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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Kerry Set to Sweep Primaries; Abstinence Pledge Debate
Aired March 9, 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: Welcome. I'm Paula Zahn.
It is Tuesday, March 4, 2004, primary night in four Southern states. Here's what you need to know right now about the result.
No surprise here. We can tell you Senator John Kerry has won in Florida. Of course, he was virtually unopposed. But Florida is getting a lot of attention because of the voting problems there in the year 2000. And Kerry has also won Mississippi, another of tonight's primaries where the polls have already closed.
Exit polls can tell us a few things about what may happen next November in key battleground states like Florida, and that's ahead.
First, though, here are some of the other stories we're following tonight. As teens take the pledge to abstain from sex before marriage, a new study has startling news on whether that's helping them avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
And an Internet site looks for older men who prey on young girls, then exposes their identity. Local TV then picks up on the idea, luring those same men who look for minors. Is that a public service or a perversion of justice?
Miami reportedly targets hip-hop performers. They are photographed, followed, and put on file at police headquarters. Is it just good police work or the most obvious case of racial profiling?
And a man shot dead in a Masonic lodge. Was it a ritual turned deadly? We're going to take you inside the world of the Freemasons, who they are and what they believe in.
Now let's put the primaries "In Focus" tonight. To take us through the exit polls and the mood voters are heading towards in November, regular contributor Joe Klein from "TIME" magazine is here.
And in Washington with us tonight, senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
Hi, Bill. How you doing tonight?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Paula.
ZAHN: What's most interesting thing to you about these exit polls tonight? SCHNEIDER: Well, it looks like Howard Dean was speaking for an awful lot of Florida Democrats when he said -- and I quote -- "Yes," because those Democrats in Florida are angry.
Let's take a look. We asked them, how do you feel about President Bush? Are you angry, dissatisfied, satisfied, or enthusiastic? Forty-nine percent say they're angry at President Bush and your brother, too; 41 percent say they're also angry at their governor, Jeb Bush, George Bush's famous brother. Now, what are they angry about? Well, a couple things, but here's one.
Will their votes be counted accurately? Only a quarter, 26 percent, say they're very confident that their votes will be counted accurately this year. That's lower than the Democrats in any of the other states that voted today. Florida Democrats have a grievance they can nurture all the way to November. These are Democrats that have one thing on their mind, and it's not international affairs.
The economy, health care, domestic issues clearly predominated on their scale of concerns. International affairs, terrorism Iraq, much, much lower. What we're finding, Paula, all over the country is that domestic concerns are the thing that drives the Kerry vote. International concerns drive people to vote for George Bush. The bottom line is, he who controls this agenda this year wins.
ZAHN: Do you read the tea leaves the same way, Joe?
JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Slightly different, especially on that last point.
You know, it's a real irony here that the reason why John Kerry has won this nomination, I think, is because Democrats looked at him and said, this is the guy who would be best able to stand up next to George W. Bush on foreign policy and national security matters in the fall. There are limits to polling, and this is one of them. I think it's a subconscious feeling on the part of Democrats.
ZAHN: What have we learned, if anything, about moderates tonight from this exit polling?
KLEIN: It's not just tonight, but in all of these primaries, Kerry has done less well among moderates than John Edwards has.
And as we look forward now, now that he's the nominee, he is going to have to start moving towards the center, and he's going to have to figure out in what issues he's going to move towards the center, because that is where this election is going to be won or lost. Both the bases are obviously motivated. It's going to be in the middle where this is going to be decided.
ZAHN: Which brings you to the question of the most obvious choice for a running mate. If he chooses John Edwards, does that gracefully bring John Kerry to the middle?
KLEIN: Well, John Edwards is at the top of the list that we saw tonight among choices. But that's mostly because we've been talking about this for the past month.
You know, Dick Gephardt is way down the list. I think only 4 percent of the people voting in Florida favored Gephardt as the vice president, and yet he's a name that you hear quite a bit from among the people who surround Kerry, in part, because he might be able to get you the crucial Midwestern state of Missouri, in part because he appeals to the blue collar vote in states like Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania, very important, and also because he is a real partisan Democrat attack dog.
One name that wasn't on the list, which would be kind of interesting, is the hot rumor in Washington today, John McCain.
ZAHN: Do you put much credence in that one, Bill Schneider?
SCHNEIDER: John McCain? Not a great deal. He disagrees with Democrats on too many issues. I think there would be too many problems with McCain on abortion and other issues.
I would disagree with Joe on only one point. I do think Democrats were conscious that Kerry would be able to check President Bush, stand next to him and talk about international affairs and national security with credibility, but they want him to be the nominee, so they can move the agenda past that to the issues that they really care about, which isn't international affairs. It's the economy and health care.
ZAHN: Get the final word tonight, Joe.
KLEIN: Well, I think Bill and I have a difference on this one. I think they're concerned about everything across the board. And the going to war, you know, in Iraq is a major issue and always will be with Democrats.
ZAHN: Hey, Bill, I've got to say that's one of the best reprisals I've heard of the Howard Dean war cry in a long time. Would you like to repeat that one more time before I go off the air?
