tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 15, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
>> we are shamelessly promoting our dad, like no other candidate's family ever has, but then again, no one's ever seen a trio like us. >> we need to you get involved to make sure our next president is based on substance. >> not soundbites. check out our dad at john 2012.com and follow us on twitter at jon 2012 girls. >> tomorrow night, i will have an exclusive interview with jon huntsman and perhaps more excitingly, with his three daughters, including an exclusive preview of the huntsman girls' latest video. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. tonight as more accusers comes back there's more news on the penn state scandal. the breaking news, assistant coach mike mcqueary speaking out for first time about the child rape he says he witnessed as a graduate assistant back in 2002 allegedly at the hands of retired coach jerry sandusky.
he's been e-mailing former teammates telling them the grand jury got it wrong when it concluded he did nothing to stop the abuse. quote, i did the right thing. you guys know me. and quote, the truth is not out there fully. i didn't just turn and run. i made sure it stopped. and quote, i had to make quick, tough decisions. that e-mail dated last tuesday, obtained by nbc news. here's what he told cbs news' armen keteyian today. >> do you have any idea when you might be ready to talk? >> this process has to play out. i don't have anything else to say. >> just one last thing. just describe your emotions right now. >> all over the place. just kind of shaken. >> crazy? >> crazy. >> you said what, like a -- >> snow globe. >> now, the exclusive only on "360," the first clear answer to how penn state has been able to put up a virtual wall of silence about what jerry sandusky allegedly did to one of the kids from his second mile charity back in 1998. victim 6's allegations triggered
a multiagency investigation that somehow ended both without charges and without any knowledge of the part on penn state head coach joe paterno. turns out the wall is a legal one. it allows penn state, which is a taxpayer-funded public university to keep things from the public, possibly pertinent facts about what did or didn't happen to children inside this athletic building and others. facts about what university officials, including joe paterno, did or didn't know and whether anyone tried to cover things up. drew griffin has that. he joins us shortly. first, what sandusky and the district attorney is saying about the charges, 40 of them so far, showing a pattern of serial child sex abuse. sandusky spoke out last night to nbc's bob costas. >> what did happen in the shower the night that mike mcqueary happened upon you and the young boy? >> okay. we were showering, and horsing around. and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually
sliding across the floor, and we were, as i recall, possibly like snapping a towel, horseplay. >> now, here's what he said to the logical and very direct follow-up. >> are you a pedophile? >> no. >> are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underaged boys? >> am i sexually attracted to underaged boys? >> yes. >> sexually attracted -- you know, i enjoy young people. i love to be around them. i -- i -- but no, i'm not sexually attracted to young boys. >> the tone, the delayed denial, sandusky sounds like a man under a lot of strain. here's what sandusky's lawyer said about his defense, especially about the alleged 2002 rape. >> we expect we're going to have a number of kids -- now, how many of those so-called eight kids, we're not sure. but we anticipate we're going to have at least several of those
kids come forward and say, this never happened. this is me. this is the allegation. it never occurred. in fact, one of the toughest allegations that mcqueary violations, what mcqueary said he saw, we have information that that that child says that never happened. >> that, of course, remains to be seen. so does coach mcqueary's claim in his e-mail that he tried to stop what he says he saw that day in the shower. what's on the record is what the grand jury report says, that jerry sandusky was seen raping a 10-year-old boy. the report goes on to say that mcqueary first spoke with his father, then joe paterno and top university officials. it was then that paterno said he learned of the investigation about his friend jerry sandusky. our fruitless efforts to find out more about his claim that he knew nothing back then led us to uncover this wrinkle in pennsylvania's public disclosure law that let penn state avoid answering our questions and dodge public accountability. drew griffin of cnn's special investigations unit joins us from campus with that. drew, the question we've been trying to get to is who knew
what and when and especially in 1998, when his own defensive coordinator was being intensely questioned by investigators, if joe paterno knew, the college state police, child services were investigating jerry sandusky for alleged child molestation. there are records that point to that in university files, aren't there? >> should be. that type of information commonly found in usual public records, accessible, anderson, at a public institution on who knew what and when. but as you pointed out, penn state and three other schools in this state granted an exemption to releasing records. just put this in perspective, anderson. in 2007/2008, there was another investigation into more allegations against sandusky and the state's new open records chief says that was the exact time that penn state, specifically penn state's president, went to the legislature to make sure their records would be kept secret.
