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A Look At Controversy Over Monday Night Football Locker Scene; A Megamerger Between Megastores, Kmart and Sears, Join forces

Aired November 17, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Mark Geragos tries to get a new jury to decide whether Scott Peterson lives or dies.
360 starts now.

A megamerger between megastores, Kmart and Sears, joining forces. Tonight, the $11 billion deal and what it means for you.

A verdict in the case of the Sunday morning slasher. He promised to kill again. But now that a jury has ruled, will this serial killer get another chance?

Michael Jackson slapped with another lawsuit. Just how many people is he being sued by? Tonight. a look at the latest legal troubles for the one-time king of pop.

The "Monday Night Football" commercial kurfuffle. Is sex really at the heart of the matter, or is this really all about race?

And the search for eternal youth. Tonight, extreme diets promising you a longer life. Do they work? And what can you really do to live to 100?

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

COOPER: And good evening again.

This just in to CNN. Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson's attorney, requests a new jury to decide whether Scott Peterson lives or dies. We'll have more on that in a moment.

But first, we begin tonight with a really big deal, literally, the $11 billion if you can't lick 'em join 'em merger of Kmart and Sears, two of the largest and best-known retailers in the country. It's a blue light special that might change the way you shop.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has a price check.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's impossible to talk about shopping in America without mentioning Sears and Kmart. Analysts say how we buy and what we buy have been defined in part by these two American icons.

PETER GOLDER, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Sears in many ways has kind of driven and both reflected the rise of the American economy, initially starting out with catalog operations. They were able to reach people in more rural areas and do it in very low-cost ways.

FEYERICK: That catalog changed the way of life for many across the country, selling goods, quote, "at a price you can afford," and offering a money-back guarantee. As demand soared, so too did the demand for stores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember getting my first baseball glove at a Sears in Glen Ellen, Illinois, some 50 years ago.

FEYERICK: Then came Kmart, originally known in the early 1900s as Kressky (ph). They had no catalog, instead offering discounts on those affordable prices promised by their rival. Kmart's marketing gimmick, the Blue Light special. Marketing expert Peter Golder.

GOLDER: Well, whereas Sears brought this variety at kind of moderate prices, Kmart was bringing a larger selection at really discount prices.

FEYERICK: When Wal-Mart came along, it offered even lower prices and came to dominate Sears and Kmart.

The big question, are two rusty icons combined better than one that's golden? Wal-Mart, at $250 billion, worth 12 times Sears and Kmart combined.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a good thing. I think as long as they continue carry Sears continues to carry Land's End and Kmart continues doing the Martha Stewart line, I think they'll both do well.

FEYERICK: Analysts less optimistic.

HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ, RETAIL ANALYST: The only way to compete with Wal-Mart is not to try to out-Wal-Mart Wal-Mart, but to differentiate yourself. And so far these folks have been unsuccessful at doing it...


FEYERICK: Financial insiders say creating a new identity is a huge challenge. While Martha Stewart products will likely do well at Sears, it's unclear whether Sears brands like Kenmore and Craftsman will do equally well at Kmart. If it doesn't work, critics say, there's always the real estate, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Deb Feyerick, thanks, live from New York.

From a retail superpower we turn to disturbing news from a one- time actual superpower. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today that his country's armed forces will soon be equipped with nuclear weapons, missiles so advanced that no other country is likely to have anything like them anytime soon.

The question is, is he for real, or just blowing smoke?

CNN's Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, investigates.


JILL DOUGHERTY, MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: President Putin made his comments as he was meeting with the top brass of the Russian military, saying that Russia is developing a new kind of nuclear missile that other countries simply do not have.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We will continue our efforts to build our armed forces as a whole and their nuclear component. We are not only conducting research and successfully testing new nuclear missile systems. I'm sure that they will be put into service within the next few years. And what's more, there will be developments, there will be systems of the kind that other nuclear powers do not have and will not have in the near future.

DOUGHERTY: President Putin did not say what this weapon actually is. But analysts that CNN spoke with said presumably what he is talking about is a mobile form of the Topol M (ph) missile. That's a missile that the Russians already have. They now use it in silos. But this would be mobile. It would be able to be moved around the countryside.

Now, President Putin did say that he still considers terrorism the key threat, one of the major threats for Russia, but in order to fight that and other threats, Russia has to keep its nuclear powers in good shape.

Now, many are questioning, could this be a return to the cold war, a type of arms race? But these experts say no, that is not what is going on here. They say that President Putin frequently, when he meets with the top brass, has made some very strong statements, and that essentially this is a type of PR, both for the rest of the world and internal Russian politics, showing that Russia still is a power, a nuclear power, even if it's not a superpower, and that it intends to remain a nuclear power.

Jill Dougherty, CNN, Moscow.


