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Why Pundits Got Midterm "Red Wave" Predictions Wrong; Chappelle Camp Denies Report Of "Boycott" by "SNL" Writers; Travel Isn't An Item That Americans Are Cutting From Budgets. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 11, 2022 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: There had been so many from all across the media, from Democrats to Republicans inside the White House thinking there was going to be this big red wave that just did not materialize. But you heard directly from people you didn't think that was actually what they were thinking was going to happen.
MOSHEH OINOUNOU, JOURNALIST, HOST, "MO NEWS" PODCAST: Well, what I found so interesting is that we tend to focus on the top issue in the exit polls, right? So, it was like, all right, economy, economy, abortion, et cetera. And for many people, it wasn't a game of checkers but a game of chess. It's a very complex equation there that we're doing -- that I care about -- well, I care about abortion and I care about crime, or I care about the economy and I care about multiple issues.
And so, ultimately, it wasn't as simple as like, well, the economy is the top issue and then clearly, Republicans are going to be taking it everywhere. And ultimately, also, we tried to brush things with broad strokes nationally when there was a lot of nuance happening locally. That the way someone was voting in Arizona was very different from Ohio, it was very different from New York City.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You were -- even though you're very young you have accomplished a lot. You were executive producer of the "CBS EVENING NEWS" for two years, just to like remind people of how high you rose in sort of traditional media.
So I wonder taking this step and using a totally different platform and hearing from people in a totally different way how enlightening -- eye-opening was this all -- is this all to you?
OINOUNOU: A couple -- in so many ways.
Number one, I did not fundamentally understand the lack of trust Americans have lost in the media. In fact, there was a -- there was a Reuter's survey over the summer and it was 46 countries, population three billion between all these countries, and we were dead last in terms of trust in news and media.
COLLINS: The United States was?
OINOUNOU: The United States dead last.
HARLOW: That's incredible.
OINOUNOU: Three out of four Americans don't trust the news and information they get. And we can sit here as journalists and say well, part of that might have to do with politicians calling us fake news, et cetera. But there is a fundamental issue right now in terms of distrust that people have out there and that was the most eye-opening thing.
And the second thing, as somebody who sat there at CBS running a show every day and deciding what the issues were, the wakeup call was there's no real dialogue happening with our viewers. We have all these means -- all these social media that --
HARLOW: How can -- how can we do it better then?
OINOUNOU: Well, what I'm trying to do on Instagram is genuinely engage every day. What are you guys interested in? What are you asking questions about? And sometimes it doesn't occur to us who kind of live within this politics world that they, explain why the Senate matters again. What do they do?
COLLINS: What's a Georgia runoff?
OINOUNOU: What's a runoff? Why do they have runoffs?
Wait, the Supreme Court -- there's no way to really check them? They're there for life? How is that?
Why is -- what's a filibuster? Aaron Burr came up with it when he was bored in the Senate after he shot Alexander Hamilton 200 years ago. People -- you know, like we just say well, it's a filibuster. Well, why is it?
There's a lot of whys and hows that people generally want to have a conversation about without being judged.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is -- listen, there's the whole idea of media literacy and I think we could all do better when it comes to that. But is it the -- it's somewhat the media's job to sort of explain to people, but it's really education and I learned about Aaron Burr. I learned about a runoff, whatever. That's things that I was taught in school.
And so, you know, while I think it's, again, where we have to make people more literate when it comes to the media. You can't just gloss over what you said about politicians saying fake news because that undermines the trust in a very important institution and continues to do so.
And also, what it did was it helped to put -- it forced people into political corners and to watch media that became echo chambers. And to it -- and then you've got the algorithms on social media that force -- also forces people into echo chambers. And those places are not necessarily governed by facts and reality. And so, it's incumbent upon a lot of people, not just the media, to make people literate about what is actual good news and bad news.
OINOUNOU: Oh, sure. I mean, there's a fair share to go around.
OINOUNOU: I think it's the social media algorithms that literally we learned from the Facebook leaks last year, right, that they found out that we stay on the platform based on how much outrage we see.
OINOUNOU: Like, outrage drives more consumption. So the tech companies, blame. The politicians, blame. But there's a fundamental loss in trust institutions, whether it's the CDC or FBI, or the media across the board. And also, people demand more. They demand more from their bosses right now, they demand more from their government, and they're demanding more from us.
