tv Prime News HLN July 11, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
new thip new thi>> pills. he travelled to other states t findpfind doctors just for. new e-mails suggest mark sanford wanted some extra time with his argentinean mistress on a state-funded trip. and new reports to senator john ensign's family paid off his other woman nearly $100,000, even sent the check to her husband and kids. you're an important part of the show, give us a call,
1-877-tell-hln. start your message with the word "prime." this is your chance to be heard. welcome once again. i'm vinnie politan in for mike galanos. this is "prime news." secret files on michael jackson. the documents are dated back to 2004. california detectives investigating jackson stumbled on what could be a dark, disturbing obsession with prescription drugs. former security guards told them the king of pop would take huge doses of xanax, more than ten pills a night. they even said jackson traveled out of state just to get more prescriptions. right now we're waiting for a coroner's report on whether jackson's death will be ruled a homicide. could there be criminal charges down the road. joining me now to talk about all this, natisha lance, a producer for "nancy grace." and anita kaye, a defense attorney and former prosecutor.
natisha, let's start with you. 2004, all this stuff that's coming out. what are we learning now about michael jackson and prescription drugs? >> just like you mentioned, vinnie, we're hearing that michael jackson took ten xanax pills a night. this is coming from one security guard, when he found out about this information he went to another staffer who said, michael jackson's actually doing a lot better because he used to be taking 30 to 40 pills a night to get to sleep. >> 30 to 40 a night? >> 30 to 40 pills per night to get to sleep, to get some rest. and he was down to ten a night. they were saying he was actually order to get his hands on some these prescription medications. this one security guard also talked about an incident where michael jackson was in a hotel, he fell on his face. he confronted michael jackson saying he needed to get help. michael jackson denied having a problem.
the security guard ended up leaving because he was being asked to get prescriptions for michael jackson under his name. and he wasn't willing to do it. >> unbelievable. unbelievable. and if this pattern continued, anita kaye, and michael jackson is the one who is spearheading all of this, going around, traveling to other states, finding other doctors, getting other people to use their names for the prescriptions, perhaps that's good news if you're one of michael jackson's doctors. in a criminal investigation. because it seems like michael jackson is the one who's in charge of all this. >> well, maybe not, vinnie, because here's the problem. the security guards, or anyone that's working for michael jackson, going in to a doctor and getting prescriptions for michael jackson, what they're doing is a crime. you can't go get a prescription for someone else, saying, i need this, and i'm going to give it to this person. and the doctors, depending on what unfolds, the doctors may have known, oh, mr. security guard is coming in, but wink wink, i know this is really for
michael jackson, but i can't keep writing all these prescriptions for him. then the doctors are going to be in trouble. there is going to be some responsibility. so we're going to need to see more -- what uncovers and what unfolds regarding that. >> so the key fact becomes what did the doctor know? did the doctor know this was all wink wink for michael jackson, or maybe he thought he was treating someone who was feigning some sort of problem? to get more of these xanax pills or whatever medication he's looking for. >> here's the thing. let's say we just have one doctor who keeps seeing all these people who work for michael jackson. and prescribes a bunch of michael jackson employees xanax. well, now, that is really suspicious. you're telling me all these employees need xanax? that's going to be highly unusual. if there are different doctors all over the condition tri that be maybe just prescribing it once, that could be a different situation. and also, what dosage and how many. xanax is very powerful. it's not something that doctors routinely are just doling out
like they do penicillin. if they're prescribing huge amounts, that's something that the doctors -- >> that's a problem also. absolutely. natisha, now, we know all this information dates back to 2004. the reason it's significant, it sort of sets a pattern for the way michael jackson was leading his life in the final years. but at this point, do we know how many doctors are being investigated, or questioned by los angeles authorities, the dea and everyone else who is looking at this case, the death of michael jackson? >> we can't say for certain how many doctors. but there have been five that all of his medical records on michael jackson. questioned, i'm sure that he will be questioned by authorities sometime soon.
