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At This Hour

NYC Mayor: Chicago Mayor's Loss Is A "Warning sign For The Country"; Chris Rock Talks Infamous Slap In New Stand-up Special; Northern California Braces For Even More Snow. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 06, 2023 - 11:30   ET




ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: On the contrary, I think is a warning sign for the country.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me now is the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, Quinton Lucas, a Democrat who also chairs the U.S. Conference of Mayors Criminal and Social Justice Committee. Mayor, thank you for coming in. What do you think of Mayor Adams' take there?

MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS (D), KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI: I think he's right that public safety is a national issue. It's exploited by some but I think mayors around the country are actually trying to solve it. Not just demagogues on the issue, not just use it as a political talking point, but it will be a part of every mayor's race in every major city in America.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Because as you know, I mean Lori Lightfoot became the first mayor of that city to lose reelection in 30 years, and crime and the situation in Chicago and her approach to crime has been -- was part of the issue there. What's your take -- what's your takeaway from her loss?

LUCAS: You know, I think there are certainly some Chicago-specific factors.


LUCAS: And Mayor Lightfoot, whom I've had a great working relationship with, certainly have issues with it. But I will say that crime is certainly something that we have to make sure that we're addressing. You can't just look at certain statistics, people do need to feel safe.

That's why I think you are hearing the mayor say a lot more about their investments both in policing. But also defining what police work and what violence prevention is going to be. We have moved far beyond kind of that defund the police conversational era.

And I will say you will be hard-pressed to find many mayors, whoever really adopted that rhetoric, even to the extent that there were changes in funding or allocation. Everybody said police departments are important.

Public safety is vital. And I think it will be probably the number one issue in most every mayor's race, and folks are trying to avoid certainly what they just saw in Chicago.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean, on Thursday -- looking Kansas City on Thursday, Kansas City's Council is going to be voting on a plan to spend $30 million over I think its next five years on violence prevention programs. You've supported this plan. It has faced some pushback that people say they don't know what it's going to do. Why do you think it's going to work?

LUCAS: Yes. Because you can't just do either or. I think for all of our communities, Chicago is one of them, Kansas City is, New York, lots of American cities, violent crime has existed for a while. It isn't new with just Lori Lightfoot. It isn't new with my election or mayor Adams or anyone else. But we're being tasked with how to fix it.

And for us, we recognize that substantial investments in policing, right? $280 million a year we spent on the police in Kansas City. This will be a plan that's 30 million over five years. So, 6 million in violence prevention, 280 million on the enforcement side, we think is something that at least allows us to start on things like how do we get jobs for youth?

How do we make sure we're investing in mental health treatment for so many, particularly in our homeless population that might be impacted by a violent crime or our perpetrators themselves?

That's why we're looking at that balance. And we're supportive of any administration efforts to try to put more money into violence prevention, in addition to hiring cops, having jails going through all the same things we've been doing my entire life.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And you're running for reelection this year. You campaign before on reducing homicides in Kansas City, specifically, getting it to that -- under that one hundred homicides a year mark. You've seen -- you've seen the statistics, the last three years have been the highest on record for the city, over 500 homicides from 2020 through 2022. Should voters judge you against that promise, Mayor?

LUCAS: You know I think frankly, they should. It's something that pains me. And I think what some people forget when they're having these dialogues about violent crime is that it tugs at us each and every day.

There is not a mayor in this country, certainly at least not me, who doesn't look at the numbers every day, doesn't learn the stories of people, hasn't been impacted by violent crime and homicides in my own family in my own community.

The reason I said that four years ago when I was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of police was because somebody needs to finally stand up and say we're going to be committed to making a difference and a change.

Being a mayor is not just about going to ribbon cuttings and celebrating Super Bowl wins. Although that's certainly fun. It's also about making sure that we're trying to do everything possible.

So, you ask about $30 million for violence prevention. I certainly hope it works. If it doesn't, then we will try something new until we can guarantee that this city will be safer like you've seen other cities change over time. But these last several years have been challenging for every American mayor.


LUCAS: I think the people in my community know that we're trying, know that we care.

BOLDUAN: Mayor, thanks for coming on.

LUCAS: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: I really appreciate it. So, Chris Rock, sounding off about Will Smith in a new comedy special where he finally takes on that shocking Oscar slap. What he has to say? Next.



BOLDUAN: Chris Rock taking to the stage and taking on Will Smith in a new stand-up special. His first since that shocking slap at the Oscars nearly a year ago. Stephanie Elam is here. She's got more on this. So, Stephanie, what did he say?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He didn't hold back at all, Kate. You know Chris Rock was fighting back the way he knows how to best, and that's what a microphone and a stage.

And he made it very clear that he feels that Will Smith practices what he calls selective outrage which is also the name of his stand-up performance here which was Netflix's first global performance. So, this is going to go down in history for a couple of reasons. But take a listen to a bit of what Chris Rock had to say about Will Smith slapping him almost a year ago at the Oscars.


CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: You all know what happened to me getting smacked by Suge Smith. It still hurts. I got summertime ringing into my ear. I love Will Smith. My whole life, I love to (INAUDIBLE). My whole life by root for this (INAUDIBLE). OK? Everybody that really knows, knows I had nothing to do with that. I didn't have any entanglements.


[11:40:20] ELAM: Now, that entanglement references to the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith's wife had had one of her read-table talks talking about how she had an entanglement with one of their son's friends and then talked about it with Will Smith on that show.

So, Chris's point in this stand-up was that she has hurt him way more than he could ever have hurt either of them with his joke last year at the Oscars when he made a GI Jane II joke because of Jada Pinkett Smith's haircut. And then it was after that that Will Smith got up on stage and slapped him.

He did go on to say though, that he is not a victim, and that you'll never see him on Oprah or Gail crying because he took that hit like Pacquiao. The other thing that he did say too that was interesting, he's like people have always asked why I didn't fight back in that moment. And he said it's because he has parents and they taught him not to fight in front of white people.

And then he dropped the mic. That was at the last ten minutes of his show, Kate, that's what he had to say. But making it very clear that he has strong feelings. His eyes were very intense while he was in his monologue, but it was still very pointed.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's great to see you, Stephanie. Thank you for that.

So, the anti-Defamation League is taking steps to address increasing hate in entertainment and pop culture. Today, the organization just announced the creation of what it's calling an Entertainment Leadership Council.

Joining me now is the CEO and national director of the ADL Jonathan Greenblatt. Jonathan, I saw this. I was really interested in what -- in where this is headed. What is the goal with this? Why is it needed?

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO & NATIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Well, Kate, thank you for having me. And I appreciate the question. I don't think I'm making news here this morning when I say that anti- Semitism and hate seemingly have saturated our popular culture. I mean, we know entertainment's a powerful tool, but just look at the issues that we've been dealing with over the last several weeks. We had white supremacists picketing outside of the Broadway premiere of the musical parade.


GREENBLATT: You and I have spoken before about Kanye West using his platform and celebrity to espouse anti-Semitic and conspiratorial thoughts. We've watched people like Joe Rogan use podcasts to give voice to hateful, anti-Semitic and misogynist, and other negative tropes. We saw the cartoonist Scott Adams you know in his racist rants. Kyrie Irving. I could go on and on and on.

Hate doesn't exist in a vacuum. The entertainment industry can be a force for bad or a force for good. And so, our goal here is to bring together a cross-section of leaders from different segments of the entertainment industry to work with us to push back on anti-Semitism, to reject extremism, and to stamp out hate once and for all.

BOLDUAN: The fact that this council is needed right now in 2023. It says what about where we stand in the fight against hate and the direction that the country is going right now.

GREENBLATT: Well, the truth is, is that, you know, we've talked many times about the epidemic of COVID-19. But I think the epidemic of hate is equally problematic, and unfortunately, even more persistent. And we can't wear masks or take vaccines. We need constant engagement, regular education, and representation to deal with it.

Look, you know, the stats, right? We've seen record numbers of anti- Semitic incidents across the country in recent years, an explosion of anti-AAPI Hate, you know, the emergence of like, radical ugly anti- Zionism. The truth of the matter is that we need to engage the public in an ongoing way to make sure people understand that prejudice should have no place in our popular culture.

And more talking about what ADL will do is bring together people from Hollywood, from the music industry, from the gaming space, from books and literature, and all other spheres, and keep the opportunity to create a better conversation. That's on us and that's what we're going to try to do.

BOLDUAN: And something you and I have often -- I'll say had to talk about -- we need to talk about is also the nexus between anti-Semitism and political violence. I mean, we saw that -- we saw it last week with the Attorney General in Michigan. I know you've spoken out about that when she confirmed that she was a target of a man threatening to -- threatening Jewish politicians.

We also saw separate and related. We saw this weekend, former President Trump stoking the flames of political anger once again in his speech when he spoke at CPAC. I want to play for you some of what he said.



DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In 2016, I declared I am your voice. Today, I add I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution -- I am your retribution.


BOLDUAN: Look, can we go January 6 onward and what we saw on that day, his former national security adviser just this morning on CNN called that speech dangerous. What do you see here?

GREENBLATT: Look. Extremism is an evil that threatens all of us. When our would-be elected officials, when candidates talk about being our justice, our retribution, and there are parts of that speech, who said I'm going to take out the warmongers, the globalists, the communists, the political elite, like as Jewish people, that's pretty scary to hear because that evokes language we've seen fascists use against Jews in other places over the last century.

And we know that anti-Semitism is a canary in the coal mine of democracy. So, you have Trump giving this speech and inflaming the extreme right -- and by the way, Kate, the DOJ announced charges on Friday.

So, a would-be activist who is going to bring Molotov cocktails and firebombs to an anti -- to a pro-Israel rally here in New York last year. That was his goal, again, to create violence on the ground against Jewish people who are demonstrating for Israel. So, whether it's the radical left, the far right, the good people in the middle who are the vast majority of this country each reject extremism in all forms because I'm afraid, Kate, it's a fire that will consume all of us if we don't put it out.

BOLDUAN: Jonathan, thank you for coming on.

GREENBLATT: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. People in Southern California, they're still digging out after back-to-back snowstorms, and Northern -- now Northern California is preparing for even more snow. We're going to get to that in just a moment. But first, here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and why eating too many processed foods could lead to cognitive decline.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta, host of CNN's "CHASING LIFE" podcast. You've probably heard it before. Eat more whole foods, fewer processed foods. But how bad are those processed foods really? Well, it turns out pretty bad.

Ultra-processed foods are already known to raise the risk of obesity, heart problems, diabetes, cancer, creating a shorter lifespan. What should I was really interested in the recent study which shows that if more than 20 percent of your daily diet contains ultra-processed food, your risk of dementia increases.

And people who ate the most ultra-processed food had the fastest cognitive decline as well. Now, one solution, cook more, prepare your own meals from scratch using fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins and whole grains.

And here's also the good news. If the overall quality of your diet is high, meaning you mostly eat those Whole Foods and home cooked meals, but every once-in-a-while indulge in some fries, for example, the association between eating ultra processed foods and cognitive decline nearly disappears. Point is, remember it's OK to indulge every-once- in-a-while as long as you're packing it in with healthy good stuff most of the time.

And you can hear more about how to optimize your health and chase life wherever you get your podcasts.




BOLDUAN: Now, Northern California is bracing for another snowstorm today. The Sierra Nevada is -- could be getting a fresh few inches through tomorrow which is of course on top of almost 40 inches some areas of the weekend. And some San Bernardino County residents have been trapped in snow for days now, just look at this video, with growing concern supplies starting to run short.

Camila Bernal is in Crestline, California with more on this. Camila how's it going?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not well. I will say that people here are so upset and that's just putting it lightly. I mean, we still have so much snow here. Officials are trying to clear the roads. They have cleared most of the main roads.

They're saying that 80 of the county lines that I want to show you a view from above of the road. Yes, it is clear but a lot of the smaller side streets, they are not. So, a lot of people are still stuck in their homes, needing to get out of here, needing to get food and supplies.

We are at the supermarket -- the only supermarket in town where the roof collapsed. And now this is an area where people come to get food and to get supplies. And there is a line here because all these people are in desperate need of food.


There's a gentleman here who even brought his suitcase. He says he's lost 12 pounds over the last 10 days because he is running out of food. He told me I had to crawl my way out of the house because there was so much snow. So, the people here, they're frustrated, they're upset, and they're wanting help and they're wanting it quickly.

The county just came a couple of minutes ago with this truck. And what they told me is that they brought formula, they brought diapers, they did bring some food, but I mean these people are just tired. They have been stuck in their homes for more than 10 days. And they say that they desperately want to see more help.

Officials are saying that they're working around the clock 24/7 to clear the roads, to bring in food, to do everything they can in terms of emergencies because people are still essentially just stuck here. And so again, the residents just say they need more help, Kate.

BOLDUAN: yes. I mean just look at that line. And they've just been crushed by snow. Camila, thank you so much for that.

Thanks so much for watching, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" starts after this break.