, whether it was true or not, that he was tough and decisive leader. And Americans ate -- and ate it up. The problem with that is they don't see tough and decisive. The guy would cry at the drop of a hat which is a problem. But, also, think about this, if this was Nancy Pelosi on television crying, oh, my god, they would ream her about it.
BELCHER: We would never hear the end of it. A woman can't cry on television.
BARR: I think the guy acts like he's drunk. You know like when you have the one too many drinks and you're like, "Ii love you, buddy."
NUGENT: That's why these sideways don't break. Give John a break. John is going to be a good House leader.
BELCHER: Well, apparently he does like to drink a little so --
COOPER: Who doesn't these days?
BARR: Apparently. Apparently so.
COOPER: I don't actually. Earlier tonight, on CNN's "PARKER SPITZER," "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin talked about a future in politics. Should celebrities run for office?
COOPER: We'll have our panel weigh in on that in a moment. And then later, an actor with other ambitions, Sean Penn, talking about hate.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN PENN, ACTOR: I think it's become pretty clear to most people, most experts I've spoken to on the ground that the success of Haiti is probably the most significant multiplier for the United States and for other places.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back with a special 9:00 edition of "360." Tonight we're talking politics and just about anything else with comic Roseanne Barr.
NUGENT: Is that what that was? Politics?
COOPER: Yes, that's right.
COOPER: Red state rocker Ted Nugent also weighing in, political strategist Cornell Belcher.
BELCHER: Can I be a Washington rocker or something?
COOPER: Yes. OK. Sure.
NUGENT: From now on you are -- Cornell is my Washington rocker. You are the front brother (INAUDIBLE).
BELCHER: Done. Done.
COOPER: Earlier tonight on CNN's "PARKER SPITZER," Eliot Spitzer asked actor Alec Baldwin if he had any plans to run for office. Here's what the "30 Rock" star said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I've had people approach me --
ELIOT SPITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Never heard you stammer before.
BALDWIN: But I've had people approach me about running for jobs and moving to other locations, and it's been a very difficult decision for me because I am a New Yorker and I do like living here and I would prefer to live here.
And in New York there's a lot of planes on the runway ready to take off all the time, any given time. There's a lot of ambition. There's a lot of entitlement in some circles with people who believe that there are certain jobs that belong to them.
BALDWIN: The -- so the answer is yes, it's something that I'm very, very interested in.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Ted? Should --
NUGENT: Well, I don't know what to laugh at harder. Alec Baldwin running for office or Eliot Spitzer doing the interview. I mean, give me a break. What is this? "Planet of the Apes" or CNN?
At any rate, no, I think everybody's got not only the right but a civic duty to participate to the maximum in this experiment in self- government. So whether -- and I disagree with Alec Baldwin probably on everything except his first wife.
COOPER: Because when you're -- you're very --
NUGENT: So I encourage him.
COOPER: You're a big -- I mean you're involved in politics.
NUGENT: I'm involved -- hey, I'm a we the people guy. Politics in America. That's why I so adore Sarah Palin. Here's a citizen who wants to get involved. Sees corruption and fraud. Gets involved. Gets rid of the corruption and fraud. And leaves her citizens being voted into office. That's American politics pure and simple. That's how I --
BARR: Where's my gun?
NUGENT: And so I support -- I support Roseanne Barr to be the prime minister of --
BELCHER: How come you've never run? How come you've never run?
NUGENT: I'm old and I still love to tour like a mad man. I love to play my music. And I'm probably too selfish right now.
COOPER: Mike Huckabee is still rocks out a little bit.
NUGENT: Very little.
BELCHER: He's a great guy but that --
NUGENT: And God bless --
COOPER: Not exactly rocking out. He's --
NUGENT: I have a different attitude about rocking out.
COOPER: Yes, he plays a very mellow band.
NUGENT: I support Alec and I support everybody who pursues it. Let the people decide. If there's content and positive upgrade in their message, bingo.
BARR: I think you're right.
COOPER: Would you vote for Alec Baldwin?
BARR: I definitely would because he is so handsome.
NUGENT: I give you the current state of politics. That's why people vote.
BARR: He is so smart, too. I agree with everything that guy says.
NUGENT: And then you can sing the national anthem at his inauguration.
BARR: Absolutely, and they you can shoot a little baby pig. NUGENT: I could, two of them.
