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tv   In the Arena  CNN  June 16, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> gates is the son of cancer kansas who owns a home near seattle. he says he plans to write two books, one about his time in the bush and obama administrations. they will be worth reading. whether or not you agree with him, his example of public service is worth remembering. we'll see you back here tomorrow night. that's all for tonight. good evening. welcome to the program. i'm eliot spitzer. tonight, the final sad chapter in weenther's very public meltdown. the way these thing work, we're told he would resign many hours before it actually happened. that in turn led to hours of speculation about how it would happen. what he would say, whether his wife would be at his side. and then finally, the week of drama and speculation were over. i said this a week ago and i'll say it again.
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weiner's behavior was awful. cnn i know what the rest of the media played a crucial role in revealing it but there is something frightening. something worth examining in the gigantic media swarm that descends when these stories develop. some would say that i of all people have no business commenting on this because of the events that led to my resignation as governor of new york. but maybe because i've been on both sides of the story, i'm well suited to have a conversation on how this was covered. and we will have it in a few moments. but first a look at the other stories we're examining tonight. planned parenthood under fire. a woman's right to choose denied. one state at a time. this man says it's all good. and death by foreclosure. what happens when a town loses its home owners? is the cost more than the money? then al qaeda reloads. bin laden's number two is now number one. ayman al zawahiri gets the
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perks. internet access and $25 million price on his head. now back to our top story. congressman anthony weiner made it official today. he resigned from office. he made the announcement this afternoon from brooklyn. >> i had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do. to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. unfortunately, the distraction that i have created has made that impossible. so today, i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> what now for the congressman's fellow democrats? how does his resignation affect the business of the house of representatives? joining me from washington, the senior correspondent dana bash who broke the story of anthony weiner's impending resignation early this morning. she's been speaking with his colleagues all day. thanks for being with us. what is the sense? is there just overwhelming relief among anthony weiner's
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colleague? >> there is. no two ways about it. major relief when it comes to the politics of this. you know, we've been reporting, they have been trying particularly the democratic leadership, trying to get him first privately, then publicly to make this move, to resign for more than a week. because of the political distraction, they said that this particular scandal has caused. the fact that it went on so long. personally there is definitely a feeling of sadness. this is a colleague of theirs. he might not have always been the most popular democrat in the democratic caucus but he is somebody who many people got along with. when you have a politician who in the words of one of his colleagues, just self-destructs like this, and has a family, it is not anything that any of his colleagues particularly his fellow democrats are happy about. >> you're right. he was described over and over again over the past week or two as not being terribly popular within his own caucus. but on the other hand, there was a lot of respect. he went on to the floor of the house and he fought vigorously
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every day on the issues. they respected that. what do people think turned the tide over the course of the last 24, 48 hours? >> you know, the final conversation that he had, or the conversation he finally had, is a better way to put it with his wife huma who had been traveling abroad with her boss, hillary clinton, was yesterday. i think it was the pressure that was mounting. last week, eliot, i talked to several people who spoke to him. he was really dug in. he was absolutely saying i'm not going to quit. i'm not going anywhere. he was talking about the poll numbers in his district being high. he was talking about the fact that he didn't, maybe he did some thing morally wrong but not necessarily legally or against house rules. but it is just the fact that the pressure of his colleagues, and then coming out publicly. the president of the united states effectively saying she resign and the story didn't end it was. picture after picture, story after story after story. it kept going. and finally, he realized,
