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CNN LARRY KING WEEKEND

Interviews with Blake Edwards and Jack Valenti; Experts Debate on Nuclear Policy

Aired July 27, 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, can Hollywood make "Ten" again? Famed writer-director Blake Edwards, who's also Julie Andrews' husband, aims to find out.

How do America's presidents stack up as speech makers? Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association and former aide to L.B.J. hands out grades and tell us how to speak up with confidence; and then an explosive discussion on U.S. nuclear policy -- a recipe for national defense or global disaster?

Squaring off, world-renowned anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and Frank Gaffney, Pentagon official under Ronald Reagan and now president of the Center for Security Policy.

And then a song from rising music superstar John Groban, all next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Jack Valenti joins us later. Our first guest tonight -- what a great pleasure to finally have him here -- Blake Edwards, writer, director, producer of films, television, stage, what a career, a roller coaster career that keeps on keeping on. Blake Edwards, a long successful marriage with Julie Andrews. Are you doing "Ten" over?

BLAKE EDWARDS, FILMMAKER: Yes.

KING: Explain. It's called "Ten Again?"

EDWARDS: "Ten Again."

KING: Explain that to me.

EDWARDS: Well, it's a long story of how I got involved in it. An actor who is obsessed by it, young actor as a matter of fact, I met with him. He told me how much he loved it. He pushed the button, I guess, and it made me say, you know, that was 20-some years ago.

KING: Dudley and Bo.

EDWARDS: That's right, and I thought I had such a good time and it was so much fun that I'd try it again.

KING: And what did Julie think?

EDWARDS: Oh, she just said, "That's nice dear."

KING: Did she enjoy it, too?

EDWARDS: Making the original, you mean?

KING: Yes.

EDWARDS: Oh, yes, she loved it.

KING: So are you just going to make it again with new cast and just do it over?

EDWARDS: Well, not quite that. Instead of being two song writers in California, it's two song writers in New York, more like Lerner and Lowe (ph), theater background, that sort of thing, instead of going into Mexico and the sun and the hot beaches, they'll go into the snow.

KING: Will they see her?

EDWARDS: Huh?

KING: The snow?

EDWARDS: Oh, yes, so we'll have fun in the snow.

KING: So she comes walking out of a snowstorm?

EDWARDS: Well, not a bad idea. Yes, why not.

KING: Would you say, Blake, it's fair to say that one of the things about your greatness -- and you have the French Legion of Honor on your jacket which says a lot about your greatness -- was that you were always a risk taker?

EDWARDS: I've been told that. I think I am.

KING: You're not conventional.

EDWARDS: No. Huh uh.

KING: How did you start?

EDWARDS: Well, I started, as you know, a kid that came out from Oklahoma. My parents were out here. I was born in Oklahoma and when I was old enough I came out here, and my stepfather at that time was in the film business, and as a matter of fact we lived practically on the back lot of Fox, right in that area in Beverly Hills. And, it was that or be a thief, I guess, you know.

KING: So you grew up with this?

EDWARDS: Grew up in the business, yes.

KING: What was the -- and you were an assistant director?

EDWARDS: No, I was an actor to begin with and then along came World War whatever it was.

KING: II, it was in all the papers.

EDWARDS: Was it II that was in the paper? I can't remember. I hate to tell you what I did in World War II, but anyway along that came so it stopped everything for a while and then I came back and I thought, well it's an easy life.

It's fun, but I just wasn't satisfied with it and eventually things happened. "Serendipity" occurred, which is part of my life. I started writing for radio and then from radio I went in to television and television into films.

KING: What was your first movie?

EDWARDS: First that I?

KING: Directed.

EDWARDS: Oh, that I directed. The first movie that I directed was a thing with Frankie Lane called "Bring your Smile along." Yes, and it started out like 12-day musicals.

KING: What was the first hit?

EDWARDS: The first hit?

KING: How did America get to know the name Blake Edwards?

EDWARDS: I think probably because of the importance, I guess that would be the word, of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." I think probably that was the first big thing where everybody said "whoops, who is he?"

KING: How did you get that gig? That was an amazing picture.

EDWARDS: Well, it was by attrition, you know. I started doing inexpensive little films at Columbia and people thought I was talented, and so I went over to Universal and I did films that were a little more expensive, and eventually, I guess the segue, the bridge, was probably a film that I did with Cary Grant called "Operation Petticoat."

