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CNN analyst welches on bet after Andrew Branca wins “Stand-Your-Ground” Debate

CNN analyst welches on bet after Andrew Branca wins “Stand-Your-Ground” Debate

After UC Berkeley Law debate, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin has not paid up on wager over whether George Zimmerman was ordered not to get out of his car

This past Tuesday, April 22, I participated in a debate on Stand-Your-Ground hosted by UC Berkeley Law School.

As you might expect, hilarity ensued.

It turned out there were actually three sides to the debate. The two lawyers on the anti-SYG side of the issue were opposed to the debate proposition that “Florida state law may be flawed, but Stand Your Ground is a fundamentally sound policy that protects the innocent.”

I, of course, was on the pro-SYG side.

My debate partner, a lovely woman and law professor, Andrea Roth, was nominally on my side, but in fact did not take a pro-SYG position. Her position would more accurately be described as “undecided on SYG.”

The way the debate was structured was we each had a 6 minute slot for opening statements. I spoke first (awesome). You can see my opening statements here (the full-length video of debate is at bottom of post):

The way the debate winner was determined was by greatest change in audience opinion. The audience voted prior to the start of the debate, and again at the conclusion. The starting vote had me at 18, the anti-SYG side at 53, and the rest undecided.

The voting at the end of the debate had the anti-SYG having changed nobody’s opinion, so they stayed at 53.

My number, in contrast, had doubled to 36. In effect, everybody who’s mind was changed–every one–came to my side.

Hence, I was the official winner of the UC Berkeley Stand-Your-Ground Debate. 🙂

Along the way, however, something interesting happened.

One of the people on the anti-SYG side of things was Sunny Hostin, a CNN legal analyst. At one point her debate partner. Attorney Rice-Lave, made the statement that it was “indisputed” that George Zimmerman had gotten out of his car after being told by police not to.

Well, I pretty much know the relevant 911 audio by heart, and knew that was wrong. Zimmerman never was ordered not to get out of his car.

I immediately offered her a $100 wager that Zimmerman had never been told by police to stay in his car.

While Rice-Lave paused in silence, Sunny Hostin (participating via Skype) said “I’ll take that bet.”

The next morning I sent Sunny the link to the 911 audio, which lacked any mention of the police telling Zimmerman to stay in his car, and offered to send her my mailing address so she could send me my $100.

She has not paid, changed the subject when I contacted her on Twitter, and now refuses to communicate on the issue.

You can read all about it–including the short piece of debate video in which the wager was offered and accepted, the 911 audio, and a “Downfall” parody of the events–here: “The Wager Sunny Hostin Refuses to Honor”

Finally, for those who would like to view the full-length debate video, start to finish, you can do so here:

OK, folks that’s it for now. I’m currently at the NRA Annual Meeting, having spoken here on Stand-Your-Ground yesterday, and having spent the night hanging out with some of the crew from the Ace of Spades HQ web site and Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review online. I’ll be on the exhibit floor wandering around all day today, so if you see the tall dude in the fleece jacket and the LOSD ball cap, say hello!

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.


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What concerns me is that many people were against SYG in the first place.

The low information emotional voter is starting to take over.

    Ragspierre in reply to Olinser. | April 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Actually, the trends are running the OTHER direction.

    Not to say we should sit on our laurels…

    Just to point out that there is reason for optimism. Sometimes…

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Agree. Firearms purchases and registrations are off the charts. People who have plenty of firearms already are buying ammo mainly, so many, if not most, of those new purchases and registrations are people who are somewhat new to firearms ownership or are taking it up again many years after grandpa took them hunting a few times, etc..

      The sleeping giant is s-l-o-w-l-y rousing from fifty years of libtard propaganda.

        After all the STURM UND DRANG in Florida over Zimmerman and The Skittles Kid, Florida firmly embraced and IMPROVED the SYG ambit.

        SYG is a VERY popularly supported concept, according to both legislative results and polling.

          NeoConScum in reply to Ragspierre. | April 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

          Dangit, Rags.. That 1-thumbs down was me by mistake. Thought I was clicking the “Reply” thingy. My apologies.

          One of the many things I really like about Florida(as opposed to So.Calif. from which I immigrated in ’06) is
          the nurturing attitude the police have over law abiding/non-felonious citizens carrying loaded pistols in our vehicles and the “smile/wink-nod” over shooting a break-in a***ole full of fatality holes at our homes. Sanity is encouraged here. Baa-Daa-Bing. Like Dat. ((-:

    Rick in reply to Olinser. | April 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    It is commendable and positive that there was movement in the direction described, especially considering the venue.

