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CNN Tonight

Biden Calls Out Antisemitism And Kanye West's Comments Praising Hitler; Controversies On-and-Off The Field As World Cup Moves To Round Of 16; Study Shows Stress Likely Aged Teen Brains Faster During Pandemic; NYC Hiring "Rat Czar" To Fight Rodent Population; Tyrique Glasgow Can Be Named The Next CNN Hero Of The Year. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired December 02, 2022 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: President Biden calling out antisemitism after rapper Ye, better known as Kanye West, praised Adolf Hitler. The president tweeting, "I just want the make a few things clear. The holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity." He's right and frankly far too many people have been silent.

I want to bring in CNN political commentators Maria Cardona and Scott Jennings, also CNN's Tom Foreman and former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd.

You know, guys, I have to tell you, I'm tired of talking about Kanye West. I really am. I'm over the conversation, and I wish we could get over it. But the problem is, the significance of the platform that he has.


COATES: The fact that we've got hate crimes on the rise. The fact that we've got social media platforms being used as if people conflate that freedom of speech and free speech is anonymous with hate speech. The idea that we're not talking about things like politics and the idea of breaking with a monarchy and being able to not be suppressed by a government. But instead, it's, oh, an invitation to use the N- words, invitation to talk about the holocaust is not being real. That's just a few of the slivers.

And so, there is this moment -- I want to play for you as we get into this conversation about what Jonathan Greenblatt says, he is the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, talking about why we should care broadly but specifically about someone with a platform like this.


JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO AND NATIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: The truth is, he still has a lot of cultural cache. His name is still, you know, known around the world. So, when someone like that is popularizing antisemitism, we all got a problem.


COATES: And by the way, less shooting (ph) is not a political issue? You know the House Judiciary Committee. Very important, right? This was something that was on their Twitter feed. These three words, three names. It just said, "Kanye, Elon, Trump." That was up as of October 6th, 2022, as in a few months ago. It only recently came down after he made the statements, I believe, surrounding the Alex Jones's podcast and discussions. This is all of our problems. Do you see it that way?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Here's the thing. When times are tough, and time have been tough for a while, historically, people want to blame others. They want to blame minorities. They want to embrace extreme positions that they think will protect them in some way. People, they do that. That may be what history does.

When it turns into a wildfire is when you allow great big public names and other public names back them in opening that door and saying, yeah, this is okay, this is fine, this is just free speech. I don't think people in America are against free speech, but the idea of unfettered destructive speech, there always have been limits on what we do. We have not yet figured how much this should or shouldn't be limited, but, boy, does this look like something that a lot of people are saying, this just can't go on?

COATES: Let me bring in Phil on this because, Phil, you and I have had this conversation in the past about the idea of people being able to feel entitled to say what they want. You've got that old common quote from Voltaire. You know, I can disagree with you, but I'll fight like hell for you to have the right to say it. There have always been consequences to certain types of speech. And the is that you can't -- the courts recognize that there are certain penalties attached.


It is not like it is entirely blameless. But the way that people talk about the First Amendment and free speech now, they assume that it relates to any and everything without consequences. And there are real life consequences to it proliferating. The numbers are out there. Speak to me about, Phil, what impact the rise of it has on the safety of our nation.

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Boy, this is going to make you squirm. So, if you go back 15 years ago, people in this country, I think, you know, 99% of them would have said, if you see Islamic extremism and people encouraging acts of violence against Jews who come from an Islamic extremist perspective, do you think the FBI should investigate them? People would have said, absolutely. There is a universal perspective that that is appropriate.

If you go fast forward to today and you say, if you see anti-Jewish rhetoric from people who showed up at Mar-a-Lago, I think there would be a significant percentage of people who would say, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the FBI investigating that.

There is a common perspective here, though, and that is when you see extremists, in this case people who are anti-Jewish, talking on public forums, there is going to be will be a sliver of the American population that says, not only do I believe that, but that authorizes me or validates me to commit an act of violence.

This is extremely uncomfortable because this is going to be tough to investigate partly because a lot of Americans are going to say, I'm okay with this.

