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Wall Street vs. Main Street; Boxer's Bout For Love

Aired February 20, 2009 - 15:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. It's Friday.

You're not going to believe what's been going on. The White House is suddenly reacting to the argument that seems to be taking place in the country between rich and poor, between Wall Street and Main Street. And now even the Obama administration is getting into the act.

Here's what's in the show.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): This is what is making news right now: The Dow hits new lows, more pushback against the president.

Is it Wall Street vs. Main Street, or -- quote -- "petulant children" vs. the rest of us?

A Minnesota congresswoman who's against the stimulus now says, we're running out of rich people.

Running out of rich people?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq.

SANCHEZ: "We were wrong" -- a first from a former Bush spokesperson. You will hear more of this revealing interview.

CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I made a mistake. I'm sorry. And I apologize.

SANCHEZ: Barkley says, "I'm sorry."

And so does "The New York Post" for publishing a cartoon. Is it enough for Reverend Sharpton? I will ask him.

The billionaire financier who may have swindled investors turns himself in. Oh, and guess who was an ardent supporter? Sean Hannity.

For the love of freedom, he swam to America -- the story of a Cuban boxer who defies the odds and wins.

What you say about all of this, participatory journalism, your national conversation begins right here, right now.


SANCHEZ: Hi, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez.

What is it about the Obama administration that seems to be highlighting or crystallizing the difference between the rich and the poor, Wall Street and Main Street? Suddenly, we're seeing it in many different ways.

Barack Obama has said that he's going to try and help all the people who need the help right now. Obama's offering $75 billion to try to keep nine million families from losing their homes. He says it's not for flippers, it's not for people who may have bought more than they knew that they could afford, but for families who are about to be evicted.

I want you to watch now the reaction to the president's statement. This is on CNBC. The fellow's name you're about to hear is named Rick Santelli. He's an analyst whose reaction, by the way, has now gone viral. You will see it all over the Internet. That's why I want you to watch this. Let's start with this. Go ahead.


RICK SANTELLI, CNBC: This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise their hand.


SANTELLI: President Obama, are you listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about we all stop paying our mortgage? It's a moral hazard.

SANTELLI: These guys are pretty straightforward, and my guess is a pretty good statistical cross-section of America, the silent majority.


SANCHEZ: He calls them the real Americans. That's an actual report. It was taken off the air at CNBC.

I want to bring in Mayor Virg Bernero. He's from Lansing, Michigan. He's also had a lot to say lately about this. As a matter of fact, he can get just as energized as that reporter you saw right there.

Hey, Mayor, he calls them real Americans. He's talking about the guys in Chicago on the Mercantile Exchange. He's talking about the guys on Wall Street. Are those the real Americans, Mayor?


Real Americans actually produce something, unlike the Wall Street paper pushers that helped bring us to this calamity. And, look, the average worker has been sold out in this country by the unholy alliance between Washington and Wall Street that, for years, have colluded and spread this notion that free trade would solve everything, a rising tide would lift all boats.

And, look, we were lied to. Factories have been shuttered. Industries have been -- have evaporated jobs.

SANCHEZ: Well, let's look at the numbers. Let's just break that down, if we possibly can.

As you look at this, you are looking at trillions of dollars that are going to the banks in this stimulus plan, right, and now, as of yesterday, $75 billion apparently to try and help real people. It just seems like we're...


SANCHEZ: ... a lot of money on Wall Street. Do they want it all? Do they want it all?

BERNERO: This is what kills me, $150 billion just for AIG. And now they're talking about maybe $1 trillion or $2 trillion more for the banks, virtually none of which has trickled down, even to the small businessman.

We're not just talking about laborers -- laborers, union, non- union, small business, people who create most of the jobs in this country. It hasn't trickled down. They're busy buying banks and stuff. And then we're going to argue about I guess it's $80 billion for the auto industry, an industry, real people making real things that have contributed so much to this country, helped create the middle class in this country.


SANCHEZ: Have you ever seen it like this, by the way, where there's this real disconnect between, right now -- and I guess maybe the Obama presidency has something to do with this. Maybe it's brought it on. Maybe you can help me understand this.


