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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Pre- White House Correspondents Dinner Coverage; More Jokes at WH Correspondents Dinner; California Chrome Wins Kentucky Derby
Aired May 3, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Ms. Turner, what about Tim Tebow? I said if you're wondering what Tim Tebow is doing now he is not an NFL quarterback, what is he doing and what did he say to you?
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: He is trying to take your job, Don Lemon. He is now a media type. He is working for ESPN.
And the White House press corps is coming in behind me so that means the president is not far behind.
But Tim Tebow, he's a media type. He's working at ESPN, doing commentating for the SEC network there.
And, you know, we were talking a little bit about Hollywood's new fascination with faith and faith-based films that are really doing well that never were much of a brand of Hollywood before. But now, we are starting to see a difference and a change. So, you know, Tim is a man of faith so we were definitely talking about that.
LEMON: What about Mr. Newton? What did he have to say for himself?
TURNER: Well, he just had surgery and I said, Cam Newton in a boot. He is walking around in a walking boot which Carolina Panthers fans really won't be happy to see but he said that he would be ready for the start of the season. He was excited to be here tonight.
And he didn't -- he didn't waiver when I asked him who he would pick for the number one pick in the draft. He said Sammy Watkins who is a wide receiver because Carolina needs receivers. So, we'll have to see if that happens, Don.
LEMON: You know, I did see you interviewing John McCain.
LEMON: There is a weird intersection between Hollywood and the political that is happening tonight. When we first started the show, we said we got Ukraine and we got the girls in Nigeria, we got all this going on with Donald Sterling. What is to laugh at? There is always crisis in the world and controversy when the White House Correspondents Dinner happens. Did he talk about any of that? TURNER: Yes, he did. You know, it was interesting. Because I asked him does he try to put all of the politics aside for tonight? He said, yes. You know, he said, I reach out to my friends across the aisle and just try to have a good time tonight. I also asked him, you know, if there was anybody, Hollywood type that he would like to meet and he said he definitely would like to meet the cast of "House of Cards," because he had some ideas how to kill senators! It was a pretty funny line!
But we did talk about Ukraine because that is a very serious situation. There are still some very heavy issues that are being discussed and that are happening in Washington right now.
Let's take a listen if we can on his answer of what is going on in Ukraine right now. Take a listen.
LEMON: We don't -- hey, Nischelle, we don't have it.
TURNER: Oh, we don't have -- OK, I will tell you what he did say.
TURNER: If you'd like.
I asked him that, you know, now new sanctions had been leveled on Russia and the president came out and said that earlier. I asked him what he thought about that. He said that sanctions are a joke.
He told me that he feels like that the Ukrainians need to be armed. They want to fight and they want to protect themselves and that is a step to take. I also said is the president in a no-win situation? Because we are a war-wary nation and no one wants to see that? He agreed. He said no one wants to see boots on the ground. But there is a difference between having a war and then doing nothing and he feels like, at this point, the president is closer to the nothing side than he is to anything else.
So, he definitely said there were things that could be done without putting boots on the ground to help the situation further. I asked him if he had spoken with the president about it and he told me absolutely not. The president did not want to hear what had he to say on this matter. I asked him would he be open to talking to him and he said, listen, I've talked to the president several times about a lot of things and he just doesn't want to hear what I have to say on this matter.
LEMON: OK. Nischelle, don't go anywhere because I have one more question for you. But I just want to tell our viewers -- if you're just tuning in this isn't CNN where you're watching correspondent, whatever. We are a little bit fluid tonight because we are covering the White House correspondent dinner and covering a lot of other stories.
But we are talking about with our correspondent there, or entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner about this intersection of Hollywood meets politics tonight. And in one of those, Nischelle, that was your interview just a moment ago with Barbara Walters because you were interviewing someone else. I forget who you were talking to. I said Barbara Walters is behind you. You don't have eyes in the back of your head and you immediately turned around and talked to her.
Let's listen and then you and I can talk about it, OK?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: I've got to ask you the burning question. Your interview with V. Stiviano. Number one, how did you get it? Because everybody is wanting that.
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: I think she wanted to do it.
TURNER: You do?
WALTERS: I think she wanted to be heard. I think she feels that there have been a lot of bad things said about her and this was her chance to show, what -- that she was intelligent, that she wasn't a little bunny which is what she calls herself.
TURNER: A silly rabbit or what?
WALTERS: Little rabbit.
TURNER: Yes, I heard you say, what, when she said that. It did seem like she was careful with what she was saying. Did you get that feeling?
