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CNN Panel Discusses Rising Extremism; Germany Arrests 25 People In Right-Wing Extremist Plot; A Case In Front Of Supreme Court Could Upend Electoral Politics; Five Women Sue Bill Cosby; Apple Is Sued Over AirTags. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired December 07, 2022 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right-wing extremism isn't just a threat here in the U.S., it's a global problem. In Germany, 25 people were arrested today for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. Officials say the group was inspired by QAnon ideology and conspiracy theories.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: And in North Carolina, sources tell CNN that investigators are zeroing in on extremism as a possible motive in the attack on those electrical substations that left more than 40,000 people without power. Law enforcement sources say the police have recovered nearly two dozen shell casings from a high-powered rifle at the scene.

Let's bring in CNN anchor John Berman. We also have Max Boot here, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. And CNN political commentator David Urban is still here.

Max, so, this isn't just a U.S. cancer that we obviously feel here, the extremism. Why is it worldwide? What's happened? What has made the globe go crazy with extremism?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, SENIOR FELLOW AT COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, there certainly a lot of factors, including globalization, including changes in the information economy, including immigration. But I think the biggest thing, Alisyn, is simply the spread of social media. I was really struck by the fact that these conspirators in Germany, one of the things that they were -- that got them all worked up was QAnon.

Now -- you know, I remember the good old days when America was exploiting Elvis Presley and blue jeans and the declaration of independence. But now, we're also exploiting this internet insanity.

CAMEROTA: And we invented QAnon.

BOOT: Yeah, we invented, but it's now spreading around the world. And at the -- you see, for example, now, you know, Elon Musk is allowing neo-Nazis and all sorts of nuts on Twitter, so it's going to spread even more rapidly. This is a real danger. We're all part of it a single if information ecosystem around the world and there's a lot of craziness out there which can inspire people to violence.

As we saw, by the way, the guy who attacked Paul Pelosi, he was also inspired by QAnon. So, this is a very dangerous conspiracy theory and it's just one of many which is circulating out there in social media.

COATES: There is the theory, and then there's the imagery. January 6th, for example. The idea of violence. The idea of people watching the possibility of being able to infiltrate in some way. To take over and sometimes have the world captivated by what you're doing.

There is this sort of complimentary notion here, John, between what is being espoused online and then what you're seeing. The U.S. is now part of that example in the worst way.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, yeah. I mean, you can't sit here in the U.S. and see what happened in Germany and think it is somehow disconnected --

COATES: Right.

BERMAN: -- from what's going on here now. What they're talking about there was some kind of plot to take over the parliament. Excuse me, we had thousands of people run into the U.S. Capitol two years ago. There were plans to attack the electricity grid in Germany. What happened this week in the United States?

And I'll even take it one step further, which concerns you more, having Prince Heinrich XIII of Reuss connected to whatever uprising was being planned there or former president of the United States calling for the termination of the U.S. Constitution? You could make a case that what has happened here in some ways is even more serious than what has happened over there.

I just want to say, and Alisyn, I disagreed with this back when -- before she, you know, left me --


BERNSTEIN: I know that it is easy to -- there is a tendency to blame social media for the rise of extremism. But extremism has existed for a long time before social media. The Germans managed extremism quite well without social media at one point. It's not necessary for this to spread. The ideas exist and are fueled by people who are making choices, in some cases, evil choices.

CAMEROTA: But John, do you think -- what do you think is at the root of it?


Why are there times when extremism blossoms? If it's not social media, what's at the root? BERNSTEIN: It's a great question. I think it is cyclical. I think there is an ebb and flow historically. I think part of it has to do with economic hardship. Pandemic, I think, is a key instigator of that. But I think there's a concerted effort among some in the political sphere, in the U.S. and other places to try to undermine systems now, and there's a political expediency by some in the political system to (INAUDIBLE) on to that or try to tap into it.

