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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Anna McCloy; Interview With Andy Rooney

Aired January 06, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the wife of the only survivor in the West Virginia mining tragedy joining us from the hospital where her husband is recovering in a medically-induced coma.
Plus, the family of the groom who vanished from his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean last July.

And, in her first interview the cruise line employee who was with the missing groom's bride just hours after he disappeared.

And then, Andy Rooney on all the news of the day, love him or hate him he's one of a kind and he speaks his mind and he's one of my favorite folk. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin in Pittsburgh with Anna McCloy, the wife of Randal McCloy, the sole survivor of the Sago Mine disaster and Gayle Manchin, the First Lady of the State of West Virginia, who was on the scene during most of the Sago Mine ordeal. Twenty-six-year-old Randy has been moved to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Anna, why did they move your husband?


KING: What that they have in Pittsburgh that they didn't have in West Virginia?

MCCLOY: The barometric pressure chamber they had in Pennsylvania they did not have in West Virginia.

KING: How is he doing?

MCCLOY: He's showing little signs of improvement.

KING: It's a medically-induced coma. Does that mean they're going to try to slowly bring him out of it?

MCCLOY: Yes. Yes, they will.

KING: When was the last time you saw him?

MCCLOY: Actually a little bit ago.

KING: How does he look? MCCLOY: He looks good. His coloring is good and all.

KING: I understand you brought a CD by of his favorite group to play?

MCCLOY: Yes, I did, Metallica.

KING: Gayle, how have you handled all this as first lady? The tragedy happened in your state and you were there. What was it like for you?

GAYLE MANCHIN, FIRST LADY OF WEST VIRGINIA: Well, it's just such an unfortunate, horrific disaster for the families in West Virginia. You know, mining is a wonderful industry in West Virginia and coal is a wonderful resource that West Virginia has.

But over the years historically West Virginians have paid the price for this industry. And the mining community is very strong in West Virginia and they stick together. They work together. They are very proud of the job that they perform. They're very proud of the energy that they provide for this country.

And so, it is a mining -- it is a family actually. It's not an individual effort. It's a team effort. It's a family effort. And so, to watch these families suffer the way that they have over the last four days hoping against hope, my husband who was there from almost literally the beginning of this disaster through the culmination, like everyone, was praying for a miracle. As it turns out we didn't have 13 miracles but we do have one miracle.


MANCHIN: And that is Randal McCloy, Jr.

KING: How, Anna, is your -- you have a 4-year-old son, how is he dealing with this?

MCCLOY: Yes. He misses his daddy. He's used to playing with his daddy every day and he keeps asking for him and we just explained to him that his daddy had worked long hours and right now he was sick and he was resting and getting better for him.

KING: Are the doctors hopeful Anna?

MANCHIN: Are they hopeful?

KING: Are they hopeful? What do they tell you?

MCCLOY: Yes, yes. Well they can't just outright and tell you that everything is going to be perfect, you know, because you never know that so you just can't get your hopes up that it's going to all turn out right. But, yes, they think that he -- he will recover but not -- but maybe not 100 percent.

KING: You've been dating him since you were 13.

MCCLOY: Yes, I have.

KING: If everything goes well and he recovers completely would he go back to the mines?

MCCLOY: Absolutely not. I say no.

KING: And you're the force here.


KING: Gayle, what's to prevent -- are these things preventable?

MANCHIN: Well, we certainly hope so. I mean one fatality is one fatality too many and it is certainly the hope of West Virginia that through education, good education of our miners that they certainly go in with all of the skills and tools and strategies that they need to do their job and to remain safe, that our mine inspectors certainly have all the tools that they need, that our mines are kept up to speed.

So, it becomes a team effort that everyone participates in toward the well-being of a very important industry but one that has to be monitored, that has to be continued to be run very carefully, that we monitor the conditions of the mine, that we make sure that our miners are educated in the skills that they need to work there and that everyone is working together in a very cohesive unit.

As I said, it goes back to it being a team effort but built a lot around education and respect for this industry that has taken such a toll on people over the years.

KING: Both of you the best of luck. Anna, we hope everything comes out well and thank you for joining us Gayle. Anna McCloy and Gayle Manchin, the First Lady of the State of West Virginia. When we come back...

MANCHIN: Larry...

KING: Yes, quickly.

MANCHIN: Oh, Larry, I was just going to -- I was just going to encourage you to ask all of your viewers to please continue to pray for the McCloy family and also for all of those families that have -- are bearing such a grief right now in the State of West Virginia. We would appreciate it very much.

