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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Motion for Mistrial Denied in Tyco Trial; French Lawyer Agrees to Defend Hussein; How Is 9/11 Testimony Affecting Presidential Race?

Aired March 29, 2004 - 19:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tyco trial turmoil, motion for mistrial denied. Can the jury reach a verdict?

A dictator's hired gun, a French lawyer agrees to defend Saddam Hussein.

Tough testimony on 9/11, how is it affecting the political race? New poll numbers might surprise you.

Drinking and longevity, is there a link, Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the latest research.

The alleged love of JFK, Jr.'s wife sells his story. Why is the media so eager to traffic in tawdry tales?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Welcome to 360.

President Bush in the lead in the race for the White House, he gains a slight edge despite a week of negative headlines over terrorism. The latest CNN Gallup poll just out, we're going to have that in a moment.

But first the top story, the trial of two former Tyco executives and the news tonight is there still is a Tyco trial. The judge considered declaring a mistrial over the actions of one member of the jury, simply known as Juror No. 4, but denied the defense request. Deliberations now continue.

Chris Huntington is covering it all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HUNTINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jury deliberations in Dennis Kozlowski's corporate fraud trial appeared back on track as Judge Michael Obus denied yet another defense request for a mistrial indicating that all of the jurors said they could resume deliberating including Juror No. 4. She's the 79-year-old former schoolteacher with a law degree who made front page news for flashing what appeared to be an OK sign toward defendants in court on Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one juror who has come to the conclusion that there was not criminal intent is basically deciding it the way the judge directed them but if she in good conscience holds that belief then she's diligently following the court's instructions and doing what she was told to do.

HUNTINGTON: Defense attorneys arguing unsuccessfully their fifth mistrial motion since Thursday said Juror No. 4 had been at the center of the jury's deadlock dispute and that unflattering press reports, such as a "New York Post" front page sketch and headlines calling her a "batty blue blood" and "paranoid socialite" would have been seen by other jurors further poisoning the deliberations.

STEVEN BRILL, CEO, VERIFIED IDENTIFIED PASS, INC.: Given the circumstances I don't think there was anything wrong with what some of the newspapers did. They did nothing other than tell the public something the public had a right to know, which is who is this juror who seems to be causing this disruption in the process.

HUNTINGTON: In denying the mistrial, Judge Obus said the only thing that mattered were the jurors' assurances that they had buried the hatchet and could get back to work.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HUNTINGTON: And get back to work they did. That was evident from the notes the jury sent out today asking for more trial evidence, testimony read backs and clarification on just what it means to be an accessory to a crime. As for the media's role in all of this, Judge Michael Obus scolded reporters in court and said simply leave the jurors alone -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, understandable in that. Chris Huntington thanks very much. We're going to have more on this with Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom a little bit later on.

This just in now a new CNN-USA Today Gallup poll that shows President Bush with a slight lead in the race for the White House. It's significant because it comes after a week of dismal headlines and tough testimony before the 9/11 commission. Bush now leads John Kerry 51 to 47 percent, within the margin of error but just three weeks ago, consider this. Kerry led Bush by eight points.

More good news for the White House, President Bush's job approval rating has hit 53 percent, the highest number since January. The White House isn't planning its reelection party just yet.

Senior White House Correspondent John King has that part of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcoming seven new members to the NATO Alliance, a picture perfect event for a president whose reelection theme boils down to one word leadership.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will face the mortal danger of terrorism and we will overcome it together.

KING: But for all the celebration, Mr. Bush's stewardship of the war on terror is increasingly a campaign year question mark. Seventy percent of the American people say they are very closely or somewhat closely following former White House official Richard Clarke's allegation the president did not pay enough attention to terrorism before the September 11 attacks.

GLEN BOLGER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: People are paying a great deal of attention to this issue. YOU can't ignore it and hope it goes away.

KING: In a new CNN poll, the public is evenly divided when asked whether they are inclined to believe Clarke or the White House and even divided when asked if the president paid too little attention to terrorism because he was too focused on Saddam Hussein.

PETER HART, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Any time you have the American public split between a bureaucrat and an administration, the administration is losing.

KING: Two-thirds of Americans do not think the Bush administration should have been able to prevent the 9/11 tragedy and the administration's hope is that come November voters will judge Mr. Bush more by his actions after the attacks.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've seen calm when calm was needed, a decision action when action was required. I'm honored to serve at his side.

KING: Despite mounting pressure, the White House says National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will not testify before the 9/11 commission in public, something strategists in both parties say is risky.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: John King joins us now. John, it's fascinating. You look at this poll, a 12-point swing toward Bush in basically the last three weeks. Does the White House feel that their response to Clarke's allegations have been successful?

KING: Well, Anderson, they believe in terms of the horse race against Senator Kerry they believe that is proof that three weeks of strong negative advertising can work.

In terms of the response against Richard Clarke, the White House believes it does not want to extend the story, so you see no more interviews by Dr. Rice and others today but they are certainly worried about it. And then more pressure coming tomorrow. Senate Democrats will propose a resolution demanding that she testify. The White House is hoping its allies on Capitol Hill can carry the ball for now but, Anderson, they are trying behind the scenes to find some compromise with the 9/11 commission, some conversations on that issue today, though. No progress at all.

COOPER: So they've changed their strategy. They're not talking any more, the White House.

KING: They're not talking anymore because they believe to do so would simply prolong the story but they understand that it's not going to go away. They're just trying to buy themselves a little time to try to figure out when does Condoleezza Rice meet with the commission? Can she meet with them in private but make her remarks public after that session, all of that being debated behind closed doors.

COOPER: All right, John King at the White House thanks, John.

In Iraq today, a number of new developments, in Baghdad, more anger over the closure of a radical Islamic newspaper. The coalition had ordered it to cease operations for 60 days accusing its operator of inciting anti-American violence.

Southeast now, Basra, two British soldiers hurt in a confrontation with an angry crowd. You can see some stones being thrown. Apparently, violence broke out after some illegal tenants were evicted from government offices.

And different leader, same result, the man now heading the search for Saddam's illegal weapons says he has found nothing since taking over for David Kay. Charles Duelfer also says it's too early to draw conclusions and that his search will continue.

A disturbing new report out tonight on the worst incident of friendly fire in Iraq ten Marines were killed a year ago near Nasiriya. Well, today defense officials say a Marine captain is directly responsible.

We get the latest from Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Marines from Charlie Company fought to secure a key supply route through Nasiriya, the battle took a tragic turn. Pinned down by enemy fire the Marines were attacked by U.S. Air Force A-10s by mistake.

CAPT. DAN WITTNAM, CHARLIE COMPANY COMMANDER: The first thought that went through my mind was thank God an A-10 is on station.

MCINTYRE: And then?

WITTNAM: Holy cow. The earth went black from the dirt when it kicked up and a feeling of absolute utter horror and disbelief. MCINTYRE: Investigators faulted a Marine captain far from the action who called in the A-10 strikes unaware Charlie Company had pushed ahead of his unit. The two A-10s made multiple passes over a group of vehicles dropping bombs, firing missiles and (unintelligible) with their tank busting 30mm canons.

As many as ten Marines were killed but because a total of 18 Marines died in the battle and some had wounds from both enemy and friendly fire, the exact number of fratricide victims is unknown.

TINA CLINE, WIDOW OF CPL. DONALD CLINE: Unknown, everything is left unknown and you just have to come to your own conclusion what you want to believe.

MCINTYRE: That's left Tina Cline, widow of Corporal Donald Cline, still looking for closure.

CLINE: This actually I think has brought me to a new level of my grieving and it's the angry stage.

MCINTYRE (on camera): While the Air Force was absolved of any blame, some of the Marine Corps questioned why the A-10 pilots weren't better trained to spot friendly vehicles on the ground, why they didn't see the cease-fire flares fired by the Marines and why the cockpit videotapes of the incident disappeared, apparently recorded over.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And what a tragedy.

A law that seemed predestined for court challenges is now making its way down that inevitable path. Today, attorneys for and against the government's ban on what it calls partial birth abortion began arguing their cases in three different states.

CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In San Francisco, Lincoln, Nebraska and New York City, a legal face-off over whether the so-called partial birth abortion ban is constitutional.

Signed into law in November, the act was immediately challenged by abortion rights advocates who say it does not provide an exception for a woman's health and they say it's too vague, possibly opening the door for banning other types of abortions.

LOUISE MELLING, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: What you see is doctors testifying all around the country before three different courts about the importance of physician discretion to provide procedures doctors say are safe and appropriate. ARENA: Government lawyers argued: "Partial birth abortion is never necessary for maternal health and has no proven safety advantages." What's more they say the law is not vague and refers to a very specific procedure, one in which a fetus is partially delivered before its skull is punctured.

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CTR. FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: The thematic of the case is this, that this procedure blurs the line between live birth and abortion and when you got a situation like that you have to tip in favor of the child, of the unborn child at that point.

ARENA: The trials, which are expected to last several weeks, follow intense legal skirmishes over government subpoenas of private medical records and battles over whether the issue of fetal pain could be introduced.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ARENA: Now, regardless of the outcome of these trials both sides say that they expect there will be appeals. The legal experts predict that the Supreme Court will ultimately have to weigh in -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Kelli Arena in Washington thanks.

We're following a number of developing stories right now "Cross County." Let's take a look.

Near San Diego, the second crash in four days for the U.S. Navy. This morning an F-14 went down off the California coast. Two men on board safely ejected, the cause of that crash unknown.

Coast-to-coast at any given gas pump the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded, hold on to your hats, $1.75, one and a half cents higher than the previous record which was set last week, all time record that was.

Boston, Massachusetts, the showdown over same-sex marriage, a constitutional ban just approved by state lawmakers today, the next hurdle another state house vote next year.

Antigo, Wisconsin, a state of emergency, look at these pictures, raging floodwaters turned a town of 8,500 into a giant spillway forcing the evacuation of 40 to 50 homes and businesses. Heavy rains and ice melt are the cause of that deluge.