COLLINS: But can I show people quickly what you're doing because if people aren't familiar with your (INAUDIBLE), I was touting this last night. My friend, Melony -- I think she's watching right now. She is obsessed with your Instagram and loves it.
OINOUNOU: Hi, Melony.
COLLINS: But we know some of the things you ask -- and I love this because my dad called me yesterday after the show and he goes -- I know I've mentioned him three times today.
HARLOW: Well, he's coming on Monday.
COLLINS: He -- but he called me yesterday and he goes do Trump and Ron DeSantis not like each other? And the question fascinated me because we live in this world where we're like of course they don't -- there's the issue. But, like, not everyone knows that.
And so you actually asked your audience -- you know, send me your thoughts and Trump and DeSantis, and you got a mix of responses saying --
OINOUNOU: It was fascinating. We take for granted -- we live and breathe this stuff, right? We live and breathe every one of these politicians and what they're doing on a day-to-day basis. Most people -- they have lives. They have kids, they have jobs. They're busy with things.
So it bears repeating some of these things that happen historically -- they're not -- they're coming in in the middle of the movie and they're like wait a second, what happened in the first half?
COLLINS: And you're catching them up to speed. OINOUNOU: I'm trying to catch them up to speed. And I did that with Afghanistan last year. Like, how far do you want to go back? Or by the way, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is another one where it's like well, when do you want to start? Like what century or millennia do you want to start, right?
LEMON: But that's also an echo chamber, too. I mean, because your dad, I'm sure, is a very informed person. Perhaps he is not watching CNN a lot.
HARLOW: Oh, he is.
COLLINS: No, he watches CNN but he -- it's exactly what you said. He's really busy. He gets up early in the morning.
He's at work all day long. Then he's coming home. He's hanging out with his grandkids and whatnot. And so he has all these other things going on so he's not really paying finite and close attention to so many things.
OINOUNOU: And by the way, on the Trump-DeSantis thing, it's fascinating because I threw that question out there. And so, Instagram trends younger, right?
OINOUNOU: But there's an interesting generational divide happening among Republicans right now. And I heard from a number of people who voted for Trump twice -- '16 and '20.
OINOUNOU: And they're like now I'm done.
OINOUNOU: And I go why? And they said for some of them, it was his "DeSanctimonious" line at the rally this week. That basically, it's like well, his ego has gotten the best of him. And I go well, have you been watching for the past six years? And they're like honestly, part of the way the media covered him where everything he did was bad put me in a defensive crouch, and so I felt the need to defend him.
Now, interestingly, I was like what about your parents who are voting for Trump? They were like well, they're still with him because they feel loyal to him.
So, it's -- it is a very interesting nuance happening within the -- you know, you guys just discussed it within the Republican Party about what to do with him. But I think we need to be looking at gender splits --
OINOUNOU: -- and generational splits when it comes to that. HARLOW: Good for you because it's the lesson of it's not just important how we see ourselves, it's important -- hold a mirror up -- how the world sees the institution and the fourth estate, so --
LEMON: Thank you. We really appreciate it.
HARLOW: Thanks for joining us.
OINOUNOU: Thank you, guys.
LEMON: Mosheh Oinounou, thanks for --
COLLINS: Mosheh Oinounou, thanks so much for joining us. Everyone follow his Instagram. I will tweet your handle so everyone can see it.
LEMON: Up next --
COLLINS: Thanks for joining us.
LEMON: Thank you.
Up next, Dave Chappelle's return to "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" is already off to a rocky start. Why the comedian was forced to deny a report that writers for the show were boycotting his appearance. That's next.
HARLOW: You are also looking here -- those are live pictures this morning of Arlington National Cemetery. Hours from now, Vice President Harris will join the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, on this Veterans Day in honor of all of those who have served in the U.S. forces.
LEMON: OK. So, comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" this weekend but the appearance is not going over well with some due to Chappelle's past comments about the transgender community.
Jason Carroll is here. He joins us with more on this controversy. What is going on? Hello to you. What's going on here?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Don.
You know, a number of people still upset about Chappelle's past comments. Now comes word that some at "SNL" are wondering if he's the right person who should have been chosen to host the show.
CARROLL (voice-over): Anticipation building at 30 Rock, home of NBC and "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" where comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host "SNL's" post-election day episode this weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Dave. He tells jokes for a living. He's also about to host "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" for the third time. CARROLL (voice-over): But this time, questions about possible problems behind the scenes. Chappelle's representatives pushing back on unconfirmed reports that "SNL" writers were staging a boycott related to the comedian's previous comments about the trans community, telling CNN, "We've seen nothing to support media reports of a writer's boycott. In fact, the writers delivered over 40 sketches for Dave's consideration and collaboration."
Chappelle has come under fire for comments about the transgender community in his stand-up routines -- most recently in his Netflix special, "THE CLOSER."
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: Gender is fact. This is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.
CARROLL (voice-over): A Reddit user captured this Instagram story from "SNL" writer Celeste Yim, who wrote, "I'm trans and non-binary. I use they/them pronouns. Transphobia is murder and it should be condemned."
It is not clear if this was aimed at Chappelle. Yim did not respond to CNN requests to comment about him hosting.
New of Chappelle's return was met with some backlash on social media as some pointed out the show announced in September it was adding its first non-binary cast member, Molly Kearney.
Chappelle began his post-election hosting for "SNL" in 2016 following the election of Donald Trump.
CHAPPELLE: All my Black friends who have money said the same thing when Trump got elected -- that's it, bro. I'm out. I'm leaving the country. You coming with us? Nah, I'm good, dog. I'm going to stay here and get this tax break and see how it works out.
CARROLL (voice-over): And he continued in 2020 after Biden won.
CHAPPELLE: And I thought we were having a comedy show. It's like a wolf meeting in here.
CARROLL (voice-over): Now Chappelle is set for another go in front of "SNL's" live studio audience as both his critics and fans wait to hear what he will say next.
CARROLL: And CNN did reach out to NBC about Chappelle, but an NBC spokesperson said they were not commenting.
It is safe to say that a number of folks are probably going to tune in to see how Chappelle is going to handle himself, especially during that opening monologue.
Guys, back to you. LEMON: All right. Jason, thank you very much. Appreciate that.
Let's bring in now CNN political commentator, Mr. Van Jones. I want to bring you into the conversation, and what a conversation it is.
I just want to play this because I think it relates as a conversation that you had with Dave Chappelle on your show, and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAPPELLE: I think that the rhetoric of his presidency is repugnant. I just don't like the way he talks. I don't like -- you know, there's certain -- we're living in a time where there's got to be a little more cultural sensitivity. And even a guy like me that's just writing jokes, I have to listen more than I've ever had to listen because the gripes are coming so fast and furious. And I'm not dismissive of people's gripes. It might sound like it when I get on stage but I listen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So he was talking about the former president, but he talked about cultural sensitivity and he said it may not sound like I listen because you hear what's happening --
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
LEMON: -- supposedly over at "SNL."
LEMON: What do you -- what you make?
JONES: Look, I think that -- you know, I know Dave Chappelle so I have to put that -- put that out there. I do know him. I was glad to have him on the show. And I think that he is speaking for a lot of people, raising these issues and these concerns -- how are we going to deal with the transition to a different understanding in gender on a global level.
And I think he falls in certain traps sometimes of saying it's either Black or it's trans, and kind of has these kind of -- kind of false debates between, like, Black people and trans people. There are Black people who are trans.
But I do know him and I know that he cares an awful lot. And if you actually looked at the special that he did, at the end of the special he's talking about is a personal relationship with a trans woman who killed herself. And so, I do think that sometimes it gets so polarized and whatever. If you actually watch his special, that thing was less funny than usual. But he talked about his own mama --
LEMON: It's cultural commentary.
JONES: It's cultural commentary more than comedy.
LEMON: And he has flamed Monroe, who is -- who is a Black trans --
LEMON: -- woman and invite her on stage.
JONES: Exactly. And so -- and so I think that people are going to tune in. People are going to want to know how are you going to handle it. Have you learned anything? Are you more nuanced? Are you more outrageous? How are you going to use this platform?
But I think that this conversation we're trying to have about a different understanding of gender -- I think he -- it's been -- it's been good to have someone like him to raise the issues. Now, what are we going to do with it?
COLLINS: Do you think he -- what is -- since you do know him and maybe -- you don't have to speak to personal conversations -- but I guess, what is his sense of this given what Don just noted there -- how he is trying to use it? Does he have a sense of what he's learned from it, I guess?
JONES: Well, I mean, I haven't talked to him recently but I -- what I do know is that he has been able to use his platform to have very tough conversations. He's obviously one of the best if not the best in the world right in what he's doing.
