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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Mike Wallace

Aired March 15, 2002 - 21:00   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, my man, Mike Wallace of CBS "60 Minutes" on Andrea Yates and the many faces of mental illness, his own depression. Rosie's coming out, the battle between Letterman and Koppel. Plus, we're going to hear about his exclusive interview with John Nash, the schizophrenic genius who inspired the movie "A Beautiful Mind." Lots to talk about with the legend himself. Mike Wallace for the hour. And we'll take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.

CBS "60 Minutes" is going to have an extraordinary night Sunday night. A special interview and the story John Nash, who has become internationally famous not for winning a Nobel Prize, but for being played by Russell Crowe in the movie "A Beautiful Mind", a major Oscar contender.

Before we talk about that with Mike Wallace, Mike, first, welcome back. It's always good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.

MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": Good to see you, my friend.

KING: Your thoughts on this Andrea Yates story and that jury decision today for life in prison.

WALLACE: Well, I'm glad that at least the jury had the sense to do that. Look, having some familiarity with the subject of mental illness, there's no doubt in my mind that she was suffering desperately from depression, not just from what happened in the courtroom, but from other people with whom I've spoken down the past several months. I feel so sorry for her and, obviously, desperately sorry for the kids, and for Rusty, for her husband. What else can you say?

KING: Are we still at a point where we don't really -- we talk about it. You've been on this program talking about it. There are wide discussions about depression. The leading drug sold in the United States, pharmaceuticals are anti-depressants, but that we still really don't accept it.

WALLACE: Still don't accept depression or still don't...

KING: I mean, that we haven't accepted that this woman was so depressed as to have done that act.

WALLACE: Maybe a lot of people who have not suffered from or had a family member who has suffered from? Don't believe it. But as one who has been through three episodes of that, I know what it does to the human psyche. I know what it does to your brain. I know what it does to your chemical disposition. She obviously -- I say obviously -- as far as I know and from the people that I've talked to, she was suffering from a deep, deep, psychotic depression, much deeper than anything that I or my friends who I know who have been through this, much deeper than what we have suffered. And she did what she did because she was psychotic.

KING: Well, at least they weren't out long and the prosecution didn't exactly press for the death penalty.

WALLACE: No, they didn't. I think perhaps the reaction to the quick -- and it surprised me. I was watching at the time when the jury came back after three hours, 40 minutes and I was astonished. And I figured that when they came back so quickly, that probably it meant that they had understood because I thought both the prosecution and the defense had done such a remarkable job. But I felt that the defense, Parnham -- is that his name, the attorney?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: ... had done a perfectly logical, sensible, educated job of defense. And so I was stunned when I saw that quick reaction by the jury down there. The -- look, five kids, drowning them, holding them, bruising them. It's a horror.

And yet -- you know something? I was talking to John Nash's son. He's in his 40s, early 40s, Ph.d. in mathematics, just like his dad. And we began to talk. I had with me the copy of "Newsweek" magazine which showed Andrea Yates on the cover and the "Beautiful Mind" business on the cover as well. And he said who is that person? Who is that person? Now, mind you, he suffers from schizophrenia. I said, that's Andrea Yates. Who is Andrea Yates? And his father said, well, she's the person who drowned her children.

Impossible, says young John. The fact is that if you do not know, it is impossible. It's a horror story. But calculated murder? Despite what they said, I suppose she decided she was going to save them from Satan.

KING: OK. Let's move to the Nash story. How did you get this top get, John Nash?

WALLACE: You know something? It was -- I wanted to see the film. I very much wanted to see the film. And about, I guess, a couple of months ago, two or three of us had a special screening with Allen Mayer (ph) from Universal and it just tore me apart because he seemed like such an extraordinary individual, as done by Russell Crowe.

And I suppose anybody who has suffered a little bit from mental illness, and mine was nothing like schizophrenia, and have suffered from the stigma and has tried to understand the chemical disposition in the brain, is bound to be interested. So I said to Al Mayer, look, is it conceivable that we could meet him. And he said, let me see. And John Nash knew "60 Minutes." And he invited us down to Princeton to have lunch with him and his wife. And we spent a couple of hours with them at lunch. And he's a charming man and a good man. A good man.

And over the course of it, we told him what we would like to do. And he said, well, call me in about a week or I'll call you in a week. The next day he called and said, we felt totally at ease with you and your producer, Peter Kline (ph), and both Alicia and I would like to do it. And so we set it up.

And then what happened was about two weeks later, all this business about homosexuality and anti-Semitism and being a bad father and so forth surfaced. And he called Peter Kline, and then e-mailed him and said, can't do it. I can't do it. I can't handle all of this difficulty, all of this talk because he began to understand the dark side of fame. And we were -- we despaired about it and tried to persuade him. And I went on down to Princeton again to try to persuade him. Nope.

And then finally, finally, about a week ago, he said, come on down this weekend. And this was last weekend. And we spent a day, day and a half with him. And then we shot with him on Saturday and Sunday, with him and Alicia and his son, Johnny, who has a Ph.D. in mathematics which he got in 1985 at Rutgers University, who suffers still from schizophrenia. Of course, John Nash is in remission and has been and hasn't been taking...

KING: How much of the program, Mike, is devoted to Nash?

WALLACE: Just one-third, as usual.

KING: Just one-third?

WALLACE: Yes. We have, as I believe -- I know that we have Judi Dench. Ed Bradley has done a profile of her, which I've not seen, but I'm told is fascinating. And Leslie Stahl has a story -- it's more of an investigative story, I believe, and I've not seen that one.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more of Mike Wallace. Talk more about John Nash, Nobel Prize laureate -- not laureate, Nobel Prize winner for mathematics, and the subject of the film "A Beautiful Mind." Here's a clip from what you'll see Sunday night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")

WALLACE: What happened when you went into the mental illness?

JOHN NASH: You don't realize that you've been into the mental illness until you're coming out of the mental illness. It is like the movie you'll see. At first, the signals in the newspaper, the codes and all this is the true reality, which has been discovered.

WALLACE: I see. But when you are in that reality, you are in that reality and you don't realize that you are schizophrenic? NASH: You're not mentally ill. You're rather alerted -- you're extranormally alerted to hidden truths, and you're exceptionally enlightened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "A BEAUTIFUL MIND")

RUSSELL CROWE, ACTOR: Adam Smith said the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself, right? That's what he said, right? Incomplete. Incomplete. OK? Because the best result would come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself and the group.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That clip from that great film "A Beautiful Mind." It has eight Academy nominations.

I said that John Nash got his Nobel in mathematics. He got it in economics, and I therefore stand corrected.

Do you deal with the reason he didn't want to come on, those charges about anti-Semitism and homosexuality and the like?

WALLACE: Of course. It's -- look, he is as much -- I was about to say, he's as much of an anti-Semite as you and I are.

KING: That would be something, wouldn't it?

WALLACE: The fact of the matter is, you know, the whole business about some of my best friends are Jews. The fact of the matter is that the people who have been -- who have cared for John Nash down the years, who have nominated him or tried to nominate him over and over for the Nobel Prize in economics, the people who have been his biggest fans, who have nurtured him, are all -- virtually all of them Jewish scientists, his good, good friends. And so for him to be charged -- and I have the -- I have this -- have you read this book, by the way "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Naser.

KING: No, I've not. I read the letter she wrote to letters to the editor last week denying all these charges.

WALLACE: Of course. She was devastated that this was taken out of context.

And you know, Larry, I don't know who is pushing it. Somebody from the competing films for best picture and for best actor and so forth is trying to do what damage they can do. I believe -- I genuinely believe this, to the possibilities of this becoming, getting an Oscar. And the easiest -- not the easiest, but one of the most obvious ways to go after it is to try to call John Nash anti-Semite, raging homosexual, bad father. He is none of those things. And that is why Sylvia Naser, who wrote this book, that is why she did that op- ed piece in the "Los Angeles Times."

KING: Could it be possible that he said some things when he was in delusional states that...

WALLACE: Of course he did.

KING: ... could come back to haunt him?

WALLACE: Yes, come back to haunt him. He acknowledges to me that he said some things. He was schizophrenic. At that time, he was the emperor of Antarctica. He conversed regularly with Motztul (ph). He used to look at the "New York Times", and you know those little ads they have at the bottom of the front page of the "New York Times"? Those were messages to him sent by aliens because he was involved somehow with space people who were intending to take over the earth. That was his reality at the time. And a month -- he talked about cryptozionism and Israel and he occasionally used the word Jew boy, all of this during the time that he was schizophrenic.

KING: What do you make of a someone like a Matt Drudge who apparently broke that anti-Semitic thing, saying that your interview on Sunday night is an an Oscar damage control segment. I have never read Matt Drudge. He is on the Internet, I guess. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he's on print. I've never seen him.

WALLACE: I don't think that I've ever met him. I'm telling you and Sylvia Naser, who knows more, I guess, about the Nash family than anybody alive except the Nash family, says there is not an atom of anti-Semitism in him. He is not a homosexual. Mrs. -- Alicia has lived with this man for decades. She's had a child with this man. She says and he says -- he says, I don't want to touch this. She says, I know him. He's not a homosexual.

KING: What, Mike, do you think...

WALLACE: Wait a minute.

KING: OK. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

WALLACE: Bad father. Bad father. His son tells me on the air, who now suffers from schizophrenia. He says, I love my father, but I didn't know him for 10 years when he was ill. For the first 10 years of my life, I never knew him. I am telling you that he is a good father. And he had a child out of wedlock before he married Alicia. His son, also John, John David Steers (ph), is very close to his dad. His dad has given him one-quarter of the royalties from the film. Johnny also got one-quarter of the royalties.

The three of them live together in a very modest, almost nondescript house on the outskirts of Princeton, across the railroad tracks. Look, this is a lovely, wonderful, funny, interesting man. He doesn't talk in paragraphs. He is a little articulate. He's what, 73 years old. And as a result of that, and as a result of all those years of schizophrenia before it went into remission about -- in the, I guess, the early '80s, you would like him, Larry. You would like to sit down with him. KING: That's what I was going to ask you. You liked him, obviously.

WALLACE: Immensely. Immensely. Humor, likes movies, reads, back to doing math, kind...

KING: How does he react to all this new found fame? Fame much greater than he had when he won the Nobel.

WALLACE: Well, of course, of course. Fame, mainly, the dark side of fame because Drudge and others -- and Drudge is not the only one, have been pushing this. Why have they been pushing it so hard?

If this man on the day after the Academy Awards were called all of these things, no one would pay any attention. This is an effort to diminish him and the film.

KING: Our guest is Mike Wallace. We'll be taking your phone calls. He's with us for the full hour. By the way, on Tuesday night, Marianne Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl, the late reporter of the "Wall Street Journal", will be our guest. It will be her only primetime live interview. Marianne Pearl on Tuesday night.

And tomorrow night, we'll have an Oscar preview night, including an interview with Russell Crowe. We'll be back with Mike Wallace. Here is a clip from Sunday night's show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")

WALLACE: Did these angels, aliens, whatever, did they speak to you?

NASH: When I began to hear voices, I thought of the voices as from something of that sort, sort of like angels but I didn't figure them as angels.

WALLACE: And they were saying, John -- what would they say to you?

NASH: Well, see, it's really my subconscious talking. It was really that. Of course, I know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: On the screen, you're seeing the scene in 1984, when John Nash received his Nobel prize in economics. John Nash will be featured as the special guest of Mike Wallace on a segment of "60 Minutes" coming up this Sunday night. Does he feel that he passed on the schizophrenia to his son?

WALLACE: I'm sure he does. He says something about that, that he passed on the demon.

KING: Yeah. Do we have a good definition, Mike, of schizophrenia? I mean, we know about depression. But what is schizophrenia?

WALLACE: Paranoid schizophrenia is -- and it happens mostly, according to my understanding -- and I've done a couple of pieces about it -- it happens mostly to people in their teens. I did a story about a young golden girl from California, Anike Hollister (ph), her name. Beautiful girl, 16, 17 years old. All of a sudden, she disappeared into schizophrenia. You hear voices. You have delusions. You begin to bay at the moon. And it goes on and on.

And there are some drugs that help now to minimize the symptoms. It's really incurable as such. You -- I mean, Anike (ph), she used to disappear from home. Her father was in oil, lived in Southern California, lovely mother. Her sister became a scientist, got a fellowship to study at the University of Pennsylvania into the mysteries of the human mind, especially to schizophrenia. It is 1 percent of the people in America have it. There's no known cure.

And what happened to John Nash is that all of a sudden it began to go into remission. He says he thinks that he willed it into submission. That he -- I mean, he had -- he has. He had really almost brute mental power. He was a genuine genius.

Let me tell you a story about him. In Bluefield, West Virginia where he came from, he was in high school. And in a chemistry class -- this used to happen I guess with a fair degree of regularity -- the chemistry teacher in the high school would put a problem on the board, and everybody in the class would pick up their pens and their papers and start working. And the high school teacher said John Nash would sit there, no pencil, no paper, study, solve, then stand up and say politely, "this I think is the answer." And he said, this happened with a fair degree of regularity. It's an extraordinary mind.

KING: And the remission is unexplainable?

WALLACE: Unexplainable. He has -- he says, and I'm inclined to believe it, his son remains on medication. He hasn't been on medication, he says, since 1970. And I have no reason to disbelieve. Look, Alicia, El Salvador, beautiful, slim, as beautiful as Jennifer Connelly, gorgeous woman. Did I tell you about the fact that she was a nuclear scientist?

KING: No.

WALLACE: She was one of 17 females at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, female students in the class of 1955. She was one of two female students who were planning to be nuclear scientists. Brilliant, brilliant woman. Fell in love with this man who -- who was handsome, arrogant, brash. There's one -- I was just reading this. His putdowns were legendary. This is not under schizophrenia. This is when he was a young man, so sure of himself. "You're a child," was his favorite expression. "You don't know crap." "How trivial, how stupid." "You'll never do anything," he would say. And yet, he...

KING: Wow. What can you say? Let's take a call. Tampa, Florida, for Mike Wallace. Hello. CALLER: Yes, Larry, my question for Mr. Wallace is, do you feel that sometimes we tend to lose focus of really what's important in some of the small stories, like related to Mr. Nash? I believe he won the Nobel peace prize, and do you feel sometimes that we tend to concentrate on the merits of some people maybe on the surface and we tend to forget some of the things that they truly did were important in life?

KING: It wasn't the Nobel prize in economics, not peace.

WALLACE: Yeah, it wasn't the peace prize, it was a Nobel prize in economics for something called game theory and the Nash equilibrium, which incidentally, he did in a paper when he was in his early 20s at Princeton.

And I hadn't understood that the Nobel prize is not given for a body of work. Frequently, it is given simply because of something that you have done. Now, he did it. He did this paper, as I said, in his early 20s. It was recognized by the Nobel Committee finally in -- in the middle of the 1990s. And it was recognized because mathematicians in this country and around the world, among them Aerial Rubinstein (ph) of Israel, recognized him as an extraordinary mathematician. And Princeton, where he did his work, was at that time and to a certain degree still the center of the mathematical universe.

KING: Einstein.

WALLACE: Einstein. Incidentally, Einstein, he was there at the Institute of Advanced Studies.

Young John Nash, in his early 20s, decided that he wanted to talk to Einstein about quantum theory. So he made an appointment, and Einstein received it. And they spent about an hour, an hour and a half, while he, John Nash, explained to Albert Einstein the flaws that he saw in some of the work that Einstein had done, and very kindly Albert Einstein said, "young man, I think that you still have a fair amount to learn about physics," and dismissed him.

KING: Our guest is Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes," one of the truly great journalists and great broadcast personalities ever, one of my favorite people on the planet. We'll talk about some other things. Remind you again that this program will air on this Sunday night's edition of "60 Minutes." Tomorrow night, we're going to replay an interview, an earlier interview, with Rosie O'Donnell.

And on Sunday night, we'll have our preview of the Academy Awards. And as we go to break, another scene from "A Beautiful Mind."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "A BEAUTIFUL MIND")

RUSSELL CROWE, ACTOR: You know, half of these schoolboys are already published. I cannot waste time with these classes and these books, memorizing the weak assumptions of lesser mortals! I need to look through to the governing dynamics.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Mike Wallace. A long career that keeps on. He never stops, does he? Dr. John Nash will be with him on Sunday night on "60 Minutes."

Before we take the first call, I wanted to ask you about this Letterman/Koppel thing, and your thoughts. There are even now reports today that ABC had even talked to Jon Stewart about the possibility of taking over late night. So this is not new, and Ted Koppel's anger may have some reasoning. What's your view?

WALLACE: My view is that Michael Eisner really would much prefer -- he's never told me this in these words, but I think he'd be perfectly happy to have -- oh, boy -- I probably shouldn't say. That he would perfectly happy not to have a news division at ABC.

KING: Really?

WALLACE: That's what I believe. I'm sure that he will say no. But I have reason to believe that he feels that way.

And look, there was a time when there was only the three networks and part of their responsibility and public service was to have a news division. And generally speaking, it was a money-losing news division. But it was a matter of prestige for the Tiffany network, CBS, Murrow, Cronkite, Sevareid, that whole group. The same thing, Huntley, Brinkley at NBC. Howard Smith at ABC.

Now we're awash in news, whether it's CNN, which does have very, very -- or Fox News, or the "Lehrer Report." The fact of the matter is that anybody who really wants to learn the news on television can get it. Well, ABC currently is going through, as we all know, a very, very difficult time financially -- from in my estimation, from bad management.

So if they can make more money by getting a Letterman or a Jon Stewart or somebody else over there, I can understand why they would want to replace Ted Koppel, one of the best journalists in America, without a doubt. I'd love to see Ted -- somebody made a suggestion in "The Wall Street Journal" in a letter the other day that wouldn't it be wonderful if PBS...

KING: Took "Nightline."

WALLACE: "Nightline" and Charlie Rose, somehow together every night. It's a wonderful idea. It wouldn't be the same kind of audience, nor would it be the same kind of income, let's say, for Ted Koppel. But Ted's a rich man anyway. I mean, Ted -- Ted's a rich man anyway. And there's more to life than money, isn't there, Larry?

KING: It sure looks, though, sure is, it sure looks though like the Disney people, if you're right and they are entertainment- oriented, it sure looks like that marriage of "Nightline" and ABC is not going to last. WALLACE: I find it difficult to believe -- I find it difficult to understand how the people at "Nightline" and Ted would want to go back at 11:35 at night, knowing what they have said about his broadcast.

KING: Yes. Morehead, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Why Wasn't Rusty Yates also charged with a crime? He allowed his wife to be alone with the kids knowing she that she suffered from severe depression?

KING: Have any thoughts on that?

WALLACE: I have asked myself the same question. Charged with a crime? No, no. But one never knows what the relationship is between a husband and a wife, and their children. He was working, she was obviously persuasive. She was on Haldol. And it turns out that later that she, I guess, was taken off that medication. And you would think that if she was in the kind of shape that she apparently was, that perhaps he would have stayed closer to home or whatever. But he had to make a living, had to go to the office. And he certainly, Rusty Yates, had no notion, I guess -- I'm sure -- that what happened was going to happen. And to hold him criminally because a psychotic woman did what she did, no.

KING: Dallas, Texas, for Mike Wallace. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry and Mike. I love both of your shows.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Don't you think we're missing an opportunity to help Andrea Yates by not finding her innocent by reason of insanity? In other words, she could be studied by physicians and psychiatrists and so forth?

WALLACE: Well, I think that she's going to be studied by physicians and so forth.

KING: Even in a jail situation?

WALLACE: Absolutely, absolutely. I find it difficult to believe that she will not have psychiatric help. But psychiatric study, too. If a woman as intelligent, as capable, all you've got to do is look at the pictures of those kids with their mother. The home movies, she adored them and they her. So if something happened after those happy pictures were taken, something happened to her mind, again the mystery of the human mind is something that we are really just beginning to understand. We understand all kinds of things, put people on the moon or put you and me on satellite, Larry. But we don't fully -- we don't sufficiently understand the mysteries of the human mind yet.

And I would bet you that that is going to be worked on with Andrea Yates and probably with her cooperation.

KING: As we go to break, here's Andrea's husband discussing the verdict. We'll be right back with Mike Wallace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSTY YATES: All of us in our family, we all stand behind Andrea. None of us wanted her to be found guilty. All of us -- in fact, most of us are offended that she was even prosecuted. Obviously, we're, you know, it could be worse. I mean if she'd been given the death penalty, but it wouldn't have been that much worse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PRIMETIME THURSDAY")

ROSIE O'DONNELL, TALK SHOW HOST: I don't think America knows what a gay parent looks like. I am the gay parent. America has watched me parent my children on TV for six years. They know what kind of parent I am. So when you think of gay parenting, you don't have an image to hold on to. I will be that image because I am a gay parent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Mike Wallace, in his 35th season on "60 Minutes." That was Rosie O'Donnell last night on ABC. What do you make of that -- this wave now of coming out and people sort of giving their souls to the public?

WALLACE: Depending upon how it's done and what the motives are, I'm all for it. I think that Rosie, whom I don't know well, I think that her motives were quite apparent. She's apparently made a very good mother and she wanted to suggest to other mothers who might want to do the same thing, lesbians who might want to do the same thing, some of them are superb mothers. I think people like you and me, Larry, we are -- we feel that there has to be the male figure in a good rounded, happy home. Do you feel that way?

KING: I think maybe we could be wrong. Maybe -- you know, I don't know. I've never experienced living in a gay home, but certainly from listening to her, you would think that they do an admirable job. I don't know that we can judge except the way we were raised. We were raised, there has to be a man.

WALLACE: Mm-hmm.

KING: But how can we judge it?

WALLACE: We can't, certainly without knowing about it. And that's why, I didn't see -- I didn't see Rosie's hour or two hours with Diane Sawyer. But from the people who saw it and liked it immensely, Rosie came off as a very serious, devoted, dedicated, good mother.

KING: One of the things the public asked about is why we, the collective we in the media, will devote attention, say, to a Danielle van Dam when a lot of little girls are missing, Chandra Levy when there is over 10 women in her age bracket missing in Washington, why we pick and choose as we do. How do you respond?

WALLACE: Pure and simple, pure and simple. The necessity of filling 24 hours worth of news on cable, on -- I mean, mainly on cable, whether it is CNN or Fox or MSNBC or, or, or. You know how difficult it is and not to be repetitive, if possible?

And we love to hear people go at each other. I confess to you, I'm very pleased to have been in at the beginning -- not the beginning of radio, but the beginning of television. When I came back out of the Navy in 1946, television was just beginning. And nothing that you could do was wrong back then, Larry, because it was experimental. And then there were only three networks, basically it was NBC and CBS back in that time for news.

But when you have this many hours to fill, you're going to fill it one way or another. And it is not news. It's opinion. Well, this is what we're talking about to a certain degree here tonight. It is not news. It is to a degree, but it's opinion. It's prejudice. It's bias. It's emotional. And it's apparently sufficiently entertaining.

KING: It's reality.

WALLACE: It's reality, yes. But you know and I know that the Larry King audience as opposed to a "60 Minutes" audience, I mean, truly a cable audience is fairly minuscule compared to...

KING: Oh, sure.

WALLACE: ... the over the air, the networks.

KING: But the impact of enough cable, where it takes away a total of 20 percent a night has affected the networks greatly. Granted, no one cable show is going to top "60 Minutes", but if you take all the cable shows, they make an input on your total viewership.

WALLACE: Every Sunday night, now, we used to reach 30 million, 35 million homes regularly. We're down to half that now. Why? Cable, cable, pay-per-view, whatever.

KING: Competition.

WALLACE: Competition.

KING: St. Petersburg, Florida, for Mike Wallace. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I'd like to know if either of you believe that "Dear Abby" portrayed any journalistic ethics by turning that man to the authorities on suspicion of child pornography and molestation?

KING: Don't know the story. Do you know it, Mike? WALLACE: I don't know the story.

KING: What is it, ma'am?

CALLER: Well, one of her readers wrote in and asked for her advice regarding -- he's having these fantasies about having had these sexual fantasies about these children that live with him. It's his girlfriend's children, and he wanted to know how he could control these urges. And rather than giving this man any advice, she turned his name and information over into the authorities in his city and the man's in custody right now.

KING: I will turn this over to Solomon the wise, Mr. Wallace, my esteemed colleague, elder...

WALLACE: Not me. Not me. It's that kind of -- look, there's nothing wrong with it. But I hate to hear about that. I'm an old- fashioned fellow. I don't like to hear that kind of thing on the air. I'm -- you know, when you see certain things in the afternoon, you know what I'm talking about, some of that afternoon stuff is -- it's a horror story.

KING: By the way, in your career, have you ever had to protect someone who may have been involved in a crime because you got the story from him or her?

WALLACE: I -- no. No.

KING: Never had to reveal a source then that could have hurt the source?

WALLACE: No.

KING: Our guest is Mike Wallace. We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't forget his piece on John Nash airs this Sunday night. It's another Wallace exclusive.

By the way, this Monday night in addition to our regular LARRY KING LIVE at 9:00, we'll have a half-hour edition, a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE at 8:00 Eastern, it's Monday night only, with King Abdullah of Jordan. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Mike Wallace, we've asked you this before. But let's try it again. How do you explain -- you're 84 years old.

WALLACE: No, I'm not 84 yet. Not until May.

KING: It is not until May. OK. You look 25 years younger.

WALLACE: Sure.

KING: Your voice is 40 years younger. Your hair is 50 years younger. You looks as young as your son. How do you keep going? WALLACE: I have a good time doing stories. I've worked with people who are half my age -- people with whom I've worked on this piece, Peter Kline (ph), Trish Sorrells (ph), they're half my age. And that's -- you wake up each day and you want to go to work with these people. And they are -- they're good -- all of us are reporters. They're damn good reporters. The only difference is that I get the opportunity to put this on the air, but I have a very, very good time.

KING: So therefore, you never think of watching the dancers and eating the grapes?

WALLACE: Oh, I like to watch dancers and eat grapes, and -- you know something, Larry, come on. I'm shortly to be 84, you think about retirement or working less or whatever. And I'm beginning to think about it more seriously than I ever have been. But I don't know what -- I think I would rust out faster than I will wear out.

KING: Couple of other quick things. With 13 women in the Senate, with Mrs. Dole running, possibly Mrs. Gore in Tennessee, there could be some more. What do you make of this?

WALLACE: I think it's a very good idea, and it's about time. And I am certain, I am certain, maybe not in my lifetime, but in yours, that there's going to be a female president of the United States.

You know something, talking about women -- we've talked about John Nash. Alicia Nash is a saint. She is a saint. She supported the family. She still supports the family. Each morning, she gets up and commutes from her little home outside of Princeton to Newark, New Jersey, where she works for the New Jersey Transit Company and brings home her paycheck. She supported young Johnny. She supported John when he was wandering the streets, long, dirty hair, barefoot, cadging cigarettes on the Princeton campus.

And she -- Harold Kune (ph) told me something, who is an old friend of John Nash's, and he's now a mathematics professor at Princeton. He said, you know, recognition helps cure a lot of ills. And it's the truth. The recognition of the Nobel prize has helped John to be a better father, a better husband. Much of the renewal of their marriage has taken place -- Sylvia Nasar writes this, since the Nobel. There is now a sense of reciprocity. It's as if regaining the respect of his peers has made Nash feel that he has more to offer to people in his life, and it has made those close to him, especially Alicia, feel that he has more to give.

He's a happier man because he was finally recognized.

KING: This appears from talking to you, as one of the happier pieces you've ever done. You enjoyed yourself.

WALLACE: Oh, I admire this man immensely. I admire Alicia immensely.

KING: What are you working on next? You've always got something in the fire.

WALLACE: Mind your business, Larry.

KING: You don't tell me, do you? You never tell me. You never tell me.

WALLACE: You're going to do Crown Prince Abdullah next week?

KING: Going to do who?

WALLACE: The crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

KING: Yes, I do the king. King Abdullah on Monday night at 8:00, we're going to do a half-hour special with him.

WALLACE: You know that Barbara beat you to it.

KING: Oh, I've had King Abdullah on three times.

WALLACE: King Abdullah or the crown prince, the man who runs Saudi Arabia?

KING: Well, I call him king. His father was king. I make him king.

WALLACE: He calls you King, and he's right.

KING: No, not Saudi Arabia.

WALLACE: Oh, this is from Jordan.

KING: Barbara interviewed the crown prince of Saudi. I'm talking Jordan. We're getting old, Mike. Hang tough.

WALLACE: Yes.

KING: We look forward to seeing you Sunday night. Thanks as always.

WALLACE: Thank you as always, Larry.

KING: Mike Wallace, he's only the best of "60 Minutes." Listed as a co-editor. He's my man. And the John Nash piece airs on Sunday night.

And when we come back, we'll tell you about the weekend and what's ahead early next week. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND, we'll repeat an earlier interview with Rosie O'Donnell. Have an Oscar preview on Sunday. Monday night, a very special guest at 9:00. At 8:00, a special half-hour edition of LARRY KING LIVE with King Abdullah of Jordan, and on Tuesday night, Mariane Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl of "The Wall Street General." And that is her only prime-time live interview.

Thanks very much for joining us. And he's standing by in New York, here he is, the host of "NEWSNIGHT," the one, the only, star of "The Rookie," Aaron Brown.

AARON BROWN, "NEWSNIGHT": Did I hear you call Mike Wallace my main man?

KING: Oh, he -- for all my life, he's been my main man.

BROWN: All right.

KING: I mean, I worshiped him as a child. I hate to say it, but he was one of my heroes.

BROWN: I know. OK. Thank you. I thought I was your main man.

KING: You're in the front line.

BROWN: I'm one of many main men.

KING: One of many, on the front line.

BROWN: Thank you, Mr. King, have a great weekend.

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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