Oh, look at that it's Pooh, Los Angeles, Disney wins the honey pot, a 13-year-old lawsuit it's been defending over Winnie the Pooh royalties thrown out by a judge today. The court said the plaintiffs illegally obtained documents and granted Disney's motion for a dismissal. No comment of course from Pooh. That's a look at stories "Cross Country" for you tonight.

Michael Jackson grand jury masked in mystery, secret hearings began. Will his accuser take the stand? That's the question.

Plus, defending Saddam, will it be a kangaroo court? The fallen dictator's new lawyer says he wants to put U.S. officials on the stand. You'll meet the lawyer ahead.

And get ready to burst open the (unintelligible). Dr. Sanjay Gupta fact checked the latest findings on drinking and your health.

First, let's take a look "Inside the Box." Don't start drinking yet. The top stories on tonight's network newscasts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: All right, now in California there's no dancing on cars, no gloved waves to adoring fans, but somewhere around Santa Barbara, a grand jury is meeting right now to take up the criminal case against pop star Michael Jackson. We say somewhere because the location and witness list are kept secret.

Miguel Marquez has what we know.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grand jury listened to the first day of testimony in the molestation case against Michael Jackson. CNN has confirmed grand jurors will meet four times this week to hear evidence offered by Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon.

Just what evidence jurors will hear and when they will hear it is being kept a closely guarded secret by a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge. While grand jury proceedings are typically secret, the court has added a level of secrecy by moving the grand jury to a site away from the location where it normally meets.

Just who will testify remains a question. It has been reported that Jackson's now 14-year-old accuser may testify. It has also been reported that despite and out of court settlement, Mr. Jackson's alleged victim from his 1993 molestation case could testify as well.

A veteran defense lawyer familiar with grand jury proceedings says testimony is possible from relatives, investigators, and doctors who played a part in the current case, the '93 case, or both.

Grand jurors are also likely to hear at least some evidence netted as a result of 18 search warrants. The affidavit of the most recent warrant indicates investigators are seeking unedited videotape of Mr. Jackson hoping to establish a relationship between him and the alleged victim or victims.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: Now the grand jury is expected to hear evidence for about the next two weeks. If it indicts at the end of that time, Mr. Jackson would be re-arraigned, which means he'd have to appear back in court to plead guilty or not guilty -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Miguel Marquez thanks.

We're tracking a number of developing stories around the globe right now. Let's take a look at the "Up Link."

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, terror attacks, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Uzbek capital today capping 12 hours of violence that killed at least 19 people. Now officials are blaming Islamic extremists. Uzbekistan is a U.S. ally providing an air base for troops in Afghanistan.

Jerusalem, Sharon scandal, an Israeli court is ordering Ariel Sharon's son to hand over documents in a corruption investigation. The prime minister is under pressure to resign after Israel's top prosecutor recommended his indictment on bribery charges.

Dublin, Ireland, no butts about it. A new national ban against smoking is in effect, now illegal to light up in all indoor public spaces. Vendors face heavy fines. Ireland becomes the first country in the world to outlaw smoking in restaurants and pubs countrywide of course.

London, no sign of crime, police looking into claims of physical abuse against this man, scientist Stephen Hawking say they can't find any evidence. The academic has a motor neuron disease, requires around the clock care. Now, suspicions were raised last summer when Hawking's nurses reported signs of abuse. Police say they don't see them. That's a look at the "Up Link."

As they say in TV cop shows, Saddam Hussein has lawyered up and the Frenchman who says he has been asked to represent the ousted Iraqi leader is already planning his defense strategy. It's a strategy that may make some in Washington kind of nervous.

From Paris, Jim Bittermann reports why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He has defended Nazi Klaus Barbi, terrorists like Carlos the Jackal and accused war criminals like Slobodan Milosevic and now flamboyant French Attorney Jacques Verges says his next client is Saddam Hussein.

Verges says he would bring into court not only the former Iraqi leader himself but those (unintelligible) sold weapons of mass destruction in the first place.

JACQUES VERGES, SADDAM HUSSEIN'S ATTORNEY: That means of course first of all (unintelligible).

BITTERMANN: In Verges' mind, George W. Bush and Henry Kissinger would also be put on the stand but, for the moment, the lawyer says it's impossible to prepare any defense since there's no court, no prosecutor and no charges and he believes it's conceivable Saddam will never be tried.

VERGES: I am afraid because the case is too difficult for the state that the people who keep him provoke (unintelligible) and his death.

BITTERMANN: According to Verges, it was Saddam's nephew who contacted him about his defense but that is now in dispute.

(on camera): A Jordanian lawyer claims he heads Saddam Hussein's defense team sought out by Saddam's wife and daughter just two days after he was captured and he says that the Arab Union of Lawyers will also be involved.

Verges, though, brushes aside any hint of rivalry saying there are plenty of people who will want to see the ex-dictator's rights respected.

(voice-over): And that the Frenchman says will be his first step, attempting to make sure Saddam Hussein is well treated and has a chance to see a lawyer, any one of them.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: All right.

