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AMERICAN MORNING

'Kamber & May'; 'Paging Dr. Gupta'

Aired March 23, 2005 - 08:31   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome back, everybody. Just about half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING.
Up next this morning, the next legal steps in the battle over Terri Schiavo.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Also, Barry Bonds lashing out again at the media. Did it yesterday, saying all the questions about steroids have finally gotten to him. We'll talk to a writer at "Sports Illustrated" about whether or not we've seen the last of Bonds for this season, or the last of Bonds forever.

O'BRIEN: Kind of a weird moment -- you, you, you.

HEMMER: And dropping some hints yesterday too. There's a lot going through -- he has a lot going on in his life right now -- knee operations, and civil suits and the questions about BALCO on the east bay in Oakland. So we'll get to all of it in a moment here.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you know, The only thing I liked about the news conference with Barry Bonds' son was wearing a Lions jersey. I'm a big Lions fan. He was wearing Barry Sanders' jersey.

HEMMER: You liked that?

COSTELLO: That was pretty cool. But I'll be interested to see what the sports illustrated reporter has to say.

Now in the news. Good morning to you.

A team of school psychologists are heading to northern Minnesota this morning to help students cope after a shooting rampage there. Officials suspect Jeff Weise killed his grandparents and seven students at the school before turning the gun on himself. The high school remains closed this morning, and it's not clear when it will reopen.

Actor Robert Blake's criminal trial is over, but his civil suit is just beginning. Blake was acquitted last week of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Her children are now suing Blake in a wrongful-death suit. He's set to give a videotaped deposition in about two weeks.

And President Bush is being downright neighborly this morning. The president hosting Mexico's president and Canada's prime minister. The three leaders are set to announce a broad plan to strengthen economic and security ties.

And the Fox network is scrambling to fix a phone foul-up on its hit show "American Idol." Three of the show's final 11 contestants were shown with the wrong telephone numbers. The premise of the show, as you probably know, is that viewers call in and vote for their favorite idols. The least popular one is booted off. The network is expected to allow a revote to tonight in order correct the error. So it should be interesting watching.

HEMMER: Thirty million viewers a night. Think they'll get that tonight? Probably more.

O'BRIEN: And suddenly errors all over the place. Let's run it again. I could be a network programmer, see?

All right, Carol, thanks.

A federal court of appeals has denied Terri Schiavo's parents case to have their daughter's feeding tube reinserted. They say they plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is of course a case that has been in the court system for years, and major hot-button issue as well since Congress and the president got involved over the weekend.

To talk about it this morning, Democratic consultant Victor Kamber and former RNC communications director Cliff May. They're both in Washington this morning.

Nice to see you guys. Thanks for being with us.

VICTOR KAMBER, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: Good morning.

CLIFF MAY, FMR. RNC COMM. DIR.: Republican Congressman Tom DeLay had some comments he was making off camera to a conservative Christian group. I want to, before we get to our questions, play what he had to say first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM DELAY (R), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America, that Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid, and starve them to death for two weeks. I mean, in America, that is going to happen if we don't win this fight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: "One thing God has brought us is Terri Schiavo." This is the guy who said we're not going to make this political. This is not political; it's about Terri Schiavo.

Cliff, why don't you take the first question. She is then, right, a political pawn?

MAY: I don't think him saying -- talking about God makes it political; I think it makes it religious. And I think a lot of people of faith do feel that there's a religious component to it. There's obviously a political component as well, a legal component, a moral component, probably an entertainment component, which is why a lot of people are tuning in to discuss it.

My only feeling is there are a lot of questions that haven't been answered very well about why she didn't have a full neurological examination in recent years, or a PET scan or an MRI, whether or not she is lucid or not, about whether or not she can feel pain. I think it would have been OK to not kill her so quick. Again, she's not being allowed to die; she's being executed. If she were a prisoner on death row, the governor could call in and issue a stay of execution, but she doesn't have those rights.

And I just think these questions are important. It's why we're discussing them, and I think there's nothing wrong with what he said.

O'BRIEN: Someone would say those questions have actually been discussed, and answered, in court after court after court. I think it's numbered 20 judges have taken a look at that. Vic...

MAY: Let me just say, I think that's wrong. I think that one judge looked at it, and the other judges looked at that judge, and it was based on the law, not based on -- a second opinion, medically, is not that much to ask.

O'BRIEN: My understanding is that, in fact, there's more than just first and second opinions. There have been many, many doctors weighing in on the persistent vegetative state.

But let's move on, because, Vic, I'm curious to know, as Cliff says, it is political, it is moral, it is ethical; it involves all of these things. Why is that such a bad thing?

KAMBER: Well, first, let me respond to the first question about Tom DeLay. Here's an ethically challenged individual who should be investigated, should be questioned by his own colleagues, who is hiding behind trying to rally support for himself by using this case, trying to wrap himself around conservative issues and saying, I'm your hero, I'm your conservative god, so to speak, Protect me from the left-wing crazies that are trying to get me. This is a man that I think conservatives should be embarrassed and ashamed about. There are a lost good conservatives. While I may disagree with conservative ideology, I respect them for their view. This a man you cannot respect, in one breath.

So what he says is he's clearly using this case and this situation for his own advantage, not for hers.

With regard to the situation today, last week, you know, people said Congress moved in the wrong way and said let the courts have a say. Well, the courts now have had a say twice. The courts, the Congress should get out of this situation, this is a private situation, a family situation. This woman, what's left of her life, should have some dignity with it, and should be able to die or live, as the case may be, with the level of dignity that we're not giving her right now. O'BRIEN: Let's move on to the next question. Yesterday the Senate majority leader Bill Frist sent a letter off to the Florida governor, Jeb Bush. He urged him to do this last-minute intervention by the state legislature.

Cliff, why don't you take this first. What do you make of the move?

MAY: Well, I just think that Senator Frist, who as you know is a doctor as well, is asking the governor of Florida to make sure he's doing absolutely everything he can to be sure that all of the questions that are still out there and people -- a lot of people are not sure of the answers, have been addressed. I think it's a perfectly reasonable thing for Senator Frist to do.

O'BRIEN: Vic, what's wrong with having another hearing? Once the woman dies, she's dead forever. So why not have another judge, another court, another legislature take a look to see too make sure all the i's have dotted and the t's have been crossed?

KAMBER: Well, I think you said it earlier when you said it to Cliff, I don't know how many i's you want to dot and how many t's you want to cross. I'm for doing it as much as possible.

The question is, should it be the Congress, the legislature, the courts every time intervening? Bill Frist, what he did is a political move again. He wants to run for president. He take on this issue to show the conservatives that he's one of them. He also put the governor on the spot. Why did they even come to Congress? This legislature, which is Republican dominated could have, in fact, done something in Florida before, but I understand there's nine or 10 Republicans that are holding out down there, saying that enough is enough, that this woman has had all the looks by doctors, lawyers, everything possible, 12, 13, 14 years, we're not going to get involved.

So Frist is trying to go to that small conservative base, the religious base, and say look what I've done, I'm fighting for her life. It's another political move, and it sickens me to see that people are using politics for their own end in this case.

O'BRIEN: Oh, you sound a little naive there. It doesn't surprise me even slightly that people are using politics to their own benefit. But maybe I'm just old and jaded at this point.

You guy, as always, thank you very much. Appreciate the debate this morning -- Bill.

HEMMER: Jaded, maybe, but never old.

O'BRIEN: Keep going. More, more.

HEMMER: Wait for the commercial.

(WEATHER REPORT) HEMMER: We're constantly hit with information, every day with technology today. How, then, would you like someone to be at your side remembering for you? Maybe a robot. All this week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the science of memory. And today, he reports on some hard-wired helpers.

Here's Sanjay.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here, in MIT's humanoid robotics lab, researchers create robots designed to move and respond like humans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

ROBOT: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good robot.

GUPTA: Enter Charlie Kemp. Kemp has built a wearable computer he called Duo, equipped with a backpack hard drive, head-mounted camera and position sensors on his arm. Kemp is trying to program Duo to remember the way we do, to filter out the ordinary and file away what is new or different.

CHARLIE KEMP, MIT HUMANOID ROBOTICS GROUP: There's all this stuff that humans take for granted; you know, the common sense, our everyday activity as our mundane existence is what machines have an incredibly difficult time with.

