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CNN Tonight

TN Governor Signs Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors; DeSantis Appointee to New Disney Oversight Board Suggested Tap Water Could Turn People Gay; Bill Maher and Guests Answer Viewers' Questions. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 03, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Let's begin this hour talking about a hot issue around the country, specifically gender roles. Today in Tennessee, the Republican governor, Bill Lee, signed two controversial new laws. One bans gender-affirming care for minors, and the other restricts drag shows in the state.

Let's bring in former Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones, Patrick McEnroe is here, Molly Jong-Fast is here, and Doug Heye.

So, guys, let's start with the decision to ban any sort of doctor's medical care for anyone under 18, who is looking for -- who believes that they're trans and who is looking for any sort of medical treatment, be it, you know, pharmaceutical or surgical or consultation or anything like that.

Doug, you are, I believe, comfortable with this law, new law in Tennessee.

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yeah. I -- look, I think, one, we got to treat people with dignity and respect. And certainly, what we know -- what we've learned over not just past three or four years but even the past 20 years is that people who, you know, feel this way, are this way, and have gone through this process, quite often go through a very painful life and painful process. We don't want that.

But there are differences between people who are adults and people who are children. And the decisions that are being made when you're talking about children, some of these are not just life-changing but body-changing things that you can't then say four years or 10 years down the line that you want to redo. And for that reason, I think we need to be mindful that these are -- these are children.

CAMEROTA: I mean, the 17-year-olds, you're categorizing a 17-year-old as a child who doesn't yet know what they want, basically?

HEYE: Sure, in the same way that we have a lot of laws that affect, you know, 18 and under or 21 and younger. There's a lot that you can't do when you're 17. You can drive a car in some states, I think not all of them yet, but there's a lot more you can't do. And then when you get to 21, you still have to get to 21 for that.

So, I think we need to protect them from those decisions. And what adults do is a very different thing, and we need to treat them with respect and dignity.


MOLLY JONG-FAST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, VANITY FAIR: I don't think this is about protecting children. I think this is about politics. Right? Republicans, if you watch CPAC, it's trans, trans, trans, trans, trans. This is their satanic panic. They want you to think that -- I mean, I just think that these are bills that are really about politics and not about people. Right?

If you're worried, mandate therapy. You don't have to ban treatment. I mean, this is all about -- these are all dog whistles. These are like banning gay marriage. I mean, this is the same kind of thing where they just have figured out that this is something the base likes, and they get people --

CAMEROTA: But do you, Molly, think that there are some teenagers who would make rush decisions if left with their own devices?

JONG-FAST: Absolutely. But you want me to -- first of all, it's a small part of the population. You don't need to make it illegal. You want to mandate therapy. You want to protect people. I mean, there are million ways to do that. This is not about that. This is about politics.

PATRICK MCENROE, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: This is not a topic that needs to be put under the rug, right, and not have the ability of kids and their families to discuss this, to get treatment, to think about, of course, it's a life-changing decision.

I -- I can't imagine that anyone would think about doing this that hadn't spent a lot of hours and time talking to their loved ones. Is this the right thing for me to do? And to not have it available for people to discuss it, whether you're 13, 17 or 21, excuse me, seems absurd.

MONDAIRE JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm having trouble thinking of laws that would overrule the recommendation of a physician in this context. Right? So, this law is at odds with what physicians recommend. In fact, what medical associations have advised, which is that in consultation with, of course, your parent or guardian and a medical provider, you can get to a place where this procedure is appropriate to be performed under the age of 18 or 17 --

CAMEROTA: I don't know -- a procedure. I mean, some of them are, you know, taking drugs --

JONES: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: Here is what is interesting. Governor Bill Lee had very, very strong feelings about a year ago, year and a half ago, about how government should not be able to mandate what kids do with their health. Only the parents should be able to decide things like masks, vaccines. So, here he is then.


GOV. BILL LEE (R-TN): -- have the choice to choose and make decisions about their children's health and well-being.


Give the parents the right to make the personal health decision for their kid.

Individual decision-making by a parent on issues involving the health and well-being of a child is the most important.

A parent knows best about their own individual child and what's best for them.

