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CNN Tonight

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR) Says, Dividing Line In America No Longer Left, Right But Normal And Crazy; Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Claims Government Is Trying To Take Away Gas Stoves, Top Regulator Previously Tells CNN, That's Not Happening; Southwest Pilots Bringing New Evidence Of Holiday Chaos; CNN Panel Discussion On Watching LeBron Break History On Their Phones Versus Their Own Eyes; Accused Dallas Zoo Thief Vows To Do it Again; A Newborn Baby Rescued From The Rubble In Syria. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 08, 2023 - 22:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.

Let's start with the culture wars. In the past 24 hours, the battlefield has been noisy. More battles about books in the classroom, drama over drag shows and gaslighting about gas stoves. Here is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this morning surrounded by and taking urgent action to protect gas stoves.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): They are trying to take away your gas stove.

They are coming for any little thing in your life that they can do, and I think what they want to be able to do is they ultimately want to control the amount of energy you consume.


CAMEROTA: Well, it turns 92 percent of Floridians use electric stoves, but let's not let that get in the way. What is this really about? Well, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders spelled it out.


GOV. SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS (R-AR): We are under attack in a left- wing culture war we didn't start and never wanted to fight.


CAMEROTA: Sure it seems like some people do want this fight.

But what's the truth about culture war rhetoric? We'll talk about why these messages are so powerful and why even some Democrats are warning about wokeness.

Plus, you remember the Southwest Airlines meltdown over the holidays? Well, now, we have an alarming glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes while passengers were stranded, including a message sent to a cockpit computer asking who's flying this plane. We have a preview of a Senate hearing about all of this tomorrow. What can Congress do to make flying less nerve-racking for all of us?

And the suspect in the Dallas Zoo animal thefts has allegedly admitted to stealing two tamarin monkeys and trying to steal a snow leopard. He also reportedly told police he wants to take more animals if he gets out of jail. Jeff Corwin is here tonight to talk about our obsession with exotic animals.

So, there's a lot going on tonight. And here with me in studio we have former Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, CNN Political Commentator Van Jones and Conservative Lawyer George Conway. Guys, I don't just talk about the news, I walk while talking about the news, okay?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's harder than it looks.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Van. I appreciate you knowing that. Guys, great to see you.

George, is a woke mob coming to take my gas stove? I'm scared.


CAMEROTA: I am terrified.

CONWAY: Absolutely. I mean, How are you going to cook? Are you going to have to light a match or something?

CAMEROTA: That's a gas stove. With an electric stove, you just turn it on.

CONWAY: Maybe someday they'll have these things with lake rays or something that will zap your food warm it or something.

CAMEROTA: I'm glad you're seeing the levity in all this because Governor DeSantis is not. And so Governor DeSantis has just enacted like tax -- you can buy a gas stove now tax free because he thinks that the woke mob or he's claiming the woke mob is coming to take your gas stove. How have we gotten here?

CONWAY: I have no idea. Honestly, it's just completely insane. They can't talk about real issues anymore. They want to talk about limited government. They don't talk about that anymore because they don't actually want limited government. Before the quarter of the national debt was created during the Trump administration, even before COVID, a lot of it was, and so they can't really talk about that.

So -- you know, then they don't really have a coherent -- I mean, the sensible Republicans can agree with Democrats on foreign policy with regard to Ukraine and then the lunatics with Russia, they don't want to talk about that. So, what else is there to talk about? Gas stoves, bathrooms, people like George Santos who dresses in drag, I guess. I mean --

CAMEROTA: He mixes metaphors, and we will get to him in a moment. But I do feel like the last 24 hours, particularly the governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders retort was -- I mean, the culture war was loud, as I said, last night. What did you hear?

JONES: Well, yes. I mean, last night, we've had our President Biden remind us and Republicans remind us why so many people voted for Joe Biden. Biden was talking about real stuff. He was talking about economic issues. He's talking about bringing people together and the Republican Party, both the people screaming, yelling and making a mockery of our process, and even Sarah Huckabee Sanders were all about division and culture war.

And I do think it's because what else do they have to talk about? We have an economy that is healing, that's moving forward, 500,000 jobs created just last month, 12 million jobs in two years.


You know, we've got a bunch of problems but the Democrats have been trying to solve those problems. And what are you going to say? You're going to start picking on these complete nonsense issues. Nobody is coming for anybody's gas stove but we're talking about it and that's what they want.

