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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Public Anger Rises Against Airport Security Screenings; Royal Engagement Announced; Senator McCain's Shifting Views on Gays in the Military
Aired November 16, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for watching.
Tonight: public anger against pat-downs and other intrusive security procedures, including those full-body scanners. We will speak to a flyers rights advocate who alleges the reason the scanners are in place has more to do with money, lobbyists and their Washington connections than how well the machines actually work. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
And, in their own words tonight -- a royal engagement in England. Prince William and Kate Middleton share how they got engaged, why the ring is so special, and what Kate thinks of Princess Diana.
Also, adding another name to our "RidicuList" tonight -- what a TV network did to Tina Fey on the night the comedian won the top award for American humor.
But we begin tonight, as always, "Keeping Them Honest."
Tonight: the full-body scanners being deployed at our nation's airports and the growing outrage about them. The companies making the machines have some powerful friends in Washington. The question tonight, has that helped them get government contracts, even though the government has raised questions about the machine's effectiveness?
By now, you have probably heard about the man who refused to go through one of the machines at San Diego Airport over the weekend and then recorded the pat-down he was to receive on his cell phone camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AGENT: I'm going to be doing a standard pat-down on you today using my hands, going like this.
JOHN TYNER, AIR TRAVELER: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AGENT: Also, we're going to be doing a groin check. That means I'm going to place may hand on your hip, my other hand on your inner thigh, and slowly go up and slide down.
UNIDENTIFIED TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AGENT: I'm going to do that two times in the front and two times in the back.
TYNER: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AGENT: And if you would like a private screening, we can make that available for you also.
TYNER: We can do that out here, but, if you touch my junk, I'm going to have you arrested.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that was John Tyner. He ended up also refusing the pat-down. Tonight, he's facing a possible $11,000 fine. Mr. Tyner didn't want to use one of the new body scanner machines. There are now 385 of them at nearly 70 airports nationwide.
They were put in place after the accused underwear bomber tried to blow up the plane in Detroit last Christmas. Now, since that attempted bombing, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has been publicly touting the need for the federal government to use the full-body scanners.
Here's what he told "The New York Times" about the machines just days after the attempted underwear bombing. He said -- quote -- "If they'd been deployed, this -- this would pick up this kind of device."
As former homeland security secretary, Mr. Chertoff's opinion obviously carries a lot of weight. But what may not -- but may not be clear to many Americans, however, is that Michael Chertoff is in business with one of the big companies that makes these machines.
He runs a consulting firm, and the company, Rapiscan, is one of his clients. Mr. Chertoff's claim that these machines would have picked up the underwear bomber's device contradicts a GAO report that said -- and I quote -- "While officials said advanced imaging technology performed as well as physical pat-downs in operational tests, it remains unclear whether the advanced imaging technology would have detected the weapon used in the December 2009 incident, based on the preliminary information GAO has received."
Now, to be fair, Mr. Chertoff has been a proponent of these machines for years, back even when he was head of Homeland Security and he had no financial incentive to support them. Here he is back in 2008.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 2008)
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Another thing the checkpoint uses is whole-body imaging, known as WBI, which includes millimeter -- millimeter wave technology.
This technology allows us to detect any item concealed on a person's body, including molded plastic hidden under clothing, and to detect it quickly with minimal intrusion.
To protect privacy, our officers will view the images from a remote location, and the facial features will be blurred, and the images deleted from the system once they have been reviewed.
Passengers will also be offered the opportunity to opt out of this screening and go through a traditional pat-down, if they want, but our experience shows that a majority, a vast majority, of people actually want the new technology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, last December, when he was working with Rapiscan, Mr. Chertoff also promoted the use of the machines on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: When we talk about screenings at the airport and other protective mechanisms along the way, what should we be doing that clearly we're not?
CHERTOFF: Well, Campbell, the strategy recognizes that there's always going to be human error in any system. You can't count on perfection. And that's why we built a strategy at the Department of Homeland Security of what we call layered security -- a number of different layers, so that, even if one fails, another one gets picked up.
It's complicated here, of course, because the actual screening took place overseas, where the U.S. ability to control what goes on is -- is obviously not the same as it is here.
But there are a few things we could do to make things better. First, we could deploy the scanning -- the scanning machines that we currently are beginning to deploy in the U.S. that would give us the ability to see what someone has concealed underneath their clothing. That has been vigorously opposed by the ACLU and privacy advocates. The House of Representatives voted to prevent us from using it.
But I think now there's been a very vivid lesson in the value of that machinery.
BROWN: OK. Can I stop you there for a second?
BROWN: I -- I know you've been an advocate of this technology for a long time.
BROWN: But just, in the interest of full disclosure, I also want to point out, in your current role as a security consultant, you are representing some of the companies who manufacture that technology, correct?
CHERTOFF: Absolutely, absolutely correct, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: And it's not just Mr. Chertoff who has ties to a scanner company. A lot of lobbyists do as well, among them, former Senator Al D'Amato. The retired New York Republican now works for a lobbying firm that does work for a company that makes scanners.
We should point out all this lobbying is perfectly legal.
Joining me now is Kate Hanni, founder of the airplane watchdog group FlyersRights.org.
