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Culture Wars Are In Full Swing; Can America Divided Become America United Again?; Never-Before-Seen Photos Capture Historic Time In America; Bill Maher And Guests Answer Viewers' Questions. "CNN Tonight" Presents Their Friday News Quiz; "Vet Crew" Cares For Pets Left Behind In Ukraine. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 28, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS WALLACE, BROADCAST JOURNALIST, TALK SHOW HOST: How damaging, do you think, it has been to the court and to the country?
STEPHEN BREYER, FORMER ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT: Well, the court went down in approval ratings, down to 25%. We don't know how long that will be lasting. We don't know. And did I say in my dissent that it would be damaging? All right.
WALLACE: How damaging to the country do you think it has been?
BREYER: Well, what did I say in the dissent? We had three of us writing a dissent. We thought it was for many, many reasons harmful to the court, and we thought for many reasons it was generally a harmful decision. We thought it was wrong, and five people thought it was right.
So, the truthful answer is, at this moment, I don't know exactly. There are people who spend a lot of time on this matter. I can say it is a very important thing, this right to abortion. And I think Casey is a better opinion from a legal point of view than Roe. And I am very, very, very sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Thank you for watching. You can catch my full interviews with Bernie Sanders and Carol Burnett any time you want on HBO Max. And please join us here on CNN every Friday night to find out who's talking next.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to "CNN Tonight." It's Friday night. The culture wars are in full swing. But there is a plot television. In the republican-controlled state legislatures of South Carolina and Nebraska, restrictive abortion bills were voted down. Are Republican lawmakers having second thoughts about abortion bans?
And then the battle over transgender rights. Montana's governor just signed a bill into law tonight banning gender-affirming care for minors even though his own nonbinary son urged him to reject it. And we have an update in the Bud Light transgender brouhaha coming up in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DYLAN MULVANEY, TRANSGENDER INFLUENCER: I have been offline for a few weeks. And a lot has been said about me, some of which is so far from my truth that I was like hearing my name, and I didn't even know who they were talking about sometimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Okay. Plus, we are going to have never-before-seen photos from inside the White House Situation Room the day that bin Laden was killed. But what do these photos have to do with late-night comedian James Corden? We'll explain in a moment.
And if it's Friday night, that means it is news quiz night. Test your knowledge against our panelists. But we do begin tonight with this week's developments in the culture wars. You will remember that Bud Light found itself in the middle of the battle because they decided to send a commemorative can of beer to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. That prompted everything from beer boycotts to Kid Rock going literally ballistic.
Bud Light sales have fallen markedly since then. But that is just one of the stories tonight. There is also the battle over abortion with some states trying to pass near total bans. But this week, something surprising happened in Nebraska and South Carolina with three Republicans crossing party lines to block abortion bans.
There is lots to talk about with the panel tonight. Here with me to serve up his perspective, Patrick McEnroe. Also, political satirist and foreign policy expert -- I love that combo -- Hagar Chemali, Coleman Hughes, host of the "Conversations with Coleman" podcast, and rabbi, Rolling Stones writer, and former law clerk for Merrick Garland, Jay Michaelson. And joining us from afar, former special assistant to President George W. Bush, Scott Jennings.
Great to have all of you here tonight. Okay, so, let us start, um -- I think we should start with the abortion stuff because that is surprising. That is where some surprises have been. So, in the republican-led legislatures of South Carolina and Nebraska, let's start in South Carolina, three female Republican state senators voted down a bill that would have virtually banned abortion. Here is how they explained their decisions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENRY GUSTAFSON, STATE SENATOR (R-SC): There are millions of women who feel like they have not been heard. That's why I am standing up here this long. I have never done this before.
KATRINA FRYE SHEALY, STATE SENATOR (R-SC): Once a woman became pregnant for any reason, she would now become property of the state of South Carolina.
SANDY SENN, STATE SENATOR (R-SC): Abortion laws have always been each and every one of them about control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Hagar, are we surprised by this?
HAGAR CHEMALI, FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: I am not surprised, I'm relieved. But the fact is that the majority of Americans, we already know, want safe access to abortion. And so, I am relieved to see Republican leaders who aren't looking at this politically, who are taking a stand, who are making themselves heard.
