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Teen Bullied after His Death; Christie, Palin Talk Resurges

Aired September 27, 2011 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: John, thanks very much. Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a fresh and frankly horrible new development in a story that already breaks your heart.

It is reminder that teen bullying doesn't stop, doesn't die even after the victim does. Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life a little more than a week ago. He was taunted in death by bullies at a homecoming dance the night of his wake. Kids shouting he was better off dead and, "We're glad you're dead."

His sister who left the wake to attend the dance had to listen to this. I spoke with her earlier tonight. You're going to hear from her in a moment. She's a remarkable young woman, as you'll see for yourself.

So was her brother Jamey. And millions got to know him through his online presence. Months ago he posted a message on YouTube as part of the "It Gets Better" project, a program to spread messages of hope to lesbian, gay and bisexual kids who are bullied because of their sexuality. Even in his sadness, Jamey was reaching out to help others.


JAMEY RODEMEYER, BULLIED TEENAGER: Hi, this is Jamey from Buffalo, New York. And I'm just here to tell you that it does get better. Here's a little bit of my story. December 2010, I thought I was bi, and then I always got made fun of because I virtually have no guy friends. And I only have friends that are girls.

And it bothered me because we would be like faggot and they'd taunt me in the hallways and then I felt like I could never escape it. And I made a formspring which I shouldn't have done. And people would just constantly send me hate telling me that gay people go to hell.


COOPER: Jamey said he constantly got messages, hate messages on the social networking site Formspring which is a site that allows kids to post anonymous comments about each other and to each other. But back then, as you hear, he said he rose above the negativity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RODEMEYER: I promise you it will get better. I have so much support from people I don't even know online. I know that sounds creepy, but they're so nice and caring and they don't ever want me to die.


COOPER: Two weekends ago after saying good night to his sister, Jamey Rodemeyer took his own life. He was only 14 years old.

His school in Williamsville, New York, does have a bullying prevention program. You'll hear a bit from the local superintendent shortly. A lot of schools now have similar programs and more states are enacting new anti-bullying laws. Some, though, face resistance from conservative groups who say that bullying and tolerance programs encourage homosexuality. That they're actually part of a so-called gay agenda.

But Jamey was above all of that for a while and seemed to have pushed past the prejudice and past the hate.


RODEMEYER: And I just want to tell you that it does get better. Because when I came out for being bi I got so much support from my friends, and it made me feel so secure, and then if your friends or family is even there for you, I look up to one of the most supporting people of the gay community that I think of that I know, Lady Gaga. She makes me so happy. And she lets me know that I was born this way.

And that's my advice to you from her. We were born this way. All you have to do is hold your head up and you'll go far because that's all you have to do. Just love yourself and you're set.


COOPER: He tried. And whether he knew it or not, Jamey Rodemeyer left friends and fans behind. This weekend the performer he called Mother Monster, Lady Gaga, paid tribute to him.


LADY GAGA, SINGER: So tonight, Jamey, I know you're up there looking at us. And you're not a victim. You're a lesson to all of us. And tonight I know it's a bit of a downer but sometimes the right thing is more important than the music, isn't it? Let's do this one for Jamey.


COOPER: Jamey was a high school freshman. He'd only been in high school for nine days. His sister Alyssa is a high school junior. Earlier tonight I talked with her about what she witnessed, what she heard and what's done to her at a homecoming dance the same day of Jamey's wake. A slice of what Jamey had gone through.


COOPER (on camera): What would people over the years, what were people calling him?

ALYSSA RODEMEYER, SISTER OF JAMEY RODEMEYER: You know they were making fun of him for having so many girl friends. And you know, they were calling him a girl. They were -- they were just calling him names and saying harsh things about him and just ridiculous things.

COOPER: The -- you actually found him?


COOPER: I mean, I can't imagine what that was like.

A. RODEMEYER: It was -- it was rough, but like, I don't know. It just kind of -- I didn't really have time to soak it all in because I was in a state of shock and I was trying to do everything to, you know, call 911, get my parents, you know, try to save him. And I don't know. It didn't all fully register at the time, I guess.

COOPER: Yes. It was a hanging in the backyard?


COOPER: You went -- it was important for your parents that you go to the homecoming dance the first day of Jamey's wake, the first day of the wake.

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. They let me leave early from the wake until 8:00 and then the dance was at 7:00. And they wanted me -- they didn't want me to miss out on any homecoming things and they wanted me to try to get my mind off stuff. And so they told me I could go. And I went with a whole group of friends from the wake and we all went together.

COOPER: And I mean what was that like?

A. RODEMEYER: The beginning of the dance, it was really great. Like we were all having a good time, and we -- you know, we were dancing around. Some kids were just like -- some kids were just kind of sitting there, like, you know, I don't think I should be having fun. You know, and we're just like, you just got to -- just this time just let yourself be happy and just imagine he's with us just dancing along with us, and you just can't like let yourself be in pain for just like these two hours.