CAMEROTA: Here was an interesting moment, I thought, Andrew, last night where Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders talked about the woke mob and how President Biden has dealt with it.


SANDERS: And he's the first man to surrender his presidency to a woke mob that can't even tell you what a woman is.

The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy.


CAMEROTA: So, Andrew, the idea that she's painting an 80-year-old white grandfather as, you know, susceptible to the woke mob, does that fly with people? Does that resonate with people?

ANDREW YANG, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the playbook has been the caricature the other party by its most extreme wing, and it's been working on both sides. I do want to take a moment to acknowledge my man, Van Jones. It's been too long, van. It's rush hour again here at CNN.

JONES: Welcome back.

CAMEROTA: I saw you guys having a man hug backstage. And I saw in you there was a lot -- I know, I know. I did too, but there was a lot of affection happening here.

JONES: Yes. I love this guy.

YANG: But it's a function of how polarized the country is where about half of Democrats regard Republicans as corrupt and a threat to the country, Republicans feel the same way about Democrats. And so if you want to score points, it's a lot easier to look at these folks and their loony beliefs and then beat them up. And it's amplified and augmented by social media where you can have that video and that claim and it gets a ton of likes and it gins up energy online.

CAMEROTA: I also thought that Governor Huckabee was trying to claw back the use of the term crazy, because she wasn't referring to George Santos or Marjorie Taylor Greene or QAnon or any of the insurrectionists, she was trying to take crazy -- I mean, that's the word that has been used by, as you know, Democrats for all of that, and she was, I think, trying to like take it back.

JONES: And, look, you saw both parties doing that as well. In other words, I think people have seen the Democratic Party as being this party of sort of elite kale eaters or whatever. And so you had Joe Biden talking about corporations ripping us off, the hotel fees and the air fees.

But I thought it was really unfortunate because I know Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She's a warm person. She's a smart person. She just became governor of Arkansas. Arkansas needs real leadership to bring people together and she had an opportunity to show that side of herself. And instead she's chasing the crazies off the cliff calling all of us crazy. And there's something going wrong where someone like her who I know she knows better did that.

YANG: They're doing it because it's a winning message. And I thought Joe Biden did great last night but he did the same thing, where he just pointed out a few Republican extreme views and say, oh, look, they're going to take away your social security and Medicare. Does every Republican think that? No, there are a few people there that do.

So, for each party, it's a winning tactic just to say look at these folks and they're trapped in a two party system where, frankly, in my view, each two parties should probably be two parties at least within itself.

CAMEROTA: On the flip side, George, there are people, Democrats, including liberals who are starting to say that wokeness is getting them in trouble and going too far, and it's a great talking point for the right. And here's Nicholas Kristof a week ago in his column saying, I feared that our linguistic contortions, however well- meaning, aren't actually addressing our country's desperate inequities or achieving progressive dreams but rather are creating fuel for right-wing leaders aiming to take the country in the opposite direction. Have we reached the tipping point with that?

CONWAY: I don't know if we've reached the tipping point but there is truth in that. I mean, for example, the word Latin X, which I don't even know how to say. YANG: You said it right.

CONWAY: I said it right. The first thing that Sarah Sanders did as governor was to ban the word Latin X in Arkansas state documents. And I was like that's really stupid. But on the other hand, people -- Latinos or Hispanics or I don't know what the phrase of the day will be, they don't like the phrase either. So, why are we using it? Why are people trying to use it? I mean, it's a sort of an offshoot on craziness in college campuses.

But the problem is that the Republicans want to make this everything about this stuff. The Democrats really don't. There were a few -- yes, there's a left-wing cadre in the Democratic Party that does all this stuff, but most are not -- this is not like -- like Joe Biden's speech, it wasn't anything about that. It's the Republicans have nothing else to talk about.

CAMEROTA: I mean, he's hardly -- I don't want to disparage anybody but he's an 80-year-old white grandfather.


Is he the personification of wokeness that Governor Huckabee Sanders was talking about?

JONES: Well, he's obviously not. But, frankly, most of the people in the party are not. Look at Hakeem Jeffries. I mean, he's African- American, he's progressive but he's incredibly, relentlessly pragmatic trying to get certain things done.