COOPER: But do you think --
BELCHER: Here's the problem. Alec's got to be crazy because you know what, the moment he says he's going to run for office, personal friends of mine are going to spend their next, you know, couple of weeks digging through his past and bring up all the crap ---
NUGENT: Isn't that a shame?
BELCHER: It is. But that's the way politics is played.
NUGENT: It's true. It's true.
BELCHER: It's unfortunate but the truth of the matter is he's got a great job but politics --
COOPER: But do you think people care about that sort of stuff? I mean really? I mean I think -- I mean back in the Gary Hart days, yes, it derailed a lot of careers.
BELCHER: Negative politics works. It does. There's a reason why we go negative on a candidate because it works. It moves numbers. There's a reason why people who start the front-runner oftentimes don't end up in a front-runner because of negative politics.
People say they don't like it, but you know what impacts the most? Negative commercials. And if I got a couple hundred thousand dollars and I can put points behind that negative commercial, it is absolutely going to penetrate.
COOPER: What do you --
NUGENT: That's what I would like to run. I would revel in the attacks on me. I consider that a party. Because it's all such nonsense. It's about getting the job done. I'm an asset --
BARR: What's the job, though? I mean, you say these things -- you remind me of Sarah Palin a little. You say these broad things but what's the job that needs to get done? Like robbing all the working people of every dime they got?
NUGENT: Accountability. Making sure --
BARR: What does that mean exactly? Accountability?
NUGENT: Well, that means when you have X amount of income from the tax coffers that you don't spend beyond it. I live within my means. I would hope that you live within your means and I expect my government to live within their means.
BARR: What with Goldman Sachs? What do you think of that?
NUGENT: I think they ought to be stoned to death. That's what I think.
BARR: Do you think this government is owned by Goldman Sachs and rich people?
NUGENT: Unfortunately right now, especially the Obama administration, yes.
BARR: But what --
NUGENT: That's why they hired him.
BARR: Why do you say that about Obama when people pay less taxes under Obama than they did under Reagan. Why do say stuff like that?
NUGENT: Well, that's another example of abandonment of accountability. They're paying less taxes. They're getting less revenues and they're spending more. Their deficit and the debt has never skyrocketed like it is right now because the socialist mentality --
BARR: Because of Bush. How about Bush?
NUGENT: -- is to redistribute wealth and abandon --
BARR: How about Bush --
NUGENT: He did a horrible job. I didn't like that either. Put it there, put it there. No, that's -- it's rampant. Bush blew it. Obama's blowing it even better. Clinton blew it. I think politics -- there's a military term. It's three syllable. I'll give you two of them. Cluster.
It is a cluster --
BARR: I got it.
NUGENT: -- of politics right now. And that's why Tea Party is so important for saying one simple thing. Be accountable.
BARR: But the tea party is owned by the richest people in the world. Come on --
NUGENT: They aren't. The Tea Party are welders and farmers.
BARR: No, they're not.
NUGENT: And guess it --
NUGENT: I hang out with them. My (INAUDIBLE) was at Tea Parties last week. They're carpenters. They're people that make a minimum wage.
BARR: Well, it's not their fault that they're being lied to and tricked. It's not their fault. NUGENT: The Tea Party is about the Constitution --
BARR: Telling rich people --
NUGENT: -- and the Bill of Rights.
BARR: Telling rich people what they want to hear is not good for Americans.
NUGENT: That's not what the Tea Party is about at all. Not even close. You couldn't be more wrong about that. Tea Party is about working hard, playing hard. Simple families going, be accountable. What are you doing with our money? Who said you can spend on that crap? Who said you can pay people to stay home?
Who said you can pay people not to work and not be productive? If you're not productive, you get no money.
BELCHER: Well, but --
NUGENT: How's that sound?
BARR: That sounds like you're blaming the victim. Sounds like you're blaming the poor people.
NUGENT: Victim --
NUGENT: Victims for sleeping in?
BARR: Yes, I think you're blaming the victim. I think it's just a big fat con and you work for the richest guys in the world. All you Tea Party spokespeople, you work for the Koch brothers and they're like billionaires.
NUGENT: I'm just a deer hunter. I don't know what you're talking about.
BARR: No. But you're working for the wrong people, brother.
NUGENT: I work for myself. I work for myself. All my buddies work for themselves. They work and they expect to have something left and not give it to people who didn't earn it. Real simple. Mao Tse Tung didn't work then.
BARR: Who? Like Dick Cheney?
NUGENT: Mao Tse Tung isn't going to work today.