COOPER: Well, news just in to CNN. A surprising late development this evening in the Scott Peterson case. Mark Geragos, Peterson's lawyer, has reportedly been filing papers, evidently in an effort to stave off the possibility that his convicted client may get the death penalty.

Let's go live for details to Rusty Dornin in San Francisco. Rusty?

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it really comes as no great surprise. Defense attorney Mark Geragos did file some motions for a new penalty phase jury and for a change of venue.

Now, these papers were received at the San Mateo County courthouse this afternoon. But the judge is not there. He won't be back until Monday. So they will not be filed until Monday morning. So we don't know what's actually inside those papers.

However, we do know that Mark Geragos did object to the dismissal of juror number five last week, so those papers may have some reference in there to that. He also in the beginning asked for two juries to be set for this case, because jurors in -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) when they are death qualified in these cases, he claimed were slanted more towards the prosecution. That may be another argument in this particular case.

All along, he's been arguing for a change of venue, claiming that it's just been the outrageous press coverage in this particular case, and of course he may be pointing to what happened after the verdict on Friday, when about 500 people gathered outside the courthouse that were obviously pro prosecution, that were applauding many of the pundits, and that were taunting members of the Peterson family.

So we're not going to find out exactly what's in those papers until Monday. We may not even find out then, because the judge may go into chambers. They may seal all of these motions. And we may not find out what went on, Anderson.

COOPER: Rusty, there was also a complaint filed against Geragos. What's happening with that?

DORNIN: Well, the state bar of California will not confirm or deny, but we do know that a Florida lawyer who has filed apparently complaints before about attorneys -- against attorneys and shock jocks, things like that, did file a complaint about a boat that was on Mark Geragos's property. He owns an office building in Redwood City.

That was the boat that he apparently used in a demonstration to try to show that it did capsize when a body was thrown overboard. He had a -- there was a -- something in the bottom of the boat that looked like a body. And quickly it became a shrine for people who were pro prosecution and were claiming justice for Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner.

We don't know exactly what happened. We think somehow the judge may have urged him to remove it off his property, because it was only there for about 24 hours.

But apparently, this attorney is claiming that this was unseemly behavior, and has filed a complaint with the California bar.

COOPER: So in terms of this ruling, the judge is out now. It won't be until Monday that the judge takes a look at these new filings that Mark Geragos has put in. Do we, then will he rule on them immediately?

DORNIN: Most likely, he will rule on -- that's what he's done in the past. They'll go into chambers and argue about it. They'll come out, do a little perfunctory in court, where Geragos will say what his argument is, the prosecutors will say what their argument is. He will make his ruling.

But he may keep some of those papers sealed, because of just what's been going on in terms of the community reaction to this verdict, and that sort of thing, and the fact that the deliberations are still going on over the death penalty phase.

He may not want to release the filing, let's say, about why Geragos wants a new jury seated for that penalty phase.

COOPER: All right. Rusty Dornin, appreciate the news. Thanks very much.

Let's check in with our CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who's had down in D.C., and also Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom joins me here in New York. Both of you, thanks for being with us.

Jeffrey, let me start with you. How unusual is this filing? I mean, it seems pretty like a stretch, to say the least.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think it is both unusual, and Judge Bloom will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it is completely impossible to succeed. The whole idea behind having a penalty phase is that the same jury that evaluated whether you are guilty or not guilty decides whether you should get the death penalty.

You, you, you, that information is what the jury is supposed to consider. So I don't see how you could possibly empanel a new jury that, by definition, would not have seen that evidence.

COOPER: So Lisa, what is it, a shot in the dark?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Yes, it's a last gasp by a desperate attorney, the same attorney, Mark Geragos, who failed to show up for the verdict last week.

But look, he's supposed to be protecting every possible right, make every possible argument on behalf of his client. It's a capital case. So you can't fault him for that. But there is no chance, I agree with Jeffrey Toobin, no chance this is going to win.

COOPER: What about this complaint against Mark Geragos? I mean, is that just sort of a publicity thing, Jeffrey?

TOOBIN: I, I, I, I think you can file that under publicity stunt rather than legal...

BLOOM: Oh, I disagree with that.

TOOBIN: ... legal brief. Oh, come on. I, some lawyer from Florida...

BLOOM: Oh, not a lawyer from Florida...

TOOBIN: ... you know, steps into this case... TOOBIN: Well, what could they possibly know? Actually I spoke today with Jack Thompson, the complainant in that case. And I am convinced that maybe it's ill founded, but I think he has a good motive in doing it.

He's concerned that Geragos violated the gag order, violated California ethical rules, by making a symbolic statement, putting the defense boat, there it is, in a very prominent place, a block and a half from the courthouse, after the judge had just ruled his video couldn't come in.

So he complained. And I think it's very unlikely the California...


COOPER: But he has no connection with the case.


COOPER: ... he's just watching this on TV.

BLOOM: You do not have to have a connection in the case to file a complaint...


COOPER: ... file a complaint, Lisa?

