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Piers Morgan Live

Crisis in Crimea; Oscar Wrap-Up

Aired March 03, 2014 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is Piers Morgan Live.

Breaking news, President Obama has just wrapped up the Cabinet-level meeting at the White House about Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Armed men blocking military bases in Crimea, what would the President do?


BARACK OBAMA, 44TH AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are examining a whole series of steps. The economic, diplomatic that will isolate Russia.


MORGAN: Will it be enough to stop Vladimir Putin?

Plus, Blade Runner on trial, the Olympian Oscar Pistorius murdered his model girlfriend or was it a tragic accident? The latest on that trial live from South Africa.

And for one Oscar to another, you know who won but tonight I've got all the backstage stories, the party, the highs, the lows everything you could possibly want to know about the Oscar's including this extraordinary moment.




MORGAN: I'll ask the surprised pizza delivering star of Hollywood's biggest night, how was the tip? The pizza man will be here live.

Now, the breaking news, Russia on the move in Ukraine and President Obama's limited options. Joining me now is Fareed Zakaria host to CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" and Stephen Cohen the Professor of Russian studies at New York University, his new book is "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives. Welcome to both of you.

Fareed, are we seeing or are we not seeing the beginning of a new Cold War? FAREED ZAKARIA CNN HOST, CNN'S "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": It's not really a Cold War, Piers, because Russia is not the super powered that once was. This is a country that is in many ways tragically diminished from what it was. This is one of the greatest loses of empire in the last 20 years that has happened to it.

But I think what you were seeing is a kind of conflict that is very reminiscent of the Cold War so that Russia will veto any action in the United Nations. The West will probably be almost all united in condemnation if not in specific actions.

There are many pieces of this that are going to divide the world and what President Obama has to figure out is how do you demonstrate and the key thing here is to demonstrate to Russia and to the world that we cannot accept the principle that a country that feels for whatever reason that there's something going wrong in its neighborhood can simply annex a part of a neighboring state.

So that's, you know, you want to make sure you send that signal while recognizing Ukraine is a very complicated situation. Lots of people in the Crimea probably would rather be part of Russia. All that can be negotiated, it can be -- it's amenable to diplomacy. What it should not be amenable to the idea of masked men and ski masks with, you know, with black uniforms going in and simply asserting by brute force that this is what they're going to do.

That is the principle that should not stand in the 21st century.

MORGAN: Let's play a clip before we go to you, Stephen Cohen. This is Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador for U.N., laying down her mark today.


SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: All of the self serving rhetoric we have heard from Russian officials in recent days, there is nothing that justifies Russian conduct. As I said in our last session, Russia's actions speak much louder than its words. What is happening today is not a human rights protection mission and it is not a consensual intervention. What is happening today is a dangerous military intervention in Ukraine. It is an act of aggression. It must stop.


MORGAN: Stephen Cohen, why is this not just an appalling abuse of power by Vladimir Putin?


Let me try to answer the question you ask Fareed, is it a Cold War? I've been arguing for 18 years that we were in a Cold War or the Pro law. If it looks like, smells like, taste like, sounds like, behaves like a Cold War, its Cold War. But here's the reality whatever we call it. A new divide between East and West Europe has now descended but it's descended not in far away Berlin but on Russia's boarders in Ukraine, in the heart of Islamic civilization.

We've live long enough to know what that means. The divide in Berlin was terribly dangerous we were lucky to survive it. But on Russia's boarders for decades to come, with the possibility of provocation and confrontation in a hot war we are in an exceedingly dangerous moment. I would call this a fateful turning point. There's only one question in my mind. Is it really true as it being said in United States and Europe that Russia and Putin is solely to blame for this outcome? I think that's not correct.

MORGAN: OK. Well explain to me before I go back to Fareed, why we should not be just blaming Vladimir Putin since many people are lining up to do just that?

COHEN: I will be as brief as I can. We began in the 1990s, 20 years ago moving NATO, our cold war military alliance, to Russia's boarders which right now on Russian's boarders in the Baltic. This was a bipartisan policy. Clinton began it, Bush continued it, Obama carried it on.

During this period, for 14 years he's been in power, Putin made one point repeatedly. I have two redlines. You remember the red lines. Obama used to have one in Syria. What Putin means is one red line is in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, you recall we had a war there in 2008, a proxy war.

The other and far more important was in Ukraine. And I believe that by the approach we've taken to Ukraine, we meaning Washington and the EU that we have crossed his red line. And just one last point, Fareed is right, it's not a good think when guys in black masks are running around but they began running around in Kiev when they overthrew the elected government there.

