tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 18, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST
good evening, everyone. tonight two breaking stories. one out of afghanistan, a chopper down with american lives lost. that and my interview with a true american hero, the only survivor of another horrible chapter in the war and the afghan hero who risked everything to help him. the other breaking story tonight in nevada.
gunfire at a reno hospital complex. the crisis over, the questions just beginning. later some answers to the question so many people have about the report that take a multivitamin and other supplements not only won't help you but could actually even hurt you. we'll talk about that. we begin with the breaking news. deadliest single incident for americans in afghanistan since the summer is of last year. a blackhawk helicopter down. 6 u.s. members, nato-led security assistance force are dead. it happened today in southern afghanistan, even though we don't yet have a full picture of what happened exactly, it's beginning to come into focus. barbara starr is working her sources at the pentagon joins us now. what are you learning, barbara? >> reporter: good evening, anderson. at this hour military investigators are urgently trying to figure out what did happen here. the reports are that the helicopter, the blackhawk, went down due to mechanical failure. but once it hit the ground, were any of those six military members still alive? they are looking at a report that the helicopter once crashed came under mortar fire from taliban forces in the immediate vicinity.
so what they need to determine now, did the six members die in the crash? or is it possible, possible, that they were alive when they hit the ground, that there was a mortar attack, and that they perished in that? investigators are talking to members of another helicopter that was flying in the immediate vicinity. they are trying to see what they can learn. we are told from the one survivor of the crash six u.s. military families, terrible news on this holiday season. but this has been a big issue up and down the pentagon hallways all day, anderson. constant meetings about what did happen, and we know that defense secretary chuck hagelle is also looking for some answers. >> the taliban is claiming responsibility for the attack? >> reporter: they have claimed, interestingly enough that, they shot down a u.s. aircraft today. these are the kind of claims they often make. most of the time obviously not true. propaganda. but this is also raising the
question clearly was this claim that they shot it down related to the report that it came under a mortar attack? >> and this comes at a backdrop of afghan president hamid karzai refusing to sign an agreement with the white house over long-term troops in afghanistan. >> reporter: that's right. there are now 42,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan. they want to get this agreement for a number of troops, probably about 10,000,to remain after the end of 2014. the job of the u.s. troops will be to help train and assist afghan forces and do the very dangerous work of continuing to go after terrorist targets in afghanistan. he hasn't signed the agreement, and the u.s. is getting increasingly frustrated with him given especially the price that u.s. troops are paying. >> all right, barbara, appreciate the update. thank you. more than 12 years long this of course is america's longest war. now another searing chapter. the story began when a four-man navy s.e.a.l. team found themselves badly outnumbered in a long and vicious fire fight.
only one s.e.a.l. survived. his name is marcus latrell. he told me the story that first aired on "60 minutes." this is his account of the mission that went wrong after he says his unit were surprised by all things some goat herders and their goats. marcus latrell and his teammates weren't the only casualties in the battle. a chopper that had rushed to help latrell and his team was shot out of the sky killing everybody onboard in june 2005 this was the largest loss of war the naval warfare since world war ii. admiral mark mcgwire told us no s.e.a.l. will ever forget that terrible day. >> was that the toughest day for you as a special forces commander? >> yes. most people of my generation, they ask the question do you remember when kennedy was shot? i remember that as well. but much more moving day for me and one that's more defining is
the 28th of june, 2005, when that helicopter was shot down and three of my men were killed on the ground. >> 19 men lost their lives. vice admiral joe mcguire was head of s.e.a.l. training at time. >> you would have to go back to world war ii to have had one day where we experienced that many casualties at one time. >> mcguire says the entire s.e.a.l. community was devastated. it's a community marcus latrell and his twin brother decided they wanted to be part of when they were still teenagers. >> he had it in his head this is what we're going to do. it's going to be great, man. we can jump out of airplanes, shoot guns and blow stuff up. we get to scuba dive and there's an 80% chance we're going to die. i was like sign me up, man. >> marcus latrell became an s.e.a.l. at the age of 25 and says receiving the special force insignia was the proudest accomplishment of his life. >> do you remember when you got the tri dent put on yourselves?
