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AMERICAN MORNING

Michael Jackson, Jury; Inside Iraq's Insurgency

Aired June 3, 2005 - 07:29   ET

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


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: It's 7:30 here in New York. Good morning, everybody. Good to have you along with us today on this AMERICAN MORNING here.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Carol Costello, in for Soledad today.

Back to the big day in the Michael Jackson trial. It's expected to go to the jury just hours from now.

HEMMER: And Anne Bremner will be there. She's been there from the beginning, in fact. She's back with us at the end today, live in a few moments. We'll pick Anne's brain and find out what she thought about those closing arguments that started yesterday. They conclude today. And then the jurors get the chance to deliberate this case. We'll talk to Anne in a moment.

First, though, the headlines, and Valerie Morris has those.

Good morning -- Valerie. Nice to see you.

VALERIE MORRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Bill. Good morning, Carol. I was A-K-A-U, this morning.

COSTELLO: You got up really early then.

MORRIS: Good to see you.

And "Now in the News."

The U.S. is warning Americans in Indonesia to be aware and beware. Officials say terrorists are planning to bomb hotels in Jakarta. The warning comes after an unspecified security threat prompted the U.S. to temporarily close its diplomatic facilities in Indonesia last week.

Syria has apparently test-fired three Scud missiles. Israeli security sources say the missiles were fired last week. The tests coincide with the first round of parliamentary elections in neighboring Lebanon.

The man wanted in connection with a shooting spree in Richmond, Virginia, is in custody this morning. David Andrew Boller (ph) was arrested last night without incident. Police say that they no longer believe the slayings are a hate crime, as earlier suspected.

The woman who claimed she found a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili could enter a plea today. Anna Ayala faces nearly 10 years in prison in what officials say was a grand hoax to extort money from the fast food chain.

And actress Cameron Diaz is suing "The National Enquirer" for more than $10 million. She is fuming over a report alleging she cheated on boyfriend Justin Timberlake. At issue is a photograph that shows Diaz hugging her MTV producer.

And that is the very latest. It seems that it doesn't take very much, does it, to get the rags...

HEMMER: I would say that's more than 10 million, don't you think?

MORRIS: Right.

HEMMER: Thanks, Valerie.

MORRIS: Sure.

HEMMER: Michael Jackson's fate is in the hands of the jury by the end of the day today. During closing arguments in his trial on Thursday, the prosecution portrayed Jackson as a hard-drinking, porn- collecting pedophile, while the defense called the accuser's family con artists and actors and liars. Needless to say, it was a bit ugly.

Attorney Anne Bremner was there. She's back outside the courthouse.

Anne, good morning out there.

ANNE BREMNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning.

HEMMER: How do you think the prosecution did yesterday?

BREMNER: I thought the prosecution did a five-star job, just a brilliant closing argument. And he had wonderful themes. You know, the world of the forbidden, that's what we've entered in this case, what the jury has entered, and what the accuser in the case entered.

He had visuals that were very compelling, montages of Michael Jackson amidst all of his victims, that they all look the same. And even a montage with Michael Jackson in the middle -- I shouldn't say montage. Kind of a pictorial with Michael Jackson in the middle, and a picture of him dangling his baby over a balcony, a picture of the accuser with his head on Michael Jackson's shoulder in that documentary by Martin Bashir, and his own children with veils on, and he had a mask on all around him. Very, very well done, kind of a rhapsody of words that was given to the jury.

HEMMER: Now, I'm told it started slow but it built to a crescendo. And all of this was handled mostly by Ron Zonin (ph). Was that the right call to have him do it instead of Tom Sneddon?

BREMNER: Absolutely. It was like a Beethoven's sonata. It was a work of art. He started slowly and built up to a real crescendo, kind of had (INAUDIBLE). And it was just beautifully done, not a wasted thought, not a wasted word, very, very powerful and brilliant.

HEMMER: Defense attorney Tom Mesereau, he really picked away at the timing for the accusations. How well did he do?

BREMNER: That is the best part of the defense in this case: the timing. That the molestation allegedly occurred after this documentary aired, where the whole world was watching Michael Jackson. Complaints were coming in that he was a child molester. Complaints were coming in about how he treated his own children. And there was a media frenzy surrounding him. And that, allegedly, is when the molestation started. And what Tom Mesereau has said is that's absurd. That doesn't make sense. And he said, this whole case doesn't make sense.

HEMMER: You say, though, the defense stumbled out of the gate. Apparently, there was some sort of equipment problem. How serious was it?

BREMNER: Well, you know, it's every lawyer's worst nightmare. I mean, we're not -- most of us are not very technical. And what happened was his equipment didn't work. And so there was a 20-minute hiatus between the two closing arguments, while he and Susan Yew (ph) tried to basically get everything together to start the presentation so they could use visuals. And she even turned to Michael Jackson and said, you know, "I'm so sorry."

So, with primacy and recency, you want to start out the gate with your opening statement strong and capture the jurors' attention. This all happened before them. So, it was an unfortunate occurrence, but one that definitely hurt.

HEMMER: Anne, a week ago, you thought this would be an acquittal.

BREMNER: I did.

HEMMER: And apparently you've changed your mind on, at least one charge. Why? And what charge is that?

BREMNER: Well, now I think that there is a real possibility of conviction on the molestation, and now we've got a lesser on the alcohol charge. And that's in play, too, I think.

I think there are a couple of reasons. Number one, there was a video at the very end that was played and not rebutted of this accuser. And the whole defense has been he's scripted, you know, he's a con artist, and he's an actor, he's a liar. This was scripted. He was coached. But we saw the video. And it was the antithesis. He was reluctant. He paused like 20 seconds before he even would say that Michael Jackson molested him. It was the real deal.

So, that one video, that one video undermined almost all of those arguments as to his credibility.

But the second thing is molestation, as defined in California and given to this jury in the charge, only requires touching for sexual gratification. That's it. Not a touching of the private parts of the accuser or victim. It's a very low standard. And now we have this lesser on alcohol, which is simply furnishing alcohol to a minor, not furnishing with the intent to molest.

You know, his room is like the lost weekend, that movie. There was alcohol everywhere, children in bed with him, children drinking in the wine cellular, independent witnesses talking about alcohol and children.

So now, I think that this -- there's kind of a (INAUDIBLE) or a mood in the courtroom, and that mood has shifted from one of hung jury acquittal to a real possibility of a conviction.

HEMMER: Thanks, Anne. Attorney Anne Bremner, we will watch it from here.

BREMNER: Thank you.

HEMMER: Santa Maria, California, this morning -- Carol.

COSTELLO: On the subject of Iraq this morning, at least 10 Iraqis were killed last night, closing a day of insurgent attacks in which nearly 50 people died. The latest suicide bomb went at a home near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Iraq's interior minister says 12,000 civilians have been killed in the 18-month insurgency. That's about 20 people per day. And it does not include the hundreds of security forces who have died.

Various estimates put the total number of dead at around 20,000 since the war began on March 19, 2003. The U.S. has lost more than 1,600 troops during that time, about two for each day.

Iraq's interior minister also says that after five days of Operation Lightning, the security situation has improved by 60 percent.

Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon with the second part of her special report on the insurgency.

Good morning -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Carol.

Well, are things getting better or worse in Iraq? Two years after the war began, it still depends on who you ask.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice over): A senior U.S. military intelligence officer says the insurgency in Iraq is getting more sophisticated. Fighters are increasing their surveillance of military and civilian targets. But U.S. and Iraqi forces are rounding up hundreds of insurgents. So, is the insurgency getting stronger? GEN. RICHARD MYERS, CHMN., JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: The number of incidents is actually down over 20 percent, depending what you measure it against.

STARR: But a month earlier, General Myers said this about the insurgents.

MYERS: No. I think their capacity is, it stays about the same. And where they are right now is where they were almost a year ago.

STARR: Vice President Dick Cheney recently predicted success.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they're in the last throes, if you will, in the insurgency.

STARR: U.S. military officials estimate there are still between 12,000 and 20,000 fighters. In the last two months alone, the toll on U.S. troops and Iraqis has been devastating: 278 car bomb attacks, more than 750 Iraqis killed or wounded, and 131 American troops killed. Why the spike since the January elections?

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The insurgents may have actually made a strategic decision to attack a little bit less during that period when the population was more hopeful, realizing that any attacks at that time would not be as well-received.

STARR: Analysts agree, the insurgents are not easily defeated.

COL. THOMAS X. HAMMES, U.S. MARINE CORPS: So, we're two years into what is at least probably a 10-year war. Counter-insurgency is not about killing insurgents. You can kill as many insurgents as you want and you won't win.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: So, where do things stand now, Carol? Well, U.S. military officials say they are sticking with their strategy; that there will be no change. They are going to focus on training Iraqi security forces to take over the security of that country, and hopefully then bring the troops home. But no predictions on when all of that may happen -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon this morning -- Bill.

HEMMER: It's 21 minutes before the hour, Carol.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HEMMER: A California eighth grader is this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee winner. That winning word, appoggiatura, it means a melodic tone. Listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANURAG KASHYAP, SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE CHAMP: Appoggiatura, A-P-P-O-G-G-I-A-T-U-R-A.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEMMER: Appoggiatura is the winner, and that's Anurag Kashyap. He beat 272 others. He takes home 30 grand in prize. In the 9:00 hour today, we'll talk to him about his big win. Last year, what did he finish, 47th, I think? Is that right?

COSTELLO: Forty-seventh.

HEMMER: And this year, he's number one. So well done.

COSTELLO: He spelled the word so fast!

HEMMER: Yes, he did.

COSTELLO: Usually, they're so slow and methodical. He's like, and then he puts the cardboard over his face.

HEMMER: Slam dunk.

COSTELLO: Yes.

HEMMER: Good for him.

COSTELLO: He's cute kid.

HEMMER: Andy is back here in a moment, too, "Minding Your Business." Word today of big developments in a couple of huge corporate scandals. We'll get to that with Drew.

COSTELLO: Also, some bizarre behavior by Tom Cruise has tongues wagging in Hollywood. Is his career in trouble? "90-Second Pop" is just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: So graduation was a couple of weeks ago. Now junior is back home, living in the basement, still doesn't have a job. Sound familiar? Well, it's getting to be more and more common.

This weekend on "IN THE MONEY," we'll take a look at why it's happening and whether it's anything to get alarmed about. You bet it's something to get alarmed about. Get a job and get out of my house. Saturday at 1:00, Sunday at 3:00.

HEMMER: Out of that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) basement!

CAFFERTY: Yes.

HEMMER: Thank you, Jack.

A pair of corporate scandal trials. The Scrushy jury takes a break, Andy's favorite trial. And the jury in the Tyco trial is getting down to business. Back to Andy on this, "Minding Your Business" again.

Where do you want to start?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: I want to start with the Kozlowski trial. Here we go again. Remember, this is a retrial. The first one ended in a mistrial. The case goes to the jury this morning. Dennis Kozlowski, ex-CEO of Tyco he of the $6,000 shower curtain. How would you like that to be your legacy? Oh, yes, he's the $6,000 shower curtain guy.

Now, an interesting development yesterday. This is a CNN exclusive. Some producers were in the courtroom yesterday. And guess who was there? Ruth Jordan. Remember her, juror number four from the first trial? She was the woman who was allegedly making hand signals, who got the letter that caused the mistrial? She was there yesterday. Our producer saw her handing out cookies to Kozlowski and Mark Schwartz, the co-defendant. Why is the judge allowing this to happen? It's the same judge, Judge Obis (ph). I cannot understand that.

HEMMER: Only in New York City.

SERWER: I mean, it's just crazy. She should not be allowed in the courtroom.

COSTELLO: What kind of cookies were they?

SERWER: No word. They were store-bought, apparently, though, our producers noted and not homemade apparently. Kozlowski appreciated it, Schwartz did not.

Let's move down to Birmingham, Alabama, where the trial of Richard Scrushy -- he of all kinds of shenanigans -- continues. Yesterday, though, another interesting development. A juror fell sick, and they ended deliberations. That's the 10th day of deliberations. The prosecutors are getting a little more glum as this goes on and on, because apparently the jurors are a little confused down there. You will remember that the Bernie Ebbers jury was out for eight days, and we thought that was a good sign for Ebbers. Came back and nailed him.

HEMMER: That jury (INAUDIBLE) on and on and on.

SERWER: That's right.

HEMMER: Thank you, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: It's time for the "Question of the Day."

CAFFERTY: Thank you, Carol.

A British couple got into the record books this week, 105-year- old Percy Arrowsmith (ph) and his 100-year-old wife, Florence, celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Do we have their picture?

HEMMER: I love the picture.

CAFFERTY: Where is their picture?

COSTELLO: There it is.

CAFFERTY: There we are.

HEMMER: That's so sweet.

CAFFERTY: The secret of their success? Never go to sleep on an argument. They also make sure to always kiss and hold hands before retiring for the night.

The question is this: What's the secret to a successful marriage?

Phil in New Jersey says: "Speaking to someone with 40 years of marriage and still going strong, I'll say it takes hard work, patience and a willingness to compromise."

Emily in Massachusetts: "The secret to a happy marriage is definitely a sense of humor. If you fail to lighten up and see the funny side of things, you are doomed to a life in drudgery. They say that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Kevin in New Jersey writes: "Equality for one. The days of Archie Bunker are over, and I have made it my one goal in life to never make my wife cry."

Jean in New Hampshire: "Just remember one thing: If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

And Joe in Florida writes: "A successful marriage is like military intelligence. both are oxymorons."

SERWER: Wow! Those are some good lines there.

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: I like that one.

COSTELLO: I love that. Oh, Lisa Kudrow, you know her. Maybe you don't. Anyway, she is heading back to the small screen with a brand, new sitcom. The 90-second poppers weigh in on whether the former friend has a hit on her hands. That's next on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: It is "90-Second Pop" for a Friday with the stars. Toure, CNN pop culture correspondent. Oh, he loves that. Amy Barnett from "Teen People." And B.J. Sigesmund from "Us Weekly."

Welcome to you all. B.J. SIGESMUND, STAFF EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": Good morning.

AMY BARNETT, "TEEN PEOPLE": Good morning.

COSTELLO: The first topic, of course, has to be Tom Cruise, because...

TOURE, CNN POP CULTURE CORRESPONDENT: Look at you, though. You're already like...

COSTELLO: I was watching the "Oprah" show, when he was acting like a 14-year-old teenager in love.

SIGESMUND: Not only "Oprah," but, of course, he was on "Access Hollywood" dissing Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants, and, of course, all of his talk about Scientology. Well, now "The New York Times" says that studio execs are worried that all of this media attention on Tom Cruise has been distracting people from the movie that he's been trying to promote, which is all very ironic.

TOURE: What movie?

SIGESMUND: "War of the Worlds," which is coming out four weeks from now. Studio execs, like Paramount, which is releasing "War of the Worlds," say that they're worried about Tom Cruise's damage that he's done to his career long term. And, in fact, Paramount is even considering -- reportedly considering, I should add, delaying the production of "Mission Impossible 3," which is set to start next month.

TOURE: Yes, I heard that, too

BARNETT: But I think he's like the smartest man alive or either he's the most ignorant man alive, which, you know, which is impossible, because he's been in the business for 20 years. So, it's so weird to me. But apparently he doesn't read newspapers. He doesn't, you know, use his computer.

SIGESMUND: Oh, and the computer.

BARNETT: So he's isolated. But he could be really, really smart, because the thing is all of this talk about Scientology and whether or not Tom and Katie are real, I mean, it's actually creating a huge buzz around Tom Cruise, the likes of which he hasn't seen.

COSTELLO: He didn't need a buzz created around him.

TOURE: But it's not creating a positive buzz.

BARNETT: He looks crazy.

TOURE: Nobody is saying he looks good.

BARNETT: Right.

TOURE: He looks crazy. SIGESMUND: Yes.

TOURE: I mean, this is not the way that men who are truly in love act.

SIGESMUND: Right.

BARNETT: Yes.

TOURE: And there's also another person who is taking blame in this. "Oprah," suddenly I've lost a little -- just a little, but a little respect for "Oprah." She was not an interviewer. She was just an enabler. Did she even ask a question, or did she just say he's gone?

(CROSSTALK)

BARNETT: It was really...

TOURE: That's all she said, he's gone. He's gone.

SIGESMUND: Yes. It was the Tom Cruise show.

BARNETT: Yes.

SIGESMUND: But the thing is, for 20 years he was under the tutelage of Pat Kingsley (ph),the legendary PR maven. Now he's been doing it on his own the last little while, and he has not been behaving.

TOURE: He always seemed cool, and now he seems corny.

COSTELLO: I will only say the one more thing about the "Oprah" show with Tom Cruise that it got the highest ratings in quite some time for that show.

SIGESMUND: That had nothing to do, though...

BARNETT: Everybody has seen him. I mean, we'll all TiVoed it.

COSTELLO: I know. I know.

BARNETT: It's been passed around the Internet.

COSTELLO: We have to go to the next topic, so we can get it all in. We're going to talk about Lisa Kudrow and her new show...

TOURE: Yes.

COSTELLO: ... "The Comeback."

TOURE: Yes, yes. I mean, Lisa Kudrow as a comedian is amazing. Her timing, her rhythm, she's like a jazz artist. I mean, I would really listen to her read the phone book. Like that old cliche, I would really, really do it.

COSTELLO: OK.

TOURE: But the show...

COSTELLO: Well, let's prove it right now, because we have a clip.

TOURE: OK. OK, good.

COSTELLO: Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA KUDROW, ACTRESS: This here is my People's Choice Award that I got for Imit (ph), and it means a lot to me, because it's from the people. And right here is my Leno. There it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk more about that.

KUDROW: What is there to say? There was a monkey on my head, and he pooped. You know, it was a real water cooler moment. The very next day, everyone, was, you know -- and, you know, this was Leno's first year. So, it was a real important show for him, too. You know, it was quite an appearance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TOURE: Yes. But, I mean, if you watch the whole show, it starts to seem like, wait, haven't I seen this before? Yes, you have, with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Larry David and "Fat Actress." And even though that's a Larry standard, it's a faux reality show about show business.

SIGESMUND: Right.

BARNETT: But it's great, though, because I feel...

TOURE: I've seen this.

BARNETT: I feel like it feels even more like reality than reality TV. It shows all of the discomfort, all of the humiliation. I mean, it's not really funny to me.

TOURE: No.

BARNETT: It's just more like I'm comfortable.

SIGESMUND: I think it was more smart than it is funny. I didn't laugh out loud once. And inside Hollywood shows, as much as we love Hollywood and we love talking about celebrities, shows about Hollywood like "Action," remember that, with Jay Mohr (ph), never do well. People don't really care to know about the inner workings of the way Hollywood...

TOURE: The entourage is fun.

COSTELLO: Yes. SIGESMUND: Entourage, yes, that's true.

COSTELLO: But we like Hollywood, because we want to escape from reality. We don't want to wallow in it.

BARNETT: Because we want reality TV to be debunked now. I think we're all getting a little bit oversaturated with what's happening. So, we want to see the inner workings. We want to see it demystified a little bit.

SIGESMUND: That's what they're trying to.

COSTELLO: OK, talking about talking about demystification, we all...

BARNETT: What a segue.

COSTELLO: Thank you very much. We've demystified who Deep Throat was. We know who it is now. What other great mysteries in the world of pop culture are there out there?

BARNETT: Well, the one that I love the most is who Alanis Morissette's song "You Ought to Know" is about, and that's the one where, of course, she famously performs the act, a certain act on a guy in a movie theater. And the creepiest rumor is that it's about Dave Coulier from the show "Full House," which means that she performed the act on Uncle Joey. Very creepy.

(CROSSTALK)

SIGESMUND: Yes.

BARNETT: That is creepy.

COSTELLO: That is creepy.

TOURE: Well, the much bigger things that we're still sitting around wondering about, Tupac, Biggie, who killed them and why? You know, and we may never know.

SIGESMUND: I have a really serious one, too. I've been dying to know what really went on between Barry Williams and Florence Henderson during "The Brady Bunch."

COSTELLO: Didn't he come out and say it?

SIGESMUND: They went out on a date, but it's never been confirmed what exactly went on. I feel like we need to get to the bottom of this.

COSTELLO: No, I don't think we need to, no, no. That's too incestuous. So, no anyway. But the other great mystery is Carly Simon and her song, "You're So Vain." We have a clip of that, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLY SIMON, SINGER (singing): You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you. You're so vain

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: This one is from HBO in a concert she performed for HBO. But everybody thinks that song is about Warren Beatty.

SIGESMUND: Yes, or James Taylor. You know, I actually interviewed Carly Simon a couple years ago, and I asked her about that rumor. And she said she'll never admit who it was, because every time she's interviewed, people ask her. It's like a great gimmick for her.

COSTELLO: See, sometimes it's best not to know. Oh, we've got to wrap it up, there. Darn. a lot of fun, as usual. B.J. Sigesmund, Amy Barnett and Toure.

Back to you -- Bill.

HEMMER: All right, Carol, thanks.

It's two minutes before the hour. In a moment here, Jeb Bush says he does not want to run for the White House. His father may have a different opinion, though. The "Gimme a Minute" gang asks whether or not father knows best on a Friday morning. Back in a moment at the top of the hour.

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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