Guests: Jeffrey Donner, Dean Tong, Scott Sullivan, Kieren Vogel, Lance Welsh, Gintz Kilmanis, Victor Damian, Christy Gilfour, Victoria Campbell, Robi Ludwig
RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST: What an intro, thanks so much Joe and good evening everybody. I‘m Rita Cosby. Tonight, a shocking story from the world of MySpace.com. Violent videos of beatings. Wait until you hear who‘s throwing the punches who is actually making money off the victims.
Plus, people being attacked to very willing participants in a disturbing real-life “Fight Club.” You won‘t believe who these people really are, who actually won, to be beaten to a pulp.
But first, we have exclusive details in the manhunt for the alleged sniper accused of killing his wife and shooting a judge. In the past few hours, we have learned that the suspect, Darren Mack, has communicated with family members and also the family has apparently retained an attorney.
In just a moment, we‘re going to bring you an exclusive interview who the only person who may be the key to Darren Mack‘s surrender, which authorities hope happens soon. But first, let‘s go to KRNV reporter Victoria Campbell in Reno with the very latest. Victoria, where could Darren Mack be? Now we understand cops have some new clues.
VICTORIA CAMPBELL, KRNV REPORTER: They do have new clues, Rita, but unfortunately tonight they tell us the possibilities for where Darren Mack could be are virtually limitless. Now he is a man of substantial means. They say if he were planning this crime for some time, he may have applied for credit cards in other names, even passports in other names, may be using those, may actually be out of the country at this point.
COSBY: And speaking of credit cards, I understand there was a credit card swipe in California? Tell us about that.
CAMPBELL: There was a credit card swipe as he was leaving the parking garage at Sacramento International Airport. That‘s about two hours west of Reno, it‘s the capital of California. What he was doing at the Sacramento Airport, we don‘t know tonight. Police aren‘t sure either. They don‘t know whether he was going there to catch a flight, changed his mind and left the airport. They don‘t know if he had planned to meet someone there. They don‘t even know if perhaps he was switching out vehicles with someone there, that perhaps someone else drove away in the car that they thought he was driving and is now storing the car, has gotten it off the road, and that he may be driving something else at this point. They just don‘t know.
COSBY: And Victoria, we do know that the family has retained some attorneys. Is the goal to prepare for a surrender?
CAMPBELL: Yes, that is the goal. A prominent local attorney, Scott Freeman, who was actually a casual acquaintance of Darren Mack, he has been retained by the family to try to help work out a surrender of some kind. And in speaking with him today, he said he hopes this has a peaceful ending and this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT FREEMAN, MACK FAMILY ATTORNEY: I have already contacted law enforcement, advised them of my representation. We have a plan in place should he contact me for a surrender, peaceably and peacefully for that to occur. And we will implement that plan should he contact me for that purpose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: And as we understand tonight, his family is extremely concerned about him. At no point do we have any indication that the family may know where he is, but is obviously worried sick about his welfare at this point, Rita.
COSBY: And the other thing, Victoria, we understand that now this information that he was harassed before, that the judge?
CAMPBELL: Yes, Judge Chuck Weller, who was shot from a couple of blocks away on Monday, a couple of hours after we believe the estranged wife of Darren Mack was stabbed to death in the garage of his home, this judge, Judge Chuck Weller, has been a family court judge for about 18 months now.
And he handled a very acrimonious divorce between Darren and his
Charla Mack. Charla Mack found murdered Monday morning. Judge Chuck
Weller has been the target of some harassment. And as we understand it, he
somebody put an ad in a local small newspaper indicating that there was going to be an auction of a motorcycle at Judge Weller‘s home very early on a Saturday morning.
So a lot of motorcyclists show up at his house. His address, his phone number, his name appeared in the newspaper. They all show up ready for this auction. Of course there was no motorcycle, there was no auction and when they traced it back to the newspaper, they realized that someone had paid cash and showed up in person to put this ad in the paper and there was none.
They also indicated that there had been some noise around the Weller home in the few days before this shooting happened. And in fact, we know, too, that directly after the shooting in the moments after, Judge Weller was on the phone to his wife and asking others to call her to tell her to get out of their home because he was concerned she may be the next target.
COSBY: Thank you, please keep us posted, Victoria, very much. And LIVE & DIRECT exclusive that we have with us right now is Darren Mack‘s cousin, Jeffrey Donner, who actually spoke on the phone to his cousin. Jeffrey, when did you speak on the phone to him?
