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Newsroom/World View

NEWSROOM for August 18, 2000

Aired August 18, 2000 - 4:30 a.m. ET


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

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's Friday and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for capping off your week with us. I'm Shelley Walcott.

ANDY JORDAN, CO-HOST: And I'm Andy Jordan. Here's what's coming up.

WALCOTT: In today's top story, we'll have a profile of the man the Democrats have nominated for president.


BILL TURQUE, AUTHOR, "INVENTING AL GORE": I think that his father and his mother both very much wanted him to go on in politics, and to compete, and perhaps someday be president.


JORDAN: Then, in our "Editor's Desk," a look back at entertainment 20 years ago.


ANITA BUSCH, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": With the '80s, we had things like "Urban Cowboy" and "Airplane."


WALCOTT: From vintage entertainment to modern fashion, "Worldview" unveils African clothing.


JACQUELINE DE GREAT, WISDOM CREATIONS: We call ourselves the African Versace.


JORDAN: And in "Chronicle," election 2000 through the eyes of young voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JASON FRIEDMAN, CNN STUDENT BUREAU: I don't think that most major media outlets pay enough attention to young people, and sometimes that's reflected in things like low voter turnout.


JORDAN: Convention season in the 2000 U.S. presidential election is officially history. As Democratic convention delegates prepare to head back home from Los Angeles, Vice President Al Gore tries to come out of the shadow of President Clinton to make his case for a Gore presidency.

With his nomination acceptance speech last night at the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Gore sought to build a new perception, hoping to separate his name from the vice presidential post, of which the nation's first vice president, John Adams, once said, "In this, I am nothing, but I may be everything."

Gore painted a self-portrait which portrayed a champion of ordinary Americans.


VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm happy that the stock market has boomed and so many businesses and new enterprises have done well. This country is richer and stronger. But my focus is on working families, people trying to make house payments and car payments, working overtime to save for college and do right by their kids.


JORDAN: Bernard Shaw, now, takes a closer look at the man behind that message.


BERNARD SHAW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1992, Al Gore out achieved his father, Albert, by gaining his party's nomination for vice- president. The senior Tennessee senator had failed in his bid to be Adlai Stevenson's 1956 running mate. He always hoped his son would do better.

BILL TURQUE, AUTHOR, "INVENTING AL GORE": I think that his father and his mother, both, very much wanted him to go on in politics and to compete and perhaps, someday be president.

SHAW: Gore's father was the son of a Tennessee hill farmer. After working his way through college and law school, he ran for school superintendent in Carthage. Aided by his politically astute wife, Pauline Lafon Gore, he made it to the House of Representatives in 1939, mortgaging his farm to pay for the campaign.

TURQUE: They became Franklin Roosevelt New Deal Democrats. They both believed that government was the guarantor of economic justice. SHAW: With daughter, Nancy, the Gores moved to Washington. In 1948, a son was born, and named for his father, whose political star was rising.

In 1952, he was elected to the United States Senate. The Gores aimed to give their son advantages they did not have.

In 1957, they enrolled him at St. Alban's School for Boys in Washington. As well as educating the National Cathedral's choir boys, St. Alban's was an incubator, of sorts, for the capital's elite: Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushes and Gores all sent sons here, a place where religion and hard work went hand in hand to prepare future leaders.

REV. CRAIG EDER, FMR. ST. ALBAN'S SCHOOL CHAPLAIN: Life was much more formal than it is now. Boys wore coat and ties. It was before the drugs had struck, and before the Vietnam War, and the huge upset of American life.

SHAW: Al Gore was almost unusually well behaved, even for those stricter times.

EDER: He was very, very conscientious, you could say he was grown-up ahead of time.

TURQUE: Because he was the son of a senator and because politics was the family business, I think he was forced to sort of function in an adult role from a very early age.

SHAW: At home, he'd hear his father on the telephone advising President Kennedy on civil rights or the Cuban Missile Crisis. At school, he was growing into the ideal all American young man.

REED HUNDT, GORE FAMILY FRIEND: A regular guy, a very, very nice guy, a success athletically, which was a very big deal in the high school at the time. He was captain of the football team.

SHAW: A teenager of the '60s, Gore also discovered how to have a good time, but never caused a scandal.

HUNDT: Al and I went to the first Beatles concert together along with a bunch of other kids in our class. He had a good throwing arm and did a terrific job throwing those jelly beans at Ringo Starr's drums.

SHAW: Home for the gores, most of the time, was a rented apartment in the Fairfax Hotel in official Washington, along Embassy Row. But when Congress wasn't in session, the Gores moved back to the Carthage homestead in Tennessee. There the son got a different kind of education.

TURQUE: Even the local kids were sort of appalled at how hard Albert Gore worked his son. He was up at 4:00 in the morning. He was cleaning out the hog parlors and he was working in the tobacco fields, and Albert Gore saw this as sort of a character building kind of boot camp. STEVE ARMSTEAD, GORE CHILDHOOD FRIEND: He'd give us about two weeks worth of work, and he'd show back up in about three or four days and expect it to be done.

SHAW: It wasn't all hard times on the farm. Al had fun with friends, as well, and he always liked to win.

ARMSTEAD: We were all the time competing. We'd just try to basically outdo each other. It was all this competition always going on between the two of us.

SHAW: When it came to college, on the advice of his parents, Al Gore applied to only one university of higher learning: Harvard. He was admitted.

Before taking his place there, he met Tipper Aitcheson at a high school graduation dance. She went to nearby Boston University, but spent a lot of time with him at Harvard.

JOHN TYSON, HARVARD DORMMATE: We used to call them Al and Tipper, one word, Alandtipper.

SHAW: Gore's Harvard studies were also overshadowed by the escalating war in Vietnam. His father was against the war. So was he. But when the campus erupted in anti-war protests, he didn't take part, not wanting to do anything that might reflect badly on his father.

TYSON: We were against the war, but we were not against America.

SHAW: As graduation neared, Gore and his classmates, faced a tough decision.

PROF. GRAHAM ALLISON, POLITICAL SCIENCE: At the end of their period on campus, they were either going to be draftee or they were going to sign up, or they were going to find some way to avoid going to war.

SHAW: Gore's decision was especially difficult because his father was battling for reelection.


SEN. ALBERT GORE SR. (D), TENNESSEE: This has been the fight of my life.


SHAW: While opposed to the war, what would avoiding the draft do to his father's chances?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a big part of the decision, obviously, but not the driving part of the decision, I believe.

ARMSTEAD: Well, the major concerns, though, you know, if I don't go, somebody's going to have to take my place. I remember him making that statement.

SHAW: On August 8, 1969, Al Gore enlisted as a private. His father's reelection campaign was going badly, largely because of his opposition to the war.

TURQUE: Albert Gore's opponent in that race, the Republican Bill Brock, attacked Albert Gore mercilessly as a radical liberal, questioned his patriotism.

SHAW: A uniformed Al Gore appeared with his father in campaign ads to counter that charge. But the three-term senator was defeated in November. 1970 marked the end of the father's political career and the beginning of a new chapter for Al Gore.

He married Tipper in May, and then shipped out to Vietnam. Gore served as an Army journalist and saw no direct combat, but his tour included time spent reporting in the war zone.

MIKE O'HARA, SERVED WITH GORE IN VIETNAM: We didn't carry typewriters with us or anything like that, and when we were out in the field, we were just like everybody else.

SHAW: The gore name didn't protect Private Gore from dangerous assignments.

O'HARA: He didn't get anything that anybody else didn't get, but in terms of ducking duty, in terms of sloughing things off on guys like us never.

SHAW: Gore returned from Vietnam deeply unsure about what he wanted to do with his life.

ARMSTEAD: He was really looking and chasing and Vietnam had give him the idea of maybe I don't want to be in politics, if this is what politics creates, I don't want to be a part of that.

SHAW: He spent a year in religious study at Vanderbilt University contemplating his options. Then he began a career in journalism at the "Nashville Tennessean." Gore made a name for himself as an investigative journalist exposing local government corruption.

But his colleagues at the "Tennessean" believed that it would only be a matter of time before Al Gore went into his father's business. In jest, they plotted his road to the White House.

FRANK SUTHERLAND, EDITOR, "NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN": Our schedule was 2008, and we didn't have vice presidency in the mix, but also, we didn't have him running for Congress as soon as he did because we didn't think the incumbent there would retire until two to four years later than he did.