>> february 2nd, 2001. >> you remember the date. >> like it was my birthday. >> out of 86 people who started out in his s.e.a.l. training class, only 20 graduated. that's that sort of rigorous training that vice admiral mcguire says prepares s.e.a.l.s for the kind of fire fight marcus latrell found himself facing in the mountains of north eastern afghanistan. >> these are just unremarkable men who do absolutely remarkable things. they're warriors. it's a warrior class, it's a warrior spirit. and they are extremely talented individuals. and this story that's come to light because marcus survived, and marcus feels like he sur vievd in order to tell the story. >> on june 28, 2005, petty officer marcus latrell, a sniper and team medic, wasn't sure he was going to survive. he was badly wounded and didn't know anyone was trying to rescue him. >> my back was broke. i had frag laying everywhere. i just crawled into his rock
embankment. started taking dirt putting in all my wounds so i wouldn't bleed to death. >> you had no medical gear. >> huh-uh. >> did you have a map? >> it was all gone. >> did you have a compass? >> gone. i didn't have pants on. they were completely ripped off me. >> latrell had been fighting for hours. his three s.e.a.l. brothers were all dead or near death. petty officer danny dietz from littleton, colorado had been in charge of communications. matt axleton, ax, for short, was from cupertino, california. he was a petty officer and sniper. lieutenant mike murphy was the team leader. they were part of a larger mission called operation red wings. their job was to locate this man whom the four s.e.a.l.s had only seen in grainy photographs. he was an elusive militia leader aligned with the taliban. >> who was he? >> he had a group called the mountain tigers. he was creating all kinds of havoc out there in the particular region he was in, killing marines, army, you name
it. >> latrell was based at bagram air base outside kabul. he said his team had no idea how many fighters ahmed shaw had with him. >> so, i remember telling the guys, you know, grab some extra rounds, we might need them. >> it was pitch black when marcus latrell, danny dietz, matt axelsson and the team leader were dropped by chopper a couple miles from where ahmed shaw was believed to be located. latrell says they hiked for hours between snowy, steep and treacherous terrain. as daylight came the four s.e.a.l.s lay down and conceived themselves in the mountainside so they wouldn't be detected. that's when everything went wrong. suddenly they were surprised, not by gunmen but by a goat herder. >> i was laying next to a tree probably 60 feet long. he came walking down it. when he jumped off it he jumped right over the top of my gun. >> he didn't see you at all? >> he had no idea i was there. i had no idea he was above me. >> did he say thinking?
>> nothing, not one word. just a look. just look at us. i know it sounds funny. there's a way somebody's going to look at you when you cut them off in traffic, mad at you or what not and a way someone's going to look at you when they want to kill you. when it happens to you you'll never forget it. >> two more herders showed up along with about 70 goats. the s.e.a.l.s' mission was compromised. >> you hear the bells jingling, then they just come up over every side of it. >> goats. >> goats. >> danny dietz tried to call back to base for instructions but couldn't get through on their radio. the team had to decide on their own what to do with the goat herders. >> run through the option that you talked about. >> talked about zip tying them, zip tying the goats. zip tying them and taking them with us. zip tying the goats or just executing the goats. talked about zip tying and eliminating the threat. eliminating the threat, human threat. >> talked about killing them. >> yes. and then last one was turn them loose.