COATES: Or it comes out of the shadows when the leadership emboldens them to say, it's okay. You can -- like a scene from "Wizard of Oz. You can come out now, you can come out now, it's not the evil any longer. You can come out now, you can now, you can have these viewpoints in there.



COATES: How is the movie, David Urban?

URBAN: I know it's a great movie. To Max's point, look, I agree, social media, the world has become much smaller, right? It really has shrunk. You ask about the cycles. I was thinking about this before the show and kid of just scratch the surface a little bit. You think about the weather underground in the 70s. There's a real movement. Today, they bomb buildings. They bomb the U.S. Capital. They're trying to overthrow the U.S. government. That didn't spread as wildly and as far because we didn't have the internet back in the 70s.

Listen, make no mistake about it, that ebbs and flows, right, the Black Panther movement, there were lots and lots of movements in the 70s because of a perception of inequality in America. I think maybe that's what's happening now, just sort of a different version. People feel there's inequality in America in some way. And so, that gives rise to these different groups.

Look, the Klan has been around for a while. The Klan is the base of a lot of this white nationalist ideology. So, it's not new. None is really new. It just recycled over and over and spread quicker because of the internet.

BOOT: It definitely goes through phases. And as David was saying, in the 60s and 70s, you had a lot of left-wing terrorism, lot of underground (INAUDIBLE) Germany and many other groups around the world. Then, of course, in more recent decades, around the year 2000, you saw the rise of Islamist terrorism. Of course, we saw about 20 years of Islamist terrorism.

But now, in the last few years, you're really seeing the rise of right-wing terrorism. That is now the main threat in the United States and in many other countries in the west. That is fueled by some of these same factors of social media, but also the fact that there is a leadership, there is a network out there and, of course, these haters were not invented today with the rise of social media, but social media does allow them to disseminate much more rapidly. This is kind of the moment of right-wing political violence, and that is what we have to deal with right now.

CAMEROTA: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is attempting to do that. So, he is holding basically a summit, I guess, about antisemitism. Here's what he has to say.


DOUG EMHOFF, SECOND GENTLEMAN OF THE UNITED STATES: There's an epidemic of hate facing our country. We're seeing a rapid rise in antisemitic rhetoric and acts. Let me be clear, words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are literally screaming them. Judaism isn't defined by how much you go to temple or how often you celebrate traditions. It's who we are as a people. It's our identity. It's my identity. And I'm in pain right now.


CAMEROTA: Interesting, John, to see him use his role like this.

BERMAN: Yeah, that was a big moment, I think, for the second gentleman to come out. It's a big moment, I think, for a lot of American Jews who are witnessing what's going on right now, many of whom are completely secular and not religious in any way. Emhoff talked about this. You don't have to go to temple to notice what is happening right now because it's staring you right in the face. It's so glaring and so loud.

And I think one of the things that I think it's important to remember here, the phrase antisemitism sometimes sanitizes what's happening. A lot of people who are at this conference talking about this have used phrases like this before. I just talked to Rachel Fisher (ph) who studies this, says, we should just call it for what it is which is Jew hatred.

If we refer to this as Jew hatred instead of antisemitism, people might stand up straight or sit up straight a little bit and listen more. It's not some theoretical thing because the things that are being spouted in public by people with huge megaphones right now are simply appalling.

URBAN: I'd even say that -- take at even more fine look at this. College campuses today in America. Go look at Berkeley, big movement against Zionists. BDS movement run amok on college campuses. And tolerance, you know, for folks who want to support the state of Israel is not even allowed on college campuses. You can't even have that discussion.

When it begins there, kids grew up, they learned what they learned in college. It needs to be addressed in college levels and in the government and called out. I applaud the first gentleman for doing it. It should be called out for what it is.

BOOT: There's no question there's antisemitism on both the left and the right. [23:09:58]

I like to say, as a Jew myself, I feel like Jews bring the world together. We have antisemitism on both sides. But I think there is a difference here, that while there is antisemitism on the left, the right-wing variety is the one that usually turns to violence in the United States like the gunman who invaded the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, for example.

