tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN April 2, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
channels, national cable channels. international cable channels. and dozens and dozens of language. ted turner changed the world. he'll be my special guest tomorrow. right here in "the situation room." erin ber nut "out front" starts right now. north korea. it says it plans to restart one of its long dormant knew clear reactors and john kerry responds. plus, michael jackson's family in court. they say concert promoter caused his death. does it add up? president obama versus guns. does the nra won the debate? let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. nuclear reaction. north korea says it now plans to restart a nuclear reactor that it shut down more than five
years ago. secretary of state john kerry responded this afternoon saying the united states will not accept north korea as a nuclear power. >> let me be perfectly clear here today. the united states will defend and protect ourselves and our treaty ally the republic of korea. >> kung law is live in seoul tonight. what do you know about this? when they say we'll start it up again, when does that mean it would be up and running? >> reporter: well, just going back briefly in to the very short history of the reactor, this is something moth balled in 2008 and 2007 and in 2008, erin, it was blown up pespectacularlyn television and viewed here care pli in south korea and seems like a lifetime ago. what this means, reactor coming back online means that it could be back up in as quickly as six
months. this is according to experts who have actually been to the facility. it could produce enough plutonium to build a nuclear bomb in just one year. let's put this in perspective. north korea already believed to have between four to eight nuclear weapons. enough plutonium for four to eight nuclear weapons so this is a threat that's around for sometime. this is upping the ante. the north korean young leader saying, okay, united states, you are trying to school me with the destroyers coming in, with the f-22 stealth fighters coming in. well, this is my play. that's what the message is here. we also want to point out that here in south korea, there isn't widespread panic over this but significant concern, a concern especially because 2008 was so symbolic, meaningful here. there's a concern that that is now long history, entering a new era. >> thanks, khung.
now peter king of new york, a member of both the homeland security committee and the intelligence committee. good to see you. congressman, appreciate your time. how significant do you think north korea's decision to restart that nuke dleclear reac? >> i think it's significant because it shows another step that kim jong-un is taking and step after step and doesn't know how to get back. he may want to take the steps anyway, may be trying to force a confrontation or doesn't know how to get himself back in and in either event i consider it very serious. the south korean government considers it serious. the obama administration does and i give them credit. i think sending the b-2s, f-22s, allowing the south korean government to expand the range of its rockets shows how serious they're taking it. i think we have to take it very
seriously. you know, no need to panic but this is the most sustained i would say type of pressure or full my nations we are seeing from the north in a while. >> george w. bush owanted the system to protect. president obama said he didn't want to do that. now authorized it. we have an expanded missile defense system done in 2017. as you know, the former defense secretary robert gaets said north korea would have a missile capable of striking the west coast of the united states a year before the missile defense would be ready. did president obama wait too long? you were saying here saying, look, i'd glad he sent the b-2s and f-22s. did he blow it on the missile defense? >> i think he did. that was a serious mistake. sort of an ideological decision i think he made that it's something to not be pursued and cut it short much too quickly and playing catch up.
the recent actions i'm supporting. i strongly believe that they made a mistake in cutting that system short several years ago. if they had been kept in place, if the program is allowed to go forward, we would be in a much better position today. >> what is our position in terms of what would cause the united states to act? yesterday jay carney said the question of a preemptive question is not a serious question. i asked what would cause the u.s. to ask and the quote/unquote red line and he said i think the red line is if they attack us first. if they do, that could mean american casualties before we strike? is that the right thing now? >> i don't want to be putting anything out there other than to say i don't think we have to wait until we're attacked. if we have good reason to believe there's an attack we have the right to take preemptive action to protect ourselves. i don't think we have to wait until americans are killed or wounded or injured in any way.