JEFFREY DONNER, COUSIN OF DARREN MACK: Darren called me at 11:19 on the day of the shooting, which I understand...
COSBY: And this was after the shooting, right?
DONNER: Well as I understand it. I understand from the news that the judge was shot at 11:15. My call came in at 11:19 on my cell phone, which would have been four minutes after the judge was shot.
COSBY: So it‘s four minutes after the judge is shot. Was there anything unusual about what he said or the way he sounded?
DONNER: He sounded like he has sounded the last year, the past year. Totally preoccupied with the injustice that he felt that he had received at the hands of this judge. And asked me to remember my promise to him that if anything happened to him, to make sure that I got word out to the public about how unjust, unfair this judge was, not only to him but to others in the court. So that the public would know, especially the Reno public would know.
COSBY: So he had been talking to you about his displeasure with this judge for some time, Jeffrey?
DONNER: For a year.
COSBY: And to the point where you thought he would do this?
DONNER: No, never. He was preoccupied with people finding out how unfair and unjust the judge was. He never ever indicated that there would be any type of violence towards the judge whatsoever, never.
COSBY: You must have been—what was your reaction?
DONNER: His preoccupation was exposing the judge.
COSBY: And what was your reaction when you found out now that he is accused of shooting the judge and killing his wife?
DONNER: Well there would be no circumstance whatsoever where I would condone anyone, even Darren, who I love dearly, for trying to assassinate a judge or for being responsible for killing his wife.
However, I‘ve known Darren since he was born. I have known him for 45 years. Like I say, we love him very, very much. He‘s not just a family, a cousin, I mean, he‘s a very dear friend, a close friend.
We are confidants, we‘re very close personal friends. And I have only known him to be a person of character, principle and integrity. Any person, like a Darren Mack, could be put in a position where he felt he had no other alternative to do what he is accused of doing, I think that someone needs to look into what might possibly have occurred in that courtroom with that judge and possibly what that judge has done in the last 20 months since he has been on the bench.
COSBY: Did he say anything to you, Jeffrey?
DONNER: But I am no way underscoring the fact that the judge was shot.
DONNER: Absolutely—there is no excuse for that whatsoever.
COSBY: You know, but Jeffrey, did he say to you in that call that he made at 11:19, did he instruct you to do anything and did you hear from him again?
DONNER: No. I did not hear from him again. And he was the one that disengaged from me before I could ask him any questions. He just simply said if anything happens to me, and I took that to mean that possibly his wife would have done something to him, because he did fear for his safety. He did fear that she was going to shoot him or have somebody shoot him. He expressed this fear to me many times over the last year. As I understand that, he has reported that to the Reno police and that is a matter of the public record.
COSBY: What would you want to say if he is watching right now? I‘m sure you‘re concerned, that this could end not very well. He is armed, authorities are obviously on the man hunt for him.
DONNER: My message to Darren or to anybody who might know where Darren is, is that my wife and I would do anything, any time, go any place under any circumstance to assist him to bring him in safely.
My second message would be to any law enforcement agency in northern California, if they should come upon Darren, before they would try to forcefully bring him in, I would beg them to contact me. Darren would never hurt me, I have no fear of him whatsoever, to contact me, to let me try to assist to bring him in safely. I want to save his life.
COSBY: How do you see this ending? Do you think he will want to surrender?
DONNER: I‘m simply not certain. I just don‘t know.
COSBY: What are your biggest concerns now?
DONNER: But I know that if I have a chance to help assist to bring him in, I‘m very, very confident that I would be successful in that.
COSBY: And if he‘s watching real quick, what do you want to say specifically to him real fast?
DONNER: Darren, if you‘re watching, please, please, contact us, any time, any place. We will go anywhere to assist you to see that you come in safely.
COSBY: You obviously still care about him, despite what has happened here. Thank you, Jeffrey, very much. We appreciate it and let‘s hope that he is watching tonight.
And now let‘s move on to a deeper look into Darren Mack and his relationship with his now murdered and estranged wife. Joining me for some more discussions and exclusive information is forensic trial consultant Dean Tong, who Mack hired for his contentious child custody case. Dean, you just heard a very passionate plea from his cousin. What would you say to Darren Mack if he‘s watching tonight?
DEAN TONG, FORENSIC TRIAL CONSULTANT: Well I actually made an appeal earlier in the day, Rita, for him to turn himself in, to put his child‘s needs ahead of his own. You know, this was not a done deal. We had time to litigate this case. The custody hearing wasn‘t until September. I don‘t know if there was a motion for recusal of this judge that was filed. We could have gone to the appellate court. Even if we lost upon final judgment, we could have come back on a substantial change of circumstances and gone for a modification later.