SANCHEZ: But there is this detachment. In fact, before you give us this next -- this next comment, I want you to listen to something, because guess what happened? Just a little while ago, about 20, 30 minutes ago, Robert Gibbs, the spokesperson for the presidency -- for the president of the United States, had a comment about this guy Santelli and what he had to say.

Roll that, if you can.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would encourage him to read the president's plan and understand that it will help millions of people, many of whom he knows. I would be more than happy to have him come here and read it. I would be happy to buy him a cup of coffee -- decaf.




SANCHEZ: Decaf. Well, yes, he probably doesn't need the strong stuff. Go ahead.


BERNERO: I only drink decaf. That's the truth.

But, no, I don't need caffeine to get agitated about the state of the American working people and how they have been treated. They have been thrown under the bus. They have been last in line. My concern is, with this free trade in place of fair trade...

SANCHEZ: Well, let me just stop you there, because, suddenly, I'm interested. You're a politician and, suddenly, this is a very political issue.

When you have the White House reacting to a comment -- and he's not the first one who goes after Barack Obama -- and they seem to be representing a different class, a very rich class, an investment class. What is going on?

BERNERO: Look, over the years, it used to be, in this country, we built the middle class. It used to be that as the companies grew and got richer, the workers got richer. That was Henry Ford's idea, right, pay the worker enough that he could afford to actually buy the product that they're producing.


BERNERO: We need to be concerned in this country about putting the P back in GDP, gross domestic product. What is the product of this country?

I ask people to think about that. If you think that a bailout, so-called, of the auto industry is not worth it, think about the other industries that have fallen by the wayside, furniture-making, electronics, steel, you name it, all the textiles, and as these people have been unemployed, that's what is the deal with this recession. The chickens have come home to roost.


SANCHEZ: Well, maybe it is workers vs. the investment class.


BERNERO: Because they don't care where the production is. They don't care where the production is. Anywhere, they make money. The Wall Street folks make money. This is about Wall Street and Washington, one hand washing the other. They always take care of themselves. And the American worker is thrown under the bus and pays the bill, but the American worker has been bled dry.

SANCHEZ: Well, then, why is the Wall Street crowd giving all the heat to the Obama administration?

Hold your thought. I want to go over, because this is an interactive show. We're trying to get the participation of some of the folks at home as well. And, man, are they talking about this. Let me get to that real quick, then some sound. And then I want to bring somebody else into this conversation who is a professor of economics at Harvard.

Boom, let's go first to Twitter board, if we can. Robert, turn that thing around? You ready?

"Wall Street is the ultimate old boys club, resistant to change."

"Capitalists tend to be skeptical of fascist totalitarians. Wall Street realizes morons elected a president."

So, there's a pro and a con.

"Wall Street is market-driven by desire for financial success. Pennsylvania Avenue is government-driven by government control."

All right, let's stop there. Let's go to the other side now. Let's go to Facebook.

Sam Flowers is watching. He says: "Santelli needs to understand that, if it weren't for the cohorts standing behind him and cheering him on as they were swindling real, hurting Americans out of their living investments, then we wouldn't have a need for stimulus and we wouldn't be in a crisis."

Let me bring in Jeffrey Miron. He's a professor, a Harvard economist. And he's good enough to join us now to help us kind of make some sense of this.

Professor, let's show -- let's show, if we can, and maybe for those who joined us late, I want you to watch what everybody's talking about. And it's this guy Rick Santelli. He's a reporter for CNBC. He was asked a question by an anchor. And this is how he responded after Barack Obama announced his stimulus package for homeowners who are in trouble through foreclosures. Here it is.


SANTELLI: This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise their hand.


SANTELLI: President Obama, are you listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about we all stop paying our mortgage? It's a moral hazard.

SANTELLI: These guys are pretty straightforward, and my guess is a pretty good statistical cross-section of America, the silent majority.


SANCHEZ: Boy, I will tell you, are they the silent majority? And why is it the market tanks every time the president of the United States speaks?

By the way, in fairness, they did the same thing at the end of the George Bush administration.

Make sense of this for us, professor. You're an economist.

JEFFREY MIRON, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I think the market is tanking. And I think a pretty broad cross-section of America, rich, middle class, and poor, are unhappy because the proposals that we have gotten, the new policies we have gotten are not well-designed, are not thoughtful.

