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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Guns, Kids & Politics; Notorious Cold Cases; Dr. Laura's Blame Game?; Palin's Poll Numbers Dropping
Aired January 18, 2011 - 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: Tonight: guns, kids and politics. Child safety experts say doctors should ask kids about -- and their parents about whether they have a gun in their house. So, why do some Florida lawmakers now want to throw doctors in jail for doing just that? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight: continuing our series of "Notorious Cold Cases." Do you know who the Amber in the Amber Alert is? Tonight, we reintroduce you do a little girl who was found dead 15 years ago, the search for her murderer a cold case, the pain felt by her family still very real. Her brother speaks publicly for the first time. And I talk to John Walsh about the case.
And, later, Dr. Laura Schlessinger lands on our "RidicuList." Back in the summer, she used a racial slur 11 times on her radio show. But Dr. Laura says the uproar that followed wasn't her fault at all. Guess who she blames? CNN.
We begin, though, tonight, as always, "Keeping Them Honest" with a story about guns, kids and politics. legislators in Florida are now trying to throw pediatricians in jail for talking to parents of child patients about guns and gun safety. They want to make it illegal for doctors to ask parents if they have a gun in the house.
Representative -- representative -- Republican Representative Jason Brodeur doesn't just want to make it illegal. He wants it be a felony, carrying a fine up to $5 million, up to five years in jail. Let me repeat that. He and the bill's co-sponsors, one of whom you're about to meet, want to make it a felony, with a fine of up to $5 million or up to five years in jail, for a doctor to talk to parents about guns in the home.
Now, we all know kids and guns can be a deadly combination. You don't have to look any further than just today, when a 17-year-old was arrested after police say a gun in his backpack accidentally went off at a Los Angeles high school, injuring two students. We don't know whose gun that was or how the teen allegedly got ahold of it, but it is just the most recent in a long and tragic line of examples that illustrate the point.
According to the CDC, some 1.3 million kids are growing up in homes with unsecured loaded weapons. So, clearly, someone needs to be talking to kids about gun safety. The NRA does it, but many pediatricians also believe they can do it as well. The American Academy -- Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for this, something called TIPP, the injury prevention program. This is its "Guide to Safety Counseling and Office Practice." It gives pediatricians guidelines what about to talk to parents and kids about and when to prevent childhood injuries.
Guidelines cover all sorts of questions to ask parents, things like: Do you keep medicines out of the reach of your kids? Do you have working fire extinguishers? Does your child wear a bicycle helmet? And they suggest asking, is there a gun in your home or the home where your child plays or is cared for?
Now, if parents say they do have a gun, the pediatricians are advised to recommend they should -- quote -- "remove all guns from places children live and play."
The advisory goes on to say, more than 5,000 kids and adolescents are killed by gunfire each year, injuries almost always inflicted by themselves, a sibling, a friend. It goes on to say handguns are especially dangerous. If you choose to keep a gun at home, store it unloaded in a locked place. Lock and store the ammunition in a separate place.
So, pediatric experts want doctors to ask the question, is there a gun in your home, a question the bill in Florida would make illegal. So what is the motivation behind the bill?
Brodeur says -- Brodeur says it's about privacy. He told "The Tallahassee Democrat" -- quote -- "What we don't want to do is have law-abiding firearm owners worried that the information is going to be recorded and then sent to their insurance company. If the overreaching federal government actually takes over health care, they're worried that Washington, D.C., is going to know whether or not they own a gun, and so this is really just a privacy protection."
But is it really a privacy issue? During the health care debate, the NRA successful lobbied Congress to include a provision banning health insurance companies from charging higher premiums for people who keep a gun in their home.
Just a short time ago, I spoke to a Florida state representative, Frank Artiles, who is a co-sponsor of the bill that would make it illegal for doctors to ask their patients about guns.
COOPER: Representative Artiles, pediatricians ask parents about smoke alarms, about trampolines, about keeping prescription drugs out of the reach of kids. Why shouldn't they talk to parents about how to properly store a firearm, given the number of kids who die every year in firearm accidents?
FRANK ARTILES (R), FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I -- I don't have a -- a problem with the pediatricians giving safety advice to a parent and/or a gun owner. However, I do have a problem when a pediatrician refuses to do his job because a parent refuses to answer a question of whether or not they own a weapon.
COOPER: But -- but, I mean, you're -- you're referring to one case in Ocala, Florida. And -- and the pediatrician didn't refuse treatment. He simply said that, you know, he and the patient weren't on the same page, and he gave the family a month to find another doctor, basically saying they weren't on the same page.
Doctors are allowed to do that. They -- they do that all the time.
ARTILES: You -- you are correct that he offered for a -- for the Ullmans (ph) to go to another pediatrician.
However, the reality is that the -- the Ped -- the American Association of Pediatrics makes it a point to tell all physicians to actually, during the questionnaire of a -- of a family, in reference to a child's medical history, to actually ask whether or not they own a gun, and, if they do own a gun, to remove the gun from the home, not to advise as to how to properly store and/or safe -- safely place the gun out of reach of children.
