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ProPublica: Justice Clarence Thomas Accepted Several Luxury Trips Paid For By GOP Megadonor; The San Francisco Standard: Slain Tech Exec Bob Lee Screamed For "Help" In 911 Call After Stabbing; SCOTUS Denies West Virginia's Request To Enforce Anti-Trans Sports Ban Against Cross-Country And Track Athlete; CNN Poll: One Third Of Americans Say Biden Deserves To Be Reelected In 2024; How Gen Z Is Reshaping Idea Of Work Hustle And Societal Norms. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired April 06, 2023 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A startling new investigative report about a Supreme Court justice. According to ProPublica, Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni, a conservative activist, have gone on many luxury trips, involving private planes and super yachts. But they didn't pay for those.

No, this travel was bankrolled by a GOP megadonor. My panel is here with me ready to dive into this. We have the host of the Fast Politics Podcast, Molly Jong-Fast; John Hart, former Communications Director for Senator Tom Coburn; and a Emma Goldberg, Business Reporter for the New York Times; and Nicholas Carlson, Global Editor-in-Chief of Insider.

But first, let's bring in CNN Tom Foreman to break down this explosive ProPublica report, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alisyn. The revelations in this ProPublica report are really quite astonishing about Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife, Ginni, and Harlan Crow. He is a Texas real estate tycoon, worth a lot of money, big donator to conservative causes.

So what went on here? A lot of travel paid for by Crow and enjoyed by the Justice and his wife, according to this report from ProPublica. To where? Indonesia, New Zealand, California, Georgia, Texas. The reporter behind this said, some sort of travel, some sort of perks should be happening almost every year for 20 years.

Among the other perks, yes, travel on board a super yacht, where they had full amenities. On board a private jet. A $19,000 Bible that was gifted to Thomas by Crow. It belonged to Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist. And time at private resorts as well. All of this free to the Justice and his wife, according to this report, paid for by Crow.

Who else might be along on some of these trips? Well, executives at Verizon and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the big business people, major Republican donors as well, a leader of the American Enterprise Institute and notable think tank groups who are up here in town on conservative issues and a former counsel to the former Vice President Mike Pence, among others.

Now Crow, the man with the money for all of this says, look, there's nothing going on here. This is simply friendship. He's known them for a long, long time. Justice Thomas and Ginni never asked for any of this hospitality, never asked about a pending or lower court case. And Justice Thomas has never discussed one.

So - but he's saying, these are just friends getting together, has nothing to do with politics. Certainly nothing to do with the court. But this is all a gathering time and again, of conservative decision makers, people pushing conservative agendas, and having very close access, according to this report, to the Justice and his wife, with them not paying the bill for anything, but his rich conservative paying the bill all the way. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK. Tom Foreman, thank you very much for breaking all that down. Let's bring in my panel now.

Emma, you understand business. These trips, which they took many times, sometimes annually, would have cost half a million dollars, that's a vacation worth $500,000. And Justice Thomas didn't disclose these trips.

EMMA GOLDBERG, BUSINESS REPORTER NEW YORK TIMES: I do wonder if he wanted a vacation on a 162 foot yacht if he went into the wrong line of work. I mean, he's a public servant, who's paid $285,000. I think that this demands a lot of investigation and scrutiny. And I think it's worth stating upfront, there is no historical precedent for the amount and the frequency of the kind of flouting of legal ethics here.

And I mean, the Supreme Court is a body of nine people who are tasked with being our kind of ethical police, our arbiters of legal standards in this country. And so I think that the fact that one of the members of that body considered himself above his own legal standards. And that, that is also someone who has a track record of, you know, refusing to recuse himself from potential conflicts of interest, I think all of that is something that raises a lot of questions, and just alarm bells.

CAMEROTA: Nicholas?

NICHOLAS CARLSON, GLOBAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, INSIDER: It's super gross. It's a lot of money to be just kind of vacuuming up as the justice. But the funny thing I think about what you just mentioned, is paid $285,000. And I think this is not an apology for him. But I think we pay our public servants way too little. I mean, $285,000 is a lot of money. A lot of people in this country would love to make $285,000.

But, you know, CEOs, media executives, people on television make a lot more than that. And like we want our best and brightest to be in these jobs. Why not pay them millions of dollars to do that?

GOLDBERG: I think, there often is an issue where the more you make the more you want to make. I don't - I think that's-- CARLSON: Maybe.