>> you know, anita, if i look at this case and if we look at who's getting what here, from the doctors' perspective, what we're all wondering here is, is someone else responsible for the death of michael jackson and is this case going to end up being a homicide investigation. from that perspective, the doctors, does it really go to the records that the doctors have or getting a smoking gun that a doctor knows he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing? >> it will come down to the records, how much medication these doctors are prescribing and to whom and tracing where that medication goes. and then that's how the police can link up that this doctor knew what was going to michael jackson or didn't know it was going to michael jackson. the other thing is, when we look at all these different doctors, let's look at who these doctors are. you have a dermatologist. is it typical or routine that dermatologists are prescribing xanax? in the same way maybe your primary care physician would who treats a lot of people for anxiety which is what xanax is used for versus a dermatologist. that's something to consider.
the medical board may very well get involved on their own, and uncover things, because certain doctors shouldn't be prescribing medications at such a large amount. so they could get in trouble, the doctors, just as a medical board, not even in a criminal arena. that's something separate. >> this is going to be a big investigation. i'm looking at it from the eyes of a prosecutor. i used to be a prosecutor years ago. it just seems like it's going to be complicated, difficult to figure out what these doctors really knew. more on jackson, give us a call, 1-877-tell-hln.
taking your phone calls on michael jackson. could his death be ruled an accidental overdose or a homicide? and a new custody hearing on the kids, what's next for his children. give us a call, 1-877-tell-hln. natisha lance, let's talk a little bit about 2004, all these drugs are found. and -- but it all had to do with the investigation into the molestation allegations, right? >> correct. there was a huge raid that went on at neverland ranch. that is where they obtained all of this information. they also apparently obtained numerous prescription drugs, many of which did not have any labels on them, and after the trial ended, michael jackson was allowed to get the items back that were seized. however, he was not allowed to take back any of the contraband, including these prescription drugs, any syringes or these i.v.s that allegedly had a milky white substance in them. >> dr. moroney, thank you for joining us, doctor. we're waiting for the toxicology
report to come back. right? >> yes. >> the chief of police out in l.a., chief bratton today said, we're waiting for the medical examiner to find out, was this an accidental overdose, is this a homicide. what will be in that toxicology that would make someone say, hey, this is homicide? >> if drugs are used inappropriately, if drugs are used off-label, then they're used outside of what we call scope of practice, or good practice. and anybody administering something that they should have no business giving could be at risk for manslaughter or homicide. and here's the key. the laws have changed in this country. and if you supply drugs to somebody and they die, you are at risk. and it's the same for every citizen. >> okay. so in this case, let's take, for instance, everyone's talking about the diprivan. if in fact they find diprivan in
his system, he wasn't hospitalized, he was at home. would that be an off-label or a misuse of that drug? >> 100% right. that is selected just for use in a hospital. if you're using it to sleep and you're giving it to sleep, you're using it off-label. that is not an fda indication, it's not approved for people with insomnia, it's approved to go into surgery. so whoever would be giving it, they also have to complete certain things like charts, medical records. there has to be prescription logs. and mixing that with inappropriate nar can cot iks, opiates, xanax, oxycontin, all those things mixed together, that would be a poor practice. and it would be something the medical boards would take away somebody's license for, at the very least. >> at the very least. and perhaps at that point it
becomes a homicide investigation. we've got rachel in new hampshire. good evening, rachel. >> caller: good evening. >> you're on the air, rachel. >> caller: yes. i'm calling because i'm going back to the 2004 incident when they went in and raided his home. and the police department seized all that contraband and all those drugs. and nobody did nothing then. the police department could have done something. they could have probed an investigation into the illegal use of drugs. and this man could probably be alive today. how come they didn't -- once the molestation case was over why didn't they get him for illegal use of prescription drugs and go after the doctors then and why now? >> that's a great question. the whole case was a sexual molestation investigation. why they didn't do something with the drugs, only the prosecutors would know the answer to that question. great point, great call. rachel, thanks so much for the call. thanks to our guests tonight.
we appreciate your time. we'll talk about the shocking sex scandals. this is cnn heroes. >> now i feel not that great. it's not easy to carry around this weight. i wanted to get healthy and fit. >> where did we go wrong as a country where pe in school is no longer a priority. our children's health is no longer our priority. something had to be done, and i just decided to be the one to do it. my name is pamela green-jackson and my organization is a physical fitness and nutrition education program for elementary and middle school in our community. my brother bernard died at age 43 at the weight of 427 pounds. he didn't have to die. so i promised myself that i would do whatever i could to make sure that another child didn't suffer like he did. so what we've done is converted
vacant classrooms and turned them into health clubs. this is a free program. we have personal trainers. dieticians work with them. we allow each individual child to set their own goals. >> she's my hero. because she's always helping me to do things that i never thought i can do. >> we instill the habits in them early, then they will grow up and become healthier adults. that's really what this is all about, is saving the lives of children.