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according to the people who talked to him, he had to go. >> you're right. there was sort of a military sense to this. it was just a battle day by day that was being waged. some days you felt maybe he was a bit more discussful as you referred to those poll numbers. 56% of the constituents in his district said he should stay. there was a moment when people said maybe he'll tough it out. i've heard you stay the reaction among the leadership of the democratic party was not to pews poll number to stay but a way to go out gracefully. >> exactly. i have a quote here from nancy pelosi's aides. they were trying to give us more of a behind the scenes tick tock of what happened. in a private conversation anthony weiner had with nancy pelosi on friday, he apparently cited those polls. and she said consider those rose petals to let you go graciously because they were just so fed up with this, the fact that this had been going on so long and it
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was not ending and it was such a distraction from the thing that they felt they were getting traction on politically. like the republican budget and medicare and things like that. >> now that it is done, how did they reclaim their message? how did they get back on message immediately? is there some effort tomorrow morning to come out with a big proposal? some event that will say that door is closed. now we're back to the things that matter to the people of the united states of america? >> so far no in terms of an event. it is late thursday. you know the way congress works. they're gone. they've gone back to their districts. in the statements that anthony weiner's colleague were putting out today, they tried to weave in their message with their statements about anthony weiner. we're sad for him but we want to get back to medicare. in their words, republicans are privatizing medicare. they're trying to weave their talking points into buttoning this whole saga, this scandal they've had to deal with for almost three weeks with anthony
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weiner. >> dana bash, your reporting through all this was always ahead of everybody else. we appreciate it. >> thanks, eliot. i spoke earlier about the media circus. for more on the spectacle, i'm joined by dan abrams, abe news legal analyst. welcome as always. >> thanks. >> you've was watched, you're a lawyer, you're in the media. judge the media. was the media brilliant to uncover something heinous and violating our sensibilities. >> first i think he was trying to beat the media clock. he was hoping there would be another media story that would eclipse this. what we rarely talk about is that what else is happening in the media matters in a scandal like this. so if there were some other big story that had taken over the headlines, he might have been able to eek it out. because there wasn't, and because it continued, he wasn't. you asked me about how did the media perform? this is a made for media story. it has pictures, and not just
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everyday pictures but awful pictures. and salacious pictures and yet it relates to a political leader. it has a little bit of everything that the media loves, and then you have the fact that he lied to everyone of those members of the media in those interviews. you put that zbet i don't think there was any other way. >> the way you describe, that you sound like a media executive saying, oh, my goodness. this is out of hollywood. we can't do better than this. is there too much joy? this was like watching a lion, the carcass over a zebra. completely devoured. >> i get that. except that the big defense the media has is, he went on 20 something media interviews and lied toer one. remember, he is not just lying to the media. he is lying to his constituents, to his colleagues, he is lying tow one involved. when we talk about lying to the media, you're not lying to the media. you're lying to everybody.
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>> let's separate these strands out. you're saying something critically important. there was the underlying offensive behavior. offensive and i'm using that word intentionally. not clear, we may never know if it was illegal. we just don't know. certainly it was offensive and reprehensible. would that alone, if he had fessed up to it at the very first moment, have led to this result? or does this go down as the worst crisis management in history. day after day he made it worse by lying repeatedly to the media. >> maybe both. i don't know that he would have been able to survive even if he had come clean at the beginning. he certainly would have had a better chance of surviving. in part because the media wouldn't have, i think, gone after him as much. but remember, he was also lying to his colleagues. we talk about the fact it was the political pressure that was put on him. i'm sure part of that political pressure stemmed from the fact these legislators were saying, wait a sec. i watched him say this was all
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nonsense and it wasn't true. he put me in the position then of believing him. i think that was an additional problem. will. >> you're making a hugely important point. the early stages when he went to the media and said this is not the case, we don't know for a fact, he must have been saying the same thing to nancy pelosi and the other leadership. wait a minute. you just brazenly lied to us. we can't have you in as a colleague. but still raises the question. the behavior, put aside the lies to the media. the behavior. the underlying behavior. when you compare it to the behavior of certain other members of congress who were still there, you kind of say, wait a minute. why the huge pressure on him but not on others? it's politics. >> the bottom line is that politics in media intersect. when you have pictures and when you've got this kind of behavior, look. it's why i think people say there are differences between this and the chris lee situation. i think that's why he immediately resigned. you got that photograph. you get naked photographs of a legislator who is sending these
