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Three Charges Against Sandusky Dropped; Middle Schoolers Bully Bus Monitor; New Zimmerman Tapes Released; Obama, Romney Court Latino Vote; Whites Are 22 Times Wealthier Than Blacks; Do Zimmerman Tapes Help or Hurt Defense?; Supreme Court Rules on TV Indecency; Winning the Late Night Political War; No Health Care, Immigration Rulings Today
Aired June 21, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us. Just ahead of the NEWSROOM, a shocking video showing a bus monitor bullied by middle school students.
Some of the crude and hurtful things they say to the 68- year-old grandmother, we can't even repeat on television. Now the video has gone viral and people from around the world are showing their support.
For the first time we are hearing George Zimmerman explain what he says happened on the night he shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came out from the bushes and he said what -- is your problem, homey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: New audio and videotape shows Zimmerman re-enacting his confrontation with Martin.
Also flash flooding swamps parts of Minnesota. Hundreds of people are forced out of their homes. Cars are swallowed by massive sinkholes.
And Mitt Romney's sons head to late night TV and offer an interesting glimpse into their relationship with dad. Including using computers to play a practical joke on the on the presidential candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does he do? Who is your daddy?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: We are taking a look at how candidates are using late night TV for political gain.
We do begin with breaking news this morning from the Jerry Sandusky trial. The judge has dropped three counts against him. Susan Candiotti is outside the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. So the judge waits until the trial over to drop these charges? It is just strange timing.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, some of these involve pending motions before the court. He had to make a decision about them, Carol, before the jury begins deliberations later today.
So he did drop three counts in this case involving alleged victim number four. In one case, he said because the charge is redundant involving involuntary sexual assault and that -- those were dropped.
Two other counts were dismissed because the judge ruled that the alleged victim's description of the sexual assault during his testimony did not match the original charges in the case.
That decision can be appealed. So what this does is bring downs the total number of the charges in the case from originally 52 down to 48.
Right now the jury is about to begin hearing closing arguments by the defense that will be followed by the prosecutor's closing argument and then deliberations will begin -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Susan Candiotti reporting live for us from the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Also right now, we are keeping a close eye on the U.S. Supreme Court at any time justices could hand down some of the most important decisions in years, looming for all Americans, President Obama's health care law.
Several issues under the microscope, the one getting most attention is the so-called individual mandates, specifically whether it is constitutional to require most Americans to get health insurance.
The justices could also announce a decision on Arizona's tough immigration law. Big question there is whether states have the authority to write their own immigration laws or if only the feds have that power.
We will keep you posted if the U.S. Supreme Court hands down any of those decision this morning.
A YouTube video goes viral. Strangers around the world opened their hearts and their wallets. The outpouring of sympathy is for a bus monitor who was viciously taunted and bullied by middle school students. See for yourself.
This report is from Deanna King of CNN affiliate WROC in Rochester, New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are so fat. You take up like the whole entire seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your glasses are so foggy from your freaking sweat.
DEANNA KING, WROC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a disturbing video that has gone viral. A school bus monitor, Karen Klein, being harassed by students from Greece Athena.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She probably (inaudible) eats deodorant because she can't afford real food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? Your mom, wait, she's dead.
KING: While one student records, others call her names, even threaten her life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I stabbed you in the stomach -- my life would go through you like butter.
KAREN KLEIN, SCHOOL BUS MONITOR: It is kind of scary, you know. I never thought -- I never thought anything like this would ever happen.
KING: Klein, a grandmother, has been working in the district for 23 years, but felt like she had few options that day.
KLEIN: If you yanked the phone out of his hand, then you get in trouble. I thought let them go and I just tried to ignore them. Unless you have something nice to say don't say it all.
KING: The district has launched an investigation and found other videos on YouTube. They are working to identify the students and say they will be disciplined.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do not tolerate harassment of staff or students.
KING: Greece police are also investigating. But at the same time are concerned about the safety of the students involved. People have been posting their names and addresses online.