A moment ago you may have heard the French lawyer mentioning Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a potential witness, why? Let's flash back. The year 1984, the U.S. and Iraq were still allies.

Then Special Envoy Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad just three weeks after the U.S. publicly condemned Iraq's use of chemical weapons, Rumsfeld's mission improve relations between the two countries. Politics, as always, makes for very strange bedfellows.

Drinking your way to better health are you? Well the benefits of moderation ahead. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how to find bliss in a bottle perhaps.

Also tonight a former "Baywatch" actor spills sordid details of an alleged affair with the wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the media is just lapping it up. Why we think it is just wrong ahead.

And the ultimate boy scout. You're going to meet a 92-year-old hero who saved a man on the verge of suicide. This guy is going to make you feel good to know guys like him still exist. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well you have no doubt heard a lot about the latest studies that tout the health benefits of moderate drinking from reducing the risk of diabetes to preventing heart disease but there may have been so many studies, so many claims frankly we find it hard to keep it all straight.

Tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has our 360 "Fact Check."

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Let's try and settle this. For everyone who watches these reports and feels better about that beer or wine, well you can sort of. Here are the facts. One to two glasses a day may keep the doctor away but no more, maybe no less. That's the definition of moderate drinking. It can raise your HDL or good cholesterol and that may be good for your heart. Alcohol in combination with caffeine can limit the damage to your brain after a stroke even though it may not lower your risk of having a stroke.

Your risk of diabetes goes down with moderate drinking, according to the USDA and alcohol will actually improve insulin sensitivity in post menopausal women, a particularly vulnerable group.

And if that weren't enough, dementia rates decrease by half in those older adults who drink one to six drinks per week. Of course it turns out moderate drinking can mean different things to different people, so here are the numbers according to the latest research.

Two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women is a good guideline. Of course you should not drink if you are pregnant. And, if you want to get the best health benefits, don't drink your whole week's allotment at once. Remember, we're talking about moderate drinking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: All right, Sanjay, let's keep with the fact check here. Is all alcohol created equal? I mean is red wine the same thing as having a martini?

GUPTA: For the most part actually yes. That's surprising to a lot of people. A lot of alcohol is very similar. Red wine got a lot of play because people who drank it also had a healthier lifestyle and were healthier because of that but all the alcohols do provide some benefit -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, who should be more cautious than others about their drinking?

GUPTA: Well, this is an important point. There are people, there is a group of people who should be more cautious. Pregnant women we already mentioned. Also women at particularly high risk of breast cancer, if you've had an exposure to Hepatitis C in the past or, if you have a family or personal history of alcohol problems you should be particularly sensitive to increasing your alcohol intake.

COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the "Fact Check," appreciate it, thanks very much.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up a lot ahead, a media obsession and a man on a mission to make a buck an ex-model spills some serious dirt on the wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr., telling all after death. We think that is just wrong. We'll talk about that ahead.

Plus God on the campaign trail, playing on religion, serious beliefs getting out the vote. That is raw politics. And in debt but on top the ups and downs of the Donald, all that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We'll check our top stories in tonight's "Reset."

New York, no Tyco mistrial, the jury is still trying to reach a verdict in the grand larceny case against the two former top executives of Tyco International. A state judge today refused a motion for a mistrial after the lone juror holding out against conviction assured him she was not influenced by media coverage and could deliberate in good faith.

Washington now, a suit over the anthrax probe hits a bump. A federal judge today grudgingly granted government anthrax investigators another six months before he decides whether a bio- weapons scientist may question law officers for his pending suit.

Stephen Hatfield, the man you see there, is suing Attorney General John Ashcroft and other federal officials. He says they defamed him when they focused on him during the probe of deadly anthrax attacks back in the fall of 2001.

New Bedford, Massachusetts, oil spill fines, the owners of a barge that caused the huge Buzzard Bay oil spill last April are going to plead guilty to two criminal charges and pay a $10 million fine.

In New York, no smoking, no slump. Irish pub owners worrying over that country's new anti-smoking law may take some cheer from New York City's experience. A new report says tax receipts from bars and restaurants here have not dropped since the smoking ban went into effect. In fact, business has gone up nearly 9 percent according to this study.

In Tokyo, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks and sushi. Well, let's go to the ballpark. The New York Yankees take on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to open the baseball season Tuesday night. It is going to be far away for both teams. They are starting the 2004 season in Japan. The game should draw -- nearly 35,000 fans flocked to Tokyo Dome Saturday just to watch batting practice.

There is a new kiss and tell book hitting the shelves tomorrow. Now if you haven't already heard about it, you probably will. It is called "The Other Man" and purports to tell of an affair between an actor and Carolyn Bissett Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy Jr. The book is filled with stories of miscarriages, sex and scandal. We won't go into the tabloid details. We don't traffic in that stuff. We'll leave that to others.

