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Survivors Of Deadly Mexico Kidnapping Back In U.S.; What We Know And Don't Know About The Origins Of COVID; DOJ Issues Scathing Rebuke Of Louisville Police In Reported Launched After Breonna Taylor's Killing; Louisville Police Violated Civil Rights, DOJ Reports; Dominion Voting System Accuses Fox News Of Knowingly Airing False Conspiracy Theories; Summer Camp For Adults. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 08, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN TONIGHT.
We are learning more about what happened to those four Americans who were attacked and kidnapped in Mexico. Latavia Washington McGee, the woman traveling for the medical procedure, survived the ordeal. Her friend, Eric Williams, was shot in the legs three times and remains in a Texas hospital tonight. their two other friends, Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard, were killed. In a moment, I will talk to an expert on border culture and he will share his research about the violent drug cartels at the border.
Plus, where did COVID-19 come from? The former head of the CDC says he was left out of conversations with Dr. Fauci and other scientists after he expressed support for the Wuhan lab leak theory.
And a scathing report on the Louisville, Kentucky Police Department after an investigation following that botched raid that killed Breonna Taylor, the DOJ says the Louisville Police routinely used excessive force and practiced, quote, an aggressive style of policing against black people. More on that ahead.
But let's bring in our panel. Right now, we are here with law enforcement guru John Miller, famously fearful flyer Molly Jong-Fast, the man my mom misses when he is not on the panel, L.Z. Granderson, and former Trump White House Comms Director and star of The View Alyssa Farah Griffin. And also joining us from Austin to talk about what's going on at the border is Professor Ricardo Ainslie of the University of Texas at Austin. We will be with you momentarily, professor.
Okay. John, tell us what your reporting has found about the ongoing crime story of the Americans who were ambushed.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, they are in the stage now of kind of trying to organize three things, number one, which is the handling of the two living victims and the two dead victims. The autopsies are complete. Those bodies are coming back.
The two living victims, the FBI has a very well-developed process for victim witness assistance, which involves treatment for trauma, the ability to question them with trauma informed kind of interview tactics, but they need to know what they know, how many people did you see, how many times were you moved, what did you see along the way between places you were taken to, were there radios, phones. They are going to have to go through all of that. But they realize these people have been through a lot. So, that takes time. That's one.
Two, they have got to deal with the Mexican government about how are we doing this together. You know, the FBI's role is to provide support and intelligence but are we going to bring these perpetrators here and prosecute them for crimes against American, are they going to be prosecuted in Mexico, who has got the lead on that. And --
CAMEROTA: What's the answer to that?
MILLER: The answer to that is a discussion. Because right now, you have got the FBI who is all in and you've got the Mexican government who has a complicated thing here. You have got a president who would like the story to tamp down go away. You have a tourist industry that they are trying to get going again. You have a cartel that controls that area that realizes they made a mistake and, you know, they want to back out of this. And you have the whole rest of the scene with federal law enforcement and the Department of Justice saying, that's all great, but we need to get these guys.
CAMEROTA: Yes. So, obviously, it's complicated. Let's bring in Professor Ainslie. Professor, I know you have done research in that area. So, tell us about the border area and that -- particularly that area between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, where they were killed, and does the drug cartels, plural, have free rein there?
PROF. RICARDO AINSLIE, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND DELL MEDICAL SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF AUSTIN: Thank you for having me on. Yes. I think that's one of the most problematic states in Mexico and has been for quite a long time now. There has been a tremendous amount of cartel-inspired violence. It's also moved from being primarily about moving drugs to other kinds of ancillary crime that's become part of their business model for some time now, including kidnappings, extortions and so on. It's a very violent part of Mexico, in the state of Tamaulipas.
CAMEROTA: So, when you say that kidnappings are part of their business model, kidnapping Americans or kidnapping anyone? I mean, and then what? They just hold them for ransom but they don't kill them?
AINSLIE: Well, you know, historically, Americans have been -- I mean, there are exceptions, but, historically, Americans have not been the target of these drug cartels, criminal organizations, primarily because of what is happening now. The activation of the American law enforcement, of the U.S./Mexico relations, that is something that the cartels have sought to avoid.