And just try to enjoy yourself because I don't want to see his friends in so much pain that they're going through. And I just -- I was trying to encourage people to have fun. And then, you know, things just started going bad.

COOPER: They played a Lady Gaga song.

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. And we all started chanting for him.

COOPER: You started chanting Jamey's name?

A. RODEMEYER: Yes, and we had so many people chanting it and we were all jumping around and we were singing to it. And it was -- it was -- it started off great.

COOPER: And then what happened?

A. RODEMEYER: Then a little group of like three of his prior bullies, as we were chanting, they started yelling stuff back at us. They were saying that they were glad he was dead and just basically that, and like some obscenities and things.

COOPER: So they were actually saying that? They were --


COOPER: You know the kids who were saying this, as they were saying they were glad your brother's dead.

A. RODEMEYER: Yes. Like we -- later, like, after the dance, I found out that some kid was videotaping the dance, and he actually got it on tape. And it was -- it was so cruel.

COOPER: Was that one of the kids who was one of the bullies who was videotaping?

A. RODEMEYER: No, he's actually a really nice guy.

COOPER: When you heard -- I mean did you actually hear them saying this?


COOPER: I can't imagine what that's like.

A. RODEMEYER: I just -- I honestly didn't know what to do about it. I was just kind of struck in awe. And I -- we all kind of stopped. And like everyone started like breaking down and crying, and we all just kind of got in a little group and we were all crying. And the teachers came and tried to like comfort us.

And then administration came. And we tried to tell them what happened. And I actually ended up having a really nice talk with one of our vice principals who is actually really trying to do something about this. And I give him so much credit for that.

COOPER: But in terms of what happened at the dance, I mean, do those kids -- did the teacher tell them to stop or they just stopped naturally?

A. RODEMEYER: No, they -- they stopped after a while just because eventually chanting has to stop. And they basically ran from the dance and -- because they knew they were going to get in trouble.

COOPER: You went home. And I talked to your mom before on my show earlier and she was very upset. She was angry. A. RODEMEYER: Yes. How could you not be angry at this?


A. RODEMEYER: Like, I don't understand who would have the heart to disrespect someone even after they're dead. It's mind blowing.

COOPER: It's been important for your folks and for you to speak about Jamey, even though it's only been, I mean what, nine days now?

A. RODEMEYER: Yes, nine days.

COOPER: Why is that so important for you to speak?

A. RODEMEYER: It's important because Jamey, while he was alive, was trying to get out this message of everyone should be treated equally and no one should have to be bullied for any kind of way that they're different. And to me, that's a really important message, too, because no one deserves to be bullied.

Everyone's different and that's what's great about everyone is everyone's uniqueness. And we just want to keep that message going because we don't want to see another teen that comes to this decision because they're being bullied because no one deserves to feel like they're worthless, because no one's worthless. Everyone's worth the life they're living.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about Jamey, to remember about him?

A. RODEMEYER: I want them to remember his smile and his caring heart and his love for Lady Gaga and just -- he was such a sweet, sweet kid.

COOPER: You're incredibly strong.


COOPER: And I hope you find peace in the days ahead. Thank you. Thanks for being here.

A. RODEMEYER: Thanks so much.


COOPER: Jamey's sister. Digging deeper now Rosalind Wiseman who's an expert on teens and bullying, joins me. She's the author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughters Survive Clicks, Gossip, Boyfriends and the New Realities of Girl World."

It's extraordinary to me, I mean I've heard other stories of this where kids are taunted in death, but the kids would, in front of Jamey's sister Alyssa, say stuff about him at a school dance is -- I just find unbelievable. How do you explain that?

ROSALIND WISEMAN, AUTHOR, "QUEEN BEES AND WANNABEES": Well, and I know that so many people are looking at this and saying, what is wrong with these kids, what's wrong with society, what's wrong with those people? And I really want to say, even though people probably don't want to hear this, that this could happen in any community.

And I'm so transfixed by Alyssa's words, that really they're just so incredible. But I really think what's so important here is that we really think about as adults is that we have a sacred responsibility to take ownership, not when our kids are doing things that make us proud, like winning a game or bringing home trophies, but when they do things that are shameful, when they do things that are hateful, and when they do things like what you're talking about, where they celebrate somebody's death.

I mean those kids did not only failed themselves and their school they -- and Jamey and their family, they failed themselves, their community. And what I think is so important is that adults realize that. And that we say we have to take responsibility and we have to hold these kids accountable in ways that don't degrade them. But hold them accountable. Make them responsible.

And at the same time say this is part of us. And kids can do unbelievably bad things in groups. And we are going to address it in ways that they will not forget and that we are going to take responsibility so that Jamey's death is really not in vain and that it is celebrated in the way that his sister is talking about.

