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Russian Filmmaker To Shoot First Movie In Outer Space; Facebook's Stock Value Falls As Whistleblower To Testify To U.S. Senate On Possibly Dangerous Company Platform Policies; Delta Airlines Not Yet Decided On Requiring Employee Vaccinations Against Coronavirus; Pence Blames Media For Focus On Rioters, Who Called For His Death; Biden Tells Progressive: Drop Price Tag To $2.2T On Spending Plan. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired October 05, 2021 - 08:00   ET


YULIA PERESILD, ACTRESS (through translator): I am not afraid of anything. I just really want us to make a good movie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And liftoff. Liftoff of Soyuz MS-19 with an actress and her producer.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Russian actress Yulia Peresild and the film's director lifted off in a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and will spend 12 days filming at the International Space Station. The two have been training alongside real cosmonauts for months, from centrifuge tests, to parachute drills, but it was the acronyms that nearly did them in.

KLIM SHIPENKO, FILM DIRECTOR (through translator): During this time, they tortured us. They didn't beat us up, though, but made us memorize a lot of unknown abbreviations.

FISHER: The U.S. won the first space race by landing astronauts on the moon. But it's losing this race to Hollywoodize space. NASA was first to announce plans last year to film a movie on the space station starting Tom Cruise. But a few months later, Russia's space agency Roscosmos announced its own plans, and the head of Roscosmos later invited the three big billion space barons to the filmmaker's launch, with a special invitation for Elon Musk.

DMITRY ROGOZIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, ROSCOSMOS (through translator): Yes, yes, I already set kettle on heat. We are awaiting him.

FISHER: No word if Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson responded to the invitation. Bezos' Blue Origin is busy preparing to send Hollywood royalty into space, William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk from the "Star Trek" franchise, who at 90 will be the oldest person to ever fly in space.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scotty, beam me up.


FISHER: And Shatner is scheduled to fly exactly one week from today. And, Brianna, you'll notice there Captain Kirk said "Scotty, beam me up," not "Beam me up, Scotty." I learned yesterday that that famous line was never actually said, not once, in any of the "Star Wars" franchise.


FISHER: Star trek. Did I -- oh, my gosh.


KEILAR: We know you know what you're talking about.

FISHER: I can't believe I just made that error.

KEILAR: No, that's OK. We know. We know you know, Kristin. You are reporting on space all the time.

FISHER: I'm never going to live that down.

KEILAR: I don't care, though, Kristin Fisher. I'm still going to say, "Beam me up, Scotty.:

FISHER: Me too.

KEILAR: Beam me up, Scotty. NEW DAY continues right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. It is Tuesday, October 5th.

And in just a couple of hours, employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen, will testify before a Senate panel on her explosive allegations that Facebook knew of the potential harm it was causing from negative or inflammatory content and lied about their efforts to stop it. CNN obtained a copy, an advanced copy, of her opening remarks in which she says, quote, "Facebook wants you to believe that the problems we're talking about are unsolvable.

They want you to believe in false choices, that in order to share fun photos of your kids with old friends, you must also be inundated with misinformation. I'm here to tell you today that's not true. These problems are solvable. Facebook chooses profit over safety every day, and without action this will continue."

KEILAR: So her appearance is coming after a massive outage that took Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, down for about six hours yesterday. Facebook's chief technology officer apologizing to users for that.

They do say that this outage was caused by a faulty configuration change, and there is no evidence that data was compromised here. And with the company under fire, its stock has taken a hit, impacting, of course, the bottom line. CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with that. What's the story here?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The story is Monday was Mark Zuckerberg's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, no smooth sailing here for the Facebook founder. His company is accused of hurting American values with a product that hurts people, knows about it and covers it up.

This is not a good look. And investors responded, hammering the stock. Facebook shares tumbled nearly five percent Monday, its worst day of the year. That adds to the losses we have seen at Facebook since mid- September.

But some context here, you two. Despite Monday's decline, Facebook is still up a stunning 19 percent this year and has soared an astonishing 753 percent since it went public way back in 2012. It shows that the Facebook business model has been very profitable for investors. The boss owns 14 percent or so of the company's shares, so Monday's sell- off costs Mark Zuckerberg billions. He lost more than $6 billion as Facebook stock tanked.


