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Police Seek Motive For Deadly Shooting Rampage At MSU; GOP Attacks Wokeness And Cancel Culture; There Are Growing Appeals To Senators To Protect Children Online; At Least 15 Whales Beached On The Northern Atlantic Coast Since December 1st. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired February 14, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Katherine, thanks so much for being here. We are so sorry for what the Michigan State community is going through today. I mean, we heard about how this just huge family of Spartans, as you all are known, between parents and alumni and students, it's vast, and you all stay in touch and, you know, what a tragedy this is for everyone.
Being as steep in this subject matter as you are and knowing the campus as well as you do, having gone there, is there anything that could have stopped what happened last night?
KATHERINE SCHWEIT, FORMER HEAD OF FBI ACTIVE SHOOTER PROGRAM: I think that we are -- we don't really have the answer to that yet, right, because the FBI and Michigan State Police and others are going to do the backgrounding on this individual who did the shooting to see maybe if there were tells and there were signs and there were people who saw something and didn't say something, which is, you know, kind of my biggest fear, of course.
But I think overall, you know, I think we have to use when we -- when we push together what everybody wants, which is the answer to the motivation for why this guy did this, looking for the motivation is really helping us to find the next shooter, before they strike. And that's what we -- that's why we want to continue to look for the information about why this guy did what he did, not because we can make him not do it but because we can make the next guy not do it.
CAMEROTA: But we don't seem to be doing a very good job of stopping the next one. I mean, there seem to be more and more mass shootings. It's not just a feeling. It's the truth. Just this year, there are only 45 days into the year, there have already been 67 mass shootings, which are defined by four or more people being killed or injured. And so, we just haven't figured out -- well, you've written a book on it. What is the answer to stopping these?
SCHWEIT: Yeah, the numbers are a little tricky. I mean, to be honest, when the gun violence archives and the others who are tracking, when they say mass shootings, they are saying four or more or three or more. You know, the FBI doesn't use a number of how many more, but they are looking at a whole vast on the landscape of violence. So, it might be -- that might he a murder suicide or a domestic violence or gangs or drugs.
But the ones that, you know, we are dealing with today, this situation, the Parkland situation five years ago, Northern Illinois University exactly 15 years ago today, five killed, 17 injured, those types of shootings, you are right, those are here in our face and we are like why are we not able to combat that.
You know, I have maybe a somewhat controversial view about it but having worked on this for so long, you know, the answer is that we as citizens are not willing to accept our responsibility for it, and that's kind of frustrating. The individuals are out there. They're conducting themselves in the same way, and we are not choosing to accept to see what they are doing in preparation for these kinds of killings.
WALLACE: What would we have to do differently?
SCHWEIT: I think that we, you know, as a whole, the individuals who we are looking for, they are isolated in their mind. They believe they are isolated. They have a real or perceived grievance. And they believe that the world is against them or somebody has aggrieved them. And that they are alone and no one is helping them to solve whatever these issues are.
Whether there are main issues that we see in the FBI research or behavioral experts, financial problems, relationship problems, academic problems, work problems, mental wellness problems, when they feel that there is nobody there to help them, then they come up with these plans to do these kinds of violent acts.
We are their social structure. You know, our family members and our work mates and our, you know, siblings and parents and neighbors. And we are not taking on that responsibility.
I think the way that we did after 9/11 where we said, say something, say something, no terrorist is going to attack my town again, we've done a great job of that when it comes to international terrorists. We just really haven't done a great job when it comes to domestic terrorists because we're not seeing something and then saying something. We're seeing it, I think, but we're not saying it.
CAMEROTA: One of the things that I learned from the Sandy Hook parents who have formed, you know, all these activism groups, is that every single school shooter, without one, without fail, sends off warning signs beforehand. There's never been one that did it silently. They all sent of warning signs and we need to be better trained to see them.