BLOOM: I could. And, in fact, Bill O'Reilly filed a complaint against Steve Feldman in the David Westerfield case. That was unsuccessful for the same reason this will be unsuccessful, because California ethical judges don't take kindly to outsiders filing complaints.


TOOBIN: Well, and nor...

BLOOM: ... they want (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

TOOBIN: ... should they...

BLOOM: ... can if you're outside the case.

COOPER: Jeffrey?

TOOBIN: And with all due respect to the great Bill O'Reilly, I think that's absurd as well, that, that, you know, these high-profile cases, as a legal matter, I suppose, it is permitted, but, I mean, it's just the idea that we are taking seriously some guy who saw this on TV and wants to complain about it...

BLOOM: Well, I'll tell you something, Jeffrey...

TOOBIN: ... I mean, come on, that's absurd. BLOOM: ... a lot of our, a lot of my viewers on Court TV felt very strongly that this was a tasteless, offensive move that Mark Geragos made while the jury was deliberating. It was a headless body representing Laci Peterson. And look, if they want...

COOPER: All right.

BLOOM: ... to complain, they've got a right to complain. This is America.

TOOBIN: That's right. They can write their congressman. But they are not participants in this case. And they don't belong in the case. With all due respect to your viewers, they ought to be viewers, not participants.

COOPER: All right, well...

BLOOM: Well, they're offended by what he did.

COOPER: Well, a lot of people are offended these days, I've noticed. Lisa Bloom, thanks for joining us.

BLOOM: What are you saying?

COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin as well. Thanks very much.

No, just in general a lot of offense taken out there.

In Washington, politics as usual. Republicans have come up with a deal behind closed doors to protect one of their own. We're going to tell you about it right now in cross-country.

It's all about this man. House Republicans have changed party rules to allow their leader, Tom DeLay, to stay as their leader if he's indicted by a Texas grand jury on state political corruption charges. Now it will take federal charges to actually get you booted out. State charges, nah, doesn't matter. Democrats are saying the Republicans are turning a blind eye to ethics.

West Palm Beach, Florida, now. Rush Limbaugh's appeal headed to the Florida Supreme Court. Today, a Florida appeals court asked the state's highest court to decide if patients should be notified when their medical records are taken. Limbaugh's records, of course, were seized by investigators looking into his addiction to painkillers.

Stockton, California, now. Governor Schwarzenegger hit with Mace, not once but twice. The governor and his entourage got all choked up in a van while touring a youth prison when the security chief had problems with his Mace can. I hate it when that happens. Schwarzenegger took it well, laughing a lot, even posing for a picture with the officer with a tissue over his mouth and his nose. That's not all the Mace there, that's some sort of a stunt there. And he's just doing fine.

That's a look at stories right now cross-country. 360 next, a verdict in the case of a confessed serial killer who was set to be released from prison. Prosecutors go to desperate lengths to keep him behind bars.

Plus a desperate housewife, "Monday Night Football," and an FCC investigation. Was it too racy, or was race really the factor? We investigate all sides.

Also tonight, may not be the king of pop, but he's become the king of lawsuits. Michael Jackson being hit again with a multimillion-dollar claim, this time from a former porn producer. Can you guess how many people are suing Jackson right now? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Well, we'll try to find out.

First let's take a look at your picks, the most popular stories on right now.


COOPER: There was resolution today in the case of Coral Eugene Watts (ph). Now, he may be the nation's most prolific serial killer. And he came awfully close to becoming a free man.

Watts has confessed to randomly murdering 13 women, strangling some, stabbing others. And he's suspected of killing dozens more.

Now he's serving time in Texas, but what scared a lot of people is that he had just a year and a half left on his sentence. He could have gotten out.

Today, a jury in Michigan ensured that Watts won't lose the shackles anytime soon by convicting him in another murder.

CNN's Adaora Udoji has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do say upon your oath that you find the defendant guilty of first-degree premeditated murder.

ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Carl Eugene Watts was convicted today of stabbing Helen Dutcher (ph) to death 25 years ago. But his list of victims is very long, including three who survived, like Julie Sanchez.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Turn around and look at me. And smile. He was laughing.

UDOJI: Only now does Watts face life in prison without the possibility of parole, even though, in 1982 he confessed to stabbing, drowning, and strangling 13 women in two states.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got out, and I went up behind her and stabbed her. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, how many times did you stab her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not sure, about three or four times, I think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she fighting or struggling?



UDOJI: In exchange for his confession, prosecutors allowed Watts to plead guilty to burglary with intent, because they had little evidence without his admission. What they didn't realize was that the 60-year sentence he got could whittle down to 24 years with good behavior, making parole possible for a serial killer in 2006.

Texas and Michigan authorities were frantic, because they've always suspected Watts of killing dozens of women. With new evidence, they've charged him with Dutcher's murder outside Detroit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last thing that Helen Dutcher saw was the defendant. She looked at evil up close.