Parents are the best decider of -- actually, they're the only appropriate decider of the health decisions for children, and we need to do nothing in government to go around that parental decision.


CAMEROTA: What happened to that, Doug?


HEYE: Politicians are sometimes inconsistent. What a shocker.

CAMEROTA: He was stunningly consistent for all of those various dates.

HEYE: I think, to Molly's point, there are, of course, politics involved in this. There are politics in everything that, you know, every health care bill that's put forth, whether by Republican or Democrat.

What I hear so often from Democrats privately is concerns about how this movement is moving forward and that they feel that they can't say anything publicly. I'm thinking of a friend of mine who is watching me right now who's a Democrat, who I traded notes with, who says, our party is moving too far on this and we don't know what the ramifications are.

CAMEROTA: Well, I hear you. I mean, we can say anything publicly tonight, basically. And so, do we believe that parents should decide kids' health or not?


HEYE: Sure.

JONG-FAST: So then why can't they?

HEYE: Sure. Of course, they should. But --

JONG-FAST: Well, then you're making a law that says --

HEYE: Well, we have a lot of laws on what 18-year-olds and 21-year- olds are under can do. They can't buy cigarettes. They can't buy beer. They can't do a lot of things, the decisions they may want to make for themselves.

And when you then start talking about using certain hormone blockers or certain surgeries even with their parents' consent, you can't go back from the age of -- if you do it at 16, and then at the age of 22 or 32, then once you --

MCENROE: I always hear this argument -- I always hear this argument that if you do it, then you're going to change your mind. I've never heard a trans person say they want to change their mind. That is absurd. That is just --

HEYE: Thirteen-year-olds change their mind --

MCENROE: Thirteen is different. Okay?

JONES: The laws that we have to, say, you can't smoke until you're at certain age or you can't drink until you're at certain age, that is meant to protect the health of the individual and the rest is society.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, (INAUDIBLE) people think that they're protecting the health of the teenagers?

JONES: But hear physicians. Physicians and psychologists are saying it is harmful to children who are experiencing, for example, gender dysphoria, among other things, to not be able to treat them appropriately, and that is the fundamental difference between the laws that you just described and the law that for political purposes, the governor of Tennessee has just signed.

MCENROE: People make their own decisions about how they want to live their lives --

CAMEROTA: Not apparently adolescents and teenagers.

MCENROE: -- if it doesn't affect other people in a negative way.

JONG-FAST: But I also wonder, like, what happens to Republican Party smaller government. Right? you know, I was hearing that governor say we're not going to tell you to vaccinate your kids, but we are going to tell you that you can't -- you know, you can't get them therapy -- you know, this --

CAMEROTA: Yeah. No, it is -- I mean, it's -- the inconsistency is laid bare right there. Let's also talk about the bill that he signed about drag shows. As you know, not only are -- is trans a hot button word but drag shows are. And so now he has signed -- I think I have the language here. It's an offense. It's now illegal for a person who engages in adult cabaret performances and as a feature of the performance is a male or female impersonator who provides entertainment viewed by a person who is not an adult.

Okay. It's just -- it's again just interesting to see that the governor himself dressed as a woman in his high school photo. Here he is. Dressed as a woman because lots of people --

MCENROE: Because it's fun.

CAMEROTA: Because it's fun and it's funny and lots of people dress as a different gender to perform --

MCENROE: And by the way, being a drag queen is a serious art form, and they've been doing it for thousands of years. It's entertaining. People like to express themselves. It's fun to watch it. And you might actually learn something about the world and other people.

JONES: Given what they say about what drag can do to a person, turn them into a person, I just think it's comical that as an actual member of the LGBTQ community, I've never dressed in drag, but I'm hearing all this charade of Republican man, like, go back into high school or just a few years ago in the case of one state legislature and it's drag, drag, drag until it becomes politically --


JONES: Expedient, even better to do this and gin up --

CAMEROTA: But it is curious, the phenomenon of all these men dressing --

JONES: I don't want to speculate, you know. I mean, the fact is drag is fun. Right? It's funny. It's fun.


I mean, people just have fun. Whatever happened to having fun?

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, basically, what they're saying, Mondaire, though, is that they -- sure, go and have fun, but don't involve kids.

MCENROE: Have you watched any of the latest TikTok videos and things you hear on pop music and see what the pop stars do? My teenage daughters listen to this. I'm listening to the lyrics. I'm like, oh, okay --

CAMEROTA: That's more risky.

MCENROE: That's what I'm saying, it's more, more risky.

CAMEROTA: Music is --

MCENROE: And if they can handle that and is freedom of speech for artists to do that, this is another form of freedom of speech. This is going -- they use the word sexualize kids at a young age or -- I mean, give me a break.

JONG-FAST: This is old school. You know, satanic panic. You know, this is the -- the music is going to make the kids bad. The drag queens are going to make the kids, you know. I mean, this is the whole thing. The Republican Party knows their base likes to be afraid. And so, they do crime. They do, you know, you could be turned gay by going to a drag show.

It's -- I mean, I just think that this is like the same kind of thing they've been doing for the last, you know, since Nixon, probably since before Nixon. I mean, I think this is politics.

CAMEROTA: I mean, your thoughts on drag shows --

HEYE: First, satanic panic is a hell of a mandate.


HEYE: Was that the Ozzy Osbourne term? Whatever.


HEYE: Look, I like Shakespeare. And so, when I've seen "Twelfth Night" and "The Merchant of Venice," you know, there is always at the end, oh, wait, those male judges who ruled against us are actually our wives, right? If you go back 400 years, they were men playing women who were playing men who were playing women. It gets very confusing. Gender bending you might say.

CAMEROTA: Given all that, why do you think Republicans have such a bee in their bonnet right about drag shows?

HEYE: I think it goes back to children, you know, which is part of the previous conversation that we had. Look, I have a niece and nephew who grew up in England. They have the pantomime shows. Right? Very drag heavy. And I didn't go to one. Sort of glad I didn't. I missed David Hasselhoff at one, unfortunately.

CAMEROTA: But why you're glad you didn't? Because it's --

HEYE: It's not my thing, but if that's what you like, go do it. Is that appropriate for a third-grade math class or English class? Maybe not. But if that is what adults want to do, go for it.

JONG-FAST: Why are they doing this? I mean, I have lots of kids. None of my kids have ever had any drag shows brought to them at their schools. I mean, I just -- maybe there is a world with a lot of drag going on for little kids, but I haven't seen it.


MCENROE: Satanic panic.

HEYE: It's a great band name.

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

We have this sad news now to report. This is just into our newsroom. Actor Tom Sizemore has died at the age of 61. His representative says he died peacefully in his sleep after he suffered a brain aneurysm that occurred as a result of a stroke that he had on February 18th. Since then, Sizemore has been in critical condition and in a coma in intensive care. Tom Sizemore was best known for roles in movies like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down."

We will be right back.




CAMEROTA: Estrogen in the water turning people gay.


That's the conspiracy theory once pushed by Ron Peri, who Governor Ron DeSantis just appointed to the Disney Oversight Board. Here he is.


RON PERI, CEO, THE GATHERING (voice-over): Why are there homosexuals today? There are any number of reasons, you know, that are given. Some would say the increase in estrogen in our societies. You know, there's estrogen in the water from -- from birth control pills. They can't get it out.


CAMEROTA: Hmm. Let's bring back our panel. I'm not sure what science --

MCENROE: I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

CAMEROTA: I'm not sure what science journals he's reading. I mean, I think it is true there is more estrogen in our products. That is true. That's a concern, for sure. I'm not sure there are more homosexuals today than there have been for the past hundreds and thousands of years, but he is convinced of it, and he's going to be on the Disney Oversight Board.

I also -- not only that. He's not only concerned about our health. He's also saying -- well, I'll just read to you this one. He has called LGBTQ- people deviant. He suggests they don't have a stake in the future because many don't have children. And then here is something -- he didn't say in -- the K-file didn't dig this up from 1975 or 1965. This was two months ago. And here is what he also said two months ago about homosexuals.


PERI (voice-over): There are a lot of unhealthy effects of a homosexual lifestyle. There are diseases, but it goes beyond that.