It's not just that the bailouts to Wall Street went to people who are relatively well-off. That was a bad feature. But they weren't going to fix the banking system. If they fix the banking system and along the way, some people had gotten a little richer, I think most of us would have lived with that. But they were just badly designed policies.


SANCHEZ: But how much more do they want? Look, if you look at the numbers, and I think we just went through them a little while ago, he's given $75 billion to Americans who are in trouble who he says should be helped.

And he's giving trillions to banks to try and get them out of this mess. What are the guys on Wall Street arguing about? Do they want that $75 billion as well?

MIRON: The guys on Wall Street will take everything that the government throws at them. That shouldn't be the question. The question is, are giving more to Wall Street going to make Wall Street cleaned up and make it healthier? And my view is absolutely not.


SANCHEZ: So, it's about regulation? And they have been fighting that as well, haven't they?

MIRON: Well, it's partially about regulation, but it's partially just about how you adjust a bank that's gotten itself into a position where it's not solvent anymore. What the government is trying to do is give them more money, so they become solvent. My view is, they should make the stockholders and the creditors of those banks take the loss. That should appeal to Main Street, because it's making the people who are rich and took the chances pay the price. And it makes the bank healthier again.


MIRON: So, it's both efficient and sensible from a distributional perspective.

SANCHEZ: Well-explained.

Professor Jeffrey Miron, Harvard economist, frequent guest on our show, great to have you.

MIRON: My pleasure.

SANCHEZ: Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Michigan, somebody we will be having on again and again, straight shooter, we might add.

By the way, there are some numbers that are coming out in just a little bit. I should let you know that we're going to have those for you right here. It's the breakdown of how Americans, not Wall Street types, but regular Americans, see the stimulus program that Barack Obama has announced.

There are some new approval numbers coming out in just a couple of minutes. We are going to have Bill Schneider on and he's going to break those down for you. And here's what else we're going to have.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's one, Mr. Speaker, that I believe probably every member of this body is hearing from their constituents over and over and over again. I know that I have as well.


SANCHEZ: A Republican U.S. representative from Minnesota who called Congress unpatriotic is now saying the president of the United States is a conspirator. Got your attention? We will let you hear it and then fact-check it. That's next.



JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": What is that? What's happening?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: That's it. That's the five-minute warning until economic collapse.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's time to bring out the big stimulus guns. Emergency Christmas.






SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here in the world headquarters of CNN. It's tie-less Friday.

Man, are we getting a lot of reaction to that discussion we just had moments ago on the air.

Let's go to MySpace, if we can. That's the first one we will show you.

"Wow. Rick, I am shocked about the Wall Street report you just showed. Didn't we bail them out? Can we say hypocrite?"

Let's flip it around real quick, Robert. We will show them a quick Twitter response. I know we're running late on time.

"Santelli as a business reporter reports Wall Street concerns and has no idea of normal people who are way away from the Street."

And then this interesting comment: "I am so sick of the divisive real Americans vs. the rest of us B.S. We're all Americans. And we are all real."


We will be checking on some of those as we go on.

Now, Michele Bachmann, if you haven't heard of her, she's a congresswoman from the state of Minnesota -- back into this argument about rich and poor in this country, a comment that she made about this while she was being interviewed the other day on a radio station. Now, mind you, she is on the Financial Services Committee. She's talked about patriotism before. This time, she goes on a radio show. She criticizes the stimulus plan. Not quite sure, though, what she is talking about in a couple of instances, and then separates Americans according to rich and poor.

Here it is from KTLK.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: If you think, ACORN, this is a group that is under federal indictment for voter fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable. BACHMANN: ACORN, they have received a total of $53 million in direct federal grants since 1994. You know how much they're getting under this bill?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like $4 billion, I have heard.


BACHMANN: Five billion dollars...


BACHMANN: ... for ACORN. Now, that's a plus-up. I don't see ACORN sacrificing in economic hard times.

So, now we will have a national rationing board? And your doctor will no longer be able to make your health care decisions with you. I don't know where they're going to go to get all this money, because we're running out of rich people in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are. We are running out of rich people.