That's a different level of threat from people who are demonizing the state of Israel, which is also a problem, but it's a different kind of problem.

URBAN: Max, don't you believe they feed into one -- one feeds into another and one allows another to propagate? You believe on college campuses, you should be prohibited from having Zionist organizations at Berkeley? Don't you think that allows other folks to kind of flourish?

BOOT: No, of course, you should obviously not be prohibiting Zionist organizations.

CAMEROTA: Gentlemen, thank you. Thank you very much. And, as democracy is facing threats from extremist at home and abroad, there's a case before the Supreme Court that we need to talk about. It could reshape how elections work in this country.




COATES: So, the big question is, who has the final say over U.S. elections? Supreme Court here in argument today about a North Carolina case that could really reshape American democracy. In fact, for more than three hours, lawyers arguing over whether state legislatures should have free reign to determine rules for federal elections or whether state constitution in court should factor in.

CAMEROTA: So, the state legislators relying on the controversial independent state legislature theory -- (INAUDIBLE) explain to us -- has the Trump supporters cited (ph) during the 2020 election challenges. Some justices today appeared skeptical of this, and the liberal justices warning of consequences if there are no checks on the state legislature.


ELENA KAGAN, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE (voice-over): I think what might strike a person is that this is a proposal that gets rid of the normal checks and balances. Legislators, we all know, have their own self interests. They want to get reelected. And so, there are countless times when they have incentives to suppress votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Okay. So, we are back with John Berman. Also joining us is CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig as well as David Urban. Okay, Elie, make sense of all of this for us.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Okay. Good news. We are going to make independent state legislature theory interesting.


HONIG: It is really important and it is one of the great generators of absurd hypotheticals.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) good dancing girls --


BERMAN: Because that's probably --

CAMEROTA: That's right.

BERMAN: -- make it interesting.

HONIG: Exactly. Law made fun (ph). Watch us. Laura and I --

COATES: I believe in you, Elie.

HONIG: Okay. So, the Constitution essentially says it is up to each state's legislature to decide who they're going to run their elections.


HONIG: And so, the question now is, does that mean state legislatures can do anything in the world that they want or can the state courts come in say, no, that's crazy? And that brings us to the hypotheticals.

What if a state legislature passed a law saying, what we are going to do is we are going to get of one together midfield of the football stadium and flip a coin, and whoever wins gets to pick the electors? What if they said, we are going to have a split (ph)? Democrat, you pick your fastest runner. Republicans, you pick your fastest runner. Could the state Supreme Court come in and say, no, that is unconstitutional, there is no due process in it?

True adherence, people believe in this theory say, sure, whatever the legislature wants to do is good to go. The liberal justices and people arguing say, no, of course, the governor can veto it. Of course, the state supreme court and the federal courts can reverse. And you can readily see the connection there to what Donald Trump is trying to get his people do in 2020.

COATES: Bravo.


URBAN: What does the Constitution say? I think that is important.

CAMEROTA: Let me do a dramatic reading. The times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.

URBAN: So, therein lies the rub. A little thing called the Constitution, which everybody is in a kerfuffle about Donald Trump want to get rid of.


URBAN: Now, we're talking about ripping --

COATES: But it is also about what the bigger issue, too, checks and balances, right? The idea of being able to make sure that what a legislative act is not going to run afoul to other aspects of constitutional law. And, of course, the courts interestingly enough, it seems as though they were not buying into the theory that you're talking about. It is surprising, Elie, because why take this case? It was obscure a few years ago. Now, this has now the platform of the Supreme Court.

HONIG: So, this theory goes back away. This has been sort of a pet project of legal conservatives. Legitimate thought experiment, it started out as, but now it's coming into fruition. There's a number game here. You need four justices to take a case. Of course, you need five for majority. They did get the four votes.