WALTERS: I think she was careful but I think it was very important for her to have people know her and that she was wearing the visor so people wouldn't really see her and now she felt she wanted to speak out. She also said that she thought that Sterling should apologize. He didn't while I was there.
TURNER: Did you believe her when she said that she didn't think he was a racist?
WALTERS: I asked her what her opinion was and that was her opinion.
TURNER: There was a report out that you were also supposed to do an interview with Donald Sterling and he backed out. Is that true?
WALTERS: No, it had never been confirmed, so it isn't that he stood me up. He just -- he didn't do any interviews. He was going to, then he wasn't going to, and then he thought he might and he (INAUDIBLE) -- and no lawyer. She is his number one adviser, so she decided to take her own advice and do the interview.
TURNER: I think they are waiting for you. I appreciate it. May 16th is Barbara Walters day in New York. Has it sunk in?
WALTERS: Isn't that nice? No, I will abolish all taxes.
TURNER: Thank you very much, Ms. Walters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Nischelle, that is probably the biggest story this week. Barbara Walters got the get and you got to interview her.
What did you make of her comments?
TURNER: Well, I thought it was interesting if you watched the interview with V. Stiviano. I mean, you know Barbara Walters. We all know she is the gold standard and she will press you. I thought she was very direct with her.
I did feel like that V. talked around a lot of issues. I did think it was very interesting and telling that she said very quickly she did not think Donald Sterling was racist. I am not sure what I made of the interview with her, just to be honest. I'm not sure what I made of the interview with her and what I think of her.
I mean, I think that she was very careful and I asked Barbara that with her wording. I think that she didn't really give much, put it like that.
TURNER: Go ahead.
LEMON: We have the same reaction to Barbara when she said he called me his silly rabbit and Barbara goes, his what? And you said the same thing.
TURNER: I think we all did. His silly rabbit? This story has so many layers, Don. And there's so much to peel back from it and I don't know if there is anybody with clean hands in this story. So it's just really interesting because all of the players, it is like a Hollywood script that's being written right in front of us.
LEMON: Nischelle, nice job. We're going to get back to you. I've been enjoying it.
I want to sit there and watch you interview everybody on the red carpet. Good get with Barbara Walters. Nice interview.
TURNER: Thank you.
LEMON: We've got Dan Bucatinsky from "Scandal" with our very own Suzanne Malveaux.
Suzanne, take it away!
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, it's been kind of amazing when you talk to all of these folks here and the intersection -- we are talking about intersection of politics and journalists and actors and all of this. You're at the center of scandal of "Scandal" playing the reporter who is married to the chief of staff. I mean, it doesn't get any more scandalous and connected than that. DAN BUCATINSKY, ACTOR: No, I feel like to play the press secretary of an administration and then to be spoiler alert murdered in that role, it is an exciting time both somebody who played a fictional White House staffer and a husband, the chief of staff, to be here among so many of the real thing.
MALVEAUX: You and Jeff Perry has spent the whole weekend, I know -- I heard many stories about you guys hitting all the parties and stuff like that. But what do you make of this? I mean, because a lot of people say, you know, are people getting a little too cozy here when you -- you know -- I mean, you play a reporter. But reporters, journalists, politicians, the whole thing.
BUCATINSKY: It's one weekend. It's one weekend where I think the press and politics and Hollywood can come together. And in a way, we are all about communication we are all about getting our messages out and we are all about -- there is a lot of intersection, I think, in all of those messages.
So, I think it's a natural union of three very important vocal --
MALVEAUX: What is your message? I was talking to Cynthia Nixon and she had a breakfast.
BUCATINSKY: I was with her.
MALVEAUX: So, they are talking about gay rights and making sure Obama administration is on top of that.
MALVEAUX: Other people we saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to bring attention to racism in sports and get over the whole scandal with the Clippers. Is there something you're focused on?
BUCATINSKY: Well, listen, LGBT rights are near and dear to my heart. I'm a gay dad in real life. Family rights, the Family Quality Council is very important to me. So, I -- like Cynthia, was at that breakfast.
And I think it's important that we not get complacent because marriage equality exists in many of our states, it is not yet a fact. I think we have to fight for employment rights and marriage rights across the country for LGBT and for families -- adoption rights as well. There is a long way to go, I think, to fight for civil rights.
MALVEAUX: And some people are saying, you know, the reason why we're paying attention is because you guys, because you're here for the weekend.
BUCATINSKY: Listen, I think -- if we can bring attention to issues and I actually think that's true of us acting on these shows as well. Subversively, by being a gay man in a marriage with a bay on a television show, this is popular, "Scandal", we are inadvertently changing people's minds and I think it's a great way of getting the message across. LEMON: Hey, Suzanne --
MALVEAUX: And our anchor Don wants to get in a question I understand. Don?
