Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Michael Jackson's Mammoth Memorial; South Carolina Serial Killer Search Over
Aired July 6, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news: With a big question answered in court and major new questions being raised in the investigation, this city is bracing for impact, preparing for possibly the biggest celebrity send-off L.A. has ever seen.
Take a look live at the Staples Center in downtown. At 10:00 a.m. local time, 20,000 celebrities, luminaries, randomly-selected ticket-holders, will pack inside, no different from a Lakers game, except for the hundreds of thousands more who might also want in. They have been told to stay away.
A four-block perimeter is being set up. Portions of two major boulevards, Pico and Olympic, blocked off, buses rerouted.
Of the many who applied online, the lucky few ticket-winners picking up the goods at Dodger Stadium, they got tickets, but also golden wristbands -- wristbands, which they will likely sleep in tonight. Show up with just a ticket, and you are out of luck.
Before the event, Jackson friends and family are expected to say their goodbyes here at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, extra security on hand there, as everywhere to do with Michael Jackson.
A very busy day tomorrow, we will be covering it all live, of course, but, as we said, a lot happening right now, starting with the investigation.
Randi Kaye has that. She brings us up to date on what is new tonight in that investigation.
Randi, what have we learned?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I can tell you that five doctors, at least five doctors, are now under the microscope in this case. That is according to "The L.A. Times." We don't have the doctors' names, but, clearly, investigators want to find out if any of these doctors prescribed medications that may have contributed to Michael Jackson's death.
One of the doctors who we know was interviewed -- we were able to confirm today -- that's Dr. Conrad Murray. As you know, he is Michael Jackson's personal physician. He is a cardiologist. He was actually trying there to resuscitate him the day that he had...
COOPER: You are saying he was interviewed today? KAYE: He was interviewed that -- the last time he was interviewed was actually a week ago Saturday.
COOPER: OK. Right.
KAYE: He's been interviewed twice. So, now...
COOPER: So, he is one of these five?
KAYE: He is one of these five.
Now, his lawyer says that he is just a witness. He's not a suspect. But his lawyer did release a statement to us today. Just want to tell you what that said. I'm quoting here: "Dr. Conrad Murray did not prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson."
So, I thought it was interesting that he said "should have," because we do know that the attorney told CNN last week that the doctor did not provide Demerol or OxyContin to Michael Jackson. But he still has yet to make a statement about whether or not he had anything to do with providing this Diprivan, this very powerful sedative...
KAYE: ... that was reportedly found in Michael Jackson's rented mansion.
So, still, we have yet to get a comment about that. We asked again. We pressed. And, again, the lawyer would not comment on it.
COOPER: Although, it's interesting, even if he admits he -- he did administer Diprivan, any doctor we have talked to has said it raises ethical questions, because no doctor should be giving Diprivan to some patient inside their home.
How do we know which doctor -- I mean, how do -- how are authorities going to determine what doctors actually prescribed to Michael Jackson? Because he could have used aliases. He had a lot of different doctors.
KAYE: Right. Right. The false names are definitely a problem.
But we do know that there are a couple of ways they could do this. There is the state database, which was used in the death investigation of Anna Nicole Smith. And what they would do in that case is, the attorney general is already doing that in this case. He's going to sort through the doctors' names. Those are all in the database.
It takes a look at what controlled medications they prescribed, when they prescribed them, the amount they prescribed, who they prescribed them to, and who actually received it. So, they're going to look at that database. And we also know that billing information can actually provide some clues. We talked to a company today called M/D Systems, which a lot of doctors use for their billing. And those -- those electronic billing and also electronic recommendations for -- for the drugs, actually, the -- the records, the electronic prescriptions, are actually in this server on the computer forever.
KAYE: So, that is there for them to look at. And, even if somebody tried to delete it -- this is key -- if somebody tried to delete that information, maybe they thought they were being looked at, there is a record of who actually went in to try and delete it. And, so, they will be able to follow which doctor may have been involved, if that was the case.
COOPER: All right. Randi Kaye on the investigation -- Randi, thanks.
In a moment, we're going to be taking a closer look at the events happening tomorrow, what happens when, who is expected to be there and who isn't. Jackson's kids will attend, but not the birth mother of his two eldest, Debbie Rowe, who was basically assaulted by paparazzi on the streets yesterday.
Take a look at her outburst to them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your kids, Debbie?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?
DEBBIE ROWE, EX-WIFE OF MICHAEL JACKSON: You know what? Don't touch me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?
ROWE: Don't -- do not touch me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.
ROWE: You just did. Don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?
ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Debbie, are you willing to take a cash settlement for the kids?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How important are the kids to you, Debbie?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Debbie Rowe giving the photographers probably exactly what they were hoping for, some sort of an outburst. That's, of course, Jackson's ex-wife, who is mentioned in the will, but only to exclude her as a beneficiary.
Meantime, lawyers for all the major players were in court today, significant developments on that.
Don Lemon has that angle -- Don.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
And everyone has been wanting to talk to the man who is the executor of Michael Jackson's will, the administrator of his assets, John Branca. I got a chance to speak with him today about how he's going to administer that will.
And here is his message, Anderson, to Katherine Jackson and to family members. He says, Katherine Jackson has nothing to worry about, family members have nothing to worry about, that they will be provided for, well-provided for, especially as the will and the trust stipulates.
Anderson, as you know, 40 percent will go to his mother, 40 percent to his kids, and then 20 percent will go to charity. And he said it was a very emotional meeting. After he got back from vacation and learned of Michael Jackson's death and the will surfaced, he met with the family members, he met with Katherine Jackson and the children, and they were happy that Michael Jackson had at least provided for his mother and for his family in that will.
COOPER: And industry insiders say that this man and the two executors are very capable. They certainly are -- had Michael Jackson's confidence.
The family had contested it. The family had wanted more control over it, but -- but -- but they didn't get that today.
LEMON: Yes. But -- well, they did, but it was before the will surfaced that they had contested. They didn't know about this will. And, so, that is when they went to court to do all of this.
LEMON: But, you know, of course the family would like more control over their family member's assets.
But, again, yes, John Branca is a man who managed Michael Jackson at the height of his career. He's the one who negotiated the deal with Sony Music. He's the one that negotiated the Mijac deal. And people say he is the reason that Michael Jackson still has some money today.
And -- and, back in 1980, he went to the White House with Michael Jackson and -- and arranged all of those things, at the height of Michael Jackson's career.
COOPER: Do we know how much money? I mean, does the will specify?
LEMON: We don't know exactly how much money. I mean, we're thinking -- they are thinking over $1 billion that -- that Michael Jackson, at least in assets, and that it will exceed that in perpetuity as time goes on.
COOPER: Right. Already, his estate is making huge amounts of money right now.
LEMON: Yes, it's been reported, though, $400 million in debt. And that is the report.
And, you know, as you said, they don't know how much money. The reason that they went to court, the reason that the family wanted to go to court, they are not so much concerned about the will that Michael Jackson put in place. They are -- they are not contesting that.
What they wanted from Michael Jackson -- or from that executor is to have some say into Michael Jackson's image in the future, his earning potential in the future and where that goes and where his money goes regarding...
COOPER: All right, Don Lemon, appreciate that reporting.
Let's get some perspective now from senior legal analyst longtime Jackson watcher Jeffrey Toobin. He joins us now.
Jeffrey, so, a judge today granted control of Jackson's estate to the executors of his will, taking away the temporary limited power his mom had over his affairs. What does that mean for the family?
I mean, how much of a battle do you think this really was?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, I think it was a preliminary skirmish, and it may have settled all battles in the future, because the will is clear.
The will says that John Branca is in charge of managing the estate -- managing Michael's estate. Katherine Jackson was given only that temporary authority, when it did not appear that there was a will in place.
Michael Jackson could have designated his mother as the controller of his business interests. But he didn't. And, so, what the court did today was simply honor Michael's -- Michael's wishes for his estate.
But Branca was conciliatory in court. He said he will consult with Katherine Jackson, he will consult with the family. The judge asked him to do that. But there is no doubt who is in charge here. It is John Branca.
COOPER: If -- if Michael Jackson was so clear he wanted this guy Branca, how come Katherine Jackson's lawyers, then, were arguing that -- and I quote -- "irreparable damage" could be done to the estate if these two executors are allowed to take control?
TOOBIN: I think, frankly, that was just lawyer talk. That -- that kind of combative attitude seems to have faded over the course of the day.
I think everyone knows that Michael Jackson's estate, the long- term financial interest is much -- in much better shape with John Branca, a very sophisticated longtime music executive, rather than Katherine Jackson, in charge. They still want some control over how the estate is exploited.
But I just don't think there is any doubt that the judge is going to leave Jackson's wishes intact and leave Branca in charge.
COOPER: All right, let's talk about the investigation. More search warrants were apparently executed, reports that investigators are focusing on several doctors who -- who prescribed drugs to Jackson.
At this point, what do you think they are looking for?
TOOBIN: Well, there are all sorts of ways this process can be abused.
Are there multiple names? Were there legitimate reasons to give these prescriptions? Were there multiple prescriptions given, when only one should be given? Did the doctors coordinate with each other? Did the doctors lie to -- to each other, to the pharmacies?
All of this is, frankly, unfortunately, fairly typical when you have these celebrity deaths or celebrity investigations. Anna Nicole Smith, Elvis Presley, Rush Limbaugh, all of these involved possible abuse in the prescription process.
COOPER: Now, if you have a doctor who is administering, say, a -- a powerful drug like Diprivan, which is something that is supposed to be administered in hospitals, and they're doing it in someone's private home, or -- or wherever they're doing it, I mean, can that person be brought up on charges, and if...
COOPER: ... if the person overdoses because of it or has a bad reaction?
TOOBIN: They don't even have to be overdosed for them to be brought up on charges.
If you prescribe, you, as a doctor, prescribe something that you shouldn't prescribe, or prescribe it to a person who wouldn't get it, those are violations. They are not necessarily criminal violations. They can involve losing your license. They could involve civil judgments, if the person's estate sues.
There are all sorts of possible remedies. But misprescribing drugs can definitely expose a doctor to criminal or civil liability.
COOPER: All right, Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thanks, Jeff.
We talked at the top about how big tomorrow is going to be and possibly how much bigger and more complicated it could become, despite all the efforts to prevent such a mess, efforts, by the way, at taxpayer expense at this point. Not everyone is happy about that.
But, for all the complexity, saying goodbye to Michael Jackson starts off very simply.
COOPER (voice-over): The services began at 8:00 a.m. with a private gathering for the family. CNN has learned the singer's parents, siblings, and children will meet at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills. they will be escorted to the cemetery by the California Highway Patrol, who will, afterwards, accompany the family to the Staples Center.
It's there, at 10:00 a.m., where the public memorial gets under way. The streets around the downtown arena will be under heavy, which will be security provided and paid for by the city. There is still no word on the price tag, and some local politicians are far from happy at the expense.
The star-studded tribute will be watched live around the world. It will also be shown in about 40 theaters around the country. Inside the Staples Center, about 9,000 seats are reserved for Jackson's family and friends.
As for the public, out of the estimated 1.5 million fans who entered the online lottery, just 8,750 won tickets. Each person gets two tickets, bringing the total number of public seats to 17,500. But there is only room for 11,000 public seats inside the Staples Center.
The remaining 6,500 overflow winners will watch the memorial on a Jumbotron next door at the Nokia Theater. Judging by the list of speakers and singers, Tuesday's memorial will be a celebration of Jackson's life and legacy.
Today, the family released a list or participants, including Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie, who co-wrote with Jackson "We Are the World."
COOPER: There will be many others as well.
We will have more on other performers a little bit later on in this hour.
Let us know what you think. Join the live chat. It's happening right now at AC360.com. Talk to other viewers in the United States and around the world watching us now.
Up next: more breaking news. A suspected serial killer in South Carolina tonight is dead, police not long ago confirming they got their man in a deadly shoot-out. The question is, what happened? And we have a just-released picture of the man who they say took five lives, terrorized a whole lot more.
Later, whether it is region -- reason as logic or reason as a simple motive, everybody has got a reason they believe Governor Sarah Palin is quitting. The question is, do any of them make any sense? We will talk to pundits, people in Alaska, and the author of a fascinating account of her rise to national fame from "Vanity Fair."
360 tonight live in Los Angeles -- we will be right back.
COOPER: More breaking news tonight in the search for a serial killer who has terrorized a small South Carolina community.
Take a look at this picture of the suspect. Police say his name is Patrick Tracy Burris. They also say the 42-year-old will not hurt anyone ever again.
David Mattingly joins us from Gaffney, South Carolina, for the latest.
David, what have you learned?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this case coming to an abrupt and violent end in North Carolina, about 30 miles north of here -- this serial killer killed in a shoot-out with North Carolina police.
But it's only just a -- within the last hour that we actually had a name and face to go with this, Patrick Tracy Burris. We see the face of him now. It has been put out to the public. This is the face of the man who terrorized Gaffney with five murders in nine days.
Now, police are saying that the search for their serial killer is now over, but the investigation continues.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Before dawn on Monday morning, a serial killer's trail of blood came to a violent end at this rundown house in North Carolina.
TERRY VALENTINE, NEIGHBOR: I mean, it scared me, it did. It really -- it really -- especially when I heard the gunshots. And I -- I actually froze. MATTINGLY: A quick exchange of gunfire left an officer wounded and an gunman dead. Fourteen hours later, police say the gunman's bullets match those used by a serial killer in five murders in Gaffney, South Carolina.
REGINALD LLOYD, SOUTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR: We believe a killer is off the street. And, you know, at this point, we are working backwards to make sure we collect all the evidence.
MATTINGLY: It ends a reign of terror that began with the murder of a 63-year-old peach farmer. Then, an 83-year-old woman and her 50- year-old daughter were killed in their home. His final victims, a 48- year-old man and his 15-year-old daughter, were shot in their family's appliance store.
Nobody felt safe. Pawnshop owner Chris Spencer (ph) tells me his gun inventory was running low after a spike in sales. Libby Jones (ph) had never fired a gun before, but didn't want to go to work without protection.
(on camera): And it is not just guns. Lights, locks, security devices, sales for all of them have jumped here. Everyone seems to be taking precautions. Even in this downtown street, businesses were open, but some kept their doors locked, allowing people in only if they recognized them.
It's all because of the seemingly random nature of the killings. There was no pattern behind the murder and no profile to fit the murderer.
(voice-over): I stopped at Mabry's Cafe expecting to find the usual lunchtime crowd. Instead, it was almost empty. And the topic of conversation was watching your back.
(on camera): What is everybody's state of mind? I mean, can -- can...
WAYNE PHILLIPS, RESCUE CUSTOMER: I would say that -- I would say that we are all pretty much panicky, if you want to know the truth.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Owner Tammy Coleman tells me she almost didn't open today.
(on camera): How tough was it for you to come out and go to work today?
TAMMY COLEMAN, RESCUE OWNER: It is really tough. We are all carrying guns. I mean, you...
MATTINGLY: You have got yours on you right now?
(CROSSTALK) COLEMAN: I have got my gun. I have got my gun.
MATTINGLY: Where is it?
COLEMAN: It is here.
COLEMAN: It is close.
COLEMAN: It is close. It'S behind this counter.
COOPER: So, what do we know about this guy Patrick Tracy Burris?
MATTINGLY: What we know tonight, Anderson, is this man has had a long history with problems with the law.
Law enforcement officials locally and the state have been talking about what a long rap sheet this guy had, breaking and entering, weapons charges, all kinds of things in his past. And the question was raised tonight, there's going to have to be some explaining done by the judicial system about why this man was still out free and still able to do so much harm.
COOPER: All right, David Mattingly, appreciate it for the latest.
Next: a deadly day for Americans in Afghanistan.
Also, a standoff over who runs Honduras -- a plane trying to land with the president on board, the former president, troops blocking the way. We will show you what the drama was about -- crowds not liking what they are seeing there.
Also, people still talking about Sarah Palin and her decision to resign as governor on Friday, what that means for her future. Does anyone have an answer that makes sense?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: And though it may be tempting and more comfortable to just kind of keep your head down and plot along, and appease those who are demanding, hey, just sit down and shut up, but that's a worthless, easy path out. That's the quitter's way out.
And I think a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Still ahead: the "Raw Politics" behind Governor Sarah Palin's surprising decision to leave office before the end of her first term.
But, first, Erica Hill has a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in nearly a year, seven Americans killed, four of them in an attack in a relatively peaceful northern part of the country, a sign that the war being fought in the Taliban heartland of the south and east could now be expanding to the north.
In Honduras, supporters of deposed President Manuel Zelaya are vowing to widen protests and block trade. Yesterday, at least one protester was killed when security forces opened fire at the airport where the ousted president was attempting to land, that effort ultimately unsuccessful. Zelaya is now expected to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington tomorrow.
General Motors' plan to restructure given the green light by a bankruptcy judge -- that judge ruling bankruptcy is the only available means to preserve the continuation of GM's business. Now, under the plan, the automaker will create a new company. It will also shed crushing debt and some very expensive contracts.
And talk about a big upset at the 14th annual World Wife Carrying Championship. It's a very important one. A Finnish couple won for the first time in more than a decade. Here is why you want to win, Anderson. The prize? Your wife's weight in beer.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: There you go.
HILL: The larger the lady, the better off you are -- if you like beer.
COOPER: Well, how so? Oh, I see. Because of the beer.
HILL: Because you win your wife's weight in beer.
HILL: So, if you want a lot of beer...
COOPER: Is that the winner?
HILL: I think it is.
COOPER: Who is that?
HILL: To be honest, I'm having a lot of problems with my contacts tonight, so I can't really see it very well.
COOPER: All right. Well, I assume that's the winner.
Congratulations to the lucky couple.
HILL: Excellent work.
COOPER: Up next, the announcement that has political junkies around the world scratching their heads -- former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she is done being governor of Alaska, even though she's only really 18 months into her first term. Is this a smart move, or is this political suicide? We have got the "Raw Politics."
Also ahead, President Obama's mission to Moscow and a deal with the Russian president could help avoid another Cold War -- details on that ahead.
COOPER: There are just two real secrets of the universe tonight: Colonel Sanders's 11 herbs and spices and why Sarah Palin up and quit on Friday.
As for the second, pundits and polls have been talking nonstop about the soon-to-be-former governor of Alaska. We will talk more about her motives shortly with Todd Purdum, who wrote a blockbuster article on Governor Palin and her chaotic experience as John McCain's running mate. The story ran just days before she resigned.
First, though, the "Raw Politics" from our own Sean Callebs.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Friday was the shock, the past few days have been about the awe or simple wonderment on why Sarah Palin abruptly stepped down as Alaska's governor.
NANCY HAYES, RESIDENT OF ALASKA: I heard, Sarah Palin had resigned. And I was like, "What?"
CALLEBS: Her supporters are bristling at the Q-word.
THOMAS VAN FLEIN, ATTORNEY FOR SARAH PALIN: She is not a quitter. She is changing the rules here.
CALLEBS: Palin's attorney and confidant told CNN the governor picked the July Fourth weekend to announce resignation by design, her way to -- and we're quoting here -- "declare her independence from politics as usual."
VAN FLEIN: It had become apparent in the last few months, particularly after the campaign, that she was becoming a lightning rod for partisan attacks. CALLEBS: So, the best way to help her state and herself, walk away from the job a year-and-a-half early.
Palin prides herself on someone who breaks the mold. And that spirit is one of the reasons she was elected. But, in Anchorage today, a lot of people we talked to said she is letting the state down.
RON CLARK, RESIDENT OF ALASKA: Yes, I think that -- my personal opinion, that there will be some consequences to pay for that, because people, in general, they don't like quitters.
BRIAN ARNOLD, RESIDENT OF ALASKA: Well, she has a commitment to the people of Alaska that she made a contract with. And I was kind of surprised that she took that avenue.
CALLEBS: The governor is keeping a low profile, one quick public appearance at a July Fourth parade in Juneau.
Then, it was fishing with her family in Bristol Bay, getting her side out the way so many of us do nowadays, via Twitter and Facebook, saying: "How sad that Washington and the media will never understand it is about country. And, though it is honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course, we know by now, for some reason, a different standard applies to decisions I make."
The man who largely put Palin on the national map, John McCain, offered support, saying -- quote -- "I have the greatest respect and affection for Sarah, Todd, and their family. I was deeply honored to have her as my running mate, and believe she will continue to play an important leadership role in the Republican Party and our nation."
A similar note from top Republican in the House John Boehner.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Well, I was as surprised as anyone by Governor Palin's announcement. But, if I had gone through what she has been through over the last nine months, I would want a break from all of it as well. I wish her well.
CALLEBS: But many national Republicans are highly critical, like Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the daughter of the man Palin beat in the Republican primary for governor: "I am deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term has concluded."
COOPER: So, Sean, now, the FBI says they are clearly not investigating. Why would they come out and -- and make that statement?
CALLEBS: Yes, that is an unusual move for the FBI.
The reason they are doing it, the blogs are out there. And a lot of people had been saying, look, the other shoe is going to drop. There's a scandal somewhere. You're going to hear about it. It is going to affect the governor.
But the FBI says, look, we are not investigating her. Now, she has been the target of 15 ethics violations -- ethics violations accusations here in the state. But she has been cleared of 12 of those. Three are still pending. She spent about $500,000 defending herself, and said: "I'm done with it. I'm tired of being a lightning rod. I want to move on."
COOPER: All right, Sean Callebs, thanks.
Joining us now is the author of the "Vanity Fair" article that caused such a big stir just days before Governor Palin announced her decision -- the title of the -- the article, "It Came From Wasilla."
Writer Todd Purdum is also national editor for "Vanity Fair." He joins us now from Washington.
Todd, you spent many months reporting on Sarah Palin. Were you surprised, though, by the announcement, and why do you think she actually quit?
TODD PURDUM, NATIONAL EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": I was very surprised by the resignation. I was not surprised by her announcement that she didn't want to run for reelection. And I think she quit because she was tired of the whole thing. It was not that much fun being governor of Alaska for her after she'd been on the national campaign. She went home, and a legislature that had once worked with her, was attacking her, at loggerheads with her. She had all these ethics complaints, racked up a half a million dollars in legal bills.
I think just she got tired of it.
COOPER: What do you think of the way she made the announcement? Because in your article you write, and I want to show this to our viewers, you said Palin has shown herself to have remarkable gut instincts about raw politics, and she has seen openings where others did not. And she has the good fortune to have traction within a political party that is bereft of strong leadership. She may decide she does not need office in order to have great influence any more than Rush Limbaugh does.
What do you -- what do you think of the way she announced she was leaving?
PURDUM: The actual news conference that she had, I thought, was -- it bore the hallmarks of someone who had made up her mind to do something and always wanted to rush to the neighbors and tell them in case she changed her mind. There was a certain kind of a nervous quality to it. It was sincere, obviously. But she was -- she was just talking so quickly and almost rushing to get her breath. And you felt that she was determined to get this off her chest before she had another thought about it.
COOPER: It is sort of surreal. I spoke to her spokesperson later that same evening on my show, and the spokesperson was in New York on vacation, I think in upstate New York somewhere and claimed that she knew about it in advance. But it seems that if -- you'd think if your spokesperson knew you were going to be resigning your office in advance, she'd want to be their by her side.
PURDUM: No. I watched that, Anderson. And I felt for you in questioning Meghan Stapleton. Because one of the things that was a surprise to me to learn about Sarah Palin was just how little staff she's ever really had around her. She's not like most politicians you would ever have covered. She doesn't have a cadre of advisers and consultants and media people. She has really been her own chief adviser, and her husband Todd has been her sort of counselor.
COOPER: For those who haven't read your article in "Vanity Fair," and I urge people to, because it's a fascinating look at her, what do we know about what happened behind the scenes in the McCain campaign?
PURDUM: There was a lot of animosity. And in fairness to Governor Palin, I think she felt very ill used by the McCain campaign. They imposed a staff of about 20 people on her, most of whom -- all of whom she'd never met before. She didn't really have any of her own trusted people from her world helping her.
And several people in the McCain campaign said it was as if she'd had to go from AAA baseball to the World Series. So I think it was very hard for her, and the general rule of thumb in politics is if it looks bad from the outside, on the inside it's much, much worse.
COOPER: So what do you think she does now? I mean, her spokesperson said, "Look, she can do anything." It seems to me she would go do lectures, write a book, maybe have a TV show somewhere. What do you think?
PURDUM: Well, she clearly already has a book contract. There have been feelers from people in Hollywood about doing a reality show based on running the state of Alaska. There had been other feelers about talk shows, and she clearly could command a lot of money on the speaking circuit. She could pay off this $500,000 campaign debt in nothing flat if she made a few speeches.
COOPER: What's the one thing, in reporting on her, that surprised you the most?
PURDUM: The one thing that I have to say at the end of the day that surprised me the most is, if my 9-year-old daughter had gone to a playground in Anchorage, she would have found out more from the other kids and the mothers on the playground about Sarah Palin and her record in Alaska than John McCain knew on the day he picked her. And that made me feel very sad for John McCain and, at some level, I guess for the state of politics in the country now.
COOPER: It's fascinating. The article is in "Vanity Fair." Todd Purdum, appreciate your time. Thanks.
PURDUM: Thanks so much, Anderson.
Well, Sarah Palin has been tweeting about her time in office, as we mentioned. She opened an account back in April. To check out what she's been talking about on Twitter, go to our Web site at AC360.com.
Palin's abrupt resignation, just one of the discussions happening now in the 360 live chat. You can join Erica and me at AC360.com. Actually, I'm not logged in tonight, because my computer is not up here.
But ahead, President Obama's definitely full foreign policy plate. We'll talk to David Gergen about that. David also has an interesting take on the death of Robert McNamara, the man who was the architect of the Vietnam War but who also may have helped prevent a nuclear war with the USSR.
And later, more on the star-studded farewell to Michael Jackson. We'll have the names of some of the entertainment A-listers who are going to say goodbye tomorrow to the King of Pop.
COOPER: Another story we're following tonight: President Obama's tricky mission to Moscow. He arrived today on Air Force with his family. The White House said Mr. Obama is working to reset relations with Russia. That's certainly no easy task. Ties between the two nations have cooled in recent years. Today some progress: a handshake. Mr. Obama and the Russian president agreed to pursue a new arms ban treaty, one that significantly reduces the number of strategic warheads possessed by each country. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First, we take an important step forward to increase nuclear security and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. This starts with a reduction of our own nuclear arsenals. s the world's two leading nuclear powers, the United States and Russia must lead by example, and that's what we're doing here today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Along with the arms race agreement, help for the war in Afghanistan. The Russian president said he would let American planes use Russian air space to fly military equipment into the battle zone.
Lots to talk about tonight. With me now, senior political analyst David Gergen.
David, how important is this arms deal between the U.S. and Russia?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's important in its own right, Anderson, because it continues a pattern now some 18 years long, of reducing the armaments on both sides as of 1991, when the START talks started. Over 10,001 heads on each side. This treaty will put us under 2,000 on each side.
And it also allows both nations to push other rogue nations like Iran not to build nuclear weapons. COOPER: What role did the Obama administration, though, really play in bringing it about? I mean, is this something that had been in the works for a while?
GERGEN: Well, certainly George W. Bush actually negotiated one of these treaties along the way. But it was about -- the START treaty was about to expire. And this became a high priority, I must tell you, a high priority in terms of the relationship. It was certainly low-hanging fruit. Both sides wanted this.
This was relatively easy. The tough things are still ahead. Whether it's a it's missile defense or whether -- what to do about Georgia, Ukraine coming into NATO. And all-important, the United States would like Russia's help with regard to Iran. And so far, there's no indication of that. You know, the Russians embraced Ahmadinejad right after that election in Iran.
The current situation in Iran would not stop them from attempting to engage in direct negotiations. But it's interesting. By reaching out, the president also risks credibility or risks giving the regime, Ahmadinejad's regime, credibility.
GERGEN: That's absolutely right, Anderson. I think a lot of Americans are having trouble adjusting to this idea that, after we've seen the repression and the bloodshed and know how many people are now being tortured that we can't see with cameras that it seems to be sort of business as usual, the existing regime.
One had thought that perhaps the Obama administration would ratchet up the sanctions, and maybe in Moscow the president can persuade the Russians to join in tougher sanctions as a threat.
Over the weekend Vice President Biden also seemed to give a blinking green light to the possibility that Israel might strike as a sovereign nation if the Iranians don't negotiate.
COOPER: I know the other thing that is interesting is Robert McNamara died this morning, 93 years old. He was defense secretary under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. You know him, of course, as the architect of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
You knew him. How do you remember him?
GERGEN: I remember him very much, Anderson, as a man of triumph and tragedy. His triumph came in the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962. And Bobby Kennedy gave him a lot of credit for the decision, the switch decision to go from striking Cuba, striking the missiles, the Russian missiles to quarantine, which actually worked. Had we struck and gone against McNamara's advice, we now know there was a very high likelihood we would have had a nuclear war. We came very, very close. That was his great triumph.
His tragedy, of course, came in the Vietnam War that followed. And a man who grew very skeptical, left government but never really told the country it was a war we couldn't win. And it was a tragedy he took with him all his life. Because he was blamed, in effect, as chief architect. It was almost a cross he bore all of his life.
In the mid '90s he issued -- issued a mea culpa, took responsibility, got trashed for doing that. I thought it was a brave act. So I found one last thing, Anderson. For the full rest of his life he devoted to trying to reduce the number of nuclear armaments. And somehow, it's fitting that on the day the Soviet -- the Russians and the Americans sign a new agreement to reduce those weapons, that he died. I think he would have liked to have known that.
COOPER: There was a fascinating documentary I think Errol Morris made. I think it was called "The Fog of War."
COOPER: I'm not sure if you saw it, David. A fascinating series of interviews with him. Maybe people can go rent that if they're interested. David, appreciate it. Thank you very much tonight.
GERGEN: I highly recommend it. Thank you.
COOPER: You do. Interesting to know.
We'll recommend that and try to put a link to it or something on our blog.
McNamara was arguably the most influential and controversial defense secretary in history. His rise to power began in a surprising way. Log on to AC360.com right now to see how he came to power.
Coming up next on the program, the memorial for Michael Jackson. Music royalty pays their respects. And it's a who's who of the industry. We'll tell you who is going to be performing tomorrow at the Staples Center. That's ahead.
Also tonight, violence in the streets. A deadly protest in China. Dramatic scenes of fighting. We rare see this in China. Look at that, overturning a police car.
What's behind the unrest? That's coming up on "360."
COOPER: Taking a look at images from Forest Lawn Cemetery. A lot of media folks already gathered out there. That is where there's going to be a service tomorrow at 8 a.m. Pacific Time.
The Jackson family, the Jackson parents, the siblings, Michael Jackson's children will be gathering for a private service at Forest Lawn Cemetery right here in Los Angeles.
From there they're going to drive to the Staples Center under police escort for the very public memorial, soon to be watched by millions around the world. We'll be there tomorrow, as well.
So will some of the most popular recording artists in the world, from young superstars to music legends, all to honor the life and legacy of Michael Jackson.
Erica Hill shows us who's going to be paying tribute.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A final tribute to the King of Pop, the man who forever changed the way the world experiences music and firmly altered an industry.
SMOKEY ROBINSON, SINGER: I think that all of the young men singers and some of the young ladies who have come behind him have, in some way, mimicked him.
USHER, SINGER: This man was my inspiration. I would not be the entertainer I am today had he not been who he was. Culture and music would not be what it is without Michael Jackson.
HILL: Both Smokey Robinson and Usher will take the stage at Tuesday's memorial in Los Angeles to pay tribute to Jackson bridging generations and boundaries. Also slated to appear, John Mayer, American Idol Jennifer Hudson, pop star Mariah Carey, and Stevie Wonder.
HILL: Industry greats dwarfed by the occasion.
EMIL WILBEKIN, MANAGING EDITOR, ESSENCE.COM: This memorial is going to be very, very emotional. It will also be something that everyone will always be able to remember, because it's going to be a trip down memory lane.
A lot of the stars and celebrities will put their egos away.
HILL: Stars like Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who confirmed to CNN he will be attending. Brooke Shields, a fixture with Jackson at awards shows in the '80s, will also be at the memorial, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, NBC greats Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant and Berry Gordy, who signed the Jackson 5 to Motown Records.
Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, the mother of his two eldest children, will not be attending. Nor will his longtime friend Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who tweeted today she didn't believe "Michael would want me to share my grief with others."
(MUSIC: "We Are the World")
HILL: Lionel Richie co-wrote "We Are the World" with Jackson. They first met when Michael was singing with his brothers in the Jackson 5.
LIONEL RICHIE, SINGER: This is going to be probably the largest -- largest singer, songwriter, artist, I should say, dancer, performer in the world ever. And now he will be the King of Pop forever.
ROBINSON: His legacy is that he was an innovator. His legacy is that he was Michael Jackson.
HILL: A complicated life but an undeniably gifted soul.
HILL: Anderson, it is interesting, when I was talking with Emil Wilbeken earlier today at "Essence," he spent more than a decade at "Vibe" magazine, so he really doesn't speak these kind of comments. He was talking about John Mayer being there. He said John Mayer, you know, is really a music guy, which is what Michael Jackson was. He really felt the music. He was about the music. Sort of interesting connection there.
And in terms of Usher, he said when you look at Usher and you look at Michael Jackson, Usher really is the next step in that lineage.
COOPER: Did Elizabeth Taylor really tweet about the memorial?
HILL: She did. In fact, it was confirmed to CNN that not only did she --- she post that tweet today, but she is apparently very active on Twitter.
COOPER: Good for her.
HILL: That was her tweet. Just like all of your tweets come right from you, Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Well, yes, they do, if I say so.
That's great. I didn't know she tweets.
COOPER: She twitters.
All right, Erica. There's one new Jackson-related story that's circulating on the Internet. It's pretty strange. It involves CNN. I don't know if you've seen this. We found this on Lively.com. Video from Ted Rowlands' tour inside the Neverland Ranch. It was shown on "LARRY KING LIVE" on Thursday, I guess.
People behind the clip say you can see an eerie shadow resembling Jackson in the background. Take a look.
COOPER: There is the shadow. I guess some people think it's a ghost. I don't know what I think about that.
HILL: The scary music really lends to the ghost talk there, doesn't it?
COOPER: Yes. We added it in, I think, to scare them. Maybe they did that Lively. Not sure. Anyway, we got in touch with the Sci-Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters." They said it's probably somebody walking in the far room and casting their shadow. Actually, we didn't really get in touch with anybody.
HILL: Oh, sure. Take away all the fun.
COOPER: There's a light. You can see when you look at the picture. There's this light stand right there. So it's somebody, we don't know, just walking in front of the light. The light stand. Yes.
HILL: A little cameo.
COOPER: But I'm sure this still will live on online.
Erica, next on 360, a deadly showdown in China. Ethnic fighting in the streets. Scores have been killed. Now the army has been called in. We'll have the latest on that.
Also tonight, a star quarterback turned homicide victim. Did Steve McNair's 20-year-old mistress kill him? New clues in the investigation, coming up.
COOPER: Still ahead, a new twist to the strange tale of the woman who showed up at a police station with a squirrel stuffed into her shirt. It's our "Shot of the Day." But first, Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, 156 people reported dead, more than 800 injured and nearly 1,500 detained after protests turned into riots in western China. Now, the protests were parked by increasing ethnic tensions in the region between the Uighurs and the Han Chinese.
Police say the gun used to kill former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was bought by his girlfriend two days before they were both found dead. McNair was shot four times. She was shot once in the head. The gun was found under her body.
McNair was married with four children but had apparently been involved with the 20-year-old woman for months.
Al Franken will be sworn in as senator from Minnesota tomorrow. The "Saturday Night Live" alum arriving on Capitol Hill today, where he promised to work day and night. Franken defeated Republican Norm Coleman after an eight-month recount battle.
And it looks like Alec Baldwin may want to follow in Franken's footsteps, the actor telling "Playboy" magazine that he's seriously considering running for Congress. But he did acknowledge his opponents would have plenty of fodder to use against him.
At one point -- he's a native New Yorker, Anderson -- said he wouldn't mind moving to Connecticut to run against Joe Lieberman, but that probably won't ever happen, he said.
COOPER: We'll see, Erica.
Our "Beat 360" winners, how about that? Our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a better caption than the one we can come up with for the photo that we put on our blog every day.
So tonight's picture, President Barack Obama at a press conference in Moscow with Russia's president and foreign minister.
Staff winner tonight is Rick in Atlanta. His caption: "Can he see Alaska from his house?"
(SOUND EFFECT: LAUGHTER)
HILL: Very clever.
COOPER: The viewer winner is Hazel from Las Vegas. Her caption: "He's still upset because he didn't get tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial?"
(SOUND EFFECT: DRUM BEAT)
COOPER: I think that's Obama asking the question. That was very good. I didn't read it right, Hazel, but congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
360 is all about accountability tonight. We have some answers, details you won't find anywhere else about a video we showed you days ago. Why was this squirrel buried in this woman's top? Why did she put it there, and what did she do with it? We'll tell you.
At the top of the hour, the serious stuff. New details about the memorial for Michael Jackson, including the star-studded guest list. We're live from Los Angeles after the break.
COOPER: Erica, for tonight's "Shot," we've got the scoop on the lady with the squirrel.
COOPER: You know you love her. We showed you this crazy piece of video. We've added the sound. Women being interviewed by cops in Ohio shows up with a squirrel under her shirt. Insert joke here. Pops out every now and then.
We wanted answers. Why did she do this? Who's this person. Today, we got some. The woman's name is Amber. Not perhaps a big surprise. She's 26, a lover of animals, again, not a surprise. Her friend found the squirrel who apparently had a broken leg, so she gave it to Amber. Amber wanted to care...
HILL: A sling? A cast?
COOPER: What? What?
COOPER: No. Amber wanted to take care of the squirrel. That's why she took to squirrel to the police station.
COOPER: Because she said she didn't want to leave it at home, alone.
HILL: Yes. And in the bosom the squirrel would heal so much faster.
COOPER: Well, yes. And we're told Amber later set the squirrel free. So apparently, the healing power of Amber was enough to heal the squirrel.
HILL: Wow. That's some power right there.
COOPER: Yes, it is.
HILL: You know what? I don't think I want to hear about Amber's power again. Is that OK? I'm glad we cleared it up, though. I mean, I like the whole -- 360, full circle, the whole story.
COOPER: Exactly. If it was a slow news day, we probably would have had Amber on.
HILL: Breaking news.
COOPER: That's how we roll.
COOPER: You can see all -- you can see more of Amber, frankly, at -- on our Web site at AC360. All the most recent shots there, as well.
Coming up at the top of the hour, the big story tonight, the breaking news. New developments in the Michael Jackson investigation in court and all across L.A. as the city prepares for the King of Pop's royal sendoff. We're live from Los Angeles on 360. Stay tuned.