This is really the test for the community, to stand up for what it really -- you know what it really wants to believe in.

COOPER: We talked to the superintendent of Jamey's school earlier. Listen to a little bit of what he said.


DR. SCOTT MARTZLOFF, SUPT., WILLIAMSVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT: Certainly we have now turned our attention to the huge societal issue of bullying in our schools. And we are reviewing all of our procedures around that, how we handle bullying issues, the training for all of our teachers, all of our adults who work with children, reviewing our disciplinary protocols to make sure that we are taking appropriate action in bullying cases and taking a number of steps to educate our children and our parents in regards to bullying and how we can all work together to prevent it.


COOPER: Is that enough?

WISEMAN: Well, I mean, one of the things that really strikes me is that those three kids who by Alyssa's -- you know what she's saying, that they were his tormentors before. And they believe, for whatever reason, that they could get away with being -- with doing what they were doing, with screaming that he should die or that they were happy he was dead in a public forum and -- of a dance, there is no more public forum in school, in a high school than at a dance. And they thought they could get away with that. And what we're hearing also is that, yes, the teachers got involved, it sounds, pretty late to me. And so the second you would hear something like that, as the teachers, you would move and you would silence those kids.

So I've got to wonder really what went on that those kids felt that they could get away with it. And that there must have been some children who might have been absolutely stunned but could not figure out a way to speak and to stop them. And that's really the important thing that we've got to do. Because we've got to look at ourselves and not society.

Because when we talk about society, then we stop taking responsibility for our own behavior and the behavior that goes on in our communities. It's about what we can do with the kids that we know in our own families. And honestly, if people are going to say well, those were some bad kids. If you're watching this and you're part of that community, there are kids -- talk to your children even if they weren't involved.

Even if they sat there and they were stunned. Even if they sat there and they wanted to do something and they couldn't because those are the conversations that matter to kids so that things like this do not continue in the future.

COOPER: Rosalind, I appreciate your expertise. Thanks for being on.

We're going to continue to follow this issue here on 360. In fact we recently teamed up with Cartoon Network and Facebook to try to look at this from all angles. There's an app on Facebook, you can pledge to do everything you can to stop this bullying epidemic. To find the app, go to Again, that's Facebook/stopbullyingspeakup.

You can join us for a series of special reports, "Bullying: It Stops Here." That starts October 9th on CNN.

Let us know what you think, we're on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. I'll be tweeting tonight as well.

A lot more ahead in the program.

Up next, "Raw Politics." A stunning admission from the man in charge of getting President Obama re-elected about how tough his job is going to be.

And the GOP presidential possibilities. New word that Sarah Palin could be getting ready to make the big announcement.

And late word from Chris Christie about his possible presidential plans are, if any.

Also tonight, "Crime & Punishment," day one of the Michael Jackson trial. A remarkable disturbing picture of Jackson never seen before shown today in court. That and an audio tape of him unlike anything you've ever heard before from him.


MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: When people leave my show, I want them to say, I've never seen nothing like this in my life.


COOPER: You will hear more of that ahead. First, let's check in Isha Sesay -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, we'll have the latest from Italy's own trial of the century. American Amanda Knox appealing her murder conviction. Closing arguments Thursday. Striking new testimony today. That and much more when 360 continues.


COOPER: So how is this for a pep talk? President Obama's chief campaign adviser David Axelrod said today it will be a titanic struggle to get his boss re-elected. A titanic struggle. Over to -- on the Republican side they're going through a titanic struggle of their own in a different way. They're looking for a candidate that can win next year. It's obviously not unusual.

But this is -- this time around Republicans are also struggling and struggling titanically to find a candidate they actually want to win. We've seen Michele Bachmann rise and fall, Rick Perry enter, and now stumble. Now it's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie maybe, or then again maybe not.

He's been on a fundraising swing through Missouri. Fundraising for others not himself. Not yet. Perhaps not ever. Tonight he's in Southern California, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Library. Today his brother Todd tells the "New Jersey Star Ledger", quote, "I'm sure that he's not going to run. If he's lying to me, I'll be as stunned as I've ever been in my life."

But the day after former New Jersey Governor Tom Cain told the "National Review" that Governor Christie was thinking about it. FOX News says no but a source tells "Politico" Christie is in fact considering it.

Make of that what you will. As for Christie himself, he's always been very clear about it. The answer, he says, is no.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't feel like I'm ready to be president, I don't want to run for president. I don't have the fire in the belly to run for president. I don't feel ready in my heart to be president.


COOPER: Sounds pretty definitive. That's Chris Christie. And the "Star Ledger" is reporting that he once again said he is not running this afternoon to a group of influential fundraisers at a steakhouse in Orange County, California.

There's also of course Sarah Palin. People have been waiting for months now for her to make some sort of decision. "The New York Times" today reporting the Palin announcement could come within days.

