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CNN IN THE MONEY
Website Has Students Rate Their Teachers; Kerry Seen as Winner of First Debate
Aired October 2, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the news now, it's been a day of escalating violence in Gaza between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. At least 12 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in four separate incidents. The violence comes as Israel tries to create a buffer zone against rocket attacks. We'll have a live report at 2:00 Eastern.
Hundreds of anti-war protesters turn out for a march to the White House from Arlington national cemetery. They carried cardboard coffins. Organizers say the marchers include surviving family members of those killed in the war.
The Mount St. Helens volcano remains in rumbling mode with more activity predicted by scientists. Yesterday's blast of steam destroyed some tracking gear on the mountain but it's described as minor compared to the 1980 eruption that killed 57 people.
I'm Andrea Koppel in Washington. We'll have more news at the bottom of the hour. IN THE MONEY begins right now.
CAFFERTY: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY, flawed but beautiful. The presidential debates just might have too many rules for their own good. Find out why they're important, even if they are a little stiff. A little stiff? Come on!
Plus, power to the pupils. We'll tell you about a Web site that lets the kids grade their teachers.
And the answer to a question that's plagued womankind for ages. What's up with guys who call and say they'll call and then they don't call? There is nothing you can't avail yourself of if you become a devotee of this program IN THE MONEY. Joining me a couple of the IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer.
So we're off and running with these debates, hijacked by the Democratic and Republican parties under some phony commission for the American way deal or something and choreographed tighter than a Broadway musical, 32 pages of this and that and the other thing. The first debate is over and I think it was Howard Fineman in "Newsweek" magazine, came up with one of the best lines ever. It was a consensus that Kerry probably outperformed the president. Howard Fineman, "Newsweek" put it this way. President Bush showed up with 35 minutes worth of material for a 90-minute debate. It was not his finest hour. ANDREW SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: I mean on the one hand though Jack, I think that I was kind of surprised that the candidates engaged each other as much as they did. I mean was actually impressed a little bit by that that they actually were able to go at each other more than I thought they were. I also thought that what you see is what you get. W. is W. English is a second language sometimes. John Kerry was board like as in two by four. And I mean as far as talking about the issues, I think they did a pretty good job.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNNFN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm not going to quote any polls or tell you what I thought, but I will tell you what the futures did after the debates. The futures have indicated the market does better when President Bush has been pulling away...
LISOVICZ: ... in the ratings over the last month. The futures dropped sharply. The market overall doesn't like uncertainty.
LISOVICZ: It wants the president to continue, likes its tax policies so that would indicate that it was not his finest moment.
CAFFERTY: There are also some indications that the polls about who's the likely winner of this thing have tightened a little bit, particularly in a couple of the battleground states like Florida and Ohio, where the president had managed to open up not an insignificant lead although it was still fairly close, but now apparently those numbers have tightened back up a bit.
SERWER: Bottom line, neither one ran away with it on that debate.
SERWER: I think it will be interesting to see, as we keep going here, whether we'll get any real traction on the next couple debates or it just sort of peters out.
LISOVICZ: And hopefully people will watch then.
SERWER: I think they did. The numbers are pretty good.
LISOVICZ: For the -- we have one coming up on the economy. We have a vice presidential debate.
CAFFERTY: We all want to see Cheney/Edwards.
SERWER: That will be fun.
CAFFERTY: That's going to be the best show business of the whole campaign.
SERWER: Almost as good as the show. CAFFERTY: Well, this year's presidential debate is going to feel like they're more about image that issues. Gee, what a switch. They come with a hefty set of rules as we've alluded to. They're practically scripted down to the last cough and twitch. But all those restrictions might be not such a bad idea for the candidates who want to deliver send a message. Richard Katula joins us now from Boston to talk about that. He is a communications professor at Northeastern University. Mr. Katula, nice to have you with us.
RICHARD KATULA, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Nice to be here, Jack. Thank you for having me on.
CAFFERTY: Our pleasure. Before we get into the rules of the debates and how they've changed, what did you make of the first go- around?
KATULA: I thought it was an old fashioned thrashing. I think it was John Kerry's best performance and I think it was George Bush's worst. I've seen every debate since 1960 and that was as clear a win as I've seen in all of them.
CAFFERTY: Were you surprised?
KATULA: Very surprised. I was very surprised. It was interesting, you talk about the rules. And one of the rules was supposed to be no split screens because that hurt Al Gore so much in 2000.
KATULA: And sure enough, I think it was Fox News was the pool team last night and I think it was yesterday afternoon, if I'm not mistaken they decided, they said, look you may have signed the agreement but we didn't. So we're going to do split screen. I think it hurt George Bush, don't you?
CAFFERTY: I think you're probably right.