GOLDBERG: I think--


CAMEROTA: Shouldn't we start with public school teachers who are risking their lives every day now?


CARLSON: Maybe. But, look, you look at it this way. Right now. You're taking like talented, ambitious people and you're saying here make $175,000. And - like I'm talking about people who work in the White House, people work in Supreme Court, people who work in Congress. And what you're doing basically is, you're saying like, Oh, you've seen all these wealthy connected that could give you money. Why don't you sell access to them? So you have a nice retirement vacation.


MOLLY JONG-FAST, HOST, "FAST POLITICS" PODCAST: People become Supreme Court justices for the money. And I think there's still a lot of people who want to be supreme court justices. I don't think you need to worry about--

CARLSON: I'm not trying to apologize for anything he did. Its gross. But I just think it's like $300,000 for someone we want.

CAMEROTA: Even if you made a million dollars, you still can't go on a super yacht in Indonesia.

JONG-FAST: You also think that ultimately, the issue here is, even if there isn't impropriety, which I actually think there is, in my opinion. But the you know, the Supreme Court is as unpopular as it has ever been, since they have been polling the Supreme Court. This isn't - people think of it as a - a lot of people in this country think of it as a kangaroo court.

Here we are. And we have, you know, he's - you know, looks like impropriety, even if it isn't. To the people outside of it, it looks like impropriety.

CAMEROTA: How could it not be impropriety?

JOHN HART, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIR. FOR SEN. TOM COBURN: Well, look, I think he should have disclosed clearly these gifts. But Harlan Crow's hospitality towards Clarence Thomas had no effect on his legal decision.

CAMEROTA: How do you know that?

HART: But it didn't matter what - here's what, it didn't matter if he had cocktails on a yacht, or if he had a shake at McDonald's. His legal reasoning was going to be his reasoning, regardless.

CAMEROTA: How do you know that? How do you know that on the yacht - hold on--



CARLSON: There is a history of--


HART: Oh, he is a conservative--

CAMEROTA: Well, he's always been a conservative. I take your point. He's always been a conservative. But how do you know they're not talking about, you know, issues--


HART: Well, here's the question.

CAMEROTA: --Republican?

HART: What is the quid pro quo? What did Harlan Crow have to offer Clarence Thomas? Because what's different with legislators is you have donors that could influence their next election. Harlan Crow can't give Clarence Thomas something he already has. He has a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.

So I just - again, it's improper. I think to Molly's point, I agree that it doesn't help the institution. But it's a little bit like speeding 67 and a 55. Yes, kind of dangerous. But the big ethical issue that we got to focus on is the stewardship of taxpayer funds. And that's - I care a lot about transparency. My former boss Coburn, wrote a landmark transparency bills, Barack Obama in 2006, the (inaudible) government


CAMEROTA: These are no taxpayer funds--

HART: It's a different--


CAMEROTA: --overlook.

HART: Well, I won't say overlook. I would say it's a different level of scrutiny. We should be outraged by the by the trillions of dollars--

CAMEROTA: OK. We are outraged by that too. Emma go ahead.

GOLDBERG: I was going to say, this is a group of people who is supposed to be avoiding even the appearance of a conflict of interest. And, you know, I don't think it's so much to ask that we should hold this group of nine people just to the highest possible ethical and legal-- CAMEROTA: Also, I'd just like to say that we can hear from Justice Thomas himself about the kinds of vacations that he really prefers, because he has spoken publicly. So privately, he's going on the super yacht. But publicly here's what he says about his dream vacation.


CLARENCE THOMAS, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I don't have a problem with going to Europe, but I prefer the United States. And I prefer seeing the regular parts of United States. I prefer going across the rural areas. I prefer the RV parks. I prefer the Walmart parking lots to the beaches and things like that.

There's something normal to me about it. I've come from regular stock, and I prefer that. I prefer being around that.


CAMEROTA: He prefers the Walmart parking lot.

GOLDBERG: To the super yacht and he's going on in private in Indonesia--

CARLSON: He doesn't have to win elections. Why is he spouting phony baloney? Just be real man. It's a lifetime appointment.

HART: He has he has a rich friend. I mean, that's really the story. Why is that scandalous?

CAMEROTA: Because he is claiming life RV--


CARLSON: This is ridiculous, get out of here.

CAMEROTA: He is claiming to life RV parks and park at Walmart parking lots for his vacation. Do you not see any hypocrisy there?