MORGAN: OK. Let's play a clip from President Obama, Fareed, before I come back to you. This is him talking about the situation today when he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


OBAMA: I think the world is largely united in recognizing the steps Russia has taken are a violation of Ukraine sovereignty, Ukraine's territorial integrity, that there a violation of international law. I think the strong condemnation that it's received from countries around the world indicates a degree to which Russia is on the wrong side of history on this.


MORGAN: Now, Fareed, if you're Vladimir Putin and you're a pretty cagey politician and you've been a very successful world leader for a long time, you know, he's clearly pretty paranoid about what he perceives to have gone on here. He thinks the west is basically ganged up being very duplicitous and has pulled the fast one over this whole issue and therefore he's perfectly entitled to compensate the action he's taken. What is your response to that if that is indeed what Putin is thinking? ZAKARIA: I'm sure that's what he's thinking. I think you're exactly right. But here's the problem and here's Putin's problem, whether it's in Georgia, whether it's in Ukraine. The west has actually not been particularly provocative with regard to Putin. They have been trying to deal with him.

Bush said he's looked into his eyes and saw a man he could trust. Obama tried to reset the relationship with him. Clinton used to, you know, go out on boozing sessions with his predecessor, I don't know, Clinton drank, we certainly know (inaudible) he often did.

But the point is this, what has happened is that the people of Ukraine, large majority of them have wanted to sort of move west to have their destiny be with Europe, they have wanted a modern future, they have wanted to be part of the 21st Century. That's so -- quite similar to what happened in Georgia and that is the dynamic on the ground that Putin doesn't know what to do with. The, you know, this surprise - what happened in Ukraine surprised the west as much as it surprised Vladimir Putin.

What you had was mass demonstrations of lots of people in Ukraine particularly young people who were incensed by the fact that the regime in Ukraine, in Kiev was going to force, you know, was going to rebuff Europe and instead cast its lot (ph) with Russia.

So that's what produced this dynamic. We were all playing catch up. But the people - the real actors here, the people who have moved the story are the people of Ukraine. And the people of Ukraine particularly young people, particularly people in the west seem to say we want a future that is outside of the shadow of Russian domination. And that has produced the kind of complicated set of facts on the ground.

And I readily admit as I say, It's a complicated situation. But surely the way to respond to that is not to send in, you know, thuggish paramilitary troops who do not have markings because you can't even, you know, you don't have even the courage to admit that you have actually, effectively invaded Crimeans who are doing it in a surreptitious way, you know, with gangs and paramilitary forces.

The best way to have dealt with this I think would have been to have negotiations, diplomacy, ask for a referendum, perhaps in Crimea, see what the people o Crimea want and if they want a special autonomous status, even if they wanted cessation, maybe that's possible.

But surely I can not imagine that Steve Cohen or anybody else would argue that this is a good principle of international life to say that every time a major power feels that the country next door to it is acting up. They just go up and gobble a piece of it, you know, if China were to do that with its neighbors, how would we feel, if other countries around the world would do that? That is the principle that is at stake, not the fact that Ukraine is complicated, it's divided, all of that is true. But surely the answer is not the men in ski masks.

MORGAN: OK. Let me go back to Stephen Cohen. Let me ask you this, Stephen, I mean, you know, you've branded a Putin apologist which I think is a rather trite way of describing what you'd been trying to do. Which is probably, I guess try to non-demonize Putin because that in itself isn't that helpful I would imagine to how you deal with him.

What is the smart way for the west, for the Americans in particular, for President Obama, to deal now with Vladimir Putin? You know him well. What is the smart way to deal with him in a way that you think that will inflame this?

COHEN: I don't know him personally. I'm not a Putin apologist and I thank you for saying that because one of the problems we've had in this country is that anytime someone disagrees with the mainstream view about Russia or Russian policy they call it criminal apologist, so thank your for that.

The way to deal with Putin is stop calling him a thug, stop calling him Stalin Lite, stop calling him Saddam and see him to a certain extent as he sees himself. As a man who inherited, 14 years ago, a collapsing Russia. Remember, Russia had collapsed twice in the 20th century, 1917, 1991.

His mission was to restore Russia to its productivity, its posterity, and above all its stability at home and whatever Russian thinks is Russian greatness, Russian thinks as Russian greatness. But that includes securing Russia's traditional national security zones. That includes Ukraine, now we may say he's wrong headed, we may say that he doesn't understand modern security, let the discussion begin there.

But this dismissing him as a thug and an imperialist is a non starter and that's where Obama and Kerry or whoever is doing this needs to start. There's one other problem, nobody controls anything in Ukraine at the moment. Putin is trying to control something, with the moderate so called in Kiev don't control the queasy factious in the streets.

