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PAULA ZAHN NOW

California Devastation Continues; Generation Y Supporting President Bush?

Aired October 28, 2003 - 20:00   ET

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

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "In Focus" tonight: the California wildfires. The devastation continues, as winds drive the flames towards Los Angeles. What can fire officials do to stop nature's fury?
A high school senior says he was expelled from school because he's gay. Is it within a school's rights to exclude students because of their sexual orientation?

And naming names. Our own Jeanne Moos explains why some names are easier to remember than others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zagat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the cat in a hat. And that's that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Good evening. Welcome. Glad you joined us tonight.

Also ahead, the continuing violence in Iraq and how the Bush administration is handling the situation there. We're going to be talking with Tom Friedman of "The New York Times" for his take. And finding the extraordinary, as everyday Americans make living history. We're going to show you how people all over the country are saving their stories for generations to come.

And the book "Fear of Flying" changed women, literature and how people saw sexuality. Well, Erica Jong's novel is turning 30. And she will be joining us to talk about how things have changed since she wrote it.

And a fast-food giant wants to take the guilt out of eating fried chicken. Will their new ads work?

That and more tonight.

But first, the winds may have died down, but the danger has not. "In Focus" tonight, the massive wildfires that threaten much of Southern California are closing in on Los Angeles. And, as you can see from satellite pictures, the scope of the devastation so far is absolutely incredible. At least 13 active fires have scorched more than 600,000 acres from just north of Los Angeles all the way to Mexico. Our reporters are on the scene tonight live. Martin Savidge joins us from Porter Ranch, a suburb of Los Angeles that is in the path of the flames.

We begin tonight, though, with national correspondent Frank Buckley near Lake Arrowhead, a popular vacation spot where hundreds of homes are threatened this evening.

Frank, good evening.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula.

A very tense situation here near Lake Arrowhead, along Highway 18, because, just recently, the winds shifted after a day of relative calm. And the fire jumped Highway 18 from the south side to the north side. You'll see, in this video that we have, the fire actually consuming a building. It's a conference center, the Wylie Woods Conference Center. Fortunately, this area evacuated, so no one inside the building, as far as we know.

But this was a major setback, because firefighters wanted to hold the fire south of Highway 18 here at the 5,000- to 6,000-foot elevation, because, beyond Highway 18, is the community of Lake Arrowhead, a very popular vacation area, also year-round residents there, thousands of people with homes in that area, very little defensible space, as the firefighters call it, between Highway 18 and those structures, just a lot of fuel to burn.

Now, sadly, this comes after a good day of successes for the firefighters, where they fought back against the fire, in many cases, had what they considered to be some very good saves, that is, saving structures. But the wind has changed again this evening. And they are very tense this night, as they are trying to contain this fire that has jumped Highway 18.

One other note about how difficult and dangerous it is to cover these fires, some of our colleagues from one of the local television stations in Los Angeles, KNBC-TV, lost their news van as they were attempting to cover this fire, the fire very quickly consuming their news van. Fortunately, they were able to get out and were rescued by firefighters, but a very vivid illustration of how dangerous it is to cover these fires -- Paula.

ZAHN: So, Frank, give us a sense of what homeowners are doing tonight, as they see these winds shift back and forth.

BUCKLEY: Well, the homeowners in this area should have been evacuated by now. Now, not all of them have.

In fact, just this evening, we talked to one man in his 80s, who said he's grown up here. He lived here his entire life. He knows that he is going to be safe, so he's deciding to stay in his home. Having said that, he's surrounded by firefighters, so he feels a bit safer.

But the access up this way, it's narrow access, two-lane highway. If you're up here and the fire comes up to your home, you will not have a chance to get out. So, residents have all been told that it is time to evacuate. They were told this hours before. Most of them should be out of the area tonight.

ZAHN: Frank Buckley, thanks for the update.

We're going to stay with the story and check in with Martin Savidge now, who is standing live in Porter Ranch, near Los Angeles.

Martin, what's going on there at this hour?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, for the Simi Valley, it was a good news, bad news, and then eventually good news kind of day.

The Santa Ana winds have died down. That's the good news. The bad news is, now you have an onshore breeze blowing. That is blowing from the opposite direction, pushing the fire in an opposite direction. That means that areas that once were considered to be safe are now being threatened.

And the latest hot spot is a place called Stephens Ranch (ph). That's in L.A. County, just a couple miles to the north of us there. Firefighters were rushing to get in. Residents were rushing to get out. And we are told, just minutes before we came to you, that they have managed to contain that blaze and keep it away from the residential area, a positive thing, obviously.

Earlier, firefighters here in the Simi Valley fire were able for the first time to switch from being in a defensive mode to an offensive mode. That is, since Saturday, when this blaze began. Now, they're using (AUDIO GAP) helicopters and aircraft in a massive way, putting down flame retardant and water.

In San Diego, to the south, and San Diego County, another mixed- bag kind of day. Again, improved weather conditions down there allowed them to make progress on the Old Fire, as it's called, but they lost ground to another one. More evacuations were ordered. Others were told to get ready to evacuate, as the Paradise Fire now has spread west and south.

All told, here in California, as of just a few minutes ago, there are 13 wildfires burning in four counties. They have claimed 16 lives, 1,935 homes, and 400,000 acres -- Paula.

ZAHN: I don't know whether it's my imagination, Martin, but as I'm watching you, it looks like pieces of ash are falling on you. Is that what I'm seeing?

SAVIDGE: You'll find that almost everywhere you go here in Southern California. It does rain. But, in this case, it happens to be ash that's falling from the sky, not necessarily a threat. But it shows you just how much dust, smoke and ash is in the air. It's actually becoming a health concern for many people -- Paula.

ZAHN: Yet another horrible thing for those folks out there to have to worry about.

Martin Savidge, thanks so much.

Now, some of the fires in California are believed to have been started by arsonists, including the ones in San Bernardino County. I'm joined on the phone now by the county sheriff's office public information officer Chip Patterson for the very latest on the investigation there.

Sir, thank you for taking time out from your very busy day.

First off, what is the status of the investigation into this?

CHIP PATTERSON, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, SAN BERNARDINO SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Well, we were fortunate enough to have a good eyewitness account that give us a composite sketch of one of the suspects. And we are actually looking for two guys.

They were both seen driving a van away from the point where this fire started. And, as I mentioned, we have a good composite sketch that we have just released of one suspect. And our hope is that someone can identify this man and a person who had access to a light gray van that was seen leaving the area. And if we can put those two together, then we'll have a good chance of finding these suspects.

ZAHN: How close do you think you are to putting those two things together?

PATTERSON: Well, we have opened a tip line especially for this case, something that we hardly ever do. But due to the magnitude of this case -- we have at least four deaths associated with this fire, hundreds of homes lost, tens of thousands of people evacuating -- so because of the magnitude of the case, we've opened a special tip line and we've received well over 100 calls to that line.

As a matter of fact, we're getting tips about other fires in the region, so we're hoping that that will be useful.

ZAHN: What have witnesses told you about any evidence they might have seen linking these two men in these composite sketches to the San Bernardino fire?

PATTERSON: Well, there's no doubt our investigation has shown that these two guys were at the scene. They were at the place where the fire started. They were there at the time the fire was first reported. We have a number of witnesses who saw them leaving the area.

So we're confident that this fire was set. There's very little doubt about that, it was arson. As a matter of fact, these two suspects are facing murder charges as well, because, as I mentioned, there are four deaths associated with this fire. And that's only the ones that we know of at this point.

ZAHN: Did any of those witnesses specifically describe actually seeing these two men set the fire? PATTERSON: Yes, that is the case. We have good information that we feel is accurate. And we don't have any reason to doubt the witnesses' statements that they have given.

ZAHN: And finally tonight, Mr. Patterson, what is the level of anger directed at these two potential suspects?

PATTERSON: I have to tell you that things are so hectic here that I think most people are concerned with their property, their safety, which is good. I don't think anger is going to be very productive.

But most people have been cooperative. We have to evacuate tens of thousands of people from the mountain communities here in our county, and there are only a couple highways with which to do that. So, it's very hard and difficult. It tries people's patience. And, of course, we have had hundreds of people who have lost their homes. So I think that seems to be the focus of people, is to get themselves safe, make sure that they get their animals out.

And I think there is anger, certainly. Probably, when it all comes down, when it all settles, I'm sure there will be anger and hurt. But for now, I think safety is a priority.

ZAHN: Well, we wish you tremendous luck and hope you get that break in the case that you certainly deserve. Mr. Patterson, thank you for spending a little time with us this evening.

PATTERSON: Thank you for having me on. Appreciate it.

ZAHN: Another suicide bombing today in Iraq killed at least two Iraqis. The attack in Fallujah follows a rash of coordinated blasts yesterday that killed more than 30 people and a bloody weekend in Baghdad. What does this mean for the Bush administration's Iraq policy? Is peace possible?

"New York Times" foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman is in our Washington bureau tonight.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us, Tom.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Great to be here, Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks.

Let's start off by reviewing a little of what the president had to say earlier today at the Rose Garden. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will defend my record at the appropriate time, and look forward to it. I will say that the world is more peaceful and more free under my leadership, and America is more secure.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZAHN: Do you agree with the president's assessment? Is the world a safer place? Is America a safer place because of this war on terror?

FRIEDMAN: I hate to cop out on you, Paula, but it's way too soon to tell.

This is such an ongoing thing, and tomorrow, we could be hit with anything from anywhere, that I think this is a chronic problem. We're going to have to face it. This president and whoever succeeds him will have to face it. So I wouldn't stake my flag anywhere at this point on whether we're safer or less safe.

ZAHN: The president also went on to say that he will not change his course of action. Is that appropriate?

FRIEDMAN: I think that's absolutely the right answer, because the only other answer is to pick up and leave. And I think that would be a disaster, a disaster for Iraq and a disaster for America.

I think the right answer is more, better, faster, more Iraqi police, a quicker move toward writing an Iraqi constitution, a quicker effort toward electing a full and legitimate Iraqi government, legitimate in the eyes of the Iraqi people. And, ultimately, we're going to have to finish the war. We didn't finish the war. Two divisions of Republican Guards in Baghdad and in that Sunni Triangle, where most of these attacks are happening, took off their uniforms and melted away.

And we're now fighting them in civilian clothes. And it's going to take a little more major combat, I think, to ultimately root them out.

ZAHN: Do the kinds of organized attacks we have seen over the last week indicate to you that perhaps the resistance is much more centralized and organized than the administration previously thought?

FRIEDMAN: Well, there's no question that we're up against some very sophisticated opponents. There's no question about that.

But ask yourself a couple of questions, Paula. One is, why is it that no one ever takes credit for these attacks? And I think the answer to that is very simple, because the people who are doing this don't want us to know who they are, because they're not doing this, with all due respect to France, in the name of recovering Iraq sovereignty. They're not doing this so Iraqis can rule themselves. They're doing this so they can rule Iraqis.

These are either old Baathists or al Qaeda-like terrorists.

ZAHN: Is it your belief that any foreign governments are coordinating these attacks?

FRIEDMAN: I don't have any proof of that right now, Paula.

But I think that we have to stop today and look at what happened this week, because something really important happened on Monday. On the first day of Ramadan, a suicide bomber, driving a Red Cross ambulance, blew up the Red Cross. I mean, this is so outside the bounds of civilization as we know it. That is a really profound thing.

And I don't know whether there's a government behind it or just a group of people behind it. But this is way beyond resisting occupation. These kinds of acts are a fundamental threat to civilization. And it's something we have to resist, Iraqis have to resist, and the whole Arab-Muslim world has to resist.

ZAHN: On the issue of Iran, the administration said today they would like to resume some kind of contacts with the Iranian government, this after, of course, the president quite pointedly referred to Iran as one of the members of the axis of evil. Is this the right approach on the administration's part?

FRIEDMAN: Absolutely.

I've advocated, myself, a reinvigorated diplomatic approach to both Iran and Syria. These are the two countries, most important countries, I think, bordering on Iraq right now. And we cannot win in Iraq and have alienated the entire ring of countries around it. And so, my focus, Paula, is one thing: making a success, making some kind of decent outcome in Iraq. If that can happen, OK, good things will flow from that for America and American foreign policy.

ZAHN: Tom Friedman, always good to spend time with you. Appreciate your dropping by, even with your cold this evening.

FRIEDMAN: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: Take care.

He's popping the vitamin C even as we speak.

What are young voters telling us about the next presidential election? We're going to take a look at some surprising new poll results with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.

And some extraordinary stories from ordinary people, saving the history of regular folks for themselves and the next generation.

And does a school have the right to expel students just because of their sexual orientation?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: With an election year approaching, you're likely to hear a lot about generation Y. Those are the people who in their early to mid 20s. And their potential votes in 2004 are significant, because, in a close race, they could determine the winner. So what are young voters telling us right now about the election?

For that, I'm joined by two of the co-hosts from "CROSSFIRE," Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. Always good to see you. Welcome.

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Thanks, Paula.

Let's start off by looking at the numbers tonight, a brand new CNN/"USA Today" poll basically saying that, among 18-to-29-year-olds, the president gets a 62 percent approval rating. And then, when the pollsters went on, they found that over 50 percent of those younger voters favor the way postwar Iraq has been handled, 53 percent approval rating.

Tucker, does any of this surprise you?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": It does surprise me.

I think the theme throughout all of these numbers is hopefulness. People under 30 are just much more optimistic about America's future. They feel more secure in the job market. With the economy, they think things are getting better. They think Iraq is getting better than people over 30 do. It doesn't surprise me, necessarily, that they say they're going to vote for Bush. How often they really do vote is an open question.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Well, that's a big question, because, in the last election, it was, what, somewhere hovering around less than a third of them voted.

CARLSON: Well, it's always much lower for younger people. But it doesn't surprise me that they gravitate toward the more positive candidate. Agree or disagree, I think we can all agree -- with the policy -- we can all agree that Bush is the most optimistic candidate running right now.

ZAHN: All right, let me ask you this, Paul. Are these potential voters optimistic or ill-informed?

BEGALA: Well, yes, if ignorance is bliss, young people are the happiest folks in America, Paula.

One of the things that comes out of CNN poll here is that they are three times less likely than their older peers to be plugged into issues and ideas. In fact, Paula, they are our future and they're hopelessly ill-informed.

CARLSON: They may be that, but they have sort of striking opinions, though. They're considerably more against abortion than people over 30. They're much more pro-gay marriage. They're much less likely to go to church. They're uniformly against the draft. If there's one thing that people under 30 agree on, it's, draft bad.

So there actually are kind of ideological themes that run through their answers. ZAHN: Well, any of the Democratic candidates running for president can't be happy about this statistic when it comes to the economy poll. Basically, these same 18-to-29-year-olds saying, 58 percent of them, that the economy is getting better. What does that mean for these Democrats?

BEGALA: Well, it means, first off, they have got to put out their ideas for the future. But we just don't know.

It could be that they think that this president is going to leave office and they'll get a new president, because, when you ask them, how are things today, it's one of the few areas in the poll where they are precisely the same as their older siblings and peers and parents. They think the economy today is not very good. They're much more optimistic, which is the point that Tucker pointed out. That may be just a natural condition of youth.

ZAHN: So, should the no-gloat memo be going out to all Republicans tonight, Tucker?

CARLSON: I can't imagine anybody in the White House or who is rooting for the White House is in a mood to gloat. I think there's really a sense, at least in Washington, it is going to be a very difficult election.

I will say, one really interesting thing in this poll was how well Al Sharpton did. If you ask Democratic voters under 30, who do you want, a full 12 percent say Al Sharpton, 12 percent. Compare that to 6 percent for Dick Gephardt, an actual U.S. congressman. Half -- Gephardt is polling half of Al Sharpton. It's wonderful.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Well, Paul, what about this? How about Howard Dean? There was this theory that, given the momentum he gained on the Internet, a lot of young people would be drawn to his candidacy. In the same polling column, you had General Wesley Clark outpolling Howard Dean.

BEGALA: Yes, I think those two are the ones who are going to have the greatest appeal. And it takes both style and substance.

When I was working for Bill Clinton a million years ago, back when I was a young person, he borrowed my sunglasses to go on "Arsenio Hall" and play saxophone. He got a lot of grief for that, but it was a stylistic break with the past. In that same show, he also sat down for an hour with Arsenio and talked about the riots in L.A. that had happened.

And so you have got to reach them both on style and substance. So far, I think, in my party, Dean and Clark have gotten a head-start on that.

ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, we are going to have to leave it there this evening.

Paul and Tucker, as always, thanks for dropping by. Appreciate your time, tonight.

BEGALA: Thanks, Paula.

CARLSON: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: And be sure to join Anderson Cooper next Tuesday for a rock-the-vote special beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. We will be following it up here with analysis at 8:30, where we will be standing by live in the spin room. And I'll have the opportunity to talk with most of the major Democratic candidates.

She broke all the rules 30 years ago. Tonight, author Erica Jong looks back at her book "Fear of Flying," what it means to women decades later, what's changed, what hasn't.

Also, the touching and revealing stories of ordinary people. What can a living history teach us about ourselves?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID ISAY, CREATOR, STORYCORPS: The idea is that you take your grandmother or your grandfather and you sit in the booth. And we turn the microphone on and, invariably, people start to cry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

What stories about your own life would you like to share with future generations? Well, thanks to a unique oral history program called StoryCorps, thousands of ordinary people will get the chance to share their memories. Recording booths are coming to Chicago and the West Coast. But the first one has just opened up in New York City's Grand Central terminal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): Seven-hundred thousand commuters hustle and bustle through Grand Central Station every day. Most will never know the stories of the people sitting on the train next to them. Some never will know the stories of their own mothers and fathers. But an innovative new project is helping to ensure that people's personal stories will be preserved forever.

CONNIE ROSEN, STORYCORPS PARTICIPANT: We always spoke English at home, except when there was something they didn't want the kids to understand, which is how I happened to learn German.

ZAHN: The tiny kiosk called StoryCorps put here to allow everybody with a story to tell a chance to record their personal history.

ISAY: We're charging $10 per session to make sure that everybody can participate. ZAHN: David Isay is a radio documentarian and creator of this project. Just last week, he and his team opened the doors to their little booth tucked in a busy passageway. But business is already booming. Connie Rosen, a spry 76-year-old native New Yorker, was brought here today by her daughter Terry.

ISAY: The stories that you get in this booth are the stories of real people. What we see every night on reality TV, that's not real people. The guys who are shining shoes right over there, those are real people. The ticket-takers, those are real people.

C. ROSEN: I was thinking about it. I don't know how my parents met, because I wasn't clever enough to ask them, I guess.

ZAHN: Terry, though, was clever enough to ask.

TERRY ROSEN, DAUGHTER OF CONNIE: Tell about how you met dad.

C. ROSEN: 1952, I met my husband. This blind date of mine had been invited to a party. And he had told everybody else at the party that he was bringing this blind date with him, and she was probably a dog.

ZAHN: But Terry had another reason to bring her mother here today.

T. ROSEN: I had one shot at it with my mother, because my father is no longer with us. And I used to joke with my father many years before he died that I wanted a tape recording of him at his grave site, so when we would come to visit his grave, we could just press a button and hear all of his great stories and jokes.

ZAHN: But she never did it before he died. With StoryCorps, Isay hopes that will never happen again, a bit of 20th-century technology to help generations of Americans remember the past.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Great idea. And the price is right.

A high school senior says he was kicked out of school for being gay. Can homosexuality be grounds for expulsion?

And nothing sounds as sweet to the human ear than the sound of one's own name. Our Jeanne Moos names names you are not going to forget.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

The Santa Ana winds are dying down, allowing California's wildfires to spread in unexpected directions. Homeowners in a community about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles had just about 15 minutes to evacuate when flames turned toward them. We're going to get a live update on the fires from Martin Savidge near the top of the hour.

And some dramatic testimony today in the D.C.-area sniper trial. A survivor of last year's shootings told her story. Earlier witnesses described seeing a car like the one defendant John Allen Muhammad drove near the scene of two of those shootings.

Hip-hop star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs says he is shocked at allegations his clothing line is made in Honduran sweatshops. A teenage girl says workers get 15 cents to make shirts that sell for $40 apiece.

ZAHN: And a lawsuit in Florida could become the latest in the battleground in the fight for gay rights. Eighteen-year-old Jeffrey Woodard and his mother are suing Woodard's old school, Jupiter Christian School. Woodard says he was expelled after he admitted to a teacher that he was gay. In an exclusive interview, Woodard joins us now live from West Palm Beach, Florida. We are also joined by his attorney tonight, Trent Steele.

Welcome to you both.

TRENT STEELE, WOODARD'S ATTORNEY: Thank you.

JEFFREY WOODARD, EXPELLED STUDENT: Thank you.

ZAHN: Let's start off with the whole question of your contention, Jeffrey, that you were expelled because you were gay. Can you categorically -- categorically tell us that there is nothing else in your record that should have gotten you expelled from this school?

WOODARD: There is nothing at all. In fact, there was nothing else mentioned in the meeting between me and the president at the school. So personally, there is nothing, really, that they can say about me.

ZAHN: All right, Trent...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... describe to us when you had this meeting, what you were told.

WOODARD: Trent was not there...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I'm sorry. Jeffrey. Jeffrey. I meant you, Jeffrey.

WOODARD: Oh, for myself for the meeting?

ZAHN: Yes.

WOODARD: Well, when we had the meeting itself, it took place on a Sunday. We were asked to come -- we were taken into Mr. Richard Grimm's office, and he greeted us, gave us a handshake. And he said, It has come to our attention that your son is a homosexual. He then asked what we would like to do about it, and then he paused, waiting for a response.

ZAHN: And then what happened?

WOODARD: Personally, I was shocked. My mother didn't know what to say. She knew about my sexuality, though she didn't know what they were going for.

ZAHN: And you never have been given a written document with the reasons why you were expelled?

WOODARD: No. During the interview between the president and myself dealing with my expulsion, there was an agreement made between my mother and the president, of which my mother asked that she receive a letter in writing, making the statement of why I was expelled. Unfortunately, the letter that the president had given her never stated why.

ZAHN: I'd like to read, Jeffrey, to you part of an open letter that the president of the school has sent out to the public, and it basically says, "I can assure you that the allegations in the lawsuit are false, and Jupiter Christian School is confident the legal system will fully exonerate the school. Jupiter Christian School officials did not out Mr. Woodard, nor did we violate any request for confidentiality."

What do you think of this response?

WOODARD: Well, unfortunately, that response is completely false. As of Friday, when Mr. Todd Bellhorn (ph), the man who had asked me about my sexuality, came to me and talked to me about it, he stated that the conversation between us would be kept confidential. Unfortunately, that was not the case. He stated at the end of our conversation that he would have to inform the administration about it.

ZAHN: And Trent, finally, we spoke with someone from the school tonight, who said that he couldn't come on the show because Jeffrey's family has not signed a release that would allow him to share any records that would substantiate his case. And I guess there's an intimation that something perhaps is being hidden here. Is there?

STEELE: Not that I'm aware of. I have never been requested by anyone from the school for a release. Neither has Jeffrey. So I don't know -- and I don't know of anything that would prohibit him from coming on here and telling us what the school's policy is concerning the admission or expulsion of gay and lesbian students. And I've got the handbook here, the parent-student handbook here. We've gone through it...

ZAHN: And it lists three reasons, right?

STEELE: Yes.

ZAHN: And the three reasons for being expelled are committing a felony, assaulting a teacher, and/or possessing a weapon.

STEELE: Right. Right. Those are...

ZAHN: All these things deny that Jeffrey has anything to do with.

STEELE: Correct. And there's nothing in his transcript that indicates why he was expelled. There are no behavioral problems that are noted. He was a good student there. He was well-liked. There really is no other reason. And any attempts by the school, at this point, to fabricate something are really unfortunate, and frankly, not very Christian, as far as I can see.