HART: No, I - again like his - Clarence Thomas - it was going to be Clarence Thomas regardless, but Harlan Crow.


HART: What better if he stayed in Harlan Crow--

CAMEROTA: Why, because he--


CARLSON: Because he owes it to the court.

CAMEROTA: --publicly likes be in the Walmart parking lot.

JONG-FAST: Well, but also he didn't declare.

HART: He likes both.

JONG-FAST: And I think what's important here is that, after 2004 when there was a big story about all his gifts that he got in the L.A. Times, he stopped declaring his gifts and he did not declare larger gifts for 17 years. And I think that certainly looks like impropriety to me.

HART: Yes. And that's - I agree with you, because I think he he's brought undue reputational harm on the Supreme Court. He didn't need to do that. So yes, I'm not I'm not defending him not disclosing, but I think we have to put it in perspective that the bigger ethical problem are the trillions of dollars that politicians' waste, because they don't want to do their job--

JONG-FAST: You're tabulating two totally different--


CAMEROTA: We'll do that next story in a different day. I agree. But this one is about super yachts. And I know you also know this Republican donor - megadonor--

HART: Not as well as I'd like to.

CARLSON: You got to buddy up.

CAMEROTA: I can see that. All right yes. Stay with me everyone. Next, we're learning disturbing new details about the stabbing death of Cash App founder Bob Lee in San Francisco. We'll tell you what was caught on tape.


CAMEROTA: Tonight, we're learning more about the moments after that fatal stabbing of Cash App founder Bob Lee this week in San Francisco. Joining me now is Jonah Owen Lamb, Senior Reporter at the San Francisco Standard, and his publication gained exclusive access to surveillance footage and the 911 records.

Jonah, thanks so much for being here. So you were able to see this surveillance video?


CAMEROTA: And what did you see on it?

LAMB: Well, what you see in the video is you first see him coming up Main Street, which is where the incident occurred. Don't know what's happening there.

CAMEROTA: We can see. Yes, no problem. We can still see you.

LAMB: We have him on Main Street coming up. where the incident occurred. He's holding his side. He's talking on his phone, perhaps, then he crosses and he approaches a car, has its hazards on. It seems like he's trying to get help from the car. He reaches his hands to show that he injured. The car drives away. Then he falls to the ground. And then he crosses the street and falls again.


And that's what the video that I saw shows. There's now been an additional video that the Daily Mail published that we have seen as well, which shows him some time later, we believe. It's hard to know. Going to the door of a building, falling down, trying to have two other cars stop. But at this point, that's all we know. The police have not released any additional information on the actual incident.

We're still kind of asking a lot of questions in terms of what happened on the ground on Tuesday night.

CAMEROTA: Wow, there's so much that's disturbing in what you've just described. Was he staggering around? I mean, how injured was he when he was trying to - he was approaching these cars ostensibly for help. Right? And was he screaming? Was he yelling? What else could you tell?

LAMB: Well, there's no sound in the video that I looked at. So it's hard to say what he was saying, if he was screaming. He was definitely staggering. He was definitely moving about like a man who had had some kind of injury or something had happened. He raised his shirt up. Again, these were grainy videos. It's kind of hard to know exactly what was going on. It was a disturbing video to watch. There was no one around, but those cars that past.

This is not a really heavily trafficked section of town at that hour. No section of town is. But that's kind of what we saw. I mean, it looked like a man who had been stabbed twice, trying to figure out how to get to the hospital.

CAMEROTA: And the idea that he walked up to a car with hazards blinking. So somebody in the car parked on that street, and they drove away. I mean, could you tell did they - I don't know if you could see the driver, or if they looked spooked or what that exchange was like?

LAMB: You couldn't see the driver, you couldn't tell what's going on. He was very close to the car. So it wasn't as if - if I were in a car, and someone came up to me and raised their shirt up and showed their bloody side, I would probably know that it had happened. So you know, this is me speculating. I wasn't in that car.

But from the video that I saw, that driver might very well have known what was happening. But then again, you have to put yourself in that person's shoes. If you're in the middle of the night. I mean, 2:30am, roughly, in San Francisco or any other city and someone who is bloody walks up to you, it might be something you'd be frightened of.

You know, I just don't know what was going through that person's mind.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. OK, so tell us what the 911 call shows or sounded like?

LAMB: So my colleague, Michael Barba, who had been working very closely on reporting the story out, obtained the 911 calls, which showed that he called 911 himself. He yelled for help. He said he'd been stabbed. Pretty disturbing to hear, to go through the transcripts and see, you know what he said. So, obviously, we know he made that call himself.

Again, the pieces of information that we have, two videos now, our video and the Daily Mail videos and the 911 calls, still, you know, just show this man in despair. They show this man who's saying he's just been stabbed, he needs to go to the hospital, trying to get help. But we just don't know if anybody was with him. We don't know where he came from that night.

We have an idea what he's doing in San Francisco. He's on a business. We don't know the circumstances that surrounded it. And you know, we went to the scene the morning after the incident, and I could see blood splattered all over the sidewalk. I mean, you could see the trail of blood on to the Bay Bridge, all the way half a block up. And then there was blood smear on the side of the building, where I believe he fell and police found him unconscious.

CAMEROTA: It's so awful. Jonah Owen Lamb, thank you for sharing your reporting with us. We know you'll be staying on this story. And please keep us updated. We really appreciate you being here.

LAMB: It's my pleasure. Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: OK, my panel is back with me. What an awful story. I mean, just more - that's mysterious. And there's just more details don't really help us understand what happened. But just the notion that he was yelling for help. And that, you know, people were driving away, which as Jonah just said, you can understand. In the middle of the night why somebody would be scared.

John, people talk a lot about this is San Francisco, and this is an example of San Francisco crime. A lot of big cities are having crime right now. San Francisco is not the only one. It's not just democratic run cities, as we sometimes hear from Republicans.

HART: Yes. Exactly. Yes, and this really should not be a partisan issue. Like, we're - everyone - every American is outraged and saddened by this. And that's the right response. If you look at the crime issue over the past 20 or 30 years, there was a reaction and a correction to the tough on crime era from the 80s and 90s. "Three Strikes and You're Out" era. And that correction, in many ways, was proper and right.

There was a great bill that that Van Jones, one of the contributors of CNN worked on, with the Trump administration, with the Koch network that gave new pathways for people to get out of prison and get into productive lives. So there's been a lot of really good work.


We talk a lot about everything broken in politics, but sometimes things work. But that correction has become kind of an overcorrection in some in some cities. So I think the progressive Left has gone too far. And I think policymakers need to find an equilibrium.

CAMEROTA: Although in San Francisco, I the DA was--

HART: He is recalled, right.

JONG-FAST: Chesa has been recalled,10 months. So I mean, there are a lot of people in San Francisco who have made this partisan and have said that this is somehow Chesa Boudin's fault, even though he hasn't been in office for 10 months.

I do think there is a tendency in Republicans to say that cities are dangerous hellholes. We had Marjorie Taylor Greene in our city, and she said it was a dangerous hellhole. I've found New York not to be a dangerous hellhole.

So I mean, I think that is important to - you know, this is a crime, we don't know a lot of what's happened yet. And I think we need to wait and see. Because, you know, we don't know the details.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And we were just putting up statistics there, that people could see. That violent crime is, you know - I mean, it's fluctuating. But basically in 2002, it is up in a lot of cities, some of these are Republican run cities with mayors and some of them are Democrat.

CARLSON: I was looking at the data before. In violent crime San Francisco has actually just kind of ping ponged between 40 and 60 murders a year, and it's 55 last year. It's kind of where it's been since 2010.

I think the problem we're looking at here is that story of people driving past. And again, you're right, we're speculating. But I think San Francisco is a city that demands apathy from it's - from the people who live there. I visit San Francisco, you are constantly surrounded by homeless people in the business districts.

And they have a serious problem of they - you know, New York has as many or more homeless people in its city. But five 5 percent of the homeless people are on the street. In San Francisco, it's 50 percent of the people who are homeless are on the street. That's 4,000 people.

So you're in San Francisco, there are people shouting on the street to who knows who. And you just learn to ignore it. So if it's 2:00 am, and a man approaches you, kind of like staggering towards you, you're just going to drive on it, because it's learned behavior. And so there's a real societal problem that needs addressing.

GOLDBERG: I mean, there's no doubt this is a horrific crime. But I do want to say, we've already seen some tech executives seizing on this to kind of stir public fears. We had Elon Musk, for example, with a reactionary response. And actually violent crime rates in SF are lower than they've been historically in the 90s.

In 2020, violent crime in SF was 21 percent, below the average of the 20 other most populous cities in the country. So I think there are, you know, very learned (ph) incidents like this that stir up public fears. But I think we have to keep an eye on the numbers and have a measured response.

CARLSON: You're totally right. But perception is also out there of it being a dangerous city. All these tech entrepreneurs are saying they're moving to Miami instead, a more violent city, for sure. But--

JONG-FAST: Yes, go ahead, Molly.

JONG-FAST: But I mean, 2:00 o'clock in the morning, the guy is bleeding. I mean, I could see how that would be a judgment call. Right? I mean, I don't know that that you can make a case that that's empathy, is lack of empathy, as much as it is like 2:00 o'clock in the morning. I mean, I do think.

And again, I just think that this is a crime where we know so little about it, and it is so salacious, that I do think until we know more, it's really hard to extrapolate. And I do think that it's not the time to sort of politicize it.

CAMEROTA: And I assume we will know more because there are surveillance cameras, hopefully on many of those streets. Thank you all very much.

Up next, the conservative leaning Supreme Court denying West Virginia's request to enforce an anti-trans sports ban. We'll explain.



CAMEROTA: The Supreme Court denying West Virginia's request to ban a transgender cross-country and track athlete. Justices Alito and Thomas dissenting, saying they would have granted that request.

The Biden Administration weighing in on the transgender athlete debate, proposing new federal rules that would undo blanket bans, but still provide schools the ability to enforce some restrictions.

I'm back now with my panel. Who's surprised by the Supreme Court order today that it didn't go West Virginia's way?

JONG-FAST: It's a good sign that - for those three. I think it's a good sign with the three Trumpy justices not getting involved. I mean, I thought that was hope - in my mind, it was hopeful.

CAMEROTA: How did you see, John?

HART: Yes. I think they may be showing a level of prudence that legislators across the country are not showing. And I think, you know, when you write a law, you write a bill, you have to really think about what problem are you trying to solve. And is this a problem that can be solved by legislation?

So I think as a parent - I think what parents in normal America are concerned about is, if the issue of trans becomes such a thing culturally, that kids and teenagers who are going through normal developmental confusion, will all of a sudden decide, OK, you must be trans, you must have a - you need to have a procedure. And that's what Red voters will actually say they're worried about.

CAMEROTA: Right, they're scared.

HART: They're scared.

CAMEROTA: I get it. They are scared.

HART: But a bill, that's an overreaction. If you think that's the problem. That will make that problem worse, not better. And I think the Supreme Court has - and exactly the cultural war battles of the 80s and 90s didn't go well.

CARLSON: We've seen a record wave of anti LGBTQ legislation from state legislatures. And you know, this is a big sign that maybe the courts aren't going to hold all those laws up as we go forward.

GOLDBERG: Yes. I mean, I've also just been thinking about all of the people, especially the young people, who are following orders like this and also feeling their effects. Like, this is the most marginalized population in the country. It's - I was looking at a report today that said 43 percent of transgender youth are bullied in their schools.


So this is a population of people who are just so used to wrestling with their identities and feeling, you know, no sense of belonging. So being able to just look toward higher bodies of legal authority that are making some moves to affirm their rights, I think, is kind of moving.

CAMEROTA: And so, the ban order that means that they would give schools the discretion to sort of a case-by-case basis.

JONG-FAST: I mean, I think that that sort of the cut out there. But that - it's against the - I mean, look, it's good - the bans need to stop. And I think that there is a federal place for stopping these bans. And especially because these bans are - I mean, there - no one is, I believe, no one is protecting children here. This is about targeting a group. So I do think that's good. But there is this cut out, which used in a bad way could mean that these schools could still have these bans.

CAMEROTA: Something else to add?

HART: Yes, those are two different issues, though. The Supreme Court refusing to uphold the Virginia and then the Biden. I think, I think there's going to be a backlash authority as to the Biden.


HART: Because, you know, as a parent I don't want Biden being a - I coached soccer for kids. Why is Joe Biden going to be a referee on this issue? Do we really need Joe Biden?

CAMEROTA: Well, isn't he giving schools the discretion? JONG-FAST: Well, he's trying to give.

HART: Well, he does - he's using the Federal Department of Education, what schools can and can't do, and that's going to create more backlash--

JONG-FAST: Well, that's why there's a cutout. That's what - the cut out that people don't--


HART: But they don't think the cut out is enough. That's the worry.

CARLSON: Do you think there is a parallel to that?

HART: So he should just be silent.

CARLSON: Things are parallel to the Disney DeSantis thing, where it's like - it feels like a lot of things happening right now, or because politicians are kind of like Instagram influencers now, and they just kind of say things to get likes or whatever. And they're not like really paying attention to detail.

JONG-FAST: Not all politicians.

CARLSON: Maybe not all, but lots of politicians. And like - so the thing gets passed, and it's like, then it hits the courts and it falls apart.

CAMEROTA: All right, let's talk about where Biden is, because we have an interesting new CNN poll out just about his approval and where he is. So let's first look at his reelection. OK? So this is about asking, does Joe Biden deserve reelection? There it is.

Only 32 percent of respondents say yes, and 67 percent say no. And if you dive into that a little bit more, and look at, say his attributes and so what people what people are responding to in him. So Biden - does he have the stamina and sharpness? 32 percent say yes, and 67 percent say no. So that's probably what that is about. What maybe what those respondents are basing it on.

Then inspires confidence, 35 - only 35 percent say yes. Cares about people like you, it goes up to 45 percent. Honest and trustworthy, 45 percent. Yes, your thoughts? Anybody have thoughts on this?

CARLSON: One quick one, which is, Joe Biden likes to say, Don't compare me to the Almighty. Compare to the alternative. There's no alternative here. And so we don't know who the alternative is yet. If it's the guy who keeps getting indicted, like, you know, then maybe people will feel differently.

CAMEROTA: Well, here's a historical comparison, if we want to look at that. So were in March of their third year, other presidents were in terms of their approval rating. Bush was very high, Kennedy very high. But then when you go down to Clinton, 44, Trump 42, Biden, 42, Reagan 41, Carter 39. So it's so interesting that Trump in 2019, and Biden now are tied.

JONG-FAST: I think--

HART: Well, I think it's early - too early to really say much of these polls. But I would add that, I think Biden's age problem isn't just biological, it's ideological. That his ideas, I think, are old and tired. And his economic agenda is based on 1930s, Keynesian economics. This idea that government spending, the stimulus. Well, in some limited cases, that could be true. But as a whole, government doesn't create wealth. It redistributes wealth, and we have inflation, and economic pain because of that flawed ideology. That's why his poll numbers were--

CAMEROTA: I thought last time you were saying that his ideas are too progressive and now you are saying they are old and tired.

HART: But progressive is also old and tired.

GOLDBERG: I mean--

CARLSON: You going to find a way, don't worry.

JONG-FAST: I know, I know - I'm sorry, I'll let you go.

CAMEROTA: There you go.

JONG-FAST: I just - I mean, look, I think we're so dug in this country. You see the bait - you know, Democrats, they like their guy. Republicans, they're like their guy. I mean, I don't think - I think this is very distracting. I think this polling - I mean, I think that question of whether people deserve to be reelected? Nobody feels good about that question. Whenever you ask anyone, they say no, you know, that guy owes me.

But I do think ultimately we still have more to see. And you know the thing is, he's never polled particularly well, and he has over delivered in every election.


CAMEROTA: All right guys, I'm sorry we're out of time on that, because we need to get to this.

Tonight's pulse of the people. How is Gen Z shaping norms about the work-life balance that we're all living at this point? We'll talk about that next.


CAMEROTA: Here's a generational question. Are Gen Xers living in a Gen Z world or vice versa? In tonight's pulse of the people, we get a cross section of generations together to talk about how they see themselves, each other and the future.



CAMEROTA: Kimi, let me start with you. How would you describe Gen Z?

KIMI KANESHINA, GEN Z: Yes, I would describe Gen Z as being challengers. So being able to challenge the norm, and thinking about how we can be more inclusive with different people at the workplace and outside of the workspace.

JACK HARKIN, GEN Z: I'm going to come at it from a different approach. I would say Gen Z is probably one of the more entitled generations in a while. I think the Gen Z thinks that things should be handed to them. We kind of grew up on the ideology of everyone deserves a trophy. We never really were taught how to lose, or how to bounce back. I think the work ethic that was there in previous generations, isn't there as much.

CAMEROTA: But what's the downside, Jack, to the everybody gets a trophy situation.

HARKIN: I think it's taught people that losing isn't real. And that second place is OK. I kind of always grew up on the idea that if you're not first, you're last. And it always pushes you to get to the top. And do we see that level of motivation in our generation? I'm not particularly sure that I do.

CAMEROTA: Kimi, as I understand it, you posted a video to TikTok about your work-life balance, and basically that it was, I guess, upside down. So will you tell - it got 400,000 views?

KANESHINA: Yes, how we typically think about work is typically we work nine to five and then our days are over. Thinking about how can we really shift our mindset to think about our own lives and prioritize ourselves over our work.

ERIC BERNT, GEN X: I was just going through this morning. My son who's graduating college, going through the interview process, and when he was mentioning what's important to him being his life work balance, and I think that's great. But don't lead with that.

Because if I'm in a potential employer, all I'm hearing is this kid isn't going to work hard. And when I graduated school and entered the entertainment business, all anybody wanted to hear is I'll do whatever I need to get ahead. You just tell me and point me and I'll work as hard as humanly possible.

HARKIN: I don't think anyone's really looking to go back to an hour and a half long commutes to work. But I definitely think that the work ethic of Gen Z is something that maybe could use a bit of a lift.

CAMEROTA: I have an hour and a half commute to work, that's because I'm Gen X. Haven't learned the lesson yet from your generation. Sara, as a Gen Xer, what do you think hearing all of this?

SARA STEWART, GEX X: We came up being latchkey kids. We came up being more independent. We didn't have the technology dependence that the generations after us had. And I think that's all served us well in a way to kind of carve out our own lives more independently, and to kind of take more responsibility for our own circumstances. And maybe - I don't want to say we're less whiny, maybe I do.

CAMEROTA: As a fellow Gen Xer, I totally - were the latchkey kid thing is a badge of honor. You know, like, we had to do it ourselves.

STEWART: Exactly. But one of the things that was always frustrating to me was that I came into office work overseen by Boomers. The higher ups in my office were older than me. And so we were still living in this very traditional office environment.

And now I see the Gen Zers coming in, and I couldn't be more thrilled to see them challenging some of these norms that have been set in offices about the nine to five, about the lack of treatment for mental health, about sort of treating any discussion of work-life balance, as if it's this kind of self-indulgent luxury, rather than sort of an inherent human rights.

And I've just been so impressed and kind of jealous, really.

BERNT: I hope we have the opportunity to fix some of the messes that we've left for the younger generations, because I don't want the world, the political landscape, the environmental landscape to be so unpleasant that it interferes with the quality of life for future generations.

For my children, I just want them to survive. Frankly, there's so much that as a parent that I'm concerned about, I want her to have a healthy place to grow up and good medical care and all of those things.

CAMEROTA: If you guys could just in a phrase, in a sentence, share with me, your thoughts for the future.

STEWART: I couldn't be more ready for Gen Z to really come of age and start running things.

HARKIN: I don't tend to share the same optimism as Sara in terms of Gen Z taking over and obtaining more power. I think that Gen Z is going a little too far in one direction. And I wouldn't say that I'm entirely on board with that.

BERNT: I would say that my view for the future is also cautiously optimistic. But I think we really have to work together. Look, this very panel and six strangers have different backgrounds and ages, we haven't yelled at each other once. If we can just expand on this and have people actually talk who have differences in age, backgrounds, beliefs, that's where the answers will lie.



CAMEROTA: That's what we do here every night. So our panel of Gen Xers and Gen Zers are going to talk to each other about this right after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


CAMEROTA: OK. I hope you just saw our talk with Gen Xers and Gen Zers. Let's bring back our panel. We have Molly and John Gen Xers. And Emma proud, Millennial, she snuck in. And joining us Gen Zer and founder of The Up and Up Rachel Janfaza. Great to have you guys.

So I was saying that by talking to the Gen Zers on that panel, I learned or at least, I guess, I had a new perspective, which was. I think that your new mode of work-life balance has permeated the workplace for all of us. The pandemic also helped, because it shook everything up. But I do think that your generation has new norms that isn't like must work 80 hours a week and make a lot of money. Am I right?

RACHEL JANFAZA, JOURNALIST AND FOUNDER, THE UP AND UP: Totally. I mean, I think the pandemic really shattered those norms and made it more acceptable for us to come in and say, You know what, the status quo actually isn't really working. And if Gen Z is one thing, it's unabashedly authentic and honest.

And so they saw something, maybe they saw their parents who had struggled with these crazy worked weeks, and they, they said, You know what, I don't necessarily want to subscribe to this. And I'm going to say make a point about it. So I do think the pandemic really did play a role in shaping that.