When I heard that quote about a woman becoming the property of the government, that is something you don't see in industrialized nations like the United States And the fact is, by the way, around the world, access to safe abortion is only becoming greater.
But for us to walk this backwards is a travesty. To answer your question to whether I'm surprised, no. I'm just -- I'm relieved about it, and I think that it's high time that people listen to the majority of Americans who made their voices heard.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Go ahead.
PATRICK MCENROE, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: You know, one of the things we've heard about this particular topic over the years is that the Republicans are playing the long game. Right? That they were pulling out all the stops to overturn Roe, which they were able to do, and then it was going to go back to the states.
Well, now, you are starting to see the ramifications of playing this long game and going really hardcore on some of these topics, and this is one of them. The trans issue, those other issues, culture war issues. Those are important. But this is -- this is a big one, as you are hearing from these women around the country.
Apparently, these five senators, especially in South Carolina, they've been discussing this for years. They have been knowing that this was going to come, and they have been prepared for it. Obviously, they made their voices heard loud and clear.
CAMEROTA: Scott, as a conservative, how do you see this? Is the pendulum swinging back a little bit from the most severe restrictions on abortion?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, Republicans aren't a monolith on this issue. You got people who want more restrictive, you got people who think it should be 15 weeks, you got people who think it should be less restrictive.
And you are seeing this play out in the state legislatures, the laboratories of democracy. That was the intention of a lot of conservatives who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade, was to let individual states make these decisions.
So, I have no problem with these debates. I have no problem with people casting their votes because this was the point --
-- of the movement to get rid of Roe in the first place. So, you know, I have thought since Roe came down, it was going to take a couple of years for the state laws to settle out, and that's, obviously, happening right before our very eyes. Obviously, people have values, but they also have politics to look at and they are hearing from constituents.
I think, ultimately, that's going to lead to some interesting shapes on laws out there. But it's not going to be instant. I think it's going to take a few more months or years for these things to fully settle out even in places you don't expect.
CAMEROTA: Coleman, how do you see it?
COLEMAN HUGHES, PODCAST HOST: Yeah, well, I think when Roe v. Wade was overturned, a lot of people felt that this was going to be the instant end of abortion rights in roughly half the country. I think we are seeing right now that that turned out not to be true. As he said, there is more diversity of opinion than I think Democrats would caricature among Republicans.
And ultimately, you know, our federalist system is that states often get to decide issues and different states come to different compromised positions. We will see how they shakes out. But I think that is in some way the beauty of our system.
CAMEROTA: Jay, like Hagar, I was struck by what -- the Republican state senator, Katrina Shealy said, because I just had a lot of that framing before where she said, if a woman becomes -- once a woman becomes pregnant for any reason, she becomes property of the state of South Carolina.
JAY MICHAELSON, RABBI, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE: That is a useful framing. One of the ways that a lot of us is kind of in the pro-choice side. We talked about this issue around forced pregnancy. In our society, we don't force people to have their bodies hooked up to some machine or something like that for some period of months, and then why are we forcing somebody to be compelled to have this particular outcome?
I think, in addition to the conservative argument, that overturning Roe v. Wade would allow the laboratory of democracy. There is also a progressive argument that made the same point.
I remember in law school that, in a way, having this kind of be decided by the Supreme Court allowed a lot of the sort of right edge of the Republican Party, the kind of -- sort of white Christian nationalist -- Christian conservative edge of that party to get away with it and have these politics which are way to the right of where the center is in America. And I think we are seeing that play out now.
Now, there is sort of the emperor has no clothes. Well, we will just have some reasonable restrictions here and there. But in addition to the states that voted down to restrictions, we have a number of states that put them into place. We have draconian laws in numerous states in the country. And think, hopefully, my optimism similarly is that this will be heard at the polls because this is not where reasonable Americans are on this issue.
CAMEROTA: Yeah. Speaking of which, Scott, there was an interesting -- there is an interesting lawsuit from a woman in Texas who is suing the state of Texas because she had basically, you know, complication at 18 weeks of pregnancy, was going to be threatening her life. And she ended the life of her fetus. And doctors wouldn't actually operate on her until she developed sepsis and almost died. We can play what she said today in Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA ZURAWSKI, PLAINTIFF IN TEXAS SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN: I wanted to address my senators, Cruz and Cornyn. I nearly died on their watch. And furthermore, as a result of what happened to me, I may have been robbed of the opportunity to have children in the future. And it's because of the policies that they support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That was on Tuesday, I should say. Scott, the point was when there were some very restrictive bans put into place, people wondered how long it would be until it actually threatened women's health, and here is an example.
