Return to Transcripts main page
Washington Post Digs into Mitt Romney's School Days; Cruising Through Airport Security; Expect Changes in Facebook; Man, 89, Receives College Degree; Black Church vs the President; Civil Rights Icon Supporting Gay Rights; 48 Bodies Found in Mexico; Newsweek Calls President Obama First Gay President?
Aired May 13, 2012 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN: The president said his piece now it is churches turn today from the pulpit. Ministers around the country have their say on gay marriage.
A rare disease is eating her body away from the outside end. The father of the 24-year-old college student is here to talk about the struggle with a rare incurable disease.
At 89-years-old, he is the big man on campus and this weekend, the world war II vet got something that was almost 70 years overdue.
Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here. Thank you so much for joining us.
First this evening a call for prayers for the president. His support for same-sex marriage at odds with teachings in many churches across America.
In the pews, in the pulpits, some followers are open to the idea of two men or two women getting married but many others side with Republicans like RNC chair Reince Priebus.
Here's what he told NBC today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I don't think it's a matter of civil rights. I think it's just a matter of whether or not we're going to adhere to something that's been historical and religious, and legal in this country for many, many years. I mean marriage has to have a definition. And we just happen to believe it's between a man and a woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Priebus doesn't see it as a civil rights issue, but many renowned black leaders do. People like the Reverend Al Sharpton, like Julian Bond, Melanie Campbell, and the man that you see right there, civil rights icon, Reverend Joseph Lowery. And we're talking with him in just a moment here on CNN.
Black churches in particular have a lot to reconcile over same-sex marriage. They are a major source of support for the president on most issues. But as our Athena Jones reports now, many just won't follow him down this path.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Baltimore.
PASTOR EMMETT BURNS, RISING SUN FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: I love the president, but I cannot support what he has done.
JONES: To Atlanta.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not mad with the president.
JONES: To New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's no one's business. It's only the couples involved. So it shouldn't be of community -- it shouldn't be a community concern.
JONES: Black pastors and churchgoers tackle the topic of same-sex marriage Sunday. These after President Obama expressed his support for it.
At Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington where the Obamas celebrated Easter last year, Reverend Wallace Charles Smith believes the president got it wrong.
REV. DR. WALLACE CHARLES SMITH, PASTOR, SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH: We would have preferred had he not, you know, weighed in on the issue.
JONES: But he and his congregation have been praying for President Obama every Sunday for years and this day was no different.
SMITH: Will this hurt the African-American community's support for the president in the upcoming election? Well, I would hope not. We've got some larger challenges that we've had to struggle with.
JONES: Darryl Wise, a Shiloh member who was gay, said the president took a courageous stand.
DARRYL WISE, SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH MEMBER: As a -- black gay male and also as a Baptist, I feel that, you know, things, you know, will change and opinions will change. And the only thing I have to do is lift it up to the Lord.
JONES: While African-Americans have been a strong base of support for the president, polls show they are more likely than white to oppose same-sex marriage. That opposition has softened in recent years. But in Baltimore, Pastor Emmett Burns is so upset he publicly withdrew his support for President Obama Sunday and says the issue will cost him the election.
BURNS: People I know, people come up to me are saying that they don't support this. They don't like this. They are disappointed with the president and they plan to stay home. I don't plan to vote for Romney, for sure. Right now I plan to stay home.
JONES: Burns was also a Maryland legislator, he's leading a petition drive to force a public vote on a state law legalizing same-sex marriage.
LEMON: That is very interesting. Athena Jones joins us live.
Now, Athena, is there any official reaction from the White House about what you heard in those searches?
JONES: No, we're not going to get any official reaction. We don't expect to get any. You know, the president is aware of the black community's -- many in the black community's, I have to say, stance on this. And of course the White House has been doing a lot of outreach. As you know in the black -- the black community has been a strong base for the president.
And the truth is when we talk to a lot of congregates, a lot of the people worshipping at these services whether it was Atlanta or New York or Baltimore, even the one who didn't necessarily agree with the president, still answered, you know, absolutely with a resounding yes, most of the time, when it came to the question of whether they would go on to support him.
