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Peddling Pedophilia; President Obama Caving to Republicans?; Sarah Palin's New TV Show; Interview With John Walsh

Aired November 12, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And thanks for watching, everyone.

Tonight: peddling pedophilia. The nation's largest online retailer,, is slowly taking down more disgusting material for sale on its site, not just books, but videos as well. But why is it taking them so long, and how did this stuff get on their site in the first place? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight, is President Obama caving in to Republicans and dropping plans to tax the rich, keeping in place some of former President Bush's tax cuts? We will check what the president said on the campaign trail and what he's saying now. You can judge for yourself.

Plus, Sarah Palin debuting a new series on TLC this weekend. Karl Rove dismissed it as a reality show, saying it hurts her chances for the White House. But, tonight, we have the clips. You can judge for yourself.

We begin, though, as always, "Keeping Them Honest," with new questions raised about and why they have been selling pro- pedophilia books and questionable videos on their Web site. Now, this began with that discovery several days ago that Amazon was selling "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover's Code of Conduct," if you can believe it.

It's an e-book written by this man named Phillip Greaves, a 47- year-old retired nursing aide who lives in Colorado. Customers have complained about the book for days, but Amazon did nothing until shortly after we broadcast a segment about it Wednesday night.

Then they suddenly stopped selling the book. But it turned out they were still selling other pro-pedophilia books. Yesterday, we found this other book by Mr. Greaves which has much the same disgusting content as the guidebook. Amazon only took that down after we told them about it last night.

The same goes for other two other pro-pedophilia books we found on Amazon. Plenty of customers had complained about these two books and other reporters, but it was only after we and other reporters started discussing them that Amazon acted. They have now taken those two books down as well -- all good news.

But, "Keeping Them Honest," we have to ask, why is it only after reporters start asking questions that Amazon acts? Who screens these books? How do they get on the site in the first place?

And it's not just books. We also found a number of videos for sale that feature images of naked children in possible sexual situations. The videos apparently come from Germany and are described as naturist videos.

Other news organizations were asking questions about these videos, and, today, Amazon pulled them from their site. But, again, it was only after reporters began focusing on them.

Why aren't customer complaints enough? We pulled up Amazon's 2009 annual report, and, in it, the CEO, Jeff Bezos, emphasizes the importance of their customers.

"Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have," he wrote, "and we're grateful for the trust or customers have placed in us."

Grateful for the trust, no doubt, but a lot of customers are telling us that trust is now threatened because of the way Amazon has handled this. There's now a Facebook page calling for a boycott of Amazon. It's more than -- it's got more than 14,000 followers.

Throughout this controversy, has remained remarkably silent. We have called dozens of times. So have other plenty of other news organizations. We have invited Mr. Bezos or anyone from Amazon on the program, but, so far, they have declined. Last night, a company spokesman, Drew Herdener, finally got back to us, but wouldn't say much, only confirming they had taken down the guidebook for pedophiles.

Well, tonight, three days after we started reporting all of this, we finally got an official statement from the company.

It reads -- quote -- "We have many platforms that allow people to sell on Amazon in a self-service fashion and millions of items available for sale. We're working to implement a high-quality process to remove any items that promote child exploitation."

Well, that's the first time Amazon has said they are trying to address this issue and rework the way they screen products. Let's hope they figure out how to do it before more pedophiles decide this is a company that wants their business.

Joining us now is former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin of "In Session" on our sister network truTV. And also joining us is Maureen Flatley, a child advocate who first found those free body culture videos, those naturist videos, so-called, for sale on Amazon.

Maureen, were you surprised that -- that Amazon has been so slow to remove these books and -- and now finally these videos?


As a longtime Amazon customer, it seemed utterly amazing to me that they wouldn't, at least initially, pull the videos to review them, and then, if they weren't objectionable, which, of course, they were, put them back up. It's incredible.

COOPER: What -- what -- what were these videos? I mean, they are described as naturist videos, without -- I mean, we don't need to go into any detail here. But where do they come from? Do we know how they got on this site?

FLATLEY: You know, I'm assuming, based on the research that we have done in the last couple of days, that they somehow made their way on to the site under the auspices of this naturist movement, which many people -- not me, but many people view as sort of a legitimate lifestyle.

But what was interesting about the videos is that, as you looked at the first round of product to the Eastern -- I'm sorry -- the Western European products, you -- you actually did see families, parents with kids. They all looked the same. They appeared to belong together.

But, as you moved into countries where child trafficking is a huge problem, into Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, all you saw in the videos were children. There were no adults in the videos. They were clearly designed to be child pornography.

And the notion that they were legitimate -- even legitimate naturist videos is absurd. So, I think they probably snuck on to the site. But, at the end of the day, you have to say to Amazon, if a 62- year-old grandmother can find this stuff in Essex, Massachusetts, while she's watching "Law & Order" on her laptop in a five-second search, you know, they can pretty much set up a system whereby they're looking for it all the time.

