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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Wife of Haitian President; Martha Stewart Defense Rests

Aired February 25, 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. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Paula Zahn.
The world, the news, the names, the faces, and where we go from here Wednesday, February 25, 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): "In Focus" tonight, the defense for Martha Stewart rests and the jury will soon get the case. Our experts tell us who has the upper hand.

Also, Madam Aristide, wife of the embattled Haitian leader. In an exclusive interview, she talks about her fears for family, for her husband, and for her country.

And, finally, "The Passion" is here. Mel Gibson's new movie opens to huge crowds. Why is the film igniting such passion for so many?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: All that ahead, but first here's what you need to know right now.

First, in Haiti, these are pictures of breaking news. The U.S. Coast Guard has intercepted two ships, one near Florida, the other actually near Haiti, with more than 125 Haitians on board. Meanwhile, in Haiti, a rebel leader said his troops are ready to attack the capital, but he will wait to see if the President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will step down. Aristide maintains he'll stay in power.

In an exclusive interview, I asked Haiti's first lady about the danger of the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: The situation is very dangerous. You have two daughters. Do have you any plans to leave the country at a certain point?

MILDRED ARISTIDE, FIRST LADY OF HAITI: Myself, no.

I will be here. And so it's imperative that the president remain and complete his term, which is a historic first for Haiti. If you know anything about Haiti, you know, that we have a long and difficult history of 32 coup d'etats. And it is only within the last 12 years that there's been a sense and a continuity of democracy.

ZAHN: So you say you will stay there. How concerned are you about the welfare of your children? Might you ship them out of the country?

ARISTIDE: Well, as a matter of fact, my children, I did choose to send them to my parents, who are outside of Haiti, because the stress is difficult on them. So, as a matter of fact, today, they did go, since their school is not scheduled to begin again until Monday. So I did send them, because the threat is real.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: More of that exclusive interview with Mildred Aristide still ahead tonight.

"In Focus" tonight, the Martha Stewart case. The defense rested today after putting only one witness on the stand. Joining us now senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and "People" magazine's Sharon Cotliar.

Why are you laughing? Just one witness on the stand. It made no sense?

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: And what a lame witness.

ZAHN: Well, why do it?

SHARON COTLIAR, "PEOPLE": Yes.

TOOBIN: This guy was useless. He was a dweeb. It was just terrible.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: How do you really feel about

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: He wasn't lying or anything. It's not that there was something unethical.

One of the big issues in the case is, what did Martha Stewart in fact say in her interview with the SEC? It wasn't tape recorded. There was no court reporter. So they call this witness to challenge the FBI agent, but he doesn't remember a thing. His notes are useless. He has no clue about much of anything.

And it just seemed like either you -- sometimes, what defense lawyers do is, they call no witnesses and they say, this case is so bad, we don't respond to it. But when you just call one witness who is so bad.

(CROSSTALK) TOOBIN: Well, I think the defense made a mistake. I don't think that's going to determine the case one way or the other. I just thought it was a waste of time.

ZAHN: You were in court for final moments of the session today.

COTLIAR: Yes.

ZAHN: Give us a read on what was going on.

COTLIAR: Well, the prosecution planned a dramatic moment. They gave the jury headsets. They played a tape. And they wanted him then to hear Peter Bacanovic's words as the last thing that they would remember. And his words basically don't support his $60 story, when you compare it to all the other evidence that we have heard.

ZAHN: Why don't we all listen to a clip of that tape right now. Let's watch.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SEC: Did she talk to Heidi at all about, "Martha Stewart told me once that stock hit 60, I should sell"?

PETER BACANOVIC, DEFENDANT: I don't get into that much detail with Heidi.

SEC: So the issue of stock at $60 don't come up with Heidi?

BACANOVIC: No.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ZAHN: How damaging is this?

TOOBIN: Excuse me. They spent three days with Heidi DeLuca, saying -- trying to prove every which way that she had a conversation with Peter Bacanovic about selling the stock at $60.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Meanwhile, their own client is on tape saying there was no agreement. I just -- I am utterly baffled by this.

ZAHN: You're really surprised by the direction this is heading, aren't you?

TOOBIN: This was lousy for the defense, really bad.

ZAHN: You have been hanging around people close to Martha Stewart. What have they told you about what she is doing in her off- hours to stay prepared?

COTLIAR: Apparently, she is working out a lot. And that seems to be helping here, because they say she is in remarkably good spirits. Apparently, they were joking in their war room -- in the courthouse, there's a room where they prepare above the courtroom.

And they were in great humor. They were joking. In fact, her lawyer even wrote an ode to the pen, which is the center of this case. There's a blue pen and ink that was put on a worksheet by the broker that is a central issue in the case.

ZAHN: Do you strike this as arrogance?

TOOBIN: No. I don't think so. Look, you have got to keep up your spirits. And Martha Stewart being Martha Stewart, in the fourth floor, they have their special war room. It's catered lunch every day. I'm told it's very nice.

(CROSSTALK)

COTLIAR: And very healthy.

TOOBIN: Yes, my college Dominick Dunne of "Vanity Fair," he has been there. He has gotten to go up there. But I haven't been invited up. But they got problems. They got real problems.

ZAHN: So walk us through the next stage of this case.

TOOBIN: OK. Tomorrow -- or, at the end of the week, there's going to be a conference in the judge's chambers about the jury instructions, just with the lawyers and the judge.

