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50 Dead in New York Plane Crash; House Democrats Pass Economic Stimulus Bill

Aired February 13, 2009 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: A couple of things that we're going to have for you. Hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

We're going to have new video that is coming in of that plane crash. We're going to show it to you as it happens.

Obviously, the stimulus votes coming in, and we're going to be sharing that information with you.

And, also, expect during this hour a news conference from the NTSB, the investigators, who are going to tell us, at least preliminarily, what they think could have caused this plane crash, all that and a whole lot more.

Rog, take the open.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Making news right now. It's being called embarrassing. In or out? Senator Judd Gregg can't make up his mind.

SEN. JUDD GREGG (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: There was absolutely nothing that had to do with any of the other issues that other people may have had or any other issues relative to this decision.

SANCHEZ: What may be the real reason, we will tell you.

The Joaquin Phoenix "Letterman" interview everybody's talking about, it may have been shtick. But we have found video that is painfully real. Falling off the stage. Watch the head snap back.

Is a South Carolina sheriff really arresting eight people because somebody took this picture at a party, and now he's going after Michael Phelps, making a case against him or for himself?

We're noticing more and more people are watching this 3:00 show every day, people like Rush Limbaugh, with plenty to say about me and the president's three Republican backers. You will hear it.


STORMY DANIELS, ADULT ENTERTAINER: Politics can't be any dirtier of a job than the one I'm already in.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Is politics really ready for a porn star who takes on a politician who cheated on his wife with a prostitute? It gets that crazy. You will hear from Stormy Daniels.

What do you say, on Twitter, Facebook, the places where new media meets old? Participatory journalism right here, right now.


SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Sometimes, the best way of telling a story is just to let you see it as it plays out. And that's what we're doing with this plane crash. Fifty people are dead. And this is some of the video that we want you to see. I am going to shut up and let you listen to the tape that was recorded by Will Charland. This is his home video.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can somebody get some help for my daughter? She's hysterical. Oh, my gosh. Is there anybody in there?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it hit already. And I talked to her.



SANCHEZ: All right, at this point, the audio cuts out.

But here's what we're going to do. We're going to stay on the picture, stay on this full frame, if you can, Rog.

I'm going to introduce two gentlemen who are with me right now. You will be hearing our conversation as we describe this, all right? I have got T.J. Holmes, who's been following the story all day long, and Chad Myers, who's got an awful lot of information to share with us about how this may have happened.

Let's begin with you, T.J.

It's a plane, takes off from Buffalo, crashes into a house. How many dead? Who died in the house? Who survived? And what are authorities saying?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: It's amazing that only one person died in that house. Two people escaped, a mother and her daughter -- the daughter's 22 years old -- the mother's in her 50s -- escaped this out of that house. It's amazing to think, because all day we have been looking at -- listening to these affiliates. SANCHEZ: Yes.

HOLMES: And they say the same thing, that they couldn't even see a house. They couldn't see wreckage. All they saw was that. And they described it as a bonfire. So, that's amazing in itself.

Of course, you have 50 all together, one person in the house that died and the rest of course were on board. Authorities are trying to figure this thing out right now. And I know Chad is going to talk about this a little more with the icing issue.

But you had other planes taking off and landing just fine. This plane should have been able to do the same. Now, as far as the record of this plane here, it has a pretty good safety record. A lot of people saw this plane and they see the propellers, oh, it must be an old plane, an issue like that.


HOLMES: The plane is a year old. All right?

They keep making these planes because they're more popular because of their fuel economy. As the gas got more expensive, people started ordering these planes. So, it's a new plane, pretty good safety record, been involved in several incidents before, about 13 or 16 -- 13, it is, none of them fatalities, all having to really do with the landing gear, so not really a mechanical issue on the plane, the engines itself.

SANCHEZ: Well, you mentioned the icing issue.

And I want to bring our viewers' attention now. As they watch this story unfold -- I should remind you as well that we're getting a news conference any moment now from the National Transportation Safety Board -- that there was a conversation overheard. These are folks in the tower, talking to other pilots in the area about the icing issue.

Rog, let's play this natural sound up all the way so viewers at home can hear it, and then I'm going to bring Chad in, all right?


AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Are getting any kind of icing or anything there?

DELTA 1998: It doesn't appear to be building. We've got about a half-inch, well, a quarter-inch on us from the descend that has remained with us the whole time.

CACTUS 1452: Set the road for Cactus 1452. And we've been picking up on ice here for, oh, the last 10 minutes.