KLEIN: We could do a duet, Bill.
SCHNEIDER: I would injure myself.
ZAHN: Well, that, I would look forward to.
Joe Klein, Bill Schneider, thanks for helping us zero in on the voters tonight.
The candidates, of course, have their own version of crossfire going lately, so let's bring in our "CROSSFIRE" co-hosts, James Carville and Tucker Carlson.
Welcome. Good to see both of you.
JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Thank you, Paula. Good to be here.
ZAHN: Our pleasure.
James, I'm going to start with you this evening. What do you make of these numbers, in particular, the numbers showing that John Kerry would be in a virtual dead heat with the president among men? How worried should the White House be about this number?
CARVILLE: Well, I think that, overall, they've got to be terribly concerned, because it's not just the numbers, what they are. It's how fast they've deteriorated for the president.
And I think that's why you are seeing him trying to react in television real fast. I think that's why you're seeing a big launch of an attack against Senator Kerry. This is sort of unprecedented for something to happen this big, this fast, and this early. The three things that happen, it's quite remarkable confluence of events in American politics.
ZAHN: So, Tucker, what do you do to turn those numbers around?
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I think the men number is a problem. Democrats typically lose men by a big margin, 19 points in 2000, in national elections. And John Kerry has, I think, self- consciously, targeted his campaign at men: I hunt. I served in Vietnam. I strut around in duck boots all the time. I play hockey.
You know, the message is, I'm not Mike Dukakis. I'm not a wimp. And I think it's been pretty effective. Bush obviously can do the same thing, and I think he ought to. Bush, I think, needs to get this campaign about national security, even if that means talking about Iraq. He needs to be focused on terrorism and national security. And they're the issues that matter anyway, so it's a good thing.
ZAHN: All right, but, James, let me ask you this. Does that make any sense to you, what Tucker just said? Because if you look at some of the latest polls -- and we'll put a graphic up now basically showing that Americans care more about the economy than they do about national security by a very wide margin.
CARVILLE: Well, I think that they do.
But the poll can't sort of detect that. Obviously, the president is expected to be able to keep us safe and keep us prosperous at the same time. The public is not going to make these kinds of distinctions, where -- and neither is John Kerry going to say, well, look, I may not be able to keep you prosperous, but I can keep you safe. And John Kerry is going to say, well, elect me because I can do both.
Going back to what Tucker said about the men, when I saw him at the Houston rodeo, this is not -- the Houston rodeo -- and I love rodeo. I grew up with it. But, basically, this is a pretty Republican event. And this is really campaigning in his base, just like going to Daytona at the NASCAR event. And it does show that they are concerned about these men. I'm not sure that they need to be as concerned as they are, but they're sure sending a signal out.
ZAHN: Ah, but, Tucker, you say that's not a number that's easily reversed, particularly with the style of campaigning that John Kerry's doing right now.
CARLSON: I don't know if it's not easily reversed. It's just interesting. It means that John Kerry is reaching out to a group that maybe other Democrats haven't, Al Gore, for instance.
I'm struck, though, on the economy, that the consumer confidence number, six points above average now, is actually higher than it was during Clinton's reelect in 1996. So it's another way of saying there are a lot of ways to measure how the economy is doing. That strikes me as a pretty significant one. It's not all about jobs. And people seem relatively confident.
I can't think -- I don't know if there's been an incumbent president to lose when the consumer confidence number was that high.
ZAHN: So, do you think the president has any vulnerability when it comes to the economy, James?
CARVILLE: Well, of course. He's got a 39 percent approval rating or something on the economy. He's got a 32 percent approval rating on health care cost.
I mean, he's got a ton of vulnerabilities. He's the first president since Herbert Hoover that not a single job has been produced under his administration. He's also got a terrible, terrible vulnerability on this question of the budget deficit. People know about it. They feel terrible about it. They feel like it's a measure of how the country is doing. So, yes, he's got a ton of problems there and he's going to be dealing with them between now and next November.
ZAHN: Yes, but is the deficit going to send anybody to the polls?
CARVILLE: I think about a third of the country would describe it as a problem of severe magnitude.
And the deficit is going to be a much -- it's something that people can understand. It's something that people can relate to. It's a way to keep score. And I think that people understand that there's something unseemly about taking a surplus the size this crowd did and turn it into a deficit. And if they don't think that's going to drive voting behavior, let them go ahead and say no one cares about it. I think John Kerry needs to talk about it a lot.
ZAHN: All right, got to leave it there, gentlemen.
James Carville, Tucker Carlson, thank you both. CARLSON: Thanks, Paula.
CARVILLE: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Teenagers vowing to abstain from sex until they marry. Now some numbers are out on whether it really helps prevent sexual diseases.
And overeating, it has caused so many Americans to get so fat. The government is now taking action. Are Americans eating themselves to death?
ZAHN: A new study just out today raises some questions about whether programs that encourage abstinence do anything to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Columbia and Yale University researchers examined the sex lives of 12,000 adolescents. They found that those who made a public pledge to abstain until marriage had virtually the same rates of STDs as those who didn't take the pledge.