i'm not saying that rushing in to war. don't get me wrong. if we have solid evidence that north korea will take action, we have the moral obligation and the right to defend ourselves by taking -- i wouldn't consider that preemptive. that's stopping an attack about to happen. >> in your role on homeland security, on the intelligence committees, in the briefings that you have received, what are you hearing? i wanted to ask this in the context of what gordon chang said, the author. frequent guest on this show and a few weeks ago he told me that north korea could strike the united states right now. >> they can take a toyota pickup truck, put a nuke in the back and park it in a city. >> are you concerned about other way it is attack us? are these types of scenarios things that you talk about in those briefings? >> well, in the world in which we live, we have to be on the lookout for that. we saw iran dealing with the
mexican drug lords with an attack in washington, d.c. al qaeda, certainly concerned of al qaeda bringing a dirty bomb or a nuclear device in the united states. the country such as north korea, an outlaw nation with nuclear power, yes they may not have the roblt capability at this stage but we have to be concerned about them trying to bring something in to the country and why intelligence is so vital, we have to stay on top of this and why it's essentially working closely with the allies to see any type of movements at all, a activity and why it's so important that the intelligence, both cia, fbi and all of them, dea, all of them on top of this 24/7. >> all right. thanks to peter king. still to come, the michael jackson wrongful death trial is under way and is someone other than the king of pop responsible? $40 billion are at stake. the irs wants to make the tax process easier. that's a miracle. right? why is one company 13e7spending millions of dollars to keep the irs from succeeding?
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we are back with breaking news in the investigation in to the murders of a texas district attorney and his wife. mike mclelland and his wife cynthia were found shot multimillion times in their home over the weekend. murdered eight weeks after the deputy district attorney was also killed in the same county. ed lavandera is in dallas with breaking details tonight. what are you learning tonight? >> reporter: hi, erin. ever since we learned about the death of mark hesse investigators have been pouring over the case files to try to find any clues to point them in
the direction of someone who might have had a grudge against him. and want to kill these prosecutors. there's a great deal of attention over the last few days on the aryan brotherhood and perhaps mexican drug cartels that might have been involved in some way but we are learning tonight that this investigation is going beyond that. not necessarily the place where investigators are focusing. they're focusing on a lot of local cases there, as well. in fact, some public corruption cases that we have learned about. one case in particular where a man was convicted last year and he's out of jail and now serving probation. we're not naming him at this time but we spoke with his attorney today and he tells us on saturday night hours after mike and cynthia mclelland's bodies found murdered in their home, investigators reached out to this man and met with him at a denny's restaurant and that they asked him for a swab of his hands to test for gun residue.
this attorney says that his client cooperated voluntarily. he had nothing to hide but, erin, this point we don't know the results of those gun residue swabs were and what it means for investigators. >> ed, talking about looking at this individual, does this mean and obviously they're not yet sure and we are not naming the person yet but does it mean investigators moving away from a possible connection to aryan brotherhood and gotten so much publicity an attention? >> reporter: i don't think we know enough at this point to say that they've completely moved away from that but i think it's definitely fair to say that's not the only place they're looking. investigators have said almost next to nothing since the mclelland's were found murdered saturday night. they were put out very little. refusing to answer many questions but that doesn't necessarily mean they don't have any leads or don't have information that they're pursuing, so, you know, they're playing it very close to the vest for reasons that only they know at this point. but i think it's clear to say they're looking at a wide array of options here at this point,
er erin. >> thank you to you, ed. now the second story "outfront." michael jackson's wrongful death trial. is aeg live responsible for the king of pop's death? now, according to jackson's family, the entertainment giant is libel because it liared and super prized dr. conrad murray. of course, he is the man who court ruled gave jackson a fatal dose of propofol. can they prove this in court? sunny hostin and mark geragos who represented mnlg and the author of "mistrial." good to see both of you. sunny, they want $40 billion. >> yes, they do. >> this is a lot of money saying that aeg was responsible for michael jackson's death an they point to an e-mail that could be very damning. they point to an e-mail from the ceo of aeg to the show director
kenny or tay ga saying it's aeg not mj who's paying his salary. we want to remind him what's expected of him. can this e-mail be explained away? sounds like they're saying we paid him, picked him, that's a drink. >> that's a tough bun for aeg. i do think that they can explain it. bottom line is this case comes down to who was responsible for hiring dr. conrad murray? who did he work for? aeg can say i didn't have a contract with him. michael jackson brought dr. murray to the table. we never paid him a dime. and most importantly, they can point to what dr. murray said himself to detectives. he said, it was my understanding that although aeg paid for me, paid my check, was going to cut my check, i worked for michael jackson. that came from dr. murray himself. i think that -- >> right. >> when you look at it altogether they have a strong case defending itself. >> mark, sunny makes the case
