Return to Transcripts main page
Top Dems Want Weiner To Go; Reports Clarence Clemons Has Stroke; More Quakes Hit New Zealand; Rare Pink Dolphin Sighting; Congrats Miami...Oops!; Boehner-Weiner Name Jokes; Boehner: Thank God Name's Not Weiner; Lawmaker Allegedly Caught with Pants Down; Tuesday: Obama to Puerto Rico; Tuesday: Army Turns 236
Aired June 13, 2011 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And with the chiming of the bell, it is the top of the hour. We are four hours away from that debate. Wolf Blitzer will be watching for you. Thank you so much, sir. We'll get another political update for you in half an hour. By the way, you can always check out. They're on Twitter at "Political Ticker," cnn.com/politics, and now, watch this.
It is debate day here at CNN, and the best political team on television is working in overdrive, ready to introduce you to the Republican men and woman who want your vote in 2012. We'll take you live to New Hampshire. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Beaner, bonner, boner. Thank God, it's not Weiner.
BALDWIN (voice-over): Very funny. Make all the jokes you want. Anthony Weiner is not the only elected official at this scandal (ph) this month. There is a lawmaker who allegedly got caught with his pants down, literally.
They call it dinner time. They call before your alarm clock goes off. They call to demand the money you owe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an attempt to collect a debt.
BALDWIN: Now, debt collectors go on a charm offensive.
Secret papers shared with CNN. They appear to reveal Gadhafi's battle plans and confidential code words like tomato? CNN examines the documents as we wait for the Libyan leader's next move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (on-camera): Welcome back, everyone. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Let's begin in Orlando. The big mystery today is the Casey Anthony murder trial is who will prosecutors call as their last witness? The trial is on the fast track, and prosecutors could wrap up their case as early as tomorrow afternoon. And just this morning, a latent print analyst from the FBI testified that she saw the outline of a heart on a piece of duct tape that was, apparently, put over Caylee Anthony's mouth. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH FONTAINE, FORENSIC EXAMINER: The best way to illustrate what I saw was if you were to wear a band-aid for an extended period of time and eventually remove that band-aid, you have that glue or debris surface surrounding the outer ages of that band-aid. The outline of the heart resembled that glue or debris that if you had been wearing a band-aid for an extended period of time, rather than in the shape of the band-aid, it was in the shape of a heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin back on the case. And Sunny, I want to talk about the heart-shaped band-aid, a moment that had all of us talking, I know, before I came up here for the show, but let's talk about the prosecution. As I mentioned, they could wrap up its case tomorrow. Is this trial ahead of schedule?
SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: It's ahead of schedule, and it's going quickly, actually, more quickly than I think any of us thought. We are on day 17 of this trial. Remember, the O.J. Simpson trial, which was the longest trial in California history lasted 37 weeks. So, we're talking about two weeks only, and he's saying that the prosecution is likely to rest either tomorrow or the next morning.
BALDWIN: OK. Let's talk about this heart outline as we just heard in testimony. It was this heart outline on the duct tape that covered Caylee Anthony's mouth. How could, Sunny Hostin, how could that get there?
HOSTIN: Well, you know, the prosecution hasn't really answered that question. I think they're going to leave it up to the jury to figure it out, but they did introduce evidence, Brooke, that these heart- shaped stickers were found inside of the Casey home, Casey Anthony home when it was checked. And so, I think the prosecution wants the jury to infer that Casey Anthony placed that heart-shaped sticker on the duct tape that was found on Caylee Anthony's mouth. That is probably the only logical inference that one can make.
BALDWIN: So, I just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly. So, potentially, there would have been some sort of heart sticker underneath this duct tape? Is that right?
HOSTIN: On top.
BALDWIN: On top.
HOSTIN: On top of the duct tape.
BALDWIN: Got it.
HOSTIN: And some people are thinking well, that's the sign of a conflicted killer, right? If you believe that Casey Anthony did kill her daughter, Caylee Anthony, she sealed it with a kiss, with the heart-shaped sticker.
BALDWIN: Wow. OK. We have heard -- we've seen testimony about chloroform, we talked about that last week. Flies in this trunk, the smell of death, the smell of a body in Casey Anthony's car trunk. Have prosecutors made the case that Caylee's body was in that trunk?
HOSTIN: You know, I think they have, Brooke. When you look at it, you look at so many witnesses talking about the smell of death, then you have a forensic scientist that also talks about death and the smell and how he measured that. You're talking also about evidence of flies that can only be found with decomposing bodies. Cadaver dogs that alert at the trunk.
The hair that was found that is consistent, that it came from a decomposing body. All of that together is pretty significant and compelling evidence, I think, that a body, Caylee Anthony's body was in the trunk of that car.
