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CNN Tonight

Paul Ryan Grilled For Remaining On Fox Board Of Directors Amid Election Fraud Lies; Katy Perry Weeps Over Gun Control On "American Idol"; 13th Whale Carcass Spotted In New York/New Jersey Coastal Waters; TikTok Imposing One-Hour Time Limit On Screen Time For Teens; NFL Star Aaron Rodgers Talks About Darkness Retreat. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 01, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is facing questions about being on the board of Fox News's parent company while several Fox hosts push election lies.

Here's what Ryan said in an interview with commentator Charlie Sykes last Thursday, days before the explosive filing about Dominion Voting Systems that revealed more Fox loss.


CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, EDITOR-AT-LARGE FOR THE BULWARK: If you are on the board of directors of a company that is pumping toxic sludge, racism, disinformation, and attacks on democracy, if you don't stand up now, then when? So, what do you really think? Well --


SYKES: -- and that's what I have been -- and I'm sorry it got lost in the mail, but do you have any response to --

RYAN: So, I do. I have a responsibility to offer my opinion and perspective when I do that, but I don't go on TV and do it.

SYKES: Right.

RYAN: So, I have a responsibility --

SYKES: But do you?

RYAN: I do. I do.

SYKES: So --

RYAN: I offer my perspective and my opinion often.

SYKES: In -- in --

RYAN: I'll just leave it at that.

SYKES: Okay. So, you have raised this particular --

RYAN: I'll just leave it at that.

SYKES: Is there a red line for you at any point where you say, I cannot be associated with a company that does this?

RYAN: I want to see the conservative movement get through this moment. And I think Fox is a big part of the constellation of the conservative movement. And I want to see --

SYKES: Is it the solution or the problem?

RYAN: Oh, no. I think it's going to -- it's going to have to be a part of the solution if we're going to solve the problem in the conservative movement.


CAMEROTA: Okay, I want to bring in legal eagle Joe Jackson, political guru -- political guru --


CAMEROTA: I just undergo genius --

AVLON: Leave a --

CAMEROTA: John Avlon, former Congressman Mondaire Jones, and the ever-unflappable S.E. Cupp.

John, so he -- he voices his reservations about the lies or whatever the Fox Hosts were spinning in private, but not publicly. Doesn't seem like they respect his opinion. Nothing has changed after he voiced his reservations.

AVLON: Yeah. And look, this is -- this is the negotiation of people inside, whether it's Fox or some folks who served in the Trump administration. The argument is, look, I've got influence, it's better to be in the room. The problem is, is that process itself becomes corrupting?

Your belief that you can change the culture, the culture ultimately eats you for breakfast. And look, let's be honest. You know, part of the problem we're seeing in Fox is a version of what we're seeing in the Republican Party. It's a form of Stockholm syndrome. It's driven by fear and greed.

And for Paul Ryan being on the news corporation as part of his retirement package, he clearly hopes that Fox can reform itself. But everything we've seen from discovery suggests that this is marrow deep inside the culture, that the people who are trying to tell the truth were the outliers.

And so, I don't know who is -- he's fooling himself on this one. CAMEROTA: He makes $335,000 a year as a board member on the Fox board. A lot of that is in stock. So, if Fox does well, he does well.

MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I think that's the answer to why he's remaining on the board. Right? There are plenty of boards that he could be a member of.

There are plenty of organizations that he can be associated with that are not nearly as scandalous as Fox News in this particular moment, where you've got the leader of the organization admitting that he knew that what his own hosts were doing were telling lies, right, lies that ended up inciting violence, ultimately, at the Capitol, where I was on January 6th, in 2021.

And so, I just -- it's hard for me to take this guy seriously. And by the way, this is not the first instance of Paul Ryan sort of saying one thing and his actions, you know, I think undermining the interpretation that he wants people to have. But -- but you got to stand up for something at some point.


And the idea that he thinks that he could single-handedly or even with a group of people change Fox in this moment, a profit-driven organization that feeds off of this rage and this election denialism, at least in this moment, for the foreseeable future, by the way, as long as Trump, you know, is favorite to be the nominee, I think it's really disingenuous, if not delusional.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't doubt his sincerity at all. That's my boyfriend you're talking about there. But --


CUPP: No. I mean, I know because I --

AVLON: Neither do I.