JENNINGS: Yeah. I think politically, one thing that's really clear, wherever you happen to be on the spectrum in the Republican Party, most people in my opinion want there to be exceptions for the life of the mother, the health of the mother, but also rape and incest.
And so, whether you come down on 15 weeks or six weeks or whatever, wherever you come down in the timing on this, life of the mother, health of the mother, it's very important. And my advice to legislators out there and policymakers is, don't forget about it, because it's vital. I think constituents and people have spoken pretty clearly about that. It is pretty broad opinion that's held by a lot of folks in both parties.
CAMEROTA: Let us move on to transgender rights because there is a lot happening this week in that as well. In Montana, the governor there signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors. Though his own son, who identifies as non-binary, had basically lobbied him not to do so, saying that it would hurt the health of young people in that state. Your thoughts?
CHEMALI: I hate that this has become now this political game. These are -- LGBTQ rights are human rights. Just as, by the way, abortion is. Safe access to abortion is a human right. And it has become, especially as we run up the election, it has become this pawn, and that a political pawn that is in this chess game that were playing that you're seeing being used to galvanize a base.
And it is a shame because you're talking about hurting real lives and people who need access to medical care, who deserve equality, who deserve to go to work and access medical care and be treated equally. And this is what gets me so angry about this issue overall, is that I see the GOP taking this so far to the right. Again, like abortion, not where the center is and the majority of Americans are.
And by the way, I do think that in the long run, they're going to shoot themselves in the foot with this, both of them, with all these culture wars. I think this is going to hurt them at the polls and I think this is why President Biden is harping on these issues for his future campaign.
CAMEROTA: Scott, I see you furrowing your brow. Hold that thought for a second. Coleman, your thoughts?
HUGHES: Look, I'm not sure a total ban -- I don't know if that's right. We have to talk about the root cause of the problem. What are they reacting to? What would move them to pass such a policy?
CAMEROTA: What are Republicans reacting to?
HUGHES: Yes. What's happening is that we have over 100 children -- pediatric clinics now in this country. It has ballooned over the past few years.
And there's a whistleblower that came out from St. Louis Children's Hospital talking about the fact that you're having kids going in there with gender dysphoria, often with other mental illnesses as well, having maybe one or two meetings with a therapist, and then being given hormones that have permanent effects in many cases or surgeries that have proven effects.
We're talking about you're not able to have a biological child, bone density loss, side effects I couldn't mention on TV because they're so gruesome. And we're saying at the same time, kids -- you know, you need parents' permission to get a tattoo, to buy cigarettes, all this stuff, but you're -- you should be the sole author of this kind of decision? That's what they're reacting to. So --
HUGHES: -- it's already been politicized. The medicine has already been politicized. I think people are overreacting on the other end. We got to talk about the root cause.
MICHAELSON: Okay, this is just -- I hate to say this, but this is just not true. There may be a couple of edge cases out there, but for folks who are watching this and trying to get the facts, there's a great episode of the podcast, if looks could kill, that goes through this for an hour, you can listen to it. It is excruciatingly difficult to get hormone therapy. You do need -- in almost every state, you do need parental consent. You need to pass a battery of tests. It's very rare. And a lot of issues around surgery is even more difficult. In most states, you can't get it all if you're under 18.
This is -- again, there may be some edge cases that were the root of this, but I spent a lot of time with this issue. I was an LGBTQ activist professionally for 10 years. I have a lot of trans fans. This is my community. And I just hate that some of this misinformation is out there.
It is actually excruciatingly difficult to enter into these forms of therapy, as it should be, because exactly for everything we totally agree, for everything you said, this is powerful intervention. But the fact is that a few edge cases are being used to distort this issue and hurt real people.
HUGHES: I don't know if it is a few edge cases. I don't know if it is because there are no studies that are tracking what are happening in the hundred plus gender.