KING: Not a bad film.

EDWARDS: No, not a bad film at all.

KING: Tony Curtis too, right?

EDWARDS: Yes, and so from there I started to climb the hill.

KING: Did you know when you had "Breakfast at Tiffany's" done that it was special? EDWARDS: No. I knew it was special because of her, you know. She was a wonderful, wonderful person, and it was great fun and all of that stuff, but I didn't like it that much when it was done. I wasn't that much in love with it. There was a lot that I would have done that...

KING: Over again? You'd have done it differently if you had to do it over?

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: Really?

EDWARDS: Yes. Well, you know, I would have stuck more with the Capote book. It was tougher. When I came into it, they were talking about Monroe doing the lead and not Audrey, so that's a whole different character.

KING: Yes. Oh.

EDWARDS: A lady that gets $50 for going to the powder room and stuff like that.

KING: Did you like George Peppard?

EDWARDS: Did I like him? Yes, I like George.

KING: Good guy.

EDWARDS: He drove me crazy but I loved him. He was just great and he was very decent with me.

KING: Died too young.

EDWARDS: Yes, he did.

KING: How did you meet Julie Andrews?

EDWARDS: Crossing Sunset Boulevard. For about six mornings I was going across Sunset. You know they used to have a bridal path on Sunset, and you would cross Sunset and you would stop on that bridal path while the cars passed and then you'd go on, and I kept ending up in this island with Julie Andrews and I kept looking over, and I finally said, "Are you coming from where I'm going or the opposite of that?"

She said, "I think so," and it turned out we were both going to our analyst, or coming from our analyst, two coincidental precise...

KING: She was a star then, right?

EDWARDS: Yes. Yes, she was.

KING: "My Fair Lady" and...

EDWARDS: I had met her at a party or something like that. KING: Had she done "Mary Poppins" already?

EDWARDS: Yes. Yes. She was well established by that time. I wouldn't have stopped if she hadn't been well established.

KING: And when you got married, you worked together?

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: Was that difficult or easy?

EDWARDS: It was very easy, as a matter of fact. We agreed on two things when we got married. We'd take it a day at a time and we'd work together whenever we could so that we spent enough time together. We didn't think it was going to last, so we might as well have a good time.

KING: How long are you married now?

EDWARDS: It will be 35 years soon.

KING: And what a lady.

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: How's she doing, by the way? I know there's -- I don't want to get into the lawsuits and everything.

EDWARDS: She's doing magnificently. That's all I can say. It would be hard for her not to. She's a very unique person, a very brave person and...

KING: But she can't sing, right?

EDWARDS: No. She's finished.

KING: What a tragedy.

EDWARDS: Tragic.

KING: She can still act though, right?

EDWARDS: Oh, yes. Yes, and she's got a big children's book business. She and her daughter write children's books and they got a publishing company, and oh they're - she's in New York now and you know she's busy.

KING: Blake Edwards. Still to come, a musical based on the "Pink Panther." We got to talk about the Pink Panther. What a career. What a guy. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. The blues are because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all.

But the mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, when I get it, the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "VICTOR VICTORIA")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were saying, Mr. Marshall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I just find it hard to believe that you're a man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because you found me attractive as a woman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, as a matter of fact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It hasn't sweetened me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now "Victor Victoria" -- Blake Edwards is our guest -- did you bring that to the stage?

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: You did the movie too, right?

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: And you got the idea to do a musical?

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: Now, I loved that show, saw it twice. It got mixed reviews.

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: Looking back, why?

EDWARDS: Well, I don't want to throw a lot of sour grapes, but...

KING: Go ahead.

EDWARDS: OK. Because I was an upstart from...

KING: You weren't a Broadway guy?

EDWARDS: No. I'm sure that's it.

KING: You're one of those movie guys coming here telling us how to do a show?

EDWARDS: That's right, and there's no doubt in my mind that that was the main part of it.

KING: Because it was a wonderful show.

EDWARDS: Oh, well if you went there, you saw it -- every night a standing ovation.

KING: Every night.

EDWARDS: Every night jammed to the rafters.

KING: And Julie refused her Tony nomination.

EDWARDS: And we didn't get one nomination.

KING: Except her, right?