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kinds of photographs out to whoever it is. people they don't know. i think that's a political issue. not just a media issue. politics is about how you're perceived. you can say his constituents were still supporting him. maybe for now. by the way, i do think that he will be back. in new york city politics, within three years, he will have a leading role, i predict in new york city politics. i'm not saying he will necessarily be a married man. i have no idea. but i will say that i think -- >> three years. you've already mapped this out. we'll come to this in one second. i want to come back, sex is a made for tv, made for tabloids scandal. taxes not so much. why do people who have tax issues continue in politics with regularity. >> i'll come apart to senator ensign. could you argue that was worse behavior. why did that story -- why did not it get the media attention? why, in part bin laden eclipsed
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the media environment. and b, he didn't have picture. i'm not defending it. what i'm saying is this is the reality. the reality is when you got pictures, when you got photos, it's a lot harder to overcome. >> i'm going to put you on the hot seat now. compare it, tim geithner, took taxes that were beyond outrageous. claimed camp payments as childcare. tax deduction. people knew this was no good. that disappeared into the ether. >> yeah. it's not the easy a story to translate to the public. >> he is now in charge of the irs. >> that's right. >> he continues. is this a media oversight? >> i would argue, if you want to say, that it is also a public oversight. meaning if the public was putting enough pressure on the media, the media would be covering it. >> back to anthony weiner. three to five years. you've mapped this out. >> i think people forget. everyone looks at this now and say he's finished.
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he's done. they said the same thing about marv albert, michael vick, they said the same thing about you. people were saying these people are done. and do you know what? we're now in a situation in our society where people are willing to be more forgiving. as long as you don't murder, rape, something -- putting aside the most awful. where i don't think that people can necessarily come back. but put those aside for a moment. i think we've gotten to the point where people are pretty quick to forgive. >> what you're saying is the media cycle turns. as vicious and demanding and horned ow as it may be at the moment of the event, the wheel turns. >> that's why he had to put it behind him more quickly. also, he doesn't want an ethics investigation. he doesn't want them searching out more possible wrongdoings. that's the last thing he wants. so close this chapter. put this away. put this behind him. it is not going to be an easy time. >> not an easy time. i can tell him that. the behavior was awful and it got worse day by day.
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>> what does he do? from your perspective, what does dough for the next six months on a -- what did you do in the six months? >> you sit, reflect, you figure out what you did wrong, why you did it wrong and what you can contribute back to society. >> and every day you're sitting there -- >> you go out and try to do things that you think will contribute and you begin to lead a life and spend time with your family. i hope that's what he does. >> with you, you slowly came out in the many months afterwards. i think he has to do the same thing. >> a personal tragedy at so many levels and i think we've all seen that. as much glee as the media has. >> i don't think it is fair to call it glee. there's a level of that but i think that there is a level. the media can be vindictive. if you want to say it, the media is vindictive, fine. he lied. but this is a guy, this is judgment that is so bad to be sending these kinds of photos out. >> of course. understand when i say glee, it
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is glee because the media was right. the media was both over the top and vicious but over the top and vicious because they said, wait a minute. you just lied to us and we proved it. >> some of the media dismissed this at the outset and said -- >> the glee that emerged if proven the underlying facts of case you could argue was justified and that's what makes it so complicated. >> thanks so much for being here. we'll have more in the story later in the program. up next. al qaeda chooses bin laden's successor. if you're asking how exactly do terrorists hold an election, i was, too. k of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
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in tonight's war on terror, it's official. al qaeda has a new leader. ayman al zawahiri, the egyptian born second in command to osama bin laden. he is known as a mast he of logistics and manning who favors big attacks. but he is unpopular. even resented among the rank and file. as he takes the helm, terror experts worry he'll have someone to prove. moments ago, i spoke to al baker about this. thanks so much for joining me.
