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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Leaves The Door Open To Future Presidential Run, But Focusing On Fatherhood Right Now; Herschel Walker Shares Story About A Bull And Some Cows; Task Force Recommends Screening Children For Anxiety; Remembering Angela Lansbury, Who Had Roles In "Gaslight" And "The Manchurian Candidate," Terms In America's Political Lexicon. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 11, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson may want to run for president. Check out what he just told Jake Tapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DWAYNE JOHNSON, ACTOR: I have heard now from both sides of the aisle, the most influential people in politics, asking if I would run, hoping that I would run. And again, it is so moving and surreal, I don't know anything about politics, but the most important job that I have is daddy. And my two wives, well, I have to take that off the table of running for president. One is six and the other one is four.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I totally respect. It is beautiful. But kids do age. That's not closing the door for, you know, in 2040. They will be -- or even before that, 2036. They will be in college. What about then? You're not closing the door forever is what I'm asking?
JOHNSON: No, not at all. I wouldn't do that. Thank you for asking that and for clarifying that. Right now, for my daughters, it's important that I'm home, and that stability is important for me to be there, and that's the most important thing to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Well, he's running. That's what I heard.
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, sorry. Is our show on still? I'm sorry. I was mesmerized for a moment there. Sorry. I'm going to blink a little bit. Did I blink? It was a moment.
Let's bring in our next guests, John Berman, Stuart Stevens, and Nayyera Haq. I mean, I -- of course, I'm joking a little bit about the idea. But, look, first of all, if he's sitting across from you, he had a je ne sais quoi. I don't speak French and --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Is that French for neck? He has an enormous neck. I'm talking about Jake.
BERMAN: 'The Rock' was huge there. You know, I was thinking about it.
NAYYERA HAQ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE SENIOR DIRECTOR: Is that intimidating for you for a moment?
BERMAN: It was exciting more than intimidating.
HAQ: It's like get the excitement part of it.
COATES: It's like this whole segment (INAUDIBLE).
BERMAN: Well, I could be one day if --
HAQ: Right, depending when he runs.
BERMAN: So, he would be the first professional wrestler --
BERMAN: -- as a candidate, right? Jesse Ventura ran the WWE. He ran for office. He won't be the first action hero in office. Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know, did that. So, it is sort of like there is a well-trodden path down this road if he wants to go that way. So, it is not a can. I think with celebrity candidates, the question is, should they?
CAMEROTA: I knew you're going to say that. We have a graphic of, you know, our various (INAUDIBLE) with celebrities who have successfully made the transition into politics, and what you will see is that they are all -- well, this is them dressed as politicians.
What I wanted to see was them in their characters because, you know, many of these guys are this kind of superhero-types in their characters, you know. And so, like Schwarzenegger or 'The Rock,' Ronald Reagan, a cowboy, you know, they play this kind of big masculine American heroes.
And I have to admit, I am susceptible to this. I'm very susceptible. I understand why people like this, because you think in your head, well, they are big and strong and successful, why couldn't they be president? It is like, somebody goes, oh, they know nothing about the legislative process. Who cares that they need to know about three branches of government? I'm very susceptible to that, but I think a lot of Americans are.
STUART STEVENS, SENIOR ADVISER TO THE LINCOLN PROJECT, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR ROMNEY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, people like people (INAUDIBLE) Ronald Reagan (INAUDIBLE). So, it was not like all supernatural characters.
But look, a lot more people read "People" magazine than they do foreign affairs. I think people are drawn to him. They have a certain charisma. And I think they can be great candidates. I think they can be great in office. Look at Zelenskyy. And Reagan had great moments as well.
CAMEROTA: And would 'The Rock' make a great president?
STEVENS: I have no idea.
CAMEROTA: Many Americans, they would vote for him, right?
STEVENS: The fundamental question is, why would he run for president? I think -- you know, I did so many races for so long. I think that the essence is, what is the logic behind this campaign? Why are you running?
