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Campbell Brown

What Killed Michael Jackson?; Sarah Palin Still Popular With Republicans?

Aired July 08, 2009 - 20:00   ET



CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: (voice-over): Tonight here are the questions we want answered: What killed Michael Jackson? New disturbing evidence of drug abuse, track marks, collapsed veins, his body described as emaciated. More details come to light on the investigation.

And why can't Jackson's doctor answer a simple question. Is he the father of Prince and Paris? You have to hear it for yourself.

Also, why is Sarah Palin still so popular with Republicans, even after her controversial resignation?

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: I'm certainly not a quitter. I'm a fighter, and that's why I'm doing this.

BROWN: Is she outsmarting the beltway pundits and clearing the decks for 2012?

Plus, mamma mia, a sex scandal, Italian-style, Italy's prime minister facing rumors of parties with prostitutes and says he has no regrets.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Not even one. Every gaffe is invented by the newspapers.

BROWN: And scientists create test tube sperm, seriously. Medical miracle or bad news for boys? Could men become unnecessary? Or is this a potential breakthrough for infertile couples?


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hi, everybody.

Those are big questions tonight, but we're starting out as always with our "Mash-Up," our look at all the stories making an impact right now and the moments you may have missed today. We're watching it all, so you don't have to.

If yesterday was about somber remembrance, today, it was back to the bizarre in Jackson land. The pop star's dermatologist, Arnold Klein, went on television today and pretty much said, "I don't think I'm the father of Michael Jackson's kids, but who knows?"

Check him out on ABC's "Good Morning America."


DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": There was even report that you are the biological father of the children. Do you know who the father is?

DR. ARNOLD KLEIN, JACKSON DERMATOLOGIST: Not to best of my knowledge. All I can tell you is, to the best of my knowledge, I'm not the father of these children. But I'm telling you, if push comes to shove, I can't say anything about it. But, to the best of my knowledge, I'm not the father of these children.


BROWN: And that was so not a no.

Dr. Arnold Klein is going to be on "LARRY KING" tonight at 9:00 p.m. You're not going to want to miss that.

Meantime, CNN is learning some grim new details about Jackson's physical condition at the time of his death.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A source involved with the investigation tells us Jackson had -- quote -- "numerous track marks on his arms." As for Jackson's body, the source said he had never seen anything like it in decades of investigative work. He described him as -- quote -- "lily-white from head to toe."

He also told me his scalp was bald, that the pop star had no hair. This source also said Jackson's veins were -- quote -- "collapsed in both arms," suggesting frequent intravenous drug use. His final note, the body was emaciated.


BROWN: A whole lot more on these developments coming up in just a bit.

It turns out more than 31 million people in the U.S. watched yesterday's memorial service. When it was over, Jackson's sisters, Rebbie, LaToya and of course Janet spoke to fans gathered at the Nokia Center nearby. We have that video tonight courtesy of TMZ.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're extremely grateful for all the support. And we love you all.


(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that he's so happy that you are here supporting him. And he's watching every last one of you.

I just want to thank you all for being here for him. He loves you very, very much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for all of your love and all of your support. And Michael will forever live in all of our hearts.

Thank you so much.





BROWN: Still no word on when or where Michael Jackson will be buried. Back in the real world, President Obama in Italy tonight, where the annual G8 Summit kicked off this morning.


CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS: High on the agenda is climate change, the global economic recession and the danger posed by nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: The G8, which is made up of America's six closest Western, allies, plus a sometimes adversary, Russia, collectively urged Iran to respond to these diplomatic overtures, get to the table to discuss this nuclear issue.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's very important for the world community to speak to countries like Iran and North Korea and encourage them to take a path that does not result in a nuclear arms race in places like the Middle East.

KATIE COURIC, HOST, "CBS EVENING NEWS": The summit is being held in L'Aquila, which was rocked by an earthquake three months ago. The president took time to tour the damage today.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Certainly, the president logging a lot of miles on this overseas trip, traveling from Moscow, the Russian capital, to Italy. Friday, as Ed just mentioned, he heads to Ghana.


BROWN: And our Anderson Cooper is also traveling to Ghana with the president. And his special reports air Monday and Tuesday right here on CNN.

On the home front, Republicans just hammering President Obama on the economy today, charging, when it comes to creating jobs, he's failing big-time. The funny thing is, some Democrat governors were also on Capitol Hill this afternoon saying pretty much the exact opposite.

Here's the view now from the right and the view from the left.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: The purpose of the stimulus was putting the unemployed back to work. Mr. Chairman, these troubling job numbers have shown beyond a doubt that, so far, the stimulus has failed to do that.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We are killing jobs with every proposal we see here.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: We're doing everything other than helping to create jobs.

GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), MARYLAND: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has really been a lifeline. It is helping us to create and save jobs in Maryland.

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It helped us retain thousands of teachers, social workers, health care workers and others.

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Remember, it's just barely July. July, August, September, October, you will see unbelievable amounts of people coming back to work.


BROWN: Guess it depends on who you ask.

Nashville police say former NFL star Steve McNair was killed by his 20-year-old girlfriend, who then killed herself. The police chief briefed reporters this afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McNair was seated on the sofa and likely was asleep. And we believe that Kazemi shot him in the right temple, then shot him twice in the chest, and then shot him a final time in the left temple. Kazemi then positioned herself next to McNair on the sofa and shot herself once in the right temple, and expired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To hear it from the police, the woman on the right side of the screen here, who is the mistress of Steve McNair, believes that there's another mistress. She has it in her head that there is.

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: You talk about a crime of passion, Rick. When you shoot somebody twice in the chest, then once -- once in the temple, twice in the chest, then again in the other temple, that is someone who is seriously, seriously upset.


BROWN: McNair leaves behind a wife and four children.

In North Korea, a rare sighting of leader Kim Jong Il appearing at a memorial service for his father and not looking too healthy himself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The is the second major state event Kim Jong Il has attended since reports suffered last summer that he had suffered a stroke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously appearing much thinner than we have seen in pictures in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 67-year-old Dear Leader walked with a slight limp, thought to be a lingering effect of that stroke.


BROWN: Kim Jong Il's youngest son is expected to take power when the time comes.

Well, it is July, and it is getting pretty buggy out there. And we found pretty powerful people dodging fearsome flies. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have got a fly here. Are you going to swat it like President Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to see if I can find it.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": ... asked me to sit...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have got a fly.



WALTERS: Let me just tell you that Barack Obama went boom and got it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we need Barack.




BROWN: Yes, we did add the sound effects, but, OK, people, learn from the master.


OBAMA: Hey. Get out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the most persistent fly I have ever seen. Nice.

OBAMA: Now, where were we?


BROWN: And that is how it is done.

And finally, tonight, a Palin-powered punchline -- a lot of alliteration in this show tonight -- courtesy of, who else, David Letterman.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Now, the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has announced that she is stepping down. She will no longer be the governor of Alaska. And, yes, today, she -- first thing, woke up, went out on her porch, and waved goodbye to Russia.

PAUL SHAFFER, BAND LEADER: Waved goodbye to Russia.

LETTERMAN: Waved goodbye to Russia.



LETTERMAN: And people are puzzled by this. They say, well, Governor, Sarah, what are you going to do? What's going to happen? And insiders believe that she hopes to be the next octomom. But I don't know.


LETTERMAN: I don't know.

SHAFFER: Watch it. They're demonstrating outside.


LETTERMAN: But she's going to take the summer off and then will come back next fall in the 10:00 slot, so that will be good.


LETTERMAN: But friends of Governor Palin are saying that she is resigning because she is tired of attacks from the media. That's why she's resigning, tired of attacks from the media. Thank God I didn't say anything. (LAUGHTER)



BROWN: David Letterman, everybody.

And that is the "Mash-Up."

Michael Jackson's doctor unable to answer the most basic question today: Is he the father of two of the children? We're going to have a whole lot more on this coming up.

Plus, disturbing new details about the pop star's death. We're knocking down rumors. We're trying to focus here on facts -- the very latest in the investigation when we come back.


KAYE: A source involved with the investigation tells us Jackson had -- quote -- "numerous track marks on his arms" that those marks -- quote -- "could certainly be consistent with a regular I.V. use of a drug like Diprivan."

As for Jackson's body, the source said he had never seen anything like it in decades of investigative work.



BROWN: Tonight's newsmaker, no contest here, the man everybody following the Michael Jackson investigation has been waiting to hear from. And now, finally, Jackson's dermatologist, Dr. Arnie Klein is breaking his silence.

In our "Mash-Up," you heard part of his very strange question to a pretty simple question, about whether he had fathered any of the Jackson children. Well, we will have the whole answer coming up later. But now listen to what he told ABC's "Good Morning America" about the condition Jackson was in. This was just days before he died.


SAWYER: We are told that he weighed about 125 pounds, that he was in enormous pain. He was having trouble sleeping. Did you know these things?

KLEIN: No, he -- no, I didn't know it. He was in no trouble sleeping in my office, OK? He was not in terrible pain when I saw him. He danced in the office and he danced for my patients. He's very muscular and he was very, very happy and dancing.

SAWYER: I want to give you a chance to respond to something, because, as well know, there has been at least one account which said that your name has arisen as one of five doctors who gave him prescription medication.

KLEIN: No, I'm not one of the five doctors. I'm not one of the five doctors. I have not been examined by anyone, OK? I have not been contacted by the police in Los Angeles. So, I don't know what to tell you, but I'm not one of the doctors.

SAWYER: So that report is completely untrue?

KLEIN: I was his doctor.

I have given him medication, yes, but you could take all the medication I gave him in a year right now and nothing would happen to you, OK?


BROWN: Now, our Randi Kaye has been uncovering some new details about Michael Jackson's health. She's in L.A. right now with former CNN anchor Jim Moret, who is also now chief correspondent for "Inside Edition," and Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who is a surgeon, joining us tonight as well to help us get a little more insight on some of this.

And, Randi, you have got a lot of details to share about the condition of Jackson's body. Walk us through it.

KAYE: I do, Campbell.

We spoke with two sources who are very close to this investigate. And they both painted a very similar picture for us. I want to share some of those details with you. I'm quoting here. One source said -- quote -- "He had numerous track marks on his arms." The other source told us that he had -- quote -- "collapsed veins which could suggest frequent I.V. drug use."

The other sources as well told us that some of the marks on his arms were fresh, others were older. Now, you have to keep in mind here that, of course, the emergency personnel who were trying to save him may have used I.V. drips and such. And that could be what accounts for some of these more -- the fresher-looking marks on his arms.

But, also, we were able to obtain today, quickly, I just want to show you, the death certificate for Michael Jackson. The information here is provided by his sister LaToya Jackson.

It says -- and what's interesting is, it lists cause of death as deferred, which means to this point obviously and still really today they don't know what caused his death. And as far as the place of final disposition, where he will be buried, it lists Forest Lawn Memorial Park. That is the cemetery in Hollywood Hills where the family has visited a couple of times now, although we still don't have any word that he's actually been buried there.

And here's what's interesting. It says the type of disposition, temporary. So, it doesn't appear, at least at this point, when this was filled out, that they were suggesting that this Forest Lawn Cemetery would be Michael Jackson's final resting place.

BROWN: So, still plenty of questions relating to that, Randi.

Let me follow up, though, with Dr. Rodriguez.

You listened to what Randi is saying about extensive track marks, about collapsed veins. I mean, what can we deduce from that relating to a possible cause of death? Can you?


DR. JORGE RODRIGUEZ, SURGEON: Well, what you can deduce from anybody that has collapsed veins or scarred veins, which is what I interpret it as, is that this is something that didn't happen overnight. For someone to have sclerosed veins, track marks, is a chronic use of that vein, so that it becomes inflamed and then, eventually, that turns into a scar.

So, having that as evidence means that this person -- this didn't happen overnight. This is a chronic, month-long, maybe year-long occurrence.

BROWN: And, Jim, what does this mean for the investigation?

MORET: Well, it's really what we have been talking about. You're going to get the toxicology results. That may in fact tell you the cause of death.

But as the doctor just stated, there's also a separate investigation looking at a broader range of the doctors who have been treating Michael Jackson over a period of months or years, what they have been prescribing, in whose names they have been prescribing them, whether he was doctor-shopping.

So, it's really a broader question than what killed him. It's -- as the doctor said, this is a chronic, chronic issue.

BROWN: Randi, let me go back to you, because aside from the needle marks, you also have some information about the more general condition of his body.

KAYE: Right.

Campbell, we all saw that video from his final rehearsal at the Staples Center. He had such vigor on stage. Well, we're being told by these two sources again, one of them who had actually seen the body in the hospital room after Michael Jackson had passed away, and it was described as emaciated, completely emaciated.

We're also told from these sources that -- quote -- it was "lily- white" from head to toe, "white as a white T-shirt" -- that is a direct quote -- and that "his scalp was bald." That's also a direct quote. That may have been the result from the injuries he received when he was filming that Pepsi ad a couple of decades ago, Campbell. BROWN: And, Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Klein said that he had diagnosed Michael for lupus and that he had treated him for vitiligo. Does that consistent with what Randi is telling us?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, it's not inconsistent.

Vitiligo is when the body turns again its own pigmentation. And usually you see vitiligo in blotches. There is a rare form of vitiligo called vitiligo universalis, where it could be throughout the whole body.

And lupus, again, is an autoimmune disease. And, you know, it could lead to baldness, but usually not to the degree to what I'm hearing being described would any of those two diseases really contribute to that emaciated description that was just given.

BROWN: So, does anything jump out at you, or it's far too early to sort of make...


RODRIGUEZ: Well, it's far too early. If -- I'm not saying that this is what happened to Michael Jackson. But if somebody in my office or my patient came in, you know, they had track marks and they had weight loss to that degree, you would have to think of chronic drug abuse, where the person wasn't eating.

That's probably the main cause of hair loss is protein, malnutrition. So, you know, a chronic use of different types of substances could lead someone certainly into this state. That's what pops to my mind first.

BROWN: All right, we will be taking this story a little further and talking about some of the additional issues coming up shortly. Many thanks to the panel, though.

Got to take a quick break.

A cyber-attack on the U.S. government, dozens of sites targeted since the Fourth of July -- North Korea topping the list of suspects. That is coming up in tonight's "Download."

Plus, Sarah Palin defies conventional wisdom. Beltway pundits don't know what to make of her. But a new poll shows Republican voters may still want to put her in the White House.


PALIN: So, I think of the saying on my parent's refrigerator, a little magnet that says, don't explain. Your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you anyway.



BROWN: Let's get a check now of some of the other top stories of the day.

Erica Hill with us with tonight's "Download."


Campbell, some five American troops, the bodies of these five American troops killed in fighting in Afghanistan now back on U.S. soil, their caskets arriving today in what is known as a dignified transfer, a very somber ceremony that the news media was banned from until just a few months ago. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about that today.


ADMIRAL MICHAEL MULLEN, JOINTS CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: That's the most difficult part of fighting a war, is those that we lose. And I think we, as a country, owe both the kind of dignity that the ceremonies at Dover -- or -- that the ceremonies at Dover speak to when you see them and respect for those who have sacrificed so much.


HILL: Admiral Mullen says the decision to allow media coverage was an important one.

A major security flaw in federal buildings exposed by the Government Accountability Office. Undercover investigators managed to smuggle bomb components into 10 different government buildings in four cities. They then assembled the explosives in restrooms without anyone stopping them. The agency in charge of security now has 60 days to improve its guard training.

And Homeland Security officials say no data has been stolen in a series of cyber-attacks on U.S. government Web sites. Some commercial and financial sites have also been hit, along with government sites in South Korea. South Korea's news agency is quoting unnamed sources who blame North Korea for the attacks. But those security experts say the attacks which started on the Fourth of July are primitive and appear to have probably originated in China.

And a surprise phone call could lead to a diplomatic breakthrough for two American journalists being held captive in North Korea. Lisa Ling says her sister Laura called last night after weeks of silence. Lisa spoke with CNN affiliate KVOR us by Skype. She was asked how Laura is doing.


LISA LING, SISTER OF LAURA LING: Without actually seeing her and without people actually seeing her physically, it's very difficult to tell. But she was very specific about the message that she was communicating. And she said, look, we violated North Korean law, and we need our government to help us. You know, we are sorry for everything that has happened, but now we need diplomacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Lisa Ling would not say exactly what else her sister told her, but says she's now reaching out to the State Department. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of entertaining North Korea illegally -- Campbell.

BROWN: All right, Erica, and we will see you a little bit later in the show. Thanks very much.

Sarah Palin, defying conventional wisdom, resigns as governor to possibly run for the presidency. Is quitting the new winning? Mary Matalin and Tina Brown joining us next.

Also, Michael Jackson's doctor says he is not the father of the children, at least as far as he knows. The interview that is leaving a lot more questions than answers.


JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": All of us are saying, what is he saying? Is he saying that he could be the father, but he doesn't know if he's the father? Did he artificially inseminate anyone else? Did he have sexual relations with Debbie Rowe? Did he have a relationship with her?



BROWN: Ever since Sarah Palin announced she is stepping down as governor of Alaska, the questions have been flying fast and furious. Why is she quitting? Why now? And what will she do next?

Our Drew Griffin was one of the reporters who tracked her down during a fishing trip this week

Listen to what she told him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was all a bit surreal, Alaska's feisty governor in a white T-shirt and overall waders in what may end up being her last photo-op in office.

PALIN: Everything changed on August 29 in politics in Alaska. That's date that I was tapped to run for vice president of the United States.

Everything changed August 29 in Alaska, the date that I was tapped to run for V.P. That was obvious.

Since I was tapped to run for V.P. When that opposition research just -- those researchers bombarded Alaska and starting digging for dirt and have not let up. They're not going to find any dirt. We keep proving that.

GRIFFIN: Is this your unconventional way of announcing you are going to run for president in 2012?

PALIN: As I said, I do not need a title. I have -- nobody does to effect positive change.

GRIFFIN: Are you out of politics, political office?

PALIN: I can't see me being totally out of public service, because that is within me. It is the way that I am wired, is to desire to help.

GRIFFIN: Governor, I'm asking you, are you ever going to run for president? Are you ruling it out?

PALIN: I -- all options are going to keep on -- continuing to be on the table.

I don't know what the future holds. Can't predict what the next fish run is going to look like, much less what's going to happen in a couple of years.

Don't know what the future holds. I'm not going to shut any door that -- who knows what door is open? Can't predict what the next fish run is going to look like down on the Nushagak, so I certainly can't predict what's going to happen in a couple of years.


BROWN: Sarah Palin's got some very good reasons to keep her options open right now -- 72 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said that they would consider voting for her for president in 2012.

So, is quitting the new winning?

Joining me to answer that, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Mary Matalin with us tonight, "The Daily Beast" editor in chief Tina Brown with me as well, and NPR contributor John Ridley also here.,

Welcome, everybody.

Mary, let me start with you, because you're a little bit out of lockstep with some of your Republican friends about this decision and sort of how she handled. You had Karl Rove called -- said he was rather perplexed by it, Ed Rollins calling it a disaster.

But you disagree.

MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it was unconventional, to be sure, in the voracity -- or that -- and the velocity, rather, with which the opinion class -- and I'm excluding Karl -- they took it as unconventional.

And they were asked to give an opinion more quickly than it needed to be digested. What I find more interesting is the resistance to which everybody in the chattering classes refuses to accept her at face value. She couldn't do her job anymore. Her family was under assault. She was receiving the political equivalent of a stoning. And she could not function in her job.

So, the reason I thought it was smart was that she can continue to be a strong voice, build political capital out there in the next two years, and get her equilibrium reset, the word of the week, and do what she does well, which is communicate a conservative message.

And you can see by the polls that Republicans are -- are fine with it. And, so, I think it's -- I think we opine -- the bigger lesson here is, we opine too fast before we think what -- you know, there might be some rational reason for her doing this. And there was.

BROWN: Well, but -- but you have got to concede, that news conference, her announcement, was a little all over the map, huh?

MATALIN: Well maybe I've been -- I'm living in New Orleans now, so maybe I've become a regular ordinary American. I love the setup with the Seward's Folly. And I like that she -- I like things that go all over the map as opposed to being completely scripted.

She didn't say anything that I thought wasn't relevant, wasn't explanatory. But I think we have a template. There's a conventional template the way politicians -- and, Campbell, you worked here -- how they're supposed to do it, when they're supposed to do it, with whom they're supposed to confer before they do it. And she didn't do it that way so it's got people's hair on fire.

BROWN: Tina, you compared Palin to Princess Diana. Explain what you mean.

TINA BROWN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, what I mean is that that speech that she made when she resigned from the governorship just reminded me of a speech that Diana made in '93 when she suddenly got up at a charity benefit and said she was bowing out of public life because she needed more time and space and then burst into tears.

There's a certain feeling I have anyway when I listen to Palin that there's a kind of suppressed hysteria almost about the way she conducts herself right now, as if she does feel actually that her life is somewhat unraveling.

I'm sympathetic to that. I think that her life has been hell for the last nine months. But I would have much preferred it actually if she had said, look, my life has become so complex, I need this time with my family.

In fact, of all the politicians who want to say they would spend more time with their family, I would just welcome that. I think a lot of women particularly would, because, you know, it's really been tough. But she didn't say that. She did all this wacky stuff about it's better for Alaska and I'm going to have a higher calling. And it's almost as if she couldn't say I want to spend time on getting myself straight.

BROWN: Which left a lot of people going -- T. BROWN: Yes, which did. But I also do think though that she's kind of cunning too, because I think she understands that her own celebrity right now is sort of bigger than politics. There's a new kind of politics out there, which really is a kind of hyper-politics, which is I don't need office to be a major political figure.

BROWN: And that's a fascinating point. I mean -- do you agree with that? That celebrity may have overtaken, like actually doing the job?

JOHN RIDLEY, NPR CONTRIBUTOR: I absolutely believe that. Remember when Senator Obama was running for president and the ad came out, oh, he's just a celebrity. Well, it turns out that celebrity is a big thing. And I don't think that's new in politics.

There is a celebrity culture. People are attracted to what they like and the reflections of their values and their beliefs. I do think, again, Sarah Palin made the right decision for Sarah Palin.

I agree with Tina. I think there probably would have been more cachet in actually telling the truth or some version of I'm doing this truly for my family. But again, for the people who like Sarah Palin or people who like any politician, the wackiness or the craziness or the failings, those don't matter. It's do you connect with those people. And when you don't have to respond to the electorate directly, then you don't have to worry about explaining yourself. Just do what you're going to do.

BROWN: But, Mary, what does she do next? I mean, now, if this was such a brilliant move, how did she capitalize on it?

MATALIN: Well, it's brilliant in the sense of if you have two bad options, you take the least bad option. I want to speak to what Tina said. This is still an unfortunate situation that women are judged differently in politics. So it would be great if she could say, and she did say a version of, no family has been treated like this. I need to get with my family.

But if she had said it the way Tina said which was quite eloquent, she would have been wiped out. She was trying to do, some say it in some conventional way. You know, and everyone is discarding the fact that her saying she did this for Alaska. There's something false about that.

She put in place a system to finish what she started there, and she literally for the past six months could not get any work done. And it was costing lots of money.

A small state like that, I don't know why anybody rejects it as an authentic answer. But it's sad that you couldn't say it the way Tina said it because I think that was a huge big part of it.

BROWN: What do you think happens now for her?

T. BROWN: Well, you know, I do think that she's still got this great celebrity. She has a passionate following. I think it's really a question now whether she can get her discipline together. Because although it's kind of fascinating how unscripted she is, and I think part of her charisma is that she is like a walking reality show. We never know which place the shoe she's going to drop, you know, so people are kind of fascinated to watch for the next development. But in the end, that's not good for politics.

You know, you do want a certain steadiness. Look at the economy. We want to feel that the person is in charge.

So I would have much preferred to genuinely absent herself now and get smart. Really get up to speed on the issues, really deal with her family, really get herself centered, and then emerge again as a kind of newly re-branded Sarah Palin.

I think her biggest mistake is the way she's in constant combat with the media. You know, she says she wants to be left alone to get on but she spent ten running days, you know, going to battle with David Letterman.

BROWN: Engaging with Letterman. Right.

T. BROWN: I mean, talk about, you know, a press engendering firestorm which she kind of absolutely said, you know.

BROWN: Yes, absolutely. OK, got to end it there. Many thanks to Tina Brown, to Mary Matalin. A discussion -- and to John Ridley, of course -- a discussion I fear we will be having many, many more times in the future. Thanks, guys.

Michael Jackson's doctor, we were talking about it before, can't seem to answer a simple question, are you the father of Prince and Paris Jackson? If you think that's strange, wait till you hear what he says about the children's mother, Debbie Rowe. We will have the details when we come back.


BROWN: Michael Jackson's dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, is now the man in the center of the storm in the Michael Jackson case. And this morning, he went on ABC's "Good Morning America" and was asked a question that most people would be able to answer with a pretty quick yes or no, are you the father of any of the Jackson kids? You got to see how Klein responds. Take a look.


DIANE SAWYER, CO-ANCHOR, GOOD MORNING AMERICA: There was even one report that you were the biological father of the children. Do you know who the father is?

DR. ARNOLD KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S DERMATOLOGIST: To the best of my knowledge. All I can tell you, to the best of my knowledge, I'm not the father of these children. But I'm telling you, if push comes to shove, you know, I can't say anything about it. But to the best of my knowledge, I'm not the father of these children. SAWYER: Best of your knowledge?

KLEIN: Best of my knowledge.

SAWYER: That's an intriguing phrase, best of your knowledge.

KLEIN: I can't answer it any other way because you know what, I don't want to feed any of this insanity that's going around. There's a lot of insanity going around. And that people should know the death of his love of his fans, people should know that is his love of his children.


BROWN: Still not to the best of my knowledge, really?

Let's bring back Jim Moret. He's in Los Angeles, along with Sharon Waxman, who is, of course, editor-in-chief of the entertainment news Web site And also back here with me in New York once again, John Ridley.

Sharon, let me start with you. You heard what he said, Dr. Klein. What do you make of it?

SHARON WAXMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THEWRAP.COM: That's completely convincing, isn't it? Now that's settled. Fantastic.

That's somebody who wants to get a little bit more attention. You don't go on "Good Morning America" and say, gee, I want to go on national television to settle this question of having the paternity of Michael Jackson's children, for their own protection, peace of mind, just settle it once and for all and answer it in that way.

What that says is, look at me, now you can have the media swirl about me for the next number of days. Very, very strange, I thought.

BROWN: Just about attention, John? Or, God forbid, like, could there be money as a motive here?

RIDLEY: Could there be money around an estate worth half a billion dollars?

BROWN: No, no.

RIDLEY: Absolutely. I mean, look, I certainly don't have any proof. But I'm reminded of, you know, Howard Hughes' the Utah will, the Mormon will. Melvin Dummar (ph), this guy comes forward and says I have the will for Howard Hughes. There was tons of money in it, not only directly benefiting from that but becomes a book, becomes a movie, becomes sales.

BROWN: Right.

RIDLEY: Here's somebody who has an opportunity to have a tell- all, to be in the tabloids to sell their story. Why not? I would hope that he wouldn't. But as you say, how do you not know, to the best of your knowledge whether you're the father, especially concerning how these kids were conceived?

BROWN: Yes. Why on earth, Jim, do you hedge on a question like this?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": I think for attention. I think that's the only reason. Because, frankly, in California, the children were born to Michael Jackson and his wife while they were married.

If he was a sperm donor, it doesn't matter, you give up parental rights. So there's no claim against the estate in California. But he does put to rest to those terrible rumors which he says. And now what are we doing? We're talking about Dr. Klein.

BROWN: Well, Jim, let me -- just for people who aren't that familiar a bit, we kind of have the family tree up, if we can call it that, up on the screen right now. But explain the relationship between Klein, between Michael Jackson, and Debbie Rowe.

MORET: It's an interesting triangle you have there. You have Dr. Klein at the top. Michael Jackson was his longtime patient and also a very close friend. Debbie Rowe worked for Dr. Klein, and that is how Michael Jackson met Debbie Rowe.

Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe, had two children with her. And they had an agreement where she would give him full custody. And that's basically the love triangle as we call it.

BROWN: All right.

Sharon, there's another interesting part of this interview he did with Diane Sawyer where she asked Dr. Klein about Debbie Rowe specifically. Let's listen to that.


SAWYER: Debbie Rowe, of course, worked in your office. That's where she met Michael Jackson. I wondered, do you think --

KLEIN: Absolutely.

SAWYER: If she wants custody of the children, do you think that she should have custody?

KLEIN: I can't make those answers because surely there have been, well, are two different things. I will perhaps.

But I will tell you one thing, it has nothing to do with whatever. These are brilliant children, and I want them in no way to be harmed because these are great, wonderful, fabulous children who he loved deeply.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Sharon, if Debbie Rowe does want custody of these children, I'm assuming she's got to act pretty quickly here, right?

WAXMAN: You would think so. She was on. Old tapes of her were on ABC last night in which she was talking about how she had the children for Michael, which is by the way, what we knew to be the case. They were her gifts to him. That she did not consider herself a parent just because she carried the children. That Michael was the guy who got up in the middle of the night, that was pretty interesting, diapered them, changed them. Then when she had the baby, he sent her off to a spa in Arizona.

So she's on the record as not having considered herself to be a pair. And she didn't want them ever to call her mom. So her claim doesn't -- if she were to have one, is going to be very difficult, I would think.

I'm not a lawyer, but you'd think that she would want to step in quickly.

BROWN: Right.

WAXMAN: That was your question. And then, of course, we saw the children at the funeral, a very, very touching moment. This lovely young girl Paris standing up and saying how much she loves her father, surrounded by the Jackson family. That was pretty convincing.

BROWN: Very quickly on that point, John, that family. I mean, any judge is going to say --

RIDLEY: Yes, absolutely. To Sharon's point, for years, those kids were literally figures under shrouds. They became real life people yesterday and to see them with the family, I think it's going to be very hard, again, beyond the legality of it to make a case that these kids should be with...

BROWN: Should be with anybody else.

RIDLEY: ... Debbie Rowe or anyone else.

BROWN: All right. Thanks, guys. And we want to let everybody know that Dr. Klein is sitting down for a primetime exclusive interview in just a few minutes on "LARRY KING LIVE." We will see if he clarifies his answers on the paternity question.

Stay with us. That is right here at the top of the hour.

A medical breakthrough for men. When we come back, sperm created from stem cells in a lab. The science, the ethics, what it could mean for infertile couples. We'll talk about it.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you look at infertility across the globe, about a third of cases of infertility are actually caused by men. And they also could create these sperm cells within three months where it takes typically 15 years for sperm to mature. So you get an idea of how important this is.



BROWN: This is the story that has got everybody talking today. Scientists in the UK have created human sperm cells using stem cells. It could be a breakthrough in treating male infertility. And it made news all over the world. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the original research video filmed down on microscope. The movement of the wriggling sperm they've made in the lab clearly visible.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What they did is they took these embryonic stem cells. They added a little vitamin A derivative and then they used this green stain.

I can't tell you exactly how they did it or you'd start doing it in your garage. But then they started separating it out with lasers, trying to figure out exactly what these cells are.

And the cells underwent this very specific process of division. The process is called my meiosis. You don't need to remember that. But ultimately over time, as they watched these cells over a few months, they were able to coax some of these cells, as you can see there in the sperm cells.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those stem cells are taken over here and thawed out, brought up to room temperature under this hood and then added to a chemical soup. And also, crucially, a genetic marker is tagged on to them. Then they're taken over to this incubator here and grown up.

Now after a while, the early germ line stem cells are show in green. You can just faintly make them out here. And those are the cells, the precursor cells that can go on to become sperm.


BROWN: Of course, lab results are just the first step. And now the controversy begins.

Joining me to talk about that, Arthur Caplan, who is chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Jamie Grifo, who's program director at the NYU Fertility Center at NYU at Langone Medical Center. He's joining me here in New York.

Let me start with you, Dr. Grifo. Realistic in our lifetime? I mean, how close is this to becoming something that we should really be thinking about?

DR. JAMIE GRIFO, NYU FERTILITY CENTER: Well, it's promising technology for patients. There are a lot of men who have no sperm and they want to have a genetic child, and this is the way to get there.

What they've done is be able to create from stem cells to create sperm. But they haven't shown that they can actually fertilize eggs yet. So there's still a big leap that needs to occur. But this is the big step. To get from stem cell to sperm cell is a big step.

BROWN: So if this turns out to be true, let me ask you both this question -- Professor Caplan, you start -- if it's real, walk us through, I guess, the possibilities, both the good and the bad.

ARTHUR CAPLAN, ETHICIST, UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, some very good possibilities as Dr. Grifo said, you could help people, men who can't make sperm or have very low sperm counts. Downside, you got to test it in animals again and again and again.

This technique was tried in mice. A lot of the animals that were produced actually were born from this kind of creative sperm, abnormal, died prematurely. You really have to be careful here because we're talking about using something to make another person. It's got to work very, very well.

Another downside, well, you could see people starting to change the sperm, maybe engineering traits into it, getting us into a big fight about the perfect baby.

BROWN: Well, that's what I was going to ask. I mean, in theory, could you also take, you know, a piece of let's say, Brad Pitt's hair, and use that, and the DNA from that, to make these cells. Or could, say, a woman, from her own stem cells create sperm? I guess in theory, you could, right?

GRIFO: Well, in theory, but in fact in these experiments, they showed you couldn't do it from a female embryo -- the embryonic stem cell. So you still need men so that we're still here.

BROWN: OK. There is some today in the newsroom.

GRIFO: Kind of. But, you know, all of these things that we worry about as potentials really, we've been worrying about them since the start of IVF, and, you know, we've talked about designer babies since the early '90s and it hasn't happened. It hasn't happened because that's not what we do. We try to help patients with problems, and we try and solve those problems.

Arthur is absolutely right. All the techniques that we do, we demonstrate them to be effective and safe in an animal model system before we then apply them to humans. So there's a lot of work that needs to be done with this technique. And all of our techniques are newly developed to show that they work and they're safe, and that it can be used for human use.

CAPLAN: Campbell, I was going to say...

BROWN: Yes. Go ahead.

CAPLAN: You got to be -- you got to be careful here just because you're going to see some men saying, I'm infertile. I can't wait. I want to use this technique.

There will be pressure to sort of move it along. Jamie's right.

You know, the field tries to be cautious, tries to develop things. But there can be a lot of push and pull here. So you really do have to insist in this area when you're making babies, using artificially created sperm, that it's been done in many different types of animals, that the animals have been studied. I think we're a long ways from being ready to say this is primetime --

BROWN: I was going to -- yes, I was going to say, given that in all likelihood, quite a while for this becoming a reality.

GRIFO: Well, that's absolutely true. But you have to also understand that at some point, someone is going to take that risk.

CAPLAN: That's true.

GRIFO: Because until you do it in humans, you don't know how safe it is. You can prove it safe on animals. You still have to do in humans.

That's happened with IVF. It's happened with different elements of IVF and, you know, thankfully this has come out well in almost all cases.

BROWN: All right. Fascinating stuff. Dr. Grifo and Professor Caplan, joining us from Philly, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

President Obama at the G8 summit in Italy tonight, his host. A prime minister who would make Bill Clinton or John Edwards blush. That's tonight "Breakout" next.


BROWN: CNN brings in hundreds of news feeds every day, reports from all around the globe. But we pick only one, the best one, to be our nightly "Breakout" story.

Tonight, it's a sex scandal Italian style. CNN's Atika Shubert has the story of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who is hosting the G8 summit. Take a look.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paying for prostitutes, absolutely not, says Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, pictured here with his grandson. That's what he told Italy's "Chi" magazine, owned by his own business consortium delivered in typical Berlusconi style.

"I have never paid a woman," he said in the interview. "I never understood what the satisfaction is when you are missing the pleasure of conquest."

Another day, another scandal, for Italy's embattled prime minister. It all started when his wife of 19 years, Veronica Lario, filed for divorce last month, accusing him of consorting with minors. Allegations that made news far beyond Italy's borders.

But then came Spain's "El Pais" newspaper, publishing pictures of nearly nude women, allegedly attending a party at one of Berlusconi's Sardinian villas, though Berlusconi himself was not in the photos. The prime minister successfully sued for invasion of privacy. The photos now banned from publication in Italy.

In a recent interview with CNN, Berlusconi dismissed the scandal as a political plot.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In the face of an accusation of this nature, I will react. I will explain exactly what the situation is. I will still have the Italians on my side. Once again, this accusation will act as a boomerang against the people who started it.

SHUBERT: But now the prime minister faces allegations from Patrizia D'Addario, that she and several other women were each paid to visit the prime minister's home. And she says she's got these photos taken in Berlusconi's house and a recorded conversation to prove it.

PATRIZIA D'ADDARIO (through translator): I feel that I am the only one that is here telling the things that no other woman dare say.

SHUBERT: Throughout the scandal, Berlusconi has maintained high approval ratings. But is this one step too far for Italy's notorious prime minister?

This woman says, "As an Italian, I am ashamed and I believe that he should resign right away."

"It's a further indignity for those who didn't vote for him," this person says, "but it has only increased his popularity among his followers."

A messy divorce and naked pictures? That might be enough in some countries to force leaders to resign, but not it seems, in Italy.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


BROWN: Don't miss "LARRY KING LIVE," everybody. Have a good night.