Joining us now from Los Angeles, frequent contributor Dr. Drew Pinsky, whose specialties are relationships and addiction.
Always good to see you, Doctor. Welcome.
DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED": Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Where do you see the headline here?
PINSKY: Well, the headline is, basically, that of those kids who took a pledge between the ages of 12 and 18, only about 12 percent of them kept that pledge. Who would have thought that, of those who took public pledges, 88 percent in actuality ended up having sex before marriage?
Of those who didn't take a pledge, 99 percent, of course, ended up having sex before marriage. But those that did, 88 percent of. And of those that ultimately did have sex, which was the vast majority of those kids, they seem to have come to it unprepared. Of the kids who did not take a pledge, 60 percent used a condom, which is already a bad enough number of. Of those that took the pledge, only 40 percent used a condom.
So these researchers -- I actually spoke to the lead researcher from Yale this evening. They followed these kids for six years. And at the six-year mark, they actually did testing for STDs. And they found that the rates of STDs was equivalent in the groups of kids that took a pledge as opposed to those that did not take a pledge.
ZAHN: I got to tell you, I was really surprised by these numbers. But you study these all the time. Did they shock you at all?
PINSKY: It surprised me. We're always looking for ways to help kids delay sex, which this seemed to do that. We're looking for ways to get kids to be safe and have less STDs. One thing we know is that scaring kids and sort of strong-arming them into a behavior does have a short-term impact on their behavior, but doesn't solve the problem in the long term. That's a much more complex issue and that's where I was not surprised. This study bears that out very clearly, that, although there's a short-term change, to sustain that change over the long term is a much more complex issue.
And it looks to me like we should be giving kids a lot more instruction, arm them with a lot more good, so to speak, with how they should manage their lives.
ZAHN: So that's what you think the bottom line of this study is then to be learned?
PINSKY: That's how I think.
You can't really say. All you can really say is that kids that take a pledge don't keep the pledge and they, as a result, have equivalent STD rates to kids that don't take a pledge, and they seem not to prepare for sexual activity. They don't use condoms at even a reasonable rate. It's less than 40 percent.
ZAHN: I wanted to move on to another study, this one out of the Pentagon showing that one in five soldiers in the military are drinking heavily. Compare that tonight for us to folks in the general population.
PINSKY: Well, it's actually a rather striking number. It's almost twice what it is in the general population.
But this study had some methodological problems with it. I think maybe the people that were filling out these questionnaires had difficulty really understanding what they were being asked, because, when they were then asked how many of you binge-drink, which was a single episode of five drinks in a two-hour period in a 30-day period, nearly 50 percent said of them, yes, they had binged. Well, guess what? That's virtually the same rate as what we see in college students.
So the behavior of these young people isn't all that different from another group that's also under stress, namely kids that are in college. There was a number of other, though, groups of data that came out of this study that was kind of interesting, that the use of illicit drugs has dropped markedly in the military.
Now, they sort of speculated in the study why that occurred. They wanted to believe that maybe it's the military police that has had a significant impact on them. But what seems to be making up that difference is the use of alcohol and cigarettes. So you put young people under stress, and it looks like they're going to use something. They're not using illicit drugs in the military, but they are using alcohol.
ZAHN: Sure. Yes, I guess that piece of the puzzle seems pretty predictable. Dr. Drew Pinsky, thank you for joining us tonight.
PINSKY: My pleasure. Thank you.
ZAHN: Mel Gibson's movie inspires an Arizona artist, but the town wants him to take his artwork down. We're going to tell you why so many people are stirred up about this sculpture in Scottsdale.
And a report that Miami police are not exactly rolling out the red carpet for rap stars. Why are the police keeping files on some the biggest names in hip-hop?
ZAHN: Just this week, President Bush has raised $3 million for his reelection campaign. Add that to the $160 million or so he's already raised and you can see the cost of winning the White House is enormous. It may even be the biggest presidential price tag in the world.
Here's senior international correspondent Walt Rogers.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at this class photo of world leaders and look at the president of the United States. He spent more money getting elected than the combined election spending of the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and Canada.
Russia's Putin is spending less than $8 million on his reelection next month. Britain's Blair spent $18 million here last time. France's Chirac faced a limit of $16 million. Germany's Schroeder spent less. This year, George W. Bush is expected to raise $200 million.
GARY HART, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Increasingly, this favors either those with great personal wealth, such as President Bush, or those with a lot of very wealthy friends, such as President Bush.
RODGERS: Still, the Democrats spent $120 million last time, also more than the combined totals of the leaders of most other developed countries. Money remains the mother's milk of American politics.
CHARLES LEWIS, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: The public will lose because we have so many IOUs, so many markers out to the most powerful interests in America, that they're just sitting there salivating, because they know whoever wins is in hock, and that's the price of power.
RODGERS (on camera): There is the impression abroad Americans have the best politicians money can buy. But then the American humorist Mark Twain said as much 130 years ago.
(voice-over): President Kennedy used to joke that his wealthy father once told him, "Don't buy one more vote than you have to."