And with Donald Trump, it is so transparent. He was running because he wanted to be president. He would be (INAUDIBLE) if that would have helped him. The Republican Party said, we'll give you everything we have if you will take us to power. He cut that deal. So --
COATES: Nayyera, is that right?
HAQ: He also had the appeal of being rude and being anti-politically correct behavior and sticking it to people, right? The idea that he was going after the system and doing things his own way. There was an appeal that it was not about himself.
CAMEROTA: Just in the celebrity front. I think he also had an appeal of being a multimillionaire --
CAMEROTA: -- and being successful and being a TV star in a big show. That's why a lot of --
HAQ: Also name recognition. It is the number one thing that local and national candidates have to fight for. It's just people -- even knowing they are running for office. So, if you run and people know you are there, it makes it so much easier to get to the next level, right? Getting the fundraising, getting -- talking about policy. They are not talking about policy.
It's not enough on its own to actually get elected. George Clooney had talked about running in Kentucky as senator. His dad is well known there politically. He has had a challenge. Matthew McConaughey. So, the celebrity alone is not enough. You need a retail piece of it, you need people to feel drawn to you and connected to you, and then people as voters need to feel like they can trust you in a crisis and not just about your you're on the go.
COATES: I wonder, a part of what we are speaking of, if you take a step back, is the idea of what we expect from politicians more broadly, because I have a feeling, if you think about it, just recently, Kevin McCarthy's discussion about the commitment to America, contrast that to Newt Gingrich, successful in 1994, "Contract with America." He was pointed out, McCarthy, as having not a lot of substance, not a lot of meat on the bone. Are we requiring more from a celebrity to have a full platform before we take them seriously? That's not required of many people who are in office right now.
BERMAN: Well, no, it's not, and I think that's partially thanks to our two friends over here who sometimes run candidates as outsiders and praised the idea of someone without experience or Washington experience or governor experience running for the job or going for the job.
And sometimes, celebrity candidates have that by definition. They're like, oh, I have never done that before. So, that is a good thing. Somehow, our society does not value experience in the people who run our country as much as we do experience and people who run companies.
CAMEROTA: And star in movies. It's sexier, John. It's sexier. Don't you think 'The Rock' would make a great president?
BERMAN: I think he'd make a very big president. I do. He is huge. No, look, I would like to hear what he would run on, what he would do. I don't want to get too serious.
CAMEROTA: John, honestly, if Tom Brady ran for president, you would vote for him. I know that.
COATES: If Tom Brady ran for 20 yards, you should probably feel for him. He would not be doing that anytime soon.
BERMAN: He can run for president easier than he could run for 20 yards.
COATES: I was a "Patriots" fan now. The point is, think about this, they're talking about the requirements of the person who is supposed to be, by our founding fathers, it's never supposed to come down to one person. In many respects, the president was supposed to be in many ways a bit of a figurehead and the whole three-branch government system was supposed to hold together. So why couldn't somebody who does not have experience be in that role?
HAQ: Particularly when you end up with a pandemic, right? Why have somebody who understands how to actually move PPE from one division to another, why would that be necessary in our country?
STEVENS: It is a weird fact to politics, that usually, the most inexperienced candidate wins in a presidential race.
CAMEROTA: Is that right?
STEVENS: Yeah. And there are a lot of arguments about why that is, but it has something to do with, I think, in American sense that will bet on the hope. You will bet that this person could be. Whereas if you have a lot of experience, you are more tarnished.
CAMEROTA: In a moment of crisis.
STEVENS: You cut a lot of deals that were awkward. Look, I don't think that is a good thing, but it's an interesting thing.
CAMEROTA: That is interesting. Obviously, Joe Biden defies that. But Donald Trump certainly --
STEVENS: Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter --
HAQ: Clinton and Bush ran deeply on their -- what they did for their states, right? There are still an expertise and experience there --
COATES: Executive branch.
HAQ: And in the crisis of 9/11 and the Iraq war, Bush was reelected. In a moment of crisis, people want stability, and what represents stability, experience, right? We can trust that you are a known quantity, which celebrities can also bring that known quantity, right?
