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PAULA ZAHN NOW

President Bush's Space Plan; Maternity Leave for Teenagers?; Michael Jackson's Message

Aired January 14, 2004 - 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: Good evening. Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Paul Zahn.
The world, the news, the names, the faces, and where we go from here on this Wednesday, January 14, 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): In focus tonight, the president's plan to put a base on the moon and a man on Mars.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Prepare for new journeys to the worlds beyond our own.

ZAHN: The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn, will put the plan into perspective and give us his take on the future of the space program.

Plus, maternity leave for middle and high school students. New York City's Department of Education grants pregnant teens two months out of school. Is it a responsible plan to bring young mothers back to class or does it promote underage sex?

And closing in on Michael Jackson's arraignment, who's really in charge of the embattled pop star's message?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Those stories and more, but, first, here are some of the headlines you need to right now at the top of the hour.

The Northeast is back in the deep freeze. Arctic air is pushing temperatures below zero to record-setting lows in more places.

With more on how people are dealing with it, let's turn to Adaora Udoji, who is out in the cold in Brookline, Massachusetts.

You don't look so comfortable out there tonight. Good evening.

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula.

It is, indeed, freezing. New Englanders are winter storm survivors by nature, of course. But, even by those standards, it has been bitterly cold and continues to be. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, clocked in a wind chill factor of 31 degrees below zero. In Maine, it was seven below. New York also had single digits and not everyone was prepared.

Many people were flocking to stores today, buying heaters, blankets, anything they could to try to get through this weather. A big concern, the homeless. Boston's largest shelter was packed. That's 700 beds for men and women. Advocates are very worried about tomorrow and Friday, because forecasters predict even colder temperatures. Here in Boston, they're saying, by the end of the week, we could get to eight below zero. And that's without the wind chill factor -- Paula.

ZAHN: You're not telling me New Englanders aren't used to this kind of bitter weather, are you?

UDOJI: They are, indeed, used to it. In fact, we've met many people today who were walking around with no coats, no hats, no mittens.

But having said that, there are some really serious concerns, as I mentioned, the homeless getting them to shelters tonight, somewhere warm. Also, AAA in some areas logged twice as many calls as usual. Clearly, people's cars were not prepared for the cold weather. So major concerns here and we'll continue absolutely to follow it tomorrow and Friday and see how things go -- Paula.

ZAHN: Adaora, being the big spenders we are, the hot chocolate's on us tonight. Stay warm.

UDOJI: Thank you.

ZAHN: Now, if you think that's cold, let's go on to New Hampshire in Mount Washington, where the temperature there dropped to 44 below zero, with a wind chill of 100 below, and worse may be on the way.

Meteorologist Tim Markle says another blast of Arctic air is in store. He joins on the telephone from Mount Washington.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

You're in one of the coldest places in the world right now. How does it feel?

TIM MARKLE, METEOROLOGIST: Good evening, Paula.

It feels brutally cold out here right now. Nothing else can describe it, except Arctic temperatures right now. We have wind chills currently 80 degrees below zero. And that's accompanying temperatures of negative 30 with winds of about 70 miles per hour right now.

ZAHN: Yes, not the most pleasant place to be. Have you even gone outside?

MARKLE: We actually do have to go outside to do our hourly weather observations. And all I can say is, we just have to dress in layers and put on lots of heavy clothing and hopefully have no skin exposed, because frostbite is imminent in temperatures such as these.

ZAHN: You can get frostbite, I'm told, what in even a blast of 30 seconds or so if you're not careful?

MARKLE: Yes, under a minute, definitely. And if you have anything exposed, you have that cold, tingly feeling, and it's not a pleasant feeling at all.

ZAHN: So, it begs the question, why the heck are you there in the first place, Tim?

MARKLE: Oh, it's wonderful up here. We love having the weather extremes up here, and, you know, somebody's got to report all the cold weather and all the weird weather that happens. And I just can't think of a better place to be right now.

ZAHN: Well, enjoy it for all of us, won't you? Tim Markle, thanks so much for the update.

(CROSSTALK)

MARKLE: Thank you.

ZAHN: In focus tonight, the Democrats campaign in Iowa reaching new levels of nastiness heading into the final weekend. The polls there seem to be quite volatile. And Iowa voters are facing a media barrage from candidates aggressively trying to gain ground or keep from losing it.

Dan Lothian reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): In a final push to Iowa's critical caucuses, Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt supporters going from door to door, focused on winning over undecided voters, even as Gephardt himself is turning up the heat on Dean.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's become nearly impossible to know what Governor Dean really believes.

LOTHIAN: Gephardt and Dean are running neck and neck in the polls in Iowa, with Senator John Kerry closing in. The decorated Vietnam veteran is banking on other vets to give him a much-needed boost.

It's all being played out on Iowa's cold political battlefield, invaded every four years by a flurry of television ads from the candidates, an army of cameras and reporters from around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I can check the signal level.

LOTHIAN: And fancy network news buses on Main Street.