JAMIE RUBIN, FORMER ASST. SECRETARY OF STATE: There was a time years ago when I think money played a much more decisive role. Where money plays a crucial role now is in television advertising.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I approve of this commercial? You bet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RODGERS: In America, candidates have to buy broadcast time, their greatest election expense. In the rest of the world, candidates mostly get free TV time. European politicians also face more stringent spending limits, in contrast to the United States.
HART: If you don't have money, you're not going to be a serious candidate. You cannot -- you simply can't run for national leadership in America without having access of one kind or another to a great deal of money.
RODGERS: Yet, in another sense, the American presidential election is a bargain for everybody, because, without having to buy a ticket or pay a cent, the rest of the world does get a ringside seat to the greatest political spectacle on the planet.
Walter Rodgers, CNN, London.
ZAHN: Vigilante Web sites designed to attract men looking for underage sex, they are getting plenty of hits. So why are some police calling it dangerous, unethical, and immoral?
And what goes on behind closed doors with the Masons? A fatal shooting at one Masonic lodge turns the spotlight on the fraternity. We're going to look at the history and the mystery of Freemasonry.
And tomorrow, I'll be talking with a close friend of Martha Stewart who has known her for some 25 years. And we'll have new details on what you didn't hear during the trial.
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.
Primary wins tonight in two states so far for Senator John Kerry, Kerry winning the Florida primary, and Mississippi primary and largely unopposed in both. Soon, Louisiana and Texas results will be coming in.
Attorney General John Ashcroft in guarded condition tonight after a 90-minute operation to remove his gallbladder. Ashcroft is 61 years old. He could be out of the hospital in four or five days.
And John Allen Muhammad told the judge, you do what you have to do. The Virginia judge sentenced him to death today in one of the Washington-area sniper killings, a spree that took the lives of 10 people.
Meanwhile, Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has earned more than $200 million at the box office, and it has indirectly led to a controversy on the normally quiet streets of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Kimberly Osias has more.
ZAHN: We apologize. There's nothing wrong with your television set. You can see the picture. Unfortunately, we can't get the audio synched up at the moment. When we can, we'll feed that back to you live.
Now here comes a story you'll have to judge when it comes to protecting children from sexual predators. It involves a TV news department, one of several that have taken the law into their own hands by staging stings to capture sexual predators. Have the television stations gone too far?
Jason Carroll joins us live now from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania -- hi, Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello to you, Paula.
And there are a number of people in this room who feel as though one TV station in Philadelphia went too far when it aired a report last week about how to catch a pedophile.
CARROLL (voice-over): In a driveway of an empty home in suburban Philadelphia sits a police car to ward off pedophiles, placed there after a controversial news report on how pedophiles lure victims on the Internet. It aired on Philadelphia's WCAU and outraged some members of this community.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a ratings stunt. And I truly believe that.
CARROLL: In the story, a WCAU employee poses as an underage girl or boy. Contact is made with an adult on the Internet. Arrangements are confirmed to meet at this house, which the station rented. Once the adults show up, they're met by news cameras.
Neighbors Mary Pat and John Minor told the local NBC crew they were deeply troubled by the station's methods.
MARY PAT MINOR, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: We're not naive people. We know this goes on and we know it probably goes on in our neighborhood. But to invite them to a house two doors down from my house where my children were standing.
JOHN MINOR, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: It was an unbelievably irresponsible thing to do.
CARROLL: Irresponsible, Minor says, because, once exposed, the alleged pedophiles were free to go in a neighborhood where a school is just around the corner. The station canceled a scheduled interview with CNN, but issued this statement: "No one was put in danger by the story. The station's reporters and producers conducted themselves responsibly.
Critics call the report a form of vigilante journalism encouraged by this Web site, Perverted-Justice.com, which exposed alleged pedophiles and urges news organizations to go after them. But police say WCAU put the community at risk because they didn't contact law enforcement, had no way of knowing if the alleged pedophiles were armed, and lured the suspects to a neighborhood heavily populated by children.
Again, a number of angry people who are here in this community. They're holding a town hall meeting so community leaders can hear their concerns. NBC, the local station here, for its part, Paula, stands by the methods used in the report, although they did say they regret any concerns that were caused in this community -- Paula.
ZAHN: Jason Carroll, reporting from Newtown. Thanks so much for that update. Appreciate it.
Now, the trend started with a Web site that also lures men who say they're looking for minors. Xavier Von Erck started Pervertedjustice.com in Portland, Oregon, and has been exposing men who he says took the bait on his Web site. In Eugene, Oregon, Tom Bivins is a professor of media ethics at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Welcome, both of you. Glad to have both of you with us.
So Xavier, the question I have for you tonight is why not just leave this up to the police?
XAVIER VON ERCK, PERVERTEDJUSTICE.COM: The reason we have not left this up to the police is very simple. The fact of the matter is, this problem is large. This problem is in every community across this United States. The problem exceeds police resources put towards this issue currently. We would leave it up to police if we were able to go into these chat rooms and not have these conversations occur and not have these people show up for the cameras.