In this celebrity-obsessed age, betraying your friends for cash is an entire industry and we think that's just wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): It has been four and half years since John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bissett, and her sister Lauren Bissett died in a plane crash off the Massachusetts coast. Four and a half years. If you thought the obsession with JFK Jr. and his wife showed any sign of abating, think again. The latest tell-all, "The Other Man" is billed, of course, as a love story. In it, Michael Bergen, a former Calvin Klein underwear model and former "Baywatch" star reveals his love by revealing every private uttering and every personal detail he can about the wife of JFK Jr. The media coverage is intense and about to get even more so. Bergin's book-selling blitz begins tonight with a primetime special. Who is conducting the very first interview? Why, his own publisher, of course, Judith Regan.

JUDITH REGAN, PUBLISHER: Did you feel you couldn't compete with him?

MICHAEL BERGIN, FMR. "BAYWATCH" STAR: Did I feel like I couldn't compete with JFK Jr.?

COOPER: In the special, we see Bergin weeping over what he says is his lost love. Once the tears are gone, Bergin proceeds to betray every confidence she presumably entrusted to him.

BERGIN: She threw it out there like what are we going to do, how are we going to do this, thinking that we're going to have the baby. And she said there's no way.

COOPER: Are the stories Bergin tells even true? We have no way of knowing and frankly, we don't know why anyone should care. The law says you can't libel the dead. But dragging their secrets into public spotlight for profit, we think that's just wrong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Are we the only one to think it is just wrong? Let's find out. I'm joined by ethicist Bruce Weinstein and Randy Cohen, a "New York Times" contributor also known as the ethicist. Appreciate both of you guys joining us. Now, Bruce, you think it is just wrong?

BRUCE WEINSTEIN, ETHICIST: It is wrong. There are two ethical questions. First, does Harper Collins have a right to publish this kind of book? The answer is, of course, this is a free society. But the second question is a little harder. Is it right for us to buy it and read it? And the answer to that question is it is wrong because it harms the memory of the dead and it harms our souls. That's why it's wrong.

COOPER: So the onus is on us not to purchase this book?

WEINSTEIN: Absolutely.

COOPER: Randy, do you agree?

RANDY COHEN, "NEW YORK TIMES" CONTRIBUTOR: I don't agree. I have not read the book so I can't judge the quality of the book but that's the essential question. It is a literary one not an ethical one. Oscar Wilde said there are no moral or immoral books there are only good and bad books. If he wrote a good book, fine. If he didn't, that's terrible. But that's a literary...

COOPER: But this is not really history. This is basically trading in the tawdry details of someone's personal life -- this is not the 9/11 Commission, this is not what the president was doing in the White House.

WEINSTEIN: There are a lot of kiss and tell books coming out. Richard Clarke's last week. There he had a duty to come forward because he was serving in a governmental capacity. He had information that the public had a right to know. The same with Hal Raine's (ph) kiss and tell article coming out next month in the "Atlantic Monthly." Again, it is in a very different moral category than this because this is just sleazy and degrading. Carolyn Bissett is not around to defend herself. This is a rubber necking syndrome, Anderson, because when we drive by a car wreck, we want to crane our necks. We know it is wrong. We know it's horrible, we shouldn't do it but we can't resist reveling in the gore and that's what this book is.

COHEN: By Bruce's measure, no history could be written, no biography could be written. If his criteria is the dead are not around to protect themselves but that's true of the biography of Benjamin Franklin that was so popular last year or Robert Carat's (ph) books about LBJ made a lot of people very angry because he traded on LBJ in a shameful way.

(CROSSTALK)

WEINSTEIN: I would never buy this but I would read it from a public library and that's what people should do. If you're really curious, get it from the public library but don't give this guy your money.

COOPER: But the people you name, Randy, are historical figures. It mattered what LBJ was thinking or doing in the White House because it might have affected policies that affect millions of people. It doesn't matter whether Carolyn Bissett Kennedy had an affair...

COHEN: That's a judgment for the readers to make. Any Mozart opera trades in the lives of ordinary. I believe TV journalists have been known to trade in the lives of ordinary people. If you do a good job, it tells us something meaningful about our time. Does this book? Who knows. Most books don't. Most aren't good. 15,000 books are published in America. How many of them are immortal works of journalism and literature? Nearly none. But those faults are the faults of a writer who just hasn't written well enough. They are not ethical faults.

WEINSTEIN: We have a right to write any kind of book we want. People have a right to buy it. What kind of harm does it do to us? This is the piece missing from the debate. We know Carolyn Bissett and her family and friends will be harmed by this book. What does it do to us when we read this kind of thing? That's the question I'm asking. That's the piece I think that's missing. I think the answer is clear. It damages our souls to read this kind of a book.

COOPER: We have to leave it there. Appreciate it. Now to the campaign trail. Today, Democratic challenger John Kerry and Dick Cheney trading talks from opposite sides of the country. Kerry on the stump in California where he's hoping to raise $20 million in 20 days. Tomorrow he plans to unveil an energy policy he says will combat record high gas prices. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney on the offensive in Washington. He's accusing Kerry of planning huge tax hikes. Calling him, quote, "one of the most reliable pro-tax votes in the Senate." Tit for tat.