COOPER: But -- but that's not true actually. I mean, they say -- yes, advise them to -- you know, we -- we suggest -- they're not telling them exactly what to say, but they're suggesting tell them to remove the -- the gun from -- from the -- the -- from the child or from -- from the access to the child.
But -- but if that's not an option, then they give information about how to safely store a weapon.
ARTILES: But Anderson, my question to you is very simple. If I go to the doctor in reference to my child as being sick, and imagine if I lived in a -- in a very rural area and the doctor basically asked me whether or not I own a firearm -- firearm, and I tell the doctor that it is -- it is a private matter, and the doctor then refuses to attend my child in a rural area. That's a -- that's a grave concern, especially in Florida.
COOPER: But -- but that's a hypothetical, and you -- you don't have a lot of cases where that's actually happened. Doctors for years have been talking to parents about gun safety. So, you're -- you're passing...
COOPER: What you're suggesting is passing a law that would outlaw them from being able to even ask that question, being able to talk about gun safety.
ARTILES: I'm not preventing them from discussing firearm safety and/or pool safety and/or car child restraint safety.
I'm simply, as a co-sponsor of this bill, clearly saying that you cannot predicate your treatment on whether or not they answer a question on whether they own a gun or not. COOPER: This bill calls for felony charges, a $5 million fine, five-year prison sentence. A -- a second DUI conviction in Florida will only cost you about $2,000 or $4,000. Do you really believe a doctor asking about gun safety is worse than a two-time drunk driver?
ARTILES: I truly believe that that is an area in the bill that -- again, this bill in its infancy and it still has to go through the process. I believe that that is going to be changed quite dramatically -- dramatically.
COOPER: So, you think the -- the penalty...
ARTILES: A -- again...
COOPER: ... is -- is way over the top?
ARTILES: The -- the penalty, in -- in my personal opinion, I think could be worked on. However, the -- the reason that I truly -- that I believe that it was put on that -- put that amount was because the penalties serve as a deterrent.
COOPER: Representative Artiles, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
ARTILES: Thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: What's interesting and what the representative said is, he seems to believe that this law does not actually prevent the doctor from asking that question or talking about it. It just prevents the doctor from denying care.
I spoke with a Dr. Louis St. Petery, the executive vice president of a Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And that's not how he reads the bill.
COOPER: So, under this law, is it your -- I mean, what the representative is saying is that, under this law, doctors can still ask the question; they just can't refuse treatment based on the answer.
LOUIS ST. PETERY, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, FLORIDA CHAPTER, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: No, sir. I -- I read the bill, and it -- it forbids us from asking about firearms. And it also forbids us from breaking the relationship if a parent refuses to discuss firearms.
And, as you correctly pointed out, there's a jail sentence of up to five years and a -- and a financial penalty up to $5 million, which is horrendous.
COOPER: Well, he's saying that -- point blank, that -- that -- that this doesn't outlaw asking the question. I mean, that was not my understanding, frankly.
ST. PETERY: No, sir, that's not what the bill says. The bill says we can't ask about firearms.
COOPER: Right. The -- the bill says right here, it says -- the bill says, "provides that inquiries by physicians or other medical personnel concerning ownership of firearm by patient or family of patient, or presence of firearm at private home or other domicile of patient or family of patient violates privacy of patient or patient's family members, respectively, prohibits conditioning receipt of medical treatment or care on person's willingness or refusal to disclose personal and private information." It goes on.
So your understanding is that...
COOPER: ... you will -- doctors won't be able to ask the question and certainly doctors wouldn't be able to refuse treatment?
ST. PETERY: That's certainly what that says, that you just read, yes. That's -- that's my understanding.
And, of course, you know, for pediatricians, prevention is the name of the game. And more -- more children between the age of 1 and 18 die from accidents than they do from diseases. And it's not illegal to have a pool, and discussing pool safety is very appropriate. It's not illegal to have a car, and discussing seat belts and booster seats and buckling your children up is very appropriate.
And it's not illegal to have a gun, and a lot of children -- any -- any child death due to a firearm is a preventable death. And, so, as pediatricians, we are taught to and are encouraged to and feel obligated to discuss that particular item as a safety issue.
And, as I read the bill, we wouldn't be allowed to even ask whether they have a firearm.
COOPER: You have been a practicing pediatrician in Tallahassee for some 35 years. How often have you run into parents who didn't want you asking about firearms in the house?
ST. PETERY: That's never been an issue that I have been aware of, and I'm also the executive for the pediatricians of the state. And I'm not aware of our members seeing that as a problem.
We more commonly run into this with parents who don't want their children immunized or who want special immunization schedules...
COOPER: How -- how many cases have you actually heard about of doctors turning away patients because parents don't want to talk about a firearm?
ST. PETERY: I have never heard of that, other than in this particular case.
COOPER: So, you have only heard of one case, this case in Ocala...
ST. PETERY: It's also...
COOPER: ... that got into the paper, the -- which is what motivated this bill?
ST. PETERY: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
And -- and it's also interesting that two bills almost -- almost identical to this, with the exception of the penalty, were filed several years ago, one in Virginia and one in West Virginia. So, this isn't a new concept of -- that physicians can't discuss the issue.
