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Dennis Tajer is Interviewed about Flight Safety; Issues Women Are Facing Around the World; History of Celebrities in Office. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 08, 2023 - 08:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Six close calls in just two months. There have been six reported near collisions on airport runways across the country this year alone. And it is prompting new investigations and a sweeping review.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American 2172 going around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American 2172, roger.


JETBLUE PILOT: Clear to land 4 right, JetBlue 206.

CONTROLLER: JetBlue 206, go around.

206 fly runway heading, maintain 3000.

JETBLUE PILOT: Runway heading up to - sorry, say again the altitude.


JETBLUE PILOT: 3,000, JetBlue 206.


ATC: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Delta 1943 cancel takeoff clearance.

Delta 1943 cancel takeoff clearance.

Pilot: Rejecting.


LEMON: So, those close calls, coupled with scary incidents inside the plane's cabin, raises a big question this morning, what is happening within the aviation industry?

Joining us now is a spokesman for Allied Pilots Association, Dennis Tajer.

Thank you for joining us, sir. We appreciate it.

So, according to the FAA, serious incursions, which is a collision that's nearly avoided, seem to have gone down over the last two decades. Are we seeing an uptick now with this?

DENNIS TAJER, AMERICAN AIRLINES PILOT: Well, we're seeing a system that is under stress. Pilots across the nation have well over a year have been talking about this. We've got airlines scheduling us to the maximums, they're reducing pilot training, they are basically running along a barbed wire fence, right up to the maximums, and we shouldn't be surprised when we see these safety seals start to leak.

We've seen reliability gone down the drain. And that's recovered a bit. But pilots across the nation are saying, you're trying to do too much with too little. And the FAA has now called for a safety summit, which is great, but it's time for actions and not just words.

LEMON: Just to be clear, are we seeing an uptick or is this standard? Because the same thing with, you know, cellphone cameras, sometimes we see incidents more. We feel like we're seeing more because they are on camera. I'm just wondering, are we seeing more or are we just reporting about it more?

TAJER: No, it's happening more. I mean we're seeing it. It's evidence. You played the tapes. And, by the way, in those tapes, you have pilots, two highly trained, experienced and well rested pilots that are making the difference between an incident and an accident.

And I'd like to hit on one thing. One of those incidents, a FedEx aircraft went around. They saw what was happening before they were going to land on a Southwest aircraft during low weather. Those two pilots did the right thing. They made it work. But here's the deal. They're actually -- they fly under different safety and rest rules. It's called a cargo carveout. It's these types of things that are going on in the industry that the public doesn't know about. And responsibility lies right with the FAA. Folks who fly NetJets, a business -- the executive jets, they fly on another set of rules. We're flying in the same airspace. So, this has got to stop and be aligned.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I think you make such an important point. Carveouts where, well, if you're not flying people, you're flying cargo, you have to have less rest and things like that, right? You're all in the air at the same time.

You said at the - in your first answer, we're doing this with two little of something. What does that mean? What do you need to make it safe for all of us up there?

TAJER: What we need is for the airlines, the FAA, to do their job. You know, we sent a letter to the FAA back in June saying that our particular airline was reducing the frequency of training and the quantity of training at just the wrong time when we have all of these new pilots coming in. They're experienced, but they're not seasoned in this operation. So, the FAA responded to us, believe it or not, well, what they're doing isn't illegal. So, if it's legal, good to go. But we have a saying on the flight deck, just because it's legal does not mean it's safe and smart.

And I - and I would like to add one more thing to go further. For five years we've been waiting to get a secondary barrier before the flight deck door. There's legislation. It's done. And we are still waiting for that. And I'm thinking about that passenger that became unhinged and attacked a flight attendant. The fact that we're talking about this now, how many years after 9/11, and we can't get this done because of pushback by the airlines not wanting to spend a couple extra bucks, the price of a seat back entertainment center, is beyond belief. It's time to get this done. You know, they're making record revenue right now, airlines. It is time for record responsibility to our passengers. And pilots will make sure that happens. But we get a little weary having to fight this every turn. But we're hopeful that the safety summit may make a difference. But it's not going to be a comfortable space because we're fighting for our passengers' safety. That's everything.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you seem quite frustrated with the FAA.


We'll be paying close attention to that.

Dennis, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

TAJER: Thank you. Take care.

COLLINS: All right, also today, from Iran, to Afghanistan, even Ukraine. On this International Women's Day, we are highlighting the challenges that women are facing across the globe. No one better than Christiane Amanpour here in studio to discuss with us.