KING: Well said and we join you in that prayer.

When we come back, Marie Breheret, her first appearance ever to discuss what happened on that cruise ship. She was with the wife of the missing Mr. Smith. She's a representative of the cruise line. The chairman and the CEO is also with us. Don't go away.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Marie Breheret, the Royal Caribbean Guest Relations representative. She was with Jennifer Hagel Smith, the wife of the missing honeymooner George Smith, and the hours immediately after Jennifer learned that her husband had disappeared.

Richard Fain, the Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises is also with us. This is the first television appearance for both. We'll spend most of this segment with Marie and then the family will come on and then these two will come back and talk more about it.

Marie, where were you the night or the day this happened?

MARIE BREHERET, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINES: I was in my office when Jennifer came with the staff captain and he told her that something outside the ship indicated that Mr. George Smith may have gone overboard.

KING: And what did you and Jennifer do together during that time after that?

BREHERET: I basically spent the entire day with Jennifer. She was not alone. I was with her all day long from 10:00, 10:15 a.m. until quarter to 6:00 p.m.

KING: And what -- how was -- what did she think? What did she go through?

BREHERET: I think, I mean it was a terrible, terrible moment for her. She was crying. She was confused and disoriented. I was with her when we had to go to the terminal during the questioning to the police station and to the hospital and then in the terminal again.

KING: In your opinion did the cruise line do everything it could?

BREHERET: Yes, we did sir.

KING: Why wasn't the questioning done on the ship?

BREHERET: Well, we asked the authorities to come onboard. They didn't want to. They wanted us to go outside in the terminal.

KING: Do you know why they didn't order the ship because there was some blood at the scene right?

BREHERET: That's what I heard at the time. I was not aware of it.

KING: Oh. Do you know why they didn't order the ship to remain in dock while there was an investigation?

BREHERET: Well, I think Mr. Fain will answer this question.

KING: Do you know why Mr. Fain?

RICHARD FAIN, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINES: They did their investigation and they said they had collected all the evidence that they needed and the ship stayed out another four, four and a half hours after that point.

KING: The captain thinks, Marie, I understand that he fell overboard right?

BREHERET: That's I think what he said.

KING: What does he base that on?

BREHERET: Well, the fact that we found blood on top of the canopy, on top of the lifeboat.

KING: Which would tell you that he fell and hit the lifeboat?

BREHERET: Eventually, yes.

FAIN: You know, Larry, in retrospect I'm certainly sorry the captain expressed his view. Captains do tend to speak their mind but he based his personal opinion on the evidence that was available to him at the time having looked at the cabin that didn't appear to be amiss what evidence he had.

Frankly, we don't like to speculate on those things. That's why we bring in the authorities as soon as we know and in retrospect I wish he had just left it to the authorities to make their own statements.

KING: Where are we now in the investigation?

FAIN: The authorities are conducting the investigation. The FBI is looking at it and they seem to be looking at it quite aggressively.

KING: And what do you think, Marie, what do you think happened?

BREHERET: Well, that day everything went so fast I didn't have time to think. I only wanted to take care of Jennifer and that's exactly what I did. All day long I took care of her.

KING: Have you ever lost a passenger before?

BREHERET: It happened.

KING: On your cruise line?

BREHERET: Yes, sir.

KING: Did they find what eventually happened in that case?

BREHERET: I believe they did.

KING: Do you know what happened in that case, Richard?

FAIN: Yes, I do. Unfortunately it appears that was a suicide. In that case the evidence was clear, appears to have been clear and the authorities came to that conclusion.

Unfortunately in this case we don't yet have the answers but we certainly hope that -- we have been working with the FBI. We've been cooperating with them and I know they're working on it aggressively and I hope fairly soon they do give us some answers.

KING: And, are you cooperating with the families?

FAIN: We have tried to give them information. Unfortunately, very early on, within the first 24 hours, the families asked us not to make any further contact with them.

KING: Well, we'll talk to them and then bring both of you back; Marie Breheret and Richard Fain, their first television appearance regarding this tragedy at sea.

When we come back we will meet the mother of the missing honeymooner, the sister of the missing honeymooner and the attorney for the Smith family and the attorney for Jennifer Hagel Smith, the widow. And then Marie and Richard will come back.

And, Andy Rooney will come later. Don't go away.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Maureen Smith, the mother of the missing honeymooner George Smith; Bree Smith, his sister; Brett Rivkind, the attorney for the Smith family; and, James Walker, the attorney for Jennifer Hagel Smith, the widow of the missing honeymooner or the wife I guess of the missing honeymooner George Smith.

Maureen, what was your reaction to what the officials of the company just said?

MAUREEN SMITH, MOTHER OF MISSING GROOM GEORGE SMITH: Larry, I think we're just going away from the story. The story is my son was murdered.

KING: How do you know?

M. SMITH: He's been gone for six months now. There was so much blood in the cabin. There was blood on the overhang. There was a loud fight. There was -- he's just gone. Where else would he be?

KING: Why, Bree, would the cruise line, if it was a murder, want to cover that up? Murders happen.

BREE SMITH, SISTER OF MISSING GROOM GEORGE SMITH: Well, it's for their public image. You know they don't want people to be afraid to go on their cruise ships. It will affect their bottom line. It will affect their profits.

So, every time there's a crime committed, whether it be a sexual assault or whether it be a murder, the cruise line will do everything in its power to protect its image and pretend that there was no crime. And, this is a common occurrence on cruise lines, yet you would never know because usually they're actually quite successful in covering up the crimes. KING: You're saying, you're agreeing that these are common occurrences, Brett?


KING: Murder is a common occurrence?

RIVKIND: I've been practicing maritime law, and that's all I do for 23 years, in Miami, in the cruise ship capital of the world and this is all too common that after an incident like this the cruise line tries to portray it as simply an accident, cover up the true facts.

I would like to answer that question you asked Mrs. Smith. I think we have an amazing revelation tonight from the CEO, who makes his first appearance six months later. He should have given the Smiths an exclusive interview six months ago and the company should have told the Smith family everything they know.

But what he said tonight is for the first time they have admitted that the captain was wrong in concluding immediately, Larry, on the first day before an investigation's even underway or completed, he's writing, the captain of their ship, reports to a governmental authority saying this was just simply an accident.

The FBI is under the impression this is just an accident and that's our point that that prevented in this case a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of what was likely a murder.

KING: But he is saying the captain acted impetuously.

RIVKIND: Well, what's he going to say now, Larry, six months later on your television show? That doesn't help the Smiths and that is consistent with their practice on sexual assault cases and other disappearances.

What he didn't tell you about the other disappearance case that he mentioned, and that's just one, there are several others he didn't mention, is that in that case where he just tried to rule it off as a suicide right away and nobody knows whether it was a suicide or not that the cabin steward on that ship realized that that passenger was missing on a cruise early on in the cruise.

And, day after day that cabin steward went to the cabin, didn't find that lady present, was very suspicious, went to his supervisor and reported that and his supervisor said "Just do your job."

When the cruise was finished and the lady never showed up they took her belongings, which included personal identification, didn't contact any family members, didn't contact any authorities, just stuck her stuff in storage for months.

That family, the Carver family, had to go then, hire a private investigator and spend $75,000 to get to the bottom of it. This cruise line likes to keep things quiet.

KING: What's the contention, James, of Jennifer, the wife?

JAMES WALKER, ATTORNEY FOR MISSING GROOM'S WIFE, JENNIFER HAGEL SMITH: Well, first of all, her first contention is that she didn't know anything had happened to her husband. The captain told her it was just an accident.

From day one when she left the ship she thought that this was just an accident and it's only been in the last several months that she realizes what happened in that cabin as far as all the blood and the forensic evidence, the sounds on either side of the cabin.

KING: What does she think happened? Who would murder her husband?

WALKER: Well, she doesn't know that and we're working. We have some theories. Mr. Rivkind and I are working together. We're following up on an investigation. We've hired a forensic expert, as you know, Dr. Lee, to look into this.

KING: Yes.

WALKER: And we're trying to find some answers for her.

KING: Maureen, are you suing the cruise line?

M. SMITH: Yes, we are.

KING: For what?

M. SMITH: Well, Brett's the one...

KING: Malfeasance?

M. SMITH: Well, for the -- Brett will be the one to answer that question for you I would assume.

KING: Suing them for? I'm not asking an amount of money for negligence?

RIVKIND: No, no, we're suing them for negligence security. They have no security presence on that ship, which goes...

KING: None?

RIVKIND: Very little, Larry. Instead of having officers or making a presence with uniforms and cameras onboard and people and a presence of security to deter a crime, again to protect their image, because when passengers go onboard they don't want to see all this security, nor do they want to know about all the crimes onboard the ship. They want to just think it's this relaxed, kick back, let's party, let's drink, let's have some fun, we don't have to worry atmosphere.

So, one of our claims is they do not have enough security on the cruise ships. They do not control what goes on onboard that ship. And then, we also have claims for what they did afterwards in covering up this incident and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the Smith family by just portraying this as an accident when they knew better.

KING: Bree, don't you think the cruise line wants to know the answer if only to have an answer, if only to prevent future occurrences?

B. SMITH: No, I honestly think they do not...

KING: You don't think so.

B. SMITH: ...want to know the real answer. From the very beginning they contacted our news Channel 12, our local reporter, and said that the captain had out ruled foul play and it was an accident. They don't want to get to the bottom of this.

They wanted to cover it up and go away and, you know, they did not want it to be a crime scene. They wanted to go on their merry way to the next port and not to scare their passengers.

M. SMITH: Can I just say something, Larry? If they'd have stopped the ship at Turkey, the FBI have spent millions and millions of dollars of American taxpayers' money that ship could have stopped at Turkey. The perpetrators, everything could have been sorted out there and we -- six months ago we would have had some kind of peace.

KING: And why do you think they didn't?

M. SMITH: Because they have to go on their agenda. They have an agenda.

KING: To make money.

M. SMITH: Yes. I'm certain.

KING: But how can you, James, logically -- if someone wants to kill someone they could go into a hotel and shoot them. They can go into a movie theater and shoot them. They can go on a cruise ship and shoot them.

The hotel is not going to say "Our public image is ruined if someone was murdered here." The movie theater is not going to say "Our public image is ruined." Why should a ship's public image be ruined if John follows Jim onto the ship and kills him?

WALKER: Well, there's a big difference between let's say a Four Seasons, an American company. These companies are registered offshore. Royal Caribbean is a Liberian corporation. They don't pay any income taxes.

So, they kind of consider themselves as an island to themselves. They like to make their own decisions and they think that they can get away with covering up crimes.

KING: So it's for PR reasons? WALKER: Well, PR reasons, to have a good marketing image. This cruise line spends hundreds of millions of dollars with their marketing.

KING: How do you respond to the stories about Jennifer being either drunk or under the influence?

WALKER: Well, we're very concerned about that because they did not even tell the Turkish authorities when she had been taken from the ship, you know, her father had extracted a promise from the captain not to send her ashore and not to have her without the protection of these two security guards.

It's very troubling because the cruise line has not cooperated with us. They haven't provided us access to the ship. They haven't let us interview the witnesses. You know they're now saying she was found by five crew members, five crew members, a plumber, a cleaner and three security officers. We've tried to interview them. We've tried to obtain their statements and they're completely stonewalling us.

KING: Well, we're going to do a lot more on this. Thank you all for coming. And, we're going to have our cruise line representatives come back and respond and then Andy Rooney. Don't go away.

M. SMITH: Thank you, Larry.

RIVKIND: Thank you, Larry.


KING: We're now back with Marie Breheret of Royal Caribbean Guest Relations and Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Marie, what kind of shape was the widow in or the husband's missing wife, the lady, what kind of shape was Jennifer, was she in?

BREHERET: You mean when they first saw Jennifer?

KING: Yes.

BREHERET: For me she seemed tired and confused and disoriented.

KING: Disoriented?


KING: Drugged?

BREHERET: I would say tired, tired.

KING: Drunk?

BREHERET: I cannot tell.

KING: All right, Richard, what do you make of what the guests had to say that you're trying to just PR this? FAIN: You know, I first of all agree with what Mrs. Smith said at the very beginning. This has gone away from -- this ought to be about Mr. George Smith and his disappearance and how can we get answers to that?

And, we have gone far a field from that and, you know, I do understand they've gone through a terrible trauma. I can't even imagine what it's like to lose your child and it must be a terrible feeling. And, I'm sure I would feel like lashing out at the world.

But, there has been so much misinformation. There have been so many erroneous, misleading, just dead wrong things said about this. We waited six months and in deference both to the family and to the FBI's investigation, we said absolutely nothing. We did as little as we could to do anything that would in any way impede the investigation or upset the family.

But, I think the crew in this case worked very hard under very difficult circumstances and I think they did an outstanding job. I don't think they did a perfect job. I don't think we ever will. This is not something we have experience in.

KING: Why didn't the ship just stay? They're saying you moved on for commercial reasons.

FAIN: Yes. You know, we're the only industry in the world that I know of that voluntarily reports without any obligation to do so to the FBI any crime that happens anywhere in the world on our ships to American citizens. No other industry does that. But we do it voluntarily.

And in this case, we told the FBI. We told the U.S. Embassy. We told the Turkish authorities. They came on board. They did a full investigation. They did fingerprints. They took evidence. They took blood samples. They took photographs. We gave them 97 tapes. We gave them the computer lock information of when people come in and out.

We have a special pass system we call sea pass on the ship which keeps track of every person who goes in and off the ship. And we gave all that information.

At the end of their forensic investigation, it doesn't take forever to do that apparently I'm not an expert, they said they were finished. And we waited another three hours before we took any action whatsoever. And we left, actually, about four hours after they said, we basically have nothing more we need to get from you.

KING: Doesn't it appear, Marie, like a crime scene?

BREHERET: I can't tell. I can't tell.

KING: I mean with all the blood in the cabin and everything. It doesn't look like a suicide.

BREHERET: I went to the room to pack Jennifer's belongings, and I didn't notice anything unusual.

KING: You didn't?


FAIN: And actually if I may say Larry because you did say it doesn't look like a suicide. I don't think anybody has suggested that there was any issue of suicide involved here. The FBI...

KING: Either a murder or an accident?

FAIN: Yes. I think it's either foul play or an accident. And we don't know which. We've left it to the FBI. The FBI's asked us to be circumspect about not covering certain factual things to help their investigation.

But one thing that they don't seem to mind us saying is to point out that when the people went in, nothing appeared amiss. It did not appear to a casual observer as...

KING: Do you think this will be solved?

FAIN: I really think it should. The FBI is definitely working hard on it. We're working hard to cooperate with them. We have from day one. And I'm hopeful it will solve. And I hope that will help all of us. And I know they're working on it.

KING: Thanks for coming forward, Richard. And thank you, Marie. Marie Breheret of Royal Caribbean guest relations and Richard Fain, chairman and CEO.

FAIN: Thank you Larry.

KING: Thank you.

Andy Rooney is next. Don't go away.


KING: It's always a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE one of our favorite people, Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes. He's in his 27th year of doing his Emmy essays, A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney at the end of every one of the "CBS News Magazine's" programs. He's "The New York Times" best selling author.

His book "Years of Minutes," there you see its cover, it's now available in paperback.

First and probably most important, the Giants on Sunday.

ANDY ROONEY, CBS NEWS: Gheez, I'm worried, but I always think they're going to the Superbowl.

KING: You're a season ticket holder?

ROONEY: Oh, yes, sure. I don't miss a game. KING: And you'll be there no matter how cold?

ROONEY: Cold doesn't bother me. I got good clothes.

KING: You go in snow?

ROONEY: Yes, I love it. I love a rainy day. You know, it's funny.

KING: You're a little weird, Andy. You like it hitting you in the face. That feels good.

First, on a serious note, your thoughts about possible loss of Ariel Sharon.

ROONEY: You know, he seems to have been -- I was puzzled by Ariel Sharon. I suppose a lot of Americans were who don't know much about the situation there. But he seemed to have been such a force for good in the last year or so, that it would be a shame to lose him. But it's nothing I know much about.

KING: You don't get involved much in Middle East affairs as a veteran newsman?

ROONEY: No, I don't get involved. I mean, I am a newspaper reader and I -- but there are certain things that catch your interest more than others. And the Middle East, I'm very American. And the Middle East tends to turn me off, as it does so many Americans.

KING: Why do you think the public doesn't have a vast interest in this region, which supplies a lot of oil and which could be a tinder box for a war?

ROONEY: But that doesn't make it interesting. Neither of those things makes it interesting.

KING: OK, Andy. This will interest you. Televangelist Pat Robertson suggests that Sharon's stroke is God's punishment because Sharon divided the land.

ROONEY: Oh, Pat Robertson is a real nut. I mean, he keeps saying God talks to him. Why would God talk to Pat Robertson and not to me? God never said a word to me. Now, how come he talks to Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson is either lying or he's a little whacko in the head.

KING: You think he needs some help?

ROONEY: Well, I don't think he's going to get it.

KING: Scandals. Abramoff. What do you make--is this going to expand?

ROONEY: It looks wonderful. I mean for anybody in the news business this is the best thing that's happened in a long while. It looks as though -- I mean, why is it that our politicians-- I mean,we elect these people. They're good. They seem honest.

And then suddenly they get down there and they all begin hedging about what they do. Is it that difficult? I see people all day long that are absolutely honest. They wouldn't think of doing anything wrong. They just think it's -- and yet politicians get down there and they start hedging, accepting this money they know is wrong.

And this thing they've done now, they're trying to get rid of all the money that Abramoff got for them. Jesus, it's really a disgrace.

KING: And all from Indian casinos, apparently.

ROONEY: Indian casinos. I mean,the whole Indian casino, you know, there are about three Indians in the whole thing, too. There are no Indians in those Indian casinos. They're front men for American businessmen or other -- most of the money is offshore in Bermuda or somewhere.

KING: You think this is all just acquired greed? They don't go down there in that mode. They're of average salary. They want to serve their country. What happens?

ROONEY: They're politicians. I know, it is a mystery what happens to them. It must be something that none of us can understand. There is so much pressure on them. They have so much power.

I mean, there are a couple hundred Congressmen, you know, and senators, I mean, there aren't that many of them. And there's so much pressure on every one of them. Every company in the country has some interest in persuading legislation to go one way or the other.

And they end up thinking it isn't wrong taking money to do what they feel is the right thing anyway. Somehow they convince themselves that they are not dishonest.

KING: Think Tom DeLay got his comeuppance here?

ROONEY: I think he's getting it. Yes. That's one good thing that's come out of it. He's apparently done.

KING: What did you make of President Bush bringing all those former guys. See that picture in "The New York Times" today of all of them, guys and women.

ROONEY: It was good. I thought it was good. Well, it was good. And all of them said it even the ones who didn't agree with Bush said how good it was that they had been given an opportunity to state their case. I though it was good.

Apparently it was very brief, briefer than it seemed in the news. I saw several of them speak, and they said they really didn't have time to say much, but still they got to express...

KING: What are your thoughts on the war?

ROONEY: Well, I have some opinions that are unpopular even with me. I mean, I don't like having the opinion that we should not pull out, but it is my opinion that we should not pull out.

KING: You don't like having the opinion?

ROONEY: It was wrong for us to go in, but it would be wrong for us to pull out. For one thing, there are too many of them there who have supported us, who are decent people, who would be slaughtered if we pulled out. That would be wrong.

KING: Where then do you think it goes?

ROONEY: Oh, nowhere good. I don't know. I certainly have no idea where it goes. Every once in a while you see something going one way or another. It looks hopeful for a while, but there's nothing hopeful there. I don't know what's going to happen.

It seems like every once in a while you see somebody from there and they seem so normal and so average. You see them shopping. And my goodness, you think of them as some strange creatures from another world. But they're a lot like Americans in many ways.

KING: What do you make of the tapping of phones in the interest of national security?

ROONEY: Well, I think it's a disgrace. Absolute disgrace. And how the president has convinced himself or how the vice president has convinced the president that this is a good thing to do in the interests of American security. It's a disgrace.

KING: Because of personal liberty. But what about...

ROONEY: No. I mean we have to be so careful about that. Our whole country was built on the idea that we are free and free from that kind of government. I mean, it is seriously wrong what's happening in Washington. And how they're forcing it down our throats, I don't know.

And I hear people on the radio. Today I heard somebody defending it saying, well, we're in a time of crisis here and we've got to protect ourselves. Not the way to protect ourselves.

KING: You think it's despots that do that in times of...

ROONEY: Yes, they certainly do. Not willing to call President Bush a despot.

KING: Bush is sincere. He believes that one of the ways to stop terrorism is to learn of it in advance.

ROONEY: I think to say the president is sincere is probably true. But there are some other things that follow right on top of that make you wonder.

I mean, how--where is he getting his information? On what basis does he base -- does he put his sincerity? Why does he think as he does? I don't know where he gets his information. But I don't think it's very good. KING: By the way, we'll be taking calls for Andy Rooney in the next segment. You can get his book, "Years of Minutes."

ROONEY: You can't get it anymore. That book sold about nine copies.

KING: It didn't sell well?

ROONEY: It didn't sell well, no.

KING: Why not? It was a very good book.

ROONEY: Well, thank you. Yes, I did a lot of work, spent a lot of time writing it. But it didn't sell well, no.

KING: What's your analysis as to why?

ROONEY: I don't know. The book business is really a mystery to me. I mean, I don't know why one book sells and another book doesn't. And you plug a book and it always helps a lot. But I don't know what...

KING: Sort of like why that restaurant makes it and that one doesn't.

ROONEY: Well, that's different. The food is better in one restaurant than the other.

KING: We'll take a break. But before we do, let's check in with Anderson Cooper who is on the scene -- where are you tonight, Anderson? He's going to host "AC 360" at the top of the hour.

Are you here?


KING: Wow. It's novelty night. What's up?

COOPER: Yes, Larry.

Coming up at the top of the hour, a "360" exclusive. The first pictures from inside the church when families were told the horrible news at the Sago Mine that only one miner, not 12 had survived. You can imagine it was a chaotic scene, a tragic one. One that we've never seen before until tonight.

We're also getting more details about the mine's communication system. That's at the heart of how those families got the misinformation their loved ones were alive. It's really a shocking look at how low tech the rescue operation really was. And it makes you realize there must be a better way so this kind of thing never happens again.

All that and more, Larry, tonight on "360."

KING: That's Anderson Cooper with "AC 360" coming up in just about 15 minutes.

We'll be right back with Andy Rooney and your phone calls right after this.


ROONEY: Beech Nut added fluoride to its water if you have a craving for fluoride. It carries a warning, this is not an oral electrolyte solution. Do not use to manage diarrhea. Well, thanks for the warning Beech Nut. I'll be careful not to do that.

Volvic comes from France. A long way to bring a bottle of water. Saratoga spring water. Ultrapure Hawaii water. This says source is a virgin rain forest, it claims. When does a rain forest lose its virginity anyway?


KING: Before we take some calls for Andy Rooney, what do you make of this whole...

ROONEY: What do you go to calls when you can't think of anything more to ask me yourself?

KING: No. It's interview and call. Stop it, Andy.

What do you make of this anonymous sources story? Judy miller, guy from "Time Magazine," Woodward.

ROONEY: I guess we're going to get the answer to that, but none of them have revealed it yet. I guess somebody's going to come forward and say it was me. But I don't know.

KING: Have you used them during your long journalistic career?

ROONEY: Sources?

KING: Sources.

ROONEY: Well, I think every news person has. Yes, you depend on sources, and they depend on your not telling -- giving their name because they wouldn't tell you otherwise. And I think the American public is well served by sources like that, that are not revealed.

KING: But they are often self-serving sources.

ROONEY: Oh, you have to take that absolutely. That is rue.

KING: Let's take some calls for Andy Rooney.

Baton rouge, Louisiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. My question for Mr. Rooney, how did you learn to write so well?

KING: I'm hearing the call in the phone, but I'm hearing it clear. How did you learn to write so well?

ROONEY: You know, I really don't write very well. It's just that I don't write badly very often. I am very suspicious when I look at a page and I read something that somebody else has written and I think to myself, that's well written.

Well, usually if something is called well written, it's overwritten. I don't think good writing should call attention to itself.

KING: Is that a thin line?

ROONEY: Well, I suppose it is, yes. But I just--too often there's a lot of overwriting being done by good writers.

KING: In television and print?

ROONEY: Well, it's different in television. I mean, writing for somebody else to read or writing for yourself to read is a lot different than writing for someone to read with their eyes on a page. If you write for someone--if I was writing for you for instance, as I did for many years I wrote for a lot of different people. You have to be a little more careful with words. And so you lean towards the way you write for the page. But there's a compromise. And you cannot write the way you speak and you cannot speak the way you write.

KING: Is it hard?

ROONEY: Well, it isn't for me. I think it must be hard because there's so little of it that's any good.

KING: For you, is it easier for print or for the tele-camera?

ROONEY: Oh, I don't -- my writing for print is so close to my writing for television that there's not much difference.

KING: When you write for others, do you try to write for the way they deliver?

ROONEY: You do. You have to. I started so many years ago, and the interesting thing was, you know, I wrote a lot for Harry Reasoner, for instance. And he didn't need me. He was a good writer himself. But it was always easier to write for someone who could have done it without me than it was to write for somebody who couldn't write at all himself.

I wrote for Will Rogers Jr years ago. And he couldn't write two sentences. And he was very difficult to write for.

KING: But he was funny.

ROONEY: He was funny. He was a good guy. Will Rogers Jr., yes.

KING: Anyone, without naming names necessarily, that you had a tough time writing for?

ROONEY: Yes, but I wouldn't name him. He's still around.

KING: No, I realize that. Oh, he's still around.

ROONEY: He's still around. One particular one well known person.

KING: At 60 Minutes?


KING: No, OK. Who is going to replace Schieffer?

ROONEY: Well, maybe Schieffer, you know, he's embarrassing the hell out of CBS.

KING: He's doing good.

ROONEY: The ratings keep going up. And they keep talking about replacing him for somebody. I mean, you know, they're talking about giving Katie Couric $20 million. I say take that $20 million you could buy 40 reporters, 40 new reporters. You could give them each $250,000.

I mean, there are hundreds of reporters who would jump at getting $250,000. So take that $20 million don't give to it Katie. Give it to a bunch of reporters and make CBS news the best news report in the world.

KING: Have them everywhere.

ROONEY: Have them everywhere. Open up the bureaus we used to have in Buenos Aires and Warsaw, Poland. We used to have them everywhere. Open those up again with that $20 million. Katie will be all right without it.

KING: And keep Schieffer?

ROONEY: Keep Schieffer, of course.

KING: Schieffer has a wonderful manner, doesn't he?

ROONEY: He does. And he's been so gracious about this Katie Couric coming in. You know, he doesn't -- he really doesn't give a damn. That's the thing. He likes his job in Washington.

If they said tomorrow, thanks a lot, Bob, he'd go back to Washington and be perfectly happy. He likes it. He likes what he's doing. And I think he's very pleased at the job he's done, which he should be. But I don't think it would break his heart if it ended.

KING: You think network news is in trouble?

ROONEY: Well, I do because network news is now run by the people trying to make money from it instead of trying to provide a public service. I think that the three networks -- I talk basically about the three networks -- should be obliged to provide news to the American public in exchange for the right they have to make millions of dollars in the entertainment section.

They shouldn't -- there should be no commercials on the news broadcasts because the networks should be obliged to provide that as a public service.

KING: And as Les Moonves removes the gun from his head, we'll be back with more of Andy Rooney after these words.


ROONEY: An interesting thing about smoking statistics, 42 percent of those who don't graduate from high school smoke cigarettes. But only 12 percent of college graduates smoke. People with graduate degrees smoke least of all, seven percent of them.

In other words, if I can say this without offending anyone, the least educated smoke the most. And it would be politically correct to say the smartest people smoke the least.



KING: We're back with Andy Rooney.

And we go to Pentress, West Virginia. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Mr. King.


CALLER: Mr. Rooney, my husband and I are big fans. But we were wondering have you ever done a commentary that in hindsight you regretted very much?

ROONEY: Gheez, I'm not a very apologetic person about things I've done. I suppose there are some things I have done, and there are a couple that have been misunderstood and I regret not being more careful with how I phrased that.

KING: Stepped on some toes?

ROONEY: Well, it isn't toes I stepped on. It was--the American public, I wish it was smarter listening than it is. You have to be very basic with the American public when, as you well know, and although you have a pretty high class audience, I would think, as does 60 Minutes. But you have to be very careful what you say or people misinterpret it.

KING: To Glendale, Indiana.

ROONEY: Sorry. I didn't answer that question very well but...

KING: That's all right. Glendale, Indiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry and Andy. KING: Hi.

CALLER: Andy, I have a question for you. I watched you for a long time. And I get a kick out of you about your desk and everything on your desk. And you love everything, you said, in your office and all the news, the page clippings...

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: I just wondered did you ever get your desk cleaned up?

ROONEY: Well, every once in a while I just go like this, you know, and dump it out. No. You know, those pieces of paper are treasures to me. Everything...

KING: What's there?

ROONEY: Well, notes I make to myself, you know. That I could write a book about. I'm such a compulsive writer about little things. I mean, I could--I like to think I can write about anything. You know, I can write a book about the head of a pen.

KING: So do you keep notes in your daily work?

ROONEY: I do very often. I write something down, yes.

KING: And then use it somewhere or just have it?

ROONEY: Just have it, but I very often use it. I still do a newspaper column.

KING: I know. Do you keep a journal?

ROONEY: Yes, I use it there.

KING: Good luck to the Giants.

ROONEY: Go Giants.

KINGS: Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes correspondent, author of "Years of Minutes" available in paperback if you can find it.

Tomorrow night on our Saturday replay it is the psychics versus the skeptics. We know what side Andy would be on that show. Sunday night Howard Stern. And Monday night Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson, the author of the book, "For Laci: A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice."

Anderson Cooper is next. He is going to host "AC 360." And he has got an incredible piece of tape tonight, right, Anderson?

COOPER: Certainly we do and some photos as well. Larry, thanks very much.

Good evening again everyone. Piecing together the puzzle of the Sago Mine tragedy. Tonight chilling audio tapes of the failed rescue to save the trapped miners, never before seen photo....