COOPER: Kate, there's a number of former government people, Michael Chertoff, Senator Alfonse D'Amato, legislative aides to folks in Congress, who are now working with or for some of these companies that sell these scanners. Do you think there's a conflict here?
KATE HANNI, FLYERSRIGHTS.ORG: Absolutely, there's a conflict. In fact, Michael Chertoff basically gave birth to the scanner brands when he was Department of Homeland Security secretary, and then went to work directly as a consultant for Rapiscan when he left office.
COOPER: But what's wrong with that? I mean, he says and he admits publicly he was pushing for these full-body scanners from back in 2005, when he was still head of Homeland Security, as you said. TSA awarded contracts to Rapiscan while he was at Homeland Security. What's wrong with him now working as a consultant for the company if he believes in the devices?
HANNI: Several things.
Government officials are supposed to have a grace period before they go to work for companies that they have given contracts to. The promises were made to buy these Rapiscan scanner units in 2006, when he was still in office, and then he went to work directly for them.
COOPER: Technically, though, he's -- he's not a registered lobbyist for that company. He has a consulting firm. So there's no law preventing him from working with clients in the security field.
HANNI: You may be right, but it's still morally wrong. And he's using his trust the public has in him as a public servant to sell a product that he clearly has a stake in profiting from.
And we think that's incorrect. I truly believe that Michael Chertoff had a plan. The plan has been executed perfectly. He was the one that I saw on the airwaves in January espousing the attributes of these scanners and stating that these scanners would solve the types of problems that Abdulmutallab presented by having the underpants bomb, even though other experts were saying that it's unlikely that the scanners would have detected a bomb like that, and certainly would not have detected an anal cavity bomb, which the TSA was already aware and Department of Homeland Security was already aware had happened to the Saudi prince six months earlier. And they knew that terrorists were going to try to achieve internal bombs that they could detonate with cell phones, which -- which won't be detected by these scanner units. But Michael Chertoff was all over CNN and many other networks talking about the attributes of these scanners, as if they were the solution to everything.
COOPER: There is -- there is this GAO report that says these types of full-body scanners, as you say, would not have necessarily stopped the Christmas Day bomber, the would-be bomber.
I -- earlier today, I spoke to the head of TSA. I pressed him on that. And he basically said, look, we're using the best technology we have. Nothing is 100 percent.
You know, he seemed like a decent guy. He seemed like he's just trying to do his best to come up with as many things as possible to prevent, you know, something horrible from happening.
HANNI: Well, it's my understanding from the experts that we have been working with, the best detectives for explosives are canines. And they are the most sensitive. They're the most likely to detect explosives on anyone. And they can do it not necessarily by even pressing up against a person. They can do it by sniffing along the edge of a line of folks.
So, there are many other methods of detection -- detection that could have been employed.
COOPER: But -- but, I mean, the sheer volume of travelers we have in this country, I mean, frankly,, I don't think there's enough canine dogs. With canines, you -- I mean, I don't -- this is all off the top of my head, but, you know, they have a -- they can only work for a certain amount of time. You have to change them repeatedly.
I'm just not sure -- I mean, is that really a feasible alternative?
HANNI: Well, it's less intrusive.
You know, the issue we have right now with these scanners and with the pat-downs is that people feel molested. They feel that they're being violated in one way or another, and -- or their children are or their wives are.
And -- and I can tell you, having been through the pat-down and the scanner, it -- it is violating. And I think the issue here is, was this the best method of detection of explosives that also would work for 100 percent of the American people? Because, right now, 100 percent of the American people are -- are -- are being treated as if they're terrorists.
COOPER: Kate Hanni, I appreciate your time. Kate, thank you.
HANNI: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, we reached out to Michael Chertoff for a response to Ms. Hanni's allegations tonight. We're expecting a response. We're going to bring it to you later on in the program.
Let us know what you think. You can join the live chat now at AC360.com.
Up next: Senator John McCain's changing stance on don't ask, don't tell. First, he said he wanted to listen to military leaders. Then, when they said repeal it, he said we need a study. Now the study is coming out. He's saying it's the wrong kind of study. We're "Keeping Them Honest.'
Also tonight: the royal engagement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM: We had been talking about -- about marriage for a while. So, it wasn't a massively big surprise. But I took her out somewhere nice in -- in Kenya, and -- and proposed.
KATE MIDDLETON, ENGAGED TO PRINCE WILLIAM: It was very romantic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You are going to hear about five minutes of the interview with Prince William and his princess-to-be, in their own words -- when we continue.
COOPER: In a moment, we are going to talk about Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer about Charlie Rangel being found guilty today of 11 of 13 ethics violations.
But, first, another "Keeping Them Honest" report -- this one is about Senator John McCain and his ever-shifting stance on don't ask, don't tell. Now, the Arizona Republican has been consistently against lifting the ban on lesbian and gay service members, but, for years, he's hinted he'd change his stance if certain conditions were met.
"Keeping Them Honest," however, every time those conditions get met, Mr. McCain seems to come up with new conditions. All you got to do is check the record. Several years ago, Senator McCain would tell you that, if the leadership of the military were for repealing don't ask, don't tell, then we should probably listen to them.