KATULA: He looked angry. He looked petulant. He looked nervous. He drank enough water. I hope he was wearing a Depends last night. Must have drank a gallon of water last night. My bladder was hurting halfway through the debate and that's usually a sign of nervousness in public speaking. So he was defensive. He took every piece of bait that John Kerry dangled in front of him and all of that said, however, aside from all of the rules, I agree with what Andy said. Classic debate.
This debate, Jack, was about Iraq and I think the American people have to decide, have to make a critical decision next month which way do we want to go on Iraq? And I think in the next couple of days, you're going to see parsed out in shows like yours, "The New York Times" and so on, there are two clear visions here two clear plans and that respect this was an excellent debate because a side from all the rules and all the superficialities of appearance, I think the public now has a choice to make. SERWER: Richard, speaking of rules, what's your take on that? I mean we all complain so much about this thing was so orchestrated. But maybe it wasn't so bad. What could be done better?
KATULA: Well, I'll tell you what, I'm in favor of some of these rules. I do -- I do wish that the candidates could ask one another questions.
KATULA: And Jim Lehrer only had, I think, what was it 60 seconds discretion for each question. I think he should be allowed to do what he did in 2000, which was to engage the candidates in conversations where it seems appropriate for him to do so. I don't like the lights, too much. You know the red, yellow, green lights. And that sort of thing, but I would say that I don't think the rules overwhelmed the debate last night. In fact I think it was a classic.
LISOVICZ: OK. So the first one was a classic professor. The next one is a town hall meeting. It's not really a town hall meeting because everyone who's asking questions are either partisan Bush or Kerry. But what are some of the things that you'll be looking for there in terms of style because it should have a less I would imagine formal approach to this event.
KATULA: You're right, Susan. It's not the format I like the best, because everything is so scripted. These people are like robots reading the questions. That said, however, you guys know how ironic politics are. You would have thought George Bush would have won the debate on foreign policy. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if he comes on very strong in the next debate in the town hall format, even though it's the one that his group didn't want.
I'll tell you why. Because I think he's likable. And I think he's gracious. And I think he knows how to deal with ordinary people. I think his style is going to play better in the town hall format on top of which he knows, after last night, he's got to get his act together. So I would look for him to be very strong in the town hall debate which I think, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think it's on both domestic, foreign, I mean I think it's any questions you know, that they approve, is that right?
CAFFERTY: I'm not sure.
KATULA: It is, yeah, it is.
CAFFERTY: I think you're probably right. Let me ask you about this...
CAFFERTY: ...about this hijacking, for want of a better word of the debate format by the Republican and Democratic parties. The League of Women Voters used to run these things back in my day.
KATULA: Yes. CAFFERTY: And did a pretty good job of it. It seemed to me it was a little more out in the open. Now we got Vernon Jordan and Jim Baker in secret, negotiating the rules for debate that will ultimately determine who runs the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years. That wreaks to me. I don't know how you feel about it, but now you know how I feel about it and I'm interested in your response.
KATULA: We do live if a legalistic society and even shows like this have lots of rules and scripts and computer timing and so on and so forth. It's unfortunate, but that is sort of what we've come to. And I think that despite the rules, as I said before, I don't know if you would agree with me or not, but I thought that debate last night was quite revealing in terms of where each person, where each candidate stands on Iraq. And that bottom line, Jack, is what was most important. In other words, I don't think the rules overwhelmed the debate. I respect your opinion. But I wouldn't want it to go too much beyond this.
SERWER: Richard, we do have rules here, you're right and we're running out of time. So I hate for you to expose us like that. So very quickly, do you think the debate changed anyone's mind, though?
KATULA: Oh, big time.
KATULA: They always do. There are two critical decision points in any campaign. One, is when the candidates announce, the second one is during the debates and I wouldn't be at all surprised, I don't want to predict the future or speculate too much, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if you see a five or six-point swing. In the first debate in 2000, there was a seven-point swing. So this debate last night was critical. It gave John Kerry new life. It may even propel him into a dead heat in some of the swing states where he was falling behind and I think right now it puts the onus on George Bush for debates two and three. He really has to score big.
CAFFERTY: Who's going to win the election?
KATULA: No one knows that. You know, it's going to come down to the way it was in 2000. I think it's going to go in -- if you look at the tracking polls, the CNN tracking polls, you can see we're headed for 2000 all over again. You can see those lines flattening right in there. I will say this, though, Jack. I think the undecided voters make up a larger percentage than the polls are showing. I think the polls are showing 10 to 12 percent. But from -- as you read the surveys and read the answers, I think there's enough softness there that you could say there's probably 20 to 25 percent of the electorate is there for the taking for the candidate who can make the right appeal.
CAFFERTY: And if you're right, those folks traditionally don't really start to break one way or the other until the last week or so before the election. KATULA: You're absolutely right. Last night was the first time millions of them tuned in. Us political junkies, we've been tuned in since a year and a half ago.
CAFFERTY: All right.