COOPER: Sunny, you've -- I mean, you've -- you have read these books. I have read one or two of them now.


COOPER: I mean, the content is clearly disgusting. That -- that guidebook for pedophiles was advising people, you know, not to -- they don't need to use condoms if they're -- they're with a kid.


COOPER: But, Sunny, from a legal standpoint, is this stuff illegal?

HOSTIN: I think it is.

And my -- at first blush, I thought, well, the First Amendment really protects this stuff. But, after reading it, Anderson, and after looking at the federal obscenity laws, the -- this material is clearly obscene. And that means that, not only is it illegal; could possibly be held liable for carrying and distributing that kind of obscenity.

COOPER: But, I mean, some -- just because some book is a pro- pedophilia book, and it doesn't have pictures, it doesn't have -- I mean, it's not -- I mean, it -- it walks a pretty fine line.

HOSTIN: It does walk a fine line, but I think that the federal obscenity laws are very clear. And when you look at the Supreme Court decisions that analyze the -- this type of law, I think it's fairly clear that it is obscene, and that that material is obscene and that, again, can be held responsible for it.

COOPER: Maureen, what surprises me is, though, Amazon, which is a company that has a very clear public relations effort -- I mean, we got six press releases from them a while back for -- for products they wanted to talk about -- has been completely silent on this.

And -- and customers have been complaining about this for quite a while now. It's only that, you know, when reporters start asking questions and -- and put it on TV, that, all of a sudden, they act.

FLATLEY: Yes, there's this sort of disconnect -- and I think Sunny just touched on it -- between printed material, a narrative as it were, and actual images.

And it was pretty astonishing that they would try to play the free speech card with a document that I have described as the al Qaeda training manual for child predators. It was clearly designed with one reason, and one reason alone, to get other people to molest children. So, end of story. We're done.

It was only when the images started to come forward that people really reacted to it. But, ultimately, this is a situation where the law and culture need to catch up with technology. The Internet has removed any possible inhibition and barrier to both making the material, then distributing the material, and then acquiring the material.

And, years ago, it took quite a bit of effort to get your hands on child porn, if that's what you wanted to do. Now it's almost instantaneous. It's ubiquitous. And to the extent that the largest retailer in the world is not on top of this, well, then who would be?


Sunny, I mean, it's heartening to hear their statement tonight, after asking for a statement for many days, that -- that...

HOSTIN: Right.

COOPER: ... they are going to look at their processes. It's incredible, though, they haven't done it at this point.

HOSTIN: It's incredible, because, while it's business, clearly, and you can make these business practices and make your decisions, you have to abide by the law in -- in practicing your business.

And I can't believe that an outfit as large as that would not have a compliance officer, would not have an ethics officer. It is their duty to police their business. It is their duty. And isn't that what, as customers, we want? And I agree that the law perhaps hasn't caught up with technology, but they must abide by the law. And it is my view that they haven't done so.


Sunny Hostin, appreciate you being on, Maureen Flatley as well.

You brought the world's attention to those -- to those images. I appreciate you coming on and talking about it. Thank you.

FLATLEY: Thank you so much.

COOPER: Let us know what you think. The live chat is up and running at

Later on in the program, John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted," talks to us about his search to catch child predators.


JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": I have caught 17 of the FBI's 10 most wanted. We have caught 1,200 guys worldwide, serial killers, rapists, bank robbers, jewel thieves.

The hardest to catch, child predator, the most cunning, the smartest, the ones who never talk about it, the most calculating, and the least amount of remorse, Anderson -- never, ever want to be held accountable.


COOPER: We will have more from his trip to Cambodia, where he saw this up close.

Also tonight, "Raw Politics": Sarah Palin hitting prime time, the former Alaska governor starring in a new show that starts this weekend on TLC. They call it a docudrama. Karl Rove, you may remember, he hadn't seen it, but dismissed it as a reality show. But is he just concerned that she's holding so much power ahead of the 2012 elections?

We will play you some clips from the show. You can decide if it's going to help or hurt Sarah Palin reach the White House.

We will be right back.


COOPER: Tonight, questions continue about whether or not President Obama has changed his position on the books era -- Bush era tax cuts.

Liberals were alarmed by an article in The Huffington Post this week, an interview with the president's chief adviser, David Axelrod, that suggested the president was giving in to Republican demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended for everyone, including wealthy Americans.

"We have to deal with the world as we find it, the world of what it takes to get this done," Mr. Axelrod said in that article.

In Seoul, South Korea, today, at the conclusion of the G20 economic summit, the president said emphatically he's not caved in. The across-the-board tax cuts, you know, were put into place in 2001 and 2003. They're set to expire at the end of December. The Obama administration only -- only wants to make them permanent for the middle class, not for the richest Americans, and that pretty much jibes with what the candidate Obama said on the campaign trail back in 2008, and also just after he was elected.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.



OBAMA: And it means letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire.



OBAMA: And rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the top 1 percent.



