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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
More Accusers in Penn State Scandal?; Occupy Wall Street Mass Protests
Aired November 17, 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: Good evening, everyone, 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.
Breaking news tonight on the Penn State sex abuse scandal: late word of a new accuser. His lawyer says Jerry Sandusky raped him back in the 1990s. And there may be more new accusers to follow, possibly more than 10, according to the attorney you're going to hear from shortly.
Some are claiming abuse dating back to the early '80s. Now, if those claims bear out and the charges against Sandusky are, in fact, true, it means the abuse went on far longer than first thought, and so, perhaps, did the cover-up.
Jason Carroll has got more on the new accuser in just a moment, but we begin with the possibility of a cover-up, or at the very least a deep culture of silence when it comes to anything that might tarnish Penn State football and Joe Paterno.
Because as we told you and we showed you last night, the more we try to answer the questions that everyone wants answers to, the more we run into manifestations of that culture, of the ecosystem in which everyone knows everyone, and they're all connected somehow to Penn State football.
Start with Mike McQueary who says he witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in the football team showers back in 2002. Today he's an assistant coach. Prior to the incident, he was a Penn State quarterback and teammate of Jerry Sandusky's son.
Now according to the grand jury report, McQueary's first call after that was to his own father. The father, according to a "Sports Illustrated" investigation, was an administrator at a health clinic to which Joe Paterno has donated at least $1 million. The father told McQueary to go not to the police nor to state child welfare authorities but as far as we know to Joe Paterno.
Paterno then reported the abuse to his now indicted former athletic director, Tim Curley, and the university has now indicted former vice president of finance and business, Gary Schultz. Yet according to the grand jury report, the account of what happened got weaker and weaker the further up the line it went.
Now full disclosure here, some of this is very graphic. But we think it's important for you to hear it, for you to understand the full context of the story. To actually understand what we're talking about here.
So here is McQueary's version as summarized by the grand jury -- quote -- "He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky."
Now here's Joe Paterno's version according to the grand jury -- quote -- "The graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."
And now Schultz, the vice president and crucially also head of the university police -- quote -- "Schultz conceded that the report the graduate assistant made was of inappropriate sexual conduct by Sandusky. However, Schultz testified the allegations were not that serious."
And neither Curley, who dealt with the massive millions Penn State football generated, nor Curley who ran the athletic program, nor Paterno, who more or less was king of State College, none of them saw fit to bring in the police, even though all three either knew or say they were later made aware of a similar incident in 1998 in which the university and local police investigated and so did the local DA and Child Welfare.
Back then no charges resulted. The DA later disappeared and is now presumed dead. The university council back then who signed off on the handling of that incident was this man, Wendell Courtney. Now he went onto become counsel for Jerry Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation. He resigned last week.
In a place where, as we said, everyone seems connected to everyone else, here's yet another connection or some were saying another conflict of interest. That somehow with everyone so connected, how can Joe Paterno claim not to have known at that time about that 1998 investigation? The investigation of his right-hand man and potential successor, Jerry Sandusky.
Four agencies were investigating explosive allegations. Tim Curley, his boss, if only in name, knew. So how couldn't Paterno? And why was a police investigation launched in 1998 but not in 2002? After all in 2002 not only were the allegations more graphic, but there was a trusted eyewitness, Mike McQueary.
Was it because in 1998 the alleged victim's mother went first to Penn State police, but in 2002 McQueary went first to Paterno?
Just as a side note here, McQueary is now claiming he did talk to police. But there's no record of a police report. And in any cases we've been reporting all week, Penn State is exempt from Commonwealth Public Record law. So they have been hiding behind a legal wall of silence. They could open up their records, but they haven't chosen to do that. Second Mile isn't talking either. Nor are officials at the school the boy known as Victim 1 was attending. The school were continuing the theme of one connection after another. Jerry Sandusky was also coaching football.
Victim 1's allegations were what ultimately led to Sandusky's downfall, and in yet another case of everything kind of being connected, the local DA had to hand off the case to state authorities because here the DA is related by marriage to Sandusky. His wife's biological brother is Sandusky's adopted son.
So Jerry Sandusky had connections. Jerry Sandusky had clout. Jerry Sandusky was in many places idolized.