CUPP: I've interviewed him many times and I -- you know, I know him for when he was in the House and when he was speaker. That is the mindset he had when he stayed inside the GOP. He wanted to fix it from inside, to John's point. And I think he is earnest in that belief.

The problem is the conservatism that he wants to restore has left the building. It left Fox, it left the GOP, it left CPAC, it's gone, because Trump convinced all of those entities to jettison it, so that Trump and Trumpism could be at the center of all of these universes.

And so, he is hoping to restore something that isn't there anymore. And because Fox has become so beholden to its viewers, as we now all know, they have no incentive to restore conservatism because the viewers don't want it. Now, they're here for the culture wars and the conspiracy theories. And Fox is going to keep doubling and tripling down on that diet.

So, I don't think Paul is disingenuous. I don't think he's a hypocrite. I just think it's a fool's errand to think he can change that.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, a couple of things. The first thing is, I can't push this on Paul Ryan. I mean, i's way deeper than Paul Ryan. So, I don't think we can string it to him. In the interest of full disclosure, I spent about five years there as an unpaid contributor. In fact, I met the lovely Alisyn Camerota at Fox News.

CAMEROTA: The highlight of your time there.

JACKSON: Way behind --

CUPP: You met me, too. You met me, too, at Fox.

JACKSON: Thereafter, right.

JONES: I clearly have not yet lived.

CUPP: Yes, we did, we did.

AVLON: You guys --

JACKSON: Listen, we all -- you know, we met at fox and that was -- it was a great time. Different culture, way different from CNN. But I -- I digress.

JONES: Thank you, John. Thank you, John.


JACKSON: But I digress.

AVLON: Romanticize the Roger Ailes tomb --

CUPP: Right.

JACKSON: I think that this whole issue, right, with respect to putting, you know, money over journalism and journalistic integrity, and then of course not to go far afield but having Rupert Murdoch engaging in this deposition where he flat out -- is basically saying, I had my hand in the cookie jar, I knew exactly what was happening and what hosts were doing and what this one should do and outing everyone, which I thought was a little -- it was a little interesting to me.

CAMEROTA: And do you think that that's because he's perhaps setting up some of his executives to take the fall there?

JACKSON: And perhaps he is, but I think at the end of the day, we could have a fair conversation about Paul Ryan and his responsibility, and if you're not part of the solution, clearly, you are part of the problem, but to say it's all on him, I can't do that.

AVLON: Look, Paul Ryan clearly thinks he can still be part of the solution. I take S.E.'s point. I also agree that he is sincere, the attitude that, you know what, you don't leave the church just because you don't like the preacher. I want Paul Ryan to succeed. We need to same political parties. We don't have that right now. But what we're seeing in this discovery is that the rot was as deep as it could possibly be, to the extent where the people trying to tell the truth were being targeted for firing. I don't how you fix that culture without --

CUPP: But did you have any doubt, because you know Fox, I now Fox, we know people there?

AVLON: Yeah.

CUPP: Did you have any doubt that that's what was happening?


CUPP: Right. Okay.

CAMEROTA: This is not kind of -- for people who work at Fox, this did not come as a surprise. It has come as a surprise for people on the outside who didn't know, I guess, how --

JACKSON: They were being lied to.


CUPP: And how cynical.

CAMEROTA: And how cynical it was. Here's what Paul Ryan said. This was on page 50 of this Dominion filing. There have been so many revelations in this. This -- he said on January 12th, I believe, right after the insurrection. "Ryan believed that some high percentage of Americans thought the election was stolen because they got a diet of information telling them that the election was stolen from what they believe were credible sources."

That says it all.

CUPP: Fact.

CAMEROTA: That says it all. That's -- the people who tune in actually think it's Fox News, but they're not following any of the journalistic rules.

CUPP: The Jonah Goldbergs and the Stephen Hayes, their kind of conservatism is gone. The journalists are gone. The (INAUDIBLE). Not all --

AVLON: Eighty percent of the journalists got jettisoned.

JONES: "The Wall Street Journal" didn't even --

CUPP: Exactly. And they started favoring the opinion over the journalists. And the opinion was actively attacking the journalists for questioning the stuff the opinion hosts were saying.