    Paul in reply to Olinser. | April 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Consider the venue….basically ground zero for marxist prog moonbattery.

She has not paid, changed the subject when I contacted her on Twitter, and now refuses to communicate on the issue.

She’s busy looking for a loophole.

Hostin may never be able to do the honorable thing, Andrew.

That might require stepping up to some much-needed realizations that mythology drove a lot of the media Zimmerman narrative.

And THAT could lead to a total break-down. That whole “cognitive dissonance” thingy…

    healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    It also indirectly forces her to admit she was lazy and didn’t do her due diligence before standing up and arguing in a public forum.

      And lied about it in front of all those trusting students at the debate:

      Andrew, at 1:11 – I’ll share the 911 tape with you…

      She: at 1:12 – Trust me I’ve listened to it.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | April 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    😉 I’m guessing Andrew doesn’t want her to pay up so he can keep hammering her about it and repeating over and over and over on twitter and in his seminars that GZ was never told to stay in his car, get back in his car, etc..

    Andrew at seminar: “You know, at a recent UC Law Berkeley debate, debate participant Sonny Hostin, a top legal analyst for CNN, made a $100 bet with me that George Zimmerman was in fact told by police to stay in his car. I sent her the audio of the entire 911 call demonstrating that no such statement was ever made. Sadly, Sonny doesn’t want to talk about this anymore and I’m still waiting for my $100. Here’s the audio: (audio) Does anyone hear George being directed to stay in his car?” ……laughter……


      Indeed, Hostin’s refusal to pay is worth many orders of magnitude more to me than would her $100 bill on my office wall. 🙂

      If she ever does pay I’ll likely break down and cry. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        If ever she does pay, you have a great tool to use: a check or $100 bill you can wave and say this is proof the LSM got it wrong. She prefers you not have that cuz then she would become a symbol of LSM error.

CNN needs to explain why they don’t pay their ‘legal analyst’ sufficient to allow her to pay her debts.

Clearly CNN must be part of the War on Women.

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

What more can you say about these ideological brats. The “racist Zimmerman got out of his car to chase down and kill Trayvon Martin” narrative has now become a catechism. There is no way this woman will admit the truth.

Andrew you left out the best part. The best part in twitter was when she was obviously losing and looking like an idiot so she called you a racist and now refuses to communicate.

It seems to be a trend… Prog-Lib: Makes stupid statement, can’t defend it, argues, postures, then when realizes totally losing – yells shut up racist (no matter what the topic is or who they are talking to) and retires with what they think is victory.

The Hitler Rant is hilarious! Keep hammering her over the debt welching…

Well, Andrew, you’re cooked.

She’s identified you as having made “racist comments”.

Ergo, she is morally bound NOT to pay you a dime AND never, ever communicate with you again.

You are a non-person now.

Freddie Sykes | April 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Which state passed a law and labeled it “The Make My Day Law”? That seems highly unlikely which means the anti-SYG people debated on terms of raw emotionalize.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Freddie Sykes. | April 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    That would be here in Colorado, and I thought of that when I was listening to Andrew just now. Would be interested in his take on it, but I expect that it does lessen some of the self-defense requirements for people in their own homes when facing intruders. Interesting though, despite the usual horrific expectations for the law, they mostly haven’t materialized, and in most cases, the result would not have been different than in a SYG state.

      If you’re referring to C.R.S. 18-1-704.5. “Use of deadly physical force against an intruder,” and you must be, the LEGISLATURE did not call it the “Make My Day” law. The MEDIA did that.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        Agreed – but I thought that that was the question. Just like calling the FL immunity provisions SYD is misleading, calling the CO statute the “Make My Day” law is misleading. Still, that is probably the statute that most people think of when it comes to that term. Similarly, a lot more people probably know healthcare “reform” as ObamaCare than the PPACA, but the popular name is the one that most people identify with the legislation.