Last night we talked to the mother of the alleged Victim 1. That's what he's called in the grand jury report. She said something that really jumped out at us as we wanted to follow it up today. It's about what allegedly happened to her own son at his school. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Jerry was also volunteering at your son's school, helping coach the football team.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
COOPER: So he -- and he had a lot of privileges at the school. So he could call students actually out of class?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess. I really think that without parental consent, he shouldn't be able to do that. But I never gave my permission for him to take my son out of class or to leave the school with my child. But he did.
COOPER: Do you know what Jerry was doing when he called your son out of class?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no idea.
COOPER: But he would meet with him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We don't know exactly what happened at many of those meetings. The grand jury report does say they would sometimes go into the conference room or the wait room without supervision, but beyond that is unclear.
What we do know is that Jerry Sandusky clearly had access to this boy seemingly whenever he wanted at this boy's school.
So imagine that. This man allegedly could get this boy out of any class, any time he wanted, and no one at the school would stop him. Yet when this young man finally had enough, when his mother raised the alarm at his school, Jerry Sandusky's connections and his reputation nearly squelched the investigation before it began. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I went to the school and met with the guidance counselor and the principal. And when I did they told me that my son had said some things about -- that there was a problem with Jerry, and that he didn't know -- he didn't really admit anything at that point that it was -- he just said he thought he needed to tell somebody or it would get worse.
COOPER: That's a really brave thing for him to have said.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then -- yes, it is. And then -- and then the principal said, oh, you know, Jerry has a heart of gold.
COOPER: The principal said that to you? That Jerry has a heart of gold?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. And I said, listen, I was very upset at this point. I was extremely upset. I was basically yelling at them that they needed to call the police. I said, I want you to call the police. Call Children and Youth, you know, I said call the police right now. And I said it like three times. Call the police right now. And they said no. You need to think about -- they said I needed to think about the ramifications of what would happen if I did that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She said she was told that she needed to think about the ramifications.
The school district offered up a statement last night that said in so many words no comment. Today we sent Susan Candiotti to the school in search of answers.
Susan, what's the latest?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Anderson, you've been talking about the wall of secrecy surrounding Penn State University. And by comparison, in fact, the high school at the very least where alleged victim number one went, came forward and reported this to police. So you would think arguably that the school would want to talk about that.
But we also have some questions for the school about the concerns you just heard from the mother of alleged victim number one. We thought we'd get answers. We were wrong. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI (on camera): I'm Susan Candiotti from CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, may I help you?
CANDIOTTI: Yes, you may. Thank you very much. I'm here today because you were singled out for praise, actually, by the -- I don't need to tell you, by the Pennsylvania attorney general and as well as by the grand jury for the school's quick action in responding to allegations of abuse.
We'd very much like to talk to you about that, but also to the principal, of course, also talk about some other questions that I'm not sure whether you're aware of that have come to light. Thank you. This is from your lawyer? Is that Mr. Turchetta right there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, ma'am. It is not.
CANDIOTTI: Is that the principal?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it is not. And at this time we gave the statement, and we would like to ask you to please leave at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just about to dismiss school.
CANDIOTTI: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we don't want you in amongst the students.
CANDIOTTI: Can I leave my card for the principal because I --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
CANDIOTTI: Sure. Thank you. May I ask who you -- I got it. Obviously you work at the reception desk. Assistant principal?
CANDIOTTI: May I just ask who you are?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm the guidance counselor.
CANDIOTTI: Guidance counselor, thank you. Can you speak with us also?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't think so.
CANDIOTTI: Yes. Do you know, the mom had also said that the -- that she was told at first you might want to think twice about doing this because Jerry Sandusky has a big heart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would ask that you refer to the statement and on the advice of our attorney. We're showing that with you.
CANDIOTTI: OK. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we ask that you leave at this time again. Our students are just about to be dismissed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: So after being handed that statement we were shown the door by a security officer. That statement reads in part that they are cooperating fully with authorities, but due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, they're not making any public comments.
It was pretty disappointing, Anderson.
COOPER: Is it difficult to get people in the community to talk?
CANDIOTTI: Constantly. You know, I spent part of my years growing up around here. Penn State is beloved. There are many things about this community. And it is so intertwined. People are really afraid to come forward. Afraid of what it might do to Penn State and this community.
On the other hand I have also been speaking to some people privately. Yes, a lot of people are very afraid to speak publicly right now. But I think in the days and weeks to come we're already seeing that beginning to change, and we might see more of that in the days and weeks to come, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Susan, thanks.
Now let's turn to Jason Carroll with our breaking news and new accuser and the possibility of many more dating back to the early '80s.
