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Serial Killings Suspect Caught While On A Mission To Kill; Insurrection Investigation; Russia Launches Deadly New Attacks In Ukraine; Jake Sullivan: U.S. Taking Many Actions To Support Iran Protesters; Katie Hobbs, Kari Lake Face Off In Consequential Arizona Gov Race; Stores To Begin Selling Over-The-Counter Hearings Aids Tomorrow. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired October 16, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
All right. New today, the search for an accused serial killer ends with a suspect behind bars. And now authorities are looking for motive. The police chief in Stockton, California says 43-year-old Wesley Brownlee was out hunting for a new victim when they arrested him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF STANLEY MCFADDEN, STOCKTON POLICE: As officers made contact with him, he was wearing dark clothing and had a mask around his neck. He was also armed with a firearm when he was taken into custody. We are sure we stopped another killing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Camila Bernal joining us live from Stockton with the latest. So Camila, police had surveillance teams on Brownlee after the shooting deaths of six men. So how did they narrow in their search and then make an arrest?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT; Hey, Fred.
Yes, they were watching him. According to police, two things contributed to this arrest. The first one being all the tips, the help from the community, because everyone was watching the surveillance video that police had put out and calling police trying to help them in any way they could.
And then the other aspect of it was just old-fashioned police work. So once they got the tips and narrowed down one possible suspect, they started watching him, following him, trying to figure out if he had any patterns. And indeed they found those patters.
He was going out late at night or early in the morning to dark places to parks. According to the police chief, he would stop, look around, and then continue moving.
That's exactly what happened Saturday morning at around 2:00 in the morning. They say police officers were following him and as you heard the police chief there, he specifically used the words "hunting" and saying that this man was on a mission to kill.
So instead they decided to arrest him. Now local authorities are, of course, thanking the public for all of their work.
Here is how the San Joaquin district attorney is describing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TORI VERBER SALAZAR, SAN JOAQUIN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This crime was solved because (INAUDIBLE). Because you don't come to our house and bring this kind of reign of terror and not mobilize 350,000 people -- 780,000 in this whole entire county -- mobilized. Mobilized and captured this individual whose reign of terror is no longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNAL: And as you heard the chief there, when they arrested him he had a gun, he was wearing all black, had a mask around his neck. We do know he has a criminal record, and he did live here in Stockton. He will be in court on Tuesday, and that's when we will know more about the charges that he's facing, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much.
All right. Let's talk further about this. I want to bring in now John Miller, CNN's chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. John, good to see you.
So help everyone understand how will law enforcement go about trying to now uncover a motive?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, the motive in these cases is usually pretty disappointed because that's usually our attempt to place rationale reasons behind irrational behavior.
But from what we see of the offender characteristics of this particular killer and his hunting behavior, which the chief referenced and we talked about on this program back on October 4th, he is most likely an instrumental killer meaning he doesn't know the victims, he has nothing against them, there's nothing personal. The victims are an instrument for his own need for power, to be able to take life at his own whim.
WHITFIELD: An instrumental killer, so also taking advantage of just the opportunities, since many of these killings took place in the early morning hours or late at night and usually the victims were by themselves?
MILLER: So that's another story, which is, you know, when I was with the LAPD I owned the surveillance teams and went out on a lot of surveillances. And you know, to do a surveillance in a crowded city with a lot of people, and hustle and bustle, that's something you can get away with.
Try and follow a guy in the predawn hours when no one else is around and do that undetected. So the Stockton police did an incredible job of being able to track him.
MILLER: Two stories we have to figure out here. Number one, from the first murder, Fred, 448 days before the next one and the next one and the next one.
MILLER: What happened in that period? Was he in jail? Was something else going on? So that's one thing we have to figure out.
The other story is going to be told by the gun, which is you have one live witness, no one else who can identify him (AUDIO GAP) face to face, but if the ballistics in all of these cases match each other, match that gun, that is going to be the single strongest piece of evidence in this arrest.
WHITFIELD: Will it matter to try to piece together what was taking place in that space of time, you know, that elapsed between, you know, the apparent attacks last year from those earlier this year?
MILLER: It could be a key answer. For instance, if he was in custody during that time, that is yet another piece of circumstantial evidence to say, you did a killing, you were off the radar and then you came back, but that's a gap they're going to have to fill.