        My memory of this CO statute was that the opponents were calling it the Make My Day law before it was enacted, and they, naturally prophesied all sorts of horrific effects. Which, of course, never happened. You are probably a lot more up on this than I am (having lived in multiple other states in the intervening years), but I think I remember one case where a guest/invitee was told to leave, revoking his status as legally being there, and shot soon afterwards. The shooter apparently got away with it, but ended up in prison a year or so later for something else. And, I think there was something a year or so ago somewhat similar. The prevailing wisdom of the time seemed to be that if you shot someone on the front porch, to drag them inside before calling 911, ignoring the reality that modern forensics can typically determine where a shooting actually occurred, and detect the dragging of bodies (except, maybe, when the decedents are shot on prepositioned tarps, as was the case in the case you discussed today).

    The first time I heard the Make My Day term was when the Florida Legislature was proposing SYG several years ago. It was hate at first sight for the Media and the rest of the Usual Suspects.

I like hanging around with the good guys.:-)

Henry Hawkins | April 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I’d always thought it would be Jacobson we’d lose to Hollywood, but no, it’s Branca.

Yer in high cotton now, boy. Mind yerself, stay away from needles, and call yer mama from time t’ time. Don’t git that big head either, boy, an’ don’t fergit th’ ones ye left b’hind.

Lordy, Lordy, no sooner’n they’s growed up, they’s gone, on nuthin’ but two wheels an’ a prayer. *sigh*

Phillep Harding | April 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

1) No instructions to stay in car.

2) No instructions to return to car.

3) No contact with anyone with authority to give orders. (Certainly not “the police”. A Dispatcher is a radio and phone receptionist, a “secretary” not an officer.)

No way to weasel out except by giving the legacy media greater credence than the actual tapes.

    NavyMustang in reply to Phillep Harding. | April 28, 2014 at 2:57 am

    “Certainly not “the police”. A Dispatcher is a radio and phone receptionist, a “secretary” not an officer.”

    LOL! I’m with you, but there are some dispatchers at my old department I’d like you to talk to (I was a beat cop). Dispatchers actually would say that officers were just taking care of “their,” i.e., the dispatchers’, cases. We all had a good laugh over that one.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm

If it were me, I would watch her scheduled appearances, then inform other guests that she welshes on publicly made bets.

After about the third time that another opportunity to make a bet came up and the person refused to bet because she welshes, then she will pay up.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Heh. I doubt that Andrew wants the money. The issue of a CNN legal analyst being dead-wrong, having a reason to play the audio over and over, and the ungracious Hostin pouting by not paying is far more delicious than her paying up and closing the matter.


      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | April 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      I would not want the money in itself either. But I would want the reporter paying up and admitting she lost the bet.

      If she never pays up, then she can deny losing the bet. But once it’s paid up, she’s got it over her head forever.

      Plus just the humiliation of her having to pay up.

    Milwaukee in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 27, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Are you English? “Welshing” on a bet is a racial slur.
    This poem is of English origin.

    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy wasn’t in;
    I jumped upon his Sunday hat and poked it with a pin.

    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a sham;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of lamb;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was away,
    I stuffed his socks with sawdust and filled his shoes with clay.

    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a cheat,
    Taffy came to my house, and stole a piece of meat;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was not there,
    I hung his coat and trousers to roast before a fire

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Milwaukee. | April 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Yep, the term is ‘welshed’ on a bet, not ‘welched’. But I wasn’t going to say anything – but since you brought it up, well, there it is.

Obviously Hostin made the bet in order to shore up his side’s argument when this argument was threatened, knowing that he wouldn’t have to back it up until it was too late to affect the outcome of the debate. In other words, he was knowingly supporting his side with lies. This should be brought up and thrown in his face at every public opportunity, it’s a tactic that can’t be allowed to continue without a high price being paid.

I think it $100 bet was too low to impress the audience, but it does have the advantage of being actionable in small claims court.

    Just FYI, but Sunny Hostin is a “she”.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    gospace in reply to Socratease. | April 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I could be wrong, but I’ve always been under the impression that courts will not enforce payments for bets. This being a legal blog, someone will certainly correct me if I am wrong.

      Good heavens, I wouldn’t want to do that anyway.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        Why not? Get a judge, even a small claims court judge to say you are right and she is wrong, to me that would be priceless.

        But I do think bets are not legally recoverable in small claims court. Mainly because at one time such bets were illegal and I don’t think the laws were taken off the books.