CAPTAIN STEVE CHATTERTON, GREECE, NEW YORK POLICE: There are people showing up here angry. We understand that. Give us time to look into the investigation. Please don't jump to conclusions. These are 13, 12-year-old kids.
KING: The video has more than 100,000 hits on YouTube. The district has received angry e-mails from people as far away as Australia. Klein has been getting messages on Facebook and flowers from strangers. KLEIN: Thinking of you. Be strong and defy gravity.
KING: On Twitter, people are showing support by using the hash tag Team Karen. Klein says she hopes the kids on the tape learn a lesson from this.
KLEIN: I hope you never do it again to anybody else.
COSTELLO: Karen Klein says she is haunted by just how mean these kids were and how powerless she felt. This morning, she was on the "Today" show on NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: They just could be really nasty, but I never wrote them up. I didn't know how to write that up. You know, I just -- how do you put that in words? And what are they going to say to the kids? Are they going to say, well, that was not a nice thing to do? Slap their hand?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: OK, here's something to restore your faith in humanity. Klein's Facebook page has been blowing up. You heard that, with people around the world offering her encouragement and best wishes.
And the kindness doesn't end there. Another web site is raising money for Karen and her family to take a fabulous vacation. You won't believe this. More than $150,000 has been raised so far.
Those kids, would any kind of punishment make them better people? Clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere is in New York. Hi, Jeff.
JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Hi, Carol. How are you?
COSTELLO: This is not normal behavior, is it?
GARDERE: This is horrible behavior. I'm so sorry this has happened to Karen Klein. But I'm so glad you are reporting on this and the other news outlets are.
Because it brings up what's been going on in this country for a very long time. It is not just bullying, but it is elder abuse and 9.5 percent of seniors are physically, emotionally, sexually, financially abused by young people, most often their own children.
COSTELLO: OK, so where do kids learn this stuff? Does it start at home?
GARDERE: I do believe that it starts at home. Here is what I think happened. I think that there are some of those kids that started taunting her, bullying her, who have their own emotional issues and see bullying going on at home because that's where it begins.
Then there was some sort of what we call psychological term contagion where some of the other kids who may not have had some of the emotional issues at home then join in because of the peer pressure we see especially in middle school, especially with adolescents.
COSTELLO: OK, I have been asking some of my Facebook friends, you know, how should these kids be punished? I will read you one of the responses from facebook.com/carolcnn.
This is from Mindy, she says those kids should write a 20- pages essay on bullying, do 45 hours of community service and be banned from school functions for six months.
This is from Tom, trash duty, highway trash duty with their parents doing this, too. Kids are at fault, parents cause this mess, their kids, their responsibility. I want them to feel the pain what their kids did, too. Do you agree with these two friends?
GARDERE: Well, I think that's a little bit too harsh because we do want this to be a teachable moment for those kids. I'm sure -- look, we are talking about young kids as that police officer said.
They are very, very immature and are following what other kids are doing. I'm sure that they really we don't to hurt this grandmother, Karen Klein.
COSTELLO: One of them said they want to put a knife in her stomach and it would go through like butter.
GARDERE: Well, that's -- now -- this is what they are talking about. I'm sure that they wouldn't do something like that. But it -- it exposes what's going on with this whole idea of bullying.
And so bullying is not just about bad kids acting out. These are kids that are probably not getting proper parenting at home and, therefore, parents need to be involved.
They need to sanction their children and these children need to get counseling as far as respecting elders and respecting other people.
So I want this to be in a situation where these young people are actually counselled and taught about respect because right now we are not really seeing that.
This is really epidemic in our school systems and with our children.
COSTELLO: I'm glad you didn't say teachable moment. Should these kids be criminally charged at all?
GARDERE: I'm not an attorney. I don't think so. I think that their parents need to be called out. They need to be able to address their children's behavior. And I think this is a red flag that parents need to look at that there is something going on with your adorable little brat if that child is actually taunting someone, threatening them, talking about hurting them.
That you need to take control of that child, take a look at what's happening with the child. But take a look at what's going on in your own home and behaviors you may be modelling for your children that are not very positive.
COSTELLO: Jeff Gardere, thanks for joining thus morning.
GARDERE: My pleasure, Carol.
COSTELLO: We do want to know what you think about this story. That's the talk back question today. What should happen to those students who bullied the bus monitor? Facebook.com/carolcnn. I will read more of your comments later this hour.
Also this morning, we are seeing new video, incredible new video, of George Zimmerman describing the play-by-play of what happened the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
Overnight, his defense attorneys released several police interrogation tapes. One, Zimmerman is re-enacting the fight for investigators a day after the shooting in February. Showing how he says Trayvon Martin repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk.
In one tape you can see the back of Zimmerman's head. It is bandaged. The new tapes are shedding light on the controversial cause.
Martin Savidge is here. You have been listening to these tapes, watching them fast as you can. Tell us more.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's go right at the new one. Just to set it up for you. It is the day after the shooting has taken place. This is where authorities have now taken George Zimmerman out back to the Twin Lakes.
This is where the shooting happened, where George lived and where Trayvon Martin was visiting and he is essentially re- enacting telling authorities step by step what happened. Let's just take a listen and look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Walking in the grassy area, but up towards -- kind of between these two poles, it was rainy. He wasn't -- leisurely looking at the house.
Like I said, my wife -- I left for the grocery store. I just felt like something was off about him. And there has been a history of break-ins in that building. I called previously about this house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
ZIMMERMAN: When the police arrived at this house, when I called the first time, the windows were open and the door was --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: What's kind of eerie about looking at that is, of course, when George Zimmerman made the initial 911 call about Trayvon Martin, he is in his vehicle. And of course, he is in a vehicle there, as he points out the neighborhood to the authorities.
There is a lot more of this to come. We will be bringing it to you as we get it. In the meantime, there are also the audiotapes. These are two different interviews that were done of George Zimmerman on the night of the shooting just hours after he killed Trayvon Martin.
One was done by an investigator and another one was done just by the police officer on scene. So let's start with the one done by the detective. It is George Zimmerman describing what led up to the fatal shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At what point --
ZIMMERMAN: After he hit my head against the concrete several times. He yelled out for help and then he tried to smother my mouth --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who yelled for help?
ZIMMERMAN: I did. He smothered my mouth and my nose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
ZIMMERMAN: And when he did that I tried to slide out and squirm. And I realized -- my shirt came up. I felt him slide his hand towards my right side. And he said, you're going to die -- and then that's when I grabbed it. I don't know if it was away from him or, you know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pulling for the gun?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: OK, and now what we want to play for you is -- that's what led up to the shooting. Here's the seconds immediately after the shooting, again, according to George Zimmerman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: On top of him, straddling him. He was face down. And when he was hitting me in the face, the head, felt like he was hitting with me something in his hands. So I thought -- he had a weapon.
I grabbed his hands and pushed away from his body. I said stop. I said, stop. Don't move and he was saying something like -- cursing. I said -- stop. Don't move and then somebody came and they had a flashlight.
I thought it was a cop. I said -- I still had my gun in my hand. I was holding his hand up. And I said -- are you the cop? He said no. I said -- he said, I'll call them. I said I don't need you to call them. I already called them. They are on their way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: And again, very dramatic, but of course, very one- sided.
COSTELLO: I noticed he said he didn't call an ambulance. Did we know? I mean, is that not on the tape. I don't know. Maybe he wanted to.
SAVIDGE: He didn't at that particular point, I don't believe. Of course, he still believes that Trayvon Martin is potentially a threat. And so that's why he's pinning him down and is also telling a witness who has now come up.
I don't need you to call police because they are already notified. I need you to help me with him. It was some time after that medical ambulance came on the scene. There was CPR and applied by the police.
COSTELLO: Just one other point. It is interesting that George Zimmerman's defense attorneys would release these tapes at this particular time after George Zimmerman, back in jail with his bond revoked after lying in court, and after George Zimmerman's wife is now charged with perjury for lying.
SAVIDGE: Correct. We have seen this up and down as far as the defense of George Zimmerman. He was on sort of a down moment, I guess, you could say because the fact there's -- indications he may have misled authorities about money.
If he was lying about that, the family of Trayvon Martin said what else is he lying about in the storytelling. Now you get this very fresh account that seems to support the self-defense claim George Zimmerman has made. So timing it could very well play into it.
COSTELLO: I think you have a lot more tape go through. Martin Savidge, thanks so much.
SAVIDGE: You bet.
COSTELLO: A husband jumps into rushing waters after his wife goes over a waterfall. As cameras roll, emergency crews come to the rescue.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Turning now to presidential politics. A reminder of just how important Latino vote will be in November. Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Governor Mitt Romney are getting ready to speak to a major gathering of Hispanic leaders and activists near Orlando.
Florida, just one of several battleground states that could be decided by Latino voters. Suzanne Malveaux is at the conference. Suzanne, Romney has not said much about Obama's immigration policy change. What's this group? What do they wouldn't hear from Romney about immigration?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually they want to hear an awful lot here, Carol, because this is really the largest Latino policy making organization in the country.
We are talking about 6,000 members her and it's nonpartisan, non-profit organization, about 1,200 who have landed here. It is kind of an interesting and bizarre situation if you think about it here.
We are in the middle of Disney World, Carol. You may see the rail go by behind me. You got Space Mountain that is actually here. So you have a lot of families and a lot of kids. But you have a lot of very important Latino policymakers representatives from school boards and all the way up to cabinet members of the Obama administration.
They are meeting for three days and essentially they are looking at a lot of things. The main thing, of course is what is the policy here? What's it going to be for the Obama administration if President Obama wins going forward? What's it mean if it is a change? When it comes to Mitt Romney.
Last week we know immigration was a very hot topic and saw the president essentially changing his immigration policy. Allowing important some young adults meeting certain criteria to stay in the United States despite the fact that they are illegal immigrants to stay and avoid deportation.
We have not gotten a lot of detail from Mitt Romney on what he believes the policy -- immigration policy should be. What are folks looking for here? If you ask them they are talking about details. They want details from Mitt Romney today and President Obama tomorrow. Take a listen, Carol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUZ URBAEX WEINBERG (R), AVENTURA, FLORIDA CITY COMMISSIONER: I really hope for both candidates, actually, to come up with some realistic plan, immigration reform. It is not the number one priority issue for Latinos as tends to be misconception, but it is a great -- of great concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: So, Carol, what they say overwhelmingly here is they want details from both of these leaders here and the other thing is they don't want people to think it is all about immigration.
On their list of priorities on their agenda, you have education and health care, financial empowerment. They are going to be looking for both leaders, both of the candidates to talk specifically about that and how that impact it is Latino community.
Carol, this is -- you cannot really overstate the importance of this convention, of these folks. Because they are going to go back to the communities and they are going to say here's who we support. Here's what they had to tell us. This is what makes you -- reason you should actually come out and vote.
COSTELLO: Suzanne Malveaux reporting live from Orlando, thanks so much.
The racial wealth gap gets wider. New figures show whites are 22 times richer than African-Americans. A look at why that number has jumped.
COSTELLO: There's always been a racial disparity when it comes to wealth. But the latest Census Bureau number shows the gap -- you won't believe how wide the gap is.
Christine Romans studies these kinds of things. What I saw -- what the numbers were, I was shocked.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know. This is new data crunched by CNN Money. I will tweet this as well. It shows that the recession hit minorities so much harder than white Americans.
And now, Carol, white Americans have 22 times more wealth than black Americans, 15 times more wealth than Hispanic-Americans. I want to show thank you numbers for wealth.
Median household net worth according to the census in 2010 for whites, $110,000, Hispanics $7,000, Carol, blacks have less than $5,000 median household net worth. Everyone got slammed in the recession, but black and Hispanic families, Carol, got slammed way more.