WHITFIELD: Police say the suspect also didn't say anything, didn't take anything from the victims, and because of the one person we talked about who was a survivor of the attack was able to say, he didn't say a word.
What does that tell you about I guess his proficiency for lack of a better word of being able to surprise people and then go unidentified for so long?
MILLER: You know, we had a strikingly similar case last year in New York City, and I worked on that investigation where we had an individual moving in the dark of night in desolate areas and shooting homeless people.
He wounded one in New York who is only alive because he got up, confronted him and put some distance just like the Stockton killer's female victim who survived. The other one was murdered in cold blood.
And the striking thing about that killer was he picked on sleeping victims and he woke them up from their sleep, so that the last thing they would see was him shooting them. Again, in the offender characteristics world, that is that impersonal exercise over vulnerable victims of power. And I think we're looking at a very similar case in Stockton. He takes them by surprise, no mercy, and no real motive, nothing personal, no robbery. (AUDIO GAP) the power to take human life.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Wow. That characteristic of power control, that really does resonate there. John Miller, thanks so much.
And you know what, John -- I'm sorry -- I do want to ask you about documents provided to the January 6th committee coming up. So we're going to talk again. So this is not a goodbye.
Those documents show that the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement partners were aware of social media posts that contained violent language and threats to lawmakers. We'll talk about that and what all of that means for the investigation into the insurrection. That's next.
WHITFIELD: President Biden who does not regularly comment on the January 6th congressional proceedings, has spoken out about the hearing this week by the select committee and the evidence presented.
Some of the final pieces of that evidence included footage of congressional leaders taking refuge during the Capitol attack and trying to coordinate with local and federal officials to end the ongoing violence. The committee also showcased new evidence of a Trump plan to declare victory, no matter what the election results were.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The testimony and the video are actually devastating. And I've been going out of my way not to comment. We'll see what happens.
But I think it's been devastating. The case has been made seems to me fairly overwhelming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. John Miller back with me now.
So John, what is your point of view about the video that shows a coordination between the lawmakers, their requests for some law enforcement and what did or didn't happen as a result?
MILLER: So we learned a boatload of lessons out of the last hearing, those videos and nearly 1 million documents that the Secret Service provided to the committee.
So let's try and tick through a couple of those.
First, your question, what do you get from those things you've got? Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer talking to their senate counterparts, they're on the phone with governors desperately trying to get the National Guard.
An interesting feature that was not really brought up in the January 6th hearings was that the chief of the Capitol Police has testified that he asked on January 4th, two days before, to have the National Guard in place at the Capitol.
He ran that through the sergeant at arms of the Senate and the sergeant at arms of the House who both report to the speakers of those two bodies, and according to his testimony, they came back with answers saying, they ran it up the chain and they don't like the optics of it.
So there's a certain irony to watching them desperately trying to get the National Guard there on the day of.
WHITFIELD: So this also comes, John, as CNN exclusively obtains new documents that the Secret Service has now handed over to the January 6th committee, those documents showing that the Secret Service, and its law enforcement partners were aware of social media posts that contained violent language and threats aimed at lawmakers prior to the U.S. Capitol attack. What does this tell you about the U.S. Secret Service's role or any deficiencies that are now being revealed about how they might have helped?
MILLER: So that's a really interesting question because it gets to the heart of kind of the blame game that plays out in Washington. There's been talk that the Secret Service had all of this information, and it wasn't shared.
That's not the Secret Service's job. The Secret Service's job is a consumer of intelligence. The sharing with all the other agencies falls to two places -- the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
So on the FBI end they had a command post, they had daily meetings until the days immediately before where they had meetings every two hours, and they pushed out the intelligence to all of the agencies who were in those briefings. D.C. Metro PD, Capitol Police, Secret Service, DHS.
So the intelligence, there wasn't an intelligence collection failure. They were getting the intel. There wasn't an intelligence distribution failure. It was going out.
What we saw was an operational failure and that is because they simply did not have enough police on hand that day to confront that mob. Now, there's always the one wild card, nothing in the intel and no one predicted that the president of the United States at the time was going to hold a rally and tell the crowd to march down the street to the capitol and give them hell. That wasn't in the intel because nobody knew that was going to happen.