So there were alternative hypotheses here. There were other legal remedies. There was questionable layering in this case for Darren Mack. I told him this many times. I could have brought an attorney in from out of state, pro hoc viche.
COSBY: You know, it looks like there were a lot of contention. I want to show some exclusive information that we‘ve obtained. This is between Darren Mack and his wife, Charla Mack, who is now deceased, now believed to be murdered at the hands of her husband, according to authorities.
This is from the wife to Darren. It says, “You always have had secrets.” These are e-mails that we obtained. “Blocked Palm Pilots with passwords, e-mails, I could not see addiction is when you hide it and you have always hidden your sexual world, that is part of your sexual addiction.”
There‘s another one, this is from Darren to his dead wife. “Currently we owe $500,000 on the line of credit and approximately $35,000 on credit cards, not to mention any new credit cards you have opened up that I don‘t know about.”
He further talks, “I have a great relationship with Erika.” This is the one daughter that they share. “And she feels good and safe with me. So if you don‘t think so say it, but if not, quit putting this junk in her head. Please stop putting these seeds of doubt in her head.”
You know, it sounds like Dean, there were so many problems going on in his life and his relationship.
TONG: Well yes, there were, Rita. There was this alternative lifestyle, swingers thing. She had had enough of that.
COSBY: What was that? What was he doing?
TONG: Well, I mean, he had a secret side to him, obviously. And apparently, she acquiesced at the beginning of the marriage to this alternative lifestyle. And as they were splitting in 2004, she had enough of it, she didn‘t want it anymore, it wasn‘t healthy for her daughter, who at the time was six, who is now eight.
COSBY: And what—he dating other women? Is that what you‘re saying?
TONG: I can‘t say for the record, but there are allegations of that.
COSBY: You know also, I want to show, this is another thing too because there were also tests. And we talked a little bit about this last night, but now we‘ve got some of the—these are direct quotes, this is from the New England doctor that gave the psychological examination. He says, “Taken as a whole, the clinical data obtained in this evaluation do not support the conclusion that Mr. Mack represents a danger to the community or that either his sexual interests or behavioral problems that would place him at an at-risk category.”
You know essentially, this doctor who tested him in the custody case where you were in involved in, said no problems, no warning signs. And that line, “no danger to the community.” Isn‘t that striking, Dean?
TONG: It‘s very compelling, Rita. However, any psychology will tell you that MMPII results can change every six months and of course these tests were run on him last July.
COSBY: And it sounds like even the cousin, who was talking to him every day, Dean, was just telling us he didn‘t hear anything wrong, even that call a few minutes later.
TONG: Right, but I don‘t know that he‘s been tested since my doctor tested him last summer. And obviously his mental health had gone south since that time.
COSBY: Dean, we thank you very much and let‘s of course pray that he listens to his cousin and he turns himself in. Everybody, there is a lot more to come in this tragic story. We‘re going to keep bringing it to you until the cops catch this suspected sniper or until he listen to his cousin and also Dean and turns himself in.
Plus everybody, a lot more to come tonight, take a look. Still ahead, this blood sport is all the rage from coast to coast. Teenagers attacking unsuspecting victims and posting these violent videos on the Internet. Get this, some are even making money off their victims‘ pain. Wait until you hear how the cops track them down.
And another unbelievable fight video, but this time the fighters are doing it for fun. These Silicon Valley tough guys are about to break the first rule about “Fight Club.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD PITT, ACTOR: You do not talk about Fight Club.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: They join me live. And talk about being a prisoner in your own home. This guy is letting the whole world watch him via the World Wide Web. He‘ll take us on a live tour of the real life “Truman Show,” coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: This one everybody, you won‘t believe it until you see it, brutal beatings of high school students and they‘re all caught on tape. Images like this from Tacoma, Washington, are finding their way to Web sites like MySpace.com. In some cases, the video was even being sold. This attack was all about revenge and the video has landed the attacker in hot water. Reporter Bernard Choi from NBC affiliate KING in Seattle has more on this very senseless fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honor student up through this year, high honors, in fact.
BERNARD CHOI, NBC REPORTER (voice-over): But prosecutors say this is the same 17-year-old captured on this video last Wednesday throwing a beat down on a fellow student.