But so the White House is aware of this -- of this division. But, you know, they would probably point out these people that you mentioned earlier and one of your guests, Reverend Joseph Lowery, along with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, others prominent religious figures and civil rights leaders who have invoked Dr. King and saying that this is a civil right. You can't fight for equal rights for some and not for all.
JONES: And that there's a fundamental right to get -- to get married. So it's going to be really interesting to see how this plays out. It did seem, though, that people like Dr. Burns, at least, from our reporting today and we talked to a wide variety of people between me here and producers every where, and most of them seem to look like they're going to continue to back the president.
LEMON: All right. Athena Jones, thank you very much.
Let's go to our special guest right now. A legend of civil rights movements, a man who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph Lowery joins me right now.
You hear -- you heard what Athena Jones -- her report there, you hear what Reince Priebus said, he said this is not about civil rights. What do you say to that?
REV. JOSEPH LOWERY, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Well, it is about civil rights.
LEMON: About equal rights.
LOWERY: And equal rights. You can't -- you can marry without the church.
LOWERY: You can marry without religion, the ritual. Of course within the context of the faith, we do marry but it's a civil issue. And you can marry and divorce without the church for the context of the civil law and the rule of law. The truth of the matter is, when you think about it, you can't be for equal rights for some.
LEMON: And not for all.
LOWERY: And not equal rights for all. That's an oxymoron.
LEMON: I don't understand why people don't get that and why people keep -- and this is just me asking, injecting religion into an issue that has to do with rights. Because here's what I said, when you go to -- I know marriage is a legal contract. People don't issue licenses for baptisms or for bar mitzvah or for -- and in many things that -- you know, that have -- or whatever, things that happen in the church. People don't issue a license for it and it's governed, that's not government and then other things are not governed by the church.
So what's --
LOWERY: Well, I think --
LEMON: What's the disconnect?
LOWERY: I can't imagine the people who are even now who are concerned, let anybody tell them who they should, could or would not marry.
LOWERY: They're going to make that decision in their own mind and in their own heart. And we have to -- we have to take that perspective. It takes -- it is an evolving issue. And the president said it evolved. And it isn't -- I remember when white people were very upset when we put football games on Sunday.
LOWERY: Now they can't wait until the benedictions to get out to the field or the golf course or wherever they want to go to take advantage of recreational opportunity.
LEMON: While we have this little moment of levity here, let me ask you this when you said now they can't wait, they used to be very upset about that. When I think about what some people, and I hear what some folks are saying about this issue, I wonder if in 10 or 20 years when those sound bites are played back to them if they're going to cringe and want to go and hide somewhere. Because it's like interracial marriage. It's like integration. Sure, some people are still against it but you wouldn't dare make a statement against it at least publicly --
LOWERY: Well, I'd hate to see it be put to a vote.
LOWERY: I hate to see your job put to a vote.
LEMON: Be put to a vote. But looking back on it, do you think some people may be embarrassed about their stance on this thing?
LOWERY: Well, perhaps. But not really -- not really. We take in stride. We leave opportunity for growth alive and well and there are people -- there are white people who had a fit when the Supreme Court in 1954 said that segregation in public education is unconstitutional.
LOWERY: But you can hardly find anybody now who would say that the Supreme Court wasn't right.
LEMON: Let me ask you about this. So it's 49 percent of blacks, 43 percent of whites oppose same-sex marriage, and that was the most recent Pew poll. It doesn't mean it's not that big of a divide. But I think what people are saying, the difference is, the nuance is, is that if you had been discriminated against, and if you have had your rights violated in anyway, a part of a civil rights movement, that you would be -- you would have more of an affinity to accept other people having rights.
And so where is this -- where does this disconnect come with the black community? Why isn't the black community more accepting, and why aren't they the first people raising their hands going, of course, all of us should be -- should have equal rights?
LOWERY: Well, I don't want to say what I'm going to say.
LEMON: But you're going to say it, I know you.
LOWERY: But I'm going to say it anyway. Really hypocrisy here. We have had gay issues in the black church longer than we have been willing to discuss it. But we've got to come to the point, and we are coming to the point, that we're going to accept the freedom of -- we are going to accept the fact that nobody has the right to dictate to you who you're going spend your life with. That's a right that I have and I think it's a divine right.
