Return to Transcripts main page
CNN This Morning
Recent Jeopardy! Clues Spark Debate, Controversy; Michelle Obama: U.S. "Wasn't Ready" For Her Natural Black Hair; New FTX CEO: Records So Poor We Can't Figure Out Cash In Company. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 18, 2022 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
("JEOPARDY!" theme song).
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: You know that music if you're a fan of "JEOPARDY!" -- and really, who isn't? You might have been a little miffed though about Wednesday's final clue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN JENNINGS, HOST, "JEOPARDY!": Paul's letter to them is the new testament epistle with the most old testament quotations. Thirty seconds -- good luck.
Who are the Hebrews? Yes, Jewish followers of Christianity. So, of course, Paul quoted the old testament.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The response "Who are the Hebrews" was deemed correct, but is it actually? That is still the subject of a pretty heated debate among biblical scholars. Some believe the right answer might actually be "Who are the Romans."
This isn't the first time, though, a "JEOPARDY!" clue has been criticized -- not even this past week. An episode of "CELEBRITY JEOPARDY!" on Sunday featured a clue about the 2021 murder of Gabby Petito.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYIM BALIK, HOST, "JEOPARDY!": In 2021, fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Florida's Myakkahatchee creek area, home to these long and toothy critters.
JOEL KIM BOOSTER, ACTOR, CONTESTANT, "CELEBRITY JEOPARDY!": What are alligators?
BALIK: Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What?
COLLINS: Insensitive, tasteless, wrong -- that's what several viewers thought of that question and answer.
And remember back in 2021, "JEOPARDY!" actually apologized for using, quote, "outdated and inaccurate information" about a debilitating medical condition.
TEXT: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is also known as Grinch Syndrome because this organ is too small.
COLLINS: And then, remember earlier this month, it wasn't the clue that raised eyebrows, it was the moment that followed -- this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNINGS: She's the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and the first justice to have been a federal public defender.
That's Justice Jackson -- Ketanji Brown Jackson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: I don't think that's that surprising, I will say. A lot of people don't know who is on the Supreme Court.
LEMON: These are -- but these are smart people, though. These are -- I mean, when you go on "JEOPARDY!" --
COLLINS: It's a good point.
LEMON: When you go on "JEOPARDY!" -- I -- look, if you were --
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: She was just confirmed.
LEMON: OK. But listen, if you're standing outside --
COLLINS: She's been in the news so much.
HARLOW: She's been in the news.
LEMON: I think Kaitlan's right. If you're standing outside of a mall or whatever and people may not know -- when they do the man on the street thing --
LEMON: -- yes. But when you're smart enough to be a contestant on "JEOPARDY!" -- COLLINS: You've got to know about current events, too, on "JEOPARDY!".
COLLINS: Maybe not any successful on "JEOPARDY!".
HARLOW: And history-making ones.
LEMON: Yes, yes.
HARLOW: All right.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, there's a lot of talk around this one as well. The former first lady Michelle Obama revealing that she considered wearing her natural hair and braids during her time at the White House but decided that Americans weren't ready for her natural black hair.
Listen to the former first lady.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: As Black women, we deal with it. The whole thing about do you show up with your natural hair, you know? Braids, y'all. But, you know, as first lady, I did not wear braids. The first Black -- yes, yes. We've got to ease up on the people, you know -- just like -- but I thought about it. I was like it would be easier. Nope, nope -- they're not ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And the former first lady says that she kept her hair straight so her husband's administration could focus on other issues and not her hair.
The Obamas were very cognizant of how much attention was paid to how they looked and how they acted because they were Black. They also knew how powerful representation was and still is. So -- like this moment. This is 2009 when a young Black boy reached up to touch the president's hair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think this picture embodied one of the hopes that I had when I first started running for office. Young people, particularly African-American people, people of color, outsiders, folks who maybe didn't always feel like they belonged -- they look at themselves differently to see a person who looked like them in the Oval Office.
You know, it would speak to Black kids, and Latino kids, and gay kids, young girls. They could see the world open up for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's talk about this now. CNN contributor and host of Naked with Cari Champion joins us. Cari, hello to you.
So, Cari, look, it's a -- it's a thing for us -- like this whole hair thing that I -- that I struggled with as a kid. I used to process my hair -- the blowout if you remember that. I don't do it anymore. This is my hair.
But especially for Black women, it's a thing. So -- getting jobs, perception, and so on. So, you've dealt with that I'm sure with your career and in your personal life over the years. You relate to what Michelle Obama is saying?
