Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Special Reports
Magic Johnson Speaks Out; Age of Privacy Over?; Free Speech & Public Life: Jay-Z and Donald Sterling
Aired May 13, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN Special Report. I'm Don Lemon.
Tonight, Magic's moment. Magic Johnson sits down with Anderson Cooper and takes on his biggest critic, Donald Sterling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EARVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Look, I'm one of the leaders of the black community, so I can't let anybody attack our people and not respond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So why would Donald Sterling attack a legend of the NBA and an American icon?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? Doesn't do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Here is reality. As Donald Sterling goes down in flames, he is pouring the gasoline himself. And it all started with a conversation in his own home. What does that have to do with this?
The Jay-Z elevator video, the fact that we even know about these events, is it an invasion of privacy? That's a hot issue that we are debating tonight.
The right to privacy and the right to free speech, what exactly does that mean any more? Donald Sterling was having a private conversation with a loved one in his own home and in his own home he is free to say and do pretty much whatever he wants, whether we like it or not. That's the truth.
But it was leaked and people didn't like what he had to say. And now he is public enemy number one. Another tape was leaked that appears to show Jay-Z and Beyonce, and her sister Solange in a scuffle on an elevator.
We see words exchanged, fists and feet go flying, another moment that would normally remain private. Well, we can debate whether these tapes should have stayed private. And we will on this show.
But Donald Sterling's conversation and Jay-Z's and Beyonce's videotape may end up serving a greater good, may end up doing that. One holds up a mirror which shows a true reflection of racism in this country, subtle, quiet and always lurking just beneath the surface or, in this case, behind the closed door. The other reveals that no one, no matter how much fame, or fortune or power you wield, we are all human. We all have flaws and family problems.
No man or woman should be worshipped, even Queen B and Jay-Z, so greater good, maybe, but is it worth the cost? And that's what we are discussing tonight.
So, let's get to it.
I want to bring in my guests now, A.C. Green, former NBA player, Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City County president, Sunny Hostin, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. She's in the hot seat tonight.
So, A.C., to you first. Magic Johnson sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper tonight after last night's interview, when he was insulted again by Donald Sterling.
Let's take a listen to Magic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: So I was expecting at least an apology. And the American public wanted an apology. He finally did that.
But this is -- it is sad. When I saw that interview, it is sad. It really is. I'm going to pray for this young man. I hope Donald can see the mistake that he has made, and also the people he has hurt along the way.
And then what is really sad, he -- it is not about me. This is about the woman you love outing you and taping you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: A.C., you're a friend of Magic Johnson's. And you played with him on the Lakers. What did you make of Magic's response and why do you think Sterling holds so much animosity towards him?
A.C. GREEN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, first, I mean, I think Magic is right.
This is -- it is bigger than him. This is a deeper issue that Donald Sterling has himself. And, you know, Magic, he is doing the right thing. Yes, let's look at the big picture. Let's stay focused and continue serving the community, yes, and pray for the young man. That's what he said and that's what he really should do. Donald Sterling said he would pray for him, except he just didn't forget. He kept just going back and back in the history and history.
And, you know, why does he have such a vendetta against my friend Magic? Honestly, I don't know. I don't know what Magic supposedly has done to him, but I'm sure, whatever it is, it didn't happen and it doesn't exist.
LEMON: Herb, I want to remind people of just one of the things that Sterling said last night. He offended African-Americans. He embarrassed people. He shamed people living with HIV and AIDS. It was hard to pick just one sound bite, but we will try.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STERLING: Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?
COOPER: Well, he has -- he's a businessperson. He --
STERLING: He's got AIDS. Did he do any business? I would like -- did he help anybody in South L.A.?
COOPER: Well, I think he has HIV. He doesn't actually have full- blown AIDS, but --
STERLING: Well, what kind of a guy goes to every city, he has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV and -- is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Herb, Magic is loved around the country, but beloved in L.A.
What's your reaction to this?
HERB WESSON, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, it shows just how out of touch Mr. Sterling is and how uninformed that he is.
I can say, I have been a friend of Magic Johnson's since 1998. And I have worked with him to develop a lot of areas within the city. Even before Magic stopped playing, he would do a weekend Summer Night Lights basketball that raised money for college scholarships. And we all know that education is the great equalizer.
So Magic's done a lot in just turning young people around. You could be poor as a church mouse, but have an education and become -- be on top of the world.
LEMON: I haven't heard that since my grandmother used to say.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I know.
LEMON: Someone asked me, do you have any money? I said, I don't. I'm as poor as a church mouse. I love that.
So, Herb, did you believe anything that Sterling said and do you think he is sorry?
WESSON: Well, first of all, the one thing I disagree with Magic about is I don't want, I don't need his apology and I don't think America wants it as well.
I don't think you can be sorry and then turn around and insult individuals that unfortunately have HIV or AIDS. To me, that does not sound like a genuine apology. In the weird regions of my brain, I believe that this is a strategy on his part to show the world that he is suffering from dementia, in hope that they don't take the team.