COATES: Maria, you're nodding and thinking about the reality of what he's saying. These figures, by the way, the numbers we have, this source is from Center for Countering Digital Hate, from Anti- Defamation League, the use of the N-word up 300%, antisemitic posts at least up 61%, gay slurs up 58%, anti-trans slur up 62%. That's just since Elon Musk took control.

CARDONA: Yeah. I mean, this whole thing, I think, is even more pernicious than just people saying, yeah, it's okay. To what President Biden said, it is the silence that is also nefarious and pernicious and allows this to fester and become something that is dangerous, that actually has cost lives, right? And it has cost lives across the board.

Let's remember the massacre in El Paso that happened because of Donald Trump saying things like Hispanic invasion, right? And so, this is something that, it has got to be up to, like Jonathan said, he's a wonderful friend of mine, that we have -- we are the ones that have to put a stop to it in both parties and in everywhere that we see it.

And it just so happens that it is a little bit more pernicious in the Republican Party because there are people there who talk about this like it is free speech, like it is allowed, like it is okay, and too many people are silent about it.

Not Scott, you've always spoken out about it. There are leaders in the Republican Party who have as well, though I don't think as strongly as they should or as immediately as they should. They're doing it more now.

But Donald Trump is still the leader of that party, and he had lunch with Kanye and he had lunch with a white supremacist. And that, I think, he has got a huge platform still. And as long as leaders believe that that's okay by either saying it is okay or not by saying anything, this is going to continue to be a danger to our society.

COATES: I want to weigh in as well. This is some breaking news that we've got into from Evan Perez and his reporting, and it really is in line in part with the idea of as much as we talk about social media and the ills that accompany it. It is also a vehicle that many people are still getting their information and news from and reliant on it even though things are changing.

And we know that there have been some released Twitter emails that show how employees even debated how to handle the 2020 "New York Post" Hunter Biden story. I know you were talking about this a little, and I wonder about your reaction, because there is this tension, right? There is the idea of -- I think the phrase was hell hole or cesspool that Elon Musk referred to as social media. Ironically, he purchased part of it. But then there is the idea of, look, people are going to legitimate news sources.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Who amongst us have never wanted to purchase the seventh level of hell and renovate it?


JENNINGS: We can make this better. It's interesting. Twitter has not changed for me. I use it. I follow news people. It is a news people for me. It hasn't really changed for me. I know a lot of people are freaking out about it. It doesn't look any different to me now.

Conservatives believe before he bought this, specifically during the 2020 election, the people who worked there were colluding with Democrats and people who supported Democrats to suppress information that was true and that could have been harmful to Joe Biden's candidacy, specifically this Hunter Biden story.


I haven't read all the information. It has been released. I know it is out there on the internet tonight. But that has been the belief of conservatives, is that there was essentially this massively influential platform that was putting its thumb on the scale. And so, I guess we will find out internally what was going on.

Remember, they shut down the "New York Post" account over this story, which turned out to be absolutely 100% true. And conservatives have really and I think correctly been in a lather that it ever since.

And so, this free speech issue, I think it's absolutely vital to do what you said, which is we all have to stop giving attention to people who are saying these things for attention or who are having some personal crisis or whatever. But at the same time, these platforms, I think there needs to be some reckoning about where they're tipping the scale in 2020 or any other election.

COATES: Let me bring in Phil back into the conversation. Part of this and the development of what has been happening -- so, there have been posts that undercut the claim that even tonight, Elon Musk was tweeting out about, Phil, that says that Twitter had acted under orders from the government, essentially, to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop stories.

Now, there's been a series of tweets that have now been posted about this saying, there's no evidence that I've seen of any government involvement in the laptop story and lawyers for Facebook, parent company Meta, have said similar comments in recent weeks that dispute the claims that Republicans -- from Republicans that the FBI somehow coerced the suppression of the story. The greater notion here, of course, it's all part of a larger discussion on -- that certain information is allowed through and others are not. There's a conservative viewpoint being silenced. The information is not flattering to Democrats. Suddenly, everyone is trying to suppress it, but everyone else is a victim. What is your take?