LEMON: Wow, there she is.

HARLOW: She's here.


HARLOW: All right, take a look at this. This is a look at protests in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Manila, earlier this morning on this International Women's Day. This year's theme is embracing equity. There's still so many places in the world that aren't even close to that, by the way, when it comes to gender, as evidenced by the wave of protests led by Iranian women following the 22-year-old death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody there.

Also, in Afghanistan, groups of young girls protesting outside a Kabul university as their male classmates returned to class it week. This video shared on social media shows girls sitting on the ground and reading books.

[08:40:00] In December, the Taliban banned female students from attending university.

So who better to talk to about all of this, that holds men to account on all of it.

LEMON: She holds everyone to account.

HARLOW: Everyone to account.


HARLOW: I'm thinking men because of the Iranian foreign minister I know that you just did so brilliantly.


HARLOW: Is our chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

LEMON: Good morning.

AMANPOUR: Happy International Women's Day.

LEMON: Yes, good to see you. Happy International Women's Day.

COLLINS: Happy International Women's Day. Love having you here.


HARLOW: All the time that you spent around the world over the years, just especially this year, you know, the theme is embracing equity, but it's not even there to embrace in so many places yet.

AMANPOUR: Yes and no. You know, I like to look at solutions and I like to look at the light in the darkness. So, we've had a lot of darkness this year, as you mentioned, from Iran, to Afghanistan, where the full weight of the states there have come down on the backs of women, and especially young women, girls who just want to go to school. And, of course, Ukraine, where women and girls amongst, of course, the whole population are suffering so much because of this relentless war that Russia started.

But you just opened this segment talking about the protests and marches in Indonesia. The world's biggest, most populous Muslim country where they are able to come out on to the streets and, you know, celebrate their rights, demand more rights and do all these kinds of things.

I also have sources who have told me that in Afghanistan, which has literally the world's most draconian anti-girl and anti-women policies established under the Taliban over the last several months, that they know -- the Kabul group of Taliban leaders know that they can't continue like this and they are trying to convince the fundamentalists religious leaders who live in Kandahar, you know, the Muslim fundamentalists there, that denying girls education is not Islamic and it's not good for Afghanistan. So that is moving in a way --

HARLOW: The push.

AMANPOUR: Yes, the push.

In Iran, where girls actually have had plenty of rights in education, and to vote and to work, their legal rights are minimal. There you've seen this outpouring and this movement, which is currently being pressured and crushed, but still girls are not giving up the fight.

COLLINS: What you said about Afghanistan is really remarkable.

AMANPOUR: It really is.

COLLINS: Do you really think we could see change there?

AMANPOUR: I don't know how fast, because it is like molasses. But when you see an outright open split amongst the Taliban, which has never happened before, where you have the person I interviewed, the head of the Taliban, Siraj Haqqani, back in May, told me then and he's now gone and told the fundamentalist leaders that he and his group of actual ministers in Kabul do not believe in this draconian crackdown on basic fundamental girls and women's rights, and that, more importantly, he said, we are under pressure from our country, from our people. That doesn't normally get said between and amongst the Taliban.

And, on top of everything else, they say that they put it to the so- called Ulima (ph), in other words, a group of religious scholars, and even they have told the fundamentalist leadership in Kandahar that, you know, cracking down on women and their right to education and work is not in the Quran.

This is, in that part of the world, significant.



AMANPOUR: So, we'll see. We'll see whether it leads to anything. And we have to hold them to account as the international community is doing. But you can see that women themselves from the grassroots are refusing to be denied in this way.

LEMON: We were -- Poppy did a fascinating interview with a woman leader this morning. And after the interview, we talked about, you know, there are so many places around the world where there have been women leaders -


LEMON: Who are - who are running the country.


LEMON: But not in the - the biggest democracy in the world. What -- Christiane, what - what's going on?

AMANPOUR: Well, don't look at me, I'm not an American citizen.

LEMON: I know, but I'm sure you have ideas. I'm sure you have thoughts.

AMANPOUR: Of course. It is crazy. And you can ask any female who's run for the highest office in this country how they feel being compared to other, lesser, you know, evolved democracies in the world, which have actually had women leaders, all the way from Pakistan to England.

