Larry King Live Weekend
Arianna Huffington Discusses 'How to Overthrow the Government'; Lucinda Franks Talks About 'The Sex Lives of Your Children'; Richard Stolley Shows 'Our Century in Pictures'Aired February 5, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
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LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, it's never politics as usual when Arianna Huffington is around. She's here to talk about her new book, "How to Overthrow the Government." Plus, Lucinda Franks, special correspondent for "Talk" magazine, discusses an eye-opening article on teenage sex in America, and famed "Life" magazine editor Richard Stolley on the compelling new book "Our Century in Pictures."
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Three terrific guests tonight. And we begin with Arianna Huffington. The syndicated columnist and author has a terrific new book out called "How to Overthrow the Government," just published by Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins.
That's Judith Regan, right?
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, AUTHOR, "HOW TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT": Right. She came up with the title.
KING: You are calling for the overthrow of the government. Explain.
HUFFINGTON: I'm really calling for the overthrow of the system, a very corrupt system, dominated by special interests, by money. Both parties have become really indistinguishable. We have, effectively, the pro-choice corporate party and the pro-life corporate party, and the people are disgusted, frustrated. Sixty-four percent, in the latest in-depth survey, said that they believe that government is run not for the benefit of the people, but for the benefit of special interests.
KING: This understands sounds like Ross Perot in 1992.
HUFFINGTON: Or John McCain, 2000.
KING: Or John McCain or Pat Buchanan. He says both parties are the same.
HUFFINGTON: Well, the problem with Pat Buchanan is that he started saying that after he couldn't get the nomination of one party. So it's not convincing. But this has been very much John McCain's message, and the overwhelming victory that he got in New Hampshire shows just how much frustration and discontent there exists, not just among independents, but among Republicans and Democrats.
KING: Is it a contradiction that we have this frustration, admittedly, in a time of contentment?
HUFFINGTON: It is a contradiction only because all leading politicians have been focusing on the prosperity, on the high Dow Jones and how well we are doing, and what I'm trying to show in the book is that this is true for one nation. But America has become two nations. And the other nation is still mired in poverty, millions of children without health insurance, millions of children in decaying schools, and also, millions of middle-class people now filing for bankruptcy. We had over a million people filing for bankruptcy last year alone.
KING: Mario Cuomo talked about the city on the other side of hill.
OK, are you becoming less conservative? Can we not label Arianna anymore, who we used to label?
HUFFINGTON: You know what, I really believe that these distinctions, conservatives, liberal, are obsolete.
HUFFINGTON: Now obsolete. I think now the real litmus test is...
KING: I like you hair. You can leave it like that. It looks good, yes.
HUFFINGTON: You like it? It sort of falls right on my head.
Right now, I feel the litmus test is, Who cares for those left out of the prosperity? Who makes them the priority, the national priority? And who doesn't? That's my litmus test also when I look at candidates. Because you know what, Larry, when people talk about prosperity, I think of the story that Jim Wallace, who edits the "Sojourner" magazine says -- tells in a beautiful way about a woman at the Burger King who is serving tables, and while she keeps going back to one table where two children are doing their homework, they are her children. This is a success story. This is the woman who is no longer on the welfare rolls, and yet has no child care. She has to work and take care of her kids. What's going to happen to the kids? What's going to happen to her?
KING: Let's go back, a little history as to the -- you're say the system has failed, right? The system is not anywhere in the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't say it has to be a two-party system, right, nowhere?
HUFFINGTON: Absolutely not.
KING: So this system has evolved. What do you want in this revolution? Do you want a three-city system. Do you want a Whig Party? What do you want? HUFFINGTON: What I want is a call to action actually -- the book, and it has a manifesto, an 11-point manifesto of things that...
KING: It's a "how to" book?
HUFFINGTON: It's a "how to" book of what people can do, from little things to big things, to really take back our country. And let me give you a couple of examples. One is pollsters have taken over politics. Politicians hardly do anything, including choosing a tie they're going to wear, without looking at polling results. So I'm suggesting that we hang up on pollsters. It's a small civil disobedience campaign. When you get a call in the middle of your dinner to ask you about the president's sex life or the budget, you just hang up on the pollster. If would drive down response rates to sort of single-digit numbers. Polling results are going to be meaningless. Therefore, politicians will have to do something they haven't done for a long time: think for themselves, have their own vision, and then go out and try to create a consensus for what they believe, as opposed to slavishly following the polling results.
KING: And that would be an example of public action, that the public can do by just...
HUFFINGTON: Exactly. That they can do very, very easily. To the other end of a call to action, which is marches, demonstrations. You know, this year, the two most effective ways to change public policy were those who demonstrated at the Al Gore rallies changed our policy toward South Africa. We finally allowed South Africa to produce genetic extract. Up until then, Al Gore and the administration and the Republican leadership had sided with the drug industry. Why? Because of all the money they contribute, because of all the lobbyists they hire.
