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Interview With Stephen King; California Catholic Diocese to Settle With Sex Abuse Victims

Aired December 3, 2004 - 22:00   ET


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again everyone.
It is strange how things work out sometimes and tonight proves the point. As we go along tonight, and not because we planned it this way, it just sort of happened, we talk about baseball, not once but twice.

On one side, everything that is wonderful about it and everything that was magical last fall. Stephen King, who doesn't do many TV interviews, joins us later and, at the other end of things that which can be very wrong about baseball, steroids among the game's biggest names.

Oddly, while both are about baseball, neither is really about sports and both follow the whip which it seems took a couple of days off. The whip begins not far from Falluja with CNN's Jane Arraf, who has had very days off in a while. She continues to be embedded with American forces, Jane a headline.

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Aaron, the Marines and U.S. forces here turn their military power on a small group of insurgents near humanitarian offices and find out the cost of fighting urban warfare.

BROWN: Jane, thank you. We'll get to you at the top tonight.

On to Southern California, the latest most expensive chapter yet in the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, CNN's Drew Griffin with that, so Drew a headline.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sources say it's in the neighborhood of $100 million, Aaron. That is the price the Catholic Diocese of Orange will pay to 87 victims who claim that diocese covered up 30 years of sexual abuse by its priests.

BROWN: Drew, thank you.

Finally, Florida and millions of dollars in hurricane relief with a catch, a big one, CNN's John Zarrella covering, John a headline.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Aaron, people in one Florida county got millions of dollars in hurricane relief even though they didn't get hit by a hurricane -- Aaron.

BROWN: John, thank you. We'll get back to you and the rest shortly.

As we said later in the program the author Stephen King on baseball and miracles but we begin tonight with Iraq and reality, the central reality being it's not over until it's over. The insurgents today made that plain again for suicide bombers blowing up a Shiite mosque in the northern part of Baghdad killing themselves and 14 civilians.

Rebels also rocketed one police station, raided another, 11 police officers dying today. It's not over, not with elections coming, not with insurgents aiming to make the run up to the elections a prelude to civil war instead, not in Baghdad or in Mosul where CNN's Jane Arraf reports, not in Falluja either.


ARRAF (voice-over): A wounded Iraqi soldier being carried by a U.S. Marine on this afternoon on this street in Falluja a nightmare for U.S. forces. Insurgents holed up a block away from the humanitarian Iraqi Red Crescent and just two doors down from a house with one of a few remaining families in it. Iraqi forces lead the family to safety.

"We heard explosions and then they came for us" (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tells us.

At least two of the gunmen have been wounded. Four others have escaped. The Marines target the houses they (UNINTELLIGIBLE). As one of the houses burns, stocks of ammunition inside explode.

In this house there was one of the gunmen incinerated by the missiles exploding here and still in firing position. Two piles of charred ashes upstairs may be two more insurgents but on this street in Falluja the Marine and Iraqi forces will have to wait until the fires stop burning to take stock.


ARRAF: Aaron, as we left there were five houses destroyed, some of them in flames. They were still looking for three insurgents. There were three Iraqi security forces wounded. They had originally thought a Marine had been wounded but in the end they were trying to figure out how to catch the remaining insurgents and how to deal with the complex urban environment where they have to be extremely careful about where they're firing -- Aaron.

BROWN: How unusual is this sort of thing? How frequent are these small but obviously very dangerous and potentially deadly firefights?

ARRAF: It's kind of what this battle here has become. After that extremely intense combat what's been left are small groups of insurgents in this city and as they clear these streets they find that some of them are actually moving back and doing what we saw, which is jumping from house to house. There are still alleyways they can go through. There are tunnels between houses. The houses are very close together. And they have in some neighborhoods, as they did in this one apparently, just move next door to families. It's an extremely difficult battle to fight and it will get more complex as more people come back to Falluja -- Aaron.

BROWN: Jane, thank you. Stay safe, Jane Arraf still in Falluja for us.