CAMEROTA: You think you know them. You think you know them. They are untested.
HAQ: You see them in a scripted universe. It will be interesting to see how 'The Rock' would be in the unscripted universe that is politics.
CAMEROTA: That is right.
COATES: And Alisyn would like to interview him personally.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Call us, Rock, if that is real name.
CAMEROTA: Everyone, stick around, please.
COATES: It's not.
CAMEROTA: You may think you've heard it all from Herschel Walker, but you have not heard yet what he has to say about cows, and it's a lot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERSCHEL WALKER, GEORGIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I've been telling this little story about this bull out in the field with six cows, and three of them are pregnant. So, you know you got something going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: As we just told you, Mitch McConnell does not want to respond to Donald Trump's insults about his wife. So, we asked you what someone should do in that situation. COATES: Here is a takeaway from Twitter. One person saying, this man would do anything for power look at his track record. He supported Trump and now he is paying for it. I would have my wife's back but Trump insulting people's wives seems to be okay in the GOP. Ask Ted Cruz.
I mean, it is a fair point. We've seen this before. It is not a noble thing in the sense of --
CAMEROTA: But Ted Cruz did respond.
COATES: He did respond --
CAMEROTA: Ted Cruz did respond --
COATES: -- initially.
CAMEROTA: -- and said that (INAUDIBLE) or that people shouldn't --
BERMAN: Don't he dare say anything about my -- you know, he got really angry and shouted on it, and then --
COATES: That anger -- the point is the anger didn't last. That is the whole notion of it. I mean, the idea that you're going to have a steadfast response when you are running and then I guess all is fair in love and politics.
I mean, you know, it is kind of a no hard feelings philosophy on Capitol Hill that to the average person is stupid. I mean, I don't know how many people get over the things that they do on Capitol Hill and I live in the real world, but Capitol Hill is very different.
CAMEROTA: Indeed. So, anything you'd like to tell Laura and me, please do so. You can tweet us @AlisynCamerota and @thelauracoates.
Okay, now, on to Herschel Walker. He just gave a new interview to ABC News where he talks about the claims that he paid for an ex- girlfriend's abortion. He also talked a lot today at a campaign rally about pregnant cows.
Back with us now, John Berman, Stuart Stevens and Nayyera Haq. So, okay, first of all, Stuart, I guess I'll start with you. We will never really know what happened with Herschel Walker and his ex-girlfriend. I mean, we can parse it. She says obviously one thing. She has evidence. He is denying it. It's a personal matter. We will never really know.
We also, I'm not sure, will know entirely what he meant by this story. So, let me play for you all his story that he really wanted to tell about pregnant cows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: I've been telling this little story about this bull out in the field with six cows, and three of them are pregnant. So, you know you've got something going on.
WALKER: But all he cared about is keep his nose against the fence, looking at three other cows that didn't belong to him. Now all he had to do is eat grass. But no, no, no. He thought something was better somewhere else.
So, he decided, I want to get over there. So, one day, he measured that fence up, and he said, I think I can jump this. So, that they came where he got back. And as he got back and as he took off running, he dove over that fence, and his belly got cut up under to the bottom. But as he made it onto the other side, he shook it off and got so excited about it. And he ran to the top of the hill, but when he got up there, he realized they were bulls, too.
WALKER: So, what I'm telling you, don't think something is better somewhere else. This is the greatest country in the world today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Well, he's got my vote.
COATES: No. Just -- first of all -- second and third of all -- who is (INAUDIBLE) in this story, number one, about the three cows? Number two, I think the phrases the grass is greener on the other side, but is the man who has been talked about of having multiple children outside of marriage --
CAMEROTA: -- where he was going without --
COATES: You just saw, Alisyn, the SNL skit.
CAMEROTA: That's what I was going to ask. John, what was Senators Tom Cotton thought bubble during that story?
BERMAN: He was saying, you know, save me. He was looking around. He was looking at Rick Scott that was over there. How is this going to end? He was dying to know what was going to happen to this bull. The grass is always greener like the bulls have or the cows have, whatever on the other side of the fence. I'm just so confused.
