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CNN Tonight

Ten Years After Sandy Hook, The Victims' Memories Still Endure; Deadly Storm Sweeps The South; CNN Interviews Parents Of Children Lost To Gun Violence. Panel Decodes Gen-Z Office Speak. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired December 14, 2022 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT. And can I just say, that was such a powerful documentary. It really was, Alisyn. And the way that there was just so much affirmation of what they had done, they did not retreat to a corner, they really -- which they would have been entitled to --


COATES: They were proactive and helpful still.

CAMEROTA: Those parents are extraordinary. And I thought about them every single day since those conversations, which was now probably two months ago, because of exactly what you are talking about. They were grief-stricken. They are grief-stricken.


CAMEROTA: Their grief hasn't really gone away. Maybe some days, it is not as raw as it was that first year. But they still have taken an action. So, they have been able to, in their lives -- I mean, obviously, this is a lesson for all of us -- even with grief, they have been able to move forward and hold those two things together. And they have made remarkable changes, which we are going to talk about --


CAMEROTA: You know, where we are really with gunmen and school shootings in this -- in this country.

COATES: And the stats are startling, still, but yet, there is forward motion.


COATES: And that is something that I think -- when you think about and reflect, in 10 years, there is a tendency to almost want to avoid and not talk about it because you want to put your head in the sand and think this does not happen here. But they refused, and all our kids are safer. And yet, there is still work to be done.

CAMEROTA: Yes. We are going to talk about all of that. And later in the program, we are going to speak to Scarlett Lewis, who we just met in the documentary. Her six-year-old son, Jesse, was killed at Sandy Hook, and she has managed to turn her pain into purpose. She is going to share her wisdom and advice on how to get through this with Gloria and Javier Casarez, who's nine-year-old daughter, Jackie, was killed in Uvalde.

COATES: And we have breaking news, the very latest on a deadly tornado ripping through southern states tonight. At least three people have been killed in Louisiana. Two million people are in the path of twisters and hail and winds up to 65 miles an hour. This powerful storm is expected to continue throughout the overnight hours.

So, we have lots to talk about along with a CNN's senior legal analyst Elie Honig. Also, Lauren Leader, cofounder and CEO of "All In Together." And CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp.

You know, it is such a time that we are in right now. I would love to hear from all of you in the sense of, you know, we are in a space, S.E., where there is so much progress and yet still a lot of work to be done. It is a conflicting feeling. How do you feel?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, look, I have been in the space for a long time. I'm a gun owner, and I was a gun rights activist at the time. And I remember, before I quit, a lot has changed since Sandy Hook, and Sandy Hook is one of the reasons I left.

The progress has been for law-abiding gun owners, responsible gun owners who have decided in many cases to part with the NRA. And so, they are too extreme, and we want to come out and be part of a solution instead of just defending, you know, the Second Amendment as we did.

I saw progress earlier this year when good Democrats, good Republicans got together, and brought some legislation to the table and did not do what they usually do. Democrats usually gum up stuff so it does not pass. Republicans usually say no to everything. That is progress.

But let me tell you, things are about to get really scary. The day before Roe was overturned, another case came down from the Supreme Court. New York State pistol and rifle versus Bruen. And basically, in it, Clarence Thomas ruled that if you can't find the law from 1791 when the Second Amendment was ratified, you can introduce new gun regulations.

So, in West Virginia, for example, a court there decided that it was unconstitutional to have serial numbers on guns. If you have watched a single episode of "Forensic Files," you know, that is how most cops solve gun crimes. In Texas, a judge decided that it was unconstitutional to prohibit someone who was a domestic abuse or from owning a gun because in 1791 in Texas, spousal abuse was not a crime. This is wild. We don't talk about that enough. That has me very, very concerned.


ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And it is more extreme than that as well. I mean, this Supreme Court is only going to go in one direction on the Second Amendment. That is clear. And if you look back to the history, the case S.E. was talking about, the patron saint of what they call originalism of this idea of -- what were they thinking back then is Justice Antonin Scalia.