ZAHN: Tom, you heard the point Xavier just made about strained resources of police departments all over the country. And after all, several people have been arrested due to the efforts of Pervertedjustice.com. Do you give these folks any credit at all for what they're doing?
TOM BIVINS, MEDIA ETHICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, EUGENE: I think their heart might be in the right place. I just think their techniques are misplaced. Vigilantism is the same, no matter what face you put on it, and vigilantism subverts the justice system that we have, certainly the due process of it. ZAHN: Xavier, law enforcement officials say your Web site leads to more harm than good because the stings do not lead to convictions and may put residents in danger. You just heard some of these folks talk about it in the preceding piece.
VON ERCK: Yes, I've heard these folks. They're having a very emotional and shocked reaction from this issue. However, there's a misnomer here. The misnomer is that these do not lead to cases and investigations and convictions. We did -- have done these all over the nation. In Detroit, Michigan, we did one of these and 18 people showed up. The police there, from where that person came from, originated, actually have brought charges, and a court case is under way against him now. We cannot go into trial with these people. We require proactive law enforcement. When we find proactive law enforcement, we go into trial against these people. We're not vigilantes because we are open to working with police.
ZAHN: Tom, what about that point?
BIVINS: Well, vigilantes, for the most part, are generally open, except that the people on this Web site, the way I've heard it, are basically anonymous on both ends of it. But the real problem is, from law enforcement perspectives that I've heard so far, is that it may not be legal, the way they're getting this information. So while you can arrest these people, you may not be able to convict them because of the legality of the way the information is gathered.
VON ERCK: May I respond to that, Paula?
ZAHN: Yes. I mean, has that compromised any of the cases you've been involved with, Xavier, the methods by which you get your information?
VON ERCK: Let me respond to this individual. This individual has no idea what we do. As he said himself, he has heard. I don't find it very ethical that he's coming onto CNN talking about something he has no direct, firsthand knowledge about. This individual has never spoken with our individuals.
ZAHN: All right, but answer the direct question that we posed here...
VON ERCK: Sure. No problem.
ZAHN: ... about whether your methods of gathering the information compromise an eventual prosecution.
VON ERCK: No problem. In Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma and Kansas City, law enforcement officials would disagree with this individual's statement. The fact of the matter is, we have investigations currently ongoing in all four of those states. So if our techniques are so wrong, how come we have so many investigations currently ongoing?
ZAHN: Tom? BIVINS: All I can say is that this would be acceptable if it were done at the behest and with the cooperation of law enforcement authorities, but to do it on your own, basically, is vigilante justice. The same thing would apply to a television station doing exactly the same thing without the knowledge or cooperation of law enforcement agencies.
ZAHN: But Professor Bivins, are you satisfied with the level of resources that are given to these types of investigations? After all, if you look at the reports of on-line sexual exploitation, they're up dramatically, almost four-fold since 2000.
VON ERCK: That's right.
BIVINS: Well, I'm sure that's true, and there are a lot of areas where law enforcement needs help -- incidences of unreported rapes, murders, other crimes as well. But they don't all require vigilante action. All I'm saying is that when you take vigilante action, you subvert the judicial process.
ZAHN: Gentlemen, we've got to leave it there. Professor Bivins, Xavier Von Erck, thank you for both of your perspectives tonight.
BIVINS: You're welcome.
VON ERCK: Thank you.
ZAHN: Miami police reportedly photographing and following hip- hop and rap artists. They say they want to protect the public and the rappers. Is it good police work or racial profiling? And some people think Americans are eating themselves to death. Is overeating really getting to be as bad for your health as smoking?
ZAHN: Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has earned more than $200 million at the box office, and it has indirectly led to a controversy on the normally quiet sidewalks of Scottsdale, Arizona. Kimberly Osias has more.
KIMBERLY OSIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an image that has stirred all kinds of passions for 2,000 years.
BERNARD DUKE, SCULPTOR: I had my hammer and I'm beating it. And you know, it doesn't want to go. And I'm driving it through his feet.
OSIAS: Arizona sculptor Bernard John (ph) Duke created this 14- foot steel statue of Jesus two years ago, but it was only after seeing Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ," that he put it on display on the sidewalk in front of an art gallery in the middle of old town Scottsdale.
ED GAWF, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA: Our code enforcement division received a complaint that there was an obstruction.
OSIAS: Though we saw people clearly able to get by the statue without a problem, the city ordered the sculpture removed, saying items for sale cannot be displayed outside without a permit. The sculpture is technically for sale, but the artist says he'll probably take it off the market. The gallery's owners refuse to remove the art until after Easter.
KATHRINE LYON, ART GALLERY OWNER: No! I'm not a troublemaker.
OSIAS (on camera): The city says it's not a question of religious content, it's a matter of public right of way. But here, plenty of work is displayed outside that's never been cited before.
(voice-over): In fact, the city says no one has ever been cited in this way.
DUKE: The Apache's praying to his god...
OSIAS: This native American religious piece by the same sculptor was displayed in the same spot without a problem.
DUKE: Was I surprised by it? No. Did I expect it? Yes.
GAWF: It was art. It's religion. And I -- and you know, government -- throw government in, as well, and you have a fun mixture of things that stir passions.