>> u.s. military personnel are required to operate under formal rules of engagement that specify when deadly force can be used. a commander has the authority and obligation to use all necessary means available, the rules say, to defend his unit from a hostile act or demonstration of hostile intent. but the goat herders who had surprised the team were unarmed. >> we knew that they hated us and that they weren't on our side. and if they had the chance they would like to see us dead. that's the feeling we were getting. >> and you had every reason to believe, if you let these guys go, they're going to run down the mountain and tell -- >> right. but you can't justify that feeling to our superior in a court of law. >> the s.e.a.l.s knew that other u.s. military personnel had been court-martialed and imprisoned for violating the rules of engagement. >> so you were concerned that if you killed them you would be charged with murder? >> yes. absolutely. >> that's something you talked about there. >> absolutely. >> killing them was really not an option.
because they were noncombatants and they were unarmed. >> retired vice admiral joe mcguire says the only options the s.e.a.l.s really had were to take the goat herders captive and try to get evacuated by helicopter or let them go. >> you don't shoot innocent people. you don't shoot unarmed people. unless of course they pose a threat. >> even if those goat herders are going to run down to the village and compromise your location? >> that's correct. you don't kill innocent people. >> latrell told us the unit discussed what to do and were divided. in the past he's been criticized for saying they took a vote, something that's not supposed to happen in s.e.a.l. teams because it's up to the team leader to make a decision. >> what did mike finally decide to do? >> cut them loose. >> what was the feeling you had when you let them go? >> i got that sinking feeling in my stomach. i'm like, this is bad. everybody did. >> a couple times you said looking back on it you wished you had made a different decision, you wished you'd killed them.
do you still believe that? >> sure. got my friends back? i mean, who knows what the outcome would have been. yes. i wish i would have, is the answer to your question. >> latrell says it was only about an hour after they freed the goat herders that the first enemy fighters appeared. they were on a ridge on this mountainside above where the s.e.a.l.s had dug in. >> we had to break out our shovels and use our boots and actually build these little shelves to stand in when we were done we'd lean back against the mountain like this. first guy i saw had an rpg over each shoulder and ak-47. then there was about 30 or 40 guys in line with him. >> had they seen you? >> not yet. my rifle was right here. i cradled it and rolled my head up like this, i shot him in the head. the game was on right then. >> according to littrell, ahmed shaw's forces moved in to outflank the seals. we obtained this video recorded
by enemy forces from an american writer and photographer with military sources. the date stamp and other scenes that are too gruesome to show you indicate it was recorded the day of the fighting. this is how the fire fight is portrayed in a new film called "lone survivor" which opens later this month. based on a book marcus latrell wrote. it's a hollywood movie, not a documentary. but latrell and former s.e.a.l.s consulted on the film, and latrell says it captures the intensity of the battle. the enemy fire was continuous. ak-47s, rocket-propelled grenades. latrell says when the rounds started coming in from all sides it broke the s.e.a.l.s' position. >> that shelf that i had made crumbled and fell apart and just it was like somebody opened up a trap door underneath me. i just fell. i started tumbling.
then i hit mikey and i busted him off his little perch he was on. we started pinballing in those trees. >> you're tumbling down the mountain. >> yes, sir. i landed on my back and broke my back. mikey landed on his face and crushed his face. >> latrell says the four s.e.a.l.s continued to fire on the advancing fighters but repeatedly fell or were forced to jump down the mountain. >> every time you fell you broke something. i mean, about an hour and a half into this danny's been shot three times that i know of. i was dragging him, set him up. we'd fight for awhile get shot out of there drag him somewhere else. >> even after danny was shot multiple times and you're dragging him he was still firing? >> yes, sir, the best he could. we got to an area where i was telling him there was another way we could fall. when i put my arms underneath him, i put them underneath his shoulders. when i spun him around to take fall i spun him into a bullet and it hit him in the back of the head and killed him. >> danny dietz was the first s.e.a.l. to die. now it was just latrell, matt
axelsson and mike murphy left alive. >> i caught up with mikey. he asked me where danny was and i was like, he's dead. we tried to go get him. once you fell a certain distance you couldn't get back up the way you came. it was too steep. it just wasn't working. >> what happened then? >> ax walked off behind the rock i was firing on, i almost shot him. he sat down indian style against my left hip and leaned against my right leg. he goes, i'm sorry, bro, i can't help you. i'm blind. they shot me in the face. >> latrell says the s.e.a.l.s were surrounded. they hadn't gone through on the radio so he says lieutenant mike murphy decided to move to a completely exposed position so he could get a signal on his satellite phone and call for backup. >> mikey was out, had pushed out onto this boulder out in the middle of the draw. wide open, no cover, no nothing. he was on our satellite phone. >> latrell saw his lieutenant make the call, a call mike
murphy knew would likely cost him his life. >> took two round to the chest because he spun like a top. it dropped him. i tried to make my way up to him. he was my best friend. i had already lost danny and i knew that ax was dying. i didn't want to lose him. he started to crawl left. i was out in the open, waving my hands. just come down to me. that's all i wanted him to do was just come down to me. and i heard his gun go off and a lot of gunfire in his area. i was trying with everything i had to get to him, and he started screaming my name. he was like marcus man you got to help me. i need help, marcus. it got so intense that i put my weapon down and covered my ears because i couldn't stand to hear him die. all i wanted him to do was stop screaming my name. and they killed him. and i put my weapon down in a
gunfight while my best friend was getting killed. so that pretty much makes me a coward. >> how can you say that? >> say what? >> why do you think that? >> why do i think what? >> that putting your weapon down makes you a coward? >> because that is a cowardice act if you put your weapon down in a gunfight. they say every man has his breaking point. i never thought i'd find mine. the only way you break a navy s.e.a.l. you have to kill us. but i broke right there. i quit right there. >> still, marcus latrell says he managed to pick up his weapon and found matt axelsson, the only other s.e.a.l. left alive. >> he was below me. he had crawled underneath this rock overhang. i crawled in there i was like we're going to die, man. we're going to die right now. >> you said that to ax? >> mm-hmm. and i made my peace with god a long time ago about dying. but most of the time we don't know when we're going to die. they just shut our light off. and it's a weird feeling when you know the reaper's at the door.
>> matt was badly wounded but latrell, the team medic, said there was nothing he could do. >> an rpg hit behind him and blew him on top of me. i just remember how loud it was and how wide it went. when i pushed him off of me it blew me one way blew him another. i never saw him again for the rest of my life. >> marcus latrell says he isn't sure how many hours they'd been fighting. but as darkness fell he was all alone. >> how did you get through that night? >> it was rough. that was the longest night of my life. because the sun got down, it was dark, it was pitch black. you know, i'd fall and knock myself out. i'd come to, i'd keep crawling. that's what i kept doing. >> the next day he was desperate, still pursued by enemy fighters he'd been shot twice in his legs. he had three cracked vertebrae and was bleeding profusely. but he says his biggest concern was finding water to drink. >> people wouldn't consider thirst as being a big deal.
but it becomes all you can think about after awhile. >> that's it. it was the only thing i could concentrate on. it was the only thing i could think about. not even my wounds. all the wounds i had sustained, my broken back, nothing. all i cared about was the thirst. that was it. i was willing to kill anybody or anything or do whatever i had to do to get water. >> he says when he finally found water he didn't get to drink for long. he was suddenly surrounded by a small group of afghan men. >> and i found a waterfall. and i managed to get to the top of it, took my gloves off, washed my face, leaned into the water fountain and got two sips out of it before one guy was screaming at me again and two guys were gunning around me. i had my gun safety off. >> you had a grenade, too. >> when he was walk towards me i pulled the pin out and said if you try anything i'll kill us. i don't care. i've had enough. >> he'd had enough. it was the second time in the mission marcus latrell had to
decide were the men in front of him civilians or enemy fighters. he also didn't know that an american rescue operation had already been mounted and had gone terribly wrong. we'll have both those stories when we come back. shortly the breaking news out of a hospital complex in reno, nevada after a gunman goes into a medical office and opens fire. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ]
navy s.e.a.l. team was dropped into enemy territory in the mountains of northeastern afghanistan, marcus latrell says he was all alone. he didn't know that special operations forces had attempted a rescue operation but that mission had ended in tragedy when one of the choppers was blown up with 16 people on board. latrell was badly wounded. he'd been shot twice already, several vertebrae were cracked, shrapnel wounds in his legs. at least two of his s.e.a.l. teammates were dead, the third had been shot multiple times and was missing. desperately thirsty, pursued by enemy fighters, marcus latrell says he had just found some water to drink when he was surprised by several afghan men he at first thought were members of the taliban. >> when i got to that waterfall and got those two sips out of there, i was actually looking around thinking this is a pretty good place to lay down and die. >> you were ready to die. >> i wasn't ready to die. i just knew i was dying. >> that's when an afghan man appeared. latrell later learned his name was mohammed gulab. >> he came up over this rock ledge and started screaming at me "american american."
and i swung around on him. i had my finger on the trigger, tension on it, safety off, and he started walking at me. he was like "okay, okay." and he lifted up his shirt to show me he didn't have a weapon. he was like okay okay okay. i lowered my weapon. and i pulled a grenade. and pulled the pin. i was saying, i'll kill all of us. >> you were prepared to blow yourself up along with everybody else? >> yes. i wasn't going to get taken. >> why do you think you didn't kill him? >> i can't tell you. i don't know why. >> luckily for latrell, mohammed gulab, who lived in a nearby village, was not a member of the taliban. >> he gave me water and rolled me over. he had seen where i'd been shot. i was bleeding real bad. three other guys plus him picked me up and started carrying me down to the village. >> s.e.a.l. commanders didn't know what had happened to marcus latrell and his three teammates. petty officer danny dietz was dead.
petty officer matt axelsson had been gravely wounded and was separated from latrell. lieutenant mike murphy had been killed after making a satellite phone call for help. retired vice admiral joe mcguire told us how much he admired murphy for making that call. they were in a life and death situation. he's been shot, matt's been shot, danny's been shot. he finished the call. at the end we said we could really use your help. we said help is on the way. mike finished the call with "thank you." >> even though, i mean -- >> thank you. yeah. he went out there and gave above and beyond to do that. >> and he knew going out on that rock -- >> he probably wouldn't have come back. >> as a result of the call, two chinook helicopters like these with special operations forces on board raced to the mountainside where the four s.e.a.l.s had been fighting. the chinooks went in without the apache gun ships that usually provide cover. >> it was the pilots and the task unit commander that made a conscious decision that okay we're going to press and we're going to get there because we have to make a difference. to me, when people ask what
would you say would sum up the greatest mistake in military operations, to me it's just simple two words. too late. >> as portrayed in the new movie "lone survivor" one of the chinooks was hovering to offload special forces. that's when a rocket propelled grenade was fired into it. all special operation forces on board, eight s.e.a.l.s and four army night stalkers were killed. >> it hit hard. and, you know, we lost all souls on board. >> marcus latrell likely wouldn't have made it if it weren't for mohammed gulab. he ended up in his village for four days, being moved between different houses and even a cave to prevent him from being captured. he was finally rescued by u.s. forces who had been scouring the mountains. >> they'd been looking for you. >> right. for as long as i'd been missing. so they were beat to hell. >> what was that feeling when you saw the first american in the village? >> well, i was out of it pretty hard.
i mean, my head was down. they were carrying me. i just remember lifting my head up barely because he was screaming my name. marcus, is that you? i was like yeah, right here, bro. >> marcus latrell, the lone survivor, was finally going home but returning to regular life in america hasn't been easy. >> you spent time with marcus. what was it like for him coming home? >> rough. very rough. >> go. action. >> pete berg who directed the movie "lone survivor" first met latrell after he read his book. berg was shocked by latrell's condition when he went to visit him in his house in texas. >> i went in there. and it was almost like living in a shrine. it was nothing but pictures of his dead brothers and flags and helmets and mementoes and pieces of uniform from his dead brothers. on the middle of the living room floor was basically a tombstone with the names of all of his brothers that had died in that operation. and marcus would sit in that
house in that moment, in that experience, in that gun fight. he was almost living inside of it when i first met him. >> marcus latrell has suffered both emotionally and physically, but his family and friends say he's getting better. he has a service dog, mr. rigby, who never leaves his side. he's also gotten married. he and his wife melanie have two children. latrell has also had time to piece together what happened to him when he was badly wounded on the mountain in afghanistan, including details of gulab's role in saving his life. now, eight years later, the two men have become close friends, and gulab occasionally flies from afghanistan to latrell's family's ranch in texas to visit. >> i love you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> he says i love you, too. that's why i'm here. i came for you, he says, my brother. >> we wanted to know why gulab was willing to risk his life to help a complete stranger. he told us it was because of a
tribal code of honor called pashtun wali. >> explain pashtun wali. >> it is a respect, a respect for a guest that comes knock at your door. and even if he is in need or if he is in imminent danger, we must protect him. i knew i had to help him to do the right thing because he was in a lot of danger. >> you knew that they would come for him. >> translator: they did. the taliban came and sat down with me. i said no, i will not hand him over to you. >> what did they threaten? >> translator: they told me, you will die. your brother will die. your cousins will die. your whole family will die. it's not worth it. give us the american. and i said no, i will protect him until the end. gulab has suffered for protecting latrell. he says his house burned down and a cousin killed. in afghanistan he's had to go hiding with his wife and ten children.
latrell is hoping to get him a green card so he can settle at least part time in the united states. >> i mean, we're family. >> you consider him family? >> absolutely. we're brothers in blood. we've bled together. he very well could have left me laying on the side of that waterfall and let me die. but he didn't. >> for his bravery, marcus latrell was awarded the navy cross in a white house ceremony. matt axelson and danny dietz were awarded it posthumously. for sacrificing his life to make that telephone call, lieutenant mike murphy was given that medal of honor. his parents accepted it. it was the first time the award for honor was awarded in afghanistan. ahmed shaw was killed in a separate operation in 2008. after retiring, vice admiral joe mcguire runs the special operations warrior foundation which provides support for veterans and their families. marcus latrell created and raises money for a similar group, the lone survivor
foundation. latrell has also visited families of his fallen s.e.a.l. brothers. >> you travel around the country to do that? >> yes, sir. >> what was that like? >> that sucked. think about it like this. if you had a son out on that mountain with me, if one guy had to live, who were you praying for? your son or me? every time they look at me, i'm the one who made it out and delivered the news of how hard their son fought. but i'm also the one who lived and their son died. why? why did you live and why did my son die? i don't have the answer to that. >> story of such remarkable bravery. up next breaking news to report today. deadly shooting at a hospital complex in reno, nevada. the latest developments ahead. also tonight, multivitamins. are they a complete waste of money? new medical research raising questions. we'll talk about it with dr. sanjay gupta.
got more breaking news tonight. deadly shooting at a medical building in reno, nevada. this happened at renown medical center where a gunman opened fire in a neurology office. the shooter killed one person, injured two others before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to police. joe johns joins us live with the latest. >> reporter: anderson, two dead, two injured is the count that authorities have given us in the shooter situation in reno. the suspect turned the gun on himself. the motive for the shootings is not clear right now. the good news is that the lockdown that had been imposed at the center for advanced medicine has now been lifted. by the way, it's not the hospital, but a building that's next to the hospital.
police say they are shifting from the business now of trying to stabilize the scene and account for all the people who were in the building. now they're getting down to the investigation. a little while ago deputy chief tom robinson of reno police talked about what the officers did when they got there. >> well, immediately, our team started entering the building. started a systematic search, floor to floor, room by room. on the third floor of the building they located two people down. and they located a couple of injuries. officers immediately evacuated the injured parties and got them medical treatment, and then we began the process of evaluating all the other people that were inside the building. >> do we know anything, joe, about the victims yet? >> very little, quite frankly, anderson. and the concern is for the victims. what we did hear at the outset very early in all of this was that at least one female health care professional had been injured on the scene. we've heard nothing more from authorities on that so far this evening, anderson. >> all right. investigation under way. joe, appreciate it. thanks very much.