And what happened in Seattle? The demonstrators there -- obviously I'm not condoning the violence -- but the demonstrators really dramatically affected the WTO meeting.
KING: Public gatherings have always worked. I mean, Martin Luther King proved it. There was a holiday named for him. Gandhi proved it.
HUFFINGTON: In fact, you know, it's interesting you mentioned Martin Luther King, because really, we do need another movement. I think without a kind of movement from the grassroots, we're not going to be change our national priorities. It's almost like a movement to change the wind. And then politicians will their fingers up in the wind and will be blowing in a different direction.
KING: But how do you get the movement to start if you're -- you can't get it to start in the upper middle class, can you? The contented are not going into the street with a sign.
HUFFINGTON: But the contended with a social conscious. You can be content in your own private life and still be discontented about what's happening in the country, and that's always been the case. Upper middle class people, middle class people have always joined with the working poor to change the country. That's always been the case, and it's happening already. I mean, there are a lot of people around the country working to bring about these changes. We just need to create a structure to bring them together.
KING: We'll get into some ways it's failed in a minute, with Arianna Huffington, author of "How to Overthrow the Government."
This is LARRY KING LIVE.
We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with Arianna Huffington.
She calls the two-party city corrupt -- the two-party system corrupt, and has authored "How to Overthrow the Government."
You talk about influence. "Time" magazine had a great article about influence a couple of weeks ago, like last week I think, and financial, and then pharmaceutical companies.
Didn't they always have influence in this country? Is that new?
HUFFINGTON: It is new. The extent to which they influence everything is new. Larry.
HUFFINGTON: You know, between 1997 and 1999 there was a 37 percent increase in lobbyists in Washington. They're are now over 20,000 lobbyist. That's about 38 per member of Congress.
KING: In a free-speech system, how do you change that?
HUFFINGTON: You change it only when the public gets outraged and demands change. I mean, the election of John McCain in New Hampshire is a manifestation of that. You know, he went against the establishment, and he won. You know that Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment must be having grief counseling at the moment, they're so concerned about McCain's victory. It's a demonstration of what is happening and what can happen when the public really decides this is the moment to seize back the country.
And you know, we have a Web site, overthrowthegov.com. And when people go on the Web site, they can download the manifesto, they can download posters, stickers, the kind of do-it-yourself action kits.
KING: And the establishment fights this because they are supported by the lobbyists, the lobbyists bring them gifts and well being and fly them places?
HUFFINGTON: And re-election. You know, they really...
KING: Well, 98 percent of people who are re-elected...
HUFFINGTON: Right. So they guarantee their re-election. The establishment will never change the system. You know, I have the quote in the book from Frederick Douglas, who said "Power never concedes anything without a demand." It never has and it never will. And the people have to sort of be demand the change.
KING: You cite the pharmaceutical companies. Give me an example. You even do an stretch with Columbine. Do you think that's a stretch?
HUFFINGTON: Well no, I don't think it's stretch, because a lot of the kids involved in the shootings were on mood-altering drugs like Prozac.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, legal, exactly, like Prozac, like (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: But they've been wonder drugs. They've helped people.
HUFFINGTON: Well, it depends on whom you talk to. The truth is that at the moment over a million kids are on Prozac and it has not even been approved by the FDA for pediatric use. Why is Congress silent? Why isn't there more stringent oversight over those drugs? And what about the hundreds of thousands of people who die every year because of drugs? You know, the drug industry...
KING: But you don't want to ban a good drug.
HUFFINGTON: No, of course not, of course not. I just want more oversight, and I also want us to look very carefully at what we are doing children. Why are we prescribing drugs without a psychiatric evaluation? If a child is manic depressive or schizophrenic, it's one story. But every child goes through depression, through anxiety. These are parts of childhood.
KING: Even "The Wall Street Journal" the other day had a story that McCain has not gone -- as chairman of the Commerce Committee still hasn't gone far enough to regulate more of the pharmaceutical companies. So even he is into the system.
HUFFINGTON: Oh, absolutely, yes. I'm not saying...
KING: No one is free of the system.
HUFFINGTON: No one is free of the system, exactly. Even the best people are really tainted by the system, because it's a corrupt system, and until we change it, until we move to some form of public financing of campaign -- next week in Boston, we're having a Boston tea party in conjunction with the public campaign, in conjunction with the people who put and an initiative on the ballot and won a two- thirds majority to have public campaign funding in Massachusetts. It's happening, you see, at the grassroots, but it's very hard to make it happen in Washington without creating a critical mass of involvement. That's really what I hope to do with my book.
KING: Change is the hardest thing, though, isn't it, hardest thing for a human to do? HUFFINGTON: It's the hardest thing until the moment comes, and I think the moment is here. And when the moment comes, suddenly it's magic.
KING: OK, you say we dwell too much on scandal, yet you were one of the fiercest critics of President Clinton, were you not?
HUFFINGTON: I was never in favor of his impeachment.
KING: But were you a fierce critic.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, I was a fierce critic of the lying, and the distortion and the abuse of language, but I never believed and I never believed that the private lives of politicians should be part of our national debate. In fact, I ask in the book that all politicians answer all questions about their private lives with a very simple answer -- It's none of your business. And if they do that...
KING: So then George Bush was right in saying that.
HUFFINGTON: But George Bush did a kind of selective answering. He said no, I've been faithful to my wife, no, I haven't touched alcohol since I was 40, but I'm not going to actual tell you about my drug use.
KING: He should have said no, period, to everything, I'm not going to talk about anything?
HUFFINGTON: About everything. Exactly. Because if you say, you know, I want a badge of honor, I have not committed adultery, but I'm not going to tell you about drug use, it's very suspicious.
KING: We dwell on that, though, don't we?
HUFFINGTON: Too much.
KING: And you're not going to stop that.
HUFFINGTON: You're not going stop it from the media. I don't believe the media are going to stop asking. But you can stop it from politicians, and I think that's where Bradley has made a huge contribution, because he said, as he told you on your show, you have the right to know if I'm a crook, you don't have the right to know if I am a sinner, because we all are.
KING: What role does media play in either keeping the system the way it is, or in overthrowing it?
HUFFINGTON: The media can have a great role in overthrowing it, but it's very unlikely because they're part of the system.
KING: They're part of it?
HUFFINGTON: Exactly. And I mean, they're friends with all these politicians. And to take them on, you know, they can take them on, but not in a fundamental way. KING: So in other words, we're rooted in it, too.
HUFFINGTON: We are. We are.
KING: You've got an uphill battle..
HUFFINGTON: Except, remember again, the moment. I think the moment is here. You know, I get thousands of e-mails from people who say, you know, I've been involved in politics, I've given up now. You know, In the last election 115 million eligible voters did not even bother to vote. Isn't that a crisis in Democracy?
KING: Is it? Or is it an example of contentment? No?
HUFFINGTON: No, absolutely not. Because if you talk to them, they're not content. They just don't believe their vote counts. And it doesn't. Just look this week, you know, we passed the bankruptcy bill. Why? Because all the credit card industry and the banking industry wants it. All consumer groups oppose it. Who has the power?
KING: We'll be right back with Arianna Huffington. "How to Overthrow the Government" is the book.
Still to come, Lucinda Franks, special correspondent for "Talk" magazine. We're going to talk about sex and your children.
And Dick's Stolley, one of the legends in American publishing, editor of "Life: Our Century in Pictures." He was the founder of "People" magazine.
We'll be right back.
KING: There's also a mood -- I know you're involved. Colin Powell, volunteerism in America. Americans want to help other people. The thing they're interested in is Social Security, which takes care of those less fortunate and helps people getting older. So there is that mood, you'll admit that?
HUFFINGTON: There is. In fact, among young people, you'll find it interesting that although they vote in lower numbers than ever before, they volunteer in larger numbers than ever before. They believe that somehow, by mentoring, by serving in a soup kitchen, they can make a greater difference than by participating in the political process. I mean, you'll remember, when you and your wife went with me to South Central to A Place Called Home. It's very moving to see what individuals are doing to turn people's lives around.
KING: Mostly former gang members.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, former gang members, who now live productive lives, because of the work that individuals who lead otherwise contented lives, affluent lives, are doing there. But that's the point, it's not enough. You know, these people are living from hand to mouth, and we can have government help. I mean, I believe government has a fundamental role there, not in terms of the great society, top-down programs, but identifying what works on the ground and providing the funding to expand it.
KING: What do you think of the term "compassionate conservatism?"
HUFFINGTON: I think it doesn't go far enough, because if you are a compassionate conservative, you also have to take on corporate welfare. As McCain says, how can we can take on welfare for the poor but not welfare for the corporations?
KING: But you're also critical of hypocrisy. You're critical of McCain on his stand in South Carolina, where he took one stand one day and one stand the next, right, on the flag?
HUFFINGTON: Absolutely. I think you cannot say on one day, as McCain did, that the flag is an offensive symbol, and 48 hours later say that it's a symbol of her heritage. Again, the system encourages that kind of pandering, and only when the public says enough is enough, we won't take it, will it change.
KING: Being logical the way we look at things, isn't it going to have to happen through a person, a person like a Perot down the line who comes forth, doesn't quit, stays in and wins? And he's independent. He has no obligation to Republican or Democrat. He carried the harpoon up the hill. He's Quixote.
HUFFINGTON: Well, I have a chapter in the book about the bankruptcy of leadership. And of course if you had a leader like that who had a vision for where America should go, didn't care about the pollsters and went on...
KING: Didn't care about which party.
HUFFINGTON: Didn't care about which party and went around and enthused and inspired and did want to get involved...
KING: Now he had that for a while and was leading.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, but if we look at people like Teddy Roosevelt, you know, he was a Republican, remember? And he was a populist progressive in terms of what he changed, you know, the labor laws, the antitrust laws.
KING: So you can do it inside the party?
HUFFINGTON: You can do it inside the party, although I think we do need to see more parties, third parties, fourth parties, fifth parties. I mean, I encourage people to get involved in the process.
KING: Why is that considered -- we grow up with the idea that that was bad, multiparties. We used to point to Italy and France, and look at the trouble they had with multiparties.
HUFFINGTON: You know, it was OK while it was working. It's not working anymore because both parties are now the captives of special interests and big money. And it's so clear. It's so clear in the way we're kowtowing to China in our trade policies, in the priorities.
Let me just give you one example. Why are we focusing on prescription drugs for the elderly when we have millions of children that don't even have health insurance? Because that's where the votes are. That's where the lobbying is the coming from. All our priorities are lopsided because of money in politics.
One more example. Prisons: I think that's going to be the next ticking bomb, two million Americans in jail. Large...
KING: I think we lead the world per capita.
HUFFINGTON: We lead the world, more than China. Most of them -- most of the increase because of the failures of the drug war.
HUFFINGTON: No politician is touching that issue. They don't dare to. It doesn't appear in the polls. But that's not leadership.
KING: Will you go so far, would you say that the -- more conservatives than liberals favor legalization?
HUFFINGTON: I don't know if I would go that far, but here's what I would do. I would say that until we look at legal drugs and their couple between getting children hooked on legal drugs and the continuum between getting children hooked on legal drugs early on. And then you see how they move on to illegal drugs? There's a status about that. Until we look at that continuum, that connection, we're not going to be able to win the drug war.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Arianna Huffington. We'll get some political predictions maybe from the author of "How to Overthrow the Government," and then we'll meet Lucinda Franks, author of "The Sex Lives of Your Children." It's in the current issue of "Talk" magazine.
We'll be right back.
KING: If you were betting right now, would the bet still be Bush versus Gore today?
HUFFINGTON: I'm not going to bet. I'm going to belt on Gore. Yes, I would say Gore is very likely to beat McCain -- to beat Bradley, because Bradley has not been sufficiently of an insurgent the way McCain has been. But when it comes to McCain and Bush, I think it's a whole new ballgame now, a whole new dynamic.
KING: You're not supporting anyone, right? You're...
HUFFINGTON: I'm not, I'm not. I'm supporting the movement. I'm supporting overthrowthegov.com. And we're launching it as a movement with television ads, with radio ads to get people involved.
KING: Why has not the Forbes movement, certainly a movement, flat tax, why hasn't that caught on?
HUFFINGTON: Oh, that's not a movement, that's an ego trip. You know, I think Forbes on abortion, for example, you remember in '96 he was talking about changing the culture, changing hearts and minds. Now suddenly he wants a constitutional amendment. It's such transparent pandering I can't even bear to listen to him.
KING: And the public spouts it.
KING: All right, and do you think the public knows more than it did in the past? Obviously through the media...
HUFFINGTON: I think -- well, first of all...
KING: The same media we don't like also gives us things to like.
HUFFINGTON: First of all, the majority of the public is completely disconnected, doesn't watch politics, doesn't care for politics, doesn't believe politicians. But if a politicians can turn non-voters into vote earnings, that's where victory comes. That's what Jesse Ventura did. He increased the turnout. He got people to vote who wouldn't otherwise vote.
KING: Didn't vote. All right, is Ventura the type who could do this?
HUFFINGTON: Venture is an authentic specimen. So even when he speaks rubbish, at least it's his own rubbish. You know, you know it's him. It's not his focus group, it's not his consultants. And the public likes that. They're tired of robotic politicians. And that's what I mean about the populist mood in the country.
KING: Why don't politicians know that? Why doesn't a politician know that if they get on television, then just say, I goofed? You own the moment.
HUFFINGTON: Right, I made a mistake. I don't know. You own the moment. I don't know.
KING: Yes, I don't know the answer.
KING: Why don't they say that?
HUFFINGTON: Well, because I think most of them are so mired in the system -- you know politicians. They're surrounded by the professionals and the consultants and the pollsters. And they really make them believe that that's the way to win. And they get so desperate about winning that I'm now convinced that really the prerequisite for running an authentic campaign is being prepared to lose and say, you know what? It's not the end of the world. I'd rather win on the basis of what I want to achieve on my own principles than just pander at all costs. KING: Lincoln and Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt -- and Franklin Roosevelt -- they didn't have consultants, did they? I mean, they had advisers, but didn't have guys who wear red ties.
HUFFINGTON: Yes, nothing. Absolutely not. In fact, I say in the book that if Dick Morris were around in Lincoln's time, he would have probably told him, Mr. President, you cannot sign the Emancipation Proclamation. It will bring your approval ratings down by 20 percent. Remember the number...
KING: And don't say four score and seven, say 87...
KING: People don't know what four score means.
HUFFINGTON: So he would have probably convinced Lincoln to sign something like Secretary's Day, you know, something that everybody would be in favor of. And that's what the we see now, kind of the politics of the lowest common denominator not to offend anybody.
KING: Do you like the primary system?
HUFFINGTON: I liked what happened in New Hampshire. You know, I was there for four days and I love to see people involved, you know, the way they actually are part of the process. The enthusiasm at McCain rallies. was extraordinary. I mean, I would love to see that at a national level. And McCain keeps talking about engaging young people again as a high priority in his campaign.
KING: You may not be endorsing him, but you sure like what you see, right?
HUFFINGTON: Oh, I do like what I see, absolutely. I mean, I was thrilled with the result.
KING: Thanks so much, Arianna.
HUFFINGTON: Thank you.
KING: It's a heck of a book, Arianna Huffington's "How to Overthrow the Government," published by Regan books, a division of Harper Collins.
Lucinda Franks is next.
I'm Larry King. Don't go away.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE one of this country's best reporters, Lucinda Franks. She's special correspondent for "Talk" magazine. The new issue, the issue that's still on stands, the February edition of "Talk" has "The Sex Lives of Your Children," and she is the author of it. She also, of course, appears frequently in "The New York Times" and "The New Yorker" and won a Pulitzer for articles in "The New York Times."
How did you come upon, Lucinda, writing about sex lives of children? How did you even come up with that?
LUCINDA FRANKS, "TALK" MAGAZINE: Larry, I live in had a place where there are lots of private schools. And I began hearing language two or three years ago that was straight out of Mickey Spillane. At first I thought it was just kids talking big. And then I began to hear about experiences. I finally had to -- I felt that I had to investigate it. And I spent about the last three or four months in interviewing children all across the country. And I have to tell you, I cried my way through part of the writing the article.
KING: Children, we are defining, what age?
FRANKS: Ages about 11 to 12 to 15 to 16.
KING: This is not sex talk, this is sex lives.
FRANKS: This is sex lives, yes.
KING: All cultural groups? Socio-economic groups?
FRANKS: All across, all socio-economic groups. Primarily the ones that appear in my magazine are the upper middle class -- middle class, upper-middle class, because those are the ones that haven't been written about in the sense that everybody thought, oh, that was just a fringe...
KING: Let's see -- your a terrific reporter. Are we staying that 13-year-olds in America are having sex?
KING: Boys or...
FRANKS: Except they don't call it sex, Larry, they call it "hooking up." And...
KING: Cooking up?
FRANKS: No, no, hooking up. They call it hooking up, and at 12, 13 years old it begins with French kissing. A part of the population at 12, 13, will even go into oral sex in order to be popular because it's a trophy. The first one to do it in many schools is the one that is kind of the wise woman who is looked to for advice.
KING: When did this happen? When we were kids, a girl who would let you touch her was called a bad girl...
KING: ... and there was two or three in a school.
FRANKS: Exactly. I think this began to happen after the AIDS scare. The last five years, it has become mainstreamed. That means that the main population in any school that are popular, the presidents of the class, captains of the football teams, the scholars, can all be part of this culture. And that doesn't mean that everybody participates, but the usual thing that happens at parties where the popular kids are includes, you know, the drugs, the marijuana.
KING: Hooking up?
FRANKS: And the hooking up.
KING: A lot of drinking?
FRANKS: A lot of drinking, a lot of drinking.
KING: Parents don't know this?
FRANKS: Parent do know it in part. They are in denial, I think, about it. I was in denial when I first heard about it. It took me months to wrap my mind around this phenomenon that you have a 13-year- old giving oral sex.
KING: How did you get them to talk to you?
FRANKS: At first they were very reluctant and, you know, kind of said, oh, nothing happens. There's a little kissing. Then when they knew that I knew the score, that I knew what happened in the schools, it was amazing how they opened up. And at the end of many of the interviews, I felt that particularly the girls really, you know, in mirroring back their behavior were disgusted, saddened by it and felt trapped.
KING: Now you say the estimate -- the estimate of the head of New York University's Child Study Center estimates that 30 percent of ninth-grade boys have engaged in oral sex with the percentage of girls higher.
KING: You mean it's higher than that?
FRANKS: I think so. The kids say it's higher. You know, what was very interesting, Larry, is that after this article came out, the parents, the bulk of the parents said, this isn't happening. This is sensationalized.
KING: Not in our schools.
FRANKS: Not in our schools. And the schools said the same thing. The administrators, the teachers, of course, many of them know it's happening because of course they've, you know, been confidants. The kids -- I've been stopped on the street by kids that recognize me or friends of friends saying that you really got it right, only it's deeper and wider and more prevalent.
KING: And what's its result?
FRANKS: I don't think it's very good. I think it's -- for boys and for girls it's psychologically demeaning. I have a therapist that I quoted in -- Gail Fuhrman (ph) in that article, who treats a lot of college-age girls and boys who are turned off by sexual activity, who have problems in relationships, who have problems in just functioning.
KING: There's no plus to this.
KING: All right. Would you say virginity is very, very small in this country percentage wise?
FRANKS: Well, I actually think that it is. But I think that sexuality intercourse, which ironically is usually more protected because now people know to use condoms, that happens later, you know, in 11th and 12th grade. It's the oral sex which is the big -- which they don't call sex.
KING: I know, hooking up.
FRANKS: Hooking up.
KING: Lucinda Franks, special correspondent "Talk" magazine. The article's in the current issue. Everyone should read it.
We'll be right back.
KING: There's a lot of denial, as Lucinda was saying during the break, mostly on the schools' part?
FRANK: School administrators. I've had feedback from teachers who'd have given the article to the heads of the schools, and...
KING: A lot of private schools.
FRANK: Private schools -- and they've said, oh, this is sensationalized. It doesn't happen.
KING: Well, because they're going to say that.
FRANK: Of course.
KING: They're protect themselves, right?
FRANK: Of course. But the sex education courses do not really go into what's happening in the schools. And that's the hard part is that so many of these kids say, you know, we don't talk about this. Our parents don't have a clue. And the kids are very contemptuous of the parents.
KING: So then those who are saying there's a moral breakdown in this country are right?
FRANK: Right. I think you're -- I think you're absolutely right. But it's not the fault of the kids, because it's not even the fault of the parents. I think...
KING: Who is it?
FRANK: Well, look at what has happened to our society. Everything is over sexualized. Ads for cell phones...
KING: We play a part? This media?
FRANK: Yes, I believe so. Not we and you, who play the good part...
KING: No, but movies. There's a good, there's a bad.
FRANK: ... but, you know, the movies, the MTV, where you can see people dancing as though they are fornicating. They, you know, everywhere -- these kids have been on buses that have had underwear ads in which, you know, anybody would be startled by the sexual content.
KING: Is oral sex viewed as safe?
FRANK: That is the horror of it. It is. It -- kids still think that it's completely safe. And that's, I think, why they chose it. That's why this has evolved, because, you know, you have an over stimulating society. Everywhere a pubescent child turns, you know, he or she gets turned on. And then you have the horror of AIDS and the abstinence movement and the specter of death. And what's a rebellious teen to do?
KING: Did any kids offer the example of, it happens in the White House, why not in the schools?
FRANK: I think that it was an afterthought that was in our culture as far as that happened. I know that the kids I talked to couldn't have cared less about what Monica and Clinton were doing. In fact, Monica was just out of the teenage years. I think that probably she might have brought to the White House this -- not that it wouldn't have happened -- but the culture that oral sex is not sex.
KING: What do we do, we, about it?
FRANKS: You know, the solutions are frighteningly simple. And that is why people who deny it, you know, I think don't recognize that it is not too late. Even even if you have a 15- or 16-year-old, education, the fact that oral sex, chlamydia and gonorrhea, number of other sexually transmitted...
KING: Not safe.
FRANKS: ... diseases are passed through oral sex. They don't have symptoms so that you don't know you have it until you're infertile or have temporal jaw disease. This is in the case of chlamydia. Many of them are a gateway to AIDS.
KING: They don't know that. FRANKS: They don't know that. And, you know, if you know what's happened with the spread of the use of the antibiotics, there are new resistant germs, in the same vain.
KING: So you're saying all school, private schools, should be teaching this...
FRANKS: Oh, yes. Should be teaching...
KING: ... discuss it openly in class.
FRANKS: Yes, exactly. And the kids want this. They really do. I mean...
KING: Nobody wants a disease.
FRANKS: No, nobody wants a disease. And I think they want more parental communication, even though they may say, I don't want to talk about sex. In a way, they do. And in a way, they want to be monitored. They want a parent, even if he's a child that's 15, to say, I want you to call me when you get to X's house, I want to know there's going to be chaperones at this party. I want to know where you are when.
KING: Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
FRANKS: I'm optimistic because of people like you who are having shows like this that are going to be watched. And -- because people are --and the kids because I think the kids are turning around. They realize it.
KING: I'd liked to do more on it. Maybe some kids could come on.
FRANKS: I think they would.
KING: Thanks, Lucinda.
FRANKS: Thank you.
KING: Lucinda Franks, Pulitzer prize winning journalist. She -- written for "The New York Times," "New Yorker," and this article, "The Sex Lives of Your Children." You must read it. It's in the current "Talk" magazine that's on sale on stands through February 15th.
Dick Stolley is next.
Don't go away.
KING: Not many books that sell for $60 make "The New York Times" best-seller list and stay there. One of them is "Life: Our Century in Pictures," published by Bulfinch Press, a division of Little Brown. The editor is Richard B. Stolley, one of the great names in American magazines. He had an illustrious career with "Life," editor. He founded "People" magazine.
Whose idea was this, "Life: Our Century in Pictures." Dick?
RICHARD B. STOLLEY, EDITOR "LIFE; OUR CENTURY IN PICTURES": Little Brown came to me and said, we want to do a 20th century book and we would like you to do it. And I said, fine.