The United States doesn't control the government in Kiev that's why Kerry is going there tomorrow not to ask what they want but to tell them to chill out. They've got to calm down if they want us to back them. Putin is trying to control something. I don't think it's correct to say that he invaded Crimea.

First of all, I think those troops, I'm not sure were from the naval base, so technically it's not an invasion. Secondly, let's be grown ups. Crimea is Russian no matter who administers it. It is part of Russia and what's happened this last week ends that story. It's never going to leave Russia again, whether it's independent, part of Ukraine or part of Russia. That ...


COHEN: ... story is over.

MORGAN: Stephen, I'm going to leave it there. It's a fascinating debate. I thank you both for joining me. Fareed Zakaria and Stephen Cohen, and this will of course rumble on, hopefully but not too much longer before it gets resolved, but it's intense and dangerous situation. I appreciate both of you for your clarity on it.

When we come back, bloodcurdling screams in the middle of the night, a beautiful young woman shot to death. What really happened, did Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, murdered his girlfriend? His trial begun today and we'll go live to South Africa for the very latest.



MICHELLE BURGER, PISTORIUS NEIGHBOR: Just after her screams, my lady I heard four shots. Bang, bang, bang, bang. It was very traumatic for me. You could hear that it was bloodcurdling screams.


MORGAN: A traumatic moment from day one and Oscar Pistorius' murder trial day two will be beginning on the way pretty soon. In the scene is Robyn Curnow is live outside the high court in Pretoria.

Robyn, a dramatic day as we all expected it to be. Tell me exactly what happen today.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that courtroom was quite a remarkable place to be in because you really got a sense of occasion, this day have finally had arrived for both families and of course hearing that traumatic testimony from the first witness of bloodcurdling screams as throughout that Oscar Pistorius' writing note.

And June Steenkamp, Reeva's mom was there. She was also a quite -- not detached but not overly hysterical scenes, no crying, everybody listened intently and of course we had more than a 100 media and it was very quiet during that quite powerful testimony and all you could hear was sort of the tap tapping of the journalists tweeting away or writing on their laptop.

So, a very, very powerful scene, but the of course the flip flops during cross examination as it should be, (inaudible), a surprise also a real sense -- perhaps of uncomfortableness because this witness was essentially many parts of their testimony taken apart, picked apart. But the very impassioned cross examination from the Pistorius offense team.

So, yes, it's like you say, lots happening on day one and of course this is what it's going to be like for the next few weeks, the next few months sort of a roller coaster ride.

MORGAN: And, Robyn, just before I let you go, what's been the reaction in South Africa to this trial? And does it really in the end to come down to whether Oscar Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs or not?

CURNOW: No, I don't think it does come down to that. So I think it's a lot more than that, you know, the ballistics will determine whether or not he had his prosthetic legs on. But I think what it really boils down to it, this is about one judge, a very respected experienced judge, listening to legal arguments, procedural arguments the minutia of the law about mistaken identity, about self-defense, about murder, about premeditated murder, about self-defense and again and again.

And I think that's what's going to determine this. What South Africans think in fact what the police think or what Oscar Pistorius' defense I think really it all boils down to a judge and this is what is key. This is about law in the end.

MORGAN: Robyn Curnow, thank you very much indeed.

I want to bring you now a man who has known Oscar Pistorius since they were both children, went to school together, Nick Peel went to the same primary school as Pistorius and joins me now.

Welcome to you, Nick. I know you have not kept in touch with Pistorius in later years but I want to ask you, first of all, what was he like when you were at school with him? And then when it comes to an extraordinary parallel in your own family's life which was very similar to the kind of situation which Oscar Pistorius' claiming he found himself in. Tell me first of all what he is like?

NICK PEEL, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF OSCAR PISTORIUS: You know, Piers, I lost contact with him when I went to high school, but I knew he went -- I was a little bit older than him. So I went to private school with him and, you know, he was one of the most friendliest and the happiest little kid you've even seen. He was always the last person off the playground covered in sweat playing soccer, swimming, you know, everybody wanted to touch his prosthetic legs. And he always jokes about it he was just really, really happy kid.

MORGAN: And he became this national hero in South Africa, a hero around the world to many people who are suffering perhaps similar disabilities that he had and a huge shock I mean to anyone that ever knew him like you did or to the whole of South Africa, a massive shock.

PEEL: It was unbelievable, Piers, and as you know, you know, South Africa treats their sports heroes like gods, we put them on this pedestal and they can't do no wrong. And when we saw our golden boy running in the Olympics in London, you know, everybody had tears in their eyes, we have so much pride. That's why it's so unbelievable to see a situation that he's got himself in day to day.