And then Monday morning, summations start. The government goes first, then Peter Bacanovic's lawyer. That will take up most of Monday. Tuesday, Robert Morvillo will speak for Martha Stewart. The government will reply. Jury instructions and deliberations could start late Tuesday.

ZAHN: Finally, best-case, worst-case scenarios for Martha?

You want to start first?

TOOBIN: That's easy.

COTLIAR: Well, the best case is that Martha gets off and she can have a great big celebration.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: The worst case is a little

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: I mean, certainly jail. If she is convicted of anything, under the federal sentencing guidelines, it's virtually certain she will go to jail. How long, there is some more play in the joints.

Fortunately, for her -- I don't want to get ahead of the game -- Judge Cedarbaum is known as not the stiffest sentencer in the courthouse, but, you know, that is not a decision she wants to be facing.

ZAHN: A high-profile case, sometimes, judges operate a little differently.

TOOBIN: Well, that's right. And also, there's going to be a lot of pressure that, you know, a high-profile white-collar case, this administration feels very strongly that white-collar criminals need to do time. Not a good time to be sentenced.

ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, Sharon Cotliar, thanks for joining us tonight.

Mel Gibson's much talked about new movie, "The Passion of the Christ," opened on more than 2,500 movie screens nationwide today. During a showing in Wichita, Kansas, a woman suffered a heart attack during the film's intention crucifixion scene. She died later. But the attraction of "The Passion" remains quite strong, as seen by this protest in New York City today.

Now, to talk about the film and its message and the reaction of the audience, let's turn to Michael Speier an editor at "Variety" magazine. Also joining us tonight, the Reverend James Hudnut-Beumler of Vanderbilt's Divinity School.

Welcome, both.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Reverend, we have heard so much about all the passions this film is igniting. Why do you think that is?

REV. JAMES HUDNUT-BEUMLER, DEAN, DIVINITY SCHOOL, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: Well, I think it's igniting passions for three reasons.

Some people are seeing the Jesus they have always carried inside their hearts and heads depicted. Others are seeing graphic violence that they can't associate with Jesus. And still others are scared to death about what this means for Jewish-Christian relations in the future.

ZAHN: Talk about those folks that are devout followers of Christianity and the impact this movie is having on them.

HUDNUT-BEUMLER: Well, the cross isn't just a Hollywood fashion item for Christians. It's a central symbol of the faith.

Everyone has some sense that the cross is pivotal in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This is a -- this is a protracted meditation, a very personal film by Mel Gibson that focuses on the meaning of the suffering of Jesus for the faith. So everybody has thought of this before. They don't all think about it the way Mel Gibson does.

ZAHN: Michael, what are the box office expectations for the film? MICHAEL SPEIER, "VANITY": Well, so far, we know one thing, which is, today, it's quite the hit today. And that's hit anywhere between $15 and $20 million on a Wednesday, which is today, the day it opened. And that means a good weekend up ahead.

And who knows if it's going to cross $100 million, which would really make this a blockbuster, at least by this standard. But, right now, the projections look good for a very big weekend.

ZAHN: How long do you think the numbers could hold up?

SPEIER: Well, the main question is whether the people who had to see the movie, at least in Hollywood terms had to see the movie, go away after this initial first few days. That could very well happen. And then, starting next week, the numbers could drop off significantly.

The other end of the spectrum is that this thing could play on and on and have legs, as they say, and just carry on through weekends up until Easter.

ZAHN: And, Reverend, let's talk a little bit more about the timing of this film and how it coincides with a couple popular books that are out, about the Gospels, "The Da Vinci Code" about religion. Why do you think there is such a resurgence of interest in this topic?

HUDNUT-BEUMLER: Well, the whole Christ story is about the intersection of the divine and human, God and people. We're interested in that because we are interested in ultimate things and we want to see God with a human face, you know, that quite aside from the specificity of the Christian story.

I also think that, in a post-9/11 age, we feel vulnerable, like we might be subjected to suffering or evil or something like that. So a story like this is of vast cultural interest at the moment.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, were going to leave it there this evening. Michael Speier, Reverend Beumler, thank you both for being with us.

HUDNUT-BEUMLER: Thank you.

ZAHN: Presidential politics and gay marriage. The vice president's daughter is gay and works for the Republicans. How will the Bush campaign deal with that?

And Haiti rocked by revolt, the embattled president and his family under a dangerous siege. In an exclusive interview, the president's wife speaks about the fate of her own children.

And TV stations broadcast a high-speed chase, but it turns into live coverage of a man actually shot to death. Has car chase coverage gone too far?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, 2000) DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It's really no one else's business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: That was Vice President Cheney when he was a candidate back in the year 2000. Now he says he agrees with the president about the need to change the Constitution to ban gay marriage. But his daughter, Mary, is working for the campaign and she happens to be a lesbian. She is also the target of a campaign to get her to speak out on the issue. She hasn't done that.

Joining us now from Washington, John Aravosis, who is running the Dear Mary campaign, and Barbara Comstock, a former Justice Department spokesperson, who thinks this campaign is out of bounds.

Welcome to the two of you.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: John, why put Ms. Cheney's picture on a milk carton on your Web site? What's the point of that?

