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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Peter Jennings Remembered; Panel Discusses Lung Cancer
Aired August 9, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Peter Jennings, inside the legacy of the late broadcast news icon, with Brian Williams, the "NBC Nightly News" anchor, who stepped into Tom Brokaw's shoes; Bob Schieffer, who replaced Dan Rather as interim anchor of "The CBS Evening News"; and Bernard Shaw, former CNN anchor for 20 years.
And then just two days after Peter Jennings was lost to lung cancer, wow, Christopher Reeve's widow, Dana Reeve, announces she's got it too. We'll hear from those who have survived lung and cancer, and those who have lost loved ones to the disease. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
As we continue our coverage of the passing of a great man in American newscasting, Peter Jennings, we have three tremendous voices as well. Brian Williams, Bob Schieffer in New York, Bernard Shaw in Washington.
Brian, how did you hear about it? What was your reaction?
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I returned from vacation with my family Sunday night. We had an indication that Peter had -- his conditioned had worsened quickly. And I learned about it watching television with my wife. I was on the phone with a friend, who said "turn on the television. Peter has died."
And, of course, like everyone else, I feel that four months, it was a cruel passage. I last worked with Peter in the field in Baghdad. We left on separate C-130s after the Iraq elections. And, of course, in this business, it actually comes down to very few people. We always joke there's just 12 or 13 people in the business. We see each other constantly. Competition is one thing, but you develop good friendships off camera.
KING: Bob Schieffer, you can't say you were surprised. So, what was -- or were you -- what was your reaction?
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Well, I really wasn't surprised. I had been out in Aspen two weeks ago and had run into a person who is a mutual friend of both Peter and myself, and he had told me that he thought the end was going to come pretty quickly.
But, you know, I -- Peter was one of those people -- I mean, we all knew him from television, but those of us who knew him personally, he really did nurture friendships. I mean, when you were sick, Peter would call. I remember when I -- they asked me to do the job I'm doing now for a while, Peter was the first one to call, and he said something funny like, you know, don't try to get all the news, save a little of it for the rest of us.
Peter stayed in touch with the people that he liked, and I was proud to call him a friend. I'm really going to miss him.
KING: Bernard Shaw, what was your relationship with him? Did you work together?
BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: We worked together back in the late 1970s. I was the Latin American bureau chief and correspondent for ABC, and I was transferred back to Washington, and then sent directly to Tehran, where the Iranians had overtaken the American embassy in 1979 and, as you know, holding Americans hostage for 444 days.
And what ABC did at the time was have Peter in Tehran as a kind of sub-anchor, and I was there, Barry Serafin and I think Jerry King. And we went through a hellish month and a half period in which we got 18 hours of sleep, and we were working at 2:30 in the morning Tehran time, for example -- it was 6:30 on the East Coast, with Frank Reynolds doing the ABC evening news.
And then, what was the forerunner of "Nightline" involved an 11:30 p.m. Eastern time newscast, in which Frank Reynolds would stay over, Frank would stay over to anchor that. And Peter and I, we were all chasing stories over in Tehran, and we got to know each other.
To say we bonded is an understatement. There were times when literally we would come out of a shower, we'd have towels wrapped around our butts, and we would be writing copy. And Peter would say, "Here, Bernie, check this. How is this anchor lead?" And I would say, what about this? Check this? Cross-checking. And we would end up crash-landing on the satellite to get feeds back into New York, of course, for both broadcasts. So we got to know each other very, very well. And that lasted from that point on.
KING: Brian Williams, someone is going to have to go into that chair, and you just had an experience like it. Of course, thankfully, Tom Brokaw just retired, nothing sickness. What was that like?
WILLIAMS: Well, I had -- had the good honor to fill in for Tom for the better part of a decade. So, the process of writing, putting together the broadcast was very familiar to me. I had learned and worked next to one of the great masters and an American icon, who wanted to back away from the daily deadline.
So, I will admit to opening night jitters. It is different when your name's over the door and on the baseball caps, as it were.
I do want to say one thing. I got off the air tonight, and one of the tabloid shows that followed the network evening newscast was running an online poll. And they had several names of people in the running to replace Peter Jennings. It's really what's going on in our society. There is so much noise, and everything has been so cheapened. Can't we give it a rest and take a breath and wait a while and remember this man?
KING: Bob Schieffer, what was, from your concept, special about him?
SCHIEFFER: Well, I think it was Peter's great love of the news. I mean, he shared the trait that all great reporters that I have known have, and that is this insatiable curiosity.
What made Peter a really good reporter was he was never satisfied that he knew enough. He always wanted to know one more thing, and he always wanted to know more than everybody else knew. And Walter Cronkite, who was the most curious person I have ever known, had that same trait. So did Dan Rather, so did Tom, so does Brian Williams, as a matter of fact, and Bernie Shaw.