So, that Pandora's Box has been opened with this case. And so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
But, no, historically, Americans have not been prime targets. The kidnappings are often short-term things where people are held for periods of time and then released if there is a ransom paid. But oftentimes the ransoms are paid and they keep holding them, subsequent ransoms are paid, sometimes they get their family members and loved ones back and sometimes they don't.
CAMEROTA: One more question, Professor, before we bring in the rest of the panel. Are these drug cartels manufacturing fentanyl? Are they taking fentanyl from China? Are they loading it into the tractor trailers that we hear so much about to go through the checkpoints into the U.S.? And then are there other U.S. drug cartels or organized crime rings that are picking it up there and distributing it? Do you know how that's working?
AINSLIE: Yes. Well, historically, these drug cartels are very nimble, they are very entrepreneurial and creative. So, whatever drug is selling on this side of the border, they figure out a way of getting involved in that. It used to be crystal meth and they started manufacturing that in Mexico and shipping it across.
So -- and the Mexican government sometimes tracks the chemicals that are needed to manufacture some of these drugs and often they are coming in on the Pacific coast from places like China and so on, and then the organized crime groups get the necessary elements and they start manufacturing these drugs and finding many different ways of getting them across our border.
CAMEROTA: Alyssa, I want to turn to you now. What should the White House be doing in this situation?
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first and foremost, reiterating the existing travel advisory to not go to this area of Mexico. That was standing before. Obviously, these individuals probably were not aware of it when they chose to go there, but these are things that have to be heeded. They need to get ahead.
To John's point, this would seem like something that needs to be tried in the states. These are Americans, even though this is a close ally, we work closely with President Obrador, but these people need to be brought to justice in the United States. I would hope to see them get ahead of this.
And I think it's a moment, so often, immigration, border security becomes this politically fraught issue where everyone just kind of goes to their political corner. This is a good remind that this is our close ally of our southern border but there are entire communities in Mexico that run by cartels, which are no better than a militia and some terrorist organizations. So, we need to be aware of the dangers that exists there and what we can do in alliance with the Mexican government to combat them.
CAMEROTA: L.Z., it's so tragic to think about this woman who is going with her three childhood friends across the border to get, I think, elective medical procedure of some kind, and then this happens. L.Z. GRANDERSON, OP-ED COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: The world is a dangerous place. And I don't want to oversimplify this, but you are absolutely right. I mean, we have to remember that as the economic gap between citizens around the world continues to grow, it isn't just an American problem, it's a global problem, that Americans are going to be seen as prosperous and we're going to be seen as easy targets. So, you need to be cognizant of where the U.S. is telling you where to go and not to go.
Remember when Biden had the withdrawal, he told citizens in Iran over and over again to get out, like we need to listen.
CAMEROTA: Yes, you mean Afghanistan?
GRANDERSON: Afghanistan, sorry, Afghanistan, yes, yes. But we need to listen to our State Department. They are not here to prevent us from exploring the world, they are also here to keep of safe. And that area has been on the list for a very long time.
CAMEROTA: Molly, your thoughts?
MOLLY JONG-FAST, HOST, FAST POLITICS PODCAST: I mean, I just think there has been so much politicization of Mexico and this is really the legacy of Donald Trump, among others, you know, where he said all of these really terrible things about Mexicans that I think it is really important that this is not a political, you know, situation. And I do think Republicans have used the border as for, you know -- and remember border crossings are actually down now.
So, it is interesting -- you know, this is like a favorite kind of cudgel of theirs and I hope that they don't get involved in that and they'll just see this for what it is, which is, you know, terrible.
CAMEROTA: John, I mean, same question that I asked to the professor, which is, do we know how this works? The fact that we can't seem to turn off the spigot of fentanyl that's coming into this country from Mexico, because, as we know, it's coming in through legal border crossings in these tractor-trailers, what is the problem? How can we crack down and find that before it, you know, kills more teenagers?
MILLER: Well, if you ask us, the Mexican cartels, which are multibillion, not million, multibillion dollar businesses, and there is about five of them, are the problem. If you ask Mexico, we are the problem.
If there wasn't the American consumer vacuuming up fentanyl pills and every other drug the cartel comes up with faster than they can make them or launder the money --
GRANDERSON: Not to mention guns.
MILLER: Not to mention guns and human trafficking, all kinds of things the cartels are in the business of, but the Mexican government looks at it as, please stop looking down your nose at us, you are the problem, without the consumer, there is no market. So, we have found the enemy and it is us together.
