Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson; Safety Concerns Raised Over America's Top Dog Treat; Hunter Shot By Vice President Cheney Suffers Heart Attack

Aired February 14, 2006 - 20:00   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone. Appreciate your joining us.
Tonight, deepening mystery and a startling new turn of events in the Cheney hunting accident.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): "Beyond the Headlines" -- he was shot by the vice president. And now he has taken a turn for the worse.

PETER BANKO, CHRISTUS SPOHN HOSPITAL CORPUS CHRISTI-MEMORIAL: Some of the birdshot appears to have moved and lodged into his heart, causing what we call atrial fib. It has basically caused him to have a minor heart attack.

ZAHN: If it was just an accident, why is the vice president so secretive?

Lasting love -- this man was convicted of killing this woman's child.

KEN MARSH, WRONGLY CONVICTED: I noticed he wasn't breathing, and I picked him up. I just wanted to hold him close to me.

ZAHN: Why did she work for 20 years to get him out of prison?

BRENDA MARSH, MOTHER OF TODDLER: I couldn't let go of him. I couldn't even be a second away from him.

ZAHN: An incredible story of passion and persistence.

And the "Eye Opener" -- there's no question that it's great for your dog's teeth, but can it cause serious problems?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our product is safe. It is used every day by thousands of dogs.

ZAHN: Tonight, a CNN investigation -- what you should know about the country's most popular pet treat.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And we are starting with this afternoon's big surprise out of Texas, where doctors announced that Harry Whittington, the man Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally hit with birdshot in a hunting accident over the weekend, had suffered a mild heart attack.

It has turned a story that has been a coast-to-coast punchline for jokes into something far more serious.

Ed Lavandera has the latest from the hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Doctors say Harry Whittington never suffered any chest pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms of a heart attack. He had been moved out of intensive care yesterday. But, at 6:30 this morning, there was a problem.

PETER BANKO, CHRISTUS SPOHN HOSPITAL CORPUS CHRISTI-MEMORIAL: We noticed a heart irregularity at that time. We quickly moved Mr. Whittington to our ICU, where he was evaluated by our cardiac team.

LAVANDERA: Doctors looked for blockages of the blood vessels that supply the heart. That's when they discovered what was wrong.

BANKO: Some of the birdshot appears to have moved and lodged into a -- part of his heart, causing the atrial fib, and what we would say is a minor heart attack.

LAVANDERA: Whittington is alert and in stable condition. Vice President Cheney watched the hospital news conference and then phoned Whittington. Cheney has been officially cleared of wrongdoing in Saturday's accident.

Witnesses say Whittington apparently came up unannounced, just as Cheney was about to fire his shotgun.

RAMON SALINAS III, KENEDY COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF: The amount of witnesses that were there, I mean, everybody knew it was an accident. And it's not -- nothing criminal. We spoke with the victim. And he clearly said it was an accident also.

LAVANDERA: Whittington was hit on the right side of his face, neck and chest by possibly as many as 150 or more pellets of birdshot, but only one of them is causing his heart problem.

DR. DAVID BLANCHARD, CHRISTUS SPOHN HOSPITAL CORPUS CHRISTI- MEMORIAL EMERGENCY ROOM CHIEF: We knew that he had some birdshot very close to the heart from the get-go, but, in point of fact, it has now got to the point where it has caused some inflammatory changes and has moved in a position where it has caused some irritability of the muscle of the heart.

LAVANDERA: Doctors aren't 100 percent sure exactly where the piece of birdshot is located. The pellet apparently moved from its original position and lodged in or alongside the heart muscle. Doctors are considering their options, but, since Whittington is 78 years old, they would rather not perform major surgery to retrieve the pellet.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Corpus Christi, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And Harry Whittington's doctors now say he will have to stay in the hospital for at least another week, so they can keep a very close watch on him.

So, how do you treat someone who has a shotgun pellet in their heart? Can it stay there indefinitely?

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is standing by at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

Hi, Sanjay.

So, we just heard Ed saying (AUDIO GAP) considering leaving that pellet in place. What are the risks of doing that?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's like so many things in medicine, Paula. It's a risk-benefit sort of ratio you have to weigh here.

Going in and getting the pellet would mean actually doing an operation, possibly opening his chest, taking out a piece of the muscle with the pellet inside of it. That's a -- that's a risky operation for anybody, especially a 78-year-old.

In somebody -- you know, there -- there's a very good chance, Paula, this pellet may do no further damage whatsoever. They could get his heart rhythm stabilized, and that, you know, it just wouldn't be a problem for him. So, it -- it's just sort of a risk-benefit ratio here.

ZAHN: You -- you say there's a chance it might not do further damage. But we have to keep on reminding ourselves that this is, in fact, a 78-year-old patient, who has been shot. What might be the prognosis?