JOHN ARAVOSIS, FOUNDER, DEARMARY.COM: Two reasons. First of all, Mary Cheney put herself out there in the last four years as an open lesbian to win gay and lesbian votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket. And what the gay community thinks right now is that, now that the president and the vice president have endorsed an anti-gay constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and also wipe out a lot of other rights, that that's not really very compassionate, not very controversy, and it is, frankly, anti-gay.

And we think Mary Cheney owes us an explanation as to why she was out there selling us this bill of goods, if in fact this party isn't really conservative.

And just really quick, the second reason is, we want to ask the vice president directly , the hypocrisy? Why, when you have your own gay family member, who is running your campaign -- so it's not as if she is some private family person there. She's public. Why it is you that think this amendment is OK, when in fact you even have a gay family member? I think there's a contradiction.

ZAHN: Barbara, what about that? Do you see some hypocrisy there?

BARBARA COMSTOCK, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Not at all.

I think the hypocrisy here is the personal attacks. I would agree with the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, who said this crosses the line of decency. You don't go attack family members and drag them into it. Look, in 1996, Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act; 85 senators signed that, very liberal senators, such as Tom Daschle, Barbara Mikulski, Senator Bill Bradley. We aren't going in and attacking their personal lives. And I don't think anybody should.

We should be able to have a reasoned debate about this. The debate and the argument is about who is going to redefine marriage. All the amendment does is define marriage. It is not an anti-gay amendment. It defines marriage, the institution for marriage, which for 2000 years has been a man and woman and 200 years under our Constitution; 38 states have passed that.

It's been something we have all assumed would remain as the law. That is the debate we should have on facts and issues, not attacking people personally and dragging their personal lives in.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: I would disagree.

ZAHN: Why is it Mary Cheney's obligation to take this on, John? What if it's her personal decision that this is something maybe that she doesn't care about, but doesn't want to embrace at this moment?

(CROSSTALK)

COMSTOCK: Are you are going to attack everybody's personal life?

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: Here's the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: Calling Mary Cheney a lesbian publicly isn't her personal life, because the campaign used her to win gay votes as a lesbian.

Saying Mary Cheney is heading up the campaign isn't her personal life, because she is publicly doing that. She that Mary Cheney now is working for $100,000 a year for her father and has not spoken out on these gay issues is not personal. It is not personal to take a woman who Bush-Cheney chose to be out there as the gay ambassador for our votes to now say, Madam Ambassador, you sold us something that's not very pro-gay.

And I would just make one point additionally. Even two of the men who have drafted this constitutional amendment said that it could repeal a number of gay rights law, including blocking civil unions. This is not just an amendment about marriage. This is an anti-gay onslaught. And, frankly,, to even Americans who might disagree on gay marriage, you don't go amending the Constitution.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Let me ask you this, Barbara. Do you think the vice president sold his daughter out, with now saying publicly that he would support the president if they go through with this proposal for a constitutional amendment?

(CROSSTALK)

COMSTOCK: No, this is really low-life politics that drives us into -- and that's why the Log Cabin Republicans said this was beyond the pale.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: It's a gay group that has to suck up to the president, with all due respect.

COMSTOCK: If you could let me speak.

(CROSSTALK)

COMSTOCK: The issue here is, are you going to have a redefinition of marriage by one mayor in San Francisco and four judges in Massachusetts or are you going to allow the American people to decide what do they want the definition of marriage to be?

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: I would love to let the American people decide, but the president won't let them.

(CROSSTALK)

COMSTOCK: California said that we should not be allowing gay marriage.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: California is trying to have the legal process to decide this issue.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: Chicago is trying to decide this issue. The president wants to stop the legislators and stop the mayors.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: OK, we're not going to make it through the minutia of this very heated debate, but just a final question.

Are you afraid your tactic will backfire on you?

ARAVOSIS: Absolutely not. I have gotten support from people across the country. Go to DearMary.com. Read the letters that are on that site to Mary Cheney.

Basically, it is just a site asking her to step forward. Regular Americans are asking her, frankly, quite lovingly. Read the site for yourself and you decide if you think it's a personal attack. I think, to be honest, I would rather have it speak for itself. You don't have to believe me.

COMSTOCK: Well, I think, when you look at the fact that neither John Kerry, nor John Edwards, they are not supporting gay marriage either.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: They are also not supporting a constitutional amendment.

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: That's the difference.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: You two, I got to cut you both off. We have got to move on now. Thank you both, Barbara Comstock, John Aravosis.

COMSTOCK: Let's debate the issues, not attack

(CROSSTALK)

ARAVOSIS: Thank you so much.

ZAHN: The heightened terror alert. Last holiday season, security officials warn about an increased risk of an attack. Were the warnings a false alarm or was solid intelligence keeping us safe? Our series "Intelligence Under Fire" continues.

And part three of our Oscar series. What was it like listening to grandpa's stories about the struggle between good and evil? We're going to get memories of the man who wrote "The Lord of the Rings."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Now on to part three of our series "Intelligence Under Fire."

From December through January, the holiday season had an ominous edge to it, especially if you were traveling by air. You probably know that. Elevated warnings because of terrorist threats, passengers interrogated, flights delayed or repeatedly canceled, yet nothing happened, no attacks, no arrests. Was it good homeland security or bad intelligence?

Justice correspondent Kelli Arena looks into that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. officials said the intelligence about a possible attack which led to a series of flight cancellations around the Christmas and New Year's holiday was as good as it gets.

TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: It was clearly, since we have had the advisory system, probably the most significant convergence of multiple reporting streams about potential attacks, simultaneous attacks, against the country.

ARENA: Ridge has said that he believed a terrorist attack was thwarted while the country was on orange alert, but won't offer specifics about the government's reporting streams. There is some evidence increased security does make a difference.

LARRY MEDFORD, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM CHIEF: I am aware of situations specifically in the world historically that they have been deterred. They have either slowed down the pace of their planning and they have waited or they have actually been deterred and they've switched to another target.

ARENA: For example, individuals involved in the bombing of the British Consulate in Istanbul told interrogators they originally planned to hit the U.S. Consulate, but did not because security was too extreme.

Still, lacking concrete proof an attack was avoided over the holidays, officials are not ruling out other possibilities and are currently working on what is known as an after-action review.

ROGER CRESSEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: A hallmark of al Qaeda's planning is conducting reconnaissance. So one form of reconnaissance could be passing disinformation to see how the United States and its allies respond to it and then adjust their plan accordingly.

ARENA: An article published eventually on a Web site used before by a suspected al Qaeda operative made that very argument to supporters.

PAUL EEDLE, AL QAEDA EXPERT: He assured supporters that: We are fighting a war of nerves against our enemies. We want to get them to disburse their forces in futile operations and that al Qaeda will never flag its operations in advance.

ARENA: Still, U.S. officials say the intelligence that came in before the holiday was a step above anonymous chatter. They say it was corroborated by a variety of means and that there were credible human sources involved.

MEDFORD: If it's credible information if it's from multiple sources and it's vetted appropriately, I don't think they have an option, because the ramifications of today's terrorist acts are much, much different than what we saw 10 years ago, for instance.

ARENA: Former and current counterterrorism officials say the quality, quantity and analysis of intelligence information has improved over the past two years.

(on camera): But with improvement comes difficulty. Officials say they are collecting so much information that it's sometimes impossible to make sense of it all.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And tomorrow, our series on intelligence looks at what the U.S. can learn from the Israeli system of gathering information on terrorism.

Breaking news tonight on Haiti. The U.S. stops dozens of refugees heading to the U.S. by boat. I will also have an exclusive interview with Haiti's first lady.

And the growing controversy over broadcasting police chases. Thousands of Californians see a man shot to death and news directors are under fire.

Also, for the first time, the government will allow research into whether Ecstasy should be used in therapy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: A fatal police shooting in the Los Angeles area is reigniting the debate over putting police chases on TV. It is a staple in Los Angeles. But what thousands of people saw on Monday was extreme. They actually watched as police chased a man suspected of holding up a gas station at knifepoint. It ended when officers shot him to death. How far is too far?

Well, to discuss coverage vs. no news value, in Los Angeles, David Horowitz, president of the Center For the Study of Popular Culture, in New York, Steve Rendall, senior analyst of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

Welcome. Glad to have both of you with us.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, Steve, what are you arguing tonight, that you just don't cover these chases at all, that there's absolutely no news value to them?

STEVE RENDALL, SENATOR ANALYST, FAIR: We went too far a long time ago, Paula. This is the 10th anniversary of the slow-speed O.J. Simpson chase.

Police chases are, by and large, not newsworthy. None of us are made better, more informed citizens in the democracy because we watched a two- or three-hour police chase on a freeway. Journalism is a profession. It calls for professional judgment. And I would say the news director, the producer, the journalist that routinely decides to cover extended highway police chases is making -- is guilty of bad journalistic judgment.

ZAHN: But, Steve, you would have to acknowledge this stuff rates. Those of us that practice journalism aren't crazy that it's covered the way it's covered, but... RENDALL: Well, really, journalism is professionalism and ratings are not everything. And I think that -- I think nobody knows that better than CNN. I think journalism standards are very important.

ZAHN: So, David, what do you think? Should journalists have responsibility if they are going to cover these things to put a delay on the use of raw video being exposed to an audience?

HOROWITZ: I think to do that would set a pretty bad precedent. First of all, it is news. And second of all, people like to watch it. It tells you quite a bit about the police, their techniques. It is so much in demand that we have regular reality shows, "Cops" and "9/11" and so forth.

Personally, I watch it a lot. I think that people might want to know in their town where there's a police chase so that they can avoid it and that's another thing. But to have the idea, I mean, it's a very elitist idea that, one, you are going to bar a kind of news that people want to see. And, secondly, that there's going to be some -- somebody is obviously going to have to say across the board no police chases. Unless it's the police themselves...

ZAHN: That would be kind of hard to police, I would think. Explain to me why you think, I know you think journalists should set higher standards and raise the bar but why do you think audiences gravitate toward this stuff?

RENDALL: I think it's a great spectacle. It is a great spectacle. There's no doubt about that. Is it journalism? I say mostly not. There may be some exceptional circumstances. I couldn't tell you one in my memory. But, look, I mean, nobody is talking about barring anybody from covering these things. We're talking about journalistic standards. And also think about the things that are missed. Think about the real news that isn't covered when every cable news station covers a high speed chase for hours on end. I mean, think about it.

We have a population that knows more about Michael Jackson's personal life or Janet Jackson's breasts than -- that know about well, for instance, the only place in the world where large numbers of people believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 terror attacks is in the United States. That's in part a failing of journalism. So we have a lot of work to do on hard news before you can go off and do what -- David Horowitz seems to be confusing "Cops" with news.