CAMEROTA: Professor, about the medical tourism aspect of this, is it common -- and we have heard how common it is for Americans to travel to Mexico. But is it common place for Americans to cross over that Brownsville area into Matamoras?
AINSLIE: All across the U.S./Mexico border, many -- any major city on the border has medical tourism all the time. It's been going on for many, many years. It's inexpensive, it's accessible. You can get procedures done for much less than it costs here, a third to a half, two-thirds less than it would cost here. And so -- and also for the upper tier of the medical profession in Mexico, literally, the quality of care is probably every bit comparable to what we get here in the United States. So, that -- it makes it a great -- very appealing, right? And if you have to pay $3,000 deductible to get certain kinds of procedure done and you can get it done in Mexico for less, then you may travel to Mexico to do it.
I would say most of the other places like Tijuana and Mexicali and (INAUDIBLE), even Juarez, they don't have currently the level of crime that we're seeing in Tamaulipas and that we have seen for a long time. Those other cities have had moments where there was a peak of crime, two or three years, where there's tremendous, horrific violence taking place, and at those times, all of that tourism, medical or otherwise, is really shut down pretty extensively but then it starts coming back.
CAMEROTA: Professor Ainslie, thank you very much for your expertise and sharing it with all of our viewers tonight. Great to have you here.
Stick around, panel, if you would. When we come back, a deep dive into what we know and what we don't know about the origins of COVID.
Plus, why Ron DeSantis says he will send a boat to the Bahamas to get Djokovic to Miami.
CAMEROTA: All right. The former head of the CDC says he was left out of discussions between Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists investigating the origins of COVID. Here is what he testified to in the House today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think you were excluded from those calls?
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: Because I was told that they wanted a single narrative and that I obviously had a different point of view.
Science has debate and they squashed any debate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay, we are back with the panel. So, basically, his feeling was that he was leaning towards the lab leak theory and Dr. Fauci was leaning towards the Wuhan wet market or natural transmission theory. And the way that Dr. Redfield has been making it sound for a long time, and not just today, that has been going on for months, is that, basically, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins at NIH weren't, interested according to Redfield, in entertaining the lab leak theory. I mean, that's how I'm reading it.
Alyssa, you know all of these gentlemen. You were in the White House during all of this. What was your impression? Was there a tug-of-war? What was your impression?
GRIFFIN: There was a tug-of-war. And I thought that Dr. Redfield's testimony was very valuable because I was there in real-time. Dr. Birx and Dr. Redfield were very opening to the idea that it was a potential accidental to lab leak. Dr. Fauci, and to this day, he's an incredibly credible person, he's somebody I consider a friend, but he was dug in on the other side.
And I think it did a disservice because with science and with the medical profession, there is not always going to be unanimity on what we think the outcome is something like this. And there was this effort that it was -- this is the only thing we are going to talk about and people were diminished if they to put forward the other idea, because Redfield has been saying this for the last two and a half years.
CAMEROTA: Why was he dug in? I mean, why was he not open to this other possibility?
GRIFFIN: I don't know. I mean, just knowing Tony Fauci, he's -- no, because I think there was -- there was a media element to it. Fauci was throughout the Trump administration trusted and seen as somebody who was an independent doctor who was not Trump-aligned. At times, Dr. Birx and Dr. Redfield were seen as a bit more aligned with Trump, and I think that that made people diminish their viewpoints, despite the fact that both of them -- I mean, Dr. Birx has done more to combat AIDS in the world than probably any living person. This is an incredibly credible doctor, Redfield, a virologist, somebody who has dedicated his life to the medical profession. So, I think there was an element of politics that did factor into it.
CAMEROTA: In fairness to Dr. Fauci, he has always said that he is open to more investigation but that he didn't have any basically visibility into what was happening in the lab in China. Here is what he said a year-and-a-half ago to Senator Rand Paul when this came up in May of 2021.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Will you in front of this group categorically say that the COVID-19 could not have occurred through serial passage in a laboratory?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done and I'm fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So, here is what is interesting, L.Z., is that back then in May of 2021, so a year-and-a-half ago, CNN had reporting, and I remember hearing it even prior to that just sort of in rumors, but then CNN was able to confirmed, that there were several scientists at the Wuhan virology lab that got sick in the fall of 2019. So, before people in the United States started getting sick with COVID, they came down with symptoms so bad that they had to go to the hospital.
Doesn't that lend itself to the lab leak theory?
GRANDERSON: I saw that report as well. I remember hearing that going around. And then it kind of went away like, you know, acid rain kind of went away, like doesn't happen anymore. Listen, it's impossible to talk about COVID without talking about the politics of COVID, from the handling of it, the messaging of it and the fact that Dr. Fauci did appear -- I am not sure if it was behind the scenes -- but from a viewer looking on the outside in, it looked as if he was an adversary of the administration as opposed to working hand in hand.
And so when you have that, you can't help but have this sort of, I guess, hard feelings coming from other scientists who weren't a part of the cool kids or however you want to describe. But the reality is that COVID got mucked because we politicized it before we realized what it actually was.
JONG-FAST: We didn't politicize it, right? I mean, I don't -- I don't feel like I politicized it. I mean, I think there was a sense in which Republicans ran against COVID for, you know, and that's what we are seeing even now with DeSantis. I mean --
CAMEROTA: Well, what Republicans say that it was Democrats who poo- pooed the lab theory because President Trump thought it.
JONG-FAST: Right. But, ultimately, either -- and, you know, an accidental lab leak or an accidental situation from the wet market, it doesn't much matter, right? I mean, the whole thing with this lab leak is that there are people on the right who want to say that this was -- you know, that somehow this was intentional and --
GRIFFIN: But that's -- it's an important point. It's very different though. Accidental lab leak is a credible hearing, saying this was some kind of bioweapon is not a credible theory.
JONG-FAST: You see where -- I feel like the far right is going to the like we are going to blame -- and, look, this was not handled well. China should have -- they could have been way more on it and I think everyone agrees with that. But, ultimately, now, we are in a situation where the virus is here, right?
CAMEROTA: Sure. But it matters in that if they were handling, you know, these biothreats in an improper way, we do need to know.
JONG-FAST: No, we definitely do. But I don't necessarily think that it changes the calculus of they need to fix the wet markets and they need to fix the biolabs. Like both need to be fixed because they are both problematic.
GRIFFIN: Can I just -- I'm sorry, ahead.
MILLER: Well, just from an intelligence standpoint, it's frustrating because you are not in a permissive environment. You go where the Chinese let you go, you see what the Chinese let you see. So, when the world health people got their lab tour and then went follow up with we need to look at some documents and we need a second tour, part two and three of that never happened.
So, what you have is an intelligence community consensus where you have a bunch of agencies that say, we don't have enough information to take a position. We would love to but we don't have the data. You have the FBI who says with moderate confidence that it appears to be a lab leak.
And that's not just agents and analysts. That's the FBI scientists whose game was brought up after the anthrax hit, you know, incidents to be, you know, some really superb biological experts. And then you have the Department of Energy who says, we go for lab leak but with low confidence, not because they don't believe their theory but because they understand the data isn't there to prove it.
And the crime scene is gone, right? We can't go back. We can't pull those videos. We can't recreate those moments because it's too cold. So, the only way we are ever going to learn this is down the road. And this is not impossible, some human source may come forward and say I have the answer --
MILLER: -- and this is how I can prove it.
GRIFFIN: I was just going to say there were 2019 State Department cables from the Wuhan lab that warned that this is a pandemic waiting to happen, low safety protocols, they weren't taking it seriously. And I just want to say, I wouldn't put it past the CCP to actually deflect blame and create the wet market outbreak theory and blame it on their own people rather than take responsibility from mismanaging the Wuhan lab.
MILLER: Because one can be held accountable and the other is like just a guy in a market.
CAMEROTA: A bat.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you all.
Next, a scathing assessment from the DOJ about the Louisville Police Department uncovering how officers routinely treat black people.
CAMEROTA: A scathing report today from the DOJ details widespread discrimination and excessive use of force by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers. The review was launched following the police raid that killed Breonna Taylor. Investigators finding that the police department specifically targets black people as well as disabled residents and sexual assault victims.
The report says, quote, for years, LMPD has practiced an aggressive of policing that deploys selectively, especially against black people and but also against vulnerable people throughout the city.
Okay. We're back with the panel now. So, L.Z., in other words, that awful botched raid of Breonna Taylor, it wasn't an anomaly.
GRANDERSON: Of course not. We all knew this. We all knew this. Nothing from that report shocks me, nothing, not a single thing. And, unfortunately, it's going to get politicized, of course, right, because then you are going to have people who are on the left and saying we need to do something and someone from the right is going to yell you are too woke or they are going to yell, you know, MAGA is better than Black Lives Matter because you are Antifa, like it's just going to get all jumbled up, right, and we are going to end up in the same place over and over again.
Remember, when we were covering Ferguson, after President Obama's administration did the investigation of that police department and what we saw there, you would have thought that would have triggered some sort of widespread sweeping to make sure this kind of behavior didn't exist in that police department. What happened? It went away, right?
So, unfortunately, I don't have a lot of hope for this beyond what the municipality is going to do about it but this should spark a widespread conversation in a healthy way with police unions, but it won't.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I don't know if I am not as pessimistic as you are, L.Z., just because George Floyd did spark a national conversation and then there were reforms that were made. And some police departments did make reforms after what happened in Ferguson, but I hear you. The fact that it's 2023 and this report is coming out is appalling.
And so, John, because you know so much about police and everything, here's what -- let me just play for you what Attorney General Garland, how he described the Louisville Police today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Some officers have demonstrated disrespect for the people they are sworn to protect. Some have videotaped themselves throwing drinks at pedestrians from their cars, assaulted people with disabilities and called black people monkeys, animal, and boy. This conduct is unacceptable. It is heartbreaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So, john, how does that in this day and age go unchecked within the police department?
MILLER: Well, I'm not sure it went unchecked. First of all, you have to understand that the construct of your average DOJ civil rights division report on a police department is they do a deep dive and they feel they are not doing their job often if they don't put all the worst things, they can find together in a bunch to justify their study. So, if you take --
CAMEROTA: Yeah. But I mean, it's pretty bad.
MILLER: It's pretty bad. But like anything else, if you take a step back and add some perspective to it, you know, the police officer who referred to somebody as a monkey, the person that he was referring to wasn't there. He was searching a car. It was 8-1/2 years ago.
So, in this report they collected every horror story they could find. They front loaded it and said and this is why we have to fix it. The report does say that the Louisville Police Department has spent the last 2-1/2 years plus bringing in its own consultants, doing a top to bottom assessment, making its own changes, putting into effect a lot of the recommendations that the DOJ report comes up with and trying to get ahead of this to fix it because we cannot lose in this conversation.
Louisville is a largely white city with a black neighborhood on the west end of town, on the north side. Their world record for murder was 117 murders for 650,000 people. Until 2020 and 2021 where, you know, that went to 160 and then 170 and 117 of those were black people. So, they have a terrible crime and violence problem in a poor neighborhood where there is a lot of police activity.
There is nothing in the DOJ report about the crime levels. Is just says there is poverty and problems. But police are disproportionately active in that area. They are disproportionately active in every city in the area where there are the most shootings and the most violence because people need them.
LZ GRANDERSON, OP-ED COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: How did she forget the word poverty in that description though? The relationship between crime, education and poverty --
MILLER: The word poverty is in it.
GRANDERSON: -- are well known.
GRANDERSSON: Yes, they are going to be in an area where there is violence. But they also tend to be in an area where there is poverty. That's actually the baseline that we need to be talking about when it comes to criminal justice (inaudible).
MILLER: But how do you separate those two things? Because I think one of the problems, we are struggling with this, we keep trying to separate race, poverty and crime and policing when you can't really have that discussion without bringing them together and saying we know in poor areas of any city there is going to be more crime which means more police response and more focus.
CAMEROTA: Yeah, go ahead.
MOLLY JONG-FAST, HOST, FAST POLITICS PODCAST: But can't we just say that the police are not supposed to hurt people and that that is a sign they are not doing their job, right? And when you have things like what happened with Breonna Taylor, I mean, that -- there was no world in which that should have happened.
I mean, you know, you don't do that kind of thing. You don't shoot into, you know, and kill someone who is sleeping. So, I think, you know, it doesn't matter what is happening. The police have a job which is not to kill people.
CAMEROTA: But John is saying it's changed since then, since the Breonna Taylor --
MILLER: They have done a lot of work since then.
GRADNERSON: But we have no proof of that.