>> what that means, in essence, is that while every other commonwealth agency, governor's office, police departments, townships, school districts, are subject to this law and would be required to provide public record, penn state is exempt. that came as a result of a series of lobbying efforts through the house of representatives that was taking a look at rewriting pennsylvania's right-to-know law, which was really among the worst in the nation. and at that juncture, the president of penn state was one of the key lobbyists testifying, seeking an exemption for penn state. >> drew, do we know why the president of penn state wanted this exemption that was around the time of this investigation? >> we know what graham spanier told the legislature. he was concerned, he said, about costs, about compliance, about competitive reasons for keeping
records. also privacy. but i asked terry mutchler of the open record act office if she thinks the real reason was to hide a damaging investigation. here's what she said. >> i think that view would be shared by open records advocates. if you were at any of the police departments in the commonwealth, incident reports are, in fact, available under the right-to-know law. penn state, because it enjoys, along with temple, pitt, lincoln and this exception, they are not subject. >> so the exemption to release the records doesn't mean they can't just release it. isn't there anyone on that campus willing to open the records to show what they knew, who knew what and when? >> yeah. you're spot on, anderson. they could if they wanted to, but when we went to try to find those records, literally going to detectives' homes who were involved in this, to the schools, to the police department, instead of getting any records, we were sent this letter. this is from the university
attorney, denying us any access to these records based solely on the exemption penn state has. in fact, the current police chief of the university, he wouldn't even come out and talk to us in person. he was just behind a wall, we could hear him over the phone, but telling us over a phone that everyone in his department would not answer a single question. right, and you know, they're not telling us anything. you can imagine my frustration. usually we go to a police department and we get public records every single place i've ever been to. and that's what i don't understand, particularly about penn state, because these records that are normally available at seemingly every police department i've ever been to in the united states of america, they're not released here, which would answer a lot of our questions. didn't answer a single question, anderson. the open records chief in this state says no doubt, if this were anywhere but penn state, the public would know who knew what and when. >> let's just, you know, do a
flat comparison. if this were an investigation involving another university, say east stroudsburg university that did have a scandal at its doorstep, they were subject to the right-to-know law. you were able to obtain in that situation e-mails, copies of incident reports of the police department. any kind of policies that came out with the board of trustees, that would all be available. at penn state, however, that's off limits. >> anderson, i do want to point out we did place a call to the home of the former president of penn state, graham spanier, like almost everyone else here. he is not talking. >> i want to bring in our legal panel, jeffrey toobin, former prosecutor sunny hostin, legal contributor for "in session," and defense attorney mark geragos. jeff, what do you think of the fact that they lobbied to keep these records kept private? >> universities never need an excuse to want more secrecy.
they had an opportunity and a they took it. >> it's a public institution. >> it is, but so is the government and the government fights disclosure all the time. this is just the natural reaction of people who can get away with secrecy when they can, they do. >> and this is important, sunny, because if these reports -- if we had access to these records, we could know a lot more about these allegations against sandusky. >> no question, the public wants to know. the public should know. we should mention that law enforcement authorities are privy to this information is always my understanding when you're talking about the freedom of information. but you know, sex abuse thrives, especially child sex abuse, on secrecy and embarrassment and privacy. and i think that is what is so scary about penn state's position in this because it allowed, i think, for these types of things to happen. >> mark, i want to play some of sandusky's interview with nbc news with bob costas last night. lets listen.
>> i can say that i have done some of those things. i have horsed around with kids. i have showered after workouts. i have hugged them and i have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact, but so if you look at it that way, there are things that -- that wouldn't -- you know, would be accurate. >> mark, why do you think he's making this statement now? especially with specifics like touched their leg, which is what others -- what other young people have come forward and said that sandusky did to them, even if there wasn't abuse involved. why do you think he's saying this now? >> well, there's one explanation. i can just say if this was my client, i would have hit him over the head with a 2 by 4 prior to going on the air. having said that, it does cut both ways in this sense.
this is one of the supersized cases. they are under a tidal wave of presumption of guilt, so they're trying something unorthodox. and this is clearly unorthodox, and trying to stop that somehow. i guess they figure -- and this is the only explanation i can come up with -- if we get something out there, this is a way the prosecutors may use it as you've seen all the people wall-to-wall using it today with his hesitation. if they use it at trial, maybe he doesn't have to take the stand, he doesn't have to be cross-examined. that's, i guess, the explanation for it. it is somewhat puzzling, i give you that. >> jeff, i didn't understand when sandusky's attorney has said -- and he said it a couple times -- that he believes some of these eight victims who are identified as victims in the grand jury report, that he believes they will come forward saying nothing happened. >> well, that is certainly surprising given the grand jury report, because presumably, although they are only identified by number in the grand jury report, they have
been interviewed. some of them, as far as i'm aware, i think perhaps particularly the one in the shower with mcqueary, i don't think the authorities know who that is at this point. so there may be some confusion about that. but i guess they are counting on the fact that sandusky says, go ahead, ask this kid whether it happened and he'll say no. i'd be surprised if that were the case, because obviously, the government would have already spoken to them. but i mean, it is kind of baffling. >> sunny, by not reporting this in 2002, the alleged incident that happened in 2002 to police, is the university liable here? >> i think so. i think there's certainly civil exposure. and wer'e gonna see a wave of lawsuits. i think everyone will agree with me. >> enormous. enormous. >> it's going to happen. my hope is that what comes out of this, anderson, is that there will be tightening of regulations, that there will be protocols put in place, that people will start talking about these issues. because again, people don't want to talk about them. people are so uncomfortable, but
that enables these predators and these pedophiles to continue doing business as usual. and we have to put a stop to it. if you see something, you have to say something. >> mark, more alleged victims of sandusky are coming forward. the "new york times" saying ten new claim of sexual abuse. sandusky is clearly saying he didn't abuse anyone. what kind of defense can he mount in court against increasing claims? i guess do you take them one by one? >> well, look, first of all, when we start talking about people as predators and everything else, that assumes guilt. i just want to start off with, look, all this is is a grand jury or the testimony that's been filtered by the prosecution that was supposedly in front of a grand jury that was not cross-examined, that there was nothing else in there except their presentation. so before we start assuming all of these things, let's just take a deep breath. in terms of a defense, they've already started this defense. and you've seen kind of them roll it out already.
and i would not be so sure that the person who claims that he saw something in that shower, he's already starting to equivocate. if they come up with somebody who was in that shower and said that was me and nothing happened, then you're going to start to see the focus shift of why did this guy mcqueary say all of these things? i know it's easy and it's great to jump on the bandwagon here, but remember, this is nothing more than the prosecution presenting allegations. there will be a judge at some point that will tell a jury, you can tear this document up. it has no meaning whatsoever. >> are we to assume, though, mark -- >> before we start saying we've got victims, because "victim" is a legally charged term meaning that somebody is guilty, we've got complaining witnesses, we've got a prosecution document. why don't we just hold off for a second and see what we really have here once it's tested by
cross-examination? >> i mean, mark, again, he did this last night, he raised this very valid point because there's been many cases, the mcmartin preschool. >> that's like comparing apples to -- >> but in that case you had. >> that's a different case. >> you had 60 -- >> that's a very different case, everyone. let's be honest. >> it was a very different case. >> we're talking about child interview suggestibility. that's very different, mark, from -- >> but the defense. >> -- including adults coming forward. >> what we've -- >> that's based on what you know now. i mean, the defense can very well allege the same thing is happening here. >> this is a very different case. you can't compare the two. >> jeff? >> i think you can compare them as you look forward to see what might happen. i mean, this is what a good defense attorney can do. a good defense attorney can say, wait a minute, as mark is doing, let's wait for the evidence to come in. we have seen false charges in these cases before. that is a very appropriate thing
for a defense attorney to say. putting your client out, admitting to being in the shower is nuts. i don't know why he did that. i mean, there was a reasonable role for a defense attorney here, but this was not reasonable. >> we've got to end it there. jeff, mark geragos, always good to have you, sunny as well. try to get a lot of different viewpoints on this program. let us know what you think. we're on facebook, google plus, add us to your circle. follow me on twitter @andersoncooper. up next, more on the scandal. why this scandal is taking over the headlines and why it is seen as such a betrayal far beyond the headlines of sports. later raw politics. herman cain repeating some pretty amazing claims about muslims in america being extremists. we're going to tell you what he said and show you what the facts say. let's first check in with isha. anderson, after months coming out in a lower manhattan park, a judge rules against occupy wall street. but as you can see from these pictures, you can see that protesters aren't exactly going
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so far tonight, you've heard jerry sandusky describe what happened in a shower with a 10-year-old as horseplay. his lawyer says that's what jocks do. you saw mike mcqueary try to redefine call my father as i stepped in and stopped it when talking about what he did. well, tonight's breaking news. the associated press is now reporting that he's also claiming, mcqueary is also claiming by e-mail that he actually went to police. he's also speaking for the first time on camera since this story broke ten days ago. here's an exchange with cbs' armen keteyian. >> do you have any idea when you think you might be ready to talk? >> this process has to play out. i just don't have anything else to say. >> okay. and then just one last thing. just describe your emotions right now. >> all over the place. just kind of shaken. >> crazy? >> crazy. >> you said what, like a -- >> snow globe.
>> again, now, if this new report by the ap is correct, then mcqueary has claimed in an e-mail that he actually went to police, that would be a significant change up until now what was in the grand jury report and what many people were led to believe. there was no indication up until this e-mail that the ap is reporting that mcqueary had gone to the police. we don't know the details in this. obviously, now that we have this, we're going to try to check police records, if possible. but as we just saw with drew griffin, we're not getting anywhere really with campus police. it's not clear, too, if he went to campus police or city police or state police. again, we'll try to follow up with more information on that. a jury's going to decide, obviously, sandusky's claim. you can decide whether or not to believe mcqueary's story. coaches aren't supposed to horse around naked in showers accompanied by minors if that's what it was. and athletic bystanders are supposed to protect kids against naked elderly predators, period.
no questions about it. head coaches are supposed to live up to their high-flung moral code. and public universities are supposed to be open with the public. not these days. christine brennan is writing about it in the pages of "usa today." and buzz bissinger, the award winning author of "friday night lights." i appreciate you both being with us. christine, there's a report from cbs news citing the associated press, quote, in the e-mail dated november 8th from mcqueary's penn state account and made available to the associated press by his friend on tuesday, the assistant coach writes that his stopped the sexual assault and discussed it with police afterward. that is clearly a big disconnect from what we've heard before which in the grand jury report that mcqueary didn't go to police. what did you make of this? >> clearly, mcqueary's been hit with a load of bricks here. i'm sure he's as shocked as anybody at how this exploded, i'm sure everybody at penn state because of that cocoon they were living in, the thing we're describing in this story. i'm not siding with him at all. but i think that this is a
classic example of this sequestered new reality world of college football, all of a sudden being bombarded by real life, thankfully in this case. and now mcqueary, whether he's changing his story, whether he remembered new things, but i'm sure that this is his reaction to the unbelievable firestorm that accurately has occurred here over the last ten days or so. >> buzz, you heard the brief exchange that mcqueary had with cbs' armen keteyian. also this e-mail obtained by nbc that he's telling teammates that he contrary to the report, he did intervene, stopped sandusky's alleged rape of a young boy in a locker room shower. what do you make of the inconsistency? >> it's bad. i think it's bad. i am ceaselessly amazed at the stupidity that comes out of happy valley and state college, whether it's the judge, whether it's sandusky, whether it's his lawyer and now mcqueary, because now there are inconsistencies.
and the one thing that made this case different from other sexual abuse minor cases was you had an adult eyewitness. and now he's managed to put himself in an inconsistent situation. we all know what defense attorneys do. they grab a herring and they go with it and they go with it. and i don't know why the attorney general or someone said, mike, it's hard for you. don't e-mail. shut up about this. it is amazing because i thought sandusky yesterday, i thought that performance was arrogant, remorseless and one of the creepiest, most disgusting performances i've ever seen. i could feel and see him even though we only heard him over the phone. >> christine, do you have the same reaction? >> i did. i couldn't believe it. it's the outrage of him saying that this happens, this is a football -- and his attorney as well, anderson. saying this happens in all football locker rooms. with 10-year-old boys? are you kidding me? it should never happen. and that alone seems to be the reason they should clean house at penn state if this kind of nonsense was occurring.
>> i never heard a -- i was in college on teams. i never heard of coaches showering with players period. >> never. >> and i mean, players with adult or close-to-being adult players, not, you know, 10-year-old kids. that's not even -- that's not even a question. >> i mean, not to me. christine, how many locker rooms have you been in? a lot more than i've been in. i've never seen it in professional clubhouses, i've never seen it. this idea that towel snapping is normal for a guy in his 50s to be towel snapping with a 10-year-old? i mean, sandusky, get a life. what he is trying to do, he's trying to woo and coo and convince us just like he did woo and coo these victims. i'm convinced. i've read a lot of grand jury reports in my life. i won a pulitzer prize for investigating the philadelphia court system. i've never seen a defense like this . i'm sick and tired of defense attorneys saying it is allegations it is this. sandusky basically incriminated
himself anyway. naked showers, towel snapping, horseplay. what the hell was inadvertent touching of a leg? how does that happen and what does that mean? >> christine, you were talking about this sort of closed atmosphere of college sports. explain that a little bit to somebody who hasn't been in a big school like penn state or with a big program like this. i mean, how powerful are they on a campus? >> oh, i think more powerful than the police, probably than the governor. often we're talking about small towns, anderson, with these football programs that loom so large not only in the area but also in the nation. and the coaches, the fiefdom, the hierarchy here is unlike anything else. we talk football, talk about religion, talk about war and the military and i think there's a lot of similarities there in terms of the structure and the head coach is king. especially somebody like joe paterno who is like this untouchable god to a graduate assistant like mcqueary and all of these people. so they go and shut themselves off from the rest of the world in july, early august for
practice. they have their season. and then after the bowl games in january, they kind of come up for air. and this is a world where, i'm sure that mcqueary thought in the original, the grand jury version of mcqueary's statements, going to joe paterno on a day off, going to his house, i'm sure mcqueary thought that was way above and beyond what somebody would do, because in this case, mcqueary is probably thinking paterno is more important than the police. >> buzz, what about penn state? i mean, what should be done at this point beyond -- obviously, there's a lot of details we don't know about, the full story has yet to emerge. what do you think needs to happen? >> well, i think the problem is -- >> go ahead. >> you cited in your report, you cannot get the pennsylvania state police report on the 1998 incident. by the way, it took five years of constant fois to get joe paterno's football salary. five years until the state supreme court ruled, because
penn state fought it, that it was public record. this is what you're dealing with. you are dealing with an institution that, when it comes to football, is arrogant, imperious and a closed shop. and i mean this. said in my daily beast piece, it's the code of emerita at its worst. they were never going to turn in one of their own. christine makes a great point. in his going to joe paterno's house, that is like visiting god. i'm convinced that paterno knew in 1998 and everyone clammed it up because it's football and they closed ranks. that's what they do. not just the penn state, every major college program. >> christine, you agree that paterno probably knew in 1998? because it's hard to imagine so many groups investigating this guy who is so close to him without somebody informing him? >> he either knew and covered it up or didn't know and he was completely clueless about what was going on in his football locker room and the showers in his program. and either way, it's reprehensible. but yeah, sandusky, '99, prime
of his career, 55 years old, suddenly retires, never heard from again. one of the great assistant coaches never mentioned for another job, a head coaching job around the country? >> doesn't make sense. >> what is that? we need these answers and that obviously is a big part of this story yet to come. the behavior of these coaches even, of course, we feel there's criminal behavior. even if there's not, they're leaders of young men, they're educators and that -- >> bottom line right now, the university could open their records. the university could make it easy for everybody if they were really interested in changing and looking at themselves. so, you know, there's been a lot of talk -- >> there's no question. >> -- this doesn't represent penn state. it would be very interesting to see how penn state handles this moving forward. we've got to leave it there. buzz bissinger, great to have you on. we'll have you on again. and christine brennan again. still ahead tonight, raw politics, herman cain's controversial remarks about muslim. he told "gq" magazine, he said that majority of muslims living in america have extremist views.
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an interview in the december issue of "gq" is raising questions about cain's views on muslims. he says, quote, i have one very well known muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of muslims share the extremist views. when asked if he thinks the unnamed person is right, cain says, yes, because that's his community. that's his community. i can't tell you his name, but he's a very prominent voice in the muslim community, and he said that. the magazine presses cain on the issue and here's the rest of the exchange. the reporter says, i just find that hard to believe. cain replies, i find it hard to believe. gq asks, but you're believing it? cain says yes because of the respect i have for this individual. he told me he wouldn't want to be quoted as having said that. >> are you talking about the muslim community in america or the world? cain replies, america, america. this isn't the first time cain has made controversial remarks about muslim americans. this comes on the heels of his libya gaffe and his poll numbers slipping. you were on the trail of herman cain today.
does he stand by these latest comments? there are 8 million american muslims, one of the most well-assimilated in the population. what does he say about it today? >> anderson, today, he basically does one of the three things that herman cain has recently been doing when he makes these comments, either doubling down or explaining it. in this case he did the second, trying to clarify what he meant by those statements that you just read from "gq" magazine. i was with him for most of the day today. and i put this question to him that you and a lot of our viewers probably want to know. take a listen. should you have more information than one person telling you that before making a comment like that? >> well, you can argue yes and you can argue no. i wasn't doing a survey. i was simply restating what a very prominent muslim, peaceful muslim, told me, and i was
sharing that in that particular interview. >> but you believed it. you said that you actually believed that statement? >> i made the statement that i was given that information and i would suggest we don't need to make a big deal out of that in all honesty. >> anderson, you just heard herman cain say this is not a very big deal using the defense that, you know what, i was restating what someone told me. >> herman cain's been making these kind of comments for months. based on the polls, it looks like primary voters have been giving him a pass until recently. is there a sense that he's reaching the end of that kind of grace period? >> a lot of people i'm talking to, anderson, are saying we're taking a second look at herman cain. some of them to be sure, some of them definitely still love him. but he's made a lot of comments in the past before. he said things about muslims before, that he wouldn't have muslims in his cabinet. he's had to walk that back. you talk about the libya comments and his comments on collective bargaining, saying that he supports those in that "milwaukee journal sentinel" interview.
he has had to clarify that. even the jokes about princess nancy or having an electric fence on the border, that he's completely had to walk back. some of these comments in addition to the sexual harassment allegations that he firmly denies are having a lot of people that i speak with out here in iowa taking a second look and saying, you know what, is this really the man that i want to vote for in terms of putting him in the white house? some people again are firmly behind him, but some are having second thoughts. >> we'll continue to check the poll numbers. shannon, appreciate it. we wanted to find out how many muslims in america have extremist views, keeping them honest. according to the pew research center, how much extremism is among muslims in the united states? 21% said a great deal or fair amount. while the majority, 64%, answered not too much or not at all. occupy wall street protesters here in new york. like pictures from zuccotti park. what a crucial court ruling means for protesters forced out
of the park early this morning. and gabby giffords' amazing recovery. we'll talk to sanjay gupta what is ahead for her. you name it. i've tried it. but nothing helped me beat my back pain. then i tried salonpas. it's powerful relief that works at the site of pain and lasts up to 12 hours. salonpas. [ zapping ]
arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords has stepped back into the spotlight, giving her first interview since being shot in the head in january. we have the first look of how far giffords has come. for the first time, we learn that her husband, mark kelly, had been videotaping his wife's progress all these months.
