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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Abortion Controversy, Women Tricked Into Having Babies; Kobe Bryant Case Collapsing?

Aired August 11, 2004 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
WILLIAM GRAHAM, DEFENDANT IN LAWSUITS: I have nothing to say.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): He advertised under abortion services. But when women called for help, they say they got the runaround.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: False advertising, fraud.

GRAHAM: I cannot fathom how I can be accountable for something I had nothing to do with.

ZAHN: Until it was too late.

JANE DOE, PLAINTIFF: They gave me a number to another doctor and I went to that doctor and they told me that I was too far along.

ZAHN: Women looking for help, ending up in a federal court.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.

We begin with a compelling story of a young woman caught up in a very difficult personal battle touched off by one of our nation's most controversial, emotional and divisive issues, abortion, which provokes such strong feelings that people will resort to almost any tactic to get their way. Tonight, the waiting game.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): About a half dozen women say William Graham tricked them into having babies they didn't want or can't support. For more than 10 years, Graham ran an ad in phone books under abortion services. He used the name Causeway Center For Women, strikingly similar to the Causeway Medical Clinic, a genuine abortion provider, which is also suing him.

SUZANNE NOVAK, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: There is no actual facility. There is no address given. It's simply a name that looks and sounds a lot like Causeway Medical Clinic and has done so intentionally.

ZAHN: The women say they called Graham looking for help to get an abortion. He would warn them that clinics often botch procedures and left women sterile. They say he would promise to put them in touch with private doctors who would see them on Saturdays in hospitals for a price less than half of what a clinic charged. Then the women allege Graham would week after week cancel and reschedule appointments, stalling until it was too expensive or too late legally to terminate their pregnancies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He intentionally postpones it, so she could have this baby.

GRAHAM: I have nothing to say. I don't want to be on the cameras.

ZAHN: Graham, who has avoided on-camera interviews, says his intention was to maintain the health and welfare of the women who called them.

GRAHAM: We're not going to send you to clinics that advertise they do terminations and that's because of the ongoing history they all have of injuring women.

ZAHN: Last week, a federal judge ordered him to stop taking calls from women who seek abortions. Now, anyone calling the Causeway Center For Women hears this message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're sorry, you've reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And we will hear from William Graham in a few minutes.

But joining is first one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, a 22- year-old college student from the South who has asked that we not reveal her identity. Her 3-month-old baby was born prematurely. Also joining us is her lawyer, Susan Novak, who is a staff attorney with the Center For Reproductive Rights.

Welcome. Glad to have both of you with us tonight.

So, Jane, describe to us what happened when you called this hot line potentially looking to have an abortion.

JANE DOE, PLAINTIFF: When I called the hot line, he did inform me that he was a referral service for abortions. And I asked him was he Causeway Medical Center. And he said -- he avoided the question, but he did say that he referred women to specific doctors that would do the operation. And basically he just -- we had a very long, drawn- out conversation, I want to say about an hour or so.

And he was very comforting and soothing with his voice and very knowledgeable. And in the conversation, he was able to downplay the facility that I already had an appointment with and saying that they were a butcher shop and that they had 40 to 50 pending lawsuits already. And he actually said that he used to work for the facility.

ZAHN: At what point did you finally realize that he was not who you thought you were talking to?

DOE: The point that I realized was when I had to go to the doctor for preterm labor. And I was in there and I was mentioning my story to one of the nurses that was in the room with me. And she had said that she had heard a story similar to that.

And one of my good friends was in the room with me. And we kind of looked at each other and was, you know, was still hoping that maybe he was real. And so they gave me a number to another doctor and I went to that doctor and they told me that I was too far along.

So then I finally went to the clinic I was supposed to go to at first. And when I mentioned the story to them at first, they kind of stopped me in my tracks and basically told me the story, my story that I was telling them. And I was like, oh, my gosh. He's not real.

ZAHN: So, basically, what happened after your initial conversation, you thought you had signed up to have an abortion and then you would call and then he would delay the appointment?

DOE: Right.

ZAHN: So you got to a point in your pregnancy then where no one would abort this child?

DOE: It was illegal to.

ZAHN: You were desperate to end this pregnancy. Why?

DOE: By the time that I found out that I was pregnant, it was late and it was later on in my pregnancy. And I was looking more out for the health issues of the baby, because being a college student, I do -- I do, you know, interact in college activities.

ZAHN: And that means drinking, smoking?

DOE: Or, you know, college activities.

ZAHN: Do you do drugs?

DOE: College activities is what I do, college activities, whether it's, you know...