        Also, you trade a bit in propaganda value ( maybe ) for the joy of rubbing it in her face. Plus once she gives you the money, you can announce you are using it for extra ammo.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Socratease. | April 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    This took place on a college campus, UC Berzerkley. A hundred bucks is plenty to a college student. It’s enough to get people’s attention. Besides, it’s a nice, round number and an easy amount for people to remember.

    If you don’t think $100 is much, feel free to send it to me. 🙂

The entire Zimmerman anti-SYG crowd has used the “Dispatcher/Call-Taker” as “Police” misnomer throughout. George never talked to “Police” on the phone. A civilian [non-LEO] “Dispatcher/Call-Taker” is whom he talked to. He only ever talked to an unsworn non-law enforcement phone/radio operator. Police and Dispatcher/Call-Taker are two/three distinctly different positions in the chain of communications within the Sanford P.D. communications center, and only sworn Police Officers have the requisite sworn Peace Officer powers to issue lawful orders, and take subsequent penal actions if their lawful orders are ignored.

A police ‘call-taker’ has as much authority as a ‘7-11 clerk’. They are not Peace Officers. Aside from offering assistance and advice over the phone, they are not trained nor sworn to do anything but take phone calls and enter info into a computer, and in some locales across the country they also talk on the radio as a dispatcher simultaneously. But that doesn’t matter either. Dispatchers have as much authority as a ‘7-11 clerk’ as well. No one is under any obligation, be it criminal or civil obligation, to heed any ‘advice’ or even ‘orders’ from a police department call-taker AND/OR dispatcher under any circumstances whatsoever, though it may certainly be prudent to follow their advice in many cases. In some small townships and hamlets a police officer, usually on ‘light duty’ or some such, will be used as a call-taker/dispatcher, but you’re under no obligation there either… by law. There’s no way to prove over the phone that they are, in fact, sworn Peace Officer(s) issuing ‘lawful orders’ over the phone, so they are not permitted to, and you’re not held to lawful account if you pay no heed.

You’re under as much obligation as heeding the advice of the Psychic Friends Network if you were to call them, too. In fact, you’re actually under far more obligation if you did call the Psychic Friends Network because you would have to pay the $5.99 per minute to hear their advice or the phone company will come for blood.

Sanford, Florida P.D. uses call-takers and dispatchers as two separate links in the communications chain. The “call-taker” talks on the phone and relays everything to the dispatcher between computer terminals. Generally speaking, that’s all it is. George Zimmerman knew all of this all too well. He’d been doing the Neighborhood Watch work and networking with Law Enforcement for over a decade. He was even the Neighborhood Watch Captain/Coordinator for the entire area. Even if he actually did cognizantly ignore the call-taker/dispatcher’s “advice”, he was under zero obligation to follow it in the first place. George Zimmerman was on scene… Sanford P.D. call-taker/dispatcher was miles and miles away sitting very comfortably in a climate controlled room, probably sipping on a latte and nibbling snacks.

“Police” never talked to George on the phone. Not even for a fraction of a second. That bet was a lock no matter what.

I am impressed every time I hear you speak on the SYG subject, professor. You did an excellent job, as usual.

What bothered me is that none of the 53% heard a rational, logical explanation of SYG (probably for the first time in their lives) and changed their opinion.

    Oh, I’m not a professor, I’m just a small town Massachusetts lawyer. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Paul in reply to Xand3791. | April 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

    you really expect dyed-in-the-wool berkeley progs to admit when they are wrong? trust me, they can’t even bring their minds to absorb the truth, those prog drones went home convinced that branca got spanked in that debate.

Phillep Harding | April 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Just on the face of it and not going into detail, being required to retreat in every case possible means no one (except police) have a right to be anywhere, including their own homes. This just does not make sense to me.

    Ragspierre in reply to Phillep Harding. | April 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    The way you stated that is a gross overstatement of the law, even in DTR states.

    Plus, it is perhaps useful to delineate between a LEGAL duty to retreat, and a moral or ethical duty before you use deadly force.

    Except that “duty to retreat” is one of the left’s weapons against civilization: If nobody is allowed to defend themselves and their homes, then decent people will be forced to endlessly retreat, leaving the criminals and progressives (but I repeat myself) in control.

FInally had a chance to listen to this entire thing, and found it frustrating and irritating.

Whew! Watched the whole thing. That was interesting. Here are some gems that I picked out:

” … we live in a democracy where people are presumed innocent …”
I can’t believe that sentence was uttered by a human.