LEMON: But, Herb, he said that African-Americans don't help their community like Jewish people do. Sunny is like bouncing -- you're going to get your chance. The panel is coming up, Sunny. Hold on. Hold your horses. Cool your jets.
Herb, what did you make of that?
WESSON: Let me tell you this.
I have had the pleasure to actually work with Magic Johnson and his company Canyon-Johnson. They have spent probably over a billion dollars in the United States of America. We worked together several years ago, and this sounds simple, but to bring a Starbucks to inner- city community.
Once we did that, you can find Starbucks on several corners. It was just the beginning of things. Job training. Magic should not have to apologize, nor should he have to tell the American people what he has done. His work stands for himself.
LEMON: I live two blocks from a Magic Johnson Theatre on Frederick Douglass Boulevard right up in Harlem.
HOSTIN: Who hasn't been to that one in that New York?
LEMON: All right.
Herb Wesson, thank you very much. I really appreciate your perspective.
And A.C. and Sunny, please stay right there.
I want to bring in now my panel of expert guests.
Dave Zirin is the sports editor of "The Nation." Will Saletan is a national correspondent for Slate, and Mark O'Mara, CNN legal analyst and a criminal defense attorney.
Good to see all of you.
I want to play another moment from Anderson's interview with Magic Johnson. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: He asked me to go on the Barbara Walters show with him.
COOPER: This was, what, a week, week-and-a-half ago?
JOHNSON: This was a week ago.
COOPER: Because he met with Barbara on a Friday about week-and-a-half ago.
JOHNSON: Exactly. It was before that.
I told him I wouldn't do it. I said, the number one thing you need to do, which you haven't done, is apologize to everybody and myself. "I will get to that. I will get to that."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You know, Mark, it sounds like Donald Sterling was trying to avoid taking ownership for his own actions and do a P.R. move with Magic. What do they call it? He needed some cover, right?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think he has the benefit of dementia to explain his behavior at all.
So, I just don't think he gets how out of touch he is for the last 75, 80 years of his life. He is talking words of exclusion. That's -- every word that Donald Sterling has said since we have now come to know him, from the audiotape forward, has been nothing but sort of horrid racist words of exclusion. And he is not going to get it and he's not going to apologize properly. And he needs just to be excised from our conversations.
LEMON: You have been saying, Sunny, that he is going to hold on to this team, they're going to try everything.
LEMON: But this is a P.R. disaster. And all the NBA commissioner has to do in a deposition or a court is just go, play.
HOSTIN: Press play.
I have changed my mind a bit.
LEMON: Oh, Mark, do you hear that?
O'MARA: That has never happened before. (LAUGHTER)
HOSTIN: Because I do think it's going to be very difficult, given this turn of events, for him to keep the team.
But I think there are certain teachable moments, quite frankly, that come from this.
HOSTIN: One, perhaps he is just -- he doesn't think he is racist. And perhaps he doesn't think he is sexist. He doesn't think probably what he said about HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS is insulting.
HOSTIN: I think he has probably been living in this weird billionaire bubble, and he is in a time warp, and his thinking hasn't come in line with where our societal norms are. But I think the teachable moment comes from the fact that there are, probably, Don, a lot of people that feel this way, that think this way.
LEMON: That's what I say. It is subtle. It's beneath the surface. It's behind closed doors. Exactly.
HOSTIN: Exactly. And I think that's the teachable moment that we need to sort of draw out of this.
To Will now.
Will, you wrote a great piece for Slate.com, describing Donald Sterling as a tragic figure. Why is he unable to understand that his comments are discriminatory, as Sunny just mentioned?
WILL SALETAN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "SLATE": Well, Sterling cares a lot about racism. He thinks racism is terrible.
But he thinks apparently that racism means you have to have a hood on and carry a noose. So, the problem that Sterling is he can't see himself as a racist. And he says repeatedly in the interview with Anderson Cooper, I'm not a racist. I have never been a racist.
And it is his refusal to understand that racism can be subtler than that, that it doesn't have to be about hate; it can be about a kind of condescending love, in his case, or it can be some kind of twisted sexual jealousy. And because he didn't understand that, he never worked on it, and that's how he ended up being the bigot that he is today.
HOSTIN: And that's the teachable moment. It's that nuanced bias that so many people have. And they need to sort of check themselves. Look at now Donald Sterling. And I think he is sort of the teacher now. Look at him. If you have views like that, then you are racist. You are sexist. You are biased.
LEMON: As Magic said in the interview, living in the Stone Age.
Dave, go ahead.
DAVE ZIRIN, "THE NATION": Well, it's just that I think one of the things that we're missing is that Donald Sterling has been a practicing racist for decades, in a way that's affected thousands upon thousands of the most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles County.
And those are the people who have lived in his slums for so long. His big mistake in this case was, he took his racism out of a sphere where it affected people who are largely powerless in our society and projected it on somebody who has actually a great deal a lot of power, both literal and cultural capital, in Magic Johnson.