WHITFIELD: So when you say the operational failure, that doesn't speak to the fact that resources were there. It's an issue of, executing, utilizing the resources that are there, to respond to the threats that they were already aware of?
MILLER: Well, there weren't enough resources there. You have, you know, over 800 Capitol police officers standing that line as many people as they could get in on that shift and still have enough for other shifts. You had hundreds of D.C. Metro police who responded. But what you didn't have was a thousand National Guardsmen who had been called in beforehand because that got caught in between the operational cadence and that process, and the politics and that process, and didn't happen until it was way too late.
WHITFIELD: So the committee hearing also presented evidence showing intel briefs from the Secret Service indicating that they knew, you know, hashtags -- we are the storm, occupy capitol, had gained attention leading up to the January 6th riot.
What do these revelations say about the information sharing between the agencies and who ultimately should be held accountable?
MILLER: Well, the core people for information sharing is DHS and the FBI. Here's the thing that throws me, which is, the Department of Homeland Security usually puts out a joint threat assessment for any major event, the Fourth of July, any -- things as benign as the Kentucky Derby. Why did they not, with all of the intel that was coming in, put out a joint threat assessment for January 6th when even the Capitol police's assessment, which was dead on, said violent members of militia groups, white supremacists carrying weapons with Congress as the target, will be coming in large numbers.
That seemed like the kind of thing that a joint assessment put together by Homeland Security and the FBI with both of their seals on it that went to everybody would have given a common operational picture. That never happened.
And it could be because the secretary of DHS, who was acting at the time, was a presidential appointee who was maybe reluctant to create a document that said the president's supporters could upset the process of democracy.
WHITFIELD: Ok. All fascinating there. John Miller, good to see you. Thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: All right.
Russia launches a series of attacks against Ukraine over the last 24 hours. Ukraine says at least ten civilians were killed, two schools destroyed. We'll have the latest from the ground.
WHITFIELD: Ukraine says Russian strikes have targeted multiple locations in recent days and at least ten civilians were killed in Russian strikes in the past 24 hours. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports that the Russian targets reportedly
included two schools.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Once again, the southern region around Zaporizhzhia has been targeted by the Russian military. According to local authorities there, two schools were apparently hit by Russian missiles.
So far, the Ukrainians say there's no word on any sort of casualty, but do they say that the buildings there were absolutely annihilated by those very heavy weapons. And it's really a pattern that we've been seeing over the past couple of days with the Russians targeting the town of Zaporizhzhia but also generally the area around there in the south of the country. It's very close to the front lines.
And just yesterday, the Ukrainians say that the town of Zaporizhzhia was targeted with 10 S-300 missiles. Those of course, normally used to shoot down aircraft. And when they're used against ground targets become very inaccurate and the chance of civilian casualties is quite high.
One of the other things the Russians have also been doing are using those kamikaze drones that the Ukrainians say were supplied by Iran that then hit targets as well. They did it down in Zaporizhzhia apparently yesterday but they also did it here in the Kyiv region hitting very hard some energy infrastructure here that, of course, is so vital to the Ukrainians.
At the same time, we have a massive incident that took place on the Russian side of the border in the town of Belgorod, which is a major military hub for the Russians and also where a lot of the training is taking place for the people who have been mobilized by Vladimir Putin.
PLEITGEN: 11 people there killed by two gunmen and according to the authorities 15 further people have been wounded.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN -- Kyiv.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Fred.
And now to the protests in Iran. Today on CNN, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the administration is committed to supporting the protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE SULLIVAN, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: We are taking a range of aggressive actions to try to support the protesters in Iran.
The first thing that we're doing is trying to hold accountable those brutal officials in the Iranian regime who are cracking down on protesters, killing protesters, beating protesters. We have sanctioned the so-called morality police. We have sanctioned senior officials who have participated in the brutal crackdown and repression.
We've sanctioned the communications minister who is responsible for trying to cut off the Internet from Iranians communicating with one another. And then we've taken steps to try to make it easier for brave Iranians, the women and citizens of Iran standing up for their dignity, to be able to talk to one another and to be able talk to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: As CNN's Nada Bashir reports the protests come as a deadly fire broke out at an Iranian prison known for housing political prisoners.