EDWARDS: Except her. You know the sets, the choreography, things like that didn't -- it could only have been...

KING: Have you revived it with someone else doing it?

EDWARDS: It has been done in various places. I understand it's going to have a revival. It's going to open I think in Paris.

KING: The movie was fantastic.

EDWARDS: Yes, wasn't it?

KING: What was it like to work with Robert Preston? You did a few things with him.

EDWARDS: He was such a mench. That's the only way I can describe him. You know I called him up and I said, "Pres," we'd already done "S.O.B."

KING: Oh, what a movie.

EDWARDS: And I said, "I want you to do a film." He said, "OK," and I said, "You're going to play gay," and he said, "OK." And I said, "Do you understand what I just said? I want you to" -- because playing gay at that time was not the simplest transition in the world.

KING: Many would have turned it down. EDWARDS: Sure, many did, you know, two or three very important men turned it down, not just that part, but turned down the other part because it had to do with homosexuality and show biz and stuff like that.

KING: He played gay great, though, didn't he?

EDWARDS: Oh, didn't he? Because he didn't play gay, you know.

KING: Yes, that's right, he played it.

EDWARDS: Yes, that's right.

KING: And Garner, James Garner was...

EDWARDS: Oh, well. See Jimbo is for me the best reactor in the business. That's what's great about him. Nobody reacts better than Garner. I mean you...

KING: Underrated in a sense. I mean when they talk about great, you don't think about him.

EDWARDS: Yes, I think so. Sure. No. No. You don't think of him in terms of greatness and things like that, but in those terms can't top him. There's nobody that can react to something like Jim can.

KING: Tell me about Blake Edwards and the "Pink Panther."

EDWARDS: Well, the Pink Panther, bless his greedy little heart, has provided me with a comfortable life.

KING: I would say.

EDWARDS: And...

KING: How many of them did you do?

EDWARDS: Gee, I think six or seven, maybe eight.

KING: One without Sellers, right?

EDWARDS: Oh, we did two without Sellers.

KING: One with?

EDWARDS: I don't remember anymore, but yes, I think it was two without Sellers, after Sellers had passed on.

KING: Yes.

EDWARDS: And we're going to do a musical. We've got a book. We've got a score. It looks like we got the money.

KING: Do you have the lead?

EDWARDS: No. No, but we've got some ideas.

KING: What was Sellers' genius?

EDWARDS: It's hard to tell. It's hard to say. I've gone to that well so many times trying to figure it out. He was crazy and I...

KING: He was off-screen crazy.

EDWARDS: Yes, and out of his craziness in some way blossomed this genius for being able to step aside from himself and see the -- I can remember times when he would be in the middle of a scene and he would break up. He would start giggling, and I would say, "God, what is going on?" You know and he'd say, "Can you imagine this? Look at this idiot," and he would talk about his idiot.

KING: Like it was someone else?

EDWARDS: Yes, and it was someone else for Sellers.

KING: Did you laugh on the set when he would do this?

EDWARDS: Oh, terribly. Sometimes, and I mean this, I'm not just offering. If you want to have the best time you've ever had, give me a call and I'll run you the outtakes. They are to die over. They really are. That's the best entertainment you'll ever have.

KING: Was he difficult?

EDWARDS: Yes, terrible.

KING: I've heard that. They didn't like him.

EDWARDS: Just, well because he was crazy, you know.

KING: It was hard to like him?

EDWARDS: Oh, you couldn't like him. You couldn't really like him. You might feel sorry for him. You might like something he's done, but to truly like the man -- he was not a likable man. He was, you know, there were times when it almost bordered on evil.

KING: Did you expect the movies to do as well as they did?

EDWARDS: No. No, absolutely not. After like the third, we expected that they probably would, because they had been doing well and there was every reason to believe that they would continue to do so.

KING: Who cast that wonderful Herbert Lom, the head of detectives that would always drive him nuts and send him to an insane asylum?

EDWARDS: You know I sort of inherited a lot of those people because they were part of the English film industry and part of Sellers, you know. KING: His group?

EDWARDS: Yes, I think Lom did "I'm All Right, Jack" or one of those with Sellers.

KING: He was great.

EDWARDS: Oh, yes.

KING: Funny.

EDWARDS: Oh, yes, they were terrific.

KING: Did you have fun doing them even though you didn't like the lead guy?