Now to the makings of what may turn out to be another kind of war story, perhaps a larger story, perhaps not. In truth, we don't yet know. What we do know comes from the Associated Press in words and again in still photos. According to the AP, these photos show what appear to be Navy SEALs in Iraq posing with prisoners, some of them bloodied, some handcuffed with guns to their head.

An AP reporter found more than 40 similar pictures posted on a commercial photo sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them home from a tour of duty, unclear who took them or where. Date stamps on some of them suggest they were taken in May of last year. Again, according to the Associated Press, the military has launched a criminal investigation into what the photos portray.

A quick round up of some other items at the top of the news tonight beginning with the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, word today coming that he'll stay on at the president's request, a surprise to some given the criticism over how the Iraqi war and the after war has been run, a surprise to no one familiar with Secretary Rumsfeld's personality, no quitter he.

Nor is Tommy Thompson, not by temperament, that said he's stepping down as the secretary of health and human services but not before leveling a warning that the country's food supply is vulnerable to tampering by terrorists.

Regarding the Intelligence Reform Bill now stuck in Congress, add Senator John Warner, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a formidable person to the opposition, the Senator agreeing with his counterpart in the House that it dilutes the military's control over military intelligence.

And, an explosion today rocked a chemical plant in Houston, Texas, flames shooting 60 feet in the air, a huge black cloud covering parts of the city, traffic coming to a stop, nobody hurt. The plant makes wax.

In California, the Diocese of Orange in that vast area south of Los Angeles and home to dozens of sexual abuse victims have agreed on a settlement reportedly the largest payout yet by the Catholic Church, more we are told than the $85 million the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay last year.

This is a deal that did not come easily, not in the least, and while the money is a major part of the story, so too is what the diocese said to the victims, reporting for us tonight CNN's Drew Griffin. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN (voice-over): It was a late night settlement, an agreement to end a two and a half year court battle. Several of the 87 sexual abuse victims who waited outside the courtroom were told late last night the church that stole their innocence is sorry.

BISHOP TOD BROWN, ORANGE COUNTY: I intend to write a letter to each victim personally seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.

GRIFFIN: When the apology and the settlement came they could no longer hold onto their anger. Those the Diocese of Orange now admitted were victims abused by 43 different priests, nuns and church- affiliated people accepted the church's apology with a hug.

DAVID GUERRERO, ABUSE VICTIM: For once them coming in tonight and settling these cases and apologizing and for Bishop Brown saying that he's going to handwrite a letter of apology to each and every victim, I mean I couldn't stop crying.

GRIFFIN: Bishop Tod Brown also agreed to release documents detailing horrific cases of abuse. Attorney John Manley says it is over and the sense of relief for him and his clients is overwhelming.

JOHN MANLEY, ATTORNEY FOR ABUSE VICTIMS: I think it reflects the point that all these people ever wanted was to be believed and tonight what you have is a concrete demonstration by him that it did happen and he's sorry.

GRIFFIN: The settlement remains under a gag order for at least seven days but sources tell CNN it is in the neighborhood of $100 million, which will be by far the biggest settlement to date in the ever growing sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.


GRIFFIN: And beyond the money, Aaron, what these plaintiffs really wanted was that documentation to be released. They didn't want the church to be able to simply pay them off and silence the past. The settlement worked out here in Los Angeles calls for those documents to be released and the victims say "Once we see what's inside, we will be horrified at the details of abuse and cover up that went on in Orange County" -- Aaron.

BROWN: And that actually goes to the heart of the question. Aside from the money, based on what we know is the pattern in Orange the same as we've seen in so many other places, not simply abuse but shuttling priests from here to there covering up the activity and the rest?

GRIFFIN: It is indeed and when you see details of, for instance, one priest who had 30 cases over a period of ten or so years and victims going on and not being -- their reports not being taken seriously and the priest being moved, high school teachers.

I mean all complaints were right there for these bishops and church leaders to see, Aaron, and they either ignored it, didn't think the problem was that bad or I mean conspired to cover it up. And this settlement now hopefully will put an end not only to these people's suffering but to end any possible cover up of this kind of activity.