And so I agree with what Andrew is saying. There does seem to be a premium on pointed extremism on the other side and try to score those kind of points. But I tell you who loses out. Who loses out is just regular Americans who are trying to get their problems solved and we wind up with this sort of mess.

CAMEROTA: Of course, because nobody I know is worried about their gas stove being taken by the woke mob. I mean, there are just other issues right now. But do you believe with George that the pendulum has swung perhaps too far in the woke direction and that the Republicans --


CONWAY: The whole has swung too far in both directions. And I think the overreaction on the right is worse than some of the wokeness on the left. I mean, I could do add some of it. But the craziness, the obsession --

JONES: There's no comparison between like white nationalism and that sort of stuff and some of those (INAUDIBLE).

YANG: But this is a winning argument because the vast majority of Americans actually do feel that language policing and political correctness have gone too far and a majority of Democrats feel the same way. CAMEROTA: I think because it's easy, Andrew. I think it's easy to get your head around this. It's not so easy to get your around what are we supposed to do about trade with China and cyber war.

YANG: It's easy to get me mad.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And so it's easy to go, oh, Latin X, that's bad.

YANG: Well, part of the problem is that the country has become polarized along educational lines. And so a lot of this stuff is essentially proxy for like look at the elitist coastal liberals and their language innovations and they're anti-gas stove and the rest of it.

CAMEROTA: And Joe Biden talks about that all the time. I mean, Joe Biden talks about how we can't just be a college culture and that we need to have great jobs for people who didn't go to college. I mean, that's something that does resonate, right, with people?

JONES: I think the worst part about it is not what we talked about. The worst part about it is if you have people who spend so much time trying to come up with the best possible term for the unhoused, you can't call them homeless, you have got to call them unhoused, but we're not doing anything to help the people actually sleeping outdoors. And so sometimes this substitute on the left all of these contortions around language are actual work. I remember we should actually do real work to help people as opposed to policing each other on Twitter.

So, I think on the one hand it gives some people on the right an opportunity to come after us but I think it also becomes a distraction on the left, and that's where the real harm, I think, happens.

YANG: It's what you said, Alisyn, like the language is easy. It's easy to pick at, it's easy try and enforce. You know what's hard, actually getting people into housing, addressing mental health crisis, and whatever that problem is.

CAMEROTA: And why are we giving up on that?

YANG: But that's the problem is that now we're focused on the warring symbols and language instead of what's happening in our communities, that part.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Great talking to you about all of that.

Stick around, everybody. When we come back we're going to talk about what's going on in our skies. There are new revelations tonight about just how bad the Southwest meltdown over the holidays was. And you don't want to miss this. We'll tell you which seat on the plane is safest.


[22:15:00] CAMEROTA: Tomorrow, Congress will dig into the Southwest Airlines Christmas travel debacle. The airlines COO plans to say that they, quote, messed up and are trying to make things right. But the head of the pilots union plans to come armed with new evidence of just how bad it was and how they say Southwest's operation is being held together with, quote, duct tape.

Andrew Yang, Van Jones and George Conway are still with me, but let's bring in CNN's Gabe Cohen from D.C. Gabe, great to have you tonight.

So, what were the messages that the southwest dispatchers were sending to pilots, I alluded to it in the open, during this whole mess?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, it's stunning. CNN has obtained this testimony that we're expecting from the pilots union tomorrow and it includes those messages you're talking about that were sent by Southwest dispatchers to specific pilots on their cockpit computer actually onboard these flights. And they really paint an alarming picture of the chaos that was happening behind the scenes during this meltdown.

In one of those messages, the dispatchers asked the pilots to identify themselves because it appears the airline didn't actually know who was onboard amid all of those crew scheduling problems. And the message then ends with, quote, it's a mess down here. And in another one of those messages dispatchers told the pilots, quote, no updates here, scheduling is so far behind, we were told we aren't allowed to walk over and talk to them.

Alisyn, it's just a snippet of what we'll hear tomorrow but it really paints that picture of what pilots were dealing with while about 2 million passengers were stranded.

CAMEROTA: So, Gabe, what's the union planning to say tomorrow at this hearing?