But the way it played out yesterday in the argument (INAUDIBLE) earlier today was really interesting because you have the three liberal justices, you know where they're going. You have Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas. They want the whole just the legislature. And so, the swing here, the three swing, Kavanaugh, Roberts and Coney Barrett.

CAMEROTA: Let's listen to her. Let's listen to Justice Amy Coney Barrett and some of the questions she was asking.


AMY CONEY BARRETT, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: I was just going to ask: Is your formalistic test just a way of trying to deal with our precedent? Or are you rooting that in the Constitution itself? Because you do have a problem with explaining why these procedural limitations are okay, but substantive limitations are not.


CAMEROTA: This is the one you want, none of that made any sense.

HONIG: I'm going to translate it. I'm going to translate it. It means, do we bring common sense into play or do we just say -- the Constitution says it's a legislator. Doesn't legislator also mean they can be checked by the other branches?

[23:20:00] BERMAN: That's sort of the biggest picture view of what's going on here, why it's important, because the Constitution, it turns out, is swell. They did a really nice job. Great job, guys. But it was written a long time ago. And they don't cover everything. They leave a lot of room for interpretation.

To David's point, David, if I ask you, can you show me where in the Constitution it says that we have to hold elections for people to choose the president of the United States? It doesn't. There's nowhere that guarantees the right of human beings in the United States to vote for president. It's not in the Constitution.

URBAN: Yeah.

BERMAN: But we've come to accept presidential elections as part of it, which is what Amy Coney Barrett is getting at right there. Or maybe you need a little bit of both here and not just what's in these actual sentences.

CAMEROTA: That's interesting. So, you heard her swinging --


BERMAN: Very careful with how I answer that. Next question.



COATES: I think anyone who can use the word swell as cool as you did just now deserve the last word. But I give it to you, Elie.

HONIG: Yeah, I mean, look, you can see the stakes here, right? If it's the case that state legislatures can just do whatever they can, that changes everything about how we choose our leaders.

CAMEROTA: And that's what the North Carolina Republicans are hoping for. Yes, that is why --

URBAN: (INAUDIBLE) are huge at the end of the day.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Gentlemen, thank you. All right, now to this, five women coming forward this week and filing a lawsuit against Bill Cosby, accusing him of sexual assault and abuse from decades ago. We're going to speak to their lawyer about how this can work, what evidence they have, and how this brand-new New York State law factors into all of this.




CAMEROTA: Five women, including two actresses who worked on "The Cosby Show," filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby this week, accusing him of sexual assault and abuse.

They're suing under a new law in New York, which grants adult survivors of sexual abuse a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers, even if the statute of limitation has expired.

A spokesman for Cosby calls the lawsuit -- quote -- "frivolous," saying in a statement -- quote -- "As we have always stated and now America see that this isn't about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault but it's all about money. We believe that the courts as well as the court of public opinion will follow the rules and law and relieve Mr. Cosby of these alleged accusations. Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegations waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court."

Joining us now is Jordan Merson. He's the lawyer representing the five women accusing Cosby. Jordan, thank you so much for being here. So, I understand that this new law in New York suddenly gives these women the opportunity to try to hold Bill Cosby accountable for what they say he did in sexually assaulting them.

But some of their accusations go back decades. So, three of the women's cases go back to the 1980s, one goes back to the 1960s. How do you plan to present evidence to prove your case?

JORDAN MERSON, LAWYER REPRESENTING FIVE WOMEN ACCUSING BILL COSBY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Thanks for having me. But, yeah, I mean, the Adult Survivors Act followed on the heels of the Child Victims Act, which was the New York law that allowed victims of child sexual abuse to sue as recently as a year or two ago as a result of sexual abuse that took place many decades ago.

So, we have quite a bit of experience in litigating cases for events that took place years ago and, you know, we look forward to prosecuting these cases.

CAMEROTA: I hear what you're saying about the children (INAUDIBLE) sense, but just -- I mean, is it fair to say that there is no physical evidence and that you will be basing it on what? What these women told other people contemporaneously? I mean, how -- it must be challenging if you're talking about something that happened in the 1960s, with people's memories as well as some people not being around.