MORGAN: Now, the more relevant reason that I wanted you to be on the show tonight is that you grow up in Johannesburg. I've been in Johannesburg I did a piece on the World Cup Football Tournament there and it's a violent place, I mean I loved it in many ways, but it's a violent place massive gun culture there, a lot paranoia that comes from the massive gun culture and crime that goes on there. And that has all played into Oscar Pistorius' defense which is that he feared he was under attack from a potential armed, the burglar. Your family went to a similar incident which nearly ended in a similar tragedy tell me about it. PEEL: Yes, Piers, so my sister and my brother-in-law was sleeping late at night watching the cricket, there were so busy building their six foot wall electrified fence when my sister's brother-in-law came down late night for a visit. He was ringing the doorbell, banging on the door and they don't hear him because they'd lock their bedroom door as they usually do at night because of the sense of them, you know, for protection. And, you know, they didn't hear the doorbell ring, they didn't hear the doorbell ring again so what my sister's brother-in-law did he walked around the house and to the way the bedroom was and started banging on the bedroom window.

As you can imagine, you know, and it's very difficult for a lot of Americans to thing that your mind immediately goes to place of there's a robber, he has a gun the lights are not on, the curtain is drawn, he's going to shoot through the window. So my brother-in-law he took the gun that was under his bed and immediately aimed in the direction of the banging. Luckily, my sister in the last minute into the darkness was able to peek through the curtain and see that that it was here brother-in-law and she yield to stop and to hold fire. But, you know, that sense of paranoia is always there, your in heightened sense of you have to be alert all the time, if you hear a sound outside.

In America, thank goodness we are blessed to live here and you think it's a bird, it's a squirrel their growing up all my, you know, when I was kid. If I -- if woke up in the middle night hearing a banging on the window my mind immediately will go to -- my word there is a robber outside.

MORGAN: So, however implausible it may seem the Oscar Pistorius defense to many people you grew up in Johannesburg in particular other parts of South Africa it's not as implausible as it may seem in places like America or whatever?

PEEL: Yes, Piers, and I can only talk to my personal experience, you know, growing up in South Africa when I speak about this case with my American friends they can't really comprehend, they immediately think that he's guilty without all the facts being out. So at least in my experience growing up in Johannesburg, in the outskirts and suburbs there that at least is plausible on his defense.

MORGAN: Nick Peel, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

When we come back, the defense hammers at one witness' testimony. How strong is the case against played Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius? We'll be back with legal experts after break.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you understand the charges, Mr. Pistorius?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plead?

PISTORIUS: Not guilty, my Lady.


MORGAN: Oscar Pistorius on day one of his murder trial denying committing murder. But how strong is the case again to former Olympian?

Well, joining me now is Alan Dershowitz, his latest book is "Taking the Stand, My Life in Law", also Kelly Phelps Senior CNN Legal Analyst and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town. Welcome to both of you.

Alan Dershowitz, it's a fascinating case because in the end it will come down to pretty much what I just discuss with my last guest. The sense that Oscar Pistorius is trying to put over that he was paranoid for his own safety and that is why he did what he did.

And it may not be plausible to people outside in somewhere like Johannesburg but there as this young man told me just now it is a plausible defense. What do you make of it?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR, "TAKING THE STAND: MY LIFE IN THE LAW": Well, absolutely. And your previous guest the one who was the reporter from South Africa couldn't have been more incorrect. When she said this is going to come down to the law, a debate about the law and legalisms.

The law is relatively clear and the law is relatively undisputed. This is all about the facts. This is all about the forensics. It's all about the angle of the bullets. It's all about whether the judge believes that he was in fear of his life and made a reasonable mistake of fact.

Look, the judge is not going to want to say this and probably none of your guest going to want to say this but I spent some time in South Africa recently and people don't want to hear this, but South Africa is a failed country. It is a lawless country. It's a country with an extraordinarily high rate of violent crime, and it's a country with deep, deep racial divisions and problems that we wish had disappeared because we all love Mandela. But that's not the reality.

Now, whether or not this judge is prepared to give credence to the fact that a white person living in a white gated community would be in fear of his life if he heard somebody climbing through the window fearing predominantly black intruders and assailants, whether or not this judge is prepared to find that. I don't know. But that's what this case is going to come down to. It is racial. It is factual. It has nothing to do with the law.

MORGAN: OK. Kelly Phelps, let me just say I've been to South Africa (inaudible) to say a wonderful country I had to say and although the killings and the crime there and a gun ready crime. I remember walking through the town (inaudible) and I think he was one of the single most inspiring places I've ever been in my life.

So, I would take issue with Alan saying it's a failed country and I'm sure you would too, but you're there, you're in Cape Town, what is the feeling there amongst the people and then maybe take on that about what he just said about the reality of modern South Africa.