ZAHN: And Trent, one final question for you. There is a report that Jeffrey did fail a couple classes last year. Could that have anything to do with this?

STEELE: No, none whatsoever. None whatsoever. And frankly, if it was that simple, they would have spelled that out. I mean, the letter that they gave Jeffrey simply -- it is completely silent. And they could have ended this a long time ago, if that's the reason why. They're just not man enough to stand up to the plate and tell people -- tell Jeffrey first, and then tell everyone else why they've expelled him. That's really what the lawsuit's about, is for schools like this to make it clear what their policy is, instead of blindsiding, you know, kids like Jeffrey.

ZAHN: Well, we're going to have to leave it there tonight. Gentlemen, Jeffrey Woodard, Trent Steele, thank you for sharing your story with us.

Let's quickly check in with Jeffrey Toobin, who's standing by to talk about a number of legal issues this evening. You heard what the school said on the record, that these allegations are simply not true. Does Jeffrey have a case here?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think he has a tough case. If he was thrown out because he was gay, he still may have no case. Many states have laws that bar discrimination against gay people. Florida is not one of those states. They don't have a law that bars discrimination against gay people. That's one reason. Two, this is a religious school. This is a Christian school. They may well argue, It is part of our religion that we cannot condone homosexuality. That's a real argument. I don't know if that'll win.

ZAHN: You just looked at this letter, though, with me...

TOOBIN: Right.

ZAHN: ... and say that the legalese is pretty ambiguous.

TOOBIN: It's ambiguous because they're not really admitting why they threw him out of the school. What I'm saying is that even if they did admit that they threw him out because he was gay...

ZAHN: It's not... (CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: ... they still may win the case. Right.

ZAHN: Tell us what happened in the sniper case today.

TOOBIN: Incredible testimony. Just imagine, a police officer seeing someone shot, I mean, seeing someone who had just been shot, and then realizing that two other people had been shot the same day, the growing horror that this was a -- you know, that this was a pattern. You know, someone who literally had their brains blown out on a park bench -- they thought it was a suicide because it was so -- but then they realized there was no weapon by the body. Just graphic -- more graphic testimony, and some tying John Muhammad's car to the areas where the crime took place. But still, no one's seen John Muhammad shoot anybody.

ZAHN: So the testimony harsh and graphic, damaging to the defense. There was also a move that also didn't help them, the idea that the mental health testimony regarding any childhood trauma suffered by John Allen Muhammad will not be allowed?

TOOBIN: That relates to the penalty phase, if there is a penalty phase. John Muhammad has consistently refused to undergo a psychiatric examination by government psychiatrists. So what the judge says, and it's understandable, We're not going to let you put in psychiatric evidence unless you agree to be examined by our psychiatrist, leaving the question of what is the defense going to do if he's convicted? What do you -- how do you go to the jury and say, Please don't execute my client because of -- what? I don't know. I mean, it's a very tough call.

ZAHN: Our man of the hour. You can take us to every little legal corner on the planet here.

TOOBIN: And tomorrow, Laci Peterson preliminary hearing starts.

ZAHN: See you tomorrow night.

TOOBIN: From Modesto.

ZAHN: It's a date.

Could it really be 30 years since Erica Jong first shocked readers with her sex-charged novel "Fear of Flying"? She will join us tonight to talk about what her take on female sexual freedom meant then, what it means now. And guess who's jumping into the health-food bandwagon? Can KFC gain a foothold, or will it slip on all the grease?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: In 1973, fashion was wildly mod, the singles bars were hopping and Erica Jong hit the best-seller list with her outrageous exploration of female sexual freedom, "Fear of Flying." She's here to talk about how the book speaks to women some 30 years later is Erica Jong. Happy anniversary. How are you?

ERICA JONG, AUTHOR, "FEAR OF FLYING": Thank you. Only 30 years.

ZAHN: Are women any more sexually liberated than they were 30 years ago?

JONG: Well, I think, in some ways, they are. I think they have a sense of entitlement. They feel they are -- they deserve pleasure, which is a big change. But if I go around to colleges and talk to kids who are studying "Fear of Flying" in their literature classes or human sexuality classes, they tell me the double standard is alive and well.

ZAHN: And that double standard is?

JONG: Is if a girl...

ZAHN: As far as they're concerned.

JONG: ... is open about her sexuality, she's considered a slut, whereas a guy is considered a player. So they read "Fear of Flying" -- and I'm talking about the 20-year-olds -- and they say, I get it. I know this book. This is my life. So a whole new generation is identifying with "Fear of Flying," which is amazing and a little bit awful, in a way, because we've changed, we've changed, we've changed. You know, we have "Sex and the City" on TV. We have all the covers of magazines saying, you know, How to drive him wild in bed, and yet in the area of feelings, young women are still afraid to be considered sluts. They're afraid to "put out." They're afraid to get a bad name. So much has not changed.

ZAHN: Do you see anything changing that, altering those attitudes?