And Zuckerberg now slipped down Bloomberg's billionaires index. He's now number five on the list with a net worth of just $121 billion. That puts him behind Bill Gates, John.

BERMAN: Just. Just. Christine Romans, thank you very much.

KEILAR: All right, let's talk now with Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor and mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. He's the author of "Zucked, Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe." Thank you so much for being with us, Roger. And first things first here, what do you think is most significant about what this whistleblower is revealing?

ROGER MCNAMEE, EARLY FACEBOOK INVESTOR: So, Brianna, Frances Haugen is so courageous, so authoritative, and so utterly convincing that I think Congress today is in this incredibly difficult position. They no longer have any excuses for inaction. I think the time has come for them to look at safety and to look at privacy as core requirements, because this is not just about Facebook.

This is really about that business model that Christine was just talking about, which is something that has been used not just by Facebook, but by Google, versions of it by Amazon and Microsoft, and now it's being used throughout the economy. You see it in the automotive sector, in the healthcare sector, and beyond. And it's all based on surveillance. It's all based on manipulating people's choices, so that effectively it takes away from us our right to determine the choices in our own lives.

And it is so pervasive right now, and Congress just needs to say, hey, wait a minute, this is like child labor, this is unethical, it's un- American, and we just need to go back to doing things in a way where people get to be themselves.

KEILAR: What did you think about the outage yesterday? Because it comes, obviously, as Facebook and its apps are under incredible scrutiny, and yet here the apps go down for several hours, reminding people that they rely on them so much. We got a technical explanation. What do you think? MCNAMEE: So, Brianna, the key thing to understand is this happened

inside of Facebook. And so it is most likely that it was in fact a badly handled configuration change. But it is a reminder, exactly as you said, Facebook is a monopoly, and when its utilities, which is to say Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, go out, that effects hundreds of millions of people every minute that it's out, and billions of people a day. And so --

KEILAR: You don't think it was deliberate, though, Roger?

MCNAMEE: Well, I don't want to speculate, because I don't know. And I don't think we'll ever find out. Unless it was done by some employee who was mad at them who later confesses, we're never going to find out. So, Brianna, I don't think -- to me the key message is this is a monopoly, and it needs to be regulated as such.

And everything that Facebook does is a reminder that we have allowed our economy to go from a world that takes the needs of consumers first, to one that basically uses consumers as marks in some kind of scam. And you see this all over the economy. And it's really -- your industry, the news industry has been devastated by this.

And it is going on throughout the economy. I think it's the sort of thing that Congress was created to do. And we have solved this problem with the food industry at the beginning of the 20th century when we created the FDA. We solved this problem with the environmental laws because chemical companies were dumping toxic waste everywhere. We have seen this problem before. We can handle it. This is Congress' job. And they need to start today.

KEILAR: Haugen revealed that the algorithm actually is kind of the boogie man. She talked about changes made in 2018 to the algorithm, how some of those things were suspended going into the 2020 election, but then how some of the changes were just temporary, they were undone. Would Mark Zuckerberg have to sign off on those decisions about algorithms?

MCNAMEE: Definitely. And let's be clear, the way to think about this is the algorithms are a manifestation of a business model, which is called surveillance capitalism. That term was created by a Harvard professor named Shoshana Zuboff to describe this notion of using technology to essentially convert all of our human experience, everything that's out there in the public domain, into data, using it to make predictions and also in recommendation engines to manipulate our choices and our behavior. And that's being done throughout the economy.

So when they're messing around with the algorithm, what they're trying to do is to improve the profitability of that manipulation. And all of that stuff is something that is going to go all the way to the top of the company, but at the same time, it's not just Facebook. The same thing is going on throughout the economy.

And Congress when it's looking at this can't look at it just as a Facebook problem. They have to look at this exactly the way we looked at child labor, exactly the way we looked at the chemicals industry or food industry when those industries were out of control.


And, Brianna, the good news on this is we're Americans, we're experienced, we know how to deal with stuff like this. We just have to put our mind to it. And we as citizens have to insist that our elected representatives do their job and create safety regulations, create privacy regulations, and improve the antitrust laws.

KEILAR: Let's talk about the vulnerable here, teenage girls, especially. There is new CNN reporting that shows Instagram fails to crack down on accounts that promote extreme dieting and eating disorders, that it actually actively promoted some of those accounts. Facebook denies this. They say they don't allow that kind of promotion.

You have a Democratic senator who created an account, his staff did, as if it was a 13-year-old girl, found something very different. How do you make sense of this, what they're saying and what is happening before our eyes?

MCNAMEE: Well, to be clear, I don't pay any attention to what they're saying. Facebook knows more about our attention than anybody on earth. And they know that if they can string out any story long enough, we'll eventually move on to the next one and ignore the thing they did wrong. So they will do anything to deny or deflect attention away from a problem. So pay no attention to what they say.

What Frances Haugen, what Senator Blumenthal showed with this experiment is precisely what's going on. That is the business model working as intended, which is they want to maximize profits, which is the culture of business in America.

So when Frances says she feels that there is a moral problem with Facebook optimizing profit when that goes against the public interest, the problem with that issue is American culture right now is based on letting companies make as much as they can, any way they can.

We have deregulated, we have defunded the enforcement arms of regulation to the point where these companies are operating in a wild west. And it is time to reverse all that. That is Congress' job, and that's what they have to start today.

KEILAR: We'll see if they get the message from Frances Haugen. Roger, thank you for being with us.

MCNAMEE: It's a great pleasure. Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: So Delta Airlines, the only major U.S. carrier that still has not decided whether to require employee vaccinations against coronavirus even as a federal mandate is set to go into effect, the company says its voluntary approach is working as the White House is only giving federal contractors, including airlines, until December 8th to have staff vaccinations completed.

CNN's Pete Muntean live at Reagan National with more. You look at the success United had having well over 96, 98 percent. But Delta is not onboard yet, Pete.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, Southwest Airlines is the latest to say it will comply with the worker vaccine mandate set forth by the Biden administration. American Airlines said it would do so on Friday. But what is so interesting here is that Delta Airlines is holding out, saying what needs more information about the Biden administration's worker vaccine mandate. With that deadline so quickly approaching, December 8th, is only about nine weeks away.

Here is the statement we just got from Delta Airlines. It says "While we continue to examine the administration's executive order, Delta people who remain unvaccinated can continue their careers while undergoing mandatory masking," it's a federal mandate, "weekly testing, and beginning in November, assessment of a $200 healthcare surcharge."

Delta says the combination of all of those factors and the $200 a month healthcare surcharge means that many of its people have already been vaccinated. Delta insists about 84 percent of employees have already got the shot. That means about one in every seven still need to do so.

But we know, as you mentioned, that these vaccine mandates do work. United Airlines' own vaccine mandate went into effect only a week ago, and the airline says 99.5 percent of its employees got vaccinated, 67,000 United employees in the U.S. were subject to that mandate. Only about 320 refused and are now losing their jobs, John.

BERMAN: And 99.9 percent is more than 84 percent. Pete Muntean, thank you so much for your reporting, appreciate it.

So remember this from the January 6th insurrection --


CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


BERMAN: "Hang Mike Pence," they shouted. Up next, new comments from Mike Pence that make you wonder if he remembers.

KEILAR: Plus, a George Floyd statue defaced in New York. We will have reaction from George Floyd's brother.

And booster shots are in the works from Johnson & Johnson, some new developments just in this morning.



BERMAN: January six rioters, shouting, hang Mike Pence, not long after Pence's boss, Donald Trump, falsely told the crowd that Pence could overturn Joe Biden's election win. Pence himself was forced into hiding with his wife and daughter as the mob stormed the Capitol. So, who does Pence now sort of blame or where is he now deflecting some of the blame for that? Listen.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January, they want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and in 2020.


BERMAN: Joining us now Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us. What's the consequence do you think of the former vice president deflecting blame to the media and somehow diminishing what happened on that day, January 6?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me. You know, it is a shame where it has been around a long time out of Indiana, served in the Congress, Vice President, for him to pretend as if this was just one moment in time, the American people know, there's a lot built up to January 6. January 6 but not spontaneous event.

It was well planned, carried out, financed by somebody. And that's what the Bennie Thompson commission is going to find out. Who planned it, who finance it? And what was the whole purpose of that being there. And so, for him to talk about January 6, as the norm in (inaudible) any kind of attitude, better the public servants are there.


BERMAN: And then there's a legitimate question of whether it's over, right? Whether or not there are the lingering effects? Are people still trying to stoke some of those sentiments? Which is why this next bit of sound I'm going to play for you, I think is in question.

This is Steve Bannon, who of course, worked in the White House and is still currently an ally of the former president. He is calling for what he calls shock troops to be ready to fill administration positions if Trump wins a new election. Listen.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: We're winning big in 2022, we're going to win big in 2024, we need to get ready now, right? We control this country. We got to start acting like it. And when we're going to act like it, we're not going to have 4000 ready to go, we're going to have 20,000 ready to go. And we're going to pick the 4000 best and the most ready in every single department. And that's when we really start to deconstruct the administrative state.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: We control this country, Steve Bannon says that he wants 20,000 shock troops ready now to fill positions if and when Donald Trump wins, but just referring the shock troops, I think probably do you feel as intentionally provocative? What do you think's going on here?

CLYBURN: I think it's intentional. Yes, and it is docketed. And I also think it is striking it. The American people had better come to grips with the fact that there is a look above and may not be all that good in this country that wishes to get rid of this democracy.

They are preparing and laying the foundation for an autocracy. And that is exactly what they're attempting to do on January 6, that memorandum that was written by Attorney Iselin (ph) with an interesting name, by the way, that memorandum is sort of the roadmap for what the next election result did very well be other reaction to it, if you're not governing this country.

So, I want to talk to the American people, we're come together to serve the democracy. Think about what this country was put together to do. And that is to provide, rescue. It's right there in our sector of liberty out in the New York Harbor. That's what this country is all about. Not a place for each other, to be turned against the other. This is what is at stake here. The goodness of this country is at stake.

BERMAN: Let me ask you about legislation, which is also what I think people want this country's leaders to do, and you are involved right now in trying to get President Biden's agenda through. CNN is reporting that President Biden has told progressives and congressional leaders that the overall spending plan, let's call the reconciliation plan, the plan for his domestic agenda needs to come down from a $3.5 trillion price tag to somewhere between $1.9 and $2.1. A, do you think that's possible? B, what do you think would need to go to get there?

CLYBURN: Yes, I do think that's possible. All we have to do is focus on what we're trying to do and stop focusing on these top line numbers. I've been saying for three weeks now, in fact, on this same network, two Sundays ago, I said to Jake Tapper, that we are focused on children, focus on taking care of our seniors, focus on getting this country back on track, and stop looking at these top line numbers.

If you look at that, probably the top line numbers and those are 10- year numbers, and some things we could do in 356 years. So, if we focus on getting things done, that need to be done now, some of which will be an emergency basis, that could come to a close or sundown and sometime before 10 years or over, we could get to that number. I said a long time ago that somewhere between $1.5 and $3.5 was the sweet spot.

BERMAN: I have to let you go. Can you just give me one example of what could go or be sunsetted earlier, just something that could be cut?

[08:24:57] CLYBURN: Well, I think if you look at what we're trying do with the Affordable Care Act, what we're trying to do with extending most services for Medicare assistance, he looked at that as a means tested. When we don't do get rid of this tax cut, that 21% corporate rate needs to go up to 26%, 27% I would advocate for.

These kinds of things to be sunset, get us to the emergency that we're in and get the country to move and again, get the economy to increase again and get people back to work as make then a lot of what you're doing on an unregistered basis could be sunsetted.

BERMAN: Thank you very much House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, I appreciate you being with us.

So, vandals targeted George Floyd statue in New York, reaction from Floyd's brother next.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And how old is too old for an iconic actor to blast off into space?