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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for February 4. 2000

Aired February 4, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: NEWSROOM takes a turn into Friday. Glad you could join us. I'm Andy Jordan.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: And I'm Shelley Walcott. Here's a look at today's lineup.

JORDAN: In today's top story: presidential hopefuls plot their course to the White House as one Republican contender calls it quits.

WALCOTT: Next, in our "Editor's Desk," the proposed marriage of America Online and Time Warner. We'll tell you why not everyone is embracing this planned union.


HOWARD ROSENBERG, MEDIA CRITIC, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Information is really the oxygen of democracy and when you have information channeled through fewer and fewer sources, I think that is something for us all to become very fearful of.


JORDAN: From fears of a united front to worries about a world divided. "Worldview" traces the history of racism.


BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So what is it about us human beings that so often causes us to believe that another who looks different than us is either inferior or to be feared, even eradicated?


WALCOTT: Then, in "Chronicle," green performers and the great white way. Talented kids get a taste of the big stage.


PHIL HIRSCHKORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a rehearsal for an off-Broadway show. But the actors are not theater veterans. They're high school and elementary school students.


JORDAN: In "Today's News," and then there were four. As the presidential race to the White House heats up, Gary Bauer is expected to bow out of the presidential race today. That after failing to rally voter support in a crowded Republican field.

Meanwhile, his Republican and Democratic counterparts battle it out for the coveted commander-in-chief title. Republicans are campaigning in South Carolina, where John McCain's bid to throw George W. Bush off course seems to be gaining momentum and where voters will take to the polls for the next GOP primary on February 19.

Democratic contenders Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley are in California, the big prize in their next round of big primaries on March 7.

We have two reports, the first from John King.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, the obvious.

ALBERT GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On March the 7th, California will have a very decisive voice in picking the Democratic nominee.

KING: From there it gets more complicated. The issues in California are as diverse as its people, changing the face of the Democratic campaign.

No more Iowa barns or New Hampshire diners: Voters here want to talk about affirmative action, offshore drilling, guns, gangs, and gay rights.

GORE: ... are called upon to be a brave people in embracing what we know to be right but difficult.

KING: The vice president toured this digital soundstage for Hollywood special effects to emphasize the link between better schools and the new high-tech economy.

GORE: This must be a fun place to work.

KING: Gore says Bill Bradley is reading from the wrong script.

GORE: Nothing to turn around failing schools, nothing to rebuild crumbling schools, not a single speech in the entire presidential campaign on education reform.

KING: Cutting into the vice president's deep support among blacks is one urgent Bradley goal, and in San Francisco, the former New Jersey senator criticized Republican George W. Bush for visiting a South Carolina university legendary for excluding blacks. BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Ladies and gentlemen, that is what conservatism is, Bob Jones University, and it should be rejected.

KING: Bradley also courted liberals by calling Gore too timid on health care reform.

BRADLEY: National health care has been a part of the Democratic platform for nearly 50 years. What I'm trying to do in this campaign is fulfill that Democratic platform for all Americans. I am the only candidate that is doing this. Al Gore talks about universal health insurance, but he doesn't have any plan to get to universal health insurance in this country.

KING: The vice president leads here and having governor Gray Davis at his side is a huge advantage

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: The next president of the United States, Al Gore.

GORE: Thank you, Governor.

KING (on camera): California is by far the biggest prize in the 15-state March 7th mega-primary. There will be nearly 2,200 delegates at stake that day: 367 of them, or 28 percent, here in California.

(voice-over): Bradley is 0 for 2 after Iowa and New Hampshire, and well aware he could be driven not only in from the rain but out of the race if he doesn't start winning soon.

John King, CNN, Los Angeles.



JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain is telling South Carolina that George W. Bush hit more than just a bump in the road in New Hampshire.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They call it a bump in the road. I'm telling you, my friends, it was a land mine.

KARL: McCain's aides are euphoric about a new poll that shows McCain with a 5-point lead in South Carolina. Prior to his New Hampshire landslide, McCain had been trailing Bush by 20-plus points in most South Carolina polls. Faced with McCain's stronger than expected challenge, Bush is getting feistier, directly attacking his rival's reputation as an independent outsider.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All of a sudden, in the course of the debate, I am tagged as the guy who is kind of the Washington guy. And I'm not going to let that happen to me in South Carolina, because you know what? the reality is, he is the person who has been the Washington insider.

KARL: Bush also suggested McCain is hypocritical on the centerpiece issue of his campaign.

BUSH: For somebody who is talking about campaign funding reform -- which is fine -- I'm going to let him explain how campaign funding reform is -- how he is receiving people in front of his committee who would then contribute to his campaign is consistent. I think an explanation is needed.

KARL: For both candidates, the stakes are high here. One top McCain supporter calls the state do-or-die.

REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If he wins South Carolina, then the momentum exists, I think, to take him all the way to the top. If he loses South Carolina, it's probably the end of the crusade.

KARL: McCain says his fundraising has also been given a jolt.

MCCAIN: As a result of the victory, there's been an incredible upsurge. First of all, in the Internets, we've gotten over $600,000 in a little over 24 hours.

KARL: Actually, his aides say they have now raised more than $800,000 dollars on the Internet since Tuesday. They also claim a dramatic uptick in more traditional forms of fundraising.

With an all-out fundraising push, the McCain campaign expects to bring in $5 million over the next ten days. That's a big boost, but it still leaves Governor Bush with a big money advantage going into the next round of primaries.

Jonathan Karl, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.


WALCOTT: In our "Editor's Desk" today, a look at the future and past Of human communication. In the timeline of history, it's believed oral communication began about 100,000 years B.C., and cave men were doing cave paintings about 35,000 B.C. By 1000 B.C., the Phoenicians had developed a simplified alphabet. Things really started moving after 1446, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Then came the telephone, motion pictures, radio and TV, and along came the Internet.

Our "Editor's Desk" focuses on the mega-merger of a TV giant and an Internet phenomenon. CNN's parent company, Time Warner, plans to merge with AOL. How will that impact communication? Well, one word comes to mind: synergy. That's the interaction of different agencies or things so that the total effect is greater than the sum of individual effects.

Well, Charles Feldman will explain al that.


CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To hear some tell it, the proposed merger of new media AOL with old media Time Warner, parent of CNN, is a milestone of civilization's evolution, right up there with the splitting of the atom. But just as the power of the atom can be harnessed for good or evil, there are those who view the megamerger of AOL and Time Warner with some alarm.

HOWARD ROSENBERG, MEDIA CRITIC, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Information is really the oxygen of democracy, and when you have information channeled through fewer and fewer sources, I think that is something for us all to become very fearful of.

FELDMAN: The concern about the free flow of information is not without justification. In just the past few years, ABC's "20/20" program spiked a critical story about its parent company, Disney. And Time Warner claimed for a while that there was simply no room on its Manhattan cable system for Fox's 24-hour news channel, a rival to CNN.

While some worry about such examples of negative synergy and abuse of power, others question whether AOL and Time Warner really are a good fit.

MICHAEL NOLL, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: What on earth does the Internet have to do with a movie studio? What on earth does AOL and e-mail have to do with "Time" magazine? You start to wonder, are those synergies there?

FELDMAN: Many predict that others will soon follow the AOL-Time Warner lead, that old media companies will now scramble to wed new media companies. And in all these deals still to come, synergy may well become the most used word of the 21st century.

Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, seen in schools around the world, because learning never stops, and neither does the news.

JORDAN: Well, today on "Worldview," we focus on a problem that's plagued humankind through the ages, and around the world: racism. Racism is the belief that one's own ethnic background is superior, and the prejudice and discrimination based on that idea.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: Many of the world's most enduring conflicts are linked to race. From the Nazi holocaust of the 1940s to the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s, the twentieth century has compiled a mixed record. Even as we embrace the new millennium and the 21st century, many troubling questions remain unanswered. It's a global issue, one that gets to the heart of humanity.

CNN's Bruce Burkhardt reports.


YOLANDA MOSES, CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGIST: This simple, four-letter word that is so complex, perhaps one of the most complex phenomena that we have had to deal with in this millennium. BRUCE BURKHARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So what is it about us human beings that so often causes us to believe that another who looks different than us is either is inferior or to be feared, even eradicated. No part of the globe has been immune. Why did the Chinese once believe that the white man was descended from monkeys?

MOSES: The Japanese and Chinese were appalled. The Europeans didn't bathe, and they smelled.

BURKHARDT: And why did the European settlers of North America see fit to dehumanize and enslave millions of Africans?

HENRY LOUIS GATES JR., AUTHOR, "WONDERS OF THE AFRICAN WORLD": They needed cheap labor to develop the New World. Well, the easiest way to do that is to find a group of people who are readily identifiable.

BURKHARDT: And why did the Nazis arrive at their "final solution," resulting in the slaughter of millions of Jews?

GEORGE FREDRICKSON, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: That's probably the most hideous example of racism in world history is the Holocaust and the extermination of 6 million Jews because of their -- what was thought to be their inherently evil nature that they carried in their -- physically, from generation to generation.

BURKHARDT (on camera): And why? One hundred and thirty-seven years after Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves, and 37 years after Martin Luther King stood here on these very steps and delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech," why does the union that Lincoln fought so hard to save still struggle with issues of race? All the more perplexing since, scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as race.

MOSES: What do you mean there's no such thing as race? Then how come this person looks like this and that person looks like that? Well, it's because of their genetic makeup and the fact that all humans, regardless of where they are in the world, have some minute differences. But by and large, they're 99.9 percent exactly the same.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): Yolanda Moses, a cultural anthropologist, says we could have just as easily divided everybody up by blood type. But can't see a person's blood type.

SHELBY STEELE, AUTHOR, "A DREAM DEFERRED": The idea is that when I see someone who has a different skin color than mine, a different hair texture than mine, there's something in us as human beings that, almost a compulsion by which we want to take the parts of ourselves that we're uncomfortable with and we don't even admit to, and project it onto that other race.

BURKHARDT: Shelby Steele has stirred controversy with his writings arguing against affirmative action. But what's not controversial is this notion of projection.

DR. VAMIK VOLKAN, DIR., CTR. FOR THE STUDY OF MIND AND HUMAN INTERACTION: We do know that human beings develop certain kind of prejudices during their childhood.

BURKHARDT: Prejudices, according to psychiatrist Dr. Vamik Volkan, that grow out of something every parent is familiar with, stranger anxiety, which develops in infants at the age of eight or nine months.

VOLKAN: The infant suddenly becomes scared of any stranger. And why? A stranger has done nothing to the infant. So we surmise that something about the infant is the cause for it.

BURKHARDT (on camera): And that is the root of prejudice?

VOLKAN: That's the root of prejudice. This is the time that the child gets to know who he or she is and who is the other. And if the other is not familiar, the child has anxiety.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): Dr. Volkan believes there's a strong psychological component to racism. Psychiatrists call it projection, casting off our negative qualities onto someone else. It's part of the so-called pleasure principle, which holds that humans basically seek pleasure, and likewise try to get rid of unpleasure.

(on camera): So why is it, then, that somebody who looks different than us is associated with not having pleasure?

VOLKAN: Well, it is -- it becomes a more suitable reservoir for our unwanted aspects. If you and I are similar and we look alike, then you will not be a good reservoir for my projections. It will boomerang. If we are the same, well, that means also me.

BURKHARDT: So, does all this mean that we humans are destined to become racist? Of course not. So many other things come into play during our development. It simply means that there is an opening. And while Dr. Volkan can explain prejudice on the individual level, exactly how racism becomes a large group process is much harder to figure out. But our millennium has some clues.

Has it always been part of man's condition to make judgments on somebody based on purely physical characteristics?

MOSES: I would -- I'd say no. I'd say what has been the case, as long as people have lived in groups, there have always been in groups and out groups, and there has always been a distrust of, quote- unquote, strangers or of outsiders, and...

BURKHARDT: But that's not the same thing.

MOSES: No, it isn't the same thing.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): Evident from the very beginnings of human community is ethnocentrism, or identifying with your group or tribe. That is not racism. That didn't develop until later.

FREDRICKSON: You get racism or race when you begin to think about the characteristics that people have as unchangeable and as also the foundation for some kind of unequal relationship, some kind of hierarchy. Anti-Semitism, for example, in the Middle Ages got pretty close to racism if it didn't get all the way there, because when the Spanish decided that people who converted from Judaism to Christianity, that their blood was tainted by their Jewish ancestors, that, therefore, they could not be trusted even though they had made a professional of Christianity.

BURKHARDT: But it wasn't until the 17th and 18th century when racism kicked in big time. It could well be called the golden age of racism, a time when Europeans left their shores to explore and settle new lands.

FREDRICKSON: And it's only, I think, when blacks become associated with slavery, specifically with the beginnings of the slave trade and with the use of blacks as slaves, that a gradual idea develops that the black is naturally a slave. I mean, particularly when slavery begins to be questioned and attacked, how do you defend it? Well, one way, you say these people are naturally slaves.

BURKHARDT: Ironically, this was also the age of enlightenment, a time of great art, music and literature, and a time when science was harnessed in the name of racism.

FREDRICKSON: You began to sort of divide the whole human race into a relatively small number of groups. And it was, you know, three to five, but there were always the Africans, the Europeans and the Asians. And under those circumstances, the divisions become thought of in biological or natural terms, and you begin to think about things like the physiological characteristics that indicate superiority or inferiority, capacity or incapacity.

STEELE: Science is often in the service of very, you know, dark human motivations, and this is a good example of it being used to justify the enslavement, the domination of other people.

GATES: The underbelly of the Enlightenment was a whole discourse of racism, when philosophers such as Kant, Hume, Thomas Jefferson, Hegel all wrote very racist things in otherwise sublime treatises.

BURKHARDT: It was a way of thinking about race that found its horrific conclusion in the Holocaust. Biological explanations of racial difference were now acknowledged as false.

MOSES: But there's a folk definition of race that's very operative here.

BURKHARDT (on camera): And just as powerful as...

MOSES: Just as powerful, just as ingrained that we have to get at.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): The mythology of color doesn't fade away easily.

(on camera): I wonder where it came from and where it started that white is associated with purity and goodness and black and darkness and evil and, I mean... GATES: Well, we know where it came from. It came from white people. In China...


GATES: Wow, I don't think God did that. A black woman did not like that. She thought that that system was ugly. In China, white is a symbol of death. It's nothing natural about it.

BURKHARDT (voice-over): White and black: In the American experience, they're the colors of racism. But elsewhere, racism can exist without color.

GATES: Between 1992 and today, there's been ethnic violence in no less than 48 nations from Bosnia to Burundi, from Turkestan to Tibet. People are killing each other in the name of ethnic differences or religious differences. What's this about? It's about economic scarcity.

BURKHARDT: Henry Louis Gates Jr. has authored two comprehensive books on African American history. And for him, it all boils down to economics, the fear that another group is out to get our stuff. For Shelby Steele, racism is an impulse that, as civilized people, we learn to repress.

(on camera): That's kind of depressing, that for me to like you, I have to repress something inside me.

STEELE: Well, we do in every human interaction. You know, we're friends with women and we repress things. We're friend with -- we repress our greed. Maybe I like your watch, but I'm not going to reach out and take it off your wrist.

BURKHARDT: But for Yolanda Moses, it's all about color.

MOSES: We can't say to people, race doesn't matter -- biological race doesn't matter, because it does, because that's what you see. And it's what you see that you have to explain. You have to explain this, but you have to decouple it from the notions that has anything to do with fixed, immutable behaviors that are negative.

BURKHARDT: Color, nature's palette, so worshipped in our gardens and nature. Human nature has yet to catch up.


WALCOTT: Want to know the secret to success? Well, it can be summed up in three simple words: practice makes perfect. Most professionals who are really good at their jobs will tell you they didn't achieve their goals overnight. It takes a long time to polish your craft, whether you're a rocket scientist at NASA or a writer here at CNN, or a performer on Broadway.

In today's "Chronicle," we visit with talented kids given a chance to shine under the spotlight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really enjoy being on stage. It really helps me.

SARI GOLDBERG, AGE 14: It's a lot more about teamwork.

ANTHONY FAZIO, AGE 15: It was scary at first. You know, I've never done musicals before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're skipping all this coming down stage. You're not doing any of it. You're just going to start right down.

PHIL HIRSCHKORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is a rehearsal for an off-Broadway show, but the actors are not theater veterans, they're high school and elementary school students. They're spending their free time outside of school learning how to sing and dance, not just for themselves, but for an audience.

AUDREY KAPLAN, FOUNDER, APPLAUSE: We believe that it should happen through the performing. It's not always just taking place in the studio or in the classroom.

Look at something. Look at the railing. Look at something that's going to help you remember.

HIRSCHKORN: Audrey Kaplan and her partner Pam Fisher founded their company five years ago to help aspiring actors experience theater with a professional edge. They call it Applause.

PAM FISHER, FOUNDER, APPLAUSE: You must hold your position. That is what drives the audience.

You don't know that line, that part gets taken away from you, and they learn the harsh realities. This is how it is in the real world.

HIRSCHKORN (on camera): New York may be the theater capital of the world, but there are hardly any places for young actors to learn their craft. Applause seeks to change that, giving talented kids a stage to show what they can do.

(voice-over): These end-of-semester performances distinguish Applause from drama programs that just give lessons. It costs $550 a semester, with classes every weekend and after-school rehearsals to get the staging right.

FAZIO: It's hard, but that's what you need to do to put a show together.

GOLDBERG: I made my best friends here because we all share the same passion.

KAPLAN: It teaches kids to value one another and learn to depend on each other in a situation on stage where they really pull together.

FISHER: What they learn here will never leave them. There's a confidence that they'll come out with and they'll be able to stand up in front of people.

HIRSCHKORN: Parents, friends, and even a few talent scouts come for the shows. Some of the program's graduates have been cast in commercials, movies and, yes, a Broadway show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it would be my ultimate goal and dream to make it on Broadway or television.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here I get to sing, I get to dance and act. It's like everything that I love. Even if I don't make it, I always can do it for fun.

HIRSCHKORN: Phil Hirschkorn, CNN NEWSROOM, New York City.


BAKHTIAR: Saturday, many Asians around the world will celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. February 5 marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, or the 4,698th year. The colors red and gold will be predominant in most decorations and greeting cards, red symbolizing happiness and gold wealth.

We have this report from CNN Student Bureau in Hong Kong.


CHRIS TANG, CNN STUDENT BUREAU (voice-over): In the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is the most powerful, wise and influential of the Chinese Zodiac calendar symbols. The amazing dragon dance is special both in tradition and the fascinating job done by the dancers.

The most well-known tradition of the Chinese New Year is the giving of lycee (ph) packets. Lycee packets can contain from 10 cents to $20 each.

This time of the year is incredibly busy, perhaps even busier than Christmas time in the states. People rush to go buy new clothes, food and decorations for this festive occasion. The Chinese New Year is a special time for friends, and especially for families. Like America, Hong Kong has festive parades.

Hong Kong's stunning display of fireworks is among the most expensive in the world. The annual display costs over $300,000.

Gong hai fai choi (ph), happy Chinese New Year.

Chris Tang (ph), from Hong Kong International School, CNNSB.


BAKHTIAR: Students and teachers, if you'd like to learn more about CNN Student Bureau, head for this Web site:


CNN Student Bureau


JORDAN: All right, have a great weekend.

WALCOTT: See you back here Monday.




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