we take a look how the economy is affecting you. this week, elena cho looks at a small town booming in a bad economy. >> reporter: in the heart of the south, the face of tiny west point, georgia, is literally changing. the old pizza hut is a korean barbecue. the old kfc, yum's garden. jobs once scarce are finally returning. >> it's like christmas time. like christmas. >> reporter: christmas in the middle of a recession? in west point, yes. >> we jokingly call it kia
development. >> reporter: kia is about to open a sprawling manufacturing plant thanks to $400 million in tax breaks. even in the midst of a recession, the company will hire 2,500 new workers as suppliers and new businesses and the mayor says west point's population 3,500 stands to gain 20,000 jobs over the next five years. divine intervention. >> the economic activity here is incredible. the trickledown effect in the local economy has been staggering. >> reporter: remarkable in a city slowly becoming a ghosttown. textile mills that once defined west point shut down in the nipts 90s, leaving many out of work. including 52-year-old margaret laid off last year, now working again at one of kia's suppliers. did you ever think you would be making car parts? >> no, not at all. not in a million years. >> reporter: new construction is
everywhere, at roger's barbecue business is booming. >> we can get them back. they are coming back. they enjoy it. >> reporter: malcolm's car wash business is up 70% and down the street at irish bread pub, ruth anne williams invested her life savings into the business. >> i came here because of kia. we have jumped in with both feet and we have not looked back one time. >> reporter: how is this tiny rural community adapting to the new asian infusion? does west point feel like more of a melting pot now? >> yes. we've got the culture coming in. you don't have to travel to atlanta anymore. >> reporter: from milltown to manufacturing mecca, a bright spot in an anotherwise gray economy. elena cho, cnn, west point, georgia. >> you can see more "money and main street" at 8:00. a new "money and main street" every thursday morning on american morning.
both on cnn. now this story will fire you up. remember donte' stallworth, the nfl player who hit and killed a pedestrian after a night of drinking? he was sentenced to just 30 days in jail. these are new pictures of him on his way home almost a week early. is that justice? give as call, 1-877-tell-hln.
[ music ] >> welcome to comcast local edition, i'm donna richardson, and my guest this hour is christine bergmark who is the executive director of the southern maryland agricultural development commission. welcome, christine, it's good to have you here. >> thank you for having me. >> that's a big mouthful, and i know that you're working on an extremely exciting program, bi-local challenge. >> it is an initial that we launched two years ago, and essentially what it is is the last full week of july we ask everyone across the state of maryland and beyond to take a pledge, and the pledge is eat something or drink from a farm every day during that week.
>> oh. so where do we get the information about where to find the farms or how do we sign up for this pledge? >> well, there's a website. it's www.by-local-challenge.com that website will give you all sorts of information why to buy local and where to buy local and it connects you to other statewide initiatives that are going on at the same time. if you go to the website, we've added a count. people used to say, where do i sign up? normally you have to go buy, eat something from a local farm. this year we decided to add a counter to the website. when you are' counted, you can receive a certificate with your name on it that you can put up in your office or your home or wherever. >> which is very, very important. it's reduces your carbon foot print because you're driving
hopefully a shorter distance, you have access to local products that are available, and also it helps the farmers. >> well, and in fact, our theme this year is healthy plate, healthy planet. all kinds of benefits to buying local, benefits for you, healthy, nutrition, it's fresh, and preserving our farms survive, we keep clean water, we keep clean air, we reduce the carbon footprints from things traveling 1500 miles, and it tastes good. >> exactly. now for those people who may not cook, how can they be a part of this? >> yeah, sometimes people say, well, i hate to cook. that's okay. you can go to a store or to a restaurant that features local farm products, and there are more and more restaurants every year, some of them are on our website, and you can click throughout to find out who they are,. >> what kind of items can we
acquire localfully. >> during the last week of july, there is so much product available. there's sweet corn, blackberries, all kinds of tomatoes and melons are in season, and of course, there's always wine, cheese, eggs, meatss. >> so we do have a wide variety of things we can get. say that i go and i go to a local farmer's market and purchase something, what is a vegetable that i'm not quite familiar with, how did i find a recipe. >> excellent question. there are recipes on our website. people can post their own recipes of their own events and own blogs by why they buy local. some of the things i wanted to mention is the economic benefits. we talked about the planet, we talked about the fact that it tastes good, and it's fun, but there's also the benefit of
supporting our farms, and if every household in the state mucofmaryland were to buy just 2 worth of products for 8 weeks, basically the summer season that, would put $200 million straight back into the pockets of our farmers. that would do a lot to keep our farmers thriving. >> which is so important. i know we have less than 30 seconds, but you have some partners that you wouldn't typically think of who have now joined in. >> yes. hospitals are joining in this year. fact, they're looking to do a competition to see how many people they can get involved. >> have you exciting. christine, thank you very much for coming in today. >> thank you. >> my guest today has been christine bergmark with the southern agricultural commission. if you're interested in what comcast is doing in your area, go to on demand and click get local. for comcast local edition, i'm donna richardson.
you're an important part of this show. we want to know what you think. call us at 1-877-tell-hln. shoot us an e-mail at our website cnn.com/primenews. or text your comment to hlntv. that's 45688. start your message with the word prime. we'll be showing your text messages throughout the day. two politicians caught cheating on their wives. we're just getting new shocking details about their steamy affairs. senator john ensign of nevada admits his mistress received nearly $100,000, but only as a "gift." did his family pay her off? and hundreds of e-mails just released on south carolina governor mark sanford. state records show he cleared his schedule at least one evening on a state-funded trip.
neither of these guys are stepping down. is this a new low even for washington? give us a call, 1-877-tell-hln. joining me to talk about all this, alex, a deputy editor at cnn politics.com. he's also author of the novel "love sick." also with us, tara fields, a marriage and family therapist. and andy barr, a reporter at politico. andy, i want to start with you and this $100,000. now, i have seen cases where politicians and money being exchanged. it happened in new york not too long ago. but this is a little different than that, right? >> it's very different from that. the money comes from ensign's parents, paid off $96,000 to the wife, the husband and to the two kids and $12,000 increments. there was the $25,000 severance leave when she left his campaign organization. so a lot of money going back and forth. multiple payments over long periods of time. this is still unraveling.
>> these two -- these people knew each other, right? ensign and his wife knew his mistress and her husband. they worked for him. describe that relationship because it's very unique. >> they worked and knew each other for years. both the mistress and the mistress' husband worked for ensign on the campaign and in his office there in nevada. and so there are lots of connections between the two. that's the less seemly part of this, the wife knew the mistress, and the mistress knew the wife. the husband is doing interviews with the "los vegas sun" all the time. he's out there trying to get other networks to report on this. he is really driving this story. so a lot of involvement, a lot of connections. >> unbelievable. alex, how do you think that phone call went? yeah, dad, i need $100,000. right? this is bizarre. is this only in vegas? >> well, there's a problem right
now because we have these very and how they approach marriage, and why you take somebody like senator ensign who has had a platform that stands on keeping promises, strong marriages, having a lot of religion in his family, and being kind of the way that held the family together. and then you see something like this, and it really shakes us kind of to our core. it really kind of changes our perception how we feel about men and marriage. >> tara, as we look at these men, and what they're doing, they're in such high-profile positions, you know? and this stuff becomes important. because it talks about character. when people are electing an official, for some people character means a lot. >> oh, absolutely. >> why do they risk it all, tara? >> for many reasons. you know, when it comes to men
who come into my practice with thwi it's like i asked my husband, why did he eat chips for lunch? and he said because the bag was these men are cheating with women. so they are just as culpable. these men couldn't cheat if these women were not available. and i think what really makes the story so just despicable is that with ensign, it's that the husband is going around saying, wasn't this terrible? but he is the one who is saying, i'll accept the money. not only will i accept the money, saying that's what makes it go away, makes it okay, but i will accept it in my children's name. what kind of a message is that to give the next generation of little boys? >> unbelievable. alex, and these guys aren't stepping down. sanford's not going to step down, after his argentina thing. and this guy's not stepping
down. are we at a point now where the public is so used to this, you just list the names, spitzer, bill clinton, he was president of the united states. do we not care anymore, voters? >> to some extent it doesn't matter on what side of the political spectrum that this is happening. and it is a bit shocking when they don't necessarily step down. given that their entire platform, or the core of what they came to power and everything that was all about their -- the way they run their lives and the way they run their administration have to deal with those very issues. the real issue is, what is going to happen to the political careers of these people. yes, maybe they stay in office. yes, maybe they get reelected. but probably not. how are they going to be defined moving forward? these men, in particular, it's not only men that have this problem, but men right now in very public, powerful positions, their careers are going to be defined by this lack of credibility, and this -- these indiscretions. >> i want to jump in here and say, you know what, what people
don't understand is it's not just that they had an affair, but these men are similar to people that have substance addictions, alcohol or drugs because if someone's a love or a sex ate yikt, they're not present with what they are doing. they're cheating to get their fix. they're lying. they are not really doing what they can do, because their thoughts are about how do i get that next fix. so i don't think -- >> the one thing, though, with sanford, it seems like he found his soulmate, although he's not with his soulmate, he's back trying to work things out with his wife. we have much more to talk about. we want to hear from you, 1-877-tell-hln.
sex scandals and politicians, it's nothing new. but it's still very confusing, because these are people, these are men who have their eyes on bigger offices, and want to become either president, senator, governor. and they want all this power. they want the admiration of the public. yet they keep getting caught up in these types of scandals. still with us is -- from the -- andy barr from politico. governor sanford now, has he used tax money, has he used taxpayer money to fund his affairs? where is this investigation going now? >> there was one instance they found where he used taxpayer money to meet up with his
mistress. his office says they're going to pay that back. people are still combing through the documents, though. there were other rendezvous, examples where he got together with her here or in argentina. they're still combing through the records when he may have used taxpayer funds. any instance of that, beyond that initial one, is just bad news for him. he's obviously going to have to pay it back and face some charges in the state, maybe even impeachment charges from the state senate there. >> alex, i was a prosecutor. if someone came into court and said, i robbed a bank, but here, mr. prosecutor, here's the money, you can have it back now, can i go? is that what politicians think happen? you get caught and just pay them back? >> i'm a lawyer as well, so i confess that up front. i agree with you, i think that just because you're contrite, just because you reveal you made a mistake, or that you're willing to pay back and make good, that doesn't necessarily fix the problem.
ultimately there may be a lot of pressure on these individuals to step down. if they choose not to, they've done huge, huge damage to the institution of marriage, to their constituency, to the country really because they sent a message out there saying, while i believe one thing, i necessarily may do another. there is the hypocrisy with that. the interviews i did recently and i did dozen of interviews with men about marriage recently, many of the men in this country want commitment, want to have that type of relationship, dream of having a partner in their life. it's a shame when some of the highest politicians in this country do something like this. this is the most public image of marriage. >> and forget just the public, what are they modeling for their sons and children. dealing with feelings.
and they want to be better fathers to their sons. and again, with both of these men, i think about the damage to their sons. sanford's sons, every single father's day, they are going to have that reminder. >> absolutely. where was dad for father's day? let's take a phone call. we have theresa in new york. theresa, you're on the air. >> caller: the problem is the marriages become a business. and the love is not -- the love is there, but they don't get into one another anymore. >> i think i know what you mean there, teresa. tara, how about that, the fact that maybe there has to be this public face of what the marriage should be, and even though we're having problems and maybe we should be apart, they stay together a little bit longer to take the picture for the campaign photo. >> i think that's true. and i also think it's really important for women to set boundaries and be a good role model as well. you know, i can predict when a couple comes into therapy and
there's been an affair, within the first session which couple can make it and which can't. the man who comes in and says, oh, well, you know, gee, i'm just going to try, i really love you. or the one who comes in and says, this is terrible, this is shameful, i will do whatever it takes to make it work. and even though this was an awful thing, make it's a wakeup call for us to see there were problems within the marriage. >> tara, andy, we're out of time. thanks so much to all of you. have a great night. there's been talk that michael jackson is getting trashed by the media. that includes members of his family, his friends. but what do you think? is the king of pop getting that bad rap? give us a call, 1-877-tell-hln.
