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Protests Surround G-8 Summit; London Wins Bid for 2012 Olympics; Replacing O'Connor

Aired July 6, 2005 - 08:31   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: A little past half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: It was a wet and windy morning on the Gulf Coast. The center of Tropical Storm Cindy is now located just north of Veluxi (ph), Mississippi. The storm made landfall early this morning in Louisiana, pelted the area with extremely heavy rain and gusty winds. Local officials, though, were somewhat relieved. They say it could have been a lot worse. Street flooding is now the biggest concern for most residents. Some areas are getting more than ten inches of rain. In just a few days, though, folks on the coast are going to have to do it all over again with Dennis.


S. O'BRIEN: Another check of the headlines now with Kelly Wallace. Good morning again.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Soledad. Good morning to you and good morning, everyone. Some of the other stories "Now in the News."

More details to tell you about that are emerging about the six- week ordeal of Shasta and Dylan Groene. 8-year-old Shasta apparently told police she and her brother Dylan were repeatedly raped shortly after their abduction. That's according to an investigative report released Tuesday. Shasta's statement also places the suspect Joseph Duncan inside the home girl's mother, older brother and the mother's boyfriend were killed. 9-year-old Dylan is now also presumed dead.

Americans coming under fire in eastern Afghanistan. A U.S. military medical team was apparently helping villagers in the Kunar province when insurgents attacked. No one was hurt and the attackers ran away. The military says the assault happened in the same area where a U.S. air strike killed up to 17 civilians last week.

Several wildfires are raging in Southern California. Hundreds of firefighters say a blaze in Los Angeles County is about 50 percent contained. A fire in the San Bernardino National Forest has burned 100 acres. Officials say the blaze forced the evacuation of 1,200 children from campgrounds in the area. No injuries have been reported.

And British Prime Minister Tony Blair congratulating London on its winning bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The prime minister addressing the crowd in Trafalgar Square just moments ago. There's no way, though, they could have heard him, because the crowd went wild when Olympic officials announced London had beat out Paris for the games. Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated in the first rounds of voting. And we will go live to London in just a minute -- Soledad?

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Kelly, thanks.

Well, President Bush is on his way to Scotland now for the Group of Eight Summit in Gleneagles. A protest march today underway in nearby Auchterarder.

Matthew Chance is live there now for us this morning. Matthew, give me a sense of how many protesters are actually out there now.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just a short distance from here, there are a couple of thousand protesters who have gathered to voice their concerns about the issues being discussed at the G-8 Summit, just a short distance from here. This is actually the point where the protesters will be allowed to get to, the closest point to the Gleneagles Hotel, where the G8 Summit is taking place.

You can see, there's quite a police presence right here behind me. In fact, there's a big security cordon that's been thrown all around the Gleneages Hotel, with police all along those lines to prevent any protesters actually penetrating that line to disrupt the summit itself. As for the protesters, well, they started to gather -- they're going to gathering over the past few hours in this Auchterarder, this small Scottish village of about three and a half thousand people, bracing itself, really, for a mass influx of protesters.

They've already started gathering in Auchterarder. There's still pretty much a carnival mood prevalent at the moment. There is a possibility it could turn violent, and that's why there's such a big security operation. There have been clashes with police throughout the course of the day, indeed, throughout the course of the last couple of days that's had police very concerned about that happening on this day -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: One would imagine. All right, Matthew Chance for us. We're going to continue monitor what happens there. Thanks, Matthew -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, London wins the gold and now they'll be shedding out some gold. We learned just about an hour ago that's where the 2012 Olympic Games will be held, the British capital, bumping out the other contenders, New York, Paris, Madrid and Moscow.

Correspondent Finnuala Sweeney is in London for the celebration. And that -- they're all gone already, huh?

FINNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, it's very hard to hear a word here because the party is still well and truly underway at Trafalgar Square in central London. The official party just went down a couple of minutes ago, but the celebrations are still ongoing and will continue into the night.

This is a huge victory, not just for the city of London, but a personal victory for Tony Blair, the British prime minister. And he is a very happy man today. All the lobbying has paid off, the last- minute flights to Singapore to try and lobby the IOC members there. He must be a very happy man.

London was never the favorite to win this bid. Paris was always the fan favorite. And you have to feel sorry for Paris, because this is the third time that city has tried to win these games. And the London bid 14 months ago was nowhere. The IOC not happy at all with London's presentation. But in the last year or so, and particularly in the last couple of months, London built up its momentum and indeed, did very well in the last evaluation that the IOC gave this city a couple of weeks ago.

So, the party is just about over. Tony Blair, the prime minister, is saying work on building the new facilities will start today. There will be an Olympics minister appointed. The organizers have just seven years to get this city ready for the 2012 Olympic Games -- Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: All right. The party does, in fact, continue in Trafalgar Square. Fionnuala Sweeney, thank you very much -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Well, after two best-selling books, "Bias" and "Arrogance," that blasted the media for what he calls distorting the news, journalist Bernard Goldberg is turning his pen on a rogues' gallery of cultural villains in his new book. It's called "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America."

And author Bernard Goldberg joins us this morning. Nice to see you.

BERNARD GOLDBERG: Thanks for having me.

S. O'BRIEN: The book's very entertaining, but I thought it might be better called "100 People Bernard Goldberg Is Not a Fan Of, Who Bernard Goldberg Does Not Like."

GOLDBERG: Well, no, it's not that I don't like them personally. I don't know them almost all of these people personally. And the ones I do know, I make a point that I feel bad about writing about this person.

S. O'BRIEN: What's the criteria for getting into this book?

GOLDBERG: I think that in recent years, whether you're a liberal or a conservative, a Democrat or Republican, we probably ought to be able to agree that this country has gotten nastier, less civil, more angry, more selfish. And I -- there's a tendency to believe that it just happened, that nobody's at fault. Societies just evolve a certain way and that's the way it happened.

I don't believe that. I think real people are to blame. And this book names them. And the criterion for naming these 100 people, it isn't their politics. There are a lot of people on the left on the list, but it isn't because they're on the left. You have to reach a certain level of indecency, if that's the right word, to make the list.

S. O'BRIEN: But you sort of have. I mean, a lot of the people, especially if you look at the top five or so. We can put that list up there. I mean, there are the classic, outspoken Democrats, Michael Moore, Arthur Sulzberger, Senator Ted Kennedy, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Anthony Romero from the ACLU.

GOLDBERG: I think these are very powerful people in our culture. Some in the world of politics.

Let me use Jesse Jackson as an example. I grew up during the civil rights movement. It was the most important, the most moral movement of the 20th century, and I write about this with sadness when I write about certain civil rights leaders, Jesse Jackson and a couple others, because I've seen this movement that was the most important, the most moral movement of the century turn into, in my view anyway, nothing but cheap partisan politics.

So I don't write about it where I'm trying to nail Jesse Jackson, and one of the civil rights leaders I knew personally years ago when I was a reporter with CBS News in my early days, Julian Bond, who I admire greatly. He's a brilliant guy. But the rhetoric turns a lot of these people, these leaders, into nothing but partisan politicians.

S. O'BRIEN: I'm surprised, though, that some things don't make the list, like you don't really have a lot of conservatives who are anywhere in the top 100. To be fair, it's heavily dominated by liberal Democrats. And I was also surprised while you take a lot of exception about a lot of comparisons between Nazi Germany and Iraq in some ways or Abu Ghraib and Nazi Germany, you don't kind of give a sense that Abu Ghraib did do a huge amount of damage to the perception of Americans, like it's not on the list at all.

GOLDBERG: Let me respectfully disagree. Well, it's not on the list. I mean, I didn't put the corporal who, you know, with the dog leash on the list, but I mentioned right in chapter one that Abu Ghraib, any decent American needs to be embarrassed by what happened at Abu Ghraib. But I say that in the context of if you're going to compare this to My Lai, and for some of your younger viewers My Lai was a massacre in Vietnam, where American soldiers mowed down over 500 men, women, old women, old men and babies. If you're going to compare that, as two "New York Times" columnists have done, to Abu Ghraib, I think that's incorrect. And I think that should have been pointed out by mainstream journalists long before I came along.

S. O'BRIEN: Paul Begala is higher on the list than Ken Lay, who potentially destroyed so many people's lives. I guess some of the rankings I found sort of surprising.

GOLDBERG: Well, in terms of the rankings, look, let's be honest about that, number 100 has to be different than number one, and number ninety five has to be different from number five, but when you get into who's number 40 and who is 47 or who's number 53 versus 39... S. O'BRIEN: Forty-five and 37, but go ahead, I follow your point.

GOLDBERG: I could have, you know, I could have just switched this person there. I tried to do my best, and to make it both entertaining and serious.

But when you get to the top or bottom five, however, you want to look at it, you know, I'm pretty serious about that. But whoever number 47 is, and number 52 is, they could have been interchanged.

S. O'BRIEN: I thought it was very illuminating. I mean, it certainly is an interesting commentary on politics today.

Bernard Goldberg, nice to see you. Thanks for coming in to talk to us. The book's called "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America" -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. We'll ask a top-ranking senator on the Judiciary Committee about what kind of fight to expect in confirming a replacement.


M. O'BRIEN: There are few decisions a president will make more far-reaching consequences than the choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. The retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor gives President Bush his first chance to nominate someone for the High Court. Will he choose a candidate likely to find consensus in the Senate, or could a divisive confirmation battle lie ahead?

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is the second ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. He joins us from Salt Lake City this morning.

Good to have you with us, senator.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Nice to be with you.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk about the name that's mentioned the most, Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general. What would you think if that were the nominee? If he were the nominee? Would you be in favor of him to fill that seat?

HATCH: I wouldn't be presumptuous as to who the president will choose. But Al Gonzales has proven to be a very credible, hardworking, decent, honorable man. He's reached the heights of being attorney general of the United States. It would be kind of an awful thing to reject him, wouldn't it, when this man has shown such capacity. And I certainly wouldn't. I'm going to support who the president puts up, because of all the names, I've seen a lot of names mentioned that are probably on the list that they're considering, every one of them is qualified; every one of them is a good person.

M. O'BRIEN: A lot of conservatives upset with Gonzales as a possible choice, though. What do you think about that? HATCH: I think they're concerned, because this is a chance for this president to, you know, nominate a conservative that they think might be able to help the country avoid some of the messes that we've had because of some of the liberal justices, and so they're very concerned, and I think they're weighing in on it.

But this is a very intelligent president. He has the sole right of picking these people. It's what you get when you nominate and elect a president of the United States. And, frankly, I think he'll do a good job, and we'll just have to see who he picks. And by the time these people get to this level, they're qualified, most of all of them are qualified.

M. O'BRIEN: And by the time they become public, typically senators on your committee have seen those names. Are you getting some trial balloons already from the administration? Have you seen names? You don't have to share them with us, but nevertheless, is there a bit of a behind the scenes dialogue already?

HATCH: Yes, there is consultation. The president has no obligation to consult. Most presidents haven't. And -- but consultation is a two-way street. I mean, if he consults and shows that courtesy to Democrats and Republicans, they ought to respond and show the courtesy back. And unfortunately, that isn't always the case.

But I think that we have a pretty good idea of the people who are on the list. The question is, who's he going to pick? And when he picks them, I think you're going to find the person will be somebody who is a person of dimension, ability, capacity, integrity. All the ones I've seen has all of those qualities.

M. O'BRIEN: What about gender? Is that a criteria?

HATCH: Well, it's always a consideration, because you certainly don't want to ignore qualified women nominees or, for that matter, people of diversity. I know this president is very, very fair to minorities and he wants to be. He's really made an effort. I know in some cases he has taken a minority person over a white person because he wanted to be able to -- who was just as good -- because he wanted to do what's right and be diverse in his approach. And I think he would like to do that here, too, or at least in one of the Supreme Court picks that he may have.

M. O'BRIEN: This nomination comes after that filibuster deal which avoided the so-called nuclear option. And we're speaking a lot of shorthand here, but, essentially, the agreement is on the part of Democrats to only filibuster under extraordinary circumstances. Meaning, some sort of perhaps personal issue on the part of a candidate for the Supreme Court.

Senator Lieberman this morning in "The Washington Post" said this, though: "In my mind, extraordinary circumstances would include not only extraordinary personal behavior, but also extraordinary ideological positions." Is there already the groundwork being laid for a little bit of wiggle room in this deal? HATCH: Well, I think so. But that statement's probably not a bad statement. I mean, but he's talking about people who are wackos, who are outside the mainstream. But it's amazing to me in these recent years to how the Democrats have called really highly qualified people, outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence. I mean, it's just -- those are just wacko comments that some of them use to be able to vote against somebody.

But, you look at the names that have been mentioned. Most of them are judges on the courts right now. They're really outstanding people. If you look at Judge Gonzales, he's the attorney general of the United States. He came through a very, very tough confirmation process, and most everybody respects him. You look at any of them, you'd have a rough time saying that their lives are extraordinarily bad or they're outside of the mainstream.

But those comments are going to be made. We've gotten used to them, with some of the Democrats. It just seems to be a game they play because they want to dictate who's going be on the Supreme Court. I can't blame them for that. It's just that's not their position.

M. O'BRIEN: I guess it depends on how you define the mainstream. Senator Orrin Hatch, thank you very much for your time this morning. We appreciate it.

HATCH: Nice to be with you.

M. O'BRIEN: Soledad?

S. O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning, a grieving father gets a phone call that he's never going forget. Why Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs personally reached out to a New York family. We've got that story coming up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


M. O'BRIEN: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reaching out to a family struggling with tragedy. Just part of the business world this morning. Andy Serwer, "Minding Your Business" for you -- Andy.


You may have heard the story of Brooklyn teenager Christopher Rose, who was killed this past Saturday when teens demanded that he turn over his iPod. A tragic story. "The New York Times" is reporting this morning that Erroll Rose, the father of the slain teen, received a phone call this past Monday from Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer, the company that makes the iPod. Erroll Rose said that Jobs was very decent and pleasant and consoled him. And he said that he appreciated the phone call. So sort of an interesting story there.

Switching gears a little bit. McDonald's may get a new look. It turns out that the fast food chain is going to be getting a new look for its uniforms for its employees, its 300,000 employees. In fact, it seems that... M. O'BRIEN: But I love those uniforms. Why would they give those up?

SERWER: You do? Really? Well, maybe they'll have some extras now that -- when they do these new ones.

M. O'BRIEN: On eBay.

SERWER: Yes. They're going to be turning to some hot designers, though, Miles. Check this out. Possibly Russell Simmons Fat Farm, Sean Combs, Sean John, Jay-Z's Ruckaware (ph), American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, Ralph Lauren's Polo, or even Giorgio Armani.

M. O'BRIEN: So wait a minute, they can wear those baggy pants that are way down low and...

SERWER: Well, they said, wouldn't be cool if our employees actually wanted to wear our clothes outside of work? I think that's probably a big stretch.

Let's talk about the financial markets a little bit here, Miles. Yesterday a good one for stock traders. The Dow was up about 68 points here. Nasdaq up very strongly there, You can see. S&P as well. This morning, though, a little bit of turbulence. Tropical Storm Thindy, as they used to say on "The Brady Bunch," is wreaking havoc in the Gulf and that's making the price of oil is go much higher, back above $60. And that's got stock futures trading lower. You wonder if Tropical Storm Jan and Marcia are lurking there.

M. O'BRIEN: And Depression Bobby.


M. O'BRIEN: All right, thank you very much.

SERWER: You're welcome.

M. O'BRIEN: Appreciate that, Mr. Serwer.

Still to come in the program, Tropical Storm Thindy, as they say said, is skirting along the Gulf Coast and moving inland. And Tropical Storm Dennis is now predicted to be an even bigger threat. Let me be the first to say, Dennis could be a menace. That will be the first of about 300 times you'll hear that. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.



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