COATES: I'm getting dumber by the minute, thinking about --
HAQ: Is it really that hard as a person running for elected office to not say the words pregnant, baby mama, absentee fatherhood? Like, why does he continue to volunteer these segues that automatically go to his personal life when we got things like the economy to talk about? I mean, you could go toe to toe on other policy issues.
It's that that he's drawing this attention to himself in some psychological moment that I really don't understand for any of us who have ever worked on campaigns, and I think that's what the two folks that are supporting him, were thinking like, just get back on track.
STUART: this should be put in like some sort of time capsule of a perfect moment that says what is happening to the Republican Party. You have Rick Scott of there who, you know, pled the Fifth like gazillion times in the largest Medicare scandal ever. You have Tom Cotton who actually could be a serious human being, he went to Harvard, he served in the army, but he is there.
But they cut this deal that they would do anything for power. And once you do that, once you say that everything that we believe, we don't care about. And once you go with Donald Trump, once Donald Trump is president, one effort is sure for Walker.
So, this is Mitch McConnell's doing. He's the one that picked these candidates, really. He could've beaten Trump. He could've said, we'll take these. McConnell could've stopped it or tried to stop it. He just went along. And this is what happens. Why is he running? He's running because he'll be -- he'll give them power.
HAQ: He's running --
COATES: Let me just say, though. I mean, I don't want to leave it. This story is obviously very colorful. And there is room to make fun. But he also had ABC interview tonight. And I want you to respond to this, Nayyera, at the other end of it because he was talking about really what he was joking about in part, he was questioned about all the discussions and all the women -- the women that he has come out too and talked about the notion of whether he was an absentee father, et cetera. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINSEY DAVIS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: I know, initially, last week, you were saying you weren't even sure who the woman was.
WALKER: Which is. True
DAVIS: But at this point you, you now know who she is.
WALKER: Yes. Yes.
DAVIS: Did you ever have a conversation with this woman at any time about an abortion?
DAVIS: Did you ever, to your knowledge, give money to pay for the cost of an abortion?
DAVIS: Is she lying?
WALKER: Yes, she is lying. She is lying. Yes, she is lying. DAVIS: And just to be absolutely clear, I know in the past you have said sometimes that there are things you don't remember. In this situation --
WALKER: That was before -- that was like, what, 20 years ago.
DAVIS: So, in this current situation, are you saying a flat-out denial to any knowledge of an abortion or --
WALKER: flat-out denial, lie. Lie, lie, lie. What sad about it, they had a receipt and had a check and had all that. They haven't shown anything. They haven't shown me something that said something about an abortion. That's what's terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAQ: He has dug this hole for himself. He is the one who made the idea of absentee fatherhood, a central tenet of why he's running for office. His own son has come out saying that this is true, this is part of his life story. And he's being run by the establishment Republicans with the support of white evangelicals in the state against a reverend, already senator, another Black man who absolutely embodies the family values that we've talked about of the Republican Party of yours.
It's a very cynical play of putting up to Black man to run for Senate and suggesting that because one is supporting a specific set of policies, he is morally equivalent to the other one.
BERMAN: Look, Alisyn, you said at the beginning that we will never know the truth here. He's taking a political risk because he's got this problem with whether or not -- he's got this problem with being authentic on the abortion issue, whether or not he is a hypocrite, and now he's leading into the honesty issue. He's laying down a marker four weeks before the election saying, this woman is lying, and that's a long time for more people to come up.
STUART: Isn't the real story here. This has nothing to do with why Herschel Walker isn't qualified to be in the U.S. Senate. I mean, the guy is a ridiculous figure. Who in the United States Senate is going to walk over and say, you know, I really want to hear what Herschel has to say about this?
CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE) Herschel Walker.
STEVENS: I think this is (INAUDIBLE). It is just such a degradation of what politics is. They're interviewing him in a weight room. He's lying. Seven people in America believe he's not lying.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely, the people who support.