PHELPS: Yeah. I have to say, like you Piers, I take the issue with Alan statements about South Africa being a failed country. We are certainly beset (ph) with many deep seas of social problem, but in many respect, South Africa is a fundamentally functional country. And in one of those respects is our legal system while there are problems on a daily basis, functions fundamentally soundly. And I think today, provided a showcase to that to a certain extent to the world.

In terms of a public perception here, the public has come out quite strongly against Mr. Pistorius and his version of the events and from that I'll say it failed. But in fairness, that is very largely due to the facts that the states have bail come up with some very contentious and controversial allegations regarding Mr. Pistorius's conduct on the 19 question that have not actually yet being substantiated with the evidence.

And if it was the statements themselves that infiltrated into the public consciousness more than the fact that they actually were unsubstantiated and that thing we heard repeated today by Pistorius's team in his plea explanation and that really is the pressure resting on the state now. They have made the claims and now at trial, they finally have to batch (ph) them up.

MORGAN: OK. Alan says, for this reason I've said earlier, the reason is really about the vital to me evidential nature of whether he wore the prosthetic legs or not is that that seems to me a really critical part of this because it will determine ...


MORGAN: ... you know, angle that he fire the gun and also the circumstances leading up to him firing the gun. He's got his legs on. It's a different situation to if he hasn't got the legs on.

DERSHOWITZ: I agree with you and what his lawyer did is he took a tremendous risk. His lawyer got him out on jail by filing a very detailed affidavit giving his account of what actually happened. And we did that before he knew what the evidence against him was going to be.

And so now, we're hearing evidence come in that may very well contradict what he said in his affidavit and he literally has to take the stand now because he's already put his story forward. And we have, for example, today's testimony of screaming by a woman, presumably a woman, preceding the shooting which would be somewhat inconsistent with the story he told in his affidavit.

So this is going to come down to largely a factual issue. When I mean a failed state, let me be very clear. The legal system is a gem of the state and parts of the state are very successful particularly if you're wealthy and you're white and you live in nice parts of Cape Town and Johannesburg. But when it comes to the area of violent crime and guns there is no control over guns and no control over violence. You drive through the streets. You don't stop at red light because you're afraid you'll be car jacked. You don't stop in front of people's houses. I do not regard that as a successful state even with all the guns in America. There is no comparison between the quality of daily and nightly night in south -- life in South Africa and the fear of violent crime that in any other country I've been through in modern times. So I do not regard that as a ...


DERSHOWITZ: ... successful country and that will be a big issue in this case as to whether or not people believe his fear based on that issue.

MORGAN: Well, I can pretty could cover that. I think that that is the critical part in Oscar Pistorius, his whole defense is based around the sense of feeling of afraid in his own home, paranoid about somebody breaking and that's why he did what he did. I'm going to leave you with that.

Kelly Phelps, thank you very much. Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much.

Coming up, from one Oscar's another little gold guy who's at the top of Hollywood tonight. I have all the highlights and low lights and the behind the scenes story of a sudden surprise pizza delivery. I've got that guy who had no idea what he was about to be doing.



DEGENERES: Now, can you take it? I can't get everybody in here.

BRADLEY COOPER, ACTOR: All right. I got it.



COOPER: My arms are great.

DEGENERES: All right. My arms are definitely better. OK. Hey, that's it. Look it out.


MORGAN: It was a great moment from last night's Oscars telecast. The selfie scene around the world. And now, retweeted over 3 million times enough to briefly crash Twitter and the all-time most retweeeted tweet and of course was also the most watched in 10 years.

Joining me now with more Oscar highlights and low lights "Extra" co- host Maria Menounos or as John Travolta might call her Martha (inaudible).


MORGAN: I couldn't resist it. And that was an open moment, wasn't it?

MENOUNOS: Well, you know, I was watching it, and...

MORGAN: Let's watch it for those who haven't seen it. John Travolta had one name to remember and he did this.


JOHN TRAVOLTA, ACTOR: Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only Adela Dazeem.


MORGAN: It's that she wasn't Adela Dazeem, she was Idina Menzel.

MENOUNOS: You know, and who knows what happened. I know, I've screwed up big time on live television before. I'm sure you've not been immune to it yourself.

MORGAN: Never happened on me. Never happens.

MENOUNOS: You know, it's a nerve-rocking situation. You've got everyone on the (inaudible).

MORGAN: All right. I see. I don't know how many guys. I actually felt sorry. John Travolta ...

MENOUNOS: He's the nicest man.

MORGAN: He's one of the nicest people...


MORGAN: ... I have ever interviewed in my life. So, John if you're watching, we've all be a meme.

MENOUNOS: And we love you.

MORGAN: I've committed far worst crimes than that.