And after pummeling the kid, the 17-year-old celebrates with a dance before going to his car to show off his arsenal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any of you all want to play with me? See, we‘ll play.
CHOI: County detectives say the next day, the 17-year-old showed up at Emmill Rich High (ph) with an unloaded assault rifle packed in his truck. He reportedly said he needed it for protection.
All this actually started with this earlier fight Wednesday afternoon. The 17-year-old‘s friend was one of those involved. According to court papers, the 17-year-old felt this battle wasn‘t fair. So later that night, he went to the, quote, “winner‘s house” to get revenge. He brought a video camera, some backup and some fire power.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel that he could be better rehabilitated at home with us, monitored, of course, but we have counseling set up for him. His pastor is on call.
COSBY: And these videos are part of a disturbing new trend unfortunately happening all over the country. In addition to this case that we just showed you in Tacoma, Washington, there have been a number of other high-profile MySpace attacks. In Jacksonville, Florida, this video of a teen ambush surfaced on MySpace.com earlier in the month.
Meanwhile in Texas, four people are now under arrest for videotaping an attack back in March. You can see the pictures there. And joining us now live tonight is Christy Gilfour. She is with the Arlington, Texas police department. Christy, how bad is it on the videos?
CHRISTY GILFOUR, ARLINGTON, TEXAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, the videos depict a number of youth. It‘s about a two-hour long video and they are viciously attacking each other, there are girls fighting girls, boys fighting girls and boys fighting boys.
COSBY: How did you find out about it? How did the investigation lead to that there was this tape?
GILFOUR: Well, back in march we had a 16-year-old boy who was brutally beaten outside his home by six youths, four adults and two juveniles. And as we were investigating that offense, we learned that there was videotaped evidence. So, we served a search warrant at one of the suspect‘s homes, a Michael Jackson, and we found, not only the video of the victim in our case, but the video you have a copy now of, of the Agtown fights too. That was being sold on the internet. And from there, we launched an investigation and a multifaceted approach to try to curb this issue in our community.
COSBY: How much were they being sold for, these tapes? And did they ever explain why they were doing this?
GILFOUR: The tapes were being sold on the internet for about $15 to $20. Most of the youth that we tried to investigate crimes with were telling us they were mutually agreeing to fight each other and they were doing it basically for the glory of having themselves being shown on video.
COSBY: What type of charges are the four suspects facing now?
GILFOUR: Well, there‘s actually six. There are four adults and two juveniles. And they‘re all facing charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, aggravated assault. Which are very serious felony charges.
COSBY: And what are the ages
GILFOUR: They range in age from 14 to 19.
COSBY: Alright, thank you very much, Christy. Yes, go ahead Chris.
GILFOUR: I was going to say, we recognized very early on in the investigation that because of the reason that the children were engaging in this activity, that we were go to go have to have multi-faceted approach. So, we used a number of our resources in the community, the schools, the churches, the parents. We had a number of community meetings to try to tackle this issue and we had a very great, tremendous response from the community. A number of people have had youth rallies just this past month and they‘re planning more this summer. We‘ve partnered with a local radio station that has created some public service announcements that will be playing on their station. And they will be in our theaters. So, we are very glad for the community response and hopefully, feel we have a handle on this issue now.
COSBY: Yes, hope so. Thank you. And with us right now is a psychotherapist, Robi Ludwig. Robi, why are they doing this? You just heard from Christy, 14 to 19-year-olds.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: You have to remember that we glamorize violence in our society. And these are children and adolescence that are raised on looking at violence in television and movies and it‘s a way to show manliness, it‘s a way to gain celebrity, it‘s a way to gain power. So it‘s a combination of all of these factors. Probably too, you have kids who have a lot of time on their hands and really don‘t know how to manage that time in an appropriate way.
COSBY: Is there something more to it though, Robi? Is there something else, in addition, wrong with the kids, it other than just being bored? What type of kid gets involved in this or adult in this case too?
LUDWIG: Well, it‘s interesting, because what we see especially with boys, is when they suffer from depression, very often they act out in anti-social ways. So, I would wonder if these adolescents are dealing with an undetected mood disorder. It is also a cry for help, whether they realize it or not. They are basically putting themselves on screen saying I‘m violent and this is the way I handle problems and I need to get attention. So they‘re basically calling attention to themselves that they are in trouble and basically walking down the wrong path.
COSBY: You know, speaking of the wrong path, Robi, in one case we actually see a guy who is being beaten so much, his head hits the curb, he starts bleeding from his head. Why do you think they go to that extreme? They know they are seriously injuring someone in that case?