CAMEROTA: And trying to get them fired. JACKSON: But we all know, right, that people want to hear what they want to hear. So, do you tune in to get a different perspective? Do you tune in to confirm what your perspective really is?

AVLON: This is the problem with angertainment, which is a phrase Ryan used. This is a problem with sort of news -- confirmation bias masking as news. This is the problem of our time. The reason democracy is in difficulty right now is because of polarization, hyper-partisanship being fed by these organizations that are duping people into believing they are being told the truth when the people saying, no, they're lying.


CUPP: Yeah.

JONES: And corporate media, right? "The Wall Street Journal" did not cover this. It was as though it didn't happen even though it was the biggest story for several days. We're still talking about it today. Not just because we are at CNN but because we care about the facts. We consider ourselves a news organization. We put balanced discussion on a platform for people to listen to.

But we also don't say that there are alternative facts. Right? There's only one thing that happened with respect to the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And even people at Fox who are hosts, like marquee people at the network, are saying in text messages to each other and in emails and in one-on-one meetings with each other, at the highest levels, that they know this stuff is false.

CAMEROTA: And the next thing they're saying is that we can't lose --

JONES: Yeah, because it's a profit mode.

AVLON: Fear and greed. Fear and greed. We've got to find a way to get back to facts in the center again.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Thank you all. Stick around, everybody, because I want to talk about how to protect kids from the biggest threat out there. We'll tell you what that is.




CAMEROTA: It is getting harder to protect young people from gun violence. A sobering study shows that in 2019, firearm-related injuries surpassed car crashes as the number one cause of death for U.S. children and teenagers.

And according to a recent report from "The Washington Post," since the Columbine shooting in 1999, more than 338,000 students have experienced gun violence at their school. On this week's episode of "American Idol," a young contestant shared his experience of surviving a school shooting, leading to an emotional response from judge Katy Perry.


UNKNOWN: I'm from Santa Fe, Texas. In May 2018, a gunman walked into my school. I was in Art Room 1. He shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. I lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed. Two teachers were killed.

UNKNOWN: What you're doing, Katy?

KATY PERRY, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Our country had (bleep) failed us!


PERRY: This is not okay. You should be singing here because you love music.

UNKNOWN: It's true.

PERRY: Not because you had to go through that (bleep).

UNKNOWN: I agree.


CAMEROTA: Our panel is back with us. Well, that's awful. You know, Katy Perry is shouting what we all wish we could shout every time we have to report on one of these. I just thought it was so stunning, Joey, to hear the stats that now gun violence is the number one killer of teenagers and children in the U.S.

JACKSON: You know, stunning, maybe not so much, right, Alisyn? Because every time you turn on the TV, I think we're even becoming desensitized to this. How often are covering these mass shootings? It's like run amok.

And then you wonder why something is not being done in the face of this. Right? When we talk about legislation, Congress, of all people, would know it, legislation is a response to something that occurs. And we have the perfect excuse now to pass all types of regulations.

And what I'm sick and tired about, if I have to say, is I know the slogan, right, guns don't kill people, people kill people. We blame it on mental illness, we blame it on this, and we blame it on that. The fact is that we have a real issue and unless we get our arms around it, we're going to be seeing a lot more.

AVLON: People with guns kill people. And, you know, I -- it's not about looking for an excuse. It's that we're seeing a radius of damage that's just undeniable and unlike any other nation. Yes, we have a Second Amendment. But that doesn't mean there can't be reasonable regulations. And the Supreme Court, you know, reinterpreted the (INAUDIBLE) right now. Justice, this is done (ph). That young man on that show reminded us all, I think, it's not just the death toll, it's the lives and the damage created by the people who survived as well.

And so, we've got to get serious about it. Our politics need to start responding to it in a more constructive way and to get away from this idiotic duality of anti-Second Amendment, anti-guns if you want to do something to try to heal our country.

JACKSON: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: Here's an idea. Maybe it's not politics. Maybe we've given up on Congress. Here, in "The L.A. Times," they have a different suggestion for us all. "Today's public service announcements on gun safety feel somewhat sanitized. None really captures the horrifying physical and emotional damage caused by guns. Maybe if we showed the public what it looks like when a kid is shot, the shock and disgust, a view of the reality, would counter the social glamour of guns."