how to explain the e-mail away. that's why she's a good lawyer. can they explain it away this they'll point to the interview dr. murray gave police telling detectives, i'm michael jackson's employee, not aeg live. that's my understanding. >> to which brian pannish the lawyer for the family is going to say, yeah, of course that's what he said because he was talking to the cops. he ended up getting convicted. the fascinating thing about this case is that the prosecution of conrad murray and the conviction i think does nothing but help the family in terms of recovering against aeg. everything he says is now going to be filtered through the fact that he was convicted of involuntarily manslaughter and that they were the ones aeg paying his salary. they were the ones who was saying you have to -- you have to make sure this guy gets up there. we have a lot of money at stake. there's all kinds of testimony about the amount of money that
aeg had at risk in this case and the fact that conrad murray was convicted and presently in jail. it's certainly does not help aeg. >> well, let me ask you this, sunny, to that point. saying aeg knew. so the president of aeg is randy phillips and hi apparently saw some of michael jackson's problems and e-mailed people about them on the day michael jackson would announce the shows for the tour he sent an e-mail saying mj is locked in the room drunk and despond en. i'm trying to sober him. he's an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time. they knew that this guy had problems. >> sure. >> is it possible they said we'll get a doctor to do what we want? >> his personal physician. again. >> again, coming down to -- >> comes down to who did dr. conrad murray work for? that's the bottom line. mark is a great lawyer. i heart him. he knows that. i don't know that the jackson
family gets over that hurdle. and i actually disan i gree with mark because the fact that conrad murray was, you know, found guilty of involuntarily manslaughter sort of helps aeg because a jury may think, well, someone is already been found responsible for this. why do i find aeg responsible? and i think the jury will also perhaps think, you know, he was addicted to propofol, prescription pain meds. he is a grown man. he has to be responsible for himself. and i suspect that they may play some of the blame on michael jackson. >> well, except i'll tell you what, sunny. downtown l.a. courthouse with somebody like michael jackson who -- and you have katherine jackson sitting in there, there's been all kinds of conspiracy theories that have abounded all the way throughout this and the prosecution of conrad murray. i think you may find that a lot of the jurors will say, yeah, conrad murray was responsible. who put him up to it?
who funded this and put him in the position to push michael right in to his death? aeg. it's a big money story. you've got -- it's almost even though they're asking for $40 billion, there is a david versus did lie ath kind of theme here in this poor michael jackson who obviously in no shape to do this tour and aeg who had the big bucks at stake, they're the ones who hired somebody, paid him to close down the practice and then basically sent him to his death. >> wow. thanks very much, to both of you. some great irony to that. poor in many ways and certainly financially is not one of them. $40 billion is a lot of money. this trial going on for a while. still to come, 12 soldiers and a civilian killed in ft. hood in 2009. the pentagon is refusing to award them purple hearts y.? plus, the irs says it wants to make it easier for you to file your taxes. is that a wonderful thing from the government? why is a company that bills
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the government in check. but does that argument add up? tom foreman's "outfront" with the story. >> reporter: americans spend billions of dollars and houring filing taxes, filling in the boxes, all the numbers. >> i don't want to make any mistakes. i feel like it's too tedious, a lot of numbers. >> reporter: and if you say this should be easier to any economist, like, say, joe bankman at stanford, he'll tell you -- >> that's absolutely right, tom. >> reporter: so why isn't it? because the business of tax preparation is huge. and virtually every attempt to simplify taxes in recent years has been beaten back in part by the tax preparation industry. by companies like the one that gave us turbo tax. used by 25 million americans. >> and if we could make the process easy for taxpayers, to simply file online themselves, it stands to reason that they'd
save some money and, of course, if you're in business providing services that would be bad for you. >> reporter: turbo tax is made by intuit and long lobbying congress to, quote, oppose irs government tax preparation. right now, if you go to the irs website to compute and file your taxes online, you must choose from a list of private companies to handle that job. turbo tax being one of them. it's free up to a certain income and then you pay. it's a conflict of interest for the government to play the role of tax collector and tax preparer. intuit says to cnn. a government tax return system would lead to millions of americans being deprived of the credits and deductions to which they are legally entitled. jeff with the american enterprise institute agrees. he says letting the irs manage reduces privacy and maybe not even work. >> and it's not they're bad or
stupid. it's that it is a big government agency and big government agency vs a hard time with big technology projects. >> reporter: we have driver's license, they're handled by the government. >> well, a lot of those things are simple, right? tax returns are not simple. >> reporter: other countries are doing this. >> it's not rocket science to allow taxpayers to file online for free. >> reporter: for now, don't expect any changes here. helping struggling taxpayers navigate the complicated tax code is worth a fortune and the companies that do it best expect many more years of returns. for "outfront," tom foreman, washington. still to come, president obama versus the nra. has the gun lobby already won? plus, an american businessman found dead in singapore. police say it was suicide. his family says it doesn't add up.
will assist the french and coalition militaries to provide them with the equipment, training and technology needed to rid mali of terrorists linked to al qaeda. now whether that makes sense depends on how you define equipment saying if equipment is like binoculars and those in the wrong hands would not be a problem. the pentagon is refusing to award purple hearts to victims of the 2009 ft. hood shooting. the reason, the pentagon says they were not the victims of an international terrorist attack. in a defense department position paper obtained by cnn, the agency says including domestic crimes is a departure. but the pentagon argues it would make it harder to convict the major, the man accused of gunning down 13 and wounding 32 others. texas congressman john carter, whose district includes ft. hood tells us in a statement that the pentagon is dead wrong and says
the victims deserve recognition and compensation for what he calls a direct attack. under fire tonight, the basketball coach of rutgers, mike rice. practice video showed him berating players, pushing them, using racial slurs. rutger was aware of the video in december and he was suspended and fined $50,000. but the video indicates more going on than the athletic director let on at the time. you can see some of the words below he was saying. now the university may have to answer to governor chris christie. telling cnn there are questions about this behavior that need to be answered by the leaders at rutgers. it is 607 days since the u.s. lost the top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? s&p closed at a record high today but a new report of fidelity said 70% of the investors believe the united states is stuck in recession.
and now our fourth story "outfront." the nra winning. in the battle of president obama versus the nra looks like victory going to the guns. not one piece of federal legislation passed since newtown. no limit on magazine capacity. no nothing. not even background checks. today jay carney brought up the issue of background checks. >> i think most americans believe it makes absolute sense to check the criminal record of someone before they're allowed to purchase a gun. >> he's right. 90% of americans agree with what jay just say. literally 90%. but yet, there's been no legislation touching background checks. so, why is the victory for now gone to the nra? jennifer reuben blogger for "the washington post."com and mark glaze, director of mayors against illegal guns. good to have both of you. jennifer, can the nra declare victory? here we are. public support for gun
protection is plunging. no legislation passed talt federal level. >> i think we are in about the third quarter and the nra is ahead by a couple touchdowns but the game's not over yet. i think the president overreached very badly, including things in the bill never going to be part of the legislation. it gave time for the nra to organize, it gave time for the senators from red states,et. th come out with very lit until this bill in large part because they asked for too much. the president has a habit of polarizing these issues, running around the country badmouthing republicans, doesn't endear himself to the other side and harry reid would not include a bill that had dianne feinstein's favorite assault weapon ban in it. >> fair point. mark, let's just take connecticut. the state where newtown happened set to pass broad, new gun laws tomorrow. going to get more than 100 guns added to an already existing assault weapons ban. you can say that's good.
background checks for all weapon sales and limiting the capacity of magazines up to ten rounds. anybody who has a magazines that exceed that limit are allowed to keep them. grandfathered in. i mean, and the president of the connecticut citizens defense league said there's nothing in the package that would have stopped someone like adam lanza. mark, if you can't win it in connecticut, which is obviously probably one of the most pro-gun control places in the country right now, can they win it anywhere snels. >> they'll win it. it's pretty comprehensive and the issue of grandfathering is complicated including the question of really putting the genies back in the bottle and not necessarily they couldn't get a tougher bill passed to have had partly to do with that. >> logistical. >> the nra is everywhere. they do the bulk of the bad work in legislatures and usually unheard until the bill is passed. >> mark, what about -- when people say money usually wins this battle, politics, people
say, look, you can buy a lot of what you want. nra raised $1.6 million in february. a lot for them. you have the backing of mayor bloomberg. you could outspend them in a heart beat if you wanted to in a minute but the pro gun heart of the country is dominating. why is that? >> first, i'm not sure i would agree that money buys everything. i think what voters want is by something and this is an example, look, what i think -- >> special interests are the voters, mark. you know, it's not that the nra has more money than god. it's that they have more voters than the other opponents and there are people who are very motivated who make this a top priority and i think your complaint is with the american people. >> you know, 74% of nra members think every gun buyer should get a background check. so why is the leadership -- >> that's a great question. an example of overreach.
the concern of gun owners they don't want the documentation with the federal government. >> which it never goes to the federal government. >> well, then, it should be a very easy thing and disposable. the president and the democrats not negotiated very smartly on this. one wonders whether they want to solve or have the issue. >> so negotiating -- >> jennifer, a quick follow-up on. the director of the national rifle association funded study that came out on schools just said tonight on wolf blitzer's show to expand background checks. the opposite of management and he is saying that. >> the devil is in the details. the nra said they would be open to certain compromises, as well. they have to have guarantees about in-family sales, they have to have guarantees of keeping the documentation on file and, you know, if you simply say we have to have it our way or the highway and somewhat what the president did with the commission then you won't make progress. they could have made progress at
the heart of newtown and that was the mental health problem we have in this country. the ability to diagnose, the ability to evaluate and the ability to keep these people from guns. that would have helped in this situation. >> i don't know what world jennifer is covering but certainly not the washington where i'm spending my days lobbying and seeing a significant amount of what folks at the nra thought should be considered being considered. there's going to be a big conference on the causes of violence and a package on school security. a real focus -- >> only parts of the bill to get through is the ones that nra backed and liberals really mocked terribly. >> i'll hit pause at this point and simply note for you viewers that people who are members of the nra such a small percentage of gun owners in the country. the you're an owner, you may be amazed the nra speaks for you. >> thank you. and now an update on the mysterious hanging death of a young american man in singapore. 31-year-old shane todd of montana was found dead in his
apartment after quitting his job at a singapore research firm. local police said it was probably suicide and presented a suicide note. but his parents say their son didn't write the note and he was murdered. president obama met today with singapore's prime minister in the oval office but there was no mention of the case during public remarks. miguel marquez is "outfront" with this international mystery. miguel, this case resleeved high level of attention. the secretary of state, the attorney general involved. what did shane's parents tell you about the meeting today between president obama and the prime minister of singapore? were they disappointed there wasn't a public acknowledgment of the case? >>. >> reporter: i think they'll wait and see if there's anything happening behind the scenes on it. it would be very unlikely there would be sort of a public announcement about it but i think they're going to wait, see, canontinue talking with th high levels of the state department and how much more to push this forward?
at literally the highest levels of government now. amazing. erin? >> it is amazing and some people may say how did it get to john kerry and to eric holder? that's the highest level of the american government. why -- who what are the national security impacts of this case that have gotten it to this level? >> reporter: look, they make a very, very compelling case. the more you look in to it. they believe that the company that he was working for ime, a singapore company, this is the parents saying this, that ime they believe a front for chinese companies wanting access to high level western technology and american technology. they believe that a company, a chinese company, specifically interested in building a radar, that would have military purposes so this is what they're getting at. they built a very, very strong case for why they believe their son was killed and murdered and wasn't suicide. >> when you have a chance to talk to them to, miguel, i talked to the parents before and
asked them if there's anything to convince them it wasn't murder. let's play quickly what they had to say. >> well, at this point, nothing could convince us because there's not one shred of evidence that points to suicide. everything points to murder including the pathologist report, shane's external hard drive, the bathroom, the evidence in the bathroom. >> i've seen the marks on his neck. i seen his hands that have been brutally bruised, the bruise on his head. this is something that we live with -- we have lived with every day for the past eight months. >> that was last month when i spoke to them. are they still firm in their belief right now? >> reporter: oh, firmer than ever. there's nothing to indicate that their son was -- committed suicide. they believe very strongly that it was murder. all of the information and increasing amounts of information they have, forinstance, the singapore
police say that they talked to two pathologist in the u.s. to confirm it was suicide when pressed for that information, singapore police said we don't have it. erin? >> thanks, miguel. still to come, an american woman kidnapped, robbed and rape on a bus in rio. we have the latest developments on that case. plus, should overweight passengers pay more to fly? an airline ceo doubled down on that. another victim of bieber fever. in tonight's outtake, the cure. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
we're back with tonight's outer circle reaching out to sources around the world. we are going to brazil where another arrest is made in the abduction and gang rape of an american woman in rio de janeiro. i asked our shasta darlington how police tracked down the third suspect today. >> reporter: erin, police arrested a third man accused of kidnapping and gang raping an american tourist aboard a minivan in rio de janeiro this weekend. they're also accused of brutd ally attacking her companion, a frenchman. now police say they used surveillance video to track down this third suspect and that's
because these three men, they stole the credit cards of the two tourists after they boarded the van and then went from gas station to gas station to take out cash and used the surveillance video at the gas stations to track this man down. he's now been arrested. but this crime has had a huge impact on brazil. in fact, the police chief, a woman, has now sacked two different police commissioners and said that they failed to respond to previous reports of rape in similar conditions, e n erin. >> thanks, shasta. now anderson has a look at when's coming up. hey, anderson. >> we have more on the breaking news out of the texas tonight. a district attorney there says law enforcement officers are under attack tonight and now new cloous in the murder mistily of who shot and killed the district attorney mike mclelland and wife cynthia. police are information on a person of interest and details of motives. a first interview of jail on the day a massive lawsuit by the family of michael jackson was lodged and begins against the
concert promoter aeg. dr. conrad murray mains his innocence despite being convicted in the death of michael jackson. we'll talk to him from prison and ask him about that, his relationship with michael jackson and the wrongful death lawsuit filed by jackson's family as i said that begins today against aeg live. that and more at the top of the hour. >> looking forward to that interview. see you in a few minutes. now the fifth story. doubling down. an airline ceo says he meant it when he suggested that people that weigh more pay more for their ticket. total pounds including you and the luggage. samoa air is not as big as american or delta or jetblue. you know what it is in this country. we start small, test and then go big. and the airline serves just a small number of islands in the south pacific but could the so-called fat tax be coming a delta airline near you?
good to see all of you. let's see the math. we have two scenarios today. if you weigh 160 pounds and a 25-pound bag, 35 bucks. 300 pounds and a 25-pound bag, $63. so double. and then your weight is double. so kind of works out there. it's weight per weight. there's no doubt in their mind it's concept of the future. is he right? >> part of what you are talking about is luggage. tiny planes and the fuel costs are a huge part of the overall costs for the airline. and so again, you know, we are saying if you're a larger person, and you're bringing on a tiny tote bag, then you are as burdensome as a very small person like myself bringing on an enormous bag full of granite. >> what about when the bags weigh the same and the people do not? and one person pays twice as much as the other? >> look, that's very painful but i'll say when you're talking
about weight, not just people fat, plump, very tall and as a shorter gentleman, short people, we are discriminated against. it's about time we get ours. i say right on, samoa air. >> the word plump is underused. stephanie, let me bring up the point made about fuel. reducing the weight of an airplane, a big airplane, by two pounds, saves $3,000 in fuel a year. little things add up. they got rid of big heavy flight manuals for ipads and are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. these little things make a big difference. >> well, you know, erin, is this michael bloomberg's airline? it's clearly discriminatory. listen, i don't fly -- like flying with people who have screaming infants. could they be charged per decibel level that their child screams the entire flight? i don't like overly chatty people that talk too much when i'm clearly trying to sleep or read. can they be charged per word? where does this stop? >> that would be fine with all of us.
