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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Ed Bradley

Aired February 8, 2004 - 21:00   ET

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

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a prime time exclusive with Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes." The inside scoop on his controversial Michael Jackson, his take on the Janet Jackson Super Bowl shocker, that's got his network in a federal case. We'll about the Democratic primaries too, and more, with Ed Bradley of "60 Minutes." We'll have your phone calls, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Lots of things to talk about with Ed Bradley. The co-editor of "60 Minutes." He joined that program in 1981.

ED BRADLEY, "60 MINUTES": Long time.

KING: CBS News correspondent. His first prime time interview since that high-profile with Michael Jackson. We'll get to a lot of discussion of that, but first, what's your take on the primary so far?

BRADLEY: I think John Kerry is, obviously in a very good, strong position. He's gone from being the front front-runner to the also ran to now again the front-runner. He's shown that he can win in different states, in different parts of the country and no one else is. He's everybody -- he has to be able to take incoming now, because everyone is going to point to him.

KING: Shoot for the head.

BRADLEY: Everyone whose left goes after him.

KING: What happened to Howard Dean?

BRADLEY: You know, I think Howard Dean peaked too early. They think they didn't manage their money well. I don't think that they managed their time well. And I think by being the front-runner and being an outsider, he opened himself up to attacks from the other candidates and a blistering attack from the media. And I think eventually it has its -- it takes a toll.

KING: John Edwards is going to make a play?

BRADLEY: John Edwards will make a play if he shows he can win somewhere outside the south. If all he can do is win southern states, then he's not going to be the democratic nominee.

KING: And General Clark?

BRADLEY: General Clark is the same thing. He won marginally out in Oklahoma. He's got to win somewhere other than Tennessee and Virginia. He's got to win and, I mean, you have Michigan on Saturday. You've got Washington state. You've got other states coming up the following Tuesday, he will have to show he will win out of his own backyard.

KING: November going to be close?

BRADLEY: It's too far out to say. It really is too far out to say. You have a president whose numbers are declining. He's not as popular as he once was, but he is still a sitting president and he has more than $100 million to spend at this point.

KING: He didn't spent any yet.

BRADLEY: And hasn't spent it. And they're going to raise more. So, that has an impact on the race.

I think that there are two major factors, and they are the economy and the war in Iraq. And most people who've gone to the polls, be it these are Democratic voters have said that the economy is more important to them than what's happening in Iraq. Excuse me. So, if the economy doesn't take off, and you have a continuing recovery, but it's a jobless recovery, then President Bush has some weaknesses on the economy, particularly with all the attention on the budget.

KING: Before we get to the discussion about Michael, what did you make of your network, Super Bowl and I saw Mr. Commers on tonight, we didn't discuss it much.

BRADLEY: Well, I think everyone at CBS from Mel Carmison (ph) on down, was one, shocked, two, embarrassed, by what happened. Here you have -- I mean I talked to people who were there for the Super Bowl at CBS, who went to all the rehearsals, and there was no indication that anything like this was going to happen. It hadn't been rehearsed, it hadn't been planned as far as they could see.

KING: The lyrics to the song were approved.

BRADLEY: Yes. But the lyrics to the song and ripping off Janet Jackson's, whatever you call it, on that outfit she had on, are two different things. You can have suggestive lyrics, but if you're going to bare breasts, that's another thing. And no one saw it coming.

Here's what you had, you have a game that was, I think, most people said this is going to be a boring, defensive battle. That's certainly what I felt.

KING: And it was for a long time.

BRADLEY: For a while, and then the game got exciting. So you have what turned out to be a great game between two very good teams and CBS sports, Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms in the booth, did a great job broadcasting this game. The camerawork, the direction was great. And are people talking about that? No, they're talking Janet Jackson and the nipple ring.

KING: Does CBS bear some of the blame? For, maybe not scrutinizing it more, maybe for allowing MTV to do the halftime show?

BRADLEY: Well, MTV is part of CBS. MTV is part of Viacom. But, again, the who are people responsible for it did not see it coming. I mean, they've gone back and looked at the tapes of the rehearsals to see if there was something that they missed and it just wasn't there.

KING: What do you make now delaying the Grammys?

BRADLEY: Well...

KING: They're going to have a delay.

BRADLEY: Yes, I think we've lived with an audio delete, like a seven-second delay and now they're going to have a video delete. I don't know how you do that. But they'll figure out a way by Grammy time and I think it is something they have to do.

I mean, you've got people who will do anything to get attention and you have people -- I'm not sure that they intended to bare her breast. My understanding of what it was is that he was supposed to take the outer thing off and there was something else underneath and she says it was a wardrobe malfunction, he grabbed too much.

KING: What about those who say, Ed, what's the big deal?

BRADLEY: Well, look, a lot of kids who were watching.

KING: Yes, but they've seen beer commercials and Viagra commercials.

BRADLEY: But this is a little different. This is a live music show with someone they may look up to. Commercial, particularly kids looking at commercials like that, they tend to tune them out. A lot of people, when the commercials come on, that's a time to get another soft drink or beer or go get some food. For me, the halftime show was -- I watched the beginning and then went to get something to eat. I didn't see it, but you have a TiVo so you go back.

KING: Let's go back. We never -- there's always controversy around CBS.

BRADLEY: There's been a lot more controversy than we would like.

KING: The Jackson interview. How did it happen?

BRADLEY: You know, the Michael Jackson interview is an interview that we have been working on for more than a year. Last February I was out at Neverland, we had been working on it for some months at that time. I went out with my crews, producer, associate producer, sat down with Michael, just the two of us in a room. Left everybody outside and talked for about half an hour.

KING: Months ago?

BRADLEY: This is last February, almost a year ago. And Michael said, fine. I'm going to trust you. And he told me how his trust had been betrayed by other journalists. And I just said, look, you know me, you know my work. If you want to do this, fine, if not, I understand. And he said, I'm going to trust you and go upstairs and get ready for the interview.

His guys told me that could take an hour and a half to two hours because he'll have to get made up, his clothes. When I talked to him he had on a pajama top, he had pants on, but he had a pajama top on.

KING: This is the day of the interview or months before.

BRADLEY: This is in February. We were going to do this interview that day.

KING: I see.

BRADLEY: I say to my guys, bring in the camera gear, set up and he'll be down in an hour or so. And, as I was told later, when he was just about made up and dressed, someone came in with a phone and said, you've got a call from Marlin Brando. Brando told him that the deposition, which had been sealed in 1992 from the first case when he was accused of child molestation.

KING: And settled.

BRADLEY: Settled so that it would be kept secret. Brando told him that that deposition had been released. It was on the Internet and it would be all over the world by tomorrow and it would be in the tabloids in the United States the next day. Michael Jackson, we never saw him again. He didn't say I'm not going to do the interview, he just disappeared.

KING: Someone came and told you.

BRADLEY: We sat there for hours waiting. It was his people. Mark Geragos just started at the head of his legal team at that time.

KING: This was before the charges were brought, now, way before.

BRADLEY: Oh, yes. In fact, the kid who is now charging him and his mother were there that day.

KING: Really?

BRADLEY: We sat in the kitchen having coffee and doughnuts and sodas and his mother and the kids said they were willing to go on television to say what a great person Michael Jackson was.

KING: Wow. Hold it right there. And Brando was wrong, right?

BRADLEY: Well no, because the deposition wasn't...

KING: Was it released?

BRADLEY: It was released. And it was all over the tabloids the next day.

KING: Oh, was it.

We'll be right back with more. This is a fascinating story with Ed Bradley. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: As we sit here today, do you still think that it's acceptable to share your bed with children?

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Of course. Of course. Why Not? If you're going to be a pedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea. That I'm not. That's how we were raised. And I didn't sleep in the bed with the child, even if it I did, it's OK. I slept on the floor. I gave the bed to the child.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: They manhandled me very roughly. My shoulder is dislocated literally. It's hurting me very badly. I'm in pain all the time. See this arm? This is as far as I can reach it. Same with this side over here.

BRADLEY: Because of what happened at the police station?

JACKSON: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Ed Bradley. All right, and then what happened?

BRADLEY: We sat there and he just never showed up. By that night I went back to Los Angeles. We went back out the next day and talked to them and it just never happened. So, it never went away completely. It was always there. And then when it surfaced again after these charges, he decided that he wanted to talk to me.

KING: He contacted you?

BRADLEY: We were in contact with Mark Geragos. And they said, OK. We didn't talk to Michael directly. They said, fine, come out on Wednesday. This is a day before Christmas. So, I had my Christmas vacation plans and they just went out the window and I flew to Los Angeles and went to the hotel where we were supposed to interview him and they said this is going to happen at 3:00 and then they said 4:00 and then 5:00 and then 6:00 and at 7:00 they said, well it will happen tomorrow.

KING: Here we go again.

BRADLEY: It was Christmas day. So Christmas day we went out and set up again and then, again, it was a long wait through the day and late in the afternoon, early evening, Michael came into the room. He was made up and dressed for the interview and he was very, he is very soft spoken. He was on the surface very considerate of everyone else in the room. Makes eye contact, says hello to members of the crew, waves at everybody and sits down.

KING: Personable.

BRADLEY: Yes. But then he's also checking to see how he looks in the monitor. He is a performer, has he has been all of his life.

KING: Right there. The story that appears in the "New York Times" is he says, first we have to make this deal. We need the money more on a live television show.

BRADLEY: Never happened.

KING: Nothing like that ever -- "New York Times" story was completely wrong.

BRADLEY: Completely wrong. Completely wrong. The "New York Times" story which was based on something that happened a year ago in February when we were at Neverland that this person said, we have to have more money for Michael.

KING: That was then.

BRADLEY: The quote was put in my mouth in the "New York Times" story saying I said, don't worry, we'll take care of it. Who said I said that? The person they attributed that quote to was described as a disgruntled former Jackson associate, unnamed, who felt that he was owed money. Now, that's not a very credible source. What bothered me was that they never contacted me directly to say, did you say that?

KING: Never called you?

BRADLEY: They called -- by the time they were ready to write this story we had finished the interview and I had gone on vacation. They called the CBS PR people and said, can we talk to Bradley? Bradley's on vacation. They never said, here's a quote. This is what they're saying that Ed Bradley said, how does he respond to that?

KING: Back to a year ago, a year ago back in February, when they didn't do it, did he say at that time, I want more money?

BRADLEY: No.

KING: Did he say, I'm doing the special, you must run it?

BRADLEY: No, this was a year before the special.

KING: The special hadn't even been thought of?

BRADLEY: No, the special hadn't been thought of. Maybe it had been thought of, but I didn't know about it.

KING: Money was never mentioned? BRADLEY: Money was not a factor. What happened a year ago was that when Marlon Brando told him that the deposition was being made public he freaked out and he didn't want to see anyone.

KING: So when you read the story, what did you think?

BRADLEY: I said, it's a lie. I never said that. Who was the person who said I said that? Name him.

KING: Were you shocked that the "New York Times" ran that? I mean, here's a pillar of journalism.

BRADLEY: You know, I expected more from them, frankly. I mean, if I had a quote from an anonymous source for a story I'm doing at "60 Minutes," I couldn't use that quote without contacting the person who's quoted in that story in saying, this is what they say about you. We couldn't do that.

KING: To your knowledge, is there any content between CBS Entertainment and CBS News where Entertainment could say do us a quid pro quo?

BRADLEY: No, there is no quid pro quo. There was no quid pro quo with Michael Jackson. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) CBS did not pay for the interview. CBS did not sweeten the pot. In other words, CBS did not say, OK, we paid you so much with a special, do the interview and we'll pay you more for the special.

KING: Never happened.

BRADLEY: Never happened. Now, was there someone there from CBS Entertainment? Yes, because he knew Michael Jackson, having done the special with him and knew Michael Jackson's people and he was a liaison with us, but he had nothing to do with the interview.

KING: Were they not going to run this special unless he did the interview?

BRADLEY: I don't think they were going to run the special unless he answered the questions. Now it was his choice as to where he chooses, which forum he chooses to answer the questions. Now, would they prefer that he do it on "60 Minutes?" You bet.

KING: Back to last February when you met the mother and the kid, what did you think when you heard it was that mother and that kid?

BRADLEY: I was stunned because they were there to tell me that day what a great person he was.

KING: Were you going to put them on camera?

BRADLEY: We hadn't gone that far.

KING: Might you have?

BRADLEY: I don't know. I honestly don't know. I don't know. The kid was in the documentary that the BBC -- not BBC, but the English program did. I forget his name now.

KING: But you were shocked that the kid -- that was the kid?

BRADLEY: I was shocked that that was the kid because both the child and his mother were praising Michael and were sitting there in his kitchen eating and saying what a great person he was.

KING: What's your read on Michael Jackson?

BRADLEY: Michael lives in a world, I think his main residence is aptly named Neverland. It's a fantasy world. I mean, I'm sitting outside waiting for this interview that never happened. I hear this noise and I look over my left shoulder and it's an elephant and a trainer walking the elephant. I'm looking out at the lake in front of me and there's a geyser at the other end of the lake and spawns, you know, gliding across the landing.

I look over here there's a little waterfall and I see statues of pink flamingos and then I see the flamingos move, they're real. And then I hear a half hour later to my right and I look over my shoulder, here comes another trainer with a camel.

All the time there's a train going around and there's a train station that's as big as your house. And it's all lit up with lights. And on other parts of the property, there's other animals. There is a ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, and then there are all of these Disney-type programs being played on outdoor speakers.

It's -- he lives in a world that is still a child's world. He never had a childhood. The one thing that struck me that he said was that when I was a kid and I would pass a playground and see kids out there playing, I had to go into the studio. From the time he was 7, 8 years old, he's been the breadwinner for his family. So he now has re-created this world of fantasy where he can be a child.

Well, that's not a real world. It's not a real world, but it's his world.

KING: Sad or what?

BRADLEY: I think it's sad because it's not real. And I think, in some ways, Michael is out of touch with reality, and I don't think he has people around him who can say, Michael, can't do this. Michael, you can't do that. Michael, you can't say this. You know, I think he has been so big for so long that he can do whatever he wants to do.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Ed Bradley. We'll be including your phone calls. Ed Bradley, the co-editor of "60 Minutes." Ed had quintuple bypass surgery. We're going to ask him about that, too. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: What is your response to the allegations that were brought by the district attorney in Santa Barbara, that you molested this boy?

JACKSON: Totally false. Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists. I would never hurt a child. It's totally false. I was outraged. I could never do something like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Ed Bradley. We just saw the scene of Michael Jackson at his arraignment. What did you make of that?

BRADLEY: Well, he certainly recovered from the time I interviewed him, when he said he could barely move his arm. I mean, he jumped up on the car and did a little dance there. I don't think you'll see that again. I think that's the first time that someone said, you can't do this. You can't have a party after this.

KING: Did you suspect -- did you come away with any opinion?

BRADLEY: I came away not convinced that he is a pedophile. I think that that's something that only a jury can decide. They have to look at the evidence, and I haven't seen all the evidence. But I came away not convinced that he is a pedophile, but convinced that he doesn't make sound decisions. That having already been accused in 1992, got to be extra careful about what it is that you do and not allow yourself to be put in a position where you could be accused again.

KING: But here's someone who makes sound business decisions, right? In fact, some people said he's kind of a genius.

BRADLEY: Well, there are some people who say he doesn't make sound business decisions. There are some people who say that not that he's broke, but that he has trouble funding his operation. If you look at his sources of income, he doesn't make the money from touring that he used to make, because he doesn't tour. He doesn't make the money from CD sales that he used to make, because his CDs sell only a fraction of what they sold before. I don't think he makes the money from his publishing business. I mean, he owns the Beatles catalogue and all that, because, my understanding is, that part of that has been put up as collateral for loans.

KING: Do you like him?

BRADLEY: I don't dislike him. I mean, yeah, I mean, I don't -- I feel sorry for him more than anything else. I feel sorry that he didn't have more of a normal life. And that somewhere along the line, as an adult, someone didn't, you know, as we used to say, smack him upside the head and say, Michael, you can't do this.

KING: Jermane has mentioned the black aspect. And you're a black journalist. Do you see any of that in this?

BRADLEY: No, I don't, no. KING: We're going to take a break, come back. We'll go to your calls for Ed Bradley. I am going to ask him about his surgery, same surgery I had many moons ago. He just had it. Look pretty good, by the way...

BRADLEY: Thank you very much.

KING: ... considering. And we'll be right back with lots more to go with Ed Bradley. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Ed Bradley on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Kathie Lee Gifford tomorrow night. We're going take our first calls, then we'll get to more calls.

I want to ask Ed about his surgery, but I've had this gentleman on hold for a while, so I'll grab it now.

Mankato, Kansas, hello.

CALLER: Hi there.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I wonder if you know if the fate and futures of Janet and Michael Jackson will now be linked together. They've had separate careers, but in the future will adverse news affecting one be now tied to other as far a popularity and credibility?

BRADLEY: Well, I think they will always be connected to each other. Because when one is in the news it will bring up the truth of the other one who has been in the news, as has happened in the newspaper this week. With Janet Jackson, people refer back to the problems with Michael Jackson. But I think this, too, shall pass.

KING: All right, Ed, before we take some more calls, what happened?

BRADLEY: You know, I had some chest pain.

KING: You were overseas.

BRADLEY: Going back a year go -- and actually started here. And I went to see a doctor who told me I had acid reflux and gave me a list of things I should not eat, like all the things I like to eat and gave me some pills. And I took them for a couple weeks and I'm still having the chest pains and I said they're not working. He gave me some other pills and then I went off to the Middle East, near the beginning of the war or just at the beginning of the war. And I'm having these terrible pains at night, not constant, but they would last for three or four minutes and then pass. I was trying to eat earlier in the day. We did a piece in Jordan, went Israel to edit in Tel Aviv. And I took a flight home and trying to drink this stuff on the plane that would ease my stomach and I come back and say this is not working. I go to see another doctor who has me sent to someone who gives me an endoscopy where they run a tube down your stomach and look at your stomach. We I came too, he said you don't have acid reflux, this is a heart problem. So I went back to see my doctor and he said, get a stress test. They said, OK, you have angina (ph). And he said, take these nitro tablets and whenever you have the pain put one under your tongue and it will go away, and I did.

And he said, you should probably get an angiogram and a second opinion. I went to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, the end of April, came back Sunday night was going back for the second weekend of Jazz Fest on Wednesday. I went for the second opinion on Monday at the hospital. And Doctor Fooster (ph), Valentine Fooster, I'll never forget, gave me an EKG, listened to my heart. He said, do some sit- ups, listened to my heart again.

He said, Mr. Bradley, if you were my brother, I wouldn't let you leave the hospital -- acid reflux here. I said, what do you mean don't leave the hospital? I'm going to New Orleans. He said you need this surgery. We do an angiogram. There were arguments going back and forth between him and my doctor. Finally, he went in and he did an angiogram which leads to an angioplasty. They went in and found an 80 percent blockage of the left main artery and pulled out and said you have to have bypass surgery. So this is, by now, it's about 9:00 at night. So, I was scheduled for bypass, that I guess we started about 6:00/6:30 the next morning.

KING: And you had quintuple. There were five...

BRADLEY: Five. Yes. Yes. They tell you all the things that can go wrong.

KING: Do they.

BRADLEY: You know, and then -- I remember when I woke up and I looked around and said to myself, did I have a stroke?

Which is one of the things that can go wrong.

Did I have a heart attack?

And I'm looking around the room and I looked this way and I saw Patricia and she said nothing happened, you're fine. You know, it's just like, ahh, I started to talk.

KING: You think about it a lot now.

BRADLEY: You never get away from it.

KING: No.

Richmond, Virginia, hello. Turn your TV down a little, sir because you're going to get a back draft.

Hello, can you hear me, Richmond?

Richmond, are you there?

OK, Richmond...

BRADLEY: Richmond's there, but he's got the audio delay.

KING: Let's try Warren, Ohio.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. Bradley, got a question for you.

You were the last correspondent in Vietnam. Have you noticed in the last 30 years, I watched it, and I'm trying to explain to my daughter how network news has changed with CNN and Fox.

Have you noticed a difference and what do you think the difference is, if you have?

BRADLEY: You know, I think the major difference, I think the two major differences, one is technological. Before, when I was covering the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, we used to have what I call the three Ss. You would shoot a story, you would script a story, which is to write it and then ship the story. And if you were in Cambodia you'd go to the airport and try to find a pigeon to carry it out for you. Someone who was leaving Cambodia to go to either Bangkok or Saigon or Hong Kong because there wasn't the satellite technology. There was no uplinks then. Today, the second major change is also in personnel. Today you have so much satellite coverage you can report live why from a battlefield. Before you were often there just by yourself. Now you're likely to be with 20 other reporters. I just think there's more people out there covering the same story and covering it in a very different way because of the technological advances.

KING: So, therefore, obviously are we better served?

BRADLEY: You know, that's a hard question. Really, that's a hard question. I think in some ways we are, but I think in some ways we're not. I think we don't have -- we don't take the time that we used to take. I think the evening news broadcasts are very different today than they were 25-years-ago. I think that the advent of 24-hour cable television. You don't have to wait for 6:30 or 7:00 to get the national news. You can turn on cable any time and you're going to get it right away. And I think that that 24-hour continuous news cycle has affected the way that news is covered. And I'm not sure that that's always a good thing. It can be, but it's not always a good thing.

KING: Why does "60 Minutes" keep on remaining "60 Minutes"?

BRADLEY: Because I think Don Hewitt created something that began with a real simple charge. Tell me a story. And every week he has three of us who will be on the broadcast telling a story. And I think we that we put a lot of attention to detail in telling a story. And that people know that they can tune in to "60 Minutes" any Sunday and know that they're going to learn something by watching the broadcast. They may not like every piece, they may not agree with every piece, but they'll say, huh, I didn't know that about something in there.

KING: Don Hewitt, you're going to miss him?

BRADLEY: Sure. There's only one Don Hewitt. Don Hewitt created "60 Minutes." He lives and breathes "60 Minutes." But, you know, he's going, but he's not going to be gone. He's going to be one floor down and the new executive producer, Jeff Fager...

KING: Who does "60 Minutes II"

BRADLEY: ... Who does "60 Minutes Two" where we watched you and Mike Wallace tonight. And said that he doesn't have a problem with Don being around. I mean, if I have a piece that's in editing and I'm having a problem with it, Jeff wouldn't have a problem with me say, hey, Don, take a look at this and tell me what you think.

KING: But his presence will be felt.

BRADLEY: His presence -- it will be different because when you go into the screening room, Don won't be there.

KING: How about you having this surgery affect your output?

BRADLEY: Everyone said, don't rush back and I didn't. Everyone said don't push yourself too much and I try not to. But I counted up the stories the other day, it was a competitive nature I got from Mike Wallace. You want to know how many pieces everyone else has done. And I was proud of the fact that I've done as many pieces as anyone else on the broadcast and more than most of the other -- my colleagues.

KING: So use to working live. When your a journalists like you have done a story that you know is coming, but it ain't going be on for three weeks but it's great, what do you do with that three weeks?

BRADLEY: You try to talk to Don.

What do you mean you're not putting it on this week?

Don -- you try to sell him on it. And you know, you don't win every battle. We had a knock-down dragout, nearly a knock-down dragout the other day. He told me I had story that was supposed to go on this Sunday. He told me he was going to hold it for a week and he told me why. I disagreed with him, I thought he was wrong, I looked up the facts. I went back to him and said, your wrong. And he and looked up the fact, came back to me and he said well here are the facts. And I looked and said, I was wrong. I went him and I said, Don, I apologize. I'm sorry.

KING: He's often right.

BRADLEY: He's often right, but he can be wrong.

KING: Has he ever said, I was wrong, you were right?

BRADLEY: Yes. Yes, but not often. KING: Back with more calls for Ed Bradley. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: Lasan (ph) village in Venden (ph) province is part of what is sometimes called the third Vietnam. The United States conceived the pacification program, which was designed to strengthen the South Vietnamese government's control over the population. People were moved from Viet Cong areas into towns controlled by the government. But in the end, it was just one more plan that didn't work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: Everyone in America saw the pictures on television, heard the news on the radio. What was your reaction when you saw those pictures?

TIMOTHY MCVEIGH, CONVICTED BOMBER: I think like everyone else, I thought it was a tragic event. And that's all I really want to say.

BRADLEY: And the children?

MCVEIGH: I thought it was -- it was terrible that there were children in the building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What did you make of Timothy McVeigh?

BRADLEY: You know, it was a very difficult interview because at any point he could have said, that's enough. And that was a perfect example.

KING: Sure.

BRADLEY: He said, that's all I want to say. So, you're torn between, look, I've got more questions here about that, but how do you ask it? So I just said, and the children? And he thought for a long time, but he responded to it.

You know, he believed in what he believed in. He believed that the United States was wrong and I think he believed that what he did was justified.

KING: You wanted to add something about Hewitt before I take another call?