ZAHN: Things that could have been harmful to the health of the baby?

DOE: Right, harmful to the health of the body.

And plus, I did not -- I was not receiving prenatal care or anything of that nature. So I was kind of worried about that. And plus, it was just not the time, you know?

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: And wasn't there a point where you became so desperate that you even hit your own stomach up against the wall? DOE: Yes.

ZAHN: To try to terminate this pregnancy?

DOE: I would do -- mentally, I was not -- I wasn't in the mind- set of being rational. I would try to do things that I would destroy the baby, in hopes to destroy the baby, because it just wasn't the time. And I had been deceived and I was in a very confusing state. I was in a vulnerable state and somebody was able to manipulate me and take advantage of me.

So I would hit my stomach or I even went as far as taking birth control pills, several at a time, would drink and lay on my stomach or, you know, hit it, hit myself or hit it against the wall or different things of that nature just to basically end my pregnancy.

ZAHN: People hearing your story might be shocked by this cruelty that you're talking about, but I'm not sure they understand why you were so desperate not to have this baby. You were worried about supporting the baby. What was your other concern, besides the health of the baby?

DOE: I was worried about financial student. Right now, I'm a college student. I'm still dependent on my family. I do not work, so I don't have an income. I do, you know, side jobs as far as dance, but I don't -- you know, I don't work, so I don't have an income to support a child. And, plus, it's my right. I do have a right and I don't think anybody should infringe on my rights or impose their beliefs and opinions on me.

ZAHN: Did you consider any other options, like adoption?

DOE: I did consider adoption. I did. And, actually, up until the point when I was at the hospital and I had to make that decision, I was unable to make the decision because of how emotionally attached I became to the baby.

And I just -- I couldn't see myself doing it. After everything that I had been through, after all of the obstacles and everything and the barriers that I had come across, I just couldn't see myself getting rid of something that was a part of me, something that I actually gave birth to.

ZAHN: So when you look at this beautiful, brand new baby boy, is there a part of you that can't even believe that you considered having an abortion at one point?

DOE: Now that I look back on it, at times, yes, I do. I think about that. But the point is, he manipulated me in my most vulnerable state and one of the confusing times of my life. And I went to him for help and support. And that's what he was offering, but he did not initially offer what he said he was going to offer.

He has -- he has beliefs and opinions. And I don't necessarily agree with that, but it's not right for him to impose his beliefs on me. ZAHN: And, Suzanne, when your team talks about seeking justice, what is it you want?

NOVAK: All of us at the Center For Reproductive Rights and the other attorneys at Morrison & Foerster and Rittenberg & Samuel want this man to be stopped, want this operation stopped.

ZAHN: He has been stopped, though, hasn't he?

NOVAK: He's been stopped preliminary. That was a ruling we got last week. While the lawsuit progresses, he was forced to shut down his phone number, discontinue advertising that he provides abortion referral services and stop holding himself out falsely.

But the case will proceed. And, at the end, when we have a trial or something similar, then the judge will make a determination whether or not he needs to stop for good and if and how much damages will be awarded.

ZAHN: Jane, a final thought from you on what you want people to know about your story.

DOE: Basically, I want people to be aware of the situation. And there are numerous people out there who actually do the same thing. And I want them to be aware, basically. And I want him to be stopped, along with other people. So I feel like he should suffer some consequences, so where it will make other people rethink doing this to somebody else, because, really, it's changed my life drastically, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It's changed my life. I'm blessed to still be here.

ZAHN: And yet it's not a totally unhappy ending for you.

DOE: Right.

ZAHN: Because you have a healthy little boy.

DOE: Well, yes.

ZAHN: Well, we thank you both for sharing the story for us.

NOVAK: Thanks for having us.

ZAHN: And William Graham now joins us on the telephone.

Thanks for joining us tonight, sir.

First of all, your reaction to what Jane Doe had to say this evening, that when she called you, you led her to believe that you were going to help her get an abortion and, in the end, you tricked her; you deceived her?

GRAHAM: Jane Doe's statement is typical, in that they're jolted through the plaintiff's views of what others perhaps believe.

I did say that I can help and I did say that we can schedule her with a private OB-GYN, who can best assure her health and welfare can be maintained. I did not say that that other facility is a butcher shop or that I worked for Causeway Medical Center. I have been or have worked as a volunteer at Causeway and other abortion clinics years ago. I did not impose any beliefs for or against.

ZAHN: Sir, I'm having trouble understanding what your goal was here. Was it to prevent women from having abortions or not?