BARR: Dick Cheney didn't -- Dick Cheney didn't earn one damn thing. The guy has never worked an honest day in his life.
NUGENT: Who's this?
BARR: Dick Cheney. He's never worked an honest day in his life. NUGENT: You got to be kidding me.
BARR: Are you kidding me?
NUGENT: Give me -- give me Barack Obama's resume.
BARR: You talk about people working for their money?
NUGENT: Show me all his jobs that he's had. Show me a product that Barack Obama ever produced. Show me one. Time's up.
BELCHER: Well, actually, Ted, he did start actually working for the churches in Southside Chicago.
NUGENT: Where's the product?
BELCHER: The product is actually helping people. But to get back to what --
BARR: Thank you.
NUGENT: Chicago people don't look very helped to me. It looks like a tragedy.
BELCHER: Well, you got to --
NUGENT: Did he help Cabrini Green? Was that one of his projects?
BELCHER: Well, you got to keep trying to help people. I mean --
NUGENT: No, you can't -- no. You need to try to help people by scolding them to help themselves. If you keep rewarding them --
BARR: I'm solving you because you're full of it.
NUGENT: -- for sleeping in, then they'll never get out of slavery. Why would you support slavery?
BARR: I'm solving you because you're blaming the people at the bottom who have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
NUGENT: I'm blaming people who refuse to be productive.
BARR: Why don't you blame the people who have the blame? Why don't you ever put the blame --
NUGENT: Why do you want to blame the people who have jobs and produce things?
BARR: I want to blame the Koch brothers and the billionaires and all the people who robbed the taxpayers of this country, absolutely.
NUGENT: The government is the one who's robbed the taxpayers this of country.
BARR: What would we do without government? Expect the rich people to take care of the poor? Are you crazy?
NUGENT: The rich people are the ones providing jobs.
BARR: No, they're not.
NUGENT: The government doesn't provide squat.
BARR: There are no jobs. There are no jobs.
NUGENT: Well, there are jobs and rich people who put all their lives on the line to get creative.
BARR: Rich people -- rich people don't pay squat and it's proven.
COOPER: Guys, let me -- let me just jump in here.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break.
NUGENT: Jump in, Anderson, quick.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break and talk about something you all can agree on, Sarah Palin, in just a moment.
Still ahead, Piers Morgan. His new show debuts 12 days here on CNN. Tonight he talks about journalism as a contact sport. Back in a moment.
BARR: A little.
COOPER: Grab the popcorn, get the kids out of the room.
NUGENT: Real butter.
COOPER: We've got Ted Nugent here. We got comedian, self- described domestic goddess Roseanne Barr, author of the new book "Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm."
NUGENT: "Roseannearchy." I love that.
BELCHER: It's a great book.
COOPER: -- legend Ted Nugent, author of "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto." And rounding out our panel --
BELCHER: D.C. rocker.
COOPER: D.C. rocker.
NUGENT: D.C. rocker.
COOPER: Democratic strategist in 2008 Obama campaign --
NUGENT: Cornell (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Cornell Belcher.
We've had a lot going on during the commercial break, I will tell you.
COOPER: I'm not sure how to sum up, but let's just first -- let's just move on and talk about --
BARR: A lot of profanity.
COOPER: A lot of profanity. Let's talk about Sarah Palin. You're a huge fan of Sarah Palin. Roseanne?
NUGENT: I'm a huge fan of Sarah Palin both literally and figuratively.
COOPER: Do you think she can be president in 2012?
NUGENT: It's way too early to know. Right now, no. Today no.
COOPER: Do you think she would make a good president?
NUGENT: But she's on her way to being a good leader. She's coming from the street. She's coming from the we the people, rank and file. She makes sense when she talks. She says all the right things. She's sincere. She's knowledgeable. She's articulate. And she's damned good looking. Plus she kills moose. What can go wrong?
BELCHER: She's hot. She's kind of hot.
COOPER: Do you think she could be -- do you think she could be a good president?
NUGENT: It's too early to tell. Right now if we had a vote today, I couldn't vote for Sarah Palin. And I love her. I love her madly.
NUGENT: And I respect.
COOPER: Roseanne --
BARR: Even though she's so good looking you couldn't vote for her?
NUGENT: That's nothing to do with it, Roseanne.
BARR: That's what you said. What?
COOPER: What do you think of her?