MUDD: I disagree with you. No. No. There is a legitimate conversation that should be held in the public media and social media sites and in the Congress about the investigation on Hunter Biden, about whether what Twitter did was appropriate, whether what the Department of Justice did was appropriate.

There is a much larger and totally separate conversation about whether you allow hate speech on social media supported by a former president that is antisemitic and that could lead to the deaths of American citizens. We should not conflict these two, and I disagree with the direction of the conversation.

Hunter Biden is different from a conversation about whether we encourage Americans to believe that antisemitism is appropriate, and that potentially, the murder of Americans who believe in antisemitism is acceptable. Different conversations.

COATES: I agree. And I'm not conflating the two except the notion that most people are thinking about these issues in a far too broad umbrella. The very reason that you're speaking about it, Phil. The idea here that there is only one discussion that has had, we're talking about suppressing information on social media. And inevitably, it follows back to a road where it ought to be compartmentalized in a more productive way. You want to weigh in, Tom?

FOREMAN: This becomes -- you know, one of the real problems here is, the old saying, a righteous person does what is righteous whether or not it benefits him or her. One of the problems in all of this is people are calculating, does it help me? Does it help me to let somebody say something racist or anti-Semitic or misogynous? Does it help me? Then, they don't say anything because it helps me. And later on, when it all blows up, they can say, you know, I never supported that.

But that's the very thing that you're talking about, Maria. People being quiet about this.


FOREMAN: They're not being quiet because they don't know that it.


FOREMAN: They're not being quiet because they don't know the impact of it. They're not being quiet because they don't know what's wrong. They're being quiet because for the time being they think it helps them, which is the same as encouraging it.

CARDONA: And you know, Scott, you talk about how conservatives were thinking that Twitter was aligned with Democrats during the election. Democrats are convinced, and I still think it's true, but I don't necessarily think -- if the elected or the people who run Facebook were aligned with conservatives.

But that everything that was happening on Facebook, right, the fake news that was out there, that all of that hurt Democrats in terms of this stories that were being pushed, the false stories that were being pushed, the Russian stories that were being -- the Russians were doing, right?

So, does that mean that I think that the officials at Facebook were colluding with conservatives? No, I don't think so.


But it goes back to, how are these platforms won? And that I think the bottom line is we're not quite sure yet. Like, what is going on with Elon Musk at Twitter? I mean, people think -- you said that your faith hasn't change. Tens of people's faith have changed. You know, they see a lot more hate. They see a lot more misogyny, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and I'm -- that's happening to me.

So, what is going on here, right? It happens in both atmospheres, Democrats and Republicans. But I think Tom is right. It's always is about and it shouldn't be, what is benefiting me? It should be what is right and what is wrong and what do I need to speak out on.

JENNINGS: I agree with something Phil said, though, that the separation of legitimate political debate from the countenancing of absolute vile hate speech and giving attention to people who, like Kanye West and this other character he brought with him that had dinner with Trump, I do believe they are separate conversations. How the tech companies deal with information flow, that's one issue.

This other issue, though -- and I don't think candidly that many people in the Republican Party are being silent about this. Trump is obviously the core issue on this one. But everybody from McConnell to McCarthy down to other rank-and-file Republicans here in Washington were pretty uncomfortable with it and did speak out and I think understood just how big of a problem it was for Trump to have done that lunch or that dinner and really for him to tried to promote Kanye West as some paragon of virtue because he had been canceled or he's the new face of whatever free speech. No, he is not.

FOREMAN: Oh, in fairness, that's where we are now. Things like this have been bubbling along for months and months and months for people not to say, oh, that's too far. I think a lot of people in the Democratic and Republican Party would privately say, it went too far a long time ago.

COATES: You know, we are out of time. Yelling at my ear telling me to stop. But Phil, you're going to yell at me in my ear for different reasons. I'll give you the last word. I will go ahead and defer it to you because I know you're going to give me a lot of hell if I don't. Go, Phil. What's your last word? Make it quick. You're screaming at me. Talk to me. MUDD: Are you comfortable going into an election campaign with the

Department of Justice and the FBI investigating people that is right- wing extremist who are comfortable with antisemitism, investigating people who are supporting presidential campaigns, yes or no?

COATES: Oh, I'm rhetorical? Okay, wonderful. That's how we're going to do it. I hear you. I see you, Phil. I love it. I know you. I understand you perfectly.

Next up, a new development on a story we've been following. Far-right talk show host Alex Jones filed for personal bankruptcy today. This is significant because Jones was ordered to pay some $1.5 billion to families of Sandy Hook massacre victims following a series of defamation trials this year. An attorney representing the family told CNN that Jones's personal bankruptcy filing -- quote -- "will not work."

This month marks 10 years, 10 years of the elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. Hours after the attack, Jones started pushing lies that the tragedy was staged and the families and first responders were crisis actors.

And as we face the real-life consequence of conspiracy theories and hate speech here at home, the World Cup is shining a light on human rights issues around the world. Next, we'll talk about what happens when sports and politics collide.




COATES: The round of 16 is officially set in the World Cup. Tomorrow, the U.S. will face off against the Netherlands in a do or die match. But this World Cup has seen its share of controversy, both on and off the field, with thousands of miles not enough for some players to escape domestic politics.

Back with me, Maria Cardona, and joining us, CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan, and CNN correspondent Tom Foreman are back with us now as well. First of all, I don't know if you saw this image earlier of the Qatari TV mocking a moment where they were waving goodbye with their hands over their mouths after Germany's loss. Christine, tell us the significance of this moment and why that mocking gesture is so defiant.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Shame on those announcers for doing that. The German team, before its first match, decided to get a picture taken, a team picture taken, all of them putting their hands over their mouths. What that was about is they were mocking the censorship and protesting the censorship of FIFA saying they could not wear those LGBTQ armbands. It does get involved.

Anyway, so good for the Germans for doing that. They went and then lost to Japan, and they ended up losing, not going on to the round of 16. So, it's easy to mock them. But I think history will judge them very well. Those German athletes doing that little symbol, I think, will be remembered far longer than whatever happened on the field.

COATES: You know, the idea of on and off the field, there was so much symbolism during these World Cups already, and we had yet to even get past Saturday's round. I mean, you have the idea of what happened after Iran lost. Human rights group has indicated that A 27-year-old man was shot and killed by security forces while celebrating the Iranian World Cup loss on Tuesday.

You may remember, there was a woman who was a rock climber who did not -- she said she accidentally did not put on her hijab before competing. We're learning that her home has been demolished although there is an unconfirmed report as to who has done it and why.


But the air of reaction and a punishment is in the air.

FOREMAN: Well, the sense that sports can be -- it is a unifying force to the world and this escape from all the troubles that we face all the time, and that has really changed in recent years, but I think it has changed in part because you have had people who have wanted to use sports to promote their agenda. And they've sort of pushed the idea, if our team wins, it means our nation is greater than your nation. If our team wins, it means your free speech was wrong.

Well, I don't blame the athletes at all and that environment saying, hey, we have something to say here, too. We're not merely pawns. And in some places like Iran, I think the consequences for that can be very dire, although we've seen in this country, some athletes stand up for what they believe and they've paid some prices, too.

COATES: Thinking about the idea of trying to take something that is associated with the enthusiasm of sports. I think about the Brazilian iconic yellow jersey. It was being used by Bolsonaro to try to use it in association with his campaign, with his incumbency and going on.

And now, some fans have taken to wearing the blue, less iconic version of the jersey. You think about the Brazilian soccer team. You think about the yellow. This notion of politicians trying to almost hijack symbols for their own self-serving purposes, it is something that is not necessarily unique to just this game.

CARDONA: No, and it has happened before. And I think it is a shame because, you know, Tom, you're right, I think a lot of us -- the world sees sports as a place to kind of say, oh, okay, let's just have some fun. But it's not new that sometimes, a lot of times, the passion gets in the way and becomes the thing that then goes to whether it is violence or extremism or things that are said and shouted that perhaps in the moment, they didn't mean it, but then it becomes something else.

I think what is interesting about everything that is happening at the World Cup, especially all of these governments that are extremist governments that are trying to shut people off and shut women up, right, they're doing their own agendas harm because they're calling attention to their own extreme agendas and to their own dictatorships and autocracies.