OBAMA: We have to roll back...



OBAMA: I want to want roll back.



OBAMA: We're going to roll back.



OBAMA: I'm going to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans.



OBAMA: For the wealthiest Americans.



OBAMA: For the wealthiest Americans.



OBAMA: For the wealthiest Americans.



OBAMA: It is true that I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the very wealthiest Americans and go back to the rate that they paid under Bill Clinton.



COOPER: So, that what he's said all along.

What is the president's position now? Well, he clearly seems to be signaling that he's willing to compromise to keep the middle -- the middle-class tax cuts. Here are some of the comments from the last several days.


OBAMA: I recognize that both parties are going to have to work together and compromise to get something done here.



OBAMA: I am open to, you know, finding a way in which, you know, they can meet their principles, and I can meet mine.



OBAMA: I continue to believe that extending permanently the upper income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it. And my hope is, is that, somewhere in between there, we can find some sort of solution. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: In South Korea today, the president said it's wrong for anyone to interpret David Axelrod's interview as his administration caving in, because he's yet to sit down with Republican and Democratic leaders. That's happening next week.

Now, even the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, has hinted at possible compromise. Here's -- he said, "I'm willing to listen to what the president has in mind for protecting Americans from tax increases."

So, what does it all mean? Let's talk about it. Let's dig deeper with Roland Martin, CNN political analyst, and Alex Castellanos, CNN political contributor and a Republican consultant.

So, what does this mean, Alex? I mean, in -- in the world of compromise, if the president -- if both sides want to keep permanent the middle-class tax cuts, Republicans want to keep permanent the -- the wealthy tax cuts, the president wants -- doesn't want to do that, what does that mean? Maybe he would offer a temporary continuance for -- for -- for rich -- for the upper -- for the upper class -- you know, for wealthy tax cuts?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think that's right, Anderson. He would offer a temporary. Could it maybe just go two years, take it two years at a time?

What it really means is, the president's up for reelection in 2012, and he just lost 60 percent of independents, and he's got to get them back. He can get his base back a year-and-a-half from now, because he will be running against a Republican that his base will really not like.

But, right now, he's got to show independence. He heard the message from the election, that he's concentrating on growth and the economy and jobs. And, right now, sending a message that, hey, I'm going to take $700 billion out of the economy, that's an anti- stimulus. That's not the message he wants to send.

COOPER: Roland...

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Actually, you know, Anderson...

COOPER: Go ahead.

MARTIN: Anderson, that's not necessarily true, because the reality is, he has some fundamental issues with the base.

What you're hearing people say is, where does this president have convictions? Where does he stand? And, so, we know exactly what took place this week. This was the Washington, D.C., two-step. So, you have David Axelrod, who floats these comments. The fact that he talked -- told The Huffington Post that, he knew exactly what he was saying. And so you're hearing people say, wait a minute. Can you guys even have one consistent message? There is no doubt that you have to have some level of compromise. But when the president has been so adamant, especially in the last three or four months, on this whole issue, saying to the Republicans: You say you want to control the deficit. This contributed to the deficit. So, therefore, how is it not going to contribute in the future?

And, so -- so, his base has been saying, hey, toe the line, but don't give away the house right now, before you even sit down and have negotiations.

COOPER: Alex, do you concede that this contributes to the deficit, that -- that $700 million (sic) that would not be coming as revenue for the government has to be made up somehow?

CASTELLANOS: Well, I -- I have a little bit of a problem with that, a couple of them.

One is, the middle-class tax cuts contributes $3.2 billion to -- trillion -- $3.2 billion to the deficit, right? He's fine with that. The $700 billion -- I'm sorry, $3.2 trillion.

The $700 billion that the rich people, somehow, that's what is causing the deficit, not the $3.2 trillion for the middle class. Look, it all contributes to the deficit if we don't have the money. But that's not the problem. You spend the rent money at the bar. You blew it. You failed to go mug some rich people and take it from their pockets, somehow, it's their fault that you have a deficit. I don't think it really works that way.

COOPER: Wait. Wait. How was the money spent at the bar? Which bar was this?

CASTELLANOS: Congress, Washington...


CASTELLANOS: ... blew the rent money. They spent a lot more than we can afford.

MARTIN: Well -- well, actually, Anderson...

CASTELLANOS: And, by the way, the Republicans and Democrats over the past 10 years, they're the ones who have created this deficit.

It's not the American people's fault that they haven't paid enough taxes, when Washington blew the rent money.

MARTIN: It is not -- it is not the American taxpayers' fault. Alex is absolutely right. But the reality is, I didn't hear Alex or any other Republicans or even some of those Democrats who voted for the Bush tax cut...

CASTELLANOS: You weren't listening, because I did say that. MARTIN: No, no, no, one second. No, Alex, what I'm saying is, when the Bush tax cuts were even first passed that contributed to the deficit.