And let's talk about the selfies in around the world. There is not love to this, wasn't it? Not just a great with the social media, but it's -- you got 10 enormous famous people in the world. And then right on the right hand side of the picture is Junior, who is Lupita youngest kid brother. Now, I meet this guy comes out to the red carpet, and his a massive Arsenal fan, the soccer team I like back in England. And we started talking about it. It's about 10 minutes, then he did a selfie with me. His request on his phone. So, I have the least seen selfie in the streets on Junior's phone, and he is now part of history.

MENOUNOS: That's hilarious. Yeah, you're probably going to miss out. You know what I loved about the selfie moment is it was such a genuine moment where you get to see the stars not the stars. Angelina was glowing. She looked like a little kid just kind of jumping in...


MENOUNOS: ... and having fun and Angelina's usually so composed and proper.

MORGAN: I couldn't wait...

MENOUNOS: It's just cute.

MORGAN: ... Grahams out of tragic couldn't wait to get in there. So it's totally originally. It was going to be Ellen (inaudible) maybe Julie Robert that was to set up an old plan. And then the others would probably great moment.


MORGAN: The other great moment though -- and we have to pay tribute to this was pizza moment which is when a certain delivery man was phoned up a couple of days before and said, "We need some pizzas between 5 and 9 PM at certain address. He didn't work out what was happening here? He went to Big Mama's and Papa's Pizza here in L.A.

Anyway, Edgar is with me. Come on. Edgar Martirosyan.


DEGENERES: Hi man. How are you today?


MORGAN: Let's watch the clip first.


DEGENERES: Julia, want to taste? Who's your favorite movie star? They're here. Well, who do you want to talk to?


MORGAN: Edgar. Here is he again.


Diana. Now, you are the pizza delivery man from Oscars.


MORGAN: You're the most famous pizza man in the world right now.


MENOUNOS: Hello. Great jacket.


MORGAN: I think these are the very same pizzas at the world's biggest stars ate last time. Maria is absolutely gagging...

MENOUNOS: Can I get in now?

MORGAN: ... to get hold of one of this.

MARTIROSYAN: Sure, of course.

MENOUNOS: It smells so good.

MORGAN: Here we go. Let's have a little bit of pizza.

MENOUNOS: This is our Oscar moment.

MORGAN: I want to eat exactly like Julia Roberts ate last night.


MORGAN: Now, Edgar.

MENOUNOS: Thank you.

MORGAN: Is it true you knew nothing about this?


MENOUNOS: You didn't know?


MORGAN: So, when you arrive and you know it's the Oscars, what are you then thinking?

MARTIROSYAN: I was shocked and I came out with the pizzas. They told me just wait for it's kind of the pizzas that needs for writers and I was waiting and then Ellen came out. Ellen came out and told me I'm going tell you to follow me and then you

MORGAN: And where do you think you were going?

MARTIROSYAN: I do not know what to think. I didn't know...

MORGAN: You do have no idea where you were going?

MARTIROSYAN: Nothing. No idea.

MORGAN: You've got your pizzas and you're walking out and suddenly you realized you're on stage of the Oscars...


MORGAN: ... live to billions of people around the world.


MENOUNOS: About to paid Brad Pitt.

MORGAN: 43 millions Americans watching. What are you thinking?

MARTIROSYAN: I'm thinking that's when you said American dream, this is the really American dream.



MORGAN: If you're a minion, you got a bigger minion family of having the pleasure meeting some of them here. One of the producer of this very segment it's also a minion. And a great moment for minions around the world from -- for everyone, isn't it?


MORGAN: When you realized you were serving the most famous people in the world, what do you think?

MARTIROSYAN: Well, I was like -- in that point, I was shocked. So, it was really great moment for me.

MORGAN: Then you walk off.


MORGAN: And suddenly you must have a phone on you, right? So...

MARTIROSYAN: Oh yeah and my...

MORGAN: Who is calling you? You must have gone berserk.

MARTIROSYAN: Everybody. Everybody. From Russia, from Armenia, from my friends here, family, everybody.

MORGAN: Well, it's a very good pizza.

MENOUNOS: All right.

MORGAN: I'm going to say it right. You're enjoying it Maria?

MENOUNOS: I'm loving it.

MORGAN: It's an excellent pizza. And you are now the most famous pizza man in the world. So are you, I mean, have doubled your prices, are you doing a special Oscars pizza, I mean, what are you doing?

MARTIROSYAN: Actually, that's a good idea.


MENOUNOS: I know right.

MORGAN: I want to go to business with you.

MARTIROSYAN: Hey, pizzas with Brad Pitt edition, you know.

MORGAN: And stay with us because we...

MENOUNOS: So what Leo missed out on edition.

MORGAN: So, let's talk about the Oscars for a moment Maria because Leo failed again, not really a failure because its fantastic dream will win Oscars.