COATES: The point is, right, there's a balance of power. The only reason the Democrats have a majority is because they had a tie- breaking vote with the vice president. So, is it a matter of, look, I don't care who's there, if you're a Republican wanting to reclaim the majority, good enough.
HAQ: Five weeks out.
STEVENS: I think that these things, they taint a party. If a party absolutely stands for nothing, so down that you go with Donald Trump, you go with Herschel Walker, it really just sorts of --
COATES: Are they really the same team? Trump and Herschel Walker? You made that point twice. Do you really equate them as similar figures?
STEVENS: Yeah, of course, because neither one of them -- they were both vanity candidates. They're both running because they want to be something, not because they want to go there and do something. They both are people who can't really put together coherent sentences. They are both people that are never going to really know anything about issues.
And it's all about them. It's me, Herschel Walker. It's me, Donald Trump. It's not about views, it's not about the voters, it's not about serving. It's about something I can be. I'm a star. Both of them are stars. This is where you end up.
COATES: The interesting thing is, what you're seeing, the race in Georgia is much closer than what that eludes to. We'll talk more on this in a moment.
The next question, of course, should children -- and this came out today. I don't know if you saw this Alisyn.
COATES: As a mom, it's interesting to think about what this means. The question now is, should children as young as eight years old, be screened for anxiety? That's what an influential medical task force is now recommending. I've got questions about what that means. Having an eight-year-old daughter, I'm wondering what the answers will be. We're going to talk about it, next.
CAMEROTA: Yes. And if they are anxious, then what? That's coming up.
COATES: There are growing concerns about mental health crisis in America after more than two years of the pandemic. Now, for the first time, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending screening for anxiety in kids ages eight and older. Recommendation applying to really all children, not just those with diagnosed mental health condition or who are showing symptoms, but all children. The question is, is this a step in the right direction?
Let's talk about it now with Dr. Jeff Gardere. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist and associate professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Also back with us, John Berman and Nayyera Haq.
I have to tell you, I have an eight-year-old, I have nine-year-old, we are all parents here. I wonder immediately how this works. Is it that now every well check, every physical, you test the child for anxiety? What does it even look like?
JEFF GARDERE, BOARD-CERTIFIED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yeah, well, this task force, they made recommendations, and it's not just from the ages of eight to 18 but they talked about the importance of psychotherapy, they talked about the importance of making sure that you have the right testing, even with the testing, that you ask the proper questions --
CAMEROTA: What are the right questions to figure out if an eight- year-old is anxious? And why are more than eight-year-olds? I mean, is this social media? Why our eight-year-olds anxious in the country?
GARDERE: Well, what we do know is 7.8% of children between the ages of three to 17 years old have some sort of anxiety disorder. So, this is real and that may express itself through things such as a generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, aphobia. So, these are very real things.
The kinds of questions that you ask, are you nervous more days than none? Do you feel that when you're around other people that you may be fearful more days than none? And part of the screening is asking the question in a way that the children do understand.
So, this isn't just about the checkup from the neck up one type of screening. They are looking at different sorts of tests but as well the right questions to ask when they're getting their well visits, seeing the pediatrician, working with social workers and nurses at schools. So, this is up to us once they make the recommendation.
COATES: You talk about a lot of things, and I think one of the lasting consequences of not having had discussions about mental health in this country for so long and the aversion to talking about it is there are parents out there who think, by virtue of even asking those questions, you are leading your child to think something. If I introduce this to you, suddenly, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Can you speak to why that is a fallacy if it is?
GARDERE: Yeah, and the study show and the task force saw, they do talk about this. They are looking at, is there any harm in asking these sorts of questions? Is there harm in doing the research? Is there harm in once you give this that the child may be affected in the way that you said?
And they're saying, no, they do not see this, not from this age group of eight to 18. But they don't have conclusive evidence that there is no harm for kids from seven and below, and that is why they're sticking with the eight to 18.