BACHMANN: Under Obama, big evil is now anyone with a joint income of $100,000 or more.


SANCHEZ: "We're running out of rich people."

Patricia Murphy is good enough to join us now. She is the editor of

Let's go through these one at a time. The first thing she said is about ACORN. Let's put that up on the screen, if we possibly can.

"ACORN,' she says, "is a group under federal indictment for voter fraud." And then she says, "You know how much they're getting under this bill? Five billion dollars."

Murph, is ACORN mentioned anywhere in the stimulus package?

PATRICIA MURPHY, EDITOR, CITIZENJANEPOLITICS.COM: ACORN is not mentioned in the stimulus package.

There are a couple of things we can talk about here. ACORN is not under indictment. They are federal investigation. And then what she's talking about, this money, the $5 billion, that is something that's money for neighborhood stabilization.

What that means is that groups can go in, buy distressed homes or abandoned homes and fix them up, so that the neighborhood doesn't deteriorate.

SANCHEZ: Any group?

MURPHY: Well, states, cities, towns are the usually ones who used to get that. Now Congress has said that nonprofits can apply for that money. ACORN is a nonprofit and they certainly will apply for that money. But they are not getting all of it. They probably will get some of it, though.


SANCHEZ: Yes, just like anybody else might be able to get some of it.

But to blatantly say ACORN is getting $5 billion, if we were to ask you as a reporter to fact-check that, you would say true or false?

MURPHY: False.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

Let's check this one now. "So, now we will have a national rationing board, and your doctor will no longer be able to make your health care decisions with you." She said that. She was on the record. Would you fact-check that for us?

MURPHY: What she's talking about here -- this is a little complicated, but it is a process that the federal government does called comparative effectiveness research.

That's when the government collects data on medical procedures and medical devices to see which ones are most effective. Congress tripled the funding for that research in the stimulus bill.

What that has done, though, has raised conservatives' concerns that this is a precursor to nationalization of health care. Once you have the federal government poking around in data, they say that that will lead to the government deciding what you can and cannot have your doctor do.

That's not true, but it could lead to the decisions about whether the government will and won't reimburse.

SANCHEZ: It could. But to say your doctor will no longer be able to make your health care decisions with you, stretch?

MURPHY: False. False.



SANCHEZ: Two for two.


SANCHEZ: Look at this one. This is interesting.

"I don't know where they're going to get all this money, because we're running out of rich people in this country."

You know, this sounds very Marie Antoinette-ish to me. And I was always taught -- learned from a friend a long time ago -- you don't go around talking about rich people, because one guy's rich is another guy's poor. It's a relative term.

Should any politician, no less a congressman or congresswoman who is on a Financial Services Committee, be making statements like this? And is it good for either party? She happens to be a Republican. But, if she were a Democrat, is that a good strategy for any party?

MURPHY: Well, the problem with what she's talking about, the strategy behind it is not accurate.

What she's talking about when she talks about Barack Obama, the big evil, $100,000 combined, what she's talking about is Obama's plans to increase taxes or to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the highest- income earners, $250,000. But it's just not accurate what she's saying.

And when you parse all of these statements, politics is really in the eye of the beholder. And if you're not -- if you don't trust who's putting in the policy, if you don't trust what they're going to do, that's basically what she's saying. But it's not accurate.

SANCHEZ: But you can't make it up.

MURPHY: You can't make it up.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Murph. We always appreciate having you on.

MURPHY: Thanks.



FLEISCHER: But having said that, it's because that was a TV show in that room.


SANCHEZ: It's an interesting comment, and one that was revealed by, of all people, a comedian. That's right. Ari Fleischer sits down with D.L. Hughley this week, and he says the Bush administration got some things wrong on the record. What? I will share it with you. And you will hear the rest.


SANCHEZ: All right, let's get back to it. I'm Rick Sanchez. We welcome you back to the world headquarters of CNN, a brutally honest, revealing and unexpected comment from a former White House press secretary.

And it takes -- it takes a comedian, D.L. Hughley, to get it out of him.


FLEISCHER: I was there at the beginning of the administration.



FLEISCHER: It was a different era for George Bush. And as time went on, it got a lot harder for him.