But with this guy, he wasn't a member of the community. This is a hard one. His father, you know, from the reporting that has happened today, we know that his father felt that he was in the middle of a meltdown of some kind, a mental meltdown, ever since his mother died, the shooter's mother died, and he would stay in his room. His father would try to --
SCHWEIT: Right. CAMEROTA: -- get him out. His father will try to get him to the doctor. He stopped communicating.
He would only come out to eat. It's hard to ask a parent to be equipped to know what to do about that. What is the answer there?
SCHWEIT: Yeah, you're right. I mean, we saw that with Sandy Hook, when the parent is the one who was there. And look at what happened in Sandy Hook. The shooter killed his mother first, right? Ten percent of these situations, they kill a family member before they go out and commit the act of violence.
It is kind of a -- it takes a village kind of concept, right? Even though this individual wasn't part of our Spartan community, this individual was part of other communities, whether that was in the neighborhood or work situation. Most of these people do work.
And you are absolutely right about what the Sandy Hook parents told you. It is so true to form. FBI research showed that the concerning behaviors, because that is what we are looking for, concerning behaviors, concerning behaviors force students -- force school shooters who are students. Ninety-two percent of those students telegraphed. They leaked by words. They leaked what they were going to do to somebody. But it did not get back to the right authorities.
I think that I would just follow one other thing about that. The thing is that everybody wants to say, I don't think he meant it, I don't know what is the big deal, he is kind of a grouchy guy, he is always like that, he has always been a crab (ph) at work, all those excuses, those are excuses that we give ourselves to not report something.
And what I would say to everybody who might know about somebody that they are concerned about because their behaviors have changed or they have -- they have heightened concerns about them, if you have Spidey sense that's sort of telling you this guy is just or gal, but most of them are guys, this guy is just not -- he is not right and there is something bad, report it.
Report it to a tip line because you don't know -- in Michigan, that would be safe to tell. Other states have different ones. FBI has a tip line. Report it because you don't know what law enforcement has already on file about that person. You don't know what other agencies have on file. And if we don't have those pieces, we can't piece it together.
CAMEROTA: Understood. It is going to take all of us to be more proactive for sure because they are not going away. Katherine Schweit, thank you so much for being here with your experience.
SCHWEIT: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: I want to bring in now Carrie Sheffield, senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, Jim Walden, a former federal prosecutor, and CNN anchor John Berman. So, there's got to be a solution to school shootings. There just has to be. I just spoke to David Hogg from Parkland. As you know, he is the Parkland survivor -- one of the many Parkland survivors. He said we can put it at a minimum. We have to be able to solve school shootings.
I appreciate that Katherine, who we just talked to, draws a distinction in mass shootings between those are gang-related, those that are domestic violence, those that are, you know, big city crime and school shootings. Let us just take one of -- let us just tackle one of them. If we can't fix all of them tonight, let's tackle one of them. So, school shootings seem to be a good place to start because they are so shockingly common. So, do you have a solution?
JIM WALDEN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So, I think that nationally, we are not taking this issue seriously enough. We have a federal agency that is very well funded to make car safer. We have seatbelts. We have airbags. But we don't have the federal agency that's really looking at the issues surrounding gun violence in schools and elsewhere.
We need a firearm safety administration that is well funded. The ATF, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, should focus on firearms crimes placed in that agency with more agents to do more enforcement. More regulation, more enforcement, and that may not solve the problem, but if that agency also studies the specific examples that we've seen across the country, they can also make school safer. So, we need to tackle that at a federal level.
CAMEROTA: Carrie, any thoughts?
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, SENIOR FELLOW, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM: I think you can have the policies and that is an important thing. But I think there are lots of other things as well. One that you mentioned is the school shootings. So, after Sandy Hook, there was an app developed called the "say something anonymous reporting system," where people can report what is happening.
And exactly what Katherine, the FBI agent that you interviewed, mentioned, that when there is -- you see something, you should say something. And what this app does is it allows you anonymously say something. Only 7% of schools have downloaded and are using this regularly. They said that it has prevented 13 planned school shootings, 406 children contemplating suicide to receive help.