ZAHN: But, David, the core of your argument is you're giving what they want, isn't that what you're saying?

HOROWITZ: No, no, look. First of all, I learned from watching the O.J. Simpson case that he was guilty. Innocent people don't run away.

ZAHN: Whoa!

HOROWITZ: Secondly, Steve seems to object, well -- I have never -- when police tried to stop me I'm very cooperative. When I see people being uncooperative with police it tells me something. I would like to see -- just from watching these chases and also my wife was actually in a car that was hit in a chase and her friend was killed, so I would like to see just people who flee police get a felony for that, an extra strike. Just for the fleeing. But...

ZAHN: You get the last word, Steve.

HOROWITZ: OK, so people saw somebody shot. Look, we saw 3,000 people murdered in the World Trade Center. It's a modern world.

RENDALL: David, did you ever consider maybe your wife was hit in the chase because of the copycat effect? I mean, we do know that a lot of -- some twisted people out there, might get the idea that this was their chance for 5 minutes of fame. We do know that Dan Jones (ph) in 1998 drove his car onto an L.A. freeway and unfurled some banners because he knew those news helicopters would be there.

ZAHN: That's a powerful point you are making. Gentlemen, we have to close it off. David Horowitz, Steve Rendall, thank you both for joining us.

We want to move on and share with you what else you need to know right now. Breaking news on the turmoil in Haiti. The Coast Guard now has picked up nearly 150 Haitians after intercepting two ships at sea. One of the ships was off the Florida coast.

The White House says it is talking with other nations about establishing some kind of security presence in Haiti. And in an exclusive interview, Mildred Aristide, the Haitian-American wife of Haiti's president Jean-Bertrande Aristide told me about the violence she sees tearing the country apart.

MILDRED ARISTIDE, FIRST LADY, HAITI: The situation is very dangerous.

ZAHN: You have two daughters, do you have any plans to leave the country at a certain point?

ARISTIDE: Myself, no. I will be here until it's imperative -- that the president remain and complete his term, which is historic first for Haiti. If you know anything about Haiti we have a long and difficult history of 32 coup d'etats. And it's only within the last 12 years that there's been a sense of a continuity of democracy.

ZAHN: So you say you will stay there. How concerned are you about the welfare of your children? Might you ship them out of the country?

ARISTIDE: As a matter of fact, my children -- I did choose to send them to my parents who are outside of Haiti because the stress is difficult on them. So as a matter of fact today they did go since school is not scheduled to begin again until Monday so I did send them because the threat is real.

ZAHN: Do you think your husband will survive this? ARISTIDE: I strongly believe that if the international community is committed to strengthening and supporting democracy as has been said repeatedly and repeatedly in every single plan, proposal, recommendation that has been presented to him and accepted by him, then, indeed he must remain.

ZAHN: Mrs. Aristide, do you think the United States is doing enough right now?

ARISTIDE: I believe that they need to escalate and do more of what they have said. And I think what we see today is evidence of what President Aristide has been saying for many years now, for three years now, that the police force is weak. It is undermanned and understaffed. It is underequipped. If you can believe it, we have a population of 8 million people with a police force of less than 4,000.

ZAHN: Mrs. Aristide, your husband came into power riding a wave of optimism. What responsibility does he bear for any of the chaos today?

ARISTIDE: Since his election the opposition has maintained and I say the opposition here in Port-Au-Prince, the sector that's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has maintained a criticism of the president, which he has opened himself to a dialogue with the opposition, because in a democracy it's all about dialogue, it's all about if you have a problem with the policies and the politics of the government, then come sit down, let's talk about it.

Opposition, he can debate a person until midnight, until 2:00 in the morning, 3:00 in the morning, and that's the right way that a democracy should work. And it's proof that in Haiti there is a democracy and there isn't a sense of dictatorship because they are doing that. But when you go to the guns, when you go to M-16s, when you use children as shields to protect and to enforce this violence, then my God, I think that the world would be outraged.

ZAHN: I know your husband has said he is willing to die for his country. Does he fear being killed?

ARISTIDE: You know, if you read his biography, there have been over 12 or 13 attempts on my husband's life. He's a person with a mission. In 1990 when he was asked to become president and asked to run as a candidate, he did enter political arena and he believes that he has a role and the population more importantly truly believes that they reflected that, he reflects their aspirations and their hopes.

ZAHN: So your husband does not feel vulnerable at this hour, this chaos?

ARISTIDE: It greatly concerns him and that's why he has asked for the international community to come in and to give the assistance that they can give and that they should give to reinforce and strengthen this democracy.

ZAHN: Mrs. Aristide, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We appreciate your time. And tomorrow I'll be talking with Secretary of State Colin Powell about Haiti, intelligence, Iraq, and a whole lot more.

Now, breaking news as well tonight. On radio's best known shock jock, Howard Stern is off the air on six radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel says an incident on Stern's show on Tuesday triggered a suspension under its new zero tolerance policy on indecency.

Valuable works of art looted by the Nazis. They may be worth more than $100 million but who do they belong to now? A family fights for their return.

Ecstasy is a dangerous and illegal drug but could it be useful for calming troubled minds? The government wants to find out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The club drug ecstasy continues to be a drug of abuse for American teenagers. All the more surprising for the first time the government has decided to study the drug, also known as MDMA, to see if it is useful as medicine in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Joining me tonight to talk about that is Dr. Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York university. She is also the author of "Ecstasy, the Complete Guide: A Comprehensive Look at the Risk and Benefits of MDMA."