ROMANS: Because of housing. Everything got hit, but because of housing, if you look at black and Hispanic families, again, on average, these are demographics.
But on average, more of their net worth is tied to home equity. And more and more families had subprime loans and got blown out and now they have no savings, no investments, and they don't have the home equity.
They got hit very, very hard here. White families got hit hard, too, but less of their income is from home equity.
COSTELLO: So -- what's the answer?
ROMANS: Well, the thing is that money -- is how you grow wealth. You grow wealth by job and by money. That's why this is so troubling and politically such a big, big problem for this country because you want people to advance.
You want people to begin to grow wealth because out of that comes investments and in a home and in education and in your standards of living.
So the real issue here is trying to make sure people get jobs and can get savings and can start to build wealth instead of lose wealth.
We are going to talk more about this, Carol, in my weekend show, "YOUR BOTTOM LINE," Saturday at 9:30. I encourage everyone to go to cnn.com to read the analysis of this. It is really an important story.
COSTELLO: It is an important story. Christine Romans, thank you for helping us understand. We appreciate it.
A bit breaking news to pass along to you now involving the U.S. Supreme Court, don't get too excited. The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a decision on TV indecency. It ruled in favor of the network television.
Kate Bolduan is at the U.S. Supreme Court. We will get to her with more details after a break.
COSTELLO: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Checking our "Top Stories" now.
Attorney General Eric Holder is meeting with European Union officials but he isn't talking about the U.S. government's botched "Fast and Furious" drug or gun sting rather. As early as next week the full house could vote on whether to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It will be the first such act against a sitting Attorney General. A house committee recommended the move after Holder and the White House refused to turn over more documents on the case.
Jerry Sandusky in the courtroom as attorneys deliver closing arguments in his child sex abuse trial. Earlier this morning the judge dropped three counts against him. Sandusky still faces 48 charges. The defense decided not to put the former Penn State assistant football coach on the stand. Jurors will probably get the case later today.
Egypt's presidential election mission has delayed releasing results of the country's presidential election. That's according to state-run media. A senior official on that panel says they're still looking into 400 electoral violation reports submitted by the two candidates but say the election results would be delayed by only one or two days.
Overnight, George Zimmerman's defense attorneys released several police interrogation tapes shedding new light on what happened the night that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
In one, Zimmerman is seen taking investigators through the neighborhood. Just a day after the shooting in February. Showing how he says Trayvon Martin repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk. On another tape you can see the back of Zimmerman's head as bandaged. He also tells police the 17-year-old was intent on killing him.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, CHARGED WITH MURDER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: He started hitting my head into the -- I tried to sit up and yell for help. And then he grabbed my head and started hitting me into the sidewalk. When he started doing that, I slid into the grass to try to get out from under him and so he would stop hitting my head into the sidewalk. And I'm still yelling for help.
And I could see people looking and some guy yells out and calling 911. And I said help me, help me. He is killing me. And he puts his hand on my nose and on my mouth. He says you're going to die tonight. And -- I -- don't remember much after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Pilar Prinz is a defense attorney specializing in family law. Welcome.
PILAR PRINZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Good morning.
COSTELLO: Ok you're a Defense Attorney. Why did Zimmerman's attorneys release these tapes?
PRINZ: Well, they are releasing the tapes because they're his statements. They do show some consistency. First of all, they were made very shortly in time of the incident. I think they were the night of and the morning after.
So you're going to look at how close to the crime to -- to the incident they were made. And they also back up his story, what he's saying, that he was not the aggressor, that Trayvon Martin came to him, that Trayvon Martin had him pinned down on the ground and they really corroborate what his story has been.
Although it is very interesting, you know we've been looking at in the latest media that came out was these jailhouse phone calls with his wife which obviously have cast a negative light on both George Zimmerman and his wife who was just recently arrested for perjury as a result of what she told the judge about their bank accounts.