Fifty-two, sir. We've been getting ice since 10-20 miles south of the airport.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Cactus 1452 OK? If you could let me know when you get out of the ice. Aircraft coming up from the south was reporting that earlier.


SANCHEZ: All right, I think what we're hearing here is the tower asking other pilots if their planes are actually collecting ice. You heard one pilot say, it does seem to be building. You heard another one claim in fact there was some level of ice.

All right, let's bring Chad Myers into this picture, because this starts to look like the culprit at this point.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, but there are so many things that ice can do. Ice can make a plane too heavy to fly. Ice can affect the shape of the wing.

And let me show you. This is a piece of paper, right?


MYERS: I'm going to blow down on a piece of paper and you would expect the piece of paper to go down. Watch what happens. It goes up. When you speed the air over a wing, a low-pressure system forms above the wing and the air rises, and the wing rises.


MYERS: And that's why a plane goes up. If you take the shape of this wing and you deform it, and you blow over it, the wing doesn't go up anymore.

SANCHEZ: That's what the ice does.

MYERS: You lose the lift.

SANCHEZ: So, the ice literally -- let me follow your example here. I have got my own piece of paper. Now we put ice on top of that wing.

MYERS: Not even on top, on the front edge, on the front edge, and you deform the airflow. The airflow now is not laminar, over the top of the plane. And so this wing, this piece of paper doesn't fly anymore. It falls out of the sky. That's one scenario.

SANCHEZ: Well, I'm a little worried by that scenario. I'm a little worried that next time I get on a plane in an area where there's snow, that that could happen to that plane.


SANCHEZ: If that happened here, what's to say it couldn't happen again and how do they stop that from happening?

MYERS: There are boots on the front of the plane. Either the boots possibly weren't operating properly. Maybe they weren't engaged. We don't know. This is going to be a lot of maybes going on here. And more than one thing crashed this plane, because it's not just one event, not just one thing, not just one wing, whatever. There are little rubber boots, literally, that they inflate like a hot air -- like a tub -- an innertube. And they blow these inner tubes in and out, in and out, in and out, so when the ice tries to form and crinkle the paper, the ice gets broken off. And it flies away.


MYERS: And, all of a sudden, you have laminar flow again and the wing flies again. This goes on and on and on and on all the way through.

The ice could have been in the intake for the engine. The ice could have been on the propeller. There are a lot of things. Somebody said a big, telling thing, said, I heard this plane. It was making a lot of noise. It didn't sound like it was flying. It sounded like a lawn mower or a chain saw heading to the ground. That means the engine was over-revving. The propellers may have not been in the proper location, stalling out.

MYERS: It...


MYERS: ... so, so many things.

SANCHEZ: And we should mention that the NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board, this is the body that comes in and investigates these things, not the FAA, is going to have a news conference during this hour.

So, stand by. Some of these questions that we just raised may at least in part be answered during that news conference. We will bring it to you live as it happens.

My thanks to T.J. and to Chad. But they're going to be sticking by, because we do expect some more information on this.


REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: We do have 1,000 pages here. This was put online after midnight. We all voted in favor of 48 hours. You voted in favor of 48 hours to allow the American people and our colleagues to see this.


SANCHEZ: This is news in the making. It's D-Day for the president's stimulus plan, at least in the House of Representatives. Yes, there's opposition, but it does appear to have passed.

That information's coming in to us as we speak.

And, by the way, the Senate is going to be coming to some vote, we understand, maybe within the next couple of hours as well, maybe during this hour. We will bring it to you.

Oh, and Rush Limbaugh, he watches this show. And he comments on it on his show again. Is he a fan? You will hear it for yourself. That is a block ahead.

And a South Carolina sheriff wants to arrest Michael Phelps for the bong shot. In fact, he's already been arresting people, eight others at last count. We're all over this story. And a lot of you on social media aren't happy about it.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN.

Yes, the stimulus package has passed the House. The president's package has passed the House. But there has been opposition to it. We want you to hear from both sides, first, Nancy Pelosi, and then Minority Leader Boehner as well.

Rog, if you can, put those back to back.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The ship of state is difficult to turn. Yet, the American people know and historians will judge that this is a remarkable achievement for President Barack Obama. Never before has a president passed his first major economic proposal so boldly and so swiftly.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: What happened to the promise that we're going to let the American people see what's in this bill for 48 hours?

But, nope, we don't have time to do that.

We owe it to the American people to get this bill right. We owe it to American families. We owe it to small businesses. And we owe it to ourselves to get this right, so that we can in fact help our economy. I don't believe this is the way to do it.