OSIAS: Scottsdale is revisiting the policy, but in the meantime, the old rules apply. And the Jesus statue may have to find a new home by month's end. Kimberly Osias, CNN, Scottsdale, Arizona.
ZAHN: "The Miami Herald" reports today that police are secretly staking out hip-hop celebrities like P Diddy and DMX when they visit south Florida. Is it a reasonable reaction after the murders of hip- hop celebs like Tupac Shakur and Jam Master J (ph) or a chilling reminder of federal spying on the famous during the '60s and '70s?
Joining us now is "Rolling Stone" contributing editor Toure, who says it is a racist practice. And in Philadelphia, attorney and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish joins us. He says it's necessary.
Welcome, both. So why, Michael, isn't this racial profiling?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, ATTORNEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, maybe it is racial profiling, but why is racial profiling such a dirty word if the facts back it up? You know, they asked Willie Sutton, Why do you rob the banks? And he said, Because that's where the money is.
ZAHN: All right, but where do the facts...
SMERCONISH: These individuals...
ZAHN: ... back it up here? SMERCONISH: Here they are. These individuals, they promote themselves as gangsters. They lead the lifestyles of gangsters, witness the murder of Biggie and Tupac and a whole host of other attempted murderers. And now, all of a sudden, when they're treated like they're gangsters, they say, Oh, we're offended, we're being treated like we're lawbreakers. Well, many of them are lawbreakers.
TOURE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "ROLLING STONE": How is it that people getting murdered presents them as gangsters? I don't understand that at all. Like, where does that come from? Tupac and Biggie get murdered, and the police don't care enough to actually go and solve the crimes, proving that they don't care about black people. This is typical law enforcement attitude toward black people, treating us as guilty before we've even done anything. It's not "protect and serve" among (ph) with black men. It's attack and target.
ZAHN: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait a machine. Before you go any further, what about the point that Michael was making, that these artists cultivate this image, that they're part of this gangsta, you know, environment?
TOURE: This is -- this is part of...
ZAHN: Don't they bear any responsibility for this?
TOURE: This is part of law enforcement's typical attitude toward black men, that we are criminals before we've done anything. And anybody trying to act like a couple of people actually having been criminals and coming in -- the vast majority of rappers have never done that and suggesting that this racial -- this sort of racial profiling is OK shows that you're a racist.
SMERCONISH: That's ridiculous. Listen, if la Cosa Nostra, if the families of the Mob were coming down to South Beach for a series of meetings and if John Timoney and the Miami police had them staked out, everybody would say that's good police work. But just because they're African-American, it gives this gentleman the opportunity to play the race card.
TOURE: This is not a criminal operation! We make money...
SMERCONISH: It's good police work.
TOURE: ... from royalties. Puff Daddy is not a criminal. DMX is not a criminal!
SMERCONISH: Ja Rule and 50 Cent...
TOURE: They make money from records, from royalties, not from -- not from loan-sharking and murdering people.
SMERCONISH: Ja Rule and 50 Cent have a blood feud going on right now. They pulled this guy over. He had all sorts of weapons in his car and a bulletproof vest. I think it's good police work. And frankly, it's in their own best interest. It's going to probably protect the rappers and the hip-hop artists.
ZAHN: Wait. Wait a minute...
TOURE: And when they followed Dr. King, did that protect him? When they followed Mumia Abu Jamal since he was 15...
SMERCONISH: Mumia Abu Jamal...
TOURE: ...did that protect him?
SMERCONISH: ...murdered Danny Falkin! (ph)
TOURE: No. No. No.
SMERCONISH: Mumia Abu Jamal murdered...
TOURE: No. No. No. No.
ZAHN: All right. All right. We're not going to win that argument tonight. Let me just ask you about this. You have to concede, Toure, there has been a considerable amount of violence in the hip-hop...
TOURE: In America over the past 50 years?
ZAHN: In the hip-hop community.
ZAHN: Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G....
TOURE: Was murdered!
ZAHN: ...one of the guys in Run DMC.
TOURE: Was murdered! We need protection, not to be followed. Look, if we followed you for six months, 24 hours a day, I bet we'd find you doing something wrong.
ZAHN: You probably would fall asleep, Toure!
ZAHN: I'm afraid that's the truth.
TOURE: I mean, if we go...
TOURE: ...following people and looking for crime -- that's what racial profiling is -- you may probably find it because most people do something wrong at some point in the day.
SMERCONISH: If you saw Paula Zahn in a video on MTV carrying a weapon and then leading that lifestyle when she's not in front of the camera...
TOURE: But that shows how little...
SMERCONISH: ...I'd hope she'd be followed, too!
TOURE: ... how you know because they don't lead that lifestyle! You know what they do?
SMERCONISH: Oh, they don't? It's all a joke, is that it?
TOURE: They talk about it, and then they go back to the studio...
SMERCONISH: Tell it to Biggie!
TOURE: ... and then they go to the hotel and then they go to the limousine. They're just gaming you...
SMERCONISH: Tell it to Tupac!
TOURE: ...and that's only -- that's only a small...