BARR: I think she's a loon and I think she's kind of a traitor to this country because she'd like to --
BARR: She would love to erase the line between church and state which I think this country was founded on and should never, ever be trifled with in any way.
COOPER: I heard you said that she's also stealing your act?
BARR: She's stealing my act. That's the thing that really pisses me off.
BARR: She really does --
COOPER: How is she stealing your act?
BARR: She's doing it wrong.
COOPER: How is she stealing your act?
BARR: Watch her.
NUGENT: You're way funnier, Roseanne. Don't worry. You've got your ground --
BARR: Now you've got me back on your side.
NUGENT: You got your ground staked out. You're all right, baby. Old Sarah ain't going to tread on Roseanne, I promise.
BARR: No, what I mean, she's another one like Ted -- excuse me, Ted, don't come after me with a gun.
NUGENT: I love you madly.
BARR: And I'm heavily armed myself.
BELCHER: Right. Did we pat Ted down?
BARR: But listen, she --
COOPER: Yes. He promised that he's armed tonight.
BARR: She tells rich people what they want to hear and calls herself a maverick for doing it. She's not a maverick. She's a duped. And she gets paid for helping to dupe other people, too. You know, scaring the hell out of Americans so that they vote against their own best interest. And the thing -- and they vote against the social safety net.
COOPER: Why do you think she's so polarizing? I mean it's interesting that two people --
NUGENT: Isn't that amazing? Roseanne couldn't be more wrong.
BELCHER: Well, here's the thing. I'm going to come up in the middle of this. I'm the guy who work for Obama. But two -- you know, two years before Obama ran, he couldn't win either.
COOPER: Right. People said there's --
NUGENT: Good point, yes.
BELCHER: Listen, I'm, you know, partisan hat off here, there is not a more influential, as we like her or not, there's not a more influential Republican right now in national politics. I mean look at what she just did in the Republican primaries. Look at what she just did in the Republican caucuses.
COOPER: She sends a tweet and everybody covers it.
BELCHER: Exactly. There is --
COOPER: There's few other people who are like that. I tweet all the time, no one talks about it.
BARR: She's one of those people --
NUGENT: I think that's overkill. I'm let down by that because they're focusing on some pretty silly elements. I think we need to pay more attention to the content. Like you say, the polls show that she's extremely influential. And that just supports my belief that she says the right things. And believe me, she's not catering to anybody.
COOPER: But you know what's -- there were all those people after she lost with McCain who said, look, she needs to go, study, practice, you know, maybe take some foreign trips.
NUGENT: We all do. We all do.
COOPER: No. No. But she totally ignored that advice, did it -- is doing it her own way, and is doing it in a way that's been very --
BELCHER: There's also a history -- a history of anti- intellectualism that's pretty deep in America.
BARR: Yes. She's got that -- her followers are the dumbest people on earth. I mean --
NUGENT: Thanks a lot, Roseanne.
BARR: No, but seriously, they can barely scare up a pulse. I'm serious.
BELCHER: That's kind of mean.
BARR: They are not -- they are really stupid. They're stupid.
NUGENT: Roseanne, you couldn't be more wrong. You look at the Tea Party people. You know what the Tea Party people, they're solidly in the asset column of America. They are the producers, Roseanne. Why don't you like producers?
BARR: I -- because I would rather fire producers, don't you know anything about me?
COOPER: She has a long history of firing --
NUGENT: I'm glad we have her here. I love the ying and the yang, baby. Believe me, Sarah Palin gets it. She represents the most productive element of this country. People who are willing to sacrifice, get up extra early, be the best that they can be. And at the end of the day, live within their means and be providers of jobs. Be providers of quality life.
BARR: The people who like Sarah Palin --
NUGENT: That's what Sarah Palin represents. Your turn.
BARR: -- are all on the government dole going out there and bitching about people wanting to get on the government dole. Please.
BELCHER: From a campaign --
BARR: Every one of them is on the government money.
NUGENT: I want to hear --
BELCHER: From a campaign perspective, she has two -- she has two problems. One is that, as independent voters, you know, the more independent voters -- she has high negatives among independent voters. And I was doing polling in New Hampshire when she was spending time up there for the McCain campaign. And every day she spent -- independent voters moved away from. The other part is, right now, there is no gender gap for her right now. There's something we seldom see with women candidates whether they're Republicans or Democrats. Women tend to want to vote for women, those grandmothers, they want to tend to vote for women. Right now gender gap isn't really impacting her. So it's a real problem -- I mean Hillary Clinton had this big sort of push early on in the primaries, because she had a huge gender gap, both black women, white women, Hispanic women. They all gravitate towards her. We don't see that right now happening with Sarah Palin in the way it typically does for women.
COOPER: You say never say never.
BELCHER: But never say never. Her negatives would be as high as anyone who has ever entered that race at this time. That's real problematic for her.
COOPER: Got to take another quick break. We're going to have more with Roseanne and Ted and Cornell.
Also tonight, this special 360 Haiti. Talk to actor Sean Penn, who spent much of the last year, frankly, down in Port-Au-Prince. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here.
BARR: You told me I could apologize because sometimes I shoot my mouth off and say really stupid things.
COOPER: What do you want to apologize about?
BARR: I did not mean to insult all of Sarah Palin's supporters. It just flew out of my mouth.
NUGENT: I accept your apology.
BARR: It's not their fault that I feel they're being duped. I really do feel that they're being duped, but I don't blame them for that.
COOPER: OK. Let's move on to some other topics just that are popping up. Brett Favre. I mean --
BARR: One word --
COOPER: Uh-oh. Please let it be that's OK on cable.
BARR: Photoshop. COOPER: Technically, I don't think -- yes, all right. That's what you're recommending?
BARR: That's what I think, yeah.
COOPER: You're upset because you actually wish you had received some --
BARR: I don't know why they never texted women their own age. Why are they always going to women half their age to send their pictures of their genitals?
BELCHER: Should I go first or should you?
NUGENT: Please. The floor is yours.
BELCHER: I'm actually always surprised -- I'm not touching that texting younger women. I'm always surprised that we're surprised about athletes chasing skirts. You know, it's time and time again. Look, they're rich guys. They got a lot of money. And they got a lot of women who flock to them.
I'm always surprised by this. I'd be more surprised to see athletes not chasing skirts than I see athletes chasing skirts.
BARR: You think chasing skirts is texting a picture of your penis to someone who works for you?
BELCHER: Is that what he allegedly did?
COOPER: There have been allegations, but it's not clear where that photo that's been on the Internet came from. So I'll just throw that out there.
BARR: See, I didn't know that either.
BELCHER: If he had been texting pictures of his feet to Coach Ryan last year, he probably would have got more playing time.
COOPER: Now there are new allegations of texts to some of the masseurs on --
NUGENT: Roseanne had one word, I got one word: inconsequential. Next. Who gives a rat's ass?
COOPER: You actually know Brett. It's a sad way for a guy who's had an incredible career --
NUGENT: you know what, the sexual world, to each his own, man. Have a nice day. Keep it legit. Don't hurt nobody. But I could just care less --
BARR: But don't you think you should look for a willing partner?
NUGENT: No, I don't think you should look for anything in this day and age.
COOPER: What do you make of all these birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas?
NUGENT: I did that, a 20-gauge. You've heard about drive-byes in Detroit? That was a drive-by in Arkansas. I'm going to tell you something. This is serious. Number one, the same reason the Passenger Pigeons died off was because they're a colonizing species. In these colonies, parasites and viruses spread like wildfire. That's what I'm attributing it to.
COOPER: You think it's something internal?
NUGENT: That the government official statement was fireworks that distracted them --
BARR: I saw that.
NUGENT: That's the U.S. government doing its finest work. Was that the FDA, the USDA or just a bunch of idiots? It wasn't blunt force trauma. It wasn't fireworks. I promise you that. I'm just a guitar player, but I can assure you that. I think it was a colonized spreading virus or parasite, because it does happen in wildlife often.
COOPER: You see stuff on the Internet -- you see there are folks who think it's a sign of the end times.
BARR: I think it's that Monsanto.
COOPER: You think it's corporations?
BARR: Yes, I think it's Monsanto that's like really busily -- if you really will research it, they're poisoning the food chain from top to bottom.
BARR: I'm not done. I mean, they've got this bacteria. Now there's this bill in Congress about forcing Monsanto to destroy their sugar beets, because what it does is create bacteria that actually kills off all the other crops.
NUGENT: Roseanne, you're probably right.
BARR: Probably like a bird probably ate one of their damn sugar beets and all the birds in the world died.
NUGENT: I think that's where you're off course. But I concur with you that we have chemicaled ourselves to death. I believe that the air fresheners and the scented shampoos for kids and all the chemicals that we bombard ourselves with on a daily basis cannot possibly be good for you.