UDOJI: Watts, who denies the charge, didn't testify. His attorney argued past wrongdoing isn't proof of guilt.

RON KAPLOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Much as you may hate Mr. Watts, the integrity of our judicial system is fundamentally far more important than convicting Mr. Watts.

UDOJI: To the great relief of the victims' family members, the jury didn't buy it.

(on camera): That means, unless the conviction is overturned, 51-year-old Watts could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, for Kobe Bryant, the criminal trial that never was today became the civil lawsuit that is, at least for now.

CNN's Gary Tuchman has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about the court starting for the civil case?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They came without their clients. Both Kobe Bryant's attorneys and the lawyers representing the woman accusing the basketball star of rape met with federal court judge Richard Maich (ph), where all declared that it was all systems go for a civil trial. But have there been discussions about a possible financial settlement?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you, I don't discuss settlements publicly. If we were having it, I wouldn't discuss it, and if we're not having it, I wouldn't discuss it.

TUCHMAN: It was revealed in this first civil hearing that Bryant and his accuser will both undergo videotaped depositions as early as next month. No date has been set for a trial, but the woman's lawyers have said they are considering asking for the case to be moved to a California state court, because there is no maximum limit to financial damages there.

But there was not a peep about that from the woman's attorneys to the judge on this day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no talk of California at all. Is that still out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still out there, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's a possibility you would consider moving the case to California state?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Possibility we would consider filing a state action in California that would proceed simultaneously with the federal case here.


TUCHMAN: The criminal case lasted 14 months. The civil case just beginning, led by a judge who uttered a most very quiet understatement today, something that we did imagine hearing in court after all the attention with the Kobe Bryant case. But he said he had heard from lawyers and from other sources that there indeed had been a criminal case involving Kobe Bryant.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks for that.

The continuing mystery of what killed Yasser Arafat tops our look of what's happening right now around the world in the uplink.

In Paris, France, "Le Monde" newspaper says Arafat's doctors have ruled out poison and think it may have been a blood clotting disorder. A lot of rumors floating around. Palestinian leaders today ordered an inquiry into the 75-year-old leader's final illness.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, now, homemade bombs explode at three banks. A security guard was killed. U.S. officials say it is probably not the work of international terrorists but groups unhappy about foreigners owning Argentinean banks.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, now, who is the governor? They've been counting the votes for two weeks now. The apparent winner is the candidate who wants the island to keep its commonwealth status instead of pushing for U.S. statehood. But the guy who finished about 3,900 votes behind is protesting. A recount is considered likely and may take until next month or even next year.

And in Cairo, Egypt, locusts are bugging the masses. There they are. Millions of pink locusts swarming over the capital city, devouring, among other things, every plague cliche in the book.

And that's tonight's uplink.

Coming up next on 360, is 55 years for a first-time drug offender fair? What do you think? It's more time than some murderers get. The judge who sentenced this guy says it is cruel and unusual, but the law is the law. Tonight, the case and the controversy.

Also ahead, a desperate housewife, a "Monday Night Football" flap. Too racy, or was it just racist? Covering all the angles tonight.

Also a little later, Arnold Schwarzenegger on running for president and his bipartisan marriage. The California governor, in his own words.

And also tonight, it's back, the 360 challenge. How closely have you been following today's news? We'll test you next.


COOPER: A 25-year-old Utah man may not taste freedom again until he's 70 years old, all because he had a gun in an ankle holster as he sold small amounts of pot to undercover police.

Now, the U.S. District Court judge who imposed the 55-year sentence on Weldon Angelos has called the punishment cruel and irrational, but he says his hands were tied by federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Because of those laws, Angelos could spend more time in prison than some murders, rapists, or even terrorists.

His sister, Lisa Angelos, and his attorney, Jerry Moony (ph), join me from Salt Lake City tonight.

Thanks very much for being with us.

Lisa, when you heard -- I mean, the judge himself pointed out that it's not uncommon for rapists or murderers or even terrorists to receive no more than 25 years. When you heard your brother got 55 years for having a gun during three drug transactions, did that make sense to you?

LISA ANGELOS, BROTHER SENTENCED TO 55 YEARS: No, it made no sense at all. I was really blown away. Like, I thought he was going to be able to give the sentence that was actually deserved. I didn't think that he would have ended up getting 55 years plus one day. COOPER: I want to be clear, though. I mean, the prosecutor in this case described your brother as a purveyor of poison. That's his quote. Who'd -- he said he'd been dealing drugs for more than four years, and he did have a gun strapped to his ankle, which, for all we know, he's used in the past. Why shouldn't he be off the streets?

ANGELOS: That was just all testimony. It was just testimony of another. There was no actual proof of any of that.

COOPER: So you're saying he didn't have a gun?

ANGELOS: I don't think that he did at all, no.

COOPER: So no one actually saw the gun? You're saying it was all made up?

ANGELOS: It was testimony from another. And to me, I believe very much that it was made up. I believe that they made this up for their own benefit. I don't believe that they told the truth just to get justice.


COOPER: Well...


COOPER: ... Jerry, I mean, clearly the judge believed there were weapons, there was a gun involved, I mean...

MOONY: Well, the jury convicted him of the charges. And there's no question that he owned guns and he had guns in his home. Mr. Angelos maintained his innocence with regards to the two counts that involved carrying the gun.

And there was some question about the evidence. It was all based upon a informant that had his own difficulties and problems, was the only person who claimed to have seen the gun, and it didn't pop up in the police reports until three months after the events took place. And interestingly, after an event occurred where Mr. Angelos was found to be wearing the gun.

COOPER: I want to break it down, though, for the audience. The first count got, he was charged with three counts. The first count got him a mandatory five years. The next two, an additional 25 years. So that's how the 55 years added up.

Now, the Justice Department says this about mandatory sentencing and why they think it's valid. They say, quote, "Tough but fair mandatory minimum sentences take habitual lawbreakers off the streets, lock up the most dangerous criminals, and help ensure the safety of law-abiding Americans."

What kind of a sentence did you want him to get, did you think he should get? MOONY: Well, if you'd looked at the federal sentencing guidelines, even with the enhancement for a firearm, all of the behavior that he engaged in, and that the jury convicted him of, would have ended up with a sentence of nine years, not 55 years.

COOPER: The judge told you to appeal to President Bush for clemency or leniency. Are you going to do that?

MOONY: We are going to do that. Traditionally, a clemency petition doesn't take place until after the appeals to the circuit court and potentially the Supreme Court are finished, and we're certainly going to do that.

COOPER: We'll continue following the case. Jerry Moony, Lisa Angelos, appreciate you joining us. Thanks.

ANGELOS: Thank you.

COOPER: Michael Jackson slapped with another lawsuit. Just how many people is he being sued by? Tonight a look at the latest legal troubles for the one-time king of pop.

The Monday Night Football commercial kurfuffle (ph). Is sex really at the heart of the matter, or is this really all about race?

And the search for eternal youth. Tonight extreme diets promising you a longer life. Do they work? And what can you really do to live to 100? 360 continues.


COOPER: Terrell Owens of the Philadelphia Eagles is known on the field for his ability to catch tough passes. But being on the receiving end of a very suggestive pass in a spoof of "Desperate Housewives," well, has some viewers fuming. Today the FCC says it's reviewing complaints about ABC's open to Monday night football game. As CNN's David Mattingly reports, some say it was too racy, others say it was racist. We like to cover all the angles on 360, all the sides. So in a moment you'll get two very different perspectives. But first let's take a look at the commercial inside the box.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over: Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens scored three touchdowns on Monday Night Football. but this is the pass everyone keeps talking about.

TERRELL OWENS, NFL: The team's going to have to win this one without me.

MATTINGLY: The "Desperate Housewives" pregame spoof ended with actress Nicollette Sheridan dropping her towel and seducing Owens into skipping the game. Too racy for primetime, many said. But some are asking, could it also have been too racial? Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy thinks so. He spoke to reporters in a conference call. TONY DUNGY, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS HEAD COACH: I was offended. Number one, I think it was racial. I think it's stereotypical in looking at the players.

MATTINGLY: A writer for the "Philadelphia Daily News" wrote that Owens' tongue in cheek performance played into some of the usual stereotypes about black men, that they're hypersexed, irresponsible, bucks even.

Sports talk radio in Atlanta added social commentary to the usual Xs and Os.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what it has to do with.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrell Owens as a big black mandingo and this pink toe in this locker room jumped in his arms and he said the heck with the game, I'm going with her. That's the problem, Doug (ph).

MATTINGLY: But calls to the program and other public comments seemed to focus more on the amount of skin, not the skin color suggesting to some that today's football audience is less racially sensitive than in the past.

KENNETH SHROPSHIRE, WHARTON SPORTS BUSINESS INITIATIVE: It does say that there's been a degree of progress that you can have an event like this and that the racial element is not the key focus of it.

MATTINGLY: FCC chairman Michael Powell questioned the judgment of broadcasting companies who try to keep it hot and steamy for financial gain. And while the event has generated regrets and apologies from the team, the NFL, and ABC, there has been no specific mention of racially motivated complaints. David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, so what has more viewers fuming, the raciness or potential racism of the "Desperate Housewives" spoof? Just before the program I spoke to CNN contributor Michael Smerconish and Michael Eric Dyson, author of the "Michael Eric Dyson Reader" and professor of African-American studies at the University of Pennsylvania.


COOPER: Michael Eric, how much of this controversy do you think is about race? Because when you look at the commercials that run normally on football you see scantily clad women, scantily clad cheerleaders, Levitra, I think, that erectile dysfunction medicine is even a sponsor of the NFL. Did race play a part here?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROF., UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA: Absolutely so. I think that whether consciously or not, whether as a subtext or not race made a huge difference in this case. It's interesting that the two cases which have caused enormous brouhaha with the FCC, the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction and now this T.O. and E.D. engagement has involved people of color, in this case, specifically a black man before a black woman. I think subconsciously the notion of a big black man with a scantily clad woman still evokes memories of a time not too distant in the past where such things were outlawed and they're still looked askance by people now.

They look at through the prisms of race, of gender, of appropriateness and propriety and some people's morality is hinged upon the notion that it is inappropriate for a black man to be the recipient of overtures sexually from a white woman. After all, in 1955 Emmitt Till for simply whistling at a white woman was thrown into the Tallahatchie River. Now here it is that a football player of fame and notoriety and wealth is being the recipient of the overtures. In the one sense it's tremendous progress. In another sense it's the same old thing.

COOPER: Michael Smerconish, would the complaints have been the same or as many if it had been Halle Berry throwing herself at Brett Favre?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that the complaints would have been numerous if they were pink, brown, or Indian chiefs. But I don't deny that -- and I've been doing this for two straight days on the radio, Anderson. It's the talk of the town. I don't deny that some of those folks who are calling and are hot are probably hotter than they would have been had it been people of the same race. I agree that subconsciously there's probably something going on here where because it's an African-American man and a white woman it really pushes a button.

And by the way, pushes a button across racial lines because I've had callers who are African-American females who don't like it and they say, you know, this is just like O.J., this is just like Tiger Woods, this is just like Kobe when he was in Eagle County, Colorado where you have a prominent black man and all of a sudden it's a white woman who enters the equation. But it's not the critical element.

The critical element is -- and I've spent my entire life here in Philadelphia. There's no bigger game than Eagles-Dallas, particularly on a Monday night. And the rule in my house growing up was you can stay up until halftime. And that's still the rule for a lot of kids across the country today. It was the context. It was families with kids watching, tuning in for Monday Night Football, and this was the last thing that they expected to watch. If it had run on HBO, it would be a different story...


COOPER: But Michael, there are commercials. You know, we're showing some. Some of the commercials that run during the NFL, there are plenty of scantily clad women...

DYSON: Let me respond to that. This is Michael Eric. I think that that's exactly right. The fact is you have, you know, testosterone-driven commercials, you've got violence on the gridiron, you have scantily clad women, institutionalized hoochies, some call them, cheerleaders on the sideline with drugs directed toward a masculine market that is driven by the concern for sexuality.

So I think Michael is right, it is the context. But we have to expand the context. The context here is that it's appropriate to sell products through sex when they're controlled by corporate America to a certain degree, but when these outlawed images begin to be generated and I think race does play a part, it plays a critical part, not the dominant part. But it does play a subconscious and a subtextual part that we cannot ignore.

SMERCONISH: I think that it was kids more than race. I think that it was the child element of this. Look, there's trash television across the board. I mean, if I have a sick day and I'm at home, and I turn on in the afternoon, I'm amazed at the things that I watch. But it's children more than it's race.

COOPER: I want to show both of you something that -- a statement that the NFL put out, which I just find fascinating because clearly a lot of work was put into this commercial. I've read it took 40 takes, some 2 1/2 hours to actually tape this. It seems to me like everyone pretty much must have known it or seen it. NFL put out this statement. "ABC's opening was inappropriate and unsuitable for our Monday Night Football audience. While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost." Michael Smerconish, are you surprised that...

SMERCONISH: Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Come on, Anderson, it's that CNN Casablanca, you know, I'm shocked to find that there's gambling at Rick's Cafe, and then they say here are your winnings, sir. And the only thing more ridiculous than the NFL statement was the Eagles statement.

Are you telling me that you have some naked hottie in the locker room, even though it's a Friday at 5:00, and the word doesn't spread like wildfire what's going on? They all knew. There's a report out today in Philadelphia that said that Jeffrey Laurie, the owner of the Eagles, approved the script. It's horrific for the Eagles and the NFL and Disney and everybody else who was involved in this process. In the aftermath of Janet Jackson to have let it go on.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there. Michael Eric Dyson, good to have you on the program. Michael Smerconish, you as well. Thanks

SMERCONISH: Thank you.

COOPER: Well 360 next, fighting aging at the dinner table. How changing your diet some say may be the key to a longer life. We'll check that out. Part of our special series "Eternal Youth."

Also tonight, Michael Jackson's new legal troubles. Oh, yes, another lawsuit.

And in a moment, today's 360 Challenge. How closely have you been following today's current events? Find out next.


COOPER: Time now for today's 360 Challenge. Be the first to answer all three questions correctly and we'll send you a 360 T-shirt.

No. 1, how many stores do Kmart and Sears currently own between them? No. 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger got sprayed by mace yesterday. How many times? And No. 3, who's the "Desperate Housewives" actress featured in ABC's Monday Night Football open?

Take the challenge. Log on to Click on the answer link. Answer first, we'll send you the shirt. Find out last night's challenge winner, tonight's answers coming up.


COOPER: Remember that? A dive into the pool of youth in the hit movie "Cocoon."

Some people will try anything to fight aging, yet some researchers say it doesn't have to be that difficult. Just change your diet. After all, one of the biggest health problems is obesity. More than half of us are over our ideal weight, enough to significantly raise the risk of disease and premature death.

Well, tonight as we continue our special series "Eternal Youth," CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen introduces us to someone who hopes to eat his way to a longer life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like a papaya salad.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kenton Mullins is 5'8, but weighs only 120 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That sounds good.

COHEN: That's because he eats only 1800 calories a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it looks great.

COHEN: Down from 4,000 a day a few years ago. He's hoping it'll help him live to 90, 100, or even longer.

KENTON MULLINS, CALORIE RESTRICTION SOCIETY: It was a very deliberate decision that I made to begin calorie restriction. It's backed by very reputable, extensive research.

COHEN: Like the research with these monkeys. Skinny monkeys, like the one on the right live longer, healthier lives.

DR. SUSAN ROBERTS, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: They've actually aged biologically slower. Their fur's gone gray less quickly.

COHEN: Skinny mice live longer, too. On regular diets, mice in one study lived 36 months. When they ate 25 percent fewer calories, they lived 42 months. On 65 percent fewer calories they lived 55 months.

One theory why is that on fewer calories cells throughout the body appear to die more slowly and repair themselves more easily.

MULLINS: This whole piece of lettuce may have like four or five calories.

COHEN: Mullins counts his calories religiously. For dinner this night he had his papaya salad, steamed vegetables and he ate only about a third of his fish. Low in calories, but high in nutrients.

MULLINS: It's not like I'm living a life of torture.

COHEN: But how many people could have that kind of willpower, could lose and keep off 45 pounds like Mullins did?

RICHARD MILLER, AMERICAN FED. FOR AGING RESEARCH: For every 100 people that are able to lose some weight, 95 or 98 of them just gain the weight back.

COHEN: That's why some researchers, like Richard Miller, want to come up with a pill that tricks your body into thinking it's on a very low-calorie diet even when it's not, giving all of the benefits without any of the sacrifice. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Hmm. Interesting theory.

Well, joining me from Watertown, Massachusetts to talk about other ways you can perhaps live longer, Dr. Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian study and co-author of the book "Living to 100: Lessons In Living to your Maximum Potential Age."

Dr. Perls, thanks very much for being with us.

You designed a life expectancy quiz, and we're going to put on the screen four key questions that people can ask themselves to see if they have maybe what it takes to live to be 100. Now, of these four: are you overweight? Should you exercise more? Are you stressed? Or do you smoke? Why are these four so important?

DR. THOMAS PERLS, NEW ENGLAND CENTENARIAN STUDY: Well, these really are the major key things that take Americans from what they should achieve, about 88 years, down to an average life expectancy of about 78 years, because they're not doing basically what our mothers have told us to do.

So if you're overweight and you have a diet conducive to that, take off ten years. If you're not regularly exercising, most people say about half an hour a day, much of that should be strength training as we get older, you have to take off five years. With the stress, stress is an age accelerator. We internalize things that cause hypertension and heart disease and so on. If you are stressed out and you don't manage your stress well, then you have to take off another five years. And then finally, with the smoking, that's a biggie. You have to take off 15 years if you do that.

COOPER: And you've studied a lot of people who have lived to be 100 or more. What have you noticed that they have in common?

PERLS: Well some of the things that they have in common that actually add years instead of subtracting those years would be that they tend to have a personality where they're low in one domain of personality testing called neuroticism, meaning that they have these personalities where they're happy-go-lucky, they have a good sense of humor, they're optimistic. And they don't dwell on things, they don't -- as with the stress, they don't take these things in that stress out their heart and cause high blood pressure. They're able to let go.

Lots of us have stress, and it isn't so much important how much stress we have. It's how we manage it that's so key. So if you have a personality that where you manage that stress well, you can actually add five years to your life.

The other thing that they tend to do...

COOPER: I've got to tell you, you're stressing me out, though -- you're stressing me out right now, because I'm constantly stressed. So I'm going to have to relieve this. But you...

PERLS: Take a deep, good breath.

COOPER: A deep breath. All right. I'll try that when you answer this next question. You're saying that instead of people sort of searching for that fountain of youth, they should strive for a fountain of aging well. What's the difference?

PERLS: Well, if we're spending all our time and resources and money on trying to look good, whether it be with Botox injections, or going after those ridiculous human growth hormone, which probably accelerates aging and which is actually illegal for anti-aging, people should be thinking more about these very basic things that you can do to age well, add healthy years to your life.

Because you're not going to add unhealthy years to your life. And aging is much more -- and good health is much more than just level of the skin. And if we do things right, that's what's really going to enhance your ability to live to a much older age. It's not a matter of the older you get the sicker you get. It's the older you get the healthier you've been.

COOPER: And certainly stressing about getting older is not going to help anything.

PERLS: Not at all.

COOPER: Dr. Thomas Perls, really interesting to talk to you, thanks very much. Our viewers actually at home, you take the life expectancy quiz logging on to our Web site, and just click on the link. Takes about three minutes. It's pretty interesting.

We'll continue our special series tomorrow with "Youth in a Bottle."

Can pills turn back time? Hmm, well, we'll see.

Then Friday, "Young at All Cost,"the price people pay in our ever-growing youth culture.

But next on "360," Michael Jackson -- interesting transition, faces another lawsuit. We'll tell you why he's being sued this time.


COOPER: Well, tonight Michael Jackson's latest hits. We're not talking about the king of pop's just released box set, Jackson has been hit with another lawsuit. Now, he's being sued by a former business partner, a former porn producer who claims that Jackson owes him some $3 million in loans and producing fees. Jackson's camp denies that. Now, this lawsuit got us wondering just how many people are suing Michael Jackson?

CNN's Miguel Marquez tried to find out.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael Jackson, sued again, this time by a former producer who wants $3 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Michael Jackson interview, the footage you were never meant to see.

MARQUEZ: Mark Schaffel, says the money is owed for two videos he produced rebutting Jackson's portrayal in the controversial Martin Bashir documentary that aired on ABC last February. And also that over the years he loaned Jackson over $2 million.

J. RANDY TARABORRELLI, JACKSON BIOGRAPHER: Michael's been sued by former business managers, accountants, investment bankers, former employees.

MARQUEZ: Jay Randy Tarabarelli has known Michael Jackson since he was 10-years-old and wrote a biography of the embattled pop star. He says Jackson is no stranger to lawyers or courtrooms.

TARABORRELLI: Over the course of the last 35 years Michael's been sued roughly 40 times a year.

MARQUEZ: Tarabarelli, says some of the suits may have merits but many of them are by people seeking money because Jackson flaunts his wealth and is seen as an easy target.

TARABORRELLI: He brings to the table a sort of cluelessness that people with whom he does business with believe that maybe they might be able to, you know, sue him and perhaps profit from it.

MARQUEZ: Sources close to Jackson say the pop star has been sued for, among other things, stealing the moonwalk, also by an herbalist who claims Jackson failed to pay him for his herbal compounds, and by a makeup artist who claims Jackson didn't call when he said he would.

TARABORRELLI: I think he is a magnet for lawsuits. But I think the reason has to do with his personality more than it does his finances.

MARQUEZ (on camera): The story of this latest lawsuit may be more complex. In Jackson's current criminal case Mark Schaffel's home was searched by Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies. Michael Jackson's lawyers tell CNN they hope to have a statement soon on this latest lawsuit.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: Coming up next -- what were Republicans doing behind closed doors?

We'll look at that today.

Plus the "360 Challenge." here's another look at tonight's questions. Have you been paying attention? The answers right after this.


COOPER: Time now for the answers to today's "360 Challenge." how many stores do Kmart and Sears currently own between them, the answer, 3,500.

Arnold Schwarzenegger got sprayed by mace yesterday how many times, twice.

And who's the "Desperate Housewives" actress featured in ABC's "Monday Night Football" open, the answer, Nicolette Sheridan.

The first person to answer all three questions correctly will be sent a "360" shirt. Tune in tomorrow, find out if you're the one.

Tonight, taking fancy footwork to "The Nth Degree." Look-it, in politics as in life, you've got to stay loose. You've got to weave, you've got to bend, you've got to bob. Roll with the punches, go with the flow.

Want an example? Well, 10 years ago Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat, was forced out of the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee as a result of a rule change passed by Congressional Republicans. If you were indicted, which Rostenkowski had been on mail fraud charges, you couldn't keep a leadership position, said the new rule. OK, flash forward.

Today's House Republicans are a little worried that their majority leader, Tom DeLay, may be indicted back home in Texas, as three of his political associates have been on campaign financing charges. So what do they do? Are they unbending? Are they high- bound? Are they unwilling to revisit the issue, nope, they change the rule. Not a state indictment, that we didn't mean. Just a federal indictment.

There's a movement afoot to send Arnold Schwarzenegger to the White House if the rule against foreign-born presidents can be changed. And what about that no three terms provision, isn't that a little, you know, quaint?

How did the Mexican bandit with the gold hat put it in that great old movie, rules, we don't need no stinking rules.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching 360. Coming up next PAULA ZAHN NOW.


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