And now, if you look at the north European leaders, Kaja Kallas, who just scored a - she's a very important prime minister, particularly around the Ukraine war. She's the prime minister of Estonia. She just won a major election. Sanna Marin, the prime minister in Finland. All these young, very dynamic and very powerful women who are holding to account the world's professed support for Ukraine. And it's incredible to see how many women are standing up in this crucial moment right now where democracy is at stake.


AMANPOUR: And they are some of the toughest people saying, don't give up this fight. We have to win this fight for democracy because it's also about women, children and the whole society.

COLLINS: And they're also leading so differently. I mean you see, they get a different kind of criticism than other world leaders.



COLLINS: They're criticized for dancing or for going out or whatever.

AMANPOUR: I asked Sanna Marin that because she was criticized -


AMANPOUR: I said, how is it possible that in 2023 you were criticized for being a human being, right? And she says, don't worry, I've been - I've been dancing since - but women do also, let's face it, Jacinda Ardern, she said, you know, I have no more in the tank. Nicola Sturgeon, the head of the Scottish nationalist, she said, I can't go on any more. There is, as you say, a different and unacceptable pressure that is put on women leaders, holding them to very different standards, and also the weight of misogyny and everyday sexism is something in our part of the world, even in our part of the world, in the west, in the democracies, is still something that women have to deal with across the board.

LEMON: It's always a pleasure to see you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: The fight is not over. It's never over.

LEMON: It's always a pleasure to see you. AMANPOUR: Thank you.

LEMON: It's such good - we've got -- we have you here in studio. I always bump into you in the field at some foreign, dangerous place, but -

AMANPOUR: It's a pleasure to be here.

HARLOW: It's a treat.

COLLINS: From Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, you know, I go out there.


AMANPOUR: I do the reporting.

LEMON: You come back.

AMANPOUR: I bring it back here.

COLLINS: From Kyiv to the studio.

HARLOW: Thank you, Christine, very much.

COLLINS: Christiane, thank you so much.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

LEMON: So, boy meets Congress. Actor Ben Savage is ready to run for office? Harry Enten explains why this morning's number is 30. Is he 30?

HARLOW: No, he's got to be older.

LEMON: I was going to say.

COLLINS: Way older than 30.

HARLOW: Christiane, that was so great.



BEN SAVAGE, ACTOR, "BOY MEETS WORLD": Look, I don't know anything about being president, OK? I wouldn't have a clue. I'm not somebody special. I'm just an average guy, like all of you, the simple hard- working students who struggle day after day with too much homework, unfair teachers and an antiquated justice system that realize too much on detention.


COLLINS: That was Cory Matthews announcing his run for the eighth grade class president in the 1995 episode of "Boy Meets World." Now the actor who actually played Cory Matthews, Ben Savage, has announced he's actually running for Congress in real life. Savage is running as a Democrat for the seat that is currently held by California Congressman Adam Schiff, who has announced he is running for Senate to replace Dianne Feinstein, who's retiring.

So, how common is it for actors, or celebrities, entertainers to run for Congress? CNN's senior data reporter has been crunching the numbers.

All right, so what's he -- which district is he running for?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Right. So this morning's number is 30 because Ben Savage is running for Congress in California's 30th congressional district. And let me just tell you, Kaitlan, I've never felt so old as to see that Cory Matthews was running for Congress. Look how old he looks right there?

COLLINS: He still looks pretty young, though.

ENTEN: I think he looks older than I remember him. I remember him in the sixth grade in that show.

But I think this is an interesting trend line, right, because you might say with Donald Trump being president, now, obviously, Ben Savage for running for Congress, you might say, OK, it seems like there are a lot of entertainers who are in Congress or running for Congress or running for office right now, but, in fact, the trend line, look at this, entertainers serving in the House of Reps. Look back in 1981, it was 11. In 1991 it was 10. Then it dropped to one in 2001. A little rebound to two in 2011. But zero in 2021. So, the trend line has actually been towards fewer entertainers serving in the Congress, not more, which surprised me.

COLLINS: He's running as a Democrat. Which party, though, typically has more celebs?

ENTEN: Yes, so, look, most entertainers serving in the House that won since 1977, so Democrats had eight back in 1991, Republicans, at their peak, had five in both 1981, 1993. And, you know, there have been -- Sonny Bono was a Republican, Bob Dornan, who actually ran for president, was a Republican. Democrats might include someone like Ben Jones from "The Dukes of Hazzard," right, served down in Georgia. So they've been on both sides of the aisle, but there have been more Democrats than Republicans.

But I'll point out that the most successful celeb politicians were Republicans.

COLLINS: Yes, most prominent.