COHEN: Well, look, they're not expected to pull any punches. They are highly critical of Southwest's system, saying in this testimony that it's a complex operation held together by, as they put it, duct tape. And they say they've been warning about these systemic problems at Southwest and a looming crisis now for years, writing, quote, since 2011, Southwest has averaged one major operational failure every 18 months. They say warning signs were ignored, poor performance was condoned, excuses were made, processes atrophied, core values were forgotten.

Now, of course, the airline is going to dispute a lot of that, even though, as you mentioned, Alisyn, they are apologizing, they've been handing out those refunds, hundreds of millions of dollars. But you can expect the senators on the transportation committee are going to have some pretty pointed questions for their executive.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Gabe Cohen, thank you very much for all your reporting and previewing what we're going to see tomorrow.

Guys, I don't want my plane held together by duct tape. That doesn't make me feel good.

YANG: Well, it's not the plane, it's the travel schedule, if that makes you feel a little better.

CAMEROTA: It doesn't. Because I also don't like when the air traffic controller or the dispatcher, whomever, says to the pilot, who's flying this plane? I mean, it's not good. But the point, I think, we've had Southwest Airlines employees on who have said this system is woefully antiquated.


Aren't we supposed to have robots and modernization for things like this, Andrew?

YANG: Well, the robots are just coming for our jobs, Alisyn. They're not coming for the dispatchers' jobs. So, I feel bad for obviously the millions of passengers who got stuck. We've all lived some version of that. It's a nightmare. And I feel like what happened to Southwest is an emblem of them being in an environment where they were trying to cut corners and cut costs wherever they could, that their -- their culture is around customer service, yes, but also it's around trying to be really economical. And when you're trying to save money quarter after quarter and trying to turn in results, somebody is going to end up blowing up. And when it did blow up, unfortunately, it was these customers who were caught.

JONES: Thank goodness for the workers, that's what I have to say, that a lot of times people, they take a job, they have pride in their profession. They want to do a good job, whether you're talking about health care workers and HMOs who are sometimes whistleblowers about bad practices are there. But this union has been screaming and yelling for a long time not just for their own wages, not because they want more benefits, they deserve that, but saying this isn't safe, this isn't good.

And I think we need to be a lot stronger in supporting for union voices when they speak up. This is a massive number of people who are going to be whistle-blowing tomorrow in front of the country. They deserve our support.

CAMEROTA: Particularly when it's about the airline industry, when it's something that touches all of our lives and we rely on it and you put your faith into them.

JONES: The biggest leap of faith that you'd make.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely.

JONES: And any year is when you walk onto an airplane and you assume that people know what they're doing, sometimes they don't.

CAMEROTA: And, by the way, George, it feels as, though, this is -- it's not -- I mean, as if Southwest isn't just an anomaly, isn't just one-off. And here is what's happened in the past month airline issues. So, there was an FAA system outage. That was January 11th. January 13th, there was this near miss at JFK, which is super nerve-racking. There was a United plane that actually clipped another one at Newark, that was on February 3rd, and then February 5th, another near- collision just this past week at Austin airport. So, it's not just Southwest. It feels like there's some sort of systemic problem with the airlines right now.

CONWAY: Yes. Well, the last one, for example, was terribly scary because you had a FedEx plane coming in and there was a Southwest plane on the ground, and the Southwest plane didn't depart when it should have, and as a result, the runway was no longer clear. And it's like why? What is -- I mean, first of all, why is air traffic control allowing -- giving clearance to take off and land on the same runway at the same time and what were those Southwest pilots doing?

CAMEROTA: It turns out that in Austin, they don't have this -- yes, they just don't have one of these pieces of equipment. Had they upgraded, they would have. 16 other bigger airports do have that. So, they have kind of a blind spot. It's a problem.


JONES: I tell you, though, the one name that has not come up, which I hope will come up, is Pete Buttigieg.

CAMEROTA: And what do you want him --

JONES: I just think that this is a big moment for him. He's in charge of transportation for the United States. I think it's a big moment for him to step forward and says something get done. In other words, we need some leadership here. Congressional hearings are fine, but as I said, it's going to be asking questions. I mean, that's great. So, there are going to be tough questions asked. And then tomorrow, I have to get on a plane. I've got to get on a plane tomorrow.

CAMEROTA: And hasn't he been exerting leadership or not?

JONES: I think that he could exert more. In other words, I have so much respect for him. And I think that this is one of those things, to your point, it touches everybody. You want to go see your grandma, you want your kid to come home from college. This affects you. I think we need leadership in the Biden administration, especially from Pete Buttigieg.