I think that is a big thing that proactively can be done pretty easily.
SHEFFIELD: It is a pretty low bar. Everyone can get an app on their phone really easily. There's a program also called "Rachel's Challenge," which was developed by the father of the first Columbine victim. It has trained 30 million students and teachers. It teaches anti-bullying, empathy. Because as Katherine mentioned, a lot of these individuals, they are mentally-disturbed, they've been bullied, they've been ostracized.
CAMEROTA: Oh, year.
SHEFFIELD: It's a two-way street in terms of helping bring them into the fold, helping them feel empathy in a mutual way.
CAMEROTA: There's a pattern, for sure. But as I was telling Katherine, I don't know that parents or any of us are equipped to know. In the case of certainly Sandy Hook, when you have a kid who is completely like noncommunicative and has shut himself in his room, how you're supposed to re-incorporate that person? This shooter also sounds like something was going terribly wrong. His father was trying.
SHEFFIELD: I think that is where the federal policy can come in, on the mental health piece of it, because our mental health system is -- for example, with this Michigan shooter, he basically devolved when his mother died of a stroke in 2020. His teeth were falling out. He refused to get his haircut. He refused to go to the doctor.
SHEFFIELD: You cannot, unless you go to court and get mandate. His own father could not force him to go unless he gets custody. It is so hard to get custody of people who are mentally ill and incapacitated --
CAMEROTA: And then here we are.
SHEFFIELD: -- because of our federal policies.
CAMEROTA: John? Thoughts?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: When you say we have to be able to solve this, the question is, who is the we here, right? Because I think for the last several years, decades, people have been looking to Congress to fix this. And they've shown not that they can't but that they won't step in and try to take an action.
This past year, they did pass the most substantive gun control legislation, that they have gun safety legislation that they have in a generation, the Safer Communities Act, and it did address those red flag laws. That is an area where I think there is promise that we, all of us, not just Congress, can get involved in.
There are states, not all of them, but states that do have these red flag laws. And now, the issue, as Carrie correctly pointed out, is how are they implemented? The people are learning mostly through failure, as we saw in Colorado, the club shooting there. I mean, there are red flag laws in place that have not worked yet, but you can tweak them and make them better. And I think there is hope or we should hope that we can make them more effective than they are now because at least that could do something.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Again, I don't know that we cure everything overnight, but every single thing incrementally that we can do, we must do.
This was also very interesting. In "The Washington Post" today, they talked about the ripple effect, the traumatic ripple effect. So, our hearts bleed, obviously, for the victims of these shootings that have died, but even the survivors are never the same after this. And so, I don't think we've ever seen it quantified before, the numbers of how vast this problem is.
But since Columbine, "The Washington Post" looked at how many kids have been at school when there was a school shooting and have the residual effect of it. So, in 2018, that's the date of the Parkland shooting, there were 187,000 kids in America who had been at school during a school shooting. Now, five years later, exactly today, it's almost doubled, 338,000 kids, and they carry all of the emotional wounds and they will never be the same.
WALDEN: But this kind of goes to the point of we may not be able to solve every problem. You're not going to keep a gun out of everyone's hand. But the Scientific American and CDC have put a study showing that gun safety laws actually result in fewer gun deaths. And in those states that have no gun safety laws and no gun control laws, there are just more killings per capita. I mean, gun violence has outstripped traffic accidents now for the last 15 years.
So, while we can talk about all these policies to try to identify these troubled kits who might get into this, unless we get the guns and make them safer, this is just going to keep happening and the shootings are going to keep getting bigger and bigger.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. No conversation can omit guns, I would say. That has to be part of the conversation. Whatever the solution is going to be, we can't ignore that we are awash in guns. Thank you all very much for your perspectives.
Next, it's the biggest culture war, buzzword, in the country. But what does it really mean when we say woke? People have a lot of different definitions. We will discuss.
CAMEROTA: The GOP continues its so-called fight against woke and canceled culture, often by canceling culture that they don't like. But what exactly is woke cancel culture? New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu tried to answer that this Sunday on "Face the Nation." Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): It's the divisiveness -- divisiveness we see not just in our schools, but in our communities where it is me versus you, where if you are not adhering to my ideals, then I'm going to cancel you out. It is us versus them. It is this binary where everything is a war. That is a cultural problem we have to fix in America. It starts with good leadership, good messaging. We're hopeful and optimistic. But government never solves a cultural problem. You can
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS MODERATOR: Okay.
SUNUNU: We can lead on it but we never solve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay, back with me, Carrie Sheffield, former Congressman Mondaire Jones joins, and John Berman. Honestly, congressman, we are so rhetorically tangled up at this point. I've lost track of whose canceling whom. I really have.
CAMEROTA: I can't remember anymore because the Republicans decry cancel culture, but it's people like Governor Ron DeSantis who keep canceling curriculum, books, different teachers. I can't -- what does woke -- just out of curiosity, what does woke cancel culture mean to you? Can you define it?
MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER NEW YORK REPRESENTATIVE: You know, I -- respectfully, I would push back on a -- on a concept that does not actually exist, right, far be it for me to try to rationalize the nonsense that I hear from my former Republican colleagues and people leading that party.
I think what it really means is anything that makes them uncomfortable and that they don't like, and specifically in the political context, that can be weaponized to do the same kind of dividing that we just heard Chris Sununu denounced on television, unfortunately.
I mean, when you are banning books, when you are banning the use of the word "gay" in school settings, which erases an entire community of people, when you are saying that you want to transform certain universities into other kinds of universities and you accomplished that through firing board of trustees members, this is all stuff that is in furtherance of ginning up, I think, fear within some segments of society and the hope that is going to translate into votes for you.
CAMEROTA: Carrie, that's not how you see it?
SHEFFIELD: Well, I do agree that it's about trying to translate fear into votes. What it is trying to translate, I would say, is that the -- I would describe the woke left as trying to cancel western civilization, trying to cancel the fundamentals of what America was built upon, trying to say that America's founding was inherently to preserve slavery. That's what the 1619 project which was funded by "The New York Times" and won Pulitzer prizes. It's a joke historically. It is ahistorical. It is not true.
(CROSSTALK) CAMEROTA: I hear you, but let me just say, are we getting to a point where people like Governor DeSantis are not allowing any sort of Black history and A.P. Black history course? He wants it to be eradicated from high school. Isn't that important to have that part of history?
SHEFFIELD: No, what he did with that specifically was to say Black lives Matter theology, if you will, is going to be optional. It is not going to be mandated because there is no balance in the curriculum of CRT and of the curriculum of Black Lives Matter. There is no mandating of equal treatment of Black conservatives, for example.
I didn't see -- okay, Clarence Thomas, Frederick Douglass (ph), Neil Harrison (ph), black conservatives, they are given short shrift. There is no balance in this curriculum. And so, he says, I don't believe a curriculum should be teaching children to hate each other and to divide people on levels of privilege. That is a rejection of Dr. King stream. That ultimately to me --
CAMEROTA: Yeah, it seems like he's just getting rid of it with broad brush stroke.
JONES: Just to make a number of factual corrections here. He did not say anything about Black Lives Matter being optional. He said it can't be taught. And then it was the College Board which I think made the wrong decision of saying, well -- and they would say, it is not a response to what Florida is doing, but we know it is in response to what Florida is doing.
JONES: -- if you let me finish. If you let me finish. And so, what ended up happening is that that was optional. Look, there is no requirement that certain topics be given the same amount of time in terms of their coverage, right?
You can't just pretend like the Black Lives Matter movement, which we know now is the largest social protest movement possibly in American history, is something that like you just don't get to cover because it makes you as, you know, a white conservative uncomfortable. That is not the way teaching history works. We have to grapple with things that make us uncomfortable.
I agree, I think people should learn about Clarence Thomas's way of thinking and Black conservatism. I don't see the College Board A.P. African American studies course denying that opportunity to people who would take that class.
BERMAN: I am unfamiliar with Ron DeSantis's, like, rich history in African American education. I don't know what his area of expertise is there. He's getting everything in the world he wants out of this by having this discussion. I'm just glad that there is not serious issue facing the state of Florida or other states in the country or the United States America right now where there is not more time being used to discuss those things. Look, this means whatever you want to me --
CAMEROTA: Have you tried that?
BERMAN: I don't even try because -- I don't because it is being used by people as a political wedge, period, full stop. If the goal is to teach the best African American studies course, then get the best African American studies scholars in a room, work it out, do it. That's the solution to the halting. And the last point, Chris Sununu, I was brunching last Sunday, so I missed "Face the Nation."
BERMAN: But I saw the quote. And I've seen the quote now six times. I still want to know the context around it because when you just see the quote, read the quote, I don't know what side he's talking about.
BERMAN: Part of me is, oh, is he coming down and defending Ron DeSantis or is he going after Ron DeSantis? I've also seen the quote, so I don't know, because he could take it either way.
CAMEROTA: We are so contorted with whatever woke is and cancel culture. Again, I don't know who is canceling who. But go ahead.
SHEFFIELD: So, the problem with Black Lives Matter -- again, I would call it ideology. It is sort of a belief. It is not based in facts. It was --
JONES: Ideology is a religion.
SHEFFIELD: Excuse me, you said that I interrupted to, let's be fair here.
SHEFFIELD: So, the cofounder of Black Lives Matter, the movement -- I think let's distinguish between the phrase or the concept of Black lives. They matter. They matter, obviously. But the organization, the actual people who run it, they are fraudulent. They've been tried by the IRS to say that you are bilking people for millions of dollars.
And Patrisse Cullors, who is one of the founders of it, she has said explicitly, I am a trained Marxist. So it is a political ideology that you are trying to force on young children in order to divide people by skin color. That is deeply problematic and a is ideological in nature and it is not neutral history.
JONES: As someone who represented many hundreds of thousands of white people in New York's 17th congressional district, I can assure you that the many thousands of white parents who took to the streets with their white children in support of Black Lives Matter did not necessarily associate with these handful of people who took credit for funding this movement.
They were doing this in furtherance of police -- rational police reform and other racial justice causes that are widely, when you do the polling, supported by the American people, even if certain policy proposals are not always supported by the American people.
CAMEROTA: Friends, thank you very much for all your perspectives. Meanwhile, parents on Capitol Hill today calling on lawmakers to do something about the scourge of cyberbullying and what it is doing to their kids. We have to hear the stories next.
CAMEROTA: Parents on Capitol Hill today demanding that lawmakers do something about the dangers that kids face online, especially cyberbullying. This as a new survey from CDC finds teenage girls are experiencing more feelings of hopelessness and more violence.
CNN's Brianna Keilar has more.
KRISTEN BRIDE, LOST SON TO SUICIDE DUE TO CYBERBULLYING: This is my son, Carson Bride, with the beautiful blue eyes and amazing smile --
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kristen Bride is one of a growing number of parents who have lost a child to cyberbullying. Her 16-year-old son, Carson, died by suicide in 2020, after he was harassed on a Snapchat-integrated app that allowed users to send anonymous messages.
BRIDE: I woke to the complete shock and horror that Carson had hung himself in our garage why we slept. We discovered that Carson had received nearly a hundred negative, harassing, sexually-explicit and humiliating messages, including 40 in just one day.
KEILAR (voice-over): She's part of a group that testified on Capitol Hill about the dangers the children face online.
EMMA LEMBKE, SOCIAL MEDIA REFORM ADVOCATE: The constant exposure to unrealistic body standards and harmful recommended content led me towards disordered eating and severely damaged my sense of self. And there, I remained for over three years, mindlessly scrolling for 5 to 6 hours a day.
KEILAR (voice-over): The hearing coming just one week after President Biden's call to action during his state of the union address.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We must finally hold social media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit. KEILAR (voice-over): The ubiquity of social media and kids' lives and
the vehicle it provides for cyberbullying are also getting renewed attention as the CDC unveils a new report. It shows significant declines in youth mental health and increased suicide risk in 2021, especially among girls.
KATHLEEN ETHIER, DIRECTOR, CDC'S DIVISION OF ADOLESCENT AND SCHOOL HEALTH: The levels of poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and behaviors reported by teenage girls are now higher than we have ever seen.
KEILAR (voice-over): And as the story of Adriana Kuch, a 14-year-old student in New Jersey who was attacked by four other teenagers in her school's hallway, has stunned the nation. Video of her attack was posted to TikTok. Her father said she died by suicide the following evening.
MICHAEL KUCH, FATHER OF ADRIANA KUCH: Getting hit in the face with a water bottle did not hurt Adriana. What hurt Adriana was the embarrassment and humiliation. They just kept coming at her.
SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): The social media platforms are operating in the days of the wild west, and anything goes.
KEILAR (voice-over): Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Richard Blumenthal are reaching across the aisle to try to get legislation passed after it failed last year.
BLACKBURN: Protecting our children is not a partisan issue.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-(CT): I hope that outrage will finally be channeled into overcoming. Here is the really important point, the armies of lobbyists and lawyers that big tech has mustered to counter and combat this legislation, no more.
BRIDE: There is absolutely no way that anyone parent can feasibly manage the firehose of online harms that are being directed at our kids every day. We need help from the federal government, and we need it now.
KEILAR (on camera): What is clear from today's hearing and this new CDC report is that America's kids are at a crisis point as they are navigating a sometime perilous online world, a world we never had to deal with when you were kids but we're having to figure out as parents. Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: Brianna, thank you for that report. Back with me now, Jim Walden, Mondaire Jones, and joining us is "New York Times" Emma Goldberg. Emma, how heartbreaking, how awful to see all these stories. There have been studies that show that when you add public humiliation and embarrassment, it compounds depression and makes people more suicidal. That's what social media does.
EMMA GOLDBERG, BUSINESS REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: I was stunned when I saw the research on what young women are experiencing right now. There is new research issued in 2021. Three in five young women were experiencing persistent sadness, and one and three young women seriously considered attempting suicide.
And when you think about it, it's never easy to be a teenage girl. There is social comparison, there is body image, disorders, there are all sorts of sources of stress. And then you throw on top of that, the isolation of the pandemic. And then social media is like gasoline on those flames. It is just so hard to avoid the compounding of depression and angsts.
But it's really alarming to see it laid out in the data, and I think it raises the question of what are tech companies going to do?
How are they going to answer to the increasingly strong connection that's been drawn between rising mental health problems and what their platforms are enabling?
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Jim, you have daughters. It's not a mystery anymore. We actually see in the grass that the spike of teenage girls' depression, anxiety, goes up the year that social media sort of hit and became ubiquitous.
CAMEROTA: And it -- there is a direct correlation. People have studied this. On balance, I think we would have to conclude, it hasn't been good for teenagers to have this kind of access to social media.
WALDEN: No, I totally agree with you. I mean, at the end of the day, we can decry big tech, we can blame politicians, we can blame school administrators, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with the parents. And unless there is some amount of control that comes over what your kids get access to, you can't be really surprised when you allow them to have unrestricted access without any controls and then the axis ups.
That's not the entire solution, there are other fixes that need to be made, but the parental discussion with the parents has to be part of the solution.
CAMEROTA: Yes, but I did not know when I let my kids go on social media that the algorithms were preying upon them. I did not know how pernicious the algorithms were programed to feed them this garbage.
JONES: And you won't be able to control whether someone else using the same app is bullying your child, right? And so, I think there is definitely a role for more parental involvement in so many instances.
But I think to the point of someone who is being interviewed earlier in the segment, we have to make sure that we are holding these tech companies accountable. I say this as someone who served on the anti- trust subcommittee, who sought bipartisan support. When do you have to see that in Congress for regulating big tech, for making sure that companies are held liable if they don't do the kind of commonsense content moderation that we would expect of reasonable people and of reasonable companies?