But let me tell you this. This is a step in the right direction. After the pandemic, we have seen an increase in anxiety. We have seen increases in depression. Kids are going to pediatric emergency services for suicidal ideation. The fact is that the pandemic has hurt all of us, but it has really affected our children, not just the academics, but the psychological.
And so, this is something that we should've done before the pandemic, but now we see the importance of it now.
COATES: That means having a baseline in part. I mean, Nayyera, you and I talk about our kids all the. You have a two-year-old. I mean, for the last two years, mask has been a part of her life. I wonder if you think about this idea of how it has impacted and how you may have changed from one child to the next?
HAQ: Yes, I had a child who went from three to five in that same period of time. At three, he was outdoors playing with friends and learning about social interactions and how to deal with emotion and process that. And that just disappeared. He was locked in his house with his sick, pregnant mom. Fundamentally, it changed his personality until we were able to get him back in school. I'm glad that he is in kindergarten and happy now.
But these are pivotal moment in our children's lives and we have spent so much time, I think, as a society worried about academic benchmarks, that we have forgotten the idea of emotional learning, and we have seen this as adults in dating. We have dated emotionally-crippled people.
HAQ: This is where you start solving the problem.
BERMAN: -- emotionally-crippled. What do you think about it?
HAQ: We have to, like, asking our children and teaching them how to talk about their feelings and emotions. This is necessary. The "suck it up, buttercup" is not a message that I want to be giving to an eight-year-old.
CAMEROTA: John, you have teenagers. I totally see this with teenagers. But I was surprised about this from younger kids. What's your take?
BERMAN: Well, if I talk about them, they'll kill me. Look, what I'm curious about, and from sitting next to you for a bunch of years, as a society, we've done so much destigmatizing mental health and caring about mental health and being aware of mental health. And I think that we're much better. All of us are much better at that.
But I do wonder if it becomes uncomfortable, though, when all of a sudden, we're talking about our kids or our younger kids if we are not quite as comfortable asking those questions.
CAMEROTA: Asking them if they are anxious or just admitting that they might be anxious?
BERMAN: Yes, the idea that an eight-year-old might have that.
GARDERE: Well, a lot of times, we are in denial about our kids, and one of the things that the task force does say, and I agree with it, is prevention.
And if it's not prevention, it is about early intervention. And the quicker you do that, the better the prognosis will be.
Let's be aware that there are some states -- you know, we're talking politics here, right? There are some states that are saying, keep out of our kids' heads. We don't want to talk about social, emotional learning. We don't want to talk about our kids having possible psychological challenges. It is just the academics. And that is the absolute wrong thing that we need to do because we know school is not just about reading, writing and arithmetic. It's also about learning into personal skills and who they are.
CAMEROTA: We only have a few seconds left, but what should you do if your child is anxious?
GARDERE: Well, the most important thing is, you know, hooking them up with the school counselor, having the pediatrician or, you know, child psychologist or social worker talk to them. Again, the quicker that you address this, the better it will be because if you don't, the chances are much, much higher as adults that they will not only stay with that kind of anxiety and develop some of these other anxious sorts of issues but also becoming depressed, too.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you so much for the conversation. Really important.
So, today, we lost a legendary star of the stage, screen and TV, Angela Lansbury. And, as Laura has been teaching me today, part of Angela Lansbury's legacy is that she starred in these movies that are now part of America's political lexicon, and she is going to explain all of that.
COATES: The great actress, Angela Lansbury, was nominated for an Oscar in "Gaslight" in 1944 and "The Manchurian Candidate" in 1962. All these decades later, you know, the titles of those two films have become part of the modern day American political lexicon.
Angela Lansbury had an eight-decade career and movies and TV and on stage, and she died today at the age of 96, a few days shy of her 97th birthday.
CAMEROTA: You are a true --
CAMEROTA: No, I do know because we brought this up. You insisted that we talk about her today on the show. You had been her fan for a long time.
COATES: Maybe some kids' Saturdays were spent like playing. My parents and my family, we watch the old movies. You talk about "Gaslight," you talk about Hitchcock, you talk about any movie, I'm like -- I'm named after the movie "Laura," not "Doctor Zhivago", a movie "Laura." Yeah, you're impressed.