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ayman al zawahiri is the new head of al qaeda. first a lot of people are intrigued. as am i. how much do we know about the decision process? this isn't a board of directors that sits down at a formal meeting. what happens? >> in a loose sense, what they want is they want some sort of buy-in from the key people that are still living within al qaeda. and there's a number of them. you're right, it's not as fornlal as a sit-down bored meeting. in part because of security reasons. they're all in hiding. even more so since the take-down of bin laden. they do need that buy-in despite that al zawahiri has been around since the mid '80s and with al qaeda since about '98. >> does he actually control the organization to the extent that he has to sign off on particular terrorist acts? or are these independent, free agents in yemen, in saudi arabia, elsewhere, who will say we will do what we want to do. and we'll give you heads up
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after the fact. >> a good question. after 9/11, and after our move into afghanistan, routing the taliban and putting them on the back foot and getting as aggressive as we did and have continued to be, they've never had the luxury of doing that central top-down planning that they did prior to 9/11. reason it is critical to us is that al zawahiri had been a proponent of the big dramatic act. and so if he had the capacity to follow his own ideological druthers, one presume he would try to recast a 9/11 type event. whereas some of the other outlying cell have focused on smaller non-u.s. based events. >> we never had a lot of insight into the inner workings. al qaeda. in terms of personalities and the various people. after bin laden was taken down, that's when we really started. the. a information we hoovered out of that compound. as it turns out, you don't have to be mr. popular to run al qaeda. this is a very significant
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moment from al qaeda's perspective. from our perspective, we understand not much will change. from their perspective, they have this succession taking place. they need to show they're relevant. we have to be worried they'll do something spectacular. >> that is, i think the question that bothers me the most them do need to establish their own relevance for the sake of their own public relations. it sounds crazy. p.r., al qaeda. the two terms shouldn't go together. how do we reclaim the offense? they're playing defense. nobody likes to play defense. what do you think they try to do to reclaim offense? >> what we need to be concerned about is what we know about al zawahiri in terms of his past involvement in the big operations. we know that he is a very strict idealog. we know that he is at this point clearly interested in showing he has taken control. he will not necessarily put his footprint on us. it won't change the objectives. still looking to create murder, mayhem and terror. but he wants something. to say this is now my
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organization. >> in that vein, let me ask the hard question. how many people do we really think he can pick up the phone and communicate with directly, indirectly through whatever mechanisms they have to disseminate his orders and how much of it has now been dispersed into a much flatter organization? >> in sufficient time, he can reach all of them. >> but how many? >> i would be lying to you if i gave you a number. i don't know. i don't know that anybody has an exact figure. >> you hear a lot of thing bandied about. i wouldn't put confidence into an exact number. you can count in terms of dozens tx key personnel responsible for thing such as communications planning, bombing, finance. >> let me put this in the context of what i used to participate. in you had a hierarchy, the very senior members of each family. then the associates, loose associates. if you knew who the captains,
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were you knew who the players. were given what you picked out, hoover you had to use your phrase. don't we know who those 20 people are now? >> for some time. they've been on our list of most wanted. we've known a number of the key players. part of the problem, is we've had a lot of success in taking out a lot of those individuals. over the years, part of the problem is they have a deep well of potential recruit. they're going after who you would expect. uneducated, unmotivated. no place else to go. and so from their perspectitarg them. we're taking out the top leadership, limit their ability to bring in experienced, qualified people. before 9/11, before we chased them out of afghanistan. they had all sorts of time to train people and work with them. we see them in the u.s. and we say how come they're not more successful? they don't have time to sit them down and train them. >> and they do lose a lot of skill the way organized crime,
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any other criminal syndicate will. you raise ad critical point. they're trying to latch on to the arab spring and make themselves relevant to this mass movement. has that been successful? your estimation, your contacts in the arab world. are they still on the outside peering in or have they made themselves part of the sort of narrative of what has happened? >> as far as al qaeda goes, in the short term they haven't been able to get their hands around this. they were caught by surprise when egypt started to go up. now, the difference is, they will play the long game eventually. they'll recover from this. and much like with the muslim brotherhood. initially we talked about that. what influence they could have, it was oh, no, that's crazy. this is about democracy and self-determination. i guarantee the muslim brotherhood has the long view. what al qaeda will try to do is watch that and take advantage of that. i heard a comment from general petraeus the other day. a wonderful, very smart professional, capable, all that, he made a comment about how al qaeda will probably fall apart
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as as a result of bin laden's demise. not so much. >> thank you for your fascinating insights. coming up, abortion still divides these united states. and both sides are at war in at least six states. last night we heard from planned parenthood. tonight the voice of the opposition. the debate is over. ♪ lexus hybrid drive technology is designed to optimize any fuel source on the planet. even those we don't use yet. because when you pursue perfection, you don't just engineer a future-proof hybrid system. you engineer amazing. ♪ and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of your tough pain.