CARI CHAMPION, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, HOST, "NAKED WITH CARI CHAMPION" PODCAST (via Skype): You know, this is why we love Michelle. Because very much like the president said, when that little kid reached out to touch his hair he could relate to who he was. That is what's happening every single day when I hear Michelle say things that relate to me and the life in which I live.
When I decided I wanted to be in T.V., Don, I was told -- I mean, in no uncertain terms -- by the news director who hired me, how will you wear your hair? And I looked at him and I remember like it was yesterday. And it was in 2000. It was in West Virginia. And I was just like wow, I'm going to wear my hair how I wear my hair, which was natural.
This obviously is not my hair but I wore my hair out, which is if you wash it, it looks like it could be texturized. It's not very familiar. You know how it is. And we call it -- people call it kinky or whatever you want to call it.
Sometimes America, especially for Black women, has made us feel like our hair is unacceptable.
CHAMPION: So we straighten it, we perm it, we -- why this is a unit. This isn't my hair. I'm not fooling anybody. But this is what has been more acceptable.
And sadly, I've gave -- I've given into that in many ways, much like what Michelle Obama said. She was like the administration isn't ready. Keep -- I mean, really? It's just so sad -- it really is.
LEMON: Can I share something that we talked about last night when we spoke on the phone?
CHAMPION: Sure --
CHAMPION: -- please -- yes.
LEMON: So I called -- I called Cari and I wanted her to do this segment because it was an idea from one of our producers. But I wanted to do the segment because I know that she's dealt with this. And I said would you wear your natural hair? But it's like a whole thing. It's expensive for you to. You'd have to undo a lot of things.
But then, also --
LEMON: I mean, do you -- do you want people to see you that way? Was that uncomfortable for you?
CHAMPION: Yes, Don. Don called me, guys -- let me share this with you guys. Ladies, he called me and he's like I have a -- I have an idea, and he -- and he explains what he wants. And I paused for a second like is he serious right now? Like, wait.
He was like well, don't you remember when so and so did it? And I'm like absolutely.
LEMON: Tamron did it on the "TODAY" show years ago -- yes.
CHAMPION: And I was like I don't recall. I think I do now. I went back to look it up and I was like OK.
But it's -- like underneath my hair is braids. My hair is braided all the way back. Underneath this hair is my hair braided all the way back.
And I've taken my hair -- literally taken my hair off in the makeup room at work -- because I work at a station as well -- and you can see everyone look like oh, what's happening? It's almost as if, like, they're shocked. Like, it's disbelief.
And then the whole can I touch your hair --
CHAMPION: -- if you're not Black. So, it's so draining, Poppy. I know you know what I'm saying, right? So in the sense that I ask to touch people -- yes.
And so I told Don no. I was terrified.
CHAMPION: I was like what -- I don't want to be a meme. I was so -- it is like I was so terrified at the thought of someone seeing me in my natural hair --
CHAMPION: -- and I am a grown woman. That is so sad.
HARLOW: You're not alone. I have like fake little clip-ins that I wear every day and Don sees my fake hair in the makeup room.
LEMON: I told her I wanted some. HARLOW: But that is not -- hold on -- but I don't want to equate. That is not to say -- it is nowhere near what Black women have gone --
HARLOW: -- through with their hair. It is nowhere near it. It is not the same. I'm just trying to tell you I hear you and I feel sometimes like -- I don't know. Like I -- like I have to put it on for some reason, right?
And I'll just tell you my -- Sienna comes home from school now and our favorite book -- one of our favorite books is "Hair Love." I would recommend every parent read this with their kids. And she said to me when she learned about not -- like, ask permission to touch other people's hair -- anyone, right? And like learning about respect.
CHAMPION: Yes. The thing about that though -- and Don, tell me how you feel about it -- I would never ask to touch anybody's hair. Not -- I just wouldn't. I don't -- I'm not fascinated to walk --
CHAMPION: -- to walk up to you, Poppy --
CHAMPION: -- and touch your hair, or I wouldn't want to walk up to my colleague that isn't Black and touch their hair.
CHAMPION: And the fact that Black women are treated like exhibits in a museum --
CHAMPION: -- for lack of a better word -- it really is -- I want you to know every time that happens --
CHAMPION: -- we're -- in our minds, we're like here we go again. They want to touch my hair.
HARLOW: And you think that we -- that often, our kids are being taught the wrong lesson now?
CHAMPION: Teach your kids that we have different textured hair. It's still the same thing. It still grows. It may not be as long. It may not be as blonde naturally.
If you notice that someone's hair may not seem like it's their hair, please don't ask what is that on your head. What do you -- how do you wear your hair? Is that a -- is that all your hair?
