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Bishop Long Says He'll "Fight"; Pentagon Destroys Book's First Print; How to Make Money From YouTube; Advanced Car Technology Has a Bad Side from Hackers; Chefs Adopt School to Promote Healthy Eating
Aired September 26, 2010 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on CNN: A book that's way more than your average tell-all, an understatement, according to the Pentagon. It is buying up all these books, thousands of them and destroying them. A matter of national security, they say.
And where is your car right now? Think it's safe because of your new fancy state of the art security system? You better think again. Windows are hot wiring, that is so five years ago. Now, there is an app for that.
And the ultimate dream job, sitting in the comfort of your own home and making a leaving. Part two of our series, "Making Money on YouTube."
Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us.
A packed house, a minister under fire, and the words everyone was waiting to hear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BISHOP EDDIE LONG, NEW BIRTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: I am not a perfect man. But this thing I'm going to fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Bishop Eddie Long, leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch, he took to the pulpit today for the first time since being accused of having sexual relations with four young men who had been in his church. Long didn't address any of the specifics in the civil lawsuits against him, but he repeatedly quoted Scripture invoking the image of himself as a righteous and innocent man under attack by evil forces. As a matter of fact, he said, David and Goliath a lot.
Martin Savidge now joins us. He was at today's service.
So, Marty, the congregation -- were they pleased with what they heard or not?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think they were overall, they were -- you know, clearly he was in his element here and he spoke eloquently. He delivered his lines very, very well and I think many people left, they're feeling much more comfortable than when they went in.
And it was interesting, we were there when people started to go in at 5:30 in the morning, actually, people were already in the parking lot waiting for the church doors to open. The service didn't begin until 8:00, and he actually didn't appear until 9:00. So, I mean, they waited a long time.
But he delivered his message very well. He didn't get into the specifics, as you say, but I think when people left, they did feel that their opinions were, for the most part, relieved, I think is the way of putting it.
LEMON: OK. He never really said anything about denying it or whatever. He just says, "I am -- I am not these things. I am not this man. And I'm not a perfect person," and he prefaced it with that. But it was a press conference -- can you call it a press conference when he really didn't answer any questions?
SAVIDGE: No. He didn't -- I mean --
LEMON: What was that all about?
SAVIDGE: Two things that you just brought up here. One of them, of course, is that his attorneys earlier in the week and his spokesperson vehemently denied these charges.
SAVIDGE: You would expect, since this was his first public appearance, he would, perhaps, say the very same thing in public. He did not and he never used the phrase like, "I am innocent," which is another thing you might expect. Now, that could be just parsing, he has his own words to express his feelings.
As far as this news conference that wasn't a news conference, at the beginning, Bishop Long comes out. We thought, at last, we'll be able to ask questions. Instead, though, the lawyer says, nope, he's going to issue a statement. There will be no questions. We had all been led to be believed that this was going to be Q&A and we would get the right to ask.
LEMON: Marty, stand by. My producers are telling me, I didn't quite hear -- you say again, Tom?
OK. We're going to -- we're going to -- let's listen on that news conference, and you and I will talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONG: I will say that I'm going to fight, fight very vigorously against these charges, and I've been of this church for 23 years. I -- this is the first time I realized that we are as important as we are to get this much attention, and we're going to continue as a church to do the things that we do to touch the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: I'm going to double up on you here because we don't have much time. You and I chatted so much. Why couldn't he say that right after this all happened and what's next here?
SAVIDGE: Well, good question is what's next. He didn't say it because, apparently, he said his attorney told him not to speak out until this time.
What comes next? Well, apparently, it's going to go to the courtroom. We already know that. It's going to be a fight of biblical proportions, David and Goliath, although he's hardly a David. And I think we'll have to wait and see: are there more cases that will come forward, perhaps next week.
LEMON: Martin Savidge, thank you very much.
And we'll have more reaction to Bishop Long's comments today, including a member of the New Birth congregation who will be joining me after the break.
And we're tracking breaking news this hour. It's from Wisconsin. We're getting word from Columbia County officials in the central part of that state that a levee there is failing. An evacuation order has been issued for people in the Blackhawk Park area and we'll keep you posted on the developments there.
Meantime, it is going to take a couple more days for the floodwaters to recede across that region. Now, this was the scene yesterday in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, from five to seven inches of rain fell across parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota between Wednesday and Friday. A few areas even reported up to 10 inches of rainfall. There has been plenty of damage, but so far, no reports of death or injuries.