MERSON: Well, I think you'd be surprised. I mean, first of all, these women have all come forward, their testimony is evidence. There have been prior cases filed against Mr. Cosby. Some of his prior statements will be evidence against him.

There are, you know, there's a whole discovery process that we will go through and be requesting documentary evidence as well as verbal evidence in the form of deposition testimony.

So, you know, you have five women coming forward who have filed lawsuits. You also have, as you're well aware, a lot of other women who have come forward and made similar allegations against Mr. Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. MERSON: So, we think there's a lot of evidence in this case.

CAMEROTA: Oh, yeah. CNN knows of 50, 5-0, women who have come forward to make very, very similar accusations. These women did not know each other, most of them, but they have eerily similar stories about what they say Bill Cosby did.

Also, interestingly, Jordan, you're not just suing Bill Cosby, you're suing NBC as well as basically the studio that produced "The Cosby Show." Here's what you say in the complaint: Defendants NBC, Universal Media, LLC, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and the Carsey-Werner Company condoned and encouraged Bill Cosby's sexual abuse, assault, and/or battery of women including on company promises by doing nothing to stop it despite knowledge of his serial sexual abuse of women, and by providing Bill Cosby with staff and facilities to groom and sexually abuse women.


So, Jordan, how did this work? I mean, how did it work that these studios and NBC aided in this?

MERSON: Well, as set forth in the complaint, and we go into pretty explicit detail, New York State has a notice pleading requirement. And we had very specific facts in the complaint that establish what we know at this point, even without the benefit of discovery, when someone like Frank Scottie comes forward and provided interviews and a statement about what occurred during "The Cosby Show."

So -- we also have, again, what our clients described to us as what took place on "The Cosby Show." That this was, as we alleged in the complaint, going on right in front of their eyes, where Mr. Cosby would have these women in his dressing room and, you know, at least one of our clients repeated and made clear, as we say in the complaint, did not want to go, and no one helped her.

CAMEROTA: You just heard Bill Cosby's lawyer say this is not about sexual assault, it is all about the money. What's your response?

MERSON: Well, I mean, it's an unfortunate comment by his side. Not unexpected. But these women all want justice. The Adult Survivors Act gives them the opportunity to pursue their claims in court. And, you know, they are all looking for their day in court. They're looking forward.

I mean, yesterday, when we filed the lawsuit, it was a bitter sweet day for them all. Some of them have waited a very long time to be able to pursue justice. They now have that opportunity. So, we disagree with the statements made by Mr. Cosby's side. And we, too, look forward to proceeding with this case in court.

CAMEROTA: Jordan Merson, thank you very much for your time. We really appreciate talking to you.

MERSON: Thank you for having me. COATES: So fascinating, Alisyn. I mean, just the idea of delayed

reporting more broadly and how it's judged. The why now, the motivations, the people assigned to it --

CAMEROTA: This new law is just changing everything.

COATES: It is.

CAMEROTA: They didn't have an opportunity before this new law. It was inconceivable, as we all remember.

COATES: There was a court of public opinion about the fact that it was Bill Cosby, and there's a court of law that says you can. Elliot, let me bring you in here, because think about this, I mean -- we'll bring also in CNN correspondent Jean Casarez who is here. And back with us, Elie Honig and Kierna Mayo as well.

So important because -- just unpack a little bit for us, Elie, this law, as to why this does not go against some of the issues that Alisyn raised. The idea of due process considerations, the idea of statute limitations. Why can this be possible?

The general idea of a statute limitations in criminal law or civil law, here we're talking civil side, is that you'll only have a certain amount of time in which to bring a lawsuit. Interest of fairness, interest of finality. But this has been carved out by New York State, has an exception.