Peter just was never satisfied with what he knew. He always wanted to know one more thing. He would sometimes I think frankly, drive the people that he worked with and for crazy, but it also made him one heck of a competitor. When you were out competing with a story -- and I first began to run into Peter, oh, you know, 30 years ago, back during the civil rights days, you better be careful what you were doing and do your work, because if you didn't, you would get scooped by Peter Jennings. He just never gave up.
KING: He also had a manner, did he not, Bernie? There was a certain authoritative quality to him.
SHAW: Indeed. But that's very easy to explain. The man knew what he was doing. He knew what he was about. His standards, I like to say his standards were in the stratosphere, which is of course where they belong, journalistically. But Peter demanded more of himself than he did of his colleagues. And it showed.
SCHIEFFER: And you know, I'll tell you something else, Larry. The fact is he really did look like James Bond, or what most people thought James Bond looked like. I mean you know, if there is anything to this whole intelligent design business -- and I don't think there is -- but if there were, I mean, Peter would be an example of it, because he was designed to be a foreign correspondent. He looked like one; he acted like one. I think he was probably a foreign correspondent before he knew he was a foreign correspondent.
SCHIEFFER: Oh, he loved it.
KING: Brian, what kind of competitor was he?
WILLIAMS: Oh, he was fierce. I want to echo what Bob said. You better bring your best game. I arrived one night -- I'll never forget it -- at Ali Al Salim air base in Kuwait, where we weren't supposed to be, to hop a secret ride that we weren't supposed to be taking into Baghdad. There's Dan Rather in a darkened Chevy Suburban, and I thought oh, this is not going to be good, this is trouble. I go to the airport in Baghdad. There is Jennings. He had just filed a report. You're wondering for the rest of the day, what did he have? I won't know, because it doesn't air in New York for hours. It's just bring your best game.
KING: We'll be right back with Brian Williams, Bob Schieffer and Bernard Shaw. We'll be taking calls as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What was it like to become an American?
PETER JENNINGS: Well, it was a deeply moving experience. It took me a long time to do it. People asked me if I feel any different, and the answer is no, which I think reflects on how American I felt before in so many ways.
Robert MacNeil -- or Robert MacNeil of public television, who's now a full-time writer, went through the same experience, and he said something which I think is really interesting. He was asked what changes occurred in his way of behaving and thinking. He said one thing which I hadn't thought about. He said, you know, you absolutely stop forever thinking that you're a guest in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNINGS: All sides were represented in the coverage, and what is wrong with all sides? I agree wholeheartedly with Bernie, because we listen to the briefs, to the brief of the Shiites doesn't mean we suddenly support a particular moral position.
KING: Is there a drawing line at all, Bernie? Is there a line you draw?
SHAW: I am not a moralist. I am a simple reporter. I don't make moral judgments. But I do know that in the process of covering a story, there are certain things I must do and I'm going to do them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This program was only on the air a month at that time. And Bernie and Peter were appearing together.
Peter always got involved, Bernie, didn't he? There was some controversy about his coverage in the Middle East, groups accusing him of favoring one side over the other. How did you react to that?
SHAW: Well, I understood it. I understood it. I like to think I understood it fully. First of all, in the Middle East, where freedom of the press is a stranger, the mind-set is, you're either for us or you are against us. Enter Peter Jennings, with his journalistic background and his discipline. He wants to hear everybody's side. He wants to hear why people take the positions they do. And then he reports that.
Well, with that kind of parity and viewpoint being broadcast on ABC News, he was regarded as a heretic, not to be trusted. The man was doing his job the way he knew it was supposed to be done.
KING: How did you react at the time, Bob Schieffer, knowing Peter as well as you did?
SCHIEFFER: How did I react to what?
KING: The criticism of him. There were groups that said he favored one side over another.
SCHIEFFER: Larry, the problem with covering the Middle East is unlike any other story that you cover, both sides are right. And so, you'll never please either side. And so, we've all gotten criticism from both sides on that story. So I never really took that all that seriously. I think Peter did a good job and he tried to play it down the middle.
Peter was a person who had very strong views, as most informed people do. But I thought Peter did a great job of playing it down the middle.
KING: Brian, how difficult, from your angle, is true objectivity?
WILLIAMS: I think you have to first own up to all the biases you woke up this morning with. And, you know, ethnicity, and sex and sexual preference, and income bracket, and upbringing, and all of that. You surround yourself with people who aren't exactly like you in a newsroom, ideally. You put the journalism you write every day that goes through a set of traps or filters before it gets on the air, through as many of those as you can. What you ad lib and kind of make up on your way through the newscast no one can filter. But you just try to call balls and strikes. You try to be fair, try to measure and weigh everything.