YANG: We don't want this to be constantly after the fact, you know what I mean? Like imagine if someone had gotten to Southwest before this fiasco, then everyone would be better off.

CONWAY: But at the same time you can't have the government saying, thou shall have a great organization, thou shall have a great computer system.

JONES: Why not? Why not?

CONWAY: You can't -- at the end of the day, it's going to be these businesses who want to stay in business by serving their customers well and taking business from other companies by doing the job right. And that's the -- at the end of the day, that's what -- you know, that's what's going to solve any problem at Southwest is either people walking over to the other airline counters or lose enough customers that can't actually handle that.

JONES: I have a word for you. It's called oligopoly. In other words, it's not that easy to walk away from an airline especially when you think about the concentration. So, there are certain places where airlines really do monopolize. And you do need -- look, ordinary free market competition, I'm all in for you, but with airlines, you have so few, there's so much concentration, they have so much market power, the government does have to step in and say, look, guys, follow the rules, act right or you're going to get in trouble.



Do you guys want to know what the safest seat on a plane is?


YANG: Oh, cockpit.

CAMEROTA: What do you think it is?

YANG: I said the cockpit.

CAMEROTA: No, not the cockpit.


CAMEROTA: Well, first of all, you can't buy the cockpit.

YANG: Well you did say --

CAMEROTA: Okay. What seat do you think it is, George?

CONWAY: The exit row seat.

CAMEROTA: That's a good guess. No, it's the worst seat on the whole airplane.

JONES: It's the toilet?


YANG: No. What?

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's the middle rear seat. I mean, do we even want to preserve our lives? Are you willing to take that risk? It's the middle rear seat, only has a --

YANG: 37b, right? Yes, that's right.

CAMEROTA: Yes. It only has a 28 percent fatality rate.

YANG: In what instance? What are we talking about, like water landing? Like what is the --

CAMEROTA: You're being too specific. And then the next, I guess, safest is the middle aisle seats, 44 percent fatality rate.

JONES: Middle aisle?

CAMEROTA: Middle aisle, what does that mean?

YANG: So, you have to crash a hundred planes, you have a bunch of dummies?

CAMEROTA: Middle row?

JONES: Look, if I got to sit --

CAMEROTA: Middle of the plane there. Okay, got it, middle of the plane aisle seat. That's the second safest.

JONES: I'll go with the 44 percent. Listen, if I've got to sit back with the toilet the whole time, it's just not working. Take me out. Take me out.

CAMEROTA: All right. Guys, thank you very much.

It was a moment for the record books, LeBron James passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most all-time points in the NBA. But how many people there actually caught the moment with their own eyes and not their phones? And which one is better anyway? We discuss that and show you pictures, next.




CAMEROTA: LeBron James making history after passing Kareem Abdul- Jabbar as the new all-time NBA scoring leader. But let's take a look at these two pictures we're about to show you, okay? So, There's Michael Jordan. That's him making his last shot for the Chicago Bulls on June 4, 1998, and you can see all the fans, and maybe we can press in, they're basically -- they're witnessing it with their own eyes.

And you compare that to the shot of LeBron last night when he broke the all-time scoring record and nearly every fan there is holding up -- I'll demonstrate it for you -- holding up their phone and capturing the moment through a lens rather than with their eyes.

Back with me Andrew Yang, Van Jones, and George Conway. I see you clutching your phone.

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: Well, yeah. I can take a picture. I can take a video of what's going on here with -- and see you at the same time. There I got you and you know --

CAMEROTA: So, that's what you think is happening?

CONWAY: That's -- yeah. They're raising their hands like that, you know, it's no -- is it any different than holding up a --

CAMEROTA: A lighter at a concert?

CONWAY: -- a lighter at a concert, you know?

ANDREW YANG, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They paid thousands of dollars to be there to witness that moment, and they needed to videotape it so that they could share it with their friends that they had spent thousands of dollars.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. And I think, Andrew, there's --


CONWAY: If you can't take a piece of a seat with you, you still have a piece of the hardwood floor.

YANG: If it's not on the Gram (ph), it didn't happen. That's what people are saying. I do want to say that I now believe LeBron to be the greatest of all the time. I've been a Jordan guy my entire life after having dominate the Ewing Knicks in my formative years, but I think Jordan is not the GOAT.

