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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Negative Bias Towards African-American Athletes in America?; Clinton/Obama Ticket in 2008?

Aired July 30, 2007 - 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: Good evening, everybody. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Outrage over O.J. Simpson's book, and the dogfighting charges against Michael Vick, do they expose white America's bias against black athletes?

Also, could we see a Clinton/Obama presidential ticket next year? Is America really ready for a woman and a black man in the White House?

And a parent's worst nightmare -- a self-proclaimed pedophile with a blog. He is out in the open with his sexual desires. And the police can't touch him. Why? We will be looking into that.

We begin tonight with a ruling just hours ago on O.J. Simpson's book. "If I Did It" is the allegedly hypothetical story Simpson wrote about the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman.

When it was announced, it caused such outrage, so much public revulsion, that the publisher dropped it. And then the father of Ronald Goldman sued to get publishing rights. Well, tonight, he has won his fight for control of the publishing rights.

And Susan Candiotti has the very latest on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Choking back tears, Fred Goldman called it a turning point in his seemingly endless legal batting against O.J. Simpson, the man he believes murdered his son Ron and Simpson's estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RONALD GOLDMAN: After 13 years of trying to get some justice for Ron, today is probably the first time that we had any sense of seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

CANDIOTTI: A bankruptcy court awarded to Ron Goldman's estate a whopping 90 percent of the gross proceeds if and when it sells the rights to O.J.'s book called "If I Did It," Simpson's self-described fictional account of how he would have pulled off the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman if he had killed them.

The other 10 percent of the book's proceeds would go to a trustee handling claims against a now bankrupt Florida company held in the name of O.J. Simpson's eldest daughter, Arnelle. That company's only asset was the book rights. And a judge has described it as a shell for the benefit of O.J. Simpson.

Fred Goldman's attorney predict publishers will be chomping at the bit for the book, now that Goldman supports the project.

DAVID COOK, ATTORNEY FOR FRED GOLDMAN: We have reached out to a lot of people in the community. And we think we are going to be able to sell this and I think we're going to be able to make good money.

CANDIOTTI: Nicole Brown Simpson's family opposed the deal, arguing the Goldmans were getting too big a percentage. Nicole's sister, Denise, told CNN recently she's against the book, period.

DENISE BROWN, SISTER OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON: Fred, this book should not be published.

I have said this over and over and over. It's a manual to commit murder, and it just shouldn't be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as we're concerned, the only person that we're fighting against is the man that killed my brother and Nicole. And the rest of it, it is what it is. It's unfortunate. Our -- we are two families grieving.

CANDIOTTI: The bankruptcy judge ordered an 18-month limit on trying to sell the book rights or he might nix the deal.

After his legal victory, Fred Goldman was asked if he had a message for O.J.

GOLDMAN: I have nothing to say to that piece of garbage.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CANDIOTTI: So, the question is, will the Goldmans really be able to find a publisher or wind up publishing the book themselves? Even the judge thinks, as he put it, there's substantial value to it -- back to you, Paula.

ZAHN: Susan Candiotti, thanks so much.

With me now, Fred Goldman.

Mr. Goldman, do you really plan to publish this book someday?

GOLDMAN: Yes, we do, Paula. The answer is absolutely.

ZAHN: Why?

GOLDMAN: When the judge today ruled in our favor, it was a great day as far as I'm concerned. It was the first time in 13 years that we have had an opportunity toward some semblance of justice.

The reason why we're... (CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Fred, you call it some semblance of justice, but I want to share with the audience before we go any further an excerpt from the book.

GOLDMAN: Sure.

ZAHN: And this is O.J. talking.

"I know what happened, but I can't tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole's courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn't remember how I had gotten there, when I would arrived, or even why I was there. And now the whole front of me was covered in blood."

Why would you want to publish something that most people in America think is out-and-outright garbage?

GOLDMAN: The reason is simple.

The fact that what he writes is as disgusting as I would expect from someone like that. But the bottom line, this is a wife beater, a murderer, who in his own words ultimately will tell you what kind of monster he really is.

Now, do we plan on publishing this book just exactly as it is? The answer is no. We will not change what he says, but we will add to this book and try to turn, as best we can, and will, as a matter of fact, turn it into something that has some value for people out there who, one, maybe, God forbid, in a situation like that.

But, more importantly, it will give us an opportunity, through the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice that we have just formed, to try to put some money into that and do other things for victims of crime. It's the first opportunity to actually do something.