BRADLEY: Yeah, I didn't want to leave the impression that Don will never admit that -- that he's wrong. I mean, he can hold fast and say, I'm right, I'm right, I'm right, and finally if everybody is saying, Don, you're wrong, this doesn't make sense, he'll say, OK, go ahead. And it's forgotten. The best thing about him is that he doesn't carry it over. It's not like an hour later he's coming back at you with it or the next day or the next week. He lets it go.

KING: Wheeling, Illinois, hello.

CALLER: Yes, I'd like to talk about Ed Bradley. I've been watching him ever since he was on "60 Minutes." I also have a comment about Michael Jackson. Why doesn't the guy behave like a 45-year-old man instead of a little bitty boy?

KING: I think Ed explained that, but he is a little bitty boy.

BRADLEY: Because he lives in a world in which -- he lives in a child's world, which he has created. And that's a way he believes he can win.

KING: Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, thank you for taking my calls. And for Mr. Ed Bradley, I've been a fan of your show for a very long time.

BRADLEY: Well, thank you.

CALLER: You do good journalistic work, sir. Now, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), if John Kerry gets elected or gets the nomination for the Democratic ticket, what is your opinion of a John Kerry and John Edwards ticket in the fall in the general election?

KING: Which everybody is talking about.

BRADLEY: Yeah, you know, I think it's the conventional wisdom is that you then have someone from the Northeast and someone from the South. Someone who can help the party in the South.

But, you know, the Democrats can win without winning the South. I mean, if you go back to the election almost four years ago, if Al Gore, the vice president, had won his home state...

KING: Or West Virginia.

BRADLEY: ... just his home state, he would be president today. So, I mean, the Democrats don't have to win the South, but it helps if they have someone who can help them in the South.

KING: Do you think his war record is a big plus?

BRADLEY: Oh, yeah. I think it's a big plus because -- I mean, this is a man who had three Purple Hearts. And he will be quick to tell you that they're what we used to call lucky wounds. You know? It wasn't life-threatening. But he doesn't talk about it. I mean, I asked him about it in the interview after the Iowa caucuses, and he says, you know, I just don't want to get into telling those stories.

KING: And that guy he saved had to come forward.

BRADLEY: Oh, that was such an emotional moment, when the two of them met. You just looked at that and said, wow. I mean, that was a real moment.

KING: And he never called him or asked him...

BRADLEY: No, no.

KING: Fort Lee, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Hi, there, gentlemen. I have a question in regards to the primary, but before I say that I just want to mention that I too have been having chest pains and my doctor told me to watch what I eat, so I think I'm going to go back and visit with him soon.

KING: Go back and do a treadmill (ph).

BRADLEY: Get a stress, get a stress test.

KING: A stress test.

CALLER: But my question is the following. I'm watching the primaries, and I hear every candidate whenever they went turn around and say, we're going to take back the White House because Bush is doing a terrible job. I was one block south of the World Trade when it collapsed, and of course I'm one of those people who feel that Bush has done a very good job as far as making me feel safe and protected, and I think the economy is doing well.

Watching the Democrats, I am wondering, wouldn't they be better served politically from a strategy to stop attacking as much as they are and basically turn around and say, well, Bush is sincerely doing what he thinks is right. He has done a good job as far as trying to protect us, but we think he erred in these areas, and we feel we can do better, because our strengths are what they are.

BRADLEY: Well, you know, that's a very rational thought, and politicians aren't always very rational in their arguments, particularly when they're campaigning for office. I mean, you chart out a campaign that is based on fact, but also is grounded in fact, but is very much part of an emotional issue.

KING: Edwards tries to run that way, doesn't he?

BRADLEY: Yeah.

KING: Generally?

BRADLEY: Generally, he does. I mean, he's just -- I think he is the best candidate out there on the stump, in terms of...

KING: Carville said he's the best.

BRADLEY: ... of being able to reach people the way in the way that Bill Clinton used to be able to do.

KING: Carville said he's better than Clinton.

BRADLEY: Really? KING: The best he's ever seen on the stump.

BRADLEY: Well, Carville would know. He's very good. He's very good.

KING: He's like arguing to a jury, right, in a sense.

BRADLEY: Yeah. I mean, you know, he's practiced at it, he's done it in court for years. And you have to make that kind of connection. You have got 12 people in that box, you have got to make a connection with each and every one of those people to believe your story. And he's very good at multiplying that in multiples on the stump when you have got crowds of 100 and then thousands and tens of thousands.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Ed Bradley, get a few more calls in. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: Lieutenant Kerry was invited to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

That was a huge moment in my life. I just launched into what came from my gut and my heart. I, in a sense, it has been building up for a long time.

BRADLEY: It's still emotional, after all these years.

KERRY: Sure. Sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY: After math of the attacks Palestinians celebrating were broadcast all over the world. Americans were stunned and Arab leaders were quick to condemn the outburst. But some of the people we met in Cairo said when they saw the attack, they weren't sorry for what had happened to Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wasn't sad.

BRADLEY: You were not sad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

BRADLEY: Because?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe now they will feel how all people everywhere felt when they are unsecure as in Palestine, as in Iraq, as everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Ed Bradley. Nashville, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My name is Stacy Harris, and I am a reporter, as well. So, when Mr. Bradley was talking about the "New York Times," that caught my ear and I'm wondering why he is not suing? I realize as a public figure it's harder to prevail in a court of law, but why, if you were libel or defamed you wouldn't sue to the statement attributed to you that you said you didn't make?

BRADLEY: Because I don't think it meets the standard libel. I've been in court twice accused of libel and won both cases. And I think that to meet the standard for libel it has to be...

KING: Malice.

BRADLEY: ...malice of forethought. It has to be intentional.

KING: You don't think that's the case?

BRADLEY: No.

KING: To Atlanta, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. Bradley. Thank you for all the years of great interviews. One of my very favorite is Lina Horn. What are some of your favorite pieces, the most difficult, the most comical?

BRADLEY: Well, Lina Horn, was certainly -- I've always said when I die and if I do get to the pearly gates and St. Peter says, what have you done to deserve entry, I'd ask him if he'd saw my Lina Horn piece. It's always been a favorite of mine.

As far as humor, Chris Rock was extraordinarily funny, and so was Robin Williams. I mean Robin Williams was just hysterical.

KING: What was the toughest?

BRADLEY: Aretha Franklin was tough. She turned out to be good, but she was, you know, she was -- she's a very -- she's a very wonderful, but in some ways, shy woman. You don't think about that when you see how she emotes and performs.

KING: Ella Fitzgerald was that way.

BRADLEY: Yes. But she's very protective of herself.

I remember the first night when we were sitting there, I am sitting at the piano next to Aretha playing. One of the most extraordinary experiences I've ever had in my life, feeling the power of her playing the piano and singing. I'm sitting on the piano bench and we just keep going and going and I said, I know it's getting late. I said, Aretha, if there was just one more song you could sing, what would it be? She said "Good Night, Sweetheart" time to go. KING: What was the saddest?

BRADLEY: You know, I think in many ways the boat people was very sad. Because you saw how people had been affected in their lives. You went to an island where there were 50,000 people just waiting on that island desperate to get off.

Another one that was sad was someone that no one had ever heard of and to this day no one's heard of. A young kid who had killed his father, shot him to death.

KING: Deliberately?

BRADLEY: Yes, because his father had physically abusing his mother for years and physically abusing and sexually abusing his daughter, the kid's sister and he killed him. He was put in prison in juvenile prison and I'd talk to him and ask him a question and sometimes it would take him two minutes before he would answer the question. It was so sad and so painful.

I just -- it was something that I learned. I learned this from Mike Wallace. Listen, be a good listener. You don't have to fill space. Just sit there and listen. You know, it was film in those days before tape, you were going to edit it. I just sat back and listened. It was really, really sad, really tough.

KING: Be well, Ed.

BRADLEY: Larry, it's good to see you.

KING: It's always great to see you.

Many time Ed's with us and we've been on satellite and split screen, but here tonight a pleasure having you with us.

BRADLEY: It's always fun.

KING; Ed Bradley, co-editor of "60 Minutes," CBS News correspondent. He joined "60 Minutes" in 1981, make us all feel a little older. I'll come back in a couple minutes and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Hope you enjoyed the repeat interview, extraordinary hour, we think, with Ed Bradley.

Tomorrow night, we'll look into the opening doings at the Peterson case, and talk exclusively with Anna Nicole Smith. Thanks for joining. Stay tuned for more news around the clock on your most trusted name in news, CNN.

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




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