HUGHLEY: Why? Why did it get harder?

FLEISCHER: Because of Iraq, because we were wrong about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq.

If he had been right and we found the stockpiles, as bad as the war turned out to be, much worse than we all thought it would be, I think most Americans would have still said, well, I didn't like going to war, but thank God we stopped Saddam from using them. We were wrong.



SANCHEZ: "We were wrong," three very powerful words. Sometimes, it takes a funny guy to get the real skinny, right? The entire interview, by the way, on D.L.'s show, that is tomorrow night right here at 10:00 Eastern on CNN.

Love, boxing and a jab at Fidel Castro that is even more effective than the nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo, that's next.


AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I guess they thought we really were chimpanzees.


SHARPTON: They will find out that we're lions and we're getting ready to roar.



SANCHEZ: "The New York Post" cartoon that is riling up thousands of people in New York and around the country and what it could mean to the owner of FOX News, "The New York Post," et cetera, Rupert Murdoch.

Al Sharpton joins me live. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: All right, before we get started, let's do this. This is from KOCO. We understand that there are some brushfires in the area around Oklahoma City. We're bringing you this because we're told it's pretty darn close to a residential area there.

In fact, there you go. There you see some of the homes. That is reason enough for concern. We are going to keep an eye on this thing, and if there's any reason to get back to it, then we will most certainly bring it to your attention.

Now this, though, a story about a boxer. But this is really a story about love as well. And it's also a story about politics, interestingly enough.

I got a phone call two weeks ago from Don King, the boxing promoter. He said there was a fellow in Miami now who had literally escaped from Cuba on a raft. And this guy's now a worldwide phenomenon as a boxer. So, we sent Don -- we sent our own John Zarrella to go check this out.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): The punches come fast, landing hard in furious repetitions. Those who know the boxing game say this kid is good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's from San Cristobal, Cuba, now living in Miami, Angelo "La Cobra" Santana.


ZARRELLA: The words "now living in Miami" could not have been uttered just two years ago. In September, 2007, Angelo Santana, a celebrated amateur boxer in Cuba, left his mother and father behind. With 27 others, he got on a raft and made his way to Florida.

ANGELO "LA COBRA" SANTANA, CUBAN BOXER (through translator): I never had one negative thought that, when I hit the water, that I was not going to make it.

ZARRELLA: Santana says he came here for two equally important reasons, to box professionally and to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart. Anay (ph) left Cuba with her family when she was 14. Within days of his arrival, Santana had a manager.

ARMANDO FERNANDEZ, ANGELO SANTANA'S MANAGER: I saw it in his eyes, the way he handled himself. Within the first few minutes that we met, I knew he was the real deal.

ZARRELLA: And the dizzying American dream story gets better. Knowing little about Santana, colorful, controversial fight promoter Don King signed the young 20-year-old.

DON KING, FOUNDER, DON KING PRODUCTIONS: He demonstrated he had heart when he dived in the ocean to take a swim to try to get to freedom. ZARRELLA: King quickly threw Santana into a fight in New York's Madison Square Garden. He won. And not one to miss an opportunity, King has already embellished Santana's story with a Muhammad Ali-like rhyme.

KING: So, he dived in there to take a swim, had millions of Cubans looking after him. He come up to take a float, up jumped a shark and tried to cut his throat.

ZARRELLA: In Santana's eyes, you can see a young man trying to grasp it all.

FERNANDEZ: He still asks me to pinch him, you know?

ZARRELLA: But, once in the ring, Santana puts aside all that is swirling in his head.

SANTANA (through translator): You have to get in the ring with 100 percent. I PRESS: ay to God. I think a lot of the words of my parents. And when I go into the ring, I have to do the work that I have to do.

ZARRELLA: As if succeeding is something he has not already done.


SANCHEZ: This is an incredible story.

And imagine that, too, when you think of, you know, 90 miles of ocean through an unbelievable current, the Gulf Stream, that's what someone does when they come from Cuba -- floating on a raft, by the way. This guy wasn't on a yacht.

John Zarrella joining us now.

My boxing-crazed dad says that this guy is a real superstar in the making. Is he a star in the sports world as well as politically?