I think the bigger question that's going on is if you're my age -- you know, I'm -- you guys can go on Wikipedia but I'm a little older than I look. I remember in the -- in the '90s when transgender people were being beaten, being harassed. The lesbian-gay sexual movement wasn't even claiming trans at that point. They were kind of on an island by themselves.
I was working in San Francisco with a group called Trans Action. We were trying to get the police department to lay off that population. We were trying to get transgender people not to be put in unsafe housing in the '90s.
This issue has been around for a very long time. I think that for those of us who are passionate about justice and equality, this issue is meaningful to us.
At the same time, I'm also a parent. I still don't know myself exactly how to handle the issue as a parent. And so, we're all trying to figure this stuff out.
Dave is a lightning rod for a certain kind of conversation. What I do think -- you were just talking about in the last segment, nuance -- nuance. Can somebody challenge the orthodoxy on either side and then not be considered to be a hater?
HARLOW: David --
JONES: I don't think Dave Chappelle hates anybody. He may -- I don't agree with his analysis of some of this stuff but I know that he doesn't hate people. And when you say if you disagree with me you hate people, if you disagree with me you're not responsible for teen suicides, now we can't have the conversation that we desperately need to have.
HARLOW: It's kind of what you said as we were getting ready to launch this show. It's about curiosity and not -- and not judgment.
JONES: That part.
LEMON: That -- yes, yes. But also, as you know, when you have a platform as big as ours and Dave's --
HARLOW: Of course. Every word matters.
LEMON: -- a huge platform -- responsible.
LEMON: People have got to be responsible.
JONES: You've got to be responsible. It's tough.
LEMON: Can we talk politics --
JONES: We could.
LEMON: -- while we have you here?
So, this caught my eye -- you know, Herschel Walker down in Georgia.
JONES: There's a --
LEMON: I have -- and you have -- you know, Lindsey Graham was on talking about support for him and I just -- this caught our ears and eyes here on CNN THIS MORNING. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): They're trying to destroy Herschel to deter young men and women of color from being Republicans. If they destroy Herschel it will deter people of color from wanting to be a conservative Republican because you just have your life ruined. We cannot let that happen. We need his -- we need to have his back.
If Herschel wins, he's going to inspire people all over Georgia, of color, to become Republicans, and I say all over the United States.
Herschel Walker is a nightmare for liberals. He's an African American conservative. They have belittled him. They have treated him like crap -- his family.
Stand by Herschel tonight. If you can give, give. If you know somebody that can give, ask them to do it -- teamherschel.com. The conservative movement for people of color is on the ballot in
Georgia. We must help people like Herschel for the benefit of our country and the future of conservatism -- teamherschel.com, please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Do you want to go first or do you want me to?
HARLOW: Van, you go.
JONES: Well, first of all, he's a nightmare to the children that he has abandoned and done nothing for. He's a nightmare to his own son who came out and said he lies all the time and shouldn't be in office. He's a nightmare.
But look, if you want to -- if you -- if you are a young Black person and want to be a conservative, there's a guy named Tim Scott I would direct you to. If you want somebody in the Senate who you can look up to.
The idea that -- again, everything has to be of the extreme. If you don't want someone with his lack of qualifications and bad personal character to be in the Senate, you now hate all conservatives and don't want any Black people to be conservative. That's not true. All of us have got conservative Black people in our families.
JONES: What are you talking about?
LEMON: Let me tell you --
JONES: What are you talking about?
LEMON: This is what he's talking about. People like him always talk about race-baiting -- identity politics.
LEMON: This is race-baiting. This is race-baiting in the worst form to say because someone doesn't like -- if you're Black and you don't like this, this is the worst thing. So if you don't -- if you believe like, you know, liberals or the people who are not MAGA, and they are always race-baiting, or they believe in identity politics, that's exactly --
JONES: That's exactly what he's doing.
LEMON: -- what he's doing.
LEMON: The hypocrisy --
LEMON: -- off the charts there.
And then he -- you know, the -- oh my gosh, I thought he was going to start crying like a southern preacher to get people to vote.
JONES: A televangelist.
LEMON: Yes. Tell people just because you're Black and you don't -- you know, you don't support Herschel Walker, that is the worst, I believe, form of race-baiting.