SHAW: On March 1, 1976, that incumbent, Representative Joe Evans, announced he was giving up his seat. The same day, a 27-year- old Al Gore declared his intention to enter politics. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was his show and not his father's show. His name was Gore and he was proud of it -- not ashamed of it, proud of it -- but he wanted to run his own campaign.



NARRATOR: On the last night of the last Democratic convention in Los Angeles in 1960, nominee John Kennedy spoke for the second time. Two days earlier, the young senator from Massachusetts, who had very narrowly been Adlai Stevenson's No. 2 in 1956, had chosen his convention runner-up, Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas, as his own running mate.


SEN. JOHN F. KENNEDY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will carry the fight to the people in the fall, and we shall win.


NARRATOR: But convention organizers wanted a bigger audience for his formal acceptance. On short notice, they got 80,000 people into the Los Angeles Coliseum to hear Kennedy talk of the new frontier and praise onetime rival.


KENNEDY: A distinguished running mate who brings unity and strength to our platform and our ticket, Lyndon Johnson.


NARRATOR: Johnson would become president himself three years later when Kennedy was killed in Dallas.


WALCOTT: In our "Editor's Desk," we do a little time travel back to 1980. Whether you remember it or not, the world was a very different place 20 years ago. In the 1980s, cable TV, home videos and personal computers took off. Seems hard to imagine life without them now.

Jim Moret takes us back for a visit.


JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a time when seeing a movie meant going to a theater, before most Americans had VCRs, when music was still on vinyl, when the fall TV schedule was set by three broadcast networks. The year: 1980. The average movie ticket then was $2.69, roughly half the $5.25 it is today. "Alien," "The Blue Lagoon" and "Xanadu" were among the eclectic sampling of films audiences were lining up to see. ANITA BUSCH, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": With the '80s, we had things like "Urban Cowboy" and "Airplane!" and "9 to 5." Each decade has a certain flavor.


LESLIE NIELSEN, ACTOR: Can you fly this plane and land it?

ROBERT HAYS, ACTOR: Surely you can't be serious.

NIELSEN: I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.


MORET: More than 1 billion movie tickets were sold in 1980, and the most popular film that year:


JAMES EARL JONES, ACTOR: The force is with you, young Skywalker.


MORET: "The Empire Strikes Back," the second installment in the "Star Wars" serial that is still going strong 20 years later.

The films from 1980 which went on to win Academy Awards the following March include "Ordinary People," which garnered best picture, best supporting actor for Timothy Hutton, and best director for Robert Redford.


ROBERT REDFORD, ACTOR: Because I had stopped acting for almost three years, I wanted to change directions and attempt something new.


MORET: Sissy Spacek won the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter." Robert De Niro won the best actor trophy for "Raging Bull." The nation's number-one box-office star of 1980 was Burt Reynolds, who that year starred in "Smokey and the Bandit II."

Much about moviemaking has changed in 20 years.

PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO.: In 1980, the average production budget, including advertising and prints, was about $13 million. Today, that's somewhere around $76 million.

MORET: On the small screen, "M*A*S*H." and "Soap" were in their prime on primetime. "Taxi" won six Emmys in the comedy categories, beating out shows including "Barney Miller" and "WKRP in Cincinnati."


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's the hour of darkness, children, and Venus is on the rise in Cincinnati!


MORET: But it was a drama that made TV history for the 1980-'81 season.

MARK SCHWED, "TV GUIDE": "Hill Street Blues" changed the face of TV. It was the first time -- talk about reality television, you've never seen cops who were more real.

MORET: It was on the brink of cancellation when it beat out its popular rivals "Lou Grant" and "Dallas" at the Emmys, making the record books for the most Emmys won by a primetime show in a year: eight.

Just as "Hill Street Blues" was being embraced, another pop icon was bidding farewell.

SCHWED: "Charlie's Angels" was enjoying its last season on the air in 1980. Farrah had long gone and we had Tanya Roberts as one of the Angels, who is now playing a mom on "That '70s Show" on Fox.

MORET: In the year 2000, "Charlie's Angels" is new again, this time on the big screen.

The biggest Broadway musical in 1980 made the transition from screen to stage. "42nd Street" was the address for theatergoers, winning the Tony for best musical, beating "Sophisticated Ladies" and "Woman of the Year."

1980 was also the last year in the life of a music legend. Former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his Manhattan apartment on December 8.