>> it's discriminatory against overweight people. >> what do you think? samoa has a serious obesity problem. they say that's part of the reason they're doing this. they want to incentivize people to lose weight. >> in theory it's a great idea. how are you going to enforce this? people will lie about their weight. they will show up at the airport, check in, then you weigh them? we have signs, if you're this tall, if you're this thin you pay this much? i think it's ridiculous. the only job creation thing i see is fitness centers, having plans for you, work out before you buy your ticket, save money. to me, i think it's really a corporate decision. they can do it, i think there will be a backlash. ultimately it will be viewed as insensitive and uncaring. >> could be the big airlines already do this, they try to address your seating needs when booking, i.e. if you get on a plane and are too big for the seat, we will make you buy another one or kick you off. >> well, listen, i make a joke about our friend over there that's too short sitting in the
overhead compartment. i think people need to have compassion. >> many, many long flights i spent in the overhead compartment. it's quite comfortable in there. little dark but not that bad. >> i'm sitting on top of 12 phone books right now. just that you can't see them. it's movie magic. >> stephanie, is this the direction it's going to go? because it costs airlines a lot of money. they are going to try -- they already charge you when you bring an extra bag. they charge you for the pillow, charge you for the blanket. weight and fuel are the biggest costs they have outside of labor from a pure business perspective. how are we not going to go in this direction? >> well, i mean, you're right, they are doing all kinds of things to cut costs, but look, you know, we can get into a whole argument, is this choice or genetics. people may be overweight for a lot of different reasons. >> fair. >> i think this is unnecessarily shaming people. >> the cost saving, you have to look at the other side, there could be lawsuits. i used to be a lawyer. i actually represented airlines in some of my law work. if you discriminate against people -- i know.
i used to be a lawyer, then i became a comedian. much happier. the idea of if you're discriminating against people because of a disability which is obesity has been deemed by some courts as a disability, then you can be fined. secondly, let's be honest, someone will get an eating disorder to save money on a ticket and sue the airline. >> i just want to push back on one thing. >> in this country it could happen. >> stephanie before had criticized my mayor, mayor bloomberg. the one thing about that, mayor bloomberg has pursued certain initiatives in new york city at the local level. if other cities don't like it, they don't have to pursue them. fair enough. similarly, this is one little airline in a little corner of the world that has decided to try something new. i think we need to see if it works. if it fails, it fails. >> thanks to all of you. we appreciate it. please let us know what you think. >> are we going to call it lord of the flies airline? really? give me a break. >> all right. thank you. i now want to get to tonight's outtake. a frightening illness swept across norway that has led to erratic behavior in children and even forced school closures.
serious stuff here. because i'm talking about bieber fever. on april 16th and 17th, students in norway were going to be taking their exams. the same days as the upcoming justin bieber concert. so even though the exams count towards a significant part of the students' final grade, the schools figured most of the kids would skip them and go ahead and fail because they wanted to see justin. it's such a problem, five schools in norway moved the exams up a week rather than have such a large number of its student body fail. this is not the first time bieber fever has struck norway. this is an informed decision these schools are making because almost a year ago, thousands of believers overpowered oslo police right before one of his concerts. authorities were about to declare a state of emergency for the country of norway when justin finally calmed the crowd down. it's not just in norway, either. in the past three years there have been similar bieber outbreaks in australia, britain and even right here in the united states of america. perhaps more frightening is the fact that justin bieber isn't just a carrier anymore. he's been infected with the fever himself. probably by his quarantined monkey.
what do we do? do we go all walking dead and hunt bieber down? no. the best thing to do is just wait. because teenaged girls are the most rabid fans in the world but also the most fickle. in the next few years, he will get older and the only guy making waves in norway will be garrison keilar. unless bieber turns to public radio, we should all be safe, we'll be right back.
big news out of saudi arabia today. according to news outlet, saudi women are finally allowed to ride bicycles but there are rules. women have to wear the abayallah. a male guardian must accompany them. they can only ride in approved parks and they can only use the bikes for entertainment, not transportation. can you imagine riding a bike in that, especially when it's windy and when you can't show your legs? as for the entertainment, not transportation part, i'm not really sure what that's about. maybe it's because religious clerics that still control the government believe that women will try to escape from their homes in 120 degree heat on massive highways where i have never seen anyone on a bike, but who knows. to be fair, the rule also includes motor bikes which seems to be a small step towards real mobility. which is a good thing because saudi women still have to be with male
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