GRAHAM: No, it's not to defend -- to prevent them from having an abortion. Abortions are legal. The concern that we have is that a woman's health and welfare will be maintained.

You cannot get that assurance when you go to a place whose history of injuring women is very ongoing, very profound. That's why we would send them to -- we can only send them to a place that can assure that their health and welfare will be maintained.

ZAHN: Let me ask you this. Has there been any case of an individual woman who called you for a referral who ultimately went on to have an abortion?

GRAHAM: I wouldn't know that. That's not something we would try to follow up on. That would be between her and the physician in the privacy of that doctor's facility. We have no reason to know that.

ZAHN: We're going to have to leave it there this evening. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

GRAHAM: You're very welcome and I appreciate the opportunity. I hope we've helped.

ZAHN: And that federal court case is expected to get under way sometime in the fall.

Coming up next, sex, lies and telephone tapes, Scott Peterson's ex-mistress and another dramatic day in court.

Also, a change of course for the Kobe Bryant rape trial -- that when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Today at Scott Peterson's murder trial, more drama, as the jury heard the tapes, hours of phone calls between him and his onetime mistress, Amber Frey.

Police had asked Frey to record the conversations after she went to them when she learned that Peterson was suspected of killing his pregnant wife, Laci. This was Frey's second time, well, not really on the stand, because all you heard was the audiotapes today and a very brief appearance on her part.

And joining us from Redwood City, California, to tell us about that, Kelly St. John of "The San Francisco Chronicle," who has been in the courtroom today. And with us here, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Welcome to both of you.

KELLY ST. JOHN, "SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE": Thank you.

ZAHN: So give us the headline from the tapes today, Kelly. What was significant?

ST. JOHN: Well, it wasn't necessarily that Scott Peterson confessed to murder. It was more the idea that -- we heard hours and hours of inane teenage-like love-struck conversations between him and Frey, you know, a week after his pregnant wife was missing. It just doesn't seem like the kind of conversation a man who was worried about his wife would have.

ZAHN: Tell us about the section of the tape that I am told some jury members responded to, when he was talking about the need for independence and making a reference to, as he called it, Jack Cadillac, but Jack Kerouac.

ST. JOHN: Yes. He had been reading a book by Jack Kerouac. And he was talking about basically that he really hadn't ever had a period in his life where he was free from responsibility. And that piqued the interest of a lot of people in the courtroom, because it just sounded like maybe he might be free of something and -- or wanting to have that freedom.

ZAHN: Did that seem particularly damaging to you, Jeffrey?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I don't presume to know what's going through the jurors' minds.

But I do know there are jurors in cases somewhat like this who get a little offended by putting the defendant on trial for something he's not accused of. This is a horrible guy. He's a deceiver. He's an adulterer. He did terrible things, but this is not proof of murder. I mean, it really just isn't. Maybe it's proof of motive, but I don't find it terribly incriminating based on what I've seen.

ZAHN: Did you, Kelly?

ST. JOHN: I think the worst thing is basically if you remember what was going on in Modesto and that all the Rochas were frantically searching for Laci and even Scott's own parents was frantically searching for her. And then you kind of wonder, why is this guy spending an hour in the middle of the night inanely talking about his favorite movie with this woman he's trying to get into bed?

TOOBIN: Let's talk about that movie for a second.

Gloria Allred, who is Amber Frey's lawyer and kind of a prosecution surrogate, she said, it's a big deal that his favorite movie was "The Shining," which is a movie where a crazy guy tries to kill his wife.

I mean, so what? So what that that's his favorite movie? I mean, I can't even imagine a prosecutor with a straight face making the argument that, because his favorite movie is a movie where a guy tries to kill his wife, therefore, he killed his wife.

ZAHN: The defense should have put you in the jury pool there, Jeffrey Toobin.

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: Well, I don't know whether he's guilty or not. But I just think that is just not a serious argument that the guy is guilty.

ZAHN: Kelly, let's come back to Amber and how she sounded in these recordings. Obviously, the jury has come to know that police asked her to make these recordings. How did she come across?

ST. JOHN: You know, it's funny. You're listening to a woman who was pretty good at what she was doing. She kept trying to steer the conversation.

And, yet, she also kind of came across at the same time sort of teenager-ish, a really high, bubbly voice. It's kind of funny to sit there and listen to a tape recording, where you know that two people are lying to each other, essentially. It's kind of a strange experience.

ZAHN: Did it seem overtly manipulative, Jeffrey?

TOOBIN: Well, it is manipulative. But I don't think that is a problem.