EDWARDS: Best time I ever had. It's the only thing that made me coming back.

KING: Did you hire Mancini to do the music?

EDWARDS: Yes, sure.

KING: Because of "Tiffany's?"

EDWARDS: No, because of - it goes all the way back to radio, I mean to television. I was doing a film. Hank came in to write one piece of music that I wanted written. I never met him before. I saw him a few days later at their commissary and said, "My life is so full of "Serendipity," of things happening like this. I want to do a television show. He said "sure what is it?" I said, "I'm calling it 'Peter Gun.'" And he said, "OK, yes." And I said, "I'll send you the script." He thought it was going to be a western and he called me up and he said...

KING: One of the great television themes ever written.

EDWARDS: Yes, and he said, "can I do a jazz score?" I said, "you can do anything you want. I love jazz." I grew up with jazz and it really appealed to me, and the first piece of music that I heard was that theme when he called me up, asked me over to the stage, and what is that expression, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all over the stage.

KING: Our guest is the great Blake Edwards. We'll be back with some more and then Jack Valenti. This will be the first of other visits, I hope, with a genius. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "PETER GUNN")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Peter Gunn wants to see him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter? Go pick a pack of peppers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't know you wanted it that bad. Why didn't you ask? I'll give you all the blues you want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You did "Days of Wine and Roses," Jack Lemmon, wonderful movie. Were you alcoholic or did you have a depression or both?

EDWARDS: Well, both, but I am an alcoholic.

KING: Did one lead to the other?

EDWARDS: It's kind of hard to say. They kind of go hand in hand, at least they did with me.

KING: Were you drinking when you made that movie?

EDWARDS: Yes, both of us were drinking.

KING: You and Lemmon?

EDWARDS: Yes. Yes. We got together for dinner afterwards, and I said, "Jack, did it bother you, you know, that we're doing this movie and we're living these roles?" And he said, "It didn't bother me particularly."

And I said, and I went on talking about it. I said, "You know, I'm so disturbed now. I can't enjoy myself drinking."

He said, "Well, I don't have that problem yet." And finally we talked about it and I realized he was giving me back lines out of the script, you know, and I pointed it out to him. I said, "You're giving me the character phrase." Well, OK.

And he said, "Are you really disturbed by that?" I said, "I really am." He said, "Are you going to stop drinking because of it?" and I said "No," and he said, "Well, neither am I," and we went on drinking.

KING: How did you stop?

EDWARDS: I stopped -- it was a matter of a lot of things. I was injured in the service, which we won't go into. It's a story all unto itself.

KING: Next time.

EDWARDS: OK. And I became hooked on drugs, and so it was drugs and booze and a whole compulsive lifestyle, and as a writer I was smoking two, three packs of cigarettes a day, and one day I just said that's it. I can't handle it anymore, and I stopped drinking and I stopped smoking and I practically stopped breathing, but... KING: Cut them out both the same time?

EDWARDS: Yes, all of it.

KING: How long sober?

EDWARDS: God, nearly 40 years.

KING: Do you do AA or anything like that?

EDWARDS: I did somewhat in the beginning but it's interesting because I was struggling with cigarettes. I was struggling with morphine. I was struggling with all of this.

KING: All of the above.

EDWARDS: Yes. So it was -- thank God I had a career that was taking off. I know some people aren't lucky enough to be able to seize that opportunity. I was so desperate to succeed and be something that I was driven.

KING: The goal was greater than the...

EDWARDS: Yes, that's exactly right.

KING: How about the depression, how did you...

EDWARDS: Terrible, just...

KING: Into your success?

EDWARDS: Oh, yes. My depression has been with me most of my life that I can remember. I have spells of it.

KING: Still?

EDWARDS: Yes, still. I haven't for quite a while.

KING: Do you take medication?

EDWARDS: I'm not on it now. I was.

KING: Did Julie help?

EDWARDS: Oh yes. Yes. I don't think I could have gotten -- that sounds melodramatic, but I really don't think I could have gotten through without her.

KING: It is clinical, right? I mean they...

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: Someone would look at you and say hey, there's no reason for you to be depressed.

EDWARDS: No, it's clinical. KING: So it's not explainable?

EDWARDS: No. No. It has nothing to do with lifestyle and things like that.

KING: Did you ever think of harming yourself?