This is John McCain on "HARDBALL" back in 2006.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS," OCTOBER 18, 2006)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The day that the -- the leadership of the military comes to me and says, "Senator, we ought to change the policy," then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it, because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right, pretty clear position. If the leadership of the military wants it to change, we should listen.
This past February, look what the leadership of the military said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEBRUARY 2, 2010)
ROBERT GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Last week, during the State of the Union address, the president announced he will work with Congress this year to repeal the law known as don't ask, don't tell. I fully support the president's decision.
ADMIRAL MICHAEL MULLEN, JOINTS CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, those are pretty of the top military leaders.
And, initially, Senator McCain seemed willing to listen to them. The day after those guys spoke, Mr. McCain was on FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ON THE RECORD WITH GRETA VAN SUSTEREN," FEBRUARY 3, 2010)
MCCAIN: If they can show me the evidence that it needs to be changed, obviously, then, I would give that serious consideration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A few weeks later, however, he seemed to have been giving his position some serious consideration, because, on NBC's "Meet the Press," he longer seemed impressed by what those particular military leaders thought.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS," FEBRUARY 28, 2010)
MCCAIN: Admiral Mullen was as -- quote -- "speaking personally."
Just this week, the commandant of the Marine Corps said that he did not want don't ask, don't tell repealed. There are many in the military who do not want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK. So, John McCain no longer really seemed to care what the top leadership of the military wanted, but he was impressed by what the head of the Marine Corps wanted.
Mr. McCain also chose that appearance to add in a new consideration: a study. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS," FEBRUARY 28, 2010)
MCCAIN: We're going to go through hopefully a yearlong study that will hopefully also have the feelings of the men and women who are serving.
MCCAIN: I believe that it's working.
DAVID GREGORY, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": If the result of that study is that we should move beyond it, you would -- you would side with that?
MCCAIN: If the result of that study is -- is one that I can trust and believe in and is supported by our military leaders, obviously, I would have that -- have to give that the most serious consideration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Mr. McCain brought up the importance of the study, the survey, again two months ago, when debating the defense bill, which includes the language that would repeal don't ask, don't tell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010)
MCCAIN: What I am opposed to is bringing up the defense bill now, before the Defense Department has concluded its survey of our men and women in uniform, which gives them a chance to tell us their views about don't ask, don't tell.
We have asked for their views, and we should wait to hear from them, and then give their views the fullest consideration, before taking any legislative action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK. Fair enough. He wants to wait to see the survey results.
But, this September, before seeing the survey results, Mr. McCain suddenly announced he had a problem with the survey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010)
MCCAIN: The service chiefs -- and we will be talking about this on the floor -- all of them have said they wanted a complete study about the effect on morale and battle readiness.
The study that the Defense Department is conducting does not do that. The study assumes that repeal will take place. So, for all intents and purposes, there is no study as to the impact on battle effectiveness and morale. It would be a mistake to ignore the views of our troops and the military advice of the service chiefs.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, I think most people probably agree it would be a mistake to ignore the views of our troops. That's why the study was -- surveyed 400,000 of them to get their views.
The study won't come out until December 1, but part of the survey results were leaked last week. And according to "The Washington Post," which broke the story, the study says lifting the ban will not adversely affect troop morale or the nation's current war efforts.
More than 70 percent of respondents reportedly said repealing the policy would have -- quote -- "a positive, mixed or nonexistent effect on the military."
So, what is John McCain saying now? He wants another study and he also wants hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS," NOVEMBER 14, 2010)
MCCAIN: We need a thorough and complete study of the effects, not how to implement a repeal, but the effects on morale and battle effectiveness. That's what I want.
And once we get this study, we need to have hearings and we need to examine it and we need to look at whether it's the kind of study that we wanted. I think, once the study comes out the beginning of December, we should at least have a chance to review it and maybe have hearings on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, we don't take political positions on this program. There are plenty of good reasons that good people support or oppose don't ask, don't tell. That's not our concern.
The question is, why does John McCain set up conditions for repealing it, only to come up with new conditions when the old ones seem to be met?
We invited him on the program to talk about it. He declined. Supporters of the repeal are pushing for a vote before the new Congress is sworn in this January. It's doubtful, though. Mr. McCain is now threatening to strip the repeal from the defense bill.
And, tonight, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he's open to dropping the repeal of don't ask, don't tell from the defense bill, adding the strategy is -- quote -- "up in the air."
Joining me now, Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, and Democratic strategist and political contributor Paul Begala.
Paul, I mean, is this just flip-flopping on -- or moving the goalposts by Senator McCain?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, he does -- he's acting like a politician in the worst sense of the word.
And, first, I have to say, even as a Democrat, this is a man worthy of great respect, our highest respect. We're only a few days after Veterans Day, and he of course served and sacrificed so much for our country in the military. So he is worthy of our respect.
But, even as a Democrat, I feel for him right now, because it just doesn't look good. I mean, as you point out, first, he said he would -- he would look more carefully at it if the military leaders support it. Most do now.
Now it's to study the study. And I think the next one will be, well, when it's high tide on my oceanfront property in Arizona is when I will take a look at this.