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, several prisoners have been confirmed dead and dozens injured after fire broke out at Iran's notorious Evin Prison on Saturday according to state media.
The facility in Tehran has gained infamy for the detention of political prisoners, including human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and professors, as well as foreign nationals.
And while CNN is not able to independently verify what caused the fire, some details have emerged from pro-reform organizations. And footage obtained by activist group 1500 (INAUDIBLE), gunfire and alarms can be heard in the background as flames engulfed the prison complex.
Meanwhile pro-reform news outlet Iran Wire reported on Saturday that a source within the prison said a revolt had taken place in part of the facility and that a fire had subsequently ensued.
Now government authorities on Saturday were quick to assert that situation had been brought under control, with the security official telling state media that the fire had started after a group of thugs set fire to a clothing warehouse in the complex, adding that the so- called rioters responsible had been separated from other detainees.
Of course, while the Iranian regime claims the fire is not connected to the protest movement sweeping the country, it is impossible to ignore the context here. The incident comes at a time when the regime is facing one of its toughest challenges in years, with protests not only gaining momentum, but also morphing into a much broader call for regime change.
On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his solidarity with the Iranian people, drawing criticism from Iran's foreign ministry spokesman who said Sunday that Iran remains unfazed by the intervention of foreign politicians and would not give in to the U.S. government's, quote, cruel sanctions and absurd threats.
This, of course, as the regime's brutal and deadly crackdown on protests or any sign of dissent for that matter, continues across the country, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Nada Bashir, thank you so much.
CNN speaks with the candidates in Arizona's tight governor's race. GOP candidate Kari Lake peddles false election claims and says she will accept the results of the election if she wins. While her opponent Katie Hobbs, defended her refusal to debate Lake. That is next.
WHITFIELD: All right. It's one of the most watched midterm races who will be the next governor of Arizona. And it comes down to two women with vastly different approaches to their campaigns.
Kari Lake, a rising star in the Republican Party with very close ties to former President Donald Trump who is helping to keep alive the false claim that 2020 election was stolen, and Katie Hobbs, the Arizona secretary of state and a Democrat who has been criticized for declining to debate Lake. Both candidates joined Dana Bash this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: My question is, will you accept the results of your election in November?
KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: I'm going to win the election, and I will accept that result.
BASH: If you lose will you accept that?
LAKE: I'm going to win the election, and I will accept that result because the people will never -- the people of Arizona will never support and vote for a coward like Katie Hobbs who won't show up on a debate stage.
BASH: You declined to participate in a PBS debate against Kari Lake. Here's what one columnist from "The Arizona Republican" wrote. Lori Roberts, from "The Arizona Republic", this is what she wrote. She wrote: If Katie Hobbs loses, remember October 12th, the day she ran away interest confronting Kari Lake. Democrats in Arizona are known from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory but Hobbs' refusal to debate her opponent on Wednesday represents a new level of political malpractice".
Why won't you debate her?
KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA CANDIATE FOR GOVERNOR: Look, Kari Lake has made it clear time and time again she's not interested in having substantive, in-depth conversations about the issues that matter to Arizonians. She only wants a scenario where she can control the dialogue and she's refused to sit down in a one-on-one lengthy conversation to really clarify with Arizonians where she is on the issues. She's the one who's afraid of talking to voters where she's at.
BASH: She just came and sat down with me and answered my questions for a lot of minutes.
BASH: A lot of Democrats are questioning your decision and they're saying, you know, it's the wrong decision. President Biden's former 2020 co-chair said, I would debate and I would want the people of Arizona to know what my platform is.
If you think she's as dangerous as you're saying to democracy, is it your responsibility as a candidate who wants to run Arizona, to show and explain who their alternative is?
HOBBS: That is exactly what I'm doing right now, and there is a lot more ability to have a conversation with you, without her interruptions and shouting, to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WHITFIELD: Tara Palmeri is the senior political correspondent for "Puck".
Tara, so good to see you.
So what are your thoughts? I mean, after, you know, watching that contrast, is either candidate come out ahead here?
TARA PALMERI, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, PUCK: I don't know about that. I mean, here's the one thing I will say, Kari Lake is a very skilled communicator. She has that kind of, you know, cult of personality, that TV, telegenic aura, and that's because she was a television presenter, anchor for many years in multiple television. And she might --
WHITFIELD: More than 20 years.