up next new information about the colorado school shooter's plans to kill. and the latest in the battle to contain a wildfire raging out of control in big sur, california. incredible pictures to show you. plus a medical journal takes the strongest stand yet against multivitamins. if there's no proof they help us why do people spend so much money on them? dr. sanjay gupta and dr. travis stewart join me ahead. zçjzmó
tonight, we're digging deeper on a story that stunned a lot of people in new issue of "annals of internal medicine" the journals editors say it's time to stop wasting money on invite manipulate vitamin and mineral supplements. nearly 40% of u.s. adults use multivitamins, but the journal cites three studies that found no health benefits from taking them. it found that some dietary supplements may be harmful. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is here to help us out, also dr. travis stork. an emergency medicine physician and co-host of "the doctors." >> so, dr. stork, you agree with this editorial, you say unless you're deficient in something, a multivitamin is basically useless?
>> well, i think that there's been a lot of evidence out there that people who are taking multivitamins may very well be wasting their money. i really don't think there's a lot of harm in it. and so based upon these studies, i wouldn't tell people if they love doing it that they have to stop. but i've always told patients if you're going to supplement, discuss it with your doctor first. because the reality is unless you're deficient in something you probably are wasting your money. >> but, sanjay, could they also be dangerous? what kind of risks are people actually running? i read in this article there maybe some dangers. >> yeah, certainly first of all people taking that and thinking they don't have to eat as well because of that there's some danger in that. as travis said this is largely an unregulated industry as well. so you're not always going to get the same thing in every pill or every bottle. but there is some potential danger with what's known as megadosing. people think hey look if a little bit's good, more is better. vitamin e, for example. there was a lot of hope around that. the national cancer institute did a study on that. what they found was that the
prostate cancer rates actually went up in people who were taking high doses of vitamin e. so there can be some potential problems with the megadosing of these things. but largely it's just that people if they think that they're taking them as a substitute, that they don't have to eat right, that's a problem in itself. >> people should be getting their nutrients from a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables and working out, not just thinking this pill, this multivitamin can do it for them. >> i think we struggle sometimes as doctors. because we need to get the right message out there as far as what people need to do to live the longest, healthiest possible life. there's a lot of marketing out there that hey, if i take some of these supplements off the shelf and i bring them home and take them every night that means i'm going to be healthy. as doctors we want to really tell people that is not what's going to make you healthy. but i do agree with sanjay, the biggest issue i have is when people start megadosing with a specific vitamin or mineral. because vitamins and minerals are meant to operate in this
perfect balance in our bodies. too much is bad and too little is bad. >> and sanjay, according to the nih, among the group that use multivitamins most frequently are people with healthier lifestyles and diets and lower body mass indexes, not really the people you would think of actually needing them. >> yeah. and that's always part of the limitations of these studies. the people who do need these things usually aren't taking them and the people who don't need them are sometimes taking them and taking too much. but i will say that this editorial was interesting. i think dr. stork would probably agree with this. this took it a step further than what i've read before. they basically said look, for anybody who is getting enough of a good diet, doesn't mean they're not eating a lot of junk in addition to it but they're not malnourished suffering from scurvy or berry bari bari or some disease like that. for those people multivitamins won't do anything for them. some people have deficiencies for whatever reason, had an operation on their stomach or intestines.