LUDWIG: You know, maybe not. When somebody is really caught in that rage-full moment...
COSBY: ... With the adrenaline?
LUDWIG: With the adrenalin and somehow they are loosing empathy about the person they are victimizing or sometimes they feel that this person is deserving of it. So, what we really need to do is educate parents and I like the way this community has handled it, by realizing it is a multi-faceted issue and we need to educate our youth to really think about the impact this behavior has on the people that they are inflicting it on, violence, what impact does it have putting it on the web, sharing it with other people. That this has a very negative consequence.
COSBY: You bet, it‘s so senseless. Robi, thank you for your perspective as always my friend.
And still ahead, if you think these fights are tough, wait until you hear why some tech gurus are actually willingly participating in this blood sport. They join me live to talk about the real fight club. That‘s coming up.
And why would any of these weekend warriors win the title of America‘s hottest bachelor? Find who “People Magazine” says is worthy of your love, is it Joe, my stage manager, you‘ll have to find out coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRADY PITT, ACTOR: The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about fight club. Second rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about fight club.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, tonight, we are going to be breaking both of those rules. We‘re exposing the underground world of real life fight clubs, but don‘t expect to see Brad Pitt beating people up. These clubs are filled with unlikely warriors, many are techno geeks, looking to beat the boredom of their daily grind. And unlike the fight videos that we just showed you, these guys are willingly taking their licks. The founder of the Gentlemen‘s Fighting Club, Gintz Clematus and also fight club members Damian and Lance Welsh join me live. Now, let me start, looks like you have a little bit of a rough and tumble on your face. Who won the last fight?
VICTOR DAMIAN, FIGHT CLUB MEMBER: I don‘t know, Rita. I would say the other fellow got the best of me.
COSBY: We are looking at me—there your I see bruising on the nose.
How rough was it?
GINTS KILMANIS, FIGHT CLUB MEMBER: It was a good fight. I learned a lot. It was in a stick weapons fight and afterwards, we got up and gave each other a hug and learned our lesson.
COSBY: Why did you start Fight Club, why the idea of guys beating up on each other?
KILMANIS: The question is what do we get out of all of this?
COSBY: What do you get out of this?
KILMANIS: It‘s fun, it‘s a thrill, unlike any other ball-oriented sport I‘ve engaged in. It‘s just another extreme sport much like skydiving or rock climbing. But I think it‘s safer. It is a manly activity that‘s about group comradarie, friendship and learning rights of passage by stressing ourselves with person to person combat.
COSBY: Let me bring in Lance who is sitting next to you. Most of you guys work on computers all day long in Silicon Valley. Is this part of the fun that it‘s such a departure from your daily grind?
LANCE WELSH, FIGHT CLUB MEMBER: Exactly. If it wasn‘t for fight club, I wouldn‘t get much exercise.
COSBY: What is the thrill for you. People will say there are other ways to get exercise, there are other ways to get comradarie, the things that Gintz was just talking about.
WELSH: There are other ways. I enjoy skiing and playing tennis. And when you hit somebody well, it feels like you just delivered a good backhand on a tennis ball.
COSBY: Victor, you are a coordinator for troubled kids. You are on the other end, you‘re not one of these computer geeks like the two guys next to you. But do you think that Fight Club really sends the right message to kids?
DAMIAN: I don‘t know if our youth are troubled, per se.
COSBY: I didn‘t say they were troubled, but I was told you work with troubled kids.
DAMIAN: I don‘t want to define it that way. But the message is for me and they know I do this and they accept it and they realize that this is a real live situation and when I bring it to them, they understand how dangerous it is on the streets or on the block how dangerous it is to fight with weapons or to even get into some kind of fighting like that.
COSBY: So you think it sends a positive messages. You are hitting yourselves with pots and pans and a cookie sheet. That has got to hurt?
WELSH: It does hurt. There is a big difference between being hurt and being injured. We all have increased our pain tolerance. We don‘t complain about those coffee table bumps any more during the day, because compared to Fight Club that‘s nothing. That‘s a good thing. The injuries, we have pretty much avoided. Just like any sport, you are going to get hurt once in a while. We don‘t plan to walk away with any injuries.
COSBY: Let me play a little clip. This is, everybody thinks of the famous 1999 movie “Fight Club.” Let me show a little bit more of the movie and we‘ll talk a little bit more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PITT: If someone yells stop, goes limp or taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule, only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellows. Sixth rule, no shirts, no shoes. Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as they have to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Gintz, when you hear that is that the same thing as the real deal?