This is interesting. And the reason that I bring this up is because there are PSAs and huge, you know, PR --

JACKSON: Campaign?

CAMEROTA: -- campaigns that have worked. Remember -- John, I look at you because you are roughly my age -- when we as teenagers, when our parents were so afraid we would be killed in a drunk driving accident --

AVLON: Uh-hmm.

CAMEROTA: -- and then there were mothers against drunk driving. And they made an impact. And now, my kids wouldn't dream of driving drunk. They would not dream of driving drunk. They -- it wouldn't occur to them. It has seeped into the sort of social community that that's not acceptable, what we were around --

AVLON: We've seen it with smoking --

CAMEROTA: -- and smoking. Isn't that during the 2000 -- between 2012 and 2018, the CDC's tips from former smokers' campaign, which are horrible, those PSAs --

AVLON: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: -- if you've seen, they're so arresting. Those -- where they can't breathe and they're choking. They have prevented an estimated 129,000 early deaths and saved an estimated 7.3 billion in smoking-related health care costs.


JONES: I was part of one of those youth groups. In Florida, it was called "Truth." That was funded in part, if not exclusively, by money from the tobacco settlement. Here in New York, in the Hudson Valley, I was part of a group called "Reality Check." And we educated people.

In different states, it was called something different, but it was a youth-led that was intended to educate other young people about frankly the sinister ways in which the tobacco industry would market its products to young people. You know, putting products at a certain height in convenience stores so that they could be seen by younger people.

AVLON: Joe Camel.

JONES: Joe Camel. Putting images that were sort of, you know, of interest to young people. Animals and other characters. Look, I was in sixth grade when Columbine happened. As afraid as I was in that moment, I never imagined that this nation would become numb to mass shootings.

And it should be arresting to everyone that over 300,000 young people had experienced some -- you know, in some way a mass shooting, mass school shooting since 1999, which is when Columbine happened.

CUPP: I -- listen, I'm here for all of the solutions and all of the brainstorming. You know, I quit the NRA years ago because that kind of thinking didn't happen. And the NRA no longer represented gun owners like me who are absolutely open to commonsense gun --

CAMEROTA: And there's so many of you.

CUPP: -- solutions.

CAMEROTA: You're the majority, and yet the NRA doesn't recognize them.

CUPP: Well, their membership is dwindling so is their donorship. They're finding that out. The problem is this author suggests that the media play a role in this campaign. I don't think that's the answer.


CUPP: Well, for one, trust in media is an all-time low. And among Republicans, about 35% of them trust national media. So, if these are the people you're trying to reach, I don't think this is the best messenger group. Listen, I've covered guns for a long time. I'm a gun owner. There are very few issues the media knows less about than guns.

CAMEROTA: How much is PSA?

CPP: PSA is like CDC. Yes, I think absolutely. And showing the graphic nature of all of this, I think, is really important. But the biggest change has to come from law-abiding gun owners --


CUPP: -- who start demanding more action of our congressmen, of our lobbyists, of our representatives. We are the ones that have to put the pressure on.

JACKSON: But S.E., where are the PSAs? Where are the public service announcements that speak to responsible gun ownership?

CUPP: I mean, there's a 97%. Again, there are some organizations that try to do this. It is really hard to cut through, especially if you're trying to cut through to the Second Amendment crowd. There's nothing that's going to cut through unless you appeal to the absolute awful violence, the graphic violence of this.

You have to talk as mothers, not as politicians, not as media members. As mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, colleagues, friends. That how -- you have to put down your politics --

JACKSON: Who are losing people senselessly --

CUPP: Yes.

JACKSON: -- to violence that shouldn't occur, that occurs way too often, that we're seeing, and then we stay, thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.

AVLON: But I think we all know that that rings hollow now. I think the solution is, frankly, S.E., people like yourself, it's about gun owners who understand the Second Amendment, who say, that doesn't mean we can't do anything.

We have a long history in this country. You couldn't bring your guns into town in the old west. Tommy guns have been banned since the 1930s. We had an assault weapons ban in this country. We let it lapse in 2003.

JONES: And it was effective.

AVLON: It was effective. And so, I think it's really about not digging into the duality of this but rather gun owners who believe in the Second Amendment and understand it saying, we've been fed a false choice and it's killing our kids.