there could be some benefit to multivitamins but that's a very small percentage of people. this idea that more is better is simply not true. these anti-oxidants you could throw off your anti-oxidant to oxidant ratio dramatically and that could potentially cause some harm. dr. paul alton has written books about this. that is a legitimate concern. >> travis, why do you think then people continue to take them if in fact they have no benefit and in some cases could be dangerous? why are people still doing this? is it the advertising? >> i think it's just one of those things that it's been embedded in our culture. with so many people taking them and with them so readily available, that's why people do it. they take it as insurance. and i think what these studies are really hopefully highlighting is that there's really no basis to that claim. >> dr. sanjay gupta, dr. travis stork, thanks very much. >> thank you. up next he shot 17-year-old claire davis in the head. but tonight, we're learning that the colorado high school shooter
hundred us of firefighters battling a wild fire in big sur. it's grown to 500 acres. several homes were destroyed including the fire chief. severe drought has created a perfect condition for a blaze like this one. dan simon joins me by phone. it's raging out of control, right, dan? >> it is, anderson. as you pointed out, the reason we're seeing it is the dry condition out here. it's one of the driest on record for this particular region. there's no official numbers yet, but it's believed approximately 15 homes or so. in terms of the achage that's been charred. we're talking 550 acres. not a huge fire in the context of what we typically see on the west coast but what makes this noteworthy is that it is
happening in and iconic place like big sur and that it's happening this time of year, anderson. >> these pictures are incredible and firefighters are running into obstacles to fight it? >> yeah, the challenge with this blaze is that it's happening in a steep area largely inaccessib inaccessible. and that is why helicopters can be imported in battling the blaze like this. we should also point out that weather is concerned with wild fires. the weather is supposed to worse and so want to get a handle on it as quickly as they can. >> is there any sense exactly of the scope of it damage at this point? >> as i said, right now, we're talking about 15 homes or so. those numbers can change of course once crews can really get in there and survey the scene. and right now the acreage stands at 550 acres. it's about a square mile. and we'll see if those numbers go up. >> all our best to all the folks fighting the fire right now. dan, thanks.
let's get caught up with some of the other stories we're following. susan hendricks has a "360" news and business bulletin. >> according to investigators the high school shooter had written on his arm plans to attack five areas of the fool as well as the latin for the phrase "the die has been cast." he shot claire davis in the head before killing himself on friday. a harvard sophomore is charged with making phony bomb threats to get out of his final exam. the student allegedly e-mailed the threats to the campus police and offices. the subject line in his message wrote "bombs placed around campus." and there is a bidding war on ebay for a painting done by george zimmerman. it depicts an american flag with pat of the "pledge of allegiance" on it. the top bid is $100,000. he was acquitted in july and he told the judge last month he is $2.5 million in debt. and the jackpot for tonight's drawing soars to a record $636 million. the odds of winning are not to
time 94 "the ridiculist." you probably heard about a debate over santa claus. it all started when megyn kelly said this on fox news. >> for all you kids at home, santa claus is white and people is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black santa. santa is what she, just so you know, we're just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids. >> that was last week and the debate began. >> there are a lot of people out there who automatically assume that santa must be white. >> santa claus is black. he just is. >> santa is black. santa is white. santa is red. >> ms. kelly is correct. santa was a white person. >> santa claus to me is a black man. >> the point is that santa, if you believe in him, which many of us do, is a function of what you grew up with. >> my jamaican santas and cuban santas. >> get to the facts. just ask santa himself what race he is.
the problem for some reason we were unable to get ahold of him. we just couldn't do it. i suppose it's just because it's his busy season. we had a bunch of other questions to ask as well. what about religion? i always like to think of santa as a presbyterian but can i say that definitively? no. it's going to pale in comparison to what happens if it comes out that he's a wicken. also, do we even know where he was born? what about the nine ladies dancing and eight maids a milking? are they white? suddenly, i feel like i need to know? is frosty the snowman white? what about the little drummer boy? frankly, i don't even know if i'm white anymore. help me, megan kelly, just explain what you meant. i want my life back. >> humor is a part of what we try to bring to this show and sometimes that is lost on the humorless. this would be funny if it weren't telling on our society, particularly the knee jerk by many to race bait and assume the worst of people, especially people employed by the very powerful fox news channel.
>> bam. now that that is cleared up we can get back to more issues. like whether santa is a democrat or republican. i will let someone else hash that out and say merry christmas to all and to all a good night. that's it for us. thanks for watching. "early start" begins now. have a great day. an unbelievable morning for two mega million lottery holders. two tickets matching all tix numbers. splitting one of the largest jackpots in history. what we know about the winners. the shooting rampage near that nevada hospital. the very latest on what we're hearing this morning. and a passionate plea from amanda knox saying she is is not a psychopath on trial again for the brutal death of her roommate. we're live with that story. good morning, everyone. welcome to "early start." i'm john be
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