BEGALA: I mean, it just -- there's no -- there's no real good defense for -- for the way he's acting right now. And I really do hate to say that.
COOPER: Just from a political standpoint, Ari, I don't get why not just say, look, I believe that the current policy works and I don't think we should repeal it, and not come up with kind of goalposts that you're going to end up moving?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Listen, Anderson, I can't speak for Senator McCain. I'm sure -- I know him, and I know him well -- he's going to figure out how and when he can say what he wants to say about it. And he will.
He likes to get involved in military decisions. But I can tell you this, Anderson. It is time to repeal don't ask, don't tell. I think that gays in this country can serve in the military in the same outstanding ways that -- that straight soldiers and airmen and Marines and Coast Guard serve the country.
It's -- it's an old debate, and, frankly, I think what's important is that we have a military that can fight and win wars. and you look at other nations around the world, and gays serve proudly and ably. And it's time to do that in America, too.
COOPER: Paul, beyond Ari's sentiments, though, the likelihood of this thing being repealed in Congress is seem pretty much nil right now, right?
BEGALA: Yes. Look, I -- first off, I appreciate it, Ari. That's still not the easiest position in his party to take, so I do think that's -- that's worthy of praise.
John McCain is the leading -- you know, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He's one of the leading voice on military affairs in our country generally, but certainly in his party.
I strongly support repeal of the ban. But I think McCain probably will have enough influence to block this in the Senate, because all you have got to do is hold 40 people together on a filibuster, and then I think you can kill the ban -- you can kill the repeal of the ban.
COOPER: So, if that does happen, then -- then, what's -- what's the -- the alternative? Obviously, there is -- in the courts, there's a variety of challenges to it. And is President Obama still an option, Paul?
BEGALA: Well, this is where President -- I wish President Obama were as plainspoken about this as Ari Fleischer.
I promise never to praise Fleischer again, particularly when criticizing President Obama.
BEGALA: But -- but, yes, he has other options.
First off, right now, it's going to be linked to the defense authorization bill, which is a budget matter. You can decouple that, and I think they're thinking about doing that. But I still don't think you can get the votes for a freestanding bill.
But the president is the commander in chief. He has huge responsibility and authority, under our Constitution, when it comes to military matters. He can order our military to stop the discharges. It's called a stop-loss order. President Bush issued one to try to keep people in the military when we needed more troops for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
This president could issue a stop order right now, and order his troops, who have to obey his lawful orders -- this would be perfectly lawful -- to stop discharging people under don't ask, don't tell, until Congress can pass what he calls a durable solution.
COOPER: Ari, let's turn to -- to Charlie...
FLEISCHER: There -- there...
COOPER: Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead, Ari, if you want to say something.
FLEISCHER: Well, I was just going to quickly say, for big societal changes like this, you really do want Congress and the executive to do it together. You don't want to make it just an executive action. You want the country to come together on this, to the greatest degree possible. That takes an act of Congress.
COOPER: Ari, Charlie Rangel -- Charlie Rangel found guilty today, 11 ethics charges.
COOPER: Most people expect the extent of his punishment to be either a sternly-worded letter of reprimand or, in worst case, a censure. Does -- I mean, does that make the concept of congressional ethics kind of a joke? (LAUGHTER)
FLEISCHER: Yes. When they say this doesn't mean he's corrupt, that is the real problem, and it shows how Washington can be too corrupt. They get too used to this.
I mean, he was the chairman of the tax-writing committee, and he cheated on his taxes. That's what he was -- one of the things he was found guilty of. He cheated on getting a rent-controlled apartment in New York City. Every New Yorker knows that rent control is not available to people who make more money, but people try to use influence to get it.
Charlie Rangel got it. That is corrupt. And I think, if Charlie Rangel stays in Congress, it's a huge headache for the Democrats. If they don't have the courage to say that this is a dismissible act, then I hope Charlie Rangel has it in him to say, maybe my time has come to go, and I will leave.
COOPER: Paul, I -- you know, I have got to agree with Ari on this. I'm kind of amazed at the amount of backflips a lot of politicians are doing on Capitol Hill to say what he did was not corrupt, that it was just basically bad record-keeping.
I mean, if you have three, you know, low-income apartments under your name or your son's name that are supposed to go to poor people, that -- you know, there's plenty of poor people in need who would like a rent-controlled apartment in New York. How is that not corrupt?
BEGALA: Well, first off, it's not just politicians who are saying it. You would expect his own party to stand by him. But the chief counsel, effectively the prosecutor in this case, the chief counsel of the Ethics Committee, he said this.
In fact, what he said was, there's no proof of corruption or evidence that Mr. Rangel was trying to enrich himself personally. He said, rather, he was overzealous and at least sloppy in his personal finances.
So, I'm not for running the guy out. First off, elections should matter. His constituents knew about these charges and they reelected him anyway. And, second, not every offense is a firing offense at a company or in the Congress. And this will likely become some sort of reprimand or censure. And...
COOPER: Paul, if he was a Republican, would you be making that argument?