MARTIN: Well, here's -- again, though, going -- going back to the issue, what we have here, Anderson, it really boils down to this. And that is, you have some Democrats who are saying, look, don't extend any of the tax cuts, because, as Alex said, it all contributes to the deficit.

But -- but, still, the question is, will you see a level of compromise? Republicans are saying, there will be no compromise, and so we want the president to walk it back to us. And so Democrats are saying, hey, Mr. President, don't just simply give away the house.

And so there might be some showdown here. I think you will likely see a short-term extension, not five, 10 years, maybe one or two, to get past the 2012 election.

CASTELLANOS: Probably two. But, Anderson...

MARTIN: Politics will play a role in this compromise.

CASTELLANOS: Anderson, remember how we were talking about the stimulus, and the president saying, look, every -- every dollar that we spend in stimulus has a multiplier effect, $3, $5, because it will help grow the economy.

But, somehow, this $700 billion tax cut for our best economic hitters, the people with the highest economic batting averages, if we put -- leave that money in the economy, that doesn't seem to have a multiplier effect. Why is that?

MARTIN: Well, I'll tell you what, Anderson.

CASTELLANOS: Actually, these are our most productive economic producers.

MARTIN: I'll tell you what, no, actually, the most productive people are the ones who are on the bottom who are working their butts off to make sure the people at the top look good.

I'll tell you what, Anderson. All those Republicans who criticized the stimulus...

CASTELLANOS: Not by the numbers, Roland.

MARTIN: ... they -- no, one second -- they sure were asking for those same stimulus dollars, so I guess it did multiply, Alex, because the letters are there to prove it when they were all asking for it.

COOPER: But you both think some sort of -- there's basically going to be some kind of compromise.

Alex, do you think the Republicans are willing to compromise?

CASTELLANOS: I think the Republicans have indicated right now that they're willing to look at anything, as long as we can get this economy going again.

COOPER: Right.

CASTELLANOS: They're going to try to get...


CASTELLANOS: ... as absolutely much as they can, leave as much in -- not just for political reasons. Because it's a stimulus.

Leaving money in productive people's pockets -- look, what do we know about the rich? They want to get richer. How do they do that? They invest in things that grow. When things grow, it creates jobs. That's why Republicans want to leave money in everybody's pockets.

COOPER: Alex...

MARTIN: I'll tell you, Anderson, first of all, nice little non- answer there. I think the Republicans will push the president and say, we want to extend all tax cuts.

I do not believe they're going to come to the table with a compromise. They will force the president to compromise, not them.

COOPER: All right, we're going to talk more with Roland and Alex a little bit later on in the program.

We're talking about Sarah Palin's new Alaska travel show that debuts this weekend. She's apparently getting paid some big money for it. But is there a downside to this kind of exposure? Or is this going to help her in the run for the White House? We will talk to them about it.

Also ahead: inside the minds of some of the smartest animals on the planet. This is really fascinating stuff. It's new research that is being done about animal intelligence. And are they more intelligent than -- than a lot of folks realize? We will talk about that ahead.


COOPER: Next week on 360, we're going to be bringing you a series that is really interesting. It's about animal intelligence.

Randi Kaye and I both spent time with a variety of animals recently, bonobo apes, lemurs, dogs, dolphins, as well as the scientists who study them. And we're looking at the new research that's being done to see how intelligent animals really are, how much they can comprehend. And, in some cases, can they communicate with us using language?

Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spend a day with a dolphin, and you're quickly reminded of why they have always captured our imaginations.

They're playful, sociable, and just incredibly fun to be around. But scientists say there's a lot more to these animals, and they're just beginning to understand the intricate thinking of these so-called big-brained mammals.

(on camera): Here you go, Nani. Good girl.

We came here to the Baltimore Aquarium to see just how intelligent dolphins are. You see them playing with their trainers all the time, but scientists who study them say there's a lot more happening there than just play, that their intelligence actually rivals ours.

Here you go.


(voice-over): To see up close what has scientists so excited, we climb down into a tiny underwater lab with a window into the aquarium, where scientist Diana Reiss puts a two-way mirror up against the glass.

DIANA REISS, SCIENTIST: Now, this is the mirror.

KAYE: The dolphins can't see us, but Reiss can study how the dolphins react to the mirror.


COOPER: You can see Randi's full report Monday on 360.

Randi, what do the dolphins do when they see the mirror?

KAYE: Well, they actually -- they see themselves, Anderson, which is really remarkable...

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: ... because, as you know, there's only a few others that are able to do that, besides humans. Monkeys can do it. But, if you think about a dog or a cat, when they look at -- when they look in a mirror, they actually think it's another dog or a cat.

But dolphins have something called self-recognition. They know it's them. And, as you saw, they become really playful, because the mirror wasn't up before we got down there.

COOPER: How do we know...

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: ... the dolphins know it's them, and not another dolphin?

