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In The Beginning; Cap'n Mac; Garden of Angel

Aired March 12, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: CNN & TIME. Tonight, "In the Beginning." He's a science teacher who doesn't want to teach the science of evolution.


RODNEY LEVAKE, SCIENCE TEACHER: I have trouble teaching something that I know is not necessarily true.


ANNOUNCER: What Rodney Levake and other Christian fundamentalists want to teach is the evidence against evolution. But is this just the latest attempt to bring religion into public schools?


EUGENIE SCOTT, NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION DIRECTOR: There is no evidence against evolution, at least if you talk to scientists.


ANNOUNCER: "Cap'n Mac." When somebody says John McEnroe, this is the image that comes to mind.


JOHN MCENROE, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: You guys are sitting here like two bumps on a log and say nothing because some idiot in the chair...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were always telling him, "Don't lose your temper. It will just hurt you. It doesn't help you." That was like talking to the trees.


ANNOUNCER: But that was then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCENROE: I mean, I kid about it now, that on the seniors tour, it's in my contract, if I don't get mad at least two or three times a match, then I get docked in pay.


ANNOUNCER: Has the bad boy of tennis grown up?

"Garden of Angel." Abused children endangered by the very system that's supposed to protect them.


PATRICK MURPHY, COOK COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIAN: You would not leave a dog in circumstances in which we leave some kids.


ANNOUNCER: Patrick Murphy doesn't mince words when it comes to fighting for those who fall through society's safety nets.


MURPHY: And our job is to go in there and basically to pick up where necessary.


ANNOUNCER: CNN & TIME, with Jeff Greenfield and Bernard Shaw.

BERNARD SHOW, CO-HOST: Good evening, and welcome to CNN & TIME.

Where do we come from? What are the origins of life? For most scientists around the world, there's no question the answers lie in Darwin's theory of evolution.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CO-HOST: But despite the overwhelming support it enjoys in the scientific community, the theory of evolution by natural selection has never completely taken hold in this country, especially in parts of the nation's heartland, and now there's an effort to introduce into public schools what some say is the evidence against evolution. Can the so-called science of creationism really compete with the theory of evolution, or is it a thinly disguised attempt to bring religion into the classroom?

Here's Kathy Slobogin.


KATHY SLOBOGIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rodney Levake is the latest foot soldier in a battle that's gone on for the last 80 years, a battle between science and faith.

LEVAKE: I have trouble teaching something that I know is not necessarily true.

SLOBOGIN: Levake is a science teacher. He is also a fundamentalist Christian.

LEVAKE: I believe that the Bible is God's word, and there isn't any mistakes in it. I believe that God created the world around us and the -- and the plants and the animals and so forth.

SLOBOGIN: A few years ago in the small town of Faribault, Minnesota, Levake was promoted to a job he had wanted for years: teaching biology in the local high school. But he ran into trouble with the other biology teachers when he didn't teach evolution. Levake claims he ran out of time in a shortened school year and had to skip the chapters on evolution. The school says the other biology teachers managed to fit them in. When school officials questioned Levake about his future intentions, one thing became clear: He wouldn't teach evolution their way.

LEVAKE: No, I -- I'm not willing to teach evolution as a fact. I'm willing to teach evolution and take a look critically at both sides of the issue. That I -- I feel like I could do.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): Are you bringing your religious beliefs into the classroom?

LEVAKE: No, absolutely not. There is a vast difference between questioning evolution as a theory and teaching science from a religious standpoint.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): Levake says he's simply trying to expose his students to what he calls holes in the theory of evolution.

LEVAKE: But why would a peacock evolve such a beautiful tail if one of the main purposes of evolution was survival of the fittest?

SLOBOGIN: Levake says what he wants to teach is the evidence against evolution. But others say that's just a new phrase for an old idea.

SCOTT: The evidence against evolution is just a repackaging of creation science. If you ask people, "Well, what exactly would you teach as evidence against evolution?" what you get is the same old stuff that five years ago they called creation science.

SLOBOGIN: Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, says the teaching of evolution is under attack by a creationism movement that's using stealth tactics.

SCOTT: The goal of the movement really is to get evolution out of the schools. I mean, they'll -- you know, they'll pay lip service to the idea that "Oh, we want more evolution taught. We want both views," et cetera, but if we just promise to quit teaching evolution, these people would shut up and go home.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): In 1987, the Supreme Court held that creationism is a form of religious belief, that requiring it to be taught in public schools is unconstitutional. But the public is divided. CNN polls show that 68% of Americans favor teaching creationism along with evolution in the public schools. Forty percent favor teaching it instead of evolution.

(voice-over): That kind of support is fueling at attack on evolution in a number of states. Last fall, Kansas removed evolution from its required school curriculum.