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in tonight's american issues segment, the return of the highly charged battle order abortion rights and the funding of the procedure. three states have voted to eliminate planned parenthood's funding and three more states are about to do the same. last night i spoke with the organization's president and she had this to say. >> i think it is a political
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miscalculation. i think that they are playing politics with women's health care. and when you talk about, we're not even talking about abortion here. the moves by these legislatures, the efforts by the u.s. congress were to eliminate access for women to get access to life-saving breast cancer screenings, pap smears and birth control. the american people don't want that. >> joining me now from washington, someone who has been working feeishly to cut planned parenthood's funding. tony perkins, thanks for joining us. >> good evening. >> let me begin with this question. aren't you trying to prevent the government from funding health care service that's are constitutionally protected, services, the supreme court has said women should have access to? >> no, not at all. this is not about health care. in fact, all of the procedures in terms of health care are still being funded in these states. what is being done here is that funding to the nation's largest
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abortion provider is being redirected. so in fact, take indiana, for instance. under the indiana provision, there are about 34 sites that are affected in 21 counts. these are planned parenthood clinics. they'll no longer be able to receive federal tax dollars if they're involved or state tax dollars, if they're involved in abortion providing. if they provide abortions. in those same 21 counties, there are 800 eligible providers. this is not about cutting health care. >> tony, let me put up on the screen so folk can see a diagram, a pie chart that shows what planned parenthood does. you can see 16% of what it does is cancer prevention. 35% is contraception. sexually transmitted diseases, only 3% is abortion-related services. and absolutely no money by law can go to that. we agree. i think you would agree with me,
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no money goes to abortion services as a matter of law right now comfortable we agree on that point? >> that's correct. >> so what you're trying to do then is say, the organization, because 3% of its services are abortion-related, all the other stuff that we just put up on the chart, they shouldn't be able to do that. >> no. they're not prohibited from doing. that they can choose. that 3% represents 37% of the their profit. i would say that also, that 3% is not an accurate number. because planned parenthood uses fuzzy math. somebody come in and they get a birth control method and they have somebodisome other thing done, that's not counted as one. that's counted as multiple. the math is a little fuzzy. but let's stwik the 3%. it is still 37% of their billion dollars word of revenue that they bring in. they take in about $336 million of, in government money. >> that's correct. >> what's being said is a very bright line is being drawn. if you want to provide these
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health care services and receive gov money, you can. but you cannot be doing abortions, too. because these are being done in the same facilities. you can have the same receptionist, the same overhead is being covered. dollars are funkible. so what's happening is government tax dollars are being used to underwrite the overhead of planned parenthood doing abortions. >> i didn't mean to interrupt. we just agreed, no federal dollars are permitted under any circumstances, anywhere in the united states, to go to abortion services. >> directly to the procedure of abortion. but you can carry the overhead so that all of that abortion revenue, that 37% of the revenue is pure profit. and over the last five, the last ten years, they've made over $500 million in profit from the services they've provided. >> here the thing. the structure of the planned parenthood has that you say should prohibit their money is
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identical to the structure that every hospital in the united states has. hospitals provide abortions. hospital cannot use federal money to provide those abortions. they segregate those services. they account for them separately just the way planned parenthood does. they also, these hospitals, provide cancer treatment, std treatment, contraception, all things that are both legal and necessary. so your argument would apply to every major hospital in the united states. >> what we're talking about here is the same thing that was in place until bill clinton was president. prior to bill clinton become president, and by executive order, changing the rule, title 10 funding could not go through an organization going into a same facility that did both abortions and family planning. because this is government money, and over 70% of taxpayers are opposed to their money going to underwrite the cost of abortions, this is simply drawing a bright clear line of distinction. either do the health care or the abortion. >> am i right though? i will concede that point way