KAYE: Well, through her study -- she's been studying them for like 25 years.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

KAYE: But you can see the difference. I mean, they -- they start to check themselves out. They go up really close, and they look in their own eye.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

KAYE: And they do all those tricks. You saw them -- he -- he was spinning upside-down and -- swimming upside-down. And they check out everything about themselves. They open their mouths. They stick out their tongue.

It's really fascinating. You can see the excitement...


COOPER: How -- how long have they been working with these two- way mirrors?

KAYE: Well, some of them have only been working with them for a few months, but you can see they're getting more and more comfortable with it.

And, as we were down there, there were about six dolphins that were playing around us. And those who were -- who have been working with the mirror for a long time sort of go through their routine of tricks. And then those who are just starting to understanding that, "Hey, that's me," they -- they're just getting a little more comfortable with it. So, they would swim up, look at themselves.

COOPER: So, that's them looking in the mirror right now?

KAYE: Yes. And they're opening...

COOPER: That's amazing.


KAYE: You can see, they're opening their mouths, because they -- they -- they have never been able to see.

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: I mean, imagine never being able to see what's in your mouth. They didn't know they had a tongue.

COOPER: So, the idea that they...

KAYE: So, they're checking themselves out. COOPER: ... can actually understand that that is themselves, that's -- that's a complex way of thinking.

KAYE: Yes, and it really speaks to their intelligence.

COOPER: That's interesting.

KAYE: The scientist who we worked with, Diana Reiss, she says it really speaks to why we need to take such care of them.


KAYE: You can see...

COOPER: This third dolphin was like, "Let me get in the mirror."


KAYE: And they -- they competed for time.

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: I mean, you know, it's like, when I was a teenager, my sisters and I, we used to compete for time...


KAYE: ... in the family, you know, bathroom, I mean, in front of the mirror.


KAYE: That's what these guys are doing.

COOPER: I love that it's, like, opening its mouth and checking out its mouth. That's great.

KAYE: That's what they do. And they chirp. They get so excited.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

KAYE: They -- they -- they head-butt the mirror. I mean, they want to see what's going to happen.


Well, we're going to be looking at this all next week. It's our special series. We will be bringing it to you. We look forward to that.

Randi, you've also got a 360 bulletin tonight. What have you got? .

KAYE: I sure do, Anderson. Haiti's cholera outbreak is spreading at a rate medical workers are now calling alarming. The death toll is now more than 812, and 12,000 other people have been sickened. Aid workers say a slum on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince has seen a surge in cases over the last few days.

The Supreme Court refused today to temporarily suspend enforcement of the Pentagon's controversial don't ask, don't tell policy while a court battle proceeds. The request for the suspension came from the Log Cabin Republicans.

San Francisco's mayor has vetoed a ban on some fast-food aimed at children, but the city's board of supervisors, which passed the law three days ago, has enough votes to override the veto. The ban targets Happy Meals and other fast food served with those free toys.

Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who is 93 years old, was rushed to an emergency room today. Her publicist says she's suffering from a massive blood clot in her leg, and her doctor fears it could dislodge and possibly move to her heart.

Well, you wouldn't want to drop this vase. Take a look. It sold at a London auction for a record $68 million -- for a vase.


KAYE: Yes, for a vase.

The 18th century Chinese ceramic piece was found on a dusty shelf by a family clearing out their house in London.

COOPER: No, I don't believe that.


COOPER: Really?

KAYE: I never believe those stories.

COOPER: I know.

KAYE: But, apparently -- you know, it makes me want to check my attic.

COOPER: Wow. Can you imagine if they had dropped it and then found out it was worth that much?


KAYE: That would have been a bummer.

COOPER: All right.

Next on the program: Sarah Palin's new TV show, it debuts this weekend. Karl Rove attacked it a while back, calling it a reality show, suggesting it was beneath a serious White House candidate. But is he just running scared of Sarah Palin's power? We will show you some clips from the show. You can decide for yourself.

And John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted" is back. He's taking his mission to stop sex trafficking global. He will tell us about a recent undercover operation he did to track down American predators in Asia.


COOPER: Justice for Sarah Palin today. The young man convicted of hacking into her e-mail account while she was running for vice president was sentenced to a year in prison or a halfway house. His name is David Kernell. He also faces probation.

Meanwhile, Palin debuts a new series on TLC this Sunday called "Sarah Palin's Alaska." She stars in it, obviously, along with her family. Here's a sneak peek.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Willow, come here. No boys go upstairs. Willow? Willow?

I think that my kids will always call Alaska home. The opportunities that we have, the epic landscape.

Oh, my gosh, look at this.

I'd rather be out here being free.

This is what life is all about.

And on a really clear day you can see Russia from here. Almost.


COOPER: Palin's camp, TLC called a docudrama. Karl Rove dismissed it as a reality show, saying it hurts her chances for the White House; it's basically beneath a serious candidate for the White House. But it could actually help her.

Joining us to talk about it, Alex Castellanos and Roland Martin.