However, he conveniently -- this is a guy whose whole judicial philosophy is every word matter, every punctuation matter. Yet when you look at the Second Amendment, it says, in order to be part of a militia -- I'm paraphrasing here -- he is faced with that exact question in that case. You know what he says about it? Part of a militia, that part does not matter.


HONIG: Ignore. Ignore. Mr. Textualist, Mr. Originalist says, those words do not matter. He's very selective. He's very careful. Somehow, he always comes out one-way and the new court is just running with that.

I will say this, though, for our courts. Alisyn, your documentary features this. They have been a vehicle for some measure of justice. There can never be -- nothing can undo what happened to these people. But, you know, to be put through the extra torture that Alex Jones put them through, and our courts have rightly found him liable, he will never pay it all, but have given -- and you can see this in your documentary -- some measure of justice that was very valuable.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. I mean, a billion dollars, basically, they got from him, and he says, well, they will never get a scent. And, you know, their lawyer says (INAUDIBLE).

HONIG: It ended there, yeah.


LAUREN LEADER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, ALL IN TOGETHER: I mean, the Supreme Court on gun rights is out of touch with the vast majority of Americans on that issue as they are with Roe and other, you know, to Elie's very important point about the sort of very dogmatic approach to the law and these issues.

The fact is that vast majority of Americans -- I mean, across the board, gun owners, et cetera, want some kind of sensible gun laws, particularly when you look at issues like domestic violence, domestic abuse, having access to guns when there's overwhelming evidence that that often, you know, has exponential risk of homicide in that case.

So, you know, Americans want the courts to protect them. They want the Congress to protect them. And families who have had little children sitting through shooter drills, you know, that was a huge motivator for voters in the midterms after Trump was elected. All those moms with preschoolers were having to go through shooter drills. It is a political issue that people care about and is remarkably bipartisan, actually, in many ways.

COATES: You and I talk about this before, Lauren, as mothers, the idea of thinking about what it is like for your kindergarten or first grade to be doing this right now?

CAMEROTA: A generation.

COATES: A generation. But it is almost normalized for them. They think this --

HONIG: Clearly.

COATES: But, you know, taking a step back and broadening it out, which I know is so important with Sandy Hook promise and what they're working on and what they continue to do, is unfortunately because of gun violence, there cannot be a singular focus on just one particular space where it occurs.

CAMEROTA: Oh, for sure.

COATES: And --

CAMEROTA: Multi-pronged.

COATES: Multi-pronged. And there were the Club Q survivors, by the way, who blame rhetoric, talking about the politics of (INAUDIBLE), on the idea of violence, the idea of the use of gun violence and targeting people in particular. Listen to this, what happened on Capitol Hill.


MICHAEL ANDERSON, CLUB Q MASSACRE SURVIVOR: To the politicians and activists who accuse LGBTQ people of grooming children and being abusers, shame on you.

MATTHEW HAYNES, CLUB Q OWNER AND SURVIVOR: We are being slaughtered and dehumanized across this country and communities you took oaths to protect.

JAMES SLAUGH, CLUB Q MASSACRE SURVIVOR: The hateful rhetoric you have heard from elected leaders is the direct cause of the horrific shooting at Club Q.


COATES: So, is the rhetoric causing in part?

CUPP: I mean, the rhetoric is a huge part. And we -- you know, we will have to look at how we are talking in terms of our politics. Politics is a part of it. Mental health is a huge part of it which doesn't mean you get to ignore the gun legislation part. It is all of it. There is so many contours to this conversation and this debate. It is really easy to focus on one and miss the others.

There is also a cultural thing that is happening that I've noticed over the past decade or two. The (INAUDIBLE) of black guns and black gun culture. There are these pockets of gun rights people, right? There is like the self-defense crowd, a lot of women, increasingly African Americans, increasingly Asian Americans. The sportsmen, people like me and my husband who mostly use guns to hunt and shoot at targets.

And then you got this militia crowd, not that they are in a militia, but they really attach guns to maybe wanting to protect themselves against (INAUDIBLE) government. And then you have the black gun crowd and --

HONIG: What does that mean?

