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Two Brutal Crimes Revive Debate Over Guns; Comic Book Artist's Demand for Respect 'Spawns' an Empire; Can New Gun Technology Save Lives?

Aired March 3, 2000 - 10:00 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: It's Friday, March 3, 2000.

Tonight on CNN NEWSSTAND, a tragic week this nation will never forget.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just not right. A little boy like that should not have gun.


ANNOUNCER: Two brutal crimes revive the debate over guns


AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need child- safety trigger locks mandated on guns.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The question is how do we enforce it?


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, how it's playing on the campaign trial, plus reaction from gun control advocates and the NRA.

Perhaps this could have been prevented by this.


STEVE MORTON, OXFORD MICRODEVICES: You grab the gun, you sweep the finger over the sensor and if you're authorized to fire the gun, you can. Otherwise, you can't.


ANNOUNCER: New gun technology that can save innocent lives. So why isn't it available?


MORTON: It would be for a major gun manufacturer to walk up tomorrow and say, Steve, how can we help?


ANNOUNCER: What will it take to unlock the safety catch?

He was his company's Michael Jordan but thought they treated him like Rodney Dangerfield, so he quit.


STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: You took that big leap for respect?

TODD MCFARLANE, COMIC BOOK ARTIST: Well, yes. And in the first issue of "Spawn," then I wrote a one-page letter column, and that's what it was about, respect. It wasn't about money. It was never -- I didn't want money.


ANNOUNCER: But now he's rolling in it. Meet the man who's "spawning" an empire.

CNN NEWSSTAND, with anchors Stephen Frazier and Carol Lin in Atlanta.

FRAZIER: Good evening, welcome to NEWSSTAND.

We begin tonight examining new calls for gun control, as we mark a week that stands out for new lows of handgun violence.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, Stephen, And it's ending with strong words and tears.

FRAZIER: The tears came tonight at a funeral home in Flint, Michigan. Hundreds attended a candle lighting and funeral service for Kayla Rolland, the 6-year-old girl who police say was shot and killed in a school classroom this week by another first grader.

And earlier today, harsh words from President Clinton demanding that Congress act within the next few days to pass what he calls "common sense gun legislation," expanding background checks, requiring safety locks and promoting new gun-safety technologies.

Some of the new technology in just a moment and comments from both sides in the gun debate, but first this week's deadly events.


(voice-over): Tuesday morning, a single shot rings out at Buell Elementary School outside Flint, Michigan, as a teacher dismisses her first grade class.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Now we know that a 6-year-old child shot by another student.

FRAZIER: The unthinkable: a 6-year-old with a stolen .32 caliber handgun allegedly pulled the trigger. The victim, Kayla Rolland, a 6- year-old girl, dies a half hour later at Hurley Medical Center.

Police suspect a playground scuffle the day before motivated the shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god -- first graders.

FRAZIER: The obvious question: How do the child get the gun?

ARTHUR BUSCH, GENESEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN PROSECUTOR: We want to know who had the gun and where it was left.

FRAZIER: On the campaign trail in California, Republican presidential candidate John McCain lays the blame.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What is it that motivates the first grader to pick up the gun? And I'll tell you. In my view, it's a lot of the influences that are on young children today over the Internet, over the television, in the movies that are inundating them with evil and pernicious influences.

En route to Atlanta, Governor George W. Bush:

BUSH: Somehow, we're so careless with a weapon that a 6-year-old boy got a hold of it. I mean, parents have got to be parents.

FRAZIER: Wednesday, mid-morning, another shooting.

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: This developing story in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh...

FRAZIER: Police say 39-year-old Ronald Taylor kills three people and wounds two in shootings at an apartment complex and two fast-food restaurants.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he said, well, I'm not going to hurt any black people. I'm just out to kill all white people. That's exactly what he said.

FRAZIER: On Capitol Hill, House Democrats blame Republicans for delays in gun control legislation.

REP. CAROLYN MCCARTHY (D), NEW YORK: I know an awful lot of people here think if we don't deal with it it's just going to go away. Well it's not going to go away. It's not going to go away unless we in Congress do something about it.

FRAZIER: Wednesday night in Los Angeles, the Democratic presidential candidates are asked about the recent tragedies.

QUESTION: How will you even sure that our schools will be a safe haven for our children?

BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thirteen kids are killed every day in America with a gun and nine -- and 800,000 kids took a gun to school last year. Now that is not going to change unless... BERNARD SHAW, MODERATOR: Time.

BRADLEY: ... unless there's concerted leadership from the national government that's willing to marshal public opinion to overcome the vested interests, the special interests in Washington...

SHAW: Time.

BRADLEY: ... that's embodied in the NRA.

GORE: I agree with that. I believe that we have got to take them on strongly and pass new gun control legislation -- not aimed at hunters and sportsman, but at these handguns that are causing so much distress.

FRAZIER: Also Wednesday night, Ronald Taylor is charged with criminal homicide.

Thursday morning:

MAYOR WILBERT YOUNG, WILKINSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA: I think we have to start the healing process. We have to try to get the community back to normal.

FRAZIER: Meantime, prosecutors charge Jamelle James, the 19- year-old man they say stole the gun that ended up in the 6-year-old's hands, with involuntary manslaughter.

BUSCH: This defendant was grossly negligent in allowing the little boy to get a loaded pistol.

FRAZIER: President Clinton calls for gun control action midday Thursday.

WILLIAM J, CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For more than eight months now, Congress has been sitting on the common sense gun safety legislation to require child safety locks, to close the gun show loophole and the background bill law and to ban the importation of large ammunition clips. I have said before, I will say again today, I'm going to invite the leaders of this conference down to the White House to talk about what we can do to break the log jam.

FRAZIER: On the Hill, House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde accepts the invitation.

REP. HENRY HYDE (R-IL), HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: We must bear in mind that any deal worked out on gun safety legislation must be part of a comprehensive package of reforms to the juvenile justice system.

FRAZIER: Outside Pittsburgh, charges against Ronald Taylor are expanding to include aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation.

Thursday evening, while children in Michigan mourn Kayla Rolland at a candlelight vigil, George W. Bush is pressed on the issue at a debate in Los Angeles. DOYLE MCMANUS, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": In view of all the recent tragedies we've had, what's wrong with requiring trigger locks on new guns?

BUSH: I have no problem -- 80 percent of the guns sold today have trigger locks with them and I think that's fine. I think there need to be laws that say that if a parent is irresponsible and a child ends up with a weapon, the parent ought to be held accountable.

FRAZIER: Friday, while people gather for a final goodbye to Kayla, criticism of the NRA.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: The real issue today is whether or not we will again dance and then maybe sing and maybe pray to the drumbeat of the National Rifle Association or whether we will do our job. It is my challenge for us today to do our job so that we do not see anymore lives lost like the most shocking killing of this 6-year-old.

CLINTON: Last night, Senator Boxer offered a non-binding resolution that would put the Senate on record as saying we need to pass common sense gun safety legislation now. And after all we went through this week, the resolution failed on a 49 to 49 tie. We've got to give credit where credit is due. It's a great credit to the power of the NRA in Washington.


FRAZIER: Outside a San Francisco restaurant just this evening, the president told well-wishers not to give up hope for gun control.


CLINTON: Every time another one of these kids dies, you know, if that 6-year-old kid -- if the gun had a child safety lock on it, even if it was a stolen gun, even if you had an irresponsible adult, if at least they put the lock on it, the child would be alive. And this is one example. So, you know, you guys just stay with it. We'll win. Eventually, we'll win. It just -- it takes a long time to turn a big country around. Just be of good cheer and keep working at it.


FRAZIER: The president also said he has been fighting with the NRA for a long time and is, in his words, "so mad" at the organizations's continued opposition to his gun control proposals.

LIN: Child safety locks on handguns: Are they an answer to keeping tiny fingers from pulling triggers? Well clearly President Clinton thinks so. Child safety locks were included in gun bills that died in Congress last year, but in the wake of this week's two deadly shootings it may be the only gun safety issue Republicans and Democrats will agree on. And they now have a powerful ally.

Earlier today, I speak with Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the NRA. First, his reaction to the Michigan school tragedy. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO & EXEC. V.P., NRA: One of absolute horror. And that multiplied when I heard the facts that what we were talking about here was a crack house. You had stolen guns, you had contraband, you had drugs, 40 to 50 drug deals a day going on with criminals in that house. And I thought, this is exactly the type of situation the NRA has been begging this administration to start cracking down on, using existing federal firearms laws.

LIN: Regardless of the circumstances in that household, for many people the fact of the matter is the 6-year-old was able to get a hold of that gun. If that gun had a child safety lock on it, would Kayla Rolland still be alive today?

LAPIERRE: Well, Caroline, I just don't believe that drug dealers who are doing criminal activity with stolen guns, stolen contraband, are unfortunately going take the time to put a safety lock on their gun. Now I'll tell you what we do believe is the fact that they ought to be held criminally responsible.

LIN: But the argument could also be made that you will be criminally prosecuted after the fact. And the fact is that the little girl is dead. President Clinton is gathering several congressional leaders to the White House next week to talk about legislation that would include child safety locks, as well as cracking down on juvenile offenders, as well as increasing background checks. Republican Congressman Henry Hyde has said that it might have a chance of passing if child safety locks pass as a separate stand-alone bill. Would the NRA back that idea?

LAPIERRE: We've always backed safely locks. I mean, we teach them every day. We backed the legislation in Congress last year that provided safety locks. Keep in mind, the president keeps talking about a log jam, he was the log jam. I mean, the bill that the Republicans sponsored and was co-sponsored by Congressman John Dingell provided safety locks. The president's had his people vote against it, and he's...

LIN: So you're blaming politics, you're saying.

LAPIERRE: Absolutely. That's what happened, and everybody on the Hill knows it, which is why the president doesn't have much credibility left on this issue on Capitol Hill...

LIN: Mr. LaPierre...

LAPIERRE: ... they all know he played politics.

LIN: ... help me do the math then. The gun lobby has outspent the gun folks by $40 to $1. Eighty-five percent of the gun PAC money has gone to the GOP, which still holds a majority in the House and the Senate. Can't you use your influence with the Republican majority to pass legislation that everybody can live with?

LAPIERRE: Well, Caroline, the Republicans supported the bill that the president's supporters voted down. It provided safety locks, provided checks at gun shows, provided juvenile Brady. You know, the money the NRA has -- all the NRA is is millions and millions of people around the country that believe in -- they ought to have a freedom to own a firearm and also want criminals prosecuted and want to be safe...

LIN: So if you were...

LAPIERRE: ... And that's what...

LIN: ... to offer a solution in this political climate in this campaign season, what would it be? One solution

LAPIERRE: Stop playing politics with this issue. Start concentrating on safety and taking violent criminals with guns off the street and enforcing the existing gun laws on the books.


LIN: Tuesday, congressional leaders from both parties will meet with the president about crafting gun safety legislation.

FRAZIER: For another perspective, we're joined now by gun- control activist Brian Morton of the Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who's in our Washington bureau.

Mr. Morton, thanks for joining us. Welcome to NEWSSTAND.


FRAZIER: You just heard Wayne LaPierre discussing all the other circumstances of that tragic shooting: drug use, a crack house, criminal activity -- who would expect them to put a lock on a gun? Fair arguments?

B. MORTON: I'm drawn to one simple question after seeing what happened in Michigan. I'm one simple question, and that is, why is there -- why do gun manufacturers make guns that a 6-year-old can fire? It's way ahead of talking about trigger locks or anything else. Why do gun manufacturers make guns that 6-year-olds can fire? There's no rational reason. And that's what it comes down to before trigger locks.

And there's a little disingenuousness going on with the NRA when they say they've always been for trigger locks. I mean, when the juvenile justice bill went before the Senate last June, the NRA voted down -- the NRA told their supporters in Congress, in the Senate, to vote down a bill that simply would have sold trigger locks, mandated selling trigger locks with guns. And they said no. So this is kind of new for them today. I'm amazed and surprised. It's very, kind of, welcome to hear it.

FRAZIER: How many 6-year-olds do you really think could fire a gun? I mean, even some adults are stopped occasionally by the safety mechanisms on handguns. B. MORTON: Well, let me tell you something. Something moved across the wire services this morning, a story that happened in Washington state. The event happened last week, but they heard about it today, where a 5-year-old loaded a .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol, loaded it, took it outside to his friends and fired it into the ground. He said he learned how to do it on TV. You know, a hundred years ago, Smith & Wesson actually made a gun that children couldn't fire. You needed to squeeze the grip tight enough. You had to have the adult hand strength in order to squeeze the grip tight enough to engage the gun so you could fire it. They don't do that anymore. Why is that? That's why cities and counties are suing gun manufacturers. Because they could do something to stop this, but they don't.

FRAZIER: Mr. Morton, are you encouraged at all by what you heard Henry Hyde say in response to the president's invitation?

B. MORTON: I think it's really nice what Congressman Hyde is saying, but the fact remains is there's a whole lot more that really needs to be passed. The Senate didn't pass anything gigantic or sweeping that rolls back anybody's rights, they're just trying to keep children and criminals from getting a hold of guns at gun shows, which the NRA has been trying to roll back current law on -- they're being disingenuous when they say Congressman Dingell's many amendment was very reasonable, because it would rolled back law. And they really don't want what the Senate passed, which is just simply to keep guns away from children and criminals from gun shows, to put trigger locks with guns at sale, and to make sure that children who use guns as child -- as -- children who use guns don't grow up to become adults who use guns in crimes.

FRAZIER: Well, Mr. Morton...

B. MORTON: It's not much more than that.

FRAZIER: ... if the politicians can't come to some conclusion, perhaps new technology will. We're going to turn to that in a moment.

Brian Morton of the Center for Handgun Violence, thank you.

B. MORTON: Thank you.

FRAZIER: And here we'll take a break. NEWSSTAND continues just after this.

ANNOUNCER: Up next on NEWSSTAND, preventing tragedies by making guns safer.


S. MORTON: If the gun is knocked out of your hand, it would become disarmed. If the gun were stolen from you, if your little one tried to pick it up, the gun would not fire.


ANNOUNCER: Why it's hard to get our hands on safer guns.

And later, for this 30-something, success has come in a very different way.


MCFARLANE: I have been successful on some levels because I'm a loose cannon, OK?


LIN: Gun manufacturers are looking to technology to help make a safer weapon, guns armed with their own sensors that only allow the owner to fire the weapon. But this recognition technology is controversial. Gun makers see the opportunity to attract a high-end consumer. Anti-gun lobbyists worry the technology is unreliable.

See one form of this technology for yourself, as David Mattingly shows us how it works.


S. MORTON: A fingerprint sensor in one of our little image processor chips goes into the handle of a gun.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a concept as simple as barcodes at a supermarket checkout.

S. MORTON: You pick the gun up, sweep your finger over the sensor. And if you're authorized to fire the gun, you can. Otherwise, you can't.

MATTINGLY: Imagine a gun that automatically reads your fingerprint and allows only you to fire it -- not science fiction according to Steve Morton of Oxford Microdevices. His company designs chips for Internet imaging, technology that could soon be applied to creating smart guns, guns that work only in the right hands.

S. MORTON: If the gun is knocked out of your hand, it would be disarmed. If the gun were stolen from you, if your little one tried to pick it up, the gun would not fire.

MATTINGLY: The system will also work on lock boxes and safes, but Morton's had difficulty finding investors who will buy into research, research that's needed to make a chip that's fast enough and accurate enough to make the safeguard reliable.

Paul Jannuzzo is vice president and general counsel of handgun manufacturer Glock Incorporated.

PAUL JANNUZZO V.P., GENERAL COUNSEL, GLOCK INCORPORATED: For a homeowner like myself, it's not necessary. I've got a safe. You know, that's my smart-gun technology. I know the combination, my wife knows the combination. None of my kids do, and to date none of them know how to use a welding torch. So I don't think they're going to get in there. MATTINGLY: Outside the U.S., a Swiss company has reportedly announced plans to have its version of a smart handgun on the market later this year. And while U.S. development lags, people like Bryan Miller of the gun safety group Cease-Fire New Jersey are pushing Congress and state legislatures to set the pace.

BRYAN MILLER, CEASE FIRE NEW JERSEY: We very clearly devoted the great bulk of our time to passage in New Jersey of legislation, what we call our childproof handgun bill.

MATTINGLY: That bill was introduced last year in New Jersey and failed to become law. This year if passed, a childproof handgun law would give manufacturers three years to create a smart gun and put it on the market.

MILLER: They certainly have spent millions of dollars in developing more lethal weapons. They could be using that same money or a portion of that money to develop safer weapons. And the patents that are out there were mainly created, the R&D done by individuals, a man with an idea.

MATTINGLY: Steve Morton had the idea but lacked the capital. His company abandoned smart-gun research last summer. He believes that chips and systems he now designs for Internet and other uses will make smart-gun systems easier to develop in the future. Right now, Colt Manufacturing leads the U.S. industry in smart-gun R&D. With a half-million dollar federal grant, Colt developed a police smart gun for the National Institute of Justice. The prototype, which isn't based on a microchip or a fingerprint system, was delivered to the NIJ a month ago.

Activists like Miller compare the push for smart guns for public use to past campaigns that made seat belts standard equipment for cars.

MILLER: Passage of our bill gives an out for a company. A company can now say, we can't stop it. We just can't say to New Jersey, we're not going to sell any handguns there. And at that point, they would say to the gun lobby, our hands are tied. We have to go forward. We have to develop this product and get it into this market.

MATTINGLY: Steve Morton estimates that for as little as a seven- figure investment his company could perfect a fingerprint scanning system for handguns in just two years. But for now, he is pursuing more profitable applications for the technology and waiting with others in the firearms industry for the smart-gun market to emerge.

JANNUZZO: Our take on it is that if it's developed it has to be reliable and affordable. And once those two things are accomplished, I'm sure whoever does it is going to have a very early retirement.



FRAZIER: Still ahead, a world record that will not be set this time.

And all those video games cluttering children's rooms are about to be rendered obsolete. Find out the next thing they'll just have to have.


LIN: Also among our top stories, the race for the White House. Four days before Super Tuesday, Republican pace-setter George W. Bush stormed delegate-rich New York. The Texas governor called for more federal dollars for breast cancer research and again accused John McCain of voting the other way. McCain denied the allegation as he worked Wall Street, hoping to boost the value of his flagging political stock. And the Arizona senator did not let up on his criticism of Christian conservative leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

As for the Democratic presidential hopefuls, Vice President Gore was in Florida, picking up the endorsement of former Governor Bob Graham. While visiting with high school students, he accused Bush and McCain of promoting private school vouchers at that time expense of cash-poor public schools. Bill Bradley, meantime, appealed to independent-minded voters in Portland, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island. Bradley says he hopes a good showing in Maine's caucuses Sunday will boost his prospects in Tuesday's big primaries.

Bob Jones University is dropping its longtime ban on interracial dating. The announcement came last hour from president Bob Jones III in an interview with CNN's Larry King. The policy drew criticism in the wake of a recent visit by Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.

Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet comes home to cheering crowds and an uncertain future. He's been under house arrest in England for 16 months while some other European countries sought his extradition on human rights abuse charges. The British ruled him unfit to stand trial and set him free. Opponents vow to prosecute him in Chile.

An American adventurer falls short of his goal to become the first balloonist to circle the globe alone. After traveling more than 13,000 miles, Kevin Uliassi brought his balloon down safely in Myanmar. He was 1,200 miles short of the solo long-distance record.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead, he's stepping down, she's stepping down, he's striking out, and he's striking gold.

NEWSSTAND is coming right back.


FRAZIER: "Cool Digs" now, our look at executive offices. This is the first workspace we have visited with a skateboard kept at the ready. Look around in the occupant's absence and guess who works here.


FRAZIER (voice-over): Enter the office of a "Man Of Vision." OK, OK, so that's the title of the painting, but some people think it's an apt description of the CEO who works here. Profits have blossomed in the almost five years he's been on the job. 1999 sales: $4.6 billion. The boss meets with power brokers and broke unknowns here. Killer stereo -- he listens to a lot of music on the job, watches a lot of television, too.

But our man is no slacker, he earned two graduate degrees from Harvard University -- business and law. Played guitar in a college band, and still picks up a six-string now and then. But not this guitar -- this is a gift signed by some country singers. That's Clint Black's autograph. More autographs: NBA player and coach Lenny Wilkins signed this ball. Willie Mays signed this one.

The executive does not ride this to board meetings, but when his 8-year-old visits the office, it is available for his use. Here's the view, all the way to the next state. On the shelf, books on power and Lincoln's leadership, and in the middle, "Making and Selling Culture" -- an anthology our executive is interviewed inside. Community service awards, from the Boy Scouts of America and the United Jewish Appeal. A private bathroom, and framed on the wall, lyrics hand- written by Cole Porter.

Final clue, he's one of these guys schmoozing with the late Princess Diana. Who's cool digs are these? The answer when we come back.




FRAZIER (voice-over): So who is the man of vision with a bird's eye view of Manhattan? He's Strauss Zelnick, CEO of BMG Entertainment. BMG represent superstars like the Dave Matthews Band, Toni Braxton, and Grammy winner Christina Aguilera. And speaking of Grammys, BMG's music labels representing artists including Santana, Whitney Houston, and TLC earned the company a record 24 Grammy Awards last week.


FRAZIER: BMG isn't resting on its laurels over its Grammys, though. This week it announced its first move into a new area, Spanish language music on the Internet, with a strategic investment in Miami-based -- with apologies to Spanish speakers -- which it describes as one of the most innovative and technologically advanced Latin music Web sites.

LIN: Bueno, Stephen.

Well, in any language this was a great day on Wall Street. From New York, Tony Guida has all the big numbers in our "MONEYLINE" update.


Going five for five in baseball is a memorable day. The Dow went five for five this week, five wins, and that's its best week in seven months. Today's huge rally was the product of a tame report on employment, that hints the economy may be slowing. The Dow shot through the roof, it rocketed 202 points to close at 10,367, that's a gain of nearly 2 percent. Even better on the Nasdaq, a 3 percent gain, as the composite soared 160 points, finished at 4,914. Guess what? Another record. Even the 30-year Treasury bond gained an inch, up 1/32, the yield to 6.12 percent.

If you were in Tokyo right now you would be hearing screams and squeals from all over the city, that's because Sony's PlayStation 2 is finally for sale. Folks flew in from all over the world and thousands stood on line for 48 hours to make sure they weren't shut out.

Steve Young has more.


STEVE YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japanese consumers lined up hundreds deep in Tokyo's Akihabara, or "Electric City," two days before the hottest videogame console in the history of the industry was set to go on sale. Some analysts expect Sony to sell 2 million of them in the very first week. They're expected to be on sale in the United States next fall.

WES NIHEI, "GAMEPRO" MAGAZINE: PlayStation 2 is one of the no- brainer products of the century. I think Sony has a built-in audience. It's the perfect time in the development of console video game systems and the acceptance of video games in the game-playing public for Sony to come up with the next generation machines.

YOUNG: For about $350, they deliver photo realistic games because PlayStation 2 packs the power of a 1980s supercomputer. And the price includes a DVD drive and much of the wiring that will eventually enable consumers to get on the Internet.

CHRISTIAN SVENSSON, CEO & EDITORIAL DIR., MCV: It can also be your Internet hub for the house. You know, this is a couple of years down the line, but eventually there will be some box that is the center of all of those functions, and Sony wants PlayStation to be that box.

YOUNG: The current PlayStation now generates about 20 percent of Sony's revenue, and because it's a high margin product, about 33 percent of Sony's operating revenues. Right now, Sony has about 70 percent of the game-console world market, trailed by Sega, Nintendo, and soon Microsoft.

(on camera): At a game developers' conference next week, Bill Gates is finally expected to tip his company's hand about what's been dubbed Microsoft's X/Box Console. A Microsoft operating system already powers the next generation console from Sony's competitor Sega in the videogame shootout.

Steve Young, CNN Financial News, New York.


GUIDA: Looking ahead to next week, the markets will be watching for revised numbers on fourth quarter productivity and on labor costs. National Semiconductor, CMGI, and Kmart all report their earnings next week. And a few Internet IPOs are hitting the street next week, including

That's our "MONEYLINE" update. For a complete look at the day's business news, tune into "MONEYLINE" weeknights at 6:30 Eastern right here on CNN. NEWSSTAND will be back in 30 seconds with a look at the power plays and the players of the week.


FRAZIER: A talk show bombshell and a quiz show coup made ABC the talk of the town this week, but the spotlight also shined on two of baseball's bad boys, one scoring a hit, the other striking out.

From the winners to the losers, here's a look at the "Power Plays and Power Players of the Week."


FRAZIER (voice-over): Reed retires: Citigroup CEO John Reed announces his retirement from the giant financial services company, leaving Sanford Weill at the helm. During Reed's 35 years with CitiCorp, he successfully joined forces with the Travelers Group in 1998 and last year saw profits soar 57 percent.

Universal Web: Former Universal chief Frank Biondi takes on the Web, his e-commerce startup company called Massive Media Group plans to offer sitcoms, music videos, and movies such as Universal's "The Hurricane"...


DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR: Crime has been committed against me.


FRAZIER: ... via the Internet.

Regis & Kathie Lee: ABC antes up approximately $20 million per season for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" host Regis Philbin.


REGIS PHILBIN, HOST: We are a hit. I mean, a big hit.


FRAZIER: The top-rated quiz show pushed ABC to the top spot for February's rating sweeps, a first since 1991. And Kathie Lee's final answer.


KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, CO-HOST: I'm announcing today that I'm going to be leaving our show. Oh, I was hoping you'd do that.


FRAZIER: Kathie Lee Gifford is stepping down from her talk throne after her 15-year rein as co-host of ABC's "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee."


PHILBIN: She's kidding, she isn't going anywhere.


FRAZIER: Not so fast, Regis. The nationwide search for a new co-host is already underway.

Suspensions by Selig: New York Yankees outfielder Darryl Strawberry strikes out with baseball commissioner Bud Selig.


DARRYL STRAWBERRY, NEW YORK YANKEES OUTFIELDER: I really can't comment on the situation right now at this point.


FRAZIER: Selig suspended the 37-year-old sports sensation for one year after he failed a drug test. It's his third cocaine-related offense in five years.


JOE TORRE, NEW YORK YANKEES COACH: I'm feeling for him, I'm supporting him, and I don't know what the answer is.


FRAZIER: Back on the mound: Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker scores a reduced sentence from Major League Baseball.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will simply abide by this decision.


FRAZIER: Selig suspended the 25-year-old lefthander last month for 30 days with a $20,000 fine for offensive comments he made during a "Sports Illustrated" interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN ROCKER, ATLANTA BRAVES PITCHER: I apologize to all those my careless and unkind words have affected.


FRAZIER: Rocker reupped for another year with the Atlanta Braves.

Big screen Bridget: Helen Fielding's best-selling British novel, "Bridget Jones's Diary," goes Hollywood.


HELEN FIELDING, AUTHOR: Bridget Jones is a 30-something singleton.


FRAZIER: "Jerry Maguire" star Renee Zellweger has been tapped to play the neurotic 30-something lead.


RENE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Look, all I know is that I found someone and he was popular and charming and not so nice to me and he died, OK?


FRAZIER: This comes as the Bridget sequel, "Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason," hits the shelves this week.

And that's this week's "Power Plays and Power Players."


ANNOUNCER: Next, he walked out on a $2 million a year job.


MCFARLANE: And so when we quit, the seven of us, to start a new company, we were like starting a dream team and the audience just came with us.


ANNOUNCER: A warning for bosses managing creative personalities, when NEWSSTAND returns.


FRAZIER: Finally tonight, a case of life imitating art and in this case, regrettably so given the grim events we reported earlier from Michigan and Pittsburgh. Last week, a Grammy Award was presented to a music video that traced the path of a stray bullet from a gun that went off accidentally. Here's some of the video, "Freak On A Leash" by a band named Korn.




FRAZIER: One of the directors of this video is Todd McFarlane, a comic book illustrator who attracted lots of notice when he walked away from a job that was paying him $2 million a year to draw Spiderman. Now, he runs his own companies, seven of them, and they are worth $105 million, and his old employers, they went bankrupt. His case is a textbook case of how hard it can be to handle free- spirited creative types on your payroll and how much worse it can be if you don't.


MCFARLANE: I have been successful in some levels because I'm a loose cannon. OK, that's why I'm successful, because it's like, let's do this, cool.

OK, I've got these latest pages here.

FRAZIER (voice-over): When Todd McFarlane was a superstar, a rainmaker in a big company, he was by his own admission a pain in the neck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at the blood on the cover of the issue you want, it came out a little more red when it printed.

FRAZIER: He was a comic book illustrator, a creator for industry giant Marvel Comics, but now he has his own company and his own crime fighting character named Spawn. He's a loose cannon, too.

MCFARLANE: Spawn is a man that was in love with his wife that basically was betrayed by friends and co-workers and is now back from the dead five years later.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Time to pay the piper.


FRAZIER: But Spawn isn't just settling scores, McFarlane says. He's fighting evil, and if his methods are violent and wrong, well, that moral ambiguity has made Spawn a pop culture icon and not just in comic books where he is the best-selling title or maybe number two or three every month, but in Spawn the Emmy-award winning TV show, an animated series in its third season on cable, and in Spawn the live action movie that grossed $100 million. McFarlane was on the set for every take.

MCFARLANE: That's a good take. We'll keep that take. FRAZIER: There is a Spawn video game and entire shelves of Spawn action figure toys, the company that sells them is McFarlane's own, so are six other companies he founded, all spun off of Spawn as the core product.

MCFARLANE: Is he Superman or Batman right now? No.

ALEX KENNY (ph), SPAWN FAN: He's like a bad guy and good guy put together.

FRAZIER: McFarlane's market? Readers like 12-year-old Alex Kenny.

KENNY: Sometimes it's got like nice pictures where it's like really detailed and sometimes it's just got stuff splattered all over the place.

FRAZIER: McFarlane has reached enough readers and made enough dollars to buy part of an NHL hockey franchise. A transplanted Canadian, he's a regular at Phoenix Coyotes games, but he says wealth is not his goal.

MCFARLANE: It's not about world domination, making a lot of money selling a lot of product. It's about coming up with an idea.

FRAZIER: And showing up his ex-bosses.

MCFARLANE: I don't really need your money to tell you the truth. I just take it to keep you honest.

FRAZIER: Back at Marvel in the early '90s, McFarlane was drawing Spiderman, one of the best known superheroes. Within the company, he had the prestige position. Within the industry, he was famous and rich. Tom DeFalco (ph) was one of his bosses then.

TOM DEFALCO, MARVEL COMICS: When Todd first started working for Marvel Comics, we saw, you know, a tremendous potential in his talent. We just tried to focus his talent and help him bring it to the forefront.

FRAZIER (on camera): How much were they paying you when you add it all together?

MCFARLANE: At the end, I don't know, probably two million bucks or something.

DEFALCO: He just kept getting better and better. I don't -- I'd like to say we were intelligent enough to perceive exactly how far he could develop, but I don't think we did.

FRAZIER (voice-over): Life should have been perfect, but McFarlane felt denied his proper share of the profits and worse, he says, he was denied a say in the editorial direction of the story.

MCFARLANE: They give you a book, sales aren't doing very good, even if it's a character we all know, OK. And they go, do whatever you want, sales are in the tank, cool. So you take off and you do it and all of a sudden the sales ramp up, but at a certain point they weren't on the train and all of a sudden you get to this point right here and all of sudden they want to be the engineer, because now it's popular, now they're like going, oh, Todd, you can't do that and you can't do this. Why?

Where are you getting all these backgrounds from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the photo CDs.

FRAZIER: McFarlane says he wasn't the only one chafing under this kind of treatment, some artists and writers, co-workers developed similar frustrations with the brass. But executives at Marvel thought they were listening to their creative teams.

DEFALCO: Todd was one of those, you know, creative groups. He had probably more say in those meetings because, you know, he has a very persuasive personality, so you know, he had tremendous input.

FRAZIER: In the end it came down to this drawing. Executives said the original was too violent, because McFarlane had the blade piercing the eye and the eyeball exploding. They asked him to draw it again.

DEFALCO: I didn't think this was appropriate for a children's comic books, so I, you know, informed the editor that we were not going to publish that panel, that it had to be redrawn.

FRAZIER: Within a few months, McFarlane had thrown down his pencil and walked out. Six of his friends followed.

(on camera): So you took a big leap for respect?

MCFARLANE: Well, yes. I mean, in the first issue of Spawn, and I wrote a one-page letter column and that's what it was about, respect. It wasn't about money. I didn't want money. I didn't want the trademark to Spiderman. I mean, you know, I am not that silly.

DEFALCO: There was a lot of drama when Todd left Marvel, but everything Todd does is full of drama. With comic book people, we spend our entire lives creating stories about courageous moral heroes who face despicable monsters. Whenever a comic book person is leaving a job, who do you think gets cast in the role of the hero and who do you think is the villain?

FRAZIER (voice-over): Comics are a huge business. Sales of almost a billion dollars the year after he quit Marvel, less now.

And Wall Street loved Marvel. On the day it offered stock to the investing public, super-hero characters wandered among traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Marvel's best known writer and illustrator, Stan Lee, second from the right here, and new owner, Ron Perlman, on the far left, looked on happily.

But Marvel wouldn't fly high for long. The debt Perlman piled onto Marvel brought it down among investors, and when McFarlane and friends left, readers showed Perlman how comics are a big business, but a small word.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't like that series, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was too easy.

MCFARLANE: If Michael Jordan gets traded to another team, you still like the Bulls, but you will follow Michael Jordan where he goes, and so when we quit, the seven of us, to start a new company, we were like starting a dream team and the audience just came with us.

I'll give you a quick update here.

FRAZIER: Working from two rooms in McFarlane's house outside Phoenix, they started Image Comics. T-shirts and bare feet are the office dress code here and sometimes McFarlane writes stretched out on a bed like a high schooler doing homework.

MCFARLANE: How many pages does he have of 53?

FRAZIER: But there's nothing casual about the profits generated here. Instead of picking up the crumbs left by Marvel and its rival DC Comics, which was the usual fate of independents, these creative types now handling all the business aspects of their work, created an industry powerhouse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it's good enough for Letterman, it's good enough for us, damnit.

FRAZIER: Image and the six other companies McFarlane founded are worth more than $100 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Need a holster on his leg.

MCFARLANE: Oh, yes, that's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The double barrel shotgun goes in there and he's got the chainsaw in his other hand.

FRAZIER: The company succeeds, says McFarlane, because his partners and subcontractors pay attention to details like the plastic in the toys.

MCFARLANE: Yes, if we can get it like a really nice skeletal feel on it, OK, cool.

FRAZIER: Serious business.

MCFARLANE: And this guy isn't going to fart for us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I found the very mechanism that they said would not work. Here it is.

FRAZIER: Remember, this man created a $105 million empire.

MCFARLANE: Look, I found one two.

FRAZIER: And he credits this teenager's irreverence for it all, something he says his ex-bosses didn't understand.

As for them, Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and is only now recovering. Tom DeFalco was pushed out and the suits at Marvel now won't comment on Todd McFarlane.

(on camera): What's driving all this?

MCFARLANE: Driving it, you know, a certain amount of rage, anger at people trying to dictate your life. I -- and I don't know where that comes from either. I just -- I resent people being in a position to be able to have authority over me, you know, and maybe it's just that teenager in all of us.


FRAZIER: Could Marvel have kept Todd McFarlane with better handling? Hard to say. Tom DeFalco says Marvel might have paid McFarlane more, but it could never have given him total control over a brand as big as Spiderman, which was on TV and merchandise as well as comic books. Sometimes, DeFalco says, it's a natural evolution for creative talent to move on.

LIN: Well, time to draw this show to a close.

FRAZIER: Yes, we'll move on.

LIN: That's it for all of us here on NEWSSTAND. Monday, a special edition of NEWSSTAND, Jeff Greenfield will preview the Super Tuesday presidential primaries, that's Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern.

From Atlanta, I'm Carol Lin.

FRAZIER: I'm Stephen Frazier, "SPORTS TONIGHT" is next, have a great weekend, and good night from the NEWSSTAND.


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