BALDWIN: So, it's compelling evidence, but have they, though, conclusively made the case that Casey Anthony killed her little two- year-old, because one thing we were talking about earlier is we really haven't seen a clear motive. Shouldn't they be providing one?
HOSTIN: There you have it. That's the problem that I think the jury may have with the prosecution's case. The prosecution doesn't have to prove motive, Brooke. It's not an element of the crime, but it's the question that most jurors have and it's the question that a very good prosecutor makes sure he or she has answered before that jury goes into the jury room. Why? It's the why question, and I haven't seen motive.
Typically, when you have a mother killing a child, there's a history of mental illness, there's a history of child abuse. Child Protective Services are often called in situations like this before the murder occurs. None of that is present here. The prosecutor said in opening statements, you know, this is about Casey Anthony wanting to live the good life.
Well, I haven't seen evidence of that motive yet. Perhaps, we'll hear about it in the prosecution rebuttal case, but if we don't hear about it tomorrow, I don't think we've heard it yet.
BALDWIN: So, we haven't specifically heard a motive. We're about to hear from the defense potentially Thursday if, you know, our timing and our guessing is correct, the jury could get the case in about two weeks. So, what's your prediction? We talked about this before. Casey Anthony, I mean, she has to testify, doesn't she?
HOSTIN: She has to testify, and I've said it over and over again. I've said it since opening statements. Jose Baez I thought did a wonderful job in opening statements, but the theory relies on someone getting on the witness stand and saying that Caylee Anthony wasn't murdered, that she died by drowning in the family pool. The only person I think that can get on the witness stand and tell that story is Casey Anthony. I think we're going to see here either the end of this week or perhaps next week. BALDWIN: That is the day that so many people are watching for. Sunny Hostin, we'll bring you back tomorrow. We'll continue watching this case right with you. Sunny, thank you.
HOSTIN: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Coming up next --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (voice-over): it seems everyone out there has some sort of opinion about Congressman Anthony Weiner. Well, now the president of the United States is weighing in as well. We're going to tell you what he said. And then, listen to this --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an attempt to collect a debt.
BALDWIN: You ever gotten those phone calls?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (on-camera): We're going to tell you about the move by debt collectors to try to revamp their image. Be right back.
BALDWIN: Well, it was looking good this morning. A little bit of a rally on Wall Street, but the rally did not last. Let's go to Alison Kolik -- Kosik -- excuse me, live at New York Stock Exchange. Alison, the Dow ended down again. What happened?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what happened was Standard & Poor's lowered its rating on Greek debt. It worries investors because they're worried about the riffle effect, and as you said initialing (ph) stuff that a nice boost from some great deal news. VP Corp who makes Wrangler and North Face jacket said it was buying Timberland.
Wendy's/Arby's Group is selling Arby to a private equity group. This kind of activity, it's something that Wall Street likes. It shows confidence in the marketplace, but that nice confidence didn't last. Yes, we ended flat. The Dow up only one point.
BALDWIN: One point. OK. Here's one job I would not like to have, being a debt collector. They get a bad rep.
KOSIK: Me either.
BALDWIN: They're known to call at all hours of the day. They want your money. Why are they trying to make nice now?
KOSIK: Well, you know what, they're sick and tired of getting no respect. You know, they want some love. This is coming right at the "New York Times" actually. You know, one thing that really set in my mind was someone saying that their colleague was threatened with having their arms and legs cut off for trying to collect money. So -- yes. So, I mean, listen, you can feel bad for them up to a point, right?
You know, they've got a job to do. They want respect. So, this trade organization that represents them, they want to show that they're really good people. So, they're pushing for changes in Washington. They want these collectors to be able to contact delinquent consumers on e-mail and cell phones, because right now, all they can do is contact you on your land line and mail, but you know, if you ask me, that means they're going to hound you day and night on every single phone that you have.
So, I don't know how they're going to make amends there, how they're going to make any friends, but, you know, they want some clear rules on how they can talk to you, what kind of voice mail they can leave, but you know, good luck with that, because if you think about what the FTC said, they said they got more complaints about debt collectors than any other industry in 2010.
Their top complaint, you know, these calls. They were just repeatedly coming. They were being harassed. That includes using profane language, calling before 8:00 a.m. after 9:00 a.m., threatening to use violence if they didn't pay.
BALDWIN: Threatening to use violence.
KOSIK: They do (ph) for the bad rep --
BALDWIN: I was going to ask --
KOSIK: That's what the FTC --
BALDWIN: What do you mean by they're going to have to work on how they talk to you. Is that what you mean? No cursing, please?
