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FBI Received 4,500+ Tips During Kavanaugh Background Investigation; Interview with Shontel Brown Democratic Congressional Candidate on Unvaccinated People; NFL Threatens Teams: Forfeit Games if Unvaccinated Outbreaks; Don Lemon Explores: Where Have All the Theme Songs Gone? Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 23, 2021 - 15:30   ET



ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN REPORTER: And that's what is raising new questions. They want to know more from the FBI about what it did, how it plucked out certain of these tips. And of course, this all comes as Brett Kavanaugh has been on the bench now since 2018.

And it goes to show how controversial his nomination still is. And one more thing that's really worth noting here is that Justice Brett Kavanaugh all along has vehemently, he's denied all the allegations from Christine Blasey Ford -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: But it would be interesting to see how many of those tips the FBI considered credible. Ariane de Vogue, thank you very much for that reporting.

OK, now to the White House where the administration is shifting to a more urgent tone as coronavirus cases surge among the unvaccinated population. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky issuing this warning.


DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We together are not out of the woods yet. And you will want to make thoughtful decisions to protect your health and the health of your family and your community. We are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic.


CAMEROTA: Shontel Brown is the chair of Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and is currently running to represent Ohio's 11th District in Congress. Shontel, great to have you here.


CAMEROTA: So, what message -- I mean look, obviously the White House is trying to get people's attentions, the unvaccinated people's attention. Doctors are trying get their attention. What message do you think will get the attention of people who are not yet vaccinated?

BROWN: I think people need to recognize that over 600,000 people have lost their lives to the virus. The vaccine does not have that same effect. And so, we need to make sure we're promoting the vaccine to people. And many of the folks that are experiencing some of the hesitancy are justified. But we need to take that justification and help them understand that this is not a personal matter but one that will make our society safer as a whole.

And so, we just have to continue to push that message that the vaccine is much safer than the consequences that you will suffer if you catch the virus.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about voting rights. Vice President Kamala Harris is now making voting rights her top public focus. So, what do you want her to say in that role? What are your expectations?

BROWN: Well, I'm really hoping that we can take some steps towards addressing the filibuster first and foremost because that has been what's gotten us in a place of gridlock in D.C. And so, we really have to make sure that we're addressing that issue.

But passing the Voting Rights Act and the For the People's Act are going to be critical to protecting people's voters rights as we have states across the country putting for us these heinous and egregious laws which are really have been described as Jim Crow 2.0. Really makes it difficult for communities of color, low income communities to cast their ballots. And we should be working much harder to make voting easier not more difficult.

So, I'm hoping that the vice president will continue to push that message that we need give people easier access, not make it harder for them to cast a ballot in their elections.

CAMEROTA: Shontel Brown, thank you very much for your time.

BROWN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So, the NFL is facing backlash from some of their players after teams were warned to get the vaccine or risk forfeiting games if there were an outbreak. So, I'll speak to a retired NFL player about that policy, next.



CAMEROTA: A slew of NFL players pushing back against the league and its new COVID policy. Which says that if an outbreak occurs among unvaccinated players the infected team may be forced to forfeit a game and lose millions of dollars in game checks.

The Arizona Cardinals, wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins, reacted on Twitter saying, quote, never thought I would say this but being put in a position to hurt my team because I don't want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL. He has since deleted that tweet.

Ephraim Salaam is retired NFL player he joins me now. Ephraim, great to have you here. What do you think of the NFL's policy basically penalizing a team if there's an outbreak?

EPHRAIM SALAAM, RETIRED NFL PLAYER: Well, thank you for having me. But it lets me know that the NFL is serious about its efforts to get all players and staff vaccinated. We have to realize we're still in the middle of a global pandemic. Something that has shut the world down completely last year. And for those out there that still think it's a hoax or it's a joke, there are ramifications for it.

And look, the NFL didn't say you have to get vaccinated. They didn't come out and make that stance. But what they did say is they're going to protect their brand. They're going to protect the players and the staff that do want to get vaccinated.