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back, the rules were different. but in today's world. the laws and rules that apply to every major hospital permit hospitals, and in fact, hospitals do exactly what planned parenthood does. they keep all the funding for abortion separate. they freeway entire pan pea of circumstances and they keep all the money away from the abortions exactly the same way. as a matter of fact, i am a correct that these are eye deidl situations? >> i'm not certain that they are. in part because planned parenthood, what has brought them to the forefront, what has made them work of electors across the state, is because they've been implicated in improper funding, as well as covering for child prostitution, not reporting underage women, or girl coming in for abortions. they have some legal trouble. this has come to the forefront. during the whole health care
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debate with president obama, it was made very clear that americans did not want to underwrite this type of behavior. >> i've got to interrupt you right there and i apologize. you just made a series of undocumented, unproven comments about planned parenthood. >> no, no. >> wait a minute. you're trying to build a case that is simply not accurate and fair to planned parenthood. >> wait a minute. >> you want to agree that they should not have federal funding for abortion services, we can have that. to try to slandter organization and say they're involved in prostitution and failure -- i'm not going to let you get away with that. that's not factually the case. >> let me tell your viewers to go to live action.com and they can see for themselves the undercover video that was filmed in planned parenthood clinic that's shows them covering, and facilitating sex trafficking. and then let your viewers make that decision for themselves. >> we can have a principled conversation about how, where
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federal funds should go. you know and i know, planned parenthood is a principled -- >> no, we cannot agree on that. >> that's fair game for debate. but do not try to implicate them there. i think you demean your own arguments which i'll respect but not when you go there. >> it's been turned order to law enforcement. it's been turned over to federal officials. it is documented. it's true. >> you're not serving yourself well. we can have a fair debate about the other stuff. let's continue this down the road. time is short. you know how tv works. you haven't really answered the question. planned parenthood is like every hospital them do it the same way every hospital does. >> they're not, eliot. happy to continue the conversation. >> tony, thanks for coming on. i appreciate your coming on. coming up, was it anthony weiner's behavior that brought him down or the lies he told about it?
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more now on our leyde stoimpl congressman anderson weiner's scandal. was at this time behavior or the lying that brought him down? howard kirk from "newsweek" and
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the daily beast. and joining me here in new york, former congressman rick lazio. howard, let me start with you. grade the media. does the media deserve applaud for favoriting the story out despite the lies or was the something over the top. >> some people in the media deserve some credit for digging out some of the seamy details. i've covered this story, too. i know you've featured it on this program as well. i think ultimately the reason anthony weiner resigned, in addition to his lies where he basically dug his own political grave, is not simply because other democratic politicians pressured him to do so. that's been going on more than a week. the media were so enamored of the strange and surreal aspects of the story, the new york press corps would not let it drop. he realized the only way to stop
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the bleeding was to go away. >> let me come back to former congressman lazio. you've been in that chamber. and howard, weigh in on this also. it is material that anthony weiner didn't seem to have any friends among his colleagues. there was no bandying about to support him. how did that happen? >> fundamental here. you look at the experience of charlie rangel in new york. after the censure, he had mainline prominent democrats rally to him. and nobody really was calling for charlie rangel to step down, even though it was the case that he was found in violation of at least the house rules of not declaring income and other sort of misdemeanors, sort of speak. even though he was the chairman of the tax writing committee. the ways is that means committee. if you contrast that with anthony weiner, nobody came to anthony weiner's defense. i happen to think republicans played this pretty well them didn't really pile on early on.