Jason? What's the latest?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Anderson -- and Anderson, earlier today I spoke with an attorney who says he's received more than 10 calls from people who say they, too, were victimized by Jerry Sandusky. He's formally representing one young man who says Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted him back in the early '90s.
I want you to listen to the -- listen to the attorney who's now representing him. I want you to listen to what he had to say about it all.
CARROLL: Can you tell me when those phone calls started and what was the nature of those calls?
JEFF ANDERSON, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED VICTIMS: Well, I can tell you there is a pattern that has emerged not only in the folks that have engaged us but the calls that we've received. In every instance Sandusky used his position of trust and power and his caring ways as a coach and mentor to groom the families and the children. And after he did would in some way act out on them. Either at the schools, at the events, on trips, at a variety of locations. And in some instances, he raped or assaulted them on one occasion, and in some instances it's multiple. As it pertains to Penn State, as soon as the revelations came forth that there had been what looked like a cover-up or several victims -- several victims started to make calls. Realizing they weren't alone. And we took those calls and we're giving them support. And then as soon as Sandusky gave the interview in which he denied the sexual abuse, the numbers of contacts that have been made with us at our office have really ratcheted up dramatically.
When you hear Sandusky you really get a glimpse into the mind of the molester and the dimension that comes through his denial, minimization and blame. He cannot and does not admit what he did to these kids.
CARROLL: The victim that you were formally representing, why do you think he decided to finally come forward?
ANDERSON: He saw the interview Sandusky did. And he felt a mixture of fury, despair and fear. And he shared with me that -- despair and fear and said that when I heard him say that he had not abused or raped or violated children I knew that he had not only violated me but he had put a dagger in my heart and salted the wounds, and deeper wounded my soul than I had ever even realized.
And he then knew that he had to do something more and made the call and urged me to carry it forward and speak with and for him. And indeed I do and I'm privileged and honored to do so.
CARROLL: In the one case that you were formally representing, what is -- what is that man? Is he a young man at this point? What is he alleging that Sandusky did?
ANDERSON: In some cases it's multiple instances of child rape and abuse. In other instances it's more isolated. But in all instances they were effectively groomed. And in all instances each of these young people, some older than others now suffered in secrecy and silence and shame.
This isn't just about Sandusky grooming and abusing and raping children. This about an institutional failure by many over decades to heed the warning signs and to protect the kids, and instead of protecting the kids, many, many adults chose to protect the reputation.
COOPER: Jason, the lawyer told you he'd been getting a lot of calls --
CARROLL: And Anderson --
COOPER: I'm sorry, go ahead.
CARROLL: I was just going to point out, Anderson, that earlier this week, I just want to make a note of this, that when I spoke to Jerry Sandusky's attorney, I think you remember that interview, he said to me that he was expecting people, other people, to come forward and make claims and he was worried about that. Because he said, I suspect that anyone at any point early on in Sandusky's career, who any sort of association with him, might want to take advantage of what's happening now and come forward and make some sort of a claim.
So that was one of the points that Jerry Sandusky's attorney was actually worried about -- Anderson.
COOPER: Right. And I remember the -- I remember the attorney him saying that money might be a motivation and people wanting attention or -- in the limelight, and that clearly that those are the kind of comments which had just infuriated according to this attorney, his client and motivated his client to come forward.
In fact when I talked to victim number one's mother last night, she also said she and her child --
COOPER: -- read -- heard the alleged victim, victim number one, she and her child heard Jerry Sandusky's interview and it angered them and upset them and made her son all the more determined to testify.
Did the lawyer give any number of exactly how many other alleged victims have approached him?
CARROLL: Well, according to what he tells me, more than 10. Formally representing one at this point simply because what he's trying to do is -- they're trying to do their own investigation into some of these allegations to find out whether they are credible.
But I have to say, what he has told me so far, he believes that the allegations that are being made, these new allegations are in fact credible and he expects the number to grow -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Jason, thank you. Great work as always.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, also Google+. Add us to your circle. Or follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight.
Up next: defending Jerry Sandusky. His lawyer has been all over the airwaves. His client spoke with Bob Costas. Is that really wise? We'll talk to noted defense attorney Tom Mesereau what he thinks about the case.
Also tonight, Occupy Wall Street, a big day for the protest movement. The latest from Lower Manhattan -- new arrests after a long day of protesters clashing with police -- one New York congressman's harsh assessment of the movement tonight.