KOSIK: Yes. Exactly. They want to know exactly what the rules are, what they can and cannot say, so they're not harassed. These debt collectors say, oh no, we're the ones being harassed. So, now, we want all the rules of the road laid out so everybody thinks that they're not being harassed.
BALDWIN: Yes, not a job I would want. I'll keep this one. Thank you very much. Alison Kosik, thank you so much.
If it is interesting and happening right now, you got see it rapid fire. Let's go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (voice-over): New picture, new details in the Anthony Weiner scandal. TMZ.com has these photos. They appear to be taken in the House member's gym. President Obama weighing in today now saying the congressman's behavior is, quote, "inappropriate," and top Democrats are saying Weiner needs to resign and soon.
A Democratic source who has spoke with Weiner recently says he's in a state of despair and that this decision is, quote, "turbulent."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (on-camera): East Street Band saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, reportedly suffered a stroke over the weekend at his home in Florida. "The Los Angeles Times" is reporting that Clemons underwent two surgeries over the weekend. It was initially paralyzed on his left side. Known by his nickname the big man. Clemons most recently appeared with Lady Gaga on the season finale of "American Idol."
New Zealand, the capital of Christchurch hit with a pair of earthquakes today. The two hit within 90 minutes of one another and registered a magnitude of at least 5.0. Some damage, some minor injuries have been reported, but remember, the city has been recovering ever since this past February when it was hit with a 6.3 magnitude quake that killed some 180 people.
To Minnesota, where a home improvement project turned into an extreme home makeover. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Yikes! Crews trying to install a fiberglass pool. That's what that was. Fiberglass pool in the backyard. The crane that you saw in the video they were using came crashing down on the garage. Truck tipped up in the air. No one was hurt. The homeowner says the crane company promises to pay for the damage.
And if you are one of the more than 100 million monthly bait torrent users, you might want to think twice before your next download. Nearly 50,000 users of the peer-to-peer downloading software are being sued for allegedly illegally downloading the movies "The Hurt Locker" or "The Expendables." So, an order to track the alleged users -- track him down. Subpoenas have been issued to several internet service providers for the identities of those users.
To Miami where Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks are the new NBA world champs. They beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat 105-95 last night. The victory gives the Mavericks and owner, Mark Cuban, their first NBA title in franchise history. Fans of hometown hero, Dirk Nowitzki, were watching the game in Germany, celebrated alongside.
All the fans watching the game in Dallas, look at the crowds. The team returned to Dallas today, trophy in hand. Plans are now underway for a victory parade in Dallas set for the week of June 20th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (voice-over): Finally, everyone likes a nice relaxing game of chess, right? Check mate. Well, you can add Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, to that list. Here's video aired over Libyan state television over the weekend showing Gadhafi playing chess, look very pensive in his next move, with the president of the World Chess Federation who reportedly was invited to Libya by Gadhafi and presented the leader with a chess set. Libyan state television says the meeting was held Sunday, but it's not clear from the video where it took place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN (on-camera): And while Gadhafi was playing chess, CNN was given secret papers that apparently reveal the Libyan leader's battle plans, and it got confidential code words like Tomato? We're going to tell you what else is in this. That's next.
BALDWIN: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had to cut her visit short to Africa, thanks to a volcano that's now threatening airline flights. But while she was there, she tried to convince countries to start kicking out diplomats who represent the Moammar Gadhafi regime, but she also wants then to beef up their ties with Libya's transitional national council.
And some other countries have already done that including the UAE, which says the credentials for the current Libyan ambassador will run out in 72 hours, but in Libya, CNN has now obtained these documents from some of the rebels they say outlines the government's battle plans for taking back the city of Misrata. For more on that, here's CNN's Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rebel fighters on Misrata's front line have made the kind of discovery that can change the course of a war. They say they got a hold of their enemy's battle plan to retake the city.
ABDALLAH AL-KABER, MISRATA MEDIA COMMITTEE SPOKESMAN (through translator): It was very beneficial because we were able to find out about the brigades movements, the directions they planned their attack, the number of soldiers, the type of artillery used, and the number of military vehicles.
SIDNER (on-camera): Rebels gave us this document they say is a copy of the Gadhafi regime's top secret military strategy. They say they got it from a high-ranking Gadhafi officer captured in late May. They say they fully believe that this is an authentic military document.
SIDNER (voice-over): It is 15 pages long and comes complete with a government stamp and top secret written on nearly every page. The document says it is a battle plan to cleanse the city of Misrata from militant gangs, and, to destroy mercenary elements and deceived youth. But the vast majority of the rebels we have met on Misrata's frontlines say they are just citizens, fiercely loyal to Misrata and intent on protecting their families who are under attack.
The alleged military document also contains secret codes. For example, the regime's code for NATO is flies, tomato is code for sniper ammunition, and beast is code for grad missile, a long distance weapon the Gadhafi military used again and again on this city. It also says there are more than 11,000 forces loyal to Gadhafi surrounding Misrata. AL-KABEIR (through translator): I think the number of troops and equipment mentioned in this document are definitely exaggerated, because they wanted to lift their soldier's low morale. Also, our intelligence on the ground indicated that Gadhafi forces have a lot less people than what this document says.
SIDNER: The spokesman told CNN the document was only useful for a short period of time before Gadhafi forces became aware and changed their tactics. The government has not responded to our request for a comment on the authenticity of the document, but at a news conference, Sunday, a government spokesman said, in Misrata, it's only the continuous and unjustified bombardment of the sea and the air that is preventing us from declaring total victory there, apparently referring to the NATO campaign.
But in recent weeks, NATO has not been particularly active in Misrata and rebels have stayed in full control of the city. The rebels say this confiscated document reveals that the Gadhafi regime is so desperate it is even lying to its own troops about their capabilities on the battle front.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Misrata, Libya.
BALDWIN: Sara, thank you. And now, let the countdown begin. We are --check the clock -- just about 3 1/2 hours away from tonight's GOP debate. Guess (ph) who is in? Jessica Yellin, she is there in Manchester for us. In fact, she was just inside that debate hall where everyone is getting ready, and she's going to talk to me live next about these Republicans, these several Republicans, including one woman who will be on that stage. We'll be right back.
BALDWIN: Time for your "CNN Equals Politics." Jessica Yellin live in Manchester, New Hampshire with the latest "Political Ticker." We're a couple of hours here ahead of the big debate tonight, and Jessica, let's talk about Newt Gingrich. We reported the news last week. Much of the senior staff included deserted his campaign last week, but he says he will continue on. My question to you is, where does he start?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's such a good question, and it's one of the few story lines we'll all be watching tonight. How does he make his case to the voters now that he is still a credible candidate who can run when the people who believed in him most have left, his staff?
So, we interviewed Ovide Lamontagne who is one of the top conservative activists here in New Hampshire who has met with all of the candidates here the Republican candidates, and he made the case that Newt Gingrich's best effort would be -- his best move would be to make the case that he's going to do what another favorite candidate did here in the state before, something John McCain did. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OVIDE LAMONTAGNE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You might say to us, you know what, I'm going to start like John McCain did. In July 2007, start from scratch, you know, live off the land, and start to rebuild the campaign from the grassroots. I'm going to have paid consultants and all these high-paid operatives. I'm going to work with the people in New Hampshire and start doing my campaign here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: So, it's sort of a novel approach, Brooke, to spin a negative, that everybody quit him, into a positive. So, you know what, let them leave. They're Washington operatives. I'm going to be a man of the people and work with the people I trust most without operatives and make my case to you. Let's hold our judgment to see if Newt Gingrich actually chooses to make that case and can be persuasive. We know he's a great talker, very energetic, but we'll see if he's persuasive on this point.
BALDWIN: OK. So, as he talks about potentially returning to his roots, grassroots, there's a new poll, CNN poll, on what the GOP agrees on. What does that indicate?
YELLIN: So, this poll shows that 75 percent of Republican voters nationwide want a candidate more than anything who can beat President Obama. Well, no shocker there. Of course, they want a candidate who can beat President Obama, but compare that to only 24 percent say it's a top priority that it's a candidate who shares their values. So, what that tells us is that voters right now, Republican voters are determined to find -- are willing to compromise, pick a candidate who might not agree with them on everything.
They're not going to be ideologically pure, if they can find someone who they think is a formidable candidate against President Obama in the nomination, and that's one of the reasons that the assumption going into tonight is that all the candidates will focus a lot of their fire on President Obama and not on each other. We'll see if that holds true, because I bet we'll see a little sniping among them, but the main target, President Obama.
BALDWIN: President Obama. OK. We'll watch for Jessica Yellin eight o'clock eastern here at CNN. Enjoy New Hampshire.
Coming up next, we're talking fruits. Fruits, vegetables. Can you guess which ones have the most pesticides? Take a look here. Can you guess? Elizabeth Cohen, of course, has the answer and some tips on how to protect yourself. You get strawberries and celery and apple and a pineapple. Hmmm.
Also, we're going to tell you about some changes at the FBI that will make it easier for agents to spy on you. "Reporter Roulette" coming up next.
BALDWIN: There's a lot going on today. You have new rules of the FBI, making it easier for agents to spy on you. All 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers are released. And a new list now names which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides. Time to play "Reporter Roulette" on this Monday.