CAMEROTA: Van is growling.


YANG: There you go. He's on a similar page to me over --


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Michael Jordan had to deal with everything he did when they could hand check and throw you to the ground and kick you in the face. It's a -- It's a different era. So he's the greatest of this era, and he's certainly one of the greatest LeBron James. I'm not taking away anything from him. But Michael Jordan is the greatest, period. That's it.

CAMEROTA: That's it?


YANG: Phone drop.

CAMEROTA: Phone drop, right.

YANG: I was with you until just recently I was like, you know what, LeBron has outlasted any of my reservations.

JONES: I -- look, I love them -- I love them both. But here's what I will say. I have a 1-year-old daughter and actually have more pictures of her and more videos of her in her first year than I have in my 18- year-old's entire life. I just -- I'm --

CAMEROTA: So true.

JONES: I'm just crazy about this device. And I -- whatever she does I'm taking pictures, I'm videotaping. I just -- I think the culture has completely changed. It doesn't feel like even in my house that it happened if I didn't record it, in my house, let alone if I'd been there.

CAMEROTA: (Inaudible) fascinating.


JONES: If I'd been there, I would have been like this the whole time.

CAMEROTA: So, all of you agree?

CONWAY: Technology makes a big difference. I mean, when I -- when my kids were -- when my first kids were born -- our first kid was born 2004. Then the video quality was ridiculous.

JONES: Right.

CONWAY: It didn't really exist. So, we had these cans with the little cassettes and then, you know -- and I've got piles of these cassettes. I need to basically take them to somebody to transfer them and make them digital.

CAMEROTA: And that's never going to happen.

CONWAY: Yes. So, you know, tomorrow, the next week, I don't know.

CAMEROTA: Basically all of you are in agreement that our phones enhance the experiment, not dampen it somehow?

JONES: We are cyborgs now, that's what I believe. These things are literally a part of us. And here's how you know. Let -- lose your phone and see how you act. You don't know where to go, you can't call anybody --

CAMEROTA: Oh, absolutely.

JONES: -- you can't get across the street.

CAMEROTA: No, you're -- I'm a mess.

JONES: So, I -- I'm -- and I'm not as where you thought as I used to be.

CAMEROTA: I agree with all that.

JONES: You see the difference?


CAMEROTA: But I guess I mean a live -- a live action experience, a live concert, a live moment like that, history making moment, if you're looking at it through your phone, you're still okay, like you think it still enhances the experience, not dampen it somehow rather than just experience it being in the moment?

YANG: I think they're both trying to experience it and record it so they can share it with other people. I agree with van at this point we're having our brains rewired. I'm not sure it's totally positive. I think most of us can agree there could be some negatives, particularly for young people. I thank -- I thank my lucky stars that I came of age at a period when we weren't cyborgs, to Van's point. And for young people in particular I mean you are seeing surges in anxiety, depression --


CAMEROTA: Oh, that's -- there's a debate about that. That's not even open to debate anymore. In terms of social media, I would say on balance it's been detrimental.


VANS: Look, Prince used to make people not bring cameras. Dave Chappell doesn't want you to bring it because you do lose something of the presence and the immediacy. I think it's a tradeoff.

And look, I have a 14-year-old son. He made an unbelievable behind the back pass in basketball, and he was so happy, and then he found out I hadn't recorded it.


JONES: And he was miserable. Because even though it happened --


CONWAY: (Inaudible) job.

JONES: -- exactly. He said -- he said -- he said, never record again, dad. But even though it happened and his friends saw it, the fact he couldn't share it with his mom who wasn't there, it didn't essentially happen. So, it's just a -- I don't think -- I do think it's a tradeoff. I think it's a tradeoff, but I get it. I get it. Because I'm a part of it now. I'm not a critic. I'm a part of it.

CONWAY: We're all guilty of it.

JONES: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: No, I get what you mean but in terms of Prince being a purist and Dave Chappell being a purist, I understand that. I mean, wanting to have that, your own sort of trends and down moment without being tethered to the phone. I get that. However, having said that, there are so many live music events from my teenage years that I wish I had on my phone, you know. So, they're just -- they're in my memory and they're incandescent in my memory, but I wish I could relive them on my phone. YANG: I've been in front of groups of people. And the fact is you actually have a different experience yourself if you know it's being recorded. Let's say, I'm speaking at a political event. If it's not being recorded or it's being recorded, I hate to say it, but like it's going to go down differently.