KATULA: But I think for the average person, you're right, it's going to happen between now and November.
CAFFERTY: Richard Katula, communications professor at Northeastern University. Thanks for joining us, I appreciate it.
KATULA: Thanks for having me on. It was great.
CAFFERTY: You bet, any time. For those of you watching, we taped IN THE MONEY on Friday morning, therefore the references to last night when in fact you're watching us Saturday so all those references should be reading night before last. A little clarification there.
Coming up after the break -- life on the edge. Find out what it's like to be held hostage in Iraq from someone who was and lived to tell about it.
Also ahead, tough love, we'll talk with an author who thinks the truth can make you free when it comes to romance.
And your chance to play campaign consultant. Change the image of the candidates on our fun site of the week with Allen Wastler straight ahead.
CAFFERTY: Hostage taking is the terror tactic of choice these days for a lot of groups in Iraq. Since April, nearly 200 people have been kidnapped and held by various insurgent groups. Close to 40 have been brutally murdered. More than 100 others have been released and there are others who remain unaccounted for. Canadian journalist Scott Taylor is one of the lucky ones. He was abducted in Iraq while working on a story. He was held hostage for five days and then he was released and he's with us now and when I say it's nice to see you, I really mean it's nice to see you. You beat a lot of long odds to wind up out of there, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. How did you wind up being taken captive in the first place?
SCOTT TAYLOR, EDITOR, ESPRIT DE CORPS: It was more of an accidental capture than it was them targeting us. We'd gone into -- myself and a Turkish journalist had gone into the city of Telefar (ph) knowing that the Americans were about to make a major offensive against what had been some fighting against the resistance in that area. I had been in that town a few months earlier and knew some people there, felt I could get in and report safely from that location. But when we arrived on the outskirts of town, again, it was a false sense of security, we saw there was at least a dozen Iraqi police. These are the American-paid Iraqi police at a checkpoint. They were monitoring the flood of refugees coming out. A lot of the people fled from Telefar (ph), 150,000, 200,000 people fled in anticipation of the fighting so there was a major humanitarian crisis going on, something which needed to be reported. Seeing the police we thought OK, if they're there, it must still be in American hands.
TAYLOR: Approached these people, and said, both my translator and myself and said, we need to get to this guy's house. They were very accommodating, said, absolutely no problem. Get into this car next to us and in the car was four masked gunmen. Again you're thinking, I've not been (ph) in these areas, our special forces wear masks when they're doing counter insurgency, the Delta force do, the British SAS, so I'm thinking this is a counterinsurgency force.
TAYLOR: It's a dangerous place, naturally they're going to use these guys to take us into a dangerous situation. So I had no premonition or any fear. I thought, OK, we even actually went back and got the rest of our cameras to put them in the car. And only then did we find out later that this was in fact the Ansar al-Islam, was the group that was in control, working with the police on the outskirts of town. The leader, the amir himself, was the one that beckoned us to get in the car. So these police said, you have to go with this man, knew this man, sitting there with full impunity. That was the thing that was shocking for me, once we realized we had been taken.
LISOVICZ: Scott, you have been to Iraq 20 times. So you were no rookie. You knew the dangers of Iraq and some of that helped save your life. Your story is harrowing and I know you're still dealing with it. Can you tell me, for instance, your conversion to Islam was one of the things that you did while in captivity?
TAYLOR: It bought me some time, there's no question. This was after I had been tortured. They had take taken the Turkish journalist and there was another driver that was captured with us at the time for a couple of days. They had released them but told me that after checking out my story on the Internet, I had failed the test and I was about to die. And this wasn't the first time I heard this but definitely this was one of the first times it really sunk in.
I'm thinking OK, this is it, play the last card. (INAUDIBLE said to me, just tell them you want to convert to Islam. I'm thinking, this is corny, I can't say I want to convert. And all of a sudden I said OK, guys if I'm going to die and these were like Taliban-style students they call themselves, students of Islam, I said a man needs a god to pray to if he's about to die. I said I don't care if you kill me, but first convert me.
And that really got them excited. They said great and I was playing for my life, so I was saying, I need to take a Muslim name. They knew the amir had been killed in the air strikes and this was the guy that we had met. We had seen him just before he was killed. So I said if I'm going it take a Muslim name, I want it to be amir because he was a fighter. This got them going. They're saying, OK, another group came back and said -- they said, you don't have to convert, don't forget this, because you're going to live. I'm thinking this is a test.
TAYLOR: And I said, doesn't matter. Well then I now need a god to pray to to thank for sparing my life. And they were the ones that said look, no time for that nonsense. We got to get you out to another house, we got to move you now. So although they started the whole process, it wasn't actually formalized but it certainly did buy some time. It did -- I mean at least keep me alive for that interim.
SERWER: Scott, you were brutally tortured. It may be very difficult for you to go through some of that, but can you talk a little bit about what happened to you?
TAYLOR: It was the most frightening thing in my life, I think. I had been through times when they put the blindfold on and said they were going to shoot me. For me I'm a little bit claustrophobic, so whenever I've had the sensory deprivation, the gags and the blindfolds and of course the heat I would get panicked. I have to push the panic down. But when they would actually tell you you're going to die, it's the opposite feeling. It's like your stomach drops out of you and you couldn't even react.
One was of them was like punching me in the head I didn't even grunt. I just was going out to die. The torture, they knew what they were doing. They came in again with the blindfold and the gag. When I saw the clubs I knew what was coming. I tried to get up and resist and it was too late. I was kicked down. They tied my hands behind my back, so I'm on my back and my legs were brought up and they were tied to a pole which they held up and then they beat the bottom of the feet and the legs with poles, mostly on the thighs. They broke two toes as well. They would use the bigger sticks on that, but this went on for about 25 minutes.
They would keep hitting the same spot repeatedly until you would convulse. You can take the first few hits and then when you Charlie horse you can't move. You just convulse. And I was hoping the whole time, I know from what I've read the pain gets so intense you'll go unconscious. I kept thinking, just hit it one more time, let me go unconscious. You don't know they're not going to beat you to death. They're asking the same questions they had been asking before, who are you working for? We know you're a spy. You're a Jewish pig. You're a (INAUDIBLE) and they're just beating you. So at that moment, it was...
CAFFERTY: Will you ever go back and how does this change you forever, because it changes you forever?
TAYLOR: That part, I don't know yet. I haven't had time to really revisit it emotionally. I've told the story. I'm telling the story now. But to actually sit down and remember six or seven hours, the last day when I was chained to the bed and they told me you're going to be beheaded the following morning and there was no way out. You're laying there thinking about everything. Who's coming to your funeral. You think about some crazy stuff. Now I've got to go back and you know like closing off the windows on your computer, I've got to reopen those programs, even with my family. I haven't had time yet to go back and sit down with them and just be with them. We've had this whole media thing going on and it's important. I think some of the stuff coming out of the stories, how police are working with the resistance and how the different groups handed us off. Not many people have seen inside that world, knew what they were seeing and lived to tell about it. So I do think it's important but starting in a couple of days, I'm going to sit down and actually revisit what it was, emotionally.
SERWER: All right. Scott Taylor, we're going to have to leave it at that, an absolutely horrifying ordeal and we really appreciate you coming on the program and talking about it. In fact, if you want to read Scott's story and I encourage you to do that, you can read it at espritdecorps.ca. That's a Canadian Web site and it is an unbelievable story. You should look at it.
More on IN THE MONEY right after the break.
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our money minute. Martha Stewart will be serving her prison time in West Virginia. The Bureau of Prisons reportedly chose the minimum security camp in Alderton because its remote location would make it harder for people like us, the news media to get there. Stewart wanted to be sent to the Federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, so should could be closer to her home and her mother.
The four hurricanes that hit Florida this season combined to beat the record set by hurricane Andrew for insured losses. Estimates for the storm damage now top $18 billion, easily topping the $15 billion in damages from Andrew back in 1992.
And watering down the whiskey isn't the best way to keep your customers loyal. Jack Daniels has sparked outrage among serious drinkers by lowering the proof of its famous Tennessee whiskey from 86 to 80. That means it now has 3 percent less alcohol. The company ignited a similar controversy 15 years ago when it lowered the strength of its 90 proof original recipe to 86 proof.
SERWER: The other big news this week was Merck's decision to pull Vioxx off drugstore shelves. The company made that move after a study showed the arthritis drug caused an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Now as Jack likes to say, that news caused the stock to take a major haircut. Investors were probably wondering how Merck would make up for the roughly $2.5 billion in sales Vioxx produced for the company last year alone. Merck shares had been trading pretty flat this year.
But that was before this week's news. Now they're at a 52-week low, actually an eight-year low. Merck is our stock of the week. And last Thursday, this stock just fell off the table, down 27 percent, 27 billion of market value up in smoke, 10 percent of the company sales. You usually don't see that happening at a company this big, this reputable, a blue chip company like that, but there you have it. LISOVICZ: I was talking to traders right before the market opened. The Dow industrials actually opened up Thursday until Merck started trading. When Merck started trading, dropped like a bomb. The interesting thing about Merck is that this is -- has long been considered a safe stock. This is the kind the widows and orphans, pays dividends, kind of reliable stock. This news sends a shudder. Why? Because it one of its five top selling drugs. It does not have a lot of new drugs in the pipeline. So it loses this valuable one. We don't know the reparations (ph) in terms of lawsuits and there's questions about whether this company will now be forced to do a deal. There's a lot of consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry. So while some of the bad news is out, it's not all out and that's what upsets a lot of investors.
SERWER: I think it's interesting because Vioxx was perceived before this as a problem drug because there had been news out there that this drug had problems. So I think that was already factored in a little bit. Obviously it got a whole lots worse. What's also going on in the pharmaceutical business right now is fear of the election. This happens every time there's an election, the Democrats are going to get elected and put caps on drug prices. That's why I think this stock right now is possibly a very attractive thing to buy. If you look at its price earnings multiple, it's pretty darn cheap.
LISOVICZ: And it was upgraded on Friday by a major brokerage. It actually opened up on Friday. The interesting thing about crisis management, is you get the bad information out early so that, get it out, get it done with. This was out for several years that there were problems with this drug. So it had been out there for a while. And that's one of -- also the disappointments about Merck, a company this size with its prestige, not dealing with it sooner.
CAFFERTY: One of the cruel ironies about Vioxx, too, is that you can find a lot of doctors tell you it's not much more effective as a pain reliever than ibuprofen.
LISOVICZ: Over the counter.
CAFFERTY: But the arthritis sufferers are so desperate to deal with what is a constant pain, that they will reach for anything that might promise even a tiny edge. So the downside potentially on the drug turns out far far outweighed any upside. Ibuprofin probably accomplished pretty much the same thing without the fear of stroke.
SERWER: Right, that's right and Celebrex, which is made by Pfizer, is a similar medication. It's not clear that that drug is completely off the FDA's radar screen as well. So that's going to be something we have to watch, too. Also Merck has...
LISOVICZ: The stock didn't do that well on Thursday. You would think that its top competitor might do real well on Merck's bad news and it didn't.
SERWER: It's going to be really interesting to watch Merck going forward, especially that stock price.
CAFFERTY: Watch the lawyers line up to file lawsuits.
SERWER: Well, that's also true.
All right. Coming up on IN THE MONEY, reading, writing and ratings. A new Web site that lets students rate teachers has touched off a different kind of class warfare. Class warfare, get it? We'll explain.
Also Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong. Listen up, ladies, because we're going to find out how to tell the difference between a loser and a winner on the dating scene.
CAFFERTY: Like we'd know.
SERWER: And building a better candidate. Check out the many faces of the two contenders on our Web site of the week. Stick around.
KOPPEL: I'm Andrea Koppel in Washington. IN THE MONEY continues in a moment. But first here's a quick check of the headlines at this hour. U.S. warplanes continue to pound targets in Fallujah, considered the toughest insurgent stronghold in Iraq. Air strikes killed nine Iraqis and wounded several others on Friday. The attacks are part of an all-out campaign to reclaim Iraq cities ahead of scheduled January elections. A live report from Baghdad coming up at 2:00 p.m.
On the home front, domestic issues dominate the presidential campaigns as President Bush visits Ohio for the 27th time. And Democratic presidential rival John Kerry lingers in Florida, riding on momentum from Thursday night's debate. We'll check in on both campaigns next hour on live CNN Saturday.
I'll have all of the day's news at the top of the hour. Now back to IN THE MONEY.
SERWER: If you want to give your kids' teachers high marks, hold the apple. Compliments and complaints have gone high-tech. Ratemyteachers.com is a site that's creating quite a buzz in the education field. It lets parents and students grade teachers on categories like helpfulness, easiness and clarity. But not everyone in the education field is singing its praises. Michael Hussy, co- founder of ratemyteachers.com joins us now with more. Welcome, Michael. You're a pretty young guy. Did you start this up because you weren't so happy with some of your teachers?
MICHAEL HUSSEY, CO-FOUNDER, RATEMYTEACHERS.COM: More or less I wanted to have an outlet to praise the stellar teachers and there was only a handful of teachers in my previous experience where I didn't feel there was much value. I thought that, for both sides, particularly to praise teachers who deserve it and also to let other students know who they might want to avoid.
LISOVICZ: Forgive me for being a cynic, is this not students' revenge here?
HUSSEY: You could -- you could probably assume that on a first impression. But if you get into the Web site, you'll see that's not the case at all. The clear majority of the ratings are positive, as one would expect when you walk through America's classrooms. I think most teachers are doing a great job and that's reflected on the site. Seventy percent, some schools much more than that, of the ratings and comments are positive.
CAFFERTY: Have you had any requests from teachers to be able to do a little rating of the students like, dear Mrs. Smith, your Johnny's a jerk and he disrupts my class and you ought to school him at home?
HUSSEY: That's called a report card.
CAFFERTY: But the report card's not posted on the Internet.
HUSSEY: Well, I'm not all that interested in ratemystudents.com. But if anyone else out there wants to, I encourage them to try.
SERWER: Hey, Michael, how big is your Web site now? How many schools are involved, how many teachers, how many kids?
HUSSEY: 45,000 schools across the U.S. and Canada. We just opened up in the U.K. last week. 850,000 teachers are now rated, thousands more being added every day. I think we just went over the 6 million rating mark last week as well. We're bringing over 1 million people per month to the Web site. Many of those are students, parents and certainly teachers. We know that we're the talk of the lunchroom and the teacher's room on many occasions.
LISOVICZ: Michael, it sounds like sort of a cyberspace version of an informal thing that's been going on for decades, who's the teacher that likes to give out As, who will let you slide if you take a long weekend.
SERWER: Who's mean?
LISOVICZ: Yeah, who's tough. It sort of almost sounds like a Zagat's guide to teachers and if you're familiar with Zagat's, it rate a restaurant for instance, on a variety of things. So how do you rate the teachers? What are the qualities that are rated here?.
HUSSEY: Well, it's a bit more democratized than Zagat's. But what we're rating teachers on three things, on clarity, on helpfulness, those two are averaged to create an overall score and then we throw in for the benefit of the teacher, for benefit of all the easiness factor.
LISOVICZ: What about competence (ph)?
HUSSEY: Competence or confidence? I think that comes through clearly in the written comment portion. There's a scale of one to five for those three questions and then the student has an opportunity to rate -- excuse me to write in a comment. That's where the real value of the site really shines, I believe.
CAFFERTY: What's the reaction been from the teachers who are rated on this thing?
HUSSEY: All over the board. But on a daily basis, we are receiving thank-you's from teachers and also we receive from teachers who probably aren't rated so well some upset notes. We post almost all of them on our Web site. There's a user comment section you can go. We call it the good, the bad and the ugly.
CAFFERTY: So if a teacher writes in to complain about a rating, you put that up for people to read, too?
HUSSEY: Well, if they complain about a rating or they don't think it's fair, a teacher can click the red flag next to it. It's removed without question immediately.
CAFFERTY: Oh, OK.
HUSSEY: We then review it a second time. We also review everything a first time before it's posted. We have specific rules about what kind of ratings are allowed. We don't want any personal attacks. We really want to the focus comments on what's happening in the classroom. The rating rules specify that. And if a rating is red flagged, what we call, red flagged, then it's immediately removed from the Web site and we'll review it a second time to see if it's consistent or not with our rules but generally they are.
SERWER: Michael, sorry to interrupt, we only have a second or two left here. What about any official reaction from teachers' unions, schools, school boards? Have you gotten that?
HUSSEY: There was one incident with a New York state teachers' union and that didn't really go anywhere. They were seeing if there was any legal action. Even the NEA's legal council has agreed that we are legal.
LISOVICZ: All right. Michael Hussey, co-founder of ratemyteachers dole. Wish you were around when I was on campus. Thanks for joining us.
HUSSEY: Thank you so much.
LISOVICZ: Stick around. We'll be back after the break.
Coming up -- the economics of love. See how to handle it when your supply doesn't match their demand. I didn't write it but I did say it.
Plus the pinstriped spacesuit. Businesses blasting off to privatize the great beyond. We'll find out why.
LISOVICZ: If women are really like the heroines of the chick-lit genre, there's a lot of love lost out there, but no need to cry in your "Cosmopolitans" ladies. Our next guest says breaking it off with a guy who never calls is for the best, because chances are he's just not that into you. And that's the title, the cruel title of a new book co-authored by Greg Behrendt, a comedian and former consultant for the Emmy winning show "Sex and the City." Greg joins us now from Los Angeles. You know, Greg, this is cruel. You mean that his cell phone really wasn't out of range, that he hadn't worked a triple shift, that he was just lying to me basically when he didn't call?
GREG BEHRENDT, AUTHOR, "HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU": He was just too busy to call you, yes. He was basically, he was just was not that into you.
LISOVICZ: And that is tough for us to take. It's like a line from "A Few Good Men," you can't handle the truth, that's what it's all about, right?
BEHRENDT: Yeah, I think -- I mean the good part of it is, once you know that, you're able to move on. I think the great thing about the book is that it keeps people from being stuck in something. These aren't secrets, you know what I mean. When a guy's just too busy, it's not a secret. He's just not in to you.
SERWER: Hey, Greg. you got a look going on.
BEHRENDT: I do have a look.
SERWER: I mean I should probably take some notes. I'm happily married I should add.
BEHRENDT: As am I.
SERWER: That's OK. Does a lot of this stuff come from your own experiences? Are you out there dating like mad?
BEHRENDT: I was, absolutely. Until I met my wife, when I met my wife I suddenly realized oh I guess, I'm not going to act like this anymore. She was so fantastic and so buoyant and so awesome that I wanted to be a part of that. So I stepped up, I wasn't giving excuses, I wasn't tired, my feet didn't hurt, I was able to show up.
CAFFERTY: I'm 61 years old and have been through that marriage thing a couple of times and have perhaps a little different perspective on all of this than you do, probably anybody on this panel. But I've come to the conclusion that so very long ago that at the end of the day women are much brighter than men. Men are dopes. They really are. And they just don't get it on most of the issues and that includes...
LISOVICZ: Right on, jack! Right, on.
CAFFERTY: It's true and that includes the ability to be honest emotionally and deal forthright with their romantic situation, if you get my drift.
BEHRENDT: I think you're absolutely right. I think that's what this book is all about. It's not why men do the things they do. It's that they are doing them, let's recognize them, let's move on. Just treat men as they were, we're scared. We tell lies. We try and manipulate. We are afraid of conflict.
LISOVICZ: Greg, I just want to congratulate, because your book "He's Just Not That into You" so exposed the kinder, gentler Jack Cafferty, so that's a plus right there. We're an equal opportunity show. I mean there are men, there are men that sit around and wait for the phone to ring, too.
BEHRENDT: I feel sorry for those guys. Yeah. I think if you want something in life, you have to go for it, no matter who you are. And I think if you do sit around and wait for the phone to ring, then I feel bad for you. If you like somebody, especially if you're a dude, then step up and tell them, let people know.
SERWER: Right on, Greg.
LISOVICZ: Hold on (INAUDIBLE).
SERWER: I agree with a lot of what you're saying. Doesn't a lot of this have to do with this very fundamental difference between men and women about how men and women communicate? Men like to talk to other men just to get stuff done. There's two things they do. They talk about meaningless stuff like football. And say, did you get the car? No, I didn't get the car, that's it. It's to communicate. Women like to talk and share their feelings, you know, to sort of get their feelings out. I mean isn't that a whole lot of what you're driving at?
BEHRENDT: What I'm saying is, if you're sitting around with your girlfriends talking about this guy, he's probably just not that into you if you're obsessing over him. And I think the thing to do is to look at men's actual behavior and then just go from there.
CAFFERTY: Like if you turn around and he's not there, that means he's left.
BEHRENDT: Yeah, that's right. I think women create these amazing lives for men. They give them these excuses and let them know that, oh my gosh, he's busy and he's doing all of this stuff and he's really not that busy. He's just busy not getting a hold of you.
LISOVICZ: So why is it, why is it that some men who can be dogs, right, they don't call, they don't do anything right and then all of a sudden overnight, maybe you're -- eat Alpo. Greg, they become the marrying men and they clean up their act overnight.
SERWER: Greg did.
BEHRENDT: Yes, you know what it is? It's love. It's love. You fall in love with somebody, you change. There's something that you want and you want it bad enough, you're willing to change for it. It's just like getting a job. It's just like buying a car. You do the research. You do the work. You show up and you do the best you can to make it happen. So I think love is actually the thing that will actually change somebody. SERWER: I heard about this couple, you know, they were living together and they started fighting and the man started sleeping on the couch and he slept on the couch for like three months.
LISOVICZ: Is his name Andy?
SERWER: No. This is another case of a woman just ignoring the signs, right? The guy couldn't step up to the plate to leave but the woman should have said, this is over, right?
BEHRENDT: Yeah, this is over, you know what I mean. I think the point is sometimes women let the men lead the dance. In a lot of ways women should just go, this is unacceptable, go. This isn't how I run my business. This isn't how I do my thing. So you know what, if you're not go doing the things that make me happy or the things that make me feel good about myself, then you need to leave.
CAFFERTY: What about the psychology, though, it's a challenge and I'm going to prevail in this thing? I mean there are women out there who, if you don't call them, will hound you to the ends of the earth.
CAFFERTY: Right. There's a thing there that you can't leave me, I'm going to insist somehow that you acknowledge that this thing is for real and we're going to live happily ever after. It's kind of a sick deal but it's real.
BEHRENDT: I think that's what this book is trying to eradicate. That's why it's called what it's called. That's why it's called "He's Just Not That into You." We lobbied to get an exclamation point on the end of it. We wanted it to just say, hey, this is not happening, go find the good thing.
LISOVICZ: Greg Behrendt, co-author of "He's Just Not That into You." It's funny and sad all at once. Thanks so much for joining us.
BEHRENDT: Thanks you guys.
LISOVICZ: Up next, the only thing that will change a candidate's image faster than a botched debate, get a look at our fun site of the week.
And speak your mine without opening your mouth. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.
But first, this week's edition of money and family.
If you're thinking about leasing a car, here are some tips to help you stay in the driver's seat when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. First, estimate how much you can afford in your lease payment before you start shopping. A good Web site to check is edmunds.com. That's an online car buying site that can help you crunch the numbers. Take your time in negotiations. If you think you'll go over the maximum yearly mileage, buy extra miles up front. This can usually be rolled into your lease payments.
Consider signing on for a three-year lease rather than a five- year lease. Most leased cars are covered by a three-year warranty and cars begin to show their age by then. And finally, make sure you have gap insurance as part of your lease contract. Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe and the cash value of a car if it's stolen or destroyed. I'm Susan Lisovicz for "money and family."