And I think with every word that Donald Sterling said, a question looms over this, which is, how has the NBA abided and coddled this man for the last 30 years? If Adam Silver doesn't answer that as a part of the process, he will have failed.
LEMON: You know, A.C., one person that seems to have responded to Sterling's plea for forgiveness, is Gilbert Arenas. He's a former All-Star.
And he took to Instagram and here's what he said. He said: "I will be the first to accept your apology. As a man who's made a mistake or two in life I know how hard it is to look at yourself in the mirror when you let so many people down, but for anybody who can't and won't accept his apology, you need to look in the mirror, because we're not perfect. Forgiveness will destroy racism, not more hatred."
So, A.C., the question -- the post was later taken down, by the way. He has dealt with his share of problems off the court, felony gun conviction, illegal possession of firearms.
LEMON: And the question though, is, are we too quick to throw stones here?
GREEN: No, no. I don't think so at all.
I think what Gilbert did say, you need to extend some forgiveness without a doubt, but at the same time, that doesn't mean you have to forget or overlook. You just don't have to hold them in judgment against him.
Donald Sterling constantly has said us and them. He has constantly said black. I'm Native American. And I'm sure he's saying Indian And Redskin. Anything that goes across his mind because he just hasn't -- it doesn't register -- I'm sure it is OK to him. But the reality is, it is not OK.
And I think the greatest -- the greatest thing about -- for him, the greatest thing was ownership and has been ownership to say he can walk into the arena and be the proud owner of an NBA team. And you know what? The reality is, the judgment day is coming. The judgment day is going to be by his own peers because of his own mouth.
LEMON: And the reality is, is the ownership of his own words. That's the ownership he should probably be worrying about.
Coming up, more on perhaps the worst P.R. move, the worst apology ever, and Magic Johnson's advice for Donald Sterling. That's next.
And then later on, billions of dollars worth of talent in an elevator together, and it sure looks like Beyonce and Jay-Z, it came to blows with some of the people in the elevator. But how did the video get leaked in the first place?
LEMON: Magic Johnson, shamed by a man he once considered a friend.
And he tells Anderson Cooper, "I pray for Donald Sterling."
Back now with my guests.
Christine Romans from our CNN Money, also the host of "EARLY START," or the co-host of "EARLY START," she caught up with Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks. While he didn't comment specifically on Sterling, he did explain the reason why Sterling could lose his team. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: I can't comment on Mr. Sterling.
But what I can say is, we're a franchise organization. Right? So it is not in the -- it is not apples to apples and taking property. And that's kind of what I have learned since my original comments. It's like if the McDonald's -- someone who was a McDonald's franchisee started talking about spitting in the french fries, right?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. He would lose his franchise.
CUBAN: You would lose your franchise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yes. And you can see more of that interview on "YOUR MONEY." It's this Saturday. Dave, you have called for folks to keep the heat on Adam Silver and the NBA owners. The finance committee met today. And they will meet again next week. Are they moving quickly enough? You heard what Mark Cuban said. And I say that is the mark of a mature adult who can get information and change their minds, so --
HOSTIN: Like me.
ZIRIN: Actually, I spoke to -- I spoke to several players today, actually, both current and former.
And their concern is less about the speed of this process, and more the lack of transparency of the process. They want to be hearing every day that a Sterling -- and that means Donald or his wife, Rochelle, who was involved in housing discrimination issues up to her neck -- will not be owning the team this fall.
And the big news out of today said by Roger Mason Jr., vice president of the Players Association, said he talked to LeBron James. And LeBron said that if a Sterling is owning this team, they aren't taking the court this fall.
That is how much it is still a pressing, throbbing issue for NBA players to make sure that this gets done and the league leaves no wiggle room whatsoever.
So, Will, here is what Magic said about whether he wants to own the Clippers, continue -- I mean, to buy the Clippers. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: If it comes out, and it's for sale, and my Guggenheim Partners and I say, OK, we want to take a look at it and we want to buy it, of course we will make a run for it.
This notion that I want his team? If I was going to trick somebody, deceive somebody, be dishonest to somebody, steal somebody's franchise, it is going to be the Los Angeles Lakers.
JOHNSON: Let's make that clear right now.
COOPER: You're putting that on the record?
JOHNSON: It won't be the L.A. Clippers. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HOSTIN: I love that. I love that.
LEMON: But no truer words were spoken in that interview. Right?
SALETAN: That's wonderful.
Magic -- Sterling complains that Magic told him not to speak. Well, after hearing Sterling speak, I can see why Magic told him. Magic was actually trying to help him by telling him not to keep his mouth shut.
But, to me, the most amazing thing Magic said in the interview was he said, I pray for this young man. Don Sterling is 80 years old. But the way -- we know who the adult is. It's Magic. And Don Sterling is just a guy who never grew up, because he was constantly coddled by everyone, his wife, his girlfriend, and other executives. Finally, someone is going to say no to him.
LEMON: Yes, entitlement.