We'll also talk with Van Jones, a supporter of the demonstrators.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Breaking news tonight in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, a new accuser claiming Jerry Sandusky raped him in the 1990s. His attorneys saying others have been calling. Some of them motivated by anger at Sandusky's interview. Some claiming abuse dating back to the early '80s.
How credible any of the claims are of course remains to be seen but if Sandusky turns out in fact to be a serial abuser -- and that's a very big if at this point -- there could be a lot more victims out there.
Joining us now criminal defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, who's successfully defended Michael Jackson from molestation charges.
Tom, first of all this new -- these new allegations, how does this complicate his defense?
THOMAS MESEREAU, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Anderson, this is deja vu for me. Now I don't know what happened or didn't happen. I'm not involved in the case. But in the Michael Jackson case, you know, lurid allegation after lurid allegation kept surfacing and the media went crazy. And they said that he applied a cancer stricken child with alcohol to prepare him for sex. They said oral sex went on in the shower. They said things went on in the pool. They said things went on in his bedroom.
They claimed that young men were popping out of the woodwork. I mean there was one scurrilous charge after another. And I will tell you when that trial I cross-examined every one of these accusers, every principal witness I examined, and they fell like dominoes. They have made contrary statements to investigators. They have made contrary statements in lawsuits.
They had gone to the media looking for money. They had been fired by Michael Jackson. I mean it was just a debacle as far as I was concerned and the jury felt the same way. So this is the honeymoon period for prosecutors. They got a grand jury indictment, but in a grand jury room there's no judge and no defense attorney and no cross-examination.
So all this stuff has been leaked. Everything looks shocking. We don't know what the other side of the coin is going to look like until the defense does her investigation and gets their turn.
COOPER: It's also important to point out, and other attorneys in this program pointing this out over the last several days. There have been instances in the past, the McMartin preschool, probably the most famous incident which was in the late '80s or early '90s, if my memory serves me, in which there were -- I mean there was a huge mass hysteria, and ultimately there was nothing there.
MESEREAU: There was also a case in Bakersfield, California, which is north of Los Angeles, which was very similar. All these children stepped forward. All of these people were convicted. They went to prison. And eventually all these children came forward and said they were asked to make these statements. It never happened. People were released. People were exonerated.
You know this is the mass hysteria time. This is the great time for the prosecution. But, eventually, defense investigation, the defense strategy will catch up. I don't know what's going to happen, but you can't get too carried away with what's happening at this moment.
COOPER: It's an important thing to note. At the same time, though, you do -- what we do know is that Jerry Sandusky has given an interview in which he has admitted showering with children, he claimed, you know, there was horseplay involved. Snapping of towels. He described -- I guess a naked little boy sliding down a thing -- sliding down in between the showers with all the water on, all the sprays on.
You also have McQueary's testimony in which -- or a summary of his testimony in which he says he saw a little boy in the shower being raped by Sandusky.
Those seem to be facts, no?
MESEREAU: No, they're not necessarily facts at all. There was a disgruntled fired employee of Neverland Ranch who said that he saw Michael Jackson doing oral sex in the shower. And he was so discredited they were practically laughing at him when the cross- examination was over. I mean he bragged he was going to get a Mercedes from Jackson. He bragged he was going to get this. He made contrary statements to many people.
I mean you don't know what the flip side of this is. Again I don't know what happened. But it's easy to make an allegation and it's easy to jump on the bandwagon when everybody is coming out with shocking testimony.
I mean why is everybody getting a lawyer, and why is everybody coming out at this late date? I assume they want lawyers because they're planning civil lawsuits. How do you know these people weren't contacted by the lawyers who said you can make a lot of money, you know, hook up with me, and let's jump in front of the media.
I'm not saying this is what's happening. I'm saying it's a possibility.
COOPER: Do you think Sandusky made a mistake in giving an interview? Do you think his lawyer made a mistake in giving interviews?
MESEREAU: Yes, I do, Anderson. I think it -- he wasn't prepared for that kind of a -- of a give and take. I think it's very dangerous to have your client make statements. But if the client is going to do it at this stage, it should be a prepared statement. Not a give-and- take with a skilled journalist. I think he looked bad. I don't think he quite knew how to cope with the situation and I don't think it helped him at all.
COOPER: But, you know, it's interesting. You say not with a skilled -- you know, interviewer. It's not as if he was being asked a gotcha -- whatever, gotcha question. But it's not as if he was having asked surprise questions. I mean he was asked very basic questions like, are you a pedophile? Do you find children sexually attractive? And his answer certainly seemed to raise more eyebrows than they settled.
MESEREAU: Well, he's got to be a nervous wreck at this point. I can't imagine this guy even sleeping at night. I just don't think he was prepared for that kind of a forum. And I will tell you, I can already see where the defense is going with a lot of this. They're going to say he's been on a college campus his whole life dealing with young people. He's a jock at heart. That's been his career.
He's dealt with, you know, huge locker rooms where horsing around goes on, big showers. They're going to -- they're going to analogize it to a camp for boys where, you know, the counselors take care of these young men, get them into the shower, you know, keep them supervised.
I mean they're going to say that all of this happened but it never went to the level of sex. That's going to be the defense, I believe.
COOPER: Tom Mesereau, I appreciate your perspective. Thank you.
MESEREAU: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, hundreds of people arrested in Occupy Wall Street protests here in New York City, more going on tonight, events around the country marking the two-month anniversary of the movement.
We will get a live update from the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.
COOPER: Just ahead on "360," a major show of force by Occupy Wall Street protesters tonight here in New York, as demonstrators mark the two-month anniversary of their cause. The latest on that coming up.
First, Susan Hendricks with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Syria, human rights groups say security forces killed at least 13 people today and arrested dozens. They described explosions and gunfire in the suburbs of Damascus. Meanwhile, army defectors in northwestern Syria reportedly attacked a pro-government youth group office.
Italy's new prime minister, Mario Monti, won a vote of confidence by a huge margin a day after taking office. The senate voted 281-25 to approve his (UNINTELLIGIBLE) government.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers grilled Energy Secretary Steven Chu for nearly five hours -- more than half a billion loan guarantee for that the government gave to Solyndra. Now, that's a solar panel maker. Chu defended that decision and said politics did not influence the approval process.
Republicans, meanwhile, have alleged the company received the loan guarantee because one of its main investors was a major fund- raiser for President Obama's 2008 campaign.
On Wall Street now, the euro zone debt troubles fueled a sharp sell-off. The Dow lost nearly 135 points -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Thanks very much.
Across the country today, marches, demonstrations, arrests mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In New York, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested today in protests across the city. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says seven police officers were hurt during confrontations with protesters. Thousands of them marched the Brooklyn Bridge this evening. We're going to get a live update there in a moment.
Demonstrators marched in a lot of major cities today: Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Atlanta. In Portland, Oregon, police arrested 25 protesters, citing them for disorderly conduct. Protesters also marched through Miami late this afternoon.
But the biggest turnouts and the most arrests are here in New York. Mary Snow joins us now, live from the Brooklyn Bridge.
What are you seeing out there right now?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I can't give you an official count, but there were so many protesters that it took them about two hours to make their -- to get to the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and cross, the last ones just crossing in this past half hour.
We see some protesters now coming back, returning. It has been fairly peaceful, capping off a day of protests that at times grew tense. The last arrests were about 65 at the foot of the bridge before this march began. But it was very peaceful as protesters were taken away with kind of a symbolic arrest, civil disobedience before this march began.
Some of the protesters coming off now are saying that they are going back to Zuccotti Park for a general assembly to meet. Of course, they'll plot out their next move. And one thing that they are vowing is that they are not going away -- Anderson.
COOPER: Is there any sense of what they do have planned for the next few days?
SNOW: For the next few days, no. And one of the big questions that I've been talking to protesters about is, do they have another physical spot that they want to occupy now that they've been evicted from Zuccotti Park? And that's something that they are still going over and planning.
You know, this protest had been planned because of the two-month anniversary. They said they wanted to get through this day and then plot out what comes next.
In terms of actions that they plan to take, one of the things they said that they had planned something in December about taking back homes. Obviously, the big message of these protests has been against corporate greed, against big banks, and of course, against people getting thrown out of their houses. So that was one of the things that they had announced today. But in terms of the next few days, it's unclear.
COOPER: All right. Mary Snow, appreciate it.
More on the Occupy protests ahead. Reactions to their show of force can be extreme. Coming up, two very different viewpoints: one from Congressman Peter King, a vocal critic; also from Van Jones, a big supporter.
Also ahead tonight, the 21-year-old man accused of shooting at the White House. He was in court today. We'll tell you what he was charged with.
COOPER: More now on the face-off between Occupy Wall Street protesters and police in New York. Tonight, there are reports of hundreds of arrests, and some of the clashes have been bloody.
Thousands of protestors turned out to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement. The crowd, the police presence, have grown all evening. Earlier today, protestors aside barriers around Zuccotti Park in the heart of the financial district. That's where they'd been camping until Wednesday morning when police evicted them. The state Supreme Court upheld the ban.
New York congressman Peter King has been a fierce critic of the protesters. Here's what he said after they were banned from living in the park.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: You try listening to them, and they make almost no sense. These are people who were living in dirt. These were people who were involved with drugs. There was violence. There was rape.
They're frustrated. Life is full of frustration. You know, they should go see a psychiatrist. They're angry people. They're angry people who are losers, who are on the outside and screaming. They want to get involved, go into the system. Get involved, but with concrete proposals. You don't do it by living in dirt. You don't do it by carrying out rapes. And you don't do it by carrying out anti- American slogans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Congressman King made those comments yesterday and caught a lot of attention. I spoke to him earlier tonight. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Congressman King, you've been quoted as saying the Occupy Wall Street protesters are, quote, "basically anti-American in tone." Do you stand by that? What do you mean?
KING: I certainly do. First of all, I think the mayor was totally right than having them be evicted. And also the way they conducted themselves, the anti-Semitic remarks that are being made. Also, I said that this is the way they -- entire tone of the demonstrations of Zuccotti Park, living in their own feces and urine. Assaults were carried out.
To me, there was nothing admiral at all about these demonstrators. This is nowhere comparable to Gandhi or Martin Luther King. To me, it was just an anarchy-type group.
COOPER: Well, first of all, supporters of this say, well, look, Gandhi took many, many years to hone his message and get to the point that people now think of as the man who's Gandhi. And that you're talking about maybe isolated incidents here and there. But overall, you know, the vast majority of these protests have been peaceful, and people are just expressing themselves.
KING: Well, I'm not saying they weren't peaceful, even though today, obviously, a number of them did violate the law, and 175 were arrested.
I'm talking about the conditions at Zuccotti Park. For two months to have people living in their own feces and urine. It was filthy. It was dirty. The health department in the city felt there was a chance of disease spreading.
And again, to me, any group that wants to be taken seriously should not be conducting itself that way. To me, there was absolutely nothing about them that would resonate with the American people. There was no real message coming from them. And to me they were people living in their own filth. I don't see why the media or anyone took them seriously.
COOPER: I guess supporters then would say that you're pointing to specific examples. The anti-Semitism thing, there was an exchange that was shown online somebody had videotaped on a camera cell phone. But is it? I mean, a lot of people say that's the same thing that maybe was done to the Tea Party early on, that people took isolated pictures signs and said, "Well, look, they're all calling for X, Y or Z"
KING: Again, if you look at Zuccotti Park, there's nothing isolated about the conditions in which these people wanted to live. To me, there was absolutely nothing there that was resonant with -- again, with middle America, if you will. I didn't see the purpose. I had no idea why the media was covering it the way it was.
You have a -- really, a small, tiny, tiny percentage of people taking over a park, sleeping in a park, sleeping in their own feces and urine. And that somehow became a national movement. I just don't see the logical basis for that, Anderson. I don't see the nexus between what they were doing and anything else. To me, it was a group of malcontents.
COOPER: If they did start to feel candidates, or if it -- you know, if it moved beyond just actually occupying a physical space, is that something -- A, is that something you can imagine happening, and B, is that something that you think there would be any value in happening?
KING: If they feel strongly about political views, absolutely, get involved in the political system, run candidates, go out and have peaceful demonstrations, become part of the process.
COOPER: Their general argument seems to be that there's a tremendous disparity when it comes to individual wealth in this country and that corporations have gotten too greedy, too cozy with Washington. Is there -- do you agree with any of that?
KING: There's always certain -- certain things you can agree with. Listen, I'm not a person -- I don't own any corporate stock myself at all. And I'm not one who is necessarily that partisan a Republican, for that matter.
But the fact is that whether you're not the sort who's wealthy or there's so much power in unions. I mean, some people think there's so much power in public employee unions. Others think there's so much corporate power.
The fact is you fight that out in the political world. You don't occupy a park.
COOPER: They say this is civil disobedience.
KING: Well, I don't consider civil disobedience to be violating other people's rights. For instance, the people who lived near Zuccotti Park, who had to live and listen to drums and bugles all night. People who had small businesses down there that were losing money and had to lay people off because of the tumult that is being created there.
I don't think it's right to be attacking police officers. Maybe I have a bias, because my father was in the NYPD for over 30 years. But to have police officers having to have stuff thrown at them, have people breaking down barricades. Once you start, there's a difference between a peaceful civil disobedience where you may sit down -- not charging, not going through barricades. That to me is not peaceful disobedience.
What happened today was not in any way peaceful. It wasn't civil. It was violation of the law.
COOPER: Congressman Peter King, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
KING: Anderson, thank you very much. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, like we said, the Occupy Wall Street movement is inspiring strong reactions on both sides.
Joining me now, an Occupy supporter, Van Jones, community organizer and president of Rebuild the Dream. He also served as an adviser to President Obama.
Thanks so much for being on the program. How do you respond to the points that Congressman King raised?
VAN JONES, PRESIDENT, REBUILD THE DREAM: Well, you know, I think he should be ashamed of himself. One thing, he has obviously never gone down. He never went down to the park. I was there myself personally.
He said over and over and over again these smears, these lies that they're living in feces and whatever. That's completely made up. If you actually had been down there, they were keeping it very, very clean. They had some -- one of the best kitchens in New York City they had set up down there.
This is the kind of dismissal by people in power that's going to make this generation even more alienated. These young people are heroes.
Now, any kind of street violence or police violence, everybody denounces it. The protesters denounce it. But the mayor himself said today that these protests today were largely responsible.
They're heroes, because they're sticking up for the American dream. Representative King should be -- he said they're un-American. They are saying, "We don't have jobs." They're saying, "We used to believe that, if we worked hard, we'd get some place. And now you've got these young people graduating with a ton of debt. They did what we told them to do. And now they're praying for an unpaid internship. We should be proud of them.
Also, they're not against rich people. If you talk to them, they're not mad at economic winners. They're mad at the economic cheaters. That's their problem.
They feel -- listen, if you want to buy a yacht, they're not mad. But these people, they're mad when people try to buy a congressperson. You buy a yacht, fine. Don't buy a congressperson.
There is a generation of young people here and struggling people standing with them that feel that the American dream has been turned on its head. The people who are not following the rules have been declared too big to fail on Wall Street. No matter what they do, they can't fail. The rest of us, no matter how hard we work, we can't succeed.
COOPER: A lot of people...
JONES: That is wrong. And we should focus on what they are complaining about and stop complaining about them.
COOPER: It does seem like -- I talked to a lot of people who, what they understand, there's a wide variety of complaints here. And it's early on in this movement. And oftentimes, it takes a while for a movement to coalesce around central messages. But there does seem to be confusion on the part of a lot of the people watching about what exactly the protesters want. What specifically?
Because if you say, well, look, are you going to field candidates? Are you going to have a list of demands? It does not seem that there is stuff to really coalesce around.
JONES: Well, listen, I agree that we are now in a different phase. Now I don't speak for Occupy Wall Street. I support them. But the -- and the people who are out there suffering and sleeping on the streets and getting pepper sprayed, they can speak for themselves.
I do think we're at a stage now where we've got to move from anger to answers, from pointing out problems to pointing out solutions, and from just generating a lot of energy to starting to generate some power. Which means that at some point, you've got to go from protests to politics. At some point, some section of these people are going to have to say, "We are going to run for office." And Rebuild the Dream, which is the organization I can speak for.
COOPER: You say that's the -- that's the only logical next step?
JONES: I think that -- I think you can only -- you've got to keep the protest going, because no matter what people say, even the people who are -- who are inconvenienced say they -- by the protests say they understand. The issues they're pointing to are becoming mores salient, not less.
COOPER: But what I guess is...
JONES: So I do think that a section of them will turn towards politics. We are recruiting, looking for 2,000 candidates to run for office under the 99 Percent banner. You will see this movement before.
COOPER: But is -- you know, A, are you doing yourselves any favors? And I'm not -- I know you're not organizing this thing, but by having demonstrations that disrupt parts of the city and inconvenience people and you see police officers being hurt and arrested or being pepper sprayed, and there's aspects of violence, even though they may be isolated.
And, you know, when I talked to protesters before, they say, well, look, isn't the tradition, a great tradition of civil disobedience in this country? Civil disobedience during the Civil Rights area was about specific -- targeting specific laws that were unjust. The colored-only lunch counters or buses. It's not as if these protests are against specific laws that they are trying to protest, is it?
JONES: Well, first of all, I think it would be kind of strange if we expected these young folks and struggling folks to come forward and say, "Here is my proposal for derivatives reform." I mean, I don't think that's their job.