ZARRELLA: Well, I'm not sure he's a -- he's a star yet. Not the star that we think of. He certainly has that potential. He's 5 and 0. He's won four by knockout. But he's got a way to go. I certainly think that as he rises in the world of sports, if he gets to that superstar status as a boxer, then that's going to elevate, of course, his political influence.

But as you and I both know, primarily, (AUDIO GAP) there have been lots of athletes who have defected over the years. Ducke (ph), Lavonne Hernandez, who won World Series title with the Florida Marlins. But none of them have actually risen to the level of being political superstars. Though many people in Cuba really keep an eye on how all those guys are doing, as you know.

SANCHEZ: Some would argue the U.S. embargo, been there almost 50 years, and it's acts like this that actually jab, if you'll pardon the pun, Fidel Castro more than the embargo itself.

Great job as usual. You're a great reporter. John Zarrella in Miami, doing a nice job with that piece.

ZARRELLA: Thanks, Rick.

SANCHEZ: We saw the cartoon. Now "The New York Post" has apologized. And will this hurt the man who created FOX News? The man who owns "The New York Post"? We're talking about Rupert Murdock. Reverend Al Sharpton is joining me next. He's live. He is furious about this cartoon. But should he be? You tell us, and we'll tell him in two minutes.


SANCHEZ: Let's get right to it. First of all, we'll show you this situation. Apparently, what moves these brush fires too often is windy conditions. And then when it gets bad enough, the fires make their own wind. And then move on to other areas. The problem here, as we look at this picture from just outside Oklahoma City, is that it's very close to a residential neighborhood. Police will probably try and put down a fire line to try and keep it from jumping. It's easier said than done. We're going to keep an eye on this.

Again, for those of you in Oklahoma City, you can look at this video. You can go to our website. We'll keep updating this story here on CNN.

Now this. Some other video I want you to see. It is video of the people in New York City who are extremely angry about something that happened there with "The New York Post." It's a political cartoon that they had put up. They are extremely angry. And have been protesting outside the Manhattan office of "The New York Post." There is another protest, by the way, that's scheduled in about two hours. It's going to take place at Rupert Murdock's News Corps headquarters there, including "The New York Post."

Here's the cartoon. Put that up if you possibly can. This is a video of the editorial cartoon that has created the fuss. It shows a chimpanzee, similar to the story that occurred there in New York (sic) just last week, being shot twice by police officers. And then there's a reference to the stimulus bill. The person who wrote the stimulus bill.

Reverend Al Sharpton joins us now to take us through this. He is one of the first, I should say, to start this protest. His National Action Network has been behind some of the protests that we have been showing you.

Reverend, to be fair, let's start with what's new in this story.

"The New York Post" has put out an apology of sorts. Let me read it to you. And then I'd like to get your reaction.

It goes like this: "This most certainly was not its intent," referring to the cartoon, "to those who were offended by the image, we apologize. However," it goes on to say, "there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past, and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback. To them, no apology is due.

Interesting. One wonders who they are talking about. Maybe a certain Reverend, from New York City? Are they talking about you, do you think?

SHARPTON: I really don't think it matters. I think what matters here is the policy that would allow this kind of offensive cartoon to go in, in the first place. And I think that what the National Action Network and I and others raised was to clarify how this could happen, and what is the process so it doesn't happen again, particularly since they have waivers from the FCC that allows them to have extra media properties in the market.

SANCHEZ: So now you're going after the big guy. You're talking about Rupert Murdock. You're talking about the fact that some would argue he has too much control of the media, not just in New York City, but around the country. Have you spoken to him? Have you heard from him? Have you addressed him on this?

SHARPTON: No, I haven't. And I think the issue here is policy. It is good they made a first step toward an apology. But that's not really what we asked. If you heard the statement or read the statement I originally put out, we never made this about an apology, or anything like that. What we said is to have something this insensitive, then who is making the decisions, who's in the newsrooms? And then when you have to get waivers to control more newsrooms. I'm not saying they have more media than most. The law's saying that. Otherwise they wouldn't have had to get waivers.

So what we're saying is, unless we have a policy discussion here, then maybe we've got to look at these waivers from a point of view of saying, if this city of New York is over two-thirds African-American and Latino, and you don't understand what would offend a large amount of African-Americans - and whites, by the way - a lot of whites were there, how can you continue to have these waivers?