ENTEN: Right. Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Remember when he ran for governor. That was the biggest thing in the whole world. There was an explosion back in 2003, announcing it on Jay Leno.


ENTEN: "The Tonight Show." So, you know, there is a history of both sides having politicians who are, in fact, that celebrities.

But I will point out something to you, Kaitlan, which is, not all celebrities who run win.

COLLINS: Shocked.

ENTEN: So - I know, right? It turns out that it doesn't necessarily translate. So some unsuccessful celebrity politicians, Clay Aiken recently, Shirley Temple, right, she was a child star, then, in fact, she was an ambassador, I believe, and, of course, the drink named after her. Cynthia Nixon. And, of course, Mehmet Oz just lost in Pennsylvania. So, celeb, it might give you a boost up in name recognition, but it isn't guarantee of success at the ballot boxes.

COLLINS: I'm shocked by that.

ENTEN: I know. Who would have guessed that, right?

COLLINS: When are you running?

ENTEN: I -- the only thing I'm running for is Popeye's commissioner, OK?

COLLINS: Oh, the sandwich chain?

ENTEN: The sandwich. The chicken chain. They have a good sandwich, but -

COLLINS: Yes, but they're known by their sandwich (INAUDIBLE).

ENTEN: I don't know about that.

COLLINS: OK, we'll do that. We'll crunch those numbers later.

ENTEN: Oh, all right. That sounds good.

COLLINS: Harry Enten, thank you.

HARLOW: One word for Don.

LEMON: What?

HARLOW: Topanga.

LEMON: I don't - she was talking about "Boy Meets World." I don't --

HARLOW: He doesn't even know.


LEMON: That was -

ENTEN: Don. Oh, Don. HARLOW: He doesn't even know.

LEMON: I was too young for that.


COLLINS: You're hurting Harry.

ENTEN: Don, my heart, my soul. Oh.

LEMON: I've never seen "Boy Meets World." Sorry.

COLLINS: Harry and I have seen like every episode of that show.

ENTEN: Yes, of course I've seen it (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: I did watch "The Brady Bunch." I mean, I don't know.

ENTEN (singing): The Brady bunch, du, du, du, du.

HARLOW: OK, wait, we have to move on or else we won't have time for the most important story of the day.

ENTEN: All right.

HARLOW: Another reason to love my Minnesota Vikings. Wide receiver K.J. Osborn and through strangers save a man's life who's trapped inside a burning car. Stay with us for the incredible "Morning Moment."


K.J. OSBORN, MINNESOTA VIKING WIDE RECEIVER: It's something, I, of course, I've never imagined myself being a part of in a million years.




HARLOW: And the best for last. Here is your "Morning Moment."

Minnesota Vikings receiver K.J. Osborn being called a hero this morning, and rightfully so. Osborn, his Uber driver and two others sprung into action when they saw a car on fire on the side of the road in Austin, Texas, the four of them were able to free a man trapped inside and bring him to safety.

Osborn wrote this in a tweet, most of the time the saying goes, wrong place, wrong time, but this time I believe God had me, us, at the right place at the exact right time.


K.J. OSBORN, WIDE RECEIVER, MINNESOTA VIKINGS: We helped pull him out of the car, but we were still close to the car because the whole time, you know, this car, we had no idea if it was going to blow up. Obviously, that would have been the worst. So, you know, I picked the guy up and, you know, we walked him, you know, 10, 15 yards away from the car. By then, you know, the firefighters that came and the police and everything. And, you know, we were able to -- to rescue him.


But, right place, right time. You know, I think, you know, like I've said in my tweet, you know, God is real and, you know, I'm happy I was able to do it.


HARLOW: Take a look at this. Osborn asked the three other heroes to take this picture after it all happened. He says they're planning to go visit the man at the hospital.

LEMON: Yes. That's like the plane, you never know what you're going to do in that situation. He jumped right in, like passengers on that plane.

HARLOW: He did the right thing. They did the right thing.


COLLINS: I love that.


HARLOW: Me too.

COLLINS: What's the team again?

HARLOW: Ha, ha.

LEMON: Yes, I never heard of them.

HARLOW: They're next year's Super Bowl champion - championships.

COLLINS: Crimson Tide. I couldn't remember.

HARLOW: The Minnesota Vikings.

COLLINS: All right, thanks for joining us this morning. We'll see you again tomorrow.

CNN "NEWSROOM" starts right now.

HARLOW: Thank you, guys. Nice show, everyone.