We will continue, as we have for all these years, to honor Ron's memory, to honor Nicole's memory, to not do anything to defame anyone. We will do whatever we can to maintain dignity and some semblance of justice that we finally, finally deserve.

ZAHN: Well, you say that, yet you know what Denise Brown has been saying quite pointedly for months. You just heard her in that piece saying that this is a manual to commit murder, and she doesn't think anybody should ever publish this. And, by the way, they are not entitled to any percentage of this money, are they?

(CROSSTALK)

GOLDMAN: Well, the reality is that it is not a manual on how to commit murder.

We have all -- and my attorneys, daughters, myself, we have read the manuscript. It is not a manual to commit murder. It is an indictment of a monster, without question. In terms of the deal that was ultimately approved by the court today, we will actually give other creditors an opportunity to finally get paid. The killer has cheated people for years. And now some of those creditors will come to the table and actually finally get paid, hopefully.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: And how is it that you will convince your critics out there that this is not about any personal gains financially?

GOLDMAN: You know what? We were granted a verdict in the civil trial. And the only way to get justice out of that civil trial is to get some reward, so to speak, from the judgment. The judgment was a monetary one.

The asset is the only asset that has shown its ugly head in all these years. The court has awarded us that asset, and we are going to turn that asset into something positive. And I promise you on my son's memory it will be something positive.

ZAHN: Fred Goldman, we have got to leave it there tonight. Thank you so much for joining us just hours after the news broke. Appreciate your time.

And we're going to change our focus right now. Tonight, NFL star Michael Vick and his lawyers have some serious talking to do. Vick is facing federal charges related to dogfighting. And today one of his co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the feds in the case against Vick.

Let's get the latest tonight from Rusty Dornin, who has been closely monitoring this case from Atlanta.

So, Rusty, help us understand what it was that Tony Taylor had to say today and what impact that has on Michael Vick.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, think about it, Paula. Here is a man who, four days ago, was in that exact same courtroom pleading guilty. Now he's pleading not guilty, but he is fully cooperating with prosecutors in this case.

He is pointing the finger at Vick. He says he helped Vick find that site in 2001 where the whole operation began. He says that Vick was financially responsible for the Bad Newz Kennel operation from the very beginning.

What he does not do is point a finger at Vick in terms of executing any of the dogs. Now, Tony Taylor apparently left the operation in 2004, after having some kind of disagreement with Vick. So, he does not point the finger in that direction. But certainly he talks about the gambling operation in New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia, which is the basis for the indictment for Michael Vick.

ZAHN: (AUDIO GAP) publicly for the first time on a radio show today. What did he have to say to defend himself?

DORNIN: He sounded somewhat upbeat, but it was a little awkward. These are the first words we have really heard from him besides not guilty. He called in to V-103, a popular station here, talked to Porsche Foxx.

And he was talked about -- she asked him, do you think you will ever be able to play for the Falcons again? And he said he hoped so. Let's listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MICHAEL VICK, NFL QUARTERBACK: I know I -- I put the city through a lot. My owner, Arthur Blank, who I love sincerely, I put him through a lot.

And, you know, it's hurt me to put him through these situations and to have to deal with that, because he shouldn't have to. So, like I said, under the right circumstances, you know, there will have to be a lot of things that will need to be worked out, you know, for them to put their trust and faith back in me.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

DORNIN: Along with his radio interview, there have been some supporters here in Atlanta rallying around Vick, as well as the NAACP, which held a press conference today, saying don't judge him too quickly -- Paula.

ZAHN: All right, Rusty Dornin, thank you so much for the update.

And we are going to talk a little bit more about that news conference. Vick, of course, won't go on trial for another four months. But already he has been attacked by animal rights groups, denounced on talk radio and punished by his team and corporate sponsors.

And today the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP held a news conference, which Rusty just mentioned, to call attention to what they see as an unfair presumption of Michael Vick's guilt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. R.L. WHITE JR., PRESIDENT, NAACP ATLANTA BRANCH: There's a penalty in football for piling on. After a player has been tackled and somebody piles on, they are penalized for unnecessary roughness. Today the NAACP blows the whistle and warns the powers to be is that you are piling on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Well, tonight, I want to ask whether the public reaction to Vick's case and the outrage over O.J. Simpson's book exposed signs of racism just under the surface in America.

Does white America secretly or not so secretly love to hate black athletes?

Joining me now, someone who is outspoken on the subject of blacks in pro sports, Boyce Watkins, a professor of finance at Syracuse University. With me here tonight, writer and activist Kevin Powell, author of "Someday We'll All Be Free."