Making this a league-wide thing lets us know the NFL is behind all who want to get vaccinated should get vaccinated.

CAMEROTA: You're right. They didn't make a vaccine mandate, but they hit them where it hurts, you know. In the wallet, basically.


CAMEROTA: I mean basically there's going to be a financial penalty. But let me just read for you what some other players are saying.

So, DJ Reader Cincinnati Bengals saying, talk about getting your hand forced, shake my head.

Then Deandre Hopkins tweeted, freedom, question mark.

And then Julian Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams said, I know two people right now who got the vaccine but are COVID positive. I'm just saying I wouldn't look at a teammate as bad if he doesn't get the vax. No pressure from me.

So, I mean do you think that the NFL runs the risk of losing some players?

SALAAM: The NFL, Cris Carter, the great Hall of Fame receiver. Cris Carter told me something my rookie year back in 1998.


And he spoke at the rookie symposium, and he said the NFL doesn't need you. Right. Individually, the NFL doesn't need you.

And the NFL is a business. It's a corporation. It's one of the largest American sports franchises on the planet. And they're going to protect their asset, they've always been in the stance to protect the shield. And having outbreaks on teams is not going to benefit the NFL. And if these players want to opt out, the NFL gave players an option to opt out last year. Hundreds of players opted out. There was no force on them to come and play. Look, playing in the NFL is a privilege. The NFL has the right to

implement rules and restrictions it deems to protect the brand and the shield. And that's what they're doing.

They have a bunch of rules. You can't take PEDs. You can't smoke marijuana. You can't do certain things. You may not agree with those rules but those are the rules, and the NFL has the right to implement those.

CAMEROTA: This was an interesting take I thought from Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys, he just talks about that it's delicate. So listen to this.


EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, DALLAS COWBOYS RUNNING BACK: I think it's kind of a touchy subject. You can't really tell somebody what to do with their body. I mean I grew up in family where we didn't get vaccines.

I got the vaccine just because I wanted to put myself in the best situation to be out there with my team week in and week out. But I mean not everyone feels that strongly or maybe other people, of course, still have their view of vaccines in --


CAMEROTA: I thought it was interesting because he is saying he got the vaccine, but you can't tell somebody what to do with their body. Of course, at the NFL they do tell you what to do with your body. I mean your body -- they sort of own your body. But his point is that some people bristle at that.

SALAAM: Yes, they bristle at it. I think what is happening in this country with vaccination is it became politicized. We had the far right saying don't do it. We have the far left saying everybody should do it. And it's one of those situations where you don't need to politicize vaccinations, right.

People who are standing up against getting vaccinated have been vaccinated before. If you want to go on trip to another country, say you want to go to Africa on a safari, you have to get a vaccination. Right, like, so to sit up here and plant your flag and be anti-vax and you yourselves have been vaccinated whether it be flu, measles, mumps, polio.

All of these things. Vaccinations have been around forever. So, when you decide that you want to stop trusting science and start trusting Facebook, and political views of others, that's where you get confused. And I think a lot of people are really teetering that line between politics and health and science.

CAMEROTA: Ephraim Salaam, great to talk to you. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

SALAAM: Thank you. CAMEROTA: OK, so back in the day, theme songs helped separate the

great shows from the nearly good shows. Where have all the theme songs gone? Don Lemon knows. And he's going to sing them for us in a minute.



CAMEROTA: Over the past few months, our very own Don Lemon embarked on a grueling investigation trying to answer the pressing question, where have all the TV theme songs gone? And one thing he learned is that writing songs is hard but writing TV-theme songs is even harder.


CHEERS THEME SONG: Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.

GARY PORTNOY, CO-CREATOR OF CHEERS THEME SONG: When "Cheers" started, nobody was watching it.

CHEERS THEME SONG: -- all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like --

PORTNOY: But fortunately, there was a lot of interest in the song.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: What happened?

PORTNOY: Judy Hart-Angelo was a friend of mine for a number of years. We wrote this song called "My Kind of People."