And the reason is exactly what you were talking about, Alisyn, I think the lawyer was just talking about, it is so difficult for survivors, victims of sexual assault and violence to come forward. Even now. We've got much better at this now. But even now, it's extraordinarily difficult.

Now, put yourself back in the mindset -- in the 80s and 70s. I'm certainly old enough to remember how Bill Cosby was regarded back then. He had 100% popular approval rating. And imagine being a young woman back then and having this alleged incident happen. It's virtually unthinkable to come forward.

And so, the New York State legislature has said, we're going to give this brief window where you can revive these old cases. But as Alisyn was asking the lawyer, it is more difficult. It's really, really hard to prove allegations that go back to the 80s or the 60s.

COATES: Just to be clear, this is not Bill Cosby specific on this law. You've reported extensively, Jean, on this. Tell us what you learned.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I want to say one thing before we get into Cosby, which is the whole focus of this, right? But I was just in the courtroom for Kevin Spacey's civil case here in New York, federal court. Decades old. It was a young actor at the time that said he was molested by Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey was acquitted.

But I saw firsthand how memories fade, witnesses can't be found, evidence is not there. Even the accuser talked about a separate bedroom, a separate living room, and then the defense gets out the floor plan of Kevin Spacey's apartment. There was no separate bedroom. And he was acquitted.

So, the heart and soul of this law is wonderful, but there are limitations that people have to realize.

Now, on the Bill Cosby, you know, Alisyn, you and I and CNN, we have been covering Bill Cosby and these suits for years, but it really all, I think, came to the forefront in 2005 when Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, came forward to law enforcement saying, Bill Cosby molested me, sexually assaulted me in his home.


There was a criminal investigation. Bruce Castor was the prosecutor. He found there was insufficient evidence. And so, no criminal charges were found at all.

So, it really was dormant. There was a civil case Andrea Constand brought. She got over $3 million from Bill Cosby. It became public later on. But then in 2014 and 2015, women just started coming out.

CAMEROTA: It was like a tidal wave. It was like one after the other.

CASAREZ: And it was because of the comedian Hannibal Buress, remember? He talked about Bill Cosby. And so, then it was just everywhere. Little did we know, that criminal investigation in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania was resurrected at that time.

And I'm in the newsroom at CNN in December 2015, and we hear Bill Cosby is going to be charged with felonies involving sexual assault. We got to Montgomery County, that side of Philadelphia. I remember him walking into the courtroom, the Bill Cosby that we know, to face three charges of felony indecent assault. There was a trial. It was a mistrial. They re-tried it again the next year, which would've been 2018. He was convicted of all counts.

But there was a caveat here, it was a very big issue, and I have to bring this up because Bruce Castor, in a pre-trial hearing, had taken the stand saying, I made a promise to Bill Cosby I would never prosecute him.


CASAREZ: Well, he didn't tell any of his fellow prosecutors in the office. There was nothing in writing. There was -- he told one defense attorney and he was deceased at that point.

CAMEROTA: Right. But still, it got overturned.

CASAREZ: And that's how it got overturned.

COATES: Because he made that promise, right, and Bill Cosby relied on that promise. Talk and deposition that prompted the civil suit. I want to bring you in here, Kierna Mayo, because, you know, as to your point, this is -- this was is Bill Cosby.


COATES: I almost said, this is, this was. Just the idea of this is, this was Bill Cosby, you know, you have followed this, and just the idea of the gravitas of that moment and what this would be like.

MAYO: Well, I was the editor-in-chief of "Ebony" magazine at the time, and we did a really confrontational cover where we had "The Cosby Show" in the cover, underneath shattered glass. And at that point in time, in 2015, people were really wrestling with this idea of two Bill Cosbys. They just couldn't square it.

But 50, some say 60, 62 women later, I think there's no question that there is something that must be squared.