MICHAELSON: That's also not accurate. There are studies --
HUGHES: Look, this woman, Jamie Reed -- she worked at -- she worked at -- she worked at St. Louis Children's Hospital, and there was no accounting for the regret rate or anything like that --
MICHAELSON: There is --
HUGHES: -- for years.
MICHAELSON: -- there are comprehensive studies of regret rates for both hormones and for surgery. This data is out there. Look, this reminds me a lot of the activism that I did. Practically a generation ago and we were doing same-sex marriage, there are myths which are grounded in not necessarily hostile ignorance but just ignorance. We just don't really know.
I think, again, as a rabbi, we are failing to have the moral conversation that we need to have that meets people where they are. You know, if there is some responsibility on the left, I think there is, where this became a sort of wokefication process and you are a bad person if you don't have the right ideas. This is not how to enable people to come together.
MICHAELSON: We are failing to have the conversation we need to have about trans realities and not fantasies.
CAMEROTA: I appreciate you, guys, ending this conversation here. Scott, I owe you one. We are out of time. Thank you very much, everybody, for your perspectives. Stick around because next, we are going to show never-before-seen photos like this from behind the scenes in the White House the night that bin Laden was killed. We will talk what that moment has in common with comedian James Corden and what he said on his final show.
CAMEROTA: James Corden leaves late-night TV as the same time that never-before-seen photos from the Obama White House the night that Osama bin Laden was killed comes out. Coincidence? No, I'm just kidding. Somehow, it feels like those two things are connected. So, let us begin with James Corden. He signed off his show for good last night and offered some poignant words about our divided country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CORDERN, FORME LATE-NIGHT SHOW HOST: I have watched America change a lot over these past few years. I have watched divisions grow. I've seen and I have felt a sense of negativity bubbling and at points boil over. And I guess all I really want to say tonight is that I implore you to remember what America signifies to the rest of the world. My entire life, it has always been a place of optimism and joy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: And that cautionary note made us here at "CNN Tonight" try to remember the last time the country felt truly united. Our memories were jogged by those photos released today of the night of bin Laden's capture almost 12 years ago. On that night, Americans came together in collective victory when President Obama announced bin Laden's death as a result of a U.S. Military raid by Navy SEALS.
I'm back with Patrick McEnroe, Hagar Chemali, Coleman Hughes, and Jay Michaelson. Can any of you think of a time since that -- that was May 1st, 2011. Is there any time since then that we can -- any of us can think of when we felt like a kind of a soaring feeling of being united?
MCENROE: I think COVID, we felt like we all came together in sort of a different way.
MCENROE: And by the way --
UNKNOWN: I am going to tie in a little bit because I think it's a comment on that very topic. Can't we just let people be people? Okay, that's on the transition. But this is tied into this because what has made America so special, and I have been lucky enough through most of my career to be able to travel all over the world and feel what other people say about our country, of course, we have our flaws, of course, we haven't always lived up to what it says in our Constitution, but we tried, we tried to do that, we tried to be that country, that beacon of hope.
And I think what James Corden was saying, there was -- you know, be careful. Be careful. I feel that now from the people that I know from all over the world that kind of look at us a little bit differently. And so, I get worried about it. I see signs of positivity. I am starting to see a few more of them recently, which is heartwarming, but we still got a lot of work to do.
CAMEROTA: When you look at these photos that we have never seen before from inside the Situation Room, just inside the White House that night, they are really fascinating. It's fascinating to have this insight into how things worked and the tension.
Let's look at some from inside the Situation Room because we all remember that photo of Hillary Clinton with her hand over her mouth. There are others. If we can keep going, guys in the control room. Look at some other photos. Okay, so that's, obviously, President Obama and he is with Air Force Brigadier General Marshall Webb. This is what they are looking in real time. It is a drone footage of the surveillance and the raid actually happening at the Abbottabad compound.
MCENROE: And the helicopter crashing at one point. It happened very early on in the operation.
CAMEROTA: And there are these moments of silence and just kind of studying. Leon Panetta, obviously. It is just -- you know, it is real. It is just -- you realize when you get -- look at it. Here, he has, you know, headache from whatever has just happened. And I can look at this all night.
I just find it so fascinating, Jay, to get this window into how -- we often see presidents and we see them at these ribbon cuttings or whatever, but this is real stuff.
MICHAELSON: So, I don't want to be the, like, negative Nancy on this moment of everything. Of course, that's exactly who I am.
MICHAELSON: But, you know, even at this time, there were the rumblings of the Tea Party. There were people who were on edge. I wouldn't even say in the mainstream of the Republican Party. There were mainstream figures, Newt Gingrich and others. But these were kind of people who when -- you know, when 2016 rolled around, this is why -- this is sort of conventionalism as well.
Donald Trump will never actually get the nomination because there are all these reasonable Republicans and they are not going to let this -- this crazy wing of the party, this populist, nationalist, extremist wing of the party, take over the party because there are plenty of reasonable conservatives. And then that actually happened. And so, yeah, I agree, you know, there was more unity, it seems, at that time, but those currents were already there. It's just what's amazing when you just go from the short period from 2011 to 2016 is how a movement that was, you know, funded by billionaires, but at least in some way was a kind of populist mass movement that sort of captured one of the two major parties, literally the grand old party in the United States, to the point where it's so difficult now -- there is just not -- it's not possible to find that kind of center ground when this extreme wing holds so much sway over a major party.
CAMEROTA: Hold your thought for a minute because you are our national security expert. Just give us your thoughts as you look back at this.
CHEMALI: So, I was actually at the White House. I wasn't part of this working on this raid. I was director for Syria and Lebanon at the time that they did this raid at the National Security Council. I remember when it happened, we found out just before they made the public announcement. We were all -- we were all happened to be at a wedding of a colleague of ours. So, all of us were together. And we were so overjoyed and proud and relieved.
I know President Obama, in his book, apparently wrote that there was some regret to the fact that that's what united Americans. I don't agree with that. Love you, President Obama, but I don't agree with that because I think it's fine to have Americans unite against a common enemy who caused such harm and to show them what the U.S. Military is capable of.
CHEMALI: So, I was -- I love those photos. You didn't see me in there? You didn't see in the corner?
CAMEROTA: No, I did not see you calling the shots. I am sure you were. Guys, thank you. I'm sorry. We are rushed for time because CNN's presentation of HBO's "Overtime with Bill Maher" is right after this.
CAMEROTA: And now, let us turn it over to our friends at HBO. Every Friday, after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions, and we are 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, here we are on CNN. This is our panel. He is the co-host of "The 5th Column" podcast, Michael Moynihan. He is the co-host of the YouTube show on podcast "Triggernometry" and the author of "An Immigrant's Love Letter to the West," Konstantin Kisin. All right, thank you, gentlemen.
Elon is -- had to go and save the world. I think he will. Okay, here are the questions. Will Russia's bombing of Ukraine's capital city prompt a -- oh, yeah, I saw that on the news today. Horrible. Saw it on CNN.
KONSTANTIN KISIN, AUTHOR, PODCAST CO-HOST: (INAUDIBLE).
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, PODCAST CO-HOST: Yeah.
MAHER: Yeah. Prompt a counteroffensive supported by western allies.
KISIN: No, the counteroffensive is coming anyway. It's nothing to do with the bombing. The Ukrainians have been planning this for a long time. They have been waiting for what that they call (INAUDIBLE) in that part of the world, which is mud season to be over, and also training up their forces with western weapons, tanks, et cetera. So, the counteroffensive is coming.
The actual -- these bombings of these civilians, they're not -- all they're doing is strengthening the resolve of the Ukrainians more than anything else other than, of course, killing and maiming innocent people. So, the counteroffensive is coming, but it's not because of that.
MAHER: How does this war end?
KISIN: Well, I've said from day one that I think the likely outcome is that Ukraine will make some territorial concessions, which will be Crimea and parts of the Donbas. And likely, that will be in exchange for what Ukraine actually needs, which is long-term security.
In my opinion, there is no other way of providing it other than either NATO membership or U.N. peacekeepers on the border. But I don't think that's going to happen.
So, most likely, Ukraine has a successful counteroffensive, pushes Russia as far away as it can, and then makes a settlement that means that what happened in 2014, remember we talked about it earlier, when Crimea and parts of the Donbas were first taken, that can never happen again because Ukraine is not part of NATO and is, therefore, under the umbrella of that organization.
MAHER: But you see Putin ever making concessions? I mean, we talk a lot in this country about how long Biden is going to last. I keep reading that he is sick, Putin. Is that a rumor? Do you have relatives in Russia?
KISIN: I have relatives in both countries. But nobody really knows. I mean -- I don't know if you know this. They take his pooh in a bag and it's kept separate from -- no one can analyze it. The information isn't getting out. Let's put it that way.
MAHER: How do you know that? You're saying they take the Putin pooh and put it --
KISIN: They keep it separate. When he goes abroad, they keep a hold of it.
MAHER: How could anybody get it? It goes down the toilet.
MOYNIHAN: Maybe he -- maybe he shoots it in a bag. Maybe that's what we're discovering right now.
MAHER: We are on CNN. You can't say bad words.
MOYNIHAN: You heard it here first (ph). It's not my version.
MAHER: No, but it's not edited either.
MOYNIHAN: I forgot. Okay, (INAUDIBLE).
MAHER: All right.
MOYNIHAN: But on the Putin thing, the sickness we saw in those files that were leaked by that 11-year-old kid in the National Guard in Massachusetts was that the intelligence analysts say that he has cancer and his leg shakes all the time.
As far as concessions, I mean, the only way that most Ukrainians see this, from the polling of Ukrainians, they don't want to give up any territory.
KISIN: Of course.
MOYNIHAN: The way this end is Russia loses. And he does pull out. You see what happened in Kyiv. He tried at the very beginning of this war to encircle Kyiv and cut off the head of the snake, what they thought, and they were routed by an army that at that point didn't even have all the weapons that they have now. And these tanks (INAUDIBLE), and he backed out.
MAHER: But plainly, he could bomb Kyiv much more than he has. That's what we were seeing on the news today.
KISIN: You know --
MAHER: It's just pointless. Well, not pointless if you're a terrorist because --
MOYNIHAN: Militarily pointless, yeah.
MAHER: Militarily pointless.
MAHER: Except for the long-range goal of winning the war and making people just say uncle. And that seems --
MOYNIHAN: It's terror bombing. The entire point -- look, you know, criticizing, if you will, I mean, what we did in Germany in 1943, '44 and '45 was to bomb and say we were going to break -- publicly said this, Harry said, we are going to break their spirit.
And that's --
MOYNIHAN: -- something that ended here in 1945. The Russians are doing this today.
KISIN: But that isn't what's happening on the ground. I remember on the first day of the war, I called up one of my friends in Kyiv, and said to him, listen, I've talked to some people, you need to get out. And he said to me -- I still remember this conversation. He said, this is different to 2014. We are not. This is our country. We're not leaving. What is happening in Ukraine now with these bombings is only strengthening their resolve.
MAHER: Well, they're brave people.
KISIN: They are.
MAHER: They're incredible. All right, what does the panel think of a recent poll that puts democratic presidential challenger RFK, Jr. -- yes, if you haven't gotten the News, Robert Kennedy, Jr., the son of Robert Kennedy --
MAHER: -- our former attorney general -- at 19%. I saw that today, too. Can he help -- I must say, I'm surprised that right off the bat, he's polling at 19%.
MOYNIHAN: Yes. Kennedy name helps. Yeah.
KISIN: Nineteen percent helps?
MOYNIHAN: In another poll, 17%. So, they seem to be in line. You know, Marianne Williamson is at 9%. So, you have a chunk of people. When you talk about this in the main shows, 70% of Americans don't want Joe Biden to run again, 50% of Democrats. There are people looking for alternatives. I really wish it wasn't Robert Kennedy. But the DNC right now is, you know, lining up the troops and going to prevent him from doing any damage. They're not going to have debates. There are no primary debates. He is just going to be pushed aside. He's running as a Democrat. He decides to then run as a third-party candidate. You have a (INAUDIBLE) situation.
MAHER: And why don't you like him?
MOYNIHAN: Why don't --
MAHER: You said you wish it wasn't him. Why?
MOYNIHAN: Yeah, I wish it wasn't him for a variety of reasons. I mean, you know, Kennedy said something in 2013 that frequent guest on the show, Matt Wells, just tweeted about. He thinks that climate deniers should be put in jail. There should be regulations against people denying climate change. His past is checkered with this stuff.
It's not just the vax stuff. I don't get into those issues. I don't know a ton about it. It's not my area of expertise at all. He said too many nice things about Hugo Chavez in Venezuela as his brother, Joe. It's just a very weird -- he's becoming more conspiratorial, too. The sort of they are censoring me all the time. I just don't -- your last book sold two million copies. No censoring. So, I don't like that kind of instinct. It's not my kind of --
MAHER: Right. But they won't treat what he's saying about COVID with --
MOYNIHAN: No, of course not. No.
MAHER: But they should.
MAHER: Like many people who have written about COVID, including the U.S. government, they got a lot wrong. He might be getting stuff wrong.
MAHER: But he's not a nut.
MOYNIHAN: Yeah. I mean --
MAHER: He's not a nut, and he's not a nut about COVID either or vaccines.
MOYNIHAN: The thing about this is that it's hard to tell these things. It is hard to tell because you could get kicked off of Facebook, YouTube, all this stuff --
MOYNIHAN: -- for saying that this came from a lab in Wuhan. Not from a wet market in Wuhan, but a lab --
MOYNIHAN: -- that did bad viruses, that was down the street. That -- he got people. Lots of people. Not just one errant person that was kicked off once. No, this was very, very common. That was all of these things you couldn't say then, which are now conventional wisdom.
MAHER: What we know about medicine, it is always changing in a day- to-day basis. I mean, just last year, they got metabolism wrong. They came out with this big report that said we'd always thought it was slowed down in age and it doesn't slow an age.
MAHER: That's kind of a basic part of our health.
MAHER: And you can read stories like that almost year to year. They've also got depression wrong. It wasn't the serotonin. Okay. I'm not saying it's corrupt although there is quite a bit of that, too.
Somehow, when the Sackler family with the opioids, it's like, oh, see, corporations and pharmaceutical companies. When it's COVID, oh, no, they must have everything on the up and up.
Okay, but say it's not mostly that, they were trying and they did a great thing. They came up with the vaccine which many people, most people needed. Saved millions of lives. That's true, too.
Robert Kennedy may not agree with that.
KISIN: Your point is entirely correct. I think a lot of people have forgotten how we got to be successful in the west. Part of that is freedom of speech and freedom of research.
MAHER: Especially in science.
KISIN: In science.
MAHER: Especially in medicine.
KISIN: We need people to be able to talk about the facts.
KISIN: And when you have some kids who work for Twitter in the Philippines censoring a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and speaking about his area of expertise, I think we've lost the plot. MAHER: Right.
MOYNIHAN: Other point of this is the number of people wearing t- shirts that says, I believe in science. Science became this thing that was the conventional wisdom coming from the government, from the CDC. I believe in that. That's what they're talking about. You cannot believe in science. Science is a process.
MOYNIHAN: Science is always changing.
MOYNIHAN: People thought I can believe in science, they thought it never moved, and they were surprised when it did.
MAHER: Right. That's the thing. The far paranoid COVID left talks about science like it is religion.
The science. While they're doing things like wearing masks alone outside.
MAHER: The science.
What does the panel think of Stephen Spielberg saying he regretted replacing guns with walkie -- oh, yes, walkie talkies in "E.T." He is reedited the "E.T." and now he is regretting that. I am so glad he is. He is saying movies were made of a certain time. They were all going to look weird in the future in some way. Leave them as they are. I think it's terrific.
MOYNIHAN: Yeah. I mean, the really scary thing is that classic books -- and I think this is what precipitated his comment on this, Roald Dahl, who was a psycho and anti-Semite but a good children's book author.
MOYNIHAN: And he has some pretty negative portrayals of people. He changed the most banal thing.
KISIN: Fat. You can't say fat.
MOYNIHAN: Yes. It is like nicely, shapely, I don't know.
MAHER: Body positive is what they probably changed it to. All right.
MOYNIHAN: This kind of thing is insane. They are changing books. That is literally Orwellian. Not the abuse of the word Orwellian.
MAHER: We got to make way for commercials. We are here on CNN. Thank you again. We will see you next week.
CAMEROTA: And you can watch "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday nights on HBO at 10:00 p.m., and then watch "Overtime" right here on CNN, Friday nights at 11:30 as you just did.
All right, next, our Friday night news quiz. Get your paddles ready.
CAMEROTA: It is Friday night which means it is news quiz night. Let us see what you and our panelists know about this week's news stories. Okay, guys, every paddle ready?
CAMEROTA: Okay. When I say three, you'll turn them around. Here is our first question. By paying $60 a month, your new Mercedes EV can, A, go faster, B, drive itself, or C, warm your seats? In one, two, three. It's A.
CAMEROTA: Driving itself would have made sense, right? It's A. Okay. So, okay, you guys did very well.
UNKNOWN: Better warm the seats.
CAMEROTA: Not so faster. I know.
CHEMALI: That should be included.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Next question. The global warming is having an effect on A, the price of airline tickets, B, MLB home runs, or C, the effectiveness of penicillin? One, two, three. Oh, my gosh, you guys. It's B, MLB home runs.
UNKNOWN: Oh, come on.
CAMEROTA: How did you know that, Coleman?
HUGHES: I read the article. Yeah.
CAMEROTA: That's good.
HUGHES: And I also knew --
CAMEROTA: That's cheating. By knowing the news.
HUGHES: In Denver, I know the high altitude also affects --
CAMEROTA: That's right.
HUGHES: I am a bit of a baseball fan.
MCENROE: The high altitude. This is new. I need my --
UNKNOWN: Cheat code.
CAMEROTA: I would think that you know that because don't tennis balls go faster in certain weather?
MCENROE: Yes, absolutely. Just terrible job (INAUDIBLE).
CAMEROTA: Okay. Very good. Moving on.
MCENROE: They didn't have climate change --
CAMEROTA: Yeah, they didn't. Okay, moving on. What famous couple went to the state dinner this week? Was it Chip and Joanna Gaines, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker? In one, two, three. That's a great guess, but you're all wrong. It was Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Of course, you all thought it was Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. I would have thought that, too, if I didn't have the answer right here.
Okay, before signing to the New York Jets -- I think this is a sports question.
UNKNOWN: Okay, I'm feeling good.
CAMEROTA: Before signing to the New York Jets, football star Aaron Rodgers spent his last days, A, at a spiritual healing center in Costa Rica, B, at Coachella, C, at Disneyland? In one, two, three. You're all right. A, at a spiritual healing.
I thought because we talked about the darkness retreat that that was going to throw you guys off. You would think it was Coachella, but no.
CHEMALI: Actually, I was going to do Coachella, but I got stuck. I'm not going to lie.
CAMEROTA: Okay. Next, two students in Michigan are suing their school districts after being banned for wearing sweatshirts with which slogan? A, make America great again, B, let's go Brandon, or C, guns are good. In one, two, three. It's B, let's go Brandon.
CHEMALI: I was like please B, C,
CAMEROTA: Oh, okay. Do I get one more, guys? We have to go now? Guys, okay, that was fantastic. Who won? I think Coleman.
HUGHES: Did I win?
UNKNOWN: How many questions were there?
UNKNOWN: I got two wrong.
CAMEROTA: Okay, one, two, three. Coleman won.
HUGHES: I think I got it.
CAMEROTA: Well done. All right, guys, we'll be right back.
CAMEROTA: Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggered a flood of refugees. Many of them were pet owners who had to leave their dogs and cats behind for what they hoped would only be days. For two veterinarians, who specialized in exotic animal rescue, the situation led them to a new mission, caring for these beloved but abandoned pets.
Anderson Cooper shares this week's CNN heroes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: A lot of people think that all this situation in Ukraine will be three, four days. So, a lot of people just closed animals in apartments, in houses, and think that everything will be fine.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: For more than a year now, (INAUDIBLE) have been rescuing and caring for dogs and cats by the hundreds in Ukraine. Despite the danger, they put their lives at risk, even driving to the front lines to vaccinate and feed animals.
UNKNOWN: Russian army a lot of times shooting our car. And we have a lot of holes.
UNKNOWN: Each animal for us, it is like our family.
COOPER: The vet crew's work earned them support from millions on social media. They say it is all those encouraging messages that keep them going.
UNKNOWN: A lot of people writes us, guys, hold on, you are heroes. It is huge, huge support and we are very grateful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: To get the full story, go to cnnheroes.com. And a quick programming note, as the United Kingdom prepares the crown King Charles III, what does this moment mean for the modern world? The whole story with Anderson Cooper, Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.
Thanks for spending this Friday night with us. our coverage continues now.