Law enforcement people use manipulation all the time. They deceive suspects into thinking that they're talking to people who haven't flipped. And that's perfectly appropriate. But the problem is what he said. I mean, he didn't say, I killed his wife. He didn't say, I planned to do anything illegal. It's mostly, it seems to me, flirtatious conversation with a woman he's trying to sleep with.

And, remember, he only met her on November 20. The prosecution's theory is that between November 20 and December 24, when Laci disappeared, he was suddenly so overcome with love for Amber Frey, he had to kill his wife? I'm not saying it didn't happen, but it's not the most plausible story in the world.

ZAHN: Certainly something to think about.

Jeffrey Toobin, as always, thanks for your time, Kelly St. John, yours as well.

ST. JOHN: Thank you.

ZAHN: When we come back, a surprise move that could short- circuit Kobe Bryant's criminal trial next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: NBA star Kobe Bryant might have to wait a little longer to go on trial. His sexual assault case is scheduled to start 16 days from now, but, today, the prosecution asked the judge for a delay. And that request comes one day after the alleged victim in the case filed a civil suit against Bryant.

To sort out where this all may be going, we turn now to two courtroom veterans. Pamela Hayes is a former sex crimes prosecutor, now a defense attorney. Also with us, criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman.

We're heavy on attorneys tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: Welcome to both of you.

MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hold on to your wallet.

ZAHN: Where is this criminal case going? Nowhere?

SHERMAN: It's going home. This is over.

PAMELA HAYES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It's toast.

SHERMAN: It's over.

HAYES: Unfortunately. It's sad.

ZAHN: Why are you so convinced of that?

HAYES: There's nothing they can do in it. They have an uncooperative witness who really doesn't want to go forward, who would rather take her chance in a criminal -- excuse me, a civil arena. And I don't think the prosecution can get ahold of her and put her in a spot where they need to have her.

SHERMAN: When you have a victim on the stand, the idea is that the victim should be there because they want to see justice prevail.

The first question on cross-examination, since yesterday, now becomes, and, by the way, if he's convicted, you get money out of this deal, don't you? She has a financial stake in the interest of this case. That just totally disqualifies her. It poisons her. And the prosecutor knows that. Everyone knows that.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So why did the prosecution team allow for that to happen?

HAYES: Well, they have no control over her bringing a civil lawsuit. She has every right.

ZAHN: That may be true, but they are a team. Don't they sit her down and say, look, this will directly lead to your having no credibility?

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: We're talking two teams here. SHERMAN: Yes.

HAYES: You have the civil team looking at money and we have this prosecution, who wanted to look for justice. And, unfortunately, they didn't get together and put two and two together and understand that you got to do things right.

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: You're asking for her to put her faith in the system that can't even control the outflow of information from the courthouse. This woman had enough. I think she was in over her head.

ZAHN: Had enough. It has not been fair to her, has it, in the release of the documents?

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: The prosecution would argue there was a document drop that really made her look very bad and the prosecution did not have a chance to respond.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: They have a chance. They have a chance. This information was going to come out anyway. Unfortunately, it came out a little before the actual trial, but I think they could have overcome it.

ZAHN: A little before? It completely ruined her credibility, did it not?

HAYES: But it's coming out anyway. The jury is going to hear it.

SHERMAN: At whose

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: The jury is going to hear it.

SHERMAN: If, in fact, she had sex after the alleged rape.

ZAHN: With another man?

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: With another man, that is the end of the road.

HAYES: That's it.

SHERMAN: No jury is going to convict her.

ZAHN: But isn't that what is suggested in this document that's floating around?

SHERMAN: I don't think it's suggested. I think it's exactly laid out.

HAYES: It's true.

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: Yes. Yes.

HAYES: That's what happened. They did the DNA test. They got two different DNA, none of which was Kobe. The ball game is really over.

SHERMAN: Yes.

ZAHN: You said this is very sad.

HAYES: It's sad.

ZAHN: Why?

HAYES: Because it's sad for rape victims.

A prosecutor needs to have control of his or her case. Before they run off, try to get an indictment or they proceed with information, they need to know what's happening. In this instance, I think they really rushed. They didn't sit down. They didn't do a proper investigation. And now they're caught short. They should have known what they had on those panties before they got anywhere near this case.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Did the prosecution blow it, Mickey?

SHERMAN: Yes, yes. I don't think they should have brought the case and I think they should have had more control.