JONES: I think so. And here's the reality. If the Republican Party continues to make its basic case around fiscal conservatism and that sort of stuff, they'll pick up some Black votes.
Look, I have two African American female cousins. One of them is named Karsha Kirkendoll (PH). She said -- she said tell the world -- who are MAGA Trump conservative and proud of it. And I love them and they love me.
The idea that we need someone like Lindsey Graham to explain to us how to relate to different political positions in our community is just ridiculous. I mean, it's almost embarrassing. And if you're going to be that evangelical in your belief about somebody, be evangelical about the values that this man has violated when it comes to abandoning his own children.
LEMON: How long before -- you know, after this, you'll hear someone like Lindsey Graham or someone else abandoning their children in the Black community?
JONES: Oh, yes. They'll be doing that tomorrow.
And by the way, I don't know if my cousin Karsha is MAGA. I know that she's a Republican, so --
COLLINS: Identify if she's watching.
LEMON: That will -- that will get you in the worst trouble.
HARLOW: Slight difference there.
JONES: I don't know if she's MAGA. A slight difference there. So I take it back. I know that she's a --
JONES: -- she's a strong, proud conservative and I love my cousin.
LEMON: Love it when we have you here. Thank you, Van Jones.
COLLINS: Thank you, Van.
LEMON: We appreciate it so much.
HARLOW: Thank you, Van. Thank you, Don.
HARLOW: That was a good conversation.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
Flights are so expensive. Can we just -- they are so expensive. Airline prices keep going up but that is not stopping Americans from booking flights. This is so interesting, OK. Really high demand, really expensive tickets -- why -- even with the economy in turmoil, next.
HARLOW: This morning, as all of you grapple with surging inflation -- all of us -- the skyrocketing cost of airfare is not stopping people from traveling. That's actually exactly what the CEO of Delta told us this week -- listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED BASTIAN, CEO, DELTA AIR LINES: The demand is already back -- the raw demand -- you know, the interest in travel, and you can see that. Everyone felt once the pandemic subsided they needed to go someplace. And by the way, whatever price it took they were -- they were just -- they needed to get out. So the demand is driving the principal factor in pricing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Our colleague Pete Muntean is live at Reagan National Airport for CNN this morning. I'm totally fascinated by this. because with everything more expensive, people are pulling back a lot -- there's all this recession talk -- but they're buying expensive flights.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No doubt, Poppy. You know, people are done buying things, the travel experts say, and are now just simply ready to travel. It's been pretty busy here at Reagan National Airport today.
What is so interesting, the travel experts tell us, is that, really, tickets are not much more expensive than they are now compared back to 2019. And people are simply waiting until the last minute, hoping that tickets go down -- we have all done it -- and in essence, overpaying.
Look at the numbers from Abode Analytics. People paid $7.7 billion in total on airfare over the month of October. That's 15 percent higher than October 2019 back before the pandemic. But the average airfare numbers are roughly the same as what we saw back then. It's about $275 for a domestic roundtrip over Thanksgiving, according to Hopper; $382 for a domestic roundtrip over Christmas. What is really interesting here -- I just want you to listen to the tip from travel experts. Do not wait until the last minute. You may have missed your chance for Thanksgiving. You still have an opportunity with Christmas. You should book right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT KEYES, SCOTT'S CHEAP FLIGHTS: It's no surprise I think that you're seeing folks generally overpaying this year compared to where they were pre-pandemic, especially considering how much money folks had saved not traveling over the past two years and how much pent-up demand there was. Folks really excited to take the first trips that they had been able to or felt comfortable to in years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: How long will we see this, Poppy? Well, that is the big question. And travel experts say we have now reached the new normal. This is what you will pay for airfare for a while now because the airlines see the demand is up and people are willing to swallow these prices.
There are still deals to find. If you are traveling for Thanksgiving, you might have a little luck booking to go out of town the Monday before Thanksgiving and come back the Monday after. Kind of a long time to spend with the in-laws. I can't believe it though, Poppy. We're less than two weeks out to Thanksgiving. Things about to be a lot more busy here.
HARLOW: That's for sure.
Pete Muntean, thank you for the reporting.
LEMON: This is a live look right now at Arlington National Cemetery on this Veterans Day. Thank you to all those who serve and all those who have sacrificed. Because of you, we get to vote in free and fair elections. And now, we get to figure out who won in these free and fair elections that just happened.