A fun fact about it, you know, is though -- think about it. Why this is so impactful is we hear these phrases all the time. You're gaslighting somebody. The Manchurian candidate. I think we've gotten so used to it being a part of our conversations. It was Mrs. Potts of "The Beauty and the Beast" for those younger kids.
But the point is, the whole premise of it, look at the scene from "The Manchurian Candidate" and you tell me if you don't see some parallels in the conversation as to why people are talking about it. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: I told him to build me an assassin. I wanted a killer from a world filled with killers and it shows you. Because they thought it would bind me closer to them. But now we have come almost to the end. One last spin. And then, when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did is so contemptuously underestimating me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: This is a whole scene, people, mind you, about her trying to ensure that she could use someone to take over the government. And here is how that phrase is taken over. A Manchurian candidate enter -- Merriam-Webster definition, please, to psychologically -- this is the wrong definition. Here you go. A person, especially a politician, being used as a puppet by an enemy power. The term is commonly used to indicate disloyalty or corruption, whether intentional or unintentional.
We've been hearing it. But it is just not there. There's more, Alisyn. Gaslight. You've heard so many people talking about, you're gaslighting people, I'm gaslighting this person. Well, enter this movie with, of course, Angela Lansbury, Ingrid Bergman, and -- not Berman. Ingrid Bergman, everyone. Also, not you but the other one. And Charles Boyer.
Here's a scene and the whole premise to this if you're falling along is somebody is trying to turn this woman crazy, that she's not really seeing what is so obviously happening, the dimming of gaslights in her home. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Nancy, did you turn the gas off in there?
UNKNOWN: Turn it off? No. Why?
UNKNOWN: I thought it went down in here.
UNKNOWN: I never touched it.
UNKNOWN: But this went down. Perhaps Elizabeth leave another one in the kitchen.
UNKNOWN: Couldn't be here, ma'am. She's been in bed for an hour. I can hear her snoring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: In other words, she touched it. Got an accent. I love it.
CAMEROTA: You know, (INAUDIBLE), obviously, frustrated actress.
COATES: Extraordinary. But the point of this in the scene, there's the notion that you know what is happening, you're perceiving it.
Here's the definition again to the dictionary. Thank you, Angela Lansbury, Ingrid Bergman. It is to psychologically manipulate a person usually over an extended period of time so that the victim questions the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and experiences, confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, and doubts concerning their own emotional and mental stability.
Everyone, the legacy of Angela Lansbury and those films is why we talk about it critically today.
CAMEROTA: This is all very familiar these terms. Let's bring in our panel. They are back with us. John Berman, you've been gaslighting me for years.
BERMAN: As soon as you read the definition of gaslighting, I said, oh, now, I know what this is! Her performances were so stunning. "The Manchurian Candidate" is one of my all-time favorite movies.
COATES: Which one, the original or the Denzel?
BERMAN: There is only the original. I'm sorry. But the original is so good. She was only three years older than Laurence Harvey. She was playing his mom. She was only three years older in real life. And she's so diabolical.
For people who only know her as Jessica Fletcher -- is that the name for "Murder, She Wrote?" For "Murder, She Wrote," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "Beauty and the Beast" where she plays these nice people, she was so diabolical, so convincingly evil.
CAMEROTA: I got that. That was scary.
COATES: There's also the idea that, do you realize what they're talking about? I mean, the connection, the intersection with celebrity candidates. We intersect our politics and our pop culture all the time. People say, is that where that's from? Yes! You're talking about these movies in the 40s.
HAQ: She is also deeply political. Her family is very socialist. And she tweeted even in her older age, saying that, I am an actress and I am a socialist. Her father was the socialist mayor of a part of London. She came here during the blitz, and so she escaped the horrors of what we saw happening in the world wars.
But she started to resent the idea that she wasn't getting picked in her 20s for glamour girl roles. She's getting picked as mothers. And she talked later about how she found a power in that because the mother roles were really complex. It wasn't just the pretty little ladies. But it was weird. In her 20s, she was playing significantly older women, but she found so much depth in that.