In just the last few days, her Facebook page has grown quiet. And she's been keeping a lower profile some believe getting ready for the moment.

Is she, will he, should they? Let's talk about it.

CNN contributor Ari Fleischer joins us, former press secretary for President George W. Bush, now on Twitter @Arifleischer. His latest column up on, titled, "It's Too Late for Chris Christie to Run."

Also CNN contributor Dana Loesch, a Tea Party organizer in St. Louis and editor of And Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff, Ron Carey.

So, Ari, let me start with you. You think it would be a mistake for Chris Christie to get in the race?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRES. BUSH: I just think it's too late. Too much time has passed by. And it is so hard to build a successful presidential campaign. And the scrutiny he would be under, every little mistake he will make and every candidate makes mistakes, it's going to be a piling on.

Candidates need to have an on-ramp to get ready for the presidential especially in the instant era we live in with the Internet. I think it's too late for him.

COOPER: It's also interesting, Dana, because I mean a lot of people say, look, I'm not interested in running, and then they turn out running. But he's actually saying, I'm not ready to be president. That's pretty definitive.

What's -- what do you think is behind all this talk? Is it just wishful thinking on the part of some Republicans?

DANA LOESCH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he's -- the word choice that Chris Christie uses is really interesting to me because he's always said, well, I'm not ready to be president yet. I'm not ready -- not yet. I think at some point it may be in the cards for Chris Christie, but not for 2012.

I don't look for him to do anything until 2016. I still think that he needs to fulfill his obligations to his constituents. And you know he said, I don't have the fire, I don't have the fire in my belly. And if there's one thing that we can count on from Chris Christie is not to mince words.

COOPER: That's true. Ron Carey, in terms of Sarah Palin, we are still hearing, as we have been for, it feels like, forever now, that her decision is coming soon. Take a look, though, for our viewers, at this week's CNN/ORC poll. Palin is neck and neck with Herman Cain and Ron Paul at 7 percent. That's less than half the support she had a month ago.

RON CAREY, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR REP. BACHMANN: Well, I think Sarah Palin is a very smart person. She has a plus, I agree with, but yet she has such high negatives in -- to the general electorate. She has a really image problem and I think she's going to look at those numbers and say, as much as I think I can offer to the debate, I am not going to be electable this year.

And the last thing we need as Republicans is to put a candidate forward who's very provocative and going to really ruin the chance we have to win with a candidate that's too provocative.

I look at Nevada in 2010 as an example where Harry Reid was behind and basically going to be a loser in every poll. But then Republicans put a very provocative candidate up and Harry Reid was able to make Sharron Angle into the issue, not Harry Reid. And the Obama campaign has said they're going to do the exact same thing to the Republican nominee.

That's where we need to have somebody who is experienced, seasoned and who doesn't have open wounds that the Obama campaign can really take advantage of.

COOPER: Dana Loesch, if Michele Bachmann has -- she's declined in the polls lately. Do you think that make it more likely for Sarah Palin to maybe think, OK, I have an opening?

LOESCH: Possibly. I mean I look at how the president does in the polls as well. And I mean some of the polls that they've released they haven't even bothered naming a Republican candidate. So at this point, quite honestly, I think it could be anyone's game for a number of the candidates.

As to what Palin is going to do, she said that she's going to make an announcement by the end of September. It's getting close. So we'll have to sort of sit back and wait and see. I know that it's kind of difficult to measure how she stands against other candidates because she hasn't really actively gotten out there and campaigned in the way that we would see other candidates do.

I know Ari mentioned an on-ramp to the presidential campaign. We haven't really seen her kind of use that. So there's a lot of stuff in play here, there's a lot of moving pieces, but a matter of days.

COOPER: But, Ari, I mean, Sarah Palin, you know, can kind of create her own on-ramp. It doesn't seem like she's going to be -- whatever she decides to do, she's not needing necessarily to go the traditional route. I mean she's been on various bus tours, although she says she's just on vacation. But clearly, you know, she just happens to be vacationing in spots where there's lots of media. FLEISCHER: Right, but the fact is the -- because she did not have an on-ramp when she was named as John McCain's vice presidential candidate, she couldn't handle the scrutiny that came with all of a sudden she could be the United States' vice president.

Candidates need that time. Nothing is like a presidential race. The amount of scrutiny, the amount of work, the pressure you're under, the way you have to prove that you're capable of sitting in that chair in the Oval Office. People watch it and they judge you, and they're harsh in their judgments. You've got to be ready for it. That's what doomed her last time.

If she goes this time, frankly, and I'm neutral in this Republican primary, but it would be a dream come true for Mitt Romney. Because what would happen is many of the social conservatives and the base at the Sarah Palin Wing base of the Republican Party, which is an important powerful base, will really split.

They're going to have Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, Palin to choose from. And it really creates a bigger gap for Mitt Romney to run through as more or less the centrist businessman, more traditional Republican candidate. So it would set him up nicely at a time when things are breaking in Mitt Romney's direction at least in the last week.

COOPER: Ron, what do you make of Rick Perry's, I mean, stumble in the last debate? Do you think -- I mean who benefits from that? Is it just a temporary stumble or how bad is he hurt?

CAREY: Well, I think, you know, one thing we can be certain of is Mitt Romney is going to get to the finals. The question is who is going to get there with him? And we build these candidates up to be such the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But then as soon as it starts getting closer to scrutiny, their numbers start to come down.

And I think Rick Perry is going through that. He still very well may become the chief competitor to Mitt Romney. But I think Ari makes a very good point.

I remember back in 2008 how demoralized the Republican base was here in Minnesota when John McCain became the candidate. Because 82 percent of the base thought he was too - the Republican base thought he was too liberal. But yet our process can -- let somebody thread the needle if they do just the right things, and that's where Mitt Romney does want a fragmented field of conservatives.

And if conservatives want to have a conservative candidate run against Barack Obama they need to unite, you know, in the next three months behind the best candidate and not fragment our vote and open a door for a Mitt Romney to become our nominee.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there.

Dana Loesch, Ari Fleischer, Ron Carey -- sorry, Ari, you wanted to jump in. FLEISCHER: Well, I was just going to say very quickly, what you're also seeing, Anderson, is almost unprecedented in modern Republican politics. The no front-runner issue. Republicans almost always know who we're going to nominate. Not this cycle. And that's what's led to this looking for a Christie, looking for a Mitch, looking for someone else. I don't think there's anyone else out there. I think the winner is in the field right now.

COOPER: Really? That's interesting. Appreciate --

CAREY: Let's keep -- let's keep in mind, though, that, you know, this time and four years ago we had Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson leading the polls and either one -- both faded very quickly once the process started.


CAREY: So, you know, it can still change in the next 120 days.

COOPER: I really got to go. Dana --

LOESCH: I think some of that was Thompson's doing, too.


COOPER: Well, yes, not the candidate a lot of people thought he would be.

Dana, Ari, Ron, thanks very much.

The latest from the Amanda Knox murder trial. We're going to tell you what lawyers said in court today. The appeal, I should say.

And "Crime & Punishment", the trial of Michael Jackson. Dr. Conrad Murray, already -- a really shocking day in the courtroom. A recording of Michael Jackson slurring, speaking. Listen.


JACKSON: We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show."



COOPER: Coming up, what a day in court. The trial of Michael Jackson's doctor starts with a big drama photo of Jackson's body after he died and a recording of him sounding like you've never heard him sound before. We'll play you the tape in a moment. First, Isha joins us with the "360 Bulletin." Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, in Italy, Amanda Knox's lawyers are set to give their final arguments Thursday in her bid to have her murder conviction overturned. Today a lawyer for Knox's former boyfriend who was also convicted said there was no physical trace of either of them at the murder scene of Knox's roommate, Meredith Kercher.

A convicted killer and hijacker has been arrested after 41 years on the run. George Wright escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1970. He was found and arrested in Portugal and the United States is trying to get him extradited.

The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls have entered the digital age. Israel's National Museum has teamed up with Google to get five of the scrolls online including the biblical Book of Isaiah. You can translate the verses into English and even zoom in to see high resolution images of the scrolls.

And a new study suggests that women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day may have a lower risk of depression. Scientists say there's still a lot they don't know about the correlation.

And they're not recommending coffee as a way to prevent depression, but I suppose a little bit of good news as you order your half skinny double tall latte extra whip.

COOPER: I had my first sip of coffee on my daytime show in New York today. Never had coffee --

SESAY: What do you mean you your first?

COOPER: I never had a cup of coffee before. I had a sip of coffee today.

SESAY: Such a sheltered soul.

COOPER: I don't see the point. If you want caffeine, there's other ways.

SESAY: OK, what did you think of it?

COOPER: I don't get it. It's like watery. I didn't see the appeal. There's nothing -- you didn't know who Gumby is. Don't give me attitude about I haven't had a cup of coffee. Please.

SESAY: People are thinking you're way stranger than I am.

COOPER: That's true. I don't drink anything hot. Anyway, I digress.

SESAY: Yes, you do.

COOPER: Yes, I know. We'll check in with you in a bit, Isha.

In "Crime and Punishment" today, day one of the Michael Jackson death trial, prosecutors showed jurors a very disturbing image. You may find it difficult to look at. It's a photograph of Michael Jackson lying on a hospital gurney after he had died, his mouth open.

It was the first time it has been shown publicly. Just as disturbing, jurors heard Jackson's voice barely recognized and slurring his words in an audio recording made just weeks before he died. He's talking about his upcoming concert in London. Listen.

COOPER: Prosecutors say that Jackson was heavily drugged in that recording made on an iPhone that belonged to Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician who is charged with involuntary man slaughter.