When the first young people starting sitting in, in the lunch counter, they didn't say, "Well, here is our strategy for the Supreme Court. And here's the -- little checks of the law we want to change." They just said, "It's wrong. We don't think we're being treated right." February 1, 1960.
And then the rest of society stepped up with legislation, with litigation and with the solution.
So what I have to admire these young people for, you have been now -- we've had people sitting on a white-hot stove of economic pain for three years, and nobody was talking about anything in Washington, D.C., but cut, cut, cut, deficit, deficit, deficit, and this kind of phony default crisis.
These young people went down to the scene of the crime, against their future, Wall Street, with tents and blankets, and changed the conversation. Now we've got to change the conditions. That's a long walk. But they started off, I think, in the right direction.
And these isolated incidents and sensational little scenes that get shown over and over again, most of this is peaceful. It is overwhelmingly peaceful. We should respect them for that, too.
COOPER: OK. Van Jones, good to have you on the program. Thank you.
JONES: Thank you.
COOPER: ... the man accused of shooting the White House, charged with trying to assassinate President Obama, new details about him.
Plus, a new twist in the legal fight over California's Proposition 8 that bans same-sex marriage. We'll be right back.
HENDRICKS: Anderson's back in a moment. First, another "360 Bulletin."
Starting at Syracuse University, the school putting basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave after police said they are reinvestigating child sex abuse allegations against him. Fine denies any wrongdoing.
Washington next. This man, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez was charged today with trying to assassinate President Obama. Police say he fired shots at the White House on Friday.
California's highest court today allowed supporters of the state's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban in court. That is after Governor Jerry Brown and the attorney general refused.
And after six years of marriage, Hollywood couple Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are getting a divorce. Moore released a statement, and Kutcher, as you would expect, tweeted about it.
Up next, Anderson and "The RidicuList." Stay with us.
COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding once again the iPhone 911 guy. Yes, we told you about this guy last week, Mr. Michael Skopec of Illinois. He called 911 because his iPhone wasn't working properly.
Well, Christmas came early to "The RidicuList" this year, because police have just released the 911 tapes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emergency 911, Kendall County.
MICHAEL SKOPEC, CALLER: Yes, why is my iPhone not working?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's not working?
SKOPEC: My iPhone, my whole phone's not working right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your home phone is not working?
SKOPEC: My whole phone. My iPhone is not working.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your iPhone? OK, do you need the police or fire or ambulance?
SKOPEC: No, I don't. I just want to know why the hell this thing is not working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, but that is only the beginning, because the guy called 911 not once, not twice, five times. Here's a little sampling from call No. 2.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an emergency, sir?
SKOPEC: Yes, I do. My emergency is my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phone don't work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, what's your address?
SKOPEC: One oh-blah blah blah. Blah, blah, blah. OK, do you understand that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm sorry. I did not understand that. What is your address?
SKOPEC: How about, do you want my phone number?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: If you hadn't guessed it by now, it is possible that this gentleman may have been enjoying some beverages on this particular evening. I'm just thinking.
The 911 dispatchers are really trying to help him, but he's just getting more and more frustrated. Here's a taste of call No. 3.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKOPEC: How about I smash this phone on the floor, OK? Why can't I dial the numbers I used to be able to dial?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is -- I do not know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: At this point, he's threatening violence against his own property, which would only leave his phone as smashed as he sounds. Call No. 4.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an emergency?
SKOPEC: Yes, I'm trying -- they told me to get the iPhone enabled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What's your address and we can have an officer come out and help you?
SKOPEC: That's really a stupid response.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you give us your address, we can have an officer come out, and maybe he can help you.
SKOPEC: He can't help me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you know?
SKOPEC: Because they'll shoot me with a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. Have you been drinking tonight, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
SKOPEC: No, I'm just not very smart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm not drunk; I'm just not very smart. Is there an app for that?
At the very least, that is one heck of a slogan for a T-shirt. Somebody trademark that puppy. Call No. 5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKOPEC: You're going to have an officer come over help me find out why my phone's not working?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, because I can't help you. I don't know why your phone is not working, sir.
SKOPEC: Well, that's pretty dumb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On whose part?
SKOPEC: On everybody's part.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: On everybody's part. Pretty dumb on everybody's part. Or not.
The police did go to the guy's house and ended up arresting him on misdemeanor charges of resisting an officer. He's due in court tomorrow.
Let's hope his car starts or else he might call the FBI a bunch of times. That is, if he ever got his iPhone working.
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.