PALMERI: Yes, exactly.
And she might end up being a better debater than Katie Hobbs and that might be an issue or maybe Katie knows that Kari is able to pivot in a way maybe she can't or she can hog the stage and the conversation. These are the kind of skills she's had an entire -- decades of experience and that can be really intimidating.
I know a lot of Republicans were worried about Herschel Walker up there against Raphael Warnock, a pastor who also has that charismatic, same sort of communication skills that can really dominate a debate.
(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: Yeah, except you're pursuing big seats of office, so you cannot be afraid, right? You have to convey to the voters that you are virtually fearless because you're going to be fighting for the people, whether you're the governor or whether as you gave the example with Warnock and Herschel Walker the U.S. Senate.
So in the case of fighting for the gubernatorial seat, are voters going to be okay with -- if that were the explanation, you know, that Katie Hobbs were to give, there's a deficit in who is accustomed to public speaking or speaking, you know, in front of a lot of people?
PALMERI: Yeah. I do think it's interesting. It kind of comes down to what are you doing in Washington, right, if you're not advocating for your people, right? If you're a good communicator and advocate and a debater, which she'll be doing on the Senate floor, Katie Hobbs will have to tune up those skills a little bit.
Does she need to be this almost larger than life personality that Kari Lake is, to be effective as a legislator, probably not, but it's a skill she needs to tune up. I definitely -- I mean it's worrisome what Kari Lake said about perhaps not even accepting the results of the election and we know in Arizona it's going to be a nail biter.
I mean, the ticket might be split between a Republican and Democrat in the Senate and the governor's mansion, and right now they're off about 4 points going each way. Mark Kelly up above Blake Masters and you've got Kari Lake up 4 points from Katie Hobbs. It's almost like Kari Lake is giving us an indication of what's to come, expect a recount a runoff.
And then again, your debate skills will be really important and I feel like if I was living in Arizona I would want to hear the two of them on the stage together.
WHITFIELD: If you're watching that interview you heard Kari Lake say people should know by the end of that day who won the race, and Dana pressed her, but you have to count all the votes don't you want them all counted and she says, you should be able to know right away who wins. So, that kind of signposts a little bit of what potentially could happen in terms of challenges.
So I'm wondering with so many distractions, you know, there are some real issues that candidates are trying to get at, and here are the ones that each believes just might resonate with voters. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: DHS says that less than 1 percent of migrants encountered at the border have a criminal record, but I want to stick on the question of asylum, those that do meet the criteria. Should they be allowed to stay in this country?
LAKE: I'm going to have to disagree with you on that figure you just put out. We have a million gotaways, these are people who are intentionally entering this country, mainly through the Tucson sector, and we don't know what their background is. There's a reason they're trying to get in unnoticed, is because they have a criminal background. And they are coming into this country. We know they have tracked down terrorists. They've tracked down people wanted for murder.
BASH: So just to be clear, if you become governor, you will push for a law that has absolutely no limits in any point of the pregnancy on abortion, that's your position, that's what you would want to be the law of the land in Arizona?
HOBBS: The fact is right now we have very limited options and we need to get politicians out of the way and let doctors provide the care that they are trained to provide, the health care that their patients need.
The politicians don't belong in those decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So will it be the issues or the personalities of these candidates, which are going to, you know, bring Arizonans to the polls?
PALMERI: That's a really great question. I mean, it really depends on an election year, but there's so much at stake right now, and it's amazing how each party is really hinging and running on single issues.
So in the case of Kari Lake, she's tying immigration with crime and crime is a winning issue for Republicans. They're using it everywhere across the country from Pennsylvania to Georgia to Arizona.
And then when it comes to abortion, they're kind of, you know, wobbling on this issue a little bit. Is it 15 weeks, is it a total ban?
I think in this case, with Katie Hobbs, she hasn't really defined where she stands on the issue either. She's kind of saying leave it to the doctors. In a sense she's saying there should be no ban on abortion. And she's turning this abortion into a single issue for her on the campaign trail, and some Democrats are saying, I mean, that perhaps they should have a -- I guess a broader approach to the issues and not just run single issue campaigns on abortion. It might not be enough for the people of Arizona who want to talk about the economy, crime, and immigration as well.