So, A.C., you heard what Dave has to say about it. He said, listen, everybody involved in the league, they're not -- they don't want expediency. They just want to make sure that everything is handled correctly. But what about the players in all of this? Would expediency help or does it matter at this point now that they're in the playoffs and it's the end of the season?
GREEN: Well, look, the guys are going to finish the season. They're going to play without a doubt.
But the point is, they do want to make sure no Sterling is going to own the team. But it is due process. And everybody -- now they understand that. Adam Silver is doing, without a doubt, the best that he can, because you know he wants the Sterlings out of there yesterday. But the reality is, he has to go through the process of talking to these owners.
And once again, 75 percent of the ownership of the NBA, 29 owners, will bring judgment day upon Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling. It is reality.
HOSTIN: Can I say something about the players? Because a lot of people are saying, well, the players won't play. I hope that it doesn't get to that, because that just really is not fair.
This debacle was brought upon them. These are people that work really hard, that have families that they have to support, and the bottom line is, they are also under contracts. I reached out a lawyer that is involved with the NBA Players Union. And the response I got was, well, they are under contract and they could get sued, unless they're traded. And so hopefully it doesn't get to the point where the players have to act.
LEMON: But I'm just saying, sometimes, it's great to take a stand, like yes.
HOSTIN: But that's a big stand to ask someone to take, to walk away from a contract and open themselves up to litigation.
LEMON: Go ahead, Dave.
ZIRIN: No one asked LeBron James to say that. No one asked Roger Mason Jr. to say that.
I think it is incredibly admirable in a world where so often we ask athletes to take a stand and they do not. It is admirable that they're coming forward unprovoked and saying, if a Sterling owns that team, we will not take the court.
LEMON: All right, finally, Magic Johnson has some advice for Donald Sterling. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Look, you -- you're 80 years old. You have had a tremendous life. Right? And you're going to benefit whatever the price tag is from this team selling. Just go ahead and enjoy the rest of your life.
You know, you're fighting a battle that you can't win. And then you're -- you're putting your family in a tough situation as well. It is not just him. He is making his family members look bad by going out, saying these things about myself, African-Americans, on and on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I have to get a quick reaction from each of you. Quickly, Sunny.
HOSTIN: It's great advice. This is a teachable moment for the world. And he is going to have to step down. That's the bottom line here.
GREEN: Keep it moving, Donald Sterling. Go on. Your time has passed.
ZIRIN: Let's not forget the thousands of victims, black and brown, in Los Angeles who suffered under the Sterlings for decades.
SALETAN: Yes, it's a lesson in stereotyping. What Don Sterling is doing for his family, what he's done to other people, he is making it look as though they are responsible for his misdeeds.
LEMON: Mr. Mark O'Mara?
O'MARA: Well, Sterling has become sort of a caricature of racism. He has made a joke of himself with his beliefs. We need to learn from him, like Sunny was saying, and move on to the more subtle racism that we have to deal with. He just needs to be ignored and forgotten and he needs to lose his NBA team.
LEMON: I really enjoy this conversation. And I'm sure the viewers at home did watching. Thank you, everyone. Thank you, everyone.
A.C., Dave, Will, thank you, gentlemen.
And can you pick up Dave Zirin's book. It's called "Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy." That's his book.
And then, Mark and Sunny, please stay with me. We're going to continue our conversation.
Coming up, from secret tape recordings to elevator surveillance videos, supposedly of Jay-Z and Beyonce, is the age of privacy over? We will get into that next.
LEMON: Donald Sterling thought he was having a private conversation with his girlfriend. The Standard Hotel thought its elevator surveillance tapes were private, until they caught what appears to be Jay-Z, Beyonce and her sister Solange in an all-out brawl.
Is anything private anymore?
Here is CNN's Jean Casarez.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From a private conversation --
STERLING: If you don't feel it, don't come to my games. Don't bring black people, and don't come.
CASAREZ: -- to an alleged elevator brawl. Is nothing private anymore?
ALLAN MAYER, 42 WEST: Well, may be a right to privacy, but there is certainly no reality to privacy anymore.
CASAREZ: Donald Sterling says he had no idea his conversation with V. Stiviano was being recorded. COOPER: Did you know you were being recorded?
STERLING: No, of course not. Of course not, no.
And I just wish I could ask her why and if she was just setting me up.
I think that people say she was taping me for two years.
MAYER: Sterling's fellow NBA owner Mark Cuban, who has never shied away from the limelight, says the red light of the camera is always on, no matter where you are.
CUBAN: First of all, have you no privacy, from the little things like license plate cameras, to walking down the street. There are sensors everywhere. There's cameras everywhere.
CASAREZ: Case in point, what seemed to be a private elevator ride in New York's Standard Hotel turns out to be anything but, when TMZ posts the security video purportedly showing Beyonce's sister Solange attacking Jay-Z, kicking him multiple times.
Entertainment attorney Jeff Biederman says expectation of privacy in an elevator may not be warranted.