One of my favorite facts about her, her and her husband, at the height of her their careers, took off and left Hollywood to help their two children recover from heroin addiction.
COATES: They canceled their careers for years.
CAMEROTA: That is fascinating.
COATES: In Ireland.
CAMEROTA: Fascinating. Stuart, any thoughts on her?
STEVENS: Look, I think the way that our political lexicon intersperses with popular culture is something that is a positive thing, because I don't think politics should be separate from popular culture. If you look back, it's such a shock when Bill Clinton went on hall and played the saxophone. That's considered undignified. And by the end of the campaign, George Bush would've played in a ban anywhere in America.
I think that is good because people feel more connected to this thing called politics. It shouldn't be some separate, little, isolated, technical thing. You just breath in it.
Now, there's dangers in that when you have these celebrity candidates who don't really want to do anything. But for the most part, I think, it is part of what it means to be alive today.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
COATES: (INAUDIBLE). CAMEROTA: Thank you for showing me the beauty of Angela Lansbury. I just knew her as the (INAUDIBLE) from "Murder, She Wrote." That is what --
CAMEROTA: That was (INAUDIBLE) about "Murder, She Wrote." I thought it was the funniest description you will allow everyone (ph).
COATES: There she is. That's only two years. Think about that. That's only two years. And yet we think about it all the time. There she is.
CAMEROTA: All right, everyone. It's time for you to sound off. We are going to read your tweets, next.
COATES: All right, social time now. It is a little bit of a lightning round. I wonder what we have from the world of Twitter.
CAMEROTA: Okay, let's start with this one, Lindsey Lee, not one white person cared about a slaveholders' crystal flute until a black woman played it. Fair. Nobody even knew James Madison had a flute, a glass flute.
COATES: A crystal one at that. No comments. Move on. Next one, this was on McConnell. Alisyn, it looks like someone is responding to your take on McConnell's response. It says, I like exactly what Alisyn said as a way to react to someone criticizing your spouse. It is something like, I don't think it's right to criticize instead of saying nothing.
CAMEROTA: John, did you just tweet that?
BERMAN: Exactly, this is, I think, what I did. I was going to say my wife has a lot of experience with people criticizing her spouse. Ask her.
CAMEROTA: I feel for her. I do. Okay, so, from the box office to the ballot box, here's someone criticizing my take I feel on 'The Rock.' You all can't be serious about the Rock running for the highest office. Shake my head. Why would you all want someone who himself said -- quote -- "I know nothing about politics" to waste our time and run? Dems will lose in '24 due to this kind of nonsense. Because he's strong and big. That's why.
HAQ: I would like to see him on a debate stage and to see how he reacts in that environment of having to, you know, go toe-to-toe with other people. Listen, actors, there is a big element of acting on that debate stage.
CAMEROTA: Yes, great point, politics is performance.
COATES: Strong is one thing. I want a candidate in all facets who is going to get the job done.
Well, that might get the job done. From one superhero to another, a viewer asks, does John Berman ever sleep?
CAMEROTA: What is the answer?
BERMAN: I don't know. There is a turnaround between now and "New Day." It is like I have to wake up at three.
CAMEROTA: You're getting delirious.
BERMAN: Yes. Laughing at the notion.
CAMEROTA: We love that you come on for us. We really appreciate it.
BERMAN: This is better than sleep.
COATES: You're lying to us.
BERMAN: It's like a dream.
CAMEROTA: Wow. He's delirious right now.
COATES: I think he might. Watch some movies tonight. "The Manchurian Candidate" is one of them.
CAMEROTA: I saw that. You love your special answer.
COATES: I like the movie.
CAMEROTA: You know where you can find us, @AlisynCamerota and @thelauracoates.
Thanks for watching, everybody. Laura and I will see you tomorrow. Thanks to you, guys, for being here. It is really great to talk to all of you. John, go get some sleep.
COATES: Our coverage continues, everyone.