GUPTA: Yes.

You know, it's interesting, because we have a lot more information about him now today, than we did even yesterday, because he's had this one test, the catheterization, where they actually put dye into the blood vessels that supply his heart. And they showed that his heart was actually in pretty good shape, other than this pellet, and that the blood vessels leading to his heart were pretty in good shape as well.

I think it's a fair question, Paula. Seventy-eight years old, you always have to take age into consideration. But it appears, so far, that he's doing pretty well, and there's a good chance he might walk away from this, with no further consequences.

ZAHN: And that would be great, if that is what happens.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you...

GUPTA: Thank you.

ZAHN: ... so much.

Now, one of the bizarre things about this whole story is the secrecy. The accident wasn't announced until 14 hours after it happened. And, today, even though the White House already knew about Harry Whittington's heart attack, the president's spokesman didn't tell reporters.

And Dick Cheney, the vice president, hasn't been on camera even once. What gives?

Well, we asked White House correspondent Dana Bash to take us all "Beyond the Headlines" and into the vice president's world of secrets.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Cheney went to Capitol Hill today. We can't show you a picture. His office didn't let journalists know he was going, standard operating procedure for a vice president with a penchant for secrecy, which makes this all the more unusual -- a statement from the vice president's office with remarkable details of how he learned of Harry Whittington's heart scare, passed him a note at about 12:30 p.m.

Doctors would brief in Texas about 1:00 p.m. At about 1:30 p.m., the vice president called Mr. Whittington and asked if there was anything he needed. Those who know Mr. Cheney well foresee little long-term change in the way he does business, scant details of regular workday meetings, even less information on hunting and other personal trips.

And though heart problems make his health an issue, he does not always automatically reveal when he has medical procedures.

VIN WEBER, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Let me tell you, that's Dick Cheney. He's not particularly concerned about how that affects his public image.

BASH: It is a departure from the way his recent predecessors, like Al Gore, did business.

MICHAEL FELDMAN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: The vice president's office felt it was incumbent upon them to notify the press and to the public as to the vice president's general location.

BASH: This vice president makes light of the mystery, here just after being released after medical treatment on his ankle.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm a little hobbled up today. I'm not ordinarily carrying a cane like that. But Don Rumsfeld has been chewing on my ankles.

(LAUGHTER)

CHENEY: So...

BASH: Playful, yet another reminder, the vice president keeps secrets, carefully deciding what he will and will not talk about, like the time here in the mountains of Pakistan, when I asked him about Osama bin Laden.

(CROSSTALK)

CHENEY: If I knew where he was, I couldn't talk about it.

BASH (on camera): You -- you couldn't talk about specifics, but do you have a better sense at all at this point?

CHENEY: I -- I can't discuss it.

BASH (voice-over): Friends say his first White House experience in the early 1970s with President Ford shaped his approach now. He was the youngest chief of staff in history.

WEBER: His job was to be supportive behind the scenes, and, in many ways, to stay behind the scenes, as far behind the scenes as you can get.

BASH: Most vice presidents spend their days as number two, positioning to move up -- not this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS")

CHENEY: I have -- I have no ambitions.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You don't want to run in 2008?

CHENEY: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEBER: And that gives you a little different job description than almost anyone that has ever had the job before.

BASH: That means big public speeches when the president needs help. But, mostly, his work is behind closed doors, delivering tough news to world leaders, twisting arms on Capitol Hill, trying to protect presidential powers, and not spending much time worrying about those who disagree.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So, Dana, what kind of reaction have you gotten from White House insiders as to the way the vice president has handled this situation?

BASH: You know, Paula, it's interesting.

Last night, you and I talked about the fact that it was remarkable to see Scott McClellan, from the White House podium, essentially say, he would have done it differently -- today, more behind the scenes, that that kind of sense really came -- came out more.

Talking to the president's aides, they really feel that the vice president's office, the vice president himself, perhaps, did not handle this right, and still isn't handling -- handling this right. Many want him to come forward, want him to discuss it, to try to put this behind them.

And this really is exposing something that has been simmering for some time, the difference between the way the two operations approach things. And, certainly, the president's aides, many of them, are very frustrated about this. And it is certainly becoming more and more apparent. A lot of times, they have hidden this kind of dissent -- dissent -- not anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: Yes, Dana, but makes you wonder that. When the White House people knew that Mr. Whittington's health had taken a turn for the worse, before this news conference today, they still didn't mention it...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... at the news conference.

We have got 10 seconds for you to finish that...

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: Interesting. I -- that was certainly a question that -- that I posed to Scott McClellan. Others did, too. Why did he not tell us when he came out, knowing full well that Mr. Whittington had a minor heart attack? He simply said that he did not have all the facts. He only knew that it was a minor heart attack, but didn't do -- didn't know any other details. But, certainly, that is one of the questions that he is being asked.