CAMEROTA: Proud Gen Xer, what are your thoughts?

JONG-FAST: I mean, good for them. Right. I'm happy to work a little less. I mean, it--

CAMEROTA: Isn't it having an impact--

HART: Its working smarter.

CAMEROTA: Yes, isn't it having an impact on your jobs?

HART: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Yes, I mean, I think your description was spot on. That the pandemic shattered a paradigm. And we're in the process of rebuilding that. So your generation - your two generations are a big part of that. And I think it's benefiting, you know, my - our generation.

CAMEROTA: But aren't we cooler, because we were latchkey kids?

JONG-FAST: Well, we--

CAMEROTA: And these kids are helicopter. They were helicopter.


CAMEROTA: And so don't you have pride of ownership of the latchkey moniker? JONG-FAST: Yes, yes. We had - we didn't have like phones. You know, they would just tell us to like--

CAMEROTA: Or money.


HART: We didn't have the internet. We are the last--

JONG-FAST: We didn't have the internet. We just--

HART: Yes, we are the last generation to remember the world before the internet - before we could Google things.

JONG-FAST: You would just sit there and stare at the wall, you know, and then your parents might say like, bring a book, you know. I mean, it was it was dark days. Yes.

CAMEROTA: Dark days.

JANFAZA: But at the same time, when it comes to those crazy work weeks, could it be seen that - because we have our phones at all times, if you're an employee, you can constantly be contacted by your employer, you're always on call. Your boss can call you at any time of day, especially in a work from home mode. Like are you at home, are you working? So I don't know if it's like--

CAMEROTA: I guess so. Except that you're working in your pajamas.

JANFAZA: Yes, that is - and slippers.

CAMEROTA: We were in the office during - for all of those hours. And we weren't in pajamas. I mean, I was often wearing things akin to pajamas, because we were working so much. But yes, I just think that yes, it's true there's not a boundary. But it's more comfortable.

JANFAZA: Yes. And that is true, pajamas and slippers. But--

HART: Pajamas and sport coat.

JANFAZA: Yes. It's a--

HART: Not that I've done, its more like jeans.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And do you guys - are you guys happy that you were helicopter parented?

GOLDBERG: No, mixed feelings. I'm pro our current state of pajamas or at least like pajamas two days a week. I would say though, that just taking a step back for a second to, I think this kind of invitation to rethink all these norms is also colliding with a lot of us feeling this kind of state of dread. Like there's - you know, there's climate dread, there's gun violence, there's all these layers of crisis interacting.

And I think it's like asking a lot of us to step back and say, like, was the system working? Like, OK, this system of working around the clock created this. Was it working? Are our priorities in order? And so to kind of layer that with like, OK, now we finally have an opportunity to step back and ask some big questions about what we were expecting of ourselves. I think that's really powerful.

CAMEROTA: I think so true. Yes, go ahead.

HART: I think part of our response is that we're almost a translator generation, because we understand to communicate with Gen Z, Millennials. We're little younger than the Boomers. But like it--


HART: Yes, a lot younger. But, you know, a group that I found it on the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions, we've identified that that younger Republican voters believed climate change is real and we're taking that message to older members of Congress. And they can't argue with your generation. They can argue with me, but they can't argue with you generation.

CAMEROTA: Is that right? Are they listening?

HART: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: You're seeing a difference?

HART: Absolutely. Well, look at H.R.1. H.R.1 reflects the work that we spent years on developing an energy - pro energy innovation agenda. Absolutely. And there's a lot of other groups in that space doing the same thing.


JANFAZA: The American conservation coalition too is a group that I speak with often and they're holding a big event in Salt Lake City in June and it's all about conservative climate solutions. And so maybe they're not for the Green New Deal, which they're not. But they're for finding ways to work around this and it does seem like it's gaining traction, even from conservatives.

HART: Absolutely.

CAMEROTA: OK. Last word, Molly?

JONG-FAST: I have a lot of hope for your generation. Though, I do think our generation was great and we have really suffered. And you know they think they're the greatest generation, but we lived for that internet, which, you know, you could argue was better on some point level.


CAMEROTA: Yes. Thank you. Really great to have you here tonight. Thanks so much for the conversation.

OK, tune into "CNN THIS MORNING" tomorrow. The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon speaks out about the recent bank collapses and what this means for the chance of recession. Thanks so much for watching tonight. Our coverage continues now.