Alex, I mean, it seems like a great advantage for an undeclared candidate or for anyone to have this kind of a platform to basically define their image.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In some ways it may, but you know, there was just a recent CNN survey, Anderson, that had Sarah Palin running nearly ten points behind Barack Obama while Mitt Romney was running nearly double digits ahead, while Huckabee was running ahead.

And this is Barack Obama at his weakest point. He's just lost 60 seats and lost independents in an election. If you can't pull ahead of Obama now, he's only going to get stronger and tougher over the next year. Why is that? One reason may be that she's becoming -- Sarah Palin's becoming more of a celebrity than a leader.

COOPER: And that's something she attacked candidate Obama for during the campaign, as I recall.

CASTELLANOS: Right. Isn't that stunning? Remember the McCain ad where, you know, Barack Obama's as big a celebrity is Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, but is he ready to lead? You could make that same ad today against Sarah Palin.

COOPER: Right. Roland...

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely, Anderson. It's hilarious. She is the Kim Kardashian of politics.


MARTIN: It's -- she is -- no, she's making a ton of money. We're trying to figure out why. It's the same as Kim Kardashian...

COOPER: She has held public office. Kim Kardashian, I don't know. Has she ever held a job? Sarah Palin has.

MARTIN: She's held public office, and she quit. She quit her, job because she wanted to go out and be a celebrity. Let's go ahead and put it out there.

COOPER: I think it's a little unfair to call -- to compare her to Kim Kardashian.

MARTIN: Fine. But the bottom line is -- OK, whatever, but the bottom line is here. We do know she quit. That's actually correct. She didn't serve her whole term, but here's the other piece. OK. The Gallup poll came out today. Her unfavorable rating is 52 percent. Her favorable rating is 40 percent, the lowest it's ever been.

So, yes, there's a strong concentrated group of people on the Republican side who really love and adore Sarah Palin. But when Karl Rove and other Republicans, even Alex, he danced around it but even he knows, at the end of the day, Sarah Palin would be absolutely a disaster for the Democratic Party. And Paul Begala is at home right now saying, "Please nominate Sarah Palin as their nominee."

CASTELLANOS: I think Roland meant the Republican Party.

I'm not sure that any show with Sarah Palin is something that you could call a reality show, because it's -- you know, she's had an unreal life, you know, from third-place finisher in the Miss Alaska pageant to governor of Alaska, running for vice president, and now a celebrity. But she...

MARTIN: That's reality TV.

CASTELLANOS: She does have a tremendous amount of political power. She's created this past year the Republican feminist movement. You know, inspiring a lot of women: "Hey, we can't leave our children with less opportunity and more debt than we have." She does have enough power to raise money and help get candidates through primaries, but she's the biggest fish in a small pond. Once she gets to the big pond, she loses a lot of her political leverage. I don't think she'll run for president.

COOPER: You don't think she will?

MARTIN: I agree.

COOPER: You both agree?

MARTIN: No, No,I agree. Look, she -- she said on FOX News with Chris Wallace she really has no accountability when it comes to making her comments on Twitter and Facebook. She can do whatever she wants.

Let's be honest. We're sitting here right now talking about somebody who quit their political job and saying, "Oh, they might run for president one day."

And so she's feasting off of all the free publicity. I don't think for a second she runs, because the moment she runs, when she's -- when she's in that first Republican debate on stage with nine or ten other candidates, she can't just say, "You betcha." She can't dance her way around it.

COOPER: But if she doesn't...


MARTIN: ... on policy.

COOPER: But if she does not run, Alex, then I mean, as long as there's a possibility of her running, then there's that kind of heightened excitement. If she doesn't run then and, you know, then someone else comes to the fore, what does she do? Does she just go out, continue going out doing books, campaigning, picking candidates?

CASTELLANOS: She does what she did this year. She went in and really helped John McCain get through a primary. She helped Tea Party candidates all over the country energize their campaigns. She holds the Republican Party accountable for less spending, less debt and to reduce the size of government. And that's a tremendous amount of power within the Republican Party. No doubt about that.

But you know, you don't always have to run for president to have an influence in the direction of the country.

MARTIN: She remains a celebrity, simple as that. So sorry about the Kim Kardashian. My bad. I'm sorry.

COOPER: I wasn't saying you were insulting Kim Kardashian. I was saying you were...

MARTIN: Come on.

COOPER: But just for clarity's sake. MARTIN: It's late on a Friday, Anderson.

CASTELLANOS: And, Anderson, I think I've figured something out, though. I think that reflection there...


CASTELLANOS: ... that's me.

COOPER: Yes, much like a dolphin, you've just figured that out.

MARTIN: There you go.

COOPER: Alex Castellanos, thanks very much. Roland Martin, as well. Thanks.

Up next, John Walsh, serious subject, host of "America's Most Wanted." H is mission, stopping child predators. He went under cover in Cambodia to track down some American predators. He's back to tell us what he found.

Plus Kanye West canceling an upcoming performance on "The Today Show." He canceled it on Twitter. See what fueled his -- well, I guess got him annoyed at "The Today Show." We'll tell you about that ahead.