EDWARDS: Excuse me?

KING: Ever think of harming yourself?

EDWARDS: Yes. In fact, I can tell you some very funny stories about that.

KING: Tell me one.

EDWARDS: OK. I had decided that the time had come. I didn't want to live anymore. I went up on a bluff in Malibu where we lived. I had decided on the method, which was probably to slash my wrists, because I figured I could bleed into the lawn and nobody would notice it. And, I got a straight razor blade and I sat down in a chair on a beautiful sunny day looking out at the Pacific.

I'm in my tennis shorts, and as I prepared to do the deed, I felt a wet nose at my ear and I responded. It was my Great Dane and he knew something was going on. He just knew and I said "Get away. Go away." I pushed him away and finally he became so almost abusive trying to get me to stop doing whatever it was I was doing. I had locked him up in my studio, but I could see him through the glass because it was all glass studio.

KING: He knew?

EDWARDS: Yes, he knew. He was jumping and running and whining. You could hear him. And I thought well, in a little while that won't make any difference. I won't have to worry about him and I'm ready to do it again. And I feel this wet soggy thing at my crotch, and I look down and it's a tennis ball and our other dog, our retriever had now brought me a tennis ball and he knew what the hell was going on and he kept fetching this tennis ball and I kept saying, "Go away," and throwing the tennis ball.

KING: This is the suicide gone wrong.

EDWARDS: Right. So finally, I figured, I know what I'll do. I'll throw this ball over the cliff. It will go down on the beach. By the time he finds it and retrieves it...

KING: You're dead.

EDWARDS: I'm dead, right? So I wind up and I throw the tennis ball and I dislocate my shoulder, and I fall over backwards in the chair and I decided at that moment that today was not the day for it.

KING: The gang that couldn't shoot straight. EDWARDS: So I turn around and I started back toward the house feeling just terrible, and I thought oh, wait a minute. You know, always the one to worry about other people and I thought that razor blade's in the lawn somewhere. So I went over looking for the razor blade and stepped on it and cut, opened my heel up about that deep and ended up in the emergency in Malibu saying "hurry up or I'm going to bleed to death." That was one suicide attempt.

KING: What a great -- that's incredible.

EDWARDS: Yes, it's true.

KING: Taught you a lesson, though. You believe the dogs knew, though?

EDWARDS: Oh, they knew. There's no doubt they knew. Absolutely.

KING: Blake, I want many more visits with you. You're an intriguing person who I've admired for years.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

KING: And we looked forward to this and I look forward to it again.

EDWARDS: Thank you, Larry.

KING: And we look forward to "Ten Again."

EDWARDS: Good.

KING: And the musical of the "Pink Panther."

EDWARDS: Yes.

KING: The one, the only, Blake Edwards. He'll be back. Jack Valenti, another of my favorite people is next. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE PINK PANTHER")

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Now a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING WEEKEND an old friend, an extraordinary American and maybe the best after dinner speaker in America, Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association, former special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, author of "Speak Up With Confidence: How to Prepare, Learn and Deliver Effective Speeches." The book, by the way, is an updated version, the soft cover edition from Hyperion. When was it originally done?

JACK VALENTI, AUTHOR, "SPEAK UP WITH CONFIDENCE": Twenty years ago.

KING: What made you do this? What's new?

VALENTI: Well, it went out of print about five years ago and I had so many people, like Warren Buffett, like Bill Gates and others, and Kirk Douglas, who thought it was a wonderful book. And so, I decided to bring it up to date with fresh, new material, although the basics remain the same, and I had a heck of a lot of fun doing it, and Hyperion thought it was a great idea and leaped on it and have been wonderful publishers.

KING: It's a terrific book. It was terrific 20 years ago. It's terrific now. And, by the way, Jack Valenti spoke a couple of weeks ago at a memorial service for the late Lou Wasserman, a friend of mine, a great friend of his. Best speech I've ever seen at a memorial service. I'll say that publicly, best speech I've ever heard, extemporaneous?

VALENTI: Yes.

KING: From the heart?

VALENTI: I did not use notes but it was a heart-wrenching experience, Larry, because it was Lou Wasserman who brought me into the movie business 36 years ago and to say my last goodbye to him was, I almost choked up.

KING: That's related to the book. Is the most difficult kind of speech when it is emotional?