MENOUNOS: Incredible performance too.

MORGAN: Good performance, but, I have to say, I thought the big six, they got absolutely right. I thought "12Years a Slave is the most popular movie at all. I thought McConaughey was brilliant and a number of movies that actually including "Wolf of Wall Street" with Leo. I though that Cate Blanchett was a runaway obvious best actress. I mean, do you disagree with any of the big wins?

MENOUNOS: No. I don't. It was really, really tough for me because I thought everyone in those categories as usual deserve to be there, but you know, they were really, really amazing this year. But there were just the clear winners you just couldn't avoid. And they did it.

MORGAN: I mean, and you really, I thought low moment was I didn't like the zinger from Ellen at Liza Minnelli because I've interviewed Liza on the red carpet. She told me how nervous she was. She was shaking. It's a big ...

MENOUNOS: With the (inaudible) shaking from the tower.

MORGAN: Right.

MENOUNOS: Really. Yeah.

MORGAN: And she was saluting her mother, the late great Judy Garland and that is zinger is about, you know, she could've been a man and the camera caught on her face and she look pretty her. I thought that was a bit unnecessary. The only low moment, otherwise, before Ellen, it was pretty good actually.

MENOUNOS: The speeches were great.

MORGAN: Lupita Nyong'o, her and Jared Leto, name it to me with the stars last night.

MENOUNOS: You know, Jared's speech was poignant. I mean, to pay tribute to his mom the way he did. And then, she honored those who have struggled with this disease was just perfect.

MORGAN: Edgar, you're most excited to see? Who were your most excited to see when you walked out there?

MARTIROSYAN: Julia Roberts.



MARTIROSYAN: Julia Roberts.

MORGAN: Is she been back to have many more pizza?

MARTIROSYAN: Not really.

MORGAN: Edgar, congratulations.

MARTIROSYAN: It's a fantastic moment. I'm so glad you came on the show. We're loving the pizzas. They're all delicious. If you're in the L.A. area, go and see Edgar, a Big Mama's and Papa's pizza.

And Maria, you got a new show?


MORGAN: That premieres from Oxygen. Let's see a little clip from this or "Chasing Maria Menounos." Something many of us had tried to do from long time.


MENOUNOS: Here's the problem.

The problem with kids is that you see how little time we have.


MENOUNOS: I'm so tired. But, I'm getting now with my dreams and doing everything I've ever dreamed that want -- and wanted. So, why would I give that off right now?


MORGAN: This is what I like about this is you're living your dream. Edgar is living his. You post it for some of the case the American dream. Your parents are here Maria.


MORGAN: There's your mom and your dad watching to come and what she do in this interview. I like this. This is now the real American dream at its best sitting right in front of me.

MENOUNOS: I appreciate that. Yeah. I feel like that. You know, my parents are immigrants from this country. They came from a village with no running water, no shoes, and now they're on TV. And to me, that's the most fun part of this whole experience is to kind of see that incredible dream of all dreams come true.

MORGAN: Well, my dream was always to eat a pizza with Maria Menounos. So, here we go. Cheers. Edgar, cheers.


MORGAN: Thank you to you both.

MENOUNOS: Thank you.

MORGAN: Coming next, a tribute to the film "Gravity" and something that a little bit about space and astronauts. Plus, the return of the space classic "Cosmos" and how family (inaudible) it coming to bring it back to TV. (inaudible) segment so stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know a little bit about gravity and the lack of gravity.


MORGAN: Congratulations from space for the makers of the movie "Gravity."

Well, joining me now, the creative team who's bringing another space adventure back to television. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey." And Ann Druyan is writer and executive producer and director of this series. So, one of the three, right?

ANN DRUYAN, DIRECTOR: One of the directors, one of the three.

MORGAN: Welcome to both of you. Thank you, thank you.

DRUYAN: Great to be here.

MORGAN: "Gravity" I mean, do you -- have you both seen the movie "Gravity," right? I mean, obviously, we'll come to your (inaudible) a moment but, I want to see it on my own. It gives a stunning piece of special effects then I spoke to a few astronauts were like, "Come on, that's not what is really like." Neil, what do you think in terms of real is?

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, ASTROPHYSICIST, AUTHOR: As I saw the movie and within a couple of days, I sent out a few tweets commenting on some of the physics. They got wrong. And to my surprise, people went sort of back crazy over these comments. Things like her hair didn't stand up on in zero G when it perhaps should have given that everything else was floating around.

MORGAN: Right.

TYSON: And that's what you first notice when you see astronauts up there in the shuttle and in the space station. So, I did some tweets like, I didn't think people would be that intense about it. So, I think it's a compliment to the film that they got so much else that people would pick at the little things they got wrong.

MORGAN: What all I understand is it was pretty accurate I think?

TYSON: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Given a thousand things they got right especially the catastrophic satellite destruction scenario. That is a real -- you can calculate what would happen if one satellite breaks apart, makes 10 pieces each one of those breaks off -- breaks up 10 other satellites. And this becomes a exponential decay of all the satellites in orbit. So, they got that part right.

MORGAN: And you obviously -- it was a great Carl Sagan's with her and a remarkable man. What I like about the "Gravity" movie an idea like about the series that you've done. Is it the old just make space exciting again to young people. You know, I've got young sons who I think will be enthralled about this as they were by gravity. When I was young, you watched the great moments on television. The whole family got together and watch all these amazing rockets going to space. And I thought reading this hard (ph) in the recent years that that's all sort of come to a shuttering hole. Do you hope that the series and the movie and everything else come in together may galvanize again man to go off into space and do this thing?

DRUYAN: Men and women.

MORGAN: And women, I'm sorry. I make man collectively.

DRUYAN: Why did you say that?

TYSON: Busted.

MORGAN: I was busted there.

DRUYAN: No, no because...

MORGAN: Wrong person to say that to you.

DRUYAN: That's so funny because the original series was going to be called "Man in the Cosmos." And my first contribution as co-writer of the series was you call this "Man in the Cosmos" and you feel really silly in about 20 years. And yeah, you know, that's the dream of the series is first of all, I think they're coming out of the clinch, you know, this big cellular nerve, this retreat into magical thinking away from reality is the ending. And it's like we've -- we discovered our courage. And we're ready to look at the Cosmos and dream.

MORGAN: You see, I like this now because to me, it doesn't matter what it cost when we spending a billions and trillions in the war overtime. And for the sake of a space travel initiative, if I was the president of the United States or any major country, I want to be out there inspiring people.

TYSON: Well, so the goal is to have the show influence to people who elect who ends up serving in Congress and for president. And then if they have -- if they feel compelled to -- if the show has the kind of influence, we hope and expect that it reignites the flames of curiosity that we used to have as kids, you said lots of kids interested, I'm worried about the adults who are in charge, who don't have any sense of what science means or what a scientific truth is and what it takes to separate the ...

MORGAN: You're in the perfect position to have a word with some of these people because here's the biggest selfie of the week wasn't even one from the Oscars. Let's look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Cosmic Calendar begins on January 1st, the birth of our universe. It contains everything that happened since then up to now on this calendar midnight December 31st.


MORGAN: That's the clip of the from the movie but this what I was really getting out which is the selfie of all time. That's you and Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and the president in a big selfie.

TYSON: Well, just -- well, the reason that selfie was even enabled is because we were invited to the White House for among other reasons to preview "Cosmos.: And so, "Cosmos" got that invitation to begin with. And so, to realize that yes, you have leaders high up who care that much about science, to not only invite this winning of it, but also to participate in the selfie with my good friend Bill Nye.

So, that's -- I think it's a statement that times can...

MORGAN: Can we mention the elephant in the room which is you got this giant fruit on my desk, what is it?

TYSON: It's a cantaloupe.

MORGAN: A cantaloupe. When we come back we will ask you why you got a cantaloupe in here.

TYSON: No, why you putted the cantaloupe in front of me, that's what says what would have happen here.


MORGAN: Back with me now is Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the new "Cosmos" and Ann Druyan, she's a writer, executive producer, and director.

OK. Look, what is that cantaloupe doing here?

TYSON: You guys put it in front of me, but I'm reminded I twitted you couple of days ago.

MORGAN: You twitted this. "When I shop for fruit and melons, I like to hold a grape next to a cantaloupe and think of Earth next to Jupiter. Then I eat Earth."


TYSON: Obviously, my tweet is just -- what I'm thinking during that day, you're eating of something. Oh, no, no, it's about the right size of Jupiter to Earth

MORGAN: OK. It does, OK. So, never (inaudible) just ate Earth live on television, right in moment. And final words to you because... DRUYAN: Yes.

MORGAN: ... I saw a horrible report of describing your TV series as even better than "Gravity." You must have been thrilled with that. What do you heard people take away from this, very quickly?

DRUYAN: I hope people take away an awakening of stealing (ph) of being alive, the romance of being alive in the "Cosmos." The grandeur. The science revealed about the universe. The possibilities of the future. We can do this.

MORGAN: Fabulous. What a beautiful way to put it. I wish you all the great best of it. Lovely to meet you both. "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" is the largest global launched ever for TV series. It premieres this Sunday, March the 9th, on Fox. Thank you both very much indeed.

DRUYAN: A pleasure.

MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.