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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Gore Endorses Dean; Congressman Bill Janklow Convicted of Manslaughter

Aired December 8, 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: The man who won the popular vote four years ago could now help land Howard Dean the nomination.
A verdict in the case of a congressman accused of manslaughter.

The day that will live in infamy as seen through the eyes of the dwindling ranks of survivors. Time is robbing us all of their unique perspective, an account of the attack on Pearl Harbor in the voice of those who were there.

Good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.

Also ahead, the latest on the Michael Jackson case and the ex-con charged with kidnapping missing college student Dru Sjodin.

We will also a new CNN contributor tonight, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden.

And he killed a man, ate him and claimed it was consensual. But is this grisly story really about the right to die?

Plus, our lives are getting better, by so many standards. For a lot, incomes are higher than ever, with every luxury imaginable. So why are so many of us so miserable? We're going to look at what some are calling the progress paradox.

Plus, we'll meet some teenagers who are America's science stars of the future. Their work may change your life sooner than you think.

First, though, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

A jury has convicted Congressman Bill Janklow of second-degree manslaughter. It took five hours for the jury in Janklow's South Dakota hometown to find Janklow guilty of speeding through a stop sign at 70 miles per hour and killing a motorcyclist last August. Janklow could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

One person was killed, 15 injured today in Toronto when an aging theater collapsed. The debris fell into a school next-door, where a language class was going on in the top floor of that building.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is making his only public appearance tonight during his visit to the United States. Tomorrow, he will meet with President Bush. Among other things, the White House says the two will discuss North Korea's nuclear program.

We begin tonight, however, with Al Gore's endorsement, reportedly, of Howard Dean. Sources tell CNN the former vice president will officially back the Vermont governor for the 2004 presidential elections tomorrow night. Rival Democratic candidate Al Sharpton responded moments after this news broke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CROSSFIRE")

AL SHARPTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But, again, I'm not worried about endorsements. Gore can support who he wants. That's great. I think that, at end of the day, Gore will say he will support the nominee, if his choice doesn't work. And I think that's all that's important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Gore's endorsement of Dean and what it means for the race to the White House is "In Focus" tonight.

Joining us from Boston is Doug Hattaway, the former national spokesman for Gore. Also joining us from Boston is CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. Joining us on the set, senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, regular contributor and "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein. And let's not forget our regular contributor Victoria Clarke, the lone voice from Washington, D.C. this evening.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Welcome, all.

Let's do a quick round-robin.

Does it help or hurt Howard Dean?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Well, one campaign manager for another guy said,there is no downside. It helps Dean in a whole bunch of ways, not the least of which is, it's the guy who won the popular vote four years ago saying, electability? No, I think it's fine. Not a real Democrat? Yes, he's a real Democrat. I'm for him. I want to hear somebody explain how it hurts Dean.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I've heard people say tonight, Joe Klein, that the fact that Al Gore is perceived as such an insider sort of detracts from Howard Dean's effort to be perceived as an outsider.

JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I think it works the other way. I think the fact that Howard Dean is such an outsider and so popular with techies and young people and Internet sorts help Al Gore's reputation with those sorts of people, because, remember, he was the guy who invented the Internet.

ZAHN: Torie?

VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.

I think Al Gore is the clear winner. He's back in the game. I think it's the first shot he's launching in the 2008 campaign, which is fascinating. I think the loser is Lieberman. It's stunning to think that your former running mate doesn't endorse you. And then Dean, I disagree with Jeff. I think it's a draw. I think Al Gore, over the long run, can turn off as many voters as he turns on for Howard Dean.

ZAHN: Candy, let's come back to the Joe Lieberman point. CNN has learned that Al Gore didn't even bother to call Joe Lieberman and tell him he was about to make this announcement.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Or anybody else.

Certainly, that was the closest relationship. And the fact of the matter is that Lieberman had reached out to Gore, had talked to him over the past months, as has John Kerry and others. Look, Al Gore has a relationship with all of the lawmakers that are in this race. I've got to disagree, though, about Al Gore being a net-minus because there are as many people who don't like him as do.

We're talking about the primaries here. And the primaries on the Democratic side are filled with people who are anti-Bush and many of whom still think that the 2000 election was stolen. Al Gore certainly helps in that primary process. It's a wash in the general election, but it won't matter in the general election. Right now, we're in the primary process.

ZAHN: And, Doug Hattaway, what about Torie Clarke's analysis that this is the first salvo being fired in the 2008 campaign?

DOUG HATTAWAY, FORMER GORE SPOKESMAN: I don't think so.

I think this is about the primary. Al Gore is probably the best endorsement you could get right now, short of Bill Clinton, in the Democratic primary. It comes at a time when Howard Dean has a lot of momentum. I think you're hearing this from Gore for a couple reasons. One, he saw eye to eye with Dean on the Iraq war.

Gore gave a speech in 2002 against a preemptive strike. Dean adopted that position. A lot of the other candidates voted for the war resolution. Also, I think, if there's anybody out there who wants to see George Bush lose this election, it's Al Gore. And I think you'll hear him say he thinks Dean is the best candidate to beat Bush.

ZAHN: Does this make the nomination all but inevitable for Howard Dean?

GREENFIELD: No. No.

Every time you invite me on the show...

ZAHN: You say no. GREENFIELD: No, I say, could somebody vote, just anybody, Murray out in Cedar Rapids? Let somebody vote before we declare a nominee.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENFIELD: What it does is, I think it helps answer a couple of questions that Howard Dean was going to face.

Is he, like Gary Hart in 1984, who was an Atari Democrat -- now it's the Internet Democrats -- somehow distanced from the Democratic Party's base? Is he alien to labor, to blacks, to big city mayors? He's begun answering those questions with the endorsement of two big unions, with the endorsement of some bloc Democrats. But here you have the guy who, at least in 2000, was Mr. Inside, the kind of emblem of the Democratic Party, saying, which is Dick Gephardt's big argument, no, no, Dick, this guy is a real Democrat.

And that's why I think, certainly up until the nomination process, this is a big help.

ZAHN: What's in this for Al Gore and why in Bill Clinton's office backyard? This announcement reportedly is going to made from Harlem.

KLEIN: Well, it is going to be done in Harlem. Dean had that Harlem thing scheduled for more than a week.

And I think that this endorsement came up in the last 24 hours, from what I understand. This is -- this is great for Al Gore, in that it associates him with the new, hot, energetic part of party. It's great for Howard Dean, because the people who really love Al Gore in the Democratic Party are the African-Americans, labor. Labor came out and trounced Bill Bradley for Al Gore in Iowa four years ago. And so it's a symbiotic relationship. As Jeff said before, nobody loses.

ZAHN: Candy, much has been made of the Clintons sort of swirling around Wesley Clark's campaign. What kind of impact does it have on their efforts?

CROWLEY: Well, look, the people -- there are plenty of people who worked for Gore and plenty of people who worked for Clinton that are on various campaigns.

I can tell you that it did make a number of these campaigns nervous that they're going to have this event so close to Bill Clinton's office. I got a lot of questions like, oh, why is he having it there? What do you think -- so I think Bill Clinton will probably sit this one out at the moment.

But, look, what it does is, it just adds to the whole thing. What Howard Dean is trying to do now is put up that sort of "I'm inevitable" thing. It was clear in Florida, where he carted in a bunch of union people and other people to sort of flood the floor of the Florida State Convention. It's clear in a number of things that he's doing that this is a show of power. And Al Gore adds to that.

ZAHN: What does Al Gore want, Doug Hattaway?

HATTAWAY: I think he wants to play a part in having who he thinks is the best candidate get the nomination. I don't see any upsides for him. It was floated earlier some that this might be about 2008. I don't think so. I think he really wants to beat George Bush. He sees a time here where he could help Dean consolidate support among these groups we talked about.

ZAHN: Oh, Doug, if you could see Joe Klein rolling his eyes as you speak.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: You don't see it that way.

(CROSSTALK)

KLEIN: I think a very interesting thing is happening.

HATTAWAY: We've talked about African-American and labor. This event in Harlem, I agree, is probably coincidental.

But if you look back at 2000, Gore actually got marginally more African-American support than Clinton. He is strongly supported in that community and can help people who are trying to decide. I don't think political endorsements are usually worth all that much. But when you have a crowded field like that, like this, when you have a politician like Gore, it might

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: You don't look so sure on that point, Joe.

KLEIN: I think that this party is in the process of dividing itself into a Clinton wing, which is moderate and kind of inside Washington establishment, and a Dean-Gore wing, which is populist, anti-consultant, anti-pollster. Al Gore has spent this past three four months giving speeches for MoveOn.org, which is a left-leaning Internet group that's been attacking Bush.

ZAHN: Which people say is all about positioning himself for 2008.

(CROSSTALK)

KLEIN: Well, it may well be. This could be the opening salvo, as Torie said, of the phenomenal Clinton-Gore race in 2008. And, remember, in the Clinton White House, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were at odds from day one.

ZAHN: Torie, jump in here.

CLARKE: Yes.

I was going to say, I talked to somebody today who is very close to Al Gore, who said, hey, this is Al Gore unplugged. This is him showing everybody, I can do this stuff on my own. I don't need all those advisers. I don't need that establishment. I think it's a clear shot.

GREENFIELD: I'm tempted to say it's really about 2012, because Gore has figured out that Dean is going to win two terms.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENFIELD: The eagerness of people to figure out a race that's five years later, when we haven't started on this one, I do -- but let me just come back to one other point.

If there is one Democrat in this race who is least hurt, this is both their spin -- and I happen to think there's something to it -- is the Edwards campaign, which nobody thought

(CROSSTALK)

KLEIN: I would disagree with that. I think it may actually help -- if this is a Clinton-Gore divide, it actually may help Wes Clark, who is the Clinton

ZAHN: Explain how that happens.

KLEIN: Well, if the party's going to divide itself and surround an alternative to Dean, Clark becomes more likely, because he's the most closely associated with Clinton. And I want to dispute Jeff on the 2012. It may be about Karenna. It may be about 2020.

GREENFIELD: If I may, if we come back to planet Earth for just a second, let's -- if we're going to game it out -- and people are saying already it's Lieberman who was hurt the most, because he was the running mate -- Gephardt suffers, because he's the guy who has been trying to make the case that Dean is not a real Democrat.

The Clark problem is inside the system. And both Clinton and Gore people have moved very heavily to Clark. And the argument has basically been electability, that this guy is a McGovern. The fact that Gore himself is saying, no, I don't think so doesn't help Wes Clark. And as far as Senator Edwards goes, he's been kind of sitting there like the tortoise, saying: Wait until February 3. Maybe I can show some strength out West and the South, when everybody else dies.

ZAHN: Really quickly here, Candy, we haven't talked about John Kerry tonight. Should we be?

(LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: Well -- and that's John Kerry's problem, actually.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: Look, part of the thing in the Kerry camp and their spin tonight is, it doesn't make any difference. Endorsements don't bring votes. But you know what? A little whistling in the dark here. This hurts. Again, this helps Dean with the very base of the party, which is where he's going in this primary. This is not good news for any of them in the race, period.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: All right, panel, I thank all of our roundtable joining us this evening, from Boston, Doug Hattaway, Candy Crowley, Washington, Victoria Clarke, here in the studio with me, Joe Klein, Jeff Greenfield.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: And will prosecutors file formal charges against Michael Jackson? We're going to get the opinion of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, joining us as a contributor.

And the conviction of a South Dakota congressman, Bill Janklow, on manslaughter charges, we're going to look at what comes next for him.

And 100 years of increasing incomes, longer lives, more creature comforts, yet more Americans say they're unhappy. We'll look at the progress paradox.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Just a short time ago, a jury convicted South Dakota Congressman Bill Janklow of manslaughter and other charges. The 64- year-old representative may now face 10 years in prison for killing a motorcyclist after speeding through a stop sign.

CNN legal analyst, regular contributor Jeffrey Toobin along with us for more on the verdict.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi.

ZAHN: Welcome.

So Bill Janklow a major force in his home state. Are you at all surprised by this verdict?

TOOBIN: Not really.

It was a pretty weak defense, it seemed to me. His defense was that he's a diabetic. He had a reaction to his heart medicine and his diabetes, because he hadn't eaten for 12 hours before the accident took place. He became disoriented. It was a reaction to his medical condition. That's why he acted the way he did, not because he's an inveterate speeder.

ZAHN: So you're basically saying, had he not been a representative of Congress, this case never would have gone anywhere?

TOOBIN: Well, people have bad defenses and go to trial all the time. And people do their best with the facts that are available to them. We obviously wouldn't pay attention to it if he was just an ordinary citizen. But it was a weak defense. And the jury reacted accordingly. ZAHN: And Mr. Janklow admitted that he had had a problem with driving too fast in the past. How much did that bolster the prosecution's case?

TOOBIN: That was a big issue, because he had joked about it. He was kind of famous as a lead foot in South Dakota.

ZAHN: He actually used it during a campaign.

TOOBIN: That's right. And that's funny until somebody gets hurt, much less killed. And that history, I think, came back very much to haunt him, especially when, at that very intersection, there was testimony that he had blown by that stop sign before. That is devastating.

ZAHN: It is also true what he told police at the very beginning of the investigation hurt him as well.

TOOBIN: Well, see, that's why the defense was so weak. If he had gone to the police right away and said, you know, I didn't eat for 14 hours. I have this condition. I'm disoriented.

There was none of that.

ZAHN: That's not what he said.

TOOBIN: That's not what he said.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: He said he was clear. He was coherent. He just was upset that he had hit this poor guy.

ZAHN: And didn't he describe that he was distracted by another car coming into the intersection?

TOOBIN: And he said he was distracted.

Then, to come before the jury and say, oh, no, no, forget everything I said initially, it really sounds like a manufactured defense, defense lawyers at work. And he lost.

ZAHN: And it would be hard for any member of the jury to sort of discount the fact that, as governor, he almost lost his driver's license for speeding.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

And, also, you just have to -- the enormous human tragedy, this poor guy killed doing absolutely nothing wrong on a rural road, where he really should have been pretty easy to avoid. This is not something you could overlook. This isn't a victimless crime, like speeding. This was the very definition of a victim crime, and I think the jury reached the only verdict they could.

ZAHN: Representative Janklow now faces the possibility of spending up to 10 years in prison. Is the judge likely to throw the book at him?

TOOBIN: I don't know exactly how sentencing works in South Dakota. I think 10 years is extremely unlikely. But this is a felony conviction. A prison sentence does seem possible. Certainly, his political career is over.

ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, always good to have you drop by. Thanks so much for your insight.

And when we come back, we're going to tell you about this bizarre story; 60 years ago today -- well, actually not this story, but the next one -- the U.S. declared war on Japan. We're going to look back at Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor with some of the Americans who survived that day of infamy.

We'll also be talking with two teenage brothers whose school science project may save lives.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were scared stiff. It was -- heck, people were trying to kill you. And I'm a nice kid. I'm just here in paradise to enjoy it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Yesterday, the country remembered December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, a day of infamy, a day that America will never forget. Memories of the attack that thrust the country into World War II bring more than 1.4 million people every year to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. There, a special group of volunteers reports to duty to bring that day alive for visitors, because they know it better than anyone else.

Frank Buckley has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We remember Pearl Harbor once a year, unless you're one of these men. They were there.

EVERETT HYLAND, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: On 7 December, 1941, I was a seaman on board the Battleship Pennsylvania.

BUCKLEY: Everett Hyland is among a group of Pearl Harbor survivors who tell the story of December 7 every day at the USS Arizona Memorial.

(on camera): Why is it important for us to remember the events of December 7, 1941?

HYLAND: One thing, freedom isn't free. BUCKLEY (voice-over): Mr. Hyland knows as well as anyone. He was just an 18-year-old seaman second class when the attack began. By the time it was over, he was among the severely wounded.

HYLAND: My battle station was topside, so when general quarters was sounded, I just took off for my battle station.

BUCKLEY: On the USS Pennsylvania, which fell victim to a 500- pound bomb that exploded right near his battle station.

HYLAND: My arms were in front of me and the skin was peeled off. And all I could remember is, thinking, we got hit.

BUCKLEY: Watching the attack from Honolulu...

HERB WEATHERWAX, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: I saw the guys just black with smoke.

BUCKLEY: Herb Weatherwax of the Hawaii National Guard.

WEATHERWAX: I looked out and I saw the Arizona just engulfed in flames, burning fiercely.

BUCKLEY: He would later defend Hawaii from the land invasion that never came. He would fight in the Battle of the Bulge. But it is Pearl Harbor, 12/7/41, that he will always remember, in the way another generation will forever recall 9/11/01.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it a horrible sight, seeing all the boats get sunk?

WEATHERWAX: Oh, it was terrible, terrible, the feeling that I had when I first saw it came back again when I saw the September 11 attack.

BUCKLEY: Two thousand, three hundred and ninety Americans died on December 7, but there were survivors. And, today, they are celebrating as heroes.

(on camera): All of the survivors who volunteer here are sought out like celebrities. Until recently, there were 13 of them. This past year, three men died. The remaining volunteers are all in their 80s.

(voice-over): The Park Service has videotaped more than 400 oral histories from Pearl Harbor survivors. So their memories of that day in December will live on.

DANIEL MARTINEZ, MEMORIAL HISTORIAN: But it will never replace that personal touch, that photograph, that autograph, that handshake. These are very special people.

BUCKLEY: Who continue to serve their nation in a way nobody else ever will.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We're going to look at the gruesome case of a man on trial for killing and eating a man he met on the Internet. His defense: It was a form of mercy killing.

Will prosecutors file formal charges against Michael Jackson? We'll get the opinion of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, joining us as a contributor.

And tomorrow, Mujahedeen, Intifada, Soldiers of Allah, are they a call to arms among Muslim radicals or just team names in the local football league?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

Here at the bottom of the hour, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

More testimony due tomorrow in the trial of accused D.C. area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo. A defense psychologist told the jury today that Malvo said John Muhammad was the shooter in the killing of an FBI analyst in October of last year.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his campaign staff facing a defamation lawsuit by a Hollywood stuntwoman. The day before the election, Rhonda Miller went public with claims that Schwarzenegger sexually harassed her years before. In her suit, she says the campaign spread lies that she was a convicted felon.

More than eight years after the Oklahoma City bombing, a new federal building opened there today. The new one has shatterproof glass and a steel-plated entrance. It sits diagonally across from the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Building and a block from the memorial to the victims of that bombing.

Now back to the "Legal Beat" and several cases we're watching tonight. Michael Jackson will apparently be facing formal charges next week. And Alfonso Rodriguez is in jail tonight, but prosecutors and police still seem no closer to discovering the location of missing North Dakota student Dru Sjodin first.

With us now is a contributor for the first time, former O.J. Simpson prosecuting attorney Christopher Darden. Welcome to the show, Chris.

CHRISTOPHER DARDEN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Welcome, Paula. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

ZAHN: We're going to start off tonight -- our pleasure. We're going to start off with the case of the missing North Dakota co-ed. Walk us through the process of what the prosecution and police are trying to do to get more information out of Mr. Rodriguez. DARDEN: Well, I would imagine that they've probably hit a stone wall, at this point. Rodriguez now has an attorney. He is now refusing to cooperate with police or to otherwise give them a statement. Now, as I understand it, Mr. Rodriguez has refused to tell the police where Dru might be found, on the one hand. The police, on the other hand, are not willing to make any deals or offer him any leniency in exchange for telling them where they might find Dru. And so I would think that they're at a stalemate, at this point.

However, the prosecution does seem to have a case against Mr. Rodriguez. If, in fact, Dru's blood was found in Mr. Rodriguez's car and if, in fact, it is true that Mr. Rodriguez places himself at the mall on the date and at or about the time that Dru disappeared, that would be a very, very compelling case, even though Dru's body wasn't discovered.

ZAHN: Based on what you know about this case, is it likely, in your mind, that Mr. Rodriguez will confess to any kind of crime here?

DARDEN: Well, you know, who knows? You know, that would be pure speculation. One thing is certain, and that is that Mr. Rodriguez just did a 23-year stretch in a state prison. He's been out six months, and apparently is not afraid to go back for another 23 years. And so whether he might confess or not, you know, is very, very difficult to say.

ZAHN: As a former prosecutor, are you at all hopeful that he will yield any information that might make anybody better understand the fate of Dru Sjodin?

DARDEN: You know, I would hope, you know, both as a citizen and as a former prosecutor, that Mr. Rodriguez will tell us where Dru might be found. You know, there is some hope that she might still be alive, and I'm sure her family is clinging to that hope tonight. And one would hope that he has some sense of compassion and that he will tell the police where Dru might be found.

ZAHN: Let's quickly turn to the Michael Jackson case. There are a number of reports suggesting that when these charges become public, the prosecution will file a laundry list of charges against Michael Jackson. What does that tell you about the credibility of the prosecution's case?

DARDEN: Well, you know, the fact that the prosecution might file several charges doesn't necessarily mean that their case is any stronger than if they might have only filed one, one count of 288a. We know that they submitted an affidavit to a magistrate, who found probable cause to believe that Michael Jackson committed a felony case of child sexual abuse. We know that. The question is, is how many counts? How many different occasions? And how many dates are we talking about?

When you study a single event of sexual assault, it can involve a variety of different sexual acts -- sodomy, oral copulation and things of that nature. And the prosecution could charge Michael Jackson with each and every act committed during that single sexual transaction. And so the number of counts doesn't necessarily mean anything.

ZAHN: There's one issue that makes people really uncomfortable with this case, and Michael Jackson's family has talked about it. What role does race play? What impact will race have on this case?

DARDEN: Well, you know, it's starting out to be a bit of a race case. And we've certainly seen some African-American organizations in Los Angeles come out and hold press conferences in support of Michael Jackson. Of course, Jermaine Jackson has already described it as a high-tech lynching, you know, which is nothing but a trigger word for a race case. And you know, will it be one? Well, perhaps in the LA press. But who knows whether it'll be one in Ventura County or up in Santa Barbara County, where the trial is likely to be held and where there are few African-American jurors.

ZAHN: Well, Chris, how do you feel about it? Do you think the prosecution is in part going after Michael Jackson because he's a black man?

DARDEN: I don't think that they're going after him because he's a black man. I think they're going after him because they believe that he is a sexual predator and that he has a long history of child molestation. And I also believe they're going after him because they believe they have a case. Now, whether or not that case can survive the scrutiny of the press, the jurors and Mark Geragos is another matter. But they seem very, very motivated to file charges against Michael Jackson.

ZAHN: I guess, as backdrop, a lot of talk that the defense is going to go on the attack against the alleged victim's family. How ugly are things going to get?

DARDEN: They're going to get very, very ugly. You're talking about child abuse and sexual molestation of a child, which is ugly in and of itself. And of course, if you're Michael Jackson or someone who's a high-profile person, whose reputation means a great deal to them, well, of course, you're going to attack anything and everything, including legal commentators who might suggest that Michael Jackson is guilty of these crimes, even though none of us have been presented with any evidence to establish his guilt.

ZAHN: And a final question. Based on the facts that we know right now, how difficult will it be for the prosecution to get a conviction here?

DARDEN: Well, you know, the prosecution has to deal with the fact that Michael Jackson is an international icon, No. 1. And they also have to deal with the fact that, you know, we love or icons in this country, and there are a lot of people who don't want to believe that Michael Jackson is a child molester. And so that's going to present some difficulties. On the other hand, the law has been changed in California to make it very, very easy for prosecutors to prosecute alleged child molesters and to obtain convictions. All of the rules have been bent and twisted and relaxed so that prosecutors can introduce any and all of the evidence they might want to introduce at trial. ZAHN: Thanks to our legal contributor, our brand-new one, Chris Darden. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

ZAHN: Now, for supporters of liberal causes in America, there is no place that feels more like home than the city of San Francisco. In tomorrow's run-off vote, the citizens there will elect a new mayor. Now, you would think the Democratic candidate would be a shoo-in, but as your senior political analyst, Jeff Greenfield, tells us, that just might not be the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): By any normal calculation, this man, 36-year-old Gavin Newsom, should be a cinch to be elected San Francisco's next mayor in tomorrow's run-off voting. He's a member of the Board of Supervisors, movie-star handsome. He got twice as many votes as anyone else in the first round of voting last month. And he is a Democrat in a city that has elected only Democrats for more than 40 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the public benefit?

GREENFIELD: So why do the polls suggest that this man, 36-year- old Board of Supervisors president Matt Gonzalez, has a shot at winning the mayor's office? Because Gonzalez is the Green Party candidate, and he's running to Newsom's left. And in San Francisco, there is nothing implausible about running to the leave of a Democrat who is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, supports a higher minimum wage and is pro-Affirmative Action.

San Francisco is a city as much on the left coast politically as geographically. Its union history is militant, even radical, symbolized by long-time Longshoreman head Harry Bridges (ph). Its social history is the same. The Beat generation found a home here, as did the counter-culture. This is where you were supposed to put flowers in your hair back in the "Summer of Love," where the Grateful Dead flowered, as well.

It is a city where Newsom's business interests and connections make him suspect in the eyes of some voters, as does his support for limits on panhandlers and a homeless policy to substitute services for cash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Matt Gonzalez going to clean up City Hall?

GREENFIELD: Gonzalez's hopes for a Green Party victory lie in tapping into a sense of discontent fueled by everything from the dot- com collapse to a drop in tourism to sky-high housing costs, and in turning out younger, more liberal voters. He's enlisted the help of celebrities like filmmaker Michael Moore and former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir (ph).

For his part, Newsom is banking on the support of home owners and the business community, as well as the Democratic establishment. He's supported by outgoing mayor Willie Brown, by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, herself a former mayor, by former vice president Gore. And ex-president Bill Clinton is stumping for him tonight.

(on camera): Most polls suggest that Democrat Newsom is narrowly ahead and that he is almost certain to get the lion's share of the absentee ballots. That means it would take a huge turnout of younger, left-leaning voters on Tuesday to beat him. But remember, just a few months ago, the very idea of a Democrat losing the San Francisco mayor's race would have seemed almost as unlikely as an Austrian-born muscle-bound Republican being elected governor of California.

Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: I'll meet two of America's brightest young science stars, teens just honored for work that could help stop the spread of a dreaded disease. And we're going to take a look at why so many people are unhappy, even though they have it so good.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Americans have a better life today than at any other time in history. We are healthier, wealthier and have more options and choices than ever before. So why do so many of us say we're truly unhappy? Well, author Gregg Easterbrook tries to answer that question in his new book, "The Progress Paradise." (SIC) And he joins us here in our New York studios.

Good to see you.

GREGG EASTERBROOK, AUTHOR, "THE PROGRESS PARADOX": Hi, Paula.

ZAHN: So how unhappy are Americans?

EASTERBROOK: Well, if you look at polling data going back to the 1950s, Americans describe themselves as no more happy than they were in that year, even though the typical person's real income has more than doubled in that period, living standards are way up. Health care outcomes are much better. We live longer. We're better educated. We have more material comforts. By almost any measure, we're better off -- significantly -- than our parents' generation, and yet no happier as a result.

ZAHN: What's our problem?

EASTERBROOK: Well, there are several possible explanations, Paula. One is the simplest, that the post-war American experiment in prosperity proves, if anyone ever doubted, that money cannot buy happiness. Everyone needs a certain amount of material possessions to be safe and secure in life. You need a roof over your head. You need health care, education, et cetera. But beyond those basic things that the typical person needs, additional amounts of money don't make people any happier. And surveys -- psychological data shows that members of the Forbes 400, the richest people in the world, are no happier than the average American, as a group.

ZAHN: And even they have envy in their lives, right? EASTERBROOK: Oh, sure. Well, it's the things that really matter to us in life. You need a house. You need clothing. But the things you really matter -- love, respect, friendship, family, honor -- these things have no price and cannot be purchased. So no matter how wealthy you are, you can't buy yourself love, respect and honor.

ZAHN: I'm curious how many psychological surveys are done, because you could finesse stuff, depending on how you...

EASTERBROOK: Sure. Of course.

ZAHN: ... answer a question.

EASTERBROOK: Yes.

ZAHN: Do you think any of that research is suspect, or do you think, by and large, people are generally more miserable than they were 20, 30 years ago?

EASTERBROOK: Researchers have a tough time grappling with this. There's a classic experiment. If you ask college students if they consider themselves happy, most of them say yes. If you first ask them if they've had a date in the last month and then ask them if they consider themselves happy, most of them say no.

ZAHN: Sure.

EASTERBROOK: So we often -- you know, all of us go back and forth on whether we consider ourselves happy or not, of course.

ZAHN: But if you buy into the bulk of this research, what is the lesson to be learned about the "Progress Paradox"?

EASTERBROOK: Well, the lesson is actually very interesting. This new field called psychological -- excuse me -- positive psychology, that seeks to find out how people achieve a sense of well- being in life, finds that the virtues of gratitude, forgiveness and optimism that we think of altruistic things because we're taught to do them in church and synagogue, are actually in your self-interest. People who are grateful and optimistic and forgiving of others are happier. They enjoy better lives. They live longer. They have longer marriages, which is a classic barometer of happiness in life. To be grateful, forgiving and optimistic is actually good for you, for you yourself.

ZAHN: Are you at all optimistic, based on all the research you've read, that you will see people running in droves to volunteer in a more significant way than they are today and care more about giving back?

EASTERBROOK: Yes, I think partly because the country is so prosperous, there will be a gradual transition from focus on materialism to focus on meaning. I don't predict that people are going to stop being materialistic. We'll always want cars and houses. But I think more people by the millions care about the question of whether there's meaning and purpose in their lives, and that actually makes me quite hopeful for the future.

ZAHN: And I know so many of us were shaken to the core by 9/11. What impact does this have on the way we all view our lives and our own sense of personal vulnerability?

EASTERBROOK: I think well before 9/11, there was a lot of Western (ph) hearts, what I called collapse anxiety, the fear that the freedom, the plenty on which our society is based cannot be sustained, that some collapse is waiting out there. And the physical collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 made this fear palpable, but I think it will always be in the backs of our minds. Even when everything -- if things were going perfectly, people would still fear that some future calamity was coming.

ZAHN: What you talk about in this book is absolutely fascinating. Gregg Easterbrook...

EASTERBROOK: Thank you.

ZAHN: ... thank you. Again, the name of the book is "Progress Paradise." Thank you very much.

EASTERBROOK: Paradox.

ZAHN: Paradox, not paradise!

EASTERBROOK: Paradox.

ZAHN: That would be paradox. Thank you, Gregg.

EASTERBROOK: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: And moving on to one of the most shocking and gruesome trials in recent memory being played out in Germany today. And we will meet the scientists of tomorrow, teenagers who are already making breakthroughs that could change the way you live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: They are truly some of America's best and brightest. We're talking about the teenagers who entered the Siemens Westinghouse competition in math, science and technology. The annual contest awards $100,000 scholarships to the winners. And joining me now are brothers Mark and Jeffrey Schneider. They won the team competition for their work in understanding how the West Nile virus spreads.

Congratulations!

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER, TEAM CATEGORY WINNER: Thank you.

MARK SCHNEIDER, TEAM CATEGORY WINNER: Oh, thank you so much.

ZAHN: Thanks for joining us in your first national interview.

MARK SCHNEIDER: Oh, yes. ZAHN: Why did you decide to team up on this project? What was it about the West Nile virus that made you interested in trying to solve a problem here?

MARK SCHNEIDER: Well, Jeff has a high susceptibility to mosquito bites. Every time we'd go outside in the summer, Mom would say wear long pants or put on insect repellent, otherwise, you get West Nile virus. So we said, OK, what actually are our chances of getting the West Nile virus? And we...

ZAHN: So did you use him as a Guinea pig?

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: No, no!

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: You just sent him out there in this shorts and a short- sleeved T-shirt (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Now, what did you actually discover?

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: Well, what we actually did was, we developed a computer model to track the peak infection season of the West Nile virus, using a computer program called Zela (ph). And basically, we got a lot of our information at Yukon (ph) Health Center, and we had a private communication with some (UNINTELLIGIBLE) professors in -- on the West Nile virus.

ZAHN: And as result of what you discovered, how will this change the average person sitting out there who doesn't react well to any kind of insect bite? Will it help stop the spread of the virus someday?

MARK SCHNEIDER: Yes, actually, this model isn't yet ready for the road. It still has some more tweaking, and it's really a foundation right now. But we're hoping that in the future, we'll be able to actually reduce the spread and help eventually eliminate West Nile from the Western hemisphere. One major thing we discovered was the -- we have this drought theory, that how drought actually breeds the West Nile virus.

And when -- this year was expected to be a big year for West Nile in New York because of the high precipitation. However, it was not a big year in New York, but it was a big year in Colorado. There were 2,000 cases in Colorado and 45 deaths. And there was a huge drought in Colorado. So Colorado is very dry. So one thing we think is that when there's a large amount of precipitation, the birds and the mosquitoes feed in their own separate pools of water. Yet when there's a small amount, they feed in their -- they feed together collectively, and the virus spreads at a much quicker rate.

ZAHN: Well, the one thing that most of the scientists who've heard about your award have agreed upon is that this may go a long way in helping stop the spread of this vicious disease. What I am wondering, while the rest of your friends are out partying and hanging out wherever teenagers hang out, how much have you two had to give up to accomplish what you've accomplished here scientifically? JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: Well, it was definitely a great experience to actually be working with my brother. And spending a lot of time, it wasn't really a sacrifice because I learned a lot more about Mark. And together, we learned a lot more about each other.

ZAHN: Oh, come on! Did you guys fight? Come on! Be honest here.

MARK SCHNEIDER: We're brothers, but we -- we actually got along really well, which was really a great experience. The...

ZAHN: But you never feel like you've missed out on any fun, as you've had to be...

MARK SCHNEIDER: Well...

ZAHN: ... so devoted to this research?

MARK SCHNEIDER: Well, especially over the last two months, over the last few months, especially, we've had to turn down, like, going to the movies and stuff like that. But we've had interesting conversations with our friends. Some of them would be swimming playing basketball, and we'd be, like, What did you do last week? Oh, we were working on the West Nile virus and modeling that. But it was a great experience.

ZAHN: It's a terrific accomplishment. Congratulations to both of you.

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

MARK SCHNEIDER: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: And I assume you're going to split it right down the middle, right?

MARK SCHNEIDER: Oh, of course.

ZAHN: The $103,000.

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: That's right.

ZAHN: Well, I know you will be educated wisely. Again, congratulations.

JEFFREY SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

MARK SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

ZAHN: A complete change in focus when we come back. An alleged cannibal is on trial in Germany, admits to eating his victim, but you won't believe what his defense is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: A bizarre and gruesome trial in Germany is gripping all of Europe. The defendant is accused of murdering and hen devouring a man he met over the Internet. Now, the accused cannibal admits to killing and eating his alleged victim, but insists the victim agreed to it. Here's Matthew Chance.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From a distance, Rotenberg seems picture-perfect, but these rooftops have hidden a grisly secret. In the sunlight, the house where Armin Meiwes lived out his cannibal fantasies. Sealed as evidence now behind these walls, a man was slaughtered and eaten like an animal. The details have disgusted and frightened many, like Manfred Stuck (ph), friend and neighbor for 30 years.

He seemed the most normal guy you could know, he told me. I dread to think what was going on inside his head, he says.

Armin Meiwes appeared in court looking relaxed and confident. He admits he's a cannibal and has chilled the German public with accounts of how he butchered and consumed his victim. But the man he ate, Berndt Jurgen Brandes (ph), appears to have had cannibal fantasies, too, asking to be killed and eaten. A videotape of the two men used in evidence reportedly shows them both eating the severed genitals of Brandes cooked in garlic in the hours before he died. Crime experts say the apparent joint nature of the fantasy makes this a grotesque and truly unique case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The very special situation is made up by the Internet system and technique. You can find one another worldwide with such special traits, which correspond one another, the one who is sadistic, more sadistic cannibal, and the other who is a more masochistic cannibal, the one who wants to kill, the one who wants to be killed.

CHANCE: It is a crossing of paths many here wish had never been made in their town.

(on camera): This hideous crime, of course, shocks the people of Rottenberg and the whole of Germany, but it also raises important and difficult moral questions, as well. Cannibalism, for instance, isn't a crime here, but few doubt it should be published. And perhaps more importantly, the issue of whether the consent of the victim is enough for a killing not to be murder.

(voice-over): And these are not just matters for the courts. As people here contemplate this appalling case, many ask how such an unspeakable crime was committed in their midst.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Matthew Chance reporting tonight. Just in to us, the Associated Press is reporting that South Dakota congressman Bill Janklow has announced his resignation. It comes just hours after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter and other charges today. He was charged after an accident last August in which a motorcyclist was killed. The AP says Janklow's resignation will be effective as of January 20. That is the date of his sentencing. He could get 10 years in prison.

That wraps it up for all of us here this evening. Thanks so much for being with us tonight. Tomorrow night, we're going to look into a controversy in California, where the Mujahideen, Intifada and Soldiers of Allah are the names of the teams in a local football league.

Thanks for joining us tonight. Good night.

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

Manslaughter>


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