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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for August 4, 2000

Aired August 4, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: It's Friday and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Hi, everybody. I'm Tom Haynes. We have lots ahead today. Here's what's coming up.

In today's news, it's a night he's waited for all year. George W. Bush brings his vision of the future into focus as he accepts the Republican presidential nomination.

Then in our "Editor's Desk," why reality television is taking the airwaves by storm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAMONA GRAY, "SURVIVOR" OUTCAST: I love watching. I don't mind being watched either, but I love watching.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: From television cameras around every moment to up-to- the-minute teens, "Worldview" profiles a new generation of youth in China.

And in "Chronicle," more on the GOP campaign. This time, a look at the creative force behind George W. Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try to make you stay, sit down and watch. And if it's pleasant to look at, then you're more likely to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: George W. Bush emerges in person on the final night of his party's convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and accepts the Republican nomination for president. It was billed as a defining moment for the Texas governor, a chance to convince voters he has the knowledge and vision to inspire and lead the nation.

Last night, Bush stood before thousands of Republican delegates and outlined the themes he'll highlight in his bid for the White House. Bush criticized the Clinton administration for not spreading the nation's economic prosperity to enough people. He also stressed the need to confront national security threats and threats to Social Security. Bush also spoke of the importance of educating the nation's youth, an issue he's made a priority throughout his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Too many American children are segregated into schools without standards, shuffled from grade to grade because of their age, regardless of their knowledge. This is discrimination pure and simple, the soft bigotry of low expectations, and our nation should treat it like other forms of discrimination -- we should end it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYNES: All important issues, but what are some of the other forces driving this presidential election?

Jeanne Meserve looks at one closely courted group of voters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good hit, run, run, run...

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George W. Bush and Al Gore are both hoping to hit a home run with voters like some of the parents at this game in Worthington, Ohio. They are called swing voters, and not because they like T-ball.

QUESTION: Who are you going to vote for in November?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. Haven't made up my mind yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gee, you know, I haven't really decided yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don't know. I feel like I don't really like either one.

ED GOEAS, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: They're a group of voters you can rent but you can never buy because they are in the center. Because they do not have party loyalties, because they don't develop loyalties to the candidates, they tend to swing in and out and back and forth.

MESERVE: There are a lot of swing voters here in Ohio, and in other hotly contested industrial states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and on into Pennsylvania. Analysts agree that swing voters will decide this election, so both candidates are crafting their messages to appeal to key groups.

Catholics are one -- a big one. George W. Bush didn't create much good will among Catholic voters with his visit to Bob Jones University, whose officials have called Catholicism a cult. But Bush has worked hard since to make amends. The Republican National Committee has even dedicated a task force and prepared special tapes to court the Catholic vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, RNC TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republican Party is the party, if you look at our platform and you look at our values, very much in line with Orthodox Catholicism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: But some Ohio Catholics are not convinced. As governor, Bush has given the go-ahead to more than 130 executions, in contradiction, some Catholics say, to their religious belief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm dead against it. I think capital punishment is morally wrong. And not only that, it's ineffective.

MESERVE: And while Bush's opposition to abortion right is in line with church teachings, some Catholics find it problematic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though I'm Catholic, I'm also pro-choice. I do not believe in abortion from my own perspective. However, the alternatives are much worse.

MESERVE: Women, particularly suburban women, are another swing constituency with whom Bush is trying to make a splash, touting compassionate conservatism, talking education. Penny Jackson, a mother of three, likes Bush's views on schools, but she would like him to back stricter measures to stem gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a problem now. This is an epidemic and it's -- it has to be changed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 15, 2000)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I am elected, this generation and this president will save Social Security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Social Security, prescription drugs -- Bush talks about these knowing there's an opportunity to win senior votes, once assumed to be Democratic.

GOEAS: Now, if you look at the actual numbers in the 1992, 1994, 1996 election, they're very much at play. And for the first time in 1998, senior voters actually voted a majority Republican.

MESERVE: Republicans are also taking a run at another group once considered reliably Democratic: Latinos.

In his 1998 run for governor, George W. Bush got 47 percent of the Hispanic vote, and he's working to make inroads nationally, even featuring a nephew in some of his advertising.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BUSH CAMPAIGN AD)

GEORGE P. BUSH, NEPHEW OF GEORGE W. BUSH: I'm a young Latino in the U.S. and very proud of my blood line. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Some wonder if George W. Bush can win over these critical voters without alienating the traditional Republican base. So far so good. But the big ball game is far from over.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Columbus, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: I know you've seen some of those so-called "reality shows" on TV, such as "The Real World" or "Survivor" or "Big Brother." While many viewers are hooked on such shows, the concept raises questions. Are such shows an invasion of privacy? Why do people watch, anyway? And what do people participate for?

Just a few things to think about as Lauren Hunter takes us inside the shows that take us inside.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAUREN HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a different sort of July 4 celebration for 10 strangers as they voluntarily left families, homes and jobs to go into exile, three months with no outside interaction and an audience of millions watching their every move. It's "Big Brother USA."

PAUL ROMER, EXEC. PROD. AND CO-CREATOR, "BIG BROTHER": There's no television, no newspapers, no telephone, no radio, no computer. They are really cut off from the outside world. They only have themselves to rely on.

HUNTER: Twenty-eight cameras and 60 microphones wire a specially built house on the CBS lot in Southern California. Every conversation is recorded and every activity watched, then distilled for primetime five nights a week and live on the Internet 24-7.

JOHN DE MOL, CO-CREATOR, "BIG BROTHER": They're very interesting characters and very interesting personalities, and I'm 100 percent sure they will create very interesting television shows.

HUNTER: That seems to be the theme for the summer as record numbers of viewers live vicariously through voyeur TV.

MARK SCHWED, "TV GUIDE": All over the dial now you can find reality shows, on any network, on any cable channel. People want to watch it -- not only want to watch it, they want to take part in it.

HUNTER: "Survivor" is the summer surprise hit, averaging 20 million viewers each week.

Ramona Gray was kicked off the island in "Survivor."

GRAY: I love watching. I don't mind being watched either, but I love watching. HUNTER: Network execs are capitalizing on that fascination. From MTV's "The Real World" to "The 1900 House" on PBS and "Making the Band" on ABC, reality shows are this summer's hot item.

JEFF PROBST, HOST, "SURVIVOR": This is only a microcosm of corporate America, of family dynamics, anything. There are ways that we try and get along with each other and some of them work, and some of them don't. But in order to survive, you have to keep trying.

HUNTER: And with the popularity of reality TV, that effort seems to have succeeded.

Lauren Hunter, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Today, we conclude our week long series, "Youth 2000." And before we're finished, you'll learn about the value and significance of education. From Afghanistan to Bangladesh, you'll meet young people from around the globe working to find solutions to world problems. First stop, the classroom.

You spend plenty of time in school, but do you ever think about the importance of your education? Well, around the world, many young people don't even have the opportunity to attend class. When you consider how many different areas of your life are affected by education and what an impact it has on your future, getting up for school might not seem such a chore.

Kathy Nellis helps open our eyes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHY NELLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Children around the world are dealing with many problems: hunger, poverty, disease, exploitation and abuse. Yet experts say that one tool stands out in dealing with a wide variety of critical issues. That tool: education.

JOHN GATES, TASK FORCE FOR CHILD SURVIVAL AND DEVELOPMENT: It's vital. I think education is the pathway to children having the ability to take charge of their lives, to make intelligent choices, to know what their rights are, and to move in ways that enable them to exercise their rights and optimize their own potential.

NELLIS: Yet too many children are not getting an education.

(on camera): Around the world, more than 130 million school-aged children are not in class; 60 percent of those not enrolled are girls.

(voice-over): And those girls become part of the problem instead of the solution. Of the 960 million illiterate adults around the globe, two-thirds are female. It comes down to culture and money. School is not free in all parts of the world, and when economy is an issue, it's often girls who are deprived.

CHARLES LYONS, PRESIDENT U.N. FUND FOR UNICEF: If there's a family of four and resources are such that only two -- the fees for two to go to school are what the family has, almost certainly the selection will be for the boys to go to school instead of girls. There are also cultures where little boys are expected to play a certain role and to be in school and to grow up and be the head of households and families and so on and run businesses, and little girls are expected to play more traditional roles, in which case adults might ask what the importance of education is for a young girl.

GATES: I think, globally, one thing that emerges is the need for the education -- universal education of the young girl, the girl child. What seems crystal clear is that the education of a mother is a tremendously strong predictor of so many other things in family life.

NELLIS: When girls are educated, they are more likely to consider education important for their families and to make good health choices for their own families, and so the cycle becomes a positive one. But education is the key for all young people, now more than ever.

LYONS: Education is everything. Your prospects when you become an adult are influenced tremendously by what you've learned, how you've learned it, how much you've learned, whether you've taken full advantage of all the educational opportunities that have been presented to you. And I think that statement probably was accurate 50 years ago, but it's acutely the case now in the 21st century when we're all being challenged by the way in which the world is changing. We believe very, very strongly that all children -- little boys, little girls, every color, every economic class, from any and all countries on the planet -- kids belongs in school.

Kathy Nellis, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: We turn next to China, where the government strongly encourages education. About 70 percent of all Chinese 15 years and up can read and write. Today's teenagers in China are enjoying better material conditions and a more diverse cultural atmosphere than their parents did.

Yang Fuqing has this look at young people in the world's most populous country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YANG FUQING, CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION REPORTER (voice-over): Extreme skating: These boys just love it.

ZHOU JIAN, CHINESE TEENAGER (through translator): I like this sport very much. It's become part of my life. I'm getting addicted to it.

ZHANG LEI, CHINESE TEENAGER (through translator): It's a feeling of challenging yourself and going beyond your limits. It's novel and exciting. FUQING: Zhang Lei and his friends are China's very own generation zed, as in zero. Life begins now. They like new things. They dress in the latest gear. Their idols are superstars of extreme sport. They're different from most of their own generation, let alone their parents.

ZHANG FUXIANG, PARENT (through translator): Sure, there is a big gap between us. I feel like, as the older generation, our concepts are out of date. We can't catch up with them.

FUQING: China's teenagers were born in the early 1980s, the first generation after China adopted the open-door policy. They live in a more affluent society, one far removed from their parents who suffered poverty, hardship and social unrest. Kids today are often accused of being less hardworking. They just want to have fun. In a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, 70 percent of the comments made about today's teenagers by their teachers were negative.

But not everyone agrees. Sun Yunxiao is an expert on child education. He says statistics like this don't measure the problems with kids, only the prejudices of the older generation.

SUN YUNXIAO, RESEARCHER, CHINA YOUTH RESEARCH CENTER (through translator): This is a big misconception. The elder generation today should learn from their children so the two generations can make progress together.

FUQING: Sun Yunxiao says children today are more at home in the emerging information age. They're more open-minded, willing to accept new ideas, and quick to learn. If you have problems with a computer, go and ask your children or grandchildren. He also says that parents have a lot to learn from the way their children think about some of today's most pressing problems, such as the environment.

This way of thinking flies in the face of China's Confucian culture where wisdom only comes with age. Traditionally, this has meant paying great attention to a child's schooling. If you're an only-child, as many Chinese children are, this often means hours of extra study and extra courses as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Now, we have only one child. We want him to learn as much as possible. We parents have devoted all our energy and money to our children.

FUQING: Education experts are beginning to worry. They say China is in danger of producing a generation of extremely well- educated but socially impoverished children.

YUNXIAO (through translator): The biggest problem is one of concept. What is education? What is success? Many parents only want their children to have high marks in their studies. They don't care about the other things.

FUQING: And sometimes it's the other things that count. As the kids of Wang Fujing (ph) will tell you, sometimes it's more important just to have some fun.

This is Yang Fuqing of China Central Television for the CNN "WORLD REPORT."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: We move from China to Bangladesh where educational statistics are starkly different. Only about a third of the population over 15 can read and write. Less than half the school- age youngsters actually attend class.

As Tim Lister reports, education is prized by some kids who find it hard to come by but worth the effort.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM LISTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Somewhere in the throng of this Dhaka market is a 13-year-old named Idris (ph). He carries a burden beyond his years as his family's main breadwinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I took a job as a fish carrier. I used to go to the market early in the morning to work as a porter. I earned 60 to 70 taka a day. After working a few hours, I used to come back home, eat and go to school. My father is disabled and cannot work. It is with my money that we pay the rent and buy food.

LISTER: His mother left the family. Now Idris has to juggle many duties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): At first, my school started at 3:00 p.m., then it was changed to the morning. I could no longer work as a fish carrier. My younger brother and I agreed to become taxi helpers. I would work from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. then go to school, and my brother would replace me. He works until I finish school, have lunch and rest for a while. Then I work from afternoon till late at night. I make 50 to 60 taka a day.

LISTER: Idris is clinging to the hope of improving his life through school. More than half of Bangladeshi children are at school for fewer than five years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I want education. I don't want to be ashamed that I can't read. If I am educated, I can feel proud of myself.

LISTER: The literacy rate among Bangladeshi men is less than 50 percent; among women, 25 percent. A project assisted by the U.N. Children's Fund helped Idris get into school. But despite his tenacity, it's difficult for him to earn and learn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I wish I could only study. I don't want to work like this. But what can I do? I was born poor. I have no other option but to work.

LISTER: Idris is one of some 250 million child workers from Bangladesh to Bolivia whose future is being mortgaged to a very present struggle to survive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Next stop Afghanistan, one of the world's least developed countries. The country has a long and troubled history. The Taliban captured Kabul, the capital city, in 1996. Their style of Islamic rule hit the headlines, and since then they have been regularly criticized for their policies toward women. Discrimination in education is just one of these policies. Only about a fifth of all Afghans over 15 can read or write.

But changes are taking place, as Nic Roberston explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hidden from unwanted attention, girls begin their daily lessons in a tiny make- shift classroom, where they learn writing, mathematics, art and languages. They are among about 50,000 children in Kabul who are being educated in private homes because the Taliban only provide formal schools for boys. The Taliban are aware of these informal facilities, some funded by international aid organizations, but they are choosing to ignore them rather than close them down.

ERIC DONELLI, UNICEF: You find a lot of girls going to school in Kabul, and this is a trend which has been increased during the all '99.

ROBERTSON: Afghans have historically given girls education a lower priority than boys. The Taliban blame their war-ravaged economy for putting the boys first now and say their education officials would teach girls if they had the resources.

WAKIL AHMED MUTTAWAKIL, TALIBAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): They have -- actually they are facing lack of resources at this time. I think if the United Nations or international community helped them tackle the financial problems, this problem would no more exist.

ROBERTSON: At some of the city's mosques, a traditional place of education here, several thousand girls are also receiving some schooling.

(on camera): And in recent weeks, an international aid organization has been given permission by the Taliban to educate girls as well as boys in a program for youngsters displaced by last summer's fighting.

(voice-over): The first explicit Taliban sanctioning of girls education, an indication, however small, of changes that point to an evolving relationship not only between the Taliban and aid workers, but also between the Taliban and the people they rule.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: In today's "Democracy in America" segment, a closer look at the creative force behind George W. Bush. From advisers to producers, the GOP presidential candidate relies on a whole team of people to get him media-ready and savvy.

Jonathan Karl has this look behind the scenes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The making of the most expensive political ad campaign in history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BUSH CAMPAIGN AD)

BUSH: And the right way to make America better for everyone is to be bold and decisive, to unite instead of divide. Now is the time to do the hard things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: And CNN got a rare look behind the scenes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try to make it -- make you stay, sit down and watch. And if it's pleasant to look at, then you're more likely to do it.

KARL: Laura Crawford (ph) 28, a former film student. She is not well-known, but a key member of the creative team assembled by top Bush media adviser Mark McKinnon.

MARK MCKINNON, BUSH MEDIA ADVISER: I don't want to get distracted on that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

MCKINNON: Oh, that's cool!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dig that?

MCKINNON: I love that.

KARL (on camera): The Bush creative team is housed here in this building, some two miles from campaign headquarter. Past the overgrown brush and down these stairs are their offices. They call it the bunker. And the small, hidden, windowless space was once used as a bomb shelter.

(voice-over): But McKinnon and his team have traveled thousands of miles to capture the images they hope will convey the campaign mantra, that their candidate is a different kind of Republican, images of Bush with schoolchildren and minorities.

For positive ads, no faceless narrator; instead, excerpts of McKinnon's own interviews with Bush.

MCKINNON: If we do our job well, we just get out of the way and let, you know -- and try and catch some moments of the candidate speaking from their heart. And if we can get that across, like I said, that's a whole lot of the game.

KARL: The Bush team also has lots of footage of Al Gore. And if Gore attacks first:

(on camera): Are you ready to put any of Gore's own words back at him? I mean, there's the whole wealth of material to work from, whether it be the...

MCKINNON: Jonathan, that would be telling. But we're ready.

KARL (voice-over): McKinnon is Bush's most unlikely adviser.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, GEORGE W. BUSH 1978 AD)

BUSH: I'll say one thing about campaigning for office in west Texas: You sure do get to do plenty of driving.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: About the time Bush first ran for office, McKinnon was getting arrested as a campus radical. He's a lifelong Democrat who's worked in the trenches with the likes of Paul Begala and James Carville. And a decade ago, McKinnon created the ads that helped Bush's Texas rival Ann Richards get elected governor. His trademark? Accuse your opponent of going negative and then attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ANN RICHARDS 1990 AD)

ANNOUNCER: Jim Mattox, he's at it again, the same old politics, mud slinging and negative campaigning. Why? Maybe to cover up the fact that Mattox received $200,000 from Danny Faulkner, who was indicted for racketeering.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: But burned out at being what he calls a gunslinger, McKinnon dropped out of politics. Then one day at an impoverished Houston school, he met Texas' new Republican governor and says he was impressed by Bush's commitment to education.

MCKINNON: You meet the enemy and say, God, you know, a pretty decent guy. This is not at all what I imagined.

KARL: McKinnon says he still doesn't consider himself a Republican, and that he's doing this out of passion, not ambition. And why would Bush choose him?

MCKINNON: Because he knew that I would do it for the right reasons. I wasn't doing it because I was looking to put a trophy on the wall or, you know, to put a notch in my gun.

KARL: And after the election? The ad-maker, who once collaborated with singer Kris Kristofferson, says he'd rather take his family back to Nashville and write songs. MCKINNON (singing): I've been too long in the wind, too long in the rain...

KARL: Jonathan Karl, CNN, Austin, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYNES: Creating the candidate.

All right, with the Republican convention behind us, we have the Reform convention coming up next, and then the Democratic convention out in L.A., and we'll be covering the whole thing.

So have a great weekend. We'll see you back here on Monday. Take care.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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