SMERCONISH: Tell it to Tupac!
TOURE: ...part of them. De La Soul (ph) is not about that. Outkast isn't about that. P. Diddiy's not about that. I could go on and on and on. There's a segment of hip-hop that's about gangsters...
ZAHN: All right...
TOURE: ... an absolutely because we love the fantasy of power. But this is not what this entire music is about. We're not criminals!
ZAHN: I want you to cut to the core argument Toure had here tonight, basically, that what you're doing is lumping together these musicians with other members of the black community, and you're a racist for doing so.
SMERCONISH: I think it's unfortunate there are probably hip-hop artists who do get lumped in with this crowd. But they shouldn't be blaming the Miami cops for this. They should be blaming the culture that has brought this on.
SMERCONISH: This wasn't invented by police. There's violence that goes with the hip-hop trade. They should be blaming those who are violent, not blaming the cops who want to clean it up. Enough already!
TOURE: Oh, please! The cops have been following us, not in just Miami. We've known about this in New York for three years. The NYPD has consistently said, No, we don't do this. We know they do. And they do in Los Angeles and they do in Vegas.
SMERCONISH: But it's just... TOURE: They are following us...
SMERCONISH: ...a racist plot everywhere!
TOURE: ...and chasing us, and we...
SMERCONISH: It's a racist plot everywhere...
TOURE: ...and it's our fault!
SMERCONISH: ...isn't it!
ZAHN: Michael, do you have any empathy for the way Toure feels here this evening?
SMERCONISH: Zero, zip, nada, zilch.
TOURE: That's because you're not a black man, and you don't know what it's like to be chased throughout...
SMERCONISH: I guess -- I guess...
TOURE: ...your community, the way I have been...
SMERCONISH: I'm sure...
TOURE: ...all my life!
SMERCONISH: I'm sure it's because I'm a racist.
TOURE: It's so easy for you, as a white man, to sit on your perch and act like this is not a problem. I am attacked...
SMERCONISH: It's so easy...
TOURE: ...and targeted in my own community. I'm not a rapper, and I feel it just...
SMERCONISH: It's so easy for you...
TOURE: ...the same way they do, just the same way that Martin Luther King was targeted, just the same way...
SMERCONISH: Am I going to get a word in...
TOURE: ...the Black Panthers were targeted...
TOURE: No, you're a racist! Don't even talk!
ZAHN: Michael, you get the last word tonight. You've got to be brief. SMERCONISH: Simply because -- simply because I'm willing to stand up for the cops and call them for the thugs they are, I'm a racist.
TOURE: You are a racist. Absolutely. You defend racial profiling, you're a racist.
ZAHN: We got to end it there. Sorry to end it on that note, with no...
TOURE: I'm happy on that note.
ZAHN: You're happy on that note?
TOURE: I'm happy on that note. The truth has been spoken.
ZAHN: Toure and Michael Smerconish, thank you both for joining us tonight.
SMERCONISH: Thank you.
ZAHN: The new report on Americans' health and overeating. Are we eating ourselves to death? And we will go inside the world of the Freemasons after a fatal shooting police say was part of an initiation ritual that went bad.
ZAHN: Are Americans eating themselves to death? New government numbers just out today paint a disturbing picture. In the past decade, deaths in the U.S. due to poor diet and physical inactivity have increased by 33 percent, and obesity is now closing in on tobacco use as the No. 1 cause of preventable death. We're giving obesity the "High Five" treatment tonight, five quick questions, five direct answers.
Joining us now, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a vice president of Johnson & Johnson and veteran medical journalists. Always good to see you.
DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, VP, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Hi, Paula.
ZAHN: So No. 1 how many people in this country die from obesity every year?
SNYDERMAN: Four hundred thousand in the year 2000...
SNYDERMAN: ... which is huge. That means 16 percent of Americans are now dying of obesity-related problems.
ZAHN: And of the 64 percent of the population that is overweight or obese, who is at the greatest risk?
SNYDERMAN: Well, the big people who are at risk are those who do other things, like smoke, if you already have complicating diabetes. And because diabetes and obesity go hand in hand, it opens up huge problems -- heart disease, stroke, cancer. It is really a ripple effect that we can -- we absolutely have to pay attention to.
ZAHN: Which begs question No. 3. What's the best way to lose weight?
SNYDERMAN: Well, I don't like the word diet. I think it's a four-letter word. But you really have to figure out what's going to be best for you. For some people, that's going to be surgery, sort of, you know, stomach stapling. For other people, it may be a liquid diet with the help of a physician. For some people, it's nothing more than making a list of the pros and cons of what you eat every day. I lost five pounds last month because I decided not to have a cocktail periodically with friends. Simple lifestyle changes like that can sometimes knock the weight off.
ZAHN: Question No. 4, are there new diet drugs that are being developed now?
ZAHN: ...what you were just talking about.
SNYDERMAN: Yes, well, this is really cool because today new information from the American College of Cardiology meeting that's going on in New Orleans, new drug that seems to work well in that satiation center of the brain, the part that makes us crave food, crave cigarettes, new chemistry, new drug that may be available in about two years that probably will be available to help people lose weight. Now, we may only be talking 20 pounds in a year. But nonetheless, I think that's one of the big areas of research. And I have no doubt, although it scares me a little bit because we're such a pill-oriented society anyway...