GUPTA: Some day, Kemp says a wearable computer might enhance your memory. For example, recognizing people you encounter and reminding you when you saw them last.

Nearby, at MIT's media lab, Sunil Vemuri has designed a memory prosthesis. The wireless device attaches to his belt. It records all of his conversations, sends them to a computer, and converts the recordings to text files. He can then search by keywords and date.

SUNIL VEMURI, MIT MEDIA LAB: The eventual goal of all of this is to help people with everyday memory problems.

GUPTA: But Vemuri's memory prosthesis isn't something you can buy. It's only a prototype.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: And don't forget here, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's back on Sunday night. His primetime special is called "MEMORY," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 on the West Coast right here on CNN this Sunday.

The cost of airfare is taking flight again. We'll tell you how high they're set to fly, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: From Iraq now, it is common for insurgents to videotape their attacks on U.S. forces, then later use that tape for propaganda. But in a recent raid south of Baghdad, the tables were turned. That videotape is being used against them, and the Pentagon is behind it.

Here's Jamie McIntyre this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This videotape captured by U.S. troops gives an insurgent's-eye view of an ambush on a supply convoy and the outskirts of Baghdad Sunday.

SGT. LEIGH ANN HESTER, U.S. ARMY: We confiscated that video. The insurgent that was actually filming, he was taken down by my squad, and we confiscated that camera from him.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. military says an unusually large force up to 50 insurgents attacked the convoy using small arms and RPGs. Shaky video provides an unusual perspective on what it's like to be on the receiving end of superior U.S. firepower.

HESTER: We were trailing that convoy, and that convoy came under context, and immediately we went to the right side of the convoy and began taking fire, and we laid down suppressive fire, and flanked the insurgents and overcame that day.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. says 26 enemy fighters were killed in what turned into a rout. The U.S. forces suffered no deaths, but did have seven soldiers wounded. The Pentagon provided both the confiscated videotape and access to some of the U.S. soldiers who took part in the engagement through its own satellite link from Iraq to underscore the success it's had protecting convoys.

HESTER: They might hit one or two convoys, but they're not getting all of them. Supplies are still getting through.

MCINTYRE: Pentagon officials say they think all the dead were foreign fighters. They were hoping to produce a propaganda video, and the U.S. military says the plan backfired.

HESTER: Hopefully, the other insurgents that are still out there will see that, and see that they're messing with the wrong people when they mess with the U.S.

MCINTYRE: Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: Another note here on the Iraq war, former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch is honoring a friend and a fallen comrade. At a press conference in Arizona, Lynch remembered Specialist Lori Piestewa. She was killed two years ago when Lynch was captured during an attack on their Army convoy. Piestewa was the first Native American woman killed in combat while fighting for the U.S. military.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSICA LYNCH, FMR. POW: Being so different made us that much more closer. So it was just, you know, having her there with me, and I knew that I was safe and she thought the same. So we became really quick friends.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEMMER: Jessica Lynch from yesterday.

Later tonight, on "NEWSNIGHT," join Aaron Brown for a special edition of "NEWSNIGHT" on the two-year anniversary of the 507 Maintenance Company. That's tonight at 10:00 eastern, 7:00 on the West Coast here on CNN -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: So is Oprah's golden touch losing some of its luster? Gerri Willis is "Minding Your Business," up next. You're watching "AMERICAN MORNING."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: All right, welcome back. Here's Jack again.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Oprah has not been as lucky as for her cars as she has been for books. And it's going to cost more to fly and Gerri Willis -- what a terrible introduction. I apologize, Gerri.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN ANCHOR: I know. I think bad news bear here.

CAFFERTY: That is the worst introduction anybody's ever done. Gerri Willis is in for Andy Serwer, "Minding Your Business" today. She will now lighten the place here considerably more than it has been for the last 20 seconds. I just absolutely butchered that. I'm very sorry.

WILLIS: It was OK, Jack.