LEMON: Let's hear it.

PORTNOY: My kind of people, root for the home team, making a living, out in the mainstream. We sit with our friends, the old and the true ones, before the night ends, we're bound to make new ones -- here's the really bad part -- you never know who's going to show at Cheers and here's to -- so.

LEMON: Wait, I liked it.

PORTNOY: You liked it, OK. Well, we sent it, and they turned it down.


CAMEROTA: And on balance the "Cheers" theme song was better. Don Lemon joins us now.

LEMON: Do not adjust your sets, I'm not Victor.

CAMEROTA: Yes, this is, this is --

LEMON: He's much better looking than I am.

CAMEROTA: Normally you're not sane at this hour of the day. And now we know why. LEMON: How are you? It's so good to see you. I was her first co- anchor. She cheated on me with Chris and now Victor.

CAMEROTA: I think you were going to say I was your first kiss.

LEMON: No, no, no, no, no.


CAMEROTA: How did you get this grueling assignment?

LEMON: It's so funny because I was sitting around with a group of friends and one of them happened to be someone who worked at CNN, and we were singing TV show theme songs. And we said, what ever happened to TV show theme songs. And we had this whole thing about the history of the sitcom, and talked to the boss, and we said the boss said, yes, why don't you do it. And then we can pair it with history of sitcoms and it would be perfect. But everybody -- it's an age thing.

CAMEROTA: Oh, is it?

LEMON: Young folks don't --

CAMEROTA: They don't know theme songs.


CAMEROTA: Because just now when they were playing "Cheers" you and I were singing along we know every word to it.

LEMON: Every word.

CAMEROTA: What's your favorite TV theme song?

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, there are so many. I can tell you what everybody's favorite is, but I think my favorite is probably "The Brady Bunch."

CAMEROTA: "The Brady Bunch." I was going to say, hum a few bars.

LEMON: Are you kidding me, don't you know every word? Here's a story --

CAMEROTA: -- of a lovely lady --

LEMON: -- of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls, all of them had hair of gold --

CAMEROTA: -- like their mother --

LEMON: -- like their mother --

CAMEROTA: The youngest one --

LEMON: The youngest one in curls.

CAMEROTA: OK, I thought this was your favorite one. Can't we hear it? LEMON: Nope, what is it?

SONG: Lady Godiva --

LEMON: -- Godiva was a freedom rider, she didn't care if the whole world --

CAMEROTA: This was such a good one.

LEMON: -- Joan of Arc with the lord to guide her, was a sister who really could.

CAMEROTA: That, that, that's really good. And then there's Maude.

LEMON: Actually, I got to take that back. My favorite one I think is "The Jeffersons."

CAMEROTA: Oh, come one, you're singing Maude

LEMON: Oh, is that your favorite.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Hit it.

LEMON: Hit it.


THE JEFFERSONS THEME SONG: Well, we're moving on up to the east side --


CAMEROTA: I mean, that's just the best. You can't argue with that one.

LEMON: Moving on up to the east side --

CAMEROTA: I think that one takes the cake.

LEMON: We finally got a piece of the pie. Fish don't fry in the kitchen, beans don't burn on the grill I took a whole lot of crying just to get up that hill.

CAMEROTA: I mean, it's so good. So where have they gone?

LEMON: That's the story of my life, by the way. Where have they gone? Money, advertisers. The executives wanted to make money so they either shortened or cut out the theme song because it took too much time and they wanted to devote more time to advertising.

CAMEROTA: Wait, more time to -- not more time to storytelling, you're not getting more of the show, you're getting more commercials.

LEMON: Yes. And if you notice now if you watch all those shows. You remember, my grandmother used to say don't call me now, I'm watching my stories, right, the soap operas. CAMEROTA: But that's the soap operas, yes.

LEMON: Yes, but my soap opera is "Law and Order." "Law And Order" that's my soap opera I watch over and over, I don't care how many times I've seen it.

And they speed them up. They speed them up to like a hundred instead of like running at 100 percent, it's like 108 percent or whatever.