But, again, they get the case that they're given. They cannot create the evidence or not create the evidence. The problem here, as Pam points out, it's sad and it could be a bad message to other people. This should not be the message that rape victims should not come forward.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: But it does have a chilling effect on rape victims who want to come forward, does it not?

SHERMAN: No. Only in this particular case, this is what happened. This is not a uniform ruling that should control other people. Rape victims out there should not look at this and say, wow, this is going to happen to me. This is a very, very uncommon case.

HAYES: And the other thing is, everybody who says they're raped, that isn't a case at all. There are some people who make this up.

ZAHN: Well, sure. HAYES: And, unfortunately, her bringing this civil suit gives everybody a reason to think this is why she said it. And this is what they were trying to preclude.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: That she was hunting for money.

HAYES: Yes.

SHERMAN: It's an exit strategy to be able to get out of this and say, hey, the lawyers were really unfair. This court screwed up everything. They're letting all this garbage in. I'm getting out of here and I'm just going to go for the money. That was just a kind of -- I think a P.R. move to make this case go away.

ZAHN: All I know is, if I'm in trouble, I'm going with the two of you.

SHERMAN: You got it.

HAYES: OK.

SHERMAN: Get her billing address.

HAYES: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: And what are you billing at now these days, Mickey? Come on, $100, $400, $500?

(CROSSTALK)

SHERMAN: Oh, come on.

ZAHN: He's not going to reveal it. They're expensive.

SHERMAN: I'm here to see justice done.

ZAHN: I know, always seeking justice.

(LAUGHTER)

HAYES: Right.

ZAHN: Pamela Hayes, Mickey Sherman, thank you both.

HAYES: Thank you.

ZAHN: On we move now to politics and the latest squabble between the candidates. The president asks a question. The challenger answers it. It's campaign quiz time when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: And we turn now to the presidential race and the points President Bush is trying to score this week, thanks to this statement Democrat John Kerry made on Monday about the decision to go to war in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it's the right authority for a president to have. But I would have used that authority, as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively. I would have done this very differently from the way President Bush has.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Senator Kerry now agrees with me, that even though we have not found the stockpile of weapons we believed were there, knowing everything we know today, he would have voted to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power. I want to thank Senator Kerry for clearing that up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And joining us now from Washington, "CROSSFIRE" co-hosts James Carville and Robert Novak. Glad to have both of you back. Welcome.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Nice to be here.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: So James, how much ammunition did John Kerry give the president for his campaign this week?

CARVILLE: Well, none. I mean, it's the president of the United States that has completely messed this war up. It's the president of the United States sent American troops in inadequate number and inadequately armed, inadequately supplied.

It's the president of the United States who engaged in a policy of de-Ba'athication. It's the president of the United States who put this -- who put the coalition provisional authority, which was a disaster in there.

It's the president of the United States that didn't get international support for this. It's the president of United States...

NOVAK: How long will this go on?

CARVILLE: ... that is responsible for the inept conduct of this war. And his effort to try to blame Senator Kerry for his ineptitude and incompetence is not going to sway one voter anywhere.

NOVAK: Paula, what the situation is, is that he has -- John Kerry is leading a party where, by the polls show that more than half the members want to get out of Iraq unconditionally.

They were against going in. They were against his voting going in.

And now he says -- he's asked the question -- I think if he had somebody as smart as James Carville advising him, he would have taken a pass on this, but they had been taunting him to say, "If you knew now -- if you knew then what you know now, would you still vote?"

He said, "I would still vote to go in, but I would just do it differently." Well, that really weakens the argument against George Bush. And you take a look at the body language of John Kerry, he doesn't look comfortable with this position.

CARVILLE: First of all, he said he'd vote to authorize it. I could make the case the vote to authorize it was actually worked. You had 236 U.N. inspectors that were in there for 90 days.

Had the president not been so incompetent and would have left those U.N. inspectors in there, we probably wouldn't have had anything close to this. I could make that argument.

But, again, what the president is trying to do is trying to not accept responsibility for the ill planned disaster that he's gotten the United States in the middle of.

And you can't -- you can't escape that when you're president of the United States. That's the problem.

ZAHN: Is that what he's trying to do here, Bob Novak?

CARVILLE: Of course he is.

NOVAK: Here's the -- here's the situation. What -- what the smart Democrats, like Carville, want to do is not talk about John Kerry's position. They want to talk about George Bush's position.

And I think in secret, James will agree with me 100 percent, Kerry was trapped! He got in the position the president was taunting him and saying, "What would you do?"

And suddenly, all the headlines, all the news is not on Bush, where the Democrats want it to be. It's on whether Carville -- whether Kerry -- it's hard to keep them apart -- would have still voted to go into Iraq.