SCOTT: Everybody's familiar with Kansas, but Kansas is just one of many states that have had problems in state standards regarding evolution. Illinois doesn't mention the e word in its standards. Kentucky just recently went through its state standards, and everywhere the word "evolution" appeared, they took it out and substituted "change through time."

SLOBOGIN: Scott says the real threat to evolution is happening classroom by classroom, with teachers like Rodney Levake. The high school principal removed Levake from his biology class and reassigned him to a job teaching general science. Levake is suing to get his job back and to teach evolution his way. The school's attorney says it's a simple employment issue: a teacher not doing his job.

EHRICH KOCH, ATTORNEY: He voluntarily chose not to teach the full curriculum that's assigned to him, and when he chose not to do that, we simply can't have him in that position.

SLOBOGIN: But Levake's fight has been taken on as a test case by a legal group started by Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson. Its lawyers are representing Levake free of charge.

FRANK MANION, AMERICAN CENTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE: I see this as a test of academic freedom for secondary school teachers, like Mr. Levake. This is not a case about whether teachers should be allowed to teach creation science or creationism in public schools. What it is about, though, is the extent to which a school system can censor a teacher who merely wants to present a fuller picture of a controversial subject.

SLOBOGIN: Frank Manion works for Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice. He says Levake's evidence against revolution is science, not religion.

MANION: We're not teaching thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not cheat. We're just bringing up the possibility that there may be another explanation for the origins of life.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): Are you teaching thou shalt not believe in evolution?

MANION: No! I don't think so, and I don't -- I certainly don't think that's what Mr. Levake ever intended to teach.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): What Levake did intend to teach is a patchwork of arguments from books and pamphlets creationists say raise scientific doubts about Darwin's theory of evolution. Getting these materials out to teachers and students is the mission of a creationist group called Answers in Genesis based in Florence, Kentucky.

KEN HAM, ANSWERS IN GENESIS DIRECTOR: ... in "Lost World" and "Jurassic Park" and...

SLOBOGIN: Ken Ham, its director, is planning to open a museum of natural history according to the Book of Genesis.

HAM: ... using dinosaurs is a way of really getting people attracted to our museum and showing them that we can explain dinosaurs from a biblical perspective and that they don't fit with evolution.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): Now I notice this one says "This little fellow would have been just the right size on the ark." Are you implying that the dinosaurs were on Noah's ark?

HAM: Oh, yes. We certainly believe dinosaurs were on Noah's ark.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): Scientists believe that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years before humans emerged. But that doesn't sway Ken Ham.

HAM: Do you realize, if God made everything in six days, then dinosaurs, which are land animals, must have been made on day six alongside Adam and Eve.

SLOBOGIN: Ham's organization claims to have over 100 creation clubs around the country, groups of students who are sent anti- evolution materials in the hopes they will challenge their teachers and influence other students, materials like this video.

HAM: You know, one of the things I like to teach children at our special school assemblies, at our Answers in Genesis seminars, in Job Chapter 38 and Verse 4, God asks Job this question: "Job, where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?" And so all the children are taught this. The next time somebody says, "Millions of years ago," ask your teacher the question that God asked Job, "Excuse me, sir. Were you there?"

SLOBOGIN (on camera): Do you think children are harmed by being taught evolution?

HAM: Oh, absolutely. I remember seeing Jeffrey Dahmer interviewed as to why he killed people, and one of the things he said was because he was told he came from slime, he -- he was taught evolution, he believed he was accountable to no one but himself. If there's no supernatural, if there's no absolute authority, if I'm just a product of death and violence in a struggle over millions of years, then who decides right and wrong? Who decides good and evil? Who am I?

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): But Ham claims he's willing to leave his moral concerns at the schoolhouse door, that his goal with Answers in Genesis is simply to convince students that evolution is a matter of scientific debate.

HAM: So we're going to be teaching a little bit about how to think.

We want students themselves to realize that there's another side to this, that evolution is not fact.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): Are there scientists who doubt evolution?

SCOTT: There are scientists who doubt that the earth goes around the sun. I mean, you don't -- you don't really decide scientific arguments based upon a vote. So people shouldn't be confused by this kind phraseology. There is no evidence against evolution, at least if you talk to scientists.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): We did talk to a scientist. Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University is one of the most prominent paleontologists in the country.

STEPHEN JAY GOULD, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Serious scientists do not doubt that evolution occurred. It has not been the subject of any debate among scientists for more than a hundred years.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): There's a new concept in the land called teaching the evidence against evolution. What do you make of that?

GOULD: I think all evidence should be taught. If I thought there were evidence against evolution, I would, of course, be in favor of teaching it. As far as I know and as far as my scientific colleagues who spent their lifetimes studying this with a reasonably open mind, at least as open as we know how to make it, know, there is no such credible evidence, so the subject's moot.