CAMEROTA: Don't you think everything is being recorded nowadays?

YANG: I mean, that's like your default mode. But there are also times and it's deeply uncomfortable when someone just run up to you with a camera in your face.

JONES: Yeah.

YANG: And then -- and then they'll press you on something and you can tell that, you know, it's meant to be like an aggressive move. So, there -- we are, unfortunately, I think, having our culture changed in a way that's changing our experiences in real time.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I don't like that. You're not -- are you a big social media guy?

CONWAY: A little bit.

CAMEROTA: Are you?

CONWAY: I've been known to post a few things, a tweet or two.

CAMEROTA: No, I mean Twitter. No, come on. Like Twitter is different than Instagram because --

CONWAY: No, no. I've never done Instagram. I've never done Facebook.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. That's what we're talking --

CONWAY: I mean, I look at other people's Instagrams and I spy on other people's Facebooks --

CAMEROTA: Naturally.

CONWAY: And I, you know -- I play lots of TikToks of dogs and cats basically.

CAMEROTA: Of course, you do. Yeah. No. I guess my point is the feeling it didn't happen unless you post it is purely a new phenomenon in this generation. And again, I'm not sure that's the best. Okay, guys, thank you very much for all of that.

YANG: It's not the best, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you.

YANG: Wait until Michael Jordan --

CONWAY: Wait till we come back with moving glasses that actually work. CAMEROTA: No, I don't want those.

JONES: (Inaudible).

CAMEROTA: All right. A big admission from the suspect in the Dallas Zoo incident. Court documents say he's allegedly confessed to the thefts and even wanted to take more animals. Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, is here to talk about this phenomenon, next.




CAMEROTA: Big developments tonight in the recent tampering incidents at the Dallas Zoo. Court documents allege that 24-year-old Davion Erwin -- Irvin who's facing at least eight charges admits to steeling the two tamarin monkeys that were eventually found in an abandoned house.

Irvin also allegedly admits to trying to steal the clouded snow leopard that got out of its cage before being captured again. And he apparently told police he wants take more animals and will do so if he gets out of jail.

Let's discuss with wildlife biologist, Jeff Corwin, host of Wildlife Nation. Jeff, great to see you. Have you ever come across a case like this in your history?

JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Well, good evening, Alisyn. I'm delighted to spend some time with you tonight. And -- but, unfortunately, these circumstances are -- I'm just struggling with them because -- yes, I have been in situations where I've looked add the black market trade.

For example, I presented a series with Anderson Cooper called Planet in Peril where we traveled around the world looking at the black market sale of wildlife which is something like a $60 billion a year industry. But to see this level of disregard and selfishness and -- I just struggle with it.

Is there a neurosis here? Is it the fact we just don't have the laws to hold him accountable? Our laws when it comes to stuff like this are woefully inadequate when holding people accountable committing crimes against wildlife and animals.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, I agree with you. This is very peculiar one because is he trying to free the animals? Is he trying to hurt the animals? It's unclear, but I agree with you. It seems like some sort of personality psychosis of some kind because he seems hell bent on doing it again.

Here are the vandalism incidents just since January 13th at the Dallas Zoo just to remind everybody. The clouded leopard that we talked about, named Nova (ph), disappeared then was found close to her habitat later that day. Enclosure of the langur monkeys had been cut, but none of them have left their habitat. The vulture named Pin, was found dead in his habitat. No one has yet figured out if that was intentional. And those two emperor tamarin monkeys went missing and they were found alive but in a closet of an abandoned Dallas area home.

So, it's very hard to know if all of these are connected or what the motivation is. But, Jeff, to your larger point, is there -- have you seen things like this on the rise since reality shows about exotic pets and exotic animals? Are you seeing more kind of a fetishizing of those animals?


CORWIN: That's an interesting observation. I can tell you what I don't see in this individual. I don't see a sense of altruism. I don't see behaviors that are really designed in anyway towards the advocacy for wildlife or conservation. This was malevolent, this was malicious, this was vandalism. And it put endangered species even more at risk. And it is not impossible that he could be the culprit behind the demise of that (inaudible) vulture where there are only about 6,000 or 7,000 of these vultures left.

But, again, we've seen this in cases with domestic animals where mentally deranged people break into a -- or youth with no sense of consciousness will break into a shelter, kill animals, and then they walk away with barely but a slap on the wrist. We do have strong laws like --

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that. Why is that, Jeff? Tell me about that. Why aren't the laws punishing them more harshly?

CORWIN: Because we live in a world where human life is valued more than animal life and we live in a world where we have a strong connection to animals domestically for food consumption, for -- in our social environment, in our culture, where we don't want to be in a situation where someone accidently runs over a cat and they go to jail for 60 years for, you know, cat manslaughter.

On the other side, people are literally allowed to get away with the demise creatures, especially with intent. And this guy is a perfect example of that. Alisyn, we do have laws. For example, we have the Lacey Act. It's almost 100 years old where if you take an animal that's endangered, for example, and you move it across a county line or state line, you can go to jail for up to five years and be fined tens of thousands of dollars. But rarely -- rarely do we see those laws enforced.

Even internationally, we have huge issues where people are caught smuggling endangered species out of the United States, and oftentimes what they get is maybe two months in prison and a slap on the wrist. People violate hunting regulations. And when they -- you know, and they lose their hunting license for a year. We don't hold people accountable.

Interesting question, though, what is the social media connection here? And I think what we're seeing are a lot of copycat demonstrations where it's sort of like that culprit -- you know, the arsonist who started that fire may have a connection to, you know, the fireman or the fire worker rescue community.

The idea we get these copycat crimes at the -- in New York City, in the Central Park Zoo with that very important owl species, the Eurasian owl, monkeys stolen from another zoo, we're seeing this ripple effect across our nation. And I don't have the answers to why --


CORWIN: -- but maybe, Alisyn, if we held them accountable we would see less of these acts.

CAMEROTA: Well, Jeff, great to get your perspective. This is something that really interests our viewers, interests a lot of people about what's going on because we do as you say have this relationship with these animals. And certainly, at our zoos, we want to be able to see the animals and have access to them without them being endangered.

But Jeff Corwin, thanks so much for your time tonight.

CORWIN: Thank you very much.

CAMEROTA: Okay. So, amid terrible tragedy, a story of survival. A Syrian newborn pulled from the rubble after this week's devastating earthquake and found alive. We're going to show you her dramatic rescue next.




CAMEROTA: Devastation in Syria and turkey tonight where the death is soaring to more than 15,000 people from the massive earthquake on Monday.

In Syria, a baby girl born during the earthquake was found alive in the rubble, reportedly with umbilical cord still attached. But her mother is believed to have died. There is dramatic video that shows the moment of rescuer swept the baby girl out of the wreckage and it to safety. You can see it right there.

Today, two women were found, alive in Turkey more than 62 hours after the 7.8 earthquake. But of course, the death toll continues to rise. At least 60,000 people in Turkey and Syria have been injured. And tonight, the rescue efforts continue and a race of its time to save anyone else who might be buried alive, under those ruins.

Up next, we're gonna talk about George Santos, the congressman who lied his way into the job as you know it and he's taking aim at Senator Mitt Romney tonight and going after, of all things, Mitt Romney's religion. You'll remember George Santos claimed to be Jewish. We're going to talk about it all next.




CAMEROTA: Truth challenge, Republican Congressman George Santos is going after Senator Mitt Romney tonight after the senator told Santos, quote, "You don't belong here," during a quake and feisty exchange at last night's state of the union.


REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): It's not the first time in history that I've been told to shut up and go to the back of the room, especially by people comfort privileged background, and it is not going to be the last. And I'm never going to shut up and go to the back of the room. And I think it's reprehensible to the senator would say such a thing to me and the demeaning way he said it wasn't very Mormon of him. That's what I can tell you.


CAMEROTA: Here with me in the studio, CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst, John Miller. We also have political commentator, Ashley Allison, and conservative lawyer, George Conway.

Ashley, what a juxtaposition to just see them even speaking. Here's Senator Mitt Romney, who's widely considered, arguably, one of the most decent and dignified politicians in Congress against George Santos who is widely considered to be a prolific serial liar, and the fact that they even had that exchange, what were you thinking as you're watching this?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I was dying to know what they were saying first and then when I heard the readout it shows you how egregious Santos' behavior is for.