SANCHEZ: We get that. That's certainly a fair question. Real quick, because we're down to about 20 seconds. Are you going to petition the FCC to not maybe give them the waivers?

SHARPTON: No, we're going to petition them to review the waivers they've given them and maybe withdraw them, since clearly they don't nor the difference between offensive art and satire. And their apology is good, but now let's to policy.

SANCHEZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, always good to have you on. Thank you, sir. Good to see you again, by the way.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Good to see you, Rick.

Glenda standing by now, Glenda Umana, with the very latest on CNN Espanol, which, by the way, has been dealing with very interesting stories lately.

Volcanoes? You told me the last time we talked, not just in one place, but in a second. Chile, yesterday. Where is it today?

GLENDA UMANA, CNN ESPANOL: Well, exactly two different volcanoes, Rick, in two different countries in South America have awakened this week. Today is the Galeras Volcano, in southwest of Colombia, which erupted, raining ash on nearby residents and agricultural fields. Thank, God, Rick, none of the 8,000 residents who live nearby were injured.

But this is the second eruption in less than a week. And Rick, as you were explaining, there's another volcano, this one in Chile. It's called the Chaiten Volcano, which started spewing five times more ash than when it erupted in May of last year.

SANCHEZ: Unbelievable pictures. I know they have been sending buses and trucks in there to get people out. Apparently it seems to be working. Glenda --

UMANA: Ciao.

SANCHEZ: My thanks to you.


SANCHEZ: He allegedly stole $9 billion from investors. And is now emerging as the newest poster boy for the greedy, rich, shady and selfish crowd that many say got the U.S. into this economic mess. But guess who recommended him to millions of radio listeners? Sean Hannity, and the Minnesota congresswoman who says she's against the stimulus because we're running out of rich people again?


BARKLEY: Clearly everybody knows I got a DUI. That is unacceptable. That is 100 percent my fault. All I can say is that will never happen again. And I'm sorry. That's all I can say. I screwed up. I made a mistake. I'm sorry. And I apologize.



SANCHEZ: This is what's interesting about this, this controversy. This cartoon that we've been talking about. Let me show you. This is probably the consensus of African-American opinion that I've been seeing in social media. In other words, as I go through and I check the hundreds of people who are talking to us while we're on the air.

Listen to this, Jojo says, "Not so much angry about cartoon, as sad. Cartoonist has lack of historical knowledge that should have given him pause. And his boss, too." Interesting.

Something else to take note of now today. He allegedly stole $9 billion from investors. And he is the newest poster boy for everything that America seems to be really angry about that's gone on in the last several years. His name is Robert Allen Stanford . Have you heard of him? The FBI says he was found in Fredericksburg, Virginia, yesterday.

Now, get this. Sean Hannity, unabashedly, endorsed Robert Allen Stanford on the air to millions of potential customers. The same FOX News host who calls President Obama a socialist. The proof is in the audiotape.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'll tell you right now, demand for gold is at a record high, but the price is not. I'm not an expert, but I've been buying gold. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago I ordered some gold from our friends at Stanford Coins & Bullion, as part of the diversification efforts I have. They'll answer your questions, by the way, about the current price of gold, rare coins. Why there's a huge demand and how this might help you diversify yourself.


Fair and balanced? We report. You decide.

And you can decide, and do so at my blog, Where you'll also see our open invite for Mr. Hannity's response on this.

Get this. The president's approval numbers have changed. Hot off the press, that is next.


SANCHEZ: I've got video I want to show you. This is the president of the United States today. He's had this interesting relationship with mayors all over the country. Maybe more so than just about any other politician in recent history, or any other president in recent history.

There he is at the Congress (ph) of Mayors. He seems to be doing the step around beltway politicians and going directly to the politicians in control of cities around the country. And there he is with the Vice President Joe Biden, as well.

Bill Schneider joining us now. He's our senior political analyst. And he's got some new ratings on the president, approval ratings, of course.

Let's star with-let's start right there. What are the president's latest approval ratings? How's he doing, in other words?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Sixty-seven percent . That's a pretty good approval rating, 67 percent. It is down about nine points from two weeks ago, and most of that decline, about two-thirds of it, came from the Republicans who don't like the stimulus plan.