KING: "Life" was pictures in America. "Life" brought news to us through pictures, right?
STOLLEY: It did it indeed. But for only a third of the century, '36 to '72. So for this book, we had to go all over the world to get pictures up until the point where "Life" came and then after "Life" went out of business.
KING: Did "Life" go out because of what we're on now, television? You saw it every night.
STOLLEY: Larry, you didn't help very much, I'll tell you that.
KING: Was that one of the reasons?
STOLLEY: It was one of the reasons.
KING: You saw the picture every night.
STOLLEY: Yes, absolutely. Yes.
KING: And you had great teachers back then at "Life," right? The early editors, who knew what they were looking for.
STOLLEY: Oh yes. Well, I mean, people, Americans found out what the world looked like through "Life" magazine. And then television came along and added sound and motion, and -- but still there is tremendous impact and majesty of still pictures that people like to go back and look at.
KING: Are you surprised at how well it's selling?
STOLLEY: I knew it would do well, but I have to say I am astonished at how well it has done.
KING: Because we love, we can embrace it, right? We see a picture -- we'll be showing some pictures to the audience -- but you take a picture of Army paratroopers at Central High School in Little Rock to make sure that nine black students enroll.
KING: We could show that on film a lot, but when you look at that froze even picture, it's hypnotic.
STOLLEY: With the those paratrooper standing up and all the students and those nine black kids walking up those steps so fearful and -- well, that was President Eisenhower's finest moment, I think, when he sent paratroops in KING: You have great shots of Soviet tanks lining the street in Czechoslovakia during that incredible (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and you and the photographer found out the Soviets were going to move in before hand? Were you involved there in that?
STOLLEY: We found -- yes. This is about a month before we were in Czechoslovakia, and we stumped on Soviet troops hidden in the mountain in Eastern Czechoslovakia. And we thought, oh my God, the Russians have announced that they've got all the troops out of the country.
Well they hadn't, and so we went around taking pictures, through surreptitiously, through the back door of a limo and got caught by the secret police and got arrested.
The photographer stayed in the back of the car for a few minutes, changed, took the pictures -- the rolls out of the camera, hid it in his under pants, put new roles in, got out of the limo and they demanded the film. And I'm protesting showing my American passport and all that. He gave them blank rolls.
So then I know.
STOLLEY: Yes, smart guy. I knew he was doing it. That's why I was out there shouting at them, to divert them.
We jumped back in the limo, raced to Prague and needless to say got the first plane out. And the pictures ran in "Life" the next week.
KING: You were there for a lot of these pictures, right?
STOLLEY: I was. I was.
KING: The sheet tells us how old you are, Dick I mean, you've been around.
You were there when that Polaris intercontinental ballistic missile is lowered from a Navy tender to the submarine below. That was historic.
STOLLEY: That's Holly Lock (ph), Scotland. That nuclear sub base, yes, sir.
KING: Picking the pictures for the book, easy?
STOLLEY: Agonizing. We had -- we figured we looked at 50,000 pictures. I mean they were coming in from all over the world. I have a conference room that was filled with pictures. And out of 50,000, we narrowed it down to 773. And that was very difficult.
KING: We're honored to be one of them. With Ross Perot sitting...
STOLLEY: That's Ross Perot, that's right.
KING: One of the most, I think, compelling, looking through it earlier today, was those pictures from the Holocaust.
KING: You had the World War II, the Russian fingering the Nazi tormentor. And then that second one, the boy and the line of dead people. How do those photographers do that?
STOLLEY: Well, I mean, the press was led in right behind the troops who were liberating those places. And that little boy skipping along besides all these corpses -- it is one of the chilling pictures that ever came of that period.
KING: And you have goofy things, too. You have your hula hoop, right?
STOLLEY: We do indeed.
KING: "Life" reflected its society, did it not?
STOLLEY: In all its kind of misery and glory the life was there, and this is exactly the spirit and the mood that we've tried to recreate in the book.
KING: Also in this great book, and the book is called "Life: Our Century in Pictures," are Orville and Wilbur. You got them taking off. You got the plane there.
STOLLEY: Not only that. We tried to run familiar pictures, the kind of icons. But then we tried to find companion images and the one we did with the Wright brothers, we show them, that classic picture of him flying. We also show the first air crash.
Orville was at the controls, very badly injured, and his passenger, an Army lieutenant, died. This was the first air fatality in America.
KING: A picture we never see.
STOLLEY: No, no.
KING: We'll be right back with our remaining moments of this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
This is a great book and this one of the legends in American journalism.
Richard Stolley is our guests. Back with more after this.
KING: We could argue, arguably, one of the great -- or famous pictures ever taken was that shot of the Vietnamese guy blowing that guy's head off. STOLLEY: Right.
KING: That's one of the imprint pictures of all time, isn't it?
STOLLEY: What we did with that picture, as we did with some others, I sent to the AP, and I said, Could I have other pictures taken of that event by Eddie Adams, one of the great photographers.
KING: A legend.
STOLLEY: And there is a sequence in the book that shows this Viet Cong suspect being brought down -- he's been beat up. You could see his face is swollen. Interrogated and beat up. Next, an officer is raising a finger in the air to the general, saying, we've got one for you. The next picture, bam, and then the last picture is the general putting his revolver back in his holster, stepping over the body and walking way.
KING: Pictures you don't see?
STOLLEY: No you do not. You know, that picture haunted him. He got out of South Vietnam, came to Virginia.
KING: Ran a restaurant, right?
STOLLEY: That's right. He's ran a pizza parlor.
KING: Because the guy who shot that guy -- it haunted him all his life, didn't it?
KING: What kind of people are the people who take these be pictures?
STOLLEY: This book in not only a wonderful history, but it is a tribute to the courage and resourcefulness of photographers all over the world. It is astonishing. Bop Kappa said, if you're not getting good pictures, you're not close enough.
KING: Phil Chokie (ph), a great photographer in his life, told me that he was taught to be a reporter through a lens. Think of it as news.
STOLLEY: Well, this books tells history in photographs. There are good words in there, there's no question. But you can -- if you can read pictures -- and the American people can now, they're visually sophisticated -- you're going to get a wonderful history lesson.
KING: Got Tiananmen Square in there?
STOLLEY: We do. The guy standing in front of the tanks. We have a companion picture. I've never seen it b. He got up on the lead tank and talked to the crew down the hatch of that tank. Unbelievable. We never knew what happened to this guy. We don't know his name. We have no idea whether he survived that day. But he got in front of the tank and climbed up on it. An act of courage, foolhardiness.
KING: One the of the most surprising moments in American presidential history was Lyndon Johnson's announcement that March after the New Hampshire primary that he would not seek re-election. You were covering him, weren't you?
STOLLEY: I was. I covered him four years.
KING: Were you owe shocked?
STOLLEY: Totally. I was absolutely convinced that...
KING: Because he won New Hampshire with a write-in.
STOLLEY: Oh, yes. And he would have won, I think he would have won if he'd run again, but I don't think he wanted to put himself through that. And the picture we have of him with his head in his hands, looking so miserable, Lyndon Johnson could look as miserable as any human being I've ever seen.
KING: And he died unhappy, did he not?
STOLLEY: He did. He was an unhappy man at the end. And in many ways, he was a very good president, in some ways; in others, no.
KING: All of these years of all these pictures and all the things you've done, are you happy that you got involved with a magazine that was more than words? Because most journalists -- and you're not a photographer -- are more interested in words. But your magazine is famous; it had great words, great pictures.
STOLLEY: It was a shock at the beginning, and then I began, I think, to see like a photographer and to really -- and work with photographers and to visualize what was happening. I had such a wonderful career with life and since then, that I thank God every day that when they called me at the "Sun-Times" in Chicago to come work for "Life" magazine, I hesitated, and said, yes.
KING: We go back many years, Dick Stolley and I. And I remember that day in Miami when were you on my show, and you handed a little magazine across the table me, a table similar to this -- it sold for 35 cents. We're running this new magazine at "Time" called "People," and you're in charge of it, and it's going to work because of celebrities. How did you know that? You had tremendous faith in that magazine.
STOLLEY: I did. But it was not just celebrities, because about half the magazine was unknown people involved in extraordinary events.
KING: And it was all black and white, no color inside.
STOLLEY: All black and white. Cover was color, but that was all.
KING: It's now what? The most successful magazine?
STOLLEY: Yes, ever.
KING: Do you get angry when people criticize it as "People" -- Nora Ephron said, it's what I read when I get the boarding pass, until I board.
STOLLEY: It still drives me up the wall, yes.
KING: That people knock it.
STOLLEY: Because it is a really good magazine that covers humankind in a way no other magazine does. There's wonderful stuff. If you don't want the celebrities, read the other stuff.
KING: It's also the determiner of our celebrity. Someone said you are a celebrity if "People" magazine says you're a celebrity.
STOLLEY: I'm not going to argue with you. We said you were a celebrity.
KING: I'll never remember that first story you did.
Do you have a favorite picture in this amazing collection?
STOLLEY: I think my favorite is a picture of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe at the height of their career. She's so owe beautiful, and he looks so self satisfied, and they're in a convertible, the L.A. sun coming down on them, and it characterizes America in mid century in a way. She went on to a terrible life. He wrote great, mournful plays about American life. But this caught them at a moment of such glory that I look at that picture and I smile.
KING: The great thing with this book is, you can put it down, turn to any page any day.
It's an honor having you with us.
STOLLEY: Thank you very much.
KING: I don't often recommend a lot of books on this program, but this one.
Richard Stolley is the editor of "Life: Our Century in Pictures," by Bulfinch Press. That's a division of Little Brown. We thank our earlier guests.
We'll see you Monday night. Thanks for joining us on LARRY KING LIVE. Good night.
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