VALENTI: Well, it was very personal. Yes.

KING: It's harder then?

VALENTI: Oh yes, much harder because I'm keeping -- all my disciplines were being deployed to keep from weeping. I came so close to it. I felt my voice crack a couple of times.

KING: It did but it worked. I mean it worked to the moment.

VALENTI: It's one of those solemn occasions that your heart just drains away. It was a day come much too soon and yes, it was emotional.

KING: Can you teach someone who's reserved to come forward?

VALENTI: Yes. Speaking before the public is learnable like swimming or playing a piano or roller skating. You do have to devote time to it. In this book, I say I can promise you if you read this book, "Speak Up With Confidence," you will be a far better speaker than you ever imagined you could be. You will be stretched.

But, there's a caveat, you can't just take a pill and wake up the next morning and be a speaker. You have to work at it. That is working on what you're going to say, practicing it over and over and over again, like an actor learning his lines, because that's what you are when you rise to speak.

And then, if you really know what you're going to say, when you get up to speak for two minutes before your garden club or the city council or whatever, then you can concentrate on how to say it and that's a big difference.

KING: What's changed in 20 years that you could update it? Is the environment different? Is the audience different?

VALENTI: Yes, I think the environment is different. I think television is the supreme rostrum now. Teleprompters come in. There are talk shows all over the horizon and probably more than anybody can absorb.

KING: And CEOs have to go on.

VALENTI: And CEOs have to go on. They can't be closeted in their baronial offices. They've got to see analysts, stockholders, the press, and one of the things I point out here is how dangerously slovenly is the speaking ability of too many CEOs, which is why I always laud Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffet is probably the greatest speaker in the business community I've ever heard. He doesn't need notes because he knows what he's talking about, and he can invest his speech with humor on the spot.

Example, and I have it in the book, he was speaking at Allen & Company's (ph) business conference in Sun Valley last year and he was speaking about the stock market and everything. He said, "You know, in my early life, I wanted to be an insurance actuary." Pause. "But I didn't have enough charisma for the job." That's an example of what he does. He's the best, but most CEOs ought to spend time in the art of public presentation.

KING: How do they get to be CEO?

VALENTI: Well, there are a lot of ways you get there but today, I think every CEO will tell you, every businessman will tell you, you can't remain insulated. You are -- the more powerful CEOs where the limelight is on you and you must learn how to be believable, understandable, and speak with clarity and meaning.

KING: I will tell you to your face what I've said off; no one can teach it better than you. You can do it. That's one thing. To teach it is another.

VALENTI: I must say I enjoy it. I think being before an audience is an exhilarating experience.

KING: Yes, it is.

VALENTI: And particularly if you really learn and practice what you're going to say. To see an audience respond to you, look at people's faces, look them in the eye, lock into them, going from person to person and see the response, I can now understand how Blake Edwards tells you how actors respond on the stage when the audience responds to them. It's an exciting experience.

KING: Got a minute left. Best public speaker you've ever seen?

VALENTI: The best public speaker that I ever heard was the John F. Kennedy Inaugural Speech in 1961 in January. It was magnificent.

KING: "Ask not what you"...

VALENTI: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country." It was marvelously written and superbly delivered.

KING: Jack Valenti, you are a terrific writer and a great leader of the motion picture industry and a patriot.

VALENTI: Thank you very much.

KING: I consider it an honor knowing you.

VALENTI: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Jack Valenti, and we heartily recommend "Speak Up With Confidence," from Hyperion. Two other books, "The 24-Karat Manager," a remarkable story of how a leader can unleash human potential, that's just out.

And a fellow that used to work in the White House, Peter Roussel has published a new novel called "Ruffled Flourishes" and he gets a marvelous kudos from Larry Speakes, the former White House spokesperson both Jack and I know.

So, "Ruffled Flourishes" and "The 24-Karat Manager" on our recommended list, and of course, way up there "Speak Up With Confidence" from Jack Valenti. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING WEEKEND two old friends, Helen Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and author of the new book "The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military Industrial Complex."

And in Washington, Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, that's a think tank established in 1988. He served as assistant secretary of defense for international security in the Reagan Administration. I wish we had more time for this but I want to get right to it. Helen, what do you mean by new nuclear danger?

HELEN CALDICOTT, "THE NEW NUCLEAR DANGER": Well it's the same as the old nuclear danger when we were so frightened in the '80s and Reagan was talking about nuclear war and we were close to it indeed.

But unfortunately, when the Cold War ended, the Berlin Wall came down, the bombs were not eradicated and they're still there as they were in the '80s on hair trigger alert. And in 1995 we were 10 seconds from nuclear war when the Russians made an accident, and on September 11th, we were on the highest state of hair trigger alert.

KING: But that's not new, it's the same old...

CALDICOTT: No, the new thing is that we don't know the weapons are there, you see. The new thing is the ignorance of the public compared to the weapons that still remain.

KING: And you say it's a concept of a military industrial complex?

CALDICOTT: Absolutely. The Heritage Foundation, which some members of its board are the Lockheed Martin Corporation there in the administration. The Heritage Foundation members helped the people in the administration.

KING: They want to keep this going?

CALDICOTT: And they're big time into Star Wars, which is great for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, TRW, and Raytheon. It's the way to steal the American taxpayers' money so you don't have a free medical care system. They're the new robber barons.

KING: Frank, how do you respond?

FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: Well, I must tell you I'm not quite sure where to begin, Larry. It's sort of like that old Groucho Marx line, "Are you going to believe me or your own eyes."

This just doesn't bear any resemblance, I think, to the real world. There are nuclear dangers, to be sure, but they're not the problems that Helen ranted about in the 1980s, and I think she was wrong then and she certainly is wrong now.

They're the kinds of problems that are the result, actually, interestingly enough, I think more of arms control than the U.S. military industrial complex, in the sense that under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, you had people getting an opportunity to acquire nuclear power technology, which in case after case after case, they diverted into nuclear weapons programs.

And some of that is now turning up as a potential threat in the hands perhaps of Saddam Hussein or the Iranians or the North Koreans. And, in some cases, it's perhaps going to wind up in the hands of terrorists, and that we do need to worry about.

CALDICOTT: Well, you know, if you put up a five-layered Star Wars system, Frank, which is what I wrote about in the "New Nuclear Danger," you're not going to stop terrorists bringing nuclear weapons into New York Harbor.

In fact, less than two percent of those cargo ships are ever searched. You're not going to stop them driving that U-Haul trailer into New York. You're not going to stop a small plane with a nuclear weapon on it. In fact, Star Wars isn't going to do one thing for terrorists because they're smarter than that. They'll just get the weapons in anyhow, dirty bombs, clean bombs, or blow up one of the 103 nuclear power plants in America.

KING: So what's your solution?

CALDICOTT: They don't need nuclear weapons.

KING: Now what is your solution?

CALDICOTT: Larry, the Cold War is over. America has no enemies now, a few crazy zealots.

KING: You're saying destroy them all?

CALDICOTT: Yes, we must eradicate nuclear weapons or our children have no future.

KING: Frank, what's wrong with that argument? If they're not here, we're not going to be hurt by them.

GAFFNEY: Well, I must say, how does one say at a time when we are at war with people who have already inflicted thousands of casualties in this country that we have no enemies?

The problem is that the people who were smart enough to attack us once in one way may just be smart enough to realize that since we have no defense against a ballistic missile attack right now that they could use one of those short-range missiles, of which there are thousands around the world, aboard a ship off our coast and take out Los Angeles, take out New York, and since we don't even have a single layer of defense, let alone five, there's nothing we could do to stop it.

Now, there are other threats, and we do need a comprehensive homeland security approach to deal with those and fortunately that's precisely what President Bush is doing. But unlike Helen, who as with many of her friends, thinks that we mustn't under any circumstances defend ourselves against missile attack, I believe we need to defend against that as well as these other very serious problems.

CALDICOTT: Frank, every credible scientist knows that Star Wars will not work and indeed the Pentagon...

GAFFNEY: That's rubbish.

CALDICOTT: No, don't tell me I'm talking rubbish, please, and in fact...

GAFFNEY: It is.

CANDICOTT: ...people in the Pentagon are talking about using nuclear weapons in space to stop a ballistic missile attack, and anyway tourists don't have missiles. I'm a pediatrician. I'm deeply concerned our children have no future.

What America must do and the whole world really needs this, is to rise to its full moral and spiritual height, work with Russia, which is now friendly, so the Russian bombs don't destroy America and vice versa, and we don't have nuclear winter, and get rid of the weapons with Russia.