CAMEROTA: Okay, sorry, that was actually last year. That was a year ago. Okay, where do we begin, Doug? HEYE: Well, we all got the same sort of puzzled look on our face. Right? I think you highlighted it well. It wasn't 30 years ago. This wasn't after Rock Hudson, you know, had to reveal that he had AIDS. So, it's not just bizarre talk, it is carnival talk at this point.

Every person that I know who has a friend who is gay, you know, they go to the gym constantly and they post pictures, and I'm like, oh, man, I got to stop eating so much, right, including the congressman.


HEYE: This is so -- again, it is not bizarre, it is carnival.

JONES: Look, if I had known that the way to not to become gay growing up was to start drinking tap water and to pivot to spring, then that would have saved me a lot of heartache. I'm proud at this point, but it is clearly not that simple.

I mean, do you think he's going to get away in the general election with stuff like this?


People keep saying that because he's not Donald Trump --

CAMEROTA: Are you talking about Governor DeSantis?

JONES: Governor DeSantis, that he is going to be so formidable in the general election. I want to thank more of the American people, whether it is this or manipulating or banning out right hundreds of books describing Black history or, you know, his obsession with beating up companies that speak out against some of his more controversial policies.

I mean, this is not stuff that even Donald Trump has done. Donald Trump never leaned into LGBTQ issues nearly as much as Ron DeSantis. I think it's because he knew that, like, the culture war -- that culture war had been lost already, frankly.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, I don't even know where Governor DeSantis can find someone like Ron --

JONG-FAST: Florida.

CAMEROTA: -- like Ron Peri. I mean, it is not easy to find somebody who --

HEYE: It is. Just go to CPAC.


HEYE: Sorry, go to the "Star Trek" convention that has called CPAC. Buy (INAUDIBLE) light saver, you know, of a right-wing variety, and you'll find these people. The good news for Ron DeSantis is he has a bus, and he is going to back that bus over the guy, then drive with that, cross again and then back it up again. We will not have to worry about this guy in a year or so.

MCENROE: I mean, there is obviously crazy people out there. Right? This is evidence of that, that say absurd and ridiculous things. But the idea that a person who is, as you said, the governor in Florida and is seriously considering running for president, in fact, most people --


MCENROE: -- assume it's a lock, that he would actually think it's okay to put this guy on an oversight -- that to me is what is so insane about this and so downright scary that that would actually be okay to do that.

JONG-FAST: Florida is where science goes to die at this point. I mean --

MCENROE: I thought that's where woke goes to die.


JONES: It may be synonymous.

JONG-FAST: I think it's where facts and logic go to die. I mean, really, you know, the man is -- remember, this is a state that brought, you don't say gay. Right? This is a state that bans books. I mean, the stuff they're doing in there is stuff we haven't done in this country in 50 years.

HEYE: Also, we haven't used a name tonight. In a good way, we haven't used a name tonight. I apologize for using George Santos. It should be a reminder that vetting doesn't always happen, and I would bet that that's part of the problem here.

CAMEROTA: Do you think that Governor DeSantis is surprised that Ron Peri --

HEYE: I don't think he knew about those statements, no. Wouldn't rise to that level of the governor.

JONES: Do you think he'll get fired now that this information is coming out?

HEYE: No, but eventually, there will be a bus that will back up against him and drive it back and forth.

CAMEROTA: All right. Let's move on to what happened in Dallas. There is this reporter from the "Dallas Morning News." She has been fired after tweeting to the mayor and calling him 'bruh' in a tweet.

So, basically, he said that local news has no interest in reporting good news, and she responded in a tweet where she said, bruh, national news is always going to chase the trend. Cultivate relationships with quality local news partnerships. The mayor, Eric Johnson, then tweeted back with her, bruh, have we met?


MCENROE: Good response.

CAMEROTA: And then she lost her job as a result of that. She explained herself by saying, I'm a millennial, that's a term I use all the time. I think it is their dude. It is their version of dude, you know, do you know what you're saying? So, what do you think?

JONES: I'm a millennial and I think that millennials and Gen Z have a real problem in terms of practicing professionalism. You know, as a -- when I was a member of Congress, it was noticeable who called me congressman and who called me by my first name.

In the rare instances when journalists called me by my first name or certain members of the public called me by my first name, it was jarring, right? It was jarring to other people, including my staff, who heard it happen.

There are certain aspects of decorum that people, especially in certain professions like this woman who is a journalist if not an anchor of television network or show, should be proud --

CAMEROTA: Reporter, yeah.

JONES: -- she is a reporter. So, actually, you know --


I don't think it's crazy that she was fired for behaving that way on Twitter.

MCENROE: If she just left out the 'bruh,' it would have been a perfectly fine comment and tweet.

CAMEROTA: That's right.

MCENROE: National local politics, fine. But to Mondaire's experience --

CAMEROTA: The 'bruh' is too --

MCENROE: It's unprofessional. And like you said, the decorum is not there. And most importantly, it shows a lack of respect.

JONG-FAST: I don't know. I mean, she --


MCENROE: You're okay with 'bruh?'

JONG-FAST: Well, I'm of the opinion side, so I feel like when you're on the opinion side, it's sort of different. She's a straight reporter. You don't really want a straight reporter to have an opinion. I mean --

CAMEROTA: Would you call in New York Mayor Adams 'bruh?'

JONG-FAST: I mean, I'm not a huge Mayor Adams person, so -- but no, I probably would not call him 'bruh.'


But, you know, I mean -- is it okay? I don't know. Should she lose her job for that? I mean, she could delete it and apologize. I mean --

CAMEROTA: Yeah, I think she did delete it. She did delete it. But -- I don't know. Do you think she should have lost her job?

HEYE: Everything -- I want to use this title correctly -- the congressman said is 100% right. And it also can be true that this is a crazy overreaction that she got fired for using the term 'bruh.'

CAMEROTA: I only have 15 seconds left. Should we still call you congressman?


JONES: I don't care.

CAMEROTA: No, seriously.


JONES: You can absolutely call me Mondaire.


JONG-FAST: Now, I'm going to call you congressman.

JONES: No, no.

CAMEROTA: All right.


CAMEROTA: Ignore my panelists. Have you been paying attention to everything that's happened? We're going to quiz the panel on what they know about this weekend news. But before that, CNN's presentation of HBO's "Overtime with Bill Maher" right after this.




CAMEROTA: Now, I want to turn it over to our friends at HBO. Each Friday, following "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions and bring their unique perspectives to the topics driving the national conversation. We're excited to bring you this lively discussion first every Friday night. So, here is "Overtime with Bill Maher."



BILL MAHER, HBO POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST: Okay. We're on CNN now. I don't know how that happened. But we're back with our panel. From Vermont, Bernie Sanders, the senator.


MAHER: Host of "Showtime: The Circus" John Heilemann and actor Russell Brand are back with us.


Okay. So, here are the questions people wrote in. I guess this is for you because it mentions the BRIT Awards. What does the panel think of the discussion around the Oscars getting rid of gender specific categories like Best Actor and Best Actress and how did it work out at the BRIT Awards?

RUSSELL BRAND, ACTOR: As a person who never won an award --


I feel confident in saying they are pointless, a distraction at a time where we need to be coming together around in real principles and values. Unless someone wants to give me an award, in which case, I'd like to make it specific as possible, so I could probably will get it.



MAHER: Am I wrong that the BRIT Awards, which is for music?

BRAND: I hosted that before, but I'll tell you, Bill, I was able to let go of the experience and never thought about it since.


I feel that it might be fundamentally meaningless.

MAHER: Okay.

BRAND: I can't find meaning in it. I've looked. There's none.

MAHER: It used to be Best Male, Best Female, and they just cut out the categories. And it was one -- the only people who won it was four men and Harry Styles.


BRAND: Yeah, I think.


MAHER: All -- no women won.

BRAND: They should just give awards to Harry Styles and that can be an industry --

MAHER: Okay.


BRAND: We'll watch the world incinerate while Harry Styles dances beautifully.


MAHER: What is the likelihood that Congress will abolish Daylight Savings Time. I read this also today that --

JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, "THE CIRCUS" EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND CO-HOST, THE RECOUNT EXECUTIVE EDITOR: They're calling it the permanent Daylight Savings Time? I don't understand what that could mean.