the images of her early on are certainly sobering. what a contrast they made to this. >> how do you feel? >> pretty good. >> pretty good. >> pretty good. >> i can see that your arm, your right hand you move a lot more now. >> yes. >> is it painful? >> no. difficult. >> just difficult. >> difficult, difficult, difficult. strong, strong. >> that's the spirit. >> she's got very good posture. much better than me. >> you do a lot of therapy every day. >> yeah. how many hours? >> two hours of therapy. >> here at the house. >> giffords has clearly come a long way. she looks amazing, her spirit, energy and intelligence so intact. it is obvious she has so many thoughts she's unable to express. she speaks mostly in single words, not in sentences. let's talk about that with chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. he's a practicing neurosurgeon as well and sees a lot of patients like gabby giffords. in the clip we saw, she's still experiencing difficulty in
moving her right side. is that typical after ten months? >> it is pretty typical. you talk about people having maximum recovery around 18 months, but still having recovery after that. so the type of injury that she had, anderson, was the left side of her brain, as you know, which affects the right side of the body, the arm and the leg. and also speech. in her case specifically, expressive speech, her ability to speak, her understanding, her comprehension seems to be intact. but as you pointed out, anderson, she's gotten a lot better. four or five months from now, it could be even exponentially better than what you just saw. >> i want to play one of the therapy sessions that her husband, mark, taped and aired on "20/20." >> she says spoon for chair. >> for chair. >> cheeseburger for lamp. >> don't get frustrated. >> and chicken. >> for a lot of things.
>> your jacket. >> chicken. >> i mean, explain what's happening in the brain with this kind of word replacement, when you think one thing but maybe you know what it is but you're saying chicken? >> yeah, it's a sort of word confusion. some people call it a dysnomia, which just means that you're naming things the wrong name. and it's pretty common in what is known as aphasia. aphasia is a term of speech. but you're basically trying to express yourself. there are all sorts of words to choose from, but the word you're choosing is the wrong one. so it's a word-finding difficulty. i'll tell you this, though, it oftentimes gets -- that sort of thing gets better. the fact that she's speaking, that she's enunciating as well as she is, she's coordinating the movements of her mouth. we heard how she was doing before. those are all good signs. this word-finding difficulty or word salad, it is called, often does improve, especially as she's had this much improvement at ten months. >> this is maybe a dumb question, but does she know
she's using the wrong word? i would imagine that would be extraordinarily frustrating when you want to say arm but you're saying chicken. >> that's not at all a dumb question. i've asked that same question, anderson, to patients who have had recoveries after this sort of thing, did they really recognize, was it frustrating to be aphasic or was it just something that was normal because of their injury? and most patients have said it's incredibly frustrating. they know they're using the wrong word and they're trying to find the right word. they just can't find it. it's obviously even more frustrating when you're basically in a state where you can understand everything that's going around you. you can read, but you simply cannot express yourself. and it sounds like she was in that state for a few months. again, the doctors say, they're not talking about 100% recovery here, but over months, she's made significant recovery. and that's the best prognosticator of what her final end point is going to be. >> music is playing a big part in her rehab.
i want to take another clip from "20/20." ♪ want to have fun oh girls just want to have fun ♪ ♪ fun want to have fun ♪ girls >> singing some cyndi lauper there. i mean, does music tap into a different part of the brain than speech does? >> music, a lot of it, is on the right side of the brain, the opposite side of the brain where she had her injury. you're taking that and sort of combining it with what we call automatisms, or reflexes where you know the words and the tone of the words and you're expressing it. sometimes it can be easier to sing than even to speak. >> like kids who stutter, when they sing, they don't stutter. >> that's right. they get this sort of sing-songy behavior, the words seem to fit. and, again, you're relying on this almost reflexive speech because that's a song she's heard, maybe she sang it before. it all sort of comes back.
it can be easier initially to sing a song like that than to even say the words to the song. >> interesting. dr. sanjay gupta, nice to have somebody who is really smart around here and knows what they're talking about. i didn't know all that stuff. coming up, the occupy wall street protesters get kicked out of the park they have called home for two months now. a ruling on whether they'll be allowed back in. and a never-before-heard audiotape of the air force one after the jfk assassination is up for sale. ♪ ♪ walk, little walk ♪ small talk, big thoughts ♪ gonna tell them all just what i want ♪ ♪ i said don't stop, don't stop ♪ ♪ don't stop talking to me [ male announcer ] the most legroom per dollar of any car in america. the all-new nissan versa sedan. from $10,990. innovation upsized. innovation for all. ♪
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occupy wall street protesters still in zuccotti park. the nypd cleaned out their campsite while setting up a perimeter that prevented crews from seeing what was going on, a judge upholding the evictions. >> victims in chicago were paid $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit that church leaders failed to remove a priest that they knew sexually abused minors. the priest in question is father daniel mccormack. attorneys said he pleaded guilty to charges in 2007. ten house republicans are again calling for the resignation of attorney general eric holder over his role in operation fast and furious.
the lawmakers accuse holder of lying about the atf gun-tracking program where agents allowed known criminals to buy guns for practicing purposes. the u.s. postal service reports an annual loss of $5.1 billion due to declining mail volume and the rising cost of employee benefits. and newly discovered audio tapes made aboard air force one just after president john f. kennedy was assassinated are up for sale for half a million dollar. the recordings are being sold by they're 30 minutes longer than the edited recording at the national archives. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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time now for the ridiculist. today, we're adding the firing of the sugar plum fairy. in st. charles, missouri, there's a christmas traditions festival along main street. for five years a woman named laura has played the sugar plum fairy. she's one of the kids' favorite characters. she really gets into her role. >> fairy christmas and a flappy new year! >> this year, laura's wings have been clipped. that's right. in tonight's edition of sentences i never thought i would say, the sugar plum fairy has been taken down by a cup of urine, a flushing toilet and a curse word. allow me to explain.
this year, all the festival employees had to take a drug test. the sugar plum fairy is not used to taking drug tests, boys and girls. after she peed in a cup, she apparently flushed the toilet. so the drug testing place said she'd have to retake the test. at which point she got exasperated because she was going to miss a job interview. the sugar plum fairy gig is a temporary thing. pretty seasonal, by definition. she said to no one in particular a word that is more naughty than nice. laura explains to st. louis affiliate, ksdk. >> out of pure frustration with myself, i said a curse word. i banged my head on the bathroom door and just -- blah. >> and because of the said curse word, the sugar plum fairy got canned. she broke the christmas tradition's code of conduct which states, and i quote, that christmas characters don't know naughty words. >> i made a mistake, and i know i made a mistake. and i'm willing to apologize for it. i wish that they would just be a little bit more reasonable.
>> come on, people. the sugar plum fairy's contrite. i have to be honest, i think maybe these nutcrackers should give her the job back. >> i would love for them to say, you know what, we made a big mistake. we actually love you, and we'd love to have you back this year for sugar plum fairy. in a perfect world, i would have my job. >> she seems so nice. she said a curse word while she was out of costume not working at a drug testing facility. it's not like she pulled a bad santa or something. >> look who's here, jimmy. it's santa. >> oh [ bleep ] great. >> lets tell him what you want for christmas. >> [ bleep ] i'm on my [ bleep ] lunch break, okay? >> ii ask you, has there ever been more brilliant casting than a billy bob thornton as a drunken, cursing santa claus? all our reporters were at the north pole covering the drug testing of the elves at santa's work shop which takes a long,