JONG: Sadly, I mean, you hear of, you know, 14-year-old girls servicing guys or 12-year-olds, you know, but not getting pleasure themselves. I think Oprah did a whole show on that.

ZAHN: Yes, but I mean, do you really want your 12 or 13-year- old, you know, being on any reciprocal end of a sexual act at that age?

JONG: No, you don't. You don't. But it's, again, women giving up their pleasure. True liberation means that both sexes experience pleasure, and there's mutuality. Do we have that? I don't think so.

ZAHN: Take us back to when this book first came out. It was so controversial. Do you kind of feel like you had to watch where you were going, that someone might not be very happy about your message?

JONG: Oh, there were so many people who attacked me, you know, in print, on TV. The book was very much misunderstood. It was seen as a testament to women just being wildly promiscuous, and of course, it isn't that. It's a novel that deals with sexual fantasy more than sexual reality. And people read it and they say, Oh, my God. That's going on inside my head, too. ZAHN: Do you think...

JONG: So it's more about fantasy life than anything...

ZAHN: Do you think the overt sexuality we're all exposed to on television on a daily basis is a good or a bad thing for women?

JONG: I think it's quite deadening, and I don't think it represents true liberation. That makes me sound like a prude 30 years later, but I think this blatant sexuality -- I mean, I see girls, teenage girls practically getting naked in the street, and the boys are indifferent. I think the great untold story is the indifference of young men to all this sexual display. The guys seem to be running in the opposite direction. The girls seem to be wildly aggressive. Maybe we need a little more secrecy and seductiveness in sex.

ZAHN: Maybe that's your next book.

JONG: Maybe!

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: Erica Jong, thanks for helping us travel back in time. Appreciate you dropping by.

JONG: Thank you.

ZAHN: We're going to take a short break here.

Shakespeare asks, "What's in a name?"

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hag, like Hagen-Dazs ice cream. You know ice cream?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Four hundred years later, our own Jeanne Moos finds out. And one fast-food chain shortened its name years ago to avoid the word "fry." We're going to tell you what it's doing now to position fried chicken as healthy for you. And tomorrow, a look at a high school that will serve a select group of students.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Can healthy food be "finger licking good"? Well, Kentucky Fried Chicken begins an ad campaign tomorrow claiming a place for fried chicken in a healthy diet. The nation's growing concern over obesity has various fast-food chains tweaking their menus and marketing, but will the public buy the notion of healthy fried chicken? Let's ask advertising executive Donny Deutsch.

Will this ad work? DONNY DEUTSCH, CHAIRMAN/CEO OF DEUTSCH, INC.: It might, believe it or not. It might. You know, the reality is, it's fried chicken, so your first thought is, Oh, how can they do this? But the reality is, it's price of entry now in fast food. If you look at McDonald's, if you look at Subway, if you look at Burger King, Wendy's, they all know they've got to be in this game. So these guys are selling chicken, so they're doing their darnedest.

ZAHN: Let's look at the ad together to see what you all think out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jack? Is that you? Man, you look fantastic. What the heck you been doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eating chicken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The secret's out. One original recipe chicken breast has just 11 grams of carbs and packs 40 grams of protein. So if you're watching carbs and going high-protein, go KFC. And now, get a 12-piece bucket of kitchen-fresh chicken for just $9.99.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicken?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a fresh way to eat better, you've got to KFC what's cookin'.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: All right, hang on, folks, though. Did you check out that disclaimer that kept on coming in and out of the bottom part of the screen, warning that chicken is not a fat-free, cholesterol-free food? Does the presence of that fine print, Donny, sort of dilute the impact of this ad?

DEUTSCH: I think if you blew up the fine print and made it a highlight of the commercial, it would. Look, they're taking a stab. You know, basically, if you're in the business today of unhealthy food or fattening food or fried food, you're eventually out of business. So the good news for them is they're starting with chicken. I mean, chicken is healthy. I think the challenge for them going forward, they're need some menu items, whether it's roast chicken or whatnot, to kind of support this claim because if it's fully based on just their fried chicken business, I think it's going to run thin, so...

ZAHN: Is this an attempt by the company to create a protective barrier from lawsuits?

DEUTSCH: No. I don't know the -- you know, clearly, we've had McDonald', as you just said, you know, with bulimic -- with overweight kids, you know, which I think is ridiculous. At the end of the day, you know, parents are in charge of their kids. McDonald's is not the reason we have obese children. I think this is them, look, reading the tea leaves, basically, saying, Look, we need healthy offerings. If we don't have that, we're eventually out of business. I mean, you have Subway selling heroes, saying they're healthy. You've got McDonald's, what has rescued them is their new, kind of, you know, salad items. This is the way the world eats today.

ZAHN: Now, this company changed its name from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC.

DEUTSCH: Yes. Yes. Once again, "fried" is just not a good word today. I mean, it's very hard-pressed in any part of the country. Maybe, you know, the deep South, maybe certain places fried is good. We are brought up today -- there are certain things we're brought up on. Fried, no good.

ZAHN: Would you have made that ad?

DEUTSCH: I would have certainly made a better ad, of course. But I mean, I would have...

ZAHN: What, made the disclaimer a lot smaller?

DEUTSCH: No, no, no. I don't mean that. I think I would have really said, How can we position healthy, and how can we even add on menu items that will support it? I think it's a good first pass. They certainty have some work to do.

ZAHN: Are you hungry?

DEUTSCH: I'm always hungry.

ZAHN: Donny Deutsch, chairman and CEO of Deutsch, Incorporated, come back soon.

The old saying goes, it's all in the name.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Helen Butleroff. Like a butler jumped off a cliff, B-U-T-L-E-R-O-F-F.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So when you're introduced, how do you make sure people get it right?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: When it comes to remembering names, some are harder than others, but have you ever noticed how people develop little techniques to make sure their names roll off your tongue? CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to name-dropping our own names, what some of us like to drop is a hint, whether you're Cindy Gallop...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: G-A-L-L-O-P, as in horse.

MOOS: ... or Dr. Jimmy Holland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holland, H-O-L-L-A-N-D, like the country.

MOOS: Or Kathy Sedan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sedan, like a four-door car.

MOOS: No matter how simple the name...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: South, like the direction.

MOOS: ... directions can't hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Lapan, just like Japan but with an "L."

MOOS: And when you interview folks for a living, you hear lots of names explained.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Bedgood, B-E-D-G-O-O-D, just like you don't want to say it.

MOOS: Just like you don't want to say good in bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Helen Butleroff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Spell it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like a butler jumped off a cliff, B-U-T-L- E-R-O-F-F.

MOOS: And if you think that's a mouthful, at the sword- swallowers' convention, we interviewed this guy's girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Jessica Mulligan, like the stew.

MOOS: From stew to ice cream, at a story on robotic parking, we met Gerhardt Hag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hag, like Hagen-Dazs (ph) ice cream. You know ice cream?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes!

MOOS: And speaking of food, you've probably heard of this restaurant survey, but can you pronounce it? I asked Tim.

(on camera): Zagat?

TIM ZAGAT, ZAGAT SURVEYS: Like the cat in the hat, and that's that. But everybody calls me Tim Zagat. And when I call up somebody that I don't know, I don't say Tim Zagat, because if I did, they'd say, The gap? What is the gap calling me about?

MOOS (voice-over): Now, when you photograph prize chickens, it's only fitting on to say your name is...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tamara, like camera.

MOOS: We've been collecting these examples for three years, from the winner of the staring contest, Willy Lemon...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: L-E-M-O-N, like the fruit.

MOOS: ... to a contestant in the air guitar competition...

(on camera): Crane?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crane.

MOOS: C-R-A-N-E, right?

(voice-over): ... to the man who fought to keep the name Sodom Road, Richard...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Morse, like the code.

MOOS: Even famous names, like the U.N. secretary general, fall victim to mispronunciation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kofi Annan, who...

MOOS: It happened so often, the U.N. press office has devised a formula for saying Kofi Anna.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kofi as in Sophie, Annan as in cannon.

MOOS: I feel his pain. Anchors routinely butcher my name.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Here's CNN's Jeanne Moose.

MOOS (on camera): Well, actually, it's Moos, Jeanne Moos, like most without the "T."

(voice-over): One of my favorites came from the winner of the ugly couch contest, Camille Hemphill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hemphill, like marijuana.

MOOS: You'd have to be smoking something not to get that hint. Jeanne, like most without the "T" Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Zahn, as in, like, tooth in German.

All right, "LARRY KING LIVE" is straight ahead. First we're going to go straight back to California now for one more look at the wildfires. Martin Savidge standing by live from Porter Ranch with the very latest. Martin, good evening again.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula. In the war against fire in southern California, the latest battle zone is Lake Arrowhead in that part of the state. Late this afternoon, the flames jumped over what is known as the "Rim of the World" highway. It's also known as highway 18. They are now moving north towards the lake. The bad news is, of course, that there are hundreds of vacation homes that lie in the path of the flames, as they spread their way up towards the beach.

Then here in Simi Valley, it was a relatively good day here. They went on the offensive against the flames. However, a scare at Stevens Ranch (ph) Lake this afternoon. Residents were rushing out, firefighters rushed in as the fire turned in their direction. The good news is they've contained it. San Diego, one fire was contained, or at least they made progress on that. That's the old (ph) fire. The Paradise fire continues to spread both to the west and to the south. More evacuations under way there

Sixteen dead, almost two thousand homes have been destroyed, thirteen fires are underway, Paula. The good news -- we end on a positive note -- weather improving.

ZAHN: Well, glad to hear that. Our hearts, though, still go out to all those folks so deeply affected by this. Martin Savidge, thanks for the update.

Thank you all for being with us tonight. That wraps it up for all of us here. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Have a good night.

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