LEMON: Can I ask you a question?
MALVEAUX: Yes, go ahead.
LEMON: Hey, Dan, I thought about you this morning as I was talking back from breakfast and I saw these two guys with a baby carriage. Your book is, I think the book is "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?" is something you wrote?
BUCATINSKY: I didn't hear it.
MALVEAUX: Don is asking about a book.
LEMON: It's called "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?"
BUCATINSKY: I wrote a book called "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?" which I found it does not. It's sort of a comedic chronicling of my experience as a dad, becoming a father and learning what really how all of that unifies everybody, that the one thing that we all have in common as parents is that particular crazy neurotic struggle.
MALVEAUX: And you're in the middle of it.
BUCATINSKY: And I'm in the middle of it.
MALVEAUX: OK. Dan, thank you so much.
BUCATINSKY: I'm not killed off for that job.
MALVEAUX: Yes, you need that job with baby.
Finally, anybody today you want to meet? Did you have dream?
BUCATINSKY: Oh my God. I would love to meet Michelle Obama or Mr. Obama, the president, of course. Katie Couric was right there and I just had a little nerd attack.
So, I had these geeky like crushes on Katie Couric and Andrea Mitchell. So, hopefully, where the politics meets the media meets Hollywood, it's going to be a good opportunity.
MALVEAUX: And you know that a lot of people have crushes on you, too. So, it goes both ways. All right. Have a good evening.
BUCATINSKY: It was great to talk to you.
MALVEAUX: Thank you. Appreciate it.
LEMON: There is Katie behind you. Say hi to Katie. She is right behind you.
MALVEAUX: Katie, come on, Katie! Let's see if we can get Katie Couric. Katie!
LEMON: Katie is going upstairs. That is all right. They are very busy. Who is she talking to? I just saw Katie at a Nets game.
MALVEAUX: You know, she is the first global anchor, Don. That's pretty cool. Yahoo! News global anchor.
OK. Thank you. Hey, great interview with Dan. Thank you, Suzanne. We'll get back to you.
My other angel as you see on the big screen right there is Nischelle Turner and she is talking to owner very own Michelle Kosinski and there is a Jim Acosta. Jim!
TURNER: He is acting like you can hear him. They can't hear you, Don!
LEMON: That's right. They are not wearing an ear piece.
TURNER: I was actually gushing a little bit about Michelle Kosinski, because you guys know she is new to CNN and I have a little bit of a girl crush on her. So I'm gushing right now because I'm having a bit of a fan girl moment and she is my colleague! So, let me have that.
She was just saying how it's kind of weird --
LEMON: Hang on, guys! Hang on! One second. We will get back. Tell them don't go anywhere. I'm yelling at you again on the air!
MALVEAUX: Don, so Katie has a complaint.
LEMON: Say hi to Katie.
KATIE COURIC, TV ANCHOR: Is it Don Lemon?
MALVEAUX: It is Don Lemon.
Katie has a complaint. I want you to hear what she just told me.
COURIC: Don, I really don't understand why Suzanne or Suzanne is not here -- you know, at the party having a good time, schmoozing with the president and working the room! You guys have made her stand here and talk to people! What up with that?
MALVEAUX: What up with that? How are you doing?
COURIC: I'm good. MALVEAUX: I find this really interesting -- global anchor. I don't think there is anybody else who is a global anchor now.
COURIC: Yes, I guess you'd be sort of intergalactic anchor. I'm going to be talking to my agent about that.
MALVEAUX: What is your beat? Is it like Mars?
COURIC: It's the globe. It's the world. You know what CNN covers at times.
MALVEAUX: Yes. Well, you know we cover all of it!
But we are not accepting that. We're not taking that from Katie Couric. Let me tell you. That's a good thing.
I mean, this is great.
How many does this make for you?
COURIC: Gosh. This is probably my eighth and it's fun for me because I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area so what is most fun is to see the crowds outside the Hilton because they are so excited to see everyone coming in and, of course, all the TV stars and the like.
So it's just fun to be home for me. I got to hang out with my mom today and come to this tonight, so it's nice.
MALVEAUX: We all came from Channel 4.
COURIC: That's right. Are you going to be able to stop working and have some fun?
MALVEAUX: Yes, I hope so if my bosses are watching and listening, yes.
LEMON: Can you tell her she is a big partier. I saw her at the Nets game a couple of weeks ago and they were having a good time on the front row.
MALVEAUX: We saw you partying at the game. Nets game.
COURIC: Oh, that's right. That's right. You have much more important people to interview than me so have fun!
MALVEAUX: So good to see you.
LEMON: Bye, Katie. Bye, Suzanne.
We are going back to our very own stars now. There is Michelle Kosinski and Jim Acosta and Nischelle Turner. So, they're chatting. We are going to go on to break.
TURNER: We are looking at Katie, so if you're going to break, Don, you can do that because we are looking at Katie too.
LEMON: Tell Jim it's not the first time I've yelled at him on television and it won't be the last time. All right.
TURNER: Don Lemon says not the first time he has yelled at you on TV and it won't be the last.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
LEMON: Bye, guys. See you soon.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I believe in this president. Now, I know there's some polls out there saying this man has a 32 percent approval rating.
But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in reality! And reality has a well-known liberal bias.
So pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty because 32 percent means it's two-thirds empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point. But I wouldn't drink it.
I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things! Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares and that sends a strong message that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.
The greatest thing about this man is he is steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday. No matter what happened on Tuesday.
Events can change. This man's beliefs never will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, ouch. I guess. Did you hear the punch line?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did.
LEMON: What was it?
LARSON: It was biting.
LEMON: It was biting, OK, that was part of comedian Stephen Colbert's brutal roast of President George W. Bush. That was back in 2006 at the White House Correspondents Dinner then. His 20-minute speech was so biting. Listen to you, Marc Lamont Hill!
Many politicos walked out. The president himself was even reported to be less than thrilled by Colbert's remarks. It was probably why it's still considered one of the most memorable, searing and easily one of the boldest speeches of the history of the event.
Ben Ferguson, Marc Lamont Hill, they're both back with me.
So, I'd been -- this is my sixth year, I think, anchoring our coverage here. Do you think that Colbert was too funny then or was too snarky? You, Marc, first.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, it means six years you weren't invited to the correspondents dinner.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Wow! Maybe you should be hosting tonight, Marc!
LEMON: Wait a minute! Let me set the record straight here. As a matter of fact I was invited but because hi to do this I did not go. I was also invited to speak on the panel with the Atlantic about LGBT issues.
So, go. Take that, Marc Lamont Hill.
HILL: I don't buy it.
Look, I think it was funny. The fact that George Bush was a little uncomfortable means he is too sensitive. The whole point is to make jokes. Tonight, you're going to hear the exact same thing.
A lot of jokes. Some of them are going to be hurtful. We're not going to go over the line. For example, we're not going to make fun of people that died in a plane crash. We might make fun of how the media covered it.
We will be making fun of FOX News. We will be making fun of the Republican Party. We will make fun of the president. We make fun of the Republicans.
That is what it's all about. It's funny!
LEMON: Yes. I mean, did George W. Bush or whoever walked out, did they forget their senses of humor? Listen. Some of the jokes about President Obama, I mean, they have been hilariously mean and rude, but I think it's funny.
FERGUSON: I think it's funny, but I also think Colbert was trying to kind of make a point that I'm here and this is who I am. I think he was basically purposely trying to make that beyond his resume.
LEMON: He got the last laugh. FERGUSON: He went -- I mean, he went after George Bush that night and if you're going to do it to Obama on the same level, I would be shocked if people didn't walk out as well. I think --
LEMON: Oh, Ben!
FERGUSON: OK, in the future.
LEMON: Have you watched -- Ben, have you watched the White House correspondents dinner?
FERGUSON: Yes, yes! I, like you, were not invited the last six years. But I did watch it, OK?
FERGUSON: So, you know, I think you got to be careful that you don't cross the line because it is the president of the United States of America. He is sitting right next to you just two seats down and I'll put it this way.
HILL: That is what makes it awesome!
FERGUSON: If anyone does it to Obama, I would be impressed but I don't think I have the guts to do it against Obama.
LEMON: Look, it's been six years and I wish I could remember the jokes against Obama. Many times the producer in my ear and whoever sitting here on the desk sitting here going, ooh, ouch! It was terrible! The Obamacare jokes, come on.
HILL: Obamacare. The economy. There are certain things you don't -- like for example, I don't think anybody made birther jokes.
FERGUSON: The beer summit joke was still the best joke.
HILL: No, he made birther joke!
LEMON: He made the birther joke.
HILL: That's what's I'm saying, he made the birther joke because it's funny. It's OK.
LEMON: OK. Stand by. Stand by. In the past, presidents would typically offer self-deprecating jokes. This is what just happens to be on the prompter. President Obama did that too. Until 2011 he came equipped with plenty of zingers like this one directed at Donald Trump who was fresh off of Obama's birth certificate -- I'm making a point of here that that just happens to be in the prompter, Ben. We didn't put in here to get you.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (MUSIC)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody, please have a seat. No one is happier. No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that is because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And I don't know if you remember, but I think it was last year when they opened up with the video and it was the "Lion King" and Obama as the baby and there were -- you know, Africa men.
FERGUSON: Yes. Yes.
HILL: It's all --
FERGUSON: Hey, any time you can take a shot at Donald Trump, that is probably the most fan points I've ever had of Obama since he's been president. I was rooting for him then to destroy the domed because he was in the room and it was amazingly awkward for Donald Trump.
I actually really like the president and I wish he would have kept going another three or four minutes on the Donald and I don't think you'll be seeing him sitting front row this year, I can promise you that.
HILL: You probably won't. What I love about this you get to hear what is in the president's mind all year. All the jokes he makes, you know, he's sitting at home with Michelle somewhere, making the same jokes about Donald Trump or about FOX News or about whoever. That's why I love this because you know what is inside of people's heads without all of the political correctness.
Colbert didn't go too far back on '06, and I don't think who does it tonight will go too far, including the president himself. I think everyone is fair game.
LEMON: It's called a sense of humor. Now, here's the thing that you have to be able to laugh at yourself. How many airplane jokes do you think we will get?
HILL: It's going to be at the top of the list. Everybody who comes up will make a CNN joke.
LEMON: But it's hard because there's still 239 people we don't know what happened to, who are presumed dead, but gosh --
LEMON: I'm such a Debbie Downer. We'll be right back.
FERGUSON: You are. Thanks for being the buzz killer. That was good.
LEMON: OK. So, we are back.
We are having such a great time here tonight. And then, usually, I come out of a commercial break and there are words that go up on the screen and this says ad-lib special coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner!
So I'm ad-libbing our coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner and we're going to talk about what's on the menu now.
And joining me now is a food babe. She calls herself a food babe. I'm not being sexist here, Vani Hari. She's joining our panel with Ben Ferguson and Marc Lamont Hill.
Welcome. And what's on the menu? What are they eating tonight, Vani?
VANI HARI, FOODBABE.COM: Well, the first course, we have a salad here and then the second course has, you know, the typical filet mignon. And then the third course is the dessert course --
LEMON: Typical filet mignon.
HARI: You know, the real question here is what is being served here? Is it organic? Is it non-GMO? Are these local products.
LEMON: Oh, really? You're going to go there?
LEMON: So, that is really too much Hollywood for Washington! That's too much. We want organic chicken and we have to have our green drink!
HARI: I surveyed real people here. Over 500,000 fans on my Facebook page, and I asked them -- if you were in charge, what would you serve at this dinner? These are the responses I got back. Hot dog soup. Mayonnaise sandwich. A bowl of sardines and sauteed with canola oil.
These are the responses from the American people. They are very upset at the lack of food policy in this country and they realize that Obama has really sold us out when it comes to our food policy and so we would like to see things change. We want him to keep his promises and people are upset.
LEMON: OK. Vani, we'll let you go there. But the first lady that is all she talks about is green stuff.
And, personally, here is the thing. I think most people in their personal lives every day, you know, lunch, dinner, whatever, they try to eat healthy. When you go to a restaurant having worked in a restaurant, you don't want people going in and listen, can you do this without butter and I don't want salt on this. You want to relax. It's a restaurant.
VANI HARI, FOODBABE.COM: You know what? It's not about eating healthy, Don. It's about eating real food and that is what, you know, the majority of foods at the grocery store have all been genetically engineered, about 80 percent of them, they're all frankenfood processed food and trillion dollar food industry.
LEMON: Vani, we love you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it tastes good, I will eat it!
LEMON: We love you, Vani, but tonight is about comedy and having fun. So we're having fun with you. So just relax a little bit. We are at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. People are gorging themselves. They're drinking wine and eating dinner. They're with the president. They're with their senators and congressmen.
HARI: OK. Fine.
LEMON: Here is the first course. What is that? Poached pear with - your TV at home is bigger than mine. I can barely see this one. And then there's a petite salad with wild red water crest, candy pecan and dried cranberries. And then there's a pork vinaigrette served with that, freshly baked white wheat and sourdough rolls and flatbreads. You don't like that, Vani?
HARI: Well, no. I just want, no yoga mat (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no MSG tonight. That is the one tweet. She will be happy about that. Someone just tweeted, look. Just tell her there is no MSG at the dinner and she will be fine and everybody chill out, right?