CAFFERTY: SpaceShipOne's successful flight this week has a lot of people asking whether private industry is finally on the way to making space tourism a reality. Joining us now for more on the business of space exploration, money.com's Allen Wastler. He also has the fun site of the week. This thing is going -- even if it happens is going to be very expensive at least in the short term.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: Costing a pretty penny right now and you kind of wonder what the payback's going to be. But I mean they did it this week. They went up there. Now if they do it a second time this Monday, then they'll get the $10 million X-prize which is the way that they were trying to get seed money in there eventually and they got -- around 26 teams from seven different countries trying for the thing so that kind of worked.
But now the question is, OK, so you've made it work. You're going to make the money off of it. Apparently Richard Branson thinks that yes, they're going to make it into it. He bought into the technology behind spaceshipone for $25 million. He said I figure there's about 3,000 people out there willing to pay, oh, up to about $200,000 to take a little 15-minute ride in your suborbital player. So if you do the math, that's a $600 million market he's estimating that he's going to get a big chunk of.
LISOVICZ: British Airways could never make the Concorde profitable. So how does something that's far more advanced...
WASTLER: The thinking is that it's all the allure of space.
SERWER: Weightlessness, right?
WASTLER: The Concorde got old real quick and you're crammed in there and you're flying a few hours. This, space, it's going to be grand. I think where it's going to really trip up, besides the fact that there's still a capital question, because $25 million is nice, but it ain't going to cut the whole thing.
WASTLER: But you're going to have an issue probably with regulation and liability. The first time something goes wrong.
CAFFERTY: Like it blows up or something.
WASTLER: And that's one of those hidden costs that a lot of entrepreneur types say I'm going to do forward and do all of this but they don't bring that into their venture capital calculation. Venture capitalists, they like to know about all the risks that are out there. So until the liability and regulation question gets settled, you're probably not going to see that much happen.
SERWER: I like the idea of a space tour. I wonder if you wear a Hawaiian shirt, a little hat, you get a cigar with a camera (INAUDIBLE), I'm going to space, baby.
WASTLER: We had those two guys that went to the Russian space station for about $20 million a pop they came back like...
LISOVICZ: Around 200 grand or so?
WASTLER: 200 grand is what they figure the going price is going to be.
CAFFERTY: It's a bargain.
WASTLER: There is a space outfit that taking deposits on when...
WASTLER: -- it becomes available.
CAFFERTY: And if their line's busy, send me the money. I'll hold it for you until the rocket goes up. What about the fun site of the week?
WASTLER: We're still on a political bend here. So how would you like to play games with the appearance of both candidates? Well, let's take a look at Kerry, Franken Kerry.
SERWER: That's not orange, it's green. He was orange last week.
WASTLER: He's a biker now. Cool dude. My favorite, there he is. He's the Vulcan.
CAFFERTY: That's him.
WASTLER: The true one. Now you can play with Bush's face, too, because it wouldn't be fair to do Kerry and not him.
CAFFERTY: No and we should do that.
WASTLER: So let's take a look at...
CAFFERTY: Wow. WASTLER: Oh, Mr. President, you're such a kidder. My favorite.
SERWER: Takes a good look for him. That is a good look. That's a NASCAR dad look. Don't you think?
LISOVICZ: Want to hear his country western music?
CAFFERTY: This is a real MENSA meeting we got going on here. Thank you Allen. Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, it's time to hear from some of you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. And you can send us an e-mail right now and tell us how enriching an experience it is watching IN THE MONEY. We're at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAFFERTY: Time now to read some of your answers to our question of the week about how you like your news, objective or opinionated. Jim in Shaker Heights, Ohio, writes this. My answer is both. Sometimes I just like the straight reporting, but when opinions are brought in, they should be labeled as such. I have no problems with opinions as long as journalists don't pass them off as the truth.
Veronica in Quebec writes this. Everyone wants their news to be opinionated as long as those opinions agree with their own. If they don't everyone wants the news to be more objective. I think she's got it. It's funny when people complain about the news being biased, but what they're really angry about is the fact that the news isn't biased the same way they are.
And Frank wrote this. Do I prefer objective or opinionated news? I don't know. I have yet to experience objective reporting.
Now for our next week's e-mail question of the week -- if you were moderating the presidential debates, what would you like to ask each candidate? Send your answers to email@example.com. We'll pick some of the best ones, read them for you next week.
Also you should visit our show page, Money.com/inthemoney. It's where you'll find the address of our fun site of the week, make those candidates look any old way you want. With that, we will thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon Eastern time when we'll take a look at whether you can make a difference in the political process, even if you're not a multimillionaire. We'll talk with someone who says you can run for office and win even if your name isn't Rockefeller. That's tomorrow at 3:00. Hope to see you then. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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