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they let it play out. >> no question, this became a democratic civil war. and speaker boehner saying we won't meddle in your problems. let me come back to you. contrast the way other scandals have played out. where the tax issue is. less sexy, to say the obvious. there are no pictures, a picture of a 1040 isn't good compared to what anthony weiner was sending over his ipod or whatever. is the media then at fault for just playing to the salacious, when other thing may be just as serious? >> certainly the way this story came to dominate washington coverage, much more so than the debate about the debt ceiling or the war or any of the wars that the united states is involved in. always in part to the fact that let's not let weiner off the hook. had he not lied repeatedly in all those television interviews, it would have been rest of a story. and even though he's been a bit of a loner on the hill, might
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have felt more compel to support him. but also, a sex scandal where a guy didn't get any sex? a lot of people weren't familiar with this whole texting and sexting. then there were the picture of weiner shirtless. not the really bad pictures that were taken in the house gym. that became kind of a turning point as the narrative built here, to the point where the pressure got to be so great. it was so clear the new york press corps would not let this drop that i think he ultimately ded to spare his family. >> i think he makes some very good points. i think it was a pivotal moment when in a coordinated way, nancy pelosi, the chairman, all came out and said you can't tough this out. you must step down. i think at this point the establishment was administration itself known. you can't survive. >> the democratic leadership
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clearly and rightly said our agenda is being completely swamped. medicare, medicaid. the myriad of issues. here is the question. the members of the house of representatives know you are part of this collegiate body. anthony weiner did not do anything clearly illegal. creepy, disgusting, awful, but not illegal. do the members of the house now begin to wake up tomorrow morning and say wait a minute. is this a new threshold? and how we don't necessarily, we won't feel that happy about this bar. >> in one way, it is nothing new. when you're in public life, one of the first tenants is don't write anything, send anything out that you wouldn't want to appear on the front page of the new york times. so this was the fundamental rule broken by anthony weiner. then the rest is history in terms of him compounding this problem by the lying and the suggestion that he is being
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falsely accused and all the rest. so i don't think they will draw any great lesson except in an age of new media, there are more opportunities to have a ricky behavi risky behavior. is what anthony did worse than what john ensign did? it took him two years to resign. i think one of the things that enable those legislator to hang original despite these kinds of charges is that correct they didn't have to deal with the new york press corps. if you lay low and you issue a statement of contrition, the story will eventually fade. that doesn't happen in new york. >> the only difference i will say about these situations is that at least with respect to weiner, some of these women did not ask for weiner to sthend
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salacious material to them. and they may have been under age. that is a fundamental distinction. the behavior was so outside the norm. not that the other two didn't do the right thing. from a practical standpoint, i think the democrats had a had just won a special election in new york, who felt like they had momentum on medicare and putting republicans on defense on some of their budget initiatives, felt like that completely ground to a halt and they couldn't wait to get him out of the way. >> howard, let me end with you. time runs short. you refer what peter lee and those of us who have lived in and with and been subjected to the new york press could that do believe it is different. there is a tabloid sensibility to what is printed. does that media ever forgive? can anthony weiner come back? dan abram on the show a few minutes ago not three years from now, anthony weiner is back in politics. can he do that? will he do that? >> well, eliot spitzer, your
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career shows that you can bounce back, not necessarily in the political arena. and tabloid media, love a come back. memories fade, what did he do that was so wrong, he goes out and does some community service. i think his career in the congress may be over. i'm not saying his career as a public figure is necessarily kaput. >> thanks as always for being here. coming up, e.d. hill looks at a town that's dying. one bad mortgage attempt. tell us about it. >> the town with the worst mortgage crisis in america but it is indicative of what's happening nationwide. adding to the troubling news, federal and bank policies may be making it worse for everyone. we'll examining what's happening. >> how could it possibly be a bank would make thing worse for americans? impossible. i don't believe it. [ marge ] psst.