BROWN: Drew, thank you, good work, Drew Griffin out in Los Angeles tonight.

The focus of the clergy abuse story now moves a bit north to Los Angeles, the largest archdiocese in the nation is facing nearly 500 claims of abuse. On this program next Tuesday, Drew Griffin files an in-depth report on the abuse alleged by the victims and the cover up that went on for decades all the way to the top of the archdiocese. That report on NEWSNIGHT, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 Pacific Tuesday night.

Ahead on the program tonight, baseball is medicine and medicine is baseball as it turns out, the latest chapter in the steroid scandal with the game's best man at the center of it all.

And later, a chapter as well from Stephen King on a World Series miracle in red stockings.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened is what happens to addictive personalities. The more the season progressed the more I got sucked into this thing until finally I was right there with him page for page.


BROWN: Tonight, we launch our Friday conversations, a break first.

From New York this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: Natural disasters from snowstorms to floods have been the undoing of more than a few public officials over the years. How quickly those in charge of relief provide it is something voters tend to remember. Four hurricanes hit Florida late this summer leaving behind $40 billion in damage.

Miami was lucky. It managed to duck each hurricane by more than a whisker. So, why then was Miami-Dade County receiving nearly $30 million in disaster relief from the federal government? Why indeed some lawmakers are asking.

Here's CNN's John Zarrella.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Hurricane Frances struck about 100 miles north of Miami for the most part missing the area.

MAX MAYFIELD, NATL. HURRICANE CTR. DIRECTOR: Well, in Miami-Dade County we did not have hurricane force winds.

ZARRELLA: Yet following Frances the county was declared a disaster area and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved more than 12,000 claims in Miami-Dade for more than $28 million.

REP. CLAY SHAW (R), FLORIDA: It was just a free for all down there.

ZARRELLA: Congressman E. Clay Shaw whose district did suffer from the storms is calling for a congressional investigation into who got the money and how contractors hired by FEMA approved the claims.

SHAW: Once we start unraveling this thing and following these strings all the way back to what happened, we'll uncover an awful lot of fraud that happened.

ZARRELLA: Shaw and other Florida lawmakers began demanding investigations after a local newspaper reported individuals damaging their own possessions to get money and getting thousands of dollars to replace clothing and appliances that may or may not have been destroyed by Frances. FEMA officials say they are reviewing the inspection process and the claims. Still, Director Michael Brown insists payouts in Miami-Dade were legitimate.

MICHAEL BROWN, FEMA DIRECTOR: FEMA absolutely treats individual, each case individually, so anyone who received money in Miami-Dade County deserved that money and received that money rightfully under the law.

ZARRELLA: Miami resident Jimmy Thomas told us he received $2,000 from FEMA. Thomas, who is disabled, says his was an honest claim because the storm broke a window and damaged his furniture.


ZARRELLA: Thomas says he used the money to replace the window and pay bills. Florida officials say FEMA did a remarkable job responding to the hurricanes but, as one U.S. Representative put it, "because FEMA was so determined not to fail it paid out money in an area that never had a hurricane."

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


BROWN: Well now you have to hand it to whoever is leaking testimony to the "San Francisco Chronicle" from a federal grand jury investigating steroids in sports or perhaps the credit goes to the "Chronicle" itself. Either way, someone's got a pretty fair sense of drama here.

Yesterday, the story centered on New York Yankee slugger Jason Giambi. Today, the spotlight was on the real star of the drama, the greatest player in the game today, among the best who's ever lived. Here's CNN's Frank Buckley.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's just 12 homeruns away from besting Babe Ruth's career record and sneaking up on Hank Aaron's but Barry Bonds' acknowledgement to a grand jury that he used substances that prosecutors believe contained steroids, according to the "San Francisco Chronicle," promises to make his run for the records one shrouded in controversy.

CHARLEY STEINER, L.A. DODGERS ANNOUNCER: He is clearly the preeminent homerun hitter of this generation and maybe of all time and now the question has been legitimately raised did he cheat along the way?