Bush campaign effort to define Kerry on its terms appears to be working. A Gallup poll taken three weeks ago had Kerry leading Bush 52 percent to 41 percent. A new poll out tonight shows Bush moving ahead of Kerry 51 percent to 47 percent. Let's call on CNN political analyst Carlos Watson and CNN political editor John Mercurio in Washingon. Carlos, what do you make of the new poll numbers? The White House has to be happy. A 12-point move toward Bush over the last three weeks despite all this 9/11 Commission stuff.

CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good move for the president. In fact, over the last six weeks it has been a full 16- point swing. He was down 12 and now up four. Maybe more significantly, what's interesting is he's making his progress not using international foreign policy issues. I have seen him make progress on two domestic issues. One has been gay rights, which helped him secure his base, even though there was controversy over the constitutional amendment he suggested. Secondly, these ads on tax cuts in swing states are being effective for the president. You see his numbers move. While his highest numbers have come on foreign policy, he is gaining ground on domestic issues.

COOPER: And that opinion, it was -- it is now for Bush 57, for Kerry 53. Back in February it was 56 to 60. John, let's look at this other number. On the other hand, majority of the people polled believe the Bush administration is covering up its handling of intelligence prior to 9/11. Question, is the Bush administration covering up handling terrorism before 9/11. 53 percent said yes. 41 percent no. How big of a perception problem is this for the White House?

This is a big perception problem. I think other than the economy this is the biggest problem Bush faces in his reelection prospects. It's because it goes to his credibility. Remember, Bush is running for reelection as a war president, the war on terrorism so any dent in that credibility is -- on that issue is going to affect his overall approval rating on the topic. Now it's kind of interesting that Richard Clarke, the whole situation with Richard Clarke hasn't really affected his approval rating.

His favorable ratings dropped -- increased by one point. That's because Republicans have been able to sort of neutralize the issues by discrediting Richard Clarke during campaign season, I think a lot of people believe Richard Clarke might be a political hack. They accept that. What the Bush administration needs to do, I think, and a lot of Republicans agree is relent on this refusal to let Condoleeza Rice testify. I think the issue that could hurt him more than Richard Clarke's criticism is Condoleezza Rice. COOPER: Carlos, let's talk about that. Bush's numbers. The question, how is he handling terrorism? They have fallen since December. 58 percent approve of how Bush is handling terrorism. Back in December it was 65 percent. That has to be a concern for the White House where credibility on this issue seems to be a huge point.

WATSON: It is. In other polls the drop is more precipitous. One poll shows it going from 70 percent to 57 percent. There is some worry on this issue. I think we'll see more on this issue unfold. Remember that there will be a major 9/11 report released later this summer. That could end up being the third shoe to drop. Remembering that Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury secretary had tough things to say about the president's war on terror last fall. We now heard from Richard Clarke. The final shoe to drop may come this summer. So stay tuned, the story may not be over yet.

COOPER: John, the White House seems to have been able to define Kerry pretty well pretty early on. To the question, would your taxes go up if Kerry 's elected president? 58 percent said yes. 27 percent said no. They have to feel pretty good about this.

JOHN MERCURIO, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: That's a shocking number. One of the more interesting numbers in the poll. That's a big problem for Kerry. The Republicans believe they have seized on an issue. It is a result of the ads. The Bush campaign came out last week with an ad that said that in Kerry's first 100 days he would increase taxes by $900 billion. Another ad says that Kerry voted 350 times in the Senate to increase taxes, that Dick Cheney said today he's one of the most reliable pro-tax votes in the Senate. Kerry campaign quibbles with some of the numbers. They are trying to combat that. They went to Michigan last week and he unveiled a targeted tax relief plan and job creation plan. The problem -- a lot of money being spent. The problem for Kerry, he just doesn't have the money.

WATSON: Anderson, the one piece of good news, if you're John Kerry, if you look back to '96 when Clinton was running for reelection or Reagan ran in '84, at this point, both the incumbents had double- digit leads. So Kerry can say I'm not down by double digits, I'm down by four points. I'm raising serious money. $20 million in 20 days so there is still a little bit of good news for him.

COOPER: Let's leave it there. Carlos Watson, John Mercurio, good to have you on the program. Thanks very much.

John Kerry spoke at a church yesterday in Missouri. His comments drew a sharp review from the Bush campaign over bringing religion into politics. That is raw politics. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): In American government there is a division between church and state. In American politics the line is less clear.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The scriptures say what does it profit my brethren? If someone says he has faith but does not have works. When we look at what's happening in America today, where are the works of compassion?

COOPER: The Bush campaign calls Senator Kerry's remarks at a St. Louis church yesterday, quote, "a sad exploitation of scripture for a political attack." True or not, they are just the latest example of religion's appearance on the campaign trail. President Bush, a Methodist, has made faith an (UNINTELLIGIBLE) part of his presidency. He often makes biblical references in speeches.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I pray for strength. I pray for guidance. I pray for forgiveness.

COOPER: And it's clear about who he says is his favorite political philosopher.

BUSH: Christ. Because he changed my heart.