And then you have a morally legitimate claim to say to India, Pakistan, Israel, China, Britain, France, OK, you've got to eradicate the weapons and don't build more weapons.

GAFFNEY: Helen, we are working with the Russians right now, and this is again one of those places where I just urge you to take a reality check. We are working with the Russians right now. We are reducing nuclear stockpiles. In fact, I was testifying about a treaty to do that today. I believe that what we need at the moment, however, is the ability to protect our children, not simply minister to them after someone has attacked them.

CALDICOTT: Frank, you can't protect...

GAFFNEY: And I respect your Australian view of this but I think Americans want to be protected to the extent their government can do it. It is in our Constitution, Helen, that we must provide for the common defense. George Bush is trying to do that and I think he enjoys the overwhelming support of Americans who want to be defended.

KING: Yes. You see a sinister plot here, Helen?

CALDICOTT: Oh, I see a very sinister plot.

KING: In other words, these heads of companies, they want nuclear weapons around?

CALDICOTT: You bet they do, and they want this Star Wars that's blocking...

KING: Don't they have children and grandchildren?

CALDICOTT: Yes, they do, and I don't understand their psychic numbing. I'll say to them, "But what about your children," and the man says to me who's building cruise missiles, "But I'm making money out of it." And I said "Yes, but what about your children's future? I mean there will be nuclear winter. We'll all be dead." And, he says, "I'm making money out of it."

KING: Are you sure he says that?

CALDICOTT: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Is it that cold, Frank?

CALDICOTT: They said to me that. Many men talk to me like that.

GAFFNEY: I can't attest to what people might say to Helen, but I can certainly tell you what she's saying to Americans I think is falling on deaf ears, simply because it is not a function of the military industrial complex. Thank God there is a defense industry in this country that is providing us the weapons with which we're able to fight this war, not just here in the United States, but overseas where people are trying to prepare to kill us.

CALDICOTT: The Chinese...

GAFFNEY: Helen, excuse me just a second. This is a problem that I believe bears no resemblance to the Cold War which I think, with respect, you got wrong. It is a new world. You're right about that, but the nostrums of the old Cold War won't apply here and don't.

KING: What we're going to have to do is do much more on this.

CALDICOTT: Yes, we do.

KING: We just skimmed the surface.

CALDICOTT: Yes.

KING: It's great seeing you again, Frank.

GAFFNEY: Thanks, Larry.

KING: We're going to have you back soon as well as you, Helen, no matter where you are. We can do you from Australia.

CALDICOTT: I'll come back here.

KING: Or you come back.

CALDICOTT: Yes.

KING: Helen Caldicott and Frank Gaffney, the subject is Helen's new book, "The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush's Military Industrial Complex."

CALDICOTT: And I'm president of a nuclear policy research institute which is going to take on Frank Gaffney and the others in the Heritage Foundation on the media.

KING: I'll be the referee.

CALDICOTT: Thank you.

KING: Stay tuned now. We got a terrific young talent to close it off. Stay tuned for Josh Groban. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're going to close our show tonight, a return visit with Josh Groban, one of my favorite people. He sold over a million albums already and CDs. Tomorrow night, he performs on a PBS special with the Boston Pops. He's performed at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics. He's just a great natural talent without any professional training. Before you sing this song to close it out, you got married?

JOSH GROBAN, SINGER: No.

KING: Yes, you did when you were in elementary school.

GROBAN: In elementary school. KING: What happened?

GROBAN: Very good question. Second grade, there was a girl. I didn't really like her or anything. I was kind of telling her we'd get married because I wanted to get her away from me and that kind of thing was kind of...

KING: Good thinking.

GROBAN: Yes, exactly.

KING: What happened?

GROBAN: The next thing I knew every girl in the class is coming up to me saying "You're getting married at lunch," so I guess I did get married, you're right.

KING: What was her name?

GROBAN: Oh, man.

KING: She's walking around saying, "I married Josh Groban."

GROBAN: I know.

KING: And maybe you're breaking her heart tonight.

GROBAN: I know, sorry.

KING: OK, sorry kid, hey breaks are the game. That's show business.

GROBAN: Exactly, right.

KING: Josh Groban closes it out tonight with the great (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GROBAN: Thanks.

(MUSIC)

END

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