MILLER: But I mean, we're -- we -- I think we have some proof of that, which is --
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Recruitment is --
MILLER: You know, they have put in a lot of reforms and they have -- one piece of proof of it is that they opened the doors to DOJ. They were fully cooperative with that investigation. DOJ says that. Louisville says that. There are police departments that realizes out of 1,000 cops, they had a group of bad apples, they had these incidents that occurred over many years.
GRANDERSON: Group of bad -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
GRIFFIN: But I was just going to say I do think recruitment is a huge issue because there should never be a person who holds a badge or a gun who calls a black person a name of the nature. So, I think there is something about are we funding them to the levels that we are able to recruit the kind of people who aren't bad actors?
When I was in DOD, you know, we looked at -- in recruitment, you don't want people who are going to have God complexes. You want people who can handle authority and aren't going to use excessive force. These are clearly some bad actors. So, I want to know what they would put in place that would actually recruit people who are not going to endanger the very communities (inaudible).
MILLER: I think Louisville PD does not disagree with the idea that they had officers that treated people badly.
MILLER: And that's been part of what they've been involved with.
JONG-FAST: But I also think the bar is so low here. I mean, these are the police. They are supposed to keep you safe. They are not supposed to hurt you.
GRANDERSON: Oh, girl, please.
JONG-FAST: But that's the -- but their fundamental job of police.
GRANDERSON: That is their fundamental job.
GRANDERSON: That ship sailed, you know, state patrol, like eons ago when police first started. I believe that, one, we'll know if there is a real change when police officers no longer feel under duress if they are going to be a whistleblower. They don't feel like they are going to be ostracized. If they witnessed something that is not proper, if those police officers feel comfortable reporting that, then we have change. I don't see that yet.
MILLER: That's a big move in policing, which is the training (inaudible).
GRANDERSON: And the other part, which is -- I just want to add quickly, the other thing I would say is that you have to have police officers who live where they work.
GRANDERSON: You have to have them live where they work. As long as they can show up, harass people and go back into their communities and not have to deal with the repercussions of what they did with the citizens who live there, and you have police officers who won't report each other because they don't feel comfortable, you are going to continue to have this cesspool.
So, I hear what you're saying. There is a lot of stuff on paper. But officers who are watching this television show right now know what I'm talking about. They don't feel comfortable saying I saw this sergeant doing X, Y and Z because they feel they are going to be ostracized and kicked out.
MILLER: It makes them like every other career. Doctors aren't reporting on doctors and nurses aren't reporting on nurses, and I mean, sometimes reporters are reporting on reporters, but that's an exception.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Stick around on the show. We will be. JONG-FAST: But doctors are not fearing for their lives, right? I
mean, I have seen reporting about these gangs in Los Angeles and the -- police gangs in Los Angeles. I mean, I think that -- yeah, but -- but --
MILLER: I think we're going into this other-worldly place. There are 850,000 cops in America. They show up every day. They risk their lives. And we do a big story when they get killed and feel really bad for them. And then we put a disordinate overblown focus on the bad ones because we should.
It's not news when a dog bites a man, but when a cop says something bad that deserves attention.
GRANDERSON: If we should then why is it overblown?
MILLER: But we can't normalize it because even the DOJ report, which is scathing, said most Louisville police officers do their job in a good way and try hard to protect the community.
GRANDERSON: If I could share one quick story. So, I grew up in Detroit and I grew up loving police officers. You know why? Because of the "Blue Pigs." Those in Detroit would know what I'm talking about. It was a band. They used to play in schools all the time. I love cops. Until one day I was walking home from school with (inaudible) my mom is setting to get, and there was a knee in my back and a gun in the back of my head because the police officers thought I was in charge with some sort of breaking in like gang activity.
And you know what re-occurred over and over again since then? It wasn't the "Blue Pigs." So, I hear what you are saying about the bad apples, but my original point was until you have some of those farmers saying get those apples out of there before they make it to the store, you're going to continue those problem.
CAMEROTA: I appreciate that story. And I think that that's really helpful to know as an important context. And I also think that the report shows that if you can say things like that with impunity in your office or in your patrol car it means that nobody is, you know, other people aren't ostracizing you and they are not cracking down. But, hopefully, because of this horrible tragedy, as you say, that they are bringing in consultants and things are changing and we'll see.
MILLER: And they have done a lot already. I mean, the report says that.
CAMEROTA: That's good. I am pleased to end on that note. Everyone stick around. We have more excerpts coming out from Dominion's lawsuit against Fox. We'll read you the newest revelations next.
[22:40:00] CAMEROTA: New court documents again show Fox executives and hosts did not believe the election lies they were spreading on the air, some of them couldn't even stand Donald Trump who they pretended to worship on the air. Fox claims this defamation lawsuit is, quote, "an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment." Dominion Voting Systems accuses Fox of seeking a First Amendment license to knowingly spread lies.
We are back with John Miller, Molly Jong-Fast, LZ Granderson and Alyssa Farah. Okay. So, I barely know where to begin. I mean, this -- this just --
MILLER: And maybe we'll start off with --
MILLER: -- until these documents came out in discovery and we got to see them because people didn't remember what they put in their e- mails, nobody was telling on anybody in that company.
MILLER: I'm just getting thematic here.
CAMEROTA: Thematically, good. I like that. That's a light motif through the show. I see that. So, basically, what Fox says is that it's an effort to publicly smear a media organization just for having the temerity to cover and comment on allegations being pressed by the sitting president of the United States and it should be now recognized for what it is, a blatant violation of the First Amendment.
But Alyssa, that's not all they were doing because Rupert Murdoch has admitted under oath they were -- and his hosts were endorsing the lies that Trump was spreading.
GRIFFIN: Well, and my favorite Rupert Murdoch quote from this is it's not red, it's blue, it's green. This is all about money. It's all about ratings. So, some of us who have known Tucker Carlson for many years, we've had this kind of ongoing debate of is it -- is it all an act or has he self-radicalized. And I was on the side and I actually kind of thought he was buying what he sold. But, oh, no, no. You read this?
He's more anti-Trump than I am. Like the man can't stand him. He thinks the administration accomplished nothing, but then he goes on air every day to say the polar opposite. And the, I just have to say, the audacity he's had the last three nights to continue to espouse lies about January 6 in the midst of this lawsuit shows how untouchable he thinks that he is.
He knows he is a cash cow for Fox News. He knows that it's not his head that's going to roll. It's probably going to be someone a little lower on down.
And I mean, it's misleading the American people and shameful.
CAMEROTA: Such a good point because he also must know that his viewers are so locked in that they don't know that this is happening somehow and he can continue to, you know, mislead them.
JONG-FAST: That's the scary part. I mean, it's the siloed media. You have this righting-wing media where the people who need to see the Tucker Carlson, you know, messages will never see them because they are going to watch OAN and they're going to watch Newsmax. And remember, Fox did this because they were worried, they were losing market share. Not to CNN, but to OAN and Newsmax.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. But I think that some of it will sneak in anyway. I was thinking -- I was with you, Molly, for the past few weeks where I was thinking, oh, their viewers will never see it. I think that they channel surf. I think that people channel surf. I think that they do walk past "The New York Times" headline and it catches their eye. I think that it is going to sneak in. Now, I don't know if they'll care --
CAMEROTA: -- but I do think that somehow, it's going to sneak in through osmosis.
JONG-FAST: And if there is a trial, I mean, you're going to have those guys on the, you know, sitting on the witness stand having to say -- and they are not going to be able to lie because there are tweets, there are e-mails.
CAMEROTA: So, the trial is expected to start mid-April. What would make it not go to trial? Basically, if Dominion settles. Basically, if Fox says we'll pay you the $1.6 billion.
MILLER: Right. So, if Dominion settles, the discovery still lives, the facts are out there and the story has been told. But you don't get the show of the trial. And remember what kind of trial we are in. I mean, this is you defamed our company, this did damage to us and, you know, the libel world comes on a three-legged stool.
Number one, the story wasn't true. We've established pretty well the story is not true. Number two, when you wrote the story you knew it wasn't true. Now, remember, they are quoting the president who is claiming it's a fraud. That's news. You've got to print that. You know, he's got investigators and his lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, making a very specific charges. Okay, that's true. So, number three --
CAMEROTA: Yeah, but hold on a second.
MILLER: We will get back there. Number three, you have to prove that when you printed it, you know, you knew -- you did it with malice because you already knew it wasn't true. The problem with number two, which is was it true or not, I mean, did you do it in good faith? The discovery is telling us two things. Number one, they were printing it, and number two, they were saying to
each other we know it's not true. So, this is a bad place. Now, Rupert Murdoch has $20 billion and he can write a check for 1.6 and the whole place doesn't go out of business, but it's very bad for Fox News as an entity if they go to trial and they lose this case because it is a finding of fact by a jury that their news organization was actually a political organization.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Well then -- I mean, that tells me that Rupert Murdoch is just going to cut a check for the $1.6 billion of chump change.
JONG-FAST: I don't think Dominion settles. I think they want to see a trial because I think that they -- the brand is ruined, right? They ruined the brand with this malicious -- I mean --
CAMEROTA: I wouldn't go that far, Molly. I just wouldn't -- I wouldn't go that far. They still have still a ton of viewers who like what they are selling.
JONG-FAST: No. I'm saying the brand of Dominion.
JONG-FAST: The Dominion people --
MILLER: I mean, Dominion challenges, they are going to have to prove that they, you know, that these damages to them, you know, that they lost $1.6 billion in business. That's going to be hard.
JONG-FAST: But can you imagine a Republican governor get -- buying Dominion voting machines now? They never would. I mean, they have done incalculable damage to the Dominion brand.
MILLER: All the more reason to have this trial, to get that story all the way out.
CAMEROTA: Well, these little pieces keep, you know, seeping out every night. So, this is going to continue and we'll see what happens in mid-April. Everyone, stay with me. Would you go back to summer camp if you could? Well, good news, you can. We'll tell you about it next.
CAMEROTA: Very interesting.
MILLER: Good thing they don't air the commercial breaks.
CAMEROTA: I wish they would the commercial break. But this is kind of like a commercial break, this next segment. Why should kids have all the fun? If you've ever wanted that, now is your chance to get in on the action. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is offering a summer camp for adults. Discuss. How many of us wish we can go to a summer camp for adults?
GRIFFIN: One hundred percent in.
CAMEROTA: Me too. I want the animals.
GRIFFIN: Oh, I want the animals?
CAMEROTA: You do?
GRIFFIN: I was surprised there's no wine involved. I read that (inaudible).
GRIFFIN: Animals and alcohol.
CAMEROTA: And alcohol. I like your summer camp. Okay, what -- do you have a summer camp fantasy?
GRANDERSON: So, my summer camp, I like you already have a planned out. I'm very excited. It's Beyonce, Madonna, and me. Well, I'm on tour this summer. I'm on tour this summer. We're all on tour this summer. So, you guys can hang out with the penguins and a glass of wine. I'll be on tour with the divas on tour.
CAMEROTA: That's really awesome. That's a roving summer camp.
GRANDERSON: Roving summer camp.
CAMEROTA: I like roving musical summer camp. Do you have a summer camp fantasy?
JONG-FAST: It's called Europe.
CAMEROTA: It is. But then -- then you're just going out with your family or your friends. That's not like a summer camp.
JONG-FAST: I mean, I never liked -- this is my -- we're getting into my psyche here, but I never really liked summer camp. I'm sorry.
CAMEROTA: I don't know if I liked it. I mean, I don't know if I liked the insect and tent living summer camp. I'm mostly mean, like, having fun for extended periods somewhere with adults.
JONG-FAST: All right. I'll go for that. As long as there is no lake or anything.
CAMEROTA: Right. No lakes. And again --
JONG-FAST: No planes or lake.
CAMEROTA: No. Right. Again, I don't need the zoo animals.
JONG-FAST: I need the zoo animals.
CAMEROTA: Okay. That's close. So, who is signing you up for this? John, your summer camp experience.
MILLER: I was with Molly. I hated going to summer camp. I didn't want to get on the bus. I wanted -- couldn't get wait to get home.
CAMEROTA: How long did you go for?
MILLER: Oh, a couple of summers. You know.
GRIFFIN: I pictured you as a camp counselor. All right.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. All right, they're wrapping me. Thank you all for that. Okay. Meanwhile, do you feel like you're hearing about more near misses and other plane incidents more than usual? We do too. We're going to have experts here with us to tell us of this is true right after this.
CAMEROTA: The FAA facing tough questions from lawmakers today after a series of troubling incidents in the air and on the ground this year. In January and February alone, there were at least six close calls of planes on runways.
We've also seen more incidents of severe turbulence. All of this on top of outages, pilot shortages, and overworked staffers.