JEFF BIEDERMAN, ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: You raise the question of being in someone's home. That is a different level of privacy to expect than, say, an elevator, which is a public place. Anybody can enter that. And of course many elevators in modern buildings do have cameras.
CASAREZ: Security cameras are ubiquitous, capturing our every move, yet most people never feel their privacy violated because the pictures never go public.
But when the famous and the powerful are involved, the right to privacy is often trumped by the public's appetite for the tape.
But Mark Cuban says celebrities have learned to expect this kind of exposure, and now you should, too.
CUBAN: I'll give you another perfect example that should terrify you, right? If you tweet. If you post on Pinterest. If you have public postings on Facebook. All of that information and your footprint will know more about you than you know more about you.
CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
LEMON: Jean Casarez, thank you very much.
You can see more of Mark Cuban's interview on privacy on "YOUR MONEY" on Saturday.
And as for that video on the elevator, that brawl, CNN has reached out to the parties involved, and there has been no comment from them. So joining us now, a man who is a direct pipeline to the world of celebrity and the media coverage surrounding it. That's Perez Hilton. He's a creator and writer of PerezHilton.com.
Perez, when I saw that video on the elevator, I thought, "Ooh." That's what I said.
HOSTIN: Everyone's obsessed with it.
LEMON: So if you got a private conversation like that between Donald Sterling right before we get to the video -- between Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano, would you have posted that video on your Web site, Perez?
PEREZ HILTON, CELEBRITY BLOGGER: If I could have afforded to post it, I definitely would. I'm pretty sure that that video -- that audio recording went for a pretty penny. But yes, if I would have known that it was authentic, it was real, I would have given a pinky for it.
LEMON: Yes, so that's -- you bring up a very good point, Perez. There is money involved here. And many people don't realize that. And it's not spoken about.
HILTON: Yes. Same with the Solange/Beyonce/Jay-Z video that "leaked." It didn't leak by accident. Somebody did this, and most likely, somebody got paid for it. This person probably also is most likely no longer working at that hotel. And, you know, he doesn't need the job any more or she doesn't. Because they've got a year's rent or more.
LEMON: Yes. And the hotel issued a statement saying they are investigating it. And, you know, it will be taken care of. And individuals responsible will be disciplined or prosecuted or whatever.
But with the audiotapes and the recent video of Beyonce's sister, Solange, supposedly attacking Jay-Z in an elevator, is there anywhere that anyone can consider private anymore? Besides a bathroom. I'm not even sure about that.
HILTON: Well, there is definitely a lot less privacy these days. But I personally don't think that's a bad thing. I think it forces us all to be more accountable for what we say and do. It's more openness. And hopefully, it is a two-way street. Not just with us but also with the government. Hopefully, they're more open and accountable, as well.
LEMON: So let's -- I want to get the "T" here, because you know all about this stuff. Do you know anything about the relationship between Solange Jay-Z...
HOSTIN: Please just tell us.
LEMON: ... or Beyonce or anything about the...?
HOSTIN: What started it? What started it?
LEMON: Give us the scoop. What's going on? Give us a "T."
HILTON: Well, the very latest, is according to reports, actually, shockingly, Jay-Z and Solange were spotted out together earlier today. Translation, damage control.
Also, the fact that Beyonce and Jay-Z were seen out last night at a basketball game. Damage control, as well.
With all parties on radio silence, they're trying to make it seem to us that everything is good, cool, copacetic.
I'm hearing, though, from reports that the incident may have stemmed from the fact that last week at this after party, some of Solange's friends allegedly attempted to crash the party. By that, I mean, going up on and they weren't on the list. They were trying to use Jay-Z's name. Word got back to Jay-Z. He wasn't happy about that. And, you know, one thing may have led to another.
HOSTIN: See, I'm not buying that.
LEMON: Sunny is obsessed with this. You're obsessed with this story.
HOSTIN: I just -- I know, I'm obsessed. I watched the video over and over again. It sort of made me this voyeur. I'm, like, looking at Beyonce's role and Jay's role. But I think what's interesting is what would cause a woman to react like that way against her family member, against her brother-in-law? It just doesn't really make sense to me at all. And I think...
HILTON: I agree.
HOSTIN: Yes. It just doesn't make sense. I mean, I've got a lot of street people in my family, let's...
LEMON: And you?
HOSTIN: I'm from the south Bronx. But, you know, to get me or someone in my family to react that way really would have to be something very egregious.
Or in terms of expectation of privacy, you know, the law is, whether or not there's an expectation of privacy. Whether or not you're in a place where you expect privacy, and I think the bottom line is today with technology...
LEMON: And not in an elevator. But you do expect privacy in your own home. That was the issue with Don -- with Donald Sterling.
HOSTIN: I don't know. I don't know about that.
LEMON: I want to move on. I want to get Perez's take on a couple different things.
NFL player Michael Sam had a -- what was supposed to be a private moment with his boyfriend, but in a very public arena, on live TV on ESPN, but a lot of people think that that should have stayed private. Were you upset by the negative reaction on Twitter? What was your response to this kiss?
HILTON: Was I upset by the negative reaction? No. I was actually surprised there wasn't more of a negative reaction. For the most part, the players, and the media has been very encouraging and positive, and he has gotten more attention than almost anybody else in that draft.
LEMON: Yes, OK. You were surprised that there wasn't more negative reaction?
HILTON: Yes. You know, it shows you that, you know, the time is now. That players were ready for this.
LEMON: Got you.
HILTON: There were some people who said not nice things, but there weren't that many. So I was surprised that, you know, more people weren't saying even back-handed remarks.
LEMON: Yes. I just want to make sure that I understood what you were saying.
OK, so let's move on to Alec Baldwin now, arrested today in New York City. Was issued two summons: one for disorderly conduct and one for riding his bike against the flow of traffic. And here Baldwin has had a string of incidents, really, on the streets of New York with paparazzi and now the cops. Does Baldwin seem to attract these scuffles or is he targeted, you think, Perez?
HILTON: I think Alec Baldwin makes himself a target. I can fairly accurately assume that, if Alec Baldwin had not raised his voice and started screaming at the police, like reports claim he did, he likely wouldn't have been arrested.
Alec Baldwin has major anger management issues, which I don't think he's addressed. I don't know if he's gone to therapy. And if he has, I would suggest he go more. Because these issues keep popping up over and over again.
Like Chris Brown and his anger management issues. And now Chris Brown is behind bars for a long time.
LEMON: All right. Stick with me, everyone.
Coming up, thanks to technology, there are more places than ever to express yourself. But are there fewer things THAT you're allowed to say? We'll get into that next.
LEMON: So we think we have the right to freedom of speech. Right? We think we have the right to privacy. What happens when the two come into conflict?
Joining me is Nick Gillespie, the editor in chief of "Reason" magazine; Marc Lamont Hill, CNN political commentator. Uh-oh. And Norman Siegel, the former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. And back with me is Mr. Perez Hilton. And Mark O'Mara, of course, and Sunny Hostin.
So I'm going to start with you, Nick. When you look at the Donald Sterling leak tapes and his lifetime ban from the NBA; when you look at Beyonce and Jay-Z's videotape being leaked; when you look at the NFL player, Don Jones, being fined and suspended for tweeting "OMG," and "Horrible" about Michael Sam, are you concerned that people don't have a right to privacy and a right to free speech anymore?
NICK GILLESPIE, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "REASON" MAGAZINE: Well, I think those are different -- different and distinct questions. But yes, there is something troubling across the board that what you say in any context can show up in my other context with a lot of spin and whatnot on it.
Like Perez was saying before, I don't -- I don't really find this troubling as long as we're talking about, you know, workplace situations, and also as long as it extends to the government.
My main concern, you know, Jay-Z and Beyonce and her sister are going to be fine for this. Donald Sterling got what he deserved. He probably should have been bounced from the NBA a long time before for other practices. Things like that.
But the fact of the matter is, the real problem here is what the government is doing or able to do that we have no a understanding of. And what access they have to things that we're saying. That's actually the really troubling part for me.
LEMON: Marc Lamont Hill, want to bring you in here, because remember Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's statement right after this happened, as he said -- he said, Sterling is a villain, but the scandal is troubling for many reasons. Here's a quote right here. He said, "Shouldn't we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn't we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American -- American citizens' privacy in such an un-American way? The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn't steal the cake, but we were all gorging ourselves on it."
Do you agree with this point?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do agree with this point. I mean, fundamentally, we don't want to live in a world where there's no space for privacy, where there's no space for private thoughts. I'm much more concerned about the NSA than somebody who leaked racist comments at home.
But the core is that we live in a surveillance culture. We live in a culture where no one's thoughts or ideas or identities are secured. There's no private space. That's a very dangerous world to live in. And I think we need to constantly guard the gate to prevent that from expanding.
LEMON: But the genie is out of the bottle, though.
HOSTIN: I don't think we're the thought police. I don't think that we're there. But when you utter something...
LEMON: Don't you think we're on the road to becoming the thought police, though?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.
HOSTIN: I don't think so. I mean, I certainly think there's freedom of speech.
LEMON: Who's saying...
HOSTIN: I hear someone disagreeing with me.
LEMON: "... Absolutely." Who's that?
O'MARA: We are. We are on the road.
LEMON: Go ahead, Mark. Go, go, go.
O'MARA: No question about it. Look, we -- look, we have a right to freedom of speech still. You just have to be ready to eat your words, because they're going to come back to haunt you if you don't say the right words.
And our right to privacy has been eviscerated by technology. I love technology, but we can't make believe we don't live in a world where every cell phone is a high-definition camera that is capable of recording everything that you do, everything that you act out, and for the most part getting close to everything you think. Because if you put words on it, it's going to be said and it's going to be shown...
HOSTIN: But Mark...
O'MARA: ... and it's going to be reviewed.
HOSTIN: ... doesn't that make people more accountable, though? Doesn't that make people more accountable? I mean, in...
HILL: What kind -- for what, though?
O'MARA: I'm OK -- I'm OK with the...
LEMON: Norman. Norman and then Mark. And, yes. Marc Lamont Hill and then Mark.
NORMAN SIEGEL, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: In a free society, you must have free expression and you have to have privacy. We are eroding both of those principles.
People of goodwill have to, and they have, speak out against bigoted repugnant racist speech. And you have to be concerned about privacy. But the people of goodwill have to begin to organize and speak up, not only against the government, but against corporations and private people to say in a free society, people should not be punished exclusively for their words.
SIEGEL: If they are engaged in discriminatory conduct, you can punish them. The NBA and Silver made a huge mistake when he said at the press conference, "We're going to ban him and fine him $2.5 million" exclusively for his words. If he would have said, "We're going to look at his conduct and how he handled the people from the African- American/Latino community in the housing projects that he owned," he might have gone along those ways. But if you go down this slippery slope...
LEMON: It's a very slippery slope.
SIEGEL: ... then you start question...
HOSTIN: It's not a slippery slope.
LEMON: I want Mark O'Mara. Mark O'Mara, respond to what Sunny said.
HILL: Here's the thing.
LEMON: Hold on. Mark O'Mara. Mark O'Mara, good ahead.
HOSTIN: I started a firestorm.
O'MARA: He is not getting sued for his words. He's getting sued for the person he became.
SIEGEL: No. That's not what Silver said. That's not what Silver says. You're making it up. That's not what the worker (ph) said.
O'MARA: I'm not making it up.
SIEGEL: Yes, it is. If you listen to the press conference, he...
O'MARA: My words just were, he is not getting sued. He is not getting sued for that.
SIEGEL: Fined and banned, exclusively for...
LEMON: One at a time.
O'MARA: That is -- that is an organization that...
SIEGEL: And what about the guy with the Miami Dolphins? He got today (PH) because he said the picture of Sam and his gay lover were, in fact, horrible.
HOSTIN: But that's not freedom of speech. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Hang on. One at a time. One at a time. Let Mark finish.
Mark, go ahead.
O'MARA: An organization -- an organization, can police its members however it wants to. If you consider that a violation of your rights -- excuse me. If you consider that a violation of your right -- a violation of your right to speak, don't join the organization. If you're going to join the organization, you're bound by the rules.
O'MARA: That's speech. The government can't do anything about it. And wait a second -- and the court system is not going to sue on something like that.
The other side of the coin, right to privacy, it would be wonderful to maintain a right to privacy in this country. We probably have one of the best rights to privacy organizations and skill sets we have in the world. However, you cannot deny that privacy is getting diminished day by day by day. And we're just going to have to...
SIEGEL: There is nothing private about a tweet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But a living room conversation is different. But a living room conversation is different.
SIEGEL: I agree with that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why you have to...
LEMON: I know. Halt. We're going to continue this conversation.
O'MARA: The court of public opinion is not bound by those rules.
LEMON: OK, we're going to continue this conversation.
SIEGEL: Conduct, not speech...
LEMON: Stand by.
OK. Listen. Perez Hilton. You have walked into the middle of a big buzz saw. I know that you have to go. But that your stock and trade, it's celebrity moments and celebrity privacy. What do you want to -- what do you want to leave with us before you leave?
HILTON: Well, in listening to what you've all been saying very heatedly, I personally see two different issues here. The freedom of speech and expression is one separate issue from privacy and the right to privacy.
I do believe that you should be held accountable for your words. You know, I've gotten into trouble for things I've said in my opinion. But -- and that's my right. But if I were to say, "Oh, Donald Sterling should die or I want to kill him," I should be held very accountable for that, you know. I think there are two completely separate issues.
LEMON: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what if...
LEMON: Thank you. Thank you, Perez Hilton, for joining us.
HILTON: I don't believe he should die.
LEMON: Everyone else, stick around here.
Coming up, fired for personal beliefs. We're going to find out what you think.
LEMON: We are back. The question is: is it fair to hold someone accountable for their personal beliefs or opinions? I'm back now with my guests.
OK, Sunny said -- she has an advantage. She's sitting right here. she said, "I want to go first."
HOSTIN; Because they're going to jump all over me. Bottom line is, in terms of freedom of speech, you have the right to say whatever you want. That is protected. But people also have the right to hold you accountable for what you say.
And I think in terms of, you know, privacy rights, bottom line is there is a trade-off now because of technology. So we must also be aware that we aren't as private as we were.
LEMON: Sunny, you have...
HOSTIN; Because we're interconnected now.
LEMON: ... you have an expectation, at least I do in my own home -- go ahead.
GILLESPIE: But that's a different story. I mean, like nobody is saying -- I think that everyone agrees with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he says there's troubling about the way the Donald Sterling tape came out.
GILLESPIE: It's creepy, it's disturbing...
SIEGEL: Was it legal?
GILLESPIE: That is totally different when you're talking about people who tweet something, which by definition is a public act, and then get in trouble for saying something stupid or something illegal or something wrong that brings a public backlash.
SIEGEL: I think these are totally different issues.
GILLESPIE: I don't think anybody...
SIEGEL: The remedy for bigoted repugnant expression, is corrective expression speaking to the truth.
GILLESPIE: The NBA has certain agreements with their owners...
SIEGEL: Now, it talks -- Article 35 says conduct that...
GILLESPIE: Look -- look, an owner.
SIEGEL: Let me finish. It says conduct...
LEMON: Let him finish. Let him finish.
GILLESPIE: The organization...
LEMON: Let Norman finish.
SIEGEL: Thank you, Don. Article 35 of the constitution of the NBA talks about conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the NBA. It doesn't say speech and words. And therefore, they're in trouble because legally...
GILLESPIE: You're lawyering it now.
SIEGEL: And should we throw the law out?
LEMON: OK, Norman. Stand by.
O'MARA: Come on. Speech can be conduct.
SIEGEL: No, speech is not conduct. Speech is not conduct.
GILLESPIE: It is a different matter -- it's a different matter, and Donald Sterling will be very well represented in whatever -- in whatever legal proceedings arise from this, if he chooses to...
LEMON: Marc Lamont Hill.
HILL: All right. First of all, to suggest speech isn't conduct is both definitionally and ideologically just absurd. That would be -- that would be if I were to do an Internet radio show doing hate speech all day, I'd say, "It wasn't conduct. It was just speech. It was just words."
SIEGEL: You're entitled to do that.
HILL: Let me articulate my free speech. You've been talking a while. All right. The other thing here, I think, that's important is we all agree that you can sit at home and say whatever you want, and there's a danger when you say those things in public. But when we enter a surveillance...
LEMON: There was a danger at home for Donald Sterling.
HILL: And that's my point. When you enter a surveillance culture, suddenly even the stuff at home gets problematic. I should be able to sit at home and say, "God, I hate that Don Lemon. I hate being on the air with him." And you should be able to go home and say...
LEMON: You do.
HILL: I do.
HOSTIN: Not if there's someone else in the room.
SIEGEL: Nothing's stopping you, and if it comes out, defend yourself.
GILLESPIE: That's the problem, is Sterling can't defend himself. Because what he said is ultimately indefensible. If you want to make comments about Don Lemon or anything in the privacy of your own home or in public, defend them. That's the problem, is Sterling is not defending anything.
HILL: No, but if the problem with Donald Sterling were exclusively his words, we'd have a very different conversation. Donald Sterling has a larger list of reasons why he should not be an NBA owner, all linked to racism. So he makes a much messier case.
But if the only thing we knew about Donald Sterling in his whole life with regard to race was what he said on that tape, this would be a much more complicated public conversation.
SIEGEL: But the problem is, at the press conference, Silver didn't go where you just said.
SIEGEL: He said it was all about his words.
SIEGEL: And the big picture is not so much Donald Sterling: It's America. And American -- the principles of free expression. We are eroding one of the fundamental cores of this country.
HOSTIN: But you're wrong, because you can say whatever you want.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can you say that?
LEMON: Ten seconds, Mark O'Mara, go ahead.
O'MARA: You have to be willing to stand by your words. We're not eroding your right to free speech. All we're saying is we may catch you in places you didn't think we were going to catch you, so you better be able to defend your words. And words in that context are action. Particularly when the NBA constitution is a body that can enforce it.
HOSTIN: Well said.
LEMON: So many hot-button topics tonight. Freedom of speech and race in America. We've got a lot of -- you've got a lot of questions, and we're going to try to answer them. Right after this.
LEMON: All right. Let's get to it quickly, now. My panel is back. So here's a tweet for Norm. He says, "Anyone arguing for Donald Sterling's right to free speech is missing the point. First Amendment doesn't free one from consequences." What do you make of that, Mark? O'Mara.
O'MARA: I think he's absolutely right. Here's my lesson. And I think it's great to live by it. You need to be willing to live by your words, wherever you say them.
O'MARA: Just live with them.
LEMON: Marc Lamont Hill.
HILL: I don't disagree with that. But there has to be some space for private thought, for unformed and undeveloped thought. Donald Sterling is a racist. He shouldn't be the rule here. But in general, you need space for freedom.
GILLESPIE: We've got more ways of expressing ourselves in public and in private than ever before. That's great. We've got to focus on the government and what it's doing to us without us even knowing about it.
LEMON: I'm sorry -- I'm sorry for my guest who didn't get a word, but this may be the only privacy that we get. (PUTS ON A VISOR)
HOSTIN: There you go. (PUTS ON A VISOR)
LEMON: That's me. And there's Sunny. So thank you. That's as close to it.
Thank you, guys. Really appreciate you joining us. It was a very important conversation, end on a light note. It was a very heated discussion so we just wanted to add a little levity at the end.
I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching. That's it tonight. "AC 360" starts right now.