NUGENT: -- canary in a coal mine. We have birds falling out of the sky and this fish kill.
BARR: You know, all the spraying? Whenever you look outside, there's --
NUGENT: Number one, when they banned DDT, then Malaria exploded again. So we have to have balance. You've got to kill off, you know, certain disease carrying bugs and other forms. And if chemicals can help do that -- just like vaccinations we were talking about. It may have some dangers, but the big picture is that you've saved millions of kids' lives.
So we have to balance it. I'm against chemicals completely. I've been drug, alcohol, tobacco and chemical free my whole life. Our family's hardcore about this. And that other fat thing I'm talking about.
COOPER: Was that a hard thing -- why -- from -- people would probably automatically assume you were, you know, given the rocker life --
BARR: That's what I assume.
NUGENT: Yeah, well some people are idiots. It's been so well documented. I've been promoting clean and sober --
COOPER: I'm not suggesting you're not clean. I'm just interested, how did you resist that stuff?
NUGENT: Defiance. I didn't invent the middle finger, but I perfected it about the age of 12. No, the hippies -- let me see, the attraction, was it the drooling, the puking or the dying? Which was the attractive part? You've got to be kidding me.
To infest yourself with poisons is the ultimate crime against your gift of life, and certainly your sacred temple. So I just laughed those punks into the grave.
BELCHER: Ted, I'm drunk right now.
NUGENT: I'm getting drunk sitting next to you.
COOPER: We've got to go. Roseanne, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Ted Nugent, thank you very much. Cornell Belcher, as well. Thank you very much.
COOPER: We'll square off with actress Debby Macer and Democratic strategist James Carville in another special edition of 360, tomorrow. Also tomorrow, Paula Abdul will be here.
BELCHER: Will I be here?
COOPER: Sure, you will. Not at the same time I think. Anyway, a lot more ahead. We'll have more with Sean Penn in just a moment.
COOPER: Next Wednesday night is the one-year anniversary of the magnitude seven earthquake that devastated Haiti, killed an estimated 300,000 people. Much of the capital Port-Au-Prince was destroyed, as you know. Still in ruins, frankly, a year later. Buildings collapsed, men and women and kids simply disappeared in the rubble.
I'll be there next Tuesday and Wednesday reporting on the situation. and if a powerful and deadly earthquake weren't enough for the Haitian people to deal with, a cholera epidemic broke out in October. It's a very preventable, very treatable disease. It spread across the -- across Haiti, killing so far more than 3,000 people, sickening 10,000 -- tens of thousands more.
Over the course of past year on 360, we have spoken to Sean Penn, who spent a lot of this past year in Haiti, dedicating his life and -- to relieving the suffering of the Haitian people, trying to call the world's attention to their plight, which doesn't seem to be getting any better.
He's the co-founder of the JP Haitian Relief Organization, which operates and aids the largest tent camp in Port-Au-Prince, among other good work there. He joins me in a moment. But first, here's a look back at some of what he's told us over the past 12 months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN PENN, ACTOR: This is the beginning, unless everybody realizes that the disaster is still on. This is a disaster, and a bigger one than the earthquake waiting to happen. This is the first confirmed case of diphtheria post-quake. It's a 15-year-old boy. He's dead. He was in school with his schoolmates before he was reported sick. There's an investigation going on.
This is exactly the kind of thing that can kill masses of people.
They've got no water. All of those things that you would need in a camp, clinics, lighting, you know, those -- most of these neighborhoods are living in the pitch dark, in rubble twice as high as our heads.
I think it's very clear there aren't the clean water assets. The area that's affected primarily by the cholera epidemic at this point is an area where the water that the people use for their everyday life is -- looks like mud. That's not water that you can just simply use Aquatabs in. They need clean and purified water.
If one more person tells me they're an expert from Africa and I'm a actor from Hollywood, I'm going to get on here and I'll tell you every name of every Schaudenfraudist (ph) at log base that lives or dies with the same disease that's going to kill these people if people don't start doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Sean Penn over the last year. This week, I had a long conversation with Penn about Haiti one year later, about the desperate conditions, about the resilience of the people and what the world can do to improve their lives and how it's changed him.
COOPER: What is it about Haiti that got you? I mean, a lot of people go there and, you know, leave. You've stayed. What is it?
PENN: It's hard to describe it, because, you know, there's not a place in the world where the smile of a child won't grab the average person's heart. There's something -- it's the line that keeps getting repeated. There's something about Haiti and something about Haitians.