” … killing is only allowed when absolutely necessary.”
Tell that to the criminal. I am sure that he will understand.

” … people make mistakes in their perception of a threat … ”
But they never make mistakes in their assessment of a proper avenue of retreat.

” … what of Usan Bolt, should he be allowed to kill the teen that robbed him … ”
Because Usan is a mind reader and knows that the teen is only after his wallet. Or
” … people make mistakes in their perception of a threat … ”

” … if some cowboy on the street can simply pull the trigger.”
Because self defense no longer applies with stand your ground.

” .. if he can convince a judge, by mere properdance of the evidence that he acted lawfully under stand your ground.”
No lawyer here but I thought the jury issued the statements of conviction i.e. guilty or not guilty. And stand your ground seems to only add a jury instruction from the judge to the jury. That this woman has anything to do with the legal profession is … yikes!

” … just take a look at the facts, … and there are stats here …”
Uh facts aren’t stats, just sayin’.

    pst314 in reply to Shane. | April 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Which is an excellent illustration of how I came to believe that leftism is not merely well-meaning error, but deep-seated malice that hates all that is good.

DouglasJBender | April 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Look, I don’t care what the facts are or what the audio shows or whom George Zimmerman actually talked to — Zimmerman should have KNOWN that the police would have ordered him back to his car, or to stay in his car. He’s still guilty, even if he’s not. And only racists would disagree with my line of reasoning.

    “He’s still guilty, even if he’s not.” Seriously? Any rational person would disagree with your line of reasoning. You don’t care what the facts are, or what the audio shows? So you are disregarding due process, the law, justice, and everything this country stands for and was founded upon?

    Get out.

    goes to show that you do not know how to process the facts of a case.

    George Zimmerman was found to be not guilty based upon self-defense.

    The facts remain that he had no idea where Trayvon Martin was when he was walking, and he was surprised when Trayvon Martin confronted him. It was Trayvon Martin who threw the punch… and then a series of punches, causing Zimmerman to have a broken nose.

    The facts clearly point to self-defense… and they point to Trayvon Martin being the aggressor. That means George Zimmerman had the right to defend himself.

    Phillep Harding in reply to DouglasJBender. | April 28, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Okay, you got me on that one.

Like an old Colbert line, she felt it was true.. in her soul. It rises to the truthiness standard and that’s good enough, isn’t it?

Well, good enough to get justly mocked at least.

    Pablo in reply to JBourque. | April 27, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hey, she heard it over and over and over again on CNN. Of course, it was her she heard saying it, but still! CNN!

VetHusbandFather | April 27, 2014 at 1:23 am

18 of 26 moved from undecided to pro-SYG. I’d say that’s a pretty huge success. Unfortunately there are still those 53 that will continue to put their fingers in their ears and scream la-la-la. Such is politics in the United States.

I live in Berkeley and attended the debate.

1. Contrary to comments here earlier no one attending wore Birkenstocks, actually it is rare to see Birkenstocks in Berkeley.
2. The comment from the audience when Andrew made the bet was “Double it”
3. The event was put on by Blacks in Public Policy, hardly surprising surprising that the 53% would be closed minded, I suspect that would be the same nationally.
4. While walking through the halls I explained to my partner who was on the panel. A woman in front of us reacted abruptly when she overheard me saying “Hostin will be the lightweight”. That woman turned out to Lave-Rice, who I found very disappointing, she was more passionate than convincing, like Hostin she seems to think the public is stupid.

It is a mistake to think the bay area is devoid of diversity of thought.

Our friend Patrick McCullough, once labeled vigilante for shooting a black youth threatening him on his property, is running for Mayor of Oakland. Check out his interview discussing politics and the shooting incident.

the incident

My father taught me that one of the worst things a man can do is welsh on a bet. It’s like when I was with a friend and the fast food cashier gave him ten dollars extra in change. He started driving away and I asked him, “So you’re going to sell your soul for ten bucks?” You get the point. I would guess if you asked this analyst if she was a feminist she would answer in the affirmative. CNN will probably cover her butt with some blather about “wagering is against network policy blah blah blah.” The woman has no honor. It’s that simple.

    NeoConScum in reply to funeralguy. | April 28, 2014 at 8:01 am

    funeralguy…HOWEVER, one of the worst things a Lib-Lefty can do is PAY a lost bet to a conservative. They learn it in college…Or..high school…or..Kindergarten. ((-: