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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Lloyd Grove

Aired July 15, 2003 - 19:53   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So the federal deficit for the year is going to be bigger than ever. Questions remain unresolved about America's reasons for going to Iraq. But what is Washington talking about these days?
Believe it or not, an e-mail from one intern in Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office to another intern about their breakup.

It includes such memorable bittersweet lines as, quote, "Everyone knows you're a pathetic social climber who will go to any disgusting means to move up the ladder. But guess what? You'll never move up the ladder, because I'm at the top, and people like me hate people like you," end quote.

Right now, people like me have people like "Washington Post" columnist Lloyd Grove with us to fill us in on the all the gory details of this intern poisoned puppy love.

Lloyd, what is going on? First of all, people really are talking about this in Washington, correct?

LLOYD GROVE, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": They are. You'd almost think it was Kerry Kennedy Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo breaking up. This has really caught on like wildfire, and I guess it shows the perils of e-mail. You know, this young man whose name is Paul Kelly Tripplehorn, Jr., and his e-mail moniker, by the way, is tripplehorny (ph)...

COOPER: Wait, wait, his e-mail moniker is what?

GROVE: Tripplehorny.

COOPER: OK.

GROVE: Can I say that once again?

COOPER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I just wanted to double-check.

GROVE: Pressed the Send button to this young lady, and she really did a number on him, and she pressed the Send button, and it now -- it's all over the country, it's not just Capitol Hill, it's everywhere.

COOPER: I want to read another excerpt from this e-mail, because -- frankly, because I can, and it's quite amazing. Let me put this on the screen. Quote, "Well, as of this afternoon, I was planning on ruining your career by making phone calls to all my parents," sic, "friends and -- to all my parents' friends, and have you blackballed from the workplace as well as every prestigious law school in the country. But then, lucky for you, I decided not to do that, because you're a sad, sad person, and I'll just let your life self-destruct right before my eyes."

And this is love really gone bad. Now, what has happened to this guy who -- the Tripplehorn who wrote this e-mail?

GROVE: Well, he sounds like a television executive, doesn't he? But actually, he tells me he's working as an intern in an unidentified Republican House member's office, and yesterday, he was prudent enough not to tell me who that House member was, because...

COOPER: And that -- so -- but he -- so he was actually let go from Kay Bailey Hutchison's office. I -- we actually have a statement, I guess this is the other sad thing, as you pointed out in your column, that not only did these two interns get involved in this, but sort of actual people with responsibility are having to comment on this. And we have one of those comments.

Kevin Schweers, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's communications director, issued a statement saying, quote, "As soon as it was brought to the attention of our internship coordinator, they had a very frank discussion, and he was dismissed."

GROVE: Yes. And that was all paid for by the taxpayers, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, it makes people (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GROVE: So the government is in good hands.

COOPER: Why do you think this has sort of captured so many people's attention on Capitol Hill? Is it that slow these days?

GROVE: Well, it's that slow, and who can resist a grubby little story like this? I mean, it's human nature. And I guess this brings out the worst in all of us.

COOPER: It certainly does. Is there a moral to this story?

GROVE: Don't put anything like that in writing, and certainly don't put it in an e-mail.

COOPER: And I guess if you are going to do it, at least use spell-check before you press Send. That would be the other idea.

Lloyd Grove, I appreciate you covering this. And if there's any updates, please get back to us right away.

GROVE: Oh, yes, I will.

COOPER: All right, Lloyd Grove of "Washington Post," thanks very much.

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