And you are seeing not just in Iran but in China that that is starting to backfire. You know, is this going to change tomorrow or next week? No. But as the places in those countries, the populations get younger and younger, they're becoming more defiant.

COATES: I tell you --

CARDONA: Hopefully, that will lead to change.

COATES: Your point is so well taken. The United States, we at times live in a glass house and we throw stones. There are various degrees of the human rights issues that we all grapple with collectively. But our athletes, collectively, whether it is on this stage, the World Cup, or even at home, Christine, you know they're asked questions about things not anything to do with the actual field or their game of play.

And we've been following the story this week where Lebron James calling out the media and talking about, hold on, you've asked a lot of questions about, say, a Kyrie Irving, why not questions about, say, a Jerry Jones and a photo from many years ago where he was seen, I believe, a 14-year-old, I think, Jerry Jones attending a rally that was in favor of the maintenance of segregation. And Jerry Jones has responded. And I want you to you listen to what he had to say when he's talking about is respect for Lebron.


JERRY JONES, OWNER, DALLAS COWBOYS: I don't know of anybody that I respect any more, I don't know of anybody that has taken every opportunity he's had and maximized it. He not only is an absolute great ambassador for sport, he has taken sports, he has taken his venues, and used those platforms. I just want to be sure that you know where I'm coming from. I did hear what he had to say.


COATES: So, he addressed it. He didn't address the actual substance of the controversy, of course, but --

BRENNAN: To your point, you've got the spotlight again, and people are talking about it. Lebron is right. Those questions should be asked. Whether it is antisemitism or racism, journalists should be asking those questions. And Jerry Jones deserves those questions. Obviously, he understands and he can handle himself and answer them as well.

CARDONA: Can I just say that was a lesson in crisis communications 101. What he just did.

COATES: Not answering the question fully?

(LAUGHTER) CARDONA: No. He talked about how wonderful Lebron is and was able to kind of pivot to that. And he did say at the end, I hear what he said.


FOREMAN: I think one thing about this, I find important in sports.


Maybe I'm old-fashioned or naive about this. I'm a big hockey fan. One of the things I'm always amazed at in hockey, you can have the most brutal series you can imagine and the players line up and shake hands at the end. I think some of the most important moments in sports are simply the respect the players show to each other regardless of creed, regardless of where they came from, and that, it doesn't seem big.

But in the world that we live in today, that's a kind of protest. The simple thought that you walk over to your opponent and say, you're worthy, you're worthwhile, you're not diminished as a person because we fought today.

COATES: An important point about sportsmanship. I do wonder what Lebron's reaction will be given part of his larger issue was the notion of the level of atonement required among Black athletes compared to the pat on the back or the job well done that is often reserved for others. Obviously very different circumstances. Kyrie Irving, Jerry Jones, you can name any number of analogies. I'm curious what his reaction is on all of this.

Well, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on all of us. Speaking of, in many respects, all in it together, there's now a new study that is revealing just how drastic that impact has been on teenagers. It involves the brain aging faster than it ought to.




COATES: A new study says stress brought on by the COVID pandemic may have caused teenagers' brains to age faster than normal. Researchers say that there were physical changes in the teens' brains, and increased anxiety and depression could really be to blame.

I want to discuss now with clinical psychologist Dr. Nyasha Chikowore, who joins us now. I'm so excited you're here to bring us your expertise. It's very scary to think about, in many respects, what we thought might happen.


COATES: What impact this would have on young people? We thought maybe emotionally, but really, it is on their minds.

CHIKOWORE: Yeah. COATES: Tell me in what ways.

CHIKOWORE: So, in so many ways and before the pandemic, the CDC was reporting that at least 37% of teens were having mental health issues and that number skyrocketed during the pandemic. So, we're seeing teens being isolated, withdrawing from their social communities, feeling depression, anxiety, sadness, issues with concentrating. They weren't doing their homework, completing assignments. It was just a tough time for them.

COATES: And these aren't things that one wants to be dismissive of and say, oh, these are just teenagers being teenagers. This is significant.