CUPP: We usually mean AR-15s and some weapons. The black gun crowd, the weapons of war, basically. The people who like to cosplay at war and pretend to be soldiers and posting pictures on Instagram. That part, that pocket, subculture, has really consumed all of the argument over gun rights and how far to take gun right extremism. And so, when those are the folks leading the arguments on that side, don't be surprised when it gets more extreme.

CAMEROTA: But I do also want to just talk about a little bit of progress, and that is why this is -- to your point, original point -- such a schizophrenic conversation that we always have to have because there are steps forward and there are steps back. It gets complicated.

But there have been, as we talked about in the documentary, 525 state laws, significant state laws, considered by the Gifford Center (ph). It had been passed in the past 10 years. And by the way, in those states that really did something significant, Connecticut has not had a mass shooting since 2013.


That is a lot.

LEADER: And it is a lot of the moms that are responsible for that. We have to look at the extraordinary political organization of groups like "Moms Demand" and "Sandy Hook Promise" and all these groups. Many of whom are average citizens. They are not professional politicos. These are people for whom it is very personal. And they have successfully lobbied their state governments and made an impact.

And to your point on progress, it is an extraordinary example of what is possible in this country when people are organized and understand how the system works and use their personal experience, bringing their personal stories to bear on the policies that could pass in this country.

COATES: Experiences they never want --

LEADER: Experiences they never want.

COATES: -- and try to avoid.

HONIG: There's absolutely been a lot of progress. It is important we keep that in mind, particularly the state level. The thing about guns, though, is they travel.


HONIG: Very easily, right? We have very strict laws. I was prosecutor in New York and New Jersey. You know where our guns are coming from? Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina. We have pipelines of guns coming in. That is why I think there is some effort towards, we are never going to get there, but federal legislation would really make a big difference. The thing is the gun lobby has taken this zero-negotiation stands for decades now and it has worked for them as a tactic.

CAMEROTA: Yes. There was bipartisan legislation --


CAMEROTA: -- for the first time in 30 years. So, again, steps forward --

COATES: I like the speed talking --


COATES: That was good. That was an optimistic sort of like --

LEADER: It is a hard topic to be optimistic about.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. It sure is. Friends, thank you very much for discussing all of that. We do want to do have some breaking news right now. Two million people are in the path of tornadoes, hail and wind as this huge storm tears through the south. At least three people have been killed. So, a confirmed tornado touched down in New Orleans this afternoon.

CNN's Nick Valencia is in Gretna, Louisiana. So, Nick, what is the situation at this hour?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. Good evening, Alisyn. This damage here is extensive in this hard-hit neighborhood of Gretna, Louisiana where emergency crews, we've seen them going throughout this neighborhood, block after block, canvassing this area, making sure that everyone is accounted for.

And as much damage as you see behind me, as it stands right now, we believe that everyone is accounted for in this neighborhood. There was no loss of life. You did mention, though, the three people did die as a result of these storms.

Just look behind me. The path of this tornado took ripping down this tree. Down power lines are still very active. We don't want to get too close. It is still a very dangerous situation, according to those first responders we spoke to. That tornado came through here and ripped through the backyards of these neighbors. It was earlier that I spoke to these neighbors and they said while they were aware that there was a risk of severe weather, it was just not comprehensible to them that they thought that they were going to take a direct hit.

One of those neighbors said that the storm lasted about 10 to 15 seconds, but still, you can see the type of damage left behind. You know, many of these homes are still without power. You can hear the hum of a generator here behind me as crews are continuing to make sure everyone is okay in this neighborhood.

We talk to a lot of eyewitnesses here who are just shell-shocked by what they went through. It is not lost on them that this happened, you know, just before Christmas. I spoke to a little boy earlier who said -- you know, it is just almost heartbreaking, guys. You know, he said he know Santa can still find his home even though it is heavily damaged.

We have seen parts of roofs ripped off, backs of houses totally torn. The nature of tornadoes as they come through, they just sort of pick and choose where they want to go. So, you walk down these blocks, you see some homes are relatively untouched and others are just really devastated by the storm that went through here.