ZAHN: All right. James, if you had been advising John Kerry, would you have told him not to answer this question, for this very reason? Because it's been fueling talk shows for days now.

CARVILLE: Paula, Paula, Paula, Paula.

ZAHN: Yes, yes, yes.

CARVILLE: Paula, the question is how incompetent was the planning for this war. I would have told John Kerry -- I don't second-guess myself. I voted that way. I had no idea that this president would send two few troops without being properly equipped without international support. This president, President Bush is the one who has mangled this entire thing you up. And to try to blame John Kerry for that is wrong on the president and is wrong on the press.

NOVAK: Why don't you answer her question?

CARVILLE: I said -- I said I wouldn't second-guess myself. I think he made the right vote to authorize, and if he thinks that, he's fine.

NOVAK: He says...

CARVILLE: How could he know he'd be this incompetent?

NOVAK: He says, "If you knew then -- if you knew now -- if you knew then what you know now, would you still vote for it?" Would you have answered that question?

CARVILLE: Yes, I would have said I would have voted to -- If he did this. He voted to authorize it. I could make the case that that was the right vote.

Nobody, not even any Bush supporter says that this president has conducted this war with any competence at all. Not anybody says that we did this thing the right way.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, you're having so much fun on this topic, I'm going to quickly move you on to topic of Alan Keyes, a man now who's being accused by some of being a carpetbagger for running for senator from Illinois.

Here is how he defended himself this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN KEYES (R), ILLINOIS SENATE CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton did what she did for the sake of her agenda of personal ambition, carefully planned and worked out over months, in which she was using and abusing the state of New York -- because she looked at several other states -- as a platform for her personal ambition.

I, on the other hand, have responded to the call of the people of Illinois who have asked me to come and help them with a crisis situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So, Bob Novak, crisis situation? He's not a hypocrite, because he responded to the call of duty within days, not within months? Is he a hypocrite or not?

NOVAK: There's a big difference between Alan Keyes and Hillary Clinton. Alan Keyes agrees with me and Hillary Clinton doesn't. So that's...

ZAHN: Thank you for clearing that up. NOVAK: That is a big difference.

And I -- I really do feel that it's embarrassing to have Alan's words thrown back at him, but carpet bagging is a big part of American politics. Bobby Kennedy was a carpetbagger. He never lived in New York, and when he got -- went up there in 1968 to run.

And the opponents are entitled to attack him.

CARVILLE: I think that the silliest thing is the people all over Illinois, people were begging Alan Keyes to run for the Senate. I mean, it might be any of those three things but one thing is sure is he's completely delusional that there was people from Illinois were begging Alan Keyes, that the Republican Party didn't have anybody to put up!

But I mean, this guy, you know, what difference does it make? Alan Keyes has run and lost for everything you can run for. I mean, he's just a perpetual loser. I mean, if he wants to go to Illinois and lose, that's his own business. I don't care if he's a carpetbagger or not.

ZAHN: All right. On this note of discord, we must end our conversation this evening. James Carville, Bob Novak, thank you for your time.

NOVAK: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Some notable political programs coming up on CNN.

Larry King will have an exclusive interview with President and Mrs. Bush tomorrow. You can see that at 9 p.m. Eastern.

And next week, a CNN election special. The pundits say Ohio could be the state that decides the November elections, so we are holding a one-hour town hall meeting there. We will be live from Canton next Wednesday with 200 likely voters as our guests, along with representatives from both the Bush and the Kerry campaigns.

The people of Ohio will ask -- will have a chance to ask both campaigns about the candidates' positions on issues that matter most to them: the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism. We hope you will join us for that special. That is next Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Coming up next, we turn from politics and perceptions to hard reality. Small measures of hope that add to a growing effort to save the children of Darfur.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Up to 30,000 people killed, more than one million homeless. Aid groups say those are the numbers in the crisis in the African nation of Sudan, which began early last year, when two rebel groups went to war.

The United Nations says it is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Well, today, the struggle is to deliver donated food.

Chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is in western Darfur.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little boy waits as though expecting manna from heaven, which is what this might just as well be.

Sacks of Sudanese sorghum, U.S. wheat, Canadian split peas in parcels falling from the sky and providing the villages of Habila their first food aid in three months.

Wave after wave, 414 tons in all over these few days. It's still just a drop in the desert, but a much needed one.

PETER SMERDON, U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: Getting food into West Darfur is trying to squeeze a watermelon through a keyhole, because the infrastructure is so small. The airport is small. It's difficult to get food in there, especially during the rainy season.