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plainfield, new jersey has a dubious distinction. a higher percentage of foreclosures than anywhere else in america. people there aren't alone. as of this week housing industry data shows we are in a double dip. a housing crisis worse than the great depression. rather than get better, the rates to clean up the balance sheets may be inflaming the problem. causing home values to tumble further. poppy harlow has witnessed this firsthand. take a look. >> reporter: i'm here on east front street alone there are 25 homes in foreclosure.
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and just down the way on berkeley terrace, you'll find eight more. >> three houses and three of the house that's i've lived in have foreclosed. and i was forced to move. >> unless something can turn around, we need a miracle. >> a miracle. >> that's the worst case. poppy joins us now. what is it that is unique about this area of new jersey? >> i wish it was unique. this is emblematic of the crisis across the country. it is not every city but a lot of cities. what's going on is you have a city where you have a largely minority population. and you saw a lot of steep job losses there. and then you saw all of these foreclosures and now on top of that, you have massive gang violence. gang violence that's so bad in this town, the police said we shouldn't shoot on one of those streets. the question is in places like this, did the gang violence come first or the foreclosures? but one in ten home. one in ten home is in foreclosure. the people i talked to on the
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streets say they feel trapped. even if they're current on their mortgage, they're paying their tax, taking care of their property, they can't get out if they want to. that's a problem for the whole community. the government has gone to banks and said we want to you refinance mortgages. help people so they can stay in their homes. at the same time they're telling the bangs to clean up the balance sheets and they want them financially stable. the banks are saying fine, dump these properties. fannie mae. when they do that, it makes it worse. >> what do you do? >> that's exactly it. what do you do? the government is giving you conflicting signals. keep people in their homes even if they have difficulty paying and as the unemployment continues to rise, it gets more difficult. >> right. the question is, the banks say how can we do both? 2009, two years ago the government came out with the home affordable modification program. it's been widely criticized by democrats and republicans. it didn't work. president obama said 4 million
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mortgages will be modified. 700,000 have been. we've got a long way to go to get to that number. what is interesting and the treasury came out last week and basically slapped three of the biggest lenders on the wrist. bank of manager, chase and wells fargo and said until do you better at modifying these mortgages, we won't pay you this incentive payment we've been giving to you say please modify these in a way people can afford them and stay in their home so you don't have to dump them off the balance sheet. the banks came back and fought back. and we will fargo is formally disputing it saying we are modifying as fast as we can. >> it doesn't seem fast. especially for the number of people going into foreclosure. on the other hand, if you're looking at it from a purely if i know perspective, i'm assuming bank wos rather have somebody in their home paying a mortgage than have it dumped about a on to the balance sheet. >> guess what. every home they repossess after they foreclose, they technically to have pay tax on those homes. and they're supposed to take care of those homes.
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keep them looking properly. that's not what happens. and they don't want that burden. so you're seeing the sort of slowdown in foreclosures because of the robo scandal. also, the paperwork is slower now, they're a little more careful. that slowdown we're seeing in foreclosures does not show us this market is actually healthier. >> so what happens here? you have all these home foreclosures and the increasing unemployment rate. how do you stem it? one lawmaker suggested, perhaps the government steps in and to banks says, we're going to ease up our demands on how financially stable you are. those stress tests if you just hold off on these mortgages. we'll make it easier for your bottom line not to look so bad. >> i don't know if politically it would play out across both parties because stress tests or. >> reporter: so we don't have another financial crisis that some say we're leading up to. i think the problem is the home modifications act came in 2009.
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right when it kicked in, unemployment got horrific and it hasn't really gotten much better. until you have a significant improvement in unemployment, these people can't pay their mortgages. it doesn't matter how much you modify my loan if i don't have a job. and the government -- what more can be done if unemployment isn't fixed. at the same time, it's that catch 22. i think it is an unfortunate, horrible situation. i don't know -- >> we have to find the bottom. that's the basic -- >> right. what we're seeing in prices, we haven't seen that bottom yet. i think that's very, very scary for people. >> that's troubling. that this isn't as bad as it will get. >> as you said, worse than the depression. >> poppy harlow. thank you. ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born ♪ worry ♪ oh, worry, worry worry, worry ♪
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