CUPP: It's the majority. It's the majority of people. It's the majority of gun owners who believe.

AVLON: That's right.

CUPP: They just don't have a lobby group. They don't have a group representing them that is as powerful as the NRA. You know, I'm certainly not alone.

JONES: It's also a symptom of our broken democracy, that we cannot do basic things supported by 90% of the American people --


JONES: -- universal background checks.

CAMEROTA: That involve children.

JONES: That involve children. So, when I say broken democracy, I'm talking about gerrymandering, I'm talking about the role of money in politics. Frankly, the way the electoral college is set up and the way the Senate is set up, those are longer term projects.

CAMEROTA: You're getting ahead of yourself.

JONES: I know. I know. God forbids. I just want government to actually be responsive to what the American people want. And that is not the government that we have on this issue, on a number of other issues.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Everyone, stay with me, if you will, because now we need to talk about this that keeps happening. For the 13th time, in just the past three months, a whale has been spotted struggling in coastal waters off of New York and New Jersey, and then washed up. The carcasses washed up. So, what's going on? What's causing this?


We have some possible answers, next.


CAMEROTA: Since December 1st, 13 whales have died in the New York and New Jersey region. Ten humpback whales, two sperm whales, and one minke whale. What's going on? Joining me now, Paul Sieswerda. He is the executive director of Gotham Whale. Paul, thanks so much for being here. Why is this happening?

PAUL SIESWERDA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GOTHAM WHALE: Thank you for your interest in this very concerning activity of whales in this area. It's really troubling because so many whales are washing up onshore as mortalities and kind of breaking news.


As we speak, there are two additional whales, one (INAUDIBLE), one off the coastline of New Jersey that are either in the surf or still afloat or washed up on shore. So, this is a very concerning activity. It has been going on now -- 2016, NOAH, agency that oversees all this kind of activity, has declared an unusual mortality event, which means that more whales than usual are found dead on the beach.

In addition to that, as you point out, since the beginning of this winter season, numerous whales have been showing up. The condition is very grave. And what I can tell you is kind of the facts that we see from our work and accumulating the information about live whales swimming around, that we are happy to say are healthy --

CAMEROTA: Well, I do want to know that, Paul, because I just want to know if you see a pattern here. Is this -- are they all being killed by the same thing?

SIESWERDA: Well, the people that do the necropsies have determined that there are, in fact, indications of ship strike. That's kind of the smoking gun that has been identified. That makes some sense because the increase in the shipping has taken place recently in the New York area where they've raised the bridges in the channels to accommodate bigger and bigger and more boats that are coming into the harbor of New York and New Jersey.

So, putting those two things together, it's an unhappy additive that brings whales and ships in coastal contact.

CAMEROTA: And so, have these whales always been swimming in the shipping lanes or are they coming in closer to shore? Has something changed?

SIESWERDA: Something that we see is a definite change, which is very complex in the ocean, of course. Warming conditions may have brought more fish to this area. Of course, it's very clear that the whales are coming to this area to feed. They feed on (INAUDIBLE) have been seen in this area as well. So, that is somewhat of a change during the winter season.

Just this past summer, we identified 600 whale sightings from (INAUDIBLE) whale watching vessels and from some scientists. So, it's a definite increase in the whales, and they're coming here to feed.

CAMEROTA: And Paul, what's the solution to this?

SIESWERDA: I wish I knew. A good solution is very, very complex. And some of the information that we are aware of needs to be expanded before, I think, anyone can make any definitive cause and effect answers.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Well, thanks, Paul. I really appreciate you coming in at this hour to tell us about this. I didn't know that they were all ship strikes. That's really helpful. Paul --

SIESWERDA: Not all, but significant number.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Thank you. We will check back with you and thanks for letting us know about the other two that we hadn't known about. Thanks, Paul.

We're back with Joey Jackson, John Avlon, Mondaire Jones, and S.E. Cupp. One of them is in Sandy Hook, which is my home beach. And then some of them are near (INAUDIBLE) Island where you live.

AVLON: Yeah. We've got -- Long Island had a lot of these beaches. These are just magnificent creatures. It breaks your heart. I don't know what you do about the ship strikes, but the fact that there seems to be a climate aspect that is changing the migration patterns, you know, it's just one more example of how we're all interconnected.