Let's talk about Oprah. That always makes everybody happy, right? Oprah Winfrey. You know her as somebody who can sell books. She made Dr. Phil a household name. What can this woman not do? Well, apparently, she can't sell G.M. cars. According to a story in "The Detroit Free Press" -- you're looking at the giveaway, the famous giveaway of G-6 Pontiacs. Right here. It was costly for some of those people, of course. They had to pay taxes on them.

But she gave away these cars and the expectation was that it would make the car very, very popular. You're seeing a picture of it right now. You know what, Jack? It did not happen. The car, according to "The Detroit Free Press," is a flop. It's not selling at all as well as the Grand Am, which it replaced.

CAFFERTY: You know, people complain they had to pay taxes on the car. You get a $20,000 car for nothing. You owe $3,000 in sales tax. If you don't have the three grand, you sell the car, pocket 17 grand, stop complaining. I mean, that's a pretty good deal, right?

WILLIS: Gift horse -- looking a gift horse in a mouth, something like that.

CAFFERTY: Exactly. Airlines, going to cost more to fly?

WILLIS: Yes, now this is bad news.

CAFFERTY: It's not. Or it will or it won't, or maybe or yes?

WILLIS: Well, it's been confusing, hasn't it? Just in time for summer vacation, yes, you're going to have to pay more. We're following up on a story from yesterday in which Delta said it was going to break with all the other airlines and not increase fares. Today, a different story. The airline is saying, yes, we're going to join in, we're going to raise fares $10 per round trip for domestic flights.

Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, Northwest, Continental, AMR, U.S. Air, you name it. Bad news there. Guess what? Overall, if this price hike sticks, it will mean the prices have gone up 30 to 40 bucks.

CAFFERTY: Wow. And the stock market's looking a little anemic, thanks to the use of the I word by Mr. Greenspan.

WILLIS: I'm going to spend the next hour looking for good news. That's my job.

CAFFERTY: Thanks, Gerri.

Time for "The Cafferty File." It's Wednesday, "Things People Say."

Beginning with this. "You either take me seriously or you don't." Jennifer Lopez.

"I think it's kind of a surprise, but I'm actually happy about it. He didn't marry a great winner. Do we agree on that?" Donald Trump, talking about what's his name, the "Baretta"...

HEMMER: Robert Blake.

CAFFERTY: Robert Blake, talking about the wife that was the subject of the recently...

O'BRIEN: Bonny Lee Bakely.

CAFFERTY: ... concluded murder trial. Mr. Trump suggesting that she was not, quote, "a great winner." That was supposed to be in the copy, but it got misplaced along with...

O'BRIEN: We're free to help you out. We got your back.

CAFFERTY: Then there's this. "We have to fix it or Rumsfeld may never retire." President Bush, talking about Social Security reform. HEMMER: That's funny.

CAFFERTY: And this one. "My son said it's so embarrassing having you talk all the time on TV about being gay. And you picking me up at school in painters' pants." I told him yes, yes, keep it for your book. Rosie O'Donnell, talking about the way her son reacts to her sexual orientation.

And finally this. "A woman has to be a friend, independent, ladylike, shy and yet a freak in bed. I feel sexual confidence, but there's only a certain amount of bull that I'm willing to take." Halle Berry, talking about how to keep a man faithful.

O'BRIEN: You go, girl. She needs a good man in her, that Halle. She's cute and she deserves it.

HEMMER: She's got a long list.

O'BRIEN: Of people that didn't quite work out.

CAFFERTY: But you know what? There's only one that matters. Of the things she listed, there's only one that really...

HEMMER: Thank you, Mr. Cafferty.

O'BRIEN: Oh, please.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: True love, Halle. Ignore him and listen to me. In a moment, a look at the day's top stories, including the problem of childhood obesity. We're going to sort out some confusing advice to give parents specific tools to help families eat healthier. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Good morning. And on this morning, running out of time in the Terri Schiavo case, and her parents running out of options, as well, after another legal setback overnight.

The Red Lake rampage. Searching for answers after America's deadliest school shooting in years. In a moment, the principal tells us what happened when one student there snapped.

Also...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARRY BONDS, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: You guys wanted to hurt me bad enough. You finally got there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEMMER: Barry Bonds lashing out at the media again and now questioning his own future in the game on this AMERICAN MORNING. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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