And I'm with Bob. When your hate mail runs 50/50, you've kind of reached zen. When half the viewers say, a-ha, we discovered you, you're a liberal; and the other half says, a-ha, you gave yourself away, you're a conservative, that to me is a perfect day at the office.
SHAW: And Larry, I cannot recall a single presidential campaign, and I'm certain Brian and Bob would agree, in which I did not receive criticism from both conservatives and liberals, and moderates.
KING: In other words, you're in a no-win? All you can do is all you can do?
SHAW: A reporter is not about the business of being liked. He or she has a job to do. And when you're catching hell from both sides, as Brian indicated, you must be doing something right.
KING: Peter made lots of appearances on this program, Bob. And he didn't like -- he did it, he was happy to do it. He was a lot of fun as a guest, but he didn't like the show business angle of the news anchor. As you know, Cronkite didn't like it at all. What are your thoughts on that? Should you be -- there's nothing you can do about it -- recognizable?
SCHIEFFER: Oh, I suppose so. I mean, I suppose the fact that people have maybe have seen me on TV might help me get a story from time to time.
But what you have to remember is that you're trying to report the news. And the way you build credibility is by focusing on the news.
I think too many young anchors and people just starting out sometimes tend to worry too much about themselves. And what I always tell kids, when you learn how to interview, is the important part of interviewing is not the questions you ask, and so much of the time many young reporters are worried if I don't ask this question just right, they'll think I'm dumb.
There are no bad questions. There are only bad answers. The good interviewer is not the one who worries about the questions, he worries about the answers that he's getting, and he listens closely. The key, as you know, Larry, to doing a good interview is to listen. That's much more important than the questions you ask.
So, the celebrity part of it, that just -- well, it just comes sometimes. And if it does, it's fine.
KING: How do you react, Brian, to your face on billboards in Times Square? Can't miss it.
WILLIAMS: It's not something I've prepared for. I got into television kind of a backdoor way. I didn't bank on it. It wasn't my goal. I wanted a career in journalism.
I don't, to tell you the truth, deal terribly well with it. I tend to be rather private. I have a wife and two children. We like to do what we like to do and close the door of our home, and, you know, go to the Price Club if we want to. So -- but it is -- it does come with the business. And these people do have an investment in you. You're a guest in their home. They come to choose your work over another. That part of the relationship I cherish.
I regard a newscast as quite interactive. I'm having a conversation with people in the evening and, more and more, I hear from just about every one of them in e-mail after the broadcast is over.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll include your phone calls for Brian Williams, Bob Schieffer and Bernard Shaw. And then later, a major discussion on the subject of lung cancer. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Of all the things you have done, what hits you? If you were to say, this is what I would like people to look at -- someone said, let me look at something Peter Jennings did in this century, you would say look at?
JENNINGS: I think two things that come instantly to mind. And I'm sure I may change my mind the moment we're done. I think I would like them to see the coverage I did in Bosnia, in the first two vicious winters in Sarajevo. Because not a lot of people were keen to go to Bosnia. And I went as much as anything because I felt an obligation to go. I didn't want to say to my kids sometime later that I hadn't been there for this great horror.
And then I went back the second year I was there, for the famous marketplace slaughter. But I think those quickly, off the top of my head, are things I would like them to remember.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you didn't see much was his humor and his sense of fun. Spoofing a stand-up.
JENNINGS: ABC News, Cairo. 1:12, heh? You want to do another in the -- in -- what are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Letting his hair down at a convention.
JENNINGS: I may be...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or going through one of the promotional announcements that were -- well, they were not his favorite thing to do.
JENNINGS: On "World News Tonight," we don't have the vaguest idea of what we're going to do, but we'll try to make it as interesting as we can. We'll use a lot of stock film, some of which you have seen before. But we'll try to run it backwards, or sometimes just going the other way across the screen, so that you will think you are getting something truly fresh. I hope you will join us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was long.
JENNINGS: That was long?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's funny. Let's take calls. Frankfort, Kentucky. Hello.
CALLER: Larry King?
CALLER: This is -- I have a question. And this is for anybody that can answer it for me.
CALLER: My question is, does anyone know when Mr. Jenkins' (sic) funeral arrangements, are they going to be private or public?
KING: That's Mr. Jennings. You said Jenkins. Do you know, Brian?
WILLIAMS: Bob and I were just discussing -- I don't think the family or ABC News has released, as of the time we came to the studio tonight, anything on plans.
KING: You haven't heard anything, Bob?
SCHIEFFER: I think they're going to have a private funeral, but I don't know that for sure. But I think there will also be a memorial service. But as far as I know, they haven't announced anything yet, Larry.