Jackson died of an overdose of Propofol and another sedative. That is not on dispute. Who is responsible is very much in dispute. Murray's defense team said that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of Propofol.

The prosecution says that Dr. Murray driven by money abandoned, quote, "awe principles of medical care" and feed Jackson's addiction with a drug normally found only in medical facilities. Randi Kaye was in the courtroom.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once again, Michael Jackson had the world's attention. This time, though, he was wasted, slurring his words. Listen to this recording by Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, made six weeks before his death.

Prosecutor David Walgren says Jackson was drugged up and that Dr. Murray was not only aware of his addiction, but continued to feed it by supplying and administering drugs that eventually killed the pop star.

DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: It was Dr. Murray's repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Mr. Jackson's death on June 25th 2009.

KAYE: Prosecutors continued to hammer Murray's so-called gross negligence, leaving the room while Jackson was hooked up to a Propofol IV, calling the pop star's bodyguard when he stopped breathing instead of 911, and urging him to hide the drugs and vials in the room.

And this bombshell -- Prosecutor Walgren told the jury as paramedics fought to save Jackson's life, Dr. Murray held back a critical piece of information, that he had given Michael Jackson Propofol, the powerful anesthetic.

WALGREN: Conrad Murray never once mentioned the administration of Propofol.

KAYE: Then it was Defense Attorney Ed Chernoff's turn. He said there was nothing Dr. Murray could have done to prevent Jackson's death because Jackson died at his own hand, taking more Propofol without Murray's knowing.

ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Michael Jackson swallowed up to eight pills on his own without telling his doctor, without permission from his doctor. And when Dr. Murray gave him the 25 milligrams and Dr. Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose, an additional dose of Propofol. And it killed him. And it killed him like that and there was no way to save him. KAYE: As Conrad Murray listened, he wiped away tears. The defense portrayed him as a good doctor, a friend to Michael Jackson, a friend trying to wean him off Propofol.

CHERNOFF: The evidence is not going to show you that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray gave him Propofol for sleep. What the evidence is going to show you is that Michael Jackson died when Dr. Murray stopped.

KAYE: Leaving Michael Jackson, according to the defense, to take the drug himself. Later in the day, prosecutors called their first witness, Kenny Ortega, the director and choreographer behind Jackson's "This Is It" tour. Prosecutors attempted to establish that Jackson appeared in good health. They played this rehearsal clip in court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was his demeanor, what his condition on Tuesday, June 23rd?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He entered into rehearsal full of energy, full of desire to work, full of enthusiasm and it was a different Michael.

KAYE: Two days later, Michael Jackson was dead.


COOPER: So it's interesting, Randy, in court Kenny Ortega painted a pretty grim picture of Michael Jackson just days before that rehearsal, days before the video that we saw. What did he say in court?

KAYE: Well, Anderson, Michael Jackson showed up six days before his death for rehearsal in such a state that Kenny Ortega said he was deeply troubled. Those were his exact words. Jackson was incoherent, he said, and not there.

He had chills, he had lost weight. Ortega said they actually had to give him food and put warm blankets on him. He said that Jackson wasn't even well enough to rehearse. He was so concerned, in fact, Anderson, that he wrote an e-mail to AEG, the concert promoter saying this about Michael Jackson.

Quote, "He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling rambling and obsessing. Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. He was like a lost boy pop there's still maybe a chance he can rise to the occasion if we can get him the help he needs."

COOPER: Had Kenny Ortega ever met Dr. Murray?

KAYE: In fact, he had. They first met at Michael Jackson's house. He did say that Murray was upset that Kenny Ortega didn't have Michael Jackson rehearse and told him to stop being, quote, an amateur doctor.

Basically telling Ortega to direct the show and leave the doctoring to him, Conrad Murray. Ortega said in court that Murray assured him that Jackson was physically capable of handling this show and this tour, Anderson.

COOPER: Randi, thank you very much. Much more ahead on the trial. Here's Michael Jackson at his last rehearsal two days before he died. What do you see when you see the video. Does it show a healthy man or an addict hanging by a thread? Jeffrey Toobin, Sanjay Gupta and former L.A. Deputy District Attorney, Marsha Clark join us.


COOPER: More now on the Michael Jackson death trial. Before Jackson's death in 2009 Propofol wasn't what you call a household word. But it was widely known in medical circles as a powerful anesthetic used for surgery.

In fact, only used for surgery. The fact that Jackson was using it outside a medical setting shocked a lot of doctors after they heard the news. Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows why.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So we are here inside the operating room with Dr. Gerschon who is chief of Anesthesiology here. Propofol is a medication he uses all the time. Is this it right here?


GUPTA: It looks like -- milk of amnesia they call it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Milk of amnesia. Vincent, are you OK? We have the monitor his EKG. We have to monitor (inaudible). We have to make sure -- we have to see his saturation and make sure he's ventilated.

GUPTA: That's all typical stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standard of care, yes.

GUPTA: So the Propofol --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll get a little sleepy, Vincent. Give me some good deep breaths.

GUPTA: Take a look at his eyes how quickly this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deep breath, Vincent. Doing great, you may feel a little burning, OK?


GUPTA: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a reason for his heart rate increasing. His eyes are closed.

GUPTA: His eyes closed and what else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I look up here. This is watching his CO-2. And he's not breathing anymore and my wonderful machine will help him breathe.

GUPTA: So take a look over here. All the breathing right now is taking place at this bag and this mask. He can't breathe on his own.


COOPER: You see how fast Propofol works. It stopped the patient's breathing. You saw the equipment used to monitor his vital signs. Sanjay joins me now along with senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and Marcia Clark, former Los Angeles deputy district attorney and author of the novel "Guilt By Association."

So Jeff, pretty dramatic day in Conrad Murray's -- in first trial, how do you think it went? I mean, they played that tape. Did that help the prosecution?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, that part of it I found confusing for the prosecution because basically, he was making the defense point that this guy is a wreck. He's falling apart.

COOPER: So the defense is saying he had these problems long before Dr. Murray got involved.

TOOBIN: Absolutely and the problems of drug use. So I actually didn't get that part of the prosecution. But there was one fact that I just thought if it pans out in the evidence it will be devastating against Conrad Murray, which is that when the EMTs came.

And when they got to the hospital, when Jackson's heart stopped beating, Conrad Murray lied about what drugs he was taking, which is classic consciousness of guilt behavior. If that's true, I think that's just the most important evidence in the case.

COOPER: Marcia, do you agree with that?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, LOS ANGELES: Yes, I think that's incredibly important. I have to admit that I had the same reaction. When I saw that they were saying, well, Conrad Murray told them about all these other drugs, but not about the Propofol.

And repeatedly and for a lengthy period of time did not tell the police he administered Propofol to Michael Jackson, that is critical. But I have to say one thing, I sort of disagree with Jeffrey because I do think that showing that Michael Jackson was this frail and this drug addicted was powerful prosecution evidence.

Because it shows that the doctor should have known what kind of patient he had, should have given a standard of care that he fell so far below and did absolutely nothing that any reasonable doctor would have done give an patient like this in this condition. You heard that tape.

COOPER: Can the defense argue that Dr. Murray was trying to wean him off this stuff. He was addicted when Dr. Murray got on the scene?

CLARK: Well, of course, the defense is arguing that. But I've got to say I don't think they're going to make it with that one because Dr. Murray had ordered how many cases of the stuff? If you're trying to wean your client off of it, then why do you have 500 cases of Propofol? You have to show declining amounts.

TOOBIN: There was a demonstration of bathtubs full of Propofol, which did not seem consistent with the weaning process.

COOPER: Sanjay, what about the defense theory that Michael took the lethal dose of Propofol himself? We saw on the clip just we just played how quickly the drug acts. Does that make any sense to you that he could have administered it to himself?

GUPTA: It's pretty unlikely. It was interesting to hear them talk about it today. As quickly as it works, the thing about this medication and the reason it's attractive is that it comes off of the patient as quickly as well.

So it's one of these quick on, quick off drugs. Patients wake up very quickly when the medication is stopped. That's one of the reasons that people like it in hospitals. What they said, though, Anderson and I was putting this together, he actually drank the substance. It wasn't like he picked it up and injected it.

They said he actually drank it, which was a very strange thing to do. Just adds to the overall strangeness of this whole story. But something else the defense pointed out was that part of the autopsy, which I've looked at here. They said one thing was not included, and that was the actual analysis of what was in Michael Jackson's stomach at that time.

And they say what they found was evidence of this medication, again, Propofol that we're talking about, but also other medications such as Lorezapam, which is an anti-anxiety drug. I have one more thing here, they says that they -- they're going to try and show evidence that he had been addicted to Demerol.

And that he was in the withdrawal process, which makes someone very, very terrible insomnia, which made it difficult for him to sleep that led to this whole thing so that sort of how they're laying this out, Anderson.

COOPER: It seems, Marcia, to the argument that doctor -- or his defense that he was trying to wean him off it. I mean, if you're really trying to wean somebody who is this drug addled, he should be in a hospital setting. To wean that person off in their home is just not real.

CLARK: No, it doesn't at all. I have to say, given especially what you've seen and heard of Michael Jackson, his behavior. It was absolutely -- it was beyond negligent. I think it was reckless not to have been weaning him in a hospital setting where he can take care of him.

Beyond that, Anderson, there's also the issue that they talked about at some length that when doctors administer Propofol, they do it in a hospital because you must monitor it in a certain way. You need alerts that are given to you. The machines alert you when the patient's breathing falls below a certain level, blood pressure, all the rest of it.

None of this was done for Michael Jackson. So even the manner in which the Propofol that was not deemed to be the lethal dose, by the defense, that is, was administered poorly and below the standard of care so all of it when you take it together.

TOOBIN: The financial motive comes in here, too. One of the things the defense was saying, the reason they are propping him up, they're trying to keep him performing is that Michael Jackson desperately need the money for this tour.

And that all these people, as usual, were using Michael Jackson as a male ticket. Now the financial motives work the other way because Murray, who had all sorts of problems in Houston was making $150,000 a month with one patient. There weren't a lot of other options for him to make that kind of money. So they're competing financials.

COOPER: Jeff, Sanjay and Marcia, thanks. We'll talk to you in the coming days.>

Engineers getting ready to rappel down the Washington Monument to check for earthquake damage. Their mission is called off. We'll have details on why. Also, why being a spelling bee champion could helped a tattoo artist avoid being on "The Ridiculist" tonight.


COOPER: Coming up on "The Ridiculist," a tattoo artist who needs spell-check earns a spot on "The Ridiculist." But first Isha Sesay has another "360 News and Business Bulletin." Isha --

SESAY: Anderson, after fierce fighting, anti-Gadhafi forces have seized control of some of the port city of Sirte, Libya. But a NATO official says fighters loyal to Gadhafi still control a large area of the city.

Due to bad weather engineers called off plans to rappel down the side of the Washington Monument looking for small cracks caused by last month's 5.2 earthquake. They'll try again tomorrow.

Apple confirms it will hold a presentation a week from today when the long awaited iPhone 5 will be unveiled. It's been 15 months since the iPhone 4 was announced making this the longest wait since the iPhone debut in 2007.

And Anderson, listen up, In Bangor, Northern Island, singer Rihanna is ordered to cover up by a Christian farmer while filming a music video on his land. The farmer stepped in to stop the shoot when he saw the pop superstar stripping down to a bikini top. Not to be deterred Rihanna was seen filming in Belfast today. Rihanna raising the temperature in a muddy barley field.

COOPER: Wow, I like that Rihanna.

SESAY: Can you name a single Rihanna song?

COOPER: Yes. Like the prettiest girl in the world. That's what I run to it almost every day. What's the title of it? What's that song? Anyone?

SESAY: Tick, tick, tick.

COOPER: Only girl in the world and also the Eminem song she did. I like that Rihanna. All right, coming up, "The Ridiculist." We'll be right back.


COOPER: Time for "The Ridiculist." Tonight, we're adding Brad Marchand's tattoo artist. Brad Marchand is a rookie for the Boston Bruins. After the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, a bunch of them got tattoos to commemorate the win.

They also ran up a bar tab of $150,000 at a nightclub, but that's another story. We don't know who the tattoo artist was, but we're guessing he isn't exactly a spelling bee aficionado because take a look at Brad's tattoo. Look closely, yes that would champions with an "A" instead of an "O."

It also looked like the Starley Cup. Brad blogged about this on He said yes, champions was misspelled and he went back to the guy to try to fix it. It's a cautionary tale really. It's by no means an isolated incident.

A while back "The Huffington Post" compiled a whole gallery of tattoo typos. Take a look. Here we have the classic tragedy comedy or in this tradegy comedy.

Next up tomorrow never knows except it's tomorrow. That's a Beatles song. Maybe he should have gone with "Yesterday" instead. Then we have the very tough, very threatening the your next. Where was he going to put the apostrophe "e" on his thumb?

This guy is extreme, but that got extreme tattooed on his chest except it looks like the letter "T" is missing. Details, people, details. This woman's nickname is Sweet Pea. See just how getting one letter wrong changes the whole meaning?

You really have to get every letter right because if you're going to tell the world you're awesome, it helps if you spell it correctly. You need both silent "Es" or the whole awesomeness just kind of falls apart.

Who would get an "I'm awesome" tattoo anyway. Then you're in danger of the dreaded tattoo regret. If you do make a mistake and end up with a tattoo that's misspelled or one that you never thought you'd break up with or a tattoo that says something like Milli Vanilli forever. There are ways to remove it, but it is expensive unless you go with SNL's tattoo removal method.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not young anymore. You're not even close. That's why you need Turlington's lower back tattoo remover. Look, here's a really cool lower back tattoo on an attractive 20-year- old girl.

Now watch what happens to that tattoo when that girl becomes a 65-year-old woman. It is sad indeed. That's why I developed Turlington's lower back tattoo remover. Just apply once every hour for 72 straight hours and watch that tattoo slowly burn away.


COOPER: So let this be a lesson to anyone who's considering a tattoo. Think long and hard about it and bring a dictionary because tattoos are forever on your body and on the "Ridiculist."

That's it for 360. We'll see you again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN" starts now.