AMANPOUR: Because of the rains, the village of Habila is completely cut off. There's not an inch of paved road, and dirt tracks are now muddy gullies.

And from the air, despite the fresh-grown grass, evidence of the war that has burned the straw roofs off these huts, destroyed hundreds of villages and left more than two million people like these across Darfur entirely dependent on outside aid.

International relief workers are trying to save lives in a desperate battle against malnutrition. So far, it's struck at least 20 percent of the children here.

Late planning for this emergency and a slow response from donor countries means the U.N. is now making these expensive and inefficient airdrops. It's a last resort.

It looks impressive but it only amounts to a fraction of these people's monthly needs. In addition, violence continues.

(on camera) The U.N. is accusing the Sudanese government of resuming bombing raids against rebels in south Darfur. And it also says the displaced villagers like these are still being attacked by Janjaweed militia.

(voice-over) The vice governor of West Darfur denies that. He also denies reports that the government is forcibly trying to move people out of camps and back to their destroyed villages.

HABIB MAKHTOUM, VICE GOVERNOR, WEST DARFUR: There is not any violence. There is not any compulsive repatriation. It is just a voluntary participation.

AMANPOUR: In fact, most people tell us they won't go back home until there is proper security.

In the meantime, this is their fate: a desperate rush to retrieve whatever aid comes their way. The men are sent out to haul it back for distribution, and the women sweep and save every last grain from the sacks that exploded on impact.

And each family treasures the strict rations that are carefully doled out. After all, they don't know when they'll get their next delivery.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Joining us now, Ces Adorna, who is just back from Sudan after leading UNICEF's operations there for the past two months.

Good of you to join us.

CES ADORNA, HEADED UNICEF OPERATIONS IN DARFUR: Thank you for having me, Paula.

ZAHN: On your job, you have seen a tremendous amount of human suffering. What was the hardest part for you to take of being in Sudan for those two months?

ADORNA: It was very heartbreaking to be with groups of women speaking to you about what happened in their homes, being attacked by people and bombed. And they had to flee their homes with their children.

We had groups of women, particularly Kabalami (ph) with us in Darfur. This is perhaps the most heart-breaking moment for me in the region.

ZAHN: I'm sure it's very difficult for you to get the images of those women out of your mind.

ADORNA: It's very intense, and you don't leave Darfur just because you're back in New York. So it's -- it is a very intense experience for me.

ZAHN: Did you see any improvements while you were there?

ADORNA: Well, improvements in the sense that there have been more water and more latrines and more therapeutic feeding centers, more schools. This is something joyful to see, with children running and learning and showing you their notebooks.

There also have been measles immunization. We covered two million children in June. And we just brokered an agreement with the -- all parties to go forward measles immunization in rebel territories, probably covering 500,000 children.

So there have been improvements over the last months, but when you are out of your home, a million people, children included, this is still not at all a situation where you can say this is good. Children are -- remain at risks with diseases: cholera, malaria. And the very insecure situation where people are placed into is certainly a concern for the international community.

ZAHN: We heard in Christiane's report two different opinions. One, that the Sudanese government is sort of sabotaging this process by slowing down the process of getting food into these areas.

What is the truth? What is going on?

ADORNA: The government has facilitated the work of international committee over the last two months. I have been there.

Police have been provided in the Darfur region, but security continues to be a problem in the region. And this, until we have full security, people are not going to return to their homes.

Certainly the women we have spoken to, the families we have spoken to still are fearful of returning to their community. So this is one huge problem that we need to face.

ZAHN: There are monitors on the ground provided by the African Union, what, some three million of them or more so far. Is this enough?

ADORNA: This is minuscule compared to a region as big as France or bigger than France with very little logistics. So I think is this a good step in the right direction but still very small compared to the needs.

ZAHN: And what do those monitors do?

ADORNA: Well, they look at human rights violation. They look at the progress of security, of provisions. But as I've said, I think this needs to be made more robust and very soon for us to have a palpable impact on the security and movements of people.

ZAHN: What is your feeling about why there hasn't been a greater outcry to the suffering in Sudan? We have heard people describe the process of fatigue, suffering fatigue.

We have a war going on. We're watching Americans soldiers suffer, coalition forces suffer, and perhaps our hearts just aren't big enough to face and confront what's going on in Sudan.

What do you think it is?

ADORNA: Well, other people would be better at judging this, but what we are appalled is the fact that children do suffer in this humanitarian crisis. And all the attention required by children in these plights.