Fortunately, those bills didn't pass, and -- but I have never heard of a situation where a -- a parent refused to discuss whether they had firearms, and a physician dismissed them from their practice.
COOPER: Did it sound to you like the representative didn't understand what was exactly in this bill?
ST. PETERY: Well, I know that there are multiple people who have sponsored this bill, and perhaps some of them were more interested in certain parts.
But, yes, I -- it -- it appeared to me that the -- the reading of the bill indicates that -- that I cannot discuss with a parent whether or not they have firearms, whereas he didn't seem to feel that it read that way.
COOPER: Dr. Louis St. Petery, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
ST. PETERY: Thank you, sir. My pleasure.
COOPER: So, rather than just be a he said/he said, let's try to clear this up legally.
Joining me on the phone, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeff, I'm no lawyer. All the coverage of this -- this bill seems to indicate that it would outlaw doctors from asking this question. The representative who is co-sponsoring it doesn't seem to believe that. Is he wrong?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: He's wrong, Anderson.
You know, sometimes, laws are complicated and sometimes they're not. And this law is not complicated. And the first clause -- you read it when you were talking to the doc -- says simply that inquiries by physicians about guns violate patients' privacy. COOPER: But it doesn't say it prohibits. The -- and the next graph uses the word prohibits. In -- in the first graph, it just says provides. So, isn't it just -- couldn't it just -- it seems like he's reading it saying, well, we're just saying it's a violation of privacy, but what -- all the thing -- the only thing we're prohibiting is actually denying service.
TOOBIN: I -- I just don't think that's a -- that's a realistic reading of -- of what the law says.
"Provides" is how most law begins. They say the law provides the following. And this law provides the following, which is that inquiries violate patient privacy. I -- I -- I just don't see how you can read it any other way.
Now, you are right, and the -- the state senator is right that you can't refuse -- a doctor can't refuse treatment on the ground that the refused -- that the -- the patient's family refused to talk about the firearm. That's true. But it also prohibits, as it's written now, asking about the gun.
COOPER: And the idea of a -- of a five-year jail term, I think, it was and a $5 million fine, compared to a two-term DUI, which is like a $4,000 fine, does that make sense to you?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, that's -- that's up to the legislature. That's' -- I mean, that's the kind of judgments that the legislature makes, you know, what penalty fits what crime.
It certainly seems like an excessive penalty to me, but, you know, we can -- we can debate about what is the appropriate punishment. You can't debate about what a law says. And this law simply says that you can't ask about guns, if you're a doctor.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, I appreciate you clearing it up. Thanks very much.
And let us know what you think. You can join the live chat at AC360.com.
Still ahead: Newt Gingrich tells Sarah Palin to tone down her message, as her poll numbers drop. Will she listen? Should she listen? Why should Newt Gingrich be giving her advice? "Raw Politics" ahead.
And later: "The Washington Post" reporting that surveillance video from the Tucson crime scene captured the alleged shooter gunning down Congresswoman Giffords. What the video reportedly shows, Tom Foreman has that -- next.
COOPER: Well, tonight, we have learned exactly what happened when Congresswoman Giffords and others were shot in Tucson 10 days ago. "The Washington Post" reports that surveillance video from the Safeway supermarket shows the alleged gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, walking right up to Giffords, shooting her in the head from a distance of only two or three feet.
The details are pretty stunning. CNN has worked to confirm the story independently.
Tom Foreman has more -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, "The Washington Post" is reporting that authorities have almost two dozen surveillance videos of the shooting and the events leading up to it, and two sources tell "The Post" that these videos show a lot of details we didn't know.
For example, "The Post" does say, indeed, that Jared Loughner allegedly comes right out of the supermarket, walks rapidly around the table set up for this meeting, and fires the shot at the congresswoman from only a couple of feet away.
The sources cited by "The Post" say that, after he does this, she's obviously clearly hit just above the left eye, falls immediately. Then he turns and begins firing on the crowd.
We don't know how exactly many shots, but several. And, after doing that, then he swings back around to the front table and resumes shooting there. He hits one of her workers, Ron Barber, in the shoulder. He's 65 years old. And then Judge John roll, the sources tell "The Post," jumps in here, and he pushes Barber to the ground and gets on top of him, apparently trying to shield him with his own body, as they both scramble underneath this table.
This is the first indication we have had of this, what would certainly seem to be a heroic action by the judge. Nonetheless, as we know, the judge does wind up getting shot in the back. He struggles briefly. And, of course, as we know, Anderson, he then died.
COOPER: Surveillance video is obviously pretty poor quality. What about in this case? Or do we know anything about it?
FOREMAN: The "Post" article says the FBI has the videos now, and they're holding onto them for the trial. But the quality is apparently quite good, good enough that many details of Loughner's alleged activities are easily seen. And they have them from not only outside, where the shooting happened, but also from inside this store as Loughner allegedly prepared for the attack -- Anderson.
COOPER: And -- and I understand the videos show him putting in earplugs, which could suggest perhaps an -- an even higher degree of planning than maybe we knew about.