Good evening. Can you describe for us how this drug could potentially help victims of broad range of trauma?

DR. JULIE HOLLAND, ASST. PROF. PSYCHIATRY, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You know, before it was a drug of abuse it was used by psychiatrists and therapists during therapy given to the patients to allow them to open up and express some very repressed and painful memories that were going on. What people found back in the '70s and '80s that it was helpful for patients that had undergone some sort of a trauma.

ZAHN: We are going to hear from a woman that was brutally raped at the age of 17, and she was given ecstasy as her treatment before it was actually made illegal by the government back in the 1980s. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And MDMA allows you to still be very conscious and allows you to be in control. And so there's even parts that you can say I don't want -- I don't really want to go there, it's too hard, but I can face this part. So you are in total control and so you understand where you are. And the people that you are with and the people that you can trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So besides rape, what other trauma do you think ecstasy is useful in helping? HOLLAND: There's a group in Israel who is waiting to start a study, once the American study is under way. The group in Israel wants to look at victims of terrorist attacks and bombings and people who are chronically fearful of something like that happening.

ZAHN: There's the issue of addiction when it comes to this drug. And I want to put up on the screen the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, ecstasy is an addictive drug, can be very dangerous to human beings. There's also reports it can cause brain damage and heart problems even death.

Aren't there tremendous risks involved with this study?

HOLLAND: I think what is important is for everyone to keep separate the recreational use and therapeutic MDMA models, they are very different.

ZAHN: Are the risks any different?

HOLLAND: Substantially. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

HOLLAND: When you buy a tab let of ecstasy at a club have you no idea whether it is MDMA or not, and there is risk of heatstroke or drinking too much water. When you take a known purity MDMA, a known quantity of a known substance under a doctor's supervision with therapeutic MDMA, it's a completely different model. And the risks are substantially lower which is why the FDA has given the go ahead for this study.

ZAHN: So, what kind of precaution will be in place, so people who shouldn't be getting their hands on this drugs won't, because we know how easy it is on the street right now.

HOLLAND: In terms of the study, I think the most important thing is that it's known that it's MDMA. There won't be any risk of overheating and that the patient with a therapist won't be dancing for six hours without taking a break.

ZAHN: Sure.

HOLLAND: Also during this study, in the next room, there will be an emergency physician, and nurse available on call in case there's any problem whatsoever. I can't imagine that's going to happen. But the medical model certainly safer than the recreational model.

ZAHN: Dr. Julie -- I'm sorry, Holland, thank you so much for helping us better understand the study tonight.

HOLLAND: Thank you for having me, Paula.

ZAHN: One woman's fight to right a 70-year-old wrong. We're going to find out why she's going to the U.S. Supreme Court to win back priceless paintings stolen by the Nazi. And J.R.R. Tolkein's "Lord of the Ring," the story sold 60 million books but he thought they'd never be put on film. In fact he never wanted it on film. As our Oscar series continues, his grandson remembers the man who created Middle Earth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The club drug ecstasy continues to be a drug of abuse for American teenagers. All the more surprising for the first time the government has decided to study the drug, also known as MDMA, to see if it is useful as medicine in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Joining me tonight to talk about that is Dr. Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York university. She is also the author of "Ecstasy, the Complete Guide: A Comprehensive Look at the Risk and Benefits of MDMA."

Good evening. Can you describe for us how this drug could potentially help victims of broad range of trauma?

DR. JULIE HOLLAND, ASST. PROF. PSYCHIATRY, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You know, before it was a drug of abuse it was used by psychiatrists and therapists during therapy given to the patients to allow them to open up and express some very repressed and painful memories that were going on. What people found back in the '70s and '80s that it was helpful for patients that had undergone some sort of a trauma.

ZAHN: We are going to hear from a woman that was brutally raped at the age of 17, and she was given ecstasy as her treatment before it was actually made illegal by the government back in the 1980s. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And MDMA allows you to still be very conscious and allows you to be in control. And so there's even parts that you can say I don't want -- I don't really want to go there, it's too hard, but I can face this part. So you are in total control and so you understand where you are. And the people that you are with and the people that you can trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So besides rape, what other trauma do you think ecstasy is useful in helping?

HOLLAND: There's a group in Israel who is waiting to start a study, once the American study is under way. The group in Israel wants to look at victims of terrorist attacks and bombings and people who are chronically fearful of something like that happening.

ZAHN: There's the issue of addiction when it comes to this drug. And I want to put up on the screen the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, ecstasy is an addictive drug, can be very dangerous to human beings. There's also reports it can cause brain damage and heart problems even death. Aren't there tremendous risks involved with this study?

HOLLAND: I think what is important is for everyone to keep separate the recreational use and therapeutic MDMA models, they are very different.

ZAHN: Are the risks any different?

HOLLAND: Substantially. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

HOLLAND: When you buy a tab let of ecstasy at a club have you no idea whether it is MDMA or not, and there is risk of heatstroke or drinking too much water. When you take a known purity MDMA, a known quantity of a known substance under a doctor's supervision with therapeutic MDMA, it's a completely different model. And the risks are substantially lower which is why the FDA has given the go ahead for this study.

ZAHN: So, what kind of precaution will be in place, so people who shouldn't be getting their hands on this drugs won't, because we know how easy it is on the street right now.

HOLLAND: In terms of the study, I think the most important thing is that it's known that it's MDMA. There won't be any risk of overheating and that the patient with a therapist won't be dancing for six hours without taking a break.

ZAHN: Sure.

HOLLAND: Also during this study, in the next room, there will be an emergency physician, and nurse available on call in case there's any problem whatsoever. I can't imagine that's going to happen. But the medical model certainly safer than the recreational model.

ZAHN: Dr. Julie -- I'm sorry, Holland, thank you so much for helping us better understand the study tonight.

HOLLAND: Thank you for having me, Paula.

ZAHN: One woman's fight to right a 70-year-old wrong. We're going to find out why she's going to the U.S. Supreme Court to win back priceless paintings stolen by the Nazi.

And J.R.R. Tolkein's "Lord of the Ring," the story sold 60 million books but he thought they'd never be put on film. In fact he never wanted it on film. As our Oscar series continues, his grandson remembers the man who created Middle Earth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The Third Reich has been gone since 1945, but the crimes of the Nazis are still reverberating. For Maria Altmann surviving the Nazis was not enough. Bruce Morton reports, she wants the U.S. Supreme Court to help her fight to restore what she says was stolen from her family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: The club drug ecstasy continues to be a drug of abuse for American teenagers. All the more surprising for the first time the government has decided to study the drug, also known as MDMA, to see if it is useful as medicine in treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Joining me tonight to talk about that is Dr. Julie Holland, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York university. She is also the author of "Ecstasy, the Complete Guide: A Comprehensive Look at the Risk and Benefits of MDMA."

Good evening. Can you describe for us how this drug could potentially help victims of broad range of trauma?

DR. JULIE HOLLAND, ASST. PROF. PSYCHIATRY, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You know, before it was a drug of abuse it was used by psychiatrists and therapists during therapy given to the patients to allow them to open up and express some very repressed and painful memories that were going on. What people found back in the '70s and '80s that it was helpful for patients that had undergone some sort of a trauma.

ZAHN: We are going to hear from a woman that was brutally raped at the age of 17, and she was given ecstasy as her treatment before it was actually made illegal by the government back in the 1980s. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And MDMA allows you to still be very conscious and allows you to be in control. And so there's even parts that you can say I don't want -- I don't really want to go there, it's too hard, but I can face this part. So you are in total control and so you understand where you are. And the people that you are with and the people that you can trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So besides rape, what other trauma do you think ecstasy is useful in helping?

HOLLAND: There's a group in Israel who is waiting to start a study, once the American study is under way. The group in Israel wants to look at victims of terrorist attacks and bombings and people who are chronically fearful of something like that happening.

ZAHN: There's the issue of addiction when it comes to this drug. And I want to put up on the screen the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, ecstasy is an addictive drug, can be very dangerous to human beings. There's also reports it can cause brain damage and heart problems even death.

Aren't there tremendous risks involved with this study?

HOLLAND: I think what is important is for everyone to keep separate the recreational use and therapeutic MDMA models, they are very different.

ZAHN: Are the risks any different?

HOLLAND: Substantially. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

HOLLAND: When you buy a tab let of ecstasy at a club have you no idea whether it is MDMA or not, and there is risk of heatstroke or drinking too much water. When you take a known purity MDMA, a known quantity of a known substance under a doctor's supervision with therapeutic MDMA, it's a completely different model. And the risks are substantially lower which is why the FDA has given the go ahead for this study.

ZAHN: So, what kind of precaution will be in place, so people who shouldn't be getting their hands on this drugs won't, because we know how easy it is on the street right now.

HOLLAND: In terms of the study, I think the most important thing is that it's known that it's MDMA. There won't be any risk of overheating and that the patient with a therapist won't be dancing for six hours without taking a break.

ZAHN: Sure.

HOLLAND: Also during this study, in the next room, there will be an emergency physician, and nurse available on call in case there's any problem whatsoever. I can't imagine that's going to happen. But the medical model certainly safer than the recreational model.

ZAHN: Dr. Julie -- I'm sorry, Holland, thank you so much for helping us better understand the study tonight.

HOLLAND: Thank you for having me, Paula.

ZAHN: One woman's fight to right a 70-year-old wrong. We're going to find out why she's going to the U.S. Supreme Court to win back priceless paintings stolen by the Nazi.

And J.R.R. Tolkein's "Lord of the Ring," the story sold 60 million books but he thought they'd never be put on film. In fact he never wanted it on film. As our Oscar series continues, his grandson remembers the man who created Middle Earth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The Third Reich has been gone since 1945, but the crimes of the Nazis are still reverberating. For Maria Altmann surviving the Nazis was not enough. Bruce Morton reports, she wants the U.S. Supreme Court to help her fight to restore what she says was stolen from her family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The elegant woman is Vienna's socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer, painted nearly a centry ago by artist Gustav Klimt. Six Klimt paintings worth maybe a $100 million are the center of international (UNINTELLIGIBLE) involve Nazi and national sovereignty.

MARIA ALTMANN, LAWSUIT PLAINTIFF: To me she wasn't beautiful but Klimt must have thought different.

MORTON: Altmann, was the niece Bloch-Bauer, who owned the paintings before the Nazi's took them. Altmann says they were willed for her. The Austrian government says no.