And Jeanne Meserve, let's begin with you in Washington. Talk to me about some of these new rules at the FBI. What are you learning?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the FBI says, hey, we're just fine tuning existing policies. But a civil liberties group sees it as an expansion of the powers that could lead to abuse.
At issue is a manual which guides FBI agents searching for indicators of terrorist or criminal activity. A revision of the manual is going to give agents some leeway when they're looking into people, but they don't have any firm evidence against them. Specifically, they'll be able to pursue information in existing databases which was previously restricted. There will be limitations on searching people's trash. They're going to be relaxed. And rules covering the use of surveillance teams will change. Right now, a team can only be used once during an assessment. The new rules will allow them to be used more often.
The American Civil Liberties Union had a sharp reaction to all of this. The Policy Council Mike German, who is a former FBI agent, says, "The FBI is claiming authority to investigate people without actually opening an investigation or assessment or even having a reason to suspect someone has done anything wrong. This opens the door to all kinds of abuses," he says.
(INAUDIBLE) exactly when these new rules are going into effect, Brooke, but they are expected sometime soon.
BALDWIN: So, has the FBI, Jeanne, then reacted to that statement, that response from Mr. German?
MESERVE: Absolutely. Valarie Caprone, who is the FBI general counsel, says, "Each change has been carefully looked at and considered against the backdrop of the tools our employees need to accomplish their mission, the possible risks associated with the use of the tools, and the controls that are in place. Overall, this is fine tuning, not any major change," she says.
Just a number of contentious issues between the FBI and civil liberties groups. Back to you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Jeanne Meserve. Thank you so much.
Next on "Reporter Roulette," 40 years to the day after one of the biggest leaks in history, the complete Pentagon Papers are declassified and made public. Chris Lawrence, let's go to you live at the Pentagon. Does this mean anyone can go to the National Archives and read these things?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and anyone with a computer, Brooke, can just get online now and read them online, which is probably the easiest way. Not expecting a whole lot of anything new in these papers. But now you're going to get the complete account online. Anybody can go on there and read them. In this age of Wikileaks, it's interesting to sort of look back, you know, it's sort of the grandfather of Wikileaks.
The Pentagon Papers, which basically was a report that showed over a series of U.S. administrations that the government was saying one thing about Vietnam, that they were not escalate the conflict, not trying to send combat troops in, while in all actuality, they were escalating the conflict. One of the points that kidn of jumps out at you is in July, 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson already had sent troops, combat troops, to Vietnam, but then a few days later pretends to consult with his allies and advisers about doing so.
BALDWIN: So, you compare sort of to Wikileaks. So, is there any lesson, Chris Lawrence, to be learned from these papers today?
LAWRENCE: Well, the primary leaker, Daniel Ellsberg -- one of he took away from it, he said his biggest regret about it was that he didn't come forward sooner. And he says to any future whistleblowers out there, he said don't wait until the bombs start falling. That was his message.
And it sort of has some sort of parallels with, you know, Private Bradley Manning and the whole Wikileaks situation in that Ellsburg himself was a service member who had served in Vietnam. Because disillusioned, was considered very brilliant. And now you look today at Private Bradley Manning, you know, the government says has caused incalculable damage to relation U.S. relations around the world. And other people say he put out and he sort of laid bare a lot of what the U.S. was really doing around the world and how we related to other countries.
BALDWIN: Chris Lawrence, thank you. Like you said, anyone can hop online and read them now. Forty years later. Chris, thanks.
BALDWIN: Next on "Reporter Roulette," do you remember the food plate icon we showed you not too long ago the government unveiled earlier this month? It said that you're supposed to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. But now a new report says many of these foods are loaded with pesticides.
Cue senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here with a lovely array of fruits and veggies. And the report is from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. So, let's go through what we have and who are the worst offenders.
By the way, I ate an apple yesterday. Am I okay?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're fine. You look good, you look good.
You know, Brooke, people have the notion somehow there aren't pesticides on what we eat. There are. If you're not buying organic, there are likely pesticides on it. So, just assume there are pesticides on what you buy unless it's organic.
Some have more than others, though. So, the worst offenders are near you. I didn't do that on purpose.
BALDWIN: Oh, thanks so much.
COHEN: So, of the five top offenders in reverse order, we have spinach, peaches, strawberries, celery and apples. They found with apples that 92 percent of them had two pesticides or more on them. And this is according to government data.
BALDWIN: So, two pesticides or more. You say unless we're eating organic, we're all eating pesticides. What kind of harm comes in pesticides?
COHEN: Ah, this is where the controversy is. So, the Environmental Working Group says look, studies show that pesticides are linked to cancer, and they're worried about people. And the government says, look, all these pesticides are well below the limits we set. They're safe. And the people who make this produce say it's a ridiculous report, that it's sensationalistic. That it's irresponsible.
So it's a matter of dosage basically. So, some tell you it's high and might harm you, and other people will tell you look, don't worry about it.
BALDWIN: Well, here's what I do with my apple. I rinse it off.
COHEN: There you go.
BALDWIN: Am I fine?
COHEN: You may not be getting rid of the pesticides a hundred percent, but it's a good thing to do. And there are better ways of cleaning than others. For example, use plenty of water. I know, I sometimes go like, OK, two seconds under the tap, that's fine. No. Use a lot of water. Doesn't matter what the temperature is. Use a scrub brush unless it's like, a blueberry or strawberry or something, because then you'd ruin it.
And also, throw away the outer leaves of things like if you've got a head of lettuce or head of cabbage. Throw away those outer leaves.
BALDWIN: OK, so then ideally if you can afford it, buy organic.
COHEN: If you can, and you want to avoid pesticides, then do it. But you know what? It's expense -
BALDWIN: It is expensive.
COHEN: And so one thing you can do, one strategy is just buy organic like, for these five here that are particularly high. You could do that, and not worry about the other ones.
BALDWIN: I see. So, organic and you're kind of fine on this end. By the way, what are the cleaner -- is that what you get on your end of the table?
COHEN: That's what I get on my end! Wasn't that nice of me how I did that? OK, so these five have the least amount of pesticides --
BALDWIN: OK, excellent because that's my favorite vegetable.
COHEN: Aren't they delish?
BALDWIN: Love asparagus.
COHEN: You can bring them home.
COHEN: So, no particular order, asparagus, avocados, onions, corn and pineapples have the least amount of pesticides.
Now, there's many, many more fruits and vegetables. If I didn't mention your favorite, go to CNN.com/thechart, and my colleauge Georgeanne Caruso has written a wonderful blog full of all the details.
BALDWIN: Deal. Dinner.
COHEN: Dinner! It's yours!
BALDWIN: Thank you, Elizabeth Cohen. I appreciate it.
And that is your "Reporter Roulette" for this Monday.
What about the Gay Girl in Damascus blog? The world has been following this, the trials the tribulations. Well, we have learned that this lesbian writer turned out to be a total hoax, as it says there today on the blog.
This is a 40-year-old married American man who claimed he just wanted people to care about what was happening in Syria. And there was a reporter who had a hunch this whole thing was a fake, and he would not give it up until he got to the bottom of it. My conversation with NPR's Andy Carvin is next.
And as we go to break, let's se what you spent your money on at the box office this weekend. Pulling in at $10.8 million in money -- booty, I guess -- I'm supposed to read. Thank you, Stephanie Jewit. I have a feeling you wrote that. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Number four, "Kung Fu Panda 2." Number three, another sequel, "Hangover Part 2." I have got to see that one!
But a bit of a movie industry surprise actually tops the list. That's after the break. Stay here.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: If you beat the heat at the movies this weekend, it looks like you need some laughs. The top five box office draws this weekend included pirates, a panda, a cigarette smoking monkey from "The Hangover." But the op two were for the young at heart. "X- Men First Class" brought in $25 million. And "Super 8" from Steven Speilberg topped them all with $37 million in its debut. There you go, top five.
A former transit cop who shot an unarmed man in the back gets out of prison in what amounts to be a stealth release. Johannes Mehserle was set free in the middle of the night, sneaking past reporters, sneaking past protestors.
Let's take a look here. Mehserle was one of the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART police called to stop a fight on an Oakland, California train. This was New Year's Day back in 2009. They pulled several people on to the platform and then I want you to watch what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let him go! What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Did you hear that? It was a single shot from Officer Mehserle's gun. It hit 22-year-old Oscar Brandt in his back. And it killed him. Mehserle said he thought he was firing his Taser. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. Mehserle served nine months due to time served before his trial and time off for good behavior.
Who's really sharing their thoughts when the conversation is happen on the Internet? I've got a story that will have you thinking about that one. American writer, 40-year-old here, Tom McMaster. You see him in a broadband interview makes up this whole new identity. He becomes a gay Syrian-American woman. And people loved his blog. He called it A Gay Girl in Damascus.
And so his fake identity was a young woman by the name of Amina. Inspired readers who followed along as she joined these protests against Syrian leaders and took personal risks. But it all turned out to be a big lie, and now people are furious. This whole thing was a hoax.
Last hour, I spoke with Andy Cardin, an NPR journalist who helped really crack this case, find the truth. And I asked him what exactly do we know about Tom McMaster. Here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY CARDIN, NPR JOURNALIST: From what we can tell, he's orginally from the Atlanta area. And he's currently studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, focusing on medieval studies. Byzantine studies, in fact.
And so, it appears at some point over the last five years he was interested in doing this online experiment, trying to push the boundaries between truth and fiction. And it just grew and grew and grew. Now we have Amina essentially fooling everyone who had followed her up to this point.
BALDWIN: I know you have dissected this guy sort of inside out. His execution was poor. He says his intentions were good. I listened to the interview. I also read part of the mea culpa on the blog. And I want to read you just part of it.
He said, " My intentions were good. I got carried away. I owe apologies to those I hurt and will do all in my power to make things right. I only wanted to set forth real information through the use of artfully crafted fiction. I was too successful and I was too caught up in what I was doing. I ignored the consequences of my actions."
So Andy, here's my question to you. His intentions really were to illuminate this story of the Syrians for a western audience. Do you think at all though he makes a point, given the fact that Syria, let's be honest, not always above the fold.
CARVIN: Well, I think that is an important point because news organizations around the world are struggling to get quality information out of Syria. And this seemed to have started as an experiment.
And in some ways he just ended up in a very lucky situation, from his point of view at least that Syria suddenly found itself in the middle of the rebellion. So he upped the ante and created the blog around this character.
And so it certainly brought attention to Syria, but it also bought a lot of people at risk because there are protesters all over the country especially members of the local gay community who spent the last week very, very scared that this was some form of intelligence op or something else that could have gotten them killed.
BALDWIN: Another reason why people were so upset about this story, they were worried about Amina because last Monday's blog posted. She had been arrested by government security agents. Even the State Department was taken in by the hoax. In fact, they had started an investigation.
And now, let's play "Jeopardy." I'll take things you would never find in the Cleveland plain dealer for a thousand. Thank you very much. By the way, you probably shouldn't this in the Miami Herald either. I'll explain this one for you.
Also ahead, the case of a lawmaker caught in a compromising position. We'll leave it there for now. Wait until you hear about the proverbial scene of the crime. Don't miss it.
BALDWIN: Whether you are at the seaquarium or in the ocean, dolphin sightings are always a cause for excitement. How could they possibly get any better, you ask? You've got to see this. My gosh, they are pink.
These are rare pink dolphins. The friendly mammals are gray when they're born and gradually become pink as they mature. According to scientist, the rare pink dolphin is under threat in Hongkong's busy waters. There are only about 2,500 of them left. Pink.
Well, as if Miami Heat fans weren't down in the dumps enough today. Take a look at this ad. You see that? Congratulations Miami. Not so much. A Macy's ad printed in this morning's "Miami Herald" congratulated the Heat for winning the finals last night.
But here's the rub, if you are following the NBA games. The Heat did not win. The Dallas Mavs did, final score 105-95 and to make it worse, the advertisement was right under a headline that read Dallas wins best of the seven series 4-2. "Miami Herald" ouch.
And now in merely 10 minutes, we're going to get to see this guy, Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." As always he joins me now. It's a little tease of what he has coming up.
Wolf Blitzer, you are in New Hampshire because we are now officially three hours away from the big debate.
WOLF BLITZER, THE SITUATION ROOM: Going to be a major debate, but quick question, how did they screw up like that with that wrong ad? How could anybody have predicted that Miami --
BALDWIN: I have no idea. Right under where it says with the Mavs wins. I don't know. That would never be a mistake you would make or I would make, of course. Let's move on.
BLITZER: Believe me, we've all make mistakes. That's a blunder.
BALDWIN: Anyway, the debate.
BLITZER: All right, three hours from now. A little bit more than three hours from now, the Republican debate, seven candidates will take the stage and we'll see what happens. I'm expecting some fireworks.
There's going to be substance obviously issue number one, the economy, jobs, jobs, jobs. We're going to get in to a lot of that. No doubt, Medicare, there will be some national security issues as well.
I'm curious to see how hard these other Republicans go on Mitt Romney who's the front-runner shall we say right now for this Republican nomination. We'll see what they say about him.
I know all of them are going to be very tough on the president of the United States who's not here, but guess what? Guess who is here in Manchester, New Hampshire and will be my guest in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Do you want to guess?
BALDWIN: I don't know. I have no guess for you. Politically?
BLITZER: Robert Gibbs, the former White House press secretary. Robert Gibbs, he'll be here. Yes, he's coming to represent the Obama administration and we'll talk to him. I'm going to ask him who he fears the most, who he doesn't fear among these potential Republican candidates.
We'll see what's going on. Also very interesting, some of the potential candidates who aren't here like Sarah Palin, for example. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, one well placed Republican, I just tweeted this a little while ago.
He thinks there's a 95 percent chance that Rick Perry will eventually throw his hat into the ring. We'll see if he does or doesn't, but it could get exciting in the weeks and months to come. And what we'll do is cover every step of the way as we always do.
BALDWIN: Speaking of Robert Gibbs, did you see that -- I think it was last week, Robert Gibbs and the Auburn Tigers, the football team.
They came to the White House. You had little Gibbs was trying to put Cam Newton's hat on. It wouldn't quite fit him. Did you see that video? It was kind of funny.
BLITZER: It was adorable, yes. He went to Auburn. He's an alum. He has a special interest. He's not objective when it comes to that issue.
BALDWIN: Just curious if his son would be there. All right, Wolf Blitzer. We'll look for you in a couple of minutes and of course, the big debate tonight 8:00 Eastern here on CNN. Thank you so much, sir, for that.
For today's installment of "Political pop," I want to remind just a couple of weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I do the Weiner jokes around here, guys and really, who is Boehner fooling. What am like Anthony Waner? What am I? I'm serious, brother, just embrace it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: You hear that? It's the sounds of tables turning on Anthony Weiner this weekend when House Speaker John Boehner got his chance to fire back on the New York congressman with the funny name. Don't miss this if you haven't seen it. "Political Pop" next.
BALDWIN: If you have one of those names that's hard to pronounce and you know who you are, you know the jokes that go on in the schoolyard and well into your adult years. But it turns out that some members of Congress know exactly how you feel. Let's go to Joe Johns with "Political Pop." An easy name to say, you didn't have to deal with this at the schoolyard.
But you have Congressman Anthony Weiner dealt with it and also House Speaker John Boehner. Their last names --
JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It's tricky.
BALDWIN: Little bit tricky.
JOHNS: You know, and if you're not familiar, good luck. This is one of the longer running jokes in Washington. It kind of got out in the open and win the biggest media banquets all year.
The Congressional Correspondents dinner, it was the end of March. Congressman Anthony Weiner made some jokes about the way House Speaker John Boehner pronounces his name. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: I do the Weiner jokes around here, guys and really who is Boehner fooling? What am I like Anthony Waner? What am I? I mean, I'm serious, brother. Just embrace it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: But now, Brooke --
BALDWIN: Look at everyone laughing.
JOHNS: There's Andrew Mitchell, you know, a bunch of people. You were there, I was there.
BALDWIN: No, I was at the White House.
JOHNS: You were at the White House, OK. So over the weekend -- and now, the shoe goes on the other foot. Commencement speech in Ohio, Speaker Boehner, sort of gets the last laugh. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You know, my name looks like Beaner, Bonner, Boner. Thank God it's not Weiner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Kind of funny.
JOHNS: Right. That is the horse shoe there. The Ohio State University and so it looks like the end of that joke goes to John Boehner, pronounced properly.
BALDWIN: Yes, Boehner 1, Weiner 0. OK, story number two, we're talking about this, this morning, this Massachusetts lawmaker found in a bit of a compromising position at the state legislature's chamber. Do describe.
JOHNS: Well, it is just a little bit embarrassing if you think about it.
BALDWIN: Just a little bit.
JOHNS: This happened back in April. It was the House chamber in Massachusetts. And the original report was that there was somebody who was caught around 4:00 in the morning engaging in some type of inappropriate behavior.
This was a lawmaker, we were told, engaging in inappropriate behavior with a female staffer and then all we knew was apparently they had some of their clothes on, or they had clothes we were told.
And the House speaker launched an investigation and so the big question was all right, who is it? And this is information that came out later. It was a guy named Mark Cusack under investigation now, who is a one-term legislature.
BALDWIN: He looks so young. How old is he?
JOHNS: Yes, he's 26 years old from Braintree, Mass. No more known about that. I've called him, I have e-mailed him and so on, but it's certainly clear that it started pretty early, 4:00 in the morning, 26 years old. He's been in the House of Representatives up there a little less than six months.
BALDWIN: At least there was no twit pics involved. And as my mother says, nothing good happens at 4:00 in the morning. Joe Johns, thank you so much for that. Fun "Political Pop" today, I appreciate it.
Quickly before I hand things off to Wolf Blitzer, let me get you tomorrow's news today. I want to fast forward, looking ahead, president Obama heading to Puerto Rico. It will be the first official visit by a sitting president since President Kennedy's visit back in 1961.
Also, the U.S. Army turns 236 years old, so the Pentagon is having a cake-cutting ceremony. Happy birthday to the U.S. Army and If you did not get the army a president, no worries, it's World Blood Donor Day. It will be tomorrow so do a good deed and donate.
And that is it for me, let's go to Wolf Blitzer live in New Hampshire. Wolf, take it away.