ZAHN: Right. It could become a great crutch.
SNYDERMAN: Yes. The medicine is just around the corner.
ZAHN: Question No. 5, then, in your estimation, what is the biggest mistake people make when they go on these diets?
SNYDERMAN: We get fat over years, and we want it off by next Thursday. So you have to sit back and say, OK, what's reasonable? What can I expect? And not get bored -- underline...
ZAHN: Oh, come on!
SNYDERMAN: ...by the two to three pounds a week, which is what frustrates people.
ZAHN: Two to three pounds a week? A lot of people would be thrilled with that result.
SNYDERMAN: People get bored to tears with two to three pounds a week. They want five to ten and more, and you can't do it. You have to look at it as not, What can I have tomorrow, but, How am I going to survive to be 85 and 90 and be around? And if you're fat or if you're obese and have diabetes and all the other complicating factors, forget it. Your life expectancy really plummets.
ZAHN: We plan to see you around at the age of 90...
SNYDERMAN: Well, thank you. I appreciate it.
ZAHN: ... Dr. Nancy Snyderman, if you follow your own advice, which you have so far.
SNYDERMAN: I'm a pretty good girl.
ZAHN: Thanks so much.
A man shot dead in a Masonic lodge. Police say it was a secret initiation ritual gone bad. We're going to take you inside the world of the Freemasons.
ZAHN: A man fatally shot in the head inside a Masonic lodge has police saying it was a secret initiation rite gone bad. It happened Monday at a Mason's lodge on New York's Long Island. And in a statement, the fraternal organization told us, "This was not a Masonic lodge meeting, and no formal and approved Masonic ceremonies were scheduled to take place. Firearms play no role in Masonic lodge meetings or Masonic events of any kind."
But who are the Masons? Well, in the U.S., on the numbers, almost two million folks in the organization. And they have such famous living members, such as Bob Dole, Arnold Palmer, Sam Nunn. but it is still an organization shrouded in secrecy. Here to shed some light on the history and rituals of the Masons is Steven Bullock, a professor of history at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.
STEVEN BULLOCK, PROF. OF HISTORY, WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INST.: Thank you for having me.
ZAHN: Our pleasure. Briefly explain to us who the Masons are and what they do.
BULLOCK: Well, the Masons are a fraternal order which assumed their modern form somewhere in the early 1700s. And since then, they've spread around the world. They still -- as you said, about 1.8 million Masons in the United States. And they do all sorts of things, from simply fraternal activities, the sense of fellowship among themselves, to all sorts of charitable activities.
ZAHN: Now, some folks, Steven, as you know, criticize Masonic ceremonies, which include colorful costumes, blindfolds, even some wine-filled skulls, as bizarre, even satanic, they say, in some cases. What are these rituals for, and why are they so secret? BULLOCK: Well, I think it's almost hard for us to understand this ritual -- these rituals today because for most of us, membership tends to involve filling out a membership form and sending in a check. But Masonic rituals are meant to be something deeper and fuller. They're meant to -- they're meant to take people from one status, from the lives they lead, and to make them something different, to make them better people.
ZAHN: All right, but when people hear some of the language attached to the members, like Worshipful Master, Master of the Royal Secret, the Knight of the Brazen Serpent, they kind of think that's kind of weird and wonder what all that represents.
BULLOCK: Again, it's a different world than we're used to, I think. And I think one key to understanding it is that -- is that the lodge room is meant to be different, meant to be distinct, much like people today enjoy the different world that something like "The Lord of the Rings" creates. The lodge is meant to be that kind of separate place because it's meant to make people -- Mort Kondracke, executive editor of "Roll Call people distinct, to change them, to bring them into a brotherhood, into a new kind of family.
ZAHN: Let's take a look at two popular myths surrounding the Masons. Did they design the national seal on the -- on the -- and put the pyramid and eye on the back of the dollar bill?
BULLOCK: A lot of people believe that, but there doesn't seem to be much evidence for that. The idea of the all-seeing eye, that is God looking out at people all the time, is a symbol which goes back long before Freemasonry becomes a fraternal order, which it does in the early 1700s. Then when the Great Seal is created, the Masons on the committee -- and those included Benjamin Franklin -- they did not suggest this as their preferred symbol. So there doesn't -- there's certainly no kind of secret message, kind of secret symbol there.
ZAHN: All right. One final question for you this evening, sir. The Catholic church doesn't want its members to be associated with the Masons in any way. Why is that, if you can tell us briefly?
BULLOCK: Well, religious opposition to Freemasonry goes back a long way. And for the Catholic church and a number of conservative Protestant groups, there's a sense that Freemasonry takes away from the work of the church.
ZAHN: Well, it's all fascinating to learn about, and thank you for bringing your perspective to us this evening, Steven Bullock.
BULLOCK: Thank you.
ZAHN: And we want to thank you all for being with us tonight. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. Until then, have a good night. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.
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