I'm no legal expert at all, but the thing that I can say, regardless of the direction that this lawsuit goes in, is that speaking of heart and soul, every time women are able to come forth, every time a new batch of women are empowered, and not just in the Cosby case, but in any case, where you're talking about a powerful man abusing or allegedly abusing women, when they feel empowered, when they find their voice, when they find their cause, their 12-month window that says, go now, it opens up the door for God knows how many other women to tell their stories, to actually maybe close the gap and how long it takes to report, because you're talking about stories of assault that happened in the 60s, 70s, 80s.

Things happen in 2022 and women don't report. Right? So, the idea that this is happening, I think, is a net positive no matter how it ends.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Agreed. For all the women that we've spoken to, it was empowering for them.

MAYO: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: And in some many ways, healing, to be all the talk about it. And your cover, Ebony, it was ahead of its time. It was ahead of its time. That is such a powerful cover. As you said, people were wrestling with the image of, are we ready to abandon Bill Cosby? Now, people see him so differently.

MAYO: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: Thank you so much for that.

COATES: Jean Casarez, thank you so much. Elie and Kierna, stay with us. Up next, two women are suing Apple, alleging their exes are using the company's AirTags to stalk them and harass them. We'll discuss the merits of the case, next.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COATES: Now, two women have filed a class action suit against Apple, alleging the company's AirTags are dangerous products that can be used by stalkers.

CAMEROTA: Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit tonight, but referred us to a statement from February on steps they've taken to avoid unwanted tracking with AirTags.

John Berman, Elie Honig and Kierna Mayo are all back with us. John, is it just time to get rid of all technology? You and I had this debate also.

BERMAN: I should know it.

CAMEROTA: And I don't like it. I don't like it. This thing is tracking me at all times.

COATES: All times.

CAMEROTA: I don't like it. An AirTag is probably on me somewhere right now. I don't like any of it. Okay?

BERMAN: I'm glad we had this time (ph).

CAMEROTA: Me, too.

BERMAN: Okay. So, I don't know what to make of the story. "The Washington Post" did a really interesting take on this. It went into how these AirTags are being used to track people. In the "Post" story, they make the case. What happens is, it is like it's like watching a spy TV show for the 1970s where people put like a bug, a tracker, on your vehicle. You drop an AirTag in someone's bag or personal bar, and then you can follow them.


COATES: Their pockets, their clothing, it's awful.

BERMAN: I get it. I get why that's creepy and I get why that's a concern. But the flip side of that is, what you're really talking about is a creep. I mean, you're talking about a creepy behavior and you start to wonder, will this person would find a way -- the "Post" has a version of it, where they put an AirTag on someone's wheel of their car with duct tape. Wait a second here. Is that really about the AirTag or is this about a stalker here? And I'm not quite sure what Apple's liability exactly is in all of this.

HONIG: I'm dubious about the lawsuit. I mean, first things first, the bad guy is the stalker. If you do that, you're very likely committing a crime. You could be sued. What's the problem with suing a stalker? They have no money. So, what people do? They look for Apple, which has all the money in the world. And the thing is, any technology can be used for evil. Virtually anything.


CAMEROTA: Thank you, Elie.

HONIG: So, to Alisyn's point, but the question really is, is this device sort of designed or did Apple turned a blind eye towards knowing that it was being misused in some way? Maybe there will be evidence of that in the discovery, but my instinct is, this strikes me as well intended devices so you can track your phone, maybe track your kids with, you know --

COATES: I do track my kids.

HONIG: I know you do.

COATES: I had a bad experience. I'm going to tell you, I one day had a -- I was watching was my kids come home from school. I was watching --

CAMEROTA: You are tracking them remotely.

COATES: I was tracking remotely. One AirTag went one direction and the other the other. And I was like, wait a second, go get my kids. I could not understand why they were going. I had my husband go out. I'm going to call the police. It turned out that a teacher had found AitTag and put in different kid's bag. But Laura Coates is getting ready to do something very -- to make sure.

MAYO: I think the AirTags are going to be used by two groups, moms and stalkers.

COATES: I'm a stalking mom.

BERMAN: Laura Coates, stalker.

MAYO: It's pretty obvious. I don't see how we're going to get around the bad that's going to come out of this. Technically, you could track someone now without an AirTag.

BERMAN: Right.

MAYO: So, we don't need it, right?

CAMEROTA: Let's do away with it. Right?

COATES: By the same token, though, I mean, here's the thing, when we say it is almost like this is going to happen, anyway, so forget about it, there are things companies ought to be able to do. If you have the technology to try and allow it to happen, I mean, in terms of having the actual device, safeguards can be put in place. And oftentimes, we have in the law the ability to take some remedial measures to ensure the safety -- doesn't have to be inevitable.

At the same token, the larger question is this balance between the good of technology and the usefulness and the ills of it. Social media is an example. Even with the post-Dobbs decision, you have women who are saying, all right, ladies, because we don't know how they're going to prosecute behavior, take away fertility apps --

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

COATES: -- track to see when you had a menstrual cycle or when maybe you're ovulating because it could be used against you. Technology used again against women.

BERMAN: That is where -- you know, in terms of what Apple is responsible for here, look, I'm no lawyer nor am I a tech designer, but it does seem to me that Apple could design something if they haven't already where you could find out within 10 feet of where you're standing, there is one of these tags, so you know if there is --

COATES: They've got something like that.

CAMEROTA: They do?

COATES: They've got something like that.

BERMAN: If that's what they have, that seems to be a way around this.

COATES: Well, let's see.

MAYO: Let's hope because woman again will be the ones to --

CAMEROTA: Wait a minute. How do you know if somebody has put a tag into your purse?

COATES: There is some sort of protection --

BERMAN: If your phone can detect any tag, even someone else's tag, if it's around you.

CAMEROTA: My phone says that to me all the time.

COATES: Alisyn, if your screen says it all the time, you might want to work into that.

MAYO: So, we all have tags. And let's say, all of us have tags, all nine million New Yorkers. So, every time you're somewhere, you're thing is beeping to say --

BERMAN: Hey, I'm not a tech designer. But I was trying.

COATES: Well, I mean, honestly, Apple has got to answer to it, though.

MAYO: Yeah.

COATES: I mean, it's a concern, and people have a lot of misgivings about what technology really looks like.

CAMEROTA: I'm not sure it helped your mental health to have you see what you saw with your kids not going in the right direction.

BERMAN: Well, but how much does it help you in general to know where they are? COATES: For me, I mean, let's not get into my neuroses and what makes me feel better.

CAMEROTA: We've only got 45 seconds.

COATES: We don't have much time.


COATES: But in reality, I'm always grappling with that boundary (ph) test as a mom. I don't have my kids have phones, but I let them have the watch so I can get to them. Honestly, you also have in the era of unfortunately of shootings. I want my kids to be able to reach me during the day if they need to.


And the idea of just thinking about how -- you know, we make choices all the time as women, as people in this society about how to keep ourselves safe. I think we don't think enough about the things that are supposed to keep us helped (ph).

CAMEROTA: All right, well, consider yourself now warned. Not sure what you're going to do about it, but consider yourself warned. Thank you, guys.

BERMAN: News you can't use.

CAMEROTA: Exactly right. We'll be right back.


CAMEROTA: Thanks so much for watching tonight. And before we go, here's a look at CNN's celebration of real heroes.


COATES: Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa to find out who will be the 2022 Hero of the Year. "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" begins Sunday at 8 p.m.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Sunday. It's the time of year to be inspired and honor some of humanity's best.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): We have found homes for almost 3,000 dogs.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Our community is (INAUDIBLE) to be the community drug house.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I want my grandchildren to have it better than what I have it today.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): It's always wanting to serve other people.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Human suffering has no borders. People are people, and love is love.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Join Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa alive as they present the 2022 Hero of the Year.

UNKNOWN: Join me --

UNKNOWN: In honoring --


UNKNOWN (voice-over): "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," Sunday at 8:00.