SLOBOGIN: We're told that well-credentialed scientists believe there are holes in the theory of evolution. Not true?

GOULD: There are things we don't understand about the mechanisms of evolution, so if, I mean, the creationist folks are saying there are holes, there are certain holes in our explanatory mechanisms, but if the holes are supposed to be substantial doubt that the process happened at all, then there are no such holes.

SLOBOGIN: What do you think would be the harm if the teacher were allowed to bring some of these doubts about evolution into the classroom?

GOULD: It's just a very bad educational theory to teach demonstrably false material in some sense because some people in the community believe it. I go right back to my flat earth. Do you think that in every high school classroom, so long as there's a parent who thinks the earth is flat, that the geography course should be forced to devote a large amount of limited time to discussing that alternative and ending up confusing people?

SLOBOGIN: Can you understand why a parent might be concerned if a science teacher begins teaching something in the classroom that seems to be a matter of religious faith?

HAM: What about the Christians? What about the people who believe in God? Can you see that they would be concerned that their child is only receiving a view that implies naturalism and does away with the supernatural? So, you see, it's really a battle between two different world views here.

SLOBOGIN: I guess the fear is that teaching children only evolution will rob them of something that they're being taught at home or being taught in church.

GOULD: You're robbing students of nothing about morality and -- and value, which has to be addressed. What you're giving students is precious information about some of the most interesting aspects of the natural world. Science and religious are entirely different phenomena. Science is about the factual state of the world. Religion is about moral belief and the spiritual meaning of things. Science can't address those questions, but religion can't address the factual questions of how the world is made.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): That wall between science and religion has been upheld in the courts until now. If Rodney Levake wins his cases, that could change.

(on camera): Would you like to see science teachers all over the country teaching the evidence against evolution?

LEVAKE: I would think it's the fair thing to do. If they feel that evolution is truth, I suppose that they have a -- that's within their freedom to teach that. But on this -- on the other side of the coin, I think if they have some serious questions about evolution, like I do, I think they should be free to teach that as well.


GREENFIELD: Rodney Levake's fight to get his biology class back is expected to enter its trial phase sometime early this summer.

When we come back, the media McCain hangover.


ANNOUNCER: Coming up on CNN & TIME, the swagger...


MCENROE: Come on!


ANNOUNCER: ... the tirades...


MCENROE: What the hell are you talking about?


ANNOUNCER: ... and the talent of John McEnroe...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCENROE: I was always shocked at the U.S. Open when I'd go there earlier -- particularly early on in my career, and people would start yelling, "You jerk," you know, stuff like that and seemed to be shocked if I actually said something back to them.


ANNOUNCER: CNN & TIME continues.


SHAW: John McCain isn't the first attractive candidate that voters have flirted with and then abandoned at the polls, but the love affair sure was exciting while it lasted. Just ask the media.

The Campaign Trail Blues following McCain's presidential swan song in tonight's "Dispatches."


JOHN DICKERSON, "TIME" CORRESPONDENT: Senator McCain personally is no great fan of George Bush. When Senator McCain placed the call to Governor Bush, it was like he was ordering a pizza. It was very low key. There was some joking.

John Weaver, the political director, had to actually place the call, and the senator joked that it was unfair punishment for Weaver, who comes from Texas. It was short. He hung up the phone. They went back to joking and laughing and carrying on in a kind of lighthearted way, even though it was the evening that would end his presidential run.

By Thursday, it was all over but giving the speech.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, my friends. Thank you so much for helping me remember what it means to be a public servant in this, the most blessed and most important nation on Earth. It has been the greatest privilege of my life. Thank you.

DICKERSON: The most hard-bitten members of the political corps were in tears as he talked about bringing new people into the Republican Party.

Thursday night, the press corps assembled with John McCain at his house for a barbecue. When they came back to the hotel, they all sat around the bar, and there was a feeling a little bit like it was a wake. Everybody was talking about where they were going next, telling their best John McCain stories, commiserating about the boring campaign that would go on to continue after this crazy ride they'd been on.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: There was a more businesslike relationship between Bush and the press corps.


CROWLEY: The Bush campaign itself was not as susceptible to the highs and the lows of the campaign as the McCain campaign was. Bush came out of New Hampshire. It was clear that they'd lost. It was a low for them, but the lows were not as low and the highs were not as high in the Bush campaign as they were in the McCain campaign, and that necessarily sort of dulls the -- any kind of investment that a reporter has in the campaign.

People inside the campaign are -- are telling me that George Bush believes the McCain-Bush rapprochement will primarily be taken care of with time. The number one unifier between John McCain and George Bush will be Al Gore. Certainly, what they would like is a hearty endorsement from John McCain. There are olive branches, you know, breaking out all over. Remember that a number of the people who are staffers for the Bush campaign know the staffers on the McCain campaign, so that kind of contact is going on.

DICKERSON: One of the people that called John McCain the day he dropped out of the race was Chuck Hagel, senator from Nebraska, who had supported McCain. He gave him a report from his Senate colleagues, most of whom had supported George Bush. Well, they wanted to give McCain a party, honor him when he came back. They'd wanted to hang him the day before. Now they wanted to throw a jamboree.


ANNOUNCER: For more on John McCain's presidential swan song, read "Time" magazine this week.

Next, has the tempest of tennis been tamed?


BUD COLLINS, TENNIS COMMENTATOR: If somebody had said three years ago McEnroe -- you know, he's a walking international incident.


ANNOUNCER: The unlikely leader chosen to represent American tennis in the Davis cup, when CNN & TIME continues.


GREENFIELD: Welcome back to CNN & TIME.

For four consecutive years, beginning in 1981, John McEnroe was the number one tennis player in the world, a whirlwind of breathtaking skill and breathtaking sound and fury. But that was yesterday. Today at 41, McEnroe is the father of five, he's a successful television commentator, a staple on the Seniors Tour, and the newly appointed captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Now, the Davis Cup is a unique event in the world of tennis because players compete not for themselves, as they do in the major tournaments, but for their country. With all of these new roles comes one intriguing question: has the one-time firebrand mellowed? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCENROE: It's always good for that kick one. You could hit a hard slice, like into the body...

GREENFIELD (voice-over): He is a mentor now, this youthful looking man and early middle aged, standing on a tennis court in Africa.

MCENROE: That's a big-time serve.

GREENFIELD: Preparing his charges for their first Davis Cup test against Zimbabwe. He is a diplomat now, taking in the sights and sounds of African dancers, offering a few good words that night as he reflects on the absence of his two best players sidelined by injuries.

MCENROE: Everyone seems to feel sorry for us and I'm not sure why. Colin, for example, you mentioned that you feel bad that Pete Sampras and Todd Martin aren't here, so you imagine how I feel, right?

GREENFIELD: The television commentator...

MCENROE: There's our man.

GREENFIELD: The mentor...

MCENROE: And you've got to have the same confidence.

GREENFIELD: The diplomat, this is not the way most of us remember him.


UNIDENTIFIED UMPIRE: Code violation, unsportsmanlike conduct. Warning, Mr. McEnroe.

MCENROE: Come on, give me a break.


GREENFIELD: This, of course, is the image that dominates.


MCENROE: Come on! This is absurd. What the hell are you talking about? It's absurd! God almighty.


GREENFIELD: The brash, brilliant human hand grenade, the 17- year-old wunderkind who became one of the greatest tennis players ever, whose incredible ability was often overshadowed by his incredibly infantile behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCENROE: You're pathetic, you know that? You are the worst umpire that I have ever seen in my life. You're never going to work another match if I have anything to say about it.


GREENFIELD: Which leads us to a question as inevitable as it is obvious: Which John McEnroe will lead the U.S. Davis Cup team?

MCENROE: Andre, are you ready to come back at 4:30, play a little dubs?

GREENFIELD (on camera): Here's McEnroe, leader of the team. Is he going to be the same kind of personality? Is he going to be jumping on the court, yelling on behalf of his teammates?

MCENROE: Well, hopefully that will bring people to watch. That's -- maybe that's part of why they did it. I mean, let's face it, the way it's been is no one's given a hoot. So if that brings people to the seats and brings some interest to it, then I'm all for it and I hope that people turn on to see that.

GREENFIELD: But that's not part of your plan, is it?

MCENROE: No, it's not. I would correlate that to being a commentator now. I mean, do I sit there and scream at the -- my cohorts and the producers? I mean, I think people around the world of tennis where I do the big tournaments, they see that I've done a good job doing the commentary and I've brought a level of interest to it without resorting to the tactics I use on the tennis court. That's a totally separate issue.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): But in Africa, says long-time tennis commentator Bud Collins, McEnroe would face a challenge to U.S. Davis Cup captains.

COLLINS: This is the toughest debut any of them ever had. We've never played -- the United States has never played in Africa before. The Zimbabwean team is very tough, they've had wonderful wins, they're at home. It's going to be a claustrophobic and chaotic atmosphere.

GREENFIELD: Andre Agassi, U.S. team member and number-one player in the world today.

ANDRE AGASSI, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I think John is an experienced competitor and I think he will have a strong sense and an objective one as to when he needs to step up and either create some kind of diversion or create some kind of energy, and again, he's been out there. He knows that, and I think he'll make some good decisions. I'm excited to see it all unfold.

GREENFIELD: Excitement was John McEnroe's sidekick almost from birth. Even as a wide-eyed, open-mouthed kid, his parents say he had a hunger for competition of every sort.

(on camera): What did he play as a kid? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything, baseball, basketball, football. He was the quarterback on the football team. He was the high scorer on the basketball team. He was the pitcher on the baseball team.

GREENFIELD: When he chose tennis, was that just something because he was better at it, or is there something about choosing an individual over team sport that might have fit the way John liked to compete?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think ultimately, you know, he felt in team sports that if everyone wasn't putting forth the same effort he was, that didn't make him happy. They didn't work at it, you know, so I think in a certain sense that was probably something that did sort of lean him toward something individual.

GREENFIELD: Was it always a case where he liked the idea of putting out as much as he possibly could? I mean, was he that way with schoolwork?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely. He was a very, very good student and he'd come home from school and say so and so got a better mark than I did in Latin. And I'd say, well, sit down and study it, and he would.

GREENFIELD: But he didn't like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't like someone getting a better mark.

GREENFIELD: I've heard stories of parents of gifted tennis players who -- the kid behaves badly, throws a racquet, screams, yells, the parent immediately pulls him out of the tournament, says you're not playing anymore today, you'd ever do that with John?


GREENFIELD: Ever have to?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean, that's probably a subject about which people can disagree. I never felt I had to. There might have been other people who thought, why doesn't he do it?

GREENFIELD: Did he have this temper as a kid?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No question, sure.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): McEnroe first played Junior Davis Cup at age 15, the beginning of a long career with Davis Cup.

MCENROE: This was the closest you could get to representing your country, so it was always something that my parents said. They wanted two things: the Davis Cup and get a scholarship to college.

GREENFIELD: McEnroe won a college scholarship to Stanford and then won the French Junior Open in 1977. Two weeks later, he went to Wimbledon. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had no idea that John was going to turn out the way he did, and in '77 when he got to the semifinals of Wimbledon, that was -- we were totally shocked.

GREENFIELD: The rest of the world was shocked as well by this 18-year-old amateur from New York. The world was also shocked by his behavior.


MCENROE: You guys sit here like two bumps on a log and say nothing, because some idiot in a chair comes and just does nothing.


MCENROE: And I was this guy who they, you know, always look at as supposedly some sort of major rebel.


MCENROE: If I said it was right, he said it was a left.


MCENROE: But to me, I'm like a lot of guys that grew up in Queens, New York, or went to school in Manhattan. It's very normal. I was always shocked at the U.S. Open when I'd go there earlier, you know, particularly early on in my career and people would start yelling, you jerk, you know, stuff like that and seemed to be shocked if I actually said something back to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We always told him, don't lose your temper, it'll just hurt you, it doesn't help you. That was like talking to the trees, you know.

MCENROE: When you're out there and someone's flinging a 125 mile an hour serve at you and you've got, you know, .4 seconds to respond to that, but you know the ball was out and some guy sits there with what appears to at least me at the time to have been a condescending attitude and says that, of course, that ball was in and he may or may not have been awake in the first place, because we've had that problem in tennis, umpires being asleep on the court, and then suddenly a bunch of people yelling at you from the stands, "Play on!", you know? There is a tendency at least for the average human being -- you know, guys like Bjorg are exceptions to this rule. See, I'm more normal. I'm the guy that reacts to it.

GREENFIELD: All through the early '80s, McEnroe chased Bjorn Bjorg to become number one in the world. Their clashing temperaments and styles of play gave tennis one of its greatest rivalries. The battle at the 1980 Wimbledon Finals is widely regarded as one of the unforgettable not just in tennis, but in 20th-century sports. Most fans say there hasn't been a rivalry to equal it since, and McEnroe wistfully agrees.

(on camera): Those days chasing Bjorg, you said that they gave you more pure fun than once you caught and passed him and you were at the top of the world?

MCENROE: Without question. To me, the chase of it was just the best. He was a magical figure in tennis and, you know, when I became number one, the moment I became number one, which was in the U.S. Open '81, he stopped playing right when things were just exploding for the sport. That's sort of how we felt. We were very excited. I was amazed that he did this. To this day, I'm amazed that he did it. To me, I mean, I'm biased, but that was a magical time, the late '70s, early '80s, and when he left it wasn't the same.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): McEnroe's other great rivalry was with Jimmy Connors.

(on camera): What's the deal with you and Connors? Some people suggest you're sort of too much alike to get along, or you like to get on each other's nerves?

MCENROE: We're not very much alike off the court, but on the court we're a lot more alike. I mean, I actually always tried to model myself after his effort level. I mean, no matter how hard I tried on the court it seemed like he was trying harder. I mean, he, to me, is like Pete Rose's twin brother.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): The famous rivalry still lives on the Senior Tour.

ANNOUNCER: This is the first time these tennis giants have met on British soil since 1984.

GREENFIELD: McEnroe versus Connors is one of the biggest draws, and McEnroe says he's having a ball.

MCENROE: I kid about it now that on the Seniors Tour it's in my contract if I don't get mad at least two or three times a match, then I get docked in pay.

That's a nice one, there.

GREENFIELD: If McEnroe has mellowed a bit, it may have to do with the fact that he's a father. In 1986, he married actress Tatum O'Neal (ph). They had three children and split up in 1992. He's now married to rocker Patty Smythe. They have two children.

The question now is: Is McEnroe mellow enough to be a leader, or will he bring embarrassment?

COLLINS: If somebody had said three years ago, everybody would have thrown -- he's a walking international incident, they would say. I frankly though he probably shouldn't be the captain. But when they finally decided, I said, yes, he deserves a shot.

MCENROE: Keep mentally picturing that slight angle forward, OK?

COLLINS: If he's going to destroy himself, that's too bad. I hope he doesn't.

GREENFIELD: In Zimbabwe, McEnroe did have a few moments with the umpire.

MCENROE: He's always been one of the worst umpires that I've ever been part of, and he continued to be today. I feel in some ways it's like the guy is paying me back, you know? Somehow I sense it's, like, personal.

GREENFIELD: The match in Zimbabwe turned out to be a tough debut. Agassi won his match, but Chris Woodruff, in his first battle, lost badly. The altitude, the drums and Jojo the Clown all took their tolls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see that?

GREENFIELD: And McEnroe was pointing the finger squarely at himself.

MCENROE: I anticipate that I certainly will do a better job, hopefully, in the next two days. I know deep down in my heart I didn't do a very good job today.

GREENFIELD: The next day, the doubles team lost, and the U.S. was down two to one.

On the final day, Andre Agassi won again. And then it all came down to one match. Chris Woodruff, who had had such a tough time the first day, against Wayne Black. Chris Woodruff pulled it out and the U.S. won.

UNIDENTIFIED TENNIS ANNOUNCER: Game, set, match United States.

MCENROE: I've been a part of a lot of matches, but this was phenomenal. And this guy dug so deep it's just scary. And it's so sweet. It's so sweet. That's all I can tell you.

AGASSI: John's one of those guys you want to be in the bunker with. And I think what he teaches more than anything is attitude. You know, he shows -- he kind of shows by example how important it is to believe in yourself and to know you can get the job done.

GREENFIELD (on camera): Is the Davis Cup captaincy one way that you can sort of say, look, who that guy is or was, there's another whole story, and I want to show it to you.

MCENROE: I think that that's one way of showing it, sure. And even something beyond that, hopefully. I hope to make a difference.

GREENFIELD: Commissioner of tennis, what's that?

MCENROE: Commissioner of tennis is one thing. I mean, sometimes I wonder whether it's worth it with tennis. You know, I think to myself, do these people not get that something needs to be done? And I almost want to move on to bigger and, you know, what I would consider more important things.

There's something inside of me percolating that I want to percolate in a positive way. (END VIDEOTAPE)

GREENFIELD: The U.S. Davis Cup team will next face the Czech Republic in Los Angeles next month. But McEnroe's enthusiasms don't stop at the tennis court. He's an enthusiastic rock musician, his gallery reflects his interest in art, and he might someday cast his commentator's eye at a broader horizon -- like politics. If James Reston and Ed Bradley began their careers in sports, well, why not McEnroe?

And if you want to see more of our interview with John McEnroe, go to CNN & TIME online at

We'll be back in a moment.


MURPHY: Who did they report it to originally?


ANNOUNCER: Coming up...


MURPHY: Between the age of 6 and 9, he's delivering drugs in the damned building.


ANNOUNCER: ... he does whatever it takes to protect those who can't protect themselves.


MURPHY: Sometimes the system isn't a hell of a lot better than what you took the kid from. Part of our job is to try to force the system to be better.


ANNOUNCER: As CNN & TIME continues.




UNIDENTIFIED PASTOR: We now entrust the soul of Joseph to the abundant mercy of God.


ANNOUNCER: He sees the worst cases of child abuse, and he won't let anyone look away. MURPHY: All the abuse and neglect that goes on within the system, states cover it up. It's like this damp rock with 1,000 slimy things underneath it.


ANNOUNCER: When CNN & TIME continues.


SHAW: Here in Washington, the city's foster care system is in what some describe as a state of pandemonium. Children showing the slightest sign of possible abuse or neglect are being removed from their homes at a record pace, straining welfare services terribly. This reaction from social workers comes after the death of 23-month- old Brianna Blackmon (ph), who was killed January 6th, two weeks after a judge ordered her out of foster care and back into the home of her previously neglectful mother, one of three suspects in the case.

Brianna's is an all-too-familiar story to Patrick Murphy, a nationally recognized champion of those who've fallen through the cracks. We first introduced you to Murphy last winter, when he took Linda Pattillo inside Illinois's child welfare system.

A warning: Some of what you are about to see is graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They locked her in the basement for the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mom was off doing drugs.

MURPHY: We deal with the worst families one can imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The issue is whether or not we should take custody of this kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More reports are coming in that this kid is being abused in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are we going to put him if we take custody.

MURPHY: There are thousands of kids who are dying a day at a time in our system -- kids we should be helping.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now this case goes to a follow-up worker and she does nothing.

MURPHY: We are a hired gun, and our job is to go in there and basically to kick butt where necessary.

LINDA PATTILLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Patrick Murphy is a blunt-talking street scrapper from the south side of Chicago. He arrives at work before dawn each day to fight a child welfare system he says is continually failing the very children it is supposed to protect.

MURPHY: Bureaucracies goof up. And I think it's very important to have a countervailing force, someone who can go in and say to the state bureaucracy, you're goofing up.

PATTILLO: When Murphy began representing abused and neglected children in 1987, there were 12,000 cases. Now the Cook County public guardian has nearly twice that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon, Public Guardian.

PATTILLO: Big Bird and Barney grace the waiting room. The office walls are covered with crayon drawings of happy families and homes, the very things Murphy's clients do not have.

(on camera): What have the lives been like of the children you see?

MURPHY: Bleak. They're bleak before they got in the system, and they're bleak when they get in the system. Sometimes the system isn't a hell of a lot better than what you took the kid from. Part of our job is to try to force the system to be better.

Growing up on the south side of Chicago, when I was a teenager, you'd say, what do you do when you're standing in a hill full of boogers up to your chin and someone throws a handful of cow manure at you? And that is the dilemma that the child welfare system looks at in so many cases.

PATTILLO (voice-over): Cases like William Jackson. The state took him from a violent home and placed him in the care of a foster mother, who it turned out had a criminal record and was on probation for a drug offense. In her care, 2-year-old William was scalded to death.

During the last three years, 229 children died of abuse and neglect in Illinois. Forty of them were under the state's protection.

Child welfare systems across the United States are in crises, but in Illinois Murphy makes sure the public knows when the system fails.

MURPHY: And then if we lose, we appeal.

All the abuse and neglect that goes on within the systems stays covered up. It's like this damp rock with a thousand slimy things underneath it. You pick up and you say let's put it back down. That's our system.

PATTILLO: The secrecy, Murphy says, was supposed to protect children. But instead it protects incompetent parents, social workers and judges. And he is determined to open it up to public scrutiny.

MURPHY: The only congressional committee that I'm aware of that is off bounds for the media is the CIA Committee, yet everything that goes on in child welfare is out of bounds. You can't go in. You can't look at the files. Something you come in and ask about a kid, they say, hey, we can't talk about it -- confidentiality.

Our system will never improve unless the harsh light, the glow of the public light, is in there looking at us.

PATTILLO: Murphy cast that harsh light on the case of 2 1/2- year-old Saonnia Bolden (ph). In 1992, after she was physically abused by her mother, the system assigned a case worker to try to keep the family together.

ADRIENNE GIORGOLO (ph), ASSISTANT PUBLIC GUARDIAN: An agency was contracted to come in and provide intensive services to this family to see if it would be possible to save the family and keep them together.

PATTILLO: Adrienne Giorgolo is the assistant public guardian who investigated Saonnia's case.

GIORGOLO: The mother was taken out to dinner, was taken out shopping by this case worker.

PATTILLO: After three months, the social worker recommended that Saonnia's abuse case be close.

GIORGOLO: And the note reads, "The amount of stress and frustration has been reduced. Sadie appears" -- Sadie is the mother -- "appears to have a lot more patience with her children, and she continues to improve her disciplinary techniques."

The same day that the worker wrote this, Saonnia died after having boiling water poured on her.

PATTILLO: The medical examiner found 62 injuries on the toddler's body -- many of them recent.

GIORGOLO: And these were all marks, including marks on her face and neck area that any social worker that would have stepped into that home that would have looked at this child would have seen.

PATTILLO: Murphy was outraged. He mailed the graphic autopsy photos of Saonnia's burned and beaten body to the governor and to all 177 state legislators. Instead of change, Murphy got controversy.

MURPHY: And there was a horrible outcry in the child welfare arena accusing me of all kinds of horrible things. No one, not one person, said, look at it. Isn't it horrible what happened to this kid? But I was the bad guy because I showed the picture.

PATTILLO: And the next year, there was another horrifying case. Three times the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed Joseph Wallace from his mentally ill and suicidal mother and three times it sent him back. The last time, Joey's mother, Amanda, tied an electrical cord around his neck, stood him on a kitchen chair, told him to wave bye-bye and kicked the chair out from under him.

MURPHY: She was a very, very, very crazy lady. And it's absurd to think this woman could ever parent anything or anyone. She couldn't take care of a dog. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA: I'm sorry about it, yes.

QUESTION: Did you do it?


MURPHY: Not her fault. She was to be pitied. It was our fault. We fouled up on the case, big time. I did, my office did, DCFS, the judge, everybody did.


UNIDENTIFIED CHAPLAIN: We now entrust the soul of Joseph to the abundant mercy of God.


PATTILLO: It was the death of 3-year-old Joey, buried with a "Sesame Street" video by his side, that made Murphy realize that not all families can or should be preserved.

MURPHY: Family preservation's a good idea for family A, B, C, but not for family D, E and F. Our system sometimes isn't intelligent enough to make those distinctions, so instead we throw family preservation at everybody without thinking through the consequences.

PATTILLO (on camera): And then what happens to the children?

MURPHY: What happens is the kids get screwed. They get killed, they get beaten up. You know, you would not leave a dog in circumstances in which we leave some kids.

PATTILLO (voice-over): When he is not dashing off scathing memos about such abuses...

MURPHY: Barbara and Dennis told me about a case which will be going to terminations.

PATTILLO: ... Murphy is filing lawsuits. He has forced changes in the system and won millions of dollars for the children it has failed to protect. But memos and lawsuits, he says, only address the symptoms, not the causes of abuse and neglect.

(on camera): What role do drugs play in the cases that you see?

MURPHY: Eighty percent to 90 percent are drug-related -- drug or alcohol-related.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sexually abused child is not going to reach any goal, no matter what the goal is.

PATTILLO: Largely because of drugs, the case load has expanded so fast, Murphy now has 155 lawyers on his staff, up from 24 lawyers 10 years ago. Assistant public guardian Dennis Mondero (ph) tells each child the same thing.

DENNIS MONDERO, ASSISTANT PUBLIC GUARDIAN: I'm your guardian angel. I'm going to look out for you. I'm going to make sure that you're OK. And no one will do whatever they have done to you before. No one will do it again.

PATTILLO: On the back of his office door, Mondero keeps a child's drawing.

MONDERO: He was 3, 4 years old, playful kid, friendly, handsome kid. And then later on we found out that he had been sexually molested.

PATTILLO: Found out after the child began molesting other children.

MONDERO: I keep this up here to remind me that if we don't help these kids early on, we certainly have less of a chance to help them later on in life.

MURPHY: The main thing is that we have to go before the court because it was supposed to be done on the 14th.

PATTILLO: Murphy is constantly pushing his lawyers to be thorns in the side of the system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we still have to do at least two more sessions.

MURPHY: I don't care how it is, but we don't want these kids living in shitty circumstances.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This issue is she's pregnant with a high- risk pregnancy. She can no longer work or support herself.

MURPHY: In the first place, they could keep the case if they want to, but the DCFS won't fund it.

PATTILLO: The person most often on the receiving end for the agency under attack is Jess MacDonald (ph).

JESS MACDONALD, DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM: Patrick and I, if truth be known, agree more often than we disagree. And I think Patrick would be disappointed to have anyone in public know that.

PATTILLO: MacDonald, the head of the Illinois child welfare system, says it has improved in recent years -- smaller case loads for social workers, an overhaul of the juvenile courts and more children being adopted into new families.

MACDONALD: For over three decades, Patrick is -- has been, you know, an advocate in one position or another. And I think he's been fighting what he considers the beast called the Illinois child welfare system. And I think he believes that it, you know, it can't possibly get better.

MURPHY: If there's no abuse in the home, they should come out and tell us...

PATTILLO: And he will continue to fight as long as one child is falling through the cracks.

MURPHY: That's absurd.

In this field, you're not looking for spectacular victories, because they don't happen. And if you are, you're going to burn out real quickly, because when you start realizing for every spectacular victory there's 50 spectacular defeats, then you burn out. But for every spectacular victory and 50 spectacular defeats, if you can help 100 kids or 100 families improve a little bit, then you're doing something.


SHAW: Every year in this country, at least one and a half million children in this country are abused or neglected.

And that's this edition of CNN & TIME. I'm Bernard Shaw.

Jeff, I'll see you next week.

GREENFIELD: Thanks, Bernie.

Coming up next, CNN's encore presentation of the documentary series "COLD WAR" continues. Tonight, the space race.

I'm Jeff Greenfield. For everyone at CNN & TIME, good night.


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