KING: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. King. Thank you so much for taking my call.
CALLER: My heartfelt condolences to the Jennings family.
My call is actually for Mr. Shaw. If ABC expressed an interest in speaking with him, would he consider speaking with them and possibly coming out of retirement for the position?
SHAW: What a question. I have a lot of friends at ABC, so I would respond to telephone calls, Dave Westin and other people, Charlie Gibson. But, no, I'm enjoying my favorite and best friend, Linda, my wife, and my son and my daughter, Anil and Amar, and we are pursuing the life we chose, and I'm content to continue doing that.
KING: Peter often told us he didn't know what he would do if he didn't do what he did. Don't you miss it, Bernie?
SHAW: No, I don't miss it. I follow Brian, I follow Bob, I follow the business. I still read six newspapers a day, but I do not miss it.
Now, you might say what you did a couple weeks ago here in Washington gives a lie to that. I was writing a speech beneath the car port roof in Takoma Park, Washington, and I heard military jets. I'm a former Marine. I know -- and I was in the air wing, and I know the sound of jets when trouble is overhead. I looked up and I see this Cessna streaming across on a southeast heading, and I see two F- 16s, and then I see two warning flares fire. And I thought, uh-oh, that is trouble.
And I ran into the house and called the CNN assignment desk, and ended up on the air with Wolf Blitzer.
I don't miss it, but yet, when I see something like that, I run to the telephone and call CNN. So I guess I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth.
WILLIAMS: Hey, Bernie, Schieffer didn't mean any harm; he was just flying by to say hello, I think.
KING: By the way, we are told, gentlemen, there definitely will be a private funeral service and a public memorial service, the dates to be announced.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, hi, Larry. I got a question, two-part question here. First part is, wouldn't the networks be putting Mr. Jennings through a physical every year? Like it seems kind of -- how could they miss something like this? And my second question is, most of the panel there, you guys aren't getting any younger.
KING: Hold it...
CALLER: How does it make you feel like in your own mortality?
KING: Williams -- don't include Williams in that. He's the youngest of the group here. But talk about a physical...
WILLIAMS: Larry, can I -- can I just say something?
KING: Bob, you go first.
SCHIEFFER: I look 83, but I'm only 68. So I just want to reassure the viewer, I mean the caller, that I'm feeling OK right now.
KING: You get a physical, Bob?
SCHIEFFER: Yes, I do. I go every year. As you know, Larry...
KING: I mean, does CBS give you one?
SCHIEFFER: No, no, they don't. But that's not a bad idea. I mean, I think everybody ought to have an annual physical.
And one of the things that I hope we learn from Peter's death is that you know, as a cancer survivor myself, Larry, as you well know, finding cancer early is the key to curing most cancers. And, unfortunately, for Peter, when they found his, I think it probably was too late to save his life. They were able to prolong it for a while.
But, you know, saying these days -- and the hardest thing about having cancer is saying aloud, I have cancer. But the key these days, and the thing we all must remember is that these days, most of the cancers can be cured if you catch them early on. So I hope everybody watching this broadcast tonight will make a note to get an annual physical. That's the best thing you can do to prevent cancer.
KING: Brian, does NBC give you a physical? And if not, should they?
WILLIAMS: It is not a mandatory corporate thing. And I actually had this conversation and this thought with mutual friends of Peter's after we learned how ill he was. But I should add just as quickly, I know our entire management structure very well. These people have been friends for well over a decade.
I have a bad poker face. We talk about a lot of things. A lot of us at the same age have the same family situation. It's not a rigid, formal arrangement, where a secret like that would go unnoticed, and so it may be a different case.
KING: What do you think, Bernie?
SHAW: I think any network anchor makes more than enough money to get a physical and ought not depend on management to ensure that you get a physical, basically. I'm not trying to be cute when I say it that way.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with another segment with Brian Williams, Bob Schieffer and Bernard Shaw. And then our panel discussion based on the announcement today by Dana Reeve that she has lung cancer. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLER: My question is, well, first I notice, Mr. Jennings, that you are sometimes visibly moved by the events that you cover. I believe that is part of your immense appeal. And the question is, is there an event from your book that stands out as moving you on a more personal level?
JENNINGS: No. To be perfectly honest, those are the kind of things -- I'm a little upset to hear you think that I'm visibly moved on occasion, because I try...
KING: Well, shouldn't a journalist be if he covers death?
JENNINGS: Yes and no. I think I've always thought it was not a good idea for us to presume our emotions on the public. I have always thought it was OK to laugh, but I thought it was not a good thing to cry. And I've been in those circumstances which have been so moving. When President Reagan went to comfort the families of the Challenger victims in Houston.
KING: How do you cover that without...?
JENNINGS: Well, I mean, you hope, as I did, in my case, have a great producer, Jeff Browning (ph), in my ear, who kept saying, steady, steady. When they began to play the Marine hymn, I think I was going to fall apart.
To answer the women's question, there's so many events of the century that I have covered that are moving to me in many different ways. But none of them are in the book for that reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JENNINGS: The landscape of New York City has changed once again. And in this instance, it's not New York City, it's New Yorkers' city, it's everybody in the country's city at this moment, because this was an attack on these -- on the United States, no question about it. Everybody said it all day, a declaration of war, an act of war against the United States.
You had any number of politicians and commentators, us included, who were reminded that the last time there was an attack like this on the United States was Pearl Harbor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. We have a few minutes left. You saw Peter Jennings' remarks about no emotion. He did show some emotion on 9/11. That interview was before 9/11.
And in our remaining moments, I would like the panel's reaction to that statement. Brian, emotion and the anchor. What are your thoughts?
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, it's what most people remember when you ask them about the Cronkite era at CBS News, was when he announced to the nation that John F. Kennedy had died. Lost his composure, took off his glasses, and went on.
People don't talk about the thousands of weeknights in the interim. They talk about the one time he got angry at U.S. policy and let his opinion known on the Vietnam War.
I think you try to suppress it, though part of why I think we are invited into people's homes is, what I hope, is an obvious sense of humanity. We have the same -- here we are, talking about physicals and talking about our families. We have the same hopes, dreams, mortgages as everybody else. We are just a very fortunate few who chose a great way to make a living and get to chronicle the world and get compensated for it.
KING: Bernie, emotion and the anchor?
SHAW: Sometimes you cannot help it. When John W. Hinckley, Jr. tried to murder the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, there was a lot of confusion. And over at ABC News, Frank Reynolds was anchoring. And there was a report that Jim Brady had been shot and that he was dead. Networks were running obits.
And at one point, at the anchor desk, Frank Reynolds just slammed his palms down on the desk and said, let's get this right. Very legitimate. Very legitimate.
I can recall when the Iranians fired two intercept (ph) missiles at the USS Stark. Remember that, Bob Schieffer and Brian? And I'm reading the official statement from Saddam Hussein. I'm reading it on the CNN international hour. And as I read the quotes from Saddam, I could feel my emotions welling up. I started crying. I was doing a voice-over. I couldn't be seen, but I could not control it anymore. Here were these 37 sailors who were in there, who actually never knew what hit them, and I personally regarded what Saddam was saying as to be an outright lie. I was enraged. That was the one time when I physically lost it on the air, I was so angry.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I think the first thing we have to do, Larry, is to make sure we get the story straight and report it straight. And that's what we have to focus on.
You know, I was a newspaper police reporter long before I got into television. And a police reporter always walks into the worst moment in someone's life. Every time the police reporter shows up, it's a terrible moment. And so, if you can learn to compose -- stay composed and do your job in a professional way under those kind of circumstances, then you can do it under any circumstances.
So, I suppose sometimes when I do feel emotion, I don't -- I don't always show it.
What causes me to lose my composure is when something funny happens. I mean, I sort of -- you know, the absurdities of life and the funny things. Sometimes I just can't control myself.
I think what is important for the viewer to know -- and it doesn't have anything to do with whether you cry or, you know, the look on your face. If the viewer knows that you care, and sometimes maintaining your composure, people will get from that that you do care. And that's what -- that's what we need for people to know. We care about what's happening here, but we care so much, we're determined to play it down the middle and get the story to them straight.
KING: Thank you, Bob Schieffer. Bernie Shaw, great seeing you again. Hope next time it's under better circumstances than the death of a cohort. And Brian Williams, welcome back. It's been too long a time since you've been on this show, and congratulations on the anchor seat.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, Larry.
SHAW: Thank you, Larry.
KING: When we come back, we'll talk about the announcement today by Dana Carvey that she has lung cancer. We'll have -- Dana Reeve, I'm sorry. Dana Reeve, of course, that she has lung cancer. And we'll take calls and meet an outstanding panel. Don't go away.
KING: We now will discuss lung cancer. It took the life of Peter Jennings, and Dana Reeve announced today that she has it.
Joining us in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is Alan Landers, the former Winston man, now a spokesperson for the World Health Organization, a two-time survivor of lung cancer. In Los Angeles, Shelley Morrison, who plays Rosario on NBC's "Will and Grace," a former smoker. Diagnosed five years ago with lung cancer, and she's also a survivor of breast cancer.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stephen Baldwin. His father died of lung cancer. His mother survived breast cancer. Along with his famous brothers, he is active in the campaign for more cancer research.
In Los Angeles is Lori Downey. Her husband, the famous talk show host, Morton Downey, Jr., died of lung cancer in 2001. In fact, she was on this show a couple of nights after he passed away.
And in Cleveland, Ohio, is Dr. Derek Raghavan. Dr. Raghavan is director of the Cleveland Clinic's Cancer Center.
When we hear -- we'll start with you, Dr. Raghavan. What's the difference when we hear, as we heard from Peter Jennings, inoperable -- and Dana Reeve didn't announce whether hers was or not. What's the difference?
DR. DEREK RAGHAVAN, DIRECTOR, CLEVELAND CLINIC CANCER CENTER: Well, the difference is that if you have an operable cancer, you actually have a pretty good shot at a cure. We're in a situation today where it really does matter how far the cancer has gone in terms of outcome.
If you have a localized cancer, you potentially have as high as a 70 percent chance of cure. The more advanced it is, unfortunately, the less the chance of permanent cure.
KING: Advanced meaning it's spread from the lung?
RAGHAVAN: Yes. And in some cases, has spread just to the adjacent lymph nodes and that's actually an area where we've made real progress in the last ten years.
Ten years ago, if it had spread to the lymph glands in the middle of the chest, that would really have been a death sentence, whereas today, combining chemotherapy and sometimes radiation or an operation, we actually have a shot at curing the patients.
KING: Shelley, how did you beat it?
SHELLEY MORRISON, ACTOR: I was lucky. It was caught very early.
KING: It had not spread?
MORRISON: Had not spread. I had a mastectomy the year before and just in a routine examine, they found something suspicious in the lung. They checked on it. They found tumors and they removed the upper third of my right lung.
KING: And they were able to do that without...
MORRISON: Yes. KING: ... Without having had it spread.
KING: And you're -- once you hit the five year mark, are you free?
MORRISON: I go in every six months. I go in every six months for tumor markers.
KING: Do you go in nervously?
MORRISON: Oh, God. You have to be made out of stainless steel. I mean, it's...
KING: Alan, do you regret having been a spokesperson for Winston? You were the "Winston Man."
ALAN LANDERS, FORMER "WINSTON MAN" MODEL: Yes, I regret it. First, I just wanted to convey my condolences to the Jenkins family and also...
LANDERS: Jennings, I'm sorry. And also, my prayers are with Mrs. Reeves. I totally regret it and all this death is -- it's preventable death. It's a great loss and there's no reason for it, because if we had screening in this country, if the Food and Drug Administration, if they're not going to regulate nicotine as the deadly drug it is, if they're not going to list the ingredients on the product, then the very least they can do, is have a screening for lung cancer for anybody who smoked 20 years, give them a cat scan and see if any tumors exist and then we can prevent all this carnage.
KING: Your -- now Lori, your husband, Morton, threw it in the face of people. He smoked on television.
LORI DOWNEY, WIFE OF MORTON DOWNEY: Right.
KING: He blew smoke in peoples faces. He got mad -- and then he got very angry at cigarettes.
KING: What was the end like?
DOWNEY: Well, the end was a mess. Well, I want to go back to the beginning and just say that back then it was the doctor that said try, you know, try smoking certain cigarette brands. Try Camel, you'll feel better.
So, he was of that generation that he was hooked and then, later on at the end when he got very sick, it was very, very sad. He was in a lot of pain he suffered quite a deal, looking back now, when I think of him then.
KING: I mean, he got very angry at the cigarette people, right?
DOWNEY: He was very angry, yes. Absolutely.
KING: So, did he die angry?
DOWNEY: I think he died with grace. That's what I think.
KING: Stephen Baldwin, your father died of lung cancer. What do you remember about it?
STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR: Well, I think, Larry, more than anything else, I remember just the horrible physical aspects of what goes along with it and I just want to share in the sentiment to the Jennings family and let Dana Reeves know that everybody out there should be praying for her, praying for her and her son and she's going to get through it, because you can beat this thing.
And for me, you know, with my dad, it was a similar situation. My dad just, you know, never had the hindsight to really look at this thing early on or even suspect. I mean, there were physical symptoms that he was suffering from and he was a pretty kind of a tough guy; a football player and all that.
And just basically thought he was tough enough to get over some kind of a cold or something and that was back in the day when they didn't have all of the various ways of detecting it today. But people need to understand, Larry -- I believe this much: You know, we don't live in the day, anymore, with the common cold. You know, we -- you know, viruses and illnesses and all these things are much more serious now than they were even 20 years ago. People have to be responsible and go get tested and make sure that they're clean and healthy.
KING: Dr. Raghavan, what is the test for lung cancer? Let's say you have no symptoms, what is the test?