KILMANIS: The structure is pretty similar. But it started out as self-defense training. I‘m a third degree black belt. And I have also competed in the full-contact stick fighting matches run by the Dog brothers in Los Angeles.
COSBY: What‘s the worst thing that has happened to you, Gintz? Have you gotten beaten up and bruised pretty badly?
KILMANIS: I have accumulated injuries, broken fingers, broken ribs, broken toes. Once I broke a my fingertip at the beginning of a night and didn‘t even notice because the rib hurt more. Largely it‘s about understanding your own pain and when faced with such a situation, that you can actually get through it, that‘s the satisfaction.
COSBY: The Associated Press recently wrote a story about you guys and this is what they said. They are pretty critical.
“Men involved in fight clubs often carry bottled-up violent impulses learned in childhood...There is also a sadomasochistic thread running though underground fight clubs.”
A lot of bloggers read that and said you guys were being unfairly attacked. Is it pent-up anger from childhood?
DAMIAN: I guess the idea is when we fight, our motivation isn‘t anger or rage but seeing if we can apply the moves we think we know or we practice in martial art classes or any other kind of fighting we thought we learned.
COSBY: Why are people saying, look, this isn‘t so bad? What do you think it is about the fact that all these bloggers are saying you shouldn‘t be attacked?
KILMANIS: Largely because we didn‘t learn these impulses from video games or whatever. This is part of our nature. And it‘s pretty easy to control it. So I don‘t see this as wanton violence. Nobody is going out and committing crimes. This is a fun, extreme sport among consenting adults.
COSBY: I wouldn‘t want to meet any of you guys in an alleyway. Thank you very much. We appreciate you guys being with us tonight. And there is a lot more coming up on MSNBC tonight. Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson. Some tough fighting there, Tucker.
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Pretty impressive, Rita, but not quite as impressive as the fighting going on over FEMA, which apparently wasted about $1 billion giving out aid to so-called Katrina victims who spent that money on strip clubs, vacations, Girls Gone Wild videos. We will talk to a congressman from South Louisiana about what happened to the money.
Then another politician, a former porn star running for governor in Nevada. Mimi Miagi (ph). Does her background prepare her for the governor‘s mansion?
COSBY: Sounds like a pretty sexy show you‘ve got there, Tucker. We will be watching a few minutes from now. Still ahead, we are going to take you live into the home of a man who is giving up all of his privacy, and putting his entire life up for display. The real life “Truman Show.”
Would he make your list of America‘s hottest bachelors, how about two guys “American Idol.” “People” magazine‘s list of hottest bachelor‘s that‘s coming up. We‘ll tell you who won.
COSBY: Well, imagine giving up all of your privacy and starring in your own version of the Truman Show. Well, it sounds crazy, but one New Jersey man is now a part of the first interactive internet reality show. Kieran Vogel has agreed to have his life broadcast live on the web 24 hours a day for six straight months. And there is a twist, viewers will dictate everything Vogel will do. And when I say everything, I mean everything. They get to choose what he eats, what he wears and even who he dates and who comes over to the house. The star now of the real life Truman Show, Kieran joins me live for his first national interview since he started the web cam from inside the house. Kieran, first of all, it has been your first day. How has it gone?
KIERAN VOGEL, LIFE BROADCAST ON THE INTERNET: Well, you know, it‘s been very interesting. I had some meals chosen for me. I had some visitors from the company come over. So I think it‘s been a good experience so far, positive.
COSBY: What was the first thing, because we were just listing all the different things people can ask you to do, and that‘s how you live your life for the next six months. What was the first request you got when the day started?
VOGEL: The very first, well, the first thing that I did is I actually had to turnover all the things that identified me as an independent individual, like my cell phone, my keys, my wallet. They all had to be turned over. And I believe the first thing I think was voting on what I was to eat. There has been a lot of things that I‘ve done today, so I don‘t recall all of them. They voted that I had to try wigs on today.
COSBY: How did you look? Were you a brunette, or a blond or what was it?
VOGEL: No, no such luck. I had a green hair. There was one that actually made me look bald and I refused to look at that one. I‘m sure I looked like a little anorexic vulture, I couldn‘t do it.
COSBY: Give us a tour of the place. I understand you have cameras all over. You are sitting in your living room, now . Give us a little tour of the living room, show us where some of the cameras are and also there is a flat screen right there, you can actually communicate with viewers.
VOGEL: Absolutely. This whole room right now has cameras like, they‘re practically cameras all the way around. There is a camera up here. There is a camera over there. There is really not a lot of places where I can go in this house where I‘m not going to be recorded. There is a plasma screen over there where I can communicate with people. There‘s more cameras over here. This is the kitchen where I attempt to prepare meals. I had an attempt today to actually prepare a cake. And I think I did better than a lot of people thought I was going to. I had help from my friend Zach. People tried it, they actually said it was tasty.
COSBY: What about the bathroom?
COSBY: Cameras in the bathrooms? Cameras everywhere?
VOGEL: No, there‘s no cameras in the bathroom. I barely want to see myself in the bathroom. Nobody else wants, so, no. It‘s nothing is going to be you know, there‘s nothing here that‘s like X-rated or adult. It‘s like a PG show, well PG-13 show.
COSBY: Speaking of ladies, go ahead, you can finish your tour.
VOGEL: I no, I‘m sorry, I didn‘t mean to interrupt you, I apologize. I was just showing, I‘m very happy with this. You know, I play a kazoo, I actually collect kazoos, I have over like 120 kazoos, but these are some of the ones I have in here.
COSBY: So maybe one of the requests is going to be to have you play one.
VOGEL: Absolutely. I have actually played the kazoo a couple times for some different people and for some of the people on camera.
COSBY: Now I‘ve got to ask you Kieran, as you see all these things, why are you doing this?
VOGEL: Well, I‘m doing this because basically, I keep telling everyone that basically, you are the sum total of your decisions. And the sum total of my decisions up to this point have been a big zero. I‘ve essentially gotten no where in my life. So, the ability to let go and have an audience control me for six months and make all my decisions and redirect my life is wonderful. It‘s fabulous. I‘m taking a back seat to my own life. I don‘t have to really do anything. I can remove myself from the equation. It‘s a good thing. If you don‘t mind, I‘m actually, I‘m getting very comfortable in the house, so I‘m forgetting, so I have to give myself little notes here and there. Like, they voted that I could only drink iced tea today. So I have to remind myself, so I don‘t go in the fridge and grab like, you know, another kind of soft drink. And of course the diner is the only place really that I feel comfortable. I go to diners all the time to write and to doodle. So they made a diner here to make me feel comfortable at home.
COSBY: Well Kieran, will you do us a favor? We will check back in
with you, I‘m sure, in a couple of days and we‘ll have to put in some votes
ourselves, either for the kazoo
VOGEL: Yes, vote for me playing the kazoo, and vote for black clothing please, because I don‘t normally look like a piece of confetti. This was the first vote, to have me look like a candy wrapper.
COSBY: You got it, confetti-free votes. Kieran, thanks so much.
Good luck in the house.
And coming up, would Kieran win this contest. Coming up, it‘s the battle to be America‘s hottest bachelor. Find out if a Broke Back Mountain cowboy and American Idol, or some guy you‘ve never heard of will come out on top. Coming up.
COSBY: So just what are you looking for in a man? Is it brains or brawn? Is he a celebrity or just an average Joe. You need some ideas, you need to look no further than “People” magazine‘s Hottest Bachelor issue. Tonight we have a sneak peek at some of the hottest hunks around, other than the guys who work on my staff. The magazine‘s senior editor tells me how they decide who‘s hot and who‘s not?
JULIE DAM, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: We have everybody across the country scouring for attractive, available men. It‘s, you know, with the celebrities, we look at people who are in the public eye at the moment who have made a splash recently. An we also look for real people to fill out the bachelors.
COSBY: And do you get thousands?
DAM: Definitely thousands of people, some people send them in, some people send in their friends and of course we find these guys.
COSBY: Taylor Hicks, “American Idol” winner, how did he get picked?
DAM: He‘s sort of the man of the moment, 40 million people couldn‘t be wrong. They elected him “American Idol” and he‘s single and fun, and you will not believe his fan base. He‘s the only contestant this season who had to have a body guard because his fans were so avid.
COSBY: Speaking of people who would like to be a bodyguard, Ace Young and Ryan Secrest. They both made it too. “American Idol” is hot.
DAM: Ace, everybody was, he was the good-looking guy on the show an everybody was disappointed when he got kick off. He sings, he‘s cute, he‘s tall, what more can you ask for?
COSBY: You got Matthew McConaughey, you got Jake Gyllenhall. You also have Jamie Foxx. What make these guys make the list versus some of the others?
DAM: Matthew is our reigning sexiest man alive. Now that he‘s back on the market after his split from Penelope Cruz, he was a no-brainer for the list. Jamie Foxx, he‘s got “Miami Vice” coming out. He sings, he‘s an actor, he has a daughter, also an easy call. Jake Gyllenhaal, he‘s a great actor, he wants to have kids, he‘s eligible, total catch.
COSBY: Speaking of catches, there‘s two guys who are now on the market, Kenny Chesney also Nick Lachay. does it make it more appealing because of such high-profile splits?
DAM: I think there‘s a little bit of every woman who wants somebody to—this is a guy who needs to be taken care of after he had his heart broken.
COSBY: For some reason, I think there‘s a lot of volunteers. Thank you very much. We can‘t wait to see the full edition coming out in a few days.
So does America‘s hottest bachelor really have to be a celebrity. You‘re about to meet an average Joe who “People” magazine says is anything but average. He joins me next.
COSBY: In their upcoming issue, some of “People” magazine‘s hottest bachelors aren‘t necessarily famous faces. One of them is Scott Sullivan, he joins me LIVE AND DIRECT. Your this amazing story. You were noticed for your work with Hurricane Katrina. How do you feel now to be one of America‘s hottest bachelors?
SCOTT SULLIVAN, PEOPLE‘S HOTTEST BACHELORS: I was extraordinarily excited when people called me and I was honored to be part of the fraternity. I was very grateful that they picked me for, not only being a bachelor, but also for the cause that we‘re actually representing.
COSBY: What did they say to you and was it a call?
SULLIVAN: It was a phone call. I was really shocked and surprised when they called. They were like, hey, you‘ve been chosen. And I was shocked because I‘m not an a-list actor or rock star. They said we‘re looking for an ordinary guy that did extraordinary things during Katrina. You‘re the guy we picked and I was shocked and surprised and amazed and very happy.
COSBY: Why do you think they picked you? There were a lot of heroes of Hurricane Katrina. What do you think it was about you?
SULLIVAN: We have stayed in the cause for a long time. We have helped tens of thousands of people since the hurricane happened. We have fed and clothed and continue to help people in the city of Las Vegas.
It has been an ongoing effort. I think a lot of people started the effort and they‘ve kind of backed out of it. We‘re trying to prepare for this hurricane season and let people know they can still come and join the corps, they can go to our Web site at jointhecorps.org and participate and help us get ready for the hurricane season and let people know that it‘s not over in South Louisiana and we still need a lot of help.
COSBY: What do you think of “People” magazine honoring some of the rescuers? Do you think this is a good tribute? And also as you said this is a good reminder as we head into hurricane season?
SULLIVAN: A little bit of both. From what I understand they picked a Navy Seal person and they also picked another person from the National Guard and so they picked some really good heroes and there were a lot of great people that responded to Katrina. A lot of people did a lot of great things. I‘m just happy to represent the Corps and happy to represent the state of Louisiana and what it can mean for moving forward and getting people involved for this season and getting people ready to go for what‘s coming for the Gulf Coast. Let people know, hey, get ready, it‘s still coming.
COSBY: I think it‘s wonderful that “People” magazine picked you and some of the other guys involved. Hats off to the efforts you do.
SULLIVAN: Thank you.
COSBY: How overwhelming is it for you now you‘re instant celebrity?
SULLIVAN: It‘s going to be very interesting. I told my mom I would do everything to keep her proud in the process. It‘s going to be a very interesting process in the next couple of weeks. I encourage everybody to go out and get a copy. I have not even seen it myself.
I‘m going to try to get down there myself to see what it looks like and what‘s written. It‘s an honor to be in the top 50, it‘s a great crowd to be in with Matthew McConaughey and some of these guys, very talented people.
COSBY: Speaking of hunks that you‘re talking about. What do you think its going to do for your love life and are the phone calls already coming in?
SULLIVAN: The phone calls haven‘t started but hopefully tonight we‘ll get some hits on the Web site so I think after this evening it‘s going to start.
COSBY: I bet. We‘ll try to siphon them through for you.
SULLIVAN: That would be great.
COSBY: Keep up the great work for all the folks down there in the Gulf region. Thanks so much.
That does it for me on LIVE AND DIRECT tonight. I‘m Rita Cosby. THE SITUATION with another hot hunk, Tucker Carlson, starts right now. Tucker?
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Copy: Content and programming copyright 2006 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.