So, you know, we'll see what happens if these single issue campaigns really drive out voters. I sense that enthusiasm by women from the Dobbs debate has sort of subsided in some ways since the decision in June. I could be wrong.
But it's -- the difference between -- I think without Dobbs we wouldn't see so many split races, though. We wouldn't see so many tight races across America and Democrats winning special elections they weren't supposed to win. I think on election night it's going to be a nail biter and that's why
you're seeing split tickets and just -- and candidates that are just points away from each other.
WHITFIELD: Yeah, nail biter it will be.
All right. Tara Palmeri, so good to see you. Thanks so much.
PALMERI: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Okay. Starting tomorrow, millions of Americans will be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription. It's a move that has its champions and critics. We'll talk about the implications, next.
WHITFIELD: All right. Starting tomorrow people with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to buy hearing aids over the counter. A move which the FDA says could save people at least $2,800 because they won't need special appointments with audiologists.
Joining us now to discuss is Dr. Frank Lin. He is the director of the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health.
Dr. Lin, so good to see you.
DR. FRANK LIN, JOHNS HOPKINS COCHLEAR CENTER FOR HEARING AND PUBLIC HEALTH: Thanks for having me, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So in your view, is this a game changer for people who might not be able to otherwise afford hearing aids?
LIN: Oh, I mean, this is a huge game changer, Fredricka. For the last 30 years the average cost of a pair of hearing aids in the past was about $4,500. Put that in perspective, for the average American a pair of hearing aids could be your third largest purchase after a house and car.
And a lot the cost was because in many ways how the system was set up years ago when it made sense, but it led to the path where only way to get hearing aids was to see an ENT or see an audiologist. You couldn't just go to sort of (INAUDIBLE). Because of that, there were a lot of constraints based on how consumers could enter the market as well as how consumers could enter the market, and because of that, you basically -- the class model, a low volume, high markup for hearing aids.
WHITFIELD: So as you say, the cost of prescription hearing aids somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000. Best Buy is saying some of the over-the-counter options can range between $200 to $3,000. And so you just kind of spelled out one way a lot of people will be saving money they don't have to get the appointment with the audiologist or anything like that, doctors appointments.
But what about the quality of these devices? Are they changing in any way because of that lower cost?
LIN: That's why it's so important. In the past, there was never really a regulated market of OTC hearing aid. So, there you saw some, you know, inexpensive amplifiers sold in the back of magazines or signs in stores and they wouldn't call it a hearing aid.
The quality would be all over the place, a completely unregulated product like buying like you would never buy an unregulated over the counter drug, the same way here. The beauty of these hearing regulations which go into tomorrow, eight years of smart governmental policy, bipartisan action in congress, they now set performance criteria for the over the counter hearing aids.
In terms of sound output levels, the quality of sound and that's really important. Much like a consumer would go to the store to buy Tylenol, you can guarantee it's relatively safe, the same thing with over the counter hearing aids tomorrow, in fact.
WHITFIELD: OK. But the ear is a very delicate, you know, portion of your body, and I guess, largely why sometimes people were confronting these big costs is because you got a specialist who is now trying to make sure that you got the right fit, you know, of that hearing aid. So now, buying over the counter, you're also self-diagnosing.
What are your concerns or worries about that?
LIN: You know, so you're talking now to an ENT, what I mean, the person, audiologist referred to if there's concern for ear issues. You know, as an ENT, I'll put in my ENT hat and say, I firmly acknowledge there is -- I know some theoretical risks. Someone gets a pair of hearing aids, and otherwise would have gone to a hearing doctor and got some weird disease diagnosed.
But that risk is theoretically outweighed several orders of magnitude by the benefits, what I mean by the benefits of that, right now, hearing loss used to be seen as it doesn't really matter, I'm getting older, right? But over a decade loss is so incredibly important for public health. (INAUDIBLE) single largest respect for dementia for instance.
So, the idea of opening up the market to allow for easier access -- the key thing here too, Fredricka, it's not either/or. It's not either you get OTC hearing aids fully on your own or you see a doctor. Many people come to me saying, you know, Dr. Lin, I know OTC is in the market, are they right for me? How's my hearing? What should I do?
So, there's no reason why someone still wouldn't see a doctor. But from there, you're not constrained by having to pay several thousand dollars for prescription hearing aids. You can just (INAUDIBLE) which maybe all you need.
WHITFIELD: Right. I mean, who would be an advocate of being able to get what you need at a cheaper cost? But you told "The New York Times" that you see this as a real opening. It's going to be the Wild, Wild West, you say, for a few years, but I mean that in a good way. There's so much work and opportunity here, it's never been done this way.
I'm quoting you from your "New York Times." So, explain what you mean -- I guess -- yes, just to explain.
LIN: So, in the past -- in the past, until tomorrow, there's one model literally here in the U.S. and around the world, to get a simple pair of hearing aids. You had to go through the doctor. So, the way the business model has been set up, segmented in a way, the one segment who can basically afford and care to come into the doctors' office, right?
And that meets the needs for about 20 percent of people out, but that other 80 percent of people aren't served by that model. So, when you go to an OTC model, it opens up the market completely. Newcomers can come into the market, understand the segments of the market. You know, An 80-year-old who is home bound is not currently served by the present market. So, how do you reach these segments of the population?
Likewise, someone for me, I'm 46 years old. I don't have hearing loss, but I could benefit too. How do you segment the market? So, by the market opening up, there's a lot of opportunities for companies to meet consumers where they are rather than where you want them to be which is what the model previously dictated.
All right. Well, Dr. Frank Lin, so glad you can be with us. Thank you so much.
LIN: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: Tonight, the new CNN original series "The Murdochs: Empire of Influence" reveals how the phone hacking scandal in Britain threatened to take down the entire Murdoch empire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMELIA HILL, SENIOR REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Milly Dowler was the 13- year-old child and she went missing on her way home from school in March 2002. There was an intense police investigation, and it took six months to find her remains.
"The News of the World" hacked into Milly Dowler's phone within days of her disappearance. They did this not because they wanted to find her. They did this because they wanted to sell stories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining us now, Jonathan Mahler, staff writer for "The New York Times Magazine". He's also consulting producer for "The Murdochs: Empire of Influence," which features his exclusive reporting.
So good to see you.
So, the scandal plaguing Murdoch's, you know, "News of the World" newspaper, it truly exploded, you know, when it came out that there had been this hacking of the murdered girl's phone. So, this had a wide-ranging impact on the entire empire. To what degree?
JONATHAN MAHLER, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: I mean, it was -- it was really kind of like an earthquake inside the business and inside the family. I mean, you had, at the time, James Murdoch, one of Rupert's sons, was sort of running the operation in the UK. So, all of this kind of landed in his lap. And, you know, it was an enormous scandal, not just in the UK, but really all over the world. And it looked really for a moment like it might bring the whole empire down. It certainly tore the family apart.
I mean, Rupert flew into London, had to testify before parliament. Lachlan flew in from Australia to try to keep the family calm, try to settle everything down. And it was -- I would have to say it was kind of a low point for both the Murdoch family and for the Murdoch empire.
WHITFIELD: Then somehow, they were able to save it. But then how about repairing the family, the real earthquake within the family, because James was viewed as the favorite child, right, to succeed Rupert. So, what did this dynamic do?
MAHLER: Yeah, I mean, James had just come from a triumphant tour in Asia, building out the business in Asia, and was really on the rise. And Lachlan was really gone. He was off in Australia.
And yes, miraculously, Rupert, as always, managed to survive as a business -- from a business point of view, was able to kind of keep the business going, divide the company, kind of -- almost like a cancer, cut out what he claimed were the kind of toxic assets. But the family really didn't recover.
For James, this was really the end of his rise. And for Lachlan, it was the beginning of what would become his rise. And he would soon kind of become the end of his rise.
And for Lachlan, it was the beginning of what would become his rise. And he would soon kind of become the heir apparent and take over the company.
WHITFIELD: Fascinating, and that's why it is a focal point in this series.
Thank you so much. Jonathan Mahler, appreciate it.
And "The Murdochs: Empire of Influence" airs tonight at 10:00 p.m.
All right. Thank you so much for joining me this weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
"THE CNN NEWSROOM" continues with Jim Acosta right now.