Christopher Cross sailed to the top of the charts with his 1980 debut album. He won five Grammys without exposure on MTV. The music video channel didn't launch until 1981.

Record buyers were being educated in the sounds of Pink Floyd's "The Wall," which launched the group's concert tour and later inspired a film. AC/DC was electrifying audiences with their biggest album, "Back in Black," music they would play for decades to come. That group is back on tour this summer. Everything old is new again.


JORDAN: Art and fashion take the spotlight in "Worldview." We'll focus on fashions from Ghana -- styles that reflect a rich history and culture. And we'll meander to Mexico to check out the president-elect and hear from his artistic aunt, who fled her Mexican homeland but still captures it on canvas.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CO-HOST: We kick off "Worldview" in Mexico, where the people took to the polls in July and ended 71 years of one-party rule, defeating the Institutional Revolutionary Party. They took more than a leap of faith when they elected Vicente Fox as their next president, they put a whole era in Mexico's history behind them and have given their country a chance for democracy at last. This is the first time in Mexico's history where one regime has given way to another without massive bloodshed.

And now the Mexican people have placed all their hopes for a better future in Mr. Fox, who's not your typical Mexican politician. A Jesuit-educated Catholic of immigrant descent, his career included running Coca-Cola's Mexican operation. Now, Mr. Fox must endure a five-month waiting period before he takes office December 1.

In the meantime, there's one vociferous supporter who can't stop singing his praises.

Ed Garsten reports.


ED GARSTEN, CNN DETROIT BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Sister Bertha says when she sees something beautiful, she commits it to canvas: the grandest of canyons, a pristine pinery, a full, brilliant moon. But to her, there's nothing more beautiful than her native country, Mexico, and especially the sea surrounding the island of Cozumel.

SISTER BERTHA FOX: That sea is a paradise of the divers. They say underneath the sea is a fantasy.

GARSTEN: Sister Bertha remembers a homeland she says did not seem beautiful. She fled Mexico 61 years ago in the face of what she calls religious persecution.

FOX: The priests and the nuns were hiding and the government confiscated every religious building and every house, private house, where there was a religious service. Many people lost their homes and many people were killed.

GARSTEN: She became a member of the Sisters of Mary Reparatrix and lived a low-key life in convents in New York City and suburban Detroit, carrying out her religious duties and painting. But Sister Bertha is now spending much of her time regaling in the victory of her nephew, Vicente Fox, the man who will be the new president of Mexico, breaking the 71-year hold on the nation by the PRI Party.

FOX: He's a very capable man and he's a leader, he's a born leader. I have said that always.

GARSTEN: Sister Bertha says her brother, the president-elect's father, was not in favor of Vicente's involvement in politics.

FOX: He said, oh, no, no, the family, we are not politicians.

GARSTEN: Vicente Fox's only living U.S. relative believes her nephew will turn around a nation fraught with poverty and political corruption, and would be working to do so even if he lost the election.

FOX: He's Mexican, to do something for Mexico, and he has sworn that for the rest of his life he is going to work for Mexico.

GARSTEN: At 87, Sister Bertha has no plans to return to Mexico to live, but in her artist's mind she now envisions a much brighter picture for her beloved homeland.

Ed Garsten, CNN Riverview, Michigan.


WALCOTT: We head now to the world of fashion from Ghana. Ghana is a small African country located on the Atlantic coast near the equator. While mainly an agricultural country, Ghana is considered to have important mineral deposits, including bauxite, diamonds and gold. Ghana's chief export is Cocoa, yet a new export is making its way from Ghana into the western market. A visionary designer is cutting a new look for fashion by putting a twist on the traditional.

Ghanian dress traditionally consists of brightly colored cloth that men wear in a wrap and women make into blouses and narrow skirts. Now that look is expanding.

Here's Stacey Wilkins with a glimpse of new garments inspired by Ghana's styles.


STACEY WILKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fashion with an edge -- an African edge. Ghanian designer Wisdom Kwaku De Great, is taking traditional African clothes and giving them a new look, a style he's launching in Africa and the United States.

WISDOM KWAKU DE GREAT, WISDOM CREATIONS: I think my style is a combination of both Western and African style.

WILKINS: Tighter fit, smaller headpieces, and lots and lots of ruffles, a style he calls Afrocentric fashion.