COOPER: Well, at the top of the program, we pointed out about selling books and videos that may exploit, maybe even endanger children, under the -- they were selling it under the guise of First Amendment rights.

But child sex trafficking, child abduction, there's something much more sinister and criminal. John Walsh has made it his mission to stop it. His own son, of course, Adam, was abducted and murdered back in 1981.

This Saturday night, 9 Eastern on FOX, John Walsh will host a special edition of "America's Most Wanted" called "Child Predator Crackdown: Special Edition." He goes under cover in Cambodia to expose men who buy underage kids to have sex with them.

It's "Crime & Punishment," during the show, Walsh will ask viewers to help him track down several American pedophiles. I talked to him earlier.


COOPER: You're known for profiling crimes that happened in the United States, but you traveled overseas to look at international trafficking. Why is that so important?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Because most of the people who go to Cambodia -- it used to be Thailand, now it's Cambodia -- are westerners. Many of them are American pedophiles that have committed crimes here.

We're profiling two guys on this show: one, a Boy Scout leader; one a teacher for ten years in California. One of them is reputed to have gone to Southeast Asia. Pedophiles leave here, from England, from Germany, from Australia, and think, "I can go to Cambodia. I can have sex with a kid. I won't get caught. It's cheap. If I get caught, I'll pay off the cops; I'll pay off the judges."

Then they come back to America and be, what, a pediatrician?

COOPER: And there used to be, like, and there probably still are, tour operators who sort of facilitate this.

WALSH: When Adam was first murdered 30 years ago, I testified against NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Saxby 48 (ph) or it's too late, and these organizations. And I looked at them and I went, they participated in pedophile tours to Asia, where they could get away with this stuff. Sex tourism, mostly westerners.

So, you know, you go all over the world. I believe we live in a global society. I want to send the message, since the Adam Walsh Act was passed, it is now the U.S. marshals and FBI can arrest people who have gone to other countries and hurt those children.

COOPER: If you travel to another country with the intent to have sex with a minor, you can be prosecuted in the United States?

WALSH: Absolutely. If there's some type of proof, or authorities there suspect you and you're on the radar. And why should our garbage be allowed to go there and devastate them?

COOPER: You actually went to a prison where foreigners, Americans among others who had been accused of having sex with a minor, are being held awaiting trial. What was that like?

WALSH: It was -- it is the most disgusting. I've been in a lot of prisons. You don't want to get caught in Cambodia. I hope that's part of my message. You don't want to get caught in Cambodia.

But these two guys, who were suspected of sexually assaulting multiple kids, only said one thing: "We're being railroaded. We haven't come to trial here." One of them now is charged with trying to bribe a judge with $15,000.

I was amazed at the lack of remorse. The fact that they were saying, "I need to get out of here, or I can" -- almost inferring that "I can buy my way out of here. I can get away with violating kids here."

But I'll tell you: 14 guys in the cell, hot as hell, bad food. You know, that's the punishment I would like to see as the father of a murdered child.

COOPER: The pedophiles that I've done stories on and met with, in my experience, are the most manipulative people I've ever met. Whether they're groomers or whether they're people who grab kids, they -- they can justify their actions in their own minds.

WALSH: They never want to be held accountable. They have no remorse.

And you have. I've seen you interview them, and you know what I'm talking about.

I've caught 17 of the FBI's ten most wanted. We've caught 1,200 guys worldwide. Serial killers, rapists, bank robbers, jewel thieves. The hardest to catch? The child predator. The most cunning, the smartest, the ones who never talk about it, the most calculating and the least amount of remorse, Anderson. Never, ever want to be held accountable.

COOPER: And for those who haven't been in Cambodia, brothels and stuff are very open. You actually went into one. I want to show our viewers just some of what you saw.


WALSH: To me, this is a very young-looking girl. Looks like she's about 15.


COOPER: I mean, it's amazing how -- how open it is, even after many years of people doing stories on this sort of stuff.

WALSH: Well, I wasn't in there three minutes before a madam came up. And obviously, young girls, 15, 14, et cetera. And I was with Jim Gamble, who runs See Ops (ph) for the British, a real tough organization that tries to stop child exploitation worldwide.

And he was tough. He said, "No, no, not young enough."

So the madam goes and consults with the pimp. They go, "What are you looking for? Eight, 6, 7?"

You know how hard that is for me not to say, "You know, I'm going to choke you. Right here I'm going to choke you. And let me grab that little girl who" -- they brought a girl that was obviously about 13, completely in a daze, brought just come from Vietnam, said she was from Vietnam. She says, "Oh, yes." Is she young enough for you? I can go younger. You want boys? We'll get little boys for you."

COOPER: It also changes the way they see tourists. I mean, it reflects badly on all of us, because anyone who visits a country like this, Cambodia, is going to look at you and think, "Wow, are you here just to have sex, you know, with the children?"