But let me tell you something, when was the last time President Bush enjoyed a 67 percent job rating? The answer is, right at the end of the initial fighting in Iraq in March 2003. We haven't seen a president with this kind of rating since then.

SANCHEZ: Is he doing as well as people expected he would do? What's the expectation game doing?

SCHNEIDER: The expectations are still pretty good; 58 percent of Americans say he's doing just as well as they expected him to do. Another 16 percent say he's doing better than they expected. That's pretty solid for this president.

I would say what this means is, the honeymoon is still going on.

SANCHEZ: What about the stimulus plan? That seems to be what everyone's judging this guy on right now. Is that being well-received?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Americans do like the plans; 60 percent of Americans say they favor the stimulus plan, but will it really make much difference to them personally? When we asked people, do you think it will make a significant improvement to your own personal finances, only about half that number, 31 percent, believe it would. A lot of people aren't convinced that what the government does, or proposes to do, is going to make a big difference in to them. They're pretty sober about their economic prospects and what this will mean.

SANCHEZ: Bill Schneider, we've got to get you on more often. And maybe keep you on a little longer, right?


SANCHEZ: Thanks so much. We appreciate it.

Well, when it's coming down this hard, there is nothing you can do but take it slow and take it easy. And send us your video, right here at CNN. This blizzard paralyzes the Sierras and gave an IReporter some well earned attention.

What we didn't show you. Heck, we didn't show you a couple of things this week. Why? We ran out of time. A list of some of the other stories you may have missed, that's ahead.



SANCHEZ: Senator Burris, do you believe him? A-Rod? Do you believe him? Brooks, Banfield and boys behaving badly. Man, we had a monster week and had to pass on loads of great stories. No time.

So, we didn't show you the hamburgers, meat on the street, folks; 20 tons of frozen beef patties spilled on the interstate when a truck flipped in Utah. Get this a beer truck spilled nearby about an hour and a half later. Nobody hurt, everybody hungry.

Much more serious. The now 9-year-old Arizona boy charged with shooting his dad and another man, he took a plea deal. A sentence is yet to come.

I know, I know, it's winter and it snows, right? But we have to show you this IReport video from the California Sierras. White out. Hey, el hara, (ph), time for some new wiper blades, brother.

San Francisco Bay. A half million gallons of raw sewage leaked into the bay this week. A half million gallons. City officials say until the pipes and treatment plants are fixed, it's going to keep happening.

And can you handle some more election politics? Israel, former prime minister will probably be the next - prime minister. That happens kind of often over there. Benjamin Netanyahu is putting a government together. Hey, we can't talk, our Cabinet still has a few empty chairs in it as well.


SANCHEZ: There's our week in review. Thank you Dave Johnson.

More of what you had to say about today's show, and there's a bevy of it, coming up next. See you here.


SANCHEZ: As we take you out, we got cows doing what smart cows do. They see flames, they see smoke, they say, let's get out of here. That's what they're doing. This is just outside Oklahoma City, where we understand the fire is still going. They're trying to put it out. The homes are in the distance and so far, it's far enough away from it. It looks like firefighters have been able to put down a fire line to try and stop that. We're going keep an eye on that, by the way.

Now let's get to your responses. Let's start, if we can, on Myspace. Flipping around. "Laugh out loud. The stories we didn't see. Beer and hamburgers on the highway. It's dinner time."

Now, let's start from the bottom if we can on our Twitter board, there, Robert. And we'll take it as we go. Ready, here we go. "We're running out of rich people because they're all being arrested for being thieves." In response to Michelle Bachman.

"It's Sean Hannity. Good luck getting him to admit his mistake. Be careful, Rick, he'll end up calling you a socialist. Laugh out loud."

"President Obama's extra security in Canada needed so he wasn't hugged to death."

And then we have this. "Rick, that we report you decide line, it's a classic. Your show is better than anything on MSNBC." Maybe not as much as the shows on CNN. There I go again, faux pas.

All right. Let's got to "The Situation Room" now. Wolf Blitzer, standing by. Take it away, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Rick.