TERESA WAHLERT, GREATER DES MOINES PARTNERSHIP: What it brings to us is really an opportunity to our constituents here in the Midwest, especially in Iowa, to really put their issues on the line, get their views expressed.

LOTHIAN: Living for the past 20 years in Iowa, Julius Brooks has had a front-row seat, an entertainer and voter who finds the courting this year more intense than ever.

JULIUS BROOKS, VOTER: Getting all kind of phone calls every day, two or three times a day, Kerry, Dean, you know, Edwards, calling.

LOTHIAN: At this printing shop, Ron Hoyt's family have been making political posters and pamphlets for almost 70 years. For him, it's harvest season.

RON HOYT, OWNER, CARTER PRINTING: It's a nice problem to have, because it does give our business a little boost.

LOTHIAN: The question is, do Iowans feel used by a political process that only pays attention to them every four years?

BROOKS: I don't feel used, no. Everybody trying to get elected, I guess. It's a part of the system.

LOTHIAN (on camera): Retired General Wesley Clark, who, along with Joe Lieberman, passed up Iowa, is coming under attack in New Hampshire for his past support of Republicans. Howard Dean calls Clark a Republican. Clark's response -- quote -- "I'm a Democrat by conviction."

Dan Lothian, CNN, Des Moines, Iowa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: All that, of course, making Iowa one of the liveliest Democratic rumbles in a long, long time.

Joining us now from Des Moines, two members of the media pack. Ron Fournier is a political reporter for the Associated Press. And Susan page is Washington bureau chief for "USA Today."

Welcome to both of you.

(CROSSTALK)

SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": Hi, Paula.

ZAHN: Hi.

So, Ron, here we are five days out, negative ads, negative speeches, negative mailings. Traditionally, going negative wasn't supposed to work. Is it going to this time?

RON FOURNIER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, traditionally, there's an old adage in Iowa that negative advertising does not work. But the adage only goes so far.

Once you get to this point of the election, where we're not as fluid as we were a few days or a few weeks ago, where the undecideds are no longer the major target of the campaigns, now they're focusing on the folks who brought them to the dance, their hardest-core supporters. They need to get them out. And the way you do that is to remind them why you support them.

And for Dean, that is, he's an anti-war candidate. So you go up with an ad, you go up with a message that talks about how the other candidates supported the war and he didn't. For Dick Gephardt, it's his populist, economic anti-trade message, with a little, don't forget, we don't think Dean is very stable message thrown in. So that's why you have the attacks coming from both candidates.

It's not so much to drive down the perceptions of the rivals. It's to drive out their supporters.

ZAHN: So, Susan, you have covered Iowa caucuses since 1980. Have you ever seen anything like this?

PAGE: I haven't.

And I think it's really quite unprecedented to have this much negative attack going on this late in the process. And I think it's because this -- you really have a candidate field that is very fluid and really close. Howard Dean has had the lead here for a while. He's really in danger of losing that. And he could lose it to either Gephardt or even to John Kerry, who is coming on strong in the daily tracking polls.

Now, John Kerry doesn't have the sort of infrastructure that you traditionally need to have in Iowa to win the caucuses to get people to these 2,000 different precinct caucuses on Monday night. But it's certainly a situation that would be very hard right now to say who is going to win, who is going to come in second.

ZAHN: Susan, your newspaper today published a letter from Governor Dean to then-President Clinton that was written in 1995.

I'm going to read small part of it now. It says: "I have reluctantly concluded that the efforts of the United States and NATO and Bosnia are a complete failure. We must take unilateral action."

How much trouble do these words spell for the governor?

PAGE: It wasn't that the position was so unusual at the time, when people were very concerned about ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, but it's inconsistent with Governor Dean's criticism now of President Bush for undertaking unilateral action in Iraq.

I don't think this letter alone is devastating. But I do think there has been an accumulation of disclosures about things in Governor Dean's tenure in Vermont that have raised -- succeeded in raising some questions about him. Just in the last week, he's had to explain, for instance, his record on the appointment of minorities to Cabinet jobs in Vermont. And I think there's a cumulative effect.

I think some people who were supporting Dean -- I found in talking to voters last night in Mason City some people who had been with Dean now undecided. He needs to get those people back.

ZAHN: Ron, what kind of play did the letter get in the other campaigns today? Did it have much traction?

FOURNIER: Not a whole lot.

But, as Susan said, it's part of this building case they're trying to make that Governor Dean is inconsistent and someone who flip-flops on policies and doesn't back his words with action. You had -- for months, he criticized President Bush for not having adequate homeland security. And then it was revealed that he was warned as governor of Vermont about safety problems at the state's nuclear plant.

After months of criticizing Dick Cheney's energy task force being too secretive, it was revealed that he had a similar task force that acted sometimes in secret in Vermont.

ZAHN: Ron, both of you have been talking about how fluid this race is. Can you make any kind of comparison to any Iowa caucus you have covered in the past that looks this close down to the wire five days out?

FOURNIER: No, this is unprecedented.