I think there's also something that happens to you when you land only an hour and a half after you take off from Miami, Florida. And in that much time, you're in a country surrounded by people who have had absolutely no experience or dependence on comfort in their entire experience, in the experience of their parents, in the experience of their grandparents.
And the lessons of that is -- you know, I don't mean to talk about it in a kind of highfalutin way, but it's something that I think is such a -- it's nutrition for anyone that grew up in a situation where if all you had available was the thought that if my child's temperature rises too high, I can at least -- I might not have a great health plan, but I can get him or her to an emergency room.
This is a culture of people who every time a child's fever rises has to just wait and see if they're going to die. And they've persevered through these kinds of basic hardships with so much strength.
COOPER: It is -- there is something remarkable about air mobility that allows you to go from one world to another, as you said, in the space of an hour and a half. There's something also -- there's a great pain that comes with that, as well though. I mean, moving back and forth between those two worlds, is that hard for you?
PENN: The experiences had by anybody, certainly, who comes from a common culture to ours here, that's had the opportunity to see with their own eyes the great misfortune that most of the world lives in, whether that's flying to Haiti or to various regions in Africa, or to go right over the harbor freeway in Los Angeles, into South Central, Los Angeles, and to see that what it is it's a very isolating thing.
Because most people haven't seen it. And it goes back to me feeling that this country -- and one of the things I've really come to believe deeply about in my experience in Haiti this year is that we should have -- we definitely should have a mandatory civil service period, whether it's after one graduates high school or graduates -- or university, that there's a year or two where service is mandatory, whether it be --
It need not be military. It could be spending time with the elderly or in South Central Los Angeles. To see where the children grow up without the most basic health care available.
COOPER: I get the sense -- I don't know you very well, but I get the sense this has changed your life.
PENN: Yeah, there's -- there's no question, I mean, that this is a -- a dramatic turn. It requires a lot more air travel for me than other things that I've been involved in, or where I found myself feeling I could be productive. Haiti is going to take, like I said, a very long time. I think that the needs -- the gaps that my organization would offer to fill will evolve.
And I would certainly love to think that we'll be out of emergency relief within some reasonable amount of years. It's unlikely.
COOPER: How do you think Haitians in your camp look at you? Do they know you are in movies?
PENN: Some do by now. It's not what's most important for them. And I am not what's most important to them. You know, I have -- I'm generally called by you. "Hey, you."
COOPER: Hey, you. Sean Penn, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
PENN: Thank you.
COOPER: Sean Penn. We'll have more with him next week in Haiti. Up next on this special edition of 360, Piers Morgan on getting slugged as a journalist. Techniques he uses to get the perfect interview out of a news maker and why he said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, FUTURE CNN ANCHOR: It's so interesting to me that Americans look to Britain for this great sort of bastion of decency and politeness.
COOPER: It's so not.
MORGAN: It's completely the opposite. Americans are much more polite than Brits these days. I mean, much more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Date to mark on you calendar, Monday, January 17th, 12 days from now, 9:00 at night, the premiere of an exciting new program here on CNN, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT." Most of you know him as a judge on the hit shows "America's Got Talent," "Britain's Got Talent." But his through his career as a journalist that Piers developed his own unique style of interviewing news makers.
Journalism also got him into trouble one night in England, bloody trouble, if you will.
COOPER: You've been punched on your job?
MORGAN: I have.
COOPER: Who punched you?
MORGAN: It was TV presenter called Jeremy Clarkson, who does "Top Gear," which I think has just come to America. And it's huge show in Britain. He's one of the biggest stars in television. He took exception to the fact the "Daily Mirror" published photographs of him in a slightly compromising situation with a woman who wasn't Mrs. Clarkson.
And it happened twice over the space of two years. And we ended up with the British Press Awards. So you imagine the scene. There's 1,000 journalists and photographers in one room from every national newspaper. And in the middle of the room, this guy comes up to me and punches me three times in the head. I've got this little scar on my head here from where the third one hit with his ring.
COOPER: Really? That's what that scar is?
MORGAN: That scar is actually from the third punch with his ring, gouging out part of my temple there. But at that point at least I remembered to say something, because I was just thinking, how is this playing out other than really badly?
