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Queen Noor Reacts to President Obama in the Middle East; David Carradine's Shocking Death

Aired June 7, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the shocking death of David Carradine -- found in a Bangkok hotel room hanging by a rope in a closet, according to police. The "Kill Bill" star had a cult following that spanned 50 years.


DAVID CARRADINE, ACTOR: I have no wish to fight with you.


KING: Director Quentin Tarantino, Vivica Fox, Rob Schneider and Carradine's manager tell us what they know about their friend. Plus, whale wars -- high stakes drama on the high seas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're too close to the whales. You're too close to the whales.


KING: The extreme reality stars ram ships, throw acid -- do whatever it takes to save whales.

Are they going too far?

But first, Queen Noor is here on President Obama's Middle East trip and his bold bid for peace.

It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Lots to do tonight.

Good evening.

We begin with her majesty, Queen Noor, the widow of the last King Hussein of Jordan. She's with us in the nation's capital.

President Obama, as you know, reached out in the Muslim world in a major speech today at Egypt's Cairo University.

Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect. And one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.


KING: Your majesty, thanks for being with us.

How did he do today?

QUEEN NOOR, CHAIR, KING HUSSEIN FOUNDATION: It was an extraordinary speech. It was historic. It -- it provided extraordinary context -- historical, social, cultural, spiritual -- for so many issues of concern, not only to the Arab and the Muslim world, but also to the larger world, I think.

His presence coming to the Arab world and speaking to an Arab audience was extremely important in terms of making a connection. And the comprehensive nature of his remarks and the vast array of subjects that he discussed, with a great deal, I think, of balance and wisdom, was very, very valuable.

KING: How is he going to resonate with the young Muslims?

QUEEN NOOR: I think we're seeing that it's resonating very positively. The spirit of it, the tone of it, the truthfulness of it, the courage, I think, that it took, the balance -- all of that has resonated well. Right now, the enormous challenge that lies ahead of the president and as he very clearly laid out -- Palestinians, Arabs, Israelis and the international community -- is where do we go from here?

How do we follow up on the principles he laid out in these remarks?

KING: Your majesty, he took on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, talked about a two-state solution.

Let's watch.


OBAMA: If we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth. The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security. That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest and the world's interest.


KING: He took on both sides, though, your majesty. He -- Israel's got to stop the settlements, Hamas has got to stop the violence.

Any chance either side is going to listen?

QUEEN NOOR: Well, certainly, he made the point that it's -- it's in the interest of every side that these steps be taken and that we move to dialogue, that we move to respecting previous agreements, that we remove -- we move to accepting that no people are going to live in security unless all are living in security. And he emphasized the importance of listening, learning and working together to achieve this.

But he is absolutely right that what he was laying out is in the interest of Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Americans and the world. So our security -- all of us, our security depends on taking these new steps and breaking this vicious cycle of violence.

KING: What do you think your late husband would have thought of him?

QUEEN NOOR: I think my husband would have delighted in the speech because in so many respects his speech, because, in so many respects, the speech was the message of my husband, as well -- the importance of dialogue, the importance of listening, respecting one another's stories, of respecting the suffering. He talked about the suffering of the Jewish people, their persecution, the Holocaust. He talked about the suffering of the Palestinians, their occupation, the settlements, the living daily with humiliation and with lack of hope for the future and how this is not a recipe for -- for a future of peace and security.

And how it is so important that there be a partnership -- a partnership that includes the young people. He appealed to young people in all of our communities. In their hands will lie the future -- and a different kind of future.

KING: How will it go in your country?

How will it go in Jordan?

QUEEN NOOR: I think -- I think it will resonate well. I think people in Jordan, again, as through the Arab and the Muslim world, will be looking for policies on the ground to change. And they have -- the president made very clear, Palestinians, Arabs, Israelis and Americans all have new responsibilities or they have responsibilities to assume in a new, more constructive, more engaged fashion.

And we all have to look at ourselves and we have to build on that common ground and emphasize that common ground that does bind us all, through our values, through our faith and through our aspirations for the future and our interdependence, which he also emphasized.

KING: Always great seeing you.

Next time a lot more time.

Thank you. QUEEN NOOR: Thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Thank you, your majesty.

QUEEN NOOR: Thank you.

KING: Queen Noor.

What a lady.

Quentin Tarantino is here. We're going to talk about David Carradine's death. Others are with us, too.

That's next.


KING: Now one quick note. On June 19th, I'm going to be at the Encore Hotel -- Steve Wynn's Encore Hotel in Las Vegas -- doing a one man comedy act. My wife Shawn will open with her songs. I think you'll enjoy it. It will be a lot of fun and guaranteed a lot of laughs.

If you'd like to make reservations, you just go to on the Web site to, Friday night, June 19th. We're going to send some of the proceeds to my cardiac foundation.

David Carradine found dead and, according to a Thai police official, hanging by a nylon rope in a hotel room closet in Bangkok, the rope apparently from the hotel room curtains.

Carradine's career included more than 100 feature films, two dozen television movies and theater work. He was part of an acting dynasty. He was 72 years old.

With us is the famed director, Quentin Tarantino, who directed David in "Kill Bill." Carradine, of course, was Bill.

Chuck Binder is David Carradine's manager -- or was his manager, sadly.

In Boston is Rob Schneider, who directed and acted with Carradine in "Big Stan."

And in Los Angeles, as well, the wonderful Michael Madsen, actor and friend. He hosted David's wedding in 2004. They worked on several films together.

Michael, I understand you spoke to the widow today.

MICHAEL MADSEN, WORKED WITH CARRADINE: I spoke with her this morning. And I just wanted to make sure that if I was going to come on television and talk about David that it was going to be all right with her and if there were anything special that she wanted me to say or not say that was going to be fine. KING: How is she doing?

MADSEN: Well, understandably, I mean, I don't think she's doing very well. She's not the type to jump up and start talking to everybody. And she's pretty confused and she would really like to find out the truth of what happened.

KING: Quentin, how did you hear about it?

QUENTIN TARANTINO, DIRECTOR, "KILL BILL" FILMS: I'm literally -- I'm still in a state of shock. I literally heard about it noon today. I got it very recently. So I -- I know pretty much only what you just read at the -- in the front.

KING: What was he like to direct?

TARANTINO: He was a dream. I mean, you know...

KING: Because?

TARANTINO: Well, he was really -- well, he's a fantastic actor. And he's a great character actor. I think he's also one of Hollywood's great mad geniuses when it comes to actors. You have these like kind of wild men actors. And then he was one of them. And I mean Christopher Walken might be one of them -- a few guys like that. And David Carradine was definitely one of them.

And it was -- it was just a pleasure to work with him.

KING: Chuck -- that will be a tremendous loss.

How long were you his manager?


KING: What was he like to work with?

BINDER: He was great. Really collaborative with directors. He got along with actors great, was friends with the directors, friends with the producers. People kept rehiring him. He was -- you wish you had more clients like that.

KING: Did you learn anything about the death today?

Did you talk to Thailand?

BINDER: Last night at midnight my phone rang. And the director called me and said that there was a problem on the...

KING: They were doing a movie there?

BINDER: Yes, he was shooting a picture called "Stretch" there. And he -- he said, you know, that David was dead. And I thought it -- I thought it was a bad joke. I really did.

KING: What do you make of those stories about the hanging and the suicide and -- obviously, we don't know enough yet, but...

MADSEN: I don't think he was suicidal by any stretch of the imagination.

KING: None?

You don't think so at all?

TARANTINO: Yes, I've got to...

MADSEN: Well, I talked to Annie about that and she said that, you know, the most important thing that she wanted everybody to know is that David was not suicidal, that he wasn't depressed and that he wasn't going to -- about to do something like that, especially when he had a job and working.

TARANTINO: Yes, I mean, the thing about it is, I mean, that's the thing that I really just can't get my head around, because there might have been a period of David's long life that he could have been suicidal, but this wasn't the time.

KING: Do you agree, Chuck?

BINDER: Yes. I mean he had three more movies to come back and do. He was shooting this picture there. He had just bought a brand new car. He just really had...

KING: The marriage was going well?

BINDER: The marriage was great. He had four kids.

TARANTINO: They were love birds. They really were.


KING: Rob, I know Rob Schneider, you worked with David in "Big Stan," right?

ROB SCHNEIDER, DIRECTED CARRADINE, "BIG STAN": Yes. Yes. Well, I talked to Annie Carradine, David's wife, a few hours ago. And -- and she wanted to, you know, to let people know that everything you heard in the press right now is just rumor. There is no -- there's no official statement from the authorities in Bangkok about what's happened. Everything you've heard is rumor.

The one thing that you -- that Quentin and Annie and I know is that there's no way that David -- and Chuck will tell you this -- there's no way that David killed himself. I mean he -- this guy had everything going for him. He had a beautiful young family, people who really loved him and he was really in an upswing.

I mean this is a guy who was alive. I mean, besides, you know, being part of this Hollywood royalty, the Carradines, was -- he was a living legend. And, really, people were -- were coming around to really appreciating him. And I mean he couldn't do all the work, as Chuck Binder, his manager, will tell you. He could not do all the work that was being offered to him. So he was on an upswing. So there's...

KING: That's...

SCHNEIDER: I'm convinced there's no way that he could -- he would have killed himself.

KING: Everybody here seems convinced of that. By the way, younger viewers, of course, knew him as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for that role.

Watch a little.


CARRADINE: Clark Kent is how Superman views us.

And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent?

He's weak. He's unsure of himself. He's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique of the whole human race.


TARANTINO: (INAUDIBLE) show of David. That was great. I forgot where I was for two seconds. I was just digging on him doing it.

MADSEN: Yes. Yes. It brings back a good memory, doesn't it?

TARANTINO: That is a good memory.

MADSEN: No, he was super cool. He was a (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: If he did -- if it's not a suicide -- and the thing is so strange, what do you make of it, Chuck?

BINDER: I think because it's under...

KING: I mean a hanging?

BINDER: I think it's under investigation.

KING: Could it be accidental?

BINDER: I don't know if you want to call it accidental. But, you know, I mean I got some calls from Thailand...

KING: You're suspicious?

BINDER: from a producer that had worked with him. And, you know, and I don't want to get into the middle of this whole investigation, but this guy said to me for sure there was foul play.

MADSEN: David had 10 rules to live by.

KING: Foul play?

He had what?

MADSEN: He once told me that he had 10 rules to live by. And I don't remember all of them, but one of them was never buy anything from someone who's out of breath.


KING: That's funny.


MADSEN: He was a very smart guy.

KING: Yes.


KING: Rob, yes?

Go ahead.

SCHNEIDER: I was doing a scene with -- I was doing a scene with David. And we were doing the Cali -- the Filipino Cali the scream is thicks (ph). And he didn't like to rehearse a lot. He just liked to wing it, you know, because he's a natural. He was really a fantastic athlete.

And as Quentin will tell you, when you get hit by David, you stay hit.

Anyway, there was a rhythm that we were trying to do. And he hit me and he broke my finger. And I -- you know, and I worship David and I love David. And I had to walk away so I wouldn't raise my voice. And as I'm walking away, I hear this voice coming up behind me.

And he says, "Rob, I hope this doesn't affect our relationship."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was hilarious.

KING: Let me get a break.

This is...


KING: This is part of what actress Martha Plimpton, Carradine's niece, had to say today: "My uncle David was a brilliantly talented, fiercely intelligent, generous man. He was the nexus of our family in so many ways. He drew us together over the years, kept us connected. I adored him as a child and as an adult, I admired and respected him. We'll all miss him terribly."

Back in 60 seconds.


KING: I share something with David Carradine. I didn't know I did. We both got stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.

Vivica Fox is on the phone.

She worked with David in "Kill Bill."

What was your reaction today, Vivica?


VIVICA FOX, STARRED WITH CARRADINE IN "KILL BILL" FILMS: I was absolutely shocked and devastated this morning. I was watching CNN and it came on this morning and scrolled across. And, you know, they're like breaking news, actor David Carradine -- which immediately caught my attention.

And I was just like maybe in the hospital or something. And they said dead.

It was like what?

You know, as everyone has also stated, this is a man that was so full of life and love, that I really just cannot see him taking his life.

KING: What was he like to work with?

FOX: Oh, the best. I mean Quentin threw us -- put us through the most rigorous training schedule for six months. And we all loved you for it, doing "Kill Bill." And I got to spend a lot of time with David. And David literally told me stories from the '60s all the way up to his current wife and his family and, you know, all the trials and tribulations that he had been through.

And this man was full of life and adventure.

And we're going to miss him.

KING: Yes.

FOX: I mean he just was an absolute genuine soul (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Thanks, Vivica.

Thanks for your memories.

Thanks for calling us in.

We'll come back with more of our panel.

Quentin has a story about casting him.

Chuck Norris said this: "I've known David Carradine since the '70s when I was still competing and teaching martial arts and his TV series "Kung Fu" was creating so much interest in the sport. I'm deeply saddened by the news of his tragic death. He was a powerful performer, a strong personality, commanded attention, had a natural and unforced screen presence. You sometimes forget how versatile and talented he was."

More after this.


KING: Time for tonight's remarkable question and e-mail.

From Richard in New York: "What's the saddest event you had to report live the air?"

The answer is obvious -- September 11th. September 11, 2001 -- a date will inject our brains.

Go to if you've got a question for me. Send it in. If I answer it on the air, we'll gave you an autographed copy of my new memoir, "My Remarkable Journey." You'll have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and see the show live.

Back with our panel.

Let's just show a quick clip of David's rise to fame in "Kung Fu."



CARRADINE: I will meet you in combat. But let it be later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shall be now.

CARRADINE: I plead with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beg for your own life.


KING: How did you cast him in "Kill Bill?"

TARANTINO: Well, it was an interesting thing, is right at the time when I was kind of finishing writing, I had actually come across his autobiography. It's called "Endless Highway." And I started reading it.

And to this day, it's one of the greatest autobiographies I've ever read. It's -- not only is it a great story, he was a terrific writer. I mean he was -- his writing style was a mix of Jack Kerouac, of Charles Dickens and David Carradine, which you would imagine David would be like.

And he's got this fantastic, wonderful life to talk about, including all the adventures of John Carradine and the family and everything. And it was just -- it was fascinating.

And as I was reading it, I was just like, well, this is my Bill. This is my guy. It wasn't at a movie, it wasn't an audition, it wasn't having drinks together. It was his autobiography that said this is the guy.

KING: It was a wild movie.

What did that do for him, Chuck?

BINDER: I think it totally revitalized his career. And, you know, he just -- he never stopped working from the moment that movie ended until now. And...

KING: Michael, you're very -- considered a very versatile actor.

You'd agree?

MADSEN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Versatility -- does it get enough credit?

In other words, when we think of David Carradine -- people talk about great actors, they don't list him, do they?

MADSEN: I think if you become well-known for a certain kind of a role, people have a tendency to want you to repeat that.

KING: Label you.

MADSEN: And you can get stuck in a box and he...

SCHNEIDER: You know...

KING: Hold on, Rob.

MADSEN: ...(INAUDIBLE) in his characters.

KING: You said -- you told me his father...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was kind of...

MADSEN: You know, there's so many different things that David was able to do -- walk into a room and sit down at a piano and start singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and you don't know those kind of things about him (INAUDIBLE), you know?

KING: You said his father made over 500 movies?

MADSEN: David and I talked about his father quite a bit.

KING: John Carradine.


(CROSSTALK) MADSEN: And he told me that John made 523 films. And I mean, I can't think of any other actor who made 523 pictures.

KING: There he is.

MADSEN: And apparently, he did 40 of them without even the credit when (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Rob, you have a story about a wedding ring?

SCHNEIDER: Well, the -- you know, when David worked on "Big Stan" and all his movies, he refused to take off his wedding ring. And that's -- that was the thing that was really charming. I mean he -- he said we've got to put something in the script. And he put a leather strap around it. And he just would -- you know, he would not take it off. And it was a beautiful little touching thing.

And I would just say David Carradine was as good an actor as anybody who had ever appeared on the screen. He was really legendary.

KING: Wow!

SCHNEIDER: I remember the first meeting that I had with Chuck Binder and my brother and David was -- I had heard that he read my script and that he liked it. And we had lunch together. And as we're having lunch, I'm trying to, you know, gently bring up the script and see if he wants to do the movie.

And I said, so what did you think of the script?

And he said, I didn't -- I haven't read it.


SCHNEIDER: Then why are you having lunch with me, then?

He said, well, why don't you tell me about it?

So I told him about it at lunch for like a half an hour or 45 minutes.


SCHNEIDER: And then after I told him the story, he said, that sounds great. I'll do it. And I'm like...


SCHNEIDER: There's no one else in Hollywood who would have done something like that. But he was that guy. And he did do it. It was his legend.

And I'll tell you one beautiful thing I'll never forget from David. He called me up the day before we started filming. And he says, Rob, it's a miracle to get a film made. And it's another miracle to get it -- to make it any good -- if it's any good. And he said, the third miracle is if you get it released, you know.

So, but I think the last thing he said was if it could -- the third miracle is if it's -- if it's any good. You know, so here's the first of three miracles. And it was just a beautiful thing.

KING: Yes.

SCHNEIDER: I mean he was such a generous...

KING: Let me get a break.

SCHNEIDER: He was a noble man. I mean...

KING: Thank you, Rob. Well said.

Director Martin Scorsese shared his thoughts with us about David: "I was deeply saddened by the news of David Carradine's passing. We met when we made "Boxcar Bertha" together almost 40 years ago. I have very fond memories of our time together and that picture and on "Mean Streets," where he agreed to do a brief cameo. David was a great collaborator, a uniquely talented actor and a wonderful spirit."

We'll be right back.



CARRADINE: Now, if you don't settle down, I'm going to have to put one in your kneecap.

Why don't you hold it to five ways and stick it where the sun don't shine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to be nice?

CARRADINE: I've never been nice in my whole life, but I'll do my best to be sweet.


KING: Eighteen years ago, David was on this show. We talked about kung fu.



CARRADINE: Well, it's really a way of life. It's a -- it's a system that tries to kind of improve the quality of a person's life. And -- well, if you want to defend yourself or, you know, kick ass, you could probably learn how to do that in about a year. But within 20 years -- I've been studying it for 20 years. I still feel I pretty much know nothing about it. I think it would take a whole lifetime to find out to -- for me to be even able to give you an answer as to what it's really all about. KING: Is meditation a key ingredient in it, for want of a better word?

CARRADINE: Well, it's supposed to be. It's an important aspect of it. I think with a lot of martial artists that they do what we see in the movies, kick and punch and defend themselves, and take revenge. If you want the whole benefit, yes, you've got to do some meditation. There's no doubt about it.


KING: Another thing great, he had a wonderful voice. You have a "Kung Fu" lunch box?


KING: Watch this, folks.

TARANTINO: This is a "Kung Fu" lunch box from back in the day here.

KING: Kids bought this, took it to school.

TARANTINO: He was a rock star at the time when "Kung Fu" came out. Every kid in school had the "Kung Fu" lunch box. Even has a nice little thermos in here.

KING: What are you doing with it?

TARANTINO: I have a lunch box collection.

KING: You are a little strange.

TARANTINO: If I work with an actor who has a toy or lunch box, I get it.

KING: We only have a couple minutes left. Someone said something kind of weird, but maybe truthful, that with this mystery around his death and being in Thailand, we may never find out the total answer. He would like it that way.

MADSEN: I think he would like it that way.

TARANTINO: I think he would, too.

MADSEN: It's a typical David way to go. The mysterious death of David Carradine. That sounds --


TARANTINO: Talking about his autobiography, if the last chapter was the mysterious demise of David Carradine, that would be perfect.

KING: Rod, what were you going to say?

SCHNEIDER: I'll tell you the truth. The truth is I think David always felt bad he took the "Kung Fu" role that was originated from Bruce lee. I think it's a really odd and beautiful mystery that it's the same way that Bruce Lee. We'll never know exactly what happened with Bruce Lee.

KING: Good point. Do we know anything, Quentin? Do we know, Michael or Chuck, if any memorial services are planned here? Is it too soon?

MADSEN: I haven't found anything out about that. I would hope there will be something.

TARANTINO: I can't imagine there wouldn't be.

SCHNEIDER: We'll find out in the next few days, Larry. I want to say, Dave was a seeker. David was a seeker and he left a real legend for his friends and his fans.

KING: You have all been very kind on short notice to come by.

TARANTINO: Our pleasure.

KING: Save the lunch box.

TARANTINO: I definitely will.

KING: Quentin Tarantino, Chuck Binder, Rob Schneider, Michael Madsen and Vivica Fox with us on the phone. The crew of "Whale Wars" and video you won't believe, until you see it next. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are their battles. This is their war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's safety is their own responsibility.


KING: With us are the stars of "Whale Wars," which returns for a second season on Animal Planet tomorrow night. They've been called a lot of things, good and bad, as they go after the Japanese ships and the crews that hunt whales. Are they pirates, harassers, conservationists or something in between?

Joining us are Captain Paul Watson, Chris Aultman, Shannon Mann, and Lawrence De Groot of "Whale Wars." Captain, you started all this. How? Why?

CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON, "WHALE WARS": Well, I started the organization in '77 because I thought there was a need for a group to intervene against illegal activities. We are not a protest group. What we do is we go after unlawful activities. In this case, we are targeting the Japanese who are killing whales in a whale sanctuary.

KING: Were you with another group before this?

WATSON: I was a co-founder of Greenpeace originally.

KING: You got to activist for them?

WATSON: I'm not a protester. It was a protest organization. So I decided to set this up. We are much more aggressive.

KING: Is it a thin line? Protest sounds peaceful, you mean, and you are more aggressive than peaceful?

WATSON: But at the same time, in 30 years, we have never injured anybody. We have never broken a law. We are walking a fine line, but we're doing the job.

KING: How did you enlist the group?

WATSON: Our organization are all volunteers. I can't buy that kind of passion.

KING: Nobody gets paid?

WATSON: No. They came to us as volunteers.

KING: You are a volunteer, too, then?

WATSON: I've been doing this since I was 18 years old.

KING: What do you do for a living?

WATSON: Write, lecture.

KING: What hooked you to it, Chris?

CHRIS AULTMAN, "WHALE WARS": I met someone in Los Angeles who was the founder of a nonprofit group here in L.A. and the Scuba Show. Ironically, he was tabling for Sea Shepherd at the time. I was a new helicopter pilot. I walked up to him and asked him if this organization ever needed helicopter pilots. He said no. I got to know him. He got me into environmentalism and he also introduced me to Paul. That's how I got into it.

KING: What does "Whale Wars" do? First of all, how did you get into it?

SHANNON MANN, "WHALE WARS": I'm from the Prairie, but I've always had a strong connection with nature and lover of animals. I was doing part time volunteer work back home. I heard Paul Watson speak. And that just he totally motivated me. I wanted to join the crew, and got on full time.

KING: What do you do for a living?

MANN: Now I do some contract work, software development, but mostly I volunteer for the organization.

KING: Lawrence, what got you in?

LAWRENCE DE GROOT, "WHALE WARS": I was a former crime investigator for the Dutch Organized Crime Department, focusing on environmental crimes. While I was doing that work, I found that the D.A. in a lot of cases settles cases, and the economic interests are more important than their consequences for the environment. So I started looking for an organization that's not willing to compromise. Sea Shepherd came in my path.

KING: I don't mean to be blunt, but it's a simple question. Why should we care about whales?

WATSON: If we can't save a species as beautiful, as intelligent, as socially complex as the whales, I don't see how we are going to save anything in the ocean. The oceans are in trouble. Quite frankly, if the oceans die, we die.

KING: How endangered are they?

WATSON: All of the great whales are endangered. All whaling is illegal. There has been a moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986. So the whales that they are targeting are protected.

KING: So when they're doing this, they are committing an illegal act, no matter where they do it?

WATSON: All whaling is illegal. But they are targeting endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, in violation of the global moratorium. They are also in contempt of the Australian Federal Court, because they prohibit wailing in the Australian territory.

KING: Who are they?

WATSON: The Japanese whaling fleet.

KING: Why are they whaling, Chris? What are they going to do with the whale?

AULTMAN: Ultimately comes down to money.

KING: What do they sell the whale for?

AULTMAN: They consume it. They consume up to 60 tons of whale meat a year.

KING: They eat it.

AULTMAN: Absolutely. So it's a profit motive. They are down there under the guise of research. At the end of the day, all that meat goes home and winds up in the marketplace or in deep freeze, waiting to be eaten at a later time.

KING: How do they kill them, Shannon?

MANN: It's one of the most horrendous things you'll ever see. We have footage on "Whale Wars" this year of a whale being harpooned. So it's an explosive tipped harpoon, which launches into the backside of a whale, and takes a long time to eventually die. Chris took the footage from the helicopter. Over 25 minutes for that whale to thrash around before it finally died.

KING: We have already asked for a little of the explanation. But watch what they do in this "Whale Wars" clip. They will show us something we don't often see. Get ready. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These whales are swimming at 17 knots to try to get away from this ship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something I've never seen. Oh, my god.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've got the rifle out on the bow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it comes. Gunshot.


KING: How can you stand watching that?

DE GROOT: It's horrible. Once you see that in real life -- we saw the footage from Chris when he came back. There is only one thing you want to do, save those animals. We see them swimming freely in those waters. They are so beautiful and magnificent and so important for our planet.

KING: Do the people killing them seem to care?

DE GROOT: Not at all. The guy that shoots the harpoon, he just shoots the harpoon and walks off straight away. Other people come in and they take over. It's just -- yes.

AULTMAN: It's a business. It's a shame.

KING: More with the "Whale Wars" fighters. We'll show you an actual battle from their second season next.


KING: Our hero or heroine of the week this week is Betty Makoni. She comes to us from London. She's the leader of the Girl Child Network, GCN. It provides support for young female victims and encourages them to grow and connect and improve their status. How did this start, Betty?

BETTY MAKONI, GIRL CHILD NETWORK: It started with a small group of young girls at a school where I was teaching in 1998. The girls became more and more in numbers from all the neighborhoods and villages. Now we have 60,000 girls who are members of this network. KING: How do you build a girl's confidence?

MAKONI: We build them through the girls club in schools, where we teach girls life skills, empowerment skills. It's a situations where they have to transform themselves from victims to leaders in their own communities, and plan to pick up their pieces with confidence in such a new life.

KING: We adore you, Betty. You're our heroine of the week. We salute you. Beginning in a single school, GCN now operates in the majority of Zimbabwe's rural districts. It is set for regional expansion in southern Africa. We salute you. Congratulations.

MAKONI: Thank you so much, Larry.

KING: Betty Makoni, leader of the Girl Child Network.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bridge crew quickly realizes the Delta is headed in the wrong direction.

MALCOLM HOLLAND, "WHALE WARS": They seem to be having difficulties with their navigation.


KING: Season two of "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet, a very successful program, by the way, premiers tomorrow night, Friday June 5th. How did you get the idea to put this into television, captain?

WATSON: Well, the biggest rated show on Discovery is "Deadliest Catch." It's about some people going out into a remote area in rough weather and catching crabs.

KING: We've had them on. It's kind of wacky, but funny.

WATSON: I felt it had to be much more compelling to have men and women from around the world go into an even more remote area, in even rougher weather, to save whales. I thought it would be something people would be interested in. It's a very educational program.

KING: What kind of ship are you on?

WATSON: We have a 62 meter vessel called the Steve Irwin, which is a formal British Royal Navy --

KING: Named it after Steve?

WATSON: Yes, we did. Steve was going to join us. Unfortunately he died.

KING: You sail out of where?

WATSON: We sail out of Australia. That's where our base is.

KING: If you live around here, you have to fly to Australia, then do this. How long are you usually out doing it?

WATSON: We're out for December, January, February and into March. It's a long trip.

KING: Takes its toll, doesn't it?

WATSON: It does. We are 2,000 miles from anybody, really.

KING: Here is a look at an actual battle from "Whale Wars." Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our line in the sand. It just stepped up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get those bastards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are too close to me. You are too close to me.

WATSON: You are too close to the whales. You are too close to the whales.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hang on, hang on.


KING: Chris, how do you stop them? What do you do?

AULTMAN: Our most effective tool is to intervene with our ship and with our media. Just get in their way. Keep them from trying -- from harpooning whales. If we cant' do that, then document them doing these illegal activities and make them famous.

KING: Ever physically harm them, Shannon?

MANN: No. In 30 years Sea Shepherd history, we've never hurt or injured anyone.

KING: Despite your anger.

MANN: Yes, obviously. I mean, they're being very aggressive towards us.

KING: Like doing what?

MANN: They're throwing golf balls and pieces of metal, water cannons. People were injured this year. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



KING: Are you convinced, Lawrence, that you've saved many whales?

DE GROOT: Absolutely. Last year, we saved over 500 whales, which cut down half the quota, giving a loss of millions of dollars. That's, in the end, what we're trying to achieve, to make them lose as much money as possible. That's the only way these guys will stop, because that's the only language they understand.

KING: Are they in obvious pain?

WATSON: Our objective is to sink the Japanese whaling fleet economically. And for the last three years, we've cost them their profits; 305 whales saved this year, 500 last year, 500 the year before. And we're going to keep this up. As long as we're persistent, we don't retreat, I think we can bankrupt them. That's our objective.

KING: Does the Japanese government defend them in any way? Chris, do they say this is a major part of our economy and, for example, in the United States, you kill livestock for food?

AULTMAN: Well, they certainly do defend themselves. They spent a reported eight million dollars prepping their fleet with defenses this year. They wrapped their entire boats with nets, put very powerful water cannons on their ships and brought broken nuts, bolts and golf balls.

KING: What does Japan say? What do they say?

MANN: They completely defend themselves.

KING: On what basis?

MANN: Well, they actually use it under the guise of scientific research. They say they're conducting research down there, but they get back to shore with packaged-up whale meat. Nobody believes it.

KING: The warriors in the war over whales are coming back in 60 seconds. Don't go away.



DE GROOT: Once you encounter the humpback, you see them alive, and all you want to do is protect these animals.



KING: Lawrence, is it a stink bomb you use? What do you do and what does it do?

DE GROOT: We go out there in the small boats and we throw stink bombs on their deck. And that way they -- the Japanese whalers, they can't do their work on the deck.

KING: What does a stink bomb do?

DE GROOT: It's byruric acid, which is pretty much butter. It's completely harmless. When you smell it, you don't want to be near it. It will almost make you vomit. As soon as we throw it on the deck, they're not coming on the deck. If there is whale meat, it will contaminate the whale meat, and they lose money.

KING: If you're close enough, do you smell it, too?

DE GROOT: Oh, yes, big time.

MANN: You can smell it from miles away.

AULTMAN: I can smell it in a helicopter.

KING: What is the helicopter doing?

AULTMAN: The helicopter has three primary roles, search and rescue in the event that something does happen. Also, searching for the fleet, searching for illegal activities on the ocean. And then, obviously, documenting those activities once we find them.

KING: Big scare for our guest, might be the ultimate enemy, icebergs. Their ship, the Steve Irwin, named after our dear late friend, faces a frightening adversary this season. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stern is kind of swinging to starboard into a chunk of ice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right in here as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's new because this whole pipe --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ice is pushing the steel inward. It was really scary.


KING: The season is already filmed, right? WATSON: Yes, there will be 13 episodes.

KING: More exciting than season one?

WATSON: Far more, because this year -- in previous years, we were chasing them. They ran. They couldn't kill whales. This year, they decided to take a stand. And so it became very aggressive.

KING: So you see them attacking you, in a way?

AULTMAN: Absolutely, and attacking the whales. I had to document -- I had to follow them hunting and harpooning a whale.

KING: Is part of the show -- do you ever interview government leaders, Australian leaders, Japanese leaders to get viewpoints?

MANN: I haven't seen the show.

AULTMAN: We have no editorial control.

KING: You give them the film?

WATSON: Yes, we get there, the cameras run. There's no scripts. They film what they do. What they do with the show is Animal Planet.

KING: They have a narrator?


KING: They have their own narrator?


KING: Do you enjoy watching it?

DE GROOT: Sometimes.

KING: You know what's going to happen, right?

WATSON: Well, Shannon and I watching the part going through the ice, and we were there. It was actually so well edited, we were wondering if we were actually going to make it.

KING: Do you have any idea how many whales are out there?

WATSON: No. They're a threatened species. They're targeting Fin Whales, which are endangered, and they want to go after Humpback Whales, which are highly endangered.

KING: Because that's better eating?

WATSON: Yes, they're worth much more. So they're really targeting protected whales.

KING: Do they bother baby whales?


MANN: Absolutely.

KING: They kill them?

MANN: They have killed baby whales. Last year, the Australian government was down there and took footage of a mother and baby Minki Whale being dragged up the slip way of a ship.

AULTMAN: They're indiscriminate. They'll take anything that gets in front of a harpoon boat.

WATSON: And 20 percent of the females that are taken are pregnant.

KING: All this is for profit, Lawrence.


KING: There's no reason for it. There's no over-population of whales that they're doing humankind a good idea by getting rid of them.

DE GROOT: No. Absolutely no reason to. And they're trying to hide it under that cover of research. So it's completely ridiculous what they're doing. They're breaking all kinds of laws. You know, people accuse us of doing illegal stuff, but we show it. There's cameras, everything. We're trying to show what they're doing, and they should stop.

KING: Do other ships ever pass by, sailing ships, merchant ships?

WATSON: We're in one of the most remote areas of the world.

KING: Where are you?

WATSON: Right in the Ross Sea, right off the coast of Antarctica, about 2,000 miles from anybody, really. If anything happened, rescue would be days away.

KING: How far from Australia are you?

WATSON: About 2,000 miles.

KING: How far are they from Japan?

WATSON: About 7,000 miles.

KING: Seven thousand miles? They travel that distance?

WATSON: They go all the way down there. It's an extremely -- they have to -- they have to kill 760 whales just to break even. That's our objective, to make sure they don't take those 760 whales. And we've been able to achieve that.

KING: Ever hit any bad storms?

WATSON: All the time.

KING: This is not funny to me. Not a big laugh.

WATSON: What I say to that, you know, the weather will change from a perfectly nice day to 100 miles an hour just in 20 minutes. I mean, we have to be prepared for some very horrendous storms.

KING: I salute you all. It's great to have the show back. And I hope that someday you don't need this show.

WATSON: Well, in fact, we're -- we'd be very happy if we can get the show off the air by winning that battle.

KING: That's the way to win it. Get the show off the air. Thank you all very much. Captain Paul Watson, Chris Aultman, Shannon Mann and Lawrence De Groot of this extraordinary show, "Whale Wars," back tomorrow night on Animal Planet. Right now, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?