BUCKLEY: Bonds' attorney said the slugger was using what he still believes was a flaxseed oil for exhaustion and a lotion for arthritis given to him by his personal trainer and best friend Greg Anderson, who along with three other men faces charges of steroid distribution in connection with the federal investigation of Balco, a firm that provided nutritional help to top athletes.

MICHAEL RAINS, BARRY BONDS' ATTORNEY: So, no, I don't acknowledge my client took steroids. I won't. He won't.

BUCKLEY: Bonds has always denied using steroids.

BARRY BONDS: They can test me every day if they choose to.

BUCKLEY: But whether Bonds believes he was taking steroids or not the damage may be done, say baseball insiders.

RAY VINCENT, FMR. BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: His legacy is almost certainly hurt. He'll never be able to prove that his performance was not enhanced by drugs.

BUCKLEY: It was a second strike against baseball following Thursday's revelation about Yankee slugger Jason Giambi, who reportedly admitted to knowingly using steroids to the same grand jury.

(on camera): For critics of baseball's drug policy it all represents a call to make it tougher. League commissioner Bud Selig issued a challenge to the Players Association to help him do that.

(voice-over): So far the Players Association has remained silent.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.


BROWN: Still to come on this Friday night, the president's choice to oversee Homeland Security and the job he's walking into. We'll talk with former Senator Gary Hart, an authority on terror. And later, the kind of inter service rivalry that no one seems to mind even in a time of war, the turf war between Army and Navy. We'll take a break first.

From New York this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: The Senate willing, and it looks that way, will have a new secretary of Homeland Security before too long. As we first reported last night, he's Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner, business colleague of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly lobbied hard for Mr. Kerik to get the job.

Mr. Kerik, you may also remember, did a short stint as the top cop in Iraq and the president, as you would imagine, today called him superbly qualified but there are questions, both about the commissioner and the enormous agency he's about to run.

We're joined tonight by Gary Hart, former Senator from Colorado, former presidential candidate and, for this conversation most importantly co-author of the report warning of a 9/11 type attack before 9/11. We are always pleased to see Senator Hart, good to have you with us, sir.


BROWN: There's a lot of -- I guess this job, the Homeland Security job is a huge management job because you need to manage a huge bureaucracy and you have to have an eye towards the subject matter security. Is Kerik the right guy in your view?

HART: Well, he certainly has all the credentials. I think what the real question is whether he has the necessary sense of urgency that this job requires. A lot of people in the administration would say, I think, that the glass is half full. I see the glass as at least half empty.

I hope Mr. Kerik brings a degree of urgency and, to use Richard Clarke's phrase, sets his hair on fire about this job because right now the major cities of America are not prepared for mass casualty attacks.

BROWN: All right. Which leads to the obvious here, what is it we need to be urgent about that we are not urgent about as we sit here tonight?

HART: Well, it's quite a long list. The ports are still enormously porous. The National Guard is not being trained and equipped for the homeland security mission. Databases and communications systems have not been integrated. The list goes on.

I think the experts that I talked to are most concerned about the ports and just the training of first responders. And I would say a part of the job that hasn't gotten much attention is that this secretary has to bring the private sector into this game. It's not just the 22 federal agencies or even the federal, state and local governments. It's also corporate America and I think the administration has done very, very little to require private business to do what they have to do.

BROWN: Let's talk about that. I think Congressman Markey of Massachusetts would go even a little bit farther than that and say in some cases private business has been a serious obstacle, talking more about why it can't.

For example, check the belly of an airplane and the cargo, why it's too expensive, would lead to too many delays. Perhaps that's come up at the country's ports as well. Has business and industry been an obstacle or just not a partner?

HART: Well, the industry that I would be most familiar with would be the petrochemical industry and I know that legislation by Senator John Corzine a year and a half or two years ago was actively opposed by all the members of the petrochemical industry and the White House was totally silent.

So, it's the critical infrastructure of energy production, distribution, communications, finance and transportation and then industries, I mean the outgoing secretary of health today practically invited terrorists to poison our food supply.

BROWN: Wasn't that an odd -- I mean not to get terribly off on a tangent here but wasn't that kind of an odd thing he said?

HART: I thought it was bizarre.

BROWN: Yes. That's a good word. That works for me. Commissioner Kerik was an active campaigner for the president. Tom Ridge, though he was clearly partisan, had a way of coming off as something other than that. Is there -- do you have any concern about the commissioner being seen as too partisan the these alerts, which seem to get the most attention, perhaps too much attention in the scheme of things being seen as political?

HART: Well, I think there was the one instance at about the time of the Democratic Convention this summer or just shortly thereafter where outgoing Secretary Ridge in effect increased the alert or increased the threat without raising the official alert and that looked awfully political.

I could care less what Mr. Kerik's politics are. As I say, I think what the country needs is somebody who has a tremendous sense of urgency about what hasn't been done yet.

BROWN: Is it that we're just naive about some of this stuff?

HART: Well, I think it starts with the president whose policy seems to be or theory seems to be by fighting them in Iraq that we're not going to have to fight them here. We're creating terrorists in Iraq and they are going to attack this country again.

BROWN: Senator, it is always good to see you. Thanks for joining us tonight. Have a good holiday season. Thank you, sir.

HART: A pleasure. Thank you.

BROWN: Gary Hart.

Coming up on the program, something new, the first of our Friday conversations, if I understand the concept right we'll do it every Friday. Author Stephen King starts us off to talk about books and baseball and more from One Time Warner Center.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) * BROWN: When we launched the program three years ago and had to come up with a name, longtime viewers will recall the reasoning went something like this. It's a news program at night. NEWSNIGHT. Get it?

Tonight, we begin a new segment, the I.D. -- the idea -- that would be the idea, Aaron -- being to have conversations with interesting people every Friday, hence, the first of our Friday conversations. If you detect a pattern, bonus points for you tonight. Author Stephen King doesn't do a lot of television, so we were very pleased he agreed to sit down and talk with us yesterday.

Like many New Englanders, Mr. King is a die-hard Red Sox fan. Fair to say, he's a better storyteller than most. He's turned what was a magical season for the Red Sox into a book with co-author Stewart O'Nan. It is called "The Faithful." And they are.

And it is where we began.


BROWN: Let's talk about, literally talk about, the book for a second. It's not really so much a book written by two guys as it is a conversation between two guys about the same subject.

STEPHEN KING, AUTHOR: That's how it started. It started as e- mails back and forth. Stewart O'Nan is a novelist. We got to know each other as novelists. And we bonded as baseball fans.

And, after all, we weren't talking anymore about novels, because you can't really talk about writing. There isn't any inside to that subject. But we were e-mailing back and forth a lot about baseball. And his agent came to him at the start of this year -- or in the winter -- and said, do you want to do a book about the Red Sox, sort of a diary of the season? And he said, if I can get King to come in on it with me, I will.

And he got in touch with me and said, do you want to collaborate on a book about the Red Sox? And I said, I'm too busy to do that, Stewart. I won't collaborate, but what I'll do is, I'll kind of contribute. You write the book and I'll just contribute. And what happened is what happens to addictive personalities. The more the season progressed, the more I got sucked into this thing, until, finally, I was right there with him page for page.

BROWN: There is -- it's hard to imagine anybody sitting down doing that -- this is not a knock against hockey, particularly, or even football. There is something about baseball itself that lends itself to stories.

KING: Yes. Yes.

I think that it's because there is no clock in baseball. Baseball is a game that's meant for relaxation and thought. The games are allowed to work themselves out until they are over. That is to say, you're never sitting in the stands with your excitement hyped up because you're looking at the field, you're looking at the clock, the field, the clock, the field, the clock. You don't have time to think because the clock is always winding down.

With baseball, you know you're going to be there for nine innings, but you don't know how long that's going to be. You have the breaks between innings. You have time to talk. You have time to yarn, to tell stories. And there are a thousand stories to tell about the game. It's more relaxed. And, yet, at the same time, baseball can be a very deceptive game, because it winds up so that it really delivers a punch. Once you become a baseball fan, you're a baseball fan for life.

BROWN: I think it was the day after the Sox won the series. Maybe it was -- the series became kind of an anticlimax, in some respects.

KING: Almost.

BROWN: But we were talking to a writer, a magazine writer up in Boston. And he talked about that that day he had gone to the cemetery and put a copy of the paper on his father's grave.

KING: Yes.

BROWN: His father had loved the Sox, had loved the sport and had never seen that moment. And, as a non-New Englander, that's when I got it, the never having seen it, lived your whole life.

KING: Yes.

Stewart and I heard a lot of stories from a lot of New Englanders, particularly as the season wound up and the Red Sox went to the series and afterward, after the Red Sox had won the series, from New England fans who said: I had this relative who didn't quite live to see it. My mother didn't quite live to see it.

We had a story from a guy who said that he sat in the last game of the World Series with his father's picture because his father died on Christmas Day, a lifelong Red Sox fan who died at the age of 75 and had never seen them win it. So he wanted his father to see it, so he sat there with his dad's picture in the fourth game of the World Series. And then you realize what it meant to a lot of people to just finally get that monkey off your back and say, well, we don't have to listen to anymore to this stuff about the curse of the Bambino, no more bogus stuff about the Babe this and the Babe that. That's over. We're just -- you know, my son said to me, the Phillies finally won it all and they were just another baseball team. Are you up for that? And I said absolutely. Are you? And he said, yes. I want to be like -- I don't want to be a freak anymore.

BROWN: Well, I want to talk about that. But let me -- before we go to break here, one more question in this sequence.

If you take the Yankees out of the equation...

KING: Right.

BROWN: ... is it still a great story?



BROWN: It needs the rivalry, doesn't it?

KING: That is a really interesting question, and it's a really good question.

Somebody pointed out that, in "Faithful," the book that Stewart and I did, there's 31 pages about the Yankees-Red Sox series, the American League Championship series, and only 17 pages about the World Series. Well, part of it is because the World Series was over in four games. It didn't have the same dramatic wallop. Part of it was the fact that the Red Sox did something that had never been done in all the history of baseball in the Yankees series. They came back from an 0-3 deficit.

But a lot of it had to do with the fact that it's one of the hottest rivalries in sports. They're just down the road from each other, and this thing has gone on for a long time. And we feel it because we're writers second in the baseball season. We're fans first. We never went to the park -- and I think I can speak for Stewart on this. We never went to the park saying -- particularly when we played the Yankees -- saying, we're there to write. We were there to root.

BROWN: We'll talk more about that.

Take a break. We're with Stephen King. We'll be right back.




BROWN: Continuing to talk baseball and the Red Sox with Stephen King and about his new book.

The day after -- here is the question. If Charlie Brown kicks the football, somehow the magic of Charlie Brown is lost. The beauty of Charlie Brown is that she, Lucy, always pulls the football away. He never kicks the football.

The Red Sox, if you will, have now kicked the football. How can they be as lovable, as romantic? They're just another team.

KING: The answer is, they will never be the same Red Sox as they were. We've entered a different age. And I'm not man enough to predict what that age will bring.

All I can say is that, from this man's heart, I am delighted to leave that ancient mariners' albatross, if you will, to the Cubs. They can have it. They can their curse of the billy goat. As far as I'm concerned, we'll go into the next era and see what it brings. One thing it will bring is a lot more sellouts.

Winning the World Series brought in a whole new cadre of fans from New England who experienced the joy of victory, something entirely new to them, so that's...

BROWN: And you don't think there was something about all those years of losing that made you love those guys -- and those guys changed over time, and these days, those guys change almost every year, in some respects, the way teams are made -- that made people's passion for the Red Sox and the fact that, all these months later, we still talk about it and still, if you're a baseball fan, still feel the moment, that made it all that much richer?

KING: Yes.

Not only do we still talk about it. We'll talk about it in 10 years. We'll talk about it in 20 years, the same way that we remember Casey Stengel coaching the Mets in 1960, when they lost all those games. That's become a watershed moment in American sports, with Casey throwing up his hands and saying, does anybody here know how to play this game? We still remember that.

And I think these people will remember this particular bunch of Red Sox that came together. And the first part of the book is called, "Who Are These Guys?" because the teams do change. People do come up and go. The makeup of the Red Sox next year, some of the core elements that made this team great, will still be there. Manny Ramirez will be there. David Ortiz will be there. Jason Varitek will probably be there, although that's not assured yet.

Nomar Garciaparra, everyone thought that he would be this generation's Ted Williams, that he would begin as a Red Sox and finish as a Red Sox. That didn't happen. That is the nature of the game today. It's like, money talks and everything else takes a walk. So that's changed things.

But the miracle really of the game has to do with the symbolic power of the uniform itself. It goes from the uniform to you to whatever area it is that you root for.

BROWN: That's an interesting way to look at it.

When the Cleveland Browns picked up and moved to Baltimore and there was the fight over the Cleveland Browns. And when the Cleveland Browns were reinvented in Cleveland again, one of the things that the new owners insisted on was the uniform. It was that helmet, that look, that reminds people of what that team was.

KING: Well, for me, there was a period when the Boston Red Sox had a manager named Joe Morgan, who was a terrific old-school baseball manager. And they fired him and they brought in a guy who I didn't respect, Butch Hobson.

And I said to my kids, that's it. I'm not going to be a Red Sox fan anymore. Cleveland had just opened a new stadium, Jacobs Field, beautiful new stadium. I got season tickets there. I got beautiful seats, right behind home plate, right next to the gun where they judge how fast the pitches go. And it wasn't very much more of a plane ride. It was maybe 20 minutes more on a 727. I couldn't do it. Cleveland wasn't my city.

BROWN: No. That's not your DNA.

KING: Right. Well, I don't know what it is. It's not DNA, but it's something.

BROWN: Well, you were born with it.

I mean, you -- look, one of the -- here is my theory on this. And I moved around a lot. One of the hardest things to do is fall in love with a sports team when you're an adult.

KING: That's really interesting.

BROWN: It's something that -- it happens when we're young. And so, for me, I care more about the Minnesota Twins and, frankly, the Minnesota Vikings, than I'll ever care about the Giants and the Yankees and the Rangers and the Knicks, because it is a part of our youth.

KING: Yes.

BROWN: It is a kids' game. It is.

KING: Yes, I think so. I think there's some truth to that.

I know that I was a close friend of Stephen Jay Gould. And he grew up a Yankee fan in New York City. And he moved to Boston. And he kind of was swept up in the Boston Red Sox fervor. And then he came back to New York to teach. And he reverted to Yankeeism in a hurry, and he kind of swept that Boston stuff under the rug. He was like somebody who had lapsed from the church for a while and had come back.

BROWN: It's terrific to see you. It's nice to have one of your books that I can read at night without being completely freaked out.

Best of luck. You look well.

KING: Well, thank you. You do, too. And it's nice to be here.

BROWN: Thank you.


BROWN: Stephen King. The book is called "Faithful." We talked to him yesterday.

Ahead on the program tonight, from the football field to the battlefield, why soldiers in training say the game prepares them for war, Army-Navy.

And morning papers will wrap up the hour. A ways to go yet.

Around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: In college football tomorrow, Army plays Navy. And the winner takes home the Commander in Chief Trophy, the military's version of the Super Bowl, if you will. Army leads the series by a game, 49-48.

For the young soldiers in training who will face off across the line of scrimmage tomorrow, it will be more than just another game, much more.

CNN photographer Doug Carroll (ph) came up with the idea and put it together.


AARON POLANCO, NAVY QUARTERBACK: It is a war game. It is a battle. I mean, you're leading men, just as you would out in the fleet or in the Marine Corps. And it's the same concept. It's not nearly the same surroundings, but it's the same concept. Become the leadership.

CAPT. GREG COOPER, U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY: Whether you fly airplanes or operate ships or submarines, all those things that you learn on the playing field certainly help make you a better leader. These young men, when they leave the football team and graduate, they're not going to the NFL. They're going to go off to be Marine 2nd lieutenants or Navy ensigns leading troops or sailors.

LANE JACKSON, NAVY LINEBACKER: I want to be a SEAL. Guys on the SEAL team and the SEAL community are just hard-nosed, determined, focused individuals. And that's what I'm used to working with being a Navy football player, because that is exactly the kind of people I play with on Saturdays.

My freshman year, 9/11 occurred, but, as soon as it happened, I'm looking on TV and I said, well, I'm going to war. Time is ticking away until I get there. I'm a senior now. It will be less than a year. When it comes to going to war, I would have to say part of me is anxious. Part of me definitely doesn't want to go. Who wants to go to war?

PAUL JOHNSON, NAVY HEAD COACH: I think it really hits home when you hear about another casualty in Iraq. You hear. You look, see, hey, do I know that guy? It's something you can't dwell on every day. I think you just have to go on about your life and know that it's part of what's going on.

WILL SULLIVAN, ARMY DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Coach Ross, after every practice, reminds us what is going on and he reads us e-mail and tells us stories about when he was in Germany as a young lieutenant.

BOBBY ROSS, ARMY HEAD COACH: "Sir, from Baghdad, Iraq, and Task Force Steel Dragons, I send my profound thank you to Coach Ross and the Army team for the victory in Army football. The members of the long gray line currently serving in combat really, really needed this Army victory. Please extend my sincere compliments to the members of the Army football team and have mercy on the Corps for the goal posts."

I do it because it serves as a constant reminder to me that we almost have an obligation to win. And, going further, we certainly have an obligation to play hard and to play as well as we possibly can and to play with spirit and to play with intensity. And we have that obligation because we are symbolic, in my mind, of the United States Army troops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just the small world. We're reaching out to everybody worldwide fighting for us to just to have this ability to play the game that we love. And it means so much to them. So, it means a lot to us.


BROWN: Another piece of the backdrop for tomorrow's game. Since August, at least three of Navy's former players have been killed overseas, two of them in Iraq.

We'll check morning papers after the break.



BROWN: Okeydokey, as they say in Minnesota, time to check morning papers from around the country and around the country, as it turns out yet again tonight.

"The Washington Times" starts us off. It's interesting to me how often sports appear on the front page of the paper tomorrow. "Bonds Unaware Balm Was Steroids." That can happen. That can happen. Sometimes, you put Bengay on, or you think it is, and it turns out it's an anabolic steroid. "Grand Jury Testimony Leaks." Yes. "Court Orders New Election in Ukraine." We should mention that. And we just did.

"The Des Moines Register." This story is starting to peculate. "Attack of Killer Tomato Prices." And the Des Moines paper gives you some alternatives if you can't find tomatoes, you don't want to pay for tomatoes. Tomatoes have some antioxidants and things in them and they tell you how to replace them, if you can't afford the tomatoes. Here we go.

"Bonds Case Fans Steroid Controversy." Get it, fans? "The Dallas Morning News," the headline there. They put that on the most prominent part of the front page.

"The Cincinnati Enquirer." Down at the bottom, if you can, Ed. "Oldest American Dies at 114." Think about that. "Ohio Woman Was Retired Teacher of Latin." So, if you want a long life, either move to Ohio or learn Latin.

"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution."

I'm not sure either of those things will actually help. That was -- well.

"Sports Black Eye, Steroids Scandal Poisons Respect For Records and Stars." Front page, sports again.

Even "The Boston Herald." "Hapless Celts Give Tix Away. Team's 4,000 Freebies Still Can't Fill the Seats." Man, what happened up there in Boston?

The weather tomorrow in Chicago, "encouraging."

I hope your weekend is encouraging. We'll see you back here on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.

Until then, good night for all of us.


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