I didn't hit him back, because I thought I was going to get fired, which is ironic, because three weeks later I got fired anyway. But I didn't hit him back. And I thought, to help my -- I thought this will be all noted for posterity. I've got to think of something quick. I remembered the words of Muhammad Ali when he fought George Foreman, when Foreman unloaded his bombs for about seven rounds. Eventually, Ali tucked him in and went, is that all you've got, George?
So I said something of a variant, which was my three-year-old hits me harder than that. And that gloriously became the ending quote that came out of the whole incident. So I go home with blood streaming from my head, thinking it's the end of my career, and wake up to find I'm a bit of a hero, because I came out with this line.
But the only good thing was he broke his little finger hitting me. And it's still gnarled and disfigured. Every time I see him on television, on this huge show, I see this gnarled finger. And it's quietly satisfying.
COOPER: Do you have any other fears in interviews besides being hit?
MORGAN: Only boredom. I think if I'm getting bored in an interview, and I start to feel like, you know, this is really not going far, you know the audience is ten times more bored. COOPER: How much of an interview do you try to prepare? Obviously, you do a lot research. You probably write out questions. How much of it is what you've thought about in advance? And how much is just impromptu based on what somebody else says?
MORGAN: I like to research very thoroughly. So I like to know everything about them. I would hate to have a moment with a guest where they really know you don't know about a key aspect of their life, because you haven't bothered to find out. I think as a journalist, I see it as an absolute prerequisite on the job to be well briefed on them.
Having said that, I love spontaneity. I think on television, with an interview, you can get some of the best moments in television from a silence or from a, whoa, what did you say? Anything that make it certainly not look scripted, that makes it go -- veering off from what the viewer at home assumes is a nice cozy setup.
I like it when it's going to reveal something really fascinating about the person. Doesn't matter what it is. It doesn't have to be bad, just fascinating. To me, there's the seven Ps before you sit down. And it's my brother's unofficial regimental motto in the Royal Welsh in Afghanistan. It was prior planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance, which is a great mantra for life.
And then there are the three Fs for guests. They've got to be fascinating, fun and fabulous. If they are those, you'll have a great show. If you've done the seven Ps and you meet the three Fs, you've got Emmy winning stuff.
COOPER: Seven Ps and three Fs.
MORGAN: That's the rule. You should try it some time. You got lucky today. You didn't get the seven Ps, but you got the three Fs.
COOPER: Have you had to change yourself in order to kind of fit with an American audience? There's huge obviously differences between Britain and the United States.
MORGAN: People always say this. I'm not so sure there are, actually. I think there are slight humor differences. But it really depends on where you are in America. If you're in New York it's very similar kind of humor to the stuff I get in Britain. It's very sarcastic. People set each other up. It's much more like that.
L.A. isn't like that at all. They take you much more literally. When you get down to Dallas or Austin or Seattle, it's very different again. What I've learned is you have to work out a pattern perhaps to your humor that can appeal to the whole of America. That does limit the way you go. If you're a Brit, it particularly limits all the sarcasm, because I might be as sarcastic as I normally am, and to a large swathe of the audience, it will go right over their heads. I don't think --
COOPER: We actually say swathe. MORGAN: Swathe. Well, I am suave, but that's a different thing altogether. You have to work it out. I know for five years of "America's Got Talent," touring America, I've slowly worked out a kind of route one humor valve which normally works.
COOPER: The thing that always surprises me about England and London -- I think Americans, and myself included, always have this idea about it being this incredibly elegant place, this place of -- not to be totally ridiculous, but folks walking around nicely dressed.
MORGAN: Charles Dickens, Victorian.
COOPER: Something like that. Every time I go over there -- and I was over there a couple weekends ago to interview Lady Gaga.
MORGAN: You get stabbed and shot at.
COOPER: I walk out on -- say I leave my hotel to try to find some place to eat, and I go out and I leave the restaurant and it's 11:00 at night and the pubs have just closed. And the amount of people just come pouring into the street urinating and vomiting is extraordinary.
MORGAN: It's repulsive.
COOPER: It's totally repulsive. It's so not elegant.
MORGAN: I'm with you. It's very interesting to me that Americans look to Britain for this great sort of bastion of decency and politeness.
COOPER: It's so not.
MORGAN: It's completely the opposite. Americans are much more polite than Brits these days.
MORGAN: I mean, much more.
COOPER: Piers Morgan. It's going to be a really good show. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" premieres in 12 days, Monday, January 17th at 9:00 pm Easter, 6:00 Pacific, right here on CNN.