MAHER: Do you care about this?




MAHER: Seriously? Come on. I got --

SANDERS: I have -- I have been criticized for having a very narrow focus.


I accept that criticism. Daylight Savings Time is not one of the issues that I've been studying.

MAHER: Okay. You know what? I bet this is the kind of stuff that actually affects a lot of --

SANDERS: It does.

MAHER: And it's stupid. I don't get it. I don't know -- I guess we did it 100 years ago because farmers --

SANDERS: Agriculture.

MAHER: -- needed -- okay. Well, how many people in America are farmers? Is it like 1% of the population? I mean, we need the farmers. I love food.


I'm not crazy about the way they do their farming, torturing animals. And by the way, just to connect it once more to COVID, we are never going to be done with diseases like COVID while we are still torturing animals. It all comes from animals.


It comes -- now, we have to worry about bird flu. Bird flu. It's birds and pigs.

HEILEMANN: We're back in the web market. That's the reality. There is bad stuff that goes on in those places.

MAHER: That's right. That's also could be where it came from. But it always jumps from animals to people. And it wouldn't if we didn't pin up the animals and torture them before we eat them.

HEILEMANN: It seems like --


SANDERS: Let me be -- let me non-funny. Your point about sickness and the possibility of future pandemics absolutely speaks to the need for international cooperation.


Because the pandemic is not going to be an American issue. It's not going to be a Chinese issue. They are going to have to bring the world together to deal with climate, to deal with pandemics.

MAHER: Okay. Should law enforcement be policing TikTok in order to crack down on illegal trends like the viral challenge to steal Kias and Hyundais?


Oh, yeah. Do you know about this? There are TikTok videos that show how you can adjust, I think, a screwdriver and an iPhone charger, you can hot wire a Kia and Hyundai. So, like, they're being stolen left and right. What do you think about TikTok?


That's another thing before Congress. Somebody has a bill to ban TikTok certainly for people under 16. I think that is Josh Hawley.

SANDERS: I think the concern is TikTok is a Chinese-owned company and you're seeing states and U.S. government not wanting to use it for fear that some secretive information could fall into Chinese hands.

MAHER: Well, but also, it is rotting the minds of our young people.

SANDERS: That's a whole other story. But that's --


That's beyond TikTok, isn't it? MAHER: It is. TikTok is not helping.

HEILEMANN: The rotting of the minds of the American youth is a problem that existed long before TikTok. One of the great things of being young.

MAHER: Made it much worse. Kids at least used to read. I don't think kids ever see a book. They do not read, they scroll. Scrolling does not make you smart.


SANDERS: Not to become overly serious, I think it is now perceived that the pandemic has made the mental health crisis that we previously had even worse. And there is a lot of discussion about the impact of social media and the isolation --

MAHER: Absolutely.

SANDERS: -- contact that develops --

MAHER: Absolutely.

SANDERS: -- on our health.

MAHER: All right. Russell, what are your thoughts on the UFOs that we intercepted and shot down by the U.S. Military last month? I don't know if they're referring to the Chinese balloons. They were not UFOs because we know what they were. They were Chinese balloons.


But there were other things. There some things that they shot that we didn't get. We don't know what they are. There are things that we haven't found out what they are after we did shoot them down.

BRAND: I wonder whether or not the $14 trillion have been gone to the Pentagon, 55% of which ended up in the hands of the military industrial complex, which surely American people are becoming weary of, needs occasionally to be boosted with fanciful ideas of extraterrestrial invasion.

Maybe there needs to be a continual reminder that the skies themselves could become a threat unless Lockheed Martin BAE Systems continue to profit. Elsewise, a balloon, hot air, nothing inside it, shot down by $400,000 missile might be coming for your family.


MAHER: But again -- I mean, we were just saying here, we all should be skeptical and have open minds on everything. It is possible that there are -- there is life on other planets that are visiting us or scouting us.

SANDERS: Bill --

MAHER: I mean, there are -- even the U.S. --


Even the U.S. must --

BRAND: Not accepting.

MAHER: I'm just saying it's possible.

SANDERS: Sure, it is quite possible --

MAHER: Okay.