It is still not quite certain what this neighborhood -- the extent of the damage that this neighborhood has suffered. They will continue to canvas this area tomorrow morning and get more of an indication of exactly what they are dealing with here.

This neighborhood, it is a neighborhood that got hit by Hurricane Ida not too long ago. Another tornado ripped through here more than a year ago. These neighbors are really just going through the worst right now and hoping that it gets better here in the coming days. Alisyn? Laura?

COATES: So scary.

CAMEROTA: Nick, thank you very much.

COATES: Look, we got a lot more to come on our breaking news. The massive deadly storm that is sweeping the south tonight. Unfortunately, the danger is not over yet. We will have the very latest from the weather center next.




CAMEROTA: Okay, let's get back to our breaking news coverage of the deadly storms that have killed at least three people in Louisiana. Twisters touching down across the state, causing destruction for miles. More than 40 tornadoes have been reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the last two days. COATES: And tonight, there are more weather threats as the massive

storm heads east now. Britley Ritz is live for us right now in CNN Weather Center. Britley, what is the latest?

BRITLEY RITZ, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we are still dealing with that tornado threat this evening and through the overnight hours although it is starting to decrease, as well as the threat for hail and damaging winds. Look at this. Pay attention to that dark cloud. That is the tornado.

We've had several reports, as mentioned, 40 reports all across the lower Mississippi Valley. Most of that line has significantly weakened. The flooding threat, however, still exists as it moves across the Florida Panhandle.

Still dealing with thunderstorms? One severe thunderstorm warning until 11:00 central time for Alabama. Strong winds. You see the bow with the line there, that indicates the strong damaging wind threat. And still quarter-sized hail possible with this as it continues its track off to the north and east.

The whole system taking its track north and east and bringing in that severe weather threat from Florida up into the Carolinas over the next 24 hours, but again still holding that threat for stronger storms throughout the rest of the evening and into early morning hours tomorrow.

Mobile up into parts of the southern parts of Alabama, we'll still hold that threat for a few tornadoes this evening. But again, like I said, it is starting to weaken.


Numerous reports of tornadoes, 44 reports, 23 severe wind gust reports and six hail reports. Again, we mentioned that severe weather threat holds across Florida, but more of a flight risk, damaging winds and large hails as we move into Wednesday.

A flooding threat becomes a little more likely in these areas. We have already picked up 2 to 4 inches of rain. Additional rainfall up to another 2 to 4 inch is possible just within the next 24 hours.

Moving on up to the parts of the Tennessee River Valley and on the back end of the system, the snow threat not over. We are still dealing with blizzard warning from the north shore of Lake Superior and back into the central plains where (INAUDIBLE) conditions are likely. Alisyn? Laura?

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. We need to be careful out there. Britley, thank you very much for all of that.

Let's bring in now Guy McInnis. He is the president of St. Bernard Parish where a tornado touched down earlier today. Guy, thanks so much for being here. We understand that 10 people had to be rescued in Saint Bernard Parish. So, tell us what that those have been like. GUY MCINNIS, PRESIDENT, ST. BERNARD PARISH: Yes, ma'am. Alisyn, thank you for looking in on us here. Yes, we had 10 rescues. It was a multiple type of issues. Sheriff Pullman (ph) and our fire chief was out there making sure that we could get our residents out of an apartment complex. We had a home directly across the street. Our chief administrative officer actually was trapped in their home. We got them out, child and some pets.

So, we had about 50 or 60 structures that were heavily damaged by the storm. None totally damaged as we know of yet. So, a little different than the EF3 that came through here in March and in the same path in Arabi.

So, we are blessed that we have no serious injuries. And we are going to get to work tomorrow morning cleaning this up. We have resources from our governor. We spoke with John Bel Edwards tonight and all of our representatives.

So, we want to hit the ground running tomorrow and get our community cleaned up. We are thinking about other communities throughout our country really that are going through the same thing tonight.

COATES: That is so important. And Guy, what do you need in terms of resources given that this has happened and your parish is no stranger even this year to tornadoes? What are the resources that are going to be most beneficial to your community?

MCINNIS: The only thing that we needed tonight was the governor to say, guys start to cleanup tomorrow, we have the money to pay for it. So, that is what we are going to do. Entergy, our power company, is out there tonight, so we're going to get our power back to the citizens of Arabi. That is ongoing. Most of them will probably be up tonight. Tomorrow, we will work on the most damaged areas.

But, you know, it's one of those things where real time reporting from the media, national and local, save lives, I believe. I know it saved lives in March. It saved lives tonight. To see the amazing, awesome actions of our deputies, I was with the sheriff when that tornado was coming across into our community and listening to all of the deputies and coordination as that storm was coming, was unbelievable.

We were in the areas where we needed to be. Our citizens were taken care of. They are upbeat, helping each other. We are going to get through this during this holiday season.

COATES: Guy, just looking at those images on the screen and seeing how that really -- just scary tornado images there. I'm trying to get a sense of how much time you had. You're watching this coming. What is the amount of time you even had to prepare from the reporting to making sure that people had those signals going?

MCINNIS: Yeah. You know, we were out and about, driving around and trying to position ourselves to make sure that we were ready to respond. We had an alert at around 3:45 or so that this storm would be hitting Arabi at around 4:06. And from what I remember, it pretty much came across that river at 4:06. So, I would say around 15 or 20 minutes, that our citizens had, you know, advised to hunker down. It looks like most of them did. So, we are blessed because of that.

CAMEROTA: Well, Guy, thank goodness for the coordination that you spoke of, among all of the emergency responders and deputies and everybody. I know you're going to have a long night. Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us, and we will check back with you tomorrow.

MCINNIS: God bless.

CAMEROTA: You, too.


Okay, it has been 10 years, as you know, since the Sandy Hook school shooting. And tonight, one of those parents who has harnessed her pain and anger will be here to help Uvalde parents get through these unbearable days.


CAMEROTA: That's the White House there, lit up in green tonight to mark 10 years since the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults.

We've seen some progress in those 10 years, but we have also seen many more school shootings to a sickening degree. So, where are we tonight?


Well, joining us is Scarlett Lewis. She is the mother of six-year-old Jesse Lewis who was killed at Sandy Hook. And also with us are Gloria and Javier Cazares. Their nine-year-old daughter, Jackie, was killed in the Uvalde school shooting in May.

Jackie and Gloria and Scarlet, thank you all for being here and being here together. I know, Scarlett, that talking to you will be a comfort to all of us, particularly to the Cazareses. Scarlett, can you just first tell us what today has been like for you? How do you mark an anniversary like these 10 years today?

SCARLETT LEWIS, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Today, I did actually what I did every day, and that is continue to work towards keeping our kids safe by speaking with educators and working on a proactive and preventative solution. Today was no different than any other day -- work day for me, anyway. But 10 years marks a significant time, and I really wish that we had made more progress. My heart really goes out to the Uvalde families because as with Sandy Hook, that should never have happened.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. And so, Scarlett, I know -- I mean, just so everyone knows, you have turned your pain into purpose. You have devoted these years to traveling around the world. You talk to school kids. You talk to educators. You talk to everyone about trauma and spotting it and helping to process it. And you say that you found your purpose, you know, after all of the pain.

And so, in terms of the Cazareses, what can you say to them? I mean, where do they even begin to start processing this horrible pain?

LEWIS: I mean, it is so difficult and they are really right in it right now. I mean, they are still in the investigation phase. They are still sorting through so many mistakes that were made. And my heart really goes out to them.

You know, it is a long process, but I can tell you, for myself, at some point, I just made a choice. And I thought about, you know, how -- there is no playbook for parents who have lost children like we have. And I had to decide how I wanted the rest of my life to look.

And if I wanted to be another victim of the shooter, fighting against something for the rest of my life, or if I wanted to be for something -- and my son, Jesse, had left a message on our kitchen chalkboard, three words, nurturing, healing, love, and it really shaped the direction that my life took after that. I decided to be for love and it was the right choice for me.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. So, Gloria and Javier, where are you guys tonight? Has anything gotten easier since May or harder?

JAVIER CAZARES, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Hello. Thank you for having us. Yeah, it is hard every day. That is why we need your help (ph).

GLORIA CAZAREZ, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: It is much harder, I think. Just like Scarlett said, there is -- we are in the middle of it. There is investigation. We just got a report yesterday. That was very difficult to hear. It just feels like it can't get worse and then it does.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I can only imagine the way Uvalde has handled this. I mean, from the what looks like cover-ups to the stonewalling to the incompetence, that obviously has not helped all the pain. So, Gloria and Javier, what questions do you have for Scarlett tonight?

J. CAZARES: First of all, I just want to, you know, give my respect for your loss as well. And thank you for being out here and sharing our story as well.

G. CAZARES: I think it brings some kind of comfort. I don't know if that is the right word just because I can't picture myself tomorrow or next week, let alone 10 years. I do not know and it just makes some kind of comfort to know that you are able to move forward. Not move on, but move forward, at least get through each day.

LEWIS: You know, I absolutely remember wondering if I was going to survive. That was the level of pain. I never wanted to kill myself, but I literally thought that I was going to dissolve and die. That is the amount of pain that I felt. So, I understand where you are. I am 10 years further along in my journey, at least nine and a half, and you do survive and you do --

G. CAZARES: We are having issues with (INAUDIBLE).


CAMEROTA: Oh, you're having technical -- can you hear us, Gloria? Okay, we will work -- we will get them back. But I wanted you to talk about that because I think we all feel that way. How do survive? At what point did that turn around for you and you realized, I will survive this?

LEWIS: You know, honestly, it was another parent that had lost a child to violence, and I had never met anybody that had done that. She started laying out the path of what my life was going to look like. And that was not what I wanted my life to look like. I realized right then and there that I was going to have to determine my path. And it was going to be a choice.

And so, I made a choice really to quit my job and devote my life to being part of the solution. You know, it is very, very hard where that couple is right now, when you have people that are not taking personal responsibility for mistakes that they made. And it is very hard to hold people accountable.

I think that until we are able to hold people accountable, it's -- and also, what I've been trying to do for the last 10 years is address the root cause of the pain that leads to the violence.

I mean, we have a billion-dollar industry that is gone up around hardening schools and hardening does need to happen, unfortunately, because that is where we are in our society. We have allowed it to get to that. But until we address the root cause, we are never going to get ahead of the problem.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. And Scarlett, because Christmas -- I mean, we are in the middle of the holiday season. Christmas is coming up. Obviously, we have the Cazareses back. This is the first Christmas without Jackie. What advice do you have for them? What can you share about that?

LEWIS: Christmas is difficult. I remember my first Christmas without Jesse. It was two weeks after the tragedy. And it was really difficult. I don't know if you all have faith, but I do, and that is really what got me through, my faith that Jesse and I would be reunited. And I don't know how anyone else could get through that. It is really difficult.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Gloria? Javier?

J. CAZARES: The first thing was her birthday. Her birthday was June 10th. That was the first thing. That was very hard. Thanksgiving, you know, Christmas, it is difficult. But she loved to celebrate. We tried to make it as -- I had the word but -- make it special again. As hard it is, we try to make it -- we have to get through it. It will be hard, but we will get through it.


LEWIS: And you will. I remember the first -- the first holidays were really, really difficult. And I always -- I thought about Jessie's last message to his older brother. He had left him this little note that JT had found when he was 12 years old on his desk, and it said, have a lot of fun. And that is what we tried to do before Jesse died.

And so, that is also how we try to honor him. Even right after he died, we were celebrating his life. Rather than mourning his death, we try to focus on celebrating the life that he had and who he was to honor his legacy. But you will be spending the rest of your life every single day honoring your child's legacy.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Well, Gloria and Javier, I hope that it gives you some small comfort to see Scarlett and see that she has been able to move forward. And obviously, you know, she carries Jesse with her every day but she has, as she says, turned her pain to purpose.

We are thinking of you. And obviously, we have been looking at your beautiful children throughout this segment. None of you deserve this. These kids did not deserve this. Our country has to figure this out. Take care. We will be in touch with you through the Christmas holiday.


We really thank all of you for being here with us tonight.

J. CAZARES: Thank you for having us.

G. CAZARES: Thank you.


LEWIS: Thank you.

COATES: What a devastating yet important conversation to be witness to. I mean, just the idea -- I am always believing that people are sometimes a collision course and their fate is so intertwined. And to have them interact in this way was so meaningful to so many people.

CAMEROTA: I mean, I hope that it is comforting to see somebody else who has survived something so unthinkable and that she can go on. I hope that gives them some small measure of comfort. But really, it's time. It's time. They're going have to live with this pain for a long time.

COATES: My mother always says, life must go go on. I forget sometimes just why. We'll be right back.




COATES: Okay, so have you noticed something about your newest coworkers? Maybe you're having a little trouble communicating, Alisyn? I don't know. Not with me but --


CAMEROTA: What have you heard?

COATES: Nothing. I mean, I'm asking for a friend, a Gen-Z friend.

CAMEROTA: There is a generational issue happening.

COATES: There is a generational issue. That is good. That was good. That was a little bit boomer (ph). But I'm good with that.


COATES: We're not alone thinking about this. "The Washington Post" has a quiz out. It is called "Cringe quiz: Are you fluent in Gen-Z office speak?" I'm actually not.

CAMEROTA: I feel like we're living this right now.

COATES: I'm not even Gen-Z.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Let's check this out with our panel.


CAMEROTA: Back with us, we have Elie Honig. We also had Emma Goldberg, our resident Gen-Z here to interpret all this stuff for us. S.E. Cupp is back with us, too. Okay --

HONIG: Not a boomer.

CAMEROTA: -- so here is -- we are not a boomer. I'm Gen-X. I'm proud to be Gen-X, but it turns out --

CUPP: You're not a boomer?


COATES: Marjorie Taylor Greene talk to us about sarcasm earlier.


CAMEROTA: Here is the point. I didn't know I was offending my Gen-Z colleagues by some of my emails and everything. This quiz tells us. I mean, you know.

Here's one of the first questions. You assign your Gen-Z colleague a task, maybe on slack or text, whatever, and you end the sentence with a period.

GOLDBERG: God forbid.

CAMEROTA: Okay, why don't you like that?

GOLDBERG: It sounds passive aggressive.


CAMEROTA: Really? Passive aggressive?

GOLDBERG: If there is no exclamation point, then I'm taking it personally.

CAMEROTA: Gen-Zers need an exclamation point or nothing?

GOLDBERG: I do three exclamation points. Unless I'm mad at someone.

HONIG: How do you say at the end of one sentence and the beginning of another?

GOLDBERG: You know, you can just do -- you can just do one exclamation point. You can keep it very neutral.


COATES: How about if I say, like, periodt? Like P-E-R-I-O-D-T? That's not --

CUPP: That's a different thing.

GOLDBERG: That is whole -- I don't know why you're trying to communicate there. We need a dictionary for that.

CAMEROTA: That takes a lot longer, Laura. That's crazy.

COATES: Okay. Well --

CAMEROTA: But here it is. The answer is that the period is (INAUDIBLE). Just like you said, as a sign of anger or coldness. It's like too aggressive, basically.


CAMEROTA: A period. Because it says like duh (ph).


CAMEROTA: Is that -- is that what it says to you?

GOLDBERG: What did I do wrong?

CAMEROTA: Oh, my goodness.

HONIG: I'm learning.

COATES: Here is another one, exclamation point. You send an email to a Gen-Z colleague, asking the person to complete a task, and you add a smiley face emoji at the end of your paragraph.

CAMEROTA: I do this all the time.

COATES: But it is that one. No teeth showing. It is that one. And your Gen-Z colleague becomes worried. The question is, why? Are you worried to see a smiley face?

HONIG: But that is an ambiguous smile. That is like, I have some bad news for your smile.

GOLDBERG: It's an unsettling smile.

HONIG: Yeah.

GOLDBERG: There is a lot of smile options on the emoji list and that one signals to me like this is a very cautious smile.

CAMEROTA: So regular smile, you interpret as too ambiguous?

COATES: You want teeth?

GOLDBERG: I want -- not teeth. Maybe like something like dimples.

COATES: Or like the winking --

HONIG: How about the colon in the parentheses?

CAMEROTA: No, they don't like that.

HONIG: That is not okay?


COATES: In fact, the answer is number two. The emoji makes you think, just like you said, something is actually wrong for that reason. So, show some teeth, S.E.

CUPP: Also, you can't do a thumbs-up.


GOLDBERG: That's very passive aggressive. That's like when your mom starts to talk like really slowly to you and you're, like, okay, she is telling you something is good because she is about to (INAUDIBLE) it was something bad. The thumbs-up is very scary.

CUPP: I haven't worked in an office in forever, not because of COVID, but because I don't have a real job. This is what I do.


CUPP: So, I don't know any of this stuff from office. I know it from TikTok. I know what the kids on TikTok are saying and doing!

CAMEROTA: Can't do a thumbs-up?

CUPP: A hundred percent. One hundred percent.

COATES: And I didn't know at first. And I remember, I had -- I responded to someone and just said, K. I was just like --

(CROSSTALK) COATES: But then she called me and she was like, are you okay?


COATES: And I said, I'm fine. And she said (INAUDIBLE) K.


COATES: Look at the meaning of okay. If you add a third K to a text to me, we do have a problem. So, Emma, tell me this. How did this, first of all, we were joking about this, but I think a lot of the generation is about having communication online. So being lost in translation happens all the time.


We have to be very clear about what that looks like. Is that why?

GOLDBERG: I think that is fair. I think, you know, the average Gen-Z person got a smartphone for the first time when they were 12. So, they grew up very used to this very casual and also kind of playful form of communication. And I think when you grow up with kind of like every emoji in the world available to you, you are like, why is someone sending me a K? You know --

CAMEROTA: Is a K too short?

CUPP: It's rude.

CAMEROTA: It's rude.

CUPP: It's rude.

CAMEROTA: K is rude. And okay is --

CUPP: Classic.

CAMEROTA: -- Okay, classic. But capital OK is aggressive.

CUPP: That's loud. You're loudly saying okay!

CAMEROTA: Okay. But I like that the words K mean so mean, so closed off, judgmental.

COATES: That's why I got a phone call.



HONIG: I have the solution, by the way. On behalf of our generation, generation X, here's what you do. Use our slang. Right? We grew up in the 80s and 90s. So, my daughter will text me, practice ends at 5:30, and I will respond, word.

(LAUGHTER) HONIG: She is not like that. I did it. It worked. I'm going to find this. One of our favorite producers, Randy, who we know, text me. Hang on. I saved this. Need you on set. Can you get there ASAP? And I wrote back, word. And she gave me one of the huh?


HONIG: And I said, it is what cool people said in the 90s. So, it can go both ways, Emma.

GOLDBERG: (INAUDIBLE) it is not the 90-thing.


GOLDBERG: Okay boomer moment.

COATES: Can we just say shade? (Ph).

CAMEROTA: I don't know.

HONIG: That is probably offensive.




CAMEROTA: That's amazing.


CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you for helping us avoid all sorts of very awkward (INAUDIBLE) at the office. Thank you.

COATES: Okay, we'll be right back.






CAMEROTA: Very upsetting news in the entertainment world. Stephen "Twitch" Boss, the longtime DJ dancer for the "Ellen Degeneres Show," has died at the age of 40. Ellen posted on Instagram -- quote -- "I'm heartbroken. Twitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him. Please, send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children, Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia.

COATES: The Los Angeles County medical examiner says Stephen Boss died by suicide. Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can dial 988 and connect to a counselor at the suicide and crisis lifeline or chat at It's devastating news. Thank you all for watching.

CAMEROTA: Our coverage continues now.