BEGALA: You know, I hope so. And I have been trying to think. I don't think I have called for -- it was a different matter. Like, I didn't want Larry Craig kicked out. It was a much creepier thing that he did, but not corrupt.
But I don't think I have called for -- I'm trying to remember. I hope I'm not being a hypocrite here.
FLEISCHER: But, Anderson, here's the problem.
When -- when -- when acts like that are defined by a congressional staffer who is in charge of the prosecution as, on their face, not being corrupt, the problem is, they're al getting so used to the way they behave in Washington, that they ignore and they make excuses for each other. That's the problem.
We have failed as a society to say right is right, wrong is wrong, corruption is corruption.
BEGALA: But, no, that's not right, though.
FLEISCHER: It's time for Charlie to acknowledge this is corruption.
BEGALA: That is not right. Now you're just -- we're just arguing about the punishment, and is this a hanging offense for a guy who, for 40 years, has served his district admirably, so much so that he keeps getting reelected, even with these ethics charges.
And, by the way, just like I mentioned McCain's heroism, Charlie Rangel fought for our country in Vietnam, was a decorated combat veteran -- I mean, in Korea -- a decorated combat veteran there, and then came home and marched with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery. So, he's got a real record here, too.
FLEISCHER: The duration of -- duration of...
COOPER: Got to leave it there.
FLEISCHER: ... duration of service in Washington or what you have done previously does not excuse corruption.
COOPER: Ari Fleischer...
BEGALA: No, but every offense is not a firing offense, Ari. Thank goodness for that.
COOPER: Paul Begala.
I appreciate both of you guys being on.
FLEISCHER: This is where we differ.
COOPER: Thanks very much.
Just ahead: Chaos descends on a city Northern Haiti. Residents are furious about the spreading cholera epidemic. They're -- they're pointing the finger at the U.N. We're going to have the latest. Plus, this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE WILLIAM: It is a family ring, yes. It's my mother's engagement ring. So, I thought it was quite nice, because obviously she's not going to be around to share in any of the fun and excitement of it all, so this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Prince William announcing his engagement to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. Interestingly, most people had never heard Kate Middleton actually speak. You will tonight. You will hear from them both in their first interview together. We will also talk to people who know them, people in the know.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Following a number of stories tonight.
Brooke Anderson has the latest in a 360 news and business bulletin -- Brooke.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Haiti's northern city of Cap-Haitien is under siege by mobs angry about the deadly cholera epidemic.
And a CNN reporter on the ground says the government appears to have lost control. Rumors have spread that United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal brought the disease to the city. U.N. officials deny that claim. Cap-Haitien has been hit hard by the epidemic. Cholera has killed more than 1,000 people across Haiti.
President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta for heroism in Afghanistan. Giunta saved members of his unit during a fierce attack by the Taliban. He's the first living recipient of the medal for bravery during an ongoing conflict in more than 30 years.
Beverly Hills police are investigating the killing of noted Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen. They say multiple shots were fired into her car early this morning as she drove home after a movie premiere. Police also say they have no suspects or motive at this time.
And as of today, the Beatles catalog is available on iTunes. In a news release from Apple, surviving band member Paul McCartney called the move fantastic.
For a long time the Beatles resisted going to iTunes, because they questioned the quality of digital music. That's really no surprise.
And Anderson, you know, that's really no surprise. While these -- while these are remastered albums, these guys are really classicists. They fiercely protect and preserve their music as much as possible. So this is huge. This epic.
COOPER: It would have been interesting to be in on the negotiations for that one. Brooke, we'll check in with you in a little bit.
Prince William finally popped the question to his girlfriend, Kate Middleton. What took him so long? We're talking to Tom Bradby from Britain's ITV News. He's the man who conducted the royal couple's first interview. We're going to play you about five minutes of that interview and talk to Tom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE WILLIAM, UNITED KINGDOM: I really want to make sure they have the best sort of guidance and chance to see what life has been like or what life is like in the family. And that's kind of almost why I have been waiting this long, is I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she need to, before it all got too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Britain's Prince William has finally popped the question to long-time love Kate Middleton. In case you were wondering, the daughter of self-made millionaire said yes.
The ring is the same one his father, Prince Charles, gave to Lady Diana Spencer 29 years ago.
Just to show you how things have changed, Will and Kate already share a home together. Middleton is a familiar face to royal watchers, but she's rarely been heard in public. Today the royal couple gave their first interview to Britain's ITV News.
TOM BRADBY, ITV NEWS: William, where did you propose, when, how, and Kate, what did you say?
PRINCE WILLIAM: It was about three weeks ago on holiday in Kenya. We had a little private time away together with some friends, and I just decided that it was the right time, really, and we've been talking about -- about marriage for a while. So, it wasn't a massively big surprise, but I took her out somewhere nice in Kenya and proposed.
KATE MIDDLETON, FIANCEE OF PRINCE WILLIAM: Very romantic. There's a true romantic in there.
BRADBY: So yes, obviously.
MIDDLETON: Of course, yes. Yes.
BRADBY: And you knew you were going to do this from day one of the holiday, or you -- you waited until the end?
PRINCE WILLIAM: I'd been planning it for a while, but as every guy out there will know, it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going. So I was planning it, and then it just felt really right to us in Africa, and it was beautiful at the time. And I had just -- I had done a little bit of planning to show my romantic side.
BRADBY: Kate, you've been on holiday a while, so did you see this coming? Was he getting a bit nervous and jumpy?
MIDDLETON: No, no, not at all. No, because, you know, we were out there with friends and things, so I really didn't detect that at all. I thought he might have maybe thought about it, but it was a heck of a shock when it came. So excited.
BRADBY: Did you produce the ring there and then?
PRINCE WILLIAM: I did. Yes, I had been carrying it around me in my rucksack for about three weeks before that, and I literally would not let it go. Everywhere I went, I was keeping hold of it, because I knew this, if it disappeared I would be in a lot of trouble. And yes, so I planned it and sort of -- it went fine. You know, you hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things go horribly wrong, but it went really, really well. And I was really pleased she said yes.
BRADBY: And it's a family ring?
PRINCE WILLIAM: It is a family ring, yes. It was my mother's engagement ring, so I thought it was quite nice, because obviously, she's not going to be around to share in the fun and excitement at all. So this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it.
BRADBY: I guess we'd better -- let's have a look at it. What kind of ring is it? Are you an expert on it at all?
PRINCE WILLIAM: I'm not an expert. Not at all. I've been reliably informed it's a sapphire with some diamonds, but I'm sure everyone recognizes it from previous times, say.
MIDDLETON: It is beautiful.
BRADBY: And you're going to be the envy of many.
MIDDLETON: Well, I just hope I look after it.
PRINCE WILLIAM: If she loses it, she's in big trouble.
MIDDLETON: It is very, very special.
BRADBY: You're obviously going to enter this family, the most famous, you know, royal family in the world. William's mother was this massive iconic figure, the most famous figure of our age. Is that worrying? Is that intimidating? Does that -- do you think about that a lot both of you? You particularly Kate, obviously.
MIDDLETON: Well, obviously I would love to have met her, and -- and she's obviously -- she's an inspirational woman to look up to. Obviously, to this day and, you know, going forward and things. You know, it's a wonderful family. They've achieved a lot and very inspirational. So yes, I do.
PRINCE WILLIAM: There's no pressure because like Kate said, you know, it's about carving your own future. No one's going to try and -- you know, no one's trying to fill my mother's shoes, and what she did is fantastic. It's about making your own future and your own destiny, and Kate will do -- do a very good job at that.
BRADBY: This is a life, you know, in the public domain to a degree that you can't escape. You both know that. You are obviously very -- you know it better than Kate does. You're obviously very protective of her.
PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes. Of course, her and her family I really want to make sure that they have the best sort of guidance and chance to see what life has been like or what life is like in the family. And that's kind of almost why I had been waiting this long, is I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she needed to, before it all got too much. Because it's -- you know, I'm trying to learn from lessons done in the past, and I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what happens the other side.
MIDDLETON: Well, I'm also glad that I've had the time to sort of grow and understand myself more, as well. Yes.
BRADBY: It's a massive thing you're going into now, you know, and obviously, marriage is a big thing for everyone, but it's, you know, in such a public way. Excited? Little bit terrified?
PRINCE WILLIAM: Mostly excited. Quite happy when the interview is over, but no, we're hugely excited. And it's -- you know, we're looking forward to spending the rest of our -- the rest of our lives together and seeing what the future holds.
COOPER: Tom Bradby, political editor for Britain's ITV News, did the interview. He's also produced a documentary on Prince Harry's work on AIDS in Africa. He joins me now.
Tom, you've known the family for years. What was your impression of the couple?
BRADBY: Well, Kate was pretty nervous. We had quite a long time beforehand to kind of relax, as it were. William was telling all the jokes. Not very funny jokes but, no, he's got a good sense of humor. So he was pretty relaxed.
And Kate was, you know, you could tell, she was tense. She -- she doesn't particularly like the limelight. She's been gearing herself up for this moment for quite a long time as in this is the place she has to face the public and slightly grit her teeth. I actually thought by the time we did the interview she was -- you know, she was pretty relaxed and got through it fine. But I think she will have been very relieved that it's over, to be honest with you.
COOPER: You know, a lot of us in the United States haven't been following their relationship over the years. Has she -- I mean, it's been going on for a long time. Has she been, you know, followed by paparazzi for years and years? Is she used to -- I mean, we're looking at her being photographed with all these flash bulbs going off. Is she used to that sort of attention?
BRADBY: She's used to it, but she doesn't -- she doesn't like it, and he particularly doesn't like it for her. And he's very, very protective of her. There's absolutely no doubt that one of the reasons he's taken so long is, you know, he's been asking himself the question, can I really put her through this? Is she up for it?
Now I mean, you can say a lot of things about Kate, but I think most people who know her well agree she's quite a kind, loyal, relatively simple person. She doesn't massively like the limelight. And I think William genuinely worried about her ability to cope with the attention that's going to come her way. She seemed fine with it. She's had a long time to think about it.
COOPER: If you could just for our viewers just describe a little bit the both of them, William and Kate. I mean, what are they like?
BRADBY: I think if you met them, you know, it'd really be like meeting anyone else. They're very down to earth. I mean, you know, I deal with politicians all the time here. An awful lot more airs (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in crisis, by and large, than those two.
They're very simple. You know, they've both got really good senses of humor. Kate, you know, requires a lit bit of letting her hair down before she lets hers go. William is kind of quite funny and makes wisecracks all the time. Very easy going; very good company.
I think maybe the point to understand about them, though, is that Kate comes from a very kind of stable, middle-class English family. She really wants a happy life for herself, and she's not prepared to trade that for being royal.
William is very close to her family, and it's very clear to me that that's what he wants for himself, too.
COOPER: Kate was obviously wearing Princess Diana's engagement ring. She told you that Diana is an inspirational woman. William was kind of quick to say that this isn't, you know, an attempt to fill his mom's shoes. Do you think he's taking pains to avoid comparisons in the public between his bride and his mom?
BRADBY: Yes. William loved his mother. Let's be clear about that. Obviously, her death, I imagine Kate and maybe his brother are probably the only two people he's ever talked to really thoroughly about his mother and what he feels about and what he feels about her death.
And I imagine when she says, you know, I really wish I'd met her, I think she means it in a heartfelt way.
But having said that, he just wants to shut the issue down. He doesn't like the endless comparisons, discussion, debates, because Diana was a global phenomenon. He wants to get on with his life, and he wants them to go get on with their lives without the comparison. And he'd love nothing more than for it to sort of drift back in time.
BLITZER: All right. It's fascinating. Tom Bradby, appreciate you talking to us. Thanks.
They seem like a very nice couple.
Up next, we're going to have more on the royal love story and the young woman who one day may be queen. We're going to talk to CNN's Richard Quest and the author of the new book, "William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls," Katie Nicholl.
Also ahead, who gets named on tonight's RidicuList? Well, here's a hint. It's a TV network that claims it didn't censor Tina Fey.
COOPER: Big news out of Buckingham Palace tonight. Prince William and girlfriend Kate Middleton are now engaged. The proposal was a long time coming, so long that some British tabloids even nicknamed Middleton Waity Katie for waiting so long for Prince Charming to pop the question.
Tom Foreman tonight takes a closer look at their modern-day fairy tale.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana drew one of the biggest global TV audiences ever. And now their first son's engagement appears to be setting the stage for much the same.
William is just behind his father to become king of England, and his engagement to a woman who grew up in the middle class is a sensation.
MIDDLETON: Well, it's quite a daunting prospect, but I hope I'll take it in my stride. William's a great teacher so hopefully he'll be able to help me. I really look forward to spending my time with William.
FOREMAN: He met Kate Middleton, whose parents are now self-made millionaires from selling children's party supplies, while both William and Kate were university students in Scotland. She was studying art history, and he was, too.
But she is widely credited with convincing him to change to geography when he seemed ready to drop out altogether. They first appeared as a couple on a skiing trip in Switzerland, first appeared to be finished three years ago when they broke up.
PRINCE WILLIAM: We were both very young. It was at university and we were sort of both finding ourselves as such and being different characters and stuff.
FOREMAN: It was the summer of on again off again dating. MIDDLETON: At the time I wasn't very happy about it, but actually it made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized. Or I think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger, and I really -- I really valued that time for me, as well, although I didn't think it at the time.
FOREMAN: Now they live with one another. Both are 28 years old. Both still speak of life goals like any 20-somethings. He has his military career and several charities. She's shown past interest in opening up a photography gallery.
So why the long wait for engagement? The gulf between his royal life and her regular upbringing is at least part of it.
PRINCE WILLIAM: I wanted to give her a chance to see and to back out if she need to before it all got too much. Because I'm trying to learn from lessons learned in the past, and I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what happens the other side.
FOREMAN: As for children in their plans?
PRINCE WILLIAM: I think we'll take it one step at a time. We'll sort of get over the marriage thing first and then maybe look at the kids.
FOREMAN: But for now the next big step is down the aisle.
Tom Foreman, CNN.
COOPER: Richard Quest joins me now. So does Katie Nicholl. She's the author of "William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls" and has been writing about the royal family for more than a decade now.
So Richard, Kate said that she was surprised, but hasn't this been in the making for a long time?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: yes, indeed, it has. They've been going together for eight or nine years, seven or eight, certainly, as a couple even with a short break. And they admitted in the interview that they've actually talked about marriage and what would happen.
But even so, she wasn't called Waity Katie for nothing, having waited so long for this betrothal. She did admit it came as a surprise. She had no idea that William had been dragging this sapphire and diamond engagement ring in the back of a rucksack for several weeks while they were going around in Kenya. A surprise indeed.
COOPER: Katie, what is she liked? I mean, is she well liked in England?
KATIE NICHOLL, AUTHOR, "WILLIAM AND HARRY": She is, but the thing is, we don't know an awful lot about her. She's been kept very, very below the radar. We do know that there's a lot more to her. She loved school. They've got the same interests. They're very happy together. And having watched them at the press conference and having met them, there is such a chemistry between the two of them. They both looked so happy and I think very relieved. Because this has been a long courtship. It's been nearly nine years. I don't quite believe that she didn't know it was coming, because they made a pact back in 2007 that their relationship would end in a marriage, and sure enough it will do.