the death of michael jackson is all over the news. but some people aren't happy with the coverage and say the media are trashing the late pop icon. "prime news" correspondent richelle carey is looking at "what matters." >> first, good news. when it comes to our economy, african-americans are getting help to sort through the president's economic stimulus plan. the congressional black caucus foundation has put together a resource guide that highlights the plan's impact on the black community, especially when it comes to employment, housing and health care. the guide shows which areas are receiving money to stimulate the economy. shocking news when it comes to fighting cancer. a first of its kind study
published in the "journal of the national cancer institute" said african-americans are less likely than whites to survive breast cancer, prostate and ovarian cancer even when they received identical treatment. researchers say the findings add to growing evidence that biological factors may play a role in the survival gap. michael jackson, he was a lot of things, singer, dancer, philanthropist, all of these things have been discussed in the days after his death. but has the media focused more on the negative than the positive. some think so. >> i have seen other musical icons die, where there were serious questions about them, and i've never seen it dominate the news before their funeral, and dominate it to the point that people forgot their greatness. and even now a lot of those answers never came out about allegations in their life. and we still exhaust their artistry. all we're asking for is fairness.
>> joining me now, brian monroe, cnn contributor. he also conducted the last interview with michael jackson. lauren lake, entertainment reporter and attorney. thank you both for joining me. after that, reverend sharpton went on to say he sees a double standard when you compare michael jackson to people like elvis, frank sinatra and some of the negative things that happened in their lives. lauren, you go first. >> in the way there is a double standard. i mean, i think this time around, they are doing a number on michael jackson. i feel like a lot of emphasis is being focused on things that weren't proven, like the sexual abuse charges, versus things that are proven. his philanthropy, the way he's broken down racial barriers, his music business savvy and the way he just really blew us away with his talent. so i feel like in a way, we need to back up off of him for a moment and think of this man as if it was our own uncle or father. we don't want to hear all the things they did wrong upon their death, we want to talk about and celebrate the things they did
right. >> i agree to some extent. i think reverend sharpton made a fine point there was too much focus on the negative. and the other side, congressman from new york, peter king, who not only indicted, but convicted the man of charges he was actually acquitted on by calling him a pervert and other really salacious terms. after the fact that michael was acquitted of all 14 of those charges back in the trial in santa barbara. but michael jackson, and i saw this when i sat down with him, was one of the most complex people i've ever talked to. a brilliant, brilliant, creative force. he knew music. he knew literature. he was also an amazing talented dancer. he would get calls from his mentor, fred astaire. i remember he told me once about michael calling him after -- i mean, he calling michael after the famous motown 25 performance and just saying he watched him that night. he recorded it.
he watched it the next morning and he knocked people's socks off. he was also a father. and a brother. he was complicated. all right. let's get in a caller right now. i believe our caller, is it linda or mary calling? linda is on calling us from nevada. what do you think. >> caller: i think they are trashing him, questioning the parentage of his children, which is no one's business. number two, they're asking people about what they said -- somebody said this. somebody said this, but there's no proof. the person that said he was taking 50 xanax and walking around, that's not true. i'm an rn and i work with drug addicts. that is not a true statement. >> okay, linda, thank you for your phone call. i think some people are talking about the tabloid coverage, lauren and bryan, but we've got to be real. there's also a death investigation here that could end up being a criminal investigation. these are some things that are not pretty that fans may not want to talk about, but where does that fit into the
discussion? where does that fit into the reporting, bryan? >> there are serious issues at stake here. were there doctors involved that may have overprescribed him medication or helped get prescriptions in other people's names? serious issues about, you know, was he pushing himself too hard at the end? or was he, in fact, as i've talked to people who were there rehearsing with him on the last days getting ready for the concert he was at top form. energetic, passionate, outdancing some of the 25-year-olds. there are a lot of things that will be looked into other the next few days but the one thing i'm trained as a journalist. you're a journalist. we have to go by first what did we see, what did we observe, what did we report and get from reputable sources that we can stake our reputation on? and not the hearsay and all the other things that are floating around. and there's a lot of that floating around. but we have to keep focused on what do we know or what do we know from reputable sources. >> also, we want to know what do you think? are the media trashing michael