SANDERS: -- but if you think that something from another universe came all the way here and was kind of dragging around and was shot down very easily --


-- I think if it's a UFO, they would have done a little bit better in avoiding --


MAHER: First of all, we're not saying it's from another universe. We're saying it's from the same universe. The universe is very big.

BRAND: I think Bernie raised a good point. It is not like E.T. who come all the way here and then popped out at Elliot's house.


BRAND: He has made it all the way here.

MAHER: I agree.


SANDERS: That's the point.

BRAND: That's the point.

MAHER: Okay. The Chinese balloon is different. I'm not saying the Chinese balloon was from another universe or this universe.

BRAND: It would have to be from China. If it's a Chinese balloon. I mean that with all due respect. That's the least it can do.

MAHER: Well --


HEILEMANN: I was going to say --

MAHER: I'm moving on.



BRAND: You fought (ph) Bernie back out here (INAUDIBLE) if you're going to talk about extraterrestrials and balloons.

MAHER: Okay.

HEILEMANN: If you're looking --


HEILEMANN: If you're looking for proof that there is life in outer space, intelligent life in outer space, look no further than Russell. There is another accounting for how a --

BRAND: I'm glad that became a compliment, sir, because I was reeling up.

HEILEMANN: Don't you worry. Only compliments, my friend.

MAHER: With all the emphasis on DEI, are we confusing equality of opportunity we are trying to guarantee equity and outcomes? Okay, that's interesting because I think this word equity is coming to the language in the last few years, and before that, we didn't hear it a lot.

I think a lot of people hear equity and they hear equality, like it's the same word. It's not the same word and the same concept. So, how would you differentiate between equity and equality?

SANDERS: Well, quality, we talk about -- I don't know what the answer to that is.


Come to think of it. You know, equality is equality of opportunity. All right? We live in a society, we want all people --

MAHER: Right.

SANDERS: -- to have whatever color your skin is.

MAHER: Equity, I think, is more guarantee of outcome. Is it not?

SANDERS: I think so. I think so.

MAHER: Okay. So, which side do you come down on?

SANDERS: Equality.

MAHER: Equality?


MAHER: Okay. Boys? Any comment on that one? HEILEMANN: I just don't know if that's the definition or difference.


Certainly, there is debate --


-- question of equality of outcome over equality of opportunity is a question that analyzes affirmative action and everything else for a very long time. There is obviously a very strong -- even people who want equality of outcome say they only want equality of opportunity and vice versa. That's a -- that issue, that core of that, what do you actually want?

I think Bernie is where everyone says they want to be. But there are, in fact, programs that have been designed to actually engineer equal outcomes, not just equal opportunity, and that's where a lot of controversies have risen.

MAHER: Okay. One more. Have Democrats done enough to support strong labor unions, Bernie? What's the future of unions in this country? I think they just subpoenaed the Starbucks.

SANDERS: They didn't. I did. You know --



That's not fair. Look, we are not going to have -- that is an issue I do know something about.


And I pay attention to. The bottom line is that you're not going to have a middle class in this country unless workers are able to stand up, organize, form unions and negotiate for descent contracts.

What we're seeing right now are more and more workers wanting to form unions but you're seeing companies like Starbucks and Amazon and Apple and other large corporations really engaging in illegal union bustling.

We have asked the leader of Starbucks, they had a CEO, Howard Schultz, to explain to us why he thinks it's acceptable that over 50 occasions, the NLRB has said they had broken federal labor law in breaking unions. So, we hope to have him come before our committee. There will be a vote on Wednesday, a vote on subpoenaing him.

MAHER: It just seems like there is a --


-- a strange sort of hypocrisy there because these are using liberal companies, I think whole foods also, and it is like they care a lot about the indigenous people of the Bolivian Andes but not about some worker in Cincinnati.

SANDERS: You got it. They're very liberal about everything except whether workers can form a union and earn descent wages. They're very liberal --


-- except whether or not we ask them to pay their fair share of taxes that aren't so liberal then. That's right.

MAHER: Thank you, everybody. Thank you, CNN.



CAMEROTA: I love that, Russell Brand. You can watch "Realtime with Bill Maher" on Friday on HBO at 10:00 p.m., and then watch "Overtime" right here on CNN Friday nights at 11:30. We'll be right back.




CAMEROTA: Now, feel fun Friday night quiz game that we concocted. Can you remember what's happened in the news this week? Let's quiz my panelists right now.

Okay, everybody, first things first. The vapors from the Jack Daniel's Tennessee distillery are, A, making everyone in town and inebriated, B, causing birds to fly into telephone poles or, C, coating the entire town in fungus? Which one do you think it is? Please hold up your answer now. Please, hold up your answer. Go ahead.


CAMEROTA: Inebriated, telephone poles. What is it, guys?

MCENROE: I did learn something.

HEYE: You get more points if you're the only one who is right, by the way.

JONG-FAST: I am not cheating. I'm just waiting to see what everyone else --

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's C. It's coating up the entire town in fungus. That is right. Okay, next question. This week, it was revealed that George Santos, A, has a new mystery treasurer, B, lied about being a tennis champion, C, falsely claimed to invent the toaster strudel?

HEYE: Is there an "all of the above' choice?

JONG-FAST: It should be a B. MCENROE: I wish I could do B, but I like to be right.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Yes, you're right, it's A, has a new mystery treasurer. Okay, next, the Bidens ordered the same dish at a D.C. restaurant. Was it grilled sea bass with garlic butter, rigatoni with sausage or steak frites?


JONG-FAST: Rigatoni!


CAMEROTA: Okay, what do you have?

HEYE: Emily Heil with "The Washington Post" is the one who broke this story.

CAMEROTA: Are you sure, congressman?

JONES: Rigatoni with sausage.

CAMEROTA: Okay, yes, you got it, it was the rigatoni. Okay, next, a West Virginia bill would offer returning residents, A, subsidies for starting a small business, B, a commemorative John Denver bust, C, $25,000 in tax credits?

HEYE: I want it to be B, but it's not.

CAMEROTA: Okay, you say it's A, you say A, C, B. The answer is C. Okay, you guys, I think Mondaire and Doug won.

HEYE: Undefeated?

CAMEROTA: Okay. Guys, thank you so much.

HEYE: I call him congressman, by the way.

CAMEROTA: All right, we'll be right back.



CAMEROTA: We're kicking off this year's CNN Heroes campaign by catching up with one of last year's top 10 honorees, Alaskan nurse Teresa Gray. Her nonprofit, Mobile Medics International, has responded to dozens of humanitarian disasters worldwide. So, when the devastating earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, she mobilized.


TERESA GRAY, CNN HERO (on camera): I need some 10 cc syringes.

(Voice-over): It's pretty frantic leading up to a mission.

(On camera): Okay, this bag is ready to go.

(Voice-over): Making sure we have the right equipment, the right medications.

(On camera): We have enough for hundreds of patients.

(Voice-over): We're going to be sleeping in a tent, eating MREs.

(On camera): This is not going to be a good time.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Three days after the earthquake, Teresa landed in Turkey. She and her team soon headed to (INAUDIBLE) province.

GRAY (on camera): I'm here on the street of (INAUDIBLE).


We are doing mobile clinics. And all the people are living here in these tents now because buildings are either fallen down or about to fall down. We go street to street to street, and we stop at these tents. We're seeing earthquake injuries, lacerations.

We saw a child who had been trapped in the rubble for well over 12 hours. We're seeing coughs, colds, flu from living together. Whatever they need us to look at, we will. We go back, sleep in our car, get up the next morning and do it again.

COOPER (voice-over): They treated hundreds of people, and one family adopted Teresa's group as their own.

GRAY (on camera): This is my new Turkish mama. These people have taken us in. They have allowed us to stay on their property. They've given us (INAUDIBLE). Tell her that we are so grateful for her.

COOPER (voice-over): Another reminder that even in desperate times --

UNKNOWN: You're welcome.


COOPER (voice-over): -- humanity can shine through.

GRAY (on camera): I know. I am so sorry. I am so sorry. It's okay.


CAMEROTA: What an incredible story. To nominate your own CNN hero, go to Thanks so much for watching, everyone. Have a great weekend. Our coverage continues.