RAGHAVAN: Well, there really isn't a single test. I think somebody made the point that the key is to be aware of what the symptoms are, the development of a new cough, coughing up blood, getting short of breath when you weren't before, getting chest pain, but the tricky part is a lot of the symptoms of lung cancer actually are the same symptoms of a heavy smoker.
And you know, I think the key is not so much to try to find it early. That's certainly important, but someone said a moment ago, what we need to do as a community, is take responsibility.
The way to minimize the problems of lung cancer, is not to smoke, to prevent our kids from smoking, to take a really serious, bipartisan political approach and you know, the sort of thing that where I work, the Cleveland Clinic has done. We have 12 facilities and 33,000 employees. We went smoke free July the 4th, which was our Independence from Smoking Day.
We have hundreds of people who've given up smoking and they've done it because we as an institution, have taken a responsible approach. So, I'd make a challenge to the people who run businesses out there: You don't have to leave it to the government to do something. We can do it ourselves. We can stop. We can do what Alan did and make a personal stand and stop smoking and that will reduce lung cancer better than any of the other ploys.
KING: You're shaking your head no, Lori?
DOWNEY: Well, I -- It's just, that's very upsetting to hear that, Larry. I mean, look at what poor Dana is facing right now. She didn't smoke.
KING: She didn't smoke.
MORRISON: She didn't smoke.
DOWNEY: And I think that -- I'm upset, because there should be some kind of swabbing of your mouth or DNA. They can do all kinds of sampling today and they should be able to find these things before it's gets to this point.
KING: It annoys you that there is no --
KING: Let me get a break and come back with that. And then, we'll ask the doctor how you get it without smoking. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK KLUGMAN, ACTOR... Of the larynx from smoking. I should have listened to Tony years ago. And they removed my right vocal chord and what -- It's now just a stump -- a little piece of scar tissue.
KING: Tony, did you used to tell him?
TONY RANDALL, ACTOR: Yes.
KING: You were the most anti-smoking person I ever knew.
RANDALL: I think that's true. I think I'm responsible for some of the anti-smoking laws, as a matter of fact. Now, I didn't allow smoking on the set, but he would...
KING: You knew he smoked?
RANDALL: He would smoke off the set.
KING: Did you try to tell him not to?
RANDALL: Try to tell Jack anything.
KING: Never worked?
RANDALL: No. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA REEVES, WIFE OF CHRISTOPHER REEVES: There is hope and that through every dark corridor, there is some door that's going to lead to light and I -- it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of support. That's easy to aphorisms to say, not so much to live. But there really is hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Raghavan, as Lori points out, why not a simpler test?
RAGHAVAN: You know, we're working very hard, right across the USA, in developing better diagnostic tests. My point was only that it's better to prevent it than to find it early.
But you're absolutely right. I mean, for example, at the Cleveland Clinic, we're working on a gadget at the moment with the improbable name of the Electronic Nose. And we have a clinical trial going on, where this is a gadget that measures exhaled gases, looking for differences in gas content that might be an indication of early cancer. This is not ready for prime-time, but it's one of our experimental tools.
KING: Alan, would you ban tobacco?
LANDERS: Yes. I would have it regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so we could lower the amount of nicotine that goes into the cigarettes, and then the kids won't get addicted.
They spend -- the tobacco people, the marketers of death, they have an effective product on the market, and they spend $12 billion a year advertising it and getting the kids addicted. Now, we have to do something to counteract that.
I travel all over the world and I do anti-smoking presentations. It's Winstonman.com. We need something to confront them with, where it's got to be in their face all the time, that this is an effective product and it's deadly.
KING: Shelley, aren't you angry, angry at them, the manufacturers of cigarettes?
MORRISON: Yes, of course, of course. And the thing is that they won't -- they have all these programs where they say -- Philip Morris presents. OK, so, I said it, so, sue me. And we're going to help the children. We're going to do this for them. We're going to do that for them, but we're going to sell them. We're going to sell them all this nicotine. We're going to destroy their lives. OK. It's not only the smoking.
KING: Dana doesn't smoke.
MORRISON: Dana doesn't smoke. It's the environment. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the air that we're breathing, where we work, where we live, when we drive a car, it's garbage. And this -- you know, I go visit my body parts at Cedars, you know.
KING: Stephen, do you get angry at the companies?
BALDWIN: Yeah. I think, obviously, Larry, it's a pretty sick deal, if you think about it. But it is what it is. It's been around long enough. They have the money and the power to do what they're doing, and, you know, the other thing that comes to mind for me regarding my dad, and, you know, what really kind of triggered it with my dad, what we learned later on was, exposure to asbestos, which is a very, very serious problem in this country. People -- because people don't relate in their mind these environmental realities as something potentially that can cause this illness.
Even when the good doctor before was talking about the symptoms, people don't realize. They now list as one of the normal symptoms chronic back pain. Now, how much of a problem around the world is back problems with everybody? If somebody has some kind of a problem with their back and it doesn't go away after four to six months and you've been to the chiropractor and this and that, you might have cancer. Go get it checked out.
KING: I'm sorry...
LANDERS: I'd like to jump in for a second.
KING: Go ahead.
LANDERS: We're talking about 6 million people a year die worldwide from smoke-related illnesses. Lung cancer is the biggest killer in the world. About 180,000 people a year get it; 170,000 die. The problem is not the environment. It's smoking. And that's what has to be put under control. That's the biggest killer. In this country alone, we have a half a million people dying every year.
KING: But Dana Reeve didn't smoke.
LANDERS: Secondhand smoke -- yeah, that's only 10 percent of the population of people that get lung cancer; 90 percent, it comes from smoking.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: And found out that there is a little tumor right next to my 11th vertebrae, and they felt that the tumor was cancerous. And so, they decided to give me radiation, which I've never had before, to take the pain away. And thank God, after 14 treatments of radiation, the pain did go away. It's all gone, thank God. But then, on my next CAT scan, PET scan, they discovered two millimeters of cancer in the same place it had been before, back in my lung again. KING: Also inoperable?
MESSNER: Inoperable, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON DOWNEY, JR.: I'm Morton Downey, Jr., so-called television tough guy. You know something? I knew cigarettes could never hurt me. Wrong. Now I've got lung cancer, and I could die. What really bothers me is I won't be around to see my 2-and-a-half-year-old grow up and say no to smoking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: She's here now. How old is she?
DOWNEY: She's 11.
KING: Eleven. You have a lot of cancer in the family, Shelley, right?
MORRISON: Of the first generation of all the women, because I have the genetic marker, I'm the only one left.
KING: The only one?
MORRISON: The only one.
KING: Doctor, those 10 percent who don't smoke, how do they get it?
RAGHAVAN: Well, some of the 10 percent actually, unfortunately, do by passive smoking. Oftentimes in a history, it's missed, but there's a lot of smoke around in this country where people aren't themselves smokers, but they inhale rubbish from others.
Then there are things like radon in the basement in some areas, exposure to radiation, and some people, long-term survivors of breast cancer, for example, who have been treated by radiotherapy 20 years ago, have a little increased risk of getting lung cancer.
And then, a Shelley said, there's a lot of crap in the air. And we breathe it every day. So clean air is a good thing.
KING: Alan, if cigarettes were never legal, and just being proposed, and had to go through an FDA examination, they would never be licensed, would they?
LANDERS: Never, never. Also, secondhand smoke kills 75,000 people a year in this country. Worldwide, the figure is close to a million. So, that includes a lot of that 10 percent we're talking about, as the good doctor mentioned. No. It is -- I just get so angry, Larry. I got two lobes left, lung cancer twice. God has blessed me. I'm here to get my message out, trying to save lives. Don't smoke. It will kill you.
KING: Stephen, Nixon -- Richard Nixon as president once said, we're going to have a war on cancer. Apparently, we lost it.
BALDWIN: Amen. Amen. That would be wonderful. I'm helping my mom almost every day now with her fund and fighting for breast cancer. And I mean, it's obvious. Because I really -- what's been said here tonight is amazing. I mean, the most important thing for me is that the kids understand exactly what the Winston guy said there, was that, you know, with the advertising that goes in, $12 billion a year to advertise cigarettes. I mean, that is just ridiculous.
LANDERS: To create the illusion that smoking is cool.
BALDWIN: Well, yeah, and really, what's the sickest part of it, the addictive, drug-like part of the experience is that it...
KING: We're out of time, guys.
BALDWIN: ... people are...
KING: You don't smoke any more, do you?
KING: Because you smoked for a while.
DOWNEY: I sure did.
KING: You sure did.
BALDWIN: I did too.
DOWNEY: On fire.
DOWNEY: I said I was on fire.
KING: Thank you all very much.
Tomorrow night, an extraordinary hour. Michael Douglas and his father, Kirk Douglas. Michael and Kirk, a rare appearance together for the full hour tomorrow night.
Right now, it's time to turn it over to our man in New York, the host of "NEWSNIGHT," Aaron Brown, who carries on, as all great newsmen do, in that great tradition of, the show must go on.
AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": No, that's what show business people do.
KING: Oh, that's right. BROWN: That's what you do. I do something else.
KING: Oh, oh, a little put-down.
BROWN: Oh, I would never -- are you crazy?
KING: Well, what was that? That's what you do?
BROWN: That's what -- that was just a statement of fact, which is what I do. Thank you, Mr. King, we'll talk tomorrow.
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