CAMEROTA: That's right. I mean, he was suggesting that now there are bigger shifts, there are more ships, ships have been turned on again after a shipping shut down for COVID. So, there is that. There's -- we just came out of this pandemic. And there's the warming that is connected to everything. You know, this is the outcome of it.

JACKSON: Yeah. You know, a couple of things. The first thing, of course, if it's a shipping issue, it would only be difficult to regulate that because how do you regulate underneath the seas, right, where these whales are? That becomes problematic. Number two, if it's a migration issue relating to global warming, I mean, that's quite the larger issue. Right? Global warming, I think, is problematic in many respects. When you talk about it, people think you're crazy. Right? I mean --

CAMEROTA: They don't think you're crazy anymore about global warming. I don't think -- haven't we all decided at this point that climate change is happening?

JACKSON: I hope so. I hope so.


AVLON: Not everybody has.

JACKSON: I don't think everyone.

AVLON: Most people have.

AVLON: Making progress and getting on the same reality-based page on this one.


AVLON: We're not there yet.

CUOO: I think Paul's warning is important. When you look at things like this, from a conservation standpoint, it's complex. He said that a couple of times. You know, you'll need to study. You'll need to study all the confluence of factors. We do that when we look at deer in chronic wasting disease and this booming population of sharks off the coast of Cape Cod. There's a lot going on.

When you talk about conservation and animal populations, fishing, hunting, harvesting, all that, very complex systems. He's absolutely right that we will need to look at all the things that are creating this phenomenon, this awful phenomenon.

CAMEROTA: This one just announces itself in such a good way. It's hard to ignore.

CUPP: Yeah.

JONES: Yeah.

CAMEROTA: Okay, thank you all very much. Meanwhile, TikTok is imposing a one-hour time limit on accounts with users under 18 years old, although they can get around it with a pass code. So, let's talk about how much time we all spend on our phones and what we can do to help teenagers spend less time. The panel has opinions, after the break.




CAMEROTA: All right, TikTok announcing new feature to limit screen time for some users. They're rolling out a one-hour daily limit for users under 18. Once that 60-minute limit is met, users will be prompted to enter a pass code if they want to extend their time on the app.

Okay, wrap up, panel. S.E., you are a fan of TikTok. What do you love so much about it?

CUPP: I'm a lurker. I don't produce anything on TikTok.

CAMEROTA: A lurker?

CUOO: I don't know what I like -- Do you want me to tell you what I like on TikTok?

CAMEROTA: Because it is that disturbing?

AVLON: You must. You must tell us now.

CAMEROTA: Is it really worth?

CUPP: I like Korean and Japanese convenient store halls.

AVLON: What?

CUPP: Yeah, I like watching people go into these awesome convenience stores and cramped offices.


CUPP: I know. You're looking at me so weird because --


CUPP: Because the variety of food and drink in these places just looks amazing. I live vicariously through them.

CAMEROTA: Is it set to music?


JONES: Does Paul Ryan have a TikTok and do you follow it?

CUPP: I don't. No, I don't do any politics on there. I'm -- I do --

AVLON: You just watch people shop in other nations.

CUOO: Specifically.

AVLON: In foreign lands?

CUPP: These two foreign lands --

CAMEROTA: Please, she's not crazy. She (INAUDIBLE) Korea. (LAUGHTER)

AVLON: It's totally normal in a certain sphere.

CUPP: I'm weird. But listen, and I love it. This makes me so sad.

CAMEROTA: What? The one-hour time limit?

CUPP: Yeah.

JONES: Oh, no, no, no.


CUPP: Hear me out.

AVLON: Go on.

CUPP: Because that's my job. I'm the parent. Any parent should be able to set a limit for their kid. Any parent should be able to say, here's what you can do and here's what you can't do on the social media app. I think when the parents don't have to parent, they don't. Why would you when the app is going to do it for you?

JONES: How do you realistically, given how busy you are and how busy the average parent is, like, be able to monitor that activity? You're not with your kid at every moment. Right?

CUPP: Right.

JONES: And so -- in fact, you're not with your kid for more than one hour during the waking day. And so --

CUPP: That's not true. But -- but no. I get it, it takes some work, it takes some creativity.