COOPER: That's quite a pact.
Richard, I don't know how this stuff works, but I mean, didn't it used to be that -- that she would have had to come from -- from some sort of royal family or an upper-class family? Apparently, she's from like an upper middle-class family. Does that sort of thing matter in the royal etiquette anymore?
QUEST: No, it doesn't. Traditionally, yes, the heir to the throne and other members of royalty, they marry within a circle of aristocracy. Diana, for instance, had come from a family of great aristocracy, the highest in the land almost. So to that extent, but those days have gone.
It is not, as you know, Kate's family is upper middle class. They are in commercial business, if you want to put it crudely. She is a woman who's been around, and therefore, in that sense, it is the royal family saying, "We now recognize this is a new time, a new generation."
COOPER: Richard, what does this mean -- does this mean anything for the order of who gets to be king next? It's a dumb question, and I'm not wording it correctly.
QUEST: No, no, no. NO, don't worry, I know where you're going with that one, Anderson. You're basically -- let's not minced words. You're basically suggesting, now William's got a wife. Are they going to skip over Charles...
QUEST: ... and just jump to the younger, more handsome one? And the answer is no. That's not the way it works. No matter how unpopular or how dowdy and curmudgeony Charles may be perceived.
In his favor, he has brought these boys up to respect their own freedoms, to recognize they have their own lives, and not to make the mistakes of the past. And from that point of view, full credit to the Prince of Wales.
But to your question, no. The line of succession will go from Queen Elizabeth, long may she live, onto Charles, and from Charles onto William.
COOPER: And Katie, I was reading earlier that Kate once had a schoolgirl crush on William as a teen. That's kind of interesting.
NICHOLL: Well, she did, and it was something that they were asked in the interview because there's long been a rumor that she used to have pictures of Prince William on her bedroom wall. But actually, she set the record straight for the first time today. Of course, we'd never heard her speak before. And it was Levi's model, and not Prince William in his Levis, I'd just like to add. So perhaps that was -- that was a myth too far.
COOPER: Did you say we'd never heard them speak -- her speak before?
NICHOLL: No. This is the first time that we've really heard Kate Middleton speak. She's been -- when I say she's been kept...
COOPER: Really? That's amazing.
NICHOLL: She really has. There's a tiny clip of her on YouTube, but it's just the tiniest sentence, but this is the first time we've really seen her in the spotlight. And that's why it's been so fascinating. That's why it's been such an enormous day over here, because we've seen her sit down and give her first-ever interview.
COOPER: Richard Quest, Katie Nicholls, thanks very much.
NICHOLL: Thank you.
COOPER: We wish them both well.
Up next, tonight's RidicuList, Tina Fey wins a top award for American humor, so why was her acceptance speech edited for the broadcast? And what was left out. I'll tell you, and I'll tell you why it makes the RidicuList.
COOPER: So we started a new segment on the program this week, a nightly effort to point out hypocrisy, double talk, stuff that just is downright ridiculous. We call it the RidicuList. So who's on the list tonight? Well, it's the TV network PBS for their claims about why they edited Tina Fey.
Tina Fey received the prestigious Mark Twain prize for American humor at the Kennedy Center last week. In her acceptance speech she thanked many people, including Sarah Palin, who Fey obviously imitated a lot during the 2008 presidential campaign.
But what viewers and people saw on TV was very different from what people at the awards ceremony actually saw. So here's what Tina Fey had to say about Palin and conservative women during the awards ceremony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA FEY, COMEDIAN/WRITER: I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that have ever happened to me.
And you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women, except of course, for those who will end up paying for their own rape kit and stuff. But for everybody else, it's a win-win. Unless you're a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years, whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know what? Actually, I take it back. The whole thing's a disaster.
All kidding aside, I'm so proud to represent American humor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. On Sunday night PBS viewers watching the pretaped event didn't hear any of that. This is what viewers heard instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEY: I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn't thank Sarah Palin for helping get me here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that have ever happened to me.
All kidding aside, I'm so proud to represent American humor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. Producers cut out approximately 33 seconds of Fey's jokes about Palin and conservative women. They insist, however, politics or fear of criticism had nothing to do with it.
One of the executive producers of the program told "The Washington Post" that they trimmed parts of Fey's acceptance speech, not because of content but due to time. The ceremony ran 19 minutes too long, and they said a lot of it was trimmed.
That may be so, but it's hard to believe they would choose to trim from one of the main winner's speeches, especially considering they just happened to cut the controversial stuff out. It's fine if they wanted to avoid controversy. I understand that. But they should just admit it. Pretending it had nothing to do with politics, that just sounds ridiculous, and that earns a spot on tonight's RidicuList.
COOPER: In the hour ahead, outrage over airport pat-downs and those full-body scanners. Hear from a flyer's rights advocate who alleges the security procedures are in place because of money and Washington connections.
Talked a lot about homeland security, former homeland security Michael Chertoff, his office firing back. We'll have that for you. And we'll hear from the head of TSA.com.