CAMEROTA: They speed what up?

LEMON: They speed the show up.

CAMEROTA: They do?

LEMON: They speed the theme songs up. They shorten the theme song. If you notice the theme song even to "Golden Girls" is shortened. A lot of theme songs are shortened.

CAMEROTA: That's a rip-off.

LEMON: Yes, it is a rip-off. So, listen, I talked to Gary Portnoy from "Cheers", he wrote the "Cheers" theme song. He tells that Fran Drescher, she was working at a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens --

CAMEROTA: Oh, I don't remember that one. I don't remember that theme song, I remember the show. But I don't remember --

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, and then Kurt Farquhar who has written the most -- he's the most prolific black theme songwriter in the world. "Sister, Sister." "Girlfriends", that sort of thing, yes.

CAMEROTA: Hold that thought.

LEMON: "Moesha."

CAMEROTA: I have more questions for you. OK, stick around but first we want to tell you be sure to tune in this Sunday for Don's special "WHERE HAVE ALL THE THEME SONGS GONE?"

LEMON: Boy the way Glen Miller plays. Songs that made the hit parade.

CAMEROTA: All right. If we still have any viewers, I'd need to tell you this right now. Pipe down.

LEMON: OK, sorry.

CAMEROTA: This week's CNN Hero Rodney Smith Jr. made a name for himself traveling the country mowing lawns and inspiring people one yard at a time.


RODNEY SMITH, JR., CNN HERO: Now 50-yard challenge is a challenge that we have issued to kids nationwide and worldwide to mow 50 free lawns in their community. They'll make a sign saying I accept the 50-yard challenge. And in

return we will send them a t-shirt with safety glasses and ear protection. And once they mow 50 lawns, I drive to wherever they are, I present them a brand new mower, weed eater and blower.

To date we have 2,000 kids nationwide. Kids are responsible for finding their own lawns so that's another way they can go out into their community and meet people they normally wouldn't have met.

At a young age, I used to mow lawns as a chore, and I disliked it. But God took something I disliked and turned it into something now I love to do, and every single day I get to mow free lawns and I get to encourage kids around the world to get out there and make a difference one lawn at a time.


CAMEROTA: What a great story. For more info, go to


CAMEROTA: OK, for the entire commercial break Don and I have been singing TV theme songs. And I feel like, OK, so "The Jeffersons" --

LEMON: Greatest American Hero, everyone one social media is mad.

CAMEROTA: But how does that one go? Greatest American Hero? How does it go?

LEMON: Believe it or not I'm walking on air. I never thought I would feel so free.

CAMEROTA: I thought that was a real song.

LEMON: That was real song. That song actually made it on the charts.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's amazing.

LEMON: But I think that song lifted the show.


LEMON: If I'm not mistaken

CAMEROTA: Because I feel like "Welcome Back, Kotter" I think also made it onto the real charts.

LEMON: Welcome back -

CAMEROTA: I also feel like we do need to mention the show that was really about a band where they really sang the theme song, which is also awesome. Here it is.



THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY THEME SONG: Hello, world, hear the song that we're singing.

LEMON: -- song that we're singing --

CAMEROTA: -- come get happy --- I mean that's so good. Isn't it?

LEMON: Well, was that the Brady's dance or their dance?

CAMEROTA: I think that's the Brady's dance. But this is a different open, they had a different open in tune with the boss at one time.

But, anyway, it's fantastic.

LEMON: Ah, Shirley Jones.

CAMEROTA: But you've -- got 15 seconds left. When you asked everybody in your special what their favorite theme song was, what was it?

LEMON: Hands down "Gilligan's Island." And the reason and that was everyone, actors who are on the show, theme show - theme song writers. They said it's because that song told its story of what happened on that show every week so you could pick up -

CAMEROTA: That's right (ph).

LEMON: (Inaudible) --

CAMEROTA: Where Have All the Theme Songs Gone airs 8 p.m. right here on CNN. The Lead starts right now.