And I would argue, if you really take the full compass of the campaign's internal polls and even the -- if you look closely at the public polls, this race right now really is tied within the margin of error between Governor Dean and Dick Gephardt. He's already lost his lead. It's tied.

And some of the polls suggest that just on the outer edges of the margin of error, Kerry's already tied it up. And Edwards is coming. When I was out talking to people in what should be Gephardt's stronghold out in -- near a Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa, I was surprised by the number of people who said, you know, I'm really worried about jobs. I'm worried about free trade, but I can't vote for Gephardt because of his vote on the war.

They don't realize that Edwards voted on the war as well. But they're starting to look at other...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Yes. You guys are going to be in the middle of it. And we're going to follow it closely from here.

Ron Fournier, Susan Page, thank you for both of your perspectives tonight.

PAGE: Thank you.

FOURNIER: Thank you.

ZAHN: Did the U.S. pick the wrong fight in Iraq? An exclusive interview with the Army War College researcher whose stinging new report is making headlines this week. And a blow to Scott Peterson's defense. An Enron executive heads to prison. And Kobe Bryant, should jurors know about his alleged victim's mental health? The latest on all those cases.

And one city is letting pregnant high school girls take maternity leave. Is that good policy or does it send the wrong message?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Guilty pleas today from former Enron chief financial officer Andre Fastow and his wife, Lea. He will serve 10 years in prison for his part in the corporate fraud scandal that rocked the nation. She gets five months behind bars for filing a false joint tax return.

So does this mean they'll testify against other ex Enron bigwigs?

Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us from Los Angeles with more on that.

Hi, Jeffrey. How you doing tonight?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: I'm doing so well. It's 75 and sunny.

ZAHN: Oh, rub it in. Rub it in.

TOOBIN: Life is good. Rubbing it in. You bet.

ZAHN: Two below here tomorrow. Bet you're real sorry you're going to miss that.

TOOBIN: I am so sorry.

ZAHN: Back to business here.

So what does this Fastow plea agreement mean to Ken Lay?

TOOBIN: It's nothing but bad news for Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. We've talked about this before. I'm eating a little crow here, because I was skeptical that the government would get this plea. But this is the indispensable part of a case against Jeffrey Skilling or Ken Lay. It may not be enough. There may not be a case against them.

But there would certainly no way be a case against them if Fastow had not turned into a witness. So this is a huge victory for the government.

ZAHN: But why are you so convinced Fastow has the goods on them, or that he'll come through with it?

TOOBIN: The structure of the company was such that Fastow was the key to these partnerships that really put the company out of business. Fastow personally made a great deal of money off of these partnerships. The question that no one has been able to establish is whether the higher-ups were also involved. Skilling and Lay were not financial participants in these partnerships, but did they know that this fraudulent activity was going on? If anyone can prove that, it's Fastow. And now we'll know whether he can put it to his bosses.

ZAHN: Let's move on to Kobe Bryant. Let's talk a little bit about what his defense attorneys have now done.

They've filed a motion, basically, saying that his accuser suffers from bipolar disorder and implying that she's sexually promiscuous. What does this have to do with an alleged rape?

TOOBIN: This is really an excruciatingly difficult issue, because, as we all know, there are such things as rape shield laws, which say that the prior sexual histories of rape victims should be off limits.

But the key issue in the Kobe Bryant case is this accuser's credibility. Is she to be believed? If she has a real mental disorder, if she has the kind of mental disorder that may keep her from knowing what's real and what's not or fantasizing or inventing facts, that is relevant. So I think Kobe Bryant's lawyers are on firm ground here, at least asking to see the records.

ZAHN: Wait. Well, you may think it's relevant, but it doesn't mean she couldn't have been raped.

TOOBIN: That's right.

Even if she did have this mental problem, she could still have been raped. But I think her -- the defense is entitled to raise this question about her credibility. If this -- if what they're claiming is true, they have the right to test her story, true or false. And if there really is mental health evidence, like they suggest, I think they're going to get to look at it.

ZAHN: Take us inside what some of these prosecutors might be thinking in this case right now. I mean, the detail and the graphicness of what we're talking about here is excruciating and icky and awful.

TOOBIN: It's terrible.

And, you know, this is why rape victims don't like to come forward, I mean, among other reasons, is that this is what she is being put through. Remember, her mother has been subpoenaed. Her whole mental health history, her sexual history is being explored. And even though there are these laws in place, like rape shield laws, it is very tough to protect an alleged victim's rights here.

And the balance between a fair trial and rights of the victims is just not something that's easy to resolve. And prosecutors just have to try to deal with it as best they can and comfort the alleged victim as best that they can do as well. ZAHN: Quickly, walk us through the machinations in the Scott Peterson case, the judge bringing back someone who originally testified, and a survey sort of telling us what folks in that local area thought about his guilt or innocence?

TOOBIN: This is a bizarre twist.

The judge granted a change of venue because survey research showed that people in Stanislaus County in Modesto really had made up their mind, a lot of them had. Some of the students who did that survey, who actually did the phone calling, said there was fraud involved, said they really didn't make the phone calls they said they did. So the judge is going back to see if he relied on relevant or accurate data to make the change. It's one of many bizarre twists that we can expect in all these cases.

ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, you surprised me, that you just wimped out on our little cold snap here and had to head to L.A.

TOOBIN: With pleasure.

ZAHN: Enjoy. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: See you.

ZAHN: A return to the moon and beyond. President Bush unveils plans to push space exploration to new heights. We're going to talk about it live with John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.

And the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Did the Bush administration lose track of the search by waging war in Iraq? We have an exclusive interview with the author of a headline-making report this week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight, we have an exclusive interview with the author of a stinging rebuke of the Bush administration's war in Iraq and the war on terrorism. The report by Dr. Jeffrey Record of the U.S. Army War College says the White House should have remained tightly focused on al Qaeda, rather than going into war in Iraq. It also says, Operation Iraqi Freedom may have created new threats against the U.S.

Visiting professor Dr. Jeffrey Record joins us now for this exclusive interview.

Good evening, sir. Welcome.

DR. JEFFREY RECORD, VISITING PROFESSOR, ARMY WAR COLLEGE: Nice to be on your program.

ZAHN: Thank you.

So are you basically saying, if we had not gone in to Iraq, that the chances of either capturing or killing Osama bin Laden would be greater?

RECORD: No, not necessarily. I think that's a separate kind of parallel war.

What I am saying is that by placing an American Army in the middle of an Arab heartland, we run the risk of creating a new set of targets for Islamic terrorists.

ZAHN: What do you perceive as these new threats against the U.S.?

RECORD: We could witness a situation that we encountered perhaps in Lebanon, a degeneration into chaos and sectarian violence, that could provide a marvelous recruiting ground for al Qaeda and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.

ZAHN: You go into great detail about some of these threats. You write that the U.S. war on terrorism is unrealistic and indiscriminate and ambitious. And you write that it may have set the United States on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and nonstate entities that pose no serious threat to the United States.

Which countries are you talking about here?

RECORD: Well, we have essentially declared war on all terrorist organizations, regardless of where they are or what their political agendas are and whether or not they have any particular beef with the United States.

We have also said that we are going to deal one way or the other with so-called axis of evil states, so-called terrorist states, such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea and Iran and Syria, states that I think, as was the case with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, can be successfully deterred by traditional threats of massive retaliation.

Al Qaeda and their allies, their terrorist allies, are not necessarily deterrable by these threats.

ZAHN: You also say in this report, this puts enormous strain on the Army, that the Army is -- quote -- "almost at its breaking point."

RECORD: Yes.

I think, if you look at the commitment of the U.S. Army worldwide, with the centerpiece being in Iraq, there's not much left in the cupboard for contingencies elsewhere in the world. And there's a growing sentiment on Capitol Hill and elsewhere that the Army is being stretched too thinly and that perhaps maybe we ought to increase the Army's size. I did not make that recommendation.

What I did say, however, is that this issue needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed without prior prejudice.

ZAHN: Final question tonight.

As you no doubt know, a lot of Democrats on the campaign trail getting great mileage out of your report. Was this report politically motivated?

RECORD: Not at all. And I resent the charge that I performed strategic analysis with some kind of hidden political agenda.

ZAHN: Dr. Record, thank you again for joining us for this exclusive interview tonight.

RECORD: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: So did the war in Iraq make it tougher to track down Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda terrorists?

Joining us from Washington, our regular contributor and former Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke.

Welcome, Victoria.

VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Paula.

ZAHN: So are you willing to give Dr. Record, a man who has been a defense analyst for almost three decades now, any credit for getting anything right here?

CLARKE: Well, I'll tell you, there are lots of studies that come out of the war colleges, thousands of studies that come out of the war colleges, I know a lot of them with the best of intent. But very few of them actually stand the test of time.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Well, what about this one?

CLARKE: And I don't think it will.

And I'll tell you why, because it looks -- I think he's looking at the word the way he wants it to be, not the way it is. It would be wonderful if you could just prosecute one front in the war on terror. But that's not the real world. And I can promise you that the people who are in Iraq right now running the U.S. military there, people with names like Abizaid and Sanchez and Odierno, fully believe that what they're doing is an integral part of the war on terror.

It's multidimensional. It's the most complex, challenging, multidimensional war we've had probably in history. But that's reality. So what you have to do is prosecute it on different fronts, in different places, in different ways. And you're constantly balancing the risks and the pros and cons of that. But you have to do it.

ZAHN: But what he's saying here is, by simultaneously taking these actions, that the U.S. compromised its efforts to get Osama bin Laden.

CLARKE: Well, I just -- I disagree completely, because, again, if you follow his line of thinking to its conclusion, then he would want to put hundreds of thousands of people into the border along Afghanistan and Pakistan to find Osama bin Laden.

First and foremost, al Qaeda is not about one man. There are plenty of people besides Osama bin Laden who could run that organization. Secondly, going in with brute strength and brute force like that isn't necessarily the way to get the job done in that part of the world.

And then I just go back to what I said before. You don't have the luxury of doing one thing at a time. So I think he looks at it through a certain prism, which is understandable, given his background, but it just doesn't deal with the world as we find it.

ZAHN: He makes a pretty harsh charge about the Army basically being in danger of breaking apart.

You no doubt know, because it's happened under your watch at the Pentagon, where morale had been a concern for our soldiers serving in Iraq. And for the first time since the Vietnam War, those soldiers were given some R&R. And the Army Guard missed its recruiting goal by some 16 percent.

CLARKE: Well, a couple of things.

And, again, you talk to people who are on the ground over there, you're always watching morale. And you always want to make sure your people are as committed and pumped up as they possibly can be. To a large extent, they are. And it sounds like such a huge deal when you say, oh, the first time they've been given R&R since Vietnam. Well, this is an unusual war and commitments and deployments have been longer.

That's one of the things you do to take care of morale issues. And, again, I go back to the people who are having the real-life experiences, people like General Abizaid and Sanchez and Odierno, who are much closer to it than we are, with all due respect, back here in Washington. And they'll tell you, it isn't just a matter of numbers. It isn't just that we need more people. As a matter of fact, they say, we don't need more people. We need to make sure we're using our people in the right way.

So, with all due respect to his study and his background, I think it looks at things through a fairly narrow prism.

ZAHN: Victoria Clarke, we've got to leave it there this evening. Thanks for joining us.

CLARKE: Thank you.

ZAHN: Should the government pay to give high school girls maternity leave? One city says that is the right thing to do.

And with Michael Jackson's arraignment two days away, some are wondering if the singer is under the control of the Nation of Islam.

And tomorrow, an Illinois man facing charges for shooting someone who broke into his house twice in 24 hours. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Here are the headlines you need to know. At the bottom of the an hour.

A Sudanese man carrying bullets was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport today. Scotland yard said he was trying to board a flight to Dubai. While he did have bullets police say he was not carrying any weapons.

There's been a shooting linked to a series along the highway on the south side of Columbus, Ohio. A sheriff's spokesman says the total of connected shootings since May is now up to 19. A driver says a bullet hit his hood Sunday on Interstate 270.

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Powell wants bigger fines for broadcasters letting the "F" word or obscenities get out on the air. Powell says Congress hasn't raised the fines in years and calls the use of obscenities on abhorrent and reprehensible.

Meanwhile, a new policy in New York City gives schools -- schools that is gives a two-month maternity leave to students having babies.

Now, will these excused absences from class encourage education or encourage teen sex?

That's our debate tonight from Los Angeles, our frequent contributor, Drew Pinski, a specialist in relationships and addictions.

And from Washington tonight, syndicated columnist and radio talk show host, Armstrong Williams.

Good to see both of you.

ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW RADIO HOST: Hi, Paula.

ZAHN: Hi. So, doctor, I am going to start with you this evening. Eight weeks maternity leave for pregnant teenagers. That's more than some companies offer pregnant married moms.

Are we making it too easy on the teens?

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: I don't think we're making it too easy, in fact. The reality is that of the teen whose get pregnant, 50 percent are going get pregnant again. And if we don't do something to capture the kids and keep them engaged in the process of education, gainful employment, they are going to fall out of society and continue to be a serious problem. I can't understand why we wouldn't encourage something that would empower women to stay connected and continue to be able to develop skills to take care of themselves.

ZAHN: Armstrong, what about that, the goal to keep the kids engaged in education? WILLIAMS: Paula, when a 13 and a 14-year-old have a baby, I mean, it's such a shock to their body and the fact that they have no idea what they're getting into, it is something they need to concentrate their full time on. I think it's a very noble idea, wanting to make sure that later on in life they don't regret not having an education, but that's not the environment that too do it in the classroom. Maybe you should just have a policy where they're not in school for the that semester, for that year and they come back the following year to complete the education. I know they'll say, well...

ZAHN: They've they'll have lost all that time.

WILLIAMS: If they don't back -- look, let me tell you something, I come from the old school. There still should be a sense of shame in the society if a 13 and a 14-year-old have a baby out of wedlock. You do not want to say to other kids, 90 percent of them do the right thing, who understands that that is not the kind of behavior you want to exemplify in school, you cannot say to them OK, go have a baby and we'll make it easy for you. You get two months of maternity leave. We'll have people there to tutor you at home to make sure you don't miss your assignments and then guess what, in two months you come back to class. Well, you know, having a baby at 13 and 14-years-old doesn't work that way. There could be computations, there's the shock, there's emotional stress. It does not work in a classroom. We're talking about kids here.

ZAHN: Drew, what about that?

Armstrong sees this as simply a reward for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

PINSKY: Philosophically, I agree with him. We've got to create a sense it's the wrong thing to do to have kids. Children, you know, adolescents if they perceive something to be harmful, they're less likely to do it. On the other hand, these kids who choose to have children, they're not accidentally doing it half the time, half of them are going to have more kids. We have to do something to capture these young people that's have done this. There's a direct correlation between lack of education and the probability of them being mothers of single children out of wedlock in lower social economic status. We've got to do something. The reality is what's going on right now isn't working.

ZAHN: All right. Drew, I think everybody appreciates that and they appreciate what you're talking about statistically happens to the young women.

But with a about the notion of juggling class work with motherhood?

You're going to have people come to the homes to make sure the kids are taking care of their babies OK.

Is that really their work?

PINSKY: But the reality is what we're saying is, if you're a mother, you've got to drop out. The fact is, yes, we have to empower and support women to do the child rearing. I would think it would be a conservative opinion to try to stage child rearing for women. And empower them to take time out.

WILLIAMS: Conservative?

PINSKY: I would think so, to take time out from work or school to raise children but be empowered to return full throttle.

WILLIAMS: You sound like an enabler. You know that? You sound like an enabler.

PINSKY: In a way, you're making an interesting point. And I tend to agree with you. That in fact, I agree with your idea about shame. I agree with you that we need to decrease of ease at which someone can sort of deal with a pregnancy. There needs to be consequences. But on the other hand we have to do something to capture the women that are falling.

ZAHN: Armstrong you get the last word.

WILLIAMS: We need to learn from the good kids that don't get pregnant. And they're there to learn and make the most of their education education. Not the kids that need a sense of shame. Those are not the kids that we need to pay attention too. It's the kids that do the right thing, that needs to be the focus and we need to keep that as the standard, not lowering the bar.

ZAHN: Armstrong Williams, Drew Pinski, we have to leave it there. Thank you for your perspectives.

Walking on the moon is just the beginning as President Bush sets his sights on the return to space exploration.

We're going to be talking about it live with John Glenn, the first American in space. Good evening, senator.

Also, American Idol's Randy Jackson, the music man gets personal as he talks about the drastic step he took to lose so much weight.

Tomorrow, the neck and neck race to win Iowa way is shipping up to be the closest one and nastiest one in years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: We choose to explore space. Because doing so improves our lives, and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: President Bush today proposing to go where man has gone before, but with a difference. He put out the challenge to spend the next decade developing a new vehicle to replace the space shuttle, use it to establish a permanent moon base by 2020, then use it to send a manned mission to Mars, possibly by 2030, according to administration sources.

So how does this all sound to a space pioneer?

Well, as every high school kid knows, Senator John Glenn is the first American to orbit the earth. They better know that, senator. He joins us from Washington. Always good to see you, welcome.

JOHN GLENN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: How are you, Paula. Good to see you.

ZAHN: I'm good, thanks.

You can see this from a couple of different perspectives, having served in public office for a long time, having been one of our well- celebrated astronauts. Is this more about reelection politics or about true space adventure?

GLENN: Well, you know, the president -- I'm glad to see the president's interest in space, whatever -- whatever cause that that's fine with me. I'm just glad to see it. I think the money, the money is going to follow. Sincerity will result in a budget, I hope, that is really something better than what's been announced so far.

I think to just ask NASA to reprogram $11 billion, plus another billion and we're going to do all the planning and the reprogramming of money will come later on, several years down the road, I don't think you're going to do much.

And it worries me very much when we start reprogramming within NASA, because the main thing I want to see there is the International Space Station brought online. It's only about two third built now. We need another two, three years to redo that, get that on, get the six people up there to do research instead of the two that we have up there now.

We have promised people for the last 20 years, that the station was going to be a fountain of good research that's a benefit to people right here on Earth and I...

ZAHN: Has it been?

GLENN: I used to argue that on the Senate floor all the time. And so I want to see that completed. I would hate to think that any money was going to be taken out of that program.

I know the president said we're going to complete the shuttle. I just want to see that done. Complete the station.

ZAHN: When you talk about moving money that's ear marked from one program to another, in the end, do you think we can afford it?

GLENN: Well, I don't know. You know, back when the first president ford was -- or Bush was in office, he asked for a study of this, and the study came back of going to the Moon and Mars. I think the one estimate at that time was $400 billion. And there was a lot of criticism that was way too high. Well, even if it was half that, take $89 and transfer them now and figure we'd probably do, what, if it was 250 or so back then, it's going to be 500 or so now. Now, that's spread out over a number of years, obviously, but I don't think you'll do anything on this $11 billion reprogramming within NASA and I'm afraid some other programs may get hurt drastically.

ZAHN: Do you acknowledge with all the money we're talking about being moved around, this is good electoral politics when you look at the amount of work that folks in Texas, in Florida and California can get out of this?

GLENN: Well, I don't know. I heard several people on TV today saying some things like that, but I'm glad to see the president's interest in space. And I just hope that we can do this thing and do it with not hurting other NASA programs that are very important.

Do we want to cut out, for instance, all the aerodynamic research programs that we have that are within NASA? I don't think we want to cut those out. I don't know where the $11 billion comes from, because NASA's program overall, the total NASA budget is only about $15 billion. So, reprogramming 11, maybe some of the funds already being spent there are funds that could be incorporated in this, but I don't know how Congress is going to look at this on a commitment, a long haul commitment.

You can't start this thing off and cut it off one year, fund it the next. It has to be long-term funding that Congress has to be part of. I think the president -- it's up to the president now to get those budget figures, put them in the new budget and hopefully keep those things going year after year.

ZAHN: Finally, Senator, switching gears here, are you supporting any of the Democratic presidential candidates?

GLENN: No, I haven't. I'm watching very carefully. I've pretty much stayed out of primaries in my political life. You make one person happy and a lot of people very mad when you start endorsing people. But I guess the whole thing starts next Monday, of course, in Iowa, and whether Iowa's a representative state or not, that's something else to be debated. But -- and whether the caucuses are the way to go about this thing.

But New Hampshire starts the primaries and the others come shortly after that. Won't take long, probably, before we know who the candidate's going to be.

ZAHN: Has Governor Dean asked you for an endorsement yet?

GLENN: No, I haven't talked to him. I met him a long time ago, but that's all.

ZAHN: Any of the others?

GLENN: I've talked to several of the others.

ZAHN: Have they asked you for an endorsement or what?

GLENN: Not specifically endorsement, no. They have wanted to stay in touch and I'm happy to do that and talk to them. But that's as far as it's gone so far.

ZAHN: Well, we are delighted to stay in touch with you. We really appreciate your spending a little time with us this evening. Thanks so much for you time.

GLENN: Thank you, Paula. Good to talk to you.

ZAHN: "American Idol's" Randy Jackson stops by to talk about the show, his career and the extreme measure he took to lose weight.

Also, the case against Michael Jackson moves forward this week with his arraignment. As it does, some are wondering who has control over his defense.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA ABDUL, "AMERICAN IDOL": I liked you very much.

RANDY JACKSON, "AMERICAN IDOL": Welcome to Hollywood, doll.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Randy Jackson has been making sweet music, producing some of the industry's biggest stars for more than two decades. So, it's not surprising he's been a hit judging talent on "American Idol," which begins its third edition next week.

Now Randy Jackson is offering his showbiz advice in a new book. And on top of that, he's achieving a more personal goal. A slimmer, trimmer Randy Jackson joins me now. Congratulations, bravo. Stand up. Be counted. Show off. Where did it all go.

JACKSON: Hopefully to my feet.

ZAHN: What did you do with all your old clothes? Have you burned them?

JACKSON: Do you know what? I just one day walked way from all of those old clothes and said, okay no more.

ZAHN: So, you had the serious gastric bypass surgery?

JACKSON: Yes.

ZAHN: That was not a picnic?

JACKSON: No, it's not a picnic. I had what's called the Fobi Method. It's a doctor in L.A. that has another method that adds another step to it. It's like they staple off part of the old stomach and they add a new stomach that they sew together and they do a bypass, which they call a gastric to the small intestines.

Around the top of the stomach he puts a sialastic (ph) ring so you have to chew food really well to get it down. Food passes through more slowly. It's a hairy, risky, risky surgery, I think like 1 in 200 die.

ZAHN: So, when the food police are not around, what is it that you're craving?

JACKSON: You know what, I think the first month or so I was craving chocolate. But after that, it all went away.

ZAHN: Let's talk about this new book you have out. It's called "What's Up Dawg?"

JACKSON: Very good.

ZAHN: Did I do fine with that?

JACKSON: I like that.

ZAHN: How to become a superstar in the Music business. What's the best advice you could offer to someone who wants to be discovered, particularly with musical talent.

JACKSON: The best advice is to buy this book and read it and reread it until it soaks into your skin.

ZAHN: You're not going to get it the first time, Randy? I sort of got the message the first time I read it.

JACKSON: Well, you know what happens. See, you're classically trained. People didn't know that, see, you already got it. But the thing is that most people have no idea what this business is about. It's almost like they're living vicariously through the artists they see on TV.

ZAHN: You've discovered some and worked with some of the best. You've been with Elton John, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey. You produced a couple of her albums.

JACKSON: Yes.

ZAHN: Did you know when you saw Mariah Carey for the first time this woman's going someplace?

JACKSON: When I heard her for the first time, as when I heard Whitney for the first time, I thought, you know, there's nobody in the planet that sounds like these people. They must go all the way. Because, I mean, those kind of voices command the radio, command the listeners listening to the radio to stay tuned. Like you know what? I may hate the song, but I'm going to listen you finish it.

ZAHN: Of course, your fantasy with the next season of "American Idol" is so to discover the next Mariah Carey or the male version of and the problem is a lot of people don't think the folks that have won thus far have staying power.

JACKSON: It's hard you know. I mean, you won't be able to tell that until their second record so you can see really what they're made of. Because the momentum that the show creates, once they put out that first album, all those records are probably going to sell anyway. But I think it's that second album to really be able to tell if they really got what it takes to really go the long haul.

ZAHN: So it's not good, Justin Guarini lost his latest contract?

JACKSON: You know, listen, Justin...

ZAHN: Put a happy face on that one, Randy.

JACKSON: Justin didn't make the right record. I don't think he knew who he really was. And unless you do that homework -- Justin should read this book.

ZAHN: Maybe he has. Maybe he needs to read it again.

JACKSON: And again and again and again.

ZAHN: There you go selling that book. I wish you tremendous luck.

JACKSON: Nice to meet you.

ZAHN: It was fun chatting with you. You set a good example for a lot of folks out there.

JACKSON: I'm a fan, Paula Zahn, yes!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: He even did the dawg thing that you didn't see on camera. It was very exciting.

The latest on Michael Jackson. His arraignment is two days away. Wait till you hear what his fans have in store for him as he heads back to court.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Michael Jackson faces arraignment two days from now on charges of child molestation. His fans are planning what they call a caravan of love to show their support. Meanwhile, there's a debate over whether the Nation of Islam has taken control of Jackson's finances and defense.

Joining us now from Las Vegas, the president of the Michael Jackson fan club, Donna Green. And from Los Angeles tonight, Ken Baker, West Coast editor, executive editor of "US Weekly." Welcome to both of you.

Ken, what have you learned is the connection between Michael Jackson's camp and the Nation of Islam? KEN BAKER, WEST COAST EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": Well, the connection may not be, in fact, that they have taken over his finances and taken over total control, but what's clear is Leonard Muhammad, the No. 2 in the Nation of Islam, right below Lewis Farrakhan, is very much involved with Michael's personal and professional dealings.

Just the other day, they had a big meeting on Monday at the Beverly Hills hotel with all of his advisers and at the head of the table, who was there? Leonard Muhammad.

If you look back, there's videotape, actually, from when Mark Geragos came out right after Michael Jackson was arraigned -- not arraigned, but when charges were filed last month. Standing right behind Mark Geragos on the steps of Mark Geragos' office was Leonard Muhammad.

Now only they know exactly what's going on. But the sources we've talked to say they're actually playing an integral role. Leonard Muhammad gave us an interview, he denied he's taken over but admitted he's consulting him.

ZAHN: OK. Integral role. What are your sources telling you? Is that playing a role, or do you believe there's a struggle between Mark Geragos, the attorney representing Michael Jackson, and tug-of- war with the guy at the head of the table?

BAKER: The good story is there's a power struggle going on. But I would say more realistically, what we're hearing is that Mark is doing the responsible thing. He's trying to take control of the situation, because if Michael Jackson doesn't clear this legal hurdle, he's not going to have a career after this. So it's really a situation where Mark has been forced to deal with all these competing interests.

I think when he came into the case early on, he realized there are so many interests. There's German businessmen, Vancouver businessmen, there's assistants, kids who have been around Michael for a long time, young people who advise him. You know, now with Nation of Islam, they're now a part of it. If Mark is going to be a part of this team, he has to work within that structure, either that or as rumored, he's going to just fold and walk away from the table.

ZAHN: Donna, as a fan, I imagine that you look at this differently than someone sitting at the table negotiating for Michael Jackson. How concerned are you that there's this potential power struggle, what impact it may have on him?

DONNA GREEN, PRESIDENT, MICHAEL JACKSON FAN CLUB: First of all we don't know if there's a power struggle. Right now, it's speculation and rumors. I mean Mr. Geragos went on saying that Michael was not involved with them. Jermaine went on saying that there wasn't. Until I personally hear it from Michael, you know, until it comes out of his mouth, I look at it is as speculation. We don't know what role if any at all, they have.

ZAHN: Donna, is there anything you've heard, including some of the things that Michael Jackson said on "60 Minutes" that have shaken your confidence in him?

GREEN: Not at all.

ZAHN: And even including some of the leaks about what -- and some of the affidavits from his accuser right now?

GREEN: No, not at all. I have spoken to Michael many times throughout the past few years over the phone. I've had conversations with him about children. I know the kind of person he is. I know his heart. Other people who say things about him that are accusing him that already have him, you know, convicted and hung already, they don't know the man.

They've never spoken to the man. They're going by what they think about him, what they've been saying about him for years, you know, the way he looks or whatever. That's not fair. I know the man. I've had conversations with him. I know where his heart is and his heart, he would never, ever do anything sexual or otherwise to a child or adult, anybody.

I mean, truly, I mean, I'm a mother first. If I thought Michael Jackson -- I know Michael Jackson he was guilty at all, I would not be supporting him like I am. I truly believe in his innocence.

ZAHN: All right. Donna Green, Ken Baker, we will leave it there. Donna joining what is expected to be perhaps hundreds of Michael Jackson's fans at the courthouse on Friday.

Thanks so much for being with us tonight. Appreciate your joining us. Hope you'll be back with us same time, same place tomorrow night. Good night.

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