SANCHEZ: So, Patricia Murphy joins us now to bring us up to date on this.

Patricia, very simple question, of course. I'm curious. How many Republicans voted for this?


SANCHEZ: You mean a goose egg, zero, nada?

MURPHY: They got another big goose egg, just a big fat zero. Bipartisanship did not win the day today. SANCHEZ: What does that say?

MURPHY: Well, it says that this bill is extremely unpopular with Republicans.

They are -- it's an extremely conservative group in the House right now, a lot of fiscal conservatives, and they felt very strongly that this bill is too big and too slow and not going to do the job that Obama promises. They were also joined by seven House Democrats who felt the same way. But it certainly did pass with strong support.

SANCHEZ: Wow, not a single one decided to vote for it. That's amazing.

What's next? Take us through this process.

MURPHY: So, later today, we think the Senate is going to take up this bill. They need 60 votes, and it looks like they're going to get that. It will be all Senate Democrats voting for it, and those three Senate Republicans who voted for it the last time around will vote for it again this time around. And then it should go to the president's desk. And he will sign it likely early next week.

SANCHEZ: Yes, do you expect that could happen sooner? Do you expect if the Senate were to get its business done today, that maybe the president will do a weekend signing or something?

MURPHY: Well, it's possible. Certainly, Monday also is a federal holiday. He hasn't said exactly when he would sign it. But we know he wants to sign it very, very soon, because he wants it to start doing its job very soon.

SANCHEZ: All right, thanks so much, Murph, for bringing us up to date on this story, certainly an important story.

And anything -- if there's any movement in the House, we will get right back to you. Let us know what is going -- I mean -- pardon me -- in the Senate.


SANCHEZ: Sometimes hard to keep us with these. If there's any movement in the Senate, we will get back to you and you can let us know what is going on with that.

MURPHY: No problem.

SANCHEZ: All right.


DANIELS: I guess the biggest difference is I'm open with my sexual activities, and I might be a porn star, but I haven't done anything illegal.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: She is a porn star, and he is a senator who's admitted being with prostitutes. What a campaign this is going to be if she takes him on for his position.

Oh, and now we learn Larry Flynt is in the picture. You have seen the interview with porn star Stormy Daniels. You will see more when we come back.


SANCHEZ: We call this participatory journalism.

And, interestingly enough, one of the stories that we have gotten the most participation on this week was our interview with Stormy Daniels, the porn star, self-admitted.

But we're also getting a lot of feedback from you today on so far the stories that we have been discussing, especially the one we just told you about moments just ago. Again, this was the decision that was made in the House to go ahead and pass the president's stimulus package.

"Can anyone explain to the GOP that holding their collective breaths is not what they're getting paid for?" says Joyce, who's watching our newscast right now.

Also, Kyle Steele is watching. He says: "The Republicans should stop whining. They lost the election, by no small amount, may I add, and are just trying to save face."

There's another one here that is pretty interesting: "Obama wanted bipartisan support. He's finding that true change is extremely difficult."

All right, let's flip over to MySpace now. I want to read you one over there as well, as the information comes in. Here's one that's not necessarily complimentary of the stimulus package: "These politicians need to stop patting themselves on the back," referring to Nancy Pelosi moments ago with Steny Hoyer. "This job bill does nothing for the middle class."

There you have it. Here's a politician who finds himself in a bit of a difficult situation, a bit of a pickle, some might add. We're talking about David Vitter. He is a senator from Louisiana.

Imagine being a U.S. senator and having to explain to your constituents, to your wife, and to the entire country on camera that you have been caught up in a prostitution scandal. Ouch. Well, here it is.


SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: I want to again offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible. And I'm so very, very sorry. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: He is still in office. And it is because of that that one particular woman wants to call him out and take him on.

She is a porn star, and now she's seeking the help of somebody else. She's trying to get Larry Flynt to help her cause, wants to sign him in fact as her campaign promoter.

This is an interesting story, as best told by Stormy herself.

Here's my interview with her.


SANCHEZ: You're a porn star, and you're taking on a senator who has been caught in a very scandalous prostitution story. Is there a direct link there?

DANIELS: No, there's not a direct link. I have never met David Vitter or the madam that he's associated with. So, if that's the question, then no.

SANCHEZ: No, I don't necessarily mean that. But I appreciate you tackling that. The fact that...


DANIELS: Oh, I would like to tackle him, all right.


SANCHEZ: The fact that you are a porn star, it's almost as if people are recruiting you because of your background and going up against him because of his background.

DANIELS: This could be true. There is a -- a relation there.

I guess the biggest difference is, I'm open with my sexual activities. And I might be a porn star, but I haven't done anything illegal. And I guess the big question is not just why is David Vitter in office, but why is he not in jail?

SANCHEZ: That's a good question.

Governor Spitzer lasted about a cup of coffee after his scandal broke. And he was out of there. And yet some would wonder why David Vitter is still in office. Yet, he did, to his credit, come clean and talk about it. His wife was at his side. What's your take?


DANIELS: I think that he's setting a horrible example. He preached family values and this and that. And not only did he go against everything that he preached and everything he believed in, he broke the law. And, apparently, there's a lot of people in Louisiana and across the nation, actually, that are not happy with that because, if they think that I'm a better choice, what does that say?

SANCHEZ: Well, let me ask you.

This thing could get serious for you. People are drafting you. They might get behind you. Are you prepared to actually make a serious political run for this office? Do you have the background for something like this? What do you know about politics, for example?

DANIELS: Honestly speaking, not very much.

I follow politics. I haven't had any sort of formal training whatsoever. Am I prepared to take on the challenge? Absolutely. I think anyone that knows me knows I'm always up for a good fight.

But the biggest difference -- I mean, the biggest thing is, honestly, I'm not sure if I'm willing to take the pay cut that comes with being a senator. I'm kind of happy with what I do. I think taking tips on stage might translate to taking bribes if I was in office.

SNOW: Did you say -- you said -- you did say pay cut, right? DANIELS: Right. Everybody knows the adult industry is pretty lucrative. And I think I'm pretty happy.

But I haven't made my final decision yet. If I'm called to duty, I guess it's, you know, my duty to step up.


SANCHEZ: What a story. What a scandal. What a situation. And your reaction, MySpace, coming in right now. Let me read one of those to you.

"Just because that porn star hasn't done anything illegal, like the senator, doesn't mean that she is any better as a candidate. What about morals? I think they pretty much fall into the same category."

Rush Limbaugh and I know each other. He's told his viewers that. And now I am telling you. So, he talks about me on his show. And he hammers three Republicans. You are going to hear what he has to say when we come back.

Oh, by the way, and if you thought that Joaquin Phoenix "Letterman" interview was weird, wait until you see Joaquin the rapper falling off a stage in Las Vegas. This was painful.


SANCHEZ: And I welcome you back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN.

Before I do anything else, I have just been told by our producers in the control room that we received a new piece of videotape. You're going to be watching this any moment now. This is the first interview done. Remember, when T.J. was out here, he mentioned to us that there were two people in that house where the plane crashed into who survived.

Well, one of them has done an interview. And we have now gotten that interview. And I'm going to be turning it around for you any moment now. So, stand by. As soon as we get clearance on this thing, we're going to want you to see this right here during this hour, hopefully in the next couple of minutes.

In fact, I see T.J. over my shoulder here.

Just hang tight, T.J. Let me know when you got it.

Meanwhile, this -- yesterday we, or, should I say, you, on this show, beat MSNBC and FOX again during this hour with our version of our new media and participatory journalism. This is getting to be a billion of a pattern here.

So, by the way, among those participating these days, Rush Limbaugh. He was watching us again this week, when we broke the news about a breakthrough on the president's stimulus package.

And now, as you listen to Rush, see if you can decide who he's more mad at, me for reporting the news of an apparent legislative victory for President Obama, or the three Republicans who broke ranks with Rush Limbaugh and sided with the president?


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Exactly right. Rick, let me help you out. I know it's going to be in vain. If you show too much intelligence, CNN will move you over to Headline News and nobody will ever see you.

But this was a clear victory for the Republican Party. Snowe, Collins, Specter? Rick, if you would listen to this program, I predicted back in November-December the Democrats didn't need 60 votes, because they have got at least two of these three on every piece of legislation. So they don't have to worry about what happens in Minnesota. They're going to have 60 votes, because you're going to have a number of RINO Republicans.

I said earlier today it's great to flush them out, get them out of there. Let it be known that they are not Republicans. The Republicans lost seats in the House precisely because we're cleaning up. We're getting rid of the Republicans in name only.

This is a clear victory for Republicans, in the sense that they are establishing an identity, an identity based on opposition. When this bombs out, Rick, when it doesn't work, there aren't any Republicans that can be forced to take the blame for this.


SANCHEZ: Aye-aye, sir. And I do listen, by the way. He seems to be telling all Republicans to oppose the president at all costs and in every way. Imagine that.

To be clear, we don't fit into any template here, Democratic or Republican or otherwise. I play it down the middle.

All right. I thought we were going to have the flare there. But it ain't there. So, let me just tell you what else is going on. Judd Gregg withdraws. Mark Preston joins us next to let us know what's going on with this.

As a matter of fact, we have got that for you right now, Mark Preston joining us now.

Here's the deal with this interesting situation with Judd Gregg. I think, more than anything else, what it talks about is the situation with the census and the fact that, when Barack Obama made a decision that he would put Judd Gregg as his nomination for the Commerce Department, he got a lot of heat, didn't he?

He got a lot of heat specifically from people who are minorities, people in the African-American community, people in the Hispanic community, who says, for a long time, they haven't been counted properly. Why were they so angry?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, Rick, they were angry because you were putting a Republican in charge of an agency that oversaw the counting of the census. We know how important the counting of the census is. Look, every 10 years the federal government goes out, tries to get an accurate head count. And from that data, what they do is they try to reapportion the country. They figure out what Congressional districts are, what -- where state house districts are.

And these minorities look at Judd Gregg, somebody who voted against funding for the Census Bureau several years ago, someone who voted against the Commerce Department and wanted to abolish it back in 1995, they didn't think that he would be an adequate ally for them in the Commerce Department.

The White house then decided to take it and say that they would have authority over the census. So that's where the census was brought into the whole Judd Gregg situation.

Judd Gregg himself told us yesterday, Rick, that that was one of the reasons why he decided that he could no longer continue forward and try to serve in the Obama administration.

SANCHEZ: Well, here he is. We've got -- we've got sound with him now. This is Judd Gregg, by the way. I know we've got three pieces of tape here. Let's skip the Darrell Issa comment.

Let's go right to Judd Gregg saying it wasn't anything else -- it didn't a nanny issue, it didn't have a tax issue, I'm just making this decision on principle.


GREGG: But there was absolutely nothing that had to do with any of the other issues that other people may have had or any other issues relative to this decision.


SANCHEZ: Now, let me take you to a couple of different scenarios here. First of all, were minorities right to criticize the naming of a guy from a state that doesn't have a lot of minorities as the new person in charge of counting how many people are in the United States?

That's a -- that's a critical count these next couple of years.

PRESTON: You know, in their mind, they were right because they looked at Judd Gregg as somebody that they didn't think would go out and represent their interests. So that's why you saw a lot of blowback from them. So, you know, in their mind, they were right.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me...

PRESTON: Apparently...

SANCHEZ: Let me stop you then and ask you the next question, because this might be one of those where there's a bunch of people who are right.

Are Republicans right when they say if the White house takes the census and handles it, so to speak, they're politicizing this thing?

They're doing no different than what Democrats accused Karl Rove of doing with Justice, for example?

PRESTON: And I think Republicans are correct, as well. I mean the idea that the White house would go out and say we are going to have some oversight of this, as well as the Commerce Department, but we're going to bring this inside the White house, which is a huge political football. I think Republicans are correct in coming out and saying, wait a second, why are you doing that?

Are you doing this for political reasons?

We do know the midterm elections are around the corner. But, look, the long-term ramifications of the whole idea of what the census does when you're apportioning, figuring out Congressional districts, figuring out statehouse districts, the Republicans have every right to question it.

SANCHEZ: Sure. Sure. Anybody would like to be able to own that puppy.

Imagine that. You'd be able to decide how many are voting in each district, who gets the money. There's a lot of important decisions that are made out of that.

Mark Preston, thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this. Great stuff.

Any minute now, we're going to hear from the NTSB. We've also got the tape of the moment the tower realizes that the plane has crashed. And we're going to queue up that one, as well.

By the way, T.J. is going to be joining us in just a little bit, because we understand now that we've got information on this interview that was done with one of the only survivors of this plane crash -- somebody who was in the house when the plane crashed into it.

Also, there's new information on two pop singing stars who were AWOL at the Grammys, Rihanna and Chris Brown. The police blotter scandal, when we come back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back.

I'm Rick Sanchez.

You're in the World Headquarters of CNN.

I've got T.J. Holmes with me now.

As promised moments ago, apparently, we've got some new tape coming in.

This is one of the two survivors, right?

HOLMES: Yes. I mean, nobody on the plane survived. But if we have a survivor here, it's these two ladies who were in the house. Amazing they survived. But one of them, a 57-year-old woman, and her daughter, a 20-year-old, actually came about -- got out of that pretty unscathed, amazingly.

SANCHEZ: It's amazing.

HOLMES: Listen to her here now.


KAREN WIELINSKI, HOME DESTROYED IN PLANE CRASH: I shouted first, in case anybody was out there, and then just kind of pushed what was on me -- part of that off and crawled out the hole. I had heard like, you know, a woman crying and like when I came out of the hole, you know the back of the house was gone. You know, the fire had started. I could see the wing of the plane. And Jill was over to the side, you know, crying of course, hysterical.

To me, it looked like the plane just came down in the middle of the house. And unfortunately, that's what it was.

He was a good person. He loved his family.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Wow! That's tough to listen to, especially at the very end.

So there were three people in the house.

HOLMES: Three people in the house.

SANCHEZ: One of them died, two survived.

HOLMES: Yes, two survived. And it's amazing to think, they didn't just survive, they went to the hospital, they were checked out and released. So it's (INAUDIBLE) really got out of there.

SANCHEZ: It's about being in the wrong -- the right place at the right time in the house, right?

HOLMES: And the right part of the house. She was talking about the back there and getting in the house. She says she could see an opening. The back of the house was gone and...


HOLMES: ...and what she could see and describe. But everybody described it as a bonfire. They couldn't even tell what was there. They couldn't even tell there was a house. And to think somebody got out of that and got out of that pretty much uninjured, you know. It's amazing to think.

But the only survivor story we had to tell.

SANCHEZ: There's something else I want our viewers to catch up on now. As we follow this story, for those of you maybe joining us now who may have heard, a plane crashes just outside of Buffalo. Fifty people are dead. It crashed into a house.

There's a communication that we hear now. This is the tower communicating with other planes, trying to find out where this plane is, because they can't quite figure it out. They've got a pretty good idea, but they can't figure it out.

And then there's almost that moment when you start to get a feeling that they realize, uh oh, this thing has crashed.

Let's -- let's go ahead and listen to that.

And, T.J. I'll take you out on the other side.


How do you hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) some ground communication. We need to talk to somebody at least five miles northeast, OK, possibly Clarence, that area right in there -- Akron area, either state police or sheriff's department. We need to find out if anything is on the ground. This aircraft was five miles out and all of a sudden we have no response on that aircraft.


SANCHEZ: And suddenly they hear from some of the emergency officials on the ground, right?

HOLMES: And scary words there, as you hear. Everybody was trying to figure this thing out. And there was no distress call, no may day. So it really seemed like this plane got in trouble, got in trouble quickly and dropped out of the sky like a sack of rocks and it bull's eyed on this one home. Homes were 50 feet on either side of this home -- unscathed. Not even (INAUDIBLE).

SANCHEZ: The NTSB is going to be holding a news conference. It could happen any moment. As soon as it does, we'll dip into it and let you hear it for yourself.

T.J. Holmes, my thanks to you.

HOLMES: All right, my man.

SANCHEZ: A millionaire singer arrested while his girlfriend just happens to show up with a battered face.

Will police reveal what happened the night of the Grammys?

And speaking of celebrities, we're tapping the mind of Mencia on the Michael Phelps scandal, which you are livid about, by the way; the hawking Phoenix bizarro moment (ph) and el Rushbo.

We'll be back.


SANCHEZ: Welcome home, man.

What an incredible story about Rihanna and Chris Brown.

In fact, this is participatory journalism, right?

Rather than me present this story to you and set it up, I'm going to let you do it. Here's a comment that we got just moments ago on Facebook. I'll read it to you. It's from Patrick: "This whole thing about Chris Brown and Rihanna, it's just like what happens to other Americans. It just proves that money does not solve all problems."

Here is David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On his Web site, Chris Brown bills himself as the boy next door who became a music superstar. And at 19, he is one of the most popular R&B singers in the country.

(MUSIC) MATTINGLY: His girlfriend, Rihanna, is called the new princess of pop. She has graced the covers of beauty magazines and has sold millions of albums. Both are young and famous. And right now, both are at the center of a disturbing police investigation in Los Angeles, where Brown has been accused in an attack against a woman identified by sources close to the couple as Rihanna.

JERRY PENACOLI, "EXTRA": Chris Brown has built his career on a very squeaky clean, clean-cut image. So again, this is why this particular instance of alleged domestic violence is really just catching everybody by surprise.

MATTINGLY: The LAPD says the incident occurred early Sunday morning, just hours before Brown and Rihanna were to appear at the Grammys. Neither of them showed up at the awards ceremony.

Authorities believe an argument between Brown and a woman turned physical -- with the woman suffering visible injuries.

Brown was arrested and released on $50,000 bail. Neither he nor his lawyer nor Rihanna have commented. The D.A. Has sent the case back to the police for more evidence.

The allegations have already cost Brown major endorsements. Wrigley dropped him as a pitchman. So did the "Got milk?" campaign, with both citing what they call serious allegations.

The singer's sister is shocked by the allegations.

LYTRELL "TOOTIE" BUNDY, BROWN'S SISTER: He's always been a good boy, never violent, if that's what people want to know.

MATTINGLY: The story has also stunned the hip hop community. In a radio interview, Kanye West was quick to come to Rihanna's side.

KANYE WEST, SINGER: Rihanna is so important to our culture, to, you know, pop music. In that sense, I feel like that's my baby sis and I would do any and everything to help her in any situation.

MATTINGLY: Brown and Rihanna are now shunning the spotlight. She's canceled a concert in Malaysia. And he won't be at the NBA All Star Game this weekend. Two superstars used to headlines, but not like this.

PENACOLI: Look at Chris Brown, triple threat -- singer, actor, dancer. Rihanna -- beautiful and, you know, a voice like, you know, a song bird. I mean these two had nowhere but up to go. It's just, honestly, a shame.

MATTINGLY: David Mattingly, CNN.


SANCHEZ: And talk about celebrities, we've got video of Michael Phelps on a situation with the law in South Carolina. They may be about to arrest him. And guess what?

We're also going to have information on Joaquin Phoenix. He doesn't only make a bizarre scene with David Letterman, he falls off a stage in Vegas. And we've got that video. Social commentary on that and Rush, coming to us, from the mind of Mencia. That's right. Chucky Mencia joins us next.

There he is, folks.

He'll be here in just a moment.


SANCHEZ: From the mind of Mencia -- here is tada tada tada (ph), Carlos Mencia.

Thank you so much for joining us, sir.

CARLOS MENCIA, COMEDIAN: How's it going, buddy?

SANCHEZ: I'm doing great. And I've got some great stuff for you, by the way -- stuff that you're going to have a fun time doing social commentary on.

You ready?

Here we go. Joaquin Phoenix. This is on first on "Letterman".


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": What can you tell us about your days with the Unabomber?


LETTERMAN: Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's funny. That's funny.


SANCHEZ: The whole thing was like that. Some people didn't know whether it was a -- hey, what's it with the...


SANCHEZ: So you're doing the...

MENCIA: What was that?

SANCHEZ: Well, wait. No, there's more. I've got him falling in Vegas looking the same way, by the way, because now he fancies himself as a rapper. Watch this.



Did you see that?

His head snaps back when he falls. I guess he was OK in the end. But hey, man, what's going on with this fellow?

MENCIA: You know what?

Look, it was funny to see it and we all hope -- I mean we all hope that it's fake and that he's making it up. But in truth, you've got to look at it as a cry for help, you know what I mean?

We've got to -- we've got to assume that there's something going on with this guy, because it's, God forbid, if something bad were to happen and we're all making fun and we're all laughing. You know, we're going to be like, ooh, that was real, you know.

SANCHEZ: But what if he's playing us?

What if he's playing us?

What if this is all a shtick?

You know, like an Andy Kaufman kind of thing, where he's pretending to be somebody he's not for -- so you and I will talk about him on CNN?


But you know what?

I'd rather like make fun of him for a minute and then go, but, if it's real, somebody help him, you know what I mean?

SANCHEZ: I get it.

MENCIA: Because he's -- I mean, look, the guy goes -- he appears on "Letterman" with the scraggle and looking all -- I mean either it's not real or he has to fire everybody on his team. You mean not his manager, not his agent, not his friend, not his lover -- nobody told him, you know, you don't look that good right now.


MENCIA: You know, you're not acting that good right now.

SANCHEZ: I've got to know what that...

MENCIA: Hey, I'm over here.

SANCHEZ: I've got another one for you. This is interesting. This is Michael Phelps. And the folks on MySpace and Facebook and Twitter, for the most part, are furious about this. There's a sheriff in South Carolina. The fellow's name -- let me see if I can remember -- the sheriff from Richland County, South Carolina -- his name is Sheriff Leon Lott -- has arrested eight people in the Michael Phelps case. And he's going to go, apparently, after Michael Phelps now.

Folks here on Twitter are angry about this.

What do you make of this?

Because of that picture with him and the bong.

MENCIA: Well, first off, do we have enough jails to put away every kid that smokes a joint?

Do we have enough jails for that, like really?

Let's not forget the guy is a 23-year-old kid, who, by the way, is an idiot. He's a superstar. He is probably the most widely known name in the world and he says, I'm going to go hang out with some kids I've never met before and I'm going to let them take a picture of me do something really illegal. That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

On the other hand, you've got to -- I have a little more respect for him as an athlete today, because unlike other athletes who are doing performance enhancing drugs...

SANCHEZ: He told the truth. He told the truth. Yes. They asked him about it and he said, yes, that was me, which...

MENCIA: Yes, and...

SANCHEZ: ...which, you know, he may be a bit of a dummy for doing that...

MENCIA: Well, but not only that. Those other drugs make you bigger. It makes you stronger. He took a drug that made him slower and he still got eight Gold Medals.

SANCHEZ: Carlos, we're out of time.

My thanks to you.

You're always the best, man.

We'll do it again in a couple of weeks.

Meantime, we're coming back in just a little bit.

More news on that situation up in Buffalo.



SANCHEZ (voice-over): What a week. What a show. Grammys, the Shorties, A-Rod and Stormy Daniels.

So much to cover, not enough time. We missed a ton of good stuff.

Zimbabwe -- two men whose dislike for each other is well documented. This week, an often jailed opposition leader became prime minister next to the man blamed for throwing him in jail. They are power sharing in Zimbabwe.

Fender bender out in space -- a Russia satellite, an American satellite. They smashed into other -- sending chunks of both into orbit. We're told they exchanged insurance information back on earth.

We were the only show that didn't put the woman now known as octo mom on the screen. Uh-oh, we just did.

Kentucky -- that's whiskey country. We didn't show you, though, the Frankfurt bourbon party. Liquor industry bigwigs poured booze on the ground at the statehouse. They're angry about a proposed tax hike on bourbon and other booze.

Now, who's going to clean up this mess?

And look at that face -- best in show. A 10-year-old spaniel named Stump won top prize at the Westminster Dog Show this week. I dare you to name another world class competition where the winner might drink out of a toilet.


SANCHEZ: By the way, we've got a lot of comments coming in and I want to share this one with you: "Who cares if Michael Phelps smoked weed?"

On MySpace: "Tobacco kills more people per day than marijuana does in a year."

One viewer's opinion.

We'll be back with more in just a moment.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Club goers in London can make a powerful impact. The dance floor at Club Surria (ph) uses dancers' motions to generate power. It is estimated the club gets more than half of its electricity this way.

Here in the United States, Hollywood's first green club opened this summer. Echo Ultra Lounge features energy-efficient lights and speakers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're going out and you're going to spend the money anyway, why not do it in a green nightclub where at least you're reducing your impact on the environment a little bit? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In New York, Greenhouse uses low flow toilets and waterless urinals to save water. The club's floor does not generate power, but it is made of bamboo, which is more sustainable than wood.

But despite potential long-term savings, going green has a hefty price tag up front.

JON BAKHSHI, OWNER, GREENHOUSE: I would say that the average club in New York costs about a million dollars. And this is, of course, double that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not everyone is sold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think it's a little bit gimmicky just by nature of what it is. And being green is so trendy right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's always a lot of criticism and skeptics. It's raising a lot of awareness and curiosity.



SANCHEZ: We promised participatory journalism, so let's do just that, as we end this newscast.


Maureen watching right now. She says: "Please, please tell me how ego and hunger for fame obliterate one's common sense."

Gady says: "All politicians should be arrested. It's true that tobacco kills more people than marijuana and the rotten government allows cigarettes to be sold because they are desperate for money."

Let's flip it around. Let's see what the folks are saying there on Twitter board: "Bill Clinton was known for smoking marijuana, also, but he sure wasn't impeached for that, now, was he? Leave Phelps alone."

All right. We got another one. It says: "Let Rush fulminate. If he's not for you, that means you must be a thinking human being."

And then finally: "Joaquin Pheonix, ELRUSHbo on Oxycontin. Phelps on a bong. Only your show reports the real news."

All right, let's flip it around and pick up a MySpace now, if you can.

You ready?

If you could give me just a little bit of room so I can read it and here we go.

Ready? "Never enough time, Rick. That's why we are begging you to get another hour. Two hours, Rick."

Oh, boy, I can barely handle the hour that I have right now.

But my thanks to you, nonetheless, for making the suggestion.

And my thanks to you.

We'll see you again Monday right there.

In the meantime, let's take you now to Washington and Suzanne Malveaux in "THE SITUATION ROOM".


Happening now, breaking news -- we are standing by for a briefing on the plane crash near Buffalo, New York. Federal investigators now have the voice and the data recorders in their hands. We're going to carry that news conference when it happens live.