JONES: I guess it depends on how old your kids.

CUPP: I get it. But parenting is hard. Parenting is a full-time job. We all work. But parenting is hard. And it's really hard coming up against the social media apps that we all have to navigate. We all have to fight off their influences. But if we simply just say, well, the Apple take care of that, we never have to get (INAUDIBLE).

AVLON: You know, it is supposed to be hard, but we can make it a little easier. Right? I mean, one of the -- this (INAUDIBLE) TikTok negotiating, because part of the problem is that in China, they get a different version of TikTok --

CUPP: Yeah.

AVLON: -- to the domestic population, including time limits, but also sort of what might be called more nutritious content.

CAMEROTA: Is that right? AVLON: Yes. And Maria Ressa writes eloquently about this. And the problem is you've got a distracted youth group that's really being taken in places that are not even remotely significantly constructed and it is addictive. We see the date. It's having an impact on mental health.

CUPP: Definitely.

AVLON: So, if this can cap that, that's a step in the right direction.

CUPP: You can cap it, too. You can take the phone away from your kid.

AVLON: I honestly -- I think that right now, we are -- we are changing kids' brains in real time and dangerous ways. If there is a -- this is a nudge. Let's make it a little bit more difficult to fall down that rabbit hole and have your brain turn to fudge.

JACKSON: I think anything that allows for more social interaction is a very good thing. I thin social media --

CAMEROTA: Off your phone --

JACKSON: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: -- in real --

JACKSON: I think social media has its place. I think kids will play with phones. Fabulous. However, how often have all of us seen a group of kids around a table, no one's talking to each other? Everyone's on the phone, interacting, hello, I'm here, how are you --

AVLON: You say that's not healthy? We ourselves are addicted to our phones.

CUPP: It's terrible.

JONES: I would've been a much worse student, I think. I had Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. Facebook for one year. In high school, I couldn't even use it because at the time, you had to be a college student to get on Facebook. Right?

AVLON: That's old school.

JONES: Yes, old school. I just think between that and the bigger issue we should not forget about, which is that china is stealing our data.

AVLON: Yeah.

JONES: That's why we need to limit the use of TikTok. We need to ban it altogether, frankly, I think in the United States.

CUPP: No way! Excuse me. Do not take my Korean convenience store halls away!


AVLON: You can get that someplace else.

CUPP: I don't know that I can. I don't know that I can.


JACKSON: I think kids need to speak with each other, relate to each other --

AVLON: Of course, they do. They need to be outside and learn how to socialize and not with helicopter parenting. It's interesting. The parents in my kids' school are already anticipating this and saying that -- you know, we're trying to sign a -- get everyone to agree to limit, you know, no social media until kids hit eighth grade.

CAMEROTA: Way too late. That is way too late.

AVLON: Again, this is all a brave new world. We're figuring it out. But if there's a way to deal with the peer pressure, if there's a way to stop that because we already see the impact it's having on young people's minds and the mental health of people, particularly young people --

CAMEROTA: Yes. If we can all be at it together, that would be very helpful. Okay, now, to one of our favorite stories on this program --

CUPP: Speak for yourself.


CAMEROTA: You'll see. You'll see. What was it like for NFL star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to sit in total darkness for four days during his darkness retreat? Tonight, he is talking about it. We're going to hear from him, next.




CAMEROTA: Okay, our darkness retreat update, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he went on a darkness retreat last month to find inner peace of mind and figure out if he wants to continue to play football. Well, he has not made decision. He is now talking about what it was like to live in total darkness for four days.


AARON RODGERS, QUARTERBACK FOR GREEN BAY PACKERS: I had a little candle, I closed the door, and kind of arranged my food on my bed where I was -- where I was going to eat it. And then I blew that candle out, and that started a pretty incredible, difficult at times, four nights. When you're in a brand-new room, you try to get the picture of, okay, there's where the bed is. And then, you know, it's four steps, medium sized steps to the bathroom. Only thing is this wall on the left besides the bed. If you want to get to the bathtub, you take a right, and it's about three steps. You got to watch out for this big hook that's coming out of the wall.


UNKNOWN: They got a big hook on the wall? That's dicey.