To the Middle East right now, where just a few minutes ago, Israel's 10-month moratorium on new West Bank settlement construction, it came to an end. Israeli settlers held symbolic groundbreaking today in support of new construction, but Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on settlers to, on his words, show restrain. It's not clear how the end to the moratorium will affect talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians have said that the return of settlement construction could be grounds for ending the talks.
How did Bishop Eddie Long's morning message play with members of his congregation? When we come back, we'll talk with someone who was there.
And you are, of course, what you eat. Teaching kids about healthy foods.
And don't just sit there. Become part of the conversation. Yesterday, you guys contributed so much to the broadcast. We want to do it again today. Go to Twitter, Facebook, or our blog at CNN.com/Don.
Also, check us out on Foursquare. We're going to be talking about Foursquare, too, and what it has to do with your food and this thing that we have called "Eatocracy."
LEMON: OK. So, last night, we spoke to young members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church about the sex allegations leveled against Bishop Eddie Long. That was before they had a chance to hear Long respond to the accusations that he had inappropriate contact with young male church members. And I asked them why they stood behind him and I want to play a bit of that interview for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CAMPBELL III, NEW BIRTH CHURCH MEMBER: He's my leader and, as members of the body of Christ, it is our duty to stand behind and lift the arms of our prophet. And that's what I will continue to do until he gives me reason not to.
GABRIELE A. RICHARDS, NEW BIRTH CHURCH MEMBER: The ministry has done so much for my family and I, for my friends and I, and for my schoolmates. I stand behind the ministry.
GARY A. FOSTER JR., NEW BIRTH CHURCH MEMBER: He is a true leader. The word that he gives is so rich and it's so life-changing. There is something about bishop that you just respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, we invited all three New Birth members to be back with us tonight. Two of them declined, but Gabrielle Richards is back.
And, Gabrielle, I want to hear your thoughts on Bishop Long on his message this morning. But, first, let's play some of what he had to say to our audience and I'll get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONG: My first responsibility was to my family and --
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
LONG: And then my next responsibility is not to address the world before I address my family New Birth.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
LONG: There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never, in my life, portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
LONG: That's not me. That is not me.
By the counsel of my lawyers, they advised me not to try this case in the media. I am not going to try this case in the media. It will be tried in the court of justice and dealt with in the court of justice.
And, please understand, because that's the only place I think I'll get justice. But being in the hands of God -- please hear this, please hear this -- I've been accused. I'm under attack. I want you to know -- as I said earlier -- I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
LONG: And I want you to know one other thing -- I feel like David against Goliath.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
LONG: But I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet.
(APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Gabrielle, what do you think?
RICHARDS: Well, after hearing Bishop Long this morning, I was so proud of him, the way that he came out with his head up and with his fabulous wife and he showed the strength that I'm accustomed to, and this is the Bishop Long that I know.
LEMON: Yes. Did you want to hear it earlier? I mean, be honest. It's good, you said, it's good. But did you want to hear that earlier?
RICHARDS: Earlier, you mean as soon as the allegations came out?
LEMON: Well, sooner, didn't have to be as soon. But did you want to hear from him earlier than from today?
RICHARDS: I respected his decision to wait and speak to his family, his New Birth family, and that's a very respectable thing.
LEMON: What was it like being the congregation this morning? Which service did you go to?
RICHARDS: I went to the 8:00 service.
LEMON: And it was -- I think it was like 10,000 people you said there?
RICHARDS: It was packed. It was awesome. And everyone was there to hear bishop say what he had to say. And Bishop Long did a great job assuring us that he's still -- he's still Bishop Long.
LEMON: Did he say, for people who are not used to seeing him, you know him, some people might think that was an angry act of him throwing down the mike and what he said at the end, "I'm going to fight this," rather than being -- it may have come off as a bit arrogant rather than humility. RICHARDS: So, people are saying that it's coming off arrogant and rather than humility?
LEMON: I'm asking for people who don't know him, because he may, in his -- in his sermons on Sunday, this may be the way that he preaches. And so, if you're not used to the way that he preaches, this may come off as arrogant or angry. Was this in, in the sense of the way bishop preaches on Sunday, usually?
RICHARDS: Would it be in the sense -- well, Bishop Long, he -- he said what he had to say and, at the end, he put down the microphone. I don't feel that it was aggressive or in any way different.
LEMON: OK. I want to play a clip of when he spoke to some of his members and he said what his members may be going through. So, let's listen to that and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONG: It's extremely difficult time for you because many who have called you and asked you questions and all of these kind of things, you ain't they have got this many phone calls in your life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Are you getting phone calls besides from CNN? Are people calling you?
RICHARDS: Definitely. People want to know. They want to know what's going on with the bishop and I say, you can wait until Sunday and hear, and they heard today.
LEMON: Yes. Anything changed for you about the bishop, about the church, or whatever, you can -- can you continue to be a member of the church? Has anything changed for you at all?
RICHARDS: Nothing has changed. My love for ministry, my love for bishop and his family has not changed.
LEMON: Gabrielle, thank you. It's, again, very brave to come on. We had two other members who were supposed to come and they didn't. But I applaud you for coming on and taking on for the bishop because no one is -- we don't hear his side.
RICHARDS: And thank you. And I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to come on and show the positive side and our point of view. So, thank you.
LEMON: There's more than one side to every story. Which side did you get? That's in my first newsroom, they said that.
So, thank you very much. We want all sides here on CNN.
LEMON: Gabrielle, we appreciate it.
The Pentagon has -- the Pentagon admits to destroying thousands of books. It says protecting national security is at heart there. But is it really repressing free speech? We're going to talk about that.
LEMON: I want you to sit and pay attention to this story. I can't remember this happening in any modern day, any time recently. The Pentagon says it burned 9,500 copies of a new book in the name of national security.
Defense officials say the first version of "Operation Dark Heart" by Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Schaffer contained classified information. But the author who serves in the Army Reserves says the book was fully vetted before printing. It's his memoir about his time leading a covert operation in Afghanistan.
Colonel Shaffer joins us now live. And I know for security reasons you can't get into what the information is that is under dispute.
LT. COL. ANTHONY SHAFFER, AUTHOR, "OPERATION DARK HEART": Right.
LEMON: "The New York Times" reports that your first edition gave out names of American intelligence officers and details of secret missions. You say that whatever the information is, it was already part of public domain. What's going on here?
SHAFFER: Well, I think that's the issue, is that we did go through a very lengthy review process and that process included interviews by a researcher to make sure that we had information from original sources as well as research from public sources which put it all together into the thing.
And, keep in mind, Don, this is not simply a memoir. We wanted to make this a lessons learned and a path forward. So, the idea was, here, to give the reader an idea of what it's like to be on the ground running this stuff and, at the same time, learn what happened regarding the tipping point from when we went winning to losing in Afghanistan and there are certain areas we completely stayed away from -- technology, any names that we thought were undercover were changed. As a matter of fact --
LEMON: But, Colonel, I go back to my original question to you -- what's going on here?
SHAFFER: Look, I would be speculating. I've heard rumor. There's a lot of things out there about why and, you know, they've cited regulations. But I used a process given to me. My lawyer, Mark Zaid, consulted a lot with me at the beginning of this project. We walked through it. We got the clearance in January.
And, you know, rumor -- one of the rumors is that the WikiLeaks had an effect.
SHAFFER: The fact that everything -- I connect the dots and I think the WikiLeaks thing is a bit of a blur. And if you -- if you -- and my information predates some of the WikiLeaks stuff related to ISI, the problems with the Taliban resurging, the Iranians, by a full year, and I think there maybe some issues there that people were a bit uncomfortable about coming out of this point in time.
LEMON: Colonel Shaffer, I'm glad you said that about WikiLeaks because I had a hard time putting my arms around exactly what it was and if it really meant anything. I think they probably think this is more detrimental to national security than the WikiLeaks thing was.
All right. So, listen, I guess you should probably thank the Pentagon for destroying your first edition because a redacted version last -- when we last checked, was number two on Amazon. It's a bestseller.
SHAFFER: Yes. Don, and I feel -- look, the Army received notification from Defense Intelligence Agency on the 13th of August saying that, you know, essentially, if this book is published, the free world will fall.
And when I received it, I looked at it. And as a soldier I said, you don't want to give me this. I mean, if you give me this, this is not going to have the effect you want it to have. And I asked them to not do it. They gave me the memo and next, the rest is history.
So, we -- I really, I said, there's another way of doing this. If there's real security concerns, let's get this offline, let's not make it public. And the fact they'd done it, you know, look, I'm grateful to the Pentagon for the amount of free publicity I've gotten over it, but I think it could have been done differently. I really do.
LEMON: I have to ask you this though, because -- as a man in uniform, you're speaking out against the destruction of your book. Could you get in trouble for this? I mean, it's a Code of Military Justice. It has rules against officers speaking out against superiors.
SHAFFER: I'm -- no, I'm not speaking out against the destruction. I think it was done for the wrong reasons is what I'm saying. I participated completely, fully and everything they've asked me to do. I spent two weeks working with the Pentagon on the second edition.
So, you know, look -- they can do what they want. If they -- this is the course of action they chose. I recommended against it and I thought there was a better way of doing it. They chose to do it. You know, it's their prerogative.
LEMON: Yes. SHAFFER: All I'm saying is it's a good read. So, I think, it is -- even in its redacted form, you still can figure out what was going on, why the tipping point happened when it did and, frankly, lessons to learn and try to improve for the future. I think that -- I think we can still do good some things in Afghanistan.
SHAFFER: But we've got to get the right policy in place.
LEMON: Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer -- thank you, sir.
SHAFFER: Thank you.
LEMON: And I want to tell our viewers that CNN received this response about "Operation Dark Heart" from Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess with the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. Here's what he says-- he says, "The DIA's investigation identified significant classified information the release of which I had determined could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security. The manuscript contains secret activities of the U.S. Special Operations Command, CIA and National Security Agency."
We'll continue to follow this story.
All right. Go ahead, quit your job. Quit your job day. This is quit your job day. How do pursue your passion and make a living on YouTube.
LEMON: We've always been hearing about the economy, jobs, housing. In this economy, quitting your job, your day job, can be really a dangerous proposition.
But some YouTube users -- some -- are turning their page view popularity into a living, making money on the online video site. Lucky devils. Many are musicians who are now able to pursue their talent full time because of YouTube. Singer, songwriter and recent college grad Julia Nunes is a YouTube success story with more than 37 million views on her page.
CNN photojournalist Emanuel Tambakakis was there as she made one of her videos.
JULIA NUNES, YOUTUBE STAR: There's been a lot of people that have gotten a lot of recognition on YouTube. I am Julia Nunes. I know that most of the things that have come to me -- I am a ukulele player -- success wise, like touring with Ben Folds and now Ben Kweller, I got because they found me on YouTube.
(SINGING) NUNES: I think the first one that got a lot of views like that was "Into the Sunshine," which was a guitar song.
NUNES: And one of the first ones that I did harmonies and multi- tracking things on.
NUNES: I have no idea how many -- maybe, maybe over a million. I think over a million by now.
NUNES: I got like a really cool little following of like 1,000 people up until "Into the Sunshine" got featured which like kicked me up to 10,000. I'm somewhere in like 150,000 subscribers, growing steadily.
I don't like the term "YouTube sensation" because it makes me feel like a laughing baby -- a cat that fell down somewhere.
NUNES: This is my whole setup.
NUNES: Now, that I'm playing shows where everyone who's there bought a ticket specifically to see me and they're singing my songs back at me, I think that's when it becomes real.
NUNES: That's just a computer and a microphone.
NUNES: Because it's easy to look at numbers on a screen and be like, yes, I'm doing great.
Until there's, like, a girl that's nervous to meet you. If you want an audience, then, you can just go and find your own audience because I did.
NUNES: Having people listen to what you have to say and the music you're making is probably one of the most gratifying things in the world.
LEMON: I'm going to go buy a microphone after that. You know, it's not just musicians making money on YouTube, from Korean chefs to quirky filmmakers, these YouTube stars have legions of followers online.
Among the most popular, "Mystery Guitar Man," whose one of a kind videos have drawn more than 140 million views that advertisers willing to pay to be on his page. "Mystery Guitar Man" whose real name is Joe Penna, his future is so bright he has to wear shades. He's joining us from Los Angeles right now.
Also joining us is Chris Maxcy. He's YouTube's director of partner development.
Thanks for joining us.
Listen, Chris, I'm going to start with you first. I'll get to Joe. How do I do this? I sound pretty good in the shower, as I'm sure she does. And I'd like to have that many page views and work from home and, you know, in my pajamas. How do I do this?
CHRIS MAXCY, YOUTUBE DIRECTOR OF PARTNER DEVELOPMENT: Well, Don, it's quite possible. I think the first thing you need to do is have some talent, which I think you do. What you need to do next is, really come up with some creative ideas. Get those videos onto YouTube and start building an audience. It's a lot --
LEMON: I'm speaking for the viewers because I'm sure they're sitting at home going, hey, I'm just as talented as that young lady. I can do this.
MAXCY: That's for sure.
We see people -- there's a broad range of creators on the site, a broad range of partners on the site today. We have something like 10,000 partners across a whole broad range of different topics, whether it's comedy, musicians, as you mentioned, cooking. But I think the key is to really find your niche, be authentic, have fun with it. and then what we do find is, folks like Joe are masters in marketing themselves, whether that's asking people to subscribe to their videos, engaging with the YouTube community, and also leveraging other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
LEMON: Joe, "Mystery Guitar Man," how did you start out? Did it start out as just something fun on YouTube and you putting your videos up and then you figured, hey, wait a minute, I can make money on this? Tell us how it started.
JOE PENNA, "MYSTERY GUITAR MAN" ON YOUTUBE: Yes. Basic loses that's how it started. For everybody who is making money on YouTube, that's how it has to start because you have to work on for so long before making money. I've been doing videos for three years before I even became a partner, before there even existed a chance of becoming a partner on YouTube.
So, yes, I mean, if you put a lot of hard work into it. I work 80 hours a week. There are plenty of other people who work plenty of time on YouTube. If you put hard work into it, you're able to become a partner.
LEMON: Can you give us a ballpark how much money you're making? Are you in the upper income bracket because of this now?
PENNA: Well, we have a nondisclosure agreement with YouTube and each company we work with so we can't say exactly how much --
LEMON: You have started your own 401K because you've done so well?
PENNA: No. Basically, that's like a thing just for my retirement afterwards, but, basically, no. I pay all my bills. I pay my taxes and I'm able to just do YouTube full-time now because of the partner program. Yes, I'm quite glad that it's now my full-time job.
LEMON: So, listen, Chris, you called Joe -- is it a YouTube partner that you called him? Explain to our viewers what that means, to become a YouTube partner, how do you do it?
MAXCY: Sure, sure. Well, the first thing you need to do, as I mentioned before, is gain a certain level of popularity on the site. What we do is, we'll look he cross the site based on things like the number of videos, views that someone like Joe is creating, and the number of subscribers and their channel. Then we'll invite the top creators to become partners on YouTube. and that really involves YouTube going out and selling advertising, placing that advertising next to or within videos.
LEMON: Do you pay them to start creating more things and to start adding to -- adding content? Do they get paid? Is there a salary for that?
MAXCY: It's based on -- it's really based on how the advertiser pays us. So, for example, the more videos that Joe creates, and the more views each one of those videos generates, the more money he makes. It's based on the views.
LEMON: So all you have to do is find a niche and get a lot of people to click on it and you can become a YouTube partner and work from home, and either be the young lady there, or you can be the Mystery Guitar Man. you never know. Only in America.
Thank you so much, guys. We appreciate it.
LEMON: A house that gets all of its energy from the sun. It won an international award for some Virginia Tech students. And we'll show you some of its amazing features next.
From carjacking to car hacking. New research shows a computer under your hood could be a target for criminals.
(EDGE OF DISCOVERY)
LEMON: If you think about it, cars are becoming more like computers on wheels, but their high-tech systems also carry some high- tech risks. I'm talking about computer hacking. That's what some university researchers proved when they broke into some cars without ever touching the vehicle.
CNN's national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, is here to show us how.
Susan, at the beginning of the show, I said, hot wiring, those are old school. Now there's an app for that.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that's a good way to put it, Don. Wireless technology is all around us. For example, Bluetooth, these wireless earpieces that allows us to use cell phones hands-free. Increasingly, carmakers are turning to wireless technology to make cars safer and easier to repair.
However, researchers at Rutgers and the University of South Carolina say these new systems have potentially dangerous drawbacks. Those scientists have now been able to, for example, remotely hack into a car's tire pressure system. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCO GRUTESER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Attached to this wall stem on every tire, you will find a pressure sensor in the electronic module that wirelessly transmits the information to another electronic control unit in the car.
WADE TRAPPE, PROFESSOR, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: We'll drive around the parking lot and as we come up towards the attacking car, which is at the other end of the parking lot, the attacking car will launch an attack, trying to show that my back left tire is deflated.