KEVIN POWELL, AUTHOR, "SOMEDAY WE'LL ALL BE FREE": How are you?

ZAHN: Good to have both of with us tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, Boyce, I wanted to start off tonight by looking at a recent poll that shows racial attitudes toward all of this.

And it is pretty clear in this case there is a divide along racial lanes -- lines, that is -- in terms of whether Vick should be allowed to stay with the Falcons while his case is pending. Look at this: 54.4 percent of whites say he should be kicked off the team. And 26 percent of blacks felt he should be kicked off.

How do you explain this divide?

BOYCE WATKINS, PROFESSOR, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, we have to remember, Paula, that we live in a country in which a black man is most likely to be on television if he is either playing a sport or committing a crime. In this case, you have an athlete who plays a sport who is accused of committing a crime.

And so that distortion that is present in the way the media analyzes the behavior of black male athletes is going to affect the way the public perceives Michael Vick.

In a lot of ways, you could say that the black male athlete is sort of like America's pit bull. The pit bull is the kind of animal that can be lovable, that you can sit back and relish in the strength and beauty of the animal. But, as soon as he bites you in the leg, you want to put it to sleep.

So, right now, you might say that LeBron James is the lovable pit bull, but Michael Vick, O.J. Simpson, those are the pit bulls who bit the 2-year-old. So, America wants to put him to sleep. So, this isn't a surprise to me at all.

ZAHN: Is this a surprise to you, Kevin?

POWELL: No. I mean, I agree with Boyce in a sense that racism is alive and well in this country. You have talked about it a lot on your program.

But, at the same time, one of the things I need to say to Dr. Watkins and other people out there is that, you know, a black man, we have got to get to a point where we understand, if you put bait on the line, someone is going to bite it. And, so, there's got to be a level of accountability and responsibility for us, too, when we get into these public spheres. I think that...

ZAHN: So, this is not all about race in your mind, this rush to judgment in some people's minds? (CROSSTALK)

POWELL: It's about the rush to judgment. It's about the confusion around celebrity. I have interviewed many people over the years, athletes, entertainers, et cetera, and there's this kind of sense of privilege that you can get away with anything.

I also think it's about these distorted notions of manhood that we have in this country, where we participate in heinous behavior like dogfighting. If it's not dogfighting, someone is beating up their wife or they're shooting up a gun in a club.

And, so, I think, also, we have got to, as we come out, and say, don't rush to judge. But this is an opportunity, once again, to say to these athletes, black male athletes, we have got to think about the fact that you are in a public stage and you need to conduct yourself accordingly.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I want to put up the screen, if we can actually get it up this time, Dr. Watkins -- and this is according to one sports columnist who has been following this closely and was watching the crowd's reaction when Michael Vick arrived at court last week.

"Almost all of the people supporting Vick or holding signs pleading for due process, innocence until proven guilty were African American. On the other side was an emotional, angry, passionate anti- Vick group that was overwhelmingly white."

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: There are other people that don't agree with that assessment, but a thought on that?

WATKINS: Well, that's an accurate assessment, because you have to ask yourself this important question. Why is it that the most hated athlete in America is always a black man, whether you talk about Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, O.J. Simpson, Ron Artest, Terrell Owens, Latrell Sprewell? The list goes on and on. I could keep naming these people.

And while I really love and respect brother Powell, I must also say, though, that we have to be careful when we make these sort of broad cultural inference and when we analyze the behavior of black male athletes. That doesn't tend to happen when, say, Lindsay Lohan is arrested for drunk driving or Paris Hilton.

POWELL: Actually...

WATKINS: We don't say, well, what is wrong with these white women who are -- why are white women getting in cars and driving off while they're drunk?

(CROSSTALK)

POWELL: Well, let me put it to you like this, Dr. Boyce.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: You get the final word, Kevin.

POWELL: With all due respect, I'm not speaking as an academic at a college university. I'm speaking as someone who just literally came from a housing project in Brooklyn to this studio.

(CROSSTALK)

WATKINS: I was born in the projects, though.

POWELL: I see the effects of what's happening across the board.

I am one of the most vociferous people when it comes to racism in this country. You know that.

WATKINS: Yes. Yes, I do.

POWELL: With all due respect, at a certain point, we can't continue to apologize for behavior, from Mike Tyson to the president...

WATKINS: No, no apologies.

POWELL: What I'm saying is, we should we be...

(CROSSTALK)

POWELL: We should be loud and clear about racism.

At the same time, we as a black community cannot continue to just say we we're going to blanketly support folks and not say, you know what? You have to begin to change your behavior as well.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: But a final question.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I need a quick yes or no, Kevin. But don't you find the apologies often among whites a little more muted than that are required of and expected of blacks?

POWELL: Oh, absolutely. If this was Brett Favre, he would be -- you know, this wouldn't be the same situation. I agree with that.

ZAHN: Gentlemen, we have got to leave it there.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, Kevin Powell, thanks.

WATKINS: Thanks.

ZAHN: Next, we turn to presidential politics in the 2008 campaign. Yes, indeed, it's around the corner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY")

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think that either Mayor Giuliani or Governor Romney or Senate Thompson would be a very formidable opponent for what I expect will be a Clinton/Obama ticket. And I think that there's a possibility that will work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Could Newt Gingrich have it right, a Clinton/Obama ticket, or Obama/Clinton ticket? It doesn't matter which order. Is America really ready for a white woman and a black man in the White House? Well, I guess it does matter what order that is in, doesn't it, Kevin?

Also, outraged parents trying to stop a self-proclaimed pedophile who put his thoughts and desires online. He has folks in Los Angeles terrified, but why can't police do anything about him?

And the 500-pound father who says a judge refused to let him adopt a second child because he's too fat.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight, polls put Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama in the lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But could these rivals actually team up on the same ticket to run for president and vice president?

That's a fascinating scenario raised by political veteran Newt Gingrich, who is predicting that the Democrats are going to nominate both a woman and an African-American to run for the country's top two offices.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY")

GINGRICH: I think that either Mayor Giuliani or Governor Romney or Senate Thompson would be a very formidable opponent for what I expect will be a Clinton/Obama ticket. And I think that there's a possibility that will work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: But is America really ready to send a woman and an African-American to the White House, after 200-plus years of white men?

Here to debate that, Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project. There's Judith.

Welcome.

JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS, CO-DIRECTOR, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Hi.

ZAHN: And Kenneth Arroyo Roldan, author of "Minority Rules: Turn Your Ethnicity into a Competitive Edge."

Welcome, all.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, Judith, I wanted to start off with you tonight, have you look at this latest poll that shows what Americans say they would do in the voting booth. Eighty-eight percent of folks said they would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Ninety-four percent said they would vote for a black candidate. Those seem like pretty high percentage rates, given the fact this has never happened before.

Come Election Day, will those sentiments really come through?

BROWNE-DIANIS: Well, this is a really exciting time. And many of us in America have been ready for this moment.

The challenge to America, though, is, when we get behind the closed curtains of the voting booth, can we fight off the demons of racism and sexism? Can we get above the racial appeals that are made during campaign time, as what happened to Harold Ford?

But we do have some great examples of what has happened, with Governor Wilder being elected, with Senator Obama being elected. But we have a lot of work to do. And I'm hopeful that it can happen, but unfortunately, racially polarized voting continues to be a problem.

ZAHN: I think Judith is pretty realistic about the reality of what happens in the voting booth. What would it be that Americans are afraid of, that they would pull the lever for a woman or a black candidate?

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think they are afraid of anything. Look, I'm not black, but I'm certainly very proud that we have got Barack Obama as a potential black candidate and as a potential black president.

I know a lot of men who are very proud that Hillary Clinton is running for president. I think, at the end of the day, people are looking for who is going to be the best qualified person to run. And I think that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama present such a great opportunity for this country, that, I think, when people get into the voting booth and compare their record to the same old tired white guy, they are going to say these people are good. They're good for the country.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: But, Kenneth, we all remember the memory of Mayor Bradley in Los Angeles, where polls overwhelmingly showed that L.A. was going to vote this guy in, even though he was black.

And what happened? Those folks that said they were going to vote for him didn't vote for him.

KENNETH ARROYO ROLDAN, AUTHOR, "MINORITY RULES": Absolutely. ZAHN: So, what are we looking at if the two of them ended up at the top -- the top tier of the ticket?

ROLDAN: I would say, as the rubber meets the road, have we seen in many political elections, clearly, there is always an interest, or we see that many of America happens to be charmed or enamored with the Clinton, as well as the Obama ticket.

But, at the end of the day, they will select a white male. The question becomes, is the country ready for...

ZAHN: Why, though? What is it they're afraid of?

(CROSSTALK)

ROLDAN: I mean, look at today's paper. Whether it be Michael Vick, there's still the racial divide, when you look at issues of O.J. Simpson, is in fact peering its head through the media again, in terms of there is still racial, as well as gender lines that are out there.

Look at Hillary's neckline, for God's sake, as it relates to issues that still are quite pervasive in the marketplace.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: We had not planned on talking about her cleavage tonight, but you took us right there.

Judith, let's not sugarcoat this, though, because we have seen electorates overwhelmingly put women in office. We have seen it in Chile. We have seen it the U.K. We have seen it India. We have seen it Germany.

Why hasn't it happened here? There certainly are a lot of qualified females out there.

BROWNE-DIANIS: Well, right. And it's happened in senatorial elections.

The problem is that, when you look at even the YouTube debate, what you found is, there were questions about whether or not a woman is strong enough to lead this country. And of course a woman is.

But we have to get over the fear and we have to get over stereotypes. And we should look around the world and take some of those lessons and understand that women are qualified to run this country. But people have to get past the gender problem. They have to get past the "isms" in their life and vote for what's really in their interests.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, how does this ticket work if in fact it is a one-two punch, whatever direction it is, Clinton and Obama?

(CROSSTALK) ROGINSKY: I think it's great. I think this is such an opportunity for the American people to have a woman, an African- American, but more importantly a diverse and qualified ticket. The real issue here is that it's qualified. And that's so important to this country, that we haven't seen that in a long, long time with a qualified president.

ZAHN: Ten seconds for a final thought?

ROLDAN: The political landscape is exactly like the corporate landscape. Corporate America, no different than the political landscape, is not ready for diversity, and no different in the political landscape. People are not ready for a Clinton/Obama ticket.

ZAHN: Look at the Fortune 100 companies.

ROGINSKY: Well, we have seen women executives.

ZAHN: Less than a handful run by African-Americans and women.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGINSKY: But we have seen them.

(CROSSTALK)

ROLDAN: Less than 5 percent.

ROGINSKY: We have seen them. And it's going to happen next year, I think.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Oh, Julie...

(CROSSTALK)

ROGINSKY: I'm making that prediction.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: .. crystal ball there.

ROGINSKY: Let's be hopeful.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: Yes, really.

Judith Browne-Dianis, Kenneth Arroyo Roldan, thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWNE-DIANIS: Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Appreciate it.

Still ahead tonight: What would you do if a self-proclaimed pedophile was hanging out in your neighborhood park, looking at your kids, writing about it in a blog? Well, that happens to be playing out in a California community right now. And guess what? Police can't seem to do anything about it. Why?

Also, this man says a judge told him he can't adopt a second child because he weighs 500 pounds. Is that true? Can you really be too heavy to be a dad? Why did the Missouri courts turn down his request?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: More than 3,000 of our service men and women have been severely injured in Iraq. And just last week a White House panel called for an overhaul in the care for wounded U.S. troops.

But there is one military mom who is doing everything she can do to help the wounded and their families.

Dan Lothian has tonight's "People You Should Know."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEGGY BAKER, PRESIDENT, OPERATION FIRST RESPONSE: Letters, yes, from Iraq.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Meet Peggy Baker, founder of Operation First Response, a volunteer organization that reaches out to wounded American soldiers and their families.

BAKER: I think it's their attitudes, some of the serious injuries that they have had, and they're still smiling. They're working hard to continue on.

LOTHIAN: Peggy and three other women help families with everything from financial assistance to transportation to visiting injured service men and women. And they offer compassion and encouragement 24/7.

BAKER: My son joined the Army shortly after 2000 -- 9/11. All of a sudden, I was put into a position that my child was going to go and defend our country, you know? And it opened eyes.

LOTHIAN: She connected with other people on the Internet. When the son of an on-line friend was wounded, Peggy went to Walter Reed to offer her support and found her mission.

SGT. SEAN M. LEWIS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): At first I didn't have a whole lot of personal support besides my family, who was back at home. And to have somebody there that actually cared, you know, that meant a lot.

BAKER: We have quilts sent to us from ladies all across the state...

LOTHIAN: That was nearly three years ago and to date her group has assisted nearly 3,000 military families. Peggy's son is now in Iraq, bringing her even closer to her work and those she's helped.

BAKER: It's an emotional, but wonderful experience to be part of their lives. They are incredible heroes.

LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: She's our heroine.

We are going to change our focus quite dramatically right now. When we come back, a man who actually admits he's a pedophile. He says so in interviews and his Website, and he hangs out anywhere little kids do. So, why can't police do anything about him, and just how terrified are people in his community?

Then, a little bit later on I'll be talking with a 500-pound man who had been trying to adopt a baby. Was a judge right to reject him because of his weight or was that really what happened? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight a lot of angry parents in Los Angeles are on the lookout for a man, his face sometimes hidden by a floppy black hat, who likes to hang around the children. But this man has an name and he had a Website with pictures of little kids, which included a blog where he wrote about his attraction to them. He calls himself a pedophile, but he's never been convicted of any crime. We asked our Ted Rowlands to track this guy down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He said he likes little girls.

JACK MCCLELLAN, ADMITTED PEDOPHILE: I just think they're cute, a lot cuter than women. I admit there's kind of a erotic arousal there.

ROWLANDS: Forty-three-year-old Jack McClellan claims he's never molested a child, but not surprisingly, McClellan's behavior and his outspokenness have outraged people, first in Seattle, where he was living and now in Los Angeles where he recently moved.

MCCLELLAN: It isn't really just the sexual thing; it's the whole ambiance of children that I enjoy.

ROWLANDS: McClellan says he goes to public places and events, usually wearing the same hat and sunglasses looking for little girls. On his Website, he posts photographs of girls and writes about what he sees. That site was shut down by its host a few weeks ago, but McClellan plans to possibly start it again. This cell phone video of McClellan earlier this year, was taken by a news reporter who recognized him at a street fair in the Seattle area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing here?

ROWLANDS: McClellan, who's done a number of interviews over the past few months, says he even went to at Wiggles concert to watch children.

MCCLELLAN: I really don't see the problem with it as long as you're not hurting children.

ROWLANDS: Parents see a problem with it, especially those who have seen pictures or descriptions of their daughters on McClellan's Website. Despite calls for action and meetings like this in Seattle, police say they have their hands tied. As creepy as it is, McClellan hasn't been caught breaking the law, yet.

LT THOMAS SIRKEL, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT: That kind of person is a person of interest in my business.

ROWLANDS: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lieutenant Thomas Sirkel says McClellan is a major concern.

SIRKEL: Not all pedophiles violate the law. My experience is that most of them do and eventually when they do offend, but I have no particular knowledge of any violations of law that Mr. McClellan has been involved in.

ROWLANDS: The Santa Monica Police Department has posted a public notice warning parents that McClellan was spotted in the children's section of the local library. The notice warns: "If you see McClellan, please closely monitor your children."

At one point McClellan wrote on his Website that he likes hugging and cuddling little girls. He says he's gotten death threats and safety was a factor in moving to Southern California. But he also cites weather in place like Disneyland as great places to see little girls.

MCCLELLAN: I'm not doing anything illegal at these things, I mean if they passed a law saying you can't go to these things to admire kids, I mean, I guess I'd have to obey that.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: I don't know about you, but that makes me sick. Jane Thompson is more than just a concerned parent, she says she has read McClellan's vivid on-line description of an event he tended where children were present, and one of them was his own child.

She joins us now, she asks us not to show her face. All right, you just heard the lieutenant saying McClellan is a major concern, but he doesn't know of any violation of any law, yet. How much does McClellan terrify you?

JANE THOMPSON, CONCERNED PARENT: Well, I wouldn't categorize myself as terrified. I would say at the onset of this whole ordeal, I was definitely afraid and concerned, but that has definitely mellowed into much more of a resolve, and I feel very motivated, as opposed to afraid or terrified at this point.

ZAHN: And motivated to do what, just to make sure other parents know he could potentially harm a child at some point?

THOMPSON: Well, I feel that although we live in a country where we are protected by our First Amendment Rights to rights of free speech, that there are line that have been crossed, in this case, that need to be addressed. And my message at this point is to really address those areas and to try and either clarify laws that are already existing, or to create new legislation to protect, particularly child likenesses, photographs most importantly, of children on the Internet that are now used to promote the endangerment or the abuse of children.

According to my understanding of the law, at this point, anybody can take a photograph of my child, including someone like Jack McClellan, put it up on his Website promoting pedophilia and there really isn't anything that I can do about that. I want to move to change that. I'm trying to organize parents at this point for social change.

ZAHN: Well, I would suspect that every parent listening to this tonight would think he crossed the line a long time ago, even in each one of those bits of the interviews we've just are seen. So, given what you know about this guy, what is the most disturbing thing that convinced you that he had crossed the line?

THOMPSON: Oh, it is frustrating, mystifying, all of those things. I first learned about him through an e-mail that I received -- a whole group of people received them in on-line parenting chat room -- and clicked on it and went to his Website and saw a review of a festival I had attended where he was speaking in terms -- I mean, he basically reviewed my child along with some other children there.

And I felt threatened and I felt outraged and I felt frustrated and I thought surely this must not be legal, there must be a way to stop this from continuing. And I was, of course, dismayed and disheartened when I learned that there was really little that I could do and very little the well-intended law enforcement could do, as well. And I think that this is a huge egregious loophole in our system and it needs to be looked at and it needs to be addressed -- clarified.

ZAHN: Yeah, a loophole a lot of people weren't aware of. Jane, we should explain again why you're in silhouette, why you don't want to be seen, and that's because, once again, you've just described that Mr. McClellan actually was able to take pictures of your own child, right?

THOMPSON: He -- I did not see photographs of my own child on his Website. He has taken down photographers as he has moved to the Los Angeles area. He was, you may know, run out of Seattle by moms who organized, formed a group called Mothers against Sexual Predators of Washington, and they were able to get lawmakers behind them. They are in process of changing their state legislation. And were actually able to make it so uncomfortable for Mr. McClellan that he decided to move on to Los Angeles.

ZAHN: We've got to move on from there. Certainly you will gain a lot of attention with the efforts here, trying to make a lot of kids safe. Jane Thompson, thank you very much for being with us tonight.

THOMPSON: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Coming up next, what can be done to stop pedophiles before they act? We're going to show you a controversial program that is actually using TV commercials to persuade potential child abusers to come in for treatments.

Also, at 500 points, this man says a judge told him he was unfit to be a parent. Cute little boy. Is being fat a legitimate reason to be reject someone who wants to adopt? Or was that the real reason the judge denied the adoption? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. A few minutes ago we reported on an L.A. man who admits to being a pedophile. Well, now you've about to see a very controversial program used in Germany to stop pedophiles from acting on their urges and preying on children. Here's Frederik Pleitgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the last picture of 9-year-old Mitia (ph), taken by a surveillance camera. The boy is smiling, sitting next to the man who later allegedly raped and killed him. Mitia's body was found in this shack in Leipzig, Germany. The accused man is in custody after he was severely injured throwing himself in front of a tram car. He's in jail and refusing to talk to authorities.

The case sent shockwaves across Germany. And this man says he has the potential to do the same. He won't reveal his identity. We call him Manfred, a self-professed pedophile for the past 40 years. Here, he describes his shocking dreams.

"You see a child on the street and it arouses you sexually. It's real and you're so close to the kid, you know all you need to do is grab that helpless child and the fantasy would become realty."

Manfred says, though, he's never touched a minor, there have been many times when he could hardly restrain his cravings. "I became suicidal and masturbation played a major role, just so I could keep myself under control, I would always slip into dark corners and masturbate."

Now Manfred has found help in a one-of-a-kind counseling project at Berlin's Sharete (ph) clinic, a project that couldn't be more controversial, that's because it seeks to help the potential molesters rather than the victims. More than 500 men called in for concealing after seeing this TV ad. A man on a subway car sees a boy, gets aroused and is clearly afraid of his emotions. Its message to potential pedophiles, "Don't become a perpetrator."

That warning, counselors say, it's all they can realistically do to help stop child molesters.

DR GERARD SCHAEFER, COUNSELOR: The main thing is to be in control of their impulses and their behavior, to remain offense free or re-offense free. And the most important part in the beginning is for them to come to terms with their sexuality.

PLEITGEN: Up to two percent of German males have pedophilic tendencies, Schaefer says, and he says people, not just in Germany, will have to accept that pedophiles are living amongst them, that these are men and women with a medical condition, not just plain perverts.

SCHAEFER: There are many pedophiles who never cause any harm to any child. Stigmatizing them as perverts, criminals or whatever is completely wrong and won't work -- won't help anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If somebody would be around there, he would be a pedophilic -- he would have a pedophilic problem, he would be a very big danger for me, and I would rather have him away than knowing he's around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically stop them. For me they should be cut out of society.

PLEITGEN: Manfred says he understands these emotions, but he also says the counseling is helping him to deal with his sexual fantasies and come to terms with them. In many ways, he says, the project saved his life and maybe also the life of another child.

Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Certainly a controversial way to confront a problem we face worldwide.

Going to change our tune now because Larry Lee King -- Larry King, yes, I was going to try to say that too fast. Let me slow down a little. LARRY KING LIVE is coming up at the top of the hour.

How you doing, Lar?

LARRY KING, LARRY KING LIVE: I like that Larry Lee King.

ZAHN: Larry Lee King. That's like Kathie Lee Gifford.

KING: I love that blouse.

ZAHN: You do? Thank you.

KING: That's you.

ZAHN: Thank you very much. I like the suspenders you got on.

KING: I love the -- thanks. Yeah, we sort of -- well, we don't match, but we're blending.

ZAHN: It's mutual wardrobe admiration night. So, who are you talking to tonight?

KING: Well, we've got an emotional Connecticut memorial that we're covering, tonight. The mother and two daughters brutally murdered in last week's shocking home invasion. A safety expert going to tell us how you can protect your family.

Plus, the first interview where a college president fired amid accusations the school covered up a student's rape and murder.

And at the top of the hour, we'll be following PAULA ZAHN NOW with LARRY KING LIVE.

ZAHN: Kind of a heavy news night, huh?

KING: Vice President Dick Cheney, tomorrow.

ZAHN: Oh really? Yeah, he had some minor surgery that I guess you'll be talking to him about. So, we will be joining you about 11 minutes from now, Larry. Will you wear those suspenders again tomorrow night?

KING: No.

ZAHN: No. OK, well I'm not wearing this tomorrow night again, either.

KING: OK, don't.

ZAHN: All right, see you in a few minutes. Thanks, Larry.

Coming up next, a 500-pound man who said a judge refused to let him adopt a second child because of his weight. Is it discrimination of should weight be a factor in adoption? Be back with his story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Can you be too heavy to adopt a child? Well, tonight we're brining a case of alleged weight discrimination out in the opening. A Missouri man who desperately wants to adopt his cousin's child says decimation is blocking him and his wife form giving the baby boy a home.

Gary Stocklaufer weighs close to 500 pounds, and because of that, he says a family court judge denied his petition to adopt the baby. Now, we all know obesity is a growing problem in this country, and 42 out of 50 states, at least one adult out of every five is obese. We also know that obesity causes sever health problems, but is it a reason to bar someone from adopting a baby? Gary Stocklaufer and his wife, Cynthia, are with me now.

Good to see both of you. Thanks for joining us tonight.

GARY STOCKLAUFER, DENIED ADOPTION: Thank you.

ZAHN: So, Gary, why are you so convinced that your petition to adopt Baby Max was denied simply because of your weight 500 pounds?

G. STOCKLAUFER: I was pretty much the same size that I was six years ago when I adopted my other son, there wasn't not problem then, we had the same judge as we have now, and it there was a problem, there would have been a problem then and not now.

Clearly there are some very serious health issues related to obesity. How do you feel today, and don't you acknowledge today there is a risk you may develop some of these issues: Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, diabetes, respiratory problems?

G. STOCKLAUFER: I could get hit by a car or get hit by lightning walking out of my house, too. That dog don't hunt.

ZAHN: Even though the state of Missouri denies, Gary, that is has discriminated against you because of your weight, you obviously believe this is the only reason you haven't been able to adopt Baby Max. How does that make you feel?

G. STOCKLAUFER: It hurts when a agency such as a division of Family Services finds that you're capable of being licensed foster parent's, which my wife and I were -- we're not now, but we were, we were -- and I was the same size. I was good enough to be a foster parent for them and take in numerous kids, but yet I'm not able to adopt my own cousin who we want to make our son.

Cynthia, Baby Max was with you up until July 13. What was the experience like of having him taken out of your home?

CYNTHIA STOCKLAUFER, DENIED ADOPTION: It was heartbreaking. You know, you have a child in your home and of course you love them and nurture them and get up in the middle of the night with them. I still wake up in the middle of the night to check on him and he's not there.

ZAHN: I know you say that because this case has gotten some publicity, you think it may help you when the judge potentially considers rehearing this case. If you could talk to him directly, the same man who OKed the adoption of your other son, Bobby, what would you say to him tonight?

G. STOCKLAUFER: I would say, Judge Allen, you must reconsider your decision, or whatever colleague that reconsideration the decision, that we are good people, we're upstanding citizens of the community, we love our children, we want our son, Max, home, and you and Sherry Simpkins (ph) need to ask God for forgiveness because you know you've done wrong and I want my son home.

ZAHN: Well, Gary and Cynthia, we know this is a painful time for a family. Thank you for sharing your story with us. We'll be staying on top of it.

C. STOCKLAUFER: Thank you.

G. STOCKLAUFER: Thank you.

ZAHN: And we contacted Judge Jeffrey Allen and Sherry Simpkins, the attorney the court appointed for Baby Max. We received no response, but we should note that the Missouri prevents officials from releasing any information about pending adoption cases.

That wraps it up for all of us here, tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. Until then.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a good weekend. I will see you Monday. And LARRY KING LIVE starts right now. Good night.

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