Unfortunately, the tech lobbyists won. It did not even get a floor vote in the United States Senate despite the fact that, I think, it would've passed in the United States --
JONES: -- given the votes that were available.
CAMEROTA: My theory is that future generations will come to see social media the way my kids see smoking cigarettes. My kids, when they see someone smoking a cigarette, they think they are shooting up with heroin. They put it in that exact same category, and they say to me, but why, when you guys were teenagers, did you smoke cigarettes? Didn't you know it was bad for you? I was, like, yeah, we did, but it was kind of just everywhere and it was so on the present that everybody kind of did it.
I think that that's what their kids will say about social media. Why did you use it? Didn't you know how bad it was for you? My teenage daughters have said, we are not going to let our kids use it.
GOLDBERG: It's scary. I remember when I was growing up, there were websites like Formspring, Tumblr. There were so many points for young women to compare themselves. And now, there is all of that (INAUDIBLE). And I want to highlight that the research is also showing that gay youth, LGBTQ youth were particularly vulnerable in the new CDC research.
JONES: I was just going to say, according to the Trevor Project, in the year 2021, 45% of young LGBTQ+ people contemplated suicide. You think of the kind of people who are the typical targets of bullying in our society. Women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color. It just compounds sort of a situation that already existed when it came to --
CAMEROTA: What is the answer to that?
JONES: I think there is no one answer. Obviously, I think members of society, private individuals, have to do their part in condemning hate speech and other forms of bullying. These companies have to do more to intervene so that it is less likely that there is bullying going on in the first place, those algorithms are not targeting people who are vulnerable in our society.
And then, you know, I think we have to obviously elevate this stuff into people's minds because a lot of folks who don't have children or who understandably are very busy trying to put food on the tables for their kids are not necessarily always thinking about like what their kit is looking at on Instagram.
CAMEROTA: Of course, there is a lot of work to do. Friends, thank you all very much. If you or anyone you know needs help, call or text the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988. You can visit 988lifeline.org as well. You can stay anonymous. We'll be right back.
CAMEROTA: Why are so many distressed whales washing up on the east coast lately? Since December 1st, at least 15 whales have been stranded on the North Atlanta coast: humpback whales, sperm whales, even the endangered North Atlantic white whale. Four wales have been stranded in Virginia in just the past few weeks. Eleven whales stranded in New Jersey and New York. So, what is going on?
Let's bring in wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin. Jeff, always great to see you. Let's start with New Jersey. Nine humpback whales, two sperm whales. Is there a pattern here or the reason that they're washing up or they are different?
JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, ABD HOST: Well, certainly, Alisyn, when you look at that map that you just set up, we're starting to see some sort of pattern and you can see the numbers expand almost exponentially as they gravitate north. Everyone watching right now, you focus at that top arrow, that little point, right at that little point by the horn of Cape Cod, do you see that little area?
CORWIN: That is, basically, if you look at the lowest humpback on the second shelf, that is where they are going.
This is nirvana for whales. And many species, particularly the humpback and the right whales, go to this region known as Stellwagen Bank. What these whales are doing is they're migrating from the winter grounds, where females gave earth, where breeding takes place, and then they go to their feeding grounds. In this case, Stellwagen Bank.
Now, whales are feeding up and along the eastern coastline, clear and down past the Carolinas. But you find this incredibly focused concentration on Stellwagen Bank because of the incredible amount of resources there, Alisyn. They're coming to feed on all that plankton. It's what brings the birds and the tunas and the sharks.
But here's the thing, in order for that humpback whale to get to Stellwagen Bank and the other various feeding zones, they have to cross shipping lanes. When they cross shipping lanes, there is increased opportunity that they will be hit by a large tanker-type vessel, which is what accounted for the deaths of the most recent whales that we've seen.
CAMEROTA: But is that what has killed all 11 of them?
CORWIN: Well, it may not be what has killed all of them, but we know that right now, being struck by a ship is one of the greatest challenges to the survival of migratory whale species, especially. So, keep in mind where these whales are going. In order to get to beautiful pristine Cape Cod, they got to go through the maelstrom of an urban metropolis, which is New York, with all of those ships moving back and forth along the New Jersey coastline.
But it's not just being struck by ships. They have to deal with entanglements from wayward or what we call ghost nets. They have to deal with the ingestion of plastics. And in some cases, there could be disease.
The latest whale to wash up, I believe, was a 35 foot in length female, which tells me that length, she's probably a subadult or juvenile. When you look at the amounts of whales that do die, oftentimes, you see a higher amount that are younger whales that are less experienced when it comes to navigating, when it comes to feeding, all sorts of things.
CAMEROTA: Okay, because there are a dozen mayors along the New Jersey coast that have a different theory, here is the letter that they wrote this week. They say, the unprecedented number of whale strandings coincides with ongoing activity from acoustic survey vessels for the development of offshore wind. While we are not opposed to clean energy, we are concerned about the impacts these projects may already be having on our environment.
So, is it possible that wind farm projects are killing these whales?
CORWIN: Well, I would not say a wind farm project could kill whale. But technologies to find locations where -- that are using incredible state-of-the-art technologies like radar or sonar could potentially impact what we call echolocation.
Many whale species find their way through a very murky world, which is liquid, by sending out high frequency sound waves, which then come back and give them their own internal type of radar. The whales that usually do that are like -- would be like the sperm whales or the (INAUDIBLE).
So, there have been some studies to indicate that competing radar signals can interfere with their ability to navigate or find (INAUDIBLE) when they're using echolocation. That is different than to blame a windmill floating on -- or purposely anchored on a permanent platform --
CORWIN: -- from impacting a whale. And a lot of people are kind of mixing that up.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, but still connected. I mean, in terms of -- if they're using sonar to create the wind farm there, it is still connected, but basically what the wind energy project in New Jersey says, official say that they are using levels of sonar -- they are prohibited from using the levels of sonar that are so loud they could be fatal to whales. So, that's just one theory. Very quickly, is the same thing happening in Virginia? Why are those whales getting stranded?
CORWIN: Again, when they do the necropsies in the whales, at least the ones that I've looked at, a number of these whales at those necropsies, a necropsy is an autopsy for an animal, we're seeing that these animals have been impacted by -- usually by a ship strike.
That's not to say that there could be some sort of detrimental factor coming from some sort of radar being delivered by high technology. That could be a player in it. I don't have the evidence to say it is or isn't.
But I'm not going to blame a turbine energy-producing windmill on (INAUDIBLE). We do see that, Alisyn, with other species. For example, with birds, when they're migrating in a place where an ill-placed wind farm is, it can be very catastrophic for the survival of birds.
CORWIN: But as for a sedentary wind farm, once it is established, not including the technology that's involved to get it there, I don't see how that would impact the survival of a whale.
CAMEROTA: I hear you. But also, if there is evidence of a ship strike, then that is different than the sonar being used for a wind farm. But it sounds like we just have to investigate more because it is horrible, what's happening and how many of them there are. Jeff Corwin, thank you very much for your time tonight.
CORWIN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: We now know the winner of the record breaking two-billion dollar plus Powerball jackpot. We will tell you who it was, next.
CAMEROTA: Two billion, forty million dollars. It's the largest lottery jackpot ever. And tonight, California announced the lucky winner. His name is Edwin Castro. He's opting for the lump sum, which totals $997.6 million, which is a total rip off, by the way, because that is like half of what he actually won. If I were Edwin, I would be pretty upset.
Castro does not want to speak publicly, but did say in a statement that he was shocked and ecstatic. I think that the real winner is the California Public School System that will also receive $156.3 million in supplemental funds. But we think actually Edwin Castro is the real winner tonight.
Thank you so much for watching. Our coverage continues.