ROB MILLER, GRADUATE STUDENT, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: It should give him a little bit of a scare as he drives by and it looks like his tire has gone flat.
GRUTESER: If there were other technologies that are not carefully designed in terms of security, it could be possible that you can launch similar attacks from outside the car wirelessly.
CANDIOTTI: So using only about a $1,500 radio, these researchers could fool the tire pressure sensor, causing the warning light on the dashboard to turn on, making the driver think there's a problem. No big deal, you say? Well, these experts argue, hold on, because as carmakers rely more on wireless technology, hackers, they say, could unlock your doors, for example, or even cut off your brakes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAPPE: If these issues aren't addressed early enough, then we're going to have a serious problem in that, for example, our breaking systems might be tied to wireless signals. and, you know, a person could actually maybe falsely cause a car to suddenly slam on its brakes or cause brakes to not turn on or maybe, somehow, affect steering or some other important, you know, automotive function.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, Susan, that sounds scary. Do we really need to worry about this right now?
CANDIOTTI: Well, maybe not now, but down the road a piece. No need to panic yet, Don. But these researchers say they want to raise awareness and add that carmakers need to start integrating security systems to protect this expanding wireless technology.
LEMON: All right, that's what the experts are saying. What about the carmakers? Are they responding to this?
CANDIOTTI: Well, unfortunately, Ford, General Motors and several others have not responded to CNN's questions. Chrysler did respond, but their response was, "No comment."
So, we'll have to wait and see, but, hopefully, this is something that the industry as a whole will be forced to take a look at, if they aren't already.
LEMON: That's why I say all the more for mass transportation. Big fan here.
Thank you very much, Susan Candiotti. We appreciate it.
America is the most obese nation in the world, but one chef wants to change all that. And he turns a cookbook with kids into a teaching moment to try to put an end to our notoriously bad diets.
LEMON: We're kicking off a new series here and it's going to be my favorite because if you follow me on Twitter or the other major networking sites, I'm a major, major foodie. And CNN is taking a cross-country food journey all this week. We've sent reporting teams to every corner of America and beyond. Our mission here is to get fresh answers about how our food is grown, how the choices we make impact our health, our state of mind, our budgets and the pure joy of just eating a really good meal.
We've teamed up with a new CNN.com food destination called "Eatocracy.com," "Eatocracy.com". It's going to bring you "Eatocracy, Mind, Body, Wallet." And it can begin right now in your own home and in your children's school.
Here's CNN's Kate Baldwin.
TODD GRAY, CELEBRITY CHEF: One chicken salad and pastrami ready for 11.
KATE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the kitchen to the classroom.
GRAY: Let's peel our corn back, OK?
It's a two, two (ph). Very nice. I like it.
BALDWIN: Washington's celebrity chef and owner of Equinox, Todd Gray, is taking on what he describes as his toughest customers yet, the students of D.C. public schools.
GRAY: It's a reality that we have to recognize, the fact that we've put food in the backseat and we need to put it up front again.
Flour, baking powder and baking soda.
BALWIN: Gray pancake demonstration at Murch Elementary is part of a star-studded effort, spearheaded by the White House chef, Sam Kass. Chefs across the country adopting local schools to promote healthier eating as part of the first lady's campaign to combat childhood obesity.
GRAY: My role is to get them enthusiastic about cooking, about fresh food, about fresh food from their garden, teach them how to cook with fresh ingredients, cook them a good meal, and hopefully, it will be an influence on them.
BALDWIN: But the mission won't be easy. Schools receive less than $3 per student per lunch from the federal government. And with lack of funding comes less money for the often more expensive healthier options.
D.C. public schools is trying to improve school lunches, launching a pilot program requiring food service providers purchase at least 20 percent of their ingredients locally in hopes they can get fresher cheaper.
DAWN ELLIS, PRINCIPAL, MURCH ELEMENTARY: They've done away with those disgusting tater tots. And they don't have chicken tenders. They don't have processed foods. This is a real new page in terms of cafeteria eating.
BALDWIN: And that is something the parents of Murch Elementary students have wholeheartedly embraced.
(on camera): Why is the food that they're eating so important or should be more important?
JOHN WIX, PARENT OF MUCH ELEMENTARY STUDENTS: It's just as important as digesting a book, what you digest on that plate. It's all equally important. I wouldn't say that it's more important than the right books or getting the right teachers. It just all has to be a priority.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I don't like squash. GRAY: Oh, you haven't had our squash yet.
BALDWIN (voice-over): Chef Gray agrees, describing the challenge of overhauling school lunch as a mountain they'll climb one step at a time.
(on camera): What do you hope to see come from it?
GRAY: I said this in the beginning, I think this is decades of change. You might not see school menus change by the fall. I don't think so. I don't think that that's -- I think that these are steps we'll be able to take very gradually. And over the years, you see change.
BALDWIN: And it all starts with the corn cakes?
GRAY: It all starts on the griddle with the corn cakes. Did you have one?
BALDWIN: Kate Baldwin, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: All right. As part of Eatocracy week, we're about to show you how your cell phone can be your guide to a healthier diet. CNN has teamed up with FourSquare. It's a local-based mobile app that lets your friends know where you are every time you check in. That's why I talk about FourSquare all the time. Certain locations reward FourSquare users with so-called badges that can sometimes be redeemed for freebies and for discounts. So everyone who has been accusing me how FourSquare works -- why do you talk about FourSquare on your program? This is why we talk about it.
CNN's digital producer, Derek Dodge, is here to explain how this technology is being used at the farmers markets all over the country.
Did you check in this morning at a farmers market?
DEREK DODGE, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER: I checked in yesterday at a farmers market. There's over 6,000 in the country. And the USDA has a searchable directory, at farmersmarket.usda.gov, where you can search for the one nearest you. Then, follow CNN on FourSquare, foursquare.com/CNN, and you can unlock the CNN healthy eater badge when you check in at one of over 6,000 in the United States. If you go to Google Earth -- yesterday, I went to the Peach Tree Road farmers market in Atlanta --
LEMON: There you go.
DODGE: Yes. And I demonstrated the process for you.
LEMON: That's the number of farmers markets where you can check in throughout the country. They're all in red.
DODGE: I went yesterday to check in at the Peach Tree Road farmers market just down the street. LEMON: OK. Cool. Let's listen.
DODGE: We're at Peach Tree Road farmers market in Atlanta, Georgia, where I'm going to demonstrate for you how we're using FourSquare to promote healthy eating.
We want people to go out, eat local, farm-fresh foods and support their local farmers markets. So you can check in at one of over 6,000 farmers markets in the United States on your phone when you go to FourSquare. You find your location, check in and download the CNN healthy eater badge.
And you said these are a little spicier, right? A little bit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Sometimes, around the seeds, there might be more heat to them.
DODGE: Seed. Let's try the sun-dried tomato. That sounds good.
On your mobile phone, you come to a place like a farmers market and check in. It lets your friends know online where you are. What we did is, if you check in a farmers market like this one, you'll get a special CNN healthy eater badge. It's a fun way for people to come out to farmers markets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you checked in on FourSquare?
DODGE: I have. There's my healthy eater badge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent. And with your healthy eater badge, you get your choice of several prizes today. We have a box of whole wheat pasta, some leafy mustard green, a pumpkin, some pesto, or honey.
DODGE: Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
DODGE: Have you checked into the CNN NEWSROOM?
LEMON: I checked into the CNN NEWSROOM. So who is the mayor? You get mayorships when you're on FourSquare. Who's the mayor at the farmers market, do you know?
DODGE: I think her name is Julie. I tried looking for her but I couldn't find here. Are you the mayor of the "NEWSROOM"?
LEMON: No, I'm not the mayor of the NEWSROOM yet. I am the mayor of Acme Seafood House in New Orleans, Ervin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse, Oceana Grill and the World Senesta (ph) Hotel. And I've got all kinds of badges, but not the healthy eating badge yet.
DODGE: Go to farmers market and get that badge.
LEMON: This is so funny.
Thank you, Derek. Thank you, Derek.
What we choose to eat, where we buy our food and how much we spend on it says a lot about who we are. And then we might think, you don't know how much it has to deal with -- what you eat has to do with how you feel, how you think and how you carry yourself. So I want you to catch our series. It's called "Eatocracy, Mind, Body and Wallet," all this week. And remember, you can check in with us online. We talk about Twitter and Facebook and all of that and our blog. But we've also been talking about FourSquare. We want you to be part of this project. To make sure you check in, go to one of the farmers markets. Check in, get that CNN.com healthy eating badge. We appreciate it.
All right, just ahead, they're having a ball at U.C. Irvine. Students team up and take aim at the world dodgeball record. There were dodgeballs in the NEWSROOM. I had a little fun with it.