ALTMANN: It's so upsetting to me, that the Austrians absolutely refuse to see any justice or to see any justification for what they believe in.

MORTON: Austria has promised to return art the Nazi's stole and has returned some things but it says the paintings were willed to its national museum a claim one investigation disputes. But the argument before the supreme court is Altmann is suing under a U.S. law passed in 1976, does it apply retroactively to events in the 1940. Austria and the United States argue no. That would open too many cans of worms.

SCOTT COOPER, ATTORNEY FOR AUSTRIA: It could open our court to claims throughout time with respect to these kinds of alleged events.

MORTON: Even if Altmann wins that will only mean another trial and more delays. She is 88-years-old.

ALTMANN: It is not the paintings. It is a question of justice.

MORTON: And of time.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: From book to blockbuster the "Lord of the Rings" resonates for millions of fans around the world, but decendents of the man who created the story are divided over it's legacy. Another "Reel Story Behind the Oscars."

(COMMERIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: A scene from Best Picture nominee, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Kin." It is the final installment of the trilogy that took 7 years to bring to the screen. But it took author J.R.R. Tolkien more than a dozen year to write the original epic novels.

The Tolkien family rarely speaks out about the movies, their famous literary legacy and the controversy both have aroused.

In today's edition of our series, "The Reel Story Behind the Oscars" we look at the legend of the very private J.R.R. Tolkien.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ELIJAH WOOD, ACTOR: Some form of Elvish. I can't read it.

ZAHN (voice-over): It is a story that millions have grown to love.

SIR IAN MCKELLAN, ACTOR: One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them...

ZAHN: It is the story that this man grew up with. Simon Tolkien is J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson.

SIMON TOLKIEN, J.R.R. TOKIEN'S GRANDSON: We spent a lot of time together skimming stones into the sea, playing a lot of word games and with me asking him endless question about the "Lord of the Rings."

ZAHN: A special time for a young boy dealing with his parents divorce.

TOLKIEN: My grandfather and I would go to the Roman Catholic Church together. He would stand there and say everything in Latin. And this was excruciating, because everybody all around me was saying it in one language and my grandfather was saying it in another.

ZAHN: J.R.R. Tolkien was above all a scholar in language. He used his knowledge to create imaginary languages.

His tales of Middle Earth which seem rooted in the fantastical are also surprisingly based on Tolkien's real life, especially living through two World Wars.

TOLKIEN: You see this sense of horror that he had for machines in Isengard.

CHRISTOPHER LEE, ACTOR: The old world will burn in the fires of industry.

Perhaps that's a throwback to the machines that came with the war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nazgul!

TOLKIEN: That's the horror of airplanes and bombers. You have a world which is England which was a good world, and then planes coming over and bombing.

ZAHN: Images so vivid, so imaginative that many Tolkien purists believe they should be left to the reader to imagine, not a movie goer to watch. Tolkien who of course lived before the digital computer age reportedly believed his epic tales were too technically complicated to be transferred to the screen despite selling the movie rights in 1969. He died in 1973.

TOLKIEN: I always thought that the movies would add to the book rather than replace the book. And now that the last movie has been made, we shall see whether that's happened. And whether the lord of the rings is remembered as a movie or a book. ZAHN: An opinion that has caused much controversy. Simon's father, Christopher who is notoriously private was reportedly against the films being made and has allegedly disowned his son for supporting the movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is an original dust jacket that Tolkien painted.

ZAHN: Matt Blessing has worked closely with the Tolkien estate, curating the J.R.R. Tolkien collection at Marquette University.

MATT BLESSING, CURATOR, J.R.R. TOLKIEN COLLECTION: It's fairly safe to say that the family members think of their father toiling away writing the "Lord of the Rings," devoting 17 years of his life to this writing project. They want to protect the legacy of Tolkien's fiction and make sure that that's protected in the long term. The family has not profited in any way from the success of the New Line project except for the sale of the printed books.

ZAHN: Which is supposed to be plenty. The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy has now been translated into 40 languages, and since 1961 has sold an estimated 60 million books. An impressive number for an Oxford professor.

BLESSING: I can say that I don't think the money would have affected him at all, because he was a family man. He took a keen interest in his grandchildren. He never visited the United States. He didn't become part of this, you know, literati and he stayed a scholar of Old and Middle English.

TOLKIEN: Ultimately he was exceedingly gratified that so many people in so many places had enjoyed what had come from his heart and his mind.

ZAHN: Stories Simon shares with his own children. A legacy he can no longer share with his father.

TOLKIEN: The big irony is the result of having been cut out of all that I have come to the decision to actually write fiction. My grandfather was, above all, a story teller. And so it feels really good to be a story teller as well. So, I think it's funny that I have been and will be forever, cut out of my grandfather's literary legacy, but in a certain sense feel, as a result, almost, far, far closer to my grandfather.

MCKELLAN: One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them...

TOLKIEN: In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We tried to contact Christopher Tolkien, but our request for an interview was denied.

Our Oscar series continues tomorrow with Charlize Theron's Oscar nominated role. We'll have the reel story behind one of this countries only serial killers, Aileen Wuornos.

And then on Friday, Sophia Coppola's reel life's ups and downs, a ledger her history making nominations.

That's wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. Tomorrow night, my interview with Secretary of State Colin Powell on the war on terror and other major issues of the day.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Again, thanks for joining us tonight. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow.

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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