So we think that the international community and the governments need to focus more and need to be more proactive in this, whether it's Sudan or other countries. ZAHN: I got to the point where I almost couldn't look at those pictures tonight of the food being dropped, watching those bags explode, watching those women scrape the last kernels off the ground, just so they could get a little bit of the ration.

ADORNA: But it is reality. It is reality out there, and that situation needs a political solution very soon.

Humanitarian crisis is addressed by many of us working on the ground. It's not the permanent solution. This region has been neglected for many, many years. It would need not just a political solution right now, but development support for the next many years.

ZAHN: We salute your effort. Ces Adorna, thank you...

ADORNA: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: ... for spending some time with us tonight.

We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: We want to lighten up before we leave you tonight, and most people would do that by telling a joke. But the man you're about to meet doesn't just want to make you laugh. He also wants the encounter to be spiritually uplifting.

Here's Bruce Burkhardt with a man who takes Christian comedy seriously.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRAD STINE, COMEDIAN: Sweetheart, I love you to death. I'd die for you (ph). I don't care how many rugs you put around it. I don't care how many doilies are on it. I don't care how many candles you light. Listen up, sweetie, it's a toilet!

BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's a comedian you probably haven't heard of...

STINE: Oh, yes!

Reporter: ... yet, though he's been plying his trade for years.

STINE: The problem is not is it hot in the desert? The problem is why would you start a town there? What are your options? "Well, we don't have enough fuel to make it to the surface of the sun!"

BURKHARDT: But ever since Brad Stine decided a few years ago to be himself, his career has taken off.

STINE: Hey, he's a Christian comedian. Great. Where is your puppet? But...

BURKHARDT: A Christian and a conservative, points of view that are very much a part of the act.

STINE: I thank God the man in the White House was from Texas!

BURKHARDT: Another thing that stands out about Brad Stine, no profanity in the act. He's clean, but he's funny.

STINE: You're a weatherman! Thank you so much!

BURKHARDT: This is a regular stop on his comedy circuit, a Promise Keepers event, this one in Atlanta. That large gathering of men who come together for spiritual group therapy.

STINE: You got to love a place where you get, like, 17,000 men that can all use the woman's restroom and not have to put the seat down! Hallelujah!

BURKHARDT: Before the event, Brad showed me, kind of, how it all works.

STINE: Then we go through this magic door. This, by the way, is what we call high security. Are you kidding me? Nobody is going to penetrate this!

BURKHARDT: But behind the jokes, some rock hard convictions.

STINE: Every time, you know, Madonna hits the stage, she's preaching. Every time Britney Spears hits the stage, she's preaching. Every time Springsteen hits the stage, they're preaching.

They're saying, "Here is my art and I'm going to use this as a vehicle to say here's what I believe." I'm doing the same thing. The only thing that's been different about me, apparently, is nobody has ever said it from this side of the fence. Nobody has ever said it and been sane. I also happen to have a religious point of view that I'm not ashamed of.

If you think that being a Christian means that you can't be a cutting edge in your face comic, hang on, there's a new sheriff in town.

BURKHARDT: With his ranting, aggressive and even angry style, Brad is reminiscent of one of his comic heroes, someone you might not expect: George Carlin.

STINE: I think he's a great writer. He's the antithesis of me: hates Christians, hates God. Doesn't believe in him. But a good writer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about I give you a hug?

STINE: Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless you.

BURKHARDT: Brad is beloved by his natural constituency, Christians and conservatives, who following his performance and snap up all thing Brad: DVD's, his book "Being a Christian Without Being an Idiot," and even his picture.

But Brad believes his comedy should, and does, reach a larger audience.

STINE: What's, to me, the greatest thing about comedy is it can take on hard issues and try to find some humor in it, because there's so much anger right now.

No. 1, I am a conservative comedian. Listen to me, conservative comedian. One of two known to exist in the western hemisphere.

BURKHARDT: And a lot of that anger seems to be coming from Brad. Problem is, his religion doesn't allow too much of that.

STINE: I'm forbidden to hate people! Not that anybody comes to mind right off the bat -- France.

BURKHARDT: From jokes to Jesus, to politics, tricky terrain, pioneered by Brad Stine.

STINE: Because if you're a follower of Jesus, nothing matters but God! I'm God!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: No lack of passion there, is there? That was our Bruce Burkhardt reporting.

We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us.

Tomorrow, two whistle-blowers in the war on terror both say the FBI ignored their warnings about security and punished them for reporting it. We'll be back tomorrow night.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Have a good night.

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


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