WALSH: Absolutely. I think they do. I was hoping that we'd put the white-hot spotlight on sex tourism and the fact that most of them are westerners.

We have a huge problem here in the United States with illegal immigrant populations here, Central American Mexican young women and men that are being used in prostitution here in the United States in the sex trade.

But I was surprised. While we were there, in one week, all of a sudden, they arrested four guys. I thought that was a good thing.

COOPER: John Walsh, thank you so much.

WALSH: Thank you for covering these cases. You give victims hope.


COOPER: John's special is on this weekend on FOX.

A quick bit of housekeeping: John Walsh also joined us on last night's program to talk about the Amazon controversy. In that interview he said that 100,000 victims abused by Catholic priests recently tried to get an audience with the pope in Rome.

Mr. Walsh was mistaken on the number of victims who were in Rome. It was closer to 100. Mr. Walsh wants to make clear he made an honest mistake. He regrets the error. And, of course, so do we.

Up next on the program, Kanye West canceling his upcoming performance on "The Today Show." He announced it over Twitter today. So why did he get so mad at "Today"? We'll explain ahead.

And we'll bring you pictures of the first sign of the holiday season, the Rockefeller tree coming to New York. That's just ahead.


COOPER: Got a number of stories we're following right now. Randi Kaye again has the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Randi.

KAYE: Anderson, sad news tonight out of North Carolina. Just hours ago police announced that the search for 10-year-old Zahra Baker is over. DNA evidence showed that a bone found by investigators was hers. She had been missing since October 9. Her stepmother was arrested the next day after she admitted writing a fake ransom note. Police say she is cooperating with investigators.

President Obama returns home tomorrow from the G-20 economic summit with little to show. A currency dispute between the U.S. and China was not resolved, and there was no trade agreement with South Korea. But in Japan, at the APEC economic summit, Mr. Obama pushed for free trade to create jobs back at home.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States is also looking to expand trade and commerce throughout the Asia- Pacific. Even though our exports in this region have risen by more than 60 percent over the last five years, our overall share of trade in the region has declined in favor of our competitors, and we want to change that. We don't want to lose the opportunity to sell our goods and services in fast-growing markets. We don't want to lose the opportunity to create new jobs back home.

So that's why we want to keep working with our fellow APEC economies to reduce trade barriers. And that's why we want to pursue the trans-Pacific partnership which would facilitate trade and open markets throughout the Asia-Pacific.


KAYE: Back in the U.S., still more fallout from Kanye West's interview with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" this week. The rapper has canceled a performance on the morning show set for November 26. Among other things, West is upset that NBC showed a clip of last year's infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's MTV Awards acceptance speech.

And finally, it must be Christmas season, as least. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrived in Manhattan today. There it is. The 74-foot-tall Norway spruce weighs 12 tons and is 40 feet wide.


KAYE: Imagine trucking that thing in.

COOPER: It's amazing.

All right. Now our "Beat 360" winner, a daily challenge to viewers to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the photo that we put on our blog every day.

Tonight's photo, Tiger Woods taking his hat off today during round two at the Australian masters.

Our staff winner tonight is Vlad. His caption: "When I wave my hat, that's your signal. Penthouse suite, 10 p.m."

KAYE: Ouch.

COOPER: Our viewer winner is Randall from Ennis in Alabama. His caption: "Why did I get that extended -- why did I get that extended text plan for my phone?"


COOPER: Randall, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way. Apparently, people have not forgotten yet.

Earlier this week, so we had a shot of a baby dolphin that was rescued in Uruguay, Randi. He was nearly two weeks old. He was very cute when he walked up on shore.

Somehow the conversation -- that's the dolphin. Somehow the conversation turned to baby pigeons, and I said I'd never seen a baby pigeon. I don't really know anyone who had.

Turns out there is someone who has. This is what a baby pigeon looks like. We got this picture from a member of our own crew, Mike Monaco, whose dad, Sal, has a couple hundred pigeons, apparently, that he breeds in Brooklyn, New York, and he took this picture. So that is what a baby pigeon looks like.

KAYE: You ask, Anderson, and you shall receive.


KAYE: There it is.

COOPER: I know.

KAYE: Our crack staff.

COOPER: And apparently, they can't fly for a while, and that's why I guess you don't see them out on the streets very much, because they're obviously can't fly, and we would all mistake them for rats.

KAYE: The rats in the city are much bigger than that.

COOPER: Yes, that's true. That's true.

All right. So Mike, appreciate it. And Sal, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

At the top of the hour, more serious stuff. slowly removing pro-pedophilia books and some videos from its Web site. The question is, what's taking them so long, and why were they there in the first place? We're "Keeping Them Honest."


COOPER: Tonight, peddling pedophilia. The nation's largest online retailer,, is slowly taking down more disgusting material for sale on its site. Not just books, but videos, as well. But why is it taking them so long, and how did this stuff get on their site in the first place? We're "Keeping Them Honest."