LEMON: You are a minister. You know the bible. You know the church. You know black folks. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. It's an abomination. Leviticus says this, Romans says that.
LOWERY: Well, you remember this, that Leviticus is almost by himself over that. And Jesus never mentioned the whole issue of gay and so forth. And it was prevalent in his time. He didn't mention it. We've got to accept the fact that there are differences that are inevitable and they're going to be there and we have to accept it. But we must not let those differences whether it's color of skin, or ethnicity or where you're born, we must not let them interfere with our rights.
LEMON: Back in October when I -- you know, when you had your illustrious birthday, right, I asked you about this issue and you said that you were for same-sex marriage then. You said it first. You think it would have been easier if it was civil unions but you can't tell someone that they shouldn't have the same rights as you.
You also said to me the bible says a lot of things about a lot of things and there were other things in the bible that people don't put as much weight on. And they -- they pick and choose things that they want to.
LOWERY: But I don't see as much concern about adultery, which the bible speaks against much more often than the issue of sex and homosexuality. And besides, there are some place in the bible, some guy named Paul has slaves? I'm sorry, but I'm not ever going to get into court with that one. And I want to tell him what I'll do before I obey. And so we've got to understand that there is room in the bible to accept the spirit of Christ.
There is a book called "Red Letter Christians." What it means is that he really puts all his heart and soul in the bible are those things in some bibles are written in red ink. They're the quotes of Jesus.
LEMON: Jesus. That's right.
LOWERY: And if you can find in that red letter some reference of this and we'll have another discussion, but right now Jesus didn't bother with it and neither am I. I think I -- I think we've got to get our hearts and mind on jobs and the economy and stop letting these issues distract us from the main core issues that we need to bring this country back to where it ought to be.
LEMON: Right. Can we talk about the letter that -- Friday, there was a call for ministers and they wanted to get the church on board before Mother's Day and you signed on to this letter, according to one source for CNN, the White House had another clergy meeting and that was yesterday. They're nervous even before this polling of black folks. Not what they thought it would be.
So, you sign on to this letter. Do you think it's going to make a difference? Are you worried in any way that this is going to hurt the president politically?
LOWERY: I don't think so. I think Martin Luther King said in addition to the (INAUDIBLE), you can't discriminate against some and not against others. But he also said that America was a 10-day nation. You see we get excited about some issues for 10 days, after 10 days it is back to business as usual.
I think these preachers are going to be upset for a month or two. But when election time comes, they're going to vote for the person who offers the most hope to America for a better day for all of us children. And I think they're going to vote for a fellow named Barack Obama.
LEMON: My question last night, is it more important to be a good Christian or more important to support the first African-American president of the United States? And that's a dilemma for a lot of --
LOWERY: I think it's -- it's easier to do both.
LEMON: To do both.
Thank you, youngster.
LOWERY: Thank you.
LEMON: Always good to see you.
LOWERY: Thank you, old man.
LEMON: It's a real treat to see you. Thank you. Thank you. It's an honor.
LOWERY: Thank you.
LEMON: As a matter of fact.
LOWERY: Thank you.
LEMON: Reverend Joseph Lowery.
OK. We're going to move on and talk about other news now. The Secret Service prostitution scandal is headed to Capitol Hill. The Senate Homeland Security Committee is going to hold a hearing on the scandal, May 23rd. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan will testify. Committee chairman Joe Lieberman tells CNN he wants answers to three important questions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I) HOMELAND SECURITY CHAIRMAN: Is the -- inspector general satisfied with the investigation of what happened in Cartagena that the Secret Service did? Secondly, where there indications before the Colombian scandal of behavior by Secret Service agents off duty on assignment. That should have been a warning that this was coming. And then third, what are you going to do, Director Sullivan, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The incident happened last month just before President Barack Obama's trip to the Summit of Americas -- of the Americas. So far nine Secret Service employees have lost their jobs, another 12 military service members are now under investigation.
A big fall for a powerful CEO all because he padded his resume. Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has left the company. He'd only been on the job since January. Thompson's official bio stated that he held two degrees in accounting and computer science but it turns out his only degree is in accounting.
The drug war in Mexico takes a grizzly turn, dozens of bodies, some decapitated, some dismembered, discovered. We're looking at who's being targeted.
LEMON: A gruesome scene in Northern Mexico today where police have found 49 bodies left along the highway, some were decapitated and dismembered.
Our senior Latin affair -- Latin American affairs editor is Rafael Romo. I get all that. It's a big title here.
Do police have any answers as to what happened here?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Two possibilities. One is that this is all due to a big turf war between two drug cartels. One is the Los Zetas and the other one is the Gulf Cartel. They're fighting for that territory because it's a big transit point for drugs coming from South America and to the United States. And that's one of the possibilities.
The other possibility, Don, is that it may be migrants coming from Central America. That part of Mexico, some referred to it as the Mexican Bermuda Triangle because people disappear, people are robbed, people are killed in that part of Mexico. And one question that reporters had this afternoon in the middle of a press conference was, why were they all decapitated? Why were they all dismembered and this is one of the prosecutors have to say. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORGE DOMENE, NUEVO LEON DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (Through Translator): In every single case and in order to complicate the identification process the victims are missing their head and they also had their upper and lower extremities mutilated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO: And so the idea here was to make it as complicated as possible for police --
LEMON: To identify.
ROMO: To identify these bodies.
LEMON: So was it then -- what does that say? Does that say that it's all between -- this fighting is between cartels or were there any civilians or any foreigners who are targeted or is it just the cartels, they believe?
ROMO: No indication at this point that any civilians or foreigners are being targeted. There was a sign found right next to the bodies on a wall that said, 100 percent Z, referring to the cartel that I was telling you about, the Los Zetas.
LEMON: Los Zetas.
ROMO: So that's a big possibility, and that's the line of investigation that authorities are going through.
LEMON: So is it just -- is it just the drugs and the fighting? Is that what makes this part of Mexico so dangerous? Is that -- is that the main issue here?
ROMO: That's exactly right. All the Border States, especially those south of Texas, we're talking abut Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, are very lucrative transit points for Mexican criminal organizations. And all the violence you see there is because they are trying to gain control of that area because in the end the bottom line is money and those areas are very lucrative.
LEMON: One wonders if regulation might just -- you know what I mean? At least stop some of this. It's a very good question.
ROMO: Open question.
LEMON: Just very good question. Thank you. Thank you, Rafael. We appreciate it.
I want you to take a look at this now. "Newsweek" calling President Obama the first gay president. Is that fair? Or is it going too far? It has everybody talking.
LEMON: All right. We are talking politics right now. Who knew America had a gay president? "Newsweek" says he's in the White House right now. Provocative cover? Perfect way to get into our discussions, which are always provocative. But we cut them off, we shut them down, and then they come back the next week. That's how it works around here.
CNN contributor, Will Cain, is here, along with LZ Granderson, and also a CNN contributor and a senior writer at ESPN, for ESPN.
So, that's quite an image and quite a label for a guy who just one week ago was officially opposed to same-sex marriage. At least he said he was evolving on it. That he's -- you know.
LZ, is he the first gay president?
LZ GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it's a provocative cover, but I have no idea what they are supposed to mean by that headline. I mean if they're saying, you know, as far as a president supporting gay rights, you know, Gerald R. Ford supported gay rights before President Clinton did. And if they mean an actual gay president, you know, historians are looking at the letter of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and pegging those two guys as being gay presidents. So I'm not sure what they meant by that but the -- but the cover at least is provocative.
LEMON: Yes, I think I -- I think I get it. I haven't read the article. I read what Andrew Sullivan wrote in the "Daily Beast" earlier in the week, which is -- which was a very eloquent and heart- felt article. I haven't read the "Newsweek" article yet because it hasn't been released. I think I get what they mean. It's kind of like we call Bill Clinton the first black president? So --
GRANDERSON: You might call him that.
LEMON: Yes. Well, that's what people said. But judging from what Andrew Sullivan said about gay kids who are bullied and gay people who finally had some degree of validation maybe for the first time because of what President Obama said, I think that's what that cover means. That's just my interpretation.
Will, go ahead.
WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first, LZ, I would say man, that's the first I've heard of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, you're teaching me some history tonight. I would say the rumors have been flying about James Buchanan for about 150 years. So I don't know that by any measure Obama qualifies as the first -- for anyone, and that would include both LZ and myself who supports gay marriage. This is a good symbolic moment and the president deserves a round of applause.
You know, I don't think we should canonize him. I don't think we should carve out a place on Mount Rushmore just yet. I mean he did adopt the Dick Cheney position that he's personally for it, but he's not going to fight for it, he's not going to advocate for it by any meaningful measures so --
LEMON: At least not this time. At least not this time. That's -- you know .
CAIN: That's right.
LEMON: Because you can always evolve.
CAIN: Well, right, right. We can -- I don't know how this evolution thing works. We will have to see about that.
LEMON: There's a joke in there. I am not going to go there. GRANDERSON: And you can sort of argue that -- that he has already taken stuffs because he -- you know, he instructed his Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, that he's called it unconstitutional. So you can say that he has already made steps prior to this announcement in terms of supporting marriage equality in a policy sort of way.
LEMON: OK. Rand Paul talking about this on Friday. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The president, you know, recently weighed in on marriage. And you know, he said his views were evolving on marriage. Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure that his views on marriage could get any gayer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So there were lots of laughs there for Rand Paul's comments. And listen, you know me. I have said this to you. I think the worst thing is for someone not to have a sense of humor. And I thought it was -- there's context for everything. I thought it was a funny joke, I probably would have laughed at it unless he was -- unless it was meant in a -- in a demeaning way. But otherwise it's -- as joke, I think it's funny. What do you think?
CAIN: No, I don't even get it, Don. I might need you to explain it to me again, because what does that mean, I don't think his position could get any gayer? Wasn't the president opposed to gay marriage just a week ago? So how was his position somewhere that he Rand Paul would define as gay before that?
By the way, what does he mean by gay? Does he just simply mean it in some kind of derogatory light? Does it mean it was actually a homosexual position? I don't get the joke. I don't --
LEMON: That's why I said.
LEMON: Context is everything. But if he's just making a joke about supporting same-sex marriage, I don't think he can get any gayer, then the joke is money. But if he -- as I said, if he means it in derogatory way, then it's not funny -- LZ?
GRANDERSON: You know, I'm with you on this, Don. You know, without seeing what was before that clip, it's hard to tell exactly where he was coming from with it. But one thing I will say is that a number of people on both sides of the aisle are not necessarily surprised that President Obama feels this way. That's because of the policies that he has placed in -- you know, on his agenda essentially since he got into the White House. And for him to say that isn't really that big of a surprise. And I get that from, you know, Rand Paul's joke. And you know -- you know, I -- and Rand Paul is one of the guys that I really like. I don't always agree with him but there are things that I wish enjoy and there are things that disagree with. But he seems to be the kind of voice that we want in Washington because he's able to go into that kind of a joke, and you know, with his head up high. I thought he nailed it.
LEMON: Yes. So we want to see the context. We'll have to see the context. And man, Rand Paul and I had a doozy of an interview once. But, you know, it was -- he came back and talked to me again even after that.
Let's talk -- let's move on to other question.
LEMON: Everybody has been talking about Mitt Romney in high school. The "Washington Post" wrote about it, the so-called prank where he forcibly held someone down. What do you -- Will, I see you're shaking head? What do you have for this?
CAIN: I think it's nonsense. I think it's complete nonsense that we dive into the personal records, the high school records, the 50-year- old high school records of presidential candidates to see if we can find one little incident that we might be able to extrapolate and to define what kind of person this guy might be and then vote on that extrapolation. I think it's complete and utter nonsense.
And by the way, if there's one thing I would really look at President Obama's administration and the media in this light, and criticize him for, is this whole gay marriage thing was completely orchestrated and choreograph and Joe Biden taping his interview on Friday for "Meet the Press" to rolling out Hillary Clinton, and all of the Obamas --
LEMON: Will --
CAIN: -- the beginning of the week --
LEMON: Will, OK. Hold on. Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop. What is it -- So when I hear people say that, I understand that you're a strategist, there is a -- that is a no win for the president. Let me tell you, as a black American, as a gay American, that is a no win. There is no way that was orchestrated. That is a bunch of you-know-what for any one to say that. That's a talking point, Will.
That did not happen. And I don't know. I haven't spoken to anyone in the administration. But that is a no win situation for any political leader.
Do you --
CAIN: Let me see if I can put this as bluntly to you as possible, Don. You're wrong.
LEMON: No. I am not wrong. I know it wasn't. Go ahead --
CAIN: You haven't talked to anybody.
LEMON: Go ahead. LZ, go ahead.
CAIN: You haven't talked to anybody, Don, but you know I'm wrong on this.
LEMON: L.Z., go ahead.
GRANDERSON: Will, Will, serious, dude, seriously, there is --
GRANDERSON: There is no political benefit whatsoever to come out --
CAIN: -- crazy bubble I've ever seen that you can sit here and say --
LEMON: There is no way --
LEMON: -- when the president is trying to get the evangelical vote, when that's up for grabs, when his own base --
LEMON: -- he's writing letters and on the phone, trying to shore up support from black churches.
CAIN: Right. Right.
CAIN: Two days before the fundraiser?
LEMON: That's one of the consequences that came from that. But it was not orchestrated.
GRANDERSON: It is absolutely wrong.
I want to say one thing about the Mitt Romney controversy --
(CROSSTALK) GRANDERSON: -- is that it's the fact that Will, first of all, characterized it as one little thing. Bullying is never one little thing. It may seem like one little thing on the outside, looking in. But when you're the person being bullied, it's not one little thing. I think that's important to remember. I don't really care necessarily what Romney did 50 years ago. I agree with you on that. What i am disappointed is and -- the way he characterized what he did and how he feels about it today. "I was a bully in high school and you ask me about it, I am ashamed and embarrassed by it." You ask him about it, he called it, what, tomfoolery? No, that's not where we are right now today. That's just one more instance in which he seems to be out of step with where the country is today culturally. That's the only significance I found out of the story.
GRANDERSON: Not that he did it, but how he feels about it now.
LEMON: We're done.
This is a great talk that we have every week.
All right, save it for next week. We'll be back. Appreciate it.
CAIN: All right.
LEMON: All right, it's the speed pass for you at airports. A new program allows fliers to cruise through security to your flight. We'll tell you what you have to give up and it is not money.
But first, each weekend, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiles innovators from all walks of life and all fields of endeavor. This program is called "The Next List." And next Sunday, he's going to talk with a silversmith, who recently won the MacArthur Genius Grant for his creative work. Take a look.
(THE NEXT LIST)
LEMON: This is great. Lock up your liquids and keep your shoes tied. Can you imagine saying that in an airport? I know this. I'm part of this program. It is fantastic. Thank you, TSA, or whoever did this. There is a new program called Pre-check, and it allows some people, but only some, to cruise through the airport security. That means you don't have to take off your shoes or you don't have to take out your laptop out of your bag, you don't have to remove your liquids. But you have to be invited in. I just showed up on the list somehow. Maybe because I travel so much. You have to give up though a little something about yourself first.
Here's CNN's Lizzy O'Leary.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LIZZY O'LEARY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Keep your shoes on? Check. Belt, too? Check. Even a jacket? Check. This is Pre-check.
PERRY DAVIS, PRE-CHECK PARTICIPANT: If you're in a hurry, the benefit is that you get through security a lot faster. And you don't have to take your computer out of the bag or your liquids and your shoes off. And that saves some time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
O'LEARY: It's a fast-track route, complete with the dedicated security lane that will be in 35 of the busiest U.S. airports by the end of the year. The idea is that travelers who give the government more personal information, name, birthday and gender, and are well known to the airlines, like frequent fliers, are less of a security threat.
TSA administrator, John Pistole, calls it reducing the haystack of risk.
(on camera): How do you deal with that?
JOHN PISTOLE, DIRECTOR, TSA: Well, it's a significant paradigm shift, both for TSA and the traveling public. The way we engage in a partnership to say, let's work together to say if you're willing to share some information about yourselves, then with you perhaps to have expedited screening so we can focus on those we know less about and focus on the higher risks.
O'LEARY: Pre-check is free and only for domestic U.S. flights. Select American citizens are invited to joins by airlines.
TSA officials won't disclose exactly who gets an invitation but it's clear that they are very frequent fliers.
PISTOLE: the more prescreening we can do with individuals because they're willing to share information, either through the Frequent Flier Program or the Trusted Traveler Programs, such as Global Entry under Customs and Border Protection, then we can make some prescreen decisions and expedite the physical screens at the check points.
O'LEARY: The Global Entry Program, which is separate from Pre-check, costs $100 and requires U.S. citizens to be fingerprinted and interviewed by Customs officers. In return, they also get to use the fast lane and speed through customs.
These expedited screening programs are proving popular and TSA is expanding them to include some senior citizens, military personnel and kids.
All pre-check members will still go through security and some will be subjected to random screenings, so it's not always life in the fast lane.
Lizzy O'Leary, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: You think you're hard core? We're going tell you about this guy who recently broke a world record.
But first this. It may look like an ordinary soccer ball but it generates energy while you're playing with it. It's this week's "Technovation."
LEMON: There are big waves and then there is this. Wow. That's 44- year-old Hawaiian surfer riding a 78-foot wave. Look at that thing. The Guinness Book of Records has certified as the biggest wave ever ridden. According to Britain's "Guardian" newspaper, he beat the old record is beat by more than a foot, set back in 2008. That is a monster wave.
Facebook going public. You know how to post videos to Facebook? Your online experience is likely to change, even if you're not buying shares of the company.
But first, most people spend months or even years planning their vacations. But now many people are leaving it all up to chance and buying a mystery trip. Rob Marciano explains why this could be a trip of a lifetime in this week's "On the Go."
(ON THE GO)
LEMON: Greece is facing a political stalemate that could lead to a disastrous exit from the Eurozone. Political leaders are set to meet tomorrow to discuss the new government but no one seems able to pull enough support to create a coalition. That's a big problem because if they can't agree, Greece will have to hold a new election and the new leaders might give up on the bailout. That possibility was one factor leading to last week's losses on Wall Street.
There's a good chance that you are on Facebook. After all, there are nearly 900 million new users. That is why so much attention is being paid to Facebook offering stock in the company for the first time, and they're going to do it later this week. But even if you don't buy shares of Facebook, you could see changes when you log on.
I talked to CNN's Poppy Harlow about that.
LEMON: Poppy, the obvious question is, what changes once Facebook goes public?
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: Two things change really. First, is how it changes as a company for investors and for everyone. It now has to answer to Wall Street every three months and it has to give the quarterly earnings. As a private company, it's had that luxury over the last eight years of not having to tell anyone about their financials, not having to worry about that, really focusing on what Mark Zuckerberg cares so much about, that's the product, the experience. Now they're also going to have that financial responsibility.
LEMON: There is going be more advertising. There's more oversight. They've got to answer to people. Does it make Facebook less cool and not such a hip thing to do now that it is going public?
HARLOW: Yes. It's a good question. It's really a "we have to wait and see" kind of thing. Here's the thing. This is key. Mark Zuckerberg has ultimate control of this company, even as a public company. He has more the half the voting shares so he has say over what happens, like the billion-dollar purchase of Instagram. That was his move. The analysts I talked to, one name named Lou Kerner (ph), who runs the social internet fund, he holds a stack in Facebook. He said, Mark is not going to let that change. He's not going to let the focus in the product change. At the same time, another analyst told me, Don, that you look at time line, for example, what does that do? It makes you scroll down further on the page, right? That makes you look at more advertisements.
LEMON: Didn't you talk to someone about Zuckerberg's imprint possibly being diminished?
HARLOW: Yes. I did. I talked to this guy called David Kirkpatrick. He wrote "The Facebook Effect," which is really the ultimate book on Facebook, many would argue. He got unprecedented access for years inside the company. He told me, look, in no way is Mark Zuckerberg's impact going to be diminished. He has that majority control of the company. But also, he's got this really important woman right next to him working side by side with him. She's the COO of the company. Her name is Cheryl Sandburg. This is a name, folks, that you should know. She built the business of Facebook. She came in 2008. They went from 50 million users to 900 million users. Here's what he has to say about why she also is so important.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, AUTHOR: If Cheryl hadn't been there, i don't think Facebook would be going public today so successfully. If -- she came in and basically created the business. When she arrived, Facebook had not huge revenues. She came in and they said, what business are they in? She had a whole month's worth of meetings trying to figure out what business Facebook was even in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: That's really, really key. She built the business side of this company, so she and Mark are 100 percent on the same page. We're going to see, but i think his imprint and hers are key.
LEMON: Thank you, Poppy Harlow.
(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: For all you bandwagon jumpers, just so you know, Facebook goes public Friday morning, Friday morning.
We've heard from all sides in the same-sex marriage debate, but what about those who are impacted the most, the children of same-sex parents? We'll hear their thoughts in their own words.
LEMON: Since the president announced his support of same-sex marriage earlier this week, Americans have been sounding off, but sometimes the most honest answers come from children.
ANNE YATES, CNN IREPORTER (voice-over): Adam, what do you think about gay families?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I'm fine with it. Like, they have -- they all have reasons to be gay or lesbians. You can't take that right away from people because they have their right to make their own choices.
Yes, it's just that like that's their right. They can be gay or lesbian if they want.
YATES: Should they have kids?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes, it's their choice. They can. They can be any religion they want. They can be like man and wife or they can be gay or they can be lesbians.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: They could be same sex or different sex couples. No different.
We're all people. It's not like gay and lesbian people are alien.
LEMON: From our iReport.
No excuses, no barriers and no way was anything going to stop one determined man. Wait until you hear the path that this 89-year-old took that just finally led him down the graduation aisle. Look at that smile.
LEMON: So if you're sitting at home doubting your abilities or you think something is out of reach, you want to watch this. Never let it be said that you're too old for anything or anything isn't possible. Tonight, the story of the 89-year-old who was sidetracked by war but never took his eye off the prize.
Janelle Lilly from our affiliate, KATV, in Arkansas has his story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JANELLE LILLY, REPORTER, KATV (voice-over): The pomp and circumstance of graduation day. As proud parents scanned the capped crowd for their graduate, they might have noticed some silver hair peeking out from one of those caps. That man with the contagious smile is Charlie Ball, who first attended Arkansas Tech back in 1941. But December 7th and Pearl Harbor changed his plans.
CHARLIE BALL, 89-YEAR-OLD GRADUATE: I joined the Army Air Corps and they sent me down for pilot training down in Texas.
LILLY: When the war ended, Charlie picked up a few classes here and there and went to work with his father. But as the years went on, he became a grandpa and he knew he wanted to set an example, so he worked with tech to compile his transcripts.
DR. ROBERT BROWN, PRESIDENT, ARKANSAS TECH UNIVERSITY: We were able to put all that together, and we discovered and he discovered that it was possible to graduate.
LILLY: He called his granddaughter, Madeline, to share the news.
MADELINE MEATTE, GRANDDAUGHTER OF CHARLIE: He said, guess what I'm doing on the 12th. I said, what are you doing, Grandpa Charlie? And he said, I'm graduating from college.
BALL: They though it was good. I said the reason I was doing it so that would get them all enthused. My grandchildren would all get their degrees, too.
LILLY: Wasn't surprised by this so-called spitfire's decision. But when he sent the graduation invitation to a former high school friend, it caused some confusion.
BALL: He said, it sure is good to see your grandchildren graduate. He thought it was a grandchild. I had to call him back to let him, no, it was me.
LILLY: As you can see, his personality makes him easily the most popular student on campus.
MEATTE: Everyone knows who he is and they are all inspired by his story and that he never gave up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charlie Ball.
BROWN: I've been in this business for 44 years and I've never had such an honor to be able to confer a degree on a gentleman like Charlie Ball. (END VIDEO CLIP)