RODGERS: It was a dangerous hook. The most disorienting things were couple of times, you know, on the other side of the bed was a little yoga mat and like a meditation seat. So, you definitely meditate a decent amount. It's much easier with absolutely zero distractions and zero noises. I mean, you couldn't really hear any nature noises.

UNKNOWN: It was quiet snow on the outside, right?

RODGERS: The worst part to me, disoriented, coming out of one of those meditations. I think the bed is over here. That's how I ran into things multiple times because I think, oh, I'm good, then bang, you know, the wall.

UNKNOWN: For sure.


CAMEROTA: Why is there a giant hook sticking out in a pitch, black room? That's my first question. Second question, who's the we? Anyway, what are your thoughts?

JONES: Rich people are so bored. Right?


JONES: This is how folks are searching for meaning in life? Also, why is he barefoot in this interview?


CAMEROTA: Similar to --



AVLON: It's very important.

CAMEROTA: Yes, are you intrigued?


CUPP: Listen, you know -- (LAUGHTER)

CUPP: The generous part of me wants to say, commend him for working on his mental health, talking openly about needing some kind of retreat. I am not going to judge -- well, I'm going to judge a little. But, you know, that's good. We should all feel comfortable talking about that. I want to know how he felt afterwards. What was the change?

JACKSON: I think we will find out.

CUPP: What four days of darkness brought about?

JACKSON: I think we will find out.

CUPP: Is he going to be a better quarterback? That's what I want to know.

JACKSON: Look, the bottom line is that he may come to New York. That would be a very good thing. Right? If he joined the Jets, I think that will be a measurable increase --

JONES: Star in the next batman movie.


CUPP: Anything is possible now.

AVLON: He's sort of morphing into Jack Dorsey. I think -- look, in fairness to him, think about the example that Joe Namath was setting for the youth of America. Now, he's saying, look, I'm going be taking first ranked quarterback and have him get into meditation, albeit in a really, really odd way. I also look forward to the meme of him saying -- the wink and smile after -- then I blew the candle out. That was pretty creepy.

CUPP: That was creepy.

AVLON: I want to hear the outcome. God bless him for finding himself in meditating.

CAMEROTA: How do you eat in the dark, Joey?

JACKSON: It is probably very difficult.

AVLON: Very difficult.

JACKSON: Right. Exactly. But each of us have our own thing.

CUPP: Yeah.

JACKSON: And if his own thing, after a very stressful season, where he thought he could've advanced further, was to go and spend two, four nights whatever he did in the dark place, that's what he did. He gets his --


JACKSON: Okay. If he gets his mental health --


JONES: When he arranged the food on his bed.


CUPP: Listen, there's an Oakland A's pitcher Barry Zito. He used to do ballet and yoga. I mean --

AVLON: Why did you bring Barry Zito to this conversation?

CUPP: Because he --

AVLON: I congratulate him.

JACKSON: He was very good.

CUPP: He was a little odd as well, but he embraced it. It was his own odd regimen.

AVLON: Absolutely.

CUPP: And he embraced it. It made him a better pitcher.


CUPP: Right.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. I'm intrigued. I'm intrigued but not tempted. Intrigued but not tempted. I'm not tempted --

AVLON: Four days in the dark.

CAMEROTA: Dark, eating in the dark?


JACKSON: J-E-T-S. Jets, Jets, Jets. Maybe he'll go to the Jets as a result.

CUPP: You can have --

AVLON: That's where you come down on this?


CAMEROTA: A lot of mind control that happened in that hobbit hole there.


AVLON: Yes. CAMEROTA: Wow! No, he talked a little bit more, but all he said is that some family stuff came up. Obviously, you know, career stuff. I just kind of let whatever was going to come in, come in, and it definitely did. That's what he said.

JACKSON: God bless him.

JONES: Amen to the dark room.

CAMEROTA: Into his mind.

CUPP: Into his mind.



CUPP: He reminds me of the (INAUDIBLE).


CUPP: That whole experience.

CAMEROTA: It releases the same drug. Your brain naturally releases a drug. I know about this.

AVLON: How do you know that?

CAMEROTA: I do this every night. I do the darkness retreat every night. And it triggers some hormone in your brain.

JACKSON: But not for four straight days.



CAMEROTA: All right, everyone, thank you for watching. Tune in tomorrow for more darkness retreat and much more news. Our coverage continues.