COATES: And the acceleration of the aging, when we think about maturity and maturation and we think about that maybe in an emotional sense, which is good, but maturation at accelerated pace of the brain can have long term significance. Right?

CHIKOWORE: Right. I mean, we don't know yet what that is going to look like for this generation, when they're young adults and when they're older, but what we do know is that when your brain matures quicker, you start experiencing issues with brain fog, which what that looks like is issues planning out your day, which teenagers already have an issue with because their brains are still maturing. Your brain doesn't fully mature until you're at least 25. So, they're having issues with that end.

And then they're struggling just to verbalizing and vocalize what they're going through with their parents, their teachers. They're online all day, which is also exacerbating how they're feeling because they're looking at social media. We know that bullying has increased, people harassing each other online. So, they were going through so many things that we have yet to see what those effects are going to be.

COATES: And you're talking about teenagers across the age spectrum. The impact has been there from the older population to maybe even younger kids. I mean, I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old. They were in distance learning. My daughter left kindergarten and came back a second grader. That's significant.

CHIKOWORE: That' very significant. And on top of that, we're looking at kids looking at computers and I-pads all day, and seeing that they're not keeping that attention span that they used to have when they're in school 24/7. So, now we're just trying to figure out how do we get our kids back to, I guess, what was normal before --


CHIKOWORE: -- and helping them be socialized the right way, helping them have those skills like we are talking about to verbalize how they feel, what's going on with them, whereas now, with the pandemic, they were kind of shut in and not knowing how to do that.

COATES: It is so important to think about ways, which is why the work and research is so important. One, for parents to even be aware that this may be happening and to think about the learning curve we've all had to try to climb over these past several years. So important to hear from you, Dr. Chikowore. I appreciate you coming on.

CHIKOWORE: Thanks for having me.

COATES: Thank you. Well, you know what? There are the issues of the pandemic that were created, of course, so that impacted people's brain developments, and then there's the issues happening from all the things that were taken to try to address distance and social distancing.

New York City, a prime example. The mayor, Eric Adams, is now pulling out a call to arms against one of the consequences to some of the changes, the city's pesky rodent population. If you live in New York, have a bachelor's degree or are proficient in Microsoft Word, you might be qualified to what they're calling the rat czar. I'm going to explain what that is. It's a real thing. It's next.




COATES: Do you have a virulent vehemence for vermin? That's quite a tongue twister. Well, New York City may have a job for you. The city is currently on the hunt for a -- get this -- a rat czar, more formerly known as a director of rodent mitigation. The ideal candidate, someone who consider themselves -- quote -- "highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty."


And you could earn a pretty penny for the role with a salary ranging from $120,000 to $170,000.

Back with me now, Maria Cardona, Christine Brennan, and Tom Foreman, none of whom are mousy.


CARDONA: Thank you.


COATES: -- did there.

BRENNAN: I smell a rat.

COATES: All right, there we go. Someone had to say it. I'm glad you did. I got to tell you, when you think about New York City and see some of the rat issues that are there, it's a real thing. I mean, the idea that they have this job posting is obviously out of necessity. You're going to see these images of people and you remember the infamous pizza rat, remember?

FOREMAN: Pizza rat.

COATES: Pizza rat, remember him, carrying up a full slice? What do you make of this, Tom?

FOREMAN: Well, here's what I make of this. There's an estimate that there are two million rats in New York. I don't know how much we can rely on the rat census, but --


FOREMAN: -- but perhaps -- let us say there are two million rats in New York and you want to go after these rats in New York and this is your job, I think there are things in the application for becoming the rat person.

COATES: Have you filled one out? Hold on.

FOREMAN: I'm working on it.


FOREMAN: But I think there are things missing here, like, it doesn't really say, do you have much of a team, or is this basically a sack and a pair of gloves? What are you supposed to do? And two million rats. That's a lot. How many do they think you're going to knock out?

COATES: That's true. Think about you all must be rat fans, right? No? Not at all? I have a full confession, Maria. When I was in sixth grade, I actually had a pet rat. It was hooded rat that I got from a pet store like a Gerbil thing. My mother has not forgiven me. It tripled in size and I was horrified by it. But I'm not applying to be a rat czar.

CARDONA: I'm not horrified by that story.

COATES: Thank you.

CARDONA: "Ratatouille," you know, my kids grew up on that, and I have to say that they cutified rats for me. We had a rat --

COATES: Have you seen a subway rat?


CARDONA: We live in Washington, D.C.


CARDONA: I used to live in Adams Morgan. I would go back to where we parked the car in an alley way, we would pass rats, they would be eating pizza, and they look at us and be like, hey, what's going on? Can I help you with something?

(LAUGHTER) CARDONA: And then just we're on our way like nothing. And so, yes, I understand the rat problem in New York because we had one in Washington, D.C.

BRENNAN: And I think, you know, really, that's the point. Every city, a big city, has rats. And so, the idea that you can somehow be able to eradicate rats from the biggest city in the country --

CARDONA: Can we say rat-dicate (ph)?

FOREMAN: You did say that. You did say that.

BRENNAN: Let me see if I can spell that the right way, with the rat. Every city. So, you know, good luck, Tom, if you're going to take the job.

FOREMAN: I might do okay.

BRENNAN: We could come back a year from now, and I have a feeling, or two years or whatever the time period is, and there is going to be the same two million rats.

COATES: By the way, the proliferation if it is interesting because in part it is because you had outdoor dining, trying to compensate for the social distancing rules of New York City, trying to have people adjust themselves to COVID. I've been told more food on the streets, the construction. That's part of the reason. Of course, we remember American tale and they were there even in Disney fashion at that point in time. I was told, Tom, there were no cats in America.

FOREMAN: Here is a great bit of odd trivia. Cats actually don't do a lot of rat and mice hunting. People think they do, but they don't, really. So, the lack of cats is not a problem. If I become the rat czar, I will not be bringing in a lot of cats.

CARDONA: How will you do it, Tom?

FOREMAN: Well, I'm not really sure. I've got a couple of ideas. There is something involving a flute and a river. I've read that in the past. I don't know --

CARDONA: Yes, there you go.

FOREMAN: But I don't know how to play the flute, so --

CARDONA: Magic wand.

BRENNAN: Perfect for the job because you're not giving us any answers at all.

FOREMAN: The problem is you get this job, and then the big city meeting, and the mayor is like, you know, here's my chief of police and here's the fire chief, and then they're all like, where is the rat guy? You get no love. You're the rat guy. You're doing all the dirty work and nobody cares.

COATES: Well, (INAUDIBLE). He was told he can now come back home, everyone.


COATES: Everyone, we will be right back.





COATES: We are about just one week away from announcing the 2022 CNN hero of the year, who will be chosen by you, our viewers. Tyrique Glasgow is one of the finalists. He was shot 11 times when he was a drug dealer in South Philadelphia neighborhood. But since returning home from prison a decade ago, he has been a force for good.


TYRIQUE GLASGOW, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR FINALIST: When you run a block, you're the one who the community people know. It's a dangerous life but it's a normal life. Going to jail really woke me up. If my community was going to follow me for someone at negative self, I just said, let me see it, they're going to follow for some positive.

You can grab what you want.

UNKNOWN: Make yourself at home.

GLASGOW: In 2019, we open up our community engagement center, which used to be at the community drug house. But now, it's a safe place for our children.

We provide clothing, food, vegetables, hot meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Do you want chicken?

Giving people what they need, help some, it consistently stays safer here.

The shootings are down and the hope is up. My relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department is cool.


Seeing the officers in a different light. It builds trust and it builds confidence. They need to see that. It's really about your heart and what you want to do. We are trying to create a safe haven and an environment for the whole neighborhood.


COATES: Go right now to vote for Tyrique for CNN Hero of the Year or any of your favorite top 10 heroes.

Thank you so much for watching. Our coverage continues.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Early voting ended tonight in Georgia Senate runoff. According to one Georgia election official, it set a record for the day, which is no surprise considering it has been setting daily records from the start.


COOPER: A lot is certainly (INAUDIBLE) on Republican Herschel Walker's challenge to Senator Raphael Warnock, including the former president's reputation as a party kingmaker.