FOREMAN: Yes, all these details just keep adding up, don't they?
"The Post" says it does appear that Loughner went into the supermarket restroom and, while he was in there, put in these earplugs. And when the clerk up front tries to talk to him on the way out, these sources say you can even say Loughner mouthing something like, "Can't you see that I have earplugs in?"
In addition, "The Post" dug up one more intriguing detail, that the alleged shooter, Loughner, fired 32 bullets before he ran out and was tackled while trying to reload. That would suggest he had the magazine -- he had one shell in the magazine -- he had the magazine full, with 32, and he started with one extra one already in the firing chamber.
COOPER: Chilling details.
In "Raw Politics" tonight: Some Republicans are giving some blunt advice for Sarah Palin, who last night defended her response to the Tucson shootings in an interview with Sean Hannity on FOX. A "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows just 30 percent of Americans approve of Palin's response to the tragedy.
Palin told Hannity that no one can make her sit down or shut up and that she will continue to speak out.
Here's what her fellow conservative David Frum said after the interview aired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: She could stop talking now, really.
FRUM: I don't think it's true that this is a person who is unaware of the reaction. She's all -- all too aware. And this -- this was the interview of a very shaken person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He's not the only Republican speaking out. Here's what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on ABC's "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think that she's got to slow down and be a lot -- be more careful and think through what she is saying and how she is saying it. I -- there's no question that she's become more controversial.
But she is still a phenomenon. I mean, I -- I don't know anybody else in American politics who can put something on Twitter or on Facebook and automatically have it become a national story. So, she remains, I think, a very formidable person in her own right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Obviously, Newt Gingrich has his own, perhaps, agenda here. He's considering a presidential run in 2012.
Let's find out what our panel thinks. Ari Fleischer, former press secretary of President Bush, joins us, and Lisa Caputo, who served as press secretary for first lady Hillary Clinton and deputy assistant to President Clinton.
Thanks for -- both of you for being with us.
COOPER: Ari, you saw Newt Gingrich's critique. What did you make of it?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think he's on target that right there. And Newt of course went through a lot of that himself, where he started out just too red- hot. And learned the risk of saying things. And -- and he's trying to learn how to cool down. If he runs for president, that's going to be the ultimate test to see if he can live up to that standard he just set.
But I think there's a large truth to that, that Sarah Palin is tremendously popular within an element of the Republican Party. And the trick to making it in American politics is, you have got to start strong in your base and being able expanding over the middle.
She's yet to be able to prove that she can take that second step. It's an important second step, if she's going to have greater credibility and -- and any advancement in politics.
COOPER: Lisa, you worked for Hillary Clinton, who, at a time, had some pretty high negatives herself and was able to overcome them. What advice would you give, and -- I mean, if you're looking at Sarah Palin?
LISA CAPUTO, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I -- I mean, she's out there. She can't pull it back. So, I would tell her to, you know, lowball it for a while, or else get out -- get out of the picture for a while.
COOPER: Which she doesn't really have a history of doing that. I mean, she's...
CAPUTO: No, she doesn't.
COOPER: ... she's pretty gutsy in terms of doubling down.
CAPUTO: You know, and -- and Ari makes an interesting point, which is, you know, to get out there and really play to your base.
And there's been speculation that these comments, the blood libel comments, are actually geared toward playing to that far-right, evangelical wing of the party. I don't know if that's the case.
When you look at the raw politics of it and you see today's "USA Today"/Gallup poll which shows, you know, her favorabilities have dipped to an all-time low, 53 percent un -- unfavorable and 40 percent unfavorable reaction to the blood libel comments, I mean, I think this is why you see Newt Gingrich out there saying she should tone it down, but also Dick Cheney, you know, ducking from commenting directly on it.
Ari -- Ari, I want to talk just a little about tomorrow's health care repeal vote. The White House has put everything they have got behind a massive anti-repeal pushback lately, but the public is still pretty skeptical of the law. I mean, is it a mistake to play up this vote?
FLEISCHER: No, I think this is fundamental.
This is a lot of what last year's election was based on. And don't forget, there was overwhelming bipartisan opposition to this new law when it was enacted.
And Republicans would be in tremendous trouble if they didn't follow through on the principle of, if we said it was wrong and we said it needed to be repealed and replaced, they need to start the repeal. And, so, it's a very important statement about who Republicans are, what they believe in, that they're going to actually take this vote.
I will be fascinated to see how many Democrats join Republicans in voting for repeal. I expect it will be a -- a small number, but an important number.
COOPER: Lisa, we are hearing from a number of Democrats, though, that this is an opportunity to kind of re-brand or re-message this.
What's interesting about this is, this is in one house, the House of Representatives. There aren't the votes in the Senate to repeal this -- this health care reform. So, what you have is an opportunity that the White House has taken.
Remember, the American public, by and large, is divided on health care. And so they're taking this opportunity now to reeducate the public, and they have been very disciplined around it. They have got a very clear message, what we heard today from Kathleen Sebelius, which was really activated through a lot of different channels on the Hill and through the House leadership, you know, talking about how there are roughly, you know, roughly half of the Americans under 65 who will have a preexisting condition won't be eligible to receive health benefits...
COOPER: And, Ari...
CAPUTO: ... if it's repealed.
COOPER: ... Ari, that certainly seems to be the strategy, is to focus on sort of individual cases, rather than economic issues or some sort of bigger-picture by Democrats.
FLEISCHER: Right. And, number one, those numbers are hotly in dispute. The notion that half the country is going to be denied insurance on the basis of a preexisting condition is ridiculously high.
COOPER: The Cato Institute...
COOPER: ... has put out numbers saying that that's...
COOPER: ... totally high.
FLEISCHER: It's a -- it is a hotly disputed number.
But it is a shift in the way the law was debated. If you remember, when they sold it to the American people a few months ago, it was to break the cost curve. And now the Democrats are not making the case, the White House is not making the case that it actually reduces costs, because it's not credible.
People know, if you add tens of millions to the insurance rolls and put them on a government program, it's going to cost taxpayers more money, which is what is happening.
So, now the case is about...
FLEISCHER: ... about the more compassionate case, get health care to the uninsured, which is an important issue, but it's a bait and switch from what we -- the bill was sold on.
COOPER: Lisa, any surprise -- confirmed, Senator Lieberman is going to announce he's retiring tomorrow. Any surprise there?
CAPUTO: Well, some Democrats are surprised, certainly, but I think, you know, a lot of Democrats feel, well, now we can take control of the destiny of this seat. Remember, I mean, I think, in this situation, McMahon, who ran against Blumenthal, I -- has made some noise about getting in and spending...
CAPUTO: ... a lot of money.
COOPER: She's got a lot of money. Right.
Former secretary of state in the state of Connecticut, Representative Murphy, so he was going to have a challenge. And he is not in great favor with Democrats, despite the fact that he championed...
COOPER: Don't ask, don't tell.
CAPUTO: ... don't ask, don't tell. So...
COOPER: Lisa Caputo, Ari Fleischer...
COOPER: ... we have got to leave it there. Appreciate your time. Thank you.
Still ahead: in Brazil, a dramatic rescue caught on videotape, a man buried alive by mud and debris pulled to safety. You've got to see this.
And later: Jean-Claude Duvalier's legacy as Haiti's brutal dictator. He's back in Port-au-Prince. He's been taken in by authorities there. A lot of folks are saying, though, the country was better off when he was there. We're going to show you what the country really was like when he was in power.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Tonight, a "360" follow, as surreal as they come. In Haiti, the mysterious return of a former dictator and despot is actually being celebrated by some. Celebrated.
Take a look. This video is from today. Hundreds of people turned out to show their support for Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who turned up in Haiti on Sunday after 25 years in exile.
He was taken into custody today, questioned at a courthouse in Port-au-Prince, where undisclosed charges were filed against him. Duvalier was not arrested. A judge has 30 days to decide whether to move the case forward, whatever the case may be.
Tonight, it's hard to say what is going on, and why Duvalier is back and what his plans may be. What is all too clear, and frankly troubling, is that his history seems to be getting lost in all the chaos.
Just want to remind you exactly who we're talking about here. Jean-Claude Duvalier is a dictator, an alleged thief and a murderer, accused of pillaging his homeland and draining his treasury. He learned at the knee of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who ruled before him.
Baby Doc was 19 when he succeeded his dad. Human Rights Watch estimates the father and son together ordered the deaths of as many as 30,000 Haitians. People would simply disappear off the streets.
Boby Duval barely survived Baby Doc's rule. The former soccer star, human rights activist and CNN Hero was imprisoned, tortured, starved, nearly executed. I talked to him earlier.
COOPER: Boby, when you hear some Haitians say that things were better under Duvalier, what do you tell them?
BOBY DUVAL, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I say that, you know, they just don't know, because they -- I think they are victims of the propaganda that, you know, the Duvalier camp has been, you know, promoting.
Because how can you compare, like, a state of oppression for 30 years that has killed over 100,000 people between Papa Doc and -- Papa Doc and Baby Doc, and you compare it to a government that has been, you know, that inherited the destruction of 30 years of that regime, trying to struggle with it. You know, obviously, they're still in a crisis. And how can you compare that, you know...
COOPER: You say 50,000 people -- you say 50,000 people disappeared under Baby Doc -- the father, Papa Doc. Fifty thousand disappeared under Baby Doc Duvalier.
DUVAL: Baby Doc.
COOPER: You -- you could be arrested at that time for anything.
DUVAL: That's right.
COOPER: You were actually arrested, never charged with anything, tortured, thrown into a prison, a terrible place called Fort DeManche (ph). What was that like?
DUVAL: Well, listen, I was in a cell, a 13-by-14-foot cell. We were 40 inside. And we had to sleep by relay. We were all nude. All they give us is our shirt and pants. That's what we used for toilet paper, because we had a five-gallon can inside the cell in order to do our necessities.
I was inside that cell with 40 other men, and we -- I was witnessing two to three people die a day. That means out of malnutrition, out of, you know, weakness. It's just like -- and also our bodies were covered with pus. We -- I had tuberculosis myself. I mean, had I not been, you know, taken out that day, you know, one week -- one more week I would have been dead. I was already feeling, you know, let's say dizzy.
COOPER: Under Duvalier, people would just disappear. People would be executed.
DUVAL: That's right.
COOPER: People would just vanish?
DUVAL: Yes. And -- and for no reason. A lot of the time, you know, they blame the -- they'd blame your disappearance on political activities, which is not true. It might be a neighbor down the street who has a problem with you, they have a competition with you or something -- or something, and then he has a contact in the -- in the system, and then he -- he has you disappeared. I mean, that was common place. If you -- if you...
COOPER: Should -- should Duvalier have to answer for his crimes?
DUVAL: Absolutely. I mean, you know, this guy has destroyed this country. We're still struggling as citizens of Haiti, trying to get this country back together. And he left us in shambles.
You know, the mere fact that we are in a political deadlock now for an election, to me it's very symptomatic. It's an expression of how screwed up, you know, the whole political system is and how we cannot go forward. To me, this is the shadow of Duvalier hanging over.
COOPER: Boby Duval, appreciate your time. Thank you, Boby.
COOPER: Still ahead, we continue our month-long series of cold cases. Tonight, the tragic story of Amber Hagerman, whose case inspired the creation of the Amber Alert system. We're going to talk to John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" about it.
But first, Isha Sesay has a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake rumbled into southwestern Pakistan today in a remote part of the country. There are no reports of serious injuries or major damage at this time, but Pakistani officials expect powerful after shocks to occur.
An amazing rescue in Brazil to tell you about. A man was pulled out from under wreckage and mud after being trapped for nearly a day. Days of heavy rains have caused flooding and mudslides, which have killed more than 700 people in Rio de Janeiro state.
And Anderson, the end of an era is approaching. Regis Philbin announced this morning that he will retire from his nationally syndicated program, "Live with Regis and Kelly," some time this year. Philbin will turn 80 years old in August, and he told his audience, Anderson, that everything needs to come to an end. And so it does.
Did you have any inkling?
COOPER: I did not. An amazing career he's had. Just incredible, his accomplishments, and you know, he says he's not retiring. He's still going to -- he just wants to try new things, I think. So it's exciting.
SESAY: I think it's totally amazing. Because you know, I've often said at 79, I'll be wearing a Snuggie. I'll be sitting in some kind of cafe, molding bowls into a plate.
COOPER: I think at 49 I'm going to be doing that. If I can make it to 49, I'll consider myself lucky.
Isha, up next, our series on cold cases. We're going to revisit the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman. That's where the Amber Alert comes from because of what happened to her. The little girl from Texas. The Amber Alert system was created.
Her brother speaks publicly for the first time about the case. And we talk to John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" about the chance of ever finding her killer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": I never give up hope. I look at these old cold cases and say maybe we'll get a tip. Maybe we'll find a perp somewhere, a guy in prison that we can place in that area at that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And tonight, we add Dr. Laura to "The RidicuList." Find out ahead why.
COOPER: The Justice Department says the Amber Alert system, which operates nationwide, has helped save the lives of nearly 500 kids since its inception in 1996. It's an amazing number, but there's a tragic story behind it.
Tonight, we look back at the case of Amber Hagerman, a little Texas girl who was abducted and murdered. The crime is still uninvolved. Now, in a few moments, I'll talk to John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" about the chance of every catching her killer.
But first, Gary Tuchman on what happened to Amber as we continue our series on cold cases.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 9-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother sitting for a photo. Now at the age of 20, that same brother sits by himself at a memorial built for his sister.
Amber Hagerman disappeared from this Texas parking lot 15 years ago this month. Their mother is Donna Norris.
DONNA NORRIS, AMBER'S MOTHER: Well, here is Amber's collection of Barbie dolls. She left her Barbie dolls. She had 27 all together, and this is her most prized possession right here.
TUCHMAN: Amber was a precious and precocious third grader, who has been interviewed by Dallas TV station WFAA for a story on single- parent homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got a principal's award here for excellence. That's a pretty big deal, isn't it?
AMBER HAGERMAN, MURDER VICTIM: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you do to get that?
A. HAGERMAN: I had to get A honor roll, A-B honor roll, and I had to do good things in the class.
TUCHMAN: The TV station also took video of Amber and her brother together, and Amber on her bicycle. Just weeks later at their grandparents' home in Arlington, Texas, Amber and her brother rode their bicycles to the parking lot of an empty grocery store. They wanted to ride on the delivery ramp.
Ricky was ready to leave before his big sister.
RICKY HAGERMAN, BROTHER OF AMBER: I went back by myself. And when -- when I went back, my grandfather, he was like, "Where is your sister?"
I was like, "She's over there at the ramp."
And he was like, "Well, go get her." I came back to come and get her and she was nowhere to be found.
We saw the policeman and we saw the bike, and he was like, "That's my granddaughter's bike. Where is my granddaughter?"
And the cop told him, "Well, there's been a little child taken from here."
TUCHMAN: A witness had seen a man jump out of a dark truck and grab the screaming little girl. Amber's grandfather returned home and told his daughter, Donna, the dreadful news.
NORRIS: That's when my world just fell apart. And I started running towards where he was abducted at, where my father found her bike at, screaming for her, hoping that she would answer me, and she never did.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Four days after she disappeared, a man was walking his dog along this path about two miles away from the grandparents' house. Something caught his attention in this creek. It was the body of a young girl. It was the body of Amber.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Amber Hagerman was found in the creek, she was deceased. Her throat had been cut.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Amber had also been sexually molested. The medical examiner said she had been kept alive by her killer for at least two days.
NORRIS: I just went crazy. I was screaming and crying. And just disbelief. No, that's not my daughter. My daughter's not dead.
TUCHMAN: A massive manhunt was launched to find the brutal murderer. A decade and a half later, it's still going on.
NORRIS: Somebody had to see something, and they're just not coming forward with that information, and I don't understand why.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Are there potential suspects out there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any time we get a lead, we follow that all the way through and there are suspects attached to those. Plus there are people who we have looked at in the past that we'll continue to look at.
TUCHMAN: So there are still people you're looking at right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are people that we continue to look at today.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The tragedy and frustration in this case have led to something very important. The federal Amber Alert program is named in honor of Amber Hagerman. The program is credited for the rescue of hundreds of children throughout the United States. And it's a legacy that gives Amber's mother strength.
NORRIS: Makes me feel good. Makes me feel proud and something I know Amber would have been proud of.
TUCHMAN: Back at the parking lot where Amber disappeared, there's graffiti on the wall that has her name and the words "angel" and "still searching." It comforts Amber's brother that people painted that, because it means they still care.
This is the first time Ricky Hagerman has publicly talked about his sister.
R. HAGERMAN: I love her and miss her very much. And I hope one day justice will be brought to her.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Fifteen years later, we have absolutely no idea what happened to the killer. He could be in prison on another charge. For all we know, he could be dead.
But the sad fact is, he could still be wandering the streets a free man, which makes people wonder could things have been different if back then there was such a thing as an Amber Alert. (voice-over) Amber would have been 24 years old now.
A. HAGERMAN: This is my first-grade picture. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
TUCHMAN: But her family prefers to remember her as a happy 9- year-old, whose name is now known from coast to coast.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Arlington, Texas.
COOPER: With Amber's case, her family realized shortly after she was taken that something was wrong and contacted police. And that sort of is what's so terrifying. There wasn't a lot of time that passed from when she disappeared to -- to when they realized.
WALSH: There -- there, another example of parents who tried to do something positive, the Amber Alert, the national Amber Alert law that we worked for three years to get through the House and the Senate, to be -- make it a national Amber Alert. It was started because of Amber Hagerman.
Her case is still uninvolved, but her parents tried to do something in her honor to make some sense out of her death, and that was where the Amber Alert started, right there in that little area in Texas where Amber Hagerman went missing. I -- but I know -- we're getting ready to revisit that case again.
Because even though there was a $100,000 reward, somebody kidnapped that girl and slit her throat, and they're still at large.
COOPER: The shows you've done on it, has -- did people come forward with...?
WALSH: Never -- never any -- any definitive tips. I mean, we solved a case of a little girl in Texas who was kidnapped 20 years ago when she was 8 years old and her throat was slit. And we reopened the case and they caught a guy in prison for slitting another girl's throat, and he just admitted to that murder.
So I never give up hope. I look at these old, cold cases and say maybe we'll get a tip. Maybe we'll find another -- a perp somewhere, a guy in prison that we can place in that area at that time.
So having solved that case and meeting the victim and saying, "This has changed my life that this guy got caught after 20 years," left her to bleed to death in a field after slitting her throat. This courageous young woman is proof that you never give up.
So we're going to revisit Amber Hagerman. There may be a guy in jail or may be a guy out there that did this all these years ago and still needs to be caught.
COOPER: Wow, let's hope they find the killer.
In other news tonight, a team of researchers in Australia has some important information for anyone that goes in the ocean, how to possibly avoid a shark attack. We'll have their findings ahead.
And Dr. Laura may be known for helping people with her problems, but she may need help with her facts. We're going to tell you why she is the latest addition to tonight's "RidicuList."
COOPER: Still to come, Dr. Laura Schlessinger's blame game. Remember when she used the "N" word 11 times on her radio show? Well, she's now twisting the facts, and we're adding her to tonight's "RidicuList."
But first, Isha Sesay joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, a private dinner was held tonight for Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House. He arrived at Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon. Hu and president Obama are scheduled to hold a joint press conference tomorrow. The two leaders are expected to focus their talks on human rights, trade and North Korea.
Sargent Shriver has died. Shriver was the first leader of the Peace Corps and the brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy. He worked in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and later helped establish Head Start, the Special Olympics and other organizations. Sargent Shriver was 95.
Apple says it set a new record of nearly $27 billion in sales and $6 million in profits during the holiday quarter ending on Christmas. The company sold a record 16.2 million iPhones and 7.3 million iPads in the quarter.
And Anderson, listen up: a new study suggests some sharks may be color blind. Australia researchers say that best way to prevent a shark attack may be to wear a light-colored wet suit so that there is some contrast against the darkness of the ocean.
Anderson, I know you have something of a -- I don't know, a weird fondness for diving with sharks. In fact, I happen to have up my sleeve...
COOPER: Oh, great. Video.
SESAY: ... great footage of you. Would you like to point out for our viewers the color of that wet suit?
COOPER: Yes. It's a very dark wet suit. Well, yes, this was for the "Planet in Peril" special. First we went into the cage diving, and then I went out free diving, actually, with Great Whites.
And it's amazing. It's incredible. It's the most incredible -- just about the most incredible animal experience you can have, other than the mountain gorillas. Look at that. They come right up to you like that. It's crazy.
SESAY: One word for you -- weird! But seriously, I think you need to go shopping for a new wet suit.
COOPER: Maybe so. I like how you say "schedule."
COOPER: Schedule. Do you say "aluminium"?
SESAY: I say "aluminium." Add aluminium on your schedule, Mr. Cooper. Before you know it, you'll be saying all sorts of things. Just you wait.
COOPER: I know. Soon after a while, you'll be like aluminum on schedule, I think. We're going to change you. You're not going to change us, Isha.
SESAY: It's going to be kind of like "My Fair Lady" in reverse. You're my fair lady.
COOPER: Wait, I'm the old guy in "My Fair Lady"?
SESAY: No, you're Eliza Doolittle. I'm Professor Higgins.
COOPER: Oh. I'm going to have to rent the movie and watch it.
SESAY: Yes, you're going to have to see it with me.
COOPER: I think you've offended me.
All right. Time now for "The RidicuList." Tonight we're adding a name that has probably been a long time coming, Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Now, I don't know the woman. I don't listen to her on the radio. And I have nothing against her.
But I am kind of getting tired of people in the public eye acting like they are victims. And that sure seems to be what Dr. Laura Schlessinger is doing.
She now says the uproar over her saying a racial slur 11 times on her radio show was -- wait for it -- CNN's fault.
Last August, you may remember, on her show, Dr. Laura was giving advice to an African-American caller who was concerned about her white husband and his friends making inappropriate racial comments. Here's what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLER: How about the "N" word, though? The "N" word's been thrown...
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, FORMER SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
I said that's what you hear.
CALLER: Everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.
CALLER: I hope everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: They did and I'll say it again. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is what you hear on HB -- why don't you let me finish a sentence?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK. So Dr. Laura was on "The Today Show" this morning peddling her new book. Now in the book, she writes about the controversy, saying it was a, quote, "shark frenzy" and that she became a bigger target than the KKK.
Really, Dr. Laura, bigger than the KKK?
All right, clearly that's how she saw it, but let's just talk about facts for a moment. Here's what she said today about the days that followed that phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHLESSINGER: That night, I apologized. I apologized in the morning, and some 36, 48 hours later, CNN decided to have a field day and go, you know, 48 straight hours on it, misrepresenting me, with the Urban League coming up to me, the NAACP, Media Matters -- wait a minute.
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, NBC'S "THE TODAY SHOW": But I'm about.
SCHLESSINGER: All without talking to me at all, deciding that I should be silenced. And that's when I realized I had to go on Sirius XM or something like that in order to have the freedom of speech without being assassinated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Wow. CNN had a field day for 48 straight hours without talking to her at all. That's what she says. That is just not true.
Our show did the story, as did other CNN shows, but it was hardly a 48-hour field day. There were a few other things going on in those 48 hours. I know Dr. Laura believes she's incredibly important, but there was also flooding in Pakistan. The controversy over the Ground Zero mosque was heating up. A suspected serial killer was arrested, as well as other stories, all covered by CNN during those 48 hours. And then there's Dr. Laura's claim that all of this coverage happened, quote, "without talking to me at all." Well, whose fault was that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We invited Dr. Laura to come on the program tonight. Her staff said she was available.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We save the videotapes. That's right.
We invited her that very night the story broke again, and then we invited her again. See, "360" staff actually keeps records. Here's an e-mail that Ben Finley, one of our great bookers, sent to Dr. Laura's producer next day. There you can see the time stamp, August 13, 1:39 p.m. He writes, "I just wanted to follow up with you today, re: my invitation for Dr. Laura to be a guest interview with Anderson. I know she's released a statement, which we were happy to air, but I wanted to re-extend the invite to appear on our program."
Guess what else? Dr. Laura did decide to come on our show five days later after she already announced she'd be leaving her radio show. So is this for what passes for not talking to me at all on Planet Schlessinger?
Look, we understand you're trying to sell a book. We understand you're trying to boost your radio show. We all know how the publicity business works. But you don't need to make stuff up. It just makes you look bad. We asked for your side of the story, and now we are politely asking you to take responsibility for the mess that you made. Take your own advice and stop whining. At least you have plenty of company on tonight's "RidicuList."
Coming up, kids, guns and politics. Why some lawmakers want to make it a felony for doctors to ask their patients about whether or not they have a gun in their house and giving them information about gun safety. Is that right? We're "Keeping Them Honest."