DE GREAT: Most of these are one size fits all, so we decided to give it a lot of shape to look, you know, very sexy.

WILKINS: Wisdom gets inspiration from African royalty. The Ghanian designer's motto for his shops in Atlanta and Accra is, "where kings and queens dress for less." A top-end five-piece suit for men retails for about $500. A women's top and skirt sells for $65. Such prices are building a loyal customer base in the United States.

SHARON LANE, AFROCENTRIC FASHION FAN: In the United States, it's like a stop and stare and a triple turn and, oh, that is so pretty.

JOHN EVANS AFROCENTRIC FASHION FAN: I wear his outfits and I get a lot of positive response from what people see me wear.

WILKINS: Wisdom's creations are manufactured in Ghana. Clothes are made with painstaking attention to detail. Workers spend hours on the intricate embroidery that's become a signature look.

DE GREAT: The embroidery is hand done with a machine, but you operate it with your hand at the bottom of the machine.

WILKINS: Wisdom's daughter Jacqueline is helping build the business. She has big plans.

JACQUELINE DE GREAT, WISDOM CREATIONS: We call ourselves the African Versace, seeing ourselves in the future designing Africanwear for, you know, Americans or, you know, stars, celebrities, you know, like Versace does, but have a little African flavor, a little African touch to it.

WILKINS: Style with a foot in two worlds that could launch a new look on two continents.

Stacey Wilkins, CNN, Atlanta.


ANNOUNCER: Teachers, make the most of CNN NEWSROOM with our free daily classroom guide to the program. There you'll find a rundown of each day's show so you choose just the program segments that fit your lesson plan. Plus, there are discussion questions and activities, and the guide highlights key people, places and news terms. Each day, find hot links to other online resources and previews of upcoming "Desk" segments. It's all at this Web address, where you can also sign up to have the guide automatically e-mailed directly to you each day. It's easy, it's free, it's your curriculum connection to the news. After all, the news never stops, and neither does learning.

WALCOTT: Here in the United States, politics isn't just for parents anymore. More and more young faces are venturing into the political arena, not only to voice their opinions, but also to cover the U.S. presidential election.

In today's "Reporter's Notebook," we hear from one such journalist who tells us about his personal experience on the political front.


JASON FRIEDMAN, CNN STUDENT BUREAU: I'm Jason Friedman. I'm 21 years old and I'm a reporter for the CNN Student Bureau. It's been interesting covering the youth angle. I don't think that most major media outlets pay enough attention to young people, and sometimes that's reflected in things like low voter turnout. So it's been nice to go out and seek out stories that are relevant to young people and to talk in vocabulary that young people understand, and put faces to stories.

I think that the people we've covered have varied a lot: some very polished young people who have a lot of political views, have developed those views over the years, and some people who maybe aren't so politically aware but who are still here and want to let their voices be heard.

In Philadelphia, we covered a story about a protester named Cheez. We followed her from Atlanta up to Philadelphia where she was marching in a pretty big protest up there, and that was a lot of fun, kind of seeing the face behind a protest.

We took the train from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the Earthtrain. That was interesting, too. We were on the train with some child celebrities and some really civic-minded youth.

In Los Angeles, being outside on the first night of the convention, the protests that were going on, we were at ground zero watching that, being in the middle of that, and I've never, ever been in something like that before. We were at that line between the police in riot gear and the protesters, and it was amazing to be there. The police were firing rubber bullets and using pepper spray, and the protesters were waving their flags and chanting. And it was amazing to be there right in the middle of that.

This is my candy store. I'm a political science major and it's been really nice to be able to go out here and see all these people that I see on C-Span at three in the morning, but to see them in person and to kind of seek out those kinds of stories.

If I could be anywhere right now, I would want to be here. This is ground zero for a political junkie like me. I never thought I'd be here as a 21-year-old kid, still in college, covering the political conventions for CNN. But eventually I'd love to work my way back up to cover this at the national level. I mean, look at where we are. This is pretty amazing.


JORDAN: Great place to be.

Well, the conventions may be over, but the election, of course, is still to come in November. Stay with NEWSROOM.

WALCOTT: That's right. Stay with our show for all the election coverage.

JORDAN: That's right -- and for everything.

WALCOTT: And that's it for today's show. Bye.




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