ZAHN: Dana Bash, thanks so much for the update.

And I got some fascinating insight into the vice president's thinking a few minutes ago, when I spoke with former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming. He has known Cheney since 1966. And Simpson says, the vice president's distrust of the press has been growing for years, to the point where the vice president doesn't even believe he can get a fair shake under any circumstances.

And I asked if that's why he thought Cheney handled the shooting incident the way he did.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: So, Senator, do you think he made the calculation after, this horrible accident, not to talk to the press because he -- he didn't think no matter what he said was going to be bought by the American public?

ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Look, we're not talking about buying. I'm talking about distortion.

It wouldn't matter what he said. It would be distorted. Whether it's the cover of "TIME," whether it's the cover of "The New Yorker, Dick Cheney is a guy with a red tail sticking out of his fanny and cloven hooves and horns. And let's quit kidding ourselves.

And now add the fact of hunting and killing birdies and eating them. You got more stuff going here. But let's stick with the real reason, instead of these other -- quote -- "reasons." That's the way I see this one.

ZAHN: But, Senator...

SIMPSON: They don't like the guy. They don't like him, period.

ZAHN: But, Senator -- Senator, let's move beyond the perceptions of where you think some members of the press corps may be on this man.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMPSON: Good.

ZAHN: Do you -- do you...

SIMPSON: That will be good.

ZAHN: Senator, do you understand, though, why some folks out there in our audience tonight would say, so, Mr. Vice President, if you had nothing to hide, why didn't you just come forward? This is a tragic accident. We would have understood that.

SIMPSON: Well, what...

ZAHN: But this appearance of this 24-hour delay...

SIMPSON: What happened...

ZAHN: ... leads to a lack of trust here?

SIMPSON: What happened to the feeling world of a guy that has had a hunting -- if I had been in a hunting accident a few hours ago, 48 or so, and had hit a guy with pellets, gone to his hospital bed, and now found that perhaps one of the pellets may have injured the membrane of his heart, you think I'm going to wander out in front of a phalanx of people who just are eager to hear him misstate, misspeak? I mean, that's nuts. Why would he do it? He would be a fool to do it.

ZAHN: You have described the vice president...

SIMPSON: And you know it.

ZAHN: Well, I don't know that I know that.

SIMPSON: And you know it. You know what would have happened...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: But we would have to let the American public...

SIMPSON: Yes, you do.

ZAHN: ... make that judgment.

SIMPSON: Yes.

ZAHN: But you have described the vice president...

SIMPSON: Well, let the American public -- yes, let the American public know that they're not dealing with some arrogant automaton who has no feelings. They're dealing with a guy who I have known for 40 years, who is a -- a magnanimous, magnificent man, who got tired of the media long ago.

And because he had -- quote -- "ignored" them, they never liked it at all. They still don't like it. And they just love to catch him. And whatever he would do would be distorted. That's all I'm saying.

ZAHN: Thank you very much. We appreciate your candor tonight.

SIMPSON: Thank you, Paula.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And, by now, you better have remembered that it's Valentine's Day. How far would you go to prove your devotion? Well, could you do as much as this, as this woman did for her boyfriend, even after a jury convicted him of a terrible crime, the killing of one of her children? It's an incredible story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG HUNTER, CNN CONSUMER CORRESPONDENT: I'm Greg Hunter in New York.

Safety concerns raised over America's number-one dog treat -- coming up on PAULA ZAHN NOW.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Also coming up, should your kid's iPod be X-rated? You are not going to believe what you can download these days.

First, our countdown of the 10 most popular stories on CNN.com. More than 20 million of you went to our Web site today.

At number 10, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son gets nine months in prison for his role in a campaign fund-raising scandal. His father remains in a coma after suffering a stroke.

Number nine, in Ohio, police rescued a 2-year-old girl who locked herself in a safe at a store. Please stay with us -- seven and eight coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And now we move on to our "Eye Opener" tonight.

And, before we begin, I want to warn you, some of the pictures you are about to see can be pretty tough to watch. I know they were for me.

There is a growing controversy over a product called Greenies. They happen to be the number-one selling dog treat in the country. And they're supposed to keep a dog's teeth healthy, but now some dog owners are saying the treat is too dangerous to give to pets. The company that makes Greenies says, that's simply not true.

Consumer correspondent Greg Hunter set out to investigate the claims. And he's about to show you what he uncovered in tonight's "Eye Opener."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HUNTER (voice-over): This is Tyson (ph), an 8-month-old boxer who, before Christmas, was happy, healthy and full of life. But not long after these pictures were taken, he suddenly died.

LEAH FALLS, DOG DIED: I kept waiting -- waiting for someone to say they had the wrong dog or -- you know, it was a shock.

HUNTER: The cause of Tyson's (ph) death was a mystery to his owners, Leah Falls and Josh Glass.

JOSH GLASS, DOG DIED: I couldn't imagine what it could have been.

HUNTER: Doctors couldn't either, until they discovered a severe blockage in his intestine.

DR. KEVIN SCHLANGER, BRENT-AIR ANIMAL HOSPITAL: It was very clear that it was something dense and firm that had caused an obstruction.

HUNTER: Here is the object Dr. Kevin Schlanger removed. It's a dog treat called a Greenie. It's the hottest selling dog treat on the market, shaped like a toothbrush, advertised as edible. It claims to clean dog's teeth. There are different sizes to match your dog's weight. And many dog owners seem to love them.

Just last year, Greenies sold 325 million treats worldwide, nearly tripling the sales of its nearest competitor, Milk-Bone. The credit goes to this man, Joe Roetheli of Kansas City, Missouri, the founder of S&M NuTec, the company that makes Greenies.

JOE ROETHELI, FOUNDER, S&M NUTEC: Dogs really love the product. They do a very effective job of cleaning teeth and freshening breath. HUNTER (on camera): But, along with skyrocketing sales across the country, CNN has learned about dozens of cases where Greenies have caused life-threatening obstructions in dogs, raising safety questions.

(voice-over): Recently, in New York, Mike Eastwood and his wife, Jenny Reiff, filed a lawsuit, asking for $5 million in damages. They claim the product is defective and blame Greenies for the intestinal blockage that caused the slow, painful death of their dog, Burt (ph).

JENNY REIFF, PLAINTIFF IN LAWSUIT: I miss him and think about him every single day.

MIKE EASTWOOD, PLAINTIFF IN LAWSUIT: I'm mad that their packaging states that the product is 100 percent edible, highly digestible, veterinarian approved. Yet, our dog died from it.

HUNTER: The company won't comment on the case, but, in court papers, it denied the allegations.

(on camera): Is your product defective?

ROETHELI: Our product is safe. It is used every day by thousands of dogs, millions a week. And it is basically a very safe product.

HUNTER (voice-over): Still, local television and newspapers across the country have reported case after case of Greenies getting stuck in dog's throats or intestines, causing severe problems, including death.

(on camera): So, Greenies can cause a significant health risk to a dog?

DR. MICHAEL LEIB, PROFESSOR OF SMALL ANIMAL INTERNAL MEDICINE, VIRGINIA TECH'S VIRGINIA-MARYLAND REGIONAL COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE: Absolutely.

HUNTER (voice-over): Dr. Michael Leib is a Virginia Tech professor and veterinarian gastroenterologist. He showed us the problem on videotape of a 2004 surgery he performed.

LEIB: We're looking inside the esophagus now, about halfway towards the stomach.

HUNTER: Dr. Leib says this is a piece of Greenie stuck deep inside a dog's throat. After two days, he says, it was still solid. Even though the surgery was difficult, he successfully removed it.

(on camera): You saved the dog.

LEIB: In this case, we did.

DR. BRENDAN MCKIERNAN, WHEAT RIDGE VETERINARY SPECIALISTS: That's a pup.

HUNTER: Dr. Brendan McKiernan is a Denver veterinarian.

MCKIERNAN: This is a dog who came into us.

HUNTER: In little more than two years, his clinic has seen at least seven dogs with solid pieces of Greenies stuck inside them. Those cases prompted McKiernan to start studying obstructions from treats like Greenies. He says, his research shows, compressed vegetable chew treats, like Greenies, are now the third biggest cause of throat obstructions in dogs, behinds bones and fish hooks.

MCKIERNAN: They don't break down.

HUNTER (on camera): When you say don't break down, what does that mean?

MCKIERNAN: Well, they are still solid. They take them out, and these things are still hard when you -- when you tap on them. They're not like a Cheerio that breaks down and dissolves in your mouth. This is a product that doesn't seem to do that.

HUNTER (voice-over): But the manufacturer says, in most cases, Greenies do break down. And they urge dog owners to pick the right size treat for their dog.

(on camera): So, just what's in a Greenie? Things like wheat gluten and fiber -- experts tell us nothing all that unusual. But the process used to form a Greenie makes it really hard, and the company says it has to be that way, in order to clean a dog's teeth when it's chewed.

(voice-over): On each package, there's also a warning. The fine print says, monitor your dog to ensure the treat is adequately chewed. Gulping any item can be harmful or even fatal to a dog.

(on camera): This group of Denver dog owners all insist they followed package instructions, and, still, their dogs got sick. Some say they said they fed their dogs Greenies for a year or more before they had a problem. In others, all it took was one.

PAULA MATSUMOTO, DOG OWNER: It got stuck in his esophagus. It didn't go up. It didn't go down. And it almost killed him.

LAURIE GAYNOR, DOG OWNER: She's not going to gulp this, any more than she gulps her food or any other treat. And nothing else has choked her nearly to death.

HUNTER: Ruthie Chimabookaroh's (ph) dog, a Samoyed (ph), died after being sick for a week. A Greenie got stuck in its intestine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was suffering a great deal. I -- I feel so bad that she had to suffer so much.

HUNTER: And these dog owners are not alone.

Our CNN investigation discovered 40 cases since 2003 where a veterinarian extracted a Greenie from a dog. The average weight of the dogs was about 40 pounds. In 13 cases, the pet died, like Fern Finer's dog Twiggy (ph) in Los Angeles.

FERN FINER, DOG DIED: I was hysterically crying, because it's like -- this is like -- this is my baby. This is like part of my life. You know, she was everything to me.

HUNTER (on camera): How many deaths, injuries, complaints have you had?

ROETHELI: It's a very, very, very low number.

HUNTER (voice-over): Roetheli and his company vet, Dr. Brad Quest, say, the focus should instead be on dental benefits. For instance, they say, Greenies are much safer than putting a dog under anesthesia to clean teeth.

(on camera): You're saying that the good Greenies do, taking care of teeth, far outweighs any deaths or injuries on the other end?

DR. BRAD QUEST, VETERINARIAN, S&M NUTEC: There is a very, very low downside risk with them. There's a huge benefit that many, many dogs have been saved, in effect, by having Greenies, vs. not having any care or using a different type of oral care treatment.

HUNTER: But vets say, the big problem with Greenies is, if they're swallowed in chunks, they won't break down.

QUEST: And -- and most of the veterinarians that we have contact with are -- are very supportive, and -- and have -- and have absolutely no issues with the Greenies.

HUNTER: But the ones that we have talked to have. I mean, they have taken them out of dogs still intact. Doesn't that concern you guys?

ROETHELI: Certainly, it concerns us. And we -- we look at it and -- and try to do the best that we possibly can to deal with issues like that, try to learn from them. And it's why we're working with FDA closely, voluntarily, to get to the bottom of what the cause is.

HUNTER (voice-over): The Food and Drug Administration says it's looking into eight complaints, but has not formally launched an investigation. CNN also spoke with several vets who recommend the product.

QUEST: At the end of the day, Greg, you know, literally millions of Greenies are -- are enjoyed by dogs on a weekly basis, with absolutely no incidents.

SCHLANGER: This is Tyson (ph) right here.

HUNTER: Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for Tyson (ph), who died in December.

FALLS: Our vet said he probably felt like he was very, very sick, which, in my head, was just a nice way of saying he suffered, you know, and that he was in pain. HUNTER: Greg Hunter, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Once again, the maker of Greenies say they can effectively clean your dog's teeth, but watch your dog very carefully when it eat ones -- eats one, that is -- and, if you think your dog is going to swallow a large chunk, just take it away.

We are just getting word of a scathing new report about the response to Hurricane Katrina. It blames all levels of government, from the White House on down to local officials, for leaving people vulnerable. The report says, after the 2001 terrorist attacks, preparations for natural disasters became -- quote -- "indifferent and passive."

Now with the rest of the hour's top stories, let's turn to Erica Hill at Headline News.

Hi, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Paula, a big step for New Orleans -- nearly six months after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane University Hospital now reopened on a limited basis. The hospital underwent nearly $90 million in renovations.

The judge in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui today barred him from the rest of jury selection. Moussaoui will be tried next month before a jury that will decide whether he should be executed or spend his life in prison for being part of al Qaeda's conspiracy to hijack planes and crash them into American buildings.

Defying global opposition, Iran has now officially resumed enrichment of uranium at one of its key plants. Iran says its nuclear program is designed just to generate electricity. The U.S., however, and Israel claim, the program is a cover for producing an atomic bomb.

And regulators in Massachusetts today voting to require Wal-Mart stores to stock the morning-after pill -- that comes two weeks after three women in the state sued Wal-Mart for refusing to fill orders for the pills.

And, Paula, that's a look at your headlines -- back over to you.

ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. Appreciate it.

You can download a lot more these days than music on to your iPod. But is someone you know downloading this, and a whole lot worse, like kids doing this?

Also, coming up, a woman who didn't believe her boyfriend killed her little boy -- how did her faith in him pay off?

Now on to numbers eight and seven on our CNN.com countdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democracy was successful.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: So if you have any kids that are watching, you might want to send them out of the room right now because we're turning to what a lot of people see as an alarming trend, the explosive growth of pornography. And now hard-core porn is poised to conquer a new technology, one that is incredibly popular, especially with young people, the iPod. As Tom Foreman shows us, that could mean even more money for a business that's already raking in billions and billions of dollars.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three things Americans generally agree on when it comes to porn. It's improper, it's immoral and it's impossible for some of us to get enough of it. And in Miami, at the Mobile Adult Content Congress, that's a porn convention, all the talk was about how this business is getting much bigger because porn is getting smaller, with the help of these, personal video players in mobile phones, iPods and PDAs. Call it pocket porn.

TINA SOUTHALL, VODAPHONE GROUP: Oh, it's a huge -- it's a really huge topic.

JOHN CONLON, VIRGIN MEDIA: You talk to people about it, they're like, yes, we really want to get access to it.

HARVEY KAPLAN, XOBILE: It's flesh-colored crack. That's all that really is.

FOREMAN: Harvey Kaplan, a pocket porn marketer, says for the first time ever, consumers aren't being embarrassed by walking into adult video stores, renting movies in hotels or even having porn stored on their home computers. This technology puts downloads into the consumer's pocket, fast and anonymously.

KAPLAN: It's a device where people can download their content, feel safe and secure that no one else is going to gain access to it.

FOREMAN: This is huge. Since the video iPod was unveiled in October, Apple says 12 million regular videos have been downloaded on their Web site. But in the same period, this skin site called Suicide Girls says they saw 10 million downloads, about one a second. Some videos are free, some for sale. So it's not an apples to apples comparison, but how about them apples?

RON JEREMY, PORN STAR: It's between you and your little cell phone, you know? It's kind of like a marriage made in heaven.

FOREMAN: Porn legend Ron Jeremy used to be known only to the late-night adult theater crowd. Not anymore. Pocket porn has him being mobbed.

JEREMY: The market has gotten 10 times bigger and it's affecting a much different group. Now we have a lot of college kids, young couples, that you would not see going to an adult theater.

FOREMAN (on camera): Certainly this is terrible news for those who oppose pornography, who say it degrades people and promotes violence. But this trend is undeniably real. It is unsettlingly rapid and it may be unstoppable.

(voice-over): Because some of the biggest communications companies in the world are getting involved.

KAPLAN: This is about hard, cold dollars.

FOREMAN: And they're expecting profits that are almost obscene. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And when we come back, we have an incredible story for you. We found a woman who never gave up her fight to learn the truth. Why did she stand by her man even after a jury sent him to prison for killing her child?

And why does one of the country's best-known landmarks have such a dark side?

On to No. 6 on our CNN.com countdown. Conan O'Brien finally meets his match today, finally coming face-to-face with his look alike, Finland's first woman president. No. 5 is our lead, the man shot and wounded by the vice president has suffered a minor heart attack after a piece of bird shot became lodged in his heart. No. 4, the incredible Hulk is now a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. Actor Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk on T.V., will spend most of his time recruiting new deputies. No. 3 straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Still ahead in this half hour, a mystery of the mind. Why is the Golden Gate Bridge the final stop for so many desperate people?

But we move on now to a very special day. I hope you remember it's Valentine's Day and you're about to see a love story like you've never seen before. It begins with a tragic death of a woman's child and her boyfriend convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Yet incredibly she was so convinced of his innocence, she dedicated years of her life trying to set him free. Here's Thelma Gutierrez with a story about the power of love to endure incredible obstacles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were destined to be together. No amount of pain, grief or time could change that.

KEN MARSH, WRONGLY CONVICTED: The first time I saw Brenda, I just knew that she was my soul mate.

BRENDA MARSH, TODDLER'S MOTHER: I couldn't let go of him. I couldn't even be a second away from him.

GUTIERREZ: They were neighbors when they first met in 1983, Ken Marsh and Brenda Buell (ph) said it was love at first sight. Eventually Ken moved in with Brenda and her two small children.

B. MARSH: It was the happiest time in my life, I know.

GUTIERREZ: On April 28th, 1983, it all changed.

B. MARSH: That was the day our lives were ruined.

GUTIERREZ: Brenda was at work while Ken watched the two children. Ken heard a crash and ran to the room where the kids were. Phillip, just 2 years old, was on the floor.

K. MARSH: I noticed he wasn't breathing. I picked him up. I just wanted to hold him close to me.

GUTIERREZ: An ambulance rushed Phillip to the hospital. Ken said he had fallen. The police believed him. But Brenda says the emergency room doctors insisted the boy had been beaten to death, even though Phillip was still alive at the time. He died the next day.

B. MARSH: Right when I got to the hospital, they told me that Phillip was murdered, that he was beaten to death. No way. No way. I just wanted to die. I wanted to die in his place. I just wanted to hold him again. I didn't even care about life (INAUDIBLE).

GUTIERREZ: Though she was heartbroken, Brenda could not bring herself to believe that Ken had killed her son. But a jury did. Ken was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder after he refused an offer to plead guilty to a lesser offense.

(on camera): When the justice system basically labels you a child killer, what did that do to you?

B. MARSH: Wow. We were all shocked. My family, Phillip's family, we were all shocked.

K. MARSH: It's embarrassing. It's very embarrassing. I'm still to this day, it's embarrassing to have been labeled that.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Ken Marsh went to Folsom maximum security prison. He says he kept his sanity by writing letters and poems to Brenda every day.

K. MARSH: As morning's light is being filtered through these cold and rigid bars...

GUTIERREZ: While in prison, Ken was again offered deals to admit guilt in exchange for early release, but steadfastly refused.

(on camera): In many ways, Brenda, you lost two people in a very short amount of time?

B. MARSH: Yeah, I did. I lost my soulmate and my son.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): To help ease her pain, Brenda had to find out how Phillip died. She began researching head injuries, combing through boxes of legal documents and volumes of her son's medical records. And she got in touch with appeals attorney, Tracy Emblem.

TRACY EMBLEM, APPEALS ATTORNEY: I looked at the case and started looking at some of the evidence, and I said, well, I'm not convinced that he didn't do it.

GUTIERREZ: But moved by Brenda's unshakable belief, the lawyer volunteered to take on the case. They spent six years studying every aspect of the document, until one day Tracy, Brenda and a team of medical specialists made a stunning discovery. Phillip had a blood clotting disorder the doctors had missed. What's more, forensic pathologists say a drug Phillip was given caused severe brain swelling. But they needed forensic testimony to prove it.

EMBLEM: We had to write all over the country and ask people if they would look at this case for free because we didn't have any money.

GUTIERREZ: Finally, a top forensic expert agreed to take on the case. He quickly reached a pivotal conclusion.

EMBLEM: He said that this was an accidental fall, and all the forensic evidence is consistent with an accidental fall.

GUTIERREZ: After all that work, it was time to go back and plead for Ken's release.

B. MARSH: Tracy gives it like a 3,000 hour count. I give it more like six years. Six years, a lot of tears.

EMBLEM: It was like climbing Mount Everest, that's all I could say.

GUTIERREZ: In 2004, Ken Marsh's conviction was overturned. After 21 years behind bars, Ken was a free man.

Ken and Brenda remember how nervous they felt. The last time they had really been together, they were just in their 20s.

B. MARSH: You got wrinkles, you got some rolls you never had before.

K. MARSH: You know, you change. GUTIERREZ: After more than two decades, Brenda and Ken were reunited.

K. MARSH: They say, they say here she comes, and...

B. MARSH: Wow.

K. MARSH: I don't know. I can't explain it. It's just wow.

B. MARSH: It's a feeling I never want to let go of again.

K. MARSH: It was like a dream you had where you never want to wake up from.

GUTIERREZ: Ken's new life hasn't been easy. He was 28 when he went to prison. The world had passed him by.

K. MARSH: I had no idea how to go to a McDonald's and get a soda out of the machine myself. I have nothing whatsoever to show for it. I have nothing to show for my 52 years.

GUTIERREZ: Ken will be compensated by the state of California, $100 for every day he spent in prison, a total of more than $750,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We apologize to you, sir. Hopefully, you can have the rest of your life successful.

K. MARSH: The apology was heartfelt. It was very sincere, and God, I appreciated -- you have no idea how much that meant.

GUTIERREZ: Brenda and Ken say they are now at peace with the past and with the pain over Phillip's death.

B. MARSH: For me, it was a chance to say that it's OK for him to go now. Because I held him here for so long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you, Ken, take Brenda to be your lawfully wedded wife?

K. MARSH: I do, I do, I do.

GUTIERREZ: Brenda and Ken celebrated their marriage with the people who supported them through the years. Prison inmates, even a prison captain. And the attorney who never stopped fighting, Tracy Emblem, was Brenda's bridesmaid.

B. MARSH: I think it will be a very happy ending in the end.

K. MARSH: We'll be together for the rest of our lives.

GUTIERREZ: Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Oceanside, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: It would appear that way. Then there's this: Brenda and Ken Marsh have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the hospital where Phillip died, and where Brenda says doctors insisted that he had been beaten to death. An attorney for the hospital claims the lawsuit is without merit and denies any allegations of wrongdoing.

Moving on now, for any visitor to San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see. But why is it so many people's last stop? Why do they jump?

And then, at the top of the hour, Judge Judy is the guest on "LARRY KING LIVE." But first, let's go back to that number three on our cnn.com countdown. In Pakistan, two people killed during the latest outbreak of violent protests over those cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. A number of Western businesses were also attacked and burned.

Number two. In a Florida courtroom, a weeping Joseph Smith pleads for his life. He was convicted for the abduction, rape and murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in 2004. Smith could be sentenced to die next month. Number one when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: We all agree the Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel, but why is it also such a magnet for people who want to end their lives? We're going to get to the mystery of the mind in a few minutes. But first, let's turn to Erica Hill for today's HEADLINE NEWS Business Break -- Erica.

(BUSINESS BREAK)

ZAHN: "LARRY KING LIVE," gets underway at the top of the hour. Hi, Lar. How are you doing?

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Not to me, I don't get roses? I don't get flowers?

ZAHN: You know what? Maybe tomorrow.

KING: Maybe you forgot.

ZAHN: You know how much they discount them the day after Valentine's Day?

KING: How much?

ZAHN: Like 60 percent off. Because of the blizzard -- yours are coming tomorrow in the mail. Who you talking to tonight?

KING: Roses in the mail. Judge Judy is our featured guest tonight. It's always a welcome treat. She got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. And we'll begin, though, with a discussion of the Cheney matter with Alan Simpson, the former Senator a good friend of the vice president's. Mike Allen of "Time" magazine and the renowned cardiologist Dr. P.K. Shaw.

It's going to be quite a show at the top of the hour. Stay around and watch it, Paula. ZAHN: I will be there for you, Larry. Happy Valentine's Day. I'll be waiting for your roses in mail, too. You know they can send those -- you've gotten them in the big box.

KING: In the box.

ZAHN: Looking for them tomorrow at 4:00. Thank you.

Now we move on to number one on our cnn.com countdown. Authorities in Massachusetts are now saying Neil Entwistle searched the Internet for ways to kill people just days before his wife and baby were shot to death.

Coming up, we take a look at one of the mysteries of the mind. What is it about the Golden Gate Bridge that makes some people want to jump off? Well, we're going to ask someone who did just that and actually lived to talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: You're looking inside one of the great mysteries here, our control room, where things are always hopping.

Back to the issue of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It happens to be one of our favorite American landmarks, but it is also considered the number one location for suicides in the entire world.

Why and what goes on inside the mind of someone intent on ending it all? Only a handful have ever lived to tell about their plunge from the Golden Gate Bridge. And you're about to meet one of them. Once again, here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with tonight's "Mysteries of the Mind."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEVIN HINES, SUICIDE JUMP SURVIVOR: I didn't want anybody to stop me. I just wanted to die.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After struggling with depression for three years, 19-year-old Kevin Hines took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge, walked a little less than halfway across, and hurtled over the side.

HINES: I just wish I could go back in time. I wish I could just take it all back.

GUPTA: Kevin is part of a horrifying statistic. About every two weeks someone Jumps right here.

(on camera): Why did you come here? Why the Golden Gate Bridge?

HINES: I was under the impression that it was the easiest way to die.

GUPTA (voice-over): Easy because there's a pedestrian walkway with a railing just about four feet high. (on camera): Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, even more common than homicides. There are 25 attempts for every actual suicide. Of course, with leaps from very high place, the fatality rate is much, much higher.

HINES: I hurtled myself over. And I starting falling head first.

GUPTA (voice-over): Kevin Hines was extremely lucky.

HINES: I hit free fall. And I said, I don't want to die. And I said, what am I going to do to survive? And I said I got to get feet first, which I did.

GUPTA: Despite two shattered vertebrae, Kevin recovered both physically and mentally. He takes college theater classes and dreams of working on films.

Indeed, several long-term studies have found that while survivors of suicide attempts do try again at a higher than normal rate, more than 90 percent do not, and go on to live normal lives.

RENEE MILLIGAN, DAUGHTER COMMITTED SUICIDE: I love this picture.

GUPTA: Renee Milligan's 14 year old daughter Marissa jumped to her death from the Golden Gate four years ago, leaving a heartbreaking note.

MILLIGAN: I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Don't shut yourselves off from the world. Everyone is better off without this fat, disgusting, boring girl.

GUPTA: Renee thinks it should be much tougher to jump. She sued the Golden Gate Bridge District to force them to install a physical barrier.

MILLIGAN: Right now it's like a loaded gun. I think in her letters, she says it's the easiest way.

GUPTA: The suit was thrown out, but Renee has filed an appeal. The bridge directors say they haven't found a barrier that would be effective, structurally sound and still aesthetically pleasing. They do have security cameras, call boxes with a hot line to counselors and a regular patrol looking for suspicious behavior. The patrol checked on us after about 20 minutes.

But these days, Kevin Hines is all right. He now gives inspirational talks about overcoming depression. Living proof it can be done.

HINES: I'm just so lucky to be alive, so blessed. Every day I just thank God every day I'm waking up.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: One more thing tonight, later this month officials will vote on whether to begin the safety barrier study that's been talked about for so long.

That wraps it up for all of us here. Thanks so much for being with us tonight. We'll be back same time same place tomorrow night. Until then have a great night. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines