Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Target Terrorism

Aired October 4, 2001 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone. Two stories emerged today thousands of miles away from each other that brought us the last thing we all needed: more fear, confusion, and maybe some paranoia.

From Florida, a case of anthrax has been diagnosed. We're told it's isolated. We know it's very lethal, very rare, and not contagious. The government says it's not what you think it is, and we assume most of you have at least considered it was something other than coincidence. At the very least, it does feed the fear, and there is plenty of that.

Then there was the Russian airliner that crashed into the Black Sea. Sources say there is evidence a Ukrainian missile accidentally took it down. But Ukraine denies it, Russia is not ruling out terrorism, and the fact that the flight came from Israel feeds fear yet another meal.

And on the subject of fear, here are two faces that send shivers up your spine these days. New pictures of Osama bin Laden and his No. 2, the head of the Islamic jihad of Egypt.

And this is why we are afraid. This is what we know the terrorists did. These are pieces of the planes that hit the Trade Center, now being pieced together in a landfill with a name only a paperback novelist could invent, "Fresh Kills."

And then there is economic fear. Economists put a price tag on the attack in New York, $105 billion. The lost productivity of the 5,600 dead people, $11 billion. The bad guys are getting a huge return on their $500,000 investment in terror.

We begin with anthrax. It is not every day that one man's illness is discussed by a member of the president's cabinet, in this case, a member who also happens to be the nation's top health official. Tommy Thompson, the secretary of Health and Human Services, revealed that a man in Florida has been diagnosed with anthrax.

Health officials believe it was inhaled, the first such case in 25 years. Secretary Thompson was quick to reassure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOMMY THOMPSON, HHS SECRETARY: Based on what we know at this point, it appears that it's an isolated case. I want to make that everybody understands that anthrax is not contagious and is not communicable, which means it does not spread from person to person. If it is caught early enough, it can be prevented and treated with antibiotics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: There is sill a lot we do not know about this case. We'll start our look for answers with CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Good evening.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Aaron.

BROWN: I've been in this line of work since I was 18 years old, 30 years. I have never reported a case of anthrax in my career that I can remember. How rare is it, not just in this country, but anywhere?

GUPTA: Aaron, there's only been 18 cases of inhaled anthrax between 1900 and 1976, and not a single case before today of inhaled anthrax over the last 25 years.

I went to medical school here, I never saw a case. I think we glossed over it in textbooks. It's a very rare thing, and it took CDC to be able to make the diagnosis.

BROWN: And we're not just talking about rarity in the United States. We're talking about it being rare in anywhere in the world.

GUPTA: That's right, Aaron. We just don't have a lot of cases of anthrax, which is an important point, because there's not a lot to study. Most of what we know comes from a case in Russia in 1979, where 68 of 79 people died after an accidental anthrax outbreak. So there's not many cases.

Most of the cases are sporadic, come from people working with goat fur, for example. The spores from anthrax sometimes are in the goat fur itself. Or eating undercooked goat meat, but very rare. Very few cases, very little to study.

BROWN: And the implications of the rarity, because that's really where you were going there, it seems to me, is that doctors and scientists don't have a lot to work with -- fair enough?

GUPTA: That's right. I mean, you hear a lot, Aaron, about what's the best treatment going to be for anthrax? In order to really know that, you'd have to knowingly expose people to what is known to be a deadly bacteria. Obviously, no one wants to do that, so it's really hard to know what treatments are going to work. So it is rare, and that makes it harder to know.

BROWN: Explain again how this could happen -- for lack of a better word, benignly -- and what I mean by benignly in this case is that it wasn't a terrorist who spread the spores out there. How would one become infected with anthrax? GUPTA: Well, I've talked to a few different doctors, infectious disease doctors today about this, who work most closely with infectious diseases such as anthrax. To answer directly, no one really knows for sure. People used to get it by working with livestock, such as goats.

The spores are very, very resistant to all sorts of different damages, so they can persist in soil for a long time. And sometimes, if soil is unearthed that has a lot of spores it them, it could unearth enough spores to actually cause an infection. But again, Aaron, it's just all really speculation. Nobody really knows. It's a very unusual case, and the answer, hopefully, will come out over the next few days.

BROWN: Well, we're all trying to balance something very carefully here. We want to be careful we don't make people more fearful than they already are. We're trying to get information out. At the same time, when you heard about this, this afternoon, I assume late this afternoon -- was your first impulse, oh, my goodness?

GUPTA: You know, Aaron, two things were sort of going through my mind at that time. One is that yes, absolutely, oh my goodness. You know, we've been talking about it, it's happening. Everything we've been talking about is happening.

Another part of me, Aaron, said, you know, we are so hyper-aware now. We're looking for it. Everybody is on the lookout for it. Maybe that's the reason we found it. In fact, there were cases of anthrax over the last 25 years that were sort of chalked up to unknowns -- they never really figured out what the problem was. Anthrax was so unusual, people didn't usually put it in their thoughts as a possibility of causing the infection.

Now everyone is thinking about it, and certainly when this man showed up with symptoms that could be anthrax, people immediately thought about it and sent the sample off to the CDC to have it confirmed.

So it could be sort of one of two things, there, Aaron. Both those things were sort of going through my mind.

BROWN: I hadn't thought of that at all, that perhaps there have been anthrax cases out there, they were just never diagnosed as such. Because otherwise, you have to be a great believer in coincidence.

GUPTA: Absolutely. Absolutely.

BROWN: Sanjay, thanks a lot.

GUPTA: Thank you, Aaron.

BROWN: I appreciate it. Sanjay Gupta joining us from Atlanta tonight with a medical view of that.

If the news at home tonight is causing some concern -- we suspect it is -- just remember how this day began. We woke up to a bulletin that had a horribly familiar ring to it. An airliner down, an airport on alert, an act of terror suspected.

Tonight, no one is sure what brought down a Russian jet over the Black Sea, but as the rescue and recovery operation goes on, we do have a theory here. Pentagon sources are telling CNN's David Ensor there is convincing evidence that the plane was hit by a Ukrainian surface-to-air missile. Ukrainian forces were conducting military exercises in the area.

Now, the Ukrainian government says that could not have happened that way, and the Russian president, Putin, agrees, saying he doubted the weapons that were being used in these exercises had enough range to hit the airliner.

Seventy-seven people were onboard. They were bound for Siberia, from Israel's Ben Gurion airport. The airport suspended takeoffs for several hours today as an anti-terrorism precaution -- a jittery sign of the times for Americans, but business as usual in a country that sees an act of terror nearly every day.

With that in mind, we turn to Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington. Good evening.

MARK REGEV, ISRAELI EMBASSY SPOKESMAN: Good evening, Aaron.

BROWN: Let's talk about the plane and see if you know much of anything here. Are you hearing anything from your government or anywhere in the world, what might have brought the plane down?

REGEV: Well, I'm afraid my government, for the time being, is being responsible and is being very tight-lipped about the entire situation. There are conflicting reports. We're learning the situation, we're studying the facts very well. We are in consultations with the Pentagon here in Washington. We've also been talking to the Russians and the Ukrainians. We have to establish what exactly happened.

BROWN: Would I be wrong to assume that you know more than you're telling me?

REGEV: Not necessarily.

BROWN: OK. We try.

Let me move on, then. The prime minister today talked about appeasement. He looked to the United States and said, be careful what you do here, don't repeat the mistakes of history. What is, in this current climate, Israel's worst fear right now?

REGEV: Well, we had two terrible things today. We had that awful plane tragedy, which we're not sure what caused it yet and I can tell you the Israeli side hasn't ruled out terror yet. And we woke up today in Israel and we had that terrible shooting incident, where a terrorist, who disguised himself as an Israeli soldier, walked into a bus station in northern Israel and opened fire with an M-16 automatic rifle randomly at the crowd, killing three and injuring another 16. Now, we'd like to say that, you know, the sort of terrorist groups that do this sort of thing, whether it's the Hamas, whether it's the Islamic jihad, these are groups that have state sponsorship. The Islamic jihad has a head office in Damascus, Syria. It's funded by the Iranians. Hamas has an open and free infrastructure that Mr. Arafat refuses to close.

So I think if we have concerns, we have concerns that terror is terror. There's no good terror and there's no bad terror. All terrorism is evil and we believe it would be a historic mistake by the West if some terror we turned a blind eye to it.

BROWN: Let me shorthand this. When I read the prime minister's statements, what I read was somebody who was saying, "do not sell us out."

REGEV: I think Israel, you know, knows America is its friend and America is at Israel's side, and we're fully supportive of America's war against terrorism. But there have been voices, in Europe especially, which have, you know, talked about getting close together with Iran. And we're not against getting close together with Iran, but first, as a precondition, we think Iran should do something about its historic support for terrorism.

The same thing with Syria. We're not against the West getting close to Syria. But there are a bunch, I think half a dozen terrorist organizations that have their structures in Damascus. They fund and allow the Hezbollah to operate against Israel. Just two days ago, the Hezbollah struck against Israel again -- a totally unprovoked attack. We no longer sit in Lebanon. There's no reason for them to attack us. And neither the Lebanese government or the Syrian government do anything to stop these acts of terrorism.

Terrorism is terrorism. There can be no excuse for it. It's unjustifiable in any terms, and we think there should be a clear international message.

BROWN: Mark, thanks for joining us tonight. We should continue this conversation, because obviously Israel and the relationship between the United States government and Israel is going to come up for some discussion, I would think, in the days and the weeks ahead. Thank you, Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington tonight.

Other news now. Osama bin Laden may be in hiding, but he is anything but out of sight. Look at this. Today this video surfaced. It was delivered to the Kabul bureau of the news channel Al-Jazeera. It shows bin Laden and the man considered his second-in-command, the head of the Egyptian Islamic jihad, what might be now the two most wanted men in the world.

They were accompanied by a heavily-armed entourage, somewhere. We suppose Afghanistan, but we don't know for sure. And we do not know when this tape was made, before or after the 11th of September.

In the meantime, the U.S. is getting ready to airlift humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees. Pentagon sources tell CNN the United States is considering preemptive airstrikes to make sure those flights can go in safely. It's a lot to talk about here, too.

We turn now to CNN correspondent Kamal Hyder. He is somewhere -- and we're going to leave it as vague as this -- in eastern Afghanistan. He joins us on the telephone. He is in Taliban- controlled territory.

Kamal, how are you again?

KAMAL HYDER, JOURNALIST: Aaron, fine, thank you very much.

BROWN: Let's talk about what you're seeing today. Are you seeing a country that, over the last several days, is more and more preparing for war?

HYDER: Aaron, every night the people of Afghanistan brace themselves for a possible attack. Here in eastern Afghanistan it is now 6:45 in the morning and of course, another night has passed peacefully. People now wait every evening, thinking that it's the night, that tonight is the night.

They have, of course, made all their preparations, within their limited resources. They have scattered their forces, they have put anti-aircraft artillery on high ground. They've moved their armor to the high ground. They have dispersed all ammunition, ordinance, fuel supplies, and bracing themselves for an attack -- Aaron.

BROWN: They are experienced soldiers, aren't they?

HYDER: Yes. In fact, Afghanistan has a great number of people, a great number of population have been trained by 23 years of war. There's not a family here that has not lost someone. There is not a young man here who has not fought at some time or another.

Surprisingly, there are many people across the border in Pakistan who were once military commanders for the several militant outfits that fought the Russians. Now they're selling potatoes and vegetables in the markets of Peshawar and other bordering towns -- Aaron.

BROWN: When you talk to people, do they believe that this is a war against Islam, or do they see it in the way the American side sees it, which is that it's a war against terrorists and not Islam at all?

HYDER: In fact, the Afghans always had a problem understanding that, unfortunately, Afghanistan has been infiltrated by militants from countries. The Pakistani government has had a lot of problems in spite of their relations with the Taliban. They've been asking consistently for the Taliban to hand over suspected terrorists wanted by the Pakistani authorities.

There are militant Arabs and militants from across the world who have trained in Afghanistan. But they have trained in Afghanistan because the conflict against communism was internationalized, and they were encouraged to fight here. Now, however, the people do not understand how Afghanistan has got into this quagmire. Most Afghans are not terrorists by nature, and it is clearly -- I mean, it is understood that most people in Afghanistan have never been involved in terrorism globally. Now, of course, they're the focus of international effort to curtail these terrorists working within their country.

Most people are oblivious to the fact that these people are now bringing their country to the verge of war, and they do not understand why Afghanistan is being dragged into this war because of the international rising of this conflict here -- Aaron.

BROWN: When we talked last week, we talked not about soldiers but we talked about -- for lack of a better word, just citizens, members of various tribes that were arming themselves. Are you continuing to see that, that non-soldiers are taking up arms, preparing for some sort of invasion?

HYDER: Yes, Aaron, the clergy here is now increasingly trying to give it a dimension of a religious jihad, a holy war against an international effort that, it is being shown to be interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs. There is a feeling here that the global community has made its decisions solving this problem once and for all. And of course, a lot of consternation here, as far as people are concerned -- Aaron.

BROWN: Any evidence that there is dissension within the Taliban people, defecting, fleeing, trying to get out of harm's way, if that's what it's to be?

HYDER: On the contrary, most people who move their families out realize that they were cut off from their families, and then decided that these families should come back into the cities because of the difficult situation prevailing in Afghanistan's villages, which are very primitive, with lack of water supply, with lack of sanitation and hygiene.

These people used to 23 years of war, living on this meager resources within the cities, realize that they would risk going back to the cities. But you know, avoid the difficulties of being able to cross the border into another country, or to stay in Afghanistan's difficult ruler landscape -- Aaron.

BROWN: Kamal, stay safe out there. Call us again when you can and we'll talk some more. Kamal Hyder, who is in the eastern part of Afghanistan in Taliban-controlled territory. It's not necessarily an easy place to report from, and we appreciate his call again tonight.

We have much more coming up tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We've seen a lot from the recovery efforts in lower Manhattan, a bit less from the place where all those tons of wreckage is going. It's called Fresh Kills landfill, it's in Staten Island, New York, the world's biggest garbage dump. Nearly three times as large as Central Park, the landfill was closed last summer and then reopened for this grim task that workers are going through now.

And this is, for us, at least, a fascinating look at how meticulous this effort is. Everything -- and this is 150 tons, 180,000 tons now of wreckage -- is brought the landfill. And then it is essentially laid out on conveyor belts, as you can see. And very slowly, the recovery teams go through it.

And they are looking for anything and everything that might help in the investigation, that might be a memento for a family member, that might give some clue as to the hijackers, tell us more about them. And this goes on all day, this conveyor belt moving slowly so that they can see every possible speck that goes by. And obviously, in these tons and tons of material that goes by, most of it means nothing. But you never know. And so they do the work.

The other work they have found is parts of the plane or planes. It's impossible to know, of course. Two planes hit the Trade Center and you can see parts of the outer skin, the fuselage of the planes. And they will try and put this all together, trying in the way they do accident recovery in any plane crash.

Obviously, this is going to be virtually impossible, and to some extent, less important than in a normal plane crash. They know the cause. They know exactly what happened. But it is very eerie to see these pieces of the plane, to see these pieces of what life was on the morning of September 11th, before it all began.

Last night we listened to some of the radio transmissions between dispatchers and police and firemen on the morning of September 11th. It would be an understatement to say they were harrowing. We can only imagine what the 911 calls sound like from the people trapped inside.

Moncina Corney (ph) doesn't have to imagine. She took some of the calls.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MONCINA CORNEY, 911 DISPATCHER: I remember it being very quiet, and then the switchboard lit up. So you start answering the calls. The first call you get is that there's a plane in the World Trade Center. So you think, "airplane crash, OK."

So you start fielding the calls and you're watching the TV -- because we have the news on in the morning and we're watching the news, and you see the fire burning. And I'm taking the calls, and then I'm looking at the screen and I see another plane going into the building, which I thought was a replay of the first incident.

And then I get another phone call, a woman says, "I just saw another plane go into the building -- it deliberately went into the building." And then I'm like, oh, my God. We are being attacked.

QUESTION: Did you talk to some of the people who were trapped on the other floors?

CORNEY: Oh, I talked to many people who were trapped on the upper floors. Most of them wanted to know what to do. They were trapped. Generally, over the -- starting from 102, on up. And most of them wanted to know what to do, because the smoke was filling the room.

So we tell them -- we are trained to tell them to put something by the door to block the smoke from coming in, to not go in the hallways, because generally it's worse. And just to remain where you are until the firemen get there. And that's basically what you do.

And of course, they were frantic, but you tell them to please, to stay there, help is on the way.

QUESTION: Was there a conversation or something somebody said that has stayed with you?

CORNEY: Yeah, there was one man who kept calling back. He kept calling back. He -- you could tell he was an executive type, and he definitely knew -- he wanted some instruction as to what to do, how to handle this.

I told him that I couldn't get him an authority to speak to him, and he called back about five or six times and I kept getting him. So finally, I told him, look, the best thing to do is to not talk so much, to conserve your air, and just to be still, and you'll get some help. And then, of course, not much longer after that there were no more calls.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: The next couple of segments we're going to spend talking about getting back to normal, the entertainment that we watch, things we listen to, and the like. Here's a good sign of getting back to normal. This just in, as they say. Barry Bonds in Houston, that's number 70! And that ties Mark McGwire, that's the major league home run record. He's got a couple games to go.

He hasn't seen a good pitch in about a week. They threw him four straight balls yesterday. Nobody wanted to pitch to him, but they pitched to him tonight, with Fredo Rodriguez, a rookie for Houston. Served it up and Barry Bonds goes into the record books tonight, with a chance to break the record a couple more times. Three more games, I think the Giants have, before the regular season ends.

It was just, what, three years ago that Mark McGwire broke the record? Two years ago. I lose track -- a record they thought would never be broken, now broken twice. The Babe's record -- yesterday, Bonds set the record for the most walks in a single season, taking the Babe out of the record books there, and he now ties the home run record.

No. 70 for Barry Bonds. I guess he's happy about that. That was his family leaving.

Entertainment stuff here: on the CBS Web site, you'll see what's billed as their top story -- nothing to do with terrorism, believe me. They're promoting "Survivor," which this season's version of began with a preview episode tonight. It's a little hard to imagine all of this for us, to see healthy people, Lindsey and Brandon and Diane, deliberately putting themselves in harm's way. It's one of the many things telling us nothing is quite the same.

Here's CNN's Bruce Burkhardt.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There are just increasing signs that life in America is getting back to normal.

BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting back to normal. It's a good idea. But what is normal?

Reality shows, like "Survivor" used to be normal, and may be yet again. But the idea of surviving now means something much more profound than making your way through petty tribal politics in front of a TV camera.

And Hollywood, too, is trying to find its way through this cultural earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a man consumed by hate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought he was going to Washington to plant another bomb.

BURKHARDT: Two major releases have already been pulled; "Collateral Damage," Arnold Schwarzenegger flick with a terrorist theme, and "Big Trouble," a comedy with Tim Allen, also with a terrorist angle.

Violence is no longer cool and it's no longer funny.

JACK VALENTI, MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: The public's nerve edges are raw and abused, and you have to be very discrete and very understanding about the kind of films that you're showing.

BURKHARDT: And what about another cultural yardstick, a holiday that celebrates all things scary, Halloween. That, too, will help to redefine normal.

STEPHANIE PETTYES, HOLIDAY COSTUME, ATLANTA: I think it's being to be hee hee, ho ho, fun fun, rather than, you know, the Grim Reaper, big bad monster type, because we've seen the big bad monster for real.

BURKHARDT: At Holiday Costume in Atlanta, Stephanie Pettyes says they're almost sold out of Uncle Sam outfits. A few weeks back there might have been demand for a Gary Condit mask. Now, it's George W. Bush, even W as Superman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at momma.

BURKHARDT: But a new kind of Superman has arrived.

PETTYES: Going like crazy for kids, sold out of firefighters. Had to reorder.

BURKHARDT: What about Christmas? The one gift that might have been huge any other time has already been pulled from the shelves, according to its manufacturer.

This is toy from Mattell. It's called the MX-99 Halijet; half- jet and half-attack helicopter, and it comes with a mission card that suggests how you use the toy and it reads like this: "The mission: Vitriol is on top of the World Trade Center, ready to blast the city with his deadly energy waves. Your mission, stop Vitriol before he destroys New York City.

The MX-99 is out. Billy Blazes is in.

NEIL FRIEDMAN, PRESIDENT, FISHER PRICE: Well, Billy Blazes, really represents, I think, you know, the most visible hero to most kids out there, and that's the firefighter.

BURKHARDT: Billy Blazes, a New York Fire Department action figure was actually in the work long before September 11th. Now, Fisher Price says all the proceeds are going to the Firefighter Safety Education Fund.

Even the sometimes violent world of video games has made some changes, Though in this game, Command and Conquer, Red Alert II, it is still possible to have Russian forces blow up the Pentagon.

But here, the changes are more superficial. This was the original cover art for the game. It's now being redesigned.

Our love-hate relationship with violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he had a rocket, but it's not a guided missile. This one gets away from him.

BURKHARDT: A relationship that has tipped away from violence. Even in the NFL, a new sensitivity where networks have ordered their game broadcasters to go easy on the war-like analogies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And another Raider down now. The Raiders losing troops, here.

BURKHARDT: No bombs, no blitzes, no air attacks. Over just a few weeks, a profound shift, maybe even a reversal in our taste and values. An enduring change or just a temporary reaction?

PETTYES: I'd like to think it's a permanent thing, but who knows?

BURKHARDT: Bruce Burkhardt, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BROWN: Up next, we'll talk some people who are at least in a good position to know whether it is short-term or long-term or maybe will be gone in a week. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Well, it seems like the fall television lineup is getting back to normal. I don't actually know about these sorts of things, but I'm told that. I work at night. "West Wing" is back on, on Wednesday nights. The Emmys will go on, on Sunday night.

But lots has changed. The entertainment business trying to figure out how far it can go, what it can say, in a different world.

We brought together some critics and insiders, and Joel Stein, too. We're not sure where you fit in that, but Joel is a humor columnist and writer for "Time" magazine. Ken Tucker, critic at large at "Entertainment Weekly"; and in Los Angeles, Bryce Zabel, the chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, in charge of this year's Emmys. Welcome to all of you.

I want to talk about sort of each of your areas in a minute. But, I want to talk about that overriding question: has it all changed? Ken, is it all different?

KEN TUCKER, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": It's all different for the moment, I think, with intense desire on the parts of the great American public to get back to normal as soon as possible.

The shows have started to roll out. Sitcoms like "Every Loves Raymond" are making their highest ratings ever. So, I think there's a real thirst for, you know, entertainment programming, you know, as we know it, to come back.

BROWN: So, it's all changed, sort of.

TUCKER: It's all changed, sort of. I think, you know, it's one of those things where the entertainment industry is this giant machine that can't be -- everything is in the pipeline. There are movies that are being made that are going to be released and how they're going to be perceived -- that's the question. Is how -- it's the atmosphere.

It's, you know, when you have movies like "Zoolander," in which the images of the World Trade Center are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) out of that, lest it upset people, I think in a way that's a kind of mistake. People on our magazine went to a screening of that movie before that was taken out, and there was applause for that.

BROWN: Joel, has it all changed, or are we, in some sense, making more of the cultural change than perhaps exists?

JOEL STEIN, "TIME": I think probably, in the long run, more. I mean, right now people are scared and they're sad and they don't necessarily feel the same way they did. But I don't think this is a -- this doesn't change your opinion about human nature. This isn't like the Holocaust. This is a very scary thing that some crazy people did. But I think you still want same kind of entertainment, you still think the same way, in the long run.

BROWN: And so, today you may not want to see a war movie.

STEIN: Right. I have "Sophie's Choice" on my TiVo, which I taped before this occurred. But you know, I don't come home wanting to watch that. I want to watch "Friends" or something kind of simpler.

BROWN: Bryce, how will it change the production -- how has it changed the plans for the Emmys?

BRYCE ZABEL, ACADEMY OF TV ARTS AND SCIENCES: Well, I agree that things have changed on the short-term definitely. Long-term, I think, I think there will be changes.

For the Emmys, though, we found that the Hollywood community, the entertainment community, agonized a lot about how they felt about going forward with the Emmys. We certainly did. And we have made major accommodations to the mood of this town to try to find something that's appropriate and respectful, that people can get behind as a method of doing what President Bush and even Mayor Giuliani have asked us to do, which is to get on with our lives and to begin to live them without fear.

BROWN: At the risk of committing a heresy here, do you have any concern that you'll go too far? That Hollywood or the entertainment industry will overdo this moment on Sunday?

ZABEL: We have certainly tried our best to try to listen to people carefully about what they think the mood of the country is. And clearly, one of the reasons we postponed for as long as we did was to give some time from the event for people to assess what would be appropriate and what wouldn't be.

I don't think we'll overplay our hand. If anything, people are split. Some people would say you can't even do the show and some people would say you should go ahead and do it and be as funny as ever. And I think that you'll find that what we're going to do, instead, is to try to find the right place to reflect what people will find some value in, and hopefully, we hope, between some laugher and some tears, to lift America's spirits a little bit.

BROWN: Joel, you write a humor column.

STEIN: I did.

BROWN: You did. What have you been doing lately?

STEIN: Well, you know, I had a long lunch, and I cleaned my office, and I did my expense report, but I'm happy to be here.

BROWN: Those of us who read your column can't quite figure out the difference between what you just described as your day and what you do when you're working.

STEIN: It's true, but you know, they're still paying me, so I'm happy to do whatever they tell me to do.

BROWN: Is there -- do you ever -- do you feel funny?

STEIN: Yeah, I do feel funny. I feel like, you know, I don't have a job any more and I'm looking forward to getting back to having one.

BROWN: Because there's no room in the magazine for it?

STEIN: There's no room in the magazine, and I don't think there's an appetite for what I do right now. But maybe in a week or two, I hope there is.

ZABEL: But if there's an appetite for sitcoms, it seems to be there's an appetite for the printed word being funny.

STEIN: Why, yes, Dan. I couldn't agree more. I think you should put in some calls at the "TIME" building and let your opinion be known.

BROWN: Ken, let's talk a bit about television.

TUCKER: Yeah.

BROWN: They've made -- the industry, the networks, have made some changes in what they're putting on. Has any show been jeopardized because of this?

TUCKER: Well, I think that the industry is looking very closely, specifically at three shows that were CIA-themed: "Alias" on ABC, "The Agency" on CBS, which had the cooperation of the Central Intelligence Agency and whose pilot was scraped because it had a direct reference to bin Laden in the pilot. That pilot was completely scrapped.

STEIN: The CIA was spending its time working on a television show. Well, we may understand the whole problem right here.

TUCKER: The other show is "24," which is the most ironic.

BROWN: And this was, this was much-hyped show, right?

TUCKER: Exactly. That's the greatest irony is the most anticipated show, because it had the greatest, most interesting, most novel premise, which is that over 24 episodes of the season, it's one hour in the life of this guy, played by Kiefer Sutherland, whose trying to prevent an assassination of a presidential candidate.

There's an explosion by a terrorist of an airplane in the pilot, and that had be trimmed. And the premiere date has been postponed.

BROWN: Well, the show -- the show will eventually come out? I mean, they've invested a ton of money in this.

TUCKER: Yeah, in November.

BROWN: They must be terribly worried that this will not work right now?

TUCKER: I think so, but on the other hand, they also know that they have the hottest show. They have the show that people are really looking forward to seeing, and I think that the people will tune in out of curiosity, out of, you know, for possible, you know, to be offended, to be hurt. And also to escape.

BROWN: And Bryce, when you are not promoting the Emmys, you're writing shows, producing shows, pitching shows...

ZABEL: That's right.

BROWN: Has that business changed?

ZABEL: I think it has. Next week, in fact, when I go back to my civilian life and get done with the Emmys, I have a couple of pitches at networks, and I've heard from one of them in particular, they are looking for fun and escapism. And at the other, I heard they were looking for fantasy and romance.

Now, these are not necessarily the things that they were looking for prior to September 11th. I'm not saying that they wouldn't be doing these other kinds of shows, but they're obviously looking to broaden the perspective they're going to bring.

These are the shows, by the way, that Ken will be reviewing next year when they come out. So as you point out, there is a long pipeline and we'll see the effects as time goes on.

BROWN: In American life, next year strikes me as a really long time.

ZABEL: It feels like forever, because these last three weeks, just trying to find out what people are thinking about the Emmys, seems like forever. It really does.

BROWN: Do you think next year we will, in entertainment, be dealing with this?

TUCKER: I think the way the networks always react, much too extremely. They'll go -- you'll see all these soft-headed, soft- hearted shows.

BROWN: I've heard that.

TUCKER: I think you'll you see these drippy, sentimental shows thrown on the air that will fail miserably, and people -- you'll see the appetite for much more acerbic humor, much more hard-edged shows, really. That that's what the public will end up wanting, and what the networks -- the networks never give you what you want.

BROWN: Well, they didn't give me what I wanted, but that's something else again.

STEIN: They break your heart.

BROWN: You were nodding like you were -- no, they didn't break my heart. You were nodding.

STEIN: No, I just heard about the acerbic thing, and I thought maybe I could get a job in television.

BROWN: So you really are looking for a place to write.

STEIN: Looking for some work. You can call in here to the studio.

BROWN: Pop culture changed?

STEIN: You know, I just don't think in the long run it will. I watched "Who Wants to Be a Princess?" on FOX. This was like a week ago.

TUCKER: Oh, you're the one.

STEIN: Yeah. No, but that let me know that America was back to normal: that if Osama was watching TV that night, he'd just give up, because you can't beat a country that's got, you know, "Who Wants to Be a Princess?"

BROWN: So in the end, I don't want to make you serious because you must be desperately tired of having to act like you are. In the end, you make the -- we're going through a kind of short-term convulsion, and normal will be what normal was, maybe a titch (ph) different?

STEIN: You know, I also think that people were funny and wanted to be entertained during World War II, and the world stayed funny after the Holocaust.

BROWN: Let me ask the question differently, then. Do you think we, here, I mean the people who are media, are so afraid that we will offend, that "TIME" magazine won't put humor in the magazine because they're afraid the viewers won't -- or the readers won't like it?

STEIN: Sure. I mean, it's the dangerous thing to do right now, and maybe now isn't the time. But I think to assume the world is permanently changed when there's been terrorists acts for a long time, nothing this horrible, obviously, but, I think, is somewhat naive.

TUCKER: We have to deal with this every week at "Entertainment Weekly." I mean, you know, the front of our book is serious coverage about what is going on. We have to deal with what's going on, on the serious news coverage. And then the back of the book is me, you know, panning some lousy little sitcom.

So, it's -- life goes on in terms of entertainment.

BROWN: And life goes on here. We're going to take a break. Thank you guys for coming in tonight. Bryce, thank you, too. Good luck -- good luck on the program. It'll be an interesting program. It will come from both L.A. and New York and it will be interesting to see how you handle it. Thank you.

ZABEL: Thanks.

BROWN: Up next, walking a line between the need to know and national security. Media involved in this one, too. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We got a letter the other day from a viewer complaining that we seemed to be unhappy the government was saying so little about the military buildup and the evidence it says it has implicating Osama bin Laden. "Why do you have to know everything," the writer asked. "We out here in the real America don't need to know this."

It's the kind of mail reporters always get in times like this, the natural conflicts between national security and the public's right to know collide the hardest.

"Aiding and abetting the enemy," the writer charged. "Just doing a job," I thought.

CNN's Jeff Greenfield has been thinking about this dilemma some the last couple of days. Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yeah, we talked about it last night and I want to give historical perspective now, because we may be facing a new kind of war, but it brings with it some very old questions: what should journalists say, and not say, about what the military is doing?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 1,000 troops from the...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Special operations forces from the United States...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Have conducted reconnaissance forays into Afghanistan...

GREENFIELD (voice-over): It's the kind of reporting that puzzles, even angers, a lot of citizens: Aren't you telling things that can help the enemy, they ask.

In fact, most of the details about, say, U.S. troop movements, come from the Pentagon. And when reporters push too hard, the Pentagon knows how to push back. Here's what Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said this week when asked exactly how many troops the United States intended to put into Central Asian republics.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: You've got to be kidding.

GREENFIELD: Of course, sometimes information is made public that the Pentagon would just as soon keep secret. Those stories about special forces in Afghanistan, for example, were first reported in the United States by "USA today," which took pains to note that Pakistani papers had already published the story. But the larger question is what limits should a free press follow in times of war. In World War II, the press went with the troops, but their reports were subject to strict censorship. Indeed, the first photo of dead American fighting forces, in "Life" magazine, didn't appear until September 1943, nearly two years after Pearl Harbor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what the war in Vietnam is all about.

GREENFIELD: Vietnam was a completely different story. An uncensored press filed stories like this famous Morley Safer report, of soldiers setting a village on fire, to the great distress of United States officials. "You're undermining the war effort," they said.

"The public has a right to know what kind of war is being fought," replied the press.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there were Vietcong in the hamlets, they were long gone.

GREENFIELD: By the Gulf War, in 1991, the rules had changed again.

GENERAL NORMAL SCHWARZKOPF: That's a tough question to answer, because the estimates in the number of...

GREENFIELD: And the press was sharply limited in where it could go, and what it could say. The swift victory by the U.S. muted most complaints. In fact, most of the public thought those limits on the press were just fine.

But what rules might apply in this new war? If the press is there when soldiers die, as they were in Somalia, should those pictures be shown? If U.S. covert campaigns fail, or backfire, should the press report that?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD: Now, it's clear that the press has no absolute First Amendment right to go everywhere and report everything. But what's far less clear is where the right line is to protect lives, and also to let the public know what's happening.

BROWN: You were -- you started your history about World War II. Can you go farther back?

GREENFIELD: I'll go back to the Civil War. General Sherman, he of Georgia fame, so hated the press that he once told the press that he wasn't going to run any more military campaigns unless they could get rid of what he called "paid spies." And at one point, except for the intervention of Lincoln, he would have a reporter shot for just being too curious. I don't think -- I think we've moved a little bit off that.

BROWN: I think even my correspondent would have thought that had gone to far.

GREENFIELD: I think so. One hopes so.

BROWN: Thank you. We'll see you in a coupe of minutes.

GREENFIELD: Yep.

BROWN: We have more in a moment. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Ground zero on a Thursday night. More than three weeks since the Trade Center came tumbling down. The number of missing was -- the number of missing dropped today to below 5,000, but every one of those people, of course, is a life, a story to tell.

We leave with you this half -- this hour, rather, with one of those lives, one of those stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SON OF ROKO CAMAJ: One time I asked him, I said, "Dad, do you love me?" And he goes, he comes out of the bathroom with the shaving cream on his face, and he goes, "Do you love me?" he goes. And I go, "Yeah, Dad, I love you." "Then I love you, too."

My dad was a great dad. My dad was an Albanian from Montenegro. He got married in 1969. He moved to America September 17, 1969.

My father was very happy with his life here. He was happy with family, my sisters, my little nephew, his grandson, for sure. That was his joy.

He worked Tower Two of the World Trade Center. He washed the outside windows. He's been working there since 1975, since the Towers pretty much first opened. He loved being up there. It was like his escape. It was his freedom. He loved what he did.

He'd say: "It's just me and the sky. No one bothers me and I don't bother anybody."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top