I mean, everyone wears extensions. For some reason, when Black women wear extensions it's like everyone stop and take a look at this person who is an exhibit. They have long hair. Why is that?
None of that should be a conversation. Do not -- there's a song "Do Not Touch My Hair" --
CHAMPION: -- literally built on the fact that that's what women have dealt with -- Black women, specifically.
Cari, I wanted to -- do you have something or you want --
COLLINS: I was just -- it's just -- it's powerful to hear you talk about your conversation with Don, saying you're a grown woman and this is how you felt.
And that's why I think we're seeing Michelle Obama be so candid and hearing her talk about being first lady and she was worried about that --
COLLINS: -- it opens up the conversation for young women now to be able to talk about that and think about it and acknowledge it differently publicly.
CHAMPION: I will say this. You make a really great point about that. There are a lot of young women on T.V. now who are wearing their natural hair. And they -- and they've gone viral for wearing their natural hair which, in a way to me, is two things.
One, bold because I'm of the -- I'm like, you know, I'm not ready to do that. So for her to do that is really bold. But it's also why am I going viral for wearing my own hair?
CHAMPION: I just need you guys to understand how this all is and why we are sitting here being fascinated by it. It took -- it took Michelle Obama to tell us don't look at my hair as if it's weird.
LEMON: OK, Cari --
CHAMPION: And what interest --
LEMON: Cari, quick because we've got to run, OK? But listen, if you can do it quick -- this is a lightning round.
Do you think that it would --
CHAMPION: OK, go. LEMON: -- be OK now for -- what is it -- five years out of the White House? Do you think it would be OK now for her to wear her natural hair?
LEMON: You think it would be fine?
CHAMPION: Yes. But -- yes.
CHAMPION: And I hope she does and then I'll do the same.
CHAMPION: Don, I appreciate you being honest.
So then, the other thing is can we start a -- look, I'm a man and so look, I'm sure people are going to get mad at me. I like --
LEMON: -- natural hair. My nieces do the same thing. They braid their hair up and they put it, and they do the system and whatever, right? And especially if they come visit and I'm like we're going to be at the beach, and they braid.
But I like a natural hair. Like, I grew up with women wearing natural hair, wearing afros. Can we bring that back? Can we bring back the power?
CHAMPION: You know what? You know what, Don? You just challenged me and I'm not saying when I'm going to do it because I've got to really sit with it because I'm terrified like I mentioned. But, I mean, why not?
CHAMPION: Why not? I have -- I'm pretty. I can wear my natural hair and --
CHAMPION: -- I don't have to pretend for --
HARLOW: You're gorgeous.
CHAMPION: -- society.
LEMON: I just -- look, I just remember Pam Grier and coffee, and Cleopatra Jones and her afro was beautiful. Like, love the afro.
LEMON: Yes. Get used to it, people.
CHAMPION: My mother wore an afro. So yes, Don, I hear the chatrooms. Let me start it. Let me be game.
Thank you guys for letting me come on and share it. I really --
HARLOW: That's why we love you so much.
COLLINS: Thank you for coming on.
LEMON: Thank you. Love you.
CHAMPION: Love you.
LEMON: Let me just say, ladies, I'm not speaking for you. I'm just saying this is me. Wear your hair however you want. I know it's easier if you braid it and you put it up. But I just think natural hair is beautiful.
HARLOW: What a gift she is. Thank you, Cari.
LEMON: All right, thank you. Thank you so much.
We've got to talk about this. Cari Champion is amazing. We've got to talk about this. So how bad are things at crypto company FTX? It turns out the new CEO can't even figure that out. We're going to be joined by a former regulator. That's next.
HARLOW: Also, the latest move from Ticketmaster that has Taylor Swift fans furious this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIKTOK/@AMYSLAKEHOUSE: The amount of gaslighting that Ticketmaster does -- the website just crashed. Oh, it went down again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not entirely clear who is actually getting the money and what's being done with the money. Yes, it begins to look like a Ponzi scheme.
RANA FOROOHAR, GLOBAL BUSINESS COLUMNIST AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES: In some ways, this collapse of FTX is the Lehman brothers moment of the crypto world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paul, the probability that it all goes to zero and it all disappears? You raised it there.
PAUL KRUGMAN, NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING ECONOMIST: I mean, where is it? Yes -- I mean, what's it -- the question has always been what problem does crypto solve, and we still haven't gotten an answer to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: This morning, authorities have now seized control of digital assets held by the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX in the Bahamas. The Securities Commission of the Bahamas says they're going to be transferring that to a digital wallet for, quote, "safekeeping."
This comes as the newly-appointed CEO of FTX is now mincing words about the situation, describing, quote, "...a complete failure of corporate controls" with such bad recordkeeping that he can't tell how much money the company actually has.
This, as the founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who we all know by now, is walking back comments that he made, including this one. Quote, "F regulators. They make everything worse."
Joining us now is a former regulator, Shelia Bair, former chair of the FDIC, which ensures and monitors the health of banks. She now sits on the board of several companies, including Paxos, which is a blockchain technology company involved in cryptocurrency. You are here in your personal capacity, we'll note, Sheila.
I just wonder what you make of all of this because every day it seems like the developments get even crazier. I know you've likened it to a Madoff-type situation.
SHELIA BAIR, FORMER CHAIR, FDIC: Right.
COLLINS: But what do you think of all of this?
BAIR: Yes. Well, I think back to SBF's comments. I think regulation would have made this situation a lot better. And hopefully, this helps prove the value of regulation and supervisory oversight. Clearly, this institution did not have any of that -- any meaningful oversight.
So I think it's sad. It's not -- this -- we don't know. There will be investigations. But it certainly looks like fraud. Looks like a potential Ponzi scheme using new investor money to pay off old investors. Creating too good to be -- too good to be true expectations, which it frustrates me. Investors are always falling for even though we've seen this show several times before.
So, I do think it's a -- it's a wake-up call though for regulators to start being more aggressive and use their current authorities. There isn't regulatory clarity around the crypto markets and there needs to be because a lot of people are getting hurt. And it would be nice to have legislation but I don't see Congress acting anytime soon.
BAIR: So regulators really need to work as a group to start better policing of this market.
HARLOW: The fact, Shelia -- and thanks so much for being with us. I mean, I remember --
HARLOW: -- sitting down with you when you were head of the FDIC. I mean, when you have -- that's the institution that secures people -- bank deposits, right? There is nothing --
HARLOW: -- like that for cryptocurrency and people are getting fleeced. And the fact that Sam Bankman-Fried said, quote, "F the regulators. They make everything worse. They don't protect consumers at all."
HARLOW: You know, there's a lot of finger-pointing. Should it be the SEC? Should it be the --
HARLOW: -- SFTC?
HARLOW: It does not appear there will be regulation anytime soon.
HARLOW: So then what?
BAIR: Well, it's -- look, I do think -- I think you need to distinguish there are different types of cryptos. There are some stablecoins that are backed one-for-one by real money -- bank deposits, short-term treasuries. They put themselves out as having stable value.
But most crypto is highly volatile. It's more in the nature of an equity investment or a commodity investment. There's a big debate about what it is.
I do think it would be helpful for the SEC and SFDC to jointly provide guidance about what's going to be subject to securities and what's going to be subject to commodities regulation. Right now, they kind of cancel each other out because Gary Gensler says they're securities. And by definition, the CFDC doesn't have authority. The CFDC says it's a commodity by definition. The SEC doesn't have authority.
So I think a joint statement from them would be really helpful. And stablecoins -- I think they deserve some type of bank-like
regulation. We have it at the state level now but I think a federal regime would be helpful.
The core problem here is that we have this siloed regulatory structure, so we have different agencies sometimes, unfortunately, competing for jurisdiction. You have different committees in Congress overseeing them. They also compete for jurisdiction. And that impedes the ability to act quickly when you have a new asset class that doesn't immediately fit in any particular category.
HARLOW: It's scary --
LEMON: Shelia --
HARLOW: -- what's happening.
LEMON: -- thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us. Have a great weekend.
BAIR: Happy to be here.
LEMON: Thank you.
BAIR: Thanks for having me. Thanks.
LEMON: Straight ahead, we're going to take you live to Twitter headquarters in San Francisco amid the -- amid the mass exodus of employees. What the hell is going on there?
HARLOW: And ahead, an exclusive preview of one of the biggest concerts of the year. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
LEMON: I love Annie Lennox. Like, I love her.
COLLINS: Did they already do it?
LEMON: Did I say I love Annie Lennox?
COLLINS: Her voice is like an icon.
LEMON: We are really, really happy to have you this morning. By the way, look at that. We're going to tell you about what's on that wall right there. That is --
HARLOW: Yes, wow.
COLLINS: I'm happy to not be in Buffalo this morning. LEMON: Yes, that's some snow --
HARLOW: Oh, yikes.
LEMON: -- right there. Some snow, some snow, some snow.
Hello, everyone. Good morning. It is Friday, November 18. Welcome to CNN THIS MORNING.
A lot to get to. I was trying to explain what's on that wall and I'm going to do it right now. A historic lake-effect snowstorm hitting western New York. It could bury Buffalo.