COOPER: John Kerry, a Catholic, is not ready to let the Republicans monopolize religious references. Since January, he's appeared at seven churches from different denominations. Religious beliefs aside, courting religious groups is clearly good politics. Six in ten Americans say religion is very important to them. 70 percent of Americans say they want their president to be religious. Born-again Jimmy Carter tapped into the southern Bible belt to win the White House in 1976. The religious rite was instrumental in Ronald Reagan's victory in 1980. Bill Clinton certainly understood the political power of religion. Candidates are often cautioned not to appear too secular. A criticism some directed toward candidate Howard Dean.

HOWARD DEAN (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore.

COOPER: Having a religion problem, as the "New Republic" put it, is not good for raw politics.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Coming up, turmoil at the Tyco trial over juror No. 4. Deliberations resume. Has the case been tainted? We'll talk to our legal expert on that.

Also tonight. Donald Trump. As the ratings for "The Apprentice" soar a cornerstone of his empire may be on the verge of bankruptcy.

And later on, you think there aren't any heroes anymore? You will meet a 92-year-old man who saved a man who tried to jump off a bridge and it is not the first time he has been a hero.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now "Justice Served." After days and notes, speculations and front-page headlines, the Tyco trial goes on. Today the judge refused yet another motion for mistrial in the corruption case against former executive Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz. The defense tried to argue that enormous publicity had ruined any chances for a fair outcome. No dice, said the judge. He then told the deadlocked jury, keep deliberating. Right now we're joined by 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.

How surprised were you that no mistrial was called.?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this case is so interesting. Who thought Wall Street trials could be so fascinating? Martha, now this. Poisonous (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in the jury room, throwing OK signs, I am surprised but at the end of the day they don't have any other alternate. Even the prosecution is vested in this trial and they want to see if they can get verdicts on some of these counts and the judge has an obligation to try and help the jury work through it. Today, we saw they asked specific questions and appear to work through it. It sets up an instant thing for appeal.

COOPER: Juror No. 4, this lady who allegedly flashed some sort of a sign, some people call it, like, an OK sign allegedly at the defense, not quite clear, seems to be grounds for an appeal one way or the other, however the ruling goes.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Yes. I think you're right. If there are any convictions on any counts in this case, I will tell you that the defense better file that appeal before they even leave the building. Not necessarily that it will be successful but it does set up very good grounds and even the prosecutors have to be worried about that.

COOPER: But there are rules of conduct for jurors and this would seem to cross it.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: She definitely broke the rules and she's a lawyer to boot so she should know better.

COOPER: Never practiced though, apparently.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: That's correct. Nevertheless, when you go to law school, they teach you things like this. Maybe she was absent that day. Absolutely. The jurors were admonished about not having contact with the parties in this case. They are told ahead of time that attorneys can't speak to you et cetera so this was a flagrant disregard and, I guess, showing that she's digging in, letting defense know that...

COOPER: A tidbit of information from an alternate juror who was dismissed before deliberations really began. He said that at the point where he left he would have gone for not guilty. How accurate a predictor are alternate jurors, from juries you've worked on in the past?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: They can be accurate. There tends to be consensus one way or the other. However, in this case, from the previous notes we found out about on Friday, they seemed that they have reached verdicts or made consensus on some counts and that they're leaning towards guilty and that this juror presumably would be the holdout juror. So it doesn't quite appear to jive with what we're seeing just with juror No. 4.

COOPER: All right. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. Thanks very much. Fascinating case. From Tyco we go to Trump. On his hit TV reality show the Donald challenged his young apprentices to lure gamblers into his casino the Taj Mahal which in reality is in some serious financial trouble. Gary Tuchman has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is Donald Trump, the businessman.

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: This is a tough one. You're fired.

TUCHMAN: And now Donald Trump the TV star thanks to "The Apprentice." Could Trump be headed for a fall because of money problems? It is a question posed by the "New York Times" and one Trump has been familiar with. Back in 1990 a somewhat reluctant New Jersey casino board granted permission for Trump to receive a loan so he could keep his casinos open.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Trump, were you stunned at all by the criticism the board gave?

TRUMP: Not at all. I won a great victory. I'm happy as hell. Thank you very much.

TUCHMAN: Brash then. More brash now.

ROGER GROS, "GLOBAL GAMING BUSINESS MAGAZINE": I think we will see him come through this with flying colors.

TUCHMAN: But "TIME" says his casino holdings are mired in nearly $2 million in bond debt. But his portfolio now is much more extensive.

GROS: There are going to be more people that want to be involved with him that will put up money to bask in the Trump glow.

TUCHMAN: And not so shockingly, Trump exudes confidence.

TRUMP: My company today is a much bigger, stronger company than it ever was in the 1980s or 1990s.

TUCHMAN: So what would it take for him to fall? A publicist who did some work for Trump during those tough times more than a decade ago says...

KENT HOLLAND, PUBLICIST, PLESSER ASSOCIATES: Unless he shot one of the apprentices onscreen, there is no way Donald Trump will not continue his run until he wants to stop it.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Did he say unless he shot an apprentice? That would bring in huge ratings. A story with two happy endings. Find out how a 92-year-old hero saves a man from jumping off the bridge.

On the current, termite attack trouble for the folks over at "American Idol." All that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: All right, rock on. Time to check on some pop news in tonight's "Current." Let's take a look. A Hollywood production company has bought the rights to the story of the girl who was found alive six years after she was presumed dead. It's a six-figure deal. Some Hollywood executives argue it could have been a seven-figure deal if she was dead just a little bit longer. Hollywood is a very tough town.

The contestants from "American Idol" complained to producers that the house they were sharing was infested with termites. It was so bad the group threatened not to sing on the show if the bugs weren't removed. Memo to producers: More termites. Just maybe about a couple of them.

A contributor to the heartwarming "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books was arrested in Georgia this week for allegedly going on a drunken rampage. Law enforcement officials were concerned, but some publishers are excited this could spawn a whole new line of books, "Scotch and Whiskey for the Soul." And (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

And a writer says the ancestors of Elvis Presley came from a remote town in Scotland. He traces the King's beginnings back eight generations to 1713, when the fair maiden Elsbeth Legg (ph) married Andrew Presley (ph), who turns out looks a lot like the King. Take a look. See? Similarity is just striking. Who knew polyester back then? Did not know that.

Well, a 92-year-old man in Lowell (ph), Massachusetts is being hailed as a hero. George Kouloheras tackled a homeless man who was about to throw himself into a rushing river. I talked with George, asked him what he did after he saw the man straddling the railing of the bridge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE KOULOHERAS, 92-YEAR-OLD HERO: I went just beyond him so I could be on his backside so he wouldn't be able to see me. And I parked my car and got out. At that same time, this other gentleman further up the street was walking towards him. And I waved to him to kind of slow down, because I didn't want him to get up there too soon and actually force him, you might say, in order to jump.

So we got up there just about simultaneously. I grabbed him from the back and dragged him to the ground. The other man helped me. And then as I got him to the ground, I jumped right on him because I was concerned. I didn't know whether he was going to battle me and maybe throw me over and get up and go ahead and commit what he was trying to do. COOPER: You get him down, you wrestle him down to the ground. Did he say anything to you?

KOULOHERAS: I wrestled him down to the ground. What are you doing, I says? Life is wonderful. You don't want to commit suicide. Life is great, I says. And he said, God wants me to die. I said, no, God doesn't want you to die. He brought you here for a purpose. And let's stay and maybe you can reach my age, I said to him kiddingly.

COOPER: You're 92 years old?

KOULOHERAS: Yes. I am 92, yes.

COOPER: Did you worry for your own safety at any time?

KOULOHERAS: No, no, I did not at any time worry about my own safety. I want to be honest with you. I think at a time like that, you get extra strength to do certain things that perhaps you wouldn't do -- be able to do. But God gives you that extra strength in order to do what I did. And I'm glad that I was able to save a person.

And it was sort of deja vu for me, because 80 years ago as a boy scout, I saved a child from a burning building.

COOPER: So wait a minute. When you were 12 years old, 80 years ago, you saved a child from a burning building?

KOULOHERAS: Yes. There was this tenement block, and it was on fire as I was going by. So I ran into the house, got everybody out of the house, ran right next door to it, there was a fire alarm box. Put in the fire alarm. And then I ran back out, and there was this lady wringing her hands and saying, my baby is upstairs. My baby is upstairs.

So I did what every Boy Scout -- what we're taught as Boy Scouts to do. I ran into the house, went upstairs. And there was the baby in the crib. So I picked it up, put a shawl around its head, I brought him downstairs and I handed him over to the mother.

COOPER: And still, 80 years later, at the age of 92 you are still a very good Boy Scout, still saving people.

KOULOHERAS: Well, that's what somebody else had said to me, that I was still a scout.

COOPER: You're an inspiration to a lot of people. I appreciate what you've done and for talking about it with me. Thank you.

KOULOHERAS: You're welcome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: An original.

E-mails from the grave coming up just ahead on "The Nth Degree." A new Web site lets people turn final words into spam. Plus tomorrow, no time for bedtime. Why many of us are not getting enough sleep. I told you. Find out why and what it might mean for you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight, taking last words to "The Nth Degree." Don't you hate when you think of the perfect thing to say, but it's too late? The door has been slammed, the phone is put down, the other car has pulled away? Well, that problem may now be a thing of the past. See, a new Web service called Lastwishes.com allows you to compose a final e-mail message, sassy, snappy, sappy, whatever, which will be sent out once you're -- how shall I say this? Dead.

Think of it, spam from the grave. I told you I wasn't feeling well. Where is that five bucks you owe me? Elvis is so dead I'm looking right at him. You were never my first choice.

Too bad the wonderful writer and Oscar-winning actor Peter Ustinov didn't know about the Web site. He was once asked what he wanted on his tombstone. He replied, "Keep off the grass." After a long life well spent, Sir Peter died yesterday at the age of 82. Let's hope an e-mail is coming.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."

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