So it's very interesting timing when you look at that, Mark O'Meara releases these tapes only days after we're hearing about that. COSTELLO: Yes that's what -- that's what I was getting at. But -- back to the tapes themselves, the police chief in Stanford was just fired yesterday. So he's gone. Prosecutors, the special prosecutor in Florida, decided to bring this case to trial.
In listening to these tapes does anything that George Zimmerman says in the recordings make you say wow, I can understand why the prosecutor decided to take this case to trial?
PRINZ: I definitely understand why the prosecutor is taking the case. I mean first, public -- excuse me public outcry. I think there was great pressure on the prosecutor to take the case.
But it still is a case where he has to claim stand your ground. There's no question that he killed him and so it becomes does he get immunity? And really you are looking at the issue now of credibility. Because what I think people sometimes forget about "Stand Your Ground" is stand your ground doesn't just say as long as you have a reasonable fear of your own safety that you can act. What it also says is you can't be engaged in an unlawful act.
So the first thing we've got to look at is was George Zimmerman engaged in an unlawful act in the first place. Was he the aggressor to begin with?
COSTELLO: Yes well, more tapes being made public, we'll have them here on CNN later today. And thank you so much for joining us this morning.
PRINZ: Thank you.
COSTELLO: As I said, little bit ago, we have breaking news out of the U.S. Supreme Court. It doesn't concern Obama care. It doesn't concern Arizona immigration law. But it does concern indecency on network television.
Kate Bolduan live outside of the court. What's this about Kate?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there Carol.
Well, this is a very interesting case. It really is about free speech versus censorship. This is a TV indecency case that dates back almost a decade now to when these instances happened. This has to do with the Federal Communication Commission really get tough policy on quote, unquote, "fleeting expletives as well as scripted sexual content on the traditional broadcast TV." We're not talking about cable here, we're talking about traditional public airwaves, broadcast TV and radio.
And so the FCC put in place get tough policies -- really cracking down on these fleeting expletives, imposing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per violation on the broadcast networks. And they have been battling this out in court over the -- broadcasters say that these rules were arbitrarily put into place, they were too vague, they weren't given notice. But the -- the government has been defending -- has been defending this standard, this policy, saying that these are public airwaves and so they need to be protected. This needs to be held to a higher standard. Well, today in an 8-0 ruling, the justices ruled for the broadcasters.
And I'll read you in part from the opinion. It says here in part, Carol, "The Commission failed -- the FCC failed to give FOX or ABC", two of the networks involved here, "fair notice prior to the broadcast in question that fleeting expletives and momentarily nudity could be found actionably -- actionably indecent." Therefore, the commission's standards as applied to these broadcasts were vague and the commission's orders must be set aside.
So this is a very important ruling as we're dealing with broadcast TV.
COSTELLO: So -- so just --
BOLDUAN: Go ahead.
COSTELLO: Just to make things more clear, are they -- are they talking about this Janet Jackson incident? You know nipple-gate, when her breast was exposed for a short period of time? The FCC came down on the network, issued big fines, is that what we are talking about? Was that a wrong decision by the FCC according to the U.S. Supreme Court?
BOLDUAN: This does not specifically have do with the Janet Jackson circumstance. That is a separate case. This actually dates back to, I believe, it was in 2003 on -- on the Golden Globes. Bono actually said a curse word in the live broadcast. That case, as well as another case in a scripted drama, "NYPD Blue," there was a scripted sexual content, there was basically a kind of fleeting nudity, if you will, in that. And that was -- those are really the two main parts, those main instances in this case.
But it does relate to kind of how -- how broadcast TV, what kind of content can be on TV. I mean, the broadcaster said this will have a chilling effect on their creative expression. Clearly, as you hear from the justices, they agree that at least they were not given enough notice to know what was right and what crossed the line.
And the end of this opinion of the court, it does say that the opinion leaves the commission free to modify its current indecency policy in light of its determination of the public interest. So it is leaving leeway there and typical of the Supreme Court Carol is a very narrow ruling. It's not saying the FCC could never put these hefty fines in place. They are just saying they would need to modify their policy. In this case, the FCC went too far, the broadcasters are in the right.
COSTELLO: All right, got you. Kate Bolduan, reporting live outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.
We're going to take a break, we'll be back with much more. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COSTELLO: Big political battle for the presidency has been spilling over into late night television. The President and Mrs. Obama have already had some face time with Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: Are you nervous?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A little bit, yes.
FALLON: I'm so excited about this. I met your wife, the first lady. I --
OBAMA: She's fabulous.
FALLON: I was at your house. I was at your house.
OBAMA: You were.
FALLON: Beautiful house by the way.
OBAMA: It's a rental.
DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: The number one fact about gardening.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: With enough care and effort, you can grow your own Barack-oli.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: That was funny.
Romney in the meantime joined Team Coco, actually Romneys. The presumptive Republican nominee's sons stopped by Conan O'Brien's TV show last night. Dad Mitt was not there but he sure was mentioned a lot.
Check out Conan trying to keep all the sons' names straight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, TALK SHOW HOST: Josh. Tagg. Craig. Ben. Matt. My first question, why the name Tagg? Everyone else got a very -- were you -- you are the oldest?
TAG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S SON: I'm the oldest. I was born in 1970. So I'm just -- I'm glad I wasn't born moon beam or sunshine or something.
O'BRIEN: What happened, though is, they named you Tagg first. Usually in my family my parents went with conventional names and then I came a little later and they're like, "Let's get crazy." And Conan came along.
But with you they made a decision right off the bat. He will be Tagg and then after that suspiciously everyone else has normal name.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Actually he was named after a friend named Tagg. That's how Tagg got Tagg's name. Josh Romney also joked the sons were considering starting a boy band.
Entertainment reporter David Kaplan joins me from New York to talk about the late night political wars. Welcome, David.
DAVID KAPLAN, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Hey, Carol.
COSTELLO: I must say, a young woman on my team was watching this Conan bit with the Romney boys and she was laughing her head off.
KAPLAN: Yes. You know, they were really great on the show last night. They sort of did a great job at sort of humanizing the Romneys. And you know, the thing about them is they are inherently interesting. There are five of them. They're very telegenic. They are good looking. They are like this von Trapp family. People are really (inaudible). You go online and there's blogs that are dedicated to them.
One was even sort of "Let's rate the Romney brothers from creepiest to hottest". So -- but they did a great job.
COSTELLO: They really did try to humanize their dad. They talked about all of the pranks they play on one another and especially their dad. One of the sons shared this story that they used this special computer program that changes your voice, you know, into voices like Arnold Schwarzenegger's.
COSTELLO: And you can do it through the computer. I will play that prank for all of you to enjoy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor, Mitt Romney. How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. How are you?
M. ROMNEY: I'm just fine, governor. How are you doing today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Good.
M. ROMNEY: What can I do for you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions. And I want to have them answered immediately.
M. ROMNEY: Go right ahead and shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is your daddy? What does he do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: I must say that -- Mitt Romney looked at ease and looked personable. He looked like he had a sense of humor. That's better than gold in a political campaign, that appearance there.
KAPLAN: It was really great because that was a really common theme in the interview saying how their dad was a prankster. They gave other antidotes how Mitt himself pranked a friend of his when he was a lot younger. So it sort of shows this other side of Mitt Romney that we are not used to.
And of course, when you hear from a candidate's children, you know, you see a softer side. You see it's from a different perspective. They barely talked about politics and that was sort of better. You get the message they're out there supporting their dad, but it doesn't hit you over the head.
People love -- you know, politicians are like celebrities. And how we are obsessed with celebrities, sort of what they eat, where they go, what they do, what their families are like. We want the same information about politicians.
COSTELLO: And I'm sure there's more to come. David Kaplan, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
KAPLAN: All right. Thanks a lot Carol.
COSTELLO: We are going to take a quick break. We'll be back with much more.
COSTELLO: Ok. We want to head back to the U.S. Supreme Court because we are expecting a decision on the President's health care bill. His health care law. We're expecting the U.S. Supreme Court to rule whether it was constitutional, whether the whole thing should be thrown out, et cetera, et cetera.
Jeffrey Toobin is live outside the court. We are dying here, Jeffrey. Why no decision?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know what? We don't know. We don't know if Obama care is constitutional. We don't know if the Arizona immigration law is constitutional. But we do know that Nicole Richie has a place in the constitutional history of the United States.
COSTELLO: She has a potty mouth and she is allowed to have a potty mouth for short periods of time.
TOOBIN: Well, at least this time she was allowed to have a potty mouth. The Supreme Court issued a very narrow ruling because a lot of people thought they were going to decide whether so-called fleeting expletives which are sort of non-planned bad words -- and everyone can let their imagination run wild about what those words are. But what the court said was we are not going to decide whether the seven dirty words which was the subject of a much earlier Supreme Court case are still prohibited on broadcast television.
All the court said today was the FCC, which imposed this penalty, changed the rules after the broadcasts were made. These famous awards programs where Nicole Richie and Cher said stupid things, they were in 2002 and 2003. The FCC changed the rules in 2004.
And the Supreme Court says no, you can't do that. You can't penalize someone for rules that weren't in effect when the broadcasts were made. So that was the only ruling about these particular Nicole Richie, Cher and NYPD Blue dirty words.
COSTELLO: Well, that was --
TOOBIN: As for whether you can say those words in the future, that's still uncertain.
COSTELLO: Yes. Ok. So -- the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule sometime in June about the health care law and about Arizona immigration law. So might that happen on Monday? The end of the month?
TOOBIN: It might. I can say with great certainty it might. It also might not.
COSTELLO: Are they making --
TOOBIN: We don't know. It's going to be next week. We know that much. They -- they all will be done by Thursday. But whether it is Monday or they add a couple of days, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, we don't know.
I mean, I don't mean to be flip about this. But, you know, the rule about these sorts of issues, about when Supreme Court decisions are coming down is those who know don't tell and those who tell don't know. We just don't know specifically which day these decisions are coming down.
They are scheduled to sit on Monday. Some decisions are going to come out Monday. They have five cases left. Chances are they are going to add one or more days later in the week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are possibilities but we don't know for sure.
It is a good thing you pitched that tent in front of the U.S. Supreme Court so you can sleep there overnight.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. It is so pleasant here. It's only about 100 degrees. So it will be just wonderful to be here.
COSTELLO: It is a beautiful building. What do you want?
TOOBIN: It is indeed. COSTELLO: Thanks, Jeff.
TOOBIN: Thanks Carol.
COSTELLO: Coming up next, how many calories are in that slice of pepperoni pizza? National pizza chains are fighting a government plan to force them to tell you how many calories are in your pie.
COSTELLO: In today's "Daily Dose", one part of the health care law you may not know about. It is a rule that if the health care law is enacted would require big restaurant chains to post calorie counts on menus or menu boards.
But the national pizza chains are already fighting it saying the plan is costly and confusing. Pizza people say most of their business is not from walk-in customers but from people ordering online or by phone so making up those menu boards would just be a waste of money and time. The pizza chains also argue that customers can get calorie counts by going to their Web sites.
COSTELLO: We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the stories of the day. The question -- what should happen to those students who bullied the bus monitor?
This from Ronnie. "How do you teach empathy? Sigh. Sad, sad, sad."
This from Jimmy, "Remember when it was ok to spank your kids? These things didn't happen back then. Spare the rod, spoil the child -- just saying."
This from Jason, "The students should be banned from bus transportation for a year. This will teach them cause and effect and hopefully teach their parents how to raise children."
Keep the conversation going. Facebook.com/carolcnn. Thanks as always for your comments and thanks for joining me this afternoon.
I'm Carol Costello. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Kyra Phillips.